Weekend Coffee Share

Weekend Coffee Share

If we were having coffee, I would warn you that I have turned into a coffee snob. I didn’t realize this until we were out of our usual and my husband made a late night run to the store and bought Folgers. The next day it was a hard cup to choke down, but we made it through. Thankfully we have our usual again, so don’t worry, you will get the good stuff. We are loving Black Rifle Coffee and have tried three flavors so far. All of them very delicious and smooth. We also have cream and sugar if you like, I have recently ditched the oh so toxic, but oh so yummy store bought creamers. Health journey and all.

This week I haven’t been very busy, or productive for that matter. All three of my children have come down with some sort of cold bug. Nothing too serious, but serious enough for lots of whining, nose wiping, clinging and cartoons. We have been battling the bug with elderberry syrup and essential oils. So far so good, no fevers and no major issues. Even though we have been stuck in the house and have barely gotten out of our pjs, I haven’t really had time to do any more than the dishes around the house. You would think that this would be the time I could get more housework done. Nope, no such luck. That’s fine and dandy with me, I will sit and snuggle with my babes as I watch Mickey Mouse for the 100th time.

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If you were here for coffee, I would tell you how I keep sneaking my husband’s favorite Army mug. I prefer using this one because, I know it sounds silly, but the coffee even tastes better out of it. It is larger than any other in the cupboard, has a wider handle, is heavier, and even has a little character with it’s chipped top. Seriously though, I don’t really know why I prefer this mug, maybe because I know it’s been with my husband for longer than I have, or maybe because I get more coffee each time I use it. Whatever the reason, I am going to keep sneaking it.

I will tell you that I am so not used to this Tennessee heat yet. I am also thankful my kiddos have not wanted to go outside or anywhere for that matter. It’s been crazy hot and this northern girl is not used to it. I keep telling myself it’s better than the six months of cold and snowy Michigan winters. It’s better than winter…it’s better than winter…

If we were having coffee I would excitedly tell you that I think we have found a good church down the road to attend. It’s been a journey, a crazy one, but I feel God has pointed us to the church that fits our family. I believe this is so beneficial for us. For the past few years, I have struggled with my walk with the Lord. We have been through so many personal and professional struggles that I focused on our troubles and let my faith take a backseat. Which of course is the exact opposite of what I should be doing, but here I am. So yeah, I am really excited for this church and I am really trying to stay focused on my walk with the Lord.

As I look at the time I see that my two youngest will be waking from their naps at any second. I am sure you have many things to do today so I will let you get to them. Thank you for sitting down with me for coffee. May God Bless you and have a great week!

Goodnight, Fight Night

Goodnight, Fight Night

Ok, so maybe the title is a bit dramatic, but by the end of the day, that is what bedtime feels like. Before I had children, I dreamed about the days when I would rock my babies to sleep, and as they got older, lovingly read to them, inhale their sweet smell as I kiss them off into dreamland. Let me tell y’all, that is NOT how it goes in this house!

I have always rocked my children to sleep for as long as they let me. I treasured this time with them, those magical moments where they look up at you then close their eyes, knowing they feel safe and secure with you. Sure some nights were harder than others, but I loved those quiet moments singing to them and feeling their warm little bodies snuggle in and sleep. Gage, my oldest, let me rock him until he was about 2 years old. Maddox, my almost 3-year-old, let me rock him until he was about 10 months, but then he wanted me to lay in bed with him and rub his head until he fell asleep. Freya, who is now 14 months old, just decided last month that she just wants me to lay her in her crib! What?? No more rocking? I have to say I did shed a tear about that, but she, by far, is the easiest of our three to fall asleep.

