Make Real Food

On a Journey to Love Myself and (the food in) the World Around Me.

If only to explore the pain. 2015.

by Chelsea @ Make Real Food on December 31, 2015, 8 comments

I often wished for a looking glass – for a quick peek in to the future.  “Just let me how it turns out,” I protested.  Alas, my looking glass never arrived.  

As I am every December, I was determined not to write this post.  

There isn’t much to say, really…” I claimed as I crawled in to bed on Wednesday night. “If nothing else, it is worth exploring the pain” Nathan refuted.

He was right …if nothing else, it is worth exploring the pain.  What we remember of it, that is.  


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2015 began exactly how 2014 had in many ways.  And not, in so many others.  The job I thought I was supposed to have according to some unwritten, made up, societal laws was leaving me dreading Mondays (and Tuesdays and Wednesdays and…).  I loved the actual work that I did, but I had a ton of knowledge of broken processes, and no actual means to fix them.  I was stuck, and unhappy.  Just as I had been a year before.  Grasping at empty straws – in desperate hope to not be at the same place at the beginning of 2016, I spent the New  Year’s weekend applying for another job.  At the time, these motions felt the same as all of the others I’d gone through this year.  But this time was actually different.  

In a whirlwind few weeks I accepted a position in Customer Happiness at Recruiterbox – a SAAS startup, with the goal to solve the pain of hiring.  I was their second remote employee, and I brought the Customer Happiness team to a total of two.  I was also the first female hire.  And, I was finally working remotely – which had been at the top of the “new job” wish list.  On my 27th birthday I quit the job society was telling me to have, and never looked back.  

By this recollection it may seem that the year was sailing along beautifully perhaps she was just being a bit of a melodramatic teenager in the beginning, when speaking of exploring the pain. The truth is, there is copious amounts left unmentioned in the first month of the year – mainly because we have little memories of it.  And because being distracted was so much easier.

>>>There are no words to describe how it feels to walk past the fridge and see the document outlining what to do if your husband tries to kill himself.  And when there are not words, there often aren’t memories.  Pain has a way of doing this.  Erasing what it doesn’t want you to see.  

In November of 2014 Nathan had casually announced in a – hey – by – the – way – let – me – tell – you – about – my – day kind of way that he was feeling disjointed thoughts.  We were sitting on the couch.  I remember blinking, looking at him, and cocking my head – to see if I had heard him correctly.  After 6 years of normal life – his type 1 bipolar was no longer responding to his current dose of medication.  

I’d be lying if I said that at that moment I had any idea what the next year would hold.  He’d go to the doctor, they’d adjust his medication, and we’d be great by Christmas, right?  

Between November and February his life – our life – had passively crumbled.  I would say actively crumbled – as you would think items crumbling may do – but there are few active actions for those who do not leave the bed for days at a time.  

During this time I quickly learned and fell in love with my new job, with working from home, and all of the lifestyle changes it allotted.  


Quietly, in the background of it all I held all of the pieces of our lives above my head – to keep them dry from the drowning waters that encroached below as you may expect, when half of your family opts out of life for a while.

I could not put these pieces back together but if I held them tight enough, I would at least know where they all were when this was over.  

To understand March you can simply scroll up, highlight the text above.  Copy.  Paste.  

Work had become automatic, but exciting.  Fast paced.  I looked forward to every second of it – from the problems I was getting to solve, to the people we served, to our tight knit growing team.  It was (spoiler alert – and still is) wonderful.  

Home was anything but.  Nathan was rapidly cycling at this point.  We were trying new medications – but nothing was sticking.  Each day was a new step in this dance – a dance that didn’t always lend itself to hearing the music, knowing which foot to put out next, or knowing when my dance partner would rejoin life.  It was not uncommon to have a great day, and not be able to get out of bed the next.  Or – after sleeping for 48 hours – physically and mentally unable to lift himself from the bed – to go 72 hours without sleep – wanting to conquer the world.  A dance.  Without music.  Or steps.  Or a partner. This seems like progress. As does anything – after a month in bed.  But, this phase was perhaps the hardest and most frustrating.  We would get small – sometimes a few hours – sometimes a few days – glimpses at what life could look like.  And then depression would grab it back – keeping it for its selfish self.   

At the end of the month the gaping hole in our chests closed a bit as we welcomed our first, and most perfect, Nephew into this world.   

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In typical fairy tale fashion that’s what this is, right?  Spring brought new medications and new side effects and a small breath of fresh air.  We saw momentary glances of normal or – whatever normal had become.  

