Sorry, Not Sorry! What I Refuse to Apologize For

I have noticed that as women we seem to always be apologizing. It’s almost as if “I’m sorry” is just our default answer when we don’t meet the expectations of others. Maybe this isn’t your case, but I know this is the case for so many women.

We’re sorry we can’t fit everything in our schedules. We’re sorry we can’t fix everyone’s problems. We’re sorry we didn’t do everything perfect.

Motherhood changes you. I mean OBVIOUSLY. The moment you become a mom life as you know it ends. You are rebirthed! Becoming a mother has truly shifted my entire life, inside and out. It has made me a stronger person than I have ever been before. It has also shifted my mindset. My priorities, and the things that I once worried or cared about have completely changed.

If I’m being honest those first few months of parenthood are no cakewalk, and as a mother and a wife it’s easy to feel like you’re drowning. I am not about to sit here and tell you that I didn’t try to be Stepford mom the first few weeks home with the baby…. but I think we all try that.

I remember saying to my husband that if I was home with the baby I promised to keep the house spotless and food ready for him when he walked through the door. Anyone have a time machine so I can go back in time and laugh in my face?

Everyday is completely out of my control. Some days my daughter is happy to play on her own and entertain herself, others she needs my constant attention. Some days I’m able to get the house squeaky clean and dinner on the table, other days it looks like a bomb went off and I’m begging my husband to pick up takeout. This is life now.

I decided to really look at all the positive aspects of this new life. First I have THE most amazing baby ever… at least I personally think so! I feel so complete when I look into her beautiful blue eyes. If I feel so whole when I’m with my daughter, how can any part of me be missing right? She is my number one priority and she is such a happy girl, so I know in my heart I am doing a good job, even on days when it may not feel like it. Even on days when the house is a mess, dinner is nowhere near ready, and i feel like I have a million things to apologize for not getting done.

When you come from a place of positivity it is easy to let go of a lot of worries. It also helps that you don’t have the energy for all that worrying thanks to your new mom schedule! When I’m not stressed about all those things I’m a more present mother and wife.

So you know what, I decided that I’m happier when I let go of all those things society may tell me to be sorry about. I’m not sorry, because the time I used to use to accomplish these things is now spent being the best mama I can be.

Without further adieu, here is what I no longer apologize for, and you shouldn’t either:

