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Monday, September 29, 2014

Meals for the Mini!

Before we jump into food, I just want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all of you for being so kind and encouraging, supportive and sensitive to my feelings.  You all have confirmed over and over to me that I did the right thing by sharing my story.  The emails, comments, messages, songs, bible versus, prayers - it has all been the most overwhelmingly positive experience that I never expected.  I have said it before, but I'll say it again - The Internet can be such a scary and negative place to be (especially for personal things people go through), but you have all seriously made it the best place imaginable for me.  I wish I could respond to each and every one of you followed up with the biggest hug you have ever received.  Please know that I have read and continue to read every.single.message. you have left for me.  You will all never know how truly touched I am and how much you have all helped me along in my journey.  I will be forever grateful.

Now lets talk food!  Ever since I posted my "Weekly Meal Ideas" video, I have gotten asked to share what Addison typically eats too.  And I will be the first to admit that I LOVE these kinds of posts on other Mommy blogs I read. I'm really lucky that Addison is such a great eater, it saves me tons of time and makes it easier on me that I don'tt have to cook separate meals for her. There really isn't anything this girl doesn't like or won't eat.  So I thought I would share with you some ideas of meals she has.  If you guys like this, let me know and I will keep posts like this one coming ;).  *Note that a lot of these were from a a couple months ago in the heart of the Summer, hence the seasonal fruits/veggies.  I am so late in posting this!

Breakfast - We don't stray from the usual too often (except on the weekends when I make pancakes or frenchtoast).  During the week It usually looks something like this:

1. Scrambled Eggs, Toast, Blueberries

2. Scrambled Eggs, Avocado, Banana
3. Scrambled Egg Whites, Tomatos, Avocado
4. Oatmeal w/ Strawberries & Blueberries

Eggs or Oatmeal, always with a side of fruit and I switch it up between toast, yogurt and avocado. I make her cinnamon toast and she also loves my cinnamon raisin bread.

Lunch - This is always the challenging meal for me, so please do share if you have some better ideas! Sometimes its leftovers, but most days we alternate between lunch meat (I always buy Applegate Naturals Ham or Turkey) / grilled cheese / pb&j or her new favorite jelly & cream cheese sandwiches, with sides like hummus/veggies, avocado, fruit and yogurt.

1. Almond Butter & Strawberry Jam, Cheese, Carrot Sticks & Hummus
2. Sliced Turkey, Cottage Cheese, Avocado, Cucumbers & Tomatos
3. Turkey, Cottage Cheese, Pita & Hummus
4. Tuna, Avocado, Black Beans & Cantaloupe

Dinner - She eats whatever I make for myself, so this changes constantly (and you may see some similar meals pop up in a video of mine coming up).

1. Grilled Chicken, Yellow (green) Beans, Cucumber / Tomato Salad w/ EVOO & vinegar
2. Turkey burgers (w/cheese) with an avacdo/yogurt dressing, corn on the cob, brown rice. 
3. Rotisserie Turkey, Peas & Carrots
4. Whole Wheat Pasta with grilled chicken and my homeade gray (sauce).

Snacks usually include yogurt (I buy Stonyfield's YoBaby/YoToddler), applesauce, puffs, cheerios, the new Smuckers Fruit Fulls that is is CRAZY for or fruit. She also really loves smoothies.

I welcome more ideas or if you have a blog where you post ideas, please share it!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Finding Joy in the Journey.

This post is a hard one.  This is not something I EVER thought I would be speaking about, let alone writing a blog post for and sharing with the Internet.  I have gone back and forth about my decision to share this with you all for months.  As most of you know, I tend to be a very private person when it comes to my personal life.  So naturally part of me feels like this isn’t something that I should talk about, or feel the need to explain to anyone outside of my family and friends.  But the other part of me wants to share it because I have been at this for 7 years and appreciate the kindness, and support I have received.  In a way I feel responsible to share this because it is such a huge thing and not just a small little detail about my life.  This has completely rocked my world to say the least, and to go on pretending as if this is not the case just feels wrong.  Like one giant lie-and to be honest, I’ve been part of more lies than any one person should be in a lifetime.  I also feel as though this may help others who are going through or have gone through a similar experience.  One of the biggest blessings of being on You Tube for so long is the have the amazing support that I receive.  With support, comes so many others who can relate.  I have been told that I have helped others when they have been through rough times, and now that I am experiencing this, I am in turn leaning on you all for support.  I knew that once people started catching on to some changes (not wearing my ring, new filming set-up, lack of videos, etc.) there would be questions.  And I knew that if I didn’t say anything and chose to ignore them, they wouldn’t go away.  I understand that people are curious-a little nosy if you will and I totally get it.  But rather than people speculating, or assuming to know what is going on, I would rather have the chance to explain it myself.

I am getting a divorce. The words still feel so unreal and honestly scary to even see them written out.  Never in a MILLION years would I have believed a single soul if they told me that at 29 years old, I would be a divorced, single Mom of a 1 year old and having to start my life all over again - from scratch.  But here lies my reality - and the truth.  Four months ago, I discovered that my husband of 2 years (we had just celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary the week before) has not only been lying, but involved in an inappropriate relationship for the last 4 years of our life.  My husband, my best friend, the guy that I was madly in love with, committed myself to in front of our closest friends and family, had a child with, the guy I was supposed to grow old with, suddenly became a stranger to me.  I didn’t even recognize him anymore.  To say that I was blindsided would be putting it lightly.  Most women in my shoes start to see signs, feel the distance, catch their partner in lies.  Not this girl!  Nick has been leading a double life and he became a professional at it.  Out of respect for our daughter, as bad as this guy has hurt me, I don’t have it in me to nail him to the cross so publicly with all of the super fun details.

