"I should not talk so much about myself if there were any body else whom I knew as well."
-Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Proclamation

Our church is starting a new ministry series for the fall and this past weekend we got a bit of an introduction to what's ahead.  I'm super excited about exploring this topic and I want to share it with you.  So what is it? Your story can be a powerful tool of proclamation

I'm so pumped about this and I want you to be, also.  I took just a few notes on Sunday that I wanted to reflect on and share with you, but first I felt like I should look up the difference between a testimony and a proclamation.  I'm so glad I did. 

Testimony: a public recounting of a religious conversion or experience.

Proclamation: a public or official announcement, especially one dealing with a matter of great importance.  

I love this.  Maybe this is why the idea of giving one's testimony can feel so daunting.  It's so formal.  It is a statement that probably ends with a period.  It says, "Let me tell you what happened."  Y'all, a proclamation feels likes it should have an exclamation point after it!  A proclamation says, "I've got something really big that I just HAVE to tell you!"  

Oh, I long to have this fire and urgency in my story! 

I wrote and gave my own testimony years ago after completing Celebrate Recovery.  (It's not just for addicts, y'all, it's for normal people with all sorts of hurts, habits, and hang ups.) I gave that testimony at my own church's CR group, but also gave my testimony as a guest in another church.  I still have the physical copy and it is still my story.  It was a pretty raw and exploratory process.  I'm glad I did it, but it's only part of my story now.  I mean, a lot has happened in the last 7 years.  A lot of life, but a lot of life that has affected my relationship with Jesus Christ.  That is relevant, but it is also a bit intimidating to think about and process.  Know what's even more intimidating than that?  Sharing any of that with another human, let alone a stranger.  But you know what?  I think that may be one of the most important things that we, as believers, are called to do. 

Here's how Sam Hannon (the pastor at Fellowship that we enjoy learning from the most) put it.  Our story has four parts.  

1. My life before Christ.
2. How I came to know Christ.
3. My life with Christ.  
4. Invitation to others to know Christ.  

I can remember hearing testimonies when I was a teenager and young adult and thinking that I didn't really have much to share.  I was raised in a God believing family and I had a pretty great childhood.  Nothing terrible had every really happened to me, so I didn't have a climax at which my story reached a breaking point and I finally turned to Christ.  I just sort of always knew Him.  That doesn't exactly make for a juicy testimony that draws people in.  Does my story even have any meaning or validity if I don't have anything big and bad to share?  Just as I was thinking about that during the sermon, Sam addressed it.  He pointed out that even a "good" person's righteousness is like filthy rags before Christ.  That is, every single one of us fall short of the perfection of Christ.  Are you a teenager that sometimes cops an attitude with your parents?  Or do you have something big and terrible that you think you can't possibly ever forgive or be forgiven for?  None of us are perfect.  We don't all have a big juicy story to tell, but we do all have a story.  Now, as God would have it, I happen to have experienced a few things in the last 20 years.  The last time I gave my testimony I was in the thick of PKAN with the girls and Army deployments for Drew.  My story has a bit more to it than it did just a few years ago and I'm excited to wade through that and learn how to share my story.  I would imagine that as long as I'm living my story will evolve and hopefully my faith in & relationship with Christ will grow.  I'm so pumped about that!  

Sam suggests that we are all in one of three places.  The greenhouse, the training facility, or the launch pad.  Which of those places we are in will determine where we are in our story.  

1. Greenhouse: You have yet to know Christ.  Maybe you are an unbeliever.  Maybe you believe, but you don't know much about it.  Maybe you're just learning what it all means.  You're a seedling in a greenhouse, being tended to and sprouting in faith.  
2. Training facility: You believe.  You have accepted Christ as your savior, but you have a lot of training to do.  How do you live this life with Christ?  How do you go out into the world as a Christian, share His love, and do His work? 
3. Launch Pad: You're ready.  You've put in time with the trainers and you're ready to go out into the world for Him.  

This is something I need more information on.  Y'all, I feel like I may never be ready to stand on the launch pad.  Will I ever be like, "I'm so ready for this!  Put me in, Coach!"  I'm going to guess that most of us probably feel this way and the absolute best that I can ever be will be to always keep my gym membership.  Know what I mean?  Put me in, Coach, and I'll see you at practice again tomorrow!  

