Saturday, January 30, 2010
I can't say enough about the amazing friends that I have gained through Nia class. There is a camaraderie that reminds me sleep away camp. It makes going to Nia so much more fun!!!
So my Nia girls talked me into meeting up for cocktail hour and then going to "The Pole Studio" Grand opening celebration at "Move Studio." Alright, alright they really didn't have to push me that hard!! So after we had a drink, smart move, we headed to the studio.... First thing we had to do was sign a waiver, interesting, just what were we getting ourselves into????
Then we signed up for classes...at 8:45pm we were going to take the "Lap Dance" class and at 9:00pm we were going to take the pole dancing class. We got there at about 8:15 so we decided to go and sit in the pole dancing class to get ourselves ready. Well there were definitely all different shapes and sizes of girls, and that was a good thing. The funniest part of this portion of the class was when the instructor was informing us that there were two different sizes of poles and that each person would eventually find their favorite. I turned to Arlene and asked, "Yeah, what size pole is your favorite?" She just busted out laughing.
Before we knew it it was our turn in the lap dancing room. Now this is a dance I can handle.... The nice thing is that because of Nia, I feel more comfortable with myself which made it easier to do a lap dance in front of 20 other girls. Mike might be a happy man after at least 2-3 more hours of practice!! I will more than likely sign up for the workshop of this class.
Now comes the fun right.... So we headed into the pole dancing room and picked out our poles... Interesting that I gravitated to the bigger pole... Pole dancing is not an easy task, It takes an amazing amount of upper body strength. Unfortunately, there was a little gymnast in our class who just threw herself up there (I'm going to go ahead and say that I think her and her friends might have had some extra practice before class, if you know what I mean...) But their presence definitely made it a little intimidating. I did love twirling myself around the pole though. Who knows maybe in a past and skinnier life I was a stripper!
After class we said our goodbyes and I got in the car and headed home. I have to tell you though I don't know if it was the smell of sweat and smelly pole dancing hands or the fact that I bought this song on my iphone before I left the parking lot, but Amanda was feeling pretty frickin good about herself!!
Lap dancing classes here I come!!
xoxo chef a
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
What are we feeding ourselves? What are we feeding our kids? Why are there millions of NEW "Fat Free" and "Sugar Free" products on the market today, yet we are millions and millions of pounds heavier than our ancestors who ate meat, sugar, butter, and cream?
I finally made my husband watch the movie, "Food Inc." on Monday night... It has been on my mind for a month or so but to tell you the truth I was a little scared to hear what was going to be said. Mike made it through half before excusing himself to the other room. I know this is a documentary and I know that it is a somewhat slanted view. But I would have to say that it did make me what to change my eating habits.
I'm really going to focus on whole foods. I'm going to throw away the spray butter (ugh!) and if I want butter I'm going to use a little real butter. I'm going to try and give up the diet soda. I'm going to bring in lots of whole grains and locally grown fruits and vegetables. And I'm going to try and get away from shelf stable foods that are filled with preservatives. I have been thinking about making this change for a while now and I think I'm finally ready. I believe that all the "fake food" that is advertised as "healthy" and "diet" is actually what is making us fatter. It is filled with so many chemicals that our bodies are saying, "Screw you , where is our food?" Maybe that is why after you eat processed food you are hungry 10 minutes later.
Here is your test for the day:
Go to the grocery store and buy a small bag of baby carrots and then buy some whole organic carrots that you actually have to peel. Taste them! You will never go back to the baby carrots that are washed in chlorine. For the last 2 years I have been using organic vegetables for most of my clients.
I have realized that I need to take care of myself the same way I take care of my clients!!!
Have you seen this movie? How did it make you feel? Did it change the way you feel about food?
I would love to hear from you!!
xoxo chef a
Monday, January 25, 2010
I am loving the fact that two of my Monday clients are out of town, which means I have a very light day...
So today I'm going to do an exaggerated version of a standard food diary...My laptop will be by my side all day and every food will be recorded. Wow! Talk about honesty....
6:00 am- wake up, get ready...
7:15am- Kiss my husband goodbye and head out the door.
7:30am-9:15am- Central Market, Sams, Super Target, Tom Thumb
9:15am- One Grande "140* (gotta protect the taste buds)" Skinny Vanilla Latte
9:30am-Started cooking roasted diced sweet potatoes, low fat brownies, turkey meatballs, a super quick marinara, and I whipped up a spinach souffle.
