Sunday, November 6, 2016

Present in the Pace

I feel like the best days of my life are fleeting before my eyes.
I'm trying real hard not to blink, but nothing stops the draining of the hours,
the days, weeks... turn into years and before I know it I will be telling all the
young mothers, "Enjoy it while it lasts."

On one hand, I'm like SLOW DOWN, bottle up all the memories, relish every moment,
capture all the scenes -- burn them on the hard drive of my heart, never forget.
And then on the hand, I'm like CAN THIS DAY GO ANY FASTER?!??! When you've got
toddler meltdown city on your hands, a to-do list a mile high, nothing but frozen
pizza for dinner... lunch... and breakfast. The complete parody of parenthood.

Life often feels more like the tango than a waltz.

Moving. Steady. Abruptly changing.
Wild. Intimate. Serious. Exciting. Abruptly changing.
Sippy cups. Tired eyes. Rinse. Wipe. Repeat. Abruptly changing.

Oh wait, that's not the tango, but my liiiiiife!

Last week I walked into my counselor's office; four walls, 100 sq feet of safe space.
God has done some crazy work on me in that place over the past two years.
Letting me yell, cry, laugh it all out.... process all the things.

"What's your pace like?" he challenged.

"Fast, messy, busy. You know, normal?" I self-soothingly shot back.

"At the end of the day, did you taste ANYTHING?" he pressed.

"Sometimes I catch it. Often, it's survive or die mode!"


Inner monologue: OMG how does he read my soul?!?!?!?!?!?

"Man. I need to work on being PRESENT in the pace."
Yes. Yes, be present in the pace.

The very next day, for real, I opened the mail box to find a package shipped from Washington.
A gift from a social media kindred spirit -- one with the most beautiful eye for
colors, movement.... you can't make this stuff up!

I burst into tears standing in my kitchen.

Be present in the pace.

I don't think it's just motherhood or parenthood in general - but many of us find ourselves
swimming hard in the big, loud ocean of life; barely tasting our days for fear of drowning in the process.

I know the song is like eight million minutes long, but this part right here >>>

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

It's never going to stop; the waves, the rush.
The pace is set, but I get to decide how present I am in the journey out into the deep.
And that is beautifully consoling. That even when I am up rocking the baby at 2AM
or hustling in my work; when I am cleaning up the kitchen for the thousandth time;
washing, wiping, putting away all the things....

I will have tasted.

Because I have been present in the pace.
Walking on those waves.

artwork c/o the talented Kendra Castillo
check her out on facebook | instagram

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Snake Oils Train


You probably remember last November (maybe not?) when I posted a video of me and the kids
unboxing our Premium Starter Kit from Young Living?! I was doe-eyed, but skeptical. You could
see it on my face and hear it in my voice, "I don't know about all this, but I'll keep you posted!"
I had no idea just how RADICALLY my life was about to change, you guys. NO IDEA.

I'm not talking about "cut your hair" kind of change. It's different. Deeper. More permanent.
November 2015 is a mile marker in my story. One that is re-writing me in the most beautiful way.

I wanted freedom from emotional trauma and the reoccurring patterns that I had trained myself to
believe were normal, ok, "everyone has stuff like this". I hoped for a difference in my health.
I wanted to be healthy, happy, strong for my husband and children; free from the woes of an
endocrine system gone awry. I wanted peace and to somehow know, no matter what,
that everything would be good in the end.

Bottle after bottle -- using aromatically, topically, internally. I spent the first 30 days with my
kit learning about each of those eleven oils and how they could support me and my family.

And then slowly, but surely things began to change. My thyroid bloodwork looked better than ever.
I was suddenly using oils for "this and that" and seeing COOL THINGS happen in our home!!!
We became THAT family. Lol. Not super crunchy like granola.

But I'd say on a scale of 1-10 we are oatmeal.

I LOVE how God's love letter to us is written all over creation. It makes sense that He would give us
tools to work for and WITH our bodies -- to care for us, to answer every need, to bring us life.
There's goodness in pure, therapeutic grade oils!!!

I feel like essential oils were the last piece of the puzzle for me.
Whole foods, a good chiropractor, supplements,
chemical free home...... essential oils. Amen.

Thank you, Jesus, for answered prayers.
Thank you to all the friends and family who are doing this oily life with me!
Thank you for all the good that is still to come!

Scroll through this past year in photos
for some of my favorite ways I have learned to
use the eleven Premium Starter Kit oils!!!


plus the diffuser and Ningxia Red!!!!

