Never Felt So Much

So… we had a baby 

We welcomed James Riley Spooner with so much love and joy on May 15, 2017. After 27 hours of labor lots of tears and laughter the baby boy made his debut weighing in at a very healthy 8lbs 5oz and 21 inches long. There are zero words for me to explain the joy and overflowing emotions I felt when he was on my chest and took his first breaths. Jake said to me later “I have never seen you cry so much” to which my answer was I have never felt so much. James is now one month and one week into his journey and I felt the need to share some of the things I have learned, some I was warned about and others well I was totally blindsided. 

1. My emotions are in zero control at the moment. There is no “normal” there is no happy or sad it is quite literally a cluster eff of emotions. 

2. Family is everything. Whether they are your given family or chosen they are everything. I say this including all the advice they give, some we have taken and others, well we haven’t. Our family has been there for midnight calls to talk about pacifiers, mommy guilt (I will address this later) breastfeeding, bowel movements and in general saving me personally from myself. My mom and sister came over today no questions asked when I was in deep, deep, can’t breath crying mode because one thing broke the camels back. My sister-in-law has literally been my Web MD and sounding board since the minute James arrived. So in conclusion- use your family whoever they might be. It’s ok to ask for help. 

3. Everything hurts- you go through thousands of classes to prepare you for birth and only a half an hour is devoted to the actual bringing home and caring for the child. Guess what, even with a long labor and complicated delivery I would say that the aftermath is what you really need to prepare for, both the pain and challenges. Pain is temporary, motherhood, if done right is not. The pain you will be in unfortunately after birth is no freaking joke. Prepare yourself. This is not to scare anyone but it’s the flipping truth and nothing prepared me for that. 

4. Mom guilt- it is sooooo incredibly real. You feel guilt when they don’t stop crying, guilt when you think about work, guilt when you think about yourself, guilt when breastfeeding is not working out for you (by the way your feeding decisions are your and yours alone- no one knows what your situation is. A healthy baby comes with a healthy momma) Guess what? The guilt never ends but how you cope with it is up to you… I’m still learning how to do that. I’m not holding my breath about finding the solutions or cure either. As my friend Courtney said- you know your baby best, stop reading blogs and don’t give a crap about what people say is right or wrong.  

5. Talk. Simply just talk about what you are feeling. I admitted to my sister the other day that the anger I felt towards this tiny human was scary- like grind your teeth anger because I couldn’t figure out what was wrong and the crying was endless. Another news flash- this happens to 99% of moms and it’s totally ok- assuming you put your baby down and walk away when things get overwhelming. 

6. Your body and self esteem will take time. Don’t rush it and don’t force it. Be kind to yourself. 

7. Love your partner. I realize this doesn’t apply to everyone but it does to me. Love on your partner like you never have because they are probably the only one who can semi understand your emotions and your total lack of sleep. They at least in my case will show you the unconditional love everyone in this stage of life deserves. 

8. Take millions of pictures and share them. I don’t care if my baby pics annoy you, if they do unfollow me. I did that to others in the past and it was all because I was in a different place in my life. I get it, I won’t be hurt if you do. This baby boy will overtake my newsfeed and I’m happy about that. 

9. Don’t second guess yourself. Jake keeps telling me to trust my instincts and that I’m doing great. I’m still convincing myself of that. That’s ok 

10. People tell you, you don’t have to choose between kids and a career and I truly don’t think you do but you do however have to prioritize. This morning I broke down with fear of losing my career and sense of self. I worked hard to get where I am at, it took time and perseverance. I still am scared that motherhood has made me lose a bit of my footing. Fact is we all can’t work for companies or people who get it. I work with a lot of people who do which I am so grateful for but I still work for a company… fellow moms will get it. Future moms or those who care to understand- you will not be treated the same before you were a mom or even pregnant. You will feel passed over and rejected at times. You will feel like all your hard work goes up into smoke the minute your out of office is turned on… I’m not saying that is right or ok but the world is a cruel and unfair place. Again, how you react and deal is up to you. If you want both, have both. Be a shark- a momma shark, one who can command a room and have her own ideas and then come home and cuddle and kiss your baby until he falls fast asleep.  

