Hey hiiii, I thought about a lot today and I feel super content. I feel like glass totally full, fulfilled, super happy, filled with great vibes. Speaking of vibes, I was totally vibin’ with myself on our drive back from Morgan Hill. We had left the house at 9 am and ventured to my favorite hike. Three-quarters of the way in all these signs read “Day use by reservation only”. OK, so I saw like three of those and still. kept. driving.
PAUSE *light bulb* I didn’t turn around. What? Might not seem huge but this was the second choice that I made today that reminded me that this internal work I’ve been dedicating so much time on, was in fact, working. A less confident, less dedicated or motivated me would have turned around at sight of the first sign. Instead, withoutanyadditional thought, I told myself, “We’ll just enjoy the drive there, that was our plan anyway, if we get turned down, we get turned down and we’ll enjoy the drive back.”
Cool, cool cool. But the initial first choice presented to me [which totally swayed my day away from the super glue of anxiety & depression] was simply to say YES to myself. Say YES to my heart asking me, “Can we see the world today, like really see it?” YES. Yes, we can.
OK, so we couldn’t see it the way we planned but that is beauty number three. Right after telling myself to just enjoy the ride, I was able to LET GO of worries. Did I pack enough? Did I even pack the right stuff? What if something happens and I have no service? All legit thoughts that ran through my head to intimidate me from taking solo adventures with my daughter. YES! Again, yes. Yes we packed enough. Yes we packed the minimal amount of the important stuff. OK, so I forgot the sunscreen, we might not even be able to hike anymore so I will remember it next time. WE WILL BE OKAY! I am prepared and I am intelligent enough to deal with the situation head on if it arises and when it arises. CHILL.
I could have driven home then, but I chose to keep driving, unsure of where to. Mindlessly driving, we ended up in the most familiar part of San Jose and ended up at a park. Not just any park, but the most soccer games I’ve ever played happened here. Games, tournaments, wins and losses. I loved this place and now I get to bring my daughter here to people watch, walk, discover grass, wildflowers and bees! It was beautiful. Beauty number 4 was the ability to release insecurities.
I grabbed what we needed from the car and walked carelessly into the park. Pushing Olivia’s stroller as if we were in a race car. It wasn’t until we were leaving, I realized that I had gone that whole time fully there, in the moment with my daughter. Not worrying about what other mom’s thought of me. Something I definitely would have done considering how ill prepared I could seem to others with our small receiving blanket that barely would fit the 2 of us. But I had an avocado, a spoon and a knife to get it open and we ate, we laughed. I had my new sunglasses which I remembered midway and threw them on. Olivia loved them, she could see her reflection and really enjoys the word in Spanish, reflejo. So she giggled every time I’d ask her if she saw here reflection and she’d tap the glasses.
You know that confidence that sunglasses give you? Like you’re invisible but if you’re there and you need to be there you’re stylish no matter even if you’re wearing avocado all over your workout pants and left the house with a nipple revealing tank top thinking you’d be isolated in nature right now instead of at a public park with lots of strangers. I DIDN’T CARE THOUGH. I was free, I was just there, with Olivia, smiling and waving at strangers, laughing, helping her learn to walk.
Not worrying if someone were to try to steal my bag or cell phone, that other mom’s are judging me for how I’m dressed, how tired I look, how little it seems I prepared to be here. I knew no one was paying attention to me. I wasn’t intricately paying attention to them and that was another absolutely beautiful moment today.
Putting together something actually nutritious AND delicious to eat when I haven’t planned didn’t always work for me. Aaaand this coming from the girl who wants to write a personal recipe book as a family gift for Christmas 2020! HA! Okay, so I did alright the first few months this goal arose, but looking back…I totally had some help! The middle months I was still kinda planning and learning about so many new spices that it was still totally interesting to me. Now? Without sharing too much of my personal life on this food post, life has taken a super cool turn but also pushed me to be more money, time and nutritiously savvy! Here are some quick powerful meals you can check out! My taste-buds and those of my 8 month old daughter have tried and totally approved!
