The Positive Stories We Live

Do you ever read a post and go, “uh huh,” or “yep,” or “mmmm…maybe?”  Do you ever find yourself wanting to expand more on a subject in your own blog or life?

I read this post by Katie, and as I read it, the first words that came to mind were, “no kidding.”  It brought up memories of students coming back to my desk for the final (or mid-term) oral exam and telling me, “I’m going to fail.”  Most of the time, I’d respond, “If you think you will, you will, but you have a choice.  What do you want to do with the exam?  What grade do you want?”

Sometimes a student would pause, and put forth solid answers.  Sometimes a student would give blank answers.  Ultimately, the students made their own choices.

In honor of Katie’s post and another Katie’s Feel Good Friday series, I thought about my own life, the positive stories I’m living, and some of the stories I need and want to change.  Instead of sharing the “I want to change” and “I’m working on changing” stories, here are the stories that I’m living that bring me joy, that have positively impacted my life, and that have taken patience and courage to make reality.

  • I can cook good, healthy, flavorful food and meals that my family enjoys. (This was birthed out of a desire to learn innately how to cook, which challenged me for many, many years.  Today, my family enjoys my food and requests meals again.  Recipes are often original and I cook intuitively while using references for support.)
  • I am able to rest and nap. (In the past, I struggled with resting.  I was always on the go in some manner.  Now, I’m okay with resting, with snuggling under a blanket, with sleeping in.)
  • I am my own Me-Mom.  (In other words, I’m Me.  I’m Me as a Mom.  I’m my own person as a Mom.  You get it, right… I’m trying to write this in the positive sense.)
  • I am a strong and healthy swimmer. (I am working toward a 4k set again, and my stroke and breathing have improved greatly.)
  • I make time for me, just me, during the day. (Oh… it’s a challenge some days, but yes, I do… mostly.)
  • I am grateful for my marriage, my family, and my life. 
  • My husband and I work together well and communicate positively.
  • I respect the subtleties of my husband, and let him have the peace and quiet he needs. (That’s a better choice than jabbering and being impatient.)
  • I understand what my daughter is saying. (Even on those, “huh?” moments, I really tune in and do my best to understand what she is saying so I can be there for her.)

Your turn…

What positive stories are you living?  What are you embracing to make yourself and your life the best you and it can be?

The Terrible (or Terrific) Twos

Is your child in the terrible (or terrific) twos?  How do you perceive this age and growth experience?

Susanna seemed to enter the land of the twos at 18 months.  Nearly all of the common markers were present, and even her Grandma E laughed at it.  We decided she’ll either be in the growth period extra long, or pass through it a bit early…or some other variation.

As we sat eating dinner one night, with the twos in full force, I said to Scott, “toddlers with opinions.”  He countered with, “toddlers will object.”

We continued this for quite a while, and came up with the following two anagrams to describe the age, the possibilities, the beauty of words, and perhaps some survival methods, too.

  • Toddlers With Options
  • Toddlers Wear Overalls
  • Toddlers Wiggle Octopi
  • Toddlers Wander Optimistically
  • Toddlers Wish Openly
  • Toddlers Wash Outdoors
  • Timmy Was Outrageous (Scott describing himself as toddler…not much has changed!)
  • Toys Wear Out

The chat brought us much laughter and helped to shift how we perceive and approach this age of wonder, of choice, and of growth.

What describes the twos to you?  What survival tips or hints would you offer to others with a a two-ful toddler?

The Flavor Bible Impact

Are there any books that you truly, deeply cherish?  Have any books made a lasting impact on you?

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m in love with The Flavor Bible.  Before being introduced to it subtly on another blog, I adored baking but despised cooking.  Cooking was intimidating to me.  It was for the skilled people, I thought.  I also thought, my taste buds are way too picky to ever cook.

However, I’ve chosen to embrace cooking and the The Flavor Bible has helped my confidence, my sense of food and cooking intuition, and my ability to push beyond some of the biggest challenges of my life (cooking, cooking with meat, and understanding flavors).

I should pause and note that this is a post of my own free will.  Nothing sponsored. Just sharing a book in more depth that has made a huge impact on our family and my own life.

So, what makes the book so special and why has it impacted me as it has, or how?

  • The format. The book is a list of pairings with other notes.  It calls for one to be responsible and to learn.  Yet, it’s incredibly easy to follow and almost addicting.
  • The stories.  Culture and connections are key to my heart.  The Flavor Bible is more than a list of pairings and other information.  Some of the best chefs in the country share the stories of their recipes, their likes, their challenges, etc.  It’s food and people at their best combined.
  • The format part 2. It’s easy to look at a single ingredient or food item and plan a meal around it. Ever have something left over in your fridge or pantry and wonder what to do with it?  The Flavor Bible provides a wonderful jumping off point for creating a meal.

The Flavor Bible has helped me to become more confident in my food preparation.  I’ve learned to take chances with it.  In turn, the meals that I’ve made and continue to make are better in flavor, taste, texture, etc. for my family. With success comes more desire to try more.

In trying more, I return to The Flavor Bible.  Sometimes I just check in.  Sometimes I read a story I’ve read over and over.  Sometimes I look at pairings and go, “hmm, yeah one day, maybe….”  Sometimes I think, “maybe if I had the guts…. or the money….”

For me it’s about creativity.  It’s about expansion and growth.  It’s about a quality resource that has proven itself to be trustworthy time and time again.  The impact on myself and my family makes it a book worth having and sharing.

What in your life is worth sharing with others?  What are your favorite foods, pairings, flavors, etc?  Do you or have you ever struggled with cooking or baking?