This Day, Take 2

Today was not my day. No amount of Spearmint and Stress Away could save this day. It’s Monday, so that speaks for itself. I got to work and my phone and computer wouldn’t connect to the internet and therefore the system. No one else was having an issue. Imagine that. Both run off the internet, which is persnickety on a good day. (That’s southern for very difficult x 10). I eventually realized my phone was being an idiot and bypassed it so I could at least get in the system. In the meantime, my visitor arrived. For those that don’t know, my job is loan administration, which basically means I oversee loan operations. And that means sometimes you have people come in to make sure you are doing your job right. Usually it’s stressful, but that’s normal. Add in no phone and no boss and life gets less fun. Luckily his computer worked. Once I had him settled, I went back to working on my stupid phone. After emailing to let people know I had no phone on a day I could really use a phone, I fiddled with it until I considered throwing it through my office window and jumping from the second floor to freedom. It was awesome. In the midst of this, lunch arrived. What could go wrong? Hold on and let me tell you. After waiting 45 minutes, still no lunch. It was a burger and fries, not a four course meal. Turns out my order was placed as a to-go, so it was sitting in the back getting cold the whole time I sat trying to be patient. That’ll teach me. No good deed goes unpunished. You’ve probably heard me say that. Because it’s TRUE and I’m a truthsayer. At least I got it free. Someone asked how it was and I told them it wasn’t half bad for a cold burger and fries. Not exactly the hot burger and fries I expected, but I made it work. I came back and worked on what I now will forever refer to as “my idiot phone” to no avail. I gave up and decided phones are for losers anyway. And I’m a winner. Eventually the day came to an uneventful end and here I am. In my recliner reminiscing. I think I’ll leave my office phone off the hook forever. It was actually quite peaceful looking back. On to Monday, part 2. Deliver me Lord.

Welcome to the Unknown

If you’re a medical professional, I’m going to go ahead and suggest you skip this one.

So. This isn’t going to be funny or profound. It’s mostly me venting and feeling sorry for myself. So you’ve been warned.

If you are one of those fortunate people who go to a doctor with a problem and get a diagnosis, you won’t understand this one. I bet you didn’t even know there was a different way. But there is. I am one of those people that leaves the doctor’s office frustrated and often crying. Today is one of those days. You see, it doesn’t matter what I go for, cold, weird pain, rash, etc., I rarely get an answer. I get a ton of “I don’t see anything” and “I’m sorry, come back if you have another symptom,” but very few answers. It is unhelpful at best and soul crushing at worst. Today I went to a doctor I love. She is my favorite of all of them. But today she got to tell me she doesn’t know what’s causing my issue. There is nothing there. So what the hell is it? Is it really just in my head? I like to think I’m not that crazy, but am I? Honestly, appointments like this make me question my sanity on top of everything else.

This is pretty much constant in my life, except a lot of times I don’t like the doctor so I don’t go so peacefully. Ask the rheumatologist at Vanderbilt who basically dismissed me, so I insisted he test me, and he later had to call and tell me I am developing a very rare autoimmune disease. Moron. Just because I don’t look sick and don’t have the symptoms you are accustomed to, doesn’t mean you get to dismiss me. That day I was in no mood to be casually dismissed by a kid doctor. He will never see me again, though I’m sure he would love to study me. My endocrinologist is a genius as far as I’m concerned. He gave me my son. When he told me they had exhausted their vast resources and were out of options, it was hard to take. It’s hard to take when you are having trouble breathing and actually break down and go to the ER and are told there’s nothing there causing it. This is my experience with the medical world.

So again, you are truly blessed if you can go to the doctor and come out feeling relieved or even terrified. At least you have something to fight. I exit, call my husband or mom, and cry in frustration. I have to remind myself that doctors absolutely don’t know everything and there are things even they have never seen. But it is very hard. Especially when you sit here still having the same problem, trying to decide if it’s real or not.

If you have never experienced this, I pray you never do. It sucks. Does it do any good to tell you this? Nope. Do I feel better? Nope. Is there a point? Not really. Welcome to my frustrating world.

Busy times

I know I’ve been missing for a while, but I will be back in full swing shortly. School has started and my little one is in Kindergarten, which he loves. Just getting a routine in place is going to be a nightmare. I finally got rid of my stupid boot. I am a free woman…mostly. Next weekend is our community tractor and truck pull. My husband and his friend insist on building practically new trucks every year. New as in new parts. The trucks are definitely not new. (Shout out to #bearcreekbeaters! ) This event takes him away for most nights for a few months and throws everything out of whack. I can’t wait until it’s here (and gone). My business has steadily increased, which is awesome. My friend and I had an essential oils class Saturday and I have another today. That is nerve wracking as a newbie. This is my wild week at work and next week doesn’t look much better.

To say things are chaotic is a tiny bit of an understatement. But these are exciting times for my family and I can’t wait to share all of the adventures, and misadventures, along the way. Hang on. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Go team!

I honestly think my favorite part of this whole oily journey is sharing and then watching those people share the love. I love building a team and encouraging them to do the same. I love helping them achieve goals. Of all the things Young Living has done for me, I think my team is my favorite. This company encourages you to build strong bonds and share everything you know. Not competing. Not hiding your secrets. Everyone benefits from team success. I never thought that would appeal to me. People skills are not really high in my list of qualities and I work fairly well as a team of one. I went from thinking of network marketing as the devil to be avoided, to realizing it’s about teamwork and helping other people succeed. And it turns out I really like that. Who knew.

This Oily Life

Since I started this journey, I’ve had multiple people say I seem happier. I don’t know if it’s the oils themselves or just the change in focus. The running joke is I told a friend one day in conversation that I liked talking to people. That is out of the ordinary for me. A lot. And everyone she tells laughs. A lot. I think it’s that I finally have something worthwhile to say and I feel a passion to share it. I literally hear myself getting excited when I’m talking to someone about Young Living. I feel like I can help people improve their life and I want to do that.

I honestly hadn’t noticed how much I had started using Young Living products personally. I don’t have a huge supply at this point. Mainly oils from the premium starter kit and a few other things I’ve purchased. I had a friend ask me a few days ago how and what I was using that I felt was helping me. When I started telling her, I realized how much my family uses them.

I wake up and wash my face with Mirrah cleansing oil or a charcoal bar. (I love that cleansing oil, by the way.) I use Cedarwood mint soap or Morning Start bath gel and lavender conditioner. I get out and use Progessence Plus serum on my face, Stress Away in my lotion and Thieves oil on the bottoms of my feet for immune support. I use Thieves on my little one who is starting school, too. Last fall and spring were rough on us. We hope to avoid that this year. I’ve also made my own lip balm, hand salve, foaming soap, and foot cream. At night I diffuse lavender in my room and spray Seedlings spray on my pillow. On restless nights, I diffuse Sleepyize in my little one’s room. I diffuse daily at home and work, rotating through different blends. My husband uses a Panaway mix every night on tired, sore muscles. I’ve treated bug bites and stings, cuts and scrapes, and pimples and who knows what else. I mean seriously, I’m using them more than I even realized. And they help my family. Is this a miracle solution? Of course not. Do I look crazy to you? Don’t answer that. We still take our prescriptions and have our recommended check ups. This is simply a way to naturally support what we are already doing to maintain our health.

