Pressing Into 2 as a SAHM + Anything Else I Want To Try

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This image was so easy to take because it feels so natural to me. Behind a computer. I feel like it’s the last connection for me to be able to be in “my stride” and still be in “my callings”.

I’m a full-time stay at home mom.
I’m a full-time home school mom of 5 kids ages 11 and under. (4 of them are old enough for school and I teach them.)
I’m 50% single mom due to the nature of my husband’s career.

And, I’d bet most people, even the ones who would never even dream doing any of that themselves, would at least say something like “I don’t know how you do it.” in an effort to applaud my survival in such circumstances.

My truth is that I didn’t have five kids because I had always dreamt of it. Not because I love babies and pregnancy, None of that. I have five kids because the night before our second child was born, I spoke words that opened up a doorway for the Lord to grow my faith in gigantic ways.

What did I say, you ask? In response to my husband asking me “How would you take it if you have a c-section tomorrow?”, I replied: “I’d take it as a sign from God that we aren’t supposed to have any more children.

Before we go any further, can I tell you that, since that time in my life, I try very hard to avoid putting God’s stamp on a thought I have without checking with him first? After I recovered from that surgery and a big move, God began to speak to my heart about trusting him with our family size. And I could checkmark some of the points:

– Birth Control makes me sick
– When I really stopped to inspect the reasons I’d choose our family size, all of them were rooted in either selfishness on my part or fear on my part. None of them required me to stretch my faith muscle.

But also at that time, the only family most people knew about that type of thinking had 18 kids.
Over the next five years, I’d have 3 more children and it would be a rollercoaster of peace and terror in my mind. My husband would be on board with trusting God and if I’m honest, to this day, he would agree to another baby if I heard a whisper from Heaven on the matter.

Trough those years, I also had a strong impression from the Lord about our children’s education. Like the family planning, there were points I could get behind:

– Our son needed to see my husband more than 16 hours a month (2 hours a day during the 8 days his daddy was home)
– I wasn’t sure that during the seven hours my son would be away, he would thrive quite like he could at home. He had done mother’s day out programs and always needed more than what his “age group” curriculum offered.

So, we tried it and it worked well for us. But, can I tell you that it’s hard? Can I tell you that while I know I was made for and called to being their mom and teacher, I also feel like I was made for even more?

I recently took the enneagram test after strongly avoiding it simply because I was so annoyed with “the crowd’s” seeming obsession with it.

I found out, I am a “2”. The Helper. And from the moment that I began to read more about my type and people like me, the more things began to click and the more guilt washed right on off of my shoulders.

When my second child was in my tummy, I began making tutus and bows. My bows were the worst ever and when I moved to South Carolina, I learned quickly what real bow looked like. It wasn’t long before I started selling my bows and tutus on social media. (That sounds fancy. It was Facebook. I don’t even think Instagram was a “thing” yet.)

My other twos will hear me when I say that I started selling them because I truly wanted other moms on a hard-line budget to be able to put their girls in cute boutique items without having to stare at the price tag and bow out. Nobody’s girl was going to miss out on the trends on my watch. The problem was, I sold everything for cost or less than cost. But, just like I enjoyed working the register at the school products store I worked for in high school, I LOVED the interaction online with moms shopping with me. I’d take all kinds of custom orders and making people happy felt amazing to me.

Sadly, people are also hard to take sometimes and I decided I would hang up my ribbon and tulle in 2012 to enjoy my 3rd pregnancy.

In 2013, when I had unexpected baby number four and she was terribly ill, I was introduced to a product that was sold under the Multi-Level Marketing (or network marketing or brand rep or social marketing) business model. The following March, when I decided to tell all of Facebook how much this product had helped my daughter, they knew I was telling the truth because I had shared her entire journey.

And just like that, I had a new business. I was helping so many people every day. I would look up their questions and give product related options. I’d pray for them on the phone as they shared their need for better health and quality of life. I’d be on the phone sometimes 4-5 hours a day.

