Tuesday, October 25, 2011


It's amazing how quickly everything can change. I'm not just talking when you move or change a job. Those are big changes, don't get me wrong. I'm talking about the shake you to your core, knock the breath out of you type of change. I'm living that right now, in this moment, in the past moments, and future ones to come. I'm not who I was even 2 years ago, my path has veered another way, my roots are taking hold, and I'm starting to grow.

I'm terrified, shaking, unable to catch my breath but when I stop and listen, it's there. That peace. I'm loosing those I have held so dear for the majority of my life and that is heart achingly, heart breaking, and pure...hell. Again, I stop. I'm gaining people, wonderful people. People that lift me up, build me up, and let my light shine.

I can't be who I was, who they all want me to be, because that girl has evolved. The woman, the radical woman I have become and am still growing into has other goals in mind. This radical woman is fiercely protective of her family, determined, gentle, hard working, and....happy.

Looking down the path, I see warm light and a place to rest. A place to celebrate. A place to take root and grow wings. Scared, yes; but hopeful. Trusting in Him that the warm light I'm wandering towards is home. I can't wait to get there.

Stop. Take a breath. Close your eyes. Do you feel it?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

You must follow the link above! This post inspired so much of my soul for how to move forward with this blog of mine. I am just brimming with ideas and now I feel I may have the courage to follow through. Super excited!

Also, I am officially taking guest posts for November! Please comment if you are interested or email me at alysa(dot)kowis(at)gmail(dot)com.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Migraines and Spicy Soup

So I had this big plan for a nice long post about our weekend to be published today. I doubt that's going to happen. I've had a killer migraine, slept most of yesterday, and today I am happily medicated and eating spicy Santa Fe style soup! I'm hoping that by tonight I can get that post banged out and uploaded for tomorrow but no promises!!

I'm thinking about allowing guest posts in November. Thoughts?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sacred Sunday


Exalt the Lord our God, and worship his holy mountain; for the Lord our God is holy!

-Psalm 99:9

Friday, October 14, 2011

10 Things Fridays

  1. New adventures. I both hate and love them.
  2. Fall! It's here and I'm in love <3
  3. Pictures. With Lizzy's 1st birthday fast approaching, building a new home, and lovely weather I just want to photograph everything!
  4. Tamales!! Fresh home made tamales.
  5. Family. I get a nice family visit this weekend. It's good for the soul!
  6. Angie Smith - everything about her speaks to my heart right now.
  7. Crafts. New to them but willing to try :)
  8. Paper roses.
  9. Orchids.
  10. Evolving love.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Journey to Home

J and I have started a little journey, a journey to home. Our home. Our first home! We are building a lovely home on the outskirts of Houston. The area is quaint with friendly people, lakes, and parks. I am going to document the entire process with pictures and posts. I can hardly wait!

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I can not wait to share this experience with you! Many milestones are ahead. A lot of planning and joy, with a healthy sprinkle of anxiety. More to come quickly so stay tuned!

Be aware. Act. Reflect.

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I had the unique opportunity to experience a new way to find some “me time”. Cerra provides little ways to escape and reflect. My personal favorites are the Sensory Oils and Pebble Candles. There are a variety of scents that match emotions, like, Grounded, Creative Energy, Gratitude, Loving Kindness, Courage, Wisdom, and Inspiration. The candles, oils, and other relaxation items come in these scents. My blogger kit came with a small sample of lotion, a full set of Sensory Oils, dissolving notes, keepsake notes, tea, and a journal.

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Blogger Kit

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Sensory Oils

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The journal has wonderful pages that outline your entry with Be Aware, Act, and Reflect. There are also neat little cheat sheets with idea starters for each of the emotions. It has become a game at my office for us to pick our Sensory Oil of the day! Such small little things can create an awareness of your emotions in that moment. Cerra provides this in a unique and personal way. I have greatly enjoyed my experience and can’t wait to try more of their wonderful products!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

To hiatus and back again

So my hiatus was unannounced, and for that I apologize. After I was laid off, my focus was finding a job. Once I found a job, my focus switched to establishing a new routine for my family and settling in to my new workplace. Now I am settled and we have began a new adventure! But more on that later!!

I am now back in recruiting after my short stint back in HR. I’m a staffing manager at a national staffing firm. I enjoy my job for the most part, it has a lot of elements to it! I stay very, very busy (did I say very?). I work with wonderful people, God centered people. It’s lovely to work in a place where we read devotionals out loud in the mornings and pray for one another at lunch.

Elizabeth is now 10 months old and the proud owner of 5 teeth! She seems to have grown up over night, as it always does. Here are some recent pictures (about a month ago) from a trip to Austin.

