I'm pregnant! We're pregnant is what you say, I suppose, but I'm the one in the stretchy pants over here. So many things to say about this, friends, but I'm at a loss for words at the same time. This may be more of a generally-emotional-lady thing, so bear with me, but you know when you feel outside of yourself? Like little crazy trolls are frantic in your head making you irritable and easily bringing you to tears. Sometimes the trolls rest, but I generally feel a little... off. I have another human in my belly and trolls in my mind and I'm in absolute amazement that our bodies make people. I still can't believe it.
I have wanted to be a mom my entire life. I have never once doubted it. I was a big sister, and I mothered my little sister the moment she came home from the hospital. I covered her whole body in diaper cream and bossed her around. I mothered my own mother, too, from time to time. I would ask if she had her purse when we left the house and remind her to get gas when the dash light went. I enjoy taking care of people, I am a nurturer, I ask questions and listen for the answer, I love a really good, meaningful hug and a good cuddle. All I know is that this baby in my tum? I have desired him/her for as long as I can remember.
I'm so excited to be doing this with Hugh. He will be so good at being a dad. That is one of the things I am most excited to watch. I'm aware we're both imperfect people, figuring things out as we go, and I'm ok raising a family without having everything together. That's something I hope our child sees in us early on - that you do the best you can to love people well. You give and listen and compromise and work hard and stay present and use good manners and be honest and soak up the worlds' beauty, but remain aware that we're fallen people just doing our best, and you are completely loved anyway. I am so freaking excited to love this person. I tear up when I think of meeting you, baby. Every time. Do you feel me rub my belly when I get up to go to the bathroom 100x through the night? I just want you to know I'm thinking of you. I giggle to myself that there will now be another person to observe our quirkyness. I hope we don't completely embarrass it, even though that sounds inevitable if I remember my teen years correctly. Hugh and I are silly and laugh a lot and we're a little bit weird, but we have the greatest time. Gah! I am so excited this little person will be joining the silly. We've been waiting for people to join our home office dance party. It's only a matter of time now, baby.
So here we are. A precious baby coming end of May. Thank you for your patience while things have been a bit slow around here. I am not getting much cooking done, unfortunately. I am currently in a bean and cheese burrito phase. This is only after we've passed through cold cereal (there are so many types!), french fries, a fruit-heavy week, and a very short (gasp) cheeseburger stint. I feel a little outside myself and somehow wonderfully confident that we are as ready as we can be for this. With full hearts... Sara, Hugh and the nugget.
It needs to be said that getting pregnant was not easy for us. It took longer than we expected. We had some tests done, and we were told that we wouldn't be able to conceive on our own without alternative methods... which turned out not to be the case, thankfully. That season weighed heavy on my heart - something I wanted to talk about here but it didn't feel quite right. My heart is so tender for the woman who desires a child and is having a tough time getting pregnant. One month or two years of hoping, waiting and being disappointed, only to run the cycle again - not enough people talk about how that feels. Lady, huge hugs to you. You feel defeated, like your body is failing you, that it is SO EASY for everyone else. It doesn't feel any better when people tell you, "It will happen when it's supposed to happen," that just makes you feel more frustrated and want to punch them in the face. I may be on the other side for now, but I wanted to express some empathy for this group because it's a dark place to be and it feels super lonely. My suggestion to you is to find people - even when it seems easy for everyone else, I guarantee you there is someone else having a tough time or another woman who has a story. Talk about it, find a confidant, it will help keep your head above water.
AUTUMN SALAD WITH HORSERADISH VINAIGRETTE // Serves 6
This is a deconstruction for my sister. She had a similar salad at True Food Kitchen(side note, they have a gorgeous cookbook) and asked me to replicate it so she could bring it to Thanksgiving. The original had dried mulberries in it, and I think you could sub in cranberries or cherries, but I skipped this. I would consider the amount here a moderate addition of horseradish in the dressing. If you like a kick, want a more forward flavor, add more. There is no dairy in this salad as written, but next time, I'll be adding a generous sprinkling of parmesan on top and a dollop of creme fraiche to the dressing. 'Tis the season :)
- 3/4 lb. brussel sprouts
- 3/4 lb. cauliflower florets
- 3 cups butternut squash, in 1/2'' cubes
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. white balsamic
- 3/4-1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- few pinches of cayenne
- 1 cup cooked white beans (great northern, cannellini etc.), rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 2 packed cups arugula
- 1 Tbsp. prepared horseradish
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1/2 a shallot
- 1 tsp. honey
- 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. each sea salt and pepper, to taste
- handful of fresh chives and/or parsley
- dollop of creme fraiche, optional
Preheat the oven to 400'. Cut the brussels in half length wise, and cut the cauliflower into similar size chunks. Add both of these and the squash to a large rimmed baking tray. Drizzle the vegetables with the olive oil, balsamic, salt, pepper, nutmeg and few pinches of cayenne and toss everything together with your hands to coat. Roast in the upper third of the oven for 35 minutes until edges are browned.
While the vegetables roast, make your dressing. In a mini blender or processor, combine the horseradish, garlic, shallot, honey, white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, herbs and creme fraiche, if using. Blend everything together to mix well. taste for salt and pepper and set aside.
As soon as the hot tray is out of the oven, add the beans onto the tray and toss everything together. Allow the vegetables to cool to room temperature. Add the pom seeds, arugula and a good drizzle or the dressing and toss everything to coat. Sprinkle with a little parmesan if you please.
This salad is served at room temperature, could be served cold as well if you chill the roasted vegetables.