29.5.13

Infertility Prayer Project: Mel's Story

I am so excited to have my first guest post for the Infertility Prayer Project and to have it be  Mel, who happens to be one of my favorite bloggers. She is someone who has been such an encouragement to me on my journey, not just regarding infertility, but my struggles with bipolar and PTSD...She always has something positive to say...
plus, she loves Jesus, Vino and Target. 
hello, my kinda girl!
 (I wonder if she loves bacon as much as I do;)

For those of you who aren't familiar with what the Infertility Prayer Project is all about, you can catch up here. If you would like to join in and share your current struggle or success story, please feel free to email me. and if you would just like prayers, let me know. I do it every week for the girls that have asked.

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I was so honored when Maddie asked me to share my story. 
  I hope that I can be an encouragement to you today.

My name is Mel & I blog over at The Larson Lingo. 
A little bit about me...I'm a California girl, born & raised!
I love Jesus, wine, coffee, photography & throwing parties.
Target is my Happy Place.

I am a part time 7th grade math teacher and have been teaching for 9 years. 
 I have been married for almost 11 years to Kevin and we have 3 sweet kids.
 Kate is 6, Claire is 4 and our baby boy Luke is 9 months old.
I had 2 miscarriages before I had my 3 kids.
 
Ectopic Pregnancy at 6 weeks on October 22, 2002 (due date June 23, 2003)
Miscarriage at 10 weeks D&C on October 25, 2005 (due date May 26, 2006)

I still think about them & wonder.
Were they a boy or a girl?
I could have a 10 year old and a 7 year old.
But then I wouldn't have my Kate, Claire or Luke.
 God has a plan. His timing is perfect. Trust in Him.
This is what would remind myself during my saddest days.

In
the process of having miscarriages & sharing about them, I have met
many, many women who have lost their sons and daughters. I have
friends, family & co workers who have had miscarriages. I have
several friends who have lost their babies at full term, days &
months after having them. I can't imagine the pain they have suffered.


The
Lord has broken my heart for families who have to endured these types
of losses. I don't fully know the pain these families have gone through,
but I have felt a small fraction of it.


This is one of the reasons I felt called me to become a volunteer photographer for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep last year. I cannot take away the pain of someone's loss, but I can give them something to remember their child by.
You can read about my journey to become a volunteer with them HERE.

Here is my story of loss:

Kevin and I got married on August 24, 2002. We wanted to wait 3-4 years
to have kids. I was on the pill and took it religiously at the same
time every day. Imagine my surprise when I found out I was pregnant 2
months after we got married. We had always wanted kids, just not so soon
after getting married. I went to the doctor & they gave me a due
date of June 23, 2003.
I
was FREAKING out & couldn't believe I was pregnant. This pregnancy
was our "honeymoon baby". Apparently I got pregnant on our honeymoon.
Unfortunately,
a few days after I found out I was pregnant in October of 2002, I woke
up to an intense pain on my left side & when I went to the bathroom I
was massively bleeding & then I passed out. Kevin rushed in and
woke me up & we rushed to my doctor & after some tests, he
informed me that I was having an ectopic pregnancy & that I had to
go immediately to the hospital for emergency surgery because the
condition was life threatening for me. So, that Tuesday night in late
October, I was rushed to the hospital for surgery. Luckily, I have one
of the best doctors in the area & he was able to save my left
fallopian tube (it was already starting to rupture). I am glad that I
was unaware of how serious ectopic pregnancies can be.
I didn't realize I could have died if my tube ruptured.
Even though my doctor saved my fallopian tube (and my life!), I always
wondered how this would effect my ability to get pregnant & have
kids. One of my biggest dreams was to be a mommy & for the next few
years I wondered if that would ever happen.


Fast forward to the summer of 2005.

This is when we decided to start "trying". We got lucky & I got
pregnant the 2nd month after we started trying. I was due May 26, 2006.
Kevin and I were thrilled. I couldn't wait to have a baby & be a
mommy. I was relieved that the ectopic pregnancy didn't effect my
ability to get pregnant. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I went
in for blood work to make sure my numbers were doubling. My dr called
and told me my progesterone was low & I needed to be on progesterone
suppositories 2 times a day. Let me tell, you , those are NOT fun.
Nasty. My pregnancy was progressing, at 6 weeks the nausea hit big time
& I was throwing up 2-3 times a day. I was miserable, but it was
worth it. We had our first ultrasound at almost 6 weeks to make sure the
baby was in my uterus and not my tube. The baby was in my uterus & I
scheduled another appt at 8 weeks for the heartbeat check. The 8 week
ultra sound was no so great. There was a heart beat, but it was very low
& took my doctor a long time to find it. He said I needed to come
back in a week for another heartbeat check. At that appointment, there
was still a slow heartbeat, but the baby was not growing on track &
was only measuring 7 weeks. My doctor warned us not to be too
optimistic, but I still had really bad morning sickness and was getting
sick a few times a day. I thought that was a good sign. I had to go in
again at 10 weeks for another heartbeat & growth check. At the 10
week appointment, the heart had stopped beating. We had lost the baby
& my doctor scheduled me in for a D&C that night.
It was a Tuesday night in late October, just like 3 years before. As
I walked into the hospital for surgery, I felt like I was on Groundhog
Day. Another surgery to remove another baby from my body that didn't
make it.


