Bows & Wrapping Paper

After all the anticipation and the counting down the day arrived. With excitement and as much energy as we could muster at 5:30a we got up with the kids. I made scrambled eggs for the boys and I was able to put together a veggie omelet for myself. Parker was still sleeping and was the only reason why the presents weren’t mauled the moment we hit the living room. Preston kept pulling down gift, after gift… he would examine it with his pudgy little fingers and then caress the bows. After a thorough examination he would would look over the bow one last time and then rip it off. I was saddled with a pile of bows in a matter of seconds.

I totally get the excitement over Christmas when you are a child. But, this time around. When I am the parent or “grown up” it seems to be even more exciting. I thought that I would be bored, but I was the one reading off the gift tags and handing out presents. Then to see their little faces light up when they got a gift they really, REALLY liked, it was like Christmas was that much more fun. Peyton would dance around with the present he got and show it to Parker who was sitting in he high chair. When it was Parker’s turn to open a present, Peyton would be the first to volunteer to “help her” (cause we all know he practically opened it up all on his own) and then get all excited over it. Preston on the other hand went to all presents and would take it to Ben and say, “Dad open, peeaaassss!” Everything was “open peeeaaaaasssss!” until everything was opened and assembled. After all the kids gifts were open Ben and I just kinda finished opening ours on our own. After all, the kids had much more fun and less practical gifts. HAHAHAHAHAHA!

All those nights wrapping and all those rolls of wrapping paper gone in a matter of 20 minutes. Of course it was worth it, but it was still a hot mess of bows and wrapping paper. We filled almost two garbage bags full of just wrapping paper and bows. Parker made the bows worth it because she allowed me to stick one bow on her head for the majority of the morning. It was quite adorable. We got to FaceTime my family while they watched the kids open their gifts and they were able to open their gifts from us as well, so it didn’t feel completely lonely. I liked hearing from my parents and brothers. It made me miss them so much.

At the end of the day as much as I missed my family I know that the decision to come out to Texas was well worth it. Ben and I are starting to feel like Texas is home and not some foreign area that we are just visiting. I think this first Christmas on our own was an eye opener. We can do it. It’s not easy and it has its moments that you don’t particularly like, but I felt like we (my family from afar and Ben and I) still made it special for the kids. That’s all we really needed.

It’s the start of week 4 on Whole30. I have completed a full 3 weeks and am on day 22. Our Christmas meal was all Whole30 compliant and delicious. I made this rump roast and it was perfect. The garlic and the thyme and rosemary I added was delicious. But, the instructions on how to cook it was perfect. It wasn’t dry or tough. It was nice and tender and even as leftovers it was still moist and juicy. I loved it and it was cooked to perfection. I made my Brussels sprouts and butternut squash, baked sweet potatoes, roasted broccoli and garlic green beans as sides. All that food made for some incredible leftovers. I finally polished off the last of it yesterday in a salad.

At the beginning of this Whole30 journey I thought I was going to be completely miserable. I thought that I would be regretting doing it through what is arguably the hardest time of the year (all the foods and sweets around). Now that I made it through Christmas successfully I know that I made a good choice. I was able to plan and execute a great Christmas dinner and I have been able to avoid all the copious amounts of sugar. I am glad that I am getting closer to my 30 day mark. It begs the question if I will continue it or go into the reintroduction phase. I suppose the closer I get the more clear that answer will become. I am already leaning one way, but I will leave that to another blog, another time.

I have noticed some more things about my Whole30 adventure. I have been having minimal to no cravings, which is new for me. I have also been noticing my skin is clearing up and is a more even, bright color. I have been sleeping much better. And TMI warning: My period came and went without a hitch. No severe cramping, no intense bloating, my mood swings were at a minimum and I felt like I had more patience with myself and the kids. It seemed like my eating has changed some things pretty significantly. I am happy about the changes I have been seeing in my emotions and skin, but physically too. I have noticed my midsection is smaller. I don’t know if my body is burning fat differently or maybe re-proportioning some of my weight, but I have definitely noticed it in the mirror.

