Outside my window
Hot, cold, sunshine, rain, and even hail. The weather has been all over the place the last few days!

I am thinking…
I mentioned in my February Daybook that I saw my doctor again for more blood work (to check my hormone balance) and a biopsy (on my skin rash). The following Tuesday, March 3rd, I went back to discuss the results…

It’s turns out that the awful rash that I’ve been fighting since just after my miscarriage last June (which was originally diagnosed as poison oak and then, a few months later, as systemic yeast) is actually a skin disease.  (No wonder those three rounds of treatments and the 30-day candida diet I tried didn’t make a difference!) I asked my doctor if there is a cure. She responded “no” and said that it is “autoimmune caused and not contagious.” She then wrote me a prescription for “steroid cream to help manage the pain” and said to come back and see her in three months. I really need to find a new doctor.

I also asked her about my progesterone level and she said “it’s normal.” … Sigh… “Yes… It would be in the normal range (at the very low end) if I was postmenopausal. But for me, at my age and mid-cycle, according to a friend of mine (Ranger’s Godfather, who owns a lab and was able to go over my results for me a couple days earlier thanks to MyChart) it is extremely low.” She looked at the results again and said, “Oh, you’re right…” So frustrating. I’m just so glad I didn’t listen to her last month and insisted on the hormone testing, when she tried to prescribe antidepressants and anxiety medications. I knew that wasn’t what I’ve been needing and that something else hasn’t been right. Now to find that new doctor… I wish we had more options around here.

I am thankful… 
I am so thankful that I at least finally know the cause of this skin rash! After coming home, and wiping away the tears from the shock of my “incurable skin disease”, I started researching ways to improve my symptoms naturally. I ran across some articles online (this one and this one) that gave me hope that I’d be able to put the disease into remission.  I decided to try a 30-Day Autoimmune Protocol Diet. I went grocery shopping with my husband that very night and started the next morning. Today is Day 28!

It’s kind of funny that at the beginning of Lent I mentioned to my husband that I wasn’t going to give up any specific foods this Lent… Ha! I ended up giving up everything! Coffee, Chocolate, Sugar, Grains, Legumes, Dairy, Eggs, Nightshades, Seeds, Nuts, etc. It’s been a challenging four weeks to say the least.

The good news is, other than the cold/flu I caught a couple weeks ago which was definitely a setback, my rash is improving, my moods have stabilized, I’m sleeping well, I have more energy (though still not back to what I use to have), I’ve lost 16 pounds as of today, and am feeling so much better. It’s a start!

Learning all the time
This school year is passing so quickly!

March 10th – I’m so proud of this girl! She just completed her Saxon 6/5 math book for the school year, which doesn’t end until June 10th… That’s over twelve weeks away, we haven’t even gotten to spring break yet!

The first thing she wanted to do was pull out Math 7/6 to see what’s coming up next! 

Celebrating the liturgical year…
In addition to the Lenten season we also have had some favorite feasts and a birthday to celebrate!

March 13th – As soon as we finish praying our family rosary these two head straight to the Lenten calendar to cover up the square for the day.

March 15th – I had a few kids to make breakfast for this morning! #friendsvisiting #Catholic #lent2015 #laetaresunday #motheringsunday

March 15th – Such a treat to be invited (our whole family and our visiting friends too!) to the Figure Skating Club’s private St. Patrick’s Day Party which included free skating, door prizes and yummy treats… A perfect indoor activity for this rainy day!

March 17th – Traditional Irish Soda Bread with Pure Irish Butter. {You can find the recipe here.}

March 19th – Happy St. Joseph’s Day!  You can see our St. Joseph’s Day Cathedral Cake here

March 24th (My husband’s birthday and the traditional feast of St. Gabriel) – Patiently waiting for the birthday boy to get home from work so we can celebrate!

March 25th – I ended up making a quadruple batch of Organic 6-Grain Waffles and served them with Marionberries and Maple Syrup for dinner…. Mmmmm! I didn’t have any but they sure smelled good!

From the kitchen… 
It’s been interesting! When I first read the list of what was not allowed on the Autoimmune Protocol Diet I didn’t think there was any way that I’d be able to survive 30 days… or more! I’ve definitely had to spend a lot more time in the kitchen, but I’ve been able to stick with it!

