Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Long Time No Post... Goodies Inside!

Howdy! Long time no post!

Not to make excuses, but sometimes, life gets in the way of the best of intentions. In October we found out we were pregnant! November was filled with working, preschool, progesterone shots, nausea, Christmas shopping, etc. December brought my daughter's 4th Golden birthday and subsequent birthday party (complete w/22 kids!), more progesterone shots, more nausea, an 8-day cruise to the Western Caribbean for my hubby & me (Yay!), our 7th Anniversary, 2 Christmas', and well, here we are! Whew! It wasn't until yesterday that I FINALLY had a chance to breathe and get back to reading my favorite foodie blogs for inspiration.

So, truth be told... I have great intentions to keep up w/this blog and to post great recipes and new findings as I find them, BUT... I'm not making any promises. I'll do the best I can. :)

For now, enjoy some of my new favorite recipes from fellow bloggers...

Apple Cinnamon Stovetop Oats

Spiced Up and Stacked Pumpkin Butter Pancakes for One

Pear Peanut Oats
Quick Yogurt Parfait

Roasted Corn Soup

Greek Salad

This Ain’t Grandma’s Sweet Potato Casserole
Parsnip Fries

Choco-Mint Tingle Shake

Wedded Bliss Soft Ginger Cookies

Friday, November 12, 2010

Recipe-Free Foods

cooked Quinoa w/frozen Falafals topped w/BBQ sauce
freeze-dried Fruit Crisps
1/2 Apple w/a Tria Bar

Pillsbury Pumpkin Cookies
(Note: These are NOT healthy! But they're fun for the kids to make)
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Toss w/EVOO, salt & pepper and bake!

Fruit Roll-Up
Ezekiel Wrap w/PB, Fruit & Yogurt
And a few non-food favorites in the kitchen...
My Scentsy warmer w/"Gingerbread" scent in it
My PC Garlic Press
My Coffee Grinder for freshly grinding my Flaxseeds

Baked Oatmeal & Mini Santa Fe Casseroles

Life has been slightly chaotic lately with being just over 4 weeks pregnant. I've fallen way too lax with my "healthy eating" and NEED to get back to being more strict. I feel better and now there's a little Nugget inside me that is looking to me for a healthy start to life! What better motivation than that? So, I started this day right. I had some Baked Oatmeal w/a Virgin Green Monster (recipe under my "Recipes" section).

Baked Oatmeal
Adapted from PCI Provider's Voice * Vol 26 * #1 * Fall 2010

2 c uncooked oats
1/3 c Sucanat
1/3 c raisins
1 T chopped walnuts
1 tsp baking powder
1.5 c Almond Milk
1/2 c applesauce
2 T soy-free Earth Balance, melted
1 flax egg (1 T ground flaxseed, mixed w/1/4 c water)
dash of cinnamon and/or nutmeg (optional)
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine the milk, applesauce, butter and flax egg. Add milk mixture to oat mixture; stir well. Pour oat mixture into an 8" square baking dish coated w/cooking spray. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Serve warm. Cut into 8 squares.

My breakfast tied me over until lunch, which is good, because I took the kids on a field trip today to our local nature center. They heard a story about an animal that got lost and then we hiked out in the woods and did some orienteering. On our way back, we picked up some leaves and sticks and the kids got to make a cool "My Autumn Book" out of our items, rubber bands and paper bags.

Lunch was sooooo yummy! The smell while making them was making me not want to wait for them to bake!

Mini Santa Fe Casseroles
Adapted from Caitlin's Recipe

1/2 c onion, chopped
1 T garlic, chopped
salt, pinch
1/2 T chili powder
1/2 T pepper, freshly ground
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 c rice milk
1.5 c basmati rice, cooked
2 organic eggs, beaten (2 white membranes removed)
1.5 c cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 green pepper, chopped
spinach, fresh

Heat oven to 350 & spray casserole dish w/EVOO spray. In a skillet, cook the onion, garlic & EVOO on medium-high until tender. Add the salt & chili powder. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the pepper, milk, beans COOKED basmati rice, eggs, cheddar cheese, green pepper & onion/garlic mixture. Pour into large muffin tins. Bake for 25 minutes or until center is firm. Serve atop fresh spinach. This made about 16 mini casseroles.

