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My Life Monday | Two-week round-up

Where oh where is summer going?  Nearly two weeks into June and I don’t know about you, but I feel as though I really haven’t been able to enjoy it…….yet.

I think about all of the changes going on for me personally and I sigh with relief that I’ve not ended up in the crazy house yet.

I was sent this not long ago from a dear friend and it’s so she and I – made me chuckle.

drowning in own thoughts

That being said, all is well – those I love are healthy, the sun has started to shine and the birds sing songs of happiness.  There is plenty for which to be grateful.

Our youngest graduated kindergarten.  She was officially the shortest to enter kindergarten at Zeeland Public School, taking the place of Joseph Keller, who took the reigns as the shortest kindergartner from Xavier.  lol!  They had such a cute program!

In addition, Xavier, our oldest turned double-digits at the end of May, so it was an exciting May ’round here!  We had to take our usual birthday family selfie, of course!

kindergarten graduation and birthday selfie

Recently, my accountability girlfriends and I, as well as my sis-in-law, completed the Color Splash Fun Dash 5k in Bismarck.  It was a lot of fun!  My first time and I’m sure not my last!  [Sorry photo-bomber, you are officially on the internet]  Not sure what we were laughing at but apparently it was pretty funny – my favorite pic! :)

Color Splash Fun Dash

I got my garden in not long ago:  pickling cucumbers, slicing cucumbers, green beans, peas, spinach, romaine and leaf lettuce, a different kind of onion, regular onions, and squash.  So far my green beans and onions are looking great.  I have two squash plants up and peas are catching up.  My cucumbers, on the other hand, are looking pitiful.  Spinach and romain is starting to come up though – which makes me happy as those are the base of my smoothies and I’m hoping to get a lot frozen from the season.

For the first time in a couple years, I’ve gotten some flowers in pots.  I ended up finding these beautiful salmon-colored geraniums and similarly-colored petunias.  Along the steps I got these pretty, little purple flowers – can’t remember what their called but their hardy in full-sun and I love the deep purple color.  I’m thinking I need to hit some auction/rummage sales this summer to find some fun, unique potting options for flowers for next year.  This Fall it’s my goal to get some bulbs planted and transplanted as well.  I’ve only been saying this for three years now.

geraniums and pitunia's

Recently, weeks of planning with a great group of gals, came to a close when it finally came time for Dairy/Ag Day in Linton.  It was also my first time attending.  There was quite a bit more planned for this year and fortunately, we had awesome weather.  It really would have been a bummer to move everthing to the school.  I think it was a great success and I think everyone enjoyed it (at least I hope they did)!  I know my kiddos had fun!  And only my son would choose devil horns.  lol!

Dairy Ag Day Face Painting

I gotta throw in one of my favorite discoveries so far this summer – Leinenkugel’s!  They had me at the orange shandy (which now won’t be coming out until August).  The summer shandy is awesome, as well as the berry shandy (mixing the two is equally delicious)!  I’m hooked, so much so, I’d love to go to Wisconsin and see the brewery!  When I go in, I’m all in! lol!  The Helles Yeah is from their explorer pack.  Delish on a hot, summer day!  It’s 5:00 somewhere, right?

Leinenkugel's

I hope this blog post finds you well and until next time – enjoy the summer weather!  And, to help with the mosquitoes and sun, I purchased this stuff from an Avon distributor while at Dairy Ag Days and it seriously works for both!  Kids didn’t get burned and I didn’t get eaten alive while mowing lawn and watering over the weekend.  I did make a mix with essential oils but haven’t tried it on a bad mosquito night yet to say if it works or not.  When I do, I’ll report the results. :)

Avon Skin So Soft Insect repellent with sunscreen

Enjoy your week!

 

 

 

 

The Other Side of Fear: An Announcement

breathe, trust, let go

[deep sigh……..breathe………]

This blog post has been a few months in the making.  I had been hinting for several months about a personal project I have been working on and as of today, Friday, May 22nd, that personal project is officially live!  Check out my new personal project website: The Guided Heart.

Also, as of today, I am officially announcing that this will be my last year for my photography business.

I have been on quite the emotional roller-coaster ride the past 8 months, which is covered more in depth on The Guided Heart.  This was a long, drawn-out process of self-discovery and wasn’t an easy decision to come to.  However, since making the decision, I’ve felt an incredible amount of relief, not to mention excitement of new things to come.

