Oh Yeah it’s my Birthday!

Oh Yeah it’s my Birthday!

Birthday month anyway! It is no secret if you’ve followed me for any amount of time that i LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE red velvet cupcakes and while  I’m not indulging until my actual birthday later this month doesn’t mean that my cupcake love can’t inspire your savings.  So go ahead shop away and SAVE 25% off with code REDVELVET. In addition to your savings I will be donating 10% of all sales to Rory Loves to help my 9-year-old fulfill his dream of raising money to help others and to go to Uganda. 

How do you like to celebrate your birthday?
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Making a Life

Making a Life

So much of what I thought I wanted has changed so drastically in the past few months. I had a very wise friend not to long ago tell me honestly I didn’t need to hate money or dealing with the financial aspects of my business because I could do so much with it if I would just allow myself to. She was right and it has changed my perspective so much.

I used to want to make more money with both my soap business and with my Beachbody business so I could do more, have more, be more, but, now I realize I want to be financially independent so I am free to GIVE more, more time, more money, more hope.

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I want more than to worry about making a living, or even having to budget down to every last penny with the absolute fear of a big car repair bill, or medical emergency could wipe out everything. I want when my 8yo says he wants to go to Uganda to help kids be able to say “ok let’s do it and plan that trip and go”. I’m feeling called more and more to give, to help, to LIVE, to love.

I’m more concerned these days about making a life. With my husband mere months from eligibility of military retirement I feel more and more stress about how I have failed to live as frugal of a life as I should have so we would be in a better position for him to retire. I feel like because I didn’t get my thyroid taken care of earlier so I could be a product of the product I have failed. I feel like my fear of working out after we discovered it was my thyroid for fear that I would still be obese and none of it would matter anyway I have failed. Most of all I fear like I have failed my kids with my poor money management skills and not having an adequate savings, or not being able to “say sure let’s do” it more often or sometimes even at all.

It changes now. I understand it now. I want to make my life, not just a living now. Here is how I’m starting to give more, but, I need YOUR help. This year I will be launching 2 new soaps. The first HOPE and every time you buy a bar of Hope I will set aside another bar to send to Restore International for them to send to their Orphanages. Heck if you are feeling very generous you can even send your bar too it will be an option during checkout. Additionally $1 of each sale is going into “Rory’s Africa Fund” to help make his dream a reality. The second DREAM and dream will work similarly except the extra bar will be going in donation to my local food pantry and homeless shelters. I envision the extra $1 going into a fund where we can just do random acts of kindness for people, I love seeing how just paying for the coffee or meal of the car behind you can snowball into something so much bigger.

I had thought to end it there. I thought those two would be enough but while I was typing that all out I thought of a third way to give. The third  LOVE and with that YOU can tell me where you want your extra bar to go. I’ll split the $1 into the two above funds.

If you are local to me in Port Angeles, WA I’m sure you have noticed the fingerless gloves, hats, and other knit items made by me and let you know that the sales of these items has also been going into Rory’s Africa Fund. Non locals if you see me posting such items on social media and you want them please speak up and we can make arrangements.

In the meantime so I can clear out stock and space for these as well as the new soaps I’ve got up my sleeves for you I’ll be offering all of my INSTOCK items in my shop at 25% off using code NOURISH expires January 30, 2015 so I have time to get all the new goodies listed for you for February 1! Valid in my SHOP  and on ETSY.

Once again I THANK you for your continued support.

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I used to think

I used to think

So many times I’ve thought of starting this post and I’m sure I’ve thought of at least 100 better titles than just what you are getting today. As I  spend days upon days, weeks, months THREE plus YEARS of not feeling like ME, not feeling enough, better, healthy, rested, organized enough, fast enough, strong enough I inevitably end up more often than not in tears, struggling with my thoughts, angry at not feeling enough, and simultaneously grateful for everything I do feel that I am in a place that I know there is more, that we need to BELIEVE, HOPE, WISH, DREAM that we can find that place and then one day it happened. I began to PRAY. To have conversations with Jesus, to listen. Then one day that wasn’t enough anymore I had to do.

