Two year with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Last fall, I wrote about my first year with this awesome terrible disease.  Year two has improved some, but not in ways I anticipated.

I had really hoped to find a medicine that would actually work for me. I was really looking forward to taking two pills… okay probably 6-9 pills to make me better.

Instead I found something much more glorious.


A probiotic that seems to do the trick for me.

That’s right. Bacteria. Lots of it.

Each capsule is 112.5 billion live active cultures.  I currently take four each morning.  Yeah, I put 450 billion live active cultures inside of me everyday.

And you know what?

I feel fantastic.

I’m not yet at a 100%. Probably more like 90% or so.  Most of my awful symptoms have diminished or most disappeared.  I do get some side affects from the probiotics — mostly just gas.

The important thing to note with probiotics is that I am flooding my body with beneficial bacteria.  That does require some control in how quickly the bacteria is introduced.  I started with 1 cap every three days, then every other, then everyday, then two a day, then three, and now finally four.  It took me nearly four months to work up to this amount.

For now, I’m holding to see if I improve more or need to step up the capsules.

And now I can drink coffee again, albeit very weak..  And I’ve taken to oatmeal again.  And it is delicious.

I am so happy to be on this path and hope I can stay here a while.

That’s the annual update (as if you don’t get monthly reports anyway).

Thanks to every single person who has taken care of me, given me your support, and sent me good vibes — it has so helped.

Throwing down the gauntlet!

Dear everyone:

I am throwing down the gauntlet.  I hereby issue a challenge to any and all willing to accept it.  I challenge you to use words such as talented, smart, clever, brilliant, and so on instead of pretty, hot, gorgeous, and what not when describing women and girls (word to the wise… you should just not describe girls unless you are related to them).

Of course women can be both. Usually women hear how lovely and pretty they are instead of how brilliant and smart they are.  And yes, women can be both lovely, pretty, smart, and brilliant.

But when we emphasize looks over smarts, it gets super complicated very fast.  We don’t need that nonsense.

So I challenge you to start looking for the brains-based compliments instead of beauty.



Help! I’ve become my parents!!

TARDIS coin box

At some point along the way, I became my parents.  It’s like they weirdly took the geekiest parts of them, mashed them all up, and made me!  Well yes they did make me.  I understand the birds and the bees.

Let me give a proper explanation.

I was walking through the craft store, a favorite of my mother’s, when I saw this free pattern to make little robot coin boxes.  I thought it was cute and clever.  And then I realized that the TARDIS (Doctor Who) is a cute, clever little box.  Why not turn this robot coin box into a TARDIS?

So I did.

I did exactly what my mother does. She sees something sort of interesting, tweaks it to her tastes, and then makes it.

Meanwhile, I just have to pick one my father’s favorite shows to turn into a crafty little creation.

Help me. I’ve… given up… I am my parents daughter.

The Silverware Anniversary

Chris and I celebrate five years of wedded bliss… apart.  Okay, before you go crazy, we aren’t legally separated or anything crazy.  Instead, we are just geographically separated as my dear husband took an internship that keeps him away from home during the week.  I couldn’t be more proud of my husband.  He is getting all educated and making sure that we can work towards an even more awesome next five years of togetherness.

According to wikipedia, this year is known as the silverware anniversary.  I can remember Chris’s grandma asking us to make sure there was a silverware set on our wedding registry because that was her traditional gift for newly-weds.  Sure enough, we got the silverware we asked for from Grandma VW.  So perhaps we’re okay on silverware for now.

Also according to wikipedia, the traditional gift for 5 years of wedded bliss is wood.  And oddly enough, I keep telling Chris that I want a house with a wood-working shop in whatever house we buy.  I don’t know why.  It isn’t like either of know how to do things with wood.  But I would love to learn how to craft my own bookshelves or something awesome like that.

To my husband, thank you for making me a better person.  You know just the right thing to make me feel better whether it was a rough day at the office to a rough colon day or even just making it a perfect day.   I can’t wait to  see what the next five years have in store for us.  I love you.

Visit to Kansas City: or, how KC Legoland disappointed me

Chris and I decided to take a little vacation in Kansas City over the Fourth weekend.  It was a nice mini trip just the two of us since Chris had been away all summer for an internship. And it was super easy drive… straight down I-35. The only bummer about the drive is that the interstate is under construction the nearly entire way.

Once there, we got to our hotel in the county club plaza district, which is an area with lots of shops and restaurants. After we checked in, we wandered around the place area, getting a bit of sun and working up an appetite.  So we stopped at Seasons52. If I could eat there everyday and not go broke, I totally would!

Seasons 52 does a different menu each season with different specials each week. Thus it’s name. All the offerings are under 475 calories. Yeah, the plates aren’t huge, but you don’t need it huge as you want to save room for the decadent mini desserts. We had a pecan cream and cheese cake to split. It was heavenly and just the right amount of sweet.

