Saturday, November 15, 2014

National Adoption Month and November to Remember with Younique

Did you know that it is National Adoption Month?!? As November seems to be flying by, and I'm trying to just keep afloat, I have a few fundraisers going on to support friends who will be adopting. It has been fun to be able to be in a position to pay it forward by having a blast with Younique.

Remember the widow I was supporting in Project Gillen?!? She is now re-married and they plan to adopt a sibling group.  I'm currently in the middle of an online party with Younique and I'm donating to their adoption costs.  If you want to participate in this party please visit this link: Leah's lash party and click on shop my party. This party ends on November 22, 2014.

And, today, I just started another adoption fundraiser for the Martindale family. They have 2 biological children of their own and are in the process of fundraising for an adoption. I get the honor of supporting them through this party: Martindale Adoption Fundraiser

Please let me know if you want to participate in any of these parties on Facebook. Or feel free to make your purchase through 1 of these parties.

And, if any of you are wondering what Younique is all about, please take a few minutes watch this video:
If the video isn't loading, here's the direct link to watch it: Younique November to Remember

I'm continually amazed at what is happening with this young company and am excited to continue to be able to not only wear these cosmetics, but share it with others.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Reflections on loss

Currently I'm going through Jennie Allen's study called: Restless.  It is so amazing to see how God works.  This week the study is on suffering and so many things spoke to me as I read what she wrote.
Here's a few quotes from Chapter 3:
You have to thank God for the seemingly good and the seemingly bad, because really, we don't know the difference.
He is not a God unfamiliar with suffering.
God wrote suffering into our stories and wants to redeem it for his glory.
I would have to say that losing my Mom is the biggest loss I've ever experienced. There are days I yell and scream at God because it is so hard to accept that my Mom is no longer on this earth.  It isn't easy being left behind. Of course I miss her and want to spend time with her.  To just live life with her.
But, amidst this grieving process, I can see God working.  So many people throughout the world, especially Dominica, have been touched by my Mom's life and the way she lived her life.  People are coming to know God because of how my parents met them and loved them.
I feel like I live with more purpose now.  To pay it forward and live openly for God.  Not that I wasn't doing this before, but God has a way of teaching that has reminded me that I'm not promised tomorrow here on earth.  Anything can happen and living boldly for God is definitely my priority.
I have peace knowing my Mom is no longer suffering physical pain.  She has been healed in more ways than one. Growing up I knew she was in pain, but as Lupus progressed her pain intensified. And, I know I will see her someday when we are reunited in heaven. I have to remind myself of these things on my roughest days!
I may not like what my summer of loss brought me.  And, quite honestly, grieving sucks.  But I'm trying to embrace the lessons God is teaching me.
Here's a quote from my Mom that I want to remember as I continue on this journey:
" when it comes to obedience to the call of God and my eternity...I will do whatever He asks of me."
**If you have experienced deep loss in your life, I highly recommend attending Griefshare.  I have only attended 1 class, but it is something I will continue attend.
And, for those interested in supporting the Church of the Nazarene in Dominica, here's an update from caringbridge about a Memorial for my Mom:

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Fave: organizing at it's finest

Ok, so organizing is NOT my favorite thing to do. But when I find a thrifty way to organize that's quick and easy, that's my favorite! And, I'm starting to make progress on my office which has continued to stay a mess amidst the craziness of life. But my focus has changed. Instead of just closing the door and letting things pile up in that room I have decided it HAS to get organized! I've had this in my plans since moving into our house almost a year ago, but other things (survival) were my priority. And, my office is the 1 room my youngest doesn't go into, so instead of having that be my catch all room it needs to be my space...

This room also has my treadmill, Bubbles(yes I named my treadmill, now BACK OFF).
My office needs to stay clean just for my adventures in exercise. The rainy season is basically here in the Pacific Northwest and I'm ready to make sure Bubbles is ready to help me stay active (see, doesn't that sound more exciting than treadmill?!?).

Anyway, back to what I put together in a short amount of time. Do any of you have Quaker granola bar boxes at your house? I needed an easy way to store coloring books and construction paper.  Gather up those boxes and some duct tape for your creation:



There ya go, easy peasy!  Oh, the possibilities with this craft. Someday I'll make it look pretty with wrapping paper, but I needed the storage NOW!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

September 4th will never be the same...

You would think that on my Mom's birthday I might have a different emotion. But this morning I was angry.

