August 12, 2016

What’s your calling? A testimony on how I found mine.

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My little testimony on finding my calling:

We all have a calling. We all have something pulling on our thoughts and our heart. A fire that burns inside you, waiting for you to let it spread like wildfire. This calling will utilize your talents and can be something only you are good at. Oh sure, there are other people that can do this calling as well, but you have your own spin on it. You make it special in your own way. A calling is something God has made you to do. He wove you together just for this reason. He puts this longing in your heart, because it is what He wants you to do. I have been searching for this calling my whole life — until recently. I had ignored the desires of my heart out of fear of failure, fear of rejection and fear of humiliation. I was listening to the enemy and not following in faith.

When I was 18, I was in college accomplishing my first college degree; I had to take writing classes. I hated writing. I’m terrible at punctuation and spelling. I’ve never mastered sentence structure and I am just terrible at using a wide and extensive vocabulary. I have always felt self conscious of my writing skills and feel I will never be good enough for anyone to want to read my writings. I went to a high school where I fell under the radar and so did my writing skills. (I of course didn’t realize how important this was, until my writing was about to be published on the internet. Wake up call!)  I took writing because I had to; it was mandatory. Believe me, I tried every avenue to escape this personal hell I had to endure. Through my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, I self-consciously wrote my way to graduation day. Somehow, I made it and the professors didn’t mock me and I got good grades, so I must not be that terrible, right? 😉

Let’s jump back a little, I have a secret though, in high school I had kept writing journals and never told a soul. I wrote stories of long lost lands and girls that were rescued from their evil step moms (possibly because I was trying to rewrite my own story). I wrote stories of other worlds, and love stories where the princess found her prince and everyone lived happily ever after. All of them had predictable chick flick happy endings, of course.

But back then, there was no spell check and my hand writing atrocious. The scribbles, misspellings and random made up stories made me terrified to tell a soul of my little hobby. This was my secret hiding place, a place to call my own that no one could touch or ruin with their opinions. This was something I could control in my world of chaos; I felt safe and secure. Really, it was my coping mechanism. I would love to say I still have these precious journals, but in my 18 year old fit to escape my parents reigns, I threw them away when I moved out. Unfortunately, they were thrown out along with a lot of other precious childhood items I wish I would have kept. But the desire to write and use my imagination never left me. I continued to write, but this time it was just my prayers. I wrote to my hearts content the desires and longings of my heart. I cried out to God through my writing. I pleaded for my greater purpose to be shown; all the while He was molding me for my calling.

On the first day of my college writing class, I was sure I couldn’t have been more nervous. I was terrified to have professor read my writings. How would I survive the humiliation? Well, that ended up being the least of my problems. In this particular class, once you wrote a paper you had to submit it to another class mate for peer review — I officially was living my own 18 year old version of hell. Humiliation was on the horizon. Let’s be honest, from 13-18 years old humiliation is really the worst thing our young inexperienced minds can imagine, for the typical teenager.  Surprisingly, the feedback was awesome and I survived this class. But one thing happened in that class that has changed me forever.

The very liberal, democrat, feminist and opinionated professor (I am saying this from my 18 year old opinionated self ) told us to write a piece to try to sway others opinions about a subject we are passionate about. Something that is pushes our comfort boundaries and will be sure to rise a debate in class.  I knew immediately what I was supposed to write about. I went home that night and prayed; I asked the Lord to provide me with any other subject. “Please don’t make me write about this one thing weighing on my heart,” I pleaded in prayer. But it was useless, God was laying this subject on my heart, because he was using me to change Slide2hearts. I knew if I wrote about this subject my grade would suffer and I would face humiliation — or so I thought. But God encouraged me and I wrote about a very touchy subject… abortion. I wrote a paper defending the helpless babies. This paper was written from the depths of my soul. This was God’s work, He gave me the words to write. I wish I still had this paper to share.

