And the Sweetheart Award Goes To…

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 11.01.29 PMSome days I certainly get caught up in the frustrations stemming from a lack of celiac (and allergy) awareness. I always cringe when any form of media suggests going gluten free without even mentioning celiac disease (nor the importance of being tested). However, yesterday, was not one of those days.

In fact, I often forget just how much those who love and care for me do to help me out. While both celiac and allergies have become second nature to me, there is a huge learning curve for my family and friends. And, once they learn, I’m still a pain in the butt!

This year’s Easter celebrations nearly melted my heart. I hope you enjoy these two Easter stories, and remember to thank those who make an extra effort to help you out too.

A Sweet Surprise

Today, there was a potluck at my aunt and uncle’s house for Easter. Potluck?! Upon hearing these words, I dashed to my computer and offered to bring the fruit salad. It’s simple, and something I can eat too. I’m so careful about cross contact/contamination that I wouldn’t eat anyone else’s food (including a fruit salad).  Plus, it was one less item to fit in my lunchbox.

Upon arriving at the potluck, my sister gave my aunt the fruit salad while I placed my lunchbox down in a corner of the room. I then promptly began to tell my Uncle Jerry that I had passed my TTG test for the first time yesterday! I included all the boring details, and he seemed excited (or at least pretended to be). Next, I showed almost anyone who would look a picture of my Easter cupcakes that I blogged about two weeks ago. Remember this:

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They were all so sweet. I learned that the smaller flowers also look like a sand dollar, so some of these decorations will work for a beachside cupcake this summer. 🙂

That alone sounds like a fantastic Easter gathering, but my aunt (who hosted) wanted me to feel included throughout the entire day. She took the time to read through my blog, and found two food items that I enjoy: Mango Tango Odwallas and Enjoy Life Rice Milk Crunch Bars. I found my blog post about these products, and that took a little bit of in depth reading!

Since she could give me these foods wrapped, she knew I wouldn’t have a million questions. While everyone walked around with their beverages of choice, I must admit I felt a little bit special with my own special (and favorite) drink.

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Then, toward the end of the potluck, when everyone received a chocolate bunny lollipop, I had my own wrapped gift. It was even on top!

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Today, my aunt went above and beyond with great care. She even knew that I needed the first helping of fruit salad. Her generosity and spirit might have just made my heart grow three sizes, and truly made my Easter special.

Easter Basket Love

I’m quite a handful of a child.  Even though I wasn’t diagnosed with Celiac Disease until I was technically  an adult, my family was still a huge support system. And, I didn’t try to be a simple case. While dairy and egg are common allergens, avoiding my more unique allergies (such as tapioca) in gluten free products is like going out on a wild goose chase.

Since I celebrate Easter with both my parents separately, I technically sent them out on two wild goose chases. And I must say, my easter baskets looked much like my younger sister’s that was filled with gluten, dairy, and more. My biggest surprise was my own EASTER BUNNY made by Premium Chocolatiers that had different shades of dairy free chocolate 🙂 (You should check them out. I’ll probably blog about them again.)

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My parents came up with some other great ideas too!

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Simply wrapping some favorites makes them festive!
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I can eat mainstream products (if you know which ones)!
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So Many Forms of a Classic (Love the Carrot!)
Avoiding Food Does the Trick too!
Avoiding Food Does the Trick too!

I’ve really got to say there is no one sweetheart award because so many people in my life truly care about learning more and including me in food related events! These special moments and people are the ones I need to recall when I’m frustrated by insensitive comments or a lack of awareness.

While not mentioned above, I would be remiss not to mention my my friend, Trisha, and my sister who helped me through my first month as a celiac.  Trisha bought me gluten free foods and picked up my medicines when I was sick.  Since this was before I knew which brands I could eat, she had a ton of labels to read! At the same time, my sister flew across the country to set up a gluten free kitchen in my dorm room because I was still too weak to go shopping upon returning to school.

I hope you enjoyed a beautiful Easter, and Happy Patriots’ Day!