We enjoyed baby snuggles at every chance we had.  


We celebrated three years of marriage – with a toast to the hardest 6 months we had ever faced.  We were going to be okay.  Whatever okay was…

At the end of May the side effects from the second medication change were eating us alive.  We were trying to tough it out – because – besides the side effects think disjointed movements – where your fine motor skills wouldn’t do what you asked them to and your automated motions required thought – life seemed to have hope again.  

But we knew this wasn’t sustainable.  And, in a big leap of whatever-hope-we-still-clung-to-at-the-time we changed medications completely.  

Along with this came a new list for the fridge – of the life threatening signs that the new medication was turning his blood toxic.  The “get to the emergency room and hope they can fix it in time” type of symptoms.

Life moved on.  Bad days became fewer, but each morning still felt shrouded in fear.  What type of day would we have today?  How long will the good days last?  


Summer lent itself to warm afternoons, hammocks by the creek, and long walks through town.  

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Nathan and I shared an unspoken silence about next steps.  Things were getting better but we both still held the pit-in-your-stomach feeling of wondering when the next ball would drop.

>>>There were pieces – so many pieces – that had fallen apart.  We slowly started putting them back together.  Some days I would just sit and smile.  I would realize with a shudder how hard the past few months had been without my Husband.  I would be filled with warmth and thankfulness.  I would try to end the day dream before it ended itself – before the fear of the unknown sank back in.  

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Fall has always held a special place in my heart.  It is a time of refreshing cool air and a renewed sense of peace.  This year was no different.

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 8.47.55 AMNathan and I found ourselves escaping town whenever possible – a moment away from the pieces we were still picking up was the much needed break we desired.  

Leaves changed, and we said tearful goodbyes to a dear friend who had fought his way – claws and all – into the deep corners of our heart.  

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Afterwards it became increasingly easy to escape.  Sitting still felt too easy.  Too scary.  We ran away to Vancouver for a week of pretending the world didn’t exist.  

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We came home to holidays, food and family.  A site for our weary souls, we relished in the simpleness of the holidays.

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I’ve spent the past few weeks with a bit of a daze around me.  Thinking back to last December – I had no idea how much this year would test and change every fiber of my being.  

Things are never going to return to what they were before this past year.   Our world is different now.  We can’t ever unsee, undo, or remake what has happened.  And that is okay.  

Our goals and dreams are vastly different than they were when our world came crashing down 13 months ago.  And that is okay.  

I am glad the looking glass to see forward to the end of this year never came, because I am not sure I could have handled it.  And that is, also, okay.  

To 2016.  To a few less surprises.  A few more random adventures.  A slice of delicious ambiguity.  And to having my husband back for the ride.

Love and Hugs,


Thinking Out Loud Thursday: 9/17/2015

by Chelsea @ Make Real Food on September 17, 2015, 4 comments

Each week Amanda [Running with Spoons] hosts Thinking Out Loud Thursday. A chance for us to do some brain-dump blogging. And to hang out with fun people.


Hello! Happy September! When did that happen?! Oh, about 2 weeks ago?  Opps. 

1 – As I type it is 41 degrees, so I actually have no doubt that September has arrived.  We’ve also began to see an abundance of leaves falling –

IMG_20150830_101336Which perfectly matches the crisp air.  Please ignore my terribly painted toes.

2 – The crisp air has also pushed my sock knitting into over-drive.  I finished a blue and brown pair, and am now working on a lovely multi color pair – which is a bit too spring-like for this weather, but alas, I am almost finished with them now 🙂 Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 2.06.50 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 2.06.41 PM

3 – I have also been enjoying soup.  Lots of soup.  Namely Mexican Baked Potato Soup.  



4 – As well as more Fall hikes.  IMG_20150829_110345#CanWeStayRightHereForever

5 – I have also fallen madly in love with this new water bottle by Klean Kanteen – it for real keeps the water cold for 24 hours.  Plus, the color is amazing 😀
IMG_20150910_172824Note the sweater and wool socks.  #Fall

6 – Okay…I am off to continue my never ending struggle for dominance with Sir Indy.  This was snapped a few seconds after he ate an apple I had cut up for a snack.  IMG_20150903_165300#LostCause

P.S. – 

We should be friends! Find me on Twitter and Facebook

Note – in order to help support the costs of blogging, my site occasionally contains affiliate links.  When this happens – everything costs the same for you, but I get a little income as well.  Thanks!

