Saturday, January 29, 2011

Feels like another life...

I was pregnant in this picture. It felt like a dream. I felt like I was glowing, just like the sunshine around me in this photo. feels like that was another life. Did that really happen? Was I seriously really pregnant?? Pregnant! -a word I never thought would be part of my identity and experience. And then did our baby really die? Did we actually live through that??? It feels worlds away. And yet... the pain is just right here, choking my throat and throbbing my heart and stealing my sleep. Today marks 4 months since we said goodbye to baby.

Our latest- We're facing several very big decisions about our future- related to a house, job- but mostly concerning growing our family and how we go about doing that. They are very weighty decisions that won't be easy to make and that aren't clear cut. We know the #1 thing we must do is wait on the Lord and let him be our guide. I know I can't let fear or impatience be the driving force behind our decisions, but I really have to battle against that every day. And of course I wish we weren't back in this place again making these sorts of decisions, because I just wish our baby was still with us.

I see how the Lord is growing me though and strengthening my faith again and giving me the ability to trust him with some things that I totally wasn't willing to before. Seeing progress is encouraging when it seems like so much of the rest of our lives is on pause. I know that I don't know how God is going to grow our family. But I want to be open to whatever his will is for us. And in his grace I see him leading me more and more to that place of openness. I'm so thankful I have a loving, gentle shepherd to lead me to wherever we're going.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Our time away

Our anniversary trip was wonderful! It was over so quick and we definitely didn't want to come back home. Two days is just long enough to finally start to feel really relaxed and your mind actually disconnects from work stuff......and then before you know it the weekend is over and it's time for the daily grind to start again. Boo.

There was still about 6 inches of snow on the ground, but it was too old and icy to make a snow man like I had wanted to do. Oh well. Saturday was the perfect winter day- around 50 degrees, no wind, totally sunny = awesome! We took a nice drive and pulled off where we saw this little creek. The photos speak for themselves. We caught the ice and the water at that magical in between phase of melting and creaking and flowing again. The sounds of the cracking, groaning, creaking, sagging ice were incredible! We were totally marveling over God's creativity in creation.

Yes, that's me poking the ice with a stick like I'm 5 years old again :)

We were grateful for time away to just play and have fun together, to rest and be lazy, to indulge on artichoke dip and chocolate lava cake ;), to reflect on our two years of marriage and talk about the future. I'm amazed at how love can grow and mature- and I'm so thankful to be the wife of my husband.


Friday, January 21, 2011

2nd Honeymoon

This evening we're heading up north to celebrate our 2nd anniversary- which my husband keeps accidentally calling our honeymoon. I think it's cute :) We're going here:
Bison Ranch near Overgaard, which is about an hour north of Payson. We have friends who own a time share with a company that has locations all over the country and they very graciously let us use the friends and family deal which means we only pay about $40 a night for a super nice condo. We definitely couldn't afford the standard hotel and restaurants type of vacation- so going the cheap route at $40 bucks a night and cooking our own food is a great deal for us. Thanks Steve and Teah!

I'm hoping there's still some snow up there cuz I'm hankering to build a snow man with my hubby :) But...with temps in the 40's and 50's I'm thinking it's all gonna be melted.

Been thinking about baby a lot and how I had imagined we'd be celebrating this anniversary with our little one growing bigger and bigger in my tummy.

I'm so sick of trying to get pregnant. Almost 2 years of the ups and downs every single month is draining me. Not sure what that means. I wish I could just get pregnant the normal way and have a normal pregnancy and healthy baby. I want to be able to go on with our lives like everyone else around us is. It's like we're stuck on pause or something. Every month is the same, over and over and over. We can't afford to do another IUI, though I'd love to give that another try. We're in the process of looking for a home to buy, so it'll be at least until we're moved and settled there that we could have the funds for another IUI probably. That means at least 6 months from now. Ug. It makes me so worn out to think about it. So part of me is even thinking about looking again at doing foster care and just not having all the focus be on trying to get pregnant. I dunno! That's a whole separate post!

We have lots to discuss on our trip this weekend and I'm really looking forward to quiet time together in a pretty place with yummy food :) We're bringing steak, yummy cheeses and wine and olives and yummy snacks from Trader Joe's. Pictures to follow :)


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

All kinds of yummy!

Tonight I'm making something delicious that I credit completely to the very food-smart folks over at Cooking Light Magazine. It's this Apple and Cranberry Turkey Roulade, but I use chicken breasts instead and I don't prep it 24 hours ahead of time and I also don't make it in a dutch oven because I don't have one and I don't make the fancy-schmancy gravy at the end and.....Well ok so I make a lot of changes, but I still give the credit to Cooking Light for the basic idea. Folks this is fantastic, tasty food right here. Anything that combines rosemary, apples, and cranberries all wrapped up in hot yuminess is a winner for me. Probably mostly because I'm a bit obsessed with rosemary and I do confess that sometimes I'll put it in multiple things served together at one meal. Over-kill? Nope! Where has rosemary been hiding for most of my life? It's glorious!
Anyways- I should go prep said meal since my tired hubby is excited to have this on the table tonight after his long day and dumb after-work meeting.

