Monthly Archives: August 2011

No! I mean YES!!

When I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance 2.5 years ago, my life changed forever. In the beginning, all I could think about was all of the wonderful things that I could no longer eat or indulge in. I love to cook and eat…who doesn’t like to eat, right? My pantry went from packed to almost bare overnight and so did my joy. I was angry and confused.

I had no idea that my now least favorite 6 letter word, gluten, is in almost everything…well, except for fruit, veggies, and freshly butchered meats. I went from a mostly carb enriched diet to a paleo diet overnight. Looking back, I probably should have not gone cold turkey. But, when someone tells you that all of your horrible symptoms will gradually subside if you abstain from gluten, I was all hands on deck. All in!

I have not purposefully eaten gluten since the day I went cold turkey. It is just not worth it to me. There have been many days that I have craved one of my former gluten filled tantalizing favorites like tiramisu, hushpuppies (oh, how I miss thee!!), and garlic bread, but not a crumb containing gluten has purposefully crossed my lips since January of 2009.

I lost about 15 pounds during January and February of 2009. People were asking me if I was sick and I said yes, sick and tired of eating the same 8 things every day. I thought I was going to start growing feathers from eating so many eggs. I spent way too much money on new gluten-free products, some of which tasted like cardboard. However, as time passed, I was able to figure out what worked for me and what didn’t. I found numerous GF websites and recipes. A friend of mine introduced me to “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon. It is a cookbook that changed my life.

Along the journey, my amazing husband joined me in the GF world and even though he cheats occasionally, he has been my biggest supporter. Last week, we were celebrating his birthday (I shall not dare say which year!) at a restaurant. I have learned the hard way that the only thing I can order from most restaurants is a grilled chicken salad with olive oil and vinegar for the dressing. Mind you, most restaurants marinate their chicken breasts in a mixture that usually contains gluten. It takes me about 5 minutes to order my food. Something that some of you already have been privileged to witness!

I proceeded to order my salad and asked about the chicken…”yes, you said a plain chicken breast, correct?” I nodded my head for our waitress and thought all was well. And it was, until the next day when my symptoms started. I had been GLUTENED!! Not fun, my friends, not fun at all! I had forgotten about how bad I used to feel all the time. All is well now, and I will be even more careful about ordering in a restaurant. We don’t eat out very often and this is why!

I have learned many things on the GF roller coaster. I am no longer angry and my joy has been renewed. Perhaps the most important shift I have been able to make is that even though I have chosen to say no to gluten, I have also chosen to say yes to so many more things. My health is the most important thing I have said yes to. When I say no to gluten, I am saying yes to so much more. This shift has enabled me to focus on what I can have instead of what I can’t have. I CAN have SO many things and thankfully, I love to cook! I love to try new recipes and my family usually likes them!

When I say no to Angry Birds and go to bed, I feel much better the next day. I am saying yes to sleep. When I say no to taking on more than I can fit into my 16 waking hours, I am saying yes to my family. When I say no to using my credit card and spending more than I have, I am saying yes to being debt free in a few months. When I say no to gossiping about my neighbor, I am saying yes to honoring God with my words. When I say no to keeping a spotless house, I am saying yes to spending invaluable time with my children. Okay, I feel better about the condition of my house now!! ( :

The bounty I have received as a result of saying no to gluten is truly immeasurable. What do you need to say no to? Remember, when you are saying no to something that causes you pain and heartache, ask yourself what you are saying yes to as a result of saying no. Saying no is sometimes the best way to say yes…

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Seanisms…

Since Callie has been in the spotlight for the past few posts, it is only fair that I share something about Sean. He is full of himself sometimes and is so logical that he does not even realize he is hilarious!! So, here is the first of many Seanisms…

Someone very special to us has a birthday later this month and I took the kids to buy presents for him tonight. After our very successful shopping tryst, we had dinner at Chick-Fil-a. Callie was quite thirsty and asked me for a refill on her mostly unsweet tea. She wanted to go to the counter and ask for the refill by herself (of course she did!). Sean who was listening to me tell Callie how to ask for her 3/4ths unsweet and 1/4th sweet tea, said with a very innocent and curious voice, “mama, will you ask that man to give me more fries?” as he held up his already empty french fry bag. He also wanted a refill!!

Out of the mouth of babes! Oh, my babies are by far the best teachers I have ever had.

Lord, may I always ask you with the same innocence and curiosity that Sean modeled tonight. May I never doubt your power to unleash tremendous power and riches untold in my life. Thank you for being a generous and gracious loving Father!

“You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.”  James 4:2-3

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

One Year Old

Well, my blog is officially one year old! It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since I started blogging. Callie’s venture into Kindergarten spurred me on to keep a memoir of sorts for our family and especially our children to look back on. I attempt to keep a paper journal for each of my children, but the entries are hit and miss. I much prefer the blogging route! I have met many new blogging friends along the way and it has been fun, insightful, and refreshing.

