Thursday, October 30, 2014

Dear Husband, Please Help Me Remember...

I am not a superhero.
I do not have super powers, and I shouldn't expect that I do.
I am human.
I have been given the great honor of being able to conceive and carry healthy children to term, and the gratitude I feel for that blessing is indescribable.
But I am not a superhero.
To my dear husband, please help me remember that.

Our fourth baby is three days old today. And life sets in.

I am madly, madly in love - more than I even thought I could be - with this baby, who came at time we did not expect, and who somehow just grew my heart and our home... this baby who only just became part of our family in the flesh, but who none of us could now imagine our life without.

But today is day three.
That dreaded day three.
And I need some help.

You see, I don't remember.
I don't remember how I felt after giving birth to our first few children.
I don't remember if my back hurt or how long it took me to recover.

I only know that today I looked at my sleeping baby, in awe and madly in love... and then looked at my unmade bed, and the dishes in the sink, and the belly that still looks pregnant, and wondered how I've let myself go.

I've done this child bearing thing three times already. I've birthed and brought home three babies in the last ten years. I should have this thing down, right? I should be able to bring home the baby, take a shower, cook dinner, wash the dishes, clean up the house, straighten the rooms, put on makeup, finish the laundry, nurse the baby, help with homework...

I should be able to do those things by now. This is the fourth baby. Baby number three, now, that one was hard. But four? Should be a breeze. Should be able to heal up quick (especially after that ridiiiculously perfect labor and delivery - like, book perfect. I'm still basking in "I am not worthy, Lord" over that delivery. Story another time...), put on some music, and put a skip in my step as I go about the life that we had just a few days ago, in the body I had nine months ago...

I did lots of those things these last three days. I put up laundry, unpacked a little, washed some dishes. Then, day three hit, and it's all over.

I am not a superhero, and I need you, my dear husband, over the next couple weeks especially, to please be kind and to help me remember.

Dear Husband, Please help me remember, 

I am not 21. 
My body is not going to bounce back like I am 21.
My back will take more time to heal after a pregnancy that strained it.
My abs have been stretched a number of times, and it is going to take some time - months, even, for my muscles to heal. Even then, they will not go back to normal. It will take time. Then, more time and exercise, for my stomach to do something I like.
You think I'm sexy, anyway. 

I am not dying.
My insides hurt because they're a jumbled mess. I'm having shortness of breath because my lungs are rearranging themselves after a baby pushed against them for the last couple months. My stomach is in knots because it is literally in knots. My entire organ structure, three days ago, was scrunched toward by back and around a tiny little person in a sack of water... and it will take a little time for that jumbled mess to return to normal. And it will probably feel like my insides are jumbled for a while. Because they are.
You'll be patient as I whine, and, if something really is wrong, you will make me talk to the doctor. (But please remind me... I feel so weird because my insides are weird, but they won't be weird forever.) 

I am not measured by my house. 
I have a three day old baby. I should hold him, and kiss him, and lay with him. And the dishes in the sink mean nothing. The laundry in the dryer can wait. The beds don't HAVE to be made every day. No one is looking at my house when they come to see the baby. They're here to see the baby. If they have a hard time looking at a floor that needs mopping and dishes that need washing, they will mop the floor and wash the dishes.
You will help me if and when you can, but in the meantime, you don't want me to worry. Because the house is trivial as this new baby joins our home. 

I MUST lay down.
That whole "organs rearranging" thing is real, and if I'm walking, bending, standing, or even sitting all day, they will have a much harder time returning to their homes. Plus, sleep is kind of important. As the little guy is learning that we generally sleep at nighttime, it is important that I get naps in during the day with him. Nobody will be happy if I can't wake up to feed this baby at night, because I'm too exhausted from days of no sleep.
You like that I have organs that work, and a baby that is alive and fed, and you'd like for me to keep them that way. 

It is okay to say yes. And no. 
Yes, company is welcome. No, please stay away. Yes, I can do that. No, we can't go there.
These days it is totally up to me who I want to see, and when. And there is nothing rude or inhospitable about it. It is up to my better judgment what I can do, where we can go, and what we're capable of at this point. I am accountable only to myself, you, and our children. Because we just just added a family member.
You've got my back, no matter who is offended, or what we have to miss. 

