Life’s too short to not have a happily ever after

Life’s too short to not have a happily ever after

February 2014

My birthday’s coming up, and I’m not sure what it is about birthdays-mine and others…I’m not THAT conceited;) but they always get me thinking. I’ve always loved birthdays… and to most people that’s kind of strange. No matter who’s birthday it is I love making things for people, being the first to wish them happy birthday, surprising, and making an all-around embarrassing big deal out of things.

To most I guess a birthday is just another day, no big deal, nothing too special. But to me, a birthday is a very big deal. I don’t mean throw me a huge party, give me everything I’ve ever wanted kind of big deal.That’s not what birthdays are about. I believe birthdays should be celebrated in their own special way. You should tell people you love them, think of the things you’ve accomplished in the previous year, and do something (big or small) just for you. Why? Because a birthday is a celebration of another year you’ve been blessed to live, and not everyone gets that.

So…obviously I’ve been thinking about the past couple of years and how much I’ve changed. I think it all started when I decided to move apartments, found a place, and practically signed the contract before I remembered “oh yeah….maybe I should call my dad and talk to him about this.” It is such a big change from my freshman year, where my parents practically walked me through finding a place to live.

I’ve also got to thinking about where my life is going. Thinking back to my High School days I had such a different plan for my life. But I look at who I am, what I’ve done, and where I’m going and I absolutely adore that my life has turned out the way it has. That brings me to my title…happily ever after.

There’s one funny thing about happily ever afters, and that’s the after. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good chick flick, guy gets the girl, fantasy fairy tale where everything happens just as it should. But, I feel like people get the wrong idea with happily ever after. Why? Because I used to be one of them.

The trick with happily ever after is people are always waiting for the after. After I lose 15 pounds I’ll be happy. After this semester things will be different and I’ll be happy. After I get married things will be better, that will make me happy. After I get out of debt I’ll be happy. After I get a new job, I’ll be happy. After I’m out of high school, surely…things will change and I will be happy.

I know people think like this because I used to. I was constantly saying to myself ‘after this things will be different and I’ll be happier.’ But folks, here’s the kicker. Life is full of knock-downs and drag-outs. Trials… they build character, they show people more about themselves than they ever knew, and they’re why we’re here.

So, my mom’s pretty sick. In January of 2013 when she first got sick I found myself miserably in the after stage. After chemotherapy was over, we’d all be happy. After the semester was over and it was summer I’d be happy. You know, in a way I was kind of right. I was happier when the semester came to an end, and my whole family had lighter moods when we finished the first round of chemo. But, I missed out on so many opportunities to be happy before.

It’s funny, how things kind of loop around-especially when there’s a lesson still to be learned. This January rolled around and what would you know? We’re doing the chemotherapy thing again. When I first found-out it rocked my world. The timing of almost a year to the date freaked me right out. I panicked and couldn’t help but selfishly feel like cancer would always be this cloud forever sucking the happiness from my family. We would miss another spring and summer as a normal family. Please, don’t judge me for the selfish thoughts I had. You really have no idea what cancer does to your mind.

But, here’s the good part. I had awesome people in my life and reflective moments where I realized I don’t want to continue the cycle. I don’t want to wait for my happily ever after. I have no idea how long we’re going to be fighting cancer, but I do know this. We are going to do it with big smiles on our faces, and we’re going to enjoy the ride. This isn’t the first trial my family has had, and it won’t be the last. That’s okay. In fact, I’m grateful for it. I’ve learned so much about myself, what I need, who I am and how to be happy.

Trials are there, it’s inevitable. But I believe for every trial in life there are at least 5 positive highlights to go with them. The trick is to look for the good. Appreciate the good news, embrace what is working, and find some sunshine in every day.

Yes, my mom is sick. Is it hard? Yes, it’s hard. But, I also have a lot of great things going for me. I have a church that gives me so much purpose, comfort and guidance. I have a God and Savior who know me better than I know myself. I have the opportunity to attend the best school for me and further my education. I have great friends and even better family. I have jobs and opportunities that miraculously keep crossing my path. I’m going to be an aunt again in June, a miracle I’m so incredibly grateful for. I am a very blessed girl, and I thank God for it.

*you’re probably sick of me talking about my mom’s cancer and how much I’ve learned from it. I can’t help it. I just feel the need to share what I’ve learned in hopes others can as well.*

So here’s the deal. You go ahead and believe in happily ever afters. Really, please do. But don’t get tripped up on the after. If I were to re-write history, I think I’d just leave it at happily ever…no after needed. You can have your happily ever after right now, right this day, right this second. It’s up to you to decide if you’re going to be happy. It’s up to you to make your life everything you’ve ever wanted. It’s up to you to seize the day.

