tomorrow! tomorrow!

beck. BECK! you are coming t.o.m.o.r.r.o.w! eeeeeeeeekkkkkkk. can you tell i am a little excited? and fall is just breathtaking here. i can’t wait for little k to see all the changing leaves and pretty scenes here. to do list:

1. go to the pumpkin patch
2. library
3. park
4. SHOPPING (sorry k)
5. bake something fallish
6. go to the zoo
7. sit and play with sweet little k all day and catch up with oodles of sister talks

feel free to add to that list 🙂 in other news. went to jax this weekend and got to see my little B! so so so sweet and so so so smart. check out his and B#2’s costumes for halloween this year.
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cutest little chic-fil-a cows!

it was so fun catching up with sweet friends and remembering where we met and married. we even got to see the blue angels fly at the air show. so neat! k would love it. maybe when he is a little older, the noise might scare him. but leaving jax left me with a mean sinus infection. phhhewwww never been so thankful for a sinus infection. got the diagnosis from the doc and literally said “thank you jesus”. so glad it was nothing contagious so k can still come! i did however stay home from work yesterday to go to the doctor and may have stayed in bed until 11. shhhh don’t tell.

my little ones at school are just cuter than words. i adore them! so wish you lived closer and could come help in our class. did i tell you i have 5 red heads in our class. that’s half the class! God knew i was going to be missing k something awful so he gave me some red heads to make me smile 🙂 here is what we have been doing:

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each day we add something to our class pumpkin!

Imagewe celebrated the letter “P” by making our P chicka chicka boom boom trees and paper bag pumpkins!Imageand our PJ’s and pancakes party was a success! k would love to read, if you give a pig a pancake.

last wednesday was pumpkin patch day! the kids loved it. the pumpkins were as big as them! side note: it also happened to be “turn the town pink day”. guess who didn’t get the memo? this girl. being pumpkin patch day i show up in my bright orange shirt (which mind you i of course had to go out and buy the day before since all i own is white, beige, tan, grey and black. don’t worry, i’m starting to branch out). let’s just say the entire school, all the parents who came to help, and i kid you not, the whole town had on pink! there’s me sporting my bright orange shirt clearly reinstating that yes, yes i am the new girl in town just incase you forgot! it was hysterical to say the least. think i’m exaggerating? a mother came to pick up her child that day and looked at me and said “oh, you are the girl who was wearing orange in the picture!” yep. true. story.

but having the amazing hubs that i do, s came home that day with this for me. 

he wanted it to be official and being the smart husband he is, he knew monograming a cute tote bag makes the new name officially official!

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(notice the pink shirt i HAD to change into for our church meeting that night)

s and i are soooooo excited to see you! give little k a kiss for me and tell him that auntie tess can’t wait to play all weekend long with him!

oh and this many days until i see you (and k and mom and sam!):
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tootles!

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it’s a hippie kind of house.

stef. oh my word. the hiking pic – classic. love that s had to carry you because you are just a little weakling. and your classroom? can we say LOVE? and… your bathroom? jealous! i really should post a pic of mine. which has been out of commission for – literally – months. been so busy with k i haven’t even had the chance to clean it, much less sand, texture, and repaint it. sigh. learning to be content! putting scripture everywhere i can so i won’t forget that God is with me through these times of trouble… He is my joy and my help!

found this cute “joy” bunting on aholyexperience.com. love it!

ok, so i promised i’d tell you what this diet is all about.

so, GAPS. what is it? i will shamelessly promote this diet as long as i live! for a few reasons:

1) it’s a temporary diet. not one of these for- life things that is impossible to stick to. warning though. you might feel so good and be so healthy that you don’t want to stop. haha. but it’s true.

2) it’s hard and a huge learning experience (anything worth doing is always a challenge, right?)

3) most importantly…. it is truly a healing diet.

GAPS stands for “Gut and Psychology Syndrome.” Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride suggests the connection between your intestinal flora and the overall health of your entire body, including your brain. think of a tree. you can’t see the roots. but if the roots are not healthy, the tree ain’t gonna be pretty. that’s our intestines. the root of all health. and also, if damaged, the root of ALL disease. i am a firm believer, that, as they say – “death begins in the colon.” and i only believe it because i suffered so many years from all sorts of ailments that have mysteriously vanished with this protocol.

so k was going along just fine on his rice milk. but then we started to realize the scary fact that this change, the gluten-free, casein-free diet… it wasn’t enough. he stopped progressing again. slipped backward. limited himself to rice milk and watermelon… refused all else. and, the diarrhea never went away. so i frantically and prayerfully searched for another step to take. hence, GAPS.

gluten-free is great. casein free.. those are all great steps. but they just aren’t enough because they don’t address the problem. the problem is a gut without the proper balance of microorganisms. so GAPS is a protocol to heal the gut and hence fix a myriad of problems related to poor gut function. such as:

•    Autism
•    Asthma
•    Allergies
•    Eczema
•    Dyspraxia (extreme clumsiness)
•    Dyslexia
•    ADD, ADHD
•    Depression
•    Schizophrenia
•    Irritable Bowel Syndrome
•    Crohn’s and Colitis

whaaat? hard to believe all these conditions could be related and that they could be caused, essentially by one thing…a damaged gut. damaged by any number of things – chemicals in our food, antibiotics, NSAIDs, environmental toxins… and of course, SUGAR. sugar is up there on the list of the top 10 things most damaging to our immunity (a large percent of our immunity resides in our gut, thanks to the friendly bacteria that works to keep us healthy by fighting off pathogens). see, i am learning that our health problems aren’t such a mystery after all. take my health problems – emotional, arthritis, aches and pains, constant sicknesses and infections, headaches, swelling, constant sore throat and many more… all vanishing on this diet. i was a big skeptic at first. i am a reluctant hippie. however, you can’t argue with the proof when you watch it happen to your family.

really, you ask, how could our food really affect our brain, causing autism, developmental delays, even bipolar disorder? well, put it this way. when you swallow a pill to combat that bipolar disorder, or depression, or schizophrenia… doesn’t it have to be digested in your gut to make its way to your brain to take effect? and your skin… if you don’t believe it soaks up toxins like a sponge, then how come they make birth control patches, or nicotine ones, which absorb through your skin and do their thang in your body? seems like common sense. i just never thought about it until lately.

so yes, it’s a hippie kind of house now. nothing not organic for k. only grass-feed meats and no sugar around here. let me explain the steps of GAPS real quick.

the first step is an “introduction diet” in which you remove the offending foods and “heal and seal” the gut. this is done through large amounts of broths, boiled meats, stews, and ginger tea. animal fats (don’t freak out) provide amino acids and tons of nutrition to heal a damaged gut. ever heard the old wives tale about chicken soup for a cold? it’s true. our society is so bent on low-fat diets that we are doing harm to our bodies. we need fat! but we don’t need it from fast food, processed food, fake butters and margarines, and heated, chemically damaged oils. grass-fed chicken, beef, lamb, fresh eggs… that’s the good stuff. very interesting article about cholesterol myths here. dr. natasha also wrote a book about the importance of good fats called Put Your Heart in Your Mouth. it’s on my list of books to read next.

basically the intro diet provides the body with foods that are easiest to digest. then you move on from there, introducing a new food as suggested in the GAPS book every 1 to 3 days. if you see problems arise or returning of original symptoms, you just slow down. the gut will heal, it just needs time! we ran into some problems when we tried to move to stage 2, which includes egg yolk and avocado. but we will get there.

after the intro diet, you work into the full GAPS diet, which is basically all foods that are easy to digest. no long chains of proteins. no grains. no sugar. even potatoes aren’t allowed because they can be damaging to an already damaged gut. but the good news is, a few years on the diet (which is actually pretty delicious) and you can come off of it! however, dr. natasha warns that you will just re-damage your body if you begin eating processed carbs, sugar, meats, oils, etc. the goal is health for life, so those things should be consumed in moderation if at all. for me, those days are over. they did too much damage to our little family. and feeling good just…feels so good!

