Hands On

There’s something to be said for a man who can actually do stuff. (Yes, I understand women can also do things and take care of themselves, as I most definitely can, but that’s not the point here.) The point is men have changed. How many of you have a man in your life who can actually do practical, useful things? Fix things, make things, use his hands for more than scrolling through his phone? I live in a small town in the south, so I feel like it’s more common here in a farming community than it is in the larger town I grew up in. But even here, it’s becoming less and less common. Like everything else, men are evolving with the times and technology. I get that. But it makes me even prouder of the man I call mine and the little man we are raising that seems to be following in his footsteps.

I sat for about two hours today watching my husband and his friend work in their shop. It constantly amazes me to see the things these two dudes can do. I give them hell on a daily basis, but I swear between the two of them, they’re unstoppable. Today they were working on trucks for a truck pull this weekend. One was attaching a custom made bumper, which he made from scratch I might add, to his truck. The other was working on various projects on his truck, while occasionally stopping to help his friend. These two never slow down. They are constantly thinking of something else to do to whatever project they’re working on and then figuring out how to make it happen. They drive their wives crazy on a regular basis with truck talk, late hours in the shop, and mysterious charges to their credit card, but it’s hard to hate it. We also never have to call a repairman or take our vehicles to the shop. After close to eighteen years, I’m spoiled to it. I can do a lot of things myself, but how awesome is it that I don’t have to every single time?

As I sat there watching my 5-year-old work diligently to split a wood block while the big boys worked on their trucks, I couldn’t help but be relieved that he seems to have the inclination to do things with his hands. Yes, more times than not that means destroying something, but still… at least he tries. He came home yesterday hot, tired, covered in grease and dirt, and happy as a clam, much like his daddy. Hopefully he will always know the satisfaction of being able to do things with his hands.

The Book of Faces

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I’d hazard to guess that most people do. I love that I can “see” my friends from high school and college even though they’ve moved all over the country. Granted, it’s a little stalker-esque to “follow” someone’s life through pictures, but I still enjoy it. I love being able to share my life and who doesn’t like all those “likes” you get when you post a picture? That’s the whole point, right? Facebook has a ton of good qualities. I mean I keep going back multiple times a day so it must have something I like.

What I don’t like is how Facebook can make me feel about myself and my life. Because you don’t automatically think, “well, they’re posting only the best things”, and take things with a grain of salt when you see pictures of your friends in Aruba or baking the world’s coolest cupcakes for their 10 kids. I’m a pretty straightforward person, both on and off Facebook, so I don’t immediately assume everyone is only highlighting the good. Nope. I think I’m failing as a mom or wife. I don’t travel enough. I don’t contribute enough. I have one kid and can’t get anything done and these people have five kids (five!) and are travelling and doing all these family things. I can barely get through a meal with my little heathen. And Lord, when I post that particular little truth nugget… Let’s just say my bid for mom of the year grows stronger daily. That’s honestly how I feel.

Now I can’t blame that all on Facebook. Some of that is just who I am. I will never feel I measure up to other moms. It’s not going to happen, so you can save your inspiring texts and emails about how awesome I am. I’m good. I know it’s stupid, as my sweet husband points out daily, but I can’t make myself stop. That’s not Facebook’s fault. But if there was no Facebook, and I wasn’t hooked on it, I wouldn’t have that shoved in my face as often and in living color. So I do put some blame on Facebook and social media in general.

I give massive props to people who “quit” Facebook. You go. You have the willpower of a god as far as I’m concerned. I just don’t feel like that’s a valid option for me. It’s literally the only way I “see” some of my family and friends. I also use it for my business. It just isn’t logical to stop using it altogether. But I wonder if I can inspire others to try for a little honesty on there. It always amazes me when I post something like “I hate everyone today” and people start worrying about something tragic going on in my life. I’m just posting my honest opinion at that moment, which is what I like to think everyone is doing, so why the concern? Then it dawns on me – most people are only posting rainbows and roses. They assume your world is ending if you actually post anything non-sunny on Facebook. Nope. I hate people at least one day a week on average. That’s me. No crisis, just putting it out there as more of a public service announcement. I guess I could wear some sort of sign instead, but a Facebook post lets people I don’t see daily know not to call, or God forbid, stop by for a visit. A sign on my person will not do that.

So yeah, I love it…I hate it. I’m addicted to it, even though it sometimes makes me feel like a complete and utter failure. I’m working on that. But how about we all agree to be more realistic on the book of faces? Because if I’m feeling this way, I hate to think how the more vulnerable people in our lives feel. ‘Cause I can guarantee they’re on there reading posts several hours a day. And while I have a full time job and a little heathen at home to keep my mind occupied most of the day, not everyone does. Now don’t go depressing everyone you know on there, but maybe shoot for posting about the not perfect times once in a while. It’s ok to have a bad day and shout it from the internet. I personally love giving someone a good laugh at my expense. And hey, you’ll get lots of encouragement and prayers as an added bonus! Win win.

Kids, am I right?

Ever look at your little one and feel that flush of pride? That feeling that you have the greatest kid ever? I do. Sometimes it just comes over me that he is so special and we are so lucky he is ours. Now, ever look at them and think how did we get here? Did I kill someone in a past life? No? Could be just me, I guess.

It amazes me how fast I can go from one to the other. One minute he’s kissing my cheek and telling me I’m the best mommy and the next he’s screaming his head off because I won’t cook sausage at 8 PM. Or vice versa. He’s screaming about how much he hates me and everything I do in general and suddently it’s like a light comes on and he’s asking me to sing and tuck him in bed. This kid.