Thinking Out Loud Thursday : 08/20/2015

by Chelsea @ Make Real Food on August 20, 2015, 2 comments

Each week Amanda [Running with Spoons] hosts Thinking Out Loud Thursday. A chance for us to do some brain-dump blogging. And to hang out with fun people.

thursdaysHi Friends! I’ve missed you guys! 🙂 I hope everyone has been doing well! 

1 – Things around here are going fairly well.  We’re still sinking in to what this “New Normal” looks like – but each day is getting better, and more life-like.  We’re currently working on what our next steps look like – since our life plans have most certainly changed.  New plans have somedays involved selling everything we own, buying an RV and traveling North America.  These are super baby small thoughts right now.  It changes every day.  More to come on that (hopefully) soon.  

2 – A few weeks ago Nathan and I went on a long hike.  Three years ago this would have seemed like no big deal, because we were going on these hikes (and longer ones) every weekend.  But then life got in the way, and then Nathan got sick.  During our hike a few weeks back we had some major reflections on how much as changed, how much we’ve been through, and how we’ve come out on top.  It was awesome to reflect – now that we’re – hopefully – on the other side of the past year. 

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Three years ago


A few weeks ago :)

3 – Uhm.  Have we aged a lot or does that recent picture just have bad coloring?! 😉 We might be getting old.  

4 – Work has also been going well.  While the local university was on summer break I took a liking to working in their library.  It was all fun and games until the students came back… IMG_20150715_1054555 – The return of The Students also means that Fall is quickly approaching.  Which I am SUPER excited about.  I’ve been celebrating by drinking a lot of hot tea.  Wait.  I did that all summer too 😛 IMG_20150731_162340

6 – Fall also means Flannel Shirts.  Erm.  Not that I’ve still been wearing those or anything… (oh geez.  This is actually the second flannel shirt picture in this short post).  IMG_20150708_0741587 – I have also been utterly obsessed with daiya’s new mac and cheese – it is SUPER delicious, extra creamy, and vegan AND gluten free.  They don’t sell it anywhere nearby, but every time I spot it I have been stocking up on it.  They mastered the “this tastes just like velveta without making my stomach hurt for days” flavor.  🙂 

IMG_20150710_185800And did I mention it is ultra creamy?  For real.  Give it a try.  IMG_20150710_1931518 – Did anyone else notice my chaco tan in those pictures?  It’s gotten fairly intense over the past month or so (I promise my feet aren’t actually dirty).  Probably means it is time to switch back to socks.  For Fall, and all.  🙂   I have recently finished these striped socks, and have started on another pair – which I seem to be at a loss for pictures of.  In due time.  Perhaps when I finally write another blog post in 5 weeks.  #Fail IMG_20150725_113605 9 – Until then… 🙂 IMG_20150721_133104

P.S. – 

We should be friends! Find me on Twitter and Facebook

Note – in order to help support the costs of blogging, my site occasionally contains affiliate links.  When this happens – everything costs the same for you, but I get a little income as well.  Thanks!

Thinking Out Loud Thursday : 06/25/2015

by Chelsea @ Make Real Food on June 25, 2015, 6 comments

Each week Amanda [Running with Spoons] hosts Thinking Out Loud Thursday. A chance for us to do some brain-dump blogging. And to hang out with fun people.

thursdays1 – Erm.  I disappeared.  For more than a month.  Life got a bit weird.  Well, it has been weird for a while now.  But, it got weird + I got sick of faking that it wasn’t weird + I stopped cooking, all of which sort of tumbled down on top of me.  I been feeling a lot like everyone is depending on me every second for the past few months, and a lot had to go.  Including blogging.  Because it was just one more thing that was being forcefully checked off my to do list.  Sort of like when I’m feeling overwhelmed so I put easy things on the to do list – like – “eat breakfast” < which we totally know is going to happen regardless.  

2 – The main thing that’s been happening in my life is that I’ve been a wife to someone with bipolar.  Which I talked more about a few months back, here. And I could totally fake that this has all been easy and that we’re breezing through it and that our life is totally normal, but that would be a lie.  The truth is, every day is utterly exhausting right now, for both of us.  And lying about it is, most of the time, even more exhausting.  Which is one of the main reasons I essentially dropped off the radar.  Finding something positive (lies) to say each week was too hard.  And talking about how hard things were/are was overwhelming.  So I just did nothing.  It is mainly exhausting because we don’t ever know what kind of day we are going to have.  We don’t know if we can keep plans that we’re making in the future, or this afternoon.  It’s exhausting because I often feel like I am the one who is responsible for everything.  Are bills getting paid?  Is the house getting cleaned to a decent livable state?  Were meds taken?  When is the next doctor’s appointment?  Did the cat get fed?  Did I eat? And this isn’t even factoring in thinking about tomorrow – or the next day – or 3 months from now.  Let’s get through right now.  Of course, not every day is like this.  And the bad days are getting less and less.  But I feel as if we’ve been in survival mode since November, and survival mode doesn’t lend itself to much more than the basics.  