I have 9 more days till the 30 days are up. I am excited and very proud. I know I can do it and I feel empowered to make things last. I did however get a pretty weird dream. I was having lunch with my parents and everything was Whole30 except some crutons! HAHAHAHAHAHA! I freaked out over the croutons and went to get some alcoholic beverage with Bailey’s in it. I even purchased a whole bottle of Bailey’s to bring home and recreate the drink because I was wallowing in my misery of the croutons. HAHAHAHA! Oh my dreams… but either way, I will keep you all updated on how things are going. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and Holiday season. On to the New Year!

What are your plans for the New Year? How was your Christmas? Are you planning anything big? Do you have a tradition that you do regularly?


Wrap It Up

There is a person I follow on Instagram that I follow. She is a mom like myself, but some of her kids are a little older. She found this book called “There’s Certainly a Santa” for her kids when they are ready to talk about the “truth” about Santa Claus. I loved this book. I found the website and thought I should share. It is truly a darling book and I can’t wait to get it for the kids.

The reason I even bring it up is because my family does things a little different. We don’t celebrate the “Santa” part of Christmas. For us, Christmas is more about the tradition and the time together. What I value most is the beauty we can find in spending time together creating these traditions. My kids are now getting to the age where they are asking about Santa Claus. Instead of just saying, “No, Santa Claus doesn’t exist,” I am going to grab this book. I know they will love it. I just don’t want them to ruin another child’s beliefs and family tradition because we know who Santa really is. <wink, wink>

We have been wrapping presents and the kids open them before it’s even Christmas. How do you even keep a kid from doing this? I have done everything from putting kids on time out to even threatening to take all the toys and return them to the store… nothing has worked. I still have kids opening presents and more re-wrapping to do. As much as I love the holiday season to relish in the traditions, memories, and family time, I am also looking forward to when it is all over. I don’t want to see wrapping paper for a very long time. And do not ever get me a bow. EVER. I don’t like the ones I have to tie myself or the ones that just need to be stuck on. Some how I think it was some genius’s way of pissing off people in the most random way to make premade bows that are supposed to stick, not sticky enough to stay stuck. I mean what’s that all about?

But, now that we are just days from the actual day (Sunday, if you didn’t realize and haven’t started wrapping yet) I know that it’s going to be so strange to have this year without my family. I miss them. I miss my brothers and their jokes. I miss my Mom and her meal anxiety (every cooking woman knows this anxiety before a big traditional meal for the family), planning, and offer for wine before noon. I miss my Dad’s laugh and his “Type-A” need to fold all Christmas bags and used tissue paper nicely so it can be re-used again next year (I don’t think my family has wrapped using actual wrapping paper since 2008). Now that I think about it, I am pretty sure my Dad is the reason why we still have bags from Christmas 1999. Hahahaha! I love them. I am hoping that FaceTime will serve it’s purpose so I don’t end up crying all Christmas Day.

I have been trying to distract myself by thinking of fun ways we can make our own traditions. My Dad would make a big delicious breakfast on Christmas, and I don’t know if I will be able to do that, but I definitely will make something Whole30 and yummy. I want to color these signs for the kids to “find” on Christmas morning that will lead them to the living room. I don’t know if I will be able to get it all done whilst wrapping, but I sure will try. I finished their stockings. Now just a few more fun touches and we will go from there. It will be so exciting to see the kids open their presents. The boys will be consumed by their want to open the presents the moment they wake up, but I can’t wait for Parker to open some of her clothes and drape them over herself. I think that will be the coolest part for me. Dinner is going to be a roast and a few different sides on Christmas Eve so Christmas Day can be an easy one eating leftovers.

Today is day 15 on Whole30 for me. I have been doing ok. I think I am slowly getting to the Tiger Blood phase. I have been having more energy to chase the kids around and I have found myself to be far more patient talking to the kids while they are in full on meltdown mode. I have been sleeping well, but lately I have been more tired than I was before. I dunno. It’s kinda weird. I have been adventuring with some new recipes. Last night was this Thai Meatball and Egg Drop Soup (you just have to watch the fish sauce you use, mine had sugar in it so I had to remake mine in a haphazard kind of way and hubby got the full one). I was so mad when I read the ingredients AFTER I had already added it to the pot of broth. GRRRRRR! I was so mad at myself. I kept thinking, “how does FISH SAUCE have freakin’ sugar in it?!?!?!” Oh well, live and learn, and never again.

