I drove home from work today thinking all about how this day would be different for me, for us, had things not gone the way they did.
Instead, today was more like any other day. It was a day I went through my routine, saw the people I see often, wore the clothes I usually wear, sipped on the coffee I usually sip. Long story short, same old, same old. But nothing about this day is at all normal, or at all ordinary, but today, I made it through with a grace that has not happened in past years.Had things gone how we had hoped, today would be a day of cupcakes, pink ribbons, surprises, hugs, squeezes and kisses. It would have been a day of squeals of happiness from a child, our child, our sweet Josie. Today, Josie would have been 3 years old. And though the years have passed, I have not stopped missing her each and every day.
Sometimes I think my biggest fear is that I will forget. I am afraid that this day will pass and I will not hold my breath and I will not find a quiet corner to cry. I am afraid that I will not miss her like I do to this day. But the first day of August comes every year, and the hollow in my heart begins to swell, and without looking at a calendar, I know. It’s my babies’ month (Eli was due August 15, so overall it’s not the greatest week I guess.) And the pain sets in.
I will never forget, not at all. I can still remember the second my whole world was turned upside down, the instant when everything I lived for was gone. The doctor’s eyebrows raising but telling us not to be concerned. Then moments later telling us she didn’t make it. And then time standing still when he said, unfortunately this happens. The tears, the despair, the crying uncontrollably right in front of a complete stranger. I will never forget. The complete utter numbness of everything that I was in that moment. It never fully leaves you.
And though today, from the outside looked like any other day, it was not. But it was different than the last few August 10’s.
Today I started Josie’s day with a new hope in my heart. There is a child, our child, Josie’s sibling that will be with us soon.
I began my day with an outdoor group workout in which we dedicate our workout to someone or something to keep us going when it gets tough. I grabbed my piece of chalk and before I wrote the letter J, I stopped. And instead, I started to carve the letter “S” into the concrete and then continued to write the rest of his name, Josie’s new brother who God willing will be part of our family soon. It was Josie’s day, yes, and if she was here, she would want to share this day with her brother. And after I wrote his name, I sniffed a few tears away and began to run knowing she was right there with me, every step of the way, but today, she was holding her mommy up so that she could make it through these next two months until we bring her brother home.
And that is why today was different. Today, even through the tears, there was celebration. There was a sense of wholeness. This was the first time on Josie’s birthday that I didn’t cry in complete pain and despair. Instead, I cried tears of hope. And for that, I love you my sweet, perfect angel.
After a heavy post such as this, it often seems awkward to bring you a recipe as well, but it’s always nice to sweeten things up a bit afterward. And today’s I like to think of as just like my little girl: simple and sweet.
Sweet and salty is my thing. I love the combo and if I have one without the other–well actually I typically don’t so I don’t even have to worry. So back in my days of food rules, pretzels were out. They were not on the list of good foods for a number of stupid reasons and I am a happy happy girl now that I all0w them into my diet, when I crave them. Recently, I have been making this simple treat with a homemade dark chocolate of coconut oil, cacao and maple syrup. Crush up pistachios, add a dash of sea salt and then the hardest part will be waiting for them to dry! And you don’t have to stop at pistachios. Get funky and throw on whatever you like! Enjoy!
- 30-40 pretzel crisps/crackers
- 1/2 c coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 c plus 2 T cacao powder
- 2-3 T pure maple syrup or honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
- sea salt
- 1/3 c pistachios, raw, unsalted, shelled
- Place pistachios in a plastic bag and break into small pieces with a wooden spoon.
- Combine coconut oil, cacao, maple, and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
- Dip pretzel crisps in chocolate and place on a piece of parchment, sprinkle with pistachios and a dash of sea salt. Complete with all other pretzels.
- Allow to chill for 15-30 minutes to harden.
- Dig in!
- You can also use dark chocolate chips and melt them if you prefer!
- If you don't want any coconut flavor, refined coconut oil can be used.