Sunday, May 22, 2011

Oh Megan

In middle school youth group Megan screamed. Megan ran around the Family Activity Center and screamed as high pitched as a charging velociraptor. I never understood why. I figured that she must be either crazy, really excited, or was being chased by something unseen. This was my first actual memory of my dear friend Megan.

Fast forward about 3 or so years and Megan and I became friends. Alas, she had put her screaming days behind her and clothed herself in a more mature outfit. I think it was after an old boyfriend of mine dumped me, she and I formed a very important club: TAGWOBALI. (Two Awesome Girls With-Out Boys and Loving It). Save your "that's retarded" remarks for later....there is more to come. Megan was (and still is, of course) a rock of level-headed thinking. While, in high school, I was all about having a boyfriend or trying to think of ways to viciously MAKE a guy like me...Megan always stood firm. "You don't need a guy Lindsey," she'd say. "Boys are stupid." And as it turned out, I really didn't need a guy and, yes, all high school boys are treading water in different levels of "stupid". I was all about TAGWOBALI....until I re-dated the dumper...who ended up dumping me again. Ugh, whatever. The 2-woman club was so much better.

As I said, Megan was (and still is not) afraid to let her true feelings show. If she thought I said, did, or was thinking something stupid, she'd call me on it. To coin the exact phrase..."Stop doing X you dufus!" When I looked at her wide-eyed and unknowing, she would explain the mishap to me with exasperation under her breath. Then she'd laugh and we'd be friends again. I knew she loved me, so there was nothing more to do with her info but to take it and work on it! I love that she was (is!) not afraid to sugar coat stuff. If she sees it, she says it...and, yep, then you know.

I think that senior year we really became close. Throughout high school we were in a Bible Study with a mentor and we had a lot of fun doing that. I learned a lot from Megan because she knew vastly more than I did. I always felt a little awkward piping up when Megan had just recited the book of John from memory. But she was a great example to me of what a solid Christian teen can look like. I looked up to Megan a lot!

Some of my favorite memories of her is when we were hanging out in a group or together and things were relatively calm. She would randomly bust out laughing or start being crazy like she had just unleashed something bouncy inside of her. I would, of course, be on the floor in tears because seeing Megan act super silly is reserved for the super special. Like me.

I used to go and watch her on the swim team and she'd tell me tales about her doing synchronized swimming...but I didn't really understand what it was. It just sounded weird. I remember going to the mall and trying on one-piece Speedo swimsuits for summer....oh my gosh, I was soooo fashionable it physically hurts. And the only boy in her life for the longest time was that kid who went to Sahuaro High who was super cute and tall...and I can't remember his name. But I remember listening to Megan feed me snippets of her crush to me, despite my endless questioning.

Megan is the queen of remembering your special days. When I moved to Hawaii and was turning 21 all by my lonesome, she sent me cards. Lots of cards! She also had her friends from the dorm send me cards...lots of cards! It was very touching! She is so good about sending birthday and anniversary cards through the mail with little hand-written notes. Who does that anymore? Megan does, and it is one of the coolest things about her.

When I first found out I was pregnant, Megan hand delivered a Pregnancy book to me. She was the first one to see Alayna after she was born. She came and visited me in Hawaii with a few of our friends. I got to be a knocked up bridesmaid at her wedding.

Megan is one of my most trusted, loyal, genuine friends. Despite stupid Wyoming stealing her...I know that if I ever needed her, she'd be right there for me. That is what is so awesome about Megan!

Next...Laura...oh! and maybe some scanned pictures from the past! It shall be nostalgic and awkward all at once. (Just like my blog!)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Part II: Nicole aka Nolie aka Bad

Alright. So, most of elementary school, all of jr high, and all of high school, Nicole and I were really close friends. Some times we were just friends, but sometimes we were the inseparable "bads". I do believe that whole "bad" thing started in high school when we would scold each other for something by just pointing and yelling, "bad!" This led to other people giving us weird looks, then accepting the weirdness, and going along with it by finally nicknaming us "the bads". Pretty sure that is how it all morphed into calling each other "bad". Wow. It's even weirder when you write it out.

