I AM FLAWED. NOW PASS THE BUTTER.

  This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

I am flawed.  On the inside and on-the-out.  And not just for me - but for women everywhere since the dawn of time - weight loss has been one of those flaws.  Well, I'm not sure weight LOSS is the struggle so much as weight GAIN. And loss.  And gain.

This is something I have struggled with my entire life.  Even when I was in high school and built like a brick poop-house and had the tiniest little waist, I had those thunder thighs.  And believe me, I know I did because those 'helpful peers' in school would tell me so.  "Hey, Thunder Thighs!  Where'd ya get those thunder thighs??"  Clever.  Very clever.

When I got pregnant with Chelsea, the time bomb kept ticking.  I gained 120 pounds.  I literally gained an entire person in nine months.  And I don't mean the 7-pound little person I was carrying.  And I had 'those' family members that liked to have fun at my expense and thought nothing of bestowing upon me my new nickname, Eclipse.  Nine months later, I got pregnant with Cameron and the weight gain continued, as did the new (and oh-so-funny) nicknames.

And let us not forget the people that dubbed me the Butter Body.  What's that, you ask?  Well you've heard of a butter face?  Where they say everything looks good on her but-her-face?  I was the opposite.  The people (I know you meant well, Y'all) who said, "You have such a pretty FACE!"  Which meant everything else was either not note-worthy, or it would be a shame to mention.  But-her-body.  Get it?

I am in the present.  I have since lost the weight, and it took hard work.  And it continues to be a struggle on a daily basis.  But so much of it (besides the eating right and exercise, obviously!) is about the heart of the story.  It is about living healthy in mind, body, and spirit. Those people that called me names, whether it was all in good fun, out of mean-ness, or their own insecurities; those people had no idea that no one is exempt from allowing that to define a person, and it indeed worked on me and made me unhealthy - on the inside and on-the-out - for a very long time.

I am in my 40s.  And I LOVE IT.  There is abundant power in the age that allows you to feel your sexiest, even though your body is not the same; or feel your best, even though you're so much older.  But it is not all about the age of wisdom and experience that has helped me learn to love and respect who I was, who I am and who I have become.  

I am a woman of faith.  There is a quiet and serene humbling that happens as you grow and develop in the life of having the Creator lead you that allows you to understand all are created, and a very large respect happens for all bodies that house the souls that are people - no matter what they look like.  You have more of a respect for the wrinkles and lines in a person's face that are proof that none of us are immune to life-and-death.  You have more of a respect for scars on a person that are proof of the battles they have fought.  You have more of a respect for every body-type that are proof that we are all different, yet created equal.  But it is not all about the strong foundation of faith I have that has helped me to learn to love and respect who I was, who I am,  and who I have become.

I have a husband.  He is also my friend.  And he is also at that age of wisdom and experience, and is also a person of faith, and continues to grow and develop in that.  And he loves me.  For who I've been, who I am, and who I have YET to become.  On the inside and on-the-out.

Example:  I am washing dishes.  The Hubster comes up behind me and grabs me around my mid-section playfully.  I, being coy (and a bit embarrassed about my mid-section, if we're being honest), say, "Hey!  Don't grab my rolls!"  And his retort?  He closes his eyes like he is picturing a smooth whiskey with a nice cigar, or a juicy steak wrapped in bacon, and says, "Mmmmmm.  Get me some BUTTER for dem rolls!"  I guess that makes me a Butter Body FOR REAL. 

I am grateful.  I am blessed to have that kind of love and friendship, and I allow it to have power over me and give me confidence.  He calls me beautiful every day, whether I've got my eyebrows and lips on, or if my hair is in a knot and I'm bra-less and in my loungy pants for the second day in a row.  And he knows I'm flawed on the inside and on-the-out.  And he doesn't care.  He loves me.  He lifts me up, edifies me, and encourages me.  He celebrates me.  