So, what’s the blog topic today? It brings us full circle. My sweet and adventurous little girl starts 1st grade this week. I am sure there will be tears and Kleenex (and not just the ones that are on her supply list for school). Her going to school this year is a bit different from last. I have tears in my eyes even as I type. I love spending time with each of my children and family is so important to me.

Callie has changed so much in a year. The innocent little Kindergartener I had last August has seemed to blossom over the past year in ways that I could have never imagined. She has learned so much and is now able to read to me…such an accomplishment, but bittersweet. Just another sign that her wings are getting bigger and one day very soon, she will leap and fly from the nest. I still read to her and probably always will. There’s something very special about pillow time at night when I read to my kids. There is nothing bad in the world when we are together under the covers with our books.

We packed so much into the summer of 2011 and it is coming to a close. The memories we made this summer will always make me smile when I think upon them. We went to the beach and chased seagulls, watched a sea turtle excavation, boogie boarded, built sand castles, and took long walks searching for coveted sea glass. We went to Washington, DC and toured our nation’s capitol. We spent many hours at our pool and Callie finally grew tall enough to get a stamp to go on the slide. She was ecstatic! We spent lots of time with friends and made some new ones. We also worked very hard on reading, phonics, and sight words. Yes, we had a great summer.

Each day is precious. My dad used to always say and still reminds me that as a parent, “the days are long, but the years are short”. My dad is a smart man. It seems like just yesterday that I walked Callie into her Kindergarten classroom. The unknown lay ahead, but through it all, God was with us. And He will be with us on Thursday when I walk her into her new 1st grade classroom. She is so proud and I am SO very proud of her.

Callie, chase your dreams until you reach them and then dream new ones. I love you and will always be your #1 fan. Go get’em girl!!

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Happy Birthday!!

6 years ago, I was in the hospital waiting for the biggest arrival of my life. 14 hours later, she arrived…all 8 pounds and 10 ounces of her!! It was one of the best and most painful days of my life. But when I heard her cry and saw her beautiful face, it was all worth it. And needless to say, life has been in 5th gear ever since.

Callie will be 6 years old tomorrow and I will be celebrating 6 years of being a mother. A title that I am very proud of. No amount of education or experience can adequately prepare one for this role. Only a small bundle full of life and joy can teach one to be a mother. Callie and I have learned a lot along the way, and I am sure we have a lot more to learn. As a dear friend of mine who has teenage daughters informed me, “just think, Lizzie, in 10 years you will be celebrating Callie’s Sweet Sixteen”! Oh!my!goodness! I don’t want to think about it!

Callie’s perspective on life has taught me to slow down and collect ladybugs, slugs, and earthworms, to pick flowers as we take walks together, to listen more intimately, and to love deeply. Her persistence and competitive nature make me smile. Most of all, her sweet discerning spirit has opened my eyes to things that I would have surely taken for granted. Every day I spend with her, I learn something new.

She has taught me more than anything else, to enjoy the moment, the present. She lives life to the fullest and it is contagious! I am very proud to be her mom. If she learns half as much from me as I have learned from her, I think she will be very successful in whatever adventures life brings her way.

Speaking of adventures, we have celebrated all week and will continue to do so tomorrow on the day of her birth. She wanted a castle cake for her birthday and that is what she got.

This morning as we were leaving to go to a friend’s house, she found a dollar bill on the ground. She exclaimed,”Mommy, I am rich!!”. Yes, my sweet Callie. You, my dear, are rich in many ways and you enrich the lives of all those around you. Keep living life and you will change the world one life at a time!

8 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Somewhere in the Middle

“Yesterday brought the beginning, tomorrow brings the end, but somewhere in the middle we’ve become best of friends.”  (author unknown)

Friends. We all want them. Yet, friendships are something that you can’t make happen. You can’t force it. True friendships just don’t happen that way.

If you think about it, friends are a rare treasure and as the old saying goes, if you have one friend, you should consider yourself blessed. So then, how do friendships form? What is the magical formula that produces true friends?

I don’t think a magic formula exists. But, I do believe there are certain things that can create the opportunity for friendships to form. The first one would be propinquity or convenience. Examples of this would be school, jobs, church, etc. We make friends with those people who travel within our circles. The second way for friendships to form involves having similar interests. Think hobbies. And, I believe the most powerful medium for forming friendships is destiny.

I believe that in God’s sovereign plan, there are people we are destined to meet and become friends with. God may use one of the first two mediums to do so, propinquity or similar interests, but I firmly believe that there are certain people we will cross paths with and a rare treasure will be unearthed.

But the bottom line is quite simple. You attract what you exhibit…or said another way, if you want to make friends, you must show yourself friendly. To make a friend, you must be a friend. And genuine “friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity” (Kahil Gibran). People don’t want to be in relationships where they are used or taken advantage of. People want to be loved for who they are, not what they do. And the bottom line gets even simpler, love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:36-39).

Don’t enter into friendships seeking what you may gain. Enter into friendships seeking to love others and what you gain will be immeasurable!

“Friendship without self-interest is one of the rare and beautiful things in life.” James Francis Byrnes

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” Anais Nin

 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized