Monthly Archives: October 2012

An Exciting Announcement!

 

Baby Announcement

 

Zach and I are thrilled to announce that our family is growing by two more little feet!  We are so excited that Hannah is going to be a big sister!  We are both dealing with so many emotions (joy, anxiety, excitement, fear), but we couldn’t feel more blessed!  Please keep our family in your prayers over the next 5 1/2 months as our new addition continues to grow and develop!

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Filed under Pregnancy

A Lazy, Rainy, and Windy Weekend

Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, I have had a lot of free time!  It’s been raining since Saturday afternoon, so I’ve pretty much been home since then.  You never really know what to expect in this area when storms roll in, so it’s safe just to stay home!  Also, a lot of roads around us have been impassable, so there’s really no place to go!  Even Zach had the day off!  Some of our favorite local spots were flooded and damaged, so hopefully they can rebuild and get back on their feet soon!

For the last 2 months or so, I’ve kept really busy!  And, honestly, it’s allowed me to keep my mind distracted.  Sometimes that’s a good thing; I have to keep living.  But, it’s also important that I’m not trying to fill my days up and stay so busy that I don’t have time to process my grief.  That’s not a healthy way to deal with everything.  There has to be a balance.  Having nothing to do and nowhere to go for three day has forced me to slow down.  I think my body and my mind needed that.  I’ve done a lot of eating, reading, and napping…three of my favorite things!!  Resting has given me the chance to re-charge and think about some things that I’ve been forcing to the back of my mind.  I know these next few months will be busy and full of emotion, so I think I really needed to just slow down for a few days.

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Filed under Grief, Uncategorized

A Laundry Tip

Last week, I was having a pig-out moment at my kitchen counter.  I LOVE crusty bread dipped in olive oil and herbs, and I was so excited to enjoy my little snack that I just stood over the counter devouring a pretty good sized piece of bread.  Not a very pretty picture!  About 5 minutes after I finished eating and washing a few dishes, I noticed I had 3 large drops of oil on one of my favorite grey cotton shirts.  I remembered seeing a tip online a few years ago about using baby powder to remove oil stains and decided to put it to the test.

First, I used a brown paper napkin (probably from Starbucks) to blot up the extra oil.  I always keep these in my car and bag because they are so much cheaper than the oil-absorbing sheets you can buy from the cosmetic stores, and they work just as well!  (Bonus tip!)  Then, I covered the oil spots with baby powder and kind of rubbed it into the stains.  I let it sit overnight, and the next day, you could see where the baby powder had absorbed some of the oil.  I shook off the extra powder and washed and dried the shirt like normal.  I was pleasantly surprised that my favorite grey tee was oil-stain free!

I’m not sure how well this tip will work on other fabrics, but it’s worth a shot.  I’ve had to take two t-shirts out of my closet and use them for cleaning and yard work because I couldn’t get out olive oil stains.  Does that mean I’m a mess in the kitchen/love olive oil too much?  Anyway, I’m excited to find something that works so well and is so cheap and easy!  Let me know if you have any good laundry tips!

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Filed under Housekeeping

First Birthdays and A Pasta Recipe

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

There are a lot of babies in our family.  In the last 3.5 years, there have been 6 new babies, and there are several more on the way!  This weekend, one of these sweeties turned 1 year old!  He had a Hungry Caterpillar party, and it was the cutest theme 🙂

First birthday parties are a little bittersweet for me because it’s a celebration I won’t have with Hannah.  I won’t get to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her or watch her dig into her first cake.  But, there’s a lot I won’t get to do with Hannah.  There’s a whole lifetime of memories that won’t be made.  And, that’s hard.  But, it gets easier to enjoy these celebrations.  It just takes time.  And, this party is the first one that I didn’t cry at, so that’s definitely progress!  Like I said, I’m learning to be patient with myself!

I made a pasta salad to take to the party this weekend.  It’s made with a vinaigrette instead of a creamy dressing, so it’s a healthier version of a comfort food.  The original recipe is from the Eat Yourself Skinny blog, but I change mine up a little!  I always make extra vinaigrette because i like my pasta with extra sauce, and the leftover dressing is yummy over baby spinach.  Also, I used dried herbs instead of fresh.

