Saturday, January 2, 2010

Lots of R's

First of all--HOLLA!! I have missed you guys so much! Also, I have noticed a few new readers in my last posts, and I just wanted to say welcome! Hope you stick around and that I don't scare you off with this huuuuuugee post that I'm about to proffer.

I have been super busy with the holidays and family, but also thinking a lot about the past year and all it has brought for me. I have also been thinking a lot about the blog...

...and pondering if I should keep it going in the new year. There are several reasons for this thought process. First of all, I started this blog back in May, when I was in quite a different frame of mind. I was embattled in my eating disorder, and this blog served as an excellent tool to aide me in my recovery ( you can read more about that here). I have made significant strides since than and have forsaken some of the things that "kept" me sick, were no longer serving their positive purpose in my life, or were otherwise keeping me tied to the identity of someone suffering with anorexia.

I was worried that blogging was only serving to make me "accountable" for the food I was eating, instead of the fun I was supposed to be having with it. Hope that makes sense. However, I have come to the conclusion that this blog has been far more helpful than hurtful for me as I move forward in recovery. Because I have a forum to vent my frustrations and fears, as well as my accomplishments, I know that I have been able to move farther ahead. Mostly thanks to so many of the awesome readers I have and friends that I have made. It is so incredible to know that I have people who "get" me, and my food!

You have stood by me this year as I have tried many new things, from avocados, to hamburgers, to some very Freaky Foods; and you all have helped me learn so much, too! Thank you and Happy New Year!!

Anyway, I am grateful for my little bitty blog and for the job it does in helping me keep track of the bigger picture. I am working on letting go of a lot of things, and that includes my all or nothing mentality. Here are some thoughts that I think will help me align my blogging priorities with the rest of my LIFE--

  • Freaky Food Friday does not have to be EVERY Friday
  • Sammie Saturday does not have to occur EVERY Saturday
  • If I do not post for a few days, or a week or even two weeks, no one is going to miss me THAT BAD.
  • I do not have to read every blog post or be fantastically witty and/or snarky in every single post of my own. Sometimes I don't have anything interesting to post, but sometimes that can be just as interesting--it will be up up me to make that call.
In addition to realizations and revelations, I have also been pondering another "R." Resolutions. Now, I am not typically a person who makes New Years Resolutions. I have never seen the need for it because I usually just decide to do things and then do them. I don't always appreciate the idea of working up to a goal because it often seems it takes more effort to get there than to just get going! However, because so much has occurred in 2009 (both personally and food-related), the start of 2010 seems like a good time to work in some modified lifestyle aspects.

Meatless Mondays:
This idea came about for a variety of reasons. First, we spend an atrocious amount of money on food. Most of this is my problem. D would be content eating peanut butter (an Nutella) sandwiches, tuna fish and $.25 burritos. I, on the other hand, prefer 5 dollar jars of nut butters, copious amounts of FRESH fruit and vegetables (2 lb bag of baby carrots, you ain't got nuthin on me!), and any type of new, cool, healthy, heard-about food product.

Also, honestly, I am at a point in my recovery where I find it extraordinarily difficult to both buy and deny myself foods that were once restricted. Often times I find myself standing in the grocery aisle having a five minute debate over which type of bagels or crackers to buy (regular or "lite," whole grain or whole wheat, wheat or white, cheese or herb, this kind or that kind). It's exhausting and much too emotionally investing, so there are instances where I just throw both things in the cart so I come stop being a schizo in public.
Not that I do this all the time. I really try not to make it a habit,and on the occasion where we find ourselves with 6 different types of cereal or 4 boxes of crackers in the cupboard, I will usually just scratch those items off my list for a week or so until our supply has calmed down.

On the other hand, as much as I would be content with a plate full of broccoli for dinner, I try to appease Dustin every once in a while with things like hamburgers, chili, shredded pork and the like. Who am I kidding--I like my animal proteins, too. But I found that the amount we use in cooking can sometimes be a little excessive. For example, I think I can make chili with 1/4 lb of ground beef as opposed to a half or a whole pound. The rest of the dish can be rounded out with things like beans or cooked veggies. I think it will be beneficial in terms of our health, money and cooking repertoire to find ways to stretch not only our food budget as a whole, but also our meat budget specifically.

