Well, look at that.  It’s already Tuesday. (12 hours later…) Strike that.  Almost Wednesday.  Once again it’s been days since my last post.  Perhaps you’re glad I’m slowing down.  I’m certainly feeling less self-imposed pressure to post daily, so that’s been nice.  Unfortunately, I just don’t feel very smart lately.  Not much on the brain other than the mundane, and I’m not so vain as to think you want a full-length blog post on the intricacies of learning to needle-point or knitting in the round.  So once again I’m going to pull a “cheater” post and tell you a bunch of things that may or may not have anything to do with each other.

Paleo Be Gone

Today is the last day of my 21-day Paleo challenge.  No sugar, no grains, no dairy, no alcohol, no processed foods.  The only areas I cheated were 2 glasses of wine and a handful of dairy in other foods.

My thoughts:

Physically I’m pretty disappointed with the results.  I didn’t lose any weight or inches that I can tell, and this is the single strictest diet I’ve been on.  The last time I tried Paleo even close to this caliber I had astounding results.  I was also exercising more regularly, but I’m still surprised by how the diet alone has done nothing.  I have some concerns about the Paleo model since my initial successes with it have been followed by several failures.  Maybe I’ll go into that sometime, but not today.

The single most eye-opening part of the diet was watching myself crash off my sugar addiction.  There were moments when I truly did not recognize myself and saw an addict in my place.  Eery.  I’m going to have to consider this in light of an interesting post I read on Modern Mrs. Darcy about a moderater versus and abstainer’s personality.  I definitely fall into the abstainer realm.

The spiritual results are quite different.  I was getting down on myself last week (a lot of negative self-talk, as my counselor-husband would put it) when I realized that the spiritual fruits of this diet were plentiful.  There were countless instances this month when I had to draw my hand back from mindlessly eating the kids leftovers or grabbing food just because it was there.  I’ve talked a whole bunch on this blog about how I’m an easily-distracted person and it clearly translates to my eating habits.   I hope this new mindfulness continues after the diet is over.

I had 2 Challenge buddies for this one and both of them lost weight and continue to love the Paleo diet with no plans to stop, so my results are not universal, and may not even be typical.  I’m interested in hearing from all of you: Have you tried Paleo?  If so, what are your thoughts?

Zeke interlude:
Me: Oy.  My eyes are bothering me so much right now.
Zeke:  Mommy, why you tic-tacs hurting?


Next Steps

My next plans for the eating during Advent are simple, clean eating.  I will probably continue to skip sugar as much as I possibly can until Christmas comes around.  I know a lot of you are probably shaking your head and saying “well, DUH!” right now. I don’t really blame you.  But be patient with me, okay?  On a certain level, Paleo makes total sense to me.  My body and my emotions just don’t agree with my brain, though, so… what’s the point?

Gabe interlude:
Me: (waiting  a looooooong time for Gabe to finish using the park bathroom.) Okay, buddy.  It’s time to get down and wipe.
Gabe: NO!  Mommy, let me tell you how many more minutes I need: (pause) a few minutes.

Not Food Related

The first year we were in Korea, the kids had a babysitter named Ariel.  She was a high school senior and our kids absolutely adored her.  We lost touch when she graduated and moved away a year and a half ago, but we’re still friends with her aunt and uncle.  A few days ago we learned that Ariel had been involved in a horrific car crash.  She sustained 2 breaks to her spine (t1 and t3? Maybe my soon-to-be licensed chiropractor brother can weigh in on what those might affect.) and suffered traumatic brain injury.  From my understanding, her status was touch-and-go for awhile.  By some miracle, she was not paralyzed and has since regained consciousness.  She is healing well, and I want to take a moment to thank everyone who responded my my prayer requests on Facebook.

According to people who understand the accident, she is alive now because she was wearing her seat belt.  Well, that and an off-duty sheriff deputy saw the accident and pulled her free from the car.

Here she is!

Zeke Interlude #2:
Zeke: (sliding on his belly on the tile floor)  Lalala!  I’m sliiiiiiiiiiiiiding! Sliding all the way to Hong Kong and China!  And Sac-a-da-mento!  (Thank you, Geography Songs!)

Since I’m Already Revealed to be a No-Holds-Barred Papist…

I got this message tonight:

I just wanted to say congrats to you and your fellow Catholics for picking such an awesome pope! (I know you and/or your friends didn’t pick him, but awesomeness abounds anyways!) He keeps on proving day in and day out that he is an amazingly good man. I hope a good amount of people stop and listen to the wise words he speaks.

