The Harris Life

chasing life, one hilarious adventure at a time

February 12, 2017
by Tiffany
0 comments

a letter to Rory on her 7th birthday.

My Sweet Rory,

SEVEN.

It happened in a blink.

You ask me all the time to tell you about the night you were born and every time I tell it I get teary-eyed. If you have babies of your own you will know that there is nothing on earth more magical than having your first child and holding it for the first time.

When you were born you were immediately so observant of every detail around you, and that still continues today. It is one of my favorite things about you. Now that you are reading so well that just added a whole new sense of wonder to light your beautiful brown eyes. 

Your dad and I watch you in complete amazement 90% of the time. It doesn’t matter what you do, you conquer it. From climbing trees, to flipping on the trampoline, to riding your bike, to playing soccer, to doing the monkey bars, to swimming, to reading, to math, to drawing… you have this amazing gift of being good at everything you want to do. I’m not just saying this because I am your mother- I would say the same if I weren’t. We have watched you this year absolutely thrive. You have worked your tail off at school to get better at reading especially, but all of your grades have improved from the first of the year. Your favorite thing to do is climb trees and you have climbed trees all over Tennessee and also in North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. Every time we go on a trip and stop at a rest stop you find a tree to climb and declare you will climb a tree in all 50 states one day! Simple things like that remind us how amazing you are and give us a glimpse into your future.

You are a goal setter, an adventurer, a conqueror

When I watch you being fearless when you tackle every single day and with such force, I can’t help but wish that I was more like you. Your fearlessness gives you no boundaries in life and I so admire that about you. You often tell us at the most random times that you know you are going to be moving away to be a missionary when you grow up. And while my heart flutters with pride and brokenness of not seeing you every day, I do not doubt for a moment that you could do that. I can so see you fearlessly spreading the Gospel to the most desperate places. My prayer every single day as a parent is that I will never stifle this in you. I pray you will always be fearless in your life. Before I even knew your personality I claimed Joshua 1:9 as your life verse –  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” This is proof to you that God will place verses and ideas in your mind before you even know the future that will one day apply so well. I couldn’t have picked a better verse for you if I tried. You ARE so strong and courageous. I’m praying with everything in me that remains true and that you always find strength in the Lord.

The biggest thing that has happened in your life this year was getting saved. In October, all on your own, you asked Jesus into your heart. It was the most amazing day. My heart as not stopped expanding with pride over this. Next week you will be baptized and you are so excited. We are so proud that you followed your heart and the tugging of Jesus speaking to you. I have no doubt you will do amazing things for Him in your life.

I think the biggest blessing to me, besides your salvation, is seeing you finally be proud of yourself this year. I know you feel so appreciated for just being yourself at your school and with your teacher this year. As your mother, I cannot tell you the joy this brings to me. We went in for a check up the other day and you told the doctor that you were so proud of yourself for making such great decisions now and having better self control. You told us how you are working so hard and are just doing a great job. The doctor and I both looked at each other with tears in our eyes- that was the best outcome we could have ever imagined. Although you know why you are on a daily medicine and that it is there to help you, you aren’t giving the credit to that- AND YOU SHOULDN’T. It is all you, Rory. You are making changes and better decisions because you want to. Yes, the medicine helps, but sister- YOU SHOULD BE PROUD. You have matured and grown so much this year. You recognizing your hard work is wonderful- I hope you never sell yourself short and let anyone or anything take the credit for your hard work.

You are still equal parts girly and equal parts tomboy. You will go outside dressed in a tutu dress with tennis shoes and climb the tallest tree or make the biggest mud-pie. I absolutely adore this about you. You’ve decided to play flag football and when I told you that you may be the only girl you said, “AND?! I am just as fast as any boy out there.” AMEN, SISTER. Yes you are! I can’t help but giggle knowing that you are ready to get down and dirty and show those boys how it is done! And who knows… you may even throw a tutu on while you do it!

The older you get, the more beautiful you get, Rory. You have the most perfect eyes that squint in the cutest way when you laugh. And, oh, that laugh. Your laugh is your dad and I’s favorite sound. Your eyebrows let everyone know exactly what you are thinking and you better not ever touch those perfect brows or I will ground you! ha! Your toothless grin gives me all the giggles and I love it when you smile so big showing it off. Basically, what I am saying here is that you are the most beautiful seven year old in all the world… I can say that with conviction because I’m your mama.

You are so thoughtful and kind. You are a friend to every one, no matter what they look like or how they act. I love this about you.