Angry that on my daughters 1st day of 1st grade a few days ago I couldn't call my Mom and cry together over my baby growing up.

Angry that on my Mom's birthday I didn't have it in me to tell my daughter it is her Mammie's birthday because I didn't want to have her think about it all day at school without me.

Angry that I can't call my Mom and sing the birthday song as horribly and off key as possible.

I'm angry that  my son won't have a memory of his Mammie other than what we tell him.

Angry that I'm even in this situation.
Angry over being angry, and how much it hurts.

And, then, just like that as I was getting ready to head out the door to spend time with others focusing on health. 
My anger evaporated.

I spent time with amazing people willing to listen to me despite my tears. 
Agreeing that it is ok to feel so deeply.

I also had lots of texts from dear friends saying they were praying for me today.

And, when I got home this was waiting for me on my doorstep:

It is beautiful! And, my Mom loved roses!
Happy Birthday Mom, I wish I could deliver these flowers to you in person!
Thank you my dear friends and family who are praying and supporting us through this time!
I know I will look back on this time and see how God carried me!
And, thank you to a new friend for sharing this quote from my Mom about going to Dominica:
" when it comes to obedience to the call of God and my eternity...I will do whatever He asks of me." 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Monday Motivation

May 28th, 2014 marked the day I started my new journey of focusing on health and wellness.
I saw changes right away, but there were more changes in my life I didn't know were coming.

 July 5th I lost my sister in law Rachael.
 August 7th I lost my Mom.
On a more positive note, I continued making healthy eating choices. 
The stress made me dig in my heals and say:  I'm doing this no matter what!

More to come at a later date..
However, I want to pay if forward.
Please contact me if you are interested in focusing on your health too!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Back to school

Right now I'm getting my daughter ready for the 1st grade.  And, it's hard. 
This time last year my Mom came shopping with us to get Beth ready for kindergarten.  Growing up my Mom always made getting ready for school fun.  She would take each of us shopping separately and it was our day to get new clothes.  We would spend the day 1 on 1 with her.  I always looked forward to that day every summer. She always had a hard time that 1st day we were back at school.  I get it now, I totally get it.
This summer with my daughter we were going to be prepping not only for school but for my parents visit in September. That visit was so close, I kept telling my mom:  "Hang in there, I get to hug you in person soon." Oh, how I'd love to hug her right now.
I'm writing this amidst sobs. I know my Mom is in heaven and no longer hurting.  But we all miss her so very much. She had a way of making every little thing a celebration. She had a way of knowing when you needed encouragement and gave you those encouraging words you needed to hear. She loved deeply.
I will miss her everyday of my life here on earth.
My brother put together this slideshow, it's a great

Friday, August 15, 2014

Grief and Loss

Most of you already know that I lost my dear sister in law, Rachael, in July.  What I haven't done is update this blog on losing my Mom.  God took her home just about a week ago. You can see more information here:

I have lost 2 very influential people in my life this summer. It hurts and it hurts deeply. Rachael was a true sister to me.  My Mom was an awesome mom.

Tears continue to come freely.  I had a moment when I wanted to call Rachael to ask her what I should wear to my Mom's service on Tuesday.  And, I've had several moments where I've wanted to send my Mom another imessage so she could see pictures of my kids or just say I love you.  But she's not on the other end of her ipad in Dominica anymore.  And, it hurts, Oh, it hurts. I know I will have times like these for the rest of my life.

So many people are missing her.  My Dad, my family, all of our extended family and the list goes on.  But there is our church family in Dominica that lost a very important person in their community.  Although my parents were in Dominica together for a short time my Mom made an impact on everyone there.  She loved her community and showed God through her actions. That is how she lived her life.

To all of you in Bataca:  I'm praying for your loss. I wish there wasn't so much distance so I could hug all of you and tell you how much my mom cared for you. I'm so glad you were able to spend time with her and see her passion for God.  I pray it has ignited a passion in you to live to the fullest for God.  And, quite frankly, I want to see all of you in heaven!

