Plate: Full

I like to work myself to death. Well, I don’t like to do it, but I tend to. I pile up my plate until it’s overflowing- family, church, work, freelance work, side job, house work, meal planning and the list continues. Why do I do this stuff to myself?  I feel like “Oh, I can do all of that” in the moment, but then I realize what’s missing: free space. I’ve left no margin for quiet time, for reflection, for relaxation, for fun. I’ve scheduled myself into a corner.

How do I stop that?

By scheduling myself out of one.

I am now starting to make appointments with myself. How ridiculous does that sound? I know, but seriously, if it’s not on the calendar, did it even really happen? I schedule everything: times to pick up kids, appointments, meetings, small group, conference calls, etc. Why not add a little block that says “do something for yourself?”

So today, I am saying “yes” to a block of time for me and “no” to saying yes too often. I need time to breathe. I need time to be alone with God. I need white space.

I’ve forsaken that time I need to get into the Word, to pray, to seek. I can’t function that way. My focus begins to waver, my resolve drifts, my peace wanes. I need that peace. A life filled with joy and peace isn’t something that I can allow to be scheduled away- it isn’t worth it. So I’m going to take it back, take back some of my hours, some of that time and reset my focus.

There is going to be a me o’clock today.

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“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” -Psalm 62:1-2

 

Seasonal sneak attack

Every spring, I get so excited when the weather warms up. And then I proceed to sneeze myself senseless… I remember, oh yeah, there’s a bad side to spring, too. My whole family gets destroyed by the yellow stuff. Trevor got allergy tested about three years ago and is literally allergic to EVERYTHING outside. He broke out into hives the size of his hand all over his body because his system couldn’t handle the onslaught of the season. Knox is taking after his father, and gets watery eyes, dark circles and an itchy throat after playing outside when things are blooming. I remember never having issues until college and one day as I walked around USC, I thought my face would itch off. I had no idea what was happening to me and then it hit me: oh yeah… pollen is surrounding me, maybe I’m allergic? So endless meds became my friend.

Enter: current life. I just so happen to have these awesome essential oils hanging out in my house, and there is an amazingly terrific trio of oils that can be used together to take care of the seasonal sneezes: lavender, peppermint and lemon. These oils reduce inflammation that can result from the body’s seasonal response. There is no sneezing in my house, friends! Here’s how I use it:

1) In a veggie capsule. Just add two drops of each oil to an empty veggie capsule and take like a pill. This is how Trevor takes it daily, and how I like it, too. You can also take it in a spoonful of local honey, which is also a GREAT way to deal with your local varieties of pollen, so it’s like doing double duty.

2) Diffusing. This combo also happens to smell awesome together, but I really like diffusing it so that everyone benefits from it. It’s actually pumping away right now on my kitchen island!

3) Topically. I add about ten drops of each into a roller ball with some avocado oil and roll it on my kids’ feet, their necks, down the bridge of the nose and pretty much wherever I can put it while they try to run away from me so they can go play again. This works for grown-ups, too.

If you’re an oil user, then use those things to your advantage this season- it’s so easy to make a big difference in how you feel!

What if you don’t already have essential oils?

If you want to use more natural products and are sick of spending a blinking fortune at the drug store at the change of season, there is another way! I know the starter kit can be a commitment (11 oils and diffuser- $300 value for $150) and kind of intimidating,even if it is a great value, but that’s why I wanted to tell you about a promo I’m putting together. If you contact me via email or by commenting on this post between now and the end of April, I will get you a three month supply of the trio: 15 ml bottle of each oil  (lemon, lavender, peppermint) AND a bottle of 250 veggie capsules for $80. That’s less than $1 per day to deal with your sniffles and watery eyes naturally. Pretty awesome. So banish the pollen and try something natural that WORKS!

Sniffles for Karie and Jessica

It’s never simple.

Over the course of the past year, I’ve been having some health drama. I’m going to try to make this as brief as I possibly can, while still hitting the high points. Last summer, I decided I needed to find a chiropractor closer to my house. Mine is downtown (about 30 minutes away), so I tried a new one. BAD IDEA. Long story short, I ended up with a four-month headache. And I’m not talking a minor one- I mean one that would literally make you throw up it hurt so bad. I ended up going to the doctor after a month of trying to deal with it, and had every test known to man done on me. Multiple x-rays, a CT scan and two MRIs. Read: EXPENSIVE. After all of that, they still couldn’t find anything physically wrong with me. After being on muscle relaxers for four months, I finally decided to go back to my original chiropractor. I was scared to go back to anyone, but I am glad that I did- a few visits later and the pain was gone. Note to self: don’t shop for chiropractors based on proximity.

It still requires visits to the chiro about every two weeks this point to keep it at bay- I’ll feel the same head/neck pain creep back (right below the base of my skull on the right side of my neck) and know I need an adjustment. I hope that it will eventually stay in place on its own, but it was out of place for four months, so it may take some time.

Anyway, during that whole ordeal, my doctor ran a full panel of blood work on me, since they couldn’t figure out what was wrong. One of my blood tests came back with a positive ANA (anti nuclear antibodies), which can indicate an autoimmune disorder. So yeah, that was awesome. I’ve been having horrible dry eye and dry mouth since the initial chiro injury, which can be a symptom of Sjogren’s Syndrome (which my mom also has). My second round of blood work, however, showed no specific antibodies for that, or the several other things she tested me for. Because I have to keep life interesting like that. I’m not symptomatic, aside from those things, so I haven’t decided whether to go to a rheumatologist for further testing, yet. It’s never something simple, is it?

