Dec. 31, 2009

The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.
~G.K. Chesterton

Dec. 30, 2009


Well, I looked back here to my 2009 New Year Ambitions. And although I accomplished lots on that list, as with most resolutions, there were some that I never got to. So, how will 2010 be different? Well, instead of 20 ambitions, I'm going to aim for 10 ambitions and 10 bonuses. Here they are, in no particular order. (Some will be re-occuring from last year)

1. Read through the bible (using this plan)
2. Get fit with Mark (we are working on a food and exercise plan, which I will post soon)

3. Master the gluten free lifestyle
4. Finish at least 50% of my doula certification
5. Make
all baby/wedding/birthday gifts.
6. Re-do our bedroom for under $100

7. Learn the ropes of being coupon savvy.
Grow a legitimate Veg/Herb garden (using this as my guide)
9. Learn more guitar chords
10. Get more talent in the kitchen

1. Learn to crochet/knit/sew

2. Make my family new christmas stockings
3. Order online or make all gifts for next christmas before December

Read more books from all genres
5. Get a full, real photoshoot with Mark and I.

6. Get my doula bag accessories
(most found here)
7. Make book reading plan (trying to expand my, non-fiction, etc...)

Make a Valentines "20 Ways We Make Our Marriage Work" video with Mark
Go Camping
Go to to K-Town to visit family & friends more!

Dec. 27, 2009

Our Christmas

Well, our christmas was awesome! Christmas eve was spent with our new-ish extended family at their house, where we had SO MUCH food and played the funniest game of Balderdash ever! Then we went back to my parents and opened up our PJ's and one other gift. Then we headed to bed (around 2 or 3). The next day, we opened our gifts, had an incredible breakfast (GF waffles, sausage, eggs, bacon..YUMM!), then Leah & Ryan headed up to Ryan's family's to open gifts with them. So, Dad, Mom, Mark & I went for a walk around the was beautiful! Then we came home and played Logos (one of my gifts) and then Ryan, Leah & Ryan's family came over for Christmas Dinner...which was AMAZING!!!!! Then we all hung out and played games.
It was a great christmas!! Hope yours was too!

Dec. 24, 2009

Align CenterMay you find the Joy of Jesus this Christmas and that the
Light of the Word is your reason for celebration!

Be Blessed!!!
See you in 2010!

Dec. 23, 2009

Christmas Recipes

These are the things that I am making tomorrow for my contribution to the Christmas Eve appies & Christmas Dinner:

Cheesy Corn Bites
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 48 scoop-shaped tortilla chips (one 10-ounce bag)
  • Chopped chives or cilantro, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, pepper jack cheese, egg and corn.
2. Arrange the chips on a large rimmed baking sheet and place 1 teaspoon corn mixture in each. Bake until the filling sets, about 20 minutes.
3. Sprinkle the corn bites with the chives; serve warm.

Flourless Chocolate Cake
  • 4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch round cake pan, and dust with cocoa powder.
  1. In the top of a double boiler over lightly simmering water, melt chocolate and butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, cocoa powder, eggs, and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan.
  2. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Slices can also be reheated for 20 to 30 seconds in the microwave before serving.

Honey Garlic Sticky Wings
  • 24 chicken wings, split and tips discarded
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 5 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup water
Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Arrange the chicken wings on a baking sheet; bake until crisp, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer the wings to a baking dish.
Mix together the brown sugar, garlic, ginger, 2 1/2 cups water, honey, and soy sauce in a saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Whisk together the cornstarch and 3/4 cup water in a small bowl; stir into the sauce mixture until thickened; pour over the chicken wings to coat.
Return wings to oven and bake until the sauce is bubbling and the chicken is no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, 15 to 20 minutes.

Broccoli Salad
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 large head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 2 tblsp.vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • small handful of slivered almonds, toasted
  • small handful of sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup raisins
Fry bacon until crispy, drain grease and set aside.Cut up broccoli flowerettes into bite-sized pieces, leaving just a little stem. Cut up enough for about 4 cups of flowerettes. Mix vinegar sugar & mayo in seperate bowl. Add to broccoli. Mix in nuts, raisins, & bacon. Serve.

Hot Mushroom dip
  • 2 tbps butter
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 3 cups chopped fresh white mushrooms
  • 8oz block cream cheese cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1/2 tsp dill weed
  • Heavy sprinkle freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups pre-grated Jack cheese (plain or with Jalepeno if you like spice)
  • 1/2 cup real mayo
  • Sliced mushrooms and chopped scallions for garnish.

