Vegan Pecan Pie Brownies

So it has been a minute since my last post but life has been crazy busy in fact so much that I was supposed to have this post up YESTERDAY but time got away from me as it always does, every single day. I’ve almost come to the conclusion that I need to stop “planning” posts and just do it when I can. I can say, I’ll have it up on a particular day but when you work basically a 9-5 job and then come home and do laundry and what housework you can plus, cook dinner, and possibly have some time to spend with your husband, or do a little creative bliss, its nearly impossible to have the time let alone the energy to write a long drawn out blog post stating the very obvious of ones life events when in reality I can’t even remember most days what I had for breakfast that day, so any recollection of my day would probably be boring to the average reader. So we shall skip the formalities of a typical blog post and cut to the chase and just give you the recipe (the very thing you are waiting for, right?) and add a few little photos to wet your appetite. Savvy?

Next time or another time I will share some fun facts about me, possibly or just simply share a funny story as I often am found doing.

In a world where everything is something, why vegan? Well, sometimes its just nice to have and try something new. And lately I have found vegan homemade goodies are often a yummy winner. I mean, hey, it won my boss and most of my current co-workers over. One of my Keto loving co-workers asks specifically if I will create a Keto delish, anything in the not so distant future, so right there, is something I can definitely dish out since I am a Keto loving soul, myself.

Vegan Pecan Pie Brownies

For the Brownies:

4 Tbsp ground flax

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup vegan butter (I used earth balance), melted

1 cup organic cane sugar

1 cup organic light brown sugar, lightly packed

1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey’s of course)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

Make your flax egg with the water and the ground flax, set aside. Preheat the oven to 350* and line a 7×11 pan or an 8×8 pan with parchment paper (if you don’t have this, aluminum foil will work as well).

Melt the vegan butter and add the sugars, add the flax egg, and vanilla. Sift the flour and the cocoa powder, the salt and baking powder stir until all together and well combined preferably with a wooden spoon.

Add to the pan. Spread evenly.

For the Pecan pie (topping)

3 1/2 tbsp of vegan butter 

1/2 cup organic light brown sugar

1/2 cup corn syrup

1/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp corn starch

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup silken tofu

1 – 1 1/2 cups of whole or pieces of roasted pecans (see notes) want 15% off on our own TN Valley Pecan Co. pecans? Scroll to the very bottom to receive the discount code to add to your order at checkout. And please use it multiple times and share it with your friends and family so they can get some too!)

Vegan whipped cream (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in one bowl using a hand mixer and adding with a wooden spoon or spatula the pecans last. Stir together well. The tofu may make everything look a little spotty but don’t worry once baked in the oven, that look will go away.

Add the pecan liquid to the top of the brownie and place the pan in the preheated oven. Bake for 45 minutes. check to make sure the pecans are ok. If still a little runny in the middle, bake for another 10-15 minutes. The middle will be jiggly slightly when its done and the sides will be bubbly and gooey.

Take out of the oven to cool. And this is where it gets a little tricky. Your first notion is to want to dig in while it is hot. If you don’t want it to set up well, go ahead, no one is watching. But if you are taking it to a party you will want to plan a day ahead to make this, because you will need to refrigerate it to let it set up completely. And then you can eat it cold or reheat. Both ways are yummy.

Notes:

Toasting the pecans is a great way for those oils to come gushing out and create that yummy earthy flavor that pecans are so amazing at providing all on their own. To roast those pecans, measure out the pecans you need plus a little extra for snacking, if you are using TVPC’s pecans, then, trust me you will want to try them out toasted. After the oven has preheated before you start on the Pecan pie part, add your pecans to a sheet pan and place in the oven for 8-10 minutes depending on your oven, and how hot it gets. I find mine gets pretty hot fast so 8 minutes was plenty of time. You won’t want to skip this step because it really brings out the yummyness of the pecans and pecans have a very high oil content for a nut, so no need to add oil to the pan when baking these golden beauties.

What you have been waiting for: the discount code for Tn Valley Pecan Company’s delicious pecans, use it at checkout to get 15% off your entire order! Happiest of Thanksgivings, y’all!

Enjoy!

Sincerely,

Katie

P.S. “PECANPIEBROWNIE” is your discount code to yummy savings. We ship world wide, you’re welcome.

To my Mama…

To those that missed my speech the day of my Mama’s funeral, here’s what I wrote in honor of her life. Thanks for reading.

Celebration of Life Date July 11th, 2020

“My mom loved people, didn’t she? but when it came to speaking in big crowds she was too shy. I too have never wanted to be heard that way because of so much fear, but if it had been me, I know she would have done the same. That’s why my sweet man is up here, I can’t do this alone.

I don’t know how much you know about my mom. Maybe you have met her, maybe not? Maybe you only met her once. Maybe you’ve known her your whole life? But can I pause those memories you have with her (if you do) for just a minute or 10 and tell you a little bit of how I saw her?

