Despite the many days of rain that we have been having, I am becoming more and more thankful for this time of year. The stormy weather makes me want to hunker down indoors and seek out warmth and comfort. I find that my son and I spend more time in the kitchen on rainy days baking up all sorts of goodies. We made banana bread and applesauce cake yesterday. I love these two recipes in particular because they are kid friendly. No mixer is needed, just a bowl and a wooden spoon. We are usually covered in flour by the time we are done and have batter on our faces, but watching him learn and have fun is what it is all about. He is learning to count and measure and is recognizing what goes in each recipe. "I get three bananas mom?" he asks. "Yes please bud!" I say.
With me needing time to rest and recover, our life has slowed down at bit at home. We spend extra time snuggling, reading, and playing quiet games like play dough or puzzles. I have been feeling less inclined to go outside and play with how poorly I have been feeling, so I am secretly thankful that the rain has kept us indoors. Instead I've been taking the time to appreciate the little things, like how he still asks me to rock him to sleep from time to time. He doesn't fit in my lap as well as he used to, but he still reaches his arms out and hugs me until he falls asleep. I know that this won't last forever and I am very thankful for the time that we have together, especially in light of the recent events that have taken place around the world. I know that there are families that do not have this opportunity.
I also have taken up knitting. It may seem like an odd thing to start out of the blue, but I find that it is relaxing. I have a lot of pain in my abdomen and I am physically exhausted, yet the steroids that I am taking make my mind race. I feel as though I am wide awake all the time, even in the middle of the night. Knitting is proving to be helpful because it keeps my mind busy while allowing my body to rest. I began following instructional videos by what I think is a little old lady on YouTube. I say this because I can only see her hands, but they remind me of my Grandmothers and that alone is comforting. I'm not very good, so don't look too close at the picture, but you never know I might be some day.
The rain has also brought by husband home. I feel blessed that he has been able to come home earlier at night even though I know that it hard for him not to be working. I think that he is enjoying it more and more as the week goes on. He has been able to participate in our night time routines and even cooked dinner with us tonight. The three of us made Chicken Pot Pie. I can't remember the last time the three of us cooked dinner together, last Thanksgiving maybe?. We are sharing the pie tonight with family. This is another blessing that I am thankful for. Prayers before dinner and family around that table.
I hope you have a wonderful Sunday wherever you are and that you too are blessed with a full belly and family around your table.
Today is day 4 of treatment for my first official flare up and let's just say this whole Crohn's thing is far from sunshine and roses. I was told I have this incurable disease, given medication and sent on my way. Right now it feels as though I am fumbling my way through the darkness. It is a good thing that I am good at researching and putting the pieces together because if I wasn't I may not be able to make heads or tails out of this whole thing.
I am still trying to sort out how I feel about this. I'm afraid that I have been a bit of a mess the last few days, both mentally and physically. The corticosteroids are a miserable drug that make me feel awful and my face all puffy. Hopefully I will only be on the highest dose for a few weeks. Then we can slowly reduce the dose until I have healed. I'm still only able to eat food in liquid form and even that is painful. I have to have less pain and be able to eat solid food before they will decrease the dose so we will see how this goes. The other thing I am struggling with is the feeling of loneliness that often follows a diagnosis like this. I have people who love and care about me, but they don't understand how I am feeling. They do their best to sympathize with me and show their support, but their life still goes on just as it always has. However, I feel as though I was just handed this bomb that has changed everything and now I have to figure out what to do with it. Does that make sense? I can't take a break from life. It still goes on and I still have to do all the things I have had to do before no matter how poor I am feeling. My son still needs to live life to the fullest and my family still needs to be taken care of. Though sometimes I wish I had someone there to take care of me....silly isn't it?
But that's what days like today are for. Whether I felt ill or not we were going to have a great day, and we did. We had a mommy and son movie date. It was so much fun. My best mommy friend and I took our boys out to lunch and a movie. We had the whole back of the theater to ourselves and the boys got their wiggles out by exploring the isles and making their way up and down the stairs. It was a 3D movie too so they felt extra special with their 3D glasses on. They loved the movie and made through the whole thing. That's impressive for our two energetic boys. We may even do it again. After Thanksgiving I think.
