Anne Newsome, 36, has been married to her college sweetheart John, for over 14 years! The couple share a passion for food and healthy living and together write a Food Blog, the Saturday Evening Pot, where she is known as “The Lucky Wife”, and he as “Chef John”.
Anne and John both grew up in North Carolina but now live in South Carolina with their two young children, a son who is 6 years old, and a daughter, who turns 3 in August.
A devout christian, Anne counts motherhood as one of her greatest blessings.
When Anne and John decided to start a family, their deep faith played a central role in type of family they would have.
“My husband and I decided to adopt our first child. We felt strongly that it was something God was calling us to do, knowing the mandate from Scripture to care for orphans (James 1:27). While not everyone is called to adopt, we believed this was how He wanted us as a family to fulfill that mandate and to show His love to a child who needed a “forever family”.
The only obstacle, per se, was the money needed to pay for the many expenses involved in the adoption process. Through prayer and His Word, God assured us that He would provide for this need. And He did! We received three grants, one being a matching grant. Through those, donations from friends and family, the Adoption Tax Credit and other fundraising efforts the adoption expenses were met. We brought our son home in January of 2008. It was an exhilarating, faith-building journey!”
Anne herself was adopted at the tender age of two. She had always been curious about her biological parents and longed to meet them when the right time came along. The perfect opportunity presented itself to Anne during her senior year in college. A psychology major, she was given a “Personal Challenge” assignment by her professor in her “Human Relations and Interactions” class. Embarking on this long awaited search with very little information about her birth family was to be one of the toughest challenges Anne ever encountered.
“I did find my birth family and foster parents, quickly given what little information I had, and it was such an amazing experience to finally find and meet them! But it also has been a long discovery process that has looked more like a rollercoaster ride, emotionally. Thankfully, my Christian faith has always been an important part of my life and has kept me grounded through disappointments, sadness, traumatic experiences in my earlier years and during other tough times throughout my life as well.
The search for my biological family and the adoption of my son were both very special adventures for me. Adopting my son, probably more so, because I got an amazing gift and the adventure never ended. It simply transformed from the adoption process into the daily joy of parenting.”
I met Anne a little over a year ago, through a blogging group we both belong to. When we first spoke I was immediately taken by her gentle nature and kind spirit. She is soft spoken with the sweetest Southern drawl ever. But behind the gentleness is an iron will and a passion that is equally magnetic. She has a quiet confidence and lives her life with conviction and purpose.
Some of the greatest obstacles that Anne has faced have been part of her journey into motherhood. When Anne was pregnant with her daughter, she began experiencing pre-term labor contractions at 30 weeks and had to begin self-monitoring contractions at home, twice a day and more as needed. She was also told to significantly limit her physical activity and to take medication when contractions reached a certain intensity and frequency. Her daughter was born at 38 weeks after the most trying eight weeks.
Anne and John have both battled many food sensitivities, and following the advice of her family nutritionist, Anne was committed to nursing her beautiful baby girl for 18 months. This too was not an easy road, but Anne was determined to make it work.
“After learning from other moms through some online support forums and trying different things with every new challenge, finally after three months of extreme frustration, tears, Mastitis, and my husband telling me she would be okay and to stop torturing myself, the sun broke through the clouds and darkness and I was able to nurse her with no more problems, and actually even enjoy the experience at times, through 18
Motherhood has definitely taught me some invaluable lessons, such as never say never. I was the type of person pre-motherhood who thought I would never do certain things. I have done all of those by now. The most important life lesson I believe I have learned is to always seek a healthy balance.”
A typical day for Anne, finds her juggling the responsibilities of caring for her two young children along with those of working from home. She splits her work time between her “real job” doing transcription work, and following her passion as a Food Blogger and Author. A firm believer in giving back, she also makes time to volunteer at her church.
What does Anne say about living the Scrumptious Life?
“What comes to mind when I think of the Scrumptious Life is when Jesus said He came to give me an abundant life! Yet, just because that is what He so desires for me to have, if I allow my life to get unbalanced, abundance is not at all what I feel or experience. It is up to me to follow the path He has laid out for me, and balance is one of the keys to staying on that path!”