I had been feeling as if something was missing from my life.  I tried to distract myself – resisting this feeling I had within that drastic change needed to happen.  I had spent several months feeling confused, anxious and started on the pity-party and blame game until I realized, after much self-reflection, that nothing was going to change until I started working on myself from within.

And so, eight months later from when my self-work journey began, and only after just a couple months of realizing a bigger vision for my life, it is with much excitement that I make this announcement official.

I have second-guessed myself a couple times, but when I come back to how I want to feel, what I want to create, where I want to go, and who I want to help…..I feel this is exactly what I need to do in order to see that vision through.

I have a few lofty goals and some pretty simple ones too.  The Guided Heart started from a simple idea that sort of grew a life of its own and fell into place in ways I didn’t expect.  And its purpose has rooted in my heart in a way I can’t turn back or keep one foot stuck in the past.

So, I’m moving on – to the next chapter in my life, with a heart so full of gratitude to all of my clients through the years who have contributed to the growth and sustain of my photography business.

This business too, began with an idea – a certain vision for my life.  And like a caterpillar goes through metamorphosis, I too, am experiencing a change – for a new purpose.

I plan to fill my days with all the things that bring me joy and juice me up – things that make me excited to wake up in the morning.  I am the creator of my days – the master of the minutes that make up my life.

So far, I have added two part-time jobs and one as-needed job in preparation of no longer taking on photography work in 2016.  All of these jobs allow me the flexibility to be with my family, enjoy the days of summer and spend time with friends, as well as pursue my dream of writing and blogging for this new site.  And I don’t believe these job opportunities were circumstance either – they were presented to me at just at the right time.

With the decision to close the business and in-between the various jobs, I plan to devote more time to volunteering at the local nursing home (and get my kids involved too), learning more chords on the acoustic guitar and hopefully starting a book I’ve had on my heart and mind for quite some time.

Self-reflection and growing has juiced up my life in ways I never imagined.  I’ve rediscovered my passion for the written word and discovered things about myself that have re-ignited, or in some instances, even changed my perspective and views of life in general.

So much of what we believe is ingrained in us since childhood;  beliefs about money (there’s never enough, money doesn’t grow on trees) to self-worth (you need to earn love/praise in order to receive it, love is a transaction).  These beliefs can be changed.  But only within ourselves and you do have the power to change those recurring thoughts.  You absolutely do.  I didn’t understand the power our minds posses until I experienced this shift in my own life.

And so, I’m leaving all the fear I have aside – fear of what people may say, what others may think, or what may or may not happen as a result of this decision.  It’s useless worry and serves no one.

What is the worst that can happen?  I help one person?  Seems worth trying to me.

What is the cost of not pursuing what I feel my heart is calling me to do?  A life of regret, lack of fulfillment and the ache in my gut for not listening to my hut (gut & heart) [if I think years down the road].

Fear.  It can rule your life……if you allow it.

Thank you for the years of readership, following of my work and if I’ve had the pleasure of working with you, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for choosing me to capture the loves in your life – for trusting and having faith in what I would provide.

As of December 31st, 2015 this website will no longer be available.  My social media accounts may or may not be deactivated prior to this date as well; I haven’t quite worked out that detail yet.  I also will have gear and such to sell,  however, I will not be selling my current camera and most of my lenses, as I still plan to photograph for personal expression (family/friends/nature).

I will be taking clients up until November 28th, to ensure all loose ends are tied up before the end of the tax year.  So, if you’ve had a session with me previously and there is something custom you want created or ordered, please get in touch prior to this date.  I do have an archive of every session starting in 2009 and am still working out details as to how to handle all of those images.  If you’ve had a session with me and have a concern/question regarding your session images, don’t hesitate to get in touch.  Likewise, if you would like to help me “go out with a bang” – get in touch to book your session today as session dates will be limited!

Also, I still plan to have some camera classes this year, maybe even beyond – who knows, as I found I do enjoy teaching them. :)

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you choose to visit me over at The Guided Heart.

 

P.S.  I’ve had this post written for about 10 days.  As I prepared to hit publish today, a flood of emotions overwhelmed me.  Listening to soulful music on Spotify likely hasn’t helped.  lol!  I wish you all a wonderful Memorial weekend.  We will be celebrating our oldest hitting double-digits;  a reminder to fill the minutes of my days with joy, intention and purpose.  They slip away much too fast.

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is continually fearing you will make one.”

 

Congrats Class of 2015!

