Learning to Let Go

T’was the night before Kindergarten & all through the home. 

Everything was laid out, from his uniforms to comb. 

A few squirts of Prim Monster Spray in the closet and bed..

So no bad dreams would fill his tiny head.

As we tucked him into bed and kissed him goodnight.. 

We knew in our hearts this new journey would be alright ❤ 

So sweet and innocent in his bed he curled.. 

But when he wakes up, it’s time to change the world ❤ #firstdayofschool

An Ode to My Husband

Shawn, there truly are no words to thank you for how much you do for me in this life. After working a full time job and 2 games, you came home to a broken wife with a crappy attitude. My emotions a mess and crying,  hours long… and without missing a beat- you walked in, hugged me so tight that it “put me back together” and assured me everything would be okay with a gentle kiss on the forehead.  Thank you. Thank you for resetting me when I felt broken. Thank you for loving me on the good days,  but loving me harder on the bad days. Thank you for taking the time to listen and showing that you care. There are times that I have no words, but you sit and listen anyways. I could never truly express just how much those moments mean to me. In a world that often feels so cold and alone, I know there is solace when I am with you.

Yall, I have so many posts I want to share but my depression has been a bit overwhelming. I promise to try and be back soon. Thanks for hanging around. 

Find Yourself in the Mud

My oldest son has asked to run an obstacle course ever since falling in love with American Ninja Warrior.. when I ran Tough Mudder in March, he was disappointed he was too young.. BUT not all hope was lost. 

In Louisiana,  we have Battle Races created by Battle 6:11. 

http://www.battle611.com

They have weekly training, races, rucks, etc. If you’re in the area and looking for a local OCR circuit, this is it. 

So when a date and location popped up that was pretty convenient,  we decided to register him. Elated was an understatement. When he found out he’d get to run, he was so overcome with emotions that he cried. Truly touching as a parent to see that much emotion and happiness come out of such a tiny body. Even more emotional when it’s over something you love, too. 

Race day came and that same level of excitement was still there. As his heat approached, I pointed out the parks alligator in the pond,  I told him a few obstacles I’d seen at my earlier arrival and told him some cool stuff the state park had for after the race.. and then.. 

It was time! 

The start bell sounded and WE WERE OFF! Due to his age, he needed an adult and it just made sense that I would go with him since Shawn isn’t into the entire OCR scene.  He flew over the first obstacles like they were nothing. A little hesitation at trying new things but over the moon with every step at everything he was achieving. 

Leaps and bounds came and went and he breezed through obstacles I had previously assumed he’d struggle with. 

 And then.  It happened. The log carry..

I totally assumed he’d breeze through this. Not because its easy but because we do play outside. And, well, he’s said he wanted to do Tough Mudder, everything.  
Had you told me just milliseconds after I’d taken the photo above that he was about to have a huge mental breakdown,  I would have laughed at you.  He had just scaled 4 foot walls with ease and flew off of them like Superman.. but we hit the mud and it happened. I have lovingly referred to this moment as #MuddyMeltdownApocalypse. 
As he took little steps holding his log, his feet sunk into the clay-like mud. And each step was a little heavier and a little deeper. He chunked the log and exclaimed it was too heavy as he looked at me with defeat. Fine, I’ll carry it- no big deal, right? I grab the log and we go just inched forward. Next step, his shoe is totally submerged in the mud and when he pulls his leg up *POP*.. his foot comes out and the shoe stays hidden. At this point, he LOSES his mind. Tears, screams, wails, groans. Total mental breakdown. I’m doing my best to calm him but it’s just getting worse and nothing I say gives any sense of hope whatsoever. With his next step, his other shoe comes off. Then it’s socks to the mud and he is just a mess of emotions at this point and not happy ones.

I’m doing my best to hold it together but the mud is gross, I’m sinking myself and his screams are making is pretty impossible to make rational thoughts.  So I finally catch my head, hoist him to my back, the log in my arms and every slipped off shoe; his, mine and strays tossed onto my fingers and turn back around. When we finally get out of the mud, he’s screaming that he just needs to rinse off. He’s done and ready to go home. Tosses himself straight to the ground in a fit of refusing to put back on his shoes.