11. Feel everything. Feel his wrinkly fingers and toes and soak them in. Feel happy and feel sad. Feel excited and scared. Feel the guilt. Feel the love your family and friends offer. Feel it all- this time will not last forever. 

This list will most likely be ever-evolving and I may share again but like I mentioned before after a very difficult day I needed to write. Once again I have strayed from a recipe post and well that may not be happening again any time soon because….

12. Meal prep your life away or have your favorite take out on speed dial. Preparing a whole new meal every night? Ain’t nobody got time for that… at least not right now 



I’m no expert on marriage

From time to time I will post something random that has nothing to do with food because I feel strongly compelled to share. Really, I know who most of my readers are and I know there isn’t many of you so you can decide whether or not to read on. In the end this blog is more of a creative outlet and a way for me to stay excited about cooking and how it changes my relationship not only with food but with my family.

My blog in some way always mentions my family because frankly I would be lost without them. They make me the person I am today and they help keep me on track even through the toughest of times. The reason I felt compelled to write today was because I came across an article “Marriage is about what you give- not what you get” and it spoke to me.

Jake and I are embarking on a whole new chapter of life— parenthood!!! In a few short weeks we will welcome a baby boy into our lives and I could not be more terrified and excited at the same time. We are tying up loose ends on a house renovation (again that my family and friends have helped every step of the way) and we are trying to learn as much as possible about being parents, keeping balance, finances and the importance of keeping your marriage at the top of the list. Through this journey I have been so blessed to have a husband who talks to me about everything- there is not one thing he does not know about me or my past- he knows the good, the bad and the ugly. He accepts who I am and I him- no questions asked.

Before we decided to try and start a family we talked- nights on end for hours, on whether or not we were “ready”, how we wanted to raise kids, what is most important to us and what we hope to change and pass down to our kids. Through these talks I learned about Jake’s upbringing and he about mine. I also learned about the sacrifices he made to keep me happy when we were just recently dating, when we moved in together for the first time and through buying our first home. I knew a lot of the things he did for us but there were some that left me speechless.

Jake shared with me that for a few months Jake spent his nights eating “sandwiches” and I use that term loosely because there was rarely anything substantial in between those two slices of bread. He did this not because he didn’t have his dad to help him out if needed but because he was sacrificing to get us to a better place, scraping every penny together to take me to new places and on new adventures. He pawned some of his belongings to pay for gas, he pawned them to pay for school and through it all I never heard a single complaint.

When we were living together I was in a full time job and he went to school full time to really concentrate and only took jobs on weekends or in the early morning to make ends meet. Not once did I hear him say he was tired or hurt. He sacrificed himself to bring us to another level in our relationship. We had a major fight in our first apartment that I for a while thought would be the end of us- I was wrong. At that point I knew Jake would be my one and only but it was my turn to “convince” him. It was my turn to care for him, to put him on the pedestal he deserved to be on since day one.

Our relationship shifted and I picked up more of the slack, not only financially but emotionally. Jake was going through an extremely difficult time dealing with things with his mom (another story for anther day- maybe) and he needed me and he needed my mom at the time to step in- which we did. Jake needed for someone to be on his side no matter what, that is what he needed from me most and that is exactly what I did. Sometimes I did a good job of that and other times I left a lot to be desired. In the end, over the years we learned that our life was about balance- one of us was going to be strong through some days while the other took some time to be taken care of.

Again, I am no expert on marriage- we have only been married for a few years. However, I can say that marriage has taught me that I can still be a strong woman and take care of my husband. Jake can be a caretaker and provider and still need my help. I recently had a conversation with my family about how our society is breeding women who are “alpha females” … and I don’t want to dig into if I agree or disagree but I do want to highlight the fact that because I married someone who gives more than he expects to get and therefore I do the same for him, I can be any kind of woman I want and he can be any kind of man he wants.

Marriage has been about sacrifice, adventure and learning for us. We learn something new about one another nearly every day- sometimes the things we learn are exciting and shocking and other times it is that Jake is newly allergic to bananas. Either way we learn that we continue to give our all to one another and we intend to continue that once Baby Spoon arrives.