It's okay that I forgot things.
How bad breastfeeding hurts at first. How much back pain comes with pushing a baby out down there. How adrenaline wears off and days three and four can be really, really hard. How terrifying it is to go to the bathroom that first time after leaving the hospital. How bad the cramps are those first few days. How sweet a newborn's cry is, until it's four a.m. and I still haven't slept. How amazing every little wrinkle and fingernail and coo is. How much the heart expands to love a new baby, and how I will want to spend hours on end holding and loving and staring at this precious little creature.
You forgot things, too. 

Carbs are okay. But be easy. 
Yes, I can enjoy. Don't be surprised when I eat all those Ghiradelli squares you bought me in the hospital, and all the chips in the goody bag, and those cookies that the neighbor brought. But I'm not 21, and this is not a free-for-all. Nursing makes me carb-crazy, but being overweight and feeling yucky from sugar highs makes me crazier. You love me enough to endure the wrath you will receive when you ask if I ate ALL the dark chocolate. Receive it gracefully, and allow me a couple weeks of free time to eat and binge on whatever. Then start hiding and throwing away all the things.
You'll kindly pick up the Three Musketeers candy wrapper and throw it in the trash for me. But you'll also pry said Three Musketeers from my hand when I've fallen asleep into a card-induced coma, put it in the trash, and hide the rest of the candy and cookies. 

You love me. 
Tell me more than usual. Kiss my forehead. Lead me to bed with the baby, and tell me to rest and that you've got the other kids under control.
Run a hot shower for me, and hold the baby even if he screams the whole time I'm in there.
Rub my shoulders, and my belly if I'll let you (because, really, it feels a little like I'm dying, and effleurage is good).
Tell me I look great, and rub lotion on my aching back.
Use kind and gentle words, and remember to tell me you love me.
Because you are my partner in this life, and because you do. 

Just remind me of these things. Because I shouldn't think I should have it all together. I shouldn't be worried about getting back to life as we know it, right away. Remind me that all change takes time and adjustment, and this is NOT life as we knew it!

This is life as six, instead of five. Life of three boys and three girls. Life in a family with four children, not three. And, no matter how bad I ache, or how long it takes to get back into my jeans, or how many loads of laundry pile up, this life is beautiful.

Dear Husband, Please remind me that we're blessed. 
Every single day.
Because we are. We really, really are.

<3




Tuesday, October 21, 2014

And Time Flies!

Five months has flown since my last post.
Five months. 
And what a five months it has been! 

  • June: 
    • My and Jeff's TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY! (June 5)
    • A move away from Farwell (which was ultra bittersweet, and still is - and which took place directly around our TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY. So, that was a bum celebration. You can understand if you've ever moved that it is less than an anniversary date...)
    • June: A move into our friends', the Burch Family, house, into a bedroom, for almost two months (it was smooth and we had a good time. They're incredible hosts, and we were beyond blessed that they were willing to give us a room for our big family in our transition!)
  • July: 
    • A super fun birthday party for Annie, who turned TEN YEARS OLD on August 1! (Party was a pool party at Ransom Canyon. She and Mary shared the celebration and there was a great turn out! So many friends were there!)
  • August: 
    • Our little girl turned TEN! She continues to delight and surprise and challenge us. She is the most incredible big sister, always willing to lend a hand, a MASTER at redirection with her siblings, and going to be my right-hand-girl when this baby is born!
    • A move OUT of the Burch home and storage facility and IN to our new little adobe abode
    • A move OUT of our little adobe abode, for a couple days while carpet was replaced in the house, and then back IN to our adobe abode
    • School started back! With a new principal, and a new Pre-K teacher and Aide (Mrs. Karly Warsing and Yours Truly), Aidan and Adeline started their "go" at St. Joseph School, and Annie entered FIFTH GRADE back with her old friends and classmates.
    • Jeff started school at Texas Tech! He entered the Mechanical Engineering program, and I could dote all day on what an incredible man he is. He has a full house (about to get fuller!), a full time job, a full school load, and still mows my parents lawn, and helps people move, and plays with his kids, and takes us to Mass on Sunday mornings, and does homework until midnight just to get up for work at 5 a.m. the next day. I am in awe of him, and I'd better stop now, before my gushing turns this supposed-to-be-a-glimpse post into a novel of sorts...
  • September: 
    • Settling in, I was teacher's aide for full and half-days throughout the month, but nothing much to report here. Time just... flies. 
  • October: 
    • Here we are! I've played guitar and led music at School Mass the last three Fridays, while my parents have been out of town (from Deacon Formation to New Jersey "Jersey Boys" trip, to Michigan!). 
    • Started a Women of Virtue study, where we will meet weekly to discuss the Ten Virtues of Mary. Started last night with Lively Faith, and I'm encouraged to try to mold each virtue more into myself, into my core! 
    • And, perhaps more important than anything else... KELLY BABY NUMBER FOUR IS ALMOST HERE! I'm DUE in FOUR days. If I don't have him naturally, the doctor has set next Wednesday as his date for induction. Basically, if Baby Boy doesn't make a natural appearance, he will share a birthday with his daddy, and his uncle (daddy's twin), and his Aunt Melanie, and his Godsister, Georgia Kate... I think I'm even missing someone. Going to be a BIG DAY for a birthday! 
And, time flies. Five months here and gone. Lots of joy and tears and frustrations and peace, a powerful confession, a garage sale, loads of laundry... and the world spins madly on! 

