food (blah)

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“This would be a good jump off to a diet” I joked earlier this week when I had a stomach flu and kept nothing down for 3 and a half days.
Problem is I was only half joking.

I started working out and eating cleaner a few months ago and huzzah I’ve toned up and lost some weight, (though I don’t know for sure how much since I don’t get on scales anymore because eating disorders are a bitch and frankly so are scales in my almost-never-humble opinion). It’s not a bad thing, trimming down, it’s been nice actually to do it in a healthier manner than before, my hair hasn’t fallen out at least so that’s a plus. And most days feeding myself and my family well is a strength not a weakness (two sides of the same coin and all that jazz).

Once I remarked that I’m both wonderful and terrible at losing weight. Truth is I do most things umm… passionately, surely those of you who know me at all are aware. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, if you’re loved (or liked or defended or fed or… anything) by me it’s likely enthusiastic af. Learning to temper myself has been a long hard process, that’s why I’m so proud of this here bowl of mush.

Thus far this go round of weight loss has been measured in how I feel (great!), how clothes fit (mostly not at all except the ones that were too small which now look damn good if I do say so (I do), and progress photos I take about once a month (meh). Yesterday the progress photos I took were not so great, likely due to five days of the flu and lots of weight lost but also some muscle mass.

Whatever, it’s fine I’m fine we’re fine. Except that a) my body is begging me to replace all of those carbs and protein and macros and nutrients and b) I’m a little bit terrified of gaining back any weight at all. So hooded Kermit and I have been arguing the last couple of days about my food intake because I really want to subtly starve myself skinny again. It’s easy enough for me to do, especially with the head-start of not eating anything but broth for days in a row. (Also I have learned that not-so-subtly starving myself results in people noticing and subsequently protesting me starving myself and that just will not do.) That’s why I’m sharing this- I’m not in the mood to nose dive down that hill again.

And so, yesterday J made me breakfast- bacon and eggs and toast, my first real meal since being sick. Then I had a little revelation that eating real food might help recovery so I made a pretty rockin lunch of steak and potatoes and roasted carrots and peas and finished more than half of it happily. And then (post bad photos) I had to literally force myself to eat (a pitiful) dinner. This morning I choked down some oatmeal with peanut butter, and then when lunch time came I wandered around the kitchen trying to come up with the lunch that would consist of the least amount of calories and carbs.

That’s where my brain goes when I’m in disordered eating mode: Carbs + calories = the worst possible things ever. You guys I have eaten some very sad meals in this mindset. But instead of warming up some broccoli and black beans and calling it a day (the “best” idea I could come up with at first), I made a big hearty bowl of quinoa, diced sweet potatoes, corn, black beans, white beans, tomatoes, broccoli, salsa, *gasp* CHEESE, and *double gasp* avocado. It was good but it wasn’t easy. But easy is not the goal right now.

This is my step today on the journey back (again) towards a healthy relationship with food. It’s like falling off a bike, this habit (wait that’s not how that metaphor goes…) Anyway, this is me getting back on the bike/wagon, whatever. This is me yanking these little monsters out from under my bed by their toes, and refusing to let my strengths become weaknesses again.

New year, same strategy: food is love.

Darkness into light.
Love and love.

this

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mad crazy love
you don’t know the half of it
the havoc and the wrath of it
flames can be disastrous

how many times did we surrender
when we really should’ve fought
or stay up fighting
when laying down would win the war

too many i suppose for anyone to understand
but who can when it’s such
mad crazy love

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you

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You just fell asleep beside me your hand still resting on my lower back I am awake still thinking about how far we’ve come and I love you

making it up

Like when you have a blemish on your face
so you use a little make up to cover it up
and then you’re skin gets irritated it doesn’t get better
it gets a little worse
so the next day you use a little bit more makeup
maybe you push and prod at yourself
in the mirror and probably that just hurts
probably that just means
more makeup more covering up more hiding.
(When I say ‘like’ what do I mean? What lies are you believing?)
And probably you know the best thing to do is
stop with all the concealing and covering
just let it be let it heal
but then ohmygod someone might
really see you (what do I mean when I say really see you?
what do you see?)
and they might even know you (know what I mean?)
and what would they think if they saw this thing.
honestly
probably nothing
wash your face and let it breathe (what do you come clean with?)
Perfection is the devil is a liar.
And your face is from God blemish or not believe me.
How do we spend so much time looking in mirrors
(what’s a mirror? Who is?)
and still we’re shocked when we see our faces?
It’s disheartening as hell to hear
you or you or you pick yourself apart.
Tell me where’s it ever gotten you?
Look. This is you. That’s you. Right now.
Or yesterday. And soon tomorrow.
Take a deep breath and love her, tired eyes and all.
(Who’s eyes? Who’s her? The Truth?)