Congratulations to all of the graduates who closed a chapter of their lives over the weekend, only to prepare to open another.  I didn’t make it to all of them in the area, but as I watched the Zeeland graduates receive their diplomas, it brought me back to 1997 when I received my own.

When you’re 18 you feel like the world is your oyster, that there’s so much to do, see, explore, and accomplish.  At least, that is the hope, we have as parents, for our children – that they feel those things.

At my graduation, I really didn’t know what I was going to do with my life.  That was a question I continued to ask myself for many years.  When you think you know, life has a funny way of pushing the “X” button of your life, as if to say “WRONG. THAT’S NOT WHAT YOU’RE HERE TO DO.”

I think any high school senior could ask their parents if they’re doing what they envisioned for themselves at 18 and I would bet a large portion would probably say “no.”  And that’s okay.  I sure didn’t plan to have my own business one day and it’s been an extraordinary life experience that has taught me so much.  I didn’t even want children, for the longest time, and I have three.

Scary thought if you’re 18 and just starting down your own life’s path.

What I would say to my uncertain and confused eighteen-year-old self is this:

The only certainty in life is uncertainty of what the future holds.  You only have today and tomorrow is no guarantee.  So, if today were the last day of your life, ask yourself “would I want to do what I’m about to do today?”  Now, that’s not advice to skip out on your obligations to your family, friends, or whomever or whatever you’ve committed yourself to.  It is a question, however, that you can ask yourself to gauge, if what you’re about to do, really makes your heart sing.  

You will get your heart broken.  There is no happiness or joy “out there” that you cannot find within….if you choose to create it.  You are the only one you can count on.  Don’t expect others to act/behave a certain way.  People will disappoint you.  Rather, count on showing up for yourself.  Raise your standards because the difference between people are their standards.  A wise man once said:  “Everyone has a “should” list.  Don’t “should” all over yourself.  Change your shoulds into musts.”  That being said, don’t get too hung up on the end result – it rarely turns out as you expect.  Be open to anything and everything.   

Failure:  it’s a beast.  You will try and fail at many things.  You will try and learn from many things and experiences.  Every opportunity of failure (whether perceived or true), is an opportunity to grow.  Don’t beat yourself up.  Don’t look for validation from others;  you can give that to yourself. Your mind is your greatest asset.  Don’t abuse it and use it wisely.  Be still every once in a while.  All the knowledge you will ever need in this life is right there, within you.  It has been there all along and will be there always.  Trust your “hut (gut and heart)” always.  Listen to your mom and dad.  Like it or not, they will always be wiser and have far more life-experience than you.

Man, if only 30+ year-old wisdom was something we were born with.  Alas, it is not and how we arrive at being wiser is a windy road that is different for all of us.

You truly will learn more about life when you give yourself the opportunity to expand, grow and experience the world around you.  Travel, talk to everyone you meet (my not-so-secret secret:  opportunities lie among connections), don’t settle – know what you want based on what you value, and never-ever-never let anyone tell you something can’t be done.  That may be the story that person feels is true for themselves, but don’t make someone else’s limits your own.  If you try and it truly is impossible, at least you live knowing you tried and probably learned from it – and that’s a win.  Regret:  sticks in the gut like glue.  Let it go.  The world is your oyster, remember.

Zeeland High School Class of 2015

John Meidinger, ZHS Class of 2015, son of Vern & Sue Meidinger.  Quiet guy until you get to know him, loves football & track, family-oriented, loyal friend to many I’m sure;  the laid-back guy that doesn’t take things too seriously.

senior guy football pics senior guy farm session senior guy graffiti ND senior photographer senior guy what to wear senior guy studio portrait

Bradyn Burgad, LHS Class of 2015, son of Shawn & Kelli Burgad.  Stud-muffin (gotta tease), lover of the derby and football, more fashion sense than my husband, and just overall a happy-go-lucky kinda guy.

senior guy outdoor portrait senior guy with his pickup senior boy derby car racing pics senior boy portrait senior boy football scoreboard photo 2014-11-11_0001

Rylan Jacob, LHS Class of 2015.  Son of Rod & Denette Jacob.  Somewhat shy guy, soft spoken with a whole lotta potential.  Lover of the outdoors, football, farming, and if I had to guess – his mom’s cooking.

senior picture of guy with cattle nd senior photographer senior guy football pics senior guy pictures with car

I’ll close with two pieces of wisdom I have written as a reminder in my journal.

