Tuesday, May 28, 2013

teach me a wheel

This morning Jack told me how much he wanted to do a wheel.  It took me a minute to realize he meant cartwheel. 

And with everything on my to-do list today, I told him the first thing after breakfast I'm teaching him how to do a cartwheel. 

He told me how he doubted that... doubted himself (what? he's four!) and I told him he was the perfect age to learn a cartwheel.  We had a pep talk and he's super excited. 

Off I go to teach him a "wheel." 

Monday, May 27, 2013

happiness is only real when shared

We're going on a road trip soon.

We'll end at the ocean and we'll celebrate a dear friend's wedding in the sand.

We're packing light and renting an economy car to make the trip.

Today my Mom and Dad had a Memorial Day cookout with all our of family.  And before I left our house I boxed up a bunch of my plants for my Dad to care for while we're gone.  I also brought some plants I grew from seeds for my parents and grandparents.

(I'm really starting to sound like a hippy.)

My Grandma told me she had a small gift for me, and I told her I had one for her too.

She gave me a card from her and my grandpa with a bit of money for our trip.

Then she told me a story about when she was my age with her babies and how they were out of cash and ATM's weren't around... how they wanted to take a boat ride but all they had were checks.  Then she just happened to find a five dollar bill in her wallet... and they got to go on their boat ride.  She said, "You should always have a little cash on you."

I gave her the "tickle me" plant I grew from seeds.  She loved it, said she'd never seen anything like it.  I told her every grandparent should have one.

Later when I was unpacking our things... and I re-opened the card to re-read it again (I always rush reading a card in front of someone, it's a bad habit) I finally noticed the total she gave me.  It was much more than I had thought or ever expected.  I called her and said, "Grandma, holy crap... that was very kind and generous."  She laughed and said, "I didn't think you noticed how much was there."  I thanked her again and promised an awesome post card (sounds lame, but I have an iphone app where you can take a photo and send it as a post card).

I'm excited for our trip.  I'm excited that others are excited for us.  It will be full of memories... and I hope the typical road-tripping excitement.

I can't wait to smell the ocean again.

Smell is the strongest sense tied to memory.  I remember landing in New Orleans and opening the airplane doors and I could just smell the ocean.  The air was so different.  I always took a deep breath in Louisiana.

Photo Source

Thursday, May 23, 2013

because I don't want to forget...

This video means so much to me.
I don't want to forget it, so I'm posting it here.
We have to strive to be happy.  Always.


Do you have questions for God?  

I read some enlightening words today, that with answers there is no more dialogue.  Questions are what keep us connected.   

There are books and more books sitting on shelves all across the world, some with promises of answers but they're not- they're full of questions too.  They will not hold your answers.

God will not reveal all the answers to you either, they won't come until you meet.  

And as strange as it is, the question I want to know the most... is how many kisses I've given Jack and Jude.  I have others, but that is my main one that I'm curious to know.

My list will grow with my age I'm sure.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

the drive home

I think there are moments in your life like a movie... where you find something out, something happens or you've been let down and all you can think about is stopping at the corner bar because feeling numb and drunk sounds like a great short-term solution. 

That was me yesterday.  

And I would have stopped if my family had more than one vehicle, if I didn't have Joel and the kids at home waiting, and if I didn't have to call someone to pick my drunk ass up. 

This is just an honest post, because I think every blog is due for one every now and then.  

I thought long and hard about sitting on a bar stool alone throwing back a few shots of hard liquor.  I don't really drink and  I would have been drunk in less than an hour. 

The thought was appealing.  

Being told for a second time you probably have diabetes isn't something that a lot of people think is traumatizing, but it's a hard pill to swallow and I wanted something monumental to wash it down with.

And if you're not familiar with diabetes... here's just one fact: Type 2 diabetes is typically a chronic disease associated with a ten-year-shorter life expectancy.

Maybe I could get drunk, call someone to pick me up and start a new life tomorrow.  How epic and memorable would that be?  My final goodbye to this life.  

Because diabetes if done right, is a life altering disease. 

It's a constant struggle as food is even a love language that my Dad longed to shower me with when I had gestational diabetes.  It was hard to reject, without him feeling rejected.  