I'm on a self-inflicted Facebook hiatus, which is probably what spurred this re-entry into my blog... which has been intended for quite some time! 

And now, my mind is racing with the few things I have left to do to prepare to meet this little guy (who has yet to be named - Arthur? Clark? August? Finn? Who knows!). So, I end abruptly and get on with this day! <3

J


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Babies, Babies, EVERYWHERE!

On Thursday we will go for our first ultrasound this pregnancy. It will be the first glimpse at our child, the first view of a tiny heartbeat, tiny head and hands and toes. I pray that Littlest Kelly cooperates and gives us a good view of that little face, but mostly I pray that development is on-point and progress is healthy, and that if we have any surprises (disability, or, Lordhavemercy, multiple babies), we are strong in faith. 

This is our fourth Kelly kid. Four babies running around this house. 1. What are we going to do?! and 2. What were we THINKING?!

I've seen some really funny posts (and really sad ones, too) regarding comments people get about having any number of children. This is the most recent:
Image
It's kind of hilarious but sadly, true. This was my lighthearted response:

"Hahaha this is awesome! 


Let's see... I'm pregnant with #4 (which I really don't even think is that big of a number. It's actually normal, I think), and I get:


"Oh, you must be Catholic," (because clearly only Catholic people like having kids. Wait, what? And EVERY Catholic has more than 2 kids, and every non-Catholic has less than 4. Right?) 

"You know what causes that, right?" (Because it's totally appropriate to point out that me and my husband have sex in the privacy of our home. Perhaps they would also like to know our positions and attire? This could get interesting...), 

and "Dang! You trying to catch up with your brother?!" (Because my brother's wife is pregnant with #7). 

Um, yes I'm Catholic, but that's not why I'm pregnant. My husband and I have awesome kids, and still have the passion in our relationship that we did when we were 21. That is why I am pregnant. 

Oh, and no, I will never "catch up with my brother," you idiots. Child-bearing is the single most amazing, incredible, and beautiful miracle on earth... not a game of tag. 

Oh, one more thing... please don't ask me "are you done after this one?" Um, I haven't even met this kid yet, and what the heck does that even mean... are you done? Like kids are cookies? 

K. Done. :)"



I have been thinking more and more about this topic over the last week, and why it is that Catholics really do seem to have more children (at least in my surroundings - which might be abnormal but I don't think so). 

A couple pretty obvious answers come to mind, but that we don't "believe" in birth control is probably the most common. 

But the truth is, our convictions go much further than that. (Mind you, I realize that this is not an ONLY Catholic thing. And I have no research to back up any of this. So I'm formulating things the best I can. Bear with me.)

As my 2 year-old daughter scrolls through my phone's photo gallery, finding videos of herself to watch in vanity, and my 4 year-old son runs around with a Superman costume and cape on, swinging a foam bat to hit baby dolls across the room, and the computer is propped on my lap, with my ever-expanding belly growing with life, I smile. And I ponder... 

