Surviving

Sometimes it’s hard to find the words to attempt to convey what life has thrown at us the past couple months. Actually the entire past year. 2014 got off to a sad start with the shocking dead of Steve’s cousin Bill. He and Bill have been birthday twins ever since he arrived earthside two years after Steve. Attempting to pick up the pieces of a life gone before it’s time is never easy and we were left reeling with the suddenness and sadness of it all.

A couple months later we traveled to TX to see my treasured MaMaw for her 99th Birthday. This strong, humble, sweet and kind woman has influenced me in more ways than I can count and I am so grateful our children were able to meet her. Despite being very weak she held Mark and teased and played with him. A few weeks after our visit she slipped away quietly, surrounded by her living children with the same beautiful dignity that had been such a distinguishing characteristic her entire life.

Mark and Mamaw

Mark and Mamaw

After her death a sort of surreal feeling settled in. It was just hard to accept that we had lost someone important from both sides of the family. One expected, one unexpected, both incredibly hard.

On our way home from our TX trip our sweet Cman broke his arm in two places in a playground accident. A couple months later he re-broke the same arm. My Mama heart didn’t handle seeing my little dude in such pain two times in a single summer! Somewhere in the middle of all of this various challenges and stresses arose with some of the properties we are responsible for. On-going stresses from that piled onto our already overloaded plates.

Cman and Mama at the ER with a badly broken arm

Cman and Mama at the ER with a badly broken arm

Another couple of roadtrips later and a few months later our world was again rocked with an unexpected death. Our friend and the owner of www.morethanalive.com had died suddenly in an accident on his way back from a Prison Ministry he participated in every weekend. Vlad and Joy were one of the first couples to welcome us to TN and befriend us when we moved here several years ago. Our company www.beeyoutiful.com and theirs had worked together as our interests and passion in sharing tools to help individuals live healthier and more joyful lives overlapped.

The trauma of Vlad’s sudden death was compounded by an immediate flood of drama at every turn. Support and kindness poured in from all corners of the US and beyond to show love to his family. At the same time various dynamics came to a head and drama exploded on multiple fronts. Those of us close to the situation attempted to navigate the difficult circumstances with as much wisdom as possible. As the days turned into weeks a swirl of transitions happened at a very rapid rate. The decision was made for Beeyoutiful to own and manage MoreThanAlive and facilitate a continued support to Vlad’s family. And then my brother John and Joy were married.

As we barrel into the Holiday season while attempting to integrate two companies and continue to manage our normal responsibilities to Beeyoutiful and family while supporting an ambitious schedule of new products and growth the sheer logistics are staggering. Part of me wants to just go to bed and not come out until this horrendous year has finished itself out and then creep back out when we find out whether or not 2015 is going to be any kinder. Another part of me is filled with determination to finish this year out celebrating the many incredible blessings we have around us.

3 incredible kids, a business with the most amazing team ever to work with, the opportunity to learn and grow…there is so much good. One of the things I’m most grateful for are the many friends who have shown love, care, kindness and support. It means so much when a series of life events just keeps coming with hits to have people who show love in those basic, real ways.

Right now my life goal is to survive the next few weeks of work without finishing frying off my adrenals and sending my health into a tailspin. Easier said than done but also easier thanks to the awesome teammates helping to carry the many challenges before us. I’m determined to cling to the good and step forward with gratefulness for what we have and not take the time we have with loved individuals for granted. We truly do not know what the future holds and that is both the most terrifying and comforting thing in the world to me right now. I will admit to having a countdown to 2015 though…It’ll be somewhat comforting to officially say goodbye to 2014.

Rambles

Summer finally caught up and overcame our ridiculous winter. I’ve never enjoyed being hot more. The kids seem to be grateful for the heat as well. It’s such an awesome thing to be able to open the doors and let them run around outside for hours.

This does occasionally backfire in side effects like sunburns, bug bites and bee stings but the trade off is worth it for them to get some media entertainment detox and actually engage with the outdoors. Doodles is learning the wonders of chewed up plantain and can ID it at a dozen yards when motivated by a bee sting. For the record, she isn’t being targeted, all the bees around here seem of the Bee Movie variety and very hesitant to show aggression. However when they are stepped on with a 7 year old bare foot it is only fair that they sting in return. Speaking of bare feet, our kids just won’t do the shoe thing.

There are certain things I might as well record and just play on a loop at random intervals because it’s inevitable that it needs to be said approximately five hundred times per day.

