Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Sometimes, it just kind of hits me.
And it's the shock of it that hurts the most.

I was digging through the closet in our guest room, searching for some of my old teacher supplies to use with sweet nanny child, and I found something I had almost completely forgotten.
This giant red and blue pirate octopus.  This adorable stuffed toy that had made me squeal when we spotted it at Target. We had just had our first ultrasound, and Chris was all beaming and proud and wanted a photo album.
Because we had our baby's first picture.
The only picture.
But we didn't know that yet.
Then we saw this octopus.
I was a little apprehensive about buying it because it might not have "matched" the nursery theme we were considering, but Chris said, "Screw it. The theme is stuff we like. Do you like the pirate octopus? Good. Then it matches.  We're buying it."
Baby's first stuffed animal.
I carried it through the store like a six-year-old. Giddy. Giggling. My baby didn't even have fingers, and it had a toy. A great, big, happy, eight-legged buccaneer cephalopod. 
That's the start of an epic childhood, right?

Now, it sits in its Target bag, stuffed on top of a box of Christmas decorations.  It still has the tags on it. I don't even really remember what it looks like besides the colors. I think it wears an eyepatch. I don't want to take it all the way out, really look at it. There's no point.
Not because I'm not healing, and not because I'm bitter. Because suddenly it hurts badly again, and I want to cry.
I hate crying.
It's messy and vulnerable and upsetting. It's necessary, I get that, and I know I can feel better afterwards, but not that night. Not right then.
Really, there are times when I just don't think I can cry about it any more. I cried so much in the beginning, those first few months. I think I've allotted my annual tear quota.

Then I opened the chest of drawers, looking for a pencil bag, and, right on top, were the baby clothes my in-laws bought us, one week after our ultrasound.  A little pair of baby Converse sneakers (to match the ones Chris and I wear--we always said our babies would wear Converse), a bright green Saint Patrick's Day onesie, and a little froggie beanie I had picked out when we went shopping together. 
Laying on top.
Still with their tags.
And it hurt again, a little worse this time.

I shoved the drawer closed and moved to another.
It burned. 

It had taken me by surprise, you see. When I know something's coming, something in me steels itself. I didn't even realized I do that--prepared myself, put on an extra bandaid or two. Here, I had no time. I didn't even remember where we had stashed them.
Because that's what we did, you know.  For weeks after the news, we left the baby stuff out, on display almost, because we didn't know what to do with it. This odd mixture of a happy memory and leaving it because we didn't want touch it.  Then we hid it, because the house needed cleaning and I couldn't take it the empty cheeriness any more. It was over. There was no point. 
It hurt.

It's been almost five months. I can talk about it, now, without tearing up.  I don't make it a secret, but I don't go shouting to everyone I meet at every chance I get. It's not some badge of honor or agony or anything.
It just is.
In explaining my upcoming (at some point) surgery, sometimes I have to explain that it's the result of a miscarriage.
It doesn't hurt to say that.
It's just a fact of life.
It happened.

Then I see those tiny little things, and it hurts to remember how excited we were.

Did I ever tell you that we even bought a crib set?
I'm not a fan of most crib sheet and bumper sets--they just end up feeling cheesy, but I found one online that made me all giggly and happy. I could see the whole nursery--for a boy or a girl--coming together.  It was on sale, so Chris told me to buy it.
I did, ordered it from my phone right there in my OBGYN's waiting room before we went back and saw the heartbeat that first time.
That only time.
The set came in the mail, and I immediately called my mom and sent her pictures because it was perfect.

The baby bedding sat in the guest room, exposed, for a long time after the silent ultrasound.  It was easy to shut the door and ignore it. Then I grew accustomed to it. It was just part of the scenery.
When my mom came to visit, I took it out and showed her. Because one day we do want to use it. Because it's still stinkin cute. 
And perfect.
It's on a top shelf in our closet, so high you can't see it unless you're looking for it.

I think things are a little more raw than usual because I saw a hematologist to clear up the surgery bloodwork. You know, just to get a thumbs up to get surgery.  There were more blood tests. Once again, chatting with the pleasant lab technician, hearing that I have "nice veins," and watching the needle go in and fill six vials with the deep red fluid that gives us all life. My arm always feels tingling and cold afterwards.  I wait a week and a half, return to the doctor, and he gives me my results.
My blood, apparently, is an over-zealous clotter.
It doesn't mean anything about my health, really--it's a condition that appears and disappears without explanation, one that may or may not carry with it any symptoms.
I'm one of those without symptoms.
Except one.
The condition causes miscarriages.