I prayed and I typed. I typed and I prayed. 2 days later I turned in this paper. I was shaking and terrified. The next day, she told me I was to read this paper in front of the class. I was the only one she asked to do this. I was sure I was going to be a martyr.  I read the paper and I even cried a little bit. I was pleading to their hearts and minds to change their opinions. This was my chance to make a difference. I prayed I would not mess it up.

She stood up and in front of everyone told them how she was excepting this paper to be another “right-sided conservative bull-shit paper” (her words, not mine!). Paraphrasing, she said she was expecting to not like it and to not have her opinion swayed. But then she surprised everyone,  she said she had never read anything that made her doubt her opinion on the matter, and though her opinion was not changed —yet— that she would be taking a serious look into the subject and wanted to rethink her stance. GOD IS GOOD!!!
I went home and knew, God wanted me to write and that is how he will use me for His Glory.

Of course life happened and I’ve dabbled in writing and let my fear lead my decisions. However, I have been on a recent quest to find my true calling and figure out who I am. All through this, God has been pushing to open back up my beautiful teal laptop and continue writing and blogging, for Him. So here I am, again. Feeling like I am failing my way through life and trying my hardest to please God and use my talents for His glory.  My talent is not punctuation, spelling and sentence structure, my talent is touching others hearts and giving encouragement. That is what God is using. It has taken awhile to feel confident in that calling, but i am finally able to see myself how God sees me. A beautiful person, working everyday to be better and using my talents for Him.

Find your calling

The moral of this story is, God is using my biggest weakness for His greatest glory. He is challenging me to face my fears and to accomplish huge dreams that I have not allowed myself to dream. I would never in a million years have imagined myself writing, to the public…for fun! I don’t even get paid for it! I do this because this excites my heart and makes me feel like me. This calling fills my soul, gives me confidence and makes me feel like I can tackle anything.

I challenge you to look at your talents and your fears, write them down and pray that God will help you discover your calling. God has a plan for you, He loves you and made you for a greater purpose! But a word to the wise, don’t get impatient. “Make the most of where are right now. Learn. Grow. Develop who and what you are,” Ruth Soukup, Living Well Spending Less, 2014. Remember what you are going through now, is preparing you for your purpose!

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March 23, 2016

Spring decor in full bloom.

There are so many things that make me happy about this picture.

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  1. My freshly painted pantry door in a cheerful shade of teal’ish/aqua.
  2. Tulips in my recent thrift store find of a beautiful milk glass vase for only a $1.95!
  3. Chalkboard claiming our Lord has risen! (Ignore my poor chalkboard lettering. This is not a skill I have been blessed with. ;))
  4. Vintage style stool (I am still on a very long hunt for turquoise or green actual vintage cosco stool) with my favorite decorative pillow ever…on the earth…ever. But seriously, this was a major splurge for me and I am so glad I did. I smile every time I walk in the room to see it!
  5. Well loved aprons displayed with pride. I wear aprons for everything, so does my mother, so did my grandmother and now so do my daughters.
  6. A new EAT sign from Michael’s! (I have wanted a red EAT sign above my pantry forever.)
  7. The cabinet with butcher block is our latest project, a garbage can cabinet! Post coming soon with plans to build one just like it!
  8. Boxwood Wreath hanging happily on the pantry door.
  9. My favorite Turquoise purse perched away from children’s little gross hands.
  10. Two vintage bunny planters. The one on the right has recently come to our home from my favorite thrift store. The one on the left however, is a prize possession of mine. My paternal grandparents (long since passed) gifted this beautiful little bunny to my mother 33 years ago, while she was giving birth to me. They had once owned a ceramic shop called Briar Patch Ceramics, which they hand painted everything they sold.  This beautiful and faithful little bunny has seen a lot of hard times, but somehow came through unscathed.FFF_8968

This little nook is right inside dining room door from the mudroom. I see this when I first come into the main house and I love it. It may sound like a cliche’, but “it’s the little things in life” comes to mind. Seeing places in my home that give me joy, is what life is all about. I am loving my current season in life and feel so blessed to be finding joy. I pray you all find joy “in the little things.”

 

March 6, 2016

Pottery Barn Knock off!

Guys. I saw this picture on Pinterest and I had to take the leap! This is a Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware knockoff.

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So, if you have a couple thousand buckaroos laying around to spend on awesome quality and amazing brand name shelves here you go. But I unfortunately do not, so I had to do a “knock off” version.

 

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Pottery Barn Austin Shelves $1599

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Restoration Hardware Russian Oak Parquet Shelving $1695

I found this awesome blog who pretty much spelled out the instructions.

This blogger did such an amazing job with step by step instructions, it would be redundant for me to show my exact same steps. 😉 Ps. This blog is NOT in English. 😉

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www.Skreytumhus.is

I however, changed it up a bit. I used the same Hyllis Shelving for $14.99 each. I bought 3 to get the length I wanted of 10 feet total shelving length.

 

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I picked out 10 – 1″X3″ boards that were 10 feet long. I stained them with my homemade Vinegar and Coffee stain.

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Again, follow the tutorial here for exact details on how, what and where to cut your materials. http://www.skreytumhus.is/?p=26183

I chose NOT to spray paint the metal shelves; I wanted the galvanized look. Here is my finished “knock off” product! I love it! That wall was so naked before. I switch up the décor based on the season and am absolutely obsessed with how it turned out.

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Here is what it looks like from farther back. 🙂

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March 3, 2016

My Favorite Boxwood Wreath for less than $45!

Have you ever gotten something in your head that you need and you just cant quit thinking about it until you get it or make it? Well this happens to me quite frequently. Usually with makeup or home décor. In this case, it was home décor.

As I was sitting enjoying my coffee on the couch one morning, I of course was surfing Instagram. These four wonderful images floated onto my feed. These sparked the fire in my soul to have a beautiful green boxwood wreath on my mantel! They are simple, pretty, elegant and add a touch of spring to the house. I had to have it. I most definitely did not want to make it. I DIY everything, and in this case, it was more expensive to DIY it then just buy it!

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Image credit TableandHearth.com

6-DIY-Boxwood-Wreath-550x506                                                                                                                                           Image credit TableandHearth.com

 

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Image Credit Onehorselane.com

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Image credit www.instagram.com/Redheadhomestead

Amazon, Michael’s, JoAnn Fabrics and Hobby lobby later….I found my love at Target. Well, so did every other boxwood wreath lover. 4 Targets, $44.95, my favorite cup of drive through coffee, a tank of gas and a car load of crabby kids later, I brought home this beauty. It is happily situated on my fireplace mantel. But because my fireplace is ugly and needs to be redone, I am strategically keeping that cropped out. 😉

Meanwhile, I am still on the hunt for a ticking fabric ribbon, that of course is out of stock everywhere. I will update the picture when I find it!

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Moral of this story? Instagram had me at #boxwoodwreath.

 

 

You can find this wreath here: http://www.target.com/p/smith-hawken-boxwood-wreath-21-25/-/A-14702386#prodSlot=medium_1_1&term=boxwood+wreath

(This is NOT an affiliate link, I have supplied this for your convenience.)

January 27, 2016

No Sew Rustic Valentines Craft!

Raise your hand if you love LOVE! *My hand is most definitely raised*

I absolutely am obsessed with love, however I am not a fan of Valentines Day. Weird, I know. I actually forbid my husband to buy overpriced flowers for this said holiday. We also refuse to do dinner out. We spend the night with our kids, celebrating our love as a family. However, with all this anti-valentines talk, I do love the idea of the “Love Month.”

As you will soon see, I am also obsessed with decorating for every holiday possible. Love Month is no exception. In an effort to keep you crafting beginners coming back for more, I have chosen to show you a super easy DIY Rustic Valentines craft. So here we go!

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 For a bigger view, click here.

 Straight on view, click here.

Supplies needed:

1- 18 inch grapevine wreath

2- rolls of wire edge ribbon

1- sign of your choice

Twine or ribbon to tie sign on

Tools Needed:

Scissors

Glue Gun

I used hammer and nails to hang my sign, your sign may not require this.

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It’s looking pretty and we haven’t even started!

