Tuesday, February 19, 2013

MMMMmmmmmm Muffins - I need your help!

Calling all bakers!

I need help!

I have a very limited list of muffin recipes that I like. I have some that are great but seem like a ton of work. Some that are easy, but not really that good for you. Some that taste more like cupcakes than muffins. I hate to buy them and I'm pretty much the only one in my house that will eat them.
image from mylusciouslife.com

I'm trying to force myself into a better breakfast routine. I know that I feel best when I have breakfast. Lately, I have been making smoothies for Art and I in the morning. But you can only have so many smoothies before you want something different. Well, that and the fact that Art has decided on only ONE kind that he likes. Not my favorite, but it's much better for him than anything else. He's still my boy, can't wake up easily and isn't very hungry in the morning. I've made many breakfasts that didn't get eaten, so a smoothie is a decent compromise. I know it's healthy and he thinks it's a treat.

Back to the subject at hand...

I'm looking for new varieties, quick and easy recipes that are tasty and can either make a small batch or keep well in the fridge or freezer.  I can google, I can search up recipes, but I'm checking with those of you who still read this blog... I trust your reviews more! I already know you have good taste. (haha)

So, you can comment below with your favorite recipe, email me at iamabusymama(at)gmail(dot)com, post on my facebook page or even message me through facebook.

I'll try them out and let you know how they go.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

What Does Love Mean?

You know, I never really had a good perception of what love was supposed to be. How does it look? What does it feel like? My parents divorced when I was young and I have very few memories of them actually being together. I grew up with angry parents. Rarely were there times that the two were in the same room and not arguing, until close to my graduation. What must have been love when they were younger was lost to bitterness.

Much later, my father remarried. I don't doubt the amount of love between him and my step-mother, but it really seemed like they carried on two separate lives at times. Two people who simply shared a house and passed each other on occasion in the hallway. This love was about independence, not co-dependance. It worked very well for them, I suppose. And it's likely somewhat helpful now that my father didn't change his own life to drastically, for now he is alone and didn't have to rework everything in his life to get used to doing things alone again. Her cancer took her away from us, and from him. I ache for his lost love.

My mother nearly married another man while I was younger. In fact, it was 8 years of my life that he was around. Love? No. Pure infatuation and lust, I think. He was an alcoholic.For eight years, I witnessed abuse and violence at the hands of this man. There was no love for anyone in him, besides himself and his bottle. What did she love? The good side of him, I suppose. That's often how abusers operate, isn't it? He could be so overly generous and affectionate, that she always found reasons to forgive him. Until he left. For someone else. Devastating for sure.  My life lesson? Love hurts. Don't open up to that, it will harm you.

Then, she was free. Until she remarried.  This man was competitive and possessive. Never physically abusive, but certainly controlling. And he'd never had children of his own. So, inheriting three children who were already in their teens was a hard adjustment. He was fun when he was in a good mood, but sometimes he'd just close off. No emotion. Just silence. I was 17 and moved out of that house on the second day after graduation. Ran. I could never live like that.

But by then I had already met the Trucker. He filled something up inside me. He showed me what it was to be valued. He taught me that maybe it's okay to open up a little.

And then our own pasts conflicted. We had many stops and breaks and restarts in the first few years. Not because we didn't love each other. Not because we couldn't make it work. But simply because neither of us knew what love was supposed to be like.

Now I know. 17 years later, I finally understand. Love is full of infatuation and lust. It comes and goes. I'll openly admit that I still get butterflies when he gets home from work. Almost every single day.

Love is forgiveness. We both have faults, we make mistakes, but because we have a strong love for each other, we work together to either fix the issue or accommodate it.

Love is supportive. Love wants the best for each other, not just ourselves. It is love that prompts my Trucker to make rash purchases of new vehicles. He wants me safe. He wants to be confident that our kids will be safe. It is love that keeps him pushing me to chase my dreams. It is love that makes me push him, too. I don't want 'a better man,' I want him happy. I want him to do what makes him happy.

Love is sacrifice. Love tells us that we can wait for something we want, because we believe the other person needs something more. Married love is entirely different than family love. There are still times, after seventeen years, that we feel like teenagers together. We can fight and make up. We can cry or yell or say things we don't really mean and then look at each other and remember that it's not the end of the world.

I strongly believe that you will often fall in and out of love with the same person. True love keeps you working when others would give up and leave.

