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Proximity Matters

I promised an update! It seems in every aspect of life I’ve been thinking about closeness. I wonder how many of us could better heal with people committed to being near. Physically, emotionally near.

I had all four kids for four days straight this week and closeness at this point has meant I’ve hit my touch threshold. This sweet boy doesn’t like to leave my side. Ever. He’s also been a bit whiny. Can you tell? No more touching! Anyone!

Then Ephram fell today and ran to me to be snuggled. Close. It immediately came to mind again that it matters and I wouldn’t trade the opportunity for anything. This proximity matters for healing-theirs and mine.

So I got to the end(ish) of the week and I’m exhausted but I missed my sister. The second Dan got home from work I went to visit her. Kate seemed agitated when I arrived. She had a doctors appointment today which tends to stress her out. Then a massage which likely made her sore. So I rubbed her wrists, turned on this incredible CD* and tried to get her to relax. Usually she’s laying smack dab in the middle of her bed but today she was to the side a bit. I scooted her over some more, moved her arm and layed down next to her. As I started to quietly sob, listening to the cd, feeling her so close, sitting like we have one billion healthy times before, she fell asleep. Within seconds.

I was so surprised! Neither of us are typically “touchy” people but it seems we both needed it. It allowed me to fall apart and it allowed katie to fall asleep and become peaceful. Again, close. Intimate. Healing.

Something in me was sewn back together laying next to Kate. The familiar feelings, smells, sounds of my sister up close and personal. Praying over her, believing God is near to both she and I. It did something to her too. It quieted her, released her body and mind. It reminded me how much proximity matters. It’s caused me to wonder what areas of my life I’m keeping my distance when healing or maybe restoration would come if I’d just get close. If I’d be near.**

*This CD is incredible. It is essentially someone praying over Kate 24/7 and reminding her of the character of God while we can’t be with her. I would suggest it for anyone who needs ANY kind of healing.

**If you can’t be near but you’d like to donate toward a nice, personalized wheelchair for Kate we’ve set up a PayPal account specifically for her health needs. The email is


September Wrap Up!

It has been ca-razy around here! Dan and I have started private school tours and they’re taking up so much mental space and physical time. Why an insane discernment process!

On top of that we are settling into the school year. My job as chauffeur is in FULL swing. Insane but fun! I don’t even want to look at our gas budget.

Next up in unimportant news, I have discovered zoodles. Apparently I am late to the game but as pasta is still giving me a belly ache post weight loss challenge, it’s been a welcome vehicle for marinara and pesto. I’m a bit crunched for time so I purchase the zoodles ready-made at Trader Joe’s. Speaking of the six week challenge I’m now five weeks post challenge. I measured my arm, chest, tummy, and hips and I’m down 10 inches total! That’s an extra three since the challenge ended. Woohoo!!

Next week I’m going to do a more detailed post on my sister but for now, a mini snap shot. We’re in a very slow and somewhat steady portion of Katie’s recovery. I’ve been setting up prayer times with kate with people from our church. The first time we had six people. The second time we had ten-with only one repeat! It’s so super humbling! We found ourselves praying a lot for Katie’s vocal chords/speech/words/mouth muscles. At one point a friend prayed specifically that kate would speak a sentence that week. She did! My mom was asking her to hold her head up and she said “I can’t”! Hallelujah! Thanks for continuing to pray! If you feel lead to donate toward a new wheelchair that’s specialized for kate, feel free to send money via PayPal to


Week Nine! Recipes included

Quick update! I’m three weeks out of the competition! I’m still feeling awesome.

Total weight loss-18.2lbs

Body fat- 4.5% down!

I hate burpees and bearcrawls. I just hate them!

I have a gym t-shirt. It must be real!

Okay now for the fun part. People have been asking me what I’ve been eating. So I thought I’d share a few favorites.

  • Broccoli and cauliflower rice. I get a bag of each frozen at Trader Joe’s. I cook them both separately on the stove, dice up the broccoli, combine, then add salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Super easy to portion out for the week and it’s yummy.
  • A friend of mine gave me this tuna fish recipe and it’s awesome. One can of tuna, DRAINED, with mustard and either relish or chopped pickles. It doesn’t taste like you think it would. I smear some avocado on Ezekiel toast and make a yummy tuna sandwich.
  • For breakfast I usually eat two eggs over medium on top of a piece of Ezekiel toast. With some sautéed bell peppers on the side.
  • I love burgers! I’ll make a burger from super lean ground beef and dip it in mustard. On the side I’ll have a veggie and a plain sweet potato from the microwave.
  • For a quick snack I like a chocolate protein shake made with unsweetened almond milk and strawberries mixed in if I didn’t have a fruit with lunch.
  • I brew decaf iced tea and have stevia on hand. I have an easier time drinking tea than water. So I know I’m staying hydrated.

