• Candida,  Health,  Personal

    The Candida Chronicles

    I’m feeling mentally weak today. I prayed and asked God to give me strength. Honestly though, the desire to take care of myself isn’t really there. On my own, I’m feeble. I find this struggle to be as much physical as it is mental.

    Two things overwhelm me:

    1. That this journey has no end. It’s life from now on.

    2. The idea of eating a paleo diet with my family of six is a lot to take in. Josh has been so nice about it. But let’s face it-sugar comforts us. It gives this release of happiness in our brain. It’s almost like a drug. I mean, isn’t that why we go and eat chocolate in the closet when our kids are screaming? It makes us feel better. Right? Needless to say, the family is warming up to the idea…but it’s a slow warm up. V e r y S l o w.

    But it helps to remember why I want to take care of myself. Processing these thoughts and writing them down, I hope will encourage me later down the road when I’m feeling weak.

    So here’s why I’m saying good bye to donuts(and basically changing the way I eat for the rest of my life):

    1. If it doesn’t get rid of all the pain(after all, there is no guarantee), it certainly gets rid of most of it. My body feels better when I invest in it.

    2. I don’t always want to be wondering “When is my next flare up going to be?” During flare ups the pain brings me to tears. It’s frustrating. I don’t want to end up in bed guzzling water and wondering if I’ll ever be normal again. I’ve said good bye to normal. It’s time to embrace the life I’ve got.

    3. I want to be a good steward of the body that God has given me. I realize there are some people who only dream of doing what I’m able to do. Some people wish that their cure was as simple as eating healthy and exercising. There’s obviously more to it than that, but I can be thankful and steward my body the best I know how for the Lord Jesus.

    4. In James it says, “Let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire wanting nothing ”…he was talking about our faith. Faith grows when we let patience work in us. This whole experience of not knowing the end of the story- of fighting candida and the pain that goes with it for the rest of my life can be discouraging. But it teaches me patience. I get to keep living🙂❤️So I choose to allow patience to work-no matter how the story ends.

    5. I want to be fully present in my kid’s lives. When I’m fighting candida, my mind isn’t the same. I’m not fully present. I forget things more. I worry more. I’m so tired all the time. I don’t feel mentally or physically like myself. Taking care of myself helps me be more present.

    This road isn’t going to be easy.

    In fact, it may last the rest of my life-the doctor said that was likely to happen. So-here’s to the hard road. I’m chugging along, refusing to quit no matter how I might feel about it. God’s decided to give me some lemons-and by his grace I’m about to make myself some amazing sugar free lemonade 😂(see what I did there?)

  • Homeschool,  My Book,  Personal

    My Random Life Update

    Hey guys!

    So here is what’s going on lately. I’m doing this in list form, because like the title says-it’s random.

    My husband passed his dissertation defense.

    When Josh told me the good news, I got a bit emotional.  There may have been tears in my eyes. It came out of no where.  My throat got tight and there was a catch in my voice.  I could hardly speak.  It’s hard to believe that we began this journey four and half years ago.  This May Josh graduates with a Doctorate in Healthcare Administration.  I’m so proud of him. But mostly thankful that God was with us every step of the way.  Now we wait and see where God leads.

    The paintings for my book are almost finished.

    Sara Jo from Bryarton Farm has been painting the illustrations for a year now. I couldn’t have done this without her.  (Sara, you are amazingly talented, beautiful and real!  Thanks for pouring yourself into this project with me!) After I receive all the illustrations, I’ll move on to finding an agent who will get the book to a publisher.  The process is complicated and the odds are not in my favor. But God is bigger than the odds.  Right?  He’s the One who moved me to write this book. I will trust Him in the outcome.

    Homeschooling is kicking my butt.

    We’re in the middle of second quarter exams.  Did I mention homeschooling is kicking my butt? I consistently have to remind myself that what I feel doesn’t define who I am.  Feelings can be liars.  So often, I feel like I’m not doing enough. I feel like everything I’ve taught them has gone in one ear and out the other.  But it isn’t true.  And a little encouragement to you homeschool mamas out there- your children hear you.  I’ve learned more about Jesus when I feel weak and worn than when I feel like I have everything together.  Lean into your Savior.  He is enough.

    Juicing will be an adventure.

    I say adventure, but I’m not sure what kind of adventure it will be.  On March 1st, I’ll be starting a seven day juice fast.  People give me weird looks when I mention juicing-as if I’m an alien or something.  I encourage you to do the research-if you juice correctly, it can be extremely healthy for you!   In my own personal experience, I know that the food I eat directly affects my health.  After I juice for week, I’ll be eating whole 30.

    Amazon shopping is one of my favorite things!

    The dress and scarf are from Amazon. Together, they make one of my favorite outfits. (The boots were from amazon, too.  But they must have stopped selling them because I can’t find the link.) The purse is a great color with the blue dress!  It’s small and compact. I only carry my wallet and keys, and maybe a book to read-no extras.  My favorite thing about Amazon is that I can shop from the comfort of my home.  There is no waiting in lines wondering how long my four children will last before they go insane.

    Outfit-Maxi Dress

    So, there it is.  A random life update.

  • Personal,  Photography

    Fireflies and Wonder

    His eyes light up. No words, but you can tell his heart is beating faster.

    You watch him hunch over, close to the ground.  He’s in his own little world. A perfect world where there is adventure and happy endings happen every day.

    Then you see him capture something in his hands.  He’s careful. In fact, you’ve never seen him move with the care he is showing now.  He turns toward you slowly. Again, you see the light in his eyes.

    Holding up his clasped hands, he says, “Look, I caught a firefly.”  His voice is barely above a whisper.  You smile at the awe and wonder in his eyes.

    You know this isn’t a perfect world, but you pray he’ll take his wonder with him everywhere he goes.  You pray they all do.





  • Personal,  Photography

    Fourth of July

    This Fourth of July, our friends from Alabama came to visit us.  We’re so thankful for them.  These are the times my kids will remember forever.  Good stuff, ya’ll. Good stuff. There’s nothing like hanging out with good friends.  Ya know?  Hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July.

  • Personal

    That Time I Colored My Hair Blue

    I always wanted to color my hair a crazy color.  Something slightly subtle, but loud enough-you know what I mean?  I wanted something with personality. A couple weeks ago, I took the leap and dyed my hair a pretty icy aqua-ish blue.  I loved it!  But there were a few things I wish I had known before I went and took the plunge.  First, crazy pastel colors fade more noticeably that other “normal” hair colors.  Hair is different for every person, but my hair dresser said I should recolor my hair about every two weeks.   As a homeschool mom of 4, I am not up for that.  The up-keep was more than I had anticipated. Sadly, my icy blue hair slowly began to fade to a weird shade of green.  Green isn’t really my color, y’all.  I finally decided to dye my hair back to my original color.

    So before you decide to take the plunge and dye your hair in a pastel color, here are a few pointers:

    1. Understand the up-keep.
    2. Make sure you trim your ends before you dye your hair.  Split ends don’t hold the color very well.
    3. Think about the color that the original color will fade into. (Blue faded to green.)

    Would I dye my hair a pastel color again?  Yup.  But not blue.  I think I may try purple sometime.  But it’s not on my radar for now. For now, I’m going to look back at all the pictures that my daughter took of that time I colored my hair icy blue, and remember that I was brave enough to take the plunge.