June 8, 2017

Satan's Counterfeit

I have heard it said many times that you can buy anything. I had never really given this idea any thought until recently and as I thought about it I had a major revelation. I felt kind of dumbfounded and wondered why I had never had this thought before. The realization was simple and clear as day to me.

What I realized was this:

Satan wants so badly for us to believe we can buy anything, but the thing is you can't buy the things that matter most in this world. You can't buy love, it's counterfeit is lust. You can't buy health, it comes from good lifestyle choices (healthy food, adequate sleep and exercise). No amount of fad diets, quick fixes or surgery will change that. You can't buy family, friends, confidence, self-worth, knowledge, happiness or even a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

All of the things that truly matter in life are the result of hard work and making good decisions and these things can't be bought.

May 13, 2017

Why I Struggle With Mother's Day

For many years now, I have struggled with Mother's Day. I believe that Mother's Day is a time to stop, reflect and say "thank you" to the women in our lives who have done and sacrificed so much. When you think about it a "Mom's job" entails A LOT: sacrificing her body to bring a baby into the world, she often rises before her little one(s) and goes to bed after they do, she cooks, cleans, is a chauffeur, cheerleader, coach, teacher, friend, a shoulder to cry on and the list goes on and on. A mother's job never really ends. Often a mother's pursuits, passions and dreams are put on hold as she puts the needs of her family first.

Growing up my Mother wasn't around very much and at the time I didn't think very much of it, I just thought that's how it was supposed to be. It wasn't until I was a teenager that this realization really hit me. I was sitting in Young Women's and our teacher asked each one of us to share something our father's did to show that they loved us and then they asked us to share something our mother's did to show that they loved us. I could think of a ton of things my Father did to show he loved me, but I couldn't think of a single thing my Mother did to show that she loved me. I started to cry because in that moment I realized that I didn't know that my Mother loved me. To this day I still don't know if my Mother loves or even cares about me.

You see, my Mother chose to work while I was growing up and work was her focus and her priority. When I was a teenager she left our family, left our Mormon faith and said a lot of very hurtful things to me as she exited my life.

I felt like a misfit especially among other teenage Mormons. A big focus in our religious culture is the importance of family and how they can be together forever. At the time, divorce wasn't very commonplace. I wondered how I could possibly be with my family forever if my Mother was no longer part of my life and of the same faith. I dreaded singing the song, Families Can Be Together Forever as it reminded me my struggles.

One day, I was blessed to meet and befriend some other Mormon girls whose parents were divorced. Not only were they divorced, they were divorced for the same reason my parents were. For some reason this caused me to feel a sense of camaraderie. It was during this time I realized that I wasn't a misfit after all that there were other girls going through the exact same thing I was going through.

Many Mormon women began to enter my life at what seemed like just the right moments. My faith, my Father, my friends, my Nana, my step-mother and these women ultimately shaped me into the person that I am today. I will be forever grateful to the sisters who: picked me up each week for Mutual, helped me get ready for the formal dances, taught me how to do my makeup, taught me how to cook, taught me lessons about what it means to be a good Christian person, taught me how to forgive, helped me apply to college, encouraged me to keep going even when it was hard and helped me see the good in me that my own Mother thought and continues to think doesn't exist.

I hoped that one day I would marry into a family that just loved me for who I am and sadly, this didn't happen. I married a wonderful man and I love him dearly but his family didn't accept me as one of their own. I was told that I had "to earn (their) love" and this all but crushed me.

For many years now, my Nana has been the one I look to as my "Mom." I don't get to see her very often because we live in different states, but we make it a point to talk regularly on the phone. She has had a number of health problems in recent years and I know her days are numbered. Even just the thought of her passing brings me to tears. I find myself asking, "Who will be my mother?"

Through all of these really hard and emotionally trying situations, I have come to learn that the Lord is very aware of me. Just this week, I finished reading Daughters In My Kingdom for the first time. And while I was reading I came across a section where one of the former General Relief Society Presidency Members faced a time in her life where she wouldn't be able to have very much contact with her own mother and she asked the very same question, "Who will be my mother?" Her answer was the Relief Society. As I pondered her response, I began to see the truth behind that answer. All of those incredible women who "helped" me as a teenager were/are members of the Relief Society. This brought such peace to my soul.

While I may not be celebrating Mother's Day with my own Mom, I want to say, "Thank you to the many women who have been like mothers to me over the years. Thank you for everything you have done for me! If it were possible I would wrap my arms around each and everyone of you and give you the biggest hug I possibly could. You have no idea how much of an influence and blessing for good you have been in my life. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"

To anyone else out there who may struggle with Mother's Day, please know that you aren't alone. God loves you! He is so very aware of you!