Okay, that's all I've got for now.  If you're still reading, thanks for sticking with me.  I don't write like this as often as I used to, but it's incredibly therapeutic and it's one of the best ways I know to share my story and His love.  Every day.  Here. In real time.  It's my story and I give God the glory.  As we explore and learn more about this at church in the coming months, I hope to work through and perhaps rewrite my own story.  Chances are that I'll share the process here with you and encourage you to do it along with me.  An you can be sure that my proclamation will be full of exclamation! 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Pig Tails

This kid of mine grew up all of a sudden.  I guess we can say she's potty trained.  I'm not even worrying about it anymore, she's just doing it.  She wakes up in the morning and I take off her diaper and put on her undies.  We go about our day, leaving the house, running errands, attending church, going out to eat... whatever... and she's just a big kid.  She tells me when she needs to go, or if I feel like it's been a couple of hours and that she may be distracted then I'll suggest we go try.  When we first started she needed some distraction or entertainment to sit still long enough to actually pee.  Now she sits down and we both know within about 10 seconds if she's actually going to go or not.  She'll get a look of concentration and either pee or say, "Nope!"  It's pretty awesome.  She's pretty awesome.  Praise God for a super easy potty training transition and a leftover box of diapers & pull ups for naps and night time that will likely last us until Christmas.  That's a line of the monthly budget that I'm not sad to mark off. 
I tried pig tails on her months ago and she wasn't a fan, so I've just let her go wild headed since then.  Yesterday it suddenly dawned on me that she has a ton of hair, so I sat her down and put her hair in pig tails.  She LOVES it.  I took them out for nap time because I thought she'd be more comfortable, but she cried over it.  I had to put them back in.  I did take them out for bath and bedtime last night, but the first thing she said to me this morning was, "Pig tails?  Two?" 
Also, her feet have suddenly grown.  The sandals and shoes that she's been wearing all summer are suddenly too small.  I found this out the hard way last weekend when I crammed her foot into some Sunday shoes and then she was strangely fussy and crying when we picked her up from her classroom after church.  We got home and took her shoes off and her little toes were red and there were big indentations in her feet.  I felt terrible.  Feet have grown.  Noted.  The only shoes that currently still fit her are the ladybug rain boots and her Keen shoes (the camping shoes she wears all the time).  So yesterday she wore the rain boots to church.  It was raining, by the way. 

The shoes she's outgrown are size 4 and 4 1/2, but the size 6 shoes that we've been given as hand-me-downs are much too big.  Rhea Lana consignment sale starts this weekend and I get to shop early on Saturday with Heidi, so I'm hoping that I can hit the toddler shoe jack pot and get her quite a few like-new bargains that will fit without having to buy everything new. 
 Yesterday was promotion Sunday for all kiddos at church, so she's officially bumped up to the 2 year old room.  It's in a different building, much more big kid, and less baby.  It's actually the same room she'll be in for Adventureland (mother's day out) that starts next week!  After church she walked into the house, climbed up on the couch, flopped back on this pillow and declared, "Snuggle!"  It's her new favorite thing.  She often requests "Snuggle, read?"  She'll bring me a book and pat the couch so I'll lay down and read with her.  She's mine, y'all.  100%
 Post nap.  The crookedest, cutest pig tails I've seen in a very long time.  Also, watching Moana with Daddy.  It's still a favorite. 
 Since she's got the color and shape thing down, I've noticed that she's quite interested in letters.  She loves when I put her name on things and thinks that if there is a sticker with writing on it that it must say Eleanor.  Last week she pointed to a sign on her bedroom wall and said, "What's that?"  So I told her, "It says love.  L. O. V.  E.  Love. Because I love you."  The next day, she pointed to it again, but instead of asking she said, "Love!  I love you!  O. V.  E."   She's also started asking similar questions if I'm wearing a t-shirt with writing on it, and we always stop and identify letters and what words they make.  Of course we read books all the time and she's currently most interested in the alphabet books.  I remembered a DVD that Alex and Emma used to watch, so I looked it up and ordered it for Eleanor.  Leap Frog Letter Factory. 
The girls learned a lot from this video, watching it in the car when we'd drive to visit Drew at Ft. Hood and Ft. Sill.  It doesn't just introduce the alphabet, it teaches letter names and sounds.  I'm not particularly in a hurry for her to do all this.  I mean, she's barely two, but if she's ready then I want to encourage that in all the ways I can. We've had it a few days and she's watched it for short bursts in the car a couple of times.  This morning I was on the computer and she was playing with the magnetic letters in my office.  She brought me a handful and said, "E, F, G, H, I!"  Of course, she wasn't holding those specific letters, but I still thought it was cool that she was reciting sections of the alphabet and associating them with actual letters.  She brought Drew a letter H at lunch time and told him "H!"  That could have been a complete fluke, but our jaws sort of dropped.  She brought me an X later and said, "Cross!"  She wasn't really wrong!  Before nap time I caught her slipping letters through the slats of her crib.  When I asked her what she was doing she said, "With you? Nap?" I didn't let her sleep with them and she curled her lip like I broke her heart. 
Anyway, that's the stuff we're learning at the moment and I'm excited for her to start Adventureland next week.  It's technically just a Kids Day Out program, but for her purposes we are calling it school.  We have orientation on Thursday morning where we'll get to meet her teachers and see how things will go.  I'm hoping for a great nurturing environment where she'll learn the most important things like... sharing, being kind to others, following rules, routine, manners, playing with others, etc.  Of course this is a Christian program at our church, so I love that she'll be in an environment with a focus on God's love and Bible stories.  As for me, I'll have two days a week with 6 hours to myself!  What is that even like?  As I've said for months, on the first day, I'm going for a pedicure and manicure!  (A bet less exciting, on her second day I'm going to the dentist.) 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Itchy

