Friday, September 26, 2014

Grace for him

Free and unmerited favor- GRACE. Something given for free that you haven't worked for. I have a hard time with the idea of grace. I'm always trying to wrap my brain around what it actually means. So often people say that God gives us grace, but what is grace and do I care that I have it, or that I don't have it? That is difficult for me at times. So I look up the definition frequently (okay, so I have twice in the past two year, but that's frequent to look up a word that really does have a simple definition isn't is)?

I don't accept things well that I haven't worked to earn. I'm hard worker. My parents raised me to be a hard worker and that's what I take pride in. I have a “strong work ethic” as my father would say. When you work hard you get paid. You put in, you get out. That's the way my brain works. So this idea of getting something for nothing is really foreign to me. Why would I get more pay than the hours I've worked and why would I get me love and forgiveness than I deserve. I'm working on this concept of grace in my life.

The other day I was listening to a Podcast about marriage and they were talking about extending grace to your spouse. Extend grace to your spouse?? I thought, why? I have expectations of my spouse, hes knows that I have these expectations, and he has his so why change anything. Why let them off the hook? I have a 50/50 mentality in my marriage and in life in general. I give you take; you take I give. That's the way it works. I'm expected to stay thin, take care of the house, have patience with the kids and my husband is expected to talk to me when I feel upset, fix things when they break and, drive on long trips. If he goes out with his friends, then I get a girls night out too. If I'm working really hard on a Saturday then he should work hard also. If I give the kids a bath he should wash the dishes. When he watches his shows on TV the next night I watch my shows. It's 50/50 give and take. So this idea of expending grace to my husband just felt really foreign to me. I don't want to extend grace to my husband. I want him to be who I think he should be and we'll all be happy. What does showing grace to your husband even really mean I thought as I listened. No one has the capability of really doing that, that's God's job not mine.

My husband is suppose to be my all. My husband is the end of the line. When people fail me, my friends or my family or the checker at the grocery store, my husband is suppose to be there for me. He's suppose to understand me inside and out at least 90% of the time. He should be able to take a look at me and know if I'm feeling sad, depressed, angry, unappreciated, anxious, jealous. He should know. That's his job, he's my husband. And when he doesn't understand me to my core I think, I've got the wrong husband. I must have made a mistake. Why isn't he “getting me?” He's suppose to be my soul mate. Right? Wrong.

As all of these thoughts culminated in my mind there was a brief thought of, he should change, not me. As that thought past and I drew back to knowledge that was a bit buried
. He isn't my everything. He's my lover, my friend, my life adventure partner, but he's just a person, just a man. He can't be my everything. No one can. Only God has the ability to fill that role for me. God is my everything. And God extended me grace. He extends me so much grace. Why then shouldn't I extend grace to the wonderful caring, loving creature I call my husband? Is he right all of the time, of course not and neither am I. I'm wrong, and insensitive. Not understand and demanding. I'm judgmental and critical. Angry and anxious and I'm human. He deserves my grace. He tries, I know he does. And sometimes, some days he just doesn't make the mark and that's okay, because so many times he does. And I know he's trying. He's trying really hard to be the husband that I want him to be. To be the father that he'd like to have and to explore this life with his eyes wide open to the possibilities it can offer.

So when he comes home later than I expect, or early than I'd like (this is my time at home and I'm not ready for you), when he doesn't say the right things, or lets the kids watch three hours of TV while I'm away (three hours, do you know how bad that is for them?!?!), or when he says the wrong things just before we have sex which seems to happen more often than I'd like, or even when his eyes follow a nearly naked girl walking down the street I try to extend grace. I know I'm not perfect, but I am aware. I know that more than anything he needs my love and support. He needs me to say he's doing alright and that he's the best husband in the world. And he is. He's the best husband in the world.

When I finished listening to the podcast I thought (no joke) that it would be so great if I had something that reminded me to offer my husband grace. I had this thought that wouldn't it be great if I had a piece of jewelry, like maybe a ring that said grace and every time I looked at it I'd remember to extend grace to my husband. Then it hit me, hello! I have a wedding ring and I never take it off. Every time I look at it shouldn't it remind me that I've got a wonderful husband, an awesome man that I love that I should be gracious with. So now when I look at my wedding ring I think of my husband, how's he's trying and I need to be supportive. I need to care more than he cares to allow for imperfections in who he is, to give him the grace that I've been given.  

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Little Tan House

We live on the coast; the beach is just minutes away and we’re blessed to look out our living room window and see the Pacific Ocean stretching from one side of the world to the next.  Our climate here along the coast is damp and chilly.  Sometimes we like that damp coolness and on other days we wish we had just a few more nice hot days.  Here in our home, our cocoon from the world we live trying our best to insulate our children and ourselves from the harshness of the real world.  
Our trip this weekend took us due east of our cool beach cocoon to a desert not far away.  Winding roads lined with oaks and the occasional pine tree led the way.  The landscape accented with the soft pale tan brown grass that the drought has brought.  The further east we went the higher the temperature gage in the car climbed.  And the dryness set in.  The houses became fewer and farther between, the occasional large wine estate dotted the narrow curvy road.  And then there was nothing, nothing but dry grass, trees and turkey vultures.  We were headed for a valley but the rolling hills created an illusion that we were headed for the mountains.  As we rounded a turn we looked down and there the valley lay, not a vast expanses of land, but a valley all the same not just a mere meadow.  As we ventured down into the valley small houses came into view, most dilapidated, run down, falling over and crowded by junk.  It is a desert area, a naturally dry region but the severity of the drought has pulled out all moisture, dryness was evident in all that surrounded us.  A small school equipped with a solar field, along with a fire station and community services district office were the contents of the small community.  No post office or convenience store.  No gas station or restaurant, just land and houses.  These houses are the cheapest of the cheap.  California known for high priced real estate, sun and palm trees didn't seem to fit the description of this valley community.   Bordered by bare rolling hills and accented with a sprinkling of tumble weeds it was obvious this was a desert.  The water available in these homes is so mineral ridden that it isn't safe for consumption and advise is given not to drink the water while bathing.  Many of the residents have criminal backgrounds or are up to illegal activities because law enforcement is so far way.  Sounds like paradise, doesn't it?  But a strangely there is beauty here.  It is found in the relative solitude, deserted roads and quiet stillness. 
As we traveled down the narrow well maintained road we came to street signs that marked unknown roads.  I've seen roads with no signs, but never have I seen signs with no roads.  The road used so infrequently that time and the environment have reclaimed them.  As we turned down a dirt road I knew that we were nearing our destination.  The instructions clearly stated we were looking for the little tan house on the right.  Turning down the road that held this little tan house, it was clear we didn't need to know the color of the house, or even that it was on the right.  It was the only house down this stretch of road for quite a ways.  The typical house search of checking house numbers, and check the color was entirely unnecessary.  As we turned down the road there it was the little tan house.  The little house that had taken my father’s attention over the past six months, his project and everything that he’d said he’d wanted.   The house was much cleaner now than it was when he brought it, I’m sure.  Sitting on 2.5 acres of dirt really just dirt. 
The house was uninhabitable, the plumping long since deteriorated.  Cracks splintered through most of the windows and the bathroom wasn't usable.  Pulling the carpeting and old flooring out and cleaning the house of the mouse and rat infestation was a big job I was told.  When you’re working on an old house progress can be hard to track.  When you start at below zero getting to a hundred can seem like  a steep climb and even though hours and hours of effort have been exerted it’s difficult not to see all that still needs to be done.  I must say this is a talent that I was given by my mother, the ability to focus on the uncompleted opposed to the completed. 
