Moving Forward – Recipe Round-up

Well, last month was certainly heavy wasn’t it? I think it was appropriately heavy. A kind of “necessary” heavy. But now I’m exhausted! There is a time and a place for the hard and the heavy, and I want to walk through those places with each one of you, but I also want to walk past that with you. I want you to see the beauty beyond the pain, the light at the end of the tunnel if you will. Because while your grief won’t ever fully “end”, life does pick back up again. Some of you may have a hard time believing me, but life beyond grief is possible. It is possible to live a life fully thriving, even after tragedy and loss.

Have you ever seen the show “Monk”? It’s a comedic murder mystery show about a guy who has serious OCD, among other issues. Early on in the show you learn that his wife had been tragically killed many years ago. He lives in his grief everyday, but not in a healthy kind of a way. In one episode, he goes to visit his wife’s parents. Throughout their home you can see reminders of her: pictures, the outfit they brought her home in framed on the wall, and her room left unchanged. But in spite of those things, her parents are doing really well. Monk asks her mom how she can go on living a normal life and feel happy again. I think about her response all the time. She talks about how she grieved so hard for so long. She didn’t think she could go on living. “And then one day,” she says, “the sun came out, the garden was blooming, and there were some kids riding by the house on their bikes, and I decided to give the world a second chance.” He looks unsure and as she touches his shoulder she tells him, “It’s still a beautiful world.” She realized that life still goes on, the world around her was still going on, and there are good things in it.  I sometimes have to remind myself that life. goes. on. There is still beauty around me. And I can choose how to live the rest of the life I have to live. You can still thrive beyond this grief. If you want to watch that specific episode, it’s Season 3, episode number 8, “Mr. Monk and the Game Show.”

Part of the way that I thrive beyond my grief is making delicious meals for my family.  Somebody gave me the idea to do a monthly round up of my favorite recipes I’ve tried and loved. I love sharing recipes, but not necessarily blogging about them, so sharing someone else’s recipes sounded like and excellent idea. First on the list:

saucy coconut curry with rice noodles and garden vegetables From Half Baked Harvest

overhead photo of Saucy Coconut Curry with Rice Noodles and Garden Vegetables

If you don’t follow Teighan already, you’re missing out. She always posts the best recipes, most of which are simple – and crazy beautiful. This dish was AMAZING! And really, very easy. If you’re a fan of Thai food, give this dish a try. I don’t have her cookbook yet, but it’s at the top of my Christmas wishlist this year.

Next up:

FoolProof Eye of Round Roast from Mrs. Happy Homemaker

Eye of Round Roast

 

 

This one involves a little more effort, but is oh, so worth it! She prefers Eye of Round Roast, but I’ve found that I truly enjoy it with whatever roast is on sale at the moment.

For our third dish, I’ve included a side:

Roasted Broccoli with Smashed Garlic from SkinnyTaste

Here's a great way to make broccoli if you are tired of making it the same old way. Roasting broccoli with garlic creates a sweet, nutty delicious flavor and the aroma that wafts through your kitchen will make everyone asking when's dinner ready.

 

Seriously. This one is life changing. We don’t make our broccoli any other way now – except that when I’m in a hurry, I don’t even smash the garlic. And it’s still good. We even make our cauliflower similar to this. They’re both a hit all around.

Finally, I’m sharing with you an amazing dessert/breakfast/coffee snack we make this time every single year:

Starbucks Double Glazed Pumpkin Scones Copycat Recipe from Momspark.net

Starbucks Double Glazed Pumpkin Scones Copycat Recipe! These would be perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee during the Christmas and fall season.

These are INCREDIBLE! And so close to the real thing. And honestly, they really aren’t even that difficult to make. At all. Take my word for it and give it a whirl.

That’s all for this month’s round up. What do you think? Do you like the inclusion of a monthly round up? Or would you rather pass? And what are some of your favorite go-to recipes?

Our Twin Story: Continued

15194561_10155446370918222_4785613455856744085_o

My oldest daughter, Lane drew this picture for us after we lost the twins. She said it was to help remember them. Her sweet heart never ceases to amaze me. We are so blessed.

