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2013 in review

Sorry I have been MIA on updating you guys with everything that is going on in my world. A lot of new things are happening, as well as a lot of bad, but we never give up praying. We have huge news coming in 2014, so just bare with us! I can’t wait to get back to updating you guys on our journey. Jade is still dealing with food allergies, and I am learning to adjust to the new way of living. I am even teaching myself how to cook (I know, don’t freak out). I have cooked Spinach Artichoke Dip, Banana Pudding (even if it was instant with real bananas Again, don’t judge me) hahahah!! ;-)
I am also getting ready to pack again, but you will just have to wait to figure out why!
Since August 2013,  I have started a Food Allergy Support group for our area: West Georgia Food Allergy Support Group. Our first meeting is the 21st and I am so nervous! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us. When Jade was diagnosed I didn’t realize how many people was so unaware of food allergies, even for myself. I am now pushing with all the other food allergy awareness that epipen training should be like CPR training, and should be mandatory. Did you know that bus drivers in our area are not properly trained? However, as of 2014 they will be! My voice is being heard, and I am so excited about making a difference.

Anyway, I will leave you with this note:
“Never give up hope, always trust in Him, and everything else will fall into place. If people walk out of your life, then hold your head high and smile, because you can show them you can make a difference rather they are with you or not.” — From Me!

I wish you all the best in 2014 and I will be back, so hold your horses! And for the ones who have been checking on us, thank you!

God Bless You in everything you do!
Jenna

 

Btw – I am active on my book blog: Werejumpinbooks.wordpress.com So come on over if you enjoy books!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 62,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

Food Allergies vs Faith

FA

I am coming forward to shed a new light on some things.

I haven’t talked too much about food allergies since my daughter was fighting for her life May 2012. Just because I didn’t talk about it much or throw statistics at everyone doesn’t mean I wasn’t praying for miracles, not only for my child but for every child out there battling their food allergies. I didn’t know much about food allergies till that dreaded day.

I didn’t know it could mean life or death within minutes of eating something or that I would spend so much time and energy researching things you have to do to make sure any food you touch was safe. I am not talking about just reading labels here. I am talking about the every detail of everything you do.

Did you know that half of the time you have to either call companies, or send them an e-mail to see what is actually in their food? You spend most of your time helping, or protecting your child. It is not just about companies, it’s also restaurants. Those times where you just want to go sit down as a family and have someone cook for you. After doing some research in our  town, we found that we only have two options for sit down restaurants: Cracker Barrel & Olive Garden. Even though recently, Cracker Barrel changed their menu, so I will have to contact  them before our next visit to make sure they are still food allergy aware, and if anything has changed.

Half of the time, we (parents of food allergy kids) just want people to ‘get’ it. It is life or death. How hard is that for people to understand? When you have a child who is sick  you don’t take them to the hospital for them to run around and play. So, why would I take my food allergy child to your birthday party and let her run around free of everything, when I have no clue what is there. I have no clue what is in the cake, the ice cream, and those donuts you decided to pick up and bring. So sorry if I come off being “overly protected”, I am just being a mom.  

Food allergies just happen. It is not planned out. It is not something that I would wish on anyone. Just because one day my child eats nuts, then the next day she is in the ER, doesn’t mean I am just going to go back to our way of life before. That ONE day changed our life, and we changed our life-style. It is a way of living, it can be restrictive but at least this is something I can battle. This is something I can manage.

Your next question could be about my faith. “If your faith is strong enough you wouldn’t worry so much. Let Go, Let God” Really? So, I should just throw that common sense God gave me right out the window and say “Run along Jade! I will watch you from here! Even though I saw you battling for your life, I just want you free-spirited. In the meantime, I will sit over in my corner and pray while you run free”

So, let me inform you about my faith.

My faith is loading my daughter up on the bus every morning for school. I don’t know what Sally has brought on the bus that morning. I don’t know if Sally is going to give Jade her walnut ice cream, or did Sally just saved her Nutella sandwich to share with Jade on the bus. Don’t tell me this can’t happen, because when I was in school I brought snacks on the bus. My ride was an hour and half, so of course, I brought me something! Who is not to say some little kid does the same? Why would a kid bring something so dangerous on the bus? The reason why is because to that child it isn’t dangerous. That kid is living the Free-Spirited life.

My faith is letting my daughter into a public school. A public school where they have no clue, nor have they seen a child go through Anaphylactic shock. The teachers and staff don’t know what to even look for if something happens to my child. I have to tell them the warnings signs. My faith is, for them to remember exactly what I told them.

