Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Health Update

"So, we got the results back from the breath and stool tests."
I felt like smiling when I heard the doctor say those words. Not because it was a humorous situation but because I was going to finally know what on earth was wrong with me and get healed!
"Okay, and...?" as I said those words I noticed the solemnity of his face as he answered "And, they all came back negative."
I could feel my face fall as he handed out the test result paperwork to me and my mom, who was sitting in a nearby chair. I bit my lip and dug my fingernails into my arms, I couldn't cry. Not now! I've been so strong and being weak isn't what these people need to see.
"So ... what do I do ... ?" I say, as I feel my eyes filling with tears.
"Well...You have a very complex case...I'm not really sure where to start."


Good Morning, world!

That doctor's visit on that early, cold November day is one of the reason's I've dropped the ball with blogging.
When I first started to write about my health my reasons were simple.
1.) For family who lives far and wants to know what goes on
2.) So people who are interested but don't have time to hear the whole story can read about it in their own time
3.) To help encourage others who are going through painful and hard health struggles.

Except, that visit left me feeling so hopeless.
A X-Ray of my stomach was brought up as an option, so that's where my mom and I headed after the appointment.
I left the doctors office without a single tear only to get in the car and not be able to stop crying.
It was a long day and I don't know how I would have gotten through it if it weren't for all the amazing people in my life.
I don't like to make my Instagram feed sappy or sad but in that moment I didn't care.
I saw these pasted up on a glass door at the Radia Imaging Center and snapped a picture with the caption of "Sometimes Merry and Bright is hard to be..."
My sweet mom held my hands and grabbed tissues for my endless flow of tears.
In the weeks that have passed I see this Instagram post and often think that I want to delete it.
Delete that bad memory.
That bad day.
My selfish attitude at how distressed I was that I wasn't getting better.
There is so much that makes me hate how petty I feel that post made me look.
And yet...
I keep it because it is a very true post.
We all need to fall and become completely broken before we become humble enough to let God be our strength and light in our life.
I was trying so hard to be strong I forgot that God is my strength when I am weak.
I need to stay humble during all this and ask for what God wants for my life and not what I want.

In December I was told that nothing out of the ordinary stood out in my X-Ray.
I also got my blood drawn quite a few times!

I'm sure by now you're curious to know what I do know about my health.
Well, so am I!

It seems that I may have severe Candida in my Intestine, ( that somehow the tests just haven't seen it )
My Thyroid is more off than we thought.
I still can't digest food well.
And perhaps something with my pancreas enzymes.

My doctor says I was malnourished when I came to him, and one of the reasons that happened was because of being on the AIP diet for soo long! After 30 days you're supposed to see improvement, with 90 days being the maximum. So I was eating good food, but not getting anywhere near the nutrients I needed. I've sort of been floundering around for what to eat of late.
When I don't eat anything I feel great!
(But according to my parents that is not an option.)
I have had quite a few allergy tests, and the 4 things that always come back positive are Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, and Peanuts.
So currently I'm just trying to stick to a veggie based diet, with a limit on my sugar intake.
There have been a couple of diets that I have come across since November and one of them that really stuck out to me was The Soup Cleanse.
I have since then bought the book and have even done a trial run with a 5 day soup cleanse!
Sadly, it wasn't much of a success.
They allow you to snack if you need to after each meal, and one of the things that is okay is Dried Apricots.
But Dried Apricots isn't something that apparently agrees with my body.
Thus Day 1 went well and day 2 started out well but ended badly. Day 3 and 4 were fatal attempts, and by the end of Day 5 I was so sick of/on the soup, so I was sort of throwing in the towel.
I'll admit I have never been more disappointed in myself as normally when I make a diet plan, I can stick to it!
I'm not sure if the Soup Cleanse has actually worked... due to how much my body is out of whack it's rather hard to know.
So I keep sort of doing one day cleanses as if anything it's not hurting my body.

And that's where I'm at. I don't think I'll be posting more AIP recipes, as I'm mostly not eating them anymore. Though, I do still plan to post about food!
I'm afraid this is rather a droll post, but it is an update.

Thank you to all of you who have been such big supports in my life! I don't know what I'd do without you all! I love you all SO VERY MUCH! 💖

Friday, January 20, 2017

Mom Jeans

Hello World!