Being an artist I’m a very visual person, I can remember brief snips of memories far back as young as a toddler age, 2 or 3 years old. Mama gave me that gift, that artist side and that photographic memory. I remember so many times I would explain things to her and, she would nod very nicely like she knew exactly what I was talking about and then if there was a question at the end she would say, “wait what?” That’s me. Thank you, Mama for that. My motto at work has always been, “if you want me to do something right, give it to me in writing.” Otherwise I will do the same. Wait what?

That being said, being an observer, oftentimes a wallflower, I would see things about my mom, other people didn’t see. She was my best friend from the very time I first remember her. She always made me feel better than I was. I remember her getting down on the floor with me and playing with me like she was a kid again. I don’t say this lightly or boastfully, but She was the best mom, such a gift.

I had a really hard time from the very beginning in school. My experience with school was a lot different than my siblings, maybe they never knew that, but Mama knew. Mama gave us the choice if we wanted to go to school or homeschool. I wanted to try school because it sounded like so much fun. I tried it. After awhile she could tell I was struggling to keep up. My mom then took me to a specialist and I was then diagnosed with Dyslexia. Which if you know nothing about it, that’s ok. I didn’t even know such a thing existed. I basically struggled with reading and reading allowed, and writing and the alphabet would often times come out backwards because that’s how I see things. But Mama helped me overcome those hurdles. Even the constant bullying I dealt with at school because I was “different”. And because it took me forever to learn to read and write. “Kids can be so mean.” She would often say, “But we’re gonna get through this and everything will be ok.”

She walked that road with me, every step of the way, she even let me choose to do homeschooling because the bullying was just too much for me, and I knew it was just too much for her.

She made it a habit for us to go into our rooms and shut the door and read our bibles and pray. Sometimes when I would have those debilitating days when it was just too hard for me to read, she would come in and sit on the bed with me and read with me or showed me all sorts of tactics that would help me read better. She made even those days when it was just too hard to simply get out of bed, because I had so many insecurities and felt like I had failed her because I couldn’t read, She always lifted me up. She always helped me get through those rough times. She knew exactly when I was struggling. Sometimes even before I knew it.

She loved all her children fiercely and for a tiny woman, she would have done anything to protect and stand up for any one of us. She loved us that much.

I had made a profession of faith when I was 7 years old. My Papaw, Mama’s Daddy Baptized me. But as years went by and I grew up, We started attending here at Trinity. It was a different church. I mean people who met in shooting range? You can’t get anymore special than that. I remember Mama was just so excited the first few times we visited. She couldn’t stop talking about how much she loved the preaching and teaching. Fast forward a few years later. I finally got fed up because I never was a question asker. If I didn’t know something I would try to find the answer myself because I didn’t want to burden anyone with my questions. But we had been going to church here for 3 or 4 years already and I needed answers about what they believed. Mama loved God as fiercely as she loved us. Even more so. I mean you couldn’t look at her some days because she had such a glow about her, for me, as a visual person, oftentimes I had a hard time understanding where that glow came from. So after asking her if she would explain everything to me finally she sat with me and shared with me and explained to me in full detail the church’s beliefs and understanding of God’s word, and what God’s word really says about being a Christian, about why God sent His son to die in our place. And it was as if I had heard the gospel for the first time almost as if a light bulb had just come on in my head. Wow!! Thank you Mama! It’s not me!! Its all Jesus and what He did for me on the cross. He bore my sins, every last bit. I didn’t even pray a prayer, it was literally a light bulb moment. We don’t have to rely on our own merit, it’s nothing that we have done but only what Christ has done! Years before people would ask me to give my testimony of how I became a Christian and it was ALWAYS something that I did. My sinful pride was in the way of what Jesus had already done. It was the tender heartedness of my mother who brought me to the cross and let Jesus do the work in my heart. I didn’t even pray a prayer, I didn’t walk down an aisle I had already been baptized so I didn’t feel like I needed to again. Because that doesn’t save you. It was all self centered before and all about me. It was never about Jesus or God. I don’t know how many times before that light bulb came on, that Mama gently told me the gospel all the time. ALL DAY, everyday. And I don’t know if you knew this about her. But she prayed for people like no one I ever knew. She WAS the definition of a prayer warrior. BUT she never let on that she was. She was genuinely so. She NEVER, was like the Pharisees in the Bible, she was NEVER, ever showy about her faith. She just Let Jesus rule her life and shine through her. No one had ever taken the time to explain things to me like my mom. She made you feel so special and so important like no one I ever knew. She made you feel like you were living in a time when every one was friendly to everyone. It was as if time actually stood still when you were around her. People tell me all the time about all the above. She was like that because she let Jesus be the ruler of her life. She loved him with all of her heart, soul, strength and mind! And truly loved her neighbor as herself. She showed tough love with those who were not living in a such a way that is pleasing to God. As hard as it was for her to do that, she came to me so many times broken over the situation and asked and pleaded with me to fast and pray with her that these she was so broken over would repent and come fully to the cross, laying all sinful pride down as she witnessed me do,she did this because she knew that life is fleeting and she would rather know and rest assured they had a mansion being prepared for them in heaven, because THAT was what was important to her. Memories on earth were special to her, but knowing she has full assurance she would spend eternity with everyone she knew was more important to her than any memory that she had on earth. She would often tell me, “Earthly memories will fade but eternity is forever.”

