Tuesday, August 15, 2017

“I can do what I want!”

“I can do whatever I want!”

Does this not sound like something a bratty 6 year old would say?

Yes, but in reality, it’s a truth so many people {even adults} are living by in our society today.

We are one of the most selfish, entitled cultures…and it all starts with a lack of DISCIPLINE and self-control. I know, we have plenty of people who are generous & kind too, but by and large I do think it’s an issue. Don’t you? And it’s rooted in selfishness.

So many think we are causing our kids to suffer when we discipline them, when in fact, the opposite is true. If we don’t teach our children self-control (one of the fruits of the spirit), we are setting them up to experience some major difficulties and hardships later in life. The Bible is very clear that you reap what you sow. (And even people who aren’t believers seem to believe this truth!) So if we sow selfishness, gluttony, lack of self control, etc., we aren’t going to reap debt/financial struggles, broken relationships, insecurity, obesity & health issues related to it, etc.

I LOVE this wisdom from my friend Lori. She has been an awesome mentor to me and shares lots of Biblical wisdom through her Instagram and blog. (Not popular by worldly standards by any means, but shew….it’s some good stuff and based on the Word of God!)

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I know that’s not popular because people don’t want to “be told what to do.” But, we all have to answer to somebody sooner or later. And if we don’t respect authority & learn that early, that’s going to make us unemployable and struggle in our walk with the Lord.

A part of the reason we must discipline our children is because our heavenly father disciplines us since there are consequences for sin. I have to remind myself of this when I’m tempted to let my boys get away with too much. (I definitely tend to be more lenient than strict.) And if it’s always done from a place of love (& never out of anger or frustration) and with WAY more loving contacts throughout the day, there will be positive results. Children (& teenagers) actually crave boundaries, even if they don’t act like it.

And like Lori said, self-control is like a muscle….we have to practice it. It goes hand in hand with self-discipline. The BEST way to teach this to our children is to model it for them in our own lives. We can’t expect them to “do as I say and not as I do.” They are going to do what we do. (Ahem…put the PHONE down, Danielle.)

Lack of self control doesn’t lead to anything positive.

Anyway, I just wanted to share that. It’s so important for us to recognize this truth and teach it to our children if we want them to have abundant lives.

Jase’s i9 Baseball League

My mom signed my niece up for baseball this summer and begged me to let Jase play. Jonathan’s dad had been asked about t-ball all the time too, so we decided to consider an i9 league after hearing several friends rave about it.

I’m sure at some point our life will include LOTS of sporting events- practices, lessons, games, and tournaments. With three boys & some athletic genes, I think that’s pretty inevitable, but we do want to prolong the chaos as long as possible. I know our boys will enjoy the interaction since we plan to homeschool, and I think there are many benefits to organized sports. BUT, we aren’t ready for any huge time commitments yet, and for us it’s something we don’t want to get too serious about until the boys are much older. The i9 league only meets once a week on the weekend for 6 weeks. It’s a 2 hour block where they practice right before the games. That didn’t feel too overwhelming, and we also like that they have pretty strict rules for coaches and parents (#keepitclassy) AND they discuss positive traits each week (respect, enthusiasm, sportsmanship, courage, etc.).

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{ #2 is the number I wore in high school & college. }

He put his own hat on, and it was so cute seeing how he wore it.

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The only way I was going to let him play was if Jonathan would coach, and thankfully he agreed to help co-coach with another guy. I probably should have helped too since it’s hard to keep a 4 year old entertained & they need someone with LOTS of enthusiasm…definitely more of my gifting. (At this age anyway.) He was so great with them though, and it was precious (although sometimes a little painful for two super competitive parents)to watch. Ha! Repeat to self: “This is just for fun. This is just for fun.”

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Cropped this out of the team picture…so cute!

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They met EARLY on Saturday mornings, which was nice since it was still cool and we still had the whole day Saturday to get things done. It was a little difficult getting there on time since practices are 20-25 minutes away and start time was before our boys normally even wake up for the day! But, we did it with all 3 littles in tow. We finally figured out a system that worked.

Thankfully it was super laid back and no one minded that Kade wanted Jon to hold him half the time in the field. Ha!

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Jase’s Papa and Aunt Jimmy came to every single game too and were his biggest fans besides me & Jon. It became the tradition to eat donuts every Saturday after the game. That was their favorite part!!