Why do many Catholics (and other God-fearing people - insert Duggars here) have so many kids?

Mind you, we did not "want" more children. We were very happy with our little brood, and our family felt totally complete. Of course, it also felt complete after Annie. And Aidan. Funny how it feels MORE complete with each child. 

But for the most part, we assumed we were not going to have more children, we did not particularly want more children, and after a difficult pregnancy with Adeline, I certainly did not want to carry another child in this body. So, to put it as delicately as I can, we were "careful" in timing and activity. 

Nevertheless, I became pregnant. Because my husband and I can't keep our hands off each other. (Praise God for that, right? How boring would marriage be if we could?)

Obviously, we do not use birth control in the form of condoms or medication. Now, this is very imporatant, so pay attention. We do not oppose birth control because we are Catholic, though it is against Church teaching. 

We don't use birth control because we are in a committed and trusting marriage. We have so many kids because of three key trust-centered relationships. 


#1 - We trust God. 

We cannot, I mean, CAN NOT trust God fully if we trust Him in all areas of our life EXCEPT the most obvious... GIVING life. We cannot say "I put all my trust in you, my God... except for how many kids you have planned for us. We're going to go ahead and take that, that HUGE part of our lives, and just trust our own plans on that one. Sorry 'bout ya."

"Lord, I trust you to provide for my current family. I trust you to provide health, peace, stability... but ONLY for us and our two point five, no more." Does this even make sense? 

We cannot fully rely on God if we don't trust Him when it comes to childbearing. Period. 

#2 - We trust each other. 

My husband and I trust each other. We trust each other enough to know that, no matter how many children come into our home, we will make it work. We trust that we will be strong for each other, be selfless in our tasks, be hardworking and diligent, and do the best we can for each other and our children.

We trust each other enough to know that if I need a "break" or he needs a "break", we will do what we can to make that happen. 

We trust each other enough to know that house and car and clothes and TVs don't matter in our relationship, and that if we have to be dirt poor to raise our children in a healthy and loving, stable home, we will not hold our conditions - what we have (debt) or don't have (home ownership) - against each other. 

We trust each other enough to know that we will both work. Hard. To raise our family. At this point, I make the home and he pays the bills. That may soon change when he goes back to finish college this fall (yes, it IS possible to return to college, even with four children). But we trust that we will do everything we can to make it work.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, we trust that as many fights as we have, as hard as it gets here and there, and even that we will want to call it quits at times, we will ALWAYS be married. We CHOOSE to live a life where our children will never have to choose between us. We CHOOSE to make our marriage work. We CHOOSE 'til death do us part. We CHOOSE love, even when it doesn't "feel good." And we trust those choices, no matter what. (And y'all... we have been through some doozies. If anyone had "reason" to divorce, time and time again... I mean, for real.)

We trust that we are in this life together. Period. 

#3 - We trust ourselves. 

I trust that I am strong enough to carry this baby this pregnancy, even though my body may not believe me at times. I trust that I can control my emotions, my attitude, my patience, and my spare time. I fail at those things. A lot. But I trust that even when I fail, I am bright enough and invested enough and love my children and husband enough to bring myself back to, um, "normal."

I trust that I will always forgive myself and my husband. I trust that I will always be true to myself and my husband. I trust that I will be the best wife and mother I can. Even though the best I can be really sucks sometimes.

My husband trusts himself. He works more hours than any man I know. And we live comfortably for it. He trusts himself - that he will do anything he has to - work any odd jobs he has to - go to work four a.m. until two a.m., then go back at seven a.m., if he has to, to take care of our family. Those times, though rare, are very hard on all of us. 

He also trusts that he will always be true to me, and to forgive himself and me. 

He trusts himself, and I trust myself, and we make it work. The children have a father that comes home to play catch and jump on the trampoline with them. They have a mother that cooks every meal and encourages and nurtures them.

I trust me. He trusts him. And when I start to fail in trusting myself, my husband reminds me that I should. And when he starts doubting himself, I build him up. Because we are both worth trusting our own strength. 


And that's it. And all that TRUST allows us to have great HOPE for our future, and for the future of our children, and our children's children, and theirs to come. 