Just this past week he brought me some caramel apple suckers that I love from my childhood candy store, Carmazzi's. 

People say, "Oh you can still eat in moderation."  If you do it right, if you're living with type 2 and you're honest to God controlling it by diet alone, you won't go there... you won't temp yourself.  You won't risk it. 

So well before 5 PM after my doctor's appointment, I drove past Little Nashville and Bracken's Pub... both with doors open and lights on.  I drove with the windows down, music loud and I took back country roads home and I cried slow tears behind my sunglasses. 

I got home and thought about going out into the woods to have some time alone, but I heard little footsteps and I went inside and hugged my kids and started my research and then took a good two hour walk with them because that's what I did while I was pregnant everyday with gestational diabetes.

Then I promised myself a new tomorrow, and a new life.  

Friday, May 17, 2013

cluttered thoughts and an update

How can a mind feel cluttered?  I feel like it's got boxes here, trash on the floor and there's no where to sit.  I want to throw things and sets fires to make some open, clear space.

I really need to start meditating.

Why can't I put two words, two paragraphs, two pages together and have them be seamless in thought?

Today I had an appointment with my new dermatologist.  I had a scary mole looked at... I was told not to fret, and then we discussed a few other skin issues I was having.

The words slowly turned into... "that looks like a result of diabetes."

(This is where you would hear the screeching noise as the music is shut off.)


How many times did I play the paranoid patient pushing for tests to clarify that I do not still have diabetes after having gestational diabetes with Jude?

How many times did a previous dermatologist and two other physicians look at what she looked at today and not given me answers.  How many years have I had this?

I have had this redish rash on my legs, and it's come and gone for the last couple years.  No one knew what it was.  One said it was a side effect of medications, another said it was a heat rash... the list goes on.  She even said if it's not caused my diabetes they can take a sample and find out for sure (why the hell hasn't anyone else done this?)

I honestly think I've had diabetes for years.

At my last doctor's appointment I was told I was spilling protein in my urine.  They didn't have any answers why.  And now I think I do.

I'm angry for falling through the cracks, I'm angry at myself for not pushing harder... but mostly I'm thankful for my new knowledgeable dermatologist.  I just want answers.  She ordered all the labs a dermatologist shouldn't have to order.

I put myself back on a diabetic diet today and started walking again.

I know it's all about perspective, and I'm changing.  I did it once, twice... and third time's a charm they say.  I can do this.  I can be that girl who lives with diabetes and does it by diet and exercise alone.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Dear Mom

To my Mother on Mother's Day, May 12, 2013
Dear Mom,

Being a Mother is hard.  It’s one of the hardest jobs in the world.  The one that comes with lots of guilt, sleepless nights… first due to newborn cries, later due to worry and fear.  Fear that we’re not doing this right.  Do we hover?  Not hover enough?  Do we discipline too harshly or not enough?  Did we show enough love and attention so that our children know how truly loved they are?  Did we provide enough direction, or did we push too hard?  Are the expectations we place upon ourselves and our children realistic?  Did we say the right thing, do the right thing?  We dissect the past, present and future.  We sell ourselves lies and we know how to beat ourselves up.  If only… If only we could find the right parenting books, the right tools, the wisdom and knowledge… but by the time you do- your children are practically grown.  Being a Mother is a life-altering, 24/7 job… one that we ask for nothing really in return.  Being a Mother is reserved for the strong.  Being a Mother comes with joys but it comes with pain too.

Thank you for having me.  For loving me, feeding me, sheltering, changing, clothing and supporting me.  Thank you for trying your best (which is all we can do).  Thank you for being my Mother.

I will always love you, 
My Mother rocking Jude to sleep.  Spring 2013

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


new blog

I'm putting to rest "I am still learning"... and I've taken the new name that I feel suits me better,
 "The more I see the less I know."

^is where you can find me now.

While dancing and singing with my boys and nephew, it just hit me... that's me.
I am still learning still applies, but I feel like this title is more me.

And the song holds so many memories, one in particular... burnt eggs.

So please excuse the mess while I slowly fix broken links and rearrange some stuff.

Here's the inspiration for the change.
Click "play" and shake your tail feather (as Jack would say).

