Top 5 kitchen picks for wedding registries

You know that feeling of “everyone I know is getting married?” I went through that phase a few years ago, around the time I was preparing to get married. Most of my friends were either engaged or recently married, as well. It’s a weird feeling when everyone gets hitched in one fell swoop.

Between then and now, there was been a lull in the wedding department. The “everyone is having babies” feeling took over for a bit, and then I turned into one of those people (side note: we’re having a girl!).

But recently, the wedding cycle has picked up again. Right now I’m invited to 4 weddings in 2016 (1 in the spring and 3 in the fall). This uptick has caused me to think back on the excitement of planning my wedding, registering for gifts, and the crazy joy of knowing my life was changing in a huge way.

Let’s be honest: Wedding registries are a blessing and a curse. There’s some cool gadgets out there, but it’s hard to know which ones are worth a spot on your list. Some of them (I’m looking at you, “As Seen on TV”) will stay in the box until you decide to donate them on your one-year anniversary. I know because I’ve been there. The Union Gospel Mission Thrift Store got 2 large garbage bags of kitchen things ALONE, along with old clothes and other things I spring cleaned.

Your friends and family want to bless you by gifting things that you will use. Make the most of their time and money by picking essentials that will last a while.

Here are my top 5 kitchen gadget picks — in no particular order and based on personal experience — for your wedding registry:

Ninja Blender System

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ninjakitchen.com

This solves most of my kitchen issues. There’s smoothie cups with sip and seal lids (for personal smoothies and juices), a blender (for larger smoothie quantities, and whatever else you would use a blender for), and a processor bowl (it slices, dices, and has a separate blade for mixing dough! What?!). This system eliminates the need to register for a blender, a food processor, and a smoothie maker separately.

Coffee maker

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Hamilton Beach 2-way Coffee Maker

I mean, this one should be obvious if you’re addicted to caffeine. Unless you’re a total coffee snob (French press/cold press/espresso shots/etc.), you really don’t need much more than a standard cup o’ joe contraption. This one is cool because it has 2 options: single-serve and a full carafe, so you can make a quick cup in the morning and brew a pot for guests in the evening.

A good cutlery set

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Ginsu cutlery set

We made the mistake of registering for a cheap knife set, thinking that sharp was sharp and there wasn’t a difference between cheap knives and expensive knives.

Oh silly, silly us.

We recently replaced our cheap cutlery set (which barely made it past the 1-year mark without rust stains) with a set of Ginsu knives, and they are glorious. Good knives will treat you well (and save you money) in the long run.

KitchenAid mixer

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KitchenAid tilt stand mixer

There’s a reason why the KitchenAid hasn’t gone out of style through the years. This solves all your mixing needs, especially for recipes that require a little more hands-on TLC (as opposed to using the Ninja processor). Plus, it comes in a plethora of colors, so it fits every kitchen color scheme.

Crock-Pot

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Crock-Pot Cook ‘N’ Carry 6-Quart Portable Slow Cooker

This is the most valuable asset in my kitchen. You can make just about anything in a Crock-Pot, from candied nuts to a full dinner. This model has a secure fit sealed lid, so you can transport your food to the church potluck (or wherever) without worrying about it sloshing everywhere. For extra portability, get the insulated Crock-Pot Travel Bag. It has sturdy handles and keeps the heat contained.

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Jarvis Babies: A Short History

So here’s me letting the mini pig out of the bag: I’m pregnant!

I decided to break the news on Instagram with a crossfit-themed post:

Jarvis pregnancy announcement

And Jerod posted a video on YouTube:

(If you don’t get the joke, click here.)

We have been planning and praying for this baby, so we’re both very excited. We had an appointment with our midwife a couple days ago and were able to hear the baby’s heartbeat. It sounds really healthy and strong, at 160-170 bpm.

Baby J is 11 weeks in utero today. We found out I was pregnant when I was about 6 weeks along. The realization triggered excitement, but also trepidation. Not because we were afraid of starting a family, but because we already have one baby in heaven, and we didn’t want to experience losing another.

We lost our first baby to miscarriage earlier this year. It was 8 weeks in utero when the Lord decided to call it home. Death is traumatic in any case, but the death of a child I’ve never seen was a completely new and heart-wrenching experience. We had felt God calling us to start a family at the beginning of the year, and we followed His lead. When we got pregnant 3 months later, it seemed like everything was going according to plan. We were following God’s direction, and He was blessing our obedience.

Then he took the baby home.

What do you do with something like that?

My miscarriage wrought raw wounds in every area of my life: physically, emotionally, mentally. My body and mind were in shock. I felt so much shame, frustration, and grief. Sometimes I felt relief, which led to more guilt and shame. It must be my fault I lost the baby. My body isn’t good enough. If I talk about this, will people judge me? Will they blame me for something I had no control over?

The gamut of emotions following miscarriage is wide. I wasn’t sure how to deal with all of them, so I sought comfort in Jerod, my counselor, and close friends. I was lifted up and supported by women at my gym, our small group at church, and our families. For me, part of my healing process was talking about the miscarriage and verbally processing through it, and having a healthy support group around me enabled me to do so. I also discovered that it opened a lot of doors to talk to other women about their past experiences, too. We don’t talk about it much, but miscarriage is more common than we think.

Miscarriage is the most common type of pregnancy loss, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Studies reveal that anywhere from 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Chemical pregnancies may account for 50-75% of all miscarriages. (americanpregnancy.org)

I had a clinically recognized pregnancy. Multiple tests confirmed it. Do I blame myself for the loss of my child? Sometimes, even though I know it’s not true. Grief can sneak up on you when you least expect it. It can knock you down and put you out of commission for a while. It can last for years.

But there is hope, even in the midst of crippling sadness.

This current baby, our second, is part of that hope. It is our “rainbow baby“: a baby following a miscarriage or other infant loss. Hearing the heartbeat was so uplifting for Jerod and me. At first, I couldn’t hear the heartbeat, and a wave of fear crashed over me. Where is it?? But then the midwife gently said, “Don’t you hear it? It’s going so fast.” Fear was immediately replaced with joy. Our miscarriage probability plummeted with the audible thump-thumps of Baby J’s heart.

Our personal journey in this area is dotted with tears of pain and of joy. We have every confidence that we will see our firstborn in heaven someday. And we are looking forward to meeting our rainbow baby in 6 months. They are both blessings and part of our family story that God is knitting together.

Thank you to everyone who has prayed for and walked with us through this trying time in our lives. We are looking forward to sharing Baby J’s progress with you as he/she grows!

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