I am finding that even in the middle of this haze, there are still things that bring light into your life. Dear friends are one of them, and for me cooking is another. I know crazy right? I'm allergic to everything, I can't physically eat hardly anything, but I still love to cook. Last night I made Lemon Chicken with Baked Green Beans and Baby Potatoes. I couldn't eat it, but it didn't matter. My son loved making it with me. He learned how to zest and juice a lemon and had a blast using the garlic press. He did dilute the lemon juice when I wasn't looking, but it still turned out okay. Plus, my husband was able to come home to a warm dinner after he'd been out in the rain all day and tonight I am turning the left over chicken into a variation of "Asian Chicken Noodle Soup" by www.cookingclassy.com. (You can find the recipe at: http://www.cookingclassy.com/2015/09/asain-chicken-noodle-soup/. )
I'm a big fan of using what I have on hand when making recipes so for this one I used Sweet Onions instead of Green Onions, Button Mushrooms instead of Crimini Mushrooms, added an extra carrot because my son likes them, and omit the Sriracha sauce and dry Ramen Noodles. Why did I omit them, well I would have substituted a Gluten Free Noodle for the Ramen Noodles, but I didn't have any and I currently have an open sore in my intestines so spicy foods are not a good idea at the moment. The broth of this soup on the other hand, is delicious!
I always seem to close with an interlude about my son needing my attention somehow. It is true though and is what always seems to happen when you have a little one attached to your hip 24/7. Right now he just woke up from a nap where it looks like he was dreaming about ice cream. He is going to be very upset when he finds out we don't have any. Let's see if a Popsicle will do.........hmm apparently not..... I must go dry some tears and provide snuggles now. What a hardship...snuggles!!!
I wish you all the best! Talk to you soon,
I have had a lot of testing done the last few weeks and last night I received confirmation that I have Crohn's Disease. The doctor said that it was a possibility when the results from the abdominal MRI I had a few weeks ago came back abnormal. He sent me in for a colonoscopy last Thursday and they did find an erosion and inflammation in my terminal ileum. Again the signs pointed to Crohn's Disease, but they wanted to see the results of the multiple biopsies they took before confirming the diagnosis. Well, wouldn't you know, they showed inflammation, infection and Crohn's Disease. That was the phone call I received last night.
At first I didn't know to take the possibility of Crohn's Disease. It is not a pleasant autoimmune disease and it is one that lasts a lifetime. I thought, another chronic gastrointestinal disease, you've got to be kidding me. I mulled it over a little bit and after researching about Crohn's Disease, I started to be okay with it. Then I got the phone call last night and apparently I wasn't as okay as I thought I was. I was crushed.
I was surprised that my husband wasn't as crushed as I was. When I asked him why he seemed to be so okay with it, he said "It could be worse. It's not cancer, and you are not dying." He was right. It is not cancer and I am not dying. This disease is a hard one to have, but it is not the worst that I can have. This is a well known disease and one that has many treatment options. We plan on taking this "flare-up", as they call it, head on. Tomorrow morning I am going to start on a heavy dose of an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid hormone and we are going to beat this into remission. And during this process I am going to be researching all the holistic approaches to this disease, starting with food first. I am going to find which foods I should be eating, and which foods I should not be. I did read that milk chocolate is frowned upon. It is now on the do not eat list, so I am indulging in my last piece as I write to you now. So long milk chocolate, I will miss you!
I hear my little man reeking havoc in the next room. It sounds like he is jumping on the couch with the enthusiasm of an acrobat, so I must be going. Thank you for following me on my journey. The plot has thickened, so hold on, it looks like it's going to be a bumpy ride!
Talk to you soon,
It's it funny how things turn out. I am amazed at how my life is progressing. It is so different from what I envisioned 15 years ago, 10 years ago even. Just tonight I made a batch of refrigerator pickles for my nephew's birthday. Why pickles, you may ask? Well, because he asked me to. I'm no longer the cool Auntie that I was when he was little. It's pretty cute, he still comes to me if he has an injury or wants more cookies, but he has pretty much outgrown me and now his Uncle is much more fun. So, when he sends me a message saying that my pickles are awesome and he was wondering if I would be making more anytime soon, you know darn well that I am going to use every last cucumber from the garden to make him some more!
Even hearing myself say that I am making pickles sounds a little nuts. It is far from the driven career woman I used to be. Now I live in the country, stay home with my son and take care of my family. I have a garden. I preserve things. I bake. I make pickles. My son asked me yesterday for a pig and we might just get one. My high heels were replaced by Georgia boots and I dress more for practicality than fashion....who is this woman? Whoever she is, I like her. My life is hard and messy with a whole lot of blessing mixed in. I wouldn't change it for anything, so tonight I'm making pickles!
Here's to life and everything that goes with it! May you be blessed with pickles, or whatever suits your fancy!