So who are you surrounding yourself with and what kind of power do you allow them to have over you?  Who do you allow to be relevant in your life?  Are you judging people for their outsides, yet never wanting to be judged for your own outsides?  Or do you allow yourself to see people as beautiful; flaws and all?  

Lift up, edify, and encourage people.  Celebrate them.  Celebrate you.  On the inside and on-the-out.  Do your best to live healthy in mind, body, and spirit - and pass that around.

And do me a favor:  PASS THE BUTTER.

Designed: A Guest Blog

  Please do not copy this photo - all rights (reservedly) reserved through The Durham Family

Please do not copy this photo - all rights (reservedly) reserved through The Durham Family

Well, this month's Guest Blogger is very special to me.  You can rest assured you're in for something wonderful when you read her words.  She will tell you where to find her other work in the post, but I like that I can find her by my side whenever I need her.  Carly Durham is a woman of rare quality and substance and I admire and adore her.  You can look for a large dedication to her in my upcoming book - and an even larger one in my heart of hearts.  Love you, Car.  Readers:  READ ON.

Writing a guest blog for a woman who I consider to be nailing it when it comes to being a woman who can do it all (which she herself admits, she does not and we do not have to do it all- be it all, she just wants to encourage us to do what we do overflowing with passion and love) surprisingly brought up some shoved away insecurities.  I guest blog from time to time for random internet blog buddies and write occasionally over at adoption.com but a post for Life-As-She-Does-It felt daunting. And then she had to go and get the witty Katy Livingston to go first, leaving me the follow up post. I stand little chance. It’s like signing up for a meal train to bring my store-bought chicken or grilled cheese sandwiches the night after your foodie friend has listed she is making lambs with chimi-churi sauce and homemade buttered-pecan ice-cream. The "look-ahead" is a real technique to make sure you are not setting up your people for disappointment. Now here I offer you my boxed mac n’cheese with added hotdogs weenies after you just ate homemade beef bourguignon.  Go ahead a lower your expectations my people. 

While I no longer fear that I will be childless, my lack of fertility is a theme that runs deep in my life.  Insecurity attached to infertility molds my thoughts and shapes my worldview.
What does it say about me? About God? About who I am suppose to be?
Honestly, I give it way to much power. Why do I let it take root so deeply?
Here is where we are at: We have never stopped trying. Really, how can I stop? After 5 years of charting, peeing, calculating, I know this stuff down cold and am constantly aware of where I am at in my cycle. Woman was created to bear children. Go forth and multiply. Labor and Birth.
What does that say about me that I do not join my fellow woman in this path?
In a moment of doubt and insecurity, I sought counsel and comfort in a friend after a month of disappointment and grief.

"It's not so much that I ache for pregnancy so much anymore, I just feel flawed to my very core.  My body….. It's just I……… How come I don't do what I was designed to do! I hate my ovaries. UGH!"

Speaking TRUTH over me, she replied:

"I hear you what you are saying, on a whole, as a woman, what you feel women were designed to do. BUT YOU. YOU.  You were fearfully and wonderfully made and designed. There is great purpose in that."

Designed.

Can I hold on to that promise? Can I uproot the belief that I am failing in my "role" as a woman and rather plant the conviction that I was designed? That I was indeed fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:13).

And further, when I question this truth, what am I saying about God?

Then I really dig in a little more, when I question this truth, what am I saying about my uniquely designed son?

I firmly believe he is fearfully and wonderfully made with this incredible extra chromosome. I would not for one-second question his design. Every inch! Every chromosome! (ohhh goodness- have you heard that he is the cutest baby in the world - because word is spreading fast!!!)

Designed.


Thankfully, God, He is not afraid of the dark places my doubts and insecurities take me sometimes and He finds me there. 

He would also be pretty cool about it if you wanted him to go ahead and shine some light on your dark places of doubt and disbelief if you want to ask him. Because while we cannot all rock turbans on hair and giant rings on our fingers like She does, we all have been designed to rock our own unique self.  Sometimes we start to doubt that.