Note: my version above did not firm up. It started to crumble when I took it out of the pan. However, it didn't bother me, since I was going to crumble it over the spinach to eat it together anyhow. I messed up when I made my rice so it was a bit watery. That could've been the culprit. And I didn't measure my rice milk exactly, so I may have just had too much liquid. Either way, it still tasted SO amazing that I ate 3, yes 3, of the mini casseroles! :)


A note about eggs:
My BFF informed me the other day, that an egg is NOT a baby chick. If you crack an egg, there is the yolk and the white, right? Well, if you look close enough, there's 2 WHITE stringy things on either side of the yolk. THOSE consist of the baby chick (or what would've been)... the yolk and clear parts are simply nutrients that would be given to the chick to help it grow. For some reason, this totally made me excited! I could eat eggs again! All I need to do, is remove the 2 WHITE things and we're only eating a nutrient source. :) So, this is how I reconciled my egg dilemma. Btw, you should make sure your eggs are ORGANIC. And P.S. If what I wrote above is not true, for some reason, please don't tell me! I want to enjoy my eggs! :)

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    My miracle...

    In 2006, the Lord blessed us with a beautiful baby girl. No complications and it only took us 5 months to get pregnant. Or so we thought... we hadn’t really been trying, but we also hadn’t been preventing for about a year and half. It was only 5 months from when we started trying. 

    Fast forward to 6 months after my daughter’s perfect birth. I went into the doctor with some complaints and after a blood test and an ultrasound, it was confirmed that I had a condition called PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. For those who don’t know, PCOS is the most common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age. It causes a woman to not ovulate and therefore suffer infertility, gain weight, and many other delightful things to her physical appearance. 

    But PCOS wasn’t the only thing that they found on the ultrasound that day. They also found that I was 3 weeks pregnant. A week later, I lost the baby.

    Fast-forward again a few months, and I was back at the doctor with symptoms of pain so severe I couldn’t get out of bed and which made me throw up. It was suspected I was also suffering from a condition called Endometriosis. Again, for those that don’t know, endometriosis is a painful disorder where tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus - the endometrium - grows outside your uterus. Displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it normally would: it thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. And because this displaced tissue has no way to exit your body, it becomes trapped. Surrounding tissue can become irritated, eventually developing scar tissue and adhesions - abnormal tissue that bind organs together. 

    I sought out the help of a doctor in Omaha, because he was said to be the best in the nation for surgeries removing endometriosis. We waited 6 weeks to hear back from him. He indicated that he could help us. It was a 1 month waiting period just to make the surgery appointment! And then it was going to be another 6 months before I could head down for my surgery.

    In January 2008, we thought we were going to have to push back the surgery because once again, we were pregnant. However, 9 weeks later, just after my birthday, we lost the baby again.

    That October, we headed down to Omaha for a laparoscopy. That’s where they make a small incision and place a light in your belly. Sometimes they can take care of the endometriosis and no further surgery is needed. In my case, they could do nothing because of the severity of my endometriosis and where it was located... which was all over my lower intestines.

    So, I returned in Omaha 2 months later and spent Xmas in the hospital recovering from full-blown abdominal surgery. During that surgery, they not only removed endometriosis, but also determined I had an adrenal gland issue and a thyroid issue. But, they were able to correct it all and we were told I would be “fertile Myrtle” now. Yeah, right.

    Since December 2008, we have been on 2 different fertility drugs, monitored daily temperatures, had monthly blood draws, tracked my cycle, had sex on the “right” days, got painful progesterone shots in the rear end, on and on... It wasn’t until this past June that I decided that enough was enough. We completely quit trying. And I got real angry with God. I questioned why He allowed his faithful people to suffer, I questioned why unfit mothers were getting pregnant & I wasn’t, I even questioned His existence and His love for me. 

    July 31st I visited a prayer cabin, by myself. Just me and God. And boy did He show up. But the main thing that happened there was this: for the first time, I felt peace that Izzy may be my only child. And I stopped questioning God’s love for me... until... Aug 6th.