Thus the idea of a Meatless Monday was born. I really love the idea of challenging myself to come up with new recipes that Dustin and I will both appreciate, all the while broadening our culinary palettes. If you have any meat-free meal suggestions, I would love to hear them!

So I guess those are my two big goals for the next few months--
relax and ENJOY my blogging a little more without being so rigid in my posting/reading behaviors and save more money, especially on food by instituting Meatless Monday and eating less meat over all. Please don't mis-interpret this. I love meat. I am eating BBQ tonight. But I still recognize the benefit of working against my black and white thinking in this department too.

I think this year, I would also like to attend more live concerts, find ways to see my friends more and nourish those relationships, create more constructive hobbies for myself. I think the other, more deeper desires of my heart will follow :)

Well now that I've babbled on and on, let's actually get to some pictures shall we? Revelations, realizations, resolutions and now, RECAP!
We were in dust-kickin' Wyoming for Christmas with my family and I loved every minute of it. Except the drive. There is nothing. Oh wait. There are windmills. We made it in time for church on Christmas Eve which is a big tradition for us. All dressed up. D and I got spoiled rotten on Christmas. Every year my mom says she is "cutting back," and every year we laugh at her because she never does. We got lots of amazing things including some new board games (love!!). Actually the best gift was spending time with my family.
Here is a little foodie flashback:

We had two different types of fruit cake, which of course, I was a little weary of. But since my sis made one, I knew it couldn't be bad. Hers is the second photo. I actually loved her recipe. It was rich and spicy, if a little crumbly. But I think that's because she didn't soak it in brandy ;) The first one was more dense and sticky, delightful over Greek yogurt.

Layered sweet potato and apple casserole, semi-stolen from my sister in law, Liz. Hers was better. Mine was slightly under baked, but better second day. Perfect golden turkey with stuffing (my FAVORITE!!)...peppermint pop rocks in my stocking.

No family dinner is complete without a plate of pickles (and you thought I was the only one). Finally, my mom's special fruit salad. Usually we just have it at Thanksgiving, but she is nice and made it per my special request since I wasn't there the first time around.

Well, if you have made it this far through my EPIC post, you deserve a prize for sure! Again, Happy New Year to everyone--I am wishing you all the best.

I have decided it's time for some more R's now, including rest, relaxation and a REMATCH!! If you peeps have never played Blokus, you need to! It's great!
What's your favorite board game?? Mine will always and forever be Scrabble, but there is always room for some new loves! Love you! xoxo

Oh, P.S. Had to leave you with one last picture! This is my mom's favorite ornament of me. I made it in preschool and she puts it on the tree every year.
Look at what a little shi*, I mean cutie pie, I was! Lol. Do your parents still have these of you?


  1. wow you are BEAUTIFUL!!! you are so stunning!!!
    sounds like youve been having some great family time and come to some awesome realizations girl, thats so great
    happy new year girl!

  2. You are gorgeous!! And your hair.. it's just stunning!!

    They make candy cane poprocks?? Yum!! I used to love those things!

    And I think your realizations sound perfect. Blogging shouldn't cause you stress.. it should be a hobby! :)

  3. Those are great resolutions, I'll be looking forward to your Monday posts for sure! And, you're in my reader, so whenever you wanna take a break now worries, I'll be here when you get back! :)

  4. You are gorgeous! :D I am SO happy that you are going to continue blogging and really love your resolution to chill out with it and have it be more fun for YOU. Because you are what is important here on your blog!

    Is that the stuffing I sent?.. Did you get a chance to try any of the stuff yet?

    I have taken a break from (stopped?) blogging but am keeping up with reader :)

    happy new year, Emily!

  5. I love your hair!

    I think relaxing and enjoying blogging is the key. You don't want it to be a drag and something that becomes a chore rather than a joy.