I don't understand many things that happen this side of heaven. I don't understand why I've lost 2 very special people in the same summer.  What I will continue to cling to is my faith in God, who loves and cares for me.
This was my Mom's life verse, and it is something I'm clinging to now.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Motivation

For the 1st time in a few years I feel I actually get to take care of me.  Not that I wasn't taking care of myself before, but here's a quick synopsis:  First, we moved to a different state.  Found out I was pregnant with our 2nd child.  Life turned into survival mode for me with just trying to keep food down, adjusting to living in a new place and balancing life with a preschooler who missed her friends.  Another local move, had my son and my daughter started kindergarten. The lack of sleep that comes with having a newborn is not good for attempting to take care of yourself, so I continued to stay in survival mode until he slept through the night. We moved again, into our own home instead of an apartment.  I felt like I could breath again.  However, with a move, came unpacking everything that had been packed for over 2 years in storage along with keeping kids busy.  And, my daughter started a new school.  I actually didn't feel like I was out of survival mode until my son turned 1.  I didn't put pressure on myself to lose baby weight in his 1st year because I remember putting too much pressure on myself when my daughter was born.  I wasn't going to do that again.  Also, my body takes time to heal from being pregnant, and I took time to go to physical therapy so when I could focus on workouts I would know my body was ready.

I was making progress toward getting in shape, but the scale wasn't moving and inches weren't coming off like I had hoped. I did a 24 day challenge and lost 2 inches off my waist, but no weight came off.  I realize the scale isn't always an indicator of your progress, but I knew I needed to lose weight to get to where I wanted to be. So, for 2 straight months I got up before anyone else in my house was up and got my workouts in 5 days a week.  Still, nothing.  I knew I was getting stronger and didn't want to minimize all that effort, but at some point the scale HAD to start moving. In my support network there are plenty of people working toward optimal health and I knew it was time to reach out.  I was getting to a point that I was ashamed of my post-baby body, and before it wasn't an issue.  I had birthed a 10 pound baby, so I knew it would take some time to get to where I wanted to be.  But when everything I tried wasn't working, it was time to try something new.

That all brings me to the here and now.  I'm working on me, which makes me a better person.  Not only for myself, but it makes me a better wife, mom, and friend.  I have now been doing a new program for 6 weeks and am already seeing results in my energy along with weight loss.  There is no need for multiple cups of coffee and I'm not dragging when I get up in the mornings like I did before I started the program. I now have energy to play with the kids in the afternoon instead of putting in a movie to take a nap. I'm already seeing vast improvements in my quality of life..which not only makes me happy, but everyone around me benefits too.

I thought I was making my health a priority.  And, I was with the knowledge I had.  But, I feel I've found the missing piece to this puzzle of overall health and wellness.

I have lost now lost 20 pounds. Progress is great, but what I've learned about myself is more valuable than the weight loss.  I've learned that I can dig deep and stick to my eating plan while grieving the loss of my sister in law. I've learned much more than that, but this truly has been the greatest obstacle that has come up in these 6 weeks.

For those trying to figure out what health and wellness looks like, I recommend finding something that works for your body.  Stick with it, have realistic expectations and find something you can maintain for the rest of your life.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

In honor of my sister in law, Rachael

Many of you that read my blog may remember this post: Sweet Rachael.  It was about my sister in law who was on the wait list for a heart and liver transplant.
People all over the world were praying.
Her transplant didn't go as we'd all hoped.
Yet, God is in it all.
Here's a link that is beautifully written as I'm trying to find words for this post:
Below is a video of Rachael's story from about 6 years ago.  Many people have seen it already, but it is touching.
As we've been going through this process with Rachael. I've also become an Independent Younique presenter and am now hosting an online party with my commissions going to family to help with any and all costs. I did a review of their 3d fiber lashes not that long ago: 3D fiber lashes review, you should be able to see it just below this post.
Please shop here for your cosmetics:
I'm hoping to be able to donate at least $200 to family.
Lots of people, even strangers, have contacted me and I've been so blessed by everyone's support during this difficult time. Thank you, thank you!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Younique 3-D Fiber Lashes Product Review

Isn't it cool when awesome people contact you?!?! Well, I've been having a blast getting to know Lanetta who is a presenter from Younique. Basically, she sells wonderful cosmetics which you can buy online:  She's not only a presenter for this new and growing company, but she's also the wonderful mama to the founders of the company. When she contacted me and offered to send me a product to try, I was so excited!  I LOVE new cosmetics!

