You are FAITHFUL

The morning I found out I was pregnant was quite surreal. I remember just lying in bed crying and thanking God for this blessing that he was giving us. A chorus of a song kept running through my head “You are faithful, God you are faithful” but for the life of me, that’s all I could remember.   I tried googling just those lyrics but not much was coming up.

A song that did come up (and yes, I posted it as a status on facebook that morning) was Lord, you’ve been Faithful by Majesty Music – another amazing song with these words:

Great is your faithfulness, you’ve shown to me – each day new blessing flow from Calvary.
Though other’s change you are the same. You are my God and faithful will remain.

Lord, You’ve been faithful through all these years; through every joy, through every tear. You’ve kept your promises; you’ve seen us through. Now keep us faithful Lord to You – Now keep us faithful Lord to You.

Though friends may turn away, your love is true. Each time I stray you draw me back to you. You see my heart, you know my name. You are my God and faithful will remain.

Can we find a friend so faithful, who will all our sorrows bear?
In his arms He’ll take and shield thee – thou wilt find a solace there.

Lord, You’ve been faithful through all these years; through every joy, through every tear. You’ve kept your promises; you’ve seen us through. Now keep us faithful Lord to You – Now keep us faithful Lord to YOU….Lord You’ve been faithful!

A fantastic song, but it wasn’t the song that was running through my head that morning.

This past Sunday we sang “the song” or should I say, everyone else sang the song, I could barely get the words out of my throat let alone wipe the tears from my eyes fast enough.  I swear the people who sit around us at church must think all I do is cry through every service!  But the words to this song are so precious to me – and it fully describes the journey of infertility, for me at least.

“Never Once” by Matt Redman

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us
 
Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us
 
Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
 
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Every step we are breathing in Your grace
Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

This song was just a huge reminder that this has been a journey – it wasn’t an easy one, it’s not one that I would wish upon my worst enemy.  It’s not been easy watching over 70 friends announce their pregnancies in a 6 months span of time (before I stopped counting.) It’s not been easy throwing friends and loved ones baby showers (even though I’m happy for them!) It’s not been easy feeling like your mind and body aren’t the same, because you are so high on fertility drugs that you are literally going crazy.  It’s been HARD.  My heart still breaks because I have friends still walking this journey. I wish that I could ease their pain just a little bit.

But through it all God has been faithful. He’s never left my side, he’s never left me alone.  And for that reason, and that reminder, I am thankful for the journey.  He knew that we weren’t ready for a child when we were in Michigan, or Missouri, or Iowa.  He knew that we needed to be part of a good church where we felt like we belonged, he knew that we needed more people to hold us up in prayer and support us in this journey. He knew the exact timing when things were going to be “right” for us to have a baby.  He knew….and still knows what’s best.  And I think that is the one thing that overwhelms me the most.  His timing is so perfect.

I do want to clarify something that has bothered me recently in facebook posts, in friends words etc…  God would still be faithful and good even if we were NOT pregnant right now, even if God would have said NO to our desire to have children.  God is still faithful and good in the bad times.  God is still faithful and good when things are going down the drain.   God is not only good when he blesses us and things are all sunshine and rainbows – he is good and faithful ALL the time. He always has a reason to do things in HIS perfect timing.

How has God shown his faithfulness to you lately?

Make it a GRATE day!

Love,

Christy

The First Meal

On Sunday a question was posed for an “ice-breaker” for each table to talk about. The question was “when did you know that your spouse was “the one”

It was a question I could answer very easily. And it was fun to reminisce about it with friends.  I also thought it might be a fun topic to ask my blog readers to answer – so feel free to write up your blog post and tell me where to go read it!

