Whole30/September Reflections Day 15 & 16


We’re still in this and doing fairly well. Yesterday and today were both big tests in emotional eating for me. Today and yesterday were both really tough for me in various ways. For the longest time, hard days meant I could be lazy and just drive through for dinner, cheer myself up with a soda or snack to curb anxiety/emotions…

Well, Whole30 just doesn’t cater to that kind of behavior. Also, my body just didn’t react that way or follow through with the thought because I’ve begun to adjust my hormones, etc as I’ve restricted myself to just certain things. It really is empowering to get home after a LONG and rough day to still feed myself and my kids without having gone through the drive through. I know that there will be plenty of times to come where that still might be the case, but less from emotion and more out of necessity. If that makes any sense.

So I’ve come to the point in this journey that I feel a bit bored and I need something new/fresh/different to keep myself going, so I’m looking at some recipes and trying to figure out how to do that. I can tell that I am just craving water the more I drink it. I am even getting away from sparkling waters for the bubbles, since I’m just not really craving that. Fruit is a life saver for me when needing something “sweet”… mostly lean and green meals with healthy fat. Easy and simple. But, like I said it can get boring. If you’ve done Whole30, shoot me some recipes I can try!!


Mothering tends to blare our own deficiencies and downfalls, sins and struggles at us. Most of the time it is the most inconvenient thing to deal with, but with it comes a cleansing that is maybe even more important than a Whole30. Mothering has been such an odd experience for me. It is hard to explain, but I have never had an immediate bond with any of my babies because they were all 3 rushed off for medical attention at birth. I got a glimpse and then had to go into recovery alone, as Nick would accompany our child. I didn’t get to hold Ava for 2 days. I didn’t get to hold Noah for 2.5 months. My Ana did get to be held the day she was born, just not minutes after. I am not certain that that made some big difference in my mothering per say, but as I read other stories of mothers who got skin on skin for hours after a simple and perfect labor, I often feel that sting of inadequacy and guilt. I am not sure why I was dealt the hand I was when it came to my pregnancies, birth stories and 3 c-sections, but I realize that God had his hand in it all. With all of that said, mothering hasn’t come easy for me in some ways. Loving my kids, wanting the world for them, snuggling, wanting to spoil, just make the world about them doesn’t seem to be hard.Β  Ava was only 11 months old when we found out we were pregnant with Noah. That whole next year was ROUGH. My entire world was turned into a big mess and the things I dealt with in my mothering that year were some of the darkest moments I have and will ever walk through. Loneliness, having to leave my 15month old for multiple weeks at a time, not being rooted in our home/routines…a gravely sick child that I couldn’t help/hold/fix/comfort…then his death…then having to pick up with life and mother/take care of and nurture my child who was alive and well. Years later I know Ana is such a gift, but as I continue on this journey of mothering I have found that there is a wedge sometimes that I can’t quite explain. I feel as though some days I have put up a wall between the emotions I have with mothering and the reality I live in as a mother. I don’t know if that makes any sense. See, after Noah died, I realized that no matter how hard I pray, God’s will will be done in their lives. I didn’t get a say in my child’s life span, so why would that be any different for my other children? Some days I have a trust in the Lord that is unmatched in faith and trust…. other days that means that I am not as invested in some of the details of their lives. I feel as though I don’t make much sense here, but maybe another mom who has suffered loss can understand?

Monday was a day where I just didn’t have a choice but to feel every feeling I have about my oldest. I went ahead and just let it all out, in my car, to Jesus and then a very long voice recording to my best friend. Sometimes I get so caught up in making life work, function, routines happening, trying to help my kids with all the things and doing everything to train/love/discipline/mold/shape/ etc that I forget that 1. we have walked through so many things together 2. I love her more than I can even explain or fathom myself 3. She isn’t mine…she really is His. That can be a hard thing when you’ve watched the breath leave one of your children. These girls we are raising are His, and the things they will struggle through cannot always be fixed by me.

That is a hard reality. I won’t be able to fix it, make it work or do it for either of them when it comes to struggles, issues, growing, learning…

So I wanted to drown my emotions but I was forced to deal with them and bring them to the Lord. It is better that way. It really is. It still doesn’t make it easier or less confusing. Momming is hard. I really want to just make their lives beautiful and lovely and wonderful and full of ease. Alas, my job is to point them to Jesus, extend grace and lovingly direct them in the ways He has called us.