As individuals, each of us have our own unique personality traits and characteristics. Some of them we may like, some of them we may not. Either way, it is these qualities that make us who we are. One thing you may have noticed about me is that when I am faced with a difficult situation, I tend to turn into a bit of a hermit. My first instinct is to look inward to reflect and really think about the situation. I become more of an introvert and much less of an extrovert. I did find recently that this isn't always the case when it comes to my feelings towards other people, especially their safety. I experienced this this weekend when I was picking up my sister and I thought she was lost in the airport. Apparently I also have a personality trait that includes a crazed mother bear. Let's just say it I will be working on that part of my character because no one needs to see that again. At least I can say that I fight for my children, but in most cases my closest friends and family know that if I haven't talked to you for a while, it usually means that something is going on. I realize now, that this might not be the best quality to have when you are a blogger.
I had a great talk with some friends about this topic today. I find that having new perspectives is helpful. My main goal for this blog is for it to be inspirational. I write as a form of healing, but I also write with the intention of helping people. Not everything I write is positive, but for the most part I try to keep it that way. That becomes hard sometimes when I am facing personal difficulties. This brought up the topic of social media, and the Facebook effect for example. People have a tendency to post only the happy things, the most flattering pictures, their best family vacation. Life is almost perfect, according to Facebook. I have a tendency to do this exact thing. I don't want to look like a hot mess while others look like their lives belong on Pinterest. "Oh look at her, she looks like another Pinterest fail." But it's not real. When we really get down to it and get to know each other we will find that we are not perfect, none of us are. Each of us has something we are working on or battle we are fighting. One person's struggles might be bigger than another's, but each of us are working through something. My friends were kind enough to point out that sometimes it is the truth that makes the difference. Sometimes experiencing someones struggle along with them and being able to relate to them is what helps the most.
I took those words to heart. My life is not easy. Having a chronic disease does not define me, but it does make even the littlest tasks that much harder. My intentions are to help you, to encourage you, and to be a friend. I will not shy away from the truth, instead I will share with you my experiences, even if they they are raw and ugly at times. Thank you for following along with me in this journey.
Here's to another day!
Cheers my friend! On to tomorrow!
Tough! I like this word. It means strong and durable, not easily broken, and capable of great endurance. I often use to describe how things have been going lately and I have even used it to describe myself a time or two. "If life is tough, I must be tougher!" I'd say.
I didn't feel tough yesterday though. Yesterday was a hard day. I received a phone call bright and early from my GI Doctor. He wanted to go over the results of my recent Abdominal MRI. Apparently there were some images of my ilium (part of your small intestine) that came back abnormal. He is now wondering if I have Crohn's Disease on top of my Esophageal Dysmotility. The next step is a colonoscopy and multiple biopsies of intestinal tissues. Sounds like fun right, because who wouldn't want to do that?
I don't know what results I was expecting to hear, but I wasn't exactly expecting to hear that. Although I try to find a positive in every situation, this situation was a little harder than usual. So I asked my son if we wanted to go for a walk. He requested a bike ride, so we put on our coats and headed out to brave the rain. We had a blast. He ran through every puddle he could find and the bigger the better. Of course, right? Right. We ended up walking two miles with friends, and by the time we reached the house again I was beyond exhausted. I sat down to take my shoes off and immediately became overwhelmed. My body hurt, my house was a mess, I was too exhausted to start dinner, the recent results were still in my head, and I missed my mom. I lost it and turned into a puddle of tears. I don't know if this has ever happened to you, but at the exact moment I was wishing that I had someone I could call for help, I got a message from my Aunt. She happens to be one my most favorite people in the whole world and her timing could not have been more perfect. We ended up having a great conversation and I could not have been more thankful. The afternoon ended with me snuggling up with my son and the two of us falling asleep during an episode of Sherman and Mr. Peabody. I think that was exactly what both of us needed.
If you have been following along with my quest to walk 1000 miles this year, this where I am: So far I have walked 80.46 miles and have 920.54 to go. I don't know how this journey will turn out, especially with all the testing that I will be doing soon, but I am still determined to get out there and walk. Even if it is just a little bit every day.
Have a great start to your week my friends. Talk to you soon!
Have you ever listened to someone speak and their words changed your life? That happened to me recently. I've said before that I believe that there is power behind the words you say and I believe that now more than ever. Earlier this week I listened to a man speak about noticing goodness and reaching out and connecting with people. He was amazing. His words were genuine and powerful and I walked away thinking about life differently.