Here is our story:

We had been “officially dating” for about a week – but we had been talking pretty much every day for around 6 months.  We had spent the day before (Thanksgiving) meeting each others families and sharing lunch/dinner with the other’s families.  We had planned to spend the day together and not really do much.  The day started very early with me meeting Brian at a tire shop so he could drop his truck off to get new tires. We then went back to his house and watched an episode of Extreme Home Makeover that was filmed in the town he grew up in.   I honestly don’t remember much about that day with the exception of the first meal he made me, being goofy in front of a guy – and him liking that side of me, having chinese food for dinner, falling asleep cuddled up on the couch watching Back to the Future together, and what I was wearing that day (a pink peasant type top, and very light colored jeans.)  The day was just a normal, nothing special type of day.  But I knew that day I was falling in love with him, and that this relationship was going to go places.

I want to focus on the first meal that he made me just for a second – because I really think that this is what he used to live on before I came into the picture – even though I found out that he is actually a pretty good cook!

He made me Velveeta Shells and Cheese and we had a Snack-Pack chocolate pudding for dessert.

And it was delicious!  He has actually made me plenty of delicious dinners since then, but I still hold both of those things close to my heart.

Ok, it’s your turn – how did you know that your spouse was “the one”?

Make it a GRATE Day!

Love,

Christy

Our Baby Journey……Part 6

Here you can read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 and part 5.2

Warning! If you get grossed out reading about girly goo and other bodily functions quit reading now and pick up on another post!

I left you on a “high” in part 5, we finally had good news.  So now we had to wait until my next cycle started so that we could start the new fertility drugs.  February comes around and I had some dark brown spotting, but never a full-on period. March comes around and does the same thing. Strange enough they were during the time that my normal period SHOULD have shown up (not that I was in anyway “regular” but it was about the time I should have expected it.)  So after the second time I called the fertility doctor and she had me come in to review what was going on and see what our next step was.

I headed to the clinic and she told me that those dark spotting’s WERE my period, but I wasn’t having a full blown period because of doing too many cycles of clomid the year before.  My body was completely screwed up and had no clue what to do.  So doctors orders were to do a month on a birth control pill to “make” my body have a period.  I was really un-easy about this, and really struggled with being ok taking a birth control pill when we were trying so hard to get pregnant.   But after talking with some girlfriends and understanding that my body needed to build up the estrogen lining so that it COULD shed, I started the birth control on April 9th.

During the time of taking the birth control I had a few people say some pretty negative things about Christians using fertility drugs to get pregnant – that I wasn’t trusting God to give us a baby.  Now I know that yes, God did create a woman’s body to make babies, and when our bodies work the way God intended we don’t need to use fertility drugs. BUT we live in a world full of sin, sickness, chemicals and things God never intended for our bodies to “live in” when He created us.  So I didn’t really believe these people when they said I wasn’t trusting God to give us a baby – I know that even with fertility drugs He still is the giver of life, and only HE can create a baby in a woman’s uterus.  But the whole fertility drug thing well, I was questioning.  I was struggling.  So I started praying…..hard.

If you know the story of Gideon in the Bible he really needed to be sure of what God was telling him to do, so he laid out a fleece and asked God to let the ground be wet and the fleece be dry if this was really God’s will.  The next morning it was so.  So Gideon prayed again and asked that the ground be dry and the fleece be wet the next morning – the next morning it was so.  Now I don’t always pray this way, but I needed something tangible this time.  So I prayed for something so impossible,  I knew that if it happened that it could ONLY be God, there is no way that any person could have made this happen.  I also set a deadline – because I needed to be able to cancel the drugs that we ordered so we didn’t spend a bunch of money on them.

The deadline came and went, and this thing I prayed for didn’t happen. I immediately felt a peace about continuing with the treatments. It was so weird – like a light switch almost.

So on May 8th we started Fermara (another drug like clomid, but it doesn’t stay in the system for as long as Clomid does) and on May 12th we started the injections of Gonal-f.  Brian had to give me these shots because the thought of sticking myself with a needle gives me the hee-bee-jee-bees!  He did great, and it didn’t hurt hardly as much as I worked myself up that it would.

Here comes the fun part. Brian  had a work trip (of course!) starting right about the time that I would be ovulating (these things always happen to us! oh well!) So we planned ahead and had a sperm sample frozen just in case Brian was gone when I ovulated.  If he was still here we wouldn’t use it, if he wasn’t here I would use it – clear as mud?