Phew! Last week. Man, last week’s post was…it was really just so hard. I literally cried through the whole thing. And then I went upstairs and cried some more. And then I stopped. And then cried again some more. And then stopped…I think you get the picture. This was on and off again for most of the rest of the night. Then I felt it for the next few days. I usually read and re-read and then re-read my posts before publishing them. But I couldn’t do that with last week’s. I was too empty by the end of it. I had used up too much of myself to worry about if anything flowed or made any sense. Some of it doesn’t, by the way. There’s a lot of disjointed things in there. I thought about going back and editing it. But then that’s not real. There’s so much real, raw emotion in that post that I simply cannot fabricate. I know so many of you feel that real, raw pain in your lives. I think I would be shortchanging somebody if I went back and “fixed” it. And so, disjointed and imperfect I’ll leave it. Parts of it may make me crazy, but I honestly think it’s for the best.

I’ve received such an outpouring of love and support since last week. I just want to say thanks to you all for that. I honestly couldn’t walk this road without the people we have surrounding us. God has been so good to us. He has provided such amazing friends and relationships. Thank the Lord we serve such a kind and loving God!

But anyway, back to last week’s post. I could barely even finish it. It jolted my soul for sure. Not in a bad way, but definitely in a hurting kind of way. But also in a healing kind of way. I’ve had brief moments of grief come up out of nowhere this week. Things that I haven’t dealt with all the way yet. I think last week’s post sort of opened up the floodgates for that to happen. I’m certainly glad for that, but it has made for some real, hard moments. Moments in the kitchen where I’m getting some tea after the kids are in bed and I have a memory literally out of nowhere, and start to cry. It’s not like me, but I think it’s really good for me. I’ve only made it so far on this road to healing. I’ve come a long way, but I still have a long way to go. In some ways, I know I will never heal fully, but I am so glad that the Lord is not done with me yet.

Friends, I miss my babies. I miss them every single day. There is never a day that goes by where I don’t think of them. Sometimes it’s hard for me to grasp that I have s-e-v-e-n babies. Seven. That’s a lot of babies. I often wonder what our lives would look like if all seven of them were here. I’m overwhelmingly grateful for my four babies that are earth-side, but I can’t ever help but wonder about all the what-ifs.

That being said, I never let myself wonder long about those what-ifs. That isn’t useful for me. Instead I try to redirect myself to the here and now. How can I use their short little lives to make an impact? How can I use what pain I’ve experienced and turn it into something beautiful? I have to remind myself over and over again that God has a purpose for their lives. There was a reason that they were created. Honestly, and I really hope that I’m not offending anybody when I say this: honestly, sometimes I get really, really angry that I got pregnant with those sweet babies at all. I hate admitting that. I am grateful, only in a different sort of a way. See, it would have been much easier to not have ever been pregnant with them than to have been pregnant with them and lose them the way I did. And so, I have to remind myself that I did get pregnant with them. And there is a reason for that. I carried them in my belly for so long for a purpose. It is not all for naught. There’s a distinctly difficult beauty about that truth. And I’m sitting here still trying to figure out what that is all about. I’m still trying to fight and struggle through it.

So welcome! You get to be my audience through this process. Hopefully I can shed some light for some of you. Hopefully I can let you know that you are not alone. Hopefully I can inspire you to share your own stories. Whether they be baby loss, infertility, or something else entirely. I know I sound like a broken record here, but we cannot do this thing called life alone. We just can’t! We were not created for that. We were created for relationships. We were created to bear one another’s burdens. To rejoice with one another and to weep with one another. I’ve had to learn to live in that kind of a way. It doesn’t always come naturally to me. Sometimes it feels uncomfortable. It certainly felt uncomfortable last week. I kid you not, last week was one of the most vulnerable moments of my life. Maybe that didn’t come across the screen, but, boy oh boy, I sure did feel it sitting here at my desk. I felt it hard. Last week wrecked me. And yet, last week brought me healing that I have long been waiting for.

This journey is long and hard. It’s exhausting. But there are parts of it that are simply inexplicably beautiful. There are things that make it all “worth it.” Thank you so much for sharing in my journey. Thank you for seeing me, and for hearing me. Thank you for not letting me walk alone. I pray mightily that I can do the same for you.