Every year with you is my favorite year. Six was so good to us and I know seven will be even better. It is so fun to have actual conversations with you. You ask such tough questions that sometimes I have to tell you I need to do some research and get back with you on that! Ha! I so admire your desire for knowledge and wish I was more like you- you definitely get that from your dad. In fact, you get most things from your dad. But all my favorite things about myself I see in you 20 times better and it makes me so proud. 

Rory Eve, you are the light of my life. You challenge me, you give me such joy, and I love you more than words could ever say.

Love,

Mama

 

At Seven You:

-Weigh 41 lbs, 46.25 in tall

-Wear size 12 shoe, size 5/6 clothes

-Love all vegetables but asparagus are your very favorite. Your favorite meal is spaghetti. You aren’t a picky eater- you will try anything- but you eat like a bird! We have to sneak calories in all the time!

-Your favorite shows are Good Luck Charlie and Ninja Turtles. You could seriously binge on TV if I let you!

-You LOVE to sing and you and I take songs all the time and sing together. You naturally harmonize and I’m definitely signing you up for voice lessons soon!

-You also LOVE to dance and are really good at it! Dance parties after school are a must around here.

 

January 12, 2017
by Tiffany
1 Comment

LOCK THE DOOR!!!! (!!!!) : A Short Story

I know those who don’t see me in real life probably think I’ve lost my touch with crazy things happening to me… so I just needed to hop on here and tell you- NOPE.

Let me present to you…

LOCK THE DOOR!!!!! (!!!!!!) : A Short Story

A few weeks ago, my little family went to a certain restaurant in our town. I’m not going to tell you where because I want to protect the person’s dignity.

HA. HA. HA HA HA HA.  Oh, you are going to find this funny in a minute.

So, we ate a delicious dinner.

I decided to go to the ladies’ room (another irony you’ll understand soon) before we headed home.

I go into the bathroom and look under the stalls. Two are taken, one is not.

So, I open the door.

And there she was, a waitress from the restaurant.

Taking a full frontal selfie.

AND BY FULL FRONTAL I DO MEAN THE LADY WAS STRAIGHT UP NAKED.

She was standing on the pot with her pants around her ankles and her shirt up to her neck. With one finger in her mouth.

BECAUSE NOTHING SAYS SEXY LIKE A TOILET AND A FINGER IN THE MOUTH.

So she screams, “OH MY GOD NO NO NO NO”.

And I yell, “NOOOOOO OH MY GOODNESS I AM SO SORRY – LOCK THE DAMN DOOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

(If my children would have been with me I would have murdered her with more words I am sure.)

(Sorry, mom, for using the D word but SOMETIMES IT IS THE ONLY THING YOU CAN DO IN A SITUATION.)

I run out as fast as my chubby little legs could and head to the car.

(This may be the best part…)

I text Andy and I tell him I needed to head on home and that I would meet him there.

I flew home. I got 3/4 of the way there when I get a phone call.

Andy: Um, Tiffany please tell me you didn’t really leave- my car is at Aldi, remember?!

Y’ALL I WAS SO DISTRAUGHT OVER THIS SITUATION I STRAIGHT UP LEFT MY HUSBAND AND PRECIOUS CHILDREN AT THE RESTAURANT.

When I pulled up the girls were giving me the side eye like nobody’s business.

Rory says, “Mom, seriously? How could you leave us?!”

BLESS.

I am still traumatized.

I regret a lot of things about this day.

  1. That she didn’t lock the door.
  2. That I have a tiny bladder and needed to go.
  3. That I didn’t scream, “I AM SURE YOUR MOTHER AND JESUS ARE REAL PROUD OF YOU RIGHT NOW.”

So, follow this advice:

Lock the stall door.

DON’T TAKE NUDE PICTURES. IT NEVER WORKS OUT IN YOUR FAVOR. EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER.

The End.

January 3, 2017
by Tiffany
1 Comment

Goals for 2017

I’m not sure there is much more cliche than a New Year Goals post, but here we are anyway. 2016 was a year of self discovery and quietness from me in life and on the blog. I regret not documenting the fun, hilarious, and crazy adventures like in years past.

Every time I start thinking about what I want 2017 to be like or what I want to focus on, the words “HOPE” and “JOY” spring forward immediately. So, I am declaring 2017 the year of both hope and joy. I will hope with joy and I will have joy in the hope I am given by Christ in every situation I face. Even if it is hard to do.

I do have a few personal goals for myself and my family. I’d love to look back this time next year and see what I stuck to and what I didn’t. Hopefully I will be able to keep them up!