My faith knows God can change this. My everyday prayer is finding a cure, finding a way to ‘fix’ whatever is wrong. And now my faith is really showing and do you want to know why? Because just today we found out that Jade might have outgrown her allergies, but that’s not why I have faith now. I have faith now because I am going to put her life in her Doctors hand. The Doctor is going to do a food challenge and feed her Walnuts. The Doctor and Nurses will watch her closely. I will be facing the devil head on, but I will not bow my head. I will push through because I know who has this, and it is not me. So, next time you hear food allergies think about everything it takes for that parent to push through everyday life. Don’t judge them; don’t start pointing fingers at them, because in my eyes they have the best positive outlook on life. For they know what true Faith is.

 

Okay, It’s been awhile

Dang, so sorry I just took off and left you guys.
I had my baby (of course) ha!!

You have to hang on though… there will be pictures, but just wait I have to update you first!

7 Months pregnant and my daughter was in the hospital, then packing… 8 months pregnant I was moving and unpacking.

I had my baby boy Grayson April 7th: 6:57, 7lbs even. I was 39 weeks pregnant. Ironically, I had Jade at 39 Weeks on a Sunday as well. Go figure ;-)

As to now, everything is up and down.
I was up every 2-3 hours for 3 months, 3 months I was on the couch sleeping. Grayson wasn’t sleeping well and had (still does) acid reflux. I couldn’t lay him anywhere but in his swing. Finally moved the swing in his room and now I am getting to sleep in my own bed, who knew!? Do you know how much you miss your bed when you go on vacation? So yeah, I was in heaven. There was days all I wanted to do was sink deeper into that mattress but Grayson would cry a little louder if I wasn’t tending to him within the 30seconds he gave me, lol!

Grayson is now 4 months old, we have went through 4 different formulas and we have landed on Soy. I didn’t know that if Milk Protein/Lactose would cause a baby to strangle, and have such bad stomach pains. No wonder I never got sleep. However, he is happy now. He is eating 6oz at a time, and is sleeping in his bed during the day, and trying to get him adjusted at night. We have a doctor’s appointment the 26th for a specialist. He also has torticollis, which is a wry neck or loxia, is a symptom defined by an abnormal, asymmetrical head or neck position, which may be due to a variety of causes. (I personally think it is from that dang swing) However, I have been doing exercises on him, he can now at least turn some on the left side, but he isn’t fully where he needs to be.  I will update on him once we get back from the doctor.

Jade…

Well, as yall know Jade has severe food allergies to tree nuts. We found out May 2012. She was 4 years old at time. She has started school now, and my stress raises to people being absolutely closed minded about how severe it can be. I have now reached out to a Doctor in Atlanta and I will be calling in the morning first thing to get her an appointment. He said he would update her 504 Plan. 504 Plan is a plan for children who have a life threatening condition. Also in the State of Georgia she is under a disability.
We are also going to the FARE Walk September 29th in Atlanta. I think it would be a great learning experience with her, as well to educate us further. I think it will also be beneficial to have other support groups in our area. If you would like to make a donation I will leave a link at the bottom of my post.
The girl I spoke to also said that Jade may even need to go to a GI Care for Kids, because she may have more allergies that attack her gut system. Hints her being in the hospital last March, or so, with a 103.5 fever that stayed high for 6 days.

As for me…

I started back with my weight loss goal. However, in the past 3 weeks I haven’t been able to do what I use to.
I started exercising in May, June I was exercising 1hr 30mins/day 5 days a week, by July I couldn’t do it anymore. I started getting light headed, my mouth would go completely dry, my vision would get blurry and during one of my personal training days I actually got sick to my stomach. Everyone thinks it may be my blood sugar, but I eat before I go, and I drink water while I am there. I even grab a banana during breaks. I also don’t get the spotted vision, so who knows what is up with that.
Doctor told me it could be stress related as well as hypoglycemia so we will see. I am still waiting for the blood test results from last week. However, I have lost 7 pounds in 2 weeks. Doctor called it the Stress Diet.

Just so much going on since the baby has been born, and the lack of sleep. I probably should be sleeping now but I wanted to share with you guys what I have been doing, as well as show yall pictures.
I hope each one of you are doing something you enjoy, and never let a day go by that you don’t live to your fullest.

MyFitnessPal: Jenna_Bearden
Instagram: Jenna_Bearden

FARE Walk: http://www.foodallergywalk.org/atlanta/jadebearden 

if the link doesn’t work, please let me know!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Day 12 – Crowded

One Month to Love!
This was an awesome book, check out my review and I wanted to share with y’all the “important” parts to me. This is by far not what the whole book is about, but just a glimpse of what I thought was catching, or needed to be shared. I will be going through each day, as this will be sorta like my “journal”.

There are 4 weeks involved:
Week 1: The Art of Being All There
Week 2: The Art of Acting Intentionally
Week 3: The Art of Risking Awkwardness
Week 4: The Art of Letting Go

Day 11 of Week 2: Crowded

Crowded

It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one’s neighbor. ~Eric Hoffer

There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult. ~ Warren Buffett

We mistakenly believe that the more we crowd into our overloaded schedules, the more effective we’ll be. But the truth is that growing relationships is a lot like growing crops, they need space to become strong and healthy.

You need to decide what’s important in your life and then cut everything else out.

Another practice that has been very helpful in our lives as well as in our marriage is getting together every week or two for recalibration.

Recalibration is when we sit down with our calendars and go over all the family events that need to go on the schedule first. We write down Open House at school, ball games, band concerts, etc. We schedule our date nights and family getaways.

God sends me a “holy interruption”. Here is my definition of a holy interruption: God’s greater purpose disguised as an annoying interruption to my man-made plan.

In order to act intentionally, you need to shift your priorities from things, accomplishments, and to-do lists and refocus your life on what matters most: relationships.

Lasting Love Relationship Challenge
1) Do you feel like your key relationships are being crowded out by your overloaded schedule? What can you cut out immediately to create space for your relationships to grow?
2) What would you do differently if you knew you had only one month to live?
3) Is it difficult for you to say no to people and opportunities that come your way? Practice saying no as a first response this week until you are sure the opportunity is a priority.
4) Can you think of something in your life over the past few weeks that was a holy interruption? Write it down in your journal.

In case you missed it:
Day 1 – The Most Important Thing
Day 2 – Face to Face
Day 3 – Zoning In
Day 4 – Being All There on a Deeper Level
Day 5 – Staying at the Table
Day 6 – Stuck With Me
Day 7 – Thick and Thin
Day 8 – Last to First
Day 9 - The Imperfect Dance
Day 10 – Painting a Vision
Day 11 – Action Adventure

 

Day 11 – Action Adventure

One Month to Love!
This was an awesome book, check out my review and I wanted to share with y’all the “important” parts to me. This is by far not what the whole book is about, but just a glimpse of what I thought was catching, or needed to be shared. I will be going through each day, as this will be sorta like my “journal”.

There are 4 weeks involved:
Week 1: The Art of Being All There
Week 2: The Art of Acting Intentionally
Week 3: The Art of Risking Awkwardness
Week 4: The Art of Letting Go

Day 11 of Week 2: Action Adventure

love

We can do no great things, only small things with great love. ~Mother Teresa

We love because it’s the only true adventure. ~Nikki Giovanni

1 Corinthians 13:4-6 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth

Focus your energy and create some adventures.

I challenge you to start putting the same amount of energy and creativity into your marriage and parenting as you give your work.

You be the blessing.

If you want to connect with your teenagers, you have to look for ways to step into their world.

A life of Love!

Lasting Love Relationship Challenge
1) In your relationship journal, write out one or two action points for each of your vision statement elements for your key relationships. Think about what it will take to get into their world.2) Consider an out-of-box action you could creativity introduce into one of those relationships. Realize that an idea is often followed by the thought, I could never do that, really? Pray about it.
3) Reread 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, to refresh your memory about what real love looks like copy this chapter, the greatest description of love ever written, into your journal.

In case you missed it:
Day 1 – The Most Important Thing
Day 2 – Face to Face
Day 3 – Zoning In
Day 4 – Being All There on a Deeper Level
Day 5 – Staying at the Table
Day 6 – Stuck With Me
Day 7 – Thick and Thin
Day 8 – Last to First
Day 9 - The Imperfect Dance
Day 10 – Painting a Vision

 

Day 10 – Painting a Vision

One Month to Love!
This was an awesome book, check out my review and I wanted to share with y’all the “important” parts to me. This is by far not what the whole book is about, but just a glimpse of what I thought was catching, or needed to be shared. I will be going through each day, as this will be sorta like my “journal”.

There are 4 weeks involved:
Week 1: The Art of Being All There
Week 2: The Art of Acting Intentionally
Week 3: The Art of Risking Awkwardness
Week 4: The Art of Letting Go

Day 10 of Week 2: Painting a Vision

Vision

Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither. ~C.S. Lewis

I used  to spend my nights dreaming about the life I wanted to love. Now I live my dreams, and I spend my nights sleeping. ~Dan Ogden

Paint a clear vision of what we want a relationship to become.

God says, “You’ll see it when you believe it.”, as in “we live by faith, not by sight” 2 Corninthians 5:7

It’s important to remember that difficulties in relationships are not only normal; they’re also essential.

Lasting Love Relationship Challenge
1) Begin to write a vision statement for each of your key relationships. Think about what you want your relationship to look like in five, ten, or twenty years. This may take several days, so don’t rush it.
2) Pray for God to help you see what your relationships can become. He has the power to heal old wounds, restore broken bridges, and melt even the iciest heart.
3) For help with your vision or action steps, or to see our personal vision for our family and friendships, go to onemonthtolove.com

In case you missed it:
Day 1 – The Most Important Thing
Day 2 – Face to Face
Day 3 – Zoning In
Day 4 – Being All There on a Deeper Level
Day 5 – Staying at the Table
Day 6 – Stuck With Me
Day 7 – Thick and Thin
Day 8 – Last to First
Day 9 - The Imperfect Dance

Day 9 – The Imperfect Dance

One Month to Love!
This was an awesome book, check out my review and I wanted to share with y’all the “important” parts to me. This is by far not what the whole book is about, but just a glimpse of what I thought was catching, or needed to be shared. I will be going through each day, as this will be sorta like my “journal”.

There are 4 weeks involved:
Week 1: The Art of Being All There
Week 2: The Art of Acting Intentionally
Week 3: The Art of Risking Awkwardness
Week 4: The Art of Letting Go

Day 9 of Week 2: The Imperfect Dance

Jeremiah 33 3

There is no box made by God nor us but that the sides can be flattened out and the top blown off to make a dance floor on which to celebrate life. ~Kenneth Caraway

There are always two choices. To paths to take. One is easy. And its only reward is that it’s easy. ~Anonymous

To excel at anything – being a star athlete, a super salesperson, or a professional dancer – you have to spend time on the dance floor of difficulty before you experience the benefit of greatness.

Every relationship has its unique challenges, but it’s how you respond in the hard times that determines whether you will walk off the dance floor in the middle of the song or discover the divine dance of lasting love.

Meaningful relationships are optional. You get to choose whether or not you’ll do what it takes to bond with the key people in your life.

We are never meant to deeply connect with every person who wanders into our lives.

Marriage is a choice. When you say yes to your spouse, you’re saying no to every other person on the planet. Once you’ve invested your life in someone, you can’t recapture those hours to use again on someone else.

Lasting love says that great relationships are based on active choices. The very best relationships are highly intentional, built on the solid rock of shared vision and goals.

Lasting Love Relationship Challenge
1) List in your journal those you count as real friends. How many have you actively chosen to be your friend? How many are connections that have just happened to you?
2) Brainstorm a meaningful way you could let each of the important people in your life know that you’ve chosen them.
3) Write down some of the good intentions you’ve had for your key relationships that you’ve never acted on. This will help you get ready for the future assignment of writing down an intentional vision and action points for the relationships that matter most to you.

In case you missed it:
Day 1 – The Most Important Thing
Day 2 – Face to Face
Day 3 – Zoning In
Day 4 – Being All There on a Deeper Level
Day 5 – Staying at the Table
Day 6 – Stuck With Me
Day 7 – Thick and Thin
Day 8 – Last to First

Day 8 – Last to First

One Month to Love!
This was an awesome book, check out my review and I wanted to share with y’all the “important” parts to me. This is by far not what the whole book is about, but just a glimpse of what I thought was catching, or needed to be shared. I will be going through each day, as this will be sorta like my “journal”.

There are 4 weeks involved:
Week 1: The Art of Being All There
Week 2: The Art of Acting Intentionally
Week 3: The Art of Risking Awkwardness
Week 4: The Art of Letting Go

Day 8 of Week 1: Last to First

1john4-10

Sometimes the shortest distance between two points is a winding path walked arm in arm. ~Robert Brault

Love between the very young is touching. Love between the very old is glory. ~Pam Brown

The right time to be there is now, because now is the only opportunity we can be certain of. If you have something you need to say, say it now! If you have something you need to do, don’t wait. Do it now! Love Now!

