Tag Archives: crazy

If Tracy Lorensen Can Do It, I can! (Part Two)

aka the Candida blog

If you are not already aware, Tracy Lorensen can do anything.  Seriously.

She is the kind of person who will say ‘yes’ to anything and then excel at it.  She is strong, disciplined and highly responsible.

In many ways, Tracy Lorensen is the exact opposite of Samara Marie.

I mean we have our similarities…don’t get me wrong.   Youtube videos, small nicknacks and pretty things in general have bound our two [very] different personalities into an eclectic friendship that has shaped me for life.

That being said… “If Tracy Lorensen can do it, I can too” is not a motto I mold my life around.  Like I said in a previous blog (with a similar title), Tracy is made up of the combined essence of Aquaman, Thor and the Amazing Flash. You could probably add Wonder Woman in there for good measure.

That’s hard to keep up with. Trying to keep up with that could result in entering into a dangerous spiral of comparison and self-pity.  Don’t go there.  It’s not pretty.

That being said, I have found myself, once again, taking on a new feat along side the one and only Tracy Lorensen.


About a month ago Tracy found out that she had a candida** overgrowth problem that was wrecking havoc and causing all sorts of ruckus on her insides. In order to get rid of the all consuming candida (which is just a fancy word for yeast) inside of her, Tracy needed to completely change her diet, cutting out all forms of sugar (natural or added), dairy and simple carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice, oats, etc).  It needed to be a complete overhaul.  Right at the onset of the holidays.

My empathy, unsolicitedly, won and I decided that I would do it with her. As a support.

And that’s where I want to end this blog.

Because that’s where I look good.

What a good friend you are Samara. Yay you! The End.


Turns out…this was much harder than I was expecting.

Thank you Jesus for Caleb Lorensen who has been like a live in candida killing chef.  Preparing us all sorts of sugar free, dairy free, gluten free dinners.  If it wasn’t for him I would starve.

The first week on my new diet I was lost.  I had no idea what to eat.  I never realized how much of my diet was composed of carbs and sugars.

Carbs and sugars.  Carbs and sugars. Carbs and sugars.

If you ask me what my favorite foods are, the only honest answer I can give is: carbs and sugars.

I quickly realized that most of my food choices were based off of convenience and that I regularly gave into sugary cravings.

I was addicted to sugar. No doubt about it.

The sugar cravings came hard and then my body punished me for not giving in by sending me a massive headache that lasted days on end.  The lack of sugar made me grumpy and emotional.

Early on, Tracy was going through her first stages of candida die off*** and being the Superhuman Mixture of a person that she is, keeping a positive attitude and making comments like:

I’m just enjoying the smells.  I can’t eat it, but I can smell it,”  and “At this point I don’t even want to eat sugar,”

while I was writhing in my bedroom over a snickers bar that I couldn’t indulge in or curling up in the fetal position lamenting over the woes of my life.

I was an awesome support system.


You may be asking yourselves, “why keep up this crazy diet if you’re not sick and you’re not doing a good job at supporting Tracy?”

That is a good questions and there are a couple good answers for it.

  1.  I am incredibly stubborn.  I am proving to someone (probably my inner critic) that I can indeed do this.
  2. It turns out, I had a pretty horrible diet before this.  I never realized it.  I mean, I eat a ton of vegetables and my meals are all mostly good for me and nutritious…but between those meals, I would eat a ton of crap.  It was mindless snacking. My food decisions were impulsive and often driven by my emotional state.  Coming to that realization was hard, but has been a driving factor keeping me going.  I want to rid myself of this unhealthy addiction to bread and sugar and stop looking to foods for comfort or joy when I should be looking to Jesus.
  3. Finally, it turns out, I probably have a bit of candida overgrowth myself and actually feel a lot better (now that my sugar withdrawal is done) not eating the carbs.  My digestive system has needed the break and I find that when I mess up and eat something I shouldn’t, I end up with stomach issues.

So, I’m keeping it up.  Not with the strength and vigor of the Superhuman best friend that I live with, but with my dramatic, whiny personality that is too stubborn to give in.

If Tracy Lorensen can do it, I can too! (pray for me.)