Silly selfie after bath time
 Farmer's Market with Nonnie
Lunch at this cute little tea place off the Fayetteville square. 

 We were trying to take a selfie to send to Daddy.  This is as good as it got. 

Potty Training update!  Eleanor is slaying this whole potty thing.  She's totally rocking it.  Yesterday I put a pull up on her because I knew we'd be at the Farmer's Market a while and that a bathroom might not be close by.  I sought out places to take her, being overly cautious.  She did pee during one of those potty breaks and kept her pull up dry the entire time.  After nap she got to wear her new panties with Frozen characters on them.  She was thrilled!  No accidents all day!  So this morning I gave her the benefit of the doubt and we went to run errands without the security of a pull up.  Before we checked out at Walmart I took her to the potty and she went like she was a pro.  She stayed dry for our entire outing and has had no accidents so far today!  Where does that put us?  Two accidents in 5 days, I think.  I'd say she's got this!  One thing that I'm having to adjust to is that she doesn't need to go as often as I think she should.  Every 2-3 hours is plenty for her and she's having no trouble staying dry for that long.  Of course she still very much needs a diaper while she sleeps, but I think that part comes later.  Also, that will likely require that she be moved to a toddler bed so that she can get up in the night to potty as needed.  And we all know how fond I am of her being safely confined to her crib! 

Since all I seem to have to talk about is potty training and low carb diets, let's cover the low carb part of this post.  I've told you all how much better I feel since we've begun this diet, but I haven't been super specific about how exactly I feel better.  The main things for me are:

1. I feel less foggy and tired. 
2. I no longer feel bloated or experience that uncomfortable "full" feeling after eating.  My appetite is satisfied, but my belly is comfortable.
3. My mood has stabilized.   I'm a woman, so I'm probably going to always have some mood swings, but I've felt (and behaved) much more balanced. 
4.  My skin has cleared up.  I've had issues with cystic acne for a long time.  Not just the normal little pimples that most people get, but large, painful, hard bumps under the skin.  I've tried tons of topical stuff, cleaners, moisturizers, face creams, etc. and nothing has ever helped.  I haven't had a single one since we cut out all the grains and sugar from our diet. 
5. More skin stuff.  Off and on for years I have experienced itching.  I get itchy for no good reason.  Sometimes it's all over my body and very uncomfortable, but it gets especially bad on my face.  Sometimes so bad that any sort of moisturizer or cosmetic just burns.  It's impossible to not scratch or rub, but that just makes it worse.  It's not always visible to others, but if you look closely it is a slightly raised and splotchy rash.  While avoiding grain and sugar, my skin has stayed clear.  The first time we ate poorly I had a small break out, but nothing terrible.  I wasn't sure if it was the grain or sugar, since I ate both, so I just went back to the my new diet and things were fine. 

