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If you and I are friends on facebook, you’ve probably noticed a myriad of posts about the elimination diet I’ve been doing. In retrospect I wish I had thought to blog throughout the whole process, but I’m just not that consistent of a blogger.

With that said, a few friends have been asking questions about my diet: why I’m doing it, how long it lasts, how I’m feeling, etc. I’ve been wanting to write a post anyway, so I figured I might as well answer the questions here, so I can refer people to something when they ask.

There were many, many things that lead me to doing an elimination diet. So many that they’re all jumbled up in my head and I’m not even sure what order they happened anymore. But I know the first thing was that I was just getting tired of the pain… headaches, joint paint, back pain, etc. every.single.day. And digestive issues, low energy and fatigue as well. With Cerebral Palsy, some of this is inevitable and I know that, but it was getting worse and I was tired of it. I also knew these things would probably get worse as I got older and that scared me. A lot. So much that I didn’t really want to get any older – not a cool thought to have at only 27. But I didn’t know what I could do about it.

A little while later my sister and I watched a documentary called “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.” Despite the name, its actually very inspiring. I liked it so much I recommended it to a friend, who started doing a modified version of the juice fast in the film. She told me she felt a lot better and encouraged me to give it a try as well. So I did.

Within a month or two of drinking at least one green smoothie a day (plus solid food… I wasn’t going the fasting route), my digestive issues started to improve, I had fewer headaches and was feeling a lot better. Better but still not great. Then one day I stumbled across another documentary called “Food Matters.” It is AMAZING folks. The basic premise is that, if used correctly, food is medicine and can solve all kinds of medical problems, even cancer and autoimmune disorders.

That’s what did it. I had toyed with the idea of an elimination diet for a while, but I was nervous for a lot of reasons – that I couldn’t keep it up, it might be too expensive, etc. My biggest fear about it was that I’d end being sensitive to a ton of stuff and never able to eat normally again. But after hearing the amazing stories from the documentary, I didn’t really care about any of that and just got excited about the positive stuff that could happen.

I could say more, but I’m getting sleepy. Plus, this post is already long enough. So I’ll save the specifics of the diet for another post. In the meantime, if you have not seen them please watch “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” and “Food Matters.” They are both streaming on Netflix. If documentaries aren’t your thing… watch them anyway! Just trust me on this one. 

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Rejuvenating my blog

It’s been more than two years since I’ve blogged. I’ve wanted to. I wrote many posts in my head, but just never got around to publishing them; I’m not sure why. Maybe it was because I wrote so much for school that I didn’t feel like writing anything else.

Anyway, I’m back now. Actually, I thought of starting a whole new blog. But I see no point in leaving an outdated blog up and didn’t want to take the time right now to back up all my posts. Plus, I didn’t want to have to think of a new blog name (thus taking it away from someone else) when I really like the one I have. So here I am.

First, let me summarize the past two years. This is more for myself than my readers (because I know I don’t have any). It will be a good look back.

– In August, I finally completed my masters degree in journalism. It was a four-year journey. I am SOOOO glad to be done!
– I have a 12-year-old brother named Ben. In fact, he joined our family shortly before the last post I wrote two years ago. He has been a foster child for most of this time, but the adoption was finalized in September! He sure is an awesome kid!!
– The teenage foster child we had for a year and-a-half left our family almost that long ago. I took it really hard and will always miss her.
– We have a different teenager with us now. She can be hard to live with, as most teenagers can be. But really she’s pretty cool.
– I have a 2-year-old nephew named Malachi, who is too smart for his own good. Some days (like today) he acts like he doesn’t like me, but I know better 😉
– I have a new niece or nephew coming next month 🙂
– This summer I embarked on a quest toward healthy(er) living. Currently, its a little off and on since the cold weather limits the produce available. I’m still figuring out my winter options. There will be more on this soon.
– I’ve seen lots of good days, bad days, friendship, laughter (lots of laughter), a few tears and made a lot of memories. Overall its been a pretty good two years!

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I never imagined

I’ve been wanting to update for a long time, I really have. Several things have happened since my last post and they are things I want to remember. Plus, I pride myself that (maybe) a few people actually read my posts and will want to know what I’m up to, especially after the rather cryptic post I wrote last time. I could give you a host of reasons why I haven’t updated… lack of inspiration, time or motivation, the pressure I feel to write something amazing…

All of these are partially true. But the biggest reason is, I haven’t known what to say, or how to say it. The English language doesn’t have enough words to express everything I’ve been doing, thinking and feeling since February, or how my life has changed.

On January 29, 2010, I got a younger sister. My family opened our home to a wonderful, beautiful young woman I’ll call Marie. I wish I could share her story… but its hers to tell. Suffice it to say that if life were about straws, this girl got the short one.

Growing up, my older sister, Sandra, was the ideal older sister. We had our squabbles, like any sisters, but that’s not what I remember. What I remember is how she took me to the library, had sleepovers with me and celebrated my last day of school each year. At the time I didn’t appreciate her. But as I grew older I began to see what a difference she made in my life, and I was sad that I didn’t have a chance to do that for my younger sister.

So when my parents told me they were thinking about becoming foster parents, I was excited. And by excited I mean jumping up and down. I asked them if they were crazy. I asked them what took them so long.

Eight months later I can say that having a foster sister has been harder than I imaged. I never imagined I would get so worried and frustrated. I never imagined all the drama.

