Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Isaac 17 Months Already!

Not much has changed on the home front, but Isaac is getting ginormous. He wears size 7 shoes although he can still squeeze into his size 6 shoes. He's about 35 inches long now and 28 pounds. (He's super tall!) His size 5 diapers are filling up too fast, so I'm going to try out some size 6. Ugh. They get more and more expensive, too! Bummer.
Can I please go outside? Please? Please?
He loves chocolate milk and banana when he gets home after school, and he loves Bob the Builder and Thomas. He also loves to climb. He wants on top of everything now. He is still obsessed with tractors and being outside all day, every day. He loves his belly button, and he loves his daddy like I can't even explain. Melts my heart...
Who is this grown little boy? :(
I've been giving him back massages at night with coconut oil and lavender EO, and afterwards I don't even have to stay with him when I put him down. I just lie him down, and he drifts off on his own. Praise the Lord up above! Phew! Little blessings like that make all the difference; I'm telling ya. You moms out there know. A baby's sleep is like one of the toughest parts about being a mom, especially in the beginning. I've really been digging into the science behind baby massage here lately, so if you want to read up on it, click here for more information. 
This is a great extensive list of baby massage benefits from infantmassageusa.org.
  • Infant-Parent attachment or “bonding”
  • Relaxation
  • Helps baby feel loved
  • Promotes better sleep
  • Facilitates body awareness
  • Boosts immune system
  • Sensory stimulation
  • Improves skin condition
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Helps digestion
  • Balances respiration
  • Relief for teething pains
  • Help waste elimination
  • Helps build parents’ and baby’s self-esteem
  • Helps you learn about your baby (their needs and desires)
  • Relaxes parents
  • Pleasurable experience
  • Stimulates production of oxytocin (Oxytocin is a hormone which can be produced by both male and female persons during massage. It is useful as a pain reliever and has a calming effect on the person.)
This is how Isaac spends his days...
I just need to check out these tires first to see if they're up to par...

                                                        Playing hard and getting dirty...

                                                          Just chilling and relaxing...
                                                               Playing on the tablet...

Would you please quit flashing that bright light in my face?

On the fourth, we had Cousin Eliza's birthday party! What a cutie! She's one year old now. I can't believe that at birth she weighed four pounds. She is so precious!

Cutie Pie!

At the party, Isaac ate some...
Played some...
Drank some...
Played some more...
...and drank some more...
And he finally tuckered out... 
That's all folks!

Next month Isaac will be 18 months old! Where has the time gone? I can't believe he will be a year and a half old. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday Motivation: A Greater Purpose

I heard a great song on the radio today that ties in nicely with what I wanted to share with you today. It's called "You Are Here for a Reason."

You're not forgotten
You're not alone
You think you're worthless, but you're worth it
And He calls you His own
Made in His image
You were made for more
You think there is no plan, that it's all by chance
But don't believe that anymore

Every time that you wake up breathing
Every night when you close your eyes
Every day that your heart keeps beating
There's purpose for your life

So don't give up
Don't lay down
Just hold on
Don't quit now
Every breath that you take has meaning
You are here for a reason

If you spent your days just getting by
When you feel useless, He can use you
And show you what it means to be alive

Every day is a gift from above
Don't throw it away
When it feels like too much
He'll be there

What a great message! 

Three days ago marked the day of the tenth year since my car wreck. 
I won't get into the details, but I was afraid I was going to die that night. The state troopers told me I shouldn't have walked away. So much changed for me after that night! I realized from that point on that God had a greater purpose for my life...that life could dissipate right in front of our eyes in a second if He wanted it to. We are here FOR A REASON! We wouldn't be here if He was finished with us. We all have our own stories to tell; it's up to us if they're worth remembering. 

Have a wonderful week!
But for this very purpose have I let you live, that I might show you My power, and that My name may be declared throughout all the earth. (Exodus 9:16)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts Review

Hemp Hearts - 8oz

  Manitoba Harvest's Hemp Hearts are a great addition to your diet for numerous reasons. They are full of omega 3s, protein, and fiber.  These are mighty little seeds; I must say. Check out this infographic, and for a detailed look into the benefits of hemp seeds, check out Pure Healing Foods. Keep reading for an awesome discount code at the bottom!
"The hemp heart is a raw shelled hemp seed and one of nature's perfect foods - a Super Food. This is one of the most potent foods available, supporting optimal health and well being, for life. Raw hemp provides a broad spectrum of health benefits, including: weight loss, increased and sustained energy, rapid recovery from disease or injury, lowered cholesterol and blood pressure, reduced inflammation, improvement in circulation and immune system as well as natural blood sugar control." (healing-source.com)

Here is the nutritional information for a 2 oz. bag of hemp hearts.

