31 January, 2012

A Week Later

It's been about a week since my miscarriage started, and I just wanted to post a little update on how we're doing.

First of all, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the love and prayers everyone has sent my way - comments, emails, tweets, Facebook messages, text messages, phone calls, care packages at my front door. Thank you so much. You'll never know how much it all meant to me and Levi. It has helped so much. In ways that I didn't know it could. As soon as I pressed "publish" on my post, I felt immediate relief. There's something about getting things off my chest that helps me. Hearing stories from those of you who have gone through the same thing helped a lot too. There's something really isolating and almost shameful about a miscarriage. It made me feel inadequate as a woman. I know I'm not, but that's still how I felt.

Once the miscarriage was completely over, I started to feel a little bit better. I felt like I was carrying death around inside of me, and it really weighed heavily on my heart. I just wanted to get the whole thing over with. I feel really fortunate that I was able to miscarry naturally. I don't think I could have handled surgery since I really wasn't fit to be around people all week. I'm still not quite there. I wish I could wear a little sign around my neck telling people not to mind me because I'm grieving. That's one of the benefits of older social customs like wearing all black while in mourning... southern California doesn't really observe many social customs.

The thing that offered me the most comfort was how many people told me I would see my baby in heaven. It made me feel better to know that so many people believed my baby's very short life still counted, that she still had a soul and God still acknowledged her. One of the first things I pictured after this realization was Levi's mom holding our baby and loving her in heaven. She's the first grandchild Julee gets to meet. There's something really sweet and comforting about that.

Levi and I decided to name our baby. From the second we found out I was pregnant, we were both convinced our baby was a girl, so we named her Poppy.

(image by i.Anton on Flickr)

We're going to keep the little bunny we bought for her so that we have a physical reminder of our little Poppy.

Poppy's bunny:

Poppy's bunny

Again, thank you so much for all your support during this difficult time. I know this post was mostly rambling, but that's about all I'm good for right now. I'm also really good for watching The Big Bang Theory, eating horrible food, and not washing my hair. ;) We're starting to reestablish a routine, and I'm starting to heal. I'll have a few good hours, then it will all come back and smack me in the face. I'm sure it will be like this for awhile. I feel so fortunate to go through this all with Levi by my side. His first response when I told him we were losing our baby was to lay down and weep with me - heavy, heart-wrenching sobs. It was awful and horrible and painful, but this is what going through life together is all about. This has brought us even closer together, and I love him more now than I ever have before. As Levi told me this week, "I'd rather lose a baby with [him] than have one with anyone else."

God is giving me hope that our next pregnancy will result in a healthy, happy, perfect little baby, and that's what I'm going to hold onto right now.

25 January, 2012

My Miscarriage

I had a miscarriage this week. And it was devastating. We hadn't even known I was pregnant for very long, but it still tore both our hearts apart. I can't help but feel that I did something wrong, that I caused this to happen. I can't help but feel that it isn't fair. I can't help but feel that nothing good can ever happen to me without something horrible happening first. And this was truly horrible. To go from total joy to total despair is an absolute nightmare. I couldn't even believe I was pregnant in the first place, then to have it ripped away from me... I don't even know what to say. Every time I felt a cramp and every time I saw the blood were fresh, constant reminders that my body was taking my baby away from me.

And now I'm really scared to get pregnant again. I'm scared that I'll have to live this nightmare again. I'm angry that my joy will be tainted next time because I know what can happen. I know what this loss feels like.

The day Levi and I found out I was pregnant, we went shopping and bought a little stuffed bunny for our baby. I keep picking up the little bunny and rubbing it against my face, holding it to my chest. My heart is broken, and I don't know what to do. I feel empty and hollow and overwhelmed by grief. I know that it will get better, but right now, it's awful, and I'm just really really sad.

24 January, 2012

Wolfie's Dedication

A couple weeks ago, Wolfie was dedicated at my brother and sister-in-law's church. We all went to watch. He's such a little grownup man now!



(That little stinker loves beards. The pastor tried to move his hand away while he prayed, but Wolfie was very persistent so it stayed.)


