Archive | November, 2012

Zingermans Let’s Bake Cookies!

30 Nov

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Ok, I have a slight…..maybe huge obsession with Zingermans. I love this place! I’ll tell you why. This company has all the traits in a business that other companies envy. And the best quality that Zingermans has is that they want other people that are thinking about starting any kind of business adventure to be successful just like them. They have no secrets! Not in any aspect of the business do they have a secret. They actually hold classes teaching people how to start a business. How cool is that!?! And this approach has not harmed them in any way. It has actually made them more successful.

It always makes me roll my eyes when I’m at a restaurant eating something delicious or disgusting for that matter, and if I ask the waitress/waiter what’s in it and they say, “we can’t tell you that” grrrrrr! I wish these restaurant owners would realize, even if they told the whole complete recipe (without leaving anything out) that 98% of the people probably still wouldn’t make it and even if they did, it wouldn’t turn out like they had it in the restaurant.

The “Big Z”, takes a different approach to this situation. I’ve even had the waitress ask me if I would like to have the recipe. They know the importance of letting the customer know what’s in every food item that is being served. They’re proud of what, when and where they get all of their ingredients. They also support local food co-op’s, small farmers and farmer markets.

Zingermans will research every product they bring in for every branch of store and restaurant they have created and own. Seriously test me on this. Go to the Zingerman’s Delicatessen and pick up a random jar of mustard off the shelf and ask a floor assistant to tell you about it. They will be completely honest with you and say where it’s from and what food it goes best with. This deli is seriously the best deli on the planet! Yes, I know I haven’t tried every deli in this vast world but, why would I have to when I live in the same flipping state as ZINGERMAN’S?! We are so fortunate to have this company in Ann Arbor, Michigan. So, if you haven’t been to any of the Zingermans eateries yet, here is how you should start:

BREAKFAST: The Grits & Bits waffle dah! @ Zingerman’s Roadhouse (2501 Jackson Avenue, Ann Arbor (734) 663-3663)

LUNCH: The world famous Ruben (another dah!) @ Zingerman’s Delicatessen (422 Detroit Street, Ann Arbor (734) 663-3354)

SNACK: Lemon Cloud, Funky Chunky Chocolate cookies, Pecan Blondie brownie (the best brownies EVER!) @ Zingerman’s Bakehouse 3711 Plaza Dr. Ann Arbor (734-761-2095)

DINNER: Back to the Roadhouse! Ask your waiter/waitress what is the special. And a “special” at Z’s means: they are serving what was freshest at the farmers market that day, and what is in season. Unlike other restaurants a special might mean they are trying to “move” something quickly. Ick! I shy away from “specials” at restaurants unless it’s Zingermans! I don’t care to have a “special” tummy ache later!

Zingerman’s holds fantastic baking/cooking classes. Even if I had their exact recipe and I made the item without taking the class, the product probably still wouldn’t turn out the exact same. You need to take the class to realize why! Taking a bake class is so informative with different techniques and tips. Z’s instructors, during class explain the importance of having high quality ingredients. That is truly the only secret that makes all the difference in having a successful turn out of whatever recipe you have on task.

Which is precisely why I’m blogging this today! My lovely Aunt Ann (who is a HUGE Zingerman’s supporter) treated me to an awesome baking class last night. So much fun!!! I have taken another class before, learning how to make puff pastry which was equally fun! I highly recommend taking a class. This is an investment of your time and money that you would not regret. The only other suggestion I have is, take a class with a friend! This way you can have a great memory that you both can cherish for years to come. I certainly will!

Z’s has everything ready and waiting for us when we arrive. I mean everything!

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When attending a class you get to take home all the original recipes that they use. Nothing is left out in secret! This was our instructor Nikki, she was so good and natural at teaching/instructing. She is also a fellow cookie lover!

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We made cookies with a new favorite of mine now; Muscovado sugar Oh my, this sugar makes such a difference in your cookie baking! My new must have!

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Snickerdoodle cookies. Huge, delicious, and now a cherished recipe to have. When these were baking the aroma of the cinnamon made you feel like you needed to be sitting in front of a fireplace with a cozy blanket and this cookie in hand!

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Buttery rich Pecan Sandies yummmmm

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Then……me…oh…my…here comes the Whoopie Pie!

