Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Beyond Type 1

“Don’t forget to take care of yourself” is one of my favorite pieces of parenting advice given by other parents. The unexpected life that unfolds before you as a parent can be overwhelming, so every once in a while, it’s important to focus on your own wellness. However, I can’t help but laugh at the thought of NOT taking care of myself, simply because, if I stopped, I’d be dead.

You see, I live with a chronic illness that doesn’t allow me to skip self-care. I have Type 1 diabetes, so naturally, I have this “me time” thing down to a science.

When I brought my first daughter home from the hospital, it was extremely difficult to accept that my health, not my child, was my number one priority. It was not an easy adjustment. But it’s probably safe to say that because I am a diabetic, I learned sooner than most moms that taking care of myself is not optional.  It is a requirement.

I know this sounds strange, but I actually feel lucky to have been diagnosed with a disease that promotes self-care. If you do diabetes right, you get rewarded with a longer life and fewer disease-related complications. Diabetes gives me control over how long I get to enjoy this earth. In comparison, I’ve watched family members and friends fight through cancer, which lowered their body’s defenses and limited their abilities to continue life as they knew it. They didn’t have the options that I have. For me, it all comes down to how well I choose to treat my body. Admittedly, I don’t always comply with the strict diet rules that come along with Type 1. However, I know better than to abuse myself.

Of course, I didn’t always live as I do now. In college, I pretended diabetes didn’t exist. I ate whatever I wanted and consumed alcohol like a true party girl. I took “being young and dumb” to a completely new level. My endocrinologist even banned me from her office.

Luckily for me, I grew up and have been taking small steps every day that enable me to take control of my disease and my life.

Like most moms, my daily routine includes showering, brushing my teeth, taking care of my family, and working a full time job. However, it also includes other responsibilities like testing my blood sugars, counting carbs to determine how much insulin I need for everything I eat, and logging all of my meals, numbers and carb to insulin ratios so I can detect patterns and adjust as needed.

Then there are the smaller “blink-and-you’ll-miss it” features of my life like when driving my children to school, I pack juice boxes in the car. Not for them, but for me…just in case I feel a low blood sugar episode coming on while I’m driving. Or when I decide to go for a run and have to test my blood sugars first to ensure I won’t go into a coma along the way. I also need to be selective when packing snacks as I need food that will help balance my blood sugar without causing hyperglycemia.
In addition to eating well and exercising, I also enjoy risky adventures like skydiving. And as freaky as skydiving may be to a non-diabetic, the stress that comes from that excitement also affects my blood sugars negatively. So, even when planning to do something fun that gives me butterflies in my stomach, I always have to be prepared.

My point is that even though I have a few more steps to complete each day, I don’t mind making certain accommodations for my disease. Type 1 diabetes does not define me, but it is a part of my life that needs to be acknowledged and taken care of on a daily basis. And as long as I continue to take the cliché parental advice and take care of myself, my illness won’t stop me from spending time with my two beautiful daughters, dancing with my husband, running a marathon or jumping out of an airplane.

Living with a chronic disease was not my choice, but living beyond Type 1 diabetes will forever be my goal.

*This piece was published on Reality Moms on April 5, 2017.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

John Wesley Jewelry

John Wesley Jewelry.  It has a ring to it, doesn’t it? With the media’s love for abbreviations, I can already imagine the variety of nicknames that will be given to this shop when it goes global.


John Dubbya Jewelry.


The possibilities are endless!

And now I’ll come down from my cloud.

I know. You might be tired of bloggers trying to push products. I get it. Rather than listening to our personalized ads for items that you may not need, you want to hear our interesting/funny/relatable stories.

Well…this is not one of those posts. But in my defense, I have been telling stories without any product pushing for the entire year so far, so I’m due for some sort of campaign.

But before you go away, there is a cuteness factor about this particular “product push” post. 

It’s personal.

Are you ready? Here it is.

The beneficiary of this blog campaign is my extremely talented husband, John.

Aww…isn’t that sweet? Yes.  Yes, it is. But let’s not make this into a romance movie just yet.
If you’ve read my blog before, you already know that the hubs is a creative genius. Whatever he tries, he’s good at. And his new venture is a perfect example of that.

John has been creating handcrafted wire jewelry for a few years now. With each year, he challenges himself to make more intricate pieces, and the results are breathtaking. Now, he’s finally reached a point where he is confident enough in his talent to take the show on the road. Or, at least to Etsy.

And I’ve decided to help him.  Because, aside from being my awesome husband, blogging + promotions = success for everybody.

Feel free to click on some of my favorites below. But if those don't strike your fancy, there are plenty more gorgeous pieces to choose from over at his Etsy shop, John Wesley Jewelry. Also, he is fantastically adept at figuring out new designs, so if you have something specific in mind, send him a message, and I am sure he would do a brilliant job of creating a custom piece for you.

Copper, Silver or Gold colored wire wrapped dangling earrings
Copper wire wrapped cuff
Basket weave copper earrings with red faceted bead
Wire wrapped sunburst earrings with turquoise bead
Silver plated wire wrapped hoop earrings
Steampunk gear earrings

And now, my faithful readers, this is where you come in.  Go check out my husband’s shop, 
John Wesley Jewelry. Share this post with your friends and family on your social media platforms. Shout it from the rooftops that John Wesley Jewelry is opened for business.

John Wesley Jewelry can be found on Facebook and Instagram, too, so make sure to click on the links below to support his shop and follow his journey!

And just for being the awesome readers that you are, for a limited time, you can use this code at checkout to waive shipping costs.  BALLOFWAX4JWJ

Happy shopping!