I’m also using products with synthetic fragrance as little as possible. I just can’t make myself go back to it knowing it could be screwing with my health. I’m checking labels on everything. Also not me. My husband will tell you he’s having trouble reconciling this Katie with the Katie he’s known for 17 years. He’s happy that I’m happy, but that doesn’t make it any less unusual. I get that. But I maintain this is just a happier, healthier version of me. Still the same mean me, but maybe a tiny bit nicer. You can thank Young Living for that.

It Is Well

It really isn’t. If I’m honest with you and myself, it just isn’t. I would love to give you some really impressive motivational speech. But I can’t, because I’m not feeling it either.

Have you ever wanted something so badly and for so long that it consumes you? I have. In my teenage years I always imagined a house full of kids when I “grew up”. But it was not meant to be for me. After many years of heartache, we finally did in vitro fertilization (IVF) to have my beautiful little son. Prior to that I had done a lot of things trying to make this particular dream come true. Many, many things that I never thought I would allow my body to go through. In a way, IVF was a relief. I knew it was going to be intense going in. No surprise there. There was a set process and I knew it was going to suck. I spent a lot of time on the road (I live about two and a half hours from my doctor), taking shots in parking lots and sitting in rush hour traffic after leaving home at 4:30 a.m., sometimes twice a week. Looking back, it seems unreal that I went through that. But I have my son to show for the hard work, so it was fulfilling.

Most people don’t know, but we tried again a few years ago. I spent six months in what I can only describe as pure hell. Hopes up, hopes crushed. Hopes up, hopes crushed. My body would not cooperate like it did the first time. My nurse literally told me they didn’t know what else to do. After all that work, my doctor recommended we give it a try and pray for the best. Those that know me don’t see a kid walking around, so you know how that one went. Not only is IVF an emotional journey, it’s a financial one. To spend that kind of money for heartbreak is another level of misery.

People seem to think that once you have your miracle baby, you should be satisfied and content. And I guess a lot of people are. I am not. I want a brother or sister for my son. I want the chance to have a normal, uneventful pregnancy and delivery. The memory of my last delivery and first month of mommyhood are not pleasant. I guess I should be happy I even have a child, lots of people never do. I know that. But that’s not how it is, so that’s not how I feel.

When you struggle with infertility, you try to remain level at all times. Never get your hopes up. You pray, beg, cry and beg some more sometimes, but never get excited. You keep secrets from your spouse, because you don’t want to disappoint both of you. You lie to yourself to keep your excitement down. Never get your hopes up. Never. I made that mistake recently. I let myself believe for just a second. Just a second. The devastation never gets easier apparently. On top of the disappointment, you’re mad at yourself for being so stupid. I know my issues. I know how miraculous it would have to be to get pregnant without intervention. But I see it happen for others, so why not me?

So. It is not well with my soul right now. I’m trying. I’ve poured out my heart to God and cried hysterically while my sweet husband held me. It simply never gets easier. Fortunately I have my essential oils endeavor to occupy my mind when I have free time. But it still hurts. It hurts every time I see a baby. It hurts every time I hear someone say, “We were so surprised! We didn’t even want another baby!” It hurts every time I see a story of abuse or neglect. It just hurts. Over and over. These days I pray God will take the desire from me. Just take it. The relief of not wanting something I can’t have would be tremendous. I think I would be a totally different person. But it’s still there. I have to make myself stop hoping, because why would God give me a desire he doesn’t intend to fulfill? That seems cruel. But there it is.

I don’t know why I had to get this out. Maybe it will help me, but I doubt it. More likely it will help one of you. Which is wonderful. The only thing I see that has come out of all this is I have been able to talk to other people first hand about my struggle. When I did IVF, I didn’t know anyone else who had done it. I scoured the internet for support groups and information. I kept the whole process a secret. I was almost ashamed I had to go to such lengths. Now I can encourage other people and explain the process. I can empathize. I can encourage. With all of my issues, if I can get pregnant, anyone can. The options are absolutely endless for them. Me, not so much. But I think of all I’ve done and know that I did all I could. It just wasn’t meant to be. And I am afraid I will struggle forever trying to make it well with my soul.

I Have the Best

When I first saw my best friend, my immediate thought was, “Is this chick for real?”, followed quickly by, “Yeah, we can’t hang out.” I was about two days into a new job at a bank, something I has never done before. If you haven’t done it, a lot of times they train you as a teller first before you do another job so that you understand how everything works. Anyway, I was training with the lady in the drive thru and this chick in stilettos and full make-up walks in to show her the scrapbook she was working on… Just take that all in for a second. Even now I sometimes refer to her as bunny in my head (as in playboy). For those who don’t know, I’m almost 40. I don’t wear any make-up, even now, and I guarantee I’ve never worn high heels. I wasn’t sure who she was, but I didn’t really care, short of an odd fascination that someone like this even existed out in the middle of nowhere.

When I eventually moved into the loan department, we spent all day, every day together. It was quickly apparently that her outside did not exactly match what I assumed was inside. For one thing, she is probably the nicest person I have ever met. She takes mother hen to a whole new level. Which is funny, because she would also “cut a b#$ch”, if you know what I mean. I swear we are long lost sisters. I tell her all the time she’s every 14-year-old boy’s dream girl – she is bunny on the outside, cooks and cleans like Martha, and laughs at fart jokes like a loon. She’s the best.

I think the most fascinating thing about her though isn’t any of that. It’s that this beautiful, talented girl is so insecure. You always think beautiful people are pompous and sure of themselves. She thinks she’s fat, for one thing. She’s not, but surprise surprise, someone who should be nice to her continually asks about her weight. She thinks she is stupid. She is not, but people see her pretty outside and make assumptions, much like I did. And then they speak and act on those assumptions and she takes it. If you only took the time to glance her way, you’d never know that she’s so nice. I had no clue. Unlike me, who says whatever I think and prepares to face consequences with a smile on my face, my bestie thinks before she speaks (even when she’s super mad). Will this upset my boss? Will this upset their family? Will it upset my family? Will people think I’m awful? And on she goes. It’s funny to hear my suggestions versus her worries. What gets me the most is that people take cheap shots at her continually. Things people would never, and I mean never, say to me, they say to her. Ugly things. Nosey things. Judgemental things. And she takes it with a smile, because she doesn’t want to upset them or make it more awkward. Whatever that is, I don’t have it. By nature I am protective and nothing makes me madder than seeing her sit there while people ask, in the middle of the bank lobby no less, things that are none of their business. They know she won’t say anything. They know she couldn’t in that place, even if she wanted to. I, however, will. Fair warning. I will not stand quietly by knowing someone upset her on purpose. I may or may not be quiet about it, but you will know you’ve crossed the line.

Like all best friends, we even each other out. We mostly keep each other level when we need it, but there are times where we are both mad and have to remember we don’t think we would like jail. Luckily for the world in general, it’s rare to catch us both having a bad day.

We no longer work in the same branch, which sucks. And I broke my foot, so we couldn’t go walk in the afternoon like we wanted. She is dealing with some things no one person should have to and that limits her free time anyway. But through it all, we are long lost sisters. I call, she starts offering help. She calls, I start offering bail money. Kidding. Kidding. I love this girl more than she will ever understand and will step up to bat for her any day. And I know she will do the same. No questions asked. I may or may not have questions.