Now, as the days of rocking my babes are behind me, I am thrust into a whole new world of bedtime. By 6pm I am so done mommy-ing that I can’t wait to snuggle on the couch with my husband. Maybe my illness makes me more exhausted than I should be, but seriously, by 6 I am D.O.N.E. This is the time I am finishing up cooking dinner (due to my husband’s schedule we eat a bit later), the boys are getting hungry and tired and my daughter is jumping right into her witching hour.  For our one-year-old Freya, this is the time where she cries, clings, yells and constantly says “up, up,” as she reaches to be held. Our sweet, loving girl, is nowhere to be found, and this new toddler shows up at 6pm on the dot and doesn’t leave until I sit her down at the table to eat. I have tried everything, snacks, cartoons, new toys, anything I can think of, but this new kid comes to my house, demanding to be held as I cook dinner. I did try something new last night that seemed to work, I put her in her high chair next to me and gave her a green pepper, a bowl, and a spoon and let her “cook.” I am hoping this is a breakthrough and the witching hour baby stays away.

But back to our nighttime routine. We finish dinner around 7:30 and then it’s time to get ready for bed. Some nights this means bath time, most of the time we just have the kids clean up and get ready for bed. Cleaning toys, brushing teeth, getting PJs on and heading to their room. My husband and I switch back and forth, one puts Freya to sleep and the other put the boys to bed. I am realizing it doesn’t matter who does the “putting to bed,” the outcome is the same every night. I take them to their superhero room that they share and have the boys each pick out a book. We lay on the floor, reading books then saying prayers. I tuck them in one at a time and sit with each one as I sing them a song. Final kisses and hugs are given and I go downstairs, or so I try. This is when my 5-year-old decides he has a billion and one questions for me. I hate to stop the conversation, but seriously, I would be up there all night because the kid does not.stop.talking. Ever. I love him to pieces but Gage is a talker, he even talks in his sleep! So I try gently, to stop the conversation and give him a kiss, which leads to him hugging and kissing me a million times. I know, I know, this is sweet, but remember, I was done mommy-ing at 6pm and I am trying so hard to spend some much needed time with my hubby!

So by this time, it is about 8:15. Maddox, who was tired, calm, and almost asleep is now bouncing on his bed and growling like a T-Rex. I love him to the moon and back, but he is a wild child if he is up longer than he should be. If that kid is over tired, you literally have to sit with him until he stops. So that is what I usually have to do. I go and lay with him until he falls asleep, which can be anywhere from five minutes to forty-five. If I leave too early T-Rex is back jumping on the bed and it will be another hour of me going up and down the stairs trying to settle him down. Now I am super tired, frustrated and annoyed. I don’t want to be annoyed but I seriously just want to sit with my husband and have a snuggle or two before he heads off to bed (he has to wake up at 4am for work). I look forward to that time every day and every night I get more and more frustrated the longer the boys are awake. That may sound selfish, but I believe that spending alone time with your spouse is so so important to your marriage.

So, I need help with bedtime, and last night I tried something different. Essential oils. I use oils all the time for other things and also sleep for myself. I diffuse oils in the boys’ room for bedtime but I didn’t feel they were making a big enough difference. Why not apply? I do it for myself, and now that Maddox is almost three, I feel more comfortable about applying oils on him. The lightbulb went off, I ran downstairs and grabbed what I needed. Frankincense and Cedarwood in the diffuser, 3 drops each, and one drop of Cedarwood for each boy diluted with coconut oil applied down their spine and on the back of their neck. I kissed them goodnight and headed downstairs. I heard a bit of quiet talking and rustling on the monitor, but within ten minutes Gage was asleep and T-Rex had settled down for the night. I could kick myself for not thinking of it sooner!! I know oils work so why did I insist on fighting through a frustrating bedtime? No more! This mama is saying goodnight to fight night!! Oils for the win!

Sweet Potato Dessert

Sweet Potato Dessert

In an attempt to stay healthy, my husband came up with this sweet potato dessert. A crazy chocolate lover, I was hesitant and a bit skeptical of this concoction. But I have to say, he nailed it! I was pleasantly surprised! Way to go hubby!!

