Kimberly Peil

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Mother of Mine

In Uncategorized on October 10, 2013 at 7:40 pm

I’ve done a pretty good job of mentally blocking out the existence of my mom over the past 22 years.  However, now I’m a mom with a 3 and ½ year-old girl who is full of curiosity, full of questions.  “Who is your mommy?  Where is she?  Why did she leave you?  She wasn’t a very good mommy, was she?”  Ugh. Emotions are a bitch– and so is my mom.

Perhaps it is like the death of a loved one. At first, it’s shock and disbelief. Are they really gone? Then you begin to accept the truth and mourn the loss. You ask God all kinds of crazy questions, expecting some answers that will numb the pain. But no answers come.

Months turn into years and pain turns into anger and resentment. Instead of a mom who is at home raising me, I get a freakin’ card from her once a year. This person who birthed me actually takes the time to write me.  She’s in drug rehab once again. Her boyfriend overdosed and died on the bathroom floor in front of her. The cops picked her up for the umpteenth time. I’m 10, and this is the kind of birthday card I get. She doesn’t even ask how I’m doing. I hate this selfish woman.

But in reality, the pain started long before my mom ever left. Sure, there were times when she was kind and fun and loving.  But unfortunately, the bad memories outnumber the good.

My mind is plagued with memories of my mom snorting cocaine on our living room coffee table and having sex with random men. Of being left home alone with my baby brother when I was only four years old. I remember being given mini bottles of Irish cream at the age of five. “Don’t tell your Dad. It’s our little secret.” And every five-year-old girl has talks with her mom about sex, right? You know, the one where your mom tells you all about it and then encourages you to have it with whomever you like, whenever you like. And so that was a mom to me.

I still remember the day she finally, truly left.  I can see her standing in the doorway of our house.  She had come to pick my brother and me up for visitation. She had her latest boyfriend sitting in the car. The alcohol on her breath stung my nostrils. My Dad told her that there was no way she was driving me and my brother to her house, 2 hours away, with some random man in her car and alcohol on her breath. I remember her crying, petting my hair as I clung to the stair railing. She turned and left in the dark. I didn’t know I wouldn’t see her again for 15 years.

And so these are the memories that get pushed back up to the surface as I tread cautiously through this journey of motherhood. I know I will never be the horrible mother that my mom was, and yet somehow I never feel good enough. I feel myself getting caught up in stupid battles within my own heart. 

Do my children have amazing manners? Can I make it through the grocery store without W biting E? What do I do when he does bite her and pulls her hair? What will people think of me when I let my toddler decide whether or not she wants to wear a coat when it’s 30 degrees outside? What will people think of me if I don’t send my child to preschool full-time? Really, none of this has to do with what kind of mother I am– only with what others’ perceptions are of me as a mother.

And I get caught up in this image of what society tells me I should be concerned about. I’ve tried my best to forget where I came from. I try to pretend like I’m someone else. I’ve got it together.

In reality, I’m human. I’m hurt. I’m broken. I may not have it all together, but I do love my children fiercely. And even that sometimes gets criticized too. “Why don’t you leave your children with somebody longer? Why do you have them with you ALL THE TIME? Why are you so attached to your children?” When you’ve been through what I’ve been through, the last thing you want to do is let go of your children.  You know how badly that hurts.

I’m not perfect. Nobody is. Thank God for his grace and understanding. Maybe being slapped in the face with questions about my mom is just what I need. I need that reminder of where I came from. I need that reminder of what a truly terrible, awful mother is. Because while it brought me a lot of hurt, it has also helped me to become the person I am today– a better mom.

I know I won’t get it right all the time. But I do know that this is what God has destined for my life. And so instead of beating myself up for not being able to afford preschool or only spending $30 on each kid at Christmas, maybe I should look at the bigger picture. I am here for my children 100%. I am present. I love them deeply. I am focused on them. I will NEVER leave them.