I’m going to end with a funny. I was working the drive thru one Saturday. I was in the second window, which usually means you aren’t busy. The normal drive thru lady was in the first window so I rarely paid attention. I might glance and smile, but in my head I was already home. A girl drives up and is doing her business. I glance over, smile, and go back to la la land. At some point I recognize the vehicle as my best friend’s. But I had not recognized her – she had no make-up on!! By this point she has already decided I’m ashamed to acknowledge her. Keep in mind the three of us work together daily. By the time I realizewho she is, she is not happy with me. Snippy and cold does not begin to describe the reception I received when I started trying to talk to her. We have laughed and laughed because I didn’t recognize the real her! I look at people a little closer now!

Smells Like Trouble

I love that one popular store in the mall. No, not Victoria’s Secret, the other one. The one with all the smellies and lotions and soaps, oh my! I seriously love it. I love my plug-ins that keep my house from smelling like dogs live here. I mean they do, but does that really need to be obvious when I open my door? I’m at a crossroads and I’m kindof in a panic.

I’ve been with Young Living long enough to see the articles and hear people speak about the atrocities of *gasp!* store bought products with, wait for it, fragrance in them. I’m like, “Seriously, if they were dangerous the FDA wouldn’t let companies keep selling products.” There would be news stories and class action suits on every major news outlet. I’m a logical soul like that. I thought, “This is a scare tactic and I hate those.” I mean I hate companies scaring people for profit. I could agree that we needed to go more natural for our well being. I’m with that. But fragrance is evil? Really?

Y’all. Have you ever Googled anything about fragrances in personal care products? Try “Are synthetic fragrances safe (or dangerous)?” Immediate response. And it is scary. And well researched. There are groups specifically lobbying for changes to perfumes and cosmetics. There are lists of the worst offenders. Oh, and they are getting by the FDA with a loophole. Those are always good for us, right? Every time I hear “loophole” I cringe. See at one time, back when these companies were using actual plant extracts, they had protected trade secrets in relation to those plants and extracts. They said “trade secret” and the FDA said, “Go forth and prosper,” or something like that. But times have changed. Now the scents are made with chemical combinations instead of actual natural product. And some unscented products are unscented because chemical are added to cover the scent of other chemicals. What in the world is going on? Studies indicate there are more than (that’s more than) 3000 hidden chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products. If you see the word “fragrance” on a label, that’s bad. As in it may be killing you bad. Because that’s code for “I’m not telling you what makes this smell awesome because I’m scared you will freak out and quit buying my stuff.” Petroleum is the source of one of the main secret ingredients. Yep.

I am struggling. I think, “I can’t throw all this stuff out!” I’m not a millionaire and I had just started stockpiling. I bought shelves and started filling them! The struggle is really real!! But can I keep exposing us knowing full well these chemicals cause cancer, infertility and all kinds of awful things? I have a family history that already has me set up for some doozies. I don’t need to help genetics along. I have a little innocent kid that I make decisions for. I’m not sure I can stand to use his soap on him now. And I am pretty far away from all natural and organic all the way. We use paper towels, disposable everything and drive gas guzzling monster trucks. And organic?Organic actually makes me laugh, but that’s because I know. I know what qualifies as organic in stores and it’s not always what you think you’re paying for. But I digress. The point is, if this freaks me out, other people should be screaming in the streets. For. Real.

I say all that to say this, take some time and look, really look, at the labels in your house. See how many list generic “fragrance.” You can’t claim ignorance now. That’s my problem. I want to use my smelly soap and lotion. It makes me feel pretty. But I literally can’t make myself use it now.

So pray for me. Because I’m a little panicky. So much to do. So much to switch out. I know for me it has to be a gradual process because, let’s face it, toxic is cheap and natural is not. But man, I’m thinking it’s worth it. And I feel like it’s my duty as a caring human being to share this information with you.

Find a company you trust. Like today. You know for me it’s Young Living and I encourage you to check them out. But to each his own. Find a company and start making the switch. You don’t have to do it all at once. Switch out as you run out. (I may put that on a t-shirt!) But make the switch. It’s worth it.

Blessed Silence

I miss the quiet almost as much as I miss sleep. Two long lost friends. Remember when you could quietly read a book? Or just sit? Or go the bathroom? Or shower? Those were the days. We thought we would miss our wild days when we had kids, but alas, I miss sleep and quiet most of all.

My son had delayed speech. He didn’t even say “mama” until after he went through speech therapy at 2. I was so afraid then that he might never speak or speak clearly. I should not have worried. He now starts talking when he wakes up and doesn’t stop talking until he passes out at night. And he talks in his sleep some nights. He does not get that from us. My husband and I once drove 6 hours home from the beach in silence. No radio. No anything. It was glorious.

Tonight I actually found myself begging him to stop talking for just a few minutes while we drove 20 minutes home. Mommy, the introvert, was overstimulated by all the questions and random statements. Thankfully he and his daddy just went on a little outing and it is mostly quiet for a few minutes. Except for Freight Train, of course. He may not be talking, but he is never quiet.

It always amazes me that although he drives me crazy on a daily basis, it is way too quiet when he’s not around. Apparently I’ve adjusted to the noise. I look at him continually and think, “I would never survive two of you with my sanity.” Seriously. How do people with multiple kids keep it together? They’re the true heros.

And he’s really smart. This isn’t gibberish or baby subjects. He isn’t spouting nonsense. His vocabulary and knowledge sometimes catch me off guard. He uses really big words and in context. Some words are weird coming out of the mouth of a 4 year old. Tonight he keeps talking about things going viral. He was going to take a picture and then it would go viral. He saw something and now it was going viral. Viral is the word of the day. The Disney Channel isn’t just Mickey Mouse Clubhouse anymore it seems. Either that or his 90 year old grandmother is really hip and with it and things we don’t know about go on during the day.

He wears me out just listening to him. Much less watching him move continually while jabbering nonstop. Oh, to have one tenth of his energy. Nevermind, I couldn’t survive that kind of tired.

But for now, it’s just me and the furry children. No sound on the TV. Just the continuous sound of nails on the hardwood as Scout paces waiting on his buddy to get back. And then there will be talking, running and barking until one if them passes out. Wish us luck.

Why “Essential” Oils?

These days everyone has seen or heard of essential oils. They are sold all over the place in a wide range of prices. But what are they and what is the price difference all about??

Essential oils are the lifeblood of the plants (trees, shrubs, seeds, etc.) from which they are extracted. They are essential to the growth and survival of the plant itself. For centuries man has taken the leaves and blooms of a plant, dried them, and used them in poultices and teas to help ease conditions and support a healthy body. Essential oils serve the same purpose, except they can be from 100 to 10,000 times more concentrated. This isn’t a new concept either. You can find references to oils in ancient Egypt, Greece, Italy and all through the bible.

So what’s the difference in different companies and prices? Oils have to be “harvested” from the plants in order to be usable by us in those convenient little bottles. There are fast ways and right ways. Correct ways take more time. They take years of experience and research to know the best way to harvest the oil and the peak time for harvesting to get the grade of oil required. It takes a great deal of time and effort to produce pure, therapeutic grade oils. It can’t be mass produced to lower the price of the harvest either, if done correctly. You can use two or three drops in place of sometimes 10 drops of a generic oil. And they are not therapeutic themselves, which means even if the oil can support your body, it isn’t strong enough to do that. That makes up a great deal of the price difference. In addition, essential oils are not regulated by the FDA. Meaning, if the bottle has at least 10% oil, it can be labeled 100%. Organic, natural, all those things are advertising and not backed up by anything in most companies. Companies can make their supply go a lot farther and make more profit overall by “extending” their oils, but that is not helping their customers.