3 – We are doing okay.  I promise.  Life just isn’t easy, for him, or for me, or for us.  But we’re staying on top of trying new medicines.  And hopefully we will find the magic combination soon.

4 – I have been trying to sneak away a fair amount to the river for some peace + outside time + knitting.  It is quiet, and a lovely place for an afternoon break.  IMG_20150608_190303

5 – I also (finally) completed these blue socks (although the color in the river-picture is much more accurate) – they kept getting way sided by funky weeks of no knitting – but they are done!  I am finishing up a few other projects before I start another pair (gasp) but I’m pretty excited about the next pair I have in mind 🙂 IMG_20150614_191518

6 – I have also added two new essentials to my summer bag of tricks, Chacos and an Eno Hammock.  Both of these things I have been eyeing for years, and I finally took the plunge this year, since I’m spending more time at home while working.  IMG_20150617_145000

7 – Speaking of work, it is going quite lovely.  Especially from the back porch.  But – in all seriousness, we are on the cusp of some majorly exciting things and big growth.  We’ve been incredibly busy – and I’m loving it.  IMG_20150526_140539

8 – I am also loving snuggle time with this little Nephew-bug – who is almost 3 months old (WAAAHHT).  He’s bringing so many giggles to our life over the past three months – but also made us feel really awesome about the idea of adopting school aged children (instead of newborns). 😉 IMG_20150525_143935

9 – I am going to go now and snuggle with a nice glass of tea (don’t worry, it’s not cold out.  Just inside-because AC) #FirstWorldProblems.  IMG_20150603_075107

10 – Hopefully I’ll be making some more regular appearances soon enough.  Who knows, maybe I’ll even start cooking food that doesn’t come straight from the freezer again 😉

P.S. – 

We should be friends! Find me on Twitter and Facebook

Note – in order to help support the costs of blogging, my site occasionally contains affiliate links.  When this happens – everything costs the same for you, but I get a little income as well.  Thanks!

What I Ate Wednesday : 05/13/2015

by Chelsea @ Make Real Food on May 13, 2015, 6 comments

HEY! I’m still alive.  I think 🙂  These are my eats from Monday.  I kept feeling hungry – with no idea what I really wanted to eat.  Thus, random eats + snacks all day.  It happens. 


Breakfast:IMG_20150511_070855How are you feeling about the flannel + shorts?  I am sort of in love with it 🙂  I had a super early dermatology appointment to look at a troublesome mole.  Turns out the mole was a scar from a bug bite.  Opps.  In my defense, I’ve had about a half dozen “pre cancerous” moles.  So I have all the right to be a little freaked out at times!  Anyways.  Breakfast was a quick KIND bar before running out the door.  

Breakfast part 2: IMG_20150511_085020Post – Doctor me and my computer spent a good deal of time on the back porch.  And we sipped some hot lemon + honey water 🙂 It was a lovely back porch day!

Mid Morning Snack:IMG_20150511_101513And then the munchies started.  I kept wanting snacks, but I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what I wanted.  So I just kept eating.  First was some chips, hummus and chipolte sauce < So good. 


Lunch was leftover chipolte from the other night.  It was just enough of a bowl to really want more chipolte.  However, I seem to always feel that way about chipolte.  They own my soul.

Afternoon Snack:IMG_20150511_162403About 4pm I really needed and peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Yep.  Needed.  SO GOOD.  

Dinner:IMG_20150511_185735Mondays are usually my “work at Panera so I can get vegetable soup” days.  There was really heavy rain Monday afternoon, so I didn’t make it there to work.  Nathan needed dinner at work Monday night, so – of course – I brought him Panera.  Vegetable soup.  Delicious.  

Dessert: IMG_20150511_201317After dinner I wanted some sweets, and so I ended up with this Uber dark chocolate turtle bar.  And a spoonful of maple almond butter.  AND a bowl of popcorn.  Geez! 🙂

Do you guys ever have days where all you want to do is EAT! < I mean, I always want food, but this was a whole new level!

I hope you guys are doing well, and I will talk to you soon!