When I said earlier she was my best friend. She really was. She had more conviction than anyone I have ever met. Even though, I too, love the Lord just like she did, does. I can’t believe she is gone. The day Elizabeth called me and told me what had happened, my heart dropped in my stomach. I didn’t understand why this had happened, why God would let this happen? But it’s like one of her dearest friends in this church wrote so beautifully yesterday, if her death brought even just one person fully to the cross, she would then know, her tragic death as terrible and unthinkable as it was for all of us who love her and truly knew her, then all that she did and all that she was wasn’t for naught.

I’m so glad my last thought of her was giving her a hug and her telling me just how much she loved me. This goodbye I have fixed in my mind. Is not forever. Life is so fleeting and is but a vapor. Love your family and friends, and hug them a little longer, we don’t know what tomorrow will bring forth. But if you were like me, living a lie for so long, I hope Jesus brings you all the way.

Thank you, Mama for showing me what Love truly is. Kiss Nanny and Pawpaw and my babies for me. ❤️ I love you!”

Sincerely,

Katie

The “Rainbow” Baby

To be straight forward and honest today was a really good day. Mainly because we didn’t celebrate or reflect solely on Mother’s Day (due to Covid-19,) like we normally do, so it actually made it much more enjoyable day. I was sad I didn’t get to see my mom today, but I’ll Lord willing see her later this week.

This morning I did have a time of tears due to so many reminding me of what today was. Not blaming anyone for wishing me well today, I did the same to them, first. I appreciate it a lot, actually. I had a ton of Happy Mothers Day well wishes, even by my sweet husband. Oftentimes I don’t feel like I deserve such sweet well wishes. Because that title just doesn’t seem to fit me, since my arms are empty though my heart is overflowing.

I do get why people do. Some do it out of kindness, some do it because it’s a nice gesture, most do it because they love me and know just how much it means to me, some don’t do it at all and I think because they don’t see my arms full or it makes them uncomfortable because they may have insecurities about children dying and my talking about it makes them uncomfortable so they don’t. Or they feel like I don’t understand what it truly means to be a mom. An honest to goodness mother one with living, breathing children. I get that. Because honestly, all I know is the pregnant side and the worst case scenario side.

I’m thankful to those that do wish it every year. It truly means a lot. Those that do it that have a true sense of how much it really means to people like me who have lost where it hurts the most. To you, dear people, thank you! It means a whole lot to me. And it reminds me of the goodness of the Lord and what He has done for us during these difficult days.

One thing I’ve noticed over these past 6 years of being a mom of empty arms is one little saying that we mothers say that I really wish would stop. (I’ve been guilty of this too).

One thing I wish mother’s would stop saying about their babies, the ones that make it to term, I wish they would stop using the term as “promised babies” or “rainbow babies” (I used to do it too). Just like everyone on this earth, we are not promised tomorrow or even today. Saying your child is a promised baby or a rainbow baby is such a painful saying to say, especially around those who have lost theirs as if ours were not promised or a gift.

I get why people say it, because they may have lost a baby before so this one becomes their “promised” baby. But no one is promised today or tomorrow. The fact of the matter is, that life no matter what, is precious and such a great privilege. Every baby that is born, whether they make it or not, is a promised baby, a rainbow baby, a gift. Having lived through three deaths of my babies, I see them as a gift, a gift that keeps on giving, though sad and terrible as it was at the time, they lived for EXACTLY the time that they needed to. They touched our hearts. They were promised and in trusted to my womb for the time appointed to them by their Maker, our Heavenly Father. They may not have lived to term but they were promised and they were just as special and just as loved as the next baby. 💕

To say otherwise is like saying God only blesses those mothers but he doesn’t bless those of us who’ve lost. God is good, no matter what. Who He chooses to ordain with a quiver full is not up to us to say. But they are each a blessing in of themselves, no matter how long or short lived on earth. God is good ALL the time.

I say that to say, that every baby deserves the name of a promised baby. Not just those that live a full and healthy life outside the womb. Babies die in the womb everyday and are never considered the term promised by their own mothers or even deemed a miracle to many. You don’t have to look very far to see how very wrong that very much is. We have all been fearfully and wonderfully made by our Creator and King of Kings! Not one dies without His notice. Jesus loved all the little children and never wished the disciples to shoo them away.

Each life in trusted to us is a gift with a promise. Every new life is beautiful! To those of you who have lost a baby. Please know, I see you and am thinking of you in my prayers, and remember; your baby was well loved a gift and a beautiful rainbow baby, too! 💕

Happy Mother’s Day!