I am looking forward to getting some of my craftiness started here. I hope you all have a great day. Who will you be missing this holiday season and what is their quirky holiday habit? Are you starting any new traditions this year? If so, what are they? We will talk again soon, so until then… lets wrap this up and get to the crafts.

Brace Yourself

Have you ever had that dream? You know, that dream you have where you are falling off your bed? It feels so real that you wake up gasping for air and clinging on to anything within arms grasp to try and brace yourself from the fall. I haven’t had that dream in a while, but my life kinda feels like that dream because of potty training. I am in the dream right now where you are falling. You don’t know when you will actually hit the floor, but you know it will happen and it will happen before you want it to. Then you wake up not on the floor, but still grasping for sheets/blankets/headboard in the attempt to brace yourself for something that will not be happening.

Like I mentioned before I started potty training my two-year-old. He is doing remarkably well. He has had two accidents since we have started, but ultimately he is doing far better than I thought he would be. He is telling me when he needs to go, he actually goes when he claims he needs to go, and for the most part he is pretty “ok” with the whole idea of not needing a diaper anymore. This really is a parents dream and this is how I relate it to the “falling off the bed” dream: I don’t know when I am going to hit the wall and this will become a fight.

Right after my daughter turned about six-months-old we had made an attempt to potty train him and it was awful. He fought me. He cried. I cried. He pee’d all over the kitchen chair. I cleaned up the kitchen chair. It was a mess. Now, this time around I am so hesitant to believe that it is going as smoothly as it is. I mean I don’t even know if this is a game to him or if he will take to it as easily as he has so far the whole way. I am still in the midst of the dream free falling waiting to hit the ground. My heart is racing hoping he doesn’t pee all over the carpet or have a severe reaction to last nights pizza and have a sh*t storm that gets all over the carpet. I suppose it’s “mother’s anxiety”.

If you are a mother of anything, even a pet, you know “mother’s anxiety”. It is how you feel knowing that you have to be the one to take them to the doctor even though they hate it or hold them down to brush their teeth. You are preemptively preparing yourself for the battle/meltdown or even the sobbing and painful cries. It makes you want to rip your eyes out, but you don’t because you know it’s what is best for them. I am anxious over his potty training because I know he needs to do it. He explodes out of his diapers and the kid comes to get me every time he pees so I can change him. It’s time. I just have this fear. My baby is growing up. For him, this has been a hurdle in a few ways. Him learning how to properly express himself with speech, his ability to pick out his own clothes, etc. have all contributed to knowing it’s the right time for him to do this.

Now, I am in the wake up process grasping at anything trying to brace myself for the possible fall that likely will never come. He is ready. He asks to go pee-pee and he went willingly to poop. I still hope he sleeps with his blankie and that he likes to snuggle with me just a little too long. I hope that his boyish face doesn’t turn to be a young mans face too soon. I will relish in every moment he belly laughs and every goofy smile he sends my way. I still have to brace myself for future moments, but I am hoping I can let go of the potty training moments and let him take it from here.

My little boy is growing up and he may not need me to change diapers, but he still needs me for other things. I know there will come many more milestones and I will gladly wait for them all. He just was able to tell me he loves me and I melt every time he says it. It took him a long while, but I feel lucky that he is able to say it to me now. He’s my baby boy and despite his regular hurdles I wouldn’t change him for anything even for potty training far too easily.

I am in week 3 of Whole30. Christmas is right around the corner. I knew this day was coming, but I never thought that I would be able to pull off making it through Christmas and New Years. I am very proud of myself. Today marks day 13. Tomorrow will be a full two weeks on Whole30 and I really like it. I keep thinking about reintroducing some things in at 30 days and I don’t really know if I will. I guess I better just focus on today and getting through the now because I want to enjoy the recipes and the fruit and the veggies. I want to make the most of my current experience with the program.

