It Always was WAHM

 

This has been my view lately. It’s what I see when I look out the back window of my house. In front of this window sits a tall kitchen table with lots of chairs. It’s where I sit (and stand) a lot of the day. It’s where I work.

It was February 1st of this year, and it was the very first day that I was at home in my “new life”. On this day, I recall thinking to myself…”I’m never going to think or say the words: I have to go to work again today/tomorrow…“. I even recall telling my husband about this thought I had. I told him that I was going to make it my goal to never utter those words again. I recall him smirking and saying, “OK babe.”  In my heart, these words meant so much more to me than they may seem to you reading them now, or to my husband when he heard them initially. I had felt a shift within myself and knew that I was going to find a way to contribute to our family without ever working outside of the home again.

It was merely a few days later, I was standing in the laundry room listening to my thoughts race back and forth in my head between ideas I’d pondered on ways to work from home. My heart was heavy. I’d been praying about it. Reid and I had been fighting about it. Quitting my job – my CAREER in property management that had provided so many blessings for us over the last decade – was a BIG DEAL. And while my heart may have felt that there was a plan, putting that plan into motion seemed like a more daunting task than I had realized.

But as I stood there, and continued to pull each piece of clothing out of the dryer one-by-one, it was as if the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, Candice, turn your head to the left”.

On the countertop to my left sat my wooden box of essential oils. Our families medicine cabinet. My reliable emotional health regimen. My daily go-to for at least 5 different reasons for myself or someone in this house.

I remember throwing my head back and literally laughing out loud when this happened. “Really, Lord?!” I cried! Something that had been right at my fingertips every. single. day. for the last two years was now the vehicle to bring income to my family.

What does the word “work” really mean to us anyway? The way I see it, we work to make money. Right?!

So, what if I could make money a non-traditional way? A way in which I never had to “go to work” again, or at least it would never feel that way. And then I read a story about a man:

There once was a man who hauled buckets of water for a living. His job was to haul water every day from the nearest water source, back to his village. Because everyone needed water, he always sold out. If he wanted to make more money, he simply hauled more buckets of water.

After many years of hauling these buckets of water, the man grew tired. Then he had an idea and inspiration! He decided to use his spare time to build a pipeline, so that eventually he could be free of hauling buckets of water, yet still provide water to the people of his village. So, he worked very hard over the next few years to build his pipeline.

The day the man turned on his water spigot, everything changed. He had successfully created an unlimited supply of water for the villagers and himself, resulting in an abundant financial pipeline.

I never knew anything about network marketing. Like most people, I had my own narrow thoughts about what it really was and how it really worked. Prior to this year, I didn’t really care to know about it. I had used the products for the last couple of years and found  myself sharing with friends and loved ones naturally. However, I never had an interest in the business side of the company. I then read one book and that was all it took for me to see the vision.

It also hasn’t taken me very long to see that the business venture I’ve launched into is really a personal development company disguised as an essential oil company.

Over the last ninety days, I have grown exponentially as a person.

I have found support in some incredible people who are walking this same  journey with me.

I have had the beautiful pleasure of helping other people get started on this very same journey. While their pace may be different or their approach unique to my own, the journey is theirs – and I get to be a part in helping them reach their goals.

I have found a way to utilize all of the business skills I acquired and sharpened over the past decade in order to propel my business forward.

Reading this book opened my eyes to living on purpose and gave me a powerful inspiring approach to managing all of the goals in my life and has made them more attainable and the reward seem more gratifying.

I’ve also learned that at an early age, we give ourselves limiting beliefs on what we should do and feel and think and say. By doing this, we have fears that we may never breakthrough. Reading this book has been an eye-opening way to change this mindset altogether for me personally, and has taught me to face my fears head on and then to watch them dissipate.

I have taken a deep dive in, head first and will never look back.

If you find yourself feeling as if you are just going through the motions in your life, you probably are.

If you stare at the ceiling at night thinking that there has got to be a better way to live life, there definitely is.

We were all put on this Earth to do something more than just pay bills.

Life is meant to be LIVED. We should not have to haul buckets for hours upon days upon weeks upon years.

Time is not something meant to hold us captive by all that we “have to do”. Time is actually in abundance if you can learn to shift your mindset about what’s actually important to you. Only then will you see that time is a gift, not a limitation.