Monday, May 6, 2013

Meal Planning Monday

“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, 
but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”
― Thomas Edison

I use to be a pro meal planner, and a firm believer in the saying, "fail to plan, plan to fail."

We've been really busy lately and our diet has been put on the back-burner.  And with it being the last thing we think about, we've been eating more fast food than I'd like to admit.  I can feel it with the loss of energy and all the other factors that come from eating junk.  Plus it's a money pit.  If you can afford to eat out, you can afford to eat healthy and organic.

Once upon a time I only ate out once every two weeks (if that) and I was terrified.  We have slowly slipped into this really unhealthy eating habit made from disorganization and a lack of planning.

So, back to planning because we cannot afford to slow down, and we cannot afford to be unhealthy.  We want a life full of quality, not quantity.

Monday meal planning will begin with me planning out the meals for the week and then a big shopping trip.  I'm hoping this becomes my new regular Monday post.

Here's our meal plan for this week:

I've always been a big breakfast person.  I always make a hot meal, and I'd like to keep it that way.  Lots of steamed veggies- red onion, green bell peppers, mushrooms and egg whites with a piece of whole wheat toast, a little fruit and a cup of coffee.

To make this easier, I'm going to wash and pre-slice all the veggies for the week and place them in the freezer in individual baggies to stay fresh.  The only thing I'll have to grab is a pan, my eggs and toast.  Washing and slicing every morning is tiresome.  I'll also combine the fruit in a bowl for convenience and for lunches.

Simplicity is key.  Something I can grab from the refrigerator, but yet healthy.  I plan to make healthy tuna salad (Jack calls these power ranger sandwiches) for sandwiches that will be good for a few days and also grill a few chicken breasts for a grilled chicken salad.  I think the sandwich/ salad combo will be a healthy start for this week.

Healthy Tuna Salad Recipe

12 oz canned chunk white tuna in water, drained
1/3 cup(s) (sliced) uncooked vidalia onion(s), finely minced
1/3 cup(s) uncooked celery, finely minced
1/3 cup(s) reduced-calorie mayonnaise

Place tuna in a mixing bowl and flake with a fork until very fine. Add onions, celery and mayonnaise; mix well. Yields a scant 1/2 cup of tuna salad per serving.

Serves: 4

Grilled Chicken
I normally just pick an acid like red wine vinegar, a bit of extra virgin olive oil and a few dashes of spices (like Mrs. Dash salt-free chicken, ground garlic powder, ground onion powder) let marinate in a bag for awhile (and I also make a few cuts in the meat to allow the juices and spices in) and then grill on my George Foreman.

I would really like to make home cooked meals every night, but with Jack's tee-ball games being exactly at 6PM twice a week, I really need some slow cooker or make-ahead meals.  I also want to try new things.  So once a week I'll throw in a new recipe.

*And for those of you new to cooking, always... I repeat, always read the reviews from those who have tried the recipe.  Sometimes they can give you a lot of insight, tips and also let you know if it's a completely horrible recipe (in their opinion).

Here's the dinner meal plan for this week:

  • Tuesday: Raw spring rolls with almond "crack" sauce
  • Wednesday: Make ahead Chicken/Bean Mexican Burritos (recipe to come, a family favorite)
  • Thursday: Stir Fry- veggies, chicken and brown rice.  (Probably one of the easiest, healthiest meals you can make.)
  • Friday: BBQ Chicken breasts, grilled asparagus and brown rice
  • Saturday: Meal planned on what we find at the farmer's market (I will make it there this week!)
  • Sunday: Chicken Breast With Shaved Brussels Sprouts-  I'm totally taking a chance with this one, I've never... yep, never made brussels sprouts.  I guess there is a first for everything!  I'll probably make another side since the calorie count is so low for my boys.  Probably strawberries for dessert. 
I think snacks are pretty important especially with kids in the house.  I always have fresh fruit available in a fruit bowl that Jack can help himself to (but has to ask first).  We also offer low-fat cheese sticks, raisins, and a variety of nuts (usually cashews). 

We're a big milk or water family.  A lot of people bring their own drinks to our house when visiting because we don't offer juice or pop.  I'd like to drink more tea though when I'm feeling a bit frazzled.  Something about holding a hot cup of tea and slow sips help me relax.  Think I'll browse for a few new brands and flavors today. 