    I was back on the surgery table, removing endometriosis, once again. This time, it caused my lower intestine to become glued to my uterus. And in case you were wondering, YES, that’s very painful! After that surgery, I realized that Western medicine had nothing to offer me. I had 2 conditions which are incurable. I could rollover and die or I could fight the good fight. I found a Naturopathic Dr and started changing my lifestyle. I figured I was going to do things God’s way, with God’s medicine. And it helped a lot!

    But the question returned, “Why, God? Why won’t you take the pain away? I’ve made peace w/never having anymore kids, even if I don’t understand why. But why, physical pain?” God kept telling me to read Job and I kept not listening. I picked up “Eat, Pray, Love” and it took me 3 weeks to read about 10 pages. God wasn’t ordaining it. I tried to get a church series from a friend who said, “I just don’t feel released to give this to you right now, for whatever reason.” God wasn’t ordaining it. Then Lisa gave her talk a few weeks ago and in our group, someone brought up Job. “OK GOD, I GET IT. I’LL READ JOB.” 

    So, last Thursday, I picked up my Bible and read the first 2 chapters of Job. And I got it. And I wept. And I repented. And I deemed that never again would I question God’s love for me, or God’s plan for my life.

    The next morning, I found out I was pregnant! :) So, the moral of the story is... I am living proof that God can make a way where the world says there isn’t one. And I'm choosing to believe that this pregnancy will be a success, but either way, God still performed a miracle in my eyes... both with my daughter Isabel and with this baby now.

    I've started a blog following the pregnancy and birth of our baby. If you're interested in following it, go here: http://the-miracle-of-punkin.blogspot.com

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Oh what a day!

    Oh what a day! Yesterday God reminded me, through a friend, that JOY is my STRENGTH. Put another way: My STRENGTH comes from being JOYFUL, despite trails and tribulations.

    This morning some of my very close friends (who also happen to be my DD's Godfather) handed over their 6-week old daughter to a local hospital to perform surgery and repair a hole in her heart. I prayed all morning without ceasing, in between tears, yet focusing on being joyful.

    God granted me a wonderful gift of empathy, but I'm not quite sure how to fully use this gift yet. My empathy allows me to actually feel the emotions of what others are feeling or the emotions of how I would feel, if that was me, and that was my daughter today.

    At any rate, it was a wonderful moment to pray all morning long with my DD. When I dropped her off at school I reminded her, "If Madeline comes to your mind today, you stop and say a prayer for her, ok?" At pickup time, she assured me that she had been praying all morning. (Did I mention my daughter is 3?!) At nap time, I witnessed her bow her head and say, "Jesus, thank you for making Madeline not sick anymore." It's a proud moment when you see your children on fire for the Lord. And praise the Lord, dear sweet Madeline came through the surgery perfectly!

    Now onto my yummy food for the day...
    Peanut Butter Cup Oatmeal
    1/3 cup oats
    1 tbsp peanut butter
    1 tbsp non-dairy chocolate chips
    sea salt, dash
    1 tbsp pure maple syrup
    coconut butter, drizzle

    Make oatmeal w/hot water. Add in peanut butter, chocolate chips and salt while oatmeal is piping hot and stir until well mixed. Top with maple syrup and melted coconut butter.

    I think these taste just like Reece's Peanut Butter Cups! Yum!

    I'm running low on groceries, but I'm also running low on money, as it's the end of the month, so I'm making do with what I've got. Here's what I came up with for lunch...
    Fajita Salad served w/Almond Milk and a Peach
    Fajita Salad
    Adapted from AllRecipes.com, Serves approx 4

    2 tbsp olive oil, or other non-hydrogenated oil of choice
    1 onion, thinly sliced
    1 pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
    1 cup sliced mushrooms
    2 tsp chopped garlic
    1/2 cup butternut squash, sliced into strips
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1/2 tsp sea salt
    salsa, for topping
    goat cheese, for topping
    1/4 cup fresh cilantro, optional
    Rice Chips, optional

    Prep veggies first.
    In a medium-sized skillet, heat oil over meadium-high heat. Add onions, peppers & mushrooms. 

    Cook until desired consistency (I like mine almost burned-like). 

    About a minute or two before the veggies are done cooking, add the garlic, squash, cumin & salt. Finish cooking. 

    Spoon vegetable mixture onto a plate. Sprinkle with salsa, goat cheese and cilantro. Serve with rice chips.

