Sunday, January 29, 2017

Time to throw in some updated pictures on this ol' blog.  Jeff wanted a picture of the two of us but couldn't get a good one on his phone.  I love this one from my phone despite the fact my lens needs a little cleaning. :P

 I am starting to have little kid withdrawals now that my baby is in kindergarten.  Time has gone so fast.  I try to make time for her little adventures like playing Candy Land (blah).  Hazel wanted to play, too. (I won.  Chloe kept playing until she won,too.

A couple of weeks ago, Jeff decided the kids needed to pull their weight a little more when it came to dinner time.  He wanted each of them to plan/prepare one meal a week. After thinking about it a little bit, I handed each person (mom and dad, too!) in the family a piece of paper and asked them to write down 4 meal ideas, A month of meals- done!  It's been fun watching the kids learn to do more advanced things in the chicken.  One of the meals Sophie picked was lasagna.  Others we've had are chicken salad, Cajun Chicken with rice, Beef and Broccoli, a South West style salad, and BBQ chicken wraps.  Lots of yummy things!

Sports have ruled our Saturday.  Dance (totally counting).  Basketball x 2 and indoor soccer.  It makes for a busy day, but it's so fun to watch the kids and see how far they've come.  It beats staying home and doing chores. ;)

Annnnd snow.  Snow. Snow.  And- more snow.  The last day or two we've started to see the sun including some incredible sunsets/brilliant evening light.  It makes me wish I had a really good camera. It's January and snow and cold are okay I guess, but I am sure looking forward to slightly warmer temperatures!

and here's a picture of my family. :)

Monday, January 23, 2017

Celiac Disease

I have recounted this story so many times I'm tired of it, but I have not yet written it down.  So.  At least one more time I will have to share it.

Clear back at the end of 2015 I woke up with strange spots all over my skin that were round and itchy but looked more like a mild cigarette burn than a rash or hives.  I skipped church that day not knowing why my skin was reacting this way and didn't want to spread anything on the off chance it was a weird contagious thing.  Instead, I went to my doctor's office.  The doctor just shrugged it off as something I probably ate.  For the record I could not think of one single new thing I had eaten.

This past summer I started getting red, itchy spots again.  I was trying to ignore them as best I could. However.  I saw a link to this post on Instagram from Becky Higgins.  She shared how important it is to listen to your body.  I started to think maybe I should look into this a little bit after all.  But I didn't do anything sure it was nothing and I'd have the same response as before.  Really soon after I read Becky's post, I saw this one from Ali Edward's who had a health scare and also cautioned her readers to listen to their bodies.  How could I ignore it this time?  I called an allergist and made an appointment.

I second guessed everything the whole way through.  I was sure it was nothing and that I would walk away $40 poorer with no new information.  The allergist was fantastic.  He did the scratch test I requested, but the only thing that turned up was grass.  He checked my ears, nose and throat.  He thought my thyroid felt a bit enlarged and wanted to draw blood to check it.  He was taking notes as he explained this.  He sort of stopped and looked up at me and said, "Let's check for Celiac, too, since we're drawing blood." He explained that sometimes it can manifest as a rash.

It took almost a week to get the results back due to Labor day.  When the doctor's office called me back, they told me my numbers were high.  The doctor wanted me to meet with a GI doctor and get an endoscopy.  I did that and yes.  It was confirmed.  I have a moderate case of  Celiac's disease.

As much as I have hated the idea of it, I am so grateful to have an answer.  I did a lot of reading after the diagnosis, especially looking into the symptoms.  I know people with Celiacs.  I've had to cook for a Celiac friend at Girl's Camp. I thought I knew what they symptoms were.  Apparently there is a lot more to it than just tummy troubles.  (which I never had)  I read through the symptoms and could check off several!  (Just not the super obvious ones)  I now had an explanation for so many mild problems I had been having.  I had been working with my doctor on trying to figure out a few things because I knew something wasn't right.  I was so relieved and grateful to have somewhere to start making improvements. I started feeling better within the first 2-3 days of giving up gluten.

It's been a good thing.  That said, it has it's challenges.  It's hard to find things I like - breads, crackers, etc.  There are options out there and I'm grateful for them.  Despite the well meaning comments of people, it doesn't really help.  I still try not to cry at the grocery store.  I just paid $5 for 10 tortillas.  This is pricey.  But.  That 50 cent tortilla wrapped around my hamburger was heaven.  It was the closest thing to real bread I've had since september.

I know this will get easier at some point. Maybe in the summer when fresh, delicious produce in crazy abundance.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Dinner Time

We are huge fans of Mexican/Tex Mex cuisine around here.  Especially since I was diagnosed with Celiac's disease in September of last year.  Don't get me wrong, I am so grateful for all the resources at my disposal for eating gluten free, but really, it's still a pain.  I've had people tell me (trying to look on the bright side I'm sure) how much more accessible gluten free food is at any grocery store.  While that is true, remind me to show you a picture of the gluten free section at my grocery store.  Until then it's about the width of my arm span, floor to ceiling and that has to cover every type of shelved food.  Crackers, cookies, pasts, etc.  So.  It's a pain.  I try to look for recipes that don't have glutenous things in them in the first place.  It's just easier.

Enter this Cheesy Enchilada Rice skillet.  It is delish.  And has no gluten.  And I love it.  So does my family so a definite win!  Check out the link here (assuming anyone is out there- if not- future self, here is one more place where you have saved this recipe).

Your taste buds will thank me.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A New Year

Hooray!  I love the new year- fresh beginnings and an overwhelming urge to purge and organizer and put things in order.

No set resolutions this year but I have thought of some words I would like to focus on.

-in the yard
- with my family
-to make my life what I want it to be

-Be intentional about the things I bring into my home and into my life.
-Be intentional about choosing joy
-Be intentional about what I allow myself to think about it (and what to leave out)
-Be intentional about my relationships- nurturing and strengthening and lifting when and where I can.

As the year goes on I hope to focus on these things. I'm not aiming for perfection.  Just improvement. :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Magnolia Story

Image result for the magnolia story

I just finished this book and I loved it. The book reads like a comfortable conversation with friends. The Gaines' faith in God is inspiring and I was so impressed at not only how faithful they were when they needed help but how diligent they are and how quick they are to recognize his hand in all things. I love, love, love their work ethic as business people, as a couple and as parents.  It was great read for me as I prepare to take on 2017.  I had already decided I want work to play a bigger role in my life and my family's and this has definitely been a push in the right direction.

I love finding couples (and individuals) who make me want to be better.  I felt better just being around them in their book.  They don't shy away from the bad stuff but are able to look at it without despair and negativity.  How they work together as a couple = life goals. :)

Definitely a book I will reread in the future.  (I actually ended up pulling out a highlighter because I kept finding little gems that I want to incorporate in my own home.)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

January Blahs

I'm not typically one to have a lot of the January blahs, but this year I have.  I think I've been spoiled the last couple of years with a pleasant, mild winter.  This year seems colder and wetter.

I really enjoyed our Christmas break.  It was so fun to have all the kids to myself.  No dance, basketball or a million other things demanding our time and attention. But like all good things, Monday came way too soon. :P

Yesterday I was feeling a bit sorry for myself if I'm being honest. ;)  Chloe and I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things we needed for dinner and I splurged.  I bought a package of big, bright red, sweet smelling strawberries.  And I didn't just get the measly one pound package.  No way, Jose. I bought the big kahuna.  Two pounds of beautiful (and delicious!) berries.

Let me tell you.  It was worth every out-of-season penny I spent.  I hid them, too.  I didn't want my kids to know I had them.  They've been happy.  They were still smiling and laughing when they came home from school.  They didn't need them.  These berries were for me!

I did come to my senses and have shared them.  And they taste sweeter for it.  Plus my kids know me well now and ask before they eat them.  Haha.

But seriously.  Worth the splurge to feel a little springiness in the dead of winter.  The berries, combined with some unexpected sunshine have chased away the January blues and left hope and excitement for the new year.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

3 more weeks of summer!

The kids have been in school for 3 weeks and now I get them back to myself for 3 more weeks!  I have big plans.  We'll see how much we get done, but hopefully we'll get a good portion of it.

3 Week Dream to-do list:
1. Sewing "camp" with Sophie
2. Jurrasic World with McKay
3. Clean the house.
4.  Lots of swimming
5. Snow cones
6. Library time
7. Finish Anne of Green Gables with Soph so we can watch the movie.
8. Finish Soph's birthday gifts
9. Send McKay to Grandpa for a "boys week" with his best cousin, Bry.
10. A little camping

Between their schedules and mine it may be tough to fit it all in, but we are sure going to try! Thankfully camps are all over now and piano hasn't quite started yet.  That should help. :)