I am so thankful that God is constantly working on my heart and helping me to grow. I never knew how much this journey of motherhood would transform my life. And I will constantly be working out the kinks. But for today, I am going to work on being the best mother to my two children that I can be. 

That doesn’t mean giving in to society’s demands and standards. That means unashamedly being the crazy-in-love mom that I am. That means shrugging off other people’s comments who don’t understand, who don’t know where I came from. That means listening to God and not to what others might perceive is going on in my life.

And so to E and W:
 I will always try my best. I won’t be perfect, and I hope you can forgive me. And know that where I can’t fill those holes, God will. I will quit trying to conform to society’s standards of what a mom is. I will give myself grace so that you, in turn, can feel more peace. And I know that even though I can’t hold onto you forever, I will hold on to you for now. And I will slowly let go and trust God so that you can one day grow up and become strong, healthy adults.

 

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The Dinner Club

In Uncategorized on August 29, 2013 at 8:05 pm

For a while now, I have been thinking about a way that I can share my passion for health, food, and cooking with others.  I’m not looking to make money off of it.  I just want some people to share the passion with.  I love when I can get together with my friends and just talk food and recipes.  So today I had a “duh” moment.

Back in LA, like forever ago, my friend Irene and I had a little cooking club.  It wasn’t anything complex.  Everyone brought a dish to share and we just hung out.  But today I was thinking that I needed to take that to the next level.  My cooking and my passion for food and nutrition have certainly grown.  And I know I have several friends out there that share that same passion… or maybe you just have a curiosity at this point. 🙂  Whatever level of food and nutrition knowledge you are at, I just want to get together and share it with a few good friends.  And this is where I would like to begin my Dinner Club at.

You are cordially invited to:

Kimberly’s Dinner Club
Where: My house, Beaverton
Requirements: Bring a dish to share, print out your recipe, and come over for a time with just the girls.  

I’m thinking once a month, 7:00 PM.  And we can have a general food topic to discuss.  It’s always great to get insight from each other!  And then the rest of the time we can just eat, have a glass of wine, and hang out.

So I’m hoping there are a few of you out there who would like to join me!

 

Israeli Couscous Salad with Golden Beets, Cranberries, and Goat Cheese

In Uncategorized on July 17, 2013 at 9:55 am

Anybody that knows me knows I love food.  And while I can cook, I rarely deviate from the recipe at hand.  However, I had made this Israeli Couscous salad before, and something was just a bit off about it.  Plus, I had picked up some beautiful golden beets at the farmer’s market and needed something to do with them.  Am I the only one that likes beets totally plain and by themselves?  Well, apparently in my house I am.

So Sunday night I decided to alter the recipe myself (gasp!).  And it turned out perfect!  So I thought I would jot it down and share it before I forgot all those wonderful changes that I made.  

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Israeli Couscous Salad with Golden Beets, Cranberries, and Goat Cheese

3 Golden Beets, washed and trimmed
1 1/2 cups Israeli Couscous
3 cups water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
4 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled
3 cups mixed greens
1/3 cup red wine vinaigrette (recipe to follow)
freshly ground pepper, to taste

Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Wrap beets in foil. Roast until a metal skewer inserts easily through them, about 50 minutes.  

While beets roast, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add couscous and toast, stirring often, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes; stir in cranberries. Cover and continue to cook 5 minutes, or until couscous is tender and all liquid has been absorbed. Transfer couscous to a large bowl and let cool slightly. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette dressing.

Remove beets from foil and let cool until warm and easy to handle. Slip off skins and cut into bite-size pieces.  Gently toss beets into prepared couscous.

To serve, place 1 cup mixed greens on plate.  Spoon couscous onto mixed greens. Top with goat cheese. Spoon the remaining dressing over salads and season with pepper. 

Red Wine Vinaigrette 
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Whisk vinegar, honey, lemon juice, and salt together.  Gradually whisk in olive oil.  Add pepper to taste.

 

She’s Three!