One of the first things I did was order this cookbook which has been a great source of inspiration. 
I’ve made so many new and delicious recipes including Shrimp and Green Bean Stir-Fry, Sweet Potato Fries with Garlic “Mayo”, Cinnamon-Scented Butternut Squash (I adapted the recipe and added apples), Citrus-Avocado Dressing, and more…

For Sean’s birthday we grilled Tilapia and I made Bacon-Wrapped Pears, Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Bacon, and Curried Cauliflower.

I was even able to make a special desert (Pear-Caramel Pie) for the solemnity feast of St. Joseph! The crust was made from Arrowroot and Coconut Flour and I didn’t really care for it, but the pears tasted amazing!

I am working on… 
still…working on finding ways to improve my health and making time to exercise at least a few days each week… though the exercise had to be put on hold while I was sick.

March 22nd – Tissues, tea, and a day spent in bed… This cold/flu that I’ve been fighting since last week took a turn for the worse and has really knocked me off my feet!

March 23rd – Sipping on broth and watching my little ones “read” to each other. Not exactly what I had originally planned for our first day of spring break, but I’m so grateful that I have a wide open schedule this week (no tutors, hockey, piano lessons, or submission deadlines) and can rest and recover quickly.

I am creating…
a check-list of the things I still need to do this week to prepare for Easter. So much still to do and so little time. I’m going to have to keep it simple this year.

I am going…
to pre-order my new Daily Planner from Michele so I can save 10%.  I use the August-July version.

I am hoping…
to finally complete the Couch 2 5K app! I started at the beginning of February and completed the first 6 weeks on March 15th before having to take a break until my cough was better. Today was my first day back! It was slow going but I managed to complete the next workout challenge!

I am praying…
for some special intentions.

March 14th – It’s been six years today since my grandpa died… These two don’t remember their great-grandpa (our youngest two hadn’t even been born yet) but they have heard wonderful stories and just finished lighting candles while offering prayers for the repose of his soul. Rest in peace Grandpa+

I am reading…
Jesus of Nazareth: The Story of His Life Written for Children by Mother Mary Loyola.  I had to take a break from reading aloud and I’m not sure we will be able to finish it by Easter. It’s such a beautiful book though and I look forward to reading the rest to the children soon!

Pondering these words…
from Divine Intimacy:

“We must not seek the cross in extraordinary sufferings, seldom, if ever encountered; we must look for it in the duties, the life, the difficulties, and the sacrifices of each day and of each moment.”

I am listening…
to Lent at Ephesus.

Around the house…
Decluttering and Spring Cleaning. I didn’t plan on filling 40 bags with stuff to donate this Lent but it sort of happened anyway! The weekend before last we tackled the garage and ended up donating a ficus tree, a bathroom cabinet, a rolling storage shelf, and a few bags of Christmas decorations, plus an area rug (to my sister), 4 old bikes (to the bike store), high-chair (to a thrift shop), 4 old carseats (to the fire department), and 4 bags of trash. Then, this weekend, I managed to fill an additional 20 brown bags with clothes and toys to donate from the bedrooms plus a few more bags of trash. Whew!

One of my favorite things…  
the beautiful Rosary Flip Book from Sacred Art Series. It was one of the gifts I gave my husband for his birthday this year.

This week’s plans

A little peek at my day…

One of the pictures I took on Sunday while I was preparing this year’s Palm Sunday Lenten Dinner… She’s just like her mother! 😉


  1. Jocelyn K

    I don't know if you know already or not – that you can work with a NaPro doctor long distance by email! It sounds like that would be very helpful for you! God bless. 🙂

    2015-04-01 03:51:04

  2. Jessica Gordon

    Someone actually mentioned that to me yesterday! Yes, it might be a really good option for me. Thank you and God bless you too!

    2015-04-01 03:54:05

  3. Jacinta

    Sounds like you are on the right path! Dr. Daniel Smith in Medford may be of some help. I have listened to his radio talks when we lived there (sigh) I truly miss Southern Oregon! Keep it up and have a very Blessed Easter! Jacinta

    2015-04-01 04:15:52

  4. amtaigi

    So very pleased to hear you know just what the problem with your health is, even though the news isn't the best. Was starting to be quite worried. Praying for help for your health and for a wonderful doctor.

