What Can We Learn from the 2018 Winter Olympics?

First off, who else is obsessed with the Olympics? I have been watching the Olympics EVERY DAY! My favorites are obviously the figure staking, snowboarding, and surprisingly curling. My step-dad is to blame for that one. I also really enjoy hockey and this year I’ve been getting into the speed skating a little more.

One of the funniest moments so far was when I was sitting on my couch cheering on the USA in speed skating and for some reason, I was getting really into it. All of the sudden my husband pokes his head in from the garage where he was working and says, “Are you watching rewatching football games?” Yes, it was that intense. The only other thing I get that worked up about is NFL football!

What can the games teach us?

So as I sat there, soaking in the glitz and glory of the games, I thought to myself, “This is an incredible moment!” Just think about it! These countries, despite their differences, have come together to compete and cohabitate in the same geographical location without bloodshed. There is an incredible amount of teamwork required to win, even in individual events. With that comes compassion for your rivals and understanding of each other’s challenges. It’s a lot of hard work!

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

I want you to take a long good thought about this one. How on Earth can these athletes love each other? They have every reason not to! Somehow, someway, all of the athletes and coaches, and even just Olympic personnel all love each other. It’s kind of crazy if you ask me! They are all there to cheer each other on, and when one wins (even if it means they lose) they still cheer them on and give them big hugs and high fives. That is what we can learn! We can learn to love unconditionally and without yield.

TEAMWORK

There are a lot of individual event in the Olympics, but there are also a lot of team events. For example, figure skating has both a team event and individual events. Sometimes in the Olympics, that doesn’t matter though! When you think about it, everyone is playing for a team, their countries team! That takes an incredible amount of teamwork to remain united and strong throughout. Then you have your teams such as hockey or even curling that require the athletes to rely on each other to make the right move and perform at the right levels to be able to reign in another medal for their country.

COMPASSION and understanding

com·pas·sion
kəmˈpaSHən/
noun
sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
There takes a certain kind of compassion and understanding to be able to win or lose on what some might consider “The ultimate stage”. Nobody likes a sore loser or even a sour winner. So it’s very important for these athletes to be able to have compassion and understanding towards each other. Not even the language barriers can stuff that out. Being sympathetically aware of other people’s feelings, being tolerant and forgiving, that is what we NEED to take away from these Olympics!

HARD WORK

No one likes to work. It sucks. But you have to do what you have to do to be the best! So often nowadays we see these individuals who want everything, but don’t want to do anything to get it. I’ll be honest. I struggle with this sometimes. What we can learn from these Olympics is to work harder for the things we want and to become the greatest. Everyone who helped with the construction of the event fields or buildings? Hard work. The coaches who have been training these competitors? Hard work. All of the athletes who are competing? Hard work! None of them would be there if they didn’t try and try and try again! The reward, as we can see with these gold medalist, is TOTALY worth it!

What has been your favorite part of the 2018 winter Olympics so far?

How to help with foster care, even if you aren’t a foster parent.

*This post does NOT include any affiliate links*

Foster Care. Wow. What an incredibly deep subject to talk about! Let me tell you, this has been the hardest post I have ever had to write! It has taken me almost TWO WEEKS to finish this post! Normally I can bust ’em out pretty quick, but I didn’t want this one to feel rushed. I wanted to do it right and do my research and really understand the subject before writing about it.

Now, it's important for you to know this; I have no personal experience with foster care. I did not grow up "in the system" and I am not lucky enough to be a foster parent. Most of my education on this subject is coming from research and personal testimonies from friends and family members who have gone through it. So please, take this with a grain of salt.

What is Foster Care?

Well, Wikipedia states, “Foster care is a system in which a minor has been placed into a ward, group home, or private home of a state-certified caregiver, referred to as a “foster parent” or with a family member approved by the state.”

But that is too impersonal for me. So, since I live in Utah, I decided to check out utahfostercare.org to find out a little more. Utah Foster Care (UFC) is a non-profit organization that helps find, train, and support families who are willing to put it all on the line for these children in need. I was surprised to find that this site is FULL of information about getting involved.

get involved

I am a parent who wishes so badly to be able to help kids in foster care, or even just to support my fellow mommies who are foster parents. In preparation for this post, I put a blast out on facebook asking for help. I was overwhelmed with how many of my friends and even close family who were foster parents or knew someone who was.

