Friday, October 19, 2012

Waiting For The Lord

I really truly thought that this photo would be the last photo taken of us as a family of 3. This photo was taken just 1 week before we found out I was pregnant. Our hearts were so overjoyed! We have always had an openness to life within our marriage, trusting that we need to allow the Lord to guide our child spacing. After finding out I was pregnant, I felt such reassurance that God was revealing His beautiful design for our family. FINALLY, Sophia would have a sibling!

After finding out I was in the process of miscarrying on October 19th of last year, I felt numb. I have never felt so angry at God. Why would God take my baby from me before I ever got to meet her
(or his) sweet face? Why did Jesus need this baby in heaven more than He desired for me to know and raise this baby?

I was heart broken. I survived on Ben and Jerry's for 3 days, and when a few good friends brought me a box of brownies, I ate the entire box for lunch.... I needed to feel numb. I didn't want to feel the emptiness and sadness in my heart. After a week of complete and total self loathing, I finally knew that I needed to face reality and I needed to begin the journey of giving this burden to Jesus.

We had participated in the creation of a baby who we would never meet; at least not in this life. After driving in the car one day, and Sophia repeatedly shouting, "baby Mary, baby Mary, baby Mary" we asked her who baby Mary was. She answered matter of factly that baby Mary was in heaven with Jesus. And so we named this sweet baby MaryRose. It seemed like a fitting name for a child who had a straight ticket to heaven.

Months and months went by. We began to desire conceiving again immediately, but it wasn't happening. Nothing brought me solace. Whether talking to my mom, my sister, my husband, friends at church. Nothing comforted me. I had built up such a wall.  I was so angry and so stubborn. Finally at a point when I had begun to hit rock bottom, we were at church and Father announced that the prayer teams were available after mass to pray for special intentions. After mass, my husband pretty much dragged me to the prayer team. As I was walking over to the teams, I was drawn to a husband and wife team, and the holy spirit put this thought in my mind, "she lost a baby too". I started sobbing uncontrollably and I felt like an idiot. I went up to her and her husband and told her what was going on. She told me that she had lost 5 babies and yet she also had 5 healthy children. Praise God. I confessed my fears that there was something wrong with me. (After months and months of not being able to conceive, I had convinced myself that I must be seriously ill.) The woman praying over me, gave me such an embracing hug. I was touched by her gentleness despite the fact that I had never met her. She looked at me with a very serious look in her eyes and she said, "sweetheart, that baby is in heaven because you needed an extra saint on your side, praying for you everyday." WOW! What grace I received from that statement! Numerous people had referred to my baby as an angel, but as Catholics we don't believe that people become angels when they die. Hearing that my baby was a saint whom I could talk to and who could intercede for me, brought me the comfort that I had longed for.

The past year has been hard. Really hard. In more ways than one.  I have been so angry for the past year. Every time I see a pregnant woman, my first thought is complete and total anger. I have begun to be sickly jealous of those women who find it so easy to get pregnant. You don't know how lucky you are! I am now able to turn this jealousy into a prayer because I know that jealousy is not of God. We recently found out that there are medical reasons for my inability to conceive. To put it simply, my hormones are VERY out of wack. I have begun to take natural approaches to normalize my hormones as much as possible. (If anyone wants to know more about this topic, I would love to share; being the health nut that I am, the topic of fertility diets is a HUGE passion of mine.) I am blessed to have a Catholic doctor who respects my dignity as a woman. He has complete faith that in time, we will conceive again.

I have spent the past year negotiating and pleading with God. I have felt such a fog over me. Every time I am in front of the blessed sacrament, I felt a physical pull and tension. I felt God trying to take this from me, and I felt my stubborn heart say, "No!" My fear has been that if I surrender this to Jesus, it is as though I am giving up on having a baby. I have been so foolish.  Clearly it is only through our surrender that God will truly reveal His plans for us.

