There are two sides to every story. Every peanut butter has its jelly, every cookie has its glass of milk, and every hot dog has its bun. The jelly to my peanut butter is Matt. He is everything I cannot be when I am lost and always right behind me when I find my way. Lately, he has shown me strength and companionship that I did not know was possible. Readers, I am deeply fond of my husband.
I have to admit I have felt far away these days, a bit removed or distant. For one, I have been thinking a lot about moving away from Chicago’s grey winter skies and daydreaming about a little home in California with everlasting sun and year round farmers markets. Or perhaps a country home- a farmette even- in Madison, Wisconsin….grey skies perhaps, but quiet indeed. Beyond my daydreams, I might be hibernating which is a yearly ritual for us Midwesterners. I also have not written in a while. I don’t know if that is intentional or not. Although I have not written, I have re-read many of my posts and realized that the theme of home surfaces again and again. These days, however, home has taken a different shape. I have come to the realization that some of the people in my family, who are traditionally supposed to represent the idea of home, have not offered me anything in the sense of family as of late. On the flip side, I have come to welcome other family in my life in a way that I was not able to before. Lastly, Matt and I are pregnant. 14 weeks today! We could not be more thrilled. Marrying Matt was the beginning of our family. Now, that family is growing.
I have been more tired than I could have ever imagined during my first trimester. There are days when I feel like a zombie, struggling to keep my eyes open, but at the same time I feel very much at peace- Zen-like if you will. It is the most restful I have ever been in my life, and I have spent a lot of this time napping and peacefully reflecting on important changes to come. I guess you could say I have been contemplative lately. Along with my meditative state, I have been widely distracted and have found it hard to keep up at work. Therefore, there has not been a whole lot of cooking around here…and not much to blog about. Then, Thanksgiving came. I love the holidays, but that love really has nothing to do with my own family or the dinners we typically share. Those have always been a bit scattered and often awkward for me. I love the holidays because of the possibilities they hold. I have forever imagined how I would celebrate Christmas and Thanksgiving in my own home, with my children…the traditions we would hold, the values we would share, the spirit of coming together and creating memories. Those possibilities are why I love the holidays. Matt and I have started some of those memories in our apartment…filling our small living room with an oversized tree, making hot chocolate on Christmas morning as we rifle through our stockings, making the best darn mac and cheese together on Thanksgiving. With the addition of Baby T, our sense of love and warmth during the holidays has only inflated our joy over the last several months and there is no doubt this will carry on as our family grows.
When Thanksgiving arrived, and with my cravings for breads and pancakes and general pastries of all kinds these days (yay for being pregnant!) being so prevalent, I was inspired to make chocolate cake doughnuts. I mean, I didn’t really need inspiration for chocolate cake doughnuts, but given how tired I was in my first trimester, something was gonna have to move me from the couch to the mixer…and the spirit of the holiday did just that. Sometimes you just need the house to smell like freshly baked goods. Or at least I need that once in a while.
With a glass of ice-cold milk, Matt and I sat down to warm chocolate cake doughnuts. I thought about how I might make these every Thanksgiving and wondered if I would sneak fried doughnut pieces from the dough scraps to our kids as they either helped me with the recipe or made a disaster of the kitchen. I wondered if they would like glazed or powdered sugar instead. I imagined Matt in the yard with Finley- playing fetch near my bountiful garden (even though Finley does not play fetch…like at all…and although I intend to have a garden I do not know the first thing about planting anything- but you know it was all there…in my daydream)…. and in that moment I was truly grateful that I had found my other side to the story to be the truest and best chapter in my life so far. As many of my readers know, I do not tend to get this personal on BnY, but I think I needed this post to reflect on the positive people and relationships in my life. I could have written paragraphs on my sister’s strength during this time, my mother, my aunt, my in-laws and even my closest friends. Sometimes when you are so deeply hurt, you truly appreciate all that you have been given. I think perhaps this is why it has been so difficult for me to write. Thank you for letting me share and for reading. Happiest and warmest of holidays readers!