Big Ol’ Catchup Post 2!

Hello all!

Continuing our catch-up! This post discusses a medical issue I’ve been dealing with, so if that’s not your thing, I’d maybe skip this one hah.

Anyway, July 21st for dinner we had a sun-dried tomato salmon with veggies and RightRice. We are definitely on a RightRice kick!

July 22nd I started the day by making Quinn some egg muffins. I always sneakily hand-blend greens into these muffins, which gives them the green color.

That day was Melissa’s bachelorette party!

In the evening, we went for a family walk on a gorgeous evening.

The morning of July 23rd we hosted a brunch with DJ’s Dad side of the fam!! We ordered First Watch.

I have to share about this sweet house warming gift! This is a Nora Fleming tray that comes with “minis” that you can swap out depending on the occasion. If you look closely you will see a house on this one! How cute is that? I think these platters would make an amazing gift for holidays too. You can continue to buy new minis depending on the occasion. They gifted us so many fun ones! It makes me want to host as much as possible just to use them 😄.

They also brought some celebratory champagne and orange juice along 🥂. It was wonderful spending that time together.

July 24th, I had to work, but we spent a lot of time in the yard after. It’s so calming spending the evenings outdoors.

July 25th we started the day with the ponies!

Sometimes when I’m food prepping or need to get something done, my mom will FaceTime Quinnie and read her books, sing to her, etc. They both love it! …Although often Quinn decides to pick up the iPad and take my mom on a tour of the house while my mom fights motion sickness 😅.

I grabbed these vegan pretzels at the store and they are so tasty!!

July 26th was such a great day! My friend Clair came over with her kids. We ate some pizza, did the slip n’ slide outside with them, and just played lots with the kids. They seemed to have a ton of fun! I made me and Clair some fun NA spritzers with this Sound sparkling water and added some fruit.

The water had a very subtle flavor, but was still fun to sip!


They had a BALL playing in the playhouse downstairs.

Love this pic ❤️.

That evening some severe storms rolled in. We have had a summer of storms! We FaceTimed Grammy during one of them and Quinn showed off her backwards hat 😄.

July 29th Pete came by!! He helped us with tons around the house like getting new fire alarms installed (my daily burnt toast didn’t set them off, so we knew it was time for new ones) and getting our TV hung up on the wall (such a project, and I’m so glad they know how to do this stuff!).

I deadheaded the daisies while the guys were hard at work, and in the afternoon we were ready for some grub! We ordered from Doodle Drive In, which has a huge and delicious menu- they have truly everything from falafel to matzo ball soup! I had some chili and cornbread which really hit the spot. I also ordered a side salad with falafel (the falafel was very average, but the chili and cornbread…. *chef’s kiss*).

Oh oh oh! And we shared some delicious cheese curds. (Though, Culver’s do still reign supreme!).

Quinn has really been on a food strike lately. It seems like she hardly eats anything some days, but we find if we allow her to eat standing or on my lap sometimes she’ll be more receptive. Here she is enjoying her meal with Grampy.

Quinn admiring her Dad and Grampy’s work while holding Mingo, her Flamingo 🦩 😊.

That evening I started feeling unwell overnight. I started having some knots in my stomach, but when I woke up I was doing ok. I felt well enough to go to a brunch Quinn and I had planned with my friend Kylie. We went to Creekside, one of my favorite brunch spots with awesome views of the river nearby!

I ordered bland food (eggs and toast) since my stomach had been a bit off, but overall everything settled ok. It was so fun to catch up with Kylie and Quinn enjoyed being out and about.

The evening of July 30th I made an easy dinner of chicken thighs in the air fryer with RightRice, broccoli and a side of Traverse City Cherry salads! I was so excited when I saw these salads in the store, and they were so good!

We’ve really been trying to be intentional about having family dinners. I so look forward to this time together.

After dinner, I get cleaned up while DJ usually takes Quinn outside to see the ponies and play outside.

July 31st I made some carrot oat breakfast cookies. We’ve been in a great groove of going on walks in the morning, and I like to have a “breakfast to go” on hand for Quinn. She tends to tolerate the stroller for much longer periods this way.

That evening I made burgers with Dr. Praeger’s Drive Through Patties. We love these.

My stomach was still off, but I kept trying to just ignore it. I figured it was some type of bug that was just hanging on. On August 1st, I took Quinn to Walmart and we stocked up on different items for her sensory table. This time we chose some moss/fake flowers, oatmeal and noodles. I bought little wood creatures and hid them in the oatmeal for her to find. Mostly everything just ends up on the floor 🤪.

That evening I made a slow cooker enchilada recipe. They were delicious, but I could barely touch them. My stomach seemed to be getting worse, not better. And my energy was zapped.

August 2nd, things took a turn for the worse. I was ok during the morning and nap time, but by that afternoon I was crying in the fetal position. I was in so much pain. I called DJ, he came home from work as soon as he could and took me to the ER. I suspected an ulcer based on my symptoms, but I knew other serious diagnoses needed ruled out.

7 hours later with entirely unremarkable labs and CT scan, the team agreed likely an ulcer. The next week or so was one of the worst of my life. I had little pockets that I felt ok, but it was difficult to get out of bed most days due to the pain. I had to call off all my work shifts and dropped off Quinn at daycare while I just battled the pain most of the day.

I struggled so much with guilt when I dropped off Quinn, but I literally could not function. Just getting her dressed and to daycare took all I had in me. I have never experienced anything like that. On days that I felt even a little bit ok, I picked her up and would do my best to play with her as much as I could. I missed her horribly.

One day I mustered the energy to make aquafaba and put some balls as a sensory activity to do outside. Quinn had zero interest. 🤪

I had enough energy over the weekend to make some turkey kale meatballs with some cauliflower rice cooked in ghee. I love the nutty flavor of ghee so much!

I felt like we needed to get Quinn out of the house on Sunday August 6th. I basically was bent over holding my stomach on the bench while there, but DJ made sure she had a great time. DJ took over pretty much everything for those couple of weeks, and I am so so grateful to him. A silver lining in it all is he and Quinn got tons of quality time together.

One of the oddest symptoms was the excruciating pain along with chills in the middle of the night when my stomach was empty (an empty stomach brought on the pain pretty intensely). I was getting up at 2 or 3 AM every night and eating a peanut butter sandwich and put on a heating pad just to keep the pain at bay. Desperate for relief one evening, I did what every good patient does and searched the Internet for further answers (this is said totally facetiously). I read cabbage juice can help with ulcers, so I overnighted a juicer and made it in bulk. It is gross, but not as gross as expected. I do about 8 oz a day. I also had my meds changed the next day by my PCP. Whether it was the med change, or cabbage juice, or both, I finally started turning the corner that next week. (Please do not use this as a medical endorsement of cabbage juice, I am only sharing my experience).

Gigi and Gordie stopped by that Sunday too. Gigi helped me make the cabbage juice and then they played with Quinn and hung out with DJ while I rested. Thankful they are so close!

I also have greatly reduced my intake of caffeine (which wasn’t that much to begin with) and coffee. It was SO tough to give up coffee initially, but I replaced it with a homemade matcha latte every morning. Now I actually look forward to my matcha. I will have a half cup of coffee when I get home from work sometimes just to get me through to bedtime (a 4 AM wake-up call pretty much leaves me no choice!). I also have reduced my chocolate intake greatly and am not eating spicy foods. Yeah, so basically cutting back on everything I love 😅.

August 7th I made some Quinoa Patties that Quinn loved! I need to make these again ASAP because the food strike is real over here lol.

During our Walmart trip the previous week, I had found this big bottle. We did a fun little activity of putting straws in and out of it. This actually occupied her for a while!

I also made some popsicles with berries, green yogurt, banana and avocado. She liked the first one I gave her but then has declined them ever since 🤷🏼‍♀️ .

August 8th I finally started to turn the corner!! I woke up with more energy than usual, found myself doing some chores around the house and actually went outside and jogged around a little! I was so relieved I actually teared up during my jog.

I was so worried at times that I was going to be dealing with that debilitating pain and exhaustion for an indefinite period of time. I rushed to get Quinn after getting the house back in order and prayed I really was turning the corner and this wasn’t a “fake out” like other times before.

I returned home to some gorgeous flowers from DJ for our anniversary ❤️. It was our golden anniversary! 8 years on the 8th!

I hope I didn’t sound like I was complaining through this, I just wanted to share this experience. It was one of the most humbling things I’ve ever been through and makes me grateful for any pain free, healthy day. In my career and in life, I have encountered individuals with debilitating stomach illnesses (and other chronic illnesses). I got a very small snippet into what that life is like, and I know it has increased my understanding and empathy greatly.

I’m feeling extremely grateful my symptoms have been under control since. I have an EGD (scope into the stomach) coming up in September. I have a personal and strong family history of acid reflux/ulcers, so they want to get a biopsy and “look around”.

Next up I’ll be recapping a truly unbelievably epic wedding weekend in Cleveland!!

Questions for you:

– What would be the hardest food for you to give up?

– Any Labor Day weekend plans?



10 thoughts on “Big Ol’ Catchup Post 2!

  1. What a wonderful blog to read today. I must say having ponies to look at over the fence of your own yard is amazing! The Nora Flemming tray with that adorable little house and different items you can purchase is such a fun idea. I am reading this right before dinner and am now starved and so hungry for everything you pictured here, especially your air fryer chicken looks so good. And the photo of Quinn, DJ and Moose looking at the ponies is precious! As always, love your blogs. Love, Gigi

  2. Hello Mackenzie- I’m always so happy when a new blog post shows up. Great photos and I am happy to see you are all settled in your lovely home. Quinnie is adorable! Don’t worry, I won’t be drinking cabbage juice anytime soon. So glad to hear you are feeling better. What food would I give up? Hmmm, I have a good repertoire of healthy foods I enjoy. Treats like popcorn or ice cream would be hard to give up. Looks like it will be a beautiful holiday weekend, so maybe one last time at the pool?
    Take care!

    1. Aw that really means so much! Haha I’m glad I won’t have to compete with you for cabbage at Giant Eagle 😝. Im with ya- I don’t think I could ever truly give up ice cream. Even when I couldn’t have dairy I still had the non dairy form! Thanks for reading 🙂 Will have to have you guys over soon to see the place!!

  3. Having the ponies almost in your backyard is so fun – it’s going to make for some fun pictures as Quinn gets older. She is already fascinated with them from your post pics today. Many years ago my father had an ulcer and I remember he drank coffee and had to switch to “Postum” which was not even like decaf coffee, very weak looking and he became a tea drinker. My mom made a lot of puddings and one thing I remember is he drank buttermilk – was supposed to help the ulcer. Ugh – not a fan. Mom and I both tried it and would not fight him for it. 🙂 I like coffee and would hate to give it up but I really only have two cups a day. Have a good holiday weekend Mackenzie.

    1. absolutely, she just ADORES them! It’s so sweet. I’ve never heard of Postum, but sounds like for good reason!! Ohhhh I couldn’t do buttermilk either. Your father sounds like he was a very compliant patient! I have been less so 😬. Sorry to hear he dealt with them too! Hope you have a great weekend , Linda!!!

      1. I see lots of future pics of Quinn and ponies. Next year when she’s bigger, she can be a cowgirl for Halloween … great photo op stop before going out trick-or-treating! I remember my mom making lots of puddings (rice, tapioca – all soothing going down). No buttermilk for me – ugh. We have a gorgeous weekend of weather … hope it is the same for you Mackenzie.

  4. I know I’ve said it before, but you are such a stellar mama! I love the crafts you make for Quinn.

    I believe all children will go through a lull in eating or a change in habits. The way you keep offering and showing up for Quinn will make a huge difference! Even if it feels frustrating at times. I love your creativity with meals.

    I know we’ve spoken, but I am again so so sorry for your stomach ailments! I truly hope you remain on the mend and receive answers from your EGD.

    I love all of Quinn’s outfits and big smiles! Seeing those horses is precious. Even though we are still renting, I do love the location and setting. There are cows in a pasture next to us, so we see them often on our evening walks. Ans loves to observe them munch away on grass.

    The hardest food to give up would be dairy, and the hardest beverage would be coffee.

    Tomorrow we’re visiting Matt’s family, Sunday we’re going to the lake house, and Monday I’m planning to take Ansley to a park.

    I hope you have a stellar Labor Day weekend!!

    1. Thank you so much, Kori ❤️. I’m having a *day* and reading your comment has helped so much. Your encouragement and kudos really means the world!

      That is so so sweet with Ans and the cows!!!

      Yes giving up coffee has been so hard- admittedly I haven’t totally given it up either, but a mom needs her coffee, as you know!!!

      Aww I LOVED those pics from your weekend! I’m glad you had a good one and hope you have another coming up here ☺️

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