So what does all this mean? I can’t speak for those other companies, but I can speak for Young Living. When you purchase a bottle of Young Living oil you can be confident that the bottle is 100% oil. It was grown on a farm that is the natural, perfect environment for it to thrive. That farm follows strict protocol put in place by Young Living. The oil itself is tested in a lab to guarantee the quality meets Young Living standards. Young Living also employs third parties to test their oils periodically to insure their quality. This is called the Seed to Seal process and is copyrighted by Young Living. They are the only ones doing it. Although essential oils are not regulated by the FDA, Young Living has put their own rules and standards in place to assure you that you are getting what you pay for.

Gary Young founded Young Living 25 years ago. He did intensive research and studies abroad to learn the perfect process for producing therapeutic grade essential oils. At the time people called him crazy. Now millions of people worldwide use Young Living products. What started off as an essential oils company has grown into lotions, shampoos, supplements, makeup, health drinks and the list goes on. People are literally replacing everything in their home with these all natural products to get rid of harmful chemicals.

I firmly believe Young Living is the best company out there. This company cares about people. It wants you to thrive and be the best you. And if you’re not happy or satisfied, they will work with you to make sure you end up happy and satisfied. Yes, the price is often eye-opening. But it is so worth it.

Scout aka Freight Train

We have, by far, the goofiest dog I’ve ever met. We have never owned a Great Dane, but my beloved Buck was a Dane mix. He was so easy going and with a little, rambunctious boy, that was super important. Enter Scout. As you can see from the pictures, he is a real life Scooby Doo. The cartoon version. I’ve never seen anything sleep, really sleep, in the positions he gets in to.

Our other furry child, Pepper, is a 12 year old blue heeler. Let’s just say they are nothing alike. And Pepper is barely tolerating both Scout and our son. When Buck died I missed having a big, happy dog around, know what I mean? One could best describe Pepper as ex-military and very serioso. He loves to be petted…when he wants to. He will sit with you, but not really touching you. He’s always on high alert. That’s a working breed for you. He’s happy to see us, but there’s nothing like a dog literally tripping over himself to get to you because he is so excited to see you home. Now, if you need a bull moved against its will, Pepper is your man. He will put his 50 lbs up against anything anytime. Scout, on the other hand, is the world’s biggest chicken.

Big dogs are just different. And Scout is huge and still growing. He won’t be two until Halloween. He can (and has, twice) take a donut right out of your hand. He patiently waits behind gates, knowing full well he can step over them. He can see out our carport door while standing on all fours. Buck had to put his feet up on the door to scare people. Not Scout. You just feel him staring the minute you walk up. It takes you a second to realize he’s there and then I imagine people think twice about knocking.

To say owning him has been an adventure is an understatement. He and our son are like twins; each one destroying at their own pace, but often in tandem. But man he makes me laugh. And he does like to snuggle and will get in your lap, all 120 lbs of him, if you don’t watch out. Ever read Marmaduke? They weren’t making that up, those dogs are for real. He sits on the couch like a person. So I highly recommend a furry child of your own, but maybe avoid a Great Dane unless you’re up for a great adventure!

Dream Big

I know most people wouldn’t consider me a dreamer. I’m a cut and dry, logical sort of person. But in my lifetime I’ve had a lot of big, illogical dreams. Some have come true and some haven’t, but I never stop dreaming of something. I think I get that from my dad and the Irish that runs through his veins and mine.

Right now I’m dreaming of a time when I can honestly say that I enjoy my work and I never feel like I’m working in vain. It may be impossible. I know that. At 39 years old, I’m sure I could sit back and roll on through retirement. It’s too late to make a change and I have too many responsibilities to dream of more, right? I have a good job and a great boss. People would love to have the stability I have. It reminds me so much of that fateful day at Sonic when my mom convinced me to change the course of my life if I wanted it bad enough, even thought I felt it was too late. This is different, of course. I’m not making a drastic change. I’m only looking into the future saying, “Can I do more? Can I have more?” Because I still dream of more. And more importantly, I know I can be more.

I think that’s why just the thought of a new challange and new opportunity has breathed life into me. I love a challenge. I feel like a new person. I’m hoping my journey will encourage others like me to dream big. Some dreams are worth the chance.

Oils of Our Lives

I’m at a weird point. I’m doing something I really enjoy. Weird. Taking a hobby I’ve had for years and sharing it with a lot of people. Also weird. More people than I ever expected in a few short weeks. I find myself randomly recommending oils in conversation. Which is not me. Then there’s the whole “selling” thing. That is also not me. It’s like I’m a different person. I find myself struggling to balance my desire to share with my need to give people space and not pressure them in any way. Because even when they’re interested in what you have to say, there’s this suspicion that you’re going to trap them into something or force them to sell oils against their will. Or that’s how it feels from my end. I was wary too, so I get that. And let’s be real, you can wrap it up in whatever package you want to, but at the end of the day I do want you to use Young Living and it does benefit me. But whether you know it now or not, it benefits you, too.

The thing is I genuinely like helping people find a solution through oils. And they have other things, people. It’s more than oil. I love knowing that it’s the beginning of something that’s not only good for them, it’s fun. And I love the thought of sharing and talking about oils for enough of a living that I can get more serious with my cattle business. Cows require time and effort and I have neither after working full time.

I also know that there is no trap. I like to think that people know me well enough to know I wouldn’t get talked into anything I hadn’t researched and asked a ton of questions about. And as usual, I had lots of questions. I probably went through everything on the website looking for the catch. I never found it. All I found was a really cool concept that had spread worldwide. And I am confident in the knowledge that if I wake up tomorrow and think, “What was I thinking?”, I can make one phone call to an impartial person and I’ll be done. All the rebates and discounts are not coersion. They are only meant to get oils to more people. Really. And the membership that turns so many people off? Do you have a Sam’s Club membership? Do you pay a set amount each year and get the discount as a result? Do they use the word “membership”? Yeah, that’s my point.

Yes, at the end of the day it is a business for me. It’s a stupid, ridiculous dream, but I’m taking the chance anyway. Because I need a change and inspiration. But if I didn’t like it and believe it could help people, I wouldn’t be doing it. Period.

So the weird place is how do I balance that? I’m having a blast blogging and sharing my experiences with essential oils. That’s a fact. Had I known it would make me happy, I would have started this years ago. But at the end of the day, I do have a goal. I want to work less in an office and more on things I enjoy. I want other people to have that opportunity if they want it. It doesn’t appeal to everyone. I didn’t think it would appeal to me. And I despise being pressured or coerced, so I’m not going to do that for any amount of money. Well, maybe a million per head. That would be hard to turn down. But when you realize you enjoy something and could possibly get financial freedom, you take the chance. And even though I know the business part freaks people out, I do want people to know it’s out there and it’s a lot of fun.

So that’s where I am. I love it. I love sharing it. I hope you love it, too, and let me show you how to get awesome oils at a discounted price. But if you don’t want to, I’m good with that. You can order one at a time or none at all. It’s not for everyone and that’s ok. Please do not let the “sales” and “membership” keep you from trying something new if you want to. Be brave. Have a little faith in me. But most of all, take a tip from me and be true to you. That’s all I’m trying to do.

This day, y’all

Some days are better than others, know what I mean? It’s not that today was a bad day, per se, it’s just blah. I don’t want to be where I am all day doing what I’m doing… today at least.

