Sunday, February 20, 2011

Inspired by Being Enough

I just finished reading “The Long Snapper” by Jeffrey Marx. It is an interesting tale of how Brian Kinchen came out of unwilling retirement to play for the NFL. He shares his struggles and his triumphs. It was a very good book. The line that stuck with me was at the end of the book, “If you aren’t enough without it, you’ll never be enough with it.”
Kinchen was referring to the Super Bowl ring. It struck me that this can be applied to many things in my life. Have you ever felt not good enough? That you didn't have enough money, enough clothes, enough anything? I have felt that way nearly all my life. From the men I dated to the money in my account, things just didn't add up. There was always a gap between what I had and what I needed. I always thought if only. If only I had a better job, if only ol' what's his name wasn't such a jerk, if only, if only, if only.
Problem is most of what I needed was myself. I needed to respect who I was enough to not put up with being put down. I needed to maintain a budget and live within my means. I needed more God in my life and less alcohol. If only, if only.....
But I refuse to look back and curse. My life is my life and there are no do-overs. I am the person I am today because of the problems I overcame. I am living for today and tomorrow; yesterday is there for me to learn from, not regret.
The great thing is I know I am enough and I have enough. It’s okay if I never get that million dollar book deal or that huge fancy house. If it comes, it comes. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I still have my wonderful husband, our beautiful baby and God up above shining down on me. Enough is enough.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Inspired by Waste Not Want Not

Now that I cook a lot, I notice the need for various types of stock. It seems everything from soups to gravies get their flavoring from stock. Usually I would buy the bouillon cubes but I began to notice how salty they were. We don't cook with a lot of salt, so it really began to stand out.
So I decided to start making my own stock and found it super easy to do. I started out using the water left over from boiling chicken with one quartered onion, a couple cloves of garlic, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary and pepper.
Today I experimented with my left-over turkey parts. I threw in a quartered onion,  some celery, some parsley, and bay leaf. I found a recipe that called for simmering for 4 hours. The parsley I threw in had been sitting in my freezer (an experiment gone bad) and I hated to throw it away. Today, I thought why not? So, into the pot it went. The turkey parts was everything, the skin, bones and any extra pieces of turkey left on them. I didn't throw anything away.
I grew up with the saying "waste not want not." It feels good to know I don't throw food away. It inspires me to think of new creations rather than throw leftovers away.  

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Inspired to Cook a Turkey

It never ceases to surprise me how things happen for a reason. Last Sunday I decided to take the 21 pound turkey out of the freezer. I bought the turkey months back on sale thinking I would get adventurous and cook it. I have never cooked a turkey before. Well, we experienced a profound loss on Wednesday but there was no going back on the turkey. It had to be cooked or risk it going to waste.
With this in mind, one would think that I would throw it in the oven and cook it. No big fuss, just bake the turkey, right? No. I decided I had enough sadness, I wanted to throw a dinner party. I had my husband invite a group of geographical bachelors (husbands living away from their families due to work). Dinner was at 6:00 p.m.
Nothing cures a broken heart like food. Good home cooked food. So, with no idea what I was doing I managed to cook the best turkey my husband ever ate (secret is cooking it breast down). Unfortunately, I burned the rolls, overcooked the stuffing and had to throw away the green beans. Are you seeing now why I invited the geographical bachelors?
So while the dinner didn't come out according to plan, somewhere in the middle I stopped crying and started laughing. I was able to move past the pain and into acceptance.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Losing Our Baby

Every woman hears the warnings not to announce a pregnancy before 12 weeks. Noted and disregarded. After the doctor confirmation we gleefully announced that we were expecting another baby. I called family near and far to share our happy news. Thanks to the advances in social networking, after a few short strokes of the keyboard, my entire world knew I was pregnant.
Things weren’t progressing as they had previously. I was almost 10 weeks pregnant and I could still button my pants. As I was sweeping the floor a few days ago, I realized I was no longer tired. I told everyone this was the ideal pregnancy; I didn’t feel any pregnancy symptoms. Then the bleeding started.
At first I wasn’t alarmed, this had happened in my first pregnancy. After a few days the bleeding worsened and was accompanied by some back pain. Not good. Still, I refused to panic. I had a doctor’s appointment coming up, I would know more then.
The morning of my appointment, I didn’t tell anyone my concerns. It wasn’t until I made it to the doctor’s office that concern began to set in. The bleeding was worse and I had slight abdominal cramping. The entire staff was empathetic and word spread quickly that I may be losing the baby. After an exam, the doctor reassured me that all looked normal and sent me for an ultrasound.
Immediately I knew something was not right when I looked at the screen. It was too still, too quiet. They said all looked normal and I wasn’t as far along as they originally thought. In fact, I was three to four weeks earlier – 5 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Hmmm, that doesn’t sound right. That means I had to have tested positive to my home pregnancy test one to two days after I conceived. I guess the tests are sensitive, but I didn’t think they were that sensitive. I wanted to believe. I accepted their reassurance and went about telling the world about my new due date.
The pain intensified and I pushed aside the thoughts. Think positively and I will have a positive outcome. As nightfall arrived, my worst fears were realized. The contractions had started and so did the tears. As my husband held me, we grieved the loss of our baby. Nothing ever prepares you for a miscarriage. Like it or not, you are now a lifetime member of this special club. It is filled with other healthy, young women who, for one reason or another, were unable to carry their baby to term.