Girl!

So, most of you have probably heard this already via facebook and other means, but we are proud to announce that our baby is a GIRL!

We celebrated our third anniversary on Wednesday and Iproudly wore the fun announcement shirt my sweet husband made me (pictured below!). I started the day off with a morning at the hospital for my wonderful glucose test…I passed, hallelujah! Denying a woman food and water is a horrible thing, especially a pregnant woman like me who is unmatched in her water drinking abilities (I swear I’m part camel!). Then I got to run around and see people’s reactions to my shirt, which was quite fun! Everyone’s so excited she’s a girl! Though I’m sure they would have been excited had she been a he as well! We ended the night with what seems to be becoming our annual anniversary dinner at Kona uptown. A nice little dinner topped with ice cream at home!

Here’s to our baby girl!

baby cable

Long Time No Blog

As I sat down to write, I looked back at the date of my last post…March 4th. It has been that long. And short. At the time, I was getting up the gumption to blog more often, particularly about food, etc. The snow was melting, buds were forming, and I was looking forward to many many things. Well…many many things have happened in the past 6, yes, 6 months. When life gets crazy and blows up, some of my friends turn to their blogs to process and share. I am not like my friends…to keep my head above water, I run from anything that I perceive to be a time or energy sucker (for me, as much as I like the idea of blogging, in reality, the thought of it sometimes sucks me dry. I just think it’ll take too much of what I’m already running short on.

So, because the past 6 months have been so nutty to truly convey, I’ll give a synopsis of the nutty-ness:

1. Mid-March trip to Chicago for Matt to attend class and me to shore up an internship there for the summer.

2. Days later, Matt’s brain blows up (okay, not really, but some quick onset balance issues lead to a doctor’s visit, a CAT scan followed by an MRI, and a referral to a specialist). Really, what they found was a lesion on his brain stem.

3. Late March and all of April are spent back and forth to doctors and specialists trying to figure out what’s wrong with Matt…a brain tumor? Multiple sclerosis? Something else? Many blood tests and a spinal tap later, it looks like he may eventually develop MS. But right now it’s just a “lesion”. Commence and then taper steroids.

4. I try to keep on top of school as much as possible in the midst of Matt’s medical craziness. Fly out to CA for an aging professionals’ conference the last week of April, as it looked like Matt was going to be ok. Goal to come back and finish up the semester.

5. Return from CA on April 30. The next morning, May 1st, decide to take a pregnancy test because my period hadn’t come in what seemed like a reasonable window of time. The line moves across the test stick, and, wait, there are two lines. That’s never happened before…we are pregnant! I giggle with joy, treasure my secret for a moment until Matt gets of the phone, then shove the stick in front of his face…to which he falls on the floor crying with joy and thankfulness. In the midst of the most uncertain…God creates new life.

6. Almost immediately following the positive result, I get sick. Nausea, barfing, etc. I want to keep the baby a secret for about week until we could tell our parents on Mother’s day, but then I get scared that we might have lost the baby. So, I call my mom in tears. A few days later, the doctor orders an ultrasound…the flutter is there! I cry and exclaim “there’s a baby in there!?!”

7. May is spent on my sofa with frozen fruit bars, toast, dry cereal, club soda, and the trash can. A month worth of vomiting and nausea will wear on anyone, I don’t care who you are. So much for getting my school work done. Matt has 3 more MRIs to check his brain and spine.

8. At the beginning of June, we travel to Chicago where we knock on a stranger’s door with our suitcases. They graciously house us in their finished attic, on two twin beds pushed together, with no AC for the summer. It’s 95+ degrees on the evening of our arrival.

9. For me, June and July entail pulling through an (awesome) internship while pregnant. In June we travel 5+ hours back to Oxford for doctors’ appts. and find out Matt’s lesion has decreased in size and that our baby is well. Matt’s specialist literally shouts for joy! Back in December for yet another MRI. July brings another ‘quick’ trip to Oxford for a baby appt, and we travel via Bowling Green where we celebrate with friends as Matt is baptized.

10. With nausea subsiding in late July, I’m able to enjoy some Chicago summer fun and we have lots of family visitors. August brings the end of my internship, a trip through Indiana for my step-dad’s 60th surprise party, and our return back to Oxford just 5 days before another semester starts.

11. Adjusting back to the academic environment is rough for a few weeks in August. As I introduce myself to new students, one of my colleagues immediately follows my “Hi, I’m Amber” with “and she’s pregnant!” The excitement is fun.

12. On August 25th, we find out that our baby is a … to be continued.

 

The piece of Scripture God gave Matt a few weeks before all this craziness started:

Behold, I am doing a new thing;
   now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:19

Baby Cable, 22 weeks


An Ode to Bob’s Red Mill

Okay, okay, I admit it….I was working on a midterm on a Friday night. How nerdy does that make me? And, to make matters worse, it was a statistics midterm. Yuck. Truth be told, I had a horrendous migraine most of the day and didn’t get much work done at all, so out of guilt and the need to get things done these first few days of spring break (so I can enjoy a family visit the second half), I was working on a midterm.

That said, I also baked bread tonight. Baking when not feeling up to snuff? Well, it was a mix from good ole Bob’s Red Mill that my sweet friends Ellen and Jason sent in a surprise Christmas package. Not only does he have this wonderful bread, but he has a whole grain bread and tons of GF baking supplies. You can buy these online, but I usually pick them up at Meijer or Kroger. I don’t bake from a mix very often, but my sweet mother in law makes me this bread virtually every time I visit.

