Wednesday, June 28, 2017

more things about my EDS

I have been photo journaling on good days.
So now i can actually see my hyper mobility and "prove" the brighten score without having the physically do it every time.

I've opened up to some people at work and told them about my newest DX (fibromyalgia and hypermobile joints with a referral to see a geneticist).
They have been fantastic about it!

At this point, i'm treating my body like it is hEDS, because i'm pretty sure that's what it is.. possibly with a cEDS overlap.

One thing i will say about my Dr..
He has been open so far only on some details that i've shared with him.. showing him the hypermobile fingers, talking about possible cardio issues because of my family history and possible heart palpitations. He does understand that there are so many things that go with EDS, that it's like a big pie, and over time we're going to chip away things that it isn't in order to find out what it is, and everything that goes with it. (he actually used that analogy, i stole it) ;)

The thing I didn't like is that when i mentioned the possibility of cardiology and neurology appointments (different shooting pains, possible nerve problems, told him about the weird radiating shooting feelings i've had on the right side of my head twice now, that my fingers and toes get cold easily- bad circulation?), he didn't see to care as much about that right now.. which to me, at least cardiology would seem important, since it deals with my blood pumping muscle. Am I wrong to be concerned about that at this point?

Also when i showed him my varicose veins and told him about all my stretch marks, he said "well, the thing about those is lots of people have them". So does that mean i'm not supposed to be concerned about them?

I think maybe he could be overwhelmed with me as a new patient. ;) He knows about EDS and, of course, has seen many of them himself. So i could be his guinea pig.. who knows. Going to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Just so many things I'm thinking about.
Thanks for listening!

morning


Coffee in hand
receipts ready to check off my banking
want to schedule some fun things for the girls for the summer
going to get 1 more blood test done today (they forgot one) *sigh
mending mending mending
and taking the girls to the Corner Park before our membership expires
(gonna have to wait to renew for just a bit.. finances)

Livy has another horse lesson today
she's running barrels at the fairgrounds next weekend

life ;) 
a nice silent start to my day. 
Thank you God for the chance to wake up to another day!
and for this lovely gift called the coffee bean :D


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

My (possible) life with EDS.

At this point in my life, i'm about 90% certain I am a Zebra.. that means I was born with a collagen disorder called EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome). Most of the time it's genetic, but every now and then it will manifest itself spontaneously. From the research i've done over the past.. over 2 years now (recommended by a great friend who was recently DIAGNOSED as hEDS).. I'm pretty sure I am hEDS or clEDS. Or even an overlap of the two, which is fairly common.

MY journey..
Some things I look back on my life and see because I am just now realizing how pertinent they are to having these problems with my body.

Like falling out of the same tree, the same spot.. all the time. You'd think I would learn how to balance or climb the tree differently? This, I'm sure, had to do with something called proprioception. Not knowing truly where your body is in a certain space and time. So when I climbed the tree and stood up, I thought I was standing in the right spot far enough away from the edge of the branch, when in reality, gravity took effect, and I fell.. every single time. Flat on my back. This is why also, I'm sure, I would run into things with my bike (causing scrapes and bumps and bruises, that never healed very well, causing the scars I have today).
This same concept of proprioception effects me today (and will always), thinking my bare foot is far enough away from the door, but still getting slammed into, bumping into tables and chairs, cutting my finger with the steak knife while i'm cutting, paper cuts.. you get the drift.

Pains in my body that I thought were normal..
and then pains in my body that made me stop being as active as i wanted to be. Like the year I was a sophomore in high school and I didn't know running on the track was bad for my body.. The sports trainer had to wrap my knee for track meets and after that year (i had chondromalacia patella), I was told I could not run track anymore because of the toll it was taking on my body.
Luckily they still let me be a cheerleader (I think probably because of my height, my strength, and my dedication.. they needed me on the team).  My flexibility helped with this as well, though my hips were hurting.. I was a human pretzel, twisting my legs behind my head and bending my fingers backwards.

I have always been a singer and dancer as well. I have always had a very broad range vocally, and now I feel like it's because of my flexible vocal chords, they stretch more than normal ones do. And my dancing, I can point my toes like a ballerina (without training them, stretching them.. anything) but my toes and ankles aren't strong enough to hold that position with the weight of my body.

When I was 21 (first year we were married) i started needing glasses.. have had worsening myopia and astigmatism ever since.

Even when I was pregnant with my daughters, my first child put my body through the wringer. I was on bedrest and low sodium diet for the last 6 weeks of my pregnancy (diagnosed with PIH, gained 45 lbs), which only ended up being a month because my kidneys were failing and she and I were going to die (yes, literally cease to exist) if they hadn't induced me at 37 weeks after catching it on an NST. My other two daughters were also quick births, never making it past 38 weeks of pregnancy. My second child was only a 4.5 hour labor, no time for meds, 1 push and she popped out. By the third child, I figured out that I really needed to be careful during pregnancy, and we planned her birth because of my labor history.
Needless to say, this all took quite a toll on my body. I was on a z-pack with pregnant with #2, and Amoxicillin with pregnant with #3. By the third one, I started feeling the effects of (what i thought was) arthritis in my hands.

More recently (Dec 2012) I was diagnosed with OA (osteoarthritis) because I went to the dr complaining of inflammation in the joints all over my body and being tired all the time. They diagnosed me without doing any tests.. come to find out now (June 2017) there is no arthritis in my body.. it's the chronic joint pain i deal with every day and sleep apnea that comes with the collagen disorder EDS.
I also went to see the same dr's office back in Dec 2015 because of recurring lower back/upper rectal pain that was/is inconstant but hurts so bad when it happens that I have tears running down my face and i just want to scream. They told me I was constipated and didn't offer any ideas of how to take care of or lessen the discomfort. So screw them.
From then on, i didn't see a Dr for anything. I have basically taken it upon myself to take care of my own sickness and daily discomfort with the help of my family and friends.