In Uncategorized on February 28, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Before I even see her sleepy, smiling face, I hear the footsteps of my little girl running down the hallway.  And from around the corner she shouts, “Tell me happy birthday, Mama!”  I can’t help but laugh, because that is so her.  Outgoing, happy, full of joy, and always getting the first word in.

Then, as we are getting ready to go out, she declares, “I have to wear my birthday hat, Mom.  It’s my birthday!”  I don’t mind.  I’ve gotten used to her reeling in the attention.  But today she decided she was going to command it.  She proudly announced to people that it was her birthday and she was turning three.  Whenever someone would say happy birthday or remark about how cute she was, she would exclaim, “Thanks!”

And then in the car she replaced the words to many of her favorite songs so that it would fit her special day.  “The sun goes down, the stars come out, and all that counts is my birthday party.”  I start laughing.  Then I start crying.  She just brings so much happiness and silliness wherever she goes.

And there’s a sweet and compassionate side to her too.  If I get hurt, she is the first one to run to my side and start praying.  Yes, praying.  “Thank you, Jesus.  And thank you for Mommy and her elbow.  Make it better, Jesus.  And thank you for all we pray. Amen.”  Prayer?  Hadn’t crossed my mind.  Thankfully it has crossed hers.  And then she tops it off with a kiss.

My little girl turns three today.  I can’t say that I’m sad.  Watching her grow has brought me so much joy over the past three years.  Each stage brings more excitement, more blossoming of her personality.  I know someday I’ll be sad, but today I’m excited.  I’m excited to celebrate with my little girl; excited to see her turn into the girl that God has destined her to be.

I tried to imagine this life of being a mommy for several years.  But the truth is, the reality far outweighs my wildest dreams.  Sure, it’s tough work.  Sure, there is craziness in every day.  But there is nothing better than taking care of this sweet little girl every day, loving on her, and just being with her.  

Ella Rose, you are the joy in my every day.  You are my sunshine.  I see what true, unconditional love is through you.  And as you often tell me, “You’ll always be my baby girl.”Image

Weston’s Birth Story and a Change of Heart

In Babies and Such, Uncategorized on June 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Here it is, three months later, and I am finally getting around to writing Weston’s birth story!  Two children keep me busier than I ever thought possible. But somehow things aren’t quite as shocking the second time around,  even though my children are very different… and their birth stories are extremely different.

I entered week 38 of my pregnancy with great anticipation but also with great fear.  It was still early, I told myself, as the midwife checked me and told me that I had made no progress whatsoever.  She couldn’t even strip my membranes. Ugh.  I was desperate to have a natural birth.  Scared to death of another C-section.  Fearing the prolonged recovery and the six months of unexpected post-partum depression.  I had been praying all along for a different outcome, but sometimes it is easy to get side-railed and forget to continue putting our trust in God.

And so I went home during week 38 and moped around.

Another check-up with the midwife at week 39 showed the slightest progression, but nothing to get too excited about.    At least she tried to strip my membranes.  Here’s hoping, I thought.  I still had to make an appointment with an OB though, to go over my plans for a “potential” follow-up C-section, because apparently the docs didn’t have much faith in me either.  It was frustrating putting a date on the calendar.  I pushed it out two weeks past my due date.  Ella was 10 days late.  I could handle two weeks, worst case scenario.

Weston’s due date, March 2nd, came and went.  Somehow I knew it would.  But on that day I found renewed strength and really rededicated myself to trusting God through this whole situation.  And then on March 3rd the contractions began!

They were on and off.  I was determined to make sure they continued. Squats, walking, squats, walking.  Every time I’d sit down, they’d stop.  And so late into the night I continued moving and the contractions kept coming.  I had never experienced this with Ella.  I never went into labor on my own.  I was excited that my body was doing what it should be this time around!

And so at about 4 am we decided to make the trip into the hospital.  I didn’t think my contractions were strong enough, but I was pretty sure my water was leaking, and so I became a little nervous.  At only 3 cm, they admitted me, because that’s what hospitals do when you have had a previous C-section.  You feel like they are steering you in that direction again.

