Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Gluten-Free Noodle Soup

In our journey into a gluten-free diet, I have discovered how much I love pho noodles. Especially in chicken noodle soup. While a lot of gluten-free noodles try and fail to have the texture and taste of wheat noodles, these wide rice noodles are not ashamed of what they are and are more delicious for it.

Our recipe is simple. In a saucepan, heat up a small splash of oil and chopped ginger and garlic. Then in the same saucepan, we boiled chopped carrots, mushrooms, and celery in gluten-free chicken broth. Some shredded boiled chicken would also be a great addition.

We cooked the noodles in water (not the chicken broth) according to the package instructions. When the noodles are drained and done, and the veggies are softening, that is when we add the noodles to the chicken broth along with some chopped fresh green onions.

It smells wonderful, tastes even better, and is healthy. Hello, veggies!

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Gluten-Free Adventure

Up until a few weeks ago, phrases like gluten-free seemed like buzzwords used by marketing professionals to sell products to the health food and organic only crowd. I do have a friend with a gluten allergy (as well as several other food allergies). Even still, it wasn't something I had to deal with daily.

Until my husband started having stomach trouble.

It took two months of various doctor visits and diet changes for us to narrow down what what wrong. Being the analytic type that he is, he tracked the timing of his symptoms to the sandwich he ate for lunch daily. He suggested we cut gluten and dairy from his diet for a few weeks and see if that helped. We were desperate for any solution to let him finally feel well for more than a few days!

Would you believe we started to see his health improve almost immediately? We still haven't gotten this confirmed with an allergist, but if eating gluten-free lets him feel normal then God bless it!

If anyone reading this had ever tried to transition into a gluten-free diet, you know it isn't easy. Every label has to be checked and double checked. It's worth it to have a healthy family. We're actually both eating healthier meals because of it.

Here's one of my favorite recipes we've tried so far. I adapted it from this Apron's Simple Meal.

The ginger paste was already gluten-free, and all I had to substitute was a gluten-free flour for the coating. Easy and delicious!

Does anyone out there have any gluten-free recipes that they love?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Penelope Rose

When we found out that our baby was probably not going to survive, we sent an email to a close group of friends in our church. In that group is a couple who vividly remember a miscarriage they had over two years back. They didn't ask questions when they read our email.

They drove right over.

They listened. They cried. They prayed.

It was such a blessing to have them there. They didn't try to have the right words to say. They just knew how we felt. We didn't need people saying "You'll have another baby that's healthy," or "It could be worse." We needed prayer.

My husband spoke his heart that night. The pregnancy hadn't been a reality to him before then, and he was pushed right into grieving her.

It was his idea that we go ahead and name her. "So we know what to call her when we meet her," he said.

There have been few times where I loved my husband as much as I did in that moment.

So that is how we came to give our first daughter her name. Penelope Rose. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Her Eyes Will Open

I started reading through my Jesus Storybook Bible out loud. I reasoned that I might not get the chance to read it to my little girl, so I would start now.

Let me tell you, I sobbed. I sobbed hard as I read about God's creation. It was beautiful and good and made in His image.

But the thought that rang through my head over and over, bringing my aching heart small shards of comfort was:
"The first thing she will see when she opens her eyes will be God."
God who loves her so unconditionally and never questioned her existence. God who is more beautiful than anything she could see in this world.

That one thought was a blessing sent from the One who loves me, too. If I can't have my child, I'm glad she will go to be with God and never see the miseries of this world.

Zero Chance

I was so thrilled when we found out we were pregnant back in April. This is what I had been wishing and waiting on for years, it seemed. We had finally come to a place in our life and our marriage where we were ready to make our couple into a family.

Months went by, and things seemed to be progressing as normal. I wasn't gaining much weight, but it was still early. No big deal, I thought.

The doctors didn't agree.

Some tests had come back as question marks, which required more tests. At the time, the doctors assured me that it was probably just a precaution, tests come back abnormal all the time for babies that are born healthy.

Then, at 19 weeks pregnant, my husband and I excitedly went in for a sonogram to find out the gender of our unborn child. That was the day everything began to crumble for me.

The sonographer was anxious. The doctors were compassionate. The news was horrible. We were told that day that there was zero chance of our baby - a little girl - surviving to be born.

They gave us reasons. The placenta was too thick, the amneotic fluids were low, she wasn't getting enough nutrition, something was wrong with her heart. All the reasons blended together for me as I cried. I cried in the doctor's office, I cried in the car, I cried with my husband, and I cried with my friends.

I was mourning my baby before she had even died... before she was even born.

My heart was breaking and this optimist could not find a bright side.