Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Oh what a difference...Part 2

OK, Ok...I know I promised this Part 2 business over the weekend, but some things don't change over the course of 5 years! ;)  I got caught up and didn't get to sit down until today to get this written! If you missed out on Part 1, check it out here.

SO...during my mild adventure of Facebook stalking myself, I found not only pictures, but a "Note" that I had posted in February of 2009 and a items in that note really make me look back at how much has changed not only since then, but even as short as in the last couple of years!

The note is titled, "25 random things about...ME".  You can check out the whole she-bang here.  There were two items on the list that really stuck out to me:

15. I have extremely low self confidence in all senses of the phrase. 

22. I sometimes think I have lost the person I once was...I am not sure what happened to her and how to get her back but I miss the old me... 

I want to explain one thing before I dive in here...I read these statements and I literally felt like someone punched me in the gut.  The feelings that I had back then and for a lot of my life leading up to the last couple of years, came flooding back and I was put in a place that I KNEW I needed to share.  I need to get this out and truthfully, the reason is because if I can help ONE person that is in the same place I was, it will be completely worth putting myself out there. It's a hard thing to open up and really be honest about what you have struggled with in your life.  There is always the chance that you will be judged or people will not completely understand where you are coming from.  However, the benefit of helping, like I said, even ONE person, that makes it worth it!  So, here goes...:)

Through most of my life I have had such horrible self confidence.  Some of it had to do with my physical appearance with being born with one leg shorter than then other (you can read more about that here), some of it had to do with just insecurity.  I can't tell you where it came from particularly, I just always compared myself to other people.  It happened all through elementary school and high school, and into college and even after graduating.  I want to make something very clear here too....I grew up with incredibly loving parents and people who supported me in school and other than having the issues with my leg, I never had any extremely bad experiences in feeling like I didn't have friends or that people didn't like me.  I just didn't like MYSELF and for the sole reason of that I couldn't LOVE myself for who I was.

So....no self confindence over a number of years can lead to many unpleasant things. Like I said, I constantly compared myself to others and all I saw was the negative things about myself and every situation I was surrounded in and it made me a unhappy, negative person on the inside.  I was faking the happiness that everyone saw on the outside.  I would laugh, but not like I used to with a full heart of true joy.  I would smile, but at the edge of that smile were tears of sadness waiting to pour out.  I had found myself literally as a shell of my former self (but that shell was housing a MUCH larger person - I had put on weight and lost it back and forth so many times, but at the time I posted that note I was probably 170 lbs, by the end of that year, when I found out I was pregnant with Kolten, I would top out the scale at just around 180/185, I weighed around 225 lbs when I gave birth to Kolten).

Now, being so unhappy can make you do some desperate things...I used to find ways to continually beat myself down around others and I would "fish" for compliments, just so someone would say something nice about me so I could try and make myself feel better.  The person I did this a lot with was Keith (God bless that man, seriously).  I would say, "Does this look okay?" or "This makes me look fat, doesn't it?" or "I feel so ugly." and every time, I would expect him to come back with some comment that would mildly bring my mood up because he was saying something nice, but it was not anything that would last and it was in NO WAY Keith's fault...it was me.  It was because I was the key to this.  I had to be ready to change, my heart had to change.  I had to MAKE changes and LOTS of those changes happened in my head and my heart...not just changes in food or supplements or activity.

I am not going to go into the long story of what happened and how it happened and exactly how everything went down...each person has their own story.  What I want people to know is that you HAVE to not just want a change to happen, you have to MAKE changes to make an all over change happen.  There is LOTS of changes that have to happen to make your life happy.  Let me tell you a few things (not in detail - if you want details, let's talk...I am happy to share, but this post would be a NOVEL by the time I was done) that I have done to make some changes:

  • I STOPPED making excuses.
  • I STARTED pushing through at the point I always used to stop because it was "hard" to keep going.
  • I read my Bible EVERY DAY.
  • I started to realize that I can't change what happened in the past, I can simply learn and move forward.  ANYTHING and EVERYTHING.
  • I learned to forgive, not just others, but MYSELF and truly forgive, not forgiveness with conditions.
  • I learned how to eat, to fuel my body and enjoy my food, but not JUST indulge.
  • I made goals for myself, realistic goals, and rewarded myself (but NOT with food) when I reached my goal.
  • I learned and always try to live on a daily basis what it means to LOVE.
  • I started to truly put others in ahead of myself (and stop trying to draw attention to myself when I did it).
  • I started to look at everything that was POSITIVE in my life instead of NEGATIVE. (That business is HARD - but it is worth every ounce of effort you put into it!)
Those are not ALL the changes (10 is a good number to start - if I gave it all away now, what else would I have to write about! ;)) I wanna show you a few pics from 2013 and I want you to see how changing multiple small things can make a HUGE impact.