LAVENDER >>> You know in the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, how the dad uses
Windex for EVERYTHING? Yea... lavender is for your EVERYTHING. Calming. Soothing. Great for
skin. Perfect before bedtime. Add into coconut oil or body butter for your skin care routine.
Use when battling seasonal discomfort. We love to add a drop of lavender to bath
water for our kiddos. Good night. Haha. For real.

LEMON >>> Use while cleaning sticky surfaces. Use while cleaning crayon off the wall. MY LIFE.
Add to water for a cleansing boost. Supportive of respiratory health. I also love to use lemon as
a natural flavor for sweet and savory dishes... like chicken and cupcakes. Don't judge. Lol.

PEPPERMINT >>> Hot/Icy feeling. Great to use across head and neck for tension.
Diffuse while working. Supports the intestinal system: use after a big meal, my friend!
This one will WAKE YOU UP! I like to add a couple drops to the shower floor. Creates a steamy vapor
that is invigorating. LOVE diffusing for an afternoon pick-me-up!!!

FRANKINCENSE >>> Frank is my man. No, seriously -- this might be my most hoarded oil from my kit.
It makes me happy. Such great support for emotional health. Is known for helping stimulate that immune
system and keep it firing on all pistons. The #1 oil for skin care. I use it EVERY DAY on ma face!
Research is being done on this powerful oil and its properties for health. Google this one!!!
Trust me.

DIGIZE >>> This one is FUNKY, y'all! But a powerhouse oil. It was actually the LAST oil in my kit
for me to understand and wrap my brain aaaand tastebuds around! HA! Use after a big meal.
Supportive of the digestive system. Think: cleanse and move. Add to water or take in a capsule.
You can also put in a roller bottle and use it externally on your tummy. But then you'll SMELL funky. Lol.

RC >>> We went through two bottles last winter. Yea. Enough said. Unique blend of 3 types of
eucalyptus. Supportive of the respiratory system. Apply to chest or diffuse. When the "yuck" is
coming on, RC is your new BFF. I now feel panicky when my bottle runs low! #lifesaver #lungsaver

STRESS AWAY >>> A favorite oil. A blend of vanilla, lime, copaiba, lavender and cedarwood.
Use to combat every day stresses. It's labeled quite properly: Stress. Away. Haha! LOVE!
I'm AMAZED by how real this stuff is.

PANAWAY >>> Um hello, massage!!! Hot/Icy Feeling. Apply topically after exercise to muscles.
Apply to neck and back while experiencing head tension. I like to pull this baby out when my head
is feeling "meh" or I've just had a long day. It sings to me. And it smells like a wintergreen mint!
I always want to just lick the bottle. But I don't.

PURIFICATION >>> I diffuse this when I want to make you THINK my house is clean! Lol.
Diffuse to freshen air. Major odor killer. I use this one in my natural bug spray!!!
Also great to use on wool balls in your dryer! Fresh, bright scent. It makes me HAPPY.

COPAIBA >>> **Co-pie-ee-ba**.... promotes wellness. Supports the body’s natural response to injury,
irritation and inflammation. Add to a hot tea for a soothing throat drink. Also great for glowing +
soft skin. Love to use on my little one's gums! I've also found this one to be so helpful with
seasonal discomfort.

THIEVES >>> THE MOTHER OIL. AAAAAAAAH! Lol. One of Young Living’s most popular blends!
Great to diffuse during the winter with all the germs floating around. Supports healthy immune function.
We like to roll this on before we start school each morning. Also great for DIY house cleaning products!
Smells like Christmas. Sign me up.

Super food juice! A powerhouse antioxidant blend. This stuff gives me wings!!!
Total energy booster for me. "Put good in, get good out" kind of deal!!! LOVE this daily supplement.

There you have it folks!!! My Swiss Army, karate kickin', arsenal of oils!!!
I definitely do not know "all the things", but am open and willing to learn all the time.
Cliche of all cliches, but it is TOTALLY a journey!!!


And of course my support group: The Village Gathering where all the continued learning, sharing,
growing magical unicorn-ness (ha!) takes place!!!!

If you have any questions or would like to chat oils, don't hesitate to reach out!
I'd love to help if I can ---

Or if you want to jump on board... click here!!!


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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Our Ocean Adventure

Last month we loaded up the van and hit the road! Traveling in a 5X10 foot space with three children
six and under is not for the feint of heart. Sixteen and a half hours later we were all laugh-crying
ourselves out of the sardine can on wheels and kissing the pavement triumphantly....

we arrived in North Carolina!!!

You wanna know the first thing I saw? A COCKROACH as big as my head.

