Monday, April 28, 2014

Little Happies -- Even When Things Get Tough

Last week was hard. Really hard. If you missed my last post, basically... we didn't get chosen by the birthmom due mid-May. I'm still feeling really pretty down about the whole situation, so I'm actually really glad past-Stephanie came up with this Little Happies link-up idea. 'Cause otherwise, I would NOT be looking for any blessings in my life right now, no way, no how. I'd just be one big sob story 24/7.

So they're not my best, but here are the little things still bringing my joy amidst this tough time...


The night we found out we didn't match with the birthmom and baby, John's coworker was so kind and let him leave early. This was a HUGE blessing. Normally, he wouldn't have gotten home until 8pm or 9pm. Instead, he was home before 7pm. I NEEDED this. I needed to not be suffering at home alone. I ended up distracting myself by talking to a few friends, eating some of my favorite snacks, and watching Parenthood on Hulu. I know, Parenthood sounds like a bad choice, but it's actually one of my go-to favorites these days.

When John pulled up to the apartment, he had me hop in the car and he took me to the nearest hibachi grill. It was so nice to just get out of the apartment and enjoy a very tasty meal together. Just what my hurting heart needed. 


Writing the post about not being picked by the birthmom was actually very good for me. While the post itself is not a Little Happy at all, I felt better almost instantly after posting it, and that is a huge positive. That's never happened before with this here blog, so I'm happy to know that's an option when things get really tough. While it's one of the saddest pieces I've ever written, it was very healing. Thank you for all the support and love you showered me with. I appreciate every one of you more than you know. Hugs!


Pic stolen from Joy the Baker

THESE! Cadbury Mini Eggs. Oh My WOW!! I eat about 5 each night before I got to bed and I do not regret it one bit. Hands down, my favorite Easter candy. Possibly my favorite candy of all time. And definitely even better seeing as I bought them the day after Easter and they were 50% off. Though, I'd pay full price for these puppies any day. Just sayin'. 


THIS recipe. Another Oh My WOW! Gluten free mac and cheese (plus peas and left over Easter ham). Here's the original recipe, but you can bet your bottom dollar I'll be sharing my own Stephanie's Recipes version of it soon. Doesn't make me miss gluten AT ALL. 

And yes, this was my lunch every day this week. Not sorry at all. Comfort food for the win!!


I was on a teen retreat all weekend, Friar Fest. So much adoration, lots of great faith-talk, lots of love for Catholicism, an awesome healing service where we actually got to touch Jesus, and all run by the sweetest Friars and Nuns. While I didn't get as much out of it this year (seeing as I'm in a weird emotional place right now), it was still a good place for me to be and mostly a good distraction. Spending time with Jesus in adoration is always time well spent.


At the end of each long day, I know I can trust Ariel to cheer me up. I had completely forgotten about this pillowcase, which I'm pretty sure I've had since I was really little, until recently. We were cleaning out our spare closet to make room for all our baby items, and I found her!! So I immediately replaced one of the pillowcases on our bed with this one. She's been there ever since. John finds it a little weird, but he knows it brings me joy, so she stays. Love her. 

That's all I've got for now! Hopefully by next week, I'll have some more cheerful Happies to post about. Until then, your cheer will have to hold me over. Don't mean to put the pressure on! I'm just REALLY looking forward to reading about what's making you happy this week! Cheer me up, will ya? :)


  1. those Cadbury eggs...holy smokes! I'd never had those before this year...until I ate a whole bag ;)

    1. Mmmmm! Yes!! They're so hard to resist. And it's impossible to feel bad about eating them, even when it's the whole bag. :)

  2. 1. That reminds me--I've been wondering about your husband's schedule. 8-9pm all week?? How many hours does he work in his work weeks? Chuck always says he would HATE doing the week on/week off thing, but I told him you guys seem to really like it. (Not that its an option for us--he's not planning to stay in a hospital setting)

    3. YES. But dark chocolate :-) (although, Reese's eggs rank above them on my favorite Easter candy list)

    4. I have been known to buy a box of kraft mac n cheese and just replace the pasta with gluten free pasta (several times). Comfort food.

    1. John's schedule during his week on varies quite a bit, but in general, he'll work about 80 hours during that week on. Every other day he has the opportunity to go home early, but it doesn't always work out; it depends on the number of patients he has left to see and the work he has left to do. When he leaves early, it's around 6pm or 7pm. When he has to stay late, it'll go until 8pm or 9pm. He arrives by 7am each morning (and has a 40 min communte both ways). That's his weekday schedule. On weekends, he gets in by 7:30am and can be done anywhere between 1pm and 5pm... just depends on the workload. We absolutely LOVE his weeks off, but he's growing a bit tired of the stress and long hours during his week on. It takes him at least the first 2 days of his week off to destress and enjoy himself. So, it's not optimal, but it's working for now.

      I never even thought to just replace the pasta in the kraft mac n cheese boxes. That's genius!!

  3. HIBACHI!!!!!!!! Always a slam-dunk! Top that off with some Cadbury eggs and you've got one happy belly! Glad you are treating yourself. Seems like a small thing, but it really can do wonders for our mood :)

    And I am SO GLAD John was able to spend some time with you; isn't that what we need the most? The comfort of our best friend...hard to beat that.

