Writing Challenge – Catching Up

I may not do this every day, but I will always do it. Or at least try.

Day #5 – List 5 Places You Want to Visit

  1. Top of the list is Europe predominantly France. I have talked about it here before but I feel strong connections to France and crave to know and have so many more. I am obsessed with walking the french countryside (see pic below).
  2. I would love to go to Thailand. For all the reasons listed here.
  3. I am obsessed with mountains and oceans so the next three are based off of that. I want to see Colorado.
  4. I want to see the Pacific Coast.
  5. I want to see Nova Scotia because of the light houses and landscape.

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Day # 6 – 3 ways to win my heart

  1. In all seriousness my heart isn’t up for bid so you cannot really win it, but for friendship # 1 way would definitely be being authentic to who you are. I just really appreciate those that own who they are and aren’t insecure about it. We all have baggage and we can own it and do our thing or we can run from it and create a false persona. I chose the first path and I choose people who do as well.
  2. Be a good friend. Don’t leave when the going gets tough. When my guy was super sick I found myself mostly alone. People were afraid to ask so they just didn’t. That was a blow because I just needed someone to ask. So many times we think we have to have the right words, but you really don’t. Most of the time the only thing people need to is feel heard and loved.
  3. Tacos. Plain and simple. Tacos.

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Day # 7 – 10 Songs I am loving right now….

I can tell you this is gonna be hard cause I love about 4-5 songs right now. But I have ones I always love. I will tell you what I love about some of them though.

  1. By far the # 1 song I love right now is Thunder by Imagine Dragons. I am not necessarily a huge ID fan, but the lyrics of this song…YASSSS!

Not a yes sir, not a follower Fit the box, fit the mold Have a seat in the foyer, take a number I was lightning before the thunder

How can you not get behind those kinds of lyrics? I grew up feeling different than those around me. I always felt like I was on the outside looking in and eventually I realized it was because I see the world very differently. I realized it was just my personality and I think this song just taps into that part of myself.

fdcd930d5170419e978927d110bc6f5e.1000x1000x12. Logic 1-800-273-8255…Woah this song and all the voices in the compilation. It is an amazing song. The meaning behind it. If you need to understand more of my why watch this.

3. I am not going to directly share a song here but I will tell you I like Post Malone. His lyrics well….But the beat and putting his lyrics with his beats…he is good at that. If you walk away from a post like this you should know one thing about me it is that I like edgier rap. Usually 90’s edgier rap. I always have. I am a huge gigantic contradiction to the world and I own it. See my reasoning for song # 1. I usually don’t like current rap much because to me it seems so surface. I like my rap for the lyrics and rapping about hardships in the world. Not ladies or drugs. But I do appreciate beats that PM has.

4. Basically most anything by Khalid. See my reasoning for liking rappers in # 3. His lyrics seem to be deeper and have a universal relatable meaning.

5. Tupac – Now he sings about real things. Keep ya head up is hands down one of my favorites.

You know it’s funny when it rains it pours
They got money for wars but can’t feed the poor
Say there ain’t no hope for the youth and the truth is
It ain’t no hope for the future

How is it he sang about issues he saw in the 90’s and we still haven’t figured it out? For real. I am kinda sick of it.

6. My love of 90’s music runs super deep. I like grunge and grit and Everlast “What It’s Like” is one of my top. I love this song so much! It is literally about empathy. Not sympathy. Empathy… we need more of that in the world. How could this song not make this list?

7. I remember being in my biology class when word spread that Kurt Cobain died. I remember feeling absolutely gutted. I remember hiding my tears as I looked around and none of my other peers were as moved by his death as I was. I remember wondering if this was how people felt when Elvis died. Basically, any song by Nirvana could make this list, but Come as Your Are is my favorite, but not for any particular reason other than it is just a great song. I listened to Nirvana on repeat before and after his death. I have listened to them a million times since.

8. You Were Meant For Me – Jewel. Again if you have been reading my blog at all you 71aZ2-HgLmL._SY355_know I am obsessed with Jewel. I feel like her career has been a timeline for my life. I literally can name a song from her on most major points in my life. This song in particular though is amazing. Her voice.

9. And because one cannot go with another – The Morning Song and Jewel. This song will forever and always remind me of my guy and dating. I don’t know why. My soul just felt so happy and that song makes me so happy. They just go together.

