Halfway to thirty

Today is my half birthday! In exactly 6 months I will turn 30! It’s insane to think how close I am to thirty, but I am excited to see what my 30s brings.

Since I am halfway to 30 we will see how close I am to completing 30 tasks before I am 30.

Here they are:

  1. Keep this blog up by posting at least once a month. I’ve missed a couple months but my goal is to post every month I have left of this year!
  2. Learn how to make 5 new meals. 
  3. Learn how to crochet.
  4. Run another half marathon (it has been 4.5 years since I’ve run one). Planned
  5. Read 30 books. DONE. I’ve read lots and lots of kids books and I am definitely counting it!
  6. Go to a winery (or two). Planned
  7. Perform 30 Random acts of kindness. I am about halfway there.
  8. Get back to pre-baby size/acceptable weight for height. DONE
  9. Get closer to God (via praying, reading Bible more, devotions). Work In progress
  10. Make t-shirt quilt with college shirts (with my mom’s help).
  11. Complete a full marathon.
  12. Watch 30 movies I’ve never seen before. Gotta work on this
  13. Go camping.
  14. Update picture albums in house and make photo albums for previous years.
  15. Donate money. DONE
  16. Go see an IMAX movie with Cody (he’s never been to one). Soon
  17. Send more snail mail and packages. DONE
  18. Make my family priority; less worrying about chores (etc) and more time spent with the ones I love. Working on it
  19. Volunteer. DONE
  20. Learn how to drive a stick shift.
  21. Explore a new city. Planned
  22. Start a new family tradition.
  23. Pay off at least one section of my school loans.
  24.  Find a job I love (ie nurse practitioner job). Working on it.
  25. Go fishing.
  26. Make 10 DIY crafts just for fun. Working on it
  27. Say Goodbye to soda and hello to more water…again! Gotta work on this!
  28. Go horseback riding.
  29. Disconnect from social media/cell phone frequently. Gotta work on this!
  30. Try a new food.
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LOVE

One of the fruits of the Spirit is LOVE.

There is SO much we could say about love in regards to the Bible. Love is why God sent his only son to die on the cross for us sinners. Love is why we have eternal life. God loves each and every one of us. God challenges us To love those around us. Why is it so hard for us to love others? Hate is just one of our sins. We get so entwined in the struggles of everyday life that we forget to love. We forget to tell the ones around us that we love them. We also forget to share Gods love.

Take a step back and think about how much God loves you. Find a few ways you can love those around you. Pray for those that mean the most to you. Share Gods promise of eternal life. Love the amazing life that God has given you. Love your neighbor as yourself.

Be a servant of Gods. Share his amazing message. We will fail to do this some days, but get back up and try again! Love is contagious!

Fruit of the spirit

The fruit of the spirit sure are important to remember.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23.

It is SO easy to forget the fruit of the spirit and live a life without these. We get caught up in our busy lives and next thing we know we aren’t very loving or joyful, we lack self control and become harsh and unfaithful. Although it takes trusting in God and a lot of effort, it is important that we live a life that includes the fruit of the spirit!

I am going to post over the next little bit about each fruit! Stay tuned 💙

He’s only little once

I could be cleaning.

I could be mowing the grass

I could be reading or showering or even running, but I’m not.

I’m doing something so much better…. I’m snuggling with my little one.

Everyone has said soak up the moments, your baby is only little once. How true that statement is! One day this little one won’t want to snuggle with me. He will not want as many kisses and hugs. He will not be with me all the time. For now I am going to snuggle my little baby and kiss him as much as I can. I love the way he smiles when I kiss him and the way he gets happy to me see me after I’ve been at work all day long. I love the days that are spent with him. We don’t even have to do anything special. I can just play with him in his room or snuggle for hours and that is pure bliss. It’s easy to get caught up in everything that needs to get done but my new goal is forgetting those stressors and focusing on spending time my little family.

Mama bear

I’ve been a mama for almost 10 weeks. It has been the most challenging but rewarding thing I’ve done. I just love this little boy more than I could have ever imagined I would.

What I’ve learned about being a mama bear so far:

1) life will never be the same. This little baby has rocked my world. He makes me smile and is worth every sleepless night.

2) the focus is no longer on me. Before having a baby, I ate when I was hungry, went to the gym when I wanted etc. now my focus is on my baby. I fit in things like eating while he naps… or I eat while he nurses. My focus is on him and that’s 100% okay.

3) a productive day might be just getting a shower. I try every day to get a shower. Sometimes that’s the only thing I get done besides taking care of the baby. Some days I get a shower AND a few chores done! My productivity is a lot different now.