    Also, Little Mermaid is my FAVORITE MOVIE OF ALL TIME. You have good taste!!! I wonder where my mermaid sheets are...

    Keep that chin up, girl!!! You're doing so great at focusing on the positive in the midst of a difficult situation. But great things are ahead, I know it :) Prayers for you today!

    1. Thanks for your encouragement! I'm keeping my chin up as best I can. :) Your prayers certainly help!

      I'm so happy you love hibachi and The Little Mermaid too! Both are instant happies for me. And, of course, getting extra time with my husband. If you find your mermaid sheets, you must post a picture in your next Little Happies post. :)

  4. Hibachi grill! YUMMY!!!! I'm glad you were able to get out and have a little bit of fun together after getting the disappointing news. Again, I am sorry for the hurt you've experienced this past week. I am glad you sat down to compose your Little Happies and to serve as a witness to the rest of us - even when we get a load of bad or discouraging news...we are still blessed. God is still good and there are still little ways to see His presence in our life. Making it a point to choose and see them is hard but vital to warding off despair that can lurk all too near in the background of IF couples.

    I'm glad you have discovered the gluten free mac and cheese! Are you choosing gluten free as part of anti-inflammatory or because you are allergic to gluten? Just curious. I am allergic to gluten (which sometimes feels like a double punishment because I can't bury my IF sorrows in just any food) but need to do better at the anti-inflammatory diet in general (less sugar, more fish, less dairy/red meat) but a gal born and raised in Nebraska can only do so much. Do you ever waver on diet stuff? Should we start some sort of accountability group? I need more motivation - you would think the potential of a baby would be enough but it's hard to drastically change diet when you aren't even sure it will do any good at all. AND the fact I know women on crack, eating load of sugar and guzzling coffee/alcohol get pregnant all the time.

    That retreat looks awesome. Thanks for the work you do. If I would have experienced adoration in high school, it would have been such a gift. Perhaps I would've stayed closer to Jesus and avoided a lot of mistakes. Your work is so very important and I want to say thanks for being there to do it!

    1. Thank you for being so sweet! I'm glad God let me still see some beauty in what was likely one of my worst weeks yet. It's so easy to fall into despair, so I'm happy I had this to pull me out.

      YES, I need help with my anti-inflamm diet. I know that it has lots more to it than just low-gluten, but I'm soooo hesitant to give up diary. I just love cheese SO much. I don't think I can handle another sacrifice. But maybe I could do it if i I had a group cheering me on. I'm definitely not allergic to gluten (bummed to hear you are -- sorry!), so it's more just a baby step toward the anti-inflamm diet. I've mostly cut it out (though, I cheat a tiny bit here and there, especially since the anti-inflamm diet allows for whole wheat stuff, so I don't feel as bad about it) and I also have cut out peanuts. That has probably been even harder because I love peanuts and peanut butter! Do you think we should start a fb group? We could post lots of anti-inflamm, gluten free, low cheese recipes for each other and post for encouragement when we're feeling weak. What do you think?

      And thanks for the encouraging words regarding youth ministry. I really did nothing except observe this past weekend, so I can't take much credit there, but I do love the work I do at my parish. :) While teens can be a pain in the rear sometimes, they're mostly great kids who just need a little extra guidance. I can handle that!

  5. I love Hibachi! That is always our go-to for special occasions. I'm glad your husband was able to get home a little earlier so you could be there for one and other. The adoption process involves so many ups and downs. I'm not looking forward to that aspect of things. It'd be nice if one aspect of this journey was a quick and straight forward! Love your pillow case! Ariel was my fav too:-) You're gluten free mac and cheese looks great!

    1. "It'd be nice if one aspect of this journey was a quick and straight forward!" Amen to that, sister!! And I thought this would be it for us, but clearly I was just dreamin'. I really hope it's straight forward and quick for you guys, though!! I'm here for you if it isn't, of course! Thanks for the support, always. :)

  6. So glad that your husband was able to come home a little early so that you had time to mourn and comfort one another after getting the bad news. And I'm glad that writing Little Happies seems to help, too.

    1. Thank you! John coming home early was an answered prayer! We needed to be with each other, to mourn in person. It was very comforting. As was writing it all out. Glad to have this blogging community here to help me through this tough stuff.

  7. So glad you are feeling better!

  8. Oh my word, that mac and cheese and Cadbury candies had me drooling! Isn't it amazing how a TV show can be a comfort? Not that it makes things better, but it's a distraction and lets you get lost in something else for a while. And how awesome that you got to spend the weekend with Adoration! I find that even when I don't necessarily feel like I "got anything" out of an experience, it's not what you feel, but the fact that you're spending time with Jesus that matters.

    I love that you are finding some moments of lighter spots, even though it's tough right now. Praying for you, friend!

  9. This is a great, real post. A for effort!!! Sometimes just trying to think of blessings helps put me in a better mood. Although usually its tough to get started when I'm having a rough time. I'm so sorry you had to go through all that sorrow and hope things start looking up soon!.


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