10. The Luckiest – Ben Folds. This spot was a toss up between my wedding song (Sammy Kershaw -You are the Love of my Life) and this one. Of course I love SK song, but my guy and I are so NOT country so it has always been weird we picked that song. But we did and I suspect the reason why has more to do with how we met and the lyrics. But this song…this is a great example of how I feel about my life. I have posted it a million time (okay not really but). I just feel like the luckiest. The piano is beautiful. His voice is majestic with the piano.

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Keto Thoughts. Week # 9.

whole30-newsletter-logoSo I am on the verge of a decision. I love Keto. But there are some things about it that I have to acknowledge and most of them are my own personal issues that I have to work through. They are:

  • I have lost my workout ability and lack total and complete umpf. I tried adding a banana as the keto book suggested and I bumped myself out of ketosis. My body doesn’t tolerate influx of carbs. There are a lucky few and I am one of them.
  • I have become obsessed with my keto #. I mean this in an unhealthy manner. I have a likelihood to become obsessed especially with this kind of thing and I have.
  • Sometimes that obsession for me makes me make poor eating choices like eating eggs and bacon for over a week for every meal because I know it works and it is easy. So yea that is my next one…I have very little variety and I am getting bored.
  • A lot of keto uses plant based sugars and ugh…I would rather go without any type of sugars or natural ones like honey and agave if I have some.
  • Finally and probably the biggest, I am struggling to get the nutrients I need without too much dairy and I am lactose intolerant, so I am finding my symptoms increased for that. I hate it.

Now that I have covered all the bad there is a huge amount of good and I want to highlight that as well. I have had great success with Keto and don’t see myself “done” with it. I feel like I am at a point where I need to take it to the next level, but before doing that I need to educate myself some more. But let’s look at the positives:

  • I have lost a lot of weight and inches and got myself back down to the smallest size I was in my health journey. I am 5lbs from my goal weight overall. Admittedly, I would like to lose some additional, but that goal weight would get me to goal of my family doctor and I with room to lose a bit more if I want.
  • I gave up carbs and processed sugar. On Monday, I will have survived without processed sugars for 10 weeks. I would have never dreamed that would be possible for me ever. But I did it and that honestly feels better than losing all the weight I have.
  • Fats are not bad and my blood pressure is lower than it has been. In fact, it was low enough my doc worried a bit.
  • I got to eat bacon every day for a diet.

So with all of that I am fairly certain I will be doing Whole 30 the day after my birthday. My birthday is in two weeks and I plan to celebrate via this diet. I have always wanted to do it and tried so hard that last few years and always failed or was scared away because of giving up carbs and sugars. Well guess what keto did for me. I tackled that beast.

I do really appreciate my morning coffee and Whole 30 does require that sacrifice so think of me the next few weeks before my birthday as I start to wean. I will probably be pretty grumpy. So this will be the next beast, but I have done that before many times and I can do it again.

And one final note before I end this post. None of this fad. I am not a fad dieter. In fact, these are diets that create a better awareness of your body and what it needs and I would argue the 21 day fix container system works similarly as well. It is figuring out healthy ways to eat because somewhere along the way I never learned, or forgot. The container system showed me portion and amounts, Keto helped me to see good and healthy fats and I suspect that Whole 30 will be more about my psyche and conquering the one last hurdle of knowing what is best for my body.

And finally, I think Whole 30 will let me get back to what I love and that is physical movement. It is pivotal to my mental and physical being so I have got to do this.

Writing Challenge Day # 3 and # 4

So I had all good intentions (don’t we always have good intentions) to post yesterday and never made it. So today I am doubling up.

Writing Challenge # 3 – The challenge for yesterday were my three biggest pet peeves. I generally don’t try and focus on negativity and pet peeves are sometimes teeming with negativity. But then I started to think about it and most of my pet peeves boil down to one thing that is respect. I want respect. Respect for self, respect for others and respect for respect. So without further discussion.

Pet Peeves

  1. Shut up. I hate that phrase and I think it is the rudest thing you can say to someone and NO ONE has a right to silence you. No one ever.
  2. Rolling eyes. Nothing good will ever come from an eye roll. I also notice it sets me off into a fit of anger. I mean all out fit of anger.
  3. Not listening. When people talk to you not to hear what you have to say, but so they can respond to you.

Writing Challenge # 4 – Write about someone that inspires you. This one is so hard but it is probably a cheesy answer that may make you roll your eyes. HARD. But see above. My husband inspires me. He is living daily with a debilitating brain disorder that causes him tremendous amounts of pain. It doesn’t stop there. He does it all while taking anti-seizure meds. Not one kind but two and tons of a pills a day. The side effects of those types of meds are horrible. It doesn’t stop there. He works so incredibly hard for our family and we appreciate it so very much. I think most would crack under the pressure of what he goes through daily. Add in there that people in his circle (including myself sometimes) forget he is dealing with TN because he complains so little. He doesn’t complain not because it doesn’t hurt, but because life goes on and things still need done.