So anyway, Nicole and I had loads of drama-filled fun in elementary school as well as high school. She was always the 'hot one' in our little pair. (I know. I am only now figuring out why she liked to hang out with look hotter. Thanks a lot!) I was always reduced to being the 'funny one'. For you Friend buffs, just picture Joey and Chandler, except I'm not as funny....or hairy. I mean, some guys like fat 12 year olds that can weave hilarious one liners into the conversation okay? She, from the time we started hanging out with each other in 3rd grade, had always been more interested in guys than me. I mean, I like guys...don't get me wrong, but she was actively solving man-equations in her head that would ultimately lead to snagging their attention. Example:
In 3rd or 4th grade she had a massive crush on this kid named Daniel. Oh blonde haired, blue-eyed sweetums. Nicole and our little posse actually had a meeting to devise a plan to get his attention. I didn't have much to contribute, but I did know that Daniel always checked out the big dodgeball at lunch time. Bingo! No one ever fought him for his right to get the ball, but Nicole did. Attention-grabbing tactic number 1: She raised her hand so fast and enthusiastically that the teacher had no other choice but to hand over the ball. It was awesome. Next, we spent the majority of our lunch break trying to get that very same, coveted dodgeball, stuck into one of the large mesquite trees on the play ground. Why, you ask? Well, once the ball was securely stuck at the tippy toppy of the tree, Nicole ran over to Daniel (who was begrudgingly playing soccer) and asked him to please help us...err...her get the ball down from the tree. Genius. Seriously, what 4th grader comes up with something that awesome? I still remember Nicole and Daniel walking back to the school together after he had successfully retrieved the ball from the tree.

Besides all that, we have a lot of "boy" memories together. We both dated different 'Aarons' at the same time. At one point she liked a guy named Bob, and I don't remember much about that except that his name seemed so weird for a 16 year old. I guess it isn't weird now that he is probably 32 or something. I don't know...I think that is the only thing I remember about that. Boys would ask me about her a lot and, thinking back, I should have just handed out little business cards so I didn't have to keep repeating myself. "Yes she is single. She likes romantic comedies. Yes, she dances. I don't know if she'd date ask her. Please leave her brunette, lonely friend alone."

We tied for 3rd place in our elementary school's science fair (boo yah!). She used to MAKE us learn dance steps behind the ramada at school and would not accept, "please let me be the audience" as an answer. It was actually pretty fun...but don't act too silly because Madam Nolie will not have the silliness! She was (and probably still is) a performer. An avid dancer in her younger days, she loved doing the hair, makeup, dancing, acting...thing. She was the first one to ever curl my hair in, like, 6th grade and did it all on her own. She did Brooke's hair too. There are pictures somewhere to prove it. I swore to myself that she'd be a makeup artist for celebrities some day. We went to the Monster Mash every year and she always had the coolest Halloween costumes. Anyway, lots more memories than just that, of course. I just remember the whole friendship as very fun...and dramatic. Ha! Loved it!

Note to self: I blame Flagstaff for all the relationships that have been compromised in my life. Beware.

Too Close to 30: A Friendship Reflection Part I

I'm getting uncomfortably close to 30 years old. 30. I can't even look at the number without my brain refusing to connect that I will actually be that age. It doesn't seem so old on other people, but when I try to imagine that I am going to be wearing this age in a little over a year and a half I begin to feel old and reflective. Someone throw me a cane and my glasses because I have been thinking a lot about the friends in my life who have, for whatever reason, stuck in my mind and heart for (almost) 30 years. Scoot up close to my rocking chair and listen closely. You know I will undoubtedly have to explain to others why they did not make this list. Just figure that if you did not make the list, it means we are hanging out all the time and our lives have not parted us in such a way as to make me have the NEED to reminisce about you.

Oh wait, no one reads this blog. Nevermind.