Melt butter in large frying pan on medium. Add onion, garlic and chopped mushrooms. Cook for about 10 minutes until liquid is evaprated and mushrooms are golden. Remove from heat.
Add next 4 ingredients. Stil until cream cheese is melted.
Add Jack cheese and mayo. Mix well. Spread in ungreased 9in pie plate or shallow casserole (side note - PC Stone works great cause it keeps it warmer for longer). Bake in 350 oven for about 30 minutes until heated through.
Sprinkle with sliced mushrooms and chopped scallions.

Dec. 20, 2009

"For my eyes have seen..."

This in one of my all time favorite pieces of art. And every christmas, I think of it again & again.
The story is of Simeon....

Luke 2- "When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord..."Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord", and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: "a pair of doves or two young pigeons." Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

"Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel."

The child's father and mother marveled at what was said about him. "

There are 2 things that I LOVE about this passage...

1. Mary and Joseph brought the poor mans offering (a pair of doves or pigeons) and yet they had the sacrifice that would redeem the world!

2. When Simeon held the baby Jesus in his arms, he says, " For my eyes have seen your salvation!"

Imagine Simeon growing up, hearing the stories and songs of a Deliverer that was coming! That there would be a Redeemer that would change history, that would blot out sin & take the penalty of death in his place!

Then imagine holding out for the possibility that you might see him ("waiting for the consolation of Israel") And right before you die, you hold that Redeemer in your arms.

Ron Dicianni perfectly captured what I think Simeon might have looked like as he held Jesus in His arms, totally in awe....His Savior had come!

Dec. 17, 2009

Its so bizarre. This year I'm having to force myself into the Christmas Spirit. And by the Christmas Spirit, I mean the frantic, shopping/wrapping/decorating/baking madness that usually comes naturally and promptly on Nov.1st. I still love this time of year. I love the focus of family, the emphasis on blessing others & the celebration of our Saviour. It is not because I am sad, depressed or oozing 29 yr. old angst, which I'm not (i know, shocker!! ). I just feel on the outside looking in this year. I know, so bizarre, right? I am excited to give the gifts, excited to be with my family and have fun, but something seems a bit off. Any thoughts on this weird phenomenon?

Dec. 12, 2009

Projects & Wrapping...

These are my projects for next year:

These are a few things I am doing this year for my gift wrapping....

p.s. I posted the link for our Anniversary Blog! :)

Dec. 9, 2009

"Precious in His sight, is the death of His saints"- Psalm 116:15

This is my grandma, who went "Home" yesterday at the age of 89.
She was a single mother to my dad & his older brother and sister.
She faithfully played bridge.
She loved the unloveable, which manifested in her taking in single moms, rejects, addicts etc... often and caring for them.
She was independant, honorable, educated, hard working.
She had the most beautiful hands. I used to sit on her lap when I was little, and I would run my fingers over her hands, following the wrinkles and veins, as she sang, Toora-Loora-Loo-Ral.
She wanted the best for her family.
She loved her grandchildren.
She raised a son, who became the best father.

I miss you already!

Dec. 8, 2009

Have you ever thought that you wanted something so bad that you thought you would die if you couldn't have it. Or that you were somehow overlooked.

Thats how I've been most of my marriage. I thought that if I didn't get pregnant that somehow I would cease to exist. That the right of passage into real womanhood was conceiving and having a perfect little family!

I was very, very wrong.

This is one of the most difficult posts I have ever written.

I'm struggling even now to put words together.

Please bear with me....

I have been selfish & completely consumed with getting my own way. I have shook my fist at God so many times, that I am embarrassed to put a number down. I have walked around with the attitude that somehow God owed me something. And then when it didn't happen, I searched every part of my life to find the thing that God was punishing me for. I have become severely insecure about having a baby. I have grieved at others joy. I have felt jealousy, anger, bitterness & hopelessness. I have walked around in this little bubble and caused all who love me to feel they need to walk with trepidation for fear of me becoming a hysterical mess. I have cared more about my own feelings, than of everyones around me.

I am ashamed.

I am so sorry to you who've treaded lightly in telling me or not rejoiced in front of me because of being pregnant or wanting a baby.
I am so sorry to you who've come to encourage me, and I have secretly been offended with you.
I am so sorry that I have held resentment against so many people who have just wanted to love me through this time.

