Saturday, February 15, 2014

Who woulda thought

So I'm definitely not a granola mom.  I only nursed til 7 months with all three kids, I didn't cloth diaper and in my foreseeable future I don't plan to homeschool....AND, if truth be told my kids love Lucky Charms and Kraft Mac and Cheese - even with all the bad junk that's in them.  (In my defense they eat greek yogurt, hummus and chia seeds too!  See its all about balance!)

With that said, those who know me well are probably shocked at my new found love of essential oils.  And its true, its a new found LOVE.

The funny thing about being a mom is that at some point (maybe multiple points) during your mommyhood journey, you are going to throw your hands up with no idea at how to solve a problem.  That's what happened with my family.  And when desperation sets in you are willing to test the waters of almost anything.

Its no secret that we have had numerous MRSA infections which have left me crazy.  So crazy that my kids don't own bath toys, the girls only shower, their towels have names and we wash 5 towels EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. with hot water and bleach.  So with desperation set in - a friend mentioned essential oils having a protocol for MRSA and I was all in.

A few weeks ago my skeptical (and frugal) husband and I purchased a started kit and I decided if we were going to try this out, we were going all in.  So I started researching something I never even knew existed and trying to make it work for our family.  Of course the day our kit arrived, 2 out of 5 had the start of a cold. 

My children have always had, um....ridiculous sickness.  Elle couldn't have a cold without an ear infection which led to tubes, Clare and Cole both have asthma induced symptoms when they get a cold, which leads to lots and lots of steroids, which leads to crazy mood swings and food cravings.  My prayer was that we would just outgrow all of these things and until then, we washed their hands, but what else are you going to do?!

During our little colds I started trying out my new magic potions :)  It took a while to get it right as Clare's cough was building I started panicking that I was going to have to pull out the nebulizer, but then I read somewhere that lavender could calm asthma.  So, I rubbed some on her back and chest, diffused some in her room - coughing ended.  Then we started diffusing lavender in Cole's room - coughing ended.  Then we started putting lavender on their feet before bedtime nightly.

All of a sudden this little experiment seemed to click and make sense.  All of a sudden I started to have some faith in these magic oils I purchased as mine and LD's colds disappeared within days.

So - this mama is sold.  We have started a totally new journey in our house and its so different from anything I've ever done.  I feel a little like an imposter as I attempt to help my kids while they are sick after so quickly calling the doctor for so many years.

Its one of those things.  As a mom of little ones, when something is working, and helping - and its natural without SO MANY SIDE EFFECTS - you have to share the news.

Email me if you want more info!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Beauty in the present

In my attempt to embrace the life stage I am in, I've really tried to see beauty in my tasks.  And yeah, that can be hard.
Most, if not all of the time, I make a mental to do list and within 5 minutes, 5 hours or 5 days, I have to do the task again.  Normally its 5 minutes and seldom 5 days.  Things like picking up messes, making meals, cleaning, fixing, know, you have the same list.
One of my current favorite writers and bloggers is Ann Voskamp ( .  She's an incredible woman.  You know the type, homeschooling mother of 5 or 6 who is a farmers wife and makes everything from scratch and does it all with grace and beauty.   When I read her blogs I am always encouraged and inspired.  But, I noticed that a lot of her photography is of her mundane, but it looks beautiful!!  How does she make a pile of play dough on the floor look like beauty and not a panic to clean up?!  I'm not a photographer in any way, but a light bulb went on for me 
I can find beauty in my daily tasks, beauty in this present stage of life, beauty in what I do every day.  So, this week I kept my camera handy and just snapped pictures of life and tried to see it through a different lens.
Let's be honest.  There will always be a mental check list, but it won't always include folding a little red tutu poking out of the laundry basket, picking up tiny little paints splattered across my dining room table or cutting little bitty pieces of meat for dinner.
Sometimes the only thing we need to do to see beauty is change the way we are looking at it.  I am just like the rest - I would rather be reading a book to my children than emptying the dishwasher or folding laundry.  And sure, you always hear the great wisdom of "let your house go - play with your children" - and I think that is wise and important.  Balance is key.  And at the end of the day, even if I choose to play with my kids all day, someone has to empty the dishwasher.
But maybe if I keep my camera handy, and look through a different lens,  I will find a little more inspiration in this chaotic life with little children and see beauty in right where I am.


I cannot believe it, but our girls have never been bowling.  Nine years ago, LD and I were in a bowling league (yeah, yeah, I know) with our church in Michigan.  We have our own bowling balls and shoes and I promise you my cute little ball and shoes have not seen light in 9 years.  I totally forgot we had them until yesterday.
But, LD and I thought it would be fun to take the girls bowling.
The girls were so excited.  Clare was slightly bummed she had to use a greenish yellow ball, but quickly recovered from the bowling alleys ball color choices.
Clare does not have much upper body strength.  We already knew this, but we were reminded when she threw with everything she had and the ball came to a complete stop halfway down the alley. 
The funniest part is she would grab her ball and almost run to the line and drop her ball.  She saw everyone else doing it quickly and she wanted to do it the same way.  Only she doesn't have quite enough "oomph!"
Elle, on the other hand, has lots of upper body strength.  But, we were not certain she would throw in the right direction.  LD must have pointed his finger 100 times making sure she understood you only throw it THAT way!
I love this picture...they were patiently waiting behind the line for their turn, but they were anxious, that's for sure.
Thankfully we opted for 1 game instead of 2 hours of play time.  These girls barely survived the game.  It was fun - for about 6 frames and then they were ready to move onto something else.
It's tough with a little one Cole's age because its hard to do family things where there isn't a safe place for him to walk around and explore.  Our girls needed some mommy and daddy time where we were focused on them.
And they enjoyed every minute of it!!
And look at that handsome man.  You didn't know I married him for his bowling form did you? ;)


In the south we will take any chance we get to make it a snow day, because who knows, it may be the only chance we have.
We took our inch of snow and we were ready for a day of fun.  Clare was off of school, LD took the morning off of work, and I promise - these girls were SO excited!
Don't they look like a motley crew?  Elle's snow pants were cracking me up.  They are a size too small, but they had never been worn because....well, we didn't have a chance last year!  So, they were really little and we ended up just taking them off.
We made snow angels too!
Cole has a little runny nose so he saw the snow for a few minutes, but he was not in the mood to play for long.  But I'm with him - I would much rather watch from inside.
The best part of the entire day was when Kiser, next door woke up and came over to play with the girls.  All of these pictures were taken from INSIDE my house.  Our eating area looks over the big hill next to our house so I could just sit and watch them outside the window.
Our awesome neighbor had picked up sleds for the girls and for her boys, and they did this for over an hour and a half!
Then, Elle just started sobbing.  When she came to the door I asked her what was wrong and she could barely talk.  She said "My fingers and my toes!" Poor baby was numb!!
So what better way to end a snow day than snuggled on the couch?!