Category Archives: Just life

2013 in review

Standard

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,000 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 50 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Advertisements

flowers…

Standard

 

 

Love is the flower of life, and blossoms unexpectedly and without law, and must be plucked where it is found, and enjoyed for the brief hour of its duration. 

I came across this quote and it rings so true to me.

 

It happens so fast. Without proper care…or with over caring, flowers wilt. They just do. Something so beautiful can go away so quickly. Maybe it was their time…or maybe with more care they will return. It is out of your hands. Sit back and enjoy the beauty of flowers while they are in full blossom.

 

Words and Actions

Standard

20131102-103003.jpg

Words are powerful. They can be helpful or hurtful. They can be misconstrued and twisted in ways in which they were not intended. They can be passionate. They can convey love and admiration. Use them wisely. Use them with caution. Make them come from your heart.

Actions are mighty. They show strength or weakness. They can demonstrate one’s emotions or mask them quite well. Actions don’t always speak louder than words and yet sometimes they scream them.

20131102-102828.jpg

It was up for serious debate….

Standard

After serious contemplation of deleting my blog completely, I decided otherwise. Not because of the idea that people are reading it…which I HOPE someone out there is. BUT for the actual avenue of thought. I realized last night that I miss writing. I have not written on my blog since this summer, my last published article was almost a year ago, and I have not made any additions to the book I am currently trying to write in who knows how long.  Laying in bed last night I realized that I put a lot of stuff in life above my joy of writing. New career, being a mom, being a wife, being a whatever, being a friend….it all has taken precedent over just being ME.

Over the past few months I have done a great deal of soul-searching, realization and discovery. I have a different way of thinking and believing now. I do plan on verbally discovering myself through this media…typing out loud, if you will. Some will love it, some will not understand, and some may even look at me differently because of it, and some may even learn something new.  I am realizing that I cannot please everyone. I can live and love in the now. Be a better person. Take care of myself and those that I love.

It is no longer about what people have tried to tell me and make me believe, just because it’s what is perceived as right by the masses. It is what I am learning and discovering. It is what puts my heart at peace. Some subjects may be sensitive, some may be gentle, and some may just be me rambling.

This is a new work in progress. I hope you enjoy. I hope that my love and light shines through. I hope that if you are resistant to new ideas, new thoughts…that you will open your mind and heart and at least just read.

And finally, I hope you comment. Conversations are good for the heart. Challenge me! Enlighten me! Be enlightened!

It’s becoming an obsession…

Standard

20130625-140016.jpg

20130625-140007.jpg

20130625-135957.jpg

Hi my name is Ammie and I am addicted to all things vampire. Yes, I have read all the Twilight series…umm some more than once. I seek out Sunday nights…True Blood of course. And currently, my latest obsession is the House of Night Series. I just finish book 8 in less than 2.5 months. I have to admit…the HoN series is better in my opinion than 50 Shades.

I don’t know what it is about them that make it all so appealing. Trust me when I say that twinkling skin, super fast running and pale skin does NOT entice me.

I would have to say that the love stories (and wow…does the House of Night have love stories) involved within each of these series definitely are intriguing. The heroic studdly/beautiful vamps swoops in…hehe….. And depending on the series…saves the lady/friend/man/etc….

So now….my debate do I stop at book 8 and start something or continuing hmmm…feeding this obsession???

Nah….who am I kidding…book 9 is downloading now!

It’s so easy for them

Standard

photo.JPG

excuse the blurryness…they wouldn’t hold still for a moment!!

 

My heart swells with pride watching my children enjoy life. I hope to be a student of them as much as they are a student of me.

My daughter says hello to every one that passes by…everyone. It doesn’t matter if we are on foot or in a car. She is waving and saying hello. I absolutely love and admire her unconditional acceptance of people. As adults, I wish we all had more of that. It seems that our environment and experiences make us hesitant to embrace those who are different. I want that back!!!

My son…he can enter a new environment, be it a soccer field, school classroom or a mall playground and make instant friends. His imagination is limitless. He and a boy he met at the playground last night played for a solid 30 minutes and their imagination was incredible. They didn’t care who was around or who overheard their elaborate scheme. They just played. I want that back!!!

I love spending time with my kids and understanding that they can teach me sometimes more than I can teach them….at just at the right time.

I am better off without you

Standard

I am not at all saying that there is nothing positive in my life. I am surrounded by it.  However, I am also exhausted with the negative parts in my life. Negative actions, negative words, and negative attitudes (mine definitely included). Therefore, I am on a quest to banish them forever.  Negativity….I am better off without you!

My sense of self will be the hardest to conquer. I have a great facade going on. I pretend that I am content with myself, but that would be an injustice. That would allude to the fact that I am done growing (physically, spiritually, and emotionally). There is always room for improvement and growth.

The negative, judgmental part of my being has to go away also. I try to be very unbiased and non-judgmental, however, human nature and inherent sin make it so easy. This is a part that needs constant attention.

Another difficulty will be people’s perception of the new real me I am so desperately needing to find. My activities will change. My outlook on myself and others will change and my perception of the world will change. I am hoping and praying that this will all be viewed as positive, however, there is no one that I need approval from except God and myself.

So…here’s to a new ME….better lifestyle, healthier living, positive attitude, non-judgmental and happier. If you see me and I am not doing this…call me out nicely. Accountability in numbers.

love peace happiness

~Namaste

Stop…

Standard

Stop…breathe…take notice of all that is around you. You are surrounded by beautiful moments.

Look at the beauty that is in the smallest thing. The colors of the sky as the sun makes its way into the horizon. The blooms that are appearing in the trees. The toothy grin of a child.

Listen to your surroundings. The wind whipping through the yard. The sounds of children playing. The lyrics of the perfect song played at the perfect moment. The sound of “I love you” by someone who truly means it.

Feel the warmth of the sun as you talk a much needed walk. The tight embrace of a dear friend. The cool side of the pillow when you turn it over at just the right moment.

Taste the coolness of an iced tea on a hot day. The saltiness of tears streaming down your face. The boldness of a glass of merlot after a long day.

Smell of  freshly baked goodies. The smell of campfire. The smell of rain. The smell of a freshly bathed body.

