Feature Friday – The Joyful Lane of Life

Feature Friday – The Joyful Lane of Life

Welcome to Feature Friday! Today’s blog post features The Joyful Lane of Life which is all about life with her 2 daughters and husband. ❤️

  1. What made you want to start blogging?
    I love sharing and building communities through blogging.
  2. What is your favorite book/movie of all time and why did it speak to you so much?
    I love too many books to pick one!
  3. What did you want to do growing up and are you doing it now?
    Be an accountant or FBI agent. Nope I am a blogger/mom
  4. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done and would you do it again?
    Have 2 kids 2 years apart. Hahahaha nope probably wouldn’t do it so close together again.
  5. What was the best phase of your life?
    Best phase of my life- now. In a sweet spot of life.
  6. What was the worst phase of your life?
    Having a newborn and 2 year old.

Check out her social media accounts and her blog!!!

Holistically Happy Healthy

Holistically Happy Healthy

Ladies (and gentlemen)!!!

I have someone for you all to meet!

I have talked about this woman a few times on my blog so you already know she’s an amazing woman, an awesome mom, a loving wife, a and an incredible friend. However, she’s adding something new to be proud of.

She has started a new Instagram account centered around being holistically happy and healthy, women empowerment, it takes a village to raise kids, you can still get your body back (whatever that means) after babies, it’s never too late to follow your dreams, being a stay at home mom or a career woman, girlfriends, strength, no limits… I think you get the point.

Literally, this is Micaela is a nutshell. She is one of the strongest women I know who only wants to see her friends and family succeed.

She posts great videos of her kicking ass in the gym, inspirational pictures, adorable pictures of her kiddo (and friends kids), and insights into how she’s constantly growing to be a better person. To top it all off she just went to Amsterdam and has some incredible pictures from her visit; who doesn’t like to live vicariously through our ‘friends’?

Go check out her IG at HolisticallyHappyHealthy

 

 

Josh Libman

Josh Libman

I have never done anything like this before on my blog but I feel this is worth it. Tyson, my husband, is friends with Josh’s sister, Kiera. She has had her own medical hardships and now her brother is going through hell; their family is getting one hard hit after another. Once you read their story I hope you are touched as I was. ❤

“This is my younger brother, Josh. Most definitely the most genuine, kind-hearted, giving person I will ever be lucky enough to know and call family.

He is also an amazingly active guy. Tennis and mountain biking and hiking are his passions in addition to my furry nephew, his German Shepard pup, Titan and playing with my kiddos. A lot. He plays with my kiddos for hours and they all think he hung the moon.

He has ALWAYS been there for me through the ups and more importantly the big downs. He never left my side and always helped out in any way he could.

He reminds me of my dad in that he makes friends everywhere he goes and you can’t talk to or hang out with the guy without smiling and feeling good.

Unfortunately, my bout with breast cancer last year was just the beginning for my family. My baby brother has been diagnosed with a very rare and very high-grade sarcoma. He has no choice but to amputate his left lower leg and go through several rounds of chemotherapy that is so severe they require you to stay in the hospital for five days each time.

My heart is broken; for the first time I can’t help him or fix it or put a band-aid on my little brother’s “boo boo” and make it all better.

He will need recovery, rehabilitation, chemo and more chemo and lots of chemo and then he can be fitted for his first initial prosthetics
approximately six months after his amputation. Hopefully. Praying.

I would love to be able to say that money doesn’t matter, that I can provide for him anything and everything that he needs. But money and the extreme cost of care he will be facing is our reality.

So, while I am not one to ever ask for help I do today. For my blood, for my family, for my baby brother. He would never want pity or special treatment but I am asking for any type of help you may be able to share.

Live each day in gratitude and kindness and above all, happiness.

Josh isn’t giving up and neither should we! Thank you for your support! ❤️

With all the love in the world,
Marsha and Lee (Josh’s mother and father), Keira (Josh’s sister) and every one of our friends and family who have shown their support!”

You can read the updates on Josh’s story on his GoFundMe Page

Please, please, please take a minute to donate today. The family appreciates every single donation, no matter the amount. Josh and his family still have a long tough fight ahead of them. Please, friends, take a moment to donate. Thank you, in advance!

