One day I will…

Hello, friends and welcome to Friday Five.

The weeks have been long, the days have been hectic, and I still have so much to do before I leave on my trip to see my sister. Fun fact, it’s been five years since I’ve been back to my home state. I am beyond excited. But, I am also stressed. Making sure I have everything I’ll need for my diabetes, and then some, plus packing for myself and a two year old…Not fun. So to try and keep a cool and calm attitude I thought it would be a fun distraction to post a Friday Five.

This one is 5 things I hope to do/accomplish in my lifetime…

In no particular order, and probably leaving out so many more things, here we go.

  1. A little random but I hope to visit a few states I’ve never been to. New York, I mean the shopping alone is supposed to be remarkable. The shows, the lights, the history. It would be amazing to spend a weekend out there. Also, Vegas. No, I’ve really never been but would like to. I hear it’s so much fun and the atmosphere is electric. Last, but not least, Washington D.C. Now there’s a state with history and life. I would love to see the sights there and tuck that under awesome adventures.
  2. One day I would like to write a book. I’m not quite sure what it would be about, that’s probably the reason I haven’t started yet, but I think it would be very fulfilling to write a book about my life. Therapeutic, maybe. Even if no one ever read it, I think it would be neat to say, yeah I did that! I do have ideas swirling around and a few outlines but nothing concrete or worth sharing just yet. I suppose you’ll just have to stay tuned.
  3. Now this one may be silly but I would love to learn how to drive a manual car. My husband tried teaching me once and that did not go very well. There’s just so much you have to be doing and stay focused on. Some of the cooler cars come manual though. Just saying. Also, I think it would be beneficial to know and have that skill. Not too many people do from what I hear so to have that up my sleeve would be kind of cool.
  4. In the spirit of travel I would really love to visit a few different countries. I love seeing new places and experiencing different cultures. I think to truly learn about one another is to submerge ourselves. The food, the art, the people. One day I will get to explore and discover and I can not wait.
  5. Lastly, I would really like to learn how to sew. I can do buttons and small tears but I would love to make a quilt one day. Something that can stay in the family. Something with meaning. I saw one made with Tshirts from states the couple had visited. How beautiful is that. I’m sure I can teach myself, when I find the time. But who knows when that will happen. Maybe one day I will though.

Hope you enjoyed this Friday Five Segment.

If you have any ideas for more of these, things you’re just dying to know. Leave a comment. What would you like to accomplish in your life?

Have a lovely evening and don’t forget to wear that smile.

5 Things I wish people knew about living with Diabetes…

Let’s get right to it. Diabetes is difficult. Like, really difficult. It can be managed, yes. However, the emotional, physical, and mental state this illness can leave you in is pure craziness. One minute you’re completely in control and then you eat something, or go for a jog, or start stressing about the new promotion at work and then bam! You’re on a full blown diabetes roller coaster you never asked to be on.

This illness is hectic, tedious, and unruly. Even on the days you have massive control it isn’t because you were carefree. It takes patience beyond measure, commitment, and a whole lot of will power. I’m not speaking for everyone but my personal relationship with diabetes is a love hate one. I hate it, and it loves to hate me right back. The scars left behind by depression, anxiety, and just an overall fear of all the what if’s is enough to make a person want to scream. This illness is no joke, even though I try to make light of living with it. I do this because if I don’t laugh, even just a little, I would live in a funk.

So I’ve compiled five things I wish people knew about living with type one diabetes.