I am finally stepping into a future where I am taking care of myself, putting my health on the front burner, and saying "hey, these feelings and pains are not ok. i need to find out why it's happening and how to take care of myself". I have started seeing a DO (doctor of osteopathy) to narrow down what's NOT wrong with me in order to finally figure out what IS wrong with me.

I was diagnosed in 2014 with GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) and was told about an herbal remedy that would help level out my stress levels and hormones.. been using it ever since and it's been amazing.
I went to get my hearing checked this year as well, and I do have hearing loss, just as I thought. I can't hear as clearly, and sometimes have to ask people to repeat what they're saying.

I'm only 34 years old at this point, mind you.

We have done blood tests and hand x-rays recently.. all my bloodwork came back normal and so did my x-rays.
So now i know:
i do NOT have ANY type of arthritis, no gout, no lupus, my Vit D is normal, as is my thyroid.

The fact that I'm hypermobile is actually on paperwork now (omgosh it makes me want to laugh and cry all at once.. so good to see someone take me seriously).. and I have a referral to a genetics counselor to test for the EDS.

Oh my gosh, my life is feeling better all the time now that i'm making my own health a priority.

I have chronic pain, so my Dr says we are going to treat me as if i have Fibromyalgia for now, and continue using my braces/wraps/motility devices for my hypermobile joints and pains.
But i'm SO glad that, with the help of my two best friends (my husband, Brian, and Beth, my friend since high school).. I'm finally on my way to getting answers!

Praise God for this journey!
So glad for the people around me.


I'm not done filling in the parts of my life that have been effected by this, but i'm glad i'm getting somewhere. More to come. ;)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Invisible Illness- 2 days ago.

As I sit in the handicap shower stall, propping my leg up on the bar so i can shave, i notice my surroundings and how i'm feeling.
My foot is propped all the way up on the bar because my hip is flexible, but i am in pain because because my joint is flexible. My hip tendons don't hold themselves up anymore, and my leg muscles are getting weaker and weaker.
I choke back tears because if anyone saw me using the handicap shower, they would think that i was being rude because of other people that LOOK handicap that need the shower.
Because they see me, and in their mind, they probably see me as a healthy, strong, young woman. Where the funny reality is inside my body that's not who i am.
During my workout, i had to be careful with my heart rate because i started having chest pains. So a lot of cardio was out of the question. I had to be careful stretching because my tendons were popping and my knees were crunching. I had to be careful with my weight lifting because I was feeling very weak.
Today is just not a physically good day.
But i will be ok because I am strong of heart, and i will make it through today because i am here. Today i will need to rest, today i will not get to all the chores in my head that i think i need to do. Because today i need to take care of me. And today, i need to remember that it's not anybody else's business if i feel like i need to use a cane or the handicap shower stall.
That is my business, and I need it. Just because I don't have handicap stamped on my forehead doesn't mean that I can't use that facility. Because inside, that's what my body needs.

Today I am going to be very careful about engaging in conversation with other people because the way i'm physically feeling, I may start crying in the middle of a conversation. I'm going to keep silent as much as possible and I'm going to keep my little safety bubble around myself.
Today I need calm and relaxing and ice and heat.

... This is what invisible illness looks like.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Having it all together

You know.. 
i was thinking the other day why i didn't have it more together, why life is so messy, why days bring so many emotional and physical ups and downs.. 

And i had a small epiphany. 

If I had it all together, There wouldn't be room for other people to speak truth into my life. 
There wouldn't be room for other people to speak wisdom to me, 
To show they care for me, 
To be there when i have a meltdown, 
To lift me up spiritually when i feel i have nothing left to give. 

If we had it all together, there would be no room for mercy or for prayer. 

We stumble and we fall.. and we rise up again.. because life is messy. 

I've come to the realization that I don't want to have it all together. 
I would rather be a hot mess with some great people in my life so we can "enjoy" the struggle together, and help each other endure. 

I'm glad I struggle. 
I know who really cares. 
Who just wants to say "hi" and walk away, and who wants me to truly cry on their shoulder and say things with no filter. 

If we're honest..

Go here to listen to the song. 

I don't feel like I need to say anymore than these lyrics do. so here they are. Perfect in and of themselves. Absolutely love this artist.

"If We're Honest" Francesca Battistelli

Truth is harder than a lie
The dark seems safer than the light
And everyone has a heart that loves to hide
I'm a mess and so are you
We've built walls nobody can get through
Yeah, it may be hard, but the best thing we could ever do, ever do

Bring your brokenness, and I'll bring mine
'Cause love can heal what hurt divides
And mercy's waiting on the other side
If we're honest
If we're honest

Don't pretend to be something that you're not
Living life afraid of getting caught
There is freedom found when we lay
Our secrets down at the cross, at the cross

So bring your brokenness, and I'll bring mine
'Cause love can heal what hurt divides
And mercy's waiting on the other side
If we're honest
If we're honest

It would change our lives
It would set us free
It's what we need to be

So bring your brokenness and I'll bring mine
'Cause love can heal what hurt divides
And mercy's waiting on the other side
If we're honest
If we're honest
If we're honest

Monday, April 24, 2017

Self Love

Loving yourself in your own skin

....
i was just going through my own clothes switching out from winter to spring stuff and i saw myself in the mirror and realized and i have really strong thighs. i also have... not the butt that i want to have, definitely not the butt i used to have but, it's a nicely rounded booty. i worked hard to raise that booty back up after having kids, and it looks good. lol.
i also have a very nice strong core. i can tense my abs and i can feel the tightness, the strength, on the inside of myself, which is awesome, because especially with the physical problems i have, it's important to have a really strong core and i've worked hard to keep that. And i'm going to keep working hard to continue that strength.
also when i squeeze my upper arms, the biceps and triceps are both nice and tight, not just the top. i don't have floppy arms, i have nice strong arms.
i mean my hands are weak.. i know my hands are weak, because all the tendons and bones and everything that's supposed to hold together just don't work as well as they should, but i have nice looking hands. and i always get compliments on my nails. for one, nail polish has always been a thing for me. it's my hobby.. i love doing them. but just the fact that my nails, that i keep them nice and strong and trimmed.. i've actually had people ask me "how do you keep them looking so nice?". well my secret weapon is like a fiber polish as a base coat. i think anybody has a nail problem of some type, i really just think it's about learning how to deal with the kinds of problems you have. learning how to make any area of your life better. taking the time to make your life better.

