Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What I'm Into-Jan '12

I've been inspired by my bloggy friend, Megan (if you haven't seen SortaCrunchy, you haven't thoroughly experienced the mom-blog scene)... she does a "what I'm into" post each month and I find her categories inspiring. So I'll use her format as my prompt and hopefully bring you some interesting tid-bits at the end of each month this year!

What I'm into (or was into) this January, 2012:

On my nightstand: are no books... I don't keep books on my nightstand, nor do I have time for free reading right now. I did, however, recently start a reread of To Kill a Mockingbird; one of my favorites! I'm mostly reading out of my Norton Anthologies for a Lit class I'm desperately trying to finish. On my nightstand are a water bottle, vanilla candle, almond & pistachio milk lotion, and picture frame.

TV show worth watching: Once Upon a Time, Parenthood, and New Girl are back! Pan Am is also back, but I've been a little less captured by it this month.

Movie I've seen: My roommates and I started a LOTR "marathon"... we'll be stretching it out over a few weekends, so I don't know if you could really call it a marathon. It is my favorite movie series and always has been. So many spiritual analogies and so much to savor each time you watch!

In my kitchen: wheat free, sugar free everything... lots and lots of fruits and veggies. And meat! Today, I went to the farmer's market and got red potatoes, strawberries, apples, and cucumbers. Yum.

In my ears: Coldplay and other familiar comfort tunes.

What I'm looking forward to next month: The beginning of my 3 month dating fast. I'll definitely be writing about this as it may be the only actual fun aspect of the experience!

...and that's what I was into this month. Happy February, everyone!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Gluten free has got nothin' on yeast free!

That's right.

Quick update from last post: I am working on bigger and better things for myHandH... maybe a new location, maybe just a new title... it's all very behind-the-scenes at this point.

And while behind-the-scenes happens, I am here to share about my new diet. I feel like I need to say, "That's right", again because me and diet don't really go together.

This is not a weight loss diet, though I probably will slim down from its potency. I've been going to a homeopathic chiropractor for the past six months or so. She has served as a chiropractor, nutritionist, and sort of lifestyle coach to me. Sometimes I roll my eyes at her and protest that her ideas will not work. But my immune system has been seriously strengthened because of the supplements she has me on and my headaches have all but disappeared since I've started getting adjusted regularly. Since the beginning of our time together she had been warning me that eventually, she wanted to take me off of sugar completely.

This was that week of confrontation. To make a long story short, she got my attention and made me realize that if I didn't at least try her diet plan for me, I would never see the positive effects of it. So here is the diet:

Yeast free! Which means:
No wheat.
No sugar.
No dairy.

The idea is that yeast builds up in our systems and since I struggle with health-related issues such as chronic fatigue, acne, and mood swings (which yeast build up is said to bring on or contribute to), I am a perfect candidate for the program. Yeast feeds on sugar, its favorite food and since the yeast already lives in my body, I have to get rid of it.

Well, when I left her office, I cried and said to myself, "A life without milk and sugar is not a life I'm interested in living!" Seriously, I said that. But in the past few days, I've been praying for the Lord to change my heart and help me to crave healthy foods that would fit in this diet. I also felt that I could give myself permission to ease into this huge undertaking. So this week, I'm doing no wheat and no added sugar (meaning I'm still allowing myself honey and agave, but no actual sugar-as-an-ingredient). If all goes well, I'll think about reducing dairy.

Grocery shopping for this project was fun. I went to my (favorite) Trader Joe's, of course. I bought things like:

Brown rice tortillas
Bell peppers, bananas, green beans... lots of veggies
Meat! ...though I need to buy more because this is now a major food group. Why does meat have to be so expensive?
Corn tortilla chips and salsa

So this is my plan. I will be kind to myself as I see how my body takes to these new foods. I will stave off cravings with will power and good snacks. And if I fail, I will have at least tried really, really hard.

More to come!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I've been on writing hiatus for no particular reason other than I've lacked inspiration. And I've been listening to this podcast where a professional entrepreneur blogger hosts other professional entrepreneur bloggers... they talk about the books their writing and how tough it is to be a mom while pursuing these careers. And I'm being lazy, not mentioning any names because I don't feel like linking to the podcast even though it's great. I'm just having that slow, tired, want-my-morning feeling. And because of these influencing mom bloggers, I've felt (I suppose) a little inadequate. Like, "Ok I'm not a mom, so why am I SO interested in these bloggers?", and, "Wow, myHandH has no direction... I just write about whatever comes to mind."

I've been thinking about ways to bring a greater focus to my blog. "Young Adult Christian Living in a Creative World"? That's the most compelling idea I have so far. If I keep all posts centered around that theme, maybe I'll reclaim the drive I once knew. Another reason I feel urgency to focus is because of my book project... remember back in May I announced that I'll be writing a book? {Sorry, but you'll have to forgive the very-specific-to-this-decade no link mood I'm in again.} Well it happened upon me that no one will be interested in buying or even reading a book that has no focus, no theme.

Young adult
in a Creative world...

I really want to add green living to the mix as well, but I suppose creation care could fit into "Christian" or "living"... and then there's homemaking, hmm. It's a process. I'll be back soon with a vision.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Pain is fuel.

I just got finished with a wonderful conversation with my mentor who articulated for me the feeling I'm facing. That is, feeling like I'm back in "the same place" again. And she offered me a beautiful illustration...

In contrast to a 'round and 'round farris wheel, the journey of life experiences is actually more like a trail through a diverse forest. Some spots are beautifully lit and full of mushrooms and owls and farriers and all those romantic things I believe to inhabit a forest. Other patches are dark and full of scary corner turning, peering, and running away from the big-BAD-...something. And sometimes I do feel like I'm in the same spot I was in 6 months ago or a year ago.