It is everywhere. Beauty…often unnoticed and usually underrated. All created by the Supreme Being and for whom I give the highest credit.

Namaste

It’s the best medicine…

Standard

laughing

Monkey thinking he is hilarious in his sister’s onesie… that’s my boy!

It should happen more often.
I need more of it in life.
I just need to make myself relax and let it happen.

LAUGHTER!!!

Yesterday, because of a pure Freudian slip that I do not wish to expand on (let’s just say it involved roosters, the BBC and falling down in the fetal position), I experienced the biggest deep down, out loud, earth-shaking laugh. It had been a while since I have one of that caliber. The feeling right after a great laugh is amazing. I swear I felt years come off right then and there…and it has to be an ab workout, RIGHT????

I have to find more to laugh about. I get so wrapped up in daily routine that I forget to just laugh.

When and what was the last time you really laughed out loud?

I have no one else to blame but me.

Standard

A friend was recently telling me about the ideas and premise of Tony Robbins, the motivational and life coach. Robbins explains that YOU are in charge of YOUR OWN outcome. If you are sad, you and only you have the ability to make you happy again. It is your choice…your decision… and ultimately the outcome is based on you.

This has had me really thinking lately. I have no one else to blame for my down days except me. I am in control of my actions and reactions. That is why I have started paying attention to little details in my daily life that ultimately make a big difference.

– I have always liked the idea of working out in the morning because a.) you burn more calories throughout the day and b.) life gets too hectic when everyone else in the house is up and going. Therefore, this entire week I have worked out in the morning….no excuses. The alarm goes off, I snooze for 5 more minutes and then I am up and out the door to the gym. I have felt great this week!!! It was my choice!

– Kids will be kids. After working with precious teenagers all week, often times I come home with very little patience. I have tried to maintain composure, not get overly upset at the mistakes my own babies make. I am trying to verbal discuss Monkey’s wrong choices without raising my voice (this is one I still need a bit more practice on). Just Breathe!!

– Just because the hubs doesn’t do every little romantic thing I have conjured up in my mind, doesn’t mean he isn’t showing my his love in his own way. I don’t need a dozen rose petals laid out across the bed, I don’t need a poem detailing his love (ok…maybe bad examples…those are all cheesy in my book!) I am completely thrilled when he rinses off all the dishes in the sink and leaves them to be put in the dishwasher…that is another piece of love…he knows that I am uber anal-retentive with my dishwasher space…JUST LET ME DO IT!!!!

I am in control of my emotions. I am in control of pain and pleasure. I am the sayer of what I want to do. I know that there are consequences and rewards for things I do or choose not to do. I am loving the fact that I am in this state of realization. I know that God is not going to give me anything that I can not handle. His faith in me and mine in Him has more power than anything else.

How do you get through life’s daily trials and tribulations?

Living in an instant world…

Standard

Anywhere at anytime anyone can log on to a multitude of sites and find answers to questions, order take out, check on movie times or check the weather in a different state. Life is so fast paced.

If I can find out all that information out at the click of a button, what can others find out about me?

Facebook makes me nervous with all the “checking in” and status updates. The new way the News feed is set up, my friend’s friend can tell if I am home, what status I am currently liking, or who I am with.

I am not saying that all technology is bad. In fact, I love the idea of laying in bed reading my ebook or catching up on the latest episode of Girls….which by the way is AMAZING!!!!

I like that I can post pics of my kiddos on instagram and that my family can keep track of them. I like that I can track my fitness and nutrition on MyFitnessPal.

Hell, I am a blog writer…of course I rely on technology. What I ask myself daily is, where is the limit? How much is too much technology?

With all that said, I often wish for simpler times but it is what it is….Are we letting our lives virtually fly by too fast?

Shout out to my coaches

Standard

For those of you that are blessed to have a coach in your life, this is for you.
For those that are coaches, this is a huge thank you.
For those that don’t understand the role or duty of a coach, I hope this sheds some light.

As a wife of a coach I have come to understand the reason, want and need for these men and women to get into this field. It’s not just about having a love for sports, although that helps. It’s not just about knowing the game, even though that is beneficial. It truly is about passion. Passion for the game…passion for the competition…passion for the kids. I have never seen a group of people have more love, compassion, and high expectations for kids than coaches.

Some have no idea what it takes, or what these individuals do (and sacrifice) for their profession.

~ The hours the coaches put in are crazy. They are usually the first people at school and the last to leave. Their cars are the ones up at the gym on Saturdays and Sundays. I honestly can say coaches sleep a fraction of the time they are breathing. The rest of the time, especially when in season, is spent working or thinking about work, or many times worrying about their athletes. Are they passing classes? Are they behaving? Are they staying out of trouble on the weekends?

~Coaches are a second set of parents to our young men and women. As educators and coaches, they see kids more hours during the day then the athletes’ own parents. They walk the halls making sure the kids are behaving, passing classes and maintaining that level of expectations set forth by their code of conduct.

~sacrifice. This is one thing coaches and their love owns have to accept. They sacrifice the time with their own family. Many times my husband does not see his kids to bed because of the hours he puts in. Often he gets home after dinner and has little time with them before bed. Honestly I struggle with this, but I know in my heart that what he does is making huge differences in the young men he is coaching.

I learn something new everyday from the coaches that I have in my life. I not only have a husband in the profession but some of my best friends are coaches. It’s not just the thrill of the win that makes what they do satisfying (although that is always nice). It’s more than that. Watching their athletes grow as people. Watching them understand rules, expectations and duty. Teaching them how to make sacrifices for the team. And at the end of the season looking back and seeing their own sacrifices were all worth it. Win or lose.

Jason, Michelle, Billy, Lisa, AC, Tiffany, Randy, John, Ben, Marty, Steve, Staci, Mark, and the many more that I am blessed to know…this is for you. Thank you.

Have you thanked a coach today?

It’s not me…it’s you.

