When the Holidays Aren’t So Merry or Bright

This time last year I was waiting on a miscarriage.

Nine weeks pregnant, I arrived at the ultrasound with a baby bean in my belly and a heart full of anticipation. And then, with a few fated words, the dreams that I had carried so close to my heart began to crumble once more.

“Maybe you’re not as far along as you thought…”

The ultrasound technician quietly snuck out to consult a doctor and I was left alone. Music floated softly through the room, and lyrics to the song, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” assaulted my ears and ground against my wounded heart. Wrapped in a cheap, blue gown, I listened and I wept. It felt far from wonderful.

The doctor’s results were inconclusive and I was told to wait it out. For two weeks, I wrapped gifts and hung lights and attended holiday parties. With anxiety and secrets tucked behind an ugly Christmas sweater and a holiday smile, I waited to see if the baby would grow.

But mostly, I just waited to miscarry.

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Swedish Saffron Buns (Easy recipe for the non-baker!)

Saffron buns (called Lussekatter) are a favourite Christmastime treat for Swedes. Light, fluffy, and full of saffron infused goodness, these buns are traditionally enjoyed on December 13, St. Lucia Day.

St. Lucia Day is an advent celebration that takes places in Sweden and Norway. Honouring St. Lucia, who was martyred for her faith, girls chosen to play Lucia are dressed in flowing white robes with a red sash and crown of candles. Boys may celebrate by dressing up as “Stjärngossar” or “star boys.” (Take a look at last year’s Christmas video to see what this looks like!) Saffron buns are a major part of the days festivities and are often served for breakfast by the children.

When my husband’s family first introduced me to these buns a few years back, I wasn’t sure how I felt about them. Saffron is a flavour entirely foreign to me (I don’t usually cook with spices that cost more than gold!) But the treat’s unique flavour quickly grew on me.

This year, I decided to treat my husband to a batch of freshly made lussekatter. Given that I am not a baker and did not grow up making these buns, I wanted to find a simple recipe with a non-overwhelming taste.

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When Your Birthing Plan Falls Apart

“This is your son.”

The orderly rolled my bed into the hospital’s NICU and I groggily stared over at the tiny bird-like creature lying in an incubator. His three and a half pounds was composed solely of skin and bones. The ventilator was breathing for him, his tiny body dotted with tubes and wires–and I looked at him and wondered, “Are you really mine?”

I’d gone from pregnant to not pregnant in what felt like mere minutes, and I was struggling to wrap my head around the sudden change.

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2018 Reading Challenge + FREE PRINTABLE

Calico skirts nestled amongst whistling prairie grasses. The warm glow of a snowy lamp post beckoning from a forest of fur coats. Red sand dunes, sweet cherry cordial, and bosom buddies. These are the memories of my childhood: countless hours cozied up under blankets, the scent of ink and paper tickling nostrils, and imagination soaring within the boundless scope of an author’s world.

The books may change as we grow older but the love doesn’t.

So for 2018, I have created a reading challenge: 52 books in 52 weeks. Fifty-two weeks of diverse genres and new reads. And I challenge YOU, my lovely readers, to participate along with me.

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