Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Sunday we took a walk. 
It was, quite literally, the very last few hours of nice weather for good here. 
It was 60 degrees, partly cloudy, and wonderful.
It was supposed to start raining that night and every day thereafter
just called for COLD. 
So, we totally checked out for a bit. Took a walk in the woods. 
It was nice. 
Until Griffin saw a group of boys driving their remote monster trucks through the woods. 
Then it became "why don't I have a monster truck to drive??".
Oh the drama. 
But all in all

It has been 30 degrees since. 
Bring on the Holidays, hot cocoa, and Christmas music!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Let's play catch...up.

Hi. Remember me? Yep. It's been awhile. I can explain. 
Let's bullet, shall we? 

Since my last post...

* We moved from a crappy, tiny house in a nice neighborhood to a more spacious, better suited for us apartment in a crappy neighborhood.
* I left my day job at an art production company and got what I thought was a dream job as a baker at a little cupcake bakery. Turns out it wasn't such a great job.
I got fired.
* I got fired because......I'm pregnant! (Yes, I know that is illegal. There're a lot of issues there.)
 But did you catch that last part? I'm pregnant! And I believe this one just might stick around. 
This week marks 17 weeks and we couldn't be happier. 

So, new place to live, new job, no job, baby. 

Yep. That about covers it. 

There are some other exciting developments happening and I can't wait to tell you about them! 

In the meantime, enjoy this picture of Griffin in his Halloweenie costume!

Oh happy day!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Super Pancakes!

Just a quick and aaaaaamazing recipe to share with you today.
Protein Pancakes! 
I tried this recipe from a fellow IGer, Rosie.
It is now my go-to pancake recipe. 
Here's what you'll need:
1C oats
6 egg whites
3 scoops vanilla protein powder (I use Whey)
1 banana
Dash cinnamon
Dash pure vanilla extract

Blend in your blender until there are no lumps and it's nice and smooth. Not gritty.
Ladle out onto your griddle like regular pancakes!
I am horrid at pancakes. 
CanNOT do them. 
But these?
Perfect. every. time. 
They taste like banana and cinnamon. 
I drizzle a little honey on mine and I'm good to go.
(I'm going to blend fresh raspberries in with the mixture next time!)

This recipe is clean and power packed with good stuff to fuel your body!

Now go make some of your own!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dear Griffin