Some things I have noticed since last week. My face is not as “puffy”. I have no idea if it’s bloat or weight gone, it just feels nice to have people notice. I am more comfortable in my jeans too (although today they were a bit snug, but I don’t know if that is just day 8-9 in the program timeline hitting me a little late). I am drinking more water and I actually find myself craving it. I have replaced sweets with fruit. Fruit suddenly tastes more sweet than I remembered it. I am not craving bad food as much as I was before. I have been having dreams about food though. The latest one was about pizza and cake. HAHAHAHAHA! It made me laugh because in my dream I was like, “I can still keep going on Whole30 though, right?” I have been in a better mood. I am not as angry or frustrated as I was before the program. Aside from the crazy weather I have actually been looking forward to getting out of the house.

Oh, and huge milestone for me hit this past week. I went over to a friends house and they had TAMALES! Ok, if anyone knows me or my family they know that tamales are the business. I LOVE them and they love my hips right back. They love my hips so much that they like to stick around for a while. I actually was able to kindly refuse them and stay focused on my goal. They also had Doritos and dip there. I don’t know how I survived. I think the company and conversation was so fantastic that it was more than enough distraction from the food.

Now, on to week 3. I am working on my 30 Day Ab Challenge (it’s an app on my iPhone called 30Day Fitness if you are interested in joining me). I now just need to plan for my Christmas Dinner and hope that all goes well. I will probably write a few more times this week, but if I catch you on your way to visiting family or friends away from home, I hope you have a safe and fun visit and a lovely Holiday no matter what you might be celebrating.

What are your plans this week? Are you in the middle of potty training or one of your child’s “next level of greatness” moments? Tell me how you are doing and your plans for the holidays.

True OR False: Christmas Love

[I have my place decorated for the holidays.]

FALSE. We have our cute little tree up, but unfortunately with our little fingers and mouths running around I don’t want to have too much around that they can swallow or get into. It makes for a very simple Christmas, but still… it is our first Christmas in Texas, so it is still very significant. What makes it an even bigger deal is this will be the first Christmas in my 29 years of life that I have ever been away from my family. It hasn’t quite hit me yet, but I know it will hit me hard soon. I will likely be FaceTiming my family all throughout Christmas day.

[I love the Christmas music.]

Who doesn’t love Christmas music? I mean this one should be pretty easy. TRUE… I love Christmas music. It makes me reminisce about my family and all of the beautiful tradition during this time of the year. My family’s constant for Christmas was the Nat King Cole cd. We would play it all throughout the holiday season. Some days we would make tea, hot cocoa, or hot apple cider and sit in my Mom’s “special room” and listen to Nat King Cole while admiring our tree. Oh the memories…

And just for the record, Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song” was always my favorite.

[The family and the food are my favorite part of Christmas.]

I do love family and holiday food. That is one of the most fun part of Christmas, but… FALSE. My favorite part of Christmas is the tree. There was a time when my family would go spend the day finding and cutting down our own tree. We would pick it out, my dad and brothers would cut it down and then we would be on our way home to  decorate it and the house. I would have liked to do that with my family, but I know right now is just not good timing for that. The kids are small and likely to get lost in a tree farm. It would turn into a mother’s worst nightmare pretty quickly. But, when I was a teenager I would come home from school and set myself up on my favorite recliner (which, thank goodness my parents handed down to me) and do my homework in front of the twinkling tree. I would play our family’s regular Nat King Cole Christmas CD and be in nirvana. It was and still is my happy place. I know after the kids are asleep tonight I will come into the living room and sit with the lights off to admire the glow of my tree with Christmas music playing softly in the background. My tree is my happy place.

I do have to admit though… fresh tress win over any fake tree. It doesn’t matter how life-like or how easy it is to use, fresh trees are always better. The smell alone is worth the trip for me. This year we went with a small fake tree cause little miss is all about putting things in her mouth and I don’t want her eating any of the pine needles.

[We will be opening presents with the kids on Christmas Eve.]

This is FALSE. I will always have us open gifts on Christmas Day simply because it will be in the morning and my mommy self doesn’t want tired, cranky children trying to stay up with their new toys Christmas Eve. I want them to be able to have a full nights rest and ready to play all day with the new toys. No staying up late for my kiddos. They get far too crabby and by about 8pm what is left of my patience vanishes into thin air.

[My all time favorite Christmas movie is “A Christmas Story”.]

