I have become drawn in by this fun, free app. I think it is the culprit behind my long absence from blogging. It fills a void that blogging usually satisfies by capturing moments and documenting a visual journal of sorts...but in an instantaneous, effortless way. This was too enticing to resist during the holidays especially. 

Just in case life gets crazy again, my blogging slacks off, and you'd like to stay updated on our daily happenings (which are fascinating, I'm sure), my Instagram username is rachelashmore. My account is private to those who I have not approved to be my followers, but that is to keep away creepos from knowing where I am and what I'm doing at any given moment. Just find my profile and request to follow my account. As long as you're not a creepo...it's cool.

I planned to include a little update on how my sugar-less diet is going. But as I typed, it became clear I need to save it for its own post. There was too much to say. Until then, suffice it to say,  I am still avoiding the stuff, I feel great, and I have learned more about the reasons behind my issues which in turn has shown me another favorite food that should also, sadly enough, be cut out of my diet.

A recent difficult experience taught me some interesting aspects of prayer. First of all, if I don't tell anyone that I need help, I am actually hindering God's ability to answer my prayers for strength or comfort or whatever. Isn't it through other people that God usually answers our prayers? Being a private, independent person in general, I think this was an important lesson for me to learn.

It was only hours after I was forced to tell coworkers, neighbors, or church members about what we were going through that I was keenly aware not only of my sudden increased strength but of the fact that it was a result of prayers on my behalf. This knowledge came clearly and distinctly, and glowed brightly in my heart making me--to my great annoyance--emotional for days. I suddenly had a different perspective on how faith and prayers can be applied to help others--and myself--in a very real way. Prayer is powerful. It works. And our Father in Heaven wants us to use it to serve and help our brothers and sisters.

Has anyone else out there discovered the magic of these babies? I'm obsessed. They are amazing, and it boggles my mind that more people/medical professionals aren't aware of all they are capable of. Andrew and I use them daily for ailments such as infections, headaches, warts, sore throats, restless leg syndrome, insomnia, snoring (you better believe that's Andrew...not me), congestion, digestive issues, acne, allergies, mood swings, or pain of any kind.

Anytime someone around me complains of an ailment, I can immediately come up with in my mind, an oil that would help. But the few times I've actually opened my mouth to share the idea, I only come across as a silly-naturalist-hippie-nut. I'm sharing on the blog, because I can't see your frozen phony smiles and skeptical expressions from here. Expect more to come in the future. You've been warned.

After an absence of several months, our kitty sauntered into the house like no big deal. He hung around long enough to get scratched behind the ears and show off his doubled-in-size mid section before slinking out the back door not to be seen again. It seems CC has abandoned us for a new family. This arrangement seems to suit us all just fine. And at least I can take comfort in the knowledge that he's getting fed reeeally well.

So we've all heard about the bad luck to follow a black cat crossing our path, right? But does it mean anything special if a WHITE cat crosses your path? How about an entire herd of white cats?

Well actually a group of cats isn't called a herd. It's a clowder. I looked it up just now because herd sounded weird.

Driving down the highway to work, I suddenly had to brake hard for a clowder of kitties. A mom and six kittens. All pure white and running to an empty field across the street. The last little kitten was a feisty one. Stopping in the middle of the road, it stood fiercely facing me in the cutest, little battle stance I've ever seen. After all if its siblings were safely across it disappeared behind them into the long grasses.

There you have it. My pointless story...except to inform you that it's going to be an awesome-filled, lucky year. It's all very logical. White is an antonyms for black. Black is unlucky. So obviously, I'm going to have the opposite of horrible misfortune. Bring on 2013!

Each year, my family plays a Turkey Day football game. I participate to feel involved...however, I use the word "participate" very loosely. Participating for me usually entails running back and forth pointlessly and receiving maybe three pitty passes. I still have fun though. My sister on the other hand, has rebelled against the tradition entirely, and refuses to play. She prefers not to be pitied.

This year, my cousin got a helmet camera for the quarter back to wear, which allowed for some sweet playback footage. When the video was posted on social media, I anxiously pulled it up. At the end, I sat in shame at one awful, glaringly obvious fact: 

I am very, very, very sissy. 

Not having really considered myself to be a cream puff before, all that twinkle-toed running and hand flapping was hard to watch. Maybe my sister's onto something.

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