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?

My 2018 New Year’s Resolution, and How I Plan to Stick to it!

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution?

I sure did! This year I decided to mix it up a little and do the same resolution I always do… With a little spin!

I promise I mixed it up slightly…

My New Year’s resolution is:

To treat my body better!

Yup, every year I tell myself I am going to “Be Healthier”, “Lose Weight”, “Exercise More”, Etc. Etc. Blah, Blah, Blah! Every year I do great for like a minute, or even half the year! But this year is different!

I simply, want to treat my body better

There is more to this than eating healthy and working out. For example, one of my goals is to wash my face every night before I go to bed. I also want to use lotion more and keep my skin hydrated.

So how do I plan on sticking to this?

Well for one, I have a community to help me stick to it. That’s all of you! I also like to make short term and long term goals with rewards for meeting those goals. Rewards don’t always work for everyone, but it gives me something to look forward too!

For example:

I am going to pick 3 goals to work on every month, with the end goal of treating my body better. My goals for January are:

  1. Wash my face every night.
    1. If I wash my face every night before bed, after 30 days I am going to treat myself to a relaxing facial!
  2. Drink 64oz or more of water every single day.
    1. If I am able to do this for 30 days, I am going to treat myself to a wonderful full body massage!
  3. Read daily!
    1. This is the reward in itself! I love to read, it relaxes me. Reading strengthens the mind and offers some sort of peace to the crazy days!

How am I going to keep myself accountable?

I plan on tracking everything in a journal, or a planner of sorts. That way I can keep track and make sure I am following up every day! The goal is that after 30 days, these will become a habit and I can continue them with ease.

I also plan to leaning on my friends and family, like YOU! In return, I hope that you lean on me for help as well. I plan on writing more about your needs and the things you want help with and the things you are interested in.

Leave me a comment below of what you would like to see next!

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?

15 Names to Consider when Naming your Baby

There are hundreds and hundreds of blog posts out there about what you should name your baby.Henry and Homer

It’s a really big decision to make! I remember when I was trying to look up what to name my son, we were overwhelmed with the number of names there are out there. It was important to us that it was unique and special. We thought about family names, names without nicknames, names of famous people, etc.

One thing that helped us in picking a name was the yelling test.

Henry namesI like to make sure the name flows when I yell it. It just sounds nice, and let’s be honest, you will probably yell it a lot! Even though my kid is turning four in just a couple weeks! Oh. My. Gosh! I like to keep a running log of cool names. You know, just in case.. So instead of 50 most popular girl names, or 20 old Victorian names, or 100 names starting with the letter M; I am just going to give you a list of names that I like.

This list started when I found a name that I truly loved, and didn’t want to forget. I won’t tell you which one, but it was the name that started it all. Since then, I just started a list of interesting names that I have come across in my travels that are unique to me, but not totally off the wall!

So here it goes, in no specific order, here is a list of 15 baby GIRL names you should consider:

  1. Evee
  2. Caroline
  3. Amelia
  4. Audrey
  5. Sophie
  6. Elenore
  7. Hazel
  8. Shayne
  9. Raleigh
  10. Daisy
  11. Rose
  12. Ruby
  13. Penelope
  14. Margo
  15. Georgia

Now for the BOYS:

  1. Killean
  2. Montgomery
  3. Que
  4. Ender
  5. Hyrum
  6. Nikko
  7. Oliver
  8. Henry
  9. Monte
  10. Nicholas
  11. Kyler
  12. Rocky
  13. Finn
  14. Darlington
  15. Sebastion

Baby Feet

I hope you found this somewhat helpful! If you didn’t, well, I’m sorry. I hope you enjoyed some awesome throwback pictures of my little man. You might see a lot of those in the next couple weeks with his B-Day coming up! If you want to see more fun posts, check out my #realmomlife category!

Also, I would much appreciate it if you when to my Pinterest page and shared this pin!15 names

 

Sunday Spotlight, Jackie Hauer

HAPPY SUNDAY!

Welcome back my friends! Today I am so excited to tell you about another fellow blogger I have met. Her name is Jackie Hauer. Jackie is the creator and content curator of Haute Mess Life. When starting this process I got so excited when I started to get to know her better. Her website is so cute and exactly what I needed. She blogs about life, fitness, and style. She has a unique style that just draws me in. Here, why don’t you find out more for yourself.

Meet Jackie Hauer!

Haute Mess LifeI married my husband in 2005, a year and a half after we met at church. In 2007, we got pregnant with our first baby, who was born in July, more
than 12 weeks shy of his October due date. The pregnancy was tough, but it was nothing compared to the following 98 days in the NICU, with several surgeries and multiple close calls where we were told to round up the family to say their goodbyes. Thankfully, God had different plans and our boy made it. We were sent home with a long list of “he will never” statements, but armed with hope we set out to pray and work them away, one by one.
A year after that, we got pregnant with our second, and even though we had been assured that what happened with the first was not likely to reoccur, it did– so another hard pregnancy, with lots of Mess, miscarriage scares, and bed rest later, our second son was born.Boys will be boys
Flash forward to today,
we are raising 2 boys with a genetic condition who are also on the Autism spectrum, but are doing much better than any doctor could have imagined. They are all things wonderful, amazing, challenging, adorable, smart, strong-willed, and crazy rolled into one, and even though life is hard at times, I wouldn’t change any the wild ride they’ve taken us on or how we have been changed for the better as a result of being their parents.Family life
For the past 12 years I have owned and run an event planning company focused on weddings, which I launched in 2005. In addition to that, I recently launched a site aimed at women who are equal parts fashionista and train wreck, navigating life somewhere in between… balancing work demands, family life and relationships, while still trying to carve a little bit of time for self-care into their hectic days.
 Speaking of self-care, one of the things I write about is fitness, mainly because of my own health journey where I lost 130 pounds and went from a size 22 to a 4 in a year. I blogged about it here, if you want more info: http://www.hautemesslife.com/177-2/Weight loss
I hope you enjoyed meeting Jackie as much as I did! If you wish to know more about her, check out these links below! Want to read more spotlights? Click here! If YOU want to be spotlighted, click here.

