I've been absent here for quite awhile. While I have been busily working on and contributing to Tend Magazine, I have been more quiet here and about our daily life. To be honest, the past year+ has been tough on us, as we went from specialist to specialist for my oldest son - hoping to finally find out what has been making him so sick. For years and years he has had all of these symptoms that are not explained by his severe food allergies. And of course every annual check-up he had never coincided with a time that he had an episode so nobody knew what I was talking about - until last spring. So we trekked from endocrinologist to gastroenterologist to immunologist to gastroenterologist to autonomic nervous system specialist and back. Last October we had a lucky hit when an allergist ran a test he has never seen a positive for - and it came back positive. That helped get us referred to Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, and in April we visited Mayo for four days for more tests. And we got answers. My 12 year old was diagnosed with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) which explains so, so much. So we have been head down driving forward with this for so long, and now we are coming out of the laser focus into the reality of managing things for him day to day. And in the midst of all of this, I was diagnosed with more than one autoimmune disease. I am aware the stress of all of the severe food allergies and health stuff that has been going on with my son has contributed to my own health, no matter how organic and healthy I eat. I laughed when I was told to eliminate stress - any food allergy parent knows it all requires 24/7 attention and diligence. But we pulled our family even closer together, tightened our focus on reducing exposure to A's allergies and triggers in his daily life, and have been managing this all as we go, enjoying life and yes, thriving.
And I find myself here now in July of 2015. !?!?! We moved into a beautiful new green built home two months ago. We still live in the Madison area, just in a small outlying town atop a hill with views of rolling hills, fields, and prairie grasses as far as the eyes can see. We have more space, more light, more quiet. We have a community garden plot in our new town. We have an art space with giant windows in the basement. We have room to create an apartment downstairs for my sons as they get older. We have a brand new (very large!!!) yard and garden to start from scratch. We have new small towns to visit, trails to wander, and country roads to explore, windows down and music blasting.
We are working with the specialists at Mayo to learn everything we need to know to help my son feel better - we have seen some improvement for him already - and we will continue to work on figuring it out and tweaking our life. And while I've been gardening, cooking, writing, photographing, and creating, it has been more confined to Instagram and Tend Magazine - but as we get into our new home, our new town, our new routines, and our new normal, I'm feeling like sharing more again, so I think it is time to return to this space. Here is to a fantastic second half of 2015. xo
"I'd made it this far and refused to
give up because all my life
I had always finished the race."