Monday, October 17, 2016

Loving Milk Maid's Final Blog Post

Hello, everyone.

I hope you had a wonderful Monday.

I wanted to let everyone know that this will be my final blog post here. As wonderful as the past six months have been, the time has come for me to move forward and focus on my website. I simply do not have the time to maintain this blog and Bountiful Fruits.

Over time, posts will either be disabled, or redirected to Bountiful Fruits, which is growing into a lovely little ANR community, thanks to the wonderful people who have shown such support and encouragement. I have added many new features, including a forum and chat room, and I hope you'll consider joining me there.

Thank you again for a wonderful six months.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

My Life as a Nursing Wife: The Sixth Month

For the past six months, I have re-dedicated my life to that of a nursing wife, a joyful journey that I have been blessed to share with the man I love; he is my constant and faithful companion, my dearest friend, the father of my children, and just as the seasons have blossomed and transformed from spring to summer, and now into autumn, so has the depth of our love.

And to be given the blessing of rediscovered new love after spending 16 years with someone is a beautiful and beloved gift.

I love Mr. S' face, the high cheekbones, the set of his jaw, the distinct sloping line of his nose, and his beautiful blue eyes, the eyes that are not truly the color of a midnight sky or a piece of fine turquoise,  but a shade somewhere in between the two, kaleidoscope eyes whose changing color is as unique as he is.

And while I have always known that comforting and familiar face, I have now been shown a very different side of it, something that can only be described as his nursing face, that visage of sublime peace and relaxation, the contentedness that smoothly transforms the little lines that fan from the corners of his eyes and erases the tiny furrows between his eyebrows, the set of his jaw, the fan of his lips, the shadows that his eyelashes cast upon his cheeks. I quietly watch him in soft, golden lamplight, as he lies contentedly and unaware at my breast, lulled by my breathing, my heart beat, my milk, everything that makes me very aware of my presence as a woman, his wife. I have memorized that face. I am in love with it.

I have nursed this man often throughout the course of our marriage, but this time, during this part of my journey, the experience is a bit different because it is a path that we have created only for us.

In the past, I was a breastfeeding mother whose breasts belonged to her children; nature had blessed me with an abundant fountain of milk, and while Mr. S drank his fill, and enjoyed it very much, it was meant for our little ones' sustenance and nourishment. He did not come to the breast until the children had been tended to and fulfilled.

Now, the children are self-reliant, and my role has shifted from breastfeeding mother to that of a nursing wife. My breasts, and every drop of the milk that we have worked together to produce over the past six months, that now flows freely from them, belong only to him. Yes, this is a journey that we have carved out for us.

I have learned to balance lactation and life. I have learned an unspoken, and sometimes surreal, depth of love. I have reminded a strong, courageous, and self-reliant man that he is free to depend upon me without fear of losing his own independence.

Nursing has provided us the beautiful opportunity to focus on us, on a strong relationship that continues to strengthen, in the most intimate way that a man and a woman can connect. It has given two imperfect people the privilege of glimpsing perfection within the embrace of another's arms.

Autumn will fade, giving way to winter, but our love will remain unchanged, forever blooming, like the rarest rose amid the drifted snow.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Crystal Anniversary Get-Away: Part II

On August 11, Mr. S and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary, and after we returned from a completely unexpected--and beautiful-- mini get-away, I blogged about our romantic adventure, beginning this two-part post last Monday with PART I.  Here is the conclusion. :)

Before we headed out for the evening, Mr. S insisted that I open my gifts. The card he chose was so pretty.

And one of my gifts was a beautiful gold and diamond floating heart necklace.

Mr. S had made reservations for us at a fabulous fondue restaurant where we were shown to a private and intimate table for two. Imagine my surprise when I found the table top scattered with rose petals and saw the long-stemmed red rose lying at my place.

I felt so loved--and very much like a lady.

Dinner was fabulous; we shared cheese and chocolate fondue, complete with platters of artisan accompaniments and bowls of fresh fruits (and a virgin Love Martini for me).

And while the ambience was beautiful, the most perfect part of dinner was the quiet conversation we shared. We talked about everything, including our courtship and wedding day, and spent those long, leisurely moments strolling down the curving paths of memory lane. To be told that my husband still feels honored that I am his wife after so many years have passed was magical. We agreed to meet at the same place and at the same time fifteen years from that moment, and I immediately found myself anticipating that far-off moment.

Dark had fallen when we stepped out of the restaurant, and the plaza was beautifully lit with twinkling golden lights, so we took our time walking back to our car, and listened to our favorite songs as we drove back to the Welsh Hills.

Once we were settled into our beautiful suite, Mr. S lit some candles and turned on the soft, soulful strains of Billy Paul and Otis Redding. (Oh, he knows me too well, and knows what happens every time I hear "Me and Mrs. Jones" and "These Arms of Mine"! ;))

I took a relaxing bubble bath in the amazing Italian soak tub...

And Mr. S washed my back.

We spent the final moments of our Crystal Anniversary here:

Our life together is very much like a collection of eclectic short stories, part romantic fairytale and part gripping history. It is filled with passionate love stories and action-packed tales of adventure, and it is the greatest book that I have ever written. Each year I share with the man I love begins a new chapter in our book of life, and it seems that I can never wait to turn the page to find out what happens next.

