Goodbye 2013

Yes the day has arrived….2013 is ending. For many this year has brought pain, grief, and heartache. For others the year has brought some of the best moments of their lives….happiness, joy, and new life.  Whatever 2013 has brought you….I do hope that moving to 2014 will bring many happy blessings, and many more moments to grow closer to the friends and loved ones who carry you through.

I know 2013 has brought many ups and downs, I have realized friends were not true close caring friends…and I have come to see how harsh this world can truly be. I have seen pain that I never want to see again, I have lost loved ones, and I stand here waving good bye to 2013 as a more mature adult. I see that I can do many things, I see that I have determination, hope, faith, and love. I came to a realization that Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, and everything else does not define me….I define them!

2013, you have grown me and I am thankful for that growth. I look forward to 2104 as it is one year closer to my dreams….it is one year closer to the uncertainty of the future. I pray that 2014 is better for us!

I pray that 2014 brings us one step closer to a cure for the degenerative autoimmune diseases that take our bodies away from us.

I hope and pray that your relationships with your friends, loved ones, and true supporters deepen. I pray that this time next year, you have developed those sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, spouses, and partners that will help carry you through the toughest of days.

I believe that we will do many great things in 2014, we will overcome barriers to show the world that we can do great things despite our invisible pain.

Hold on! Believe it! And thank you most of all for all those who find these words of any encouragement. I have been honored to be part of your life in 2013….I hope you join me for the journey in 2014!

Happy New Year!




2013 to 2014

Wow so hard to believe in less than two days it will be 2014! I never thought I would see this day….for some reason as a kid living in the 2000 years seemed so hard to believe. I thought I would be sooooo old…..well that part is true at least! I started this blog back in 2011 because I felt so isolated. I felt that no one else probably suffered like me, no one else probably had those nights that they couldn’t sleep because they hut so bad, and no one else could tell the day before it was going to rain. Right….I was the only one feeling this way! The good news is I now know that no …. I am not the only one who suffers with this invisible pain!

Through my three years of writing on this blog I have seen myself grow up into a smart, determined, stubborn, ambitious 27 year old who has dreams to being someone and changing the world. I have seen my body become less and less cooperative as I work my way through a doctoral program. I have seen my pain sometimes triple due to the stress of school, a full time job, and managing my family/personal life. Yes, 2013 has been a challenge; however, many blessings have come to me in 2013.

I have managed to get one year closer to being Dr.! This time in 2014  I hope to be months away from graduation! Can you believe it…10 years ago this year….I started college as a young (16 year old), naive, homesick freshman. Wow how time has flown! I had a daddy then….a daddy  that I did not realize how much he meant to me until he was gone in 2008. I look back over the past 10 years and realize there has been heartache (the loss of my father in 2008), there has been love (marriage in 2009), there has been pain (officially started Rheumatoid Arthritis/Lupus medicine in 2010), and there has been success (Bachelors earned in 2007, Masters earned in 2011, and a doctorate started in 2012). There are been a roller coaster of life lived in the past year and the past 10 years.

Tears come to my eyes as I sit and think….wow Daddy you have missed so much! I visited my father this past week…his grave is a small remembrance of what greatness he left behind. I realized I want to leave behind greatness too. I want to know that I touched at least one life with my story, through my pain, and through my determination to do something in life despite some very overwhelming odds.

Life can throw some major boulders in your life. I know I have seen some boulders and I know others have seen even greater obstacles than I. Regardless, I hope that through your pain you find my words of some comfort or of some hope.  I am so thankful for my faith, I know I don’t talk of my faith often but  I know I could not have gotten this far in my journey with out the many prayers offered up for me. For those prayers, I am eternally grateful! I am grateful that I now know….I am not alone! I have gained friends, I have gained a support group, and I have gained people who understand what it is like to live this journey.

What 2014 will bring…..we do not know yet! But I am excited to being the new year with  a renewed hope. I am excited to start 2014 with goals of getting one step closer to finishing this academic journey that I started. We will mark 6 years Daddy since you left us for a much better place….I only can hope that you are as proud of me as I am of being your daughter! I hope that this year brings us one step closer to finding a better way to treat our pain. I hope at the end of 2014, I can say again “Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Sjogrens, and Fatigue you did not win this year!”

Hope, Faith, and Determination! Those are the things that keep me anchored…those are the things that I will carry from 2013 into 2014. I pray that you have a wonderful end of the year celebrating what all 2013 has brought you. For those who lost loved ones in 2013, I remember that raw pain. I say a prayer for you and ask that your pain will ease in 2014.

Have a blessed end of 2013 and welcome to 2014!




The days go by

It is hard to believe…..2013 is almost over! My life has changed this year, in good and bad ways! My Rheumatoid arthritis has gotten worse but I have managed to still fight through it. My courses were tough but through many prayers and much encouragement I made all A’s this whole year!!!!! That to me is incredible!