10 thoughts on “And the Sweetheart Award Goes To…

  1. Kaila, I’m so happy you were able to join us this year, after being in Colorado the past 4yrs! You have been doing a great job managing your allergies and celiac disease. I think your blog is a fabulous way to help others learn about Celiac disease. Also, sharing your research and recipes enables others with Celiac and their families to benefit from your experience! Keep up the good work! Glad you liked your treats!
    Ps, the fruit salad was delicious!
    Love, Aunt Peg

    1. Thanks Aunt Peg! I had such a lovely time at Easter that I can’t believe I missed it the last four years. It’s certainly been nice being home, and thank you so much for everything again. xoxo

  2. I love this! I have a huge sweet tooth, and it was so important fir me to feel normal to be able to eat my favorite desserts! Love how supportive your family is!

    1. Laura, they are the best! And, I have a huge sweet tooth too! Although, it might take me awhile to get through all the Easter candy. Thanks for reading! 🙂

  3. This brought a tear to my eye! It warms my heart every time someone brings me a gluten-free product, or sends me a picture of new products they’ve found. It’s nice to be thought of – sometimes you can feel so alone in this, so the smallest gestures go a long way. Happy Easter!

    1. Awh, I’m glad you like the stories. I certainly agree the smallest gestures mean so much! Even for small gestures, you need to learn about celiac and allergies, which means a lot of thought went into them. Happy Easter to you too!

  4. Kaila, I am SUCH a sap, and literally almost teared up at this. I know, I know, I am pretty lame, but I could just FEEL the love your family has for you and your sincere appreciation, and your reminder to yourself “special moments and people are the ones I need to recall when I’m frustrated by insensitive comments or a lack of awareness”. It’s easy to get frustrated, or upset, if a family member or friend forgets, or tries to accidentally poison you or someone makes a stupid comment at “you’re so lucky you can’t eat bread!” but as you said, it’s important to remember those who DO support you and love you and are always there for you!

    This Thanksgiving, I had a similar situation. I went to my boyfriend’s for the holiday and anxious was an understatement of how I felt. I prepped everyone at the dinner table about cross contamination, yet, the gravy still got glutened, and I had to watch everyone like a hawk, so I was ready for it to be dessert time where I knew I had my OWN safely packaged pumpkin pie slices I had made for myself. We were going to his Aunt’s for dessert, and as we walked in, there was an entire table of goodies…pies, cookies, cakes, etc. I looked, felt sad for a second then remembered my OWN pie I had made and felt proud that I was even able to bake something and have it turn out well. (I consider myself a “gourmet gluten free chef” but ask me to bake, and well, you’re lucky it comes out right) ANYWAY – his Aunt pulled me aside and told me she had a surprise for me:
    She had gone to a gluten free bakery and gotten me cupcakes, now, most would be ecstatic, but in my mind I was thinking (how sweet! but there’s probably butter/milk/lactose in them, and I won’t be able to eat them, but I’ll be forced to at least have a bite to be polite). She saw my half hearted smile, and said, they’re gluten free AND dairy free, I went and read your blog and knew that it had to have no gluten or lactose, so she made them special for you with almond milk and vegan butter. I nearly kissed her face I was so excited! And it wasn’t just ONE cupcake, it was AN ENTIRE DOZEN, JUST FOR ME, of two different types. I was in heaven, but more touched by her thoughtfulness and how she READ MY BLOG to find out what I could and couldn’t have.
    SORRY FOR LEAVING A NOVEL, I HAD TO SHARE ❤

    1. Oh my goodness! I’m such a sap too! Your Thanksgiving sounds amazing. I love when people try, but when they read your blog and you know they went above and beyond, it just melts my heart! I’m glad you have such a supportive family as well. 🙂 Also, I’m looking forward to trying some of your recipes! I still cook pretty simple meals and am not quite a gourmet chef yet. But, that means they’re hard for others to mess up too! AND, I love the novel, feel free to share anytime!!

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