Friday, October 14, 2016

Gratitude Friday...

I am missing my babies today.  Everything about my babies.  Don't babies just have the most amazingly sweet smell?  Heaven must smell like that.  

I can't even with those faces.  So sweet and chubby.

And you know the best part?  Limited vocabularies.  

I mean, sure, we weren't sleeping through the night.  There were bottles and going poor buying formula.  And poopy diapers.  But heavens, they were so precious.

Not once did those babies, when asked to let me take a picture of them, say, "Okay but prepare yourself for the Shopkins poster to be it with me."


Aubrey Kate has been having a rough couple of weeks.  She's doing well in school.  Great, in fact.  But all that keeping it composed and under control at school seems to equal outbursts and tantrums at home.  

I had read about this happening so mostly, I've been doing what I could to keep her calm.  But honestly, it's not helping.

Now, let's define an Aubrey Kate "tantrum."  It's approximately zero what you're thinking.  

What it is though is one part complaining...about all the things...ever, one part over-dramatic...about all the things...ever and one part sensory over-load...about all the things...ever.

She's complaining about everything and it's the sassiest thing you've ever seen.  

Oh no.  I mean SEEN.  Sure, you get to hear her too.  The people next door can hear her.  But to the extent she talks with her hands and facial expressions, it definitely has to be seen.

We are on our fourth mermaid costume.  Trying to find something without velcro, zippers, seams that touch us, straps that sit at the exact right spot and tulle that doesn't touch are feet...well, it's a challenge.  The first three were thrift store finds.  I actually thought that would be better.  They'd been broken in.  

I was wrong.

This fourth one is brand new from Target.  It's one piece and the tulle is lined with a poly satin fabric so it doesn't touch her feet.  I had to cut off the embellishments on the straps and I'll have to sew some soft felt on to the back of those straps and along the front seam.  BUT it works.  

Also, oh yeah, there's an also, we finally found a new pair of slippers for school.  The sixth pair.  


I think what's going on here is, in addition to her tantrums, her sensory issues are hitting a high point too.  

We are both exhausted.

The other night, we had a heart to heart talk.  I wanted to see if she could express in words, non-dramatic words, what she was feeling.  We talked about complaining and being frustrated and things not going our way and our choices in all of those.  

I admitted I was tired and not feeling like myself either.  Told her I had been complaining too much and was certainly frustrated.  

We made a deal.  Each time she hears me complain, she's to stop me and ask, "Momma, what are you thankful for right now?"  And I would do the same for her.

After our deal, we decided to go through our list of thankful items for the day.  She, as usual, could not think of a single thing.  

So I listed things for her.  

We had gone to the Pumpkin patch that day.  Met some friends sweet friend there.  They'd gotten to go play at an indoor play place after the pumpkin patch and lunch.  Grabbed ice cream cones on the way home.  Walked to the park and played at TWO parks by our house for almost two hours.  Then she got to play with her friend across the street before dinner, bath, book and bed.  

That was quite the list.

After I went through all of that, she said this...

"Momma, why is it that your heart can see God and all the good things to be thankful for and my heart can't?"

And then my heart broke.

I kissed her head and thought for a minute.  

"Baby, one day your heart will absolutely see it.  One day, when Jesus comes into your heart, He will whisper to you and you'll see.  He will be all around you.  And you'll see even more than I see."

We talked for a little while longer.  She seemed comforted by our talk.  And, thankfully, this week has been getting progressively better.  

And I have been on my knees praying for her.  

She is right there.  Right at that moment when she's ready to start seeking.  All those parts of her that make shoes and costumes and socks hurt also make her crazy intuitive and perceptive.  Her question blew me away but it's not unlike her.  She's watching and processing and learning so very much.  Every second of every day.  

For all the parts and all the ways my little girl is made, I am grateful.  

For all the precious whispers from my Savior I can pass along to His beautiful child He has loaned to me, I am grateful.  

For His whispers to me, at all, in all my mess and frustrations and failings, I am grateful.

Raising little people, it's hard.  There's zero easy about this.  Well, other than falling madly in love with them.  That kinda came easy for me.  Did you see those adorable faces?  