Standard

 

Dear Facebook,

I feel that our time together is getting bothersome and irritating. It’s not me…it’s you. I am exhausted with the many ads, likes and CRAP! I really do not care if my “friend” likes a particular shoe brand…fastfood chain…or Bible verse of the day. I am done seeing the latest gripe about someone’s parents, spouse, child,  day, etc…

I plan on keeping you around for a bit…using you, if you will. I need to for the simple fact that I would like my pictures to still be accessible. Also, I plan on using you a bit more so that I have people’s contact info if needed. I however, will not be posting anymore status updates, on purpose that it. Some of my other apps may post. I know that this may cause you to miss me but it is just better this way.

For all of our mutual friends….you can reach me at my Twitter account @normalgirltales    or instagram – ammiehill   or email – ammiehill@gmail.com

 

Please do not send me emails, I am done with our relationship! You have been erased from my apps and my desktop. I hope you understand!

 

Sincerely,

Ammie

Not sure what I would do without him.

Standard

The more days, months, years that pass by; the more I realize how much I love him. He is my best friend.  Not sure what I would do without him.

There are so many times that I look at him and realize that I was made for him. He has taught me how to be a better me. He has taught me how to love and how to be loved. I realize that I am not perfect, but in his eyes, I am. Not sure what I would do without him.

He sees me for the wife, mother and woman I am and constantly tells me how he loves me. There are so many times when life is hectic and overbearing, but he makes it a point to show me that I am a top priority. I am not sure what I would do without him.

He has let me grow, make mistakes, forgives me and changes with me. He has become the most amazing father and I have fallen in love with him all over again. Not sure what I would do without him.

I have discovered some of my old friends

Standard

 

My husband and family often laugh at me when I refer to my books as my friends. My favorites I tend to hang on to and revisit. Just today at lunch, some colleagues of mine and I were talking about some of our favorite books of all time and I started reminiscing about my old friends. So I am going to try to list some of my all time favorite books and why. These are in no particular order, hell just narrowing them down to this list was difficult enough.

  • The Great Gatsby – as an American history teacher and lover, this book encompassed one of my favorite decades. Fitzgerald did an amazing job portraying lust, love, deception, crime and history all in one entertaining novel.
  • East of Eden – John Steinbeck’s first novel and my favorite of his. The retelling of the Book of Genesis set at the turn of the 20th century. I can’t rave enough about this novel. I have just picked it up to re-read!!!
  • Wuthering Heights – I have a love/hate with Heathcliff and I think you will agree if when you read it.  Emily Bronte’s The romance and complexity between Catherine and Heathcliff is at times too intense to read. I LOVE IT
  • Pride and Prejudice – I think I fell in love with Mr. Darcy my freshman year in college when I first read this book. There is just something mysterious and lovely about him. The relationship he and Elizabeth share is so unnerving at times. This novel makes me feel that the courtship style dating needs to return to modern days.
  • Same Kind of Difference as Me – I think this book taught me how to be a better person. How to not look at someone and assume I know what type of person they are. This story of two complete opposites building a unique unexpected friendship, is one of the most beautiful stories I have EVER read. I had to put the book down many times because I couldn’t read through the tears.

I have so many more that I could go on forever…this is just a glimpse.

PLEASE share your faves!!!!

My bloatation device is secure….

Standard

 

URGHHHHHHH. Ladies you can all feel my pain. It sucks being a woman during certain times.

The time is now! I eat good. I am active and once a month a new appendage is added to my body for about a week. I like to call it my bloatation device. This disgusting certain swelling graces me with its presence at all the wrong times.

It’s chilly outside and I would love to wear this cute mohair sweater but NOPE currently it looks as if I am 4 months preggers.

This adorable wrap dress would be perfect in this weather but NOPE bloaty bloaterson here can’t do that either!

Just started my 24 Day Challenge and what a spokesperson I am this week. Disclaimer….despite my current body shape I really am losing lbs!!!!

Sorry just had to get that off my stomach…I mean chest! (damn, why can’t that swell instead monthly????)

Why? Will we ever know…

Standard

I know that the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy is on everyone’s mind. This morning it was on the news and mentioned on several of the radio stations I listen to in the morning. The victims were honored at a memorial last night and many of the children were being buried today.

As a member of the education world and a mom, I feel like I am affected by this times 2. I try not to watch or read too much because the senseless event breaks my heart too much; however, I feel like I need to stay attuned to the details because I too am an employee of a school system who is not immune to such tragedies.

I sit here and wonder what in life is so terrible that a person had to open fire on children and adults…but seriously…children. What purpose is there in killing a group of 6 and 7 year olds. What makes me even angrier is that the man took his own life and we may never know the answers to questions.

Moms hug your children extra tight tonight. Spend a little extra time with them. Teachers and administrators….spend some time making sure your campus is up to date with lock down information, drills and safety precautions.

I pray for the parents, family and friends of all those victims. The courageous heroes that died protecting their students and the innocence taken.

12/12/12…and #100

Standard

How fitting that today I posted my 100th post!!!! Perfect timing!!!!

 

This is definitely a day that will go down in history. For the past 12 years we have had a day that all 3 numbers (month/day/year) have been the same..ie. 01/01/01, 02/02/02…ok you get the drift. This will be the last day like this for the next 88 years. The next will fall on 01/01/2101….CRAZY!

I hope to make this a special day by doing something small yet memorable. Taking time to visit with my family…get the kids bundled up and ride around looking at Christmas lights in the neighborhood.  Spend some extra time with my children at bedtime…read an extra story. Put the kids to bed and spend some quality time with the hubs!

So many children being born, people getting engaged/married, events taking place that will not be forgotten.

The event doesn’t have to be extravagant…the memories you make just need to be purposeful and special.

What did you do today to make it special? Share via comments!

A definite awe factor….

Standard

This is the view that I saw this morning as I made my drive in to work. As I drove, I could not help but realize the role we as humans play on this earth. I know to some it may seem menial but my perception tells me otherwise. I feel that I can make my mark and leave a positive impression on those around me…or at least try.

This image takes me back to a video clip that our ministry team showed at church one Sunday. The Awe Factor of God shows just how magnificent He is in His creation. The magnitude of space is indescribable.

