It’s the Little Things

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I was talking with my Dad earlier last week and he asked me what I had going on the following week. I mentioned that Matt was leaving for Florida on Monday afternoon until Thursday night, so the kids were going to be my little Valentines this year. “Valentine’s Day is next week?” He said. “I better go buy Marilyn flowers on Thursday.”

He says these things every year. My dad is very much against Hallmark holidays and to him Valentine’s Day is one of those. “I don’t need a special reason to buy my wife flowers, so that’s why I’m going to do it on a Thursday. And when she asks me why I bought her flowers I’m going to say, because it’s Thursday.” He’s a funny man, but he has a very valid point. Who needs a certain day out of the year to tell their significant other that they love them? You should be showing your love in your own way every day anyways. At least that’s what I think a relationship should be like.

I’m not saying “bah humbug” to the whole thing, I love LOVE. I love talking about love, I love being in love, I love sharing my love, I truly just love to love. I love writing my husband little notes throughout the year and sticking them in his work bag or showing up at the kid’s school to pick them up on a hot day with slurpees waiting for them in the back seat. I love being able to find little knick-knack’s in a store and giving it to a friend just because it reminded me of them. To me, that means more than a box of Russell Stover chocolates and over priced flowers.

I love a good love letter though. Something truly from the heart. My husband knows that a heartfelt love letter inside a card means more to me than anything he could buy. So when he was getting ready to leave for Florida I went out and bought him a silly Valentine’s Day card, wrote a poem inside, then stuck it in his luggage. I figured he had so much on his plate this week that a card was probably the last thing on his mind, oh but was I wrong. I went to put on my sweats last night and laying on my pillow was a pink card addressed to me.

Jess,

You are my beginning, middle, and end of my story! You are my all and everything. All we have accomplished lately is truly awesome. Being together, doing together. You are the love of my life, my best friend, soul mate, and partner in crime. You are my Valentine, Mrs Valentino! I love you very much.

Love Always,

Matt

*cue the water works*

Even though I don’t “believe” in the huge gift giving, chocolates, and flowers on Valentine’s Day — I’m truly thankful I have a man who knows exactly what I do want, words that come straight from the heart. And if he was here, we would be spending it on the couch, in our sweats, watching Netflix with a cold craft beer.

What are your thoughts about Valentine’s Day? Are you a big celebrator or do you keep it low key?

A Sunday Hymn

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Growing up Sunday’s were always all about church. We would all pile into the mini van and head to Sunday Sacrament that began at 9 AM and went until noon. The five of us would file down the pew and I would look up next to the organ to see what the hymns were. Every Sunday I would look up and check if my favorite hymns were chosen. My all time favorite is How Great Thou Art. Every time I sang this hymn in church I could feel the presence of God around me and the warmth of love surrounding me.

I’ve heard the song redone by many artist and choirs. I’m going to have to say that Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill’s version is hands down the best. You can feel her belief in every word she sings. It’s exactly what I needed to hear this Sunday.

For some reason I felt the need to share this with you all today. Just a feeling I have. Maybe someone out there needed to hear this hymn today too.

O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

And when I think of God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And lead me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow with humble adoration,
And then proclaim, “My God, how great Thou art!”

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Precious Moments

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A while back I was folding clothes in our bedroom and Jordan was sitting on our bed matching the socks. She asked me what the picture frame was with the letter in it. I told her that it was Daddy’s wedding vows to me. She then of course asked if she could read it. I told her I would love for her to read it and asked if she would read it out loud. Jordan grabbed the frame and began to read:

“Well here we are! I can’t believe the day is finally here. I can’t believe I’m looking into the eyes of my wife. I love you for your intelligence, your beauty, your kindness…and for the way you always know how to make me feel so special. You always know how to make me laugh and you are everything I ever wanted in a woman.

In your eyes, I have found my home.

In your heart, I have found my love.

When I am with you, I am whole, full, alive.

You are my breath, my every heartbeat.

I promise to always catch you when you fall and be there to cheer you on when you’re at your best.

I promise to laugh with you in the good times and cry with you during the bad times.

So on top of all the vows I will make here on our wedding day, I also vow to always appreciate how lucky I am to have someone who makes me feel the way you do and to continue to try as hard as I can to make you feel as special as you make me feel, forever and ever.

I am yours.

You are mine.

We are certain of this.

I love you to the moon and back.”

