New Website


Hi Everyone!  I have my own website now!

Everything that you loved about this blog will be even better over at Embracing Life: Writing for Joy.

http://www.writingforjoy.com

If you have subscribed to this page, please, please come on over to my new site and subscribe and follow me there!

Looking forward to hearing from everyone.

Aly

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A Month Ago


A month ago I was feeling pretty good. Rocking this homeowner thing, planning for our 6th anniversary. I had lost 10 lbs and was really practicing some good habits. I felt like I had a pretty good handle on adulting.

Then, three weeks ago my great Uncle Sal passed away. It was unexpected although he was 92. He lived a great life, full of love and laughter.

I think we all feared that the news would be too much for my dear great grammy. That was her last living sibling and the baby of the family. She made it through his funeral, but had a stroke a few days later. She passed away at home with her family March 29, 2017.

Another extended family member, Viviene,  mother of our cousin Dan also passed away. It seems unfair to lose so many dear to us in such a short time. Although, the world tells me often that life is not fair.

Since then, I have felt like we have been swirling around in some Wizard of Oz-esqueezes cyclone. Not knowing where we will land and how we will be once we get there. I’m exhausted and have succumbed to a summer cold. Well a spring cold, but it’s still pretty rough. The kids are fighting it the best they can, but I think my body is telling me I have to rest. And then I have to get out of the cyclone. It’s hard to face life’s challenges. They aren’t really “unfair.” Just tough to tackle. There is so much that I want to do, but I am struggling to focus.

A month ago, I was feeling pretty good. Now, I just feel tired. I’ve written a poem in honor of my Gram. My Aunt Cindy had hoped we could write one for the funeral, but I didn’t have words until now. Love you, Cinny.

A Rose Amongst Thorns

Sweet Grammy would light up when I brought the babies around to see her.

She would hug and kiss them with unadulterated joy, playing patticake and tea party and letting Sophia brush and brush her soft white hair.

Grammy always offer candy even if you said no the first three times because everyone could use a bit of chocolate. She always had one with you so you didn’t have to feel bad for eating a candy by yourself.

Grammy fed our souls with joy. With her devotion to her faith and her family she warmed our hearts. She fed our bellies with food even putting her own plate in front of us to make sure we ate.

She laughed and had a great sense of humor. She could tease you with a straight face and you couldn’t belive your ears until she cracked a little smile. She could beat you at cards, but sometimes she would let you win.

Grammy always asked how you were and really meant it. She cared so deeply about those around her. She was kind.

She was truly the best of us.

Taking a Step


img_20170215_085814-1Pictured Above: December 2016 (left) and February 2017 (right) post-Whole30

Hey All,

I mentioned the other day in my Mom of 2 post that I was doing a round of Whole30. Basically, the premise of a whole30 is to eliminate foods that are triggers for inflammation, digestive issues, pain issues,unhealthy eating habits, and so on. You can read more about it here. I first heard about Whole30 two years ago when my mom mentioned that she would like to try a round. So I agreed.

At that time I was 9 months postpartum from the birth of my daughter. Completing a round was tough, but rewarding. I did another round 3 months later  because I felt so good. Many of you know or have read on here that I suffered from severe postpartum anxiety after my first pregnancy. The Whole30 really helped calm my anxiety, get my gut health back on track, and lose some extra weight (20 lbs total). Over the last two plus years I have done a few rounds of whole30 or shorter “mini rounds” whenever I felt the need to kick start my healthy habits.

Fast forward to pregnancy with my son I didn’t suffer from anxiety as much, but I really didn’t practice my healthy eating habits either. (I consumed a milkshake a day which for me was triggering digestive issues and pain). Over the past 9 months since Max was born I have been learning how to be a mom to 2 beautiful kids, getting back into my freelance writing and editing, bought a new house and moved in! With all of those wonderful events, I let my eating habits slide out of control. I went from never drinking soda to choosing that first. I usually avoid bread and cakes, but I would find myself overeating or snacking ALL day instead of just making a decent meal.