Sincerely,

Katie

I Shan’t Not Speak

These past months have been so brutal with the covid-19 stuff going on. It’s been downright lonely. As if loneliness didn’t already come to me naturally being a somewhat introvert with a dash of extrovertness. But this post isn’t about a political agenda or who’s right or wrong on this issue. I just wish it was all over and we could get back to life with people again. I miss my church family more than anything and just worshiping God freely without people telling us what we can and cannot do in regards to cooperate worship. To those who think it not essential, it is VERY essential to the believer. I don’t live in fear of the future because my future is a beautiful one. I have hope, when I leave this life I will go on to the next and the next one is way better than this one. I’ll be with, Jesus, and no more sin! and I’ll see my children and all my loved ones. Even the ones I never got to know. So really, when you have this kind of hope for the future. Living in fear is pointless. I’m not saying, I need to be stupid and do stupid things like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute. But being smart, washing my hands with soap and water, avoiding getting up in peoples faces, wearing gloves at work when working with food (which I always do), etc. But going out into the world, it’s gonna happen. So why not now?

I understand it’s different for everyone. Those who choose to stay home, there is no judgement here. And it’s different for people who have young children, I understand that’s a whole different kind of fear in of itself. I’ve lived through that fear and seen it on the hard side, three times. But if you are in Christ, your life belongs to God. We don’t need to fear, because our days are numbered. Their days are numbered as well.

As I scrolled through my memory feed this evening, so many posts from today back in 2015 when we were in the hospital with our little, Isaac. Those were some very hard days, when I went into labor early. I was 20 weeks and 5 days and stayed an additional 5 days in the hospital trying to stop his contractions. I fought hard for his little life. I tried to hold on to that precious life that God had graciously bestowed on us, but the contractions were too strong and finally we had to say goodbye. I can still remember his precious little body against mine. His tiny toes and hands and sweet face. He was fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are His works, and that my soul knows very well!

I shan’t be silent about this. Many people have told me over the years that I need to stop sharing my story, to stop celebrating my children’s birthdays in heaven, to stop thinking about them in heaven because of whatever reason? I can’t not share their little legacy’s. God uses experiences to bring us through hard times, and they are always for our good, even though at the time they don’t seem like it. But experiences no matter what they are, are always worth sharing. They are what help us and mold us into the passionate and compassionate people that we strive to be. God used those times to bring me all the way to Himself and gave me a greater sense of trust and fearlessness in and through Him. Any strength I had then, and any I have now, solely comes from God. I will fear no evil, for what can man, do to me? Because of them, God used my sweet babes to show me so much love and prayers from friends and family all over the globe. People were praying for us! Wow! So much love. People still, to this day, still pray for us. I can’t help but cry a bit, happy tears at all the beautiful comments people said during that time and continue to say even today. I’m glad I shared my stories and continue to share my stories. Because it’s all for the glory of Christ and what He did for me during those very hard times that make me who I am, today. God’s strength is a beautiful thing and I’m so thankful He gives it to me when I need it most.

So I say, never stop sharing your story. Every life is beautiful. Every experience, good or bad is for our good. Fear the Lord, not things and circumstances.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭9:10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:26-30‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Sincerely,

Katie

Trying to Fit in

I know it’s been some time since I wrote last but writing for me, oftentimes comes in waves. I only write when I really have something on my heart to share.

I recently had a couple more opportunities to share our baby loss stories with others, in group settings. As always, I love sharing but not when it’s that time of the month. My mind is never in the right frame of mind. I’m always more emotional and don’t know how to put things into perspective. I always end up just telling it how it was, emotionally and not how it was back when it happened. I forget and don’t ever paint the real picture, how it should be painted. How the Lord grew our marriage and how God gave us so much peace and strength through the whole horrible situations. How through it all I can rejoice even in tribulation and sorrow. It is an indescribable feeling when you give all those emotions over to God. Especially emotions that come from losing a child.

I’ve never been good at speaking in general to more than two people at a time. I get nervous and forget things. I’m more a one on one kind of person. I prefer to share one at a time, but I’m thankful I had an opportunity to share and listen to others who had gone through child losses as well. It helps so much to know how to better pray for people.

One thing I also don’t like about sharing in a group setting is when I’m the only one in the group without living children. It’s really difficult because I can’t relate and can’t sympathize with anyone and they with me.

Losing a baby was hard, losing three was harder, but not being able to relate to living breathing children with other mothers is by far the hardest for me, thus far. I can live with the fact I may never have the opportunity to give birth again and never have my own biological babies, living and breathing outside the womb. But the fact I may never fit in a group with other mothers, is by far the hardest thing for me to bear. I don’t know where my place is in the church, I don’t know where I fit in in group settings? I feel like a stick in the mud if I don’t join other mothers on outings and such. It’s just so hard. I feel like a block trying to fit into a round hole. It just doesn’t work.