So there it sat the little tan house and the powdery dry dirt where we’d spend our weekend.  Somewhere in the acquisition process someone asked my dad on a social media site if he was farming beans.  He answered with an elaborate bean farm tale and that’s how it became the Bean Farm.  No bean farming will happen on that land I’m quite sure, but ironically my two year old son found of a baggie of harvested bean seeds in the house.  My dad made a sign to mark the Bean Farm, I’m sure the occasional passer by is curious why on earth you’d plant a bean farm in this dry God forsaken place.  The weekend was to be a family gathering a tradition of sorts, grandpa’s camp.  The kids were so excited, the adults not quite so enthusiast.  We were the first to arrive and then one by one the family was assembled.  We’re not a large family, but certainly not small either, totaling 14 in all.  The activities at this camping weekend were to consist of pool play in the 8’ wide kiddie pool, kite flying, rocket launches and eating of course.  The challenge of the weekend was the location to be true.  It was dry and flat and hot.  The dilapidated house while a work in progress wasn't equip with the amenities of a functioning house, or even the amenities and comforts most American’s are accustomed, as I've mentioned running water, flushing toilets or air conditioning.  While many, many people in the world live without these comforts daily we are spoiled and we as adults don’t choose to spend our time without these necessities as we see them.   
I was blessed with two sisters, sisters close to me in age.  And so for nearly 40 years we've been the three daughters or the family of five.  We've always been a family of five.  My older sister now has a family of five and I too have a family of five.  We've always been a family of five that is until last year when our family became a family of four.  My father became a widower and we girls became a mess.  A mess of grief and sadness, not really knowing how or when to feel this overwhelm grief that grips.  And now when we get together it is hard.  It’s hard to miss my mom and it’s hard to be together without her where her absence just feels so out of place.
The weekend unfolded just as I expected it would.  With tension and laughter and many quietly spoken snide comments about what in the world my father was thinking when he bought this fixer upper in the middle of hell.  Has the first day came to a close it was obvious that my nephew who’s had medical issue was going to require a trip to the hospital, just icing on the cake right?  We were all in our places, playing the roles that we always play just as all families do, but this place, being in this place was so hard.  And all I could do was ask why?  Why is this so hard?  Why do we all seem to have a problem with it?  There are the obvious, it’s in the middle of nowhere, it’s hot and dry and there’s nothing to do out here.  We all had a problem with it because if mom was alive there wouldn't be this house in this valley surrounded by nothing but dirt and shady characters.  There wouldn't be a house with no running water, or a sign adorned with glass bottles she’d be saving forever.  This just wouldn't be.  None of this would be, but it is.  It’s a trip to a dirt farm in the heat of the summer. 
As the sun set on the first night splashes of bright orange, yellow and pink filled the sky.  The shadows on the rolling hills grew long and the crickets began to chirp.  The heat of the day receded into a warmth that wrapped around you and held you; warmth that only hot days can bring.  Black tarantulas crawled from their holes and a crescent moon rose high in the evening sky.  Peace was all around and I wondered was this so bad, so bad to have a dad that really loved his family?  Was it so bad to be in the dirt and the heat with family issues lingering all around?  Probably not, it was just one step in the healing process, one more realization that life as we knew it is gone and won’t be returning.  And this God forsaken house, in this God forsaken land is just part of my dad’s healing process too, part of his return to wholeness.  He needs this distraction, this bigger than life project.  He needs to believe that he can put all his energy into this house and flip it for a profit.  He needs to have the ability to realize his dreams independent of my mother and what she would want.  He needs this house.  He needs this project.  And we, we need to support him in this project.  We need to come alongside him to prop him up and let him know that life will not ever be the same, but that’s okay, life will still be good.
This weekend would have marked their 40th wedding anniversary and as the sun set on that beautiful evening I knew that God had sent a special present to my dad.  He may not have had the wife of his youth, the wife that he’d spent his life with, but he did have a sunset and a God that loved him and his family around him.  I’m so glad to be home, to have returned to the damp coolness of the ocean breeze and the running water and flushing toilets.  That little tan house in that dry dusty valley and this weekend was painful because it accentuated the death of my mother; brought it to life.  It was another first without her, but as each day passes and each first without her passes we heal and life becomes the new real.  Our reality shows us that we do have each other and we love one another and today that is more than enough.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Formative Years