May 17th rolls around and I go into the clinic and the Doctor does an ultrasound on my ovaries to see if they are ready to ovulate. She saw follicles in BOTH ovaries and they were both large enough to ovulate.  So the nurse gave me a shot of Ovedrell – which is a drug that will MAKE me ovulate – my body has no choice BUT to ovulate.

May 18th – I took an ovulation test around 3 p.m. and I had my first positive ovulation test. The smiley face was pretty amazing. Yep, I cried my eyes out over it!

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We were told to try and have sex as many times as we could over the next 2 days (the 18th and 19th) but of course Brian was leaving REALLY early on the morning of the 19th for his work trip AND we had tickets to see the Detroit Tigers play the Texas Rangers that night (the 18th) So we had to get “busy” in a fairly short time period. So we did!

Now the wait begins…..

 

Look for Part 7 coming soon!

Make it a GRATE day!

Love,

Christy

Our Baby Journey…..part 5.2

Here you can read Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four and Part Five

So I feel like I need to backtrack just a little to tell you about our Foster Care journey as well – because it all fits into our story.

When Brian and I met and later married we talked about adoption and while I have always been open to the idea of adoption, Brian was a closed book, he wanted nothing to do with it. He wanted his own children or none at all. (please don’t take that as a bad thing, adoption isn’t for everyone!)

Fast forward a few years, we are living in Iowa, and some friends of ours become licensed Foster Parents.   We watched them go through the ups and downs that is Foster Care, and then end up with the sweetest two children that you would ever meet. (They actually got to adopt these children this year, but that is their story to tell, not mine)  Brian’s heart was softened by these friends and especially by these sweet kiddos. We really felt God leading us into Foster Care and possibly even adoption through the Foster Care system.  At that time we knew there was a HUGE possibility that we would be moving for Brian’s job again, so we decided to wait until we got moved to get into Foster Care classes.  During the wait I found a Christian Foster Care Agency in the Dallas area that I just fell in love with. The people I talked to on the phone and through e-mail were fantastic and you could tell that they really loved their job, and it was more than a job to them, it was a calling.  So we signed up for classes starting in January 2013. Told them a little about our background (read: Infertility Treatments), and why we really desired to become Foster Parents.

Fast forward: we get moved, holidays are done and over so we start getting a room set up for this new child/ren that will be joining our family hopefully by Spring/Summer. We found a crib, car seat, high-chair, bouncer, play mat and more.   I had washed all the children’s clothing that I had and got them hung up in the closet according to size. We were ready.  During this transition time I turned down 3-4 Nanny positions because we planned for me to stay at home with this little child.

The Foster Care application was very adamant about us being ACTIVE in a local church (which we LOVED!) so we decided to be quick about finding a church to be a part of (it usually took us an average of 9 months to find a church in the past.) We were going to 4 different churches a weekend some times, really praying and seeking God to where He would have us serve.  We ended up at the best church, under the best teaching, in a fantastic Sunday School class, and in a fantastic Small Group – yes it was a whirlwind decision, but we KNEW without a shadow of a doubt that this is where God wanted us.

IT’S TIME TO START CLASSES!  We were so excited.  We decided to meet at the training center in Dallas since it would have been a waste of time for Brian to come home to get me – it ended up being the WORST driving trip that I have had here in Texas to this day.  It rained BUCKETS and BUCKETS and I wasn’t used to the traffic or the Texas drivers yet – I was a mess. Then I got stuck in traffic, my GPS had me ending in an empty field, no building in site. I pulled into the next parking lot that I could and called Brian SOBBING because I was so stressed out. He’s talking me through the directions and then I realize that I’m in a strip club parking lot and a VERY sketchy figure is headed my way!! SCARY! Thankfully I just had to get back on the road and go the opposite way my GPS said to go. I only ended up being 1/2 hour late to the first class (it took me almost 3 hours to get to the training center – it should have taken me 45 minutes!)  So we get into the class and everyone went around the room and introduced themselves. We were shocked at quite a few older people (60 yrs +) were in the class (not talking grandparents here), and the couples who both had full time jobs. The class ends, we turn in all the paperwork that we had completed before the class (some 20+ pages of information) and then we head home – another traumatic drive!