4) I go with my gut feeling. There are 10,000 ways to be a mama. I do what is best for my baby.

5) I love seeing him grow. I can’t wait to see what God has planned for this sweet boy.

Being a mama is amazing. It is not easy but it is such a blessing. I trust God will lead me as a mama to this sweet baby boy.

30 by 30

I turned 29 yesterday! I recently saw where a friend is completing 30 tasks by the time she turns 30 years old. I was inspired by this and want to challenge myself to 30 tasks by my 30th birthday. I brainstormed for a while and came up with a list of 30 things I would like to complete in the next year. I’m excited to complete these tasks! 

 

Here they are:

  1. Keep this blog up by posting at least once a month.
  2. Learn how to make 5 new meals. 
  3. Learn how to crochet.
  4. Run another half marathon (it has been 4.5 years since I’ve run one).
  5. Read 30 books.
  6. Go to a winery (or two). 
  7. Perform 30 Random acts of kindness.
  8. Get back to pre-baby size/acceptable weight for height.
  9. Get closer to God (via praying, reading Bible more, devotions).
  10. Make t-shirt quilt with college shirts (with my mom’s help).
  11. Complete a full marathon.
  12. Watch 30 movies I’ve never seen before.
  13. Go camping.
  14. Update picture albums in house and make photo albums for previous years.
  15. Donate money.
  16. Go see an IMAX movie with Cody (he’s never been to one).
  17. Send more snail mail and packages.
  18. Make my family priority; less worrying about chores (etc) and more time spent with the ones I love.
  19. Volunteer.
  20. Learn how to drive a stick shift.
  21. Explore a new city.
  22. Start a new family tradition.
  23. Pay off at least one section of my school loans.
  24.  Find a job I love (ie nurse practitioner job).
  25. Go fishing.
  26. Make 12 DIY crafts just for fun.
  27. Say Goodbye to soda and hello to more water…again!
  28. Go horseback riding.
  29. Disconnect from social media/cell phone frequently.
  30. Try a new food.

 

 

Stuck in a gluten world

Never would I have imagined eating gluten free. As a kid, I loved eating Goldfish, Little Debbie’s, fried okra, fried chicken, and the list goes on and on. I would have never considered going gluten-free. 

When I was 21, I found out I had Celiacs disease. The cause of my terrible symptoms (rashes, headaches, sinus congestion, diarrhea and even at times constipation, nausea and vomiting.) I then found out the only treatment for Celiacs disease is eating gluten-free. As a poor college student in small Murray, KY, I struggled finding gluten-free options that were affordable. I also found that I was so sensitive, I would get sick if my food was cross contaminated with gluten. For example, I could eat a baked potato that was completed gluten free but if someone touched bread to the potato I would still get sick. I missed eating gluten so bad. I struggled in the grocery store because none of the items were marked gluten-free back then. It would take me 20-30 extra minutes to shop for groceries because I would have to read every single label. Sometimes I wondered if I should just eat gluten and get sick because it was easier than living gluten free. I had to learn to cook because convenient gluten-free options just weren’t readily accessible. 

I found that going out to eat was also a struggle. I would try my best to ask waitresses and waiters what was gluten-free but many were clueless about what gluten and Celiacs were. I would order things that should technically be gluten free  but still get sick due to cross contamination in the restaurant. 

Honestly being gluten free made my body feel better but the lifestyle depressed me. I missed being able to order anything on a menu. I missed the affordability and ease of grocery shopping. I hated being the difficult friend that could never eat anything at a party and hated that people felt obligated to provide gluten free options for me. I craved gluten even when I knew it would make me very sick. 

Due to fad diets, the gluten free diet is well known. It doesn’t exactly have the best rep. People think everyone is gluten-free to lose weight. They don’t get that I will get extremely sick if I eat gluten.  As a result of these fad diets, the gluten free diet and Celiacs isn’t not taken very seriously. Party City recently had a Super Bowl commercial that made fun of being gluten-free. If the makers of this commercial could live one day in my Celiac shoes they would realize how lucky they are to Not have Celiacs. They also would stop making fun of gluten free people.  I can’t help that my body rejects gluten. What the makers of this commercial  don’t understand is we dont choose to have Celiacs. 

Celiacs is my life. 

Eating gluten free is the way I must live to stay healthy. 

It’s not easy being gluten free and especially not cheap. 

Please educate yourself about Celiacs and eating gluten-free before judging us. 

Gluten-free doesn’t taste better but it’s worth it because it makes me feel better. 

