Oh, Hello Friends! 


It’s been awhile since I’ve posted on here! My life has been super jam packed with new adventures and career paths! 

I began a new blog specifically for Young Living Essential Oils and what they are all about! I would love to hear from all of my blogger friends!

So come on over to Oiled Up with Love and check out this new journey I have been on! 

Advertisements

Seasonal Allergies + Essential Oils 

This is a piece I wrote for Exhalenow.com — they approached me for a paid piece and it was a blast to do! 


 

I live in the Midwest and the weather has a tendency of saying, “Oh, you think you can’t have all four seasons in one week? Here – hold my beer!” When those times occur our allergies are hit full force. Over the years I’ve researched more organic/homeopathic ways of controlling our seasonal allergies. Then I discovered essential oils (Young Living) and they changed my entire family’s life during allergy season.

Essential oils have been used for ages. They date back to biblical times and were seen and used as the treasures they truly are. It takes 22 minutes for a 100% therapeutic grade essential oil to process through every cell in your body. That’s just insane. I was skeptic at first but after a great deal of research and finding the right brand for my family, I took the dive and invested in an entire line of essential oils.

Along with me and my husband, both of our kids suffer from seasonal allergies. We’ve taken different types of allergy medicines throughout our lives, but just taking a pill won’t make the symptoms go away. We needed to change something else; we needed the extra support and boost to be able to survive the wrath of the Midwest seasons.

What I am about to say is only based off my experience with the brand Young Living, this is very important to know because all essential oil brands are different. There are three different ways you can use essential oils. You can diffuse them in a home diffuser, apply them topically, or ingest them. There are four oils that are key to allergy support; Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint, and RC. Here are two of my favorite ways to use these oils:

Diffusing

• Add three drops of Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint to your home diffuser. Diffusing the EO’s (essential oils) will fill the house with their organic aroma. This will benefit everyone in the whole house who is breathing in the air. Boom! Two birds with one stone!

• You can also boil water, add the three EO’s, put a small towel over your head, and inhale the oils. This works really well when your allergies are getting pretty rough. The towel traps the moisture, heat, and oils. This helps with releasing sinus pressure and opening up the chest and nasal passages.

Topically

• Essential oils are applied to your pressure points, such as your temples, wrists, bottom of feet, neck, and behind your ears. These points are the fastest way for the oils to enter your system.

• Roller balls are the best thing ever for essential oils! They are super easy to make and very kid friendly! If you are making a roller ball for allergies or applying them topically you will need a carrier oil. Carrier oils dilute essential oils, which is what you want for your kiddos! Add about seven drops of each oil in a 10ML roller ball and then fill the rest with a carrier oil (grapeseed, almond, rose hip, or coconut oil).

 

 

If your allergies are becoming intense and congested I suggest using the essential oil blend RC by Young Living. I swear by this oil. It is part of my “First Aid Kit”. RC stands for Respiratory Congestion. The oils blend contains Marjoram for warming, Lavender for calming, Cypress for circulation, Peppermint for invigorating, Spruce, Eucalyptus, and Pine for respiratory support, and Myrtle for fighting infections. I put about three drops of that in my hands with a carrier oil and rub it all over my chest like a name brand vapor rub.

Essential oils can support you through the tough seasons of allergies, without all the toxins from the over the counter stuff that has things in it we can’t even pronounce. I have seen it firsthand. It’s important to keep your kids involved when teaching them about how to use these oils and what they can do to support your body, because just like everything else in their lives, we want them to be educated in what they are putting into their bodies. Now both of my kids have their very own roller balls tucked away in their back packs for whenever they feel their allergies coming on. You might win with the weather Midwest, but we are now prepared for your wrath.

 

Curly Hair Don’t Care

Curly Hair Don't Care.png

Tuesday was a big day for Jordan. She had been counting down the days until she got to chop off her hair. She has always had long, gorgeous, curly hair. People comment on it all the time. They always tell her what beautiful hair she has or “There are people that would pay a lot of money for that hair!” and when she was younger she would usually just blush and hide behind me.

I had a little talk with her when she began kindergarten and explained a lot of people are going to comment on her hair most likely the rest of her life. She is very lucky to have such beautiful hair and when people tell you that, you shouldn’t be embarrassed. Jordan asked what she should say to people when they comment on her hair and I told her you just smile and say, “Thank you”. I mean, the girl can walk through Target and be stopped like three times, I’m sure she was dying to find out a way to handle the “awkward” conversation about her hair with complete strangers. She’s very outgoing, don’t get me wrong. She enjoys talking about herself just as much as the next diva second grader, but to be complimented, at least to me, has always made me feel weird and stuck about what to say, especially when it is said by a complete stranger. I figured a little pep talk wouldn’t hurt, and to this day she still smiles at strangers and tells them thank you. Proud mama moment right there.