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Overall I think it was a little too slow paced for Jase since there wasn’t a lot of action, so I think we may try soccer next time? He did like practicing with Jon in the backyard though (for short periods) so I think he’ll like it more when he’s older. I can’t wait to continue to watch him learn and grow.

Kade wants to do everything Jase does, of course.  Watching them together was one of my favorite parts! (I liked watching them together much more than I liked the donuts! #diabetes) Kade loves to play ball, so I think he’ll really enjoy it when he’s big enough.

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Seriously, is this not the sweetest??

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I’m probably checkin’ out the hot coach!! (Big Jon got it goin on.)

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It was a great group of kiddos and parents, & such a fun “season.” We are glad we participated and very proud of Jase. We’re taking the Fall off to do music lessons, but are going to think about getting started with something again in the Spring.

If you have littles and are considering organized sports, I highly recommend looking into seeing if there is an i9 league in your area.

Friday, August 11, 2017

When God Doesn’t Answer Prayers…

I believe in the power of prayer.

I know our God answers prayers, as I have seen Him do time and time again throughout my own life, many times in miraculous ways that could only be God.

I keep a prayer journal, and it is so neat to scroll back through the years and see so many PRAISES. To see how He was working different things out at different times, even when I didn’t recognize Him working. Even during trials, I can now see how He was moving or teaching us something through that.

God is NOT a genie in a bottle or Santa Clause in the sky. (Sometimes preachers/authors falsely describe Him in that way.) He is HOLY and MIGHTY…powerful, omniscient, & omnipotent. But, He is also a God who the Bible tells us works for the GOOD of those who love Him, who wants to prosper us, bless us, keep us, and wants us to walk in abundance here on earth. He is gracious and merciful and forgiving and loving. He IS love!

There are several verses that talk about God giving us the desires of our heart and giving us what we ask of him when we ask, seek, & knock.  The more we seek Him, the more our desires line up with His will for our lives & the more I believe we will see our prayers answered.

The other day Jonathan was telling me about a video he saw where the preacher was sharing a few Scriptures/reasons God may not hear our prayers in certain circumstances. I have thought of that before, but for some reason, it just prompted me to want to dig deeper into that subject. I started looking into some of the verses, and found the Bible does talk about some times God may not be hearing our prayers. The Bible says Jesus is seated at the right hand of God interceding for us- isn’t that incredible to think about? And we can talk to God anywhere, any time, under any circumstance. However, after studying this a little more, I do feel like sin, disobedience, marital strife, wrong motives, lack of faith/doubt, hypocrisy/insincerity, and unforgiveness can keep our prayers from being heard. I almost picture it as a glass ceiling. God knows all, and He knows our hearts. He can always see us, always loves us and wants what is best for us, and wants communication and relationship with us. But sometimes our own choices mean our prayers hit a glass ceiling before making it to him because our SIN is clouding them. We have free will and make choices that affect our relationship with Him. Not the love…because He loves us unconditionally. But sin separates us from God, and if we want reconciliation, we must ask for forgiveness and repent. I am so, so grateful for His mercy and grace!! Aren’t you? That He still loves me even when I am unloveable.

I believe sometimes we are getting a delayed response because He is working things out that we cannot see, and as I have learned (both the easy and hard way), HIS TIMING is far greater and more perfect than my expectations. I also believe sometimes He has different plans altogether that are achieving a bigger purpose for His glory. But sometimes, we are just flat out getting in our own way of having our prayers answered. So if you’re like me, perhaps it’s worth digging into these verses, asking forgiveness, repenting, and bringing them before the throne with a clean, pure heart.

I cannot wait to watch the Lord continue to work in MIGHTY ways in our family’s life. I choose to pray continuously, with thanksgiving, and without ceasing.

Thank you Lord, for answered prayers. And thank you for revealing some reasons we may not be seeing answers so we can choose to walk in light, be obedient, have peace in our marriages, seek YOUR will & pray accordingly, be sincere doers of the Word, forgive, believe with perfect faith (or maybe just the faith of a mustard seed), & patiently trust your perfect timing.

Here’s the sheet I wrote out earlier today. I hope this is as eye opening for you as it was for me!

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

How we stay HEALTHY while Traveling!