Most days I really like my job. I used to love it, but “like” is better than where I was before. I love the people I work with and let’s be real, I’m not going anywhere any time soon (so y’all stop panicking). But whatever is up with me makes me dissatisfied with my present situation.

Not my home life. It’s stressful, but whose isn’t? My husband is sometimes the only thing keeping me sane. I’m hanging on to him. It’s work, I think. I don’t feel like I’m accomplishing anything. I mostly repeat myself a lot and hope for the best. My favorite part is solving problems and helping other people figure something out. Everybody deserves answers and I love trying to break it down so it’s easier the next time. And I still do that a lot. But I am not happy there right now.

Some of it is this stupid boot. It is totally screwing up my mojo. But the real problem is somebody convinced me that work could, maybe, on a wing and a prayer, if the stars align, be something different and that I could actually look forward to it for a change. It’s a far off dream and one a lot of other people have had and failed to realize. I’m a lot of things, but stupid isn’t one of them. Are you still crazy if you realize you are crazy? I need to find that out. But right now I have this teeny tiny hope of light at the end of the tunnel.

So I carry on, confusing the heck out of people who know me well. Who is this Katie who is happy and doing something weird, even for her? I like to think it’s the new, better me, but today I just want to lay down and sleep. But have no fear, there’s an oil for that.

A Teacher I Am Not

Never in a million years would I have guessed that I would like teaching.  I hate talking in front of people.  I almost failed speech in college.  I literally want to vomit just remembering that class.  And no one cares what I think anyway.  But here I am, sharing and teaching about Young Living and essential oils and I’m loving it.  I feel like I’m doing something I enjoy and it helps people.  Win win.

I have always been shy or that’s how I remember it.  People scoff at that now, but they didn’t know me in my younger years.  I have always preferred to work in the background and if possible, be invisible.  Until I went to college, I’m not sure I had actual opinions of my own.  My mom still says people tell her they didn’t know she even had a daughter.  They know my heathen brothers (love you!), but not me.  I was very good at blending in.

College changed all that.  I came out of my shell with a monstrous bang and never looked back.  Now I have opinions.  Lots of them.  And I don’t care to share them with anyone who gets too close.

But back to the subject at hand.  I love to learn.  Or more specifically I love to learn what I want to know.  Some things just fascinate me.  Essential oils is one of those things.  There is so much potential there.  So much left to discover.  Even after hundreds, and possibly thousands, of years, we are still learning their potential.  How cool is that?  And there are so many people benefiting from these oils already.  I have a lot of weird health issues myself,  so I’m continually looking for something to help me personally.  Because contrary to popular belief, doctors don’t know everything.  I’ve been to enough specialists personally to know that for a fact.

But I’m no teacher.  I don’t have a plan or a formal education.  I definitely don’t have the right attitude most days.  Some days I don’t even want to see another person.  I’m not always socially appropriate, nor do I care.  I am notoriously honest about what I think.  Sometimes tactfully, sometimes not so much.  I’m just me.  All I have is love and curiosity for the subject matter and the ability to share that.  I’m so hopeful that somewhere out there someone benefits from all of this.

I jokingly (mostly) tell people I’m probably having a midlife crisis.  I will be 40 next April.  Even my husband of 12 years finds the current me suprising.  He says I’m evolving every day.  He knows I struggle to find things I truly enjoy.  It’s funny because I told him within the last few weeks that I have no hobbies anymore.  Somewhere along the way, I lost me.  I have nothing to take me away from real life for a few minutes.   I work all day, come home to a very demanding 4 year old, and sleep.  I guess God heard that complaint/request and for once, answered quickly.

Honestly, I’m still not sure how got here – blogging and sharing on Facebook.   It just happened one day.  I feel like a big part of my daily job is to help people learn new things, so it came pretty naturally to do the same with oils.  I never thought talking to people would be fun for me.  But it really is.  It may be a fluke that quickly passes, but for now I’m enjoying the journey.

A Better Me (and You)

The past few weeks have been so much fun for me.  I set a goal to be a better me and to make better decisions for my family.  And I decided I wanted to share what I was learning, so I started a Facebook page (facebook.com/katiesoilyjourney) and a blog.  Feel free to look me up – I love sharing.

I’ve used essential oils for several years.  As a skeptical person, I continually look for stories of success and research oils for myself.  I don’t blindly believe things, but I will take your suggestions and try it for myself.  Oils were a road to stress relief for me and mine.  My main goal was a calmer home life.  When my mother-in-law began using Young Living this year, I was reintroduced to them through her.  I knew of the company and I guess most people do.  I even had a few bottles I used from time to time.  I also knew I was buying less expensive oils that were already helping me.  But me being me, I started reading about the company.  About how they grow, harvest and develop new blends.  About their mission to get essential oils into every house.  I read stories on Pinterest and on the internet as a whole.  My mother-in-law and I went to a meeting with about 50 super happy people who were using and selling it.   Happy people make me suspicious, so that was kind of a turnoff for me at the time.  Which is pretty funny now.

I got my starter kit a month or so ago and started experimenting.  The scientist in me loves to test things. I compared the YL oils to the ones I had already.  I can honestly say they are more intense than my less expensive oils.  I can use less drops and I trust that what I am getting is 100% oil that has been tested in a lab to verify that.  And YL hires third-parties to audit their products also, which I love.  Their farms, methods, and quality control is impressive.   I’ve since learned that there is no regulation of essential oils in regards to what is considered “100%” and “pure.”  As long as approximately 10% is oil, it can be advertised as 100% on the label.  But when you use YL, you know it has been tested and verified.  And YL is the only company that owns all of their own farms, which specialize in whatever will grow the best in that particular environment.  Their farmers have strict regulations from the company and their products are checked to insure they follow them.  And they don’t just sell oils, they sell all kinds of things: cleaners, shampoos, makeup, and the list goes on.  You should really check out their website.  Overall, it’s impressive and I feel comfortable using them on my family and sharing that with others.

And my husband is a very willing participant.  I’ve mixed things for sore muscles and joints, calming oils, and bug spray.  He uses them all.  I made my son a booboo roller and a calming roller and he likes to use those himself (he is four).  It’s funny how easily they accepted it all.  Easier than I did, I’m sure.

I never, and I mean NEVER, planned to try the business side.  I despise selling anything.  And I hate salesmen.   Three weeks ago that wasn’t even on my radar.  Then my buddy mentioned looking into it and we jumped in together.  I have loved every minute.  Because I’m not selling, I’m sharing.  Young Living sells things, not me.  And I love reading and sharing what I find.  I love answering questions. It’s one of the reasons I like my actual daily job.  I know most people don’t get a kick out of researching and experimenting,  but I do.  And I feel happy and productive for the first time in a very long time.  So I hope that I can keep on posting and sharing my journey and other people can benefit from it.  It’s going to be a lot of fun along the way.  You should really come with me!!

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Broken Dreams

Sleep, why hast thou forsaken me?  It’s 7:30.  AM.  On a Saturday.  What is the deal??

Sleep is my hobby.  It is my first love.   I could sleep instead of eat any day of the week. The middle of the day is a magical time to sleep as far as I’m concerned.  Today I have no pitter patter of little feet to wake me,  but here I sit.  Awake.  And slightly annoyed because of it.   I have a busy day ahead, I get that.  But couldn’t I have started it 2 hours later?   Yes brain, I think I could have.  Instead I’m sitting here finding things to share with people and contemplating breakfast.  Adulting sucks yet again.  Why DO people do it?  On top of all the other fun adult things you have to do, your brain starts thinking you need to be up at the same time every day like some sort of psycho.  (You guessed it – there are days I’m going to be profound and days I’m going to be normal.  Today is a little south of the latter.)