 

Role Models

Today I want to talk about role models and who we surround ourselves with, and more importantly our children with.

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As adults, we can evaluate other people and are able to pick and choose the qualities we like and dislike from the people around us as well as people we have never met. Children can not do this as well as we can as adults, obviously. They also have a limited group of people to pick from.

The reason I bring this up is that I have a lot of men and women I consider role models for myself. The more education I get the more men and women I am introduced to that I find admirable, confident, positive, calm, respectful, knowledgeable, well-rounded, have good leadership qualities and aren’t afraid to be unique. These are all qualities I look for in people and tend to admire in those I meet or learn about.

However, I started thinking about the people my children are around regularly and who they consider role models. They do not have the same access to the internet, schooling, and the world around them that I do, so they are subject to the people I surround them with. So do these people demonstrate the qualities I look for in role models?

Do the people around my children demonstrate confidence without being conceited? Do they demonstrate a positive outlook on life? Are they respectful to others and the world around them? Are they intelligent? Are they calm and not quick to anger? Are they proud of who they are? Are they leaders instead of followers? Are they kind? Are they ethical?

As I went through our list of friends (because that’s all we’ve got out here) the boys are around regularly I couldn’t help but smile.

First on my list is our nanny, Janai. She puts her wants and needs aside when she’s with my boys and I couldn’t ask for a better person to take care of them when I’m at school. She’s had about a month off in between semesters and when she came back Cash told her, and then repeated this to Tyson and me, “I’ve missed you every day all the way up to the stars!” How adorable is that? The fact that our children love her this much speaks volumes to me about her character and her love for my children.

The next six people on my list are equals in my eyes. The Teixeira, the Tichenor, and the Hillis families are all amazing people in their own right.

Alo and I have such similar personalities which means it’s so much fun when we get together! He’s a great father figure to not only his child but also to my two boys as well. They love Papa Alo and are so comfortable with him which makes me comfortable and thankful for his friendship and guidance. Micaela is so loving and my kids feel all of that love along with all the other kids in our “tribe”. She’s the “fun auntie” that everyone wanted growing up and my kids are lucky enough to have this gorgeous woman as theirs. Not only all of that, but she is also incredibly smart and driven. She works full time helping others and then still makes time for her family and friends.

Annie is the epitome of a perfect mother. She stands her ground with things she believes in, which I truly appreciate. A perfect example of this was Cash tried to give her a kiss on the lips and she explained that she doesn’t kiss on the lips but would love a kiss on the cheek (she doesn’t do this with her daughter either). This may seem small to someone else but I find it admirable that she sticks to her beliefs. She also shows my boys that women can be strong too and can do anything a man can do. I truly appreciate her for that. Dan is also an incredible father. He spends one on one time with his daughter all the time and you can see how much he truly does love both his wife and daughter when he looks at them. He is also someone who loves my children and will dote on them even when his daughter is not around. Both he and Annie are raising a very loving daughter and I can never tell them how much I appreciate the love Cha Cha gives our boys.

The whole Hillis family has to be on this list. They both open their arms to us and everyone around them. They enjoy sharing their lives with us, which I feel shows my children how to be kind and giving. Tiffany is so playful with the kids and is more than happy to run through the sprinklers with Tate, fully clothed, just to get him to join in on the fun. Billy will happily cook for our whole family and is a stickler for the rules while on one of their boats, which I absolutely love! Preston, their son, is almost 8 and is the best big brother! He gets so excited when my boys are around and he makes sure to take care of them and his twin sisters without complaint (at least not in front of us).

We have started to get closer to the Bowen’s and the Hanan’s and I can already tell they are just good people. They are the kind of people I want the boys around as they grow up.

I do have to add a sweet little ending to this post because I thought it was too damn cute not to share. As I was typing this post up Cash asked me what I was doing. I told him I was writing something about role models. He asked me what a role model was so I briefly explained to him a role model in terms he could understand. I asked him who his role model was and he immediately said, Dave. People may laugh at the fact that my 4-year-old has chosen a bartender as his role model but I am proud of him for finding someone he looks up to for his own reasons.

Questions You Wanted to Ask But Wouldn’t

Questions You Wanted to Ask But Wouldn’t

I found an article on UpWorthy that I found so necessary. It’s an older article, posted in October of 2016, but I still feel that is needs to be spread and read by everyone. There is still such a stigma surrounding abortion, especially with the crew in office right now.