The majority of them told me that the best I can do to help was get involved. To just donate, offer support, volunteer, etc. So many people often forget that being a parent is the most stressful and rewarding thing a person can do. Add in children who are not your own, whom may or may not have biological parents still fighting for their parental rights or involvement, and could possibly have many unknown factors still to be discovered.

Any kind of clothing all sizes can be donated to their local Department of Health and Human Services or CPS and can go to kids in need. If they know of any foster families, just cooking a meal is super helpful. Offering to watch the kids while the parents have a night to themselves. Fostering can take its toll on a marriage so it’s very important that they can have that time. There are so many things that can be helpful.

Foster Mommy, Michigan

Moved and inspired

Here are just a couple of stories from mommies who are foster parents. Out of respect, I want to keep all of these moms and their families anonymous. If you feel like sharing your own story and experience with foster care, please feel free to comment below or even message me personally. I would LOVE to chat with you!

So quick background with me… we are going through the process of licensing. We took the classes 5 years ago, but found out our older home would never pass an inspection and I found out I was pregnant with our 3rd child while taking the classes. We took a break to upgrade our home, and now back at it again. Being a foster care mom wasn’t always my dream. It has always been my husband’s though. Ever seen This Is Us? We relate SO much. He decided to pursue teaching and has always wanted to make a big impact on the world, and feel he can do the best working with children. When we were first married, he shared his dream of foster care and I thought he was nuts! But 8 years and 4 children later, it’s become a dream I am also passionate and excited about. We are so passionate that we chose to stop our biological children at 4 so that we could financially/mentally/physically have room for more children. We knew if we had more biological, foster care wouldn’t be as easily attained. This way we have room for sibling sets, which is so desperately needed.

Want to find out more about Foster Care? Click here
What made me want to be a foster parent? A dream. My husband and I had multiple dreams and after talking about them and what they mean, we felt pushed to move forward with foster care. We are also unable to have children, so that pushed us a bit as well.
When we lost the boys and had fertility issues we started discussing doing foster care. While discussing it we found out that I had a tubal pregnancy and my Fallopian tube had ruptured. It almost killed me and we knew what we were supposed to do so after my recovery we started going to training classes and started our paperwork for fostering.

Quick reminder

Please remember, if you are considering foster care, do your homework. Research specifically for the state you live in. Each state will vary on its resources and requirements. I also encourage you to reach out to friends and family that you might know for their tips and experiences.

Want to make huge leaps and bounds towards unconditional love?

First off, if you are not a part of my Facebook group, you should totally request to join here! We have a lot of fun in there, and this month we are having sort of a challenge with a super fun prize at the end of the month. If you are already a member, don’t forget to comment and share this post. Volunteer your time and resources. Some of that may just be spreading the word! Spreading knowledge is one of the most effective ways to spread unconditional love! Why? Because it is free and shows that you care.

Healthy Eating Tips and Motivation for the New Year

January is almost over. By now, most of you have probably lost all your motivation and have abandoned your New Year’s Resolution. WHY?! What the heck are you doing? Stop. Think. Let’s get your head back in the game!

You need MOTIVATION

I want you to look back and reflect on this past month. No, reflect on this past year. What are your goals? What did you set for your New Years Resolutions?

Now that you have that in mind, did you abandon it? Let’s talk about the why! Why do most people give up on their resolutions within the first 2-3 months of the year? The answer can vary from person to person, but chances are, their goals were too big and too fast!

For Example

My goals were to treat my body better. I had this grand idea that I would drop 10lbs a month, have clear skin by the end of January, working out every day, and be reading a book a month!

Has any of that happened yet? NO! Are you kidding me? This is not a realistic goal to put on yourself. I am not even close to finishing my book. My skin cleared up, then I ate terrible for a week and forgot to wash my face twice and now I am breaking out all over again. I have worked out a grand total of MAYBE 6-8 times… and I have only lost 4lbs.

Now don’t be hard on yourself!

Compared to what I was doing last year, these are all HUGE improvements! My skin is better than ever, I drink a lot more water, I have taken time to relax and read, I LOST 4LBS! This is a big deal, you guys! Even though I shot big, and I fell short of that goal, I still improved my life in tremendous strides!

Keep it going!

I want you to shoot big for February too! Set too big of goals, try just a little bit harder, and I promise you, you will surprise yourself! I am striving to continue being better to my body, so here are my February goals!