Life-As-She-Does-It friends, you are women so unique. If you stumbled here to read about a legit recipe to prepare with hopes to razzle-dazzle your people for a meal train, or you have come seeking encouragement on how to make the magnificent mundane, know that life as You do it has great purpose and significance. Perhaps you are fashioned to be the mom that wears yoga pants every day and puts on make-up once a year for your husbands work Christmas party but you read books to your kids in the best character voices and make a slammin-good lasagna. Or maybe you are the woman who does not leave the house without her lashes on and lips drawn, who started her own business and is not looking to start a family as she is diving into the calling God put on her heart. Either way. Every way.
 
Designed.

Own it. You are a created woman. You've nailed it.

When Life Is Chronic, BE BIONIC

 Photo Source: dreamstime

Photo Source: dreamstime

Some say it was from all the running and athletics I did when I was younger.  Some say it was from old injuries.  Legend even has it that it was the weight of my purse.  The Hubster says it was from the weight of all the jewels in my crown.  I like to think it was from so much prayer, but I'm guessing not.  Whatever the cause, I'm 44, and recently had to have both of my knees replaced.

My recovery has been, also according to legend, nothing short of amazing.  My surgeon, (Dr. Vishal Shah - GO SEE THIS GUY!), says I'm an animal!  

  This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

Perhaps it was the blinged-out walker:

woopshe
 These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

Perhaps it was my physical therapist (Tyler Humphrey at First Colony Aquatics - go see HIM, too!):

  This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

All the prep from my chiro, Dr. Derek Maxson and my trainers, Cameron Garcia and Jan-Michael Jenkins at Legacy Fitness (ya GOTTA go see them!!) may have played a part......

  These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

legacyshe

Perhaps it was the UNBELIEVABLE support I had from The Hubster, the kiddos, the friends, family, and community (too many pics to place here, but you know EXACTLY who you are).

People keep ranting to me and asking me how I healed so quickly; some accused me of being just plain crazy.  (I'm fairly certain that is not a healing agent, but I could be wrong, as they are mostly right about the crazy part)  All I know is worry gives a small thing a big shadow.  We have been through so much together as a family; because of that, we have learned that faith and hope, and not giving something more stress than is due, is the main cocktail recipe for success.  I am grateful for my new knees in this New Year.  I'm bionic, now, after all!

I'm also back on my knees in prayer, and what I'm praying for is an opportunity to give something - even if it is some small thing - to those of you who read this blog.  (Thank you, by the way - I'm fairly certain you are a small family) What could that be, you ask??

JOY.

My hopes are for this blog to be refined and become bionic - much like my new knees. I want to work more in the community and want you to join me. So please keep a watch on the Servant's Corridor page, or even send me a way to add to it to be able to help someone you know.

Who surrounds you? Who do you surround yourself WITH? Is there constant negativity or bitterness trying to steal your joy? Are there circumstances that take away your desire to believe life is good, even when it isn't? REFUSE to give in to that. Life is too short, and you have a purpose here. And help those around you who need that same joy find it.  If you haven't started already, you have a living legacy to build, and one to leave behind.  

BE NOTHING SHORT OF AMAZING. Find your joy - and keep it.  Be......BIONIC.

Two Weeks to Live

 Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/calendar-date-time-month-week-660670/

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/calendar-date-time-month-week-660670/

Very recently, a dear friend of mine named Seth found out he had cancer.  Not just cancer, but CANCER.  Very advanced Medullary Thyroid cancer that had spread to his neck, throat, and spine.  He was told he would have to undergo a surgery that would take approximately 12 hours, with no guarantee of life on the turn-out.  Literally, NONE.  He is young, with two teenage boys and a beautiful wife, Charity, and they all love him VERY much. One day on social media with only a couple of weeks to go before the surgery was to take place, I saw Charity had posted something that will stay with me for the rest of my life here on this earth, and I'd like to share it with you:

"If you thought you only had two weeks to live what would you do?  Go on that great vacation somewhere, quit your job, spend all the money you had, give your money to someone in need, ask someone for forgiveness, tell someone you forgive them, buy that amazing car, go on a mission trip, skydive, scuba dive, work, spend every moment you can with the ones you love soaking up every detail about them; the way they smile, laugh, cry, or look?  Would you want to breathe every moment of them in and never forget it???