  1. Bless this mess! My house has literally NEVER been at the level of untidy as it is currently. After several drop ins (anyone else hate this? Seems to come with the territory of having a baby) and several apologies for my messy home I just decided I don’t care. If the cleanliness of my home reflects my life and who I am, here is what it reflects: the dishes in the sink reflect the meals I’ve made for my husband and baby to keep them nourished. The piles of laundry that I’ve folded but haven’t been put away reflect the time I’ve been away at work to help support my family. The dust bunnies in the corners of the rooms reflect the snuggles I have given, books I have read, and precious time I have given to my daughter instead of sweeping. Will my daughter remember the extra piles of laundry, the fact that I couldn’t get to the dishes until she was asleep, or that there was a little extra dust on my shelves? Nope! But she will remember all the time I spent playing and bonding with her! After all, that’s all I remember from my childhood!
  2. Saying no to plans: before my baby I felt the need to say yes to every single plan a friend or family member would throw my way. Last minute plans to go to a winery… um yes count me in! Sure, I’d be at your party, after working at the farm stand and rushing to a quick dinner with someone I haven’t seen in forever! Well, no I am so so so happy to use the word “no”. No I won’t be attending that party because if my child doesn’t get to bed by 7, I’m paying for it tomorrow morning when she wakes up at 5 am instead of 7 am! Nope, I can’t make it to that dinner because I am so exhausted from all the other things piled on my plate that I actually need 2 hours on couch to watch mindless TV in between my child’s bedtime and my own. I’m not even a little sorry about this one. Yes on one hand I’m sad that I can’t fly by the seat of my pants anymore and say yes to every last minute plan thrown my way… but on the other hand, if I can squeeze in an hour to actually sit down with a glass of wine by myself I’m taking it! It’s not that I won’t miss the company of good friends and family, it’s just that some days I’m not sure when I’ll actually get to be ALONE. If I have that chance, mama is gonna pick that over overstimulation any day and there is no way I’m feeling sorry for it!
  3. How I choose to parent. This one is SO important for all of us to hear. It’s 2019, and we all know that everyone is different and that’s what makes this world beautiful! My whole life I’ve heard “there is no one exactly like you and that’s why you’re special!” This is absolutely true for everyone! So how in the hell can we expect everyone to do things the way we do them? I’ve only been a mom for 6 months, and the amount of mom shaming I have witnessed is astounding! How can we spread a message that our differences make us beautiful, and then turn around and talk behind some moms back because she didn’t breastfeed her baby? Oh you never let your child have screen time because of that study you read on Facebook? That’s great, but don’t turn around and point your finger at the mother who needs her hands free for 30 minutes while she tries to cook dinner for her family and has no one to hold her screaming toddler! We all read the books Karen, and you know what I learned? Every freaking psychologist has a different theory of how we should raise our children and they all think they’re right! You know the truth? Every mother is different, every child is different, every family is different. What works for one probably won’t work for another! I started my child on Whole Foods and skipped the cereal and had more than one person judge me. Do you mamas! My kid was stealing sweet potatoes off my plate, so I chose to give her the damn sweet potatoes (dr approved of course), and she was ecstatic! If you choose to start with cereal I think that’s great! Neither one way or the other is better. It’s just different! I’m choosing to raise my child with the “respectful parenting” method. I already try to explain to my daughter everything we are doing. When I change her diaper I explain to her “I’m going to change your diaper now”, if I put her down I say “ok, I’m putting you down for a few minutes, I understand you’re upset, but Mommy has to clean up and then I’ll pick you back up!” Yes she’s 6 months old, and YES I have been told she doesn’t understand and this is ridiculous. At the end of the day this feels right to me and I refuse to say sorry for it! If you do it completely differently that’s amazing and I think you’re doing the best for you and your children too! Our differences are what make us beautiful remember?
  4. My appearance. Shower…. that’s that thing in the bathroom that sprays water out of the wall right? Yes I remember it fondly! Just kidding. I do shower, but is it everyday? Show me one mom that says she hasn’t missed a shower in a year and I will give her a medal. Now that my daughter’s naps are on a schedule this little luxury has finally started coming back into my life, but there are some days it still doesn’t happen. Make up? I mean I use mascara! That’s about all the time I usually have to do it. Shampoo? Yeah I use that about once a week! Dry shampoo is a mamas new best friend am I right? I have literally caught myself going to the store looking like I rolled out of bed, and I only noticed when I caught my reflection in the door on the way out. I could spend more time on my appearance, but when the trade off is time with my child, or attempting to cross a chore off my never ending list, I’m gonna pick one of those.
  5. Not replying to your texts or calls. Hey remember that time when no one had cell phones? Remember when texting wasn’t unlimited, and you had to wait for the weekend or after 7 to call your friends? Remember when the way you contacted your friends was AIM and if you put an away message up no one cared if u didn’t respond for hours?! Yeah those were the good old days! Now people feel totally ok with calling your cell phone ten times until you pick up, or texting you “hello?!?!?!” if you haven’t responded in two seconds. I am guilty myself, trust me! How sad is it that we have become a culture of now? We can’t even give the people we love some space to be away from their phones or computers? We need them to answer us the second we text them! Well, one thing I consider a blessing is how much time away I spend from my phone now that I’m a mom. I don’t want my daughter to see me on my phone. I want her to have a mom who is present when she is present. So unless I’m taking a photo of her I try to keep my cellphone in the other room. So if you text me or call me 10 times and it took me hours to answer that’s why. Sometimes I look at your texts, and then she wakes from her nap or needs me to remove her from her playpen because she’s overstimulated. Yup, I of course forget to reply. Sometimes it takes me days to remember! I’m not gonna apologize for choosing my child over my phone and neither should you! No one is going to die if you don’t answer their text immediately, and if it’s an emergency they should probably call 911 not you. Never apologize for being present, because that is a gift.
  6. Taking time for myself. You bet your bottom dollar that I’m taking a few minutes a day for myself. At least I try to! No I’m not taking hours and hours on end to go to the spa, or have my nails done. I’m taking 20-30 minutes a day to keep myself sane. This may consist of a workout, a walk, sitting outside with my dog and a cup of coffee, reading a book, or watching Bravo on tv until my mind melts. I NEED this time. As moms and wives we are constantly doing things for everyone else. My life is literally all about helping my daughter learn and grow. It’s my favorite job, but I can’t help her feel like her needs are being fully met if I don’t also meet my own. What kind of mom and wife would I be if I was resentful and cranky because I didn’t allow myself 30 freaking minutes to decompress? I know I’m a better mom and wife when I give myself even just this tiny amount of time in my day to make myself happy. If you’re not doing this you need to! It will make your day that much better. After all, we can’t pour from an empty cup!
  7. Being myself. I honestly never really apologized for this, but I did sometimes feel guilty. When I was in the first grade, my parents attended parent teacher conference day and were told that their daughter was a daydreamer. That I spent more time daydreaming and up in the clouds than I did paying attention to class and to others. She also told my parents to never try to change that because it was special. Well people, nothing has changed! That’s not to say that I don’t work really hard, and focus when I’m at work or home trying to accomplish my goals. However, I tend to say things that are in my head without thinking it through, do really spacey things, forget what I’m doing at any given moment, cannot control my facial expressions AT ALL (if I’m thinking it but not saying it… my face is). This is who I am. I’m not malicious, and I of course always feel bad when someone doesn’t understand me, but I never mean to hurt or harm anyone. I’m just up in the clouds! It took me 30 years, but you know what I’m proud of who I am and I’m no longer apologizing. I’m a dreamer, and sometimes that doesn’t compute with people who’s feet are firmly planted on the ground. This is me and I’m not changing. Never apologize for who you are. Your people, your tribe, your family will get you. The people who don’t, they aren’t for you and that’s ok! If we all realized this I think the world would get along so much better! Let’s accept and celebrate our differences. You are exactly the person you were meant to be. Never say sorry for that.