A couple tips:

  1. You can make this in a bread machine (mother in law’s way) and it turns out just great. I make it by hand using my Kitchenaid to mix it up.
  2. Don’t do eggs? That’s fine…the recipe calls for a lot of eggs/whites and I hate to waste them that way, so I’ve started substituting flax gel for at least some of the eggs in my recipes. Not only is flax seed extremely healthy and good for ‘regularity’ it has a yummy nutty flavor too. So, here, I used 2 eggs and 2 flax gels (mix one tbsp. flax seed meal with 3 tbsp. hot water and let it stand for 10 minutes mixing occasionally, then use in place of eggs). Ever since the Gluten Free Girl started using flax in place of eggs, I realized when I added it to recipe that already had eggs in it, I was probably drying out my baked goods. Hence the new method of substitution. You can also use egg replacer although I am not the biggest fan of it.
  3. I LOVE my ceramic muffin pans. Matt got me this gorgeous 6-muffin-pan from Hartstone Pottery (made in Zanesville, Ohio) for our second Christmas and it bakes beautiful GF breads. At the thrift store a couple months ago, I stumbled on this hilarious ceramic pan that was heart shaped with heart shaped muffin holes. And it was sponge painted on top. You know what? For $2, I love it, and I love giving my neighbor breads in the shape of hearts (she loves it too). Anyway, I now exclusively use ceramic tins and 2 metal mini loaf pans for baking my breads because they keep their shape much better when they’re smaller.
  4. Grease with Crisco. 🙂
  5. Let your bread rise in a very mildly war oven. My oven has a “warm” setting that I turn on before putting the bread in there to rise. It would never rise in my cold house otherwise. But I love this, and once risen, I take it out, bring the oven to temp, and put the bread back in!
  6. Feel free to toss extras into your breads. I didn’t have much on hand, otherwise I’d make cinnamon raisin swirl. So I just doused the top of my mini loaves with cinnamon-sugar before baking.

Now with much-a-do, I’m posting a picture of my bread, taken with my very own camera, uploaded to my computer by me! I am celebrating this because Matt is our family photographer and my poor camera has gotten little use. I’ve actually never uploaded photos from it to my “new” Mac that I got almost 3 years ago…so. Just uploaded my honeymoon pics tonight. Yup. That’s right. Married for 2.5 years and just pulling the pics off.

Anyway, here’s some beautiful Bob’s Red Mill bread that I’ll be enjoying the next several days:

raise up the crown

The chorus of this song from Chris Tomlin has been ringing in my head ever since church yesterday. It makes me think of heaven. I seriously dream of resting on Jesus’ eyebrow (in a Mount-Rushmore-esque way) and am at peace. Here’s the chorus:

Raise up the crown, rise on the praises
Rest on the brow of the King of the Ages
Raise up the crown, rise on the praises
Rest on the brow of the King of the Ages

More of the Dress

Here are some more dress pictures, as promised, and way late. I seriously need to link my camera to the computer and stop relying on my husband! But some cute pics to be sure:

More

Simple Roasted Chicken

Since reorganizing my Black Book of recipes (a 100 page 4×6 photo album I received as a wedding gift for this purpose) a few weeks ago, I’ve been trying out some new recipes. I collect them from various magazines (Real Simple, Living Without, etc) and adapt them from websites/blogs to suit my fancy.

We tried this one last week and enjoyed a wonderful meal with our friend Graziella. Grazi told me how to slice and rinse the leek. Yup, that’s right, this recipe calls for leeks. I’ve only had them in potato leek soup before, and in that form, it’s hard to tell what is leek and what is potato. But, the roasted leek…now that is a new sensation! Some of you know about our passion for brussels sprouts and, well, the leek is closing the gap on our number one vegetable! Be not afraid, the leek is tender, easy to prepare, and has much like a mild, smooth onion flavor.

Here’s the recipe, and this one goes out to Craig and Becca Flack (as Craig asked for new recipes, and sharing our love for the sprout, I think he’ll dig this one):

Simple Roasted Chicken

2.5lb chicken with the bone in it (drumsticks or thighs)

4 small apples (I used gala), quartered and cored

2 leeks (cut off most of the green and the base, halve crosswise and lengthwise, and rise btw the layers)

Olive Oil

Rosemary

Salt and Pepper

Heat the oven to 400. Toss the chicken, apples and leeks in a bowl with a couple tables olive oil, some rosemary, salt and pepper to taste. Arrange on a large rimmed baking sheet or pan, and bake for about 40-45 minutes. YUMMY!

Super easy. Inexpensive (chicken on the bone is cheap!). And sooooooo good!

Two Things I LOVE. Maybe 3.

First: I am getting sick for the first time this year. Scratchy throat, stuffy nose. It hurts. My elixir? The trusty Neti Pot. Hallelujah!

Second: The feeling I get after flossing and brushing my teeth. It’s like I’ve just had an amazing spa experience and feel like a new person! (Even when I’m sick). Need to give a shout out to the inventors of modern dental floss, paste, and toothbrushes!

Finally, I’ve promised more recipes on my site. Working on it. One should come this week. But to kick us off, for you other Neti-Pot-lovers out there…did you know you can make your own Neti-Pot salt solution? Saves big bucks vs. those individual packets they try to sell you:

Neti Pot Salt Solution

Supplies:

1 small-medium jar or old medicine bottle

1 half tsp. measuring spoon

Free Flowing Salt (preferably the non-iodized kind. just salt people.)

Baking Soda

How to:

Mix the salt and baking soda in a three to one ratio into the jar. That’s three scoops salt to each scoop baking soda (I use a TBSP for this). Shake it! Store with your Neti Pot and the half-tsp. When ready to Neti, use 1/2 tsp. per pot of warm water. Make sure you shake the powder solution before measuring as it can separate.

Violla! An easy breathing dream come true for the price of just a few pennies!

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