Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Vegetable Enchiladas

My oldest Air Force friend came to visit this week so I have been trying to think of easy meals that will feed her army and mine :) One thing I know about Kara after our seven year friendship-she does not like spice. Since she asked me to post the recipe I am making this "Kara proof." I usually double the spice, but John and I like it spicy!

I love these enchiladas, they are one of the first meals I ever learned to make. My cousin posted an almost identical sauce recipe so I am thinking this must be an old family recipe. Either way I replaced the chicken that I grew up with for veggies!

The key to making really good enchiladas is the tortillas. You gotta use the "Cafe Rio" style you cook at home ones from Costco, or homemade. Anything else and these are just ho-hum.

Vegetable Enchiladas


1 zucchini
1 green pepper
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 c. frozen corn-defrosted
1 c. spinach
1 c. black beans
coconut oil
lime juice

Grated cheddar and pepper jack cheese


2 T. butter or olive oil (I go back and forth on this one, obviously olive oil is healthier but butter is well butter)
2 T. flour
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. chili powder
1/4 t. cumin
2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
8 oz. water

Dice veggies. Heat coconut oil (or olive oil, but I think you should jump on the coconut oil bandwagon :) over medium heat. Add garlic and onion. Cook for 2 minutes then add zucchini. Cook another 2 minutes then add pepper. Once veggies are soft at corn, black beans and spinach. Stir until spinach welts. Remove from heat and splash with a little lime juice.

While veggies are cooking melt butter or heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add flour and spices and stir until thickened. Add tomato sauce and water. Cook, stirring occasionally until boiling and thickened.

Grease a 9X13 pan

Fill tortillas with veggie mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Roll and repeat. Cover with sauce and cheese. Bake at 375 for 25-30 or until bubbly.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Two years

About two years ago while listening to BYU Radio I heard a program titled "History of Hymns." This episode was focusing on a hymn I have loved for a long time "Lord, I Would Follow Thee." They were interviewing the author of the hymn. She told a story of spending the day with her sister a couple of days after her sister's baby died. They were shopping for clothes for the funeral. She said she just wished she could have ran ahead of her sister into every store to tell the salespeople "please be kind to my sister, her baby just died. She may seem distant or mean to you today, but this is what she is going through, please be kind."

I remember fighting back tears that morning as I drove to church. Not too long before that I had delivered our stillborn son Samuel. I wish I could have worn a sign telling the world what I was going through because I am sure I came across as mean or uninterested to many people at that time. I also wish others had known so they maybe would have been nicer to me.

Two years this week we said good-bye for now to your little boy. We came home to a nursery that he would never sleep in. To clothes he would never wear, to dreams that would never be realized. And it was hard. Really really hard. We sold the nursery set, and the clothes because even though I wanted another child I didn't want one in that crib or outfit.

That June while brushing my teeth in the Norwich dorm bathroom I knew we needed to start trying again for a baby. I didn't feel ready, but after a lot of prayer, pondering and attending the Temple I knew that was right. So we tried and for the first time we didn't get pregnant with fertility medicine. I wish I could have worn a t-shirt that said "I'm not cranky I'm on clomid" because boy I knew I was cranky. I can think of a couple of relationships that took some bad blows those couple of months that I don't know will ever be repaired. I can also think of a lot of relationships that have grown because another woman understood my crankiness and heartache during the fertility treatment months.

After more prayers, pondering and attending the Temple we decided to try adoption. Man, those were hard months. I still have not processed them completely and I have a feeling it will be years before I can totally make sense of those. But as adoption opportunities arose and then failed life was pretty hard and dark.

And then I got pregnant. Totally natural, unplanned pregnant. It was a miracle but oh the emotions of being pregnant after a miscarriage. Oh and add moving to Hawaii during your first trimester and being on large doses of progesterone. On Monday I commented to John that I was finally in the second trimester and could stop the progesterone which I was so grateful for, he commented that he was too. I of course snapped back "oh yea I am sure the mood swings, hot flashes and dizziness has been really hard for you." Yea it's not out of my system :)

I share these not for a pity party or to try to explain the roller coaster of the last two years. I know that is our trial, and while I hope I can help others with theirs because of what I have been through, I don't need others to understand what we have gone through.

I share this because all morning I have been thinking of the line from "Lord, I would follow Thee,"

Who I am I too judge another
When I walk imperfectly
In the quiet heart is hidden
Sorrow that the eye can't see

I vividly remember two particular conversations that occurred around the time we lost our son. Both were women talking about wanting another child. Both had what they viewed as legitimate concerns about having another child. But boy I didn't view them as legitimate. At the time I was so mad that they would talk about those things to me after the "real" struggle we had been going through to have another child. I had to restrain myself from lashing out at them and letting them know how hard life could be really be.

I won't say how long it took for me to realize that though they probably could have used a little sensitivity in who they discussed this problem with, these were real humans with real problems that to them seemed HUGE! They were experience sorrow that I couldn't understand and that I had the audacity to judge because of what I have been through.

My trials are so public. Very few people don't know the struggle it has been to have another child.

Over the last two years I have learned most people struggle more quietly. Few people share their financial concerns, or marriage problems or addictions or concerns about parenting on their blogs or even with their friends. They just struggle. Day in and day out, silently and unsupported. No one is running ahead of them to warn others of their trials. No one is checking in on them like my amazing friends have done for so long.

So I am learning to just give the benefit of the doubt. I heard once that if you treat everyone like they are going through a major trial that is about to break them you will be right 98% of the time. I need to cut people some slack and just let things go.

I am learning to just serve those around me to whatever capacity I can.

I am learning to just love. Everyone has their story. They have their reason for acting how they do (though that doesn't always make the way they are acting right). Regardless just love them. Love goes a lot further than lecture.

I am learning to just compliment as a way of comforting. I really do believe that is the best way to help someone, share what you like about them, or your confidence in them. I am trying to just listen more, talk less, love more and compliment more.

I am learning to just see the good in all things. Yes everything has good, even the really really hard things.

And last I have learned I would take my trials any day of the week over just about anyone else's :)