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I live a very busy life. I own and run a dental practice of thirteen employees. I also write this blog. I have three boys verging on middle school age. Three years ago I turned forty and did the normal questioning if I would die with any regrets. I knew I wanted to spend more time with my family even though they live on the opposite coast and travel more. Becoming a dentist required me to be single-minded in my determination to get my dentistry degree. It meant saying no to many of the trips my friends were taking. It also wasn’t the job I dreamed of as a child–I wanted to be a travel photographer. So I decided to start saying yes to those dreams.
I have always been a daddy’s girl. We have a similar positive attitude and appreciation for the beauty of life. And a real obsession with good food. As soon as we have a trip planned he is already talking about the food. Even though he lives in California and I live in Rhode Island we talk every day. He is super proud of my being a dentist and always refers to me as Dr. Jamie as a brag, so I know that he takes my job very seriously.
I had already taken a big trip to the Caribbean in February of this year when I got the opportunity for free flights for me and my middle son to Europe and the use of a car for two weeks. I was very unsure about taking even more time off of work and called my dad for advice. Not only did he convince me that I could not even think about missing the opportunity, he saw it as a trip of a lifetime because he wanted to join us!
It was an incredible trip. We travel so well together, cruising fast and unstructured. We decided each day to head in the direction that made sense to our desires at the moment. We drove through Sweden, Norway and Denmark stopping at every historical marker that we saw. On one of my favorite nights on a lonely fjord in Undredal, Norway, we found out that his mother, who is one of my heroes, but had a long struggle with dementia, had passed. It may sound strange, but it was the perfect place in the world to hear that news, and I felt that God had put us in this exact place to be able to endure this. My father was able to share his love of all sorts of weird fish with my son, his namesake. We all had the privilege of getting to know each other better in a new and different environment. The trip will be a blessing for both my son and me for our whole lives– I imagine my dad would say the same thing. And it couldn’t have happened if I wasn’t in a place of yes.
Another place in my life I have been saying yes is in the food my family is eating. I want us all to stay healthy, so we can continue to enjoy each other and all the active trips we have in our future. We climbed our first family mountain this year– Tumbledown Mountain in Maine. I am still saying yes to my nightly ice cream, but we are trying to eat more vegetables and real foods. When we do eat meat, we are trying to find meat and dairy without antibiotics. Campbell’s Soup is embracing many of these ideals that 40 has brought into my life with their line of Well Yes!® Soups. It really helps a busy mom like me to have canned soup options to chose from that have antibiotic-free chicken, whole foods like quinoa and kale and come in non-bpa cans. They also contain no artificial flavors or coloring.
These soups in the right direction came at a perfect time for my family. My youngest son just became a vegetarian. Well Yes! soup gives me the option of feeding my two older a cleaner chicken noodle soup, while easily dealing with my youngest’s dietary needs since Well Yes! has vegan and vegetarian varieties.
Vegan Varieties: Chickpea & Roasted Red Pepper, Cajun Red Bean & Vegetable & Italian Vegetables with Farro
Vegetarian Varieties: Sweet Potato Corn Chowder, Tomato Carrot Bisque, Butternut Squash Apple Bisque, Chickpea & Roasted Red Pepper & Italian Vegetables with Farro
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