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BooMama Heard My Cry!

Well, I guess it probably wasn't really a response to my request for crockpot recipes. But...

BooMama is hosting a Souptacular Crockpotalooza today!

I haven't even begun to look through the recipes. Oh, except for the Elton John soup. Because, seriously, how can you resist the urge to click immediately on a link to something called Elton John soup? Anyway, I don't have any contribution to make to the Souptacular Crockpotalooza, but I'm excited to browse through all the links that BooMama is collecting and to find some new meals for our repertoire. You know, when I have time.

Another thing that requires time? Thinking. And blogging requires thinking. And I have no time, so no thinking, and no blogging. I did try to think while staring at a blank "Create Post" window for about 45 minutes yesterday morning. Hmm. Maybe those thoughts will become coherent enough to write soon.


Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Crockpot Recipes

Fall is in full swing here, and I'm craving cozy comfort food. I want to use my crockpot more, but I have been making the same crockpot recipes for years and I'm ready for some variety. I checked out a slow cooker cookbook from the library, but I'd love to hear your favorite crockpot recipes! Please leave links or full recipes in the comments.

And because I'm a giver and not just a taker, you can find a couple of our favorite crockpot recipes here.


I Felt a Little Sheepish When He Said, "So, I'm the Fourth Doctor You've Seen?"

On Monday, I saw a new doctor, to get another opinion after our less-than-pleasant consultation with Dr. Ego. I liked the new doctor quite a bit; he was sympathetic, ready to take my opinions into consideration, and eager to offer help. When he heard our position on not freezing embryos, he said that he did not think IVF would be worthwhile for us. In his opinion, the limitations imposed by fertilizing a small number of eggs make the risks of IVF outweigh the potential benefits. However, he tried to offer as many other options as possible. He asked if we would be open to using donor embryos and gave me a list of the embryos that they currently have available at their clinic. (He also informed us that insurance companies consider donor embryos cycles the same as fresh IVF cycles; that means we'd have to choose between dFET and IVF for our remaining two covered cycles.) He said that we could continue to do IUIs. He mentioned that, judging by our records, it's entirely possible that we could still conceive without medical assistance. And he directed me to an article that he had recently read that mentioned a Christian fertility doctor in Oklahoma (turns out he had his facts a little mixed up, but I appreciated the effort all the same).

All that to say, I definitely like this doctor's personality a lot, but Aaron and I aren't sure what to pursue next. We'll probably take a break for the rest of the year, regardless; we don't really want to squeeze fertility treatments into the next couple of months that are already full of business trips, our anniversary, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. In the meantime, we're praying for guidance as we consider all the possibilities. Do we look around for a doctor who will do IVF within our parameters? Do we try one of the other medical options, like donor embryos or more IUIs? Do we pursue adoption? Do we just rest as a family of two and wait to see what the Lord does?

"We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you" (2 Chron. 20:12).

"But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God.' My times are in your hand" (Ps. 31:14-15).


Six Things, or a Partial List of the Last-Bite Rules

Michele tagged me for the six things meme. Since I've already done a general response to a similar tag, I'm going to narrow my focus for this one. I have a quirk, when eating, of choosing my last bite before I take my first bite; this quirk is, judging by the comments I receive on it, both baffling and beloved to those who learn of it. I here present a list, by no means exhaustive, of the last-bite rules.

1. Bread (whether sandwich bread, a slice of French baguette, a muffin, etc.) must be eaten starting with the bottom crust and ending with the top crust - preferably not a corner, but a middle-section of the top crust. In order to ensure that eating bread in this order results in the best-possible last bite, one must, when buttering toast or spreading peanut-butter and jelly, apply the thickest coating of said toppings along the top crust of the bread.

2. When eating a salad, be sure to keep an eye out for when each tasty element (vegetable, fruit, cheese, etc.) dwindles down to its last piece. Save those pieces up and then collect them all on your fork for one scrumptious last bite full of the best contents of your salad.

3. After picking up a chocolate-chip cookie, scrutinize it for the spot with the highest concentration of chocolate morsels. (Hint: Looking at the underside of the cookie gives the best data.) Hold that part of the cookie in your fingers - but don't touch the chocolate chips and melt them! - and eat your way to that pre-selected, chocolaty-ist piece. (P.S. This reservation of the last bite by holding it between your fingers and gradually nibbling towards it applies to all hand-held foods, including breads in accordance with the dictates of Rule #1.)

4. Chips. Chips are tricky, therefore it is best not to eat them too often. In order to follow the last-bite rule of chips, one may be forced to over-indulge. The last chip cannot be chosen only by taste, not by sight. When eating chips, keep eating until you get that one with an extra burst of salty flavor. If you encounter this chip at only your second or third one, chances are you won't be ready to stop eating, so you will keep munching chips until you find the next chip with that special something. Make that your last bite; every other chip to follow will inevitably disappoint.

5. Main dishes, in all their variety, follow this general rule: get as much of the good stuff as you can in the last bite. Either look at the beginning for the part that appears to have the most flavor (seasoning, toppings, etc.) and mark it out for the end, or, in the case of pastas or soups, make sure as you eat to reserve pieces of the flavorful ingredients for the finale.

6. IMPORTANT over-arching rule of last-bite eating: If you are getting full, HEAD STRAIGHT FOR THE LAST BITE. Do not abandon the already-chosen last bite because you cannot make it there; skip everything else to ensure you have that savory finish before you can eat no more.

After reading this (partial) list of the last-bite rules, you may think I'm certifiably obsessive-compulsive. The thing is, I hardly think about these things as I do them; it's just an ingrained approach to eating. If you share a meal with me, you won't even notice that I'm doing it. However, if you spot me slightly tilting a chocolate-chip cookie and glancing at its underside, now you'll know what I'm up to!

I'll tag KC, Renee, Faith, and Stacey. You're it, ladies!



Sorry to be gone from the blog for so long again. Aaron's grandfather died on Wednesday, so we've been in West Virginia for the funeral. It was a good time with family, remembering the long life of a 95-year-old patriarch. My family has been visiting us since last Saturday, so our trip to West Virginia was sandwiched by time with my dad, mom, and brother. They head back to Texas today. I'm grateful for the time with them, and it was nice to have them stay at our house instead of having to stay at a hotel. Now, life will return to its normal rhythms, and that's no bad thing either.