McKinley and I - July

Keith and I at AdvoCare Success School - August
Kolten and I - August

McKinley and I - October

Kolten and I - December

I will share more about my journey along the way, that was the whole reason I wanted to start sharing with others.  However, I will tell you...while it felt like getting punched in the gut at first, it is an incredible feeling to look back and see how far I have come in 5 short years.  I am so excited to see how God will bless us and how many changes we will see in the next 5!

Have a blessed day!!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Oh what a difference some years can make!! ;)

Ok...5 years to be exact...:)

So...tonight, as it was 8:30pm and McKinley was in bed, Keith was getting ready to go to bed (watch out kids, that's what happens when you turn 30 - you go to bed at 8:30pm!! ;)) and Kolten was settling down for the evening I was thinking to myself..."Oh my gosh!  There was a time, not all that terribly long ago that I would just be jumping in the shower at 8:30pm on a Friday night to get ready to go out!"

So...that got me thinking and I started to Facebook stalk myself a little (that may even be more sad than Keith going to bed at 8:30! ;)).  It was actually pretty amazing!  As I looked back, 2009 really stuck out to me as a HUGE year for transition for us.  It was a great year and we had A LOT of fun in 2009.  There were a few things though looking back at even all the fun we had, what a different place entirely I was in my life and on my journey (not just becoming a mom - but becoming the woman I am today).

Here are a few fun pics to look at from back in 2009

New Years Eve 2008/09
I believe this was Robyn's B-Day - Gotta love the crutch as an accessory!

American Icon competition at Fox and Hound
Keith's Graduation - May 2009
No Questions - Just enjoy my ability to poke fun at myself and share it with you all....this was our attempt at some 80's pictures at work...;)

With my beautiful niece (who I clearly didn't and still don't see enough), Callie Marie.  :)
You can't tell from the picture, but I was living out one of my DREAMS in this picture!  We went to Texas for a great friend's wedding and stopped at Billy Bob's in Fort Worth.  It was AMAZING!

Getting ready to go into the Keith Urban concert (side not to mention we did have a lot of fun in 2009 - Jenna and I thought it was necessary to "tail gate" the concert and I literally ran INTO KEITH URBAN at the concert...it's a story for another time - but it was a memorable concert to say the least!)
My AMAZING mom (if you haven't read about her, you can here) after Candace's Bridal Shower

And...2009's craziest memories are reserved for 2 fun weddings!!!  The first was my Candace and Brandon's wedding in VEGAS (yes - almost all of our family went - we compared it to Vegas Vacation...;))

I love EVERYONE'S expressions in this picture - it captures us so well :)
"Yeah...WHAT?  We are going to the Chapel and she's gonna get married...You wanna say something?? ;)"
The Photographer told us to pick him up and carry him...I don't think this is what he had in mind (clearly none of us knew what he had in mind though)....but it was a GREAT picture!
Me with my beautiful sisters! :)

 We had another wedding to celebrate when we got home!  Madison and Paul got married just a few weeks after Candace and Brandon! :)

I know what you are thinking...and YES!  I have pretty much the most beautiful niece's on the face of the planet and their husbands ARE the most lucky people EVER (other than Keith, of course ;))
My Mom and Dad....in this picture they had been married almost 52 years...absolutely AMAZING!

We like to have fun...and be weird...they kinda go hand in hand with us. :)

So...after all of the fun of the weddings and as 2009 was starting to wind down...God said, "OK!  Here we go!  I'm gonna bless you with a baby!!!"  So, on October 31, 2009, we found out we were pregnant...and then about 5 hours later we slipped into our Halloween Costumes and went out for a night of fun with our friends! ;)

Keith LOVES the movie "Super Troopers" and he worked so hard on these costumes, he ordered the base of them from an actual police supply website and then made the patches, special ordered the name badges, sewed the ribbon on pants, the whole she-bang!  He REALLY looked like Farva too (one of the characters from the movie) - he has people ask him all night to take their picture with him.  It was a blast!

So...the life I lead 5 years ago is just a bit different than the life I lead now and I am totally okay with that.  In fact, I love every minute of it.  There was another little something I found on the ole facebook profile that is gonna make a pretty sweet "part 2" to this story...so I will leave you now (the rowdy little 3 year old is feeling the effects of his 3 hour nap and now does not want to sleep - so momma's gotta go lay down some law!:)).

I hope you all have a beautiful, safe, and fun Friday...I encourage you too to go back and take a few moments to look back on your facebook pages (if you have one) or at old pictures or memory boxes...it's a fun way to look back and see how far you have come.

ANYWHO...stay tuned for part 2 later on this weekend...until then...


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I Miss My Mom.

Ok...this is a topic I was again thinking I would wait a bit before jumping into on here, but again, God has really laid this on my heart a lot over the past week, so I'm gonna go for it.