Oh and a quick ps. This week’s recipes are actually by Beachbody! I’m truly thankful for the outlet they’ve provided. As my 1 year 99 dollar membership to their 800+ virtual training programs & 123546+ free recipes comes to an end, I’m finding myself cramming as much information in as I can! Well…. I WAS, until I recently decided to renew, cause well….DUH! Now, I’m training for their 2BMindset nutrition certification! Hoping that will push me to pursue something further in the future! Anyway, thanks for trusting me and essentially them to present some flavorful ideas into your tummy. OHHKAY ps ps. remember that the prepping and cooking process can be just as fun! 😉
Breaded Tenders & Broccoli
BBQ Chicken Flatbread
These are made with tofu but we actually used, you guessed it, chicken! I’m hoping to make them with steak this week 😀
Let me know if you try some of these, no pressure at all. Just happy to share some of my favorites with you! Another ps. I actually adjusted a lot of these recipes depending on what I had or how much spice/sauce I can put on them for Olivia! Feel free to do the same! Sometimes, checking out recipes are more just MOTIVATION and IDEAS for a beautiful personal creation! Happy prepping, cooking and eating! ❤
Hi, hey! Attempting to re-welcome myself into the blogging world, that is if I can get my brand-new mama brain to muster any words together. Slow clap for getting that one sentence out…Bringing a new life into this universe very obviously shifts your entire world to one that you are constantly trying to catch up with. Well, that’s how I felt even while pregnant and now that baby has arrived.
If you’re like me then you have some habits to kick. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are all bad habits and need to be cut out completely, but maybe cut down. I’m officially in my second month of parenting. Finally feeling like I have the responsibility of caring and nurturing another life down that I can now start to shift focus to myself. This includes my own personal recovery (physically & mentally), illuminating my goals, and of course, rewarding myself for good behavior and best efforts. While it sounds like 3 simple things to do, I have to look back to when I found out I was pregnant. As I mentioned, life takes a huge turn with that news especially for a new mom. I found myself making lists of things that I personally felt I needed to change before my baby arrived. I worried about if I would be able to complete these goals “in time”, if I would be a good mother while trying to balance work and these extremities. I was struggling to complete any of the life changes I felt so pressured to do within the 7 months that I knew I was pregnant.
Of that long list of realistic goals with an unrealistic time frame, I was able to accomplish 2 things that I can say I am very proud of. One was remembering that work and my career weren’t the most important thing, that being a boss lady didn’t have to entail obsessing over and drowning in my job, also understanding that I was the only one causing myself to feel overwhelmed by stretching myself too thin. The second was letting go of limiting myself and my accomplishments to a certain time frame or rate of capability.
After spending years obsessing over my career and letting my work consume me, a month right before maternity leave I was able to LET GO. I was able to worry less about work, while still doing my job to the best of my ability. I was able to worry more about myself and remember the things and people that made me happy. Although it was within the last month of being pregnant, I was able to change my mindset completely. I literally chose to just BE HAPPY. It happened over night. For years I had let my anxiety dictate the amount of time I had to accomplish something. I literally felt, and Robert will always tease me about this, that my day ended at noon. Depression and anxiety are crippling. Days that I had off I would want to sleep in after having a long work day, but then stressed out when I woke up and it was like 10 am! There were only 2 hours in the day before the day was over and went by so fast before it was dinner time and time to sleep again. It sounds ridiculous, believe me, I KNOW. Then I’d be so stressed out wanting to relax, watch TV and lounge, that by the time I was done with that it was like 7 pm and I literally cried that I had done nothing productive ALL DAY instead of just counting self care and recuperation as personal production.
What gave me this mindset? (Because it was just a mindset – remember when I told you it literally took me overnight to be happy again…) Well it was personal pressure, parental pressure, pressure of not going to school and feeling like I had to work hard to make a name for myself. Anyway, that all is a longer story for later.
This month of October I chose to cut out 2 habits.
Like I said though, they aren’t always bad habits and maybe they don’t need to be cut out completely forever and burned in the back of your memory. Maybe you just need a break to refresh and see what else is out there for you.
Where am I now? Really only 4 days in to kicking these habits, but just how I chose to be happy… I mapped out my goals and my mindset was shifted. It’s crazy, the years riding the emotional roller coaster came to a screeching halt [more like slow because some change is gradual lol] all because I finally felt empowered enough to just say, “I’m going to do this and I will feel this way.” I then slept and woke up and just did it. I want to share my story for one main thing, accountability. Saying it out loud, telling my family and friends, and sharing on social media helps hold me accountable. Has helped me create a support system around me. Whether or anyone actually reached out to follow up with me, I know that I’ve told them and I don’t want to let them down. My goals then are their goals for me.
I guess you could say parenting changed me. That knowing I was going to bring a life into this world inspired me to change. Or how I had looked at it when I was being cynical at the beginning of all this was, “I can’t believe it took getting pregnant to inspire me to be a better me for me, I waited until I had to be a better me for me to be a better me for someone else.” Shit…I hope you get that.
I haven’t yet returned to work. Even when I do I’m not sure I’ll go back full time. Why not? Because although I know now that I can handle it and balance myself, work, and family now…I just don’t think that’s what makes me happy anymore. In fact, I have ALWAYS known that I’d want to change careers.