The “Mom” in me fussed with him a bit that he needed to go on. Not for the medal.. but because I knew he would look back on that moment with regret if he didn’t and I didn’t want that for him. I’ve been there before and the regret haunts me. It took some convincing but he finally gave in and agreed to go a little further and “feel things out”.

The brisk run after the mud was rough. He just kept fussing, grumbling and giving me a death stare. I picked up the pace a little so that he’d give chase and be distracted until the next obstacle.  It worked. 

When he finally completely the course, he had been stuck, shed tears, fallen off of an obstacle, overcome obstacles he never thought possible and achieved something he always said he wanted to do. The raw emotion at the finish line was overwhelming,  even staff teared up at his reaction. He was immediately brought to tears in amazement of all he’d done in such a short time.

Check out his live finish by clicking on the link below: 
Greyson’s Battle Finish

Ironically, I check my email and his “word of the month” at MMA is resilience. Their definition is “when life pushes me down, I bounce back up.” There is literally no better way to explain what had just happened to him than this. Somethint had just *clicked* inside of him with this word. He realized that by getting back up and moving on, he was able to overcome an obstacle AND achieve a dream..

Some people wait a lifetime to meet a superhero.. I am blessed enough that I am raising two tiny heroes.  In this moment, I was elated at how mature of a realization this was for such a tiny soul. I spend every second of my life trying to help them through life.. and every second right back, they are showing me just what life is about..

If you find yourself knocked down or just stuck… do not succumb to the mud pit.. dig yourself out and bounce back up. 

Battle 6:11 always encourages participants to discover what’s their battle cry?

On this day, we learned that Greyson’s battle cry is #Resilience. 

She’s Back? Julying!? 

Hey guys! It’s been a while!  A lot of chaos!  
It was my circus and it is my monkeys … (haha!)
Stay tuned for a post on Citronella coming up in the next few days! Maybe a little crazy update, too! 

Hope you all had a fabulous 4th of July!  

Keeping the Faith

We are your average family. We live paycheck to paycheck since Shawn was laid off from his oilfield job late in 2015. Despite that small set back, we are still so very blessed beyond words. When he was laid off, he found a job almost immediately.  We adjusted to living on the smaller amount and consolidated some bills to make sure we could stay afloat. We are fortunate that his new job allows him time off when he needs and is very accommodating for sick needs. We fight hard, love harder. For the most part, everyone is happy, healthy and thriving.  One could argue that from the outside looking in, everything is absolutely peachy keen..

  But we all know that looks can be deceiving.  Everyone is doing their best to conceal skeletons that they are embarrassed of or try to run from.  

Last Wednesday, my phone *dings* so I get up and check it and see this: 

Courtesy of 337 Magazine, I had won 2 tickets to see Wonder Woman the day before it hit theatres nationwide. Part of me was excited and then, the other part crushed.. here we are, in the midst of struggling and we win something pretty cool but timing couldn’t be worse. 
With money being so tight, and now gone, our grocery budget had been a little less than appealing. The bulk of it went to food and snacks for the boys while Shawn and I just ate whatever else we could afford. Hint: mostly ramen. My PCOS hated me, my weight had also been creeping back because I wasn’t able to eat correctly. 

I was over the moon with excitement that I’d won. I messaged my Mom and told her I’d won and that she was the reason I had even entered. I offered her the opportunity to go see Wonder Woman.. she had first dibs..but her response was that if I wanted to go with Shawn,  she would have kept the boys. Guilt consumed me.  Since his accident, I’d missed 4 events meant for me to have a little “Mom break”.. this would have been great just to get away for a few hours but things were just so gloomy.. I was so conflicted. I don’t regret missing a single thing but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t itching for a way to get out, even for a tiny bit of time. I just needed to get out of the house for a little while. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t also super excited because the movie was catered. After eating poorly, by this point, I was well over ramen and thrilled at the idea of a proper adult meal. The meal alone was worth venturing for but we are struggling so much, did we even deserve it? 

When Shawn lacerated his arm with the katana, it put us in a “rare but not impossible” emergency situation.  We already live a pretty balanced budget so there isn’t much left after bills and necessities are tended to. To afford the proper medical supplies, we had to dig into our very tiny savings we had just started rebuilding. It didn’t take long to eat away at that. We tried our best to situate late payment plans with all of our bills but one managed to slip under our noses.. and that was all it took to snowball things out of control.. 

