Sunday, January 29, 2017

God's Hand has a suggestion for the New Year:  Sunday Journaling:  A new tradition for the new year.  I love this suggestion and want to implement it in 2017.  I love this thought, "The Sabbath day is all about remembering—remembering the Savior, remembering our promises, remembering who we are and why we’re here. What better way to remember on the Sabbath day than to cast our minds over the past week and make note of all the impressions and blessings we’ve been given?  And since Sunday is a day to slow down and focus on activities that help us grow spiritually, it’s a day we can actually find time to reflect and record our thoughts when Monday–Saturday prove too hectic."

There is a cute sign that says, "How has God reached out to me this week?"  I love this question and how it gets me thinking of all of the ways he has reached out to me. One of those ways is through my calling in Young Womens.

It has taken me a year to completely fall in love with my calling in church.  I love that I get to teach these special 12 and 13 year old young women about our Savior, His love for them and how to become closer to him.  Today our lesson was on coming to know Jesus Christ and not just knowing about Him.  I was humbled as I listened to these girls tell me how they know Jesus Christ.  I feel such that I am an instrument in Gods hands in teaching these sweet girls and in helping them build their foundation on Christ. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Shrimp Cilantro Lime Salad

Oh, yes I'm back in the kitchen.  It is so nice too.  Tonight I wanted to use up what I had at home since I do my grocery shopping on Double Ad Wednesday at Sprouts.  I wanted something with shrimp and something light.

Wow, this was even more than I expected it to be.  So yummy.  And I'm not really a cilantro fan, but this dressing/marinade was incredible.  Definitely a new favorite.

combine a handful (or 2 depending on the size at your table) of cilantro
a pinch of salt and pepper
a little olive oil or avocado oil which is what I use
the juice of 1 1/2 limes
a few shakes of chili powder
a few squirts of agave

Combine in vitamix or food processor.

Marinate shrimp for only 10 minutes. 
Put a little avocado oil in a pan and cook shrimp.  Don't over cook or it will be rubbery.

Combine chopped
Romain lettuce
Mix and enjoy!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Mint Blueberry Kiwi Spinach Shake

I know you are thinking nasty...but stay with me.  Wednesday for YW I talked about healthy living and then we made up several different smoothies.  I wanted to show the girls that you can eat healthy and it still tastes good. 

I came across this recipe and of course added to it.  This ended up being our favorite shake. 

1 handful of spinach
1 or 2 handfuls of blueberries
1 kiwi (peeled)
3-4 large mint leaves
1 cup coconut milk
1/8 lime with or without peel
1 squirt of agave

Put all ingredients in a blender and mix.

Friday, January 20, 2017

A Visit To Charlotte

Last week I visited Charlotte, my once home.  I loved living there and miss it.  Lauren and I even drove by my old house.  I loved that house and still love it. 

It was such a great week in Charlotte.  There wasn't anything fancy about it.  I mostly visited with many friends, which is what I went there for.

Monday night Lauren picked me up.  It is always so good to see her.  She is such a great friend and I'm grateful for the friendship we have.  It was freezing when I arrived, but throughout the week it quickly warmed up and turned out to be a beautiful week. 

Tuesday we of course had to take a trip to Vera Bradley and TJ Maxx. That evening Karen, Jennifer, Ashley and Noelle came over for a little Lipsense gathering, some snacks and catching up.  Oh, what a fun night it was. 

Wednesday morning Lauren and I went to see La La Land.  It was a fabulous movie, even though I didn't especially love the ending.  Definitely will be on my favorite movie list.  That night my friend Michael who I use to work with came over to Laurens and we drove uptown.  We stopped off at one of my nurses home and visited with her and her darling children.  She has a sweet adoption story that I loved listening too.  I haven't seen this sweet lady for several years, but we picked up as if it was yesterday.  We then went to a party with providers that I use to work with when I lived in Charlotte.  It was so fun to see so many people that I use to spend so much time with. 
Thursday Karen and I went shopping and then to lunch.  It was such fun to sit and chat for a few hours.  She then took me over to the Middlebrooks where I visited with them for a few hours. 

