Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I've gotten behind on my blog, so I am forgoing the menu plans and posting some of the recipes that I have cooked the past couple of weeks. Since it has been so long, I decided to post something that was quick and easy and one of my husband's favorites: Cowpokes!


4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless and trimmed
salt and pepper to taste
4 oz cream cheese, softened
4 oz pepper jack cheese, freshly grated (see my Note About Cheese)
8 slices bacon


1. Take your chicken breasts

and flatten them

and salt and pepper them

2. Take the cream cheese

and soften it in the microwave for about 10 seconds

3. Shred the pepperjack cheese

and mix it in with the cream cheese
4. Form 4 equal logs and place the logs in the center of the chicken breasts.

5. Wrap the chicken around the cheese log and wrap 2 slices of bacon around each breast and secure with toothpicks.

6. Cook at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees.

7. Turn on broiler for 3-5 minutes to brown bacon.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Born in My Heart

Most of you know my story, so I won't provide a step-by step (you're welcome). Some of you may not know that my child is adopted...I don't try to hide it, but honestly, I don't think about it very often. But every Mother's Day is very emotional for me and I feel compelled to write.

Jack and I decided to start a family in 1998. Over the next 7 years, we went through a miscarriage, a bizarre ectopic pregnancy, 2 surgeries to remove fibroid tumors, and hours and hours of expensive fertility treatments including fertility drugs, artificial insemination and 2 rounds of in-vitro. The first round of in-vitro was initially successful, but when I went to a follow up ultrasound, it was discovered that the embryo had planted itself in my tube. My doctor had only seen this one other time after an IVF treatment...it is unusual because the embryo is initially placed in the uterus and it worked it's way backward into the tube. The most devastating thing was seeing it on the ultrasound and seeing it moving, which was it's heartbeat, and knowing that it was not a viable pregnancy. That was devastating. I couldn't understand why God had brought me that far, just to take it away from me in the most heart breaking way possible. My faith was tested, BIG TIME!!!

After the 2nd round of IVF was unsuccessful, we were unwilling to spend any more money on it, when there was no guarantee...and there IS no guarantee...as a matter of fact success rates are amazingly low...15-30%.

Infertility is a very lonely place. As my friends were getting pregnant and having babies, it was a real struggle for me. You want to be happy for them, but my, is it hard. I remember going into the depths of my closet, so no one would find me or hear me and crying my heart out. I couldn't understand why God was allowing this to happen to me. Every time I would hear a story about a teenager having multiple children or a mother killing her child, I would seethe...HOW COULD GOD GIVE THEM A CHILD AND NOT ME???? That was such a lonely and sad time in my life.

Jack and I decided to try adoption. We had spent a lot of money on fertility treatments, so we decided an expensive adoption was out of the question. We decided to go through DHS, which would be no cost to us. Honestly, we weren't hopeful...we did not feel competent to care for child with extreme special needs and we knew it would be unlikely to get a baby, let alone a young child. But, at this point, what did we have to lose? This might be our last shot! We started the process of contacting a social worker and filling out the paperwork. We gave up our Saturdays for a month or so to take classes on how to care for children that had been removed from their homes and might have a multitude of issues. We did a homestudy, medical evaluation and fingerprint and background checks. We made a scrapbook of our lives and submitted everything to DHS. And then we waited...

We got the phone call a couple of weeks later. We had been matched with a child and we set up an appointment to meet with DHS to see if we were interested in the child we were matched with. At the meeting, this was the picture that we were given:

A beautiful, healthy 22 month old boy! I was instantly in love! This child had been living with his great grandparents, who were in their late 70's, and as much as they loved him, they knew it was not fair to him for them to adopt him. So, they selflessly gave him up for adoption. We are forever grateful to them that they made that decision.

Cameron moved into our home within a month and the adoption was finalized on July 5, 2005, one day before mine and Jack's 9th wedding anniversary. It had been a LONG seven year process, but finally, I knew why we had been through everything. God had just been waiting for us to get out of HIS way, so that he could place this precious child in our arms.

Here he is 5 years later, at 7 years old:

And so, on this Mother's Day, I dedicate this poem to my son, who gave me the gift of being his mom. I love him with all my heart and without him, my life would not be complete. I don't know the author, but it says my sentiments exactly...

"Not flesh of my flesh, Not bone of my bone

But still, miraculously, my own.

And never forget for a minute

You weren't born under my heart, but in it."