“Nothing is more powerful than the force of personal identity –

When a person’s soul transcends the limits of the moment 

to embrace all that they are capable of becoming.”

– Anthony Robbins

&

“There’s a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, 

and because there is only one of you in all of time,

this expression is unique.  And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.

The world will not have it.

It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares with other expressions.

It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.  

You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.  

You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you.

Keep the channel open.”

– Martha Graham

My Life Monday | Beauty Insider

I just wanted to share a bit about how I’ve been using Young Living oils for beauty (and otherwise) and what I’ve noticed personally, after using them for over a month now.

Here is an info-graphic example of how the premium kit oils can be used daily.

Young Living Everyday Oils Infographic

I purchased a steel, 20 oz. mug (should be steel or glass, not plastic) and use that for my water with 3 drops of lemon and usually also add tangerine or grapefruit.  I can say that I have not had a craving for coffee like I used to.  Actually, there was one morning where I started with my water, worked out as I normally had, and didn’t realize I didn’t have coffee that day until after 5pm.  Also, I’ve noticed it has delayed my hunger in the morning.  I will still typically eat something but it’s helped to keep me from binge-eating/snacking.  Also, I feel my digestion has improved.  Having been diagnosed with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) years ago, I feel this has been beneficial.

I also use a drop of Frankincense mixed in with my skin moisturizer.  Since doing this, I’ve noticed my pores aren’t as large around my nose and just the overall tone and texture seems to have improved.  I didn’t start having facial skin issues until after I turned 30 – dark spots, blemishes and noticeable pores, so I’m glad I’ve found something that has been working.  I haven’t tried Melaleuca (tea tree), which is also used for skin care but I also like the scent of Frankincense.

For mood I use Harmony, Citrus Fresh (love diffusing this one) and Peace and Calming.  I could not stand the smell of Joy and had read that the one you can’t stand the smell of is likely the one you need.  In order to get to where you can actually like Joy, Harmony was recommended (for emotional healing).  Harmony is used in the Chakra clearing practice and if that’s all foreign-speak, you’ll have to do your own research and come to your own conclusion.  I know, for some, these oils are kinda woo-woo and where it gets into the feelings and such, I’m sure there will be skeptics.  But, I can say I feel Harmony has been helping me – although, I’ve been doing other things along with it, not just using the oil and waiting for something to happen.

I’ve been using peppermint on my youngest’s growing pains, as well as on her belly for tummy-ache (diluted, of course) and used thieves on my toothbrush with toothpaste too.  Although, thieves is a warm oil, be ready to swish afterwards!  But boy your mouth feels fresh afterwards!  I used it on a canker sore too – but I still prefer a Tums for that.

These are so versatile and that’s why I love using them.  They also make the whole main level of our home smell wonderful!  I love mixing purification with Citrus Fresh!  I usually diffuse lavender at night and although it’s probably the most popular, I find it’s the one I mostly use to diffuse at bedtime.  You can use it on bug bites too, so I’m sure I’ll get more use of it this summer.

Anyway, just wanted to share this week, my experiences after having been using Young Living Oils for a month.  If you’re interested in knowing more or would like a free sample of lemon or lavender (limited number), get in touch!  No need to sign up, but if you do, it is the better deal as you get a diffuser as well.

My other beauty find is my Jamberry Pink Lemonade lacquer.  I must have been in a pretty awesome mood when I bought it because normally I would not spend $15 on a bottle of nail polish, but it really is good stuff.  It goes on nicely and dries quickly.  The Jamberry sticky things aren’t my thing…more old school here! lol!

Jamberry Pink Lemonade Lacquer

Well, I’ll close today with a quote.  Have a wonderful week!

“The ultimate gift from the river of life is its stepping stones of misfortune because it is these misfortunes which help you to build the bridge of experience to cross.”

– Seamus Makim, nephew of the Duchess of York

My Life Monday | Joy in the Mundane…

This will be a short & sweet post.  A rare event for me, I know.  I’m really working on my writing skills, so I’m hoping “diarrhea of the fingertips/mind” gets under control.  I’m actually taking a writing course on the very subject because I know it’s an area of writing I need to improve.

