To Do Fall Things

Fall is here y’all!
I love this time of year. Cookouts, camp fires, smores, football, cool nights, turning of leaves… man, just about everything!

fall

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Depression and Anxiety

pain

I have depression and anxiety. Yup, I will admit it here. I have suffered with it for a long time, I just never talk about it. I don’t even take medicine for it, because I don’t want a pill helping me, I want to help myself. My anxiety comes from a number of places: my past, dealing with medical issues, just a lot of different things. I’m not one to say “I’m depressed today, leave me alone” or “I can’t do that due to my anxiety” or “Pray for me, my anxiety is bad“. I guess in a way, to me, if I said those things I would look at it as an excuse? Instead, I cover up with that excuse with something else.

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A little time

We all need a little time, don’t we?
To self absorb what is around us. To take in and let out the negativity.
Sometimes, we just need the moment to refocus our zen.

I am doing better. I am getting back to myself, I am figuring out life again. It is hard not really knowing what you want in life, or what you need it in. Sometimes you just have to let go, let the curtains stay closed, just to breathe in the air. Sometimes, we just need to pause in the now. Take in the NOW. Take time to devour what you want in life. What are your goals, your ambition, your way of life. What do you want to become and more.

A re-focus, kinda like a re-branding of sorts. Seeing where you are, look back at where you been. I have always been told to not look back on the past, but why not!? I look at my past to think how amazing I am to overcome such heartache, abuse, being torn apart on the inside, being ripped down to my core. I have been through so much in this life, and I will keep going head on. I will continue to thrive into what I know, and yet find something more about me that I didn’t. I will continue to love myself, no matter of what people say, no matter how many times I want to crawl in the bed to just forget about what hurts.

So, here is today.. here is to life.. here is to now.
~Jenna

Dear Parent with an uncaring heart #FoodAllergies

Dear Parent with an uncaring heart,

Let me just say I am sorry my daughter’s food allergies is an inconvenience for you. I simply understand what it is like to deal with such an inconvenience. You know, because I have one child with an allergy, and one with out an allergy.

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Halloween 2014

This Halloween we was a little more exciting than other years.
I have grown into understanding food allergies a lot more clearly.
As a parent you want the best for your kids, and not everyone will understand the significance of that. I understand that now. Usually people don’t understand unless they been exactly in your shoes. Most people does not understand that a food allergen could potentially kill. Scary to think that, right?!

We went to the FARE Walk 2014 in Atlanta. The support there is simply overwhelming. People who understand you! People who get it. Agh, it is a life saver. That one day you feel like you have all these people to support you. Jade absolutely loves going.
This year we got to add the Teal Pumpkin Project. Here is a bit about it:
A little message from the creator of the Teal Pumpkin Project:

The purpose of the Teal Pumpkin Project:
1. We want to raise awareness of the severity of food allergies and show our support to families of children with food allergies by painting a pumpkin teal in recognition. This is a great opportunity to educate and open communication about this important cause.

2. We want to encourage inclusion for children with food allergies and other dietary restrictions during an activity that is primarily food-focused. A teal pumpkin (or poster) is a great way to show that you have non-food treats available.

It is not our goal to exclude candy from the Halloween tradition but instead encourage others to add a new tradition to ALSO provide a few non-food items as a safe alternative. This will allow many children the opportunity to participate in traditional trick-or-treating on Halloween night, regardless of food-related disabilities.

We need to stop battling on social media –
I encourage everyone to participate in this project with the understanding that this is not a campaign to ban candy nor is it a means to politicize an awareness movement that is simply intended to promote compassion and inclusion. Stay positive and reflect compassion in your own actions and words. We cannot create an inclusive environment for our children by creating more division.

Here are some tips to keep this awareness movement going strong:

1. Talk to your neighbors. Many parents have contacted their neighborhood associations or community boards to encourage participation in this project. If your neighborhood uses a site like nextdoor.com then this is a great way to reach out.

2. Talk to local businesses. There are so many opportunities available for businesses and organizations to be involved, even if they are not passing out treats. Print a copy of the Project Teal Pumpkin (our profile picture) and ask if those establishments will display the sign to show support. If treats will be passed out, ask if they would also provide non-food items as an alternative and provide a copy of the Project Teal sign that indicates non-food treats are available. Do you have a local farm or nursery that could provide teal pumpkins?

3. Talk to your child’s teacher, guidance counselor or school administration. This is a wonderful opportunity to teach children about the importance of inclusion, disability awareness, and/or food allergy safety. Encourage schools to take part in the #TealPumpkinProject and get their permission to hang signs or distribute information to other parents to rally more involvement in your community.

4. Talk to the media. Awareness is at its peak right now in many areas so this is your opportunity to educate the general public in a POSITIVE and informed manner. Know the purpose of the project and how this show of support will encourage respect, compassion, inclusion for children with dietary restrictions, like food allergies. For more information, please visit FACET’s website (Link in the comments below).