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I have a lot more to update you on but motherhood calls! Look for an exciting update about mid this week!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sometimes life doesn’t play along

Last week seemed perfectly normal. I went about my daily routine and was excited for the weekend. Friday was payday, it was an extra check for the month so I had some shopping planned. Around 4 o’clock I asked my boss if she needed anything before I headed out to which she replied yes and asked for me to give her a moment. I went back to my desk and started closing things down on my computer and cleaning up. When I went back to her office moments later, she shut the door, and said these words, “This is one of the most difficult conversations I’ve ever had to have.”

I got laid off. My position had been eliminated along with several others in our location and more company wide. I later found out that not only did they do lay offs but they consolidated 2 floors into one and are renting out the other space. I had no clue things were that bad.

My insurance ended on Sunday. I have 2 MRI’s I’m supposed to get done, multiple doctor appointments, and my daughter’s 9 month check up all this month. My husbands insurance does not kick in until September 1. Unemployment doesn’t kick in for at least a few more weeks and I don’t qualify for any help with my medicines or anything.

Health Update:

My doctor seems very encouraged about my progress. I’m slowly getting off of steroids and dwindling down the amount of pain management I need. I can see him every 3 weeks now instead of every week. Now I just need to figure out this insurance mess.

I’m doing my best to stay positive and find my silver lining. I’m applying for about 10-15 jobs a day and continuing to see if I can qualify for some form of help. I am so thankful for my super supportive hubby.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Extraordinary Machine

If there was a better way to go then it would find me
I can't help it, the road just rolls out behind me
Be kind to me, or treat me mean
I'll make the most of it, I'm an extraordinary machine

--Fiona Apple

Quick Health Update:

  • Started on immunosuppressants
  • Still taking lots of vitamins!
  • My hemoglobin and iron levels have gone up (yay! no blood transfusion!)
  • The rest of my meds are starting to work
  • I’m loosing a LOT of hair and have bruises everywhere
  • Doctor appointments can now be every 2 weeks, thank goodness!!

A teething 7 month old:

Lizzy is teething! Two top teeth are starting to make themselves known. So on top of the normal freeze teething rings I’ve added some things!


This little baby works wonders! They come in sterile one dose little vials and are all natural.


She actually likes the taste of it, or maybe it has not taste. Hmm, now I might have to taste it. Then we have her favorite teethers! Her Sophie the Giraffe from Vulli and her Born Free teether.


Granny got her a Taggie blanket because Lizzy will find the tag on anything (clothes, toys, bags) and play with them, chew on them, and just be all about them.



New product alert!!

I have the pleasure of getting to try a new product and share the results with you all through Vocalpoint! I am doing a trial on Downy’s new UNstopables in wash scent boosters. I’m trying out the fresh scent but they also have it in a fragrance called lush.




It smells super yummy and I’m going to try it out tomorrow for the first time! It says it will hold the fragrance for 30 days! I will keep ya’ll posted.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

This is gotta be a good life

When you’re happy like a fool, let it take you over. When everything is out, you gotta take it in.

Hopelessly, I feel like there might be something that I’ll miss. Hopelessly, I feel like the window closes oh so quick.    Hopelessly, I’m taking a mental picture of you now; ‘cause hopelessly, the hope is we have so much to feel good about.

---One Republic

Something a lot of people don’t realize is that when you get diagnosed with a chronic illness that there is a huge mental factor. You have to accept the fact that for the rest of your life you will be sick. Every moment of every day. Whatever regimen you need to be on to be okay is a life long thing. You may be perfectly fine and live to see your grandchildren graduate or you may go downhill fast and loose the battle. I’m not trying to be depressing but this is the reality of what we, I, face. I am currently facing. I love my life, I love my family and friends. Most days I am happy and I just do what I need to stay that way. Other days, it’s all I can do to get out of bed.

Luckily, my doctor knows this. He takes it seriously and attacks it head on. That seems to be his way with everything.


My daughter is growing so fast. She turned 7 months last week and is just amazing. I can’t wait to see what her future holds.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A penny for my thoughts, oh no, I'll sell them for a dollar

If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a, bed of roses
Sink me in the river, at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song
Uh oh, uh oh
Lord make me a rainbow, I'll shine down on my mother
She'll know I'm safe with you when she stands under my colors, oh and
Life ain't always what you think it ought to be, no
Ain't even grey, but she buries her baby
The sharp knife of a short life, well
I've had, just enough time
If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a, bed of roses
Sink me in the river, at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song
The sharp knife of a short life, well
I've had, just enough time
And I'll be wearing white, when I come into your kingdom
I'm as green as the ring on my little, cold finger, I've
Never known the lovin' of a man
But it sure felt nice when he was holdin' my hand there's a boy here in town he says he'll love me forever
Who would have thought forever could be severed by
The sharp knife of a short life, well,
I've had, just enough time
So put on your best boys and I'll wear my pearls
What I never did is done
A penny for my thoughts, oh no, I'll sell them for a dollar
They're worth so much more after I'm a goner
And maybe then you'll hear the words I been singin'
Funny when you're dead how people start listenin'
If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a, bed of roses
Sink me in the river, at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song
Uh oh (uh, oh)
The ballad of a dove (uh, oh)
Go with peace and love
Gather up your tears, keep 'em in your pocket
Save them for a time when you're really gonna need 'em, oh
The sharp knife of a short life, well
I've had just enough time
So put on your best boys, and I'll wear my pearls

--The Band Perry

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father’s Day Weekend and Running out of Spoons

Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads out there! Fatherhood: When a good man goes dad! I got my husband the Logitech Harmony One remote for his gift from me and Lizzy gave him a beautiful letter with her foot prints on the bottom. His father and step-mother came and watched her for a few hours on Saturday so we got to actually be a couple for a bit! Very enjoyable. However one of our activities was outside and I spent a bit too long in the sun. The sun causes lupus to flare up rather bad. I went to bed rather early yesterday after a long hot bath and lots of medication. This morning I was still running very low on spoons (The Spoon Theory) but had things that needed to get done. So, like most mothers out there, I pushed forward.

Here was my to do list for the day:

  1. Coupon clipping!
  2. Feed the babe
  3. Grocery Store
  4. Target and pharmacy run
  5. Feed the babe
  6. Wipe down kitchen and bathroom
  7. Mop
  8. Laundry (work in progress)
  9. Make dinner for my hubby for F-day
  10. Feed the babe and get all of us ready for bed

I figure I’m doing rather well. I’m still in the process of learning my new diagnosis. It seems I learn something new every day. I have a big doctor day this Tuesday that includes a trip to the Ophthalmologist (apparently blindness is an issue with my meds), my regular weekly trip to my rheumatologist, and a trip to my OBGYN. Not to have a major TMI moment but they are stopping my cycle for 6 months to a year due to my hemoglobin levels, if I drop 2 points lower I will need a blood transfusion and iron infusions for up to 6 weeks. Like I said, learning things every day. Everyone I know is being very supportive and trying their best to keep up with all of my doctor appointments and new developments.

The biggest development as of late has been the child bearing issue. Lupus patients usually are on some form of immunosuppressant but with that comes issues of having children. It can cause miscarriages and malformations. J and I are in the process of figuring out how long I can be on this without having that be an issue. As well as how long before trying again would I have to stop. I have already spoken to my OBGYN about my diagnosis and she has dealt with many lupus pregnancies and feels confident she could get me through another one. I would have to stop all my medications except for 2. I feel I can do it but it’s a long ways down the road. We want to ideally have Lizzy out of diapers before having another. But we are trying to be realistic with my disease that the younger I am the easier this may be. I will find out much more detail on Tuesday with my march of the doctors.

Emotionally, I am handling this all pretty well. I have my moments of waning to shout “WHY?!” at the top of my lungs and wishing it was all just  a joke. I pray and talk to those close to me and trudge on. This is a marathon, not a race after all.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I have Lupus

But it does not have me.

That in short explains my absence from the blogging world. I was diagnosed with lupus about 6 weeks ago. I’ve undergone so many tests I’ve lost count and I think I’ve had so much blood work done that I’m going to call my phlebotomist a vampire. I go to the rheumatologist every week, neurologist every 6 weeks, my general doctor every 8 weeks, and now a geneticist and high risk OB (no not pregnant). In short though, I have Lupus SLE and it’s currently affecting my brain and nerves.

If you do not know what lupus is, follow the link. I also would recommend reading the following articles.

Outside of my medical drama. I now have a very active 6 month old! She is rolling over in all directions she can, holding her own bottle, eating oatmeal and lots of fruits, scooting but not crawling, standing with assistance, and just gabbing away in baby jibberish.





She makes all my days worth while. That’s for sure! Now, I’m sure a lot of you that actually read this have questions. Feel free to email me or anything like that and I will do my best to answer them. I do intend on updating this more now with details about my treatment and how this journey is going. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Wolf

It has been said that a wold will devour it's own leg to gain freedom from a trap.
And even though it may die of the self-inflicted wound, it's free.
Wolf, the word, in Latin is lupus.
Lupus, the disease, is an auto-immune disorder in which the immune system attempts to devour the body it was designed to protect.
I have lupus.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

A week of firsts

I know I am still behind on posts and updates so I am going to do a quick personal overview of what’s going on and then get into the fun happy things!

