Confronted with death (pt.1)

Over the course of the last year and a half there have been so many times I have wanted to share something, but due to the rapid pace of life and the sheer weight of it all, I haven’t. People write books about parenting adoptive children from trauma… and there’s a good reason why. Many people close to our hearts have passed away: family and friends. We’ve moved. Remodeled. Run businesses. We’ve run through testing, and jumped through hoops, with infertility. We’ve also dealt with deep challenges that aren’t even worth giving energy to at the moment. And in the midst of it all, we’ve forced ourselves to stay connected in a time when all we want is to curl up on our bed and hibernate. Most people have no clue what we’ve walked through because we don’t blast it all over social. We just don’t roll like that. But this… this challenge… was unlike any that I had experienced up until this point.

On July 2nd, I received a call from my dad that my mom had an accident. “She fell off a step stool. She’s in a lot of pain. Please pray for her.”

“Okay. I will.” I said.

Falls can be painful. I get it. I’ve taken a few.

A few minutes later I received another call. “Mom can’t get up. She can’t move her legs. An ambulance is coming.”

Concerned. I waited.

Thirty minutes later, another call. “They’re taking her to a bigger hospital… it’s not what they think.”

My sister and I booked a flight to Indiana for the next day. I canceled work and waited. Anxiety grew within me.

Dad called back. “They discovered mom had an aneurysm. The doctors are running tests.”

“Is she okay?” I asked.

“We don’t know yet.” my dad said. “She had a stroke too. She’s hemorrhaged. There is blood and water on her brain. They need to operate. It’s risky. If they don’t, she’ll probably die. If they do, she might die. It’ll be five hours before we know anything.”

A text from a doctor cousin… “You better get up there as soon as possible if you want to see her alive.”

My head spun and I felt numb. I walked around my room in a panic, not going anywhere. I knew that I needed to do something, but what?


Shaking, I knew what I needed.

Funeral clothes.


{I’ll be sharing our story through different posts. More craziness to come.}


We survived!

I will admit that I was a bit over zealous at the beginning of our ten day juice cleanse. I was pumped, ready to take on the cleanse head first. Riding high on the excitement of watching Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, nothing could get in my way of making a healthy change. Like a freight train barreling down the tracks, when I get an idea stuck in my head, it’s very hard to derail me. (You can read about my naive excitement here…)

So, I was ready to give up everything cold turkey. Easing into a cleanse is for weenies. I was ready for it! Bring that ten day cleanse on!

We started the cleanse (my husband and I) and everything was beautiful. I was ready to conquer the world. Then, day two hit and my tune changed. The migraine’s started and didn’t stop for three days. Now mind you, no pain medicine during a cleanse… that would defeat the purpose. So, I toughed it out. I felt like I was in the juicing trenches of detoxing war. Would I survive?

Thankfully, I did survive. At about day six, without the use of a white flag of surrender, things got better. My energy took a nose dive, but I was okay with that. If you’ve juiced for a period of time, you are aware of the headaches, fatigue, bad breath and grouchy moods (which Daniel and I became very aware of). Experiencing these things makes you wonder what on earth is inside your body that it needs to come out in such an ugly way. Though never the less, I couldn’t have been more grateful that the toxins were leaving my body – however they choose to do so.

(A question that I got a lot was did we drink fruit smoothies? The answer is no, just the fruit and vegetable juice. When cleansing, you don’t drink the fiber from the fruits and veggies, though it is normally good for you. When you go on a juice cleanse you want your body to detox. If you were to drink the fiber, your body would take energy away from the detoxing process to digest your food. You want all of your energy to go toward detoxing, not digesting.)

I never counted, but you juice an entire farmers market for one serving. Just be aware. :)

I should have counted how many fruits and vegetables we went though. It’s like you juice entire farmers markets for one serving of juice.

Carrot, lemon, kale and beats.

Carrot, lemon, kale and beats. (Yes, that is a pilsner glass in the background. When you drink juice 5-6 times a day you have to get creative and liven things up, and a Pilsner glass provided that excitement.)

The colors that come from fresh fruits and veggies are beautiful. God makes amazing things.

The colors that come from fresh fruits and veggies are beautiful. God makes amazing things.

This piece of pear didn't fully get juiced. I pulled it out and loved the lines that were carved into it. The thought did cross my mind to make a stamp out of it, but seeing how it would rot - that put a damper on things. So, I just stamped a napkin.

This piece of pear didn’t fully get juiced (obviously). I pulled it out and loved the lines that were carved into it. The thought did cross my mind to make a stamp out of it, but seeing how it would eventually rot put a damper on things. So, I just stamped a napkin.