  1. Dating. I have declared 2017 the year of dates for our family. Andy and I have committed to going on a date every single month this year. This doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but when you don’t have family around it takes a lot of planning and money sometimes. But we can spare $100 a month to go on a date together. Andy and I are finally at a stage where our kids can be with a babysitter without us worrying about how they are doing. We have kids who sleep (ish), who sit at the dinner table, are out of diapers, and don’t wear us out with all the pitching of fits. We are finally more rested and I want to rekindle the romance and really focus on my marriage this year. Last year we had a great year, but I was more focused on how I was as a mom because that needed more work. But 2017 is the year for my marriage. Andy is also going to take the girls on their own separate dates each month. They are so excited about this and so am I!
  2. Quiet Time. Last year I made huge strides in my quiet time, but want to continue that consistency. Reading my Bible (almost) every day this past fall really changed things for me. It was so much easier to find joy in the ugly and to face my busy days. This year I want to continue that and also journal more. I’ve been thinking a lot about how I would love to leave the girls Bibles that are all marked up with dates and situations going on in my life. I want them to know I had hard days and that joy came through the words on the page of the Bible.
  3. Organization and Time Management. It is no secret that I’m pretty much the worst time manager. This is probably my least favorite thing about myself. I’m going to REALLY work on that this year. Last fall I was busier than I’ve ever been and about lost my mind trying to manage all the time and failed so bad so many times. A key to success in this will be having my home more organized. I’ve already made huge improvements over Christmas break and hope I can keep up the momentum!
  4. Adventure. In 2017, I really want to seek out adventures- for myself and as a family. I have irrational fears of camping and would love to face that fear and go camping with my family. We live in the perfect place to do that and hike as much as our little legs can handle! I want to take advantage of that more this year. The girls and I have a goal to visit all 50 states before they are 18 and this year I’d really like to knock off 5 states (they have 11 already!). So I am already planning our summer road trip to include some stops in new states.
  5. Hand-written notes. This sounds silly, but I would love to keep up the goal of writing one hand written note a week and mailing it to the person. There is nothing that lifts your spirits more than a hand written card, right?!
  6. Health. I’m not making huge claims of losing 239283 pounds that I need to lose, but I do want to concentrate on cooking more healthy meals and not eating out as much. I want to meal plan better and cook some things out of my comfort zone.
  7. Finances. Along with the health aspect, I want to cook more because I want to save the $. I want to cut down on eating out to 2 times a week MAX. We always go eat on Sunday so I’m hoping we can continue that and maybe one other night at the very most. I also want to be more intentional with our money and think more Dave-like. This will all also help my #1 goal because Andy likes me more if I stick to the budget- HA HA!
  8. Skincare. I know you are thinking- wait what?!- right now but for real. 2017 I’m going to concentrate hard on skincare. I was fortunate enough to not have acne as a teenager but LORD HAVE MERCY after having kids my skin has gone through some struggles. Not only do I have wrinkles popping up every day, I also have times where there are lots of spots. IT IS RIDICULOUS. So this year I’m going to try and find the right fit for my skin and stick with that routine. I’m open for any suggestions on retexturing my face while also getting rid of sun spots.
  9. Learn something new. I would love to learn a new skill this year. I have no idea what, but I want to find something and learn how to do it well. Or maybe practice something until I master it.
  10. Writing. Nothing fills me with more peace and joy than writing. I don’t know if I would call myself a writer, but I do love to sit down and let my fingers fly across the keyboard. I would LOVE to make the goal of writing on the blog once a week. This has a lot to do with my #3 goal of time management. I’m planning to set aside a writing time each week to sit down and blog or work on something else. To risk putting myself out there, my ultimate dream in life is to write a book. I’ve been working on one for quite some time but haven’t gotten the momentum to finally finish it. I would absolutely love for 2017 to be that year. And y’all, listen. NOTHING scares me more than that. But each year that ticks by and I haven’t done it is such a deep regret for me that it is almost physically painful. I’m finally at the point where I can say that even if no one ever read it, I would still reach for my ultimate dream.

Ten goals seems like a lot but they are all very simple and attainable (I hope).

What are your 2016 goals? If you are someone who really sticks to your goals do you have any tips for doing so?

Happy New Year, friends! I hope your year is filled with hope and joy!

December 23, 2016
by Tiffany
1 Comment

Christmas Letter 2016

It is absolutely true what they say about how each year goes faster the older you get. I can’t believe it is time again for another year to end.