Just as my oldest daughter said in the car the other day "if we don't take care of ourselves, how are we supposed to take care of other people?" and that's very true. she's learned that from me because i've been teaching them that you have to take care of yourself. you gotta learn to take care of your own body, keep yourself healthy, to eat the right things, to exercise. to make sure your put in your mind what you want to come out your mouth, because whatever you put inside of you is going to come out.

i am on a journey of self love because my weakest part about myself is loving myself. i don't have a very good body image, i never really have. being tall, being skinny.. i've never had a figure, i've just always been very fit, athletic, but i feel like.. i'm not a voluptuous woman. i'm just not. and that's ok.. because i feel like if i had more curves, if i had more of that femininity, i would get more of that kind of attention and already the attention that i do get when i do look good, when i do feel comfortable in myself.. i don't like that kind of attention. so i'm learning how to be ok with positive attention regarding how i look.

so this is a journey for me, being comfortable in my own skin, looking in the mirror and saying that i like what i see, or just thinking positive thoughts about who i am.

....

Also, i should remind myself that my husband.. loves me.
he loves the body i have. he loves my personality. he loves.. who i am.
his admiration for me is really a good booster for me, because of how sometimes i feel about myself.

Monday, April 17, 2017

You never know who's watching.

You never know who's watching you.. and what they see.. and what they think..
....

An old companion of mine from high school  (that i wasn't super close with but i knew who she was and we enjoyed each other) and I worked together the other day (she volunteers at the same location)..
And she was telling me that over the last 12 years, she's seen me around town, she's watched me with my kids and with my husband.. at Meijer getting groceries and riding the grocery cart down the pavement.. and other places just the two of us together. And she said it always looked like we were happy.. that we were content.. that we enjoyed each other.

This surprised me.
Having someone see you for that amount of time, here and there, and get an impression just from watching for a minute.. That really hit me.
She said to keep doing what we're doing because it looks like we're doing the right thing.

Praise God.

....
Also had a member of the same facility get my attention (he has an accent so he had to use hand motions a bit :) ) and say "hey, i saw you pushing a car up the hill" and i had a flashback to this past winter when i saw a car stall out going up the hill from the stop sign.. i acted on instinct. i threw my car in park, ran up to her vehicle and started waving down help. Ended up pushing right along with them. I had to physically recover from that.. sit in a parking lot and calm down my breathing and my heart rate.. so really, i shouldn't have physically done that.

But wow.
The things people see and never say..
What would they say about you?

....
I had another volunteer at my location mention something to my boss about helping an elder couple back in November because they didn't know what do about calling insurance/silver sneakers..
I didn't do it get credit.
I did it because that's me.
That's my instinct.
I have the time and place to help someone.. i'm going to try my best.

....
What would people say about you?
You really never know when you're making an impact, whether good or bad, to someone else.

Easter 2017


Why did Jesus die on the cross? Why did God let him? You're probably going to see a lot of religious Easter posts, but the truth of the matter is God didn't have to do that for us. He did it because when he created us He wanted to have a relationship with us. Like a parent with a child. And anybody who's a parent I'm sure can understand that principle… The child that you created, the child that you are blessed enough to raise, has the choice between having a relationship with you and not having a relationship with you. Wouldn't you want your child to have a relationship with you? That's how God feels about us. And that's why He ultimately sacrificed his own heart. He gave up the one thing that meant the most to him, because our future depended on it. 
God SO loved the world, he didn't just love the world he SO loved the world. And because of that sacrifice we can have that relationship with him like a child and a parent.
Only it's so much more…

pray for other people


When you tell someone you will pray for them, actually do it. When you let words come out of your mouth, make sure you act on them. Do not use your faith flippantly. It's not just a phrase, it's a way for us to build each other up. Let us all watch what we say and watch what our actions show.

....
Side note.. pray for people who we wouldn't usually pray for. 
Pray for your boss. 
Pray for your coworkers. 
Pray for your neighbor. 
Pray for the people across the street you've never even met. 


do what you love!

What are you good at? What do you love to do? If we all just supported each other and told each other positive things, positive feedback about what we love about each other, and encourage each other to use those passions and talents, we would all be better off. Don't think you're good at anything? Look again. I'm sure somewhere somebody had said something about you or to you about what their favorite thing about you is. Or what they think you are good at. It doesn't take much but a kind word to lift each other up and encourage each other to be who we are meant to be. God gave each one of us a certain talent, let's raise each other up and show each other that it is best to be ourselves. It is best to take the special parts of us and share them with the rest of the world. We were gifted each something different for a reason.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

"cuss" words

The other day I used my first cuss word in a text to a friend about how i was feeling today. I was just honest and thoughtful and i sent it and i was like wow. It felt kind of good to just say that, just get it off my chest.
I was feeling shitty, I felt like a burden to the people around me because my health was crap. And you know what, i'm not cussing up a storm, I'm not uncontrollably potty'ing at the mouth, i'm being honest about how I feel and I'm learning that cuss words/swear words can be used in a mature way to make a point and that's ok. I've always felt myself that it was bad to use those kind of words (it is bad in a sense when you can't control it and you're just swearing all the time and it's like.. really? do you really have nothing better to say?) But when you're using it just like I'm saying "i feel shitty today", it's a very well placed word, and there's nothing wrong with that. And i need to feel better and more comfortable about being able to be comfortable in my own skin and express myself. I really feel like this was a step towards that today.
Another example is actually the other day we were watching a movie and i was cuddled up to Alivia, as usual. Under my breathe a mumbled that the guy was a jackass and she was like "oh my gosh, mom!" and then she thought a second and said "you know what, yeah he is". Her having that little revelation of "it's a bad word, but it describes perfectly what this person is doing/being" was kind of neat for me to see. She didn't smack my hand or anything, she learned from that experience.