I hope this helps!

Oh, The Things We Should Know

Over the past 14 months I’ve had tons of people come up and ask me how to be prepared for a trauma. They haven’t used these words but it’s usually a mom who has wide eyes and says something like “is everything going okay?” Or “How do you know what to do?”. I’m reading a book called GOLIATH MUST FALL and as I’ve soaked in chapters on anger and anxiety I felt like it was time for a post on being prepared for something unexpected. A complete oxymoron, I know.

  1. Have a complete will/living will. I yelled at my sister about this all the time, we even had a conversation about it the week of her brain injury and she didn’t listen. This made everything harder the first few months! I can’t express this enough, call a lawyer and leave a message TODAY. Ive got a great one if you are in Towson. This has nothing to do with who gets your pearl earrings and everything to do with who gets your kids, what to do if something terrible happens to you, whose in charge of medical decisions, etc.
  2. Get life insurance. Again, I have a few awesome contacts if you need them in Baltimore. We obviously haven’t needed life insurance but we all will at one point or another.
  3. Have the terrible conversations. My sister was super clear with who was supposed to care for her kids in the event of an emergency. Everyone knew what to do. We went out and bought a van and that was that. She believes deeply in Gods sovereignty and didn’t want to be attached to a ventilator for life. Luckily we never had to make that decision but I was prepared.
  4. Listen. This seems silly but it’s true. Katie and I talked daily. I knew it all. I knew how she felt about spanking, school choices, clothing brands, her favorite soaps, etc. I have the privilege of reminding her babies of their mom. I can go on and on about her and answer all the questions they could have. I hold the memories they try to keep. It’s hard to admit but Vera probably doesn’t remember her mom pre-brain injury. She was only one! What she needs from me is to be the storyteller and for me to do “it” (whatever that may be) like Kate would’ve. There’s nothing that brings a smile to those sweet faces like telling a story about the day they were born or how pleased Kate was when they learned to walk or talk or giggle. So listen!
  5. Repair broken relationships. There are a lot of hands in the pot. There are relationships I have that I wish were really healthy before all of this happened because now there is not much time and energy left to try to fix them. Katie needs a well oiled machine in the people that love her most and that’s not always possible if we have our own junk in the way. So repair relationships! Not just in case crappy stuff happens but because you’ll never regret it! It’s time well spent.

Sorry to be a downer. I hope this helps you in some way to be prepared for life!

One Week Post Challenge

So first of all it seems insane to post about this when there is real stuff going on in Texas. When my sister suffered a brain injury last year and all. of. the. hell. started I was constantly annoyed that people kept living their lives. How dare people care about lip balm when my sister was in a coma and pronounced essentially brain dead.

I’m feeling the same way now. People are hurting and my weight loss is meaningless. The crazy thing is, had I been working out back then I bet I would have survived the last 14 months with a bit more sanity.

So to keep it short and sweet. I added back egg yolks and cream for coffee. I’ve tried to pretty much keep everything else the same. I gained a pound back! I’m sure it will be a few weeks of influx until I’m losing again. To keep me motivated I joined an online, thirty day, 4% weight loss diet bet. I’ve got four pounds to go!

I’m loving more things already!

I love so many things right now I felt like I needed to hurry up and make a list before I forgot!

1-QALO rings. So we took a vacation to the Florida gulf in April and I ACCIDENTALLY lost Dans wedding band on the beach. Oops. We ended up buying him a QALO ring for a couple reasons. One: super cheap ~$30 and two: safer. As the Director of a climbing gym he was constantly having to take his ring off in case he injured his finger. Now he can keep it on all the time since this ring can be clipped with scissors if necessary! Double win! Of course I wanted in on the fun so I got a few stacking rings for when I’m being outdoorsy or traveling. His is plain gray. He’s loving it!

I ended up losing some weight this summer and these rings are falling off. I got this ring off Amazon from Enso Ring. It was a fraction of the price and is holding up great!
2-This Jewelry box! I was on the hunt for a jewelry box because I hate clutter and was SO over my jewelry tree and other random holders. I found this awesome box that you can hang on the wall or over the door. It can also lock! I love it and I love that I can see my jewelry and also get rid of my over-the-door mirror that is so noisy.