I reflect back to the years past and think of the many blessings I have in my life! I’ve been blessed to stand on continents around the world! I have been blessed this year alone to see San Francisco, Denver, Indianapolis, and St. Louis. I dream of going back to Africa or India! I dream of seeing Europe’s beauty again soon! I hope to do more travel in 2014!

But as I always think about my blessings I think of those who have many needs. As I have mentioned before World Help is an amazing group of people who are out there bringing aid to those in need. They have food and aid going to Syria, the Philippines, and Haiti. They provide schools in Uganda, Rwanda, and many other African countries. World Help helps provide around the world! If you are looking for a place to go and help I encourage you to follow in my steps and got to I hope to travel again with World Help one day soon!

I am thankful that today through my pain, I am blessed! I am thankful today that The Lord has sustained me this year. I pray I grow more mature in the year to come, I pray I grow in empathy for the many who suffer like me, I pray my words and thoughts touch the life of someone in the year to come. I want to continue and raise awareness that despite RA/Lupus/fibromyalgia….you can do many many great things!

Hugs and many spoons today!

Merry Christmas!

For some countries it is already Christmas Day….and for some countries it is Christmas night! For those of us in the central United States….Christmas Day is almost here! 🙂  My hubby and I drove up to visit my mother and sister at their home in Arkansas .It was a long 8 hour drive but we did it alright. Lots of pain for me but I did manage to do half of the driving!! WOOHO! Also, Leia ended up coming with us! 🙂 She enjoyed her doggy seat and riding in the back with lots of treats.

We spent today running errand and we stopped by to see my father’s grave . It felt different to be there standing at his grave. It has been 5 years and 8 months tomorrow. The pain is still there..and we definitely feel him….although I am happy he is not suffering any more I still wish he was here. There is sooo much that he is missing in our lives.

Tomorrow we are just enjoying a family day before we head back home. Then Friday begins the wedding festivities!! Now my biggest hope is that I can still fit into my bridesmaid dress 🙂

Have a great Christmas!


Almost 2014

It is hard to believe that 2014 is almost here! It seems like just yesterday it was 2012..heck why not 2000. The years have flown by…it makes me long for the days when the year seemed like it took forever to happen. Now in the blink of an eye the days fly by and soon the whole year has gone by.

I’ve struggled these first few days of holiday vacation. The first night of vacation (Wed.) I had one of the worst pain nights in a while…and was up all night. Then Thursday and Friday, I flared horribly. It is very hard to study when you are flaring. And then today it poured rain all day…my body felt as if it had been run over. I could barely move with out my entire body feeling intense pain. When the rain finally moved on this afternoon….I felt so exhausted.

The good news is…I still push on! I have managed to read several chapters of my law text (which I love). I have worked on a paper and if I do a little bit of homework every day….I will be ahead! 🙂 And if I keep working on things…I will eventually get projects done! I have had to accept that while it is great to have goals… might not always reach the first goal. However, reset your goal and try again. And eventually, you will finish!

But I have learned I can push, push, and push….and end up sick and in such pain it wasn’t worth it. Or I can just trudge along at a slow and steady pace. Taking time to relax and recoup and making sure I tend to me too! I opt for option #2. Rheumatoid Arthritis alone (Much less with the Lupus, Fibro, and Chronic Fatigue) don’t make life easy…and these all make taking breaks and recuperating critical.

I have a few more pages to read tonight and then  I will rest some more! I hope to kick my sore throat! I was supposed to go to a party tonight but I was so sick today. I hate that sometimes it feels almost impossible to RSVP for anything…as you really don’t know what you can do in the day until that day comes. You can hardly plan because..hah your body might have other plans! 😛 But keep your chin up….do what you can and let go of what you cannot do in the day.

Although I will say I was excited that this evening, I was able to do fold my laundry. You don’t know that I do my own laundry but once a month if that. Mostly because folding and hanging up my clothes hurts my hands and it takes energy. But after laying around today I was able to my laundry! YAY! It made me happy and yesterday I was able to do the dishes WOOHOO! 🙂 Small things!

Rest well everyone!


Reading Away

Well…vacation weeks got started off rocky. I was up all night in severe pain. It is annoying to literally be awake until 4a.m….finally getting out of bed..moving to the living room before heading to bed at 7a.m. I slept off and on from 7:30ish until about 11:30a.m. And then I heard the rain! 😦 Ugh! No wonder right! If there is one thing that will keep me awake and in pain…it is rain!

But  I did get some edits done on my paper and  I did get some reading done today. I have my to-do list for tomorrow and while I did not get done everything I wanted. I am making progress. Again, I’m reminding myself I cannot go and go…I have to balance. Tonight I am hoping that I get some sleep. If I can get a few hours of rest…it will make things so much better.