The drive actually wasn't bad. We brought so many snacks. Like so many. And an entire SEASON of
Curious George which was promptly ingrained into our brains. We also stopped at Chick-fil-a and
let them drink root beer and run off energy in the germ-infested play place. Parents of the year!!!
Yea. We like to live it up around here!!!

If you're looking for travel tips -- that's my best stuff, you guys. Gold.

Seriously though -- no lie -- my kids are awesome and traveled so well; all things considered!!

Anyway. It was amazing to visit my sister, Nellie, and her little family!!! We stayed at their house
for a few days before we headed to the beach --- where we rented these little houses that made us
next door neighbors for the first time in our lives! It was magical. 300 feet from the ocean. Maybe?!

You could hear the waves. See the view from bed. I would have been ok moving in. Let's just stay.
We would walk over this little boardwalk and BAM: the Atlantic Ocean!!!

Everyone had so much fun playing, eating, beaching, napping together!!!
I love the cousins together! Makes me happy.

Our kids learned to boogie board. Heck, even I learned to boogie board! The ocean actually
ripped my swimsuit off down to my waist and I lost the house key (that was tucked in said swimsuit).
It was epic. Very liberating experience.

I will always remember the LAUGHTER of Bella when she met the waves for the first time.
The JOY on Zay's face when he would catch a ride on his board.
And the ENERGY that is Judah, "Today is a good day to surf, mom." -- with that hair of his!
I can't even. Lol.

We took home suntans as souvenirs.... and buckets full of shells that smell like rotting crabs???!
I make the boys keep them out of the house. Except for the ones we made into merman necklaces....

So radically cool, dude.

Love my people and my sister and her family!!!
Glad we could share an ocean adventure together!!!
Take me baaaaaack!!!

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Monday, August 22, 2016

My Wedding Day Was NOT the Best Day of My Life

Seven years ago we said "I do" and did all the holy, wonderful things to bind us together as
husband and wife in front of all our family and friends.... but no, I don't think it was the
"best day of our lives".

The "best" has come in all the days after -- in the waking up over and over again in the "real world",
choosing Christ before we choose ourselves, saying "I will, I'm sorry, I'm showing up, I love you."

Sounds all easy peasy, but for anyone that has been married, you know this is HARD and HOLY work --
NOT exactly what you find on a Hallmark greeting card. Ha!

When I was fifteen I wanted to be a nun. Like hardcore. Long story short, God made it pretty clear
that was NOT His will for my life. I stood in front of a statue of the baby Jesus during Christmastime
in Rome, Italy and told Him, hands on my hips, "Well, I offered to be YOUR bride. Marriage is for weaklings."

Basically, "Your loss, Lord."

Oh Brittany. Thank goodness we grow up. And then grow up some more, right?

I think the hardest part of life is trusting God. Like, I know I often think, "I hope YOU
have a plan..."
OF COURSE HE HAS A PLAN! I'm basically an annoying 5 year old in the
backseat, "Are we there yet?"

God knew. He knew I was really going to LIKE Nathan. Like.... like-like-looooove!!!!
But seriously, sometimes I pinch myself, is this my real life? I am so blessed. WE are so blessed.

And we think that the "best" has come in the birth of our babies, building a life together,
getting through the hard times to come out stronger, more united, determined to keep working on
heaven together!!! Each year brings us into a deeper, more comfortable kind of love. NOT the kind
made of unicorns and fluffy bunny rabbits, but the kind of love that dares to imitate Calvary.

My life for yours. Laid down. Surrendered.
Easter morning glory kind of love.... and THESE,
these are the best DAYS of our lives!!!

Do we get it right every day? Absolutely not. We are two hopelessly flawed human beings living under
the same roof! We are both firstborns with dominating temperaments.... yea. Imagine. Lol.

Sometimes I joke with Nathan, "I am so proud of myself for marrying you."
Like I did a good job picking out a husband or something?! But the truth is....

ALL JESUS. I'm thankful He didn't want me for a nun....
and that we could celebrate SEVEN YEARS of marriage this month!!!!

I was going to say "back when we were dating" -- but then I'm like SCRATCH THAT!
We are STILL dating. Married, but dating! Husband and wife, but still very much
"boyfriend and girlfriend" and all that romantic jazz.

For real you guys -- I am HEAD OVER HEELS in love with this man.

But yea back when we were dating... we visited this enchanting place....

And we ran away this past weekend to visit again!!! So much like Pride and Prejudice --
walking the beautiful grounds and stealing a kiss on the wide open front lawn.

Call me Elizabeth Bennet. Call him Mr. Darcy.

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