There is so much freedom when we give up apologizing for everything. I’m not telling you to never say sorry. I will always apologize for hurting someone’s feelings, for letting someone down, or for messing up. Just remember that to live life to the fullest may mean giving up some chores, missing some phone calls, taking 20 minutes to chill out, skipping a shower, saying no to plans, and leaning into who you are!

Let’s spend less time apologizing for who we are mamas and more time celebrating ourselves, each other, and all the ways that make us unique and special! You’re doing an amazing job mama! Never apologize for it.

PPA: What Literally No One Warned Me About

I’m going to start this post by saying that I truly do not want any sympathy. I am merely sharing my experience so that I can spare a future mama from being hit with something they never expected.

Motherhood is amazing. Amazingly beautiful, amazingly trying, amazingly wonderful, and amazingly difficult. I’ve only been a mother for a whopping 3 months and I can already tell you this. I am beyond grateful for my little one, for my pregnancy, and my birth experience. I honestly would do everything all over again, even the 4th trimester (trust me it ain’t no piece of cake).

When I got pregnant I began reading many books on what to expect during pregnancy and what will happen after the baby arrived. My doctors discussed some of these expectations and possibilities at length with me. Towards the end of my pregnancy, and after giving birth to my baby girl, postpartum depression or PPD was constantly brought up. I was screened (although if you ask me a few vague questions don’t really seem like enough to me) and told I wasn’t suffering from any PPD. I knew that wasn’t the case, so this didn’t shock me.

What did worry me was the way I started feeling every night before going to bed since about a week after I gave birth. I would get the baby ready for bed, brush my teeth, say goodnight to my husband and hop in bed. All of a sudden my chest would tighten, my mind would race, and I would feel as tho I couldn’t catch my breath.

I had never dealt with anything like this, but coming from a family who deals with a lot of anxiety, I knew that this is what it felt like.

Why now?! I had literally never dealt with anxiety EVER.

I kept asking myself what I was anxious about. Was I failing already as a mother? Am I already unraveling? Is it the fact that I will have to return to work and leave my baby with someone else 3 days a week? Is it because my husband and my relationship will ultimately never be the way it was before children? Was it all of these things?

I honestly couldn’t pinpoint any reason for it. All I can tell you is that I had no clue where it was coming from or why.

Not a single doctor or person I had come in contact with said anything to me about feeling anxious after the baby. Not one. So I really didn’t know it had anything to do with it.

Many of my girlfriends, and my husband, and family had asked me how I was doing. They said if you have any feelings of depression please talk to them. No one said anything about anxiety. So for a while I said nothing about it.

My husband has been extremely supportive and helpful through my entire pregnancy, and my postpartum journey. He consistently would ask how I felt, and to please talk to him if I felt off in any way.

One night after getting the baby to sleep, I was very overwhelmed with my anxiety. I couldn’t keep this to myself any longer. I went out to my husband and told him how I had been feeling. I said no one said anything about anxiety, they just stressed the signs of depression.

He urged me to google it.

Lowe and behold, PPA popped up. Postpartum anxiety is a very real, very common occurrence. How did no one tell me about it?

