Monday, August 25, 2014

Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Me

I started getting antsy.

I wanted to do something.

I wanted to learn something.  

I talked to Marcus and hashed out some ideas.  I looked at the local community college at different programs.  I didn't want to just take a class here and there.  I wanted to complete a program where I would then be "certified," able to actually do something in that field...whether I actually would do something in that field or not was/is unknown, but I wasn't interested in merely gaining more knowledge if I couldn't use it for financial-gain if necessary.  I was a teacher and absolutely loved that.  But because of circumstance, teaching is no longer something I'm interested in.  Tutoring was great for a time.  But I was feeling like there was something more for me.  

I already have a pretty full life.  I am a wife and take care of our home.  I am the mother to 3 children.  We want to have more children.  I work with a team to put on a fundraiser each year.  I'm a member of a very active/busy church.  I volunteer in Callie's classroom.  Plus, I want to keep reading and playing with my kids and doing things that help me unwind.  However, I felt drawn to learn more and use my brain and mind in a way that I really have missed.  I wanted to go back to school.

If I was going to do this successfully, I had to create some rules.  I set up some pretty strict perimeters.  

1. Sundays are Free.  Everyone has different opinions on Sundays and how they should be used.  But for me, I have found that when I have that specific day for the Lord, family and friends, I have a much better, clearer week.  I feel recharged.  If a program I contemplated required me to do anything on Sunday, it was immediately eliminated from my list of options.  Sundays are a sacred day for me.  Sunday is the day I attend church with my family, have a slow afternoon, and spend the evening having dinner and socializing with extended family.  I want this day for myself.  But I also really want my children to grow up feeling that Sunday is a sacred day for them as well.  How could I effectively teach my children that Sunday is a day worth putting aside for the Lord, myself, and others (family, service, etc) if I knowingly scheduled class/work/workshops/trainings for Sunday?  I realize not everyone feels this way about Sundays, and that's ok.  This is my own personal decision.  And, I also realize that there are exceptions and jobs where Sundays cannot always be avoided.  My own husband has to work on-call for the hospital and it overlaps to Sundays often.  I get it.  But since this was a choice, I had the luxury of making this a strict rule.  Keeping the Sabbath day a day for just those things is something that has helped strengthen my faith and if I was going to begin something kind of scary and new, I didn't want to take that spiritual factor out.  It has worked for me, so I didn't want to change it up.  Sundays are free.

2. Family-Stress Free.  There's no way to start something like this and not have it add some level of stress.  But stress isn't always a bad thing.  When it's too much, it's time to re-evaluate.  But I wanted this really badly, so I had to make sure it didn't add bad stress to my life...thus adding stress to our family.  This had to be something that I could manage.  I had to be able to have the time to do the assignments, the reading, the studying, whatever work it required of me; I had to be able to do it without putting my family out.  Essentially, it shouldn't affect them in a negative way.  No need to juggle with babysitters, crazy schedules, Marcus needing to take over what I normally do, etc.  Family-Stress Free.  

3.  Budget Friendly.  We are saving money for an adoption.  There's a reason why you see fundraisers out there for adoptions.  They are horribly expensive...I would say, sometimes, unethically expensive!  I didn't want to be a financial burden on our family when we have some major financial goals we're working on.  

4.  Good Vibes.  I needed to feel really good about it...excited, passionate, eager to learn.  There's no way I was about to enter some kind of program if I didn't get the vibe that this was what was right for me. 

So far, I was finding a ton of options, but they didn't meet ALL my qualifications.  And that was a requirement.  I wasn't going to bend. 


In June 2014, I talked to a friend.  And then I talked to her friend.  In this conversation, it came up that Katie's friend, Lauren, was a Holistic Health Coach.  It was a side comment really.  But it greatly piqued my interest.  At the end of the conversation, I asked her if we could revisit the topic of Holistic Health Coach.  She told me that she had enrolled and graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition a few years ago and completely loved it.  She shared some things that she learned and told me how it has changed her life.

I was interested.

I did my research.

AND it fit ALL my requirements.

And the good vibes...they were goooood!

I talked to my mom (for hours).  I talked to my sister (for hours).  I talked to Marcus (for hours).  I prayed and thought about it.  I weighed the pros and cons.  

And in July 2014, I enrolled.  

I've been working on my IIN education for 7 weeks now and am completely loving it.  I'm learning a ton and feeling energized and by December, I'll be able to start working with people.

So, what is a Holistic Health Coach?
This is what is exciting to me.  Because, yes, I am learning about foods and how nutrition plays a big role in our health.  But, "holistic" means so much more.  What IIN teaches is that HEALTH is so much more than food.  Yes, food is imperative.  But what we actually put into our mouths and into our bellies is Secondary Food.  So many people are unhealthy even though their cholesterol is good and blood pressure is normal.  You may be lean but if you struggle with your one or more of your Primary Foods (relationships, physical activity, spirituality, career [even if that's a stay-at-home mama])...your life is out of balance and you know what?  That's not healthy.  Holistic Health Coach.  This concept speaks to me.  Work on ALL aspects of health to achieve your goals.  I whole-heartedly believe that when we are out of balance, when we struggle finding happiness in an area of our life, then we have a harder time in other areas.  It's all connected.  

I'm excited to share my personal experiences with others and just perhaps I'll be able to help them.  But until then, we are becoming healthier and my kids are living in an overall healthier home.  

I'm no longer feeling antsy.

I'm doing something.

And I'm learning sooo much!  

