Empty House

Thursday afternoon I told my mom we wouldn't be coming for the visit I had just suggested a couple days prior. It was the killer cramps I'd been having, plus the run down feeling and Daniel having been gone on a work trip for 24 hours and counting. Or maybe it was my recent decision to eat better paired with this overwhelming desire to just relax and focus on me for a bit. Regardless, the idea of sitting in a car for an extended period of time and then trying to make health food choices while traveling no longer appealed to my mind or body. I was tired. I needed to relax. I wanted to enjoy our house, just the 6 of us (I'm including the dog children) for a few precious days after having house guests for the last two weeks.

And then Saturday around noon, my two kids jumped on my bed for ten minutes straight, screaming at the top of their well developed and OMG! healthy lungs, with no abandon. When they saw my face contorting with frustration and ugh, pain - they giggled. "This is fun!" Zoe squealed in delight. I looked over at Daniel who was doing the best he could to just sit and read a book while all this was going on and I asked him how he'd feel about the kids visiting my parents for a few days.

I think he was a little shocked and excited and sad, all at once - but he nodded yes, so I hurriedly called my mom before I lost my nerve.

The was some deliberating and some negotiations and then trying to figure out the logistics of it all, but we worked it out. I quickly called our friends to cancel our plans 30 minutes before we had planned on meeting and then asked if they'd be willing to watch the dogs last minute. I ran around the house packing up the kids for an adventure at Nana and Baba's house and shoved a few things in a backpack for a quick overnight stay for me and Daniel - just to get everyone settled.

We got back to Bakersfield yesterday afternoon - 24 hours after we left. We listened to a book on tape on the ride home and stopped for vegetarian sandwiches at Whole Foods. We saw a movie and ate some healthier Mexican food. I had a margarita. We went home and relaxed in our quiet living room. I had some wine and snacked on berries for dessert. It was delightful. The best part is, we have two more nights of this. My parents bring the kids back to us Wednesday afternoon.

Don't get me wrong, I miss the kids - very much so. The house feels too quiet and I'm honestly a little lost without them here with me right now.... but, and there is a HUGE but: I needed this. If not just to catch up on our date night deficit, then to focus on me a little bit.

These few days are an excellent opportunity for me to focus on the changes we're making as far as food choices too. We've committed to cutting red meat and pork from our diet and we'll be limiting poultry as well. After talking to a few friends, I'm no longer specifically counting every single calorie and every ounce of water - I'm just aware. I'm looking at the ingredients in foods and eating less in general. But I'm eating a ton of fruit and veggies. I keep my water with me and drink as needed. I know I'm filling it up repeatedly during the day and that's all that matters. I haven't looked at a scale, but I do know I feel lighter, if that makes any sense. I've been told by some friends that I can still eat meat - that I can still have my ice cream in moderation. Sure. They're right. But I don't want to. I know what works for me. From my experience of quitting smoking 7 years ago, cold turkey - I know that it doesn't work for me to just taper down. I need to replace that need with something else. I replaced cigarettes with food and now.... now I'm replacing some of the foods that were my weakness with foods that are healthy*. The thing is, searching out foods that are better for me and my family is fun. I'm loving getting to talk to people about it and looking at healthy cookbooks. I've told Daniel repeatedly that he doesn't have to give up meat and pork like I am. I've told him he is free to eat whatever he wants when we go to restaurants and/or he's at work and that I will be fine as long as he encourages me to stick with this. He's told me repeatedly that he wants to do this with me as much as he can and that means the world to me - to have him be my partner in this.

I feel very lucky.

*- Felt a little hungry as I was writing this. Grabbed a banana instead of the crazy pink frosting sugar cookies that are in eyesight. They're from last week and probably are way stale now, but there was a time when that would not have mattered and I would have eaten them anyway.


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