From what I was reading online, many women in forums had no idea about it either. Some of these women didn’t even know that’s what they were going through until years later.

I was not alone. This immediately made me feel better, not completely, but better.

I found forums of women discussing their anxieties and what they were doing to treat them. I was encouraged to talk about everything on my mind, and to share it all with a loved one. I found links to get help and seek therapy if it was so severe I couldn’t get through it on my own.

Here is my question: why is this not talked about? Why are we only focusing on PPD when PPA is just as prevalent?

This is why I am talking about it. May is Maternity Mental Heath Awareness month, and I hope that by talking about my own experience I can help someone else in theirs.

If you are pregnant, or a new mama and you ever feel any symptoms that don’t quite fit into the PPD category but you know aren’t normal to you, talk to someone. You are not alone.

PPA is very real. You don’t have to do it alone. Reach out to a loved one, a fellow mama, a therapist, anyone. For me just talking about my feelings has helped tremendously, but that may not be the case for everyone.

Please never feel unworthy of asking for help, and getting it. You deserve it mamas. You give your all everyday for your family. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup!

I hope in the future doctors will open the discussion for not just PPD but anxiety as well and any other postpartum mood disorders not discussed. Until then, it is our duty to help one another out and share our own experiences.

If I can help just one woman know that she isn’t alone, and there is help for her out there, then I am happy.

You are worthy of happiness, you are worthy of help. You are worthy mama. Don’t ever forget it.

Sleep When the Baby Sleeps, Clean When the Baby Cleans: Things I’ve Learned From the First Month of Motherhood

Well it’s been a little over a month since my sweet baby girl was born. Let me start off by saying that I am still brand spanking new at this whole thing, and I am so NOT an expert. That being said, the first month has taught me many things, and I feel it is important to share them with other new mommies and future mothers.

The first month of your baby’s life is how what I would expect bootcamp to be like. You are up at the crack of dawn (or any other hour your baby is), you are constantly working (feeding, changing, bouncing, laundry), and you follow all commands your tiny adorable general gives you or suffer the consequences of ear piercing screams!

Don’t be scared future mamas, because it is also the most amazing time of your life. Yes it’s tons of work, and you will be exhausted; but, you get to bond with the little human you housed for 10 months. There will be lots of smiling, laughter, and adorable, heart melting moments as well that make everything else so worth it!

So let’s get into all that I have learned this past whirlwind of a month!

There No Holy Bible for Parenting:

(image from http://www.scienceofmom.com)

There is sooooo much information out there about parenting it can be overwhelming. There are so many books out there written by parenting experts that all claim to be the book that will teach you all you need to know. There are so many schools of thought on how to care for your newborn, talk to them, respond to their cries, etc. that it may literally leave your overly tired head spinning.

Wanna know why there are so many? That’s because not one of them is the right one. I recommend reading one or two (because too much can drive you nuts) that you feel you can get on board with, and take what you want from them and leave the rest.

Every baby is different, every mother is different, every family is different. How can one book on parenting work for everyone? Do you! Heck don’t read any if you don’t want to, you’ll figure it out!

Nobody Knows What the F They’re Doing:

Seriously. Even the most put together, calm looking mama is winging it.

The general consensus is that we are all just fumbling around, trying to do the best we can. I don’t know a single mother, whether their children are young or grown, who feels like they have all the answers. We’re all just doing the best we can, and hoping we don’t screw up our kids too much in the process.

Welcome to the Club, You Aren’t Alone:

You may feel like you are detached from the rest of the world the first few weeks. Your husband is back to work, all your friends are going about their normal social schedule and posting pics of it on Instagram, and you’re stuck on your couch all day with your baby attached to your boob. You’re gonna have a LOT of questions, and you may feel weird bothering your friends who have been through it before while they’re busy living life.

Don’t worry mama, you aren’t alone. A big thing I read before having the baby was to join mothers groups to make new mom friends once baby was born. So what are you supposed to do the first two months (especially during cold and flu season) when your pediatrician advises you to keep the baby away from crowds and children until they are vaccinated?

Well, no matter how bad of a reputation social media has these days, there are some amazing things that it has created. Mom groups are all over Facebook, Instagram, and baby apps like the Bump, and Baby Center. You literally just have to search for them and book you found your new mommy group!