Whole30, for me, this time, especially is a big challenge in keeping food in its place and actually working through and dealing with things that need to be dealt with. For me, the restriction is almost a fast of sorts. It allows room for growth and work and healing to happen in areas that one wouldn’t think was effected by food.

We continue on! Thankful for the journey and hoping to see more progress and energy as we go.

Also, I’m so thankful for little reminders that I am loved. 2 friends sent things in the mail today and it really made me feel so seen and loved.

Thanks for coming along on the ride!


Whole30/September Reflections Day 13 & 14

Hello and happy Monday!

This weekend was a good one! My day off on Friday looked like some light house cleaning, playing with Ana and a grocery store run. We went and found some hard to find ingredients at a local health food store. We then went to Market Street and got our usual groceries. πŸ™‚ I was really impressed with my finds at Market Street this time. We found some really good “emergency food” options, Nutpods for coffee and some other items. I will be the one to say, I don’t like Chomps. They are like meat sticks (kind of like a slim jim) Eew. TOO spicy. Not a fan. Sad by this, but I like Nick Sticks. That is another brand of compliant snacks and I love those. They are not spicy. πŸ™‚ I’m a weenie I guess.

Anyway, we had a great Saturday and Ava and I got SO MANY CHORES done. Bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchen, Nick took Ana to the dr and got her some meds and did laundry and mowed the back. Overall we are still hanging in there with the Whole30. We even ate out Sunday and minus a piece of cheese they didn’t take off, we were good. πŸ™‚ Not too worried about it. haha We are on week 3 and feeling well! I think the season change in giving me headaches, not necessarily the whole30. I still feel like I will be able to grab up some more energy soon.

My biggest concern and goal moving forward is how we reintroduce things and what we reintroduce. I am still very much in a fragile food state, where I need to watch everything I eat, closely. I don’t want to fall into bad habits again, just because we completed a whole30. So, I am going to really plan what I will allow myself to have and what I will not allow myself to have. I believe I can find a great balance that will still help me lose weight and find healthy habits without diving head first back into big problem foods.

As September continues on, I have had more people give me items for our collection. We are honoring Noah’s 6th birthday with collecting items for Mended Little Hearts of Ft Worth. We are collecting toiletries, small journals, pens, fleece blankets from Walmart(the $2.50 ones), gum, hard candies, non-perishable easy snacks, small packs of kleenex, etc. Ava and I will be bringing these down, possibly all 4 of us, to honor and remember our boy.

September Whole30 made sense, because since Noah died I have always felt this push and need to make him proud, the things he struggled through and fought make me realize I can do hard things too. So we do this and we find that hard things are good things and even though it isn’t easy it has been worth it. I find that true of my entire experience as a heart mom. The 5 months I got were such “trench” months. They were hard, ugly and down right draining, but they were full of long days in my Bible, lots of prayers, journals, meeting new people, becoming family with many of our medical team, and enjoying a little baby boy who didn’t know life outside of those Cook Children’s walls. So September means so much because it is always a time of reflection and I get to remember that I’ve done harder things than attend to my health or pass up a dr pepper. I have endured and I have seen hard times. Dark days, long nights, deep pain. I can continue to do what I’m called to, what God is calling me to, because he always has had a plan and he continues to make the way.

So here’s to week 3! πŸ™‚

Whole30/September Reflections Day 11 & 12

Hello! Yesterday was busy and we got home late from practice, so I skipped my journal last night. Today has been wonderful! We got up and got Ava to school/Nick to work. Ana and I lounged around and watched shows together and got our morning snuggle in. I cooked me a yummy breakfast. Left over steak pieces, potatoes and eggs cooked in avocado oil and ghee. I had some orange juice as well. I had a lovely time talking to my best friend on the phone for almost an hour.(thank you Ana, Haddon and Brooklyn for being so accommodating) πŸ™‚ It was so good to catch up and visit. We got ready and went to Eat-Rite here in town and found some tapioca flour to use for a recipe! I found some yummy almond butter there too. Found out I can’t eat it until after whole-30 because it has sugar in it.. but alas. I’m going to see if the girls like it instead of peanut butter…who knows. πŸ™‚ haha! We went to Market Street next to get groceries and I had a great experience. It has been a long while since I enjoyed a trip to United. I loved it for so long because it helped shape me as a person, working for them for a total of almost 10 years. Today I just really was so happy.