Dear Griffin,
You are four now. 
A big boy.
I find myself saying,
far too often,
"You can do this on your own. You are four now."
when you request something.
Like I've been waiting and waiting for you to be this person.
And suddenly expect you to know that you are this person now.
I need to work on that.
You have always had a playful yet old soul.
You are still a deep feeler. 
You know when I am sad or sick and you are quick to protect and comfort me.
I love you for that. 
When times like that happen, I see who you will be to your future partner. 
And it makes me so proud.
You like to act like a baby sometimes but when the chips are down, 
you man up big time. 
You are in full LEGO mode now. 
You will gravitate towards anything LEGO.
Toys, books, movies, kits, clothes. Anything.
And Hot Wheels.
Oh the Hot Wheels. 
You still sleep with your Mr. Frog but no longer need him to go with you to 
Miss Colleen's house. 
You tell the very best stories. 
While you are telling a story, you look around the room and start to incorporate 
anything you see into your story.
I can imagine you being an amazing story teller to your children one day.
You are eating so well these days! 
Your favorite food is still pizza but you will eat fruit and milk and other foods I ask you to try
as long as there is a treat to follow.
I love taking you places now.
You listen to me and Daddy so well.
You stay by our side and happily tell us stories about when you were a baby.
You never EVER throw tantrums in public.
Big high five for that one, bud.
You love cutting paper and mixing colors. 
You are always asking us how to spell words these days.
You still love to blow bubbles and chase after them.
You have become so awesome at riding your bike!
We ride to the playground several times a week.
Although the 5 minute trip there usually takes 30 since you get sidetracked telling us 
stories and you have to screech your bike to a halt on the good parts of your stories.
 Your curls have been cut off for awhile now.
I miss those curls but you don't have baby hair anymore.
Your hair is course and wiry, like your PaPa's hair.
You are a bit addicted to your Gameboy.
Watching you play things like that at such a young age....
figuring it out all on your own...
(because God forbid anyone help you, you stubborn little rascal, you)
astounds me.
Every morning you wake up and ask if you can stay at home with me.
It breaks my heart to tell you no most days.
But the days that we get to spend together are so awesome.
You love to help me bake and I get an awesome test of patience on my end. 
You don't laugh at yourself too often when you make a mistake.
You get embarrassed, like me.
I hope to break you of that habit.
My favorite time of the day is right after your bath at night.
You smell so clean and sweet.
Daddy and I wrap you up in your towel like a burrito and hold you.
You love for me to read you books and for Daddy to tell you Noccio stories. 
You ask if you can see Sissy and Nana every single day.
Every time we pass a Moto Mart, you yell "SISSY"! 
Do you think she lives at the Moto Mart or do you just associate her with that place?
You have a million different smiles. 
Each one still melts me. 
I don't know what I did right in my life 
that I get to be your Mama.
But I am so insanely grateful.
You drive me crazy. 
You push my patience and my limits. 
Especially now, when things are kind of tough for me and your Daddy.
But I think that's what we need. 
We need to stop dealing with our problems and get down on the floor with you
and vroom vroom crash crash the ten million Hot Wheels you have. 
We need to stop feeling unabundant and hold you close.
Because you give the best, most powerfully healing hugs.
We need to say
"No, baby. I've gotta work."
And say
"Let's go for ice cream!"
My baby, you are exactly what we need.
Specifically designed for me and your Daddy.
I am in awe of you.
You are stubborn and beautiful and inquisitive and creative and nurturing 
and resilient and crazy and imaginative and well mannered and loving.
I will always love you.
I will always make you cupcakes.
I will always be willingly late to anywhere because you forgot 
ten minutes worth of hugs and kisses bye bye.
I will always push you.
When I do, I will always be right behind to catch you.
I will always cheer you on.
I will always do silly dances for you.
I will always let you give me neck farts.
I will always be here for you.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I've been debating on whether or not to write this post
and after much thought I decided I needed to. 
This might be TMI for some of you so feel free
to skip past his post if you feel like it.

My last visit with my doctor was the best one so far. 
I've slowed down to visiting once a month and at my last visit I finally got the news
 I'd been waiting for.
We could start trying for a baby!!
All of my hard work was paying off and my body was finally healthy enough to sustain a life!
Needless to say, I ran right home into the arms of my husband
and we did a happy dance together.
Literally. A dance. Get your mind out of the gutter. 
Right after we got the good news from my doctor, Griffin randomly 
started to put "babies" on everything. 
What's that little X there, Griffin?
Oh! That's a baby.
What's that little moon there, Griffin?
Oh! That's a baby. 
We were dying. 
He had no idea that we were going to try for a baby.  
We weren't too hopeful for anything to come about right away. 
After all, Griffin took almost four years to conceive. 
So, life went on. 
Several weeks later I received a package in the mail from my Bestie
One of the very few people who knew we were trying, she sent me a box FULL  of tests!
 I was psyched. 
I tore into the package and made a beeline for the bathroom.
Whataya know!
Four years to conceive Griffin.
About four days for this little peanut. 
I yelled for Matt to come upstairs and showed him the test. 
We did another happy dance. 
And life went on. 
New life.
A trip to my OB was made. 
A first ultrasound was scheduled. 
Goal planning was happening at home.
On July 7th, after I got home from a photo shoot, Matt and I began to deep clean the house. 
He left to go on a Target run.
I took it easy most of the day, per doctor's orders. 
I started spotting the day before. Nothing alarming. Normal. Just take it easy.
After awhile I did get tired, so I sat down and took this Instagram photo with the caption
"That moment when you need a break from really working hard at organizing/purging your house and you just sit and stare. Feeling tired but satisfied and productive. That moment."
I will always remember that moment. I was giddy with the new life growing inside of me and 
it was killing me not being able to tell anyone. 
I felt happy, peaceful, hopeful...
then crampy.
I sent Matt the following text:
"Bleeding again. Heavier this time. Stopping all work to lay down."
Matt came home and I started feeling better.
Then I got up to go to the bathroom. 
I sat down.
And I lost my baby. 

I screamed for Matt to come upstairs and showed him.
He held me tight while I screamed into his chest. 
In the blink of an eye. 
A life will never be lived. 
I will always remember THAT moment. 
That feeling that the life that was inside of me mere moments earlier was now in the...
Oh GOD. 
And for nine days thereafter I had a physical reminder of the ripping pain in my heart. 
A nine day full-on cramping, bloated, heavy period. 
I wanted to forget. 
I wanted to move on.
But the reminder was there. 
As a salve to my wounds, a few amazing things happened in that time.
I got to spend some days-on-end time with Griffin. 
The deep feeler that he is, he knew something was making me sad.
No bubble-blowing, mattress-jumping, dance party could mask it from him.
And he fiercely protected my wounded heart with snuggles,
proclamations of love,
squeezy hugs, 
good manners,
and silliness. 

He also turned four. His birthday was a turning point for me.
The physical reminder was still there but there was no sadness that day.
Not for one moment. 

Yesterday marked the end of the physical healing.
I woke up feeling like I lost ten pounds!
I woke up smiling.
Then I had an awful day at work.
But last night I had a date with our new heavybag.
I put my earbuds in, blasted the music needed, and punched and kicked
until I was smiling again.
I will always remember THAT moment. 
Little moments. 
Little life beginning,
life ending, 
life changing
All these moments are mine.
To rejoice.
To grieve.
To learn and grown from.
What have I learned? I've learned that it's not my fault.
I've learned to see the good amidst the pain.
I've learned that life goes on. This little life of ours goes on.
It is a good life.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


 Griffin turned 4 on Thursday. It was a fantastic day. 
As is his tradition, he got to eat his birthday cake for breakfast. 
He opened his gifts and mid gift-opening, he declared it the best birthday ever. 
Then he gave out hugs. 
Big neck squeezers. 
It was such a great moment for me. 
In these times of financial strife and uncertainty, Griffin was so crazy happy with what he was given.
I do not deserve him.

 We went to Sky Zone. It's an indoor, wall-to-wall trampoline gym. 
Griffin has a quiet leader personality. He observes, stays on the outskirts of chaos,
 and when he opens his mouth, kids listen to him.
He is tentative on his own, normally. 
But as soon as he stepped foot on the trampolines, his seldom shown fearlessness came out.
He did flips and rolls and "HEY! WATCH WHAT I CAN DO!" 
He jumped passed the big kids and adults, never being afraid of getting hit. 
He just knew where to go.
Proud Mama here.
 He asked for an ice cream cone cupcake birthday cake. 
This was the outcome!
He loved it.
Later my mother took us to Chuck E Cheese. 
It's not my favorite. 
But I have to admit that this particular Chuck E Cheese location did an overhaul.
It wasn't as crowded, they expanded the inside, the games were more for Griffin's age, 
and the food was pretty good. 
Griffin had a blast. 
He roamed free, dragging his Nana wherever he went. She bought a seemingly endless supply of tokens and when it was time to leave, there weren't any tantrums. 

It was a good good day.
Quiet, low key. 
Just us. 
Griffin was grateful for everything. 
And I am grateful for that. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012


I love this blog. 
So much. 
And I've really tried to blog in the last few months. 
I've gone to my computer,
sat down...

On January 1st, 2012 my health
my diet
my body
my outlook
my whole life
changed forever.
So, it has been hard to come and sit  here 
and pretend to keep doing what I was doing.
Go in the direction I wanted this blog to go.
I had plans. 
Lots of crafts.
Lots of cupcakes, recipes, sweets.
Lots of mommy stories.
With a little of my photography business thrown in.
I am no longer that person.
I wish I was.
But I'm not. 

So who HAVE I become?
How have things changed?
Here's the deal.
As you probably know, if you read this post,
Matt and I rang in the new year in the ER with an emergency gallbladder removal.
And as you probably know, if you read this post,
in June of 2011 I was diagnosed with Cutaneous Lupus.
Roll that all together along with sprinklings of 
an ear drum protrusion,
severe headaches and backaches,
atrophied thyroid,
inflamed intestines,
flopped uterus,
swollen liver,
severe exhaustion ,
and hair loss....
and you've got one mess of a woman.