I do want to give this author a big shout out because I believe you have to be incredibly strong to be so honest and open about such a taboo subject. Kudos to you, lady. ❤

Part of my wanting to start this blog was so I could be honest and informative, so this one is hard for me to write because very very few people know about this part of my life. But I don’t see the point of talking about tough subjects if I’m not going to be honest and put myself out there as well. 

I’m going to copy and paste the article and write my answers in bold. It has been almost 10 years since I was in this situation so my memory is not as clear as the author’s, who wrote this within a year of getting her abortion, but I will try and be as clear and honest as possible.

10 things you wanted to know about my abortion but were too afraid to ask.

I had an abortion this year, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.

Abortions are common.

That’s just a fact. Although we don’t talk about it a lot publicly, 1 in 3 women will have an abortion in their lifetimes.

But even though terminating a pregnancy is a fairly ordinary health decision, there’s still a lot of misinformation out there about the procedure and women’s own experiences — mostly because of the immense stigma that surrounds abortion.

In many cases, women don’t feel comfortable talking about their abortions because they don’t want to be shamed or ridiculed.

I had an abortion this year, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.

I wasn’t ready to have a kid, I didn’t want to be pregnant, and my partner fully supported my choice. Although sometimes people say terminating a pregnancy is “the hardest choice a woman can make,” it was a fairly easy decision for me.

Now that it’s over, though, I want to demystify the whole thing as much as I can. So here are 10 things you wanted to know about abortions but were too afraid to ask:

1. What was your abortion like?

I got my abortion on a Saturday morning at a clinic owned by an independent provider. When my boyfriend drove up to the clinic, there were protesters outside, but it was easy enough to ignore them. I was at the clinic for about five hours, but the procedure itself lasted only five minutes.

As soon as I got there, a nurse gave me pills to take — antibiotics, pills to soften my cervix, anti-nausea medication, a pain pill, and an oral sedation pill. I passed the next few hours reading, chatting with other patients, and nodding off in my chair (the sedation meds work, by the way).

When it was time for the actual procedure, I went into a normal-looking exam room. The nurse gave me IV sedation, which put me into a half-awake/half-asleep state.

Then the doctor inserted a thin tube into my uterus, which felt like a pinch, and turned on the aspiration machine to empty the contents of my uterus. I felt some pressure and pain. Then, before I knew it, it was over. I sat in a comfy recliner in the recovery room until my ride came.

I have had two abortions. Fuck, that’s hard for me to put out there, but I also know it’s necessary if I am going to be completely honest about the subject. One was very early on which meant I was able to get the medical abortion and one was later which meant I had to get the surgical abortion. Both times I had to drive roughly an hour away to get the medicine/get the procedure. There were no protestors but I had to push a button, be video taped, and show my ID before they would even let me into the building. 

The medical abortion was quite easy. I was 18, 1 month shy of being 19. My ex-boyfriend went with me to Salt Lake City to the class Utah requires you to take 48 hours before you have the abortion and he then came with me to the clinic and got my medication. I went back to his house and had a miscarriage with his mother’s support and love. It felt like an extremely painful and heavy period. 

The second one was later on and I had to get the surgical abortion. Unlike the woman who wrote the article, my surgical abortion was extremely painful. Like before, they made me take a class 48 hrs before and then I had to get an ultrasound and see my “baby.” Then the doctor put a little bit of numbing stuff in my vagina and turned on the aspiration machine. I was crying because I was in so much pain and I was so angry with myself for getting in the situation, to begin with. Like the original post, I was then put in the recovery room which was terrible. It was a small room with 8 or so recliners filled with sad women who were in pain and could not look each other in the eye. It was humiliating. I was not allowed to be with anyone in the recovery room other than the other women who had just gone through the procedure. I went home and had a heavy period and pain that Tylenol could handle. 

2. How much did it hurt?

It hurt a little bit during the actual procedure, but it was nothing major (and definitely nothing compared to childbirth!). I had cramps on and off for the next few days, but they were no worse than period cramps.

Like I explained before the medical abortion was not very painful but the surgical one was very painful. More painful than contractions when I had my two boys. 

3. How much did it cost?

Because I was only six weeks along, my abortion cost $550 — but that cost goes up for people who are farther along. I’m also lucky because I live a few miles away from my clinic, so my boyfriend just dropped me off. Lots of pregnant people have to travel hundreds of miles, find lodging, and miss work when they get an abortion.

For patients who can’t afford their procedure, abortion funds provide grants to help cover the cost.

Mine was $400 both times. However, this was back in 2008 and 2009. 

4. Why did you get a surgical abortion instead of taking the abortion pill?

Some people decide to take the abortion pill because then they can go home and miscarry in private. But I wanted to walk into the clinic pregnant and leave with all of it behind me. It’s just a matter of preference.

I simply got what the nurse recommended the first time around and the second time around I did not have a choice because of how far along I was. 

5. Did you feel ashamed afterward?

I wondered if I would, but I didn’t. I’ve been pro-choice for as long as I’ve known about abortion, and I felt comfortable with my decision. A lot of women do have complex feelings about their abortions, and that’s OK too. But no one should have to feel ashamed for making a decision that is right for them. I hope that the more we talk about this, the less shame we’ll all feel.

With the first one, I was not ashamed at all. However, no one knew about it except my ex and his mom. It made it a lot easier to deal with. The second one was harder to feel okay with because I was farther along and did not have the support I had the first time around. However, after a few days I realized that I made the best decision for me and I have absolutely no regrets about either abortion. 

6. What was recovery like?

Honestly, it was a little annoying. For the week after the procedure, I bled as though I was on my period. And even though the cramps were mild, they weren’t fun. Also, you can’t put anything in your vagina or have sex for two to four weeks.

But it was also way better than healing from pregnancy and childbirth.

It was very easy. Like the original article says, it’s cramps and heavy bleeding. The recovery is much better than having a child which really fucks with your vagina, tailbone, and stomach afterward.

7. What surprised you the most about your experience?

The waiting room was a really friendly environment. Many of the other patients shared their stories of how they got there. Most were mothers already, and some had gotten an abortion before. It was comforting to be in a safe, open place with the other patients.

Nothing really surprised me. I did a lot of research before I made any appointments plus in Utah it’s required by law you attend a class 48 hours before your procedure so I really got double the education about what I was about to go through. 

8. Did you tell your friends and family?

Yes to friends, no to family. I’m lucky because everyone who I told about my pregnancy and abortion was supportive.

I told very few people with each abortion. I was worried about being judged, but as I’ve gotten older I have learned the love my family has for me. I know they would not have judged me and would have only supported me in my decision, but honestly, who knows that at 18? As I’ve gotten older and become more vocal about issues I feel are important I’ve become more comfortable and confident telling people my story. 

9. Did you become depressed/become an alcoholic/get breast cancer? Are you infertile now?

No, no, no, and I’m pretty sure no. The idea that abortion causes mental health issues, breast cancer, or any physical side effect that isn’t also a side effect of childbirth is patently false.

No, no, no, and no. I already had issues with depression and that continues on and off. I do not consider myself an alcoholic and never have. I do not have breast cancer. And I have two beautiful boys that I am fully capable of taking care of today. Cash is 4 and Tate is 20 months. 

10. What was the worst part of the whole thing?

The worst part of my abortion wasn’t the abortion; it was being pregnant. I didn’t realize how much an unexpected pregnancy would affect my day-to-day life: I was exhausted, my breasts were sore, and my emotions were out of control. I imagine it might be a different experience for people who actually want to be pregnant, but it was a nightmare for me.

Honestly the fact that I felt I could not be honest was the worst part of the whole thing. I hated not being able to talk to friends or family about what I was going through and it’s only been recent that I’ve been more open about my experiences. 

I’ve been an advocate for abortion access all of my adult life.

But after going through the experience of terminating a pregnancy myself, I feel an even stronger enthusiasm for this fight. Now it makes me even angrier to see politicians vilify women for the decisions they make about their own bodies. Because these are our unique bodies, and solutions aren’t one-size-fits-all.

How can we keep fighting for this? I believe the first step is for us to keep talking about abortion publicly because there is power in sharing our experiences with the world.

 

Heartbroken.

Heartbroken.
I am disgusted and disappointed in my fellow Americans today.