We’d love to hear from you! Please comment below to share your ideas and success stories so far with the #TealPumpkinProject …

Thank you for your ongoing support of our awareness efforts!
Blessings,
Becky Basalone
Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee

I hope in the years to come we see more people who support such an amazing opportunity.

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Just Bumps in the Road

We all go through bumps in the road, right?
I feel like that is what I am doing. I am overcoming the anxiety.
I am finding who I am again, and pushing myself to the very limits I can.
I know I am an amazing person, inside and out.
I put my kids before my own needs. I put my husband above all means, and God first.

What I learned this morning, while walking my little girl to the bus stop, is that I need to start taking in a little more of what is pretty around me. God’s creation is beautiful, even through some of the darkest days.
Have you ever walked outside, your phone by your side, or in your pocket and just looked around you?

The sun was barely showing this morning on my little walk back home, and I had peace.
I was able to breathe, and take in the cold air. To be able in that one moment to just stand in the middle of the road, and breathe.
The birds chirping, the wind barely blowing, and chickens in the distance.
Life on days like this, could not get any better.

Even when I have been dealt so much, I know I can push through. I know that today will end, and tomorrow is such a beautiful beginning.

Life is Hard

Iamhere

No one understands what it is like when you are trying to overcome anxiety.
My anxiety didn’t hit til January when everything happened.
Yes, I pray. I know in time everything will be fine, but I still have bad days.
It is hard understanding what one goes through when your life is snatched from you. By life, I don’t mean that you are dying. I mean that life is hard. Life of trying to give it your all in everyday things.
If you can go to the grocery store by yourself, without thinking about all the what ifs, than be grateful. I would never want anyone to go through what I did. The worry. The pain. The pure thought of something bad happening.
I know it can happen, it happened to me.
Reaching out to get support, or even to ask for a lending hand.. to be rejected.
To be rejected by the one person who means the most to you.
It hurts.
My heart hurts.
I just want to feel like my normal self again. It took me 16 years to get to the point of going places by myself.
To go alone.
Than one day, in one second all of that came back.
Being touched in your own home. Your private place, your own environment, your guard being shattered.
This is what I am overcoming.
The thought of not having support, the thought of people “not getting it”.
The remarks of, “Let it go.” “It happens.” “Only God can heal.”
To anyone out there who has been through this. I feel you. I am here.
I am here, just trying to be the best person I can.

Lessons Learned, Life to Live

Lessons

2014…
What can I say about 2014?
We have been through some rough times, great times, and times we are definitely thankful for.
2014 has been everything mushed (I think I just made up a word-Ha!) together to make one heck of a year.
I know you guys probably have seen that I have been MIA a very long time. Life Happens.
January 2014,
That is when it started. Actually January 20th. I never knew what darkness looked liked til that dreaded day. I never knew what could become of such a day. How much can change in just mere seconds of life.
I am still in shock. I am still going through movements of everyday life. The shakiness.. the mere thought of being alone, or even the vast of doing anything alone is terrifying.
I will say, once I bet this I will get through it. I will become stronger. Heck, I am stronger today than I was on that day.
I can’t go into details just yet, but I will. I will keep running the scene in my head over and over again, til this is over. It has almost been a year, and all this mess is still cycling through courts. I don’t know if or when it will end, but it will. I promise.
I know this is just a bunch of babbling, and I am sorry. I just can’t go through all the details yet due to this mess could bite me in the tail and I don’t want my blog or my emotions being brought into light if I do get called to the stand. They can do that, right? It is possible.

In all honesty,
The family is fine. My kids are growing so fast.
Jade is 6 years old now, Grayson is almost 18 months old. They are such wonderful kids. I couldn’t ask for anything better. They are my world, my everything, the reason for many things to be grateful for.
Jade is in 1st Grade, and absolutely loving her new school. Her new school is so much better. Jade’s food allergies is no more of a burden, but something they look after. They do everything in their power to look after my daughter, and for that I am beyond excited for. The encouragement, the safety. I no longer go through the day with stress or worry. She never comes home with a reaction, she comes home with a smile on her face! That in itself is something I thought I would never see!
Grayson, man… He is the happiest baby. He goes through life with all smiles. He gives hugs, kisses, and is learning to talk. He is truly a blessing, and couldn’t ask for a better baby.
My husband, my protector, my safety net, my world. I don’t know what I do without him. He lifts me up when I need it most. He gives me everything I can ever imagine, and right now that number one thing is “SUPPORT”. I can never love him enough.

We also bought a house! Yes, Bought! It is OURS.. well, it is the banks, but hey our name is ON IT! Ha! I can’t wait to post pics, I promise I will get to that too!
I will be back, you will see.
-Jenna

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.

 

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