Archive | November, 2010

Nothing to say

20 Nov

I mean, I do have posts formulating in my mind but nothing is complete yet. A raging headache doesn’t help, either.

BUT my goal is a post a day in the month of November. So, here’s one for today. 🙂

Food + Foto Week 2 Caramel Apples

19 Nov

Caramel Apple Diptych

The treats are completely nonbake! I used a small teaspoon to scoop out round, bite size bits of Granny Smith apples. I stuck a little skewer in the top and dipped it into the dairy free caramel I made in the blender.

Ella is wearing a shirt and hair hankie from the 60’s! The shirt is hand sewn with a metal zipper closure in the back. The tray on under the caramel apples is vintage as well, though I’m not sure of the time frame. It’s not plastic, not glass. It seems to be a heavy duty cardboard covered in a very sturdy clear varnish. The print is peeling up in a few areas, so I’m really careful with it but I feel it adds to the charm of the tray.

Dairy Free Caramel Sauce

1 cup chopped soft dates
Hot water
1 lemon
Coconut milk (or almond would work as well)
Maple syrup
Scant 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
Salt to taste

Soak chopped dates in just enough hot water to cover. Add lemon juice. This gives a bit of a zing.

After an hour, drain dates and toss into the blender with a splash of milk of choice and maple syrup. Blend on high speed until mixture is completely smooth — about 4 minutes. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides occasionally.

Add a dash of salt, blend again and retaste. Salt invokes the idea of caramel.

If the sauce is too thin, add a little less than a 1/4 teaspoon of cornstarch to thicken things up!

 

Check out more photos from week two here

On Being NOT Pregnant

18 Nov

I would like to preface this with saying that no, we have never had fertility struggles and I would never dream of assuming to understand the pain that couples go through. This is simply where I am and what I have been experiencing.

Someone expressed surprise that I wasn’t pregnant (yet) again. I simply shook my head and said, “It isn’t time”.

Inside, I wanted to cry.

I desperately want more children. More than the two we have. More than three. Maybe even more than four. I have day dreams of family Thanksgiving dinners, noisy, filled with laughter and inside family jokes. Adult children with their significant others and their own children, all surrounding a dining room table extended by card tables and spilling into the living room.

There are so many other reasons why we want more than the status quo of 2.5 children, but that has been the mental picture most prevalent in my mind of late. Possibly because of the upcoming holidays.

If I had my way, I’d be nauseated, nibbling saltine crackers, and thinking that whoever entitled it “morning sickness” must have been a childless man who was the youngest of his siblings. I’d be looking forward to the first flutterings of movement, unpacking maternity clothes, planning freezer meals… the list goes on and on.

But instead, I wait.

It isn’t time.

Aaron and I have prayed about it, talked about it to death, and prayed some more. The answer remains the same. Wait. While we have a time to start trying, waiting is so painful. I feel a bit of grief every time my period comes, as if that is one less eternal soul I will have the possibility of meeting, knowing, and loving. One less possible little person I have to hold, kiss, love, and bring into the world.

I kept on telling myself, “At least the answer isn’t no” but that brings only a small bit of comfort and isn’t very soothing.

After a few months of dealing with these emotions, I shared with someone how I was feeling. She expressed some beautiful sentiments to me that really spoke to my heart. It came down to the idea that suffering (grief, sadness, longing, delay) is beautiful. My desires, my wishes are being put aside in favor of what we see as God asking us to do. This obedience, as painful as it is, will ultimately lead to exactly what my heart is desiring.

I truly believe that waiting, that working through this voluntary suffering, will make the end result even sweeter than I can imagine.

 

Wordless Wednesday: Mr. & Mrs Sprat and Purple

17 Nov

Operation Purple

Operation Purple was a huge success. The kids were ornery, so let’s hope the pictures were successful too! I big puffy heart my new “hair pretty”,
as Ella would put it.

 

Jack Sprat and His Wife

My kids complement each other so well. When it comes to soft boiled eggs,
Ella will only eat the yolks and Miles will only eat the whites.

What to do?

16 Nov

We’re getting family pictures taken tomorrow morning and I simply have not been able to find coordinating purple accents for the whole family. It’s ridiculous.

I ordered a headband for me off of Etsy, which didn’t arrive in time.

The shirt I wanted for Aaron was $40.00 (NO WAY).

No one carries gender neutral dark purple turtle necks or long sleeve tshirts. NO ONE.

Instead of disparaging my fate, I have a variety of 100% cotton garments from Goodwill soaking in dark purple dye in the sink as I type. I’m sure something will turn out, right?

Lonely

15 Nov

I have found nothing more isolating than motherhood.

The long, all night hours leave me so exhausted the next day that I only have enough energy to exert to parenting my young children through the hours until nap and then bedtime. If night time goes well, I make up for the less than stellar days before and pour myself into activities and housework. To reconnect. To nourish the bond between mother and child.

On top of all that, I have the life long relationship with my husband to maintain, cultivate and encourage.

Even when I’m out with other friends who have children, my mind and heart are never 100% on my conversation. One ear  is always tuned into the play going on next to me or in the other room. More often than not, I’m redirecting than finishing a thought. These interruptions make it difficult to develop relationships in a timely (aka less than a year) manner. I have many many acquaintances and friends. Not so many I can call an intimate friend.

For a long time, this weighed heavily on my heart. I’ve been pondering this train of thought for weeks now and have finally come to this conclusion:

It is okay.

This is the time I need to be pouring myself into my children. I only get them for so long in life and am the only sole influence (or highest ranking influence?) for an even shorter amount of time. This is the time for casual, kindhearted relationships with other mothers in similar places of life to gain encouragement “that this too shall pass” or cheer in joined happiness over an accomplishment or breakthrough. But my most important interpersonal relationships, aside from that with my spouse, needs to be with my children. There will come a time when they are less dependent upon me and I will be free to be more of my own person. When that time comes, I will have these good acquaintances and kind friendships to develop into something more.

Being lonely now will only sweeten the deeper relationships I will gain later in life.

 

This post was written as part of The Sunday Creative prompt.

Sunday Daybook

14 Nov

Outside my window…
Crisp sunshine and mulched leaves. I can also see my neighbor shopvacing his yard to remove leaves!

I am thankful for…
Community who prays when I’m having a terrible day.

From the kitchen…
It’s a disaster! I really need to get it in order to begin preparing for Thanksgiving.

I am wearing…
Jeans and a cozy pullover gray sweater.

I am going…
To take the kids out for our traditional Sunday afternoon date. Not sure yet where that will be, though.

I am hoping…
That Miles’ sleep turns around.

One of my favorite things…
Cold, raw cookie dough. Chocolate chip, of course.

A few plans for the upcoming week…
Get the oven fixed! It died on Friday and we MUST have it repaired before the holiday! The true highlight, though, is my friend Margi who is arriving on Friday from England. She’s coming to spend Thanksgiving with us and I can hardly wait.

Here is picture for sharing…

Mixer

This baby mixer arrived in the mail on Friday. It’s amazing how little gestures of thoughtfulness offer such boosts of encouragement to get through a rough day.

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