But I also never imagined how much I’d change for the better. And I definitely never imagined I would love her so much.

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Remembering Everyday Life

So, I started writing this post like a month ago! It was late and I got too tired to finish, so I saved a draft and… you guessed it, forgot about it. I can’t believe I haven’t updated since July! I’ve wanted to but just haven’t done it, mainly because I’ve been really busy and overwhelmed recently and honestly, didn’t have much of a life last semester. That’s my fault because I let myself get behind in my schoolwork. But there were also several big changes happening in my house at the same time. And I got a whole lot more responsibility at work in August. All of this added up to a stressful, tiring mess of a semester. I went to work and did schoolwork – that’s pretty much all. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t resent ANYTHING that happened in my family, and I’m extremely grateful for the experience I’m gaining at work. But I do regret letting myself get so behind in school.

So, I decided to cut back and take only one class this semester. I’m working on my organizational skills and work habits and learning how to take better care of myself physically, mentally and spiritually. I guess you could say I’m growing up. It’s not easy, but its something that needed to happen and I know I’ll be a better, healthier person because of it. Watch out world, here I come!

One New Year’s Resolution or goal I made, besides the one I already described, was to do a better job of documenting my life. I do journal occasionally, but it is usually related to what I’m reading in the Bible, prayer requests, etc, and I don’t really do a lot about the day-to-day things. When the new year came I started thinking back on the past year and was shocked at how little I could remember! I remember highlights of course – the conference I went to in October, a concert in April, visiting a best friend in Texas in June, holidays and birthday celebrations, etc, but a lot of the day-to-day things, like conversations, evenings with my family or how doing such-and-such made me feel, have been forgotten. And that’s just one year. Multiply that by 50 or 60 years and it’s easy to see how many great memories and life lessons I could forget. This blog is one way to make sure that doesn’t happen. I hope to write at least one post a month. Friends, if you see me slacking, I give you permission to get on my case. I promise I won’t get mad at you! 🙂

Well, this post is getting long. I have a lot more I could write about, including my older sister’s pregnancy and the addition of a wonderful younger sister, who joined our family through foster care in January. But that would take a lot more time and probably a lot more pages, so I’ll leave it for my next post. I don’t have very much going on this week so I hope to write again in a few days.

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I know its no longer the Fourth of July. However, several days ago I thought back to memory I wanted to share.

Many years ago, when I was probably about 10 or 11, I remember watching fireworks from on top of a car. I don’t think it actually happened on the Fourth of July and I don’t know when it happened, but I guess the fireworks made me equate it with the Fourth. However, I think what made the event special was not the fireworks (though watching them from on top of a car was pretty cool!), but the fact that I was enjoying them with my cousins Rachel and Becky. I don’t remember the circumstances behind why we were together, but I do remember that we were all at a hotel together from some reason and watched the fireworks from the parking lot. It was a great view and all three of us really enjoyed them.

I don’t know why this particular memory has stuck with me, but it has. Now more than 10 years later, Rachel is married with two children and Becky is recently married and expecting her first child. At a time when we’re all growing up and starting our own lives, I guess its fun to remember back to simpler times.

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Long Overdue Post

It’s been too long since I’ve written, but I honestly don’t feel like much of interest has happened lately. I can’t believe its March already! I still feel as if I just stepped off the plane from Chicago, but that was 7 months ago!

We in Roanoke finally got our first good snow… yesterday. It threatened to snow many times throughout the past 3 months, but never did, even when cities as close as 30 minutes away were covered. But yesterday it finally came, and its gorgeous! Great packing snow too! Lots of snowmen around…

Actually, now that I think about it, a lot has happened since my last post! My sister and brother-in-law, who used to live in Ohio, now live with us. I also have my first real, paying job! I work for the Town of Vinton, supervising parties and events, and occasionally working in the office at the War Memorial. Its not very many hours, but its good experience and I work with great people.

Other than that, I’m now halfway through my second semester of Grad School. Only 2 more after this (maybe…). This week is officially Spring Break, but I still have homework. 😦 But I like it, so its okay. I’m learning a lot about different writing styles and techniques. This week I’m writing a memoir.

Well, I should go… 24 starts in 3 minutes. I try not to wait 7 months before I post again… for my sake and my readers sake… when I wait so long I forget what’s happened in my own life – never a good thing!

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Grad School Dilemma

I returned from my Project in Chicago 3 weeks ago. It was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget. I grew in so many ways, and the people I met became my best friends. I’ll write more about it sometime.

Before I left for Chicago, I was contemplating attending Graduate School and put in applications at Radford, where I got my bachelor’s from, and Regent University. At the time I was really intending to continue at Radford, but didn’t want to put all my eggs in one basket. In the end, after much prayer and consideration, I decided to attend Regent. Both schools had many pros and cons and it was a very hard decision. I love Radford. I know the campus, the teachers, and the people. Most of my best friends are there as well as a Church that I did not want to leave. But Regent’s program is online, which would allow me to stay at home and get a job. I felt that the program in Journalism would be a much better fit for me than English, which is what Radford offers. When I called to explain that I would not be able to finance school at Regent (its more than twice the cost of Radford), the ladies I was working with went out of their way to help me figure out what to do, including getting me a scholarship despite the fact that I didn’t meet the GPA requirement (close but not quite). So, in the end I chose Regent and just have to trust God that I made the right decision.

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