I look back on this year with gratitude. James and I both agree that this has been the hardest year of our marriage.  If not for the grace of God I truly think that our marriage would be on the rocks, I would be on antidepressants, and we would probably be taking drastic measures to have a baby. God is bigger than all of that.  I would love to say that I had a huge light bulb moment that finally gave me total trust and comfort, but the reality is that there have been numerous small light bulbs. I literally feel like God has taken my heart from my chest, twisted and turned it upside down and conformed it to Him. I am grateful. It has taken an entire YEAR for me to say yes, but I am grateful nonetheless. On this day, I find myself joyful. I am joyful for our beautiful, healthy family of 3. I am joyful for our Catholic faith, I am joyful for a husband who will lead me and support me. I am joyful for the realization that all things happen on His time.

Possibly the greatest lessons of my life that I have learned through this experience are this:
1.Getting angry at God is only sinful if that anger leads us away from Him. My anger and frustration has led me right into His arms and I am thankful.
2. Negotiating with God doesn't work, so stop trying.
3. Living your life according to His will is always worth it.
4. When struggling with infertility, or anything for that matter, make sure to constantly check in with yourself to make sure that God is in charge and not you.
5. Fertility is a gift. A true, God given gift. Whether you have a very large family and continue to conceive with ease, or you struggle to conceive, the ability to carry a child in your womb is a beautiful gift from God that is abused a lot in our culture. To carry another soul alongside your own soul- what a miracle!

I continue to desire more children. I have a very strong desire for Sophia to have a sibling. I never envisioned myself as only having one child. I feel very strongly that one way or another, we will have more children. Whether God allows my body to normalize, or we take on the gift of adoption. Until then, we are a family of 3 and I say Yes! I say Yes to the plans of the Lord.

*It is my greatest hope and desire to be a source of support for other women who struggle with infertility. Unfortunately more and more people continue to have struggles conceiving.  There are tons of reasons that infertility is so prevalent today; one of these reasons is an excess amount of processed foods and endocrine disrupting foods. There are numerous dietary measures you can take to increase your chances of conception. I would love nothing more than to offer support and encouragement for anyone who is struggling with loss or infertility.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
-psalm 27:14

Friday, July 13, 2012

You Are My Sunshine

 My sweet Sophia Therese. I love your life. I love that you were born. As the weeks and months go by, I begin to think more and more that your birth was a miracle. You were born because God has destined you for a purpose! You will never understand how much you make me whole. I think at this stage in life, I depend on you more than you depend on me. You are the reason I wake up in the morning. You ignite my heart.

The fact that God has given you to me for a short time takes my breath away. I will make it my life's work to bring you closer to Him. I want you to know Him. I want you to know that we love because He first loved us.

I want you to always know that you are a treasure! Your dad and I treasure you more than you realize. The 3 of us, we are a family. We might be it. It might just always be us 3. And you know what? That's okay. As much as my heart is aching for another and aching for you to have a sibling, we will wholeheartedly except God's plans. His plans are so much greater than our own.

If my only purpose in life is to be your mother and your Dad's wife, I say yes! We know not the plans of the Lord.

I cannot believe 3 years have gone by. My goodness. Weren't you just born yesterday? You are a treasure. Your life is a gift. I am a better person because of your birth.

You are my sunshine.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

He is Risen!

 This lent was a difficult one. I have been feeling so mournful lately. Not in a depressed way, but in a very prayerful way. I feel like God was calling me to truly suffer this lent. To suffer for His glory. I feel as though he ripped my heart from my chest and transformed it. There was definitely transforming that needed to be done! I have been very negative lately and finding it hard to fully trust in Him and His will. This lent brought on a lot of frustration and contemplation. There was a lot of work that needed to be done on my heart and God did it! I am always grateful for the opportunity to grow during lent. I can say without hesitation that this lent was both the best and worst lend of my life. I loved it because I knew that it was causing me to grow, I hated it because it was hard work! Needless to say, I was eager for Easter to approach so that I could feel the joy of His resurrection.

