Apple Butter Bars

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So all the Apple Butter Bars I made this past weekend are already gone. So, I guess that means I better get around to posting this recipe since they're so good. This dessert reminds me of my childhood. When it was my birthday, I would sometimes bring this tasty treat in to share. I still love them today as much as I did 25 years ago. It's a fitting Fall treat and also a fun splurge for breakfast, anytime. Bring along a jar of your favorite Apple Butter to your host for Thanksgiving. Don't forget to attach a sweet note with this recipe. What a perfect treat? Happy Fall eating! xo RCN

Ingredients:

2 Cups Old Fashion Oats (I use Quaker Oats)

1 Cup Flour

3/4 Cup Sugar

1/4 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Allspice

3/4 Cup Butter, softened

1 Cup Apple Butter (I would maybe up that a little next time I make them)

Directions:

Lightly grease a 9" square baking pan. In a large bowl combine lasts, flour, sugar, salt and spices.  Add butter and beat with electric mixer (I use my stand mixer) on low speed until mixture is crumbly.

Pat half the micro into the pan. Spread apple butter evenly over crumb layer (it's okay if oats mix in some w/ apple butter). Sprinkle remaining crumbs over apple butter and press down gently. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until golden (my oven took more like 35). Slice into  a dozen bars and enjoy!

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IV'F Gotta Keep The Faith

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Our date night Wednesday was Z and I's superstitious tradition the night before a fertility procedure (one that can get you pregnant). We ate sushi and drank champagne. My two favorite things that I will be giving up for ten months if I get pregnant. And guess what, I might be pregnant, you guys!!! Great news, but, here is the low down on what really happened this past week...

Prepping my ovaries for a successful egg retrieval prior to IVF (ICSI) turned out to be a total unexpected failure. I should correct myself by saying, it wasn't necessarily "unexpected", it was just something I decided to ignore the possibilities of, until it made a factual appearance in my life. So, it felt unexpected. Prior to our IVF cycle I did all the planning of what we would do if we had only retrieved the smallest number of eggs appropriate for IVF (five). "Wow, that would be the worst!" That would then mean the likelihood of a low embryo count. I thought about how we would handle that, like if we only got one embryo or two. Okay, maybe we would have to forego genetic screening and do a fresh transfer for optimal chances. Not what I wanted, but totally reasonable. I even tried to prepare myself for needing multiple egg retrievals. "Okay, Rachel. Be patient, you can do it a couple times." Then I did the opposite. I dreamed about having lots of eggs and embryos and only needing one retrieval in order to serve our plan for a big family. Dreaming is the right word there. We had all the paperwork complete for genetic testing on whatever embryos we did wind up with, be it four or 15. We were on board with the idea of doing a frozen transfer later this year or even the beginning of next. "Perfect, this way we could be pregnant and with frozen embryos in the bank, we would never deal with this nightmare again!" I had lots of plans figured out in what I thought would be all of our possible circumstances. I seemed to forget a few outcomes leading up to the event, which I am going to refer to as me being "positive".

What we didn't plan or spend much time thinking about was the actual worst case scenario or the second to worst case scenario. And, I am not talking about the five eggs that I thought would be the worst. The worst case would, in realty, be NO eggs. The second to worst would be one egg. And that is what I never gave thought to - that we would only have one lone egg that would result in cancelation of my egg retrieval. Hence, no embryos, no IVF or ICSI, no genetic testing, and no transfer. It was thoroughly disappointing. Like, are you kidding me? I was on the highest dose of injectable medications my Doctor will prescribe and all I got was one egg that took 14 days to mature??? I gave myself 50 shots for what my body should naturally be producing on it's own?? I would be lying if I didn't say how lonely and sad I felt sitting in the Doctor's office this week, waiting for my final ultrasound to cancel, only to be sitting across from Husbands and Moms waiting for their warrior wife or daughter to wake up from anesthesia after her egg retrieval. I am so happy for those people I don't even know. I also wanted to be doing the same thing. Sigh. Thank God, I am married to an extremely level headed, caring and pragmatic man that can work through this with me and make the most of what we are presented with each and every moment of this journey. He's also the most attractive man in the waiting room. Thank God, again ;)

The best news in all of this is that it only takes ONE. Per our Doctor's recommendation, we are making the best of this month and we converted our failed IVF cycle into another IUI. There is hope. Hey, we got pregnant before through IUI. Now, I just pray it happens again with a healthy baby. See, I told you I might be pregnant! This week was eye opening to me. I again, was knocked down, but able to pick myself back up. I realized Z and I need to be fluid with whatever best available option each cycle brings and be content that we have that chance, even when it can feel slim to none. This process is hard to digest, but I believe in faith, fate, luck, determination, coincidence, science and miracles. So with all of that on my side, I am still very optimistic something will work out. If the IUI does work, then we will feel beyond blessed in two weeks. If it doesn't happen for us, then we will still feel beyond blessed, but then start another IVF cycle all over again the very next day :)

Thanks for all the kind words of support, it helps me keep positivity at the forefront of defeat. xo RCN