I look forward to life now more so than ever. I truly welcome each day as a new gift from God and am so thankful to be able to carry out the plans He has in store for me. My heart remains full so that I may pour into others.

I went from working 40-50 hours a week outside of the home to working about 15 hours per week inside the home and am on a path to replace the income I once earned by the Fall of this year. This opportunity has proved itself to be very real and for once in my life, there is no stress associated with my “job”. It feels weird even calling what I do now a “job” because it just doesn’t feel like work. It just doesn’t.

I don’t sell essential oils. I share and educate others.

I don’t have essential oil parties. I teach essential oil classes.

This is not my hobby. This is my business.

I’m busy building a pipeline for my family so that someday, the mental shift will have come full circle — and we can pack up and vacation for three weeks if we feel like it. And we won’t have any debt left to pay. And we won’t feel like prisoners of time to the demands of the institutionalized world we feel so vacuumed into today.

I have a personal goal to lead a team of 1,000 people to take charge of their own health and wellness. I will achieve this goal by teaching anyone I can about the endless benefits these gifts of the Earth offer.

Who do you know that can help me reach this goal?…

 

 

 

21 Ways We Use Essential Oils in Our House

I feel compelled to make a list of all the ways we use essential oils in our house currently (or have used them in the past). I love sharing my experiences with oils with my friends and family and hope that this list will educate you, if even the slightest bit. I didn’t have all of these oils on hand in the beginning. I started building a stash over time and before long I had found the “staples” to my collection that we most frequently use and share. Perhaps something on this list will be useful to you and your family. There really are a lot of random lifestyle changes we have made by replacing common household products on our shelves with these little brown bottles.

41101925 - essential oil with natural herbs , alternative medicine
41101925 – essential oil with natural herbs , alternative medicine

In no particular order, in fact I will start how my day started. Everly was burning up…

