Sunday, December 26, 2010

Breath of Heaven

So here is my Christmas blog...just a day late...because yesterday I was spending time with family and friends (who are practically family).

We had an easy Christmas this year...the kids wanted to pick out their own gifts and didn't want much so we "adopted" a family and shared our blessings with someone less fortunate than us. It felt good to do that and I have my friend Dy-no-mite Dawn to thank for finding us a family to gift...

Although I'm not sure the mother of those children was thanking me yesterday when her daughter opened up the "Sing-a-ma-jigs" I bought.

Most. Annoying. Toy. Ever.

Even beats out Tickle-Me Elmo.

If you are unfamiliar, and you are lucky if you are, Sing-a-ma-jigs are stuffed creatures (?)...not an animal, not a person, some sort of doll thing...and when you press their belly they open their mouths and sing. Annoyingly.

and they were singing in the bag while I had them in the car...ugh!

According to my Aunt Gayle, who has the coolest job ever because she works in Hollywood for the Jimmy Kimmel Show, Jimmy had some on his desk that he kept playing with. I missed those shows...thankfully...but I usually watch.

So, please "Mama of the Children I bought Gifts For"...forgive me for the sing-a-ma-jigs...your child asked for them!

My son wanted Xbox games (duh!) and my daughter wanted tickets to a concert and a keyboard (that thankfully has earphones that plug in so I don't have to hear her compositions...).

That's all...

I wanted a number to appear on the scale.

It didn't.

Santa must have me on the "naughty" list...must have been for causing the fight at the party.

I have complained, bitterly and via text, to Dimples about that situation. I should offer to start paying his texting bills because we have been running them up with him having to play therapist to his very discouraged client. He stays positive with me...thank goodness he does really know how to speak "Woman"...and he told me to just relax and "ride the tide" and enjoy the rest of my holiday and we will switch it up and hit it hard after the new year.

The problem is, I'm not sure how much harder I can hit it...and I told him so. I told him short of tying myself to him 24/7 (that would make it interesting when he coaches...or goes home to the girlfriend), I'm not sure what more we can do to get me off of my plateau.

I suggested to him that maybe I could give up wine.

Or only drink it on days that end in "d-a-y"...

He liked that (the joke...not that I'm not giving up wine...because he knows I won't)

But yesterday, despite the scale staying stuck, was a pretty good day. We got up leisurely (although I do miss getting woken up by excited children ready to see what Santa brought), I made breakfast (cinnamon rolls for them, Fit Food for me), and got to cooking a turkey for my extended family.

It was an amazing turkey...recipe at the bottom of the MUST try it...

I took the perfect turkey over to my Aunt Jane's house and had a great lunch with Jane, my aunts and uncle, and some family friends and my grandma. It was a great lunch. And everything was delicious. CAT (my aunt's friend who I call Cute and Tiny)made the most delicious mix of roasted veggies. She has promised me the recipe to share...sooooooo good.

My uncle baked me some cookies...I ate one because they were amazing...and he baked them...and I went for a run before lunch so I deserved one!

After lunch and family time we headed over to our friends the Q's house. We have celebrated Christmas Night at the Q's for the last 10 years or so. It is always the best way to close out Christmas. I love them like family...and we stayed so long I almost fell asleep on the couch!

so while I was wallowing about in a bit of pity about my non-weight loss while on my run yesterday, I had some time to think about Christmas Day...and Jesus' birth...and Mary...

Mary...a young woman who must have been frightened when visited by an Angel and told she was to have a child. How scary must that have been? And Joseph, her husband, who faithfully stood by her...

So here is this young woman who is heavily pregnant who leaves her home and has to another place only to find that there is no place for her to stay. And to give birth.

So she ends up in a stable...a stable...

I grew up around stables...not a place you want to deliver a baby in...

I found myself uncomfortable behind the wheel of my car during my last weeks of pregnancy so I cannot fathom what riding a donkey while 39 weeks pregnant would feel like. I can't imagine riding a donkey at all...

