Category Archives: Adoption

Which Flare? What does a Lupus flare feel like?

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Today I go to two doctors to check on symptoms of inflammation. One is an eye doctor…my eyes have been on fire lately and the second is my regular check up to see if the Methextrate is working or we need to try something new. Many Lupus drugs have serious side effects, so I need to be careful and check blood work often.

Going to the doctor today got me thinking about all my flares the past ten years. I often get asked “What does a flare feel like?” My response is “Which one?”

My first flare was my worst…achy joints, high fever always, weight loss, fatigue, cold all the time. We started Plaquenil and within three months I was feel good again…a new norm of anemia, infertility and fatigue always, but not hurting.

My second big flare was achy joints, fatigue and hair loss. Patches of bald spots and an itchy scalp that kinda surprised me since I did not know my hair was connected to auto immune issues

My third big flare was my scariest. Lung inflammation. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack. I could not catch my breath and my chest hurt. Again, no clue my lungs could be connected to my Lupus.

This one has lasted the longest…mirrored more Rheumatoid arthritis than Lupus. It caused me to change my meds to focus on joint pain rather than fatigue. It caused my hands to go crooked and surprisingly has impacted my eyes. No clue if it is inflammation or allergy or random coincidence but my eyes have been burning. This flare also impacted my weight and fatigue and now thinning hair. A big surprise is the new inflammation in my stomach…food does not process which makes me feel malnourished.

The crazy thing is insurance causes me to need referrals and it is hard to know what can be treated with a GP versus a specialist. So much is determined by Lupus and is just confusing. So my goal today is to get answers and maybe a better plan. I feel good mentally, but Lupus can cause depression too and I have had that this time as well. Pray that God leads me to answers and wisdom today!

I am blessed with all the advancements in this tricky disease. I am learning to accept myself at my lowest weight, infertile, bruised from blood thinners, thin hair that does not grow out and feeling tired all the time. Learning I am who I am with this disease. No one can truly understand it through my eyes and what I go through each day to make it to the next as a mom and teacher and wife…but God is using this for His glory! Adoption and more has been a gift in this and I am not dead. I have felt like dying is near at times or even frustrated that my quality of life at 42 is so different …if this is 42 what will 62 feel like…will I live to see 72? Does my child get the mother he deserves?

In it all, I will take this life and live it awake. I will appreciate what I do have through a support system and medical team. God is good!

Today I am focusing on Psalm 136:1. I am giving thanks to God. Thankful for my body. Thankful for my medical team. Thankful for prescription drugs. Thankful for a supportive husband. Thankful for prayer. Thankful for days to take off for the doctor. Thankful for the beauty in the ashes. Thankful on purpose.

January 1st is just another day…

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To me January 1st is just another day. Whatever vision you had on December 31st could be done then…why wait? Why be dramatic about January 1st…it seems like it is setting one up to get on this hig emotional high then fail. However, I do love graduations to reflect and endings call for new beginnings.

Four areas I want to examine:

Relationships

Relationship goals…lifelong friends where you can be vulnerable and fail, but they pick you up.

Spiritual Habits

calendar of praying for a child

Health-mind and physical. I am hopeful to get answers to my weight loss, gain some weight, and not let inflammation bring me down.

My CG trainer and my spin class teacher- mix up the workouts!

Reading-both to grow and for pleasure

Bible Recap Reading Plan

I see these four areas as important to me and areas where I can grow. Work is important too and I have goals there…but at my stage of life…so much time is spent on making a name for myself as a teacher that it is exhausting. Sometimes I just need to live my life and bring that to the curriculum I know.

Teacher friends
Always a learner

My school family!

So today, give yourself grace. Notice the baby steps to be better, but do not suffocate yourself with strict guidelines. Enjoy the journey!

Be you and embrace it!
Appreciate where you are! Some may see this as being complacent but I see it as being content. You are enough!
I love hearing feedback from people I trust, but you cannot make everyone happy.
Move forward afraid.
This is a fun tool to track exercise or books read or classes attended…

Happy 2022. The year I blog until I get busy again!

The face I make returning to school after a long break!

The Magic of Christmas

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Something about this year felt extra special. 2021 gave us some scares and helped me appreciate the time we have together. I learned to not take the moments, the memories and the people for granted. I really went all in to the atmosphere this year and loved the process as much as the product.

Definitely love Christmas as a parent way more!!

The Creative Kid

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I am a teacher and I worry often about the education of my son. He struggles academically with reading and math. He has documented disabilities and sensory issues. He has ADHD…but this kid is SO creative!

He is a kid that sees things not as what they are, but what they could be. He was created by God and gifted to us through adoption. I was made to parent him, but his academic struggles stress me out since creativity is not tested.

I wish they tested being awesome because he would score off the charts! I wish school would focus on the creative mind…the mind you cannot teach-it is just there and it is valuable and priceless and will change the world. Until then, I will be his biggest fan and prepare him for a education that is narrow focused, but he is more than that.

So.much.more.