Am I the best at this? No, not even close. I still have my “after” moments and I can occasionally get in a funk. But, I’m working on it.

“I’m proud of the person I’ve become, because I fought hard to become her” – Anonymous.

For my Savior, my Rock, my Guide

A sense of purpose, strength, an honor divine. With furrowed brow and knowing eyes, Each step of your life carefully thought out. It’s there for you, your destined route.
Read Me

Life’s too short to do it on your own

Angels with us, what a beautiful and positive thought that is! God would not forsake us and leave us alone. He is very aware of each and every one of us and provides a way for us to accomplish our purpose on this earth.
Read Me

Your Choice, Even When The Answer Is No

This is a blog post about graduation and starting your career.
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Gluten Free Pad Thai

[et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="on" specialty="off"][et_pb_fullwidth_post_title admin_label="Post_Title" global_module="142" saved_tabs="all" title="on" meta="on" author="off" date="off" categories="off" comments="off" featured_image="on" featured_placement="background" parallax_effect="on" parallax_method="on" text_orientation="center" text_color="light" text_background="on" text_bg_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" module_bg_color="rgba(255,255,255,0)" title_font="Montserrat|||on|" title_font_size="30" title_text_color="#ffffff" title_all_caps="off" meta_font="Lora||||" meta_text_color="#d9d8c7" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_fullwidth_post_title][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="off" specialty="off"][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_number_counter admin_label="Number Counter" number="27" percent_sign="off" counter_color="#b54c60" background_layout="light" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" number_font="Lora||||"] [/et_pb_number_counter][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" color="#575a5e" show_divider="on" height="3" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" hide_on_mobile="on"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" header_font="Montserrat|||on|" header_font_size="42px" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="Montserrat|||on|" text_font_size="30"] December 2016 [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] Prep/Cook Time: 30 minutes What You Need:
  • Gluten Free Pad Thai or Rice Stir-Fry Noodles
  • San-J Gluten Free Sweet & Tangy or Orange Sauce
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Assorted Veggies (I like to use broccoli slaw, snap peas, water chestnuts and cole slaw)
  • Dash of Garlic Powder
  • *Protein option: 1 egg
  • 2 cups water
  [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" padding_mobile="off" disabled="off" disabled_on="on|on|off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/DSC_0005.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/DSC_0001.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/DSC_0004.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] In a large skillet bring the 2 cups water to boil and add your rice noodles, veggies, sesame seeds (to taste), a dash of garlic powder, and drizzle with your sauce. Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until noodles are tender. Don't forget to stir noodles occasionally and add water as needed. When your noodles are soft, cover with a lid and let them cool for 1 minute. Add additional sauce as needed and salt and pepper to taste. *If you wanted the protein option, simply scramble the egg in a separate pan and add in at the end. These are best served hot, but do reheat as leftovers fairly well with the noodles keeping their texture consistently. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" global_module="3581" make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" column_padding_mobile="on" custom_padding="25px|25px|25px|25px"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="7" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="8,6" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(217,216,199,0.73)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="9" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(217,216,199,0.73)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]
Read Me

Gluten Free Cheesy Potatoes

[et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="on" specialty="off"][et_pb_fullwidth_post_title admin_label="Post_Title" global_module="142" saved_tabs="all" title="on" meta="on" author="off" date="off" categories="off" comments="off" featured_image="on" featured_placement="background" parallax_effect="on" parallax_method="on" text_orientation="center" text_color="light" text_background="on" text_bg_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" module_bg_color="rgba(255,255,255,0)" title_font="Montserrat|||on|" title_font_size="30" title_text_color="#ffffff" title_all_caps="off" meta_font="Lora||||" meta_text_color="#d9d8c7" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_fullwidth_post_title][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="off" specialty="off"][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_number_counter admin_label="Number Counter" number="3" percent_sign="off" counter_color="#b54c60" background_layout="light" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" number_font="Lora||||"] [/et_pb_number_counter][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" color="#575a5e" show_divider="on" height="3" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" hide_on_mobile="on"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" header_font="Montserrat|||on|" header_font_size="42px" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="Montserrat|||on|" text_font_size="30"] May 2017 [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/20170402_155350.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="|||on|" text_font_size="30"] Gluten free cheesy potatoes. Also known as heaven. 🙂 [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="||on||"] [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] Prep: 15 Minutes Cook time: 1-1.5 hours Serves 2-4 people What You Need: 2 tblspns gluten free flour/mix (Enjoy Life, Arrow Root) 2 tblspns butter (or ghee) 2 Cups Milk 4-6 small potatoes sliced 2 cups of cheese of choice (I use sharp cheddar) 1 pinch garlic salt 1 pinch onion powder Pepper to taste Casserole dish (most sizes will work)   In a small sauce pan melt the butter on low heat, stirring in gluten free flour. Whisk it well or until there are no longer any clumps, slowly adding in the milk. Leaving it on low heat, bring it to a slow boil before gradually stirring in the cheese.   Put down one layer of potatoes in casserole dish and layer with sauce. Repeat until you have desired casserole depth (it will vary depending on the pan). Make sure all the potatoes are covered with sauce and place in the oven.   I suggest baking it at 350* for one hour and then increments of 5-10 minutes after that until the desired texture is obtained. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" global_module="3581" make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" column_padding_mobile="on" custom_padding="25px|25px|25px|25px"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="7" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="8,6" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(217,216,199,0.73)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="9" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(217,216,199,0.73)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="on" specialty="off"][et_pb_fullwidth_post_title admin_label="Post_Title" global_module="142" saved_tabs="all" title="on" meta="on" author="off" date="off" categories="off" comments="off" featured_image="on" featured_placement="background" parallax_effect="on" parallax_method="on" text_orientation="center" text_color="light" text_background="on" text_bg_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" module_bg_color="rgba(255,255,255,0)" title_font="Montserrat|||on|" title_font_size="30" title_text_color="#ffffff" title_all_caps="off" meta_font="Lora||||" meta_text_color="#d9d8c7" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_fullwidth_post_title][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="off" specialty="off"][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_number_counter admin_label="Number Counter" number="23" percent_sign="off" counter_color="#b54c60" background_layout="light" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" number_font="Lora||||"] [/et_pb_number_counter][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" color="#575a5e" show_divider="on" height="3" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" hide_on_mobile="on"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" header_font="Montserrat|||on|" header_font_size="42px" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="Montserrat|||on|" text_font_size="30"] May 2015 [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] We’re in one heck of a fight, yeah you got that right. With the ring of a bell, headed into what some call our personal Hell. It’s routine now, chemo, sleep, repeat. How many rounds is this? Good question, we count birthdays and chocolate bars around here. This year it started in November, as far as I can remember. A break from chemo, but hardly a break from the fight. Our regular cocktails weren’t giving a good enough buzz Shhh, not that kind of cocktail-no need to call the fuzz. December rolled around, We did our best to deck the halls. Surgery with the doc, coming up on number two. Jimmy made himself known, said ‘doc sir, you get this right.’ I guess a liver’s pretty important; at least that’s what they said. According to Jimmy, not as important as his little Lizzie, ‘she is my wife’. Huntsman became our hang-out, and despite all the casseroles- we ordered plenty of take-out. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" padding_mobile="off" disabled="off" disabled_on="on|on|off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/nephews_fight.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Christmas_fight.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/postsx_fight.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] Lizzie was brave, obeying the doc’s orders. In a room without her family, but not completely alone. No anesthesia today, although there was hardly a hooray. She held her breath, swallowed her fear, and let the chemo beads roam. The doc’s hands were steady, everything was ready. A surgery more precise than any before, one bead placed, two beads, and more. Her family waited two sets of heavy doors away, heavenly angels held her hands. “Be brave,” they whispered, “stay strong. God understands.” One successful surgery later, we’re not sure who was more relieved-Jimmy or the doc. Cancer and vertigo ruled our party, making most driving licenses invalid. Chauffer Lindsey and the Subie to the rescue. Who thought of buying the clutch anyway, those U of U hills are madness. Back home to Kamas, casseroles and chicken noodle soup waiting. Two cute little kiddos, grandma’s home soon to be invading. Cheers to a Christmas, and a New Year too. The doc said no more chemo, rest your tired head and renew. January and February rolled right along. Like the rest of the world, our days got busy. Two degrees to pursue, one to finish. Two little boys to raise, and crime to diminish. A classroom of kids to teach, for everyone has to learn math. And boy did the cancer grow back fast. March came with a bang, but Lizzie was still under the weather. The toughest trooper we know, but could this be her time to go? A trip to Huntsman’s acute care clinic, fighting cancer can have its perks. A cancer scan, emergency day-after chemo, and no more teaching math. Not the way we wanted it to go, but only God sees our path. It’s now the end of May and we’ve been plugging away. Lizzie’s strength is back, her cocktail as strong as ever. She’s getting closer to being out from under the weather. As far as we know, everything so far so good. We appreciate the love, and from me personally, the five-star food. Your creamy soups sure know how to change a person’s mood. We’ve got a scan coming up, we’re nervous-duh. But we’ve got a little something more on our side. No matter how long we do this, 3 years has been the ride, We testify God lives and loves us enough to send his son to die. Cancer’s scary-it’s a bully, it’s a threat. But it’s also lessons to be learned and people to be met. It’s forgiveness, and love, and growing up real fast. It’s looking to the future instead of being so tied to the past. We don’t have the answers, so there’s no point in the questions. How ‘bout a hug, a smile, or maybe a joke? If we talk about cancer anymore, we may have to choke. God has the answers, this is his game. Please, we don’t want to be thrown into fame. We just want to live, to love, and to learn. For simplicity, normality, and the shadows we yearn. We’ve been ever blessed, we could never say thank you enough. You all need to remember, at the end of the day Lizzie is still tough. We’ll keep our cocktails for now, and we’ll pray for a trial. Not the kind we have now, but a clinical, please no denial. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" global_module="3581" make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" column_padding_mobile="on" custom_padding="25px|25px|25px|25px"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="7" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="8,6" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(217,216,199,0.73)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_post_slider global_parent="3581" admin_label="Post Slider" posts_number="3" include_categories="9" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(217,216,199,0.73)" use_text_overlay="on" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" meta_letter_spacing="0" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" body_font_size="20" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]
Read Me