-bought a fall mum on sale πŸ™‚
-they have Nutpods!
-found a different almond/coconut milk creamer
-they have compliant bacon, Chomps jerky sticks, and some R Bars and RX Bars…
-our whole30 emergency food stash is on point right now.
-also found some new bubbly water and realized the spiralized veggies and cauli rice is in the frozen section and that works well for us this week.
-earned 5 rewards and got .50 off per gallon of gas today. πŸ™‚ Filled up my 4Runner for $38 bucks. woop!

So, I have not felt such control over my food related choices, probably ever in my life. I think even last time we did this, I wasn’t this focused or doing so well. I’m very thankful.

This grocery run today, was super easy and I found some awesome helpful products to keep us going the next week and a half or so. Keeping things simple is the best way to do this. I’ve given myself release to just keep things simple and maybe do a new recipe once a week. It is so so helpful. πŸ™‚

This weekend looks to be fairly easy going and not too busy! Looking forward to spending time at home, doing some yard work, playing with the kids, church and rest. πŸ™‚

Y’all have a great Friday!!

Whole30/September Reflections Day 10

Well, folks…we’ve made it to double digits!! Can I just say how very thankful I am that I was just honest yesterday and through that I got the sweetest encouragement from two dear friends. They commented on this post with encouragement and prayers! Prayers! I needed that and it just boosted my spirits so much. So thank you Sandra and Dianne! You both bless me so much, weekly, but your support means so much.

If I can just speak into that idea of encouragement? It means so much. It is one of the biggest blessings to receive; someone giving you a boost. Do it. Encourage your spouse, your kids, your kid’s teachers, your school’s admin, your pastors, your life group leaders, your friends, family, parents, siblings, friends…. be the encourage-r. Sometimes we tend to drain our closest friends and family with our needs and struggles. Sometimes a thank you or an atta girl or atta boy just means the world. Do it! πŸ™‚

So today has been good! I am still not wanting breakfast, so I just drink water. I pack a protein rich lunch and it tends to work for me. So I brought tuna salad, lettuce wrap and a boiled egg. I also had some plantain chips. Tonight I had time to make a new recipe. Mexican Cauliflower Fried Rice. I’m usually not a fan of cauli rice. πŸ˜› But, this recipe made sense and it tasted great! It was nice to detour away from grilled meat and simple veggie. Even though that is yummy and easy. πŸ™‚

Yesterday, I also just had some tough mom moments, personal moments and even though it doesn’t happen often, some grief. I was able to go to the dentist today and get my bite adjusted and that has been SUCH a blessing. I already feel better and have less pain. I am SO thankful for a considerate dentist and his staff who want relief for me as much as I do. So thankful and that has helped with my headache/pain. I also slept all night last night and woke up less groggy. I think I’ve flipped the switch. πŸ™‚ yay!

There are some events coming up that I need to mentally prepare for. We have some birthday parties coming up, as well as some other social events. I am just trying to get a plan in place and make the right choices ahead of time in my brain so I can be prepared. I think that is the key for me for the whole ordeal. If I am prepared and have a plan, I tend to do the best. When I have “emergency” food on me, I won’t swing through pak a sak. When I have my water cup full and with me all the time, I am less likely to drive through some where. I am finding things that work for me. When I have a protein rich lunch, I am not as snacky during pick up line. All this to say…it takes time and effort, but I know that the most important things always do.

I slept with his blankee last night and the night before. When I am really missing my boy I just sleep with his blanket. It helps me go to sleep and I can have a good cry in it if I want/need to. Something comforting about the blanket just soothes me and so I keep it handy. I have some thoughts, old and new about Noah and I’m sure I’ll figure them out by the time his birthday rolls around.

So I am always just so humbled by people when we extend an invitation to join us in donating to Cook’s. I just always realize that people DON’T HAVE TO DO IT. But, they CHOOSE to join in and celebrate and honor our son because they are gracious people and I just can’t get over the fact that they are so generous and thoughtful. So thank you to everyone who is donating. I am going to put together a paypal or something for those who are out of town and would like to donate. What a blessing our community is. I am just truly so humbled and excited to bring these items to the Cardiac ICU. πŸ™‚ Thank you

I found a heart in my dinner!

