Tag Archives: Plan

Be Who You Needed

In many ways, this quote has become my motivation this year. I could spend hours, if not days, talking about what I lacked and needed growing up. The struggles that almost took my life time and time again as a child, adolescent and young adult. I could point fingers and place blame on person after person for why I was the way I was, why I hated myself for so many years despite having so much to be thankful for.

But forgiveness allowed me to stop the useless finger pointing and take on the new challenge, applying to every part of my life.

“Be who you needed when you were younger.”

And it has truly changed the way I breath, the way I live, the way I love.

So who did you need? What did you need? What do you still need? Turn to the Word, pray for the strength and then do this very thing. Become who you needed. Become who you need. Become who the world needs. For there is beauty in becoming who you need … in becoming who you are meant to be … amongst the mess.

Little Big Shots – Husband Style

With how busy our weeks get, we try to find time to have a family movie each weekend.  Last weekend, as we watched Pocahontas, this conversation happened…

_Embrace the storm before it ends and learn to dance in the rain, even if it tracks in some mud along the way. (14)

JOHN SMITH: “I’d rather die tomorrow than live a hundred years without knowing you.” (From Pocahontas by Walt Disney)

MY HUSBAND turns to me: “They have chiseled jaws.”

ME: “I was thinking…how romantic that line was.”


Husbands say the darndest things…


_Embrace the storm before it ends and learn to dance in the rain, even if it tracks in some mud along the way. (16).png


TIPSY TUESDAYS – Discover Your Own Ps of Life

Planning and organizing are both tasks that I have always been adept at and thoroughly enjoy.  In fact, once the parent of one of my student’s asked me if I would consider organizing her entire house and life. Ha! I declined although the request intrigued me.

However, motherhood and my experience so far with my son’s food allergies have taught me that beyond planning, there are four Ps far more crucial to our lives right now than my written lists.

Disclaimer: This blog is a personal blog and used as a way of sharing and connecting with other readers. The posts, articles, and stories shared on the site are meant as a source of encouragement. In this challenging world of food allergies, I have found reaching out to other parents and people in my shoes to be extremely resourceful and inspiring. Therefore, I want to give back and do the same. The information on my blog is not intended as medical advice so as always, please consult with your doctor.

Now here are our 4 Ps….

1) Probiotics

Last winter, when I first started reaching out to allergists, nutritionists, and other moms with children with multiple food allergies, the amount of conflicting information and guidance was overwhelming.  While I know that was my own fault in seeking too many opinions, it was what I felt was right in those early months. In doing this, it did allow me to find some common denominators.   One of the recommendations that most people made was starting TJ on a dairy-free, gluten-free probiotic once a day.

Although it is not proven, the theory behind probiotics and food allergies is that they help to build up a person’s digestive and immune systems, restoring good bacteria in the gut. While gut health is important for many reasons, it is my understanding that this is also the area of the body that needs to be restored to help outgrow and prevent food allergies. Around 12 months, we increased my son’s daily intake from 1 to 2 Culturelle (dairy-free, gluten-free) probiotic packets a day. (Of course only after TJ’s doctors recommended it.)

See my Culturelle post here: Favorite Finds Friday – Culturelle Probiotics


Now, that I have shifted some of my focus also to my own gut health.  I too take probiotics.   Therefore, probiotics have become quite an important P in our lives. While most other aspects of this world of food allergies still confuse me, for some reason probiotics bring me comfort and hope in our future and health.


(Once again I am not a doctor and these are my own personal opinions and experiences.   Please consult with your doctor before trying anything.)

2) Proactive Patience

I have been through many phases already since my son’s anaphylactic reaction.

From a phase of guilt & self-blame…

To one of intense fear…

Then to some depression and anxiety…

To another phase of overwhelming fear…

Then to a season of false hope (Although putting all of my energy in believing he would outgrow his allergies by 12 months was irrational, it was what I needed to do at that time to get out of my crazy funk.) …

To frustration again…

Then back to anxiety and fear again until….I knew I needed to stop this…

That is when the summer came and I started to really work on controlling my thinking.   Like I have previously written about a couple times, I worked on retraining my brain.  Gradually, it started to work and I entered a new phase of being proactively patient.  When my son’s wheat oral food challenge was cancelled the day before due to his ear infection and could not be rescheduled for another five months, I had a realization. I finally accepted that it is and has never been about my timing, but instead it’s all about God’s.   Therefore, while remaining TJ’s biggest advocate, I must have patience and savor these days even though it is not according to my own plans.

3) Perseverance

Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.

Like I posted in Worry-Free Wednesdays: Perseverance Defines Strength,

“I am far from the smartest…far from the strongest…far from the most talented….far from the most successful …far from the absolute best at anything…However, the driving force that has always been present in my life throughout all the ups and downs is my perseverance.   If I teach my son one lesson in this world, I hope it is the will to persevere no matter what because with that anything is possible.”

Don’t get me wrong, the days are quite challenging sometimes and we are always on guard.  The reality is that we cannot control everything that happens to us and the cards we have been dealt. However, what we can control is our reaction to those cards and the choice we have to truly live with them.   Therefore, we persevere and smile on because perseverance moves mountains and defines strength…

4) Prayer


Last but certainly not the least, prayer has been greatly renewed in me throughout this experience.   Not only do I pray with my son on the way to work/day care each morning and at night together as a family, I also stop and thank God first after anything remarkable.  On the other hand, on the tough days and in the most difficult moments, I stop and praise Him for all that He has done for us and ask him for guidance because I cannot do this alone.

For example, when TJ ate his first waffle (allergy-free of course) I teared up and knelt down, praising God for this.  I now see our life through different lenses of faith. We are beyond blessed and lucky for reasons that no allergy….or ten…can take away from us.

With that being said, I feel a different sense of inspiration at times that I have ever felt before.  Often, it comes as I am writing, driving, listening to music, or first thing in the morning. I know that it is during those moments that God is working through me and answering my prayers. It’s almost impossible to describe through words…I just feel it…

As I conclude this week’s TIPSy TUESDAY, I realize that my tips were a bit different than usual.    I believe that everyone needs to find their own personal Ps of life and what works for them.

Search for those moments when you feel inspired and act on them right then and there. During those other times when you hear your intuition speaking to you, don’t talk yourself out of it.  Instead, act boldly. I truly believe we all experience those moments, but how many of us act on them.   Drop your daily agendas and embrace the present. I am far from perfect with this but learning it step by step…moment by moment.  Proactively patient, we pray and persevere with probiotics in our diets and smiles on our faces enjoying today but believing in tomorrow’s possibilities…

tj cartoon

“…Hope is what we crave,
And that will never change
So I stand and wait
I need a drop of grace
To carry me today,
A simple song to say
Hope is what we crave
I need a drop of grace
It’s written on my soul:
Hope’s what we crave…”

“Crave” by For King & Country



The Blogger Interview

Thank you New Crunchy Mom at http://newcrunchymom.com/ for nominating me for The Blogger Interview tag.  Your kindness and encouragement are very much appreciated and inspire us to continue to write and smile on…



The Purpose:The Blogger Interview is to get to know the artist behind the art.

The Rules:
• Mention the person who tagged you. 
• Answer the questions in full. 
• Tag up to ten bloggers.


The Interview Questions:
How did you get into blogging?

Back in March 2015, I started this blog as an outlet for all of the emotions I was feeling and information that I was learning about the world of food allergies and eczema. While those first few months after my son’s anaphylactic reaction were filled with intense anxiety, fear, and frustration, I knew that I needed to turn it into something positive. Therefore, instead of laying in bed crying as my son napped, I started to spend this time putting it all into words with a blog (at the time on another site) .It was the beginning of retraining my brain to steer my focus from the challenges and terrifying “what ifs” to all the possibilities for smiles. A weight had started to be lifted…

Also, instead of sending long-winded text message updates to everyone who simply asked how my son TJ was doing with everything, I saw this site as a way of keeping family and friends updated on our journey. By sharing our story and the valuable information that we learn along the way, I hope to help educate others about this world of food allergies and eczema. Most importantly, I want to encourage all who reads this blog to “let your faith be bigger than your fear.” 

While I have just started this blog about four months ago, I believe that the following statement will become reality with time…Smiling Away Allergies is the place to share experiences and information about food allergies and life while staying cautiously optimistic, smiling on…


  • What advice would you give to a blogger just starting out?

Since I consider myself a new blogger, the following advice is what I have been following myself.

  1. Set Goals: Like anything in life, I believe in setting short-term and long-term goals for yourself.  While I find my daily to-do lists important, weekly and monthly goals are also important for success.
  2. WordPress Classes: Sign up for Blogging 101 and 201 classes.  Both classes were extremely helpful resources that challenged me and sparked my creativity.   My site has come a long way since July due to these classes.
  3. Networking: Don’t be shy! To be honest, although I believe in the value and impact of my blog, I felt silly sharing it through social media.  It was scary at first; however, totally worth it. Reach out and explore the many, many other amazing blogs all around you.   There are really some great ones out there to connect with!
  4. Be Proud: This goes back to #3.  Share, share, share! You have something incredible that the world is waiting to read!
  5. Get Ideas/Don’t Compare: Love this quote and it really has been what I keep reminding myself over these past four months with starting this blog.

- Jon acuff


  • What would be your dream campaign?

Wow! I never thought about this.   It would be any campaign that would allow me to connect and help an even larger population of people.

  • Do you have a plan for your blog?

Being an organized person, I always have a tentative plan.   However, this past year and a half has really taught me that I do not have the ultimate control over these plans no matter how precise they are drafted.   Still, I use my “Weekly Smiles/Events” to guide me while also using my moments of inspiration to direct the rest.   I am constantly jotting down ideas on a note in my phone as these inspirations randomly come to me throughout the day.

  • What do you think about rankings?

I don’t use rankings. My focus is not on how people rank me. In fact, it was quite freeing once I stopped worrying about areas like my “rankings” in life. Instead, shifting my focus to what matters most in life has definitely helped us smile on to endless possibilities…


My Blog Nominations