Merry Christmas!

I’ve always liked Christmas a lot – but, until I met my husband, I think I honestly would have told you Halloween was my favorite holiday (and I still do love it!).

However, with our first family Christmas as a couple, we had a wonderful family Thanksgiving at the lake all together with Mom, Pop, GJ, Courtney, the kids, and me, then we watched Christmas movies all season at home and had a beautiful tree that we put up together – even in my tiny apartment it was perfect – and then we had the most wonderful Christmas with our family at the lake spending time together – and Mom’s gorgeous decorations and yummy food and laughing and talking and Christmas stockings and. . . I can’t even explain. Just Family Christmas.

The whole season was the best.

And I turned into a HUGE Christmas person.

And then I got sick. And I really REALLY had to learn to make my own sunshine.

And, last year, right before Halloween, we unexpectedly lost one of our closest friends.

I was so sad and so sick. It was also my first year at home, due to disability. So, when I mentioned to my husband that I really wished we could put up the Christmas tree, because he is wonderful, he did.

So, in the name of choosing joy and celebrating and enjoying Christmas as long as possible, our holidays begin November 1st in the Hippie Hut now. 🙂

(Ooooh, AND I now have a three foot perma-Christmas tree in my office that I am in the process of decorating! I’m sure it will make an appearance when it is finished!)

But, of course, now we are in the midst of 97 degree, melting summer. #fixitjesus

Yesterday, our daughter, Sara, and I had actually made it out and about to run MANY errands. It was so nice to be out with her for the day – even if it was for things like turning in cable boxes and whatnot.

We had been out for several hours and were worn out and trying to get finished when my husband called to report some magical news: Christmas in July – all Christmas music all weekend on our local radio station. Falalalalalalala!!!

So, to Sara’s dismay and my great delight, we cranked up the Christmas tunes for the rest of our outing.

And my husband and I also have tickets that were a gift from several months ago – I want to say Valentine’s Day? – to see Counting Crows and Live tonight. Yes, that’s right. An actual date night for us. With musak. I’m so stoked.

And church day tomorrow. 🙂

And the Christmas music continues all weekend as well!

So, Merry Christmas to me this weekend!!!

I am so thankful.

Be well, everybody. Happy Saturday and Merry Christmas!

Grace and Blessings.




farewell, 2017

What. A. Year.

There were plenty of good good things.

Many wonderful experiences:

For my birthday, my better half and I got to see and meet Christopher Titus.


In February, Courtney and I got to see Bon Jovi – and I was so freaking excited!


The girls and I saw Phantom of the Opera with my Mom and it was wonderful.


Courtney and I saw Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds (as a “just because” surprise from him – he is the best!) and it was my favorite show I’ve ever been to.


I got to take Sara to her first real concert – to see Panic! at the Disco. It was an amazing show.


On a trip to visit my bestie, I got to pet a kangaroo! As a crazy animal lady, I was just beside myself excited about this one!


Sara and I were fortunate enough to get to see Vice President Biden up close and personal when he came to town to speak this year. We had the best day.


Sara and I also went to an awesome Women’s Conference in Hokes Bluff and got to see Kasey Van Norman (again, for me) – and two other wonderful speakers. Another fabulous day.


Courtney and I got to see Foo Fighters live and it was a blast. 🙂


Sara (my road trip buddy) and I made a quick trip to Tennessee to get my book signed and meet Katie Davis.


Those things were all really special and so much fun.

There have been other great things that I am very thankful for as well:

My bestie moved much closer and I love, love, love getting to see her more often:


I have just received my certificate to begin seeing health coaching clients and I am really looking forward to it:


Sara got into IB school and is doing so well there and we are incredibly proud of, and for, her:

2017 5


I’ve gotten to spend more time with my wonderful besties here at home and I love them so:

2017 19


Now that my schedule is different, I’ve been able to go back to church and begin serving and I love our church so much:


I am so incredibly thankful for my sobriety. Saying goodbye to wine is one of the best things I have ever done for myself and I thank God every day:


This year has really grown my faith in some big big ways and I am deeply grateful:

I thank God for all of the good things – and there are so many.


This year also brought a lot of HARD. Really really HARD things.

Our dear friend Ryan passed away really suddenly with complications from cancer, very shortly after he was diagnosed, and it has just broken our hearts. We all miss his terribly. I know we will see him again but it is so hard. I pray for my dear Al and Jane and Meg constantly and I still do HATE this. But I trust Him. And I do know it’s a “see you later” to Ryan – even though it sucks something fierce:

2017 20


I stress fractured my left foot around January 12th of this year – the fourth metatarsal. That bone never healed. Since then, a bone in my right foot has stress fractured and healed and another bone in my left foot has up and stress fractured now. It is a hot mess:


The day I received this guy was also the day I came to really understand I would not be going back to work again:

Right now, we are in the process of dealing with disability – which is a nightmare.

And this has been such a difficult adjustment.

To go from being an independent adult to not having your own income (though I am tremendously blessed with a wonderful husband and family) is so hard. I WANT to work and contribute. Add to that being a nurse was important to me and something I loved doing.

It’s been hard to let go.

And there was all of this:

Apart from the stress fractures, my RA has just exploded this year. As such, new meds have been added. And we’ve made changes and tried new things. I’ve been a human guinea pig at times.

I lost so much hair from one combination that I had to shave my head. I am so thankful it is now growing back.

My pain varies from day to day but it is a very difficult thing.

It has definitely been hard.

Stress is a huge trigger and one big stressor this year has been handling the behaviors brought on by our oldest daughter’s Borderline Personality Disorder. We are currently working on another treatment option – that she has agreed to – and are prayerful that it will work out.

I cannot begin to say – and there have been MANY things that have happened with her I haven’t written – how much heartache some of these things have brought.

