Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Geez I am slipping....

Just when I think I am doing well and will actually keep my blog up to date, I fail miserably as I become entranced with my day-to-day mundane tasks. Todays' blog is one I need to write because my heart feels heavy. I live in "Happy Valley" and since Sunday, there has been nothing happy about it. A tragedy has occurred in my town involving my alma mater and my thoughts run the gamut. A high profile past football coach has been arrested for molesting at least 8 boys over a 10 year period and during that time, it was covered up for him. Perhaps it is that because I have two young boys that my heart aches. I wish total punishment on these men. But, the Christian heart inside of me says that I should know that their actions are not separate from any mistakes I have made in my own life. Sure, I haven't done anything of this nature but God says that ALL sin is equal in his eyes and he forgives us for them all. I can usually accept that statement but recently, I just can't get my heart around that. I grieve for these boys and their families. For the future issues they will have because one man was very sick. Because many men didn't do the right thing. But, everyday, people, including myself, don't do the right thing. So, while my head can agree with all of the sentiments that these men should be terribly punished, my heart says that they should be spared from our judgement lest we want the same judgement upon our own lives. I can accept that at some point, they will need to reckon with what they have done. It just doesn't seem fair...but then again, what in life is?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mercaptopurine has changed my plans!

Wow! That is a big word, isn't it? My fellow Crohnies know its a fancy name for 6mp....a new drug that my doctor prescribed the week I was to begin my gluten free lifestyle. I am holding off on going totally gluten free while I see if the new med helps at all. I certainly don't want to start feeling better and think its from drugs if its simply from dietary changes. This drug is dangerous--aren't all of my meds? And, I don't want to say that I hope it doesn't work so I don't have to stay on it, because if it doesn't work I only have one option left before surgery. Scary thought.  However, the gluten free post had many of you really excited so I thought I would share some of my experiences for those of you you are not familiar with GF or who are contemplating making the same lifestyle choice. (For those who have gone GF already, this won't be anything new for you). So, this is what I have found is very common in GF goods--the texture is similar to cornbread. It is somewhat "grainy" and can definitely be tolerated if you are not a "texture" type of person. I have tried many things and here is what I like and don't like: Van's GF mini waffles (I am an avid mini waffle eater--my usual brand is Eggo). I found with the 15 pills I take every morning (which is my worst doseage of the day), that having something bland and "dry" in my stomach helps the nausea. I eat these without syrup. So, all of that being said, I think mini waffles will not be in my future any longer once I go GF. At least, not with the Van's brand. Or maybe if I start using syrup...anyway, obviously, that was an item I do not like. Not only does it have the usual texture of GF products, but it had a slight aftertaste that is very hard to describe. I DO like-Bob's red mill products. He has a whole line (available in the natural section of your grocery store or online if you can't find it) including all purpose flour and other baking goods that are GF. My family loves the cornbread mix and the pancake mix was pretty good, as well. Those are my findings thus far and I promise they will be more frequent as I make the full transition in a few weeks. Until then, keep me in mind if you discover some fabulous GF products that you want to share! :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Going Gluten Free

Ok, so I admit that I have become one of those very annoying people who start a blog thinking she has so much to say and then realizes VERY quickly that her life isn't as interesting as she once thought it was and doesn't have anything to update on a regular basis. But, I promise to change that and I am also starting to make some serious changes in my diet. I have decided to go gluten free. For those of you who know me well, you will probably sympathize because you know how much I love bread. I don't just like bread--I adore it. I dream of sandwiches made with fresh bread. I try to think of anyway possible to incorporate bread into a meal. Some serious health issues have caused me to examine alternative possibilities of treating myself so I am turning to a gluten free lifestyle and I am finding that if there was ever a time in history that one could make the change--it's now. We have way more options that I currently thought and while giving up bread and pasta may be hard (Yes, I know there are gluten free varieties-but I don't really want to go there) letting go of any part of my intestines would be way harder (at least, I think so, right?). In my research I have come across some very interesting information about some local hangouts that serve gluten free foods and also have researched some great recipes. I made a flourless chocolate cake (Thank God chocolate is not something I will need to avoid) 2 days ago and it was really good. My husband didn't think it tasted that great and a friend who was here for dinner and has no problem sharing his personal opinion on my cooking, said it tasted spongy. Ehhh, I don't necessarily agree. Today's blog is about making my announcement and also to say that if you have suggestions-please feel free to send to me. I will be updating my blog with posts of places I have found to be gluten friendly and also recipes and near disasters I have experienced myself. :)

So, here are the things I have discovered recently:
Bob's red mill products have a line of gluten free baking items. Yay!
Olive Garden has a gluten free menu available on request. Double Yay!!
Corrinado's pizza in State College has a gluten free pizza made with rice flour. Wow! Pizza!