After my D&C, I was going through the motions of life. We were told
to wait 3 cycles before we could try again so that my body could heal.
Those were 3 very long, hard & dark months for me. I was numb.


My 2nd miscarriage hit me so much harder than my first one.

I was mad at God for taking this baby from us.


It took me about 6 months to process it. During that time, I had a lot
of support from family & friends and for that, I am thankful.


I
am thankful to my awesome & supportive husband who would hold me as
I cried many nights mourning our loss wondering if I would ever have a
baby. I would cry myself to sleep whenver a friend told me they were
pregnant. I was truly happy for them, but SO sad for me. It was just
another reminder of what I didn't have.


I am thankful to our pastor who helped me process some of my feelings & emotions during the months after our loss.

I
am thankful to my mom who encouraged me during this time & gave me
hope (she had 4 losses in between me & my younger sister including
an ectopic & a placenta separation at 21 weeks).


I
am thankful for my best friend AK. She had 2 miscarriages around the
same time I did. I was able to call her & cry with someone who was
going through the same thing I was. She understood my pain.


I
am thankful to my dear friend Lorie who had suffered 2 losses. She
shared her prayer journal with me & held me up in prayer when I was
too sad to pray for myself.



After we good the go ahead to start trying again, it took us 3 months
and we got pregnant in May of 2006. We found out on Kevin's 31st
birthday, (a week before my "due date" with my 2nd miscarriage)
We
were excited, but I was really nervous about having another
miscarriage. I was a stress case & paranoid my entire pregnancy.



On January 23, 2007 , I gave birth to our beautiful Katelyn Grace. It
was a moment I will never forget & an emotion I can't put into
words. 
One of my favorite pictures EVER (30 seconds after Kate was born)


 I was reminded again at the miracle of life when Claire was born
on September 9, 2008 and on August 9, 2012 when Luke was born.
 
God has a plan. His timing is perfect. Trust in Him.


I never thought I would say this, but part of me is grateful I have
been through miscarriages because it has given me compassion & a
heart for those who have also suffered losses. My miscarriages caused me
to cling to God & put my faith, hope & trust in HIM instead of
myself.


It drew me closer to Christ as I clung to Psalm 20:4:
"May He give you the desires of your heart and make your plans succeed."
God was faithful to me even though many times, I have been unfaithful to Him.

I
am thankful to God who carried me through a dark time & showed me
that He was there for me & He did have a plan for me & that HIS
timing is better than my timing.


Because
of this, when I hear of others who have suffered a loss, I mourn with
them. I pray for them, I listen, I cry with them. My heart breaks with
them.


I can't make them feel better or make their pain go away, but I can make it less lonely.

I have learned a compassion that only comes by walking in those shoes.I was reminded again & again that God has a purpose & a plan even when I don't understand.

Another
thing I have learned through this is that I was NOT alone during a time
where I felt so alone and when it seemed like EVERYONE around me was
pregnant, except me.
 
God was there, carrying me through this tough time.
God is with YOU carrying you through this tough time. 
God has not forgotten you.
God has a plan. His timing is perfect. Trust in Him. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thank you so much for sharing, Mel! Your kids are beautiful and Luke's pictures keep me happy on instagram. head over to her blog and check her out!

And next week I will have a guest poster who is currently struggling to become pregnant.

thewhimsy1@gmail.com

28.5.13

Oreo Mudslide Icebox Cake

Oh, this was so yummy. and so easy. And you could make this in a variety of flavors by switching up the ice cream or oreo flavor.  Adult version or kiddie version. And I made this Gluten Free the first time using the Glutino knock off oreos.

All I know is this is good. Would I lie to you? No. Well, not today anyways.

First up is the Mudslide version.