3-Outdoor Storage Bench. Are you sensing a theme?? Our porch was becoming cluttered with adirondack chairs and our front closet was packed to the brim with outdoor toys. Enter: the storage bench. It took Dan MAYBE twenty minutes to put together. Now our porch and our closet are both way more organized and manageable. And I don’t have to schlep the never ending bubbles in and out of thehouse. 

4-pretty much the only thing that Lillian plays with every single day is dress-ups. A family member gifted her this dress up rack and it is darling! Bonus is that Judah loves pulling all of the clothes off of the rack and so I can watch a war in front of my very eyes whenever I want!

5- I’m someone who needs to write out a thank you card while I’m thinking about it or it will go on my long “to-do” list and get lost. A few of my besties SPOILED me on my 30th birthday and I wanted to get thank you gifts immediately while I was still on cloud nine from spending the night away from my kids. So I went online to Walgreens and had these made THE SAME DAY. I think they turned out adorable and now we have a memory on our fridges of my birthday celebration! You can also change out the picture if you want at a later time. 

6- I did a fitness challenge this summer and part of it was to consume two protein shakes a day. I finally met a protein shake I love. It took four tries! I wanted it to be chocolatey and delicious, Is that so hard?? Well I am happy! It tastes like I’m drinking chocolate milk. Dymatize iso 100!

7-Warby Parker. My niece scratched my cornea a few months ago and it’s taking forever to heal. I wasn’t quick about going to the doctor for the first time in my life and my vision has been affected. So I was out to find some distance glasses. A few people suggested Warby Parker. They have a program where they send you five pairs of glasses for free. Then you send them back and pick what you want. There’s no catch! If you don’t want any of them, you don’t keep any. I got my first batch and didn’t like any of them. We’re lucky enough to have a Warby Parker in Baltimore so I went downtown and picked out a pair. When I got them in the mail I hated them! So I’m on my second box now. They have free exchanges and returns for 30 days. Here’s an example of one of the pairs I could end up with.

That’s all for now!! Happy last full week of Summer vacation!

Time’s Up! Six Week Challenge is Complete

Warning that this post is a bit long!

So I finished my last weigh in of my competition. You may remember that at the beginning of this challenge I had to choose to either lose 5% of my body fat or 20 lbs. I chose 20 lbs. I kind of regret that!

I have never weight lifted before in my life beyond high school gym class. Truly it was totally foreign to me so I really had no clue how my body would respond. I think if I hadn’t gone to the gym I would have lost the 20 lbs pretty easily. But that would’ve been lame. The whole point is to get healthy not to like my number on the scale! So I worked by butt off (technically up 😂) and I’m so shocked but I have some muscles! There are areas of firmness! Truly I am so excited by the way the gym has transformed my body.

Ok time for the numbers:

Weight lost-15.3 lbs.

Body fat percentage lost-3.5

Inches lost-6! (I took measurements of my right arm, my bust, the largest part of my tummy, my hips, my right thigh. This number is the sum of the total inches lost from those areas.)

Im going to reflect a bit about the entire experience. WSA was awesome!!! One of the owners, Josh, is a friend of mine from high school and his honesty about the program really sold me. I think because I know him I also trusted that he wasn’t being a used car salesman. I am so clueless in this fitness arena and he was super patient with me as I asked allll of the possible questions. Here are some things I loved about WSA

  • The coaches were super knowledgeable. As I said, I’m clueless so they really stuck near me to make sure I had excellent form in everything I did. My hubs was nervous I’d injure myself but I never did!
  • I did 1000 things I’ve never done before. It is so fun to be challenged and to leave drenched in sweat every single time.
  • Nobody is screaming at you. I had this preconceived notion that the coaches would be yelling at me to hurry up. Or worse that I’d be the last at everything and I’d hold everyone up as I did every last push-up. Nobody was standing around watching me be slow! Everything is done in cycles so you’re doing your own thing.
  • They were really great at modifying. I am TERRIFIED of box jumps. I have visions of falling face first onto the wooden box and chipping all my teeth or crushing my cheek bone or something. So coaches let me jump on stacked weights. One day I was having very localized pain in my abdomen so Josh altered the workout so I could still be successful. They don’t want you to die!
  • All of the other gym goers were kind and helpful. No mean girls! Or guys.
  • The schedule was perfect for our family. I went to the 6:30am class as much as I could and it worked really great for me to get it in before our day began.

I just loved it. I’m going to post weekly with updates on how it’s going after the competition.

I am so surprised to say this but I miss two things. It’s not cake or chocolate, pasta or cheese. Egg yolks and decent tasting coffee! I’m adding them back in immediately!