Our November Baby: When grief and peace kiss.

Sometimes I feel like I haven’t grown spiritually at all since becoming a mom. Actually, usually I feel dumber. Mushy-brained. I think back on my “glory days” and my ability to sling theology better than my seminary husband (his words, not mine!). Now on my best days, I can maybe remember the sermon from Sunday or the psalm I read that week, but can’t remember the last podcast I listened to or non-mommy book I read. Sometimes people use those big words that used to roll off my tongue so naturally, and have to really think about what that word means. I about gave up caring about sanctification all together until recently, when God revealed all that he was doing in the silent, mundane days of quiet faithfulness…

I experienced my second miscarriage in March. I was about 7.5 weeks along and we had JUST announced the pregnancy to EVERYONE that week. After my first miscarriage (in 2011), I didn’t want to keep my early pregnancy a secret. A life was a life and I wanted to celebrate my tiny, tiny babe in a pro-choice world that typically doesn’t acknowledge pregnancy until a heartbeat is heard or a bump emerges. I wanted to share that there was nothing to be afraid of. I knew that if I were to suffer a miscarriage, it would be an opportunity to share the hope I have and that women don’t have to feel ashamed or pretend that their baby didn’t exist. God answered my prayer and I was not afraid when I saw the first signs of loss. This being my second miscarriage, I knew exactly what to expect: I knew those lower back contractions beforehand, I knew what I would see during, I knew how I would feel after. There was so much calm surrounding the birth of this tiny, lifeless baby. I was able to focus in prayer, pleading and trusting that the Father was holding my child safe. I felt so honored that God allowed me to witness life and used me to bring another into the kingdom. There was just so much peace and so much assurance. Since I have two children, sadness was definitely different this time. Instead of grieving the unknown, you grieve the known. I knew the laughter and the sound of their voices and the sweet snuggles and all the milestones: things I would miss out on with this little one. But God was so good and comforted me in the sadness and has continued to be good to me since. I realized how Jesus has been growing my dependance on him and my faith in his word over the years. He shepherded me into a response that was so different than my response 3 1/2 years ago, and I am so thankful. Everyday, the Lord is continuing to align my heart with his and giving me a deep-rooted hope in his promises. It’s getting me thru each day way more than the definition of “Expiation” ever did. Praise God.

“Its been 11 days since we lost our November 2nd baby. Grief makes the days slower I think, so it feels longer than 11 days. But to the rest of the spinning-round world I’m 9 weeks pregnant. We still get lots of “congratulations!” or comments on the need for a minivan, and I entertain them for a second, saying “Thank you,” because I genuinely am so thankful for their celebration. (In an age where most of the world won’t attribute life and value to a baby the size of a blueberry, I praise God for the joyful response we got at the announcement of our teeny tiny babe.) But of course I have to gently correct them and assure them not to feel bad. How can you know to be sensitive in this sort of situation? And I assure them that we are doing ok, but usually there is so much more that is encompassed by the words, “we’re doing ok.” I want to tell them how we are so thankful for the life that God created and that we witnessed. I want to tell them how honored I feel that, even though I don’t get to be “mommy,” God used me to add another to the kingdom! I want to tell them how empty we felt when we dug a small hole to bury the one we were so excited to meet. And how we mourn not experiencing the joys of raising him or her. And I want to share how so many grieved with us. Watched our boys. Provided us with meals when I felt too numb to cook. Because its really true: we celebrate in community and we mourn in community. And I want to say how so very thankful I am today. Next Sunday is a reminder that our savior stands in victory over death and none shall be taken from his hand. Even my tiny blueberry is safe because of the Firstborn’s sacrifice. What is sown in weakness, is raised in the power of God! And so as I pack away the few special items I got for baby in the earliest days, I remember my hope, and its not here. And I remember my sovereign God, who is so good to me. Come and see what the Lord has done for us!” (March 29, 2015)



William Timothy Martin: A Birth Story

williamtimothy010214 010(This post was 5 months in the making!!)

Baby Will, due January 21st, surprised us 3 weeks early. On New Year’s Eve I was nesting like crazy. No party for us– I was full speed cleaning and freezer meal making. I must have known he was coming soon….

