Sunday, November 20, 2016

Taking Baby Steps Healing (+ Jambalaya Recipe)

"Taking Baby Steps" an ironic title to a post, I know, but its irony is fitting. 
Yesterday marked the day I would've been 20 weeks (I promptly deleted my "dates" from my calendar.) But there is was- my half way through my pregnancy note, a sad reminder of where I wish I was, how pregnant I would be, instead of planning on leaving work before the school year ended I am sitting here grading papers... it hits hard, again, that this is permanent. That this happened to me. That 'expecting' is no longer my reality. The baby boy I held is gone. No growing belly, no nursery to get ready, no sleepless nights due to an infant in my immediate future. I realized looking at that date, before I started crying, that I made it several days without crying. A baby step for me and I know the time between crying/thinking about what happened will become longer as more time passes. I am back at work, back in the gym, back to Saturday nights of wine and cheese with Matt and most of the time now I feel "normal."  
But do you know what else I feel? 
I feel like going on three weeks now I am sure my friends are wondering why I still bring it up. I feel the need to hide my tears from my husband who has tried his best to make me feel better. I don't want him to feel bad that I am still hurting despite everything. I feel like my anger towards this situation should be subsiding and it's not. I feel like my milk should finally fucking stop because there is no baby to feed. I feel like I need to do something with the one baby outfit (grey, fuzzy pjs with little dogs) I bought still hanging in the closet waiting for the baby that now isn't coming. I feel like the jealousy I have towards pregnant women or a post with someone and their newborn should go away. I feel the need to be bulletproof, to be the adjectives people have described me as... I am inspiring, tough, strong, and brave. But can I be honest?  I am still really, really sad. I still feel emptiness, heartbroken, and like the plan I had has been shattered. 
Finally, with the honesty of the last two posts and this one, I feel like this needs to be my last post on losing baby boy- for now. Moving forward doesn't mean forgetting- it just means letting the tears fall when they come, being kind to myself when I am having a hard day, holding my little girl and my Matt just a little tighter, and being positive about my future. Thank you all for your continued support. Xoxo

But what's a post without a recipe? Here is my take on my mom's jambalaya. A favorite growing up and now in our house. All the meat, all the carbs. 


(serves 10-12)
- 2 Tbsp Oil
- 1 Large Onion, finely chopped
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 Bell Peppers, chopped* (optional- I didn't have any!)
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 4-5 Chicken Sausage Links (andouille, chorizo, etc.), halved and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1.5lbs Boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into 1/2" pieces
- 1/2-3/4 lb Cooked Ham, cubed
- 2 Dried Bay Leaves
- 3 Cups White Rice
- 6 Cups Chicken Stock
- Fresh Green Onion, optional

1. In a large dutch oven, over medium heat, drizzle in the oil and add the onion and garlic (and peppers if you are using them.) Saute until they are soft- 5-7 min. 

2. Add the seasonings and chicken. Cook until it is browning, it doesn't need to be cooked through. About 5-7 minutes. 
3. Add the ham, sausage ... stir....

...add rice. Cook 2 minutes. 

Add the stock, bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook 25-30 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked. Sprinkle with onion and serve!

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