Adults Say the Darndest Things: Pregnancy Edition

apples and belly

I don’t typically believe in waking a sleeping baby, but today was an exception to the rule. 🙂 I wanted to drive to the apple orchard and farmer’s market for some crisp apples and local produce. So, I woke Juder from his sweet slumber in the late afternoon, and we headed out.

We shopped for our goods and made our way toward the cash register. Jude was climbing out of the cart, and Zeke was begging for candy— just a typical grocery experience with the boys. As I started placing my purchases on the counter, the cashier said, “you look tired”, which I guess is just the state I operate in these days. Yipes.

Anyway, the lady proceeds to point to my belly and asks me if we know what gender the baby is. I say, “Yes! We are having boy,” with a smile on my face. She glances over at Zeke & Jude and musters out a bummed, “Ohhhhhh. I’m sorry.”

I think I gave her some weird look and waited a few seconds for the “JUST KIDDING!!!” but there wasn’t one. She legit felt sorry for me that the blessing I was carrying is the same gender as my other two blessings.

So, even with a little feistiness in my spirit, I told her how excited we are to have another boy, and I thought it would be nice of me to give her a chance to redeem herself. I’m all about giving a sista some GRACE. But….she proceeds to tell me how great it was to raise her two daughters. Cleary, she thinks I am missing out big time! Anywhoo…I left the market with my two little boy blessings and got them snug in their car seats.

During the drive home, I couldn’t stop thinking about this woman’s response. I guess all I kept thinking was “please don’t refer to my blessing as a bummer.”

What this woman doesn’t know is that Justin and I have miscarried two babies. The last miscarriage was right before we conceived the little one in my belly. From the beginning of my current pregnancy, I’ve referred to this baby as my ‘redeemer baby’. Due to my recent miscarriage, I was monitored closely during the beginning of this pregnancy. When I was five weeks along, my nurse told me told me that I was ‘extremely likely to miscarry again’ based on my bloodwork. Things kept progressing. At 14 weeks, we had a scare and thought we lost the baby. All appears well, and things keep progressing. So, I guess what I am trying to say is, our fertility journey has completely changed my perspective on all of this gender stuff. We are simply thankful to be pregnant AGAIN. I fully trust that God knows what He’s doing when He determines the gender of our children. (Aaaaand… apparently I am destined to be the QUEEN of this house! Wahooo!)

So, when my little dude kicks me during the day, I don’t wish he was anyone else but little one God is knitting in my womb. And when I see his face for the first time, there will be no other baby I’ll want to replace that little face with. I know that the minute we meet this little guy, he will have a perfect place in our family, making our family complete.

So, for my home girl back at the market…please keep your “I’m sorry’s” for my friends who have been struggling for years to get pregnant. Please keep them for my friends who have been through the ringer dealing with their children’s delicate medical issues, and for my friends who have suffered the painful loss of a child. As for me, my blessing is not a bummer.



Adults Say the Darndest Things: Pregnancy Edition

Church ain’t the Building

About a year ago, the hubs and I decided to join a church plant started by new (and amazing) friends, who recently moved to Columbus from Chicago.

We felt God priming our hearts for the transition, but none-the-less, change isn’t always easy. Saying “YES” to God often takes some amount of sacrifice. From the outside, it may just look like Justin and I are spontaneous. Which if you know us, this is pretty true (especially in our early married days). Changing churches though, especially young kiddos, wasn’t just a split decision. The only way I can explain it is that it felt right, and we were excited.

The early days of the church plant started out in our friend’s home. The kiddos would join us for worship, ‘614 kids’ church was in their basement, and everyone stayed for a delish church family lunch after the service. Oh, it was such a sweet way for our families to meet, grow, be in each other’s lives, and so much more. When our church moved into a building, none of that was lost, it was just amplified.  I started realizing how much thought, love, prep, care, time, and energy goes into making church “happen”.

early 614 church

Getting a behind the scenes look at church planting has really given me so much appreciation for my friends and church family who truly have a heart for loving each other well, sharing Jesus, spending time with God, building each other up, letting others in, making a safe place for those who need it, caring for the kiddos, providing family for the lonely, tending to each other’s needs, and creating a community that puts God (love) first.


Ultimately, I’ve been so thankful for the simplicity of learning what really defines church. It’s certainly not the building, it’s not the programs, it’s not just being inspired by the pastor’s faith. Church is community. It’s being open and vulnerable enough to let people see the good, bad, and the really, really, hard. It’s a safe zone where we can ask questions, and take risks in sharing our faith. It’s inviting others to experience the love of God through people. It’s play dates and girls nights. It’s ‘dudes only’ camping trips. Church community is not just for “churched” people. My wise friend, who also heads up our kid’s community, said the other day something along the lines of: We make it so difficult. In God’s eyes, it’s simple. We are all either a son or a daughter of God.