That is a question most of us may never have to answer but for Seth, that is a question, in reality, he is facing (the surgery is very serious with life-or-death outcome).  I have caught My Love looking at me longer, holding me closer, touching me every time he passes or is near.  When he hugs the boys or I he will breathe in very deeply and sigh.  The other day as he was looking at me, I saw him out of the corner of my eye and I asked him,"Are you ok?"  He asked the million dollar question: "If you thought you only had two weeks to live, what would you do?"  I sighed and said, "This right here, I wouldn't change a thing!"  He replied, "Me, too!"  So for a week now we pray more together as a family, we hug more, we tell each other how proud we are of each other and that God brought us all together, we listen more intently to others, absorbing every moment.  None of us are guaranteed another day on this earth, funny that something like cancer can magnify everything!  He uses everything for His glory, everything.  Satan doesn't even get sickness!!!  God always knows what He is doing!
"Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which can never be shaken, never be moved. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people now and forever." Psalms 125:1-2
Even when bad things of this world come into our lives or try to have an effect on us, it CANNOT overshadow us!! We are all strong in the Lord!  His mountains surround and protect us from storms so that we can rest!
So what would YOU do? I know what I'd do......nothing but be present at this moment, absorbing and breathing in all the Lord's glory of THIS day!"

WOW, right????  I'd like to think that if I was in Seth's or Charity's position, I'd react the same way, but who really knows?!?  I DO know, however, that what holds true is that we should live in the moment, always remembering that we are not promised tomorrow, or to grow old and gray; to remember that sickness and death are allowed in order to bring faith.  Does it always bring that faith?  Of course not, sadly.  But through others that are much like Seth, it at least brings awareness to how small we are and how much control we DON'T have.  The faith - and even joy - comes when you realize that very fact.

So what would YOU do if you knew you only had two weeks to live?  Turns out, Seth made it through the surgery with flying colors, cancer-free and a better man for it.  But through his tragedy-to-triumph story, it helped grow my faith even stronger, and made me want to build a better legacy - the one I'm living and the one for those I leave behind.

Not one of us are immune - so live this life you're given to the fullest, and absorb every.  single.  moment.

"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." ~Dolly Parton

"He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends the rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." ~Matthew 5:45

"The tiniest seed knows that in order to grow, it needs to be dropped in dirt, covered in darkness, and struggle to reach the light." ~Anonymous

 Please do not copy this photo - all rights reserved through the Mohorn Family

Please do not copy this photo - all rights reserved through the Mohorn Family

(Oil) Pull My Finger

 Photo Source: Fat Girl Kitchen via educatedhomemaker.com

Photo Source: Fat Girl Kitchen via educatedhomemaker.com

In this great and intricate world, it never ceases to amaze me how things work down to every single detail.  

Recently, there has been a bandwagon that a lot of people are jumping on for oil pulling.  Oil pulling is when you take organic oil - typically coconut for its anti-microbial properties - and swish it around in your mouth for between five-to-twenty minutes and it magically cleans your mouth, heals gum disease, detoxes your body, and whitens your teeth.  Oil.  In your mouth.  OIL......AND IT WORKS.  We were oil pulling in my household before oil pulling was cool.  (IS it cool?)  It cured - yes, CURED - two cavities I had.  Truly a healthy pull.

