Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Dear Baby...

Dear Enge 2.0,

     First things first- God is good.  I knew you for but 4 days, and I already miss you.  I had great plans for you.  We already referred to you as T.J.'s sibling.  And you still are.  I ordered the chalkboard paint for what was to be your room.  I took a picture of you and me to keep track of your growth inside me.  At church this past Sunday, when we were praying, I placed my hand on my tummy, feeling a little silly and dramatic- after all, you were so tiny.  Yet still, you were my baby.  Why not hold you during prayer?

I know you are with Jesus now, and I am not going to mourn you for months.  I am not going to get a tattoo in your honor.  But I do love you.  And I do miss you.  I wish you were with us, but God knows best.  Maybe you would have had a difficult time on this earth.  Maybe things wouldn't have developed right and you would have suffered grievously for your whole life or a small portion before passing in my arms.  Maybe God saved you from that.  Or maybe you were so perfect, God Himself wanted to meet you right away. 

Whatever the reason, I am sorry you are gone.  I wish I could have spent more time with you- heard your heartbeat, felt you kick, held you in my arms, helped you take your first steps, applauded as you received your college degree.  No amount of time with a child is enough.  I guess I just wanted you to be the one who had to say goodbye to us rather than us saying goodbye to you.

There is a time to mourn.  This is my time to mourn you.  It won't last forever.  I won't always cry when I think of you.  I already feel the healing process beginning.  The tears have slowed (for the most part, even stopped).  As a Christian, I feel more pain through this process but also more relief.  The pain?  You were a human.  Fully.  A baby, not a cluster of cells or a "fetus"... a baby.  My baby.  My second child.  That is the pain.  I cannot grieve you with the mindset that you were just 5 weeks along.  You were alive.  You were mine (lent to me for short time by the Lord).  That is the extra pain.  But where is the relief?  You are feasting with my Heavenly Father at his beautiful, heavenly table.  No fair!  I was supposed to beat you to that dinner, you little stinker!  That is the relief.  We know we will see you again and that you are currently having an AWESOME time with God.

I know Jesus is enjoying you.  I bet you look beautiful.

I cannot promise this will be the last I have to post about miscarriage, but I can say that writing helps me let go.  I have to let go, Enge 2.0.  The pain is deep, but I will be seeing you again.  Life is but a vapor... yours just happened to be a much smaller vapor than I would have preferred.  Just know that I love you and will always love you.  I will always have another baby waiting for me in Heaven. 

God is good.  He heals all wounds.  God is good.

We love you and miss you,
Mommy, Daddy, and Big Brother T.J.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Amazing Almonds

Well, most of you may not know that I have been doing Whole30 – I’m not big on posting a ton on Facebook.  Many times I just update with pictures and cute videos of T.J. – might as well leave the boring stuff about me out!  Anyway, I just finished Whole30 yesterday, and I wanted to share with you some of the best recipes I have discovered during the program that use such simple ingredients, there is really no excuse not to try them at home!

Coconut Almond Butter

Don’t worry; this doesn’t have a strong coconut taste by any means. 

Start with simple ingredients:

- 2 cups raw almonds

- 1- 1 ½ tablespoons unrefined, organic, cold-pressed coconut oil (Good quality ingredients are expensive but worth it- plus, you can use coconut oil for many other things, including moisturizer.  I use it for T.J. and myself)

- (Optional) ½ - 1 tablespoon salt (depending on how much salt you prefer- I am a salt-loving person and I have adored this recipe without any salt)

Seriously, that is it.  3 ingredients. 

Now, how to make it:

- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spread your almonds out in one layer on a large, glass baking dish.  Roast the almonds for 20-25 minutes.  Open the oven, take a peek at and smell the almonds- when there is a rich aroma and they look nice and dark brown, they are finished.

- Scoop the almonds into a food processor. (I do it when they are hot/warm)

- Add your coconut oil and salt.

- Process until that baby creams up into a delicious butter scraping the sides occasionally.

- Enjoy!

Alternate method: If you are a raw foodie, you can do the same process, just skip the roasting part.  It will, however, take a significantly longer time to cream than the roasted almonds.

Better-Than-Popcorn Roasted Almonds


- 2 cups raw almonds

- Extra Virgin Olive Oil

- Salt

Notice I didn’t give any measurements?  It is a visual/tactile process- gotta make it the way YOU like it!

Let’s get started:

- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

- Spread your almonds out in one layer on a large, glass baking dish.

- Drizzle EVOO generously on your almonds.

- Use your hands to mix/coat the almonds with the EVOO.

- Salt according to taste (I have found that I love these with a LOT of salt- like popcorn!).

- Pop those babies in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Open the oven, take a peek at and smell the almonds- when there is a rich aroma and they look nice and dark brown, they are finished.

- Allow them to cool, and THEN enjoy.  The hubby and I don’t follow this rule, and we end up repeatedly burning our tongues… but lemme tell ya something… it hurts so good.  Sometimes almonds don’t feel like they should… they hurt so good.

Alternate method: Try coconut oil for an “Almond Joy” kind of taste- YUM!

I hope you try these at home, but beware, they get super addicting!  Once you realize how little work goes into creating a whole lot of “YUM”, you won’t be able to hold yourself back.  Remember, almonds pack some awesome health benefits, but they also pack a LOT of calories and fat!  Eat responsibly… and oh yeah, try to be nice and share.  I know it is difficult, but try.  ;]