  • Do the “Learn to Love” challenge with my facebook group
  • Stop drinking soda
  • Become a meal prep boss! Again…

Let’s do this together, okay? If you are having troubles with your goals, send me a message on Facebook or Instagram, or shoot me an email! I am here to help you!

Okay, moving on…

You probably came here for the healthy eating tips. So here you are! These are some simple guidelines that I am BAD at following, but strive to do:

  • Drink LOTS of H2O
  • Spinach is amazing and has almost no taste. Add it to as many meals as you can
  • Chew slower and ENJOY your food
  • Use a smaller plate to help control your portion sizes
  • Eat foods proven to help your specific needs (I.E. Weight loss, metabolism boost, protein levels, iron levels, low energy, etc.)
  • Get out of your comfort zone!
  • Meal PLAN and Meal PREP
  • Don’t do it alone, have a support system
  • Eat more green stuff (No, not green M&Ms)
  • Don’t kill yourself, allow for slip-ups, okay?

YOur turn to talk…

Tell me in the comments: What are your goals for February? Have to join my Facebook group yet?

The Pathway to a Healthier You

Let’s face it, most of us are not our healthiest selves. But how do we become a healthier person, and what exactly does that mean? Well, there are three points to touch on if you ask me. Let’s dive in a little deeper.

Quit getting sick!

This is a lot easier said than done. And getting healthier while you are sick is even harder to do! So the best way to combat is to do everything you can to avoid getting sick.

I am a big believer in holistic health. Essential oils, natural foods and products, etc. I’m not a full-on hippy, but I am known to always suggest the more natural way to health.

If you are wanting to try essential oils, I suggest starting small and doing your research. My obsession has grown over the last couple years, but I am still a novice and probably not the best person to teach about oils. What I do suggest is staying away from MLMs like Young Living or DoTerra. They mark up their prices way too high and you can get quality essential oils elsewhere.

If you are interested in a post about essential oils, leave me a comment!

Other ways to avoid getting sick are the obvious suggestions, wash your hands regularly, avoid people who are ill, sanitize often, wash your clothing and bedding regularly, etc.

Eat right, and get Active

Back to the all natural foods I mentioned earlier. If you know me, you know I love to eat. You also know that I love food that is not good for me. However, unfortunately, I know better.

Every time I eat right and go on a “Diet” or a “Life Style Change”, I feel 10X better! I can tell when I am eating crappy and I tend to get sick easier when I do.

A minute ago (like a long time ago) I started a category of posts called “Healthy Eats” where I talked a lot about meal prepping and planning and good foods to eat.

Let me know if you want me to start that back up again!

The #1 thing you can to do eat right is to drink at least 64oz of water a day. I know that sounds like a lot, but I promise you, it’s worth it! Try incorporating fruits and veggies into your diet too!

As for getting active, if you are like me and get little to no activity at work or even at home, you should try getting outside with your kids. In the summer take them to the park, in the winter take them sledding. There are plenty of things to keep you moving outside.

Be Happier

A happier person is one that treats themselves right. If you value yourself or your sanity, be kind to yourself and be happier. I know, this sounds SO easy, right? Well, for me, it’s honestly not that easy.

Every day you have the opportunity to wake up and CHOOSE to be happy! Click To Tweet

Image result for the 3 c's

Some things that I like to do to stay happy include: Playing with my son, snuggling my husband, spending time with friends and family, my essential oils, watching TV, reading a good book, chocolate, taking a shower, getting ready for the day, and (believe it or not) cleaning!

Yes, you heard me right, I said cleaning. I HATE cleaning! I am the laziest person ever, but after my house is clean, I feel so much better, and I can finally relax. Plus, once I get started, I tend to start organizing everything and end up cleaning even more.

Well, there you have it!

Those are the 3 things I try to focus on to make myself a healthier person. My final suggestion would be to write it down! The trendy thing now is to have a bullet journal or planner. I like to write my goals in that and track my progress. If you are interested at all in my previous post, click here! I talk about my New Years Resolutions and my simple game plan to stick to it.

I want to try to write a post a month to help keep myself on track with my resolutions and goals. Keep your eyes open for that too!

Meal Planning Vs. Meal Prepping

I know what you are thinking…

Is there really a difference between meal planning and meal prepping? YES! There most definitely is!