Something had to change. 
I had felt badly for so long.
And I've got to admit that money was an issue. 
The not knowing what was wrong with me.
The whole story.
We had no idea what we were in for, financially.
But it got to the point where I just couldn't live with all that was wrong with me a moment longer. 
In January, after my surgery, a fabulous doctor was referred to me so I called.
He was 6 months out.
But his office assistant wanted a list of my symptoms.
I told her (at that time all I knew about was the gallbladder, the Lupus, and that I just felt like crap all the time) and we hung up.
In less than 5 minutes she called me back.
I was able to see him the very next week. 

So, my doctor.
I tell everyone that I see a Holistic Healer. 
But that's not really the case. 
Holistic Healer and Natural Healer is something that people can grasp onto.
But he is actually a Bedouin Healer.
Please don't freak out. Click off this post. Or judge me. 
I come from a long line of Medical Doctors on both sides of my family.
But this has always been my path. 
Before I knew what a Bedouin Healer was I knew that I wanted a doctor
who used vitamins, supplements, and food to heal.
And that's exactly what he does.
After seeing him in January, I've thrown myself and everything I've got 
into following his direction.
Plus going a little further on my own.
And I tell you.
I haven't felt this good in over a decade. 
I fully understand that this will take years to set straight
and a lifetime to maintain 
but I do know that I am getting better. 
I still have good days and bad days but on the whole...

So, that is how I've changed. 
Food has become the dominant force in my life.
And working out.
And healing.

My biggest fear has been that I have become 
or will become unrelateable to most of you. 
Or that some of you might judge me when I post a recipe for something sweet.
I still love to bake for others. 
But sweets have become just a dream for me. 

And I'm okay with that. 

 But over the last few days, my fears have been replaced with something else. 
At first, I couldn't quite put my finger on it. 
Many of my Instagram friends and Facebook friends have wanted to know my 
Many want to know how I've lost so much weight.
Many want to know how I possibly can stick to a "diet".
Many want to know more about Lupus.
Then it hit me. 
My fears have been replaced with 
A responsibility to talk freely about Lupus.
A responsibility to talk about food and how it does a body good.
A responsibility to lift others up as many have lifted me up. 
But the biggest responsibility?
To post about these things and a smatter of other topics 
without sounding preachy.
Without sounding judgemental.
Without sounding Holier Than Thou. 
You know.

I accept this responsibility. Whole heartedly. And eagerly!
Please know that I will be posting about MY personal experiences, symptoms, and lifestyle.
This is not an "across the board" thing. 
There are MILLIONS of paths out there. 
We all need to choose one. 
Even the healthiest of us.
I may report statistics.
I may report findings.
But I will NEVER claim that MY way is the only way. 
Please know that now. 

And please know that, although my blog will be taking a different route, 
there will still be other things on here that make me happy.
That drive me.
Lots of pictures of my main little man, Griffin
A little photography in general
A little thrifting
That's right. 
We sold our house. 
We will be moving (hopefully, if we can find a great house for a great rental price) in July.

So there you have it. 
I feel like I've written this post before. 
But that's okay.
I need to get this out.
In order.

I hope, after reading this post, you will stay for awhile.
And leave some love! I do love getting comments from you guys.
And you can ask me anything. 
Click on "contact" to email me or just leave a question in the comments. 
You can follow me on Instagram @lifethroughthislens,
on Facebook,
or Pinterest (although I need to clean up my food boards to distinguish 
what foods I used to make, what I'd make for others, and what I make now for myself
and my family). 

Good night, dear friends.
It's a new day tomorrow. 
Let's go grab it!




Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Links

I've got some great links I've been wanting to share.
So, without further ado...

Over the weekend, I made these.
Holy moly are they awesome. 
Now, I'm not supposed to have chocolate in my diet.
I made these primarily for Matt and Griffin
but I have snuck a few and wow. They stick with you and are packed with goodness.