My favorite for the past month has been the Mama Said Facebook group. This group is for listeners of the Mama Said podcast (if you haven’t heard of it, and you’re a mom, do yourself a favor and listen to it! Thanks for the tip Lew!). It is a group of women who ask any and all questions you may be thinking of about motherhood: breastfeeding, sleep, how to deal with postpartum, bottle feeding, etc., and also talk all about things like mommy guilt and openly confess our (pardon my French) “shitty mommy” moments. Ask a question or share a story, and within minutes I promise you will have supportive uplifting responses. I’m so glad I found this group!

Sleep When the Baby Sleeps, Clean When the Baby Cleans:

I mean how annoying is the age old advice “sleep when the baby sleeps!” Ok Karen… because that pile of dirty laundry, and that sink full of dishes aren’t giving me agita! You can only sleep so many hours during the day and avoid your chores before you run out of dishes and clean underwear.

Yes your husband should help out around the house now that your full time job is baby care; but, odds are he’s working full time too and is also lacking sleep thanks to baby. I’m not gonna lie the first week or so I took naps when baby was napping. You are gonna feel like a truck ran you over that first week. You’re also gonna have lots of family and friends around bringing you meals, and offering to help clean or hold baby for you while you do some chores. Well folks, that gravy train ends and you better be prepared for it!

My biggest piece of advice and what I think has been the most helpful, is go to bed with the baby, and make sure it’s early. Yeah, it’s hard to imagine getting into bed at 7pm when you’re usually up with your husband watching Netflix til midnight… but trust me.

I accidentally started going to bed with her around 7pm the first week we were home because I was so shot from being in the hospital and giving birth. It happened to be a VERY happy accident. I get in bed with her and nurse her to sleep, so she’s usually out by 8pm, and I turn the nightlight out and fall asleep myself. She wakes up about 3-4 times a night, giving me at least 2 hour stretches and according to my Fitbit (I totally recommend wearing one to bed to see how many hours you’re getting) I usually get between 7-9 hours depending on how she sleeps that night.

Babies tend to be up for the day around 6:30-8am, so if I went to bed any later I would probably get about 6 hours or less. By going to sleep when my daughter does, I no longer require naps during the day. I’m not saying I always feel refreshed, because let’s face it interrupted sleep isn’t the most restful; but, I feel good enough during the day to skip naps and get whatever I can done while she’s sleeping.

If you can, give this a shot. Sure you’re not gonna be able to watch that show you’ve been binging with the hubs, and you’ll have less alone time with him for these weeks, but this is just a season. Once baby is sleeping longer you can go to bed at a normal time.

And there you have it folks; all the most important things I have learned over the past month. Like I said, I am no expert mama by any means, but I figured that if I shared some of the knowledge I picked up over the last 5 weeks. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that moms have to stick together and help each other out, especially during the most trying times.

I hope you find this helpful! Would love to hear what you’ve learned as well in the comments. Don’t forget mama you are not alone, and this is only a for a season: a beautiful, crazy, sleep deprived, love filled season I know we’ll all miss.

Letting Go of Plans: My Birth Story

The past few months have been a whirlwind, but they do not compare to the past two weeks. I have left this passion project of a blog unattended, because I was very pregnant, busy, and far more focused on preparing for the little bundle of joy that was to join us!

You see I am a gal who likes a plan. A nice solid plan. This is something that occasionally drives my husband nuts (like when it’s Saturday we have no plans and I get up at 6 am contemplating things to do, and demand he start planning the day with me as soon as he wakes up). I can’t help it! I like to know what I am doing, and what I need to get done.

Nesting hit early on in my second trimester, which was terrible timing because farm life was still in full swing and the husband and I were both working 7 days a week. Come November I had my husband painting walls and building cribs before he had a chance to think otherwise!

Once that third trimester kicked in, I was sure to finish my Hypnobirthing home course, and assign my husband homework and readings from it as well. I wanted to be thoroughly ready for what lay ahead, and my husband had to be too. My birth plan was written, proofread, and had 3 copies printed and strategically placed in different bags just in case by 36 weeks.

In my head I planned that this baby just wouldn’t make it to 40 weeks! She had dropped by week 34 and was 7mm from my bladder and resting her head on my cervix since 37 weeks.

Well I learned pretty quick that planning was about to fly out the door!

The week before my due date I had a routine check. The doctor examined me, told me I was 80% effaced and 1 cm dilated. “From the looks of it you may not make it to your due date, but just in case go ahead and schedule an appointment for that day.” That comment basically gave me the green light on my plans to have this kid before my EDD.