So, when I think of friends who are special to me, I think first of my friend Pat. I have known this guy since crimped hair and Thunder Cats were cool. He gave me my first kiss at the tender age of 5 (on my ear no less) and was my first "boyfriend". I don't remember much, except that when Tim Rothenburg blurted out to my first grade teacher, Mrs. Rosser, that, "Lindsey loooovvvveeess Pat and that they are 'boyfriends'," it embarrassed me to my very core. I even remember my smirking teacher's response, "Well, Pat is a very nice boy." I am pretty sure scraping me out from under the desk is but a lighthearted visual of how I felt. But she was right. Pat is really, a very nice boy.
One of the best summers of my life included Pat. He introduced me to several of my, now, musical favorites. He is cool like that. He likes all sorts of music. He taught me that there are worlds beyond country music and boy bands....if you can believe it. He really showed some of the nicest, most genuine acts of friendship that were, unfortunately, not always reciprocated by me. I still inwardly cringe at my insensitivity.
One of my most favorite memories was during, there are more than one. Sorry, I am thinking of all the fun times and I can't pick just one! Okay, probably sitting in his little car in the front of my parent's house talking for hours and hours. I was there to be dropped off, but we, apparently, had a lot to talk about. I remember there being a beach ball and a giant stuffed Orca Whale involved. He always had tons of weird stuff in the backseat of his car. Oh yeah, and collateral chicken, I believe, was exchanged that night. Hm. I wonder where that chicken went.
Anyway, the other nice memory I have involved our friend Gus who, I have no idea in this great day and age of Facebook, what has happened to him. If there is a place to fall off the face of the earth, I believe he must have found it. So, I was out with Pat and Gus, I don't remember where or when or what, but as they were driving me home (we all lived really close to each other) I started getting a fever and was sick. I was shivering in the backseat and, Pat's backseat being the bottomless pit of "stuff", there was a blanket so I was huddled under it. When they successfully got me home, they both told me to get out of the car and proceeded to make a "Lindsey Sandwich" to keep me warm from point A, the car, to point B, the house. I am pretty sure I just laughed the entire time. It was a very nice gesture. Nevermind that they came over the next day while my parents were gone at work to make me soup and saltines while I sat on the couch thinking they were nuts. Anyway, this and a dozen other stories I could tell. I should totally write a memoir.

The next person, naturally, is my friend Brooke. She is so creative. When were were but little tikes running around Collier Elementary, she was my very best friend. While the other girls wanted to dance behind the ramada or invoke the boys to chase them, Brooke and I would walk around the playground interviewing people with sticks. I was weird, okay? But at least I had someone to be weird with. We would make up elaborate stories about ghosts who haunted the playground and who, I assume, are still there today. Oh, and when I say "WE" it was mostly Brooke and her creative mind. I just lived in her imagination.
Throughout the elementary years, we spent a lot of time together and even published some awesome books for their prestigious "Kid's Corner" section of the library. Jealous are we? You should be. Our friendship also birthed the infamous "Why Guys" who continued on through middle school. (And if you were thinking I was an awesomely popular middle schooler based on who I am today, well, you'd be horribly mistaken.)
I remember being jealous of how quickly she could read, how precisely she could type, and how easily she could spell....correctly. She was always the one playing Oregon Trail in our little closet of a computer room first, because she always finished her typing exercises before anyone else. I was always included in her Oregon Trail wagon attendee list....but darn it if dysentery always sent me to an early grave.
She was always very at home in nature. When we'd go play at her house, she'd show me how to mix food coloring and sugar together to make a magical concoction of...magic? I can't remember what it was for, but we'd skip around sprinkling it on different plants and cactus. At home, I made my own sugar/food coloring mixture....and I probably ate it because I was perpetually fat from age 9 to 13. Mmm...pure sugar....
I loved being outside and hanging out with Brooke, because she so obviously loved being outside herself.

To be kids are up and they are pulling at me for attention. So sorry sweet blog...thus is the life of a (almost) 30 year old mom.

Next up: Nicole, Laura and Megan

Friday, April 8, 2011

I Need a Hobby!

For the past month or so, I have been feeling about 10 years older than I actually am. My entire day is taken up with errands, cleaning, and trying to keep my kids alive. I am really, really busy all the time, but it isn't the kind of busy that makes me feel young and alive. I am feeling like I am losing my identity. Perhaps I am not losing it so much as it is just shifting? I don't know. Either way, I need something in my life that drives me a little more than how to get barf stains out of the carpet.

Here is a list of ideas that I came up with and, subsequently, reasons why I have talked myself out of them.

1. Sewing-I don't have a sewing machine. I don't have money for a sewing machine. I can't draw and/or cut a straight line. This would be disastrous.

2. Scrapbooking- Love the idea, but I would rather have someone knock me out with a hammer than scrapbook. Refer to above comment about cutting in straight lines.