I could see the concern from my husband, but he filled in where I was stepping out a bit to grow what seemed to have fallen into my hands. If God gave it to me, I was going to water it and speak kindly to it as faithfully as possible, and after a while, we found our stride. I helped people, I helped them learn how to help people too. The glorious part was that moms were helping moms in this underground conversation and everyone got to feel better and also build businesses. They got to interact with other adults regularly with a purpose beyond a glass of wine and the latest episode of reality TV.

It. was. awesome! I felt so fulfilled. I felt in balance. All areas of my life felt like they were working so well together.

And then I met the shamers. The people who hit “block” if you sell anything using social platforms as the avenue as if somehow a marketing team derived Target ad on the side of the screen isn’t bad, but if I show a picture of my kid 5 years ago and one now, I’m a scammer. The people who wouldn’t choose to save their life with a product simply because of the business model. The mockers and naysayers. I saw the memes. I saw PSAs and open letters “to the girl from high school selling something”.

And it HURT me. It was painful to be made to feel like a scammer or a fraud. It hurt to feel like the thing that I had found that took my hardest places and turned them into the most beautiful story was somehow offensive to others. It blew my mind that I saw people being praised for buying a car or a house or a dog or acquiring more debt, but if I have success in my business, I was somehow bad.

And there was more. The guilt. The comments about being “focused on motherhood first” as if running my business somehow took away from what I was doing in my parenting. As if helping people in front of my kids was wrong. As if them seeing me navigate (wins, losses, and all) owning my own business and educating people on my product would somehow be less “good” for my motherhood checkmark chart.

Then the two in me lost my focus. I got sidetracked trying to please everyone. I began to believe that if I had a slow month, it was because I wasn’t connecting with people. They didn’t like me. They didn’t want me.

Friends, none of that is healthy or true. Being a type 2 can be dangerous when we let the desire to help others make us feel like a loser if our idea of connecting isn’t what turns out. And I’m here to say with confidence and peace:

I love being a mom. I love homeschooling. I love educating others about my products. I love owning my business. I love connecting online because adult interaction is sanity. I’m lonely without it because our lifestyle is different and I don’t get to see as many friends in person as moms who live differently than I do.  I love my callings AND my stride. I love creativity and helping others and it’s possible and okay to do all of the things I was gifted to do.

There are no rules to doing life or motherhood “right”. Even a perfect two cannot please everyone. We all only get one go around this life and I want to slide into home thanking God for all of the inspirations he gave me to try my hand at.

I hope that for you too.

How I: Keep Talking To My Kids

Hi Friend,

I don’t have any idea where these words find you. I don’t know if you’re a young mommy to be who is getting a jump on this parenting stuff or a seasoned mother in the trenches. The trenches. What a scary phrase on raising children, and yet, so accurate to our feelings and theirs some days.

Maybe you’re aware or maybe this is news, but open lines of communication are often the most needed and least accessible tool between parents and our pre-teen/tween kiddos. As we approach the years when they will start being away from us more with friends, sports, and commitments, I see so many people posting things like “I wish I had known”. I don’t want that to be a sentence you or I ever utter about our children.

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Now, don’t peg me as an expert, because I’ve only been in this gig for 11 years and counting. Compared to some of you, I’m still a baby parent. I’m aware that I don’t even know what I don’t know, but last night around 1am, I had a HUGE moment with my oldest son and I thought more moms could learn what we did.

You see, I was raised with all boys. I know the conversation barrier. Especially when dealing with “feelings” or mistakes or any of the hard stuff. I’m also married to a 40-year-old man-boy so it doesn’t escape me that part of it is likely just how guys are wired.

None of that, however, changes the absolute fact that I’m a mom. It’s my job while my kids are young to communicate with them. I get to hear the hard stuff, the good stuff, the farts. All of it.

So when my kiddos started having troubles that they didn’t know how to navigate, I was so thankful they came to me. We talked late into the evening about friendship, temptation, integrity, and the care and keep of other humans and their hearts. But as I was leaving, I had this divine moment where I blurted out something to my son that I think changed forever the way we communicate.
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While we were talking, he had said “Hang on mom. This will be hard for me to say.” He was so worried that something he could say or do would change the love I have for him. He didn’t want to disappoint me. He told me there is a little voice in the back of his mind that tells him I’ll get really mad at him when I hear he has done something “wrong”. Anything. Lying, being selfish, etc. What a lot of pressure we forget we were once under as children and still have to face as adults.
As I left his room, I thought we were done but I wanted the door to stay open.

