Steak Salad

My husband and I have a date every Friday or Saturday. This date may include a movie, a football game, bowling, or whatever form of entertainment we choose to partake in. While the entertainment fluctuates, one thing remains constant: our dining choice.

Cafe Rio. Cafe Rio. Thinking about it makes my mouth water. At this restaurant, we always choose the steak salad. The delicious lettuce, steak, rice, black beans, and other trimmings mixed with the delightful creamy tomatillo house dressing makes for a delicous dinner.

This tradition kept me going through my very tough pregnancy. It also serves as my busy husband’s weekend salvation. I do enjoy everyday I am with my children; it is the reprieve from cooking and dishes that I crave.

I never thought the day would come that I would have to give up this delightful tradition. Yet, my dear newborn has requested that I not eat spicy foods.

“Give up Cafe Rio?!” I exclaimed.

“Waaa Waaa Wah!” He cried back. Until 2 am. Until Daddy said, “Let me give him some formula, please!”

Supplementing with formula did not bother me nearly as much as giving up my Cafe Rio.

“Please!” I have pleaded. “Let me eat my steak salad with creamy tomatillo dressing! I cannot make it through a weekend without it!” My cries have availed me nothing. The spiciness hurts Manly’s tummy, so I must give up the treasure.

I have sacrificed a few things for motherhood. Most things surround my atrocious pregnancies: medications, food, sleep. Others include trips, a career, higher education, more sleep, and money.

I have never regretted these things. I know that each child needed to come when they did. I also know that if I want to have a big family and finish having kids before 30, I needed to sacrifice a few “fun” things during my 20’s.

Each day I wake up with gratitude for my healthy, beautiful children. I give thanks for my wonderful, devoted husband. I pray that I will be a better mother. I pray that I will nurture my children’s development.

While I could have become a very successful researcher, professor, or counselor, I know my place (at least right now) is with my children. I still have a goal of getting a Masters (and maybe a Ph.d) later on in my life. As for now, I am earning my degree in motherhood. I am getting an advanced education in child development. I am learning how to be patient, to love unfailingly, to rely on God.

I willingly gave up many things to become a mother. I will even give up my Cafe Rio. Maybe not as willingly. That’s how much I love my children.



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9 responses to “Steak Salad

  1. Sarah

    Girl, I know the pain of having to give up certain foods for a nursing newborn. I was awful at it. Two words: Gripe Water.All natural and worth a try if you haven't tried it before.You never know. If the Steak Salad is that good it might be worth trying something new. :)Oh. And my mouth is watering.

  2. Aidan Donnelley Rowley

    This post is great and it is about so much more than a delectable steak salad. It is about sacrifice. The infinite sacrifices we make the moment we become mothers (or probably pregnant). And some of these sacrifices are so hard, are such stark reminders of the loss of freedom and frolic.I can very much relate to your having to give up your salad. My younger daughter had a dairy allergy so I had to eliminate all dairy from my diet which meant NO eating out at all. And it still didn't work and we had to switch to prescription formula. So I gave up all those treasures and then felt like a failure in the end. Welcome to motherhood, I said to myself.Your kids are lucky to have such a devoted and insightful mother.

  3. Yvonne

    I LOVE Cafe Rio–we spend a lot of time there when I visit Utah. I get the pork salad–YUM.Motherhood is all about sacrifices–sacrifices that are so worth it. I love the way you write. Great job.

  4. TKW

    Oh, sweetie, how painful for you! Mexican food is a NEED, you know that, right? What a good mama you are.I know, the things we do. I can't believe I gave up booze for 9 months…TWICE. The horror.

  5. Kimberly

    Now that is love indeed!My kiddos always make me give up peanut butter, and I LOVE peanut butter.Sigh.

  6. BigLittleWolf

    I hear you. And your sacrifices have cut much deeper than that steak salad. You know you won't regret it though. This incredible foundation you're laying with your husband. The family you are building together. It's the good stuff. It's the best stuff.

  7. Kristen

    What I love about your post is that it so perfectly captures the sacrifices that we moms make as though they're second nature (lack of sleep, putting our careers on hold) but it's often something seemingly smaller (like steak salad) that makes us pause and consider what it's all worth.Thanks. I enjoyed your post and my visit to your blog.

  8. Ambrosia

    Sarah: I have never heard of Gripe Water! I am most willing to try anything that allows me to continue my feast : ). Aidan: Your sacrifice of dairy is amazing. I have known a few women who have had to similarly sacrifice. Switching to prescription formula does not, in anyway, make you a horrible mom. We moms allow ourselves to feel so guilty about seeming mistakes. You are a wonderful mom for trying. Even if you didn't, you would still be wonderful. Yvonne: When you come to UT next, we need to get together for a delectable feast. Maybe by then I will be able to eat the salad : ).TKW: Yes, Mexican food is a need. A need and a must. I am not a drinker, but I did sacrifice Dr. Pepper. Ugh.Kimberly: I LOVE peanut butter as well. How funny that you have to give up that! BLW: I will definitely not regret it. Building a family is so much more important than my fleeting appetite.Kristen: I am not sure I can add to your comment. Your eloquence would not be enhanced by my blundering sentences.

  9. Eowyn

    Oh the pain! I feel it! I'm not sure I could sacrifice such a thing. . .Actually, I could, but I'd be heartbroken, as you are. I hope you can find an acceptable substitute. Thanks for coming out of the woodwork and commenting on my blog!