Ingredients
2 packs oreo pudding mix
1 mini bottle kahlua
1 Mini bottle baileys
1 cup milk****
1 tub cool whip
1 package oreos
1 half gallon ice cream softened, (I used Edy's coffee)


In a pan layer the oreos on the bottom. In a separate bowl make the pudding using the kahlua, baileys and milk. Once it starts to thicken, add the cool whip. Let set for a few minutes. Using a spatula, spread the softened ice cream over the oreos. and then spread the pudding mixture over top of that. If you have any oreos left, crush them and crumble over the top.

Freeze for at least two hours.

For Gluten free, use the glutino cookies, vanilla pudding and I know for certain that talenti has numerous gluten free options, if you click on any of these images, it will say right on there if it is GF or not. and I have had no problems with pudding products, except obviously the oreo. But I do not believe it is certified GF, but as far as I can tell by the ingredients, it's fine. But you have to decide for yourself.

****and just use milk or coffee creamer if you want to make this kid friendly. The Belgium chocolate or the toffee almond would be great with this. I actually used chocolate milk for this. I cannot remember the last time I just used plain milk to make pudding. How boring;)

Linking up with
Taste Of Tuesday

23.5.13

The Naughty Southerner

No, this is not a post about me and my behavior.

at least not today;)

If you have been around these parts awhile then you should know that I love me some bourbon. I love it in my food, in my cocktails and just by itself. 
Maybe even just the bottle with a straw. 

Unless that makes me seem the opposite of classy. 
In that case I only drink it in a low ball glass, neat. 

There are only two ways I will not drink my bourbon...

Mixed with just soda or poured over ice.*shudder*

Anyways, this past year Wiki and I were on one of our many trips to Williamsburg and there was a cocktail that involved bourbon and blackberries and from there I began feigning for it and set about to make my own unique version and this is what I came up with.

I fumbled around with names when this came to me. Bourbon is mainly known as a southern drink and c'mon...the naughty part should be self explanatory.


Ingredients(for 2 cocktails)
6 oz pineapple juice
3 oz bourbon (I used Makers 46)
2 oz blackberry liqueur/brandy
sprite(or club soda)
blackberries

In a shaker filled with ice, mix all ingredients except the sprite and blackberries) shake vigorously  Fill 2 glasses with ice and a few blackberries. Pour the contents of the shaker and top with sprite. Or if you're feeling exceptionally naughty...sparkling wine.

Perfect for a day at the beach or pool...Hope you enjoy!

Linking up with


Life Lessons

That you don't learn in school...

Hmmmm. Today's topic of the blog a day challenge is a good one and I actually think I can sum it up quite easily...

Living life has taught me, on more times that I care to recall, that the more I think I know...the less I actually do. about anything. and pretty much everything. but especially about intentions.

The older I get, the more I realize that intention should always be used when deciding what will really rile me up. Words can oft be misconstrued  And I wish my younger self knew that. I may have salvaged a few more friendships in my earlier phases of life.

Linking up with

22.5.13

Are You Lacking Class

or are you just plain lazy?

I have been sporadic and intermittent with my "blog a day challenge" but I knew from the very beginning that this was one I could easily ramble on about. and I am actually in town for the remainder of the month and may be able to finish the rest of the challenge.

"What is your pet peeve, get on your soapbox"

Let's be clear, I am the farthest thing from anal about life that you can get. I may get annoyed about something but almost always get over it.and quick. It takes a lot and I do mean a whole heckuva a lot to really piss me off...but perhaps I should digress.

My pet peeves are a dead tie.

The first one is people who leave their grocery cart just wherever the urge hits them. Maybe the parking lot looks good to them, or hey, maybe the curb with the bushes is what called to them as they were walking to their cars. Whatever, it sure as heck isn't the cart corral. 

Seriously...you just walked around an entire store shopping and you're that lazy that you cannot drop the cart off where it belongs?

 Give me a break.
 And since I nanny and on multiple occasions have had more than one child with me when I am shopping, I am gonna need you to spare me the whole "but what if I have kids with me and am afraid they will be kidnapped" spiel.
 Cause yes, I legitimately had someone use that as their reasoning once.
 It didn't fly then...and it still doesn't.

You're lazy. Plain and simple. Get over yourself.

(the picture turned out terribly blurry once downloaded to my computer. but you get the gist)
and secondly...

Girls who apparently suffer from what I like to reference as a "butt phobia" and are afraid of the mere possibility of their tush touching a public toilet seat. And I know plenty who are afflicted with this ailment. and I am not bothered by this at all, public toilets aren't exactly my favorite either...

But there is absolutely zero and I mean 0.00 percentage points of a reason that when you pop a squat over said toilet and hover(with your thighs quaking;) that if you miss a little and get some on the seat that you cannot clean your own business up!!!!