“You know buddy, if there is ever anything you need to say to me but don’t think the words will come out, you can write it down and just slip the note under my door.” 

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“Okay, mom” 

At 1am I heard a noise at my door and then little feet running to the other side of the house. 

There was a note on the floor.

“What you said made me think and I wanted to tell you about this issue I’ve been having. I need your help.” 

We stayed up until 2am talking on his bed. He asked questions and I answered them. I reminded him of the truth that the presence of conviction is a sign that none of us are in our battle alone.

Sometimes we just need to remember that words don’t always have sound. Sometimes a note under the door and an open option for communication are all they need to say what they need to say.

If they aren’t talking, offer them the option to write it down, text it, email, whatever. That gives them the freedom to get it all out without interruption or a look of disappointment they can’t stand the weight of, and it gives us parents time to really hear what they want to say before we jump to conclusions or get upset.

My last words to him last night were:
“Son, Daddy said to tell you that it takes a strong man to admit he needs help. That’s who you are. Remember that. You’re strong. I’m proud of you. I’m thankful to be able to help you. Thank you for trusting me.” 

Great Minds

I don’t know about you, but I love to talk. I think it’s fabulous to be in a group of gals and talk it up. Sometimes I’ll come home super late from teaching a class or a girls dinner and my husband will ask “Was it oil or Jesus?” Apparently I really only ever talk about your physical health or your heart health?? He knows me so well.

But when I was just twenty-nine, I sat at a table with a group of woman who I considered to be my friends. As I listened, I heard one of these women share a bunch of facts about another woman. And these were absolute facts, but somewhere deep inside of me, a little voice began to ask me questions about the nature of the conversation.
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Why do we do that?

Why is it so hard to avoid discussing other women when we get together?

I think Eleanor Roosevelt was on to something when she said:

“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” 

But there we sit. Starbucks in hand and somehow, we decide it’s okay to speak the name of a woman not present.

And we hide it so cleverly as “prayer concerns” or need-to-know information. Maybe we even cloak it in false compassion to let someone know that they’ve been gossiped about.

Gossip is a nasty beast, isn’t it? It always manages to beget more gossip, but can I tell you something? I bet if you think about it, you’ll find it’s true for you as well.

Never one time in my entire life has it been to my benefit or growth in any way shape or form for me to know what another woman said about me behind my back. It always hurts me. It always poisons my mind and heart. It always creates a grudge or a need for confrontation.

I’ve shared this before, but a few years ago I distinctly heard the Lord (not audible by in my mind) tell me that I could wait on Him in woman to woman situations. He told me that the majority of the time, the negativity towards me is perceived but not really about me at all. Usually, women are cold, distant, confusing, or rude when they have something hurting them. And he asked me to wait instead of confronting.
He knows me so well. (I guess creating me gave him an eye witness credibility on my character.)
You see, I have a quick tongue. It’s also sharp and accurate. I used to really pride myself in putting people into their place and calling their hands on the drama they were putting out.

But from that first whisper at the table with my friends so many years ago, I knew the days of me using that gift for myself were over. I was ruining it. He wanted my controlled, targeted, effective words to be used for so much more than that.

Someone came to me and told me that it was painfully obvious that my dear friend was overtly against me. In her words and actions. This person prompted me with some advice to confront my friend. Thankfully, my mind had an idea. That idea was to wait on the Lord.

Three days later, I saw my friend in person and it didn’t take more than a moment for her to burst into tears and confess to me that two very hard and unimaginable things had happened to her in the previous week. Things that took my breath and broke my heart for her.

As women, we need to share more ideas. We need to dream together. We need to pursue our purposes together. We need to do this for us. Because when we love someone, we want to inspire them, not tear their heart out. Because we are GREAT minds being waisted on small-minded chatter.

Every second we spend discussing another woman is a second we spend promoting woman on woman crime. Mom shaming. Body shaming. Career shaming.
And those seconds are ones where ideas are lost.

What could we accomplish if we focused on ideas? What if every get together was a mastermind?

What if you purposed to intentionally select who you talk with, who you give your seconds to so that you unleash your purpose to make this world better?

What if we all decided to be Great Minds?
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Are you getting it all?

CBD is everywhere these days, am I right?

I have even seen some at the gas station.

And for as many brands as there are available, there are as many delivery methods. Gummies, sprays, capsules, vape pens. The list goes on.

So how do you know which method is for you?

Most of the methods above leave a lot to be desired. Most if not all of the CBD therein is lost in digestion and sent out as waste. Expensive waste.

I personally don’t want to wast even a single drop of my CBD so I took to the old research its method. That’s code for telling my major researcher husband to figure it out. He will read all of the data, watch all of the videos, do all of the things. I love that about him, don’t you?

As it turns out, what I already knew from five years learning all about natural wellness for our daughter recovering from autoimmune symptoms, was true with CBD as well.

To get the most bang for our buck, we need to bypass digestion. That means sublingual delivery. As simple as drops under the tongue. In this method, fat-soluble CBD is carried in healthy fatty oils into the body and into the bloodstream. This means the CBD has a better chance of getting to more places quicker.

But, let’s say you’re someone who just can’t get that oil under your tongue. Your next option for ingestion is in a capsule. That certainly isn’t going to bypass digestion, so you’ll want some healthy fats to help the CBD make its way.

Here’s a quick reference with tips:

Bioavailability

If there was ever a don’t, mine would be this: Soy. Soy is a fatty vegetable oil for sure, but it’s also a hormone disruptor. It is often full of heavy metals, molds, and pesticides. These are things you do not at all want to go directly into your bloodstream.

Find a good organic, non-GMO, 3rd party tested CBD. One where the company posts its batch test results directly to its website.

The CBD Oil tincture my family uses is carried in MCT oil which has numerous benefits itself from weight management to mental clarity and focus. It is also infused with pure, therapeutic grade essential oils which are terpenoids that lend their abilities to the effectiveness of what the body can do with the cannabinoids in our CBD tincture.

Happy healthing!

10 Tips For Natural Birth

Hi there sweet momma to be (or papa because let’s face it, my man researched for me because I was too busy being all kinds of pregnancy extra.)
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I bet you’ve come across this because you are about to have a little human enter this world and you need some birth hacks that will save the day.

While I sincerely hope to put this all in a precious, bound, collection one day in the future, people are having babies now, so I thought I’d paraphrase for you.

There is a TON of books and articles and posts everywhere you look. You could go right now and spend your nest egg on books at the local book store that would coach you on everything from pregnancy fashion to how to puree a chicken nugget.

I’m going to focus on maximizing the impact and minimizing the time spent weeding out the details.

Here we go:

1. Relax. Your incredible body isn’t going to mistake how this whole thing works. Sure, there are factors that could arise because this is humanity and there is margin for things being funky, but on the whole, we’ve been birthing babies since the first one was born and while I cannot promise your birth will be like any of my five, I can promise you that you get to choose how you approach it. Calm moms have all the fun. Pregnancy ball and chill, sweet friend.

A tense body will get in the way of things loosening and softening and dropping. I like to use the term “press in”. We’ll get to that, but for now, relax.

2. Move. In the days leading up to your baby (and really the entire pregnancy), be active. As active as you feel like. Take walks, breathe fresh air, let the sun hit your skin, and just move. Salsa dance with your partner in the living room. Park at the back of the parking lot at the grocery store.
There’s a reason old wives tales say to vacuum and make whoopie. Moving loosens up your hips and pelvis.

The thing I didn’t know about movement until my 3rd child was that while it progresses labor very well, it also detracts from the mind focusing on discomfort. When you’re moving, you’re not laying on your back thinking about how you feel.

3. Eat and drink. Unless you are under restriction for good reason from your provider, eat and drink. Birth is a marathon and not a sprint. Your body and your baby still need water, protein, etc. It’s about to Hulk out and it needs fuel.