  1. High Body Temperature – I rubbed Peppermint oil down her spine every half an hour, basically all day long. Her temperature never went over 101 and she remained comfortable for the most part throughout the day. I put 10 drops in a roller bottle and filled it to the top with fractionated coconut oil. Any carrier oil will do, it doesn’t necessarily have to be this kind.
  2. Teething – I rub Clove Bud oil directly on the gums. I put 10-15 drops in a roller bottle and top it off with fractionated coconut oil. I put a little bit on my (clean) finger and rub it directly on Everly’s gums. She loves it, and it keeps her gums from itching and driving her nuts.
  3. Immune Boost – during the season when anyone in my house is sick (feeling unwell and clammy, vomiting, night sweats) I rub everyone down with a mix I can’t live without. This is 7-10 drops each Lemon,  Oregano, On Guard ( Protective Blend), Frankincense and Melaleuca (Tea Tree Oil), topped off with fractionated coconut oil. Each of these oils has different properties that make it useful and although this blend doesn’t smell the best, we live by it during sick periods and generally speaking to keep everyone well. I also put 3-4 drops of On Guard in a veggie cap (basically I make my own supplement) and take it daily to help keep my immune system strong. I’ve only been doing this for about 10 days and have felt 100% aside from a migraine yesterday.
  4. Head/Neck tension – depending on the kind of head pain I am having will determine which oil I grab. Yesterday’s head tension was a whopper and I tried several things before I got it right. First I grabbed Past Tense, a blend that is a mix of peppermint, lavender, wintergreen, chamomile and lots of other yummy smelling plants. I carry this in my purse and use it frequently; I put a dab on my temples and behind my ears, sometimes on the back of the neck, too. It really all just depends on where my head tension is coming from. Next I grabbed Deep Blue (a blend that acts similarly to Icy Hot or Ben Gay — you get a yummy cold and then warm sensation). When this didn’t offer much relief, I put a drop of Frankincense on my thumb and pressed it in the roof of my mouth. This usually works all of the time for and did offer some relief for a little while. The final straw yesterday was Clary Calm, a blend that is filled with Clary Sage (my favorite), lavender and bergamot. This blend is fantastic for menopause, period cramps and unbeknownst to me until yesterday MIGRAINES. I slathered it across the back of my neck and on my forehead, and finally found relief after almost 2 hours of pacing around my house pulling my own hair, throwing up and wondering how on Earth I would survive with a 14-month-old needing me, too! Thankfully, after essential oils combined with a dark room, a warm therapeutic pillow and a little peace and quiet, my head tension went away.
  5. Mood/Aromatherapy – this one really does depend on who has what going on. Liquid Xanax is currently the front-runner around here. It’s equal parts Balance (Grounding blend) and Serenity (Calming blend) , topped off with fractionated coconut oil. When Sadler (age 4 1/2) is being a jerk, I rub this on the back of her neck and put a dab on each wrist. It smells so good that I tell her it’s perfume. Then I usually put some on myself. We all use this one, a lot. Wild Orange is a favorite also for just calming down if I’m feeling stressed or just need “to take a chill pill”. Literally opening the cap, closing my eyes and taking a big whiff will calm me down every time. This one is nice to diffuse when you work with a bunch of difficult people, it generally will make everyone pretty happy (and if no one else, it will make YOU happy as it blows in your face as you sit at your desk).
  6. Seasonal Threats – Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint combined with fractionated coconut oil in a roller bottle are great to have on hand for seasonal allergies, bug bites and any other time when you would tend to reach for an antihistamine. Admittedly, my husband still believes that his over-the-counter allergy pill works best for him, but if you put these three oils in a veggie cap and take one daily it will do the same thing without all of the harmful side effects of a man-made pill. But we are programmed to reach for pills and it takes a village to re-program ourselves and our loved ones.
  7. Seasonal “Blues” – I tend to feel some blues in the colder months and last year was the first time I tried this. I put equal parts Wild Orange, Frankincense and Lavender in a roller bottle and applied it to my wrists and the back of my neck. It  smelled so yummy and really made a difference. I shared this one with co-workers and they fell in love with it, too.
  8. Deodorant – I am slowly but surely learning how harmful deodorant can be to our bodies and sweating in the armpit area is an unfortunate thing for me. I’ve been blending equal parts Patchouli and Ginger in a roller bottle and applying it to my pits in the mornings rather than use deodorant — I call it “Patchouli Pits”. It keeps me from sweating and smells very nice (I realize Patchouli is an acquired smell to love, and it happens to be on my favorites list these days. Smells like a dirty hippie and I can’t get enough of it.)
  9. Congestion –  Breathe (Respiratory blend) is one that we use religiously. It is a blend with Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Cardamom and Lemon that will legit open your nasal passage the second you inhale it. This is our go to when anyone is snotty, has a cough or showing signs of a cold. I use this one straight from the bottle and don’t always dilute it (especially on myself and Reid). I apply it to the chest, down the spine, bottoms of the feet, under the nose…and I diffuse it almost every single night in our bedrooms. It’s great for people who snore and makes your bedroom smell nice while you’re sleeping.
  10. Rest/Relaxation – diffusing at bedtime is a great way to increase your chances of getting a restful night’s sleep. We have a diffuser in each bedroom and may not always diffuse the same things in each room. Almost all the time, I diffuse Serenity at bedtime. It’s a blend with Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Vetiver, Vanilla and Cedarwood (it’s the same blend that goes in Liquid Xanax). It has such a great calming effect and is even great to diffuse in rooms where your pet sleeps. I also have a roller bottle of Serenity, about 15 drops, topped off with fractionated coconut oil. I use this on Everly at nap time and will use it myself if I feel a restless night of sleep ahead. I’ve given this blend to friends to use during times of sleepless nights and they have also reported better nights’ sleep.