New Year’s day I had lunch with friends and spent some time with Kevin and Jackson. That night when we were laying down to go to bed, I sneezed and peed a little….typical. I got up to go to the bathroom and realized that I just wouldn’t stop peeing. I tapped Kevin on the arm (who is already asleep) and whisper, “I think my water broke but I’m not sure…” (During my last birth, my water didn’t break until I was pushing so I was unaware of what the feeling was supposed to be)

After an understandably long night tossing and turning, unable to get to sleep, we wake up early for my already scheduled midwife appointment. My friend Jenny watched Jack so Kevin and I could be prepared for whatever the doctor would tell us. Beth, one of my midwives, was skeptical at first, but after the exam said with 100% confidence, “Well, looks like we’re having a baby today!”

What?! I wasn’t even having contractions! I knew from my birth classes that your water could only be broken for 24 hours without the risk of infection, so if your water broke prematurely and contractions weren’t starting on their own, you may need to get induced or have a c-section if things weren’t progressing. Either way, if you’re water breaks, you’re having a baby.

She sent me home to “get labor started.” Determined to have the birth I wanted without interventions but knowing its extremely hard to get labor started out of thin air, I laid in bed and watched a few shows on Netflix and used the breast pump. Luckily by 1 pm I was having a few light contractions! Kevin and Jackson picked up Penn Station and then Jackson took a nap. I took a nap, pumped some more, and got the house in order for my parents who were on their way. We had to go to the hospital by 6 to get the antibiotic IV so Casey and Brady came over to watch Jackson until my parents arrived. By that point, my contractions were picking up and making me quite uncomfortable, but I still wished I could have stayed home a little longer.

williamtimothy010214 037We checked in and were immediately escorted to our room. The L&D floor wasn’t busy and I felt like everyone was waiting for my arrival! Jenny came shortly after and dimmed the lights, turned on my iPod playlist, and got Serenity defusing in the room while I got my IV. Once it was done, we started walking. I ate a popcicle. I sat on the birth ball awhile. Kevin was making jokes. The atmosphere was very peaceful and calm.

By 8:15 my doula, Angela arrived. She got a rice sock for my back and I leaned against Kevin. Next I transitioned to my hands and knees. Beth mentioned that the baby was posterior so I wanted to work thru the Miles Circuit to get him in a good position and help my pelvis open.

At 9:06 Angela encouraged me to sit on the toilet for a while. This brings on really strong contractions. I ate ice chips to cope with the pain and tried to release tension in my shoulders. Around 9:30 we went on a short walk, however I was too nauseous and uncomfortable to continue. Contractions were very frequent.williamtimothy010214 031williamtimothy010214 039 My midwife, Damara arrived at 9:45.

At 10, We went back to the room and I laid on the bed on my side for what seemed like a very long time. I may have fallen asleep for a few minutes. I was starting to get weepy and sad and VERY thirsty. I drank some Gatorade and regained some of my energy. I was definitely going thru transition!

At 10:40 Angela encouraged me to sit on the toilet again since that is where I made the most significant progress earlier. Kevin sat in front of me so I could lean on him. I only made it a few contractions when I start to get very serious and ask if I could start pushing soon. I was ready to be done! They ask me to try 3 more contractions and by 10:55 the delivery team was helping me move into the bed to push. They ask me what position I want to be in, and I ask for the squat bar, but shortly after decide to sit in a semi-reclined position.

I remember “Holy” by The City Harmonic playing. I begin to feel panicky. I knew my body was bearing down to push Will out, but my emotions were very fearful and anxious about pushing. I was having a hard time focusing to hold my knees back and push. Luckily, it didn’t last long and after only a few pushes, at 11:02 pm Baby Will was born! He weighed 7 lbs, 2 oz and was 21 inches long.

me and will black and white

They laid him on my chest and I held on to him so tightly because I was still a little bit in shock from the pushing. I didn’t want anyone touching me or poking at me. He was very sweet and cuddly and started nursing right away!

williamtimothy010214 238

This birth experience was so different from Jackson’s birth. Instead of just “surviving” through each contraction, I felt like I was able to focus and work through each one. During the hardest points of labor I tried to relax, vocalize all the pain out of my body, and remember that Jesus was with me, bringing an end to my pain for good. I am so thankful for a great birth team who helped me achieve the birth I wanted, despite the circumstances.