I’ve been trying to find my place for awhile, so far I’ve found the best job of my life and somehow have managed to stay content doing that and I feel very privileged to have such an amazing job. But I can’t hide away forever in my job as much as I often wish I could, because it just feels easier and safe and I don’t have to deal with that pain of not fitting in. But I know I do have to go out and spend time with others in different walks of life. That’s just life in general. But I guess it was never meant to be easy. And it definitely hasn’t been.

I often wonder if Jesus, when He was on this earth, if maybe He felt a sense of not fitting in? We know as a child He knew so much, He knew it all, the Scribes and Pharisees and Sadusees all marveled at the knowledge He possessed at such a young age. I wonder if other children teased and mocked Him? When His disciples would fall asleep while praying with Him I cannot help but wonder if the feelings of relating might have grieved Him just a bit? Since He did have human feelings just as we do. He must have felt that of not fitting in. He has felt everything they we have felt. He is the ONLY One that can truly relate to anything we go through in this life. Jesus has felt it all and so much more!

But I say all that to say. Whatever you are going through. The best thing you can do is just continue to give it to God. No matter how painful, no matter how heartbreaking and maybe you think your pain is insignificant compared to some? We should never compare our pain with others. Pain is pain. No matter how it’s occurred. It’s an emotion that is true and real that can either make us or break us. But we should never be ashamed if it breaks us. We are human, after all. A broken and contrite heart, God will not despise. (Psalm 51:17).

As I continue to give this over to God, I pray God shows me exactly what my purpose is, and how I can better serve and glorify Him, through my trials.

Sincerely,

Katie

Acquiescence

Acquiescence. To Acquiesce. Isn’t that just a beautiful word? Oh how it beautifully depicts exactly what I’ve been feeling lately.

If you are not familiar with this word and it’s meaning, here it is according to Webster’s dictionary.

It is a verb meaning: to accept, comply, or submit tacitly or passively —often used with in or to. Other synonyms for this word: agree, come around, consent, or subscribe.

When the word was first described to me, it was described in a sermon by my Pastor at the time. He depicted a very detailed description of what this word looked like in action. Imagine it, a man holding a glass of tea, standing on the edge of the diving board leaning over and across a swimming pool with his back towards it. The man, looking very content sipping his glass of tea, leaning his head back as it were and completely, accepting, leaning back, which in turn causes him to fall into that swimming pool, the water completely laps around the man and engulfs him and his tea. He acquiesced, fully trusting in the fall and allowing the waters to engulf him without flinching or breaking that trust. He completely accepted and relied on the water to catch him.

The word to acquiesce has been on my heart and mind a lot lately. Like knowing if you walk towards the sun, you know the shadows will fall behind you. That is what I’ve been feeling for the past several weeks. That I’ve been walking toward the sun and my past is casting the shadow of my hopes and dreams and hardships, all of it is behind me.

When you finally let go and let God do His perfect work in you. When you let Him lead and guide and direct you. When you let go of all your hopes and dreams and give them over to God. It paints as beautiful a picture as the man who lets go of his worries and lets the water catch him. When he acquiesces and complies with the situation and let’s the matter fall where it will. After years of struggling and wrestling with God about children I’m finally giving it over to God. It’s been a long hard struggle but I know it’s the right thing to do. Whether the Lord delights to give us more children or not, I know now, it’s all in his hands. I acquiesce and give it solely over to Him. I have no control over this matter, and have given it completely over to God.

And what’s crazy about all of it. I’m content with that decision. I’m content knowing that this matter is no longer in my hands, it never was, or never should have been.

So many people would often ask, “Are you pregnant, yet?” As if it were up to me to make that happen? I no longer want that responsibility and frankly no longer “care”. I do care but I’m casting all my cares to Jesus so frankly that care no longer belongs to me. So I would appreciate it if people would stop asking. If it happens it will happen with or without people asking. Be content in my childlessness just as I am.

Oftentimes when people would ask me, it would make me feel pretty discontent, or that I failed in some way. I often feel like a failure as a mother and a wife. My body after all, was the cause of my children’s deaths. So please don’t ask me why I’m not pregnant yet, or if I am. It hurts every time someone does. When you ask, “are you pregnant, yet?” To a mother who has lost, it sounds like, “you failed, again?”

I would appreciate the encouragements and the sensitivities rather than the constant reminder of my weaknesses and failures. Just as mother of living children don’t like to repeat their often failures as a mother, but who also need encouragement from time to time. Instead of tearing each other down with our words let’s build each other up.

I’m thankful to slowly be learning to live out these words that God in His goodness has given to us to learn and to put into action. I hope whatever you are hanging onto with a firm grip, that you will one day let it go and let God hold onto it for you. Acquiesce, your hopes and dreams and give them solely over to your, Savior. ❤️

“casting all your anxieties (care) on him, because he cares for you.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Sincerely,

Katie

Why I Stopped Attending Baby Showers

It’s been too long since I posted a blog post. A lot has happened since my last post. But more about that later.

This has been on my Mama heart to share for so long and now I’m finally ready to share.

