Well, we were hopeful for a strong start to 2022…
We ended 2021 with Mark getting COVID, and I thought the girls and I had lucked out. No such luck. I “passed” my daily screening before work last week but just knew my very mild cold-like symptoms (that I’ve had for MONTHS) were then a bit more. Unfortunately, I was correct and 1 year after my first vaccine dose (to the day!), I was diagnosed. I was boosted back on November 13th and avoiding any debate over vaccination, all I will say is that I am all good. I didn’t workout one day last week — that was the extent of my illness. I mean, moms are always tired so COVID is just like a day-in-the-life, right? On a serious note, we’re very fortunate that we are okay, our families who we saw over the holiday (even those that came down with COVID, as well…) are OK. And, somehow, someway, our girls have remained healthy. 2022, do us a solid and let’s keep it that way.
For those that don’t know me, I’ve been blogging here at Prevention RD for going on 13 years (!). I’m an OG of the blogosphere and with the changes in life over those 13 years, I’ve gone from blogging on a daily basis to a few times a week. My approach to this whole cooking thing is to not recreate the wheel — I find recipes that look good (and that my family will eat) and I tweak them to our liking and often, to provide a nutritional edge. Because, after all, I am a Registered Dietitian. Nutrition is important to me and in raising girls.
As for me, I’m living in a larger body — always have been, probably always will. Well…there was a moment there in high school where I got to a “normal weight”, but what I found was that my body had no intention of ever staying that weight, if I were to actually live life and step foot off a treadmill. At that time in life, I had begun running competitively — first high school cross country and then marathoning. At one time, I was quite the runner and placed 2nd in the Chicago Quarter Marathon. Y’all my splits were 6:47 min/mile and my best marathon finish time was 4:09:07 (well under 10 minutes/mile). I didn’t even realize at the time how bad ass that was. But, as my youth continued on and I found my first boyfriend and then college came my way, I found a better balance and exercise moved from an all-consuming part of my life to something I did strictly for enjoyment.
You’d probably not guess given my love for make-up and purses that I am a beer-loving tom boy. Back in high school, I started playing ice hockey and 23 years later, I still play. In fact, I captain a team in our local beer league (2 of 4 championships went to my teams in 2021, just saying…) and to say I have a blast playing is quite the understatement. Sunday night is hockey night and it’s true that the beer portion of beer league is just as important as the hockey. We have a lot of fun and I even convinced my husband, Mark, to start playing a few years back. Our girls are yet to have a sparked interest (I’m holding out hope!), but it’s certainly something Mark and I love doing and can do together.
My days are spent working at the local health system in Diabetes and Nutrition. I lead the team of incredibly brilliant dietitians and 1 pharmacist (historically a few nurses, but they are hard to come by in current day!) and we see primarily diabetes patients, but also consult with anything from eating disorders to kidney disease. My passion is certainly in working with diabetes and I love working with nutrition…but also working with providers to select and manage/titrate diabetes medications and insulins. I really enjoy working with really complex medical cases and much of my work is in improving glucose control quickly so that elective/non-emergent surgeries can take place. This is a new something for me, and I’m really enjoying it. My office is 5 miles from home and provides quite a bit of flexibility, including some work-from-home time when the clinic is slower (generally Fridays). I love what I do!
I’ve toyed with the idea of other/higher leadership positions in healthcare or in returning to school for a doctorate, MBA (my master’s is in Nutrition and Wellness), or nursing degree as I’m a total nerd and higher education is always of interest. But, when I consider what I want to do long-term…I’m doing it. 🙂 So for now I’ve cast aside those higher education goals.
Mark works at a fortune 500 company in HR and works quite a bit. Pre-pandemic, he traveled a lot for work to the tune of 1-2 weeks a month. He wasn’t generally in the states but would be an ocean away — India, China, Europe, or Brazil most commonly. He’s a simple man, an introvert who prefers time with all of his girls above anything else.
In 2014, after a year of infertility woes and finally a successful IUI, we welcomed our daughter, Shea. Her birth was traumatic but she was the most perfect thing I’d ever laid eyes on. I will never forget driving home from the hospital, saying over and over to Mark, “She’s just so perfect, I’m ready to do it all over again.”
Just before Shea turned 2, we welcomed Piper into the world.
Our two girls who have been such a blessing. They both attended a local Montessori prior to both attending our local public school. This year, Shea (7) is in 1st grade and Piper (5) is in young-5’s (pre-K). They both hop on the bus each morning and off together each afternoon. They both LOVE school and when they couldn’t attend because of COVID exposures last week, they were both so, so sad.
Shea is a typical first born: mature, reliable, cautious, high-achieving, and confident. And Piper a second/last child: fun, care-free, loving, a risk taker, and loves to be pampered. Largely, they get along splendidly and are truly besties. I think God gave me what I needed. No major challenges or hurdles in child rearing thus far! With 2 girls, I think my biggest challenges as mom lay ahead.
Shea is currently enrolled in Taekwondo, swim lessons, and ballet. Though she is voicing interest in soccer, basketball, and returning to gymnastics. Piper is currently enrolled in swim lessons and ballet and has zero interest in anything else. She is happy to be an observer or to play at home. We’ll see if this changes. Both love art and Piper adores TV/movies – I always say she would watch paint dry if it were on a screen.
Both are fairly good eaters, Piper a bit more so than Shea. But like most siblings, they don’t love the same foods. That would be too easy! Shea loves mac and cheese and pizza while Piper loves potstickers, salad, and peanut butter and jelly. Other than ranch dressing (Shea) and mango (Piper), there’s very few HARD NO’s when it comes to food and they’re generally willing to try most anything. New parents: baby led weaning. Game changer and I truly believe it is a huge part to my kids’ above-average acceptance of foods. Expose kids to everything and the sooner the better, I say!
Our family lives for summer. Living in southwest Michigan right on Lake Michigan, we are die-hard beach-goers, boaters, and love the pool, too. We spend summer rotating between the different activities and only wish summer lasted longer. We do summer right and generally have visitors most weekends in the summertime.
Three years ago, my friend Gina, a former fellow blogger and dietitian, asked me to co-host a podcast with her. We launched that and have been podcasting ever since — Dietitians Dish. That is until recently when because of life circumstances, Gina may need to sideline the show…at least for now. A lot of our listeners found out about the show from this here blog and I’m completely torn as to whether I try to go solo on the show (and what that looks like), or if we fold the show and move on. Help me/us decide! Any and all input welcome!
So while 2022 isn’t starting super hot, I have high hopes. Life is good, we are fortunate for so, so much! I love and appreciate all that my little piece of the world wide web brings and thank you SO much for reading along, cooking, and sharing recipes and eats with those nearest and dearest to you!