Killing it as a Snow Mom

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No one prepares you to mom in cold weather. Texas women do not get much guidance in handling kids during freezing weather and snow in an area that’s climate is just straight up hot. Exhibit A: Ridiculous Clothing

We don’t ski…enough said. Exhibit B: cooked from the pantry.

Pardon his booger nose…we blew it shortly after the pic was taken. We ate whatever we found in the pantry: tacos, mac and cheese, bootleg dumplings minus the chicken, chili with missing ingredients and lots of breakfast foods and frozen foods.

Who kept that fire going while dad worked all week? This girl!

Who got a workout in while all the whole house watched and tried to wave to the camera? Me again!

Who splurged with some snow ice cream and played outside every day in temps in the single digits? Me.Me.Me!

Hopefully you can agree that moms do what moms do to keep their children happy despite being stuck inside for 6 days straight. We made memories, had fun, learned a little and relaxed a lot! Looking forward to getting out tomorrow, but celebrating we made it today!

100th Check-in with Camp Gladiator

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I started Camp Gladiator boot camps at the start of the pandemic. With virtual teaching, home schooling, parenting, and staying at home…I just needed something for me. It started virtually then I moved over to in-person. It has been a great way to self care, connect with others, and improve my health all while setting goals and working to achieve them. Especially, when we started the foster care process, I needed something about me and to not let my frustrations explode. So 100 check ins was a huge deal celebrating discipline and sticking with something even when things got busy. January you get the workouts for free so sign up and join us online!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1c7d0zYcqI8HCNxFxD41D14ccuS10kZuAgU42WyhCuDw/viewform?edit_requested=true

If you sign up let me know! You can use Julia Tyndall as your referral!

Another added bonus is my kid and someday kids can go with me and run their energy out before bed. It is not always easy but it is worth it.

Adopting in a Pandemic

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As we restart our adoption journey, but this time through foster care, one major difference is all the courses available online. We lose the community…we loved our adoption community and still keep in touch with those families…but learning in your pajamas is pretty awesome too. In fact, doing the courses online is one of the big reasons the fire was lit to start. I learned today even CPR was online so that is pretty amazing also! I say all this to say if you have been praying about adoption then now is the time!

On another note, Happy Law Enforcement Day!

The biggest reason my husband got out of police work, is we adopted our son. Now we had a baby to care for and working nights, weekends, holidays just would not work anymore. He struggled that he was missing all the good stuff needing to sleep so he could go to work. He also realized the reality that he could be hurt or killed while on the job and there were other things he could do…so he resigned and started a new career.

Staying married while doing that job was hard, so I will always have respect for those that serve others and risk their lives for strangers.

Adoption is not Easy

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I have some friends going through the adoption process and I hate to say it, but when they ask how it is my first words are “really hard”. It takes a lot of time, paperwork, classes, background checks, videos, meetings and so many questions!! I think what makes it harder is you know you are doing a good thing so why so many obstacles? Also compared to giving birth, you have to prove yourself as a parent. Even 8 years later, the thing I remember most is how hard it ended up being.

The thing is you have no control. The timing, the person, the process…it is out of your hands. A lot of praying and trusting that others are looking out for you. But in the end…it is so worth it! When you meet your child and it all makes sense…adoption is the best gift from God!

One of our best blessings is our adoption is open! I posted this pic today and the first person to like it was his birth mom. Love we can keep up in this way and she can share in these moments with me. If God has put on your heart to adopt…go for it! No one I have met has ever regretted it!

The Storms Make the Best Waves

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Last week, the weather in our vacation spot said sunny all day er’ day…this week weather reports say storms and overcast all week.

Disappointing as sun just gives life to the soul, but a blessing as no one is hurting from a sunburn and we still play all day in the ocean…win-win! Yesterday, we grabbed our boogie boards and went out when the wind was blowing hard. Kinda crazy, kinda exciting, kinda stupid…those waves hurt! But man, such good waves to ride…tall, fast, fun…so many laughs and squeals. Constant sounds of “that was a big one!”  We went back at night and we had fun, but the waves were back to being calm and consistent…we began to miss the waves that were hard, crashing and furious and wild!

Isn’t that life? Storms make the best waves. The waves in a storm knock you out of your comfort zone.

Waves in a storm give you the restlessness and sense of urgency to..

Look for a new job.

Finally move.

Make the budget.

Have the tough conversation.

Go to the doctor.

Dry the tears and begin the next chapter.

Say yes to family.

Mourn the loss.

Stop wishing and start trying. In short, the biggest life changes come from the biggest storms. It was in my storm, we began to both work on our marriage and adopt our son. The storm gave us a new perspective to pack up or camp out. We chose to stay.

Storms make you stop complaining about the rain and start playing in it. And the reward to withering the storm is so beautiful and a direct promise from God that He sees you, loves you, was with you and will never leave you.

Rainbows are best seen after the rain. God’s perfect design for his children.

Today I ask you to pray for this family and their fight to beat Colon Cancer. You can google Staggs family to read more about them. They have used their storm to share about Jesus and the fight is stronger than ever right now. The most ferocious of storms are made easier when we stand together…I am standing with them in prayer.