Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chocolate Update

Okay.  So I accomplished my goal of Chocolate Free for 23.  Every time I wanted to eat chocolate I thought of admitting defeat on the blog and passed the temptation.  However, once the goal was reached I went swimming in a sea of chocolate delights.  I canceled out all my hard work and sacrifice by consuming my weight in cake, cookies, brownies, ice cream and such.

So, here I go again.  I am going to forgo treats until Rachel's 1st birthday (in 2 months).  My caveat is that I can have a small treat on date nights or at special occasions like weddings and such.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Word is My Bond

I've spent my life telling people that if I say it, it will happen.  If I say I'm going to an activity I will be there.  If I say that I will bring food.  Food will be brought.  If I say that I'm coming to visit on a date, I will be there on that date.  If I promise to take you to the preview of that cool new movie.  You can bet I will be there.  My word is my bond.  You could get my promises notarized.

Over the last couple of years I have watched this metamorphosize into "My word is a general agreement that such and such might be a good idea."  or "My word is my bond unless, pain, illness, depression, fatigue, the health of my child or husband or needs of others or, something gets in the way."  I've had to reschedule get-togethers, pass up on the blessing of serving others, skip ward and Relief Society functions, and even put off "laundry day" for one reason or another.  I'm always feeling guilty for putting off and/or rescheduling things.

Does anybody else have problems with this?  I guess I could go back to my old way.  However that would mean that I will show up at your party even if I'm carrying germs from my baby who just threw up on me.  It would mean that I will be at the funeral but I might faint from my illness and will spend the rest of my conscious time worrying about my husband with the migraine who is taking care of the sleep deprived 10 month old.  It would mean that I will show up for the movie premier toting my coughing baby who won't stop crying.

I can see how this is ridiculous.  I know I need to find the balance.  I need to learn how to regretfully bow out and move one.  I continue to feel guilty for things that I didn't do or show up to for months.  I usually simmer in that guilt until I find a way to "repay" my Karma.

Does this sound familiar to anyone?  How do you get over it?

Valentine's Day

I believe in Valentine's Day.  I spent so many years celebrating "Single Awareness Day" that I relish the chance to revel in valentine mania each year.  I love the opportunity to remember to be more romantic with my sweetheart.  I don't believe in giving valentines to my neighbors, and Rachel only got a card from us.  But, in the cold winter month of February I love the warmth and tenderness that I feel as I share my affection and love with Doug.

I gave Doug the Simpsons Season 20 on DVD, a photobook valentine and a "Love Notes" notebook.  It's a little spiral bound notebook I dolled up with scrapbooking supplies.  We take turns writing little love and appreciation notes in it and pass it back and forth like kids in study hall.

Doug surprised me with chocolate covered strawberries.  As you know, I'll eat almost anything chocolate covered, but strawberries are one of my all time favorites.  He gave me a sweet card.  He "helped" Rachel give me a valentine too. Then came the piece de resistance - spa gift certificates.  This year we spent more than we normally consider practical.  Doug, however, saw a need and knew that I would not spend the money on myself.  He knew that I needed some pampering and luxury.  I've struggled to feel feminine when I weigh more than I used to and rarely take time for the pleasures of professionally pedicured feet and massaged muscles.  Truth be told, there are many days I don't get to shower and my hair remains in the tell-all ponytail.  I'm not asking for sympathy.  Most women give up a lot of those extras when they choose to have children.  I'm just giving you the reasoning behind Doug's oh so thoughtful gift.  A gift that brought me to tears.  I love Doug so much.  I can't believe I found a man as wonderful and sensitive as he is.

Our Valentine's Day date started out wonderfully promising.  It quickly took a nose dive into the unromantic abyss as Doug and I both got sick watching Avatar in 3D.  Neither of us had ever been to a 3D movie.  Neither of us knew it would be the demise of the night's romance.  Migraines, nausea, and throw up welcomed us at home.  Thank you Bethany and TJ, our babysitters, for keeping me company and taking care of Rachel until she was in bed.

So, this Valentine's day was a roller-coaster of loving highs and disgusting lows. But, I love that I got to celebrate it with my wonderful husband and charming baby girl.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Honest Scrap

I happily accept this Honest Scrap Award.

The game is that you have to list 10 honest things about yourself, and then award it to 4 other people. 

1.  I feel like an alien.  I've landed on planet homemaker with only planet single experience.  I look at you wonderful women out there and feel so intimidated.  I'm so behind.  I have no clue what I am doing.  I look at my friends and neighbors that are my chronological age, they have teenagers and seem to have this wife and mother thing down.  I am so completely out of my element.  I don't cook, much.  I don't craft, much.  I don't use coupons, much.  I abhor cleaning.  When I do clean I feel like I'm doing it wrong somehow.  I don't know what to do with a 2 or 4 year old for more than an hour.  I feel like I'm making everything up as I go along.

2.  In what seems like a completely different life, I was a confident, persuasive, well-dressed, hard hitting woman.  I have worked as a Human Resources Coordinator, professional meeting planner, PR director, and benefits specialist.  I served a 19-month mission for the LDS Church to Richmond, VA.  I've served in a myriad of leadership, teaching, music, activities, and support calling in the church.  I have a  BS in Social Psychology and a minor in Music from BYU.  