It is so so hard.

So I am praying and hoping with all my might that this new option with work out and will give her the help she needs.

And I am so ready for 2018.

But, in the good things, I intentionally left off one for last.

I realize that I AM, in fact, our friendly neighborhood crazy dog lady. There is no doubt of that.

This little dude has his own little dresser in my closet, he has his own Christmas tree, he has a car seat, he is Henry Herring, and he does what he wants:

However, there really is more to his story than the fun things – though those are awesome and I love them.

When we brought him home on August 18th, it was just over a month after I had to stop working and my anxiety attacks were really overwhelming.

Since then, he has been my constant companion.

He is here when I can’t get my pain under control and I need to hug him and cry in his fur. His constant presence has led to a major reduction in my anxiety attacks. He knows if I’m not feeling well and stays snuggled at my side.

In what can be a very lonely experience as a spoonie, taking sick days in bed with everyone else off doing things, he keeps me company and brings me joy.

I have no doubt – from the way he came to us – that God intended for him to be my little service dog.

He has been an answer to prayer and made this difficult year easier on me.

Just as God has provided this year, I know He will continue to.

I am looking forward to more good memories and new experiences as well:

Be well, everybody, Happy Sunday (and New Year!), and Who Dat!

Grace and Blessings.

the good stuff

With all the heaviness and challenges and hard things lately, the autoimmune hippie is looking a little gloomy and that just won’t do so it’s time for a fresh list of the recent good stuff (and I am so incredibly blessed that there is plenty of that too ❤️):

I got to see Foo Fighters live with my better half. For those of you who don’t know, our first dog we adopted is even named Dave Grohl so this was a big deal:

I’ve been able spend more time with my precious family lately and I love it. I’m determined to continue to do so 💜:

My Sara Bug and I got to go to an amazing Women’s Conference, see one of my favorite authors there, and I made an awesome new ministry friend as well:

We made another quick (as in, we stayed for an hour) trip to Franklin, Tennessee, to meet Katie Davis and get her to sign my copy of her new book:

My amazing husband has been so wonderful to send me on all of those day trips and he also is sending me on one at the end of the month that I am so excited about to hang out with my new ministry friend and decorate duffel bags for foster children. Those little trips give me something to look forward to on my super sick days and I am so so thankful for him ❤️:

We had a low key but super fun Halloween this year:

We are getting our Christmas on now (as of November 1st, in our home, from here forward). Our tree is being decorated tonight. And, after a many year search, Clark Griswold’s dinosaur pjs are mine! And Henry now has a Christmas dinosaur shirt to match:

My beloved Saints are 7-2!!! Who Dat!!!:

We’ve been so blessed to get plugged in to Church of the Highlands McCalla and now call it home:

I am still so thankful for my sweet Henry. With all my health issues, and the resultant anxiety, he has been such a blessing and a joy:

I have not enjoyed the extra weight that has come with my new meds but I am grateful for my oils that I already have on hand to try something new along with some new information I learned from nutrition school this weekend that I am confident will help (yay!):

I am so excited to have to just passed the halfway point of my nutrition program!!!:

I wish I weren’t still having these nasty flares but I am trusting God to see me through this one as He always does:

I am truly blessed.

Be well, everybody.

Love and light. ❤️💙💛💚💜

a love list

Since I’ve been pretty sick recently, my posts have been really heavy.

While that can’t be helped sometimes, I’ve decided to offset that with some gratitude.

It’s time for a love list of the good stuff.

There are so many beautiful things in my life, big and small:

my better half:

our unruly herd:

my beautiful bestie:

dave and dax herring:

mickodemus crookshank brimley herring:

my precious family in love – they are amazing:

my school:

my angel water – la croix:

120 sober days:

hip sobriety and the community surrounding it:

meeting a kangaroo (yes, that totally was a huge freaking deal to me!):

gluten free donuts and coffee:

amazing books I love:


janis the fabulous bug:

cooking new vegan recipes:

my better half bringing me flowers:

the nutcracker at christmas:

my stuffed giraffe, gertrude:

vision boarding and making plans:

starting my own little oil business (these are the ones i use everyday):

my to-read bookshelf:

and my other to-read books:

And there is just so much more to be grateful for as well.

Though it’s so easy to get caught up in the symptoms and the doctors appointments and the problems, I am trying my very best not to.

Because my life is so much more.

Be well, everybody.

Love and light. ❤️💙💚💜💛

jack kerouac was right (sometimes you do just need to get on the road)

I realized this morning that, with a couple of really heavy posts about things that have been going on lately, I failed to finish my post about our fabulous road trip to see my bestie last week.

I am so ridiculously lucky and blessed to have my bestie of 25 years or so – and she just moved MUCH closer! – so my youngest and I set out on our first official road trip together, just us, for a visit.

And we had the most wonderful time:

We got to spend time with Ginny, which ALWAYS restoreth my soul.

We got to hang out with her awesome husband, who made us amazing food and is so so funny.

We got to meet her newest fur baby, Wellington, who is the funniest cat I have EVER seen:

Though it had been raining, we headed to the Nashville Zoo (deciding we wouldn’t melt). However, it stopped when we got there, so we got dry weather and the zoo to ourselves!

And, for some crazy animal ladies, the most fantastical thing ever: we got to walk around with, and pet (!!!!) the kangaroos!!! Since it had been a rainy day, they weren’t all people’d out. Gahhh!!!

Ginny and the Roo

Sara and the Roo

Me and the Roo

Super exciting for all of us – and just fab to be together.

Ginny and Sara

Ginny, me, and a Roo.

In addition to the zoo, we got to hang out, catch up, play games, and Sara got to hear many stories from our younger days. So much fun.

I’m already stoked for our next road trip, this time together, next month.

Lego, bestie! 🙂