“You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!” That phrase and the kid with the glasses drive me absolutely bonkers. I cannot stand that movie, so this would be FALSE. I have two favorite Christmas movies. My first (and probably ranked a little higher than the other) is “Home Alone 2”. I love that movie! I still laugh at Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern when they get pulverized by a kid. I think because this was the movie I would watch with my brothers during the Christmas season, it has more sentimental value to me. My second favorite is “Love Actually”. Who can say no to the Prime Minister (Hugh Grant) getting down and full on dancing in his quarters? Plus, Colin Firth is adorable learning Italian to finally talk to his house keeper. It’s just a feel good movie about love during the season of Christmas. You can’t go wrong with that movie.


Now it’s your turn! Answer “true” or “false” to the statements above and explain your answers. Have a wonderful holiday!

Whole30 Week 1: COMPLETE

After seven days of Whole30, I figured I would update you on progress. The Whole30 likes you to think more about how you feel than what the numbers on the scale will tell you, so I am going to continue to avoid the scale and go with my gut… literally.

In the past seven days I have been eating at home, cooking, focusing on veggies and fruit, getting in some protein, and not eating the processed junk. As a whole I feel really good. I definitely don’t feel as sluggish and negative as I felt before I started. When I started this I was probably at rock bottom with my attitude and my eating. I feel almost “refreshed” after a week of this. I know I have another three and a half weeks to go, but it’s nice to start feeling this good already. I haven’t even hit the “Tiger Blood” stage (there is a time line on the Whole30 website that describes the “Tiger Blood” phase). I feel like this feeling makes the rest of the process even more promising.

I have noticed a few physical things in the first week too. After about 2-3 days I felt way less bloated and gassy. Not a bad thing at all especially when you come from a traditionally gassy family. I normally blame genetics, but in reality it was what I was eating. I never thought about it. I thought that’s just what it was. Then the added bloating. I have gone from drinking soda/teas to drinking straight water before and that decreases bloat by a lot, but this takes it to a whole different level. In the one week that I have been doing this, I don’t look swollen or puffy like I used to. Even in my abdomen and thighs I have seen a noticeable change. It’s like I woke up and looked in the mirror only to say, “Why, hello hour shape! I haven’t seen you in a long while.” Since I removed the excess crap food from my diet the build up of stuff in my body is finally able to properly clean/flush out and my poor, overworked body. Now I am allowing my body and organs to get back to doing what it’s supposed to be doing. I even had my blood pressure taken at the dentist the other day and it was 106/60. I was very happy with that.

Other things that I have noticed. As much as I know I can’t eat pizza, pasta, fried chicken, or other things like that and that does feel restrictive, I have noticed that I am not having as many cravings and I am not snacking as much because I am comfortable. I am not over stuffed with food, but I am comfortable. Before Whole30, after I would eat a full meal I would feel incredibly hungry again about two hours later. It was almost like I was never full. I know it’s totally “fat girl” thinking, but it was how I felt. Now, I can have a good solid meal (which, I still don’t feel stuffed after, but comfortable) and I don’t feel the urge to snack or eat. If I do need to snack it’s one or two small things (i.e. fruit and nuts, veggies and guac, etc.) and then I am satisfied until the next meal. Eating those foods you can’t really over stuff yourself because your body has a way of saying, “Steph, you’re good… don’t keep going… you’re really good right now.”

The other thing I looked forward to after reading about the Whole30 was the sleep benefits. I can sleep through the night. I still do have the occasional weird dream. Last week I had two or three, but nothing that made me toss and turn or random wake ups. The only thing that has been waking me up now is little Miss Parker and when nature calls. Aside from those wake ups, I have been sleeping soundly and I feel more rested when I wake up. I am not nearly as groggy and fuzzy when I wake up. I feel like it would be nice to sleep in a little later than 6:30a but, I am able to get up, function, and not feel like a train (or three kids) ran me over first thing in the morning.

So far the majority of what Whole30 promises has delivered. I am very impressed with it and I am looking forward to week two. I think it will be interesting to see what happens from here on out. I know things will only get more and more challenging, but I know that if I can do it now, I can make this happen long term.

How are you holding up? Are you noticing any changes in your life since you have started what ever program you are working on?

