Monday, March 31, 2014

Momma Monday - Building our Legacy!

So, I am going to take a moment to admit something that I think is important to get out there and I am not saying that EVERYONE that is a mother or parent has thought this, but I think there is probably someone out there that has thought the same thing and the purpose of this blog is to get stuff out there…so, here goes!!! ;)

I remember when we had first gotten married, having a conversation with Keith about when we should start “trying” for kids…I jokingly said to him, “I just wanna have a baby so I can dress it up and play with it like a real, live baby doll!”  I was OF COURSE joking, but I don’t know that I ever really knew (or at least fully considered) the FULL extent of being a parent.  Sometimes it still amazes me that God has blessed us so much and entrusted Keith and me with these two, precious human beings.  It takes incredible faith and reliance on God on a daily basis to make sure that we are raising them up in the best way possible and making the right choices to guide them to be the true CHAMPIONS I know they are and can be.  One of the best ways I can describe this is straight from God’s word:
My silly little champions :)

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)

Like I said, there are MANY ways in which we seek God’s guidance daily to help us to raise our children, but one in which we have realized lately and has hit very close to home with me is when dealing with money.  I know, you are probably reading this and thinking, “Umm….Lisa….your children are 3 ½ and 1…they don’t have a concept of money yet…how is this even on your radar yet?”  Well…let me tell you! ;)

Keith and I have been taking Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU) over the last few weeks and I LOVE IT!  I am not going to get into a bunch of details right now about FPU right now…but I will later…it’s AMAZING!  ANYWHO….during the 2nd lesson that was taught, Dave’s daughter, Rachel Cruze is introduced and gave some tips and about teaching children about money and leaving a legacy for your children of understanding the importance of hard work and earning money, then having a giving spirit with that money.   I absolutely loved her and I could tell in just the short time of her presentation that I wanted to know more about who she was and what she did within the Ramsey organization.  So, I did what every person does this day in age…I went home and searched the internet!  I found out that Dave and his daughter have written a book, Smart Money Smart Kids.  The book will be official released on April 22nd, but I actually was chosen to be a part of the Launch Team for the book, so I have a copy and have been reading (ok…DEVOURING) it for the last few days and I can’t recommend this book enough!  It is co-written by Rachel and Dave and brings the perspective from her on what is what like to be raised a “Ramsey kid” and what it was like to come about at the time when her parents were building the legacy they not only built for their family, but so many others as well.  Dave brings on the points of what is like to be in the parent roll and how it is not always the easiest but it is WORTH IT!  It’s such an amazing point to think about as parents we often think, “Am I doing this right?” “Will they appreciate this when they are older?” and in this case you can SEE the rewards and what an amazing daughter Dave has raised and now Rachel is giving back as well, it’s truly incredible.

Be on the lookout of for more specific tips I have seen in the book…but I won’t lie…I am not gonna give it all away!  I really recommend that you go out and pre-order the book NOW!  Click HERE to go to the site to pre-order and you get some great extras along with your order if you order before the release! 

I hope you all have a fabulous Monday!  Be blessed friends!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

So...It's been a while...

It seems like FOREVER since I have taken some time to sit down and actually type a post!  So...I will take a bit and catch you up on a few things that have been happening...

We visited home TWICE!!
Some people may not understand how crazy that may sound (we live in Waterloo, IA and we are from the Wichita, KS area - 8 hours away...and that is a perfect, door to door drive...not a drive with 2 kiddos!) We went in early March to attend the Bridal Shower of a great friend of mine that is getting married May and I have the honor to be a part of her wedding party! :)  The weather was a little crazy when we were there, I told the bride it is supposed to be good luck if it rains on your wedding day, so a blizzard on your bridal shower HAS to be good news! :)  We did get to enjoy some great time together and I am so excited for her wedding!!

Me and the beautiful Bride-to-Be, Emily! :)
  We went home for another quick trip about a week and a half later and got to spend some time during the week there and took advantage of the beautiful weather on that trip to head to the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita.  It is AWESOME!  The kids had a great time, we were there from about 9:30am until around 2pm!  We packed lunches and snacks and had a WONDERFUL family day!

Keith taking the kids to see the sheep!

Spark and a packed lunch are two necessities for a fun filled day at the Zoo! :)

Same town, different house!  We found a house in Waterloo that is pretty wonderful to rent!  We have some amazing landlords that are a great Christian couple and I truly feel like God was definitely working on a plan to help us find this home.  We have LOTS more room and I am excited to share some pics of the house and talk about projects we have been doing! :)

WAY more room!  We set up our tent in the living room before we moved in and let Kolten go "camping"! :)

That may sound a little weird, but that is the best way that I can describe two key things that have started recently. 

