You make beautiful things

by Nichole on October 25, 2012 · 2 comments

in FROM THE HEART,ME

All this pain I wonder I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all.

All this earth – could all that is lost ever be found?
Could a garden come up from this ground at all?

You make beautiful things. You make beautiful things out of the dust.
You make beautiful things. You make beautiful things out of us.

I first heard this song at church shortly after I finished my never ending miscarriage. Okay *slight* exaggeration as it did in fact have an end, [thank God] but for the sake of being honest – that’s how it felt. It was all still a jumble of confusion to me: why I miscarried my impossible pregnancy, why a miracle happened to me, and why it was taken away. I was confused and wondered if I’d ever get pregnant without fertility again. Hearing this song was just more confirmation of, despite all this confusion, what I knew to be true. Regardless of whether my body chose to work without medication again – something beautiful was going to come from it.

It wasn’t easy… I’m not superwoman, so I must admit this shocking fact: not all things come easy to me. Did your mouth drop? No? Okay, well I’ll just pretend it did ;) . In all seriousness, it was hard to believe and pray for another miracle. It was hard to keep my heart thankful for that which I lost.

Still, I felt strongly that I needed to be reminded of the miracle that happened to me; to be reminded to keep my heart thankful. I also felt strongly that I needed a reminder to have hope for more kids. I’ve always wanted a big family and though a big part of me wanted to give up and use the excuse we’d earned of it all being too hard, I didn’t want something painful to destroy that hope.


All around,  hope is springing up from this old ground
out of chaos life is being found in this.

You make beautiful things. You make beautiful things out of the dust.
You make beautiful things. You make beautiful things out of us.

Several hard months of trying later,  I got pregnant without fertility. It happened exactly when we chose to give up. Without signs during those months of my body being regular, we finally accepted that this next baby would mean more rounds of fertility; which for the record, is something that I still view as a miracle.

This blog is probably slightly random, and a bit different from my usual blogs but I’m writing it to announce my pregnancy. I’m 17 weeks and 5 days pregnant and, for me, getting pregnant on my own was and is a miracle.  One that so many others believed in so much more than myself.

I’m also writing this blog to remind myself yet again that sometimes in the midst of something painful, it’s hard to see the coming beauty. And though that is okay, it is always always worth it to hold on and believe for the coming miracle.

He makes beautiful things.

He makes beautiful things out of the dust.

Hang in there. Miracles happen.

Thanks baby for reminding me of that.

{ 2 comments }

A move and some bread.

by Nichole on October 10, 2012 · 1 comment

in GOOD EATS,ME,MY GIRLS

So much has happened in my little life over the last 3 months. Some of it is good, some… not so good,… some of it has the the potential to be good. Whatever the case, there’s just soooooo much. I keep putting off blogging because I have these secret sets of rules for myself in my head. Apparently this is one of them:

Things must be done in order.

Yep, I’m sorry to say but my conscience — or whatever it is that is in charge of my unspoken rule sheet — tells me I cannot blog until I blog this or that. Every time I come up with something to say: my rules nix it because I have yet to write about the other. Oh…. I don’t know if that even makes sense.

Folks: I’m going to be a bit rebellious. *gasp* I’m going to skip over some things. Hopefully this month will be a month of catching up. Hopefully it will be a month of posting all of the things I’ve hoped to post… but if I don’t get to them – oh well. It certainly won’t ruin me.

So we moved.

For some, this might not be a big deal, especially since all we did was move across town (though for my girls, we may as well have been moving across the state – they were so sad they’d be further from their Nonnie, Pa, and Amma). Those people, those people who think it’s no biggie – I assure you did not live in their house for 8 straight years…. well… that… or they are much more awesome than I am.

We moved into our previous home after we had been married about a year and a half. I was newly pregnant, and we flipped the entire thing. It was just how we wanted it… mostly. We had our first daughter there, became parents there, had our second daughter there, then our third…we miscarried there, we laughed, we cried, we fought, we talked, we played, we spent time with friends and family there, we had parties there, first sleepovers, made all sorts of crafts and yummy food, left it for first days of school, came home to it after nights away, the toothfairy made her first appearance there, decorated many a Christmas tree there,…. even my nephews grew up a little bit there…. we went through life. That house holds some of my dearest memories as an adult, and most of my dearest memories as a parent… it is the only house my girls have ever known. It was hard to leave. For all of us.

(blurry not so awesome picture of the night we said goodbye)

Emotionally it was hard, but physically too. I mean do you know how many things a family acquires in 8 years??? Well, at least an American one??? Probably so. A lot. I get rid of stuff fairly often and it was STILL a lot. Trying to pack everything mostly myself (Daniel has been crazy busy with work) while nauseated,.. not ideal. Then add in unpacking in the new house to the mix and it was basically enough to give my exhausted pregnant (yes pregnant — one thing I’ve skipped over that I MUST share) self several break downs a week. Daniel definitely scored many many points during all this. So much grace. He’s perfect for me, in case I’ve never said that before.

