Guys, I have eaten A TON of food lately, oh my gosh. Josh and I don’t typical get to go out for dinner dates. Well, it is really hard to get Joshua out of his comfy chair to leave the house. I mean, he is a major homebody! And when we do go out on dates, we always end up at the same old boring chain restaurant. Now, I won’t lie. I can be a bit of a picky eater. Okay, I am super picky about the food that I eat but we have both proven that we can come out of our shells a little bit by trying different food from different and exciting cultures.
The foodie adventure started in Toronto this past September but we brought that courage home with us back here in Philadelphia. Here’s a short recap of a few our favorites!
You can’t walk by Smoke’s in Canada and not get Poutine. If you haven’t had poutine, its basically a pile of french fries doused in gravy and cheese curds. If you haven’t had Smoke’s, its that french fry, gravy and cheesy goodness topped with more toppings than you can thank of. I had the classic poutine and Joshua topped his with pulled pork.
Eva’s Original “The Dream” Chimney Cone
Eva’s Original “Peanut Butter Pretzel” Chimney Cone
I have been stalking the instagram account of this amazing Hungarian pastry shop for years now and I finally summoned the courage to track the place down in Toronto. The cones are these super soft doughnuts covered and sugar and cinnamon. It’s first stuffed with spreads and sauces galore. Then, topped with ice cream and other incredible things. It was a solid 45 minutes of desert heaven, I’m not even kidding!
Poi Dog – Mochi Nori Fried Chicken
Poi Dog – Pork Belly Adobo
Poi Dog -Spam Musubi
Here in Philly, this cute little Hawaiian/Filipino/Japanese fusion restaurant has easily become a favorite. The food is so complex in flavor that its really hard to describe how amazing and unique it all is. My favorite dish is the Mochi Nori Fried Chicken. This was our first time trying the Pork Belly Adobo and Oh.My.Gosh is it good. Like, i’ll risk the heart attack and love handles good. Take a look at their amazing menu here.
The pork belly was so good that we wanted to try making it on our. We were going to try and attempt the Pork Belly Adobo but a cookbook that I’ve been holding onto, The London Cookbook by Aleksandra Crapanzano, has this amazing recipe for Japanese braised Pork Belly. There are so many recipes in this book that Joshua and I want to try, its not even funny. I love this book because it contains recipes from restaurants from all over London. Everyone knows that London is number one on my list of places to go but with my health and our quest to start a family, cooking from The London Cookbook will have to be the closest thing until we can get there. Its packed with photos and information. Its definitely the perfect cookbook if you’re looking to get out of your foodie shell.
I know that I have been missing from the blogger scene for an obscene amount of time but if you are at all familiar with my story, I’m sure you know or understand why. It’s been a long and emotional battle to get back to the mindset to sit here at my laptop and begin sharing my life with you again. Life continues to be an uphill battle but I’m attempting to get to the top, or as close to the top, of it as possible. Thank you all for being a helping hand.
So, to start, I didn’t spend the entire five months crying. Yes, I spent most of it crying but I also believe that a majority of my hiatus was spent growing and learning new things about myself. I learned that I was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression. I have also learned that I am strong and capable of beating it and that I absolutely could not have done it without a support system. I’ve learned that I am battling with Simple Hyperplasia, an illness that will likely put my journey of having living children on hold for a while. That has taught me patience. Its given me terrible heartache but it’s taught me that life is unpredictable and you have to adapt to what it throws your way.
I’ve learned that I am a good friend and that I am amazing at having an open ear to anyone that needs it. I have learned that my life experiences have allowed me to provide understanding to others. And, in a way, that makes the events of the past two years somewhat justifiable. It helps me have some sort of understanding of them as well.
I learned that even though I have the desire to travel, I just want to be home. I traveled to Niagara Falls, Toronto and Florida in the past four months alone and I loved every minute of it but it made me appreciate the simplicity of making a cup of your favorite tea in your favorite teacup while your husband plays Overwatch. I learned that I can cook, that I do one heck of a job at homesteading, that I have an eye for design and that I do, in fact, have a personality. That I have talented hands that can make beautiful things. That I am a flipping cat lady.
There, I said it.
But most importantly, I learned how love the hardest I could ever love. I learned how to love living without designer labels. To love this old home because its mine. To love the memory of my son. To love the kinks in my hair. To love my husband more than I thought ever possible. To love a really really good burger joint. To love myself enough to defend myself against individuals that seek to hurt me. To simply love…
On April 11th, I gave birth to a tiny baby boy; Too small to survive. And yes it hurts, but I’m not at the point where I am ready to say goodbye. I know that he is gone but I still deal with the same things any mother who has carried a child full-term would go through. So, I spend this time cherishing the changes because the love that they, that he, has brought me is immeasurable. And I want to bask in them for as along as I can so that I still feel like I have him.
I got to hold his tiny body and I got to watch his daddy hold him and love him and kiss him. And I am grateful to have had the chance to watch my husband love beyond his bounds and I am grateful that he has chosen to share that leftover love with me. I see these kind of tragedies tear families apart but it has brought us so close together. I could not have asked God for a more perfect husband and father of my children.
Oh my goodness do we grieve. Some days we choose a spot in the house and give up. We cry constantly but I know it is because we loved and we loved hard and there is comfort in knowing that if he had survived, Matthias would have been loved to the fullest. To know that we are capable of that is indescribable. I just wish he had stayed around longer to witness it. To have it.
But he’ll have my heart forever. And ever. And ever and ever.
And I’ll continue to try to bring life from this loss. And I will continue to say his name until people acknowledge his short existence. And we will always love as hard as he made us. And we will grow and live the fullest lives we can without him.
I watched my husband struggle with helping a woman put large items into her small car in the parking lot of a hardware store for a while. When it was all said and done, I asked him why hadn’t he given up. I know I would have and he took my hand and said:
“I want to be the father that he would have had. I want to show the world the kind of father he has.”
We’ll forever be better people because of you, Matthias. We’ll never be whole but we will forever be better.