    *You can use whatever veggies you wish in this recipe. And adjust salt to your liking. I LOVED the squash in this! Next time I think I'd try leaving out the cumin and the goat cheese, though.

    Bon Appetit!

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Some Great Articles & Products

    I assure you I have not fallen off the face of the blogworld, but rather, just been overwhelmingly busy. To prove, I've still been following (just not posting), here are some great articles that I would recommend:

    Awesome blog post on misleading product labels.

    Caitlin's Swaps & Add Posts - look at the bottom of this one for the other 2 installments.

    Inspiring Teens!

    Today's breakfast was nothing special... a slice of toast w/almond butter and honey on it. I'm still working on trying to find a wheat-free bread that I like... any recommendations?

    Lunch was a little better. I made a GIANT salad. I've made this before, just never posted about it, so here you are... This is so yummy!
    Monica's Chickpea Asian Slaw
    I didn't make the salad dressing that she recommended. I used a jarred Annie's asian one instead. If you are following the Endo-diet, read label carefully...
    As you can see, this one contained Soy AND Wheat... both no-no's. I ate it anyway. Gotta use up what I've already got in the fridge.

    Lastly, I have a few randoms for you...
    I finally got a new food processor!
    Costco - $25! What a steal!
    I love this product! (But it contains soy, boo)
    I'm on a quest to find some all-natural personal/beauty products that I actually like. I LOVE this organic shampoo and conditioner, but it contains soy. :( If you aren't sensitive to soy, I'd HIGHLY recommend this. It can be found in your local CVS and Walgreens stores.


    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Did you know you're ROYALTY?

    by Alberto and Kimberly Rivera

    I saw you as a little girl putting these beautiful dresses on,
    Saying, “Mommy, Daddy, look at me.
    Look at the beautiful princess that I am.”
    You dressed well for the part because I say you are a queen.
    You are royalty, royalty

    And I remember looking upon your face.
    I remember washing over you with My tears,
    Because I saw the very day you stopped believing that you were a princess.
    And My heart broke and My tears flowed down
    My tears flowed down like a river.

    And I say, “Now, I am gathering you—
    I’m gathering every piece of your heart that’s been scattered.
    And I’m making it new; I’m making it new.
    And your countenance shall reflect the mirror that I’ve placed before you.
    Because you are to know that when I see you, I see the queen that I created.

    So, what will you decree? What do you want to see?
    What will you decree? What do you want to see?

    And this day—this day is your coronation day.
    This day you’re being crowned, you're being crowned and a scepter is being placed in your hand.
    For you are worthy; you are worthy!
    And I shall present you, I shall present you to the nations.
    And shall roll out My red carpet and you shall walk true with these.

    Because you were made, you were made to be a queen.
    You were made, you were made to be seen.
    And I see you. I see you. I see you.
    And I hear you. Even when you whisper. Even when you whisper …

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    The processed & artificial sugar addiction...

    It's so hard. I faced an eating disorder for a loooooong many years and from time to time, it rears it's ugly head. I think there is some truth to the fact that processed sugars are designed to get us addicted. For the past couple months, I've eaten zero processed or artificial sugar. I was still eating cookies and things, but they were HOMEMADE and the only sugar found in them was natural (sucanat, molasses, honey, pure maple syrup, etc). Then a week ago, I got PMS cravings and caved into the processed sugar, of course, in the form of chocolate mini donuts (my favorite junk food!)... I ate almost an entire bag of them for dinner one night. Since then, I can't seem to get enough sugar... cookies, candy, more mini donuts, cake, etc... I'm eating things I don't even like! And I've learned to listen to the voice that used to tell me to use food to stuff the things I didn't want to deal with. But that voice is nowhere to be found. This can only lead me to believe that PROCESSED and ARTIFICAL SUGARS are purely designed to get you hooked. It truly is like a drug. Once you start, it's horribly hard to stop. So, thus begins the cycle of cutting out artificial & processed sugars once again. Maybe I'll learn... someday.

