Get Ready for Summer!

You guys! I am a tad jealous that this incredible deal wasn’t around when I joined. If you’ve been thinking about jumping on board with Advocare as a retail customer or as a distributor yourself getting the automatic 20% discount but haven’t, now is the time to do so. FREE shipping and FREE Spark!! Yes, you heard right. Get your 24-day challenge bundle and even if you aren’t ready to start a 24 day challenge right now, you’ll have it on hand for when you are. This offer is only for a limited time, don’t procrastinate. I’ve ordered mine, let’s order yours. NOW is the time!

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Monday Matters

So much of the time, once Monday rolls around we get in a slump and aren’t excited about the day. That’s not me today though! I have so much to look forward to. I confided in you about some of my struggles in my previous post but although I struggle, I have hope.

This Monday morning I am excited about the day. For the first time in awhile, we meal prepped last night and I am stoked to share the recipes with you. Also today, a friend of mine and I are beginning our Advocare challenge. Today marks day 1 of the cleanse phase. Then tonight, my second season of Run for God begins. We participated in the program a few years ago but haven’t stuck to running. During the program last time I completed my very first full 5K run. Usually, I had just walked them. I felt like I was on top of the world and to be honest, was probably in the best shape of my life then. I’m ready to get that me back! It’s coming.

Now, for the meal prep last night. I made a delicious one pan dish that included chicken, green beans, and red potatoes. I also made vinegar cucumbers and clean deviled eggs. Just look at how delicious all of this looks! I will be sharing the recipes in separate posts.

Make it a marvelous Monday!
Hollie

Pedal On!

How ironic is it that my last blog post was about how I nailed day 3 of the Advocare 24 day challenge and here I am being completely vulnerable and honest letting you know that I slipped. It’s so easy to do. I’m human. However, I refuse to let that define me or my end goal. There has been a period of time where I stopped the challenge. I knew my decisions were poor, my heart wasn’t in it, other circumstances were consuming my mental and physical focus, and I knew that I didn’t want to waste the products I had if I weren’t allowing them to work effectively.

Does that mean I’m a failure? No. It simply means that I was aware and honest enough with myself to say, the same exact moment the nation is doing the 24 day challenge, wasn’t the best time for me as an individual to do it. So, here I am letting you know that I am mentally prepared to get back on it. My stress levels are on the road to being in control and not consuming me while I am mentally ready to focus. I have my biometric screening tomorrow for work which is somewhat of a clean slate since we have certain guidelines to meet each year so it’s the perfect time to regain my focus.

How often in life does this happen to all of us. Not just with a weight loss goal but just in life in general? It’s so easy to be motivated when things are falling into place perfectly but once we hit that speed bump, it’s also easy to swerve and get off track. That doesn’t mean you’re a mess up, it simply means you are human. I am human. We all have positive days and we all have negative days. What’s important is that we don’t fall into that trap and stay there. What’s important is that we have enough self respect that we can stand back up and pedal onward to the right path, right? After all, no one said this road of life would be easy. Even the most difficult moments make us stronger and prepare us for the best days to come.

If you’re feeling like you are in a rut and like you are a failure, you are not. You couldn’t be more wrong. You are a strong, important, and special individual with a purpose. Find your why and know that tomorrow is another day to get back up and pedal on!

Christmas Reflection

In the midst of the Christmas festivities, I found myself strung thin with the feeling of the world on my shoulders. Each year I say I am going to be ahead of the game and have everything prepared way before Christmas arrives and each year, Christmas hits me in the face before I even blink and realize it’s there. I am adamant it comes faster each year, don’t you agree? The feeling of getting everything wrapped, cooked, baked, and finalized for get togethers can really cause some unneeded anxiety and stress in what should be a rejoicing time of year.