The website that those protein balls came from?
Changing my life. 
Really simplifying everything for me. 
Exactly how my doctor needs me to eat. 
All in one place. 

Matt, Griffin, and I did this over the weekend.
It was soooo much fun for Griffin!

This morning's breakfast was done like this.
It works best with white bread but we had wheat. 
It still turned out awesome and we had such fun doing it!
You can check out some pictures of our version on Instagram.

This skirt is screaming my name.
Must make!

Happy Monday, all!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Working Through It...And a Recipe.

 There has been a LOT of interest regarding my new eating habits. 
I haven't posted anything before now due to the fact that 
I had no idea what I was doing until now.
I still have a lot to learn
but I'm less overwhelmed now and that has allowed me to 
develop a pattern, try out some recipes, and do more research. 

I will go into more detail soon but basically
(doctors orders)
I must eat a largely organic, clean diet 
free of ANY AND ALL high fat foods, fried foods, processed sugar, chocolate, and soda.
I heard my doctor tell me that and my first thought was
You know I live for cupcakes, right? 
And Diet Coke?
And Dr. Pepper?

But here's the deal. 
No one has ever looked me in the eye and flat out told me
"Cassie, you have been sick for a very long time. 
If you do as I say

On board.

There are a list of other foods and supplements and teas that I MUST include in my diet
but the "don't" list seemed really small at first. 
But then we started to read labels. 
Did you know that sugar is in EVERYTHING? 
Or High Fructose Corn Syrup that immediately turns to sugar the moment it hits
your system? 

Things quickly got overwhelming. 
As a woman, we tend to think in "diets".
There was no "diet" that fit this.
But then, I'm not on a "diet".
This is a whole new lifestyle.

So, starting small, I began making a list of foods that I love. 
Now, we are in the process of finding alternatives to those foods.  
The rule is that either I can live without the foods I love, 
or I can purchase an alternative to those foods (which is usually more costly),
or we can find a way to make those foods ourselves.
(By "we" I mean Matt and myself. He's totally on board with this and has embraced 
this new lifestyle as his own as well.)
The first of the foods that I love
is bread. 
We went to the store and guess what?
Sugar sugar sugar.
Oh yeah, and High Fructose Corn Syrup. 
Not wanting to delete this staple from my life, 
I decided to tackle this bad boy myself. 

I've only made one recipe so far but I think we'll stick with it for awhile. 

Basic White Bread Recipe
(Adapted from a recipe I found on about.com)

Here's what you'll need:
6 c flour
1 tbs sugar (SUGAR! Gah! I substitute the sugar with honey.)
2.5 tsp salt
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 c very warm water
2 tbs softened butter
BONUS! We started juicing and we add 1-2 c of pulp from the juicer straight
to the bread mixture.
DOUBLE BONUS! I add 2-3 tbs ground flaxseed.

 Okay, so first up, combine 2 c flour, honey, salt, yeast, and flaxseed.
Beat at a low speed and continue beating while adding the water and butter.
Beat on high for 3 minutes.
Add 1/2 c flour and beat for another 4 minutes.
Add 3 c flour until all combined.
 On a floured surface, knead for about 8 minutes. 
You can add more flour if the dough becomes sticky. 
You'll want an elastic-y consistency.
 Butter a large bowl and place dough inside.
Turn dough over in bowl so the butter gets all over it.
Cover for 1 hour.
 Uncover and punch down.
 Cut dough in 1/2 and cover the 2 halves with your bowl.
Let them stand for 15 minutes.
Roll each out and fit into loaf pans.
 As you can see, I only have 1 loaf pan. 
The other loaf gets stuck in a 9" square pan.
We call that one Ugly Bread.
Okay, now that the dough is in each pan, cover them with towels
and stick in a warmish place for 45 minutes. 
Then pop them in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.
 What comes out is a vitamin packed, dense loaf that is soooo yummy.

So, there you have it. 
I'm not gonna lie. 
It's a pain in the ass to make. 
The first time I made this it took me 4 hours total.
I've been able to get it down to 3.
But I've come to love the preparation. 
It requires my time and energy. 
Exactly what I should be giving myself and my family.