    The decisions that adults make have a dramatic impact on children.   This isn't an earth shattering revelation, I realize.  When information is received in a detached manner, through a class you didn't really want to take or a book that you read many years ago, it isn't real.  It’s just info that you have floating around in your brain, but when you have a life experience that knowledge is forever burned into your memories and knowledge bank.  I suppose that’s why they say that the best way to learn something is by doing.  You’ll make mistakes and realize what to do and not to do in the future.
     This revelation has come to me through a variety of streams throughout the past couple of weeks.  It starred with a Facebook experience.  Some old friends from high school that I've paid no attention to for at least the past thirteen years started popping up and as these faces and names appeared on my psychic horizon so did so many memories from high school.  These were memories (and truthfully people) that I had forgotten existed, but as the re-connections were made I started to mull over the impact that time had in my life.  How much did that time of my life really space who I am as a person?  How much did a comment from a friend, or boyfriend in high school truly construct the foundation of my person?  As I began this walk down memory lane this realization hit me deeply, seeing how these friends, these distant interactions that lasted for a very short period of time had profoundly created who I am today. 
     Of course the memories didn't stop at high school; they traveled back to my earlier days, to my family.  When you are a child, your family has a profound hand in your creation as a human being.   Early childhood in comparison to teenage years are quite different in my memory banks, because I've never stopped thinking about my early childhood, never gone many years without seeing my parents, or speaking with my sisters.  These early childhood memories are like a never ending river, begin from birth and stretching until today.  I think that the reemergence of high school friends had a more meaningful impact on my mental processes because there had been a gap of their presence in my life.  What solidified this thought process for me was my valuation of these friends from high school.  I had not seen or heard from ANY of these people since high school.  Through a variety of choices when I left high school I also left that group of friends.  And yet in my memory logs they hold such a deep place in my heart. 
     Since becoming an adult I've forged new relationships.  I have deeper closer friends who I've selected because they fit my life: my lifestyle, my morals and ethics, they are people who are without a doubt kindred spirits.  As a child and teen many of the relationships you build are with people that you may have little in common with.  The common denominator is school.  You’re there and they’re there so you might as well have fun together.  Of course this isn't true in all cases, and when you do develop a friendship or courtship in childhood those are generally a connection developed through commonalities and similar interests.  However, these relationships that I've had as an adult are much deeper reaching and much longer, since I've now been out of school for nearly as long as I was in school. 
     My comparison of the people and their impact in my life is what brought this realization pounding into my life.  If I were to compile all of the experiences that I had from the ages of 0-18 and then stack them up to the experiences that I've had between the ages of 18-36, the experiences I had in my early years created who I am.  The experiences in my adult years (and semi-adult) have had a very deep impact on me as well, but they haven’t shaped my person.  They haven’t changed the core of who I am.  My experiences in childhood did shape who I am. 
     As I write all of this a think this is no revelation at all.  How many thousands of books have been written about this, how many lectures have been taught, how many studies conduct.  But as I said they just weren't real to me.  I didn't internalize them. 
     This recent thought journey has had a very real impact on the choices that I’m going to make as a parent.  Parents make decisions all of the time that have very negative impacts on their children and they don’t really seem to care, or should I say they don’t seem to realize their choices are having an meaningful impact on their children.  If you’re thought life is like a ship on an ocean, when you are a child it is as though you are in a row boat.  If the seas are calm you are fine in your row boat, but as soon as the slightest wind begins to blow you are thrown here and there.  When a storm whips up you have to hold on for dear life.  If a hurricane were to hit your mental ocean as a child you have a hard time surviving, your row boat just isn't equipped to handle the rough seas.  As an adult you remain on this mental sea of thoughts, but your boat is much bigger.  Through years of storms, you've constructed a boat that can withstand storms.  You've fortified your vessel with sails, and anchors.  You have a cabin to hide in when things get rough.  I sometimes wonder if adults remember what it is like to be a child.  Do they remember that the child is only in a row boat?  Do they realize that the child is in the process of constructing their own sea worthy vessel? 
     I believe that adults make decisions based on their personal ability to mentally cope with a situation, and expect their children to have the same capacity to cope.  What ends up happening is that children are left scared, with sometimes deep scares that will mark them for their entire lives. 
     In conclusion, this revelation will forever change the way that I parent, sorry to say that my 16 year old will not gather quite the same benefits as my 1 year old will from this epiphany.  Just another great reason not to have children when you’re a child (or still almost a child- my vessel wasn't quite sea worthy).  I don’t think that as parents you can know what will have an impact in your child’s life and what won’t.  You just have no idea, so you have to try your best (and you won’t succeed, just take a look around at all the messed up people on earth) to do what is right for your child.  I've realized that choices I make may not affect me physiologically at all, but they will most likely have a very deep impact on my children.  Thank goodness love covers a multitude of sins.  When I think back on how my parents raised me I remember rough seas and calm, but I will never forget their undying love and their commitment to God.  Love will conquer all (and so will being conscious about how my choices affect my children).  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Women's Book Club