What better way to get a start back into blogging than with a fashion post?
Today's post is on, yep you read it right, Mom-Jeans.
Now to some people, mom jeans, seem out dated and uninteresting.
But to people like me, who thrive on thrifted comfortable clothes, they are heaven!
I've never really been one who likes to wear their clothes lower on their waist, so having the high waist come back in style definitely has my vote. 
Now there might even be some people out there who are raising their eyebrows and wondering
 "What is she talking about? What are mom jeans?"
Hahah, well good sir and miss, then read on!
Mom jeans refer to high-waisted jeans that are normally baggy.
In the 70's the style was popular for girls to wear, and eventually, as with all fashion trends, it died down, and so did the waistline. The name for the so-called-mom-jeans is from when girls trying to find a new trend and style decide to go through their mom's closet and old packed away boxes of clothes come across these jeans from the past and decide to be original and try a new style.
So it's pretty much the 70's coming back.
And you thought that it had gone for good. ;)
Mine are not my mom's because we tend to be the type of family with the motto of "I don't like this anymore, it's not stylish, I never wear it, it's not really my size, it has a hole, ect,. Goodwill it!"
We aren't much of a family that holds onto things that are just sitting there collecting dust. 
With that being said I did pick up this pair of jeans for free at our church's clothing ministry.
(It actually reaches out to the community, but if you work there you get "first-hand dibs on second-hand clothes") 
I also am a huge advocate of wearing band T-Shirts.
One of the reasons why I like this shirt so much is because it has practically my motto for life on it.
  "In the Darkness, I'll Dance, in the Shadows I'll Sing. The Joy of the Lord is my Strength."
P.S Obviously, my real motive for this casual photoshoot was because my hair was looking good!

And of course, one can't wear an outfit without crazy socks.
For my birthday and Christmas I received countless pairs, and have now become known as the sock collector.
A, name I am very proud of! 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

It's My Birfdaaaaayyyyyy! ... Or... ya know.... was.....

Hello World!

Look at this.
My poor little blog.
I only got one blog post in, in December, and it was not even a very informative one.
I'm hoping to get back into blogging, and vlogging, more regularly and thought I'd start my catch up posts with talking about a pretty big event in my life.
I've entered the adult world.
It's pretty terrifying!
And exciting!
And the same...
But different?
For the first time ever on my actual birthday when everyone asked me,
 "So, do you feel any older?"
I could truthfully answer
There is suddenly a new weight to one's age.
You are 18 years of age now, and have to act it.
There is no excuse to be anything else but an adult.

To start off my day, I asked my mom if she'd do a photoshoot with me that morning.
I love having extra pictures of late to document momentous times in my life.
My version of makeup is putting on mascara, lipstick, and a gel glitter on my eyes/face. To me, the extra shine is perfect and my favorite, so these pictures are mostly portraits as I was hoping my mom could capture the sparkles.
(which she of course did!)  

If you have been around on my blog for a bit, then you'll understand why I have fairy wings on.
If not?
Lets just say, I love adding a little magic into life.  

For the whole month of December my mom kept asking me what I wanted to do for my special day.
Here is an idea of what went on in my head.

 "I want a party!
But that can be expensive by the time I add in friends and family.
I know, I want to go somewhere and go on an adventure!
But again, there is the money factor of paying for people, and what can one do that is fun in December?
I know, I'll do something low-key with the family!
Except, not all my family members can make it...
And what's something that's exciting for an almost 18 year old to do that can include a 5 year old? Maybe I'll just invite a friend over.
But which one?
Maybe I just won't do anything fancy, and eat ice cream all day and wear pajamas.
That sounds pretty tempting, but will my 35 year old self wish I had done something more interesting?
I've got it!
I'll put on a dance!
I love dancing!
How could I not have thought of this?!"
*Looks for a dance hall*
*They all ask for a $2,000 rent fee*
*Ooh, look they all include the amenities, ... which I don't need!*

By the time I wrote out the pros and cons of everything, it left me a bit uncertain of what to do.
I knew the one thing I wanted was to have a fun day and not be stressed or stress anyone else out.
A low key party was eventually settled upon.
I invited people who I geek out with, dance with, am related to and attend church with.
Also known as, people who know that I have health problems but give me grace and love me anyways.
My party consisted of; dinner ( corn chips and soup, which also happened to be served in mugs. It's my FAVORITE way to eat soup! ), games, and a photo booth, so I could take a Polaroid picture with each of my guests.

Dan and I were on the decorating squad.

My photobooth wall.

I was no longer on AIP for my birthday, but was still cutting out a lot of foods, so this was my "Cake."
It was a simple chocolate cake (with substitutions of oat and walnut flour for the grain, applesauce for the eggs, and coffee for the buttermilk) with jam filling, and a chocolate glaze.
Sugar was one thing it contained a lot of!
For everyone else I made a Red Velvet cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.
If there is one thing about me, it is that I love to bake, and I love velvet so making this treat was a lot of fun for me!

I don't have many pictures of the night, and most of them are horribly blurry, so instead I am just posting the polaroids that were taken as I think they catch the spirit of the night.  
(Yes, I'm well aware I look pregnant in this one, but It's still one of my favorites!)

Sadly, two of my guests weren't able to make it, another one had to leave the party early, and my younger sisters went off to bed before I took the pictures, so I still need to take a couple poloroids with some special peeps!