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30 Day Writing Challenge

Writing Challenge Day # 2

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Today’s challenge to write about something that someone has said to you that was meaningful. So here we are…

This is something I hear pretty often and I think I pride myself on it the most….You are so positive. It isn’t that I am resistant to the reality of the world. I just choose to focus on the good. I struggle when people stay stuck in the same place. Myself is # 1 on the list.

When I interviewed for my current teaching position I interviewed with a lot of options and my boss said one of the things that put me above the rest was the positivity. I don’t just believe in being positive, I live it. Probably annoyingly so.

The negative side to that is I don’t tolerate the opposite very well. The jokes like calling each other trash or saying you are dead inside. Those fall extremely short on me. I don’t like them and shut them down all the time. It is just noise and filling up a space that could be positive to me so I ignore it.

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30 Day Writing Challenge

I am sad today.

17 years ago I started a blog. I had a voice I wanted to share so I found this place to do it. An online blog where I could write about wanting to have family and being married. I would pour my heart out there and would anxiously hit enter and what happened next was pure magic.

I was heard. I made friends all over the world and I don’t just mean friends. I mean friends. People who I had never met but became a part of my daily life as I navigated pregnancy, parenthood, miscarriage and everything else in between. I have met many of 6cece7e18ebc1177a6da7fc25a31bdbfthese people in real life and I have become so close to some that I have never met that they are more a part of my life than my actual friends.

This website…it doesn’t even exist anymore and the loss of that was devastating but because of the invention of regular social medias we have been able to maintain those friendships for 17 years. That is longer than most of the people currently in my life.

But last week I lost one. As in she passed away. I lost a dear friend and I have no real way to grieve and that is a struggle. When I got word of the news I shrugged it off as not shaking me. I went to sleep and I tried to forget. More and more Natasha and her impact on my life creeped up on me.

And I became sad. I am horrible devastatingly sad because I cannot grieve for her the way I usually would. In the real world you go to funerals and wakes and grieve with others. In the internet community it doesn’t work the same. I am also sad because I never really shared with anyone just why her death has hit me so drastically.

When I was in my darkest place when my guy had his brain surgery, and so we are clear I mean darkest. I reached out on social media in an attempt to make it feel more real or the hope that someone else could actually feel my pain. The post went up late and in the middle of the night and I was so angry.

I lost my faith and didn’t understand why we were going through this. Natasha reached out. Natasha who was fighting her own chronic illnesses battles. In fact, she was a pro at doing it and I and many of her friends would say she fought her chronic illness like a pro so much sometimes you forgot she was sick.

But she reached out and gave me comfort, helped me to better understand my faith in that moment and helped me to support my husband who so desperately needed me to put myself aside and be there fully. She was the only one. A stranger in a Texas who was doing her very own hospital stint at the time managed to me make me smile and find comfort when my world was very dark.

I took the post down because it was bitter and angry and not who I wanted to be in that moment or ever. But I wouldn’t have done that and gotten over that moment without regrets if she hadn’t read my blog all those years ago and I hadn’t returned the favor. If we hadn’t remained connected since watching our kiddos grow up via the web. .

The sad part about her loss is her chronic illness became a part of her, much of how my guy’s is a part of our lives. Hospital stays, meds, doctor after doctor and year after year. People forget to ask because it is normal. She set the norm for chronic illness to somehow just be normal.  And what happens in normal is we all just kinda forget. It is a real thing and real disease. But life goes on and people go on.

We are in that same normal now. A normal that forgets and that is scary.

But today I have been thinking a lot about Natasha and her sweet family. I am grateful she was on the other end of that cry for help. I am grateful to have known her and see her bravery first hand. I am grateful we met 17 years ago and that she loved big and fought so hard.

I am sad today. I am sad tomorrow. -MR

Writing Challenge: Day # 1

Heyla…I wanted to start a writing challenge here on my blog today. My blog is my space to be me and sometimes I feel like I say the same things over and over and over and I probably do. So here in lies the upcoming challenge. IMG_9232

Hoping you will consider doing it with me. Today’s challenge “List 10 things that make you REALLY happy”. So here we go.

My # 1

My family. The Eichenauer Party of Five. The E Gang.