I had a serious discussion with a student just yesterday. He came in to the office, sat down and asked me some deep, spiritual questions and I found myself having a difficult time explaining my thoughts. I know what I feel and what I believe but vocalizing those thoughts was hard. The main question he asked me and it has stuck with me is “if in the end we are all we have left, then why does everything else matter?”  WOW….I honestly could not find a way to answer that. I know how I feel but putting those thoughts into words has been a challenge and a constant thought on my mind since our conversation.

How would you have answered the student’s question?

Did you do it today?

Standard

20121106-131936.jpg

This was the coolest day today! I took the day off to take care of some mommy duties….doctor and dentist appointments. I purposely made them today so that I could have the day off to VOTE. I get very excited to be able to vote and I wanted to share the experience with little Monkey so….he came with me.

We pulled up at the polling place and I got him super excite about the whole process. We walked in and he handed the clerk my license with a big smile on his face. To his excitement, the voting process was all electronic. I choose the candidates and he got to select “next” on each page…which he was quite excited about.

What made me super proud was when he told his ex-teacher that he just voted, while he was donning his “I voted” sticker.

Proud momma moment here!

Some people

Standard

There are those people that are meant to be in one’s life. The more I live, the more I realize that. God put some in my life to teach me patience.
Some are there to show me compassion.
Others just to show me love.
And then there are people that show me realness.
What I love are the ones that know how to make me laugh and love me for ME!

Thankful Thursday ~ L.O.V.E.

Standard

There is a big joke in my family. Ammie LOVES everything. My brother-in-law always teases me; if I am really excited about something, the words you will LOVE it always passes my lips. But the truth is…I DO LOVE … A LOT!

L – Laughter – The laughter in my world is amazing. My laughter, my kids, my friends and my family. I have one of those laughs that is loud and deep in my belly. It feels good to laugh so hard that tears stream down my face.  My kids and their antics are hilarious. The words that come out of my son’s mouth are classic. I REALLY should keep a journal of his new sayings! Life is meant to be loved.

O – Observation – Just being still and observing life and the love that is all around. One of my intentions nearly everyday is to just be still and observe. Life is meant to be loved.

V – Vivacious – I love being lively in spirit. It is very rarely that I get and stay in a bad mood. I am human, I get upset, but I get over it. There is only a  certain number of minutes in my life that I get to spend with my friends and family. It would not be fair to my children and my husband if I were to be in a foul mood the majority of the time. I PREFER to see the glass as half full all the time! Life is meant to be loved!

E – Espresso – hahaha….coffee, along with the other fine things in life is supposed to be enjoyed. I tried to give it up…then I asked myself WHY???? Why would I deprive myself of the riches of coffee, or wine, or delicious food smothered in butter???? I have learned the importance of quanitity….not deprivation. Life is meant to be loved.

Love what you see. Love who you are. Love those around you.

~Namaste~

What is it about life that you truly love?

It’s hard to deny.

Standard

Every morning on the way to work, I travel east on a country road just as the sun is making its way up. As I drive in the direction of the approaching light, I find myself admiring the beauty of the morning. The orange and red ball, signifying the beginning of a new day, nearly takes my breath away every morning.

As I near the interstate, I pass a pasture that is home to a beautiful spotted horse and her new colt. They are never separated. It is amazing to watch the growth of the colt and the bond these animals have.

As I experience the rising sun, the morning dew on the trees, and the bond of creatures, I can’t help think to myself….how can one deny the existence of a creator? He is prevalent in life.

My intention for my day is to experience and notice what He has created and be thankful for such beauty that life has to offer.

Attention readers…

Standard

New blog alert…

I WILL still write on this blog but for all you readers out there, my cousin and I have started a new blog. We are reading a reviewing various books that strike our fancy! Check us out at

Confessions of Novel Junkies

Let me know what you think…I want to hear all about it!

Where were you???

Standard

Every September 11th, I take a class day to remember those who were involved in the terrorist attacks, alive and gone. Every year I show my students news footage of that morning, now 11 years ago, as well as read them the New York Times article from the day after.

It saddens me to see the interest slip away as the generations become more and more distant from that somber day. The attitudes and opinions make my heart hurt for those in my generations and older that remember everything about Tuesday, September,11, 2001.

I was sitting at my desk at Jones Hearing Aid Center getting ready for the day to really get started. As I was listening to the talk radio station, as I always did, I heard reports of one of the Twin Towers was burning and they had believed it had been hit by a plane. (we were yet to think terrorist)My fellow coworkers and I rushed into the lab where the TVs were so that we could watch live footage. It was a few minutes later that we watched in horror as the 2nd plane hit the South tower…and then the 3rd hit the Pentagon….and the crash land of the 4th plane in Pennsylvania.

The rest of the day is kind of blurry; however, I know that I watched more news coverage in that next week than I had ever before.

I pray that we as a culture make it a point to embrace being a proud American and celebrate the lives lost during this tragic event. I pray that ignorance is lost to compassion. I pray that this next generation will not have a day etched in their memory.

Where were you???

Tuesday tip- more than one use

Standard

Thanks to one of my girlfriend’s suggestions, I have been razor bump free for the majority of the summer and saved money on products!!! That’s an awesome double whammy right there!

Tip for today is two fold and sorry gents mostly for the ladies, unless you are like my hubs and shaves as much as I do.

In the shower, put away those expensive shaving creams and use the conditioner you can find on sale. Smells yummy and cheap!

After the shower…dry off good and apply a bar deodorant to the shaved bikini area…no razor bumps!

I (and the hubs) end the process with my homemade cocoa butter lotion. Smooth and polished!

Comment on my blog for a chance to win a jar of my homemade cocoa butter lotion! Making a new batch soon!

Wednesday Wisdom – humans and their emotions…being a spiritual warrior

Standard

20120801-201144.jpg

“The problem with most people is that they lose control of their emotions. It is the emotions that control the behavior of the human, not the human who controls the emotions. When we lose control we say things that we don’t want to say, and do things that we don’t want to do. That is why it is so important to be impeccable with our word and to become a spiritual warrior. We must learn to control the emotions so we have enough personal power to change our fear-based agreements, escape from hell and create our own personal heaven.”
-excerpt from The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

The reason I chose this excerpt from The Four Agreements is because it rings so true within me. I am one that loses control of my emotions, positive and negative. I often go on super-drive with my emotions. One of my personal goals is to learn to keep them in check and create a spiritual warrior within me. Not an over-zealous religious warrior, but my own personal spiritual warrior that helps me balance life along with my spiritual and physical Universe.