The year 2016 has been a year of growth, reflection, successes and heartache all rolled into one. I feel like that is every year for every one though, isn’t it? Looking back I have to say I am just so overwhelmed at God’s goodness and timing. The ways He has blessed me will never cease to amaze me. 

Andy’s job is going well, though quite stressful. He has been in charge of major projects at the mill and been successful in completing those. I don’t even pretend to understand what all he does, but I know I am so proud of him. We are praying this year leads to more success for him and also a little less stress. 

Rory ended Kindergarten and began 1st grade. We decided to go to a new school this year after a lot of trials at the other school. It was such a tough decision, but one I am so glad we made. The first of the year came with some major struggles, but I cannot even begin to tell you how much Rory has matured and grown through all of it. She is so tenacious and resilient and I’m so very proud of her for sticking with it and keeping her head up. The most profound blessing of my life, other than my own salvation, came this year when Rory gave her heart to Jesus. Oh, and she is so proud of it too. She tells everyone that will listen, “Did you know I am a Christian now?!” It is absolutely precious. In the midst of the heartache I felt when we found out Rory also had a heart defect, God gave her a new heart in Him. The timing was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever encountered. With every hard thing, God brings good. Rory also started on some new medicines to help her focus at school. The doctor asked her how she thought it was going and Rory said, “well you won’t believe this but I’m doing so great that my teacher is BRAGGING on me all the time. And I’m reading everything now and actually like to sit and read!” Her doctor looked up at me with tears in her eyes and you all know I was a mess. This is what we had been hoping and praying for. Rory at age 6 – almost seven!- is an absolute joy. She is still so funny and smart. Her personality hasn’t changed with this medicine, but she is shining through more than ever. Oh, I am so proud of my Rory. 

Ryder started Kindergarten this year and is absolutely in love with school. To be honest, I was a little worried I was making the wrong decision in sending her when she is a young 5. But I trusted my instincts and I am so glad I did. Her teacher is such a delight and we are so thankful for her. Ryder loves school so much that she had strep and was feeling awful but didn’t tell me because she didn’t want to miss school. She comes home from school every day and immediately goes to her “desk” to write or play teacher. She is like a sponge, absorbing every bit of information that she can. She is beginning to read and, of course, that is just the best thing to watch develop. I’m so proud of her. Ryder is still the joy that lights up any room and I can’t believe she is already 5 and in school.

I have to say, having two kids now that are “big” kids is JUST THE BEST. The girls and I went on our first roadtrip this summer and it was so easy and we had the very best time. The beach this summer was a breeze. We have been on day trips, week long trips, and everything in between and each time I think- LIFE IS GOOD. I feel like this stage with kids is by far my favorite. I cannot wait to see what adventures we get ourselves into in 2017.

As far as myself goes, I think this year has come with more growth in myself than any other. I took a step back and re-evaluated my life and knew I needed change. This time last year I didn’t like myself very much, if I’m being very honest. I had let so much negative in my life and needed to break away. I remember when I was going through one of the hardest times of my life at the beginning of the year, I laid on my face and begged God to shine some light into me. I didn’t like who I was as a mom, friend, family member. At that time, God started whispering into my heart and I’m telling you, I have changed in so many ways this year. Do not read this as I have any of my crap together because I STILL DON’T. Read this as God has shown mercy and grace on my life this year. In the depths of my sorrow through miscarriages and infertility this year, He has been a guiding light. He has saved me from despair by filling me with things that bring me so much joy. He’s given me such peace that whether I have another baby or not, life is still so good and I am so blessed. He stripped me from my former self and has made me stronger. I’m more thankful for every moment with my girls. I’m less selfish, but taking care of myself more in the important ways. I’m a better mom and wife, though I still struggle daily. I’ve learned this year that joy is not in the circumstances, but in God’s grace on my life. Through every heartache this year, God has shown up in ways I never could have imagined. I’m so thankful that I can say that my joy is still holding strong and that God has brought me through hard and amazing times this year. I’m proud of the mom I have become this year more than anything. I’m also proud that my girls have seen me on good and bad days so they know nothing is ever perfect. But by God’s grace I have lived another year and am better for it. With every hard thing, God brought good- that has been the theme of 2016.

I hope that you all have such a Merry Christmas and so much joy in 2017.

 

October 31, 2016
by Tiffany
2 Comments

Rory’s heart.

