Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas at the Zoo!

Christmas at the Buie's is all about our animals, naturally, since we are outnumbered 4 to 2. They rule in our house. Yes, they are all reasonably well trained (as well as you can trains cats), and they know who their masters are, but let's be honest... the own us. They even have their own Christmas tree.
I even waited until Christmas eve to decorate my mantel because Hazel likes to get on the mantel and perch. She likes to be up high and look over the whole room. I think it makes her feel important.
Christmas for the cats is like a wonderland of all things cats love: shiny things, lights, bells, paper, ornaments and a huge tree in the living room to climb. It's like a cat's dream come true.

This was Charlie's first Christmas so he was especially amazed by the vintage silver strand of beads I pulled out of the magical box. In fact, the strand of beads never even made it on the tree.
Mostly they stayed on the dining room table which became the cats play room for most of the month of December.
Scooter and Conner look a little less thrilled about Christmas this year. They're old hats at this. They've been around the block a time or two. "Just give us the treats and let's be done with this." Their stockings were filled with new toys, bones, and treats to last for months...but in reality will last about 2 weeks.
This was our first year without George. We had a brief moment of sadness when we came across his stocking. Not sure what to do with his old stocking, we just left it in the box. We'll deal with it next year.
But we are super excited to have added one more stocking, Charlie, to the holder. We order these stockings from Pottery Barn several years ago and of course they are no longer available. I ordered a similar one for Charlie but it ended up being super tiny compared to the other three. Honestly, I love it because Charlie is so small and is the youngest member. It's perfect! :)
And yes, even the cats get treats in their stockings. Here is Charlie being introduced to catnip for the first time. Wow! He loved it. He got toy shrimp filled with catnip and was in little kitty heaven. :)
Merry Christmas from the Buie's Zoo! We sincerely hope that you and your furry friends had a wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Nicaragua:: Day 3

from my journal: December 7, 2011

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband! I'm sad I'm not with him today but I'm having a wonderful experience, one I wish I could share with him.

Today in Nicaragua, the locals are celebrating Mary's birthday. There will be parades, parties, dances & fireworks later this evening, I am told. Hopefully we will have a chance to go down to the local town square to witness this celebration.

This morning's devotional was from Psalm 27 - The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? Also, Ephesians 6:10-19 - Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Today we went to a village that inspired me. These people once lived at the dump. The city of Diriamba sold very small plots of land for dirt cheap to encourage people to move out of the dump. And so they did.

This little village is now called Kilombo. Our church has sent teams down to help build houses. There are now 30 one room houses built out of concrete bricks and they have a solid foundation. The goal is to build 150 more homes. It only costs $1800 to build ONE of these homes in Diriamba. $1800. If you had $1800 dollars what would you do with it? Pay off some student loans? Buy yourself that Christmas present that Santa forgot? Go on a long vacation? This amount of money would buy a family of 4 (possibly more) a home for years to come. Oh, how blessed we are.

Our second stop today was to the dump. I can honestly say I. HAVE. NEVER. I didn't take as many pictures here as I wanted because I just stood in awe and stared for quite some time. For as far as I could see there was trash. The smell was almost unbearable. There was smoke rising from different areas of the dump from burn piles. Looking down under my feet, I realized I was standing on people waste but also people livelihood.
There were men, women, children, mothers & babies all living off the trash of the people of Diriamba. They were thrilled to receive the rice and beans and toys (for the children) we gave them.
My prayer for them is that the people living at the dump will one day have their own Kilombo.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Nicaragua:: Day 2

from my journal:
December 6, 2011

This morning's devotion was on the front porch of where we are staying - a concrete building painted pink & green. The grounds are lush with native plants. The flowers here are beautiful.
I did not sleep much at all last night - perhaps it was the new environment or perhaps the excitement of what today would bring. I woke up at 5:30am ready for the day. I'm excited to meet the children. I know it will be hard but I'm so glad I'm here!
the evening of December 6th
I am physically exhausted from today's endeavors. But it was a good day. Today we packed 300 "blessing bags" that the women of FBC Minden made. A bag of rice and a bag of beans were placed in each bag. We packed bags of toys for the children and brought them to a local school The rice and beans were distributed to the adults and the children were delighted with their new toys.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Nicaragua:: Day 1- Traveling

Last week I was on a truly life changing mission trip to Nicaragua. I went with an awesome group of women from my home church in Minden, Louisiana. There were eight of us; our team name is Team N.O.E.L. (Nicaraguan Outreach Expressing Love). The goal of our trip is to pass out clothes, toys, and food to those who have literally nothing in the poorest parts of Diriamba, Nicaragua and surrounding communities. We were there for a week and had limited internet connection so I wrote a journal entry instead of blogging each day. These are my written journal entries I wanted to share with you. I have backdated them so they are dated on the actual date they were written in Nicaragua.
December 5, 2011

We arrived in Nicaragua. It is well past 1 am and I am weary from traveling. I will make this brief. The people here are nice. I am looking forward to seeing the country in the light of day and photographing some of its beauty in the coming week.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Rice Cake Anyone?

Oh, and in case you were wondering how I'm feeling about my yeast free diet... these two clips from one of my favorite show (Designing Women) pretty much sums it up.

Happy Birthday Buie!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband, Brent Buie, who turns 34 this coming week. I'll be in Nicaragua on his actual birthday so we celebrated early. I hate to leave my man on his birthday and actually have been putting off this trip for years because it always falls during his birthday week, but this is the year I'm going. I figured if I'm ever going to go to Nicaragua with my mom, I should while we don't have kids yet. I still feel guilty leaving B on his birthday, though...

Isn't he cute in his new William Sonoma Chiefs apron I got him? ;)Birthdays are a big deal to me for some reason. They are a thing to be celebrated. Another year of living. An excuse to be around friends and family. And that is exactly what we did.
Buie though it was going to be a quiet dinner with just the two of us but when we got to the restaurant, there was about 8 of his close friends waiting for him. He was shocked!
Thanks for making his night so special, guys! And to my husband, I love you! Happy 34th birthday! Can't wait to have many more birthdays with you.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Yeast Free: Day 1

I looked at the numbers on the scale one more time because that was the last time I would see numbers that big... ever again. You see, Candida yeast is in all of us. It is a fungus, a form of yeast, that live in your mouth and in your intestines. Candida is kept under control by the amount of good bacteria that live in our gut. So what happens when we don't have enough friendly bacteria? Yup. You guessed it. Candida yeast grows, like the fungus like it is, out of control, destroying everything in its path and making you (or me, in this case) feel miserable. Too much Candida can damage your body tissue, organs and destroy your immune system, not to mention release actual poison into your bloodstream.

So what's a girl to do? Attack. Yeast needs sugar to live. So cut off all yeast and sugar and the Candida dies. It's a slow & painful process to your body, but something that must be done. Many have described it like going through withdrawals from an addiction to drugs or alcohol. My doctor warned me it will get a lot worse before it gets before. But this is normal. This is the yeast cells dying inside. I am not looking forward to the "die-off" period but I am willing to go through it for the final results. I long for a day when I wake up with no headache, backache, bloating, fatigue, stomach ache, itchy skin, etc. etc. etc.

Day 1. You gotta start somewhere, right? Today I woke up feeling sore physically. The feeling of aching muscles is something I have become accustomed to. Mentally, I am ready. Let's do this. I have never been a soldier at war or even a very competitive person for that matter, but I am going into battle. Candida yeast is going DOWN! I think that's the only way to look at this. Every bite of sugar or yeast I put in my body, I am basically just giving yeast the weapons to destroy me...because that is exactly what it's doing.

My plan of attack:: Be prepared. I already have a menu prepared for the week. Here's what today looks like. (Don't worry. I won't blog about what I'm eating everyday.)

Breakfast today: Egg white omelet with spinach
Lunch: Grilled chicken breast and sliced raw cucumber
snack: green apples slices with almond butter
Dinner: Tuna steaks, brown rice and broccoli

I'm excited about the journey ahead and check back in about my progress toward the end of the week! Thanks for all of your support!

PS. Check out this site for more information about Candida yeast. I've been doing a lot of reading and found this site to be very helpful.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Am I ready?

As I sat down to write a new post that I thought was going to be on eating a yeast free diet, my kitty Charlie hopped into my lap as he always does at this time of night. Sometimes it's annoying to try to type with 7 pounds of fur laying across my arms but tonight I just listened to him purr. Sometimes I look at my animals and wonder if the only mom I'll ever be is to them. Will I have kids of my own? I wonder what they will be like. Will they look like me? Will they play sports like Buie? Will they have their mother's math skills? (Let's hope not)

There are so many questions when thinking about kids, like the big one: Are we even ready for kids? (I mean, who is really ever ready? Am I right?) Are we mentally prepared for the change? Quite possibly no. Are we financially ready? Um... how much do babies cost again? And the million dollar question: Am I PHYSICALLY ready for children? The answer my doctor so clearly gave me last week was NO. I am not physically ready for children. So why do we want what we can't have? Ever since then, I can't stop thinking about babies. In the last week I have found myself in these random places like BabiesRus and the toy section at Walmart.... of course it could very likely be that I am an aunt now and was just Christmas shopping for my niece and nephew. Speaking of nieces and nephews, I blame them, you know.... for this whole baby thing. It's all their fault. If they weren't so darn cute, I wouldn't want a baby. Sigh.

So.... originally I was going to write about starting a yeast free diet. Tomorrow I start the diet. Be looking for more about cutting yeast out of your diet.

Yeast Free. PLUS the already Gluten Free & Dairy Free. Shouldn't be too hard, right?

Don't I sound excited? I plan to blog about my progress along the way. Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

One More Thing...

I have just one more thing to be thankful for...

I would be a bad fan if I didn't mention the win yesterday. GEAUX TIGERS!
photo by Jen Amato (edited on Instagram)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Recap

What a day great of family, food and football. This Thanksgiving was spent at my in-laws in Rison, AR. After being away from Buie for almost a week, it was so great to get a big hug from him and many wet slobbery kisses from the dogs. I think they missed me just a little bit.
Wednesday evening we spent the evening playing with the dogs, taking pics and just enjoying each other's company. Jill quickly got reacquainted with her cousins Scooter and Conner.
Thursday we ate so much wonderful food. I love this picture of Buie and his mom, Mrs. Carole, who fixed a wonderful spread for us this Thanksgiving complete with gluten free ham, dressing, green beans, sweet potatoes, corn...and the list goes on.

And yes, I am thankful for this wonderful gluten free chocolate cake and the wonderful hands that prepared it.
The boys had a great time at their grandparents house this Thanksgiving!

And I was so happy I remembered to take a few family pictures.
Brent and his brother, Tee. Aren't they handsome? ;)
Our little family that I am so thankful for. The cats are fending for themselves at home. ha. I hope y'all are having a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! Oh, and GEAUX TIGERS! :)

As I sit here Thanksgiving evening with my husband on one side and my dog and my apple computer in my lap, I realize I am truly blessed. I have a roof over my head, a belly full of food and a heart so full of memories with a family that loves me.

Feel the love.

This Thanksgiving we got the kids together and just watched them interact. Seriously, what did we do before our niece and nephew came along? They are the entertainment at holidays now. These photos were taken yesterday at my mom's house. Makaylan came to see Landon at Pop and Honey's house and he loved it.

Kisses were shared.
Hugs were shared.
Landon was all about sharing kisses...even those sloppy open mouthed kisses. And this one is priceless. Makaylan pinching Landon's sweet cheeks. hehe. Too cute!
I'm so thankful for these two and the joy they bring to our family. I can't wait to see them grow up together. I know how close I was (and still am) to my first cousins and it makes me so happy to know how close these cousins will be in the coming years.

Monday, November 21, 2011

30 day photo challenge:: Day 6

Day 6: something orange

Being in Minden this weekend I have had lots of quality time with my nephew Landon. I snapped this picture today when he was playing with a few orange toys that just so happened to have been some of my old toys when I was younger.

I don't think Fisher Price will ever go out of style...

and neither will this smile.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Week

So many of my facebook friends have been listing things that they are thankful for each day in November. Well, it's no surprise that I'm slow to jump on any band wagon but lately I have been bursting with gratitude. I thought I would take this week of Thanksgiving to mention of few of the things I am most grateful for in this life.

I am thankful for my support system. Without my people I would be lost.
Who are my people? They are the people who are with me through anything.
They are the people who have always been there for me and I know always will be.
They are the people who made me who I am today.
I am thankful for you. You know who you are. ;)


After opening up a bit and sharing our tough news with you all, I have been overwhelmed with the texts, emails, sweet phones calls, hugs and prayers from you all. First of all, thank you for lifting up my sister in law, Nicole. She is doing great and is taking the advice of her doctor by taking it easy. She, Craig and Landon are down in Minden with me this weekend so she has plenty of hands to help her out.

I have been hesitant to share much more on this blog than news of our dogs, cats, our recent travels, or what event we attended recently, etc.. Rarely do I open my heart and share my fears, worries or health concerns. I have never really thought of myself as a private person in the past but in today's social media crazed world, a private thought or word is almost hard to come by. I think many people put way too much on Facebook and twitter exposing themselves too deeply. I have never wanted to be one of those people. My last post I put my toe in the water a little and opened up a bit. I felt vulnerable. Today at church many people came up today and told me they were praying for me because they read my blog post. I felt naked. I felt exposed. I wanted to run and hide and go put some clothes on! (Don't worry. I actually did have clothes on in church.)

So, did I learn anything from opening up? I guess I learned that a whole lot more people read my blog than I thought. ha. But the main thing I've learned is that it's okay to be vulnerable. It's okay to share yourself with others. You might just find out something about yourself in the process. You might also learn that there are a lot of people going through the exact same thing as you are. Let's help each other out and go through this life together because goodness knows we can't do it alone.

And because I miss my baby Conner so much... here's something to make you smile. Thank you for your love and support, friends.