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Crystal Anniversary Get-Away: Part I

I had been anticipating our 15th wedding anniversary for quite some time, but because of several recent life events, I assumed that a romantic August 11 get-away was out of the question, and made plans to spend a quiet and content evening at home.

But Mr. S had other plans.

He had arranged a fabulous anniversary surprise for me, making reservations for two at a beautiful Bed and Breakfast in the secluded Welsh Hills.

We began the morning of our crystal wedding anniversary at 6 a.m. with a glorious nursing session, and then he and I enjoyed our morning coffee before sharing breakfast with the children, who had taken the time to make us beautiful anniversary cards, and then prepared to head out just before 9:00. Once the children were settled in with my parents, Mr. S and I were free to head off on our adventure for two in the rolling Welsh Hills.

We stopped off in a beautifully quaint  historic town filled with interesting and eclectic little shops, art galleries, and cafes. The cobblestone streets were lined with blooming magenta and pink impatiens and lacy ferns and little umbrella-clad bistro tables. After strolling hand-in-hand along the winding walkways and browsing in antique jewelry shops and vintage bookstores and confectionaries, we decided to have lunch at Moe's, a bluesy restaurant on Main Street.

I loved the atmosphere. Fabulous pencil art sketches of iconic musicians lined the walls, and we enjoyed eating to soft blues music, talking over the soulful strains of Otis Redding (my favorite) and Ray Charles.

Mr. S loves the Blues Brothers, so we had to take a photo of Jake and Elwood!
Mr. S loved his "deep south" meal, prepared Alabama-style:

 Note the collard greens and red beans and rice? It's hard to believe that he was born and raised in Detroit. :) But his parents had deep southern roots that somehow managed to imprint themselves on my love. ;)

After lunch we headed out once more, this time to Whitt's coffee shop where we ordered two cups of amazing coffee and hand-made vanilla custard, which we shared under the shade of a ruffled umbrella.

I felt so relaxed, so attuned to my husband, and knew that so much awaited us.

After a while, we headed back to the car, and drove toward our destination, taking the time to admire the pretty scenery and beautiful Colonial and Victorian homes along the way. After several long moments, we reached a long, curving tree-lined, sun-dappled lane, and followed it to the inn.

The inn was breathtaking, surrounded by fifteen acres of wooded beauty and lush English gardens, and owned by the most wonderful and hospitable couple who gave us a guided tour of the grounds before showing us to our luxury king suite.

Named Berllan Glyn, Welsh for orchard glen, the guest suite was filled with fabulous antiques, art work, and a gorgeous sitting area. The luxurious two-room bath housed an impressive glass and marble steam shower and was tastefully  decorated with imported pieces of art. It also included a private screened-in terrace with a spectacular view of the gardens and private access to an amazing swimming pool.

Two o'clock had come, so we spent the next hour nursing, and afterwards, we strolled the grounds and enjoyed a long, leisurely swim in the pool, which was absolutely wonderful. Around 6:00, we shared a private--and very romantic--soak in the courtyard hot tub.

I could have been very content to spend the rest of the evening walking hand-in-hand among the gardens or enjoying the bocce ball court and the swaying two-person hammocks stretched between a pair of beautiful old pine trees, but, once again, Mr. S had other plans, so I put my hand in his, allowing him to lead me back to our suite so we could get ready for a night out.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

An Adult Nursing Relationship Love Story: The 15th Year

Once upon a time, quite by chance, a girl met a boy. They fell in love at first sight, and from that very moment, they vowed never to part.

Their love continued to bloom, and before she knew it, the girl was planning her wedding. On a warm August evening, just as three generations of women in her family had done before, she  pledged her unending love to the man standing by her side, and she became his wife.

She soon learned the imperfect perfection known as marriage, and fell more deeply in love with him  as each day passed. Soon, there were bills to pay, meals to cook, laundry to wash, separations to face--and the beautiful sounds of a baby's laughter and the gentle pitter patter of tiny feet.

Time passed quickly, and over the years she sometimes found herself faced with the sacred words of her marriage vows, standing by him for richer or poorer, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, and each time life presented itself to them in a way that was not always kind, she pulled herself more tightly to his side, adjusting her sails according to the wind's direction, weathering the storm...and fell more deeply in love.

She changed over the years, from a girl into a woman--and a mother. Her body blossomed, and with each new transformation, she saw new admiration in his eyes; he continued to tell her that she was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen--and that he was the luckiest man in the world to have her, referring to her as "his girl", even after so many years had gone by. He told her that every change was a symbol of her love for him, creating a timeline of the history they had shared, and that every mark upon her skin was seen as a badge of honor and courage. And she knew the meaning of unabiding love in its purest form.

Suddenly, one day, as if in the blink of an eye, the calendar changed. It was August again. And the 15th year of their marriage had arrived.

Unbeknownst to her, this man had a very special surprise waiting for his "girl", and they slipped off on a romantic get-away for two, just as they had done so many years before.