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. ~1 John 4:10

Love Lasting Relationship Challenge
1) Here’s the litmus test: if it involves the people closet to you, it’s not a distraction, it’s what matters most. Journal about two or three things that routinely distract you from relationships.
2) Schedule a time to be all there with each of your key relationships. Try to make this an in-person interaction. It may not be easy, but are they worth the effort?
3) When you’re with someone you love this week, ask yourself, “What if this is the last time we are together on this earth?” “Would I say or do anything differently?” Dare to let your words and actions be determined by your answer to the question.

In case you missed it:
Day 1 – The Most Important Thing
Day 2 – Face to Face
Day 3 – Zoning In
Day 4 – Being All There on a Deeper Level
Day 5 – Staying at the Table
Day 6 – Stuck With Me
Day 7 – Thick and Thin

Day 7 – Thick and Thin

One Month to Love!
This was an awesome book, check out my review and I wanted to share with y’all the “important” parts to me. This is by far not what the whole book is about, but just a glimpse of what I thought was catching, or needed to be shared. I will be going through each day, as this will be sorta like my “journal”.

There are 4 weeks involved:
Week 1: The Art of Being All There
Week 2: The Art of Acting Intentionally
Week 3: The Art of Risking Awkwardness
Week 4: The Art of Letting Go

Day 7 of Week 1: Thick and Thin

Thick

It’s so easy to fall in love but hard to find someone who will catch you. ~Anonymous

There shall be such a oneness between you that when one weeps, the other shall taste salt. ~Ancient Proverb

Great relationships are built on weathering the storms of life together.
Lasting love says, “I’ll love you even when…” Even when you’re sick. Even when helping you is difficult for me. Even when your eyes dim and your skin sags. Even when you wrong me.
If something catastrophic were to happen in one of their, key relationships, lives, how would you respond? How far would you go to be there for them?

“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31

True relationship is often defined by how you show up for friends and loved one in times of deep need and crisis.

Lasting Love Relationship Challenge
1) Can you recall a time when  you came to someones’ aid and found yourself blessed in an unexpected way? Write down some notes in your journal as you reflect on that experience.
2) Can you imagine yourself having a “Hosea Love” for anyone in your life? Who might that be?
3) Choose one of your key relationships, and try to anticipate a need they might have. If that arose, what would you be wiling to do in order to be there in the tough time they would be facing? Write that down in your journal.

In case you missed it:
Day 1 – The Most Important Thing
Day 2 – Face to Face
Day 3 – Zoning In
Day 4 – Being All There on a Deeper Level
Day 5 – Staying at the Table
Day 6 – Stuck With Me

Day 6 – Stuck With Me

One Month to Love!
This was an awesome book, check out my review and I wanted to share with y’all the “important” parts to me. This is by far not what the whole book is about, but just a glimpse of what I thought was catching, or needed to be shared. I will be going through each day, as this will be sorta like my “journal”.

There are 4 weeks involved:
Week 1: The Art of Being All There
Week 2: The Art of Acting Intentionally
Week 3: The Art of Risking Awkwardness
Week 4: The Art of Letting Go

Day 6 of Week 1: Stuck With Me

Stuckwithme

The greatest happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved – loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves. ~Victor Hugo

If you’re never scared or embarrassed or hurt, it means you never take any chances. ~Julia Sorel

Good feelings aren’t reliable enough to sustain any relationship.
Our commitment to each other is the scaffolding that our key relationships are built on. Romance, shared dreams, laughter, memories, and deep conversations are the plaster and paint we use to decorate our relationships, but without commitment everything else will disintegrate with the little earthquakes that come into every life.

When they said “Till death do us part,” there was integrity in their promise. They’re been held together by the strength of their commitment.
Love is more than a song, a dream, or a feeling.

In friendship, commitment means being there for someone even when it’s not convenient.
In family relationships, it’s being by someone’s side even after years of dealing with a disappointing father, or brother stuck in addiction.
In marriage, commitment means that divorce isn’t an option.
In parenting, commitment means that you won’t check out when your kids disappoint you; you’ll stay engaged in their lives.
In the end, you don’t hold your commitments, your commitments hold you.

Lasting Love Relationship Challenge
1) 1-5, how would you rate your commitment level in each of your key relationships?
2) What could you say or do to reinforce your commitment to the people who matter most to you so they’ll feel more secure with you?
3) How does your relationship with God affect the other relationships in your life?

In case you missed it:
Day 1 – The Most Important Thing
Day 2 – Face to Face
Day 3 – Zoning In
Day 4 – Being All There on a Deeper Level
Day 5 – Staying at the Table

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