I hope you had a beautiful week. I meant to blog, but life just got in the way! December craziness and all that. :)
First, I want to announce the winner of the oils giveaway.
Congratulations Kim! You can email me at harpersmama8(at)gmail(dot)com and I'll get everything out to Jill for your order!
I can't believe December is pretty much half over. How in the world did that happen? I still have so much to do but I'm feeling a lot more calm about everything. This year I'm not putting expectations on myself. No stress. No guilt. Thinking about what really, truly matters.
Look at this picture! I feel like this was just yesterday. I remember watching them together and thinking how much I loved them. They were babies!
Okay. That's it for today. I know this is really random. I just wanted to say hi!
What are you doing this weekend? Oh- and what are you getting your little ones for Christmas? I'd love to hear your ideas.
Today I'm bringing you something fun from my friend Jill. A while back I was sharing Cate's asthma struggles and Jill told me that she'd been using essential oils to try to combant constant sickies in the fall/winter months.
I've been using the oils (I purchased the starter kit pictured below) for a few months now and I'm really interested in different ways to use them.
When Jill reached out asking if she could do a giveaway on my blog I thought it would be a great opportunity for those of you who are curious to get a chance to try the oils.
Essential oils can be used for so many issues: from headaches to anxiety, sore throats, sleep, stress, cold sores, toothaches, congestion, cough, PMS, indigestion, scars and wrinkles - even smelly laundry and cleaning!
Here's a great video that explain more about how essential oils work in the body.
How do I use oils in my house? Well, let me be honest about a couple of things. I don't know that much about the uses. I have a great book that Jill sent me, and the Internet is full of information (I've pinned SO many ideas), but I just haven't had time to really research this. I have just learned the tip of a very large iceberg!
I diffuse the allergy trio (what we are giving away below!!) in Cate and Lucy's room every night. It smells SO good. I rub Cedarwood onto the girls when they are having sleep problems. I use RC with Grapeseed Oil on Cate. We diffuse Thieves oil quite often.
It is to be determined if these help. It seems like they do! But I figure they can't hurt. I don't want to have another year full of ER visits and steroids. I'm using the oils in conjunction with a medical regimen from Cate's pediatrician (Flovent,Cingulair,etc). The coughing in my house is way better. The girls love to help me select the oils and apply them. The ritual, in itself, is so relaxing.
And the oils smell heavenly. And they are all natural. I have a friend that has been swearing by these for YEARS. Way before they became popular. I just think the whole concept is so interesting!
Young Living has a premium starter kit that includes 11 different essential oils, some sample packets plus a diffuser. There are several ways to use essential oils: aromatically (diffuser or inhaling), topically (rubbing into the feet or parts of the body) and some use oils that generally regarded as food safe internally (examples: citrus oils like Lemon, Lime, Orange and Peppermint). When you purchase a starter kit, you become a wholesale member and can purchase oils/products at 24%. For more info, click HERE.
Jill Cornell is hosting an online Essential Oils 101 class with her team on Thursday, December 11th at 8:00 p.m. CST. If you would like to learn more information in a fun, no-pressure way please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will get you invited to the class on Facebook.
Today, we're giving away three 5 ml bottles of essential oils - Lemon, Lavender and Peppermint. These oils used together can make a difference for allergy sufferers and alone, they have so many different uses - stress, bloating, dry skin, cuts, fevers, sunburn, bloating, cleaning, energy, stomach upset, colds, etc.
Please leave a comment (international entries welcome) and we'll choose a random winner next Friday, December 12th.
For a second chance to win, Jill is also giving a 5 ml bottle of Thieves on her blog if you would like to stop by to enter!
As I sit here thinking of what to write, what to tell you...I find myself at a loss for words. There's just no way to explain this book.
I will tell you this. It's not an easy read. It's not light. I had to put this book down, close it, and cry several times.
If you have ever said Thank you for your service! to a member of the military, then this book will explain to you what you are thanking them for. The demons they fight when they come home, the horrors they face.
This book isn't for the faint of heart. It talks about PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, high suicide rates in veterans.
I believe that everyone needs to read this book.
I won't forget it as long as I live. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to read, but I needed to read it. I highlighted many, many passages and this book will be one I hold on to and reference for years and years.
It's easy to live in a pretty bubble and pretend like everyone is okay and like things are over once they come home. That's not true for anyone. These men and women need our HELP. They need more than our words and our platitudes.
I'll stop here, before I start rambling. Just wanted to share this with you all.
The day I first saw them on the ultrasound screen I couldn't really focus on their hearts beating or the blobs on the screen.
I was shaking so hard that the entire exam table was shaking. Clattering. I was grinning but I had tears streaming down my face. And they were tears of shock.
Not Jimmy. He had the biggest ear to ear grin I'd ever seen. A grin of pure joy.
For about 24 hours I couldn't really talk to anyone, I was still shaking. Twins? Four children?
Let's be honest. Four years later...I might still be in shock. HA!
But I got over the fear and read everything I could get my hands on. We bought 2 pack and plays, a double nursing pillow, boxes and boxes of diapers, binkies in 2 different colors, bottles galore...and prayed. Prayed that my pregnancy would be a healthy and safe one. And it was.
We prayed that they would stay in my belly for as long as possible. And they did. 36 weeks.
And the first year was a BLUR. Seriously...I look at photos from the first year and I don't even remember being there. I'm not exaggerating. J was gone for most of the time and the first year was a frenzy of feeding and burping and swaddling and rocking and spit up and SO MUCH POOP and ...truthfully...lots of crying. From them and from me. And from Harper and Sadie.
From the moment they were born they have stolen our hearts. They have changed our lives and our family in so many ways. Some we could have imagined and so many that we never in a million years could have suspected.
And today they are four.
We are so in love with them. They fill this home with pure joy.
I am in awe of the way that God shaped our lives in a way that we never could have seen. He had bigger and better plans than any we had.
This life is so full. Full of laughter and screaming and hair elastics and Barbie shoes and love. It's so full of love.