4. Relax your bottom jaw. We tend to tense up at the beginning of contractions. I know I did. But in my 5th delivery, my smart husband told me to just let my bottom jaw hang open. Game.Changer. pal. I was able to keep swaying or moving or just not panic. It worked far better than any other coping tip I’ve tried.

5. Get into the water. There is just something about a bathtub or a pool that is soothing, and the added bonus of taking your weight and baby’s off of your ever-expanding pelvis is unmatched. Try your bathtub or a birthing pool wherever you are laboring. You can maintain rhythmic movement in water and progress with much less intensity.

6. Shhhh. If you’re not in labor yet, let’s play a game. First, make a high pitched sound. Note how your entire body tenses up? Now, make low sound from your gut. See how that relaxes your body and especially your abdomen? Low and slow wins the race.

7. Stay off of your back. Laying on your back forces your baby to work against gravity. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

8. Just say no to IV fluids unless something is wrong. Fluids will make you and your baby swell a bit. Do I need to explain that one further? Nah.

9. When you “literally can’t even”, it’s probably go-time. There is a special word in the stages of labor called “Transition”. This is what happens when it’s time for baby to head on out. It also coincides with some crazy thoughts. For most women it’s definitely work laboring, but when your mind becomes irrational saying “you can’t do this. get drugs. you’re going to die. it’s too hard” that’s usually right about that time. Tell someone when you get crazy in your mind and see if it might be time to settle into delivery.
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10. Press in. The rhythms of labor are long lost on TV and movie deliveries. We all picture ourselves on our back screaming in pain while we push on a ten count. If you dint’ know this already, when your baby is ready, your body will push for you. It’s crazy, but it’s real. So as you approach this glorious unfolding, press in. It’s okay to feel it. It’s good to sway and move and trust your body if it tells you to squat, get on all fours, lay on your side, or sit on the potty. Relax that bottom jaw, breathe well, and press in. Because the truth is, in mere moments, you’re going to be holding a life you got to carry and the feeling of birthing that person is unlike anything else this world has to offer. You will never regret it and you’ll be love drunk about it forever.
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p.s. Contractions feel like period cramps. They start small and build. If you’ve ever had a strong period, you can do this birth thing. Trust me.

Lemons

Today we’re welcoming my husband to the blog because he’s a relentless warrior hero of a dad who will always do what it takes.

He’ll be the one making homemade creams and sitting with her every night listening to sweet jams while she soaks in her special bath.

He’ll be the one doing everything he can to figure it out.

He’s just that kind of a daddy.

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If we’re going to be friends, I have to tell you about my lemons.

I didn’t wake up one day and think “I want to get into the CBD business.”

I woke up one day with too many lemons and I needed to figure out how to use them.

You see, my now four year old was born early with an unknown genetic abnormality.

Here is my wife and I moments after she was born.


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And as a result of that abnormality, the drugs administered to her tiny newborn body riddled her with trouble.

And it hurt her.
And it hurt me.
And it hurt my wife.
And our other 4 children.

And I woke up one day wanting to take my lemons and use them to make something sweet. – To make her attack become someone else’s rescue.

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I woke up to a desire to share what is helping her because I’ve been there..

I’ve been in my bed late into the night searching the farthest reaches of the internet for others like her. For hope. For help. For lemonade.

Something sweet to soothe the hardness of our circumstance.
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And if just one person gets to experience freedom because we spoke up, it’s all worth it.

What if the hardest thing you’ve walked becomes the biggest purpose of your life?


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What if my quest to find my daughter some healing leaves an open, bright, wide path. And what if I get to double back and help you navigate?

So, I guess all I’m asking now is… can I help you with your lemons?

Can I help you try CBD and regain quality of life for you or your child or parent or friend or pet?

17 things to know before choosing CBD

17 things to consider when purchasing a CBD product.

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I bet you’ve found yourself trying to compare companies and don’t know what to look for. After all, CBD feels so new on the scene and the learning curve seems tight.

I’m here to share 17 things you’ll want to know before you buy. And even if you don’t buy the brand we use, you can still feel confident if you can check off these items.

