Once It’s Gone, It’s Gone…


I am still reading Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path, by Erin Loechner. I have to smile thinking about how long it is taking me to get through the book. It is a great book, and I am enjoying reading it…life is just so busy for me right now I don’t have the time to read as much as I would like. Does anyone else see the irony in that? I keep telling myself life will calm down when I am through with this semester of grad school classes. It will be better when I graduate with my Master’s degree. Life will slow down after I finish typing the rest of the summaries for my homeschooling families. I will have the opportunity to breathe when my husband and I successfully get all our adult children out of the house and on their own. Slowing down, saying “no”, relaxing, is always down the road, tomorrow, next month, next year…… it is never now. This day. This moment. I genuinely want it to be. I’ll be honest with you. I have a difficult time relaxing. Like so many wives and mothers, slowing down is not easy for me. Even when I am sitting, I am thinking of the million things I need to get done. This, let’s face it, can be exhausting in and of itself.  These are legitimate things. Things that if I don’t do them, probably won’t get done…and they need to get done…but, this is no way to live.

Lately, since beginning the book, I am thinking more about how and when to say “no” to activities. I am slowly learning that “no” is not a bad word, and saying no doesn’t make me a bad person. I don’t think I am meant to live this one life I have in exhaustion. God has plans for me, and He is not about having me burn my candle at both ends until there is nothing left.

So, with that said, I am continuing daily to make a concerted effort to slow down. I will try to enjoy each day because once it is gone, it is gone.

“‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.'”           Matthew 11:28

Autism Awareness-A Call To Action!



As some of you know, that have been reading my blog for awhile, I am a special education teacher. I am also a consultant and advocate. It has been both an interesting and rewarding choice for my life’s work. A choice that I have never regretted. At times, it has been fascinating and encouraging, and other times frustrating and overwhelming….much like life itself. There are good days and well, the not so good days.

April is autism awareness month. Those of us who are immersed in the world of autism understand that awareness is not just one month out of the year, but an every day call to action. As time goes on, more and more people are being made aware of autism because they are personally being touched by it. They have a loved one with an autism spectrum diagnosis, or a friend’s child, or a classmate or the family that sits behind you in the pew at church. Even though the CDC just announced that so far this year the numbers of autism diagnoses are stable, but up to this point, the number of autism diagnoses has accelerated over the the past 25-30 years. In the late 1980’s autism was known about, but considered fairly rare. My college professors said that I, as a special education teacher, would probably have more students with Down Syndrome or intellectual disabilities or learning disabilities than a child with autism. At that time autism was about 1 in every 10,000 births. By 2000 it was 1:150. Then it was 1:88. Now it is 1:68.

The people in this epic battle with autism, don’t always agree on what causes autism. They might not agree on what are the best therapies. Whether or not a strict diet will help ease the physical pain that often accompanies those with autism. Individuals with high functioning autism have their own issues with which to contend. “Oh, he doesn’t look autistic. I think he will outgrow it. Just give him time.” (As if, there is a specific autism “look” and “giving him time” only delays the intervention that is desperately needed.) Sometimes supports are overlooked because he seems “so normal” accept for his quirkiness. It is a struggle.

The journey with autism is real for a lot of parents. All these children that have been diagnosed over the past quarter century are growing up. What do families do when their child with autism grows up? The supports for adults with autism are sorely lacking. As these children grow up and age out of the school system, there will be a tsunami of autism in the adult world, like nothing we’ve ever seen before. We, as a society, cannot abandon these individuals or their families. Burying our heads in the sand, will do nothing to solve the problem.

This is a call to action. Not just to wear a special color on a special day, but to stand up and advocate every day. To make a difference in the lives of these individuals……

Autism Stats:

*Prevalence of ASD is estimated at 1:68 births (CDC,2014)

*It is five times more prevalent in boys than in girls.

*There is no known cause or cure.

*No two persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are alike.

*Early intervention (EI) is key! Outcomes improve when diagnosis and intervention occur early.