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This class was well worth taking just for this buttercream recipe alone!

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We EACH took home nearly 4 dozen cookies!

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We had a blast! And I especially loved that we mixed all these cookies by hand. No mixer! It made me think that I probably overuse mine! Plus, I loved hearing Meghan whine that her arm was going to fall off! 😉 Beef up, Girl!

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Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 NIV
24 A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 26 To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

Needless to say, I truly enjoyed spending time with the girls. I need to do it more often! And when you get to take home cookies and Z’s recipes….. Ohhh, Life is good!

Hanna, Aunt Ann, Me & Meghan

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I’m so ahead on my Christmas baking now! Thank you so much Aunt Ann and Zingermans you never disappoint me!

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EASY Pecan Toffee

29 Nov

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This is the perfect candy to make if you are like me and you grounded up your candy thermometer in the garbage disposal. Yes, I could go get a new one, I know. But….this toffee is made purely by gauging the color changes in the sugar! How easy is that!!! No thermometer needed!

Once you make this for the first time you will be hooked! And, so will everyone you share this with. This toffee is the perfect addition to your Christmas treat tray. It’s so versatile too, you can change the nuts, and even put chocolate on top after the toffee is poured to cool.

I know there are a few people out there that will be thrilled I’m removing this recipe from my catering vault. Hey, ’tis the season for giving! I make this recipe a lot this time a year and now it’s your turn! Believe me it doesn’t get easier then this recipe. This toffee does not taste as easy as it is to make that’s for sure though! And, this fantastic recipe only has 4 ingredients! I’m pretty sure that is everyone’s favorite kind of recipe!

Start with a heavy saucepan. Melt the butter with the sugar.

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Add the pecans and stir constantly.

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Start to watch the sugar change color, like a very light golden tan. At this point the sugar still feels “gritty” keep cooking & stirring. You’re looking for the shade of a deep amber.

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Once the color is deep & rich in color you will also notice the sugar is no longer gritty, it’s more like a liquid lava.

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Pour immediately into your prepared pan. I use a silicone mat. Spread quickly into the flattest layer possible.

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Once completely cooled, break into pieces of your desired size. Put into a pretty Christmas dish or bag up for give-away treats! Share!

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EASY Pecan Toffee

1/2 pound of butter (2 sticks)
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoon sea salt
3 cups pecan halves

Line a baking sheet with either parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Place the butter in a medium sized saucepan over med-low heat and cook until melted. Add the sugar, salt and pecans then stir without ceasing! Stir until the sugar caramelizes and starts to coat the nuts. Watch for the color changes and texture of the sugar to become more like liquid. You will also start to see the oils being released from the pecans and it smells so yummy! Once you get to the golden amber color pour immediately onto your prepared pan. The “sugar lava” continues to cook the nuts so remove quickly to prevent an overdone taste. This whole process will take about 15-20 minutes. Makes about 5 cups.

*Side note: I’ve made this with walnuts and cashews and it turns out great!

*Extra tips: If you’re not sharing (shame on you) this big batch can be frozen for future use. This can also be a great topping to chocolate ice cream or to garnish any dessert.

*Recipe created and posted first on Tahnycooks

Rocky Road Bars

27 Nov

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One of the very first desserts I made all by myself were these Rocky Road Bars. I got the recipe out of the “burnt cookbook” in Nellies kitchen, “The New Pillsbury Family Cookbook.” This cookbook is a signature item in Nellies home.

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There are so many great recipes in this cookbook. Nellie still uses the pecan pie, peanut brittle and there is an awesome sugar cookie recipe! These cookies bring back one of the best memories of my childhood. I can still visualize my mom making these sugar cookies and seeing this book open on the counter. Then my dad would grab a freshly baked cookie or two in one hand and devour it down while holding a cold glass of milk in the other hand, then chug down the milk all at once without a single breath. In my family we call this step “THE SLAM!” Then dad would say to my mom, “good job sexy momma” Ewwww!

This cookbook was sitting on the electric coil burner that was obliviously still hot and left this signature imprint on the back of this book. Thank goodness Nellie noticed the smell just in time it didn’t burn all the way through the book! During the summer I will stop at garage sales just in hopes to come across a copy of this treasured cookbook.

