Walking Through Grief and Healing with a Loved One

8
Nov
2018

grief

Hello Sweet Friends…. I am just now coming up for some air.  Our family has been venturing down a road that has been emotional, exhausting and heartbreaking.

Two weeks ago, on October  24th, 2018, my 19 year old nephew, Nicholas Schumacher lost his battle with Neuroblastoma cancer.  He fought a 17+ month battle.  We fervently prayed he would be healed, but God had other plans.

The weeks leading up to his death, I was privileged to spend more time with Nick than I had in any other time in his life. I still saw the smile, his personality and his determined spirit coming through.

Gifts

He was the person who lit up the room as soon as he walked in with his infectious smile.

He had more JOY to spread during his short life than most do in 70 years.

He was incredibly talented in film making, even at only 19.

His Make A Wish trip involved a movie filming and meeting Tom Hanks.  It’s was a powerful trip and an awesome video was created to celebrate.

The pain of real, heart wrenching grief has not touched me since I lost my mother just a little over 12 years ago.  Grief will stick to your bones and bring you to your knees in the most dynamic way.  Even 12 years later, there will be certain memories that will open the flood gates of tears.

It’s good to remember, it’s even better to allow the tears to fall.

During this past month, I’ve grasped some concepts and ideas on how to walk alongside someone who has experienced  loss.  My brother and his family are doing just that, right now.  My heart breaks for them as they grieve the loss of a child, and I want to be a help during this time in ways that allow them space to walk the long road. Here are some of the things I have sent be helpful.

Just Be There

I had the privilege to be present when my nephew took his last breath and it was just an honor.  I found the most joy and feeling of peace just being there in the moments with both my brother and my sister-in-law.  Now, it’s the after…. the days that pass where they need someone to be present.  To not forget what they are walking through…. so even thought I am not physically there in their home with them, I will text with a message asking, ” how they are doing today” or just to let them know I am praying for them.

Listen

In the days after Nick’s death I was just present.  I asked questions, but often conversation just started, tears would start and I would just listen and allow space.  I know many feel like they do not know what to say when someone has just lost a loved one…. and that is the beauty, you really do not have anything to say, except I am sorry.  Just stop and be willing to listen.  We try to cover that awkward space with endless words that can often make things feel worse.  A hug can do so much.  Silence also produces healing.

Offer to Give Specific Help

Many times we want to help others, and we tend to ask, “What can I do?”  If you are in a the midst of grief, your mind and body is under a lot of stress and emotions and you are lucky to remember how to brush your teeth and drive your car.  When you ask a person grieving what they need help with, they will often be blank.  They are not sure.  So instead of asking an open ended question like that, offer a specific way to help.  Cleaning house, going grocery shopping, taking over errands, folding laundry, mowing their yard or just being available at their house to take deliveries is so much better.

Meals

Food….. this is important.  The last thing one wants to think about is fixing a meal, let alone trying to eat. So a real practical task you can offer is bringing a meal.  You can do this individually, or you can set up an option and coordinate it so many friends and family can contribute and make things very easy.  One site I am familiar with and used was Meal Train.  I set up a calendar of dinner delivery for two weeks, every other evening.  After that, I set up meals for every four days, to allow my sister in law a chance to get things back to normal in the kitchen, but also allowing friends to help.  Meal Train also allows for you to link up gift cards and offer a cash donation, which is great for those who do not live nearby.  I will say, the donate funds option was a bit pricey on fees, so in the future I will set up a pay-pal option for friends to donate through.

Grief is a tough season, no question about it.  However, these tips will help you walk alongside someone and be a true blessing during the process.

 

Five Simple Instant Pot Dinners Perfect for the Fall

8
Oct
2018

Simple Instant Pot Dinners for Fall

Who needs some new ideas for dinner this week?

Easy Fall Instant Pot Dinner Ideas just for you!

I am in love with my Instant Pot and it calls to me nearly every single day to be used now that the weather has turned chilly.

I have gathered a few of my favorite dinner recipes so you can easily put a healthy dinner on the table for your family and still have time left over to even sit and read a book!

INSTANT POT CREAMY BUTTERNUT SQUASH + APPLE SOUP {AIP, VEGAN, WHOLE30}

This is so yummy and perfect on a cold and rainy day!

https://www.ourfoodfix.com/instant-pot-creamy-butternut-squash-apple-soup/

Instant Pot Chicken Mole

Um… this one – amazing!!!
https://www.wellplated.com/instant-pot-chicken-mole/

Instant Pot Lentil Curry

Our family is doing a bit more meatless cooking, so this one has become a great hit!


