Health Update and Oatmeal Cookie Granola. The best granola. Ever.

A lot of people have asked for an update on my health and where we stand with what has been ruled out for a diagnosis. In order to appease curiosities of my loved ones I have compiled a list as seen below of the diseases we have currently ruled out. Thank God, I find myself currently in the clear of the following diseases: Scurvy Testicular/Prostate Cancer Erectile Dysfunction Feline Aids I do not have a twin growing inside my head in the form of a tumor with teeth. (This one was especially relieving) Chlamydia and other such STD’s, including-but not limited to- crabs, genital warts and pregnancy. Center abdominal Groin Strain Hysterical Pregnancy Immaculate Conception Postpartum depression Male pattern baldness Rigamortis Foreign Accent Syndrome  (Although I have to admit I was hoping for this one, sincerely.) Things we know I have: Extreme Fatigue Fat. Phronemophobia– (The fear of thoughts or thinking) A serious case of virginitis despite the fact that I have been pricked more times than I can count. (by needles, of course. Get your mind out of the gutter) A severe and often unstoppable shopping addiction. Then general attraction to the wrong type of guy due to a disease called Collywobbles which creates the butterfly feeling in your stomach. Witzelsucht Disease: A Rare diseases that causes the victim to make bad puns and jokes at inappropriate moments. From the German witzeln, meaning joke and sucht meaning yearning. Thank you for all who are concerned, and I will continue to update you as my progress toward answers continues to grow. Also, I’m holding a contest to name my disease, since no one in the world seems to know what I have going on, I’m under the impression I’m the first of my kind. So my mom and I were sitting on the couch discussing possible names and I thought, why not put it to a vote? So lets hear your ideas! Now onto the recipe shall we? I love this recipe because its so easy that even if you have collywobbles and witzelsucht disease blocking your chi, its easy to do. I make this all the time, even when I feel like crap its easy. I always double the recipe because I eat so much of it. I never get enough of this granola mixed with fresh berries and vanilla yogurt. Yum.   Oatmeal Cookie Granola – from Seriously Delish Cookbook. Mind you, this recipe calls for mini chocolate chips which are WAY better as it evens out the chocolate throughout all the granola and it ads something nice to the texture. In the pictures, you can see I substituted regular size because it was 4 am and I couldn’t go to the store, but I WANTED THIS GRANOLA. So, anyway, here we are. 2 1/4th cups old fashioned 1 cup sliced almonds 1/2 cup ground flaxseed 1 Tbsp. light brown sugar 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp. salt 1/2 cup honey 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, browned if you want to add a nutty, sweet taste. Not a necessary step but it does add to the flavor. Your call! 2 Tbsp coconut oil 2 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, almonds, flaxseed, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Heat a small saucepan over low heat and add the honey, brown butter, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Stir until the liquid is warm and the ingredients are melted together. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture over the oats. Stir it with a large spoon and coat and bring the mixture together. Spread it evenly over the parchment covered baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then use a spatula to toss the granola. Bake for another 10 minutes, then toss again. Bake for 10 minutes once again, tossing it twice during cooking time. This step makes it nice and crunchy. Remove from the oven once baked and let it cook completely before adding the chocolate chips.  

I’m sorry.