I’ve added a couple of different twist to this recipe since the first time I’ve made them. You should try to do the same! Add nuts or keep them out, coconut, white chocolate or butterscotch chips or even using flavored marshmallows is fun and pretty!

To make sure these turn out successful for you (and everyone eating them) use a high quality chocolate. My favorite is Scharffen Berger chocolate. And if I don’t have that in my pantry I will use another premium chocolate, like Ghirardelli.

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You can either melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler or the microwave. If using the microwave, do in 30 second increments

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Don’t over mix the brownie batter. Make the cream cheese layer. This is where you can get creative and add coconut or not (I can hear my friend Becky say OR NOT!) In this layer I added 1 cup of each butterscotch chips & coconut. I wanted another layer of color and flavor

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Spread the cream cheese layer gently on top of the brownie batter. Then sprinkle with chocolate chips

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Bake until the middle is set and your toothpick comes out clean. Sprinkle with the mini marshmallows. One of my favorite “smells” is marshmallows! Bake another 2 minutes or until marshmallows are puffed and soft

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Pour the hot frosting over the marshmallows and swirl gently with a knife

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Let set and cool completely. Cut into bars or triangles and ENJOY!

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Rocky Road Bars
1/2 cup butter
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup All Purpose or Unbleached Flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Filling
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened, reserving 2 oz. for frosting
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons All Purpose or Unbleached Flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 (6-oz.) pkg. (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups miniature marshmallows

Frosting
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, cut up
Reserved cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 13×9-inch pan. In large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter and 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Stir in 1 cup flour and all remaining base ingredients; mix well. Spread in greased and floured pan.

In small bowl, combine 6 oz. of the cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 egg; beat 1 minute at medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Stir in 1/4 cup nuts. Spread over chocolate mixture; sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips.

Bake at 350°F. for 25 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; immediately sprinkle with marshmallows. Return to oven; bake an additional 2 minutes.

While marshmallows are baking, in large saucepan, combine 1/4 cup margarine, milk, 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate and reserved 2 oz. cream cheese. Cook over low heat, stirring until well blended. Remove from heat; stir in powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth. Immediately pour frosting over puffed marshmallows and lightly swirl with knife to marble. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.

*recipe adapted from Pillsbury

Lemon-Mascarpone Crepe Cake

25 Nov

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Pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin, pumpkin and more pumpkin! Lots, and lots of pumpkin! Now, don’t get me wrong I LOVE pumpkin desserts just like everyone else this time of year. And I’m not ready to quit pumpkin yet. Shoot, put a piece pumpkin anything in front of my face and I will eat it for sure. But….this dessert I had last night awoke my palate back up to the refreshing taste of citrus once again. All I’m saying is “it was nice to ditch the spice to have citrus tonight!”

You wanna know what is even better then the citrus? Having someone else bake the dessert for you!!!! As most of you know I cater. So, to have someone else do the cooking/baking and invite you to just come and enjoy…..right on sista! Just like Nellie always says, “even a peanut butter & jelly sandwich taste better if someone else made it for you!” My dinner last night was A LOT better then a pb&j!

So, I’m sitting here at dinner almost finished, and then Hanna (cousin) gets up to make dessert. And I can never pass up a blogging opportunity! I truly enjoyed watching Hanna Banana make this dessert. She is a senior in high school. But, she has got crepe making down as if she was a little old French lady standing on a cobbled stone street in a village in France with her food cart full of baguettes.

This dessert looks slightly complicated, but don’t let that fool yah. It’s easy! And so worth maybe a couple of burnt fingers trying to flip a crepe!

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Once you flip the crepe it only cooks for another remaining minute. It’s very quick!

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After you have 20 crepes made, start to ensemble by layering the delicious creamy lemon curd filling on top of each crepe. (She used the springform pan to help keep everything in place)

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Hanna whipping together the heavy cream

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Once you have completed all the layers, cover the crepe cake with the most heavenly whip cream EVER!

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Then it’s done! So let’s eat it…nope it’s gotta set in the fridge for at least 2 hours! Who has two hours?!?! So…Hanna put it in the freezer and it worked like a charm for her anxious guest. (Maybe that was just me?!) 😉

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The slices were served on the cutest lemon plates!

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Isn’t she beautiful? She looks like she belongs behind the counter in a French pastry shop. Hanna is pretty cute too! 😉

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Thank you Hanna, it was delightful!