You will need:

4 Tbsp. olive oil
4 tsp. red wine vinegar
4 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 box of Dreamfields penne rigata
1/2 Tbsp. dried parsley (can add more or less to taste)
1/2 Tbsp. dried basil (can add more or less to taste)
1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for Pasta Salad

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Set dressing aside.  Boil pasta in salted water until done.  Drain pasta and transfer to a medium bowl or serving dish.  Add about 1/3 of the vinaigrette and the dried herbs.  Stir to coat pasta.  Let it sit for a minute to cool slightly.  Stir in another 1/3 of the dressing and the mozzarella cheese.  Serve warm.

Pasta Salad

This is what was left after the party!

I save the remaining dressing for salads or the leftover pasta (it can dry out a bit in the fridge).  I love this version of a pasta salad because it’s not very heavy, and it’s so easy to make.  It doubles easily for a large crowd, too.  Since it’s made with a vinegar and oil based dressing, it’s perfect for summertime BBQs!  I always have the ingredients for this in my kitchen!

I’ve been on a caprese salad kick lately, so I’ve been wanting to experiment with this recipe a bit.  I think a version with balsamic vinaigrette, fresh torn (or dried) basil, fresh mozzarella, and cut up tomatoes would be delicious too!

Enjoy 🙂

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Filed under Grief, Recipes

A Lesson in Patience

I’m not a very patient person.  I want to be, but it’s something that I struggle with.  After Hannah died, I tried to be very patient with myself.  There were some days that I didn’t get out of bed except to let the dog out.  There were some days where I had every intention of doing the laundry, cleaning the house, and cooking dinner, but I couldn’t find the energy to do any of it.  Grief is exhausting – mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  It wears you down.  I knew I needed to experience it and not just push it to the side.  I knew that in order for me to start healing, I needed to walk that path.  And, even though I knew that, I still wasn’t very forgiving of myself.

I felt guilty that I was at home just trying to survive and Zach had to get up and go to work everyday.  He had to face the real world, and I was still hiding from it.  It was almost 6 months before I went back to work again.  I just couldn’t finish the school year.  I spent those 6 months dealing with a lot of feelings that I wasn’t used to.  I dealt with a lot of anger, jealousy, and resentment.  It was hard for me to be around kids, and I love children.  It was hard for me to see pictures of newborns.  It was difficult to see people that had been pregnant when I was pregnant.  It was hard to see them with their babies when I was the only one who didn’t get to bring a baby home.  And, I hated feeling all of those things.  But, I tried to go easy on myself and just hoped those feelings would get better over time.  I can honestly say that several months later, they have.

I have a dear friend who had a son shortly after I lost Hannah.  The first time I saw him, I cried.  It was the first time I had seen a newborn, and it was more painful than I was expecting.  But, now, it’s comforting to see him.  Knowing that Jack and Hannah would be about the same age, it makes me feel a little more connected to her.  But, I think it would still be painful to be around him if I didn’t let myself feel what I needed to feel when I saw him for the first time.

There are moments of grief that have caught me by surprise: shopping for my sister’s wedding dress and realizing in the middle of the dress shop that it’s a moment I will never have with Hannah, standing in the middle of Disney World and seeing my first “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament since Hannah died, hearing that we are having a niece in a few months, and walking through a store and seeing a cute outfit I know would have looked beautiful on Hannah.  Through all these moments, I tried to let myself experience them and feel them, and then find a healthy place for them to fit into my life.

I’m in a much healthier place now than I was shortly after her death.  But, this lesson in patience with myself is ongoing.  And, it’s an aspect of grieving that I wasn’t prepared for.  God has had to teach me over and over again that I can’t control everything.  I felt guilty for grieving; I know where Hannah is.  And, I know that she is living life abundantly, and she’s not resting in peace.  But, the Bible speaks of mourning in several places.  In Ecclesiastes 3:4, God says there is, “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,”  I am mourning the death of my daughter, but He is comforting me.  One day soon, Jesus will return, and God has promised that, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Rev. 21:4)  What a glorious day that will be!

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Filed under Grief