The next day the director calls me and wanted to ask a few questions about our paperwork. 1. My ear surgery. I explained it to him, and that was all good. 2. Infertility.  I told him that we were still pursuing treatments, but would really love to do Foster Care along side of the treatments.  He then told me that as long as we are pursing treatments, and for 1 year after our last treatment we wouldn’t be accepted into their program.  He also told me that this was not a Texas “law” just a “rule” that they followed.  So I got off the phone – bawled, and started looking for another agency.  Every agency I talked to said the same thing, they all followed these rules.  I quickly texted our friend and asked her if Iowa was the same, she assured me they were not.  It just felt like a HUGE door being slammed in our face.

I cried A LOT those next few days – and closed the nursery door – I just couldn’t even look at it.  One more “punishment” for being “infertile”

A few weeks later I asked Brian to take the crib down while I was gone one night, he did so, ever so graciously.  We sold it along with almost everything else we had purchased – I just couldn’t look at it.  We moved the guest bed out of the office and made the nursery into the official guest room.

The door was closed on becoming Foster Parents as long as we were pursuing fertility treatments, and we weren’t ready to give up quite yet.

Fast Forward to where we are now:

I am almost glad to have gone through that experience.  While it hurt like heck, and no I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, and yes Foster Care is still something we may pursue down the line, we learned from it. AND most importantly it got us into a FANTASTIC church, small group and we have friends faster than any move before.  We have a fantastic support system filled with people who love and care about us.

It’s amazing to me sometimes how God has a bigger plan for us that we could ever imagine.  I’m so glad to trust HIM with my future and not myself!

Watch for part 6 coming soon!

Make it a GRATE Day!

Love,

Christy

Our Baby Journey…..Part 5

Here you can read  Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four.

WARNING: If you are easily grossed out or uneasy hearing about “female” stuff stop reading here and come back another day!

So before we moved to Texas I knew that I needed to find a new doctor. I had been seeing a Reproductive Endocrinologist back in Iowa, and while I liked her – she wasn’t a “Fertility Specialist.” She ran her office more like an OBGYN office than a Specialist office – and that was ok for Iowa. But I knew I needed something different this time. I also knew that being closer to Dallas was a plus because they were going to have more options than I had where we were in Iowa.  So I started searching the web. I put in “Fertility Doctor Frisco Texas” (which is the closest big city to us)  And an office popped up. The first one.  Dallas IVF.  They had a location within a 20 minute drive of our house. They had fantastic result numbers in helping couples get pregnant. At the time I was searching it was pretty late in the day so I decided to use their “contact us” form and send them an email, not really thinking that I would hear back from them anytime soon.

The next morning the DOCTOR, not the nurse the DOCTOR, called me and told me she could see me the NEXT day. I was shocked and a little in awe. I had to explain to her that we weren’t moving for another few weeks, but I would love to get an appointment to see her when we did move.

We moved the last week of November,  got the keys to our house on November 29th, our stuff arrived that weekend and I had an appointment with the Doctor on December 4th.  I remember that day pretty clearly. I was rushing around the house trying to find clothes to wear, and then find shoes to wear – there were boxes EVERYWHERE.  Oh the joys of moving!

We arrived at the Doctors office, Yes, WE. Brian has thankfully been a HUGE supporter to me during this process and tries to go to every appointment with me if at all possible.  We ended up waiting 45 minutes before seeing the doctor.  We were both a little on edge because of the wait – but found out that she was running late because she was with another patient running some tests or something.  So she starts asking the regular questions: how long have you been trying, what methods have you used etc…  She was FLOORED that we had been through SO MANY Clomid cycles with the previous doctor – and that the doctor had allowed it to happen.  She heard that I have PCOS and without even thinking she said “PCOS, no problem, I can get you pregnant. PCOS is an easy fix” The first glimmer of HOPE that we had seen in a VERY LONG TIME.   So she discussed the options we had before us, and put us on a plan.  She wanted to re-run a few tests to see my uterus and my Fallopian tubes for herself, which was fine by me.  So we left the appointment feeling GREAT, knowing that she was the doctor for us and had a plan that when my next cycle started we would start with some testing.