  11. Muscle Aches – if Reid has a back ache or I am sore after hot yoga, I will grab Deep Blue. I have a bottle of this oil, and it also comes in a lotion that has a full bottle of the oil in it already. It’s just easier to apply if you want to cover a larger surface area, but both are good to have on hand. Similar to Ben Gay or Icy Hot, once you put this stuff on you feel a cold sensation, followed by a really warm one. It feels very nice and offers immediate relief. I’ve recommended this product to friends who Cross Fit and they swear by it. I also know some firemen who use it and think it’s good stuff for muscle soreness.
  12. Germs/Unwanted Pathogens – when I was pregnant with Everly, I developed a very temperamental climate downstairs. I started using Melaleuca in the shower, just a drop on my wash cloth before I washed my lady parts, and it kept me free from anymore nasty yeasties. (Sorry if TMI – you will always run that risk reading my blog). Doing this daily became more of a preventative measure rather than treatment and I have told several friends about the benefits of this one.
  13. Cooking – since essential oils come from plants, I was pleasantly surprised to learn all of the different oils that you can purchase to use when cooking. These are a few we have cooked with before or that I have on hand to cook with when I need that ingredient: Dill, Cumin, Oregano, Ginger, Lemon and Lime. We have even used Ginger to spice up some “white liquor” we were gifted; added a few strawberries to the jar with just about 5 drops of Ginger essential oil…tasty stuff.
  14. Splinter Removal – Sadler got a splinter in her foot over the summer. I immediately went on Pinterest just to satisfy my curiosity and searched for an essential oil to remove a splinter. Turns out, you can make a paste with baking soda and Lavender essential oil that will draw out/dissolve a splinter. I tried this, and it worked! I mixed about a thimble-full of baking soda with 3 drops of lavender and used my finger to spread it over the splinter, put a Band-aid on it and the next morning it was gone! Granted, this was not a very big splinter and I realize we might not have been so lucky if the splinter were a little worse, but thankfully this did the trick for us when we needed it. I knew better than try to use tweezers (or even my finger) to pluck that thing out of her foot. That would have sent her straight over the edge and I pick my battles 😉
  15. Cuts/Scrapes – my littlest is crawling and pulling up on anything that she can get her hands on and has bumped her head a time or two in recent weeks. The most recent incident left about an inch long scrape on her head that did not bleed, but the skin was cracked. I put a drop of Frankincense on it immediately when it happened and have done so every day since. It quickly scabbed up and the scab has almost fallen off completely; you can barely see the spot and I feel pretty good about it disappearing completely in just a few more days if I keep doing this. On Guard is also great to use when you have a fresh scrape, simply to keep the risk of infection at bay.
  16. Skin Care – I have not always had a good skin care regimen. In fact, I am guilty of going to bed without washing my face on a nightly basis – unless I shower at night, which happens but isn’t that common. My point is, I haven’t always done the best job at taking care of my face. I just turned 35 earlier this year so there isn’t a better time to start taking care of myself, right?!  Frankincense is great for wrinkles. You can put a drop directly into whatever product you have on hand, or you can use dilute it with a carrier oil and apply it directly to your neck, forehead, around your mouth – any part of your skin that you want to take care of, just careful not to get it in your eyes. (One thing to note about using essential oils, if you get them in your eyes remember: oil and water do not mix. You will naturally go to water for rinsing out whatever oil you get in your eyes but will definitely want to grab your carrier oil instead. Using another oil will assist the oil that’s in your eye with leaving your eye as quickly as possible.) Rose is also good for your skin and I have used it personally. There are other oils that greatly benefit your skin that I have not tried personally. However, I do use the anti-aging skincare line that the company sells and have found it to be pretty amazing stuff.
  17. Breath Freshener – a drop of Peppermint oil on your tongue is a great way to freshen your warm, afternoon mouth. It’s great to do after you’ve had too much coffee, or even when you need just a little afternoon pick-me-up. I’m thankful that these come in a nifty beadlet form; basically a drop of Peppermint essential oil inside a little tiny capsule like a breath mint that you just pop between your teeth – it’s powerful stuff and really will wake you up! I’ve heard that others use Peppermint on the tongue for allergies. It makes sense to me, considering that an effective blend I’ve been using personally and mentioned earlier has Peppermint in it. These little beadlets are just easier to take, compared to turning a bottle of peppermint up in your mouth (which is totally doable, by the way).
  18. Room/Air Freshener – diffusing essential oils has really become by standby when the house stinks. I use a great blend called Purify (Cleansing blend) that is fresh like clean linens; this one has been handy since we got the new dog 😉 Lemon and Lime are also great odor neutralizers. My hubby loves the smell of lemongrass, so we tend to diffuse that
  19. Nausea/Vomiting – whenever I have a tummy ache or someone is puking God forbid, I always grab the Digestive blend — its blended with Ginger, Peppermint, Fennel, Coriander and Fennel (it smells very similar to licorice). I rub it clockwise around the belly button (I don’t recall why I do it this way but it has something to do with the direction in which our digestive tracks flow).
  20. Mosquito Repellant – hands down best bug spray I have ever used. TerraShield (Outdoor blend) combines Lemon, Eucalyptus, Ylang Ylang, Vanilla and other essential oils and it doesn’t smell nearly as awful as your common bug spray. This comes in a 15ml bottle or a pre-mixed spray bottle that use for simplicity sake.
  21. Cleaning – I make my own cleaning supplies generally and have been for a couple of years now. A quick and easy recipe: equal parts white vinegar and hot water with 10-20 drops of whatever essential oil I am in the mood for: Wild Orange, Lemon, On Guard, Purify, Lavender, Lemongrass…I also love making my own vacuum powder by using an empty glass jar. I poked some holes in the lid to the jar, filled it about 3/4 full with baking soda and 20 drops of any of the oils mentioned above. I sprinkle this on the rugs and couch about 15 minutes prior to vacuuming — it really does help to deodorize in my house at least! I make my own furniture polish with equal parts olive oil and vinegar and 15 drops each Wild Orange and Lemon. I also make an all-purpose cleaner with borax, washing powder, blue Dawn dish soap, white vinegar, hot water and 15 drops of your favorite essential oil. All of these items are safe for my kids and pets, I know exactly what is in them and they actually do work to clean.

