I was thinking about hugs today. 

Recently, I saw a friend for the first time in a while and I think I hugged her too many times in the course of that meeting. It happens sometimes when I am feeling uncomfortable. I say something stupid involving far too many words for the situation, or I hug because I don’t know if I’m supposed to, or to fill a bit of space for which I can’t find words. I think I’m also really bad at knowing how long said-hug should last. I tend to pull away while they’re still hugging and then there’s that whole awkward end-of-hug dance. Do you know the one? And then, obviously, I think about it way too much later and am analyzing it when most people have moved on to completely normal thought processes!

That’s why those of us who are true introverts coping in a world FULL of people prefer our tendency to avoid those huggy, wordy, inevitably awkward moments.

Introvert, you ask? Yup. And proud of it. Give me a book and a quiet house and I’m the happiest girl. Give me a room full of people and I’m a mess on the inside dreading small talk like the plague. 

I wonder often if this is just me since birth or some product of my environment. 
I don’t like to be a blamer of childhood so I won’t venture too deeply into the vaults of my memory for this one, but I will say that ours was hardly an affectionate family. Imagine four people living in bubbles that never joined and that should sum it up. Our family never hugged, snuggled, wrestled, tickled, or used laps for comfort. I know my dad loved me, but I’m pretty sure he thought any affection with his daughters was somehow inappropriate so he just kept his distance. I did try to hold his hand occasionally, and I distinctly remember wanting to as a little girl, but somehow I sensed his discomfort and let go. With my mom, I just don’t think she ever wanted to be near us. Other factors help prove that point.
Close to adulthood, some hugging happened, but mostly in public and rarely genuinely.

This led me to having my own issues with personal contact. 

Since I knew this about myself, I made a conscious choice to change when I had children. But strangely enough, it was the easiest thing in the world for me to shower them with affection. Granted, we’ve never been much of a kiss-on-the-lips kind of family (like my husbands family, God bless ’em), but I still hold my grown son’s hand and snuggle my girls when they let me. 
To clarify, I tell my children that I kissed them all on the lips until they got old enough for their breath to stink, and I don’t think that’s the least bit unreasonable.

My Addie has this natural aversion to physical touch. Give her a hug and she will cringe. Well, if you do she will. She’s just gotten used to us. She’s not the girl who climbs into her daddy’s arms for a snuggle despite his willingness. Granted their have been moments for that, but not on a typical day. She just prefers for no one to touch her. She hasn’t always been this way. Mostly in the last few years. And she’s one of my extroverts! I really have no doubt whatsoever that she will overcome this as soon as she has that first baby.

As an adult, I had to learn what affection should look like. Isn’t that weird? Like, when we led youth group, some of those girls would practically sit in my lap and snuggle, and I probably sat with my eyes bugging out of my head trying to look like this felt normal. They sure thought it was! Funny how much those beautiful kids taught me. And through friendships. Beautiful ladies have sat with me during rough moments and held my hand or kissed my cheek. It helped me learn how God gave us each other to feel His touch.

So, next time I see you, please don’t mention the awkwardness. I’m sure it will just make things weirder. Just hug me anyway and it’ll be just fine! 

For now, this has left me a bit uncomfortable even in my own skin. I think I’ll go find Christian. I need a hug.


Where it all starts…

I’m so excited to start sharing some of my food ideas! As I’ve said before in my other blog, I cook to show love and serve my family. I also love to EAT! And this is for sure my biggest driver to cook. If I crave it, I try to make it. I get bored easily so I try new things all the time, but I also have all the old stand-bys that have fed the fam all these years.
Most of what I will share will not be an original recipe. Often it will be modified to some degree, but I will always give credit where credit is due.

Now here’s where I share some of my humble opinions about food. I have several opinions about cooking and eating. First of all, if it doesn’t taste good, don’t bother. There’s a lot of fancy food out there that’s not worth my time. I figure, if I can’t find it at my local grocery store neither can you. I try to keep things simple.

Secondly, let’s not be too picky. If you have little ones (or not so little ones) that try to tell you they don’t like something, encourage them to eat new foods and keep trying ones they thought they didn’t like. Don’t sell them short by thinking all they will eat are things like hot dogs, macaroni, and spaghetti. Expand their world. Let family dinners be a place of creativity and new flavors.
It’s a sad, sad world for a picky eater. I figure we are each allowed about five foods we genuinely can’t stand. The rest are often in our heads.

Thirdly, (is that a word?) it’s easy to make a few little changes that make our eating better for us. I’ll share some of what I’ve learned as I go, but health nut, I am not. Like I said before, it’s gotta taste really good, and some things you just can’t substitute or sacrifice.

Lastly, just like anything worthwhile, you get out of it what you put into it. Most times, good food costs someone an investment of time. Enjoy every flavor–every bite.

Now, on to some food! Hopefully, you try some, and even better really like it.