10:30am- Breakfast...One Jazz apple cut into 18 pcs. and 1 1/2 Tablespoons + a licked off spoon of freshly ground almond butter ( I'm trying to at least make this apple last one hour)
10:45am- Marinating Miso Glazed Salmon...and I tasted 2 pcs (alright 4) diced sweet potato (great!)- moved sweet potatoes to a cooling area out of plain site (so I don't continue to taste!)
11:15am- Brownies done. Cleaning and prepping mushrooms, I know exciting right.
11:30am- Quick saute of mushroom medley... Portioning out and packaging turkey meatballs with marinara and roasted sweet potatoes. Both go in the fridge...back to the mushrooms...
Just took my last bite of apple and almond butter, (possibly might lick the rest of the almond butter off the plate, alright won't lick it but will scrape it off with a spatula.)
Set aside half of the mushrooms for chicken marsala. Add 1 pound of fresh baby spinach to the rest of the mushrooms, cover and turn off heat. Three minutes later spinach perfectly wilted. Turned out mixture into a large foil pan so that it cools quickly and doesn't over cook. Tasted one bite of spinach mushroom mixture.
12:00am- Clean and thinly slice chicken breasts. Start sauteing thin chicken pcs. in batches. Got mad at tongs and threw them in the trash!! Removed salmon from marinade and broiled in roasting pan for 7 minutes. Sucked on a "Brach's" cinnamon disk candy. Deglazed saute pan added marsala and chicken stock, simmered down added reserved mushrooms and finished off sauce with 1 tablespoon of butter. Did a quick cool on the salmon and chicken and packaged. Labeled everything and cleaned up ( my least favorite part). Finished with work at 1:16pm. I could get used to a light Monday!
Note to self: Buy new tongs :)
1:30pm-Ran some much needed errands
2:30pm- 1 hour workout at the Gym
3:30pm- High protein snack- 4.5 ounces hickory smoked flavor tuna and 1 cup of lettuce
5:00pm- Mix of nap time and t.v.
7:00pm- Dinner with family friends
2 corn tortillas cut into small triangles with salsa
Chicken Fajitas no tortillas with lots of pico de gallo and 2 tablespoons of guacamole
9:00pm- Just got home... hoping to make it through the night without any other snacks...here comes the hard part. Oh well I'll let you know how I do in the morning!!
I know some of you might read this food log and think, "why is she worried about 4 diced sweet potatoes?" But you have to remember that if I tasted four pieces of everything I cooked each day, I would more than likely end up eating 3000 calories a day!
xoxo chef a
Thursday, January 21, 2010
It has taken me almost 3 days to write this blog...I wasn't sure that I wanted to discuss these feelings but after many written versions I am finally able to post it...
I'm tired! My last two cooking days have been pretty rough especially considering that my sinuses are extremely annoyed with global warming! The plus side is that because I have no sense of smell or taste, I am oddly not hungry (the not hungry feeling is extremely rare.) Before I dive deep into my psyche, here are my menus from Tuesday and Wednesday...
Peppercorn Crusted Beef Tenderloin
Baked Chicken Drummettes
Low Fat Chicken with Lemon Caper Sauce
Beef Tips and Rice
Chopped Chicken Salad
Chili Con Carne
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Matzoh Ball Soup
Marinated Flank Steak
Low Fat Chicken Salad
Roasted Chicken and Black Bean Burritos
Vegetable Fried Rice
Special "Reid" Cookies
Today I had coffee with a couple of girlfriends who have been incredibly supportive on this journey. It means so much to hear from other friends who are dealing with some of the same struggles with food and body image that I have. I discussed an issue with them that has been plaguing me. I haven't really brought it up much in the blog because I wasn't sure if I wanted to go there but I have decided that this blog is about my life and I have to face it to be true to myself.
I have polycystic ovarian disease. It is a condition that makes it difficult to get pregnant. It is treatable and I am being treated. Although the condition is said to be gene related it is definitely more prevalent among overweight women.
The biggest problem is that I am beating myself up over it. Since I got the diagnoses I have caught myself seeking out food for comfort. At first I tried to make myself believe that it was because my hormone levels were changing and it must be my body's fault...It wasn't until this afternoon that I realized that I have not really been honest with anyone about my feelings (maybe I haven't even been honest with myself.)I woke up this morning looked at myself in the mirror and I got very angry at my body...In the last 2 1/2 weeks I haven't done anything to make my body image better. I haven't put on makeup or done my hair. I have sulked! Even though it is widely know that being overweight is unhealthy. I never really thought that my weight was affecting my health. I was naive to think that the biggest issue about my weight was the way I looked when in truth it has been running my life and not just on the outside but on the inside too.
