Blog Change

So, the FDA has an issue with people who share their experiences using natural health remedies (ie. essential oils).  I had to do a major overhaul tonight and remove any pictures, topics specifying what you can do with them, and any mention of the brand I like to use.  I really do believe in helping others, but alas… they have decided that they are the know all be all (how many FDA approved meds have been banned because people died? Yeah… think on that for a bit).  Do I sound bitter?  It’s because I am.  I wonder which essential oil blend can help me calm down from this.  I’ll figure it out.

Anywho, it is challenging me on how I will continue this blog.  What do I want to get out of it?  I will figure this out too.  My blog will change and I’m not sure to what.  Hang in there with me.

In peace, love, and health…. and a boatload of essential oils!

Body Issues

Yesterday I was at the doctor’s office with my mother-in-law and while we were waiting I overheard a conversation between the office manager and a pharmaceutical rep.  They were discussing the latest drugs.  I had a silent giggle to myself about their conversation just because anyone who knows me knows that I only take anything as a last resort. If my essential oils don’t help… then and only then will I take something.  It’s a rare occurrence.  Anyway, as the pharma rep girl got up to leave the office manager commented on how cute she looked and what a nice dress she had on.  The rep laughed and said, “Thank you, it’s my fat girl dress.”  I was stunned.

She was far from fat.  She was an attractive girl who looked well put together.  She looked healthy & thin, and by that I mean her bones weren’t sticking out.  She looked a lot smaller than me.  I’m not skinny, but I’m not fat either. I will admit to saying out loud, “You are far from fat” as she walked by me.  She glanced quickly at me and then continued to her next destination.  Hearing her say those words made me sad.  She was young, in her mid – late 20’s.  I remember being at that age.  I remember always feeling like I wasn’t good enough. Actually, I remember a time when my ex-husband told me that I didn’t look as good as I did when we first met and needed to lose some weight.  I was 23. I weighed 130lbs. and I am 5’7″. Notice I wrote “ex-husband”.  🙂   The point is, I remember feeling fat all of the time.  My body image was warped.  I struggled too.

If I am honest with you, it’s only been recently than I actually don’t think of myself as fat.  I’m healthy.  My size fluctuates between an 8 and a 10.  If I was in Hollywood, which I am not, I would be considered overweight.  Thank God I am not in Hollywood! I like to eat food and I like to eat all kinds of food.  I no longer have what I used to call my “fat clothes”.  I got rid of those because I equated them with negative self talk and they had to go.  I am getting too old for this negative body image crap and there comes a point in your life when you realize that you aren’t an airbrushed cover girl, nor do you want to be.  This whole getting older thing may play crazy tricks with your body, but your mind rocks it as it gets older!

I also read a post from a woman, who is my age, talking about how she has always struggled with her body image and it was her goal to be a certain way before she turned 40.  Last year, I said the same thing.  I wanted to look a certain way and in my head I had convinced myself that if I didn’t look a certain way by 40 that I would have failed myself.  A few months ago I realized that I am healthier than I have ever been.  My cholesterol levels came down to healthy levels for the first time in years, my blood pressure continues to rock it, I am rarely sick, and I can keep up with my 5 year old son on the playground.  I haven’t failed.  I have succeeded!  Have I made some changes, sure, but not a lot.  I take some really amazeball vitamins. We all need to make some changes to ensure we have better health, but I finally accepted my body for what it is and it’s absolutely freeing.  I am going to walk into 40 feeling confident and proud of who I am.

My heart is sad for anyone who struggles with their body image and believes that they aren’t beautiful.  You are beautiful.  You truly are.  You have got to turn out the negative thoughts and words out of your body.  You have got to talk to yourself they way you talk to you friends.  You deserve it.  Own it!  Work it! Love you.

I do.

Failing to succeed at the morning rush

So, I am not ready for Kindergarten.  It’s not just that my baby is growing up and it’s one step closer to him leaving the nest… it’s the fact that I have got to be ready to go early.  Seems small doesn’t it?  I am sure someone will ready this and roll their eyes thinking to themselves how silly this is.  Truth is, I haven’t done “early” in a really long time.  I quit going into the office five and half years ago.  I worked from home for two and half years with the baby and I worked in my pajamas most of the time.  I was home and with kids all day.  I wasn’t in a rush to get dressed for the day.  I am still not in a rush to get dressed for the day.  I am productive during this time in my pajamas… laundry, dishes, making up beds, working on my business, etc… I just do it without being dressed for the day.

It’s amazing to me how fast things changed for me in this fashion.  I used to get up at 6 AM every morning to get ready for work and I was okay with it.  I used to be a morning person.  I used to sip on my coffee while putting on my make up and doing my hair.  I would fill up my cup one more time for the ride to work.  I was good with that.  I have changed and I didn’t even realize the impact the change would have on me.  I have got to get back to that (minus the driving to work thing because I still work at home).  I have to get back to being ready for the day early.