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My # 2

Roxie the Doxie who truly believes she is human and loves her family so much and is probably the biggest drama queen I have ever met.

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My # 3

My health. My body. The work I put into me. I am so grateful I made the decision almost 4 years ago to do better by myself because I deserve it.

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My # 4

I know I said him at the beginning of this and yes I meant that. But I have him here on repeat because he is exactly what my life needed. A constant love that had no conditions and didn’t wane. We have been through hell and back at least 6 times. We know what it means to love when love is the hardest decision of all. I am in love with the look I get in my eyes and feeling I get when I am with him. He is my home and my happiness.

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My # 5

My career and my passion. It has been a long and twisty path to end up where I have. I also suspect that the the long and twisty is only beginning. This is my calling and my path and I have total and complete faith that God has called my heart and mind this way and I learned a long time ago to trust that feeling and my Faith.

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My # 6

It is either really sad or super amazing that TACOS are my # 6 on my happy list. My really happy list. I love tacos. I literally make tacos out of everything. The hardest struggle on keto for me is not getting tacos as much because of the shell. But I love them still and still dream about them often. I eat them for my carb up every single time. But tacos. Tacos.

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My # 7

My ability to read. Reading makes me so happy. I need it like I need air and water.

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My # 8

Writing. Repeat # 7. Same.

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My # 9

Twisty paths and my ability to push myself. My goal –> NEVER GET COMFORTABLE. Uncomfortable = Happy.

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My # 10

LOVE

Love always wins….with one caveat. You have to let it.

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Writing Challenge – 30 Days

Sometimes I cry.

I want to tell you the story of a woman. A woman who puts others well before she puts herself. She hasn’t quite mastered the art of selfishness. Though I am not even sure she wants to. Every morning when her eyes open she prepares her heart for the day. A heart that is kind and full of empathy.

She talks to more than 100 people a day. She always smiles and usually manages to add in a meaningful “How are you?” Not the kind where you don’t want an answer. The kind that comes with it eyes that shine a little brighter because she actually expects an answer. When she says, “I hope you have a good day” she is one of that actual rare souls who actually mean it.

But that heart, it beats mostly for her people, her selected few. She does what most mothers do. She gets her kids ready. She feeds them. She pushes them out the door and does their laundry. She gives them pep talks and long talks and the kinda talks that straighten them out. She does most of that without thank yous or the acknowledgement that one should have in those instances.

She loves her husband when it isn’t always easy, because it is easy when you truly love and that she does. She looks forward to the end of the night in his arms, or that weekend away or even just the way she waits for him to jab her math skills. The best though is when she has a fit of giggles about to make her bladder burst when he chides her about that crazy tree in the backyard that is growing all the green stuff…ya know…money.

She loves and she loves hard. She looks at the people in her life and she hopes and prays that they know what they actually mean to her and she vows to say it more. She wishes life could sometimes feel a little easier because sometimes the battles all seem like a little too much. But she has a warrior spirit and continues to fight on even though most of the time she rarely knows who or what she is actually fighting for because it all comes down to one thing….she fights for love.

She does wonder if she can handle more as she realizes if it is not one thing, it is another. And so we are clear there is always another. Sometimes when she is convinced her limit has been reached, she digs a little deeper and somehow finds a way. Because somehow one thing always becomes another and the another become one thing. And there is no option. Keep going she tells herself. It isn’t even optional.

When she hurts because the people she loves don’t return it she begins to wonder if she is worthy. A worthiness she truly understands is likely not found in THAT place, but instead inside her. Her kindness, her smile, and her quest to love. But tell her that.

But if you are wondering…she knows you left her text message read and not responded. A lot. She also knows what that means. She isn’t as important to you as you are to her. She also noticed that you shut her out from your life. Or that she bought you that gift and invited you to a meal in kindness, and not because you did not hurt her. She did all of that because that is who she is. Kind. Forgiving. Strong in the face of rejection. But so you know she has feelings and you hurt them and yet she would still be there for you because that is authentically who she is when she wakes up in the morning and goes to bed at night. And you know that which is I am guessing why you did that so easily.

She once heard a story, no several stories of more heartbreak and unfairness in the world than any one person should have to endure. But people tell her things because of that heart. The empathic one. Hearing once that empathy has pathetic in it or being told that she is too sensitive. She took it personal, but still she offers a kleenex, a warm hug, and some gentle advice that one longs to hear. Her goal to conquer the loneliness that comes with feeling like you are the only one to feel loneliness.  If only just for a moment she hopes to make those around her know the world is a good and safe place and that with her in it the world does care even when it feels like it does not.

