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I'm Beth. I'm married to my best friend, and he's pretty awesome. We have two equally awesome kids, Gavin and Sophie.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I have been sitting here, watching the kids run around our entire house.  Sophie is wearing nothing but a tutu and mismatched socks, carrying a hula hoop and chasing Gavin screaming "Come here you freak! I'm gonna get you! Hop in the circle!"  I feel oddly content.  Oddly, because they're being pretty loud, and - thanks to the m&ms they got earlier - wild.  However, no one is pestering me, no one is arguing, they are just 100% delighted with whatever it is they think they are doing.  And I love it.

I have often wondered about the quality of their childhood.  Gavin for obvious reasons, because he goes back and forth between houses.  I was blessed enough to never have to do that.  My parents are still married after 45 years.  I don't know what growing up like that would even feel like, and I wish that I could empathize with him a little, just because I can't say things like "I know how you feel", because I don't.  I want him to know that we understand this life isn't the most ideal without making him think he should feel awkward about the life he has.  I know he's used to it, because its been his life the majority of the time he's been on this earth.  It still doesn't mean its fair.
I also have worried about Sophie, because her life isn't traditional, either.  She has a big brother - and I understand that he is technically her half brother, but this in all honesty is something I only completely realized recently.  I have never thought of them as "half" anything.  He is her bubba and she is his sissy and that's just how its been.  However, her big bubby that she loves so much is here and then gone for a period of time, then comes back...and it goes on and on in that cycle.  That is hard on her.  We also had a long period of time where her daddy was laid off and on unemployment, and things were hard.  Things still are hard -- that's how it is for a lot of people nowadays.  We have a lot of struggles, monetary sure but definitely more so in other areas.  I have worried about the effect these things have on her quality of life.  Recently I voiced these concerns to Ernie and he said..."the hard times are only hard for us."  The amount she feels and understands the difficulties and burdens our family has is the amount we allow into her life.  I don't think kids should think life is perfect.  I don't think they should believe that parents never argue and everything is just wonderful as can be.  However, discussing it with my honey made me realize what he said is true: Sophie has a happy life.  Daddy was unemployed for a large amount of time -- hard on us, but for her, she had her daddy around to play with a lot.  She has a daddy who is such a good parent -- she has unlimited access to mommy, since my full time job is to be home with her and take care of her.  She has a big brother she loves.  She has food and clothes and shelter.  She gets to learn and do crafts and go to the park and have a dog...she has extended family who loves her and she gets to experience a lot of awesome things, like going camping, and going hiking in the mountains, and going clam digging, and crabbing, and learning how to cook.  She laughs every day and she feels loved and safe every night when she gets tucked into bed.  She knows every night I'll sing her "Good night Sweetheart" and that every morning we'll be here when she wakes up. 
Seeing life through their eyes I think yeah...our life is pretty good.  And I feel content in that.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Take Two!

Alright, here I go again...
So the first Whole30, as I mentioned, was a failure. :(  It was going GREAT until Mother Nature intervened.  And there are supposed to be NO EXCUSES...but unfortunately, I'm using one, and that's just how its going to have to be.  At least I'm getting back on track. 
I've replaced a lot of the food we lost from the fridge and freezer -- thanks Safeway for your buy one get one free meat sale today.  :)  I also have about 15 pounds of moose meat in the freezer now (Thanks, Uncle Pat).  I hate how expensive veggies can be, but there are the biggest staple in this house.  Makes me want to cry having to replace that kinda stuff!  But, we're back to it and starting tomorrow AM, Whole30 take two is on like donkey kong.  I'm leaving Ernie a note to read when he gets home from work so he'll be informed he's starting again too. :)  (Maybe I should phrase it like a question and not a commandment...)
I feel really bad that my first go around didn't make it all 30 days.  But I have decided I can't dwell on it.  I could sit around and feel really down on myself and feel like a failure and beat myself up, or I can look back to my goals I set and get back on track.  Its different than some other "diet" goal that would be commonly made at New Years.  This is the lifestyle I want to live, and it is like night and day when I am living that way. Having processed foods, gluten, grains, dairy, sugars...I feel like C R A P.  I never noticed before because I was SO ridiculously used to it.  So much so that I craved those things.  Yuck!  Cutting all of that garbage out of my daily life made me realize how bad I was actually feeling.  It was common occurance for me to have muscle aches, joint aches, *bad* headaches, stomach aches...no joke, every. single. day I felt cruddy in some way.  I took far too much ibuprofen for far too many pains and it was miserable.  I realized that I hadn't take any pain medicine since the start of the year!  Miracle!  I had a headache when we first started because I had caffeine withdrawal, but I had also committed to myself that I wouldn't take any medication, so I powered through it and after that, I felt awesome.
Falling off the wagon showed me just how crappy I felt NOT eating paleo, so I am even more jazzed to get back to it.  Tomorrow is Day 1, and I am excited to feel good every day and be the best mom I can be.  The absolute number one best part is Sophie loving her paleo food and wanting to be active and 'eskersize' just like me.  Love it!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Snow Storm. And the importance of electricity.