Kevin and I love our sweet, calm, second baby boy. Welcome to the world, Baby Will! Life is great!

williamtimothy010214 179williamtimothy010214 227

a meditation for labor pain

With Jack (and Lord willing with Will!), I chose a natural, unmedicated birth. I chose to attempt this type of birth for completely nonspiritual reasons. A baby coming into the world is a personal and beautiful experience, however they come out! I believe that every woman should have the right to be informed and choose the birth that is right for her and baby. However, regardless of vaginal or c-section, epidural or pitocin, childbirth is painful! Because of the fall, God promises that it will be–even with the graces of modern medicine! Here is a helpful thought I wrote, read, meditated on, and told my husband to continue reminding me of during labor:

Jesus endured pain on the cross that was one million times the pain that I am enduring, in order to put an end to the sin that caused the pain of childbirth in the first place! And not only did He endure it, He conquered it and was glorified at the right hand of the throne of God. The pain I am enduring is such a tiny glimpse of the pain my sin caused Him, but as I experience my pain I REJOICE in the fact that I am not condemned to this pain for eternity. Through every contraction, I can visualize Jesus on the cross and how He is exulted and glorified over my pain. What can this pain do to me? Even if I die, I will live for eternity with Christ. Where is thy sting death?

What beautiful, Christ exulting truths! If you are having a baby soon, I hope that you can find relief in these words as I have.

Baby Will update: What week am I again?

31 weeks baby will

It’s so funny being pregnant with number 2, when number 1 is not even 14 months old. With Jackson I was taking pictures every few weeks, writing updates on baby, and anxiously preparing and waiting for him! This time around, I am completely preoccupied with little Jack that I often forget I am pregnant. Except for when I am wrestling Jack to calm down during a tantrum or cleaning poop out of the tub at the end of the day… then I definitely remember I’m pregnant…and tired.

But this pregnancy has flown by. Weeks fade into weeks and it feels like we have had a big event, milestone, or holiday every month! So I will try to write an update on how baby Will and mama are doing, because before I know it, he will be here!

Will is a very active baby; always kicking or stretching his body. I can clearly feel where he is positioned because he is bulging out this way or that. At my last ultrasound (30 weeks), he showed to be very low (like Jack was), and positioned head down for birth. He is also measuring 2 weeks big, which is awesome because it means NOTHING except that I might have a big baby. That’s what every mama wants to hear right?! Other than being BIG, everything looks and sounds great. We were worried about some marginal placenta previa for a while, but the latest u/s showed that the placenta was up out of the way now!


We took this picture at Huber’s farm at 29 weeks.

I am feeling ok. Very tired from Jackson. He is in a super fun toddler stage, but it has also been a trying time. He is exerting his will early on and having frequent melt downs. I try to do something active with him everyday to focus his energy, but the outings and the tantrums are wearing on my body. I do have a lot of time to rest at nights so I am thankful for that! I am also thankful that Jackson has been walking for the past 2 months. He has been doing a fantastic job following me to and from the car, which is helpful when I am carrying in groceries.

We have been working on the letter “B.” We identify it with our bath letters or magnet letters, and say words that start with B. He repeats “baby” and I am trying to help him make the connection between “baby” and my pregnant belly. We also read a book called “Biscuit and the Baby,” and I point to the baby in the pictures and then to my stomach. Who knows if he is figuring it out…but in 2 months there will be a crying newborn entering his world and he will figure it out soon enough!

photo-48I have slowly started nesting. We got a double stroller (which I love!!) and I am asking for a new sling carrier for Christmas. I also pulled out some of my newborn clothes and have started doing some organizing. I don’t plan on focusing on it too much until after Christmas though!

I am, however, very excited for the birth. Over the past 2 years I have gotten really interested in childbirth, and I am even going to be a doula for my friend’s birth any day now! I am bummed that I won’t have Lauren and Darlene to help this time, but I hired an AWESOME doula (she was the instructor of my birth class with Jack and is giving me a super good deal since we have become friends) and my friend Jenny will be there as well to help Kevin.

Keep praying for energy to love Jackson well during this time, but also pray for rest so that I can take care of myself and baby Will.


We can’t wait to hold you and snuggle with you, baby Will! You are already such a gift to our family!