 

Feel free to leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments! Happy oiling!

 

 

How Chiropractic Helps Us

When I was 16 I was in a car accident. It wasn’t a very bad one, a guy who was on his cell phone rear-ended me, and I walked away with some neck pain and a dented back bumper.  My mom suggested that I go see a chiropractor. As it turns out, my grandmother had worked part-time for one and she called and made an appointment for me within a week of the accident. I remember going in for weekly visits and laying face down on a cold leather table while my back was massaged with an old school electric massager. He’d adjust my neck during each visit, but admittedly I wasn’t a fan of the “neck pops”. He sent me home with a special pillow to offer more strategic support for my neck and after about 12 weeks of seeing him as many as 3 times per week, my neck felt normal again.

Flash forward 18 years. I just had my second child, sweet Everly Jean. She was a very unhappy baby for the first 10 weeks of her life. She was by textbook definition a “colicky” baby: she kicked her legs and screamed as the biggest farts rolled out of her tiny body, she refused sleep and SHE CRIED FOREVER. I developed leg muscles quicker than I’d hoped due to incessant bouncing and walking through the house in efforts to console her. There we many days that she literally cried all day long. Reid would come home from work and I would be crying, too. We were miserable, and there were several days that I just knew she would cry for the rest of her life.

I had heard of chiropractic care being helpful for other families dealing with similar challenges with their kids. I put out a poll on a Natural Living/Attachment Parenting Facebook group that I am part of to find out if anyone in our area recommended a good chiropractor for children. I was quickly given anecdotal referrals to at least 3 chiropractors in the Triad who see children. Before I could even make the first phone call, one of doctors that my friends were referring actually contacted me…the power of social media! Within 24 hours, I was sitting in Dr. Kim’s office for Everly’s consultation. I had briefed her over the phone as to what all we were dealing with, but during the in-person consultation we dug much deeper into Everly’s personality, sleeping habits, diaper habits, nursing habits, etc. Dr. Kim began to explain the central nervous system to me in a way I had never noticed it before. I remember sitting in the chair in her office and literally feeling mind-blown, thinking to myself, “how can everyone in the world not know about this?!”.

Chiropractic means to move with the hands. God thought our central nervous system was so important that he encased it fully with bone in order to protect it, right? If our nervous system is functioning 100% properly, then the organs on the other end of all these nerves will function 100% properly. If the bones (vertebrae) that are protecting these nerves are causing any type of interruption or dis-ease on the nerve (sublaxation), then the organ that nerve leads to will not function as it should. Moving the bone back to its proper place (chiropractic adjustment) allows the nerve to function as it should. When our nervous system is “in check”, our body can function as it is intended. It makes complete sense, right?!