Sometimes things will get really intense at home and I will very calmly (or maybe not so calmly) let the girls know that the crazy situation is making me feel very angry, or tell them i'm getting pissed off. I want them to be able to understand that it's good to know what you're feeling, to be able to communicate how you're feeling to other people without being scorned or made to feel bad.

I'm reminded of the ONE swear word used in the whole movie of Gone With the Wind, at the very end when Rhett Butler is talking to Scarlett O'Hara and says "frankly my dear, i don't give a damn". That was one of the most well placed words in any movie to date.

My husband and I aren't teaching our girls not to use cuss words, we're teaching them what the words mean, and if/when they are appropriate to use.
Obviously, since they don't understand a lot of that yet and won't be able to make those informed decisions for a long time, we are making sure they know that it's not ok to use those words in public.

I'm learning myself that "cuss" words can be used appropriately to make a point or to emphasize. They aren't necessarily a bad thing to say.. just knowing what context they can and/or should be used in, I believe, is a good skill to have.

Being able to control your tongue is the main thing.
Letting profanity run your vocabulary isn't acceptable. If all you do is cuss all the time, in my mind, that's not controlling your tongue.
And that's what God teaches.. controlling your tongue.
Also He teaches to let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is useful for teaching, correcting, and rebuking in righteousness, "so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work". Now i'm not sure if Jesus ever used what are considered cuss words, but I know he did get all up in some people's business. Flipping over chairs and tables.. righteous anger. ANGER IS NOT A SIN.

Now on that note, I do think there are some words people use that really have no place at all. But learning more about how to be able to communicate and use words appropriately.. is a big deal.

I know i'm rambling but i feel this is a good topic to discuss.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

morning reminder


Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.

Psalm 5:3



Do we talk to Him every morning?
Are we bringing our requests to Him?
How is He supposed to answer us if we are not asking?

this reminds me of my children
I have to remind them sometimes, I can't read their minds.
I am human
and if they don't tell me what they need, or what they want, I can't provide that for them.

If we expect an answer, we need to speak the question.


mundane

as i prep meals for the week
and clean dish after dish after dish
and pick up plates and dessert wrappers that have been left behind

I think to myself.. the things that i do, that there really has been no "thank you" for. 

and i think of the paperwork for school
and the things i make my kids participate in, because i know it's good for them. 
and the laundry
and the mending
and the phone calls and emails between dr's and teachers

and remember that my husband works many MANY hours a week
while i clean the toilet
and exercise to keep my body as strong as i can because it's falling apart

so SO GLAD that i have a part time job because full time would be insane for me at this point in my life, and that it's still enough for me to feel like i'm bringing in some income, and still have some sort of sense of accomplishment about myself OUTSIDE the house

washing the kitchen table
making copies and mailing things for insurance
rummaging through boxes of clothes and shoes that i have previously sorted into different sizes so my girls are properly dressed 

even sewing things for other people to make a little cash for myself. 

some days it all seems so mundane
and exhausting

and yet
i take joy in serving others
i love to create things that people know i'm good at
i like the play with different foods and tastes

and if the dishes weren't done, my family wouldn't have a clean plate to eat on ;) 
so yes
in the life of this mother
i know it's worthwhile, all the little things behind the scenes that get done so everything else can run smoothly. 

knowing that i do all of this for my family
and i still make time for myself in the middle of it all. 

because even the mundane.. is worth it. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

let's see what God has in store for me today

I wake up
I don't have to work today
I have made some plans, but for now, i'm relaxing

It's sunny
It's freezing
a big change from yesterdays "blustery spring day" feel
.. hence the reason for the headache, i'm sure.. 

have papers to read through and sign today
going to exercise because my body needs it
going to a friends house for lunch
and this afternoon going to do some crafting.. 

in all of the plans that i have made for myself
i will also leave room for change

"for I know the plan I have for you" declares the Lord. 

......
let's see what God has in store for me today!!

never forget to leave space and time for the spirit to move. 
slow down
remember patience
and remember that if we don't make time for Him, He won't make time for us. 

just like any physical relationship, it's a two way street. if we don't make an effort, He won't make an effort. 
only the relationship with God is SSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much more rewarding. :) 

The Furry Kitty

kids get on the bus
i lay on the couch
needing some extra rest this morning, even if i don't fall asleep

little furry kitty walks up to the couch
i grab him, cuddle him, and make him purr

little furry kitty jumps down and walks away

little furry kitty comes back, walks on top of me, starts purring, kneeding his paws. nuzzles my hand and curls up on my chest and licks my face.

mmmm.. little furry kitty.. so soft and peaceful ;)
i love these moments.

i love the furry kitty


Thursday, February 23, 2017

eating habits


so i've decided to take more of my health into my own hands, and for a couple weeks now i've been cutting out the gluten to see if that helps with OA and IBS and POTS. 

and this week i also started more of a paleo diet.. so less refined sugars, less dairy.. 

so i'm eating a lot of fruits, veggies, lean meats, pure honey.. and i will say this. 

my body is in the process of purging a lot of the gross that was building up inside me, so i'm breaking out more on my face and i've had loose #2 for the past 3 days (hey, if this is going to be an honest blog, i'm going to be honest.. but not to the point of grossness). 

but i'm really feeling less bloated, i'm loving the different recipes, the simplicity and the flavor of just real food and not a lot of additives. 

it's a delicious change, albeit a little tougher to shop for and a bit more pricey. but sometimes, what needs to happen will take more out of you, but will be worth it. 

gonna push myself to stick with it until my next daughters birthday (march 25). from there, we'll see how i feel and if i will continue with this change! 

pressure

so yeah.. i've been wracking my brain trying to find the perfect verse to blog about, the perfect topic on faith to write about..

and i was reminded by a friend today.. "write about the weather".. something mundane, something everyone can relate to, just something simple.

and i found that it's so true to put pressure on ourselves constantly do the right thing, to say just what needs to be said..
well, what needs to be said is just everyday honest opinions.