Both Daniel and I were very thankful that we did this cleanse. We feel healthier since this cleanse and know that what we gave our bodies the an invaluable opportunities to detox. My goal is to do a three day juice cleanse every month to stay on top of things. We have also made some changes to our diets as well. In ten days I lost nine pounds, and Daniel lost twelve (naturally the guy looses more). Though we both gained a few pounds when we started eating solid foods again.

We loved our Breville and would definitely recommend it! I never knew that onion and kale would taste so good juiced (obviously you’d add other veggies). Oh, and a word of caution, if your husband gets adventurous and decides to juice a whole jalapeno, stop him if you get the chance. I didn’t get the chance and trust me, you’ll wish you did.

One of my favorite recipes: 3 green apples, 2 sticks of celery, 1 large cucumber, 1 lime & 2″ piece of ginger. Sooo good! (From Reboot With Joe – Check out that site, it has a tone of great recipes!)

One of Daniels favorites: 6 oranges, peeled (leave the white on). It tastes like an Orange Julius!

If you are unable to do a complete ten day cleanse, start with a three day cleanse. Or, if that is too much, commit to eating just fruits and vegetables for three days.*  You’ll probably be surprised how good you feel.

Cheers, to our health!

*Always check with your physician before making a drastic change in your diet, especially if you are on medication.

A ten day adventure

Last night Daniel and I watched Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, a documentary that follows Joe Cross as he attempts to rid his body of sickness and obesity by going on a 60 day juice fast. Not only did he succeed at his goals, he far surpassed them! As Cross travels from one coast to another, he introduces people to juicing and even recruits some people to try it with him.

Now I am usually a bit cautious about documentaries claiming this or that. However, I am already a believer that juicing is good for your body. And you can’t deny that the results shown on this movie were impressive!

Daniel and I both try to make healthy life decisions (though I do wish that Doritos could be classified as a vegetable): what we eat, drink and how active we are. The concept of juicing is not unfamiliar to either of us either. However, after watching Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, we were inspired us to make a change. It’s time to honor our bodies and clean them out, and we believe going on a juice fast will do just that. Cross encourages people not struggling with obesity or sickness to go on a 10-15 day juice fast, or a “reboot” as he likes to call it. (Though no matter who you are, you are encouraged to talk with a health care provider first, especially if you are on medication.)

Once the movie ended, Daniel and I decided to give a juice fast a try. I started researching juicers and as soon as we found a good juicer for us, I grabbed left over wedding credit at Bed Bath and Beyond, a coupon, and headed off to the store. Please meet the newest member of our family…

photo(Please note the beautiful rays of sun and the rainbow across the box… This just has to be a good sign!!)
Naturally I was like a child at Christmas and couldn’t get into the box fast enough. I quickly washed and set everything up. I grabbed my trusty juicing recipe book, The Juiceman’s Power of Juicing, and found the perfect recipe for us. I modified the recipe slightly:
6 carrots
1 fuji apple
1 small handful of parsley (from our garden… I love eating from our garden!)
I don’t know if you have ever had fresh juice but it is, with no exaggeration, THE BEST THING EVER. As I drank the de-licious juice, I felt my body smile. (If you have ever had fresh juice you know what I’m talking about.) Juicing is so healthy and I am pumped to go on this fast! I just hope that I will be able to say that about five days into it!
Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead can be found free on Hulu. Or, with the purchase of the above juicer at Bed Bath and Beyond, the dvd is complimentary! And take my advice, if you do go and buy a juicer, grab a bag of carrots (or two) before you go home! You’ll probably want to juice something right away. And yes, trust me, carrot juice – Yum!
I was planning on taking a photo of the first juice, however, excitement overtook me and I drank it all.
One thing my grandmother taught me when she juiced is to always fill your empty glass with water. As you drink the water, you will get all of the nutrients left on the glass!
In ten days, I’ll let you know how it goes!

One of my favorite things: Seche Vite

83005For all of you last minute gift buyers – or someone who needs a little shine in their day – this little top coat is a MUST!!!

I think that if I kept this little bottle of goodness to myself I would be committing some sort of mortal sin. Seche Vite is the best topcoat I have ever used. That is a big claim, I know, but it’s true.

Seche Vite quickly seals my nail polish on my nails with an intense wet shine that I absolutely love! Trust me, as an artist who works with my hands, I fight to keep nail polish from chipping. (Ask my husband… he hates it!)

If you’re up for trying something new, or need a fantastic stocking stuffer, look no further!

Check it out.