The Day is approaching….

December 3rd….it’s less than 2 weeks away.  The days inches closer and closer, and again I’m caught off guard. Can it really be 7 years already? SEVEN…. Seven years without her in my life, Seven years packed full of memories, and not one of them with her.  A wedding, newlywed, questions about marriage, 5 big moves, hard decisions, life changing decisions, relationship questions, a much wanted pregnancy, a very sick pregnancy, a sweet baby, questions about a new baby…..too many to list. She has missed out on so many of my “big life moments.”  I miss her with my whole heart, but I can’t wish her back. Not back to a life of cancer, of pain, of heartache. But I miss her. I miss being able to call her up and ask her questions about her granddaughter. Questions that she would have, could have answered. I miss being able to call her up and ask her about a certain recipe she used to make. The simple things….that’s what I miss the most.

Me and my mom….umm…years ago…

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All of us girls at our cousins wedding 2010

Girls

As I watched Sadie look at my hands this past week, I remembered looking at my momma’s hands. She had the most delicate hands, and yet they were still larger for a woman’s (Thank’s to her Grandpa who had Bear sized hands!) She had the prettiest fingernails, and when she grew them out she loved painting them an opal color.  But her hands did hard work too. Raising 11 children, canning, cooking, cleaning, gardening….how she loved to have her hands in the dirt.  I wonder what Sadie will remember about my hands?  Will she have good memories about them like I have of my mom’s? I hope so.

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So as this day approaches….I’m remembering my mom, in the small things. Her hands. Her big toe nail – that was never straight, it always had a crooked nail on it (and I wonder why mine won’t grow straight!), her bigger than life smile, her laugh that could fill an entire room. Her kind eyes.  Yes, I will remember her for who she truly was. A lover of life, a lover of Jesus, a lover of family.

Mom

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I hope I can be half the woman she was.  She was one of the special people…..

miss you….

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day has been a difficult day for me for several years now. You see my mom passed away a little over 5 years ago. She was my best friend. She wasn’t perfect and there were a lot of things that I will do differently than she did. But She was my mom, and I loved her. I don’t think it gets easier as time goes by. There are still days that I could cry at a drop of a hat when I think of her. I miss her dearly.  Why doesn’t Heaven have a telephone?

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Me and my mom when I was little – probably around the age of 4-5

That first mother’s day after she passed away I cried through the entire church service, and left early to go to her grave and cry my eyes out some more.  Now that I am struggling with becoming a mother the day is a double edged sword for me.  I am made to feel worthless, not important,  less-than. I have the parts, but am just not able to have a child of my own.  I sit and think that if we ever do have children my mom won’t be there to be a grandmother to them, they will never have the privilege of knowing her.

Please don’t take this as I am not happy for those who DO and CAN get pregnant – that’s’ not the case.  And it’s another story for another time.

Last year I came across this post and it touched me so deeply that I shared it then. This year I’ve gone to sharing it daily on my facebook page hoping, praying, pleading for some of these pastors out there (and people in general) to be a little more sensitive to women who are mothers in their hearts, but wouldn’t qualify to be celebrated in the church. Let alone be sensitive to those who ARE mother’s that are struggling because they have lost their children, or their children aren’t making the best choices in life. Let’s not forget about those who have been mistreated by the hands of their mother, or those who selflessly gave their child up for adoption because it was best for the child.  The list could go on and on.

Some have taken this to say that we should get rid of Mother’s Day – I say “NO WAY” – I loved my mom, I love my Mother-in-law, I love my grandmas – let’s celebrate them, let’s love on them. Let’s just remember that this day if very difficult for many women.  Let’s be sensitive to them.

So today on Mother’s Day I acknowledge you….

To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you

To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you

To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you

To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you

To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.

To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you

To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you

To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you

To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you

To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience

To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst

To those who have aborted children – we remember them and you on this day

To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be

To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths

To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren -yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you

To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you

And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you

This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.

– Italics Re-blogged from The Messy Middle

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