...
also, we can't force a relationship with God, we can't make a verse be perfect for the day..
the perfect things happen at just the right time.. out of our control.
and that's what makes them perfect.
they're unplanned, spontaneous things.

so stop putting so much pressure on yourself.. and learn to relax, enjoy, and take things as they come.

Monday, February 6, 2017

John 14:27

Verse of the Day

John 14:27
I am leaving you with a gift - peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid.


----------
You hear that?
God's peace is not a peace we can get from the world.
It's not a peace of "ok i have enough money in the bank account" *breath. "ok, my kid is calm and healthy today" *breath. "ok, i still have a job today" *breath.

It's a peace of "i know what my future holds.. if i'm listening to God and following what He has for me, no matter what happens on this earth, i know where I will be for eternity.. so i can breath easy in the midst of turmoil".

We can have peace of mind and heart knowing that He's in control. And that even though we have the free will to choose right from wrong, no matter if we stumble and fall, His will will always prevail, He will always extend his hand to us, and His grace will always be extended to those who call him Father.

Dear God.. thank you for this peace of mind.
I can always rest in you.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Romans 12:18

 Verse of the day, Romans 12:18
 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.


 This is an ironic verse for me today LOL.   I actually read this first while I was at work in a bored moment. There of been people coming in tonight that has been giving me attitude and behind their back I've been giving them attitude ( yes I admit it). And then there's this girl who does pinky push-ups ;) And people just acting stupid "here's your sign". I'm having issues living in peace with them. ;) I could so write more but I would sound really mean. ;)

Breathe..  remember they could be having a very bad day, and I'm the only person they come in contact with who shows them kindness.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Body Reading Today

I went today to get a body reading done, this was supposed to be a free consultation.
She did a body scan using a hand wand that i held in one hand while the other hand she poked gently with another wand, showing her on the screen different levels on things in my body.
From the number on her screen.. my heart, lungs, vital organs are great.

The thing that concerned her was the level of toxicity in my body. She suggested I do a $40 foot bath, which i could need multiple times.. which i'm most likely not going to end up doing (i like DIY).
She also recommended a multivitamin to me, which i can agree with. I do need one and she brought in 4 different ones and tested them to find the right one for me. $20/month, not bad. Good natural ingredients.

Looking into the pineal gland.. my hormones are off. She can tell that I don't sleep very well, something about the anxiety connection.

A big thing is that my hypothalamus is off. I'm going to look into that as well.. it seems to control a lot of things i deal with. Also the Lymph system.

True Love

I have to give props to my husband last night.

He needed help in the office, I knew he did. He gets overwhelmed when it comes to paperwork. But knowing I was in pain and also taking care of the kids and meals, etc, he only asked me about helping him with a couple small things.
He got me medicine when I needed it before going upstairs.

Also, when we went to bed, he asked how he could help. I cuddled up to him and tried to get comfortable but my back and neck were still in pain.
He rubbed my back, didn't complain when I was moving around trying to alleviate my discomfort, made sure the tissue box was near me, and didn't complain when my tears dripped all over his chest. If fact, he welcomed it.

I appreciate so much that he showed me love and commitment in those moments when I felt like a burden and a pain.

So even though, I ended up laying on my back with an ice pack under my shoulder, he held my hand while we fell asleep.

I love him.
That's what love is all about.
And I so appreciate the man that God gave me.

High Pain Day


So yesterday was painful for me..
I'm not sure what body part it started with. I just know that a lot of them were affected and i tried my hardest not to take pain meds, but to take care of it naturally (different parts of my back, neck, shoulders, hands, elbows, knees, right foot, jaw). I ended up taking two Advil to be able to sleep and laid on my back with an ice pack under my left shoulder blade. It was the first time I wore support to bed.. ankle and right shoulder.

It felt very weird brushing my teeth and my hair with my left hand because my right shoulder hurt too much to use. 

If this isn't EDS, I don't know what is. (haven't officially gotten my diagnosis)

I had my diffuser going with tea tree oil and eucalyptus (my daughter was home sick, too), i used my heat pad and shoulder massager a couple times during the day. I ended up using most of my body wraps.. 
right shoulder, back brace, right elbow, right knee and right ankle. 
Still ended the night with the heat pad and the shoulder massager again. 

There was a spot in my back that hurt like an 8 on a scale of 1-10 if i moved wrong or put pressure on it.. imagine the tears when i attempted to roll it out with a tennis ball. That was also the spot where my rib subluxed last week. I didn't know subluxation could cause further injury.. just found that out. 

Used my compression gloves quite a bit as well, felt like i should have ace wrapped my whole left arm. 

I was glad to be able to keep in touch with a friend of mine who deals with similar problems day to day. I'm just glad that (a blessing for me) I don't dislocate my joints.. at least I haven't yet. 

I was glad that I was able to finish a sewing project and start another one, do a load of dishes and take care of some laundry. The rest of the day ended up just being self-care.. lots of rest, oils, wraps and stretching. 
Praise God that I didn't have to work, and I was able to on top of my own pain, care for my sick child and help my husband with some computer work for taxes. 

The Purse Isn't Mine ;)

So.. moms.. what percent of your purse is actually yours? ;)
Not a loaded question.. I just found it funny the other day when my husband totally contradicted himself and didn't realize it. He asked me to put his second tiny wallet in my purse along with his gift cards (luckily, they all fit perfectly into the zipper pouch i keep my travel oils in).. and then he asked "why is your purse so big?".
Well dear, where do you think your things are going right now? What things in this purse are actually just mine instead of being the kids' or having to do with you or the kids, or that i share with you all? HAHA.


