We go grocery shopping, we eat bowls of cereal, we stay up too late watching episodes of Mad Men.
Ryan goes to work, I grade papers and work on stories, we both come home from our days tired and thankful to have the warmth of another one's arms.
And yet there is this pain that has changed us, once again.
I remember driving through PA last year, the day after we lost Ryan's father. I sat in the backseat of the car and looked out at fields as gray and dismal as the landscape of my heart. But then I saw people, I saw grocery stores and gas stations, pizza restaurants humming with people hankering for a quick lunch. Despite my private tragedy, life went on.
But I had to relearn how to get up in the morning, how to make myself eat and sleep. What was once so simple became achingly difficult. Tragedy has a way of knocking you off of your feet.
And so, as we wait for Baby Ryan to heal, to fully wake up, life continues to go on and we must continue to live.
And I'm beginning to understand this continuity as a blessing--this being forced to take one baby step after another. Because after you've been flattened by tragedy, it can be difficult to imagine yourself ever running through life again, open-armed and embracing all that she offers.
And so we're simply asked to eat bowls of cereal, to wash our laundry, to brush our teeth. Eventually we'll run again...but now all that is required is a slow and steady walk.
Unfortunately, the night of our dinner party hit me hard. After an afternoon of tears and processing, I encouraged Ryan to visit our friends while I stayed at home to write and pray.
They enjoyed each others company and the brownies (as well as a delicious Indian feast that the hostess graciously sent me samples of).
I know that the next time we meet, I will be in stronger spirits, and I look forward to many more nights of fellowship and food.
Baby Ryan is having a gastric line inserted into his stomach today. We are hoping to transport him to Denver's Children's Hospital at the middle of the week. Continue to pray for his recovery and for my sister and brother-in-law. Thank you immensely for all the kind words and thoughts that you have been sending me via email, comments and spoken word. We believe in the power of prayer!
¾ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks of butter (melted)
1 ½ cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup pumpkin puree
½ cup walnuts (chopped)
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8×8 inch baking dish with aluminum foil. Lightly grease the foil. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.
2. In a separate bowl mix together melted butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs (one at a time). Add in the flour mixture, a little at a time and stir until the batter is evenly moistened. Divide the batter in half evenly into 2 separate bowls.
3. In one of the bowls blend in the cocoa powder and chocolate chips. In the second bowl of batter stir in pumpkin puree, walnuts, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
4. Spread ½ of the chocolate batter mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. Pour ½ of the pumpkin batter mixture over that. Repeat the layers, ending with a pumpkin layer. Drag a kitchen knife or spatula through the layers in a swirling motion creating a marble appearance.
5. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool and cut into squares
Anecdotes and Apple Cores