B U B B L E S

I always try to tell people that I am a realist. I don’t just look at the good or bad in a situation, I look at it all for all that it is worth and typically that makes me seem like a pessimist. Tonight, my hubs and I bought the T.V. we’ve been saving for, checking every store for the best deals, and saying “we’ll get it next month” for months.. We got it home and began the mounting process. I’m not sure if you have ever mounted a T.V, but let’s just say the wife is always right (kind of like when you’re building furniture or playing monopoly.) In my head, I knew how to put this T.V. up, but I could not get the words out to save my life as we held this T.V. above our heads and I kindly threatened his life if we dropped it.

The mounts on the back of the T.V. (which I screwed in) were too high. So the T.V. kept hitting the ceiling. My side was locked in, but David’s was not. This became an even bigger fiasco because now we couldn’t get my side undone, but his wouldn’t lock. We bickered back and forth, sweating as we held this T.V. and tried to think of how we were going to make this work. Every time I said move it back, he moved it up and vise versa.

We were on edge.

After getting the T.V. down after what felt like an eternity, we looked at each other and giggled.. Although we were incredibly frustrated with the situation, we knew it was just a T.V. and we would be silly to take the bickering any farther. After a quick fix, we put it back up- but it was lopsided. Someone put the mounts lower like we needed, but then they didn’t match them up.. So although it was close, it wasn’t right. Again, it was me. Through all this, my husband was so kind and smiled and kept telling me how cute I was (even though I was so mad we had to keep redoing it). After removing it and putting it back a few times- we decided we are now professionals and will be opening a business in mounting T.Vs….. NOT.

We finished and put the batteries in the remote to turn it on and sat down to bask in the glory of what we had finally accomplished.. together. As I looked at this beautiful T.V we had waited months for, saved for, and scouted the best deal at every store around, I told David “I thought it would seem bigger up there”. We went from a 55 inch to a 65 inch T.V, so it was a big jump in size and I sat there in disappointment instead of excitement.

How selfish could I be?

As I sat there a little longer, I thought of my two year old, Avery Grace. The other day she was in the bathtub playing. I was mom of the year and didn’t put bubbles in because I was in a hurry- she didn’t ask for them, so I didn’t think about it. After a bit, I started to wash her with soap and the smallest amount bubbles appeared, the whole bathtub wasn’t full and the bubbles didn’t last long.. but in that moment- I heard her giggling and playing and screaming “bubbles!!” at the top of her lungs. Avery didn’t compare her bubbles to what else it could have been- she just enjoyed the bubbles for what they were. Teddy Roosevelt once said:

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

And so often we get consumed in comparison. Someone else has the better, newer, prettier, happier life and you’re stuck with what you have. It is so easy to get stuck on that and I am the world’s worst realist and comparer around. Today, I decided to be intentional with my joy. I grabbed the remote, logged in to Netflix, and turned on Ozark to see what this T.V. could do. The picture is phenomenal, the sound is great, the size is perfect. I have exactly what I need. In life, if we chase our joy, it is so much easier to see God’s plan and purpose for us.

Psalm 20:4–5
“May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans! May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!”

Today, I am joyful for my pretty little girl who loves life, my patient and loving husband, and super awesome T.V. that will be used to binge watch Grey’s Anatomy and Ozark for years to come. Today, I hope you find joy in the little, the simple, the easy. I hope your coffee is the perfect temperature, the kids listen after the 4th warning instead of the 24th, and your Facebook post gets a hundred likes. Today, I am thankful, joyful, and loved and I will remind myself that even on the days I cannot be those things- that there may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning.

16.30

On November 8th, I remember vividly that I was looking for earrings for Avery. David was in the car hanging out while Avery slept, so I did not have to wake her up and bring her in the store. After looking at every option, twice, I leaned down to look at the lowest option on the shelf, found one I liked, and that was when I heard my phone go off. Typically, I wouldn’t have looked. Typically, I would have waited until I got back to the car. Typically, I wouldn’t have.. looked. But for some reason- I pulled my phone out. As I opened it… I saw those numbers 16.30. This is a small number, but it was a number that changed my life. I looked at that number, bought my single item, and went to the car. I felt stunned. Something so small, so minute, so silly to some people- was about to consume me. It was okay, I didn’t cry. I pulled out of Claire’s and drove toward home. We got about 10 minutes into the drive and I wept. I bawled. I ugly cried. David sat there and let me cry, let me complain. We were a couple weeks out from Thanksgiving and I couldn’t have any ham. I don’t even like Turkey. #TEAMHAMFORTHANKSGIVING. No more juicy, delicious steaks. No more double cheeseburgers.