Last week I got my monthly newsletter out and also shared my Mother’s Day Promotion on the blog below some of my own family portraits I shared. This year on the Chamber I’m on the Dairy/Ag Day planning committee and we had our second meeting.  I very much enjoy brainstorming and since I have never actually been to Dairy/Ag Day, I thought this would be a great way to get involved and know what it’s all about.  The week ended with the kids having 4H and then the weekend we went out of town to celebrate our nieces confirmation and first communion.  It was such beautiful weather to celebrate, spend time with family and grill out.

Today, I headed out to get some photos for the Emmons County Record.  I’m enjoying the assignments I am receiving for the paper.  It’s kinda funny that at one time in my life I was considering going into journalism and it’s actually an area of occupation recommended for me based on those occupation tests – what you’d enjoy/be good at type of test.  Funny how things turn out….

I have meatloaf in the oven and I need to add my topping (ketchup, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar) before it’s done, so I’ll close for now.  But, before I do I have to share this video.  Before we left Bismarck Saturday, I took the kids to McDonald’s to see their grandma and eat.  I had been watching Xavier eat his chicken nuggets (by the way, awesome that the happy meals now include yogurt!) and I decided to record him.  He inhales his food like his dad.  So, what I got on video could not have been a better depiction of what my kids are truly like at the table on any given day and really shows their personalities.  Click the link below to watch and I hope you get a good chuckle on this Monday! They sure gave me a moment of joy, in what could be considered, a mundane part of life (mealtime).

A typical meal with my kids.

Portraits of a Mother

These portraits of my mother and with myself, as well as my children are a treasure to me.  This was a spur-of-the-moment idea I had;  my mom just so happened to have her dress with her for some occasion.

My kids dread when I bring out the camera.  But this time was for them – as much as it was for me.  The makeover was for my mom, but, as I mentioned, this session was for my kids, that I know, one day they will appreciate and love having these photographs.

My mom had a blast getting her hair and make-up done.  I know she loved that time with just she and I;  me doing her make-up, hair and tweezing her brows, just as I did when I was a teenager.

I can’t say it enough – how glad I am to have these and to have that day as a memory.  I know my mom won’t be around forever (she’ll be 73 in July), despite her stubbornness (lol!) – and none of us know when it’s our time, but I forever have these portraits.

Maybe this is why my path lead me down the road of photography – to capture my adult life, where my childhood pictures are lacking.  I don’t know…but in this moment, as I look at these, it feels full circle to me.  Maybe it’s a road I needed to travel so that my own children recognize the importance of documenting their own lives, once they are adults.  Because really, memories remain in our minds, but what we have to show for them is in pictures.  Future generations can’t go back and retrieve the memories of others – they need to be documented, or it’s like it never happened.  Hmm…never really thought of it exactly like that before.  All those years of learning, late nights, growing, practicing and practicing some more….gave me these.  So thankful….so, so thankful.

Wrinkles of beauty – showing years of smiles, years of sorrow, hard work, worry, wisdom (your mother truly does know a thing or two), sunny days and the special love a mother has for her children and grandchildren.  If only the lines on a woman’s face could talk.  I wonder what story they would tell?

 before and after over 70 beauty portrait

The one on the left is my favorite, I think! :)

mother and grandmother beauty portrait

A grandmother’s love is a different kind of love, I think.  I hope one day I get to experience that as my mom has.

grandmother with grandchildren portrait ND studio photographer

I gave this to my mom as a 20×10 print with an easel, along with a mini-album filled with images from her session.  Sadly, I know one day I’ll get this back.

I just love, love, love this quote.

mother and daughter beauty portrait

Also, I have been meaning to share images from a session I had with my family.  Although it was a bit of a hectic day, as I was make-up artist and hairdresser for my mom and nieces, I love the end results.  The photo credit of myself with my mom and siblings, goes to my brother-in-law.  It was quite a challenge trying to coach family with posing, when I wasn’t behind the camera.  And I had to include some outtakes.  When the photographer is away, the children will play. lol!  I love my crazy family!

mother with children and grandchildren portrait

Sis-in-law with my mini-me on the left and my sister on the right with my other mini-me. :)

ND studio photographer

I love these people.  A lot.

ND family photographer

Crazy kids.  Can’t leave ’em alone for two minutes. Ha!

family session outtakes

So, mothers….if you are wanting to capture your own memories like these, I hope to see you in my studio in honor of YOU and the love you give each and every day to the mini-you’s in your life. 😉  I shared this in my newsletter I sent out yesterday but in my haste, I left out a few details.  So, if you saw that promo in the e-news, this one is the correct one.