Until now.  Last Sunday Drew and I splurged and ordered a thin crust pizza.  I noticed that the next day my face was a bit irritated and my chest and neck were a little itchy, but it wasn't terrible so I brushed it off.  My belly felt fine.  Yesterday at lunch I had a sandwich.   I took the top slice of bread off, but I ate the bottom slice.  I didn't want to be rude by completely picking my food apart and it really was delicious, so I ate it.  Today I woke up with my face so irritated that I  couldn't tolerate to put make-up on.  My body is so itchy that I can hardly stand it.  It doesn't look like anything (except for where I've scratched myself red) on my body, but my face is irritated and red.  I can't say with certainty that it's the bread (on top of the pizza crust from a few days ago), but it's something and I don't like it.  I could shell out the cash to be tested for allergies and try to determine what's going on, or I could just avoid the thing that seems to be causing the problem.  So that's what I'm going to do.  Also, this is probably a decent time to publicly tell Misty that she was right.  When I was having a particularly bad flare of this about  4 years ago, she told me that I should remove wheat from my diet and see if that helped.  I scoffed at the very thought of a life without bread and pasta.  Turns out that maybe I could have been avoiding this for years with a really simple change of my diet. 
It's also worth noting that I've been a bit irritable and short with Eleanor this morning.  That could just be a random thing that happens, but it could be diet related. 


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Potty Time

Fair warning: potty training details ahead!  

As you know, I gave a few brief tries at potty training Eleanor in the last 6 months.  Each time she was showing signs of being ready, but our efforts didn't really take.  She was interested, but maybe too interested!  She just wanted to hang out in the bathroom and read books!  So now, here I am trying to keep my house in pristine condition for potential showings, and my toddler declares it's time to potty train.  I couldn't really ignore her.  Two times on Saturday she grabbed her diaper and told me "poo poo".  I tried to brush it off, not taking her seriously, but when she insisted I finally took her to the potty.  Both times her diaper was freshly wet.  She was saying "poo poo", but she meant "pee pee".  Oh!  She wasn't lying, she really did need to go!  When she did it again before nap time on Sunday, I decided I best take her lead.  After nap I let her go bare bottomed and we cheered for no diapers & using the big girl potty. 

Day One (half a day Sunday): I set the alarm to go off every 30 minutes, but she didn't really need it.  She took the lead and over the course of the afternoon & evening we made lots of trips to the bathroom where she peed very small amounts in the potty.  Zero accidents.  I did offer stickers as incentive, but she didn't seem to need it.  She was just excited to use the potty.  When she woke up the next morning she was super wet, proof that she hadn't been emptying her bladder when using the potty the evening before. 
Day Two (Monday): We stayed home all day long and she went bare bottomed.  She went 6 times and seemed to realize she could let loose and go more than just a dribble in the potty.  Zero Accidents.  (Of course, wearing a diaper for nap time and bed time.) 
Obviously, the head band is key to potty training success.  Lol.  But really, the juice box is key.  Load her full of liquids so there's plenty of opportunity for potty practice!

Day Three (Tuesday):  Continuing the advice of the Potty Train in Three Days method, I planned a short outing.  She went bare bottomed at home in the morning and I waited until she had a good trip to the potty before I put undies on her and we went to Walmart.  She stayed dry for the entire trip and then had an accident in the car seat on the way home.  I should have been a bit faster with the grocery shopping or taken her to potty while we were there!  She wore a diaper for nap time, but went bare bottomed from there until bed time.  She drank a ton, took so many trips to the potty, and wouldn't pee for nearly 3 hours.  I was getting frustrated with her, so I bribed her with a sucker and it worked!  She really emptied her bladder that time and it's like something clicked! Her little face was like, "Hey, I can keep peeing until I'm done!" We even played in the back yard that evening and there were no more accidents.  Recap: One accident, lots of successes. 
Lessons learned from day 2... taking stuff to the bathroom with you (i.e. Minnie Mouse ears and a purse and all the other stuff in the floor that you can't see here) is just a distraction. 
...but suckers can be strong motivators! 
Day Four (today): Bare bottomed at home for the morning.  I had to meet the realtor and inspector at the new house this morning, so after a successful trip to the potty, I put a pull-up on her for the outing.  (The "experts" say not to do that, but the experts didn't have to wash & reassemble the car seat covers last night and then go on another extended outing today!)  I didn't make a big deal of it when we were at the new house, but then she came to me and told me she needed to potty.  I have a fold up potty seat that I carry in the diaper bag, so I took her to the potty.  Her pull up was a bit wet, but then she peed in the big potty!  Yay, Eleanor!  An hour later she was dry when we got home and then used the big toilet (with a little seat for her) before nap time. 