But once no one is looking, or sometimes in her car alone or if she is lucky in a moment stolen away in her house alone. She can physically feel her heart break. She falls to her knees in hopes the weight that she carries can unload for just a minute. A break from the moment. A break from being the one who cares too much. Instead it manifests in tears, and a prayer that defeat isn’t near though it feels so. She grows angry and weary and wonders if there is more that she can possibly handle.

Then she stands up, wipes her tears and leaves that place. She puts on her face. She puts on her smile and she moves on. It isn’t that her life is so hard. It is that LIFE is so hard. Others lives, her own life, and LIFE. It is all so hard but so worth it.

But sometimes…I cry. – MR

The Downside of Keto & Figuring it Out

IMG_9094I love keto. What I love most is that in 8 weeks I have lost 18lbs and that I have crazy weeks like last week where I lost 8.5 inches. Yes 8.5 inches and that was with three pitiful workouts in that week. But the end of that sentence is the downside.

I have been almost 4 years at this point maintaining an extremely active lifestyle. So to find a diet that I am losing weight and feel amazing, but cannot work out has been a struggle. I don’t just work out for the weight loss.

I suffer from an anxiety disorder and it a key component in how I manage my OCD. It is also the best way I have found to deal with all the stress and emotion that comes from teaching, being a parent and just life.

The reality is that keto for me creates no umpf in any workout no matter what I try. SoIMG_9122 last week I started on Saturday I had a carb cycle day. A day where I ate pretty much whatever I wanted. I didn’t go totally crazy and eat like crazy, but I didn’t limit my carbs down to the 20 I typically limit it to any other day.

I did it again this week as well. As well twice during the week right before bed I consumed a full size chocolate bar. Nothing crazy high in carbs, but enough. This awesome thing happened I have been able to exercise more and am maintaining the loss of weight and inches. This is me flirting with carb cycling.

I am still researching and studying the science behind carb cycling, but I feel like it will work well for me and the reality is that I am feeling so amazing about this diet and I only have 7 more pounds until I am at my first goal.

I am staying the course and eager to see where I end up. Once I reach my goal I will again try and decide the best course of action. What keto has done for me is relieved me of my sugar addictions. I eat entirely clean. It also has paved the way for if I want to eat 21 day fix, Whole 30 or keep on Keto I can. I feel freed.

 

 

Saturday Sharing: Trigeminal Neuralgia

If you have read anytime at all you know that my husband suffers from trigeminal neuralgia and maybe you followed us over @ Our TN Journey. His journey at this point has been a long one.

Today is Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day and unlike breast cancer or alzheimer’s there is very little funding, awareness or even acknowledgement of TN. This awareness day is not just about spreading the word and telling the stories. It is about catching the attention of doctor’s, and organizations who can bring a broader awareness to this disease.

The short version of my husband’s story is he lived for years with what we thought was TMJ. He was diagnosed by a local neuro and hadn’t shared the news with me because he didn’t fully understand the diagnosis he received mostly because you don’t really know what TN fully is unless you can see the brain or the meds used to typically treat work for it.

4 days later I took him to the ER in the middle of a snow storm because he was in the fetal position on the floor. He couldn’t eat, he couldn’t talk and he could not function. I received the diagnosis in that ER room. It changed both of our lives forever. A little over a month later he was down in Indianapolis under going surgery to make his life more livable.

He now lives on a daily regiment of multiple epileptic meds and has flare ups. There is a big difference between then and now. He now lives his life in chronic pain that no pain med works for. He manages the disease with the meds he takes and lives daily with the terrible side effects of the meds. But that became his new normal after the surgery so it is our new normal.

This disease is called the suicide disease because people see no relief from the pain. If you don’t believe me go to youtube and look at videos of sufferers flare ups. They are the worst kind of pain.

Every year I post facts, but not this year. This year I will post a picture of how my guy and I looked before his TN was diagnosed.

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You can see how the three and a half years since all of this has happened we have aged a lifetime. This isn’t a feel sorry for me post. I don’t need any sympathy. This is the toll of trigeminal neuralgia physically on both of us.

But what I cannot take a picture of is the emotional toll it has taken on my family. It altered every single thing about my life. My guy and I have to work so hard for our girls and for each other because who we were when we met is so very different then who we were after TN.

So if you wonder how you can help. The best thing you can do is love and love hard even when it is not easy and probably especially even when it is not easy. Love will always win.