Gluten Free Almond Flour Banana Bread (Easy Guide)

[et_pb_section transparent_background="off" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" padding_mobile="off" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off" fullwidth="on" specialty="off" admin_label="Section" disabled="off"][et_pb_fullwidth_post_title title="on" meta="on" author="on" date="off" categories="on" comments="off" featured_image="on" featured_placement="background" parallax_effect="on" parallax_method="on" text_orientation="center" text_color="light" text_background="on" text_bg_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" module_bg_color="rgba(255,255,255,0)" admin_label="Post_Title" title_font="Montserrat|||on|" title_font_size="30" title_text_color="#ffffff" title_all_caps="off" meta_font="Lora||||" meta_text_color="#d9d8c7" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" disabled="off" global_module="142" saved_tabs="all"] [/et_pb_fullwidth_post_title][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section transparent_background="off" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" padding_mobile="off" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off" fullwidth="off" specialty="off" admin_label="Section" disabled="off"][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="on" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="Row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="1_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_number_counter number="31" percent_sign="off" counter_color="#b54c60" background_layout="light" admin_label="Number Counter" number_font="Lora||||" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_number_counter][et_pb_divider color="#575a5e" show_divider="on" height="3" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" divider_weight="1px" hide_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Divider" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" admin_label="Text" header_font="Montserrat|||on|" header_font_size="42px" text_font="Montserrat|||on|" text_font_size="30" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] March 2019 [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"]

Here's my latest recipe for easy gluten free banana bread using almond flour.

  • Ingredients:

    • 1 cup almond flour
    • 1 1/2 - 2 mashed ripe bananas
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
    • generous helping of chocolate chips
    • 1 tbls of butter or butter replacement
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp lemon juice
    • 2 small bread pans or 1 large bread pan
    • coconut oil
    • 1/8 cup oats (optional)- if you do add oats, be sure to add at least 2 ripe bananas so the texture of the bread isn't dry
[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="on" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="Row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="3_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_image src="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/DSC_0178.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Image" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" text_font="|||on|" text_font_size="30" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" text_font="||on||" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="on" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="Row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="4_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"]
  • Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350* F
  • Coat your pans with a generous amount of coconut oil (I like to spread it on with a paper towel so it's even)
  • Combine almond flour, (optional) oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt in a bowl
  • Add the lemon juice, vanilla and egg and stir
  • After mashing bananas in a separate bowl, stir those in as well
  • The final touch is adding as many chocolate chips as you like (I go for the generous side of things)
  • Pour batter into one large bread pan, or split evenly between the two small (batter should be 1/2-3/4 the way up the smaller bread pans. If using a larger bread pan spread it more thinly so the inside can cook as well.)
  • Bake at 350* F for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted into the middle of the loaf and removed cleanly. Cooking time may be shorter if you use multiple smaller bread pans.
[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" admin_label="Row" disabled="off" global_module="3581"][et_pb_column type="1_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_post_slider posts_number="3" include_categories="7" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" excerpt_length="270" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" use_text_overlay="on" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_speed="7000" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" text_border_radius="3" admin_label="Post Slider" body_font_size="20" meta_font_size="16px" meta_letter_spacing="0" meta_line_height="1em" custom_button="off" button_text_size="20" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_post_slider posts_number="3" include_categories="8,6" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" excerpt_length="270" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(217,216,199,0.73)" use_text_overlay="on" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_speed="7000" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" text_border_radius="3" admin_label="Post Slider" body_font_size="20" meta_font_size="16px" meta_letter_spacing="0" meta_line_height="1em" custom_button="off" button_text_size="20" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_post_slider posts_number="3" include_categories="9" orderby="rand" show_arrows="on" show_pagination="on" show_more_button="on" more_text="Read Me" content_source="off" use_manual_excerpt="on" excerpt_length="270" show_meta="off" background_image="http://understandinglindsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Jan_Erik_Wader.jpg" background_layout="dark" show_image="on" image_placement="background" parallax="on" parallax_method="off" use_bg_overlay="off" bg_overlay_color="rgba(217,216,199,0.73)" use_text_overlay="on" text_overlay_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" remove_inner_shadow="off" background_position="default" background_size="default" auto="off" auto_speed="7000" auto_ignore_hover="off" hide_content_on_mobile="off" hide_cta_on_mobile="off" show_image_video_mobile="off" text_border_radius="3" admin_label="Post Slider" body_font_size="20" meta_font_size="16px" meta_letter_spacing="0" meta_line_height="1em" custom_button="off" button_text_size="20" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_post_slider][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]
Read Me

The Fight

This year it started in November, as far as I can remember. A break from chemo, but hardly a break from the fight. Our regular cocktails weren’t giving a good enough buzz Shhh, not that kind of cocktail-no need to call the fuzz.
Read Me

I’ve decided to try to be a poet

One of my closest friends in the whole wide world is an absolutely brilliant poet. After begging her to read me one of the most beautiful pieces I've ever heard, (which she wrote), I asked why she wrote poetry.
Read Me