Y'all, I think she may have this thing down.  I know it's not 100% yet, but she's rocking it! Once she was ready, she was just ready.  While it has taken some patience on my part, it's actually been kind of a breeze.  Now that she's figured it out, she's even happy to sit on the little seat on the big toilet.  Three months ago that freaked her out. 
Fellow potty training parents, THIS short Elmo video seemed to be good inspiration for her. 
Other tips that have worked for Eleanor: having somebody to tell when she succeeds.  "Go pee pee and then we can go tell Daddy that you used the potty!"  Even better (and only slightly weird), having an audience.  Daddy, Foose, Mac... whoever.  She's not shy and if she gets to show off her new skill then she's more likely to go! 

 Other cool stuff...
Why didn't anyone congratulate me on not posting a monthly update on the 4th?  I mean, really.  I've been doing it for 24 months and then, BOOM, month 25 rolls around and I just don't do it.  It's a miracle.  Still, she's doing cool stuff like potty training, so an informal (non-month related) update is obviously warranted. 
She's decided that she doesn't like fresh oranges or strawberries this week.  She will, however, eat a mango like nobody's business.  Other favorite foods at the moment: peanuts, cashews, almonds, pistachios, cheese, ham, scrambled eggs, sausage.  Yes, these are the foods that Drew & I are eating a lot of lately.  She still has snacks like Teddy Grahams and Gold Fish, but I'm not buying bread and chips anymore and apparently she's taking note.  Last week she ate Cesar salad.  She asked for it off of my plate.  She thought the dressing was Ranch, but she ate it.  She didn't just suck the dressing off and spit the lettuce out, she actually ate it.  You could have knocked me over with a feather when she ate the first bite and then said, "Yum, more lettuce!" Yesterday in the grocery store I turned down the bread aisle and she reacted like a pre-teen girl at a boy band concert.  She totally lost her cool over the sight of bread!  I don't even think she knew how much she'd been missing it until that moment.  She was so excited that I bought her a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread and let her eat a slice in the store. 

Speaking of no bread, let's do a low carb update.  We're still going strong.  It's been 5 weeks and I've lost exactly 10 pounds.  Not to brag (I'm totally bragging), but I'm officially not over weight anymore.  My BMI (if we consider this to be a valid measurement, which I'm not sure we do) is officially normal.  Drew's in Canada this week, so I don't have a weight update for him.  We've been doing what some call the VLC (Very Low Carb) thing up to this point.  That means, for us, that we've stuck to 20 grams of carbs or less a day, but I've started noticing some strange things that I think could be related.  Officially I think it's a heart palpitation, but the way I'd describe it is that my heart is beating too big.  Not too fast, not skipping, just beating too big.  In the past I've experienced this as a symptom of stress/anxiety and it's totally possible that this is the case now (hello, unexpected house buying & selling), but it could also be a side effect of a VLC diet for some people.  So, I've begun adding in a few more carbs each day by adding fruit to my breakfast and I think it's helping.  I surely can't tell that it's hurting anything. 

Our house is officially on the market and listed HERE, so if you live in our area and would like to share it then please do.  Or, if you're just nosy and want to see my house, you're welcome to do that, too.  Up to this point the entire process has gone so smoothly that we're finding it a bit difficult to be patient as we wait for it to sell.  This is the trusting God part. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

First, phone pics from the past week.
Look who wants to sit in a big girl chair at the table?  She eats like this more often than she eats in a booster these days.  
 Dancing with Daddy. 
 She's rediscovered Larry and she's every bit as in love as she was when she was baby! 
 A throwback photo from the summer of 1997.  We were just kids, but I loved him something fierce.  I'm so grateful for our journey together. 
 Playground play date with Heidi, Sophie, Silas, Cheryl, Alan, and Dale. 


 Snuggles with Kayla & Ranger. 
 Even I've been getting some snuggles lately.  Can't get enough of this. 
 Ladybug rain boots and shorts.  Tears over leaving Mac at the groomer for a hair cut.  She's awesome. 
 We've been enjoying the chalk board lately. 
 Dinner date with Daddy.  The last two times we've been out to eat she's ordered her own food.  I love that she's not shy about answering questions and communicating in these scenarios. 

Waitress: What would you like?
Eleanor: Mac & cheese
Waitress:  Okay.  Do you want fruit or french fries? 
Eleanor: French fries!