Sweet Potato Dessert

You will need:

pie crust (we used a frozen gluten free crust)

4 sweet potatoes

2 tbsp butter softened

1tbsp sugar in the raw

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 banana

1 c. mixed nuts

Preheat oven 350°

Place sweet potatoes in baking dish and cover. Bake 30 Minutes

Bake pie crust for 10 minutes, remove and let cool

Combine sweet potato, banana, butter, sugar,  and cinnamon in a blender and blend until smooth.  Mix in chia seeds. Place into pie crust and sprinkle nuts on top. Bake for 30 minutes.

 

Super easy and delicious!

 

 

I Have Had Enough

Have you ever felt so exhausted that you didn’t think you could make it to lunch? Have you ever had anxiety that kept you from doing the things you love? What about anger and frustration? That “about to blow a gasket” frustration that has you yelling at people inside your head? That is me, almost every day, and I have had enough.

Eight years ago I was a newlywed who just moved across the country. I was excited, nervous, and happy. But I didn’t feel that way. I felt anxious, angry, scared and alone. At some point every day I felt I was going to die, for no good reason. Talk about scary. I saw doctor after doctor and they kept telling me I was depressed. “But I am NOT depressed,” I demanded time after time. No one would listen. My symptoms only “matched” depression and anxiety and all that the doctors wanted to do what give me a pill and send me on my way. I was not having any of it. So I persisted. I kept going to the doctor until he would listen, well, sort of. He decided to run some labs. Sure enough, my thyroid levels were off. It indicated I have hypothyroidism. But my symptoms weren’t “typical” so he didn’t think that was the problem. Excuse me? I kept saying I wasn’t depressed, he found something physically wrong with me, yet he was trying to convince me it was all in my head. Here’s your thyroid pill, here’s your antidepressant and be on your way, please.  Yeah, no.

Fast forward to the present. It’s been eight years, four different thyroid medications and I am not getting better. I have had three children and three completely different experiences with postpartum depression (more on that another time). The only time I ever feel good is when I am pregnant, which frightens my husband! Seriously though, I have had it. I am tired of feeling like a shell of a person. I am tired of being tired, no exhausted. My children don’t even know who I really am. No one seems to understand the severity of it all. I have heard, “exercise more, you will feel better.” Umm, nope. I can barely get out of bed. “Eat this, or this and you will feel great!” Again, no. I have tried medications, supplements, protein and veggie shakes, exercise, going gluten free, high fructose corn syrup is out, more veggies, chiropractic care, essential oils and prayer. Lots and lots of prayer.

Some of those have helped. Definitely a cleaner diet, oils and chiropractic care. But it hasn’t been enough. I literally wake up, no roll out of bed, and immediately check to see how long until the kid’s nap time so I can lay down again. What kind of life is that? I am, at times, very low on patience, irritable, and want to be left alone. I cry often, the knowing something is wrong with me but not being able to fix it is frustrating and depressing. So yes, now I am depressed. It’s like I am underwater and cannot reach the surface and the water is getting darker and colder. I am drowning in my illness.

This “disease,” or whatever you want to call it, has affected my marriage, my relationship with my children, my relationships with friends and family, and has caused me to stop really participating in life.

I have prayed almost every night for eight years for God to heal my body. I believe HE has listened and has answered my prayers. I truly believe this move to Nashville is the beginning of my journey to health and happiness. Ever heard of Nutrition Response Testing? Me either, until recently. My husband happened to hear a radio show with a doctor from Nashville describing everything I have been going through and how he can help. My husband, Louis, encouraged me to attend the workshop so off I went!

During the workshop I literally got goosebumps. He was describing EVERYTHING I was feeling! It’s like he designed the workshop just for me. He explained what was going on in my body and how he can help through nutrition without medication. Say what? He claims my inability to fall asleep, mood swings, anxiety, thyroid problems, inability to lose weight, depression and exhaustion can all be healed through a nutrition plan specific to me. No gimmicks, no “one pill” magic. Just nutrition and hard work. At this point, I am willing to try anything. I made an appointment on the spot.