P.S. – 

We should be friends! Find me on Twitter and Facebook

Note – in order to help support the costs of blogging, my site occasionally contains affiliate links.  When this happens – everything costs the same for you, but I get a little income as well.  Thanks!

Thinking Out Loud Thursday : 4/30/2015

by Chelsea @ Make Real Food on April 30, 2015, 4 comments

Each week Amanda [Running with Spoons] hosts Thinking Out Loud Thursday. A chance for us to do some brain-dump blogging. And to hang out with fun people.

thursdays1 – Before we go anywhere, I want to say a huge THANK YOU for all of the supportive comments I received on my post about Infertility last week.  Knowing that I have support of family, friends, and random internet strangers has always made this journey just a notch easier.  1 in 8 couples face infertility.  You are not alone!

2 – The second big order of business?  April.  Freakin.  30th.  Uhm.  Where did the past month go?  I really know that I say this every month, but I truly have no idea.  I feel as I’m blinking, and the year is just gone.  That’s okay.  It has been below freezing each morning this week.  I’m not the only one who is confused.  🙂

3 – When I think of how quickly the month has gone by, I am also blown away at the fact that this little man is now one month old.  IMG_20150428_103756  Do you see that?! He even held up one finger.  He’s a smart one, I tell you 😉

I am currently torn between being super excited to see him grow up, and wanting to snuggle him just like this forever.  IMG_20150425_134745#MyNephewIsTheBest

4 – This week, however, we’ve had to take a nephew-snuggling retreat because Nathan and I have both come down with colds.  So sad.  There has been a lot of couch time.  And tea.  And all around sneezing, coughing, snot-filled-fun.  Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 2.27.40 PM

^ Totally true.  Especially this week. 

5 – Along with the cold weather + feeling terrible, I’ve found a new appreciation for my flannel shirts (that I ..hhrrmm.. lived in for my first month of my remote position) as “jackets” over my t-shirts.  The perfect lightweight + totally soft addition to my “work from the couch” wardrobe.  IMG_20150427_174128Actually, I was outside there.  For like 10 milliseconds. 

6 – Oh! I finished a pair of socks! IMG_20150426_193759They are actually the shortest pair I’ve knitted.  I played major yarn-chicken with only using one skien of yarn.  They’re pretty much awesome, and the yarn was only 4 dollars 🙂   In the end, I finished with about 1 yard of yarn left.  Shew!

7 – Andddd we can’t mention crafting without mentioning this little bag I sewed up a few weeks back.  IMG_20150418_093006Yes folks.  Flowers out the outside.  Robots on the inside.  #Nerd. 

8 – Okay.  Pirate – Indy and I are going to continue to wallow on the couch about our sneezing and snot.  IMG_20150424_164107See his little Pirate collar?! 🙂 

Alright folks! I may be MIA next week – but I’ll be back soon! Hugs!

P.S. – 

We should be friends! Find me on Twitter and Facebook

Note – in order to help support the costs of blogging, my site occasionally contains affiliate links.  When this happens – everything costs the same for you, but I get a little income as well.  Thanks!

What I Ate Wednesday : 04/29/2015

by Chelsea @ Make Real Food on April 29, 2015, no comments

The calendar may say it is the end of April, but the weather feels like early November + my head cold has decided that it is Winter.  I promise not to sneeze on you.  Let’s talk about eats!

Breakfast Part One: IMG_20150427_071807I’ve been working on my digestion + a calmer morning routine.  Since I started working from home, I no longer have to race out of the house each morning, however, my morning routine of rush-rush-SLURPDOWNASMOOTHIE-rush-rush had not changed.  I’ve decided to attempt at better mornings, by starting them with piping hot water + lemon juice + honey + ginger.  It is lovely, because it can’t be drank quickly, plus – hot lemon water does wonders for your digestion.  

Breakfast Part 2 – IMG_20150427_072041With the new morning routine I’ve been drinking my smoothie about mid-morning, or whenever I start to feel more hungry after the belly of lemon-water.  This has gotten me in trouble a few days – where I get caught up in work and don’t get to it before I’m HANGRY.  But – I’ve been trying to have it drank before 930am.  Trying.  This was a pb&j smoothie, I think?

Lunch Part 1 – By the time lunch time rolled around it was pretty obvious that the scratchy throat I’d woken up with was going to be a sore throat, and that my head and chest congestion were soon following.  I ate some leftover cashew-pad-thai from the night before.  Plus orange juice.  Plus airborne.  Plus, I couldn’t taste anything, so it doesn’t really count, right?!