Y'all.  We totally let her have exactly that because we were so proud that she ordered it herself.  You eat those carbs, girl! 
 Speaking of carbs.  I'm sticking so close to this low carb diet that people probably think I'm going overboard.  But, y'all, I feel so much better.  Wednesday marked 4 weeks of low carb.  Drew has lost 15 pounds (because, dudes) and I've lost 9.4.  I warned him that if I lose another 10 pounds that I'll probably need all new clothes.  His response?  "So will I." 
All that said, I will admit that it's easy to get stuck in a meat and veggies rut.  This week I made a crustless TACO PIE and it was really good.  I was worried about the texture at first, but it was delicious.  Great change of pace.  (If you're low calorie or low fat, this is not the recipe for you!) 

Now for some other news.  We haven't told anyone what we were up to because we wanted to make certain that the decision was between us and God.  Now that we are well into the process, we're ready to share that we have found another house.  It's about 20 minutes from where we are now and not far from my brother's family.  It's on an acre and a half with a beautiful home and a pool!  We weren't actively looking to move because we really love our house and back yard, but we've often dreamt about how nice it would be to have a bit of land with room for a pool & a shop for Drew.  We thought it would be further down the road, but this house sort of found us.  We've driven by it on our way to Kyle's for the last few months and we've looked at it online, but that's all we had done until finally last week Drew suggested that we go take a look  so we could either know it wasn't for us or we could discuss it more seriously.  Turns out we love it!  The house is about 20 years old, so there's some updating that could be done, but it's a really beautiful home and it just feels right.  I really love it and I'm excited about the possibility of making it ours.  Over the next few days we did a lot of praying, talking, and researching and now here I am to tell you that we're under contract, contingent upon listing and selling our house, of course.  Our house will officially hit the market tomorrow, so we've told our family and closest friends and I thought I'd best tell you all before word gets around!  Our realtor is hopeful that we'll sell for a good price and be under contract quickly, but God must orchestrate all of those details.  We're trusting that He will.  If He doesn't then we'll know we're to stay right where we are.  But, really, our house is awesome and we're certain someone else will come along to love it like we have for the last 2 years.  Fingers crossed and prayers being said that every little piece will fall into place and that we'll be moving in the next couple of months! 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Moon

Arvest Ball Park fun.

 This little girl is growing up.  She starts middle school in just a couple of weeks and I'm afraid she's about to outgrow all these little things like holding her Uncle Drew's hand in public.  (Full disclosure: About 60 seconds after this, he gave her $4 for a snow cone.) 
 Aunt Misty for the win.  She helped Eleanor escape stadium seating and too her to the grassy area to play. 


Making silly faces with Braeden


 Safe to say Eleanor is not a fan of the mascot, Strike. (Strike is a Sasquatch, but he's a happy Sasquatch.)   The closer he got, the more adamant she was about him keeping his distance.  I had my camera out to take a picture of her with him, but since that obviously wasn't going to happen, we just took a skeptical selfie. 
 I think we have a few more years of Braeden being a little boy.  He's not too cool to give his Aunt Mandy random hugs or stop for a selfie. 
 Eleanor has started this thing where she has to take random object with her when wherever she goes. (Anybody else having flashbacks to Emma?)  I draw the line on most things when it comes to bedtime, but I've decided that stuffed animals and baby dolls won't hurt anything.  She is currently napping with two baby dolls (one of whom she has named Annabelle), a giant Minnie Mouse, a little Minnie Mouse, a stuffed pigeon, a stuffed moose, and her blanket.  When we leave the house I let her take a few things.  This particular time is was my hair brush, a fidget cube, and a cotton ball. 
 This time it was two combs, a princess cup, and a Minnie Mouse push toy. 
 When we left for the baseball game yesterday evening she wanted to take the camel and the baby Jesus from her nativity set.  I said sure.  Somewhere between home and the ball park she dropped something and then exclaimed, "Jeeeee-sus!"  Don't worry, Jesus was found safely in the floor board. 
 We were out after dark the other night and she wanted to sit in the driveway and look at the moon and stars.  She's got a daddy cool enough to sit and join her. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Friends and Food