Nutrition Response Testing is an assessment that combines an “understanding of anatomy, physiology, neurology, kinesiology, and biochemistry. It allows the trained practitioner to actually identify and correct the underlying causes of the ‘disease’ rather than simply suppress symptoms,” (Rosen, Paul J. The Missing Piece). Sounds good, right? I think so! I went to my first appointment and the doctor did a bunch of tests to see why I am feeling the way I am. He pinpointed the root of the problem, my thyroid. But of course, I knew that already. He didn’t stop there. He wanted to know why it is a problem. The result? high levels of mercury in my system. SCARY! He performed, even more, tests and, without going into too much detail, found out why I am barely able to get out of bed. Many of my organs are performing at an 80-year-old’s level. WHAT? HOW? WHY? WHAT DO I DO NOW? Well, I started to cry. That didn’t help much. But the doctor assured me he can help and get all my organs back on track. Yes, please!

As of now, I am in the first week of Phase 1 of my treatment. This is the fine tuning of my personal program. I am taking specific mineral, enzyme and metal detox supplements. I am also keeping a food journal to identify where my problem areas are. For the next four to six weeks I will have weekly visits to test how I am handling the supplements. If all goes well, I will move on to Phase2. It’s early, and I have yet to see any significant changes. I pray I can document and share success. This may not be the answer, but it has opened my eyes to new treatments. I am excited, I am ready to feel alive again. But more importantly, I finally have hope.

When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? John 5:6

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Mama in the City

Hello again! I know it looks like I started a blog to abandon it, but trust me, I didn’t.

My sister, Echo (yes that’s her real name), was in town and it was her first time to Nashville so we were living it up. Well, trying to anyway. It was nice to be able to explore new places and play tourist. Since moving here I have only been into the city for doctor appointments and to see where my husband works. This time was way different and it just makes me even more excited to see what else the city has to offer.

The first few days of her visit were pretty low key. We explored Murfreesboro and had a yummy dinner at a cute little pub called The Goat. It has a nice open atmosphere and outdoor seating. Let me tell you, that food was delicious! Seriously, I ate so much I probably should have been rolled out of there.

The next day we went to Franklin and checked out the Carnton Plantation. Learning about the local history here in the south is fascinating.  However, it was probably the hottest day of the year so far, and we took my three children. I know, what was I thinking, right? In my mind I had this picture, we would take the kids, look around, take in the history and go downtown and have some ice cream. Sounds fun, right? Sure. I forgot to take into account a two-year-old with no nap and who seriously cannot handle the extreme weather in any form.  A growing five-year-old who is constantly hungry. A one-year-old who hates being in a car who ALSO hates being held. So yeah, it did not go as planned. But I guess it could have been worse. Only a few tears were shed (ok, so what if they were my tears?) and everyone got safely home with food in their bellies and no permanent physical or emotional damage. Can I get a halleluiah?

By the end of the week, I was exhausted and crabby. My husband even said I was being a bit of a bear. True love right there folks. So I was ready, really ready to go out and have some fun. What is the saying on Real Housewives of Orange County (yes, I indulge in trash tv)? I wanted to “whoop it up.”  So Friday afternoon my husband took the kids and my sister and me went into the city.

We started the afternoon playing tourist on Broadway, checking out the shops and taking in some live music. After binge watching the show Nashville, we convinced ourselves to check out the famous Blue Bird Cafe. So we went for the early show. That place is nothing like I expected! Very tiny and stuck in between two businesses in a tiny strip mall. But it is quaint and it is legendary. By this time, my *much* younger, and single sister wanted to go back to Broadway and dance the night away. Trust me, this is not just a saying to Echo, it’s her mantra!