But God knew what we needed.  He gave me the most awesome nurse who encouraged me to do things just the way I wanted.  She drove people out of the room that weren’t on board, and brought people in that would help.

At around 2 PM I hit a wall.  I hadn’t eaten in hours and hours, I was at 7 cm, and my water had been broken.  I gave in to the epidural.  Not that taking away pain is such a bad thing, but I was terrified that an epidural would just lead me down the road to another C-section.  And a few hours later the doctor came in, checked me, and put worry in my heart.  I was only 8 cm.  He began going over the next possible “steps.”  In other words, I wasn’t progressing fast enough and they potentially saw another C-section on the horizon.

My damn epidural wasn’t even working!  I cried.  I wanted to hit something, somebody.  All this for nothing?  Well, they amped up my epidural and I fell asleep for a few hours.

When I awoke the nurse checked me and said I was at 9.5 cm!  I think I was just too exhausted to continue without a little rest.  They turned off my epidural, and a few hours later I was pushing.  1 1/2 hours of pushing, and I ushered the most beautiful baby boy into this world. 9lbs 5 oz of pure joy.

I carried so much bitterness inside of me for the past two years over the fact that I had a C-section with Ella.  I was mad at my body for not going into labor on its own.  I was mad at the doctors and nurses for pushing me down the path that they did.  I was disappointed that I wasn’t strong enough to take a stand and refuse those steps.  And once I gave birth to that little boy, something inside of me changed.

I look back now on Ella’s birth and I no longer have bitterness.  I can see that she is absolutely perfect and wonderful.  While I don’t agree with the overuse of drugs and the outrageous number of C-sections that are performed these days, I no longer feel like a failure. I realize that she is not messed up from 56 hours of Pitocin and the subsequent C-section.  She is an incredibly smart, loving, and outgoing girl.  I think I learned that what really matters is what I put into her life both before and after that day of birth.

And I am so thankful that I was able to experience birth both ways, oddly enough.  If I am blessed enough to do it again, I would absolutely choose the natural route.  I believe that is what God intended for us, when circumstances aren’t extreme.  I am thankful though for the progress in medicine that allowed me to give birth to my 10lb 4 oz baby girl via C-section, when she just wouldn’t come on her own.

I feel like God brought me a whole lot of healing though Weston’s birth.  And not because I didn’t have a repeat C-section.  It’s actually seeing that no matter what way my babies arrived into this world, they have both been a little stubborn, bad sleepers, and very active and awake… ALL the time!  But it doesn’t matter, because they are both here and even on the roughest of days (which is about every other), I wouldn’t trade them or their birth stories for the world.  I have grown tremendously through each experience.  I have learned to put my trust in God and be a little more humble.  God is in control.  And what my children really need to know about their birth stories is that they are loved deeply, no matter the circumstances.

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February 28th, 2010, Ella Rose enters the world.

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And she changed my world for the better.

And then…

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On March 4th, 2012 Weston Hunter joined our family!

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And my amazing little boy made my life that much better.

Aging and the Beautiful Baristas

In Babies and Such, Health, Uncategorized on May 22, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Wow.  I haven’t written in FOREVER.  I guess having a baby is a pretty good excuse.  I still need to write about Weston’s birth story, but I’m not feeling it tonight.  I’m not exactly feeling all happy and gushy right now. Especially after he only napped a combined total of 2 hours today, and it took two hours to get him to sleep.  I really thought I was going to get a good napper the second time around.  No such luck.  So onto getting old…

Getting old has really snuck up on me.  I look around our apartment at pictures of me when I was 22 or 25, and I think, why don’t I look like that anymore?  It wasn’t that long ago.  But I feel ancient.

Yesterday I hit up the Black Rock drive-thru for my much-needed latte.  Here is this cute little barista with cute hair and cute makeup.  Here I am in my yoga pants, no makeup, and horribly grown out hair pulled back into a fro-tail.  She is perky and looks well rested.  I think, why don’t I look like that?  Well, she is probably 16, so I’ve got like 13 years on her.  Plus she probably wasn’t up several times last night, nursing a two-month old, while her two-year old is sandwiched between her and her husband, kicking her in the back.  I’ve got excuses, right?

