Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec - Silent but Full of Life.
It feels great to be back to blogging! I apologize for my absence but if you keep reading you'll see that I had good reason.
Although I fell behind on telling my story on this platform, there was a lot of living and big changes happening. The biggest events of the fall were a new pregnancy, turning 30, and becoming an American! Keep reading for more details.
Seasons change with a smooth transition and the end of summer brought with it some warm days that I maximized by making a few last trips to the beaches in Grand rapids and Ludington.
Cozy Season, Cozy Food, Cozy Indoors
Although I am a summer girl at heart, I have to admit that fall does have some great perks like delicious apples, warm cider, homemade pies, pretty colors, and comforting soups. In addition, decorating for fall can be fun.
Fall is when we do our annual family camping trip. I am thankful we made it this year. We almost missed due to bad weather on our original dates, but we were able to plan a backup trip and we still had a great time.
I did a lot of baking this fall. I baked a lot of bread and perfected my yeast roll recipe. We made some great homemade soups to accompany the bread. It is funny how the turning of the leaves creates a sense of urgency to maximize time spent outdoors, in anticipation for the long hours of winter sequestration. At the same time, the fall season forces us to slow down and enjoy the cozier things.
I also baked a lot of pies and tarts. I worked on new and unique recipes to share with you all but life had other plans (i.e. the fatigue and nausea of pregnancy) that got in the way of me posting the recipes. But no worries I have them saved and will work on sharing them this year.
All the pies and tarts I baked last fall were made from farm fresh apples, hand picked from the numerous orchards close to where we live. We had so many extra apples that I made a huge batch of apple jam that we used in cooking all fall. We even baked our thanksgiving game hens in this homemade apple jam.
Tobe is obsessed with pumpkins so we made sure to visit a few pumpkin patches where he picked out a few pumpkins.
The biggest news of the season happened in October when we found out that our family will be welcoming a new addition next summer. We are so delighted. I am very happy, but the first trimester of this pregnancy was quite difficult and has been the reason for my long break from blogging.
I was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum. I was constantly vomiting with intense nausea and requiring IV hydration. As a result, I focused my energy on tasks of high priority which included making it to work everyday, working through the sickness, and studying.
The sickness seemed to be worse in the evenings. I spent a significant amount of last fall curled up on the couch. Tobe got very good at fetching my puke bucket.
He is such a sweetheart and was quite understanding when I couldn't read his bedtime story or put him to bed. He kindly let his dad pick up these tasks during those tough months. Now I am feeling better (I still have some nausea but not as bad as it was in the first trimester), and back to our nightly routine.
Turning 30, Becoming an American
Other big things that happened last fall was turning 30. Although I really enjoyed being a twenty-something and was sad to be leaving those years behind, I was happy to celebrate a new decade. My thirtieth year is bringing such great things - a new baby, the completion of my medical training and residency, and a new job.
To celebrate this milestone, I traveled to Oklahoma where it all started. I visited my alma mater, the University of Central Oklahoma and visited some of the buildings that were my first home when I came to America in 2008. Back then, all I had was my dream and now in this year of my life it is all coming to pass.
I celebrated with my best friends and also spent some time with my Godparents. I came back home to Michigan on the eve of my birthday and so was able to spend my actual birthday with Patrick and Tobe, my favorite people in the world.
I came home to presents and a beautiful birthday cake they made me. Tobe picked out the colors. It was purple inside with blue frosting.
Two days after my birthday, I took the oath to become an American. It was a very emotional event for reasons that are difficult to describe in words. Leaving home at age 18, the dream to become a surgeon and an American were intertwined and it was all happening in this year of my life.
Halloween this year was freezing. With my puke cup in hand, after a trip to the hospital for IV hydration, I managed to join Patrick and Tobe at trick or treating. I even manged to get one blurry picture of Tobe in his fireman costume.
I tell you, when you are feeling incredibly nauseous, photo opportunities are the last thing on your mind.
Unplugged Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year
Our holiday celebrations this year were very intimate and easy. I didn't make an effort to document with pictures but our great memories were worth it. I wasn't feeling my best with all the nausea and I actually had a cold on Christmas Day, but we managed to have a good time. Tobe got the toys he wanted from Santa and we made some delicious 100% homemade food from scratch -apple jam stuffed Cornish hens, yeast rolls, cranberry salad, pumpkin pie.
New Year, New Stories
My story telling continues and I am looking forward to sharing more posts and recipe uploads this year, I hope you keep reading and thank you!