Friday, February 15, 2013

And I have the best days with you...

I used to hate Valentine's day... I just thought it was this holiday made up by the candy and card companies... and that declaring romance once a year was lame. Even when I was dating someone... even when we first got married. Gabe was nice about it and even pointed out that it was our 6 month anniversary. I still said it was dumb.
But last year we had an experience that made me realize how cynical, and in all honesty, selfish I was being about something so trivial. A good friend and her husband had just split up and she came to visit us with her adorable little boy. Gabe and I found ourselves spending our Valentine's day searching through stores at the last minute looking for some pretty flowers, a vase and some chocolates for said friend. We weren't doing it because we felt the need to prove our love for her to everyone else. We wanted to do something nice for her, that's all.

So this year, I put a lot of thought into things. This is Gabe's senior year and most of his friends from freshman year as well. We have no idea where we are headed after graduation. So the wives got together and planned a surprise trip for the boys and because that was so huge Gabe thought that was all he was getting.
But instead I made this poster
and then took two hours to sit down and write him a letter... I haven't done that since our missions and this time it could be all mushy. It was fun and the more I wrote the more I realized how incredibly in love I am with my man. 

Of course how could I not be with notes like this
(Don't think I'm a dud Good things come from this stud)

Sharing sunsets like this

and coming home to this:
 Flowers (I love that Gabe knows how much I don't like roses) 
and a can. 
I know the can sounds kind of weird but he filled it and sealed it himself in his department.
The funny thing was I couldn't get the seal open... I broke our can opener. Here Gabe is with a pair
of pliers and what is left of our can opener.
Inside the can was my favorite candies and about fifty little love notes.
The notes had all sorts of things written on them,  from song lyrics to movie quotes, but this one was probably the funniest... Gabe hates Taylor Swift but when we were dating I would sometimes listen to her in the car and sing along(guilty pleasure) and he would always make fun of the songs.
So here is this:

Yesterday was great, and even better than flowers or candy was seeing how happy it made Gabe to give me all of those things. I love that man.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Be not afraid of who you really are...

When I was younger I used to hate that I moved around so much, especially when it came to nostalgic things that I felt removed from.

When I came to college, there was one of those 'introduce yourself with your name and something interesting about you' events and I decided it was interesting that I had never lived in one place for more than a few years. Much to my surprise, some people found that interesting too...

I have come to love that I moved around so much. As we get ready to graduate and move out into post-undergrad world I am ready to embrace the change.

A few other examples of things I used to avoid but now embrace...
My freckles
I have an opinion about things that are important to me
I am completely vulnerable when it comes to Gabe, and I trust him with that
That red tint in my hair that will not go away no matter what color of dye is used
I will never be completely tom boy, or completely fashionable but I am fine with a mix of both

Some other things I love about me...
I like shopping... for shoes... but that's about it
I believe in God, this has made my life exponentially better
I am really good at giving advice
I love quotes... and books... and the written word
Music really is my therapy
My family will always come first. Gabe is my family.

I am comfortable in my own skin.

Valentine's Day is tomorrow... and it is all about love.
What do you love about yourself?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

I've seen better days...

All of us need to believe that things will get better. No matter how dark the night or how long the struggle, we all need to believe that the dawn will come and that the tears of the night will be dried in the rays of the morning sun
                                                                                                                      Jeffrey R Holland

It has been a really difficult past few weeks and I feel so lost right now... but I have to believe things will get better and hope that my morning is coming soon.
And maybe get over myself a little bit.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Where the West was all but won. . .

I got a text the other day that said this:
"Hey just a friendly reminder, you haven't blogged in awhile. That is all."

It made me smile. We have been incredibly busy the last few weeks and while it makes time go by quickly, it seems like days that are that full become two or three by the time I go to bed.

Gabe shaved off his beard and is wearing contacts. 

It is so weird to see him without a beard. Apparently, his professors think so as well, one of them stopped mid-lecture to comment on it.

I realized I cannot do everything and quit my internship and put my online classes on hold. It felt good to not be running everywhere all the time. I have time to exercise and time to sleep. My house doesn't look like a war zone all the time and Gabe isn't the only one doing laundry. I love it. I don't know what it was so difficult for me to let go of doing everything, it seemed like busy was a habit. If I didn't have tons going on in my life I felt like in some way I wasn't accomplishing things.

But today I am going to be able to go the gym for an entire hour, I actually wrapped Gabe's Valentine's day presents... uhh the fact that I have even put together Gabe's Valentine's day present is pretty great. Maybe slowing things down isn't such a bad idea. And for the times that I feel like I need to be busier? There are always rooms in our house to go through and organize before we graduate, online classes to do and someone in my life probably needs some TLC.

And maybe I can capture a few more moments like this:

A Really Long Post About Food...

**Just as a precursor, this is a really long post. I wrote it over the past few weeks because I have been busy. But I wanted to write it down, in case I start forgetting why I am choosing to eat the way I do.

The January after we were married (2011) I was sick all the time. I had digestion issues, I was exhausted, my memory was horrible, my right arm would go numb, it seemed like I was even more klutzy than usual and if someone even sneezed in my direction I would get a cold... When I went into the doctor they said I had all of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. When I went to get an MRI the damage to my brain did not contradict this theory. At my follow up appointment the doctor said something just seemed off and that he wasn't prepared to give me that diagnosis yet.

After reviewing my history of blunt force trauma to the head (getting knocked out at a concert, falling off playground equipment, a car wreck where my head went through the windshield... etc) the doctor said he would hold off on that diagnosis and asked me if I had ever been tested for allergies, which I thought was random. However, when the test results came back I am really glad he had the insight to ask that question. I am really intolerant to yeast, my body won't process it, because for years I did damage by taking antibiotics for my acne. I am also sensitive to milk and gluten (I am not lactose intolerant, nor do I have Celiac disease, it is the proteins in these products that my immune system doesn't like).

I was excited to have a diagnosis but the implications behind it were somewhat brutal. A completely yeast free diet doesn't just exclude bread products but also root beer (if I drank alcohol that would be excluded as well), some fruit juices, fried fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, grapes, plums, ketchup, most condiments, many chocolates and shellfish. Add to that the fact that I was supposed to greatly reduce my milk and gluten consumption and I was completely overwhelmed.

We are poor college kids and to try and live off of foods that didn't include these items is very limiting. After reading more about my new diet (along with a cookbook with some gross recipes) I decided to try it out. When my symptoms became lessened I thought I would be fine with just doing a cleanse every 3 to 6 months. What I was doing to my body in reality was slowly poisoning myself, giving myself a temporary relief and then poisoning myself all over again.

This past December I was feeling off again, Gabe was worried I had serious brain damage and I was once again tired and sick all the time. I knew I needed to change. I knew that indulging in foods that were however delicious were doing damage to my body. I also realized that I needed to do more research about what it is I am dealing with and what I want to do personally.

So here it is:
I am off  baker's yeast completely and I have significantly decreased the amounts of milk and gluten I consume. After a few weeks, I really can say I feel a difference. I have more energy, I don't feel sick after eating, my skin has once again cleared up and I don't feel bloated all the time. Sometimes I look at foods longingly (I cannot tell you how many times I have ordered gluten free Domino's pizza with light cheese) but remembering how I feel when I eat those foods has really helped me avoid them.

I went to doctor after doctor, who kept throwing antibiotics my way. Those things have wrecked my body. I am hoping this isn't something I have to do permanently, but if it is I am all for it.

My body is a beautiful gift, and no cheesecake, no matter how delicious, is going to change the fact that I need to take care of it.