Okayyyy, so I wanted to share some of my favorite things I pack for us when we are traveling to help keep us healthy. These are all legit on my “to pack list” every time we travel, and especially when we fly. Obviously there are tons of germs in an airplane (and recirculated air means you get to breathe it alllll in), but it’s also pretty likely you may not sleep as well, eat as much fiber as normal and things may slow down in the bathroom, & you may not get as much sleep as usual. (If you have an early flight at the Atl airport, anyway.) Traveling just leaves ya run down sometimes, so these are my secrets to staying WELL while traveling.

{This little pink lunch bag is my “snack bag” and goes with me on every trip. If you’ve seen me at an event, you’ve seen it with me. May have even seen Big Jon rockin it a time or two! Everyone always comments on how nicely the pink goes with his outfit.}

**Also some proof I mayyyy need to go shopping since I’m wearing the same pants in every pic…different years… #cheap #imeanfrugal

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Butler Faves for Traveling:

AdvoGreens: These are a part of Jonathan’s morning routine.  (He likes to mix it with cherry Spark.) Great way to get some digestive enzymes, pre and probiotics, and some greens! I bring the snack shakes too in case we want a snack in the room before bed. (I always bring 3-4 shakers cups & we buy bottled water when we get there.)

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Aquasana Water Bottle: Confession: I am a TOTAL water snob. I am hard core about drinking “clean” water and will not apologize for that. At home we drink water from our Berkey water filter, & I bring my huge growler full of clean water whenever we go somewhere. I don’t necessarily love bottled water either, but to me it’s a better option than tap water. When we’re traveling, I bring this Aquasana water bottle because it has a built in water filter. I don’t typically use it unless we are traveling and it definitely gets the job done on the go. If I have my pick of bottled water, I prefer Voss, Evian, or Fuji. (I know, I know…$$$$…water snob. But Jon is pretty picky too so he’s okay with it! But we usually just buy a huge pack of whatever to keep in the hotel room since we go through so much of it.) This is the one I have:

Citrizinc Chews: I don’t use these all the time, but we keep them in the snack bag while we’re traveling (and also take them if we start feeling a little under the weather). They taste great & give that immune system a little extra boost.

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Probiotic Restore Ultra: I take them every single day anyway, but they’re especially important while traveling. Gut health + immune system are very closely linked, so it helps keep everything working like it should. LOVE me some Probiotics! I may even double up and bring the FastMelts too.

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Fiber Drink: I hate to be all TMI & talk #2 on here (not really, but at least it makes me sound more ladylike with that disclaimer, right?), but have you ever been on a trip and NOT gone to the bathroom regularly? I don’t know exactly why it happens- probably a combo of a few different things (like not drinking enough water, not eating as much fiber, disruption of normal routine/environment), but it ain’t healthy, friends. We should all be going to the bathroom 1-2 times every.single.day. Plus, it helps you feel more full so you eat less junk! I personally drink the peaches and cream because I love the way it tastes. It helps keep things moving right along while traveling.

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Lemons: Yes, I bring my own lemons, and no, I don’t care that it’s weird. Most places have hot water in the lobby so I can continue to make my warm lemon water in the mornings. It’s part of my morning ritual along with Spark and Rehydrate and it’s something I do every single morning when I first wake up to get things moving, hydrate/detox. Tons of benefits!

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AdvoGreens Meal Shake & shaker cup: Obviously we are eating out for most of our meals while traveling. I try to make the best possible choices & help control it by bringing our own snacks. But, it is SUPER helpful to be able to control at least one meal. We typically use it for breakfast, but sometimes we’ll do lunch if the hotel has a decent breakfast. The new plant-based shakes are my jammmm – Jonathan’s too actually. I like salted caramel and he likes chocolate chip cookie dough. (On the go we like to eat Panera, Chipotle, & Zoe’s.) 24 g protein & 24 g carbs is the perfect 1:1 ratio, & it actually fills you up.

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Sleep Works: I bring this for Jon because it helps him fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly but still wake up feeling refreshed. Sometimes it’s difficult to fall asleep when you’re traveling, so this is super helpful. I’ll get back on it when I’m done nursing.

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Socks in airport: I always try to remember to either wear shoes that require socks or at least pack a pair that I can put on when walking through security. Because barefoot on the airport floor? NO thank you.