Lunch Part 2 – IMG_20150427_155449I decided that perhaps getting out of the house would help me feel better (it didn’t).  So I walked down to Panera to work for the afternoon.  There I enjoyed their Garden Vegetable soup (which may have a bit of gluten AND dairy in it).  This soup is my new favorite, and Panera is a great + close escape for the stir-crazy afternoons working at home.  

Dinner: IMG_20141214_090145I grabbed a quick pizza with my Mum, after which, I was feeling positively snotty-filled and terrible.  I settled in at home with a large glass of peppermint tea and wallowed on the couch until bedtime.  Uhm.  My tea wasn’t in a Christmas mug as pictured above, but, it was 30 degrees outside, so this seemed like an appropriate representation. 

Apparently my meal-photo-taking-skills are even poorer when I’m under the weather.  So sorry! I will talk to you guys soon 🙂 

P.S. – 

We should be friends! Find me on Twitter and Facebook

Note – in order to help support the costs of blogging, my site occasionally contains affiliate links.  When this happens – everything costs the same for you, but I get a little income as well.  Thanks!

Thinking Out Loud Thursday : National Infertility Awareness Week – 2015

by Chelsea @ Make Real Food on April 23, 2015, 15 comments

Each week Amanda [Running with Spoons] hosts Thinking Out Loud Thursday. A chance for us to do some brain-dump blogging. And to hang out with fun people.

thursdaysErm.  This is my first post this week (opps).  We’re doing just fine around here.  I had decided last week to take this week off from blogging (working on more balance in my life – or something like that), but – then I remembered / realized that this week is National Infertility Awareness Week, and couldn’t let it pass without mention.  Although, if you follow me on Instagram, you know I have been mentioning it…a lot…this week.  

The theme for this year’s Infertility Awareness Week is “You Are Not Alone“.  This one really hit hard for me – because sharing our Infertility journey has all been about this theme.  Infertility is such a lonely, dark battle.  For us, talking about it made it easier.  It made it feel less shameful, less forbidden, and certainly less “alone”.  Just about every time I post regarding infertility, I have a friend, or someone I don’t even know contact me with their secret journey.  That is why I do this.  To let you know that you are NOT alone.  

For those of you who don’t know, I have endometriosis.  I was diagnosed as a teenager, and given slim – to – none chances of becoming pregnant.  Finding out you are (most likely) infertile as a teenager is not a fun time.  I certainly wasn’t open about my disease then.  It was taboo enough to discuss periods.  Not to mention ones that landed you needing medical treatment.  

The one luxury of an early infertility diagnosis (if I can scrape one out), is that I was able to have crucial conversations with Nathan before we started trying to get pregnant about what our options were, and what steps we were and weren’t willing to take.  These are conversations that should always accompany discussion of future children, regardless of your fertility history.  After you talk about if you want kids.  And now many.  Talk about what you would do if you couldn’t have them naturally.  Make these decisions early.  Trust me. 

For us, we knew chances were slim – but wanted to give it a shot.  We tried for two years on our own before my endo was so bad that I had to return on medication to stop my cycles.  We opted to not try any further interventions or fertility treatments.  The two years of trying on our own had been absolute hell.  We couldn’t do any more.  And, we’d made the decision before we even started trying that we didn’t want to do more.  That we wanted to adopt.  For us, being parents meant more than being pregnant.  I’m not saying this decision is for everyone.  This is just what was right for us.

This isn’t to say – that when I had my IUD put in, and we had officially “stopped trying” that it wasn’t hard.  I grieved the loss of the ability to get pregnant like the loss felt with death.  The death of realities we had assumed for our lives.  Because, I knew the odds, but I assumed we’d be the exception.  We’re good people.  We’ll get pregnant.  

We weren’t, and aren’t, the exception.  Bad things happen to good people.  And when they do, it’s okay to be sad.  

It’s okay to feel a lot of things when facing infertility.  For me, I often cycled between feeling numb, and feeling raw.  At times, I felt as if I was watching all of this happen.  I was watching each month pass, and just ticking off time on the calendar.  It wasn’t really my life.  This couldn’t really be my life.  Other days, I felt every single emotion.  I felt raw and empty.  Each word, each action, each second was a wound with salt poured inside.  A lot of times on these days, I felt angry.  I was angry at the world for handing me these cards.  And I was jealous.  Of every person in the entire world who had a baby.  Facebook was the most painful thing to open, but I kept doing it.  For some reason, the pain made me remember that I was alive.  IMG_20150421_072935

And then there were days that I didn’t feel the pain – in a good way.  I was happy.  My life was going to be okay.  I often felt guilty for having these days.  I can’t be happy – I am infertile. 

