We started with Amazon but I know how much we all love a good Target run. Either in-store or online, amirite? So grab yourself a coffee, a glass of wine, a good snack, and let’s do some holiday shopping!
The items I’ve curated include some of my very favorite jewelry from Sanctuary Project, a recent fair-trade partner of Target, my can’t-live-without hair styling tool, some fun flannel for both him & her, kitchen gadgets, tech gadgets, the latest in must have toys, and more!
Simply click on the image below to be taken to where all items have been linked for ease of shopping! Once there, just click on the individual squares of products (underneath each collage) to look in more detail and purchase if it strikes your fancy!
While you’re there, feel free to hit FOLLOW on my LIKEtoKNOWit so you don’t miss any future posts!
Then hop on over to my Instagram at @shortgirlbigmood and let me know what you think of this guide. I hope it helps make your holidays a little more merry and bright!
Coming up next will be a gifting guide that gives back. Stay tuned!
Ironically, as I type this, I’m feeling pain that has nothing to do with my autoimmune issues. My left big toe h•u•r•t•s! Who knew that one toe could disrupt life so much? This is where I have been allllllllllllll week.
Anyway, the podiatrist said my joints are inflamed so we’re doing a little acute treatment and hopefully healing will come quickly. Say a little prayer for me because momma doesn’t need to add anything else to her body issue list! For the freakin’ love hahahahaha!
Regarding regular pain management, this is something that has taken me years to figure out and I still have to tinker with it. Autoimmune diseases are as unique to each individual as each individual is unique.
If you’re thinking, “wait, what autoimmune issues and why is she jumping into pain management because of one bum toe?” go ahead and hop over here to read part one of this post.
Now that we’re all caught up… here’s a quick run down of what I do daily to manage my* symptoms from Hashimoto’s, Addison’s, and Fibromyalgia.
First and foremost, is being mindful regarding rest, stress, and energy output. I am determined to live a full and inspired life and refuse to allow my autoimmune diagnoses to be my identity, but for that to be true, I have to plan, think things through (hard for my impulsive nature), and make accommodations. As an example, this momma is going to be at 👏 every 👏 single 👏 one of her kids events, but after an all-weekend basketball tournament, I need to keep my calendar clear the following Monday to give my body a chance to recuperate. Things like that.
I also hear that a healthy diet and exercise is helpful for those with autoimmune issues. Heck, I hear it’s good for everyone! I have not tried that yet… ha, jk… I have tried but I’m not the most disciplined at this. Now that I’m living this journey more out loud, maybe I’ll be inspired to be a better example. Maybe.**
I have a great team of physicians that support me living my best life. My boo, Linda, at Wiseman Family Practice oversees my care in consultation with my endocrinologist and rheumatologist. Below are the medicines and supplements we have determined work best for me each day. It’s taken a long time to get this mix right and it’ll likely have to be tweaked and changed over time, as well. Autoimmune isn’t one and done. Every day is a new day with new challenges, but right now this is my daily dose.
Don’t let that handful scare you, only two are prescription. Each morning I take Synthroid to support my thyroid function (ha, like I have any function! but this helps my body pretend it does) and Cymbalta as a pain receptor blocker (bonus, it’s also an anti-depressant!) I also take an over-the-counter Allegra to help stop my overactive histamine production, a multi-vitamin, vitamin D, vitamin B, vitamin C, and zinc. Recently the biggest game changer for me has been upping my vitamin D. It’s given me an extra boost of energy! And this being the dumpster fire that is 2020, we’re alllllllllll drained and can use a boost, amirite??!
In the evening I only have one prescription…
And it’s my favorite prescription! At only 4.5mg, Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) helps reduce my pain experience and fights against inflammation. It’s a compound drug, meaning you’re not going to find it at Walgreen’s or CVS, it’s just not mass produced like that. I have a local compounding pharmacy make it for me. It’s not currently covered by insurance, but it’s worth the extra $$$ for me, and hubby agrees. He’s seen what I’m like when I don’t take it. 😉 I also pop a magnesium before bed, one Estroven (ugh menopause), and then depending on the day and how I’m feeling, I may add a couple Tylenol or Alieve and one or two Benadryl. The thing with having a compromised immune system is that once one issue is diagnosed, it’s not uncommon to discover others. The latest we are investigating is dermatomyositis ‘cuz this girl is super itchy all the dang time. I’m just a party, y’all. 🥳
With all of the above, plus the loving support of family and friends, a lot of Diet Dr. Pepper, and even more Jesus, I’m here, happy, and living a joyful life.
Whatever you’re facing in this life, I pray you are able to look for the joy.
Peace & hugs, Kelli
*what works for me may not work for you, please consult your physician before taking or changing any meds or supplements
I’ve been thinking about the idea of motherhood lately. The responsibility of it, the different stages of it, and what it means. Growing up when I’d hear the word mom I only thought of my mother. Now it’s my own job title. And what a privilege it’s been to have a front row seat to our kid’s development and growth. It’s also been exhausting and frustrating and awe-inspiring and challenging. I wonder if I’ve been a good example. If I’ve taught them the values that will help them in wise decision making. Are they healthy? Do they know how to do their own laundry? Cook? Do they have a crush on anyone? What are the qualities we’ve encouraged them to look for in a partner? Have we talked about that yet? Have we talked about alcohol and safe sex and how to be kind but don’t talk to strangers but help those in need and call if you’re in trouble and is the formula warm enough or too warm and are the off-brand diapers ok or does that mean I don’t care enough for my baby and what about music class and how are we going to pay for college and should we let him play tackle football (I hear about the head injuries) and can she go on that school trip without me (what if she gets scared) and the questions and the concerns just.keep.going. The types of questions and concerns shift over time, but they don’t go away. My mama still asks me to call her when I get home if I’m driving at night (y’all, I’m 44). She still wants to know if I’ve gotten enough rest and what my weekend plans are. When I was young I would just answer and keep going. Now, I ask her the same questions in return. Life really is a circle.
So yeah, that’s what happens in my mind when I think of the word “mom”. I imagine the response will be different for each of us.
What comes to your mind when you think about your mom, mama, madre, mum, mami? Or when you think about being a mom? Or how you don’t want to be a mother and the way society may view you in that decision?
Many of us have wonderful relationships with our mothers. Others have strained or nonexistent relationships. Some of us when we think about being a mom the hopefulness of that brings sweet joy. For others it brings nothing but heartache and loss.
Maybe your mother figure is actually your aunt or grandmother. Maybe you have a mom and a step-mom. Or maybe you were primarily raised by a close friend. Maybe your upbringing was in foster care or you experienced adoption. Some of you may have walked through the adoption process to build your family.
No family is going to look just like another, in the same way that a mom is not a carbon copy of any other woman who goes by the same title. We each have to forge our own identity. We are not from where where we come, we are who we choose to be.
Have a nasty relationship with your mother? Choose to break that cycle and form relational bonds with your children. It may not be easy, but there’s a reason why “nothing worthwhile ever is” is a cliche.
Struggling with infertility? I understand the emotional devastation that brings, both of our babies are rainbow babies. Be honest with your family and friends about what is happening and be specific in how they can support you.
Single parent pulling the weight of two? God bless you! Take a deep breath when you find yourself reaching the breaking point, and reach out for help, instead. If you have family and friends you can rely on, great! You can also look for local organizations and churches to support you.
Happy with your life and don’t want children? Totally ok! If you like, you can explain to those around you why you’ve made that choice. Or don’t! It’s your life, your call. Please don’t allow anyone else’s opinion of you to lessen your’s of yourself.
Having a hard time with any of the above — or the million other things moms have hard times with? Don’t be afraid to seek out therapy. Some of my darkest times have taught me the most, but I may have missed those lessons if I didn’t have a trained councilor helping me walk through it.
It’s so important to understand the beauty and strength we each hold, as a mother, as a woman. The more we recognize the differences and uniquenesses in each of us — and value those — the more opportunity we have to lift one another up. There’s absolutely no reason for the term “mom shaming” to have ever existed. Remember, we have no idea what all is going on behind the screen of certain families and friends.* Let’s give each other the benefit of the doubt and just be kind. Be good humans to one another. Lift each other up.
One woman shining bright doesn’t diminish another’s light, it illuminates us all.
*If you suspect domestic violence or child abuse, please contact your local authorities and if you or someone you know is in danger, you can reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or https://www.thehotline.org/.
I haven’t see my kids since Friday. I won’t make you do math – that’s six days. I dropped them off at my in-laws and didn’t look back. I haven’t talked to them. I haven’t texted, face-timed, emailed or written a letter. I pick them up today and I imagine my son having grown another inch (it’s entirely possible, people) and my baby girl now writing in cursive (or something). Something will have changed in them that I have not been a part of. And that’s ok. We survived this week apart, we all did. In fact, we flourished. The kids built forts and jumped off high dives (just because I didn’t hear from them does not mean I didn’t get in-law updates!). I cleaned out closets, hung out with dear friends and got in three dates with my husband. I truly believe the kids need to learn to function without us (within reason) and just as importantly, we need to make sure we can function without them. Now, it’s not like we’re dropping them off in the wilderness with a flashlight and a can of tuna. They’re at my in-laws where they are lavished with love and spoiled rotten. And they need that, too. They need to know there are many, many people for them. That Team Huff is bigger than just the four of us. And we’re so blessed because we have family nearby that can support us like this. My parents are just three towns over and the in-laws are just a couple hours away. Y’all, Chad and I started sneaking in weekends away when the kids were infants. As they’ve gotten older the number of days have been able to increase. And it’s such a gift. For all of us! I can talk about the kids needing their grandparents, but y’all, the grandparents soak. it. up. And we get to practice empty-nesting. Because college is just a few short years away. And I want to send out well-loved, confident, independent children into this world.
For those of you living far from family, I get this is a challenge. But I encourage you to engage your community around you, find good friends that can give you and your kids the chance to have independent experiences. Heck, work out a trade and return the favor! And all my single people, one of the greatest gifts you can give your married with kids friends is time. Offer to watch the kiddos for an evening or a weekend and don’t take no for an answer. I think someone once said that it takes a village.
Now excuse me while I stare at the clock, counting down the minutes until I see my beauties again. I think they still look like this.