I’d like to invite you to join a new book club that I’m putting together.  I’ve read three AMAZING books recently about being a mother, a wife and a women.  I loved them soooo much that I really want to talk about them  and share them with wonderful women just like you.  I’d guess that you are going through all of the same fun stuff in life, such as “Why is being a mom and a wife so hard???” (did I say hard?  I meant to say so wonderful J

What: A wonderful new women’s group to review great books

When: Every other Tuesday night at 7pm (starting) January 29, 2013

Where: My office- it will be quiet and kid and husband free

Why: Because being a women is hard, challenging, wonderful, rewarding, and trying all at the same time and I think we need to talk about it J

The Plan: If you’d like to join the group, we’d love to have you.  Please let me know if you are interested.  I’m going to put together a book schedule/ reading plan (don’t worry, the books are short and easy, but great reads and we’ll divide them up into manageable pieces so we won’t be reading an entire book a month)

Here are the books we’ll be reading:
Be the Mom by Tracey Lanter Eyster 


For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn

The Life Ready Woman by Shaunti Feldhahn and Robert Lewis


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Progressive Dinner Date

One of my big goals for 2012 is to spend more time with husband. When you have three children, two under the age of three it is hard to get time alone. It is so nice to be reminded why you love the person you are with and when you don't get any time alone it can be challenging. When you're married there are so many "business" issues to attend too. The "business" of running a family is a lot of work. I'd like to be able to go on one date (or two if we're lucky) once a month. We are suppose to be rotating the planning of our date nights, I plan one, he plans one. I planned the first date of the New Year. We love to go out to eat, but once that's done then what? So I thought it would be fun to plan a progressive dinner date night. For each location I had a little conversation piece. The first location was Japanese. I loved the ceiling.
We had a great two person Asian Miso Soup. It was full of mushrooms. Very tasty. We'd ordered scallop skewers and I was very much looking forward to them. While we waited for the skewers we had Sapporo Beer which is always good. We were so disappointed when the waiter came to our table about twenty minutes after we'd ordered the skewers and let us know that they were out of scallops. Why we needed that twenty minute waiting period to determine this I'm not sure, but we ended up ordering the chicken. They were okay. They were chicken. I'm not sure how good chicken can get. After that dish we were on to our next stop.
We're fortunate to live near a very cute downtown area. We love to go and explore the downtown. It has grown and changed so much in the past ten years. On one of the side streets there is the cutest little bistro restaurant. It is literally 20' x 30' and seats four or five two person tables. What is most attractive about the restaurant is the ambiance. The dim lighting, the multitude of candles, the jazzy music and the food is excellent. They have an extensive wine list as well. We were able to walk in and grab a seat at their tiny bar. The menus are printed pages that have been glued into the pages of a reading book. Very creative. A little strange at first, but fun. We chose a wine. A nice Tempranillo from Spain.
As we sat within arms reach of the chef we noticed that she was not quit well. As she hacked and hacked our appetites weakened and weakened. I asked husband in a hushed voice if he wanted to eat what she was cooking and we both agreed we'd pass. We were so disappointed, because the food is so good, but not worth getting sick. We drank our wine and enjoyed the atmosphere before ducking out and moving on to the next stop.
So we went from high end trendy bistro to well, a bar. Husband and I have a favorite pub downtown and it is hard to pass up. We decided our main dish for the evening would be loaded nachos. They are wonderful. I opted for a glass of my favorite Zinfandel. It's called Seven Deadly Zins and I love it. About half way through the nachos I really regretted not getting a beer. Really nachos and beer go so well. My head was back in the swanky bistro when I ordered the wine. We enjoyed the nachos and just as the bar started to fill up with college students from the local university we headed to the next stop in our night of restaurant hopping.
I really wanted cheesecake. I'd planned to go to a California Fusion restaurant for dessert, but by the time dessert rolled around it was about 10:30pm and the restaurants were all closed. So we opted for a new local quirky cafe. This is by far the best downtown coffee house, if you could call it that. It is the only establishment that serves coffee, beer, wine and food. The owners filled the cafe with images of authors, play writes and the like. They purchased all the furniture second hand and the ceiling is covered with lamps hung upside down. That night they had a band and the bulk of the crowd was perched in front of the music. We slipped in and grabbed a table and a couple cups of coffee. For some reason I ordered a cappuccino. I never order cappuccino I order lattes. I guess I'd had one too many glasses of wine. It was tasty and the leaf pattern was wonderful.
When the coffee and conversation were consumded we headed back to the car and back to the real life of too many kids and too may cries.
We had a really fun evening. If you are looking for a good date night try it. I got the idea from a book. It recommended that you take your spouse on a fast food progressive dinner. That sounded fun, but I thought we'd prefer restaurant dining to fast food.
It was a great date.