Each time you are adjusted by a chiropractor, your immune system is boosted up to 200%. Adjustments are simply getting rid of sublaxations. Back when I was 16 and fresh out a car accident, I thought chiropractors were only needed for instances such as this. I had no idea that chiropractic care was really preventative care rather than reactive care. I love the reaction that people tend to give me when they learn that I have been (and have taken my 2 children) to the chiropractor and they say, “what’s wrong?”. NOTHING is wrong! That’s what is so beautifully right with it all! Our bodies were designed to heal themselves, but they cannot do that if they cannot function 100% and if the nerves aren’t fully circuited back to the organ they serve. Spinal interference/sublaxations are caused by three things: emotional trauma, chemical trauma and/ or physical trauma. In our day-to-day we deal with things that stress us out, make us worry and too often times we are in unhealthy relationships, all of which can and will cause emotional trauma. What we put on and inside of our bodies has an affect on our central nervous system. Everything from our shampoo and conditioner to the type of ground beef and butter we eat, down to the lotions and sunscreens and fruit snacks and caffeine–that old phrase “you are what you eat” really does make so much sense. Physical trauma is everything from the repetitive way you hold a cell phone to your ear while driving, the posture you adopt while sitting at a desk or the way you carry a diaper bag on the same shoulder every day. Keeping your spine free of sublaxations will give you the best shot at being the best version of YOU.

Everly and I have been seeing Dr. Kim ever since March 2016 when Everly was just 10-weeks old. The first time Everly was adjusted Dr. Kim explained that when babies come out of the birth canal, they get pretty jacked up on their exit and have sublaxations the second they take their first breath. She reminded me that when a baby is in utero it is in a position so that the head is down and the feet are up toward the sky, and she explained that when you hold a baby by the feet upside down in this position, it mimics the position they held in utero. This is a comfortable position for them and instinctively, their arms should float down toward their feet when you hold them this way. Dr. Kim dangled Everly upside down by her ankles and I watched as her tiny spine took the shape of the letter “J”, as her arms shot straight out like the letter “T”. Everly stayed so calm, and I remember being surprised that she hadn’t freaked out. After just a few seconds of suspension, Dr. Kim signaled for me to grab Everly’s head as we laid her back down on the special pillow used for baby adjustments. She ran her fingers down Everly’s spine to locate the sublaxation. She worked her magic to make a few small adjustments to Everly’s spine and flipped her back over again, grabbing her by the ankles and suspending her up into the air. Before my very eyes, my child hung straight down and her tiny little arms floated down to her feet, literally a completely different sight than what I had witnessed less than 3 minutes prior, and still no freaking out!

The very next day, almost 11 weeks into my 12-week maternity leave, Everly smiled at me for the first time. She didn’t cry all day. I recall weeping as I videoed her late that afternoon, because the way she was acting was something I had never seen before. I wanted to attribute it 100% to her chiropractic adjustment the day before and was sad that I hadn’t taken her sooner. I felt like I had finally met my daughter and she has literally been a different child since that first visit.

Sadler and I also see Dr. Kim regularly. We go at least once every other week, but sometimes we go every week. If one of us starts to express symptoms of health that make us feel icky, we go in for an adjustment. Thankfully, Everly has never had to see a medical doctor for a sick visit and has never taken any prescription medications. I wholeheartedly believe that keeping her clear of sublaxations has played a major part in this and can honestly say the same for myself and Sadler. Yes, we still get sick but we are able to recover much faster than we would have a year ago, and often times with fewer medical interventions.

I notice a lot of chiropractic offices in our city when I drive around and it makes my heart happy. We drive 30 minutes to see Dr. Kim and while I know there are other doctors closer to our house, there is no one I would rather have in my life to fill this role. Aside from being an amazingly intelligent doctor, she is a beautiful person inside and out and God put her in my life for so many reasons. She is expecting twin girls any day now and we got to see her this weekend for a special maternity party before she goes out on leave.

drkim

The best part of this whole story: after almost a year of trying, my husband will be getting his first adjustment tomorrow. He has been for his consultation appointment (and no, unfortunately adults don’t get suspended during consults, only the babies!) and to say that I am excited for his journey to begin is merely understated. I cannot wait to hear how good he feels tomorrow afternoon.

 

Reflections: Week 1

After a full week of being at home with Everly and not working outside the home, I am left feeling full. As I sit to write on the evening of this abnormally sunny Sunday, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for the time that truly belonged to me this week. Time each day this week was well-spent, and seemed to go by at  a slower pace than when I sat behind a desk. I am grateful for this change of pace and can already feel the impact this decision will have on my family as we embrace our new normal.