It’s cute girls like this that have me obsessing over the Groupon deal for 20 units of Botox for $99.  Or watching the Dr. show and wondering if that butt lift tape could really help.  Of course, it doesn’t really matter.  The only people that see me these days are the grocery store clerks who work in the middle of the night, and the kind friends who schedule play dates with me occasionally.  Poor husband.  He’s really the only one I want to look good for.  And on the off chance that I am able to put on makeup that day, it is already a smeary mess by the time he gets home.

Having two children makes everything nearly impossible.  Grocery store, forget it.  I tried a few times.  Weston screaming in the Moby, bashing his head into my collar bone.  Ella being her cooperative self, but how on earth do I manage to get her in and out of our car, in and out of the shopping cart?  How do I keep everybody’s hands off of her, while Weston is screaming and head bashing.  Ugh.

Negative Nancy.  I know things will get better.  They always do.  I feel fat, but I guess I just had a baby 2 months ago.  I say 2 months, but now I am bordering 3.  I feel like once I have to say 3 months, then I have no excuse for being a sorry slob.  I’m sick of wearing baggy maternity jeans.

I’m working on it though.  Honestly.  Whitening the teeth, planning to tan, hair appointment on the books, and I should have a jogging stroller by June.  And a month of Extreme Bootcamp to look forward to– to kick my butt into shape.

Is this achievable again?  I hope so.

Due Date

In Uncategorized on March 2, 2012 at 11:03 am

Today is my due date.  I can’t really say I am surprised that baby boy isn’t here yet.  After all, Ella was 10 days late!  And unlike my pregnancy with Ella, I am not nearly as impatient this time around.  I’ve gained 20 less pounds and I feel pretty good overall.  Honestly, the only thing I fear is going two weeks late and having to succumb to a dreaded repeat c-section.  I just want to go into labor on my own!

I know everyone’s experience and memories surrounding a c-section are different.  Am I thankful that my baby girl is here, despite the unplanned circumstances?  Of course.  Would I do it again if it meant having the amazing and healthy little girl that I have?  In a heartbeat.  So I know that a lot of people don’t understand the fear I have of a repeat c-section.  I don’t know if I could ever successfully describe the fear, failure, and pain that I have associated with the c-section.  I don’t know if anyone can really understand unless you’ve been there.  And even then, your experience might have been different than mine.

What I do know is that it is not a mistake that I can conceive a child.  It is not a mistake that I make “big” babies.  I believe that God will not give me more than I can handle.  I believe that He created my body to give birth.  I am only frustrated with the timelines and due dates that doctors put on pregnancy.

And so today I choose to focus on the good.  I choose to focus on God’s promises.  And I choose to relax and enjoy my day with my sweet Ella, because I know our days alone together are limited.

Psalm 37:5- Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

Isaiah 26:3- You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Psalm 40:1- I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.

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Frozen Meals

In Health, Recipes, Uncategorized on February 8, 2012 at 7:57 pm

I am hoping that we might get a few meals from friends and family after our baby boy arrives, but if I feel anything like I did with Ella, I won’t want to cook for a few weeks.  So in preparation, I have been making and freezing a few meals.  So far I have two lasagnas and four soups frozen.  I am still hoping to make a couple chicken enchiladas as well.  I thought I would share these two soups, because they are AMAZING!  They have made it into our regular rotation.

Salmon and Creamed Corn Chowder

This has no cream, but is somehow still creamy and good!

Cajun Kale Soup with Andouille Sausage

I don’t know if a soup gets healthier than this.  Kale, Brown Rice, Bell Pepper.  And I use Chicken Andouille Sausage to keep it lean.

So I made double batches of each of these, because I love them that much.  I am 36 weeks and 6 days!  Here’s to hoping baby boy comes  just a little early.