But the rest?  Heavens.  I'm hanging on for dear life.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Will the Real Rhys Please Stand Up...

I ate an egg today.


AK asked for eggs and grits for breakfast this morning and, well, if I'm gonna make her one, I might as well make another one for myself.  

So eggs and sausage it was.  

But I didn't really enjoy it.  

In case that makes my emphatic use of the word "never" from yesterday any better.

(It doesn't)


Sweet Rhys.  

The weekend AK lost her first tooth, Rhys had himself a...surprising weekend.

We started with the Fire and Police Palooza in our city.  There were lots of emergency vehicles, men descending down the building, bounce houses, food trucks and plenty of candy at vendor booths.  

Basically, a wonderland of fun for little boys.  AK tagged along because she's too young to stay alone in the house.  Although, don't think she didn't ask for just that.  

The first order of business, obviously, was the obstacle course bounce house.  We got to the event early but we still ended up having to wait in line.  Once we got to the front of the line though, Rhys decided he didn't want to go in.  He'd done these types of bounce houses before.  Strange, I though, but oh well.

He did bounce to his heart's content in the next one.  AK eventually joined him.  Once she got over having to take off her shoes.  

Then we decided to get a snow cone and try out sitting in a fire truck.

Aren't they cute?

But sitting in the fire truck was the last thing we actually did.  We stood in line for lots of stuff  but once we all got to the front of the line, Rhys didn't want to do the activity.  AK never wanted to do the activity to start with but that's not new.

We left after the fourth thing we'd stood in line for but didn't do.  I was kinda over it.

The next day, we went to a friend's birthday party.  It was at a trampoline park.  One we'd visited this summer so it was familiar to us.  I wrongly assumed we would have a blast.  

Rhys bounced zero times.

Instead, I held him for two hours.

Believe me, I put him down plenty.  Or at least I tried.  But he'd just start bawling.  He seemed genuinely scared.  He kept telling me there were too many people there.  I've never seem him like that.  Little arms wrapped around me, holding on for dear life.  

Aubrey Kate, SURE.  Rhys, nope.

The other day, while we were at the park, he wanted me right by his side, holding his waist, while he climbed up...everything.  He cried when I let him go.  Which I only did because he got too tall for me to reach.

Listen.  I don't know what happened to my fearless little man, but I'd like him back.

Apart from those instances, he's been his usual happy, snugly kid at home.  But he definitely seems more fearful and cautious when we're out and about.

If someone has been praying for his fearlessness to just go away, please stop.  I mean, I appreciate the intent but I like Rhys being fearless and brave.  Especially considering Aubrey Kate is cautious enough for both of them.  

Here's the truth:  fearless risk-takers change the world.  And from the minute Skillet kicked his way into the world through my uterus, I knew he was meant to change the world.  I've been telling him that ever since.  "Good night, Little Man.  You're gonna change the world."  And I whole-heartily believe that.

But this scared version of Rhys?  The incredibly heavy one who doesn't want to be out of my arms at a TRAMPOLINE PARK?  This is most definitely not the little guy I know and love.  This is a version of Rhys I might enjoy in the moment (because who doesn't love Rhys snuggles?  Nobody.  That's who.) but not for forever.  I mean apart from the fact he's crazy heavy.  All that fearlessness up until this point has put on a good amount of muscle on the boy.  He's just stout.  

However, I do realize, if no one has been actually praying for his fearlessness to disappear, then I have to assume it's some sort of weird phase.  A new phase for sure.  It's not like AK ever went through a random fearlessness phase.  I would have taken her to the doctor straight away.  That girl is often still too scared to go down an unfamiliar slide at a new park.    

And if this is a phase, I would ask we all pray it ends soon.

Really soon.

I miss my fearless Skillet.  Like a lot.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Sugar-free, Gum and Chocolate Bunnies, Oh My...

I realize the first thing you are wondering is, "How's the whole sugar free situation going?"

And the answer is, Meh.

I'm still on it.  Or off it.  Not sure which IT it is at this point.  But either way, I'm powering through.  

The muscle weakness and exhaustion are gone.  That kicked my tail for a solid ten days.  