Thank you, Lovelies!

Sunday Spotlight, Kourtney Bond

Welcome to another Sunday Spotlight! Today, I present to you Bond, Kourtney Bond!

Ha she might kill me for that one, but I had too! I work with Kourtney, and that is how we met. This girl has an incredible story. When I first met her, I envied her life. She is pretty, upbeat, outgoing, has a great husband, smart, etc. From an outsider looking in, her life looked perfect! I started to get to know her and soon realized that she was SO much more! Kourtney’s life has been anything but easy! She worked really hard for what she has today, and that is the true accomplishment! Another thing I love about her, is that she is open and willing to share her story, because she truly believes that it could help someone else.

So, enough lollygagging, here is Kourtney’s story!

Kourtney
Well, I have grown up in South Ogden all my life! I got married about 4 years ago, seriously we are best friends! We love to be outside!! Skiing, hiking, biking… we love adventures! We also love to travel!! We try to take one big trip a year! Last year we went to Kauai, and we almost never came home! It’s by far our favorite place to go! I came home and have applied for job there ever since? seriously if the right one became available I wouldn’t hesitate to move there!
After returning home from Hawaii our life changed dramatically. After a 2 1/2 year battle with infertility, and several miscarriages we found out we were pregnant again with our little boy Bode.
Since this week is National Infertility Awareness Month I thought I would open up and share our struggle with a year and a half battle of reoccurring miscarriages, one right after another. Every loss was devastating, and it was so difficult to keep trying. After loosing our little girl Hope (2nd miscarriage) in our second trimester I didn’t want to try again. It took us a while to get back to having the courage to try again.
We experienced one more early loss before finding the perfect OBGYN to help us get Bode here. After countless labs, A LOT of progesterone, some bed rest and weekly visits to either our OB or the our high risk perinatal doctor IT WAS DELIVERY DAY! Our little guy made it safe and sound! He is 5 month old this month and this is life as we know it, everything is different, and hard and wonderful and I wouldn’t change a thing! Being a mom is truly not meant for the weak, it’s a never ending job!!
After pregnancy I quickly found myself dealing with some sever Postpartum depression.
For a long time is was very debilitating, some days it still is. I hope by sharing this anyone who is dealing with the same thing can realize it’s OK, it’s normal, you can get through it but to get help! I went to a new doctor that specializes in hormones and finding the root cause of your anxiety or and other health problems.
After a few visits, tests and labs we found the answer not only to my PPD but to the infertility and reoccurring miscarriages. I was diagnosed with Graves Disease and with Hyperthyroidism. Making a successful pregnancy almost impossible. Since receiving treatment for these I have felt SO much better! And I realize just how big of a miracle it was to be able to have a healthy, happy BABY!! Hopefully we will be able to manage and control this disease and in a few years be able to try again to give Bode a brother or sister!
On my journey through PPD and being a new mamma getting ready and taking care of myself was something I didn’t even want to do, and didn’t have the time to do either.
My friend introduced some quick Mommy Makeup!!
It has saved my appearance ? without it I would have nothing on my face and actually look like I’m sleep deprived and tired ALL the time!! It’s called Maskcara Cosmetics and it has changed not only my morning routine but has boosted my confidence completely! It has been that “something” just for me!
Maskcara
After using the product and loving it I wanted to share it with other busy women! I joined the Maskcara Beauty family in February and I love the sisterhood that came with it, the flexible schedule it provides and the residual income that has helped pay more than half of our mortgage within the first month. Our owner and our team leads are so uplifting, friendly and very helpful! Being apart of this has helped me gain my confidence back, plus helped me feel like ME again, which i think many women loose when they become a new mom.
So easy, kids can do it!

I am so excited to see where this new chapter in our little families life will take us.

I am so grateful for our journey, even the heartbreak that has led us to where we are today. Struggles, losses and hard times definitely change you, and transform you into a better person. -Kourtney Bond Click To Tweet They can do one of two things, destroy you and make you miserable or as you go through them if you have faith and hope, you will come out stronger, learn lessons, gain friends and will lead you to a place in life you didn’t know you even needed to be!

#realmomlife

Moms like Kourtney really make it easy to see that not every pregnancy is easy, or picture perfect. Life can be hard, but it’s what you do to handle the stress that defines you. It’s important to always look up. Always look on the bright side. Thank you Kourtney for sharing your story with the Real Mom Blogs community!

Now, if any of you are interested in Maskcara, let me or Kourtney know! We are going to be doing a live video chat sometime (hopefully in the near future) on the Real Mom Blogs Facebook page. So make sure you go “like” us, and follow so you don’t miss it! We will both be talking about our experiences with Maskcara and how it works differently for every person. There will most likely be a demo, to show you all how quick and easy it is too!

But wait, there’s more!

In the mean time, go check out Kourtney’s Instagram!

Read more Sunday Spotlight’s here. If you know of anyone you want me to spotlight, even if it’s YOU, please contact me. You can find all that info here! Don’t forget to like and Share! Sharing is caring!