 

“Why would we fear the truth when it’s the thing Jesus said sets us free?” -Nadia Bolz-Weber

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enough

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nothing looks the same and it shouldn’t
so what if my breasts
don’t point in the same direction when i’m lying in my bed
they have nourished different babies, different bodies
if I’m honest
different hands have held them
not a lot
but enough
they are not one solid being
they are themselves
sacred beautiful

so what if the skin
that used to be
around my middle
sits below my hips
stretched by womb and woe
by years of feeding what was starving

so what if marks run down my body
writing the stories
of high school track and high school love
forgotten self worth
but I am enough

more than enough
so what

so what if I step into the bathroom
sneak a peak at my own self
after we’ve loved each other hard
and so what if I say damn

so what if I see a goddess in the mirror
when I toss my hair to the side
while I brush my teeth late at night

i’ll wake up tomorrow
wash my face look once again
and convince myself I’m merely
the baddest most beautiful woman that ever lived

my body shows it and so what

Ivy is One

It’s been a while since I’ve used this space for good ol’ fashioned mom blogging :) Our Ivy turned one last week and we celebrated at the beach and I will write more about what all that means to me later. But this week we celebrated at home, surrounded by friends and family and man it makes my heart so happy to know that she is so stinking loved. It was a simple party, lemonade and cucumber sandwiches, kiddie pools and cupcakes. I have never really been a big birthday party mom. Before this year we mostly just did family dinners and a few gifts. But this year the kids started wanting parties, heck I even had a birthday party. And so our house has been filled full of our favorite people sharing food and fun more times than I can count, and we. have. LOVED it. Even waking up the next day to tissue paper filled floors and a fridge full of party snack leftovers (cake for breakfast!), and a house full of sleepy kids is sweet. And Ivy’s little party was no exception. Maybe she won’t remember all the gifts and the cake and the decorations and the fuss made over her, but it was a day full of joy and celebration that we won’t forget, and today I find myself full to the brim with gratitude, for Our Ivy and the circle of friends and family that surrounds her (us).

black lives matter

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image credit: A’Driane Nieves. Please take some time to view her work.

 

black mamas raisin black babies
loving black men
black brothers and sisters
cousins women and kin

folk strugglin to make it through the day
smilin fightin to survive
tryin ta stay alive

i don’t have much to offer
but it’s yours
solidarity
my voice
fist raised
it’s yours

got my eyes
mind open
woke
shaken and broken

black lives matter
black lives matter

despite the racist chatter
and the villains in the shadows
heaven wars for you my sister
your life matters

black women raisin black babies
loving black men
black brothers and sisters
cousin women and kin

be angry as you want
you don’t have to keep your chin up
cry scream if you wanna
shake your fist and your hips

dance
sing loud
shout
be proud

we see you and we love you
we got you wanna hug you
till the pain subsides
all the tears run dry
till the babies run free
and you all can breathe
and you all can be

and when a hug aint enough
mamas i’ll show up
gimme a mic and a ballot
march a chant and i’ll shout it

solidarity
peace and prosperity
fuckin shouldn’t be a rarity

black lives matter

all the day long

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(A bath with Ivy in the twilight while the Husband holds down game night)

 

Know why I’m so obsessed with these everyday moments? Why they’re so immensely powerful and exquisite to me? Because I am well aware this isn’t the life the enemy wanted for me.

Because this house and these babies, and this man of mine, this life we live with food on the table, and soft pillows and safe places… none of this was garaunteed for me (or him really but that’s his story to tell). I know how hard this was fought for, and I know I wasn’t the only one fighting for it. And I don’t just feel victorious, (though I do feel pretty victorious), I feel won, worth winning. Redeemed, worthy of the cost of that. I see that in the faces of my babies, my growing young men, my girls, that God thought them worthy of a life of peace and so He fought for them, (and me). That Jesus felt us worthy of a life of Love and so He died for us.

