Finding Brave From My Past

I sit here writing this post today in a very vulnerable state. I write this not only to tell my story but maybe perhaps one that reads this can relate and know that whatever you maybe going through right now in life, there is hope and many blessings that come along the way.

I was born into this world on August 12, 1984 which was a Sunday to be exact. I was born to a mom and dad and as a baby born I had no cares of the world. I grew up with no understanding of the life I was brought into.  I don’t remember much about the divorce but I know it happened. I remember being raised by my mother who at the time was single and raised me in our family’s hotel with help by my grandmother.  I always saw her as my second mother in life, and grateful for her.  Growing up not knowing much about the divorce it seemed to be kept a secret, instead of it being something I used an excuse, I look at it as a blessing, that because of this man I hardly knew, a beautiful daughter, wife, mom and individual was born.

At the age of 5 my mom got remarried to another man that I would learn to call dad.  He did so many good things for me throughout my life and he even went through the adoption process to make it official.  I was still young, but I remember that day… Heck both my parents asked if I wanted to change my name just because I could but I loved my name so kept it. I did have a middle name Renee but dropped it in the adoption process.

Life seemed pretty good, though I remember lying in bed and thinking…. they are arguing again but I just ignored it.  We moved around a a lot and remember I always had a hard time finding friends because I either got pushed out of the group for reasons unknown or we moved again. It was hard and confusing to find my place in life.  At the age of 11 my father was in a massive drunk driving accident that led him to go through major back surgeries with him and my mom commuting back and forth from the bay area.  I remember for a while that our living room was a at home hospital room.

This event took a huge tole on our family.  The arguments progressed especially about money, the depression was more noticeable and I would take on a lot more responsibility as the oldest child of 3.  The depression was the hardest thing to live with growing up.  To see the pain and suffering it causes someone you love and unaware of it, it starts to creep on to you like slo moving snake.

Because of the depression, it lead to even more strife that would later lead to another divorce.

I love my parents and know they did the best they could with the circumstances they were handed. They taught me to be brave and overcome struggle to an exceptional person because of it. Because of the arguments of money, I am motivated to provide a life for my children were they don’t have to see mom and dad argue about money.  Because of divorce I am a better wife and mom because I want my children to know what it is like to have a mom and dad who love each other unconditionally.  Because of depression, I strive to be a better version of myself both physically and mentally for me and my family because depression sucks.  It really causes more unnecessary pain and shame to ones personal life.

I have lived my whole entire 34 years of life pretending like this didn’t bother me, but the truth is, its held me back because of my own pain and shame I never new I had.  I always tried to find love in all the wrong places, I was needing to achieve something to feel that love I was seeking, and I felt I was always seeking love from others that was never there that led me down a path of unworthiness in my self and feeling shameful of who I really was as a person.

We can find brave from our past.  Our past doesn’t have to define who we are.  We can learn break free from those moments that led us to believe we weren’t good enough.  Without even realizing it, my past was holding me back because I didn’t know who the real me was.  I was so in my head of worry and fear, I couldn’t get to know the real me because I was to busy inside my head. I’ll put it into perspective of how much fear I was living in, After a lump was detected in my left breast as I was preparing to graduate from college, I kid you not, I would feel my boob 20 times a day for 4 years.  I was obsessive!  And with every little freckle I had I start to freak out I had skin cancer!

I lived in so much fear and worry for so long. After hitting rock bottom after Nate was born, I was tired.  Tired of living this life that controlled me who I was.  Resenting and blaming the people I loved for the problems (my fault or not) that where holding me back in life.

Today I am in a place of seeing love within my self and compassion for others.  Years of pain takes time to overcome, but I can say how grateful that my past has helped me to become brave.  Each day is a new day to have more grace with myself and each new day gets a little better.  Even in the seasons I feel stuck and like nothing is happening in my life no matter how hard I feel like I am trying to work hard at whatever I am doing, I am grateful.  With each new season comes a new lesson and blessing to be grateful for.

