Zucchini Recipe Roundup

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you may have noticed that my two zucchini plants are producing like crazy now.

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If I turn my back, they seem to “gogo gadget” two-foot-long zucchini like it’s a cake walk. They snuck up on me during VBS week after I neglected them for three days. My instinct told me that I needed to go check on them mid-week… so out with a flashlight I went, late into the night, very exhausted. To my surprise, there were five massive zucchini, ranging from 18-22″ in length. Whoops. I gave the biggest one to a co-worker of Glenn’s, which apparently everyone thought was hilarious and amazing because it was that big. It’s not pictured above, but if you go to my Instagram, you’ll see it… it’s the almost the entire length of my stovetop. I decided that I needed to think fast for the others, because I wanted to maximize use of our harvest and not waste it. We went on a zucchini mission and made zucchini bread to eat (and some to freeze), chopped a bunch to freeze for later using in soups when it gets chilly again, grilled zucchini “steaks”, and took some camping for campfire zucchini pizzas. Whew! In an effort to not get sick of all of this zucchini, I’ve been looking for a few new recipes to enjoy and I wanted to share them with you all in a little zucchini recipe roundup! In previous years, I always just sauteed or roasted it with a little olive oil and served with sea salt and cracked pepper for dinner. I would also just slice it raw and dip into hummus for a lunchtime snack, or make zucchini bread (of course). There is also a soup that is one of my favorites. This is why we chose zucchini over regular yellow squash ~ more options to choose from, both savory and sweet. All that to say, we needed to mix things up a bit this year. ;)

Here are some zucchini recipes that I’ve come across on the web. Some we have tried – others we still need to but they look ah-mazing. Links to the images are below.

Zucchini Recipe Roundup

 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

What are your favorite zucchini recipes?

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7 & 12 {anniversary}

Today is my wedding anniversary! Glenn and I have been together for 12 years and married for 7. I can remember the day he told me he loved me and wanted to marry me. I was 17 years old. I thought it might be fun to share some facts about our relationship, so here goes!

We met in 1999 when I was a freshman in high school, he was a sophomore.

We hung out in the same circle of friends, but never saw each other as actual friends, much less dating material. We attended the same Christian coffee house on Saturday nights to watch live bands.

In May 2002, when I was 17 and he was 18, we both got out of unhealthy relationships at the same time. He had just graduated high school and I was entering my senior year. Our friendship started.

We vowed to help each other stay single (that turned out well).

We spent the month of June 2002 going to pool parties and softball games with our church, together.

July 5, 2002, he asked me to be his, and of course, I said yes.

September 2002, we watched a lunar eclipse together at his parents’ house and he told me he loved me and could see himself marrying me.

May 2003, he went with me to my senior prom.

We spent August 2003 – December 2006 in a semi-long distance relationship. We only saw each other on weekends. I was a student at MTSU (an hour from home), and he was home working.

He proposed on Mother Day 2006 in front of our entire church using a fortune cookie. Obviously, I said yes.

He customized my engagement ring. He hunted online for something unique and found a Celtic knot white gold ring. He took it to a local jeweler, bought a diamond earring and had them put the diamond into the ring.

We married on July 21, 2007 at Riverwood Mansion, a very old mansion in Nashville.

We honeymooned in Belize on Cocoplum Island. It was much cheaper back then.

Since we’ve been married, we’ve bought a house, gotten dogs and cats, changed jobs (multiple times), battled infertility, became parents, and have gotten stronger than ever. With all the changes we’ve seen in our lives and all the hurdles we’ve jumped over together, one thing has been constant: our love and patience with each other. I’m so thankful that God gave me this man.

Wedding Happy anniversary, honey. You turn me on to the idea of growing old.

 

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The Shameless “You Should Subscribe!” Post

I’ll keep this short and sweet, especially since it’s Saturday night and I never post on Saturday nights!

I get comments/messages all the time where readers say they will bookmark my blog so they can easily find it later, which is awesome! However, did you know you can subscribe so the posts go directly to your inbox? I just realized the other day that I didn’t make this easy for you. Bad, Jessi. Bad.

I have since moved the subscription box to the very top of the right column. I promise not to spam you. ;) I typically post Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, unless I’m behind and then I might only do Tuesday and Thursday. Basically, I try to not post daily so they don’t get lost. ;)

Go ahead and subscribe, and if you’re interested in following on Social Media, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are great places to catch me.

Until next time…

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Flash Back Friday {Zoey’s 1st Year}

Last night, Zoey and I sat on YouTube and watched some of her old videos from her first two years of life. I had totally forgotten about a video I put together for her first birthday that recapped her first year, including her journey through NICU. It has obviously been a while since I shared that video, so I thought I’d do that today. If you’re curious about our vasa previa journey, you can read about it here: Vasa Previa: The Full Story of What Happened

Anyway, back to the video. The music I chose is by Enter the Worship Circle, and the reason I chose it is because their album “First Circle” got me through each day in NICU. We listened to it every single day as we drove to and from NICU after I was discharged and unable to stay at the hospital. We had to do 30-minute drives each way to get to her and back home again, and in between trying to stay awake while doped up on all the meds from the c-section, these songs helped me stay positive. The music just reminded me of her sweet little infant personality. It only felt appropriate to use it in this video.