How did this happen? God if I know (LITERALLY, pun intended). One day I was living my semi comfortable life, the next day I was on a magnificent roller coaster that has been designed by something so much bigger than me and managed by at the time a 7 year old boy calling the shots. I can think of no less than 3 of my friends who are going to discount this post already and think I’m a complete idiot for backtracking, for changing my mind, for talking about God and it is those people who have stopped me from writing this post or similar ones for over a year now. I’m not saying you have to believe, or not believe, or follow my path or believe that its true but just as I don’t argue your beliefs or lack of I’d appreciate the same courtesy.

My children were not raised in the church, or even with discussions of God, I don’t even know if until last year my 3 youngest knew the reasons behind Christmas or Easter or even Hanukkah or Passover for that matter they were just things we did, like birthdays or Halloween or Thanksgiving. I avoided any curriculum with any mention or glancing or hint of religion especially Christianity.  I know there have been people on Facebook & social media who I have Unfollowed over the years because of all their “God Talk” and I promise to keep that to a minimum also because even as I am moved I think its also a personal and private relationship. I think that is a lot of what turned me off as well as the people who bash each other over religion, and how their version is the only right version. I think Queen Elizabeth had it right when she said there is but one God the rest is all trifles only I think it needs to be amended to be there is only one LOVE because I don’t care if you do things because of God, Allah, G-d, Mickey Mouse, Batman, Humanity I think we should all just DO things, LOVE people, BE kind, not judge, not argue, because what makes any of us best or least of all?

One day last October Jesus ruined my life as I knew it and you know what I’m pretty happy about it most days. Out of the blue Rory asked if we could go to church, I was totally blindsided I just looked at him and said yes. I found a Catholic church not far from home checked out the times and made plans. Sunday Morning came and that kid went and got dressed it was just the two of us I honestly figured it would be a one time thing an hour out of my life, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Something spoke to my kids heart at mass that day. He couldn’t wait to go back. The following Sunday it was me & him and another surprise was Finn wanted to come too. Rory asked if we could talk to the priest afterwards like he had seen others doing. Sure kid, let’s do it. Rory marched right up to him and asked if they could pray together, my kid who had in his life to my knowledge never prayed, and only been to church TWICE including the this actual time. Then before he could stand Rory put his hands on his shoulders and blessed him I don’t know the words I honestly was answering a question from Finn, I was told that whatever Rory said was something that the priest himself hadn’t learned until he was at Seminary. How do you respond to that? I had no words I still don’t. I wish I had taken better notes in those early months as to the way my kid went from being my child to my leader. There are moments that greatly stand out that I have shared with my close personal friends. There are jokes about us calling him Jesus Rory, I know if I wasn’t watching it unfold first hand I wouldn’t believe any of it. And for the record NO I do NOT think my kid is Jesus, I just know that I have learned more about Jesus FROM him in the past year than all the years of my life before INCLUDING all the time “studying” for my own Confirmation.

I used to think and the media of late hasn’t helped at all that most Christians were judgmental jerks, who lived by a do as I say not as I do practice. Sadly that still holds true all to often but today I have learned that more christians are ever day people who just want to live in a better world, who believe there is more, that there is hope for our broken world. I am one of those people. I try my hardest to DO not just say. I think we should help where we can. I am glad to be the mother of a boy who tells me every single day how much he loves me and then follows it up with but, I love Jesus more. I am glad that my long haired boy planned his Halloween costume from February to be Jesus to LOVE like Jesus. To lead his family, MY family towards a different direction because the things I’m seeing through his eyes, his love are some of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed.

There was a whole lot more I was going to say in this post, so much more I was going to share but you know what that same long haired Jesus loving boy is patiently waiting on my now to go play video games with him so I’m going to go do that with him right now because I know we can still go play World of Warcraft AND love Jesus.

Oh and I think I’ll be sharing with you how one day my kid got me to send an email to Bob Goff author of LOVE DOES so we could help out some kids and then how Rory decided he needed to DO more and we put our money where our hearts are and ENGAGED a kid from Uganda.

 

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Cross Country Moves and under responsive Thyroid

There is so much I want to share with you. So. So Much. I honestly don’t even know where to begin. So I’ll start with this post from a hotel room here in Miami where I am with 3 of my 5 still living at home children. Tomorrow a truck gets loaded with all of our worldly belongings that we won’t be wearing in the next 2 weeks. As I type that it will take 2 weeks until we arrive at our new home I want to just curl up and take a nap. A long, long nap.  We officially don’t leave Miami until the morning of the 4th, and should arrive in Port Angeles, Wa about July 13/14, either way it is still a really long trip with 5 kids, pets, husbands, and me and my health issues.