Mother's Day portrait promotion

Get in touch and let’s give your future generations something to hold on to, and of course, something for you to brag about. 😉

701.336.7720 | victoria@vlvphotography.com

My Life Monday | Easter Re-Cap

Hey there!  Feels like April is already flying and it just started!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend.  Ours was pretty great!  Although, my week could have been more enjoyable, without the daily headache that paid me a visit.  After four days I finally went in and here I had a low-grade fever and after five days of a prescription, today was my first day since last week Monday that I was headache-free.  I absolutely sympathize with anyone who experiences migraines.  These weren’t migraines, but were definitely nothing I had ever experienced.  I would get sudden sharp pain in my head at random times too – all I could do was grit my teeth, close my eyes and wait for it to pass.  Nothing I tried would help, which was also unusual for me.  The doctor was stumped too.  I wasn’t showing any symptoms other than low-grade fever and head pressure with pain in the back of my head and left side.  My sinuses weren’t presenting like a sinus infection (which I do get), my ears were good….really was a mystery.  The doctor decided to treat it like a sinus infection (since our kids had recently been sick too) and after the third day I finally felt relief.  I sure hope I don’t get that again, but another sign to me, that there sure was some weird stuff going around this cold/flu season.  I was pretty tired yesterday and still am today, but overall, I can’t complain.  I’m just glad I went in when I did – I caught whatever it was before it got worse and before the start of Easter weekend.

Our Easter was good though – took the kids to New Salem for the All-State Tournament.  Xavier took first, Alexandra got her first 1st place too and Jozlyn took 4th.  It’s always kinda sad when it gets to the end of wrestling season.  I know how much Junior, their coach enjoys teaching the kids and I know how much our kids enjoy it as well.

On our way to the school, we decided to stop by “Salem Sue.”  The last time I had been up there I was just a little squirt.  I think I might have a photo of me standing right where Tony and the kids are standing.  Will be fun to go there again when the kids are much older and get the same pictures….maybe even one day, hopefully, with our grandchildren.  :)  I also had to throw in a first birthday photo of Gizmo – he turned one April Fool’s Day!  We’ve never had a pet long enough to celebrate a birthday, so for us, this is kinda a big deal. ha! We probably surprised all of our family having a pet (of any kind) this long.  But, he is a keeper, that’s for sure!

New Salem All State Pee Wee Wrestling

Sunday we were lucky enough to have Easter Sunday Mass here in Hague and the rest of the day was spent with family; eating far too much and watching a pretty terrible movie – “Interstellar” which somehow managed to get an “8” rating out of “10,” if you open that link.  I’m pretty sure they watched a different movie.  There was maybe 30 minutes of it worth watching.  It was very drawn out and far too long.  Put it this way, it put 3 out of the 6 people watching it to sleep! lol!  So, can’t say that I recommend it;  unless you want a good nap, that is. 😉

Well, I am looking forward to a pain-free week and another busy weekend ahead with confirmations/first communions and a wrestling dual in Napoleon.

I hope your week is a good one!  Some sun and warmth (and rain too) would sure be nice for a change!

My Life Monday | Young Living Essential Oils

We’re on our way out of March already.  Soon it will be April Fool’s, which is also our pooch, Gizmo’s first birthday!  The kids think we should make him a bone cake.  I think Gizmo would love a burger.  I think he just might get that burger (minus the onions and seasoning).  Hopefully, we’ll get blessed with some grilling weather.  Sounds like we might get grilling weather tomorrow!  Woohoo!!

I know, just by talking to people this past week, that there are a lot of people just sick of the sickies going around.  Our family hasn’t been hit like others I know, but we have had to deal with illness this past week that we don’t normally.  Jozlyn ended up missing two days of school last week due to lung and ear infection.  She ended up on a 10-day antibiotic and nebulizer treatment.  The week prior, Xavier ended up on something for testing positive for Strep.  We’ve never had an issue with neither ear infections nor lung infection with any of our kids in all their lives.  I get sinus stuff, as does Tony, but overall, it’s typically the gastroenteritis that usually makes its rounds in our home.