And it makes me happy.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Father/Son Campout 2014

Back in May, Marcus attended his first ever Father-Son Campout as a father...with his son.  Though Callie was looking forward to a Girls' Weekend with me, Sammy, and herself, she really really wanted to go camping.  But, she smiled, gave hugs, and the boys were on their way.

I just think this is funny because Micah looks so bored.  It wasn't the case.  He had a lot of fun, but it's a funny picture.

Micah playing ball with the boys.  Here AJ is playing soccer with him.

For a kid who goes to bed at 8:30 normally, this was an evening of too much fun.  He fell asleep at the campfire with Daddy.

The next morning enjoying breakfast by the fire.

All in all, I'd say it was a success and the boys will be looking to another campout next year!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

School Beginnings 2014

Sammy started 3rd grade!  WHAT?  I know it's crazy to see our kids grow and get older...and each year it's crazier and crazier to think our kids are movin' on up.  But with Sammy, it really does blow my mind (almost literally...I must always be cautious), because she doesn't grow too quickly.  She's been with the same teacher and in the same classroom, doing the same curriculum...basically...for the past 3 years!  And talk about physical growth...I pulled out our family growth chard (that's been packed away for the past year) and the last date I have for Sammy is 12/17/12.  She has grown 2 inches since then.  So, my little twerpy girl, moving up, it seriously boggling...and heart wrenching.  3rd grade.  In a new school...a new school district in teacher, school therapists, aides...but same students!  Eight of her classmates moved with Sammy to this school.  They make up the entire class, so I'm pretty excited about that.  

I so love this little girl.  Oh Sammy.  What would I ever do without you?

Sammy getting much needed beauty sleep.
If you look closely, you can see some of her hair against the wall.
She's cozy.

Ready and waiting for the bus...with her new braces and kicks.

And this was her after school report....
She liked it.

Callie started school today.  And I'm telling you, I had a hard time keeping it together.  There are so many things swirling around in my mind with this school year.  I've really considered pulling her out of school and homeschooling (another post some other time).  She liked the idea actually.  But Callie...oh dear Callie...watching her grow and develop is so overwhelming.  It's happening too quickly.  She's finding her talents and becoming this little person with whom I'm so happy and immensely in love.  She and I, I think, are a really great team.  We laugh a lot.  Play.  Cook.  Work.  If it were last year, I would have picked her up from school already and we'd be having lunch.  This morning, before leaving for school, we read scriptures and knelt down to pray.  I cried during the prayer.  (sigh)  I love her so much.

This year Callie moves to 1st grade with Ms. Borreli, her Kindergarten teacher.  She is so excited about it.  I love Ms. B and she loves Callie.  We've gone up to school a few times and Callie has given her big hugs.  The other week, as I chatted with Ms. B, I had an overwhelming confirmation that this year Callie would be good.  That my decision to keep her in school this year was the right now.  I find peace in that.  And so...first grade, here we come!

Callie getting her beauty sleep.
She came into our room at 4:37 am.
"Callie, is everything alright?"
"Is it time for school yet?"
She was really excited!

She loves the small rose bush we have in the front.

And she was happy I let her wear a pair of her church shoes to school.  Only because it's the first day though, She does have recess this year, and I fear for those shoes!

Must do a goofy shot

This about says it all.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

'Tis a Gift to be Simple

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right, 
  'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gain'd, 
  To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight, 
  Till by turning, turning we come 'round right.

The picture in Sammy's bedroom

I have a tendency to over-complicate things.  Am I the only one?  It seems that each year, my resolution is to simplify my life to some degree.  Can I get an Amen!?  And I think I do a really good job of it, until I re-evaluate at the end of the year and think, "I need to simplify my life."  mmm hmmm  And so, I try again.  

I believe I'm improving.  I'm working on it.  I'm trying to focus on what is most important.  Yes, I fill my days with extras, but I am doing better in my choosing.  Better.  Still working at it.  

One thing I've realized lately in my personal studies is that there is something in my life that will always remain constant.  Uncomplicated.  Clear.  Straight forward.  Simple.  

And it is a gift.  

The picture in Callie's bedroom.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is simple.  It may not be easy all the time, but it's simple.  I am a daughter of God.  I was before this mortal life, and I will forever be His.  Because I was with him once, I can be with him again.  He spoke to His children before; He speaks to his children now.  There were commandments before; commandments are still set to help keep us on track.  When we fall off course, we are given tools to get back on track.  Repentance is a true, real process that puts us back on the trail's a process of turning back to Him, and humbly admitting we need to be better.  We are all just trying to be better.  Yes there are ordinances that need to be done here on earth.  There are things that we need to do.  But it all boils down to this: we are His.  His children.  His babies.  His most precious treasures.  And in the most respectful way, He's just our daddy.

The picture in Micah's room

I think it's all pretty black and white.  We're his children or we're not.  There is a plan for us here, or there's not.  We are left alone to wander and figure it out, or we're actually given exactly what we need to make it through this life so we can be home again.  

I have received answers for myself that make it impossible for me to say that it's not true.  I am His daughter.  I know the path.  I am not perfect...nor does my loving Father expect me to be.  But what he does expect is for me not to give up.

To seek truth always.  
To talk to him.  
To keep my focus on the eternal joys ahead.  
And he'll fill me with faith, hope, and charity.  
He will give me what I need.  

I don't expect to have an easy life.  I expect my life will be scattered with thunderstorms, but I believe that through the simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the sunshine will always cast the storms out.  Because the Son is brighter than any storm in my life.

I guess, for me, the real challenge is in finding that true simplicity everyday.  Remembering the simplicity.  Remembering the simple truth of where I came from, why I'm here, and where I'm headed.  And if that's our focus, as the Shakers sang...we'll all "come 'round right."



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