This soup, adapted from the Best of Bridge series of cookbooks, was a staple when I was growing up. My mom used to make double batches and store the extra in 2L ice cream containers in the fridge, and we would happily live off leftovers until it was gone. When we were little, my brother told me that finding the bay leaf was lucky — that idea has carried forward into my family lore.

Hamburg SoupIt is a hearty, inexpensive meal — a great way to stretch the food budget a little bit further — and is quick to throw together. Just be sure to leave enough time for it to cook! I like to serve it with fresh bread — there are many no-knead bread recipes that can be prepared over the same time frame as the soup.

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Right now you are sound asleep next to me in the bed where you were born, snoring softly in the darkness — a rare “sleepover”, courtesy of a Scouts trip the rest of our family is on. I’m not sure who enjoys our weekends together more, you or me, but I do know this is the last one that will be just the two of us.

In February, Baby-The-Last will make her appearance and you will take up a new rung on the ladder of our family.

Sometimes I worry that you will feel supplanted or pushed aside — you have been my near-constant sidekick for more than 4 years now, even coming to work with me as a newborn until this Fall when you were finally old enough to start school. In our not-so-small family, you and I have had a connection so different from the ones I have with your older brothers. I treasure it and I don’t want it to change.

Life moves on, though, and nothing stays the same.

I want you to know how I treasure your independence and your amazing ability to entertain yourself. You are like sunshine. Your sense of humour and the way you see the world from your shorter stature are highlights in my every day. You have a knack for cheering me up that I don’t fully understand — the rest of your family could take lessons from you. You are not concerned with making friends because as far as you are concerned everyone is your friend. You are my daily reminder to face the world with a sunny disposition and that genuine enthusiasm is highly underrated.

Age 4.5

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I have a history of pregnancy loss.

I have written about it here, and I’m generally pretty open when discussing it, but that does not mean I am unaffected by my experiences. I am very much affected — I am having a lot of difficulty finding happiness in this pregnancy. My most recent loss was particularly traumatic for me and it is taking me awhile to bounce back. I am now 22wks pregnant and everything seems to be going fine, but I do not feel secure or safe in the idea that this will turn out the way I hope.

My ability to find joy is a little broken.

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Melissa | @refashionista:

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Here is a post I wrote following my fifth miscarriage earlier this year:

Originally posted on refashionista:

Shortly after I posted in January, I found out I was pregnant. Again.

Hope looks like the healthy kicking 10wk old “Maybe Baby” I saw on ultrasound February 27th. Hope sounds like the healthy, strong heartbeat of the 12wk old baby-in-waiting I heard on March 19th.

I dared to hope.

On March 25th, ultrasound showed that heartbeat was gone.

Hope is a fragile thing. Hope could be the only thing holding me together.

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