Friday, January 13, 2012

I Love Paper Towels

I had a friend recently tell me that she was going to go paperless at her house (with the exception of toilet paper I'm guess. Oh, heavens I hope so!). And I thought I should do that too. According to the web average American households use about 226 pounds of paper a month! Yikes, so we should go paperless, right... well I tried for an afternoon. I really did, and then I realized that a friend of mine had borrowed all of my cloth napkins for her paper free wedding and I hadn't gotten any of them back. So for that afternoon we used rags.

Husband likes to make fun of my rag box. I wash, dry and fold my rags. Doesn't everyone? Apparently not Husband. He thinks that your rags should reside in a fowl box in the garage and they should never be washed. I should also mention that he thinks you should put the entire, in tacked holey t-shirt in the rag box. Wrong. How in the world can you use an entire t-shirt to clean with, or use as a napkin for that matter?

Our paper towel free afternoon consisted of the use of my entire rag box and then I thought I'm over this. Where are the paper towels? My sister doesn't buy paper towels. She hasn't ever, with any regularity. Think about how many trees she's saved. Hundreds, thousands...but we are tree killers. I just can't break up with my paper towels. They are wonderful. They hang on the wall between my cabinets so accessible and absorbent. When we have a spill, which happens daily, well really many times a day the paper towels are right there. Ready and willing to clean up any mess no mater how big. For some reason I don't think my 3 year should still drink from a sippy cup. She's three. She can hold a normal cup and she can drink from a normal cup. She just has a hard time doing them at the same time. Sooner or later one wins out and most of the time it is the hold that gives out. Thus spill after, spill after spill. Hey, she's learn. How else do you learn?

You know that the paper towel is clean so you don't have to worry about the cross contamination of those killer raw chicken juices. The best part? You can throw them away when you're done. When you have something that is absolutely awful that you have to clean up you can throw the whole mess away. When making a sandwich you can use the paper towel has a prep station and then use it as a sandwich holder and saves dirtying any dishes. I love paper towels. I can do without napkins (because you can just use a paper towel). I can do without paper plates (because you can just use a paper towel- most of the time). I can do without paper cups because who wants to use them anyways, but I can't do without paper towels.

About six months ago a Target opened about twenty minutes from my house. The other day I went and bought the biggest package of paper towels that I've ever purchased. It was only $5.99 for six rolls. And the paper towels are strong and absorbent! Yeah! Do you have any idea how long six rolls of paper towels will last? About six weeks. I'm so happy. I am sad that we are using so much paper, and that we are causing so many trees to be cut down. I want to be strong, I want to be paperless. Why am I so weak? Why can't I do without my paper towels? Why oh why? Perhaps I should make a deal with God. As soon as my kids are out of the house I'll stop using paper towels. Will that make it any better?...I know, maybe we should plant a tree of two a year to compensate. I think I have a healthy addiction to paper towels it just feels right.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 Goals

My goals for the year are similar to what they have been for the last couple of years:
Pay off debt, spend more time with husband, kids and Christ. However, this year is going to be the year (I can feel it) that I'm going to loose weight. I'm so ready to be thin. I'm not over weight much now. I'm at the top of my normal weight range for my height. However, I want to be thin. I've never really been thin and I want to be while I can still wear short skirts and look youngish. I started my 1200 calorie a day diet on Monday and I was at 159lbs. When I weighed myself yesterday, Wednesday I was at 153lbs. WOW. Who knew that eating very little everyday would make you loose weight? I also drank about 60oz of water a day and have been doing spin daily. The question is how long can I keep this up. When I'm at work not eating really isn't that hard, I'm working, but when I'm at home trying to relax with the kids it is a bit harder. Couldn't everyone use a nice cup of creamy coffee and a donut or two everyday? Add a few chocolately treats, a couple of glasses of wine and a few sliced of smoked Gouda and you have a perfect day and a fat ass and a stomach that sticks out further than your boobs.

I have a four month old baby so I'm allowed a little extra fat around the middle. Before I got pregnant though I had a couple of bad experiences. What exactly do you say when someone says, I didn't know you were pregnant again and you aren't!!! The best response is to run straight home, burn the clothing you are wearing because certainly it is your outfit and NOT your body showing off your ever so roundness round the middle. Hide in your room with a bottle of wine and the next day you'll feel good as new.

So really my goal for this year is to not have people think I'm pregnant when I'm not. I can do that, right? How hard could eating very little really be?

Here's to eating light and drinking water! What a party :)