Young Living Essential Oils:  My New Addiction

Around this time, it was perfect timing to be invited to an essential oil party.  I got my hand scanned, which told me exactly what my body was needing, in terms of oils, to aid me in feeling better.  And holy, spot on.  And I have already been convinced of their benefits.  Just today, I’ve been dealing with really bad sinus/head pressure.  I usually get two sinus infections a year (a deviated septum is likely the cause), where my entire face hurts and it’s probably comparable to a migraine – ice pack on the face, prefer dark room, etc..  It started last night and quickly got worse this morning.  I got my (young living) oils this past Friday and have been using them for various things since.  But, what’s convinced me is after trying peppermint and that not working, then trying ibuprofen (more than an hour prior) and that not working this morning, I went on to try Pan Away and I can say that the pain from the pressure has subsided.  I still feel pressure, but the pain is gone.  I am a terrible liar, so please know I’m not joking.  I’m not making false claims with this.  Pan Away worked to take my sinus pain away.  It’s been over an hour since applying it (diluted with olive oil to the back of my neck, behind my ears, and my temples) and it’s still gone.

My favorite way to use them, so far, is diffusing.  My diffuser pretty much runs all day and I’m usually diffusing a blend of 2 different oils, sometimes 3.  I have to say there is a little learning curve – what to dilute, what not to dilute, best way to use on children, to ingest, what not to ingest, etc….but seriously, I can safely say that I will be incorporating these into our daily lives.  My “oils to get next” list is already getting quite long.

I realize there are many that may think these are a scam or just coincidence, and those people are entitled to their opinion.  And having been kinda slow to get on the bandwagon myself, being somewhat skeptical and after doing my own research, holistic approaches to common ailments have been around for centuries.  So, there must be something to this whole essential oil thing.  Furthermore, my own experience in a short amount of time, tells me there are many potential benefits.  Not all oils will work for everyone, as I found with peppermint and my sinus pressure/pain, but where there’s one that won’t work, there are possibly 10 others, or a blend that might.

I did get the collection of oils that allows me to be a distributor;  however, I first and foremost, got the collection for the savings.  I don’t plan to push it or ask people to sign up.  If you want information or have a question, I’ll try and help you, just send me an email or give me a call.  I’m in the very early learning stages, but am more than willing to help you find a solution that may work for you.  If you find something that helps you, then I can feel good that, by sharing my own experience and what I’ve learned, that I’ve helped someone else.

In other news…

The kids had their last regular wrestling tournament last week in Wishek.  Jozlyn missed it, as did I, as she was home sick.  Xavier will be taking part in a dual tournament, I believe, in Napoleon later in April.

On Saturday, I set up a booth at a vendor fair in Sterling in the back of Flash’ Bar.  It was a great turn out and I met some fun people.  I also got to taste some pretty amazing cupcakes (even brought some home) from 7 Arrow Bakery in Driscoll.  Highly recommend!!!  I also learned all about Jamberry, as I had no clue.  I can’t see myself taking that kind of time on my nails.  Or, maybe I’m just old fashioned – I do like their lacquer though.

Yesterday, we closed the weekend by dying Easter eggs.  We don’t get too crazy with dying eggs in this house, as I am pretty much the only one that eats hard-boiled eggs.  Don’t they look enthused? lol!

Dying eggs with McCormick Color Recommendations

Well, I hope this blog post finds you well and that your march (pun intended) into April, is an amazing one!

And this quote is for those who have lost a friend/loved one in Becky Humann.  I did not know her, unfortunately, but do know how much the Chamber of Commerce appreciated her service to the community in a quiet way.  My thoughts and prayers are with those (including several of my clients) who will miss her dearly.

“A person never gets rich that she can afford to lose a friend.”

– Anonymous

 

My Life Monday | Just keep swimming…

Ever have that feeling like….ya just gotta keep swimming?  Ever have that feeling so much that you actually start dreaming of swimming?  That was my dream last night – with a cameo appearance of a cliff and a computer.  lol!  Dreams fascinate me…always have.  Back in the day when I would get scholastic in school, I ordered a dream analysis book.  I don’t have that book anymore, but there is a website, with a corresponding app, if you’re fascinated like me!

Here’s the deal, we only add to our plates what we put on them, what we say yes to and what we make the time to add to our lives.  This month has just kinda been one of those months.  Add all the sickies going around, two of my three being home from school a few days, wrestling tournaments, the never-ending dust-bunnies, and just the hustle and bustle of life….March has just called for wine, making time to decompress with friends and spending time with family.  Those moments have made the craziness of March all worth it and so I (and probably you too) just keep on swimming.

