We’ve got more news…Print Recipe Print Recipe

 

I know, I’m still in shock myself.

But it’s really happening. I’m <almost 14 weeks> pregnant with baby #2, due September 7th.

It has taken me about a week to write this. I am excited, really, but my life is so crazy, the last thing we “planned” to do was bring another child into this family. Yes, we always wanted a second, but thought we’d try once everything settled at home and Mason was a little bit older. I honestly didn’t think there was room on my plate, but apparently the universe had a different plan. Full life circle literally happening under one roof. Pretty unbelievable when I think about it.

Truthfully, I’m scared.

I’m scared that we’ll lose my mom (or possibly this baby) over the next 6 months. I’m sad that she won’t be in the hospital room with my husband when this child is born like she was with Mason. I’m both scared and sad that I’m about to be a mother of two children <under the age of 2> and won’t have my mom there to comfort me or give me advice. Just to clarify, I’m not assuming my mom won’t be with us, but mentally (due to the tumor), she’s not able to communicate, except for a handful of (basic) words or even have the strength or ability to get out of her hospital bed. You can find more info/updates, here

Deep down though, I’m really happy and incredibly grateful for this baby.

I’ve always believed, and still do that there are no accidents. We tried for what feels like forever to get pregnant with Mason. We said he was our miracle baby. Now, finding out we’re expecting number two in the middle of grieving, you could also consider that a miracle. I believe there’s a bigger reason for this baby. It’ll be a gift and he or she will likely be a piece of my mother.

 

 

Now for the pregnancy details.

This feels like a completely different pregnancy than my first. I feel great. There have been a few mornings that I’ve struggled, but once I get a piece of toast down, I’m good. I still have a good appetite. I can still eat salads and vegetables, but CRAVE any and every kind of fruit. I’m pretty sure I ate an entire cantaloupe the other day and if I had another, I’d eat it right now. What’s also different is I’m SUPER emotional. I drove by a car accident and started crying my eyes out. My sister will walk in the room after a commercial and I’ll have tears running down my face. It’s kind of obnoxious, but we’re all getting use to my continuous tears. Then as expected, I’m tired and suffer from baby brain, but can’t complain. My co-workers might though… sorry guys, just 6 more months.

I’m happy to be pregnant. Growing a little human being and the bond between mother and child that forms is something I really can’t put words to. Even during my difficult pregnancy with Mason, I fell in love with his every kick, hiccup and wiggle that happened. I’m anxious to do the same with this little bean.

Thank you for joining me in this crazy adventure that we call life. I’m thankful for all of you!

Now, any recommendations for double strollers, thoughts on two kids sharing a room (when we move out), and any good maternity work clothes? Ready, go!

 

My sweet family. Likely the last professional family photo before we’re a family of four.

 

All of these photos were taken by the talented Catherine Abegg // Calima Portraits. She’s A M A Z I N G.

 

 

 

Cranberry Almond Granola | Gluten-freePrint Recipe Print Recipe

 

This Cranberry Almond Granola and our Greek yogurt supply is ridiculous. It puts all store-bought gluten-free granola (that I’ve tried) to shame. You can’t beat homemade. I’m going to stop trying.

Every. single. morning my mom has her Greek yogurt with granola. It’s the one thing she’ll also eat, as in all gone. That’s kinda huge. During the weekend, Mason steals my yogurt and granola each morning. Ben is also on a granola kick, in between his overnight oats… He’s on some kind of health kick. He’s riding solo there. Basically, we’re all boring and have a slight addiction with yogurt and granola. End of story.

Hold on. It also makes great gifts, like thank you for watching my son. I probably should get baking because I definitely owe a handful of people after this past week. This kid better have the BEST immune system when he’s older.

This <now family favorite> recipe is from Lori, The Recipe Girl Cookbook. I highly recommend it to families who are either new to gluten-free or have a family with different dietary needs. There’s TONS of recipes that include gluten-free, vegetarian or dairy-free adaptions – easily identified with symbols. It’s brilliant. It also includes themed menus for entertaining and great party food recipes. Okay, I’ll stop, but it’s fabulous and have never been disappointed!

Try the granola for yourself and you’ll be sold. My job is done here, folks.

 

 

Cranberry Almond Granola | Gluten-free

Recipe from The Recipe Girl Cookbook

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Makes 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole (or slivered) almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup ground flaxseeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, toss together the oats, almonds, coconut flakes, flaxseeds, cinnamon and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey, oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, then stir. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the oats have turned golden brown. Note: Once you put the oats back in for the second time, keep a close eye to avoid burning. Remove from the oven, stir in the dried cranberries and let granola cool to room temperature.

When the granola has completely cooled, scoop it into a covered / airtight container where it will stay fresh for up  to 2 weeks.

 

*gluten-free *dairy-free

 

 

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with SausagePrint Recipe Print Recipe

 

If you hadn’t noticed, I took a little break from blogging and social media the last few weeks. Well, except for instagram.

I even have a handful of recipes ready to post, but it’s been difficult to find the words to put to any of them. I tried multiple times to sit down and there was so much racing through my head, but nothing that I could put into words. Not here.

So, I bought a journal. I’m sure once I actually sit down and write in it, it will help.