Of course my cycle decided to wait until RIGHT before we left for our Christmas holiday trip to start so we had to wait for the NEXT cycle to do any testing.

End of January 2013:

YAY, my cycle FINALLY started! I know, most infertile couples wouldn’t be jumping up and down with joy for the start of a cycle. It’s usually a very sad and painful way to say “Look, you’ve failed again, you’re not pregnant.” But this time I was excited, knowing that we were getting this ball rolling.  I called up the office and made an appointment for another HSG Dye Test (This is the test that they put a blue dye into the Fallopian tubes to see any blockage or problems.)  My doctor wasn’t available to do the test that day so another doctor in the clinic did the test.  It seemed to me that they had a specialized x-ray machine that is JUST for this test, it wasn’t the regular x-ray table that you see at the hospital.  So the doctor put the dye into my tubes,  and yes this causes a fair amount of pain, almost immediately he says “Wow, your tubes look fantastic!”  I half sat up and said “WHAT?”  Because remember one of the doctors in Iowa wanted to cut the tubes out because they were “bad.”  He assured me by showing me the dye on the x-ray machine, it was flowing freely through  both tubes.  I was SHOCKED to say the least.  I was SO very happy that we hadn’t listed to the previous doctor and went ahead and had my tubes removed.  SO happy that we listened to our gut and sought out additional advise. Finally, some good news in this long process!

Look for part 6 coming soon!

Please take a second and view this video – and then share it.  It will give you an entirely new perspective on people going through infertility – You may have someone you know that is going through this journey alone and heartbroken, 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility.

Make it a GRATE day!

love,

Christy

PS – Have you followed me on Facebook yet? You haven’t? Why not? 

Writers Workshop 1

Today I am linking up with Mama Kat and her amazing Writers Workshop. This is my first one, so be nice!

I choose writers prompt #2 “6 Random Facts about Myself”

1. When I was younger I was seriously a crazy cat lady. NO KIDDING.  I had numerous pictures of cats on my walls, a cat bedspread, cat figurines, a “I ❤ CATS” sign and wooden cat “shadows”  I tried to find some pictures to prove my point. 2 Hours later this is all I came up with, so you’ll just have to trust me!

Notice the cat calendar, the stuffed animal holder – filled with cats, the candy cane picture you can’t quite see – yep, a cat.

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Yes, aren’t my two little brothers adorable? Well look close – they are laying on my “Cat Comforter” and of course there are 2 real cats on the bed as well.

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I didn’t just love cats – I loved our cocker spaniel “Kelly” too! She was the sweetest dog!  Well by this time I was in high-school and had calmed down on my crazy cat loving by then – but you can still see the creepy cat pillow behind the dog, the curtains that matched my bedspread, and the stuffed kitty in the pink swing – ok so I was TRYING to recover from being the crazy cat lady! scan0009

Don’t I look grand? This was for my senior “Valentine Banquet” at our church – but I want you to notice the cat “shadows” above my closet….yeah….told you!

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2. I used to raise and milk goats growing up. I didn’t mind it most days, except when they would kick the bucket over while milking! I loved when the babies were born. They were so sweet!

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3. In 7th or 8th grade my mom had my older sister and I make our own Easter Dress. (I’m the one in the pink and white in the back row)  What you don’t see is that along the waistline I put black lace.  That dress was SO itchy and SO uncomfortable. But I loved my headpiece. I thought I looked amazing.  Confession: I was trying to mimic my aunts wedding veil from the 80’s.

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4. When I was little I was supposed to be getting into the bath tub, but the glitter nail polish was sitting on the sink!!  I thought anything that looked THAT pretty on your nails MUST look that pretty on my lips!  Boys and girls – don’t try this at home!! IT HURTS! There is a reason that we don’t put nail polish on our lips!  I ran out of the bathroom (half naked) and my mom had to clean my lips off with polish remover, I think that hurt even worse!