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INGREDIENTS

Crepes
1 3/4 cups whole milk
4 large eggs
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus about 3 tablespoons for cooking crepes
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons finely ground cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Lemon Curd
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, plus 3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 5 lemons)

Assembly
2 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
6 tablespoons sugar, divided
5 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Crushed amaretti cookies, for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Crepes: Combine all ingredients in a blender. Puree until smooth and thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
Vigorously stir batter until smooth again. Melt 1/2 teaspoon butter in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Tilt skillet at a 45-degree angle, pour 1 ounce batter (slightly more than 2 tablespoons) into skillet, and immediately swirl and shake skillet in a circular motion to evenly distribute batter in a thin film across bottom. Cook until edges of crepe turn golden, about 45 seconds. Carefully flip crepe, and cook just until set, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Melt another 1/2 teaspoon butter, and continue cooking crepes in the same manner, mixing batter with a spoon or ladle between crepes and stacking cooked crepes on top of one another (you should have 20 to 22 crepes). Let crepes cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Lemon curd: Beat together butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low, and add whole egg. When thoroughly combined, gradually add egg yolks, then lemon juice (the mixture will appear curdled). Transfer mixture to a small saucepan, and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover surface of curd with plastic wrap, and let cool completely in the refrigerator, about 2 hours.

Assembly: Whisk together 1 1/4 cups cream and 3 tablespoons sugar until soft peaks form. Fold a third of the whipped cream into lemon curd with a rubber spatula until thoroughly combined. Gently fold cream-curd mixture into remaining whipped cream until thoroughly combined.
For a neat presentation, make a frame on a 12-inch cake plate with 2-inch-wide strips of parchment. Place 1 crepe in center of plate (the outer edge of plate should be covered with parchment), and spread 3 tablespoons curd mixture evenly over crepe. Repeat layering with remaining crepes and curd mixture, ending with the last crepe.

Whisk together remaining 1 1/4 cups cream, the mascarpone, the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, and the vanilla until soft peaks form. Spoon mascarpone cream on top of cake, and carefully spread across top and sides. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Just before serving, remove parchment frame, and garnish with amaretti cookies.
Crepe Expectations About 20 crepes sandwiched with lemon curd cream and thickly topped with mascarpone cream take the concept of layer cake to the next level.

*side note* Hanna used a high quality jarred lemon curd and it worked just as well! And the apron she is wearing my sister Becky made it.

*Recipe adapted by Martha Stewart

My Results Are In!!

21 Nov

My goodness I wish you all were standing in my kitchen with me as I answered the phone call. I’ve never felt so “positive” about hearing the word “negative!”

Bye, bye, bye.

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Hello again….I’ve missed you

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My results came back negative of any site of pulmonary embolisms. I can discontinue the use of Coumadin. I do need to go in for a follow up in December. And my family physician Dr. Leppert told me to have a salad and enjoy! So I have officially heard from both doctors and I’m in the clear!

Seriously, I’m so overjoyed I went and gave Rudy the biggest hug ever then I noticed he pooped but, that didn’t stop me! I needed some sort of embrace from someone, even if my little power ranger didn’t want to hug me back! He told me, “stop Tahny” with a push. (Yes, he calls me Tahny!)

Isaiah 40:31 NIV-They will run and not grow weary but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Thank you Lord, for being so faithful. Lord I’m so full of emotions but nothing to say. I’m so glad you know my heart. And I can sit here and be silent, and you know the hundreds of words pouring from my soul without my mouth muttering a single word. I love you.

Psalm 107:1 ESV-Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!

There are absolutely no words to express the emotion I feel right now and the gratitude I feel towards each and everyone of you. All of your prayers have given me so much comfort. Thank you!
Thank you! Hundreds of blessing to you all!

Now lets eat some greens!

Tahny

Friends and Flowers Chapter 7

21 Nov

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It’s funny how even now my perspective about things are even changing still. Back in Chapter 2 of my writings I wrote that one of my motivations to get my back surgery was so I could get back in the game instead of sitting on the sidelines. I think about that now after dealing with blot clots, and a pulmonary infarction. All I can say is, I’m so grateful I’m sitting here on the sidelines and I’m able to be here watching my kids play in the game. As, Kent will tease me at times with the saying, “it’s not all about you Tahny!” How true is that?!