It’s an unusually warm fall which, at times, I am tired of the heat but nights like tonight I’m thankful for it. We ate dinner outside Saturday on the back deck, still in our pajamas from the day of alternating between cleaning and laziness. Andy grilled fish and I made quinoa and corn and black beans- basically the leftover/end of the grocery cycle crap I found in the pantry. Despite that, the food was delicious and our bellies are full.img_8504

Rory is climbing her tree that she calls her buddy. It’s a sycamore tree and has changed into beautiful orange and yellows.
She climbs high, too high for most parents to allow, but I know my Rory. She lives for this thrill and is an expert climber and strong as an ox. I remember the trees I claimed as my trees in my childhood and it makes me so delighted she has that same love of climbing and exploring outside as I did.
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I could sit here forever watching her in this late evening sun. Her beautiful face peeking out proud amongst the branches with a gleeful, “look mom! Look how high I am now!” My heart swells with pride at the thought of it.
The past few months have been a blur of school and Rory has had to overcome and adjust to so much this year. She has made great progress, but even still she is struggling to make it through the day every.single.day. Last week we had an appointment to start her on medication for ADHD- and please do not even think of debating me about this. Medicines aren’t what they used to be and this isn’t a decision we came to lightly. We know the best for our child.
As a precaution from Ryder’s congenital heart defect, they ordered an EKG before starting medication for Rory. I never heard back from them and because of the way the EKG tech said, “you have a perfect heart” to Rory with a wink to me, I assumed everything was fine.
At the appointment to discuss medication, the doctor looked at her EKG report just to be sure as we were about to leave. She looked at me with wide eyes and said, “wait, so… the EKG came back abnormal, did you not know this?”
My own heart stopped beating, I am not even kidding. I let out the smallest gasp out of shock.
Somehow between the EKG and our follow up we weren’t contacted- fell between the cracks which so often happens in healthcare.
The doctor explained that it indicated a right bundle branch block on the EKG.
I started to cry softly, but that was enough to scare Rory. I felt, feel, so terribly guilty for letting her see that fear. That same night she would have nightmares and tell me she had a dream someone sawed her chest open. That is the problem with having a sister who has had open heart surgery- you just know too much.
We called and told a very small amount of family and I texted my closest friends. Everyone told me they would pray for her heart and that even if something was wrong they were praying God would heal her completely before our appointment.
That night after everyone was asleep, I went into our living room and laid on my face and cried out to God to please not let this be true. And if it were a heart defect, to please let it be something we can manage with medicine and is “no big deal”. I prayed for Rory’s heart just as hard and earnestly as I prayed for Ryder’s for all those months and years.
Meanwhile, God was working on Rory’s heart in ways more beautiful than I could have ever expected.
Several times over the last few months, Rory has come to us asking very hard questions about Jesus and sin. I’ve had open and honest conversations with her and was so thankful that she felt comfortable coming to me.
Last night she came downstairs and told Andy and I that she had gone into her closet and prayed for Jesus to come into her heart. On her own, without any prompting, she made that decision. We talked about what it meant to be sure she knew and we all prayed together. When we got to AWANA she told everyone that would listen that she accepted Jesus into her heart.
After church, we sat down again and talked and prayed. She was BEAMING. From ear to ear, so very proud and happier than I’ve ever seen her. She couldn’t wait to call her grandparents. Ryder cheered her one and was so excited for her sister. img_8554 img_8558
As you can imagine, I cried and cried all night long.
You see, I had been begging for a miracle and I had our families and friends praying for her heart- who could have known the ultimate heart healing would happen instead.
Yesterday, October 30, 2016, was the very best day of my life. I know the day I accepted Jesus is also the best day, but there is something so much more beautiful when your child comes to that decision in her life. Knowing her eternity will be spent in heaven is the best gift of peace I’ve ever been given.
No matter what comes of her cardiologist appointment tomorrow, I know her heart is healed. God has already performed a miracle for her and has saved her precious heart.img_8565
God is so good to us. ALL the time.
I’m still praying for an outcome that determines the abnormal EKG was a fluke and there is absolutely nothing wrong with her heart (and would appreciate your prayers too), but even if it were the worse case scenario- my God is good and merciful and has given Rory’s heart the best miracle of all.
“He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” – Matthew 18:2-5
“… for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” – Romans 3:23
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” – 2 Corinthians‬ ‭1:3-4‬ ‭
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

September 23, 2016
by Tiffany
1 Comment

smh = scratching my head

Well, people, I am here to tell you our latest saga at The Harris House.

Lice.fe921f2d0ebe55b9eb981e45c6028f36

That is right, folks, lice.

Rory came home one day in the last few weeks (not disclosing the day so y’all won’t assume you are getting it if you saw us in the last 2 weeks) with lice.

So when I discovered this you can imagine how PSYCHOTIC I went.