Put on your shoes before you go outside!
Close the baby gates so Squish doesn’t kill himself on the stairs!
Don’t go outside without clothes on!
Whoever made that horrible mess needs to clean it up!
Be kind to each other! Was that kind?
Did you feed and water the cats? Make sure they have enough.
No you may not have a special drink. Herbal tea or water.

Our hunky Cman is talking. More accurately, we are understanding him. He’s been talking for a long time but it was more like toddler man cub sentence growls that nobody could really make out despite his diligence in repeating them for us dense people. Now that he can be understood I have to hide involuntary giggles. He’s super articulate and sweet.

Speaking of sweet. Why does nobody talk about how spectacularly sweet little boys can be? The sort of make your eyes well up with tears and feel like your heart is going to explode into a million pieces sort of sweet? Maybe it’s because we expect sentimentality from girls. Or maybe because girls are in general emotionally expressive or what have you but I for one have been really bowled over and touched by our sweet little men. It makes being their mama such a joy. Which is a good thing cuz the rest of this boy stuff is putting gray hairs on my head and heading me towards an early grave via the regular moments of terror I experience as their safety warden.

Our herb garden kind of went nuts this year. Massive amounts of fennel and cilantro popped up seemingly out of nowhere. The cilantro reseeded from last year so at least it’s origins are known. The fennel however just showed up with no warning and no prior presence right in the middle of the herb garden where it should be. It’s a mystery but the beautiful smokey purple feathery foliage is a lovely addition to the bed. The peppermint and spearmint beds in the front and back yards respectively are trying to conquer and take over new territory by the day. We are enjoying mint and sage tea on a daily basis. The various domesticated herbs are making me wish I knew a whole lot more about all the wild plants that grow so abundantly where we live.

It’s nearly time for an early am nursing session with the littlest one. Better close out before then. Hoping to get back to writing more on this blog soon but won’t be holding my breath. Life is just over the top crazy right now and looks like it’s just going to get crazier over the next few months.

Share about a SuperMom in YOUR life!

Beeyoutiful is hosting a wonderful little giveaway over on their facebook page. Click here to like the page. Find the image below and comment sharing a story about a lady who encompasses all the traits of a SuperMom in your life! We will be reading each and every story and will be picking a winner to receive a free bottle of SuperMom. Share it, pin it and spread the word to your friends!

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Baby Mark

It’s been…yeah. Way too long since I posted here. Thought about it a lot but the further behind in life I got the less blogging seemed like the thing to do.

So. Let’s see. Since I last checked in on the blogging world we got pregnant with a very surprise baby. He made it past those perilous first weeks and into the safer waters of the second and then third trimester. The Doodles and Cman were super excited to be getting a little sibling. Doodles voted, lobbied, prayed and then acted in complete and total faith that said sibling would be a girl. The poor ultrasound tech that delivered the news that the baby was a *boy* and not a girl received the death stare and was informed she must be mistaken…check again by the Doodles. Finally resigning herself to the reality that two little brothers were immediately on her horizon she adopted a philosophical attitude about it.

Our little BabyMark arrived after several weeks of off and on midwife mandated bed-rest, LOTS of prodromal labor and exhausting life logistics as we shuttled ourselves back and forth from The Farm Birth Center and the little cottage that became our home away from home as we anticipated Mark’s arrival.

He was born into the water just like his siblings were. We were blessed to have the most supportive, loving and cheerful group of labor support ever. Our Farm birth experience was amazing and we’ll always remember the wonderful women-birth-servants who work there with such respect, kindness and professional wisdom.

Life with three is interesting. It’s a bigger struggle to get things done, that is for sure. Laundry and household messes seemed to double overnight. I love the freedom to take a few minutes, an hour or a day as needed and just focus on our three little people. Still keeping up with work as I am able to in between caring for a bigger than ever personal life.

Both Cman and BabyMark are in cloth diapers. Need to write another blogpost about cloth diapers again. Still a huge fan and cloth diapering has saved us so so much money in addition to being a totally fun fashion statement. Cman loves choosing between different patterns of pocket diapers and is already making his own sense of style be known. Think brilliant orange diaper with soccer balls on it. Hands down favorite!

The next few months promise to be overwhelming. Have to produce both a Beeyoutiful Catalog, a BeeyoutifulSkin Makeup Catalog and prepare for a huge conference all at the same time. Somewhere in there will be attending the birth of a dear friend as a Doula if all goes according to plan.

It’s a crazy, wonderful, loving, demanding, fulfilling and exhausting life I am blessed to live right now. These little peoples years may be the hardest in terms of juggling personal life and business needs but pretty sure it’s safe to say they are the sweetest and the reality of how incredibly lucky I am to enjoy every one of our children is never too far from my reality. 