They shared a wonderful day together, and that evening, he took her out for an intimate dinner, and when they were shown to their table, she found this waiting for her:
As she lifted the fragrant flower to her nose to inhale the heady perfume of its velvet petals, she realized that their love was very much like that rose. From a delicate bud it had flourished, unfurling with every passing moment, until bursting into full bloom to display the beauty it had always held inside.

And when she opened her eyes to find him watching her with a smile playing across his face, she smiled back and reached for his hand, which was waiting for her touch, and neither of them said a word. They didn't need to. Love was had always been there. It was in their eyes. Just as it had been when they'd first met so long ago.

"What do you say?" he asked, lifting her hand to his mouth. "Same time, same place, 15 years from now?"

"Yes," she replied. "15 years from now. And I can't wait."

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Return of LMM

Happy Monday, everyone!

Before I begin this post with an explanation as to where I've been over the last week, I want to take a minute to say thank you to everyone who has sent messages of concern, asking about my well-being. The fact that you took time to think of me, and to ask after me and my family was absolutely emotionally overwhelming, and made me realize that there are truly wonderful people out there. I can't tell you how much I needed those messages, or how they lightened my heart. I'll personally respond to everyone just as soon as I can.

It was an eventful week in the M household. Unfortunately, Mr. S got injured at work last week, so I have been nursing (in many respects) the infirm, and because he and our three rambunctious bundles of  joy are my top priority, I stepped away from my computer to tend to the needs of my love. I went through a couple of other rough patches, too, that reminded me that life simply happens sometimes, but as you can see from the photos below, I am okay--and back with a vengeance. ;)

Of course, nothing is all  bad. There is good everywhere. I did manage to finish this:

So, how can I not continue to feel truly blessed--especially when I have people like you out there, cheering me on?
I'll be doing my best to post more this week, and because I am waaaayyyy behind on my podcast schedule, I'll do my all to have that uploaded too. Thank you all for your patience and continued support.

May you have a wonderful week!

Hugs and many blessings to you from me,

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Momsicles: LMM's Frozen Breast Milk Pops

The other afternoon, as I was organizing one of my kitchen cupboards, I came across my popsicle molds, which are normally used a lot in the summer so I can make healthy juice pops for the children. I tossed them into the sink to wash, and as I did, my eyes fell on the bottle of freshly-pumped breast milk I had set aside to store, and that's when inspiration struck.

(I'll bet you already know where I'm going with this, don't you? ;))

Breast milk freezes well in a bag. Why wouldn't it freeze well in a popsicle mold?

Because breast milk is a precious commodity, and I have plans for mine, and each mold cavity holds two ounces of liquid, I only filled two of them with liquid gold, and set them in the freezer to see what would happen.

Breastfed children are funny. When my children were little, Mr. S used to laugh every time their faces became smeared with that blissfully bleary milk-drunk expression; you know, the one that causes little mouths to slow their rhythm and little eyes to flutter and roll, and when they got older and began to talk, knowing that children are breast milk connoisseurs, he never failed to ask them the same questions in regard to their breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The conversation always went something like this:

Dad: "Is that good stuff?"

Child 1, 2, or 3: Nods

Dad: "Is it? What does it taste like?"

To which each child would reply with their own opinion. The oldest always said "red popsicles", the middle one (who is the ornery one of the bunch, and has always found himself extremely amusing, even as a toddler) would invariably say, "dill pickles", and the baby, our only little lady, would chirp the word "marshmallows!" with exuberance and joy, followed by the proclamation that it was "deee-wicious!"

(Disclaimer: My breast milk has never tasted like dill pickles. The middle kid, aside from being a clown, loved dill pickles, so I think it was a compliment.)

I allowed my milk pops to freeze overnight, and unmolded one the following evening. I had to let the mold set in a bowl of cool water for a couple of minutes to release the final product, but it finally came out fairly well--and what I held in my hand was a sleek vanilla-colored creamsicle. I was so excited that I went on the search to find the Mister.

"Check this out!" I cried when I'd found him. "I made a Momsicle!"

He looked up from the newspaper with absolutely no surprise. Very little fazes him, particularly now that I am blogging about our life. "Did you say a momsicle?" he asked.

"Yes! I made it from my milk. Here," I said, holding it out to him. "Try it."

He took a bite. So did I.

And, you know what?

It was really very good.

It didn't taste like a red popsicle, and it certainly didn't taste like a dill pickle, but it did sort of taste like a marshmallow, and after a couple more bites, I realized that my little lady's estimation of breast milk is quite accurate: it honestly was deee-wicious. ;)

If you're into consuming breast milk for health purposes, have some extra milk stockpiled, and happen to  like ice cream bars, Momsicles might just be the way to go. Some women give them to their little ones to ease teething pain, too.

Because the calories in breast milk vary from woman to woman, depending on diet, and the time of day milk is expressed, (as well as the size of your popsicle molds) it is difficult to determine just how many calories a typical Momsicle will contain, but each of mine was approximately 22 calories, and you can be sure, no matter what, that your Momsicles will be loaded with lots of nutritious vitamins, nutrients, immune-boosting antibodies, and good fat!