Winter style

This winter weather’s got me like – meh – so how do you keep up your winter style when the weather’s got you down? I mean really? So much gray lately! We did the photo shoot for this outfit over a week ago. The weather was colder and windier, but sunny. I must say, it is so much easier to function when the sun is shining, even if it’s colder out. I was trying to get myself to get this post out for the past two days and just can’t even do it. No motivation whatsoever when the skies are gray and my back is aching.

Today, however, was less gray in the morning and my back is finally settling down and feeling better after my last chiropractic visit. Most of the problems with my car insurance are taken care of for last month, just trying to figure out what needs to be done for the current month, and also figure out what is covered this month until I get in for an Independent Medical Exam set up by the car insurance company to see if they think I still need to keep going to a chiropractor.

On those awful gray days, it’s hard to get motivated to wear anything but sweatshirts and sweatpants. Then bundle up in a big old warm shapeless coat and walk out the door. Right? Why look cute when the day looks drab and gray? It’s hard. I managed to put jeans on today, but I am wearing a big old sweatshirt to keep warm. And am trying to resist the urge to jump back in bed under my nice warm down comforter and take a long winter’s nap. Like for the rest of winter. Bears have the right idea, I say! Just hibernate the winter away. I wish I could…

On to winter style though! I have some fun new earrings and rose gold tassel necklace I got for Christmas + a fun winter outfit with a nice warm sweater dress and leggings and knee high boots. It’s all about layering to keep you warm. On sunny days in the winter – we look cute. Gray days, zero s*%#’s given…

 

White sweater dress + snowflake leggings, leather coat and knee high black boots

 

Sweater dress, rose gold tassel necklace, fringe earrings, patterned leggings + knee high black boots

 

White sweater dress, patterned leggings + black coat and boots

 

Fun winter style

 

Winter style

 

White sweater dress + patterned leggings, black jacket, knee high boots, tassel necklace and fringe earrings

 

*This post contains affiliate links. If you click through on them, I may receive a small drop of money, at no extra cost to you. Enough to keep one light burning. Thank you in advance for keeping a light on in my home.

 

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~ All photos were taken by Calvin Hodgson.  You can find his work on Flickr and on his blog.

I will not be afraid

As 2017 is closing, I found myself feeling very afraid for the new year. I had just found out last week that the sky was not, in fact, the limit when it came to how much the car insurance would be paying of my medical bills. Apparently there is a PIP (Personal Injury Protection) limit with your insurance company. So I had to call up my insurance adjuster and get a good idea where we were at with that. Sounded like we had enough left. He wasn’t worried. However, the next day, I found out that the PT office stopped billing my insurance two months ago. I’m guessing because five bills were not paid that were submitted, but I had already talked to the insurance adjuster the week before about that. All he needed was some chart notes to process those. He was going to call and let them know.

 

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God.

 

They, on the other hand, decided I was past my PIP limit. And instead of finding out what my insurance was or if I needed to switch to another physical therapists office because they don’t take my insurance, they chose to do nothing. They didn’t alert the people in the office who work with me every time I go in, they didn’t call me and ask me what my next step would be, they didn’t call the insurance adjuster and see what the problem was. Nothing. So, now, two months worth of bills have not been processed and that amount that is left of my PIP is now looking like it may not be enough. And my little butt is still not healed, to make it worse. Technically, it’s my SI joint causing the pain, but when it starts acting up, it feels like it’s my butt that is hurting. (This area is the small triangular joint between the sacrum and the ilium bones of the pelvis. Or the sacroiliac joint.)

 

I have called you by name and you are mine.

 

 

So I was feeling afraid. Afraid there’s not enough left in the ‘pot’ to cover the expenses left. And angry. Angry that the people in the billing office didn’t care enough to see the red flags and check to see what the next plan of action was. Which would have alerted me sooner that the car insurance will not be covering the bills until I am all better, but I need to switch over to my health insurance. I also found out that the chiropractors office, while taking my insurance, doesn’t take my plan. So I am switching to a plan they do take so I can continue seeing them in the new year – but is it in time to shuffle the last few weeks of bills over to getting paid by my health insurance rather than the car insurance so they physical therapists office can hurry up and get their bills in and paid before the last piece of the pie is gone, so to speak? I don’t know.

 

In God I Trust; I shall not be afraid.

 

But, after a couple of days of being afraid I’d end up in debt in the new year, and with my SI joint pain still not fixed. I decided I was not going to start the new year afraid. I felt very strongly about it. And to back up my feeling that God does not want me walking into a new year in fear, at church the other day, the guest pastor was ending his sermon asking people to take a moment to think about what their fears are for the new year. I have 3 big ones. That I won’t get healed from this SI joint pain, that the rest of the money left from the PIP won’t be enough to cover my expenses for the last two months, and my mom’s cancer. The pastor reiterated what I was already feeling. God does not want us to be afraid. Let go and let God. (That’s harder than it sounds, most times.)

 

For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear.

 

I haven’t talked about my mom’s cancer for a while, but it’s still on the table. And at my mom’s last cat scan, they saw two tiny spots – about the size of the end of a pencil eraser that had doubled since the last cat scan. Small, but growing. Not good. She is still on a trial program with OHSU. We still don’t know for sure if she’s on a placebo or the trial drug, but something is beating back the cancer so we assume she’s on the trial drug. We’ve been told that ultimately, even this new drug can’t beat her type of cancer, just buy her time. We know all this. We also know that somehow, out of all the people on this same trial program right now, her doctor said she was doing the best.

 

Peace I leave you

 

 

If I look back to last year, I remember starting the year feeling like the word ‘grace’ was my word for the year. I felt it was my word for my mother and her cancer. I posted this article ‘What’s grace got to do with it?’ Now, a year later, I’m going to answer that question. Last October, my mom was given 14 -16 months to live. Maybe a year and a half to two years at most because she was in good health when the cancer hit. It has been over 14 months since that diagnosis and my mom is still here. No, we don’t know what the future holds for her because this disease called cancer is a nasty one. But what we do know looking back at this past year is that all along the way God placed her in the right places and the right times with the right doctors to get her on this trial program with OHSU that is currently saving her life. So, what’s grace got to do with it, indeed? In this case, everything!

 

Grace changes everything.

 

So if I am feeling very strongly that I am not supposed to start this new year in fear, then I proclaim right now: I Will Not Be Afraid! No, that’s not a ‘word’ for the year. Nor is it a resolution. It’s a statement. There is no rule saying you have to make resolutions or pick one word to define your year. Do what feels right for you. Making this feels right for me. I may even need reminded of that if bad stuff starts happening later this year. But for today, January 1st, 2018, I will not be afraid.

 

Start being excited about what could go right.

 

Looking back at the past year, I am thankful that my mom is still here, by the grace of God. I hope that you will continue to lift her up in prayer as we journey through another year with her cancer. If you feel like throwing in any prayers for me and my journey of healing or that God will somehow do the loaves and fishes trick with my PIP insurance to cover all the remaining bills, I’ll take those prayers as well.

 

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

 

Happy New Year to all! And remember, each day is a new day. His mercies are new every morning, not just every year.