What a blessed Easter it was! We had the exciting privilege of hosting Easter breakfast for the first time! I was very excited because since we have an incredibly small house, it's not very often that we get to have people over. We woke up bright and early to prep everything. Although we were only having three people over, (James' parents and his sister)  I  wanted to make it special. We cooked a goat cheese and mushroom quiche, organic sausage and bacon, whole wheat honey waffles, and our guests brought a few other yummy treats. I also hung some paper pom poms outside and put out some fresh flowers.  I was quite impressed with my {not so} crafty self! It took Sophia a few minutes to figure out that the Easter bunny had brought a special basket. Once she discovered it, there was a very long tantrum when she realized I was not about to let her have jelly beans for breakfast. I was debating whether or not to give her a little bit of candy this year. When I found all natural jelly beans at Trader Joe's, I couldn't pass them up!

She gets more beautiful and more grown up by the day!

Gosh, these two are my EVERYTHING! They are the dynamic duo that keep me going.

My lovely centerpiece

Sophia discovering her Easter basket

After our much needed afternoon nap, we went over to my parents' house for an Easter dinner. My mom was sweet enough to put together an egg hunt for Sophia. I think she enjoyed it a lot!We had a traditional meal with ham, sweet potatoes, and broccoli.  I made some delicious whole wheat super duper healthy cupcakes to try and keep things somewhat nutritious:) although the loads of candy are unavoidable on holidays! All in all I say it was a great Easter. Plenty of yummy food and family time and a great liturgy this morning. Alleluia He is risen!

Whole wheat cupcakes. 100% unprocessed. 100% delicious! If you are interested in this recipe, here is the link:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Blogging Dilemmas

Most of you already know that I am in the process of starting up a food blog. The premise of the blog is going to be showing people that eating organic is doable without breaking your budget as well as posting recipes and giving detailed information about why you should be eating organic and unprocessed foods. I feel at a little bit of a stand still. The concept of the food blog is very much on my heart. It's a topic that I feel passionate about and I think most Americans need to be better informed about the ugly truths behind our food system. With that being said, I am scared to start the blog. I don't want people to feel annoyed with me or to feel that I am trying to tell them what to eat. The concept of food is such a difficult topic to discuss because so many of us are very sensitive about others telling us how to eat. I want to make sure that this blog will be filled with detailed, useful information and I want to make sure that all content is posted very well. I probably won't be able to have it up and running until this summer, but I do hope that my readers of this blog will support me in my new food blog.  I hope that I can post content that is useful without sounding holier healthier than thou. I am putting some concepts below so that you all can know what to watch for:

Organic, unprocessed meal plans on a strict budget
30 days of no processed food challenge- my family will be doing this and we want readers to join us!
Tons of recipes for healthy snacks, desserts, and meals
How to teach your kids to be healthy eaters
Why you NEED to eat organic

These are just  a few concepts. Putting everything together is a daunting task. I am really hopeful to have things up and running this summer so please stay tuned :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

We Had So Much Fun!