3. Training for a marathon or another fitness related thing-Possibility. But there are two small midgets that live in my house that wont let me workout like I need to, let alone run. It would be a very inconsistent plight to take on. Dog ear this one, because maybe joining a gym that watches kids while you workout is just what I need.

4.Writing a book- I would love to write a book or story of sorts, but I get so overwhelmed with all of the ideas and possibilities...that I just do nothing. Now THAT'S motivation.

5. Cooking-Oh yeah, I don't really like to cook...mostly because I have to...all the time.

6. Bird watching? Never.

This is the first time, since I was 15, that I haven't worked. It is a culture shock to my system. I love being home with my kids and getting to take care of the family, but I need some sort of driving...thing! My days are passing by too quickly full of bleach, crying kids and meal planning. These things are important, but day after day of it is making me feel old, unattractive and useless. (Yes, I know these things are not useless...stay with me here...) I need adult interaction more than 2 times a month. (I never understood why stay at home mom's always said that they valued getting to talk to adults...but I do now). I am pretty sure I am going to be that crazy, filthy, toothless lady down on the corner, trying to talk to anyone on the corner who will listen.
Anyway, musing for your Friday.

Monday, March 7, 2011

New and Improved!

Isn't my new layout the cat's meow? I know! I love it. My dear friend Staci Strait took what was once an empty shell of a layout, and transformed it into something we all can be proud of. Thank you Staci!!

So, I am having trouble coming up with a catchy, followable blog title. I decided to move away from Gluten Free Honey because, maybe, just maybe, I want to write about more. Perhaps there is more to my thinking than how to create honey muffins with only honey, coconut flour, coconut milk and coconut oil. You're right, they were delicious. If anyone has suggestions on what I should title my blog, that would be fabulous. Otherwise, it will remain as is: Stunted.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

I have a few friends and aquaintences who are desperately trying to concieve with no avail. It breaks my heart that they aren't getting what they so desperately want: a child. I hate that I can't give them what they want or heal their breaking hearts. I hate it! But, I do know a little about polycystic ovary syndrome and none of them seem to want to listen to me. I so strongly believe that diet has a lot, if not everything, to do with this issue. I am frustrated that, although I have offered resources and information to people, they will not even attempt eating paleo for 30 days. 30 days!!!! 3-0. Are you telling me, that you are so incredibly desperate for children, but you cannot possibly live without grains for 30 days? What if, just WHAT IF, eating paleo was the answer?

The only thing I can figure is that because I am not a licsenced nutritionist or OBGYN, then wasting time on something I suggest must be absolutely ridiculous to them. I mean, what the Paleo diet recommends is staying away from all grains (wheat, whey, rice, corn etc, etc) so not only is it hard at first, but it goes against all conventional medicine. I suppose when you are trying to conceive a baby with no luck, that you are quite focused and set on doing exactly what a DOCTOR says to you. Not only that, but I bet there are tons of people giving their own 2 cents about how and why and what to do. I get it. It must be frustrating. But, seriously, don't take my word for it if you don't want...there is a mound of Paleo diet research related to PCOS.

First of all, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome basically is when a woman produces an abundance of follicles every month, but does not release an egg. Darn it if we don't need those little eggs to produce a baby! It is increasing in frequency over the years. The number of cases has done nothing but rise. (*cough* More and more grains and insulin inducing foods*cough*cough*) Even most doctors and nutritionists will admit that a large part of PCOS is based on insulin resistence. Say whhhaaaattt?

Stop. Let me remind you of what in our every day diets cause spikes in insulin. *ahem*

1. Grains (including wheat, corn, rice and every by product from these)

2. Dairy (yes, for some, dairy is the devil)

3. Legumes and Tubers (Look it up)

Gasp! So it is actually the buns on your burger that is causing acne, headaches, infertility, tiredness, and other such issues. Although I never had issues getting pregnant (as I did not ever have to deal with PCOS), my face is clearer and I don't have headaches anymore. Just sayin.

Continuing on the PCOS train. Many doctors and nutristionists will perscribe a diet that, using the Glycemic Index, will cut down on high glycemic foods such as cereals, heavy breads, and pretzels. That is all well and good, but they are missing the point when they allow their patients to partake in barely, rice and soy products. All of these things still produce insulin and, for a person struggling with trying to keep insulin down, shouldn't these things be eliminated? Seriously, just have them eat Paleo. Stop being so stubborn!!

