Archive | October, 2010

Michelle Terese

29 Oct

I know most of my readers have the privilege of knowing my sister.  And her sweet husband and their precious daughter.  But I realized the other day that I have not written about her on here.  And that made me so sad!

Michelle is a blessing to me!  There is no greater joy than getting to raise our kids together.  And the fact that Dani, Reid and Gabi love each other so MUCH is just an added bonus.  I hope they will call each other and share their ups and downs for the rest of their lives!  And if their present relationship is any indicator, they will.

Michelle, thank you for being my first best friend.  Thank you for sharing life with me.  Thanks for Gabi!  Thanks for always making sure I am in the shade.  You don’t complain about how high maintenance I have become…and we spend a lot of time together!  You don’t even act embarrassed when I look like a bank robber with my hood pulled over my head and my sunglasses on!  Truly, you and Justin and Gabi are 3 of the greatest blessings in my life.  I look forward to the rest of our lives and whatever may come our way.  It is a joy to know we will share it together.

I love you!


My new friend.

29 Oct

I have a new friend!  I had to give up my beloved Diet Dr. Pepper a while back in exchange for a healthier life.  But don’t think my mouth does not water every time I see someone drinking one or I drive by Sonic at Happy Hour.  I just could no longer drown myself in the chemicals.  But, you see, I LOVE DIET DR. PEPPER.  And truth be told, anything diet that fizzes and has caffeine. I am not a brand particular snob.

So you can imagine my joy when I was perusing the drink aisle at Whole Foods and found a natural drink that is fizzy AND HAS CAFFEINE!!  I guess most people who get the natural junk don’t like caffeine?  I do!  A lot! But before now I had not found any.

Crazy enough, the stuff is cheaper at Whole Foods than at HEB.  I even bought it on sale for $3.99 for a 6 pack.  Still pricey, but for an occasional treat- well worth it!

My favorite flavor is the Dr. Zevia b/c it is their version of Diet Dr. Pepper.  Now, check out the ingredients:

Zevia® Dr.Zevia

Just what the doctor ordered … all natural, zero calories, with the perfect blend of natural ingredients including real cherry essence, cola nut extract and a delicious infusion of nutmeg, clove, and natural spices. The taste of Dr. Zevia might remind you of that “other doctor” you once loved. Dr. Zevia is naturally caffeinated (caffeine from coffee) and naturally sweetened with stevia.




Stevia is a natural herb native to South and Central America. For centuries, native Americans of Paraguay and Brazil called it “sweet leaf” and used it to sweeten native foods. Stevia is used as a food additive in China, Japan, all of South America and in the United States. The extract from the stevia leaf has no calories, no effect on blood sugar levels, and is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar. Stevia sweetens all seven ZEVIA® Natural Diet Soda flavors.


Erythritol is a natural sugar alcohol found in fruits and vegetables, has no calories, and has no effect on blood sugar levels. Erythritol is used in all seven ZEVIA® Natural Diet Soda flavors.

Natural Caramel:

Dr. Zevia Natural Diet Soda is colored with natural caramel.

Citric Acid:

Citric acid is naturally concentrated in oranges, grapefruit, pineapple, lemons and limes. Natural citric acid adds to the refreshing flavor of all seven ZEVIA® Natural Diet Soda flavors.

Kola Nut Extract:

The kola nut in Dr. Zevia Natural Diet Soda is from a tree native to Central and Western Africa. Its extract provides Dr. Zevia Natural Diet Soda’s distinctive classic cola flavor. The kola nut contains naturally occurring caffeine, as well as theobromine, a stimulating ingredient also found in chocolate and green tea..

Natural Tartaric Acid:

Tartaric acid occurs naturally in many plants, particularly grapes, bananas, and tamarinds, and is also found in wine. Many soft drinks use cheap, harmful phosphoric acid for flavor. Phosphoric acid is used in fertilizers and detergents. It erodes tooth enamel and has been linked to depletion of calcium, a contributing factor in osteoporosis. Safe, natural tartaric acid enhances Dr. Zevia Natural Diet Soda’s zesty, tangy flavor.

Natural Caffeine:

Most diet sodas use artificially produced caffeine. The natural caffeine in Dr. Zevia Natural Diet Soda comes from coffee.

Natural Fumaric Acid:

Fumaric acid occurs naturally in flowers and mushrooms. It contributes to Dr. Zevia Natural Diet Soda’s refreshing flavor.

Are you thinking of giving them up? Join me!  I know the scienctific proof is not there saying they are cancer causing and horrible…but really, can they be GOOD for you????  Think about it!