  1. I wish people knew that even though I am smiling on the outside, inside I am always freaking out. Are my numbers alright? I feel weird, why? I’m so thirsty…is my glucose high? What if I pass out from a low glucose and it’s just me and my kids? Why was my A1c so high? What am I doing wrong? I am constantly having to stay a few steps ahead of diabetes or it will catch me and make sure I fall hard. The truth is that Diabetes is a monster. It doesn’t care about anything.
  2. I wish people knew that it takes so much to stay in control of this. Maybe I make this look easy but it is far from it. Just thinking about being in charge of a drug that could potentially kill me is kind of a mind explosion. I’m not a doctor and yet I have to administer this drug to myself daily. Of course with out it I could die. So there really isn’t a grey area. I either do what I have to or I’m gone.
  3. I wish people knew that I didn’t do this to myself. None of us woke up one day asking to be diabetics. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. The fear alone of what could happen, or what is inevitable, is depressing. It can eat away at your sanity if you let it. I could fall asleep and never wake up. I could go into a coma. One day my kidneys could go on a permanent vacation, I know quite a few diabetics on dialysis already. Organs can decide not to work. I mean the list goes on. Not to mention I could lose feeling in my feet. People have had to get fingers, toes, even limbs amputated because of the havoc this disease creates. Why wouldn’t I have prevented myself from getting this illness if I could have? No one asks for this. It happens and we deal but I wish people understood that. Sugar didn’t do this to me. Cake wasn’t my enemy. It just happened.
  4. I wish people knew that even when I complain I’m never giving up. I can’t. It’s a real fight or flight kind of thing. You can either embrace it, run with it, and do your very best. Or you can let it take over your entire being until you’re consumed by it. Love and support from family and friends can go a long way. Every little encouraging thought, note, hug, whatever it may be, means the world to us. I know to me it does. If I didn’t have my support system who knows where I would be. I have met plenty of diabetics not caring about their illness because no one cares about them. What’s the point of fighting when you have no one in your corner.
  5. Lastly, I wish people knew that diabetes doesn’t limit us. I may have to take a few extra steps, precautions, or detours, but I am fully capable of taking this world on with diabetes on my back. We can do anything we put our minds to, with just a little more pizzazz, and a lot of snacks.

What’s something you wish people knew about living with Diabetes?

Review Wednesday.

It’s Review Wednesday.

A new installment where I review products I love, or don’t love, just for the fun of it.

Today we’ll be talking about LuLaRoe.

So let’s dive right in…

But first a disclaimer: I was not given these items for free, I did purchase them for the opportunity to try and review. All opinions are my own and do not reflect anyone else’s thoughts or ideas. I have not been influenced in any way.

Okay, I know you’ve seen them. The “buttah” leggings that are supposed to be so incredibly soft they feel like straight butter on your legs. Or perhaps you’ve been invited to the groups over Facebook.  If you’re like me then you probably had no idea what LuLaRoe was or how to get a hold of these leggings. Well, I partnered up with a dear friend of mine to fill you in on what this brand is and what exactly you’re missing out on,

If you don’t know what LuLuRoe is you can check out the website here where they talk about how the company got started and why it is such a life changing community. There’s a lot of great information there for you. But if you are just looking for the facts I can say that the styles are beautiful, the fabrics come in gorgeous patterns, and they really are the most comfortable thing you will ever wear.

Sizes range from XXS to 3XL. Teen and kid sizing is also available.

LLR+Sizing+chart_v2

There are also quite an array of styles and farbics to choose from. Skirts to dresses. Tops, leggings, and cardigan like covers. You can put together whole outfits and each one is just as unique as the person buying them. It’s kind of amazing. I personally went rather tame with my choices for my first LuLaRoe outfit.

A solid blue LuLaRoe Irma Tunic which the website describes as a loose, knit “high-low” tunic with fitted mid-length sleeves. The website also claims they are perfect for any body – no matter your shape, size, height or nail color…I completely agree. I despise online shopping so throwing caution to the wind and hoping everything looked decent on me was nerve wrecking but once I put the irma on I felt a real confidence. It hugged my curves in all the right places and didn’t leave me feeling frumpy either.

New leggings are always a plus. Who doesn’t love throwing on a comfortable and fun pair of these when lounging. They were oh so soft and I could honestly live in them. Don’t mind my son posing in the background. He was feeling left out.

With LuLaRoe, named after the owners grandchildren; Lucy, Lola, and Rose, you are definitely getting what you pay for. Soft, flattering, comfortable, and quality. I have worn, washed, repeated, the items I bought still look great. I would recommend this brand to anyone. If the prices seem too steep you should at least pick up a pair of the leggings. They are priced at about $25. Add a fun print to your life. You won’t regret it.

My friend Jess’ Facebook page is located here if you’d like a starting point. She does a lot of fun games, giveaways, and is just such a joy to be around. Her love and passion for life really spills into everything she does. Reach out to her if there is a specific print of leggings you might be looking for. She’s awesome at what she does.

Have you heard of LuLaRoe? If not, thoughts? If yes, what are your favorite pieces?

3 things you should know when traveling with a toddler.

airplaneFun

I have had my fair share of traveling with a baby/toddler. It’s not an easy feat. Definitely not for the faint of heart. It can be overwhelming, frustrating, and just plain stressful. Once you get to your destination, whether by train, plane, or car, you can breath a little easy. Until that point you have to make sure you pack up the kitchen, the house, and everything in between.

When my oldest was younger I felt like it was a breeze to travel. She didn’t need much. A DVD player to watch and re-watch her favorite movies. Some coloring books and crayons. Snacks and beverages. Her blanket, and a change of clothes. Not awful. She would have her mini freak out moments here and there but for the most part she was the ideal travel buddy.

My youngest on the other hand is in a category all his own. We have taken a trip by car and by plane. Both were character building exercises when it comes to parenting. My husband is usually the driver and travel agent. While I take up the rear and watch over the kids. I am in charge of care, organization, feeding, and entertainment. We kind of have a system. It works.

Here’s the outline I follow to ensure a fun and happy time while traveling…

  1. Electronics are your friend. If you don’t believe in kids movies, games, or apps for your little ones then you’re missing out. I can not tell you how many times a Disney movie saved our lives from a catastrophic meltdown because he couldn’t have this or that. We had games and movies at the ready for him. I mean who doesn’t love a little mindless entertainment once in awhile. I’m not saying he was glued to the screens but they did help distract him during those moments when we were all ready to throw ourselves down and weep uncontrollably because the line for food was ridiculously long.
  2. Pack those snacks. It’s easy to go with out a meal here or there, maybe not if you’re a diabetic like me, but even then…when I get busy enough I can lose track of time. My kiddos love snacks and they can usually hold them over just long enough for real food to come or for them to pass out from exhaustion or boredom while waiting for flights to board. Don’t be afraid to pack a little bit of everything because of course at that stressful moment of trying to find your gates is also the time they decide the treats they once loved  and cherished are now kryptonite and they want nothing to do with them.
  3. Lastly, a mental tip. Traveling can be a hassle but it’s like that for everyone. The way the kids act while trekking across the states or even countries is not a reflection on you as a parent. More than likely they are exhausted, hungry, bored, and probably too excited for wherever you’re headed to think about sitting still in a seat with nothing but sky to look at. Kids cry, some adults do too, just remember that you will eventually get to where you need to go and all will be right with the world. You’ll get through it, trust me, I’ve done it.

Have you recently traveled with little ones? Any tips and tricks you’d like to share?

The Exercising Diabetic.

reasons-your-fat-isn-rsquo-t-melting-despite-working-out5-1451561370

Though I’d like to think I’m quite an athlete the truth is that I’m far from it. Far, far, far from it. There isn’t an athletic bone in this body. I have come to terms with it and it’s perfectly acceptable for you to do the same. Instead what I do have are let’s-workout-here-and-there-for-diabetes-sake bones in my body. I realize the positive effect exercising has on my blood glucose levels but I also realize just how difficult it can be to create the perfect scenario for my diabetes to thrive.

Even though I’m back on the workout grind it has definitely taken a while. The frustrating part of striving to be a healthier me was that, without fail, I would gear up and head out on my walks, or whatever regimen I had planned out, and my numbers would be stable. Then they would slowly start to climb. Skyrocketing by the end of my workout. This was supposed to make me feel great, healthy, and in charge. When in reality I was feeling, drained, defeated, and ready to throw in the towel. Some days were the complete opposite. Dropping so low in the middle of sweating it out that I would have to eat something substantial to get back up to normal.

Color me beyond frustrated. So frustrated in fact that I convinced myself that I was happy with the way I looked, the miserable way I felt, and the way diabetes and I interacted. Like two feuding exes not really wanting to be in the same room as one another but playing nice and being cordial because that’s what adults do.

Then it hit me. One day I woke up and I realized that health isn’t something to take for granted, it’s something that needs to be worked at. You’re blessed with an amazing system in the beginning but it’s entirely your duty to maintain it. Sometimes illness happens, or life happens, and the healthy points start ticking down. But we are in charge, nonetheless, of our overall healthiness. Not anyone else. So I decided it’s time to take responsibility for my poor choices, and somewhat horrible habits, and have begun getting myself into gear. I’ve started kicking my own butt. Not literally of course. But I set myself goals. Small ones for easy victories that would give me the continued confidence I needed and now I am starting on those long term ones. Goals that after they’ve been completed make you feel really, and truly accomplished. Baby steps are still steps. Progress should always be something to be proud of. I’m starting there and working my way up.

It’s not an easy road. And this doesn’t mean I have suddenly developed those “athletic” bones. But I am working on a better me. A healthier me so that I can continue to be a mom, a diabadass, and everything in between.

How do you stay in charge of your diabetes and overall health?

The Diabetic Mom.

