Friday, January 28, 2011

Waiting in My Wings

I just discovered this great website/blog:, (in)courage: home for the hearts of women. The most recent post is titled Waiting in My Wings by Stephanie Bryant. It is about waiting for motherhood and describes so much what I have been longing to hear. If you are waiting for motherhood, waiting for a loved one, or waiting for a miracle, please read this pasted below. I think we all can find some solace through it. I know I will be reading it again and again to remind me of 'why' I wait, and 'how' I can wait.

Waiting has been terribly sweet.

“Because sometimes in the waiting for what we long for, we praise God long when the gift comes at long last. Sometimes God has his people wait long, so our gratitude becomes deeper and wider.”
– Ann Voskamp, The Jesse Tree Journey

It was chosen for me – the waiting.

I choose my response.

I grew weary at the amount of “In God’s timing. . .” I’ve heard after these last 5 and half years of deep desire to be called “Mommy.” I know it’s true and best, but those words stirred up ugly responses, like a rake to my tender heart.

But God. . . He has shown me grace, a bent down hug when I stumbled into a pit. He gives me revelation that His perfect timing was not only for me, but my future children – His little children. That someday their story will be in the Book with Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Benjamin, Samson, Samuel, and John. All prayed for and believed for by their parents. All appointed for a miraculous time. All chosen before birth by Our Creator, to a specific job in The Kingdom.

All of these, the ones that were prayed for, longed for, waited for – they all point to Messiah – the One we all waited for. Who has come as promised and will come again. The waiting for His return is long-suffering, but Revelation imagery tells us is worth the wait. More-than-I-can-imagine worthy.

So I wait.

For my gut-wrenching prayers to bathe my sweet babes. . . of knowing, pleasing, revealing Our Father from birth to death, the moment of entrance matters. Every moment matters — the first cry, the best friend, the favorite teacher, the split second almost car wreck, the lifetime kiss that tingles, the True Love of Eternity, the life.

I can step back and know that my years of waiting are only a blink. A wink in the eye of The Lover of My Soul. I can – without seeing – love my children, bless them, and expect them. My first act as mother – to release them to God’s timing. All In God’s Timing.

So I wait.

God’s writers don’t share what these future Mamas, of such pivotal people like Jacob and John, did while they waited. I’m assuming they felt like me. Hopefully expectant, fingers white from gripping truth, faith like a roller coaster, with visions of family around their fire, knowing God will come through on His promises. . . struggling at moments, wondering if they heard correctly when their life looks so different from those surrounding them.

The Soul Counselor tells me it’s worth the wait – for us, for the child, for His Kingdom. The longer I wait the more hope God provides, the closer He becomes, and the more grand the praise is when our child arrives.

To be grouped in with women such as Sarah, Hannah, Rachel, Elizabeth and others is an honor. Friends, neighbors, and the town folk all knew their little miracle was from God. There were no other explanations.

But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly on wings like eagles. Isaiah 40:31

It’s an effortless moment to soar. Gliding on His plan-winds.

So, for now, I soar. On wings that God Himself has given. Him imparting strength and dignity, full of surprise and blessings. Moments planned when my Momma prayed for me.

I wait. Full of watchful, patient expectation. I trust God. . . and praise Him for the gift I can not yet see, but believe is coming.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dancing in the Minefields- Part 2

Along with my last post, I wanted to take some time to recollect the positive things I have experienced (or hope to) through my struggles with infertility. It is often so easy to focus on the negative in all of this and get down on ourselves or our situation. Sometimes we need reminders that there is some 'good' in all of our 'bad'.

+I have learned to rely on God. Trust in Him. Have hope through Him. Get strength from Him.
+As a commenter from my last post helped me to realize, God is suffering with us. He did not give us this trial out of anger. He loves us and is grieving with us. We are not alone. And that is comforting.
+My relationship with Colin has grown. After various embarrassing/exposing doctor's visits, there are no secrets left! Hehe. I have been able to focus on Colin and strengthening our bond so we can be better parents someday.
+We have baby names picked out, nurseries planned, rules made, schools picked out...we'll have nothing left to plan when God sends us our baby! Ha! Maybe this is a little exaggerated, but ever since we started TTC, babies have been 'all' I've thought about at times. Now, I try not to 'dream' too much, but at least I'm a few steps ahead of the game, right?
+I have been more cautious about my health. I still need to think about my body being a possible future home for a baby for 9 months. I need to give it proper nutrition and exercise so I am healthy.
+I know SO much more about my body. Who knew women were this complex?!?
+My patience has expanded. This is difficult for Type A me! I want things all lined up the way I want them. 4 years later...well...I guess God is still trying to teach me to get better at this!
+I have learned that I need to relax more. Laze around and read a book. Meet friends. Be outside. Take walks. Just. Be.
+When we do finally get pregnant/adopt, I think it will be so much sweeter for us. We've worked so hard and done so many silly things that we just 'knew' would get us pregnant, that we will be all the more thankful for our baby.
+I have met all you wonderful women. It has been a beautiful blessing for me to lean on you all and also to hopefully lift you up when you need it most.

