So thankful every day, not just on Thanksgiving!

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Absolute cooking fail – right here, right now.  I know that it’s shocking, but it’s not all smiles and roses in my kitchen.  I always thought that making pull apart bread would be 0274236_630x355easy, I mean it looks easy – not so much! To be fair to me and to throw my son under the bus, he was going to make this bread for an appetizer for our Thanksgiving gathering UNTIL he offered to make dinner the evening before Thanksgiving INSTEAD.  That’s when it all fell apart……. HE should have been making it but instead I ended up making his appetizer, all because I was feeling lazy and succumbed to the temptation of not cooking dinner and taking the night off!  What was I thinking?  Here is the recipe for “easy” Carmelized Onion and Bacon Pull Apart Bread (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/caramelized-onion-and-bacon-pull-apart-bread-3561249).  The first problem is that the recipe said to shave 1/4 inch off the bottom crust of the bread, and then to make 1-inch wide crosshatch cuts on the top of the bread, three-quarters of the way through to the bottom.  What it fails to tell you is, what the hell do you do with the bottom crust of the bread?  Then it tells you to spoon 3/4 of the onion mixture into all of the slits. That’s awesome, but I couldn’t even find the slits to stuff the goodies into. After that, you were to mix together the cheese and stuff three-quarters of the cheese inside all of the slits. But still, I can’t find the damn slits.  So now, I am poking holes in the bread with my fingers and trying to stuff a liquid onion mixture (are you kidding me?) and then cheese

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Doesn’t this look like the picture in the recipe?  NOT!!!

into the holes, but I can’t find the new holes either.  Recipe then says to spoon the remaining onion mixture on top, followed by the remaining cheese. (The bread will be very stuffed and messy, no s*^% Sherlock!), and still I’m wondering what the heck do I do with the bottom part of the bread? In the oven it goes anyway and I’ll be the first to admit that it didn’t look very appetizing, but people ate it, so they were either really hungry, really polite or didn’t care what it looked like and dug right in any way! I think I will hold off making pull apart bread for while because to be honest, I am kind of traumatized lol.  My son and I were laughing so hard about my failure and that was the little silver lining in this cooking fail!

Back to Thanksgiving – dinner was amazing as usual!  Another prime rib under the belt and one of the best thing about our family dinners (other than the fact that we all are together under one roof), is that everyone shares in the cooking!  That is one thing I am super thankful for!  After dinner, as we usually do at Thanksgiving, we went around the room expressing what we were thankful for – multiple people (mainly the young uns’) were grateful to have full-time jobs so they could put food on the table for their families.Darling-thankful-banner-for-Thanksgiving  Some were thankful to finally live closer to family, some were thankful for all the possibilities that were available to them since making some substantial changes in their life and me, I was thankful to not be working anymore. Not just on Thanksgiving, but every day, I am thankful that my family had the courage to stand in front of me and brutally tell me that my doctors are more than concerned about the state of my health with regards to my MS.  They stood in front of me and tearfully told me that they too were concerned about my MS and my future. They told me that they were tired, they were tired of watching me struggle to work year after year while knowing that my disease is actively taking over my life.  They were tired of me complaining that I was exhausted while knowing that I would get up tomorrow morning and continue on that merry go round slowly losing my functioning.  They were concerned that if I continued to ignore the advice of my doctor that it was only a matter of time before I had nothing left. Nothing left to play with my grandchildren, nothing left to enjoy our retirement years, no energy or ability left to manage my day to day life. Nothing.

I don’t like to focus on the negative, but I will admit that having a chronic illness is being-thankful-quote-for-life-2-picture-quote-1tough on a lot of days and it takes some things away from you…..However, it has made me very grateful for what I do have. I have read that people with this disease say it was the best thing that happened to them, blah blah blah.  Well, it has certainly not been the best thing that has happened to me. But what I do know, is that it is not the worst thing that has happened to me either and it has not destroyed my life, nor will it ever destroy my life, not by a long shot.  But I am grateful for my diagnosis. Don’t get me wrong, I wish I never got this disease in the first place, but given that this is the hand I have been dealt, I am happy to say that it has enhanced my life.  How, you ask? Well, I will tell you how:

It has helped me to be compassionateLiving with an invisible illness has taught me that not all suffering is visible or obvious and that people have their own stuff going on that we have no idea about.  It seems like we are so busy that we don’t take a moment to recognize when people are in pain and feeling desperate.  I know what it’s like to go through something hard, something invisible, and to feel alone. MS has taught me that, but if I look at the other side of the hand, it has also enabled me to see when others are experiencing hardship and are scared and I am better equipped to treat them with compassion and support.

It’s taught me resilience & patienceResilience is the ability to be knocked down and get back up again. Every time I successfully deal with the setbacks that are thrown at me, pexels-photo-86733I learn just how strong I am. I have also learned to be more patient with myself.  I realize that even when I’m doing everything right I can still have a relapse, it’s a bummer but, it reminds me that I need to have the patience to allow whatever is happening to run its course.  And the sun will shine again tomorrow.

It’s shown me it’s ok to laugh at myselfI’ve always thought I have a pretty good sense of humor, but now that I have MS, I realize that laughing at myself is sometimes the best way to get through the day.  When I butter my bread, and end up with more holes than bread, I have to laugh at myself.  When I get up off a chair and stumble a little, our standard come back is “nothing to see here, just move along”, and when somebody else finds the wrong words or blurts something out that makes no sense, I just say “welcome to my life” and we shrug it off.  I’ve also become ok when other people laugh with me and at me, it’s all in how you look at it, and I have no time to waste on feeling sorry for myself.

It’s shown me I have a voiceI am not afraid to speak up for myself.  If I need pexels-photo-48603something, I will ask for it and if I don’t understand something I will ask for clarification. It’s my responsibility to share my experiences of MS with my medical team and let them know how it is affecting my life to ensure that these factors are considered in the treatment plan. If I don’t do that, it means someone else is taking control of my life. It’s my life, my MS, so I need to be in the driver’s seat.

It’s taught me pain isn’t the worst thing that can happenWhen you live with chronic pain daily, you learn that there are much worse things than pain. Missing my children’s weddings or missing my grandchildren hit a homerun, missing out going to the pumpkin patch or watching them pedal their butts off at their BMX race, THAT is much worse than a bit of pain.

So, wherever you are, I hope you got to spend your Thanksgiving with the ones you love, I know I did! What are you most thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Raegan

Be-kind-be-thankful

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