Step 1: Wrap ribbon around wreath.

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Step 2: Glue backs of ribbon to wreath on back of wreath.

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This is the back of the wreath. You will want to use a glue gun to glue down the ends to hide them on the back of the wreath.

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This is the front. It does not need to look perfect, hence the rustic feel. Plus a huge bow will cover the imperfection at the bottom!

Step 3: The sign!

I happened to fall in love with a little wooden block sign. It required me to come up with a way to hang it.

Ps. This sign is so my husband and myself. I heart it.

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As you can see, I took two nails and nailed them into the top. I then took bakers twine and tied it around the nails.

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This is the backside of the wreath showing where I tied it. I tied the sign on over the top. This part will be up to your discretion. I wanted mine to look simple and rustic, so I didn’t fuss over where I tied it. After all, its only up for a couple weeks.

Step 4: The bow!

I happen to know how to tie floral bows. I will be posting a DIY video on how to tie a bow with the extra roll of ribbon soon.

If you’re in a hurry and don’t want to fuss, you can buy premade bows at your local craft store. This is my finished wreath, and I love it!

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Bunting!

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Supplies needed:

3 yards upholstery webbing (found at local fabric store)

1/4 yard red felt

scissors

fabric glue

Clothes pins (I chose valentines colored that are miniature size)

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Step 1:

Cut your upholstery webbing into 4.5in lengths. This should yield 24 cuts, with 1/2 inch left over.

I like to have a little wiggle room incase I cut one wrong.

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Step 2:

Cut a triangle out of the bottom. Just eye it the best you can.

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This is two cuts of 4.5 inches. The left one is an example of a section that the triangle has been cut.

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Step 3:

Cut out a paper heart as your template. If you wing it, your hearts will start to look wonky.

Trust me, make a template. Next, using your template, cut out your hearts!

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They can look so pretty when you take your time.

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Below is an example of a wonky heart, because I was trying to wing it and double up my felt.

Don’t be like me. Don’t wing it. Don’t double up your felt. You will have wonky hearts and will be sad.

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Step 4: Attach hearts

Glue those suckers on the webbing! Little advice, I used my glue gun at first. But it was showing the glue marks through the felt.

I switched to the fabric glue, and the glue marks were no longer an issue. 🙂

Now that your bunting is done and your wreath is done, go hang those beauties up and show them off.

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For bigger view, click here.

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Total Project cost: $11.44

Wreath $2.49 (50% off original price $4.99)

Ribbon x2 spools $1.49 each (50% off original price of $2.99)

Sign $3.49 (50% off original price of $6.99)

Upholstery webbing $2.23 (50% off original price of $1.49 a yard)

Felt .25cents (original price of .99 a yard)

I purchased all supplies at JoAnn Fabrics. Most of it was on sale, and I used coupons on regular priced items.

January 19, 2016

I’m back and better than ever!

Hey all! I am so excited to announce My Turquoise Life test blog was so successful, it is coming back permanently! Yay! What does that mean for you all? Um, complete amazingness on the horizon.

What My Turquoise Life has in store for our faithful readers in 2016:

  • Lots and lots of DIY projects with instructions!
  • Home Décor. I am obsessed. My husband and I will be breaking ground on our home addition, hopefully in 2016. I will document every step of the way!
  • Tons of amazing recipes…don’t be surprised if a Pioneer Woman recipe is a regular recipe post. I already told you, I am her groupie.
  • My fitness and health journey! I am currently on a journey to lose 50lbs this year! Follow me through this very sweaty process. 😉
  • Parenting…the good, the bad, the ugly, and the downright amazingness of parenting 4 human beings.
  • Free pintable’s galore!
  • Home management binder e-book! EEEEK! I’m so excited for this one!
  • Free graphic Fridays! I will post links to my favorite free graphics for you to enjoy! I might even design a few of my own for you. 😉
  • Sweepstakes! You will have to follow to see what will be in the amazing sweepstakes!
  • Money saving posts! We will talk budgets, meal planning, Dave Ramsey programs, and how I save money by shopping at Thrift stores! Thrift store Tuesdays!
  • Big Families-How we do! I am going to give you my personal experience with managing a large family. Everything from laundry to vacations!
  • Events Galore! I am kinda an event addict. I love planning parties, I love hosting and I love a well planned and detailed event. I am going to show you past events I have held, and will give awesome DIY tips on hosting your very own Martha Stewart wannabe event.
  • We will talk gardens! I will share my failures in my gardening experiences and will help guide to an awesome garden!
  • All things vintage are on the table to discuss. Just FYI. #iheartpyrex #allthingsvintage
  • Burlap…enough said.
  • And last but not least, faith! Faith is a huge part of my daily life. I will share verses, words of encouragement, Sunday sermons that hit home. But I also will share with you my journey to become a better me.

