Living Gluten Free

My littlest has Celiac disease. I won’t sugar coat this for you, it sucks. Sure, he doesn’t have cancer or far worse ailments, I am both thankful and unbelievably appreciative of this. But he does have a serious disease that means he cannot eat anything with gluten in it. And let me tell you right now, just about everything has gluten in it. If you don’t know, then start reading labels. Essentially, anything with wheat, oats, or barley is riddled with gluten and that doesn’t even touch all the secret alternative names gluten goes by in the food industry. It is a good thing this girl has a background in chemistry and the ability to pronounce the unpronounceable because that is practically what it takes to navigate a grocery store with gluten free objectives in mind. I’m not kidding, when we went into Children’s Hospital for their tutorial on how to feed a Celiac patient I knew more than our educator and left her office feeling like she needs to find new employment.

So in support of my little auto immune challenged angel I made the whole house gluten free, and thereby everyone in it as a result. Now daddy still eats gluten all day at work and mommy will even sneak a slice of pizza or a sub sandwich every now and then, but other than that we are gluten free and the boys are %100 free. My oldest will even inquire while shopping if each item I buy is gluten free and can his little brother have it. Awesome, thoughtful, well beyond his 4 years in my opinion.

But this new lifestyle has left me wanting. I have a sweet tooth for all things and gluten free is not the diet of choice for those of us who swear brownies and cake are their own food groups. I’m not kidding that I used to be on a first name basis with the owner of my local Dunkin Donuts, as a matter of fact we used to eat lunch together regularly. So it has been a blow to my taste buds and a benefit to my belly that there really are no good gluten free items out there to replace my favorite stand-bys. And believe me I have tried a lot of them. I mean a lot of them.

But, all that aside, I have a guardian angel who gets me, I mean she really gets me, or maybe she gets having kids or maybe she just loves me, I don’t know, but this beautiful woman occasionally sends me gluten free foods to try and I will say she hits the mark more often than not and I have found some gems in her submissions. There was the corn bread that tasted like heaven, the pasta that actually kept its firmness and didn’t turn to a pile of mush. Se gets it, she really does.

In her most recent blissful offering she hit right to the heart of me, donuts. Homemade donuts. Oh MY GOD! It was like getting a bit of heaven delivered right from Amazon! I was super eager to try them out so I gathered the ingredients and then realized I was missing a key component. A donut pan, what the hell is a donut pan?!? I didn’t know, and neither did the two stores I went to looking for one. Then, out of the blue a second package arrives with , a donut pan! A heart shaped donut pan! So I set to work making my very first homemade donuts.

So let me say that first thing, this is a great do it yourself project because it really only has 3 ingredients you need to add, milk, egg, and butter; items even the barest of kitchens usually has. I was however somewhat off put by the box telling me this was a breakfast food. What? First, how dare you suggest that I don’t know when to eat donuts and therefore need your help to decipher the right time of day. And second, how dare you infer that donuts are a breakfast food when clearly they are an anytime you want to eat donuts food.  I mean what kind of world is this when others try to dictate when I eat a donut?? I will eat them 24/7 just like I always have thank you very much.

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Anyway, I digress. So I whipped together the mix, greased my heart shaped pan and filled it with what I hoped was yummy goodness. I put it in the oven and waited the 12 minutes until they rose all yummy and golden brown. Then I coated them liberally in melted butter and cinnamon and sugar provided in the box. I say liberally because lets be honest, I didn’t have high hopes and I figured butter makes everything better.

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Then I tried one, tentatively at first. Once you’ve been bit by a terrible gluten free dessert you get a little cautious and start taking small tastes instead of big bites. But this was different. This was delicious. Like on a whole new level, on the same level as gluten filled poison. I’ll tell you it was the best damn gluten free dessert of any kind I’ve ever had. It was so good I got sick eating too many of them at once. I was the little fat girl hiding inside me. I began to imagine ways I could hoard them away from my children. It was terrible and wonderful. Ah a moment of bliss filled sugar rushes.

But being the giving mother that I am, I did eventually offer samples to the two littles. And they both scarfed them down like a famine was approaching. Even my gluten free baby, who eats peas instead of cookies, finished his warm and moist donut without even offering it to his brother. You know it’s good if a 4 year old asks for seconds.