I love that sweet little boy.

23 January, 2012

Our Anniversary

Levi and I celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary two weeks ago. We spent the day in LA doing a few of our favorite things.

Our day started with the drive to LA... obviously. Levi had put together a special playlist to listen to on the way, full of "our songs."



While in the car, we played the read-all-the-fake-names-on-the-sample-stationery-in-the-paper-source-catalogue game. For some reason, that always cracks me up. Sometimes, I'm very easily amused.


Our first stop was the Abbot Kinney Intelligentsia for macchiatos and pistachio lemon cake.




I always feel like such a dork taking photos in there because it's always so full of hipsters. Highlight of our Intelligentsia stop: seeing Kevin's mom from Wonder Years. I recognized her in an instant!




After breakfast, we wandered in and out of shops on Abbot Kinney.





They have some really awesome shops. We had so much fun looking at books, baby stuff for Wolfie, stationery, Swedish stuff, and vintage furniture. I love window shopping... almost as much as real shopping.

By the time we were done looking in shops, we were both starving, so we headed to our next stop: Beverly Hills. We had to pick up some macarons. Of course! We saved them for later and ate at a really yummy pizza place on Beverly. Then we browsed the newsstand and peeked in Anthropologie.


(That's Levi demonstrating that he can walk with a bag in his hand without swinging it. I never let him hold bags of fragile food because he's a notorious arm swinger.)

Next on the agenda was a movie at the Landmark. We had been dying to see Carnage, but our Fandango tickets didn't work for the Landmark, and I didn't want to spend the money, so we ended up laying around on some benches in the lobby for awhile instead. Levi ran to the bathroom, leaving me on the bench, browsing through books on my Amazon app. It's funny how many strangers want to come up and chat with you when you're lounging on a bench.


When Levi came back, a man walked by and said we were "art directed within an inch of our lives" and that he needed to take a picture. Haha!


Since our movie plans were delayed (we ended up seeing the movie later in the week - it was so good. I highly recommend it.), we were at a loss for what to do with ourselves, so we headed over to Culver City for a snack. We went to L'Epicerie Market and feasted on a very strange and random snack of baguette, coffee, bananas, and the best roasted potatoes in the world.



By the time we finished, it was dark. I still didn't really want to go home so we headed back to Abbot Kinney and ended up meeting a really nice man named Reggie. He was living through a really difficult time so we chatted with him for awhile. When we parted ways, I hugged him. That's how awesome Reggie was.

We couldn't think of anything else to do, so we just headed home. It was kinda cool that the only thing we did on our second Abbot Kinney stop was chat with a man named Reggie. I thought it was a good way to end our anniversary. :)

16 January, 2012

Recipe: Mexican Pie

Do you ever make something for dinner and think, "My future children are going to LOVE nights when I make this"?

This is one of those recipes: mexican pie.



It's certainly not the most attractive dish (especially when it's photographed in my ugly, yellowy-beige kitchen), but it's very delicious and decadent... and easy to make!

Here's the recipe:


1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
about a pound of chicken breast
salt & pepper
1.5 cups store-bought salsa verde
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
4 large flour tortillas (cut into wedges for a square dish; circles for a pie dish)
3 cups raw baby spinach
2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese


1. Preheat oven to 450.

2. The recipe says to cook the chicken in a large skillet with the olive oil, then shred. However, I actually cook the chicken in the crockpot because it falls apart when it's done, and I think it tastes better. Crockpot directions: add chicken breast to crockpot. Season liberally with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Cover with warm water. Turn the crockpot on low, and cook for about 6 hours. If you're using really thick chicken breasts, it may take 8 hours. Really thin, pounded breasts take 5-6 hours. If you want it to cook faster, put it on high for about 4 hours. The high heat just makes a bit drier and tougher. When done, shred and set aside. You can prepare this ahead of time and keep it covered in the refrigerator if you'd like.

