Friday, January 29, 2010

No Colon and still Rollin'

Today is the one year anniversary of my big surgery. For 365 days I have been without a colon. It has been a long, strange year in my life, and it has taken me through some of the hardest, darkest, scariest moments I have ever experienced. However, there was never a single day when my family and I couldn't find a something to laugh about. Think about it, if you're going to lose an organ, at least losing a colon gives you material for a lot of great jokes.
Poop jokes are funny, it is just a fact. Laughter really is the best medicine and I'm truly grateful for everyone in my life who has helped me laugh my way back into good health.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

random recipe to share

We had this for dinner last night with some fabulous friends who were kind enough to drive out into the suburbs to hang out. I didn't think to take a picture, but it is a great recipe because it is relatively healthy, cheap, and easy. Win, win and win!
You will need
1 pork loin or pork roast (I bought one for about $6)
A can of pineapple. I use the crushed so that it "coats" the roast.
Mrs. Dash Caribbean Citrus seasoning. (someday I will figure out a way to make this myself, but for now, this is easier)

To make a "sauce" to serve with it, you will also want to have corn starch on hand, and perhaps sweet chili sauce (optional)

Here's what you do. Rub the pork roast with the Mrs. Dash seasoning. Put it in a slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. Pour the pineapple, juice and all, over the top of the roast. Put the lid on the slow cooker and leave it alone for the rest of the day. If you don't have a slow cooker, you can roast this in the oven on a low heat, say, 250 degrees, for a few hours, but I don't know how long it might take. you would want to use a meat thermometer to check doneness starting after the first 2 hours and testing hourly.

I suggest setting the roast out on a serving platter for 10-15 minutes to rest before cutting into it. This will also give you time to make the sauce if you want to. Reserve 1 cup of the juices from the slow cooker, pouring the rest into a pan (its fine if the pineapple chunks are in it too) mix the reserved juice with about a Tbs of corn starch, and then pour into the pan. Add 1-2 Tbs of sweet chili sauce to taste, and bring to a boil. Simmer just to thicken.

I love to serve this with rice or roasted potatoes, and a simple steamed veggie.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thank you, and Happy Birthday

A year ago today was one of the most bizarre days in our family history.
At around 3PM, My sister and I were both in hospitals a few miles away from one another. I was just waking up from a colonoscopy, and she was delivering her son, D. I knew she was at the hospital and in labor, and it gave me something positive to think about all day as I sat starving and waiting for my tests. I couldn't know going in how much I would need that source of joy when I woke up. I awoke, just as in that awful commercial, to a doctor leaning over me. "Preacher Mom," he said in a very quiet, very serious tone, "We found a mass, it's pretty big, it's probably cancer, we took biopsies. I'm going to go tell your husband." and then he left the room. I was still REALLY loopy from the sedative, so I just muttered "ok" and closed my eyes. A few moments later, I awoke again, with a vague memory of what he had said. I asked the nurse to repeat the news, hoping I had only dreamed the previous conversation. A tear ran down her cheek, and my heart sank. "Not Today" I thought... even then, groggy and sedated, or perhaps, because I was too groggy to comprehend its repercussions on my reality, I kept thinking about the fact that I wished D didn't have to share his birth story with my cancer diagnosis. I just knew I was ruining everything for my little sister, and somehow THAT was what devastated me first.
Soon after, as the medicine began to wear off, the reality of the word CANCER hit, and I became much, much more self-centered than that. My sister has never held that against me, and I will always be grateful to her for that grace, love and understanding. I will also always owe a debt to D for deciding to come into the world on that day. Stories of his birth were a welcome distraction when thoughts of my own situation swirled into a meaningless void. Pictures of his sweet little face and that adorable little mouth of his gave me a reason to smile when I felt I had none.
I am pleased to say, once again, that the doctors who told me I had cancer were wrong, but I am still grateful that memories of his birth are there to redeem the memory of that horrifying fear. Beyond the blessing he was just by choosing January 21st to be born, he has continued to be a blessing for every day of his little life. He and his mommy were some of my most faithful visitors and companions as I recovered from my proctocolectomy, and watching him grow and learn and play together with my son James has been an absolute delight. I also have to thank him for bringing me even closer to my sister, whom I love so very much. I can't wait to see what the next year holds for us all, Happy Birthday D.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Introduction to our family

Hi! I'm preacher mom. I assume that 95% of my audience will know me already, but in case someone ever wanders by to visit, here is an introduction.

I am a lot of things. I am a wife to one of the nicest human beings on the planet...and I mean that. Seriously, he is so nice that it is almost irritating to me at times, except that I am the number one recipient of his kindness and patience. Plus, I need it in my life to balance out my personality. I'm more of a no-nonsense, let me tell you what I think, type. I love people, and I love sharing God's love with them, but sometimes I need Preacher Dad's guidance in being a bit gentler with God's sheep.

As you can (I hope) deduce from the title, I'm also a pastor. Actually, I'm currently a pastoral intern, but I've been a pastor, and I'll return to being a pastor within the coming year. (God and the bishop willing) I am in my final months of seminary coursework, And I'm getting antzy to see where God takes us after I finish school. I serve at the same church where my husband is currently the associate pastor in charge of youth, which is a blast. We have served together before as co-pastors, and because we are polar opposites, I totally love it. I get such a kick out of seeing how we counter-balance one another, and how people respond to us.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly at this stage in my life, I am a Mommy. My son J is one year old, and is pretty much the center of our universe. Our lives revolve around him. My favorite hobby right now is giving him table food. He is learning to eat so many things right now, and it is so much fun to see him discover new tastes. He already eats things I didn't eat until I was a teenager, like hummus and falafel, or stir-fry, or cream of celery soup. He is as clever as can be, which means that a good portion of my day is spent trying to keep him from self-destruction as he happily discovers all sorts of thing that would make my friends with very childproofed homes shudder to think about.

The greatest blessing in my life is that Preacher Dad views all these things, our marriage, our ministries, and our child as cooperative undertakings; things we are called to do together. The reality of how we make that all work is the insanity I refer to in my title. We are a long way from having any idea how to juggle all the pieces. My hope is that this blog will be a way for you to come along with us on the journey, as we try to figure out what does, and what doesn't work for us.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Why I've started blogging, and why it took so long.

I've spent the last 3 months pondering whether the whole blogging thing was for me/us. The attraction is of course the narcissistic joy I get in having a forum to talk about whatever I want anytime I want, as well as the ability to share cute stories about James with friends and family we don't see nearly enough, intermingled with reaching out to my very smart friends when I'm processing something in the academic/professional sphere.
So what took me so long to finally do it? Well, for one, there is the immense pressure to pick a name. I don't mind my blog title a bit, I think it quite fitting actually, but the url I ended up with is a little ... meh. Oh well. Second, is my laziness. I have been trying to decide if there is room in my life for blogging. I've been watching a couple of blogs over these last few months though, and the way I see it, when I don't have time, I just won't blog. Simple as that. With all James's upcoming shenanigans, I think I'll have too much material NOT to post with some frequency.