This journey sure can feel like a minefield, but let's take a moment to dance through the journey. Want to join me??

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dancing in the Minefields- Part 1

"Oh, this is harder than we dreamed, but I believe that's what the promise is for." ~Andrew Peterson: Dancing in the Minefields

In the past week, I have been thinking a lot about pain and suffering through hardships. So many of my blogger friends have endured various trials in their lives recently. A sweet friend suffered a miscarriage, one is quitting the world of infertility blogging because of sadness and negativity bringing her down, one had a failed adoption, and others grieved through failed IUIs, IVFs, and/or years of infertility. Life sure can seem like a 'minefield' to us at times.

The first question I have to ask is why? Why does a God who loves us allow us to experience all of these branches of pain and emotions that have such an effect on every aspect of our lives? And why did He choose me (or you) specifically to endure it?

I don't have the answer. I do want to hear what you think about this tough topic. I believe that we can't fully know on earth why He chose this path for us, but I do think we will know someday in Heaven. We will be able to connect the dots and see all the intricacies of the events He molded for us.

Although I can't give a black and white answer, I can turn to my Bible and see what God has to show me about suffering, faith, and restoration.

"Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable? Will you be to me like a deceptive brook, like a spring that fails?" ~Jeremiah 15:18Jeremiah asks these rhetorical questions to express his nagging doubts about himself, his mission, and God's faithfulness. It is so very easy to be consumed with negative thoughts relating to our wounds, be it physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. We develop doubts about ourselves and God's purpose for our lives. We question ourselves and we question God. We may even blame one or the other or both.

"Then I would still have this consolation--my joy in unrelenting pain--that I had not denied the words of the Holy One." ~Job 6:10
Job spoke this about having the joy of knowing he had remained true to God, even through the struggles on earth he was given. It can be difficult to keep faith in God when we experience letdown after letdown. After a while, we bear a burden of a lack of hope in a triumph ever occuring. But, if we can remain true to God, and hold onto our faith that He is in control and has a purpose, we can make it through anything. He never gives us more than we can handle. It's hard for us type A's to give up control, but we must surrender.

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." ~1 Peter 4:12-13
Like the last, this is a tough verse to chew on....rejoicing in our sufferings...what does that look like? Sometimes I pray, "Lord, please let me get pregnant. I want so badly to give you glory over this." A lot of times, I have an "IF this...THEN I will be happy" attitude towards my trials. But, can we put 'ourselves' aside and rejoice in God THROUGH the trials? I think we can. I pray we will.

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." ~Revelation 21:4
Heaven...a picture of no tears and no pain. That is a promise from God. I like to picture Heaven based on the Bible, but also through a book I read, lyrics to "I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me, and the song "City On Our Knees" by TobyMac:
Tonight’s the night
For the sinners and the saints

Two worlds collide
In a glorious display
Cuz its all love tonight
When we step across the line
We can sail across the sea
To a city with one king
A city on our knees
A city on our knees
It make me happy thinking about Heaven as a place where we can worship our king and be at peace for eternity. Earth can be a seemingly unbearable place at times, but God gave us His Promise. And we can certainly rejoice in that.

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." ~Hebrews 11:1

To be continued.....

Caesar Club Sandwich

This is a Barefoot Contessa recipe that I just LOVE. I am pretty sure my husband rates it at a 10 as well. All the ingredients together just melt in your mouth and the homemade caesar dressing is the star! After you make this, you will never want to go back to a turkey and cheddar sandwich again. 

2 split (1 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
Good olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta
1 large garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste
1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
1 large ciabatta bread
2 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry
12 sun-dried tomatoes, in oil
2 to 3 ounces Parmesan, shaved


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan skin side up. Rub the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until cooked through. Cool slightly, discard the skin and bones, and slice the meat thickly. Set aside.

Meanwhile, place the pancetta on another sheet pan in a single layer. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until crisp. Set aside to drain on paper towels.

Place the garlic and parsley in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until minced. Add the anchovy paste, mustard, lemon juice, and mayonnaise and process again to make a smooth dressing. (Refrigerate the Caesar dressing if not using it immediately.)