I miss my mom.

There really isn't a lot more to say about the subject exactly.  That is the thought that runs through my head every single day pretty much.  I would say it runs through multiple times per day actually.  I will be honest, it's been a month or so since I have actually sat down and allowed myself the time to think about how much I really do miss her, mostly because when I do, I cry...and it's not a pretty cry...it's a sobbing, uncontrollable, usually inconsolable cry.  She was an amazing woman and I learned so much from her, I can't begin to explain how hard it is to not have her around and the pain that is in my heart every single day to know that Kolten will not grow up around her and that McKinley never even got to meet her.

Kolten and Mom right after he was born - look at that love!
Kolten and Mom on his 1st Thankgiving - November 2010

I always knew as a kid that my parents were older than all of my friend's parents.  For those that may not know, I was what I like to call a "happy surprise" (some call it an accident :)) for my parents, they were 46 when I was born.  I am one of 6 children and my oldest brother is 25 years older than me and the youngest before me is 15 years older than I am.   I actually have a niece that is one month and one day older than I am. If you have ever seen "Father of the Bride - Part 2" that is kind of my family (I don't think my mom and sister in law did any fun workouts together while they were close to their due date like in the movie - but it's a great thing to imagine!).  

One of my FAVORITE pictures!  Me with my Mom and Grandma Scheer (my mom's mom) and niece Candace
I totally understand that there are many people out there that lose parents at very young ages because of diseases or accidents.  I know that there are people out there that lost parents as infants and never knew them.  I never ever want it to seem like I do not sympathize with them or that in any way I feel sorry for myself for not having my mom here now.  I know how lucky I was to have the time with her that I did.  I am not going to go into the long details of what happened with my mom, that is a topic for another day.
Kolten w/ Mom and Dad - December 2011

Like I said, I don't let myself think that often about how much I miss her.  Even typing this, Keith is not home, so I know that I can't myself really get down in that place to really acknowledge how much I miss her.  What I DO focus on each day is how much I love her (not LOVED - I still love her, that love will ALWAYS be here).  How much she has taught me and how incredible, truly incredible she was as a mother, wife, friend, and woman.  She died in June of 2012.  I was just a couple months pregnant with McKinley at the time and I was going through one of the hardest times in my life personally.  At the time, I don't know if it even occurred to me completely how God was watching over me and helping my heart to grow and love in ways I never thought possible.  I was in so much distress from everything going on around me, all I could do was to lean on God and put every ounce of my trust in Him to see me through what was one of the hardest years of my life.  You know what?  I came through it!  I am now happier than I can truly ever remember being and there is a certain amount of that happiness that is bittersweet.

I wish my mom was here to share in my happiness.  I wish she could have been at the hospital to hold McKinley the day she was born.  I wish I could call her and tell her about how much fun I am having being able to stay home with the kids.  I wish I could talk to her when I have had a bad day and I just need that advise or someone to say, "It's okay honey, everything will be okay."  I know she is watching over us.  I know she will see my kids grow and she can see how happy we all are.  I know that I will see her again someday. 

Kolten, McKinley and I at Mom's grave - December 2013
 There is no big lesson with this, take from it what you will, for now I am going to go pick up my baby girl (who I can hear talking in her crib because she has apparently waken up from her afternoon nap...) and give her an extra hug from Grandma Jean...:)

Have a blessed day friends! :)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Truly Blessed

I am gone back and forth of how to say this, so I am just gonna jump in.  This will be fairly short, will not contain pictures but is one of the most important messages that I wish to share with others.

Being a mother is one of the most incredible and amazing things that has ever happened to me.  I have been truly blessed with two of the most amazing and beautiful children anyone could ever ask for.

Every day as I play with my kids, feed them, bathe them, love on them, my heart aches for those that I know that cannot have children.  I have known many people that have had problems conceiving.  Some have had luck with fertility treatments, some have completed their family by route of adoption.  At times I feel like I cannot say anything because I have been blessed with my children for the most part very easily.  I don't say that to boast by any means, and I don't mean to do that in any way.

The message I have to share or want to cause some to think about in general in this post is never assume you know someone's story. Don't think you know what is truly going on in someone's life unless they make the choice to tell you.  If they do, sometimes the best thing we can do is just pray.  Don't offer a solution, don't tell them what you would do.  Just be there to listen and pray for them or even with them.

I challenge you also to expand this way of thinking beyond those that may not be able to have children or are having trouble conceiving.  Take this practice with everyone in your life in any situation in which you find yourself trying to understand something that is beyond your control.  Know that there are just somethings that are beyond our control and there is God is there, watching over us, all of us and in His time He will provide and show us the way.