It is not my place, nor is it kosher, classy or even you having an iota of human decency for me to have to wipe up after you. Gross! Just because you have a fear of a toilet seat doesn't mean I should be your house maid or even worse, what if the next person has an even worse paranoia than you and now, they are popping a squat and fear they may slip and fall into your dribble.

Do all of America(and the world for that matter) a favor and wear depends when you're out in public...or at the very least, clean your own @#&* mess up!

Ain't nobody got time for that.

And I am done;)

Y'all have a good day now, ya hear;)
Linking up with

17.5.13

Hello, Friday...Back So Soon

My past few weeks have actually flown by. I have been really busy and haven't blogged that much and so I have 2 weeks of life to catch you up on.

Excitable, huh? 

 First up was going home to Virginia to celebrate my youngest nephew's birthday. Titus turned six.  


 My sis in law went with a baseball theme. She found these awesome vintage books. 

 Of course, the party was after his baseball game. He is a ham...and a ladies man
Getting the garden ready for my parentals to plant their veggies.
and while I was in town, my cousin's wife, Ashley, was so sweet and had baby Micah a week early on my last day in town. How selfless of her.

 I got to meet up with one of my favorites for a much needed wine afternoon at our favorite wine cafe, Fig. The big ole porch was open and the weather was perfect.
 went shopping and found some colored skinnies for 75% off, which means I got two and still only paid half of what I would have for one. 

Yes, Please and Thanks.
 Rexlased one morning in my Red Envelope robe I got from my brother and sister in law. Made a smoothie and had some green tea.
and managed to finally find a use for all the washi tape I have. and have since become a washi monster. I may have a problem. Washi dress anyone?
Wiki's wok had their annual summer awards gathering and I got a little 'gussied' up. 

The next morning we headed up to Boston for some family time. and the clouds went on for miles.
 First up was a stop to a consignment shop in Canton. I love this planter box. Wanted it.

and then pinterest ideas exploded in my mind when I saw these. and then I remembered I had a flight home and I was sad. but how cute.
My sweet niece. I mean, I die from her cuteness. She is four months old and a big bundle rolls of awesomeness.
made gluten free oreo mudslide icebox cake. Oh my gosh. Was so good. 
The old Norwood Theater lit up at night in the town center.
 Before we headed to the airport on Tuesday, we traipsed around my mother in laws old stomping grounds in South End. This is the inside of Holy Cross Cathedral.
and this is the Syrian Grocery she shopped at as a little girl. Still going strong.

This has been my recent time. Busy but fun. This will be our first weekend in Raleigh in three weeks. Hopefully we can get back on our brunch schedule!

linking up with


14.5.13

Hippity Hoppity Happity

Ten things that make me happy? Oh...ten things per topic perhaps? 

Just ten things period. Oy. 

I love being happy... so when something makes me happy...

1) real Friendships, not those surface ones.

2) A visit to Sephora, this should be self explanatory.

3) brunch with my husband and a mimosa

4)80's cartoons. think Gem, pound puppies, Strawberry Shortcake, Smurfs, Gummy Bears and Care Bears.I feel bad for kids nowadays. haha

5) my nephews, love those three boys and my sweet, chubby new niece. Pure happiness.

6) Walking into Cameron for a Duke basketball game

7) walking into a used bookstore. the smells, oh..the smells.

8) making new bloggy friends. Interacting with these people that I would otherwise never have met.

9) The puppy bowl!!!! Greatest show ever.

10) driving down the road and listening to worship music, getting my Jesus on and then switching to Texas Country and losing myself on the road.

I am pretty simple.

Linking up with 

Bacon Wrapped Ribs With a Brown Sugar, Chili and Bourbon Glaze

This was one of those ideas that just came about from eyeing two separate items almost simultaneously in my fridge. I am probably not the first person to wrap bacon around ribs, but...let's just for the sake of fun, pretend I am. I feel better about myself already.

Mainly, the best thing about this recipe is that it, once again, combines two of my absolute favorite edible items: bacon and bourbon. And it was just as good as I thought it would be.

This is one of those recipes that you really can't go wrong with, you can switch in and out any spices or sauce, making it sweeter or spicier. Whatever pleases your palette most.

Ingredients
1 lb boneless pork ribs
bacon(you will need one slice per rib)
2 cups bbq sauce(homemade or store bought)
1/4 cup bourbon
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp chili pwdr
1/4 cup apricot jam(optional)

Mix together the brown sugar and chili powder to create a rub. Wrap each rib in a slice of bacon. Brush the ribs with the bourbon and sprinkle one side with the rub. Place in a very hot saute pan(I had used olive oil to prevent sticking), seasoned side down. Brush unseasoned side with bourbon and sprinkle with the rub. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side to get slightly crispy. Place in crockpot and top with bbq sauce and apricot jam. You can also add any left over bourbon or spices.

or if you want...just add more bourbon. Period.