Last week's snow storm was pretty ridiculous.  Gavin didn't have to go to school all week!  I can't believe how much snow we got, but the powerful wind and ice was what made everything come to a halt.  Washington state has so many beautiful trees, everywhere.  All different kinds, but of course tons of huge evergreens.

  My neighborhood is covered in them.  Very pretty, but not very safe when there's a storm.  All over this area when the ice and wind came, trees came crashing down all over, and most destructively into power lines.  Last time I called Puget Sound Energy they said over 260,000 customers were without power.  Thursday morning before 7 am our power went out.
Sophie started crying and I thought she might be scared, because it was still dark outside we it was black in the house.  Why was she crying? She wanted to watch tv.  Silly girl.  At least we know what her priorities are.  After about an hour without any power coming back, we woke Ernie up to let him know.  We decided to call his parents, and they still had power. So, we packed up a few things and went over there, because it was really cold and snowy and we didn't want to be stuck here with no idea when we'd get power/heat back on.  By the time we got there, their power had gone out, too.  Luckily they have a generator and a propane fireplace so we were living pretty good in the storm!  Sophie was even able to watch a movie (important, you know)!  We had buckets under the downspouts so we'd have water to flush the toilets, and that was a pretty big pain.  I'm glad I had Ernie around to lug the water back and forth...if you know me at all, you know I have a well -- relatively small bladder. :)  ANYWAY, we just assumed the power would be on the next day.  Not so!  Tree limbs kept breaking and there were downed power lines everywhere.

  So we stayed.  Sophie of course had a ball.  She had things to play with, she had grandma and papa Steve's undivided attention, and she's not an adult so she's not so concerned with showering.  I think she probably thought it was a pretty fun adventure. 
  I am very thankful that I was able to keep my family fed and warm...however, the biggest bummer to me: we fell off our Whole30 wagon.  :(  We were about what..18 days into it?  And doing awesome. However, when the power went out, I had ingredients, but nothing made.  The biggest thing we had in mind when we started this was NO CHEATING no matter what!  No way did I think there would be this big power outage and storm, so we were not prepared.  I felt sad about it, but now that the power is back on we can get right back on the horse! (Oh wait, I said it was a wagon...)  One good thing to come out of that though, was I realized how freaking SICK gluten, grains, processed sugar and dairy and any other processed food is.  I ate whatever we could make and my guts were torn up inside!  I got headaches and stomach aches and felt really bloated...whereas, I haven't had ANY of those things all month before we 'cheated'.  So that's kind of neat/interesting to know. 
Ernie and I had plans for several weeks to go to the ocean Friday.  We don't like to miss a clam tide and we already had it planned out, and Sophie was going to stay with grandma.  Well, since we were already there, Sophie stayed and Ernie and bundled up and made our way to Westport. Several people thought we were cuckoo because of the snow and the storm and everything, but it was pretty nice!  The closer you get to the ocean, the less snow there is, and so everyone there had electricity.  It was frigid, yeah, but that was tolerable.  We got to go around to gift shops which were lit and nice and warm.  We even got some warm food, and brought jugs of water back home from their non-depleted grocery store.  PLUS, we got 2 crabs and 12 clams, and Saturday night we were able to make a nice big batch of clam chowder on the butane camping stove. Can't get much better than that!