Slice the ciabatta in half horizontally and separate the top from the bottom. Toast the bread in the oven, cut side up, for 5 to 7 minutes; cool slightly. Spread the cut sides of each piece with the Caesar dressing. Place half the arugula on the bottom piece of bread and then layer in order: the sun-dried tomatoes, shaved Parmesan, crispy pancetta, and sliced chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and finish with another layer of arugula. Place the top slice of ciabatta on top and cut in thirds crosswise. Serve at room temperature.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Your Infertile New Years Resolutions

*I just discovered . It has given me a comic relief during the trying times of infertility. If you feel like you need a good laugh, or perhaps just thoughts from someone who understands, check it out! Below are new years resolutions for infertiles I found on the site. Do you have any to add?

Sure you can have those boring old New Years Resolutions like losing weight, joining a gym or saving money but here are some more interesting ones that ring true for us fabulous infertiles.

1.Stop using the word ‘cervical mucus’ in a sentence. This word might be socially acceptable to chat about at your fertility appointment but not as much during your business board meeting.

2.Stop stalking your fertility clinic. You call your clinic in the morning and they do not call you back until 3pm. It drives you crazy but according to federal law, you don’t have the right to keep calling and calling.

3.Buy toilet paper in bulk. Whether you’ve been trying for a few months or a few years, buying the TP in bulk is just best.

4.Think of a creative response when you hear a pregnancy announcement. Sure, crying alone in the bathroom is fun but try to be creative. We suggest “Radical. That sure is neat-o and swell news!” or “Well golly gee wiz. If I’d have known you’re pregnant, I would’ve baked you my special apple tartlet” (say with a country accent).

5.Stop pre-failing a fertility procedure. Your IUI or IVF cycle is next month but you seem to believe that you already failed it.

6.Stop buying pregnancy sticks. They don’t seem to work and you can save your money for period-related alcohol and chocolate.

7.Stop crying about infertility in private. You spend a lot of time sobbing in the shower, in the bathroom or alone in your car. How about some open public displays of hormonal rage and hysteria?

8.Stop glaring at pregnancy bellies (or at least try to fake a smile).

9.Stop feeling your breasts in public. Do they feel more swollen? Do they feel tender? Squeezing them together in public might scare other people’s children.

10.Contact Facebook and ask them to start banning all ultrasound and belly photos. Ask to speak to FB president Mark Zuckerberg directly.

Glazed Lemon Cookies

Makes 48 cookies

Hands-On Time: 20m
Total Time: 1hr 45m

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more if necessary
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest


1.With an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add the egg yolks, vanilla, and salt and beat to combine. Gradually add the flour, mixing until just incorporated.

2.Divide the dough in half and shape into 1 1/4-inch-diameter logs. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

3.Heat oven to 350° F. Slice the logs into 3/8-inch-thick pieces and space them 1 1/2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until lightly golden, 16 to 20 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.

4.In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, and zest until it forms a thick but pourable glaze (add more lemon juice if necessary). Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze and let set, about 15 minutes.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Needing Motherhood

Although hope has been glued to every cycle since we began trying to conceive (even the 3 months of birth control pills), the failed attempts have piled up and put an end to my imagination of pregnancy actually occuring. I used to dream of getting pregnant--figuratively and literally. I would come up with perfect baby names, decorate a nursery in my mind, think about what sports or instruments they may play, what they might look like, who they might become. Perhaps my subconscious is protecting me, but now I try not to let my mind wander too much into the unknown. I want to, but my mind does not let me.

In thinking about our womanly instincts of 'needing' motherhood, I have reasons to no end of why I want a baby. But honestly, it seems as if two of my top reasons do not even include 'me'. I want nothing more than to make Colin a dad. I know he is yearning for a baby. He wants to become a dad so bad, but I haven't been able to give that to him, and that hurts. I think it hurts more than all the reasons I want a baby for myself. I also can't wait for the day to make my parents grandparents.

What is/was your motivation for becoming a mother? Hands down, I can not wait to create/adopt a baby with the man I love and give God glory through whatever process He uses. But, I can't help but hunger for providing that dream for my husband and parents as well.

Until then, I will be praying He uses me and provides another purpose for my life. I pray He helps you find your purpose and grants you the desires of your hearts in His perfect timing. And when He does that for you and for me, it will be beautiful.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

We Do: A Look Back

"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,
and the two will become one flesh." ~Ephesians 5:31

I got married to Colin on January 6th, 2007. Here is a look back.

How It All Began
We "met" on December 11, 2003 online. Yes, online. Colin was minutes away from ending his free 2 week access to when I sent him a message saying hello. We shared e-mail and msn addresses and within two months, we could not spend enough time getting to know each other. Colin lived in Gig Harbor, WA, and me, in Eau Claire, WI.

