Wednesday, October 8, 2014


This summer I spent many days and even 20 consecutive  hrs in the doctor's office attempting to identify the source of this tiredness, only to walk away with the diagnosis of "idiopathic hypersomnia" (i.e. you're really tired and we don't know why). Note that I had received a diagnosis of idiopathic hives approximately a year ago (i.e. you have hives and we don't know why). Two idiopathic diagnoses in a row can make one feel like quite an I began to seek coping strategies--coffee, food, dt. mt. dew, repeat...but I couldn't shake the zombie-like state.

A very caring friend ask me almost weekly how I am feeling and my response is almost always "still tired." She seemed to be on a mission to find my cure--each week having a new suggestion: essential oils, vitamins, coffee, sleep, Whole30?

Whole30 and the concept that "it all starts with food" grabbed my attention. I began to read the book It Starts with Food and connected with the stories of real people who had changed their eating habits and changed their lives. Before finishing the first chapter I had convinced Adam and Rachel and Rachel to join me. I was excited to see where this journey would lead.

We are now at day 18 and I can say that while the idiopathic hives have not subsided, the idiopathic hypersomnia has dramatically decreased in intensity. I am not falling asleep at my desk or even in front of the tv. I have not felt the same feelings of tiredness while driving that would leave me frightened to be behind the wheel. I feel more in-control of my sleeping and waking and less grumpy to be awake!

Here is a breakdown of our meals over the past few weeks for those of you who may be interested in giving it a try.

I make breakfast for the week on Sundays and we reheat throughout the week or throw together some eggs, meat and avocado.

Week 1: Apple Bumpkin Bake
Week 2: Tomato, Bacon and Arugula Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust--replaced arugula with spinach
Week 3: Lagniappe Casserole

Lunch and snacks: Fresh fruit, veggies, nuts and leftovers


Sausage and Cabbage Delight (WholeFamilyStrong) with roasted golden potatoes

Meatloaf "Cake" with sweet potatoes and veggies

Lamb Steaks, potatoes, and green beans with mushrooms

Seasoned fish, cabbage, and broccoli

Crock pot pork, asparagus and mashed cauliflower

"Nachos" with a base of home fries covered in pork, peppers and onions, salsa, etc.

Chicken thighs with artichoke hearts, mashed potatoes (with almond milk)

Zuppa--delicious--get sausage from Earth Fare or Whole Foods--ask the butcher about sugar and MSG. This recipe can be found @amazonashley on instagram--totally worth the effort

Slow cooker chicken and vegetable soup--we chopped up fresh veggies instead of using frozen and let the chicken cook with the veggies in the crock pot

Spaghetti squash spaghetti--roasted spaghetti squash and added ground beef with an approved (no sugar added) tomato sauce and a little coconut milk

Turkey burgers with avacado slaw, sweet potato fries and riced cauliflower

One pot curry (a favorite) --find it @whole30recipes on instagram

Bacon wrapped, apple-stuffed chicken with roasted sweet potatoes, zucchini and mushrooms

Unstuffed paleo cabbage rolls

Eating out:

We have eaten out a few times on the program.
Steak houses are the best choice while on Whole30 although Mexican is possible (fajitas with no shells).

Follow @whole30recipes for daily inspiration

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Everyday Faithful

Snow days allow for lots of are some of mine.

"Life is usually pretty ordinary, just like following Jesus most days. Daily discipleship is not a new revolution each morning or an agent of global transformation every evening. It is a long obedience in the same direction." --Kevin DeYoung

A few weeks ago, Bart preached from Ephesians 5 as part of a series entitled "Worshiping and Witnessing Community" and, through the word of God, led us to consider HOW we can catch the message in its entirety here:

One of the main points was that we worship by walking in the light, abstaining from evil and modeling what is holy to those around us.

I have often struggled with the desire to have "big, SUPER-Christian" faith like that of missionaries who go to dangerous lands and theologians who write books that encourage thousands. Twice in my life I can see how these desires have let me to pursue noble things, good things, godly things, for ungodly reasons. The Lord convicted me of this once again and reminded me of the beauty of everyday faithfulness.

I have begun to think of the many in my life who exemplify this faithfulness. Ordinary men and women who may have never been to a foreign land, although I'm confident they'd go...who have never written a book, but may have still encouraged thousands.

I think of my dad, how each and every day he goes to work for many, many hours, and while there, takes every opportunity to encourage and spread the glory of his God.

I think of my mom, who encourages me every evening after school, and not just me, but many others who love to hear her voice on the other end of the line.

I think of my co-worker, who often finds herself weary after a day of giving, giving, giving to students who haven't been given enough, yet continues to come and work, knowing that these battles are not flesh and blood...but something more.

I think of stay at home moms, nurses, accountants, pastors, and can be weary for them all...who continue to strive for the glory of God.

I think of myself, and how I fail daily to live faithfully. Convicted and burdened for the lost and my own sinful soul on Sunday...frustrated and defeated by Monday...4th period to be exact.

So on this snow day, back to the throne I go, to beg for grace to be faithful here at home, where it is a little easier, and tomorrow or the next day at school as well. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Officially Waiting

When we were first starting this adoption process, I wanted to read the blogs of moms and dads who had been through this before and get a feel for their experiences as we embarked on our own. However, it was hard to find a blog where they shared their experiences during the wait. As we now wait, I realize that there just isn't much to tell...

This week though, there is an update. We received word that after almost a year of signing, approving, notarizing and apostiling papers, we are finally REGISTERED!

So...what does this mean? After approval from the state and federal government, our paperwork was sent to Bulgaria, the country from which we are trying to adopt. They looked over our papers and approved us for adoption, thereby registering us in their database. We are now one of the many families that could be selected as they place children. According to our adoption agency, the current wait from the point of registration is 1.5 to 2 years.

When our contact from the agency called on Thursday she said "You are now officially WAITING."

Really? I felt like we were already doing that!

Wednesday was a really hard day. The students seemed especially needy after 3 days of late starts and less structure than they require. I had been trying for forever a few days to get in touch with the adoption agency to see if we had been registered yet, as we had sent in our last piece of paperwork at the beginning of December. All of this brought about the frustration of an impatient heart. As I drove home from small group that night, I received a timely text from a consistent friend that let me know she was praying for me and had attached a blog she thought I should read.

When I got home, I sat down at the dining room table and read the entirety of the blog, each line resulting in more ugly tears and even ugly laughter...a mixture that few people other than Jen Hatmaker can produce. Adam walked in to find me a mess. After reading the blog himself while I blew my nose and cleared my throat, we asked the questions that you don't want to say aloud: "Can we do this? Are we crazy? For our FIRST? What are we thinking?" Not so quickly, but eventually, came the calm assurance..."No YOU can't but I CAN." The One who has blessed us with every spiritual gift, the One who will never leave us nor forsake us, the One who has conquered the grave, this God can, through us, love this little girl who hasn't had enough love. He can heal her broken heart, and He can give us the strength and patience to parent her well.

After all that, the words "You are officially WAITING" seemed filled with grace. We aren't ready just yet! So, as we enter the official wait, we continue to ask for your prayers, that we would trust His timing, His provision, and His purpose and be open-hearted to learning to lean on Him more and more as He prepares our hearts to lead the heart of another.