Friday, February 20, 2015

Seven Quick Takes (#6)

It has been *such* a busy week!! I hope you all are having a fruitful Lent so far. I know mine kicked off with quite the bang...and the rest (you know, all 72 hours of it...) has just been a matter of holding by the seat of my pants! Here goes:

Lent is upon us, truly. Right now I have an urgent prayer request of my readers: VERY URGENT need for prayers for my father-in-law. The next 48 hours are super important for him and we are praying for his liver and heart functioning to miraculously improve. Please, please pray with us.

FCP Training - an update on training and fundraising. So far, I have officially raised $145 towards the $5,000 needed for FCP training. I know that it's a lot to ask anyone for a donation, and I'm humbled to be in a position to *have to* here, but I wanted to offer a heartfelt thank you to all of those who have made a contribution. I'm moved by your kindness and generosity. Many of the donations have been very small...and it just about brings tears to my eyes when I see people helping us get over this hurdle $2 and $5 at a time with their hard-earned money. Please continue to keep our fundraising efforts in your prayers. If you would like us to pray for a special intention when you donate, just send us a message on the contact form...because we're praying for all our helpers! We're still waiting to hear back on the scholarship, so keep your fingers crossed we are approved for that! We definitely need that support to bridge the gap of our fundraising efforts here on the blog.

What Infertile Women Eat - For those on restricted diets (especially GF ones), Fat Tuesday goes a little differently. It's not the pancake-fest that it might be for the rest of the Catholic world on that day. So what's a gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, nightshade-free girl to do on a day that calls for splurging?! Well, I'll tell you it wasn't a sacrifice, first of all. It definitely felt like a party too. The day started out with crepes I made using this ingenious Paleo naan recipe. I made them thinner than she does and I added honey and cinnamon to mine. Once they were fully cooked, I stuffed them with coconut cream and no-sugar-added blackberry preserves and drizzled them with melted ghee. Like I said, totally not a compromise! Dinner was a rare treat. The local sushi bar had a cheap "all you can eat sushi" night on Fat Tuesday. I'm not kidding!! It wasn't a buffet either, they made your meal to order. This was round one of the embarrassing volume of sushi eaten. Top left is yellowtail with scallions, top right is salmon avocado roll, and bottom is GF-panko-tempura sweet potato roll.

Weight Loss - Recently I realized that I have been keeping a giant accomplishment to myself and that it might help others to read about a victory happening over here as a result of NaPro treatment. I began taking LDN in May 2014. Everything leading up to that was kind of hit-and-miss in my treatment, excepting my surgical endometriosis excision. Once I was on LDN though, weight started to rapidly fall off. Half a stone (7 lbs) that first week. And on and on it went. It eventually slowed, but the loss has not yet stopped. The graph to the left represents 69 lbs lost since I began LDN. It's a huge deal. And I didn't talk about it. How Irish of me.... :P

The Tiny Catholic Bubble - This week I was in a unique situation to help a friend in need. It involved some research into a subject that should have been easy to find information about...and yet for days, I found myself calling and emailing and trying to find people or resources that might help. And you know who ended up being the most helpful, despite all the people, places, organizations, and hotlines I contacted? My tiny little Catholic bubble. That is, it was my priest friends, my Catholic volunteer friends, my missionary friends, those with least access to information and computers who made time to help. I was reminded in a big way this week just how important our small networks are when it comes to our shared faith in times of need. It was a heartwarming experience to have an opportunity to see that more clearly this week. At the same time, I'm starting to understand more and more as each day passes  why St. Monica is on my side this year!!

Comedy of Ashes - Sharing two hilarious takes on Ash Wednesday here. I know, I one thinks "comedy" when they think Ash Wednesday, but trust me - these will make you smile! The first is a funny commentary from Daniel Bearman about how it's not a holy day of obligation, yet constantly high on attendance. The second is from my friend Bill Donaghy, who captured the essence of what we all think about Ash Wednesday... and for the record, load toner was what I was given this year. Bwahaha. Unto dust I shall return...

Diocesan Love - One of the American diocese liked our Virtual Marriage Retreat so much that they republished our post on their diocesan blog Encourage and Teach! I can't hardly express how humbled and excited it made me that our little blog had something to offer their readers. It made my birthday really special to learn that news, as you can imagine, but it's even cooler seeing it posted now! Go take a look at their facebook post and the blog post. Hope you all will consider trying out the retreat.

This Ain't the Lyceum -  Don't forget to visit the host of 7QT!


  1. I'm continuing to pray for your FIL.

    And wow on the weight loss! I'm a little jealous; though I lost a little when I first went GF, then lost some when starting synthroid, weight is still something I'm struggling with.

    I'm still hoping and praying that the scholarship comes through for you, and that it doesn't take forever to hear back!

    1. Really appreciate the prayers! Thank you so much. We're hoping for important test results today that will give us a better idea what the prognosis is. And thank you for the kind words. Weight was a huge struggle to manage with my hormones so crazy now that we seem to be getting consistent results from my ovaries... it's helping a great deal. My biggest changes were after starting must have helped with thyroid/adrenals. Still lots more weight to lose, but I'm now encouraged that it's an achievable thing at least!

      Still crossing my fingers, toes, eyes, and hair over here about FCP training. Not a single peep out of them yet...

  2. Not going to lie, I'm completely jealous of your Fat Tuesday spread! That looks amazing (I LOVE sushi!), and I'm definitely going to have to try out those crepes one of these Sundays; or Easter, anyway. Congrats on the weight loss. That really is a big thing. Loved the Lent links; I always get the load toner, I swear. Well, either the blob or the load toner. Hope your FIL is doing better!

    1. Oh my gosh, if I had even posted all the rounds of sushi I would be so embarrassing. I actually found myself saying to the waiter: "This is so delicious, but when should I stop eating raw fish?" :P

      The crepes turned out delicious. I had only made chewy Naan out of that batter before, so it was an experiment to see if they would work. I think the tapioca starch makes them stretchy enough that you could make dumplings with that recipe too - which I'm eager to try now too. Thanks for the kind words otherwise. My doctors have worked so hard to help me find health in a sea of hormonal confusion, I'm grateful that my efforts are at least making their jobs a little easier these days!! Ha!

      Thank you so much for the prayers. Hoping for good news later today.

  3. WOW!! Awesome job on losing 69 lbs!!! That is incredible!!! :-D
    I love the ash chart you shared - I didn't even know there was something like that. I didn't really pay attention to my ashes, so I have no clue what mine looked like to compare to the chart. But I did get some looks at the grocery store when I went there after Mass. Guess I could ask those people. Haha!
    I'm glad you have a donate button for your FCP training! Yay!!

    1. Thanks, A! :) It's been an awesome journey. The neatest thing has been seeing these changes through my husband's eyes. It really started with just wrapping my head around how to get that first ten lbs. off and it kind of flew from there. Interestingly enough, the gentler exercises (along with the GF/DF/SF/NF diet) have seemed to work better for me on this.

      The ashes crack me up. I had a *really* intense priest this year who was staring into my soul reminding me I would return to dust while he dug those ashes into my forehead. I was sure I had a permanent charcoal cross on my forehead after that I have to admit I kinda laughed when I saw my puny "load toner"

      Thank you so much for your support and prayers with this FCP journey. DH and I are so appreciative of both! <3

  4. Continuing to pray for your father in law. And for your FCP journey!Super congrats on the weight loss! That's amazing! Totally love both the ash wednesday posts. I saw the ash chart floating around on wednesday and me and the Hubs had fun figuring out who's looked like what. Last but not least, congratulations on being republished!

    1. Thank you so much for the prayers! I hope I told you that YOU were the person who inspired me to start keeping a graph of my progress - so thank *you* for the internet motivation!!

      I laughed SO hard when I saw that neck tattoo on Daniel's blog. Hipsters would love it, wouldn't they?!?!

      And thank you so much for the kind words - I was over-the-moon that our little blog got noticed. I've had some wonderful correspondence with people who have reached out to me via our contact form because of that marriage's really helped to make blogging a wonderful way to affirm and live my faith. I love the Catholic blogosphere!! :)