Yesterday was my 35th birthday. It was a day full of happiness, love, and Blackberry Lemon Lavender Cupcakes. I share this day with my now four year old who against the odds decided to make his presence into my life on his exact due date which also happens to by my birthday. I now call him my birthday soulmate. My husband thinks this happened because my mom was trying to teach me to share. It worked in this instance, though initially I was not so hot on the idea.
Almost 7 years ago my mom passed away from ALS. She was able to meet my first baby, but wasn’t there for the next 3, or the 2 miscarriages that followed her death. After a traumatic experience with my oldest sons birth, my husband and I talked about being done having kids. After all, we had 2 perfectly healthy, happy kids.
THE VOICE WITHIN KNOWS WHAT’S UP
Yet, there was a little voice in my head that kept telling me to have a third baby. I remember one conversation in the kitchen with my husband clear as day. We were to leave for Key Largo the next morning for my good friends wedding. I told him I felt like there was a hole in my heart, like something was missing. I felt like we really should have one more baby (I also super love babies so I literally would have 10 if it wasn’t exhausting, and if I were rich). Anyhow, he said he would like a third too but worried about pushing our luck after what happened with our son. He said we would go on vacation then come back and talk about it some more, but likely he would have a vasectomy. He said he would get me a dog to fill the hole in my heart (insert eye roll, also bad idea).
TWO PINK LINES
The next day we were on the airplane, our first trip away since our honeymoon, and it hit me.
I told him I was pregnant. He said, “no way, it can’t be. It is probably just anxiety from leaving the kids.” This was my 5th pregnancy at that point so I knew without a doubt I was pregnant. We landed and I took a test right away (against his judgement). Yep – two little faint pink lines! He about shit. So did I. We specifically used an app to NOT get pregnant and I was 7 days past ovulation on the day we conceived. The odds were .0005% or something like that.
MY MIRACLE BABY
This is where I truly believe my mom had a hand in this. The day we conceived was Friday the 13th. When she was alive she always said this was her lucky day.
My due date with this baby? My birthday, of course.
The very first nurse we meet when we get to the hospital on my birthday to have this baby boy? Her name was Diane (my moms name).
His birth was a successful, low stress, VBAC with Coldplay playing in the background. Very different from my other babies.
Fast forward, we have a spunky, wild, cool four year old (and now two dogs). We call him Dapper Doodle. He has mannerisms like my mother, twirls his hair like my mother, has the kindest heart, the goofiest personality, and cries at disney movies. Doodle fills our days with joy and we are so blessed and thankful he is our surprise baby (which turned into one more planned baby).
Mostly, I am thankful for him being born on my birthday because he takes a little bit of the grief away from the day. The point of your birthday is to celebrate your birth, but when the loving woman who birthed you is dead, it is traumatizing. I do have to say I have the best family and friends who make the day super special for me, especially since I absolutely love birthdays, but days like this can be yet another reminder of the loss you face.
A few weeks ago I had a meltdown. This probably stemmed from that time of the month (yippee skippee), but it crossed my mind that this birthday would mark half my life being over if I lived as long as my mom did. I then went down the dark hole that appears often when you lose someone you love so much. It is depressing. It is sad. If you have lost someone so important to you, I know you know what I mean.
It is also enlightening, and thought-provoking. Even meditative, if you let it be.
I cried it out to my hubby, then decided to switch my attitude to focus on how I am going to make this the best act of my life and set huge goals instead.
I have worked super hard to get where I am. It definitely has not been easy, but I persevere and think bigger because what is the alternative? I hear so many women tell me they feel stuck whether it be in regards to nutrition, exercise, careers, marriage, friendships, parenting, you name it. It is easy to feel that way, trust me, I have been there. However, when you realize it is all your choice, your perspective, your actions that can control the situation, with one thought you can turn it all around into a positive and move forward.
Whenever I start going down a negative though process, such as the “my life is half over” example here, I say to myself (out loud) “STOP”. I grab a pen, and I write. I list out the problem, then follow it with actionable steps to move forward.
LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO NOT HAVE A PLAN
Having a plan is the absolute best way to get unstuck.
Think of a problem you are facing right now. Grab a pen and paper, not your phone or computer, a physical pen and paper. Write the problem down. Next, make bullet points of potential solutions. What actionable step can you take right now to change this? If you don’t take action, you don’t move forward. Ask someone you trust for their input if you are stuck. If you are really stuck, make sure you are not tired. Mind fog really hits when you are tired, especially as a mom. You can’t think clearly when you need sleep. Get a good nights sleep and try this in the morning.
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS
…and remember, when life gives you lemons, turn them into Blackberry Lemon Lavender cupcakes. You won’t regret it.
Cheers to the next 35, and the 35 after that!
BLACKBERRY LAVENDER LEMON CUPCAKES
My husband and I recently went on a trip to Washington Island, WI for our anniversary. We stopped at Fragrant Isle Lavender Farm and purchased some fresh culinary lavender. I had been looking for an excuse to use it so when I decided to bake cupcakes for my son and my birthday I used half the batter for the cake, and half the batter for these cupcakes, which turned out delicious! I doubled the recipe below so it will make a full batch.
For the cake mix, I used King Arthur Gluten Free yellow cake mix. It is super moist (I hate that word but don’t have an alternative, please please let me know if you do) and the next best clean version to homemade.
For the frosting I used Simple Mills Organic Vanilla Frosting and mixed it with a full packet of dye free pink food color and a little bit of blue color from Color Kitchen to make the lavender color. I have used other brands for color as well but I love this brand. Do your fam bam a huge favor and throw away food dyes and replace them with brands that use turmeric, spirulina, and beet root instead. Food dyes have been linked to all sorts of health conditions and behavior issues in children. This is a great start in creating a cleaner pantry.
If you need other ideas for stocking up on healthy food items, check out the link on my home page for my free FVE a day plan for exercise and healthy eating tips.
As a bonus you will receive 10 recipes from my very own kitchen (kid and spouse approved)!
If you make these, be sure to tag us on your Instagram account with #wellfitmommy. I would love to see your pretty pictures and hear how you like them!