Day 10 has been pretty good, overall. I am ready for sleep. πŸ™‚ I hope and pray you all have an amazing day tomorrow! God is faithful and is helping us do hard things. πŸ™‚


Whole30/September Reflections Day 9

My head hurts. My eyeballs hurt. I’m sleepy, groggy and just overall tired. I am not really hungry and the things I want I can’t have so I am just trying to push through. Overall, I feel like this could be one of the hardest days. I could use a Dr.Pepper or a White Mocha… I just want my headache to go away and stay away. My energy is tanked. I am hoping that this is when my system switches over to fat burning energy not sugar burning energy. Lord, please let this be a quick thing, because, nobody has time to be struggling this much. haha.

goodbye for today. πŸ˜›

Whole30/September Reflections Day 8

I realized today that the food part of this journey so far isn’t so hard. I also realized that my mental game is what is being broken this time. There isn’t much to say today other than, I haven’t given in, I haven’t quit and I am actually seeing changes that I know are good for me. Today I had breakfast sausage and a boiled egg for breakfast, leftover steak and salad and for dinner a smoked sausage link and a baked potato. Drank water all day. Still wantingΒ  a huge latte. Still having some trouble with headaches. I haven’t hit the big energy boost yet. We’re still only in the beginning though. I do believe my sleeping is better.

September is full of so many emotions for me. Staying in check is important and yet feeling everything I need to feel about my son and his birthday and the fact that he isn’t here, is important too. So, I take it a day at a time. Sometimes a memory at a time.

That’s it today folks. Got my post in, for accountability. Ready for bed. Love to you all!


Whole30/September Reflections Day 7

Day 7! A whole week! When we did this last year, I was new to it all and didn’t know of all of the headaches, cravings and struggles that come with it. None the less, we pushed through and were so proud. This go round I know what to expect, but I also know how I feel when I’ve done the hard work. The non-scale victories are so important to me, because those are lasting, habit changing, discipline making victories that are worth the struggle.

A quick food log. We had grilled chicken and bacon lettuce wraps with pan fried potatoes. Today we had steak, baked potatoes and salads, then at the church picnic we did “naked” burgers and trimmings and I brought plantain chips and oranges. We drank water and had a nice time. We didn’t have to have the sodas to enjoy it. *winning*

This is where Whole30 meets September reflections. Discipline. That has been my “word” for 2018 and I didn’t really know what it meant for me. I still wonder if I truly know what it’s been for me this year, or if I’ve let it go too often. I look back at our time in the apartment and realize that I was invested in some new good habits there, I’ve learned ways to figure out how to handle (better anyway, not perfected) anxious moments, anger outbursts, assumptions, and reactions. I still struggle in many ways with these things still, but over the year I am finding that I have processes and ways of helping walk through struggles. This has been a lesson in discipline for me.

This journey of Whole30 is always one that really begins to show me where I do not rely on the Father. For so many things, I end up relying on myself, a Dr.Pepper, a Sonic run, a comfort food meal out… so many of these things are straight up idolatry. I have found comfort and solace in something that will always return void. It satisfies for the moment, but never for long. Then I come back to it again and again. So, God has been using this program to remind me of just how dependent I’ve been on myself, the world and all it’s temporary fixes. It’s hard to admit, but I think that it is an incredibly powerful place to be. When you have stripped all of the usual fixes and become aware of the habits you didn’t know existed, God has so much room to grow in us, new habits.

what thing is holding you back? Mine has been poor eating habits and quick emotional fixes by grabbing a soda or a quick and easy meal… without thinking ahead or making preparations I just go through the motions. The discipline I’m forced into with whole30 reminds me of how much I thrive with boundaries. It’s NOT easy, but it’s worth it.

This day, 6 years ago, Nick flew back to Amarillo, while Ava and I stayed in Ft. Worth. We were alone for 2 weeks and those 2 weeks forced me to trust the Lord in more ways than I could even know then. So, hard things are ok. We do hard things because they make us better, they draw us nearer to the Father and they create character in us.

Have an incredible week, folks. Do the hard things! Set the proper boundaries for yourself and see how you grow. Ironic, perhaps. Worth it, absolutely!