I have to post this  quickly before all of the sweetness of today starts to dissipate from my memory. James was out of town this weekend and I knew that I didn't want to sit around the house all day with Sophia. The weather has been so beautiful lately and I have been stuck inside studying and unable to enjoy it for the past two weeks. Today changed that! I have been wanting to check out a local dairy farm in Gilbert called Save Your Dairy  for a few weeks now. Today seemed like the perfect day. When I asked Sophia if she wanted to go see the cows, the vote was unanimous. I grabbed an ice chest and filled it with ice before we headed out the door. Gotta keep that milk COLD if you want there to be any calcium in it! We drove about thirty minutes out to Higley and Riggs. When we got out of the car, there were cows everywhere. We asked a guy on a tractor if we could visit the cows and he said of course! We first met the baby cows and they were loving Sophia! We had the opportunity to watch them eat a grass filled lunch which was really awesome. Then we headed over to the mommy cows who came right over to say hello. We stayed at the farm for close to an hour before I remembered that we had come to purchase milk. Oh yeah, whoops! We walked into the farm shop and talked to the girl behind the counter for a few minutes about the benefits of raw milk as compared to pasteurized. In a nutshell, the only reason that pasteurized milk has calcium and vitamin D is because they fortify it. When they pasteurize the milk, all naturally occuring vitamins and healthy bacteria are destroyed. The raw milk is a creamy, white, delicious, liquid nutrient powerhouse filled with healthy probiotics and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). There is a lot of controversy over raw milk, but after learning all about pasteurization and calcium and vitamin D in my classes, I am very much in favor of raw milk.   I'll go into more details about this at a later time....
After getting our milk and waving goodbye to our new udderly amazing friends:) we headed to Joe's Farm Grill for a tasty lunch. We had to wait almost an hour to place our order, but that didn't keep us from having fun. We enjoyed playing in the grass and soaking in some vitamin D from the good old sunshine! When we were leaving the restaurant, Sophia starting giggling and turned to me and said, "We had so much fun mom!" That statement made my heart melt. I truly enjoyed the afternoon, but it was sweet to hear her say that she had also enjoyed the day. When we arrived home, Sophia grabbed my hand and said, "Mommy what's on your finger?" I told her, "that's my ring. I wear it because I love Daddy." She then said, "Mommy, I want a ring, I love Daddy too." Definitely my favorite Sophia quote thus far:) Today was one of those days that I especially want to remember. A day for just me and my sweet girl.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Perfectly Made

What if I could choose which of my traits my children inherited and which ones I don't want them to inherit? That would be amazing!!!! I was thinking about this the other day when we went over to a friend's house, and Sophia didn't want to get down and play for a few minutes and instead tried to hide her face against me. I thought to myself, "oh no! She is becoming shy like her mama!"  NOOOOO! Honestly, my shyness is one of my least favorite things about myself. I was the little girl who dropped out of EVERY activity I ever joined and made my mom walk me to my class on the first day of school even up through my freshman year of high school. Yep, true story. As an adult, I hate my child self for not being outgoing. I feel like I missed out on experiencing more activities in school and building stronger friendships. Now that I am an adult, I always worry that people think I am snobby, when in fact I am just REALLY shy and definitely not a social butterfly. I don't want my children to be shy. I want Sophia to be willing to try new activities and make lots of friends. I want her to be confident and social and experience everything that life has to offer her.

I most definitely do not want my children to inherit my ability to let everything stress me out. I am really good at turning a small problem into a huge catastrophe. Its a good thing I have a wonderful husband to calm me down and keep me grounded.  I definitely hope Sophia grows up to be laid back like her daddy and not uptight like her mama.  It amazes me sometimes just how laid back James can be when we are having a crazy day. I can't help but say to him, "why aren't you freaking out right now?!!!!" I hate to think of myself as uptight, but unfortunately, when it comes to things I care about, I am VERY uptight and opinionated. Darn it!

The quality that I hope my children inherit from their dad is not only his calm demeanor, but especially his ability to see the best in every situation. James is very much a glass half full sort of guy and I am grateful. No matter what we are dealing with in life, he always knows how to remain positive. I love this about him 

Ok so then what do I want my children to inherit from me? I love my ability to be genuine. I am very much a "what you see is what you get" sort of person which isn't always a good thing. If I am having a bad day, its obvious in the way I carry myself. I wear my heart on my sleeve because I don't know how else to wear it. I am very real. I don't consider myself flaky or fake whatsoever. I don't feel above anyone or better than anyone. I try to stay very candid and honest in my interpretation of things. I hope that my children will grow up to understand the importance of being yourself. Though I am shy and I  completely suck at meeting new people, I don't try and change this about myself because I know that I am perfectly made in God's eyes and he wants me to be me. I hope and pray that my children will learn from me the importance of being true to yourself and genuine. Whether my children are shy or outgoing or uptight or laid back, I hope they know that the Lord has made them perfectly and our God doesn't make mistakes!