"...all things work together for good."

We are walking through a dark, lonely, & frightening valley right now that is infinitely harder than infertility has ever been. It seems to choke the life from our bodies, to suck the air from our lungs & when we begin to stand, it beats us within an inch of death. God has a plan, but right now, we cannot see it.

" is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

Today I told God (more than once), 'I would give up my womb forever if you would....'

But, again, my view of God is wrong. Maybe somehow I can make a sacrafice that would make Him change His mind?

I am, because He is! He is the God of promises, of miracles! He is the God who is faithful when I am not, forgives when I don't, heals when I don't deserve it & made the only sacrafice that was needed. I am whole, not because I may someday be a mother, not because I can gain His acceptance and be shown favor because of my great achievements. Not because I have anything worth saving, but because I am HIS! He has rescued me from the grave. He has adopted me, redeemed me, changed me & transformed me!

But He is also the God of the valley. He is the God who refines with fire. He crushes so that fragrance will come. When I came to Him, He promised to not leave me the way I was. And now, I question His work.

Does the clay say to the potter, 'What are you making?' "

I don't know why its so hard to trust Him. You'd think surrendering to an omnipotent, omniscient God would be easier. Yet, here I am with a death grip on the reins.

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers,
They will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaz
e...For I am the LORD, your God"

I can walk wherever He leads. Not because I have what it takes. But because He is all I need!

Even as I wrote this, a verse that a beautiful friend shared with us rang again in my heart,

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
"-1 Corinthians 4:18

Thanks for reading, thanks for loving me through my ups and downs, through my craziness, valleys & mountain tops. And most of all, thanks for pointing me to the One who gets me better than anyone!

Dec. 4, 2009

Early Gifts

I have received a few presents already...and I wanted to share them...

From the Penner Family....the coolest book of lists...that you fill in yourself....kind of like a diary in list form...and for anyone who knows me, this is the coolest thing ever.

From Sarena...which made me cry...the first line of the book...."Once upon a time there was a kangaroo with an empty pouch" can imagine the rest...its beautiful!

And my doula bag arrived in the mail...complete with "Doula" monogrammed on the pocket...I will take a picture of the bag soon...I'm filling it slowly with all my good stuff! :)

Thank you girls for the gifts....they were a blessing! Love you!

Dec. 2, 2009

Just wondering....

Is it possible to be ecstatic and devastated at the same time? If it is, then I am.

Nov. 25, 2009


I have been eating

(no wheat, barley, rye or oats)
for almost 3 mths.
Now, this has not been completely faithfully (sometimes by choice, sometimes by accident), because its super hard to change to that lifestyle. But I would say for the most part it has been gluten free.

Whenever I used to stand on the

I would feel like this...

But more and more I feel like this...

Cause I've lost 16 lbs. already!!!! This is crazy because it hasn't been a huge change in portions, but just taking out what my body really didn't like, has made it respond VERY WELL!!!! (And I don't have to memorize the fastest route to the bathroom at every destination!!!)

For your viewing pleasure ;) ...this is a 16 lb. Turkey!!!!
I've lost an entire turkey!!

Being a life-saving change, it has been much easier than saying, 'NO MORE SWEETS!' or 'NO WHITE SUGAR!' (not that those things aren't a good idea, but are so hard to stick to).

Celiac disease or Gluten Allergy/Intolerance is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, and barley and occasionally oat. Gluten is found mainly in foods but may also be found in everyday products such as medicines, vitamins, and lip balms. When people with celiac disease eat foods or use products containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging or destroying villi—the tiny, fingerlike protrusions lining the small intestine. Villi normally allow nutrients from food to be absorbed through the walls of the small intestine into the bloodstream. Without healthy villi, a person becomes malnourished, no matter how much food one eats. Celiac disease is both a disease of malabsorption—meaning nutrients are not absorbed properly—and an abnormal immune reaction to gluten. Celiac disease is also known as celiac sprue, nontropical sprue, and gluten-sensitive enteropathy. Celiac disease is genetic, meaning it runs in families. Sometimes the disease is triggered—or becomes active for the first time—after surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, viral infection, or severe emotional stress.