The first think that stuck with me was how he talked about connecting with people and reaching out. For many people, this may be easier said that done. Sadly society has a tendency to stereotype people and all too often us as individuals go right along with what society says and judge people before we actually get to know them. I am guilty of doing this exact thing. Wednesday I was at the park with family and friends and a group of bikers came riding in and parked not to far from us. They seemed harmless enough to me at first, but I still kept a watchful eye out and had my guard up. Then one of them came right up to my friend and me and asked if he could give our children a sticker. I was a little taken back and my first thought was "why?" This questions was followed by more questions like "what's on the sticker?" or "what's it made of? Is it laced with anything?" My friend said "sure" and I said "sure, but let me walk over with you so my son knows that it is okay." (We are practicing stranger danger.) The man then hands our children a red and black sticker with gears and a fist on it and the letters B.A.C.A. Bikers Against Child Abuse. He then hands us a pamphlet and explains that the intention of his biker group, B.A.C.A, is to create a safer environment for abused children and if we know of anyone or any circumstances that their help might be needed to please let them know. I found out a little later that they are known as the "Keepers of the Children." Let me tell you, this was not at all what I was expecting. I stereotyped that group of people the first time I laid eyes on them and I couldn't have been more wrong. I most definitely learned a lesson today.
Another thing that I think happens all too often is that we get so caught up in life that we forget to notice the good things. Life isn't the easiest right now, for I am struggling with many things. I struggle with my health, Mommyhood, being a Godly wife, a good friend, and supporting my husband while he follows his dream. Starting a new business from scratch is incredibly stressful. I'm constantly thinking about my husbands next job and what the paycheck will be while still giving him the positive support he needs to continue on with his dream and my son hawked a loogie in my hand today. It was a great mommy moment, just in case you were wondering.
I had a great moment of noticing goodness that came one night this week when I was playing the "what's in here" game with the refrigerator. You know the one when you are standing in front of the open freezer and refrigerator doors looking between each to determine what items you can throw together for dinner. The fridge was looking kind of bare, but as I searched I noticed all the vegetables I harvested and froze this summer. I had potatoes and beef broth in the pantry and thought to myself, I have 4 ounces of ground lamb, 6 ounces of ground pork sausage, vegetables and potatoes, I bet I can make Sheppard Pie. So did. I filled it full of peas, sliced green beans, cauliflower, summer squash, onions, garlic and I even threw in some beet greens...all from the garden. I started out thinking I have nothing to make, but was able to make something wonderful out of the ingredients I had. I may not be able to do a lot of things, but when it comes to providing meals for my family, give me a few ingredients and I can make something out of nothing. This is a talent that am so very thankful for and I thank God every time my family sits around the table and fills their bellies.
We have family coming in from out of town this weekend and they are staying with us. Two weekends in a row we have had family come to visit. This is another thing I am thankful for. We have a tiny little house and live a ways out of town, but our door is always open and you are always welcome here. I love it when our family gets together and the house is full. It never feels small when it is full of people. Instead it is warm and cozy and brings us together.
Last weekend we explored the country and went for a walk as a family. I must admit that the busier life gets, the harder it is to find the time to walk. I haven't been feeling 100% and my little guy was sick so we spend more time than usual indoors this week. I have not been hitting my daily target miles and I need to get back on track. It felt so good to accomplish my daily goal. I do notice that it is much harder to find time for myself on the weeks where my husband works extended hours or is out of town. It is very much like I am a single parent those weeks and it makes everything more difficult. This week I was able to log 17.5 miles making my total miles walked 62.46. I have 937.54 miles to go. Thank goodness I have time to play catch up. Yesterday's walk was a great one. We added a new friend to our walking group and walked someplace new. I don't know if I will be able to get out to walk today since I have a house to get ready for company, but maybe.
I hear the kitchen timer going off. That means that the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are ready to come out of the oven. I pulled out my sister in-laws birthday cake right before the cookies went into the oven so the house smells heavenly. She loves pumpkin so I made her a Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dump Cake to celebrate. The house smells like pumpkin, cinnamon, and chocolate......yum! I better run before the timer wakes up my little guy from his nap!
I hope you have a great weekend!
Ps. Just in case you were wondering, the links for the cookie and cake recipe are below.
Cookie Recipe by TheVegLife at http://theveglife.com/pumpkin-chocolate-chip-cookies-vegan/
*I doubled the recipe. It came out great!
Cake Recipe by YourCupofCake at http://www.yourcupofcake.com/2014/09/pumpkin-cream-cheese-dump-cake-got-dumped.html
*We are yet to dive into the cake and taste it, but it smells amazing!