5. I was more “mature” during my high school years than I was during my “college” years due to the crazy homeschooling cult we were raised in.  I actually “rebelled” by heading off to Bible College!  I’m just a little sinner aren’t I!

6. My husband proposed to me by the pond in his backyard. I attacked him with a hug and didn’t even look at the ring. He was scared the ring was going to go flying into the pond.

Well there you have it! 6 things I’m sure you didn’t know about me!

Make it a GRATE Day!

Love,

Christy

Furnishing a House

When I married my husband we didn’t really ever discuss buying furniture. He had a pretty nice couch (which isn’t my taste AT ALL, but it’s comfy), I had a horrible smelly couch – obviously his couch won.  He had end tables and a coffee table (again, not my taste, and they were big and clunky) – mine were bought at Big Lots (before they started carrying nicer furniture) and were in pretty bad shape – I think I ended up just throwing them away, I didn’t even move them from my last apartment. Needless to say – most of his stuff “won” over mine because it was nicer.

The only thing we ever had a “discussion” over was our kitchen table.

So when I was living in Missouri someone at the church that I was attending gave me this beautiful table – I LOVED it – can I say it again, I LOVED it.  The detailing on it was gorgeous.  It was by far one of the most comfortable tables I had ever sat at.

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This is actually a picture of it set up in my apartment that I lived in from spring 2004-Spring 2006old table 4

It was actually bigger than the pictures make it out to seem.

So I move to Michigan and meet this amazing guy and fall in love and get engaged and we both have pretty nice tables.  And he hates my table, and I felt just about the same towards his table:

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I just felt his was pretty generic – everyone I knew had a table like that. It seemed a little “old” for us – I mean come on we were in our 20’s!  We went back and forth on the issue for quite a while and finally he came up with a compromise (since we found out that his table pedestal was cracked on 1 side) that I get rid of mine and after the wedding we would get a new table.  I was good with that and found a new home for my lovely table.

4 moves,  3 more cracks in the pedestal, and almost 6 years later we finally bought a table! YAY!!  Looking back, I’m actually really glad we didn’t keep my table – because as much as I loved it, it’s really not the style that Brian and I together like.  It took us a while to come up with a style that we really wanted to go with in our home.  Brian really likes the light oak, more country feel to a house. I like a dark wood, hard wood floors and slightly more modern.  It’s really been just over the last year or two that we’ve come up with our style, and honestly I have no clue what to call it!  Rustic/romantic/shabby, I don’t know!

So our table was delivered over the weekend, and well it’s GORGEOUS.  I found this place called The Rustic Oar in McKinney Texas that will build the table the exact way you want it, stain it the color you want and even provide a place to get chairs if you need them.  We are SO happy that we choose to go with them. The table looks amazing and is exactly the style that I wanted.

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A Baseball Weekend

My sweet husbands birthday was at the beginning of May. He knew that he wasn’t going to get anything for his birthday since I combined his birthday present and his Christmas present when I bought him his PS3 on Black Friday.  I was excited to be sneeky and purchase him Baseball tickets. His mom and brother were in on it and purchased him a new Detroit Tigers T-shirt to wear to the game – and they sent him bags of Tigers Peanuts to enjoy during the game.

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He also got a card from Annie

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So this past weekend Brian and I attended our first Texas Rangers Baseball game – of course the main reason we went was so that we could support our team  – the DETROIT TIGERS!!  We had SO MUCH FUN and we were So thankful for an amazing breeze all night long.  IMG_0638

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Brian of course wanted to try the “Boomstick” it was a 2 foot hotdog – that looked more of the thickness of a kielbasa instead of a hotdog!  He got it with Chili, Cheese and grilled onions.

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Yeah – I was a little scared about eating this!

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It was pretty good though!

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Sadly our team lost – even though they made a good go of it!

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What type of fun stuff did you do this past weekend?