Well then my due date came, and at that appointment the doctor said “OK. Nothing has changed from last week. I would schedule a sonogram for next Friday, and have you scheduled an induction for the 42 week mark yet? Because I think you should just in case.”

This was the beginning of my plans shattering. I walked out of that office with two new appointment cards: one for a sonogram in case my stubborn baby was too big to wait until 42 weeks, and one for an impending induction. My heart deflated and my ego took a big hit. My plans to be a mother by that evening had flown out the window.

I dramatically texted my family saying “No baby, I am just gonna he pregnant forever.” That was the new plan. I even came home and declared it to my husband. “Well since she doesn’t wanna come out, I’ll be induced on the night of February 18th and she’ll be born on the 19th. It’s ok though because I got to pick who will deliver her.”

Well that night our daughter had other plans. After a delicious eggplant parm dinner (a labor induction suggestion from a friend… who knew!), at 12:30 am on February 9th my water broke.

It wasn’t like a scene out of a movie where I immediately went into labor and we rushed to the hospital. I had been sleeping and was actually terrified that the whole loss of bladder control thing everyone had been telling me would happen, had finally occurred. But nope, my water had definitely broken. I phoned the hospital, they told me to wait til 6 am or until my labor had started and I was having good contractions 5 min apart for 1 hour.

At 7:30 that morning my husband and I were rushing out the door to go have our baby girl! I had been having strong contractions every 4 min for 1 min straight for 2 hours by the time we got to the hospital, so naturally my husband and I thought this was gonna be it! I’d be delivering by noon, just like we’d hoped for the past month! An afternoon baby, and lots of naps for the rest of the day! (Hahaha now I can really laugh at that because I’ve lived the new baby hospital life and know that naps are hard to come by there).

The doctor examined me and informed us that my water had indeed broken and she’d be back in a few to check my cervix.

I was so excited! I must be well on my way right? The contractions although pretty painful, and super close at this point were bad, but my hypnobirthing breathing techniques were really helping! I was about to have the all natural, beautiful, non medicated birth I dreamt of!

The doctor then checked me, and informed me that while I was 95% effaced, I was still only 1cm dilated. My water had been broken for almost 9 hours and if I went much longer, the baby and I would both be put on antibiotics because we would be at risk of infection. She suggested I be put on a pitocin drip (synthetic oxytocin) to speed things up.

My birth plan had entailed no pitocin unless necessary… but starting my baby’s life with antibiotics or risking infection outweighed my desire to naturally progress. I agreed, they started my drip, and things certainly sped up. My husband asked me if I wanted to show the doctor my birth plan… I said no that’s ok, confident that I would get the rest of my natural birth!

The first 4-5 hours my breathing techniques worked wonders… but then we entered the transition period. I was about 7-8 cm dilated and the contractions were coming every minute or less, and due to the pitocin were lasting 120 seconds instead of 60 and were super intense. I was in so much pain that I couldn’t breath or relax my body if I tried.

Enter the drugs. I remember looking at my husband who I told “don’t you let me take the epidural”, and pleading with him not to judge me. I knew that if I didn’t take it, I would not have the energy to push this baby out on my own. That mattered to me more than anything. My husband of course supported my decision. What felt like an eternity later, the anesthesiologist showed up and took all the pain away!

After a brief hour long nap, I started feeling a serious pressure and my contractions once again. The doctor checked me, told me I was at 9.5 cm and that she wanted to wait one more hour so the baby could descend a little further on her own. Whelp then she noticed I was feeling my contractions once again, and that the epidural had snapped out of my back! “Ok time to push!” She announced.

About an hour later my little girl was placed into my arms. Our lives were changed forever… and all plans have gone out the window!

We planned to “get some rest” that first night, but as soon as I’d feed the baby, and change her and shut my eyes a nurse would come in to check one or both of us. So we planned on napping the following day, but we were flooded with excited and happy loved ones who came to wish us well.

(Keeping it real:this picture truly captures how exhausted I was the day after giving birth)

It’s been a week and a half since our baby girl was born, and I can honestly say I have woke up everyday knowing full well there will be no planning happening. I’m ok with this now. The only plans I have every day now are to feed, clothe, and give my baby girl all the love she deserves. That is truly the only plan that matters anymore.

Whoever first told me to “plan to throw your plans out”, you were so right. I am so at peace with this idea of a plan free day, because all I really want to do anyway is spend as much time with my girl as I can.

It’s only been 11 days since the birth of my daughter, and time already seems to be speeding by.