How do you keep your emotions from going on hyperdrive???

Massage Therapy During Cancer: Empowering Wellness – by guest blogger, Melanie L. Bowen

Standard

Nearly twelve million Americans are battling cancer at any given time, according to American Cancer Society statistics. Many of these individuals have bravely fought their disease for several years, through diagnosis, treatment, remission and relapse.

Cancer treatments are harsh. They load bodies with heavy toxins and unforgiving side effects. During the most stressful times of cancer, massage therapy can be a godsend.

Massage as Complementary Therapy

Many medical professionals recommend massage therapy as a complementary treatment for cancer patients. Without a doubt, therapeutic bodywork can greatly benefit these patients and their loved ones. While massage is not a cure-all for cancer or a stand-alone treatment, it can serve as nurturing healthcare in most cancer treatment plans.

Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, hormone therapies and other treatments place a heavy burden on the body. Conventional treatments are successful because they aggressively target cancer cells and kill them before they can spread. This is a good thing. However, cancer treatments often cause debilitating side effects that are difficult to live with, and this is not so good. For many patients, the side effects of cancer treatment are worse than the cancer symptoms and pain.

Massage therapy does much to eliminate toxic chemicals, alleviate pain, reduce stress and minimize treatment symptoms. This often results in improved circulation, decreased blood pressure and reduced nausea and fatigue.

Swedish massage, reflexology and other relaxation techniques are the best ones to use during cancer treatment. When the treatment program ends, patients may consider lymph drainage, myotherapy, neuromuscular therapy and other trigger point techniques.

Anyone battling cancer can benefit from massage, whether they have metastatic breast cancer, mesothelioma or another form of the disease. Bodywork is possible even for hospitalized patients. Cranial-sacral therapy, Reiki and Therapeutic Touch are calming ways to cope with a hospital stay. The gentle touch provides comfort and reassurance during crucial moments in the cancer experience.

Massage as Empowerment

Talking to a doctor and massage therapist is the best place to start massage therapy. Physical manipulation can worsen some conditions, so discussing massage with a cancer doctor is important. Talking with a therapist about the disease and its treatment ensures that bodywork techniques are adapted to meet individual needs.

Massage is a healing therapy that empowers wellness. Cancer patients whose treatment plans include massage enjoy numerous health benefits. A caring touch can alleviate pain, nausea, stress, anxiety, anger, depression and all the other feelings and emotions that cancer evokes.

Regular massage therapy improves many body functions, from circulation and breathing to digestion and sleep. It also boosts the immune system, so the body can fight cancer growth and infection.

The calming experience of massage relaxes the body and mind. This relaxation improves mood, well-being and outlook. During a time when cancer seems to control everything, massage therapy empowers patients and gives them a better quality of life.

Thank you Melanie for your contribution

It has happened to all of us…what are you going to do about it is the question?

Standard

It has happened to every single one of us. We do something, not realizing the consequences and it totally backfires in our faces.

Recently, this has happened to me. A joke, which I thought at the time harmless, completely took a direction for bad town. What was I to do? A person, who’s feelings and opinions I took seriously was hurt, amidst a peril of other interesting situations. Now, I am not going to go into any detail; except for the fact that I hurt a friend and I needed to learn from it.

Isn’t that what mistakes are for….learning from them and becoming better people?

Because of this situation, I felt that the Universe was trying to teach me a deep lesson. All evening I couldn’t shake the idea of my friend upset because of something I did. Some stupid choice I made.

This really got me thinking. It is amazing how things can change drastically because of a choice…a decision…whether good or bad, right or wrong.

There is only so much you can do when one is hurt, mad, disappointed. Apologize sincerely, give them time, and show in actions the right way. Trust and relationships are not to be taken for granted. Forgiveness is something to cherish.

Don Miguel Ruiz, the author of The Four Agreements said, “Forgiveness is the only way to heal.”

Forgiveness of yourself and others.

You HAVE to check this out!!!!

Standard

20120629-113839.jpg

So for our 4th anniversary my husband planned a secret trip to a bed and breakfast. When we pulled into the Hideaway Ranch and Retreat, I honestly did not know what to expect. A dirt road takes you to the “town” which contains the office, cantina, and Silver Dollar restaurant. This atmosphere resembles that of an old time dude ranch complete with chuck wagon.

Upon arriving at our own personal cabin, the Hacienda, I was in love! The view (see above picture)from the porch was indescribable. I would definitely recommend the Hacienda to couples. Perfect size accommodations and the hot tub on the deck is perfect for two.

We decided to drive around the 155 acre property to check everything out. The center of the “town” is set up perfectly for wedding receptions, company parties, family parties or just a get away. The cantina has seating room and the ambiance is perfect for socializing.

Although we had already planned to have dinner at the cabin, we quickly changed our plans when we saw the menu at Silver Dollar. Greeted by the owners, Corey and Westley, we knew that we made a good choice. I can honestly say this was an amazing dinner, filet and baked potato with a yummy side salad. Great side note…it’s BYOB, so we were able to enjoy my favorite wine, Rojo Grande, from Granbury’s D’Vine Wine.

The next morning we went back to Silver Dollar for the best breakfast I do believe I have ever enjoyed. The menu covers tastes for everyone. I decided to have the El Vaqueros (huevos rancheros). The hubs had the Cattle Rustler, eggs, bacon, potatoes, biscuit, pancakes and fruit. Huge and delicious. My favorite part was the coffee! Boiled in a pot on the stove….tastes like campfire coffee, amazing!

I HIGHLY suggest making a trip to the Hideaway Ranch and Retreat. It is a hideaway nestled in the middle of Granbury, Glen Rose and Stephenville! The owners Traci and Jason are so friendly and warm.

We will definitely return, for a meal, or another stay-cation.

When you go, tell them Ammie sent you!