So let's see here.. 
My oils are shared, the hair ties aren't mine, the sanitizer is shared (by the way there are two of them, in case the girls don't like the one i use), the wallet (yes my wallet) is shared, two sets of gloves (both mine.. stretchy for cold weather, and compression for arthritis), travel tissues (shared), mints (shared), lip stuff (shared), glasses cleaner (shared).. 
I could really honestly keep going.. but you know what I love about this? 

Even though my purse is full, and sometimes I think i should get a bigger one or get rid of something in it and downsize.. my purse is the perfect size, because it's not just about me. 
My purse is perfect because i'm a mom and a wife. 
My purse holds love. 
My purse is a traveling care station for anything anyone could need.. including nail clippers, bandaids, a file and clear polish for when they rip a nail, get a run in their tights, or fall down. 

My purse is a tool for showing that I care. ;) 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Shape me, Mold me

So this morning I weighed myself before my shower and i'm down to 164. A few months ago i was 168, at one point i saw 170.5 on the scale and about cried. Not a happy camper. Unfortunately with the changes in my body over the last couple years, it's been harder to exercise the way I want to so I was getting frustrated. But recently I have been making changes in my diet, changes in how i take care of myself, changes in prioritizing things and apparently it's paying off because I am still staying strong, not pushing myself past what my body limits tell me, and I always have a snack at night, I always know i'm gonna be a night time snacker, but i've been making different choices snacking at night. Instead of grabbing a handful of chocolates or some cheesy chips or something like that, I've been grabbing/introducing different foods like coconut or homemade guacamole and with pita chips, and I am NOT depriving myself of my occasional alcoholic drink because that is my treat to myself. Everybody has their own little treat and I like to have dark chocolate and a nice glass of wine or a frufru frozen mix or whatever.

Buy anyways. I have been trying to cut out more preserved foods because I've noticed they trigger inflammation in my joints. So say for instance pasta, if i use organic pasta noodles vs the cheap pasta noodles, even though they cost a little more it makes a big difference in how my body feels. So it's just really good to see the actual results starting to show of the hard work that i'm putting in. And like, my job now, i'm sitting behind a desk and it's only a couple days a week which is good because I'm not as sedentary. Because i'm only sitting like 2-3 days a week, and when i'm sitting i have a greek yogurt or pistachios or i make myself like a spinach salad with turkey in it and using olive oil instead of fatty dressings.

So i'm very grateful to see the positive starting to show out of these changes that i'm making. And also just making myself more of a priority as well. I'm feeling better psychologically and i'm feeling better emotionally. Just reprioritizing my life, making sure like say the girls are home from school because of a snow day or something, if i'm off work that day and they're home with me, i have been making it a priority to go to the gym anyway, and either have Jaz get on the treadmill beside me and if she doesn't want to the kids can grab a basketball or volleyball and play together. So instead of just staying home and saying "oh the kids are home, i can't take care of myself today, i can't exercise", i'm making it a priority to go anyways and show them 1. i'm not going to let things get in the way of taking care of myself and 2. giving them time and other things they can do as sisters.

And also, i got some books for Christmas with devotionals in them, and i'm trying not to be a book hoarder so if i know it's something i'm not going to read, i'm passing them on to other people that i know can benefit from them. And the books that i'm keeping because they look like something i would actually do, i'm doing them. i'm not saying "oh i have that chicken soup book, those are good books, i like those books" and then just let it sit on the shelf. No, i'm getting it out and reading it. I might not be consistent because day to day, it should be something different in the way that i learn. It could be that the Verse of the Day spoke to me that day and i got something out of God's word. But at least i'm getting my OWN views, my OWN thoughts and my OWN beliefs instead of reading some devotional that was written by someone else and letting their words be truth and leave it at that. No, i need to think for myself. So i'm really enjoying seeing the fruits of all this physical and emotional labor really starting to shape me and my house. It's exciting.

Praise God for opening my eyes and helping me to see how I can change.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Matthew 7:7

Verse of the Day

Mathew 7:7
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

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Have you ever actually asked God for the things you want?
Actually talked to Him about the desires of your heart?

I mean, obviously He knows your wants and He knows your needs.. but just because He knows everything doesn't mean He's going to act without us saying something. He's not asking for permission to bless you.. but He wants us to vocalize the things we want.
It's like when i'm at work (i work at a family exercise facility), and a kid is coming in for volleyball practice.. they can stand at the gate and stare at me all they want, but i'm not going to let them through until they say "i have volleyball practice, can you please let me in?".

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and compare Him to Santa at this point. I'm sure your kids write out a list of things they want every Christmas, but until they actually sit at his feet (or on his lap) and say "Hey Santa, I would really like this".. doesn't mean he's going to get them everything they want. But it's more solid than just writing him a list and having him pick one and hoping he picked the right one. He wants to know which item you really really want. I know, I know, fairy tales and gobbledy gook, but you get the gist.

And really, I feel that once you verbalize what you really want, I think it's more solid in your own mind, too. Not just speaking it out to God, but solidifying in your own heart and mind that this is really something you would want in your life. And maybe, if needed, you can take a step toward getting it; making it happen.

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Another part to this is once you ask, God also blesses those who work hard. So if He sees that you are fervent about asking for something and then working towards it, He is more likely to bless those who work vs those are say "Hey God, i want this" and do nothing towards achieving that goal.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

pouring out my heart

(WARNING: BAD GRAMMAR AND RUN ON SENTENCES- this is just me speaking openly)

Today for my blog i just want to say that I just feel extremely grateful at this point in my life, at least today and like the last week or so i've just been really grateful for a lot of things.