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So what I learned is that even if it takes awhile it pays to persevere. You can and will find your bliss if you just keep looking. Be it the perfect gluten free pastry or the perfect job, spouse, or dress, the right moment, item, person is out there. Its just a shame you can’t order it all on Amazon or try a bit of everything before you buy. So thank you Brittney for hanging in there, finding a donut pan, feeding my inner child, and making me believe in the unbelievable again. You rock my love and I wish everyone had a Brittney of their very own.

 

 

It’s Over, We Are Breaking Up

Relationships can be great, they can fill you with immense joy and make you feel special. But they can also have a darker side. They can inhibit your life, make you feel tired and less than your best. We have all faced these moments of reality when we realize we have outgrown a relationship or our relationship is actually hurting us. It isn’t a good place to be, the task before you not one you want to do. No one likes to be the bad guy, even if it isn’t your fault, pulling the trigger on a breakup can be hard. I’ve put it off for a long time now. I’ve been deeply seated in denial, looking the other way at all the negatives. But I can’t do that any longer. It’s time for this negative relationship to end. And while I will miss the connection and the fuzzy feelings I used to get, I know in my heart I will be happier, healthier and better prepared to face my life if I just get brave and say good-bye. It isn’t going to be easy, we’ve been together a long time, and there are others to think about, but I know in my heart it is time, it is right. I talk a lot about intentional living and making the choices for your own happiness. This is mine, my choice. So here goes. Let’s start with the ULTIMATE Break up song, just to set the tone.

Here is my goodbye letter, my dear John if you will, the real truth behind a relationship that no one saw behind closed doors.

My Love,

We need to talk. You should probably sit down. This isn’t going to be easy for either of us.  I have had so many wonderful nights with you that make what I am about to say so difficult. Every time we curled up together the world was so right, nothing mattered but us. I felt like I could conquer anything with you beside me. I felt like if I just held you close the rest of the world would drop away and all my troubles with it. I remember pulling you close, little by little relishing in your smell, your taste. I get chills just thinking about our time together. And that is why you have to believe me when I say, it isn’t you, it’s me.

I know, I know, who hasn’t heard this a million times before. Someone tells us it is all them, just to spare us our feelings. But today, at this moment in time, I know it is me and not you. I know I am not ready for the kind of relationship you want. I am not ready to settle down and remain still the way you would like. I am not ready for the public embarrassment or the hiding the private life we have together. Maybe I’m just to “out there”, maybe I just don’t understand commitment. Maybe I just don’t like how bad I feel the next morning after a night alone with you. Being with you, makes me feel bad.

It isn’t your fault, no really. You are exactly what you were supposed to be. Beautiful , enticing, exquisitely tasteful, smooth, decadent, luscious even. I don’t think I have ever had better. Really. I don’t just say that to cushion the blow. You are it. You are the top, crème of the crop. There is nothing out there that can compare to you. Listen to me when I say this, I am not leaving you for another, there is no other, I get that now. But I still can’t be with you. I still can’t give in to all those urges no matter how much I want to or how much my heart begs me.

I know you will find someone else. Being as awesome as you, you will pick up and move on, probably not even feeling the loss of me. That is what it feels like to be at the top I guess. I will move on too. I will struggle at first no doubt. I will feel let down every night when you are not there. I will feel empty and alone, forgotten and abandoned. I will look for you hopefully, maybe even stop into a store just to see if you are there; but I will not weaken, I will stick it out, because what is right for me, what is best for me, is to say goodbye to you. No matter how much I love you, no matter how sweet you have been. no matter how much I am wholly convinced you are my soul mate and I will never meet another like you, I also know I just can’t live this lie anymore.

Go forth dear one, go forth and prosper. Make a name for yourself, find a new love, someone new to coerce, to brainwash into not seeing our dark side, your negative attributes, because that is no longer me. I plan to go forth, fill that void with something healthy, fill that void with something that makes me feel and look good. That’s right, I am predicting the future. I think I owe it to myself, I owe it to my family. I will get stronger. I will leave you behind and one day I will rejoice in the fact that I no longer even think about you. I will no longer say your name in my sleep, I will no longer see you in my head when I feel stressed. I will no longer long for you at night, our secret time. Just you wait, I bet you won’t even recognize the woman I am about to become, without, YOU.

So my very Dearest Ben and my true companion Jerry, just know that this isn’t about you, not really. You are the tits at making ice cream. I will never forget how Chocolate Fudge Brownie made me feel in my soul. But I would like to forget how it made me look around the middle. It isn’t personal, except for me. If I am going to reach my goal and feel good, we just have to part ways. There isn’t room for a nightly binge of a pint of Ben and Jerry’s in the life I am creating. There is no room for your worthless wasted 1500 calories I consume during our tryst because as we all know, a pint in a serving size, no matter what the carton says.