    Friday, October 15, 2010

    Gingerbread Pumpkin Oatmeal & Pretty In Pink Pear Salad Dressing

    To say I had a "bad day" yesterday would be an understatement. Fights w/the hubby about money, breaking down about my infertility issues (I occasionally have "poor me" sessions), getting my period (2 days late) and bleeding all over my clothing (a normalcy for people w/endometriosis), etc

    Oh and just another reminder: NO subject is taboo on this blog. I will often say "inappropriate" things or things that make others uncomfortable. I don't write this blog to make people comfortable. I write this blog to put my true feelings on paper (well, sort of paper) and to lead by example that people need to start being real and authentic about who they are and what they are feeling.

    Anyway, it's no wonder that I dreamt about giant daddy long legs last night. And the only way to kill them was to squeeze their little bodies until all their insides came out. Gross, I know. Where does my sub-conscience come up with this stuff?

    At any rate, I'm a Christian, so I don't put a ton of stock in horoscopes, palm readers and things of the sort. But, I HAVE found a dream interpretation site that I really like. It seems to usually be right on! With today being no exception: "To see a spider in your dream, indicates that you are feeling like an outsider in some situation."

    Do I think this is an accurate interpretation? What do you think? Check out last night's posting!

    So, I am DETERMINED to make this a better day! And what better way than to start out with Gingerbread Pumpkin Vegan Oatmeal?!

    Gingerbread Pumpkin Vegan Oatmeal
    Adapted from Oh She Glows

    2/3 cup regular rolled oats
    1 tbsp chia seeds
    1/2 tsp ground ginger
    1/4 tsp cinnamon
    1/8 tsp nutmeg
    tiny pinch of salt
    1 cup almond milk
    1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
    1/4 cup pumpkin
    1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup
    1/4 tsp vanilla extract
    1 tbsp coconut butter
    shredded coconut, garnish

    In a microwave-safe dish, mix the first 7 ingredients. Whisk. Next add the remaining ingredients, except the coconut butter and shredded coconut and whisk until fully mixed. Place in microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir and let sit until thickens a little bit. In the meantime, place the coconut butter in the microwave for approx 30 seconds on medium, just to melt. Once melted, drizzle over your oatmeal as your "icing". Top w/shredded coconut for a garnish.
    Serves 2.

    NOTE: DO NOT skip the coconut butter! This was my favorite part!!!

    The cheapest place that I found this coconut butter is on Opensky.com. You can buy it from me on Open Sky here.

    Lunch was a simple salad.
    What I love about salads is that they are like a blank canvas in art. You can start with any type of greenery, add any type of fruit, add any type of nuts, add cheese or beans-if you want, etc.

    In today's mix: green cabbage, romaine lettuce, chopped apple, chopped walnuts & crumbled goat cheese. Served with 1/2 a slice of Rosemary Olive Oil Artisan Bread.
    I found this bread at Costco yesterday. It is absolutely delightful! This bread does contain wheat, but what I'm learning is that MOST breads contain wheat, if they're any good.

    The Endo Diet requires a wheat-free diet, but I'll be honest... I'm having a hard time! So, I'm doing the best I can and experimenting with non-wheat products and learning what does and doesn't work. Like my dinner roll flop! For now, I'm being sensible about it and that's all I'll say. I have a whole "wheat-free" post coming up soon.

    In yesterday's mix: romaine lettuce, chopped red pear and chopped pecans.

    I topped both salad's with a new homemade dressing: Pretty in Pink Pear Salad Dressing!

    Pretty in Pink Pear Salad Dressing
    Adapted from Get Natured

    1 ripe red pear (cored)
    3 tbsp white wine vinegar
    3 tbsp olive oil
    2 tbsp agave nectar
    salt, to taste
    pepper, to taste

    Combine all ingredients in a blender, starting on low and slowing increasing to high. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper, as needed. You could also add a bit more agave nectar, for a sweeter taste.
    Isn't it Pretty? :)

    By the way, Super Target in MN now has raw nuts!
    I found this near the bakery items and let me tell you... it was SIGNIFICANTLY less expensive than what you find at Whole Foods.

    Lastly, I'll close with this. You can find the cutest little decorated Halloween cupcakes here. Because nothing brightens your day, like an adorable pumpkin-decorated cupcake! :) Who says you have to eat them to enjoy them?

    Thursday, October 14, 2010

    The "Exposed" Movement - A Vulnerable Moment

    Have you heard of the "Exposed" Movement? If not, check it out here. And here is my brave friend Tina, who "exposed" herself while pregnant.