 

Health issues? I’ve dropped so many balls lately and I am very truly sorry for any of those caught in the midst of those dropped balls. In addition to the adrenal fatigue I’ve been working on reversing over the past few years I found out about a month ago that my Thyroid isn’t working as it should. I will get more into detail with all of this maybe tomorrow. Right now though its lights out time so I can steal some snuggles and get a good nights sleep before we are spending days upon days driving.

 

 

Still not there yet but I’m proud of the journey thus far.

Still not there yet but I’m proud of the journey thus far.

I set out on a very proud day in June 2012 to lose a breathtaking, anxiety inducing 125 lbs by my following birthday in May 2013. I’ve seen the before/after pictures of people losing over 200 lbs in a year or losing 100 lbs in 6 months I KNEW in every part of my soul it CAN be done. It was possible. I was so fired up so excited. So scared because thats a HUGE journey. Then in my gusto because my body and my mind were not operating on the same plan I threw my back out during my very first program not even 30 days in. I cried. I tried. I failed. I got back up I finished to the best of my ability. I didn’t try to control what I ate just tried to become more conscious. I eat clean it wasn’t my worry. I am morbidly obese every thing you find out there says less calories in = more weight lost. Food doesn’t control me I wanted big results without even trying my calorie intake when I would track would be right around 1000 calories a day. With a deficit like that the pounds should fly off at least in the beginning.

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They didn’t.

I switched programs. From power 90 to Les Mills Pump which is still my all time favorite program thus far. The music makes me happy. The upbeat banter makes me happy and who doesn’t feel absolutely strong doing bicep curls and clean and presses. Still the scale wasn’t moving. I was starting to see changes but I wanted people stopping me saying “WOW what are you doing and can I do it with you?” Holiday rush for Lana Bella happened. Working out was on the side line.  Must keep knitting. Must pack orders. Must sleep. I’m human it happens and its not like it was actually working right?

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After the new year I started back with Les Mills Pump was doing pretty well but you know that darn CCTI dinner was coming up and well damn I didn’t want to be the FAT person there again. I was so uncomfortable in myself in 2012 I wanted to get there and see the wives I hadn’t seen either and have them notice the progress I was making. I stopped doing Les Mills Pump and on April 1 I started doing Ultimate Reset with a Whole30 inspired food plan. You see Reset while great for most people was IMO pretty heavily grain and soy based and I don’t eat soy at all ever because of my mom’s estrogen positive breast cancer and testing positive for the gene. So I adapted I detoxed. The scale FINALLY budged but over all I FELT good, on the inside I felt that THIS would be my turning point. Surely this kicked my metabolism into high gear.

Day 1 Dinner

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I finished Ultimate Reset and earned a FREE t shirt.

From Reset I joined my friend Amy in doing a Les Mills Pump/Insanity challenge with her. Oh boy INSANITY, the program really lives up to its name. There were days I cried, I shed so many tears on that program both in struggling and in pride, in accomplishment, in I don’t even know what. I realized in talking with Amy that maybe I wasn’t eating enough I started tracking every single calorie going in I struggled to eat more. I was putting coconut oil in everything to get more calories in. I was eating spoonfuls of peanut butter to get up to even 1200 calories. Then 1500 calories.  It was slow progress my body was rejecting the food, I was feeling sick. Stomach upset. I kept pushing play. I look back and some of my favorite pictures of myself stemmed from those 90 days!

IMG_3330The Insanity fit test is no joke of a workout. I thought like I was going to throw up. I was on the floor more than I ever thought possible. I wanted so many times to just hit pause. to quit. I didn’t. Amy was watching. An entire accountability group was watching. I was NOT going to be the fat girl who gave up. Just one more. It won’t ACTUALLY kill me will it. I don’t know if I CAN do this but I WILL.

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10 days in by sheer will.

IMG_3574 Even pushing play on my birthday. Making progress. Excited to start work on my mermaid tattoo.

IMG_3607Finding out I have even more followers that I won’t ever let down.

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Starting to see muscles developing is one of the coolest things in the world.

IMG_3785I was beginning to shine. My light was sparking up with my progress.