Nashville definitely does not disappoint. Every bar has live music (on multiple levels of the buildings), rooftop entertainment and a friendly, wild (but safe) atmosphere. We danced, we drank and we sang our way from one place to the next. We made new friends and even had a leg workout walking to each rooftop patio. But it’s been a while, ok, years, since I have “whooped it up.” So this mama was tired…..at 8 pm. I tried to get my sister to head home, but again, she was ready to dance the night away, literally. After 3 more hours, I got her to agree to go home. With a pounding head and a happy heart, we finally went to bed.

I have learned a few things from this night in the city;

1.) I am getting old

2.) Comfort trumps style (I would like to think I can handle it the other way, but no)

3.)When you are done for the night at 8pm, it means you need to get out more

4.) It takes longer to recover after you hit 30

5.) Nashville is a fun city

 

Finding Myself

Finding Myself

I regularly dine with  dinosaurs. I help superheroes clean their room. I solve mysteries and save the planet almost everyday. Who would possibly want more?

Me. Yep, right here. This girl.

I have always, for as long as I can remember, have wanted to be a mama. Not a scientist, not a princess, or even a teacher (which I eventually became). Nope, a mama, that’s it. I prayed long and hard for it and my prayers were answered three times. So what is the problem? Why do I crave more?

For the past few years I have had this nagging feeling. An unwanted restlessness. Guilt, the strong mama guilt, made me push it away. How could I want more when everything I have ever wanted is right in front of me? What exactly is it that I want? Am I a bad mom because I feel unsatisfied with parts of my life? So I prayed. Every night I prayed for peace and contentment.

Then we got a call. My husband was offered a job in Nashville. I was ecstatic. This seemed like the answer I was looking for. Even though we have moved numerous times in our short marriage, this was different. I was ready for adventure. So we packed up our now family of five and left snowy Michigan with high hopes and big dreams.

So here we are. Six months in our new city.  Hopes are still high and our dreams are coming true. We have already made some good friends and our children are adjusting beautifully. I personally am still adjusting to the heat! But I love it here. I love the people and the culture, not to mention the BBQ!!!

But I heard and felt it again. In between play dates and diaper changes. At first it was quiet and now it’s like a siren blaring in my head. That restlessness, the wanting MORE.

This time I refuse to push it away. My heart is screaming for something of my own. Something not covered in yogurt or stickers. Something I can call MINE. You know what? That’s ok. It doesn’t mean I am a bad mom or ungrateful. It just means I have to stop fighting who I am and just be ME. Not just Louis’ wife, not just Gage, Maddox and Freya’s mama. But Heidi, who is a wife and a mama, but much more.

What is it that I want? I don’t know. But I am excited to find out. I started this blog in hopes of finding the answer, the piece of me that has been hiding. So here I am, putting myself out there, typing with a one year old on my lap and my boys playing with trucks beside me. I am sharing my life with you, in hopes of finding myself.

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day! This is our first Independence Day in our new town. We were all set to check out the local celebration with bounce houses, food trucks and fireworks. Well, life with three kids makes you realize (rather quickly) that plans can change. So instead, we decided to keep things simple and focus on family.

First we took our three kiddos to a nearby national park, Stones River Battlefield. We spent the morning hiking and teaching our children a little about our nation’s history.

After late naps and monkey bar competitions, we had a nice relaxing BBQ. Being new to the south I am realizing that I have not appreciated BBQ like I should. Moving here sure has set me straight! I am all about starting up the smoker and letting meat cook all day now!

Night time is when I realized that even the best laid plans always need to have a back up. Our wonderful neighborhood has its own fireworks show. We planned to put Freya, who recently turned one, down for the night. My husband, Louis, set up chairs out front for us and the boys. Well Maddox, our two year old, was NOT having any of it. He was crying even before he got outside. Now I know he doesn’t like loud noises, but I thought having ear plugs would help. Nope, nope, nope. He would not even step outside. So Louis took Gage, our five year old, outside to enjoy the block party while I sat on the couch with Maddox watching Paw Patrol. But really, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

How did you spend your holiday?