My Patron Saint for 2015
This is my second year choosing a patron saint using Jennifer Fulwiler's Saint Generator. (In case you aren't familiar with this fun little idea, you just click on the name generator and pray while your saint is being "chosen" for you - super simple.) This year's saint proves just as prayerfully picked as last years was. Saint Monica popped up on the screen and I wasn't surprised to see her either. You can read more about her patronage here. Pray for us, fierce St. Monica. Let's hope your patronage to motherhood is something you can help with!
Death of an Era
My great aunt E passed away this week at the age of 94. She and my grandmother had the most beautiful smiles...the kind that lit up their entire face. They radiated joy, warmth, and love. My great aunt E was a hope filled woman. She believed in the Resurrection. She and her sisters (three girls) lost their parents when they were very young. My grandmother was so young that she was sent to an orphanage, because her sisters were too young to care for her. E is the last of the sisters to pass away, so it truly feels like the end of an era. So grateful for all the love and smiles she selflessly gave. She was so tickled to hear that I had fallen in love with an Irishman. Even more tickled to hear that we married, given that my Irish roots stem from her side of the family.
We would have never known about Sadhbh if I hadn't have tested early. Last year, we learned about my godmother's tragic death in the end of January. She had pain in her belly button, underwent a diagnostic procedure to see if there was a hernia, and was diagnosed with aggressive and advanced ovarian cancer. Within 6 days, she died - mid conversation. We also learned at the same time of the death of our daughter, Sadhbh. It was a painful couple of weeks and here we are looking back on a whole year passed since then. You can hardly explain the connection you feel to a child you never held or kissed or rocked to sleep. The distance of a year between us seems utterly impossible. This song is for you, baby girl:
What Infertile Women Eat
I haven't been blogging about it, but I spent the entire month of January doing an elimination diet to determine if I had any remaining food sensitivities. Oh brother, did I learn a lot in the past 30+ days! I've been GF/DF/SF for the past two years, but January was my first time completing Paleo AIP. Now I'm working through reintroducing foods one at a time to see what needs to stay eliminated. Re-introductions have been interesting (some failures), so that's an eye-opener. I made an amazing vegan cheesecake this past week (I know, I know... vegan and cheesecake...what could be in it??) I assure you it was phenomenally delicious. Normal delicious, not "delicious for what it is". Anyway, it relies mostly on soaked, raw cashews that are blended smooth. Guess who learned she has a raging issue with cashews, a sore mouth, and a contact rash to prove it?? BOO!
Months ago, I wrote a post about how I had undergone some genetic testing. More specifically, I had my genome mapped. Through that process, you are able to see the kinds of genetic mutations you inherited from your parents (or spontaneously via a copy error). Just because you have a mutation, doesn't mean that gene is expressed to make it an issue for you. That said, I have results that point to a tremendous number of methylation, transulfuration pathway, and folate cycle issues. We don't have the money to work with a genetic expert yet, so I'm on my own with researching this for now. First up to bat was figuring out my constant B12 deficiency. There are four forms of the vitamin. In order of asborbability: cyano-, hydroxy-, methyl-, adenosylcobalamin. I have taken three of these forms at some point over the past 10 years, but have been on the methyl version solidly for the past year. After months of researching this, I decided to switch to the adenosyl form of B12 (also called dibencozide)... and my anemia disappeared within 2 weeks. Coincidence?
Gift of Prayer
Recently, I've had an opportunity to organize some spiritual support for a special person in need of some prayer. The process of reaching out to people and asking for their help with this project has been absolutely amazing. As a result of this experience, I'm going to be posting a permanent resource on this blog to help others organize the same kind of spiritual support whenever the need arises. Prayer makes a profound difference, so consider this tangible work of mercy you can offer to someone in need, next time you have the opportunity. Keep an eye out for that post in a few short weeks. The permalink for that post will live HERE.
This month was lived as close to the vest as possible. We have some major expenses coming up soon, so I really had to put my accounting skills to work to figure out how to successfully manage this month and come under our normal budget. I still have to put together the comprehensive 2015 budget though, so that's on the to-do list for February. Despite being on what people consider an expensive diet, the food bill has been in line with (and even smaller than!) what it has been in previous months. I know that we will bear fruits from being fiscally responsible and pinching these pennies. In the meantime, this former accountant is working hard to get us into the black. I expect for 100% of my student loans to be paid off by June of this year. Sa·yo·na·ra. Then it's just getting rid of the mortgage in America and we will be completely debt-free. Let's see how quickly we can manage it!
Make sure you head on over to This Ain't the Lyceum, the host for the 7QT link-up.