Sleep, I miss you so.  Please come back.  I swear I’ll do better.

Well, I hope you’re reading this after sleeping in this morning.   I bet you’re well-rested and everything.  Lucky devils.64798836213ee75b136b8656f40a100a

 

The Struggle

Anybody care to guess how many times I’ve heard a reference to the parable of the prodigal son in the last month?   I don’t know either,  but suffice it to say it’s a large number.   God is persistent like that.

I grew up in church.  I think a lot of people in the South do.  Twice on Sunday and again on Wednesday night.  I went to a large church with a great youth program, so we also had lots of things to do on the weekends, too. It was a sheltered place.  Not a perfect place – temptation is everywhere.  But I got the time and influences that built the me you see today.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but it settled my soul on a Rock that can never be swayed.

When you are a good girl and in church on the regular,  going to college is eye-opening.  You are in charge of you for the first time in your life and you get to decide what you want to do.  Sleeping late on Sunday was a lot more important than going to church.  And college friends do different things for fun than church friends.   I’m not going to lie,  it was a blast.  It is still is a blast to get together with our college friends.  That time bonds you to people.  You make friends for life.  Family.  And I’ve continued that way on this journey for many years.  Easily passing through with no concerns about my soul.  After all, I knew where I stood with God, regardless of where I spent my Sundays.  And then we had Tuck.

Seeing yourself as an adult is never clearer than when you have this little person around that can’t do anything on his own.  I know I have that Rock and never doubt it.  I know that in the worst of times along the way, scripture or hymns would come to mind.  I would automatically find myself praying.  That doesn’t go away just because you wander.  It is literally ingrained in my soul.

Now I don’t consider myself on par with the prodigal son.  But I do believe God has been making a point in my life.  “I see you.  I still love you.  Shouldn’t Tuck have that?  It’s such an easy thing to come back.”  And for once in my life, I’m taking a suggestion from someone and doing it.  Normally if you tell me something you think I should do or, God forbid, try to guilt me into it, I can guarantee it will never happen.  That’s just me.  I decide for me.  Not you.  But it’s been such a soft whisper.  Just a reminder.  Nothing pushy.  And He is right.  Tuck deserves the chance to have the solid foundation my parents gave me.  Because I’m here to tell you, trials will come and they are many.   And in those times if I hadn’t had my Rock, I’m not sure how I would have survived.

Like the prodigal son, I have talked to my Father and asked him to help me.  And it has been better the last few weeks.  Just knowing that I have made a good decision for my family eases my soul.  I struggle.  Man, do I struggle.  If you know me, you know that.  But it’s ok.  I just have to do my best.  That foundation can’t be taken from me.  Not by you or even me.  And there’s a lot of comfort in that.

No clue why I had to share this today, but make no mistake, I had to.  I hope it speaks to someone out there.   The struggle is real.  But you don’t have to do it alone.

 

Jeeples

If you had told me a year and a half ago that I would soon own a Jeep, I would have laughed and turned my nose up.  Don’t get me wrong, we owned a trail Jeep or two at the time.  We have had several over the years.  I like Jeeps.  I just didn’t see myself as a Jeep person.  Those people were crazy.   They loved their Jeeps to a weird point,  in my opinion.  They waved at each other like lunatics.  I would have looked at you like you were an idiot to even suggest such a thing.  A Jeep, of all things.   I was driving a King Ranch F150 and I would never settle for a Jeep.  Ever.

Then one day I woke up and thought, “I want one of those right now.”  I literally cannot explain it.  I told my husband, who was suprised and beyond thrilled.  Within two weeks I had my girl.  I swear I saw her,  I drove her three miles at most, and told them I wanted .  It was that fast. And now I’m a Jeep girl who refers to her Jeep like a person.  I love customizing it almost as much as I love driving it.  Much like my essential oils, I can change it to suit me perfectly.  No one has another one exactly like it.  I love the looks and the compliments I get, which is totally out of character for me.  I like to blend in when I’m around strangers.  It’s like I’m a different person.  And I like her.  Alot.

Today we took the doors off for the first time since I bought it.  There’s something about the freedom of blowing in the breeze that is addictive.  I can come out of a long day at work, put the top back, and let the breeze carry my stress away.  That sounds corny, even to me, and yet here I am.   It is by far the most awesome vehicle I have ever owned.  My husband is counting the years until I replace it and he gets to make it a full time trail rig.  I’m afraid he’s going to have quite a wait.   I used to make fun of people taking pictures of their jeep and naming their jeep, of all the goofy things.  And yet here I am, driving Jeepy and posting pictures of her like an idiot.  And I’m loving every second. 20180704_173808.jpg

Cows

I love cows.  I mean I really love cows.  So much that I have a cow picture in my office so I can see cows when I can’t really see cows (see below – don’t you just love her?)  I especially love my cows.  I love that I can recognize them by just looking at them.  I know them and they know me.  They aren’t afraid of me and let me get close to their little ones with no concerns and I cherish that trust.  Before I became a mommy and ran out of free time, I used to ride my 4-wheeler out there and just sit with them and watch them eat.  It is so soothing.  They’re all just calmly going through their lives eating and raising babies.  They’re curious about everything and they’re really patient mamas.  I can hear you saying, “Well, duh, Katie.  You live on a farm.”  But see that’s the beauty of it – I didn’t grow up like this.  I grew up in a decent sized town in West Tennessee.  It wasn’t a booming metropolis, but it would blow this little town out of the water.  Looking back I honestly feel like I just survived there.  I went to school and church.  I had friends and we did things for fun.  There was always something to do there.  But I never quite loved it or felt like “this is where I want to live forever.”

I’ll start by saying I went to college with no idea what I wanted to do.  At all.  Until late in the summer I hadn’t even intended to go to that college.  I was enrolled somewhere else with several of my friends.  But I didn’t have a good feeling about it and my mom suggested I visit this college.  The minute I walked on campus I knew I was going there.  I just had a feeling it was the place.  It didn’t hurt that the dorm rooms were twice the size of the other college and bathrooms were shared in each suite and not by the whole floor.  I coasted through a semester of two undeclared, but then people start insisting you pick some direction and go with it.  I decided to try social work.  I’m going to pause here for a minute so you can’t stop laughing and wipe the tears from your eyes…  I quickly realized that was not the life for me, which is no surprise to any of you that know me.  Then I tried political science, because why not, but I hate history, so that didn’t fit either.  The only thing I cared about in my free time was learning everything I could about horses.  From genetics to character traits across breeds, I read it all.  I was studying more at home than at school.  I think every little girl living on a lot in a subdivision dreams of a horse.  But I was twenty years old and dreaming of a life with horses.  The summer before my senior year my mom convinced me to take a chance and change my major again.  This time I went in to agriculture, specifically animal science.  At the time my college did not have an equine program, but I was already there and loved it, so I stayed.  It was a big deal for me to tread into something totally foreign.  My body starts throwing up at the first sign of change.  That’s a fact.  And all these other kids grew up in this.  They came to get an education to go home and apply it.  I was clueless.  I just knew I hated what I was doing and wanted to enjoy school and hopefully enjoy my future.  I didn’t know it then, but my life was about to change for the better.

