Vitamin D for Anxiety (my story)

shadowBefore Vitamin D…

I was someone who unfortunately spent years of my life in a state of worry and angst. During those anxiety-riddled years, I was a shadow of a person. Anxiety paralyzed me and controlled every aspect of my life.

Back in the day, it was so bad, there were times I would leave college classes and go home early because of irrational fears.

In the past, every single decision I made was controlled by fear—fear of what people thought or fear of what might go wrong. Fear of fear! It was insane. Just ask my poor husband who patiently listened to a lot of it.

I would spend weeks, at times months, fretting and ruminating over decisions or about a relationship or conversation or anything, really! There was ALWAYS something or someone I was tied up in emotional knots about.

And let’s not even talk about social anxiety. I’ll just say that it was all-consuming and off the charts.

As you can imagine, this was a terrible way to exist.

BUT, thank goodness, I am also someone who has experienced a major transformation and has left anxiety almost entirely behind!!! Sometimes I still can’t believe it. It truly feels like a miracle has transpired and I am grateful beyond words!! To tears even. (Those who have wrestled with anxiety in the least will understand why.)

I am sorry if I talk about this too much. But the transformation that I experienced is one of the major reasons I began this blog two years ago. It’s been so amazing, I want to share this with everyone I can—to shout it from the rooftop (or blogosphere:)!  Because if even one person is helped, then my vulnerability and humble blogging efforts will be worth it.

I know what it is like to feel terribly controlled by anxiety and the circumstances of life. It was slowly, but surely, sucking every bit of joy right out of living. And I know what it is like to feel free of anxiety’s pernicious grip. I want other people to know that freedom as well!

Oh man. There are few things in life that are better!!

Mom with Child in Backpack by the PierVitamin D helped!

So, what did I do? We’ll, there are a couple of things that have turned the anxiety ship around for me. But the number one thing I did was Continue reading

My 7 Favorite Dairy-Free/ GF Treats

pastel

pastelI have been all or mostly dairy-free for the last 9 years.

One of the things I initially found disappointing was the number of desserts that I had to abstain from.

It seemed everywhere I turned people were offering me dessert (which was incredibly thoughtful), yet they always seemed to have dairy in them. Ice cream, cake, cookies, pies, chocolate bars—you name it—dessert and dairy seemed synonymous.

I try not to eat sugary foods too often. But from time to time it’s nice to enjoy something sweet, right?! Here are 7 dairy-free treats, in no particular order, that don’t compromise on taste one bit. My dairy eating husband loves many of them too. And they are all gluten-free, as well, if that is important to you. Continue reading

Us (what we’re up to)

img_8149What we’ve been up to this Thanksgiving season…

Visiting and laughing and eating with family. Cooking and cleaning and chasing kids. Repeat.

Traveling.

Trying to avoid eating too much fast food. Is it just us, or does it make you feel bad too? Ugh. It’s hard to stay away from it when on the road though.

Cuddling and playing with two stinkin’ cute little nieces. Loving Lucy’s giggles and Eleanor’s smile. Missing our niece and nephews/ cousins in MO!!

Soaking up some serious sunshine. Hello 70’s, it’s been a while since we’ve seen you in Boston. Wondering how we are going to readjust to the 40’s (and lower) when we return.

Helping a bit with my parents’ huge, amazing  renovation project. Mostly I’m observing and learning (we’re getting ready to paint and hang trim in ours too!). Brance has rolled up his sleeves and has helped a lot though!

Watching our girls learn and grow and love. Thanking God that we get to be their parents.

Dreaming about and making plans for the future with my best friend (and husband). It’s one of our favorite ways to spend a date night. Might included working towards a Masters in biblical counseling for me. Which has been a surprising recent development. I’ll let you know what happens!

Thanking God for ALL of the blessings in our life—including our patient, thoughtful, and encouraging blog readers! We truly are grateful for each of you and seriously pray for you often. Thank you for being a part of this community!

Love,

Lauren

6 Things that help me overcome offense

img_7777Overlooking an offense is actually GOOD for us.

Being quick to become angry is not only bad for our spirit, it’s harmful to our body as well. Chronic anger can make you physically unwell.

When we extend forgiveness in our hearts, even when it isn’t sought by the offending party, we are doing ourselves a big, big favor—body, soul, and mind.

When we choose not to lose our cool, even when provoked, we are acting in our own best interest.