So now we have answers.
It was my fault.

He tells me that it doesn't necessarily have to be this way, forever. That, if I take a baby aspirin a day while pregnant, I might carry full term.
That everything could have a happy ending.
The hope makes it a little brighter.

That, really, had it not been for this growth--this freak-of-nature dermoid requiring surgery--we never would have known about my blood. That we could have miscarried again and again and again without answers. Maybe we will anyways, but now we know why. Now we have a plan, something to do.

You see, there's always a plan. Something to do. Even if that something is just waiting.
Because God is good. All the time. Even in the dark, messy, crappy stuff. 

Life hurts.
Sometimes, it downright SUCKS.
But the hope of a purpose? Of something beyond myself?
It keeps me from curling up in bed and never getting up. 
It gives me the hope and the courage to keep smiling.
To talk about it.
To hurt. 
And to heal. 

To be okay.

I don't know my future.
Someone else does.
And that's more than okay. 
Life is still good because He is good. 
We have hope because He gifts it. 
We hurt, we heal, we hope. 
And He always is. 

And He is always good.
Even when we feel utterly abandoned.
There is always light.
In the end, the middle, above, below, glittering through the cracks, sometimes so small you barely see them.

But light is always there. 
Because He is always there. 

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, 
the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food,
 the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, 
yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength; 
he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.
--Habakkuk 3:17-19a

Saturday, November 16, 2013

To Christmas Card, or Not to Christmas Card?


You guys all know the formula: some day that's been marked on the calendar for weeks, Mom rounds the whole family up in semi-matching outfits and marches them outside for the best possibly lighting. There you meet a willing friend ("willing" meaning that they've either been tricked, paid, or blackmailed into the situation), or a professional armed with a camera.
And you pose.
And you smile.
Until your cheeks hurt.
Possibly both sets of cheeks if you're in one of those awkward squatting positions utilized to fit everyone in the picture.

Okay, maybe I'm painting a very negative image of the Christmas family photo op. Maybe some of you have awesome traditions taking candid photos. 
Or you love getting your picture taken. 
Or you just ALWAYS look great in front of the camera.

Or maybe you're like my in-laws and dress up the pets because it's more fun and canines are more cooperative than humans.
Last year, the dogs starred as Mary, Joseph, and an angel.

Or maybe you're like my family.
Where Thanksgiving day, everyone looks their best--in past years, color coordinated, but recently not so much--and we all pose in front of the same set of bushes at my Aunt Sandy's house with my uncle snapping shots of all of us posed and smiling.
My brother, sister, and I start making goofy comments and laughing for two reasons:
1. It makes long periods of pretending to be happy fun.
2. You're actually seeing GENUINE smiles on our faces.
My mother claims our strategy makes for longer picture taking. 
And it's true. Sometimes, it takes an hour or more.

 Chris ..... Well ..... Chris has never made a secret of his feelings towards the posed family photo. Over the years, you can tell how long we've been posing based on his facial expression. He begins looking a bit cheery and ends with a barely disguised scowl.
He really, really, REALLY hates long posed photos sessions.
It's funny because he loved our engagement and wedding photo shoots, but the moment any woman says, "Okay, I wan a family photo!"
He audibly sighs and rolls his eyes.
His eyes even have a sound effect.
It's the groan of bored misery. 

So, we'd kind of settled that we would never do Christmas photos or Christmas cards. It just seemed like one more chance to be awkward or pretend--Here we all are, looking our best, because we are totally this happy all the time.  
We'd possibly reconsider if, you know, our Christmas card were something like this.

Because Bill Murray is just kind of the best ever.

Then I found THIS post, and started thinking that, maybe just maybe, Christmas cards wouldn't be so bad. They might be fun even.
And then I realized maybe people really are just trying to get a nice photo of everyone together.
That maybe it's the only family photo of the whole gang all together.
Maybe it's the chance to keep loved ones updated--those who aren't on Facebook or online or anything.
And maybe it is just plain fun ;]

How about you?
Do you guys do Christmas cards and photos or not so much?
Why or why not?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Peeps, one day I decided to follow a trend and make a Facebook profile for my blog.
I'm going to apologize in advance: the only thing that posts there are automatic updates on blog posts.
Basically, that new posts now exist.
Because I never log on and do much else to it. Because I forget. 
And blah. 

