Well, as Charles Dickens once wrote, the past four months have been the best of times and the worst of times. I last posted in September just prior to a two week vacation to the Redwood Coast of California. It was a wonderful two week break from responsibility. We had rented a beautiful house for the two weeks we were there, where we got to take lots of walks and Liesl got lots of beach time at her favorite beach.
The area where we stayed has a second and third growth redwood forest. It is so beautiful and peaceful there. These trees are so huge and it is awe-inspiring to think of the periods of history over which they have stood as witness.
I enjoyed the time up there and spent a lot of time cooking, reading and stitching. It was true blessing. However, we were coming back to a bigger blessing and a week of wedding festivities and activity for my son's wedding the following weekend. I was so excited because I was getting an amazing new daughter-in-law that I love so much. They have been together for six years, and I just love her. She has the sweetest personality, a great sense of humor and is just a great all around person. I was so excited about the wedding, which was held at a local golf resort on such a beautiful day.
The bride and groom both have a goofy sense of humor as you can see by their cake topper. The wedding was totally "them" and was one of the best weddings I have ever been to. I was just so happy.
Between the vacation and the wedding I was feeling really happy and looking forward to the holidays. However, three days after the wedding, on a totally normal day, after a totally normal dinner, I was getting ready to go to bed, and my partner said, "Oh, hey, by the way, I signed the lease on an apartment today and I am moving out this weekend." At the time, I was heartbroken and in shock, but thanks to God, family and friends, I feel like the worst is now behind me. I have decided to change my perspective of this situation and now see it as an opportunity for my own growth.
2018 has been a year of loss and change. The loss of my mother in June has brought me a fuller awareness of life being finite and that I really need to step up to taking responsibility for my health. A few days after his announcement, I weighed myself for the first time in years and I was shocked!!! I could not believe the numbers I saw. At that time, my appetite was pretty diminished, but I made a decision that I was going to buy the healthiest food possible going forward and I was going to make myself a priority. I had been progressing away from eating meat for some time. I just found that I did not like the texture anymore. I still eat fish and dairy, but mostly my diet is vegetarian. I have removed most sugar and alcohol from my diet, too. I did indulge during the holidays, but did not go crazy. I am proud to announce that I have lost about 20 lbs since mid October, without really trying. I focus on the one pound ahead of me, and then the next. I have lost one pound twenty times.
I am actually loving my diet now, although I do not think of it as a diet. I feel better than I have in years, and my bad cholesterol has dropped 20 points! I start my days with a strawberry, banana and orange juice smoothie, which I sip on my commute to work. For some reason, it makes me really happy. I have also become the queen of meal prep. I cook on the weekends, packing pretty containers of food from recipes that I come across during the week. Mostly, I do this for lunches, but pack extra for dinners for nights that I am too tired when I get home to cook.
I get all sorts of recipes from Eating Well, All Recipes and Tasty on Facebook. I get really excited about them and look forward to my exotic lunches. I have a lot of variety in my meals and I am having so much fun preparing. In addition, several people at work love our Instant Pots and exchange meatless recipes that are tried and true. I am having a lot of fun with food. Last week, the words, "Oh, my gosh, I made the best quinoa dish for lunch" actually left my lips. LOL
I decided early on with this situation that forgiveness was going to be critical for my own peace going forward. I walked through a lot of sadness early on in this situation, but I did not walk alone, I had people who love me hold my hand through this journey. I am grateful that I had the relationship we had and for the good times. Within a couple of weeks, he apologized and asked to reconcile but a reconciliation is not something I can consider right now after all that occurred. But I do wish him peace and happiness.
For right now, I have big plans, including a plan for my garden this year. I am so excited and need to start ordering tomato seeds! If you are on the hunt for heirloom tomato seeds, this is the catalog for you!
Happy New Year!