Tomorrow, after some errands in the morning my goal is to take a nap and start working on homework again. If I keep at it…I will be ahead. Maybe not as far ahead as I want to be but I will be ahead. My number one goal is to finish data collection or do A LOT of data collection this break. On top of that I have a few smaller things to do. Pray that I have energy and can keep doing things. I know breaks are needed so I keep reminding myself..things will progress. I just have to do my part and keep working.

Off to rest…hoping to be in less pain tomorrow!!


One more day down

One more day down…Christmas break is almost here!! 🙂 It is nice to have a few weeks to work away. My goal is to eat, sleep, and study! I have so much to do! But I think that if I get into a routine I can get a lot accomplished. I have found that if you take big projects, break them down into little projects, and organize myself…it will happen.

I’m still struggling with being sick (more than my usual sickness). This sinus headache/cold thing needs to go!! Too long (three weeks now!) Although the good thing is my fever broke for now. I’m hoping it doesn’t come back! I was able to go to the gym today..I didn’t work out too long (only 30 minutes) but every little bit helps! I’m getting into a routine of studying, sleeping, and working out! 🙂

I got onto Lexus Nexus today! I love reading law cases.  I think I will really enjoy my law class but it will be busy!!! UGH! Anyone want to lend me their body! I can use an extra one! 😛 I’m going to be crazy busy in the Spring! But hey that’s a good crazy busy! And I won’t lie I enjoy every second of it.

Today I learned one thing about myself! I have to share this because I appreciated learning it! I learned I don’t like unorganization. I was working on a project today and it was sooooo unorganized it really bothered me. When I worked to organize it…I felt much better about it….but when it was a mess…it was major stressful. I think this is good for me to understand because lets be honest…life is pretty messy and unorganized. I need to learn to handle that better…but it is good for me to know that organization is something I value. It helps me understand myself! Ahhh the things I learn!

I also learned that while I love the thought of living in the North East…it will take some major getting used to live in the cold weather! 🙂 It has been cold these past few weeks and I will say  I am ready for Summer! I know lame!! This morning we woke up to frost on the ground! Now that is cold for us in this area…granted I have friends in the Chicago/North East who woke up to zero degrees! Or friends in the mid-West who have seen -4. NO THANK YOU! But hey you know know..I might actually be living in that weather one day 🙂

Off to do a bit more work before I head to bed! 🙂



A Writing Sunday

When you are running a low grade fever, Fibro is flaring, and your body’s pain level is 10/10….there isnt much you can do outside. However, after a few hours of sleep I am back on my awesome couch. I have articles surrounding me with several goals on my to do today. I have finished a preliminary definition for my lit. review!!!! Yay!! Now I’m adding a bit more literature support and then off to do data collection :-). I spent about two days working on my Moodle class…I finally have my syllabus done (woohoo)!

Today, my working writing Sunday will hopefully be a productive day. I’m learning each day how to balance…it isn’t easy living life with major health problems and it isn’t easy balancing those issues with doctoral classes. But good news one step at a time, one day at a time. As I learned over and over….one day at a time…don’t let go of your dreams!

Hard to believe 2013 is over…! This time next year…,what might have happened in your life? Picture a goal and go for it! And if you need any additional encouragement, my adorable little girl says “go for it”



Well I’m happy to say the semester is OVER!! YAY! That’s a major positive…but that does not mean the work has in any way ended. I have spent the past few hours since my nap working on my online course. I have a feeling there will be a lot of work put into this course as I have never taught it before.


(a) I am seeing first hand course prep! Never have had the experience before and while it is fun…very stressfull and keeps me on my toes. I think if I eat, sleep, write/research/study/coursprep all Christmas Break…I might be ready!

(b) I will learn do I or don’t I enjoy teaching. I know I wanted to teach in the classroom…however the reality is we are moving more and more to online learning. This will be really good for me.

And yes while grades have not come in yet…I am pretty sure I did great this semester! Which brings me to preparing for next semester geez!! Between writing for my dissertation, class work, and my own class….yup I don’t know how the Spring is going to go because I realize…to do all of this….I need to balance things very carefully for the sake of my health.

I want to be superwoman but that doesn’t mean that I am superwoman! Sleep, eating, and relaxing have to happen..and that just means that the time I VALUABLE! Yes very very valuable! So if I have a schedule, routine, etc. I should be good. No more wasting time (like I did but hey!)

But for the first time in about 5 years my husband and I are actually going to be at our house this Christmas! Yup! Since my father died I have really not done the Christmas thing…not that I did before but I really haven’t done the Christmas thing. We are not into the presents thing, personally I don’t get it. However, my hubby and I did go get a tree and do a little decorating. It was fun to have a date night out of it. And our furry kids, the cats and the dog, have enjoyed pulling off ornaments etc.

Well I am off to bed… I have work tomorrow and then you know a to-do list that continue to grow! Stay strong, stay positive. Never think you are limited by your RA/Lupus/Fibro..because you are not. It just takes adjusting things so you can do stuff 🙂 Spoons!!!!