I love my hemp hearts in a big bowl of steaming oatmeal after a run. I like to sprinkle it on top along with bananas, cinnamon, raisins, and peanut butter. This makes for a complete, nutritious meal full of antioxidants, fiber, protein, healthy carbs, iron, magnesium, B vitamins, calcium, zinc, and those natural anti-inflammatory omega 3s.

Here is your 20% off ANYTHING code at Manitobaharvest.com They also have hemp protein powder and hemp oil, too. 


This code expires November 30, 2014

That's not all the good news! One lucky winner will win a 5 lb. bag of hemp hearts! To enter, show Manitoba how you get creative in the kitchen with your hemp hearts. Tag @manitobaharvest, #hemphearts, and #sweatpink in your post, and you'll be automatically entered! 
Click here to find a retailer near you!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Prayer Challenge

This morning as I was getting ready to go run, something lay heavily on my heart (besides the normal "Why do I do this again?" that I sometimes feel.) I had to stop and really think. Then I realized it: When was the last time I really prayed? I'm not talking about the usual snippets I pray before we get into the car to go somewhere or before school starts. I'm talking about really, down-on-my-knees praying. 

I believe that the deepest type of prayer equally consists of supplication, forgiveness, thankfulness, and praise. This is something I oftentimes neglect until I have a deep desire for help. We know we should pray, yet we forget or we get too consumed in our everyday lives to really sit down and have a conversation with God.
Just like it would be if we lost communication with our spouses, so is it when we get out of sync with God. You know how it is when you have a super busy week and you just really haven't gotten to sit down and have a conversation with your husband? Think about how that can translate into our relationships with God. There's just something missing when we haven't had a good talk. Dealing with problems and issues that arise is a lot more difficult when we haven't talked it over with the one who holds us in His hands. 
I want to challenge myself (and you're invited, too!) to sincerely work on our prayer lives this week, this month...this year. I truly need to work on setting aside more time to give it all to God. 
The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. Psalms 145:18

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. 1 Timothy 2:8


Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday Motivation: A Living Proof

On my way to a bridal shower yesterday afternoon, a song came on the radio. Its chorus made a simple, yet monumental, impression on me. 

So let my life be the proof,

The proof of Your love

Let my love look like You and what You're made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
Oh, let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love

When it's all said and done

When we sing our final song

Only love remains
Only love remains
(For King & Country)

Isn't that beautiful? What a great way to think about our witness. There are so many instances in life where we try to prove our desires and ways of thinking/living in the Bible, but just as this chorus explains, our lives should be the ultimate proof of God's grace and love. The way we live and love is the greatest proof of all. Our living should be the application of God's biblical truths. I truly believe there is no greater way to be a witness, and I have to work on this every day just like the next guy. We can say we are this or that. We can say we believe this or that, but until we actually practice it, it is futile and empty.

I have seen God take people--even families--that were destined for disaster and make them stronger than before. I've watched in my own life how God can take someone weak, desperate, and empty and turn her into someone who is stronger and more determined than ever before. I've seen God give faith to those who are hurting. This is proof in its most supreme form!

The way we love and treat others is our testimony, and if God isn't directing us, something or someone else will. God needs us to completely rely on Him for direction so that our lives will be the proof of his love and grace.

What a great lesson to put into practice as we tackle the oncoming week. 

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." 2 Corinthians 5:21

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Honest Company! My new love!

Today would be a great day to head over to The Honest Company to take advantage of their Essentials bundle deal! The bundle is $35.95, and since I'm a member, I got a pretty awesome 40% off discount code in my email box just for bundles. You can become one just by signing up! 
I bought the Essentials Bundle and got wipes, dishwasher detergent and toothpaste (because I failed miserably at making both of those...), shampoo/body wash, and conditioner for $21.57. The great thing about these bundles is that you are in charge of choosing the five products that get put into the bundle. How cool is that? Plus, you get 25% off three additional products just for ordering a bundle. I chose to get toilet bowl cleaner, glass/window cleaner (because I couldn't figure out how to make one that didn't streak!), and a cute little dish scrubber and dish. Because I spent $50, I got free shipping, too. The whole thing (after the discounts) turned out to be $40.21. 