IMG_3933We worked out together as a couple and I was able to keep up. I was able to show Steve that I was getting stronger.

IMG_4109Even when my dad came to visit up we snuck upstairs together for a quick workout, TOGETHER.

IMG_4159I DID IT!!! 90 days of Les Mills Pump and Insanity!

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Even I could see the changes if I compared images.

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and my favorite pair of pants didn’t fit anymore.

Aidan was finishing up a huge project for his leadership class we became friends with Richard Neal & we blessed with information from so many top coaches in the business.  We ordered the new program T25 that was just coming out. What working out only 25 minutes a day ANYONE could do this.

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We had a blast “fighting” over this program and who was going to do it first.

IMG_4352For someone who hates working out. Yes there  I said it me pushing play and going to work out is my biggest struggle.  I was enjoying this program.

IMG_4373Brenna came to visit with Elise. I can honestly say I do not regret for one moment not working out and falling off the train so I could hold that precious baby girl.

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Look at us. I ‘m so grateful for all the work I put in before her visit for the glow I had in myself.

However. I do regret not starting back up after their visit. Though I did get sick. Really sick. Food was not my friend. Food who I should be able to trust to nourish my body was fighting against me. I spent WEEKS trying to eat. Trying to not have stomach spasms every time I did eat.  Anxiety was taking over. Ulcers were taking over. Stress was winning.

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I finally got to meet Amy Mecsko at the Miami Super Saturday event. Every single time I wanted to quit I didn’t because of her. So many times she reminded me to BLOOM where planted. That I could and was doing this. I don’t know if I have ever, could ever thank her enough for how much I have learned about myself up to now. THANK YOU AMY!!!!

IMG_4715Steve, Aidan and I also got to meet the CEO of BeachBody Carl Daikeler. Aidan got up and shared his story in front of over 300 people.

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After talking with Amy at Super Saturday, I had mentioned how much I missed weights and how I might just give Body Beast a try. There were tons f women starting it at the same time I’d have heaps of online support. Plus I saw the changes in Steve. He had lost so much and looked better than he ever had in our entire marriage.

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I started Day 1 of Body Beast smart I went very light on the weights not knowing what to expect knowing it had been close to 2 months since I had worked out at all. I could do this. The banter from Sagi while for most guys was probably ok and amusing to them even. From my stand point I didn’t care for it I even mentioned it to someone who said they didn’t like it either so they just muted the tv and put on music. Ok  I could do that.  LEG DAY. I was stupid. A complete idiot. I put the same weight on my bar that I had ended Les Mills Pump with 2 months earlier thinking my muscles and my body would be ok with it. I did so much damage It took 2 2 hour massages and nearly 10 days before I could really walk again. My back was spasming uncontrollable, which made my stomach join in for the fun, my legs I don’t even want to go back there to that point of pain to remember it was bad. I cried tears of pain. Such a dumb move really.

I quit. again.

But in that time something else happened. While I was at such a low. Rock bottom. Back against the wall. Rory started. It was lighting a fire with a rock and a twig just little sparks. Just asking questions, struggling against myself. What my brain was saying against what my heart was longing for. Books upon books were bought I didn’t want to tell him wrong. I didn’t want my beliefs and struggles to get in the way. I didn’t want my anger to cloud things. He was asking about God. He asked to go to church. I said no. He didn’t give up he kept asking. We kept reading. He kept believing. I kept listening to Him to Rory he was guiding me not so gently either. I had audible credits. I ordered a book. It had me on my knees in tears, sobbing, longing, breathing, agreeing. I texted Amy, Ann, Gigi. I had to share. I went and found Rory, I said I was ready. I would bring him to church on Sunday if he still wanted to go. He did. We went. He loved it. I can’t even explain the light I saw in my boy that day. He was quiet. still. absorbing. He told me Jesus had the same hair as him. I cried. I still cry. I cry now just remembering him it wasn’t in a way I can even describe it was factual, it was in a way an old soul remembers things that have happened before have come before, there may not be many things I can trust in but in Rory’s unwavering faith I believe.