We were created by Him, and we belong to each other. So, I want to make it simple. You are loved and you are a child of the most High King. You were created for a purpose and created for community. If that’s something that you long for, but haven’t found, I’d just love for you to come and join us for 614 Church’s first birthday PAR-TAY! If community is something you already have, WOOT WOOT!

For the locals: We meet at Gables Elementary: 1680 Becket Ave, Columbus, Ohio

614 invite



Church ain’t the Building

Sunday Blessings

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’ve already been blessed a handful of times. I’ve also seen a handful of tantrums already today. 🙂 Some days, I’ll just admit it, the meltdowns overshadow the blessings. Today…I’m counting those blessings one by one!

BLESSING #1: The hubby headed to church early this morning with both boys. This means I was able get ready by my lonesome and fully blow-dry my hair. I even took a selfie for evidence. Well, really, I tried out a new Beautycounter lip sheer color and LOVE it, so I took a pic. (Who knew there were other colors out there for me besides pink? 🙂


BLESSING #2: On the way to church, I drove through Starbucks to get a small blond roast coffee and ice water. I pulled up to the window to find the gentleman in front of me paid for me! I typically don’t use the word ‘gentleman’…but dang…the title applies here!!! I’ve never been the recipient of one of these ‘random acts of kindness’ gestures from a stranger, and it was just SO kind and unexpected. The little blessing of complimentary coffee definitely made me smile. Also, coffee tastes better when someone else buys. Don’t you think? 🙂

free coffee

BLESSING #3: Justin and I are truly blessed by the thoughtful and loving ways our church, 614 Church, involves and equips our little ones. Today, the little kiddos prayed for us before they went into their classrooms. Needless to say, it blessed me so! I mean, how cute are they?!?!?!

614 kids prayers

BLESSING # 4: Lately, when I walk into church, I just say to the greeters, “I’m with the band.” hahaha. I’m totally kidding (sort of). I do have a thing for the newest djembe drummer. He’s never played on an official worship team. If you know the fella though, he can keep a beat. Anyway, it’s just really fun to see my hubby worship the Lord in this way! See him back there? 🙂 🙂

justin drums

BLESSING #5: I can’t remember if tantrum number five or blessings number five came first. Regardless, I just loved this one! I was sitting on the couch with Jude and Zeke before lunch. Jude stepped on my (pregnant) belly. Yikes! Zeke leaned over and kissed my belly. I asked Zeke to pray for the baby. He extended his hand to cover my stomach, and this was his prayer over the babe. “I pray Jude won’t step on you, and that you will have a shield over you. Amen.” Word, Zeke! (And yes, my eyes were open and I snapped a photo mid prayer!).

zeke's prayer

He is a shied to all who come to Him for protection   -Proverbs 30:5

I’m sure there will be more to come today! Blessings that is. And likely, some tantrums too. 🙂



Sunday Blessings

Run Like a Kenyan

Each Wednesday, my mom takes the little guys for the day. Up until last month, I was trekking to the office on Wednesdays, doing communications consulting work. These days, I use Wednesdays to work on my new Beautycounter consulting business, blog about my recent inspirations, and take 30 minutes to exercise. Wednesdays are SUCH a gift to me! Who doesn’t love the gift of time?!?!?!

Today on my run trot, I was ever-so-slowly approaching one of my neighbors who was also out for a nice little jog. As I passed him, he yelled, “What are you—a Kenyan?” I nearly peed my pants. No one should ever crack jokes like that to a pregnant woman on a run. Lack of bladder control is FOR REAL! I wanted to respond with “Nope, I’m just a mom trying to stay sane and not pee my pants,” but I simply laughed and told him to have a great rest of his run.


As I continued on, I felt my stride get a little longer, and there was a little identity shift simply because of a compliment. I started to think about how my perspective of myself is just OFF sometimes. I was feeling suuuuuper slow today, and I was just glad to be outside exercising. After my neighbor compared my 10-minute-pace to a Kenyan, suddenly I felt a little faster! Clearly there was some humor in his comment, but it just makes me think about the power of perspective. We often measure ourselves to these crazy standards that we’ll never meet, and wonder why we’re disappointed. We tend to give everyone else slack and compliments, but forget to return the favor to our self!

While it’s nice to get compliments and encouragement, we do need to be careful that our identity isn’t determined by what other people think about us. I’m so thankful that we don’t have to live in a reality where our self worth is measured on the number of “likes” our Facebook selfie gets. Our identity isn’t measured on the number of friends we have, how great our career is, or even how much money we make. Our identity rests in the hands of our Father. The one who created us, loves us, and calls us beautiful.