I have been open with Jake in my worries that I will begin to put him on the back burner once our baby arrives because of my desire to be a mother. I think just having that conversation has helped us to be aware of what we both need as we move forward in our relationship. If we can talk about our fears and work through them together we can continue to give to each other. This pregnancy has  been a whirlwind- we lost our first baby and that literally rocked our world. We had to learn a whole new way to cope and a new way of communicating about feelings. Now here we are and we have a healthy baby boy on the way (our rainbow baby) and we know our prayers are being answered.

So back to the beginning- marriage is about what you give. Marriage is about falling asleep while you give your partner a back rub after they have fallen asleep. Waking up your partner every morning because you know they hate alarms. Packing a lunch the night before so they can head out the door on time. Setting up the new crib on your own so that you can surprise them when they walk in the door. Marriage is about giving our all even when you feel like you have nothing left to give.



I’m engaged!

I'm engaged!

We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness – and call it love – true love. ~Robert Fulghum, True Love

August 3, 2013

Dia de el amor

Originally posted Tuesday, February 14, 2012
It’s Valentine’s Day- some people either love or truly loathe this day. I used to be on the fence. There are thousands of arguments of why we shouldn’t celebrate this day; we have all heard the Hallmark argument… At the end of the day, I feel like we all fall in to some type of thing that ‘society’ has convinced us to do or not to do. Personally the more you fight it the more you want it and end up giving in or you spend more time hating it in the end and letting it take over your thoughts- so who really wins in that situation?
   Today I got to wake up next to someone I care about, I got to enjoy this day and not worry about how much money I had to spend to make him happy or how much he spent on me- I didn’t worry if my make up was smeared when I woke up or if my pajamas matched and looked perfect, and the best part about it all is that I get to do that EVERY morning. I honestly think that everyone has the capability of doing that. Whether we let ourselves do that or get to that…well that is on us.
   I think the most important thing to take away from a day like this is to realize that it shouldn’t take Valentine’s Day to tell someone you love them. That should come naturally. Love shouldn’t be forced. Love should just happen when it’s supposed to. Love doesn’t have an equation or a perfect solution and sometimes it doesn’t work out and sometimes it’s the hardest thing that you will deal with through out your day, week, month or even year.
My thoughts… 
The best love affairs should last a lifetime.
The bad ones typically fade out.
Sometimes we get stuck dealing with the bad ones for too long.
A lot of times we don’t even realize we are even in a ‘bad one’
Not every relationship you should care about most should be with a significant other.
Just because you are single doesn’t mean you can’t be in love.
The great thing is that we can always move on to the best love affair of all time, no matter how old or young you are. (I have seen proof of this)
“Everyone says that Love hurts, but that is not true. Loneliness hurts. Rejection hurts. Everyone confuses these things with Love. In reality, Love is the only thing in this world that covers up all the pain and makes us feel wonderful again”
   I know that not all love and relationships are perfect and I don’t pretend to be in a perfect one or know the keys to have one or where to look for one or how to be perfect for someone else, but I can continue to be me and see where that gets me. I will do that on Valentine’s Day and every day of the year. 
  I will love and I will tell those who I love that I do everyday because you just never know when they will stop listening or when they won’t be able to or when you won’t have the opportunity to tell them anymore.

Three words. One meaning. Endless possibilities.




On a snowy day

Originally posted January 11, 2012

Right now,
I just want someone to…
kiss my forehead and tell me…
how lucky they are…
to have someone like me…

As the snow falls down around me so does my outlook on this day and my attitude. I have been trying to keep my head up and see the light beyond all the darkness. People say that if you just keep on smiling that after awhile it becomes a true smile… that just hasn’t happened yet and I am not really sure how long I am supposed to wait. I guess today I feel like giving up. I know tomorrow will be different, I know tomorrow will bring new things, but today I just want to feel sad, today I just maybe need to feel sad. Sometimes I think you just need that.
I’m tired of trying things that just don’t work. I’m tired of being tired.

Deep breaths. Smile