  Well, I think I need to explain my behavior this week. This describes the daily battle I’m fighting. I’m a mess. That’s basically the explanation I have for you. My pain since loosing my friend has about doubled due to the extreme grief and stress the whole thing has caused. In all that grief, my body has broken down even more than usual. By the end of every day I am lying on the couch with my mom cradling my head in her lap as I writhe in pain asking God why he won’t take it away. The pain has been so bad that I have burned through all of my pain killers and my doctor, due to not knowing how to help me and not having a diagnosis, basically has told me to find another doctor, leaving me unable to get refills of my medications. I can’t really explain the desperation you feel when you feel like someone has lit you on fire a majority of your day. To top it all off, I have discovered through my hair analysis that I have heavy metal poisoning to some extent (only one of the many issues) that actually causes a physical reaction of anger and violence. So every time I start to feel the pain or fear, I get angry. Then the anger makes me question the God I love and I fall into a pit of despair. I do this several times a day right now. To top that off, the pain doesn’t really allow for much sleep at all. I believe with all my heart that God is Good all the time, which actually makes this whole thing harder. Not being truly able to blame him for this makes me feel like there is no where to place the blame and I just end up feeling all that anger on myself and despising this world for the pain it provides.  It makes me hate myself for my weakness, and not trusting in God, and it makes me hate every doctor and every person who ever doubted that this pain, this burning life destroying pain, was real. It makes me hold on to bitterness and hurt that does no one any good. Even as I find myself completely disparaging the God I love, asking him why he hates me. Asking him why he wont help me. What sin have I committed? Have I not been truly following  you? I feel like Job. Completely stupefied and angry at the loss he feels. The pain he feels. But God is good. Today is the perfect example of my current perfect storm existence. It started out bad. I hadn’t slept at all, and I was already starting the day in pain. Then there was good news. My parents and I called my cellular analyst and spoke with him for an hour and a half because the pain has been so unbearable and we needed help. He walked me through the entire process of why my body was behaving the way it was, and is sending an herbal treatment that he is absolutely sure will help with my pain. Not only will it help with my pain, it will likely work within 15-45 minutes of using it. WAY faster than a pain pill with less side effects. He said he would have it to me within a week. I was ecstatic! After years of going to doctors who couldn’t help me with the pain, this patch he was sending has worked on this same kind of pain almost %100 of the time! How close I felt to God in that moment. Crying in joy as I recognized that I wouldn’t have to keep taking these awful opiates that I hate. And that it would work more efficiently>? It felt like unreal news. Better than I could have ever expected. But then I ran out of pain pills. And I realized that I couldn’t make it through an entire week with NO HELP with my pain while I waited for my pain patch to arrive. In this moment, the fear set in. Terrified of 7 days and 7 nights of burning hellfire on my skin. Of no sleep. Of no rest. I couldn’t do it. I can’t do it. Unbearable! How could God ask this of me? How could he do this? So I felt the anger come in on the tail of my fear. And it rumbled in my gut spurred on by heavy metals poisoning my body and mind. And all of the sudden in a matter of minutes I went from feeling blessed by God to completely abandoned. I cried, and wrote my previous doctor that had dropped me asking for help, texted friends asking for help. Anything. Wrote my heart out on my facebook wall because I NEEDED to not be alone in this and God had left me. No matter how many people reach out to me, something about this pain leaves you feeling so endlessly alone. I was convinced, yet again, in my weakness, that God had forsaken me. That he hated me and I hated him too. Then I got a call telling me that my previous doctor had filled enough for me to last the week. And I was back in the graces of a God who loved me. Hours wasted of fear, anger, sadness and a feeling of abandonment all while God worked out his perfect plan for the child he loved who doubted him. How fickle am I? How tired he must be of my incredible lack of faith in weakness when he always comes through. Often much later than I want, but still. How many times will I doubt the God that has endured much more pain than I could ever know? How many times must I ask him why he’s forsaken me before I realize that he is behind me the whole time, where I cant see him fighting my demons away. I am in pain like I have […]

A lesson in gratefulness? A revelation? A blessing.

I went to Roberts funeral today. It broke my heart to see his beautiful smile before me in a picture at the pulpit, sitting next to his red bass guitar never to be touched by his hands again. It’s been so long since I had seen that smile. Really seen it. Sitting there, as I was listening to the pastor speaking about his life, it made me realize something. Bob had a really good life. He was in a lot of pain that he didn’t share, no doubt he was fighting a hard battle that he just couldn’t fight any more. But his life, however short it was, so clearly affected so many. He moved the world with the joy of his spirit a midst the hardest battle of his life. He loved, he laughed, he smiled. Always. God shined through him. After the funeral, I went home and looked through old photo’s and video’s of the time I had with him. I found myself laughing more than crying, remembering his joyful spirit and how much completely ridiculous fun we had. So I kept looking. Kept watching. Then, when I ran out of pictures of Bob, I kept going. I ended up searching through every photo and video I have from 2006 to now. And looking at all the faces of the good times and wonderful people God has placed in my life, it made me take stock. Of everything. It made me see my life clearly for the first time in a long time. It gave me my hope back just in the nick of time. Just as I was completely emptied out. God has a way of doing that, have you noticed? Like Bob, I’m fighting a gruesome, awful battle that often makes me loose sight of what’s important. A battle a lot of people don’t see. A battle I often can’t see past. But the lord has written it on my heart once again that which he wrote so long ago. To focus on that which is true, and noble. Whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—Those are the things I should be focusing on. Just like Bob, I have a wonderful life. This post is my way of focusing on that which is good. And a lot of what is good? That’s you.   My dearest friends. My family. You make my life full. Isn’t that what all this is about? What all this fight is for? John 13:34. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. Human connection. It’s so much more important, and more lasting than we give it credit for. It means so much more than we recognize. I don’t think I realized until today that every single person with which I have a relationship carries with them a piece of my heart. Years can pass. Decades. Marriages. Births. Deaths. Fights. An entire world can set you apart from them and yet, there is no parting with the piece of your heart they carry or the piece of theirs with you. My heart, therefore, is scattered all throughout this world. That’s how I want it. A piece of it living with my friend Dave in Illinois. A part of it with my cousin in Nashville. What about the person I befriended from Africa? Where is he now? He has a piece. And then there are those who have passed, moved on to be with God. My beautiful grandmother, and irreplaceable Bob. Part of my heart is up there in heaven with them as well. It’s a terrifying thing to truly love someone. Much less so many. It leaves you open to a world filled with pain. Mourning, grief and betrayal. But it leaves you open to so much good as well. I couldn’t regret it even if I tried… And believe me, there have been times I have tried. Times where relationships left me on the floor in tears, raw and broken. Or throwing a dish across the room angry.  Those who have hurt me, those who have loved me, those who have left me, and those who have stayed. In the end, it really doesn’t matter. They are always carrying the part of my heart that I gave them long ago. And amazingly enough, even when you think you are tapped out, there is always another piece of heart to give. I get distracted a lot by my pain. I forget how much love there is. How many people hold my heart. And how incredibly grateful I am that they have given me a piece of theirs. I don’t see many of them these days. Unfortunately being sick has taken away a lot of the energy that I used to maintain relationships. There are more days than I care to admit where I can’t even brush my hair. But I realized today, crying over a lost loved one, mourning after a piece of my broken heart, that it was so important to me that these friends, these holders of my heart, know that my love for them is as strong as it was the day we last saw each other. At our best moments is where my heart remains. At our happiest times is where my focus lies. I remain with them through their ups and downs, joys and sorrows, and I will remain with them until death. I choose love. Painful, raw, wonderful love. I hope one day I will get better, and I get to have a HUGE party followed by thousands of small ones where I can rekindle all of these friendships. Meet new spouses or babies. Hug them again, laugh with them again. I want to fly to California, and Illinois, and Nashville, Ireland and Oregon. I want travel across oceans and desserts and see the world with the people who share my heart. But I don’t know […]

