a scary thing happened on our way to adopt….

there hasn’t been a ton to talk about in our world of adoption lately. we have turned in the necessary paperwork, gotten ourselves fingerprinted and background checked, and, most importantly, paid the fees….after fees….after fees…. :) however, one of the requirements for our home study was a full health screen/physical, and that, my friends, is where the story gets interesting..i have to warn you, this gets a smidge personal, so read at your own risk.

last friday before Easter, i had my yearly, ahem, female physical. i am pretty good at keeping up with these each year, and have never had anything but positive results….wait…negative….positively negative? either way, it’s always been just fine. this time however as she was doing my breast exam (i warned you it was going to get real..) she found a lump….actually several lumps. here’s how the conversation went:

doctor: feeling, feeling, feeling…. “hmmmmm…..”

me: “oh my gosh. what…”

doctor: “hmmmmm…..nothing. i feel a lump…but i’m pretty certain it feels benign. ”

me: (in my headAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!): (aloud): “ooooooookay…….”

doctor: “yep. i’m like 99% certain this is just fibrocystic tissue. (feels the other side) “yep. that’s for sure what it is, nothing to worry about.”

me: “welllll…..are you sure……” (my mind is racing at this point)

doctor: “oh yeah. you just have extra lumpy breasts. nothing to worry about.”

me: “awesome. that’s just what i wanted to hear.” hashtag:never felt sexier.

so, most for most people, i imagine, this would be the end of the discussion. the doctor says i am all clear, she wasn’t worried, and she didn’t require any follow up work. however, she clearly didn’t understand who she was talking to. for my hypochondriac-always-assume-the-negative-pessimism-or-bust mindset, this was the beginning of the end. this was terrible, and i was certain i was dying. i left that office taking in fresh air a little longer, smiling a little brighter at the startbucks barista….i was a mess.

after talking to my mom, paul and *several* other people (i am verbal processor, can you tell?) i decided i would not be able to move on without a second opinion. and that needed to happen immediately. so before we left for fargo for easter, i made a follow up appointment for that next monday morning at 7:30am.

easter was actually really great, and i was for the most part, able to put this all out of my mind. after all, my doctor didn’t seem worried in the least….but i didn’t get much sleep sunday night..

so, to make a long story a little shorter, in we go monday morning, (God bless pauly for going with me), to have the second opinion. that doctor felt what the first did as well, only this time he ordered an ultra sound to be done, just to make sure. this had to be done at the virginia piper breast cancer center downtown, which is when things got really…..real.

walking into a building with CANCER CENTER  scrolled across it’s exterior is scary, to say the very least. pauly gripped my hand tighter than i thought he would when we walked up and i immediately thought to myself, “oh no you don’t! I can’t be the strong one in here!!” thankfully he held it together like a stud. the waiting area was scattered with women in head scarves, and honestly i almost passed out when i checked in. i knew that more than likely everything was fine, but looking around and seeing the reality of these women was…i don’t even know what…..overwhelming……..

i got called back and pauly came with me. ……as i laid on the ultrasound table, i noticed above me was a computer screen on the ceiling with floating fish and ocean scenes scrolling by….is that supposed to comfort or calm anyone in this situation? it didn’t for me, that’s for dang sure…. as she began to ultrasound (?) her way around my boob i saw on the screen the tissue and then a very large-ish black oval. one on each side, actually. the tech didn’t say anything to us as she went, but when she finished she said she needed to go talk with the radiologist. i don’t know what i was expecting, but i was hoping for at least an “okey dokey! this looks good!” waiting for her to return was the longest 10 minutes ever. i knew pauly saw those dark spots too, and he came and sat on the table with me and held my hand. i think i bit through my cheek forcing myself not to cry.

the tech opened the door and we both held our breath. when she saw us both sitting on the table she let out a little laugh and then said “okay! you’re good to go!” 

i’m sorry….what?!

“i’m gonna need a little more info..” i laughed..sort of..she explained that everything looked good and that there were no fibrous cysts or even tissue present. no scar tissue, nothing. and, for the second time in 4 days a medical professional told me i “just have extra lumpy breasts.” …….hot. i asked her what those large menacing black spots were on the screen and she laughed and said “a cross section of your ribs..” ahhh….right….

she handed me this piece of paper as we left…and that was the end of my little scare. leaving the center though both paul and i were pretty overwhelmed by the fact that for  the women we were passing, this is their real life. there are so many women, several that we know personally, who are going through various cancer treatments right now, and they seem even more so incredibly brave and strong to me. that place was no joke y’all, and although i was am so thankful to be healthy, i have a lot more empathy for those who are battling.

kind of a long story just to tell you our physicals turned out normal, i guess :) just trying to keep you abreast of our life…….sorry :)



house update: living room tour

ooooooooooooookay….it’s been a long long time since i’ve done a post about our house. i would love to say this is due to the fact that all of our effort has been poured into the adoption process… but mostly, the house has been in a bit of disarray and i couldn’t show that because i have an image to keep up…hahahaha! just kidding. i have just been too lazy to take pictures and write a post about it.  but with the help of my amazing friend eleanor, this space is finally coming together and i am no longer embarrassed to take pictures! (and, i think pauly and i are ‘nesting’… this week we have accomplished so many projects around the house! it feels so great!)

also, pauly MADE the tv console table. yes. you read that right: made it. he’s going to do a post soon about how he DIY’d the whole thing. but seriously, so proud of him.

(these pictures were all taken with my iphone…so…. not great quality, but if you click on each individual picture it should open a larger one that is easier to see.. someday i’ll get a real camera…)


a sunny shot of the living room!


our main level is open concept, so to keep an open feel we divided the living and dining rooms with two oversized chairs


another view from the stairs. also: it’s annoying trying to take pictures with bright sunshine, but: BRIGHT SUNSHINE!!!!


this rug we found at lowes. yep. lowes.

i knew i wanted to add some shelving above the love seat, but i wasn’t sure how i wanted to arrange it. so, we started by using blue painters tape to mark where we thought we wanted the shelves and mounted picture frame to go. this way we could easily adjust the height and layout as we went.  genius, i know.

then it was just a little drilling here, a little leveling there, and BAM: the finished product! minus needing to fill the frames with pictures. (although do you see the big frame? that’s my grandma mary as a little girl. too cute..)  fyi: the shelves are from ikea.

alright! there you have it! our living room (pretty much) complete!



sweet and creamy coconut squash soup

i’ve been on spring break around here y’all!! heeeeeeeeeyyyyyyy!!!! (that’s as rowdy as my week’s been, right there.) BUT i have had a chance to do a TON of cooking! and, (like mcdonald’s) i’m lovin’ it.

this soup was made in a double batch on monday and was COMPLETELY GONE by wednesday. i. cannot. get. enough! and, if you aren’t a lover of coconut–fear not! i’m not either! but somehow the flavor just blends into this soup, making it extra creamy and delish. give it a try! you will not be disappointed!

and if you live in twin cities, today is, (rather unfortunately) the perfect day to make soup. so let this be the bright spot on this otherwise snowy day!

the original recipe comes from here, but i made some changes, per usual. :)


3 cups peeled and chopped sweet potato

3 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash

1 yellow onion, diced

1/4c earth balance butter (or whatever dairy/non dairy butter you want to use)

2 cups vegetable broth

2 cups coconut milk, in a carton.. (not from the can)

1/2-3/4 tsp cumin

4 Tbs shredded coconut (*unsweetened!)

1-2 Tbs olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

how to:

in a large pot over medium high heat, saute the sweet potato, squash, onion and salt and pepper, until onions are translucent and squash and sweet potatoes are soft. add in the broth, butter, coconut milk, coconut flakes, and cumin and bring to a boil. turn heat to medium low and simmer for about 30 minutes until the flavors blend.

for the next part, you can use an immersion blender if you have one (which would be super easy!) or, like me, scoop the soup into a food processor and blend in batches until it’s smooth and creamy. garnish with additional coconut flakes and serve hot!

i have been serving this with the dinner rolls from yesterday and it’s a perfect pairing! creamy, comforting, and oh-so-good.



savory gluten free dinner rolls

okay. these are amazing. so, usually ‘grain free’ or ‘gluten free’ things like this are dry and crumbly, but not these babies! they would also be delectable with fresh herbs or garlic salt on top….and they are E. A. S. Y.

enjoy! since it’s SNOWING HERE (UGHAHHHHHHHH IS THIS REAL LIFE??!) i think i’m going to try more varieties now!

the original recipe can be found here, but i change it up a bit.


1 cup tapioca flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 egg, whisked

how to:

preheat oven to 350 degrees.

in a large bowl, combine tapioca flour, coconut flour and salt. add olive and coconut oil and the whisked egg. mix until well combined. form into small rolls and place on a nonstick sheet pan. the rolls will not really expand while they bake.

bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

i do recommend eating them warm…because…warm rolls…come on….