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

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Open Houses

I took Eleanor to the mall for new back-to-school Converse sneakers the other day.  She did more pushing of the stroller than she did riding in the stroller.
 By now you should know, she has to stop and sit on every bench. 
 She wanted me to sit with her and I really do try to stop and enjoy those little moments with her.  "Hey Eleanor, want to take a picture with Mommy?"
Sass.  Pure sass.
 We took Foose to a new vet this week for his anxiety.  We're finding it harder and harder to deal with him and he doesn't handle being away from us very well.  If it's just his familiar people at home and everything is chill then he's pretty much fine, but if he has to be away from us or if there are new and extra people around, he's quite a loud, annoying mess.  He and Mac were in a pen in the backyard for a short period of time while the house was showed a few days ago and he barked the ENTIRE time.  Yelped.  Lost his mind.  We have an open house this weekend and he surely can't be left in a pen in the backyard to bark at potential buyers.  Even harder than leaving him here is taking him with us.  He freaks out and doesn't handle riding in vehicles with much grace.  So I called Dr. Lunsford.  That is where I took Grandpa's dogs in years past and I felt like she was more likely to treat us with patience (contrary to the vet we took him to last year that pretty well told Drew it was our own fault).  We gave him some over the counter calming chews just to get him there and, as luck would have it, he was pretty chill the majority of the time that we were there.  Eleanor was not.  She was a maniac. 

 Drew says I was a bit dramatic in the telling of his anxiety issues.  That's probably true.  I really wanted to get my point across and figure out how to deal with him.  Re-homing isn't on our list of possibilities, so we needed to figure out how to help him feel better.  Top of my priority list: be able to load him in the truck and board him for weekends when we want to go camping or out of town.  Currently we can't even do that.  Leaving him in the backyard and having someone check in on him wasn't working because he flips out over new people and being left alone so long.  Dr. Lunsford was great and she prescribed... wait for it... Prozac.  For Foose, not me.  Lol.  Apparently it can be quite effective in calming dogs with separation anxiety if used with training methods.  She gave me a stack of info and techniques to work on with him.  Also, he's getting neutered next week.  It could possibly help his behavior, but will definitely help with his health as he ages.  Side note:  He's a fatty.  He weighs 94 pounds and should weigh more like 80 pounds.  Add dog diet and anxious dog tranquility exercises (not joking!) to my list of things to do.  He's on day 2 of his new meds and we're watching him like a hawk to note changes as these first few weeks pass.

Thinking that I'd won the awesome shoe prize with these Rose Gold toddler sized Converse for Eleanor, I took her to Carter's to find one new outfit for back to school next week.  She sassed it up good before we even got into the store.  Pig tails and sunglasses by her specific request. 
The outfit she picked at Carter's has cats on it.  Go figure.  I let her wear it this morning to her open house.  Of course, she declared that the new shoes are "owie hurt" and refused to wear them, so she wore her new kitty cat outfit with her stinky old Keen shoes.  Also, she insisted on taking this jack-o-lantern with her to the car and refused to stand still to have her photo taken. 
 Eleanor really has it made in the Daddy department.  He took off work to attend her open house and let her stop on the way in to smell all the flowers.  He's pretty great and we sure do love him.  I know that she doesn't know any different right now, but someday she will and I hope that she looks back (hello, record of her life on this blog) and feels certain of how much she has ALWAYS been loved. 
 Because her school is at our church, the building was nothing new for her.  Her classroom is actually the room that she was promoted to last week for Sunday school.  She wasn't afraid to just walk right in and start conversations.  Surprise, surprise.  She said hi to people, pointed out & touched the sparkles on a little girl's shirt, played with toys, told me that a baby doll had "pee diaper", asked to hold some random person's actual newborn baby, commented on everything along the way, and then told me she needed to potty.  I may have some sappy feelings when I drop her off Monday morning, and I'm certain that it will be an adjustment for us both, but I'm just really excited for her.  I'd love if you would pray with us for this new adventure.  Pray for her, for her teachers and classmates, and all that they will learn and experience in the coming year.
Daddy had to go straight back to work, but Eleanor and I had some good snuggles when we got back home.  (Side note: sometimes she wants to eat peanuts and she actually eats the peanuts.  Sometimes she wants to eat peanuts and she chews and chews and chews and chews and just holds the peanut mush in her cheek like a little squirrel. Bless your heart if you ask to see how much she has in her mouth and wind up with a handful of chewed up peanut.) 
When I was a teenager I worked at a Mom's Day Out program at my church during the summer.  We had some activities, but my main job was just to keep them entertained, fed, and dry until their parents came back for them.  While that surely has value, I'm really happy that Eleanor's program is a bit more structured and focused than that.  Her teachers are educated adults with a plan and I'm hopeful for the year ahead.  This was among the handouts that we received today, so I know they have developmental goals they'll be working toward.  
She is one of, if not THE, youngest in her class.  She probably always will be because she's a July birthday.  This class is full of 2 year olds ,but most of them have been two for a while.  Even so, I felt like there was a good chance that Eleanor is going to rule the roost in the classroom!

Update on the house situation.  The new house has been inspected by a pool inspector, an HVAC inspector, and a general inspector.  We're being uber cautious and thorough and have asked for a licensed roof contractor to inspect the roof.  We've identified the repairs that we feel are necessary and are awaiting the seller's feedback on what they are willing to do.  We're praying for successful negotiations on that front.  Our house is on the market and we've had a couple of showings.  We have an open house this weekend and are hopeful that that will go well and bring in some potential buyers.  Our realtor feels like we are in the right place (location, price, and time) to sell.  That is probably the hardest thing for Drew & I to wait for right now, because we've done all we can do and now we have to trust that God works out the details of the right buyer.  But overall, the house process is going well and we're hopeful that it will all work out. 

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!