Although my family is fully aware that Jesus is the reason for the season, I absolutely love giving gifts and find such joy in purchasing, making, wrapping, and giving to others. It’s one of my favorite things about Christmas aside from Jesus’ birth. This year, mini spent the night with her dad on Christmas Eve so I slept in and soaked in the quiet morning although I missed her excitement over Santa’s visit in the wee hours of the morning and I eagerly waiting for her to be home.

Our tree was absolutely beautiful Christmas morning. It had looked the same since the day I put it up but something about sitting on the couch, relaxing with Kasey, enjoying the parade, and just soaking in every second made it seem that more beautiful. There was something so serene about the calmness of not being in the hustle and bustle of the season that during those moments, I really reflected on how blessed I am. Not because I had a Christmas tree full of ornaments and lights, or presents underneath, but simply because I was awake and healthy. I was full of anticipation for my beautiful little girl to get home from her dad’s. I was full of excitement that I would be spending the next hours and days with our families and friends. I just have so much to be thankful for that I overlook and take for granted way more often than I should.

  
As the new year approaches, that is one thing that I am trying to do better at. Truly and honestly, being grateful and recognizing the many blessings daily and not just when it’s convenient. How easy it is to get caught up and only recognize our blessings when it fits into our schedule but don’t you believe that our blessings are even more apparent during our struggles and moments of weakness? It just takes a little more effort on our part to notice and appreciate them.

I hope that your Christmas was spent with those who make your heart swell. Until next time my friends,

Hollie

Thankful

This is the time of year where we all seem to reflect on what we are most thankful for. I wanted to post my ‘top 10’ that I am most thankful for..

  1. Life – I am thankful for the ability to live and although I am not perfect, I am thankful for another day to try and be the best I can be.
  2. Love – I am thankful for God’s love, a love that is indescribable other than using the word unconditional. I am thankful that no matter how many times I fail, God still loves me and cares for me. He loves and cares for you, too!
  3. Family – I am so incredible thankful for my family. As a whole it can be dysfunctional at times but I love each and every member and know that at the end of each day no matter the circumstances, we all are there for each other.
  4. My daughter – I am so thankful that the Lord called me to be her mom. Parenthood isn’t always sunshine and roses but everyday with her is full of love and laughter. I am so proud and hope that the Lord blesses me with many more years as her mom.
  5. My boyfriend, Kasey – This man right here is the only man who can get on my absolute nerves yet I love him more and more each day. He has shown me such support in the most darkest times and going through life with him is nothing but special. He truly is one of my biggest fans and I cherish every minute of our love story!
  6. Freedom – I am so incredibly thankful for the freedoms that we have in America. So many of which we often take advantage of.
  7. Material things – I know I shouldn’t put much emphasis on material things but in this case, I am super thankful for our home, warmth, food, electricity, all the material things that allow us to live peacefully and without worry of going without.
  8. Friends – I don’t have many that I truly consider an honest friend but the few I do have, I cherish their friendship. I cherish their brutal honesty, and I cherish each moment spent with them.
  9. Experiences – I am thankful for both good and bad experiences. At just 30 years young I have been through so many different things that some people don’t experience in their lifetime. Each experience has shaped me into the person I am today.
  10. Passion & Purpose – I couldn’t be more thankful to feel so passionate about not one topic but many. To have a passion for something gives so much purpose. I am thankful for the callings and direction that God places on my heart to fulfill his purpose.

What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving season?

La vita e’ bella

Life is beautiful. When there is sorrow, life is beautiful. When there is mourning, life is beautiful. Where there is happiness, life is beautiful. Life can be sloppy sometimes but it’s a beautiful ride. This is easy to remember when things are going good but when your world is shaken, are you quick to remember this or quick to forget?

My best friend has lost her father in law, 27-year-old daughter, and her grandmother in the last three weeks. My aunt has lost her father. There is so much sorrow, heartbreak, void, tears, questions, yet la vita e’ bella. Through it all, life is beautiful.