However, that many days without showers is pretty disgusting. The only blessing was that EVERYONE was in the same situation, so no one could really tell how bad you stunk, because everyone stunk.  I don't remember ever going 4 days without a shower, not even after my appendectomy or my c-section.  I just felt sick.  Last night when we got home after the power was finally restored, I got to take a shower.  Seriously the best thing EVER.  I wanted to stay in the shower for as long as possible, it was just so delightful. 
We were so excited to be clean, and have on clean clothes, and have lights.  Ernie and I cooked some actual FOOD on the real stove, and turned on netflix to find something to watch.  Then I realized it was pretty cold.  Lo and behold...our heater won't come on.  I checked the fuse box and everything was okay.  We checked the switches on the furnace, and they're okay too.  So we got out portable heaters (good thing we procrastinate, we still have our neighbors' heater from a while ago, even though I've been meaning to take it back.) and sat down to watch a movie.  Then CLICK, the tv, ps3, and living room lights went out.  Everything else was still on...so I checked the fuse box AGAIN.  Now something was flipped off. So we fixed it, and then it happened AGAIN.  Annoying, but we have just decided to go try and watch something in our room.  We got in there, and then the tv in THERE and the heater we had plugged in switched off.  And I think all this upset me more than the major power outage!! Maybe I was at the end of my rope and I didn't know it.  But having the power come back and thinking all the problems were over and now having our furnace not working sort of sent me over the edge.  Then we got up this morning and I realized it kept switching our dryer off too, so all our clothes I was so happy to wash last night are STILL soaking wet.  Argh! 
This whole long drawn out story to say...not much.  But it was a big deal to us so I wanted to at least record it!  Now I'm just sitting here waiting on the electrician, bundled up in my only clean clothes: pink striped pj pants, a tie dyed shirt, and a blue zip up hoody.  I look gooood.
But at least I don't stink!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Over Halfway Through!

I cannot believe it.  We're 16 days into it...over halfway through our 30 days and I am SO over craving the crap.  Which pretty much makes me speechless.  I did not think that would change.  Get better, maybe, but not go away entirely. 
(Let me clarify...I still have delicious dreams about coffee.  I will never include coffee in the "crap" family, and it will be returning to me when these days are done.)
For the first week of this, I wanted ice cream/something really bad for me like you wouldn't believe.  I have always had a hard time telling myself I *couldn't* have something, because that only made me want to eat it.  And I would inevitably fail.  Having Ernie do this Whole30 thing with me, though, has been the biggest help.  He definitely has conviction so it is easier NOT to cheat when I know he's doing the same thing I am.  (Of course, he is in shape and lookin good, so whatever.)  Anyway, first week, wanted to cry.  Second week, it started to get better but if someone put me in a room with some Tim's Salt and Vinegar potato chips or some Cherry Garcia, it would be on. 
However NOW...today is day 16.  A couple nights ago I realized, as I was sitting on the couch being an old lady (crocheting) -- I just want my yummy paleo food.  I love the stuff I cook and I don't want to replace it with anything!  That is huge for me.  H-U-G-E.  I don't feel like "making it through" these 30 days and then hopping off the wagon into a pile of sugar and processed foods.  It just doesn't sound appealing.  That is so beyond exciting to me!  Time is flying by faster and I can't wait to see the changes that we've made begin to show. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Day Eight and a Good Coach