Thankful. The easiest way for me to get through every day was to remind myself that there would be a day when I completed this large sad task before me, and that it would be for the better. To remind myself over and over that this moving-thing that at the time felt like a burden, was actually a blessing. Weird that blessings can sometimes feel like burdens. Whatever the case, and however hard it was, it was and is a blessing. We are mostly moved in and it’s starting to feel like home. It doesn’t have quite as many memories attached, but it will.

That said, K has asked for some time to be able to call our current house home. It’s an adjustment for all of us I guess. With H, we went back to the house after we moved to clean and get it ready for our tenants. As we walked in the door I asked H “how do you feel?”. Her response: “I’m finally home sweet home!” Yeah… I think they’re going to miss that place.

Anyway there ya go.

As a side note, we’ve been living (little H and I) gluten free for the past 5 months. This has meant that Daniel, K, and E have been – by default – mostly gluten free at home. I have been determined to learn all things to the best of my ability so that everyone can still enjoy the meals we did before. H cannot have gluten at all, but she has been SUCH a trooper. That’s a blog for another day I suppose, but any time I have the chance to brag on her attitude about all of this I’m going to take it. She never gives me attitude or throws fits about it & she is so agreeable – even at a birthday party where all the kids get cake and she doesn’t. She is amazing. She has declared all of her favorite foods to be made with gluten which really makes it all the more impressive that she is so understanding about it all.

Because I recently tried out a bread I found online, made a few tweaks to it, and it worked — I thought I would share it… plus this gives me a place where I can find it when I need it again. The original recipe said that it was for a bread machine but it did not mix in mine, so I have been making it with my kitchen aid.

Can I just say how surprised I was that making it in the kitchen aid is just as easy as the bread machine… but faster? I’ve always been too scared to try bread without my bread machine, so naturally I was shocked by the ease of it all.

 

Gluten Free (Sweet white bread) Recipe

Read notes at the bottom before beginning the bread :) .

I used my kitchen aid with my kneading hook and first put in my WET INGREDIENTS:

• 3 eggs (which I’ve read can be subbed for 3 tablespoons ground flax seeped in 9tablespoons water. I did not try this for this bread but I have tried it in muffins).
• 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
• 1/4 cup olive oil (I use expeller pressed coconut oil, I suggest liquifying it first but I had a batch I forgot on and used it soft instead of as liquid and it was fine.. but I wouldn’t take that risk again).
• 1/4 cup honey
• 1 & 1/2 cups milk (any kind, on what is pictured above I used original coconut milk from a carton).

IN A SEPARATE BOWL MIX:
• 1/3 cup organic cornstarch (I’m unsure if you can sub this with another starch or not as I haven’t tried, I would assume you can).
• 1/2 cup potato starch
• 1 tablespoon xanthum gum
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 3/4 cup tapioca flour (I did an approx tablespoon less than that this time)
• 2 &1/4 cup rice flour (I did an approx tablespoon less than that this time)

Pour dry ingredients over wet ingredients in mixing bowl then put:

• 1 tablespoon active dry yeast

on top. I let it rest for a couple minutes while loading some dishes then turned my kitchen aid on 2 and let it mix for a minute, turned it off and scraped the sides, let it mix on 2 for another minute, scraped the sides and let it go about one-to-two-ish more minutes. Then when the dough looked mixed, I pulled the bowl out, took out the hook, and used my spatula to shape it into a dome shape and dumped it into my 8 quart pot that I already sprayed with oil ( you could use any pot big enough), smoothed the top,  turned the oven on 350, put the pot on top of my oven with a towel over it (point of it being on the warming oven was to keep it warm to help the rise), and let it rise an hour/hour and a half. Then put it in the oven for an hour :) .

NOTES:
•I’ve read that gluten free bread dough only needs the one rise, with normal bread you’d want two but not with gluten free.

• For all flours & starches I spoon them into the measuring cups instead of scooping because apparently scooping makes it more dense. This is true for gluten bread as well.

•On the recipe I derived this from some said they preferred the 3/4 cup soy flour (which I replaced with tapioca) and 2 & 1/4 cup rice flour, others preferred 1/2 cup soy flour (which in my recipe is tapioca) and 2 cups rice flour. I started with the larger amount the first time and am trying to gradually go down each time to the smaller amount to see what I prefer :) . When I know, I will put an update to this blog, but I am certain it’s a matter of preference and I suggest changing that part up every time until it’s exactly how you like it :) . So far I liked it with the max amount of flours, just as written in my above recipe, and also liked it with a little bit less :) .

Enjoy!!

*update 10.13.12: though this bread is fabulous the day it is made and the next morning, I can’t find a way to store it where it doesn’t get so crumbly beyond that. It doesn’t fall apart – just tastes much less moist. I’ll be working on it but if anyone happens to know how to best store it so it doesn’t lose its moisture, let me know :) .*

 

 

{ 1 comment }

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