Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

"I am thankful this pond was made deep and pure for a symbol." --H.D. Thoreau

The last year of our lives has been somewhat tumultuous, accentuated by intense change and great leaps of faith. All said and done, even with every bit of change, every terrifying leap, every loss, every challenge, it's all been worth it. When we look back over the year, all we see are blessings that have been heaped upon us. Every day begets a new challenge and because of it, our family is stronger, our hearts are more peaceful and our lives are simpler. We are still learning day-by-day to become what the Lord, and we, have in sight, but without the sacrifices, we'd never be any closer. 

We spent the week with the Mister's family in Utah, who have also all seen a great deal of change and sacrifice with the economy. But what a blessing, to stand and listen to my father-in-law discuss the blessings we all have had, the gratitude for the feast, and the joy in family.

Our pond is deep and pure indeed.

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your family finds many reasons to be grateful.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

"They were a universally thirsty race."

And I am fairly certain I belonged to that race.

All my life, really for as long as I can remember, I have loved Dr. Pepper.

Whether by genetics or environment, I can't really say, but I have always had a fond love for it. It has played a significant role in my life--it was the first thing I asked for after giving birth to both my children, it is responsible for my father's Type II diabetes, it is usually the first thing I drink after waking and the last thing I drink before bed. Dr. Pepper has been a constant in my life.

However, in the past several months, we have been attempting to eradicate high-fructose corn syrup from our diets. Well, this meant Dr. Pepper was going to have to go. I was very troubled about this, and had even started to resolve to eliminate the corn syrup from everywhere BUT the soda habit. Fortunately, Dr. Pepper, in his infinite wisdom, released this, just in time:

It felt like a God-send, just for me: Dr. Pepper made with real sugar! The answer to our HFCS dilemma had presented itself and I happily made the switch. Unfortunately, all easy-outs have their not-so-easy consequences. The Mister and I quickly realized that because the real sugar soda is not as sickly-sweet, we were in actuality consuming more of it. The Mister, in fact, had doubled or tripled his intake, and had gained a few pounds simply from this since we'd made the switch. So we figured it was time we gave up the habit for real. We had our last two cans, vowed not to buy any more, and quit cold turkey. We knew we would fail if we tried to slowly wean off of the stuff. We thought that maybe after a few weeks free from its grip, we could let our guard down for dinners out or birthday parties, but for now, the sugar-addiction had to be broken.

We are officially a week free of soda. I can honestly say this is probably the longest amount of time I have been without the fizzy stuff in my memory. I can also say that the first few days were HELL. We moped around everywhere. I dozed like a narcoleptic. Our home looked like it had literally been trashed. We ached EVERYWHERE. It was all we could do to get the kids in bed and then sit and stare into space for a while before heading to bed early ourselves. Not only had our sugar intake been dramatically leveled, my old friend caffeine was unavailable. It was awful.

Fast forward a few days. Come day four, I noticed I didn't hurt all over. I started being able to wade my way through the piles of absolute junk that had been building in our house. I vacuumed. I didn't take a nap the whole day, and I could move around without the aching joints. Day five, I actually felt thirsty. I'd been forcing myself to drink fresh juice or water whenever I'd wanted Dr. Pepper in the days before, but on this day, I actually felt THIRST as opposed to just a craving. We are now only a week into being soda free, and I have to admit I feel so much better. My goal is to be able to keep it up indefinitely, and ultimately forever. I might falter, but I'm hoping the knowledge of just how much my physical faculties had been completely enslaved to something so seemingly innocuous (and delicious) will keep me from binging. I honestly never thought that quitting soda would be quite so hard on me!

At any rate, sorry for the absence as of late! As I mentioned, I've been pretty tired. The Mister has also been completely engrossed in an insane amount of class work, so I haven't had a computer in my hands for a while. We are enjoying Thanksgiving Week in slightly warmer weather with family, and I hope to get a few more posts lined up while I have the free time!

Happy Saturday!


Friday, November 12, 2010

"I could always tell when visitors had called in my absence..."

Has it really been almost two weeks since I posted anything? For shame, for shame.

Not much happening here, but we are starting to hole up for winter! Golden leaves falling from above have mostly found their rest on the ground, and in the past few days, our several inches of snow has buried them beneath. I am hoping for a turn in the weather again, a few final sunny days before the perma-gray of winter hits, but for now we are throughly bundled and awaiting the deepening cold.

Our thoughts are turning to gratitude and the festivities of the coming holiday season. Traditions are weighing heavily on my mind. I wonder, what traditions do you carry on in your homes?

I've also been reading this cookbook, recommended from my fabulous friend Megan. It is thought-provoking to say the least as we learn about ways to improve the health of ourselves and our children and move toward a lifestyle in more harmony with nature.

Learn about the book here. 

I'll be back to regular posting soon, I think. I have a few things in the works!