Will You?

What is your purpose? Do you know?

How do you find it if you don’t?

What is the purpose of life? Is there one?

I’m not convinced that there is a right answer to these questions, but I do believe there are answers that are right for me. I have spent the past several years seeking these answers and each day they become a little more clear.

I am meant to turn my mess into my message. I am here to share my story, my struggles, my triumphs and above all, the one thing that has carried me through it all: God’s love.

My journey has been long, confusing at times, and difficult – and it’s nowhere near over. But these challenges have also been extremely rewarding! My quest for holistic healing has not only strengthened my faith and improved my health and well-being, it’s also lead me to my career as a Women’s Wellness & Empowerment Coach. What began as an ambitious project has become my life and I’m sharing it with you in hopes of inspiring you to take action in your own life.

Wherever you are in your own journey, whatever your struggles, I encourage you to keep going. You’ve made it through every bad day you’ve ever had before…
You’ve got this!

But here’s the catch: the only person with the power to make things better is you.
If you are unhappy with your life, change it.
If you want something, go after it!
If you don’t want something, rid yourself of it.

Greet each day with open arms and an open mind. Love yourself and take care of others. Be kind, thoughtful and helpful. Do something every day that scares you a little bit and watch how much you grow!

Yes, you can. Will you?

 

 

Morning Musing

I know that I need to write more, but I’ve ignored the urge so much that when I sit down to finally do it, my mind goes blank. And then I allow myself to become distracted until I don’t have time to do any actual writing. Needless to say, the books I have floating around in my head are still unwritten. In fact, there’s quite a bit floating around up there in my dreams that I plan to get to… some day. (More than I care to admit, actually.)

But what about TODAY?

Most days, I’ll convince myself that I can’t. That I don’t have enough time, money, experience, clout… I’ll find ways to keep busy and justify my lack of progress. I’ll say I can do it tomorrow, that it’s not important enough for today, that something else needs my attention more – the kids, the house, the finances… you know, real life. Or I’ll once again fall victim to my triggers and lose hours out of my day as I process.

But the truth is, until I make writing a priority – it won’t be. Until I decide to stop letting those negative voices and excuses impede my success, they won’t. Until I accept that my needs are real, my dreams are important, and my desires are okay, I’ll never fully heal and enjoy my life.

So TODAY, I am going to do life different! Today I am going to tell myself that I CAN and I WILL. Today I am going to make time, earn money, gain experience, give attention. I’m going to allow myself to let go of my perfectionism and enjoy my day. Today, I am going to write.

Welcome to my Morning Musings! 

Getting Started… Again!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you know I started a personal Holistic Health & Wellness Journey a couple of years ago. I’ve learned quite a bit since I began my journey, but I seem to have trouble with consistency.

You see, it’s really hard to change your lifestyle completely on your own. Who’s holding you accountable on days when your motivation is lacking? Who’s cheering you along when you feel like giving up?  How do convince yourself to keep going when your body is screaming at you to give in? Who’s celebrating with you when you push on?

Thankfully, I’ve found Team Beachbody! Being part of a team of like-minded people is the key component I’ve been missing. I know that having the support I need to achieve my goals is going to be a game-changer for me — and I can’t WAIT to see the results! I know that I can help others achieve their goals, too, by sharing my personal development and providing my support. As an Independent Beachbody Coach, I get to do just that!

My mission as a health and fitness coach is to inspire my clients to eat well, get active and be healthy. To help achieve this goal, I’m running a free Challenge group starting Monday, December 7, 2015. I invite you to join us! During this 90 day journey, we’ll track our progress, hold each other accountable, and motivate, inspire, and encourage each other to achieve amazing results.

12342380_909411015808863_8227220129301188566_n

And as an added incentive, you’ll be able to participate in The Beachbody Challenge™ contest. All you have to do is log our workouts online at TeamBeachbody.com for a chance to win up to $1000 every day—and submit your “before” and “after” photos for a shot at the $100,000 Grand Prize. But the spots will fill quickly—and you don’t want to wait ’til the next group! When you’re ready, just visit my Web site at BeachBodyCoach.com/MrsKC and follow the Take The Beachbody Challenge banner to sign up. Or call or email me and I’ll walk you through the process.

Let’s do this together and make the magic happen. Here’s to our health and success!

You Were Mine, Angel Baby

02.14.2015

Today is Valentine’s Day. A day to celebrate Love. Oh, how I love Love.

How I love the simple sweetness of spoiling my children with forbidden chocolate donuts at breakfast. I love helping them trace and cut and paste red paper hearts covered in silver glitter that you know I will be finding everywhere for the next week. I love the gleam in their eyes as they turn clumps of cold dough into warm, gooey chocolate goodness. And, oh, how I love the joy in their giggles when I tickle and chase them as we play. Yet, today, amidst all the love, my heart is sad.

Today my heart grieves the loss of a life that wasn’t meant to be.

