I know the book, the chapter, the verse

I have never read the bible cover to cover. I will say that I have started to read sections of the Bible to keep my grounded. To allow me to remove some of this weight from my shoulders.  I have written down scriptures that mean a lot to me.  I write these to pass them on, as a peace offering of healing. To those whom may stumble by and need words of inspiration. Something to turn to… a book… a chapter… a verse.  Most of all to know to let those whom need these words that someone else has felt these things too.  I have. I understand 

Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know I have plans for you”  I have quoted this verse a million times. I have come close to tattooing it on my wrist so i don’t forget it. I will never understand his plans. I am not sure I will ever completely accept them, however I am going o trust that he knew what he was doing

Romans 5:8 – “I loved you at your darkest“. This is John’s verse. He has loved me through the hardest of times and the worst of times. 

Samuel 1.17 – “You are the one we prayed for“.  I carried 2 of my 5 pregnancies to full term. It was magical and perfection. 

James 1:27 – “refuse to let the world corrupt you”  It is hard at times, to read the headlines. It makes you think of all the bad and ugly isn’t he world.  It is also hard to push your chin up through the negativity in your own head. This makes me remember that I need to push through.

And it my darkest hours… I must undestand

2 Timothy 4:17 – “But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength“. 

Proverbs 31:25 – ” She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without feat of the future”  

The future. Remember the future has millions of possibilities in store. 
Xoxo,

 Bryn

An Untold Story

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We are constantly surrounded by voices. The last couple weeks everyone has been talking. Between Trump becoming President, women’s marches- it has been non-stop voices. There are plenty of people stating their opinion, defending their point of view, and others biting their tongue.  I have been biting my tongue but completely unrelated to politics.

In the midst of every person blasting information with a “I am Women Hear Me Roar” attitude and pushing details about how men shouldn’t control our bodies I wasn’t even in control of mine. On Friday the 13th – I had a miscarriage. It was my third. I did this only days after talking with a friend about her painful situation. I reached out to this high school friend, knowing and understanding the pain she was feeling. Telling her not to go at this alone. Then doing the complete opposite of that only days later.

For my first it was on Thanksgiving in 2011. I was ashamed and brokenhearted. I told very few people. I didn’t talk about it.  It was this secret that only few knew, but no one dare talk about. I attempted to sweep it under the rug and forced the scientific side of my brain to overcome the emotional side and say that this is common just not talked about.

My second was after my Son- Brandt.  I was traveling for work. I spoke to a room of 200 kids all while secretly having a miscarriage alone. in a hotel. in Indiana.   I told my husband in a short conversation on the phone while sitting outside of a Walgreen’s. I told my sister through text message.  I closed off myself. I was hurt, mad and didn’t understand.  I was a mess.  It took me over a year to figure my shit out.  On my 30th Birthday I got a tattoo, I promised I would gather up the pieces and become me again. With a new found hope we welcomed our daughter – Tessa Rae into the world a year later.

My third was on Friday the 13th only a couple of days ago. At work I was preparing for a horrible ice storm to sweep through the Midwest.  I knew exactly what was happening, I didn’t feel “right”. It started, I made the painful call to my husband. I wiped my tears away and I sat back at my desk and stared at the screen. I went to a dinner with friends.  They talked about babies and pregnancy. I lost it. I stormed out. I couldn’t handle the casual conversation that seemed to rip my broken heart further into pieces.  Just a week earlier I had told a friend pieces of the passage below. I was saying this to myself on the drive home. I write this as a reminder to myself.  A note to each of you who know this untold pain.

It’s okay to hurt…  It’s completely okay to hurt. You are mourning the loss of your baby. Whom you were the only one to truly know. You have no funeral, you have no set time to mourn but you must create this time for yourself.  The pain is intense, physically and mentally.   The desire for motherhood is so great that it is difficult to capture.  For you motherhood started at the first positive pregnancy test and grows with each minute of each day and each heartbeat.

 “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you” – Maya Angelou

It’s okay to feel… Your feelings are valid and warranted All Of Them. Pain. Anger. Grief. You need to feel these things.

-Pain is inevitable.  You have lost a child, remember it was a child to you.  It will take you weeks to recover physically and mentally, you will be fine one minute, and holding back tears the next.  Don’t tell yourself to suck it up- allow yourself to feel. People will ask you how far along you were like this is a measure how painful it was for you.  It is not.  It is a question nearly everyone asks. Even though it may break your heart… or make you angry.

-Anger is natural.  I was angry, and didn’t understand. I was angry at the 16-year-old who was complaining about being pregnant at the doctor office while I was waiting for the results I already knew to be true. At the insensitivity to the person that gave what they felt to be comforting advise that there must have been something wrong with the fetus.  At the news story of a lady with the baby who did drugs her entire pregnancy with beautiful twins.

-Grief is a process.There is no funeral, no service, no obituary to announce it to the world.  That is why it seems to be a painful secret that you carry.   There is no natural way to tell anyone – so you end up blurting it out in a conversation with a friend, or texting it to your sister and mother because you can’t bear to say the words out loud because that makes it real. Grief is love… love that you want so badly to give, but cannot.

Surround yourself with strength… Lean on your husband for he is also in pain but can be your strength. Reach out to a friend. Tell them you need to talk, or to breathe, go to a movie so you can be with your people but not have to talk.

For those who are reading this to find comfort for a friend.  Ask them if they want to talk about it. Many need to talk about it. It is part of the healing process, which is exactly why I am writing this post.

I always wonder who you would have been- Unknown

xoxo, Bryn

 

 

Day 15_ Chop Suey Casserole

My mom made this growing up. I have no idea if this is even an accurate recipe. I just started making this in college and continue to.  This is as close to “Chinese” as I got until I was well past the age of 21.  It is something that my entire family loves.

It is easy. You can prepare it before you cook it and refrigerate for a day or two. Not to mention the leftovers are equally as yummy.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 2 cups minute rice
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2  onion- diced
  • 2 stalks celery- diced
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.   Grab a pan out of the cabinet and let’s get started.

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Start by browning your ground beef and breaking it into small pieces over medium heat. I always cook ground beef in bulk and put in the fridge… I will make pasta tomorrow so one less step I have to do tomorrow.

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Ask your sou chef to dice up some onion and celery.  Make sure you give him as little room as possible. Surround your entire prep area in Legos. That seems like a great idea.

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Complement your sou chef on his handy work… Act like the Legos aren’t driving you nuts.

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Heat 1 1/2 cups of water in the microwave until hot.  Pour 2 cups rice into the water and cover.  I do this in the casserole dish I am going to cook it in because its one less dish to wash. This allows for the cooking process of the rice to start cooking but not completely.  This is a complete cheater step. jan15_7

Sit the rice aside while you finish your ground beef mixture…

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Add the onion and celery and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and cook on low heat until you take a bit of the crunch out of the onion and celery.  5 minutes or so.

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Add the rest of your soy sauce… or add a little more. I may or may not sneak in an extra tablespoon or dash here and there I love soy sauce… and black pepper and garlic salt  add those too and mix together. Then add your cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, and ground beef mixture.  Stir well making sure you are coating everything.

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Place the casserole into a 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.  If you removed this from the refrigerator it will take more time like 1 hr-1 15 minutes.

Here comes the controversial step… My mom used to put crushed potato chips on top in the last 5-10 minutes of cooking. My husband does not like the chips. I love the chips. However in a marriage you have to compromise so I didn’t put them on today.

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The casserole should be bubbly and warm, and slightly browned on the top. Yummo

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This is truly easy and wonderful.  Enjoy

xoxo,

Bryn

Day 8- Perfect White Bread

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Bread seems intimidating to make. I have had several failed attempts, however this recipe is awesome. I got it from the Baker Upstairs.  I followed the recipe to the T. Which is rare for me.   The key is to make sure you are using warm water and you have a warm place for the bread to rise. It will be delicious trust me!

Ingredients:

  • 4 and 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast (or the equivalent of two packets)
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into pieces
  • 2 and 2/3 cup additional warm water
  • 9-10 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, for brushing the tops of the loaves
  • Additional butter/cooking spray, for greasing your rising bowl and loaf pans

 

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Start with warm water (warm as in just below hot) add 1 teaspoon sugar and 4 1/2 teaspoons yeast. Wait 3-5 minutes and allow for your yeast mixture to start to bubble and foam.

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Add a 1/4 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon salt… control your excitement!

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Add 2 2/3 cups warm water… then start slowly adding your flour and mix on a low speed. Start with 5 cups of flour and keep adding till the dough is pulls away from the bowl into a ball.  For me it was 9.5 cups.

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Place the dough into a greased bowl (spray with cooking spray). Lightly spray the top of the dough too. Cover with a damp towel…  ( I wrote damn towel first… you can use either). Place in a warm place. When I made bread for 4-H it was August and I put it in my car outside- baking in the sun. It will double or triple quickly. Today it is the winter, it is -4 today, and I place it in a small room with a space heater. It is my bathroom don’t judge me. Okay judge me but its the smallest room in my house and naturally the warmest.   This is the only way it will double in size.

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Let rise for an hour and then roll it on a lightly floured surface.

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The original recipe makes 3 loaves of bread. I only have 1 loaf pan. So I made a couple different types. Divide your dough into thirds.  For all three I used a rolling pin and rolled out into a square about a 1/2 inch thick.

The first- I rolled this up tucked the edges and placed into a loaf pan.