Let me break it down the easy way… Think about the words themselves. “Planning” and “Prepping”. I googled it for you. Here are the actual definitions.

plan·ning
/ˈplaniNG/
noun
  1. the process of making plans for something
prep·ping
/ˈprepiNG/
noun
  1. the action or process of preparing something, or preparing for something.
    So why is this even important to know the difference?

    Well, when it gets to the nitty-gritty, it’s not important at all. What matters is that you actually do it! BUT, you can’t prep without planning. AND, if you only plan and don’t prep, what’s the point? Do you see what I mean?

    I hope that makes sense to you and helps clarify the importance of both. I know it’s short and sweet and to the point, but that is exactly what you need it to be, huh?

    CHECK OUT SOME OTHER POSTS ABOUT MEAL PREPPING!

    How to Meal Prep Like a Boss!
    How to Meal Prep Like a Boss!
    Dos and Don'ts of Meal Prepping
    Dos and Don’ts of Meal Prepping

What it’s REALLY like to Transition your Toddler from a Car Seat to a Booster Seat

As most of you know, my son recently turned 4 years old in June. After weeks and weeks of talking to my husband prior to his birthday about how big he is and how he is outgrowing his car seat, we decided to make the transition to a Booster Seat.

I know! Oh my gosh!

These days, you have to seriously consider every option when considering life changing decisions for your kids. Questions like; When you start solid foods? When to change their car seat? Should I let my son do karate? Is now, in line to check out, really the time to let my kid have a tantrum, or do I go straight to monster mom? Should I switch him to a booster seat?

Unfortunately, the world expects you to do what they want you to do. They want you to raise your children exactly the same way they raised theirs. The days of “Mom instinct” are gone!

So, of course, when considering to transition my son, I got major anxiety about it. But my son kept telling me, “Mom! It’s squishing me! Mom! My weenie hurts! Mom!” I felt so bad! I would loosen the straps to relieve some of the pressure, but then it was too loose for my comfort on his shoulders.

Finally, I said screw it! I looked at the height and weight of the seat he was in versus the booster I wanted to get. He met the requirements for the booster, even though he still met the requirements for the car seat too. I looked it up online and finally decided to ask his pediatrician when he went in for his 4-year wellness check up.

Check out my post about the MEAN kid! http://wp.me/p8aYjD-dz

What his pediatrician said surprised me!

He said, “Well, what do you think? What is your gut telling you?” I thought about that for a second. Part of me wanted to snap back with, “What the hell are the regulations?” But instead, I told him that I wanted to move him into a booster seat for ease and comfort.

So he told me to do it! He said, and I quote, “Mothers are starting to ignore their maternal instinct to do what is “right” by other moms. Don’t let society tell you how to raise your child.” He then went on to tell me that if he meets the requirements for the booster seat, then there must have been tests on that booster seat to make it safe for children of his age, height, and weight.

Well, that was good enough for me!

So we switched it, and about a month later I found this article about “When should my child switch from a car seat to a booster seat?” from Baby Center. This quote is from their article.

“You can safely switch your child to a booster seat if she’s at least 4 years old and she weighs 40 pounds or more or has grown too tall for her car seat (when her shoulders are higher than the top set of harness-strap slots in the car seat’s back).” -Stephanie Tombrello Child passenger safety specialist

That is exactly what happened to my son! He weighs about 40-42 lbs, his shoulders were right at the harness-strap slots, and he is 4 years old! Plus, he is a boy, and it was hurting his boy parts… That is reason enough for me. I want my son to be comfortable!

In conclusion…

I am not going to ask for your opinions on this because frankly, I am just going to follow my own instincts and ignore all of your suggestions anyway.

BUT, I do want to know, what are the funniest things your children have said to you! I want to write a post about the craziest things we hear come out of their tiny mouths.

My personal favorite is, “Mommy, why are people fat?

Super Spotlight, Lindsay Prieksat

Hello, world!

Lindsay P.

Let me introduce you to Lindsay Prieksat. I love meeting other women with the same name as me. Well, I don’t know if it is all in my head, or if we really are all wonderful and awesome! I asked Lindsay, the founder of Just Simply Happenstance, to give us a brief summary and answer a quick Q&A.