I find it appalling that Trump has not said more than his few statements about the issue in Charlottesville. [That you know are not coming from him. They are coming from his writers and advisors. When he’s truly moved or upset he goes to Twitter. I haven’t seen a damn thing from him so far about these racists harming fellow Americans. These domestic terrorists. “So sad.”] He speaks so forcefully about everything else but is silent when domestic terrorism occurs. He speaks so forcefully about immigrants who are supposed racists. He is so forceful about “Making America Great Again”. If that’s the case, President Trump, I am asking you to please do that. Make a stand against racism. Make America truly great. Do your job as our president; apologize and vow to help keep our fellow Americans safe no matter their color, race, religion, sexual preference, or background. Make it known that these were white nationalists and they are to blame for this horrific crime!

I am heartbroken.
There are people that are/were Trump defenders that are not saying a damn thing right now. They are staying silent while their fellow Americans are in critical condition and dead.  Where are you right now? Why aren’t you crying out in vain for these men and women who are hurt? Is it because they are possibly liberal, black, brown, Asian, or just disagree with you? Why aren’t you screaming for these racist groups to be stopped? If you truly wanted America to be great again we would be working together to stop this sort of thing from happening.
Honestly, any Trump supporter that is not angry tonight, I am disgusted with you. A 32-year-old woman is dead tonight because of racism. A 32-year-old woman is dead tonight because she wanted to make sure her fellow Americans were safe, felt protected and heard. An American is dead because of racism. If you are not angry about this then I truly believe you need to reevaluate your views, life, and values.
Unfortunately, when it comes to members of the KKK, the white nationalists, the white supremacists, etc. who are supporting Trump, he is silent about them. When members of the KKK, the white nationalists, the white supremacists, etc. were supporting Reagen he made it very clear that he separated himself from that group of people. Politics aside, Reagen made a stand and made the American people know he was not in support of the KKK, the white nationalists, the white supremacists, etc. or their views. He was a politician through and through but he knew where to draw the line and knew when something was so obviously wrong. Where is Trump? Why isn’t he standing up against these white supremacists? I understand you don’t bite the hand that feeds you, however, when do you draw the line? Stand up and speak out! Call these hate groups out!
We need to hold President Trump accountable for these types of things. He himself held Obama accountable for issues that happened within the US. Republicans held Obama accountable for issues that happened during his presidency. Democrats held Obama accountable for issues that happened during his presidency. The world held Obama accountable for issues that happened during his presidency. We need to hold Trump accountable for the men and women that are dead and injured because of today’s rally. We need to hold Trump accountable for the hate groups that killed our fellow American’s today.
Where are Trump’s comments about the two police officers that were killed today? Where are the Trump supporters who were screaming “Blue Lives Matter”? Why are you okay with acts of outright hate? Why are you okay with your president being silent on the issue? Why are you okay with being silent?
My heart and love go out to the three families of those who were lost today as well as the 19 other families who have injured family members. I will pray for you and your loved ones. I will stand with you. I will cry for you and with you. I will do whatever I can to help you get justice.
Trump, as an American I am asking you to do your job and call out these radical white supremacists. Call you these radical white nationalists. Call our these hateful groups. Condemn white nationalists, white supremacists, neo nazis, etc.
I’m sorry for rambling. I am just upset and angry over what is happening in our country today and the men and women that are supporting these radical racists.
P.S. Kudos to the Governor of Virginia and Mayor of Charlottesville for standing up and telling these racists they are garbage and trash. They are not American, need to stop, go home, and they are not welcome in their state/city. I second their views, they are not welcome in our country!

A Letter to Mormons

My Invenstory

Dear Mormon Neighbors,

Having lived in Gilbert for most of my life, we have been visited by many young, passionate, Mormon missionaries throughout the years. Recently they have been offering their help with anything we may need assistance with. These exchanges always include the typical pleasantries where I thank them for their generous offer, and add that, “no, we don’t need help with anything at this time.” After their last visit however, as the young men pedaled away, I realized that I do have a request. A request that has been bubbling beneath the surface, unspoken for quite some time now. A desire that began formulating in my grade school years and has been refined since having children of my own. The next time a Mormon missionary asks if there’s anything they can do for me, I’m going to humbly and vulnerably reply as follows:

  • Please teach your children to…

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