Lookin’ Back Keeps Me Lookin’ Forward

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Lookin’ Back Keeps Me Lookin’ Forward

By Paula Deen

I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions because I think I’m setting myself up for failure. There’s a good chance that I won’t keep ‘em. For so many years, I vowed to try to quit smoking, try to lose weight, try to have more fun . . . and I guess I’ve succeeded at the tryin’ part, just not the doin’ part.  So I don’t make resolutions. I make promises to try. After all, every dog should have a few fleas.

But now I’m starting to see that celebrating the New Year isn’t so much about beating yourself up for your past failures, as it is about appreciating what you’ve accomplished. This last year was a big one for my family and me. Michael and I moved into our dream home. It was a big move, and God willing, it will be our last. When most people were down-sizing, we chose to up-size to accommodate our growing family. It’s a difficult time to make a move like this, but I figure that the more family I can stuff into my life, the better off I’m always gonna be.

We got my niece Corrie married off this past November and held a beautiful reception in our front yard, overlooking a moonlit river. And we celebrated another big day when my magazine, Cooking With Paula Deen, turned five! Even bigger news was finding out I was going to be a grandmomma again. Jamie and Brooke are expecting another boy in May! At the end of the day, what I’m most thankful for is gettin’ another chance to share a morning coffee with my husband, laugh with my boys, and swell with pride at every little thing my grandbaby does.

At the same time, it’s overwhelming to think that another year has passed—especially knowing that the next one will fly by even faster than the last. So I encourage y’all to take a moment to think about how far you’ve come and use that to help inspire you to go even further in 2011. See, I could make resolutions I have no intention of keeping, or I can vow to enjoy the opportunities my life gives me with an open heart. One of these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities was being asked to be the Grand Marshall of the 122nd Rose Parade. Going down that crowded parade route on New Year’s Day and waving my little heart will make me feel like Miss Universe for the first—and maybe the only—time in my life. It’s something I can’t wait to experience and I’m sure I won’t easily forget. In fact, I just may have “Grand Marshall” engraved on my headstone when the time comes.

Hopefully, that’ll be a good many years from now, but all the same I don’t intend to waste a single second of this blessed new year tryin’ to get myself to do something there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell I’m gonna succeed at. Instead, I’m gonna put my energies where I always have: taking each day as it comes and appreciating the miracle of every passing moment.

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This is an okay site

By Shelly on April 26, 2013


Amen sister- well put. Your wisdom and ease with yourself (and your 'demons') make you hands-down, the most lovely creature on earth. I'm a fan and love that you embrace what others might consider your imperfections or shortcomings with gusto, grace, and a beautiful smile.

By Jeanne on March 27, 2012


Dear Paula: I love your cooking in fact my husband is from the south so alot of our dishes are southern. I was watching one of your shows today and notice the weight you loss great job!!! Could you let me know what type of diet you used?..I buy your books and pot and pans they are great.Thank you , Tamara

By Tamara on February 16, 2012


Mrs. Paula Deen, you are such a beautiful lady. I keep telling my kids..."I wanna look just like Paula Deen". You are such a wonderful cook and I am learning to be a much better cook in the kitchen. I thank God for such wonderful people as yourself and your family. Keep up the good work with helping the less fortunate!! Much love, Rosemary

By rosemarygarcia on February 07, 2012


Paula, i wish you nothing but the best in your quest to stop smoking. The capillary damage is so much worse in diabetics. And you are to be commended for your dietary changes and for exercising. Don't let Anthony Bourdain or any other detractors bother you. You created an empire in your quest to raise your sons as a single mother, and that is admirable. I watch your show and occasionally try your recipes. I, like many other viewers, choose what I want to try and not try. Your show is entertaining and fun. Keep up the good work!!!

By vicki watson on January 21, 2012


Dear Paula, Please read The EASYWAY to stop smoking by Allen Carr. It WORKS! I urge anyone who reads this that wants to stop to GET THIS BOOK. It has been more then 2 years since I stopped smoking and I know I will never smoke again. I'm free! There is no guilt tripping and scary stories to try to motivate you to stop either. It changes the way you think about it. There are loads of reviews on amazon. I want to order extra copies of this book and leave them in public places to hopefully help others quit too. Best Wishes Lisa

By Lisa on December 07, 2011


Paula I saw you on Dr.Oz yesterday and when you said you had only two vices potatoes and cigarettes and how much you just loved to smoke i so related to that statement! I know in my brain how bad cigarettes are for me but I just love to smoke too!! but I would be so happy if I could convince myself I wanted to quit and then I could; but I can't get my want to, to want to. I have smoked since I was 11 yrs. old, I'm 62 now and don't know what it feels like not to smoke. I too would take back the day I smoked that first one and beg anyone who has any idea of starting DON'T DO IT I will pray for both of us that our want to, will kick in and we'll join the ranks of the non smokers smile p.s. You cook just like my grandmother, my mama, and I do. I'm passing the tradition on down the line to my children. Long live fried chicken, mashed potatoes and milk gravy!

By Sally on December 01, 2011


paula, i am a huge fan. at school we have to do a 5th grade biography and i chose u. i swear, u and my grammie could be twins!!!! i luv ya paula deen:) lindsey

By lindsey miller on April 09, 2011


Paula; I know YOU probably will not see this, just your many secretaries that take care of your replys because I know how very busy you are, however I just wanted you to know that I absolutely love your write ups and receipes, I have all your books, even your boys. You bring a smile to me otherwise sad days. Myhusband has been in the nursing home for the past going on 4 years now, and I go to see him each and every day and I miss him terribly!!! You help put a little sunshie in my days and I GREAWTLY THANK YOU FOR THAT . God Bless you!!!!!!!!! Phyll Schulte Grand Marais, Mn.