Make it a GRATE day!

love,

Christy

Pie Update

So I re-made that amazing four berry pie. I knew it only needed a few tweeks to make it a million times better, and it did.  So here are my updates to that recipe – but if you’re looking for the true Achatz Pie – the following recipe is close, but isn’t perfect.  If you’re super picky you would be better off heading to one of their many locations and enjoying a little slice of heaven.

Thankfully my husband thought it was great and very much enjoyed it.  So here are my changes.

Ingredients:

Crust:

2 1/2 cups pastry flour

2 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup butter COLD, cut into chunks

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup COLD water – I get a glass full of ice and fill it with water as I am getting everything else ready so it’s SUPER cold when I need it)

Directions for dough:  

1. Mix flour, sugar and salt until combined. Add butter and shortening – I placed these in my food processor and let it do the work, but if you want to do it by hand that’s ok too!  Mix until combined and crumbly

2. Add cold water and mix again. Until dough forms – do not over mix.

3.  Press dough into a fat round circle, place in bowl, cover and place in refrigerator for at least an hour – I usually make my dough in the morning and finish my pie a little later on – so it’s usually in the refrigerator for a few hours.

Ingredients for filling:

1 1/2 cups tart cherries (I used frozen since I couldn’t find fresh)

1 1/2 cups raspberries

1 1/2 cups blueberries

1 cup blackberries

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 tablespoons tapioca granules

4 tablespoons corn starch

1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions for filling:

**Pre-heat oven to 350′ **

4. Mix cherries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, 1 ¼ cups sugar, tapioca granules, corn starch and lemon juice. Place in large pot and heat over medium heat until thickens. You will want to stir until your arm feels like it’s going to fall off – and then stir some more! Don’t let those berries burn!  Remove from heat.

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5. Roll out bottom crust. Fill with pie filling. Be careful – that pie filling is HOT HOT HOT!

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6.  Roll out top crust and fold into quarters. Vent with a knife while dough is in quarters to make a pretty design. Unfold crust over top of pie.   Cut off remaining dough over-hanging from around the edges of pie with side of fingers or knife. Flute edges to seal.

I decided to be cheesy and make it a little love note to my husband.  Next time I think I will cut out the words once I’ve put the crust on the pie…my heart looks a little weird here

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7. Spray top crust with cold water and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar for browning.

8. Line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment to catch drippings. Place this sheet on bottom rack; to avoid smoking do not put this sheet directly on bottom of oven.

9. Bake pie at 350 degrees in the center of the oven for 45-60 minutes or until golden brown, you should be able to see the filling bubbling from your vents.

10. You want to let this pie cool for a few hours before serving – trust me, it’s worth the wait!

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Notice the filling isn’t sitting in juice or falling out of the crust too badly? This is the way this pie should look.

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Now if I could only figure out the original crumb topping, I might be right on target with this pie!  Let me know if you decide to try it.

Original pie recipe can be found here, although I don’t recommend trying it the way it’s written.  My first blog post about this pie can be found here.

Make it a GRATE day!

Love,

Christy

Pie and Pinwheels

Remember when I told you that I’m a horrible wife since I never make my husband his favorite dessert? Well, I decided to remedy that since tomorrow is his birthday!

My husband grew up in a small town in Michigan. In this sweet little town there is an amazing pie shop (that has grown to be all over Michigan) that makes the best berry pie that I have ever had – and well it ends up to be Brian’s favorite.  A few years ago they took second place on Good Morning America for this pie and they shared the recipe for the pie – YAY right? Wrong….

I was very tempted to skip today’s post because of this pie failure, but since I’ve somehow gotten this reputation for being an amazing chef and nothing that ever leaves my kitchen is bad, I thought I needed to do this!  But be watching for an update to this pie recipe, because trust me – you DO NOT want to make the recipe I followed.

here goes!

Recipe that I followed can be found here.

I just learned how to make pie crust in my food processor – why did I not know about this before? It makes it SO easy.

I will say that the pie crust recipe that is posted with this pie was very good – so if you want to use it, do so!

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This is what the ingredients look like BEFORE you add the water.Image

This is where I first noticed that this recipe might be a little off – it says not to mix the above mixture with the water – just to let it sit together in the fridge. I didn’t do that, partly because I didn’t read the directions in full, and because it didn’t seem “natural”

I made two pies at the same time – so this first batch is the one that I didn’t mix “as much”Image

Here is the dough that I mixed up more and I liked the look of it better – it also “felt” better. Image

I made up the dough in the morning and came and finished the pie later that afternoon.

Here are the berries I used – gorgeous no? ImageImage

All the ingredients that go into the berry mixture – this is where I should have had an alarm go off in my head. This mixture needed to be cooked down into a pie filling – NOT thrown into a pie shell…trust me on this one.

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The pie crust needed to be kneaded a little bit before I could roll it out – don’t forget the extra flour so your dough doesn’t stick to the pastry mat.

Speaking of a Pastry Mat – why in the world did I wait so long to purchase one? They are freaking amazing!  I think I’ve heard bad things about them in the past because people were talking about the paper ones that were laminated – well I purchased this one, and it’s awesome!! It’s a very thick silicone and cleans up super easy! I bet it would be fun for playdough as well! Image

I loved being able to roll out my dough to the proper size – something I’ve always had to guess at….Have I told you how much Iove this mat yet?

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Since I needed both hands to move the crust from the mat to the pie plate I don’t have a picture of that – but the easiest way to do it is to use your rolling pin. Start by peeling an edge of your crust and place it over your rolling pin, you can lightly roll the crust onto the pin and then quickly transfer to a greased pie plate.

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If you rolled your dough a little to big you will want to trim your edges a bit to fit your plate. Image

Again, I should have had a lightbulb go off in my head before placing these berries into an uncooked pie shell….we’ll see how cooking it down works later today or tomorrow. Image

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Again – knowing how amazing the Michigan Four Berry Pie is – and knowing it has a CRUMB topping – this recipe calls for a top crust…. so I followed the recipe knowing it was wrong at this point.

So I rolled out the rest of the dough folded it into quarters and I decided to do a tear drop shape so that the pie could vent.  I really would have loved to have this pretty little pie bird that I’ve had my eye on for quite a while. Image

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So at this point you want to attach the bottom crust to the top crust. I tend to go around and squeeze them together and then place a design on later.

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Here is my crimping for the pie crust – again since I needed both hands to do this I  couldn’t get a picture of it.

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I then used a spray bottle and sprayed some water on the top of the crust and then sprinkled sugar on the top – looks pretty huh! Image

The finished product – it’s so pretty right now! Image

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So then we took the pie to our small group last night – when we got there the top crust turned all pink from all the juice in the pie….it was SO NOT PRETTY anymore…I wanted to cry.  The inside was not like pie filling and well….the juice was everywhere. Lets just say it was a MESS! Image

Thankfully it still tasted ok – but it was NOT what I was going for…..at all. ImageImage

So watch for an upcoming post about fixing this recipe!

So when I was little my mom would make what we called “Pinwheels” with the left over pie dough.  So I thought I would share that recipe with you all too! Thankfully this is a no brain-er, and you can’t ruin it!

1. Roll out your left over pie crust

2. Sprinkle Sugar and Cinnamon all over it (shown here with just sugar) You can also do any other seasonings that you want to. This time I used a Sprinkle from The Pampered Chef – and it was fantastic!  (sadly they don’t sell these sprinkles anymore…sorry!)

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3. Roll the dough up into a “log” Image

4. Slice into 1/2 inch pieces. If you’re using this pastry mat, you will want to use a butter knife – and not a sharp knife!

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5. Place pinwheels in a greased pan Image

6. Cook in a 350′ oven for 20-30 minutes depending on if you want them soft or crispy. Image

7. Enjoy!

So there you have it – yes, sometimes “peculiar” things come out of my kitchen, and even when I follow a recipe exactly something “peculiar” can still come out of it!

Be watching for an update soon!

Make it a GRATE day!

Love,

Christy