I've discovered there are a LOT of things that have the 'pull' factor.  Let's take thyme, for example.  (Ain't nobody got THYME fo' dat!) Yes, the herb.  Most people take it from the bottom and pull it from there to get that fragrant lemony and woodsy flavor into their food.  That's already a good pull factor.  Did you know if you hold it from the top and pull, the part of the stick that you can still use and cook will automatically come off?  So this is a win-win pull!

What about pork?  We don't eat a lot of it in my home, so when we do, it's a real treat.  And pork (especially BACON!) is just GOOD.  So what could possibly make pork taste even more delicious?  PULLED pork, of course!  That's a porky pull!

One of my favorite pulls?  Wine cork from the bottle.  Funny how that works.  Now, there has been a time or two when I have had to push that sucker INTO the bottle, but it sure isn't as good.  I had to struggle to get the wine to pour because the cork kept getting in the way, not to mention the tiny bits and pieces of cork I kept sipping into my mouth.  Bleh.  But when pulled, it makes a slight pop-sound (music to my ears), and the aroma of the wine can even be breathed in from the cork itself.  Pure delight of a pull!

Another one of life's great pulls is to pull someone's leg......but only when it's all in good fun and you keep your hands to yourself.  Yankin' yer chain pull.  

If you're among the lucky ones, you can pull strings.  Pulling strings has been done since the dawn of time, and can most definitely be a help in times of need.  This pull means you've actually got "pull"!

But above all pulls, I love and appreciate the finger pull.  I happen to have two boys, a son-in-law, AND The Hubster.  (And not only boys do the finger pull.  The Daughts has been known to make this request a time or two in her younger years!)  I've been asked to pull more fingers than I can shake a stick at.  But whether I ever follow through on the request or not, it's the funny kind of pull that brings a smile to my face, regardless of the end, uh - RESULT.  And that smile is a good thing!  Especially if you participate in the oil pulling - those smiling teeth are bright and shiny!

What kind of pull keeps your mind, body, and spirit in balance in your life?  Whether it’s the kind of pull that helps keep your body healthy, or one that brings a smile to your face for emotional well-being, or perhaps a spiritual pull that you can't (or shouldn't) ignore, life is chocked full of the kind of intricate pulls that won't be pushed around.

Step on a Crack

 https://www.flickr.com/photos/markjsebastian/3425397343/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/markjsebastian/3425397343/

We've all heard the expression, right?  “Step on a crack”…you can finish it; I know you can…”break your mother’s back!!”

Though I think that is quite insensitive to the mothers of the world, when it comes to me, if I step on a crack, I usually break SOMETHING.  I have had more broken bones, torn ligaments, fractured whatevers, cracked something-or-others, and ‘itises” of the whatchamacallits than anyone I know.  True story.

It is very difficult to have an opinion these days, especially if you’re me.  I am a bit of a nut-bucket (no secret), and for that reason, people sometimes find it hard to take me seriously.  For instance, when I am touting all the good reasons to be a clean and healthy eater, most people – not all, but most – guffaw at organics or the thought of taking processed foods out of their diets.  (Nice usage of ‘guffaw’, right??)

But I’m here to tell you I have PROOF of what I am posting about today…so keep yer guffaws to yerselves.   (Totally went Cowboy Camp Speak on ya there; sorry)

This guy – we’ll call him Dr. Derek Maxson, since that’s his name – is a chiropractor from another PLANET.  First day, I walked (limped) into his office and I say, “I've got this knee thing.”  By the time I walked out – I WALKED OUT.  No limp! 

Next, I walk in and say, “So I've been running now!  Thanks for fixing my knee!  But I've run myself into a bunion.”  Low-and-behold, bunion gone within minutes.  Another time: “Cough, cough!!”  (That’s me coughing)  I hand him a hand-written note saying I have zero voice, sore throat, ear ache, AND I have to sing the very next morning.  BOOM.  Voice back by the next day after one of those “adjustments”.   AND he adjusted my EAR to fix it.  MY EAR, PEOPLE.