Symptoms of Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Allergy:

  • abdominal bloating and pain
  • chronic diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • pale, foul-smelling, or fatty stool
  • weight loss or gain
  • unexplained iron-deficiency anemia
  • fatigue
  • bone or joint pain
  • arthritis
  • bone loss or osteoporosis
  • depression or anxiety
  • tingling numbness in the hands and feet
  • seizures
  • missed menstrual periods
  • infertility or recurrent miscarriage
  • canker sores inside the mouth
  • an itchy skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis

Nov. 16, 2009

Christmas is almost here!!!

Well, its officially after Nov.11th, so that means we can talk about all things Christmas!
Things I am looking forward to....

Mandarin Oranges & Eggnog (though not together)

Reading this and watching this with my family

Giving gifts!! I DO get excited about receiving them, but I seriously get butterflies when I give a gift to someone, when its that extra special gift!

Curling up & Reading by the fireplace!

Playing games with friends & family!

Laughing...ok, I know I do this a lot anyway, but at Christmas, its even better;)

Decorating & Baking!

Nov. 2, 2009

Wish List

This is the gift I just ordered for myself!! It is the "Lands End Do-It-All Diaper Bag"! No, I'm not pregnant, but I wanted a very functional bag for when I start my doula! There is a lot of stuff that I want to be able to fit in there, so I'm really excited! And this is the best one for the price! And I'm even getting it monogrammed!! YESS!!!!!


Any color Amber Ring

Diamond Scrabble

'Grass' by the Gap (90's perfume that I LOVE)


Doula Tools & Accessories:

Lands End Do-it-all Diaper Bag (to carry all my gear)

Omni Massage Roller

Labor Links

This is mostly for Mark (to help with ideas)

Oct. 26, 2009

20 years ago:
1. I moved to Terrace & was absolutely devastated to leave my best friend, Kristin.
2. Was a tom boy in every respect...bmx, tree climbing, mostly all boy friends (and no
3. Lived in Prince George (my birthplace) and had a 1 yr. miracle baby sister!

10 years ago:
1. I went on a trip to Africa...which was incredible!
2. I spent the summer mostly with Sirena
3. I met Mark and my life changed forever!

5 years ago:
1. I miscarried.
2. I babysat a beautiful little girl
3. Lived in a 3 bdr. house with an caterpillar infested tree in the front yard, that made for hilarious viewing when visitors came to the house (imagine full body flailing & yelping...awesome!)

3 years ago:
1. I started Blogging
2. We had a crazy-fun ladies retreat....Carmen & Christy: "You take care!!"
3. We went to Disneyland!

1 year ago:
1. I decided that I absolutely was going to be a doula!
2. We had a lot of fun with the Wiebes & a shop-vac at Christmas.
3. We got the internet.

So far this year:
1. God has taken me through the fire, faithfully refining me.
2. I began the reading for my course, beginning with Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn...Wow!!
3. I travelled to Montreal & Toronto and had an amazing time!

Yesterday I:
1. Kept packing & had a meeting & got a massage!
2. Made about 4 or 5 lists.
3. Had 'Cheers' song stuck in my head

Today I:
1. Went to church and spent time with some of my favorite people!
2. Went for lunch with friends & then went to a prayer meeting.
3. Finished Packing, Watched 'You've got Mail', and deep conditioned my hair.

Tomorrow I:
1. Will fly to Vancouver with great friends
2. Will share a hotel with those friends
3. Probably will laugh A LOT!

In the next year I:
1. Hopefully will complete my Birth Doula certificate and can go on to my Postpartum Doula.
2. Will pursue adoption
3. Want to trust God, grow in Faith, Believe in His promises, and see miracles!

Oct. 21, 2009

Oct. 8, 2009

Point Form Update

-I am going to be taking a break from
starting tomorrow until I get back from my course (October 9th). I need to hone my studying skills and I have TONS to read, so I want to make sure I do that well!!
I will still be checking my email every evening, so, if you need to contact me, you can through email.

-Only 17 more days till we go to see U2 and words can not contain my excitement!

-We might also see

if we can get tickets

-I am getting my hair done on Tuesday....cut & hair is like straw right now!

-Mark and I started a website for our 10 yr. anniversary. Just a place where we can post ideas of what we want to do.
Now I know that we still have a ways to go (you can check the ticker on the website), but we are going to try and do everything from scratch. Its kind of a 'can-we-do-it?' challenge. So, we need lots of time!

-I hope you guys are well, loving the autumn & windiness (I AM!!!!) and I will be posting again after my course, with lots of fun stuff that has happened!!!

Love you!