For one, i'm grateful for the talent God gave me to make things for other people, to help sew anything for other people, just in general, to create with my hands to be able to others in that way. Because he gave me a passion to want to help other people and he also gave me a passion to be creative and i love that i get to use a sewing machine and beads and hand sew things and take a yard of material and create something new out of it, and take old things and make something new out of them. I'm just very grateful for that gift that He's given me.. both of those gifts, being helpful and being creative.

Next i am grateful for the parent that He is making me. i'm grateful for the children that He has entrusted me with. My oldest daughter, Jazmine, has been sick all week with different things and I'm just grateful that He gave her to me to take care of for a couple of reasons. she is an amazing child.. she has a heart of gold, she's very sensitive emotionally. she is also creative but in a different way.. for an example, she likes to use her pottery wheel (which ironically, i had one and used it when i was young). another example, she likes to use mixed mediums to create art. for instance i picked up a free picture frame with just glass in it, no photo, at a garage sale and she took the glass and she painted the glass. so instead of just taking a piece of cardboard and drawing something on it and painting the item, she took glass, totally blank clear canvas, nothing at all as a background, and she just created like this rainbow of color on it with paint, and it's like textured so it's really cool.
another reason i'm glad I'm her mom is because something i've been learning over the last year about myself is about my health. i've been digging more into why things work the way they work, the human body and why my body is working the way it's working, and not working the way it should be, and mental health and why sometimes i think the way i think and feel the way i feel, and with Jazmine, i'm finding a lot of that in her as well. so i'm grateful that i'm her mother because i can take these things that i'm learning about my health and apply them in certain ways to learning about HER health. so with her being home sick a lot this week, i'm grateful that i know sort of where it's coming from.

Another reason that i'm grateful.. this house that we have owned for now the past year and a half, it may seem small for a family of 5, but i just absolutely adore this house. i just adore it. it's just.. i can't really put that into words. it's just so perfect for us, it's crazy. it's a simple older home and it's just amazing.

Another thing i am grateful for is my husband. he and i have both gone through counseling separately over the last couple years and we've been learning things about ourselves personally separately and that's been helping us together emotionally and in the family and with work and just in general. it's really been great to see the changes in myself, to see the changes in him and to really see it start impacting our family and our work and everything for the better.

Another thing i'm super grateful for right now is my Other best friend. There's Brian and then there is Beth. she lives in Colorado, i have known her since high school and for a few years we were detached from each other and i didn't know why we weren't talking. i feel like i forgot about her at some point and maybe she forgot about me at some point and there was a lot that happened in those few years and in the last year and a half we've reconnected. there's been a lot of discussion about what happened when we were disconnected and she as well has been having some similar health problems that i have. she's been talking to me about it and doing some similar research and come to find out, a little bit of back story, she and i have lived very similar parallel lives. she got married a month before i did, we used to go to church together, we used to worship together, and now she and i have both been married for 13 years, she had 2 daughters, i have 3 daughters. her oldest is the same age as my oldest, and now she having the same health problems i'm having, her oldest is having the same problems Jaz is having. it's been really interesting seeing the differences and the similarities still between me and her, and even though i felt back in high school when we were best friends, kindred spirits and there was really nothing that we couldn't keep from each other.. blah blah blah.. i've really been feeling since we've reconnected that it's still so valid. we still are just so similar and i really feel that we are very kindred spirits even though things have changed over the last 13 years and we don't necessarily believe the same ways we used to or have the same relationships we used to, we're still very connected and it's that relationship where you can tell each other anything and i'm just very grateful for that. not everybody gets that kind of relationship.

another thing that i have found myself very grateful for in the last year.. because of my work history.. i've held a lot of different positions since i started working back in high school. for a couple years when Brian and i were first married, we had kids, we had a house (that got foreclosed on), and i was basically grabbing any job i could just because we had no income and we had to make ends meet. so i've had a lot of different jobs and i worked at kohl for 5.5 years and that job was fantastic! but i've had a lot of negative in the small jobs that i've had, the ones that i've tried to do because we needed something. like people having let me go for certain reasons, like jobs that were temp jobs so in 3 months you're not gonna have a job anymore, so i've had bad experience with just not fitting where i feel like i need to fit, or just being somewhere and knowing that it's really not working for me but i need it. so over the last year i've actually had 4 different jobs and finally where i am now i really am so grateful for the position that i am in because i have wanted and felt called to be there for a while now. when i finally got that connection saying "yes, we've accepted into this new position and we can't wait for you to start" and all of this, God has really just opened that door and physically, emotionally, spiritually, family wise, monetarily, just everything i feel has led up to where i am working now and it's just such a good feeling to know that when i go into work, if i'm having a bad day someone's gonna cheer me up, if i really don't feel like what i'm doing there is enough there's always something that happens that cements that for me that says "you know what, this is why you're here". it's just been really really great just know that where i am now is exactly where i should be. and i'm so grateful that God has just been a guide for us and a light for us.

in the end, even though life is never gonna be perfect.. i'm gonna tell you right now.. life is good.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Thankfulness

Today's post is about something I encountered this morning while I was working out.

Man watching HGTV on my elliptical this morning made me really think about the "i need" and "i want" that we fall into so easily. Things that this world values.. are really not valuable. 

A mom and dad were looking for a new home for themselves and their two young daughters (4 and 6). What they said they NEEDed astounded me. And like.. this mom was adamant about what they needed, too. Like there's no way around this. 
.. a family of 4 NEEDS two full bathrooms.. NEEDS a big master bedroom.. HATES the old counters that are like maybe 10 years old "so outdated".. 

The master bedrooms in these homes she was being shown were bigger than ours is and she said it looked cramped. 
The counters were actually pretty nice.. but to them they were old and they NEEDed to update them. 
I mean sure, our counters are old, too. They probably will end up being replaced at some point.. but i'm going to use them and preserve the character of them for as long as I possibly can. 