It's been three weeks since Drew and I started doing the really low carb thing.  By really low carb, I mean that we try to stick to 20 or less grams of carbohydrates a day (for now, not forever).  That's super low and the idea is to put your body into ketosis so that it's burning fat instead of carbs for energy.  Like I've said, it wasn't as hard as I anticipated it would be.  It proved to be easier for me to just eat no processed foods or refined carbs than other diets where I could eat some (but never enough).  We completely cut out bread and pasta of any kind.  No added sugar (and not even any fruit for right now).  No crackers or cookies or ice cream or chips or... all stuff like that.  If it comes in a box, chances are we aren't eating it.  Even with temptations, that's been going really well.  It was fairly easy to stick to because we've just felt so much better since we started.  There were really very few slip ups (I mean, I ate a chicken tender with the crust on it last week) and we've just been sticking with meat, eggs, full fat cheese, nuts, and lots of green veggies.  Anyway... that was all fine and dandy until Sunday evening.  I don't know why, but I was having crazy cravings and I convinced myself that a splurge wouldn't hurt anything and... I ate a package of pop tarts.  Drew partook in the pop tart feast with me.  No big deal, I told myself.  Slip ups happen, I'd just do better the next day.  Then the next day I ate a handful of peanut butter crackers with Eleanor.  The next day I didn't feel so great and my mood has been kind of all over the place the last three days, but the more carbohydrates I ate, the more I wanted.  Then the panic attack happened and I've just been a bit of a moody mess.  Last night we went out to eat with friends and instead of choosing a pork chop and veggies, I ordered a hamburger and fries.  No, no, no.  Just no.  Why did I do that?  I didn't realize how good I'd felt for the last few weeks until I ate poorly for the last few days.  Y'all, I feel rotten.  I feel bloated and achy and moody and my face is breaking out again.  Drew never gets headaches, but he woke up this morning about 4 am with a headache so severe that he couldn't go back to sleep.  Add in that not so great feeling in our guts and we are both 100% on board the low carb train.  Because we've cut out all grains and sugar (and then ate junk with mixed ingredients), we don't know what exactly has made us feel rotten.  Sugar?  Wheat?  Gluten?  Whatever it is, it isn't worth it.  We definitely need to stick with this food plan and wait a while before adding any of that other stuff back in.  At least then we'll have a better chance at identifying what each ingredient does to us.
I feel annoyed at myself for a few reasons.  One: I didn't think I'd be this person preaching about low carb or elimination diets.  I'm not even really doing an elimination diet, it just worked out that way.  And now here I am telling you all about it.  How annoying is that?!  Two: Once I gave it a shot and experienced how much better I felt, I really should have been smart enough to stick with it.
So, yeah.  Don't eat sugary junk and just skip the bread and potatoes.  You might feel better for it.
Other stuff...
We didn't get any rain Sunday, but a front moved through and it cooled off enough for Drew to do yard work.  We joined him for a sugar free Popsicle on the back deck.  

 Look who is doing puzzles now.  She lays the pieces where they are supposed to go, but doesn't always twist them until they fit properly.  Still, I was super proud of her for working hard and matching the pieces. 
 Foose helped. 

 Our Tuesday evening dinner date with Stacy and Brian was super fun.  I highly recommend JJ's Beer Garden and BBQ in Fayetteville.  (They abbreviate it JBGB) You can go for the burger and fries, but there are salads and other healthier options on the menu if you prefer.  The atmosphere is great and the outdoor area is such fun!  Corn hole, Bocce ball, volleyball, and more.  We'll definitely go back! While we were there we saw a photographer taking photos and I just assumed it was for advertising stuff.  Then we were outside playing after our meal and the photographer came out to ask if she could take photos of Eleanor playing.  She's with a magazine published by the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce and said to keep an eye out for it.  She doesn't get to pick the photos they use, but you never know. 




 Play date with Heidi, Silas, and Sophie this morning.  I didn't even think to take more photos, but I did grab this one of them playing basketball in the driveway. 
 We stopped in downtown Siloam before coming home because I'm on a mission to makeover my kitchen table.  I have these big chunky farmhouse table legs in my mind and I was hoping to find something vintage that fit the bill.  Eleanor was a great shopping partner (she likes to look and point out what's cute and pretty!) and, of course, we stopped to sit on every bench. 

 I did find these table legs.  They aren't exactly vintage, but I thought they would work.  Once I got them home I decided that they weren't chunky and heavy enough for what I'm going for, but they were cheap and I have another table that I'm going to use them on. 
That's a pretty big project because it will take up space and the garage is hot in this summer heat, but I'll get it done and share the project when it's complete.  Until then, I have another quilting project in mind that I'm looking forward to working on when Eleanor naps and in the evenings.  Yay for making stuff and being creative!