Daughter, Wife, Mother... this is what I do

Friday, October 22, 2010


So, this new magical trimester has not been so magical as I was anticipating. I won't go any further, but let's just say I know baby is doing well because I'm... not. Ok, that's a little melodramatic. I'm not awful. But I take back everything I said in my last post about feeling more normal. Lies. All lies.

With Tyler out of town, (that's right, he's in Tacoma, Washington learning about how SOMA does Missional Communities. If you heard Jeff Vanderstelt at VERGE then you'll know this is very exciting and I'm a little sad I'm not with him.) I've been trying to be intentional about seeking out community. You know, being with people? When I'm by myself, I have a tendency to hole myself up like a little hermit. And I LOVE IT! However, I know this isn't good for my soul. And honestly, I've been so blessed by spending time with people. This probably doesn't sound like much of a revolution, but people are great. Jesus is better. He's what makes spending time with people wonderful. That being said, I did take tonight off to watch a good movie and lay on the couch. (My most favorite Friday night past time. You teachers out there know the joy. ) With all this laying on the couch I've had lots of time to tweet, facebook and blog stalk. In the midst of all this, I thought I'd enlighten you as to what a day in the life of a close-to-15-week-preggo looks like in terms of food.

Mostly because I was trying to recount it for myself just to see how I was doing. (And maybe so we can all get a good laugh, or at least some sort of wide-eyed reaction.) So... here we go.

Disclaimer: I understand that not everything that I ate today was the best choice for me and my baby. However, when it comes to it not coming back up, this is just how it has to be. So no comments. :)

-Half a whole wheat bagel with a little cream cheese and sliced strawberries
-Attempted cup of yogurt and strawberries. But I bought a new brand of yogurt and it was disgusting. I like Horizons Non-Fat Vanilla much better than whatever that Randall's junk was that I bought. Ate two bites, then poured it down the drain at school.

-Half of the cake-like blueberry pastry they serve my kids for breakfast. Don't judge, they're delicious.
-Handful of almonds
-String Cheese

-Medium Spinach salad with carrots, orange and red bell peppers and cucumbers. Note: I did not eat much of the spinach. It wasn't agreeing with me today. But I did eat all of those good veggies inside. :)
- Lean Cuisine Pepperoni Pizza. (The only Lean Cuisine worth eating. I love them.)
-String Cheese

After Lunch Snack
-Handful of almonds

After school snack/dinner
-Chick-Fil-A Chicken nuggets and fries. I swear I ordered an 8 pack. Somehow I came out with a 12 pack. I may or may not have eaten all of them. Lemonade to drink.

After snack/dinner snack
-2 1/2 pickles. I realized somewhere at about my second pickle that these were probably not such a good idea. But they just tasted so dang good. I stopped.

Late night snack
(I'm a little ashamed of this one.)
-Lean Cuisine Pepperoni Pizza. I was so hungry! And it was just sitting there in my freezer!! Honestly... as I was eating it I didn't really enjoy it. I just get to the point where I've eaten everything that I can think to eat and I just get lazy. In hind sight I should have just sliced up some cucumber or something.

OH! And I drink lots of water throughout the day. That should get me some points, right? I go through 2 large water bottles during the school day and one after school. Plus a glass of water before and during sleep. Baby's thirsty!

Here's one thing that amazes me about my new and heavily improved diet: I do not ever crave sugar. Fruit is usually the only thing that sounds really good that's sweet. The occasional Rocky Road ice cream bite has it's appeal every now and then. So weird. I am usually fending off cookie cravings like crazy. And let's be honest, giving in to them from time to time. Is that supposed to mean something about what I'm having?

Hope you enjoyed recounting my eating today. I feel a little bit disgusted. I think that last pizza just sent me over the edge.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pregnancy, Prayer and Comfort (food)

Just to preface, I don't think this blog is going to be about any beautiful, convicting revelations of myself or my God. (I think I put a lot of pressure on myself to write ONLY life changing blog posts. I'm an idealist.)

I'm currently in my 14th week of pregnancy. That means I'm (normally) feeling MUCH better. Although, I feel just as, if not more, tired. But I will take tired any day of the week over how I've felt the past month or so. It's all part of the growing a baby game, though AND I have an absolutely incredible, (learning to be) servant-hearted husband who loves his pathetic pregnant wife SUPER well. I've been getting more back rubs than usual, LOTS of Rocky Road ice cream runs, sparkling clean kitchens, and nicely folded laundry. He really is incredible. And the manliest man you'll ever meet. ;)

T- 14 days until we get to find out if sweet baby David is a he or a she! I'm so excited to have a gender to refer to instead of the awkward "... uh, it. I mean baby! I mean he or she..." I was chatting with my friend Lindsey and we have big plans for a gender reveal party. If you have any (cheap) fun ideas, please send them my way!

In other news... I'm currently reading A Praying Life by Paul Miller. I started reading it this summer, but put it down and never got to pick it back up. But some sweet college girls, Katie and myself are reading it together. If you struggle with prayer, (Wanting to, but not being able to. Having great intentions, but seeing them fizzle out...), this book will pierce the deep parts of your heart that are hindering your prayer life. My biggest paradigm shift has been this:

-Prayer (and I would say anything in my life, really) is not about experiencing God. So often, I find myself in search of a feeling of spirituality. I want to feel peace, comfort, love, goosebumps, whatever. But this is not what my life is for. This is not why Jesus came as a man, died a death He didn't deserve, and conquer our worst enemy by being raised from the dead. My prayer life is about knowing God, not experiencing Him. It is a sweet dinner with my dearest family. No agenda, no focus on conversation. It's a relationship.