Keep on low for for 7 to 8 hours, or high for 4 to 5.  If you want the ribs to maintain their "rib shape" integrity, you may want to cut cooking time by about 30 min. Otherwise  it is fall apart and still beyond delicious. If you do not have a crockpot, you should be able to bake these at 375 for 2 hrs or so, keeping watch to make sure you have enough liquid. 

If you have some left over, they are perfect for shredded pork tacos.



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13.5.13

That Holiday That Is a Double Edged Sword

Oh, Mother's Day...

The things you can do to my emotions.

Not this year. I was ready for you. Armed with a new niece and the promise of bestie twins coming in the fall. You cannot make me sad this year. I will not look at you as representing the one thing that evades me so(ok, not the one thing. singing and not scaring people still hasn't happened yet;) It would instead represent what will be in my future and I would concentrate on the here and now.

and then CBS This Morning happened. 

I am watching Sidney Portier and how his acting career began and seeing this man, once again, epitomize class, when, after the commercial break, a woman who has just had a baby goes on a spiel about "geriatric" pregnancies. and how anyone over the age of 35 fits into this category and being an "older mom" and the possible problems that go along with this. It wasn't her fault, she was trying to put a positive spin on it...but it happened on a morning where I didn't want to be reminded. 

and I lost it. I quietly left the room so not to have my poor father in law see the ridiculous effect that some woman's words had on me...and made myself busy in the other room. 

geriatric pregnancy...what the fudgeaduck

The thoughts kept ruminating through my mind. "I can't be a part of this, I don't count. I was 25 when we first started" and a lot of other thoughts that I am gonna go ahead and not write down for you. I can at least pretend to be a lady.

and then Wiki walks in and hand me his phone. He has googled "geriatric pregnancies" and stumbled upon an article called the "geriatric pregnancy myth" he, for some  unknown reason, thought that it would be a good idea. it wasn't. It almost got thrown back at him.  But then I realized it was his work phone and you know...he was saved by the skin of his teeth.
He was only trying to help. It. just. didn't.

Here is the thing. I do not give one ever lovin iota if "lots and lots of women are having babies over 35" I never wanted to be one of them. I didn't and I still don't but obviously I have little choice left. I have plenty of people I know who have and they love it and it works for them. 

It just wasn't what I wanted for myself. I wanted to be a young mother. So if you ever meet me, please do me a favor. Refrain from telling me that "women here have babies later in life" "You guys have all the time in the world" Because while you may mean well...

I probably really want to become volatile towards you;)

I then did what was my only logical choice...I googled it myself and read articles that made me feel better. Ones where the women were pretty much telling doctors and anyone who used that term to "go and eff themselves"  although, now it is apparently known as "advanced maternal age" cause that is so much more appealing. 

My favorite was this one liner from a woman who said that if her doctor told her that "I would ask him where the hell my senior citizen discount was then" 

and after a little bit, I breathed and I got over it. I looked at my chubby niece and held her as much as I could. I breathed in her sweet baby scent and I kept handing her to my husband. because in those small moments I got to picture what my life will hopefully look like one day.

a chubby, dark hair baby with olive skin, in my husband's arms.

Interestingly enough, yesterday when I went to my blogger homepage I had inadvertently checked in under my other email and it was from my other blog that popped up.and I found this blog post I had written two years ago. 

and it is still true for today.

Un-Mother's Day

Yesterday was Mother's Day...a day that could remind me of what I'm not. Instead is the the day to see my momma and realize what I can strive to be. I am very lucky. My mom has her quirks(don't we all, I say, don't we all) but no matter what I struggled w/in my life: whether it be heartbreak or triumph, a boy hurting my feelings or a friend letting me down...I never questioned that she had my back or that if I did something wrong, she still loved me, but I better try to make it right.

My mom is my moral compass. She listened to my hurts, dried my tears and pushed me to succeed. She loves us each, almost to a fault. I was her only girl growing up. Three brothers and me. I hated this and wanted a sister. God did me one better, he gave my brothers amazing wives and I got to keep my "only girl" status. see: win/win. The times we can drive each other bonkers, I look at our life and see that our decisions, good and bad, came from her and my dad. I appreciate her most when I look back on this. The fact that we chose so well in our other halves, are a reflection of how they raised us.

So one day, when it's finally my turn and I get my chance to celebrate "Mother's Day", I only hope that I am half as good at is as she was....she wasn't perfect, but she taught me to love and trust in the One that was.