Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Posts that Never Happened

There were a few posts that I hoped to write this last week, and they just didn't happen. When Charles has an easy, off-service rotation (like now), and the weather is easy breezy (except when it is thunderstormy), my time is spent playing outside, sitting on the deck, making more hands-on dinners, and, well, not on the computer.

I decided that rather than let these ideas rot in my head until they are no longer relevant, I'd just give you little summaries of the posts that were not meant to be. (And let's be real -- it's probably better that way!) (And, after taking 4 days to hit publish, this is all last week's news, but oh well!)

On Gwyneth Paltrow, Groceries, and Food Philosophy

I thought very seriously about attempting the SNAP grocery challenge, but decided against it for several reasons. The most pressing being that I thought it seemed silly to buy food that I wouldn't normally buy to fit the no food you already have aspect of the challenge. I've got stuff at home that I plan on using up/defrosting this week thankyouverymuch.

Instead, I spent about $70 on a small trip to the grocery store, mostly for fresh produce and dairy. I forgot one item; I splurged on a couple of others; I'll probably have to buy more whole milk because kids. Combined with what I already have on hand, we'll have 5-6 dinners, as well as daily breakfast, lunch and snacks.

As a family, we choose to spend what we need on groceries. I pay attention to prices. I have a freezer full of "stock up" stuff. But because I firmly believe that careful meal planning reduces our overall food bill/budget by minimizing waste and limiting eating out to times that we plan to eat out, we consider grocery expenses a "necessary evil." And we're blessed to be in a position to do so.

More importantly, though, I think the real impact of all of the brouhaha over Gwyneth's "attempt" at the challenge and the discourse that has followed, is that how we think about food is as important as how much money we have to spend on food.  People want to eat the way they know to eat. Some expect fancy dinners, certain preparations, or lots of limes. Others, like most of the (generally educated and religious) moms I've seen share their thoughts on this, are closer to my food philosophy: as much fresh (and frozen) produce as possible, meat, dairy. Real food, but family food: fewer frills or specialty ingredients, but generally healthy and economical. Still others don't know much besides highly processed food and sugary drinks, and use their food budgets accordingly. 

None of that solves the very real problems of hunger, food insecurity, and climbing rates of diet-contributed lifestyle diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, but I think awareness is key. We need to understand problems before we can really solve them.

On Infertility

Last week was Infertility Awareness Week. Everything posted at Mama Needs Coffee on the subject was brilliant, but I had wanted to express some thoughts of my own.

While I am blessed to have not experienced infertility, I have seen people I love struggle to get pregnant and stay pregnant. I have prayed and cried and rejoiced at their sides. I am the product of infertility. It took years for my parents to get pregnant with me, and almost five more years before my sister was born.

But also, I am human, meaning I've said the wrong thing and done the wrong thing, too. I'm sorry for that. But what I've never stopped doing is loving the people that I love through it all. And I think that is true of most people who share my experience, feeling powerless as we watch our friends or loved ones ache. That, I'm sure, is the source of too many ill-advised but well-meaning comments. Anyway, if anyone reading this is or has been in that situation, please know you're loved and prayed for, even when those who love you make knuckle-headed comments.

Birthday Boy

Just a preview for now, because I'll get around to posting more pics from Peter's birthday . . . eventually!

Because that face! OMGosh!

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