The first thing I want to know when looking at brands is if they have a COA!  (Certificate of Analysis)!

Here is the purity and quality information for the CBD we use: Nature’s Ultra CBD

This is very important to look into when deciding which CBD to use! This will uncover a few important details.

Now on to the check list:

1. Do they offer pure, effective products without unnecessary fillers? 

🌱 We offer a 100% THC FREE in MCT oil infused with Young Living essential oils for a terpenoid entourage effect that works.

2. Are there any heavy metals (Lead, Cardmium, Arsenic, Mercury)?

🌱 There shouldn’t be any at all! We operate within Young Living’s “Seed To Seal Guarantee” 

3. Is there any bile, yeast, bacteria, or mold?

🌱 That should be a hard no!

Why would these things be present? Hemp is a sponge in the soil much like the soy plant. It soaks up everything including the bad stuff.

4. How is it extracted? Co2 or ethanol? 
Chemicals or solvents (acetone, butanol)?

🌱 Chemical solvent free extraction is best. Nature’s Ultra uses proprietary chemical free methods to ensure quality, pure CBD always.

5. What do they suspend the CBD in? (ex. Coconut oil, vitamin e oil, hemp seed oil, etc?) Also known as a carrier oil.

🌱 Nature’s Ultra is carried in MCT oil. Beneficial for the brain, digestive system, and whole body.

6. How many ingredients?

🌱 Nature’s Ultra has only 4.  CBD, MCT carrier, Essential oil, and Stevia extract. Our flavors are pure therapeutic grade essential oils chosen for their terpenes that work in an entourage effect with the CBD to produce even greater benefits.pf-110faae3-69a5-4a2e-99cb-f267ec72f288--CBDOilsLabelGuideGraphic

7. How much is in each bottle? 15ml or 30ml?

🌱 Nature’s Ultra is 30ml with roughly 1000 drops per bottle – That’s an average of 7 weeks of CBD or more per user depending on serving size.

8. Where is it grown:

🌱 Nature’s Ultra is grown in the United States in the high altitudes of Colorado.

9. What’s the strength?

🌱 Nature’s Ultra offers 500mg & 750mg as well as a “calm” roll on and a “muscle rub” jar.

10. What’s the price?

🌱 500mg is $99.95 ($89.95 for Young Living members) $10 savings!
🌱 1000mg is $189.95 ($169.95 for Young Living members) $20 savings!

Nature’s Ultra is also always free shipping.

Quality: ALL SHOULD BE YES!

11. Is it Organic?

🌱 Hemp is a naturally pest & weed resistant plant but our farms have NEVER used pesticides on the land we chose to grow on so its 100% organic.

12. Is it Non GMO?

🌱 We use wild-crafted heirloom, non-gmo seed.

🌱 If your farm is not 100% FDA compliant your CBD may not be legal to possess in most states.

🌱 Our farm is 100% federally compliant so all of our hemp & hemp derived products are 100% federally legal in all 50 states.

13. Is it Imported?

🌱 Imported CBD doesn’t have to go through the same stringent testing as US grown & processed CBD oil.

14. Processed in an FDA certified lab?

🌱 Ours is processed on site at our FDA compliant farm lab.

15. Do they claim their full spectrum product is THC-free?

🌱 Because that’s a lie & could cost you your job if you’re randomly drug tested. You can’t have both THC-free & full spectrum but because the levels of THC are so low (trace amounts) the government doesn’t require they label the product as actually containing THC. But even trace amounts could show up on a drug test. If you want THC-free you need a CBD Isolate, not a full-spectrum oil.

🌱 We have a THC-Free CBD Isolate available for those who have random drug tests.

16. Is their CBD full of “flavor” or pure, therapeutic, terpenoid rich Essential Oils?

🌱Our CBD is infused with Young Living’s Seed To Seal backed Pure, Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils. They are terpenoid rich creating a beautiful entourage effect with the CBD.