It’s a…

1234823_2411009201378_1008532139_nBOY! AGAIN! We are thrilled that Jackson will be a big bro!

Today we waited all day to open the sealed ultrasound envelope and to eat our pink or blue filled cupcake baked by our friend, Jenny. After our dinner at Voltaire, this FANCY restaurant on Frankfort Avenue, we cut into our cupcake to find BLUE icing! All along I had wanted a girl, but now I can’t imagine it any other way. Jack and Will are going to be bros for life!

Will is named after many men in his life! Kevin, Kevin’s dad, and my dad all have “William” as a middle name. We are choosing to just call him “Will.” Will’s middle name is Timothy. We picked “Timothy” after Timothy in the New Testament, Paul’s best friend and co-laborer in ministry. We are praying that Will and Jack, whose middle name is “Paul,” will model their brotherhood after this pair.

Soon after Jack turns one, we will be practicing the transition to a “big boy bed,” which is just a mattress on the floor. We are taking 4-5 months with this process, to ensure that we are not rushing him. The hope is that once Will is sleeping through the night, he and Jack will share a room!

We can’t wait to be a family of 4 and to see these sweet boys grow up together! Pray for health for mama and baby in these upcoming months!


17 weeks!

image-4This time around, my pregnancy has seemed to go a lot quicker. My mind is pretty distracted by Jackson and milestones in his life (walking, first birthday, etc) that the weeks seem to fly by! In 3 short weeks I will get to find out the gender! Most people, including myself, are rooting for a girl, however, my mama instincts say boy. We will see!

I have been feeling pretty good, besides occasional days of nausea or no appetite. I haven’t had a ton of cravings, which is good because our stricter budget doesn’t allow for as many buffalo chicken wraps like last time! One difference between my previous pregnancy is the appearance of varicose veins in my right calf. I have had a constant cramp there since around 6 weeks. I fear that I may have to wear some support hose to help the problem. My stomach is also seeming to be bigger at this point than with Jack, and my regular jeans are getting pretty snug. This week I started feeling movement! I didn’t feel Jackson until 21 weeks, so it was quite a surprise to me!

20130813-201723.jpgAt this point, baby is around 5 ounces and 5 inches (from head to butt). According to BabyCenter.com, he or she is comparable to a turnip. I don’t have turnips on hand, so Jackson had to settle holding a green bell pepper (the 18 week baby/fruit size). I am working with him on saying “baby,” although he is only 11 months old so I think we have a few developmental milestones to reach before he makes the connection.

Keep praying for us, friends! Pray for Jackson to walk soon so I can have a break from carrying his 23 pound self everywhere we go. Also pray for a healthy ultrasound on Sept. 3rd!

Packing your hospital bags!

Since I already shared what I pack in my labor bag, I might as well post what I pack in my hospital bag–as well as what I pack for baby and husband–in case its helpful to anyone else, or in case I ever lose this file on my computer…

Aside from my labor bag (the only bag I worried to bring into the hospital with me), I packed one bag for me and baby, and one bag for Kevin. You can get these bags from the car later, when you transition to the postpartum room. Remember to have these bag packed a few weeks early, just in case!

After birth for me:


• Toothbrush/toothpaste
• shampoo/conditioner
• Brush
• Make up/make up remover
• Face wash/Face Lotion
• Deodorant
• Hair dryer
• Straightener- Yes, I really did put on makeup and straighten my hair. You may not want to, but it made me feel so much better! Don’t feel embarrassed to clean up and feel pretty!


• Nursing Bra and/or nursing tank top
• Nursing Pads (disposable)
• Sweatpants/stretchy shirt and/or nightgown
• 3 pairs of underwear- Although usually you just wear the big mesh granny panties the hospital gives you. They are awesome.
• Going home outfit– Something comfy and cute for pictures!
• Sandals/shoes/socks


• Boppy pillow
• Nipple cream
• Tylenol or Motrin– You will get changed an arm and a leg for it. Just bring your own.
• Overnight Maxipads– Usually the hospital provides these though.
• Phone charger
• Camera
• Bag for gifts we receive


Just pack food that you could live off of for a few days…Trail mix, peanut butter crackers, fruit, etc. I’m sure you will also get some food brought to you. I just remember the hospital food not being appealing to me.