It’s weird to think I’ve been a type one diabetic almost as long as I’ve been a mom. My first pregnancy followed very closely to my diagnosis and it became a whirlwind of overwhelming emotions. I hadn’t really grasped what being a type one diabetic meant but I was going to have to figure it out quickly because it wasn’t going to be affecting just me. I was going to have a baby bump roommate who would be experiencing the roller coaster that is this illness right along with me. Needless to say it was a stressful time, happy, but stressful nonetheless. The beginning of motherhood, along with my diabetes journey, would cause me such anxiety I wondered often what kept me going. Aside from the beautiful, bouncing, baby girl smiling up at me. I prayed for strength and wisdom. He only gives us what we can handle but there were definitely times I was left feeling like the weight of the world were on my shoulders.

Thankfully I made it out of that worrisome time with a beautiful, smart, and perfectly healthy daughter, valuable knowledge to combat the tediousness that diabetes can bring daily, and a sense of humor. Because at the end of the day if you can’t laugh about it, even just a little, then life is going to be one big ball of yuck.

So I wanted to take a few minutes to discuss with you some things I’ve learned about myself, this disease, and motherhood, and how it’s shaped my view on life.

So let’s jump in…

The connective line between all three is me. If I am not on my game and doing my best then everything falls a part, not always drastically, but I have found that things don’t run as smoothly as they could be when I am in a funk. In the equation of life it is fundamental to remember you and your health. Whether that be mental, physical, or emotional. Doing what you can to ensure you’re at your tip top shape in those categories is key. Exercising, taking time to treat yourself, or even venting with someone in your support system, can all be ways to rejuvenate you and your health.

A technique I’ve used when I start feeling any sort of frustration, diabetes burn out, or insecurity in my parenting, I write it all out. Every single thing bothering me, I write it out, removing it from my thoughts and the fabric of me and then I crumble it up. I rip it to shreds. It doesn’t necessarily remove the “issue” but it gives me visual gratification that I am in control of the situation. Even when it doesn’t feel that way.

Alongside all of that it’s important to remember that we aren’t alone in this. Our friends, our family, and even our coworkers, are right there with us. They are ready and willing to be a shoulder, a comforting conversation, a useful resource for almost everything going on in our lives. The thing about parenting and diabetes is that neither one are easy. Each one comes with their own set of aspirations, frustrations, victories and failures, but not one of them have be done alone. Take the time to gather yourself up and allow your trusted confidants to take the wheel sometimes.

And above all else. Be gentle with you. Because you really are doing your best.

 

Community

Whether we see it or not we are all a part of various communities. It’s not a negative, and it should never be seen as separating one person from another. On the contrary it’s the glue that keeps a lot of us together. I happen to be a part of multiple communities in and around my city and I love it. Feeling close to people who get it, who understand what you are going through, it’s human nature. No one wants to be alone. They don’t yearn for that kind of life. Often times it’s just an unfortunate event that brings them to seclusion. It’s our job, the ones who do belong, to always make it a point to include others and go out of our way to be welcoming. Because that’s what community is all about.

The idea of community is to bring like minded individuals together and allow them the space needed to grow and flourish. We all need encouragement and support. When I embarked on the journey of motherhood I became a part of the mom community, we see each other at the grocery stores, sometimes dragging our screaming children behind us. We see each other out at restaurants trying to enjoy a meal that isn’t being cooked and cleaned up by you, and we smile, because we get it. We seek advice from one another because if anyone knows what you’re going through it’s another mom. And we’re always willing and ready to lend a helping hand and offer up what has worked for us.

Some of you may or may not know that I am also a part of a church community. And even though I have severely slacked in attending mass I know that if I needed them they would be there with open arms. Praying and sending love my way. We’re there for one another whether we see each other often or every once in a while. Because community is accepting each other, faults and all.

Another big community I happen to be a part of is the diabetes one. I may not meet up with other diabetics daily and discuss the craziness of this disease but I am always thinking of them. People I have met online and people I have met in person. We keep in touch and they are blessings to my life. They keep me motivated and striving for success. Their victories feel like mine and when they need a shoulder to cry on I’m there for them. Just like they’ve been there for me.

Community isn’t about segregation. It’s about finding people who have your back even if they don’t always agree with your choices. People who will stand with you when the going gets tough. Sometimes we just happen upon these communities, and sometimes they can save our lives. Community, to me, is one of the most important things you can have next to family. A solidarity, a trust, and a belief that when you’ve been knocked down or you’ve been beaten and bruised too many times, these people will be your support. They will always try to bring you back up. We should all want to be a part of something like this. Something so much bigger than us. I know I feel grateful every day for the moms, the diabetics, and the church communities I am involved with.

I couldn’t imagine it any other way.


Do you think community is important? Do you have a community or support system in your life, who are they?