If this sounds appealing to you, 
kick your family out of the house,
turn on some tunes, 
and bake some bread. 
Oh, and grab your favorite magazine or book. 
There is plenty of time to sit and read and enjoy some YOU time too. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

HI! Yup. I'm Still Here.

As you can see, I've been a little absent from this blog 'o mine for awhile.
I decided weeks ago to just forgive myself.
My energy
my heart
my presence 
have all been needed elsewhere. 
And that's okay.

But today I have some links to share with you! 
Fun fun.

I'm so PSYCHED to try this.
Since my new lifestyle began (more info on this later), there have been some rough days.
Days that I have felt deprived from my old sweet tooth happiness.
But this?! 
Guh. Cannot wait. 

Good news!!
It has been a long 2 years of trying to move on. 
And now we can! 
So, a lot of what I'm looking into these days are easy, rental-friendly
things you can do to your home since we will most likely rent for the next several years. 
And this is just the ticket.

I'm doing this next weekend. 

Speaking of selling our house...
I've wanted to do this for years and finally get a chance to.

There you have it! 
Happy Monday! 
Happy Day!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Remembering Jimmie

My grandmother passed away peacefully in her sleep on Monday night.
I saw her just a few weeks ago.
She was always like Keith Richards, you know?
Old and through a heck of a lot but made of the kind of stuff that
will keep them ticking forever.

But one week can change everything.

This woman beat the death of her husband (my Grandpa "Doc"),
a near fatal collision with a semi truck,
The Great Depression,
she lived with emphysema,
& Diabetes.
All of that.
And more.

But in one week, she found out that after years of remission, her cancer was back.
And she had pneumonia.

She went into the hospital on Monday for further testing and to start treatments.
But after a few hours in the hospital she came to terms with her fate.
All she wanted to do was go home.

So home she went.

We rallied around her that night.
All those who were in town.
She had gumption right to the very end.
She was sarcastic and funny and spunky.
There were talks of reorganizing the first floor of her house to accommodate.
She watched "The Voice".
(Lady loved her some TV.)
There were jokes and hugs and "see you tomorrow"s.
We knew her time was soon so family began their travels home.

She waited until everyone was gone Monday night.
Then, snuggled in all comfy in her own bed and on her own terms, she exhaled.

(Photo used with permission from John Heusler)

She was made of some stuff.
She was, without a doubt, the leading lady of her own life's story.
Not many can say that.

She said it best to me and Matt on Monday night right after she got home from the hospital.

"It was a hell of a ride."

That it was. 

Martha "Jimmie" Heusler
6/24/27 - 2/6/12

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Resolution

I know it's almost mid January and I am still going to do a sort of Christmas and 2011 wrap up.
But not today.
Today I want to talk about a resolution.

A few months ago, I rewatched the movie "How Do You Know".
Cute, fluffy movie with little sprinklings of
Wait. What?
That was amazingly profound!

One of these profound moments was when Paul Rudd's character just learned he was to take the fall
for some underhanded dealings at his father's company.
The lawyer tells him something along the lines of
You will get past this.
But you have to come to terms with the fact that you will
never again be the person you were just moments ago.

That has been on my mind lately.
Don't freak out.
I'm not dying.
But there have been a lot of changes in my life this past year and the changes have only just begun.

On December 31st at around 10:30am my chest started hurting.
I had my first chest pain on 6/18/04.
Our wedding night.
Yeah. I know.
No idea where it came from but I woke up from a dead sleep and cried in pain for hours.
I've had them pretty regularly since then.
They were diagnosed as "Stress Induced Acid Reflux".
That makes sense.
Felt like heartburn and my life can be pretty darn stressful.
So there it is.
We dealt with it best we could.
Sometimes it was just a dull burn.
Sometimes I writhed in pain. Literally.
December 31st at 10:30am was no different than any other time.
Hon, I'm having chest pains.
We went to Sams to get some stronger Acid Reflux stuff.
I took it.
I hate taking medicine.
But I took it.
And it got worse.
All day, the pain kept getting more and more intense.
Finally, late that night when we were watching a movie,
Hon, when is enough going to be enough?
This is starting to feel like something different.
The pain has moved and I can't breathe without pain.
I didn't want to go to the ER because I had my diagnosis.
I didn't want to waste anyone's time.
But we went.
My mother was called over to stay the rest of the night so we didn't have to displace Griffin
and we rang in the New Year as we pulled into the parking lot.
It's gotta go up from here, babe.
They ran all the tests that have been done before that yielded nothing new but my father told me
to mention the word Gallstones and see if they would run tests for that.
Cat Scan.
A seven year misdiagnosed gallbladder chock full of stones.
Apparently it was rather large.
The pain came from one of the stones becoming dislodged in some tube
and acid was backing up.
I was admitted, was given a mass amount of drugs for the pain,
 and 12 hours later had surgery to remove my gallbladder.