May 1, 2017

Bubba's First Time Up Mount Pisgah

Becoming parents has really changed the focus of our priorities and it seems as though we will never be caught up with all of our "projects." We spent time out in the yard: pulling weeds, turning soil, putting in mulch. The laundry managed to get washed, but not folded. I keep telling myself that someday we will knock out our to do list. Someday the cars will get washed and vacuumed. Someday the garage will be organized. But for now, you are our focus, Bubba. Our world  revolves around YOU!

Sporting Mommy's sweatband.

Mommy & Bubba.

Working in the yard.

This week was a bit more relaxed, compared to the last few weeks. We went on several long walks around the neighborhood and on some of the local trails, you love going on walks.

You recently discovered your boy parts. Each time we go to change your diaper, you reach down there are grab them. Most of the time this new found routine is fine, but when you poop it's a whole different story. You and I battled it out one morning in the poop department and I think you won. Poop was everywhere: on your hands, socks and changing pad. It wasn't very much fun for Mommy.

Feet are meant to be eaten.

We introduced you to yams this week too. You love yams!

The highlight for the week though was hiking Mt. Pisgah. You have officially climbed your first mountain Bubba! We are so proud of you! Daddy helped you make it to the top (he strapped you to his chest and carried you 3.3 miles). You looked around all the way up the mountain and decided to sleep on the way down. We are looking forward to the changing weather so we can spend more time outside, hiking and climbing.

Bubba & Daddy.

Family photo.

Those eyes.

The view from the top.

April 26, 2017

Chiropractic Care For Infants

I had acid reflux my entire pregnancy. I took Tums until they quit working and then the OB had me taking Zantac. *Note* I hate taking medicine. The Tums and Zantac didn't stop the reflux they only made it so it didn't burn. At times the reflux was so bad it caused me to throw up, this happened about once a day for my entire pregnancy. I even had acid reflux while I was in labor, crazy right?!? They gave me something nasty to drink and it instantly went away. Where was this magic drink during the rest of my pregnancy?

I shouldn't have been surprised that Bubba developed acid reflux when he was about a month old. He would scream and wail while nursing. When he was done nursing and I went to burp him he would typically throw up nearly everything he had eaten. I felt so bad for him!

When Bubba had his seizure the doctor prescribed a form of Zantac for babies. The Zantac seemed to help with the pain but it didn't stop the reflux or the throw up. The prescription ran out and almost instantly the pain Bubba had previously experienced with the reflux returned.

I took him into the doctor and was issued another prescription for Zantac. I also noticed that Bubba's weight dropped for an eighty something percentile down to the teens because of the vomiting from the reflux and this concerned me.

I began researching online to see if there way anything more I could do (we kept him upright after nursing, his bed was on an incline, etc). A few people suggested ta,king reflux babies to see a chiropractor. Initially I thought to myself, "That is ridiculous! Why would you want someone cranking on your babies neck?"

A short while later a friend who is an RN suggested just that, that I take Bubba in to see a chiropractor who had specialized in babies. She said she had taken her kids to him and that he was really good.

Next thing I know I am calling up this chiropractor to see what he can do for my baby. I filled out some paperwork before taking Bubba to the chiropractor's office, the papers asked all kinds of questions about his delivery- I thought that was interesting.

The day of the appointment arrived and I didn't have any expectations. We met with the doctor and he seemed very friendly. He began asking questions about my pregnancy and about labor and delivery. He became more concerned the more I talked. I was especially concerned when he heard that they used the vacuum not only once but twice to get Bubba out.

He said that during labor and delivery the goal is to get the baby out alive and they will do just about anything to get a baby out, but often that can cause spinal misalignments that can affect people for the rest of their lives if left untreated.

He checked Bubba's spine and sure enough things were out of place. He was super gentle with him and used his "activator" tool to realign Bubba's spine. Bubba didn't even cry!

The doctor suggested taking him to see a massage therapist who specializes in craniosacral work just to see if anything was wrong there.

I took Bubba in to see the massage therapist. I know what your probably thinking, "You took your baby to a massage therapist?" I sure did.

It didn't seem like the massage therapist did anything but he assured me that Bubba would sleep better and that his wet diapers would no longer bother him. Sure enough Bubba began to sleep better at night and the wet diapers no longer bothered him. Previously he would scream every time he had a wet diaper- we went through a lot of diapers for awhile.

We returned to the chiropractor and he could tell that we had taken Bubba in to the massage therapist. He said a particular area of his head/neck region had moved about an inch and looked really good.