Our identity was chosen before we even had a say in our own life goals and dreams. Whether we claim it or not, we are all children of the most High King who loves with a relentless kind of love. He’s the one who gets to tell us what our identity is and you know what he says? “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

God created you and I on purpose and for a purpose. So here’s my prayer for you:

“…I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” – Ephesians 3:17-19.

You were made uniquely you, and you have gifts to share that the people around you need. I truly believe that being vulnerable is beautiful. Whatever God’s gifted you with, pursue it. Whatever helps you breath, do it.



Run Like a Kenyan

Taking a Leap!

Feel Healthy Girl friends,

Here’s a personal update about our current life happenings and my latest business venture. 🙂 This is how excited I am!!!!

In late July, right after we found out that we were pregnant with baby number three (we’re due in February), I learned that my communication consulting hours would be coming to an end. It’s been a great 2.5 years working with an incredible company, but I knew the position wouldn’t be available forever. The opportunity I had was an incredible blessing for our family, and I was determined to find another consulting position of some sort.

During my recent job search, I was praying for something that would align with my personal passion of empowering women with wellness inspiration through Feel Healthy Girl. My prayer was answered with Beauty Counter— a company with the mission to get safe products in the hands of everyone. Yep, I can get behind that mission!

My friend Shelly (the same friend who hooked me up with my recent communication & marketing consulting opportunity) introduced me to this incredibly safe, non-toxic, high-performing skin care and cosmetic line —Beauty Counter. Shelly is the ultimate health advocate and consumer, so with her stamp of approval, I was immediately interested. She put me in touch with her friend, I tried as many products I could get my hands on, fell in love with the products and the mission, and determined it was my next step both professionally and personally. I am now a consultant and educator for Beauty Counter, advocating for safe beauty and skin care products in an unregulated personal care industry. In fact, did you know that the United States hasn’t passed a federal law to regulate the ingredients used in personal care products since 1938? Yikes! We all know there are millions of gorgeous and high-performing self-care products on the market, but the question is— are they actually SAFE for consumers?

The purpose of this email is to introduce you to Beauty Counter, and the amazing options available for SAFE and gorgeous skin care for your entire family. If you are interested in swapping your current beauty products for amazing products with the strictest ingredient regulations on the market, let’s chat! You can also check out the products on my website here.

In the meantime, because knowledge is power, let me introduce you to a mobile application called Skin Deep created by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). It’s been eye-opening for me! Download the app on your smart phone, type in your cosmetics products, and see how they are rated in terms of safety. I was blown away when I first did this. Even some of my “organic” products came back with unfavorable ratings. All of the Beauty Counter products rank 0-2, which falls in the safe category. Zero being the least toxic, and 10 being the most toxic. Let me know what you learn!

I’m so excited about this new opportunity, and look forward to sharing more with you in the near future!



Taking a Leap!

Motivated by Love, Not by Fear

I read this AWESOME quote today from Dr. Caroline Leaf, a cognitive neuroscientist, who specializes in the mind-brain connection. My close friend, Ashley, Introduced me to Dr. Leaf- a vessel of truth who interconnects God’s spirit-filled word with science. (Follow her on Instagram!)

Every type of emotion has one of two roots- love or fear. They cannot coexist. – Dr. Caroline Leaf

This very quote made me think about why I am so passionate about living the healthiest life I can. My journey started in 2006 when I had a major health scare. I was diagnosed with melanoma after having a very suspicious mole removed. I was 23-years-old with skin cancer. The diagnosis I received shook me to the core, and reminded me that I was not invincible. I was super fortunate to have one surgery, and it the cancer was taken care of. The physical disease was out, but an extremely unhealthy (dare I say “diseased”)mindset started taking over my previously happy-go-lucky self. As a coping mechanism, I took up habits to try to control my situation. I became extremely anxious, super health conscious, drinking 3 cups of green tea for the antioxidents, daily smoothies, etc.  All of my new ‘healthy’ practices weren’t bad, but my motivation wasn’t rooted in striving for optimal health, rather I was bound by fear. Fear of disease, and even more crippling, I had a life-gripping fear of dying. Unfortunatly, that fear was totally robbing me from truly living.

Fast forward a few years when I found a lump in my breast. I was 26-years-old, and I was terrified. Here we go, all over again. A biopsy revealed the lump was benign (so thankful), and the physician who diagnosed it told me there could be a link between my birth control pills (hormones) and the benign tumor. Again, my world was rocked and I was scared. I was left wondering how my young body was so sensitive and susceptible to disease.