Matt posted on my FB page my progress and I received a wealth of love and support.
Also lots of "In a week you'll be fine!" & "On the third day I felt so much better"
& "I don't really have to watch my diet all that much after my surgery".
I had high hopes.
Let me tell you, though.
It sucked.
For me, it has sucked.
I came home after 2 days in the hospital and I slept for 3 days.
I felt like I couldn't clear my head. And I couldn't even sit up.
Anything that activated any abdominal muscles made me cry.
Standing, sitting, coughing, sneezing, laughing, blowing my nose, anything.
And diet? That's a hard one.
Eat one thing, and I'm fine.
Eat something else I run to the bathroom within 10 minutes of consuming it.
(TMI? Sorry.)
Our internet was still down.
So I layed in bed with my thoughts.
For a week.

The monologue from that movie just kept playing in my head.
I will never again be who I was just months ago.
I heard about turning 30.
Your metabolism slows w a y    d o w n and you can't eat like you used to.
The rush to have whatever babies you will ultimately have begins.
My 32nd/33rd year has not been a banner one.
In 2011 I was diagnosed with Lupus, had my gallbladder removed, experienced
weight gain, hair loss
(although that would have been FAB if those two were in reverse), 
anxiety, depression, & wisdom teeth.

I have a road ahead of me.

I can't see too far.

But it's mine to take.

I can either go along as though none of this ever happened.
I can eat whatever I want, bathe in the sun, and continue to be surrounded by toxicity.
If I do those things, I will experience more weight gain,
more hair loss, more anxiety, & more depression.
And a slew of other things that can't be foreseen.

Or I can change it all.

Change all of my eating habits
(Who knew that foods on the "Good foods for Lupus" list would be bad foods on the
"You've had your gallbladder removed, now what?" list. Confusing.)

Work out.
But not for that rockin' bod every one chases after until February 1st.
For my health.
You know, to stick around.

Surround myself with people that make me happy.
Reach out to people whom I want to get to know more.
Stay away from toxic people and environments.

Have my wisdom teeth removed.
(It's just on the overall To Do list.)

Find a Doctor who will listen to my plethora of health issues and who will carve out
a way of life for me to live manageably and successfully.

Say NO more often when I'm overbooking myself.

Say YES more often to things that will make me really happy.

That's the bulk of the list for 2012.
The resolution?
That's it.
On December 30th, I started making a mental list of all the things that I wanted to
accomplish in 2012.
With photography, with this blog, with my family, etc.
But in just one day, my resolution came down to one thing.
Because without a healthy me, there is no photography, blog, & family.
The whole put your mask on yourself before helping the person next to you
mentality is in full affect.

Some things I'm totally clear on.
Some things are going to be a bit more of a challenge.
Like, my day job is the most toxic thing in my life.
It creates an unhealthy environment for me physically and emotionally.
But they pay me pretty well.
Our finances and life is balanced just as it is with the money that is coming in right now.
If I leave there and get paid less, what will happen?
Why go somewhere else and take money away from your family just because you want to be

You know what's holding me back there.
So that's what I'm going to work on.
How that will change the direction of this blog, I'm not sure.
But I'm rather looking forward to the change.
Because I'm all in.
I've got a supportive husband who is willing to change his habits too and a son who has proven
to be really really gentle and caring and tender when I need it the most.
So, yeah.
I'm all in.

Bring it, 2012.