    2015-04-01 05:41:53

  5. Cassie

    If you are looking for something to put on the rash to help it feel better, I've had good luck with Jordan Essential's Skin Relief Cream. We had a lot of poison ivy last year and this stuffed worked better than the prescription steroid cream without any side effects. I use it on skin problems for everyone (great on sun burn too). Of course, it won't cure the skin disease. Prayers for a new doctor. Good ones are so hard to find! I'm struggling with that too.

    2015-04-01 06:22:56

  6. Genevieve

    I will pray for you as well. Yes! Contact the NaPro Dr. nearest to you. They are beyond excellent. Also look at healing your "gut." (Leaky gut syndrome) That is essentially where all disease begins. Introduce fermented vegetables and drinks into your diet, if you haven't already. What a trial for you! I'm so, so sorry! Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for you! Remember to ASK Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal for the graces you need. We have to ask. God bless you! I thoroughly enjoyed all of your posts and pictures! Take care!

    2015-04-01 06:44:32

  7. olivia

    I'll be praying for you. You are such a source of inspiration and practical resources for Catholic homeschooling and motherhood. We are blessed to have two NaPro doctors in Austin, Texas. Vitae Clinic might be willing to work with you. Or at least refer you to someone closer to you as they have a network all over the country. Have a Blessed Holy Week and Easter season. 🙂

    2015-04-01 08:00:12

  8. Elizabeth

    You love to cook.
    Maybe you should look into Danielle Walker ' s books and blog

    2015-04-01 09:49:55

  9. Gabriella

    Apesar de distante, estarei rezando para que encontres meios de tratamento. Obrigada por dividir seus planos conosco. Fique com Deus.

    2015-04-01 11:08:50

  10. Jen

    I'm sorry to hear about the auto-immune disease results. I had a very similar situation that perhaps may help you too. After my last baby had extreme colic-my hands broke out in a terrible, itchy rash, this rash then appeared on my legs. I spent 7 months trying to figure out what it was with different doctors. Finally-it was diagnosed psoriasis-autoimmune disease. These autoimmune diseases expose themselves after times of high-stress. Anyway-I also see a Naturopathic Doctor: she put me on black walnut atc and burdock root herbs -the rash is under control perfectly. I never have it on my legs anymore and it only flares up on my hands when I don't take my herbs. Also-my sister suffers from low-progesterone. She is charting Creighton style currently to prepare for a NaPro meeting (also via email and online). They are finally beginning to get some answers! Much Hope to you in that all encompassing mercy of our God!

    2015-04-01 11:32:20

  11. Claire

    Sorry to hear about your autoimmune condition. There are many doctors or practitioners that work online via Skype. The functional medicine approach is what you need. You probably have adrenal fatigue. Many say fix the adrenals first in order to fix your hormones.

    Well done on going for the AIP diet. So many going that way these days. I've been doing similar.

    Here are some websites/doctors that could help that I know of:
    http://www.greenmedinfo.com/search/google-cse#gsc… (research showing the link between gluten and skin conditions)

    These practitioners can give you guidance on how to heal and what tests to have done ( I know they use Cyrex Lab tests: gluten is usually the most common food sensitivity people have: worth testing in my opinion).

    I hope you find it helpful. God bless.

    2015-04-01 10:54:37

  12. Jessica Gordon

    Thanks, Jacinta! We miss you too!

    2015-04-02 04:32:24

  13. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you, Genevieve! I don't think we have even one NaPro doctor in our whole state! I know a local friend of mine used a doctor at the Pope Paul VI Institute so I'll look into that soon. I don't know why I've been so hesitant to look for a long distance doctor. I should have done so a long time ago! … I have started eating fermented vegetables and drinks with this AIP diet! I purchased sauerkraut and kombucha at our local health food store a few weeks ago and have been having some each day. I'm still trying to get used to it! I actually googled "can kombucha make you tipsy?" after my first few sips. It made me feel so weird! 🙂 And you are so right… Thank you for the reminder to ask Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal for the graces I need. God bless you too!

    2015-04-02 05:32:59

  14. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you for the suggestion, Cassie! I haven't heard of that before and will definitely look into getting some. Where do you purchase it from? Thank you for the prayers too! I'll say some prayers for your intentions as well.

    2015-04-02 04:49:31

  15. Genevieve

    I'm so sorry that you don't have a NaPro doctor near you. I'm sure you're well on your way to finding one who will help. Sometimes there are Nurse Practitioners who are qualified as well. I totally sympathize with a special diet. I can't imagine the amount of work that it is. Getting started on cultured vegetables and drink has to go VERY slowly. Otherwise, yes, you'll get unpleasant reactions. Some people have to start with a teaspoon of fermented foods and drink, and work up slowly. I'm more familiar with the GAPs diet than AIP, however, I'm sure the length of time you've been on it, you are now prime for introducing all the fabulous good bacteria from the fermented foods. It may be important for you to also use therapeutic grade probiotics in capsule form as well. Here is a link to quality ones (I have not used them)…they are not all created equal.
    (This also explains the unpleasant, beginning, side effects of probiotics).
    Here is another food blogger, who has had beautiful success with healing disease – so interesting: http://www.culturedfoodlife.com/
    (The boys' summer science experiment can be making you cultured foods 😉 I noticed you were sipping "broth" in one photo. I assume the AIP diet has you drinking bone broth, but if not, here is a simple way to make it in the slow cooker (I make mind without the vegetables – it's faster and I can flavor it with herbs later). Bone broth is incredibly healing to the gut. (Organic chickens at Costco work well, I make a roast chicken dinner first and then make bone broth with the remnants.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EV1Xa-0bGlc
    My only experience with all of this is healing one of our children's eczema. We introduced store bought kefir (I realize you can't have dairy) to her diet. It didn't do anything. Then I started making homemade kefir (it has over double the amount of good bacteria strains than purchased). Her eczema disappeared. It had been terrible too; her only relief was a steroid cream. I apologize for the long winded reply. I know you're getting bombarded with free advice. I pray that everyone's prayers, the PPIV Institute, and good diet will turn everything around for you!

    2015-04-02 22:24:38

  16. Jessica Gordon

    I really appreciate all the suggestions and advice! I've actually been using probiotics in capsule form for quite some time now, especially when I was first diagnosed (incorrectly) with systemic yeast. I have noticed that they make a difference! I also picked up some of the Organic Chickens at Costco and made them for our Palm Sunday Lenten Dinner a couple weeks ago! 🙂 (I baked them on Saturday night and we had roast chicken, then on Palm Sunday I used the remaining meat and one of the remnants for Chicken Soup to serve for "Cock Crows Twice" lol The bones from the 2nd chicken went into my crock pot for 20 hours to make bone broth!) Yes, the AIP diet does have me drinking bone broth. Of course a couple months ago I gave my mom (who has been trying to get me to look into Leaky Gut for years) all the bones I had in our freezer… We buy 1/2 of an organic grass-fed cow each year and I never would use the bones. My mom has been so helpful and really helped make sure I survived the first week – bringing me vegetable soup and bone broth. Such a blessing! Today is actually Day 34 for me! Good Friday ended up being the first day following my initial 30 days… I didn't plan that very well! I thought I'd reintroduce something for Easter but ended up just sticking with my diet despite baking all the usual goodies. 🙂

    2015-04-07 02:58:18

  17. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you so much for all the resources, Claire! I have been tested for gluten intolerance in the past and it has never come up as a problem for me. I do have a severe intolerance to dairy though. I've gone completely off gluten (when my youngest was nursing he had trouble with it) and then did the candida diet last fall and never had the results that I'm seeing now. It has me wondering if nightshades are one of my biggest triggers! (oh how I will miss tomatoes/peppers and especially Chipotle if they are!) Anyway, thank you again! I can't wait to have a few extra minutes to start clicking around and reading some more. It's been a busy week! Happy Easter!

    2015-04-07 03:04:46

  18. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you for the prayers, Gabriella! God bless you!

    2015-04-07 03:05:37

  19. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you for sharing, Jen! I'm glad to hear that your rash is under control! I know that it was high-stress that caused my rash to appear/flare in the first place and then when it got worse almost instantly in December during another high-stress/emotional time. Have you had to change your diet, or have the herbs been enough?