Thursday, the day after winning the tickets, a bill came out and the account went negative.  All it took was an $11 bill to break us. Our account was $5 overdrafted and we had 9 days until payday. Things just took a turn for the worst possible path. 

I should have freaked out into sheer panic but I somehow managed to stay calm. I’m 99.9% positive my calmness was solely accredited to not wanting to freak the boys out. $5 overdrafted isn’t a lot, it was the fees that would accumulate over 9 days that scared me. Sure, we have family and even friends we could ask to borrow $5 from just to put us in the clear- but it’s so embarrassing to put aside your pride in situations like this. You are fearful that someone is just going to scoff at you and think you’re simply being irresponsible with money. I immediately start brainstorming things like “well let’s sell my such&such for a low cost. Someone’s bound to bite and $5 is all we need”… or “we could trade in a few games and get cash, sure it’s a huge loss but it’s enough to get us in the clear”.. I was determined we would figure it out. 

As the day continued, my nerves began to get a little worse. I knew once the day was over, those fees would start piling on and it’s a blow that would be extremely hard to recover from. We had literally just started to have control of the finances and it was crumbling through my fingertips like sand with each passing second. 

I reread the facebook post and decided to just set the idea on the back burner. It really was a great opportunity.  The movie was catered with fun give aways, prizes and keepsakes offered. The timing seemed pretty perfect but still, it didn’t solve our problem. I couldn’t fathom just going casually watch a movie knowing the financial chaos that seemed to only be getting worse with each passing second.

I back burnered every single thought and managed to get through most of the afternoon. This could strongly be accredited to the fact that I’m a SAHM and my boys needed me. Then, they laid down for a nap and didn’t need me anymore. My mind was flooded with a mixture of emotions. I tried my best to block it all out to avoid getting anxious but I couldn’t. I put everything away and headed straight to my “War Room” and saw this:

Matthew 6:25-34

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore DO NOT WORRY ABOUT TOMORROW, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

It was EXACTLY what I needed to read. We’ve hit rock bottom before, we’ve put our trust in the Lord and we’ve always overcome the obstacle. I have to trust in my faith and follow what has always pulled us through. This time should be no different. 

By this time, a few friends could tell something was off and had asked if I needed to vent.  I got the delimma off of my chest and politely declined all offers to just borrow the money straight up. I could feel it in my gut that we could figure it out without actually going into more debt. That scripture really relieved my stress with the entire situation and I just felt a sense of calmness. I was beyond appreciative, I just couldn’t wrap my head around “borrowing from Peter to pay Paul”.

I’m glad I followed that feeling. We managed to figure out a solution to get the account in the clear so we decided to head out and see WW just because it was all free and well needed. We realize we cannot pour from empty cups and we needed to get let that stress fizzle some so that we didn’t take that stress out on each other or (especially) the boys. 

The movie was great, we were too late for food but did enjoy a YooHoo & RC Cola. We said hello to a few friends we bumped into. We took a cute picture keepsake and admired the different booths and artists that had come out. And then we headed home to curl up to our sweet boys. 

Around 10 that night, Shawn’s phone chimed and he let out a huge sigh followed by a deep breath. 

Have you ever had “money from heaven”? You know, Money that finds its way to you out of the blue at the perfect moment? 

Money from heaven” had been deposited to our accounts for work I’d done at an earlier time.  The work wasn’t done with the expectations of getting something back in return so the money was truly a surprise to me. I like to think I’m pretty generous at helping people I care about however I can.. I never expect anything in return, I just want to help my friends.. but this Angels timing couldn’t have been more perfect to surprise me. Not only was it enough to cover the problem,  it was plenty leftover to buy necessities for the house and make it the next 9 days without fear of emergency. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

There are no words to describe just how much of a relief this was. I also cannot describe how perfect the timing was to win a small get away down the road from home. It was only a few hours and maybe didn’t give me some glorious vacation- but it recharged me enough that I am able to function and give my children the best of me as. 