 

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My Christmas card picture from 2016. These kids are cute.

 

October 28, 2015

Policies

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Compensation is sometimes received for the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog on occasion. The content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content.

Some of the links on My Turquoise Life are affiliate links. I do not post links to products that I would not use myself. This helps me discover new products, and new DIY projects to share with you! I appreciate when you click on a link to help me out, but you are in no way expected to do so.

I am in the process of setting up paid advertising My Turquoise Life to help pay the bills. The views expressed by advertisers are not necessarily shared or endorsed by My Turquoise Life. I do not necessarily support or buy the products being advertised.  Please use discernment when making any purchase or taking to heart any written material. If you feel there is a product or service that is causing a moral dilemma, please contact me ASAP. I can not view every ad being advertised, but I can however choose to keep supporting the company advertising. I will do my best to compromise with everyone’s needs.

The projects, methods and tools featured on this blog have worked for me (and featured bloggers). You are responsible for wearing proper safety equipment and techniques when using or operating any products. Not every one will have the same results. Please attempt any and all projects at your own risk, I am not responsible for any hazards, injuries, or other mishaps that may occur while you attempt any project or idea you discovered on this blog.

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Some images have been used from: Free Images, Etsy, Amazon, Instagram, and other bloggers (to promote their blog and/or services). I will always give original credit to photos when it is available.

 

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October 26, 2015

Black Friday becomes Black Thursday…stop the madness.

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As Black Friday approaches, we are all wondering “how early are the stores going to open this year?” I happened upon an REI ad today and have gained a lot of respect for them just from their protest of Black Friday shopping. They have chosen to be closed the entire day of Black Friday. This is highly respectable and I support them 100%.

If you’re an avid anti-black Friday supporter, I get it. I respect your decision and I understand where you are coming from. Here is my take on Black Friday and my public promise for Black Friday 2015.

Black Friday to me is a time I get to overdose on coffee, get awesome deals and most importantly spend quality time with my girlfriends. We laugh, we talk and we enjoy the midnight hours shopping all while husband and kid free! It is seriously my favorite day of the year. It is my own personal Mom Holiday.

It all starts Thanksgiving morning. I run outside, grab the paper and enjoy the paper and coffee while my family and I enjoy the Thanksgiving parade on TV. I make my tentative list and enjoy the day with my family. Bedtime rolls around, family goes home and it is time for me to make my plan of attack. As someone with a Type A personality with borderline OCD, I love the plan. The plan is most of the fun. Meanwhile, there is a group text going or multiple phone calls between girlfriends deciding who will take one for the team and give up going to their favorite store first so that your best friend can get that amazing item her baby has been wanting all year. We laugh, we giggle, we plan, we get so excited. Again, children and husband free time with girlfriends for more than an hour and shopping all at once, it is seriously our Christmas.

We arrive to stand in line, with our coffees and Master Christmas list/plan for the night. We are cold, we are excited and we are having fun. We talk about what we are getting our loved ones for Christmas, we talk about how excited our kids will be with our choices and we talk about our life. It is our fellowship time.

I choose to get all my Christmas shopping done that night. I come home exhausted, cheeks sore from laughing and my deals in tow, proud to show my husband what I was able to score for our babies, friends and family. I crawl into bed around noon, and am thankful for my time with my girlfriends and for what we got done.