Have a blessed day!!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Hansen Champion Adventures - Vol. 1

So, I decided to take a bit of a break from the "Share and Learn" posts to share with you a bit of our family adventures.  I know we do a lot on a regular basis now that I don't get to share with everyone so, I figure it will be a good way to show everyone what we have been up to!

Since the whole idea for this came about because we have moved from Wichita, KS to Waterloo, IA...I thought the best place would be to start with our move!

When Keith took his job up here, he came up here in February and the kiddos and I joined him at the end of April/early May.  Here are a few pics of our journey...

My sweet set up for my going away party at WSU - truly one of the best jobs anyone could ask for!

Let me tell you...one of the biggest adventures I felt like at the time was packing up our entire house pretty much on my own.  We didn't pack too much before Keith left because we were not 100% about moving, we wanted to make sure he liked the job and such before we decided for sure, so when we got the green light, he was already up here and working, so I packed like a mad woman during the month of April (I left WSU at the end of March).

How many contact cases does one family need??? - this wasn't even ALL OF THEM!

This was about 1/2 way done...I took all of the kids stuff out of their room and we all shared one room so I could stack all the boxes somewhere!!

I have no pictures of the actual day of loading up our truck, but we were blessed by Candace, Brandon, Laurie, Justin and one of his friends to come and help us (not to mention Brandon randomly having a appliance dolly that came in quite handy for our washer and dryer)!!

The night before we were getting ready to head out of town, Keith and I were packing up a few last minute boxes and I came into our bedroom to find Kolten with a Sharpie and some amazing "artwork" on our down comforter and all over one of our laundry baskets (not to mention all over himself)!  That kid sure knows how to keep me on my toes!!

Since our journey was 8 1/2 hours away and we were traveling with a 2 year old and 4 month old, we decided to split up our trip...we stayed in a hotel in Kansas City on our way up and Kolten was SUPER excited because he got to go swimming!

He's got a good poker face...this was before he started screaming when we made him actually get in the water! ;)
We got all of our stuff to Iowa and got all unpacked, and stayed for a couple weeks, then we came back down to say good bye to all our family and friends.  Kolten was super excited again because we got to stay at "Pepaw's" house in Garden Plain and he got to play with all kinds of new stuff!

Playing with Grandpa's glasses
The slot machine may be Kolten's favorite toy at Grandpa's house!
We gathered all our family and friends for one fun night out!  We started with dinner and of course had to go to some karaoke and then to the "cowboy bar" for some dancing! :)

Kolten playing the hunting game at the restaurant
Having fun with Courtney and Robyn!

So, we made it back to Iowa, safe and sound and began to settle in...one of the BEST moments of our trip to settle in was one day when I was taking our dogs out.  Kolten was inside and had taken both dogs outside, and Shelby was done, so I let her go inside, but didn't take her leash off, I just let her run in the house.  I let Baden finish up and when I brought him in, Kolten said to me, "Where is Shelby?"  I started looking around and I couldn't find her anywhere...I was starting to freak out when I heard a bark come from somewhere but it sounded muffled, then I heard some scratching...I turned the corner in our kitchen to find this...

I then opened to lid to the trash can and found this...

I sure do love my son!  Like I said...he is always keeping me on my toes!  Stay tuned for more Adventures!  We have been very blessed and quite a bit of fun to share!

Have a blessed day!!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Work for What You WANT, Be Proud of What You've GOT!

This post is something that I truly don't actually like talking about all that much, but I feel like I is really important to be totally honest for the thought and hope that it will help others...so, here it goes!

My original major in college was music.  I love to sing, I have always loved performing, so it felt like a natural choice for me.  I soon realized that while I loved singing, I didn't necessarily have a huge interest in learning all the theory behind the music, so after my first semester, I nixed the idea of majoring in music.  I didn't have any clue what I wanted to do, but it was always important to my parents that I went to college, so I stayed in and I changed my major to business. I figured it would be a good, generic degree and I could get any job with that degree, right?!?

Well, after a semester of being a business major and making the decision to transfer back to Wichita State and finish school, I decided yet again to nix my major and there I was...starting from scratch yet again.  SO...I was an "Undecided" student for a bit, then at some point decided that I was going to be a Dental Hygienist (I don't know where in the world that idea came from, I like going to the dentist, but that always seemed like a "left field" choice to me and almost everyone that knew me)!  Well, there was one small problem with that little decision...I HATE science classes!  So guess what...after a semester...that major was thrown out as well as the first two!

So, by this point, I was lost....I was the ultimate undecided student.  I had a meeting with and advisor and finally, they asked me the one question no one had really asked me before, "What classes do you like taking?"  Oddly enough, and not in line with too many other people, my answer was Public Speaking classes or any classes that I got to find out more about being a manager or leader.  So, they told me about this degree that seemed to fit me so well that I had no idea how I had never heard of this before...a Communications Degree!!!  It was like a golden light shined down and I heard a chorus of angels (ok...yes, that is extreme...but it was an amazing feeling to FINALLY know what I wanted to do - for a major that is, I had no idea career wise what was gonna happen).

