When life hands you lemons

When I first stared my blog, I specifically called is a lifestyle blog as opposed to a food blog.  It seems like it’s turning more and more into a food blog, as that’s where my passion lies, however I wanted to have the option to write about whatever is in my heart and on my mind.  So, here I go.  Some of you that are reading this know me well, and some probably not.  So I’ll start by explaining myself a bit.  I’m pretty closed off.  I wouldn’t say I’m unfriendly, but I’m definitely not an open book.  I don’t easily share my feelings with people, even close family and friends, nor do I always tell everyone what’s going on behind closed doors.  I do feel like it’s a bit of a flaw; I often wish I could be more of an open book but it’s not in my nature.  When my mom was diagnosed with cancer in May of 2012, I followed this to a T.  I eventually told my friends what was going on, but I wasn’t good about keeping them up to date, or telling them how I was really feeling about everything.  I didn’t go shouting from the roof top that my mom had cancer.  I have so many regrets about that.  I see my mistakes now.  I truly believe that if I had used the powers of social media earlier in her illness, we could have found better doctors and a better treatment plan.  I can’t change that now, all I can do is look forward.

layla-and-mommy

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How to lose the baby weight without really trying

How to lose baby weight without sweating it out the gym every day.  Here’s my story.

I am now one year postpartum.  It’s about time I get back into shape.  Full disclosure:  I have lost all (and then some) of my baby weight without  much effort.  I know, I know.  Some of you might hate me.  But somehow it happened.  It didn’t happen overnight, but it all came off.  So here’s my story.  I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I was about 10 pounds above my normal weight the summer before I got pregnant.  I wasn’t working out and somehow it just happened.  I started my P90X journey, which had worked for me before, in September.  I found out I was pregnant in October.  I continued it for another month or so, but my OB was not fond of that kind of workout at all.  So I switched to running (until about 28 weeks or so) and barre.  I did barre three times a week up until 38 weeks and I loved it.  I really feel like it helped me throughout labor and most importantly my recovery.  I felt great afterwards, and planned to start working out at at 6 weeks postpartum, but, yeah…life happened.  Luckily, I was dropping pounds easily (Yeah breastfeeding!!).  It definitely didn’t “melt off”, and I hit some plateaus but by around the 5 months mark I was back at my ideal weight again.

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A letter to my daughter on her first birthday

layla birthday shot

To my daughter on her first birthday,

Layla – it’s hard to put into words how I feel today.  A year ago, you were born.  A year ago, on this day, for 23 hours and 51 minutes I didn’t know you – I didn’t know you were a girl – I didn’t know your name [Full disclosure – I didn’t know your name for another 24 hours after that].  You came into this world and I was forever changed.  You have made me smile more than I thought was possible – you filled a void in my heart that I didn’t know was empty. When you were born, the nurses in the hospital all consistently said a few things.  She is beautiful.  She is strong.  She will tell you what she wants.  At the time, I didn’t really get it.  How could a newborn exhibit such a personality already?  But they were right – boy were they right.  I am, of course, biased.  But I’ll say it.  You are the most beautiful baby I have ever laid my eyes on.  You have this sparkle in your eyes that melts hearts.  When you smile your whole face lights up.  I don’t have to be biased to know that you’re strong.  At a year, you are walking (practically running) and climbing everything in sight.  You are the opposite of a laid back baby – you are pretty vocal about getting when you want.  So, a year later, I’d like to say those nurses were right.

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To the motherless, the mothers of angels or the childless who dream

kt layla 800

Normally people address these groups separately – those that have lost their moms, those that have lost children or those that suffer from miscarriages or infertility.   But on this one day, we are all part of one ugly club that we never wanted to be a part of.  A club that we never imagined being in, when we pictured our lives.  A club that somehow encompasses both love and hate in one day; love for the lives we have and the children we adore, but hate for the loss we feel.  A club that we can’t get out of, no matter how much time passes – we are members for life.

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Pulling the plug

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It’s a term we have all, at some point in time, used in vain. Maybe you’ve had a conversation with your significant other that went something like this, “Hey if that’s me I want you to pull the plug”.   But how many of us have actually been faced with that decision? How many of us have had to sign a document stating that you knew that when the doctors turned off the machines, your loved one would die? A much smaller percentage of us, I’m sure. Because how could anyone give up on a loved one? It’s feels so….hopeless. The decision to “pull the plug” on someone? Not so cut and dry when it’s your mom, dad, daughter, son, sister, brother…lying in a hospital bed unable to communicate with you. What would they want you to do? Would they want you to pull the plug? Or would they want you to fight with the doctors to hold off just a little longer? 3 years ago around this time, my family was faced with this decision. My mom had been diagnosed with cancer about 9 months earlier, and she had seriously digressed since she had been admitted to the hospital two months earlier. The last month of her life, doctors were hounding us to pull the plug. They sent people in to talk to us about hospice. They tried to convince us that her life, as we knew it, was over. But we held on. For longer than we probably should have. But how could we give up on her? The person who almost died having (one of) us and spent every minute of her life making OUR lives better? There was literally no way we could sign on that dotted line; knowing that her death was coming. The last month of her life, she wasn’t really there. But her heart was still beating. Could we have a conversation with her? No. Could we hold her hand, brush her hair and talk to her? Yes. Could she hear us? Maybe not. Could we watch the machines she was hooked up to, knowing that her heart was still beating? Yes – and as long as her heart was still beating, there was that small, teeny tiny shrivel of hope that could remain with us. When you are talking about the end of someone’s life, those little moments matter. They matter. Her life mattered. And every additional second that we got with her, whether or not she was really “there”; it mattered.

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A New Venture

Confession y’all. I’ve wanted to start a blog for years. I kept toying with the idea, but ultimately decided it wasn’t for me/wasn’t the right time/etc. Basically, I’ve been a chicken. Remember the first day of school when you headed into the lunch room with none of your “people”?. You would sheepishly look around, silently cursing the administration for not assigning you the correct lunch period, hoping to see someone (anyone!) you could sit with while simultaneously trying to keep moving so it wasn’t obvious. You know, we’ve all been there; the fear of social rejection. The epitome of rejection, to be honest. We all want to be socially accepted, and when we feel acceptance, we feel like we can’t fail in life. I’m not talking about being “popular”. I’m just saying, people accepting you (and your ideas) and showing genuine interest in you. Whether your interests are cooking, sports or Star Wars, you just want to find your people…right?

So there, I said it. I was afraid of rejection. Will people care what I have to say? Will people hate my recipe ideas? Will they make fun of my pictures? Well, that’s all in the past. I’ve decided that 2016 is about putting it all out there. So, welcome to my blog friends. I sincerely hope you enjoy it. If you don’t, I may have flashbacks to my braces-clad, purposely mismatched 13 year old self, trying to find a soul in the cafeteria to sit with. But, in 7th grade, I found my people and I was fine. So….I’ll be fine.

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