But recently, a diverticulitis and gall bladder attack set me back.  (It’s an epidemic these days, but I've been dealing with this since I was a kid) I mean it was such terrible pain.  I walked in with swelling that made me look five-months pregnant and pain shooting through me all up in my down-below.  (And this is AFTER an emergency-room visit did NOT help me) I did what he asked (some crazy contraption and a different kind of adjustment) and I walked out of there moments – literally MOMENTS – later with no swelling and relief from the pain enough to tend to it from home properly.

Last but certainly not least, I recently had a sweet friend yawn and dislocate his jaw.  Don’t laugh; it COULD happen to you!   It was not only painful, it was scary.  And it was late at night.  But Dr. Derek Maxson (I’m starting to sound like a commercial for him at this point) got up, met my friend at his clinic, and gently and patiently adjusted and healed his jaw. 

I know – not only do I sound like I’m selling you on a pyramid scheme of some sort or trying to get you to buy a time-share, but I’m also making him sound like some sort of weird superhero.  Well Folks, that’s because HE IS.  (Minus the pyramid scheme/time share part!) 

Me telling you all about my chiropractor may sound like quite the little thing in the grand scheme of life.  But I think we MUST enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.  Thank you for helping to keep me well, Derek.  My health is a big thing.  That’s just my opinion.

Trust and adjust!!

 Photo Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/perpetualplum/3995213761

Photo Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/perpetualplum/3995213761

Finger Prints on My Heart

 Photo Source: http://4vector.com/free-vector/heart-fingerprint-132936

Photo Source: http://4vector.com/free-vector/heart-fingerprint-132936

Fingerprints are unique.  There are no two sets of fingerprints alike.  It’s amazing to me how precise they are, too.  Sometimes I forget how intricate God is.  That’s how I feel about fingerprints in a spiritual way.

Then there’s the practical, everyday way I feel about fingerprints.  They stick in my craw.  They also stick to everything in the house!  From windows to a stainless steel refrigerator, I spend much of my time trying to remove fingerprints from surfaces in an effort to clean my home. 

I have a 19-year-old young man still living at home.  Though I don’t really see him that often, I know he’s been there – ESPECIALLY in the fridge.  Fingerprints all over it.  I’m not mad at the fingerprints I find on the fridge; in fact, I feel a little lump rise in my throat because I know he will be leaving soon and I will not get to see those fingerprints as often.  But what’s baffling to me is it almost seems as though he doesn’t even BOTHER to use the handle that is connected to the refrigerator…it’s as though he paws at it with both hands until it opens.

It’s no secret I try not to use chemicals for cleaning.  But my trusty vinegar, lemon, and water just doesn’t cut it when it comes to the fridge fingerprints.  It leaves streaks and makes the stainless steel pretty dull.

So I did my research.  You will never guess what I found!!  Extra virgin olive oil!  (Talk about “elbow grease’!)  It removes the fingerprints AND shines it up for quite some time!  I know this sounds strange and almost opposite to the point, but I now swear by it because it truly works! 

So here’s what ya do:

Paper towel or soft cloth in one hand.  Extra virgin olive oil in the other.  Pour a small amount (maybe a quarter size at a time – remember: you can always add, but it’s much harder to take (rub) away) in small, circular motions, start from the top (in case you happen to have too much on the cloth and it drips, it drips downward for you to rub it in!)  and massage oil in, working your way down the door of the fridge, rubbing the oil in fully.  If you put too much oil, it can turn rancid and start to stink…found THAT out the hard way!   Then use other side or cleaner, drier side of towel or cloth and work your way back up the door of the fridge.  BAM!!  Clean, shiny and au naturale! 

before
  These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

What do the fingerprints you find around your house remind you of?  Don’t take them for granted as you clean them away……know they are unique and fleeting.  Allow them to massage your heart with the oil of their reminiscence and as you rub them away from the surface, make sure to keep them locked away in your memories.   They’re intricate and the person they came from is VERY special......especially if they’re yours.