Starting it off right…

Standard

20120628-085811.jpg

Those of you that follow my Tweets may have noticed my comments about a HBO documentary I am currently watching, The Weight of a Nation. I am in the first of 5 episodes and a fire has been lit. The statistics are atrocious and I want to do more to help this fast growing epidemic of obesity.
18% of children in the United States are overweight
68.8% of Americans are overweight or obese

Those of you who are not overweight, please don’t think that we are not in this problem together. Your health insurance premiums will increase and medical costs will skyrocket.

As a mom, I feel that I need to do my part in making sure my children do not become a statistic. I am chicken nugget and fish stick guilty. Knowing that fat is good for my kids’ brain development; however they will soon be moved to healthier options. The problem lies in what they are already accustom to. I know this process will be difficult at first, but I will need to persist and be patient….and creative.

As an Advocare distributor, my friends and family see that I care about my health and fitness. I share these products and the results.

One thing is for sure….my kids are active! We rarely just sit around and watch TV. There is lots of basketball, running, golf and swimming occurring in our household.

My dilemma lies outside my home. What can a normal girl do to reach more people and impact more lives? I try and set the best example for my students, only healthy snacks allowed in my classroom. Well, that is a start!

My heart longs for more! This is a topic I am praying about, meditating on, and will hopefully find my answer.

What do you do to make your mark on the health of our youth and the weight of our nation?

Here’s to a better me….

Standard

20120623-130002.jpg

Those that know me know that I am always looking for the next best thing on nutrition. I was a vegetarian for nearly 2 years and I tried the vegan thing for about 6 months (too damn difficult in our society). I enjoy being healthy and trying my best to choose the healthiest option the majority of the time. I have heard a lot about raw food nutrition and juicing; however, I had never tried it.

Until today…. One of the Yoga instructors at the studio I go to in Granbury, Vitality Yoga, told our class about Barefoot Market, a juice bar and nutrition store. I had some time to kill today so I loaded the kids up and went to check it out. YUMMY!!! I had carrot, spinach, kale, and oranges juiced together. Delicious and it truly was filling. they also have a natural food market that is stocked with awesome goodies.

Thank goodness I liked it because we had already purchased a juicer two days ago….I’m patiently awaiting its arrival.

I also am about to start reading Natalia Rose’s Raw Food Detox Diet. I will keep you all posted and share recipes as I try out different blends. Please share if you have experiences as well!

You never know when….

Standard

As I was running my errands today, I drove past the local Catholic Church. There had to be over 200 cars parked in the lot and overflowing into the street. I noticed a hearse and knew this was the mourning of a life lost. I took notice of the attendants. The majority of the people waiting in line to enter the building were under 18. My heart sunk. It had to be a young life that was struck short. All at once, thoughts started flooding my mind. Life is so unpredictable. One moment all is good, the next could be drastically different. It seems so cliche but so true…live each day as if it’s your last.
– Don’t hesitate telling someone you love them.
– have fun and enjoy it…no regrets
– Step outside your comfort zone…just try it!
– check off stuff on your bucket list…if you don’t have one…make one!
– laugh out loud…don’t hold it back!
– squeeze your kids extra tight
– call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while
– be still…be quiet…and just listen

Life is precious. Enjoy, cherish and appreciate every minute.

The power of touch

Standard

A hug, a squeeze on the shoulder, the depth of a massage, the firm grip of a handshake. All of these have the commonality of touch. It wasn’t until recently that I realized how so very important touch is.

It was at the beginning of my massage today, Jenna, the massage therapist, came in and as she began she did something very simple, she placed her hands on my head and they just stayed there for a bit. It was as if I was instantly relaxed. Stress left my body and I was ready for the actual massage. I don’t know a lot about the art of massage but I do know that whatever she did was beautiful. A feeling that is hard to describe.

I always said that sight was my favorite of the five senses. After today, I would say that touch is definitely number 1.

What ways can you, in your everyday routine, enjoy the beauty of touch?

Fifty Shades of other stuff

Standard

It’s back!!!!! My modem arrived and my Wifi is back up and surging again….very similar to my uhhhh…imagination.

Since I have had to acknowledge my hiatus from True Blood I have been spending all some of my time reading the elusive new book series, Fifty Shades. Let’s just say its been leisure time well spent..double wink!

Other than that, my summer vaca has not been overly exciting. Spending time with the kids is amazing, when they aren’t yelling at each other or crying! Poor guy-the hubs-he works so much during the first part of the summer.

So now the wifi is working, boys are out on the course, sister is down….time for Bill, Sookie and Eric!!! Bye for now

I needed this!

Standard

It is nights like I had last night that make life so enjoyable! Some of my favorite women and myself enjoyed a GNO (Girls night out) at a local winery. We packed up some cheese, fruit and crackers and headed to Sangria Thursday. We could have been eating anything and drinking water(but the wine made it even better)…it was the company of these kind hearts that I love the most.

20120525-103542.jpg

We are all in different stages of life, different styles, interests…all married, most with kids. It is what each individual brings to that table that makes it awesome. Our stories, viewpoints and humor…pretty sure we ran off three sets of people that dared sit next to ours are so different, although intertwined just so that it just works!

The evening concluded yet the memories are set…and awesome memories they are.

Amazing words…

Standard

Indiscriminate Act of Kindness

Foy Vance

(don’t read too much into it…just enjoy)

She came from the cold wet
Dropped her luggage bags
Looked the concierge in the eye
Said, “I need a room for the night,
But I don’t got no money.
Would you take payment of any kind?”He said, “It’s alright
I got a room here, you can share mine.
Make the bed in the morning and that’ll do fine.
You can change in the bathroom,
Hang your clothes on the line.”
A tear came to her eye
She thought how could he be so kind
How could he be so kind (x2)

She sat down on the bed with a needle
He said, “I’d hate to see you bleed,
Just fetch a warm towel,
I’ll sit with you til you’re dry.”
She started to cry
Said, “Why? why? why? why? why? why?”

Consider it an indiscriminate act of kindness.
(x3)

She was cold turkey
He was holding her hand
She said, “I was ruined by man,
This was never in my plans.
I dreamed of men who loved me,
Together we’d see the world.
Somehow I lost myself among the insults they hurled.”