Let us just say on a scale from 0-10 on the crazy scale I was a solid EIGHT HUNDRED AND TWENTY SEVEN.

I contemplated burning my house down for a good 2 days.

Instead, I put on my big girl panties (emphasis on big) and started washing every.dang.piece.of.fabric. in this house.

I swear if someone would have come into my home they would have sworn I was on the crack because ENERGY WAS HIGH. I was scrubbing and washing and spraying.

But the washing was the easy part.

Let’s move on to treating Rory’s hair.

Have you ever tried to wash, then wash, and then wash again THEN comb through a feral cat’s hair strand by strand?!

If so, you have come close to seeing how delightful it was to treat Rory’s hair.crazy-cat

(source)

Rory and I have the exact same hair type- medium thickness but coarse as all get out. So them suckers WERE NOT ABOUT TO LET GO. Bless her, I was in her hair treating and combing that crap out from 4pm to 10pm.  We did break for stretches and food. img_5924

Bless.

This is what I discovered about a child getting lice……

IT IS HELL.

That’s all I discovered.

After I was done with Rory, I treated Ryder, Andy, and myself JUST IN CASE. Because ain’t nobody playing around when it comes to lice.

We treated and combed until 11pm and the children straight passed out.

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Again, bless.

The RID and Tea Tree Oil fumes were at an insane level in our home and then Andy realized he needed to also treat his beard and he STRAIGHT FREAKED OUT (it may or may not be because I straight freaked him out) and ended up completely shaving his beard off.

I haven’t seen that face since 2003, y’all.

The next morning Ryder woke up and came into the room and saw Andy and she LOST HER MIND.

She fell out on the floor sobbing saying, “WHO TOOK MY DADDY?! WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?! WHY WOULD YOU MAKE YOURSELF SO TERRIBLE?!”

In other words, Ryder FREAKING HATES Andy without a beard.

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I kept them home because we were up so late and because I feel like if someone has lice they really need to stay home for a day even though that isn’t protocol at school anymore.

BUT we had a dentist appointment and y’all know it is an act of God to get Ryder set up for an appointment AND get her medicine called in and given to her before so I wasn’t about to cancel the appt.

We get there and they call Rory back but not Ryder therefore they expected her to go back by herself and Y’ALL…… PANIC MODE.

I was mad texting people saying, “They just called Rory back alone so I can’t control anything she says!”

Well, don’t worry.

I was correct.

Rory says to the hygienist, “Well my daddy looks terrible because he shaved his beard because we have lice.”

SWEET MERCY.

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So that was fun to explain.

After the dentist we came home and took a 2 hour nap that was so glorious I almost forgot about the lice of yesterday.

ALMOST.

The good news is that it hasn’t come back and we are enough time out to do the second treatment and no new lice have been found. Hallelujah and amen.

Not even kidding though, I paranoid scratched until I made my head bleed.

Thank goodness I have THE BEST FRIEND EVER who offered to look through my hair to help the paranoia settle.

Kristen, you are my girl.

Now that I have lived through a lice saga, I have some words of wisdom:

HIRE SOMEONE TO COME IN AND TREAT EVERYONE.

It is so worth the $. I know because I decided not to spend it.

And by I, obviously I mean Andy.

Happy Friday & You’re Welcome for that paranoia itch you are currently having.

September 7, 2016
by Tiffany
1 Comment

fearfully and wonderfully made

It was 5 years ago when we were learning the significance of Ryder’s heart problems and that surgery would be the only solution. It seems like yesterday and a lifetime ago all at once.

I thought getting through that would be the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but turns out, parenting is full of “hardest things I’ve ever done”.

As you all know, we have struggled for years trying to find solutions for Rory’s significant sleep issues. We finally have a good routine and she is sleeping decently.

Now that REAL school of first grade has started we have realized there are much more significant things going on with Rory.

A few weeks ago, Rory and I went to Chattanooga and spent the day together. She had an appointment with a developmental pediatrician to do some testing for some of our areas of concern.img_4162IMG_4174

That day Rory was formally diagnosed with ADHD and also Sensory Integration Disorder. Both things were not shocking to me- and even a relief, to be honest.

For years I thought it was me. My poor parenting. My poor judgement. My focus on Ryder’s health problems for so long that made Rory spin out of control. I truly believed my mothering was the route of all “evil” going on.

So when they finally diagnosed her I cried with relief. It wasn’t just me. This was bigger than me and out of my control. Of course I am sad that Rory has something that makes her “tick” differently, but I’m also relieved because that means we can get help and work on it in a different way.

