Bringing It Down – Diabetes #2

Written early March 2017

When dealing with life changes, whether it’s in regards to eating, stopping a bad habit, starting therapy, stopping therapy, or whatever, it’s not an easy path.  Although I do believe a support system is essential it really comes down to the individual.  No one is going to move you forward, they might assist but ultimately you have to take that first step alone.  And that first step isn’t going to come until you are ready.

My first assistance was that blood test that showed my AC1 at 7.2 and the phone call from the doctor with options.  I chose the option to visit with a Diabetic Educator named Kathy.  I spent up until the day after my 46th birthday eating as I wanted.  I began logging food and trying my best from December 27th to January 3rd, then I met Kathy.

Kathy explained things in simple terms and allowed me to ask questions.  She allowed my spouse to ask questions and she even visited about my fears.  Tears fell because of the emotions I was feeling and she never made me feel bad for it.

I now take my blood sugar glucose tests at least 2 to 3 times a day. Once before meals and once two hours after eating.


In the past couple months I’ve been on the high side emotionally, the frustrated, tantrum throwing, not to mention the low side.  You name it, I’ve probably felt it.  Kathy gave me just a few things to start out with.  45 grams of carbs per meal and 15 per snack.  Going in I knew I needed to expect less of myself.  That probably sounds odd but it’s true.  I have high expectations for myself and that can lead to me taking the long fall down to failing!

This time I wrote about moving into a different level of this journey.  I felt it needed to be shared because only writing about the good or positive moments isn’t reality or truth. I won’t hide in the goodness of life, the ugly is part of it.  Just have to choose how to deal with it.



Bringing It Down – Diabetes #3

April 2017

Three months in and I stopped.  I basically let it drift away by casually having a morsel or two then the entire item in front of me.  Yes, the 80/20 rule works but not for someone that has no willpower, is depleted by stress, tired, and most importantly on this new life change only a couple months.  Feel a lack of support was a factor too.

Here I am on April 4th, no weight loss in March, and I have a blood sugar hangover. Yesterday started as a new start to get back together.  It went very well most all the day and then at supper I failed.  Sweet potato fries, a few would be okay but too many no way!  Then the DQ ice cream cake from my daughter’s 9th birthday.  Those two things with a combination of whatever else few carbs I had throughout the day made my blood sugar increase.  Increase to the point of headache and me deciding to take the actual test.  154.  To some that may be a great number but to me that means WAY TOO HIGH.  An hour and half later 166.  It wasn’t showing any signs of backing down.  So I headed to bed thinking “what the he** Julie? Why did you do this?” It’s been a few weeks like this now and although stress and lack of sleep are factors, YOU chose to eat wrong a lot of the time!”

I’ve started my day by eating protein and  24 carbs, which I’m suppose to have 45.  It’s hard for me to get up to 45 at breakfast without going over.  I took an easy paced walk as the energy level and mindset is low.  Almost time to take my next test and then a snack.  15 carbs.   And on and on and on.

April 26, 2017

Most days have been better but still not a stellar way.   I am moving.  That is essential in this life with diabetes. I’m serious.  It helps so much even when I’m not actually walking or moving.  The issue I have is this.  When my blood sugar level is great, but  I don’t eat 45 grams of carbs, then go for a walk,  my blood sugar drops low.  And going from low up to way high is the worst feeling to me!   Balance.  That really is the key.  But since falling off in March I’m struggling with getting balance.


Sleep. Sleep is just about as big a factor as moving.  I didn’t realize it until I stopped taking my anti-depressants in early March.  The one thing they did was knock me out overnight.  I did sleep well while on them but for various reasons have discontinued taking them.  For the most part I am doing okay off them except my “light sleeping” personality wakes too much in the night!  Then the bladder issue hits and up I go to bathroom.  SO, early bedtimes are essential and if a nap is needed I should do just that! Easier said than done on most days.  BUT, I am going to take this one step at a time, tackle one thing at a time.  If I don’t, I will fail.

So my focus is eating balanced.  Then moving.  Just keep moving.  Just keep moving!  Find some support somewhere too.  It has helped me to document via Snapchat with my two daughters and best friend.  I’m not sure they enjoy getting snaps of my walking logs but oh well.  They are getting them! 🙂

Until next time!


Bringing It Down – Diabetes #5 – 6 month results

July 2017

Drumroll please…….

AC1 test results December 12, 2016: 7.2

AC1 test results June 19, 2017: 5.9


It’s amazing to me how taking my blood sugar 1- 3 times a day, monitoring my levels, eating less carbs (see I didn’t say no carbs),  and walking for exercise can make me feel better.

While in the process of reaching a goal I found that paying attention to my body and how it reacts is crucial.  When I do carb overload the way I feel physically and mentally is essential.  Do I still over eat on occasion, yes.  For sure.  More than I probably should, but as I’ve stated before I’m not rushing this.


I’ve lost 16 pounds since December and although I’ve been stuck at my current weight awhile I’m okay with it.  Continuing to move and 80% of the time eating the best I can is what is working for me.  My blood sugars are good and I’ve kinda leveled out where they should be.


Is this permanent?  No.  If I slide back the other way too often or quit moving, my body will go back to where it’s been.  If I continue with high stress and lack of sleep that diabetic frenzy will show itself once again.  Which could result in me taking insulin or some sort of diabetic medication.  I DO NOT WANT THIS!

I’m lucky.  I was given an opportunity to adjust my way of living.  With Type 2 Diabetes it was determined before it got out of hand.  This is available for many with Type 2 Diabetes, the ability to make the change, but of course not all. If caught early enough makes a difference.  Annual physical and blood work is what saved me.  I’m only six months in and this will need to be taken care of for the rest of my life.

As I said earlier, at this point I do not take any medication. I hope to keep it that way for as long as possible.  I already take one medication for another condition that costs me over $350 a month, where there is no cure for it.  I struggle to get it so more expense isn’t an option.

So I spent the money for a cheap blood glucose meter, changed my eating habits, and got to moving some.  It still costs me approximately $50.00 a month for alcohol wipes, lancets,  and strips to test my blood.  My brother takes insulin and his diabetes is much worse than mine due to not being diagnosed early enough (not his fault by the way). Spending time with him recently was a reminder to me what I’m doing is important. (Even he is doing what he can to have a better life living with diabetes.)

  • It’s really up to only me.  I have to do this.
  • Having support makes things easier.
  • Choices I make today do make a difference for tomorrow.

Next six month goals

  • Walk 10,000 steps per day ( I started this last Saturday, Post # 7 talks about it)
  • Lose 7 more pounds
  • Find an exercise support buddy

I will not see Kathy until January 2018.  I hope by then to have met the goals I listed above.  Alot of the things I enjoy in life are where I am not active, I sit down.  For instance blogging, quilting, embroidery, movies, reading, and just relaxing at home.  So I have to make myself move.  This is where a committed buddy will help!  I’m off to find one! 🙂

Until next time!



Bringing It Down – Diabetes #6

Written Mid- July 2017

I find myself realizing that just six months ago walking .83 of a mile took me 30 minutes or possibly more.  Today I am able to walk that same path in 18 to 20 minutes.  I’m no runner and I never want to be but I’m pretty proud of this.  I sometimes have to break my walks up throughout the day due to my schedule.  I feel bad when I look at my fitness tracker and see less than 4000 steps by 1:00 p.m.  But there are those days.  I’ve made some improvements in the physical part of my health, a ways to go but I’m headed in the right direction.