Instant Pot Lentil Curry

Spicy Peanut Soup with Sweet Potato + Kale

This one packs a punch with flavor!!  I love using sweet potatoes and kale in recipes, because they are incredible for your body and packed with nutrients!

sweet potato peanut stew

INSTANT POT SPICED QUINOA AND CAULIFLOWER RICE BOWLS

I am not a big fan of Tofu, so I just delete from this recipe or will add a bit of chicken if I want.  The cauliflower for rice is AMAZING!!   I buy my cauliflower rice from Costco – saves me a ton of time!


instant pot quinoa tofu bowls

So, which one looks like a MUST try for dinner this week?

 

Want to learn a bit more about how you can incorporate essential oils into your life to sleep better, have more energy and be empowered as a mom?  Jump into my FREE 5 Day series to learn more!
Essentiel Oils Made Easy

Instant Pot Sunday Pot Roast Dinner

10
Sep
2018

Hey lovely friends

Is it Instant Pot Time? I think yes!!

Who loves their instant pot?!!!  Wait… you don’t have one?  Oh my, I will let you in on a secret.  Even this somewhat-minimalist mama needs this kitchen tool.  It’s a secret weapon on getting food cooked and on your table in minutes – for real!  This is the Instant Pot I have and it is one of my top used appliances in my kitchen.

Best Instant Pot Cookbook

So, now back to cooking really good food with your Instant Pot. When I got my Instant Pot, I also grabbed this highly rated cookbook,   “Great Food Fast”, by Bob Warden, to help me make good use of the new gadget.

You need this cookbook – it has great recipes!  Our family loves the two versions of Macaroni and Cheese, the Homemade Sausage and Gravy (which is easily adapted to Gluten Free), Dirty Rice and now the amazing, Perfected Pot Roast.

Perfected Pot Roast

I made this recipe, the one featured on the cover of the book a few weeks back when my son and his wife were out visiting us at the beach.  I know that my son loves pot roast, and I wanted an easy recipe, where I could put it on and forget about it while we were down on the beach having a beach fire and enjoying the day.

It turned out amazing, and the best part – it was simple and easy.  I didn’t have to spend a lot of time in preparation or clean up.  Win/win for all!

Since we live about forty minutes from a full-size market, I make use of online services that deliver.  About a month previous, I had placed an order for Grass Fed Beef, through Thrive Market and had a gorgeous Chuck Roast just sitting in my freezer, perfect for this recipe.  If you haven’t checked out Thrive Market, its certainly worth looking at.  I save time and money on organic and healthy food items that are delivered to my door – including meat.   I buy my coffee creamer, chips, healthy snacks, bone broth, soup, nuts and more and it comes right to my doorstep – and often cheaper then what I would pay at my local supermarket.

Thrive Market

If you decide to try Thrive Market out, you can get 25% off your first order and I will get $25 in Thrive Market Cash.  You get a deal and I get a deal!

This Pot Roast recipe is still being talked about at our house!  I had enough to freeze and make an easy dinner on a hurried weekday night too – just pull it out of the freezer a few hours before I need it.  So easy!

So, if you are in need of a great recipe that is simple, easy and is some true “down home cooking” I encourage you to grab the supplies from amazon and also Thrive Market.  I know you will find several recipes that will keep you and your family happy for weeks inside this cookbook.

Plus, it’s fall – which is all about cozy and warm food, right?

What is your favorite Instant Pot recipe?  I would love for you to share.

5 Tips to Make Back To School Easier

30
Aug
2018

back to school tips

If you’ve already headed back to school, you can likely disregard this post until next year!  However, our family is still a week out from our start date, and I am sure there are a few others who still have kiddos at home, so I wanted to share some of my yearly tips that keep me sane.

Back to School Tips

Shifting from a busy and non-structured routine of summer days is a little tricky, but with some planning, you can make things a bit smoother.

Alter Your Sleep Pattern

A week before school begins, start going to bed and waking up (you and the kids) earlier. It helps make the transition easier for everyone.  We start school next week, so last week we began slowing altering bedtime by 30 minutes every few days, until we got back to the school-year bedtime.

This is also the routine with wake-up times, slowly shifting the rise and shine time for everyone.  In our house, especially this year, we’ve had some VERY lazy mornings, so this was has been actually the most difficult to transition.

Clean and Tidy Closets

This was my favorite back when growing up and heading back to school.  My mom and I would school shop for new clothes, and even though most of my clothes came from bargain stores and Sears, I was still excited.  I can remember picking out my first day of school outfit weeks ahead of time.