I am not blaming myself or saying “woe is me” because I was busy keeping my babies happy and healthy. The truth is that is not enough. My husband always encourages me to get out of the house, write, and just do things that make me happy. I am happy taking care of my little ones, but I want to show them that Mommy is strong. That I treat my body well by eating right and exercising (okayyy, I’m still working on that part) and treating my mind right by reading, studying, and pursuing my passion to write. I want my children to be happy in mind, body, and spirit. To me, this starts with FEELING good. So, I came back around to another round whole30.

My mom did the January 2017 whole30 with me and it helped to have a team mate. Together, we learned to cook some wonderful new recipes (Looking at you Chicken Chowder, pg 336 from The Whole30 book by Melissa Hartwig). This is an amazing non-scale victory (NSV) because before Whole30 I would have never, ever tried something like chowder and I LOVED it.

I struggled with this round emotionally. I didn’t realize how much of a hold that my eating habits had over me. There were times over the 30 day period that I cried and wanted to quit because I felt sad. I did realize though that it wasn’t healthy to be ruled my cravings and sugar like that. I wanted to use food to comfort myself and that is exactly what the Whole30 program wants to help you move away from. So I stuck it out. The sense of accomplishment, the NSV’s including less headaches, shinier hair, more confidence, and losing 10 lbs* was worth it.

The  successful completion of whole30 led me to signing our family up for the Y (shout out to my husband who has been going to the gym almost every day for 7 weeks), starting a planner, meal planning, continuing with a family budget, and making a promise to myself to write more often. I would use the excuse that the kids “need” me, but right now as I type Max is playing with toys at my feet and Sophia is watching an episode of Daniel Tiger. I have to make the time where I can spare it.

So here it is, last night I was scrolling Facebook and I saw a picture (Me in the white shirt) from a Christmas party. I laughed because I was wearing the same PJ pants. I had to do a side by side because I knew just looking at that first picture there was a huge change from December. The second picture says so much more to me than weight lost. I am standing up taller, I feel prouder, and I know I am healthier than I was before.

It is not that every day is easy now. There are some days where I will decide that pretzels are an essential food group and I am not going to get out of my pajama, but I’m going to keep trying to better myself. I’m not saying that the Whole30 is for everybody or that everyone needs to change their lifestyle, but as a self-proclaimed “lazy” girl  I want to show my family that you can still enjoy Gilmore Girl marathons and dessert without giving up a strong, healthy lifestyle.

xo AT

*The Whole30 program is NOT  a weight loss program, but for someone with  diplegic cerebral palsy  (read: mostly affects my legs) maintaining a healthy weight is essential. This helps me avoid joint pain, problems with walking, and even breathing. I’ve written more about my life with CP here.

Writing Begets Writing


So I haven’t written much in the last six months. I seem to go in small spurts of writing every day to not writing at all. It’s one of those simple matters of letting life get in the way. I try not to do that, but it happens anyway.

I’ve noticed that the more I push myself to write (even if its just a blog post here and there), the  more I want to write. Writing is as much a part of me as being a wife and mother are. The words are all floating around inside my soul waiting to be written out. I have honestly felt more relaxed and happy than I have in months when I carve out some time to write each day.

Today was awesome because I was able to put some of my creative writing/editing skills into action. A friend of mine from back in the day (which, is a Wednesday, by the way) reached out to me over social media to see if I could do some editing for his new company blog. Viola, I am a productive member of society today! If it’s possible sometimes I forget how much I love writing and editing. As if the 4 years in undergrad and the 2 plus years in graduate school weren’t enough to tell me that writing is my passion, it’s like my brain just forgets. Then it all comes back to me, my passion (along with being a wife and mother) is to write. As easily as breathing, here come the words, the inspiration, the life force.

Sometimes we all need to be reminded of what we love. Especially those of us with pregnancy brain!

❤ Aly

PS My husband reminds me every day that I should be doing more writing, but sometimes I get distracted by his handsome face and lumberjack beard and forget what he’s saying 😉 love you bug.