Thank you to all my friends that have accommodated my gluten free diet. 🙂

Small little acts of kindess

One of my favorite ways to give back to the world is doing random acts of kindness. Last month on my birthday I spent the day giving back. I did around 21 acts of kindness. From leaving a bouquet of flowers on someones car to paying for someones lunch in the drive through. It love doing these random acts of kindness. I challenge you to do random acts of kindness for people. Of course, you don’t have to spend a day doing it like I did, but just doing them occasionally is quite fulfilling. God says to “love thy neighbor”. By completing random acts of kindness, you are able to definitely love your neighbor. I attached some pictures from my day of giving to the community. I try to complete random acts of kindness throughout the year to make a difference. Try to slow down your routine and look for ways to make a difference. Never stop making a difference. 🙂

Infertility

Infertility is a topic that no one likes to talk about. More people struggle with infertility than most know. Infertility is usually not discussed and people struggle with it inside, but don’t tell those around them. I am not sure why we keep this topic so quiet. We do the same with anxiety and depression, which many struggle with, but no one likes to discuss they have these issues.

Infertility makes you emotionally and physically exhausted. Just one little thing can upset you. For instance, people announcing they are pregnant on facebook or in conversation is so challenging for someone dealing with infertility. You are so proud of them, but you just wish you could also be pregnant. You wish…you could have the pleasure of announcing you are pregnant. You wish you could go to the OB and see a ultrasound of your baby’s heart beating. You aren’t mad that person is pregnant by any means, you just want to share that same joy.

Taking fertility medications and nothing happening is another struggle. Why isn’t the medication working? Why am I not getting pregnant? Will we ever get pregnant? Should we just give up? There are so many questions that come to mind. Why are so many people able to accidentally get pregnant and we can’t? Where is God in all of this struggle?

After going to Africa and seeing so many orphans, I also wonder about adoption. I think about all the kids needing homes and if adoptions is Gods plan. I wonder if it is wrong to take fertility medications when there are kids needing a supportive family.

Infertility presents a complex challenge in so many lives. What I have learned in this battle, is that it is a crossroad, but God has a plan. He might bless us with a child naturally or he might bless us with a child through adoption. We have to be patient and wait for God to lay out his plan. Being patient is NOT easy for me. I just want to know what is going to happen right now. I must trust though that God will give us a baby when he is ready. I pray he will wrap his arms around me and guide me through this challenging time.

I listened to a song “I have this hope” by Tenth Avenue North and the words really spoke to me.

Here are the lyrics:

As I walk this great unknown
Questions come and questions go
Was there purpose for the pain?
Did I cry these tears in vain?
I don’t want to live in fear
I want to trust that You are near
Trust Your grace can be seen
In both triumph and tragedy
I have this hope
In the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire
You’re with me and You won’t let go
But sometimes my faith feels thin
Like the night will never end
Will You catch every tear
Or will You just leave me here?
But I have this hope
In the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire
You’re with me and You won’t let go
So, whatever happens I will not be afraid
Cause You are closer than this breath that I take
You calm the storm when I hear You call my name
I still believe that one day I’ll see Your face
Infertility is so hard, but I will trust in God’s plan and wait. I will have hope and cling on God when my faith is low. I will not let this struggle consume me. I know God will calm the storm and bless us with a baby one way or another. If you are struggling with infertility or another crossroad, trust in God’s plan and remember everything is possible with God. (Matthew 19:26).

Letter to 37 year old me

In ten years, I will be 37!! Every year on this world is a blessing. I just thought I’d write a letter to my 37 year old self. 

Dear 37 year old Allison,

Where have the years gone? As I sit here writing this (as a 27 year old) I want you to remember a few things: always be kind, strive for happiness, never stop smiling, and keep reaching for your goals. You are so incredibly loved by God and he has the best plans for you. Have you been back to Africa? If so, did it touch your soul? How often do you think and pray about Beatrice? I hope you get to see her again one day. 

Since I anticipate you will have children, how are they? Remember to teach them to love others and be happy. Teach them to be positive and hard workers. I know you will be a great mom. I am sure it will be trying and exhausting, but you can do it. 

How is being a nurse/nurse practitioner? Are you making a difference in your patients lives? Never stop sharing your heart with your patients. You are so caring and your patients probably love you. 

How’s Gods creation? I hope you are getting outside and really enjoying it. 

How are your parents? Cody? Your brothers? Remember to cherish every moment with them. 

Never give up, Allison. Keep sharing your love and kindness with everyone around you.

Love,

27 year old Allison