We've made it through the entire week of our 30 day challenge! :)  Hooray! Let's celebrate with ice cream.  Okay, we won't.  Last night was super hard -- it was Saturday night and that's usually the time we'd have snacks and watch movies, etc., since we're home as a family.  I really *really* wanted some ice cream.  Like really.  BUT I didn't.  Mostly because Ernie is a stronger person than I am, and also bossy.  ;) 
I made my meal list for this coming week, and my grocery list.  Ernie requested several of the new things I made last week, which shows that the food is super good.  We love eating paleo, its the mental part that is the hardest.  I *mentally* need ice cream or chocolate.  My mind is addicted to it.  And my mind is stubborn.  I am hoping as this week goes by, it will get easier.  Plus we have lots of yummy meals planned for the week, so I'm looking forward to cooking those!  And Sophie is definitely our little paleo kid.  I love watching her eat something I made and hearing her say "MMMMM this is yummy mom!"  I know a lot of 3 year olds might turn up their noses at some of the "weird" things we eat, so I am thankful she is adventurous. :) 
Today when we woke up, I was pretty happy that I didnt give in and cheat last night.  I did not have to feel guilty!  And when we went to the grocery store and I got all the ingredients for my meals for the beginning of the week, the old lady in line behind us said "you're the smartest shopper I've seen in a long time!"  I asked her what she meant and she said "look at all that good food! Most young people like you have carts full of processed junk!"  That boosted my spirits a little and made me proud that people would compliment me on the choices I'm making in feeding my family. 
We came home and there's no day care at the gym on Sundays, so Ernie left for a run and I sucked it up and put the 30 day shred DVD in.  Whenever I'm *done* with the workout, I'm glad I did it.  Before and during though, not so much.  Before I have to talk myself into it, and during I am cursing Jillian Michaels.  :)  Its hard!  But I'm thankful for the hard work, too, because it is helping me reach my goals.  The BEST part though, is that when I tell Sophie we're going to exercise, she gets out her yoga mat (which is hilarious), and puts on her "work out clothes", and does the best she can with the work out right there beside me.  Today, she was my little trainer.  She kept saying "exhale, exhale, exhale, good, perfect."  Crazy girl.  I took a pic of her in her creative work out attire.  She is such a funny little sweetheart, she makes it so much easier to stick with all this stuff.  I want her to grow up to be a healthy, strong lady, and she needs to see that in me.
No better coach than this lady!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Day Five

Well, I really meant to post about Christmas/the holiday season, but I haven't gotten around to it (obviously).  But its 2012 already and I figure I should post about what's relevant today. I'll go back and post about Christmas when I have anything interesting to say.
Today is day 5 of our Whole30 challenge.  For the past 5 days, I haven't had any coffee (no caffeine at all!).  I've just had meats, veggies, and...that's about it.  And tons of water.  I think I'm trying to replace my coffee with water, which sounds good in theory.  However, I drank a lot of water *anyway*, so this is a little ridiculous.
I did not realize how much of a sugar addict I was/AM.  It is HARD.  The food I'm eating is really awesome, because I mean...I cooked it, and I'm good at that.  But also, I really like my coffee with yummy (full of crap) creamer, and cutting out coffee meant cutting out that sweet stuff, too.  And anything else that secretly has sugar in it.  I've been trying to stay away from fruits because they are sweet, and I think that might be one of the hardest parts.  The coffee part was hard for the first couple of days, especially since it was when school started back after break and I had to get up early and take Gavin to school (not so good with the planning).  I did feel like several times I was just going to fall asleep driving.  Which sounds scary but, I didn't.  It was just in the back of my mind.  :)  But I feel okay now.  Yeah coffee sounds delicious but my head isn't splitting open, at least.  However, I did want to rip Sophie's candy cane out of her hand earlier today and put it in MY mouth. 
Regardless of that (which made me sound a little bit crazy), I am doing good with this.  I really have no willpower so I am surprised at how easy it is.  We've tried to eat mostly paleo for quite a while, but this is the first time we've really gotten super strict about it.  I have had moments where I wanted to cheat over the last few days, but not overwhelming. 
Going to the grocery store with the kids and Target was probably the hardest.  Man they do make junk food appealing, don't they?!  All pretty and shiny and brightly colored.  But I survived.  Which has been making me feel pretty good about myself. :) 
I've also tried just working out whenever I feel like I want to cheat.  That helps a TON.  And I got my craft tub out and have been doing a lot of crafts so that I'm busy when I'm having my "down" time. 
So 25 days to go!  So far so good.  I hope it can continue this way!  I haven't noticied a difference yet, but it hasn't been very long.  Ernie and I did take "before" pictures, and we'll be taking them each week, but there's no way in H-E-double hockeysticks that I will be sharing those, so, you'll just have to take my word for it when I report any progress. :)
I am excited! (slash exhausted)