A year or so later when we were ready to try for a baby, I had already convinced myself that my body was “broken” before we even tried to conceive. (I could have really benefited from staying in counseling a LOT longer!) Nonetheless, conceiving wasn’t an easy feat for us. Our “trying” process was more than trying. I was defeated. I felt like I was living in this broken body avoiding this and that, telling my husband to stop using his laptop computer on his lap because it would lower his “you know what” count, etc. Anything I was able to control, I would try to. The reality was: I WAS COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTROL.

It wasn’t until my first miscarriage in 2010 that I surrendered it all. The miscarriage was horrible, yes, but it was also my wake-up call. I had changed my diet, my lifestyle, etc., and we still miscarried a little baby. While I FIRMLY believe that all of those positive lifestyle changes I made improved my quality of life in multiple ways, I realized that throughout our baby-making process, I was captivated by fear.

After our successful pregnancy and birth of our first son is when I found the passion to become a certified holistic health coach. I want to empower women to be their best self. Instead of scaring people into a healthy lifestyle, I want to hold their hands and walk them into freedom. I don’t want people to be motivated by fear like I was, rather remain rooted in love. Love for their body, for their unique calling, and most importantly, loved by their Maker.

I know there is much I cannot control, but I want to set myself and my family up for our best shot at a healthy and happy life. That is my mission. That is anthem. Where love abides, fear must flee.

Today, I also practice thanking God for my health and I declare health over my body, rather than believing I am coming from a place of lack. Thank you Jesus!

God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love. [1 John 4: 17-18, MSG]

My mission for Feel Healthy Girl is that you will feel empowered, inspired, and believe that you are fully known and loved by the creator. Just. As. You. Are.



Motivated by Love, Not by Fear

Let Them be Heard

Pregnancy and parenting have been the most pivotal and refining experiences of my life. Pregnancy requires utter dependence on faith. Aside from avoiding certain foods/drinks and prenatal care, growing and sustaining life is largely out of our control.

Then there is parenting. It’s the most privileged, yet trying gift I’ve ever received. Like most moms, I try my best to give our kids fun experiences within our means. Other times, I am selfish, and plan our agenda according to what’s needed, or maybe even what I think would be fun.

rocks parkmoor

Take yesterday for example. I was meeting a friend at the rec center to work out and the kiddos went into the kids area, the Sprout Room, to play. Zeke wasn’t thrilled at first, but I knew when I came back for him, he wouldn’t want to leave. I was right. After the rec center, we did a quick run to Trader Joe’s. In the car Zeke said, “Mom, we like never get to play outside.” (yikes…wonder who he gets the word ‘like’ from?)

I thought to myself, what is this kid talking about? I thought to about the past few days. On Sunday, we were at Easton playing in the fountains. On Monday, we went to throw rocks in the creek and then while it was raining, we were playing with one of his best buddies. He responds back, “I just want to go home and play with you and my dry land toys.”

A whhhhhhaaaaaa? His comment made me crack up laughing, but also made me think. I run from thing to thing with the kids. Even when the “things” are FUN, could it be that sometimes, playing at home outside with his mommy and *dry land toys* trumps everything else?

Anyway…later on in the day after Jude napped, we were headed out in the swagger wagon to play with another friend (which happens to be a fun mommy date for me too!). We were pulling out of the driveway and St. Mimi, a.k.a. My mom, swings by for her weekly drop-off of random things. One of the items was a GIANT ART JAR for the Z-man.


Zeke couldn’t wait to get his hands on these crafts and deemed them “Everything I’ve ever wished for” last night. That cute little phrase made me wish that I was the one that bought that for him because he loved it so much. My mom, who knows and loves the kids so much, is able to step back and access my child’s needs because she’s not with them 24/7. I don’t want to admit it, but sometimes she can do this better than I can.

When you are in the thick of parenting, and all of the beautiful messy things it entails, it’s easy to get distracted by busyness and everyday tasks. I realized yesterday, that really I’m filling our day with “stuff” sometimes, just to feel like we’re making memories. My little boys have unique and specific love tanks that need to be filled, and as their mommy, I want to do my best to mother them in a way they need to be mothered. Father, help me!

The bottom line is, when Zeke expressed his love for his dry land toys and crafts, it wasn’t anything new. I just feel like I could really hear him yesterday. I know he loves being busy, but there is a side of him who just wants to play and create at home—with me. I PRAY I can put down the dishes sooner today to let him do just that.

One day at a time. This is my prayer: Let them be little. Let them be heard. Help me be present. AMEN.



Let Them be Heard