27 Oct

Yep…I would say it is pretty official that I am in another flare.

1) I am soooo sleepy.  Just want to sleep all day.  I pulled into the garage last night and sat there for close to 5 minutes.  I was trying to convince myself not to fall asleep but to make it inside first.

2) Totally fuzzy brain.  It feels like someone turned a static station on and left it there.  I stop mid sentence b/c I don’t know how to finish.  I have forgotten to go places- like take Dani to her art class. I hit a curb in the ballet parking lot and popped my tire.  I have tried to e-mail people back and just start crying b/c I am so overwhelmed.  It took me an hour and a half to START home school today. I just sat here confused.  Needless to say, we only got through a small amount.  Luck is going to finish it with them when he gets home.  Sweet hubby of mine.

3) My face looks like a pre-teen. It is lovely.  Just lovely.

4) I have these sores on my scalp/top of forehead.  The doc says they are the Lupus sun spots.

5) PLEURISY.  Have I ever mentioned it is painful?  😉  It won’t go away.

6) I can’t really work out.  I feel like I am gonna pass out.  At Pilates training this weekend, well…lets just say I could not finish b/c of the pain from pleurisy and the emotion of my body giving out on me.  I am a finisher!  A go-getter!  A give-me-a-challenge-and-I-will-show-you-I-can-do-it-….er.    So it was beyond humbling to be there (having paid a lot of money, nonetheless!) laying on the floor crying.

Fortunately, I know this flare will pass….just like last time.  And I am sure Prednisone will be started in the next day or so.  But in the meantime, I am gonna drop out of life for a little while.  I have been saying no to stuff, backing out of commitments, seeming flaky, etc…

BUT I WILL BE BACK!  So don’t get too comfy without me 😉  And please forgive me for not being dependable.

Lost Maples

21 Oct

I though that we would not camp anymore.  Since I can’t be in the sun, I just was not sure it would happen.  With me, anyway.

But we loaded up and headed out.  I was armed with sunscreen, my safari hat (well, that is what I call it), sun protective pants, and sun protective shirts.  It all looks like I am going fishing. Not the cutest stuff in the world.

We had a great time!  When we pulled up, we got a spot with a TON of shade.  It was a great campsite.  God had it saved just for us.  The weather was amazing.  Cold at night (Texas cold, that is! 43 degrees) but in the 80’s during the day.  We went with the Murata clan.   Every bit of it was perfect.  I don’t mind staying in the shade and looking silly.  I got to camp!!  And the leaves were just turning, so it was beautiful.

I am not as nice as I once was.

21 Oct

Have you noticed that?  I am really not.  I am not sure if it is good or bad.  But when people complain, I react differently from how I used to.

On one hand, I am WAY more compassionate when it is something truly hard.  I hurt more for people.  I want to take away their bad days or their medical problems or their loss of a loved one.  I ache for them.  I hurt when they have family problems or difficulties with their kids. Or even little issues that just bog them down.


people who find the negative in anything and everything- I don’t have the energy for that anymore.  I don’t really care any more.  I think people are ridiculous when they can take a true blessing and find something bad.  Or “hard.”  It is AMAZING what people can complain about.

One thing I have learned- there is positive in EVERYTHING.  Well, except the death of a loved one or a terminal illness.  I won’t go there.  While there may be some positive, I have not been there and won’t even pretend I can find the silver lining.

But it is the rest of life that we really get to decide about.

I am a true Pollyanna now.  I used to get really annoyed by those people.  But now, I am one of them!  I keep most of my thoughts to myself.  I don’t want to annoy y’all.  But am learning it is okay to point out the good sometimes.  When done to the right person in the right way.  I don’t want to be a yes man anymore and help people think that their “big” crap is really the end of the world.  It isn’t. See, I am not as nice!

I love having Lupus.  I know that sounds weird, but I love life more.  I love my family and friends more.  I love watching the kids ride bikes more.  And camping more.  And the ability to move my body and exercise.  And to sleep at night (thank you, Ambien!).  And all of the little things I took for granted.

Don’t get me wrong.  I get very depressed.  Really.  Clinically.  It is not easy feeling bad all of the time.  I let people down, I have to sit out of a lot of life, I am not as good of a wife or mom, I cry a lot, etc…  And I spend my days nauseated, tired, hurting.

But I LOVE what it has done to my gratitude.  And I would not change it for anything.  Thanks, God, for teaching me through hard times.

Pants on the ground, pants on the ground….