I have experienced it both ways. How about you? And I know from Continue reading

Home renovations update!

bgWe have electricity and insulation and walls!!  I took these photos before the plaster was completely dry (so the walls look mottled) and the floor needs a good cleaning (and sanding!). It will be fun to share another update once we paint, sand floors, tile, and add trim. But I was excited to share with you all some of the progress we’ve made since our last post. I start at the top of the house and work my way down.
house_1Surprisingly the attic bedroom (on the 4th floor) has become one of my favorite spaces in this old house. We decided to leave the gorgeous wooden collar beams exposed and I am so glad we did. It makes the ceilings feel taller and I love how the wood looks. And no, they haven’t been stained. They darkened with age (also a little dirty with plaster).
house_2

house_3The master bedroom has 3 windows (a luxury in a city home). We wanted it to Continue reading

Your worth (in honor of my daughters)

mstbeachYour worth does not go up or down with the inches of your waistline.

It is not measured in your salary or the money sitting in your banking account.

Your worth doesn’t diminish with the rejection of others. Nor does it increase with their approval.

Your status as single or married, dating or engaged, widowed or divorced doesn’t change the status of your worth.

Your worth isn’t affected by being able to have or not have children.

Homes, vehicles, clothing, all the things you own don’t give you an ounce of worth.

Beauty is not worth’s scale, regardless of what our culture might like us to believe. And worth isn’t acquired through fame and adoration.

Your worth doesn’t hang on a good education, or job, or a successful venture.

You see, you have worth that can’t Continue reading

Life not going as planned– a GOOD thing!?

img_7543I have discovered that, more often than not, life doesn’t go as planned. You too?

When Brance and I were newly married we desired to have a home overflowing with children. We would gaze starry-eyed over coffee and books and discuss how theoretically we would raise all of these blessings. It was unknown and exciting to begin this journey together. We both were blessed with good, loving families and we so looked forward to building our own.

When the two pregnancies I experienced proved a huge trial to our young family (24/7 nausea and vomiting for 9 months–Brance basically having to move his office home to care for me), we dreamed of growing through adoption. And yet, our living and working situation over the last 5 years has prevented that from happening as well. Life doesn’t always go as planned.

I was fortunate to spend most of my growing up years in one location and in one home. Our roots went deep there and I have fond memories of every nook and cranny of the home my dad built for our family. I think that because of this, I imagined that I, too, would Continue reading

Leaves changing and Life-changing

img_7683Brance and I took the girls downtown today to enjoy some of the beautiful fall foliage that is making an appearance in Boston.

fall-colorsAlthough the foliage map says we are at peak in this part of the country, we have found that the city takes about 2 weeks longer than the surrounding area to reach the full glory of fall.

img_7686Brance recently came across an article that verified our little theory. Apparently, all the pavement and bricks and cement retain heat making fall come later than it would otherwise— not just to Boston but other major metropolitan areas as well. Like, obviously, NYC!!

img_7685Good to know as you plan your foliage trips, right? I can imagine it would be disappointing to plan and save, wanting to see the Boston Common or Central Park in all their fall splendor, only to arrive two weeks early and there be a spattering of color like today (even though it was still very pretty see).

But it’s coming. Fall’s coming! And if what we saw today is any indication Continue reading

To vote or not to vote

us_flag_backlitI realize that politics are a very personal, sensitive topic and that this pending presidential election is especially contested. Not everyone will agree with this short post. You are welcome to share your own thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear them. I am sure that most of us would agree that one thing that makes our nation so great is that its citizens are entitled to their own opinions and are free express them. For that, we are incredibly grateful, right?

This election cycle many of us have found ourselves in an interesting, if not disturbing, situation. For conscience’s sake we will not, can not, even, cast a vote for either major presidential candidate.

And we aren’t the typical undecided voter or those who vote sporadically or on a whim. We have faithfully voted in local and national elections since the privilege was granted to us at our passage into adulthood. We gratefully embraced our civic “duty”. Many of us are registered with a political party.

We have not always been thrilled or in complete agreement with every candidate we have entrusted with our vote over the years. Yet, we have seen the merit of gifting our vote to the most Continue reading

A quick update!

lgOh my. I think I may be experiencing a bit of blogger heaven on earth. Brance and I just updated our phones and they have Pages on them. Pages!!! No more typing posts in a notes app only to accidentally delete them.

Some of you may have wondered where I disappeared to in the last couple weeks/months. I have been posting less frequently, as of late. This was both intentional and unintentional.

A couple of months ago I decided to reduce the number of posts I wrote. Blogging takes a good deal of time and energy, as you can imagine. There is far more involved than simply writing posts (which I love to do, btw). And since time is sparse and precious these days, I decided to aim to post something new about once a week.

Well, August came and brought the plague to our family (an early cold/flu) and then September I jumped into officially homeschooling 2 instead of just 1. And I found myself a little negligent of this space. But I have missed writing and all of Continue reading