3. Whisk together ricotta and salsa verde. Season with salt and pepper (I find this step unnecessary). In a greased 9-inch square baking dish (I use a pie dish), layer a tortilla, 1/3 of the chicken, salsa verde mixture, spinach, and cheese (in that order). Add a tortilla, and repeat twice more. Save some of the cheese to top the final tortilla. I'm only able to get two layers, so I don't use as much cheese (I do load on the chicken and spinach though).

4. Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

*You can also add other vegetables if you'd like.
**Vegetarians, try subbing beans for the chicken.

12 January, 2012

San Francisco: Day Two

I have some news! A few months ago, Levi and I made a firm decision that we're going to move to the bay area, specifically Mill Valley. Since Levi's income depends on his clientele, and since his clientele isn't likely to follow him up north, this is a really big move that will require a lot of planning and a lot of saving. We'll have to move up there with enough money to live off of for at least six months, preferably a year. It will probably take us 3-5 years. I wish we could move tomorrow, but I'm really excited that we have this huge goal. It's really nice to have something to work toward. Also, I'm not ready to leave my family quite yet.

Anyway, I've been to Mill Valley before (and fell IN LOVE with it), but Levi's never been. Everything I told him about it, he loved, but he obviously needed to see it for himself. So on the second day we were in SF, we rented a zipcar, a little orange Mini Cooper to be exact, to drive over the bridge into Mill Valley! The zipcar membership is in my name, so I had to drive, which doesn't sound like a big deal, but here's the thing: I have three recurring nightmares. One of them features me driving up and down insanely steep hills... you know, like the kind you find in San Francisco. My stomach has always twisted into knots at the thought of this. When the first steep hill came for me to drive up, I got sweaty and out of breath. I demanded silence and open windows from Levi. I gripped the steering wheel like my life depended on it. And I shrieked and yelled and cursed. BUT I didn't die!!! But then there was a really steep hill to drive DOWN. Yeesh. I did it though. By the end of the day, there wasn't quite as much cursing, sweating, panting, and shrieking. I passed the test!


Our first stop of the day was breakfast at MarketBar at the Ferry Building. It was divine. We shared crepes with caramelized apples and the baked egg, persimmon, and bacon flatbread. Ahhh, everything was so good.




After breakfast, it was time to drive over the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge. I've driven over the bridge tons of times, but I've never been the driver. This was a momentous occasion. The second the bridge was in sight, Levi and I became positively giddy. He was snapping photos. We were chattering a mile a minute. It was perfect. The car had a moon roof, so I told him that he HAD to look up as we drove under the towers (don't tell the DMV... but I sneaked a peek too. Bad, Jasmine!!).



When we got to the other side of the bridge, our excitement only escalated. Levi was in awe. Marin County is so spectacularly beautiful. It seriously takes my breath away. The drive to Mill Valley was beautiful, and I kept checking to see if Levi was loving it as much as I do. He was. :)

Our plan was to spend a little bit of time in Mill Valley before we headed over to Sausalito to hang out with Camilla, Damir, and company. We got to the downtown area and stopped at Depot Café for a snack (breakfast was delicious, but teeny). Then we wandered in and out of shops for a bit, until Camilla told us that they were all settled back at home.

Camilla and Damir are now living in the sweet little guest cottage of her parent's GLORIOUS home. Their house is probably my favorite house in the world. I'm really not exaggerating. Their view is heavenly, and Camilla and Damir get to share the same exact view! Check out Stacey's post on the house for more pictures.



We hung out at Camilla and Damir's, drank the BEST Turkish coffee and snacked on potato pastries (all made by Damir's sweet mother who flew in all the way from Slovenia for the wedding), laughed, and shared stories about the wedding the night before. It was perfect. I'm so grateful that I got to spend a couple hours with Camilla after the wedding.

After we left, we headed back to Mill Valley for a bit more exploring. We popped into Mill Valley Market to pick up snacks to take back to the hotel. We were really trying to get a feel for the place, to imagine what it would be like to live there. Sometimes when I'm trying to fall asleep at night, I picture the future, shopping at Mill Valley Market with my children. It helps me fall right to sleep.