We have been going to the chiropractor once every two weeks since February and I have to say I am impressed with the results we have seen. Bubba is off of his Zantac, he has normal baby spit up instead of Niagra Falls, he sleeps better at night, he is taking naps during the day, he doesn't get mad every time he has a wet diaper. And he smiles every time he see the doctor. Occasionally he will cry when he hears the "activator tool" but overall it has been a wonderful experience.

At our last appointment the doctor said Bubba was looking so good that our visits will now be once a month. I feel like we have witnessed miracle after miracle with this chiropractor and I am so grateful for the care he has taken in treating our family. Yes, we are all seeing him now for various reasons. If your child is struggling with acid reflux I highly recommend taking them in. We will definitely take any future children we have in to be adjusted.

As I was sitting in the waiting room one day I noticed some patient stories on the wall and was really impressed with one in particular, I will summarize it briefly below.

There was a family who had a son around 8 or 9 years old. This little boy was really having a hard time. He was constantly sick and in and out of the hospital, he was struggling in school so much that the family had hired tutors for him and his vision was terrible. The family took him in to see the chiropractor we go to. It wasn't too long before the family began to notice changes. Their son didn't get sick anymore, his academic performance improved greatly and he no longer needed his tutor and when they took him into the eye doctor his vision was perfect- the eye doctor was floor.

Crazy story, right?

I am truly amazed by what chiropractic care can do. If your in the Eugene/Springfield area and looking for a chiropractor let me know and I will gladly give you our chiropractor's contact information.

April 25, 2017

Adventures On The Clearwater Path

I went on a four mile walk this morning with my good friend Kirsten. About halfway through our walk I began to notice slugs on the path. I made it a point, to point out the slugs so neither of us would accidentally step on one because that would be GROSS.

So we are walking along and I am pushing Bubba in his stroller and the next thing I know I am sliding and it feels as if I slipped on some non-existent ice. I was sure I stepped in a big pile of dog poop.  I turned around to see what I'd stepped in. To my surprise, I saw a mutilated slug. It was SUPER DISGUSTING!

Kirsten and I both started laughing. I laughed so hard I almost cried. I'm super grateful I was pushing the stroller. If it weren't for the stroller I would have not only landed on my butt, but landed on the slug as well. I'm it I didn't die because of a slug. So GROSS!

Counting my blessing!

April 24, 2017


Oh my sweet boy, we just love you! Saying it doesn't even begin to express how much we truly care for you!

This past week you decided it would be fun to scream A LOT. It didn't matter what I did, you would just scream and scream and scream. I was starting to get scared that the neighbors were going to call C.P.S. on me. And then I discovered your kryptonite: the stroller. I would put you in your stroller and as soon as we would start walking, you would fall right to sleep. So, I walked and I walked and I walked, even in the pouring rain. One day as I went to put you in your stroller, you started laughing, I suspect you knew we were going walking.

You've gotten really good at using your hands, little one. You can pull your binky out of your own mouth and have figured out how to put it back up to your mouth- you haven't mastered getting it back in though.

And those feet of yours, you love to grab them!

I think the highlight of the week though was that our little family grew. We are no longer a family of three, we are a family of seven. We purchased four little chicks, we are crossing our fingers that they are all hens. We got one Rhode Island Red, one Welsummer and two Ameraucanas. We would have bought more birds but the city and H.O.A. will only allow us to have four. Someday maybe we will be able to afford that farm Mommy and Daddy dream of having.

When we arrived at the farm supply store you were asleep, we were kind of disappointed. Don't worry, you woke up right before we left and you saw your first animals. You saw a dog, chicks and bunnies. You were super fascinated by the chicks. It will be fun to see how you take to them later.

April 21, 2017

Bubba At 5 Months

I woke up this morning and realized almost immediately that you are 5 months old today. Has 5 months already passed? It feels like it was just yesterday that we found out we were pregnant, that that baby bump started showing and we were in the hospital anticipating your birth.

At 5 months you like to laugh, talk (baby babble), kick you legs (I think you will be a runner someday). You love splashing in your bath tub, pulling Mommy's hair and when Mommy sings the Winnie the Pooh song and the little mouse song. You anticipate Daddy coming home from work each day and you get so excited! Your favorite toys are Kevin the stuffed pink bird and Ellie the elephant.

Your hair is starting to get thicker and it has a red tint to it. You have discovered you feet and are constantly pulling your socks off. You can pretty much bend your body in half, maybe you'll be a contortionist someday.

Oh how we love you little one! Please stay young awhile longer and please stay sweet. We just love you!