17. How many tests?

🌱 Many companies offer only a COA. Some even post mold, metals, and pesticide testing, but look carefully at the letters beside those line items. N/A means they did not test for those things. ND means none detected. Nature’s Ultra provides over 17 different tests to ensure purity and quality,

f you have no idea about any of these things, let’s talk! If you’re currently using a CBD oil you’re not sure about post a pic of the ingredients label & I can help you decipher it.

I have compared more than 20 brands & have never found anything remotely close to ours in the same price range.

The CBD oil that we use is compliant on all levels, and it is supremely extracted, no fillers or additives, no harsh chemicals, only 2 ingredients so it’s potent, it’s powerful and it’s helping me 10 fold!I hope this list is useful to you and helps you decide on quality CBD that will yield lasting benefits to your health and well being.

If you’re interested in learning more about Nature’s Ultra, click HERE

For Every Kid’s Mom

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Childhood can be interesting and parenthood can be hard.
So much character concentrated into one tiny body.
Like your favorite soda, or my ginger berry kombucha…

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She’s not even 3 and climbs any and everything.

Shake it too much or let it sit for too long and things are likely to get a bit wild.

But someday… Someday that body will grow and the compression will ease. The character will be refined and ready to do what it was created to do.

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The child who never stops talking will be an excellent communicator and someone who makes others comfortable by carrying the conversation when needed. They will convey important messages with their abundance of words.

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The one bouncing off of the walls will have energy to take on tasks most would run from and come out with some to spare.

The sensitive one? Compassion. Empathy. The ability to hear others even if they aren’t saying much.

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As a mom, what I can do now is encourage them to channel that intensity of highly concentrated character into productive areas for their growth, fun, and personal successes.

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Then, when God calls them to the plate, they can let it out with full force.

We don’t need to “fix” or children to fit “normal”. We need to make space for them to take up space and help them to focus their energy for good.

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And hey, don’t be too hard on yourself. They mom on ET had an alien living in her home for a week and never even noticed.

It’s okay to really like your kids. It’s okay to just enjoy watching them grow and it’s okay to encourage them to keep going even when they feel awkward, wrong, out of place, in the way, etc.

We are all on the learning curve!

DIY – #dadlife – Birth

Hi there!

If you’ve been here long, you’ll notice that we focus a lot on all things “natural”.

Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with a couple about to deliver their first child and the topic of the Dad’s role in the birth came up.
I thought it would be fun to interview my babies daddy and shed some light on stepping into your role during birth. Kind of a “the things nobody told us and we learned the long way” type of thing.
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Me: If you could tell a first time “Dad to be” some bullet points for being a champion “natural” dad and stepping into his role in his family, what would you tell him?

Brad:
1. “The most important thing is to listen.” To understand. Not just to hear. And not just to your wife. Listen when the doctors, midwives, and nurses when they talk. Carefully, and ask questions. You’re not listening to comply, but to understand so that you can help your wife understand and make informed decisions for your family. Ask all of your questions and test the answers. Look it up. Listen to other dads and parents. Listen to people who have done what you and your wife want to do in terms of the plan she has for her birth, body, baby, etc.  “Sometimes you are the first and only line of defense for your wife and child.” You are there to support here. Everyone else is there to do a job.

2. “Learn about the protocols for birth at the place you plan to deliver.” Do they “room in”? Do they take the baby to the nursery? Do they require interventions like monitors, medications, etc.? “Don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t be afraid to go against the “norm”. Your wife is an individual and so is your baby. Your story will look different from the couple next door and that’s awesome, not bad. When my wife asked me about circumcision, for instance, I knew I had learned that it wasn’t my first choice. Looking back, I wish I had brought her research and informed evidence because I should have known that that particular body part wasn’t her area of expertise. We both wish we hadn’t chosen that for our sons. I looked at it like this were her choice and that wasn’t being true to myself and my knowledge, and it it certainly didn’t help her.
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3.“You are her “birth liaison. Speak for her.” Birth can be intense and losing focus doesn’t help your wife or the baby. We’ve had both kinds. Ones were I sat back because I didn’t know any better and ones where I was basically fielding all of the things while we watched my wife do her thing. The second kind is the way to go. “Know your birth plan. When someone has a question, they can ask you and you can communicate with your wife. You’ll let the asker know when you do. The goal is to be a wall that protects her ability to focus. A focused woman is a productive woman.”  This goes back to knowing the hospital protocols. When the baby is born in a hospital setting, everything happens fast. The baby is born and its “cut the cord, wipe them off, bath, etc.”, If that’s not your birth plan, you don’t want to get caught up and say the wrong thing or allow something unnecessary just because it’s the way the hospital does it.