But I'm not.

It's impossible to be in the same place. Not with our God; not with the growth and work he does in lives. I'm further down the trail, but the bending and winding has brought me back to the same view. Everything around looks the same as it did during that terrible tragedy or that averse heartbreak, but I am not in the same place. And I might just be brought back to this view again, but then I'll be even further along.

So I've decided that heartache is fuel because I am in a different part of my life's path... and though I hurt over harsh stuff that throws itself on me in that life forest, I'm motivated to move. To keep moving down the path and into the next thing. That is, after I sit here and look at this all-too-familiar view for a few days.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Opener Highway

I don't like feeling irritable. Who does? I need a place to appropriately release the crabby. Hello blogosphere! {Feel free to click away... though I promise I'll try not to cross over into actual complaining.}

Synonyms for "irritable":
1. snappish, petulant, resentful.

Resentful? I don't know about that one, but snappish and petulant? Absolutely. I often get this way when I have too much expendable time on my hands.

Everyone is talking about Tim Tebow today and I'm just not on that band wagon. What's up?
I made my youtube debut with a cover of Green Eyes this afternoon... after HOURS of recording and re-taking and sound-checking (for which I feel useless... I want to play with real sound equipment) and it just wasn't as fun as I thought it would be. I had to end my time with the webcam saying "ok" to imperfection and though that sounds really insightful and mature, I'm not yet feeling the resolution.
I know there's a place for dry prayers; I accept this. But I sit down to pray with Jesus and feel like the weight of the world is hovering above my shoulders somewhere. {It's not on my shoulders, for I'm not in despair, but it's hovering right around there, all foggy and such.}


I'm going on a road trip. I don't know that this is the answer for all irritability, but it's an answer that works for me right now. I'm going to escape the weird, snappish petulance and spend some time with friends. Or not. I'm going to spend a lot of time driving, that's for sure. I'm going to see a new area, catch up with chums, and BE away.

I tried to write a new song last week and came up with a satisfying first verse and chorus:

It's like I'm on a road
of so many speed bumps and stop signs,
like I'm driving quite slow
in a vehicle of clumsiest kinds.

When will I get to opener highway?
When will I throw my arm out the window?
When will I see wild horsies and cows play?
When will I, satisfied, lay down my head on my pillow?

Yes, opener highway is what I'm after. Hallelujah for parents who are letting me borrow their good car so I don't have to take the one {Shamu} "of clumsiest kinds".

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Goals, not Resolutions

Resolutions are hard to keep... and resolving to change is quite extreme; rigid. However, I know that I need goals come every new year for the sake of who I am and how I function, so I've taken some time to set mine.

2012! This year, I want to...

1. Be a prayerful woman. Pray every day and when it gets hard or boring, pray a little more. When my feet hit the ground in the morning, Satan says, "Oh crap. She's up."
...I mentioned somewhere in here that spirituality has been tough lately. But praying a little more is what I'm gonna do. Because, as I was reminded in church on Sunday, doing something (like a spiritual discipline) when you aren't feeling it is not hypocritical or unauthentic. It's an obedient and faithful effort.

2. Keep my areas and my home cleaner. Make my bed once a day (even if it's evening and I throw the covers on and toss pillows near the head), do dishes and pick up clothes/books once a day; sweep often.
...Walking into a smelly apartment yesterday was a wake up call. None of us have been living there for the past couple weeks and though a full garbage was what caught my attention first, my wake up call was to communicate. I need to communicate my living and cleanliness needs and I need to urge my roommates to do the same with me... because Lord knows I can be a messy ma'am. We're just trying to create a home here. All of us.
By the way, "sweep often" is on that list because we live in a tiny little kitchen and somehow, every day, it gets nasty.

3. Exercise 3-4 times a week and eat right (for me). Drink water, take supplements, go to the Chiropractor.
...I'm already struggling. Motivation is so hard to grab hold of in this area. But I've made it a real real goal, so I'm striving. I've got to take care of this temple.

4. Publish a book.
...I went on hiatus from writing the autobiography this semester (not surprisingly) and I've actually come up with some new ideas for a book. I'm not going professional with this thing; just looking to self-publish something on Lulu by the end of 2012. I really plan to make it happen! And you can bet I'll keep you all in the loop. {Or hey, maybe I'll keep it a major surprise! Ok, shh... forget everything I just said.}

5. Be there for Laura and Gracelynn.
...Gracelynn is my soon-to-be-here(!!!) neice. Gracelynn Noelle. I'm throwing a shower for Laura, I've committed myself to being available for assistance in labor and delivery, and I'll be nanying little G part time. I'm thrilled!

6. Get plugged into a new community after graduation.
...I'll most likely be moving into my parent's guest house (unless I get offered a great out-of-state job!) after I graduate and currently, I'm grappling between staying at my church or going to a new, nearer church with a better established college/career group.

7. Have a 3rd annual Sleighbell Sisters' Soiree.
...wrote about that here.

8. Travel (near or far).
...I've got friends and family in Canada, Africa, Minnesota, Colorado, NorCal, Chile, Turkey, Tennessee, Missouri... the list goes on and on (and gets longer as I age... wow, a whole future post there!). Plus, I just feel better when I'm traveling. I long to visit London for the summer Olympics, but I doubt that will really happen.

Those are my goals! It just so happens to be a coincidence that 8 is my favorite number and there are 8 tangible goals to work at this year. Good things always come in 8s for me... nothing superstitious there, just detailed and lovely.

Do you have 2012 goals? {Or I guess I'll hear your resolutions too... if resolutions work for you, more power to ya!}