Dirty Thoughts

Oooooooooh yeah. That sounds niiiiiice. Mmmmmmm. Oh and just a little of… ooooohhhh my GAWD. That is exactly what I was thinking while watching the unlimited food and/or dessert commercials yesterday during the football game. My weekend has been filled with “dirty thoughts”. I say “dirty thoughts” because it’s about food that is not good for me. Chocolate, peanut butter, pasta with cream sauces, ice cream, doughnuts, etc. have flooded my brain. I had one day where I would have given anything for a freaking string cheese. I kept pacing in front of my fridge as a matter of fact (we have a whole pack of them in the fridge for the kids) and I would open the door, then close the door. That move was on repeat throughout the day.

This weekend had to have been the hardest few days so far with the Whole30 program. I don’t know if it was because my husband was home or if it was because I was getting tired of the food I had been making, but I was food frustrated. I wanted everything in sight. I wanted to go get a monster sugary drink from Starbucks and Chinese food. All things sugar, dairy, soy, and grains just called to me. My husband didn’t make it much easier. He was more than willing to share his Milky Way and had to go to Chipotle for lunch.

This weekend was one that tested every ounce of will power I had. I even went to Costco! Now, if you are familiar with Costco, you know that they are widely known for their incredible samples. We used to go and make a meal out of the trip when we lived in California. It was a smorgasbord of all kinds of delicious treats. Thank GOD they had a raw nut sample because I needed just something to deter me from the other goodies that lined the isles. Then after the kids were starving so it was a slice of cheese pizza and hotdog to share (among the three kids, not me, although I think I was drooling). The thing that made it harder was that I had to cut it up for the kids. I was the one feeding it to them. I was smelling the food, touching the food, serving the food… it was torture.

The good news about all that… I MADE IT! I survived without giving in. I really almost caved yesterday, but then I made my lettuce tacos for dinner and they were tasty enough that I didn’t need to do anything else. I was worried though. When Ben called me during his lunch at work and I was on the verge of stuffing my face with my kids advent calendar candy, but he talked me down. When I had a “craving” I asked myself, “are you really truly hungry or are you just bored,” or “are you just craving it because it looks/smells good and not because you are really hungry”. On almost every occasion I wasn’t really hungry. On the occasions where I felt I was actually hungry I would eat an apple sauce or an orange or a hard boiled egg; something small, healthy, easy and on plan.

Waking up today I feel extraordinarily proud of myself for overcoming my “dirty thoughts”. Last night, I probably would have willingly jumped into a pool of chocolate pudding if someone gave me the opportunity and I do not like pudding (it’s a texture thing). Yuck! Today I was excited to test out a new recipe in the crockpot and I was able to get my meal plan updated for week two. I feel much more focused than I was yesterday and I was able to accomplish some cleaning around the house. Tomorrow I will try and get my butt out of the house.

The more time I spend inside, the easier it is for me to look to food. I know it’s because I am bored and not really hungry, so I have come to peace with asking my “questions” before going for food. I think I will be asking Ben to help a little more with the kids dinners and stuff so that I don’t have to have my “dirty thoughts” about their food become a constant issue. I have been much better about that though. Now, I am on to a new week.

How do you stay on plan when you are at a moment of weakness? Do you have a food buddy or a partner you can call or text? I have a buddy of mine that is doing something similar and I love that I can text her and ask about recipes or tips. I need a few more of those so if she isn’t available that I can check in with them too. Do you want to be my food buddy? What have been some of your “dirty thoughts” (i.e. cravings)?

***Cheers <raises cup of water> to day 6 of 30. Just 24 days more to go!***

Some Things Never Change

Back in high school someone told me something that I will never forget. I think I must have asked them something to the gist of, “Why do you like me?” or “What made you want to be friends with me?” At that age I was probably my most vulnerable. I wasn’t any of those particular things (popular, sports super star, student body president, etc.) that would automatically inspire confidence. I was the girl next door. I was the girl that all the guys felt comfortable around because they could act like themselves, fools. I was also the girl that other girls felt comfortable not acknowledging because they didn’t have much to say to me. So when I got into this conversation I didn’t know that I would remember it for as long as I have.