“I’m sure your a wonderful woman,
And someday there will surely be someone.
So just relax now, it’s important that you’re calm.”

She said, “How is it you can see past me as I am?”

Consider it an indiscriminate act of kindness.
(x3)

“When you took your chances,
It was like you placed a bet.
And sometimes this is the reward you can get.
I was always taught
If you see someone defiled,
You should look them in the eyes and smile,
And take their heart, no better yet
Take them home, home, home.”

She awoke early in the morning
Made the bed, gathered up her clothes to leave
Saw the concierge curled on the settee
Said, “What you did for me was hard for me to believe.”

“I was just doing what was right.
No one that knows love could leave you out there on such a night.
If you can help someone,
Bare this in mind
And consider it an indiscriminate act of kindness.”

Consider it an indiscriminate act of kindness.
(x7)

 

More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmania.com/indiscriminate_act_of_kindness_lyrics_foy_vance.html
All about Foy Vance: http://www.musictory.com/music/Foy+Vance

just had to vent…

Standard

Is it terrible that I just do not have to same view points and thoughts that I had seriously like 2 weeks ago.  I can feel things change stirring inside me. I can’t quite put my hands on it but I know that something needs to change. There is not another worse feeling than helplessness and uncertianity. I DO know that I love my family and I want the best for us. I DO know that my God will protect me and support me in whatever I decide as long as I am glorifiying Him.

However, due to recent events, I have become really disappointed and dissatisfied with things, people, events, etc…. Without going into deep description and explanation, I am having to look within myself to change the way I view life. It is up to me. I am the leader of my life.

I recently have discovered an amazing website that has laid it out.  View it here I am making it a point to read everyday.

I just had a need to vent. I am done and now its time to yoga!

namaste

Beautiful things are all around.

Standard

Lately I have been trying my best to sit back and just observe life that is all around me. It is so easy to see the bad and negative, the hard part is seeing the beautiful things in life. There are so many beautiful things  and noticing them is what I have decided to do. Here are a few that make my heart full.

  • sun rises….at first I thought “how cliché” but they truly are beautiful. I feel that they symbolize a new start.  If the day/night before was not so good, the rise of the morning sun is a new start…a new beginning
  • my husband’s passion for life
  • my son’s excitement over the “normal” stuff we as adults take for granted
  • the look on my daughter’s face when she sees me first thing in the morning…that is unconditional true love
  • great discussion with amazing friends…and wine!
  • my mother
  • when the perfect song comes on at the right moment…a soundtrack to life
  • my sister in law’s heart. She is one of the strongest most beautiful souls I have ever met
  • savasana…my most favorite and needed pose

What are the beautiful things that surround you?

A little bit is ok with me

Standard

I write for myself…I write for others. I blog hoping thinking others may read. When I look at my stats and see that I average 5 views a day…that makes me happy. I hope to reach out…expand my audience. Please feel free to join..share…visit my site. I am very open to suggestions. And please comment!!! Thank you to my loyal readers. I appreciate you all very much.

Just when I thought it was about to hit the fan..

Standard

Here they come! Those tried and true. Everyone has them. Those elite people that know everything about you…I mean everything. They are the ones that you would trust your life with. They are the ones no matter what has happened they are going to be honest and unbiased yet preserve your relationship.
There are people in my life that are superficial and pretend to be good friends…I still value their company…but they aren’t the ones that you know deep down will come rescue you when you are in a heap of trouble.
As I grow and discover more of myself…I learn to keep the nonjudgmentals closer. They may not be like me. They may have different beliefs than me, but I know that I can be myself around them…even if we don’t talk all the time. And for that…I love them dearly!!!

Just life

Standard

So, I haven’t written about just life in a while. I realize that I have been pouring my Advocare story to you all over and over again. For that…I don’t necessarily apologize, as I have been super excited to get fit and lean after the birth of my second child. I do want to say that I will change the subject for a while.

Let’s focus today on the human race. Sitting back and observing humans is one of my favorite past times. I am not here to judge, just merely tell the truth.

On Friday, I had the pleasure of having dinner with some girlfriends. I am sorry ladies, but we as a whole are interesting creatures. We like to gossip. We (well some of us do) try and turn off the gossip mill, but let’s face it…its genetically in our DNA. It does not make us bad people and not all gossip it told out of evil. We also often develop the habit of morphing into different personalities at the first sign of drama or an uncomfortable situation. It’s true…don’t deny it!

I am starting to realize…I am just me. I will always try and be a better me, but at the end of the day, all I can be is what I know. I think it would be a disservice to myself to act as though I am not the person my momma raised me to be.

What is your favorite thing to observe while watching people? It’s entertaining, huh?

It happened again!!!

Standard

I am so overly excited! An article that I wrote was published in a magazine. Many of you may remember how excited I was back in Dec/Jan when my first article was published. They asked me to write again and I did and they published it!!! So fun!!! As I type, a friend of mine is working on the illustrations for my first children’s book. I will keep you all posted as that occurs. One step closer to being a WRITER!

Freedom never felt this good…

Standard

I knew it was coming…I just didn’t know when I would start feeling the effects. Well, the time has come and though I am not completely there, I am starting to feel the freedom.

  • FREEDOM from baby weight. After my second round of the 24 Day Challenge by Advocare, I am sitting at a healthy 124 lbs and now I am looking to put on muscle. I am actually at peace with my body…but there is always room for improvement, right??? Here is a before and after pic of my journey. I am very pleased with the results. CClick —>; 3 months time I am actually ready for bathing suit shopping!
  • FREEDOM from debt. Although we are not debt free now, we are well on our way. I feel very confident in this company. I foresee us being completely debt free (with the exception of the mortgage) this time next year! I have to see and believe it for it to happen.

I have never felt this passionate about an endeavor in my life, and the Lord knows I have tried a multitude of things. What other company can I be a part of that not only helps others, but also helps my feel good and helps me not have to worry about finances so that I can be the wife and mother I am intended to be.

Thank you to all those individuals that have helped me along the way. Not only my AdvoCare family, but those that believe in me and understand my why! TO those unbelievers, no worries…you only make me work harder. I have faith on my side and that’s all I need. Correction on second photo…should say Feb 2012!