I watched her read every word perfectly and I watched the words register in her head. The tears were falling down her little cheeks when she said, “Mom, that was so nice and so beautiful. Daddy loves you so much and so do I. We got really lucky to have you as a Mom.”

Little do all three of them know, I’m the lucky one.

There’s an Oil for That!

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Look at me getting crafty with my pictures  

I have had a lot of friends ask me about essential oils lately! Some had got essential oils for Christmas and others purchased a diffuser, but now don’t know what to do with it. Then there are some that have heard of essential oils but don’t know how they work or what they exactly do, but want to know more about the basics of how to get started. I have been using Young Living oils for almost a year now and it has changed my life and my families life completely!

Out of curiosity, how many of you are interested in learning more about essential oils and what they can do for you and your family in your day to day life?

I’ll give you a great personal example:

Every year when the weather changes Matt and I have some serious allergy problems. Sneezing, sniffing, coughing, sinus pressure, pretty much just feeling like crap. We started using essential oils every day and every night, rubbing a combination of oils that relieved our allergy symptoms. It kept us moving throughout the day without dragging our feet! Didn’t have to take one allergy pill last year! Not ONE!

I’m here to share with all of you these amazing products and help guide you through your journey of exploring this phenomenal world of essential oils! I feel like I have this huge secret that I just have to share, it’s really that life changing!

For questions or wanting more information about oils you can drop me a comment with your email address and/or question or you can email me directly at notheaveragemama@gmail.com

A great highlight about learning about the Young Living oils is you can do it all from your computer! Technology is amazing and has given the opportunity to share about these oils world wide. We never even have to meet in person for you to buy/start using your starter kit! It’s as easy as a click of a button and after that the endless support and information will keep flowing in! You will have an amazing support system to help guide you through this life changing opportunity!

So what do you think? Who wants more information?!

Real Talk.

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Real talk. At this very moment, I hate being a woman. These lovely cramps that make their monthly debut feel like someone is carving out my insides. I mean, women shouldn’t be messed with. We can bleed for five days and not die. THAT takes real strength right there.

I use to take every pain killer known to man for my cramps since I started my period. I have had 24 mm cysts form on my ovaries and have to be surgically removed. I have had multiple cysts burst which caused the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life. I dread this week every month of the year. I have tried everything to regulate the pain. I got to the point where I couldn’t take the hard core narcotics anymore. I just started to deal with the pain every month and if that meant having to call off work or spend the day crying in bed from pain, then so be it.

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When I first started oils I immediately looked up oils for menstrual cramps and severe PMS. (I literally felt like I was a raging bitch every month and anyone who crossed me was dead to me — seriously, I was horrible.) I found an oil by Young Living called Dragon Time. It’s suppose to help with PMS symptoms and your menstrual cycle. I was skeptical. Of course I was skeptical. I have tried every drug out there known to man to take these cramps away and you’re telling me a single oil could solve my problem?

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I did a little more research and found another oil blend called PanAway by Young Living. PanAway is what they like to call, “Pain Away”. It is suppose to help with any sort of pain. You just rub it wherever it hurts. Hmm…I could mix the PanAway and the Dragon Time and see if it works.

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I waited for Aunt Flow to arrive and the cramps to kick in and started my experiment with my two new period cramp crusher oils. I counted three drops of each oil, mixed it with my coconut oil, and rubbed it around my abdomen and back where my cramps effect me the most. I laid down on the couch and put the heating pad on me and waited for the magic to happen. The first thirty minutes I had little relief and started to become a little agitated. I didn’t give up because I remember reading that I had to keep reapplying the oils every few hours for my body to begin to work with the oils.

After my second application I started to feel a cooling relief. Are you kidding me?! All of this time I was pumping my body with pain medicine and I could of just used essential oils for the relief?! That is just crazy talk. My mood swings during the week weren’t complete outbursts. I even asked my husband and though he was hesitant at first to answer he said he did notice a change in how I wasn’t snapping. I’m not saying I was the perfect wife and mother after applying the Dragon Time and PanAway, but I wasn’t biting everyone’s heads off for just looking at me. I call that a win in my book.

I’m not trying to sell you on anything, but I know what it’s like to look for alternative health care that doesn’t involve pills that make your body feel like crap. I wanted to find a more natural/organic way of dealing with this week of my life every month that I will never be able to escape.