I’ll miss you B&J, I will. But I can’t take this anymore. It’s over. I’m done.

Love with all my heart,

Wendy

 

PS I hope you find what you are looking for Chocolate Fudge Brownie, I know I will.

But here is Inspiration, just in case I get weak. Surviving break up songs.

The Best of 2013

I’m not going to lie, 2013 kicked my proverbial ass in many ways. In other ways it was one of the most eye opening and life defining years of my life. Entering into motherhood three years prior had left me feeling like I’d lost myself. Losing my sister three years ago left me feeling broken.  I continued moving forward because that is what life is about, that is how you get unstuck from the muck and that is how you create the life you want, but in many ways it was just me going through the motions as opposed to me really living life. On the outside it looked like I was getting stuff done, sticking to a plan, on the inside it was like watching a movie and wishing it was over so I could sleep. Don’t get me wrong, I love my children, I love my husband, I love my life, but sometimes life knocks you down and makes other plans and you can stop and wallow in that shit or you can give it the middle finger and keep on moving even if you are injured (see that old intentional living I have been going on about for months).

2013 gave me a sick baby and doctors and hospitals and people I wish I had never had the need to meet, but am so grateful I did. It had my family discovering that Celiac Disease is actually a positive thing (when I consider the other potential options). It had me falling in love with my husband all over again by being lucky enough to watch him embrace his life as a responsible adult (something I think men struggle with). 2013 had me reach my pre baby weight but not my pre baby body (I still hope to shock and amaze you with before and after photos one day, maybe a 4 pack at 40 kind of thing by June??) but I learned my ability to be a dude is far more important than a flat stomach.  2013 saw my mother move to our property, my oldest learning how to be a good big brother, and my youngest potty training himself. 2013 let me reconnect with old friends, find my soul sister, and create laughter. But 2013 also brought me something else, this blog.

To some of you that may not even be note worthy. To me it has been a journey, and at times, an eye opening experience as I peruse all things in life looking for a better life, a happier life, a good way to live. By writing about my thoughts, by conveying what I have learned and all I have read I have not only learned much about me, I’ve learned so much about that better life. I am now able to turn off my mind when it tries to harm me with thoughts about my past or future, thoughts I cannot change and events I cannot alter. I have learned how to find happiness in this moment, how to let go of pain, how to manage my finances, how to talk to my husband, how to confront constructively, and how to love more completely. I have far more patience than I did when I started this journey and I can actually see the me I used to be before kids, before loss. There she is, looking at me in that mirror. There she is lounging surrounded by pups. There she is playing games with her kids. She didn’t disappear, she just got a little lost.

I spent a lot of time this year feeling defeated, scared, beaten down, broken, just utterly lost. I was frustrated that life wasn’t what I had been sold, that things could go horribly askew without my consent, and that so many people all over the place, every where I looked, were suffering. Then one day I sat down and I Googled happiness. I Googled, happy life. I Googled Zen. And it changed everything. Something so silly and ridiculous changed everything. So while we are better off financially than we were, our son thankfully does NOT have cancer, and our family life is full of laughter and peace, I know, I know in my heart and my head that I got to this place thru the journey of intentional decisions. Of choosing to shape my future so it would not be defined by my past. Of choosing the identity I wanted instead of the one I had fallen into.

While I think there is value in many of the posts from 2013 (I am bias after all), here are the most popular posts and those YOU found value in. May 2014 be a year where we all continue to make our own destinies and give the middle finger to anything that tries to stop us.

Things Dads Do- Apparently you all love videos, especially if it is a video of my husband doing questionable things with his children.

How to get laid more- Apparently you all love having sex too. I’m shocked by this one. :)

I help you all pick a deodorant- or at least I make you feel less alone picking a deodorant.

3 Songs- I got a lot of feedback on this one that it reminded people to remember what they love about their significant other. It went a way I didn’t expect when I wrote it, I’m glad you all took it another way. I was instantly more grateful.

You and Your Finances- This one made you all feel a little less alone. I know it made me feel less alone and it was the first step, a coming out if you will, that allowed us to get on the road to fixing our finances.

How to Kick Ass at the Gym- Speaks for itself.

and my favorite, not just because it is about me, but because writing it and really considering it,  opened my eyes and reminded me of who I am and why I like that person. About Wendy