Image


It's pretty simple, really. Trust God. Trust each other. Trust yourselves. That's what it comes down to. 

We are lower middle-class social-wise, but when it comes to family life, I'd say we are upper-high-class. 

Our children are modest and have excellent etiquette (most of the time). They are very well-behaved, have very pleasant personalities, are polite, and very bright. They are also silly and outrageous. They are creative and can keep themselves occupied for hours on end with zero electronics. No, we do not have an iPad. Or a DVD player in our car. I don't even have a single game on my phone. And yet, we travel, for three, four, six hours, semi-regularly, with little to no incident. 

They are not perfect. And neither are we. In fact, we're all far from it. But we are one beautiful family. And we intend on allowing any more children that God intends for this house - into it, whether through birth or adoption. Why would we not? We think our children are God's gift to the world! (Not in a gross, pompous "my kids are better than your kids" way. In a - "no, really, children are God's gift to the world, and each has his place" way.)



No, we are not crazy (though if you stop by on a random weekday, it might seem like it). In fact, I'd say we are the sane ones. I know couples who are happy with no children, though they desperately want to be parents and have not yet been given the opportunity. I know parents who are fulfilled and grateful with one child or two, but who desperately want more. I know people who have five, six, and seven children, and who are happy where they are, but will take whatever comes. The thing all these people have in common? They trust God, trust their spouse, and trust themselves. 

And, twenty years from now, when our homes are bursting at the seams with friends, and children, and grandchildren, and friends children and grandchildren, we will be filled with joy. There will never be "empty-nest syndrome." There will only be legacy after legacy, carrying on our names. 

So, my friends in Christ, carry on.
Welcome your children, and trust God. Welcome your children, and trust each other (inluding your church community. They are the ones who step in when your trust in God, your spouse, or yourself, hits rocky ground and needs support). Welcome your children, and trust yourself. 

Life is too short not to share it with little people who are, very literally, little pieces of you. 

Live well.
Love. 
J



Disclaimer: I know that some people really cannot risk having more than a child or two, usually for medical reasons. Those, too, must trust God, trust each other, and trust themselves. God gives us each a gift of discernment.
However, if those reasons sound like any of the following: We don't have enough bedrooms, we won't be able to afford cars or college for any more kids, I don't want to be 60 at my kid's graduation, our family already feels complete, there isn't room in my car for another car seat, etc., perhaps there is trust lacking - in God, spouse, or self. And there is room for healing there. I've lived it. :) 

Oh, I also know that there are those who have many children and cannot provide for any of them. I know that there are children who have different fathers and whose mother is in and out of prison. Those are the ones who give big families a "bad name." So, you can sit and trash talk them, and talk about how they need to be neutered... or you can learn to be a human being, and LOVE them. You can pray for them, feed them, provide for them, offer to babysit so mom can get a job. You can talk crap about the problem, or you can help be part of a growing, living, loving solution. Your choice. 




Thursday, May 8, 2014

Miracle Noodles? Errrrrrr........ what?

I don't like gross things. 
I like a heckuva lot more than Husband - I can tolerate quinoa if I have to (though it really is NOT my favorite thing), but he will not. I like some "fancy" foods that he'd rather not try, and, though he does try new foods, I keep his diet pretty simple... food he likes. Like, meat.

(Props to him for loving sushi rolls though. I mean, seaweed? Didn't think he'd ever be on board, but now our favorite date nights include delicious rolls! I cannot BELIEVE he loves them. Took a few tries, but he's hooked. :) )

Sooooo when I ordered a batch of these quote unquote "Miracle Noodles" - the shirataki kind - online, I decided I'd better cook them up without him knowing anything, and give them a test run, before I introduce them to our house. 

They don't sound good. They have zero nutritional value. They are clear. And they come in this kind of stinky liquid, on the noodle shelf, unrefrigerated. Needless to say, I was a bit skeptical. 

And yet, my first batch was SHEER SUCCESS. I didn't just tolerate them. I loved my meal! Going to cook them up tonight without saying anything to Husband, and we'll see if he notices anything, shall we say, amiss about his pasta. If not, I just found the perfect substitute to empty carbs. :) 


Are they all they claim to be?