Any other women out there struggling with similar issues? What do you do to deal with your death gripping cramps each month?

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Reblog: CODE BROWN: The Jelly Bean Incident

Guys….you have to read this weeks post from The Mother Octopus! I promise you, you will laugh so hard you’ll cry!

The Mother Octopus

Long before our girl Oprah was doing yoga in a black spandex onesie on her lawn, I was on Weight Watchers. I loved it because I was on a diet but I could still have junk food. I was like a CIA operative when it came to finding sweet, guilt-free treats that I could fit into my daily points. Until one day when my skills backfired. Literally. Like, fire came out of my backside.

oprah-loves-bread Settle down, O. We got it.

It was a gorgeous, sunny, summer Friday and I was scheduled to head home from my publishing job in Manhattan at 1:00. I’d been good on my diet all week so I decided to hit up Duane Reade on the way to work to do some WW friendly intel in the candy aisle. I spotted a small bag of Jelly Belly Sugar-Free SOURS and flipped over the bag to check out the calories. It was 200…

View original post 1,060 more words

Zero.

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I’m sitting here struggling with what I want to say. I am still trying to process all of the information that has been dumped on me in the past few days. I feel like I’m still sitting in the infertility office hearing my mom tell us (she’s a medical technologist and works with IVF patients, reversal sperm count patients, etc.), “This doesn’t look good, I don’t see anything at all.”

My heart sank right into my stomach and the tears began to fall down my cheeks. This terrible gut wrenching feeling was starting to take over my entire body.

Not one sperm was found. Not one. Nothing. Zero. Zilch.

How I pictured this year to go was just crumbled up like a piece of paper and tossed in the trash. All of my hopes and dreams were crushed in just ten words. Everything my mom and Matt were saying to me was going in one ear and out the other. My body felt like it was shutting down and all I could do was cry.

My life is not over, my family is healthy, and way worse things could be happening. I understand that, prepared myself for this, but still didn’t know I wasn’t going to have any control over how my body responded to this news. My emotions and feelings took over my entire body and I cried harder than I have in years.

Life isn’t fair. THIS isn’t fair. I have raised two kids as my own for the past seven years and put everyone else’s life before my own. Why is this happening to me? It’s not fair. I’ve done everything I’m suppose to do. I jumped hurdles that I never thought I would ever be able to as a step parent and a second wife. I overcame jealousy and resentment issues with my head held high, not letting it control me anymore. So why can’t I have the one thing I have ever wanted, a baby.

“It doesn’t mean they can’t figure it out and fix it.” I could hear my mom say to me, “I believe there is a blockage that they can find with an ultrasound and go back in and fix. There are so many more ways they can figure this out. We know his body can produce sperm, he has two kids already. It’s just finding out where the problem is.”

Yes, he does have two kids already. Every one of James and Jordan’s parents have kids already, except me. I’m the only one with no kids of my own. No one understands how this is making me feel right now, but me, because I am the only one that knows this feeling. I now again feel like I’m on a deserted island, alone.

Matt held my face, looked at me and said, “We are going to figure this out. You know that, right?” I nodded my head yes but to be honest, right now, I’m feeling extremely skeptical.

It didn’t help that every single person on my social media news feeds is pregnant or just had a baby. I swear every commercial, movie, and television show I turned on had a story line of a woman pregnant, struggling to get pregnant, or giving birth. It’s like the universe is laughing at me.

So here I sit wondering what this year will have in store for me, because as of right now it looks like I’m starting from scratch.

#StepMomWin

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There was freezing rain this morning. FREEZING rain. The news was on and the ticker on the bottom of the screen was reading off school closings. One by one all the major schools in southeast Michigan were closing.

I love the kids. I love when they are here and I don’t think I should feel bad for praying they had school today. They were off yesterday and just had a two week break from school for the holidays. While I understand we didn’t have them the full two weeks, they are still two elementary aged kids itching to release energy, at all times.

The kids are doing their snow day dances and hoping for another day off of school and I’m over on the couch, in my pajamas, with a list of things to-do, praying to all things holy that they have school.

Sure as shit. They have school.

1 point Mom

0 points Kids.

They were so mad about it. Oh they had angry faces on walking out the door and I kissed their little faces and told them to have a fabulous day at school! I was able to get the things on my to-do list done and laundry is in the process of getting finished. This is a total win for me today.