I don't link every blog post to my personal FB because well ..... I don't know. I feel like they're two separate entities. Most people I know personally don't read my stuff, and that's okay. Maybe even preferable. Oh, I'll link a post on occasion, and there's always a link in my ABOUT page, but only a handful of close friends, a family friend or two, and my mom read (HULLOOO MUMSIE!!!)
And I'm okay with that. 
It's almost more private that way .... Which is just weird because the blog's open to the whole flippin' Internet. 
What a weird concept. 

However, my personal posts on FB are WAY more frequent than my blog FB posts and, in their own way, a little bit funny. 
Or way more funny, since a little funny is loads more than no funny at all.

In response to a photo advert for Audible's "Fifty Shades of Grey."

So there you have it people: my life according to the facebooking interwebs.
We should be FB friends now, right? ;)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Garlic and Thyme Roast Chicken . . . It's like a superhero for your dinner table

 For real, peeps, this chicken.
Put a cape on it.
It's here to fly in and save the day.
I'm not even kidding. 

That and every time I prepare a whole chicken, I'm bewildered as to why there aren't more chicken-based puppets. I mean . . . I don't know, maybe I'm weird, but it's like it's begging to be made to sing and dance. Maybe that's just how I cope with the thought that I'm putting my hands up that poor birds hoo-hah and ripping out its innards. 

That really makes you want to cook now, doesn't it??? 

Because this chicken is so worth it.  It's incredibly moist and flavorful, and, the mushrooms people. THE. MUSHROOMS. I was ready to propose right then and there and run away to wedded mushroomy bliss.  

Prepping this sucker is incredibly simple. Prep the spices, rub the spices on the chicken, and put the chicken in the oven.  The trick comes once the chicken's cooking--to help keep it moist and flavorful, you have to empty the fluid from the bottom of the pan and dump it back over the chicken every fifteen minutes.  I put my chicken on top of this roasting insert that came with my crockpot and then placed them both in a casserole dish. I'm sure there's a better/easier way to do it, but I didn't have many options.  So, every fifteen minutes, I'd remove the whole deal from the oven, tilt it to the side, pour the juice into a little cup, and then pour it back on. Looking back on it . . . I probably should have REMOVED the bird, then poured the fluid, placed the bird back in the pan, THEN dump the fluid over the bird. 
Or .... Um .... USE A TURKEY BASTER!
But I was so puzzled at the moment, I wasn't thinking clearly. 

ANYWAYS, learn from my fumblings (and blurry pictures) and make this chicken. It's AWESOME.

  • 1 whole chicken (roughly 5 pounds)
  • 3-4 shallots
  • 3-6 big Garlic pods
  • 8oz - 16oz mushrooms (depends on how much you love mushrooms)
  • 1½ Tablespoon fresh Thyme
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 1 cup of water

1. Rinse it and place the chicken with the breast up into a baking form.

2. Chop your shallots, mince the Garlic, and rinse your mushrooms. Remove the tiny thyme leafs from the harder “branches” so that you have about 1½ Tablespoon or so (I lean more on the OR SO side).

3.Take some of the garlic and thyme and rub the flavors into the chicken inside and keep them in there.

4. Tie your chicken legs together (or, if you find yourself out of string, you can try to toothpick them together like we did). Place the chicken on a roasting pan in either a casserole dish or a pan with a lip. Place the mushrooms and shallots in the bottom pan.

5. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top too and add the water into the oven pan. Place the dish into the oven at 425 F. for 15 minutes first.
 Remember what I said about make sure you do the easy thing? Remove the bird on its roasting pan, set it aside. Tilt the rest of the pan to drain the liquid into a measuring cup or bowl to the side. Place the chicken and roasting pan back inside the bottom pan, then pour the liquid on top.  Yes, it will be a little messy, but it's how you get an awesome chicken ;] 
(I really wish I had thought of that sooner)

6. After 15 minutes take it out and pour the liquid in the pan over the chicken several times and back into the oven for another 15 minutes at 425 F.
Tip: If you feel there's not enough liquid to keep your chicken moist, add a little more water and olive oil.

7. Again take it out and do the same again by pouring the liquid on top of the chicken. Place the chicken back into the oven for a last 15 minutes round!
Repeat this process as many times as necessary until your chicken is cooked.

7.  Your bird is finished cooking when the chicken skin is getting brown and when you poke with a knife into the meat and it is no longer raw (though you will notice that the meat might seem a little bloodier/juicier than if you were cooking boneless, skinless chicken breasts).

Now cut up, dig in, and savor that delicious son of a gun!
Seriously, your tastebuds will thank you.