3.  I have an overactive sensor in my head.  I read, reread and edit everything I write.  I try to edit what I am saying while I am speaking which often causes me to stumble and stutter.  I overthink past conversations.  I worry that I will (or did) sound too whiny, too judgmental, too spineless, too boring, too ridiculous, too, too, too, too...  However, when I am completely at ease I will talk non stop and tell crazy stories.

4.  I've decided to give up scrapbooking, at least for now.  I am in love with the bound books you can order online.  I put together a wonderful 100 page coffee table book with the story of how Doug and I met and our wedding.  It cost me $60.  The hours and the money I would have spent would have been astronomical if I had scrapbooked it.  I can hardly wait to put together the book for Rachel's first year.  I plan on building a book with the story of Elizabeth as well.

5.  I love being a mom.  As a young girl I would sing, "When I grow up I want to be a mother and have a family.  One little, two little, three little babies of my own..."  I wanted to be married and having babies before the age of 20.  When I turned 30 I decided to stop counting on marriage and family and go back to school.  I was working on an MS in Health Promotion and Education and planned on a Ph.D. in psychology when I met Doug.  My heart is still broken over the loss of Elizabeth.  Rachel makes my world go round.  I marvel at her amazing, beautiful little body.  I am in awe watching her learn new things each day.  She has been with me for almost 10 months and yet it feels like barely a week.

6.  I lost my sense of style 2 babies and 40 pounds ago.  I have few clothes that fit and would rather spend the money on my house, my husband or my baby girl.  Rachel is always dressed better than I am.  Often she is clothed with her hair done when I am still in my pajamas and ponytail.  Doug actually took the baby and told me to go shopping the other day.  I know this would be a dream for many women.  For me, trying on clothes needs to come with an extra dose of anti-depressants and perhaps a chocolate cake.  I almost always come away feeling fat and ugly.

7.  I am addicted to carbs, fats and simple sugars.  I love any and all chocolate.  I love breads, cakes, cookies, pasta, potatos, rice, ice cream, butter, creamy alfredo sauce, pizza, pancakes, waffles, real maple syrup and cinnamon rolls.  I do like healthy foods, they are just harder to cook and eat on the go.  I like salads when I eat out or with a group but not by myself.

8.  I love adventure.  I like to go places without a plan and just see what happens.  As a single girl I would travel to different cities by myself or with a friend and see what came my way.  I've gone to more movies by myself than I can count.  I used to get dressed up and go to dinner by myself.  I would pretend I was a mysterious woman from a far away place.  I would try to imagine what others might guess about this mysterious woman.  It was empowering.  I've bungee jumped, took lessons on how to be a white water rafting guide, served as a "ma" on trek, and will ride amusement park rides until my head and stomach feel like they will explode.

9.  I enjoy hosting parties.  I have four caveats to this.  First, I want a maid to come clean my house beforehand.  Second, I would like a chef to do all of the cooking.  Third, I have a hard time choosing who to invite.  There are a ton of people I want to get to know.  But, there is only so much room in my house.  Plus, unlike in the singles ward there are children to consider.  Fourth, I don't want to leave anyone out.  I always feel left out when I hear someone else got together and had a party, went on an excursion, or did anything social to which I wasn't invited.  I have a hard time doing things and leaving others out.  When I was in singles wards I just invited everybody even those I didn't really want to come.  The more the merrier in my book.  I haven't figured out how to do this on planet family so I've let it paralyze me.

10.  I like to name everything.  My laptop is Maggie.  My desktop computer used to be Blinky until I traded Doug for Bart.  Our cameras are Sheldon, Leonard and Raj.  My phones used to be Guido and George.  We have a robot vacuum named Mo.  Rachel's dolls are Molly and Polly the dollies.  Our cars are Homer and Pedro.

So now I have to pass the award on to four people.  I want to pass it to everybody.  I hate only choosing four.  If you wanted this to be awarded to you consider yourself awarded.
1.  Sonia at La Dolce Vita.  It's fun to read about her life in Italy.
2.  Nova at Noble Moments.  Nova is one of my longest standing friends and it's fun to see what her creative mind comes up with.  
3.  Amanda at Little Montague Boys.  Amanda is cool and quirky.
4.  Angie of the Nowling Family.  I really want to get to know her better.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cookbook Confessions

Saturday, like so many days, I heard the siren song of the cookbooks at Costco.  I felt compelled to buy this beautiful compilation of casseroles.

I love cookbooks.  I love picking up a cookbook, holding it in my hands and flipping through the pages.  I love how the dishes range from the mundane to the decadent.  I love perusing the pictures and finding things that look especially mouthwatering.

The funny thing is that I rarely, I mean RARELY, actually cook from my books.

I've been contemplating this for the last couple of days.  I should really have a personal chef.  I adore designing meals.  I love to put together a perfect menu.  I've already told you that I used to throw dinner parties.  I used to be a professional meeting planner as well.  It was so much fun to pour over the possible locations and caterers.  Then, pick out the perfect menu to fit the event and the attendees.  Even now I like to imagine my table set with wonderful well-balanced meals.  I just need a chef to put it together.

I am trying to become a better wife and mother by cooking more.  I should do a "Julie and Julia" thing and blog about one new recipe a day.  It won't happen, but it would be good.  I will, however, make an effort to blog about those recipes I do try.  I hope to share many cookbook triumphs with you this year.  And, who knows, maybe I will dust off some of my other favorite cookbooks to bathe in my oven light.