This is a little Q&A forum that I found. A woman is asking other Paleo eaters their opinion of the Paleo Diet while having PCOS.

Seriously, there is a myriad of information out there. I would suggest researching up and down the wahzoo especially in the Paleo department. My opinion obviously doesn't matter because, although I try and help with good intentions because the Paleo diet has made such a difference in my life, people do not even want to try.

If you have tried "everything" but not the Paleo Diet, then you really haven't tried everything, have you?

If you know me, I will be more than willing to let you borrow a few of the books we own on the Paleo Diet (highly recommend The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf). Heck, I will give you the freaking book. Just don't give up when there may be other things out there that you haven't even tried.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Baby Brain

Greeting. It has been a while, I know, and I apologize. Get over it.

My mind has recently been reeling about babies. Everywhere I look I see babies. I see pregnant mommies pregnant with (what one can only assume) babies, I see my friends trying to have babies, I see my friends with babies, I see my babies, and I see ugly babies. The big question on my mind is: How much is too much in the baby department?

I knew I would feel it; I knew it would happen. I actually felt guilty for only wanting 2 children. I did...for about 5 minutes and then got over it. I had two realizations in the same hour at a recent MOPS meeting. The speaker quoted the Bible to show the unsuspecting moms in attendance that God wants us to go forth and multiply, as well as the verse that says something about children being gifts.

Question 1: Is going forth and multiplying implying that I need to go out and multiply until I can't multiply any more?

Question 2: Is the verse simply taken out of context this day and age so that it fits our baby agendas? Was God simply telling Adam and Eve to just "Go! Have as many babies as humanly possible!" or was it a more laid back approach like, "Yeah, take your time, have some know, the world will be populated at some point or another."

So, if I only want to have 2 children does that mean that I trust God less? Because my husband and I are taking measures to guard against more of these amazing blessings does that mean we don't value and appreciate what God gives us?

Then a friend of mine made a pretty interesting comment that is still sticking with me. She said, "Anything less than pure joy for a person having a baby is wrong. Life should be celebrated."

I agree. I do. Life in America is so poorly cared for. It is actually looked down upon. There is no sanctity of life around these here parts. So I would agree. But then I felt bad as I remembered channel surfing and landing on that realty show called 19 and Counting. I watched 5 minutes and had to switch the channel because it annoyed me. I think it annoyed me because typically in a family this large, the older children become the 'parents' to the younger children. Obviously, right? How else would it work?! I actually felt like families this big had selfishness brimming to the top. I could not understand why having that many kids was good for any person involved.

Okay, and then I clicked back after I was done feeling smug. I actually enjoyed watching their sense of family and devotion to one and other. They didn't have much of a need for outside friends, because they had true, live in playmates. Kinda cool. Who am I to judge?

Okay, so, all life should be celebrated. Okay, I can get on board. But then I started to think about different couples, men and women who have multiple children in the foster care system and just seem to continue to have babies into less than ideal situations. So, celebrate the life, but not the life in which the life is coming into?

Anyway, so I was feeling guilty because 2 children, I feel, has made my family complete. I am able to find sitters relatively easy. I can afford both of them and have extra to give them nice things. We can eat out here and there. Family vacations are easy and enjoyable. They do not outnumber the number of adults. Each child gets a room. When they go to bed, there are only 2 to deal with, so I have some time to myself each evening. These are examples specific to ME on why I like having 2. But some are selfish. I get it. I like having 2 because I can be fully and completely involved in AJ and Alayna's lives on close, individual bases. My attention is not split between multiple, multiple...multiples. But that is just me.

Back to feeling bad. I was unnecessarily feeling guilty because of the reasons that I wanted only 2 and the fact that 2 was all that I wanted. I must not trust God, I must not believe in His gifts, I must not believe in his provision, I must be selfish because I like the lifestyle of having 2.

There are so many wonderful things about having a huge, rambunctious family with siblings and crusty sandwiches falling from the walls. It is an attractive, romantic idea to have your big family sitting around the table, sharing stories and laughing together. But lets face it, parenting and raising kids is hard. Rewarding and wonderful, but hard.

So, in short, can I please just be okay with having 2? Will people stop pressuring me to have more please? I'm good. Really, the world has already experienced baby perfection in Alayna and AJ, it would be a shame to continue to put other babies to shame.