And I only have the one. I do have a Great Dane who is exactly like my son, so I think that adds an extra degree of difficulty. Those two are slowly destroying everything we own, including my nap time. Thank goodness they are both so cute and loving. You people with more than one kid, you’re the real heroes. God bless you.

People often tell me how cute my son is and I usually reply with something like, “That’s good, maybe that will help him when he’s a bank robber.” Stunned silence or snorts usually follow. Did I mention I work in a bank? I’m telling you, this kid has the intelligence and stamina to do great things. Will they be legal or illegal, that is the question. I love the Godfather so I feel like I can go either way. Mother of a crime boss probably isn’t that had a gig. In the meantime I watch and listen in fascination at the things his mind comes up with and pray he doesn’t get kicked out of kindergarten.

Thieves

Yep. Thieves. Thieves is probably the most well known product Young Living distributes. People who don’t even know what Young Living is, know what Thieves is. It is so popular there is an entire line of products dedicated to using the Thieves formula. Cleaner, which people love, soap, dish soap, laundry detergent, hand sanitizer…and the list goes on.

Why the name, you ask? Well the story is that during the bubonic plague in Europe, there was a well known band of grave robbers. They were known to enter the houses of those who succumbed to the disease and rob them. But they didn’t get sick. When they were finally apprehended, they eventually gave up their secret – a mixture of herbs, spices and essential oils. Today that formula is still used and referred to as “Thieves” essential oil. It is renowned for immune support.

Before I started using the cleaner myself, I was convinced I wouldn’t like it. I had smelled it at some point and it was overwhelming. I couldn’t believe people loved it so much. All natural cleaner, really? This girl needs bleach. And wouldn’t oils leave a film on everything?

Then I used it to clean my glass top stove. And my kitchen sink. And my refrigerator. And my bathroom, including soap scum on my tub. That one bottle of spray cleaned it all. I didn’t need multiple cleaners. And it left my surfaces shiny. No oily residue like I expected. It was awesome. But you know the best part? One capful to 2 to 4 cups of water is all you need, depending on what you are using it for. My friend uses 1 capful in a 10 oz. spray bottle and loves it. I’m not going to do the math right now on price per bottle, but you can get about 60 caps from each bottle. That’s alot of cleaner. And it’s not going to hurt anyone in your family. I can’t even spray my other cleaner now and I love that stuff. The smell overwhelms me. Even when it didn’t bother me, I always locked my kid and dogs out when I was using it. That should have told me my brain knew it was bad for me.

I have yet to meet anyone who uses it that doesn’t love it. Young Living even designed a starter kit with several different products including 2 bottles of cleaner. But it isn’t just cleaner. It’s foaming soap, toothpaste (which is awesome), mouthwash, hand sanitizer (also awesome), mini sprays to disinfect on the go, and a bottle of Thieves oil (the most awesome of all). Google Thieves as immune support and see what comes up. Search it on Pinterest if you dare. If you arent interested in oil right now, I think you may come around after using this. I actually ordered one myself because I wanted to try it all. If you’ve been thinking about Young Living, but don’t know about a whole kit of oils, look into the Premium Starter Kit with Thieves. The link below will take you to the site. And I’m always open to questions.

Believe me,

Click here for more info!

Click here to get yours!

Sweet Freedom

Our family has lived through a weird five years. Some of it I’ve shared with you and some I’m still working up to sharing. All of this means every year by August, I am out of sick days and halfway through my vacation days. And I never, ever roll anything into the new year. I generally have a stranglehold on those last five days, that I haven’t even accrued yet, hoping for some sort of vacation. It is a stressful way to live.

On top of whatever craziness caused me to be off in the first place, when I miss work I worry all day. I fret over using another sick or vacation day that I might need later. I have left my son and my husband at times I didn’t want to because I was saving every minute I could in case of the inevitable heart attack, tornado, trip to the doctor, broken foot, ER visit, kidney stone, etc. I have never felt like I had the freedom to do anything differently. My husband would always say it was no big deal and people understand when you need to be off, but I always felt guilty. My job took up the majority of my life and I couldn’t afford to keep missing.

My husband doesn’t really understand my point of view, mainly because he doesn’t think that way, but also because he accrues time off like crazy. In addition, he has always had some side hobby that he used to make extra money. He could sell something or fix something. I only have my daily job. My hobbies are reading and sleeping and those don’t pay well…or actually happen now that I have a little one. It has been a sore spot with me for years that he actually has time off he can use and money to have a hobby, while I sit in my office with my ag degree staring out an office window. This was not the dream.

But this week something happened. My little one was sick. Pitifully so. Normally I would leave for work and his daddy or grandmother would hold him and pet him all day. He would cry, but I never felt like I had a choice. But this week was different. See I joined Young Living a few months ago. The people involved with this company showed me that there is a different way to live. That you can do something you enjoy, actually help people, AND even make money. And I’m doing it. And I’m loving it.

The freedom of knowing I have a goal date in mind where I will be living the life I want…it makes a huge difference in how I feel and face daily life. I couldn’t go to my daily job that day, but I could work on my oily job from home. It sounds stupid, even to me, but it is the truth. All of this makes a huge difference to me.

If you are out there suffering through another day of doing what you’re supposed to, listen to me. You can do something else if you want. You can change your life and move toward what you love. Set a goal and go get it. It takes work, but doesn’t everything? But you have to start somewhere. Go to youngliving.com and do some research. Contact me through this site. Find me on Facebook (katiesoilyjourney) or Twitter (@katiesoilyjourney). Join Young Living through my link. It is a worthwhile change. I promise.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

 

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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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.