So, this was it...I knew what I wanted to do and my advisor told me what I needed to do to get the ball rolling...I needed to go and take a test, simple, just basic grammar and such as an entrance into the Elliott School of Communication at Wichita State.  So, I made my appointment, got there early and I FREAKED!  I am a horrible test taker...every time, any type of standardized test, I clam up. So, what happened?  I FAILED! Ok, it wasn't like they put a huge red "F" on the test, my score just wasn't quite high enough to pass.  What did I do though? I went back to my advisor, defeated and distraught and asked them what to do, the world had ended for my golden shining moment and I was crushed.

My advisor told me about another option - a Field Major.  I could pick 3 areas that I was interested in and study those and I would have one major concentration and then two other areas that I would take courses in as well and I would have a totally legit degree, but just a different route than originally planned.  So, I went ahead with that plan and in 2007 I graduated with my degree.  A Field Major through the College of Liberal Arts and Science and Wichita State in Communication, Sociology and Music.

My mom and dad and I at my College Graduation Party - May 2007

So, here is the deal...now, over 6 years later, why am I talking about this and what kind of lesson can possibly be learned from all of this?  Here it is...if you have something you want....WORK FOR IT!  I should have NEVER given up after the first try of taking that test.  I seriously just barely didn't pass that dang test, and I just gave up!  Do you know how many times I have regretted that decision?  I can't go back and change it, but I know that I have learned from that decision.  I am telling you this for the point of that if there is something out there that you want...WORK FOR IT!  There may be sacrifices ahead and it may not be the "easy" road, but it will be worth it to reach your goal and know you got what you wanted!

The flip side of this lesson is be PROUD of your accomplishments!  I may regret that I don't technically have a full fledged degree from the Elliott School of Communication, but I still took all the same classes as those people that did graduate from the ESC; and I have a degree!  AND after a changing my major all those times, I still graduated in 5 years and had a WONDERFUL job after graduating!!  So, when things happen and they are an accomplishment, CELEBRATE!  You deserve to celebrate and reward yourself for a job well done!  Small accomplishments or large, don't discount them, you let yourself be happy and pat yourself on the back.  You deserve it!

I fully live by the mentality that I can't change the past, I can just learn and move on.  While I say that I regret my decision, know that what I mean is that I have used it as a lesson and will use it in the future to always remind me that when I want something and I it's important to me, to work hard and get what I truly want, not settle for anything less!

Have a blessed day! :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Why Yes...My Bum IS Lobsidded! ;)

Oooo...see?? I got your attention didn't I? ;)

I have been struggling for the last couple of days to figure out exactly how I wanted to write this, but I knew this was the next topic I wanted to touch on.  So, hold on peeps, this is gonna be a fun one! ;)

You see, I was born with one leg shorter than the other.  They say that most people have a leg that is a little shorter, but that is not what I am talking about.  The way they found out about it (or so my mom told me) was that when I started walking as a baby, I would walk on just one tip toe.  So, they took me to the doctor and he did some measurements and sure enough, my right leg was shorter than my left.  As the years went on, they thought maybe it would even out, but that was never the case.  By the time I was ready to go to school, there was an extreme difference, almost 3 inches.  We used to have to get lifts built into my shoes, and the summer after 2nd grade I had my first surgery.  It is called an osteotomy (but no 2nd grader really knew what that meant!)...They broke my femur and set it with pins and it was surrounded by these huge metal "halo" type things that held everything in place and a ever so often, my mom would turn the screws and it would stretch out my leg and the hope was for new bone to grow in that gap.  Well, to make a long story short, there were two issues that happened...one, I fell while I had it on and it created a hairline fracture in my leg that was not detected by my doctor, so when I got the halo off, my bone was VERY weak and broke and grew back together from that break and so my bone was curved and lost a lot of the progress they had made with that first surgery, so they had to re-break my femur and I was in a body cast from my waist to my ankle on my right leg and wait to knee on my left leg (over Christmas during 3rd great no less!). The second thing that happened was that through the process of some extreme physical therapy  and the fact that they lengthened my leg at a fairly quick rate over a short amount of time, my ligaments and tendons in my leg were SUPER tight and my kneecap would actually dislocate every time I bent my knee and pop over to the side of my knee (insert cringe here - I know it sounds gross, but it was the norm for me, so I never realized it was all that weird).