My dear friend

I have a dear friend, His name is Robert. Bob lost a battle this week. He shot himself and no one knows why. We start a new year with a disheartening loss. One that the world couldn’t afford to lose, but it did anyway. In this new year, instead of celebrating the beginning of a new year, I wanted to write my friend a letter celebrating his life. My Dearest friend, It was a gun you used. The same type of machinery that my brother used to teach me how to defend myself. The same piece of machinery I’ve looked at, held in my hands a thousand times.  Hands that have grasped for joy, and for peace. Hands that have held a child, and cooked a meal for you. Hands that touched your shoulder as we hugged goodbye the last time I saw you. Hands that ached in such pain as they held on for dear life to what little they had left of your soul, and still we had to watch it run through our fingers. It was a gun you held. What were you thinking as you looked at your hands? The hands that held your child, and held your lovers hands. Where you were thinking the same things I fight through every day of my life? Wondering why you’re alive. What is it all mean? Is there purpose? Are you good enough? And how the hell can any of it be worth all of this pain?  Did you wonder the same questions we all have asked? How can people be so horrible? How can they not see what is right in front of them? How can they not notice the clues you slip into conversation? The cries for help that are loud but never loud enough to get through all the bull shit. All the selfishness, and the noise. Did people do it to you too? Know that you needed help and send you on your way without the hope you grasped for? Or did you do it to yourself? Did you think that no one would understand? Or care? Did you think you wouldn’t be needed or missed? You were wrong, dear friend. You are needed. You will always be missed. You fought the same fight that we all do. An underdog fighting against the odds. Against the pain. Against the enemy. You were caught by surprise in a battle and given a tool you were told would fix it. Like an apple that shows you the mysteries of the world. My dearest friend, you lost this battle, but I believe with all of my heart God won this war. Satan had no hold on you. He may have confused you, He did everything he could to defeat you. He showed you a way out and told you it was the only way out. Like Adam you were confused. You wanted more from this life. We all do. But like Satan in the garden, he did not win your soul. I thank God for his grace, and his knowing your beautiful heart. Your giving and kind spirit. Your laugh that reverberated around the room, making everyone smile. I thank God and rejoice in knowing that you are holding dear to your saviors hand now. That you have found the peace that eluded you on this earth. I rejoice that the hand you used to leave this world has been washed clean, as has your soul, and your pain. And you live in the kingdom the lord promised his good and faithful servant, living Pure and joyfully as you were always meant to be. He has healed the broken hearted and bound up your wounds. – Psalm 147:3 His grace is sufficient for you, for his power is made perfect in our weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more proudly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2nd Corinthians 12:9 You are far more beautiful than so many have ever chosen to be and still somehow they live on and you die. Satan keeps winning these battles. Each person’s heart is a battle. And these days it looks bleak for us, as it seems from where we all stand that he wins so many. But HE WILL NOT WIN THE WAR, for one simple reason. For everyone who calls upon the name of the lord will be saved. –Romans 10:13 You worshiped a God stronger than you were. Stronger than I am. One that will take all of us and supply the justice we were always unable to give, or decide for ourselves and others.   Goodbye my friend. I know you lost this battle, but God won the war of your life. I know he did. And I leave you with one last thought, which is from the bible once again. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ”. I was there in your life, watching God’s good work happening in you, and I can’t wait to see you again on that day of completion, in all our perfect glory! I love you, and you will be missed so much.   If you would like to help out Robert’s wife and child in getting back on their feet after such a large tragedy, a good friend of hers has set up a gofundme account. Anything helps, no pressure of course. Just wanted to leave the option for those reading. You’ll find the link here: