What I Want You To Know About My Disease

I know I promised an update on the tattoo as my next post but I’m waiting for it to heal and for the color to come out before posting a picture. That’s right! I did get a tattoo and you’ll have to check back to find out the details in my next blog post ­čÖé

The word disease sounds scary, right? Maybe a little too alarming for the kind of disease I have, or maybe not.

About a month ago I was diagnosed (by myself, but then confirmed by the doctor when I asked for the blood test) with Celiac Disease. Most people have not heard of this disease because it is more common to hear about the cause of this disease rather than the disease itself.

GLUTEN.

What you may not know about gluten is it is in just about every kind of processed food. While the point of this post is not to educate on the specifics of the disease that you can research online yourself, I do want to debunk some myths and ask for your understanding on behalf of all of those affected by this disease, so I’ve created a little list below.

  1. It is not “unhealthy” to eat gluten if you don’t have the disease or do not suffer from an intolerance or allergy to gluten. Gluten is just a protein found in any wheat, rye, or barley products. If you eliminate gluten from your diet and feel better, then perhaps you have an intolerance or sensitivity to gluten, but I’ve heard way too many people claim to eliminate gluten from their diets because it is “healthier.”
  2. Just because I don’t look like I have a disease, doesn’t mean I don’t. The damage done by eating gluten is done inside your body on the lining of your stomach, so even if there is no damage to my insides already (which I don’t know for sure because I have not had the procedure to look at the lining of the stomach) why would I want to chance damaging my stomach by eating even the smallest traces of gluten? I don’t know about you, but I’d rather err on the side of caution, so yes I will be hyper inquisitive about what goes into my body even if it is just a small communion wafer. Please be patient with us as we know this is sometimes inconvenient for those who do not have to avoid gluten.
  3. I want you to know it is hard to ask people to make accommodations for you so you can eat a meal with those who do not have the disease or an intolerance. I already don’t like being the center of attention and this disease forces you to be that sometimes because people have an innate need to know why you are making certain choices or requesting what is on the menu for dinner at a friends house. I will gladly make concessions around what you and the majority of guests are eating by bringing something I can eat┬áso please understand why I may ask lots of questions about what’s for dinner.
  4. And finally, this disease effects only 1 % of the population. Due to the hype of this sometimes referred to “fad diet” that number is shockingly small. And this number is probably underestimated as many people have not had a confirmed diagnosis who may in fact have the disease.

So I guess my point is to ask for your understanding in this new lifestyle change and to inform about a few misnomers in society about gluten free and what it means. And, if you have any questions, have this diagnosis, or want to use me and my network of gluten free friends, I’d be glad to help and want to hear from you! Thanks for listening.

Au revoir,

Amberly

To Tattoo or Not To Tattoo

That is the question. At least that’s the question for me right now. And not so much whether to get the tattoo or not, but rather where to get the tattoo.

The story begins a few months ago when my then fiance, now husband, wanted us to get tattoos for our wedding gifts. He ended up getting a tree on his arm

He got this to symbolize growth and family,

He got this to symbolize growth and family.

 

but I was told my idea was not going to work for what I wanted and where I wanted. I wanted to get the phrase “Quoi qui’l arrive” in a cursive font on the inside of my wrist (it has special meaning to me and I love all things French). I was encouraged to not get cursive writing that small and was shown a blown up version four times the size of the sample design I brought in.

At the time, I could only imagine getting this on my wrist very small so I put the tattoo out of my mind and moved on to wedding planning.

When a friend found out what happened at the shop she was confused because she has many tattoos and thought it was possible to get what I wanted. She recommended I talk to her artist at Inkwell in LaGrange. That’s as far as it went because as I said above I put it out of my mind to concentrate on more pressing items.

Fast forward 8 months and I get a picture from a different friend of her new tattoo with really small cursive writing from THE SAME GIRL that the first friend recommended. I took this as a sign and was also very envious because the picture (and the real thing when I saw it last week) made me jealous that I didn’t have my tattoo in cursive writing.