I had my children in a nice, clean hospital. I had my kids at the old Rosewood Hospital where I was just about the only woman to give birth each time. I had the full attention of the nurses. In fact, when I went back 4 years later to have The Cutest Boy in the World (after having Ke$ha Barbie there) all the nurses remembered me and many were the same women. I had GREAT attention and care.

Mary delivered her beautiful son with only the help of Joseph...

I had a fabulous doctor each time. With Ke$ha Barbie I had Dr. Oscar Dalton---only the greatest ob/gyn in Houston. He treated me like his daughter. He was the sweetest man ever. I cried my eyes out when he retired from obstetrics before I had The Cutest Boy in the he handed me over to Dr. Kathy Gabel (yes, real names because she is so so so great) and I had the BEST time with her. She was like having your best girlfriend as your doctor.

So I had great doctors and nurses and poor Mary had donkeys and sheep...

I had an epidural each time...poor Mary had nothing...

I could not have been as brave as Mary. And to know that she was bringing forth the Son of God had to be a mighty scary and wonderous feeling that I cannot wrap my brain around.

As I ran I contemplated this...and realized that God asks us to do things He knows we can do. He knew Mary was the right woman to bring forth his son.

And to a way way way lesser degree, He knows that I can do this...I can get myself back to where I need to be with my health and body. I can do it with His help, with Dimples help, with Spinderella, Jay-Vee and J'taime Julie, and with my friends encouragment.

I just need to lean on Him a little more...and take some burden off Dimples (poor baby...his fingers must be tired from texting me soothing words).

And as I ran, and prayed that I could make it back to the house, I felt the air rush into my lungs (cold air!) and I felt Him help me breathe.

Breath of Heaven...

Inspiration Song: "Breath of Heaven" by Amy Grant. My favorite Christmas song. Always makes me cry. We always have an 8th grade girl sing it during "Lessons and Carols" and I end up bawling...

Bye Darlings...take Dimples advice "just breathe"...

Turkey recipe...because turkey is good for you, not just at Thanksgiving...

Here is how to make the MOST delicious, fabulous, moist, healthy turkey...

Buy a fresh turkey. The store brand is perfect. I always buy an HEB brand. Be sure it has not had any liquid injected or added (like a Butterball).

I brine my turkey. I have made brines and purchased brines. I bought brine from Sur la Table that was really good but my favorite is the brine from Williams-Sonoma. It is delicious.

Follow the recipe for the brine. If you use the Williams-Sonoma one, do the apple makes it really good. Brine for 24 hours. Rinse brine off well (inside and out) and pat bird dry.

For a 10-15 pound bird (double this for bigger):
one onion (sweet if you can find it), quartered
one apple (large red) quartered
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup water
put in microwave safe bowl and cook on high for 5 minutes.

Drain water.

Put apples, onion, and cinnamon in the cavity of the bird. Add 3-5 sprigs rosemary and 6 large fresh sage leaves.

Rub some softened butter all over the bird...or canola oil. Just enough to make it slippery. Do not salt...the brine did that for you.

cover the bird in cheesecloth. Pour chicken stock all over the cheesecloth. Melt 2 sticks of butter and poor that over the cheesecloth.

Tent with foil.

Put the bird into a 500 degree oven and cook 30 minutes and then turn the heat down to 350 degrees. Baste every 30 minutes. Add more stock if you need it.

I can't give you times because it is based on weight and your oven, but I advise checking the temperature with a thermometer and going by that...and remember that the bird will continue to cook a bit when removed from the oven.

I uncover the bird the last 20 minutes or so to brown. I baste the bird while it rests a minimum of 30 minutes and tent it.

Everyone declared it the best turkey ever yesterday. I agree. Even my precious Mommy never produced a bird quite that good...except for the wild one that my dad shot that ate chilipetins...that bird was amazing.

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