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He is who guides me. I can see him. touch him. follow him. we kept going to church. Each and every single time he says things does things that I can’t ignore. On our second visit he asked if he could shake the priest’s hand when we were done. I agreed. He asked the priest if they could pray together. then he blessed the priest. he is friends and prayer buddies with a nun. he memorized the entire rosary, the apostle’s creed, in 3 days. the sound in church doesn’t bother my super sound sensitive kid anymore. he sings. he prays. oh he prays. he has a prayer list. he builds mine craft rosary worlds. he prays for people he doesn’t even know because he says to say a hail mary for them is like giving them a hug because the world needs more hugs, because some people don’t have enough love and he has plenty. he is changing all of us.

IMG_5129he wanted a visual, I bought him one.

IMG_5132Hanukkah Happened. Rory delights in the customs of old.

IMG_5200We even lit  candles with friends and a virtual Steve giving our blessings.

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Advent happened. Rory said we didn’t need presents because we get presents all the time but other people didn’t have much and we should help them. We chose 3 names off the church advent tree. all the kids got involved.  It was the first time in a long time i celebrated Advent for he season it is Rory reveled in delight every day as we would read stories and sharing what he thought Jesus would do today. He fell in love with Pope Francis.

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I found hope. I found changes under the surface happening emotionally. I retreat into myself. I’m still processing. still absorbing. I’m in a chrysalis state. I don’t know where I’m being led, I am content in just believing, in hoping in following, in not having to bear the burdens alone in my own hands. I’m tired to my  bones from carrying those burdens alone.

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I celebrate little moments. Celebrate Jack turning 10. Celebrate life.

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And because I’m just that crazy and a friend showed some love by sending the the Fast Metabolism Diet book with a very from the heart letter attached I decided it was ONLY 28 days and totally worth a try. SO much food. So many delicious things though. Who knew I’d love tuna and apples together! The first week I didn’t workout. couldn’t. I was eating so much food I thought I was going to explode. The 2nd week I added in 1 day each of the workouts to go with the diet. It felt good. Week 3 the plague hit our house. Week 4 I’ve honestly been falling off track. I’m not eating as much. Skipping meals again.  Ignoring those signs of hunger that were so new in the past few weeks. I need to get my head back in the game. Stop seeing food as the enemy. Find a common ground where I’m not obsessing, not forcing, I don’t know where it is. I know at this point its going to take a massive brain reset. I’m going to have to stop reading. Stop with the me against food. I’m having stomach spasms again. Stressing again. When eating in general causes stress, I don’t know. I NEED to lose this fat. I need to be able to go hiking with my kids.

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I need to back up stain order. Celebrate. We had an amazing Christmas just the kids and I and a couple friends who stopped by and I really need to thank Ashley & Diana for sharing their time with us to help us feel festive while Steve was underway (deployed) for the holidays! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

IMG_7036In their Christmas jammies.

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So I battle internally with accepting slow progress and desiring more. Wanting to just be below 200 lbs. Not knowing how to get there. terrified that I’ve damaged my body to the point that its going to take 10 years. Every single day crying when I input my food into my fitness pal and it telling me that if every day was like today in 6 weeks my body would be 20 lbs lighter knowing its been saying that for a YEAR. a YEAR over a Year. struggling to lose 3 lbs a MONTH. I’m morbidly obese I should be losing much more. I see the pictures. Struggle with the why not me. Wondering what the hell I’m doing wrong. Rory hugs me, prays for me, tells me there is a reason for it and I will find it. It is a seven year old boy who gets me through almost every single day who cheers me on when I think I can’t eat another bite of food. Who makes deals with me if I finish I can go knit, go hide.

IMG_5390I have goals. Dreams. BIG SCARY HAIRY DREAMS. Dreams that take my breath away. And even more scary some of those dreams are contingent upon me losing this damn fat. Not being 200+ lbs anymore. Being uncomfortable. Being weird. Being Public. Sharing all those really scary things I only think to myself. Sharing my struggles. Sharing my tears. Sharing my heart.

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So I read. Surrender. I pray. I cry more. I pray more. I feel layers and layers falling aside. I believe. I trust. I hope. I put those dreams to paper. I struggle. I pray for guidance. I plan.

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Image from http://www.olympicpeninsula.org/destinations/port-angeles

We are moving from Miami to Port Angeles this summer. I have dreams. Desires. Goals. I reflect. I share.  I don’t know how I am going to achieve my dreams. Only that I will.

What are your dreams? Will you join me? If you want more information please just fill out the contact form below! I’ll get back to you ASAP.

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