Third Ultrasound

In Uncategorized on February 3, 2012 at 8:15 pm

We got to see baby boy again last Monday!  35 week ultrasounds are not a normal thing, but since Ella was so big, my midwife asked if I would like another ultrasound to see how big baby boy was getting.  That way I could make a decision about how long I would hold out before scheduling another c-section.  Well, I plan on holding out as long as possible, so the ultrasound wasn’t going to change my mind.  However, I would love to see my baby boy again!  So yes, another ultrasound please!

In all honesty, ultrasound pics are kind of creepy.  I love seeing my baby, but their black, hollow eyes scare me.  I guess it isn’t as creepy though as feeling a 36-week-old baby kicking the inside of you.  I know it’s supposed to be magical, but by this point I swear the baby going to break through my skin.  Eesh!

Aside from the creepiness, I love that you can tell that he already has chubby cheeks like his big sis.  And at 35 weeks they are estimating that he weighs 6lb 7oz.  So yes, that is big.  Many of my friends have their full-term babies at this weight.  So they are guessing he’ll be over 9lbs if he goes full-term.  It really doesn’t scare me.  At 5′-10″, I am not exactly petite.  I can handle it.  Just as long as I actually go into labor on my own this time.  So I will be praying and hoping like crazy for the next couple weeks!

I’ve said it so many times, but I can’t believe how fast this pregnancy has gone by.  I can’t believe Ella will be two this month, and I will be holding another baby in my arms at the same time.  And I will be 29 this month!  I swear there is a fast-forward button on life as you get older.

Here are the latest pics of our little boy!  And they gave us a final confirmation at this ultrasound that it is definitely a boy. 🙂

Can you see his cute little face and how he has his knees all crammed up in his face?

And there’s a good shot of his face… but like I mentioned, we have the creepy black eye thing going on.  But I can’t wait to kiss those cheeks!

Part-time Vegetarian

In Recipes, Uncategorized on January 9, 2012 at 9:34 pm

I make a lot of vegetarian food.  And not because I think meat is bad, or because I feel sorry for the poor animals (maybe I should), but because I honestly think our bodies were designed to consume mostly plant products.

If I were to imagine myself being self-sufficient (i.e.- no large-scale manufacturing plants to provide my food and 1lb. of meat per night), I think I would eat mostly fruits, veggies and grains.  I could definitely milk a cow and collect eggs from a chicken too, so those proteins stay.  But I am pretty sure that I would not raise and slaughter enough animals to provide myself with the amount of meat that the average American eats on a daily basis.

In my quest to eat less meat and more veggies, I have discovered some amazing chefs/bloggers/authors who have helped me discover that eating vegetarian can be both delicious and filling.

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My friend Brenna first introduced me to this book about six months ago, along with Heidi Swanson’s blog/website 101cookbooks.com.  I have yet to make something out of this book that is a failure.  Hunter is in love with every recipe and keeps asking if we can add many of them to our weekly menu rotation.  So far her Black Pepper Tempeh, Cabbage Soup, Wild Rice Casserole and Magic Sauce are my favorites.

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Next on my list of new favorites is this Oregonian and her vegan cookbook.  I borrowed it from the library, because I wasn’t sure I was going to be down with her vegan style.  But her recipes are simple and tasty.  And the best part is that Ella has liked everything I have made so far!  The black bean burgers are my absolute favorite, and next week I am going to be giving her Spanish Quinoa a shot.

Even if you aren’t vegetarian or vegan, I highly recommend checking these books out.  The recipes are ridiculously simple for weeknight suppers, and they are loaded with good-for-you stuff.  One thing that I hate about a lot of vegetarian recipes on various websites (i.e.- Cooking Light, Food Network) is that they don’t think out of the box.  They are always pasta and cheese dishes.  What about the stuff that’s good for you– the beans, the veggies, the whole grains.  Isn’t this why people should be eating vegetarian anyways?

Seriously, try it.