Anyway, before I tell you about the product and my thoughts I need to tell you about this company! This company was founded by a brother and sister team with the following mission statement:

Our mission is to uplift, empower, validate, and ultimately build self-esteem in women around the world through high-quality products that encourage both inner and outer beauty and spiritual enlightenment while also providing opportunities for personal growth and financial reward.
*I asked for clarification on what was specifically meant by "spiritual enlightenment" and this is the response from Melanie(1 of the founders): The term "spiritual enlightenment" will mean something different to everyone as it should. It is a deeply personal thing but ultimately should translate into building self-esteem and inner confidence. I think it can mean anything from an appreciation and complete acceptance and love of oneself and the earth we live in OR to others it may come from feeling empowered from financial freedom, validated through acceptance, appreciation for our naturally-based products, OR to others it could mean a deep personal relationship with God. Ultimately it is whatever buoys YOUR inner spirit and confidence! I love to hear what it means to different people. Ultimately it directly relates to our mission statement because whatever it is that enlightens one spirit should absolutely also uplift, empower, and motivate them. Regardless, whatever it means to you or the next person own it and bask in it!
From Left: Co-Founder: Melanie Huscroft, Proud Mama: Lanetta Maxfield, and Founder: Derek Maxfield

It has also grown tremendously in the last year and I have no doubt many people throughout the world will either purchase products or become a presenter for the income.  Here's some stats about the company:
By June 01, 2013 they had 611 Presenters total in the Younique Family.
This June 1 they reached reached 41,910 Presenters total in the Younique Family.
In June 2013, Younique had 7 employees.
This June Younique Corporate has grown to over 125 full-time equivalent employees.
By the end of May 2013, they were processing an average of 55 orders per day.
This May they processed an average 5,278 orders per day.
In June 2013, their sales for the entire month were $169K. 
On June 01, 2014 they processed $169K in sales before shipping even went home for the day!

Lanetta sent me 3-D Fiber lashes and this is an appropriate name for the product.  It is easy to apply and the results are amazing! 

1 step:  Apply normal mascara

Step 2: Apply transplanting gel
Step 3: Directly apply natural fibers then apply gel over the fibers

I highly recommend this product and can't wait to try more!  Not only is it easy to apply, but it doesn't flake off and truly stays put all day.  It comes off easy with soap and water. Also, it barely adds any time to your make-up routine. 

Stay tuned for future updates about this company and what it has to offer! I'm hoping to host an online party soon!

If you missed Lanetta's links above, here ya go:

And, you can find me on Facebook, I will be posting more pictures of my lashes on my facebook page:
Also, I'm now part of the Younique family:

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tantrums, ear infections and vomit

I know, I know...this was going to be the best title ever for the week of Thanksgiving.  But I've been wanting to write this post for weeks now since then and never got to it. Maybe I should give you the story behind the title before giving you an update about my life?!!!

I picked up my daughter from spending the night with my parents.  Her ear hurt, but I told her if it truly hurt that bad she would be crying.  As if on cue, the tears came.

We got in the car and headed home.  As soon as I stepped in the door with my son, he literally threw up all over me.  Not baby spit up, full on vomit...and Beth was screaming in the car because she couldn't get out and her ear hurt.

In a moment of, is this really happening?!!? I called my husband, interrupting 1 of his meetings...ummmm, I don't EVER do that, so yes, I'd become THAT stay at home mom.  Here's how the conversation went:  

Me:  John just threw up all over me, beth is screaming in the car, I need to get changed AND call her doctor to get her ear looked at.  Any way you could come home early??!!! (I was willing to beg at this point...then, it hit me like a freight train...I had interrupted his 3pm meeting) I'm sorry, I just interrupted your meeting, I'm sooooo sooooo sorry?!

Wonderful hubby: I'll be home as soon as I can be when this meeting is over.  

Might I add he was home by 4:30pm and is usually home sometime after 5:30...My daughter was literally shaking uncontrollably during dinner, but our thermometer showed no fever.  My wonderful hubby somehow got her calmed down and her shaking under control.

By the time I got Beth to her doctor that evening she had a 103 degree fever and an ear infection. We got the antibiotics that night and life moved on.

Nevermind about the update of my current life, just sit there and giggle at this I'm sure many other moms have had similar experiences with their kids.

The above pic is of my son: he has figured out his teeth are good for opening just about any packaged food within reach.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Quick update

I have been missing in action on my blog and writing lately! Quite frankly, I'm still trying to get settled into our house along with having two wonderful, busy kids!

I have crafts I want to share and always have fun kid stories to share, but there doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day!

I'm hoping to make more time to write. However, I'm not making any promises because I need to be realistic. This blog is my hobby and I'll update it when I can.

I'll leave you with a picture of our Elf Sparkle Heart who made a delivery on Valentines Day.