This was right after my first surgery. My mom loved pictures, she wanted to document it all!  I disliked them terribly, notice that my face is not in the picture ;)

So, fast forward to today.  I have had a total of 8 surgeries, including a rod in my femur to finally get it to grow back straight (the body cast turned out to be a waste of time, the bone popped back out of place), a surgery to snip all my ligaments and tendons in my knee and put a screw in there to hold my knee cap in place, and ACL and PCL reconstruction in one surgery, and a tibial osteotomy as well.  I have had so many instances of being on crutches that my parents invested and bought a pair (which because of the blessing of having my growth plate stopped, I was able to use every time!!!) and some amazing times in wheelchairs (I once had to roll myself up the ramp at Hubbard Hall on WSU's campus...because no one would help a girl out!) There is still a difference in my legs, not one that is large enough for me to try and have more surgeries, it's about 1/4-1/2 inch difference now.  I have quite the story and one funny "super human" trick I get to freak people out with. :)  To compensate for the difference in my legs, I used to hyper extend my left leg to try and I guess "make up the difference" in my legs (I was young and I told you, this was my "normal").  Well, anyway...so I still do it and a few years ago, when I was in physical therapy, my therapist asked me if she could measure how far I could hyper extend my knee.  She measured and it is 30 degrees!  She was shocked and asked me to please stop doing it because it gave her the willies;) (I still do it, just out of habit, but Keith calls me on it quite often).

My poor, beautiful nieces, Nicole and Candace often got roped into coming to spend time with me as I recovered from surgeries...here is Nicole and I during Christmas when I had my body cast on!

OK!  So, the reason I told you that long ole story has purpose!  While I do want to share my story with others I want people to get a little something out of it too other than just getting to know me better! :)  So, there are 3 things I want everyone to be able to take away:

1) What doesn't kill you DOES make you stronger!
My mom used to tell me something that got on my nerves so much as a kid; she was an AMAZING woman of God and would tell me to offer up all my pain and suffering and God would bless me for everything I was going through.  There were SO many days that people would make fun of me, some of the people that I thought were some of my closest friends would make fun of me for something I had no control over and I would literally come home and cry almost every day.  I had no idea why I was being put through all of the pain and hurt.  Then there was the literal, physical, pain.  Those surgeries were no walk in the park!  I remembered those words my mom said to me all the time, offer it up, offer it up, you will be rewarded...I felt like it was a mantra of sorts for me some days.  Looking back now, I am actually grateful (NEVER in a million years could you convince 12 year old me that would be the case!) for everything I went through.  I have some hard memories, I have some limitations, but boy howdy did I have an AMAZING love poured my way throughout the process!  I can't even begin to explain how grateful I am for the blessings I have been given.

2) DO NOT let a set back or a limitation stop you from reaching your goals!
So, after all of those surgeries when younger, I was still a cheerleader in high school and college, I was in plays and I LOVE to be on stage and sing. When it come to working out, I can't work out like a beast...it is physically impossible for me to do some workouts.  However, that has not stopped me from deciding to make a change in what I EAT and how I supplement my body to make sure I am as healthy as possible!  I also am still active, while maybe not as much as other people, I play with my kids, I enjoy a good 'ol dance party (you are welcome to join any time!), but the key is this - I don't use my handicap to make excuses or say, "Well, _____ is super skinny and it's because they love to run and I can't run like that, so I am just gonna not be skinny or smaller than I am now because I can't do it. "  NO FREAKIN' WAY!  I will do what I can as much as I can and I will reach my goals! People I'm gonna tell yo this right now too, this business is not for goals of working out or losing weight, don't let limitations stop you from reaching your goals in EVERY instance!  Work through them and get past it and grab that dream!

3) You want someone to love you or people to accept you? LOVE YOURSELF!
I was my biggest critic all the time...I pointed out to everyone that I had one leg shorter than the other for so many years.  I would make fun of myself and find different ways to bring it up and it was a shield.  I wanted to make fun of myself and point it out because I didn't want someone to realize I was different and make fun of me or talk behind my back.  Do you know why I did it?  Because I was insecure, sad, defeated and I didn't want other to pounce on me.  It was defense. It took me MANY years (and it's still a work in progress) to be comfortable with myself and take a compliment in ANY way.  I still have issues if Keith tells me I look nice or someone tells me I'm pretty.  I brush it off and think to myself, especially with Keith, "He has to say that, he is my husband." You know what...NO HE DOESN'T!If you feel that way let me share with you, TAKE THE COMPLIMENT and say THANK YOU!  Believe it and believe in yourself!  God created you in His image and likeness, that says a lot!

I really do hope that everyone understands, I know that many people have worse handicaps than I do or did.  I truly believe that as a child and teenager I felt like I had the worst "luck" and had quite a few pity parties for myself on numerous occasions.  I am proud to say that with the every enouraging words from my mother along the way and support form family and friends and an AMAZING husband who thinks I am an truly beautiful (and is even a "leg man"), I have started to see myself for the beautiful creation from God that I am and have always been destined to be.  It's up to me to make the most of my life and I am not going to let a measly difference in leg length get me down!  I have a beautiful family, amazing friends and an opportunity to help change lives here!  It's a beautiful world out there people!  Live it up! :)

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Here's Your Sign! ;)

So, I'm fairly positive that when most people hear the saying, "Here's Your Sign" they most likely think of Bill Engvall and his comedy routine that when people do something stupid they would get a literal sign that says "I'm Stupid".  In the last couple of years of my life though, that saying has taken on a new meaning for me and I feel it being laid on my hear to share with you today! :)

There have been MANY times before, during and after our move to Iowa or even just in the last couple of years or so that I have found myself asking "WHY?". I find myself to be a bit of a planner...I like to know when things are going to happen, how things are going to happen, and in many times I like to control both of those options as well (THANKYOUVERYMUCH! ;)).  Now, as a few of my other posts have said so far, what I have learned so very well is when man plans, God laughs (maybe not laughs like an "LOL" type of situation, but you know that moment when you see someone do something or hear them say something and you kinda chuckle to yourself and shake your head? In my mind God does that a lot to me).  Well...I digress (but it was important to the topic, I promise).

Over the past year or so, I have started to be able to consciously see the "why" and give credit where credit is due to the blessings I have in my life.  A month or so ago, I got a text from a friend here in Iowa, Michelle, that told me Harry Connick Jr. was a co-host on "The View" and I better turn it on (I have a bit of a "healthy" obsession with HCJr - you'll hear more about that in a later post, I am sure:)).  Anyway....I ran to the bedroom, turned on the TV, found "The View" and watched intently and much to my surprise, Jody Benson (The Voice of Ariel, The Little Mermaid) was on at the end of the show and sang "Part of Your World" (I also have a slight obsession with The Little Mermaid :)).  So, during the commercial break in the show when they announced that she was going to sing, I went back into the living room and told Keith, "See, this is why God brought us to Iowa!  He brought us here so you would work with Michelle and she could do my hair and we could talk about Harry Connick Jr and because of your job, I can stay home and she text me today so I could watch this show and see him and hear this song!"  NOW...let's be real here folks...that is a STRETCH!  I was joking (sort of) that day, but what I want you to see is that sometimes you do have to stretch to see what God is doing in your life!
Another "before and during" - Left is when I met Harry Connick Jr. in 2011/Right is this November when Keith and I saw him in KC!

Tonight was not a stretch for me...I went to a PHENOMENAL training tonight for AdvoCare in Cedar Falls that was lead by our area leaders, Michael and Lindsey Roberts and also a Double Diamond Distributor, Joe Hadachek.  I can't say more to anyone about this night than when Joe was up there and talking, I literally felt like God really was laying it on my heart, "Lisa, this is for you!  Listen to these words, know they are for you and that you CAN DO THIS!"  I have been so on fire for AdvoCare for almost the last year and you know what I have felt in the last few weeks?  I KNOW that I will be involved with the company for the rest of my LIFE!  It is a long standing company with incredible integrity and time and time again I hear story after story of product success and business success that prove to be that God brought this company, this opportunity to us for a reason!  We have been able to help so many people already and I am so excited for what is yet to come for us and for those people that we will lock arms with in the near and distant future to help reach their goals.

Joe Hadachek and I at tonight's training!

I encourage each of you, every single day to look to see how God has blessed your life.  Where is your "sign"?  Can you see it? Take each day and make it yours!  See how you are blessed and although sometimes you may have to stretch a bit to see it, it's worth it!

Have a blessed day friends!!!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"But It Might!!!"

There are so many things I love about my dear husband and so many things he has brought into my life (you know this post is going somewhere good when it starts like that, right?;)).  One of the things that he brought into my life was a love for Craig Ferguson. Keith worked 2nd shift through most of our marriage, so he would get home pretty late.  If I wanted to talk to him when he got home, I would usually watch some late night show to keep me awake, and usually it would be the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.  Keith and I enjoyed his comedy a lot and when he came to Wichita a few years ago, we decided to have a "date night" and get tickets.  It was hilarious.  I am not sure if it his Scottish accent (I am a SUCKER for accents) or really what he said, either way, there were quite a few snorts involved in that show (yes, I snort when I laugh really hard).

During one part of the show he talked about situations that you would not normally do something because it wouldn't work out, but there is that voice inside that says, "BUT IT MIGHT!!!" It was hilarious during the show of course because he gave examples of guys talking to incredibly attractive women with the hope of her returning his advances, or things of that nature. However, I have kept that little saying with me since that night and often refer back to it in so many instances and it's incredible how useful it can be.

That's how I felt with AdvoCare at first...it was great, Jenna had great results, her friend Ali had great results, they showed me videos and stories of other people that got great results...but that couldn't happen for me..."BUT IT MIGHT!!!!" kept running in my head.  So, we signed up for our discount and started enjoying our new found energy with Spark..IT SURE DID!!!  Then I saw more stories about the 24 Day Challenge and the weight loss so many had experienced...but I had tried so many other systems and products before, there is no way this could work for me..."BUT IT MIGHT!!!" So, again, I went with it and we started our challenge. In 24 Days Keith was down 20 lbs and 3 pant sizes and I was down 9 lbs, 2 pant sizes and over 13 1/2 inches...IT SURE DID!!!!  When Keith took this job in Iowa and we moved and I got to spend this amazing time with my beautiful kids and I needed to start looking for a job; I heard about Jenna making the type of income I needed to make to be able to stay home, and Ali and Jason making even more than that and they were all doing it part time with their full time jobs and their kids at home and all because they were just sharing with people about products and an opportunity that I knew were amazing, but I just didn't think it would work for us..."BUT IT MIGHT!!!" Now, I get to stay home full time, enjoy my beautiful children, make connections with incredible people and have found my true passion in helping other individuals and families reach their own goals and am making money to help support my family...IT SURE DID!!!  And it will continue to work and grow and I know we will touch more lives, help more people and I am AMAZED at the opportunities and people God has brought into our life through AdvoCare.  We are truly blessed!
Jenna and I at Success School - August 2013

A little "before and during" of me on my journey so far!

Please...remember always to try and think to yourself when you catch yourself having those negative thoughts, feelings, and just letting the world try and tell you something won't work just think..."BUT IT MIGHT!!!!" (do it with a Scottish accent to, I feel that makes it more fun somehow :)).

Have a blessed day friends!!!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


I am not sure if it is the cold, cold, weather we are having (-11 yesterday with a windchill of -45 and today is a high temp projected of 7!) or still reflecting on what our first Christmas traveling back home was like, but I feel lead to talk a little about our move to Iowa today...:)

One of the most beautiful verses in the bible that reflects on marriage I believe is Ephesians 5:31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." (NIV). I believe it is both beautiful and one of the hardest truths a couple has to overcome sometimes when getting married.  Keith and I were one of those couples. It was more me than him, I have such a huge family and I love every single person in my family with my entire heart.  I am one of those people that is "you mess with my family, you mess with me" (I am not Italian, I'm straight blooded German, but I view it as sort of the little mobster coming out in me every once and awhile ;)).  What comes with that great love for my family is a great attachment.  What comes with that attachment is sometimes not allowing my marriage, the family that Keith and I built to be my priority.

When God brought this job for Keith into our lives, it was a blessing and a huge confusion.  Keith needed to find a new job, he needed something new and something that he could be excited about. It was a great job with a great salary, but it was in IOWA!  At the point Keith was offered the job, I had been praying for a long time that God would shine some light for Keith and I and our future for us and our family.  I just had NO IDEA (which is usually the case in the works of God) what he had in store for us.  I was terrified at the thought of moving.  I had a great job that I absolutely loved as an Assistant Director of Admissions at Wichita State.  I loved going to work every day, I had always wanted to be a stay at home wife and mom, but I loved our day care provider and trusted her completely with our children.  When we told our family and friends, most were happy for Keith, but all were concerned with our decision to just pick up and move to Iowa with a newborn.  It was totally understood for the m to be hesitant, so I was I!  The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was to not let what everyone around me was saying effect what I knew in my heart God was telling me about this move.  I know He was guiding our family here, giving us the opportunity to grow as our own family unit.  We decided to kind of "split the difference" in making the decision to move.  Keith came up first and I didn't give any notice at my job until we knew he would like it and everything was set.  Keith moved up here at the end of February and spent the first month here in a hotel that the company paid for (which was a HUGE blessing).  He loved the job and we made the decision to follow what we could see as God's plan for our family and make the leap and move 500 miles away from our family and friends and in April, Keith flew home to Wichita, some of our amazing family and friends came to help us pack up our Budget truck and our little family moved to Waterloo, IA.

One of my FAVORITE pictures from our move, Kolten and my dad playing on our piano...I never knew Dad knew how to play the piano, but sure enough, he sat down and played a song for Kolten!

It has been a bigger blessing on our family and Keith and I's marriage than I ever could have imagined!  Keith and I have grown stronger in our marriage and our little family has had some pretty great memories made so far!  We have found an AMAZING church and made some great new friends through Keith's job and our church.  It has been just a truly better experience than I truly could have ever pictured on my own.  We have even been able to connect to some great leaders in AdvoCare and look forward to continue to grow our team up here as well!  God is truly an amazing planner and I am reminded each day that I just my job to follow Him and I will be rewarded in abundance!
Kolten playing in the car on one of our many pit stops on the way to Iowa!

I look forward to sharing more stories of our Iowa adventures with you all!  Have a blessed day! :)