This week I decided I might like to try riding a bike.  I have this old Schwinn bike that was my parents. I think it’s kinda cool.  But the tires on it are not made for country roads and with my balance issues it’s quite possible I’ll end up on the ground more often than not.  I’m hoping to try my husband or oldest daughter’s bike to decide if this is a new thing for me.  To see if the addition of bike riding will give me a little variety in life so to speak!  If all works with that adventure,  I might just have to trade my old Schwinn for a newer country road tire bike! 🙂

This week I noticed that when dining out I made good choices so to speak.  Did I still eat a hamburger and fries and even a chocolate shake.  Yes.  But the good choice for me was not picking the combo meal that had the largest size of those items.  I was enjoying my meal even though I didn’t stuff myself.  Then one evening my husband had brought home a piece of  homemade cherry pie.  (In his defense, he asked the diner if they had sugar free.)  I took about 3 bites and decided it was too sweet and I really didn’t want it.  Perhaps that was his plan all along……   🙂

One of the things I dislike is having my blood sugar level go too low, for a couple reasons.  I feel bad and then when I do eat it shoots up which causes other uncomfortable results.  So balance is really a key item in this game of controlling diabetes.  I can tell when my body reaches about 95 to 90, the too low symptoms begin to show.  If it makes it to 70 I need help!  But most of the time I keep it around 105 – 120 area before meals and after meals varies from 125 to 145 depending on what I eat.

I am still in the obese section for BMI.  I’m still in a size 18 and the scale hasn’t moved in a couple months.   I continue to love sweets and I do eat them.  The goodness for me is that I am taking the time to pay attention to my body.  I am sure if I had a trainer I would be even better off but that isn’t going to happen or the home chef.  Contentment with where I have come so far is important, moving forward is key as well but for now I’m okay with just settling into this new way.

Until next time,


Bringing It Down – Diabetes #4

Written late June 2017

In May I didn’t track my food as well and to this day I am not logging it.  I’m depending on my mind.  The physical picture of what my plate should look like and the size of my snacks.  Including this with thinking about how my body feels is my go to. Remembering how I feel if I eat too many carbs in the next couple hours I keep near as well.  I still eat carbs and not always “good” ones but I’m confident in my abilities to judge my choices.

I think what made me get back on track is being put in a physically working environment. Our Kansas wheat harvest arrived around June 10th and my job was not in a cushy air-conditioned cab.  It was weighing grain trucks in the humid, hot Kansas sun. Weighing the trucks meant shoveling and sweeping grain into a pit.  So it wasn’t just sitting around. It kept my mind and body busy.  I wasn’t as hungry either, a little went a long way for me.

If you are interested in learning about farm life go to our blog called farming grace daily

The work gave me the change and push to get back to moving more.  I am now walking and doing some challenges on my Samsung Health to motivate me.  I’m still sending my Snaps to my pals for support and moving forward.  It’s not been a perfect journey but it’s my journey.  I’m proud of where I am today but would like to move forward to better my health.

My sleep isn’t great but I just do what I can. Most days I don’t allow myself to sit at the computer or sewing machine too long.  A 15 minute walk can give someone a great deal of steps.  I’m still not at 10,000 most days but if I reach 8000 I’m happy.  I can do this and it’s not for a temporary time.  Accepting who I am, what I am doing, and where I am going is the game plan. Also having confidence in myself, that’s still a work in progress! 🙂

Down with the D #5 I will share in a couple days.  It will include my results from my six month checkup and how I  am dealing with that.

If you care to follow along just subscribe on the right side of this blog page.

Until next time!


Roadtrip – Blueberries, Donuts, and Quality Family Time!

I’m starting this post as I am traveling on the open road with my hubs and youngest daughter.  Since it is too wet for my farmer husband to do what he loves we decided to get some fun family time in! The main reason is here shortly we will not see much of him for a couple of weeks when things do get busy with wheat harvest and fall crop planting!

We traveled 2 1/2 hours to pick blueberries. We were rained on but that didn’t matter to me. I loved it! Picking fresh fruit, time with the family, and seeing the beauty God created is so full filling! I highly recommend it!


Blueberry Picking

After the blueberry picking we headed to an apple cider mill / country store. I had been there last fall and enjoyed the donuts they make a great deal!  They didn’t have their equipment running today but we stocked up on some goodies and I explained how they made the cider in the buildings.

apple cider donut

Then we just headed down the open road!  We ended up stopping at a park and eating our picnic lunch.  Dad and daughter checked out the museum on premises.  Then we just made our way home and stopped at a Wal-Mart to stock up on canning supplies for me! 🙂

We picked 21.5 pounds of blueberries.  I will freeze most of them, make a cobbler or desserts, and perhaps make some jam or jelly.  I will be busy the next few days because I also have enough strawberries in the refrigerator for two batches of jam as well.


I am currently watching the local orchards for blackberries.  I love me some blackberries!  They should be ready in the next couple weeks from what I can tell.  We have a blackberry bramble of our own but I need more than it produces to make jam.

It is both my husband and mine busy season I realized today.  He has crops to harvest and plant and I have picking and jam making to do.  Our lives are busy but hopefully with this being the first summer I’m home full-time it will go smoothly.

So, how did you spend your Saturday?  What is your favorite type of jam or jelly?  Comment below and let me know!  Happy weekend!

Grace is a gift,


How About Some Joy and Jam Today!

This morning one of the things my youngest daughter and I did was make strawberry jam together.  One of my greatest joys in life is making jam.  The season is upon us and I couldn’t resist picking up some strawberries while at the store yesterday.  I’ve attempted to raise strawberries myself but haven’t had much luck.  My mother could always grow them wonderfully!  I didn’t inherited her knack or desire for much gardening apparently.

Back to the jam, we ended up making about 136 ounces of strawberry jam.  That is two batches and 14 cups of sugar.  I know, not the healthiest but it taste so good!  My favorite jam is peach though and one I tried last year pear honey is a close runner-up.


During our season of jam making there is usually the following types made.  Mulberry, blackberry, strawberry, peach, pear honey, and sand hill plum jelly.  I have some sand hill plum juice frozen from last year, we had a great crop!  It was a big seller last year too.

I do sell jams and jellies, but not by the truck load.  It’s more of an enjoyment and a  way to give homemade gifts.  We have planted some fruit trees so hopefully someday they will produce fruit that I can use.

So, what is your favorite type of jam or jelly?  Comment and let me know!

Grace is a gift,


Honesty Days

Honesty Days

1. I tried ignoring the fact that lack of exercise and eating anything was messing with me the past couple weeks.

2. When one writes a piece/post they can feel really proud about, one can feel it into their bones!

3. Purging is not fun.  But my attic is cleaner and my spouse is happier. But the items purged are taking up the garage now.  Garage sale or donate???

4. I’m grateful for the rain, really I am, but the clouds don’t help my mood.

5. My Asics tennis shoes are what yoga pants are to some women! 🙂

6. Massages.  I like them.

7. I need some sunshine! #itsamoodenhancer

8. Mini desserts are so fun to make and less guilty to eat…. unless you eat like 5 in one sitting!

9. School will be out soon, time with my little one upon the horizon, excited and anxious!

10. Casseroles are not my thing, I will eat them, but I prefer meat, potatoes/vegetable, and bread.

11. Sometimes the disappointments in life give you the push you need to go further than you anticipated.

12. Usborne books.  Awesome fun and filling our home library with my kiddo was fun!

13. New challenge for my family.  It’s on the blog tomorrow.  I didn’t ask them to join, I told them they were! 🙂

Grace is a gift,



My Device, My Apps, My Mission

We all want to save money right?  I would rather buy in bulk than make several trips to the store.  I think some of my “stock pile” mentality is I’m afraid we will run out of something and not have the money to go buy it.  I know, I know “trust in the Lord with all your heart”…..  I have issues, we know that! 🙂

Today I am going to share what I am doing recently to help our finances.  At this point, I am still living in the excitement of all the newness and am eager to see my amounts increase with these handy apps!

I just started using Ibotta and have been using the Walmart savings catcher for more than six months.  I still clip coupons on occasion.  So far I am getting $14.25 back on Ibotta and my savings catcher is growing slowly! To be honest, I’m not motivated enough to check my inbox to see what Coupon Mom has to offer me in help. I do check it occasionally but sometimes I get confused on her stuff.    I really don’t enjoy being in line any longer than I have to be at the store but I might start using PriceMatcherz more.

I think this is my new mission!

Prep for mission

Check out items on Ibotta that are available to get money back (this week I got money back on eggs, milk, and tortillas any brand!)

Make my list (only get items you normally would buy, otherwise you aren’t going to come out ahead).

Head to the store!

Just imagine me with my Samsung Galaxy 5 smart phone in my holster, dark sunglasses on,my printed Ibotta shopping list, cart in hand, and I’m strolling the shelves for the specific items!

Upon arrival home I scan the item’s bar codes and then take a photo of my receipt!  If I am really anxious I will just do it while loading into my car! Then I just wait patiently!  Sitting on the couch with a snack and cold drink to relax from my hard mission sounds like a good idea! 🙂

I hope you are laughing while imagining me in this scenario.  I am!

Other things I do:

Make a menu for the month (we get paid once a month that is why I do a month)

Write out my grocery list or print the list (I really like to write mine out still, I do this in the order of how I go through the store and where items are in the store)

Aldi’s – I like to shop here, I wish there was one closer so I could buy my produce on a weekly basis there.

Is there an app or routine or website that helps you save money?  Please share it in comments as I’d like to grow my knowledge in this area of our lives!

Grace is a gift,


Honesty Days

Honesty Days


I started this particular Honesty Days post a few weeks ago and just continued to add to it.  I hope you enjoy! 🙂


Receiving a card that is lovely, but the handwritten note inside made my lips smile and heart rejoice. ” I’m blessed to know you! You are in my daily prayers! Keep the Faith! Yes Grace is a gift, and you are a gift to me!”

Watching a movie can trigger bittersweet memories of parents now gone.  It’s good and bad all at the same time.

I miss cooking with my husband in our kitchen.

I’m moving into the “I’m dressing for comfort instead of for looks” in the weight gain game.  I’m glad after a weekend trip and gorging myself, that I have those same friends to support in this battle of healthier eating!

Laughing when your child tells you the current stunt your 3 year old grandchild has done.  AWESOME!  🙂

Saturday mornings watching SpyKids with the six year old, pretty sweet!  I love it when you can actually find something decent to watch with them that isn’t a cartoon.

Receiving a hug from the second best hugger I know.  TOTALLY needed and wanted! God bless her!

Hearing God’s word, from someone with an Argentina accent makes you realize crossing barriers, feeling uncomfortable, well it can turn out pretty good!

Checking those current projects off your list!- SUPER AWESOME!

Having your husband and six year old in a tractor cab with you, it’s cozy.  Being the example of learning and successful in front of your child, a little bit hard when your fear is escalating!

There should be an Opt-out for having politicians call your phone number over and over and over and over and over.  Can you say irritated!

Pushing through a bible study that has brought up so many traumatic things familiar to your life isn’t easy, but grateful I have it to work through just the same.

Watching  a Dad with his little girl create things out of cardboard to make her happy.  Icing on the cake! 🙂

Proud.  That’s what I feel when my daughter tells me she got promoted.

Excited. That’s what I feel when my other daughter allows me to help her plan one of the major events in her life! WEDDING!

Adoption.  Looking at  pictures and videos of the children in Foster care ignites a desire to help in me.

Cold weather is here.  Not a big fan.

Christmas shopping almost complete is a feeling of success around the corner! 🙂

Hearing a familiar person preach and teach the word was delightful.

Kneeling at an altar to take the sacraments  – felt new and lovely.

Ding dongs are in my kitchen cabinet and brownies on my counter and I didn’t eat them yesterday.  Another success, small but still a success!

Heated seats in a vehicle are AWESOME!

Roadtripping with friends, and not talking since one is not with us yet is hard to do.  But it made for a great joke all weekend and beyond!  #goodmemoriesontheroadandinthehouse  #canyoushutoffthatlight  #appetizerswinedingdongsgalore #friendshiptooawesometoeverletgoof  #hashtagaddictsnow

That’s all for now! I hope you are enjoying our adoption series.  We have two news ones this week, so be sure to check back tomorrow and Thursday!

Grace is a gift,