We lost another baby on January 3rd, 2019 which makes number 3 for us. Baby Grace, is what we named her, although we never found out the gender, the whole time I carried I called her Hazel Grace, which is odd since I never wanted a girl until I was pregnant with this sweet baby. And the fact my cravings consisted of healthy foods was unusual for me, since all I craved was junk food with both of my boys. And I dreamed of a baby girl before I lost her. I dreamed of baby boys before I lost each of them.

But God knows the gender and “Grace” is extended to both genders in the Bible so Grace could very well be a boy or girl name. But for now, she is called Grace. I just couldn’t not name my baby. I don’t understand how you can’t, no matter how small they are. Everyone deserves a name. From a God who names every star in the heavens, I would just feel awful not naming my precious baby. That’s just how I feel about it, everyone is different.

Now to get back to the title. I stopped going to baby showers for many reasons, but before I dive into the why’s. One thing I wanted to mention to people who have never experienced a baby loss is, to those not knowing anything of how that feels, being invited to a baby shower is such a huge encouragement to a mama who has lost a baby.

The reason being is, even though she most likely won’t attend, that is not a reason to not invite her. To not invite a close friend after experiencing loss will most likely make her feel sad and not included. That really hurts a mama heart who has lost. Because she already feels not included as it is. She’s never called to come hang out with you because she doesn’t have kids to play with your kids, she feels not included to birthday parties to your kids parties because her kids are not there to attend. And even if she is invited to said parties, she may have to decline because it’s hard to be the only one in the room without a living breathing child. It just plain hurts. But being invited makes her feel included and that you thought of her, being thought of is a wonderful thing for a mama who has lost.

I know this sounds like someone who is complaining and throwing a pity party. But truly it isn’t that at all. One of the worst things you can do for a friend who has lost a baby is not include her in many things, baby showers are one of them. Because she already feels left behind. And feeling left behind is the worst feeling in the world.

Imagine it. You have friends who go on a girls trip a group of friends whom you are close to, all of them have kids like you, but they don’t bother to ask if you’d like to come along. Feels pretty bad, right? That’s how a mama of a lost baby(ies) feels, All. The. Time. It just plain hurts. And we often feel left behind on many things, many outings, many play dates, fun times with other mamas who get to make fun memories with other mamas. It’s hard, ya know?

But we often try not to wear our feelings on our sleeves so it probably seems like we are fine to go on as we are. But frankly even mamas without their babies feel lonely just as those that do. We all need the companionship of other mamas, we crave community, too, people we relate to. That’s one of the many things God has blessed me with. When I feel down, I have my girl friends to cheer me up, cheer me on, and encourage where encouragement is needed. And likewise. I’m so incredibly blessed with so many Godly friends and family that encourage me on a daily. ❤️

Here are some other reasons I stopped attending baby showers. For my sanity’s sake.

I have attended a few baby showers since I said I would not attend another one. And frankly it was just plain hard. It felt like my heart was on fire. So many tears. I wanted to curl up into a ball and cry and die right there, but I didn’t die. I didn’t curl up into a ball on the floor, instead I prayed and asked God to help me. Hubby and I at one of them sat with a new family in our church and they told us the beautiful stories of how they adopted their boys. It really does help to pray, y’all. I left with a happy heart for the couple, I didn’t shed any tears going home. I just kindly excused myself once the gifts started. Because I knew I would be balling then. But it doesn’t always end that well. Most often I leave feeling alone and in tears.

I also stopped attending baby showers because of the baby stories that are always shared. Because they are all beautiful and sweet and make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. If it came time to sharing my stories, everyone would go home crying or feeling sad for me, or even pitting me which is by far the worst. So no, I cannot attend the baby showers anymore. Being the one to ruin a perfectly beautiful party is just not cool. So that’s why I stopped.

How has not attending baby showers helped me? I’ve learned to accept my baby losses, I know God has a plan and I trust Him wholly. I’ll be honest I don’t understand the purpose and plan, but I trust my Savior with my whole heart. I know He knows what He is doing and there is a reason for everything. And not only that, I have way more peace and joy because of it. If you know me at all, you know I’m not a naturally strong person, I am as weak as they come. Any strength that is showing is all God.

When I attended baby showers, it hurt so much and made me so discontent in where God had me. Once I stopped attending, my joy has magnified and I’m even happy for those having a baby, my contentment in where God has me has magnified as well. I still have my days of discontentment, who doesn’t? But it’s gotten way better.

So if you invite me to your baby shower and I don’t come or if any of your mama friends that have lost, please don’t be offended, because they maybe struggling, too. When you’ve experienced this kind of loss, sometimes you just got to learn to say no. It’s not because we don’t want to be supportive to our mama friends, it’s simply because it hurts too much. Instead of being offended try to be sensitive and understanding. It goes a long way to a mama who has lost. ❤️

Yes, I still want a baby of my own. Man! I want a baby so bad! But I’m learning to be content in where God has me. He has given me the best job I could ever ask for. (I love my job!!) And an incredibly kind boss. (He is just plain awesome!) And a wonderful husband whom I do not deserve. I’m learning the best things in life are those you’ve waited for, for the longest. My job and my husband are a testament of that. God is so good, y’all. Thanks for reading.