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Spark + Rehydrate: Seriously, don’t go anywhere without it. Hydration is SO important, & we love the mental focus and clean energy the Spark gives us. The stick packs are more convenient on the go, but I’ve never had a problem flying with the canisters either.

AdvoCare Rehydrate® Single ServingsSpark® Stick Packs

Apples, homemade nut/seed mix, & Pro 20: I bring enough apples to eat one each day while I’m gone. (That way I know it’s organic and I’ve washed it at home.) There is truth to the ole “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” saying. (Seriously, research validates it.) We also love almonds, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. so keep a glass jar full at home & just distribute into little baggies to bring with us. Quick, easy, & fills you up. We also love Pro 20 because it is an awesome way to help make sure you’re getting enough protein (20g of hydrolyzed protein), & you can fly with them in your carry on since they’re only 3 oz. #winning  Cuz let’s be real…my snack bag is coming with me on the airplane. If you have a husband who gets “hangry” (like straight up out of the Snickers commercials) without food, you get me! Haha!

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C-Grams: A little vitamin C when your body might typically be getting run down is always a good thing!

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Hand sanitizer: I have some from Ava Anderson I’m still using up, & I keep Babyganics in the kiddos’ bags. We make sure to wash our hands as often as possible too. I prefer good ole fashioned regular soap and NOT antibacterial, but I figure it’s fine while traveling.

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OnGuard Essential Oil: I’ve been using this since October and LOVE it. I typically diffuse it at home and very rarely use anything topically, but I do apply a little drop. I also have a roller ball with a carrier oil so it’s more diluted. I carry them both in my carry on (inside a double bagged plastic bag) & have never had any trouble.

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Sound Machine: Hotel rooms are almost too quiet for us now that we are used to sleeping with a box fan and air purifier in our room. I caught myself struggling to go to sleep on one of our trips, so we just started bringing one of the boys’ sound machines. Next time we will just download a white noise app on our phones. #duh

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Clear Mood & Oasis (for Jon): Because, have you ever driven through Atl traffic or gone through Hartsfield-Jackson airport? If not, congrats. And if you have, there is no explanation needed as to why this is essential.

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That may seem like a lot, but it’s all things we have on hand anyway, and it’s just second nature to pack it now. Jonathan has become accustomed to me taking care of us in this way too and he really appreciates that I have all of these things ready for him when we’re traveling. I just like to make sure the only thing we bring home is souvenirs and not any yucky sickness. Winking smile

Anything else you do to help stay healthy while traveling?? (I should totally start bringing our own sheets too after the video I saw the other day about hotels not changing out sheets….YIKES!)

Oh, and I’ll take alllll the tips I can get for unpacking, because I DREAD doing it so bad that I usually end up leaving the suit case on the floor in the closet for wayyyy longer than I’d care to admit. Unpacking is the worst!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

New FIT Line!!

We get straight FIRED UP when AdvoCare comes out with something new because we know all of the science, research, & development that goes into a new release…so it’s pretty much guaranteed to be a winner. We so appreciate that they are constantly on the cutting edge of science & working to meet the needs in the marketplace. (It’s funny when I see people posting about things like maca, green tea extract, beet root extract, ashwagandha, garcinia camogia, L-theanine, magnesium, turmeric, melatonin, etc. – as we’ve had products with these ingredients in our products for years! Our sci/med board is the REAL DEAL.)

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Statistics show that nearly 53% of Americans are participating regularly in some type of physical activity. Studies have also found that physical activity alone is fairly ineffective in helping people lose weight. (Nutrition, hydration, sleep, stress management, recovery, etc. all also play a big role!) And that’s where supplements can really prove beneficial.

We have people ask us all the time about a pre-workout, & although there are options in the Performance Elite line, we are loving the simplicity of this 1-2-3 system! When I am done nursing, I will go to this ( + Arginine and O2 Gold because they are tha JAM!).

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I love that all of these are Informed Choice products as well which means they are 3rd party tested for over 200 banned substances & it helps ensure what is on the label is exactly what you’re getting in the product.