What hasn't happened, however, is a reduction in the craving of the sugar.  Supposedly, I'll reach a point where I'm not even hungry.  Where I might actually FORGET TO EAT.  Considering I spend a rather embarrassing portion of my mental energy thinking about, planning for and physically indulging in eating food, I believe 100% that will be a bonafide miracle should it actually happen.

I'm not holding my breath.

But, I can say, I've figured it out.  At least for now.  

Breakfast was the biggest challenge.  For sure.  I may never eat another egg, in any form, again.  For as long as I live.  But some turkey or chicken sausage with strawberries and a glass of unsweetened almond milk serves me well.  I can even do bacon.  I don't mind some good bacon.  But I can never do eggs again.  

It's kinda like gingerale.  I drank that stuff exclusively for almost 20 months solid of my life.  

I'm done with it.  For forever.

As for soda, I have had a couple of those.  Well, literally two.  Mrs. JT and I went to the movies (a REAL, LIFE MOVIE THEATER) last Friday and instead of diving headfirst into a warm bag of buttery popcorn goodness, I drank a Coke Zero.  A small consolation.

Then Monday, while my children slurped their way through vanilla ice cream cones in the back of the car, I drank a small Diet Coke.

Listen.  I do what I can.

Other than that, it's been water and a combo of half water, half sweetened with Stevia tea, which is allowable on this diet.  

I've lost almost ten pounds.  Which was not the whole point AT ALL but it helps.  I've kinda stalled out there.  Which is fine.  My jeans fit again and I'll take that.

Although, I've only been able to wear jeans twice.  Because it's still 88 degrees here.  

But when fall temperatures actually arrive, I AM READY.

With that out of the way (which was obviously, the most important part), let's recap last week.

Last Sunday was an eventful day.  First, Aubrey Kate got gum in her hair.  At church.  She does not remember how.  Only that it was at some point in her mouth and then it wasn't.  So we had to get our hair cut.  By several inches.

There is the gum, in all it's glory.  

And here's her before and after.  She lost probably three inches.  Now in my opinion, which we all understand means zippo, she needed the hair cut.  Her tangles were getting out of control.  But Pumpkin wanted to grow her hair as long as Rapunzel's.  And that is hard to do when you get gum in your hair at church though some magic no one can explain.  So she'll just have to try again.  

Aubrey Kate also finally lost her first tooth.  That thing had been hanging on for dear life for a week.  Chris noticed the permanent tooth coming in behind it so he took matters into his own hands.  Or his own string.

He told AK he could pull her tooth with a string, and true to her strong-natured self, she said, "No you can't!  PROVE IT."

And really, she had no idea who she was dealing with.  Apple.  Meet THE TREE.

Took him a couple of tries but he got it out.  

I would like to say she won't be asking for proof of anything again but that's a lie.  She needs proof for everything all the time.  

The tooth fairy visited that night and left her a dollar.  

Now listen.  I'd done my due diligence here.  I'd asked around to other mommies about what their tooth fairly had left.  Our's was in the right ball park.  One to two dollars.  

But when she woke up, and I have no idea how early because she was one the couch when I got up at 6:30, she was less than thrilled with her dollar.

Apparently, she'd been expecting enough to buy the Barbie Dream House she'd seen at Walmart.

That costs $189. 

One hundred and eighty-nine dollars.

Her exact words were, "But Eva had a 'generous tooth fairy!'  She got a chocolate bunny!"

Yes.  And I believe Walmart does not accept chocolate bunnies in exchange for Barbie Dream Houses.  This is not a barter system, girl.

(Side note:  Eva got the chocolate bunny because her tooth fairy did not have cash but she did have left over Easter candy.  So "generous.")

By the end of the day, Aubrey Kate announces she doesn't believe the tooth fairy exists at all.  If Tinkerbell is not real then neither is the Tooth Fairy.  

"I think you and Daddy snuck into my room, took the tooth and left them this dollar.  That's it.  End of story."

I neither agreed nor denied her allegation.  I find it's better just to listen and let her vent.

Regardless, she won't turn down the next Tooth Fairy visit.  