**Candida is not to be mistaken with chlamydia like I was calling it the entire first week after getting this news…

***Die off is when the candida in your body has been starved to death so it emits all these toxins in a last ditch effort to destroy you and you feel miserably ill until the toxins are gone. Fun stuff.



Filed under favorites., Uncategorized


Remember when I wrote about having a tokay lizard in our house? [[If you don’t know what I’m talking about you should read this post first.]]

Well, they’re back and the other night I sent Tracy this text:

(It’s the bottom text that matters…)

textJanuary 6, 2014, 23:14:

Tokay is above my ceiling making lots of noise tonight.  I keep imagining it biting a hole in the ceiling and falling on me : (

In the morning when I was sharing about my lack of sleep the night prior and about how I just kept throwing pillows at my ceiling to try to scare the thing away, Tracy told me that I’m crazy and that it’s completely unlikely that anything would chew through my ceiling.

She’s right.

I have a highly active imagination and sometimes I let it get the best of me.

Inhale.  Exhale.



Tonight I took this picture:


What’s so special about this photo, you may be asking yourself.  What is Caleb doing?

Oh, you know…. nothing… he’s just patching up the HOLE that was EATEN THROUGH MY CEILING!!!!!!!!!!!




I’ve done a lot of jumping and yelling and freaking out this past 45 minutes.

I am not a happy camper tonight my friends. Nope. Not at all.

Where is the Tokay?

I don’t know.  Probably in my pillow case…waiting to burrow into my head full of warm hair.  It is cold season and the tokay is cold blooded.  He’s just there waiting for me to fall asleep.

But OOOOOH HO HO tokay–I’m smarter than you–I’m totally not sleeping tonight… or EVER AGAIN!!! Good luck burrowing into my hair!  GOOOO-OOOD LUCK!

Anyway, this probably doesn’t fit under that category of #firstworldproblems.  No,this is my life.  This is my life.


Filed under favorites.

an Ode to Airports

Airports  have long held a soft spot in my heart.

eppley parking lot

The pickup/drop off area in front of Eppley.

The Eppley Airfield in Omaha has been to me a gateway into worlds unexplored, a doorway to adventure–or, on the receiving end,  a welcomed solace after a whirlwind experience, a simple and familiar friend after life unfamiliar.

the simplicity of Eppley Airfield

the simplicity of Eppley Airfield

During the 11 months I spent traveling around the world with 35 other vagabonds, airports offered us (at least the hope of) clean bathrooms, air conditioning, free wifi and a semi sanitary place to lay our heads to rest.

sleeping in the airport

Chiang Mai International Airport has now become the airport in my life.

chiang mai airport

It’s at this airport that I have been able to stand and wait to welcome friends from America, Uganda and Cambodia; it is here that I have embraced people that I haven’t seen in a long time and it is here that I have had to say many goodbyes.

Last month, it was there that I was given the pleasure of welcoming these two faces into my world:


The month of October was spent sharing my world with my mom and my grandma.  I was able to spend the month introducing these two ladies to the people that have stolen my heart, taking them to the places that I have fallen in love with and ordering them the food that I don’t know how I will ever be able to live without.

Eating bugs was all on her own accord...

Eating bugs was all on her own accord…

For one month my mom and grandma were given the opportunity to experience the temperatures, tastes and traffic of the place that I call home. Together we celebrated both the beginning of my 27th year of life and the completion of my first year living in Thailand and together we travelled to the south of Thailand for a week of rest and relaxation before the three of us head back to our normal routines.


Mom at one of our dinner spots. I like everything about this picture.

Of course, three generations of strong willed, independent women spending three weeks together in a culture unfamiliar leads to some tense moments, and tense moments there were.  Moments of misunderstanding, moments of cross cultural frustration, moments of unmet desires and expectation.  Moments of life being lived in community.

The story ends with another trip to the airport and another goodbye.

For the first time, instead of me saying goodbye to them, they said goodbye to me.  For the first time, I stood back and watched them go through security and onto immigration.  For the first time they would head back to that familiar friend Eppley and I would stay put.

Goodbyes are a strange thing.

The ending of a season and the beginning of something entirely new.

