Monday, May 30, 2011

4 more days!

I only have 4 days of this quarter left! I couldn't be more excited to be leaving it behind, it's been stressful and exhausting, and when it's over it means I get to road trip it back to the West coast (the best coast). This will be my 4th or 5th time driving cross country...I can't remember, I think 4th. Ashlee and Heather are flying in today to help me pack and clean hang out until my classes are done and we leave Friday! I haven't seen them since before Christmas so I'm pretty excited! I'll only be home for a few weeks then I have to come back here for a couple weeks for the beginning of Summer quarter and my final thesis project. But I'm doing most that at home since it focuses on my town there! Hooray! More time in Washington and less time in Georgia (so glad to I don't have to spend most of the summer in the sweaty humid heat of the South)! Well better get back to studying for my art history final.

Happy Summertime!

Friday, May 13, 2011


After weeks and weeks of anxiety I finally had my M.A review for candidacy tonight, and I passed! I didn't think I wasn't going to pass exactly, it was just the unknown and there's so much riding on that one presentation! I'm so glad its over!!! Luckily our two profs on the "panel" (we only have two in our program) weren't too harsh on me, just some suggestions for my final project next quarter which I'll gladly take and try to integrate into it!

It's just a huge relief to have this presentation and process over with! And now I can focus on classes for the next three weeks and not have this looming over me! Except now I'm having minor anxiety about my final project, but that will all sort itself out as it goes. Now I'm just looking forward to when Ashlee and Heather get here in two weeks (almost) and then a few days after that we leave on our road trip home!!!

Hope everyone has a good weekend! Mine will be full of contextual research (gross) and writing a research paper on the homes of Jane Austen (fun).

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Celiac awareness month.

This month is Celiac awareness month. I was diagnosed with Celiac disease 9 years ago. I actually have Celiac sprue in which gluten not only attacks my gut but also my skin. Hooray! Celiac is an autoimmune disease and is genetic.

It is NOT an allergy to gluten, a Celiac's body literally cannot process gluten, it attacks us! And the only cure is to go on a gluten free diet. Its not as bad as you think, I always laugh when people exclaim to me "WHAT DO YOU EAT???" I say well the same things you do! But it was hard in the beginning, I won't lie.

It was a tough road. I was still a teenager when I was diagnosed so once I moved away to college and I didn't have mom to feed me and I cheated on my diet a lot. It took it's toll on me. After college I became very sick and the doctors couldn't figure it out. I eventually got better after being diligent on my diet and taking tons of supplements and vitamins. But two years later I again got really sick but luckily this time the doctors finally figured it out, I developed another autoimmune disease, eosinophilic esophagitis. Being that Celiac is an autoimmune disease my immune system is always going to be compromised so during times of high stress on my body it's very easy for me fall sick or even to develop new autoimmune disorders as in this case. Fun. My tummy doctor, as I like to call him, was amazing, and I was one of the lucky 50% who went into remission from eosinophilic esophagitis after being on medication for 6 months.

I haven't intentionally eaten gluten since 2007 and I really don't miss it anymore. I did miss it the first five years (because I was cheating so still couldn't get the loveliness of wheat flour out of my head) but since going completely gluten free and never ever cheating (seriously I haven't even once! my tummy doctor was impressed with how clean my gut was last year! I was pretty proud of myself) I don't miss it at all! I can't even remember what a cookie made with wheat flour tastes like, or what "normal" bread tastes like! There are such amazing gluten free products now, and I've learned how to bake gluten free that I don't need that poison!

If you think you might have a gluten sensitivity or intolerance please don't wait to get tested! I promise it's not that scary! There's a huge community of us out there with recipes and tips and insights to share! 1 in every 133 Americans have Celiac disease, don't be one of those who get misdiagnosed or don't get tested, it can be deadly if you don't (it can result in cancer if not treated) and who wants to go through life with a constant sick stomach and diarrhea and low energy and headaches and who knows what else! not me!

There's much much more to my story than I wrote about, but I hate talking about my health and I don't want to bore you with the details. I just want to encourage those who think they might have Celiac to get tested and those who don't have it please be sensitive. Believe me, we are not trying to just be difficult people by not being able to eat certain things, and we hate having to be the ones to veto a restaurant or meal choice. I can't stand it when I have to speak up about my diet, I literally hate it, but there are times when i need to so I can eat. We aren't trying to be party poopers, and if you are a true friend (like mine are, luckily) you'll care more for your friends health and just being in their company than where or what you eat.

Happy May and happy Celiac awareness!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Faith-not emotion

I liked yesterdays My Utmost for His Highest. It was a good reminder. Basically it's saying we must walk by faith with God and we can't just sit around and wait for him to make things change. He won't do anything if you aren't doing anything. But if you have faith and start taking steps and moving he will light the path and move your feet in the right direction.

It was a good to read this when I'm starting to think about jobs as I will graduating on September 1st from my Master's. I have no idea what I want to do with this degree and sometimes it paralyzes me with fear because what if I hate a job I end up getting or I can't find a career job right away (we all know its not a great job market out there) and have to just toil away in a retail job or something? But I know that if I go by faith God will steer me toward the perfect job for that time.

My Utmost For His Highest
Oswald Chambers

For a while, we are fully aware of God’s concern for us. But then, when God begins to use us in His work, we begin to take on a pitiful look and talk only of our trials and difficulties. And all the while God is trying to make us do our work as hidden people who are not in the spotlight. None of us would be hidden spiritually if we could help it. Can we do our work when it seems that God has sealed up heaven? Some of us always want to be brightly illuminated saints with golden halos and with the continual glow of inspiration, and to have other saints of God dealing with us all the time. A self-assured saint is of no value to God. He is abnormal, unfit for daily life, and completely unlike God. We are here, not as immature angels, but as men and women, to do the work of this world. And we are to do it with an infinitely greater power to withstand the struggle because we have been born from above.
If we continually try to bring back those exceptional moments of inspiration, it is a sign that it is not God we want. We are becoming obsessed with the moments when God did come and speak with us, and we are insisting that He do it again. But what God wants us to do is to “walk by faith.” How many of us have set ourselves aside as if to say, “I cannot do anything else until God appears to me”? He will never do it. We will have to get up on our own, without any inspiration and without any sudden touch from God. Then comes our surprise and we find ourselves exclaiming, “Why, He was there all the time, and I never knew it!” Never live for those exceptional moments— they are surprises. God will give us His touches of inspiration only when He sees that we are not in danger of being led away by them. We must never consider our moments of inspiration as the standard way of life— our work is our standard.