I'm sure I'll be writing about this more later. But I'm excited to dig in deeper to knowing God as opposed to seeking an experience with Him.

And... here is the real reason for this blog post.

I just pulled out of the oven, one of my favorite dinners of all time. Katie made it for me once, and it's been a coveted comfort food ever since. (That Katie, she's an amazing cook.) It's creamy, with lots of veggies, and delicious biscuits on top. MUCH better than any chicken pot pie I've ever had, but maintains a similar essence. I can't wait to make this when it's colder outside. But, in all reality, it's delicious any time of the year.

P.S. (It makes your whole house smell like I imagine Paula Deen's kitchen might smell.)

*I did things a little differently. I just use boneless chicken breasts. It saves me some work. I also use a pre made biscuit mix to cut corners on time. It's a time intensive dish, for sure, but VERY worth it.

  • Cook Time:

    45 min

  • Level:


  • Yield:

    8 servings


  • 3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups medium-diced carrots (4 carrots), blanched for 2 minutes
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen peas (2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

For the biscuits:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and the heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions, and parsley. Mix well. Place the stew in a 10 x 13 x 2-inch oval or rectangular baking dish. Place the baking dish on a sheet pan lined with parchment or wax paper. Bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the biscuits. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. Add the half-and-half and combine on low speed. Mix in the parsley. Dump the dough out on a well-floured board and, with a rolling pin, roll out to 3/8-inch thick. Cut out twelve circles with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter.

Remove the stew from the oven and arrange the biscuits on top of the filling. Brush them with egg wash, and return the dish to the oven. Bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the biscuits are brown and the stew is bubbly.

Note: To make in advance, refrigerate the chicken stew and biscuits separately. Bake the stew for 25 minutes, then place the biscuits on top, and bake for another 30 minutes, until done.

My next blogpost will contain something a little healthier. My sweet vegan friend, Cristina gave me several recipes that I'll be trying out this week while the hubby is in Washington.

Until then, have a great week!


Monday, October 4, 2010

Look what we saw today...

That's right. That's a baby. That's a David baby that is currently growing in my unsuspecting belly. Here are some questions you might be wondering:

Was this planned?
Pah! Is what I say to this. If you knew my husband... you would know that this was not planned! (Although, in the months before we found out we were, in fact, with child, he did admit to wanting a baby...) However unplanned, we are very very VERY excited! Tyler just giggled throughout the entire sonogram. :) Seeing that little nugget move around today, hearing the sweetest little heart beat and realizing that God has given us life to nurture, love and teach was humbling and absolutely awe inspiring. And frankly, a bit surreal, if not for all the nausea and the eating, I might not believe that sonogram or the 5 pregnancy tests that I took.

How far along are you?
I am 12 weeks. That means in two weeks I am finito with my first trimester. (Not all trimesters are created equal. This one is 13 weeks and not twelve like the sweet little suffix suggests.) I'm very ready to be done with this trimester. It hasn't been awful, but I want energy and an appetite back. Baby David will be entering the world on April 17, 2011. (ish.)

Are you finding out what you're having?
ABSOLUTELY! I made our 16 wk. appointment today and I am already counting down the days until we get to figure out if baby will be bambina or bambino. I'll reveal the names we've been tossing around then. Some people really like to keep all these things to themselves, but 1) we're just not that private in many respects and 2) I can't keep a secret to save my life, especially when I'm excited about it! (Unless you have revealed something in confidence to me at some point in my life, in which I have kept it under lock and key. Except for maybe when I was in middle school. Please forgive me.)

How are you feeling?
Physically: Mostly tired. Mostly like I'm going to vomit in the p.m. hours. Sometimes I'm STARVING, then my sweet husband makes me a sandwich and I just cannot even eat it. Sometimes I can't decide if I'm full or still hungry. Strange things. But, looking at the big picture, I've been really blessed. Many women feel much worse than I have felt. I've only stayed home sick once from work to recover from a particularly sickly night. But other than that, I've been able to get my job done, if not above and beyond, at least I know my kids are learning.

Emotionally: Oh gosh, this changes by the hour. I will say... as of late (especially today, I suppose) I've been much more excited about the prospect of having a sweet little love bug to gush all kinds of affection towards. Today, sitting in the waiting room, I realized for the first time that there will soon be a little one in my life that says "mama!" excitedly when he/she sees me. But it's not uncommon for me to feel nervous, stressed, anxious, terrified at any given point in time. Here's where the next part comes in:

Spiritually: How sweet the Father's love for us. As this life changing discovery was made, I kept finding myself saying, "God, this was mean. Why would you do this." (Yes, I know. Not a typical reaction to the news of a tiny bundle of joy. I'm just being honest.) And over and over again as I searched the Scripture looking for comfort, and thought on the Gospel of Jesus I was reminded that His reply is always, "Because I love you so much more than you can comprehend. I am perfect and all I do is perfect. This life in you is my design for your good. I want you to trust me." (OK, not what it says in the Bible verbatim. I paraphrased.) Granted, I forget this hourly, but it is so sweet for me to turn in my anxious thoughts and think on how much LOVE I see in the death and resurrection of God's Son. If God has given me LIFE and everything that He has, how could I ever distrust His timing in giving us a baby? This breathes life into my weary soul.

All that to say, those three categories are smushed into one in my crazy life. Each feeds into the other, sometimes positively, bringing me constantly to the throne of Grace, sometimes negatively sending me into a spiral of self dependance, anxiety, self doubt, etc.

Ok, this post is long enough. Later, I will post a few tidbits I've learned about pregnancy thus far. It's been a crazy ride.

Thanks for reading! :)
Lauren and Baby D