at first, things were not pretty around here. like, almost wanted to give up, ugly. but i had read other moms’ journeys and they said it gets worse before better, always. well that is what happened. the body’s healing process is painful! detox signs ranged anywhere from diarrhea to vomiting to lethargy and crankiness. it was rough! but…progress we have seen on GAPS: k will eat. no more fussiness. no more picky, only watermelon days. he eats meat, veggies, drinks broth in a bottle, sauerkraut, fish oil… all of it. he doesn’t complain. his doctor is amazed by his progress. he will walk with us holding one finger! he is conversational. he looks at us, responds to us, plays with us! we truly have our son back. still, every day is challenging because he has a lot more healing to do. dr. natasha claims it takes up to 2 years to truly heal a damaged gut. but every improvement reminds us to stay the course on this diet. we are praying and believing God will heal little k.

the new juicer my amazing husband surprised me with! for all those GAPS milkshakes i make. love love love.

so that’s it. the GAPS diet. a life-changer. it’s amazing the things we believe about our health just because that’s what we’ve always been told. dig a little deeper and read something “controversial” and you might be surprised. we sure are. we would not be doing this all-consuming, hours in the kitchen, dirty-dishes-coming-out-my-ears diet if it wasn’t revolutionizing little k’s health. praise jesus! praise him for how he created the human body to heal if we just give it the right conditions.

a few more things i believe have been essential in k’s healing:

cod liver oil. best of the best.

biokult. a strong probiotic.

prescript assist. another probiotic – my favorite. has worked wonders for me.

here is more info on GAPS and dr. natasha. here is a link to a great blog with fantastic recipes that will make you a believer that eating on GAPS can actually taste darn good. peanut butter brownies, baked apples, and tons of savory dishes. i used to be a low-fat kind of girl, and the hubs is loving all this meaty goodness around here. oh sis, it’s been too long. k misses you so much. he wants to watch an auburn game with uncle s because he knows how to throw his hands up in touch-down fashion now. too bad his daddy’s vols didn’t do so good this weekend. ooh, check out my fall kitchen! k usually has to hold that pumpkin balloon while he eats.  also, what do you think of my new curtains? gotta love target.

 

 

t-minus 19 days until we get to see you! that’s only 456 hours! we miss you too much. bye sis.

disclaimer: the information in this post is all my opinion based on my reading of dr. natasha’s book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome. i am not a doctor, just a momma who’s loving the results she’s getting 🙂 there are GAPS practitioners in the U.S. who have been trained by dr. natasha. here is a link to find one!

#alittlebitofeverything

 

beck. its true. you have had the last three posts. i am so overdue. please forgive me? all i’m saying is i am sure glad we made up a secret language when we were little and the one phrase (which still remains to have never been actually translated) we remember happens to be our password on here. sistas for life. anyhoo. K!! K!! K!! oh how i LOVE hearing of his health. it brings tears to my eyes thinking about all you have done for him. all you have fought for. the loneliness you felt through it all. and all the statistics and charts that sweet precious k has gone leaps and bounds off of all because his mommy didn’t quit. i hear you say often “i want to treat the cause, not the symptoms.” i can’t help but think of our savior who looked at us and said, “yep, all the odds are against them. lost cause. but i choose them. i will fight for them.” thanks for being such an example of the gospel to my little nephew and especially to me. i can only hope that when the storms come i will fight like you.

ok dry it up now. speaking of. blubbered my eyes out this morning when you texted and said you and k were coming this month! walked into work with the shades still on like mom used to do when she was trying to hide that she was secretly crying over missing t, or me, our sam said i love you. sheesh. i get it from her. love sal. not much new here in the ‘ville. loving teaching my sweet 3 year olds. we read caps for sale yesterday and oh how the memories flooded back. tomorrow is the very hungry caterpillar. it just never gets old. who knew making H is for House houses and rainbow fishies out of cd’s would be so fun. can’t wait for you to come see my classroom.

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s and i are just about done with the bathroom. just needs a coat of paint and a few things here and there and we are DONE. did you catch that? D.O.N.E. moment of silence…. feels so good to say that word. sneak peak? ok here you go!

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100% diy. obsessed with the floor and subway tiled walls. maybe a little too obsessed because i spent countless hours tiling and choosing the perfect rocks. yes, we did the floor the cheap way: garden rocks and polish. saved about $200. spent about $20.

i’ve been a cooking machine. it’s my outlet. not so much the eating part. just the cooking. ok who am i kidding? hello extra ten pounds that i swore i would never gain like most newlyweds do. consider this your warning: no fat jokes when you get here. s says its muscle. we LOVE s. in other news, who knew actually eating meals would do so much for you hair! hello curls that i thought had left me for good. i have become a war eagling woman. i think you have to here. friday in the south means dress up for game day and if you forgot well then you just aren’t american! or something like that. s and i were on tv for the LSU game. well, my arm was. but s was front and center clear as day! 

fall is here! fall is here! i suddenly know why lindz is so obsessed. al fall is actually… fall! not like fl fall that is just a plain ol’ tease with the leaves that just fall but don’t change colors. i’m talking leaves changing, crisp air, hot tea, smell of apple cider kind of fall. in love. lindz- you must come up here! in honor of all things fall and noel’s visit to the ‘ham last weekend we hiked oak mountain. so much fun. 

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guess the picture doesn’t say so.

not too many diy projects these days because i am too busy a) finding creative things to do with my little ones or b) laying on the couch wiped out from my little ones. i did save this black beauty from it’s doom of the dumpster.

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life is good at the jones house. we can’t wait for you and k to come up here! tootles.

 

these days.

stef. okay, enough’s enough. it’s been too long. went to the m-i-l’s farm this weekend and she said we have to get back to our letters because she misses reading. so here goes!

why have i fallen off the face of the earth these days? 2 words. GAPS diet. hardest thing i’ve ever done, but definitely the best, most incredible journey of my life. it’s a temporary protocol to heal the intestines (and thus, food allergies, leaky gut, autism, candida, bipolar, etc.) and whew, it’s intense. scary truth: disease begins in the intestines. heal them, stop eating foods that tear them the heck up…bye-bye disease. here’s the book that we read almost as much as our bible these days. (kidding.)

i will definitely post more on how we are implementing this around here in case you want to try it (haha). i am sure uncle s would love sipping on some meat stock while devouring some homemade sauerkraut. then he can wash it down with some boiled beets. de-lish.

oh sis, so much to tell you! k is improving leaps and bounds. the dr. actually uttered these words to me last week: “your child was on the spectrum. he isn’t anymore. he just doesn’t fit on it now.” music to our ears. k is a long way from healed, but we are seeing it happen and it is a miracle. to hear your doctor say that to you… there are no words. how many times have i heard it can’t be done, there is no cure… praise jesus that he made me stubborn and i didn’t listen to anybody. just to see this child eat… i never thought it would happen. giving him liquid through a syringe because he had such terrible feeding problems… those awful days are over! he’s a meat, veggie, broth eating machine! go k, go!

the thought keeps dancing in my head though. what if there hadn’t been an answer, a book, a protocol, a cure? what if this was going to be life? would i still be praising Him? some days are great days, and some days are awful as we walk through this healing journey. the doctor said it takes 2 years. she said when you get a bruise, you can’t make it hurry up and heal. you can’t do anything for it. you just have to… wait. but would we still be praising God if this was it? He is good regardless. what a hard lesson. love this quote by c.s. lewis:

“If you think of this world as a place simply intended for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable: think of it as a place for training and correction and it’s not so bad.”

my happiness is not God’s goal or his ultimate plan for me. he is teaching me. teaching me patience, grace, hope. all these things i never wanted to learn this way at all, and most days when i pray i tell him i still don’t. health problems rob you of your happiness. but they can’t steal your joy if your eyes are on jesus. i have had some amazing opportunities to talk to other mommies who have encouraged me to remember that – ones walking the same journey as we are.

well, sis, you gotta write back. how i have missed this! can’t wait to hear about your weekend with the bff. oh, and did i mention k is obsessed with pumpkins? he holds them while he eats, gets a diaper change, plays with them in the tub. what oh what will we do when fall is over? ooh, check out this new song by thomas rhett. too bad i am doing the GAPS diet too and beer isn’t allowed. aloha.