Here's their recipe- change as you like. Like I said, I use chicken breasts instead and pound them flat then roll them up with the stuffing inside and secure the seams with toothpicks. I bake them in a glass dish in the oven (omitting the step of frying them first on the stove) instead of doing the whole dutch oven thing. I do save some of the apple mixture but I don't make it into gravy like the last step says to. These were my ways of simplifying the thing and it still turned out deeee-licious :)


  • 2  slices center-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • 1  teaspoon  chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1  teaspoon  salt, divided
  • 3/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 1/2  cups  fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 3  cups  chopped peeled Granny Smith apple (about 2 medium)
  • 1/2  cup  dried cranberries
  • 3  (12-ounce) turkey tenderloins
  • 2  teaspoons  canola oil
  • 3  fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1  tablespoon  all-purpose flour


1. Preheat oven to 325°.
2. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat 7 minutes or until bacon begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in onion, chopped rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook for 8 minutes or until onion begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 cup broth, apples, and cranberries. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until liquid evaporates and apples are almost tender (about 15 minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and cool slightly. Set aside 1 cup apple mixture.
3. Slice turkey tenderloins lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, the other side. Open halves, laying tenderloins flat. Place each tenderloin between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Discard plastic wrap.
4. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper evenly over both sides of tenderloins. Spread 1/3 cup apple mixture over each tenderloin; roll up jelly-roll fashion, starting with long sides. Secure at 2-inch intervals with twine.
5. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add tenderloins; cook 6 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Add remaining 1/2 cup broth and rosemary sprigs; bring to a boil. Cover and bake at 325° for 25 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 165°. Remove tenderloins from pan; let stand 10 minutes. Slice crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
6. Strain cooking liquid through a fine mesh sieve over a bowl; discard solids. Combine flour and 1/4 cup cooking liquid, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Return flour mixture and the remaining cooking liquid to pan. Stir in reserved 1 cup apple mixture; bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly. Serve with turkey.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Two years since "I do"

Today is our 2 year wedding anniversary! Glory to God! A little background on us: we met on e-harmony in early March 2008, emailed for several weeks, Ryan came down from Show Low to meet me and have our first date on March 28th, we "stuck" and from that point forward we saw each other every single weekend (lots and lots of miles put on our cars going between Show Low and Tempe!), were engaged in August and married 5 months later on January 16th 2009! Only 9 months total from the first email to saying "I do"! God had us on the fast track and we were ready :)

Anyways.....we're not really fully celebrating until next weekend when we get to head up north and stay in a friend's time share. Ooooh I can't wait! But tonight we did a little celebrating by getting cupcakes from Sprinkles, watching our wedding video and reading our vows to each other.

It was fun to remember that gorgeous, jubilant, perfect day. Aaaah! So great! :) It truly was a dream wedding. And it was deeply meaningful- surrounded by three pastors who have been influential in our lives, as we made a covenant centered on Jesus, with our beloved friends and family sharing in our joy.

Tonight we also marveled at what can happen in just two years: We both changed jobs and we both had surgeries, we battled infertility, got pregnant, suffered the loss of that precious baby, traveled to some gorgeous places in AZ and CA, said goodbye to friends who moved very far away, made some new friends along the way, and made preparations to buy a house in this new year.  Not to mention all the ways our relationship has grown and changed and how much we've learned about being husband and wife. I know one thing for sure- enduring a tragedy together certainly bonds you in a much deeper way than anything else can.

All glory to God for his grace on us through the ups and downs of these last two years. Thank you Lord for being patient with us as we've failed and for being a good teacher as we're eager to learn how to do this better. Thank you for giving us laughter and things to enjoy even in the midst of our devastating loss. Our marriage only exists because of God's sustaining power. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be Ryan's wife and to see Jesus through him in the ways that are revealed uniquely through Ryan. I never imagined someone would serve me, sacrifice for me and love me like this. My husband is an undeserved gift and I know God more because of that.

Here's a bit of that happy day- two years ago- and may we continuously look to God to sustain us and grow us in the many years of marriage ahead of us!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Good riddance 2010

Ryan and I spent New Year's Eve at Zoolights at the Phoenix Zoo. We didn't really plan it as a specific New Year's event because we sorta forgot that it was even New Year's Eve and it wasn't a big deal for us to celebrate. But it turned out to be a perfect time to go to Zoolights because there were hardly any other people there- and it was about 35 degrees that night so not too many desert-dwellers wanted to brave the cold I guess. So we bundled up in lots of layers, grabbed some coffee on our way over and had tons-o-fun :) Forgive the crappy-camera-phone-in-the-dark photos:

We rang in the new year eating popcorn made with our new air-popper (thanks mom!) and watching old Seinfeld. I know- crazy huh? Good riddance 2010. Here's hoping 2011 turns out better.

And a new blog design to go with the new year :)