Hopefully I can get back to posting every so often again. At least any yummy food stuffs. Delicious food still makes me happy. Very happy. 

The wee hours of the morning have arrived and the littlest one will be waking up soon to eat so I’d better close this out. A few pictures are attached below for your viewing enjoyment! They were taken by our wonderful birth Photographer, Cindy Sarlo.  We were thankful to have her there to document labor and our first moments of meeting sweet BabyMark. 

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Back in the Saddle Again

After the birth of our little C-man I quit work. As in, really quit. Walked away, didn’t do from home projects or anything else. Attempted to start up a little home biz doing crafty things and had a lot of fun crocheting projects. Didn’t sell a single item but it was fun regardless.

DaMan shouldered everything I had previously been helping with and soldiered on alone for the first time since we started the company. After a few months of that I had a “please come back” job offer on the table. Which I declined. Again. And again. And again and again. I really really meant it this time. I WAS DONE. Finished. Kaput. No.more.work.

Finally they came up with a scenario even my cold hearted anti working woman’s heart couldn’t say no to. After some negotiations it was decided that I would come back and run the company for 2 months while DaMan worked from home part time and did full time childcare. This new structure was set to commence at the beginning of Nov.

November saw my return to work life off with a bang. Our little family traveled by train from TN to CA to attend the Weston A. Price 2012 Conference being held in San Jose. It was time to take the http://www.beeyoutifulskin.com makeup line public in a big way. 3 days and 3 nights on a train going there and the same to return. Along with about a bazillion lbs. of luggage since we were packing 1500 catalogs and all the supplies and full makeup inventory to supply a booth in addition to our personal belongings. Ooph. It was epic, super hard, super amazing trip.

Caleb waving hello to me in the train car on a brief walkabout on one of the stops

Caleb waving hello to me in the train car on a brief walkabout on one of the stops

Our poor kids are going to be champion travelers whether they like it or not the way we drag them all over the place. At the conference one of the ladies that came by the booth asked where those “free range children are??” Momentarily confused, thinking she must be referring to one of the many free range farmers represented at the conference and perhaps one of their children she quickly corrected me “No no those two little blond kids who just free ranged around saying hi to everybody and visiting. They were so cute!!” Oh (gulp) THOSE free range kids. Those are mine. Yup. Free range kids.

Free Range Kids

Free Range Kids

We were blessed to work with a lot of people who pulled their weight plus some in the days leading up to the conference and then through the super long, super hard days of the conference itself. What happened at our booth is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. We had a *crowd* of ladies from morning till night, oftentimes standing in line to check out the makeup. The excitement and positive response to the line was wonderful and overwhelming. The three ladies who worked with me at the conference spent loooooong hard hours on their feet and woke up the next day to do it all over again…and again. They were amazing. It was so wonderful to get to meet so many women in person who are excited about a truly pure makeup. Made all the hard months of work that went into the line feel worth it.

BeeyoutifulSkin Booth at the 2012 WAPF Conference in San Jose

BeeyoutifulSkin Booth at the 2012 WAPF Conference in San Jose

We are scrambling to get caught up from the conference whirlwind now that we are back in TN. Top priority is to get a http://www.beeyoutiful.com catalog out the door. Speaking of if you have a story to tell involving you, friend or family member and a Beeyoutiful product I’d love to hear about it! If it is something we end up publishing you’ll be getting something as a “thank you” as well.

I’m overdue to work on some other writing projects. Will try to be back and blog about something that is actually interesting or informative soon.

Gut Challenge starts TODAY!

Just incase you missed it before you can read all about it by clicking here

Today is the day we start! Just to make things a little more interesting I’ve also decided to give up sugar for the 2 month challenge. <gulp> Yeah. Big deal for me. But I truly believe it will make this challenge far more effective for my health so it’ll be worth it.

bye bye sugar

bye bye sugar

Anybody else want to join me?? You can modify the challenge to whatever you specifically need or that fits your lifestyle right now. We have a thread on the Beeyoutiful forum so we can help encourage each other and hold each other accountable for whatever our goals are during this challenge. You can read the thread and join it if you wish by clicking here The more the better!

Ready? Set? GO! 😀

PS Beeyoutiful still has the Gut Guardians steeply discounted right now. You can check out the prices by clicking here. This is a really amazing price for such high end probiotics! I’m personally stocking our freezer with a couple extra bottles in addition to what we are using for this challenge because it’s rare that a premium product is discounted like this. My budget is thankful!