What do I feel my purpose is in this world? To help people. To inspire, not just motivate. To help change lives, to help change the world one person at a time. I want to be a part of our youngest generations to come and teach morale, the choice between good and bad. If I can help eliminate the years that I took moping in my self doubt from their lives, then hey, that satisfies my heart and mind.
So what actually are my goals?
After playing sports all my life it took a huge toll on my body to go completely still for 2 years. Trying to bounce back this year has been rough and demotivating. I’ve started a few times and quit a few times already just because I wasn’t as flexible, fast or strong enough as I was before. That’s my own fault, but now I’m taking initiative and winning back my physical health! While I’m only 6 weeks postpartum, my goal is not to lose weight. My goal is to feel good and add some type of workout back into my routine.
So I chose to find a program and community that will support me and hold me accountable aside from just telling my family and friends. Did I have to pay for this program? YES, why did I pay for this program? Because I’ve tried to do it on my own and I didn’t. This time I knew I needed a little extra support, inspiration and accountability. And shit, if spending money on something will make me more accountable to use it then…that’s just the way I’m gonna do it. It’s day 4 and I couldn’t be happier with the resources that are provided and how I can do it all from home comfortably. Getting to the gym right now is just not where I’m at, but I’m positive starting here will give me the confidence and drive to go back. Cause…I’m for sure not buying a treadmill or bench set for my house lol.
There is a lot of fear to overcome in my mind. Fear of what other’s will think, fear of having already ridden this rollercoaster and announced my previous healing journey to the public, the fear of already asking for help and falling back into bad habits, a pit of darkness, and not actually making any noticeable changes. I started to kind of feel like the girl who cried wolf. I’ve realized that being physically fit is a huge part of who I am, 95% of where I obtain my confidence in myself. That’s why fitness is really my goal #1.
I want to be mentally clear. In order to do that I have to rid myself of any habits that are emotionally taxing. Anything that was clouding my mind from the value I have. I’ve always been emotional, but emotionally strong. I’m a cryer cause that’s how I express myself, but usually when I was struggling with something I knew it always came down to me and if I would make that choice. The catch here is that, most of us will make that choice to change, but struggle then to keep up with it. Maintaining a decision is easy to speak, but living by it daily when you don’t feel strong enough or don’t feel it’s as easy as it was before is tough. You do really great for a short period of time and then BAM forget where you’re headed.
This time around, I won’t forget me. I’ll put me first and keep myself in the light ahead. I won’t forget what drives me, what makes me happy and the little things incorporated in my life that keep me going. I’ll smile everyday for genuine reasons and I won’t let the fear of striking out get in my way.
Realistically we all have to make money somehow. Or if you have a way of staying at home without having to work, then HELL YEAH – power to ya. That’s just not me, well the being at home mom thing for sure could be me, but not making my own money just isn’t my gig. I will always want to provide for myself and my family, even if it’s not as much as my partner.
I’ve always been a go-getter when it came to finances. Since I was like 12 and got my first cell phone and ran up my first bill a few hundreds of dollars….my parents had me pay for the bill. When chores and grades are just responsibilities that you can’t get paid for, seriously, how was I going to make money? Until I could actually get a real job, I had to hustle dude! I took up volunteering hours at my mom’s business, I helped sell my grandma’s crafts, I repaired/upgraded my old clothing and sold it. I really wanted a phone…
In the last couple years I forgot that you can turn your own passions into monetary reward. I still am not really sure if I’m going to be successful, but I’m sure as hell going to try. My goal is to take this time to channel my creativity and put myself to work with things I just enjoy doing.
I like to declutter, organize and have garage sales. One of my financial goals is to turn this hobby into a business. Let’s start there for now. So, if you know anyone in Bay Area that has trouble letting go of all their treasures, TELL THEM ABOUT ME. I won’t just go in there and clean house, cause that’s not what it’s about. I can help you figure out if you really need it, if you don’t let’s put a price on it or donate. I’ll help organize, redecorate and with my own truck haul the junk out. I’ll even help you scrub your house clean after.
All in all, there are daily successes and daily failures. Most of the diaper changes I do I’ve managed to time totally incorrectly. I’ve caught shit with a wipe before disaster, I’ve had watery shit fly at my shirt, I’ve even gotten it all over my fingers and Olivia’s fingers. Through all this though, I feel like I’m finally catching up with my inner self…All while staining every piece of clothing I own with Olivia’s spit up.
