Thursday, March 31, 2011

Those things that touch the very depths of your soul

When I started blogging, it was to keep a few out-of-town family members up to-date on our lives.  I had been keeping Breanna's Caringbridge site updated but I wanted to be able to incorporate other family doing's in with it, but didn't want to do it on the CaringBridge site.  So alas, motherofamiraclebaby.blogspot was formed.  For the first two years the post were very sporadic.  I'd post 2 or 3 times, here and there, and then forget about the blog for months until someone would say, 'You haven't posted anything in a while, what's going on with you all?'

Sure there were stories about Breanna's appointments, but no one really saw me in my life.  I was in the role of caregiver, but I wasn't transparent within that role.  Maybe because I didn't want anyone outside of those who I talk to, to see a me that struggled to handle any situation.

But I even though I wasn't handling every situation with grace, I wanted to put up the facade that I was.

There were many instances that I knew God was putting in front of me to help me grow as a person, and to grow in my faith, but they challenges were hard.  And often times, I fell short.

Yet in my mind, pretending to be this 'great, wonderful, nice' person was so much easier than letting people see the me that falls short.

When I found the first tumor, and started blogging about that journey as a form of therapy for myself (back at a time when my blog readers were very few and far between, and only people who really cared about our lives), I opened up and wrote about my fears and my faith...I guess you could say I opened myself up to a place where people could see past the exterior of what I let most people see.  People I didn't even know started emailing me their stories, and telling me how much my story and strength touched them.  Trust me, that was never the try and 'touch' other people. 

Going through what I was going through and simply working through those emotions in a way that was healthy, and that had the least amount of impact on my children was my only goal in it all.

Some days I hid behind a while Breanna was napping and the big kids were at school was, in itself, a tremendous form of therapy for me.  It was my quiet time, my time with God, my time to make these meals that would ultimately benefit my family, and quite frankly, the process of cooking and taking pictures while doing it, kept my mind off of reality for a little while.  And who doesn't love a quick recipe?!  I know I sure do.

As time went on, and my blog followers grew and blog hits increasing, a part of me wanted to shut it down.  I didn't want all these people I didn't really know (and some I do know) to see my pain.  Yet at the same time, reading other people's blog who had went through similar situations was one of the most comforting things to me.  After talking to several of my friends, and their encouragement to keep it going because it could be helping someone else, I decided to keep pushing along with it. And really allowing people to see the truth behind what it feels like to walk this walk.

But I have to admit, at times, it's hard to go back and read where I was four months ago.  Those feelings come flooding back and it feels like I'm there all over again.

However, the friendships that have been developed (even if they are only through the computer), and the people that I know IRL that have sent me messages over something that resonated with them, has been a bigger blessing in my life than I could have ever imagined.

I'm blown away by the fact that people are just so kind hearted sometimes. 

I'm blessed in many areas of my life, and this blog, this piece of modern technology, has only added to those blessings.  This whole experience has touched the very depths of my soul.

Thank you all for taking my heart and my words into your hearts, and for loving me so completely!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chicken Salad Taco's

Just because I haven't posted a food blog in a LONG time...

and maybe because my cupboards are almost bare (I haven't been grocery shopping since we got back from our trip in an attempt to use up all or most of the items that we still had in an attempt from saving them from going bad).

Because my kids will eat these any day of the week.

and lastly because I can sneak in a few extra ingredients and the kids have no clue they are in there.

See those pepers right kids pick them out of everything I cook....UNLESS....I trick them by using THIS item below.

Whoever invented this wonderful piece of machine/cooking item is pure GENIUS in my book!

And this is how it's done folks....

Binding ingredients.  2 Tbsp of each.

Add half a packet of taco seasoning and Ranch dressing mix, and mix together really well.

Trust me, the dressing mix gives it an unexpected hint of pure pleasure in your mouth.

Put some mixture on a taco shell.

Yes....we're totally using paper plates tonight.
I know....I know....Kate, I'm terrible.
I even have a dishwasher.
I just want to have a lazy night of cuddling with my kids watching Tangled, and then a late night of cuddling with Chris watching our new releases after he gets home from his CPR renewal class.
So, paper plates it is....and ugly floral ones at that!  :)

Top with lettuce and cheese for the kids.
Lettuce, cheese, and salsa for Chris and I.

And you have a yummy, quick meal with some veggies snuck in!

Friday, March 11, 2011


I spent Wednesday and Thursday of this week up north with E.

Our time was spent shopping (which brought some much needed laughter...the kind that occurs between close friends when you talk about things with each other that you'd never admit to anyone else...except maybe your spouse! :)), running errands, picture taking, crazy out of the way driving to calm food cravings (on my behalf), tears, hugs, etc.

My heart is soooo heavy for her right now, and I would give anything to take away her pain.

I know most of you that follow along here know very well the special place that E holds in my heart and in my life.  But for those of you that don't....E and I met in Chem Lab in college some MANY years ago.  We still to this day laugh about all the mishaps that occurred in that lab.  And yes, only two people who are very much in a sense 'dorky smart' would find those things funny. 

While E and I spent hours upon hours together in that class, we never really hung out outside of class until both of us started dating guys that were in the same program and were friends.  Then our little group (of about 10 people) all became inseparable during our college years. 

E went through a tremendously terrible time and it only brought us closer together....until circumstances caused her to cut all connection to the life she knew.  None of which had anything to do with me.

Fast forward about 3 years (in which both of us had had life changes/name changes/etc...where we couldn't find each other again even though we had both tried).  One day I was in the check-out line at Wal-Mart (in a town three hours from my hometown that I had only moved to because my ex C's family lived there), and I hear someone say my name.  At first, I thought surely someone else with the same name was close by, because I didn't know anyone except C's family in that town, so surely no one would be talking to me.  Then out of the corner of my eye I see E.

We spent a lot of time standing in the middle of the aisle, both in disbelief that we had both moved and we now only lived 15 minutes away from each other.  We exchanged numbers and decided the next week we'd go Christmas shopping.

Needless to say, that was 5 years ago, and we're closer today than ever.  There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that that (us running back into each other) was a God thing.  I have no doubt that that was His intention all along.

Over the course of the 8 out of 11 years since we've known each other, we've been by each other's side through every thing we've walked through as individuals. The good, the bad, and the ugly!  Divorce, bad relationships, births of our children, marriage, sickness, surgeries, and death.  As you know from my previous post, she's a second mother to my children.  She was there, holding my hand when my own child was clinging to life, and she was there to be my voice and run my household when I underwent my mastectomy several months back.

She's more than a friend....

She's the fifth sister that God intended me to have! (And we always joke that one day we'll be Mother-in-laws together, because our kids (my girls and her boys) are all the best friends, and we're convinced at least two of them will end up dating and getting married.  ha ha)

This week my heart is breaking for her as she is, undoubtedly, going through one of the hardest transitions she's ever faced in her life. 

Luckily, she has a pretty fantastic husband and some pretty sweet boys to lean on during this hard time, and I know in her heart she knows her granny is now at peace, but that doesn't mean her heart isn't hurting more than she ever thought it could.

I wish I could take it all away, and in a perfect world I would be able to. 

But since I can't...I'll spend every day, on my knees, praying that God allows each and every day to get a little easier.  And that when she thinks of granny, only happy thoughts will fill her mind.  That she realizes in those moments of weakness and uncertainty, that granny will be there with her, giving her the strength and courage to go forward.

Will you all please pray with me for her?!  I know she'd really appreciate it.