It's currently non-existent.  ::sigh::  I'm signing up for a 5k August 17th for Be the Match.  It seems appropriate after I joined the registry last year and will motivate me to get up off the couch.  

I have told a few people eating right and staying in shape while pregnant with Jude was easy.  There just wasn't another choice,  I had gestational diabetes, and I had to eat right for both of us.  And now that I'm not pregnant, just knowing I'm on the match registry, sometimes I wonder if I'll get a call and I won't be healthy enough to save a life.  I can't fathom that.  I just can't.  It's my new motivation.

Here's to changing before you have to.  Here's to saving a life, even if it's just my own. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

family garage sale & kind words

Today was a new day.  

A new me.  

More intentional, more mindful. 

We had a family garage sale with my sister and mother in our neighboring town, so the day began with us loading up the truck and getting the kids ready to go. 

The entire day I made sure to only use kind words and praises when I spoke to Joel. 

Our day was amazing.  It was the most stress-free garage sale I've ever had (and worst when it came to sales). 

Joel actually wanted to stay too (I thought he'd totally bail with the kids).  And when I told him I had a migraine coming on, he did his signature Indian ritual where he puts his hand where it hurts and then sings his Indian song.  I laughed and let him, he even sang in front of my mother and sister. (He does this with Jack and any child that he sees crying.  It usually makes them forget the pain, and sometimes even laugh.) 

I love him. 

We were both a team today, both building each other up.  And when I gave out a few compliments later in the day to Joel, I could tell I was getting to him as he tried not to smile, and looked ahead at the road and told me to stop it. 

It made me feel good to make him feel good. 

Words are so powerful.  They can destroy and wash away a hundred hugs and kisses, or they can build a relationship up and set the tone and bar for kindness and respect.

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” 
― Leo Tolstoy

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

control freak & feeling like shit

I'm a control freak.

And lately, with it being May... things in the photography department have been kicked up a notch, less sleep, more work, less free time, more depending on each other.

And as the busyness of our lives has started to take control, I've been more controlling... and more freaky.

Today Joel said he wanted to say something honest to me.

I stopped and listened.

He said that his intention was not to make me, "feel like shit"... then explained how sometimes the way I speak to him- makes him feel like shit.

And I totally felt like shit as I went over all the things I had just said aloud to him that were not kind.

Things I said to kick him into gear... take it up a notch, when in reality I was tearing him down.

And if I'm really being honest with myself.... after our talk, I apologized and slipped away to google "verbal abuse."

I fall into that category.

Verbal abuse includes withholding, bullying, defaming, defining, trivializing, harassing, diverting, interrogating, accusing, blaming, blocking, countering, lying, berating, taunting, put downs, abuse disguised as a joke, discounting, threatening, name-calling, yelling and raging. 

More feeling shitty.

As the day continued, there was lots of internal dialogue, quietness and apologies.

I read so many parenting books talking about how not to label your children and how to speak to them and somehow, somewhere, along the way- I fell off the wagon when it came to my own spouse.

I'd like to think there was a time I wasn't always like this.

And I did make it through the day with only positive and kind words when I spoke to him.  I was more intentional and more thoughtful when I opened my mouth.

I still feel shitty.

At dinner, I promised him I was going to change.

And as the day unfolded, I remembered a conversation I had with my friend, a few months back... she mentioned how we're the most unkind to the people we love the most and why is that?  We say the most hurtful things and do the most grotesque things (like farting) but never in front of a stranger.  Why do we hold ourselves to such standards for a stranger... for someone we don't know well, but not for family?  It's a bit perplexing, isn't it?

"There are two things over which you have complete dominion, authority and control 
your mind and your mouth."
 -African Proverb

I encourage anyone reading this to examine the relationships in your life with the people closest to you. I could easily say this is just who I am... that I lived and breathed physical and verbal abuse, but I know better.  There comes a point in your life where you have stand up and take responsibility for yourself and change, really change and stop the cycle.  There is no excuse.

I am very embarrassed, and still very shocked.  But I wanted to share, in hopes that someone else might read this and realize they are in my shoes, or my husband's.
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