And the cocktails were amazing… I had a superfruit martini with pomegranate, blueberry, acai, and vodka. It was so delicious that I wanted to have more! Darn one martini limit (a compromise rule with my husband as I get too rowdy after one).

The next day we attempted to visit Legoland. We waited in line an hour to purchase tickets. Prior to getting in line, we asked one of the employees which line we were supposed to be in as their queues were set up very confusingly. They pointed us in the right direction. It wasn’t until we got to the front of the line that we were told that we must have a child with us to get in.


It wasn’t posted any where. Not online, not in the line, not on the door. No communication about Legoland requiring kids in tow.

Most of you know I’m a huge fan of Legos. I love building the sets and occasionally venturing out and making an original creation. Of course this devastated me. Not so much that I’ll stop collecting… but it really made me disappointed that Lego or whoever runs these Lands would take a position that adults aren’t fans or should only attend on specific days and times.

It ended up okay as Chris and I found the national world war 1 memorial which is equally gorgeous and haunting.  The museum has amazing artifacts, well versed docents, and brilliant audiovisual displays. I highly recommend going to the monument and museum.

Ottumwa Balloon Races

Happy Fourth!  I’m still playing long-over due catch up.  Don’t worry… tomorrow’s post will likely be about my Fourth of July mini-vacation to Kansas City.

My all time favorite pastime is the Ottumwa Pro Balloon Races.  I remember getting up early and watching them passed over the town.  My mom was really good at pointing them out.  Then later that evening we’d head to the park where they would do Night Glow — that is all the balloons would land in an open field and light up.  Such an amazing sight.

While we didn’t get up at the crack of dawn, we did head down to the Balloon Races after we sobered up from our adventure at the Iowa Craft Beer Fest.  We watched the last race for the evening and then moved closer to the field so we could watch Night Glow.  It ended up a bit too windy for a successful Night Glow.  You can see the balloons dance in the wind in my sorta stop-animation video below.

Iowa Craft Brew Fest





I’m really behind in writing about this.  I won’t apologize, but I will promise to write more.

Chris and I attended the June 22 Iowa Craft Brew Fest.  I was pumped for this partially because it was a just-the-two-of-us date.  Spending another summer apart isn’t ideal, so it really gives us an opportunity to date again.

We arrived about 40 minutes early and stood in line with the rest of the VIPs.  I wish I would have taken pictures of the pretzel necklaces, but I didn’t want to offend my fellow VIPers.

VIP. Yep.


Yes, the bracelets are highly fashionable.

It was located on the Locust Street Bridge in downtown Des Moines.  It was a warm and sunny day — perfect beer drinking weather.  We couldn’t ask for a better day.

Once the gates opened, we picked up our glasses and our guidebooks.  We weren’t prepared for this part — you literally get to walk up to any stand and get a quarter to half glass of beer. You see, the only other beer fest we attended was the Northern Virginia beer fest in probably 2011.  There your admission got you a sampling glass and 4 tickets to samples.  Anything after that, you purchased any additional beers you’d like.

So this freely sampling thing was really not what we expected and therefore caused us some (good to have) problems. First, we didn’t pace ourselves.

Man shaking his groove thing and his murse


No, not like Mr. Dancey-Pantses seen above (he had a murse! or his girlfriend’s purse).

Second, the warm and sunny day led us to realize half way through  that we were pretty intoxicated.  Luckily I was filling in our guidebook, so I do have a record of what we tried and liked.  So we wandered into downtown Des Moines and had a tasty lunch at the Court Ave Brewing Company.

I loved the event and cannot wait to go again next year.  And this time, we will so be prepared — perhaps with snacks this!  If you love beer, this is a must add to your dance card.

Beers we tried

  • 515 Brewing Company — Belgian Paradise and Lil Tart
  • Abita Brewing Co — Lemon Wheat and Strawberry
  • Albia Brewing Co — Coal Miner and Avery Pale Ale
  • Boulevard Brewing Co — Tank 7 and Unfiltered Wheat
  • Chefs in Black Brewery — Orange Scorpion Chile Beer (so spicy!)
  • Empyrean Brewing Co — Watchman IPA (Who watches… drinks the watchman?)
  • Exile Brewing Co — Hannah and Ruthie
  • Peacetree Brewing Co — Sidekick Kolsch (They make it in a can! New summer fave!)
  • Raccoon River Brewing Co — Vanilla Cream Ale ( So dangerously good. Good cream soda flavor, can’t tell it’s beer).
  • Sam Adams — Summer (Chris’s favorite)
  • Tenth and Blake Brewing Co — Batch 19 and Third Shift
  • Third Base Brewing Company — Beggar Jon’s and Czech Your Head
  • Toppling Goliath Brewing Company — Dorothy’s
  • Van Houzen Brewing Co — Sacrifish

Dutch beer! New lovely glassware