So, it turns out I’m Lorelai after all

Without getting into the awful details, we had a terrible episode with my son last night. It was unbelievable. Honestly, it has probably been a long time coming. . . But that doesn’t make it any less painful.

He is now at his father’s house.

And my husband, who worked all day on no sleep, is finally resting.

And my youngest daughter, who has been busting her tail all day working against a school deadline while keeping an eye on me, is also finally in bed.

And my pain has been AWFUL today – which I could have predicted with such an upsetting day yesterday.

So I’ve been in bed pretty much constantly today, napping on and off.

And now, our oldest daughter, who unfortunately was a witness to the craziness last night, is piled up in bed next to me, watching Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life.

I’m not much of a TV person but a favorite thing of mine is picking a great series and watching it through with my family. My husband and I have watched The Big Bang Theory, How I Meet Your Mother and Modern Family together, to name a few. Sara, our youngest, and I have watched Stranger Things and Queer Eye.

And so, tonight, Laura and I started Gilmore Girls. Since she has seen the earlier episodes, we are watching the new ones and then we will circle back and I’ll pick up the older ones.

After all these years of hearing that I’m Lorelai, it turns out it’s true. From the coffee to the food to the dog dressing and special doggie meals to all the crazy pop culture references to the Christmas obsession, it’s true.

But more importantly, I really needed to enjoy a good Netflix and late night pizza fest with my fam. Very much badly.

And there have been some other great things too like exciting developments with my business:

I have my final business name and logo chosen and our first conference in about ten days. There is lots of (really great) work to be done.

So, as with all hard things (like this with my son), I’m just digging in and hanging on and doing the things I can do.

And getting my Gilmore on.

Be well, everybody.

Grace and blessings.

dreams and visions (and glue sticks and washi tape)

Today (yesterday, really) was spent working in my office, as well as my kitchen, and reworking my blog, and I also spent some time working on plans for my health coaching programs. With graduation upon me and my practice starting, I have so much (good stuff) to do.

One thing I also did – that I started when I was in school as an assignment but I will always keep doing in the future – was rework my vision board:

my vision board – and, yes, that is a mini salt lamp below it. I prefer ALL of the hippie around my Hut. =D

The first time I made a vision board I felt totally goofy doing it, but, honestly, now I love it. It’s a great way to keep my dreams and goals before me every day, and I encourage everyone to make one, whether it is a physical board or just a secret Pinterest board that they look at every morning.

Also, as adults, we tend to get bogged down in the day-to-day and vision boarding is a great way to remember to keep dreaming and looking forward to things, which is so important to our mental health.

I even remember reading in a book – though I can’t remember which one for the life of me – vision boarding being described as “craft time with God.” Bahahaha!

Seriously, though, everyone’s board looks different. Some are covered with houses, cars, and pictures of jobs. Some look like giant travel advertisements. Some, like mine, are lots of words and quotes and a few pictures and my life verses. It can be ANYTHING.

Just. Do. It.

Remember:

It’s never too late to be what you might have been. – George Eliot

Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. – Muhammad Ali

Where there is no vision, the people perish. – Proverbs 29:18

Be well, everybody. And get crafting.

Grace and blessings.

 

a new spoonie purpose for me this awareness month.

May is Arthritis Awareness Month. It is also the Awareness Month for Celiac Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Chiari Malformation, Lupus, and several other serious spoonie diseases.

I’ve written often about my struggles with rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease and the struggles our daughter is experiencing as well. I’ve shared all the issues we’ve had with doctors not listening or not helping. I’ve reported weeks where we just could NOT stay out of the ER. I’ve done my best to describe just how debilitating the pain and fatigue of these illnesses can be.

And they are miserable.

But, as I also have recently shared, I’ve had some great things happening too with my graduation.

Actually, these came today (yay!!!):

In addition to helping people with standard American dietary issues (which I also really want to do), I feel I am in a unique position to help my spoonie sisters with the problems we face:

  • Where they may go to the doctor and only get 10 or 15 minutes to report their concerns (which, though usual, isn’t enough time to begin to discuss complex medical issues), I will take time to actually sit and LISTEN to the whole story. Also, our families need a break sometimes too from hearing the symptom report (it’s okay – we know). I can be great for a sympathetic ear.
  • I will spend whatever time is needed sorting dietary needs and issues and supplements and other alternatives to help relieve symptoms, where they won’t be getting that from their physicians (this I KNOW).
  • Because I have a strong nursing background, I am familiar with the side effects of our meds, so I will be helpful there as well.
  • I will be available by email anytime, unlike our physicians.
  • Most importantly, I live with this as well and I will BELIEVE them. I can’t count how many stories I’ve heard of patients not being believed at their appointments and it’s terrible. I actually understand what these illnesses are like. Really.

After being unable to work as a nurse for the past year, I honestly feel like this is what I am meant to do and it is a way I can be of service to our community so I hope to spend this awareness month being helpful in a small way at least.

I am so excited.

Be well, everybody. Happy Thursday!

Grace and blessings.

 

397 days

It’s been 397 days since I stopped drinking.

397 days since my cute little sugar skull wine glasses turned into toothbrush and pen holders.

397 days since the rest of the alcohol related paraphernalia in my house went in the trash.

397 days since the whole world changed and brightened and a new life started for me.

A life of books and church and movie nights and a nutrition degree and writing and so much freedom and joy.

Don’t misunderstand me – there has been plenty of hard too.

My autoimmune disease brings incredible pain at times from which there is no escape.

And, though neither broken foot is a treat, my right foot is unbearable at times.

And we have some serious life stresses right now that just have to be faced head on.

And I quickly learned that I was masking my anxiety disorder with wine and had to learn to manage it. Deep breathing, Valor EO, and, most of all, my Wonderpup, Henry, are my saving graces.

Despite the rough stuff, though, it’s a wonderful life with my better half, my Buggle, my Henry, my family and friends, church, writing, books, and, now, coaching.

More than anything, I am thankful to God for giving me grace and a whole new lease on life. Every day, I’m thankful.

I say this all to say how much I HATE the beast that is substance abuse.

I learned earlier tonight that an old friend from my town, who went to our church, whose children are younger than mine, was living in a facility to get a fresh start, but was ultimately unable to be free. She passed away from an overdose.

I have no judgment. We are all in the same boat.

My heart is just broken for her family, especially for her babies.

And, prior to learning of her death, I had some things I had been meaning to share. But this has certainly lit a fire.

Though her death was related to another substance, alcohol, in my mind, is every bit as dangerous, if not more so, because people tend to consider it safe as it is legal.

I saw this article last week and the information stuck with me and I felt led to pass it along:

https://www.delish.com/food/a19779621/one-alcoholic-drink-day-shorten-life/

Even what most people would consider moderate drinking can drastically shorten a person’s lifespan.

When we consider that the rates of alcohol abuse are skyrocketing among women, that alcohol is a potent neurotoxin, and that alcohol is a carcinogen, linked to cancers, such as breast cancer, with only a small daily intake, there are definitely many issues with this legal drug.

Of course, that doesn’t even take into consideration alcohol related accidents and deaths.

It is definitely not the safe drug it is often thought to be.

And many times people are reluctant to seek help when they do have a problem with it because it is so socially acceptable and they don’t want to be “branded” somehow.

It’s time to change the way we think.

And, then, in the case of my friend, there is the opioid crisis.

Heroin related deaths have quadrupled in my county in recent years.

From what I understand from reading the report from the county sheriff, there is a more pure strain that is becoming available and also some of what is available is laced with fentanyl. Either of these can prove deadly.

I honestly don’t know what the answer is to this problem in the big picture.

I do know, regardless of the substance, that help is available to people who are struggling and I would just beg them to take it. And, if you don’t make it the first time – or the fifth – to keep trying.

There are resources that are always available:

aa.org

na.org

celebraterecovery.com

hipsobriety.com

In addition to these, there are tons of online support groups. Just consult Google and you’ll find plenty.

And, as always, if you are in crisis, PLEASE present to the nearest emergency room. Regardless of your insurance status, they WILL help you.

This stuff is no joke. It’s life or death.

You are not alone. You are worth saving. And you can be helped.

Be well, everybody.

Grace and blessings.

 

 

 

 

 

dreams do come true.

I’m just up from a long day of sleep because last night this old lady pulled an all nighter finishing all of my modules for nutrition school.

That’s right – I am done. And I am so stinkin’ proud of myself.

See, as I was looking through my phone the other day, I came across this:

I had saved this from my school’s Insta – which I followed for a long time, never dreaming I would get to attend – back in September of 2016, eight months before I was able to begin classes.

And I feel so incredibly blessed that my long to-do list now is all about working on my new coaching practice.

And then there is this, my blog post from the day I enrolled in IIN:

https://autoimmunehippie.blog/2017/04/16/for-easter-my-rebirth/

And, now, I’m graduating.

After all of the struggles, giving up my career because of my disability, I am just overcome with gratitude for this.

And I am so thankful to my precious family for all they have done to help me get through.

And, now, today I got to order my set of school business cards:

And I am ready to start my practice.

What is this life?

Thank you, Lord, for all of this.

Be well, everybody. Happy Thursday!

Grace and blessings.

 

 

wild soul movement.

I am pulling my final nutrition school all nighter to wrap up my last modules and I have come across one of my favorite guest lecturers that we have had (we truly get some fabulous ones).

Her name is Liz DiAlto and she is the founder of the Wild Soul Movement. She also has a podcast that I will be listening to from now on called Truth Telling.

For now, though, I really wanted to share her Wild Soul Woman Manifesto here. Enjoy. And Happy Early Thursday.

wild soul

these are a few (or a dozen?) of my favorite things. a love list.

Y’all, it was a rough weekend with the situation I wrote about in my previous post and then a really unwelcome health report from a dear friend’s oncologist (that we are praying so so hard about) and then some physical challenges when I was serving at church (when I discovered I can’t even do the simple clean up after being with my babies because my hands can’t take down the swings and my hips lock up on the floor when I’m trying to clean toys to the point that I have to rest on a bench during the trip to my car).

So I was really bummed.

However, Monday brought a wonderful lunch with my amazing cousin, Blair, and my Sara Bug, then some happy mail (the cutest lil’ weenie dog ring holder!!!) from my friend Lauren in Florida, then a great night with my better half and Henry the Wonderpup.

And I knew it was time to get grateful (like Pastor Mark suggested on Sunday, when we find ourselves in a funk) and make a love list.

And goodness knows I have plenty to be grateful for.

So here are a few (or a dozen?) of my favorite things:

My amazing husband, Courtney, and our precious Sara, and all of our adventures together. Despite the health challenges we face, we have a wonderful life. And I have these wonderful people. God is so good and I am so blessed to get to do life with them. I love them more than I have words.

Our Wonderpup, Henry. Not only is he my Emotional Support Animal, he is our baby. He stays with me constantly and is such a joy. I’ve always wanted a lil’ weenie dog and having him as a companion has made this year, with my new physical limitations, so much more bearable. I always say God knew I needed a Henry because the way we ended up with him could have only been a God thing.

Also, as a reminder, he is a rescue and we adopted him as an adult dog (he is four years old). If you are considering adding to your family, please consider your local shelter. You’ll be so glad you did. I encourage everyone to look there for the Love of their Doggie Life.

My precious family. We had the best time getting to see Blair today, and, though I don’t get to see my Aunt Barbie as often as I’d like, I love getting to stay in touch with her almost daily through our social media. It just makes my heart smile. I am so thankful for them!

My precious family – part two (Mom, Pop, & GJ). They are just amazing. Y’all have no idea. We are so so blessed.

My fantastical bestie since I was fourteen, Ginny. This is actually us in front of our high school. I love her so much and she is godmother to my herd as well. I am so lucky.

My precious bestie and spoonie sister, Al. We have been through the great and the absolute pure hell together. She understands the things without even having to say the things. I just freaking love her and am so grateful for her. That is all.

Our house was a MAJOR fixer upper when we bought it and my husband has worked SO incredibly hard to turn it in to the cozy Hippie Hut of my dreams. And it is wonderful. Since I am home most of the time (and I’m not complaining – I love our home), he made it just perfect. In the past few weeks, we’ve even been able to open it up to where our cat, Mick, and Henry the Wonderpup can freely run everywhere now and I love it so much. I am so grateful both for our home and for my phenomenal husband who loves me so well.

I’m thankful for lots of little things as well.

I was introduced to oils several years ago when I worked with my friend, Tonya, who used to put Valor on a cotton ball and stick it in my fan in my office during stressful days when I worked in Mental Health. Then, when I had to stop working, another friend reintroduced me to them. And I am so glad she did.

My oils help so much with my anxiety – especially my Valor. And I love my Oola Grow for studying. And my Abundance for perfume. And my citrus oils for my water. Heck, I have an oil for everything. Yep, I’m that lady. I’m so thankful for them.

This was mid-point certificate from school – and, in two weeks, I will graduate! I have already completed my minimum requirements but I still have some more modules to complete (because, of course, I’m going to complete all of my work). I am thankful for all I have learned and I am stoked to start my practice. This whole process has been a huge blessing.

I love cooking – and I love that Sara is enjoying cooking with me. Starting this week, we are going through my cookbooks and cooking our healthy meals together. We are experimenting to see if we can improve some of our symptoms as well. I imagine I may well be doing some food/health blogging about this project and I am stoked. I am thankful for this new thing to work on and the time with her.

I am a huge reader and I am thankful for a ton of books waiting on me right now. Some of them are just personal growth, many of them are coaching related, a few of them are just for fun. . . I can’t wait to read them all. I am so thankful to have so much to look forward to.

I’ve never been a big TV person, but, when I’m anxious or having severe pain (so, pretty often), I need a happy distraction. I am thankful for my all time favorite funny, Psych, and my new love, Queer Eye, as they both bring me so much joy.

I love this picture because it represents several things I am thankful for: our church, relaxing and being a big kid, and singing the Veggie Tales songs (which, unfortunately for my family, I do).

It’s always good to look forward to things and this is me and my Henry dressed up for Halloween. I love Fall. I love decorating the house, burning autumn candles, dressing up for Halloween, the works. I look forward to it every year and plan for it year round. Another biggie on my love list.

And Christmas is the same. Last year, after the tragic loss of a dear friend, I instituted a policy of decorating for Christmas on November 1st so I can enjoy it for two months and I will be sticking with it. Life is too short not to enjoy the things we love to the fullest.

I adore art. I love to go to museums. I love to visit shops and find local art. I love discovering treasures while I’m thrifting.

I love to be surrounded by it.

This awesome design was created by a photographer I love – I follow her on Insta – and then a consignment/thrift site that I send clothes to printed it on a limited number of recycled shirts as an Earth Day fundraiser.

Well, I was fortunate enough to: 1. have some credit from sending them some clothes that I had,  ummm, outgrown and 2. get the last plus sized shirt available.

And I am stoked. I can’t wait for it to arrive.

It’s the little things.

I am so blessed.

And, last but not least, there’s this. I come here. I am working on my book. I dreamed of being a writer my whole life and now I get to write.

How can I be anything but grateful for this?


So, thank you, Pastor Mark. I do feel better after making an actual list.

And I could list for days.

I am a truly blessed woman.

God has been so good to me.

Be well, everybody. Go make your lists.

Grace and blessings.