Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Deep Thoughts with Jessica p2

My last post got almost two times the views of any other post I've written. I don't know know if it's just that I shared it on Facebook, or if something I wrote resonated with people. Either way... That was neat. And it's something that I worked hard on, even if it doesn't always show.

Since we left off, Mr and I have told our families what we are dealing with. While being "out" is somehow freeing, it's also a little nauseating. Since we're overseas, I had to do it via email. Waiting to see how everyone reacts is a little crazy for me. I keep triple checking email to see if I miss any responses, but I have to remember that there are few people who check their email as much as I do. 

In "let's talk about anything besides my uterus" news, Mr. is beginning the process of interviewing for commands. We are so thrilled for all the possibilities, and hopeful that things line up well for him. There is an outside chance that we will have to move... But we are both trying to not cross any bridges till we come to them. 

I was talking with a friend the other day about how things feel alternately insane and also like nothing is happening, and she summed it up perfectly. While I have a lot of big deals circulating in my head between my health/infertility, volunteer work, and possibilities with Mr's work.... My day to day is very slow. I do homework, occasionally go to emails, run an errand or two... There just isn't much to distract me from the big deals swimming around. I've started trying to declutter, which not only makes the apartment look better, it also makes me feel better. 

How do you stay occupied on a day to day basis? Are you a cleaner, crafter, or what?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Not My Story

I've spent several days mulling this over... which is the only explanation I have for my absence lately. 
I'm having a hard time with everything. Life isn't quite what I thought it would be. I thought for sure by now I'd have a kid. If not a kid, I'd have a job. And if I didn't have either of those, I'd be in killer shape and my house would be too.  

That's not my story.

I don't have a job. There are a few applications out there, but the opportunities here are few, far and in between. I don't have a kid either. There's an explanation for that too. I am not in killer shape, and my apartment is cluttered at best.  My story is a constant battle with those things and the lovely comparison-is-the-thief-of-joy demons that come along with it.
I went to the doctor recently, hoping that my cyst had gone away. That wasn't the case. I don't get to start Clomid. Instead, I get a laparoscopy and dye test with complimentary (I amuse myself) cyst removal.  I didn't want this to be my story. I didn't want to be the girl who needed surgery to get pregnant. I don't want to have the sad story of how it took so long to get pregnant. I didn't want to have surgery in a foreign country.... but that's my story. 

I've focused so much recently on all the things my story isn't. It wasn't till some prayer and great news from great friends that I got my head back on track. 

This past Sunday a ministry that I am a part of started discussing plans for Mother's day. Yes, we start this early. As I was listening to the plans, I realized that there is reason for my issues, and a reason for being placed on this council. I spoke up-I mentioned how awkward, uncomfortable, and downright painful church on Mother's Day can be. That if you are a woman of childbearing age sans child, you feel less than. That when they have all the moms stand up in service, a  piece of the infertile woman's heart drops to her stomach. That there are all sorts of people with issues with mother's day, and we need to respect those. Not everyone has a great relationship with their mom, or with their kids. Some mothers and children are no longer with us. 

 I was given the chance and I stood up for those women. The plans shifted, then, to be more kind and fair to all women. All because one person spoke up. I don't say this to give me some sort of praise for all I do-I do very little, and this was just a comment. But it was a comment that I was able to use to galvanize me into a better place mentally, and a more productive place.  So what is my story?

My story is about sharing experiences to create an easier time for all.

My story is about how one doctor can make all the difference.

My story is about how it's okay to fall down sometimes... and it's okay to stay down for a little while. 

My story is about how some of the smallest gestures make the biggest differences. 

My story is about volunteering.

My story is about being  empathetic.

My story is about never giving up. 

My story is about doing all I can for the people I know and love... and those I know and don't love.... and those I don't know.

What's your story about?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Award Winning Baked Potato Soup

Last Sunday, our chapel service had a potluck soup/chili cook off for the Super Bowl. It was a lot of fun, and yours truly took first place in the soup category! I made my Crockpot Baked Potato Soup. I've made it about a million times, and it is always a crowd pleaser.  It's creamy, smooth, and most importantly... Delicious.  Lucky readers... I'm sharing the recipe with you!

5 lb potatoes, peeled and cut in small chunks
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced (I usually do 4 or 5. Hubs is obsessed with garlic)
2 qt chicken broth
1 tsp season salt
1/2 tsp red pepper
1/2 tsp pepper
2 8 oz pkg cream cheese
For garnish:
Bacon, turkey bacon, green onion, cheese

-place potatoes, onion, garlic in crock pot. Top with seasonings, then pour in chicken broth. 
-cook on low 8 hours, or high on 4
- mash potatoes. I use an immersion blender, but have used a hand mixer before. You can also hand mash, if you like it chunky.I like my soup smooth, so immersion blender works great for me. 
- cut cream cheese into chunks and drop in soup. Put the crockpot on high for 30 minutes
- when done, give it another quick treatment with the blender/mixer/masher.
-serve! Top with garnishes and enjoy. 

This serves an Army, and I don't know the calories. ;) It's one of my favorite comfort foods and so easy too! It reheats well so no worries on all the (super delicious) leftovers!

What's your award-winning recipe?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


For the Mister's birthday, I surprised him with a trip to Bologna.  I know-it seems like a kind of weird location, but his fraternity traces their origin to Bologna so this was an absolute must see for us. 
We flew in Friday night, and immediately had an issue. Mr left his camera in our cab. :( We got one the next day, before our trip, but still. It was rough moment. Otherwise- our first night in was amazing. The hotel (Il Convento dei Fiori... Convent of the flowers) is an actual renovated convent. It is decorated in a beautiful modern style for the rooms, with the common areas retaining a lot of the old history. 
Painting of Jesus in the Breakfast Nook
Lobby Ceiling

We had a wonderful walking tour (thanks Mom!) on Saturday morning, followed by lunch at Eatly and then  Mr's walking tour to me of some important streets and gates. I don't know too much about why they are important...something about an evil Pokemon Pirate. (Full disclosure: I'm fairly certain there's more to it... but between what I can't know and what I didn't want to know.... as far as I'm concerned It's a Pokemon pirate)
Due Torri

Saturday night we had the BEST PIZZA OF MY LIFE. And I didn't get a picture of it or anything... just delicious pizza. Wood ovens are key y'all.  We ate it and watched Psych on his laptop.. it's the little things that make me realize I love him.

Neptune's Fountain

Sunday we chilled out. We window shopped, got our ornament, and relaxed some more. Another great dinner, and then packing up to head back to Germany.  Monday was another travel day.

This trip had such a different pace than our Paris trip. It was relaxing. It was simple. It wasn't a maddening rush to try and see everything! We just took it easy. Yes, there are some things we'd like to see if we go back, but we saw the absolute must-see's. I feel like we could easily do another 4 day in Paris and not see everything still.  It was a good juxtaposition for us. Bologna is definitely worth the day trip, if you are in Italy! The food was amazing (Better than Rome, in my opinion), and the scenery was great!
Arcades all through the city

We're taking February off from traveling. We're recouping and getting our act together. In March Mr's mom is coming to visit and we are thinking we'll take her on a quick trip to Luxembourg or Prague or something. Then in April Mister wants to rent a cabin... May I go to the states and we have the brigade ball, then July we both go to the states again! It's a crazy year we have ahead of ourselves. 

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