Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The two things on my mind

I have been reading tons lately.

...but not my usual books...

I've been researching nutrition and gut health. I've been clipping recipes (and articles) to my Evernote like crazy.

And I've been reading about homeschool curriculum and the everyday practice of the Charlotte Mason education method.

I know I'm taking in too much, too fast. But I'm super into both topics right now and need all the info in my brain right now!


1) I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis last month. 

I've suspected it for years, but had some resistance from my previous doctors on getting the tests done. Hashimoto's is an autoimmune disease (my immune system is targeting my thyroid). There's no cure. But! I discovered the Autoimmune Wellness podcast in February. The hosts, Mickey and Angie, talked about how they were able to reduce the debilitating and uncomfortable symptoms caused by their autoimmune diseases by changing how they ate, how they prioritized sleep, and how they managed stress.

I decided to try out the diet, or lifestyle, they described. It's called the Autoimmune Protocol, or AIP. They interviewed a Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, so I looked at her website, The Paleo Mom, and discovered that she is a doctor in the medical field (good credentials). She reads peer reviewed scientific articles about topics related to autoimmune diseases, gut health, and nutrition. Then she summarizes her findings and posts them on her blog, WITH citations! Her sources are legitimate and reliable. Her blog is a jackpot. Eventually I'll get her books, but right now reading on my phone is easiest (because: toddler).

I've been doing the elimination phase of the AIP since March. April was a little rough. There was a wedding (I wanted some wedding cake!) and a chocolate fountain (I'm discovering it is hard to resist!), various other treats while traveling (I can only say no to myself for so long!), a baby shower (macaroons!), and a campfire (um, s'mores?). If you've heard of Gretchen Reuben's Abstainers and Moderators, I'm an abstainer. And apparently I can't abstain if it's in the same place as me.

But! An hour later, or the next day, I can feel that I ate off my diet. I have headaches, fatigue, I'm irritable, or short of breath. The pain and discomfort, and it's interference in my daily life is very rarely worth the pleasure of eating the treat. (The wedding cake was the best I've ever had, besides my own, and I didn't eat enough to get a headache from it, so that was okay.)

So. I'm reading tons. Trying to understand what is going on in my body, what different foods do in my body, and what to eat instead of what I used to eat.

2) I am going to homeschool 2Flowers next year. 

We love her school and the staff there are wonderful. She is academically advanced and isn't having any problems, but... I have been feeling for a long time, like, at least a year, that I need to connect with her better. I've been struggling (and praying) to find ways to connect with her, but everyday life is just too much (hello, autoimmune disease).

Taking on homeschooling doesn't really make sense; if I am completely overwhelmed with what I've got going on right now, how can taking on something so huge help? But the way I felt whenever I considered the idea, and the way I feel whenever I move forward toward it tells me it's the right thing. It's the right thing for her and me.

So. I'm reading tons. Trying to understand how homeschooling works (both legally and practically). And I think I'm getting a pretty good idea of how we're going to do it!

...I just have no idea how I'm going to do anything else in my life...

Sunday, April 01, 2018

General Conference Weekend, April 2018

I haven't been able to pay attention during General Conference for long time. Keeping the kids occupied at the chapel takes up lots of my attention, and when we listen at home they often forget that we're listening to Conference. Even with the Conference Board.

Somehow, this Conference weekend was different. Maybe it was getting extra sleep leading up to the weekend and not being as tired as usual. Maybe it was having one child who mostly remembered to be quiet (for the first hour of each session). Maybe it was having a small enough house that we could play Conference loud enough that I could hear it from everywhere downstairs. Maybe it was deciding not to try to post to social media during conference. 

I heard more, and was listening more.

Now, even though I heard more of the words and understood more of the topics being discussed, I don't remember very much of it. I blame this on my season of life, wherein I haven't been allowed to stay focused on any single idea for more than about five seconds at a time, for the past six years. My brain is out shape! I perused the Church's accounts on Twitter for some of my favorite quotes (and for tidbits that I missed), and copied them into my notes. I'm looking forward to when all of the talks are available at so I can read them. (The videos are already up!) 

I don't have a good plan for studying them, though. In the past I've tried making a list of all the talks, but I only followed through on re-listening to two or three of them. Sometimes I'll do really well at listening to one talk, then the next, then the next, and so on for a several days. But I need some kind of study program that I can stick to (in five second increments). 

Does anyone have any ideas?

Maybe this is a good excuse to shop for travelers notebooks...

Saturday, September 02, 2017

A Box of Journals

In my journey to get rid of stuff, I run into obstacles on a regular basis. My dad once said to me, "Ryann, everything we touch triggers a memory, but not everything has to be a memory." It was a revelation to hear him say that. Both he and I are intensely nostalgic and have detailed long term memories

Somehow, most of the Stuff I keep is paper. You can stash a whole lot of paper in a one foot by one and half foot moving box. Like, thousands of pieces of paper. Needless to say, I get emotionally burned out pretty quick when I'm trying to purge.

I opened a Box with the intent to get rid of the stuff inside only to find my childhood journals and some beautiful blank notebooks that I love (and want to fill up with writing). I can't get rid of those! Opening that Box triggered some depression (including crying). It can be demoralizing to have a strong urge to change, but are not be able to change very fast.

I've been pushing to get rid of Boxes, Stuff, and Paper  faster than I've ever done since we returned from our Epic Summer Road Trip. I realized that our lack of tall bookshelves is actually a major impediment to emptying Boxes (and subsequently, getting rid of the Stuff in them). After a few days of feeling stuck, I decided that I just need to unpack the blank journals onto the shelf next to my bed. I'm obviously not ready to deal with the journals. I'm getting better at getting rid of stacks of Paper in other Boxes, so I'm giving myself some grace on this particular Box.

When you are trying to change something about yourself, what gets you stuck?