After saying goodbye to the two woman who have loved, raised and supported me these past 27 years, I was able to say ‘hi’ to craziness that has become my normal routine.  I got to say ‘hello’ to Jed who is now part of our funny family, ‘hello’ to two new students in my first grade class, and ‘hello’ to another year of life.

So, thank you ladies for coming.  Thank you for embracing the people and the food.  Thank you for loving the students and for loving me so well, and thank you for letting me stay.

I love you.


Filed under Uncategorized

woodland creatures and other warm fuzzies

I love living in Thailand.  And quite honestly, there’s not much that seems all that ‘weird’ or ‘different’ to me at this point.  Adaptability is a prized strength of mine and I do my best to take full advantage of it.

But, every once in a while I have a, “I don’t live in America anymore” moment.

Rainy season has been filled with a series of those such moments.

I’ve never lived through a rainy season before; they definitely have their perks.

For one, the hot, hot heat of Thailand has really cooled itself down.  It’s now raining pretty much every night, which has led to wonderful sleep and fan-less night and consistent running water in our house, and well…

ok, it’s mostly just the cooling effect the rain has that I love.  But, I love it oh so much.

But, with the perks, there are also the downsides:

-drying laundry has become rather…difficult

-I hardly ever want to get out of bed when it’s time to go to school in the morning due to the rain

-motorbike riding in the rain is not my favorite thing

-and then there’s my afro-puff.

But, it’s neither of those that I want to talk about today.  No, no.  The biggest ‘downside’ of rainy season has most definitely been the woodland creatures that have taken refuge in our house.

Now, I say, woodland creatures, and one may picture something like this:


Those, however, are not the woodland creatures that I am speaking about–no deers or squirrels here.  Nope.  By woodland creatures I mean bugs.


bugs everywhere bugs.

For example:

The amount of mosquito bites currently on my body is record breaking.

I opened my laptop the other day and out crawls… a cockroach.  Tracy gets in the shower, and over her foot crawls… a cockroach.  I move my fan to the other room, out from underneath crawls… a cockroach.


my personal favorite

the flying termites that invade any and every night after a rain:

Image     Image

this is real life.

they get into our house and I do this:


I don’t mean to–but, I cower in fear because of these nasty, flying bugs.  I have this (maybe irrational) fear of them getting stuck in my hair and never being able to get them out again.

This fear causes me to look a little more like the Arab part of my family…

Then, there’s the woodman spiders.  Nasty ‘ole things.


These delightful things are found at the most wonderful times… like, coming out of the sink drain while brushing your teeth, on the bottom on the bottle of water that you just picked up, or just hanging out on the wall…you know whatever.

And it really doesn’t matter how ‘harmless’ I know they are and how they eat all the fore mentioned bugs that I hate so much and how they don’t want to eat mmeeeee, but I can’t keep my mind from going here:



(spider pictures from here)

But, oh… the woodland creatures inside our home don’t quite end here.

The newest addition to our home–a Tokay.

We’ve had a family of them living outside of our front door for sometime now, but as mating season has ended and their offspring are ‘grown’ now, the male and female have parted ways and one of them took up residence on the inside of our house.

tokay2 tokaytokay3


Honestly, this one bothered me the least…

During the day time we never saw him.

At night time…I would see him (the giant thing) if I got up in the middle of the night to go the bathroom—but I would just pray and go back to bed. The amount of small geckos in our house was gradually decreasing, along with appearances from the giant spiders.   It couldn’t be thaaaaaaaaat bad. (Of course, completely disregarding the fact that these ‘geckos’ are known to be vicious…but also having no idea what to do about it…)

That all changed today as the Tokay made an appearance in daylight.

We tried to capture the whole experience on video, but it’s mostly just shaking shots of the walls with Tracy, Geshem and I screaming as Caleb is forcing the Tokay out.

I write all this to say, I don’t live in America anymore and I’m a huge pansy when it comes to bugs and (apparently) lizards and I don’t know what in the world to do about it.

Lord help me.

the end.


I just went outside to turn on the well…because, apparently our ‘always running water’ wasn’t running…and was greeted by both a Tokay and a woodsman spider.  I thought it kind of humorous…in the ironic kind of way.



06/08/2013 · 04:15