I now completely understand (well not completely) what it feels like to be an impotent man. I am a woman and I am supposed to be able to have a baby if I want one. Even though I know that I will do whatever I have to do to have a child; I cant deny the fact that I kind of feel a little less womanly and I even feel a little bit of guilt knowing that it won't be as easy for me as I once thought.
I plan on trying to let these feelings go this week... I don't want to go through another week feeling this way about a problem that my husband assures me we will work through. I am going to continue to make my health my priority and I know the babies will come...
Maybe the focus in Nia class this week will be letting it go...wouldn't that be appropriate!xoxo chef a
Monday, January 18, 2010
Today I hit a new low...I actually looked a carrot up and down and asked it to taste like a chocolate bar. I tried to close my eyes and dream of it touching my tongue and turning into a melted river of goodness. But unfortunately I just got a carrot!! The funny thing is that normally I'm not even a chocolate kind of girl... The craving got so bad tonight that at about 8 pm I was actually rummaging through my mom's pantry looking for a sugar free peppermint pattie to no avail. Who ever thought that a sugar free candy would be considered a find? So here I sit at 5 minutes till 11 wondering when the day will come that I crave say a bag of cut up celery...
Tortilla Bean Soup (Super low fat)
1 sweet onion, diced
6 oz can diced green chilies
2 quarts of chicken stock (or veggie stock)
1 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can rotel ( I usually use the mild so I have more control over the heat factor)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 15 0z cans navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
In a non-stick soup pot saute onions and chilies over medium heat until onions start to become translucent. Add stock and then all other ingredients except the beans. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn down to a high simmer and continue to cook for 20 minutes. Add beans and cook 10 minutes more.
Serve and top with diced avocado, low fat cheese, or your favorite topping.
xoxo chef a
Sunday, January 17, 2010
I decided to write my blog during the "Dallas Cowboy" playoff game so that I don't eat... We are watching the game over at my aunt's house. I would have to admit that I show up to football watching parties mainly for the food... I would love to tell you that I am here because of my undying love for the Cowboys, which let me clarify I do love the Cowboys and I hope that they win, but I love food more...so I brought over some healthier snacks.
So I'll tell you a little about my day so far. I woke up at about 7 AM and quickly decided to turn back over and try to sleep longer. After laying there for about 30 minutes and holding myself back from waking Mike up (my normal thought process when I wake up and can't sleep is to wake up Mike too, not because I'm mean but because I want to hang out...) I went ahead and got up and started cooking the whole wheat pasta salad that I wanted to take over to Aunt Leen's.
I decided to be super productive and workout on the Wii Fit while I was boiling the water for the pasta. I filled up the pot, salted the water and turned on the stove... This "being productive" thing worked out great, I did 5 minutes of basic step, ran to the stove dropped the pasta in, did 10 minutes of advanced step, ran back to the stove drained the pasta, mixed it with half pesto and half low fat vinaigrette and placed it in the fridge, then back to the Wii for 10 minutes of advanced hoola hoop, I finished with about 15 min. of strengthening exercises before assembling the rest of the pasta salad and getting ready to leave.
Anyways here we are watching the Cowboys play maybe the worst game of the season...Ugh! Its so bad I'm gonna have to finish later. Ill be back...
Ok I'm back...My husband just said the most amazing thing to me... We are watching the red carpet for the Golden Globes and Heidi Klum is talking to Ryan Seacrest and I said, "OMG she looks amazing I can't believe she just had a baby...it's incredible!" My husband turns to me and says, "Yeah babe, but she doesn't have to cook all day!" I'm going to go ahead and say that I'm going to take that as the best compliment of the night! Thank you to my wonderful husband for understanding that I am just me and I will most likely never be a size 2 especially just months after giving birth.