In researching, however, autoimmune diseases are only mildly terrifying (sarcasm- they actually really suck), so I have decided to be proactive. I’ve been researching like crazy, and have read a lot about the autoimmune diet protocol. It’s pretty stringent, and is basically paleo times ten. At this point, I am going to concentrate on doing a Paleo diet- a diet free of gluten and grains is supposed to reduce inflammation and thereby lessen the symptoms and problems that can come from an AI issue. I’m not being a crazy person about it, but I am sticking to it pretty well so far. Plus, I love steak, so yay. More steak. I’m still eating potatoes sometimes- grain-free is more my focus.

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I really enjoy carbs, so it’s not the most fun, but being on the Daniel Fast earlier this year taught me a lot about what I can handle as far as diet alteration goes! I made gluten-free brownies this weekend (with cocao powder and coconut sugar), and they were really pretty good for having no flour in them. I’m also using Frankincense oil daily, along with my other staples, which is apparently good for autoimmune stuff.

I’m still trying to figure out exactly what is going on just so I can know how to deal with it, but I am positive and not going to let it eat away at me while I wait (at least I am trying to do that). I know God is good all the time, and He has a great plan for me that does not include succumbing to physical illness or injury of any kind. I pray a lot and seek His presence through all of this craziness, and I know it will all work out. In the meantime, I’m eating my gluten-free brownies and blogging away the stress. I would appreciate prayers for good health and healing, though! Love you guys.

P.S. So far, my homemade deodorant is working out. People will still stand next directly next to me, and I haven’t run Trevor into the other room, yet- I’d call that a preliminary success.

Hippie Conversion

Well, you guys, it has happened. I have fallen right over the edge.

Into hippie-dom.

Because when you make your own deodorant, it’s official: you are a hippie.

When I started using essential oils, I knew one thing for sure: I will never, ever, ever be “that girl” that makes her own deodorant. Because that would just be too much. And yet, today, I found myself melting down beeswax and shea butter and doing the darn thing.

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Oh yeah, I made lip balm too. BECAUSE OF COURSE I DID.

This is seriously the most fun ever. I am obsessed with making my own stuff. I love to cook, and this is kind of along those same lines. It’s just so empowering knowing exactly what goes into my beauty products!

The recipe I used is from The Humbled Homemaker. I ordered the deodorant forms online, and I used my Young Living essential oils in it (10 drops of purification, 10 drops of tea tree, 10 drops of lavender). I’ll give more details next week after I really test it out and let you know how it works! One of my Facebook friends said that Trevor should do the review so y’all really know the truth! I may give a quote from him, LOL.

The lip balm recipe is from Homemade Mommy. It’s chocolate mint, and it is ridiculously awesome. I’ve been using it since a “make and take” event a few weeks ago, and it’s legitimately the best lip balm I have ever used, so I knew I had to make more myself.

Tomorrow night, my friend and I are doing a video class on Facebook teaching about essential oils. If you’d like to get in on the fun, join us Sunday at 8 p.m.! Here’s the link to the event. We had way too much fun filming this and laughed hysterically for most of the night, so this is not a dry or boring class! We even posted a blooper tonight because we felt compelled to laugh at ourselves even more- we did actually get through the real video, which is a plus! Make sure to check it out if you want to learn more about what oils are and how to use them.

Up next week: does homemade deodorant work or am I now a stinky loner? Stay tuned to find out!

Landscaping: Phase 1

We have lived in our house since May 31 of 2014. That means we’ve spent the past nine months here, which is crazy. It feels like much less time! We definitely focused on getting the interior of the house to a good place before we thought about the outside. Well, let me rephrase that- Trevor has thought a great deal about how the yard should look, and I have thought one billion times about how I would like to have something besides rocks and pine straw out in the front of our house! We just focused our dollars inside first since that’s where we spend most of our time. Trevor prepped the front and back yard during the summer and planted grass seed. That took off and grew really well. We have been waiting to get some plants into the ground, and the time finally came!  WE HAVE SOMETHING BESIDES DIRT AND PINE STRAW IN OUR FLOWER BEDS!!

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Trevor and I both love wild and full landscaping. But that doesn’t happen over night! We’ll be in this house for the duration, so we are really trying to pace ourselves, which is hard when you’re an impatient person (like we both are). We are going to go in phases.

Phase 1 included some beautiful hydrangeas (that I hope will get gargantuan)

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Japanese Holly

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and Japanese Yew.

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We’re going back later this week for some Knockout Roses, too, which I am excited about. Knox loves to walk our little path that leads to Trevor’s grandparents’ house- it’s so cute.2015-03-17 17.16.20

We spent some time outside yesterday evening- it was in the 70s and just perfect outside. I love this time of year before the bugs and humidity attack! Trevor and his dad continued work on our fenced while I played with the kiddos. The boys blew bubbles for a while, before they both spilled all of their bubble liquid on the ground because, well, they’re boys and that’s what they do. I love their cute cheeks blowing bubbles! We are looking forward to warmer weather and more time spent outside. 2015-03-17 17.37.42 2015-03-17 17.37.52 2015-03-17 17.39.31We are happy to be seeing some progress in the yard- hopefully we will have a fence up in the next few weeks, then we will be starting on our garden for this year!

 

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