Our First Date
After Colin called me for the first time on February 4, 2004, he called me every day after, whether for hours or for a few minutes just to say good night. Colin flew to meet me in Wisconsin from May 1-3. My dad was with me at the airport, because my parents were a little afraid of this 'internet guy'. He surprised me with 2 dozen pink roses at the airport. On May 2, he took me to Olive Garden.

The Proposal
I was in Washington from December 19, 2004-January 7, 2005. On Christmas Day in Colin's mother's home in Puyallup, Colin told me he remembered that he had one more present for me, but had forgotten to put it under the tree earlier. I was completely unsuspecting. I unwrapped the box, and inside a white jewelry box was a 25 cent ring that lit up. Colin told me he could not afford the real thing...haha, silly guy...then got down on one knee and pulled out the real ring. I gasped. Didn't cry, but was in shock. We can't really remember what he said more than that he couldn't promise me the world, but he could promise me he would always be there for me. He asked me to marry him and I say yes! I couldn't stop staring at my ring.
Colin flew back with me to Wisconsin to celebrate with my family. We planned for a January 6, 2007 wedding in Wisconsin. Colin moved here permanently the summer before, after graduating with a criminal justice degree. I was still in college at UW-Eau Claire for music therapy.

Wedding Preparations
I chose red roses as a theme and chose a white strapless gown with roses down the back. Tuxedos were black with a black vest; Colin wore a white tie, while my bridesmaids had black dresses and each carried a single red rose. I selected the Spring Valley Congregational Church to get married at, because I attended youth group there my senior year of high school and became a christian at that time. The officiant was the woman pastor who led the youth group.

Our Wedding Day
The weather was 30 degrees, sunny, with snow on the ground. Morning memories included much anticipation of seeing each other and marrying. Colin had a bridesmaid send over a note saying he loves me and he will see me soon. He called me Mrs. Mumford.

Our Honeymoon
Cancun, Mexico. We basked in the sun, swam in the ocean and pool bar, and Colin won a bottle of tequila by playing a movie trivia game. I tried frog legs for the first time...Colin wouldn't even taste them.

                                              My best friend Lia helping me put my garter on:

Me with my parents and brother, Ryan:
Colin's mom and step-dad, three brothers and friend:
Our wedding party:
                                                                             I do!
                       Delicious cake: red velvet, creme de menthe, marble, and white with raspberry:

Monday, January 3, 2011

Mustard Herb Beef Stew with Rosemary Polenta

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. snipped fresh parsley
1 tsp. snipped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1-1/2 lb. boneless beef chuck, cut in 1-to 1-1/2-inch pieces
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Medium onion, peeled and cut in wedges
4 carrots, peeled, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 8-oz. pkg. cremini mushrooms, halved if large
8 tiny Yukon Gold potatoes, halved
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. spicy brown mustard
1 14-oz. can beef broth
1 12-oz. bottle dark porter beer or non-alcholic beer
1 bay leaf
Crusty bread slices

1. In large bowl combine flour, parsley, thyme, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add beef, a few pieces at a time; stir to coat. Reserve leftover flour mixture.

2. In 6-quart Dutch oven heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown beef. Stir in onions, carrots, mushrooms, and potatoes. Cook and stir 3 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, mustard, and remaining flour mixture. Add broth, beer, and bay leaf. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 1 to 1-1/4 hours until beef is tender. Remove and discard bay leaf. Serve with crusty bread. Makes 6 (1-1/2-cup) servings.

Rosemary Polenta

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups milk
2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup good grated Parmesan
Flour, olive oil, and butter, for frying

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, rosemary, salt, and pepper and saute for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, half-and-half, and milk and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly sprinkle the cornmeal into the hot milk while stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for a few minutes, until thickened and bubbly. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan. Pour into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch pan, smooth the top, and refrigerate until firm and cold.

Cut the chilled polenta into 12 squares, as you would with brownies. Lift each one out with a spatula and cut diagonally into triangles. Dust each triangle lightly in flour. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large saute pan and cook the triangles in batches over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, turning once, until browned on the outside and heated inside. Add more butter and oil, as needed. Serve immediately.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Crowning the Year

You crown the year with Your good blessings, and You leave abundance in Your wake. ~Psalm 65:11

I just came upon this verse and love it for the new year. I like to think about what God 'crowning' the year might look like for me...I wonder what kind of 'abundance' He will leave for me this year. I wonder what He has planned for you, too!

Dear sisters, I think about you often. When you hurt, I hurt. When you smile through your writing, I smile. We are all bonded through our pain and triumphs. I pray for you and your families. I pray that God will crown your year with many blessings and leave for you an abundance of love, faith, and hope, among many other miracles!

Deepest Fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

~Marianne Williamson