There are parents without children, children without parents, grandchildren without grandparents, and grandparents without grandchildren. Through it all, la vita e’ bella. There are no words that can fill the void, there are no band aids big enough to cover the wound, there are no amounts of kindness that can take away the sorrow. Yet, life is beautiful.

When the going gets tough, choose to focus on the positive. Through the rain, look for the rainbow. Most importantly, enjoy this beautiful ride and love deeply. If you’re of the praying kind, please keep my family and friend’s family in your prayers and always remember, la vita e’ bella.

Life is a Precious Gift

As we sat in the sanctuary awaiting the beginning of my daughter’s Christmas program, someone came over the intercom asking if there was a doctor, that a doctor was needed. At that moment, a huge crowd flocked to an area diagonally from where we were sitting. So much commotion and we couldn’t tell what was going on, nor did we realize anything was going on prior to the announcement. I stood up and we witnessed a group of individuals lifting another individual up out of the pew and they laid them on the floor. They immediately began chest compressions. The Head of School was calling what appeared to be 911 on his phone and then he walked up to pray over the situation with the entire room. Once prayer was lifted, they asked everyone to exit the sanctuary. We all piled across the Church halls and some watched as paramedics rushed in. After what seemed like a good half hour or more, they took the individual out on a stretcher, it didn’t look good. The Christmas program was postponed and everyone was in shock of what we all just witnessed and so worried for the individual (whom at that point, I wasn’t really sure who it was).

I went back in to get our jackets and pick up my daughter who was crying and worried that it was her MeMe. The rest of the evening is such a blur, so many emotions. I later found out, the lady went to be with our Lord and her daughter was a Kindergartener at my daughter’s school. My heart sank even more. How? How could this little girl go on without her mother? How was she going to survive the Christmas season that was just around the corner? How was she going to be cared for? How could I have been so close and feel so helpless? So many thoughts raced through my head. I prayed, requested prayer, and the entire school was praying for this lady, her daughter, and family.

That took place on a Friday evening and by the grace of God, the little girl returned to school that following Monday. My daughter saw her in the lunch room and gave her a hug. The school has handled this devastating situation in the most amazing way. They’ve provided counseling, covered tuition for the sweet little girl,  the head of school specifically spoke to every class, it’s been an amazing outpouring of support. My daughter said her class made the little girl a big card and each personally wrote something on it. She told me she wrote “God Bless You” and drew a picture of herself holding out a heart. I didn’t really know how much the situation had affected my daughter specifically until the following Thursday night.

We were sitting in the car waiting on her tumbling class to begin when the song Christmas Shoes was playing. I mentioned how sweet the video and song is and she wanted to watch it. About half way through, she was bawling and handed me the phone. I get choked up during that song as well and I know she’s a very emotional, wear her heart on her sleeve little girl as well. I just hugged her and told her how sweet the song is and she then expressed all that she was feeling. She was completely a mess worried about this little girl who lost her mom at such a young age and right here at Christmas, too. She told me that when she sometimes says mean things to me, she doesn’t mean it but is just frustrated. I explained that I understood and we all are guilty of doing that, it was okay. She then told me with big ole tears welded up in her eyes and falling down her cheeks, “I don’t want that to happen to you, I don’t know what I’d do without you.” It took all I had not to break down with her. I just hugged her tight and told her that I love her so much and to not worry, that Jesus was in control and knew everything that was going to happen and when. We just need to really enjoy each minute that we are given and not take them for granted.

It was a real eye opener for the both of us. Since then, I’ve really found myself looking at situations where I in the past would be quick to raise my voice or get mad, calmly react and not make such a big deal over the small stuff. I’ve found myself truly trying to enjoy every minute. It’s hard to not take things for granted but when I constantly remember that little girl and how that moment in that sanctuary happened completely unexpectedly, it’ll really put a lump in your throat. Life is so precious and can be taken from us or someone we love, when we least expect it. Truly, cherish every moment.