We explored the surrounding area a bit (including checking out the closest Anthropologie in Corte Madera... I have to get the lay of the land after all!) before heading back to the city for dinner... and a mighty fine dinner it was! We feasted on warm goat cheese and arugula salad, moules mariniere (mussels), and steak frites at Gamine. Camilla introduced me to Gamine back in September, and I will never visit San Francisco again without a meal there. It's my favorite restaurant anywhere. After dinner, we returned the car and took a walk down to Union Square where we found some dessert, tried to go ice skating (the wait was soooo long), looked at pets who were up for adoption in store windows, and talked about our day.

Sunday was the most perfect. It was a glimpse of our future... what a serene, beautiful, exciting future we have.

11 January, 2012

The Day After Christmas

Ever since we got home from San Francisco, Levi and I have been trying to recreate the feeling of being on vacation with little day trips, so on the day after Christmas, we headed to Pasadena... for coffee. Yes, we drove all the way to Pasadena for coffee. We're devoted. It turned out to be the perfect day to go - absolutely NO traffic. Empty LA freeways are glorious.

I love the drive to Pasadena. The 110 freeway is so old and cool. When we got off the freeway, we drove past all the Rose Parade bleachers on the way to Intelligentsia, where we had some delicious coffee.




After coffee, we walked around and looked in shop windows. I was sad that 'lette was closed for the day...


The day was mostly spent wandering around: grocery stores (Gelson's is the best), sidewalks, little shopping centers.

IMG_0435 copy



We capped off the evening with dinner at Bottega Louie.




Perfect day.

09 January, 2012

We're going to be doing lots of this today...




because it's our one-year wedding anniversary!

Happy happy!

05 January, 2012

San Francisco: Day One

Before Christmas, Levi and I went to San Francisco for Camilla and Damir's wedding.

We woke up early Saturday morning for our flight, and a couple hours later, we checked into the Fairmont Hotel! The Fairmont is such an impressive sight. It's located at the top of Nob Hill and has incredible views. Being on top of Nob Hill also means that it's quite the hike to get there. We took about 20,000 4-minute taxi rides on Saturday... lots of running around.

Guess who we ran into while checking in. If you guessed Camilla, gold star for you! I thought the next time I saw her would be as a married woman, so it was fun seeing her before the wedding while she was still technically single.

Our room at the Fairmont was incredible - big, gorgeous window, huge bathroom, even huger walk-in closet. It was such a treat to stay there.

We spent the day running between Union Square and Nob Hill. It was very hectic. And when I say running, I mean it. We literally ran up Nob Hill... I don't recommend this. Stupid SF taxis... nowhere to be found... EVER.

Finally, the evening arrived. We were all dressed up and ready to go. We had an early dinner at Scala's Bistro (where we ate on our honeymoon every single day) before heading up to the Fairmont's penthouse suite for the wedding reception.


This place is unreal. I never got over how incredible this place was while we were there. There really isn't anything I can say to explain it, which is really saying something because I'm never at a loss for words. You can look at a few photos of the "suite" (it's like a house) here. You know how some hotel rooms/suites look way better in photos than in real life... not so with this place. This place was about a kajillion times better. We took a few photos of the view and the rooms, but they're pretty much crap compared to the real thing, so we'll all just have to wait 'til Camilla gets her wedding photos back! For now, here are some pictures of me, Levi, the bride, and a few other guests (I really wish I had taken more photos. oh well):


(upstairs in the library)

(peeking into one of the secret passageways hidden behind a wall of books)

(We met Ashlee and her husband, Brett. Here they are smiling down at us from the library. Check out all the constellations on the domed ceiling!)

(me and Jenny May's husband, Jonas... don't we look like brother and sister??! I couldn't get over how related we look. I must be Swedish.)

And finally, me and the gorgeous bride, Camillaleila:


I LOVE that photo on the right. It needs a frame.

Camilla said it was her dream wedding. It makes me sooooo happy that she had such a wonderful time and that the wedding was exactly how she imagined, better than she imagined! Levi and I were so honored that we could celebrate with those two. It was incredible.

More posts from our SF trip to come!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...