    After seeing Tina's post, I was totally inspired to get on board with this movement and expose myself as well. At least, that was my first thought.

    Unfortunately, my next thought wasn't so positive. "You can't do that. Everyone will see what your stomach really looks like. And since it can't produce babies, what good is it?!"

    Obviously this statement isn't entirely true. It gave me one beautiful and perfect baby girl (who is almost 4!) But since my DD's existence, my body has failed me time and time again. And I've failed it, too. Wow, there's a revelation!

    The truth is, I've never liked my body, even when I was 103 lbs. But, now I truly HATE it. I DESPISE IT. Because it doesn't work right. It doesn't do what it's supposed to do. It produces daily pain instead of children. It brings me sorrow instead of joy. (Clarity: I love myself, I just don't love my body. I have learned there's a distinction there.)

    I can honestly say that I have nothing nice to write in the space where my stomach is. So, truth be told, I'm not ready to expose myself. God has work to do in me. But one day, ladies and gentlemen, one day, I will stand exposed with the others. Until then, keep me in your prayers.

    Fast Food Nastiness

    I'm sure you've all seen the documentary, "Super Size" me, but if you haven't, you should. Here's another great article on the decomposition of fast food... particularly McDonald's. It's nasty!

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    Afterbirth: It's What's For Dinner

    A friend passed this article along to me. I must warn you... I am totally grossed out by what I read and saw! But, it made me understand why the rave of eating placenta has occurred. Watch and read at your own risk.
    Afterbirth: It's What's For Dinner

    30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

    1. The illness I live with is: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome & Endometriosis

    2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2008
    3. But I had symptoms since: I was a 9 years old, masked by birth control for most of my teenage years/twenties

    4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: My entire lifestyle, but mostly making peace w/the idea that I may never have another child

    5. Most people assume: I have surgeries because of infertility or that I can just go on the pill to make it all go away. However, I live in daily pain that gets worse if I don't have surgery. And going on the pill only masks symptoms, not the problem, and it doesn't do a very good job of that. Plus, the pill can cause abortions.

    6. The hardest part about mornings are: getting going... I'm tired ALL THE TIME, despite how much sleep I get.

    7. My favorite medical TV show is: I don't watch medical tv shows.

    8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: my pill organizer

    9. The hardest part about nights are: not getting good quality sleep; I wake often

    10. Each day I take at least 16 pills (This is an improvement from the 20-some I WAS taking)

    11. Regarding alternative treatments I: have completely changed my diet & am seeking out a Naturopathic doctor. I also see a Chiropractor 2x/month, have done Acupuncture, occasional massages & changed to natural personal products. I also have seen a Therapist 2x/month & pray constantly.

    12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Neither. 

    13. Regarding working and career: I am mostly able to work, but occasionally a few days per month I need to rest from the severity of the pain, so I put on a video for the kiddos.

    14. People would be surprised to know: I'm not as strong and I let on. I've already had 3 surgeries. I've had 2 miscarriages that are a direct result of my illnesses.

    15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: That there is no cure. I'll be facing this for the rest of my life.

    16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: change my lifestyle... eating, exercise, outlook, etc

    17. The commercials about my illness: Don't think I've ever seen a commercial about my illnesses???

    18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: nothing that I can think of; I haven't let these diseases stop me from anything!

    19. It was really hard to have to give up: dairy! Trying to have babies.

    20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: hip hop dance class 1x/week. I'm having a blast!

    21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: try my hardest to make a baby!!! Sorry, was that TMI? :)

    22. My illness has taught me: I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

    23. Want to know a secret? I get angry w/God about my situation often. (Don't worry, He can take it!)

    24. But I love it when people: who are dealing w/something similar come to me for support. 

    25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: I don't have just one favorite. I usually have something inspirational that gets me through each day.

    26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: I understand what they're dealing with.

    27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: How much closer together it's actually brought my husband & me

    28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: come visit me; send flowers; etc.

    29. What have you done to help others: started a blog; continue to be open about my illnesses/struggles, so they know they're not alone; pray!; listen!

    30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: loved & validated

    Most photos courtesy of stock.xchng