Monday, January 16, 2012

One of my faves

Tonight I'd like to share with you a childhood favorite of mine that I made for supper: hot dogs, sauerkraut, and mashed potatoes. I honestly have no idea if the majority of readers will have just gagged, said "hhmmm that's a new one", or nodded in complete understanding.

A bit of a background. I come from German heritage on both my mom and dad's side. I think it's fairly pure as well with only a move to Russia in the late 1800s to report anything other than German in my lineage. And that probably doesn't really count since I'm not sure any ancestors stayed there or had children while living there. Sauerkraut and potatoes are German foods as I'm sure you are aware. I don't know exactly how the hot dog came to play in that meal. Here's my hypothesis: I also come from a lower middle class family. My dad was/is a high school teacher and my mom stayed home with my brothers and I. Money was always fairly tight. I remember having things like powdered milk, McDonald's for a treat only if we were traveling on the road, a calculator at the grocery store to ensure that my mom stayed within the food budget, and no buns for the hot dogs or hamburgers. At the time, I, for the most part, didn't know the difference. I didn't really know that other kids drank actual milk and that's probably why they liked it so much more than me. I didn't know that having a strict budget meant you didn't have much to spend. I did know that not eating out other than special occasions was different from a lot of my friends. Looking back, I love the situation I was raised in! I love what it taught me about having and not having. And about how much can be sacrificed without any harm being done to your quality of life.

So I imagine that the addition of hot dogs to one of my favorite meals probably began because of a food budget. Hot dogs are cheap. This doesn't change the fact that those three things taste absolutely delicious together! The one thing that has changed though, is the quality of the hot dog. No, I do not eat regular hot dogs anymore. Not since giving up pork and understanding what a hot dog is actually made of. So a once frugal meal has become a bit more expensive. (All beef hot dogs are way worth it, though. So tasty!) But the cost for me does not out weigh the delicious experience and reminder that I come from a great family!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Moms are on my mind today. First of all, my wonderful, beautiful mother is coming to visit me for the day! We don't live very far apart, but she is a very busy woman and we don't get a chance to hang out just the two of us very often. We are going to look at all of the baby stuff I've already acquired since she hasn't seen most of it, and then do some shopping. For me mainly. I've been very blessed with two lovely sisters-in-law who lent me a ton of awesome maternity clothes, so I have only actually bought about three maternity items for myself. As awesome as those borrowed clothes are, I'm getting the itch to get a few new outfits. Mommas are great to go shopping with. I think my mom and I probably went shopping every Saturday when I was in junior high and high school. I always seemed to think I needed this or that. The funny part is, I never shop as an adult. You may think I'm exaggerating, but I probably shop for myself three to four times a year. Second (I need to get back on track here), my grandma is on hospice. She is 77 (I think) and suffers from Alzheimer's, dementia, and Parkinson's I believe. We think it may just be here time to go. According to my mom, she has said several times that she would like to die. Not in a morbidly weird way, but in that way so many older people seem to reach at a certain point. My grandma, Shirley, has been an affectionately tender grandma. I have vivid memories of her rocking me to sleep singing lullabies in my ear, snuggling close on the couch during a movie, and in recent years, holding my hand probably to comfort her more than be my grandma. I am sad that my little one may not get to be loved by her. At least not here on earth. But at least she knows the baby is coming. That's something, isn't it. Third, I am going to be a momma very soon. I would even argue that I already am one. It has been an eye-opening, amazing experience for me to morph into this selfless (hopefully) being focused on providing the best for a person I haven't even met yet. The love I have learned innately from this time has been incredible. I now can at least relate, even if it is in the slightest bit, to mommas everywhere. What an incredible love. I can't wait to fully know this love very soon.

Friday, January 13, 2012

My nest

Freya has been kicking all day today! That's what Sam and I affectionately call our little one. No known gender yet, just assurance that it is healthy and growing! Why is it so popular now to find out what you're having? (Insert joke about "You're having a baby, haha!") I've never wanted to find out. I've always, and when I say always I mean from the time I started playing mommy with my dolls, wanted it to be a surprise. I feel that God made this the most exciting gift possible. He teases you with knowing you have a gift coming. Feeling the wondrous moves inside your belly. But not giving away, at least not naturally giving away the best part of all. Boy or girl. I've always found this fascinating. Why keep it a secret? Why not have some way of knowing? Some people think they can tell by how you're carrying, the pencil trick, or just having that innate knowledge some feel so deeply about. I'm not one of them. At least not about my own babe. I truly don't have a strong feeling. Right now I think it will be a girl more than a boy, but it's like a 60/40 feeling. No guarantees :)

Presently, Freya is transverse (according to our lovely midwife and my instincts). Which means that it's head is in the lower left part of my ever-stretching abdomen, and it's little feet are up towards my right ribs. Hopefully it is working it's way head down. The midwife, Michelle, didn't seem too concerned, but me being me, I have been praying and wondering about it since she told me that. The movements are so vivid now. I can feel the head/arms moving right against my skin sometimes. It is the most amazing experience I have ever had in my life. And I'm not saying that lightly. I've always wondered what that feeling would be like, and it far surpasses my ideas. The coolest part now is that Sam can hear the heartbeat with his ear against my belly! When he puts his head down to listen, the baby will often kick right where his cheek is resting. Talk about love.

I've gained approximately 17 pounds now. Weird. I never thought I would really care about my weight when I was pregnant, but oddly I kind of do. I logically know that it is fine and actually good. But I've never really gained weight in my life. Ever. Other than muscle when I was in high school and working out like crazy, so it was good weight. I see my body changing, weekly at least, which is also bizarre but beautiful. The best part is I get to share it all with my best friend, my hubby. He loves me, truly. And he has made it so acceptable and lovely to watch me change into a momma. It has brought even more of my walls down with him when I didn't think there were many, if any, left.

I have been blessed with an enjoyable pregnancy so far. For years, I wondered if I would be really sick. My mom was pretty sick with each of her three, and I kind of assumed I would be. I am so incredibly thankful for how it has gone so far. I was nauseous and dizzy from about week 6-9ish, and also ridiculously tired. The exhaustion could have also been because I started back to teaching again right around that time, which wears anybody out. I would work all day, come home and nap for an hour, and still go to bed around 9. It was an adjustment for us to say the least. Sam was so understanding and began to take over practically everything around the house. Including our brand new, 8 week old puppy, Willow. Life was changing very quickly.

Before I get too carried away, this post is entitled 'my nest' and I feel that I owe the appropriate explanation. God has been so gracious. Especially these past few months. I want to document His goodness and the story He is telling through us. My nest right now consists of three amazing, incredible, and very different creatures: Sammy, Freya, and Willow. We are on a journey. Together. I want to tell our story. Whether is it worth reading or not is up to you. It is simply ours. Made by the One who makes.