If you’ve followed my blog for very long, you’ll know that I’m pretty focused on recipes, products, and tips here on My Gluten-free Kitchen. I don’t tell a bunch of personal stories, or share much of my family – that just isn’t my style of blogging. Writing isn’t my favorite part of blogging – baking and sharing my recipes is!
Sometimes though, I’ve got some extra words floating around in my head so I’ve just got to put them out there! I hope you enjoy reading!! Today I’m going to share this story of the love of my life.
As we’re heading into Valentine’s Day, like most people, my mind starts thinking about love. 18 years ago, I found the love of my life when I wasn’t even looking for a boyfriend! It was that feeling of love – the one that makes your heart beat faster and hands get sweaty when he’s nearby, and makes you forget about everything else you should be doing since you’d rather just spend time with that person.
Toby and I dated for a while, got engaged, then married, all in less than a year, both of us just knowing that this was the person we were going to spend the rest of our lives with. A unique thing about our wedding day is that I graduated from college that morning at 8am, and then we got married that night at 5pm! I called it my two-gown day – black graduation gown in the morning, and white wedding gown in the evening!
After we got married, that twitterpated feeling of love changed to a deep and lasting love – the one that grows from trust, making sacrifices, compromising, serving and simple companionship.
Even back when we dated, Toby knew that I had some health issues, and always supported me through them. I knew he’d be there for me, but little did we know just how many health issues and changes were in store for us. He has supported me through hundreds of migraines, multiple surgeries, very difficult pregnancies, and through the extreme fatigue that comes with developing several autoimmune issues.
In 2010, he stayed by my side, encouraging me while my body literally wasted away. We didn’t know then that undiagnosed celiac disease was causing malnutrition, and had been causing a host of issues for me for years. As things progressed to me being only out of bed a few hours a day due to muscle weakness, fatigue, and pain, he was by my side, picking up all the household chores and full-time parenting.
When I finally had my celiac diagnosis, he was right there with me reading about it and supporting me in my transition to eating gluten-free. He suggested we cook gluten-free meals for the whole family instead of separate meals. He is the one that suggested, a few months later, that we just go ahead and make our entire kitchen gluten-free, so that I didn’t continue getting sick from cross-contamination from kids’ snacks and cereals that had gluten.
He’s never once complained about our family eating gluten-free in our home. In fact, he tells others that he feels like he eats like a king! Yes, I totally beam when he says that!
When I started baking gluten-free, he was the first to be my taste-tester. I didn’t want to settle for just okay tasting foods, I wanted my gluten-free baking to taste just like regular baked goods. So I would give him foods to try and give me his honest opinion, sometimes even with a score card. And boy did he take his job seriously! Here’s a pic of him trying one of my first experiments: banana muffins, and recording his thoughts on a score sheet.
(P.S. Multiple rounds of testing led to our favorite gluten-free banana muffins, which I make monthly!)
Food was always such a big part of our holidays, and it was so important for it to continue to be. While he doesn’t really like to cook, he helps me make the food for our holiday brunches and dinners.
With his amazing support, just six months after my diagnosis, we had an amazing, totally gluten-free Christmas dinner, complete with pie – always his favorite dessert. He says that he likes my gluten-free pie crust just as much as the gluten-full ones he used to have!
Another huge benefit of having a husband that is so supportive and is such an enthusiastic taste-tester is that my kids see it and follow his lead. My kids do not turn up their nose at anything gluten-free. They have a really positive view on gluten-free and are excited to try everything I bake. I know in many families, this isn’t the case, and the kids turn up their noses at gluten-free food. I do think it is all in the attitude that is modeled for them, and my husband has always been positive about it, alongside me.
I’ve been so blessed by having such a supportive husband! Thank you Toby, for all the love and support you’ve given me for the past 18 years! You are a true blessing from the Lord!
Thanks for reading about my biggest gluten-free supporter!