21 Oct

Did you know I have a secret?  Well, kind of.  My kids know and my hubby knows.  And a handful of other people know. But now I am sharing it.  But I will get to that later…

So, I went to a new doctor!  And I love, love, love, love, love him!!!!  He looked at my blood work, my symptoms, my history, etc… and then said, “Well, lets see…you have 7 out of the 11 diagnosing factors of Lupus.  I say this is a pretty easy diagnosis to make.”

He told me that he was gonna ramp up some of my meds.  And he told me if this did not work that we would switch to a chemo drug in a very low dosage.  He said that we will not stop until I am in remission.  Really?!?!  My last doc never even MENTIONED this!  And then once Lupus is in remission, we would start backing off the drugs and that he would only leave me on as much as necessary to keep the crappy stuff away.  His goal is to have me OFF OF EVERYTHING!  (side note: rheumatologists are not known for taking people OFF of drugs.  They are known for pushing more and more meds)

He said we are not looking for this to be a quick process.  But to hang in there and that I would eventually feel better.  Really?!?!  A day of feeling well?!  And maybe more than one?  I honestly can’t even dream that yet.  I have been feeling badly for so long that the idea of feeling WELL for more than an hour or two is too good to be true and I don’t want to get my hopes up.

So I am keeping my eyes fixed and my head on the road and following the doctor’s orders.

He also said he would get me back to working out as hard as I want.  Yeehaw!  Maybe I can’t do another half marathon or tri b/c they are outside and well, the sun and I don’t get along, but I can find new goals!

Prednisone.  Ahhhh, Prednisone.  He is keeping me on and off it.  Said that it was necessary for now.  We will use it when I flare.  And he said that the reason I have gained weight on it is b/c it changes my insulin levels telling my body to store fat.  He told me to go easy on myself and that once he gets me through this that we could THEN work on that part.

He also confirmed that yes, my chest pains are pleurisy.  And there is nothing- that is right- NOTHING we do about it.  I just have to endure.  For the record, pleurisy is inflammation of the wall of my chest.  It hurts.  Hurts.  I recommend you don’t ever get it.

Okay, getting long winded (this is more for my own personal record, sorry).  Now to my secret!

I can’t keep my pants on!  Really!  For a good number of years, I walk in my door, literally, and unbutton my pants.  Or take them off.  My kids are VERY used to my belt dangling and my pants being wide open. Luck says that someday they will be too old for me to walk around like that 🙂 I also often make a b line to my room and put on pj pants.

About two or three weeks ago, Luck and I pulled up to our house and I was ripping at my pants (I know, sounds different from what it is!).  In exasperation I said, “Why am I the only person who can’t seem to wear pants???  I HATE them! They hurt me!”

So fast forward to the doc appt and he starts poking my abdomen.  I told him it was tender and he said my pleurisy is actually all throughout my whole abdominal wall!  I told him my pants issue and he said, “Don’t worry!  It is just the pleurisy!”

Can I even explain how NOT crazy that made me feel?  Yay for the small things 🙂

Mission Accomplished!

8 Oct

It has been nearly SIX months since my sweet girl and I have been gluten free.  That is a looooong time for this food lover to go without flour.  I have experimented with baking here and there, but avoided one thing this entire time.  I was scared of what I would turn out.  I could not handle losing my dear treat forever.

The chocolate chip cookie.

To me, the choc chip cookie is home.  It is family time in the kitchen, it is working together, it is a sweet smell, it is patience while they cool, and it is sharing the love.  I have many memories of childhood and the chocolate chip cookie.  My mom’s were always WAY better than anyone’s!  I usually don’t even think they are worth eating unless they look like hers.  And don’t even go there with premade ones.  As much as I love homemade cookies is as much as I detest store bought ones.  I am just a cookie snob!

Several times I have literally taken the ingredients out to make them and chickened out and put them all back.  I seriously didn’t think I could handle never having another GOOD one as long as I live.

So I pulled out our secret family recipe.  (Also known as the recipe on the back of Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate chips.)  And I used my gluten free magic!  (Also known as following the directions exactly…EXCEPT substituting equal parts gf oat flour for regular flour)  🙂

And just like that, SUCCESS!!!  They taste just like the traditional ones!  Both kids loved them.  I love them.  Lucky ate them for dinner while lying in bed with a migraine :(.  He loved them!  They are not “gluten free good”, they are the real deal good!

Share the good news with those gluten free peeps of yours.  It is a day to celebrate!

From the pic below, I think you can see what they thought 🙂  And yes, Reid is still in pj’s.  So am I.  We got up today, did homeschool, played all day, I took a shower, and then put my pj’s back on.