Our Parents…

My DadI was having a conversation yesterday regarding parents and our struggles with them.  I was compelled to write this….because I….feel like this is a topic that carries a lot of shame and embarrassment.

My father passed away last year. For most of my life he was absent. He lived with us, he and my mom shared a bed, we all had dinner together, but for the most part he went to work, came home, had dinner, drank a few beers, slept on the floor before climbing into bed. My father was an alcoholic. He was never violent or mean, he was just absent. He was never at soccer games, parent/teacher interviews or school functions. He dealt with his demons the best way that he knew how…he drank. He didn’t have the easiest childhood, but that was how he chose to deal with life, he drank and it is ultimately what killed him. He was deceased for approximately 5 days before he was found. He hit his head, and because his blood was so thin and his body was in the last stages of shut down, from the drinking, he bled out.

Over the years both mine and my brother’s relationship was up and down with my father until we both finally got one very important thing. My father’s drinking had NOTHING to do with how much he loved us. He drank to cope with life. He was a grown man capable of making his own decisions. He didn’t need me to save him, he just needed me to love him no matter what, and I did. I set boundaries, so did my brother. Towards the end of his time it was really bad, he was drinking from morning to night. He tried to drink away his demons and he couldn’t, but I loved him regardless. It took me a long time to forgive him and I miss him every day. I struggle with anger at times, “Why couldn’t he see all the great things he had going for him?” “Why was he so blind to all the love?” But it was his choice. Whenever someone would ask me about my dad I would get embarrassed, change the subject and I had a lot of shame around having a father that couldn’t stop drinking long enough to sit through my high school graduation. Now I can talk about how much I love my dad and how there are parts of me that are so much like him…I am my father’s daughter in quite a few areas.

Why am I telling you all of this? I have had a few friends confide in me their struggles with a parent that drinks and here was what I can say. Their issues and abuse of alcohol or drugs, has NOTHING to do with you. They are not doing it because you were bad, or you didn’t love them enough, or you didn’t tell them enough. The drink or take those drugs because they don’t know how to cope with life, with their reality. THEY LOVE YOU! No matter what, their love for you is there and unwavering. You may not be ready to hear that yet, but get there before it is too late. My father and I had some really great conversations in the last couple years when I finally got that and I could let go of my anger towards him.

If you are reading this and you are the person that is drinking, taking drugs, or maybe a combination of both. I get it. In your mind your reality is so messed up that it is the only way you know how to cope, how to escape from having to deal.  Your children love you, despite the words that are coming out of their mouth, they love you. They are just angry with the decisions you are making. They can see it, but are having difficulty understanding it. Sit down with them, share with them your reality and as a family let them support you to get well.  If you don’t want to change, let them know, but be prepared to deal with the fall out and that they may not be able to be in your life. Everyone has boundaries, we had set them with my father and your family may have to set them with you.

Carrying around all the anger will do no one any good. Let it go and enjoy what life has to offer, don’t waste it because you never know when it will be gone.

All things Smoothies….

Green Goddess Smoothie

Green Goddess Smoothie

Good Morning Everyone! I had no intention of posting anything today, but I was drinking my breakfast and I was compelled to share, so I promise to keep this short 🙂

On this journey I have discovered that smoothies are the best option for me when it comes to breakfast. I value my sleep far to much to get up any earlier than I have to too make breakfast. I have a board on Pinterest dedicated to all things smoothie related because they are so dang tasty, can be made quickly and, if you make the right choices, quite healthy. For me they are also the easiest way that I can get some vegetables into my system because honestly….I HATE eating vegetables. If you cook them it is defiantly game over, I won’t come within 2 feet of them. *Sigh* I can hear my mother shaking her head from here…

There is no shortage of smoothie recipes all over Pinterest and the Internet. I have a bunch of favorites, but thought I would share 2 of my favorites in case you are stuck and looking for tested and enjoyed options!

Green Goddess Smoothie

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (choose your preference – almond milk, regular milk, etc)

handful of blueberries

1 Wheatgrass juice cube

1-2 tsp of Spirulina

1/2 of a banana

1 scoop of Vega One French Vanilla

large helping of Spinach and/or Kale, a couple ice cubes and onto the Magic Bullet it goes

Green Goddess is my go-to morning smoothie. It took me a little bit to get over the color and adjust to the taste, but now it is seriously so delicious! When I am craving something chocolaty or sweet, usually in the evenings, I go to….

Good For You Reese’s Peanut Buttercup Smoothie

1 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk

1 banana

1 scoop of Vega One Chocolate

1 tsp almond butter

3-4 ice cubes and onto the Magic Bullet it goes!

I have another one that has strawberries and beets in it, but I am still trying to get my brain around the taste of beets. I don’t care what my Grandpa Gill says beets do not taste like candy!

The great thing about smoothies is you can put whatever you want in them and what suits you. I am a dairy free girl, so my go-to’s are coconut/almond/soy milk, as someone that is also breaking her sugar addiction, everything is purchased in its “unsweetened” form. Yes, fruit itself has a lot of sugar, give me a break though, I am trying to get the refined sugar forms out of my eating patterns first. I didn’t always use Vega products, I tried a few different brands out, but for right now, Vega gives me what I need. Seriously, I use their Chai flavored powder with carrot juice, a little cinnamon and nutmeg….that one is like carrot cake in a cup. See…I can go on forever about smoothies 🙂

I am starting a healthy love affair with food…how can you tell!

Happy Saturday ya’ll!

Haters Gonna Hate…

29f1f5c7f89c3baaf8994377942ad0a0I am and always have been someone that cares a little too much. I care what people think, I cry during commercials and I am way more empathetic than I need to be. Now, not all of this is bad, some of these qualities I am totally ok with….just not the caring what other people think one.

Curious about where I have been since Day 15 of my Down & Dirty 30? I had my scalp biopsy done and I came home that night in quite a bit of pain, did a little bit of emotional eating and then I logged on to see a series of comments on different posts on my blogs from some asshat in the States and I told myself that he was right. Then over the next couple of days a few friends made off the cuff comments about my posts on Facebook and I told myself “people are annoyed with my posts.” Those two thoughts combined…I used as the perfect excuse to stop writing, despite the steps forward that I was taking.

Then I was having a conversation with my dear cousin over at Moments In Mommyland and we were discussing our LOVE of all things Christmas….yes it is genetic in my family! We both have been posting about Christmas on our Facebook pages, talking about it and generally being met with unsupportive comments and remarks. She said “I don’t tell others when or how to celebrate, so why should they get to tell us.” I couldn’t possibly agree more. Later that evening I was also have a conversation with the BFF Tiffany and having a similar conversation about worrying so much about what others think, followed by watching Ann Hathaway on Ellen yesterday and here is what I concluded…

I don’t give a rats bare behind what you think about me, my posts, or my love of Christmas. If you don’t like it, don’t read it; unfriend me, unfollow me and let’s call it a day. I am sorry my posts to living a healthier life are annoying you. There is nothing you can say to me or judge me for that I probably haven’t already judged or said to myself. I am my own worst critic, we all are our own worst critic. I am tired of the mean comments taking a front seat to the good comments. Done. This is my journey.