So I made the appointment and went to speak to Brandi at Inkwell. And, I made an appointment for my birthday in July to get the small cursive writing on my wrist in a nice henna colored brown in Samantha font. (or something similar) She acted like this was no problem at all as long as the artist takes into consideration the size of the tattoo and adjusts accordingly for some expanding over time.

I’ve since gotten some information that has me conflicted about whether or not I still want this tattoo on my wrist so I need your help. One of my students (an adult student in college, not a child) had a tattoo in Arabic on his wrist and I asked him how long he had the tattoo because it had some very small lines including a very small “J” that still looked like a “J” after more than three years. That was a good sign because the reason I was told small writing would not work is because very soon after it would expand and eventually end up looking like a blob.

Then I told one of my best friends about my tattoo appointment, which I thought she would be excited about because I went with her to get her first and only tattoo a couple years ago. Well, she informed me she regretted her tattoo and just did it for the experience but now wishes she hadn’t done it. That got me having second thoughts about the prominence of the tattoo on my wrist even though it can be covered if necessary.

So here are questions to you. If you have a tattoo, and have had it awhile, do you regret it? Do you still like the place you chose? Where is your tattoo? (I’m trying to decide if another location will be better for me) And what is the design of your tattoo? And finally, any advice based on my situation?

I appreciate any feedback as I make my decision, and of course, will keep you posted on what I get when I get it.

Au Revoir,

Amberly

My Latin Love

No, I’m not talking about Juan Pablo on The Bachelor, although I have girls night every week to watch that show with my bestie Glenna. If you heard her toast at my wedding you know we are forever bonded through our love of reality TV.

The Latin love I am talking about is our new puppy Pedro! He is the cutest thing ever and in case you don’t believe me I have compiled my favorite pictures below for proof (videos are at my YouTube Channel). My camera roll on my iPhone now consists only of photos and videos of him; I’m kind of obsessed.

My Mom and Step-Dad adopted him three weeks before Christmas to give me as a surprise gift. He was at a shelter for a few weeks and I find it very hard to believe that this guy was a stray. He’s so good I can’t imagine giving him away or leaving him. He is a 4.5 pound Chihuahua mix that is a ball of energy and love.

We love the newest addition to our family and hope you enjoy these photos and videos!

The first day we got him, December 23, 2013

The first day we got him, December 23, 2013

Taking a nap with Mommy.

Taking a nap with Mommy.

One of the few times he's NOT napping on my lap.

One of the few times he’s NOT napping on my lap.

This is how he wrapped himself up after I put this blanket on the couch straight from the dryer.

This is how he wrapped himself up after I put this blanket on the couch straight from the dryer.

My favorite picture of him. It looks like he is praying!

My favorite picture of him. It looks like he is praying!

Chillin' with Daddy.
Chillin’ with Daddy.

Au Revoir,
Amberly

This Bird Wants to Migrate to Warmer Weather!

As promised I have the highly anticipated blog post about our honeymoon to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic! (Can you sense the sarcasm?)

I don’t know about most of you reading this but I had never thought about a vacation to the DR before talking to our travel agent about booking our honeymoon. And let me tell you I highly recommend this as a honeymoon spot or a luxurious travel destination.

I have never experienced anything like this trip before and I’ve done my fair share of traveling. (To Poland, Belize, France, Spain, Honduras and several places in the US) The highlights of the place we stayed (The Excellence) are below

  • Adults Only: To be more specific, couples only. This was huge for us and what we wanted. Nothing against kids but the decibel level was certainly lower at this resort than at others in the area.
  • Resort Size: This resort is only about 600 rooms as compared to a couple thousand rooms at the Hard Rock down the road. Because of this it seemed at times that we were one of only several couples on the resort property.
  • The Spa: An hour-long massage along with an hour of hydrotherapy (my new obsession) had me feeling better than I had before in my life.
  • Customer Service: The staff at The Excellence resort will go out of their to provide friendly, prompt, professional, and humorous service to their guests. Never in my life have I been treated so nice by people in another country.

Obviously we highly recommend this resort specifically and here are a few highlights we had along the way during our week-long stay.

The view from our balcony.

The view from our balcony.

A horseback ride along the beach. This was my FIRST time on a horse ever!

A horseback ride along the beach. This was my FIRST time on a horse ever!

Our last night we had a romantic dinner on the beach.

Our last night we had a romantic dinner on the beach.

A candid shot by the beach around sunset.

A candid shot by the beach around sunset.

Reminiscing about this past trip has given me vacation fever. That being said, we are looking to book our next big trip near our one year anniversary to celebrate.

So I wanna know, where do you recommend we go this time? That is, if we don’t go back to The Excellence again so soon!

Au Revoir,
Amberly

What’s In A Name?

What’s in a name? I’ll tell you what’s in a name…a lot, apparently.

I recently learned what my new last name means and it is unexpected, to say the least. But first, a little back story.

My maiden name was Stitzel and while this doesn’t mean anything, I found out a long time ago while looking at my debit card from the back that my last name spelled backwards was Leztits. Other than being hilarious, there was no meaning behind this revelation, but it began the history of my name revelations.

Now onto my most recent revelation. I went to the pharmacy recently to pick up a prescription and told the gentleman (Gunnar was his name) my last name. While he was searching though the bags on the wall of filled prescriptions he translated my name. Here’s how our conversation went:

 

Gunnar: (after I told him my last name) That’s German.

Me: Yes it is. It’s my married name but I went from one German name to another.

Gunnar: Do you know what it means?

Me: I don’t. Why? Do you know German?

Gunnar: Yes, it means suck.

Me: What?!

Gunnar: Yeah, for example, you would say he was lutsching on a lollipop.

Me: Oh my gosh, that’s not good. So now I’m Amberly Suck?

Gunnar: Didn’t your husband tell you that before you got married?

Me: Ummmm, no, and why would he? He wanted me to marry him so he probably┬ádidn’t┬átell me that for a good reason.

 

So there you have it folks. My new name means suck in German. I still like the name just fine and no one ever would have known had I not broadcast it to the world on my blog but I really don’t care. I quite like the name Lutsch. It is unique enough that not everyone has heard it (much like Stitzel was in my single life) but not so complicated that people are befuddled by it (much like Stitzel was in my single life.)

So I’m interested if anyone else reading this has an interesting (or not so interesting) meaning to their last name…or first name for that matter. I’d love to hear it. Leave a comment below to share.

Au Revoir,

Amberly

Going to the Chapel…

And we got married!

Okay, it wasn’t a chapel, but God was there so it counts, right?

Our little family began August 31, 2013 on the day we got married. I’ve included a couple photos here to set the stage if you weren’t in attendance or if you want to reminisce. (just kidding, but I like to)

Officiant Jim England performing the ceremony.

Officiant Jim England performing the ceremony.

The sand ceremony

The sand ceremony

Ceremony view from afar.

Ceremony view from afar.

The blushing bride.

The blushing bride.

The handsome groom.

The handsome groom.

The happy couple.

The happy couple.

Time to cut the cake!

Time to cut the cake!

Our first dance as husband and wife to "Like Jesus Does" by Eric Church.

Our first dance as husband and wife to “Like Jesus Does” by Eric Church.

Fishing for the garter belt. The look on my face says it all.

Fishing for the garter belt. The look on my face says it all.

Tossing the bouquet to my beautiful cousin Cody.

Tossing the bouquet to my beautiful cousin Cody.

Ending the night with a sparkler send-off.

Ending the night with a sparkler send-off.

Since it is the beginning of the year I think it is the perfect time to start a blog documenting our family and the new and exiting things that come with the first year of marriage. That being said, my next post will be a brief post about our lovely honeymoon trip to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

Thanks for reading and commenting! Until next time…

Au Revoir
Amberly