For Baby Jack:

• Onesie for first day
• Going home outfit
• Swaddle blanket
• Soft Blanket
• Hat
• Hand Mittens
• Car seat



For Kevin:

• 2 outfits- Pack at least one pair of sweatpants for sleeping in at night.
• Snacks
• Cash
• Bathing suit– Kevin wanted the option of getting in the labor tub or shower with me if I really needed his support.
• Toiletries- share mine (bring razor)
• Pillow/blanket
• Phone charger


Happy packing!

Packing a labor bag!

In the fall, my friend Jenny and I will get the opportunity to be “doulas” (in spirit!) for our friend! Giving birth only a week apart, we both took the same childbirth class during our pregnancies. Because of it, we became passionate about women being informed about birth and feeling empowered to make the best decisions for their babies and themselves in the process. While every woman’s labor preference and birth story is different, we committed to help her prepare to give birth naturally so that she can have the best chances for a successful VBAC.

During my pregnancy, my birth team helped me put together a bag of tools that would be helpful during my labor, and I will probably prepare one for my friend. I wanted to share my list for other friends who are considering natural childbirth! Not every item will be helpful for you. Feel free to discard it from my list–However you might be surprised at what becomes really really soothing during labor, and what becomes really annoying. Sometimes the tools you use the most in labor will surprise you!

Packing a Labor Bag:

Comfort Measures:

• Yoga Ball Most important. Usually the hospital can provide one. Helpful for laboring in many different positions.
• Tennis Balls in a sock I used these a lot. My friends rubbed them on my lower back to help relieve my back labor pains.
Combs! These were great for squeezing! For some reason the pain from squeezing the spikes on the comb helped me not to focus on the pain of contractions.
• Heating Pad- You can fill a sock with rice if you don’t have a rice bag already. Ask the hospital if they have microwaves in the room to heat it up.
• Lotion- Choose your favorite scent, usually lavender or tea tree scented is soothing. The scent provides aromatherapy relief, while the lotion can be used for massages from your husband!
• Ipod/Ipod dock– Have it loaded with songs that will help you focus, soothe you, encourage you, or motivate you!
• Pillows/favorite blanket
• Whirlpool tub Request a room with one!! Provides relief from contractions and back labor, especially if you are  at the hospital a while!
• Electric candles I never used these, but I know some people who found dim lighting and candlelight really relaxing.
• Washcloths For cooling off.


You do not have to wear the frumpy gown if you don’t want to! In most cases, you won’t wear anything at all! But lets be prepared anyway?

• Front Zip sports bra– For girls who don’t want to be topless during labor, but also want the immediate skin-to-skin with baby. Who wants to deal with taking off a sports bra 3 seconds after pushing a human out of you?
• Lightweight robe
• Loose cotton skirtYou can even push in this if you want!
• Sweatpants/shorts
• Stretchy t-shirt
• Socks (with rubber bottoms) /Comfortable shoes for walking


Word of caution: You are not supposed to eat or drink anything once you get to the hospital. My friend who is a doctor informed me of the potential risks eating/drinking can cause if you have to have an emergency c-section. I had a vaginal birth and no complications, praise God, but just keep his warning in mind if you choose to snack during labor. General rule of thumb is: fuel up and hydrate yourself before you leave home! That’s why I suggest waiting as long as you can before going to the hospital! These suggestions can also be nice for after birth if you need to re-energize!

• Ice chips– Ask for lots of these at the hospital!
• Honey sticks– Great source of energy!
Hershey kisses– Popping these during contractions really helped me. Maybe the pain vs. pleasure complex?
• Water/Gatorade/Coconut Water


• Chapstick
• Gum– Mostly for the husband who is talking next to your face while you are trying to push. Smelly breath is really distracting and may lead to swear words.
• Hair ties/headbands/clip
• Bible/scripture on notecards

Happy laboring, everyone!

A friend for Jack & a listening, sovereign God.

Jackson has something to say!!

We’re pregnant with baby #2!!

So let me start from the beginning…

When Kevin and I started discussing family plans, we decided to make a decision once my cycle started back up again from nursing. My supply went down when Jackson was 4 months, and then unfortunately was empty at 8. All that time I waited and waited for my period. It never came. (Awesome, right?!) Kevin wanted another baby ASAP, I at least wanted Jack to be walking. But before we even had the chance to compromise, God decided for us! I found out I was pregnant in May!