One last thing...Yay for "Glee" winning tonight, it made this choir girl's night!!!
xoxo chef a
Thursday, January 14, 2010
I want to start out by saying that I had an amazing visit today with one of my best friends, Tiffany. She has amazing strength and has been a wonderful friend to me. I wish her the best of luck in anything she sets her mind to. She deserves it! XOXO
After our visit I headed to Nia... Today we did firedance, it is a routine that is pretty much like riverdance with a little more spirituality. It is fast, hard, and there is a serious amount of footwork. To give you a little back story...In Nia classes there are 3 levels. Level 1 is still a great workout but the moves are modified to make it a little less stressful on the body, level 2 usually includes either a hop or a deeper squat, and level 3 is pretty much all out. I would say I'm normally a level 2. Well today I leaned over to Jan (a great girl in my Nia class) and said," My body wants to be a level 2 today, but my boobs are saying level 1." She turned to me and said, "That's why I have two bras on!"
So at that moment I realized that after a 40+ pound weight loss it is a necessity to buy new smaller sports bras. Unfortunately, it is pretty much the last thing I want to do.... Mainly because a new bra is tighter and a tighter bra means more back fat and more chicken cutlet action in the creases of my arms. Ugh! But it also means if I want level two I can do level 2 without feeling like my breasts are being ripped off.
My little cousin Lindsay asked my aunt a couple weeks ago, "Do you take those off at night?" (referring to her boobs) My aunt just laughed and said, "I wish!" I am by no means saying I would like to give them up forever, but it sure would make working out easier....
Checklist for tomorrow:
Buy new sports bras and contemplate doubling up! :)
xoxo chef a
I'm taking the opportunity today to talk about some of my favorite "healthy" snacks. I quoted the word healthy because lets be honest about the fact that if it is a processed snack that you can buy off the shelf then the chances that is is completely good for you is slim. But here it goes...
My first snack is dedicated to my friend Lisa because this post today came about from the fact that I swore to her that I have discussed my love for 100 calorie packs of raw almonds on the blog....Well Lisa print this out for your records because I WAS WRONG! So I love 100 calorie packs of RAW Almonds, I keep them in my purse and stash them in various other places (even clients houses). I try to limit myself to two servings of nuts a day because even though they are healthy they are also quite high in calories.
My second favorite snack is "Food Should Taste Good" brand of Sweet Potato tortilla chips. Jamie introduced me to these gems. They are all natural tortilla chips with sweet potatoes baked in. Besides the fact that these are truly the best thing I have ever put into my mouth, I love the fact that a can pronounce every ingredient in them. They are not an everyday snack but if I need a chip they are what I want. And the greatest news is that Starbucks now sells 1.5 oz bags so even though that's about 1 1/2 servings it is definitely better than having the entire bag around!
I also love freeze-dried banana slices with no sugar added. There are all different brand names but as long as there is no sugar added and they are crispy not soggy I'm on board!
And cheese...when I was a little girl I used to eat Kraft American singles. I would fold them up into little bitty squares and eat them in layers, but because they have little to no nutritional value and because I think 2% American singles taste like plastic I have changed to Kraft 2% mozzarella cheese sticks which are so good and pretty decently healthy. (Just so you know...This does not take the place of real cheese!!!)
These are just a few of my favorite snacks...I will post more of them as I think of them but this is at least a start...
xoxo chef a
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
I cant lie to you....right now I am watching my favorite Food Network show, "Unwrapped" and the episode is called "Deep Fried". I am living vicariously through the show...I can't remember the last time I ate something fried, ugh! that's supposed to be a good thing right???
So I've been going to Nia for 4 months as of today and I can honestly say that it has changed my life... I think about where I was 4 months ago. Well for starters I was 43 pounds heavier. But more than that I was a tad bit nervous , I was very reserved in class and I still worried on a regular basis about the way I looked in the mirror.
Today I let it go. I don't know if it had to do with the dynamics of the class or what, but I danced around with no inhibitions. I even did what I never really thought I would do or that I even wanted to do... During the Tae Kwon Do portions of the class, where we do punches, kicks, and chops, I yelled and screamed and grunted and Oh did it feel good!! Who knew??? I now completely understand Maria Sharapova, I mean I've always liked the girl but I get it! She screams and grunts because it is the most unbelievable feeling ever!! I know some people might think it's annoying and they might even think it's disrespectful to the other tennis player but thank goodness in Nia I don't have to worry about it because the other wonderful people in my class are right there screaming with me. And as far as I'm concerned, Maria you keep on screaming, more power to you!!!