Life is just too short to make plans. Instead I will choose to soak up each and every moment I get with my child, so I can cherish them one day when I’m free to plan away again.

Creamy and Simple Butternut and Sweet Potato Soup

It’s finally here! Autumn has officially hit! There’s a crispness to our morning air, the leaves are beginning to change, the days are a little bit shorter, and girls have officially broken out the PSL lattes!

I myself LOVE this season! I love the cooler weather, wearing sweaters, the smell in the air…. but mostly I love the food! The farm stand starts stocking my favorite veggies this time of year. Broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes and winter squash…. one of my absolute favorites being Butternut!

I also have been known to love a good bowl of soup, so having the cool weather as an excuse to whip up a pot of soup on the regular makes me happy! I’ve already made about 3 different soups and it’s only been officially fall for a week now.

Sadly when I first met my husband he proclaimed that he HATED soup. I know! I was just as shocked as you are! How could anyone hate soup?! It’s warm, it’s comforting, filling and it’s flavorful!

This did not stop me from pumping out soup after soup on a mission to change his mind.

Happily, I can tell you that he no longer hates soup. He will eat any soup I give him and he usually asks for more! He does however favor a creamy soup (especially on colder days).

I made this particular soup after a busy day at the farm stand. One of my favorite parts of making soup is how easy it can be! You literally cut everything up, throw it in a pot and walk away. That’s the kind of dinner I can get on board with during this time of year… especially now when I’m working a full time job and helping out at the stand on weekends and I’m 5 months pregnant.

I literally stood at the farm stand after work and saw butternut squash and sweet potatoes and decided to challenge myself to a new soup. I am so glad I did because this one is definitely a new favorite!

Not only is this husband approved, but this one is also sister in law approved as well! She happened to be over for dinner that night and the two of them loved it!

So if you’re not sure to do with our butternut squash and want to try a twist on your usual butternut squash soup recipe, give this one a whirl! It is so simple, very minimal ingredients and SO delicious!

Happy cooking!

1 Butternut squash chopped

2 carrots chopped

2 sweet medium potatoes chopped

1 onion chopped

3 cloves garlic minced

1 tbs olive oil

4 cups veggie stock

1 can coconut milk

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp fresh pepper

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp sage

1/2 tsp thyme

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp chili powder

Optional topping: crumbled bacon…. I usually don’t add it because the soup is delicious on its own but my husband LOVES to!

  1. In a large soup pot heat olive oil and add onion and garlic. Sauté for about 2 minutes or until they begin to sweat (or the onions start to become translucent).
  2. Add the chopped carrots, butternut squash and sweet potato and stir. I like to let it cook for about a minute.
  3. Throw in your spices and stir everything together, again let them cook for another minute so the flavors can really sink into those veggies.
  4. Add you veggie or chicken stock and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil reduce to a simmer and cook for about 25 min.
  5. Add in your coconut milk stir well, and cook for another 5 min.
  6. Place soup in a blender or food processor or use my favorite tool and immersion blender to purée!

Serve it to your family, friends or company and enjoy!

Love and light,

Rachael Krupski

Guilt Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Happy September! It’s hard to believe it’s actually here! Where is this year going?

I can’t say I’m not excited to see September finally arrive. Something magical starts to happen this time of year. The leaves begin to change, the mornings get cooler and quieter, and fall decor and produce kicks into overdrive at the farm (and my house… yes I already have a pumpkin proudly displayed on my table… not even sorry).

As fall quickly approaches (sorry but it’s true!) this pregnant lady has been craving all types of baked goods! Something about fall makes me want to bake breads, cookies, and cakes. I have been trying to keep my diet as healthy and nutrient dense as possible for baby girl Krupski, while allowing myself to give into cravings once in a while.

A few weeks ago we were invited to a dinner party at a friends house, and I decided that was the perfect time to whip up a dessert! Still keeping baby in mind, I chose to make something that was not just yummy but also nutritious… without anyone knowing!

I had been craving brownies and chocolate chip cookies that week, so it made sense to me to try and make something that mixed that warm gooey brownie texture with a chocolate chip cookie flavor! I went to my pantry and gathered my ingredients, threw them into a food processor, and created a delicious batch of Guilt Free Chocolate Chip bars.

My husband was skeptical… as he always is when I make a healthy dessert. He fondly remembers the days of cookies, cupcakes and brownies when we first started dating. He somehow forgets the part where where both gained 20 LBs from all my baking back then. He wasn’t sure a healthy dessert was the right choice to bring to a dinner party.