Then, the next day (Saturday) kids go to a grandparent’s house and I spend the afternoon wrapping and tagging. It is a tradition to me, it is a ritual, it is a way I start my holiday season! It may not be for everyone, but it is what works for our family.

With all that I said about how lovely Black Friday is, this amazing day (in my opinion) has started to be tainted by corporate greed. Black Friday used to be standing in line at 4am or 5am on the Friday after Thanksgiving. You would have your coffee in hand and wait for the stores to open at an unreasonable hour of 6am! It was fun, it was exciting and the deals were crazy awesome. As a mom of a big family, I rely on Black Friday deals to stretch my Christmas budget.

The past few years have gotten ridiculous. Retail stores are opening the morning of Thanksgiving now! This is where I have to put my foot down and say no more. As a new blogger, my plan was/is to advertise my favorite deals for the Black Friday Week. I feel I have to lay down a few ground rules. After all, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. Did I just quote a 90’s country song? I think I did.

Here are my two promises:

  • I will not advertise or support any store fronts opening before 4am on Black Friday.
  • My group of girlfriends and I pledge to not support any store fronts open before 4am on Black Friday.

 

For those of you who know me, you know this is a big deal; this is a big stand for me. This is standing up against my tradition. Some of you may still roll your eyes and will secretly (some of you openly) protest my decision. However, instead of protesting, try supporting my effort to stop the Black Friday, now Black Thursday, early shopping madness. Support me in protesting any store fronts open on Thanksgiving and don’t go out shopping on Thanksgiving!

October 24, 2015

Living a Healthier Life

Health, weight and fitness have been a lifelong struggle for me. In 2012 I lost a baby girl at 22 weeks gestation. During that devastating time I was working to pull myself together for my 3 healthy kids. I was trying to find a new way to live a life while grieving the loss of child and cover up how truly devastated I was so the world wouldn’t see my broken heart. I gained 30lbs during that time.

In 2014 I had my 5th baby (healthy and beautiful baby boy!), I developed high blood pressure 1 week postpartum, also known as Postpartum Preeclampsia. This was my “rock bottom” so to speak. The development of Postpartum Preeclampsia was my wakeup moment; it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was in the ER and my doctor was telling me I could die; I had a one week old baby in my arms. That’s when I knew things had to change.

I joined a walking/running group in my local town, the leader happened to be a Beachbody coach. As I cried while spilling my story to her, her eyes filled with tears, she said “I have your solution.” I was resistant at first. Was this another program I would buy and fail at? I couldn’t handle that. Something about her made me trust her; I took the plunge. I am so thankful she was placed in my life on that day.

Since buying the program, I am happy to report in 60 days I have lost 12 lbs and 16 inches! I am by no means finished with this journey, but I am doing it! Come along with me while I document this journey, and become a better version of myself.

Because this program has been so amazing, I became a coach to help others with their health struggles as well! If you would like to read more information or would like to sign up and join my private Facebook challenge group, message me! I would love to help you become the best version of yourself!

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Get more information on Shakeology here.

 

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Check out my coaching page here for more information.

 

October 16, 2015

Infant Loss Awareness Month: My Story

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Olive Clara Miller 12/18/2012 8oz 8in 21weeks gestation

October 15 is a day that was never significant to me until December 17th, 2012. When I heard the doctor say those four dreaded words, “There is no heartbeat.” I was 22 weeks pregnant, it was my 30th birthday and my husband and kids were in tow. Words can not express what I felt, what I thought, and what was happening in that single moment. Words will never capture the devastation in that room.

Someday I will tell you every detail and in fact I am in the process of writing a short book on infant loss and grief to offer encouragement and understanding for other mothers walking my same path.

Until then, until I am ready to share that time in our life in great detail, I believe the best thing to share with you today on World Infant Loss Awareness Day (when the wound is still so real), is my Facebook status the day after I delivered my precious tiny baby girl born sleeping.