Things haven’t exactly gotten easier. Of course, we’re being cautious and we would love to be able to create a new savings we can build up well but that’ll take time. Right now, we have a ltitle room to breath and for that I am eternally grateful. We will face hardships in life (probably more than we want to) but the important thing is to always hold fast to your faith and trust in the Lord. 
To my angel: Thank you. You provided a true sense of relief and peace in ways you may never understand. Your gift was truly one that helped us but your friendship is appreciated more than you know. 

When God Speaks..

For me, there is something absolutely magical about being a parent. I’m sure most parents would agree. One of those extraordinary magical momens happened this morning and I’m so happy I was there to see it. 
At Greyson’s MMA school, they learn a word each month that instills morals and/or values into their everyday lives. Today, they are introducing the new world of the month: confidence. We spent most of the morning practicing the definition and I would give him little mantras to say: 

  • “I am smart!”
  • “I am strong!”
  • “I am brave!”
  • “I can!”
  • “I am!”

So when lunch time rolled around, I sat them down with plates and tured Veggie Tales on. I headed back to the kitchen to work on supper and left the boys to eat. 

I hear nothing but silence aside from Bob & Larry on television as the boys eat and suddenly, I hear a shriek of excitement followed by “Mom!! Play that again! MOOOOHMMMM! Come see!” So I rush to the living room to check on them thinking Gage has tossed his plate or something and instead,  he’s pointing at the TV. I grab the remote and back it up to see David and Goliath followed by the ending scripture of the show: 

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” -Philippines 4:13

Greyson realized that David had confidence that he could defeat Goliath because he trusted God would assist him and got so excited he was able to relate! 

My heart was so full with pride and happiness. There was a pure joy in his eyes that told me he really understood and could relate to the episode because he understood the concept of confidence. 
Being a parent has its great moments and it has moments that are not so great. And then, moments like this morning happen.. those are the indescribable moments. There are no words to explain how overwhelmed with happiness I was in that moment to see my son not only understand this word but to be able to relate it to his personal life and his faith

I have always been excited when I would read a scripture or devotional and it felt as if God was speaking directly to me. To witness my son feel this same emotion was truly an amazing experience. 

To Love Him Better.. 

You know how they say “always trust your gut“.. and “Mom knows best“..Well, since Greyson was 2, I’ve dabbled with the idea that he would eventually be diagnosed with ADHD. I get that “boys will be boys” and “he’s just a child with energy and curiousity“.. but this was more than that. He was the classic textbook definition of attention deficit and hypreactivity. When I first spoke of it with my husband, he was totally against the idea. See, Shawn had very little interaction with children up until having his own so a lot of children’s illnesses were still super taboo to him. Fear of the unknown, if you will. It caused a few waves in our marriage but only because I felt alone in the matter until Shawn agreed to be a bit more open minded to the idea.. I didn’t want a diagnosis that day, just to explore ways we could play better and understand better so that we could help Greyson thrive. I mean, at that point, the worst that could happen is that we played sensory games with our young, developing child.

Well now he’s 5. And Shawn has come around to the idea after diving into research and seeing how different sensory games and toys always go over better with Greyson than stuff that just completely overwhelms and over stimulates his mind.  

If I’m being totally honest, I didn’t mind if something was wrong with him. Of course every parent wants for their child to be healthy at all cost.  For us, I wanted him to be healthy, but if there was something wrong, I wanted to know. It would never change how I love him expect that I could learn how to understand so that we could love him better. 

At his wellness check, his pedatrician agreed with us that he, too, suspected ADHD for a while. Now, here’s why I love this doctor: he didn’t automatically force us to toss him on medication and call it a day. He sent us home with paperwork and options. We follow up in 6 months to see how things progress but we are able to try natural methods to help him instead of creating more side effects just jumping into medicine for such a tiny body. 

**now, let me stress, if he needs medicine, we’re not against it. If we try all options and they fail, we will do what we need to do to ensure he is happy, healthy and loved. So please understand, I judge no one who chooses medicine, I just worry about him being so young and wanted to explore something that had less side effects if it worked.** 

 Our first idea was something filled with structure and discipline.  We started this back in January with MMA. We found the most amazing MMA school for what Greyson was needing in his life. He’s come far from where he was before beginning at Gladiators Academy but we still have some ways to go. The structure and discipline has helped curb some of his impulsive behaviors. He’s come very far in learning morals, discipline and has drastically improved in respect. 

