Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cooking is the Absolute Worst, and Other Complaints

It's no secret that cooking is not on the short list of things I'm good at. I'm a terrible, terrible, terrible cook. Nothing fills me with more anxiety and worry than the thought of having another couple over for dinner. I am pretty confident that Kemi has built up some sort of iron clad stomach and, God bless him, has never said he doesn't love something I've cooked. He's a great liar.

Despite my lack of cooking skills, I put a LOT of pressure on myself to make a home cooked dinner every night. And I mean every night. I don't know where this came from...maybe because I didn't grow up in a family that ate out a lot. My mom made dinner every night. Ever since Kemi and I were married I have sent myself into a complete fit most weekends trying to think of unique and healthy home cooked meals for the week. Oh, and did I mention that Kemi can't eat gluten or dairy, and we suspect Evie can't either? So that doesn't help with my creativity in the kitchen.

So, my sister, who is a great cook, and very health conscious, told me she made an amazing asian style lemon chicken with brown rice. Kemi's main food group is asian, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. Here's what happened.

I raced to Trader Joe's on my lunch break to get lemons, honey, and $8.63 work of organic, free range, grass fed, pastured, whatever-the-hell chicken for this gourmet meal.
 
I worked later than normal (til 5) and realized at 5 that I needed corn starch for the sauce. Luckily, my work is next door to a grocery store, so I ran there to get corn starch. But when I say ran, I RAN. My other confession is I put weird amounts of pressure on myself to be with Evie every possible minute I can be. It's the working mom guilt.

We get home after five, and I start flying through the kitchen, trying to cook this dinner.  After an hour, we sit down to eat. It's after six, and I haven't played with Evie yet at all today. And she goes to bed at 7:30.  So I'm feeling like basically the worst mom of all time. And the meal? It's awful. So awful. Just inedible. And I may have cried a little. I don't know what's wrong with me!


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Any other moms feel this way? I don't know what's wrong with me...am I just overly emotional, or should I take these feelings more seriously? There are days that I really don't know what I'm doing. I feel like I'm a ball of stress, just spinning my wheels and not getting anywhere. Something's gotta give.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

11 Months, and a Conversion Story

Yesterday marked eleven months since Celeste went to Heaven. I haven't had a chance to sit down and write until now, but she's on my mind, as always.

A coworker of mine is becoming Catholic. She's going through the RCIA process at our church, and asked me to be her sponsor. I try to make it to as many of the RCIA meetings as I can, and oftentimes afterward, we'll go for coffee to talk about the night, how she's doing, etc. She has had a long history of faith used to control, tear down, and abuse others.  She has been deeply hurt by the misuse of religion, and through God's grace, her heart has found a home in the Catholic church.

The first night we got together, I started asking her how she started the process of becoming interested in the church.  She smiled and told me it was simple...it was Celeste's funeral.
And that hit me like a ton of bricks. What? Celeste's funeral?
She explained that up until then, even entering a church made her feel anxious and upset, because of her history.  During Celeste's funeral, she told me she had a feeling of peace and belonging come over her, and it was then that she became interested in attending mass weekly, and decided to begin the inquiry process into the church. Wow.
In eleven months, my teeny tiny, 1 pound, 1 ounce, 22-week old baby girl has not ceased to amaze me.
It brings me a bit of peace and joy when I hear of how other's lives have been affected somehow by Celeste's life. God used her short life, and continues to use it for His glory. Always leading us back to Himself. Thank you Lord, for your love for us.

We miss you, Celeste. We miss you everyday.