School has been hard for Rory this year, and my heart breaks for her. I literally have a physical pain anytime I know she’s having a tough go of it.

Everything in this new world we have entered takes so much time. It took 8 months to get the appointment. It takes two months to get the Occupational Therapy evaluation done. It takes two months to have our next appointment to start medicine if we decide to go that route. It takes several months after that to tweak the medicine until it is the perfect dosage.

There is so much waiting.

Meanwhile, Rory is still struggling.

And my heart is breaking more and more every day for her. I feel like there is nothing I can do to help her.

I lose my patience too quickly. I am sometimes too lenient. I am sometimes too harsh. The balance hasn’t been found yet and I’m struggling with that big time.

Basically, we are a mess right now. Rory is fighting a battle and she doesn’t even know she’s fighting it. I’m having such severe inner struggles it is hard to find my breath sometimes. I wish I could sit with her at school and love on her and show her the right way all day. Sometimes I want to just pull her and homeschool her but I know that is not my calling and won’t get her the help she needs. I also have incredible guilt because right now my focus is so much on Rory that Ryder has been acting out and doing things SO out of character for her and I know its because she needs attention.

Today I was sitting with a new friend of mine and a lady we are trying to build a relationship with and I noticed a verse on the lady’s wall.

image_zpsd6b90b78 My friend noticed it too and mentioned it. She started talking about how she prays that over her daughter and it was all I could do to not just sob right there.

God made both my girls with INTENTION. He knew exactly what he was doing. They are made with love. There is nothing “wrong” with either of them. They are fearfully and wonderfully made.

I’m so overwhelmed with thankfulness that the God who created the universe created my girls and entrusted them into my hands. I feel so undeserving and feel like I am failing them every single day (and I am). God’s grace will continue to shine on us and I will grasp at it with every fiber of my being.

We are praying for answers and for the help Rory needs. She is such a delight and I’m so thankful she is mine.

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September 2, 2016
by Tiffany
1 Comment

Whole 30 Update- day 30(ish)

Tuesday was the last day of Whole 30!

If nothing else, I knew I would be so proud that I stuck with this for 30 days.IMG_4450

So, here are my results:

  • Clearer, glowy-er skin.
  • Less bloat.
  • Better sleep
  • No longer craving sugar or coke
  • No pain. Sometimes I get restless leg type symptoms and I had ZERO of this.
  • More confidence in my cooking. I’m a decent cook and like to cook at times, but I wasn’t super confident in it. Now that I’ve spent 30 days cooking nonstop and doing brand new dishes I feel so proud of my cooking skills.
  • This is a weird one- but I didn’t have as much hair fall out. Usually when I shower I get several handfuls of hair to fall out and on whole 30 this went way down.
  • LOST 22 POUNDS. Y’all. I just can’t even. I am still in such shock.

Before and After pictures of just my face- the “after” is with no makeup other than mascara (because I am naked without it):IMG_4628

I am still having a hard time believing the difference in my face.

Now. Let me put this in a disclaimer- I lost 22 lbs because I have weight to lose and sugar was such a staple in my every day eating. So was dairy. So this was a significant change for me.

I am now in the re-entry stage and the only thing I’ve eaten off w30 is gluten (had a hamburger on day 31) and well, I have felt terrible. My leg/back pain is back and I spent the last few nights awake with it. NOT FUN. So looks like gluten free is what I need to do.

So, to give you an overall review of Whole 30- DO IT. Seriously, just do it. I’ve had so many people tell me they could never do it and HELLO if I can do it YOU CAN CERTAINLY DO IT. Not even kidding about that. The first week was tough and there were days here and there that I thought JUST LET ME MURDER A PIZZA REAL QUICK but I am so glad I did this and stuck with it. I think its a good start to losing the weight I’ve wanted to lose for a long time. Now I just have to find a good balance.

The only negative to this is the cleaning. I AM SO TIRED OF CONSTANTLY CLEANING THE KITCHEN. But I think it was worth it for feelings so good and losing more weight than I thought I would.

Please do not go in thinking you will lose a ton of weight because most don’t. But everyone loses inches and feels better.

I wish Andy would have stuck with it because 1)I wanted him to feel as good as I did and 2) it made it harder for me but I did not do this for Andy. I did this for me.

Ladies, that is the key. It is great to want to look better for your husband, but YOU GOTTA DO IT FOR YOU. If you are feeling like crap and need a recheck on what you are putting in your body, this is the best thing you could do. I know it has changed my relationship with food so much which was my main goal.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the updates! I will be doing another Whole 30 after the holidays for sure!