Friday morning Lauren and I met up with my friend Jodia.  She use to work the 4-2 shift and I worked 9p-7a every other weekend.  Around the time she would be getting ready to leave, we would typically have a few minutes that we could chat.  It was just like old times as we sat in a cute little cafĂ© in my favorite old town Concord.  Such a cute Southern town.  Oh, it was so wonderful to see her.  She was recently diagnosed with stage 1 colon cancer.  She has an amazing story, because she also had a melon sized tumor on her ovary, that thankfully turned out to be just a cyst.  The cancer was caught only because of the pain that she was having from the mass on her ovary.  Bless this sweet friend of mine. My sweet friend Katie stopped by later that weekend.  She is fantabulous! Love her so much.  Baby number 6 is on her way.  So happy for her.  3 boys and 3 girls; so fun.
Lauren has 4 boys.  They are adorable and make me laugh a lot.  I can't believe they are growing up so fast.
 Friday evening Nick picked me up and we had dinner with Rachel and her boyfriend at Vapiano's uptown.  This is one of my favorite places to eat in Charlotte.  It is always such fun to visit with Rachel.  Her boyfriend was so nice.  I hope good things come for them.  Nick and I then went to Steve's house were we visited with him and his wife Sara.  It was so great to catch up with them.
Saturday Nick, his grandma and I drove to the NC mountains. We had lunch at Woodlands in Blowing Rock.  They have the very best BBQ sauce.  I actually crave it.  Of course I got me a large bottle of this deliciousness to bring home.  We then visited Mass General Store in Boone.  It's such a fun store. 
 Sunday we attended church.  They had ward conference which was wonderful.  I so much enjoyed every meeting and felt such an incredible spirit.  It was a surprise when I saw Trevor Pool who grew up just a few houses from me.  I had no idea that he was in that stake.  It was fun to talk with him.  That day Nick and I made Chicken and Dumplings and Banana Pudding two of my favorite southern dishes. 
 We shared this yummy dinner with my wonderful friend Jenny and her darling daughter.  I haven't seen her in 4 years.  Oh, my goodness it was so awesome to see her.  We seriously couldn't stop talking.  There was so much to catch up on.  She said the sweetest thing that when she heard about my cancer that she wept.  What a great love that she has for me to weep for me.  I love this lady. 
 She gave me a cute journal that had one of my favorite quotes.  Inside she wrote me a sweet note. 

I have amazing friends.  I'm so very blessed to have them in my life.  I definitely was directed when I moved to NC.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Thyroid Update

After doubling up on the synthroid and a priesthood blessing I was given by my brothers, dad and brother in law on Christmas day I am finally feeling back to my normal self when it comes to the fatigue.  Now that I feel well, I am looking back realizing just how fatigued I was and I'm amazed that I was able to do a few shifts amidst the elevated TSH. 

I had immunotherapy today and to my surprise the TSH went from 144 to 40 in just 16 days.  Medically speaking that is impossible, but spiritually speaking it is totally possible.  Heavenly Father has truly heard my prayers and those praying for me.  Remember the TSH should be below 4.5 so I still have a ways to go, but at least I'm not dragging.  The crazy thing is that I feel like everytime I have treatment the treatment is fighting with the synthroid.  Hopefully the synthroid continues to be stronger than the immunotherapy when it comes to the thyroid.  I've also noticed that my hands and feet aren't nearly as cold as they were either.  This could be because I'm not in freezing cold Idaho too.  My friend Melinda came with me to treatment.  I so much enjoyed her company.
Speaking of being cold, I came home to a cold house.  My heat went out while I was away for Christmas.  Thankfully I have a Home Owners Insurance policy which will cover a brand new ac/heat unit.  I knew when I bought the house that this would eventually go out since it is 27 years old.  Glad it will only cost me 175 instead of 7000 dollars.

I met with Dr. D today while I was having treatment.  She is such a great doctor and gives me such hope that there are always more treatments to do if this one doesn't work.  She did inform me that she has sent my tissue samples for testing to see if a PARP inhibitor would treat my cancer.  Remember when I was diagnosed the second time Dr. P talked to me about doing this kind of treatment?  It is pill form which would be nice to do instead of every two week infusions.  We are doing immunotherapy until my next scan on March 21.  The one thing I do notice with the immunotherapy still is that sometimes my knees and ankles ache.  Typically this is worse when I'm cold and at night when I'm not moving.  Thankfully motrin seems to improve these symptoms. 

I've also noticed lately that my abdomen isn't hurting as much when I eat.  I think this is because I've finally come to realize how much (or rather little) I can eat.  I'm much better if I just snack.  If I get full, I'm done for.  I definitely never go back for seconds.