I didn’t realize, but that very first day, in the very first class, my future husband was also there.  I’m glad I didn’t know that, because it would have probably made me bolt.  I was already terrified.  I knew nothing and no one.  But I was determined that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life in an office doing something I hated.  And I loved it.  I loved every class and every single thing we did.  Well, I didn’t love processing baby pigs, but everything else was great.  We did labs at the swine research barns and with real live cows at the experiment station.  And I was good at it.  So my life changed.  And I met the one.  But that was not home either.  I loved it.  I was happy there.  But I didn’t want to stay there.

After school I interned on a farm that bred, foaled and trained race horses.  It was awesome.  I loved everything, but the snow.  But again, not home.  I missed the green of Tennessee and I missed my other half.  I came home and after what seems like forever job hunting and not having any luck, I got a job at a law office of all things.  I hired in as the receptionist (yes, really) and moved up to assisting the bankruptcy attorney.  They told me once they hired me because they thought it would be cool to have someone with an agriculture degree working for them.  Whatever the reason, it worked and I loved it.  I made some lifetime friends in that office.  I moved into a little house in my home town and worked while my future husband finished school.  I got my very first real dog, Buck, and life was good.  But I was restless even then.  It had been home at one time, but it wasn’t home anymore.  We had dated a long time and I had been to my current home many times.  I loved it as much as he did.  It was so different from everything I knew and I knew he would never settle anywhere else.  And who could blame him?  I knew we would end up here eventually.  I just had to wait and survive.

We got married in October of 2005.  It was the happiest day of my life and we had a beautiful day.  We had remodeled his grandparents’ old house and were ready to be grownups.  I literally never looked back.  People ask me sometimes if I miss the city and all the conveniences it affords.  No.  No, I do not.  I love that we are out here away from all the problems of the city.  I love looking out my windows and seeing green hills and my beloved cows.  I have a son and dogs that can run wild here.  This little community is family.  We all survived a tornado here.  Nothing bonds like rebuilding.  It is the home I always dreamed of, but had no idea how I would get to, living in town.  One leap of faith and everything changed.  And I don’t just intend to survive here.  God made me to thrive.

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This stupid boot

I am currently wearing what I lovingly refer to as “my stupid boot.”  I hate this thing.  It’s hot.  It’s big and annoying.  I’m already clumsy without adding extra weight to one foot.  Now I run over random walls and door frames in addition to all the normal things I trip over.  Add that my daily driver is a Jeep, which has little to no leg room for changing into said MSB after I’ve driven to work, and you have the perfect storm.  I.  Hate. This. Stupid. Boot.

In March, my lovely husband and I went to test drive a very large truck.  We like to trail ride and rock crawl, so this was a rig for that.  It was big enough that we would be able to take Tuck or another person if we wanted, unlike all of our previous ones.  I got up in it fine.  When it came time to get out is when all the good stuff happened.  I looked down from a pretty good height and thought, “I can totally hop out of here.”  And I could.  Unless I caught my second foot on a roll cage and landed four foot down on one foot instead of two.  I literally hit the ground and crumpled into a heap.  I had always heard people say that, but seriously, I was a pile of person.  Then I laughed, of course, because how embarrassing is it really to almost kill yourself in a strangers driveway?   The truck was so tall it took my husband a minute to realize he couldn’t see my head.  He asked if I was ok and I said something along the lines of, “Well,  I didn’t break my arm, so that’s good.”  At this point the seller came back out and started talking to my husband about the test drive.  Again, big truck, so he couldn’t see me lying there in said heap in his driveway.  I finally convinced myself to get up and hobbled myself to the Jeep.  No one asked why I was walking so funny and I gratefully crept into hiding to lick my wounds.  I sat there trying to decide if I was really hurt or I was just old.  I now know it was both.   By the time my husband finished his standard thirty minute conversation with arandom person, I knew I was hurt, but figured it was just badly bruised.  The turning point was when we got out to eat and I couldn’t get my shoe on.  So then came the humiliating trip to the walk-in clinic, where I got to retell this story several times, to find out I had indeed broken my foot.  Seriously.   I’ve decided I will never survive old age.  I’ll need a keeper full-time to make age appropriate decisions, because no doubt I will be a danger to myself and those around me.  Anyway,  I ended up in MSB at that time for five and a half weeks.  I couldn’t drive at first.   You don’t realize how much you truly hate relying on another human being until you’re doing it against your will.  People were great, but I hated every minute.  When I went back for my first follow-up,  I was graduated to a Darco shoe, which is basically the thing you used to see people wearing with a cast to walk.  I wore it for ten days.  Ok, maybe it was only a week.  I really did.  But I couldn’t figure out the point.   My foot could flex and bend and it didn’t keep pressure off of it.   How was this different from a regular shoe?  I still don’t know, but apparently it is. And I know that little fact because when I went back for a follow-up, my doctor was not impressed.  My foot was obviously not healing because *groan* I hadn’t worn the shoe. He told me I had to go back to the shoe or next time I get my very own cast or possibly get to schedule surgery.  I bet he hasn’t heard an adult say “suck” that many times in his career.  But I was seriously over having a bum foot.  I basically whined like a little kid since my husband wasn’t there to shame me into acting like an adult.   Needless to say, I just went back to the full boot.  I can’t be trusted in the shoe.   I walk stairs.  I chase my kid.  I help feed cows.  I get in the creek.  The options are endless.  So it’s MSB for several more weeks.  I’ve reconciled myself to the fact that surgery is inevitable.   I mean I almost have a week of vacation saved up and that just can’t happen.  Today I am off to my second Predators hockey game in said MSB.  I actually went the first time in the rain of all things.   But it was the playoffs.  I mean the playoffs!  And I scored seats on the fourth row!  I was not staying home.  At least I don’t need the classy bag this time (see below).   It drew quite a few comments about my commitment to the team.   It was great.  Except for actually wearing it.  That was annoying.  But this boot is made for walking and I have places to be and things to do until they forcefully make me sit down.  I have a feeling I will not be a good patient.  Oh well, go Preds!

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Gloom, Despair & Agony on Me

Anybody remember Hee Haw?  Yeah, well, it was a few decades ago.  And maybe it was only in Tennessee.  Well anyway, I was not very old, but I remember watching it at my grandma’s house.  If you ever saw the show, you recognize the title to this post.  This is a song that pops in my head at some of the most inappropriate times.  Like my brain is trying to protect my sanity.  In my memory, my dad walks around singing it happily.  That may or may not have happened (sorry, Daddy), but that’s who is singing it in my head today.  When I thought about posting about the last few years of my life, this song popped in my head again.  Today I just want to hit the high (actually low) points, so you have a pencil-drawn map of the road I traveled to get here – not exact, possibly slightly crooked, but it will give you an idea of where we’re headed.

In October of 2014, our life on the Double E changed forever.  That sounds super dramatic, I know, but honestly it changed everything.  My father-in-law had a massive heart attack.  He and my mother-in-law were keeping my son every day at the time.  That was about to change, along with a lot of other things for us and my little one.  We spent several days at the hospital crying and praying in the cafeteria.  He had open heart surgery and thankfully, is still mending fences and tending his garden today.  At the time I wasn’t very familiar with heart attacks.  I knew they told us he had a “widow-maker” and that was bad, but I didn’t understand the damage it caused and the way it would affect the day to day for him and by extension the whole family.  It was a hard time.