Keith and I will be the first to tell you that we have not always been the smartest with our money choices over the years and it has become very apparent to us that in order to secure our family for a bright future, we needed to get a handle on how we view and take care of our finances.  Keith's AMAZING parents gave us the wonderful gift of enrolling us in Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. We started back in February and meet at a local church every Monday for class and we have homework and videos to watch and a great book to read as well.  It is teaching us some great techniques and truly empowering us to take control of our lives and our family.  One of my FAVORITE "take away" moments so far is this saying, "You need to live like no one else right now, so that later you can LIVE and GIVE like no one else!"  It means to make sacrifices (pack your lunch, no cable, BUDGET) so you can reap the benefits later...there is SO much more in that class though...seriously, I HIGHLY recommend this course!  I will talk more about it later, and Dave's daughter, Rachel Cruze, has written a book that I have been chosen to be on the launch team for that talks about teaching your children about money, so you will hear more!! :)

The 2nd opportunity we are taking part in is turning up the volume on our AdvoCare business!!! :)  We have been involved with AdvoCare for just over a year now and have been SO BLESSED to have been a part of people's journeys to finding better health and solutions and are so excited to take it to the next level. This opportunity has allowed us to help others AND earn income that has allowed me not only to be able to stay home with our kids, but for us to start to be able to pay off debts that have followed us for years and not have Keith have to get another job or me to get a part time job to have extra money.  We have met some INCREDIBLE people and I am so thankful every single day when I look in the mirror what it has done for me personally as far as weightloss, but also personal development.  SO....we are ready and excited to start to help others not only that may need more energy, athletic performance or weight loss goals, but also goals to help other people and earn income.  I will tell you right now, I put in less time than I did at other part time jobs (it just focused, intentional time) and get a MUCH higher paycheck!!!  We want to find 3 people (couples or families too) that are ready to take control too! If you are ready and want to learn more, please give me a call or send me an email and we will get connected!!!!

Well...that got you all kind of caught that the craziness with the move is (mostly) behind us, I hope to be able to sit down and get some posts written at least 3 times each week! :)

Have a blessed day friends!!! :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

It's be an incredible journey - and it's only the BEGINNING!!! :)

February was our 1 year "Advo-versary" and I felt like I wanted to really share my true story about how AdvoCare has change our lives....ENJOY! :)

In February of 2013 I came to a point that I was just tired.  Literally and figuratively, I was tired.   I was literally tired because I was the mother of a newborn and a 2 ½ year old.  I was up during the night with feedings and running around during the day after a toddler.  I had no energy to put into my relationship with my husband and friends.  I had no idea how I was going to function when I had to go back to work after my maternity leave to my job in the Office of Admission at Wichita State.  In the figurative sense, I was tired because I had spent my entire (I am not kidding, ENTIRE) life comparing myself to others and judging myself and how I viewed myself in regard to what I thought other people thought of me.  My friends, those were all negative thoughts too.  I was concerned and consumed in so much negativity and much of it was self-inflicted because I let other people determine how I felt about myself.

So…what happened?  After weeks of pushing off and giving excuses, I “caved” and accepted an invitation to an AdvoCare mixer at my best friend, Jenna’s, house.  I still tried to make excuses leading up to the very day of the mixer to myself, we had double booked ourselves and committed to going to a  birthday party that same afternoon and had to leave the party early to go to the mixer.  In my head, I was thinking, “It’s okay if we miss it…I will just tell Jenna we had to stay at the party.” (She doesn’t know that story – sorry Jenna!)  What happened though is there was something inside me that knew I told her I was going to be there, so we needed to go.  With much reluctance, I told Keith we needed to leave the party (he wasn’t all too excited about going to the mixer either), and head to Jenna’s.

If I remember right, we got there just in time and when I walked through the door, I felt instant shame…I just had a baby over a month ago and I was ashamed of how I looked because I was meeting so many new people (I had felt that way walking into the birthday party too).  I tried my best to put on my “happy face” and introduce myself and try and make small talk while trying to forget how uncomfortable I truly felt inside.  I sat there and sipped on my Spark as I listened to the stories and saw my best friend and the excitement she felt and I could see inside of her for these products, this company and this opportunity.  I began to feel excited…to feel hope, which is something I had not felt in a LONG time.  I kinda pushed that feeling away though and thought to myself, “I am happy for her, but it’s not for me.”

So, let’s fast forward just a bit to later on that night…I had my Spark when I was at Jenna’s in the afternoon and we went home and I noticed an incredible amount of energy and it was great, but again…I pushed back the thought of excitement, I was just too used to not getting my hopes up (and looking back – I literally shake my head at the amount of negativity I had in my life!).  The game changer came in the middle of the night when McKinley woke up and needed to me changed/fed.  I was still tired (there is nothing that can replace sleep people, come on!), but for the first time in over a month, my mind was awake in the middle of the night!  I was present and aware…not groggy and could not focus!  So…the next day…I told Keith, “I want to sign up for that discount and I want to get that Spark stuff!”  We did just that.  We signed up for the discount and we got our distributor kit in the mail that week and we enjoyed our Spark (and stopped our crazy pop habit – Keith was up to almost 2- 2 liters of Mountain Dew a DAY and I would drink at least 5-6 cans of Diet Dr. Pepper every day). 

We will fast forward again a couple weeks…Keith and I were loving Spark and we (okay…I say we and I mean me and Keith was dragging his heels but trying to be supportive) decided to really make a change…we were both sick of feeling to dragged down and tired of being overweight and unhappy with our appearance (that really is true, Keith just wasn’t sure he was on board with this next part ;)).  So…we decided to do a 24 Day Challenge.  We knew we loved Spark and since we got the discount, we decided to go ahead and “give it a try”.  So, we ordered everything and decided to start March 1, 2013.

During the next 24 days an amazing thing happened…something I thought was just not possible anymore…I started to feel HOPE.  I dropped 9 lbs during our challenge and over 13 inches…KEITH lost over 20 lbs and went from a size 42/44 to a 38!!!  We stayed on the products and to date we have lost a total of over 70 lbs and I have gone from a size 16 fitting tight to a size 10 pants and from a tight Large to a Medium shirt size, and Keith has gone down another pant size and is a size 36 in pants and from a tight 2XL shirt to a loose XL.  I have gotten to a point where I FEEL good and I don't have to ask Keith 1,000 times before we go out, "Do I look okay?" and need reassuring compliments from him (don't get me wrong, they are still nice) - this momma has confidence!  Confidence is something I NEVER have had (no, never, will be hard maybe for people to believe, but I have been a good "faker" for most of my life), and it is an INCREDIBLE feeling to finally feel it and for it to be REAL!

There was a bigger change that happened in our lives during 2013 as well.  We moved from our home of Wichita, KS to Cedar Falls, IA for Keith’s job.  It’s a great job and a great place, we have met so many amazing, wonderful people…but we are 500 miles away from family and friends that we miss very much.  However, of course to move, I had to quit my job at WSU.  We were able to make a transition when we moved here for me to take a couple months off to “settle” our little family and such, but the time came in the summer of 2013 that it was time for me to start looking for a job…that time came right as we were getting ready to leave for what is called AdvoCare Success School in Dallas, TX.  I had no idea what it was or what to prepare for; Jenna just told me I HAD to be there.  So, Grandma and Grandpa Hansen came to Iowa to watch the grandkids and Keith and I packed up and made the 14 hour drive to Dallas from Cedar Falls.  What happened was AMAZING!  We were filled with hope and excitement of what our lives could be and what this opportunity of AdvoCare could truly bring our family.  It was MORE than vitamins and supplements to help us FEEL great, but we could help others feel great AND provide financially for our family!  We spent almost the ENTIRE way home from Texas talking about our dreams and hopes for our family (something that we had NEVER done before).  Who we could help, how we could help, it was AMAZING!  We had felt and seen the change that AdvoCare had provided for our bodies and all of a sudden it was like we could SEE what AdvoCare could provide for our ENTIRE lives!  

We began to share with intention and purpose, we don’t spend all of our time talking to people about AdvoCare, but we do talk about it a lot (which I am sure you can all attest to, you see all my posts!:)).  We talk about it because it is truly amazing and is such an incredible tool to provide true solutions for people’s lives! 

I want to be very clear about something too…the products and this opportunity HAVE truly changed our lives but it’s not because of the products why we have changed.  Don’t take that the wrong way…what I mean is that yes, our physical appearances have changed (and that IS because of the products – they work!), but it’s our hearts that have changed, our mindsets and our dreams.  We have allowed ourselves to start believing, start dreaming, start setting goals and attaining them!  We have realized and seen how God can use us and the tool of AdvoCare to help not only our family but other families as well to truly change the world.   Not just our world, the ENTIRE world.  It sounds crazy to some people, I know…but I believe it!  There are limitless possibilities as to what God can provide and I know that when we do all of this and have servant hearts, and we do it FOR HIM and in HIS name, it will bring us closer to Him and provide amazing blessing for our family.  THAT is what had changed us and that is what our team stands for and I am so incredibly blessed every day to know that we have some AMAZING people in our lives thanks to the blessings of AdvoCare.  

 I am so very excited to keep going on this incredible journey and if you want to know how to get involved, let me know!  We are here, we are ready and we are EXCITED!!!! 

Have a blessed day friends!!!