It’s just food.

Maybe to some, it was just food, but to me it was the end of the world in my eyes. These test results I received were for GalactoseAlpha 1,3 Galactose IGE. This was the result of being bitten by the Lone Star tick at some point in my life. This tick makes you magically allergic to red meat and mammalian derivatives.

I have no idea when I was bitten. About two years ago in September of 2017, I was pregnant with my sweet girl, Avery. I noticed that every time I ate red meat, I was feeling sick. I would get nauseous, body aches, extreme fatigue. All things that pregnant woman typically have issues with, so I just stopped eating hamburger meat. I switched to turkey meat and life was good. I still felt sick and nauseous, but not near as often or near as bad. I had Avery in March of 2018 and assumed things would go back to normal. My first day home from the hospital, mama got a Big Mac. I noticed it was still happening, but attributed it to other things- breastfeeding, stress, not eating healthy, really the list could go on. Now, though, something was different. I would get migraines too. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gotten migraines since I was 13, I’m a veteran. I know to take my medication, to rest, to wait it out, but this was different. The pounding in my head was so excruciating that it is hard to put into word. I would lay down, my head would spin, I would take medication, and immediately vomit and it was painful. My family and friends would think something bad had happened to me because I would go 15 hours without waking up, answering my phone, moving from my bed. Something was wrong. It wasn’t all the time though. It was hit or miss, so I tried to figure it out. Everyone had joked that I had gotten “bit by the tick” that had been circulating around the internet. If it was on Facebook, it has to be true. So I started noticing things that made me sick and actively avoiding them and kind of felt better, but not actually better better.

I consulted with Dr. Google and went down the rabbit hole of all the things that could be wrong with me and finally I noticed that the joke may be real. I joined Facebook groups regarding Alpha Gal and saw that their symptoms were like mine and it was so crazy that this may have been what is going on with me. So, I began to eat like someone with Alpha Gal, I cut out all the meats because at this time I didn’t realize all the extras that go with it. It is more than just meat.

Wine. Gelatin. Marshmallows. Pop-Tarts.

All things that have animal products you don’t think about, but I now could not have.

I am no doctor and honestly google has helped me tremendously, but Alpha Gal occurs when a tick bites you and the sugar molecule is then transmitted into your body. For me, I get nausea, body pains (like the flu), migraines, and shortness of breath. At first I didn’t get hives and itching, but now I do. Lucky me. It is also a delayed reaction, for some 4-10 hours later.

Everyone is different.

That may be the most difficult part of all this. Some people can’t have Carrageenan, this is an additive that is in things like lunch meat, some Thanksgiving turkeys, milks, creams. It’s all trial and error. I started my new chicken and turkey diet and was still having issues, I would immediately feel nauseous, achy, and my face would feel flushed and something was still not right. I had previously been prescribed an Epi Pen because that is important when you can’t breathe, I guess. I prefer not to use it. So I made an appointment with my {new} allergist and after discussing everything, I chose to get tested and see if I am allergic to MILK. I don’t even like plain milk.. but I like chocolate. I like Reeses. I like sour cream. I like literally everything on the shelves that contain milk and I am now officially, sadly A L L E R G I C. I miss Reeses so much. Someone eat one for me. I now go back every 6 months to be retested. 50% of people will have their numbers drop if not bitten by another tick, 50% may not. So I am just going to be continuously praying that I am the 50% that God wants me to be.

My skin test for milk

I could go on for hours on all things Alpha Gal that would make me sound like a crazy person. Magnesium Stearate is in the pill form of most mediations as a filler (and some liquid kinds) which CAN contain beef and pork, so I had to stop taking my medications. Some people can be affected by their body soap, lotion, toilet paper, etc.

I plan to post more things on what I am going through and what I am learning. I do some chicken and turkey still, but the majority of the time, I eat vegan. I make many meals from scratch, so my super handsome fiancé bought me a kitchenmaid mixer for Christmas. Anytime I eat anything, I have to check ingredients in literally everything. I can’t eat whatever I want at family get-togethers. I can’t go out to eat wherever. It is getting so much easier though. I cried, a lot. I felt like it was the end of my world and happiness, but now (although I am still discouraged a lot) I am better at realizing it is just food. I like fruits, vegetables, vegan cookies.