Our second idea was to try essential oil blends. I should note,  I don’t take oils lightly, tons of research goes into making a blend in my house. So the search for the perfect blend for Greyson started. I know oils are not “one size fits all” so my job was cut out for me. I tried a various assortment of diffusing blends, inhaler blends and roller balls.  I saw some success but not nearly what I was looking for as far as relief goes. 

I finally decided that maybe my method of delivery wasn’t efficient. I’m not the most seasoned oiler out there so I decided to change up my usual approaches. So, one morning, I wake up a post on FB that would drastically change my life. Alycee LeBlanc, a friend from high school, shared a paracord bracelet she’d made for her son– and it *clicked*. The colors, the pattern, the material. This is it! This is how I’m going to oil him

And thus this blend was born.. 


As usual, I’m going to share why I chose the oils that I did…

  • Lavender – Lavender is such a versatile oil, it’s amazing.  Lavender oil helps promote relaxation and eases tension. I was hopeful the lavender component to the blend would help him “hit the brakes” some.
  • Frankincense – Frankincense relieves stress, uplifts one’s mood and assists in combating anxiety and stress. I was worried if I slammed the brakes and didn’t ease his mind at the same time, I’d cause other problems, so I took anxiety into account. 
  • Peace & Calming II – This blend smells heavenly and offers a calming effect. It also uplifts the spirit while promoting relaxation and peace. ADHD and depression are linked and I’m taking no chances. Remember,  my goal is happy and healthy. 
  • Valor II – Liquid Courage, in a sense. Valor II is an amazing oil that instills feeling of strength and courage. I didn’t want to take away his spunk. Greyson has such a bold and free spirited personality and I wanted to keep that about him. I never want him to lose that spirit and happiness. 
  • Cedarwood – Cedarwood oil is extremely high in sesquiterpenes. Sesquiterpene is a chemical compound known to stimulate brain function and help the body reprogram old genetic patterns into healthier ones. 
  • Copaiba – Copaiba is a fascinating oil in that not only does it do its own amazing things, it’s a magnifier. This means it magnifies the effects of other oils. It also aids in managing anxiety. 

And last, but possibly the most important part to this blend: 

  • Vetiver – Vetiver is known as the “Oil of Tranquility“. It is taken from the dried roots of grassy vetiver plant. Vetiver is a grounding oil that reduces anxiety, stress and nervous tension. It is a grounding oil that promoted restful sleep. Vetiver oil aids in rediscovering homeostatis after emotional trauma*(see note below) and shock. It soothes the central nervous system and manages compulsive behavior.  Multiple studies have been taken using Vetiver to treat ADHD and it’s proven itself to relieve symptoms associated with ADHD.

*in 2015, our home was unlawfully entered, several things damaged such as doors being forced open or opened incorrectly. Thankfully, it was not worse, it’s past us, things have improved and all has been settled legally. However, we happened to come home at the time of the event and this made for a very long evening but an even longer emotional trauma for Greyson. This benefit of Vetiver speaks to me because, although he is getting over it in his own time, it brings me great happiness to provide an oil that will also help with that emotional healing. 
So I applied this blend to his paracord and sent him on his way to play. See, everytime he pushed his arm back and forth, back and forth, he would inhale the aromas of this blend. I was hoping that the constant inhalation would work as an ‘extended release’ effect. I was right! 

There were no arguments over supper, his toys were picked up without having to be asked. His attention span longer than I’d ever seen in his tiny, precious life. He was able to focus, to self entertain and to control his usual impulsive behaviors.  

 If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I never would have believed it. The transformation was truly day and night. 

So far, this oil has been heaven sent. I know time will have to be the true test.. but for now, we’ve found a way to help Greyson remain Greyson but also enjoy so much more without all of the anxiety.

Now, let me stress, oils are a tricky thing. There are no set “one size helps all” blends. It can take numerous times to figure out what works best for you. If you’re dabbling with oils and it doesn’t seem to work at first, KEEP TRYING

In the end, my goal remains. I only want to understand my children as best as I can so that I can love them the best way possible. I want to help them thrive and succeed. I want them happy and healthy. I can only hope this journey opens new opportunities for him as his mind grows, absorbs more knowledge and he becomes more independent each day.