Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thankful for this Photo

I am thankful for this photo.

It's so true when they say, "a picture is worth a thousand words." This photo was taken last November 2012 just a few days after we found out we were expecting our second child, angel baby Sam Frances. We were so happy, overjoyed, giddy and a bit cold on this chilly morning in Highland Park. We even told the photographer our good news and that our baby was due July 2013. We asked her if she had her small chalkboard to write a little message as we would have liked the photo to double as our Christmas Card and Expecting Announcement. She did not have her chalkboard at the time so we simply took casual family photos and thought we could just add text to the photo when it was time to make the big announcement. Well, that time never came. We lost baby Sam four days after our Christmas Card photo was taken.

Almost a year later from our loss I am grateful for this photo as it captures us truly happy and pregnant with baby Sam. It also shows us before we ever knew the loss of a child. It's us before we joined the "1 in 4" community, before we really knew grief.

I pray that we will one day soon have another family photo where we are happily expecting another baby, Baby Macias #4, hopefully our rainbow baby.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Three of My New Kitchen Favorites

1. All-Clad Stainless Steel Cookware
So in our quest for going green, natural, organic we returned our nonstick Calphalon cookware set we got for our wedding almost six years ago. Thank goodness Bed, Bath & Beyond has a no hassle return policy and an extremely helpful manager/ former chef at their Park Lane location. This manager taught us a whole lot about cookware and highly recommended All-Clad's Stainless Steel Collection made in the USA. So we traded our nonstick for a bright shiny stainless steel 10-piece. We are in love with our new cookware and this could just be in our heads but we think our food looks and tastes better than ever. ;)

2. USA PAN Cooking Sheets
After Sofia and I were baking with our girlfriends I was embarrassed by my very warn and a little rusty baking sheets that had all sorts of crusty stains on them so I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond in search of new baking sheets. Fortunately, for me I asked their very knowledgeable manager/ former chef for help and he told me all about USA PAN. What a company, what a product! For all my bakers out there go to their Web site, check out their products, buy their commercial quality bake-ware and thank me later. ;) You will be amazed by the cleanup. I use to scrub my baking sheets and now I just glide my sponge and some warm soapy water over them and they continue to look brand new! No stains, no rust, no nada! Amazing!

3. Sprouts Organic Spices
I've been organizing like crazy since May as a form of therapy and well it's been so good for me. Anyway, one of the things I recently organized was our spice shelf and boy did I find some horrible things. I discovered some unhealthy not really natural spices, many expired spices and lots of duplicate spices. I tossed several spice bottles and then went out in search of organic spices. My usual grocery stores are Central Market and Whole Foods both of which have organic spices but are a bit costly. On a quick run to Sprouts for their "Vitamin and Body Care Extravaganza" I thought to take a look at their spice section where to my surprise I found store brand organic spices for $1-$2+ cheaper than competitors. Cha-ching!

A Trifecta

A really shitty trifecta I have come to experience is, grief + trying to conceive after loss + PMS. Yeah those three things at once really suck! Thankfully Rick and I have each other, our faith and Sofia to get through such doodoo. ;)

Cried within Two Weeks

So I only made it to less than two weeks between tears, 12 days to be exact. I cried the morning of my birthday on October 10th and then again at the MEND Subsequent Pregnancy meeting on October 22nd. Those MEND meetings can be tear-jerkers but oh so supportive and healing. I think two weeks between tears is as good as it's going to get for a while and that's ok especially since I am a "feeler" according to my Myers Briggs and a "blue/ red" according to my color temperament. Crying every two weeks actually feels like huge progress. I remember the early days, weeks and months of grief where I don't think I got through a single day without at least a couple of tears.