It took me a long time to realize that all of these emotions are/were okay.  Whatever emotions you feel about your infertility are okay.  

This month it has been one year since we stopped trying to get pregnant.  There are still days that I am not okay.  And that is okay.  But, overall, I am doing a lot better.  I remember a time that I did not know how I could ever feel happiness without being able to get pregnant.  It took a long time to not feel this way.  It took time, and talking, and therapy, and now – I feel joy without feeling guilty, or without feeling hesitant, waiting for my life to fall apart again.  I can see that our life will be okay – however it ends up, and that it is even some type of okay right now – before we have kids.  IMG_20150420_181627Infertility will always be a part of our life.  It is not something that will ever go away.  My disease can not be cured.  It will always cause me health problems.  The pain that we have felt can never be erased.  We can never “un do” the past three years of our life.  And I don’t know if I would, given the choice.  I do not ever want to relive the pain we felt.  And I would never wish it upon anyone.  But it has taught me to be strong.  It has taught my husband and I to be strong.  And I wouldn’t trade this for anything.  

If you are reading this, and thinking that you do not know anyone with infertility because they would have told you, please know that most people don’t share their infertility.  Because it is hard as hell to share.  It’s easier to bottle it up inside, and try every single day to not explode.  The raw facts?  1 in 8 couples suffer from infertility.  Still don’t think you know anyone?  I guarantee that you do.  Unless you only know 7 people in the whole world.  Then, maybe.  You may wonder why it matters to know about how infertility feels.  It matters because what you say to these people matters.  When you ask them when they’re “gunna start popping out some kids”, it hurts.  In a deep, raw, brutally painful kind of way.  In a way you can never understand.  In a way we could never expect you to understand.  But, we can ask that you be respectful.  Family plans are private.  They’re not yours to ask about.  And, please don’t offer me your kids “if I really want some that badly” – because I may just take them.

If you are reading this, and you do know someone with infertility, you may wonder what you can do to help.  You may know you don’t want to upset them, but you aren’t really even sure what to do or say around them.  That is okay.  Usually, people with infertility want a break from talking about infertility.  They want you to be their friend, and often, to be their distraction.  Other times, they may bring it up.  If they do, know that they have trusted you with their darkest secrets, and just listen.  Please don’t offer advice.  Relaxing does not, in fact, cure medical conditions.  Listen.  Give hugs.  Let them cry.  Tell them you’re there for them.  And mean it.  Include them in your life, just as you would without their disease.  Invite them to your baby shower.  But know that they may have a bad day, and not come.  Having a bad day and choosing not to come because I don’t think I can handle it is hard.  Not being invited because you don’t think I can handle it is even harder.  Let me make that decision.  And respect the one I make.  Love them.  And be their friend. 

Perhaps you’re here because you are here because you know the pain I have just described.  You know it first hand, in an ugly sort of way.  If so, I want to wrap my arms around you in the biggest hug possible.  And tell you you are not alone.  If you need to talk, please reach out.  The “contact me” button above can always reach me.  

You are not alone.


P.S. – 

We should be friends! Find me on Twitter and Facebook

Note – in order to help support the costs of blogging, my site occasionally contains affiliate links.  When this happens – everything costs the same for you, but I get a little income as well.  Thanks!

Thinking Out Loud Thursday : 4/16/2015

by Chelsea @ Make Real Food on April 16, 2015, 6 comments

Each week Amanda [Running with Spoons] hosts Thinking Out Loud Thursday. A chance for us to do some brain-dump blogging. And to hang out with fun people.

thursdaysHey! Hey! Is the world still there?! All we’ve seen this week is FOG.  For reals.  Rain.  Fog.  Rain.  Fog.  REPEAT.  < Spring Time! 

1 – Do you need your daily dose of CUTE! Okay.  I can oblige 🙂 IMG_20150411_155915Heeeeey Nephew!  (Arrested Development Nerds out there?!)  We spent some quality time Saturday with this cute little one.  (Oh, and his parents too, they’re great as well).  Baby snuggles are basically the best thing ever.  