This past week I had B take part in a local baseball camp.  It was awesome and he loved it.  The catch was  we had to be there by 8 AM.  WHAT THE HECK?!  I totally understand why and I am not complaining but it was a shock to the system.  Let’s just say that we were rushing out the door each day and some days we were late.  It’s not a big deal, it’s just camp but for me it was a preview of what is to come for school.  The clock seems to go really fast when you have somewhere to be.  I often left without makeup and hair done…. okay I always left that way.  It’s not a big deal, but it irritated me that I couldn’t get that task done.

Our oldest, N, gets himself dressed and ready for school on his own each day which is bonus because he gets up at 5:30 AM.  High school hours suck and I am grateful he is that kid who will get himself going.  It’s probably because he has always been an early riser and can’t stand to be late to anything.  I don’t like being late to anything either but it seemed that I really had an issue with getting to this camp on time.  I started questioning how I was going to get B to school on time if I couldn’t make one week of this?  I am sure we will get it together once school starts, but for now I am in questioning mode.  A part of me says to enjoy sleeping in and doing things the way we have been doing for two more months but then the other part of me says that I need to make myself get up and start my day earlier.  Go back to the routine I had when I worked outside of the home for all of those years.  It’s a stupid struggle… a first world struggle but the struggle is real.  I just can’t believe that the struggle has become real for me. I have failed the morning rush task.  I have two more months to figure this out and I will.  Maybe it’ll do me some good to become the morning person again. I hope so because I don’t have much of an option with it.

Easter Celebration!

I love Easter.  I actually like it more than Christmas.  I used to dread it.  I used to be depressed during it. Now…. I love it! I love the weather around Easter. I love see everything in bloom.  I love the longer days.  I love the story of Easter.  I love Jesus.

In years past I struggled with the fun part of Easter.  I was so focused on the crucifixion and felt so bad about it that I missed the celebration part.  I was so focused on the horrific details of his death and the events that led up to it that I skimmed over the fact that he overcame death.  

  

True story, I thought the songs of praise were inappropriate on Easter Sunday.  That is how focused I was on his death.  For years I did this.  I missed out.

In doing a study called “One thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp I have taken time to focus on what I am grateful for.  I have praised God in the good, bad, ugly, boring, and uneventful things in life.  It has challenged me on my views and perspectives.  I like to have fun in life and have an annoyingly loud laugh (it’s genetic), but when it came to my faith I was so serious and gloomy.  I focused mainly on the rules and not so much in my faith.  Last year I started my journey of growth and freedom.  This Easter I felt free!

  

It’s one of the hardest concepts for people to grasp.  Jesus is freedom. Jesus is peace.  Jesus is hope.  He died on the cross as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.  He died for all of us. Every single one of us.  You know that sinning you do, or just did, or are about to do?  He died for that. 

We didn’t ask him to.  It was his ultimate purpose.  He knew and wasn’t real thrilled about it, but he did it anyway.  Then he rose from the grave.  He overcame death and walked among the people one last time before being reunited with His father, God.  He left the message of “I will see you again”.  

As I type this I bow my head… Humbled, grateful, amazed, excited.  God showed his ultimate love for us in Jesus.  It isn’t hateful, judgmental, spiteful, bitter, or ugly.  It’s beautiful and surpasses our human understanding.  As I once did, our society puts so much focus on being right and the religious rules that we miss the point of his resurrection.  We missed the message.  We overlooked the gift.  This past year, I finally opened the gift.  It was a freedom. It was peace.  

It’s the first year I have allowed myself to celebrate that Jesus rose from the grave and is alive.  I am celebrating that He is sitting at the right hand of God in heaven.  I am celebrating that He will return one day to earth and one day I will get to see him face to face.  That is totally awesome and worth celebrating.

I even did the fun, silly stuff this year.  Hid Easter eggs and have fun doing so.  Rocked out Easter Baskets for the boys and felt no dread.  Jammed out my finder nails in springy colors because it made me laugh.  Sang a little loud during worship service (and God did not give me the gift of song) and maybe did a little dancing.  I had fun.  I celebrated.

  

He is Risen!  He is Risen indeed.  Celebrate it how you see fit, but celebrate it!  Happy Easter.

Hot Chocolate’s Lesson

Not sure what this says about me but sometimes I do things I know I am not prepared for but I do them anyway. I also go all out when I do them, even if I don’t know what the heck I am doing or why I am doing it.

Take the Hot Chocolate 5K for instance. When I registered for it I was doing really well with training consistently but only doing run/walk intervals. My time was getting better so I got zealous and decided to register for a 12 min mile. I knew I would be able to do that just fine. Then…. Life happened.

I slacked on training because time was not my friend. I spent more time in a car driving everyone around and running errands than anything. I neglected what I needed to do help keep me sane and balanced. Needless to say, as the 5K got closer I got more nervous. As I sat in a coral, with a sign that said “No Walkers”… I began to get scared. This facial expression was REAL!!!

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Thankfully, my friend was encouraging and also laughing at me being so silly. She didn’t understand…. I was NOT a runner. I wasn’t ready to be a runner. I was a pretend runner. I had no choice though. Everyone around me was going to run and ready or not, so was I.

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It was cold. It was uncomfortable. It was fun! I was able to set a pace that I was comfortable with and work to get my breathing under control. I admit I did have to get on the sidewalk a couple of times to catch my breath, but overall I ran. I was so amazed at myself. I remember at one point asking myself, “Why is running this 5k so easy for me?” It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. It wasn’t as scary as I thought I was going to be. I finished my race and I did so by beating my best time… And my average pace was 12.36. Not too bad for a girl who hasn’t trained!!!

What did I learned from this? I learned that I may not be prepared for what is in front of me and I may be a little scared, but if I put my mind to it I CAN do it. I have also learned that if I say I am a success at something, well maybe I am. It will just look a little different than someone else’s definition of success. I am a runner. I can do it. It feels great!

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The end results are sweet. Maybe even a little sweeter than hot chocolate. Maybe.

You are worthy. You matter.

It sucks when someone makes you feel that you don’t matter. They have this way of making you feel as if you aren’t worth anything. Logically, you know they are wrong. Emotionally, they got you. This is something I have struggled with most of my life.

As I have gotten older I am stronger and have confidence that my worth is not measured by others. I know my value is measured by God… “but God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8). If we didn’t have value, if we didn’t matter, God would have never done that. We matter. You matter. I matter.

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Most days I do not struggle with feeling as if I don’t matter because I am able to stay focused on the present in the moment. A while ago I wrote about being mindful and part of being mindful is living in the moment. I drink in the experiences as I am moving through them and get overwhelmed with gratitude that I have the opportunities to live it. Occasionally, past moments of bitterness, hurt, and rejection creep up. I call these moments “Balloon Poppers”.

When my balloon gets popped I can feel myself getting deflated. I can hear the painful words of rejection all over again. I can actually imagine the child version of myself hiding in the corner to protect herself from verbal harm. I am aware that this sounds like I could use some therapy, but that’s part of what this blog is for. :-). Actually, I may or may not be lying on the couch typing this up… Just like a therapy session.

I will feel these emotions strongly and as I feel them and notice that I am going down a dark path I begin to fight like hell. I start to battle the negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. I remove myself from toxic people, thoughts, and images. I find which essential oils are uplifting, invite peace to my body, and are grounding applying or diffusing them daily. I can’t stand the feeling of overwhelming darkness.

From talking with others and being open about my own struggles I have, many people have shared they feel the same way. It’s universal… We all experience hurt. Some of been hurt more than others, but that does not negate another persons hurt. What amazes me is how those who have been hurt in an unimaginable and almost unforgivable way can find it in them to forgive the one who hurt them. They are able to set their anger & bitterness free by forgiving the one who hurt them.

This morning, I was looking to set myself free of the hurt I have been feeling. The stress and anxiety that I have been quietly battling was taking its toll on my spirit. I needed a release, especially since I know that the ones who were allowed to hurt me do not care. They may feel justified for what they said or did. So the message I received this morning and the message I hope to pass on is Forgiveness. Watch this video Forgiveness by Matthew West

Warning… Have tissues nearby. I cried. It’s powerful and its eye opening. I have held on for years the feelings of rejection and bitterness. This morning I have forgiven those who made me feel that way and have forgiven myself for holding on to those feelings. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that I am going to rush back and rekindle relationships that have ended. It just means that I am releasing the power they have over me to hold me captive in the darkness. To do this, I must forgive. My favorite saying is, “They don’t deserve it, but neither did you. Show them grace anyway”.

We matter and we deserve to live in the light. Jesus said, “What is the price of five sparrows – two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7

I hope you can find your place of peace. It’s a beautiful place. You deserve it because you matter.

Marshmallow madness

Some of the things I love having B in preschool is being reminded how fun can be so simple.  A few weeks ago his teacher sent home a bag with mini marshmallows and toothpicks.  My immediate thought was, “Oh he will never eat these”.  That’s when B informed me they weren’t for eating but for building.  How did I not think of this?  Did I miss this Pinterest post somewhere?

What has ensued the past few weeks has been nothing short of marshmallow madness.  I have picked up more of those little boogers around the house, but we have also had a lot of fun with them.  For me, it’s a reminder that with all of the technology out there, that kids really do like all kinds of fun that requires use of their brain, exploration, and absolute silliness.

I have to admit that I have forgotten what we used to do when we took our oldest our to dinner (pre-iPhone days).  I hate that I have forgotten that.  So now, my goal is to find as many silly games that he can play while we are out to dinner.  I also want to get silly with stuff we have at home and explore with that.  He loves fun science projects!

So, next time you find yourself at a loss as to what to do with the kiddos, get some mini marshmallows and toothpicks.  Get crazy with them and see what you can come up with.  They will love it!

Official first day of Pre-K

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Ugh… I did not think I would be all emotional that today is the first day of Pre-K. He’s been going to the same preschool for two years. He started off with 2 days a week and then graduated to three days a week. He loves it and he loves learning. I’m excited that he loves learning and his teacher this year is Ah-Mazing! Seriously, I love her. So excited!

I just did not expect to be emotional. It hit me that this is just the start of many years of organized education for him. He’s required to go to school every day. He’s growing up. He’s still my baby but to acknowledge that he has entered the next stage of his life… the “school phase” makes me sad. This is it. The part where they will learn as much reading, writing, arithmetic, etc as they can all while growing into the people they will become.

This isn’t new for me. N is in high school and it’s been a crazy ride for us. Exhausting almost. Then again, he is the first one and we had no clue what we were doing. Sorry buddy! I can get an idea what little B will experience in regards to what he will learn and when. How is another question. I am not sold on homeschool (scares the living daylights out of me) , public school (same as homeschool but for different reasons), or private school (expensive) yet. Good thing I have a few more months before I have to make a decision!

I had hoped that today I would feel elated to have some time to myself, but instead I feel sad.  Almost lost.  It’ll pass and I know that my daily routine will change just like his will.  We will get through this.  I look forward to watching my baby grow up and become the awesome man I know he will become.  I’m just going to miss my “baby”. 

Happy School Year!

P.S. Isn’t it cool that he wants to be a Doctor this year?  Last year he wanted to be a painter.  Will he keep this dream or change it?  Who knows!!!  

My other half

My husband is a saint. It’s the best way I can describe him. He is a very private person who gets that his wife loves to blog, tweet, Facebook, and Pin tons of stuff. He is rational, patient, and laid back. He has the ability to calm and reassure me when I am in one of my “moods”. He isn’t afraid to look at me and say, “Don’t you need essential oils right about now?” I can’t get mad because he is wise enough to say it in a joking way, and I know he is right…. I do need them.

I absolutely love being married to Jim. He is truly my other half. Marriage is work on so many levels, but for the most part it’s not “work”. I truly enjoy (almost) every minute I am with him. I can’t stay mad at him for too long because I like him too much. He is my best friend and has been since the moment we started hanging out. He is absolutely hilarious. Some of the stuff he does makes me stand back and wonder how he has functioned for as long as he has in life. Seriously, the boy can get you lost while driving in the neighborhood!

He is awesomely intelligent as well. The things that he has created in his field of expertise has blown me away. His vision is huge and his ideas are so innovative that they make his bosses nervous (they have passed on some of his ideas only to bring them back up a decade later AFTER a competitor figured a way to do something similar). We worked for the same company for a while (it’s where we met…. I know, typical workplace romance…. Except that it wasn’t). I got to work with him on some projects and got to see first hand how intelligent he is. Sometimes I think he is too smart. You know the kind? The kind that really understands how things work and can answer almost everything? That’s him, except that he doesn’t want to answer everything because he doesn’t want to be “THAT” guy.

He is just cool. Fiercely loves his kids, a man of God, not afraid to step up and help out when I really need him to, and a really down to earth guy. I am so lucky and overly grateful I am his wife. IMG_6663.JPG

I just felt like writing about him tonight and lifting him up. He doesn’t get a lot of attention and doesn’t seek a lot of attention, but he deserves it. I hope our boys are watching him and learning from him. He is an excellent example of what it is to be a good man. As long as I am with him, I am home. Love my Jim!

Chaperone fun

My oldest child, 14 (about to be 15), has his first girlfriend. He obviously wants to spend a lot of time with her and he spends a lot of time texting/talking to her on the phone. This is all new territory for our family. What to do?

We decided that he could ask her on a date, but either his dad or I would be there. CHAPERONE! When my son asked me for dating ideas I drew a blank because I have no clue. What do teenagers do on a date? Especially teens who can’t drive or have a job! He was totally cool with going to an indoor putt putt place at the mall and the dinner.

The tricky part is how to give them sometime to talk by themselves but not allow them to take off by themselves. I am okay with them hanging out but I am not okay with them being unsupervised. The idea hit me…. Don’t actually give him any money to take her out. In order to do anything I have to be with them (I impress me sometimes).

So I am sitting on the bench reading this awesome book called “Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown and waiting for them to decide they are hungry. I hope it’s soon because I am ready to eat!

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