Humbling fulfilling my promise…

Standard

SO…I promised that I would post “before” and “in the process of” pictures depicting my AdvoCare journey since the birth of my 2nd child. So, humbly I am posting them. I say “in the process of” because I am working towards my goal, but by no means am I there yet. I hope that you can see how much the products work. The first picture was taken Nov 28th and the second 40 days later on January 7th. The products that were taken in this 40 day time span were: 24 day Challenge bundle (MNS 3 and Chocolate shakes were my choices) and Catalyst. I have recently started taking Thermoplus. I have also started working out 4-6 times a week. During the entire 24 day challenge I worked out 3 times…total. I am excited to see results while working out!

I post these as a celebration to what I have accomplished BUT also as a reminder that I still have a journey ahead of me. Click on the 40 days link below!

40 days

AdvoCare Cleanse Phase Complete!

Standard

Today marks the last day of the 10 day cleanse phase in my Advocare 24 Day Challenge. I have to say that I have had a very successful 10 days. Let’s face it….10 days with no coffee or wine and all of my family members are still alive AND I managed to lose weight…I call that a success. In all seriousness, in 10 days, I have lost 4 pounds and who knows how many inches. I can actually fit into 2 of my favorite pre-pregnancy jeans. That in itself was worth it all!

I am not done though. I have the second leg of the challenge, which is the 14 day Max phase. This is the phase where I will continue to lose weight AND begin building up muscle. The cleanse was all about preparing my body for these next two weeks. Now…it is game on. I will make it a point to work out, eat right and benefit completely from this experience.

I vow to post pics of the transformation once it is all said and done. I am a bit nervous as it is quite humbling but I feel that I need to share this so that you can get the entire grasp of just how awesome these products are.

PS…Working on only 4 hours of sleep (thanks to a sweet ladybug that cried ALL night), I give great credit to Spark, the most amazing vitamin and amino acid loaded energy drink (yet without the nervous twitchy-feeling). Check out the rave reviews that it received from a caffeine junkie enthusiast. http://www.energyfiend.com/advocare-spark-energy

If you are interested in AdvoCare products, or the company itself, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Here is my site www.advocare.com/111111008

Day 1 of 24

Standard

As many of you know..the hubs and I have become AdvoCare advisors! These products are amazing! Not only to lose weight but to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We started the 24 Day Challenge today. Day 1 – no coffee, no wine!!! I thought..uh oh this is gonna be tough but it wasn’t!!! At all!!! I felt great!
I was having the hardest time with my last bit of baby weight. I had hit a plateau. I have 2 kids, one of which is an infant, when do I have time to really workout. I can get some workouts in but I needed that extra help. Enter AdvoCare! I have seen it work with others so here I am ready to banish those last lbs and inches!

Thankful Thursday

Standard

I asked my kiddos in class today what they are thankful for and the answers were interesting. You would think that most 10 year-olds would say money or presents, but most of them said family or the roof over their heads and some even said Mrs. Hill (my heart fluttered.) Got me thinking…what is it that I am thankful for today?

I am most thankful for…well…everything in my life right now. I have such an awesome family that helps me out more than I could ever repay them for. I have a great husband who gets me. and my kids….wow they are just freaking amazing. I watch them sleep or watch them partake in normal activities and I just want to squeeze them.  They are so beautiful and perfect. Makes me think…how do parents just walk away from their children…or hurt them, physically or emotionally. I just can’t even fathom that.

What is it that you are thankful for today?

Dare I say, what’s next?

Standard

As I finished my last test for my Masters degree on Saturday…an 8 hour one at that, I sat at the computer and exhaled very loudly. I was done! I sat back, opened a cold beer to celebrate and thought about all that I had done in the past 3 years. It was at that point that I realized, I AM TIRED! Not just tired from sitting at a computer screen, but physically and mentally tired from my activities for the past 3 years. Some one asked me….how have you balanced everything? The term “everything” is being used to include 2 pregnancies, 2 babies, being a wife of a coach,a full-time teacher with several sponsorships at the high school level, AND graduate school. With that, I bring you this blog explaining how I have attempted to make like work for the past 3 years. Disclaimer – I am not an expert on balancing life…this is just how it worked out for me.

FAITH!!! Without faith in my God and myself, there is no way I could have made it. There were so many times that I would sit at my computer and just cry, knowing that I had a paper or project due and I was completely exhausted from being up with one or both of the kids. I prayed a lot for serenity and patience…and I made it.

FAMILY!!! I am not sure I would have been able to accomplish even a fraction of what I have if it were not for my family…more specifially my mom and my husband. So many times I had classes or duties on Saturdays or in the evenings and not once did my mother hesitate taking my babies. She is a God-send and I am so blessed to have her in my life (ok…mom, I know that you are tearing up now but you have to stop so that you can read the rest!) My husband – he helped all that he could with the kids, but his schedule is so demanding that it was not always possible. The amazing ways he helped me keep my sanity was by taking me out for date nights, or surprising me with spa days, and more importantly…keeping me stocked with my favorite wine so I could unwind at the end of the day. He will never know the extent to which I love and appreciate him.

FRIENDS!!! Without the occasional girls night, or even just a rant fest on the phone, I would have gone insane. I have a great core group of girls. We may not see or talk to each other on a daily basis, but I know that they are there when I need them. All have taken a turn watching my kids or running an errand for me. We all love each other and I am complete because of them!

AND OF COURSE WINE!!! It sounds funny, but so true. There were so many nights were I would be worried or wired from endless hours of homework, job duties or just everyday events, that I NEEDED to enjoy a nice glass of wine to relax. Some of my favorite nights included putting the kids down for bed and sitting on the couch with the hubs and a glass of wine…just talking. So relaxing and romantic!

Now that my chaotic 3 years are coming to a close…culminating on Dec 17th as I cross the stage, I sit here and ponder the question “What do I do now?” I am so used to the hustle and bustle that I am afraid that I will get bored. I have decided that it is time to start back up on NormalGirlArt, write A LOT, read lots of books for fun, and maybe have another kid. 🙂 we shall see.