I'm so grateful for the antique counters in my house, the shared bedrooms, small closets, and the one small bathroom that makes us practice patience, helps us enjoy simplicity, helps us be a more intimate closer family. So grateful for where God has brought us. Our own perfect home.
What I NEED is to purge what I DONT NEED and create space and time in life for things that are important. 
And so glad I know where my priorities lie.. 
Material gain is worth nothing when i leave this world.
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Being thankful is so much more than this..
It's realizing that simplicity really brings out the important things that can easily get buried by what WE deem important.
I'm thankful for a cup of coffee
I'm thankful for a well that has not run dry
I'm thankful for a back yard for my kids to safely play in
I'm thankful for a church that welcomes anybody and everybody, no matter who you are
I'm thankful for 2 cars
I'm thankful for electricity and gas lines
I'm thankful for a bus that picks up my children and safely brings them to school.. a good school.. with teachers that care
I'm thankful that I can eat three meals a day.. and have food left over for a snack!
I'm thankful for the breath God put in my body, the bed he gave me to sleep in, the clothing I wear so I'm not cold, and the roof over my head that is not falling apart.

Thank you God for the fact that the sun came up and I'm able to see it.

And I puzzle and worry about those around us who are so blinded to what really matters.. hoping I can be the hand of God and open their eyes to see what they really have. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

1 Thessalonians 4:11

Verse of the Day

1 Thessalonians 4:11
Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.


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It's true.. we are a nosy nation!
It's hard to keep your personal life to yourself, it's easy to get into someone else's business.. and there's a fine line between being a concerned friend/neighbor and a nosy nelly.
The easiest way to know what people want you to know about themselves is... let them tell you.
If they haven't made something publicly known, or they haven't hinted that they want to tell you something.. stay out of it.
I mean yes, there are friends that are closer than brothers and sometimes we can just tell if there's something wrong/off and we need to say something. But really.. a lot of times.. if that person isn't willing to share information, it's not yours to know about.

Work with your hands.
We were given bodies.. that function, for the most part.. and we are to use those bodies to physically do work. Wash your own dishes, walk to your mailbox, put things where they belong.. but don't just do things to be busy. Working with your hands doesn't just mean "stay busy". It means "use what God gave you". We were all gifted in many different ways.. I believe the word "hands" here also means "your talent".
Use your talent in a useful way. Do what God gave you to do! :)

And He hasn't just said this once.. this verse is in the new testament.. God has told us these things before. We just don't listen very well.

Just like a parent to their child.. we have to repeat ourselves until our kids listen AND obey.

So let's stop being bratty children.. and listen AND obey our heavenly Father.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Hide it under a bushel.. no! Matthew 5:16

Verse of the Day
Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your Heavenly Father.

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I've never been one to boast about good things I've done.
And I feel like if I do something nice for someone, I shouldn't be like "look what I did".

But at the same time.. I AM supposed to let God's light shine through me.

So the talents He has given me, the person He's made me.. I need to show my faith more and not hide the good things He's doing in my life and through me.

So instead of thinking that I'm boasting about myself, I need to remember that I'm boasting about how great my God is, and that I want to show Him through my actions and my words.

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It reminds me of a song that we used to sing when we were little in Sunday School.
"This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine..."
"Hide it under a bushel.. no! I'm gonna let it shine..."
"Don't let Satan *blow* it out.. I'm gonna let it shine..."
"Shine all over the neighborhood.. I'm gonna let it shine..."

I can't let the Devil get the best of me and hide who I am in Christ.

That's another reason I'm keeping this blog and writing more about my beliefs as well. So I can share my gifts and my insight with other people. Even if only 1 person gets something out of what I say, it'll be worth it.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Learning and Growing

So.. I'm excited and grateful for what this last year has been for me.
Especially within the last couple months.

First of all, my health.


Second of all, my relationships with other people.


Third and possibly last, really finding out who I am.


Healthwise, I have had a couple different things brought to light that might explain why my body has been acting the way it has more and more. I have osteoarthritis, my hips are whopper-jawed (have a double lift in my right shoe), easily have sciatic nerve problems, easily twist my ankles, shoulders, and have had plantar fasciitis at least twice (just now figured out what it was and my PT gave me some stretches to do).

There is a possibility of EDS (ehlers-danlos syndrome)- this seems like the mostly likely the more I learn about the way things are working and connecting. Also possibility of JHS (joint hyper mobility syndrome), Fibromyalgia, TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder), POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome).. and i'm not done searching. I've been doing a lot of homework.
I've learned that it's ok to need to use certain things that support my body when needed.. knee wraps, ankle wrap, back brace, compression gloves, and (a big leap for me) a cane. 
I'm learning how to listen to my body, know how much energy I have on any given day, how hard I can push myself or if i need to rest. 
And being able to not take it to heart if someone looks at me like I really don't have anything wrong with me, even though I know it's more important to listen to what my body is saying. 


My relationships with other people.. hasn't been as hard as I thought. It's been hard to take certain steps, like clearing out certain people from my Facebook for instance. But it's been liberating and calming. Being able to clear the negativity from my life. It's helping with my anxiety, with my focus, with my parenting, with just the way I view myself. It feels great to just have more clarity and space in my mind. 

I also feel as though this has been helping how I connect with my husband, helping me be more intimate (not just physically, but being able to speak more freely and just be more of myself like I used to).


This has been a great journey for me to find out who I am really am, be able to dig inside my own brain and see how I really feel about things, what I really believe, my own opinions and views.

I feel like I was gifted with the ability to see the truth in anybody's point of view.. but that also makes it hard for me to know what I really think about things, as well.
So for instance, instead of reading pre-prepared devotions (which didn't seem like I was getting anything out of) I've started reading the "Verse of the Day" and recording my own thoughts and views on them and it's REALLY BEEN HELPING! I feel like I'm more connected to my faith, more connected to myself, and more able to connect truthfully and freely with other people.

I praise God for the opportunities I've been given this last year, the people I've connected with, and I look forward to more learning and growing in 2017!