So my dare to you tonight is to find a screaming zone, whether its in a car, closet, Nia class, or tennis court. Find a place where you can just let it go! My suggestion is to start with some punches and with each punch yell, Yah! And don't forget the upper cut it's my personal favorite!!
xoxo chef a
Sunday, January 10, 2010
On Saturday, I went to Lululemon to check out their yoga pants. At first I was a little pissed off considering all I saw were sizes 2-12 with a couple of 14s. I almost just made my usual walk over to the accessories department, but much to my dismay the 12s fit and were comfortable and it was awesome. I'm going to go ahead and say that I am positive there is no way that I would fit into a 12 at any other store! I kept thinking this is what girls need...I mean maybe in truth it doesn't matter because you still know that in other stores you won't fit into the smaller size, but I have to say it made the $100 yoga pants completely worth it!!
When I brought this news up to a couple of friends I got mixed reviews. Some couldn't get to the store fast enough and others said that they would always know their true size so it wouldn't matter. I disagree with the latter. I am going to go ahead and say that girls would shop more at a store that they wore a smaller size at than at a store that they always had to buy their true size or a bigger size...
There is something about subconsciously feeling thinner when you have a smaller size on... So Lululemon I will come back and I will buy more of your pants that make me feel like a supermodel (funny thing is that my excitement over the fact that I can fit into a size 12 would surely make some girls cry, Oh well size 12 is my new size 2 !!)
Menu for Monday:
Miso Glazed Salmon
Veggie Lo Mein
Wild Mushroom Saute
Hummus Tabouli and Pita
Chili Con Carne
Low Fat Sour Cream Black Bean Enchiladas
Low Fat Brownies
Sugar Free Chocolate Cream Pie
xoxo chef a
Thursday, January 7, 2010
About three weeks ago a friend on facebook listed this as their status:
"can't believe I havent seen my father in 19 years."
I have been thinking about it ever since...As of today I have not seen my father in 2 years...I can't even imagine 19...
I have written so many blogs about today in my head over the last 24 hours. What should I say...Should I tell you about the day 2 years ago or should I tell you how incredible he was. Maybe I should tell what he means to me. Or maybe I should write an entire blog about how pissed off I still am (not at him but at the disease). I thought about how my family would feel, would they want me to write about such a private day?? So as of this minute I decided that Ill write a little about everything...
Things continued to get worse and it was extremely difficult for us to completely care for him. On Christmas Eve day I walked into the room where he was sitting and said, "Ive researched some hospice companies I found one that sounds great, they will be here this afternoon. His response was a simple "Ok." On Christmas eve day!, the hospice nurse came out and visited with my dad and by 10pm they had delivered meds to keep him comfortable.
My dad had been walking with a cane or walker for a solid three weeks the cancer had long ago moved to his bones and the pain was intense but for whatever reason on Friday Jan. 4 he decided to go out to dinner for mexican food with my mom, my aunt and my uncle and he went without any kind of walking device. By Saturday he changed. He was sitting in his chair all day and acting a little strange. A hospice nurse came over and said he sounded great and that we still had time, probably weeks! I left to go to dinner with friends and got home at about 10 pm. I figured everything was fine and that they might be sleeping so I didn't call. I should have called my dad couldn't get up and even my brother couldn't help him up...the fire dept. had to come. He didn't get out of bed Sunday. Friends came and went all day. Tell stories, listening to his favorite music, looking at the pictures that still today envelope my parent's house. At this time we also had round the clock help just in case my dad needed anything.
I slept over at my mom's on Saturday night. I woke up for whatever reason at about 3 am and decided to go and check on him. He sounded terrible, we had heard about a condition called the "death rattle" it is just part of the process, but when I went to tell my mom what I thought was happening she reassured me that the nurse had said weeks...we were fine. So I went back in, made my dad sit up and take just one more sip of water from a straw and went back to bed.
I woke up to the sound of my brother screaming, "Wake up Daddy, get up Dad!!!" I ran back there and he was still there but in a coma. Of course, I was shocked but not really surprised, my father refused to be held back he had obviously made a choice. By 5pm with all of us there by his side and music playing in the background he took his last breath. It was peaceful, I don't even think I was angry at this point, the anger came later... I knew he was in pain and I knew the last thing he would want would be to be stuck in bed.
The most interesting thing about the journey was that days later as the news spread we got phone calls and visits from all of his friends from high school and life and everybody had one thing in common, my Dad had called them all within the last week of his life, coincidence, I think not!
My Dad lived his life his way to the very end. When I think about everything he has missed in the last two years I get very sad, weddings, funerals oddly enough, birthdays... I worry some days about how I'm going to explain him to my kids, how will I show them how his smile lit up a room and how it felt to hold his hands. Sometimes right before I walk into a room at my Mom's house I wish that when I open the door he is just sitting there....