The big day is tomorrow. Indiana here we come. Before we told the kids about going to Indiana and explaining why we were going, Jordan told me she had a dream about me. “I had a dream that you were pregnant with a baby. It was really weird. One day you didn’t have a baby when you picked me up from school and the next time you had a baby with you and you said it was my baby sister.” I thought that was so strange. She had no clue about us going and that’s not a topic Matt and I talk about in front of them. I don’t know why but it gave me this positive feeling that things are going to be okay and everything is going to work out. Positive thoughts brings positive things into my life. I’ll take any positive vibe I can get!

I’m diffusing Frankincense today. I really needed a calming and relaxing feeling. I’m nervous and excited all at the same time. I need to find some level ground and keep my head from going into any negative thoughts. So we will see what kind of magic my essential oils can muster up today. 😉

Another Day in the Life of a (Step)Mom

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It’s quite the dreary day here in southeast Michigan. Cloudy skies with a mix of rain and sleet. It kind of makes you feel, blah. The kids helped me out this morning at work, well, they really helped everyone out. They were turning on the televisions and filling up all the ice bins. I’ve seriously never met any other kids who are as helpful as they are. The second they see someone doing a list of tasks, they always go ask if they need help. Every time I am cooking dinner, they wrap their arms around me and ask if they can roll up their sleeves too. It’s amazing and it’s one of the things I love about them. They are very aware of the help they can give to others.

I’m reminding myself of all those things because Jordan is really pushing my buttons right now. Like really getting in there with her pointy little fingers. Ever since I was finishing up at work she has been begging me to go to an arcade place. “Paaaaaahhhleeeaasseeeee can we go to Chucky Cheese or Dave & Busters?!!!? We NEVEEERRRRrrrrrrrr get to go there!!” After the 10th time of being asked I said, “Jo, we went to a lot of places to do fun things over break.” — Two minutes later, mumbling under her breath, “That’s still not fair.” Which of course makes my head snap back and look at her like, girl choose your next words very carefully. I mean, I just took them to AirTime, roller skating, to the movies, brunch, and out to dinner once. Like GUYS, I just spent most of my Christmas money on you over break, STOP and be APPRECIATIVE. Did I mention they have a double basketball arcade game and ski ball game in the basement that they got for Christmas? So I’m looking her dead straight in the eyes and ask her if there is anything she has to say since clearly she is mumbling under her breath. Her response was, “Well, Nana (their mom’s mom) is taking us to see a movie on Friday.” My immediate assumption (as a step mom) is that this little seven year old is trying to throw this in my face. All I could muster up was a smile and said, “That’s great, I hope you really enjoy that.”

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James quickly came to my defense and told her that wasn’t very nice of what she said and all Jordan could say was, “Well it’s true.” Which I understand, it is true, but I felt like she was comparing me in that moment. Like Nana will take her some where fun and I won’t. I think if she was talking about my mom I wouldn’t be so jolted by this, but because she was talking about her mother’s mom, it stung a little more. After the conversation drew silent, off she went to her room and started blaring Taylor Swift “We are Never Ever Ever, Getting Back Together” while singing it through her microphone. I get it girl, you’re pissed at me. This isn’t the first or the last time something like this will happen. These are one of those feelings and emotions that come with being a step parent. I just have to let it go. Let it roll off of me like water off a ducks back. (gotta find the humor somewhere)

I remember seven years ago I wasn’t taking things so calmly. I would get so bent out of shape and start crying because they would say something that hurt my feelings, half the time they didn’t mean to, but other times I really believe they knew what they were saying in that moment. One time Jordan told me she hated me, she was like three and it made James and I both cry, which then made her cry, and Matt walked in wondering what the hell happened to the three of us. That was the only time though, but I know those years are coming and I need to start preparing myself now. As a mother, in general, you know your kids will always love you, as a step mom, things can be a little different. You never really know and at the end of the day, they don’t have to love me, they choose to love me. I hope over the course of their lifetime they continue to choose to love me. Even when I have to tell them no when they are older or take away their cell phones or car keys. I hope they know I am just being a mother and they can’t hold that against me. Oh if teenagers were only that understandable, right?

So here I sit on this dreary day listening to my daughter belt out angry Taylor Swift lyrics at me from her bedroom. I can’t help but giggle now though because she is so damn dramatic and maybe just to break the tension I will go blare and sing some Frozen in my room. That should make at least ONE of them laugh.