I never claimed to have a perfect life - but I would be lying to you if I said I didn’t think I had a great life.  A life that I thanked God for each and every night and a life that sometimes I would cry at night over after hearing from others the hard times they were going through.  I didn’t feel like I deserved such a great life - at times it felt too good to be true and in the back of my mind, I always felt like a bomb was going to drop.  I’m calling it women’s intuition.  Well the bomb dropped….it crashed, actually and shattered my fairytale….and now I am working to put the pieces back together and keep moving forward.   I have been told by many that I am handling it extremely well, and while I can honestly say that I am in a really good place, this did happen several months ago and time has definitely done its part in starting the healing process for me.  I am not going to pretend that I haven't gone through some of the darkest days and truth be told, still have some occasionally.  To anyone else going through something similar - especially those who have just recently had their worlds shattered, please believe me when I say that I PROMISE you that life will get better.  The darkness will eventually fade and the sun WILL shine again.  It just may take a little while. In that while, don’t be afraid to grieve….afterall, it certainly does feel like a death.  A death of someone you thought you knew better than yourself, and in your heart and world is no longer existent.  Its ok to cry, scream, be angry, frustrated, have questions, doubt yourself, cry for days, etc.  I’ve been there.  I experienced all of those emotions and beyond.  And just when I think I am on my 2 feet again and fine….it hits me out of nowhere and the emotions start all over again.  However, time does heal and those "waves" become less and less and though I’m sure at times we all would love a fast forward button on life, unfortunately, they don’t exist.  Take advantage of time.  You have a second chance at life, at happiness, to correct the mistakes you have made, and to learn from them moving forward.  You are about to embark on a whole new journey, and start a whole new relationship-one with yourself.  It will teach you more about you and falling in love with who YOU are.  Enjoy it, start saying YES, take on something new, do things you have never done before, have FUN! I have been through hell and back the last several months - but I’m still alive, and I’m choosing to not let this one REALLY bad thing define me.  Truth is, Nick made the decisions he did…As a 35 year old adult, only he is in control of his decisions and his life.  No one forced him and no one told him what to do.  He decided and he acted.  I don't understand it, I can't explain it and to be honest, I don't think I ever will.  But I know now that its not for me to understand or explain.  Thats just Nick. I am saying this because if anyone is going through something like this, this is so important to note!  I need you to hear this.  IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.  You cannot blame yourself and you don't have to understand it.  It will only drive you crazy and delay you from moving on with your life.  Its scary to not know what tomorrow will bring - but find comfort in knowing that tomorrow WILL come.  Every tomorrow is a chance for a do-over, a fresh start.  And with every tomorrow comes HOPE.  Hope that you will be happy again, hope that you will trust again, hope that you will one day look back at all of this as a blessing in disguise and just a “really hard time”.  Maybe it will become the turning point on your journey that is life.  The moment that you became an even stronger person than you imagined yourself ever being.  A month after everything came out, a very wise soul said something that has really stuck with me that I want to share with you all.  She said that though I may have thought of Nick as my soul mate and my forever - he may have just been a stepping stone for me to get to where I am going and ultimately where I am supposed to be.  I’ve always been a believer that everything happens for a reason….even really bad things that people can’t explain when they happen.  And I have to believe that God has bigger plans for Addison and I.  I trust in him and at the end of the day, its what gets me through each day, especially the really painful ones.  I am grateful that he is the one in control. And then there is Addison.  To consider her the biggest blessing in my life would be the understatement of the year.  She is my hero.  She has saved me from so much darkness and put the life back in me again.  I honest to God have no idea where I would be without her.  How a 1 year old can be this powerful little force in my life-without even knowing or trying is the most fascinating thing to me.  She is my angelbaby and I will be forever grateful to her for the blessing that she is and getting me through this.  I will be forever grateful to God for choosing me to be her Mommy and giving me the best gift I could ever have received-from anyone.  When I do experience bad days-she is my light. She is my joy and she is what pulls me through.  Seeing her smile, or learn a new task, say a new word or give me her sloppy open-mouth kisses…it sends chills down my spine just thinking about it all.  And more importantly, it reminds me how precious this life is and how some things just don’t matter.  She has taught me to laugh through tears and hold on to precious little moments, even when they happen at the worst times.  I have strengthened my relationship with God and look forward to this new force in my life.  My parents have been my saving grace….my Mom- I can’t even begin to describe just how amazing she has been.  She is there at the drop of a hat without me even asking.  Not only has she been the biggest help with Addie but she has been my best friend and confident.  The amount of support I have received from my family and friends is something I will never be able to repay.  I always knew I had a great family and amazing friends…but this whole thing has really made me realize just how blessed I am to have the support system I do and I don’t take it or any one of them for granted.  Every single one of them have dropped everything to be there for me, sometimes even just to let me cry, scream and vent to.  The reason I am saying all of this, is again for anyone else going through this.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  That is what they are there for.  And trust me, one day, you will be there for them to return the favor.

I apologize for the crazy long post, and I thank you for reading and for all of your support.  Like I said, I have gone through some pretty dark days, and reading your comments and emails even in the last 4 months always manage to put a smile on my face.  You guys have helped me through so much, and without even knowing, or trying.  I can’t thank you enough and I wish I could personally thank each and everyone of you that have been something positive for me.  I would love to be able to return the favor to anyone who would allow me.  If you guys ever need to talk, vent, or just a friend to talk to, I am here.  Don’t be a stranger. You will get through this, you will be ok - in fact, you will be even stronger and happier, I promise.  If there is nothing else in this life that you can count on to get you through, you will always have time.  That is the one thing that without fail, you can ALWAYS count on.  If there is anything I’ve learned in all of this its that life isn’t a fairytale…..and I’m starting to be ok with that.


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