My life just doesn’t seem real most days. Emotions and feelings are constantly juggled, but by someone who doesn’t know how to juggle. I never really know what day it is until my husband doesn’t get out of bed Saturday morning. Going into the office feels like “me” time. when I run into you, I can tell you my mom’a on hospice and won’t even shed a tear. But I will later. And those I considered to be my friends, now feel like family.

It’s a journey.

 

 

This journey also includes me in the kitchen. The one place where I feel like myself.

A beautiful part of this journey is being able to feed my family. Seeing my mom sigh as she takes her first bite and then finishing her bowl absolutely fills my heart with such joy.

I’ve made this dish multiple times for my family and even the two out of five who dislike any kind of squash, devour this. We’ve been eating a lot of pasta lately (nights when I get home late) and just feels good to swap it out with a vegetable. The sausage and cheese makes this a filling dish, but also very comforting, yet without guilt. It’s so wonderful.

I’m so proud of Todd and Diane, the authors and photographers of this incredible cookbook, Bountiful. A few years ago (almost exactly, this month) we went to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Mexico for Food & Wine where I went as a blogger correspondent and they were the photographers. Instead of bringing my husband, I brought my mom. I was 7 weeks pregnant at the time (& so sick) so who better to bring than your mom. We had such a wonderful time and really great conversations just the four of us. Todd and Diane had shared their vision of their future cookbook (this is it!) and their love for their garden. It’s so exciting to see it all come to life. Mom would be so proud of you two and this beautiful book.

Thank you to everyone for hanging in there with me and having patience when I need to take my time. For those who’d like to follow along with my mother’s journey, you can check out her Caring Bridge page that I try and update when I can (or when there are updates).

 

 

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Sausage

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Recipe from Bountiful Cookbook

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 spaghetti squash (about 3 lbs)
  • 3/4 pound uncooked sausage (I used a Cajun style pre-cooked sausage here, but I’ve done both)
  • 5 medium shallots, thickly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup coarsely grated Parmigiana Reggiano
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano or other herbs that compliment the sausage
  • Sea salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Optional – red pepper chili flakes

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Slice the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits and pieces, the place the squash cut side down, on the prepared pan.

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a fork easily separates the squash flesh into strands. Loosen and remove the “spaghetti” from the skin and set aside. Note: if it’s a smaller squash, start with a smaller cooking time.

Pinch and pull small balls of the sausage out of its casing, arranging them so they stay separate. If you use pre-cooked sausage, slice and cut in half. In a large sauté pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic. Cook until soft, stirring, then add the sausage. Cook, untouched, until the sausage starts to brown, then stir. Continue cooking, stirring, occasionally until the sausage is cooked through, 2-3 minutes.

Add the squash strands to the sausage and continue cooking until heated through, about 1 minute.

Remove the pan and the heat. Toss in the Parmigiana Reggiano and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Optional – sprinkle red pepper chili flakes.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

 *gluten-free

 

Mason’s FIRST Birthday CelebrationPrint Recipe Print Recipe

 

So much happens in 12 months.

From the whole birthing/newborn journey to raising and teaching this impressionable little being everything you think is important. Loving them endlessly and smothering them with kisses before they’re old enough to tell you no. The true test in patience, especially when they keep everyone up all night, teething (which feels never ending!), throwing their entire dinner on the floor right after you made it, and wrestling diaper changes because us parents always love a good challenge. It’s all a journey, but  a wonderful and memorable journey.

All in all, every day is an absolute blessing with this little one. His smile and big slobbery kisses melt my heart every moment of the day and know I’m the luckiest mama in the world. I love him so much.

 

Mason turned ONE on November 9th

Celebrating his first birthday was emotional for me.

I had envisioned a birthday party with all our friends, family and their little ones. An opportunity to bring everyone together, feed them and love on our little mace.

Given our situation with my mom, the thought of throwing a birthday party without my family, yeah right. So, I decided to put together a little birthday celebration with just us. Nana, papa, auntie and ben and I. All of Mason’s favorite people.

On his actual birthday we spent the afternoon at the zoo with his other grandparents. Also is favorite people. 

 

I was in my zone.

I know it’s a first birthday and none of the details make a difference. But this party is just as much for me as it is for mace. If not all for me…

I loved every second of it. Plus, watching my family sit around while mace “opened” his gifts, all enjoying the room, the food and the moment was simply the best and all I could ask for.

 

First bite of sugar and well, you could say he liked it. It did take him awhile but he finally got his hands dirty. It was so fun to watch.

Seeing mace pick through his cake and the excitement and his little giggles was my favorite part.

This is one of our favorite salads. If you’re local, it may look familiar. This is basically a gluten-free version of PCC Markets perfect protein salad. I plan on sharing this recipe with you next week because you need it. And you’re welcome.

Along with the protein salad, I made a Chinese chicken salad (from Weelicious Lunches), sweet potato and regular fries, and blueberry donuts (from Baked Doughnuts For Everyone). We had wine and cucumber water, served in mason jars. Obviously.

It was all perfect.

 

 

THE DETAILS

Cake Stand, fry holder and M from World Market
Cake Topper from Sweet and Saucy / Little Cat Design
Water Container from Sur la Table
DIY Garland – inspiration from Oh Happy Day 
Tent (birthday present from mama and daddy) from Land of Nod

Table styled and all food made by me, Lisa Thiele