  6. Ah! Emily! I heart you! Your "resolutions" are perfect. I think chilling out with the blog and food will work really well for you. I'm thinking of being less intense with my blog in the New Year too... I like the idea of Meatless Monday, and even more that Dustin is even up for it (Chris survives on steak and hamburgers alone, I tell no lie). Also, you look drop dead gorgeous in those pics. 2010 is gonna be a good year for you, I know it :)

  7. Goodness what a precious little thing you were (and still are of course)! Love the kiddie mother is the same and insists on putting them up every year...! Also I love your relax and blog whenever the mood strikes mantra...! Happy new year lovely!! xoxo

  8. I am behind you 1000% on your new outlook with the blog. Sometimes, I have to step back and assess myself with blogging, but I too, have realized that it has been overall helpful for me.

    I am so happy you had a wonderful holiday! :)

    Wishing you the very best for 2010 my dear! :)

  9. This was such a great post Emily - I love that you are always so honest with everything you write, and it was a great idea to reflect upon why you started this blog and why you continue to write. Ultimately what you decide to do with it is YOUR decision and no one else's. I think that if you decide to post on occasion as opposed to every day or every other day you will still have a faithful number of followers. I go weeks without posting sometimes and people like you are still kind enough to leave comments. I truly think it's great that you're taking the time to think about these things. You're a wonderful person and BEAUTIFUL, too!! Your pictures are gorgeous...

  10. Hey, we just got Blokus for Christmas and it's really fun. Played it with the boys and they even "got it". But I can't wait to play it with just my husband, so we can think a little more about making the right moves!
    AND, my favorite board game ever and will always be Scrabble! (I like word games!)
    AND, even for our family of 6, I always only make chili and such with only about 1/4 lb. of hamburger. I freeze it in that amount size blocks. You can also just come home from the store and brown 1-2 lbs., then freeze it in ziploc baggies in the amounts you want. It thaws really quickly that way with the baggie in warm water.
    AND, sheesh, my comment is going to be as long as your post. jk!
    But I do think I should get a prize for reading the whole thing! ;)
    Love all the photos.
    I have an ornament that is play dough salt dough as a cut out of a little girl with my name on it that I probably helped my mom make, then paint with food coloring when I was about 5. Those are the best!
    Ok, I'll shut up now. Happy New Year!

  11. First of all you and D look very cute - purple is a lovely color on you! I've never played Blockus but I recently discovered Apples to Apples and I'm obsessed. I love your resolutions (woohoo meatless Mondays :) ) and I'm wishing you nothing but the best for 2010!

  12. Your Christmas Eve pictures are gorgeous, do you mind sharing where that purple top is from?? Good luck with your resolutions!

  13. You look SO adorable in those pictures and I love the dress! Thank you for sharing your resolutions and your ponderings. Meatless Mondays sound like a great idea! It is really hard cooking for two people with very different ideas of a GOOD meal (my boy wanted nothing more than to go to Logan's Roadhouse on his birthday this year)!

  14. When I was back home, I actually found some pics of me at roughly the same age!

  15. There is something so innocent about us as different, and the CORE of us is the same.
    I LOVE the fact that you are feeling freedom from the structure of maintaining the blog. Those rules are not meant to endure!

    Just last week, I made something out of my day schedule and it was GLORIOUS!

  16. ah i love this post!! i ADORE your purple dress~ where is it from?? and i love your locks. haha.. i think i have that same windmill photo.. and my mom says the same thing every year about scaling back. fave board game is boggle. and i loved your ponders on blogging. great Rs! let's meet up sooooon!

  17. Oh wow! You are stunning, my dear! And your childhood picture...haha, sooo cute, no wonder you grew up to be a great beauty!

    I'm thrilled with your resolution, too. I'm so glad blogging has helped you a lot, and I hope you enjoy each and every minute in the blogging world!

    I don't eat that much meat, but I still end up spending SO much money...on nuts...and cheese...:-(

  18. are gorgeous, fabulous, grounded and hilarious. I do miss your posts - in fact, before I saw this, I was contemplating e-mailing you to make sure you were alive and doing okay :).

    Sooooo glad you had a great Christmas, and can look back on the year and see how much you've learned. It's so amazing to be able to look back, see how far you've come and appreciate that. that your brother and is he single?

    Just wondering...

    Love you dear - HAPPY NEW YEAR! May 2010 be full of fun, love, happiness and peace!!!!