For almost 10 months everyone’s questions to me have been, “how are you Tahny?, how’s your back?, are you still on blood thinners?, do you know if they’re gone yet?” Of course, I would answer these questions in the politest way possible. But, I can look at it now and what I really want to say is, “Kent is doing great, this has been really tough for him at times but he has handled things well could you pray for him” and…..”Max is doing ok too, this is scary for him and he is struggling with some things, could you pray for him?” And Rudy, all I can say is I’m glad he’s three. It’s kinda like after a woman has a baby everyone’s focus is now on the baby, not the mother whose body just went through the trauma of delivery. All, you hear is “how’s the baby?”

When I was in the hospital when my lung collapsed, I got a text on my phone that said, “what’s your favorite color?” I wrote back “white.” It’s funny that I instantly wrote white when all my life it’s been orange. Then I proceeded to text, “I love all colors.” Then that was the end of our texting. I was too drugged up to notice that might have been a little odd.

Finally it was time for me to come home from this round at the hospital. I was as weak as I ever been. In two weeks I dropped 24 lbs. It was hard for my mom to even look at me. She would talk to me with her head down and I would have to tell her, “Nellie you can look at me when you are talking to me!” In Nellie classic style she said, “not until you go put some blush on your face!” But, that meant climbing up my stairs so, too bad, so sad Nellie! Actually I was that weak. I remember walking the halls in the hospital wanting to carry my cell phone in my pocket but that felt too heavy and it was weighing me down.

Kent drove in our driveway and through my teary eyes all I see is this beautiful yard filled with flowers of all colors but, mostly white. Max, stood at one side of me holding me up and Kent on the other side. I remember Max grinning ear to ear because he was so proud that he kept this secret from me. He wanted to burst! Me too, then I remember my odd text, “what’s your favorite color?” Ahhh, the Jenness’. Kathy and Kevin Jenness, they planted these flowers for me. Not only did they plant flowers they weeded and watered these flowers for two days. I stood in my yard on that sunny afternoon with my hands clutched in Kent’s and Max’s, feeling the warmth of the sun and love of my friends all at the same time. I was humbled by the out pouring of love from them. Kevin and Kathy took the time to care about me, and show me their love and concern. And, I was speechless. I don’t know if they will ever realize how much this meant to me. There were days when I would be at home not being able to do anything but sit on the bench on my front porch looking at these flowers with a tear rolling down my face every time.

Flowers, everyone will bring you flowers as a sign of their love & care for you. Not, only did the Jenness’ do this for me but so did the two loves of my life. God and Kent. While I was in the hospital Kent planted from seed a row of zinnias in our garden. It was the most beautiful garden I’ve ever had since we lived here. I never knew just how beautiful zinnias really were until this past summer.

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Then there were my flower boxes. I never went and bought a single plant this year to place in my yard or boxes. I didn’t have to. We all know that petunias are an annual. But, not at my house this summer. Last year I had planted PINK petunias in my boxes. This year without planting anything there started to grow PURPLE petunias. And they were beautiful. They were full boxes, almost as if I planted too many in one box.

Psalm 23:5 NIV……my cup overflows.

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I was awakened earlier this morning by a bad dream. Ick! Then I prayed, “Lord I’m sorry for all the times I haven’t thanked you enough for bringing me through all these situations over the past 10 months. Even though I’m still waiting on my results I know Your Almighty Hand is still guiding and directing every step. I’m on your agenda not mine. I love you, Jesus.” Amen

I have heard of people that have gone through trauma in their life feel like they need to give back. I have never felt so strongly about “giving back” in my life like I do now. I feel like I’m here by the grace of God and I need to share my services to others like everyone has done for me. Going through this journey really has been a beautiful thing. The love, support and outpouring of friendships from even complete strangers has been touching. When I was the in deepest and scary situations I still felt peace. Yes, anxious but calm. There was nothing I could do. The only thing I felt like doing was going in a rolling field and throwing my arms up to God and falling to my knees and worship Him. Then it dawned on me…that’s right where He wants me to be and you. He wants us to realize its through Him we get through the valley. But, until we get there He wants us to be still and look at the valley it’s green, lush, there is flowers being planted for you and me, the valley can be beautiful and peaceful. We all want to be on the top of that mountain and feel accomplishment and full of pride that we’re at the highest peek in our life. We are untouchable. Then we make it there to the top and then we realize it actually is quite lonely there.