I don’t think myself a very religious person, but this courses through my veins all the time, I feel it. “You did it, baby girl” rings true in late night moments marveling with my sisters over all the shit we came through. Death and dying and decay has nipped our heels since childhood. Serpents slithered much too close, heavy handed demons… listen this post isn’t about all that but it is.

People talk all the time about the moment they were saved, I’ve been being saved forever. I’ve been being saved forever. My babies have been being saved forever. And all these little ordinary things… these millions of moments strung together, pulling clean sheets from the dryer, teaching Eli to crack an egg, brushing Emma’s hair, listening to Gracie belt out another song, Gabe’s string bean arm hugs, Griff’s midnight tea-making, Ivy’s bathtime splashes, Joe ever and always taking me on this date or that, morning light on our messy floors, all the meals and the snuggles and the sweetness… these are not vein attempts at projecting a life of perfection. They’re simply the best way I know how to say Thanks.

This is my story, this is my song…

steady love

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Photo by Mae Burke

 

give me that steady love
that ready love
to be there every day
not just heady love

bring home the bacon, love
i’ll cook it up
put the kids to bed
come here
give me that solid hug

wake me up every day
with that gentle love
playful warm and familiar
see me changing love

bring your hips close to mine
kiss my neck love
in the kitchen
dance with me
before the sun comes up

don’t want that hungry
leave you shaky
break you down love

it don’t hold up
it’s not enough

it’s not enough

to get us through
the sleepless nights
and frigid days love

i want that steady love
and i’m ready now
i’ve figured out
the world can spin around
and we can settle down

i’ll lift you up love
give you my love
hold you with these hands
and call you mine love

and all the days and
all the years
we can stay
love
under the shelter of this
safe and never-failing love

Ivy

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Ivy,

Sweetest girl, if I’m quite honest I really didn’t believe you were real, you were mine, til I held you that first time. Despite all four sonograms, all your mighty kicks and flips, and all the healthy heartbeats your midwife broadcast from my big belly- my silly, slightly cynical heart stayed in disbelief all the way through labor actually. Even as you made your way out into this world, (a story I’ll tell another time), I needed reassurance from our birth team that you were in fact coming, here.

And now here you are. Tiny beautiful you, laid back, sweet little you. And our family is complete.

It’s been a week (yes, already), since you joined us, and yes already, we can see some of your little personality. You’re full of peace (when your tummy is full), and full of wonder. I’ve never known a newborn to spend so much time quietly awake, alert but calm, and happy as a clam to be passed around from one beaming, excited sibling to the next.

Also? My goodness you are beautiful. You were born long and lean, with olive skin, lots of hair and dark blue eyes, a lovely mix of pretty much everyone in our little tribe. But I will concede you look most like your Papa, strange as it might be that such a tall, dark and handsome man makes such a gorgeous babygirl.

Ivy love, maybe your little heart already knows, but we lost a baby before we had you. I talked to God many times about how I didn’t want you to be a replacement. I didn’t want you born with some responsibility to make us whole. And He made sure that you weren’t. He even gave us a little extra time, two whole weeks, to lean on Him and let Him do that work before you got here, (and I’m quite sure He’ll continue it).

So you are free, Babygirl. You are free to be you, free to be loved and free to love. So many people are so smitten with you already. Your Papa though… I think he might be daily overwhelmed with how much he loves you. Eli too, goodness he adores you. We all do of course, it makes my heart swell to know that you, my little bird, have this safe, loving little nest to grow in, and learn to fly.

In your first week, Our Sweet Ivy, I hope, I believe, that you feel how safe and cared for, how wanted, seen and loved you are. The house sort of radiates with love and peace since you got here. The days have been filled with quiet grace and joy, I’m sure you know this hasn’t always been the case, quiet isn’t usually our forte. (And it probably won’t always be.) But goodness thank you for bringing with you all this peace and warmth.

Thank you for your squawking cries and sleepy smiles. Thank you for being snuggly, lovey, easy going, beautiful, bright eyed and strong. Thank you, my little bird, for being you. Promise that’s all we’ll ever ask.

Love and love,
Mama

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