health food store inspiration

Today I went to the health food store. It’s a relatively new establishment and I enjoy shopping there. I do not frequent it as often as I’d like. It is located 35 minutes from my house, so making a special trip takes planning. (Something I don’t often do.) Making a spur of the moment trip happens even less, because Melody is usually ready to go home after two or three stops.

I like the place because it motivates me. I like browsing the shelves of specialty items. I feel at ease because the products are preservative free and healthier than their mass marketed counterparts. Instead of reading three inch long ingredient lists I skim a much shorter, simpler list. I love it when products only have a few ingredients. Another perk is the packing. Most of the products are designed with attention to detail. There are no Great Value or Sam’s Choice labels screaming at me. (Although I’ve noticed that Walmart is starting to pay more attention to the design of their generic products.)

My favorite part of the health food store is the full service deli. It is a large serve-yourself assortment of foods. Soups, salads, and freshly made hot dishes are lined up in an array of color, texture and smell. Today I bought freshly made tuna and a cup of thick cream of mushroom soup. As I made my soup decision between three wonderful options I compared them to the canned soups in my pantry at home. There is no comparison. The freshly made ones are superior in every way (including price).

Stirring and smelling the soups inspired me. I have no doubt that I could make them myself with the right recipe. The ingredients were simple. I want to shop at the health food store more often, if not just for inspiration. If anyone has a good soup recipe, please share!


how many?

How many kids do I want? This question is in me all the time. I lull it over at least once a day.

When Chad and I got married we thought four was the magic number. He comes from family of four. Boy, girl, boy, girl in perfect staggered order. Holidays and vacations with his family are a blast. Each child is different but alike. Music fills the house at each gathering. Piano, guitar, harmonica, mandolin. Hymns, Johnny Cash, Counting Crows, Dixie Chicks, carols. We eat macaroni, ice cream, pepsi, coke, popcorn, and big meals together.

The harmony of Chad’s siblings makes me want to have a large family of my own. I recently watched The Family Stone. While the plot left me discontent, I enjoyed seeing the dynamics of a large family. Watching the mom cherish each child put a fire in me to have a lot of kids of my own.

The idea of having a family like that in the long term is so appealing. In the meantime I’m not sure how many I can handle. When I think of the pregnancies, the births, breastfeeding, diapers, sleepless nights, car seats, bags of groceries, years of schooling, laundry and 1000 other things having to do with raising a family, I’m unsure of my capabilities. Could I raise 4 kids? Could I do it well?

After I had Melody I was riddled with self-doubt and disbelief. I had wanted to become a mother more than anything in the world, and it was kicking my butt! I did not think I could/would have another baby until she was seven months old. Those first months were harder than I can even remember. I was in a daze most of the time.

I am starting to think the answer to my question might be a one-at-a-time type of thing. When giving birth I have to focus on one contraction at a time. If I think about more I start to loose my mind. When I was approaching transition in Melody’s birth, I looked up at Chad and with panic in my voice said, “How am I going to have the 3rd baby?!” He kindly reminded me to try to focus on the contraction at hand, and nothing more. (He was prepared for me to freak out about more contractions, but not about more births!) He was right. When I focused on the contraction at hand, I could do it. It was horrible, but doable. Maybe the trick with the “How many kids do I want?” question is the same answer. One at a time, baby.


blurry wondering

I went off my antidepressant when I realized I was pregnant. I had no physical side effects as I weaned off the drug. Emotionally, I was already upsidedown due to the news of the surprise pregnancy, so I did not notice a marked change in my disposition.

In the weeks since I've tried to analyze how I'm feeling. I ask myself questions like,
Am I depressed? Do I feel down? Are things hard right now?

The answers to these questions have been positive. I'm not in the dark place I remember from the months following Melody's birth. I do not cry everyday. I do not feel like I'm floating or wandering around the house without purpose or aim. I'm able to smile for real.

But this week I am starting to wonder if there are underlying things going on that might be signaling depression.

I'm unmotivated with work and home.
I'm overly sensitive.
I'm sleeping a lot.
Decision-making is stressful and difficult.

These things combine to make me feel like faliure. I've been chalking them up to the pregnancy, but I'm not sure that's all it. Trying to figure out this subjective stuff is hard. I feel blind to myself. I don't know how to feel or what to think. Where is this confusion coming from?


rainy day at home

It has been raining nonstop for at least for 5 hours. I have the windows open enough to hear the water coming down. I am relaxed today. I love days when I'm happy to be at home. More often than not, I desire to be out and about, busy with other people. But occasionally, a couple times a month, I crave home. One these days I enjoy coffee, dim lights, reading, playing with Melody, cooking, and relaxing. I want to cultivate this home-time more. Any ideas how?


hanging on

The new baby continues to grow inside of me. We are now about 4 months pregnant. The weeks fly by like a train. In the mean time life is busy. We have a friend from college living with us this summer. He and Chad work on the house in all their extra time. We have about four weeks left until the bank deadline, so it is crunch time. I do my part by attempting to keep Melody and myself out of their way. It's been lonely, and I can't wait until July so we can relax and be together again. This is another example of a time of trial bringing out the positive of regular life. I am ready to return to humdrum.

We've been going to church more regularly. I am still amazed at how many babies and pregnant families are at this place. I would feel left out if I were not pregnant! How weird is that? The church meets in an amazing facility for the Boys & Girls Club. There is an indoor pool, climbing wall, soccer fields, playground, etc. Yesterday the congregation had a cookout play time. It lasted until 5pm and was a success. I was exhausted when we got home because I chased Melody for 3 hours straight. (Chad was at home working.) She had a blast in the water, which makes me want to take her swimming everyday.