Tuesday, December 27, 2016


We decorated our tree. 

We put out a few of the Christmas decorations (some decorations are not Mozie proof). 

I read my advent study and lit two of the advent candles (Note: Advent candles are not Mozie proof)

We watched Elf. 

I think I tried to will the joy this season. As we were singing one of the traditional Christmas songs on Christmas eve about how wonderful and joyful this day is it really rubbed me the wrong way. I tuned out the songs and thought about how that night 2000 years ago must have been anything but calm and joyful and peaceful. I can imagine it was messy. Dirty. Loud. Painful. Not what they expected. That felt more real to me than Silent Nights and O Little Town of Bethlehem.

My cute willow tree nativity set gives a picture of calm, soft and pretty. But I imagine Mary cringing a bit as she lay on top of a pile of hay, animal poop a few feet away, a donkey hovering over her as she tries to breathe through the pain of labor. I imagine she was scared. 

I think about the words his angles spoke to Mary and the others he appeared, “Do not be afraid”.  Their presence alone must have been fearful but I also think the message would also incite some fear. But that is how God chose to enter in to this world. He chose to enter the mess. He chose to enter the pain. He chose to enter the fear.

We (I) am in a season that is not going as we planned. It is still a bit painful. But God has entered into that. He has given us peace in the midst of it. And He knew we needed peace more than joy. And I am finding comfort in the fact that Hope and Joy came in an unexpected way.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Grief. Thankfulness. Hope.

We found out we were going to have a baby on October 16th. I was instantly filled with what seemed like every emotion possible. I was excited. Being a mom has been my heart’s desire for as long as I can remember. I was scared. I have no clue how to raise a child. We both let the news sink as I cried a few tears of both joy and fear.

I called the doctor and set up some appointments. They scheduled me for an ultrasound a few weeks out.The pregnancy symptoms started showing up. It didn’t matter how tired or sick I felt because we were having a baby. It was worth it.

We were sitting at church a week or so later and a woman sitting next to me told me she felt the Lord tell her something for me. “It’s going to be ok”. She said she didn’t know what it was for, but God impressed it on her to tell me.We chatted for a few minutes and then we went home. Chet and I had been discussing some big decisions lately so maybe it was about that. Or maybe it was about the baby. Or maybe it was about how the decisions would be affected by a baby. I didn’t know what exactly it meant, but felt a sense of peace knowing that God sees me.

A few weeks pass. We went in for the first ultrasound. She gave a disclaimer at the beginning that it was early so it’s possible we might not see anything. She moved the screen away from us and began taking a few pictures. The room was silent. The technician walked us over to the doctors office where she ordered blood work and another ultrasound the following week. We still weren’t told anything. I tried not to think the worst but it was impossible. Chet tried to reassure me that we haven’t been given any reason to worry yet.

So we picked out the gifts we were going to give to our parents to tell them they were going to be grandparents. We went to a baby store to look at a few things we wanted to put on our Christmas list.

I was feeling more comfortable with the decisions we had to make. We were making plans and getting more and more excited.

We went in the following week for the follow up ultrasound. As I drove to the doctor’s office I had a pit in my stomach. I had tears in my eyes even before we went back.

You are good. You are still good. 
Its going to be ok. 

It was the same routine. Silence. We were quietly walked back to the doctors office. This time she met with us and told us what I already knew. We were losing the baby. She confirmed that our little one had stopped growing. She told me my options, then let us be. 

We went home and cried. We grieved the loss of life. We grieved the loss of the future we had been planning. We stayed home from work the next two days and just held each other.
We chose to miscarry the baby naturally instead of surgery or medication. I think we both needed it to be that way. Prayers were answered when it happened a few days later at home. 

Its going to be ok.

I wonder if the day that woman told me "Its going to be ok" was the day our baby stopped growing. I'll never know, but I am choosing to believe that God spoke to me at that moment for a reason. 

As I sat on my couch on Sunday morning, eating the last of the thanksgiving apple pie, my new advent study next to me, I was filled with a weird mix of emotions. Grief. Thankfulness. Hope.Grieving our loss. Thankful He sees and knows my pain. Thankful we had the time and space to grieve. Hope that not only will we have a baby one day, but hope that He is making all thing right. Hope that there will one day be no more grief.

Our hearts have been forever changed. It still stings and will continue to do so, but we are looking forward to holding our baby one day. And until then, I'm giving myself space to still cry and reminding myself of the words He has been whispering to me all along. It's going to be ok. 

Beauty Counter

Why I chose Beauty Counter:: Because I want to share what have learned through my own health experiences! Health and Beauty go hand in hand. So I have chosen to partner with Beauty Counter. This isn’t just about selling products, but about getting safer products in your hands.

After being having surgery for an autoimmune disease last year and not getting better with medication, I began researching other ways to heal my body. I began to learn about the power of food and started to eliminate foods that cause me harm and began filling my plates with foods that would nourish and help heal my body. As I began to carefully watch what I put IN my body, I began to do the same for what I put ON my body.
I began researching and trying a variety of “natural” and “clean” products from shampoo to facewash to foundation. Most products I found didn’t get the job done or left my hair and skin feeling dry or just didn’t smell good, which in my opinion is quite important. I even tried to make my own facewash and lotion at one point.
Then I found Beauty Counter. I honestly was a bit skeptical, so I asked my friend for a few samples. I was sold. I loved the way the products made my skin feel. My hair felt so soft. And it smells amazing! The ingredient list was one I felt good about putting on my skin.
And to top it off, I love their mission. Their goal is to get safer products into the hands of everyone.
“Decades of studies indicate that serious health issues (including but not limited to asthma, cancer, and infertility) are on the rise and are due in some part to our ongoing exposure to toxic chemicals—whether it’s in the shower, on our commute, while we eat lunch at a local restaurant, or when we clean our kitchens at home. There are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market today. Many don’t have any safety data. This is particularly true of those used in the skin care and beauty industry. What’s worse is that the Food and Drug Administration (the agency that regulates cosmetics in the United States) allows companies to use chemicals known to be extremely harmful in the products we put on our bodies and on our kids’ bodies every single day, day after day, and to make their own judgments about safety. The United States has not passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of ingredients used in personal care products since 1938.Over the past two decades, the European Union has banned more than 1,300 chemicals in the product formulas of personal care products and restricted the levels of over 250 more in such products. The United States has only partially banned 11 to date.”
I’d love to share more of my story with you. Interested? Let’s talk!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

One year later

These two pictures represent so many things to me. 

The first picture was taken one year ago today.
I just had surgery removing a significant amount of my large intestine. Please ignore the steroid induced chipmonk cheeks...it made smiling difficult. 
The five months prior to this day I was on medication after medication, none of which worked and led to even worse side affects. I was fed up and knew there had to be a better way to heal my body. 
I began researching and came across Danielle Walker and Against All Grain. She shares her story of a similar autoimmune disease and how she used food as medicine. 

Recovery was slow and long initially. I became very aware of how every little movement involved using my core (which also made me wonder why I didn't have stronger abs to begin with!), and I tried to move as little as possible. I needed to nap every time I got up. I became very thankful our condo was so small.

I was often discouraged with my progress. It wasn't just a healing incision. But it was healing 6 months of a flare and infection and now missing parts. It was healing my heart and mind. But soon I reached the six month mark (I was told it takes about 12 months to fully heal from intestinal surgery) and I remember calling my mom after coming home from a 2 mile walk to the park with my dog. I ran maybe a 1/4 of a mile home. And while that may not seem like much to you, this sick body couldn't even walk 1/4 of a mile a few months ago, let alone run it after a 2 mile walk.

It was at that moment I became proud of how well I was doing. I began to give myself/my body grace. And now here I am, 12 months later, still working on healing my body, mind and heart, but we are doing much better! My body doesn't function the same way anymore, and there are some days it is sure to let me know it and I manage to forget the grace.

Celebrating being well enough to go out and celebrate both of our birthdays. Chipmunk cheeks slowly going back to normal. 

During this whole process I began changing my diet. I cut out foods that caused my body inflammation and added in lots of nutrient dense foods. I was constantly flipping through Danielle's cookbooks. This process of healing my body naturally reignited a passion for cooking and excitement to learn about new ingredients and how God designed our bodies to work. And it started a new passion about natural healing. It gave me joy in the midst of pain.

That second picture was taken last week when I was able to meet Danielle at her book signing for her new book Celebrations. I had the privilege of being on her launch team and cooking my way thru it before it came out to the public. I was able to share with her what her story and books meant to me during one of the most difficult points of my life. 

So today, instead of remembering the pain of that season, I am going to Celebrate health and healing (and the incredible food I have made from Celebrations Cookbook!) Plus, I just found out that I won the Against All Grain giveway!!
I called Chet to tell him about it and  I said it was fitting that today was the day I won the knife (as it was her story that changed everything). Chet assumed I meant that it was because I "went under the knife" a year ago today. 
Either way, I am grateful for health and for grace.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Food has always been a big part of our lives. Obviously in the sense that we have to eat to live, but more than that, Chet and I just love food. We love to try new foods and we love to make a meal at home together.

When I realized I needed to change my diet, it also meant a huge aspect of our lives had to change as well. I had some fear and anxiety as I was now “that person” who couldn’t go out to eat at certain places, or had to make special requests. I had to be careful about eating food at other people’s homes. And I couldn’t cook the way I used to. When bringing something I’ve made to a gathering, I have found myself prefacing it with, this is grain free/dairy free/refined sugar free/Whatever else free. In case they didn’t like it, I had my excuse. It gets old after a while explaining why I cant eat certain things anymore, mostly because people don’t understand. The things we eat and what we have been told about what we eat (right or wrong) is so ingrained in us that it is very hard for people to understand a new way of thinking.

So when I have an opportunity to host people at my home. I want to be able to make something I can enjoy without worrying about what it will do to my body, but I also want to make something delicious that everyone will enjoy (and not even realize its grain/dairy free).
Enter Against All Grain.  Danielle has taken the anxiety out of cooking for my gluten and dairy loving friends and family. She has made it possible to eat our beloved comfort foods in a way that makes everyone happy!

This last month, I had the opportunity to be apart of her launch team. I received a copy of her book early and quickly dove in and made a list of what I wanted to make first. I have only been able to make about a quarter of all she has packed in there and there isn’t one thing I wouldn’t make again!

For those that believe cutting foods out of your diet means you are missing out...it is most definitely does not! The only thing I am missing out on is feeling sick!
1) Strawberry salmon salad with poppy seed dressing. So I didnt have strawberries, but the salmon and dressing were so good they weren't missed. The dressing is sweet and tangy. A perfect paring with the fish!
2) Brussel sprouts with Bacon Jam. Garlicy Mashed Cauliflower: Bacon Jam. Need I say more. I was eating it out of the jar this stuff is so good. I will be putting it on everything. I love brussel sprouts but the crispy veggie plus the jam takes it to a new level. And the garlicy mashed caluiflower. She has you roast the garlic before adding it and it is perfection! I had Chet taste it and he said he would never know those werent potatos!
3) Carnitas: her recipes has them with tostones, but we went with tacos. Perfect smokey flavor. And the pickled onions are so so good!
4) Curried Pumpkin Soup: If you love pumpkin and if you love soup this is for you! I would have added a little more curried flavoring.
5) Proscuitto Asparagus tart: Ive dreamed about making this again. The runny egg yolks with the salty meat and the crumbly crust. 
6) Sausage egg frittata: my new favorite breakfast. So easy to make and so easy to reheat throughout the week!
7)Green chili chicken soup: Dump all ingredients in the crockpot and walk away. So delicous and flavorful. I served this to a group of friends this weekend and they all loved it. 
8)Chocolate cake with buttercream frosting: Need to remake now that I know what I am doing and I have no doubt this will be a new favorite.
9) lemon bars. who doesnt love lemon bars. Ive made them twice already. 

Not Pictured:
Potato Salad. I am picky about my potato salads. This one is amazing. And if you make it ahead the flavors get even better!
Sweet and Sour meatballs: perfect for game day. Or just eating cold out of the fridge. 
Sticky buns: OMG. Make them. That's all. 

Celebrations is now available for purchase! I believe in Danielle and her mission and am proud to have been a tiny part of it. Order her book. You wont regret it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Celebrations: Week One

I have been having so much fun cooking my way thru Celebrations! It really is a beautiful book but more importantly the recipes are delicious. For the last week, I have been settling in on my couch each evening, thumbing through this book, trying to decide what to make next.

Whoever thinks eating healthy or with restrictionss is boring or bland? Think again!

Skillet Corn Bread- You guys! This is amazing. Even if you can eat corn, you have to try this. I have made this three times already.

 Blackened Salmon with Stone Fruit Salsa- (Plus fried Brussel sprouts from her first book). I could eat that salsa straight out of the bowl. Who are we kidding, I did eat it straight out of the bowl. The blackened seasoning mix makes enough for several meals, so we added it to chicken and halibut too!
 If you happen to have leftover corn bread.... Strawberry shortcake! We also made some chocolate bread pudding (recipe from her first book)
 Sausage Breakfast Casserole- YUM! I made this at the beginning of the week so we don't have to rush in the mornings to make breakfast. I only made half the recipe but I wish I made the full one. So good, even three days later!
 Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Butter Cream- Ok, so the process of making cakes/frosting and I don't always get along. I didn't have the right size cake pan which made it a little dry. And I found out I was using a brand of palm shortening that doesn't work so well in the frosting. But even with that, this was so tasty!! I cant wait to try the frosting again now that I have correct ingredients. 
 Shortbread Cookies- My husband says "These are so good, you cant even tell they are gluten and dairy free".
 Lemon Bars- This is one of my favorite desserts. I have tried gluten and dairy free lemon bars before. And because of that, I had written off ever eating them again...that is until Celebrations came out! O.M.G.
Peach Cobbler- Such fond memories growing up of my Grandma making peach cobbler...filled with sugar and flour and butter. I had to sub almond butter for cashew butter as my husband is allergic so it changed the color and taste a bit, but still delicious.

Not pictured is the RANCH DRESSING. I was a bit unsure when I first tasted it, but it only gets better the longer it sits. It is able to take on the flavor of all those yummy herbs. I'm going to be pouring it over everything now!

Coming up This Weekend:
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Sticky Buns
Asparagus Prosciutto Tart
BLTA Burger with Special Sauce

Thursday, September 1, 2016


When I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease about 15 years ago, I was given very little information.
I was told:

  • Crohn's is an autoimmune disease, which means your immune system is attacking itself
  • There is no cure
My standard line when asked was "Crohn's is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the digestive tract. It causes......symptoms." And depending on how well I knew the person depended on how graphic I got in my explanation of symptoms. 

As a 16 year old who was just diagnosed with an incurable disease, I believed the doctors and did what they told me. I took the medication. As long as certain foods didn't bother me, I was told I could eat what ever I wanted.

Now 15 years later, 10 months after having surgery, I am painfully aware of how I wish I had been told more when I was diagnosed. I have done much research and reading this last year and am so thankful for voices like The Paleo Mom, Against All Grain, and Mickey Trescott and Angie Alt from Autoimmune Paleo. 
This is one of the best explanations, from The Paleo Mom of autoimmune disease I have read and helps me better explain why I have changed my diet. Its not just a fad (as I have heard people say). Its my life. 

Autoimmune disease is caused by the immune system losing the ability to differentiate proteins belonging to your own body with proteins belonging to a foreign invader (like a bacteria, virus or parasite). What causes symptoms is the build up of damage to cells, tissues and/or organs in the body–damage caused by your own immune system attacking those cells. Which proteins/cells are attacked is what separates once disease from another. In Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, the thyroid gland is attacked. In Rheumatoid Arthritis, the tissues of your joints are attacked. In psoriasis, proteins within the layers of cells that make up your skin are attacked. However, the root cause is the same.
Genetic predisposition to autoimmunity makes up about one third of your risk of developing an autoimmune disease. The other two thirds of your risk come from environmental factors, which include: diet, lifestyle, infections (both prior and persistent) exposure to toxins, hormones, weight, etc. While you cannot control your genetics or whether or not you had mono as a kid, you do have an immense amount of control over your diet and lifestyle (and the extent that these affect hormones and weight and even toxin exposure). By removing the foods that contribute to a leaky gut, gut dysbiosis (the wrong numbers, relative quantities, or types of microorganisms typically growing in the wrong locations in your gut), hormone imbalance, and that stimulate inflammation and the immune system, you can create the opportunity for your body to heal. By addressing important lifestyle factors and changing your focus to eating nutrient-dense foods that support optimal gut health (and optimal health of your gut microorganisms), that restore levels of important nutrients and provide all of the building blocks that your body needs to heal and properly regulate the immune system, that help resolve inflammation and support organ function, you create an environment in your body conducive to healing.
This is not a cure (once your body learns to attack itself, it can never un-learn this), but you can put your disease into remission, often permanently. Depending on how long you have had your disease and how aggressive it is, there may be permanent damage (which might, for example mean that you need to take organ support supplements such as thyroid hormone in the case of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis for the rest of your life), but you can stop your immune system from attacking your body and heal substantially.
This diet is appropriate for everyone with diagnosed autoimmune disorders or with suspected autoimmune diseases. It is very simply an extremely nutrient-dense diet that is devoid of foods that irritate the gut, cause gut dysbiosis and activate the immune system. You will not be missing out on any nutrients and this diet is absolutely appropriate to follow for the rest of your life. If you have a specific autoimmune disease that causes extra food sensitivities, those should be taken into account with your food choices. Because I get asked this question more than any other question: yes, this diet will help you.
One of the most important contributors to autoimmune disease is nutrient deficiency (which of course, is built right into the Standard American diet, which while being rich in energy is very poor in actual nutrition). Even if you have been following a paleo, primal, GAPS, SCD, or WAPF diet for a while, it is likely that you have not corrected nutrient deficiencies (if you had, you probably wouldn’t be reading this page).
Gut dysbiosis and a leaky gut are believed to be involved in all autoimmune diseases (and are present in every autoimmune disease which has been tested). The presence of gut dysbiosis and a leaky gut are directly related to diet and lifestyle (the foods you eat, the foods you don’t eat, how much sleep you get and how stressed you are). The diet recommendations are all designed to help heal the gut, to restore normal/healthy gut microorganisms, to reduce inflammation and to regulate the immune system both through healing the gut, regulating hormones and addressing micronutrient deficiencies. Read the rest of the article here http://www.thepaleomom.com/the-autoimmune-protocol/ 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Against All Grain

If you have spent any time with me the last year, you have heard me talk about my health journey and my love for Danielle Walker and her cookbooks! She was the one who got me started on this path. I resonated with so much of her own struggles with illness. Just knowing there are others who understand what I have gone through is so necessary when dealing with these sort of things and it gives me hope to keep working for what I know is best. I literally have tears in my eyes when I think about where I was a year ago, where I am now and the power I have to fight for my own health.

I use her two cookbooks(Against All Grain and Meals Made Simple) on a weekly basis. They are grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free and more importantly delicious! I constantly have a batch of her Real Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies in my freezer to pull out when I need something sweet. I was so happy when I found out she was coming out with a new cookbook, Celebrations, in September. I may have already requested the day off work to go to her book signing in October!

I am so excited that I get to be a part of a group of people who get to make and share her new recipes from Celebrations with you this month. And lets be honest, even if I wasn't apart of this launch team, I would still be making these recipes and sharing them.

Who wants to come over for dinner? I'm thinking Thanksgiving dinner in September.

Also, if you pre-order her book by September 6th, you can be entered to win a Kitchen Aid Blender, Whole Foods gift card or Danielle's favorite items from US Wellness Meats.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Julie, Julia, and a Cow

Liver. Heart. Tongue. Marrow bones. Four things that make me gag and also give me such delight at the same time.
I had 210 pounds of beef delivered to my house today. 210 pounds of steaks, roasts, ribs, ground beef and yes organ meat! As I was placing the packs of bones in my freezer, I may have squealed out of excitement.

A year ago I was sick. Really sick. As in just went to the ER. Scheduled a major surgery date. High dosages of medications not working sick.  While in the midst of using powerful medications and seeing specialist doctors, I couldn’t imagine it getting any worse. And yet it continued to do so.
I knew there had to be a better way than pumping my body full of drugs even though we (I) knew they weren’t working. I started to do some research online and came across a lady who had Ulcerative Colitis and healed her body using food (www.againstallgrain.com). Now food is something I could get on board with. I LOVE food! As I read her story and hundreds (literally) of others like it, I was convinced I needed to do what they were doing.

Food is a powerful. It connects us. When was the last time you got together with a friend and food wasn’t involved?!
It fills us. It satisfies our immediate need of hunger.
It brings us joy. I don’t know about you, but taking a bite of a delicious burger makes me smile.  
It nourishes us. Almost all the vitamins our bodies need come from food we eat.
It heals us. When we give our bodies the nutrients our bodies are lacking, it begins to function properly.
It also has the power to make us sick. So much of what we eat today is not “food”. It has been manufacture in a plant instead of growing on a plant.  Go open your pantry, take out what seems like a straight forward item and read the ingredient list. If it has an ingredient you can’t say with your mouth, it shouldn’t go in your mouth. I pulled out a jar of roasted sunflower seeds: Sugar. MSG. Gluten. Soy. Um, its sunflower seeds. Pretty sure if I went and picked a sunflower seed out of sunflower, then roasted it, non of those ingredients would be there!

When our bodies are sick, it means they don’t have what they need to fight for us and to function properly. When we stop putting things into our bodies that hurt us (did you know sugar causes inflammation? Don’t even get me started on GMOs)and our bodies have what they need, they can begin to heal. Whether you notice it or not, what you eat is affecting your body for good or bad.
What does this have to do with 210 pounds of meat you ask? Well, during the process of healing my body, I felt the need to switch to grass fed meat. Just as our bodies are affected by what we put in them, so is the meat we eat. Most cows are fed genetically modified corn and grains. So we found a farm that raises grass fed and grass finished cows and we bought half a cow.  
As I dove more into learning about food as medicine I learned some of the most nutritious and healing foods we can eat, come from things our culture throws away and wont touch.

FAT. Pork fat. Beef fat. Duck fat. Throw some of that on your roasted potatoes next time. Believe it or not, it’s actually healthy for you! (www.epicbars.com)! Its also very nourishing for your skin. Go rub some fat on them. (www.primallypure.com)

BONE BROTH. Don’t you dare throw those chicken bones way. Go make some broth. Not only does it taste a million times better than the canned crap. The gelatin (among other things) that is released when the bones break down, can fight inflammation, boost your immune system and begin to heal our intestinal wall. And its easy to make!

ORGAN MEAT. Until this last year, I never had any sort of organ meat. These meats are some of the most nutrient dense foods we can eat. High amounts of Iron, vitamin A, K, B are all found in liver.
Back to the 210 pounds. I am still learning to love organ meat. 

My goal is to Julie and Julia my way through the heart, tongue, liver, oxtail, and marrow bones.
Here’s to continue healing through food. New adventures in the kitchen. And maybe a new found love for organ meat!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Grain Free Focaccia Bread

My journey to find health and healing through food has actually been fun!
I love to cook, but more than that I love eat. When I found AIP (autoimmune protocol) and read story after story of people finding healing by changing their diet, I was convinced. Starting this meant I had to give lots of delicious foods. However, it also meant that I now had to experiment and try new foods and new ways of cooking!

My husband is my gauge as to how good things actually are. If it passes his test, its a keeper. This has been much harder in the baking department. No wheat flour. No refined sugars. And for a period of time I couldn't do eggs or nuts either. Finding a muffin that had no grains or refined sugars that tasted like it did is hard. I have yet to figure that one out!


I found a recipe for grain free focaccia bread yesterday.  I had all of the ingredients at home already. I thought I'd give it a try for dinner. Expecting it to taste ok, I gave husband a bite. And he LOVED it!

From Savory Lotus 
I read through the comment to find out what works and doesnt work and based on that changed the first two ingredients
  • 1 cup tapioca flour (I used 3/4 cup)
  • ¼ cup coconut flour, sifted (I used 1/2 cup Almond flour)
  • 1 TBS nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp unrefined salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup full fat coconut milk
  • ¼ cup ghee, melted
  • 2 TBS finely chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, etc.)
  • 1 TBS ghee for skillet
  • olive oil and salt for garnish
  1. Directions:
  2. Place 10" cast iron skillet in to oven and preheat to 400' F.
  3. Combine tapioca flour, coconut flour, nutritional yeast, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Set aside.
  4. Whisk together eggs, coconut milk, and melted ghee. Add chopped herbs and mix again. Pour wet into dry and mix until well incorporated.
  5. CAREFULLY remove skillet from oven and drop 1 TBS of ghee into hot bottom of pan and swirl to cover. Pour bread mixture into pan and give pan a little shake to level it out.
  6. Bake 11-13 minutes, until top of bread is golden and bread is pulling away from sides of skillet.
  7. Drizzle liberally with olive oil and unrefined salt before serving. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

My people.

This weekend we were able to attend the wedding of friend. The great thing about this wedding, besides the fact that two great people got married, was that it brought together all of ‘my people’. You know those people, the ones that know you, like really know you. The ones that have walked through seasons of life with you. They are the ones you can have pointless conversations with and the next minute it has turned into a deep theological conversation. The ones that are for you.

We have all entered new seasons of life lately, the kind that takes weddings and big events to get everyone together. Not because we don’t want to. But because there is distance, jobs, or family, our lives are busy.

As we gathered Sunday evening at our old hangout spot we all realized we are in different places in our lives that we’d rather not be. I love what my dear friend Julie wrote:

Puppies, coffee, and these humans: some of my favorite things. Our Sunday evenings were almost always spent here with each other laughing, pondering, eating - beautifully ordinary stuff. As they always do, Time and Change have done their thing to us: new marriages, new states, new dogs, new churches, new friends, no friends, disease, sadness, exhaustion, loneliness, weariness, apathy - and we're all a little worse for the wear at the moment. To sit down with your people and to be "not okay" together matters. I desperately miss the ordinary, but this matters too.

No matter the time or distances or life changes. These are still my people. And we still walk together. 

Friday, January 15, 2016


My husband has this favorite pair of pants. Because he has had them for so long, they had become worn in the knees. Soon there was a hole. Then a really big hole.  So we went shopping for a new pair. As we walked in the store, off to the right, was a rack full of jeans. He walks over, and with a big grin on his face, he holds up a pair of jean with holes all over them. “What about these?!” I smiled and kept on walking.

We want our jeans to look already worn when we purchase them. We love giving our furniture the antique look. We purposefully break, rip, chip things in the name of fashion and design. 

A few weeks ago someone asked me how life was going. She followed it up with, according to facebook it looks like it is going well.  I smiled and said yes not wanting to get into the nitty gritty of it all.

This last year has left us a little worn. A bit broken. A little worse for the wear in some ways. There have been some good things, but it has been tough.

As much as we love our things looking worn, we don’t dare let the world know that our lives look the same way.  But we all need people who are willing walk with us in the mess.

If you are feeling worn today, there is light at the end of the tunnel. (I know, I know, worst thing to say to someone who is in the midst of it. But it’s there, I promise.) And besides, if you find a few more holes and another rip in your life, join the cool kids club! You're not alone. It's just adding more detail to masterpiece.

Monday, January 4, 2016


“Bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is both something broken and something beautiful, that there is a sliver of lightness on even the darkest nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich when it contains a splinter of sadness.
Bittersweet is the practice of believing that we really do need both the bitter and the sweet, and that a life of nothing but sweetness rots both your teeth and your soul. Bitter is what makes us strong, what forces us to push through, what helps us earn the lines on our faces and the calluses on our hands. Sweet is nice enough, but bittersweet is beautiful, nuanced, full of depth and complexity. Bittersweet is courageous, gutsy, earthy.” –Shauna Niequist, Savour
I have tried for the last three months to put words down to process what we went thru this last year and I just couldn’t find the words until I read the paragraph above. 2015 was bittersweet for us.
Almost a year ago(!) Chet and I were standing under that giant oak tree as we promised one another “…for better or for worse, in sickness and in health…”.  We celebrated with our close friends and family on a truly perfect day. As I replay that day in my head and look at pictures, my heart wants to burst.
We have been given lots of practice in living out the words we said to each other. More than either of us ever anticipated. My health threw us a curve ball I wasn’t ready for. There were many dark nights where I couldn’t see past the tears because the pain and heaviness of my disease seemed like too much to bear. From holding me in the middle of the night because the pain woke me up, to spending each night in the hospital because I didn’t want to be alone, Chet has been my rock. He has seen my at my worst and loved me through it. He understood when many around us didn’t.
Chet and I have had several conversations about how our expectations for this year were quickly dashed as life happened. As I have grieved the loss of those things, we both can see ways this time has caused us to grow deeper together. The bitterness of pain and disease brought the sweetness of growing together with Chet.
It is a new year. And with that, I hope a new chapter in our story. I am learning to give myself and my body grace. We are still in the healing process.
I often think about that giant oak tree. It has worn and scraggly branches. It has seen decades of seasons. It has weathered freezing temperatures and unbearable heat. But each spring it pushes out new leaves. And its roots continue to go deeper. I pray the same for our marriage.