Build your own salad bar!

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This was a huge success last night. The husband, the children, and the baby all enjoyed it. My only rule (for the kids, at least) was that you must take something out of every bowl. That way they got meat, cheese, different colored veggies, and fruits.

Then I put all the leftovers in to a mason jar for lunch for Travis tomorrow.

Here is a short list of some things you can include in your own salad bar:

  • spring mix
  • grapes
  • tomatoes
  • apples
  • cucumber
  • broccoli
  • sprouts
  • bell peppers
  • left over chopped up bacon
  • left over diced chicken
  • goat cheese
  • mozerrella
  • fresh herbs
  • onions

The list could go on and on…

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schooling my home

So, I’ve been feeling pretty great the last couple days. I haven’t had to take a Xanax in 3 days now and I’ve been getting shit done, too!

My kitchen and living room are staying cleaner then they’ve ever been. I’ve put a big dent in the mess that is my second living room.

I think it’s helping that I’m not beating myself up over it when I have days that I don’t get anything “real” done.  I continually remind myself that this is a work in progress and always will be. It doesn’t matter how long things take because the changes are the goal. As long as I continue making them, I am succeeding.

As a family, we’re in the process of making one big change together. We are considering (seriously considering) homeschooling our oldest son. As this blog is not a “mommy blog” I’m not going to delve in to all the reasons for contemplating this change. It’s not really relevant. It will be a huge commitment on my part and I’m more then willing to take it on. It may derail my plans to start attending births again and it will definitely slow my midwifery apprenticeship down a bit, but my life isn’t really and truly all about me. To be a good mother, I have to put my child’s needs at the forefront. (Not ahead of my needs, but definitely ahead of any of my wants.)

We’re going to make a decision about his schooling on Sunday, after we’ve all had some time to mull over our options. I am a little worried that taking on the HUGE task of schooling my own child may worsen the anxiety, but I’ll deal with that as it comes.

I just have to remind myself that it’s only for a year (we feel strongly that he should attend traditional junior high and high school) and if it doesn’t work for us we can always put him back in regular school early.

So many amazing things going on in my life, and they are all so positive. For me and my family.

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Level 4

So, I have this internal ranking system for these panic attack. Level 1-5. (1= mild, 5= feeling like I’m going to pass out/die)

Today I experienced a solid Level 4. While out of the house, which is when they usually occur. I had to take a whole Xanax just to make it home from Target. I, very luckily, had a friend with me who helped me keep my mind distracted during the drive.

That’s right, I had to drive. It fucking sucked, pardon the language.

I only get one that bad maybe twice a month. It’s horrible and scary and makes me, during the “come down”, even more determined to keep making changes so I can avoid this in the future.

So, a question for you, dear readers. If you suffer from panic attacks, what triggers them? What do you do during one to help keep your shit together until the medicine (if you take medicine) kicks in?

I’m starting to look for patterns that bring them on and I’m coming up blank, except for being out of the house for the worst ones.

This will get better. I will find answers and a solution to this. I just need a little help along the way.

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Stutter Starts

I’ve faltered the last couple days on my plan. Drama always comes in patches and that has been true for this last week.

I’ve only taken one 4 hour kid free break in two weeks. I didn’t get rid of anything this weekend. And, honestly, I have yet to start my exercise plan.

I know that moving in to a knew way of living is a one step forward, two steps back process. I’m being patient with myself, but I’m also trying to stay accountable by posting with honesty here.

I have a million and one excuses not to work out. They all suck. So, I’m not even going to bother delving in to them. Let’s just say, from tomorrow, I’m going to do something that resembles exercise at least once a day.

Life always seems to get in the way when I make plans to change my life. How can I get my house under control when it’s so out of control?! When do I work out when some days I don’t even have time to shower?! How do I change everything when just changing a diaper can be such a daunting task?!

That’s when my plans start to falter and fall apart. I get overwhelmed and I throw my hands up.
Not this time.