    2015-04-07 03:14:36

  20. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you, Olivia! I will definitely keep Vitae Clinic in mind! Happy Easter to you and your family!

    2015-04-07 02:58:49

  21. Jessica Gordon

    Thanks for the suggestion, Elizabeth! I'll be sure to check it out!

    2015-04-07 02:59:58

  22. Claire

    Sorry to hear about your autoimmune condition. There are many doctors or practitioners that work online via Skype. The functional medicine approach is what you need. You probably have adrenal fatigue. Many say fix the adrenals first in order to fix your hormones.

    2015-04-01 12:19:21

  23. jlcasey

    I too have struggled with autoimmune disease and was misdiagnosed by numerous Drs in regards to my sub fertility and miscarriage issues. Pope Paul IV institute has done turned it all around and I also did the whole30 to reduce inflammation etc in my body. I recommend them highly.

    2015-04-01 13:12:47

  24. Kelly

    Hello! Thank you for your beautiful post! This is DIVINE PROVIDENCE for me! I have been suffering with different rashes since after my last child was born among other issues. I already have one confirmed autoimmune disease. I just last week saw a new integrative dr. who was great! I will be starting an elimination diet right after Easter. She wants me on it for a month and of course I'm wondering how in the world I'm going to make it that long. There is even some stuff I can't eat which are allowed on most autoimmune protocol diets. For example the only meat I can eat is turkey and chicken and it can't be processed like sausage or bacon. I've been experimenting with some things this week. But I'm still not sure! My plan is to take it week by week. I'm curious as to what autoimmune disease your rash is. As I would like to make sure my dr. takes a look at that possibility. I'm most worried about not being able to have my morning cup of java! Ha! And how to feed myself on this diet while also trying to feed 7 others. Thanks again. Definitely read this for a reason today. God bless.

    2015-04-01 13:22:08

  25. Erin

    So glad you are seeing some improvement with dietary changes. A friend told me about how much better she is feeling being on the Wahls Protocol, which is a diet specifically for autoimmune diseases… there is a book if you are interested. Another friend was telling me about NaPro doctors recently and they sound great; it is too bad there are not more of them! But good to know they can help via email and such when there isn't one nearby. Prayers for your continued improvement.

    2015-04-01 13:28:00

  26. Jennifer

    Jessica, I have the perfect doctor. Conventional doctors don't understand how to measure hormones. My old ON, while a lovely woman, told me four years ago that all my symptoms were just early onset menopause so I need to just get used to it. As you know, it wasn't! My new doctor not only found the problems and corrected them but diagnosed an infection that had caused my miscarriage two years before and had been left untreated. He made such a difference, I could never thank him enough.

    2015-04-01 14:04:16

  27. Marisa

    Yeah!! I am so PROUD of you! It's quite a feat to stay on the AIP for 28 days!! I did it for a long time (almost no choice), and it wasn't easy fixing something different for myself all the time. Switching to grain-free can be overwhelming, but the cookbook you are using looks beautiful. I hope you continue to feel good and heal while on the diet. Kuddos to you for not accepting the dr's diagnosis and leaving it at that. I would just like to suggest that you look into adrenal fatigue, as it often the root cause of hormonal issues. God bless you!

    2015-04-01 18:03:36

  28. Debbie McL

    Dear Jessica, Reading your most touching post today about your illness and the many helpful comments I must agree that the NAPRO Doctors and their program is a Godsend for all Catholic women. Our 32 year old daughter and I discovered NAPRO Technology through the wonderful programs on Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) this winter. Our daughter is still single but has endured so many female related issues in the past 15 years and has endured several surgeries to no avail by using traditional gynecologists. Our daughter is now working with a NAPRO nurse in a state far away and has begun her journey though a Catholic based medical institution. I so agree that it is a shame that more women are not aware of NAPRO TECHNOLOGY. They view women's health issues so differently than the mainstream medical gynecologists who prescribe the most harmful birth control pill for everything!!! I am so thankful for EWTN's programming to help our daughter find the right Catholic doctor to help with her womanly health. It is my understanding that our Dearest Saint Pope John Paul II personally asked Doctor Hilgers to find a way to help women with their reproductive health concerns… from a Catholic perspective. "Thomas W. Hilgers, MD, is the director of the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction and the National Center for Women's Health in Omaha, Nebraska. Working at the St. Louis University and Creighton University Schools of Medicine, Hilgers and his coworkers developed the Creighton Model Fertility Care System. Dr. Hilgers is currently a senior medical consultant in obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive medicine and surgery at the Pope Paul VI Institute. He is a clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, Nebraska. In 1994, Dr. Hilgers was appointed to permanent membership to the Pontifical Academy for Life. In 2004, Dr. Hilgers published the definitive textbook on natural procreative technology, The Medical and Surgical Practice of NaProTECHNOLOGY." Jessica I will continue to keep you in my daily prayers on your health journey. Please contact the Pope Paul VI Institute for assistance. I am happy to know that this special diet is helping you to feel better. I wish you a most Blessed and Happy Easter Season. Sincerely, Debbie

    2015-04-01 18:21:04

  29. jbc2789

    I'm so sorry you've been so sick and hope that you can find a better doctor. Sounds like you are doing well with the autoimmune diet. I'll keep you in my prayers for healing and for finding the right doctor. Wishing you a Blessed Easter Season!

    2015-04-01 18:43:31

  30. Christine M.

    Thank you for sharing such a busy, but beautiful month. I pray your health continues to improve and that you are blessed with a good, helpful doctor. May God bless your Holy Week and Easter! God bless!

    2015-04-01 19:10:40

  31. Mom2Seven

    Jessica, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I am very sorry that you have been sick; but, as always, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your Daybook! You do so much for your family and are a gift to them… as well as to the blogging community. I wish you a Blessed Easter Season. <3

    2015-04-01 19:51:17

  32. Jessica Gordon

    I'm so glad you found such a great doctor, Jennifer! I hope you are doing well! I keep meaning to email but the days seem to just fly by and I haven't been spending much time online… However, you've been in my thoughts and prayers! Thank you so much for the note that arrived in my mailbox this week. So sweet of you! 🙂

    2015-04-02 04:44:44

  33. Jessica Gordon

    I was really worried too… Thank you so very much for the prayers! God bless you!

    2015-04-02 04:45:45

  34. Antonia

    Hello,_I am sorry to hear about your health difficulties. Thank you for sharing.

    I too got an odd rash, started about 3 years ago when I was very very very (very) stressed; young children, doing way too many activities, always out and about with them, poor night-time sleep, no rest during the day. I was deeply run down.

    The rash was diagnosed as auto-immune as well and I too was just offered steroid cream.

    I went on a gluten-free diet and within a month the rash was 80% better. It was incredible. However it took at least another 2.5 years to really get rid of most of it. I am now strictly gluten-free and that has helped a lot.

    I also had difficulty conceiving another child; 18 months of trying and nothing. I decided that I was still pretty stressed and doing too much. I cleared out our schedule, spent much more time at home, did a lot less rushing around, said 'no' to people and new commitments. Basically looked after myself physically and emotionally. After many months of better sleep, calmer days, more rest and a gentler schedule I felt so much better, and we conceived.

    I am not saying that any of this applies to you; just that I have been in a similar place and I just share my experience.

    God bless you
    a friend, in England XXX
    2015-04-02 16:01:30

  35. Guest

    There is an AMAZING doctor who knows a great deal about progesterone: Dr. Hilgers! He has trained several doctors around the country. You may have one in your area. Go to his site Pope Paul VI site and if you have any trouble navigating just call and they will help. Praying for a full recovery for you!!! God smile on you and be gracious to you!!!

    2015-04-02 23:40:24

  36. Jessica M


    I just wanted to drop a little note about autoimmune diseases…. I too have suffered from an incurable autoimmune disease called crohns disease for over 15 years now and after the initial shock and (I must confess) a little self pity I have come to view this disease as a blessing. It is my little cross that allows me to daily unite my sufferings with that of Christ. I am able to do it secretly because it effects only my insides and not my exterior which means that no one needs to know, which is also a blessing. I have had a couple minor surgeries, one major surgery, and several medications so it has not been a "walk in the park" but it has allowed me many moments of sacrifice. In the end, I try to offer up as much as I can without complaining and I continue to be thankful that my disease didn't take away my desire to be a mother (we are currently pregnant with our 7th child). God has granted you a new cross and in turn, an opportunity to suffer with Him while being able to raise your children up in the Faith! Really, what a blessing!!! I will pray for you that God will shower you with His graces and that the Blessed Mother will hold you when you need comforting! Please, if you are so willing, keep me in your prayers as well! Keep your eyes toward heaven and the burden will lessen instantly!

    In Christ, Jessica M

    2015-04-02 22:57:04

  37. Julie

    My whole family ate paleo for 9 months and we had to quit because it costs double per person. I have gained 30 lbs since going off paleo 3 months ago and nothing helps. exercising and low calories don't help at all. I am trying some new supplements now and I will let you know if they end up helping

    2015-04-03 21:16:34

  38. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you, Erin! I really appreciate all the extra prayers!

    2015-04-07 03:40:48

  39. Jessica Gordon

    You can do it, Kelly! I'll say a few prayers for you! Yes, take it week by week (or even day by day!) and you'll be amazed at how fast the 30 days goes by. I didn't plan very well and Day 31 ended up being Good Friday for me! lol Today is Day 34 and I still haven't added anything back yet, although I did consider having a cup of coffee on Easter. 🙂 I might try for 60 days to see if the extra month helps clear my rash up completely – it's called Lichen Planus and it's about 80% healed right now. One of my favorite (somewhat quick and easy) meals is cooking chicken tenderloins in a frying pan with some coconut oil and garlic. I have them with veggies or on top of salad. The first week I was on my diet I would cook for my family and then make my own meal. I've gotten much better at cooking a meat and veggie for the whole family that I can have and then just making an extra side for everyone else (pasta/rice/quinoa/etc). Still, I have had to spend much more time in the kitchen than I have in the past. It's been worth the effort for sure! God bless you too, and Happy Easter!

    2015-04-07 03:40:07

  40. Jessica Gordon

    That is so great! I'm so glad they have been able to turn all that around for you!

    2015-04-07 03:16:58

  41. Jen

    Hi Jessica, Good point to ask. Yes, I have had to change my diet. I have to keep sugar, carbs and wheat to a bare minimum. Whenever I start to binge on these foods-my rash acts up. Overall-this is good as it pushes me to eat better as I have always struggled with food. Most of the time: the herbs and fresher diet have kept the rash away. Stress can make it act up too-I'm trying to exercise more to help manage the stress. Overall-its a tolerable penance! LOL!

    2015-04-07 12:12:36

  42. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you, Debbie! I've had so many recommendations for Dr. Hilgers. I will certainly look into setting up an appointment with him! I'm so glad your daughter has found the help she needs. Thank you also for the prayers, I know their are so many others that need prayers more than I do, but I appreciate them so very much! God bless you and Happy Easter!

    2015-04-08 02:40:58

  43. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you, Christine! Happy Easter to you and your family! God bless you all!!

    2015-04-08 02:41:33

  44. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you, Marisa! It has been quite a feat! 🙂 I'm excited that I was actually able to complete the 30 days… Today is now day 35! Originally I thought I'd only stick with it for the 30 days, but it just hasn't seemed like the right time to reintroduce any foods yet. It has gotten easier, especially now that I'm feeling better and have figured out what to eat. I took an online adrenal fatigue test awhile ago and my results came back in the "serious adrenal fatigue" category, or something like that. I know I have pushed myself too hard for too long and it's catching up with me now that I'm getting a little older… As soon as I find a new doctor we will have to look into that further. Thank you for the reminder!! God bless you too! 🙂

    2015-04-08 02:37:07

  45. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you for your sweet comment! A blessed and happy Easter season to you and your family too! ❤

    2015-04-08 02:42:46

  46. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you! Happy Easter to you and your family!

    2015-04-08 02:30:26

  47. Jessica Gordon

    "I was very very very (very) stressed; young children, doing way too many activities, always out and about with them, poor night-time sleep, no rest during the day. I was deeply run down."

    You sound just like me, Antonia! 🙂
    I've been working on clearing our schedule as much as possible… It's hard! I know I tend to set really high expectations of myself and I'm slowly learning how to say no and simplify. In fact, I even cancelled hosting my extended family for Easter dinner for the first time in years. We kept it to just our immediate family and saw my parents and some of my siblings at Mass. Sigh. It has made a difference, combined with extra sleep and the AIP diet, and my rash is about 80%+ gone now!