Just over 5 weeks ago we discovered we were expecting what would have been our fourth child. Excited at our news, I eagerly created this announcement and sent it to our family and closest friends.

Aren't they precious?

Aren’t they precious?

I knew it was against tradition to announce my pregnancy so early. In fact, with our first 3 children we didn’t let the world in on our secret until we were clear of the first trimester. But this time, somewhere deep inside me, I felt this urgency to share our happy news with our tribe immediately. I rationalized that the reason most people refrain from spilling the beans so early is “just in case” something were to go wrong with the pregnancy. The way I saw it, if something did go wrong, I would need as much support as I could get. Funny, how the universe works.

Last week, at my first ultrasound, I learned that something had in fact gone wrong. I was measuring at only 6 weeks when I should have been (according to my meticulous calculations) over 9 weeks along. And while my gestational sac was fully formed, it was missing a crucial component – an embryo.

When the ultrasound technician first shares this information with me, I’m confused. I tell her I don’t understand what she’s saying. I’m not pregnant? But I took a test and it was positive. My period is late and there have been other signs, too. Sure, my morning sickness has paled in comparison to the first three, but I’m still getting it. This just doesn’t make sense.

The tech glides the wand over my bare belly…top to bottom, side to side, spreading the warm goopy gel over my abdomen as she shows me an empty oval on the monitor. Nothing’s there. There’s no white blob on the screen. No flicker of a heartbeat that should have been there weeks ago. Nothing but a big empty black hole. I was pregnant, alright, but there was no baby.

As the realization of what this means hits me, a single tear runs down my face. “Don’t cry just yet, dear, perhaps your dates are just off,” the well-meaning technician assures me. I feel the heat flush over my face as she finishes my exam and wipes my tummy dry. My dates are not off, I think to myself as I feel myself grow numb. This baby had not been an accident. This pregnancy did not happen by chance. Together, my husband and I had discussed this baby and planned its conception and we were excited to complete our family. That’s how I knew we were expecting before I even missed a period or felt that familiar sourness in the pit of my stomach.

You see, ever since the birth of our third child, I have felt as though I’m missing a child. I know it sounds strange and it’s rather difficult to explain, but it’s a feeling I’ve had since the day I brought her home – that our family is not yet complete. I remember sitting at the kitchen table that first week and having to re-count how many kids were seated with me about 3 or 4 times. I kept feeling like I was short one child and even imagined I heard a fourth one crying in another room on more than one occasion. (Now, before you start questioning my sanity, I’m well aware that these hallucinations were purely figments of my mind and more likely than not, the result of sleep deprivation. After all, I did have a newborn and 2 other children under the age of 3!) So I confided my feelings in my husband and after considering our children’s present ages and our future life plans, we decided that now was the time to have our last baby. I watched the calendar, I charted my cycle and I even kept track of our love-making for a spell. That’s how I knew.

I knew that my dates were not wrong. I knew that when I returned to the doctor’s office the following week, the technician would not find anything new.

I knew that we were going to lose this baby.

I knew as I sat in that little waiting room, waiting for the ultrasound technician to give my doctor her report. I knew as nurses walking past stopped to hand me a tissue or try to offer their assistance. I knew as a doctor that was not my own pulled me aside, told me my results were “not promising” and advised me to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. I knew as they scheduled my follow-up appointment and as they drew my blood to check my hormone levels. I knew I had to tell my husband; that he was going to be sad and disappointed. I knew there were others to tell after that, including my son whose face had lit with joy at the news of our impending new arrival. All of this, I knew, and so I wept.

I wept for days as I waited in suspense for my next ultrasound. My mind began to toy with me again and signs of postpartum began to show once more. I felt as though the impending miscarriage was my fault. That I caused it; that I could have prevented it. I felt like a failure for losing the life that was beginning to grow inside me. I felt as though I didn’t deserve another baby; that I was being punished for being a bad mother. I felt angry. Sad. Hopeless. Confused. Angry. “It’s not fair!” I pouted to myself. And the tears began to flood again.

{To be continued…}

Timeless Lessons from a Younger Me

The following is an excerpt from a piece in my Digital Time Capsule titled Holiday Thoughts. I wrote it on December 13, 2007 at the tender age of 22. It  was at a time much like the present: a new year danced before me, a blank canvas brim with possibilities simply awaiting my paintbrush. I came across it as I was updating my blog and I thought I would share it again. What a perfect reminder of how I really want to live my life:

1. Cherish every moment.  If you are always preparing for something – waiting for the “right” time to do something – stop!  The time is now.  THIS is your life.  Live it to the fullest.

2. Tell your friends and family you love them.  Make time to call – or even email if you must.  Don’t let the day to day get in the way of the people that truly matter to you.  Everyone has a busy life.  It’s nice to hear that you’re being thought of once in a while.

3. Don’t be afraid to let go – to grow – to learn – to take risks.  It’s not worth holding on to something if you are not happy.  The reality is that we all live life once.  Do it for yourself.