Yay Friday is here! I don't know how your day started off, but mine was a bit of a challenge. My sweet son was not one for getting up this morning. Today was a Preschool day and even though I set out his clothes and packed his bag the evening before, we still had a bit to do before we could get out the door this morning. It was the normal things such as getting dressed, eating breakfast, and brushing your teeth. Easy things, so you would think, but not to my son. He could have won an award for his dramatic performance and his pace, well....a snail could have done it faster. Needless to say we left ten minutes late and arrived to Preschool just in time. Then, the poor guy wasn't feeling it. He didn't want to go into class today. Secretly I didn't mind the extra hugs, but of course seeing him upset made me upset. I spent a few minutes with him in his classroom, and soon, thanks to Miss. Abbey, he took interest in magnets and was not worried about staying at all.
I walked back to my car feeling a bit unsettled only to find that I would be walking alone today. Unfortunately my walking partners could not make it. I almost didn't go, not because I didn't want to, but because I felt a little uncomfortable walking alone. It's silly, but sometimes I have a hard time doing things by myself. I am so used to having company, even if it is a 3 year old, that doing things alone feels odd sometimes. I almost don't know what to do with myself. Weird, huh?
There is a quiet little neighborhood behind the church where he goes to school. I am familiar with it and know that if I keep to the side of the road and follow it through all of the loops and cul-de-sacs, when I make it back to my car I will have walked 2.2 miles. So I put on a dab of calming essential oils, took a deep breath, and off I went. It was lovely too. It had rained earlier this morning so the ground was wet. The leaves are starting to turn colors and the black top was sprinkled with fallen leaves. No one but me was on the road. I heard nothing but the sound of nature and my own thoughts. It was quite peaceful. I was calm and centered when I returned to pick up my son. As soon as he saw me he ran to the door, eagerly holding out his artwork for me to see. He was so happy and so was I, much different than how we started the day!
To date I have walked 44.96 miles. This is so close to 50 miles, I can taste it! How are you doing on your walking? Where are you at?
I'd love to hear from you!
Best wishes on a wonderful weekend,
Hello friends! Happy Thursday! We are one day closer to Friday and soon enough the weekend will be here. I went on the most wonderful walk today with a dear friend and her son. We walked 3.75 miles and I loved every minute of it.
I am enjoying how this journey is going. It seems that every week I am walking with someone new. I love how more and more people are getting on board. It looks like we may have formed a Friday walking group. Two ladies that walked with me last week are going to walk with me again tomorrow morning and we should add one more next Friday. I am loving it. We get to gabbing and laughing and we are done just as quickly as we started. I was not one to have a large group of friends, but I am branching out and making connections. We are having fun, our kids are having fun, and we leave feeling better - our bodies and our souls. If that isn't healing, I don't know what is!
I'd love to hear how you are doing! Please feel free to share!
Have a wonderful day tomorrow!
Good Morning! We are at day 19 of 365 and I have walked 36.85 miles...36 miles! I think this is awesome! I must admit that my body is not very fond of our new walking adventure. The more exercise I do, the more my body fights me. I have had more pain with eating this last week than I have in months. Even liquid hurts. I'm back to smoothies and soups full time, so I must re-evaluate how much energy I am exerting. School has started as well as my MOPS (Mother's of Preschoolers) group so life is getting busy, and I know that is taking a toll on my body too. It is so frustrating not being able to do everything that I want to do. It gets be down a bit, but I will adjust and rise above. I may not be able to walk the 2.75 miles a day, but I will still get out and walk everyday. I am going to take Wednesdays and Sundays off and let my body rest those days. That sounds like a good plan, right?
You know what I have found to be the best part of this walking adventure? The best part is that I am not walking alone. I have many friends who are walking along with me. They may not have the same end goal that I do, but we enjoy walking together. Exercising is so uplifting, especially when you do it with others. We encourage each other, we laugh together, we enjoy each others company. Even our children love it, and they have no idea how good it is for them. They just love playing with their friends, just like their mommies do!
I am about to head out this morning and take a walk with my son. He learned how to ride his bike yesterday on our walk. He still has training wheels, but he figured out the petals. It was such a happy moment for both of us. I wonder if he will want to ride it again today. I bet he says yes!
Have a great day my friends! Talk to you soon!
Hi there! Welcome to Grace In A Glass. My name is Danielle and I am so happy that you are visiting this site today. We all have something in life that we are working to overcome. I began blogging about my struggle with overcoming Esophageal Dysmotility and Crohn's Disease with the hope of reaching others with words of encouragement and hope. Thank you for letting me share my stories with you, and hope you have the most wonderful day!