I think I was in preschool in this photo. I was super duper shy in preschool to everyone except my boyfriend Michael :) Yep, I had a boyfriend when I was four. I love the look on my sister's face. She is probably saying," I can't believe you got a boyfriend before me, that's not fair!" Its probably because I like to wear awesome sparkly dresses from the 80s....

Since we are taking a walk down memory lane, here is an elementary picture of James! Isn't this hilarious! Nice necklace James :) Love you!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Juicy Juice Juice

A lot of people have asked me why I don't give my daughter juice. I wanted to post this to explain my thoughts on the topic. After having Sophia, I made the decision to keep my kids away from juice for as long as possible. This does not mean that I will never allow my children to have juice, it simply means that I will try to hold off on introducing it, and once Sophia does discover it, I will limit her intake of it. Whenever I tell people that my daughter doesn't drink juice, they typically look at me in horror
(not an exaggeration) as though I told them my daughter isn't allowed to play with toys. "Oh my gosh, your poor deprived daughter!" "If she doesn't drink juice, then what does she drink?" "But juice is so healthy, she needs vitamins". blah blah blah. For years we have been told that after introduction of solids, we should add diluted juice to our child's sippy cup while weaning them off breast milk. No one has ever questioned this because people just assume that whatever your pediatrician tells you, must be what you are "supposed" to do for your kids.

Let me present you with two statistics about juice: Juice is the NUMBER ONE leading cause of dental caries in young children and the NUMBER THREE leading cause of childhood obesity. The problem with juice is that if you introduce it very early in life then your child becomes accustomed to it and they will not want to drink boring, plain water.   I have chosen to wait until my kids are old enough to take an interest in juice, and at that point we will discuss the importance of drinking mostly water and just a small amount of juice. For right now, my daughter drinks only water and a small amount of almond milk and she doesn't think that she is missing out on anything.

Is juice bad? No juice is not bad. 100% juice is healthy in moderation and provides a small amount of vitamin C. The "bad" thing about juice, is letting your kids drink it all day long and not teaching them the importance of whole fruits. The lack of fiber in the juice provides for a higher sugar spike and higher glycemic load.

Does juice count as a serving of fruit? that depends on who you ask. I personally do not count juice as a fruit, I count it as discretionary calories.   Unlike whole fruit, juice lacks fiber which contributes to feelings of fullness and satisfaction after eating. Although juice has Vitamin C, it is a miniscule amount. You see, vitamin C is a highly liable nutrient, which means it is very sensitive to its environment. When a carton of juice is packaged, it may provide 30% vitamin C for a 8oz glass, but after that juice sits on a shelf for a few weeks, the Vitamin C literally dissappears! That means most juice you drink, can have as little as 1% of your daily needs!!!! Shocking, but true.

To sum everything up, choosing to not give your kids juice is not cruel. Kids do not "need" juice. If you choose to give your kids juice at a young age, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Every parent has to make their own decisions based on their child. Make sure you choose 100% juice and preferably organic so that your young ones are not drinking pesticides. I would also encourage you to monitor the amount of juice. If you are not careful, your kids could be consuming hundreds of grams of sugar each day just in their juice! Yikes!
For those of you who have been convinced that juice is an essential part of your child's diet, I hope this post will at least make you think a little bit:)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Seeing the Blessings Amidst the Storm