Fast forward 6 months…my husband and I, well mainly I, decided it was a good time to try to have another baby.  Life had settled back down, I thought, and I wasn’t getting any younger.  I say try because our son is here by the grace of God.  That is a fact.  Long story short, in vitro fertilization is hard on a girl.  But that’s a story for another day.  So we began that process in April.  The first week of May, my dad had a massive heart attack.  If I hadn’t been living it myself, I wouldn’t have believed how eerily similar this was to our time six months before.  Same heart attack, same floor of the hospital, same absolute disbelief and fear.  Same crying and praying.  This time we were more knowledgeable, but no less afraid.  I’d love to know the odds of two people this closely related both surviving 100% blockages and a heart attack aptly named a widow-maker.  It’s still hard to believe how very fortunate we are.  Luckily my dad didn’t have to have open heart surgery, but today both our dads sport matching defibrillators.  I liked to tell people it was the accessory of the season.  They didn’t seem as amused as I was.

Fast forward six months…after a truly miserable six months of stress over my dad while trying to make my stupid body cooperate with my once well-laid plan, our doctor suggested a “Hail Mary” of sorts.  It didn’t work.  Again, a story for another day.

Six weeks later, on December 23, 2015, a tornado destroyed our small town.  My husband and I were in the basement with our in-laws, our 80 year old grandmother, our 4 year old and our trusted blue heeler as the tornado passed over the house.  The destruction was, and still is, indescribable.    The fact that no one lost their life that night is a miracle in itself. Add that one to the list of stories for another day.

Fast forward six months…my sweet nephew was born on April 15, 2016.  Three days later our family crowded around him to both meet him for the first time and say our good-byes.  There are no words.  He was buried on my birthday.

Life has continued on that six month cycle for a while now.  To the point I start dreading the days as I realize another half year has passed.  When you tell people these stories, they don’t even know how to respond.  I can’t blame them.  But we carry on.  Maybe we carry on carefully, sometimes with something close to fear, but we do it nonetheless.

I am not sharing these things to get your sympathy or pity; I don’t need or want it.  I simply want you to see this side of me.  Because I intend to share A LOT of funnier things along the way, but you can’t fully appreciate the mountaintop if you forget the valleys.  Man I sound like I know what I’m doing.  And I totally do not.  The reality is sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying.  Who knew that was a fact and not just a weird quote?

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The name

I swear my husband asks me the name of this site just so he can laugh at me repeatedly.  I get it.  The name is odd.  What is it about the word “oily” that sounds so…well, risqué and/or literally dirty?  What I’m going to share on this page is waaaayyy left field from that.  I’m sorry if you got here hoping for something else.  Keep searching, my friend.

What literally started out four days ago as a goal to share my somewhat limited, but always expanding, knowledge of essential oils with friends on Facebook, reminded me how much I like to write.  I am continually told I should be writing my family antics down, mainly because most days I feel like I live in some weird reality show where things keep going off course.  I rarely walk in to work without someone saying, “Well…how’s it going today?”, with that hopeful look on their face.  They know if I have a story, it’ll be a good one.  Between the dogs, my son and my own clumsiness, I’m a wealth of stories waiting to happen.  So the name started out as just something I threw out there because I needed anything as a name for my Facebook page.  Straight and to the point: me, what I want to talk about, and how I got there.  Then after I shared a few posts about my experiences, I realized I wanted do something more.  Something where I can say more, even if it’s just out into the universe.

Trust me, this isn’t a blog about essential oils.  Essential oils are a compliment to the life I’m leading.  They are  becoming a natural part of what I am striving for – peace, calm and fulfillment.  So yes, I will talk about my experiences with oils and yes, if you are interested in knowing more, I’m your girl.  But my journey is so much more than that.  My life is a bowl of weirdness most days, if I do say so myself.  And I want to share that with you.  Because honestly it will probably make you feel better about your own circumstances or at least give you a good laugh.  I want to share the highs and the daily inspirations, but also the lows and times I thought the pain would never end.  All the days I still struggle.  All the climbing out of holes to fall back in.  All the reaching a goal, tripping and sliding back down to reality.  All the missteps.  All the laughs along the way. That’s what I want to share with you.  I’m hoping that this odd name will lead someone to my journey…hopefully not for what my husband is betting on.  I’m hoping my stories will speak to your situation.  And I’m hoping the whole thing will be therapeutic for me, because let’s face it:  the only good thing to come out of my crazy life is that I can educate and inspire other people and that, my friends, eases my soul.

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Where I am today

I am an almost-40 year old living in a very small rural town in southern middle Tennessee. Yes, we actually describe it that way, because there is nothing recognizable to non-Tennesseans close. I could tell you two hours south of Nashville (Go Preds!), but two hours south of the middle of the state can be many, many of different places. Suffice it to say, it’s rural and wonderful. After growing up in a larger town, my home now is heaven. Less people, more privacy. I have a four-year-old, who I’m beginning to realize really is spoiled, a Great Dane “puppy”, who weighs in at a whopping 130 pounds, and a 12-year-old Blue Heeler, who is taking it all in and wishing we were back to just the three of us. (Imagine Grumpy Old Men in dog form – that’s Pepper.) To say my life is wild feels like a grand understatement. I work in an office full time and as you other working moms know, that doesn’t leave much time for…well, anything else. I don’t consider my job highly stressful most days, but as someone with a degree in Animal Science, office work is not the dream. The dream is being outdoors at least some of the day. The dream is dealing with more animals than humans. The dream is physical labor so I actually sleep soundly at night. And naps. Man, the dream has lots of time for naps. Before marriage and all these wonderful people, I would gladly sleep 12 hours a day. I could lay down any time or place and rest. Really rest. Not much anymore. I can sleep, but rest is foreign to me. I know what you’re thinking, “Well you knew that going in.” I did. But I think I may have miscalculated how little rest I would get. If not for my seriously wonderful husband, I’d be writing this from a nice state facility with fluffy walls and good meds. He literally keeps me from running away and that’s only because I love him too much to abandon him in pandemonium. Which brings us around to the subject at hand. I was desperately seeking something to relax everyone in my house. Sleep is a lot more important than some people think. And I need ALOT of it to function as a normal person. I have dabbled with oils for a while now. (I still have flash backs to books and movies where witches are mixing big pots of all kinds of fun things when I start mixing these things. That’s probably not normal, but that’s me.) Now I am well below expert, but beginning to feel comfortable being a little more adventurous. I recently received my very own starter kit from Young Living. I won’t lie, I’m still skeptical about all the things people claim oils do for them. But I have seen them work to calm me and my family. I have seen lavender sooth an earache and a mixture of peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender keep muscles from being sore. And I am willing to keep experimenting while encouraging others to come along with me. Is it for everyone? Of course not. Some people will never spend the time or money it takes to really learn and use the oils effectively. That was me less than 6 months ago. Maybe you don’t have the desire, time, or money to blindly leap into this life. That’s where I come in. I want to share my journey with you, from the tornado (yes, that happened) to searching for a higher purpose, you’ll get every adventure in black and white. Oils will be an important part of the story, but believe me, my life will add all the color you need. Then you decide what you think. To me, oils are about being true to me and doing what’s right for me and mine. They’re totally versatile and you can personalize them exactly to you. Don’t miss out because you don’t quite believe it or understand it. Take the time to keep up with me. I think you’ll like what you read.

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me! Life is hectic. Besides death and taxes, that’s something we all have in common. I want to share my experiences with you in hopes that I can make your own journey easier. And along the way I’ll share my own misadventures and hard lessons. It’s going to be a fun trip, so come along with me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton