Reflecting on 2015

2015 has been an eventful year, to say the least. It has been one of the most challenging, difficult, yet amazingly successful and rewarding years of my life. Re-adjusting to life with two toddlers, I worked myself into a comfortable routine. I found a way to balance my priorities. Between keeping up with my marriage,…


2015 has been an eventful year, to say the least. It has been one of the most challenging, difficult, yet amazingly successful and rewarding years of my life. Re-adjusting to life with two toddlers, I worked myself into a comfortable routine. I found a way to balance my priorities. Between keeping up with my marriage, my children, my health, my faith, my house, my finances, my family, homeschooling, and my blog…my plate was full. But I was managing. Until life decided to throw me a curveball. On Easter Day, the one year that we decided to do something different and go out for Indian food, I got food poisoning. To anyone with a normally functioning immune system, this wouldn’t mean anything more than a few days spent in bed (or in the bathroom). Unfortunately for me, it changed my life.

After successfully managing my Crohn’s Disease for three years, medication free, my body failed me. I tried and tried to get the disease under control, but the Paleo diet just wasn’t enough anymore. I ended up in the hospital for over a week, put on steroids, and released only to end up back in the emergency room shortly after the steroids were complete. Even following the strict diet, I could not get below 40mg of prednisone without the pain and bleeding coming back. I had to make the hardest decision of my life, to start a new medication.

Anybody who knows me, or reads any of my posts, knows that I DO NOT like medicine. I won’t go into how much I hate pharmaceuticals, and how messed up our government is, and that they are keeping us sick….. But for me to say I can’t do this on my own anymore, that what was working for me for 3 years now suddenly stopped working, that was a tough pill to swallow. I am now taking a medication with the knowledge that I could very possibly contract a more serious, or even deadly illness. But it’s the only thing keeping me out of the hospital, off of steroids, and away from surgery.

The hardest thing for me to accept is that I can no longer manage the full plate that I had mastered earlier in the year. No matter how hard I try, I can no longer wake up at 4:00 in the morning to study scripture, work on my blog, and fix breakfast before the kids are awake. I can no longer chase the kids around the yard, be a personal jungle gym, or dance around the room to “let it go” 10 times a day and make it to see 5pm.

So, my resolution for 2016 is to find a new balance. Though i may not be able to do things the way I would like to, I know with the help of the Lord, I can do anything. God has some awesome things in store for me. And I am not going to let this illness stop me from becoming who God has designed me to be, from fulfilling my purpose, and making this life amazing.

Aside from my medical rollercoaster ride, this year has been incredible. Lyla started homeschooling, and is learning and absorbing everything like a little sponge. Every morning she can’t wait to get started, and always asks for new subjects to learn about. She has become such a good big sister to little Lacie. The two of them are best friends. Lacie learned to crawl, walk, run, climb. She can blab your ears off in what I think must be Chinese. Perhaps Mandarin. She loves to do anything and everything her sister is doing. She is Lyla’s little shadow.

Joshua finally found his niche, which he has been praying and searching for for quite a while. He has so much talent, and his creations are so beautiful. He works hard all day long, and he comes home and works some more. When he could be relaxing, he takes the time to play with the girls, and create memories for them that they will cherish for a lifetime. Then he still finds the time to go out in the woods and bring us home some meat. And after putting on 30lbs of steroid weight, he still calls me beautiful. Not only does he say it, but with his loving eyes he looks past my acne covered moon-face and buffalo hump, and he just smiles as if he can’t see any of that, and I know he loves me. He has been by my side and taken such good care of me. He slept on a couch for a week, played card games, gave me a mani-pedi, and held my hair back while I threw up in the hospital.

I learned how to use the majority of Josh’s power tools and build wooden decor and furniture. We are selling some items at a local antique shop which helps us to cover extra expenses we have acquired this year. I also learned how to gut, skin, and butcher an entire deer by myself. We made some new friends at a local nursing home, who don’t have any family or friends to visit them. I am really looking forward to getting to know them all this coming year, and just being a light in their lives.

My blog is growing, and beginning to reach its full potential. I have had the opportunity to work with some awesome brands, and have some incredible partnerships lined up for 2016. Getting my recipes, and testimony, and encouragement out to the world means so much to me. My passion for cooking has continued to grow, and we are getting closer every day to the natural way of living we desire. I am so thankful for a husband who shares my dreams and passions. This time next year we will have our own chickens, a garden, and quite possibly a living room! Our little homestead here has been the most exciting and rewarding adventure, and I can’t wait to see what 2016 will bring us.

I have had a lot of engagement here this year, and I want to thank you all for every click, every like, every comment, every share. You help keep my website going. It has been a wonderful year, full of ups and downs, but always good eatin! As I prepare for the year ahead of me, I’d like to share my most popular posts of 2015.

10. Lyla’s Fourth Birthday Monster Mash!Monster's Inc Monster Mash Birthday Party

Lyla’s Monster’s Inc party was a huge hit! This post is full of fun monster party ideas, from decor, to party favors, to delicious monster party food.



Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Biscotti9. Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Biscotti

These sweet and crunchy cookies are perfect for dunking. It’s like a crouton for your coffee!



IMG_73488. No Churn Cake Batter Ice Cream

This gluten free birthday cake ice cream is my escape from adulting.




applepiecookiespin7. Gluten Free Apple Pie Cookies

Some of the best cookies I have ever made, these have all the flavors of apple pie right in your hand. Sandwich them together with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a heavenly treat.



chimichurri36. Chimichurri

This sauce is addicting, and completely versatile. You can put it on basically anything, but my favorite way to eat it is with a nice juicy steak.



jambalaya35. Creamy Jambalaya

Lots of bold exciting flavors in this dish. The heat is toned down to a pleasant and tolerable level for those like me who don’t want to set their palate on fire.



IMG_73574. Red Velvet Cake Batter Ice Cream

An adaptation of my Cake Batter Ice Cream, this one is every bit as delicious and even more indulgent. It’s no surprise this one was so popular.



IMG_85203. Paleo Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffin Tops

My most popular recipe of the year also happened to be my very favorite. These muffin tops are soft, moist, and loaded with pumpkin flavor and chocolate chips. And since they are paleo, and pumpkin is a vegetable, I have absolutely zero guilt eating these for breakfast.


Heather Hollandaise2. My Testimony

I was delightfully surprised to see that so many of you are taking the time to read about my health and where my journey has taken me. I always hesitate to write about what my body is going through, but I am blown away every time at the response I receive when I do. Thank you for every word of encouragement, and just for your interest in what’s going on in my life.

#1. How to Compose a Balanced Toddler Meal

coming in at number one is How to Compose a Balanced Toddler Meal!

I had a LOT of questions when I began to introduce solids to my little ones. I wanted to know exactly what and how much my kids should be getting every day, so I could plan my meals accordingly. It worked great for me, so I decided to compile my research and make a resource for other moms, all in one place and easy to understand. You can also read about my favorite tableware for my girls, and why I love Re-Play!
how to compose a balanced toddler meal


Thank you again for all of the support you have given me in 2015. I look forward to getting to know you all better this coming year. I pray you all have a fantastic 2016!

Similar Posts