I'm sorry this became all about the disease and the end, but i just wrote and it came out. For what ever reason this was the story I needed to tell today so thank you all for listening.
I miss you Daddy, I love you and I wish you were here!
xoxo chef a
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
For our entire young adult lives we do everything possible to not get pregnant and then all of the sudden we have the career we always wanted and the husband and finally have some what of a system for money in and money out and we are reminded of why 3 generations ago everyone was pregnant at 18. I waited until this afternoon to write the blog because I have been having some girl issues and was having some testing this morning on my "plumbing" and lets just say it wouldn't have been an upbeat blog... So I woke up this morning and of course since I had to be fasting for blood work I was starving (I could have eaten my arm off). I showered, got dressed and headed to the docs office.
First we had a little talk about my issues and then we decided (well the doc decided) the best course of action would be a sonogram and some blood work. So we started with the sonogram (nothing more delightful than having no clothes on, your feet up in the air and trying to discuss work while you have an instrument in places well... kidding of course) Unfortunately when we got to my little ovaries they were not so happy... So I looked at the doctor and said "How can we fix them?"
Well first of all you have to lose weight...(I have lost 40 pounds didn't my ovaries get the message) because your weight is more than likely aggravating them. Second we are going to give you some meds that we hope will work and have awesome side effects...not! Third we are going to take a million vials of blood so that you feel like you are about to run out and fourth if this doesn't work then we need to discuss infertility. All I can say is that my ovaries better frickin get on board! After that I was also reminded that I will be able to have a baby but it might take some time and some work. Oh and that we need to move quickly because I am not a spring chicken. You know everyday we see these stars having babies into their 40s and we get spoiled into thinking that we have all the time in the world but in reality our time is kind of limited.
So I will wait on baited breath to get the blood results back and I will continue to bust my ass in the gym and eat right. I guess it is just extra motivation!
We had maj tonight and the girls all came over to my house yay!!!!! I made some awesome low fat low carb easy easy easy quesadillas.
Easy low carb low fat Chicken Quesadillas
1 rotisserie chicken (white meat only chopped up no skin)
1/2 pkg low sodium taco seasoning
12 ounces 2% mexican shredded cheese
9-10 low carb soft taco size flour tortillas
Cover 2 cookie sheets with foil and spray with olive oil cooking spray. Heat oven to 400*. Mix chicken, cheese , and taco mix and place mixture into folded tortillas. Spray the tops of the tortillas with more olive oil and bake for about 7-10 minutes or until browned and cheese is melted. Serve with light sour cream and pico (i like to mix them)
xoxo chef a
Ps check back later today because i will be discussing Jan 7th...
Monday, January 4, 2010
Being at my Grandmother's house is surreal... She has lived there over 50 years and although some things have moved around slightly there is something comforting about the sameness. The kitchen is small but effecient. Everything has it's place up to the dry measuring cups that hang on the wall. Central heat/air and a dishwasher were only added when my mother starting having babies. If I close my eyes tight enough I can taste the warm biscuit with butter and apple or plum jelly that I ate for breakfast every morning there before we got back in the car and drove back to Dallas.
My Granny is still strikingly beautiful. She has a calmness about her. Some people might think she is quiet but I've always thought that she just limits the pointless conversation and really just says what she means. I know her politics, I know that she paved a way for me by being a woman and a mother and holding down a job that was really intended for a man. She was the main provider for her family and from what I have heard my grandfather left a lot to be desired as a husband. When she got fed up enough with his alcoholic ways she sent him on his way, pulled her boots straps up and moved on. She lived a humbled life at times but always had food on the table.
I have always known what an incredible woman she is...I could see it in my father's eyes. She has worked hard her entire life and has done it with grace. I love her with all of my heart and I have never doubted the fact that she loves me back.
Being there to celebrate her 95th Birthday was bittersweet...It was priceless to be able to spend some quality time with her but after we hugged and said our "i love you's" it was hard to hold the tears back while driving away... I couldn't stop thinking about the fact that my Dad should be here. He should get to see her still driving and planting and trying to not let me wash the dishes.
I can only hope that I will be able to live up to the example that she has set forth. I hope that I can teach my children about the sacrifies that she made so that their grandfather could survive and flourish. And I hope that I can exude some of the grace that I have witnessed in her.