So instead of the Barbie Dream House and instead of saving her dollar, she opted to buy some fake, plastic food at the Dollar Store.  

Clearly the better choice.  

This way, I don't have to twitch every time I come into her room and see a blasted Barbie Dream House.  

And, yes, I realize Christmas is coming.  And it's one of the only things her list.  So twitching WILL happen.  Eventually.

Also last week, Aubrey Kate got her Star Student stuff in the front of the school on display.  She picked one of my favorite pictures of her to go along with her trophy.

I love her "interesting facts" about herself. "I love to dance.  I like art at school.  I have a little brother."

She's awesome.  

Strong-willed.  Highly sensitive.  And awesome.  

(Side note:  I've linked up "highly sensitive" there in case you wanted to read more about it.  Took me hours upon hours of researching all her delicate sensibilities to come to this conclusion.  Although, I do have a pediatric occupational therapist friend who knows AK well and 100% agrees with me on my Google MD diagnosis.)

(Also, if you're wondering how she scored on the test, 100%.  Because the girl does nothing half way)

And that brings us to the end of the update on AK.  I'll have to save the update on Rhys until the next post.  This is getting long.  And he deserves his own post.  

AK got to share her post with sugar.  Maybe because she's all the sweet I need?  

Meh.  I'd take a big bowl of ice cream regardless of how sweet my daughter is.  ANY. DAY.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Gratitude Friday...

It's been a big week.  Lots to document.  

But, not now.

Something different now.

We've been visiting churches.  Obviously.  I think we've crossed off at least one for sure.  Maybe two.  The third one we visited this past Sunday.  They have an interesting set up with multiple services occurring simultaneously with various styles of worship.  The church was busting at the seams.  People every where.  They host traditional Sunday School classes on campus.  And have lots of community service opportunities.  The church has multiple teaching pastors preaching in their services with an executive pastor at the head.  He was the same pastor we heard, oh, eight years ago.

Then, if we remember correctly, we decided against the church because of the contemporary worship.

My, my, my, my, my.

I really enjoyed the service.  I felt at home there.  Oddly.  Since I've never had the experience of walking into a church and feeling like THIS IS IT.  I know people who have had that and I've always been a little like, "Well, isn't that special."  (Yes, please read that in your best Church Lady voice.)  So it felt nice to have a sense of home.  

The sermon was on 1 Kings 19 when Elijah runs from Ahab and Jezebel.  

Our previous pastor preached on this passage in one of my favorite sermons.  Ever.

Listen.  If you are walking a season of discouragement, when nothing seems to be going your way and you feel as if it's not worth it, stop what you are doing (reading this) and watch this sermon.  

Like, right now.

I believe I've listened to it a dozen times.

So, yes, the passage is kinda familiar.  

Hearing a different perspective on this moment in Elijah's life was welcomed.  Although, I suspect I listened with more...intensity...than I would have prior to memorizing our pastor's sermon.  

And for sure, the two sermons hit on several of the same points.  It's kinda hard not to.  But one thing I knew as the pastor started teaching...God was there.

The worship had been wonderful for me.  And it must have been for at least one other person in the room because, whew.  It's been too many Sunday's since I've felt The Comforter so strongly.  

As the sermon began, I just whispered, "What do you want me to see, Lord?"

And started listening.

Most of the passage and sermon were refreshing and filling.  I adore the lesson of God's voice not being in the big and powerful but in the still and quiet.  I love God providing food and comfort.  And I love Elijah yelling his resume at God about all he's done and IT'S NOT ENOUGH.  

Not that I've ever done that.


Near the end of the sermon, we got to the part where God says, "Go back the way you came..."  Verse 15.  

Go back the way you came.

And I started thinking about the past five years.  The years where I really did feel so discouraged.  So lost.  So...absent.  It felt as if I had been dropped in the middle of an island.  With a Threenager and a baby who ate every 90 minutes until he was four months old.  Chris was gone.  Most of the time.  Leaving me a single parent six days out of the week.  

(However, let me say, the last year of that, the year we spent in the last house.  That year was not a year of discouragement.  It was a year of rest.  A much needed year of rest.)  