I acknowledge that I’ve stuttered, almost to a stop. This time I’m going to remember something my mother-in-law has said to me probably 100 times:

“How do you eat an elephant?”
One bite at a time.

So I’m going back to my baby steps. I’m going to eat this elephant. It doesn’t matter how long it takes.

And I’m going to remember why I’ve chosen to do this. I want to enjoy this process. The miserable parts will teach me strength and I will endure them. The amazing parts will leave me feeling fulfilled.

I just have to remember: One bite at a time.

That fat ass elephant doesn’t stand a chance.

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A Birthday

Cassidy turned 9 years old yesterday. We kept things real low key.

Nine going on fourteen.

Just watched movies and ate onion death sammiches and oven baked smores.

Today we’re going bowling and out to dinner.

I’m glad that birthdays don’t mean big parties and stress in this house.

They mean family time and being thankful for one another.

They mean a couple of gifts and something sweet to eat.

Simple and wonderful.

Like all of life should be.

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Baked Salmon with Lemon and Dill

My favorite local grocery store had wild salmon on sale for $12.99/lb so I decided, because I eat alone every Monday, to splurge and buy one filet. I love dill. Deliciousness was born!

I’m not a photographer, obviously. This doesn’t look as delicious as it tasted…

1/2 lb Wild Salmon Filet

2-3 pats of butter

1 lemon, sliced

salt, pepper, and dill to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place lemons in a piece of tinfoil creating a bed for the salmon. Place salmon skin side down on top of lemon slices. Place pats of butter on top of salmon. Season to taste. Close up tinfoil creating a packet around the salmon.

Cook packet for 20- 25 minutes.

Open and Enjoy!

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Purging People

We all have those people in our lives. The friends and family who weigh on us. The people who just take and take and don’t know how to give back. Who use hateful language and simpering thin apologies.

When they’re friends, eventually we grow tired of the repeated abuses of our kindness and the indifference with which they treat our love and the friendship comes to a crashing halt. Sometimes this involves a big dramatic recounting of past wrongs and a final straw.  One or both parties may refuse to be in the presence of the other. Very 8th grade and very dramatic. Sometimes it’s less dramatic and the relationship grows more and more distant and detached until you barely nod to one another when you see one another at the gathering of a mutual friend. Overall the ending of a friendship, while sad, is something you can rebound from and life carries on fairly normally after the initial shock wears off.

When it’s a family member, this process is so much more difficult and painful. The abuses suffered and the long held grudges that have been swallowed and held down for years, and occasionally decades, eventually all come boiling back up. Emotional heartburn. Most of these relationships, had the perpetrator been a friend and not a family member, would have come to a grinding halt much sooner.

We should forgive our family infinitely, so it seems. Choosing to end contact with a parent or a sibling is socially frowned upon. (This is, of course, barring any physical or sexual abuse by said family member.) You are supposed to tolerate the “occasional bad behavior” of the other party. Endure the verbal and emotional abuse to make it easier on the rest of the family. Forgive and forget.

This, to me, is unhealthy and unhelpful. Not only are you allowing this person to continue abusing you and those you love, but you’re encouraging it with your endless forgiveness. They know they can say and do whatever they’d like and although you may distance yourself from them for days, weeks, or months, eventually they know you will forgive and forget to make things easier “on the family”. And the cycle starts again.

I am making a stand against this in my own life.

I am letting go of friendships that are unhealthy and damaging. This is fairly easy as I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by many amazing people that I can call friends.

Here is the hard part. I have that family member and we have been in a cycle of abuse and forgiveness for 15 long years. I am not perfect. Years ago, when I was young and angry, I did my fair share of fighting and stirring up trouble. As I’ve gotten older I have done my best to make my peace. To let go of cruel comments and ignore fabricated past events. To delete the hateful voice mails and vicious text messages. To trust and believe the apologies. To “move on” and give it a fresh start.

This time I truly am letting go. I’m letting go of this relationship even if it means losing a part of my family. I deserve better. I deserve to be surrounded by love and kindness and true forgiveness.

We all do.

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