I was surprised and apprehensive at first… (how was I going to do this with a nearly 9-month-old!?) but then my apprehension turned into joy! I couldn’t wait to meet this baby and I imagined all the fun Jackson would have growing up with a sibling only 16 months behind him! We had an ultrasound to see when my due date would be and discovered that on January 21st, 2014 that tiny little blob with a beating heart would enter our world!

Having had a miscarriage in 2011, we were slow to tell people, even family. Because of that sensitivity, we wanted to wait til my first OB appointment at 11 weeks. But I couldn’t very easily fool my friends by sneaking Sprite into my champagne glass at Steph’s wedding or by ordering a coke and vodka (hold the vodka) at the bachelorette party. I eventually caved and told some close friends who committed to praying for us.

Thankfully they were, because at 9 weeks I started having some bleeding. It was heavy and red at first, and I knew I was having a miscarriage. All the signs were there. I laid down and cried, asking friends to pray, and praying to God that he would stop the bleeding. I knew that prayer and God’s sovereignty were somehow intermingled, but I had never personally experienced  God changing his direction of an event in response to my prayer. But I prayed anyway. I knew God was powerful enough to stop me from having a miscarriage. Hours later, the bleeding stopped. Did God have mercy on me? Did he respond to my prayers?

I continued having light spotting, nothing that my doctor was worried about, but enough to keep me praying….

And then yesterday at 11 weeks, we went to the doctor. She put the monitor on me and immediately we heard a fast, beautiful heartbeat. It was such a sweet sound. All I can do is praise the God who saves. He saved our baby from death thus far, and he answered my prayer. I don’t know what his initial plan was, if it was miscarriage or not, but I do know that God loves me and he chose to give us a great gift! I am so excited.

And so is Jackson!

Healthy Banana Bread Muffins- Great snack to bake for the new mom!

photo-29My friend Darlene brought me these muffins when I got home from the hospital with Jackson! She apologized for the “healthiness” but when I took a bite of one of these muffins I was in love! I must warn you, this is not your typical “cupcakey” muffin full of sugar and butter (believe me, the postpartum mom does not need butter and sugar!) I got the recipe and I have continued to bake them for myself.

These are great for the breastfeeding mom especially because they are full of “good stuff” for baby, and no doubt help with milk supply. When you are up multiple times of the night with a newborn, you are hungry and tired–I always wanted a snack and these were great to have on hand! So serve your new mom (or yourself!) and whip these up for a snack!


1 cup Bananas, Mashed (for 1 Cup You’ll Need About 2 Bananas)
¼ cups Sugar
3 Tablespoons Oil
1  Egg Beaten
¼ cups Plain Applesauce
1 teaspoon Vanilla
½ teaspoons Baking Soda
½ cups All-purpose Flour
½ cups Whole Wheat Flour
¼ cups Oats (Quick Or Old-fashioned)
1/4 cups ground flax seed (optional–I add them for fiber!)
½ teaspoons Salt
¼ teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice (Or Substitute A Pinch Each Of     Nutmeg, Ginger & Allspice)
½ teaspoons Cinnamon
**Can add 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts or chocolate chips

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F. If you are using them, spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until they are starting to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Spray a 12-count muffin tin (recipe makes roughly 10) with cooking oil spray, or if you’re using paper liners put them into the pan and spray those.

In a large bowl mash bananas with a fork, then mix in sugar, oil, beaten egg, applesauce and vanilla. This can be done with a hand mixer if you have one, but I usually just end up using a big fork.

Combine dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl: baking soda, flours, oats, salt and spices. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in several batches, stirring to combine after each addition. This is where using a fork definitely works best. If you’re adding walnuts, gently fold in about 3/4 of the walnuts, saving the rest to top the muffins with.

Divide batter evenly between the muffin cups. It should make about 9-10 depending on how big you want your muffins. Sprinkle walnuts on top of muffins if desired.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow them to cool.

Should keep in an airtight container for at least a week.

Since these are more or less “low fat”, they tend to stick to paper liners. Before eating, I reheated them for about 10 seconds in the microwave, which made them perfectly moist and helped the paper liner not stick too much when I pulled it off.