At the end of all that, here we are.

Back the way we came.

And nothing has ever felt so right.

I've spent most of the week meditating on those words.  "Back the way you came."  I'm not sure what God has planned and that's okay.  I know I'm doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.  Meeting my neighbors, ministering to my family, finding a church home.  The world would change dramatically if we all basically truly loved our neighbors.  I'm seeking to do just that.

But I also know those words jumped off the page because God said so.  They are the answer to my prayer for Him to show me.  

I feel such peace simply knowing we are "back."  

Peace and incredible gratitude.  

Time to release the hurt and bitterness and shame of the season of discouragement.  And move on to getting into the Lord's presence, listening to His whisper and allowing Him to show me the full way back the way we came.

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Year of Yes...

I wrote this in the early summer.  For some reason, I never felt right about posting it.  Of course, that's likely because my summer would get turned upside down.  But yesterday, one of AK's little classmates from last year had a birthday party.  A party we drove up one side of I-35 for an hour and back down the opposite side of I-35 for another hour.  We got to see both sides of the metroplex.  

That's not really the point.

Although, it was worth every second of travel time.  

The point is we were able to spend time with some of these precious friends I said yes to this past year.  

I've had a couple of opportunities to share this same philosophy I accepted last year.  And I'm continuing to pursue it this year.  

Saying yes to relationships.  How would the world be different if we simply did that instead of saying yes to busy or more stuff or comfortable?  


The funniest thing happened to me on the way to summer.

I jazzercised.

There I was, happily texting friends, inviting them to meet us at an indoor play place the next day (because RAIN) (23 out of 31 days in May) (RAIN) and all of the sudden, I had somehow agreed to jazzercise instead.

Looking back through the conversation, I might have even ENTHUSIASTICALLY agreed to jazzercise.

What in the ACTUAL world?!?!?!

I have no real explanation.  Other than it just happened.  From a relaxing indoor play place date to jazzercise.  All in about three minutes.

Okay.  So maybe I do have a little bit of an explanation.  Honestly, I blame Jen Hatmaker.

Her parenting post about saying yes to relationships has been my motivation this past year.  If someone invited us, we went.

I spent the last four years being "monumentally unbusy."  And that served me well for those four years.  I felt undeniably called to that.  The baby and toddler years were scheduled and consistent and I was left able to manage the house, cook, budget and, yes, pray, quite a lot.

But those baby and toddler years are gone.  

And so, this past year, with both kids in school and dance classes and piano lessons, I made it a point to say YES to relationships.  The days of naps and feeding schedules and parallel playing behind.  Friends and experiences and socializing in front of us.  Those are the priority now.  And, I guess, will be for the remainder of their years with us.

Which is only 13 for one and 15 for another.

Jesus be near.

Because God is wonderful and loving and so incredibly gracious, He blessed us with friends and experiences and socializing this year.  Amazing women and their kids and it was just... joyful.

Play ground time after school?  Yes!  New small group?  Yes!  Lunch with friends during school?  Yes!  Free movie night?  Yes!  Girls night out?  Yes!  Impromptu after school snack?  Yes!  Playdates?  Yes!  Breakfast with kinder-moms?  Yes!  Birthday parties?  Yes!  Saturday lunches?  Yes!

Thus, when my friend asks me to give jazzercise a try, I said yes.


However, that yes equaled two full days of PAIN.

Somehow, none of the other experiences equaled pain.  Thankful for THAT.

See, running is not jumping.  Nor dancing.  Nor skipping.  

Sweet mercy.

Clearly, the best thing to do was to text my friends.  "Um, ladies?  Anyone else in pain?  Because my calf muscles may never be the same." 

The other Jazzercise newbie agreed with the pain and said she was thinking an epsom salt bath was in her future.

Our Inviter, the experienced jazzerciser, she asked, "but it was fun, right?"

And neither of us answered.

Not because it wasn't.  It was.  But it was painful and, I think, for us, painful does not equal fun.  Pretty much 10 days out of 10.  

But painful does equal growth.  Right?  