Enjoy and have a good weekend. :)

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Be Fruitful and Multiply? We’re Trying.

I hear and see this verse a lot:

“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’” – Genesis 1:27-28

God wants us to grow our families. He designed us in such a way that is perfect for creating life. Through his perfect plan, and through how he designed us, we can multiply.

So what about those of us with infertility?

Too often, we’re looked at as if we’ve done something wrong to deserve infertility. Or, we’re hard on ourselves and try to justify our infertility as something we deserve.

If you are thinking you’re being punished by God through infertility, my dear, you are not. While I don’t have the answer as to why you (we) are experiencing this heartache, I do know that we can’t spend our lives over-analyzing the “why”… it doesn’t get us anywhere. It really doesn’t. And just know that if you have someone in your life who is looking at you as if you are being punished and somehow need a “sin cleansing” to cure yourself of infertility, set a boundary against that person immediately. Life is too short and precious to surround yourself with such people, and they will do you no good, but only harm. Move forward with what you’re going to do to overcome, not with trying to figure out why you’re in this mess in the first place. You won’t ever know “why”.

If you are someone who thinks that people with infertility are being punished by God because we deserve it, you and I cannot be friends.

I am a firm believer in Jesus Christ, and even I see how ridiculous the blame of infertility can be. We have to stop trying to find a reason for it. We don’t go around blaming people with cancer as being too sinful and being punished, so why are we doing this to infertility? It is something with no known “cure”, all we can do is mask the symptoms and get by day-by-day. It is a medical condition and it’s serious.

I have PCOS. I am a Christian. I am obedient to God’s will for my life. I listen to Him. I pray to Him. I follow Him daily. I am not being punished. I am not disobedient. I am simply climbing a mountain. I am being tested. I am also incredibly blessed. He has given me more than I can even list off, and He does it all in perfect timing, even when at the time it seems so backward to me. He knows what He is doing, and I don’t blame him for allowing infertility to strike me. Not at all. I don’t like it. I wish He had a different plan for me. I’m miserable. But I don’t blame Him.

Be fruitful and multiply is something we’re commanded to do, and when God wants it to happen, He allows it to happen. He is the divine creator. If it’s not happening, it’s His will. If it’s happening, it’s His will. I have to accept that and remind myself of that. It’s not because of certain favor or because of punishment – it’s because He knows what He is doing and He has a plan, and I believe in that plan wholeheartedly, even though I’m in such pain over my broken ovaries and uterus, I know He loves me unconditionally, and it’s a kind of love I cannot even completely wrap my brain around.

All we can do is try. Hope. Pray. Encourage others. Come together. Lean on our heavenly father. Listen to Him. Keeping moving forward.

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A Community for the Infertile

It used to be taboo to talk about infertility. It’s uncomfortable, weird, very intimate and personal. Even today, it can be pretty taboo to talk about. A lot of people just don’t get it. This can leave so many women (and men) feeling so alone, broken, like failures. That initial diagnosis can be so incredibly difficult to understand. I know because I was once there.

I started blogging about infertility in 2009. Nothing serious, just something to really vent and get my story out there so that I could meet other women online who were on the same journey. I’m so glad I stuck with it.

I get messages from many of you who stumble across this blog, between comments and personal emails… they are so encouraging to me. 99% of the messages are thanking ME for my posts, when really, I’m here to thank YOU. Those of you who have stuck with me, reading, commenting, and the new readers who message me words of encouragement and thanks… it gets me through the days, weeks, months, years. It never fails – difficult mornings are often met with kind words from complete strangers on the internet. Even if it’s just a message to thank me for a post that helped you, those words of thanks are so incredibly moving to me and remind me to keep doing this.

We’re a community.

Ladies, you are not alone. I don’t have all the answers, but I’m here to chat and encourage you in your journey. I’m here to be transparent with you, to be honest and uplifting. Thank you for encouraging me as well. The messages are so helpful to me, and I hope to continue to be helpful to you as well.

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She Saw Me Cry

Meh.

I’ve tried really hard to hide the pain of infertility from my daughter. As you all know by now, she’s pressing me hard for a sister. As if it’s just something we can give her for a Christmas present, she’s pretty much begging me every day for a sister. It’s getting worse and worse.

This one particular morning was just more than I could handle.

As usual, in the car she said to me: “Mommy, I really want a sister. Can I please please have one? I don’t want a brother, I just really want a sister.”

That’s when it hit me.

Normally I would respond with something like “Baby, you need to pray for one. It’s in God’s hands.”

But on this day…

This particular day…

I couldn’t say a word.

I fought back tears so hard as we drove down the winding country road to her daycare. That’s when she noticed. Her doe eyes met my alligator tears in the rear view mirror, and she stopped. She looked at me, I looked away, and silence.

Just silence.

She knew.

I couldn’t speak. I had a lump in my throat so thick and heavy, I just couldn’t speak. Considering how quickly it snuck up on me, I think I handled myself pretty well. I knew if I talked, it would have been over. I would have had to pull the car over on the side of the road to compose myself. Luckily, it didn’t get that far. She gave me grace, she was sympathetic, and she knew… this was not the time to keep begging mommy for a sibling that she couldn’t give.

I think I’m ready to start trying again. I just need to decide what that looks like…

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