Well, on the way home (clean cookie plate in hand), he apologized for ever doubting me. They were a hit! Nick even ate 2-3 of them! No one had any idea they were healthy until I revealed my ingredients… and even after that they continued to grab them. I will definitely be bringing them to a party again soon.

These bars came out gooey, soft, and sweet with just the right amount of chocolate flavor. They took 5 min to prep, and 30 min to bake. Best of all, the batter is made entirely in a food processor (or blender) so clean up is a breeze!

Try these bad boys out! Share them with friends and family, and I bet that plate will be clean by the end of the party.

  • Guilt Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
  • Ingredients:
    • 1 can chickpeas
      3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
      1/4 cup pure maple syrup
      1/2 tsp vanilla
      1/4 tsp baking powder
      1/4 tsp baking soda
      1/2 cup chocolate chips

    1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease your baking dish. (I used coconut oil spray in a 13×9 inch pan but u can use a smaller pan for thicker pieces just add more time to bake).
    2. In a food processor add chickpeas, peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla, baking powder and baking soda and combine on high speed until mixture is creamy.
    3. Add the chocolate chips and pulse until they are evenly mixed in.
    4. Spread your batter onto your greased pan and bake for 25-30 min or until the edges begin to pull away from the pan. You can also use the toothpick test to see if they are ready!

    That’s it! I told you they were simple! When I told everyone there were chickpeas in them people were shocked!

    They add a nice serving of protein in this dessert that will help regulate your blood sugar. That’s right, instead of this dessert sending sugar surging through your blood stream, that protein will help to slow the process down and keep your blood sugar much steadier. Just an added bonus to a delicious treat!

    I hope you try these cookie bars out and let me know what you think! Happy baking!

    Love and light,

    Rachael Krupski

    Rainy Day Summer Soup!

    Ok. So, I know it’s summer and all, but I can’t stop craving soup! I have had just about all the salad I can stand over the past few months. Once in a while mama wants a hot tasty comfort meal. My pregnancy cravings seem to sending me in a soup spiral! This baby is all about a comforting bowl of soup these days!

    Luckily, we’ve had quite a few rainy days which I felt justified me whipping up a yummy pot of homemade soup!

    My husband and I have very different views on what a meal should be. I could live on a bowl of soup or 3 a day, and Nick… well to be frank, he’s a soup hater. I KNOW?! Who hates soup? Am I right?

    Well as it turns out, he may be converted! After having a bowl of this summer veggie soup, Nick actually got up for seconds! Not only that but he said “babe are you sure this is healthy?! It’s so good!” Why yes this soup is absolutely 100% healthy, and still 100% Hubby approved. This is a huge win in my book!

    The best part about this soup is it could not be easier to throw together. There are only a few simple ingredients, all of which are in season at the moment. I literally walked around the farm and our farm stand and picked my favorite summer veggies and whipped this baby up. I grabbed a zucchini, yellow squash, onion, potatoes, and of course our famous Krupski Farms white corn (any corn will do though) and got to work! I think I will be making this soup again and again until summer ends!

    Like I said, the recipe is super simple and and quick! Give it a try, and see what you think!

    Prep time: 5 min

    Cook time: 35 min

    Servings: 4-5

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup potatoes chopped
    • 1 medium zuchinni
    • 1 yellow squash
    • 1/2 onion chopped
    • 2 gloves of garlic minced
    • 1 Tbs coconut oil (or EVOO)
    • 5 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
    • 1/4 tsp fresh rosemary
    • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
    • 1 heaping tsp fresh parsley
    • 1/2 tsp turmeric
    • 1/2 tsp chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp paprika
    • Salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1 tsp salt because my stock was unsalted)
      Heat coconut oil in large sauce pan, then add onion and sauté for 1 minute.
      Add garlic to pan and sauté garlic and onion until they both begin to sweat.
      Add potatoes and sauté for another 2 minutes, then add remaining vegetables and all seasoning. Cook for another 2 minutes.
      Pour in the 5 cups or vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Once the soup comes to a rapid boil, reduce to a simmer. Allow the soup to simmer for about 25 minutes then enjoy!

    See! How simple is that?! This soup is healthy, hearty, and so quick and simple to make! It’s a hit in our house and I’m sure I will be making a few more pots before summer is over to freeze for the winter!

    I hope you try this recipe out and enjoy it as much as we do! If you try it, leave me a comment letting me know what you think!

    Happy cooking!

    Love and light,

    Rachael Krupski