"And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also glory in sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."  ~ Romans 5:2-4

Listen.  Making friends is hard work.  Helping my children make friends is hard work.  And, let's be real here, I'm a big pill to swallow.  My mouth is problem and things just tumble out ALL THE TIME.  I use sarcasm as currency.  Regardless of whether someone wants to be paid in witty comments or not.  

Of course, you can't just say yes and do nothing in return.  So we invited and asked and suggested and heck, I might have begged a time or two.  

Sometimes, people couldn't come when we invited.  

For instance, last fall, I willy-nilly set up a book club in my new neighborhood.  Five women enthusiastically agreed to come hang out with me on Tuesday nights to read and walk through Jen Hatmaker's "For the Love."  (Are you sensing a theme here?)

I was SUPER PUMPED.  I had invited.  I was being faithful to God's gift of my house and my resources and the people in my neighborhood.


No one showed up.


For five Tuesday nights in a row, I prepared food, set out everything with all my best white serving plates.  Might have even had a weekly theme.  Including a football night.  Because SEC.  There was homemade cheesecake and jalapeƱo corn dip and sweet tea and cupcakes.  

And no one but me to eat them.

You know what?  It was fine.  People are busy.  Things happen.  And I totally understand not being quite brave enough to attend a book club with basically strangers.  

If I'd been on the other end, not sure I wouldn't have come up with a good, solid five reasons for not being able to attend too.

I knew, however, I was only responsible for me and my response.  (If I had a nickel for every time I've said that line to my kids, I'd buy myself a Sonic Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper.)  (And a babysitter so I could drink it in peace.)  I wanted to be found faithful to the Holy Spirit's nudges.  Because on my own, no way I stepped out and invited new neighbors I'd never really met into my home.

Sometimes, we invite and no one comes.  But I know in my own life, an invitation just feels good.  To be invited, asked to join, wanted, that all feels good.  And so, in my year of yes, I did invite and, yes, occasionally, no one came.  And it was fine.

Though, I did much prefer the accepted invitation.  

Which brings me back to my permanently ruined calf muscles after an invitation for relaxing playtime turned into sweating and ripping muscle fibers.  

The first day after Jazzercise proved to be BAD but not nearly as bad as day two.  When I iced and rested and epsom salt bathed.  I could barely walk and let's not even discuss crossing my legs.  Heavens.

Apparently, I need more jazzercise in my life.  At the very least, more jumps and skipping and dancing.  Not sure WHEN I'm gonna brave all that again.  Calf muscles requiring three days to recover is a commitment.

Although, let's be honest here and admit, if I get text inviting me to give it another try, the answer would be YES.  

Because the year of yes?  Now turning into a life of yes!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Gratitude Friday...

Y'all, new episodes of "Call the Midwife" arrived at Netflix.  Which was perfect timing, seeing as how the lack of sugar and carbs have caused my muscles to basically give up.  Walking is a challenge.  Although, I guess it's possible the fever could be contributing to that too.  


So let's just all give a big ole praise hands shout out to Netflix and new episodes of midwives and 1960's London.

For the rest of this post, I'm going to be unashamedly bragging on my daughter.  If you take issue with mommas doting on their kids, just turn right round and back out of the room.  

Virtual room, clearly. 

Aubrey Kate has been named the Star Student for her class.  She'll retain the title for six full weeks.  She can pick out a picture of herself to hang in the front on the school along with something that represents her. Either something she collects or treasures.  She hasn't narrowed down her picture but for sure, she's taking her dance trophy as her item.  

That much, she is absolutely certain of.

Yesterday at a lunch with the ladies in my new bible study, we were answering questions as a get to know you thing.  My question was, "When was a time you felt joyous?"  Of course, I told them about getting pregnant with Aubrey Kate.  Not all the gory details.  Just took a long time and then we had our little girl.  

I will never forget the joy of seeing those two lines on a stick.  Hearing the nurse confirm it with our high beta number.  Which I honestly cannot even remember now.  Thank goodness for scrapbooks.  All those days following where I would put my hand on my belly and just pray and hope and dream and talk to her.