My life feels like complete and utter chaos right now. Most days I throw up my hands in defeat because either I didn't get my studying done, or the house is trashed. And when I say trashed, I mean you can't make it through the living room without stepping on a toy or a peanut butter cookie crumb. In addition to feeling this distress, I am constantly tired. I mean constantly. There is such a delicate balance between having time to study, clean, and spend time with Sophia and James.  I have to think of school as my career right now because it is the only way to get through it. Being a student means going to class and then devoting every minute of my evening to studying. Its truly the only way to get through it. Nutrition is not an easy field to be getting into! 
I graduated high school in 2005. The fact that I don't have a degree yet makes me sad. The fact that Sophia doesn't have a sibling yet makes me even more sad. The fear of graduating and not getting accepted to an internship and not becoming a dietitian makes me furious. The other day I had a huge ah ha moment. We had just finished making dinner, there were toys everywhere, I was doing dishes and then I looked over at James and Sophia. They were both wearing silly hats and playing "horsey" where Daddy is the horse and he runs around with Sophia on his back. I couldn't help but stop and savor this moment. God told me in that second, "Delia stop it! Stop wondering about the future, stop trying to micro manage, I will give you a child when its time, and I will guide your vocation to whatever I call you to. Enjoy the moment and love the child that is here with you." This moment almost brought me to tears. For every stressful day and every messy peanut butter and jelly grossness that I wipe off the table, I am abundantly blessed in a way that most girls dream of. I am married to the love of my life and I have a daughter who is more special than I ever realized she would be. The chaos of my life is the joy of my life. I love picking up toys and sticky messes, because it reminds me of the sweet girl that I have the opportunity of raising and forming into a daughter of His.  I am grateful for where I am in life and I know that His plans are greater than my own. I will endure however much chaos it takes so that I can live my life according to His will.

I love these two so much! Just another fun night at the Salas house!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A New Endeavor, Herb'n Flavors

When James picked me up from the light rail this afternoon, I was completely famished! My mom just told me about a new restaurant in Tempe that is organic and local. I knew this would solve our problems for a quick and healthy lunch. We picked up Sophia and quickly headed to Herb'n Flavors for some delicious food. When we sat down, I asked our waitress what was organic on the menu and she kindly replied, "If its not organic and local, its not on our menu". I clarified this even further because it seemed too good to be true. "Okay so your beef is grass fed and your chicken is free range?" "Yep" This is amazing! How can it be that there is a restaurant that offers ALL organic and local? This is the first restaurant that I know of. There are several restaurants that offer a few organic options, but this place has it all. And the prices are very reasonable! If they are able to offer an entirely organic menu with reasonable prices and still make profit, then why are more restaurants not doing the same? I am trying to gradually stop eating at conventional restaurants all together because I am sick and tired of having to look at their disgusting kids menu full of junk food items and nothing but refined pastas and breads. I want to eat real food. ALWAYS. Not just at home. I believe that we deserve to eat fresh, real ingredients, the way that food was meant to be made. Is that too much to ask? Check out their food here

Hummus and dip platter included a vegan spinach dip that was seriously amazing!

My veggie and rice and bean pita. Delish!

James' turkey pita. Yep even their deli meats are organic!

I will be a frequent customer of this place! I want them to stay open forever!

This brings me to my next point. As you all know, I am CRAZY when it comes to food! I really am. I admit it. I think that in order to evoke change, it requires being radical and a little crazy. There is a food epidemic in our country. We are the only country that allows meat to come from factories rather than farms. People are very uninformed about what is in their food and I want to change that!!! I have a huge desire right now to start a website/blog devoted to unprocessed, organic eating on a budget. I want to evoke change in everyone around me and teach people that eating unprocessed foods doesn't have to be a daunting and expensive task. I want to get the message out there to my readers of the severity of conventional food items from a conventional grocery store. I haven't bought meat at a conventional grocery store in three years! All of my meat comes from farmers markets and I will explain why. I am way too busy with school right now to put this website into action. My goal is to start building it slowly and have it up and running in March. My question to all of you is what do you want to learn from the website? What are your areas of interest? Organic meat, factory farming, hormones, pesticides, wild salmon, refined oils, etc. I want to hear your thoughts on this endeavor!