Miscarriage and Grace

When I found out I was pregnant in August, I was so thrilled to share the good news with you.  Of course, a small voice told me to wait to blog about it until I was further along.  But I’ve always thought that miscarriage was something I’d want my friends to know about if it happened.

So it’s with a heavy but peaceful heart that I share my miscarriage with you.  Remember my post a few weeks ago about my doctor saying “Oh my gosh” when she saw my ultrasound?  Turns out what she saw then (an empty sac) didn’t develop into anything else over time.  When I went back last week, the same dreary ultrasound picture appeared.  No heartbeat or tadpole-looking baby.  The sac again was empty.  My pregnancy was unsuccessful.

I was so sad to hear the news.  But I believe God authors life and that He knows exactly what is best  for my family.

My 4-year-old son has been so excited about the baby.  How could I tell him?  God gave me a great idea when I looked at the popcorn we had just popped in the microwave.  I showed him a kernel that hadn’t popped.  I said, “See, we put all of this into the microwave and some of the kernels just don’t pop.  We don’t really know why.  Well, mommy’s baby didn’t pop.” 

To my relief, that explanation has worked very well and isn’t it true?  Sometimes our babies don’t “pop” to become the babies we expected.  But I thank God He has a plan.  Without my faith in Jesus Christ, it would be very difficult to face this miscarriage and the miscarriage I had 2 years ago (at 26 weeks). 

I had a D & C at the hospital on Thursday and all went smoothly.  At church on Sunday, we sang a song called “He Knows My Name.”  I was so touched because that song spoke to me…God sees me and what I’m going through.  I’ll close with some of the lyrics by Tommy Walker:

I have a Maker, He formed My heart

Before even time began, my life was in his hands

He knows my name, He knows my every thought

He sees each tear that falls, and He hears me when I call.

Four Bean Salad

My friend and nutritionist Tonya Dirksen has a great quote, “Beans are God’s candy!”  If you can think of them that way, you’ll be losing weight after baby in no time! 

Here’s a recipe to get you eating more of God’s candies!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 (15 ounce) can green beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can lima beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 (4 ounce) jar pimentos

In a large salad bowl, whisk together the sugar, vinegar and oil.

Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, green beans, lima beans, kidney beans, pinto beans and pimentos.

Toss to evenly coat and place in large sealed container. Place in refrigerator and turn periodically to mix.

Pedometers, Zoos and You

You’ve got kids which means you probably want to lose a few of those baby pounds.  One suggestion for this week: plan an outdoor activity that involves a lot of walking with your kids.  For us that means a trip to the Zoo!

I put my pedometer on my shorts shortly after I woke up (Did I just write “shorts shortly”?  Sounds like a kids book title about getting dressed!).  Anyway…we walked from the parking lot, then to the flamingos, the elephants, and then as we were leaving the meerkats, I heard this crash!  And my little pedometer had fallen down and was all broken apart.  But I could still read the steps: 6047 steps.  And guess what?  That was only about one-third into our visit to the Zoo. 

10,000 steps a day is a great goal for healthy moms, so plan an outing this week that will force you to walk and exercise (but not notice!).  Enjoy the scenery around you, go towards a destination, keep your kids active, and all of you will be the healthier.  And before you know it, with little effort, your pedometer will read 10,000 steps plus! 

P.S. Okay, you may get a little tired on the journey.  Like my kids in this picture.

Whole Wheat Cheese Ravioli, Marinara Sauce and Fresh Asparagus

For me, it’s hard to give up eating pasta when trying to lose weight for 2 simple reasons: it’s yummy and it’s easy to make.  So swap out your regular pasta for whole wheat pasta for a healthier choice.  Here’s a very easy recipe with vegetables from Buitoni, courtesy of meals.com:

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15 ounce) container BUITONI® Refrigerated Marinara Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil (optional)
  • 1 (9 ounce) package BUITONI® Refrigerated Whole Wheat Four Cheese Ravioli
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper
  • BUITONI® Freshly Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Heat sauce according to package directions. Stir in basil.

Prepare pasta according to package directions. During last 3 minutes of cooking time, add asparagus and bell pepper and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender; drain.

Add sauce to pasta and vegetables; gently toss. Serve immediately with cheese.

Meeting Miss America

Here are my kids with Miss America 1998, Miss Nicole Johnson!  This was taken this week after we had dinner together.  She was visiting my hometown, speaking at a conference.  Yes, I am name dropping…I know royalty!  Believe it or not, Nicole and I were in the same graduating class at Regent University in 1998 before she became Miss America that same year. 

Nicole lives with Type 1 diabetes and she’s has been educating people about life with this serious disease for the last 10 years since becoming MIss America.  I’ll be talking with her in the future on my podcast about diabetes and pregnancy.  She had a healthy baby girl a few years ago.  When you hear what she went through, you’ll think your pregnancy was a breeze! 

Nicole is beautiful inside and out.  She’s a wonderful example of what is best in America.  She’s shown courage in the face of adversity and I was so honored to catch up with her.

Catherine’s Spicy Chicken Soup

Eating something spicy helps you feel fuller, so here’s a spicy soup to welcome the fall in the coming weeks. 

Recipe courtesy http://allrecipes.com

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 quarts water
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 5 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar chunky salsa
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans chili beans, undrained
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream

In a large pot over medium heat, combine water, chicken, salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, onion powder and bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 1 hour, or until chicken juices run clear. Remove chicken, reserve broth. Shred chicken.

In a large pot over medium heat, cook onion and garlic in olive oil until slightly browned. Stir in salsa, diced tomatoes, whole tomatoes, tomato soup, chili powder, corn, chili beans, sour cream, shredded chicken and 5 cups broth. Simmer 30 minutes.

Fudge Covered Marshmellow Cookies

Yup.  I was at the 99 cent store a few weeks ago getting party favors for my son, and I saw them.  The Fudge Covered Marshmellow Cookies.  Without flinching, I threw them in my basket, trying to hide them from my kids.

When I got home that day, after the kids had gone for naps, I ate one of those delicious cookies.  Then another.  Then another.  I ate six!  And the scary part is, I didn’t even feel sick afterwards!  I looked at the label AFTER I ate them.  I think I ate 600 calories of fluff in that one afternoon! 

Well, I share that story to say I’m human and make poor food choices once in a while!  The good news is that 3 weeks later, I still have a few cookies left, saving them for when I really need them, ha ha. 

Tomorrow for my podcast, I’ll be interviewing a mom who will be able to help me curb my cookie cravings for sure.  LaDonna was 48 when she first got pregnant, and she had a perfectly healthy pregnancy due to her amazing raw foods diet.  I don’t expect to transition anytime soon to a raw foods diet, but I sure would like to eat more raw fruits and vegetables during my pregnancy.  No marshmellow pinwheel cookies today…I’ll choose strawberries instead!