The second- I rolled and cut into 2 inch pieces and placed into mini loaf pans. (shown below)

The third- I folded the rolled dough in half and then rolled and cut into rounds about 1 1/2 inch rounds.

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Place back into your warm location for another hour to double in size.

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Once doubled use your last tablespoon of butter – melt it and brush on the tops generously.

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Bake at 425 degrees 10-15 minutes until golden brown and beautiful.

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Add some butter and eat your heart out.

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xoxo, Bryn

Tribe Time Thursday

I mentioned that TIME is my big wish for 2017.  Hence Tribe Time Thursday… Sometimes it is the little things. The little. Tiny trips. 

We are probably those people that you talk about in the grocery store.   The 20-somethings roll there eyes and explain they will never be us. The 40 somethings laugh because they have been there. The 60somethings relive it every now and again with young grandchildren.

John and I started shopping together when we were dating. John always pushes the cart. I toss stuff in the cart acting like I have a plan. Today we push two kids in a race car cart. If you haven’t ever allowed your kids the race car cart… don’t start.  It is like pushing a limo through downtown L.A. during rush hour.  It’s long and hard to push especially with 50 pounds of kid and 50 pound of groceries. The only thing worse is allowing for your 3-5 year-old to push their own cart.  Then we add a whole different layer of stress.   We try to o everything in our power to not let that happen. 

The plus of us always going as a family is that Brandt is used to being in the store. He behaves himself for the most part. he doesn’t throw a fit. This is because at the end he gets HyVee Chinese at the end. Brandt loves Hyvee chinese. 

We are a family we do these things together. I don’t know why but I love grocery shopping. I love doing it as a family.  But I am sorry for the space we take up, the kids jabbering through the aisles, the ankles that have been hit.  

;.

Jan 4 – Baked Chicken Thighs and Roasted Sweet Potatoes

One pan dinners are excellent. Very little clean-up, Throw it in the oven and forget it. This is the first of my lighter dishes for the year. Yes I did resist on the cheese and didn’t add any.

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Ingredients:

  • Chicken Thighs
  • Olive Oil
  • Seasoning Salt
  • Pepper
  • Kosher Salt
  • 1-2 Sweet Potatoes
  • 1/2 cup  onion
  • 3-4 Button Mushrooms (optional)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees

Place a piece of aluminum foil onto a baking sheet. This is only for easier clean-up.  Lay your chicken thighs onto the baking sheet. Lightly sprinkle or brush olive oil onto the chicken and season.  I season generously with seasoning salt and pepper.  Chicken thighs are inexpensive, usually sold in packages of 6-8.  Don’t fear the bone-in chicken, the bone-in chicken is delicious with lots of flavor.  If you would like you can easily peel the skin off of these prior to cooking.

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Place the chicken into the oven for 12 minutes to start the cooking process.  While this is cooking peel and cube your sweet potato and rough chop your onion and Mushrooms.   Place the sweet potato into a bowl and lightly sprinkle with olive oil and kosher salt. Toss till covered. After cooking for 12 minutes pull the baking sheet out of the oven and put the sweet potatoes/onions/ mushrooms onto the baking sheet around the chicken.

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Cook for an additional 15-20 minutes till your chicken is done and your sweet potatoes are tender.

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Enjoy your meal and allow for your husband to do the dishes. Love you John!

xoxo, Bryn

 

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I’ll call your name, but I won’t listen…

Mom. Mom. Mom!

jan4_1Brandt is 4 and precious. I love him.  Some things I will never understand. Why does he say my names a million times and yet not listen when I answer? Does this happen to anyone else? Am I stuck in this bad mommy parallel universe alone? Seriously…

 

I want to scream back Brandt. Brandt. Brandt… and then casually walk away.  Not say anything… but I don’t (usually). I usually answer his calls, I do exactly what he asks me to  “may I have chocolate milk, and 3 soft cookies from the red package right now?”   I make some comment about “is that how we ask?” He says “please” while never removing his eyes from the cartoon Blaze and the Monster Machines. I walk away get the milk, and cookies and feeling good about my parenting. “Boom he said please“. I ignore the fact that I had to prompt him.

We do these things everyday.  We listen and perform every one of our kids requests in some manor.  We bargain with them, we ask them to say please and thank you, we tell him to give Aunt Jess a hug. We do the best to not raise complete assholes.  And I have no idea if I am doing it right… no one does.

I talk with lots of friends about parenting and it’s not easy. It’s not for the faint of heart.  When you are not a parent you have a ton of ideas of the parent you will be. You make statements like ” I will never cook speciality meals for our kids”  I am eating those words every night that I microwave chicken nuggets.  Parenting makes you tough as nails and soft as velvet all at the same time.  We are all just pulling ourselves together with what time we have.  Don’t stress about it.  Parent your own way, structure your family how you need to so you can survive. I assure you. If you are worrying about it you are doing a great job.

xoxo,

Bryn