By Anonymous on March 31, 2011


Paula, I enjoyed the video with your hairdresser. Nice to watch a "professional" and I have tried to find it again, but alas, can't seem to. Please run it again or make it a standard use. The hair products have my interest, most hairdressers want you to buy their shops products. Congrats on being Grandma again.

By Diane Bush on February 13, 2011


I think you look great!! You are a joy to watch on TV. I personally think you look like you have lost weight. My dream would be to come and see you on your show and go and see your resturant. Whrn my husband passed away I started watching food network and cooking to keep my mind and time occupied so it was a life saver for me. Happy 2011 and may you be blessed

By LIBBY DICKSON on January 10, 2011


Hey Donald! So sorry we have not gotten back to you. For a truly Southern Chess Pie, try the Southern Foodways Alliance website. They have wonderful old southern recipes. Paula has a number of recipes close to chess pie that are all amazing. Give one a try and let us know what you think. Happy Baking! Libbie Grits Pie Olivia's Buttermilk Pie

By Libbie Summers, Senior Food Editor for Paula Deen on January 09, 2011


Dear Paula, I have been cooking for years now.... years. :} Ok, im 47 on Monday. It's been so much fun making things up and trying things out and cooking your recepies. My husband Brian, has been suffering from cancer now for 6 years. But, I tell you, when I cook and when I cook from your list of meals, he is a happy man. I always tell him what's yours and what's mine. I am a very good cook but, he always says that.....I think Paulas is better!!! Then his response is.... you can't get mad at me babe, I have cancer! Dammmm he always pulls the cancer ticket. That's his line!! We are kind of a fun loveing goofie family. Thank you Paula for making my husband laugh at his lowest and laugh at his highest!!!! The Schmidt family loves you always!! P.S. My daughter Kyle is heading off to a Cullinary College in 2013 ok, it's a bit a ways but, she's looking! Love to your family, your pets and all the people behind the scene. Happy 2011 Susanne Schmidt Wilton Ct.

By Susanne on January 08, 2011


when will we be seeing jamies new show. Will bobby be hosting a show also.

By Helen Sweat on January 08, 2011


THX, PAULA, for shar'n your Grand Marshall experience and GRANDMOMMA news because we peasants can relate to one of the above and admire the other(ha,ha). It was great hear'n you've married and moved to your dream home as I'd only known about your earlier misfortune and respected you so much for driving off in your little red truck to become an even awesomer MOM, a teacher,an entertainer and a celebrity! Grandmomma Paula,here's an idea how 'bout ...PAULA DEEN BABYFOOD. I love you,Paula! Happy B-Day 2 U, Karen Dye P.S.Your Pun'kin Cheesecake was a huge success with my family on THXGiv'n.

By Karen Dye on January 08, 2011


HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAULA...................MINE IS ON THE 19TH TOO............

By Janice on January 07, 2011


I asked a question of you and I have not heard anything from you,Please respond. I am looking for a Chess Pie recipe,not Cake?

By Donald L Stevenson on January 07, 2011


Dear Paula i want u to know,im a real fanatic of yours,iv been nursing for 28 yrs,each years my grown children buy me something from ur collection,this x-mas was diffrent,they got my husband and i a paid,mini vacation to Savannah,i dream of eating @ lady and the sons,was sorry to here no reservations,my frind told me it will be a miracle if u get inside to eat,she went and never made it in to eat,due to line being so long,i do belive in miracles,will be there on 01/27-01/31/2011,please help me make it possibl for my dream come true,and actually get to sit and dine there,see yall,ur bigest fan....LOVE Irma and Danny Chapa

By irmas chapa on January 05, 2011


Will you be showing different rooms in your new home in your magazine or a book? I loved the decor in your TV home and can't wait to see how the new home is decorated. You have great taste!

By Susan Cox on January 05, 2011


Thank you Paula for the beautiful story above regarding the New Year. I can certainly relate to NOT making any foolish resolutions that more than likely wouldn't work out. But I DO like to have a great time and make the very most of every day. This I also try to instill into my two boys Sebastian and Samuel, ages 15 and 14 respectively. They are my pride and joy. This year will be more challenging for the three of us as my husband and their father passed away suddenly on November 18th, 2010. The three of us were left heartbroken, confused and lost. But, as my husband Ted would want, we need to keep moving on. He was never one to give up and always had a great sense of humor. I hope that he can see his boys from heaven. They are so strong, bright and sometimes I think, almost too grown-up. Ted and I met one another in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus. He was a clown and I a showgirl. We traveled all around the United States, met all kinds of performers from all over the world and had the very best time of our lives. We left the road life and started a family. When the boys started to show interest in "clowning", Ted was so proud and couldn't wait to teach them the trade. The three of them started to perform local functions and did very well. Now, our youngest Samuel has what the call the "sawdust in his veins" and plans to join the circus when he is of age. This summer, he hopefully will be joining a small performance tour featuring his own act travelling the New England states. How proud Ted must be!! Mama too, of course. So I suppose with all the bad that an old year may have brought into our lives, we need to find the good, right? Bless you Paula. You have always been such an inspiration to me and I really will be needing it now.

By Mary Beth on January 04, 2011

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