Love is communication. I can talk to the Trucker about everything. Sure, we disagree. Yes, there are misunderstandings. After years of doing things the wrong ways, we are finally figuring each other out. We are learning to keep talking. We are learning that sometimes even if you snap at me, it's not really ME that you are mad at. We always have time to figure out what the real problem is.
We have been at our worst together. We have lost everything together. We have gained everything and more back... together. We have three amazing children who reflect our love. My kids will not have the same confusion I had. They will know what love is. They will not be afraid to feel their feelings. They will learn that everything takes work, and often the more work you put in the more value you get out.

So, Thank You, My Darling Trucker. For learning with me and showing me what a really loving relationship is. I know very few things in life are certain, but I am certain that I want you to be beside me through it all.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Jump In With Both Feet

I have a confession, my friends. I am terrified. I have no idea how things will turn out for me. I have no control over many of the factors I will be facing soon.

Last week I received my official acceptance letter to the university program I will be starting. I needed to confirm that acceptance and seal my decision to go back to school in the fall. My Trucker keeps giving me the push I need to not chicken out. He jumped right away and ensured my deposit got paid. In fact, he's pushed me several times through this whole process. I guess after seventeen years together, he really does know me. 

The last six months have been incredible. I have seen a side of my husband that I only caught glimpses of before. He really is my rock, he keeps me grounded. He doesn't let me hide when fear creeps in. He is proud of me for trying to change my stars. We have faced resistance from occasional friends who are supposed to be supportive. Those people who are either angry with themselves for not trying, or are jealous of our courage to do it.

Without counting maternity leave, I have worked full-time straight since I got out of high school. I had periods where I worked two jobs, but thankfully those weren't long terms. I have some post-secondary education, but it's all accounting. Frankly, accounting is painfully boring. I was crazy enough to believe that doing something that came easy to me was a good idea. WRONG. No challenge means no love. Plain and simple. I need work that keeps my mind growing.

My last job was like that. I jumped into something I had no experience with and I loved it. It was my first chance to work only part-time hours and let me be at home with my kids. Three years of a constantly changing environment, new things to learn all the time, it was great. Well, except for the sucky parts that eventually led me to quit. Working from home is not all it's cracked up to be. There were so many times that I had to miss something because I needed to finish with work.

Now, I am chasing my own rainbow. I know what I really love to do and I want to do it. I want to find myself in a world of language. Publishing maybe? Writing? Absolutely. 

I will start school on the same day as Angel Baby in September. I am so very excited! But I am terrified. There is so much to consider! What if she's the child who cries and clings to mommy on the first day? I will have to leave her, so that I can make my own class on time. What if I have more of the troubles that I had with my oldest? What if she's a TS child too? The odds are higher, since I have one. And truthfully, I'm a bit concerned about Art. I'm seeing some things that keep me wondering, but at this point I can't recognize any vocal tics, so I'm not sure.

For the first time in my life, with my continuous battles through depression and raising three kids, I am ready to face my fear. Largely because I know that if I want to turn around or run and hide, I will see my husband standing behind me. I've got support and love to keep me going. He has stood by my side through the darkest of my days. And he stayed. He knows I have this in me, and that helps me when I start thinking I'm not strong enough.

I am strong. I set myself free last summer. I quit my job, I became the mother I WANTED to be, I fought my way out of those dark, dark places. I've lost twenty pounds! Without dieting, and barely exercising. (Though I've been told that folding laundry for half an hour burns seventy calories and I feel like all I ever do is laundry, plus there is a staircase to the laundry room, so that must be more calories! haha). I opened my eyes. I've read. I've written so much. I explored some information on religion that I'd been debating. I spent time with the family that doesn't live in my house. I've tried all kinds of new things and been successful at most of them. Those that didn't work out were still a TON of fun to try.

I know I can do this. I know I can successfully complete a degree, even with kids. I know I can finish writing at least one of the eight novels I have started. I have never found so much inspiration around me, until I finally was able to see through the darkness.

This is never what I expected to come from this blog, but as I have grown the blog has grown. There are so many more people reading my ramblings than I ever could have expected! I'm so grateful you are here. Please stay around, I fully intend to share every step of this new road that I'm on. Each time I face a new fear, I know that there are people behind me. Even those that I have never met, who are cheering me on in their own ways. And maybe, my insanity just might encourage you to face some of your own.