I don’t want to be untouchable or feel alone even if it means being on the top. Yes, this journey has not been an easy climb at all. But, I can say whole heartily it has opened my eyes to a new layer of beauty in my life. The value of friendship, family, perseverance, spiritual & physical health and most of all, the level of love in my marriage. I would sternly shake my head “NO” I don’t wish to go through this again. But, I would never have anyone take away what I have learned. And the biggest thing I have learned is, “this truly has been a beautiful journey”

I’m still waiting for my results. My scan was quick and went as excepted. The only issue I had was bleeding through my gauze. The tech had to change it twice, I had to remind her I was on blood thinners!

Thank you to everyone for your prayers, text, emails and phone calls. I can’t believe that so many people care! You all are amazing. My dear friend Becky texted me yesterday apologizing for texting me for fear my phone was blowing up with everyone wondering about my CT scan and the results. Please, don’t think I’m overwhelmed by phone calls or any other contact for that matter. You all deserve to wonder and want to know. I have felt each and everyone of you each step of the way.

I hope to have some answers today. I’ll let you know! Blessings to you all.

Hold My Hand Chapter 6

19 Nov

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Change your appointment Tahny…. December 3rd @ 8:30am has been my day to get my CT scan to check and see if my pulmonary embolisms are gone. This scheduled appointment sheet has been stuck to my refrigerator for 4 months. I look at it everyday thinking that day couldn’t get here fast enough. Then I get the opportunity to get it changed to November 20th @ 10:30. 4-5 months ago I would have jumped on that earlier change. But…..now it puts a tight turning knot in the pit of my stomach.

Why? Why, aren’t I excited about this!?

I guess, I didn’t realize how nervous I was. It’s funny how you think you’re ready and can’t wait for something and then the time arrives and you’re standing still in your tracks needing someone to give you a push forward. I remember feeling this way the day I got married. The “here comes the bride” song was being played on the piano, and the doors were about to be open for me to walk down that long aisle to this young man that I will now call my husband. The wedding coordinator was directing me towards the door that was shut to keep the bride secret until it was time for her big reveal. Then she said in a very exciting voice, “are you ready?!” My arm was hooked around my dads arm and I blurted out “NO! Don’t open those doors!” The piano player had to repeat the wedding march.

I knew I wanted to marry Kent but I was scared of moving forward to the next chapter in my life. Then, my reliable father took me into another room privately and said, “Tahny, I love you and if you don’t want to do this you don’t have too. The money doesn’t matter and either does all those people out there. I will go and tell everyone that it’s off.” I stood there looking at my dad in shock thinking that was not what I expected to hear. Then dad asked me, “Tahny do you love Kent?” Without hesitation I said, “yes!” Then he asked me, “do you believe God put you two together?” Then the next thing I know, my dad is holding and patting my hand all the way down the aisle for me to say “yes” to the love of my life, Kent.

You know even through all my nights of pain I would call out my dads name. I would wake myself up calling, “Dad! Dad! Dad, Help!” His would happen every night. Kent would just come and check on me, and I’d wonder if he even noticed what I was shouting. I finally asked him if he ever heard me yelling and crying out for my dad? He said, “of course I do.” I asked him if it made him annoyed or upset and he just said, why would it? Our earthly father & heavenly Father is a symbol of security and safety. Kent understood.

After I came home from being diagnosed with PE’s from St. Joes, I was noticing extreme pain in my right side. Max was having his talent show that evening and I was determined not to miss it. I was video taping Max preform his “talent” of Tae Kwon Do and breaking boards. Max was so nervous and I was too for him! I sat there in so much pain barely being able to hold up the recorder but, still thinking I couldn’t imagine not being there. Max was finished and I handed the recorder back to Kent and said I have to go to the medplus, something is wrong. Dr. Leppert did a x-ray of my chest checking me for pneumonia. I didn’t have it. He did tell me what meds to take in hopes it would help. But, if it doesn’t get any better let him know ASAP. Well, the next day came and I couldn’t move. I fought to get to the phone to have grandpa come down and get Max on the bus. Max was already scared to have something else be wrong with me. I just tried my hardest to stand up tall and reassure him I was ok. I just told him I’m kinda hurting this morning but I’ll be fine. Then grandpa pulled in. Max looked at me and said, “I’m not leaving you mom, and I’m not going to school!” Then the bus pulled up to the driveway. I said, “I’m fine Max, I need you to get to school I love you so much!” I would call Max’s teacher to keep an eye on him and to be aware of what’s going on at home.