4. Never forget to kick back and have some fun.  Genuine, real, laugh-until-your-stomach-hurts-and-you-have-tears-streaming-down-your-bright-red-face fun!

5. Take initiative.  Work hard.  Be honest.  Take pride in everything you do.

6. Take credit when you do something well.  Congratulate yourself and be proud.

7. SMILE!  A lot.

8. Remember that everyone has problems in their lives.  And most of the time, there is someone out there worse off than you.  So, count your blessings and give back when you can – even if it’s just taking a few extra seconds to hold the door open for someone or letting that car cut in front of you on the highway.  You might be running late for work – that person cutting you off might be rushing to the hospital because his wife is in labor.

9. Take things in stride.  Let go of the little things.  Don’t gossip.  Try to be a little nicer – remember karma.

10. Every day is a chance at a new beginning – a fresh start.  Stick to your guns.  Stand up for what you believe in.  Don’t get taken advantage of – don’t take advantage of others.  Just be you.

A Bad Moment, Not a Bad Day

I’m trying not to hurt. I’m working to stay calm and not let my anger get the best of me.

But it’s hard.

It’s hard to heal yourself, and your past hurts.
It’s hard to see things that hurt you in the past happen in the present.

But that’s life.

You can’t make other people compassionate just because you care.
You can’t force others to be truthful just because you are honest.
You can’t expect others to understand just because you do.
And you certainly can’t control anyone else’s kindness (or cruelty).

So what can you do? … What can I do, in this moment, to help keep myself on an even keel – – so that I don’t take out my pain on those I love and continue this wretched cycle?

I can STOP.
Stop to JUST BREATHE.
Stop to remember that I am okay; I am safe.
Stop to remind myself that I AM loved; there are people in my life who take/took me (and others) for granted and while I wish I was more a part of their lives, I choose to let that feeling of rejection go. I know that it is not about me, it is about them. I choose to walk in LOVE.
Stop to meditate on my blessings. <3 I have so much for which to be grateful.
Stop and readjust my focus on what really matters and what I can do to make a positive difference — if not in my life, then in somebody else’s.
Stop, and breathe again.

Wow… I really do feel better.

If You’re Shopping Anyway…

I’m a little old school when it comes to certain things… I am grateful for technology and certainly utilize it daily, but honestly, I’d rather have the real thing. For me, handwritten letters, home-cooked meals and a live person on the other end of a phone call trump emails, microwaved dinners and automated Customer Service lines any day of the week. Typically, the same applies to shopping — I would rather shop at a store than online. But one of the things I have learned as a young wife and mother of three is that if I want to maintain my sanity, I have got to stay flexible. As you can imagine, with three children ages 3 and under, getting out of the house to do any type of household {read:boring} shopping is either A) a physical task worthy of qualifying for the Olympics, B) next to impossible {really, moms should have 4 arms} and C) simply not fun. My solution: online shopping WHENEVER possible.

The internet makes shopping so much easier these days. Instead of loading up my minivan and buckling kids in car seats and driving from store to store… I can shop with my fingertips right at my screen during lunch time, nap time or even while the kids are occupied at play time. My purchases are delivered straight to my door, too. And the deals you will find just can’t be beat! Here are a few quick tips for maximizing your savings when shopping online:

  1. Always start with Ebates.
    Whenever I begin a new online shopping trip, I start with Ebates.com. It is so easy to save a few dollars by starting here first. With Ebates you earn cash back on qualifying purchases and they send you a “Big Fat Payment” once some of your savings accrue. All you have to do is click through their website before you make your purchase. That’s it! 
  2. Check the item(s) and the store(s). 
    For instance, let’s say you were shopping for a new Name Brand printer and you typically purchase office supplies at Store A. Make to sure to search Ebates for both Store A and Name Brand printers, that way you will quickly be able to see if Store B, Store M or Store Z has a better deal.
  3. Install the Ebates Cash Back Button on your Toolbar.
    A few times I have found myself shopping without realizing it {a pitfall of online shopping, I suppose} and only after completing my purchase did I remember I could have saved with Ebates. Since I added this little guy, I’ve been able to prevent that from happening several more times! If you’re on a page that qualifies for savings, Ebates will give you a heads up.
  4. Look for discount or coupon codes.
    Once you have added the item(s) you want to your shopping cart, do one last search for any additional coupon or discount codes that may apply. Make sure to look on the store website’s for savings or check out a site like my tried and true, RetailMeNot.com.

And that’s it! It doesn’t have to take a lot of work to save a little money. Just a little time and effort and the savings will start to stack up.

Are you an online shopper? Do you use sites like Ebates or RetailMeNot?
How do you save money?

Somebody Has To

Somebody has to go polish the stars,

They’re looking a little bit dull.

Somebody has to go polish the stars,

For the eagles and starlings and gulls

Have all been complaining they’re tarnished and worn,

They say they want new ones we cannot afford.

So please get your rags

And your polishing jars,

Somebody has to go polish the stars.

~Shel Silverstein
From A Light in the Attic