chronic illnessfaith

My Word for 2016: Furious


I am a little late getting my act together on what my hopes and dreams are for 2016. I was able to travel for Christmas which was a huge, huge blessing but ever since it has been one major crash after another. As some of you may know, last year I had to have my gallbladder removed (which was a soap opera in and of itself) and the surgeon who performed the procedure noticed that I was full of adhesions but chose to not take them down for some reason beyond my understanding (and several other doctors I have spoken with). Instead he predicted that I would have a major obstruction within a year. Two at most. That surgery was in July and I had an obstruction in November. Thankfully, I know exactly what it means to throw up “coffee grounds” so we were able to catch it early and we were able to avoid surgery with time in the hospital on NPO.

Unfortunately the problems have only continued to get worse. After the gallbladder fiasco, I am done dealing with the local surgeons and my gastroenterologist referred me to surgeon that he hand picked so we can get another opinion of what is really going on and have some sort of plan of action. My endo doctor is also on board with getting another option as with adhesions being the primary issue, she would rather have a skilled general surgeon take the helm but would like a gyn to be on hand to check for endometriosis while they are in there if surgery were to happen. I will also be doing the Clomid challenge soon to check FSH levels for the possible of ORS or endo.

I had my appointment last Monday at CMC for my first consult with the new surgeon. She was really nice, very thorough, and while she was very frank when we spoke (no sugar coating here), she had a great bedside manner. That quality is extremely important to me in learning to trust a doctor. I know things aren’t always going to be puppies and rainbows but delivery is key. Anyone else with me on this?

I appreciated this quality in her even more when she told me that she would be calling a hospital board meeting before making any decisions on what to do next. She would be calling together other surgeons, radiologists, gastroenterologists (including my own), and anesthesiologists to discuss my case and formulate a game plan (you know you are a spoonie when . . . ). The first step will most likely be some type of advanced imaging to get a better idea of what is going on in there. Surgery may be on the table at some point but we are currently between a rock and a hard place. Because of all of my prior surgeries and adhesions, the likelihood of being able to do anything laparoscopically would be next to none and there are obvious risks of doing any kind of full incision (especially when the focus would be in a small area overall). The initial surgical incision if done blindly (or even with scans) can be dangerous or even fatal depending on where things are adhered.

So now we are faced with two options: 1) do we go ahead and do the scans to have them for reference and then wait until I obstruct to go in to fix everything and I just have to suffer with the pain now; or 2) do we take the chance to move ahead with surgery to take down adhesions and hopefully help the pain while risking injury and knowing adhesions could return?

It is definitely a hard question that has been weighing on my mind. The board meeting will be in a couple weeks so hopefully we’ll have some sort of plan put together.

All of this rambling and updating does have a purpose and does tie into the title of this post. Obviously everything that has been going on has made me incredibly anxious and filling my mind with so many doubts and questions. At times I have just felt like my head was spinning but I am ready to get back up, put on my gloves, and start fighting.

So I chose my word for 2016:




Most of the time when people think about the word furious, they think of anger but that is not all of it. The other definition is “full of intensity, energetic, or fierce.”

I don’t want to live 2016 full of anger. I want to live 2016 full of intensity.

I want to live furiously.

I want to love furiously.

I want to work furiously to make a difference in the lives of others.

One song that has trying been a life changing song for me over the past few months is called “Furious Love” by Veridia. It immediately touched me to my core. It reminded me that we can try our butt off trying to please others by being something that we are not but God made each and every one of us perfect just the way we are. He loves us so much, so intensely, and so furiously that He sent us a Savior, a Hero. 



In order to live the life of intensity that I want for myself this year, I need to set goals for myself. I always try to think of my health in a holistic sense so I want to set a goal to cover each area of my life including the physical, mental/emotional, spiritual, something that is just fun and something to get out of your comfort zone.

Here are my goals:

1- In order to help my body have more energy in 2016, I will strive exercise four days a week (with a minimum of a 10 minute walk). I would also like to look fierce in my bathing suit at Disney in September 🙂

2- In order to better focus my mind and emotions so that I can focus on enjoying the positive ones more fully in 2016, I will strive to find alternative ways to confront my anxiety, such as through writing, art, or possibly equine therapy.

3- In order to ignite a deeper and more furious love for Christ in 2016, I will strive to read at least one spiritual/discipleship book a month and start keeping a prayer journal again. Some of the books on my reading list are Dear Woman by Chavos Buycks, God is Able by Priscilla Shrirer,  and Chronic Resilience by Danea Horn.

4- In order to have some furious fun 2016, I will strive to expand my makeup skills by taking at least one in person makeup lesson/course and at least 2 online courses. I know there are places in the Charlotte area that offer classes (meet up anyone? LOL) and there are also websites where you can receive one-on-one instruction from a makeup artist or stylist via webcam. This goal has me really excited!

5- In order to have a life full of intensity and challenge myself to spread my wings in 2016, I will strive to write an ebook this year! It is something that I have always wanted to do but the thought honestly scares the crap out of me which is even more of a reason why I should strive to achieve it this year! Would anyone even want to read a book that I’ve written?! Ack! My stomach has butterflies just typing this! Can I do this?

I will be sharing more about my blogging goals for the year tomorrow but these are the five big ones I will focus on to make me a healthier person as a whole in 2016. I am so super excited and can’t wait to get started!

Did you select a word for 2016? What are some of your goals or hopes for the year?


P.S. Back in the day, A New Kind of Normal had a feature called “Sharing Our Spoons” where each of us would set goals for ourself and have monthly check ins on how we were doing to help support and encourage one another. It was also set up in a way to encourage us to take care of ourselves as a whole, not just the physical aspects of our health. I would love to do that again if anyone is interested! You don’t have to follow the same holistic model if you don’t want to but if you just have a couple goals for the year that you would like to receive some support and encouragement, that would work as well too! Just leave me a comment or shoot me an email!

P.S.S. If you would also like to live furiously in 2016 and would like a visual reminder for your blog, grab the banner in the sidebar!

bloggingchronic style

Photo Shoot Fun With ColourPop Cosmetics & A Confidence That Was All My Own


I needed to have a photo shoot done to update my profile pictures for my blog and to update my blog branding and plus I wanted to show off some of my new Colourpop Cosmetics and show off a confidence that was all my own. At first I feel extremely awkward having pictures taken by myself because a) I’m either the one behind the camera  or 2) I’m either in the middle of my amazingly attractive husband and my gorgeous daughter. So I’m just there so it takes some getting used to but once I start to get used to it, something amazing happens. I begin to feel this confidence overcome me and I feel fierce again. Probably fierce and bold again for the first time since the last time I had pictures taken to update my blog.

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I felt confident,sassy and empowered.

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I felt confidence like I ouuld take over the world – in a good way. When you can embrace your confidence and forget about your chronic illness for awhile, it is a special time.

[bctt tweet=”It is like for those few moments, I feel like I am embodying everything I want my blog to be.”]

Everything I want each of you to feel on a daily basis. It is a very powerful and a very humbling moment all at the same time. Ryanne from R@ck Photography has done my blog portfolio shots the last two years and I could not be more happy with her work. There was a bit of sadness this year when I flipped through last year’s shots and see that Charlie was with me knowing she couldn’t be here with me again. She is here with me in spirit but I would much that be covered in her fur. But I now her spirit was with me. I had fun picking out a few new pieces to add to my wardrobe that exemplified the “new me” and that showed off my new tattoo. I got to show off my love for ColourPop Cosmetics and next week I am going try to my hand at filming a tutorial for the look I wore for this photo shoot. All eyes, cheek, and lip products were all Colourpop.

Here are some of my favorites:


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What do you think of these headshots? Which one is your favorite? What is the most recent thing you have done for only you?

While you take a walk on the wild side and have a photo shoot done of just you?


A Sweet Letter From My Sister: A Letter of Love, Grace & Inspiration



To all of your beautiful warriors.

I am deeply honored to have been asked by my sister to be a guest writer on her blog. She gave me a few possible topics that I could share about but I’m going to go a different direction.

I’m going to talk about us. Our relationship. I love my sister with all my heart and I think about her all the time. I worry about her nonstop. I get scared to death when I get a text from her or our mom/ I get scared that it may say something was dreadfully wrong. I want nothing more than for her to be healed. I’ve prayed and prayed for healing, but for some reason (beyond my earthly knowledge) this is her illness and only God can heal in His time.

I am 22 months older than Jamee which is not that far apart so we were a year apart in school and I’ve always been thankful for that. Growing up, Jamee was always the silly, goofy one and a lot more outgoing than I was. I was super shy and backwards. Almost terrified of people in some ways but thankfully, it is a trait that is not a part of my life today and none of my girls have inherited it. I was able to befriend her friends and they took me in as part of their group. Jamee and I fought a lot growing up (like most siblings do), but she really was one of my best friends.


Sadly it took me until my late 20s to completely acknowledge our journey and understand how our relationship evolved and how we fit together as we grew older. And it was then that I apologized for every mean thing I ever said to her and our relationship has continued to grow and deepen as we get older.

I’ve always admired my sister. She has a strength and a way about her that makes her stand out. A certain charisma that draws people to her. I saw some of that light fade when illness started to take over, but she won’t back down. She fights back.

I’ve watched her get ink on her body that is permanent (I wish I was that decisive). I’ve seen her color her hair in various bold shades (both on purpose and on accident) from orange to violet to black and walk into a public space just daring someone to make a negative comment.

I have always been a people pleaser. Constantly busy trying to keep everyone happy. Even if this meant giving up my own happiness. I’ve made a lot of choices in my life basing them on the feelings of others rather than my own heart. I worry about hurting the feelings of those close to me or making someone mad at me. Constant worrying can be exhausting.

I started to feel like a coward but then I started thinking of my sister and my mood changed. I was inspired. I said to myself, no more. I’m going to be true to myself and stand up for myself. I have three beautiful little girls who look up to me. I’m their role model. Do I really want them to see a coward, or a strong, proud woman?

Thank you, Jamee. You are an inspiration to me. You are amazing and I’m so proud of you.

Love from your big sissy,