How I cooked the noodles and the killer recipe I concocted:

Noodles: Follow package directions. Basically: drain, rinse, blanch, dry. 

This is a new favorite "pasta" dish! I created it on the fly, and it took less than 30 minutes, start to finish. (I'm adjusting recipe to serve more than 1. Would probably serve 3 -4 with regular-sized portions...)

"Miracle Chicken Carbonara" :) 

2 packages Miracle Noodles
4 - 6 slices bacon
1 - 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced. 
Spices: (All are give or take, to your taste.)
1 tsp. salt 
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder 

Prepare Miracle Noodles. Set aside to dry. 

Fry bacon in a large skillet. Pull out bacon, set on paper towel to drip and cool. 

While bacon cools, add diced chicken to hot skillet (into bacon drippings).

Add spices (add/eliminate spices to your taste. I sprinkled a little bit of dry Italian seasoning on mine, and it gave dish a great flavor). 

Cook chicken until browned. 
While it's browning, pull bacon into small pieces, and cut up Miracle Noodles (they're pretty much one looooong noodle). 

Add bacon and noodles to cooked chicken. 

Add cottage cheese, and stir until melted. 
Serve with a little chopped fresh parsley on top, and you've got a healthy and delicious "pasta" dish! 

Picture doesn't do this justice, but you get the drift. 

Tonight I'll be trying a twist on this recipe, with shrimp. I'm going to attempt a Miracle Shrimp Carbonara with Bacon-Wrapped Scallops. Wish us luck, and I'll let you know if these noodles pass Geoff inspection.

I'm also trying Kale Noodles tonight (in my dish), so a review of those to come. 

(I was on bacon ration when I tried this recipe, so I used a couple pieces of cut up pepperoni, but still cooked the chicken in bacon drippings. Bacon will be better, and paleo-friendly. Though cottage cheese is not... whatever. It's a really great non-pasta but feels-like-pasta dish!)

Happy eating!
J

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Lean and Green

Thought I'd share my favorite snack (or breakfast, or dessert, or even lunch on "one of those days") of the moment. With the weather getting warmer, we're digging smoothies in a BIG WAY in this house! 

And not just smoothies. My husband is consuming a full cup of spinach before he even gets to work in the morning, so I'd say that's a win. And the kids are asking for spinach drinks (it's a little mind trick I've incorporated in the process), so we've got a win there, too. 

I don't tell Geoff that there is spinach in his drink, but I think he knows. We just don't speak of it. Baby steps, y'all.

The kids, however, hear me say "spinach" about a dozen times while we blend this thing up together. I want them to know greens, to not be afraid of greens, and even to LOVE greens. So they help me whip up this delicious treat, and I continue to grow their love of green. (Granted, my kids are really great eaters. We eat chef or taco salad at least once a week to use up leftover meat, eggs that need hard-boiling, etc. And they have few issues with veggies. But, the better foundation the better, and the more recipes they learn that incorporate veggies, the closer I get to mom of the year.) 

Without further ado, 

"Spinach Drinks" aka "A Smoothie"

Put 1/2 cup of Almond Milk (unsweetened, either vanilla or original) into the blender.
Add 1 full cup of spinach. Squish it in that cup. Don't skimp. Promise you can't taste (or see) it. 

Putting the milk in first will help keep it from getting all gunked up in the blades of the blender. 

Blend very well.
Let the kids watch this part, so they see that green mucus-looking stuff can actually be delicious.
Add whatever fresh fruit you like (we used 4 strawberries, but you could put in a banana, pineapple, whatev.) and blend well. 

Let them drop the berries in the top. It's exciting. 
Add 1 cup frozen blueberries. (I buy the enormous bag, cheaper and goes further) Blend well. 

Beware sticky little fingers. Oh, who am I kidding? Let them have all they want in a separate bowl. 
At this point, it's too thick to blend, so add 1/2 cup cold water, stir around a little with a spoon, then blend well. 

Covering ears is optional. 
While concoction is blending, open the top hole (or stop and take top off if you don't have that kind of blender) and add a good squeeze of honey. Only a little will do, but I probably end up using a couple Tablespoons, depending on how long I feel like squeezing the bottle.

Blend well. 