2 – Speaking of Saturday.  We were celebrating two family birthdays (my husband and my sister in law’s birthdays are BOTH on the 12th!), so I made CAKE!  I decided to make a yellow cake and a red velvet cake (because everyone needs CAKE!).  I baked the cakes Friday afternoon and put them on the counter to cool, and then returned to working.  About 5 minutes later I heard a THUD-THUD of a little cat jumping off the counter.  < And my heart dropped.  I went walking into the kitchen and this is what I saw: IMG_20150410_160059You see that hole in the cake?!  That’s the size of our cats head.  Because he ATE THE CAKE.  Now, I’d like to say that this was a total surprise and I would have had no way of predicting this.  But…the likes cake.  A few years ago he downed an angel food cake.  And cake donuts?  His favorite.  And, as I know cats shouldn’t eat human food, a diabetic cat should REALLY not eat half a sheet cake.  We luckily stayed out of the emergency vet with this adventure, but he did have a few days of feeling pitiful.  Oh.  AND I had to bake a second cake.  Oy.  

3 – In order to ignore the rain, let’s talk about being outside.  Because last week was Summer Time.  And it was awesome.  IMG_20150412_121538I spent MOST of Sunday outside.  I went on a nice lake run (^ there), and then my friend asked me to go on a walk.  6.5 miles later, we were feeling great, and just a bit sunburnt.  Sunshine feels amazing, and I’m glad I soaked up a big dose of it!

4 – Working from home has also lent itself to more outside time during the day.  I enjoyed some afternoon runs last week.  Coming back home and not having to worry about putting back on work clothes? #BestThingEverIMG_20150409_144946Although, I did have a total first world meltdown last week when I decided to go on a walk on #CleanHairDay.  Totally ruined clean hair.  #FirstWorldProblem

5 – Today I’m chilling (watching it rain), and pretending I’m not super sleepy.  Nathan and I decided (at 9pm) last night to rearrange our second bedroom/office.  We decided to switch Nathan’s desk and my desk.  While there was A LOT of stuff to move, it surprisingly didn’t take too terrible long.  (Other than the huge pile of stuff that still doesn’t have a home).  (Ignore that pile, okay?!).  I don’t have pictures yet, because it’s still kind of a war zone, but.  New office setup.  Loving it.  Does anyone else decide to rearrange their house late at night?!

Okay.  Tired brain.  Rainy day.  🙂 I’ll talk to you guys later! 


P.S. – 

We should be friends! Find me on Twitter and Facebook

Note – in order to help support the costs of blogging, my site occasionally contains affiliate links.  When this happens – everything costs the same for you, but I get a little income as well.  Thanks!

What I Ate Wednesday : 4/15/2015

by Chelsea @ Make Real Food on April 15, 2015, 8 comments

SO.  Monday eats pictures totally didn’t happen.  I tried again on Tuesday.  Here are the results! 

Breakfast: IMG_20150414_071038A banana bread green smoothie! It was actually quite good 🙂 It had: spinach (of course), soy milk, banana (of course), cinnamon, flax meal, vanilla extract and pecans.  < APPARENTLY Tuesday was National Pecan Day.  I had no clue.  Perhaps my subconscious did 🙂 

Lunch: IMG_20150414_110827Nachos with Diaya cheese.  and salsa.  Erm.  Not a lunch to write home about, but #RealLife when you don’t have much in the pantry and need to eat during a call at work 🙂 

Afternoon Snack: IMG_20150414_152328 IMG_20150414_153553Make. This. For. Snack.  Toast (Udi’s), hummus, black pepper, Sriracha.  Pro Tip – spread the Sriracha around a bit more on the bread.  Oy.  Highly recommended for keeping feeling in your tongue.  🙂 I had two pieces of hummus toast + OJ.  < Been loving OJ recently.  So good.  Also.  It made me SUPER nervous to hold the OJ over my keyboard.  Not really sure why I did it.  Uhm < best photography skills of the year goes to…

Tea: IMG_20150414_155916If you haven’t noticed I haven’t been drinking much tea lately! I’m not sure what happened.  My weird schedule last month threw it out of my routine, and I haven’t picked it back up yet!  I enjoyed some caramel apple tea – and it was delightful 🙂 

Dinner: Picture or it didn’t happen…  It happened. But there was no picture. French fries + a black bean quesadilla. Delicious. 

So – those were my Tuesday eats! A bit less healthy than usual, but, #RealLife.  I hope everyone is doing well, and I will see you tomorrow! 🙂 

P.S. – 

We should be friends! Find me on Twitter and Facebook

Note – in order to help support the costs of blogging, my site occasionally contains affiliate links.  When this happens – everything costs the same for you, but I get a little income as well.  Thanks!

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