4. “Step up.” Your wife is going to push a human out of her body. She’s going to be exhausted. Be prepared to forget what sleep is for a while. Know how to change a diaper and watch a clock. Your wife will want to baby to nurse, but if she’s got to sleep or eat or shower, you’re the man for the job. You can hold the baby and provide that comfort and you’re going to need it. This is your kid’s first time meeting you. Might as well make it a big occasion and spend some quality time holding.

5. “Don’t ask her to put the baby down because of something you want her to do.” Just like this is your time to step into your role, by design, the baby needs to be on your wife. They need her body to regulate their body temperature, breathing, and simply touching her skin fires off so much brain development. “When the baby cries, pick him/her up.” That’s teaching your child the very fundamental truth that you’ll be there for them.

6. “Become a great encourager.” Your job once your wife is pregnant and for the rest of your life is to encourage her. She’s designed to do it all, but she will need you there to constantly reinforce that because her drive to be the best mother is also the source of her greatest self doubt. If you tell her how amazed you are by her, and you’ll be blown away at what she’s made of and her strength, you’ll unleash a confidence in her that will get your whole family through. You’ve gotta walk in your role so you can help her walk in hers.

Somewhere over the generations, we’ve lost sight of passing down the good stuff. The information we need most. We wind up feeling like we don’t have everything we need to walk out who we already are. People have been having babies since the beginning of humanity. You can definitely “DIY” the dad life. It’s okay to surprise yourself.

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our littles

 

Hacks That Work : Thieves Dish Soap

How many times Pinterest pins do you have for a “hack”? You know, a way to make a product work in a different way, last longer, save you money?

I’m guilty.

But as I was lost in the scroll a yesterday, I saw a “hack” using a very toxic product as bug repellent for children. This product is full of synthetic chemicals, synthetic dyes, and fake fragrance. Knowing what I know about how bad those things are for my kids (because a mother with a child like mine learns to read labels pretty quickly), and knowing that I am the gatekeeper of my home, I want to share hacks here that actually work for you, your kids, their bodies, and your budget.

Believe me when I tell you that you are worth it! Learning a new thing! Your kids are worth it. Their overall success in their personal health WILL be based on what YOU do as their parent. They will buy the brands you buy. They will take care of themselves the way that you take care of them.

No pressure. Am I right?

Now, none of this is to “mom shame”. I used to buy the household items for .23 cents with 3 coupons double stacked.  I quit working when I was 5 months pregnant with our first child 11 years ago. I understand making it all work in the parameters of the pay check.

And, I’ve also been standing there in the grocery store looking at 5 different “clean” brands that wanted to charge me an arm and a leg and my wedding rings only to find out that their ingredients weren’t much different than the big toxic brands.

Today, I am thrilled to introduce you to a product from Young Living’s Thieves line. Thieves Dish Soap is a plant based, essential oil infused, liquid dish soap. It is highly concentrated, effective, and safe for our homes. Yours and mine, friend.

In this vlog, I’m going to show you how to hack this product to:
– make it last 3 times as long,
– make it bubble so that you get all of the clean kitchen sink visuals
(because plant based products are so awesome they can clean without bubbles! Bubbles in typical products are from a synthetic agent in order to present that look of “clean” we are taught to want on every Ad for cleaning since the history of ever!)
-and make a truly wonderful product work for your budget.

What do you think? Simple enough? Budget friendly for a product that actually benefits your health while you use it?

Wanting to get your hands on this as fast as possible? I can help you with that: HERE and as an added bonus, when you grab you thieves products, you’ll also have access to a wonderful community of people just like you who are working on their wellness one cabinet of chemicals at a time!