I seek guidance from my Heavenly Father and know that he has given me these trials to be blessed by and I truly have.  I’ve learned to appreciate my parents in a new way and know that they did the best they could.  I’ve learned to love my husband in new light and for him sticking with me through all my deep darkness.  My children are my greatest blessing even on the days I want to pull my hair out.  They just add to the learning process of it all.

Find brave from your past.  Your past and experiences aren’t placed in your life to define you, they are there to help you grow.

Be Awesome,

Amber

 

 

Ways To Help Guide Your Kids To Eat More Healthy

I struggled with my oldest son Ethan being a picky eater for pretty much since they day he was born.  We had unexpected circumstances when he was born as he ended up in NICU and he was bottle fed.  Once we were home, I tried everything I could to get hime to latch to breast feed him, we even went to a lactation consultant and that didn’t even work.  As a new mom, I had that mom guilt but I kept trying to feed him the milk I though he needed most.  I ended up breastfeeding him for 3 months as a supplement to his bottle.

As we progressed into solids the battle continued. We couldn’t get him to try new foods.  All he wanted was pretzels and surgery yogurt fruit pouches.  As he being the first child, we did all the things that we were suggested to try: starve him out, make him sit at the table until he eats, etc. his stubbornness still wins every time..  However, we have gotten him to at least eat a few healthier options like, kale, carrots, some proteins, and a few fruits but even then he will give us a little fight.

As a side note: For a picky eater, we were told at his 4 year old check up that he was over weight and we needed to lay off the junk food… what junk food? What food?  I was confused and annoyed.  It wasn’t even our own doctor that told us this!

I recently took a nutrition certification course that had a whole section on eating for kids.  It gave me a glimmer of hope that perhaps we can make eating a fun thing and not a constant world war iii.  I’ve been implementing a couple things already I have learned and Ethan seems to be a little more susceptible to the idea of eating a little more.

I’ll be sharing with you some the ideas I learned that we will be working with Ethan with and perhaps will give you some ideas too!

1. Get them involved.  Go to the grocery store and get them involved!  Have them pick out a new healthy food to try. Get them excited to pick something out.  Let them help you grab the groceries you need to get.  Ethan loves to hold the list for me.

2. Have a fun reward tracker.  I printed a fun food tracker for Ethan.  I explained what her needs to to do throughout the week and he will earn a reward if he collects enough points by eating all the food groups and trying something new three times a week.  He chose to go to his favorite trampoline park.  A reward shouldn’t be food, but something that the child loves.  Could be a coloring book, new crayons, a trip to their favorite place like a trampoline park, etc.  but it should be a tangible, non food reward as we are working on staying healthy!

3.  Let your child help in the kitchen.  Make them feel involved in the process.  Ethan loves being involved in the kitchen. Make it fun and reference back to the tracker throughout the day as you are in the kitchen prepping meals.

4. Lead by example.  Your kids are watching your every step.  They learn habits from us as their parents.

5. Prep their lunches.  If they are in preschool or grade school, prepping and putting together lunches for them helps give them those boundaries for the day.  Yes it can be easy to let them eat hot lunch or packing the same easy thing over and over, but they may not be getting a variety or the nutrients they really need to sustain them throughout the day .  Through this program, I was able to be educated on some really great healthy lunch ideas.  I will be trying a few out like Mac and cheese cups, pasta with pasta sauce, a chocolate smoothie made for kids, and finding lower sugar fruit roll ups while finding new ways to get protein in there too.

These were some of the tips that I really loved that made sense and I believe are doable for my 5 year old.

Kids at each stage of their childhood have a general range of nutrition to follow and I loved that I learned this through this program. It’s not about loosing weight for kids like it is for adults, but getting well rounded nutrition in them so they stay healthy wither they are sedentary (active less than fair hours a week) or active ( four or more active hours a week).  If you would like to know more about the general guidelines and plans for children contact me today.

eating should be a good experience for our kids.  It is the foundation of habits they will carry out through adult hood and their life.   It’s going to be trial and error and kids will have their own views on food, but we can do our best to find ways that can make it a bit more easier for them and for us!

Be Awesome,

Amber