Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Our Voice

We're tired.

All of us, constantly. I hear from moms all the time who are exhausted from the activities, but more than the activities, they are tired from the information, the decisions.

I read an article recently about a mom who is so tired of it all that she's throwing in the towel on research, on finding foods and products that aren't toxic, because "We're all going to die, anyway." It all just makes us feel like nothing is ever good enough. We yearn for the simpler, easier days.

I get it. I quit the news.
It triggered the ever present anxiety already lurking below my surface and I just felt it wasn't beneficial. So I tuned it out and turned it off. Don't get me wrong, I read or listen if something big happens. But, I'm never prepared for the weather, because I never hear the forecast anymore. For me, it's worth the trade off.

When I read this article about the mom who had enough and came to the conclusion that it was too overwhelming to always be finding a better solution, so she gave up...I felt sad.

I was the same not that long ago, though. I was (am) super skeptical about everything. Lots of things smell like conspiracy theories to me.

But, then I started gaining weight unexpectedly and couldn't lose it. And I experienced multiple miscarriages and health issues. And when I started learning from people and sources I trusted, I was appalled and furious to find out there were ingredients in my food, in my household products, in my cosmetics that were linked to infertility, hormone disruption, cancer, allergies, inflammation, and more.

And scientific evidence to back it up. Lots of it.

I was reminded of a quote from Mother Teresa that has always stuck with me. "If you can't feed 100 people, feed just one."



Call it personality or conviction, I'm not sure what it is, but once I know, I can't un-know. I have to do something about the problem I now know about, with the resources I have.
My advocate heart rose up and said, "I can't fix it all. I can't change it all, but I can start by raising my voice and linking arms with others who are raising their voices. And eventually, someone will listen." I believe so strongly that using our voices matters. And I believe it is making a difference.

So I can't stop.

I've heard it compared to car seats. Not that long ago, the rules weren't as strict. Riding in the front seat, forward facing car seats (or no car seat at all) were okay. It wasn't out of negligence, it was just doing the best they could with the information they had. And as time has gone on, we've learned more and better ways to protect our kids from car accidents. So, we take the new information and base decisions off of what we know now.

I believe it's much the same with our products and food. We didn't know.
And unfortunately, I believe, that instead of protecting our health first, the industry has protected their profits first. So, instead of offering options free of harmful ingredients or chemicals that have never been tested for safety, they lost their way. They cut corners because they could, and we didn't know.

But as time goes on, we are learning more. And as we do, we now know better. So, I've chosen to take what I know now and do the best I can with the information I have.

For me, this means speaking up. It means using my vote, both in government and with my dollar to say, "It matters that you aren't putting people above profits. And we deserve better."

So, for the moms out there who just can't anymore. I get it.

And I will keep fighting on your behalf, too.

Just do me a favor, and tell me the weather forecast when you see me. 💗

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Poop

Yes, I'm writing a blog post entitled "Poop".
My daughter ends everything with a bodily function name, lately. "Mommy poop," "Tastes like toots," even at night when we sing before bed she sings, "Jesus loves the little poooop." I know, it's probably sacrilegious, terrible parenting, and poor manners. But, my husband and I can't help but LAUGH!

I have decided in the last few years that perfection is unattainable. Don't get me wrong, I strive for it ALL. THE. TIME.
I would love to be perfect, I'm not going to lie, I imagine it and try for it every day.

The perfect mom whose child eats broccoli and salad at dinner and sits quietly. (HA)


The perfect work at home mom, who wears cute clothes, makeup and showers every day. (No, I did not just workout. This was my outfit for the day.)

The perfect woman, strong, independent, great cook, clean house, exudes fun and confidence, has pinterest worthy crafts every day and juggles it all seamlessly. (I just can't.)

As I've shared before, my life hasn't taken the turns I had written into my plans from when I was younger. It messes with me, a lot! Something a good friend spoke into me was that we are not defined by what we accomplish or do. We are defined by who we are. God's children, made in His image.


His yoke that is light is such a relief to my soul. Maybe my friends' yokes would also be lighter if I didn't try to appear perfect.


Because, let's be real. Some days, I count down the minutes to bedtime. Some days, my grown up living room is covered in toys. Some days, we eat "pantry meals" out of anything I can find because we don't have groceries in the house. Some days, I just want to take a nap and leave the clean laundry in the basket. Some days, we watch more than our fair share of Daniel Tiger.

An excuse to just give up or quit caring about anything? No.

But, this is my only life on this earth with these people (until eternity). And every day I try to remind myself that it doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful. And isn't it? Wonderful?



AMEN. (Poop.)

Friday, May 26, 2017

Ever Wonder?

Ever wonder why things happen like they do? 
Three years ago I was pregnant for the first time. I had no idea what my life would look like in three years. 
I knew I was so sick! (Any other puke every day of the first half of pregnancy people and feel like you were going to the rest of the time?) I had a great plan to have a little girl with a head full of hair that looked just like me. ;) And another great plan to have her sibling by the time she turned two. 
Sometimes our best laid plans don't pan out. I did get a spunky, fun loving daughter full of more joy than she can contain. She still has barely enough hair for a pony tail and runs the house as an only child. Oh, and she's the spitting image of her daddy. 
A blessing in disguise is that through my trials with pregnancy losses after our daughter, I've learned so much about what we eat and what we put on our bodies. 
Did I think we would ever be people who bought organic and checked product labels? Not in a million years. 
But, you don't know what you don't know. 
Now I know how amazing she is with teensy pigtails, laughing out loud, looking just like her daddy. 
And now I know more about what we consume on a daily basis that affects her little body and ours. So I choose the best I can for today and pray for wisdom and grace for whatever the next three years bring. 






Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Coming Out From Hiding

I don't post many pictures of myself online. Does anyone else think they'll start posting pictures after they lose weight or when their hair is fixed...or when they are wearing a bra?
I heard recently that our online presence is a legacy in and of itself for our loved ones after we are gone (or old).

I've had my own legacy hunting adventures, looking for the presence of loved ones after losses I have faced in my life.

So, dear loved ones who are seeing this in the future,
I'll be showing up more in the realest way possible. (I'm sure you'll get your fill of pony tails and yoga pants.)

I hope you see how amazing life is. Even though the days are long, it's going by so quickly. Sometimes things are messy, but I still get glimpses of the beautiful in the middle of the mess.




To leaving a legacy.

Jess