You Be The Judge

The other day it was beautiful outside.  And by beautiful I mean it was a nice, HOT day in the 80's.  Chuck and I had spent our week with a lot of different people, serving at different events, and were finally allotted an afternoon just for us.  

Since I had never been, we headed over to Old Town Alexandria, the third oldest historic district in the nation.  A neighborhood once home to George Washington and Robert E. Lee!  I love the history around here!  We found a great parking spot and strolled up and down the historic cobblestone streets marveling at the buildings,  enjoying the interesting people all around us, and of course wandered down to the waterfront of the Potomac River.  The river boats were my favorite site, I think.  Those big paddelwheel boats  fascinate me.  Chuck mentioned how you feel like you're in a Mark Twain book and that's exactly what I was thinking, too.  See the "Cherryblossom" in the background?  Super cute.  

Since the weather was so perfect, we absolutely had to get ice cream cones!  We both ordered BABY cones, but I ask you, which cone looks "baby" to you?  And which cone looks like a TOTAL rip off?!  I'll give you a hint, the girl serving CHUCK his cone must have found my husband a lot more attractive than she did me!
With or without a big scoop of ice cream, it was quite a quaint afternoon.  There is something so relaxing about walking around, taking in the sites, and best of all, enjoying my favorite person in all the world.

Hobby Lobby

We have a hobby!  It all started back when I was living with Luke, Trisha, Chail, and Philly.  Back before the days of Rocky came along.  Back when Chuck and I were only good 'ol boyfriend and girlfriend.  Actually, I believe we were engaged.  I'm getting off topic.  Thinking back on the days when we began is such a happy place.  But anyway.  

When Chuck graduated from Grad school and received his Masters degree, his family threw a big party for him.  I wanted to make him a special cake for the occasion.  At the time I was under the impression that carrot cake was his favorite kind.  (Later on once we were married I found out in a large group of people that carrot cake was NOT, in fact, my husband's favorite cake!)  So I made this absolutely fabulous Paula Deen recipe with butter cream icing.  To die for.  Absolutely to die for.  The only problem was, I had and still have zero decorating skills.  Chuck insisted that decorating his own cake would be totally fine.  I felt funny about it, but it was going to be the main dessert in front of his whole family and I wanted it to look great.  

That's when our hobby began.  I bake, he decorates!

A few weeks after the big Grad party, it was Chail's first brithday!  Who better to make my Little Love his very first birthday cake than his adoring Auntie?!  At the time, Chail was crazy about the show, "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" so Mickey became the party theme.  Again, I baked and my faithful sidekick decorated.  I'd have to say the Mickey cake is probably my favorite we've done.  Chail got part of Mickey's ear, the cupcake, to eat all by himself.  YUM!

Then for Rocky's first birthday, and Chail's third birthday, Chuck and I again tag-teamed it and made a cookie cake decorated with a monkey.  That one looked awesome, but we forgot our camera.  Boo.  Sadly, it tasted really bad because I over-cooked it.  Double boo.   

I decided to redeem myself and perfect the cookie cake.  We went to our friend's house for dinner last week and tested our skills again.  Voila!  The cake turned out fabulously!  Chewy, gooey, chocolately, and definitely chippy.  Oh yeah!  My Mom sent us a new frosting recipe that worked really well for decorating.  We also bought cake decorating tools which helped us a lot.  Up until the new tools we were just using plastic bags with not-so-great taped in tips. 

Our friends have 6 kids with another on the way, so we wanted to make the cake with each member of the family represented.  The kids loved it!  There may have even been arguments over who got what piece.  ;)

This week we made a Spring themed cookie cake for our small group.  It was a big, fun hit.  Now we just have to wait for another excuse to keep on baking and decorating!

Oh These Times Are Hard

(This post was originally posted on Wednesday 5/11, but got deleted some how.  Sad.  Thankfully a friend had saved it so now I am re-posting.  (Thanks Laura!!!)  I feel bad that previous comments got deleted.  So, here it is again.  I will post again soon, and hopefully won't be such a downer.  ;)

Anyone know that song? Whenever it comes on the radio, I just blast and sing. The lyrics go something like, "Oh these times are hard, they're making me crazy...." And I could be wrong. It's happened before where I sing a song one way, but the actual lyrics are completely different than what I had been singing. In this case, I am very happy singing my version of the song, because THESE TIMES ARE HARD.

It's been 2 months and 4 days since we found out our baby didn't have a heartbeat. 2 months?! Could 2 months have really gone by? What's hard about time is my thoughts turn to, "Our baby should be 2 months more developed", or "I would be showing by now", or "The morning sickness would have been behind me". And what's even harder is the women I am surrounded by whose babies ARE developing healthily, who ARE showing, and who DO have morning sickness behind them.

It's the women at church who were chasing after their little ones at church on Mother's Day. The pregnant girls who were standing holding their tummies, glowing from happiness. Those women make the healing process so unbearably difficult at times. But what can be done about that? Absolutely nothing. I realize I sound completely selfish, but that is not my heart. My heart believes it's a joyous miracle for those other women. I would never want to take that away from them or wish them in the same position as me.

It's just the irony of their joy and their tummies are such a torturous REMINDER of the loss of our own baby. My arms absolutely ache to hold our baby. I can't even type that sentence without breaking down into tears. I didn't get a chance to hold our child, or to look into his or her face and kiss their cheeks. I didn't get to change their diapers or swaddle them in a cozy blanket. I didn't get to feed them or rock them to sleep. I didn't get to tell our baby HOW MUCH I LOVED HIM OR HER How much I still love. How much I will always love. I never got to say it to their little ears. And since I'm already weeping, I might as well just finish with a bang.

There was nothing I could do as a Mother to protect the life of my own baby. There was nothing I could do. Nothing. And that pain is something I know I will be familiar with for the rest of my life, and right now it's welcoming me to Motherhood in a very cruel way.