The new FIT line is perfect for multiple types of exercise- zumba, yoga, dance, golf, kickboxing, group fitness classes, walking/jogging, spin, that type of thing. My current favorite workouts are boot camp & Orange Theory, & these would be perfect for both of those! (Jon said he typically still recommends Muscle Fuel to anyone doing heavy weight lifting, so that’s what he takes. But he does drink the Intra & BigCharge during his workout. And he takes the Pre for things like coaching the boys baseball game & taking our kiddos to the pool bc he said he needs a pre-workout for those! Ha!)

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Here are a few of the notes I took from the docs describing each product as well as the except from the actual AdvoCare website.

PRE: This is designed to elevate energy levels, combat oxidated stress, and help maintain optimal nutritional levels. The green tea extract and B vitamins (energy + mental focus) help improve coordination between the nervous system and the muscles. Helps mobilize energy stores from body fat, and contains antioxidants and flavanoids to help combat stress. It’s designed to take 30 min before a workout to basically get you revved up and ready to go! (Jon says the difference between AdvoCare’s pre-workouts and other pre-workouts he has taken are 1. the mental focus and 2. the results. He said he feels like most of the other things would just have crazy amounts of caffeine and who knows what else (that made his face tingle), but he wouldn’t really get results in his workouts. That was the biggest difference he noticed starting on AdvoCare products 5 1/2 years ago.

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  • Supports energy levels*
  • Enhances mental focus*
  • Promotes a healthy metabolism*

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INTRA: This is designed to help maintain the optimal level of performance, help maintain hydration, improve skeletal muscle coordination/synthesis, and has a blend of amino acids that promote the synthesis of connective tissues like tendons and ligaments. It also contains tart cherry juice powder (which you’ve heard me talk about before as something I drink during pregnancy) because it reduces inflammation, soreness, and improves Vo2 max. Only 15 cal & a delicious coconut lime flavor (partially from the coconut water powder I’m sure?).

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  • Helps the body stay hydrated with electrolytes*
  • Supports muscles with amino acids*
  • Promotes an increase in exercise capacity*

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POST: MOST people are missing the mark when it comes to recovery. Jonathan won’t give up his Post Workout Recovery, but this is an awesome option and definitely what I’ll do post workout when I’m done nursing. (Right now I do Muscle Gain.) It’s an intentional blend of protein to carbs (which are necessary for recovery) to help restore glycogen (which is easily depleted during workouts). There are both whey and casein proteins since not all proteins are digested equally. Whey absorbs rapidly whereas casein has a lengthier process of absorption. It also contains botanical compounds and antioxidants to reduce muscle soreness. It’s only 100 cal (so won’t undo your hard work) & comes in chocolate & cin bun. YES please.

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  • Provides a balanced blend of protein and carbohydrates*
  • Helps improve muscle recovery*
  • Supports muscle metabolic processes*

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RTD Protein: This is one I’m super excited about for the convenience. For someone who isn’t a big meat eater, I sometimes struggle getting in enough protein. It’s 20g, easily digested, & tastes awesome. This is one I’m for sure recommending to my friends who are busy & on the go, because a high quality ready-to-drink protein will come in super handy!

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  • 20g Protein
  • 26 vitamins and minerals
  • 140 calories
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    Also, if you noticed the prices on each picture, there is the retail price (I know some people don’t mind paying full retail since the products are absolutely worth every red cent)& the discounted price. Everyone who enrolls with a distributorship has the ability to work to or invest in the deepest discount, which is 40%. Y’all know how much we love our AdvoCare products and it has literally saved us THOUSANDS of dollars by being able to save 40% on everything we order (with no monthly minimums, quotas, autoships, etc.).

    Lots of folks are also really excited about the new Preferred Customer program. It’s only $19.99 + tax & shipping on the Spark samples they’ll send you as a thank you for becoming a PC. You’ll be able to order through your own website any time you want and you’ll see the discount (20%-30%) applied on every single order in your shopping cart. Ships to your door by FedEx in about 2-3 days. It’s very similar to a Sam’s or Costco- still no monthly minimums or quotas or hidden fees…just an annual renewal if you decide to keep your membership. This is perfect for someone who doesn’t have an interest in sharing with others and getting paid for the referrals. And of course we will still be your sponsors so we can add you to our FB coaching page and answer any questions or help you come up with a regimen based on your goals & budget.

    We LOVE what we do with AdvoCare! Thanks for letting us share our passion with you!