And then she was here.  All barely six pounds of her.  With her red hair and the world's smallest cry.  Then came the ear infections.  Twelve in ten months.  Ten months when none of the three of us slept through the night.  We were all so tired.  Of course, she was the most adorable baby too.  So we didn't mind the tired too much.  Just a little.

Then she just grew.  And grew and grew.  

As she grew, we started to see her personality emerge.  Both strong willed and highly sensitive.  She acutely aware of the atmosphere around her.  Kids misbehaving.  Crying babies.  Worshiping family.  She feels it all.  Immensely.  

When I pray over her every night, my goal is to fill her heart and head with life-giving words.  Words confirming who God says she is.  Beloved.  Treasured.  Creative.  Kind.  Loving.  And I end with thanking Jesus for giving her to us.  Words that she can hold on to as she, eventually, drifts off to sleep.

Aubrey Kate creates.  She feels.  She dances and sings.  She is strong.  So strong.  She will have to learn how to navigate all her sensitivities.  Both her own and those she feels of the world around her.

So that she is her class's first Star Student is wonderful.  Truly.  

But I know this, I know the One who created her.  Created her future.  Holds all of us, each molecule, together.  We exist because He says so.  Aubrey Kate is a star, not because her teacher says so.  Although, she does adore the recognition.  Aubrey Kate is a star because God says so.  

And not that my opinion is more important at all, but my daughter is a star to me too.

Bless you, precious Aubrey Kate.  Shine bright, little one.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

I Made Either the Dumbest or Smartest Decision...

...but my head is pounding and the ringing in my ears is too loud so I'm not sure which one it is.

Today, I decided to give up sugar, all forms, and soda.

See, here's the thing.  I've been eating mostly junk all summer.  At least.  But even last year, when I spent most of my days out of the house, I ate junk.  I packed a lunch, obviously.  However, the grocery stores were just kinda right there.  Selling fruit snacks and veggie straws and gluten-free bars.  

I've tried to do a kind of step down thing but I start to feel bad and I know some quick sugar will fix it and so I give in.  

Personality insight about myself, I'm an all or nothing girl.  

I'm either running like it's my job and pushing myself to the limits.  Or I'm sitting on the couch scanning Pinterest.

There's really no in between.

Thankfully, for me, I really enjoy exercise.  It's not a punishment to run.  I like a good sweat.  The way I feel AFTER the run, it's worth it.

The Celiac's keeps me in check with most of my favorite starches.  Eating a butter, garlicy, warm piece of bread?  Twelve hours of pain and days of recovery.  Otherwise, me and Little Debbie would be besties.  

I've known for months I needed to make a change.  But, getting to that point of actually doing it?  Not easy.  I've already given up bread, pasta, cakes, cookies and eating out in public without being a complete DIVA about my food.  

I hate being that girl.  

So to voluntarily give up anything else, that feels like too much.  

However.  Although.  

Chris loves to quote the the definition of insanity.  Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.  

My level of hunger had reached uncontrollable.  I was sitting and mindlessly eating just because I could.  I would fill up and then be hungry again in an hour.  I didn't need food.  My body was addicted to the sugar.  

So in my reset of my health, I have to make this change.  

I couldn't keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect to feel better.

I'm certain it won't be a forever change.  Just a time for me to get my system back under control.  Go back to eating real food and not sugary junk.  Even without Little Debbie as an option.  

Here's just the super funnest part:  I feel like crap.

I've figured out drinking massive amounts of water and putting salt on my food helps with the nausea.  So far though, nothing is helping the incredibly headache.  My joints ache.  And could fall asleep any minute.  

Whatever.  It's fine.  

I'm hopeful this won't last too long.  A couple of days.  I ran this morning and I have every intention of running tomorrow.  Because I do firmly...FIRMLY...believe exercise is healing.  I've out run too many colds to count.  Experience tells me, while it might not cure all the withdrawal symptoms, it just might help end them sooner or ease them enough to function.

Anyone out there have any experience with a sugar elimination diet?  I'm working with a low carb diet.  High fat, moderate protein, minimal carbs.  Yes, it's extreme but, like I said, I don't do anything half-way.  

Goodbye Cheerios and hello cheese.