Let's review. I got...

Dishwasher Detergent
Toothpaste (flouride free)
Shampoo + Body Wash
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Window/Glass Cleaner
Dish Scrubber + Dish

Total = $40.21 (with 40% discount)

So go sign up for awesome discounts already!

If you didn't know, Honest is free of like...everything bad for you...things that I can't even pronounce. Here is a list of things they are "Honestly Free of" that's listed on their website:
  • Honestly FREE of: phthalates (DEHP, BBP, DBP, DMP, DEP); PVC; formaldehyde; alkylphenols; benzene; TEA (Triethanolamine); MEA (Monoethanolamine); parabens; phosphates; chlorine; chlorinated or brominated solvents; ceteareth 20; polyethylene glycol (PEG); resorcinol; bronopol; quaternium 15; nanoparticles; triclosan; sulfur oxides; organohalides; hexavalent chromium; DMDM hydantoin; organophosphate pesticides; 1,4 - dioxane; SLS/SLES (sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates); optical brighteners; mineral oil; petrolatum; BPA (bisphenol-A); a-chlorotoluene
*** Your bundle can be mixed and matched each month. You can also decide how often you get your bundle sent to you. If you don't want it every month, you can get it every three months or whatever you prefer! I chose to get things sent to me that were necessities that I use and run out of pretty frequently. I'm not sure if my discount applies to every month, but you can cancel your bundle at any time. They also have health and wellness bundles (vitamins, immunity boosters, body butters) and diaper/wipes bundles, too.

Honest sent me a box of goodies to review a couple of weeks ago, and I'm in love! They sent me a full-sized bag of laundry detergent packs,

These are so handy to just pop into the washer! They work great. I haven't been brave enough to try them on Isaac's clothes yet, but I'll update as soon as I do. Update 10/10/2014: I used these on Isaac's clothes, and so far, he hasn't broken out! Yippee!!!
the Discovery Set (includes samples of lotion, healing balm, lavender/peppermint hand soap, all-purpose cleaner, and shampoo/body wash),
The healing balm is great for Isaac's eczema. It contains calendula, beeswax, shea butter, coconut, tamanu, sunflower, and olive oils, and vitamin E--that's it! It will work wonders in the winter when the air is dry. I'll definitely add that to my bundle. The shampoo/conditioner is safe for every member of the family, too. I used it on Isaac, and he didn't break out at all. The lavender/peppermint hand soap is right up my alley considering I adore the combo of lavender and peppermint, and the all-purpose cleaner is great for smugdy fingerprints from you-know-who! (This is all safe on babies; however, avoid the eyes!)
Aren't these adorable?
and wipes. I absolutely fell in love with the baby wipes. They are huge, and one did the job that three of my others would do.

Click here to check them out and fall in love, too!

You can check them out on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hartselle Half Marathon Race Report 2014

Besides my marathon experiences, this was the hardest long run of any kind that I have ever done. I have never run that long...that fast...in that kind of heat before in my life. Nothing really went right for me, though. It was just a no good very bad day. The amount of effort I gave should've yielded a faster pace than 9:01. I mean, I feel terrible. I haven't been this sore in a very long time. I'm just frustrated that I feel this out of shape. It just wasn't a good day to run for me, and I'll leave it at that. :(

The night before I was ready. I was very, VERY hydrated. I knew it was going to be warmer than my other half marathons, so I drank and drank and drank. I wore cool clothing, and I was armed and ready with 16 ounces of Nuun already prepared in the fridge and four or five fig newtons in my fuel belt. I knew there would be water and Gatorade on the course, too. My Garmin was charged, and my extra clothes and stuff were all packed up ready to go. It was just down the road in Hartselle, so it felt almost like home to me. I felt ready.
Kristen, Michelle, and me. This was Kristen's first, Michelle's 8th, and my 6th.

Besides the fact that I didn't sleep all that great, I woke up ready to go a little after four. I got ready, drank some coffee, and made myself some breakfast to eat on the way. We left around 4:50 to get there in time to get our packets, use the bathroom a thousand times, take pictures, get our satellites located, you know...the usual prerace ceremonial procedures.