Also, be sure to check out all these lovely ladies on my sidebar! They are fabulous and keep some really sweet blogs! Give them a look!!!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Wrong Place for Shoes and Other Updates

Peeps, I'm posting this from my phone, and I have no idea how I feel about that.
I don't think I like it.
So if I miss an autocorrect malady, please forgive me just this once.

I always say I will blog more, and then something comes up. This time? It's employment.
That's right, peeps, Ima workin'!
Maybe not a fancy career or anything, but I'm now full-time nanny to an adorable four-year-old girl.  

Let me say this right now: moms are heroes. After only two days--count 'em! TWO--I came home so exhausted that I couldn't form coherent sentences and had a meltdown over wanting to avoid tricker treaters because, dagnabbit, my house was messy, I was hungry, and all I wanted to do was watch TV uninterrupted and eat something other than PB&J. Did you know "I need a nap" two-year-old-style fits are less than attractive on a twenty-six-year-old woman?? It was bad, peeps. BAD. All that to say, moms, you need chocolate and a mani-pedi like STAT!!! Husbands/Boyfriends/Whatevers, get on that business like NOW. Mama needs a break.

Despite my newfound battle for stamina, it's been great. Really. :) It's just that life doesn't let up because now there's work,  housekeeping (or there should be .... My floors .... The vacuum is desperately needing to kiss and make up with my carpet; it's revolting), cooking, the new social life, AND YOU!! Yay blogging!!! So, after eight months of wasting time, I'm relearning how to manage my time without imploding into a puddle of exhausted goo. I'll get my stamina back soon ..... Lord willing .... And I bet I'll have lots of fun nanny stories.

 Like this one:
My wee little charge is playing with her Polly Pocket doll under the table because, apparently, that's the place to play ... Or I'm just naive to sneakiness because I've been out of the kid game for a while. Then I hear, "HEY!!! Hey you! Help!! I have a slipper stuck in my nose."
"You what?!?"
"A slipper! It's in my nose!!"
I had flashbacks to the story about my brother who, at age three, decided it would be a good idea to tear the buttons out if his toy phone and stuff them up his snozz. "Mommy, ABC up my nose!" He sneezed them out during the panicked drive to the doctor. 
So I pinched the empty nostril and told her to blow as hard as she could. In response, a tiny teal scuba flipper burst out of her nose, unfolding and twirling like an acrobat shot from a cannon. Success.
Hallelujah. Thank you, Jesus. Huzzah. No nose surgery today, peeps. Not on my watch.
We proceeded to have a discussion about why we PLEASE do not put tiny shoes up our nose. 

And that's my life now :) 

Those of you who have requested I make you buttons, I have NOT forgotten!! I am working on them, I promise! If anyone else would like to add a free sponsor button to my site, shoot me an email at ANYWAYWIND(at)GMAIL(dot)COM. If you don't have a button, don't worry! I can whip one up for you if you send me a picture of yours that you feel suits your blog. 
PLEASE make sure that it is a picture that I can crop or resize to 250x150 pixels (that's a rectangle that is longer than it is tall ;) ). Again, thank you so much! I have some wonderful ladies to introduce to you guys!!! Whoo-hoo!!!

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Holy guacamole, peeps, I did not expect this! Nope, not even at all--through Cara's lovely giveaway (CONGRATS, CASSIE!!!), my blog following has tripled.
Like it went from about 40 Bloglovin' followers to 124.
Peeps, I can't even.
I just can't even.

Also, if you click that source link and read the article, it's SO STINKIN TRUE


I know that still makes me a tiny blogger, but gosh this is just too awesome! Yay!

Now if I can just keep you guys reading . . . that's the trick, right?

Anyways, in a tiny celebration of new followers, I would love to offer you all FREE sponsorship on this here little ole blog.  Just email me at the NEW blog email:


Just send me:
  1. Your name
  2. Blog or shop link (or whatever profile you'd like--Bloglovin, Facebook, Etsy shop, etc)
  3. A 250x150 button
Let me know if you'd like to do a guest post, interview, or feature to get your name out there :]  I'd love to continue growing this space and, in turn, help you grow yours!

This time around, let's see . . . maybe . . . 10 blog buttons on my sidebar? Twelve? Hmmm . . . I guess we'll just see if we have any takers. ;]

Also, in the comments, let me know what you'd like to see more of here.  I know my posting has only been once or twice a week, and that's something I'm definitely working on, and I'm trying to add more photos and recipes when I can. But I'm always open for growth!

Thanks again, guys! You rock my face flippin OFF!!! Love you!

Here's to you, guys!
Here's to you.