If you have enjoyed the updates then maybe I will continue with this to help keep myself accountable and to encourage any of you in the same boat as me. Just let me know!

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August 22, 2016
by Tiffany
1 Comment

Whole 30: Week 3

It has been another week already! I cannot believe it.

This past week has been so great. I didn’t really struggle to stay on diet. Even when others were eating ALL OF THE FOOD around me.

I told you I would do better about taking pictures and well. no. ha! I didn’t do a great job, again. Oh well.

Highlights:

  • Still sleeping amazing
  • more energy
  • skin looking better/glowy-er (When you are detoxing it will look worse before it gets better so I struggled with some spots early on)
  • Clothes fitting different/better
  • less bloat
  • mood is better – at the beginning I really struggled with mood swings

I know some people say some cons to this but really the only con I have is how much I absolutely hate cleaning up all the mess from all the cooking. My kitchen is always a mess and it is driving me crazy!

The best meals I have made this week have been:

Cauliflower Fried Rice

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Egg Roll in a Bowl

IMG_4025(OMGOODNESS I CANNOT HANDLE THE DELICIOUSNESS)

Compliant Salsa and Plantain Chips

IMG_4058GAME CHANGER

8 MORE DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!

And y’all. I took this picture with Rory today and when I saw my own face I was shocked at the person looking back at me. My face for sure is skinnier, even if my butt isn’t! haha!IMG_4174

Also, I tried on clothes in a size I haven’t been able to fit into in a LONG time and they fit great! I was in tears over it from excitement!

IMG_4206 IMG_4209 Also. I resisted this- my very favorite food on earth with my favorite jam today. WIN.

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August 15, 2016
by Tiffany
0 comments

Whole 30 week 2 Update – HALFWAY THERE!

I MADE IT HALF WAY!!!!!!!!

Honestly there were times where I seriously did not think it was going to happen because MAMA WANTED COKE.

But I can honestly say now that I’m halfway through I’m seriously not craving Coke like I used to (I mean unless someone is drinking it in front of me or I’m checking out at Walmart then I’m like GIVE ME ALL THE COKE but it goes away fast).

The positive changes I have seen in myself are:

  • better sleep- we are ALL sleeping better. I don’t think I’ve slept more than 4 hours straight without waking up since I had kids. I’ve been going to bed earlier and sleeping all night without waking up unless a kid wakes me up.
  • less bloated, tummy issues
  • It took until the last two days but I’m finally feeling more energized. I woke up this morning and went and worked out and felt really good. And! I did not want to quench my thirst with anything other than water! (Side note: I gave up caffeine all together
  • Truly am not missing sugar. I never ever ever thought I’d be able to say that.

Now, you should know that I haven’t cheated. However… Andrew has. (He got a coke last week and I found it in his car and I told him it was the worst betrayal of trust we had ever had, hahahahaha!) He’s done pretty good while at home because, as I have said before, I’m not cooking more than one meal. Whatever I cook, everyone eats. Well let me tell you something- mister has had some serious changes.

You all know how much/how loud he snores- it has gone down SIGNIFICANTLY. The other night I didn’t hear him a single time. It is CRAZY.

I am so proud of him for trying to stick with it even though he doesn’t want to and hates it. I’m thankful he agreed to do it with me!

So this past week I slacked MAJORLY on taking pictures which I am super aggravated about. I swore I would do better and then this morning I was so hungry after working out I couldn’t even think straight enough to remember to get a picture. Oh well! I’ll do better from now on.

Breakfast is pretty much always the same- eggs, sweet potatoes, fruit, or some other leftover veggies.IMG_3873 IMG_3855

Lunch is leftovers because I cannot cook three times a day and not a salad fan.

Dinners are where I shine. This week I made both asparagus and green beans the same way and they were AMAZING. (Sautéed with light olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little onion powder until they are caramelized… my mouth is watering just thinking about it!)IMG_3967 IMG_3923

This week I’m trying some more creative meals and I cannot wait. My staples for sides are brussel sprouts, fresh green beans, and asparagus.

It was a better week, although there were times I wanted to cut someone. ha! Hanger is a real thing, y’all.

Overall I am feeling so much better and feel like the next two weeks will be easier now that I’m not craving sugar anymore. I’m hoping to stay with exercising to maximize my overall results too.

Being halfway through this gives me a mental pick-me-up and I’m so ready to tackle the rest of this.

Even if I do sometimes/most of the time feel like this… 😉IMG_3872My biggest encouragers and inspirations are these two precious faces. They have been champs through all of this!

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