And that was my day!
I know this post is horribly late with only mediocre pictures, but to be honest it's been a bit of a struggle to want to blog again.
Part of me has been trying really hard to limit my screen time and spend more time reading ( especially all the lovely books I got for Christmas! )
And part of me has just been avoiding it as it can be hard to try and make my blog happy and encouraging when I'm struggling.
I look at this year of turning 18 though and all I can say is that even though I fail and am not constant, God is faithful and constantly there.
I'm more excited for another year of life than I ever have been before, but I'm also slightly terrified.
My hope and prayer for this coming year is that my relationship with God would show more than anything else in my life.
That I wouldn't be scared to talk about Him, and what He is constantly showing me in my life.
That I would yearn to read my Bible like no other book, and that He alone would be my favorite person to talk to everyday when I pray.
That when people see me happy they would know it's because God is my source of joy and strength.
Some of you may not say these are birthday wishes, and I don't think any of these were what I thought of when I blew out my candles, but I want to be so focused on serving God with my life that nothing else will matter.
That I will be so in love with Jesus that the stress of life won't be there. 

As I end this blog post, I just want to say really quick, thank you to everyone who made my birthday special and magical! From coming to my party, to just wishing me a happy day on Instagram. I'm so very thankful for each and every wonderful and beautiful person in my life. <3

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Years!

Hello world, and Happy New Year! 

Since I stayed up till Midnight on New Years Eve, I saw many people post about their thoughts of last year. 
Some people said it was the worst year yet and hallelujah 2017 is finally here! 
Some said it was a struggle, but they weighed the bad with the good and looked on the bright side.
Some said it was just downright amazing.
I don't know how to yet label last year.
In one year...

I cried more than any other year.

I've watched myself grow mentally and physically weak and sick.

I saw God work through all my pain, and witnessed his powerful attributes in my life and calm my fears.

I made lots of friends by traveling.

I became a health nut.

I believed sugar and coffee are the fountain of youth. (Still do!)

I watched my younger brother become a mature teenager.

I became best friends with said brother and he is still my favorite dance partner!

I watched both of my older brothers start into a new section of life and enjoyed the adventures I had with them and their girlfriends.

I enjoyed having a "Aunt" who has become such a big part of my life in her extra spiritual and health guidance, amidst all the inside jokes and laughs.

I enjoyed the deep friendships, full of advice, encouragement and constant abounding love and forgiveness.

I enjoyed getting to know one of my cousins better and am looking forward to this year's adventure with her!

I enjoyed quite a few concert adventures and the memories and spiritual night of praising God they brought.

I enjoyed posting on fashion more and the photoshoots with my mom that came with it.

I enjoyed the relationship with my mom that is ever growing deeper, how I can read her mind and how we are best friends.

I enjoyed experimenting with clothes and fashion, and trying to feel comfortable in my skin, and my parents saying I dress cute even when it's a reindeer nightgown type of fashion day.

I enjoyed getting to know my dad on a more personal level this year, as I watched him enjoy living life with a passion that spews out and is contagious. 

I enjoyed driving lessons, even when I hit the mailbox or drove on the curb.

I appreciated the patience, care and love given to me by my family when it came to my health.

I enjoyed school field trips to museums, parks and chocolate factories!

I enjoyed trips to the beach, sunhats and messy buns full of sand.

I enjoyed books and being able to say I have read certain classics. 

I enjoyed the bloggers I met, and how close I have become with some of them. Even when I haven't been able to keep up at regularly blogging or in replying to emails....(You know who you are. ♡)

I enjoyed being in the kitchen and making more of the meals for the family.

I had the pleasure of meeting an author of a cookbook and being star struck.

I started a YouTube channel and pepole actually subscribed and watched my videos.

I got an ukelele, and played it till it made my fingers bleed the first time I played it.

I took pictures on my Nikon Camera and my poloroid! 

I enjoyed late night talks.

I enjoyed stargazing.

I enjoyed seeing old faces and picking up where we had left off. 

I enjoyed the joy of the Christmas season.

I enjoyed the making of gifts.

I really enjoyed the giving!

Last night, I enjoyed a walk outside with the snow falling in the dark, looking like you're in outer space if you look up. 

I look forward to the promises of last year coming true this year.

I may have felt pain the hardest in 2016, but I also felt love the strongest. 
I do have a confession.
I am scared of 2017.
What type of emotions, stories, adventures, relationships, friendships, memories, music, laughter, tears, heartache, smiles at midnight, late night reads, long night drives, first job, sock wearing, ukulele playing, loud music blaring,  dance parties, long board dancing, polkadot wearing, plane traveling, city walking, trusting in God, humbling, eye-opening, lipstick smearing, health steps, Instagramming, vlogging, and blogging, will be happening? 

I'm scared.
But I am thankful!
Thankful for a fresh start. 

This is an early morning ramble and a toast.
A toast to a New Year.