This has been an incredible journey. Talk about embracing change. An unreal feeling fully overcomes you. When you discover you’re brewing a child, the first time you experience your body changing, the first time you accept the change, the first photo you take of your bare transformed body, and every moment in between and thereafter.
I’ve been completely, happily overwhelmed for the last 7 months. In fact, I haven’t been able to write a single word about this whole experience until now…month 9, 39 weeks – 5 days in. I’m 3 days away from my supposed due date.
All of my life I’ve battled with the thought of infertility. When I was just 6 weeks old I had ovarian surgery out of anyone’s control. Growing up tested by doctors, some told me nothing in the reproductive center of my body was affected, others always treaded lightly to tell me that there was still a possibility of infertility. Of course, it was much easier to grasp to the idea of not being able to reproduce. I was always unsure to what extent they meant… Did it mean my body could still engage in the functions? Did it mean a surrogate or adoption was my only choice?
There was a point in my life, quite young, early teens, when I had decided that I would adopt. I’d have a big family and I would take in children from America because there were so many left unloved, uncared for and many American’s looking to adopt bring a child from another country. Although, my argument did not always prove valid. I understand that systems outside of America are much more dangerous and much worse for children to stay in, but I’ve always stuck with my decision.
Where does denial come in? Of course, these doctors telling me back and forth what I could and wouldn’t be able to do…my main fault in denial was knowing that I could cling onto the fact that I COULD reproduce. That my body had healed, that I WAS capable of this beautiful journey that women are blessed to experience. However, I chose to hear, to believe the safer thought like some of those doctors. I chose to believe, all my life, that I most likely couldn’t have kids. When I felt it important to say in a relationship, in a friendship, in a conversation where ‘my future and my kids’ came up, I’d bring up how I most likely couldn’t have kids. Recipients of that news turned supportive, “Don’t listen to those doctors, anything is possible. Your body is meant to reproduce, it will find a way.”
Well, I’m pregnant. 9 months – 39 weeks, 6 days. My denial now is in thinking that the impossible wasn’t possible, when all my life I too have always told people to believe in the impossible. I felt terrible in doubting myself. That I had chosen the more negative path to cling on too because it was EASIER. Some supporters ask me if I’m going to sue the doctors that told me I couldn’t, of course not. It was never, “You will never have kids” it was always, “There is a possibility you may not be able to reproduce naturally.” I am thankful, which caused more denial, that each doctor I’d ask a percentage…wouldn’t give me an answer in that form. There was caution in how they answered, as my situation could easily go one way or the other.
As you can imagine, I was surprised. Not only due to my above situation, or being pregnant in general, but that I had skipped over a very obvious fact…I’ve had multiple, multiple doctors over the years, including OBGYN’s…None of them ever enlightened me with the fact that if I had been experiencing ‘puberty’ aka my menstrual cycle naturally all of these years, than my ovaries must be working. From Google, “They produce the hormones, including estrogen, that trigger menstruation. The ovaries release an egg (oocyte) at the midway point of each menstrual cycle. Usually, only a single oocyte from one ovary is released during each menstrual cycle, with each ovary taking an alternate turn in releasing an egg.” Did I want to sue the doctors now?! Maybe…but for what? Would that bring all these years of doubt back? Would that cure the denial I was in for so many years? NO. I was fine, truly. I was blessed, I was happy, this was my moment to live and let go.
SURPRISE! I was pregnant!!!! We were pregnant!!! I’ll never forget the day Robert and I found out. It was my 26th birthday. 2 1/2 years together and we were constantly in the honeymoon stage no matter how many arguments we got into. Most, all 3 of the arguments were raised by myself due to the fact that we never argue, the drama queen-previously abused, cheated on, used to toxins, in me needed some type of hype on occasion. I quickly got over that phase. I had been feeling off for about 2 months.
In November I thought it was the flu, I was exhausted, I was faint, I was thirsty, and nauseous but very lightly. You’d think I’d know my body, yeah yeah. This was different. I was over worked in a new job, I thought it was stress and fatigue. I overlooked it.
December came around, Christmas was rather uneventful. I didn’t go anywhere, I spent one day with the family if I recall correctly and the rest I spent in bed, locked in my room sleeping and watching TV shows that helped me drown out life.
January 3, my 26th birthday. We had the day off together, the first thing I told Robert was that we absolutely needed to get a pregnancy test. There was no doubt in my mind at that point this was it, none of my episodes had ever lasted this long. Barely managing though, I played it cool for Robert until we actually had proof. So we went, the mid-morning of my birthday. We had brunch and headed to the pharmacy. Once we arrived at home, Garrett (Rob’s best friend) creeped in standing at our room door, Robert sitting on the bed and me peeking my head out of the bathroom so that only Robert could see me while they carried on their conversation. I quickly interrupted them and told Robert he needed to come see this.