The Blessing Of True Friendship

[et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="on" specialty="off"][et_pb_fullwidth_post_title admin_label="Post_Title" global_module="142" saved_tabs="all" title="on" meta="on" author="off" date="off" categories="off" comments="off" featured_image="on" featured_placement="background" parallax_effect="on" parallax_method="on" text_orientation="center" text_color="light" text_background="on" text_bg_color="rgba(87,90,94,0.59)" module_bg_color="rgba(255,255,255,0)" title_font="Montserrat|||on|" title_font_size="30" title_text_color="#ffffff" title_all_caps="off" meta_font="Lora||||" meta_text_color="#d9d8c7" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_fullwidth_post_title][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="Section" fullwidth="off" specialty="off"][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_4"][et_pb_number_counter admin_label="Number Counter" number="28" percent_sign="off" counter_color="#b54c60" background_layout="light" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" number_font="Lora||||"] [/et_pb_number_counter][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" color="#575a5e" show_divider="on" height="11" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" hide_on_mobile="on"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" header_font="Montserrat|||on|" header_font_size="42px" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font="Montserrat|||on|" text_font_size="30"] November 2016 [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] I’ve always had an appreciation for really great friendships. I remember my parents sitting down with my when I was younger, usually after some big fight with various childhood friends, and explaining the types of friendships you find in life. It usually went something like this, “Lindsey, you’re going to have many different types of friends in your life. I have many different types of friends in life, and they constantly change. Of all my friendships, I can only count on my fingers how many true friends I have, and best friends on one hand.”   As a child, I had a bit of a hard time grasping this. To me, everyone was a ‘best friend’, a life-long confidant. I learned through many tears, the second lesson my parents taught me. “You’re going to have many acquaintances in life, you’re going to have many friends, but you’ll only have a few true best friends.” Acquaintances? Yeah, try explaining acquaintances to a child, not so easy. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" padding_mobile="off" disabled="off" disabled_on="on|on|off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_gallery admin_label="Gallery" gallery_ids="4188,4187,4185,4184,4190" fullwidth="on" show_title_and_caption="on" show_pagination="on" background_layout="light" auto="off" hover_overlay_color="rgba(255,255,255,0.9)" caption_all_caps="off" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_gallery][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] I’ve taken that advice with me as I’ve navigated my life. I’ve found many acquaintances, truly good people that brought sunshine into my life, even if for a moment. I’ve had many friends, people I spent time with, had similarities with, and enjoyed the interactions of our life. Like my parents told me, I can honestly say I now only have a few best friends that I can count on my hands, and they change all the time.   My acquaintances, ah, let me tell you about these people. They’re the nice girls at work, who greet me with a smile in the morning, bring me a Reese’s peanut butter cup because they know I have an obsession, and ask general questions about how my life is going. They’re the people in my ward that gush with me over Gilmore Girls and the fact that we have all have a serious love-hate relationship with Logan Huntsburger. They share in my love of Christmas, and help me spread that cheer to co-workers and beyond. My acquaintances and I interact on a daily, weekly, something monthly basis, but they’re always there. We’re that little boost for each other, the little ray of sunshine that you sometimes need to make it through a somewhat cloudy day.   My friends, now, these people are fun. They’re the people I met in school, in my ward, in my clubs. We’re friends on social media, and some of us still keep in touch, but boy do we have a lot of memories. These were the people that were by my side while I was going through the various stages a college student goes through. They’re those people in High School that I text every month or so to catch up on the little ones, the mission, the new job, the crazy school schedule, the new boyfriend, the ex-boyfriend, and everything in-between. They’re my people, my fan club, my support system, the basis of too many memories to count and shapers of the person I am today.   Now, let’s get to the big ones, the ones I protect the most fiercely and support the strongest. These are my inner circle, my crowd, the keepers of my darkest secrets, my best friends. These people made sure to answer the phone when I called every single day after my mom died, and congratulate me on making it through the first two hours of the day, all the while reassuring me I could make it two more hours until lunch. These people were there when I was shattered--heart, mind, body, and soul. Completely void of the life I thought I would have, a dream and heart shattered everywhere. They were there, turning on the light, holding my hand, supporting me as I lifted myself off the ground and put the pieces of my life back together. They’re there at 12 a.m. when my mind won’t shut up and I have to talk it out before I go insane. They’re the words of encouragement when I’m not sure if I can ever open my heart and soul to love again, reminding me of the knowledge I’ve gained and the potential of my future. Some of them have fought on my team since we were in diapers, and we’ve come in and out of each other’s lives, shifting from friendship level as needed. Bottom line, these are my soul connections, my family, the people I truly believe I’ve known for eternity. They know Lindsey, and then they know Lindsey. They see my soul and I see theirs, and it’s really quite beautiful to have a connection like that.   Now, the last point my parents taught me was the one constant in life, change. This was as equally hard to grasp as the concept of acquaintances, but I think with the years I’ve become a little more used to it. It used to bother me, the concept of losing friends. With some people I felt such an intense connection, I couldn’t fathom how our lives would ever survive without that. Here’s one thing I’ve learned, where one friend is lost another is waiting to be gained. I value the concept of change, because it brings with it the hope that wherever you are at in your life, you will have what you need through current or new friendships. It’s exciting, meeting new people and gaining perspectives and cultures.   Of course, we don’t lose all of our friends, some we may keep most of our lives, but the beauty of change is that it brings hope, perspective, and brightness for the future.   I’ve moved quite a bit since May, I moved home where I needed friends and people to lift me up as I searched for a job, and God happily provided. I moved to Salt Lake, a humongous city that felt like it was going to swallow me whole, and I needed friends to keep the jaws open, and show me the beauty that can be found in dark places—God happily provided. Most recently I moved to Orem, a city I never expected to live in, and I desperately needed friends. I needed people that accepted me as I was, supported me as I struggled to start on the new path my life is in, and help me as I discovered new roads and perspectives I didn’t know I had. God has happily provided.   I guess lately I’ve just been extremely grateful for the friendship and people my life. I look back and recognize the people that helped me on my way, turning around on their own paths to give me a hand and pull me a little farther up the mountain. There are individuals who quite literally saved my life, and although I have tried I can never thank them enough.   My life isn’t anywhere near where I thought it would be, but I do know it’s everything it’s supposed to be. There are some holes here and there, but those holes are filled with countless friendship that I know God put in my life exactly for that reason. No matter which category you think you fall into, know that I truly love and appreciate each and every one of you. You are needed, you are loved, and you are appreciated exactly as you are. 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