As it is for many of us moms, finding balance is for Anne an ongoing challenge. Though she gives it her best shot she often feels she doesn’t do a very good job of it. But one of the most valuable lessons she has learned as a mother, is to let go of her need for perfection.
“I was very disciplined before Motherhood. My house was orderly and I was able to manage my time effectively. Motherhood truly changes everything, yet, with all of the challenges it presents I would not trade the opportunity to be Mommy to my two little ones for anything in the world! My worst days at home with my children are still far better than any best day I could have in any other job.”
Having moved a lot since becoming a mother, Anne has found it difficult to build long-term girlfriend relationships. Yet she values the special nurturing and support that women bring to one another.
“We have only been in our current area for just over two years, so we are working on building relationships here and think this may be a long-term home for us. I was blessed last year to be invited by a new girlfriend at church to go to a Beth Moore conference. Her husband is a manager at a local Christian radio station, so she sometimes gets free tickets to events. It was a lot of fun and good to get out for girlfriend time and spiritual renewal!”
As for little pampering rituals?
“I would say the only “pampering ritual” I have that is all about just being a girl and expressing my true self would be when I get ready to leave home and apply my makeup. If I could wear makeup on only one area of my face, it would be my eyes. I don’t even wear blush or lipstick or gloss anymore! Sometimes just a little powder and some eye makeup and I’m ready to go. It’s what makes me feel at my best and most beautiful self.”
Anne Scrumptious tip for other moms
“In your efforts to find that balance in life for yourself, take time to cultivate your inner beauty more than the physical beauty, because it is what lasts! As much attention as is given to outer beauty and appearance by our culture, it is so easy to forget this (at least for me). But as much as I hate wrinkles and gray hairs, I know a time will come when my beauty regimen will no longer be able to compensate for the aging as effectively, yet, inner beauty does not age if it is nourished! Some of my favorite Bible verses on this topic are:
‘Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.’ (Proverbs 11:22)
‘Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.’ (1 Peter 3:3-5)
‘For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.’ (1 Timothy 4:8)
Even if you are not of the Christian faith, I’m sure you can see how the underlying messages of these verses can be applicable to anyone’s life.”
I could not share Anne with you, without also sharing one of her delicious recipes! When she asked her husband John, who creates the bast majority of the tasty recipes on their blog, if there was a signature dish they could share, they both agreed it would have to be his Peach and Sweet Tea Vodka Glazed Pork Tenderloin.
“It represents us ~ Our Southern roots, our love for fruity main dishes, and our love for unique flavor combinations that are amazing together!
Here’s what one of our readers had to say about it: “…a pork roast recipe that will seriously make you reconsider having turkey for Thanksgiving.”
We hope you enjoy it, too!”Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 pounds packaged pork tenderloin (should be two pieces), silver skin removed and fat trimmed
- 1 10-ounce jar peach preserves or fruit spread
- 3 tablespoons sweet tea vodka (we used Firefly)
- 1/8 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons oilCooking Directions:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Season tenderloin with salt, garlic powder and paprika; cover and place in refrigerator until ready to cook.
- In a small non-stick sauce pan, heat peach preserves over low heat until it reaches a liquid consistency.
- Stir in sweet tea vodka. The mix will maintain a liquid consistency as long as it is warm. Leave in sauce pan and on burner set on low. Stir occasionally.
- Place large cast iron skillet on burner over medium-high heat until almost smoking.
- Add two tablespoons of oil and immediately place tenderloin into pan. Sear on all sides, approximately one minute per side. (You are looking for a nice caramelizing on each side.) Remove tenderloin from skillet and place on a bar pan or cookie sheet.
- Lightly coat tenderloin with peach glaze.
- Place in oven for 15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 135 to 140 degrees.
- Remove from oven and glaze tenderloin again with peach mixture. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before carving. (NOTE: It is important that you let the tenderloin rest — this allows for “carry over cooking”. As the meat sits, it continues to cook internally. The internal temperature can rise another 5 to 10 degrees. Pork cooked to 140 to 145 degrees will result in a pale pink “Medium” center. By cooking it slightly below desired temperature and then allowing it to rest, the end result should be a product at the perfect temperature.) Slice tenderloin on a slight bias in 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices and drizzle with glaze.
You can find this and more scrumptious recipes on Anne and John’s blog, the Saturday Evening Pot.