After I asked them that question (Why do you like me/What made you want to be friends with me) I was particularly surprised at their response. They said something like they liked my laugh and that I could find humor in almost anything; and then they said, “oh, and you can never stay mad at anyone.” That part I remember most clearly.I was puzzled. I thought the laugh/humor thing made me a bit charming, but never staying mad at someone? What? That’s a bit ambiguous, don’t you think? Does that mean I am a push-over?

After years of thinking about that phrase and mulling over all the possible meanings behind it, it took me until after college to figure out how I wanted to interpret it. I had to go through losing several people who I thought were very close friends of mine and a major life change with my significant other before I could figure it out. I can’t stay mad at people because God gave me the ability to forgive. I am one of the few people in the world who can forgive people no matter how horrible the relationship or how challenging the situation. Don’t get me wrong, I still get mad or sad/heartbroken, and I will likely cry about it. But, at the end of it all, I still choose to forgive.

In my ventures through school, employment and motherhood I have come across what you would classify as the “mean girls”. Now, I hate the phrase “mean girls” because it really applies to men too. It’s not just women who are catty, guys have a similar way about themselves, they just handle it a little differently. But, that tends to be the general name for the group of people who are just mean. They are mean just to be mean and that’s the way it is. It is deliberate and almost strategical. It makes my heart hurt just thinking about them. These people find whatever person they can pick on just to see them cry, feel bad about themselves, and/or remove them from whatever social group they are apart of. These “mean girls” found me.

They found me and my family even after we relocated from California. They are in Texas too! I am not completely naive, I knew they existed outside of California, I just didn’t think they would find me this quickly. None the less, now that I know who these “mean girls” are (which, I guess it wasn’t that hard… I have only been here for about two months) it makes me distancing myself from them that much easier. I am the kind of person who “can never stay mad” at someone, but if you burn me I do stay away. If you believe I wronged you (even though in reality, that may not be the case) I will be the first person to apologize or to try and talk to you about it.

Some people see apologizing as relinquishing power or control, being weak, or just being pathetic. I feel like it can be the exact opposite. You are acknowledging that what ever you did or said may have hurt someone. You are taking the initiative to resolve it and open the door of communication. That shows immense self control and power, it shows strength to say that you were wrong or that you didn’t mean to hurt or cause someone pain (that quite frankly is not seen very often), and it shows respect… you are saying despite our situation I still value our relationship and want to make this better. As much as I am not extremely confrontational, I certainly do not mind having an adult conversation about whatever might be bothering you or me. I am even open to maintaining the relationship and making it better for the future.

What I will never understand about these “mean girls” is the need to pull others to your “cause” and gang up on one person. The desire to publicly humiliate or verbally maim someone doesn’t serve much of a purpose outside of causing pain to the person on the receiving end. This is not a friendly trait. It doesn’t make me want to have you around. No matter how well we resolve our “mean girl” issues, you will be always be the “mean girl” to me and I will never trust you. I will forever keep away from those people. They are on a repetitive cycle and I am not interested in joining the “mean girl” mob. It’s not my thing.

Even after all these years of growth and change, I suppose that some things never change. I still love to laugh and I find humor in life. And I don’t like to stay mad at people. I find that I stress about it and the energy it takes to be angry is more than I am willing to put into it. So when I decided to apologize to and forgive my “mean girls” I do it for me. I do it so I don’t have it weigh on my mind forever. I do it so I can make my peace and move on.

Now, moving on to more delicious things. I am enjoying my Whole30 cooking. Today was my egg breakfast left overs on a bead of spinach with guac for breakfast. Lunch was a repeat of dinner last night because it was so stinking yummy. Dinner was stuffed baked potatoes and asparagus. YUMMY! I can’t even begin to say how much I am enjoying this. I had a good day of eating and I am ready for day three tomorrow. It will be a new ball game with my husband home for his weekend. I just hope he doesn’t have some random craving for crap. I have been doing so well and I want to make it to day 30. I have officially moved on to day two and tomorrow brings day three.

Well, I am off to hang out with my hubby. I hope you all have a great day. What special trait do you have that someone brought to your attention? Did you ever see it in yourself? Do you still carry that trait?