Be on the lookout for more great finds from me! :)

Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year for me, New Year for you

Ah....the joys of blogging....I haven't done it in so long, now I am getting requests! :) I LOVE THAT! Anyway, I was inspired by a friend recently who has just beaten Hodgkins Lymphoma and made a list of things she wants to do--not necessarily in 2011, but I say the faster our "bucket lists" get accomplished the happier we will be, right? So, this is my list of things I am just dying to do or things that I haven't done in awhile or things that I want to get better at. If you can help me out with any of them or want to pursue any of these as well--get in touch! :)

1). Go to Albuquerque and take a hot air balloon ride during one of those festivals where hundreds fill the sky....truly breathtaking, I think.
2). Take a horseback ride on the beach (preferably in Tahiti-which would cross two things off of my list at once).
3). Travel to Tahiti (see above).
4). Fill in the books I am keeping for my boys-"To my son, with love" so that someday when they don't have me here, they will be able to read how much they meant to me and how much they truly changed me as a woman and a person.
5). Impact another person's life in such a way that they can only see the love of Christ through me and know that my actions were not just my own.
6). Focus on appreciating the family I was given and know that every person in my life was a deliberate gift for me to learn from, live with, or love through.
7). Take my family to Discovery Cove so that they can swim with dolphins and I can watch joy come to their faces--slated for summer 2011! :)
8). Have coffee, lunch, brunch, what have you, with someone I love at least once a week.
9). Do more for others than I do for myself.
10). Travel to Italy.
11). Go for a walk as soon as I wake in the morning so that I can watch the sunrise and start my day off right.
12). Write my husband a love letter thanking him for being the man that he is.
13). Finish my will--which means having it officially done and filed and whatever to make it legit.
14). Contact friends that I often wonder about but never really follow through on.
15). Remove old grudges from my life.
16). Travel to the Grand Canyon
17). Write more just because notes.
18). Host more dinner parties.
19). Plan less--more spontaneity.
20). Actually attempt to do these things as soon as possible! :)

Friends, I wish you all a most amazing 2011....much love and blessings to you all

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Trying this blogging thing out.....

So.....I often feel as if I have lots to say and to post every thought on my facebook account would be annoying to everyone on my friends list. I have thought of blogging and it wasn't until a friend said to me after a quiet evening discussion--"you should have a blog", that I thought more seriously about it. I have had some recent issues that have caused me to re-evaluate my life, to think of things differently than I had before, and to share those new thoughts with my closest friends (and now you devoted readers). In September, I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. And, I don't mind sharing with you all now that coming to this diagnosis almost took my life. I was in denial all summer about what was happening to my body and though I did seek help, my doctor only sidestepped issues and made things seem like they were less severe and I was happy to hear that--after all, who wants to hear that you have a chronic, debilitating illness? So, in September, after a long, painful night, I went to the ER like I promised my devoted husband I would if I had more severe pain than I've had before. After a quick CT scan, I was admitted to the hospital with the thoughts that I had either Crohn's or a severe Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The first night in the hospital I was told I was lucky to be alive--my levels of potassium, magnesium, calcium and every other known mineral were so off, that 20 bags of "things" hung from my IV pole. I was never so scared in my life. I went in and out of a feverish haze for the next 12 hours only to emerge in the AM with a new sense of my life and what I had gone through. My body had not been absorbing anything and I had lost 18 pounds and was severely dehydrated but was now making headway! Long story short, this diagnosis has changed my life. It has deepened my faith, changed my relationship with God (for the better), and made my overall attitude a little better. I have a friend who is coming out of the tail-end of having Hodgkins Lymphoma and commiserating with her occasionally I have discovered several things about myself. It's ok to have this happen to us. Worse things happen to people every singe day. It is not a punishment from God and may, in fact, be a blessing. It's ok to cry every now and then even if you are a strong soul and don't really like people seeing you as anything but. And, knowing that worse things happen to people everyday doesn't mean you aren't allowed to feel sorry for yourself occasionally--because this is the worst thing to happen to me. I have come to realize that I have the most extraordinary group of friends that any girl could ask for. Friends that put their life on hold for an entire week to see to it that my needs were fulfilled. To be blessed like that is an immeasurable gift and one that I won't take lightly ever again. Because, you see, when you see how hard life can be, it is only the people who surround you that matter. I have the MOST AMAZING husband a woman could ever want. And, I don't say that lightly. He has had the roughest months a man could ever have. A wife that used to take care of him all of the time wasn't able to. He took care of EVERYTHING and still continues to take care of far more than he used to. And, I never hear one ounce of disappointment from him. Not a sigh. Nothing. He does it because he loves me more than he loves himself, I think. This experience has aged him. I can see the looks of worry as he watches me suffer sometimes and I know that its because he wants to be able to do something to help me but in the end there is nothing he can do and that helpless feeling is what bothers him the most. It bothers me too. We do not have control over what happens in our lives--and learning that lesson can be painful. But, it can also be liberating!

First post down.....if you like, please come visit again! :)"