[…]I may be an atheist (with an occasional bent towards agnostic), but when I hear the words and see the acts of this man, I have so much more hope for humanity. Pope Francis is paradigmatic of all the best aspects of all religions.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

If you knew this woman like I do, you heart would be as gladdened as mine is by the way Pope Francis continues to bring people together.  I know she’s not offering to convert or anything, but I’m just so grateful for this pope.  So so grateful that he sets the bar high for the rest of us Catholics to live up to.


Aliya Interlude:
Aliya: (referring to the Egyptian collars she and Gianna made during their latest history lesson) I guess you could say that Gianna and I have very different styles.  😀


Speaking of Instagram

I have a new Instagram account:  micaela_darr.  If you’d like to follow me, I’d love to have you and follow you back!  Unless you’re a weirdo, and then don’t bother cause no-can-do.  Ain’t nobody got time for dat.

Gianna Interlude:
After reading (and laughing at) these U.S. states maps filled out by a bunch of different Brits:
Me: Can you name the states on the east coast?
Gianna: Sure.  (Singing and pointing to each state) Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine!  (Thanks again, Geography Songs!)

Calling All Catholic Bloggers

Actually, anyone who celebrates Advent is welcome!  A very special edition of 3 Reasons begins Friday.  If you’d like to join me, I’d love to hear about your 3 favorite aspects of Advent.  The link-up will be live on Friday November 29th and remain open until December 24th.


3 Reasons Advent


Finally… The Best Conversation I’ve had all month

Gabe convo

If you’re on Facebook, Click on over to Like the California to Korea Facebook page.

I’m linking up with Rosie at A Blog for My Mom.  Only click that link if you like reading funny things kids say.

I’ll be back Thursday for a very brief Theme Thursday post, and then Friday for 3 Reasons.  I hope to see you all there.  🙂


  1. This pope really is a very special man–quite obviously anointed. So many people of so many ways of life are appreciating his message. What joy!

  2. We love Geography songs as well..my kids totally know those due to the Geography songs.

    I saw that Brit Geography thing and I was actually pretty impressed at how well they did. I mean, I couldn’t correctly lable a single town or city or province or whatever they even have in Britain.

    I love our Pope…he really is a special man and is just what this world needs right now.

    Interesting about the Paleo diet. Sorry you didn’t lose any weight though. I think you might be about my age, and while restrictive diets helped me lose weight when I was younger, they don’t work anymore now that I’m in my 30’s. I think previous diets messed up my metabolism. Now, I’ll lose weight *very slowly* if I eat just the right amount of food (not too much and not too little) and lots and lots of veggetables. I tend to be an abstainer as well…although lately I’ve been working really hard to be a moderator and I think I’m getting better at all. Super restrictrive diets or strict abstaining is not good for my mental health, really.
    Amelia @ One Catholic Mama recently posted…A Lonely Thanksgiving with RecipesMy Profile

  3. Ah, Paleo…I’ve been thinking the same thing as Amelia. I did a Paleo diet for a year and a half right about the time I turned 30, and it was amazing. I lost all baby weight, improved in all areas of my life, and needed significantly less sleep. I also exercised, but not any more than I do now. Five years later (a few months ago), I tried just Perfect Health Diet, immediately lost 3 pounds, and then had not one single result after that. I felt no different except for the initial excitement about doing something healthy. In fact, I ended up getting really stressed out because the diet was breaking our budget. I know Perfect Health isn’t quite Paleo, but it gets rid of the major offenders. Anyway, I was disappointed! But also relieved to go back to just regular eating.
    Catherine recently posted…7QT about Iphones, temperaments and dumb thievesMy Profile

  4. Oooof I can’t even imagine any sort of restrictive diet… Some day when I’m not pregnant or nursing we’re totally going vegan for Lent (I can ONLY do those sorts of things as a religious sacrifice…), but now is not a time when that would work for me!

    I love love love all the interspersed quotes 🙂 It took me a while to get the tic-tacs one – that’s what happens when I read this for the first time at 4 AM 😛
    Rosie recently posted…What They Said, Vol. 2My Profile

  5. I’m with Rosie. I can only do restrictive eating as a religious sacrifice. Lent is really the only time, besides doctor’s orders (for gluten/dairy sensitivity and for potential gestational diabetes) that I’ve ever been able to keep a restricted diet. I am most definitely a moderator! If I can look forward to that little bit of whatever daily or weekly or whatever, I can get through the rest of the cravings.

    I was/am totally bewildered by your resolve during this diet. What discipline! Now have an awesome time NOT abstaining tomorrow. 😉

  6. I’ve tried paleo and various versions of atkins, low carb, etc., over the years and I just cannot stick with them any longer than a few weeks. I’m hungry on these diets ALL.THE.TIME. And I never lose more than 5 pounds total. I’ve discovered that my body needs carbs and not just the veggie kind. I need grains, potatoes and rice to function at my best. I just need to watch my intake of sweets and junk food to feel my best.