So it's lent. A time of where you sacrifice something that you normally love (and yes I know there’s more to lent than this). I decided to try a different approach this year, mostly because I typically forget to not eat meat on Fridays and usually I'm not able to actually follow through with the 40 days of giving something up. So when I saw this Lenten challenge on Facebook, I decided I was in. Bring it on 40 bags in 40 days! #40bagsin40days
I’d like to begin at the very end of the beginning. On December 28, 2016, I traveled with my husband to Tijuana, Mexico and underwent bariatric surgery. The procedure I chose was the Vertical Gastric Sleeve. It is an endoscopic procedure in which 80% of the stomach is cut away, leaving a long thin sleeve in it’s place. The purpose of the surgery is to cause restriction and limit the amount of food one can consume. There are also other benefits, that are largely unexplained, like a loss of hunger, and a change to tastebuds (which favors nutritious foods and makes sweets less palatable).
Remember this girl? Okay, so maybe I’ve never shopped high-end designers or driven a luxury car, but I can relate to Cher in so many ways. Trapped in a car while a supposed friend tries to shove his tongue down my throat? Yep. Fallen for a man who turned out to be gay? Oh, yes. (Too many times to count). Dated my stepbrother? Erm, no. Have one, but eww.
Becoming a parent has been the most life altering event I have experienced so far. When I look at my little boy I feel like my heart is literally walking outside of my body. There have been countless moments where I sit and watch him in amazement as he grows and changes at a whirlwind pace. I remember sitting on the sofa watching him play in our living room the other day. He was stacking his blocks and building a tower. He accidentally knocked his tower over with his foot and I heard him say “uh oh spaghetti-o”. I had this brief moment of clarity where I felt so proud of him for making light of what could have been very frustrating combined with the realization that as adults, we are way too hard on ourselves. In that moment, I felt that there were a lot of life lessons I am continually learning from my son has he grows up.
On the eve of Christmas Eve, at a time when my home was full of people, food, and stuff-more stuff than the eye could see-my husband and I were enjoying a brief respite from the typical chaos of life with three young children and browsing through Netflix. We enjoy watching documentaries, but we rarely get the time to find new ones these days. He selected a film entitled “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things”. I was, as always, doing many things at once, trying to maximize my productivity during nap time, so I was only partially watching at first. By the end of the documentary, I was a captive audience. How ironic that we saw this film at a time of such abundance, both seasonally and in our particular stage of life.
Female friendships are some of the hardest relationships I’ve ever had to endure in my life, but they’ve also ultimately been some of the best. It’s always been important to me to have a strong group of female friends, but that doesn’t make these friendships easy to maintain. Emotions run high amongst ladies. Then feelings get hurt and drama ensues. It’s just part of our DNA, apparently. I really thought as I got older and wiser, female friendships would mature especially once I had children. It’s not always the case.
You will be born tomorrow. It is a very surreal experience for me knowing that after almost ten months living inside me you will be making your grand debut in less than 24 hours. Don’t get me wrong, I am ready to meet you, to hold you, to bring you into our family, but I am also scared. And not just for the cliche and predictable reasons like the fear of the physical pain of birthing you or the anxieties about my capacity as a mother or the chaos of living in a home where the adults are outnumbered by the children. No, I am scared because you are being born into a scary world.
This is not a story about politics, though. This is ultimately a story of hope and a deliberate effort to seek out the good in the midst of so much pain and hate. That is my promise to you and your siblings, to always look for the good.
I start out this post thinking of the many, many things that can be a hazard to our furry family members around the holidays. I made a list of the common (turkey anyone?) and uncommon risks to our pets during the holidays (seriously why would anyone swallow an entire strand of Christmas lights!). I ended up with a rather grumpy list of things not to do that put a bit of a damper on my holiday spirit (where is fall anyway??). So, I decided to head back to the drawing board. I love the holidays. It is a wonderful time with family and friends and of course our pets also. There are many things you can and should do with your pet that are fun and will help keep everyone safe during the holidays.