See Ya Later 2011

This Year:

We moved across the fricken’ country.

Bryant started a new job.

I quit my job.

We procreated.

 

Last year, I had no goals, instead, I just wanted to keep pace with everything wonderful that we already had going on. Nothing ever really goes as planned. I think we hit the fast forward button and took some leaps this year and truthfully speaking, I’d like to slow down a bit. We have started a family, and she will grace us with her presence two months from now. We took some risks this year and shook things up, and now we’d like to settle. 2012 will be everything but “easy” and as I look ahead I see the ginormous challenges awaiting us, but I think somehow we will make it all work. We have been so blessed, and to realize that somehow we made ends meet and we took everything that we built in Oregon and created these uncomfortable circumstances on the other side of the country in hopes of finding something new and ultimately better for us…well, I don’t know what else to say except that it is a miracle. Moves have always been hard for me, but this one, this one should have been the most challenging. Instead, I only see the joy that it has brought to my husband which makes all of the negativity fade. That is the funny thing about marriage; we convince ourselves that the compromise will hurt, but by allowing that element of flexibility and seeing that new degree of happiness in the person you love spill over, it is infectious. I am happy because my husband is happy. In 2012, we have financial goals. We have educational goals. I personally have some Heidi Klum post baby health goals that will be kicked into high gear as soon as Kinsey Hope is born, but, even with all of these plans, I am perfectly content if we simply survive. I know that sounds negative in a way, but I think the saying “live and let live” is the attitude I would like to have in 2012. Things may go our way, they may not, but I’d like to throw my expectations out the window and just go with it. I will become a mother, and somehow will find a way to juggle that with all of the other roles I play in life. I do not need to add the pressure of making a list or focusing on an word or a goal or a plan, I just want to sit down on December 31st, 2012 and look back and say “Somehow, we did it.”

 

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Not So Anonymous

I got one of the good ones. I honestly did not even know how lucky I was on the day that I married him. I think as time passes and the years and experiences stack on top of each other, that feeling of “How did I get so lucky?” grows exponentially. Here is the thing: women love to bash their husbands. I have no idea what they are thinking when they are doing it but it makes my soul ache. I spend a little bit of time on the community boards via the various pregnancy apps on my iPhone (the Bump and Baby Center), and it hurts my heart every time I see a hormonal pregnant woman posting about how her “DH” pissed her off in someway. I have a rule. It is simple. Do not talk badly about your husband to anyone. Bryant and I make fun of each other often and we give each other a hard time. I think that people know that about us, so we definitely joke to friends and rag on each other, but when it comes to the real issues, the real heart of our relationship, we protect each other. I never say anything badly about him even to my Mom if I am angry with him (which I should note, does not happen very often). When women do this, speak ill of their spouses, it actually reflects more badly on them than their husband. It is true. Instead of me hearing what they are saying and thinking “Wow. I am so sorry you have it so bad” I think, “Wow. Your poor husband.” We all make choices and obviously made a choice the day we got married. Marriages fail, but I think the women who stand out the most are the ones who even in that failure keep their mouths shut.

I am almost 27 weeks pregnant, and my husband has been beyond supportive in the last 7 months of suffering. When I was 7 weeks pregnant, I woke up with some substantial amount of bleeding. I called Bryant crying and he rushed home from work to take me to the hospital. I was told by several nurses and doctors that I had “probably” miscarried, and we spent the day holding each other in the waiting room until I was finally given an ultrasound. I cried behind my sunglasses and Bryant held my hand tightly assuring me that everything was going to be ok. They took me back and I laid on the table sobbing, alone. They wouldn’t let Bryant come back with me until they had a clear picture. After almost 40 minutes, Bryant was ushered back into the room and the ultrasound tech turned the screen and showed us little Kinsey. She said, “See that flutter, that is the heartbeat.” Our first ultrasound was not what I had imagined. I imagined it to be a happy and confirming moment, not one that was clouded with fear. We left the hospital with a stupid piece of paper explaining what a threatened miscarriage was, and I spent the following weeks in my pajamas watching Grey’s Anatomy waiting for something bad to happen. Bryant text me multiple times every single day asking me how I was doing. He held me every night before we went to bed and he listened to me talk about my body numbing fear that kept me from sleeping. He never told me that he was scared too, even though I knew that he was–he was my anchor, my comfort, and my strength. I would wake up with tears in my eyes and everyday he told me that it was going to be ok. My point here is that no one ever talks about these moments. The moments when their husbands shine.

I got one of the good ones and every single day I feel lucky that he chose me. I choose to honor and respect him even on anonymous pregnancy forums.

Cookie Baking

I am a terrible baker. We’ve talked about this before. But if I really focus, and let the paranoia of failure dictate my every move, sometimes…only sometimes, I can pull out a win. Every Christmas growing up we made Spritz cookies. They are a combination of butter and sugar but they are almost cake like in their chewy delight. In the last three years (since I’ve been married), I have tried to duplicate the Spritz cookies from my childhood. I used the recipe in the Joy of Cooking which was my biggest failure really because they are crispy and terrible. Last year my sister gave me a cookbook where she hand wrote our family recipes inside. I had complained a number of times about not having any of our family recipes so she took the time to gather all of the favorites and put them into a book for me; however, somehow the Spritz recipe was skipped. So this year I made a big deal about how I was not going to even try to make them, and then after lots of “I GAVE YOU THE RECIPE!” and “NO YOU DID NOT, I AM LOOKING IN THE COOKIE SECTION!” and “I SWEAR IT IS IN THERE!” we realized that it was accidentally skipped, and the Joy of Cooking wasn’t anywhere close to the same recipe. Then, it was discovered that my sister’s copy of the recipe was also messed up when it came to margarine measurements. Thankfully, my Mom hosted a cookie baking party with her sisters over the weekend and in my venting about past years of failed Spritz attempts my Mom clarified the recipe for me. See how things can easily get lost in translation over the years?

Yesterday, I committed to spending my afternoon making Spritz. I had two test batches, and decided that the sugar to butter ratio was off because they tasted more like crackers than cookies at first. Then, I adjusted the cooking time because the recipe called for 10 minutes but really that was way too long, so I ended up cooking them for 6ish minutes. So, I am going to do a big family no no and post the recipe here on my blog so you can try them and see what all the fuss is about.  I also should note I did burn one batch because I forgot I had any cookies in the oven. Typical Katie Baking Fashion. I even stood in the kitchen and wouldn’t let myself leave, even to go to the bathroom, anticipating this kind of oversight, but then I was putting red hots on my wreath shaped ones all fancy like and suddenly *Sniff* *Sniff* “SON OF A BITCH!” (That is EXACTLY what went down).

Spritz Cookies

**Note** These Cookies are NOT Jillian Michaels approved.

I recommend giving some away in cookie tins to friends and neighbors because you will clog your arteries with these babies.

1 Cup Butter

1 Cup plus 2 tbs Margarine

1 1/2 cups of Sugar (I added probably an extra 1/4 cup of Sugar, so feel free to adjust as needed)

1 tsp Salt

3 eggs

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/4 tsp Almond Extract (*optional* I didn’t add any and they taste delicious)

6 1/4 Cups of Flour

Cream Butter & Margarine-add sugar, salt, and eggs (Beat Well)

Add Vanilla, Almond, and Flour

Batter Should be Stiff. Run Through Cookie Press. (If the Batter Softens, Pop it in the fridge for a few minutes)

*Add Whatever Festive Sprinkles You Want, or Not, Up to You.

Bake at 375 degrees for 6** minutes (again, recipe calls for 10 minutes, so if you for some insane reason like crispy cookies, you can keep them in a bit longer)