  1. I am currently going through rounds of testing to hopefully find out what is wrong with me after over 10 years. I don’t know if it’s serious or not but hopefully Monday will show some answers.
  2. My mothers job was up in the air for a month or so, but thankfully God came through and she got to just do a lateral move doing pretty much the same job but for a different department. Plus, she is going back to school! So proud of her!!
  3. Josh started a new job and my job is expanding. Lots more work stress there as well as time.
  4. My beautiful sis-n-law is a college grad! Super proud of her!!
  5. My best buddy/sister from another mother is FLYING through beauty school with multiple gold stars right behind her!
  6. A good friend is getting awfully close to baby time! Go tell her hello if you get a chance @ Pure Joy and Adoration

Now for some fun stuff! This has truly been a week of firsts.

I had my first Mother’s Day (w00!).

This is Drunny. He is a dragon/bunny hybrid and now lives at my desk. I also got a very sweet card from my loves. Then we had a nice lunch and Red Robin and Lizzy ate her teether :)



Elizabeth rolled over!! Sadly I have no pictures of this but it was an awesome addition to my Mothers Day. I do, however, have cute pigtail pictures!



Next, Elizabeth decided she wanted to start feeding herself. So now all you have to do is hand her the bottle and she takes it and goes to town!




Okay so , I’m exhausted from everything listed above and desperately want to just go lay on the couch with my hubby while the little one is napping. I will try and update soon!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Where there is an up, there is always a down. Where there is a zig, there is always a zag.


I just put Lizzy down for the night and couldn’t help but let my mind settle on…well a lot of things. My amazing, brilliant, and determined husband got a new job, which he starts in a little over a week. My mother is in the middle of a possible lay off, undeservedly in my opinion (I may be a bit bias though). One friend brings a baby into this world and another looses a parent. A gain, a loss. A win, a lose. A high, a low. Tears and laughter.

I’m currently reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan and the first chapter is a lot about “Just Stop and Think”. Notice the world around you, be IN it and not just consumed with yourself and what chaos is around. I’ve been working on that, and letting myself feel the awe of day to day things. When I start to get mad, upset, or consumed by one thing; I stop – take a second to breathe – and notice something that is amazing about my surroundings or life. It’s a simple concept, nothing radical, but how often do you actually do it? Step outside your own mind and notice what is right in front of you? I encourage you to try it. I also highly encourage you to watch this clip.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Unexpected Delays

I know it has been a long time since my last post but life got the best of me. Elizabeth got sick, I got sick, then I stayed sick, work got hectic, J had new job opportunities and studying, and at the end of the day it was all I could do to make dinner and get the house picked up. Some things had to be put on a back burner for a bit and this happened to be one of them. I’m attempting to get back into the swing of it though so stay tuned!

Elizabeth will be 5 months old on Easter! Time has flown by but she is absolutely amazing!! She is very vocal and entertains herself easily. She is almost sitting up unassisted but has almost no interest in rolling over what-so-ever. She gets onto her side and grabs what she wants and then is good. We have started experimenting with rice cereal, but only on occasion. She likes it but only when she’s in certain moods. In my last post I talked about trying out the Up & Up brand of formula. We’ve been using it for about a month and half now and nothing seems to be different than the Similac. Since then we have tried the Up & Up diapers and are about to try their wipes as well. Overall it is cutting our “baby bills” in half!


Lizzy got a few new toys. A jumper, a play gym, and an aquarium soother. She loves them all and uses them daily!



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As you can see she is growing by the day! Hair accessories have become a constant because, well, she has a lot of hair! Plus, it has my curl to it so it tends to be a bit unruly! She’s beautiful in every way.

I realize that this has been a mostly picture post but today has been a quiet day for me with lots of thoughts swimming in my head so pictures will have to do. I will try to update again soon, hopefully this week!

Monday, March 7, 2011

She is blessed

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.  Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:  "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." – Prov. 31:25-29

So my plan did not go as I would have hoped. Lizzy woke up several times last night in frustration. She couldn’t breathe through her little nose but couldn’t sleep without her thumb in her mouth. So, mommy stayed up with her from about 2a.m until our alarm went off. We went about our normal morning until she spit up a few times and was just very unhappy. At that point, we decided it was best for me to stay home today instead of sending her off to daycare.

We have spent our morning snuggled in bed with her propped up on my chest so she can breathe and still rest. On the bright side, she now has an awesome cool mist humidifier!


I feel absolutely horrible each time I have to use the Little Noses saline and suction out her nose. She gets so upset! I know it helps her though, and I have to say that Boogie Wipes are just the bees knees!


The old lady of the house, Pearl, has been close by all morning. I think she knows Lizzy is sick or she just likes the humidifier, not sure which.


My sweet girl still manages to smile even when she feels icky. I managed to get her feeling good enough to sleep on her own, it took a lot of time but she’s at least resting!


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