DID YOU KNOW..

Buffalo Wild Wings fries in beef tallow? That means all the wings, I cannot have. I miss wings. I miss cheese. I miss lots of food. Sure, there are a lot of alternatives.. but it’s not the same. I miss stopping at fast food restaurants. I miss going out to eat with people without having to be “that person” asking for special accommodations. It is okay though. I will be okay. I am learning, I am happy, I am maintaining weight. It seemed like the end, but I am quickly learning that it is not actually the end of the world and sometimes you just have to be “that person” and just ask!

If you get bored, come back and check out future posts to learn odd facts about living with these allergies! Thank ya’ll for taking the time out of your busy life to read about me.

“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.”  Psalm 30:5 NLT

This. Is. Coparenting.

Tomorrow is Christmas. I sit here and write this as my ex-husband, Zach, and his new fiancé, Bailee, left from visiting Avery Grace because it is my holiday, Christmas Eve. But we share days- and that’s okay, if we’re home- they are invited over to see her and they know that. If we are out and about, they are invited to meet us up. Zach is Avery’s dad and we are all family, and that is okay.

Our coparenting plan is good and we are rocking it (not to brag), but it is not perfect. We fight, argue, and do not agree on everything- and that is okay. We have incorperated a “if it does not benefit Avery” objective. If we are arguing just to argue, we take a step back and come back to the scenario at a later time when we have cooled down. That is one great thing I would recommend to anyone, not just coparents. If you are arguing just to argue, take a step back, calm down, then reevaluate. You don’t always have to decide right then and that is okay.

Our Christmas routine is great for us. We decided to do Christmas Eve with mama, opening presents TOGETHER from Santa, then Christmas Day with daddy. Avery is so loved by everyone and has a lot of people who want to see her, so luckily Zach and I are in such great relationships that our significant other understanding the importance of us all involved. I know that not everyone is that lucky and my heart genuinely aches for those who cannot have an easy relationship and efficient coparenting situation. To those who don’t have that luxury, that is okay. I am still praying for you.

Tonight, Zach and David put together Avery presents and played while Bailee and I wrapped last minute presents. We are friends. We are family. We spend time together, we do family dinners often. We go to events, we go on vacations together. We go to church together AND we sit next to one another. We FaceTime with each other so Avery can see us before bed. We message throughout the day to check on Avery. Not everyone can do that.. And that is okay.

This Christmas may not be a good one. You may be dealing with loss, grief, sickness, sadness, being alone. I have been there, trust me. I have been that scene in the Grinch when he decides at 4:00 to wallow in self-pity. You don’t always have to be okay and you know what? That is okay. I will be thinking and praying for everyone going through a tough season in their life. I don’t need to know the reason- but if you need to talk, vent, or hear some encouraging words from someone, message me anytime. I will be your person, I will root for you, I will love you, I will encourage you.

Tomorrow, December 25th from 2-4 pm Cedar Point Church (1660 N Lynn Riggs Blvd Claremore, OK 74017) will be putting on a Gift of Christmas. It provides a meal and gifts to families on Christmas, isn’t that so cool? I will be there hanging out and chatting with all the sweet people who come to hangout tomorrow. I hope to see you there, especially if you have nowhere to go. Don’t stay home and watch Netflix because you’re being the Grinch at 4:00 wallowing. If you’re scared to be alone coming in, that is okay. I will be there and I will do everything in my power to make you comfortable. Feel free to share this so we can reach more people!

Christmas is a sweet time. I’m learning to be more festive because this didn’t use to be my cup of tea, but now that I have a sweet, tiny human- I am all about it. I hope your day is full of love and family and friend and pets and food and time well spent. I hope you remember if it’s not as amazing as you had hoped, that is okay. You are loved. You are enough. You are strong. You are brave. Joy comes in the morning.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night, except the mom still drinking wine and wrapping presents.. I know you’re not saying goodnight anytime soon. 🤣

“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5 NLT

Hey y’all, it’s Ky.

Well, my name is actually Kyla, but if you ask anyone new, they would say it’s Kala or Kylie or Karla.. I won’t correct you, it’s awkward. I once let someone call me Kala for 3 years because I didn’t want to tell them it’s Kyla. It’s not even spelled the same. 🙄

There is a lot I could tell you about me and it is constantly changing. I have had high highs and I have had low lows like anyone else. I’ve been selfish, I’ve felt grief. I’ve lived through jealousy, sadness, major life changes.. But that’s not all I am.
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