    Anyway, thank you for sharing your own experience. I really appreciate it!

    2015-04-08 23:49:27

  48. Jessica Gordon

    Yes, you do indeed have a heavy cross to bear, Jessica. Thank you for the encouragement and reminder to offer it up without complaining. Your comment reminded me of one of my favorite prayers from the back of one of our Holy Cards:

    O my God, I thank you for this cross you have allowed me to carry. Please give me the strength and faith to persevere so that I may bring glory to your name while withstanding the burden of its weight. Thank you for offering me a share in your suffering. I know that you have always been, are now, and ever will be at my side every step of the way. Thank you also for every "Simon" that you have sent to help me bear this cross. I have prayed so often that this thorn in my flesh would be removed, but I trust that your grace is sufficient. Change my heart's troubled cry of – "How long, O Lord?", into words of trust: "However long, O Lord." May I seek only to do your will and to unite my sufferings with your passion. Help me to not get lost in my own self concerns, but may I find in these trials a way to greater virtue, a call to prayer and a path to trust in you alone. Permit me not to waste my pain, but to make of these struggles a sacrificial offering for others. Lord, when I am weary and I fall, exhausted under the weight of this cross, please give me the courage to press on as you did. Lord Jesus, I embrace with love my cross, as a share in your own. By your grace, may I carry it all the way to the vision of your glory. I abandon myself totally to your will. Christ Jesus, I trust in you. Amen.

    I need to start praying it again daily. I will pray for you too!

    2015-04-08 23:54:19

  49. Jessica Gordon

    Right now it is just me on the special diet. Still, I have started serving more vegetables and fruits and less processed foods. So far it hasn't really affected our food budget, which is always ridiculous to begin with! 🙂

    I know how frustrating it is to work hard to lose weight and then gain it back quickly. That happened to me a couple years ago when I gained back 30 lbs I had spent months losing (between diet and walking 30 miles each week) after three rounds of antibiotics (I gained 10 lbs per round practically overnight) when I came down with the H1N1 and multiple infections. The medicine really messed up my gut and probably has a lot to do with what I'm dealing with now. I really hope your new supplements help you get back to where you need to be!

    Happy Easter to you and your family!

    2015-04-09 00:04:44

  50. Eliana

    I was just going through some e-mails and saw your post from last month. Given that your daughter has a flair for taking photos, and given that you are much busier than you were a few years ago in terms of having time for blogging, how about letting your children help you create blog posts? I bet they would really enjoy it. 🙂

    2015-04-25 23:42:05

  51. Marisa

    Truly, you have a heavy cross to bear, especially with a growing family. I am amazed at your ability to use it for good. I wanted to just let you know that there are two diets that are very similar, called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) and Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS). Both have helped many people feel better, even heal from crohn's. Many resources are available, including a helpful one called scdlifestyle.com. I wish you all the best. God bless you.

    2015-04-04 18:11:55

  52. Cassie

    It can be purchased online (home party company).
    Here is a link to a consultant who is a fellow homeschooler.
    You could get to the main website there if you want to purchase from another consultant. I believe the Skin Relief is on sale this month. I use all their products and like it all (except the lip balm). Their products don't contain all the extra bad for you stuff.

    2015-04-02 13:24:07


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Prayer of Mothers

Father in heaven, grant me the grace to appreciate the dignity which you have conferred on me. Let me realize that not even the Angels have been blessed with such a privilege—to share in your creative miracle and bring new Saints to heaven. Make me a good mother to all my children after the example of Mary, the Mother of your Son. Through the intercession of Jesus and Mary I ask your continued blessings on my family. Let us all be dedicated to your service on earth and attain the eternal happiness of your kingdom in heaven. Amen.

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Hi! I'm Jessica, a Roman Catholic wife and home educating mother to our nine children. I was home educated myself, along with my eleven younger siblings. I have a special devotion to St. Therese, through whom I have been given much help and many blessings--the beautiful "Shower of Roses" that she has sent my way! Here I will record a few of the blessings I treasure. Please remember that what you see here is just a little glimpse at our lives, so please say a prayer for us, as we continue to strive for holiness.

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