Monday was my first day at home with Everly. The entire day offered a surge of emotion, welcomed by the quiet of the house amidst our presence. Our day began around 7:30 in the same bed. It was a nice bonus to get to sleep in. I made French toast for breakfast -something I could have never dreamed of doing in my “old life”, we always seemed to be running late and eating on the go. It’s amazing what you are capable of when your desire meets your ability. After we dropped Sadler off at preschool,  we went to Costco and were home in time for lunch. Rocking Everly to sleep for nap on a Monday morning was the first glimpse of  the many blessings around the corner for us. I weeped tears of joy as she drifted off in my arms. Once she was asleep, I felt compelled to share a post with social media that sparked so much love and encouragement and words of strength and affirmation from so many people that know and love our family. I was truly overwhelmed and beyond inspired by the kind words and support that people shared in reaction to our story. It has moved me and provided great momentum, somewhat of a turning point in my journey.

When Everly was in daycare, the teachers often commented on how she hated taking naps. Ironically, she took a two-hour nap on our first day home together.

love

Everly is 13-months old and while not yet walking, she crawls all over the place and pulls up on anything that she can grab hold of. She will tirelessly work to come find me wherever I am in the house and greets me with the biggest smile, arms held up uttering some sort of grunt or moan. She makes hilarious faces, and she is quite vocal. Mrs. Pam, our beloved daycare teacher used to say that Everly was her “little but loud” baby – when she would call her this, it often reminded me of Shakespeare’s quote from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, “Though she be but little, she is fierce”. Sounds about right.

Having dinner ready by the time Reid got home from work each day was my favorite part of the week. As of late and right up until I left my job, he had been cooking dinner most every night because I was working late hours. Even on nights when I came home on time, he would still offer to cook just because he wanted to. I enjoyed taking that role over this week and can honestly say that I look forward to holding it for a while.

cookingCooking has always been something I enjoy. There is something about finding a good playlist on Apple Music, pouring a glass of wine and dancing in the kitchen while cooking that just heals the soul for me. Prior to having children, I recall coming home from a long day at work and finding my peace and joy in the kitchen. Cooking a colorful dinner for Reid and I was my favorite part of the day. Once Sadler was born, this slowly slipped away as bottle-washing, laundry-washing/folding/sorting, pumping, nursing, diaper- washing (we used cloth diapers for several months when Sadler was little), changing, feeding, etc. seemed to take the lead.

By week end, our house was cleaner than it’s ever been. I have been over-the-moon excited about the time I now have to do things I have been “listing” and day-dreaming about for quite some time. Having the ability to spend more time making our house a home has already made a positive impact on me in so many ways. Hearing my 4-year-old say, “Daddy, I love our house”, completely unsolicited and out of the blue this weekend, was music to my ears. I became filled with joy and humility and closed my eyes as I had a small celebration on the inside because I knew I had made a difference in her day. It’s the little things. Not just for me, but for everyone. Having order and tidiness and cleanliness in the home just makes life better.

I had a party planned at our house on Saturday to share my love of doTERRA essential oils with some of my friends and family. Throughout the week, I picked up things here and there in preparation and checked things off my list to get ready for everyone to arrive Saturday afternoon. Low and behold, without warning and certainly without welcome, the stomach bug found it’s way into our home at 3AM on Saturday – poor Sadler was a sick little girl and the weekend didn’t quite turn out as planned. We spent our time in our PJs and extra naps were taken without prompt. Everyone got plenty of “oil downs” with blends to keep our immune systems boosted and diffusers were going in every room in the house. So far, everyone else in the family has remained in the clear but we are continuing to monitor conditions and administer TLC as needed. Thankfully the weekend offered unusually high temperatures and every window in the house was open, offering a nice cleanse of the air and energy as the sunshine beamed in.

Reid surprised me with some antique glass jars this week, one of his co-workers gave them to him and he thought to bring them to me. I couldn’t resist using this beautiful, extra-large Mason jar to showcase some blue hydrangeas I picked up this week.

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I decided to keep Sadler home from preschool today to offer one more day of rest and recovery. The house is quiet, and my heart full. I am thankful that joy found me when it did.