I had the realization yesterday that in approximately 7 weeks or so, school will be out for summer.  WHOAH!  Hello!!  Where the heck did the school year go and seriously glad I realized it now so I can prep (weekly summer night dates with friends and all our kids requires s’mores & refreshments, ya know)!  I have an ounce of guilt, a shot of shame and I know I’m not alone when I share the thought of….ugh…soon the kids will be out of school.  I probably wouldn’t have the dread lack of enthusiasm that I do if they wouldn’t look to me every second of their waking summer lives to entertain them.  Summer is a reminder, every single year, how times have sure changed.  Gone are the days when mama’s would send their kids off to play on their bikes, never to see them again until dusk, when they finally come home for supper.  Sigh……so, maybe I should just start planning now, for the sake of my own sanity.  Who’s with me?

Business News

Onto other news, this past Saturday I photographed high school sweethearts, as they plan to say their “I Do’s” later this year.  It was a “Pinterest” inspired session and I will share sneak peeks on my Facebook page and on my blog sometime this week.

Also, working on finishing up grad card designs and just finished up this video that I will be embedding on the home page of this website.  I’ve been working on it off and on over the past few weeks.  Check it out – you might just see you or someone you love making an appearance! :)

Sterling Spring Fling Vendor Fair

This Saturday there is a Spring Vendor Fair in Sterling, right off Hwy 83 at Flash’s Place from 1-6pm.  I, along with two other local gals, will have booths set up for our businesses.  From the list, there is quite the variety and several I had never heard of, so hopefully you can make it!

Well, I will close for now and I wish you a blessed, sunshine-filled and not-so-crazy of a week!

“In dwelling, live close to the ground.

In thinking, keep to the simple.

In conflict, be fair and generous.

In governing, don’t try to control.

In work, do what you enjoy.

In family life, be completely present.”

– Tao Te Ching

 

My Life Monday | Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know?

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of death from cancer. Colorectal cancer affects people in all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people age 50 and older.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month!  Have you had your colonoscopy?

I’m only 36 but I’ve already had one and am due for my second this year due to a polyp being discovered and removed during my first exam three years ago.  When you lose a parent from colon cancer at a young age (my dad was 44 when he passed away – March 31st will be 28 years) and also have an uncle and grandparents on the same side who also had a colon cancer diagnosis, it automatically puts you in the category of being at higher risk.  And, since I’ve already had one polyp removed, I’m now to be screened every three years as opposed to every five.  Someone as young as myself, I was told, should not already be having polyps.  Polyps aren’t uncommon, however, in the elderly population.

For the general population, regular screenings (typically every 10 years) should begin at age 50.  Trust me, anyone over 50, in mine or my husband’s family have heard my colon cancer screening shpeel.  There’s simply just no good reason not to.  If you have people who you love and who love you, the hours of discomfort to “clean” yourself out and the best sleep you’ll ever have (with the help of sedation) are totally worth it.  And with colon cancer screenings being a preventative procedure, I imagine most healthcare plans cover it.

So, consider this your public service announcement that, despite your age, polyps can happen to you.  And, if you have a family history, it’s even more critical you be screened.  Had my dad been screened, he may still be alive today and that is probably the hardest pill for me to swallow.

Colon cancer can be beat, if caught early enough.

Share this information with someone you love who should be screened.  And if you’re reading this and you know you should be screened, make your appointment asap.  There is no time like the present, because if you wait, you may not get to say “I’ll just do it next year.”

SYMPTOMS OF COLON CANCER AND RECTAL CANCER

Although the signs can vary, common symptoms of colorectal cancer may include:

  • No signs or symptoms at all
  • A change of bowel habits
  • Blood (either bright red or very dark) in the stool
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
  • Stools that are narrower than usual
  • Frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness, or cramps
  • Weight loss for no known reason
  • Feeling very tired

Check with your doctor if you experience any of the above symptoms, regardless of your age. Remember colorectal cancer is preventable!

Are you a survivor of breast, colorectal or prostate cancer – completing treatment recently, within the last two years, six years, or beyond?  Shawna Hudson, PhD and her research team are looking for women and men who have completed breast, prostate or colorectal cancer treatment to take part in a survivorship study. The purpose is to learn about their needs to help design a new program to help set long-term wellness goals and manage side effects and other life issues that are common after cancer treatment.  For more information or to share your story to help others, click HERE.

For more facts on colon cancer and general information, this is a great resource: http://fightcolorectalcancer.org/

“Never cut what you can untie.”

– Joseph Joubert (1754-1824)

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