(stats from: OCALI- Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence)

A previous, older post of mine,on autism….notice the difference in the stats from the mid 2000’s to now.




Sick And Tired Of Feeling Sick And Tired


Can I be honest with you? I’m feeling kind of sorry for myself. Yes, I admit it. I’m having a “why me” pity party today. Maybe I’ll feel better if I tell my story. It has been a long time coming…….

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, also known as, autoimmune thyroid disease and chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, decades ago….as a young teenager. The doctor put me on meds and told me I’d be taking them for the rest of my life, because my body was pretty much destroying my thyroid. (my paraphrase, but that was the gist) At fourteen, what did I know about the thyroid or what it did?  I can honestly say, not much. I was obedient and took my medicine every day, but was completely clueless about all the other symptoms I suffered from, and all the ways the thyroid hormone (or lack thereof) can effect a person.

Over the years, I suffered from heat intolerance (when I get too hot, I truly get physically sick), bouts of hypoglycemia, weight issues (even with proper diet and exercise), dry skin, dry eyes (I had to quit wearing contacts), bloating, body aches (especially my shoulders and neck), fatigue, food intolerances (that I discovered later in life because I was just so used to feeling lousy that it was my “normal”), low progesterone, gut issues, and gluten sensitivity.

There are much worse things in life than having an autoimmune disease, this is true…..but, having health issues that no one can actually see can sometimes be disheartening. Being the one that can’t eat this or that is hard when friends and family want to go out to a restaurant. I love the more laid back schedules of summer, but literally can’t deal with the heat and humidity, going to the pool does nothing for me. I live most of my days with not enough sleep, because I have stuff to do, so feeling tired is a common thing.

About five years ago, at age 41, I suddenly had cramps in my stomach so bad, that I can only describe it as similar to labor contractions. You ladies that have had children, you know what i mean. I was doubled over. My husband wanted to take me to the emergency room. I wouldn’t let him. I was miserable for a couple of days…..and stubborn…..and probably a bit stupid for not going. I figured out that it was milk that was doing me in. I had drank milk my whole life. I loved it, but got to a point where it no longer loved me. I quit drinking my beloved milk. A few months later I wasn’t thinking and had a custard dessert that didn’t have milk, but heavy cream. Bam. Back to being doubled over. Then came the ice cream. It didn’t cramp me up, but did give me stomach aches. Blast! I cried over the ice cream. Seriously, people. Dairy was no longer my friend, we had become arch enemies.

Time passed and about year ago, I said to God (and yes, I talk to Him about it), “I’m tired of feeling sick and tired”. I started researching, and feel that He led me to some really good information on Hashimoto’s, gluten sensitivity especially in Hashi’s patients, dairy and soy triggers that also effect Hashi’s patients, and various groups of women (and a few men) that are living this autoimmune life. I have probably learned more in the past year about autoimmunity than I did in all the other years combined. I wish I had realized all the pieces to this puzzle sooner, but am grateful that I finally decided to take control of my own health. As much as I have liked my doctors over the years, they couldn’t know everything. Honestly, it has only been in about the last fifteen years that more and more research has come out about the relationship between autoimmune diseases and the gut. If the gut ain’t happy, ain’t no one gonna be healthy. Bad grammar in that sentence, I know, but I’m keeping it real. (interesting article about Hashi’s and the immune system)

So, anyway…..I have tried Trim Healthy Mama this whole year. I lost thirty pounds and quit sugar because of their approach and think it is a great lifestyle. With that said, I still have the gluten sensitivity, and dairy/soy issues that I need to address so I am on my first day of the Autoimmune Paleo diet. The first thirty days are the hardest. It is very restrictive because it is an elimination diet. All the things that could possibly be triggers for someone with autoimmune disease are out! I’m basically eating meat, lots of veggies and fruit, certain herbs and spices, you get the gist. I’m doing this because my goal is to feel better.

It is hard. I’m not going to lie.

But, I’m so very tired of not feeling as well as I know I could.