I couldn’t walk up straight, I couldn’t breath. This was getting worse. Nellie was at my house too and I called Kent home. We went to the doctors without having an appointment. I walked in that office they looked at me and sent me back immediately to Dr. Leppert. I couldn’t talk, Kent did all the talking and explaining. I just sat there with my head down watching my tears leave wet polka dots on my jeans. I knew where I was headed. Dr. Leppert couldn’t even make eye contact with me. He has been through this whole journey with me since I first blew my back out. He knew the last thing I wanted to hear was, “Tahny you know where this is going right? I shook my head…yes.

I had to get another CT scan. I knew I had to remove all metals. That meant my necklace. My necklace has the boys initials on it. I didn’t want to remove it. There was something about Kent removing my necklace in that crowded bathroom that made me break down in hysterical tears.

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My IV was getting put in. I was looking the other way and Kent was rubbing my arm to console me. I was in so much pain and to lay down it was a struggle. But I had to get the CT scan done. All I remember is Kent looking down at me with tears in his eyes telling me to try to breathe and try to get calm, so they can get this scan done. Kent for the first time had that look of fear in his face just like Max. And, all the imperfect things we have done to each other in our marriage didn’t matter at all anymore. In that moment of him looking down at me seeing me in pain, not being able to breathe made Kent grab on to new heartstrings that were being pulled and tied together with mine forever. We experienced a new level of love that was far deeper then that first day he took my hand in marriage.

Isaiah 54:8 I will show you my love forever.

After my CT scan I was RUSHED over to the ER. The nurses and doctors were waiting for me at the door. What was happening was my right lower lung was collapsing. This is called a pulmonary infarction. Very Painful! So, yes my lung was collapsing during Max talent show. I was in the hospital for 5 days. And, one of these days was Mothers Day.

This would probably sum up why I have hesitation. For 7 months the only thing I have heard from every professional in the medical field is how these blood thinners “have been saving my life.” And now my safety net would be gone. They weren’t there sitting with me looking at my children with me, having the fear of their worst fear coming true. And, the questions going through my head of, how would my husband do this without me….?

I sat in these hospital beds crying for order while everything inside me wants to hide. I was terrified and wanting to hide from all these ailments within my body. And, with all my humanness I just wanted to cry out to God and question WHY?!?! I was heavy with grief but, all I could do was kneel on my knees and cry out to my Lord, “You have a plan that is greater then my understanding.”

I’m I dreaming….I am frighten by this load I now bare but, before my head agrees that this is not a dream I’m on my knees crying to God that you are with me every step. I’m holding your hand Lord. Lord, did you wrap yourself inside the unexpected to show me just how far Your love will go? Every moment You have been with me, and I know I haven’t traveled this journey alone. But, I’m not brave I’ll never be, I’m just a girl, Your girl who’s willing and waiting on you, Lord. And, all I have to offer is my heart. I will hold you now, and You will hold me in the middle and forever. Help me be a warrior not just a mere shadow. Even though I’m trembling hard within I trust You. I’m banking on Your promises Lord. I am treasured, sacred and I am His. I offer all that I am to You, please help me be strong. Pour over me Your holiness….

“Your life is better without Coumadin, Tahny” is the words Dr. Leppert said to me when I knew he was picking up on my new found hesitation to rip off this band aide. He has been wonderful talking with Kent and I through this whole situation. He is another blessing through this journey.

These are the words I tell myself now, At this point if my clots are gone the Coumadin is only a poison. Ok, life goes on….I’m ready.

Tomorrow my heavenly Father will be holding and patting my hand as I walk in for my CT scan. My appointment is November 20th at 10:30am. Please pray for me I’m nervous for whatever the outcome is. But, please pray they are gone. I love you all and I will keep everyone posted on the results.

*a great inspirational song that has helped my sister and I get thru this journey is, “Be Born In Me”