Finally, it was time to line up. I had my Francesca Battistelli blaring, and I was ready to go. The race director gave us the guidelines, said a prayer, and then sent us off. There was a cool breeze blowing, and my phone had said 66 degrees before we headed out. I thought, "This won't be that bad. It feels really good out here, and this pace! Wow. 8:30. Maybe I can keep this up!"


So around mile two I see a hill, and I'm all like, "Ha. I hope there aren't any others like this one ahead of us." Ummm...yes. There were lots and lots and lots of them...like 100. And they took grueling minutes away from my time. From mile 1-7, I kept telling myself, "On the hills, you can stay in the 8:50-9:00 zone. On the downhills and flat stretches, go down to 8:40-45. There were times my Garmin said 8:30, and I had to hold back a little. I thought, wow. I might actually finish in 1:56 or something like that. I just wanted to beat my previous time which was 1:58.48. At mile three I ate a fig newton and drank a little. Around mile six, I did the same. Around mile seven, though, it was past 8:00 a.m., and it was starting to heat up. I don't run in the sun that much, and if I do, we are finishing up a long run, and my pace is somewhere in the 10's. It was rough. I wore a hat because the sunglasses I brought were all scratched up, and I didn't want to take Heath's good ones because I was afraid I'd lose them or scratch them up. The hat kept me so hot. I poured water on my head a few times. I probably should've drunk more along the course, but it kept slowing me down. So the hat was a mistake. That's when I realized I forgot to drink my Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer twenty minutes prior to the race. This usually gives me a boost, but oh well. I had to keep running. Each mile after seven, it got a little hotter, the hills kept coming, and I hated myself a little bit more. Now, don't get me wrong, there were several long stretches of flat road, but for every stretch, there was a mountainous hill. Usually with hills, you come down on the other side on the way back or something. Not so much with this race. I don't think I'd call the hills "gentle" like the website says. When you're trying to keep an 8:40 pace, those hills aren't gentle. They're villainous.

At mile 10, my pace had slowed down to around 9:15. I was ready to stop. I had even felt like I wanted to pass out at one point in time because of the sun beating down on my head. I just kept praying for some shade...a cloud to cover the sun for five minutes. Something...

I sprinted to the finish line, and made it in 1:58.10. Ten seconds stood between me and sub 1:58. I can't decide if I'm happy because I actually did PR by 38 seconds. Based on the way I felt, I should've finished in record Olympian time or maybe four hours. I can't determine which one suits the way I feel the best.


Out of 150 runners, I was 52nd, and that's something to write home about. Thirty-one of the 51 before me were men. I was first in my age group, but there were only seven of us. Still, I was the first 25-29 female out of 52 people! Why are there not more girls running in their twenties? I better relish these last two racing seasons I have in my twenties because after that, the competition will be tough and heavy. I probably won't ever place in my age division again. It's that competitive!

In short, I don't think running long and fast in the heat is for me.

I really liked the race director and volunteers, and the goody bags were full of things like samples of Biofreeze, deodorant, stickers, coupons, etc. There was even a Gu in there. And we got a cool tech shirt and an awesome looking medal. They handed out Gu on the course. I didn't really see any other food besides some orange slices once, but I wasn't really looking for it. The course was beautiful. We ran by some huge, gorgeous homes, and there were actually some spectators out cheering us on. That was nice. I did like that they had chip timing and good post-race food like pizza, fruit, and cookies. They had a timer or two out on the course. I also like that you could see your placement right after crossing the finish line. They did awards very promptly so you could get your medal and go home if you wanted to. They also posted results the next day which is awesome. Most races don't get their results out there until a week or so later. They kept me up to date on news and such via Facebook leading up to the race, so that was a plus, too.

It was on the pricey side, however. You couldn't mail in a check (which I really despise because paying online always charges a fee.) So the $60 race fee went up to $65. That's just a little high in my opinion for such a small race of only 150 people, but maybe that's why it cost so much. I'm not sure. It could go both ways. The timer system could've contributed to the higher price. Another thing that struck me as odd is that they cut registration off eight days before the race. This isn't an advantage for people who wait to see what the weather is going to do or wait to see if an injury is going to heal up enough to run.

All in all, it was an ok race, but I'm not sure I'll run it again based on the heat and the price.