We loved each other, we love each other, it had been the most beautiful and fulfilling 2 1/2 years together, but even though we had talked about having kids, I think the denial of what could happen with me and what couldn’t was always there making us feel like it couldn’t. Neither of us knew how the other would react, obviously we knew we’d be happy, but for some reason were were both so reserved. Robert came to the restroom, saw the test and his eyebrows went up with the cutest grin on his face. I just looked at him and smiled. We didn’t get crazy, we hugged tightly and sat down. We actually had to ask one another if we were happy and how we felt. Initially it was kind of…lame. HA HA. We were just surprised. That dull feeling disappeared quickly though, we were ecstatic. Robert was stoked and couldn’t wait to tell his friends, although we had to wait. I took another test just to be sure. I cried, it was a miracle, but not really, right? Both tests confirmed, I WAS PREGNANT!!!!
I took a vacation to see my best friend in Oregon, I had a sudden burst of manic energy and drove in the middle of the night from San Jose to Grants Pass, OR. Remember, I had no idea I was pregnant. With the natural hormones of pregnancy, mixed depressed emotions, and manic anxiety I’ve always had…I wanted to break out. These mini escapes were normal for me. Wanting to leave everything behind, cause a scene with my boyfriend, this was by far the biggest breakdown with Robert that I had ever had. Threatening to leave him, move out of state, it was a wild ride – that man has endured so much of me that sometimes I wonder how, but I remember that love trumps all. Our great times have always overpowered any negative bold outbreak I’ve had, that being the most memorable one – other’s were not so memorable, just annoying. It was a regular routine for me to take off for a day or two to recharge. So there I was, in Grants Pass with my best friend. We had an amazing weekend, drinking, shopping, setting up here new little home since she has just moved there shortly before. Something was up though…I just couldn’t keep up. I liked to drink…but I was tired, I couldn’t drink as much as I could before, I’d wake up hungover and just want to sleep all day. I wanted to go to bed early. It was odd, but still I NEVER THOUGHT I WAS PREGNANT. Even with coworkers, or people that I’d never told my story to…telling me I was probably pregnant. It never crossed my mind that it could be true. I was just…feeling ill.
These symptoms mixed with depression/anxiety didn’t make this month any easier. I wasn’t miserable due to being pregnant, I was miserable because I took the symptoms of what I had thought to be the flu, stress, being overwhelmed, to the extreme with my depression. New Years Eve, this was when I knew something was up with me. Again, I liked to drink, to a fault sometimes. We were living with Robert’s friends at the time, house full of boys that liked to invite all of their friends over, believe me they have friends and their friends have friends so it was a party. I liked to party, but these last 2 months…I hated to party. Anyway, I made myself get up and enjoy some shots and jello shots. I didn’t want to spend New Year’s Eve totally alone as Robert was working, plus I had work the next morning…After 2/3 jello shots the toilet called me. I threw them up. Weird I thought…no more drinking. I stopped. That was when I considered…OK I might be pregnant.
I was clear. I was refreshed. The last 2 months had been rough, but the thought of being pregnant, which I was 100% sure of now totally uplifted me. There was a reason for my hiatus, for my hormones, for my emotion, and for my physically feeling ill. Fear had left me. What was I fearful of? That I was loosing myself, that I was going crazy, that after all of these years being OK and overcoming depression to the best I had ever done, suddenly I was depressed, hated my life, hated myself and for no reason at all. That was all gone. I was having a baby and it was the most uplifting, exciting, and emotional day of my life…also my 26th birthday. I was in love with the most amazing man, I was growing a beautiful child, my body was working…nothing could stop me.
It was wild how one test, one visit to the OBGYN to confirm had released me from so much negativity in my life. The thought of becoming a mother just helped me let go. There was no more worry of what others thought of me, I immediately no longer took my job too seriously, I was a workaholic who could just work to the best of my ability without it taking over my mind or my life. I no longer felt uncomfortable with all the weight I had gained in the last few months of being depressed and emotionally locked up. I no longer had any doubt in my relationship, in my ability to maintain a positive relationship. So much anger had left me. I finally felt like the me I had been searching for the last 5 years.
The most freeing part of all of this was finally accepting that all I needed to take care of was myself. That the cliche that you can only love another once you love yourself was absolutely true. It was finally time for me to accept, to love by all definition everything about myself, to change what I was unsatisfied with and to embrace my past journey and my future so that when I met my child I could fully love them without holding anything back.
Its as beauty at it’s finest moment, it was freedom.