Sincerely,

Katie

P.S. Have you lost a baby? What are ways that are helping you cope with your loss(es)?

100 Days of Moods

Let’s face it. Life without sugar can be a very difficult thing. (Sugar is in literally EVERYTHING) Life without ice cream is just sad, because where money can’t buy happiness, it can buy cows and cows make milk and milk makes ice cream and ice cream makes you happy. 😉😂

But in all honesty. This has been by far the hardest 100 days of no white or cane sugar of my life. Literally. It’s been tough. My mood swings have been through the roof. Just ask my husband…no, on second thought, don’t ask my husband. Please. Just don’t. 😁😭 It hasn’t been pretty on him at all. Poor man he has had to deal with horrible mood swings and just plain childish behaviors. Hopefully I’m past all that, now. 🙄

It’s crazy how much we rely on sugar to “make us happy”. I don’t know what it feels like to “get high” on drugs, or getting off of drugs. But I have watched other people get off of them and some of the symptoms seem similar to what I’ve been through getting off sugar. Yes, I’m probably exaggerating just a wee bit, but maybe not.

I had lots and lots of headaches from withdrawals. I would dream about sugary treats all day and night. Smelling said treats was what helped me stay sane. I gorged myself on other means of junk food so I wouldn’t eat sugar. Which looking back, I would have to ask myself, which is worst? Now that I’m taking gluten out of the picture it’s helping me come to grips with reality, just how much of the world relies on sugar and gluten. It’s in literally everything. Even things that “trick” your mind that say “organic” on the label. Cereals, breads, chocolates, sandwich meats, bacon…yeah, bacon is loaded with sugar, hence the reason it tastes so good. It’s used as a preservative so it has a longer shelf life. Which if you think about it, is rather…um..gross.

I had to kinda laugh out loud the other day when I was browsing on Instagram, an add for Mac & Cheese popped up it said it was gluten free and had bits of cauliflower mixed in the noodles. Then I went on Amazon to look at the nutrition labels and it had over 70 carbs and 40 something sugars in it per serving, which was like 1/4 cup??!!! I was shocked. So just because it says gluten free, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Or any add ins like cauliflower. Not always a good choice. Especially if you’re limiting your carb intake. Always, always, always, read the labels. They are there for a reason. 😁

I know I promised, before and after photos but really there doesn’t seem like a lot of change yet to my body. So I’m gonna have to make a rain check on that. Especially after trying no gluten for 3 months. It can be done y’all. And as always, I love a good challenge. I really don’t want to become a diabetic like the majority of the people on my dad side. I’ve enjoyed sugar for 33 years, it’s time to say goodbye to the addiction and say hello to a healthy lifestyle. ☺️❤️

I saw this on Instagram today which led me to believe why I should wait about posting before and after photos of myself. You all might not see a change, but I most definitely feel it. I’ve lost over 16 inches in my mid (pear shaped) section of my body, (I.e. hips, waist, thighs; the places I’ve tried losing for years!) and I’m finally in a size 6 jeans! Y’all!!! This is huge!! I haven’t been a size 6 since I was in High School! So yeah! I’m pretty well pumped! I didn’t think I would ever make it this far! But thanks to working out everyday and the Keto/low carb life style I’ve made it this far in my journey. It’s taken a whole lot of grace, strength that can only come from my Savior and egging on/cheers from my wonderful husband. It helps when your man is on your side. I couldn’t have done it without him. Though I’m not done yet. I have about 5 other goals I want to meet and trigger.

And a lot of thanks goes to my followers. I didn’t know anyone was even listening out there in the world, so I appreciate the comments and likes from you all. It really means a lot. ♥️

So, with that said. I will write again in a few weeks when I finish my 12 week workout program I’m currently doing. (Mine is actually shorter than 12 weeks, (60 days to be exact, I currently just did day 32) because I workout 7 days a week and the app only allows you to workout 5 days a week. 😜 So naturally mine will be a bit shorter, though I plan to do it all over again on the advanced version when I’m finished with the intermediate. That should be fun.

Sincerely,

Katie♥️

P.S. if you’re looking for a good workout system that actually works and costs a fraction of the price of a one month gym membership (you get a yearlong membership for $49.99!!) Runtastic Results app, is the app for you. You can do them anywhere at anytime, and zero equipment. You don’t even have to use a mat if you don’t want to. You just need the will to train and some water, because you will sweat buckets! 💦💦

I did CrossFit for a short couple months and I didn’t think I would ever sweat like that again. Um, I sweat that much and sometimes more and that’s in air conditioning! So keep yourself hydrated. Drink water before and after your workouts, and small sips during if you can) And you don’t have to go as extreme as me, that’s just what works for me. You can workout as little as 2 days a week or as much as 5 unless you do like me and just do it consistently, daily. 😎

But so far. Y’all. I have abs. I have muscles in my arms, I have only seen on extreme athletes. I never would have thought after 32 days of workouts, I would see this much progress! But I’m only halfway there! What will I look like after this is over?! 😲😱 I’m gonna push myself harder so I can see just how far I can go!! Wanna join me?!