So, here’s a little bit of info about Lindsay:Just the Kids

I am a Mama to three cute littles! We have a four-year-old boy, and two baby girls: an 18-month-old and 4 months old. We have our hands full!
My husband and I are both active duty Nebraska Army National Guard. I have been a recruiter for just over five years and I love what I do.
I’ve been in the service for 12 years, and will definitely retire with it!

I started my lifestyle blog officially this year and named it, Just Simply Happenstance. I started blogging two years ago, but couldn’t narrow down anything about it, haha! It was taking me forever to figure out WORDPRESS, photography, what I wanted to write about, etc…Then once I went on my maternity leave with our last baby, Paisley, something just clicked. I felt like I had the need and want to blog. I fell in love with everything about it and suddenly had the confidence to do it! That’s why I went with, Just Simply Happenstance:) Took me a long time, but I made the dive and I’m so excited to continue this crazy journey.

I also do photography part time…when I have the time:)

Being a working mama who has her hands in about everything can be difficult at times, but I’m slowly figuring it out:) My husband is amazing and really helps around the house, so I am blessed to have that help.

Lindsay Prieksat

What made you want to join the National Guard?

I LOVE getting this question asked because the National Guard is my entire life!  Well, when I am not spending time with my hubby and our three crazy littles!  I joined the National Guard when I was just 18 years old and a Senior in High School. As we all know, we have no idea what we want to be at just 18 years old, but we think we do:)
Growing up in a small midwestern town, I have always had a love for our country in more ways than one. Showing pride and believing in our nation was instilled in me through the community, family, and friends.  I just knew I needed to give back in some way, and I fell in love with the mission of the National Guard!
However, I didn’t think it would turn into a career.  In fact, I thought I would get out of the service after doing my initial 6-year enlistment.  But, here I am 12 years later and a full-time recruiter for the organization.  I am so glad I took the plunge at such a young age as it has helped shape my life in such a positive way.

Is the National Guard how you met your husband?

Yes!  We met in 2009 in the Chemical Company and I am so thankful that we both landed in that unit together.  I am beyond blessed that somehow and someway we started dating. We have so much in common, including a love for our country.  The military is a huge part of our lives, and I love that we get to both share some of the same experiences.
It’s great having a spouse who actually knows what you are talking about in all aspects of my job. The military can get confusing at times with the customs and culture that we experience! Having a husband who is also a military member is extremely beneficial with communication for the both of us.

With your life so crazy busy you must have found some way to relax at the end of the day. What do you do to take care of yourself?Just the girls

I LOVE to workout.  Of course, it is difficult to squeeze in a workout, but when I do, it makes me feel so much better. I like doing just about anything active: running, walking, lifting weights, cardio, etc..However, I recently started taking a barre class that I really enjoy!  It’s such a stress reliever!  I’m also a big believer that you will be the best version of yourself when you are healthy and in shape. For me, I’m a much happier and confident individual when I feel good about my body.

You mentioned that your husband is a big help. Does he help cook? If so, what is your favorite thing he can prepare?

I can honestly say he does most of the cooking…score, right? He can cook just about anything, but I am in love with his love of the grill!  Our two older kids and I both love grilled meats and vegetables.  Some of our favorites are chicken and potatoes or pork chops and asparagus.  Our 4 year old just told us the other day that he only likes pork chops with black on them (from the grill). Looks like we must be doing something right! Haha!

What is something about you that always surprises people when they find out?

A lot of times people are surprised that I do photography part time.  I think mainly because I work for the Army National Guard and photography is so different than my full-time job!  It’s fun getting to photograph weddings and family sessions as I get to do something totally different. I’m very passionate about photography, and love being able to do it for more than just a hobby!

If you could spend the day with a famous figure, alive or dead, who would it be?LP Baby

I’m a huge Jackie O fan.  When I was in the fifth grade, I chose to dress up as her for a class activity, and I started admiring her from that point on.  She lived such an interesting and hidden life, and she has always been someone I have loved to learn about. And let’s be honest, her style and elegance was captivating:)

If you enjoyed getting to know Lindsay, then you should check her out her website and Instagram:

www.justsimplyhappenstance.com @lindsayprieksat
Precious moments

As you might have noticed; It’s not Sunday. When I was preparing this spotlight on Lindsay Prieksat I decided that Sundays were not the best days for spotlights. So I am changing the name to Super Spotlights! If you like it, let me know. If you think we should change it, put your suggestions in the comments. For now, you can still find all the spotlights here.