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“Troy and I would like to announce the unexpected and early arrival of our fourth child:

Olive Clara Miller was silently born to us on December 18th 2012 at 11:20am. She weighed in at 8oz and was 8 inches long. She had tiny little feet (that were no bigger then my thumbnail) and tiny little hands that were smaller then my pinky nail. Her face was already starting to look like our other kids. She had a very tiny nose that was perfect. We held her, kissed her, and touched her frail little body. She was our Olive from the beginning.

She was carried in the womb for 21 weeks, but the Lord decided he wanted her safe in his arms at 18 weeks gestation. When we went in for our 21 week ultrasound to find out the gender (which happened to be on my 30th Birthday) it was immediately apparent, there was no heartbeat. The ultrasound tech left the room and brought the doctor back with her. We knew she was gone. That is something you can never prepare yourself for, never prepare your heart, and never know what you will feel. The first thing I thought of was “My baby is in Heaven with Jesus.” It gave me immediate peace to know I don’t have to worry about her and don’t have to worry about her life. I immediately knew she would never feel pain and never feel the sorrows of this world. How lucky is she, to be snuggled up in Jesus arms, safe and sound!?!

From conception, her syndrome and/ or condition would have never let her live a life outside of the womb. Her little body never sent the signal to my uterus that something was wrong. With this condition, your uterus still keeps developing and creating pregnancy hormones. My belly was still growing and I still had cravings. There was absolutely no signs that would have caused concern. With this being our fourth pregnancy, we were not worried. We did not even question a problem would arise. There is nothing we did wrong, nothing we could have changed.

She was brought into our lives to teach us something and/or to give us the ability to help someone else. Time will tell what Jesus’ plan is for the experience we have endured. It is not our job to question God’s will, but to be open to His plan for our lives. That was her goal; that was Olive’s purpose. Her purpose was never to be a physical part of this family. She will forever remain in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. We will all meet her in Heaven someday, we will all get to hold her and kiss her. We hope to get to squeeze, kiss and tickle chubby little Olive someday in the eternity of Heaven’s peace. We won’t cry when we get there, because Jesus says there is no tears in Heaven. We will laugh and rejoice at the sight of her little pink cheeks.

Grief is something that is very personal and everyone deals with personally. Troy and I are dealing with this loss the only way we know how, to trust God. We are putting on smiling faces and trying to carry on a normal life for our three beautiful children that need us to give them their regular routine. We are putting on smiling faces, laughing and joking and celebrating that we were chosen to be a part of her physical existence for 21 weeks on this earth. God chose us as her parents, he knew we were strong enough to carry this burden and he trusts us follow Him.

When we went to the hospital to deliver Olive, we asked one rule of the nurses and all staff entering our room, “You all must put on a happy face! You must not give us the sad eyes. That only makes it harder.” The staff at Willamette Falls did exactly as we asked. They laughed with us, they cried with us and they let us deal with this the way we know how. We ask that everyone of you, think of little Olive as a chubby healthy baby in Heaven. Put on your happy face for her and celebrate her short life with us. Troy and I will have up days and low days and we ask that you don’t doubt our grief, but understand the pain in real for us, we just keep our outward sorrow and pain private. Please understand, we have lost a child, our baby, our baby girl and we are heartbroken, but we also want to celebrate her life. She was a joy, she is precious, perfect and will forever stay pure.

She will be laid to rest at Mount Calvary Cemetery. She will be at a monument, surrounded by other babies of her gestation. We will not be holding a service or memorial, but her name will be engraved on the wall of the monument and we will send details to anyone who wishes to visit her.

Thank you for your prayers, thank you for your support and for your understanding. We ask you all stand around us and surround us in prayer.”

I share this with you to offer encouragement and support for my readers who have silently endured the same tragedy. I want you to know you are not alone, your pain is my pain. Your loss is my loss. Your tears are my tears. As I type this, I cry for you and I cry for me. I understand the feeling of your arms aching because they are empty. The feeling of missing someone you never even met. I get it. I am here to help you, hold you up, and cry with you. Know tonight, I am lighting a candle for all of you angel parents and your angel babies.

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