21 Day Fixer Upper

Ok so that was seriously a play on two famous titles. But seriously starting tomorrow I have 21 days until my deadline ends! That’s right Saturday will be 70 days total of the 90 days of no sugar and sweeteners, and with that, I must finish strong and I mean, literally. I’m going to kick myself to the max, workout everyday for 21 days, including Sundays because let’s face it, it’s only 21 days?! And I mean full 20-40min of working out. I really do need to stop being lazy and actually work hard to achieve the goals I set out for. I tried finding some apps for my phone to help me with a good solid workout plan but they all pretty much had either sad reviews or they didn’t work for my extremely slow data since we don’t have internet at home (I know we are so old school). But I’m having to make do with what I have and for that I will have a new workout everyday so it doesn’t get boring since I have a plethora of workout DVD’s, I am certain I have enough for 21 days worth.

And my nutrition is pretty much going to be lean chicken or chicken or fish. 😆 I need to stay away from red meats for this 21 day fixer upper. And snack on the Keto fruits and veggies I’m allowed to eat. Basically eating rabbit food and my Keto low carb coconut protein shake. You can find that here. I found this shake for half the price at my favorite place to shop here in Decatur, at Bargain Hunt. They always seem to have great finds (cast offs/returns from Target and Amazon). And of course all the coffee I need to stay awake at work.

I’m gonna write up my meal plan for the next 21 days, today as well as my workout plan. I hope to run at least once possibly twice a week. I’ll be sure to share my before and after photos of my 90 day challenge as well as the 21 day fixer upper. 😉

I think that’s about it. Here’s a great quote I try to live by, by Ben Franklin:

Failure to plan, is planning to fail.”

So if you too, have some great goals of your own, make up your plan and go out and conquer them! You can do it! What are some goals you hope to achieve in 2018? Let me know in the comments.

Sincerely,

Katie❤️

Short term goals.

Hey Y’all! So it’s been a week or more of no sugar/sweeteners. I can’t believe it but I only have 33 days to go! I can’t believe I’ve almost made it to 60 days! One thing I never expected. My hubby and I made a pact. If I succeed at this challenge, he will buy me a kayak and if I fail I will have to buy him a nice gun. But I’m pretty excited. These last few days should be easy!

July 1st, I’ll be able to incorporate Swerve back into my diet. That is if my tastebuds can tolerate it. 😝Though many have told me I probably won’t be able to eat much of it at first, if any.. I really don’t want to ruin it by going back to white sugar, so I’m hoping to stay away from sugar at least until the end of this year, if not forever. 😂 It probably won’t be forever, because I know myself too much. But it’s a nice thought. I haven’t been sticking to Keto as well this past month due to so much going on, but I’m hoping to get back to it tomorrow. It’s so hard to stick with it when you don’t have close friends doing it with you, although I have a few friends doing it on FB. But once again, I’m gonna try to do better. Thankfully I’m back to what I was at the end of April, weight wise, so no ten extra pounds weight loss this past month. Mostly due to stressful eating. Which isn’t unusual for me to do. Thankfully I never resorted to sugary treats, though popcorn and chips eventually break down into sugar. I did gain about three pounds there for a bit. But thankfully lost it pretty quickly. This time I really need to plan my meals better, and not just snack.

I started exercising again this past week which is great, though I’ve been so very sore from running and HIIT workouts at home. I recently bought a pull-up bar for the door frame to my art room I hope to learn some workouts to try on it, for strengthening my back, shoulders and arms, definitely areas I need strength in.

I think once I can have my sweeteners again, I probably will do better to stick to the Keto diet. That’s one thing I noticed I made a lot was some of their desserts, kinda kept me well fueled with not only healthy fats but also sweeteners that help with energy but don’t cause your insulin levels to skyrocket, like that of sugar, honey, maple syrup and cane sugar. It was easier for me to stick to it better and more consistently. Right now, I want to resort to whatever tastes good, and since sugar/sweeteners are out of the question it’s hard for me to find things that I can munch on that kinda sorta resembles the taste of sweets without having the sweetener/sugar directly on them, just something that eventually breaks down into, said stuff. Definitely don’t think it’s worth losing a kayak for. 🤗

So with that said. I’m gonna try and do better this week. And the next and so forth and so forth. I will most likely fail again at eating good before the end of this challenge but you just have to pick yourself back up, ask God to help you, and learn from your mistakes and keep going and in the words of my hubby’s favorite Disney film, Meet the Robinson’s, “Keep Moving Forward!”

God is good, y’all!

Sincerely,

Katie❤️

P.S. Happy Memorial Day!