So when people asked her if she was ever going to cut her hair, her answer has always been, “No way. Nope. Never.” End of conversation. I never pushed it, even though her hair is a pain in the BUTT to maintain. I’m talking special brushes, shampoo, conditioner, the whole works. The second I realized she was going to have super curly hair when she was younger I began the research on how to take care of it, and there is one reason why. I grew up with a girl who had hair just like Jordan’s hair but this girl didn’t take care of it. She didn’t detangle it, deep condition it, or even TRY to save her curls from being fried from heat damage. I was determined Jordan’s hair would NEVER look like this girls, not as long as I was around.

Image result for curly hair meme

A couple months ago Jordan was hit with lice…twice. It was mortifying for everyone involved. Her hair was not the easiest to comb through or to get every single little bugger out of there. Even talking about this is making me itch. After the last time she had it, she asked me, “Did I do something wrong to get lice? James told me it was because of the kind of hair I have.” I sat there for a minute, contemplating if I wanted to ring her brother’s neck out now or later because he knew better than to say that to her, but I told her that it was not her fault, and she’s not dirty, and it’s not because she has long curly hair. All different types of hair can get lice and her brother was a butthead and to just ignore him. “Trust me, Jo. I grew up with two little butthead brothers who are now just two BIG butthead brothers.” She then informed me she wanted to cut her hair short but it had nothing to do with what James had said. I told her alright and set the date for the hair appointment.

The second we walked in the door to the salon Jordan ran right over to Mandy and told her how she wanted her hair done and she wanted to cut it SHORT. Mandy looked over at me and I just nodded and pointed to just below her shoulders. As of then, her hair went down to her butt. “Okay big girl! That’s a big change, are you ready!?”, Jordan just smiled and said, “I was born ready!”

jordanhaircut

Two hours later we had the finished product! Every time she gets her hair cut, I tell her  she can have it blown out straight. It doesn’t happen but once a year so I figured, why not let the girl have it straight. She will be able to use an actual brush and play with it a lot more than she does now. Her hair  when it’s curly will hit just below her shoulders, but man does it still look SO LONG! This was a big step for her and I was so proud at how she was so “Whatever it’s just hair” mentality about the whole process.

“Do you like my hair curly or straight better?” She asked me after she jumped out of the chair. I just looked at her in the eyes and told her, “You look beautiful no matter how your hair looks.” She rolled her eyes and said, “Mom that’s what you’re suppose to say.”

Precious Moments

preciousmoments.jpg

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.

Real Talk.

real-talk

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.

Image result for pms cramps meme

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?

dragontime

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.

panaway

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?

Zero.

Zero..jpg

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

stepmomwin

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

stepmom

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.”

Related image

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.

 

 

Hello, 2017! Bring on the Fresh Start!

hello2017

My dad asked me a couple of weeks ago, “Do you still blog? I haven’t had any email updates lately.” That statement kind of made me sad. It made me sad that I haven’t been blogging as much as I have wanted to, and even my dad had noticed. When you don’t have a lot of people in your daily life following your blog, you kind of think no one really notices that you aren’t writing a post every day. That is the wrong kind of thinking though. That is not why I started blogging. I started blogging as a form of therapy, venting outlet, and to help other stepmoms out there who might be struggling. Well, I am here to tell you Not the Average Mama is revamping its page and giving it a new year fresh start.

I started blogging a year ago and it was hands down one of the best decisions I have ever made. I loved connecting with fellow stepmoms and finding out that I am really not alone on the feelings that come with becoming a stepmom. I found my voice in this blogosphere and have enjoyed it every step of the way. But what went wrong? Well time is what went wrong. My time management was rocked the last half of the year and I’m still scrambling to find my balance. When your life is pretty much the same time wise for like, oh I don’t know, seven years, it’s kinda hard to kick the old habits and start to form new ones.

My goal for this year with Not the Average Mama is to dig deeper in my stepmama roll and get more into the nitty gritty. I can brag and brag all day about how awesome my family is, how much my kids love me, and how romantic my husband is, but that’s not the whole story. There’s more that needs to be said and I’m ready to take you on my journey I have been on the past seven years.

not-theaveragemama

I have started to refresh my site and get new graphics and icons in order. I noticed a lot of bloggers seem to do that at the beginning of the year and I think that is just a fabulous idea. It gives each blog a fresh start to a new year, a new look, a new do.

So take a look around. See the new social media links I have put up and give them a follow. I am ready to take on this new year with a new view and new content. Are you ready?!

cropped-cropped-blogheader.png