Take some time to go through the closet and find items that have been outgrown, doesn’t fit for school attire and simple needs to go.  Then organize drawers to make outfits easy to put together for your child.  Depending on their age, you can even use boxes to plan outfits for an entire week – or a hangar system for this and use this perfectly sized closet organizer.  Isn’t it perfect for organizing all week?

Create an After School Routine

This is one of the most important steps as we head back to school.  I love to create independence in my child and one way to do that is create tools which they can use to help keep themselves on track.  Now, each child is different for sure, and after having four I can tell you that they each require a bit of different training.  But one thing that is helpful for all fo them is a chart which gives them tasks to check off after they’ve completed them.  We use one for before school, but also after school, and bedtime.

My desire for our after school chart is to allow my child to really be independent on knowing what his tasks are and finding success in completing them on his own, with out me hovering over him.  I have printable task sheets and tasks ideas in my Back To School Survival Guide, if you are looking for more ideas.

Plan Lunch Ideas Ahead

Do all moms really dread packing lunches, or is it just me?  One thing I have done, which has helped, is to sit down with my son and come up with a list of lunch items that he would like to see in his lunch.  We expand on this list, so that there are items from all food groups, and then we can look at what items go together and what he can expect in his lunch.

This way, he has an expectation, I have an expectation and it is much easier to plan.  How would I have known otherwise that he liked dill pickles and black olives in his lunch box?  I also like to get re-useable lunch box supplies, like this bento lunch box that we have had two years.  Its sturdy and has worked so well with the ice packs.

Create a School Calendar

Keeping track of all the school activities, classroom parties, events and such can really be tricky.  I like to put this on my iCal calendar so that all our family members can see it.  However, we have also used a printable calendar that comes in my FREE Household Planner and designated school items with a certain color.  Having a viewable calendar on the wall seems to really help my eight year old, so this type of wall calendar is what he likes.

What Back to School Tips do you have to share with other moms?

If you are looking for tips on keeping everyone healthy and well this upcoming school season, take a look at this awesome Back to School Class I was a part of a few weeks back.

If you decide to jump into Young Living with me, you’ll get $20 cash back on your Premium Starter Kit – be sure to check it out!

back to school with essential oils

My Best Parenting Tip

13
Aug
2018

my best parenting tip

The other day my friend was struggling with parenting her two-year-old. She felt overwhelmed, exhausted, and at a loss on how to parent her child who was pushing all the limits.

Can you relate?

We chatted for awhile and I thought back to one thing I could share with her that would help her feel more confident in her parenting ability. I’ve raised two adult children, am in the process of launching a 17-year-old out into the world, and now in the chaos of having an eight-year-old at home, so parenting is one thing I’ve had a bit of experience with.

One of my favorite all-time parenting books is ScreamFree Parenting by Hal Runkel. I took his training and became a certified instructor to share this parenting method because it literally changed my life and the future of my children and our relationship.

There are several key components that are shared in the book, but the one piece of advice I shared with my friend last week was to be consistent. Whatever you choose to do, be consistent.

It Is All About Integrity

Do you want your child to trust you?

Do you want them to learn to listen to you the first time?

It is all about integrity—meaning what you say, saying what you mean, and following through with what you promise.

Imagine what you are enforcing when you repeat yourself multiple times a day? When you ask your child to put their shoes on, but they ignore you. Do you follow through right then? If you repeat yourself several times before putting a consequence into place, you are reinforcing the behavior that your child does not need to listen to you the first time you ask.

Make a Request Once

Instead, you make a request the first time; when they make the choice to not obey your request, you enforce a consequence immediately, not after asking five times or losing your cool—which is what I was like about 15 years ago. I was a screamer. I yelled and raised my voice to try to get obedience, which is ridiculous! It took practice, patience with myself, and grace to overcome the pattern I had created for myself of yelling to try to get my children to obey.

Have a Consequence Ready

The next step is to have a consequence set in your mind on what you will do next, when your child does not comply with the first request. I often will give this information to my child in the form of a choice. “You can put your shoes on now, or if you choose not to, you will lose  _____.”  (I often would allow my children a privilege, like choosing the radio station or music in the car when we drove to school, or riding their bike to school instead of walking.) You will want to pick a consequence that fits your desire, your child’s heart.

Parenting is tough—no joke!!! But we can make it easier on everyone when we choose to be consistent. Our kids learn to trust our word, they are trained to listen to us the first time because they know action will take place when they choose not to. We have the ability to make huge strides in this area when we put forth the effort and practice consistency.

I have a five-day parenting video series that is FREE; you can access it from Day One here, otherwise just take a minute and view the day where I shared about consistency.

Action Step

Pick one area you are struggling with enforcing consequences and decide to stand firm on what you say today.