Forget Stevia or Splenda or any of that yucky stuff. Honey is your friend. 
And, viola. Sweet, dark purple, delicious healthy goodness.  Thank you, earth, for making all the good things. 


Blue tongues. Smoothies are fun. 

Happy snacking! 
J

Aaaaand, just for some added nutritional info... 

WHFoods.com is a great source of info for which foods are good, and why. That said...

Spinach is, like, THE BEST food for you. Popeye knew his stuff. It's chock full of vitamins K, A, C, and all sorts of other vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants, glycoglycerolipids (which studies are finding can help protect the lining of the digestive tract from damage — especially damage related to unwanted inflammation), beta-carotene, and pretty much all things good for you. Studies of leafy greens dubbed spinach the only one that showed "significant protection" against some cancers, namely prostate cancer (see previous link, or search sources for yourself). 

Blueberries are SUPER high in antioxidants, and studies are showing they can even improve memory. Go here to read about their straight goodness. 

Almond Milk (make sure it's the unsweet kind) is a GREAT substitute for cow's milk. It has all the good stuff, without the fat, and without the hard-to-digest proteins and lactose. Granted, it is very low in protein, unlike cow's milk, so make sure you are getting your protein in. (Most adults have difficulty digesting cow's milk. Do you realize that humans are the only mammals that drink milk after they're weened? That's weird, right?)

Honey is the perfect sugar substitute. I was all about agave nectar there for a minute a while back, but then started reading all kinds of info about how it's NOT actually very good for you... it's not a natural sweetener, contains more fructose than HFCS, and there is lots of other non-flattering crud about it. You can read a little here if you want. 

Basically, I choose honey. It's been around since the beginning of bees, it's naturally made (how much more natural can you get than a bee sipping flowers then vomiting into a hive?), you can get local honey that will help you develop immunity to different diseases, and it's sweet, natural, and even GOOD for you. (Make sure nothing is added. Companies keep adding HFCS to EVERYTHING these days, so just check labels. Pure honey is NOT expensive or hard to come by. You might even know a beekeeper, so, score if so.) Check out this info on that golden and delicious bee puke. 

All in all, you can't go wrong with this tasty treat. Try it with those you love!
Adios!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Good Wife. Day One and a Half.

Of course, as soon as I get Husband on board with a healthy change (he got himself on board, really), life throws a curve ball. 

He got a call that he had to be at work at FIVE a.m. today, which meant that if I was going to send him with a fresh and healthy breakfast, I would have to be up at FOUR O'CLOCK. 

Last night I put together his hefty and healthy delicious lunch  (leftovers from dinner. Grilled chicken, avocado, bacon, all mixed together with a spoonful of Greek yogurt. DEEEELISH - plus a salad, and portioned out snacks of beef jerky, and a nut mix with almonds, pecans, walnuts, and cashews. Yes.). 

But this morning, when my alarm rang, I stayed in bed and gave myself every. single. reason not to get up and cook him breakfast. Mind you, he would have let me sleep. He won't wake me up in the morning, even if he knows it means the difference in taking a lunch and not eating for the entire day. Man knows I love my sleep. 

By the grace of a good and loving God, good wife conscience prevailed, and I pulled myself out of bed. Cooked up some eggs with a little sausage and this awesome onion/pepper mix I picked up in the frozen aisle yesterday, threw it in a thermos, and sent him on his way with a perfect, hot breakfast and a cold spinach (don't tell him there was spinach in it), raspberry, banana, strawberry smoothie, by 4:30 a.m. 

He has texted me a couple times today in gratitude. He wasn't hungry. And he wasn't forced to eat food that made him feel bad. I cannot believe I haven't been feeding him for so long! 

I told him that, in order for this to work in his favor, he HAS to make me get up in the morning, no matter what. I hope I can do it on my own, but prayers for this endeavor are appreciated. :)

God loves good food, and God loves you.
Peace!
J

Monday, May 5, 2014

Open the Door,

And let in NUMBER FOUR! 

February 19, 2014, I got a really surprising and exciting birthday present.

Kelly Baby number four, gracing our home later this year!

Can't wait to meet the little! <3


Probably another pregnancy blog post (or twenty) to follow. :) 

God is good!