Everything Is Spiritual

Several years ago in what feels like a different life, I dived heard first into a journey with reading Eat, Pray, Love. And now, at this point in my life, I literally feel my heart about to pop out of my chest when I'm scrolling my Facebook feed and Elizabeth Gilbert's name pops up. She is a breath of fresh air. Her words always inject such hope and pizzaz into me, even when the day might not be the greatest.

Back in August, when she posted about Rob Bell and I realized his Everything Is Spiritual Tour was actually making a stop in Salt Lake, I jumped on the chance to attend. It was a refreshing change of pace for a date night out. We do like going to movies of course, but sometimes we need to change things up. And what better way to do something different than to spend time bettering yourself and the way you look at life?

Some of my favorite things Rob Bell says: Sometimes you have to reboot everything so you can see things in a whole new way. There is how the universe is, and then there's how your heart works. And what if you could make all sorts of connections between the two? It might just change the way you experience your whole life.


Really, what if we were all embraced the notion of moving beyond yourself? Our universe is expanding, all the time. And don't you feel at your best when you're moving beyond yourself? I let all of this sit with me for a day or two and realized how right he is, and how simple it is. I've also been implementing this notion into our parenting, reminding our girl to look outside of herself if she is having a bad day, to find a child at school who could use a friend. When we extend a welcoming hand to someone else, our world is suddenly opened up. It works!

Rob Bell also discussed how to recognize the moments when you are most at peace, and how in that space you are expanding; opening your arms wide and letting people in, letting the world be a part of you, letting love in, letting hope in, letting life in.

It all sounds so simple, but it has the potential to have such a huge impact on your life if you put it into practice. I notice that when I'm overwhelmed I very often tend to shut down and shrink into myself, if you will. Since we saw Rob Bell speak I've really been working on putting a conscious effort into making that choice to make myself available and open, and it has been such a beautiful and refreshing change. I challenge you to start doing the same today in your own life!

Cystinosis Strong Challenge!

I have been so motivated by September's #cystinosisStrong challenge that my dear friend Jessica created. I'm so excited! I was inspired by news that largely due to the success of the ALS ice bucket challenge, they are now on the verge of a cure for ALS. How amazing is that?!

It would be such a dream come true for this challenge to go viral and for the same to happen for cystinosis.

Here is more about it, in her own words on the Facebook Event Page

There is still time to join the ‪#‎cystinosisStrong‬ challenge!! As a reminder, here are the steps:
1. Snap a picture representing strength and upload it with the hashtag #cystinosisStrong. (If you want to be entered in the weekly drawing, I have to SEE your photo! So if you aren't friends with me, you'll need to make the photo public or post it here - that way it will show up when I search by hashtag.)
3. Challenge a friend or two and help share awareness of muscle wasting complications of cystinosis!
Thank you for helping with this cause.

On the first day of this challenge, I shared the above photo, because no makeup and snuggles? Yes please!
At 32, I am ‪#‎cystinosisstrong‬ because I am a mother, a writer, a wife, a business owner, a blogger, a daughter, a friend, a crazy cat lady, an aunt, a human in motion, a soul chasing down dreams. Every day I get up and decide to push myself further, even if I don't feel like it.

Today? Today I am #cystinosisstrong because this month I am focusing on doing things outside of my comfort zone. Yesterday was a no good very bad day, but today is a fresh start. I'm ready to move forward and shake off frustrations. How gorgeous is this view from my walk this morning?

Come join the #cystinosisstrong challenge on Facebook! There are nine more days to share your photos!

Medisafe App Medication Reminder

I received compensation for my work on this campaign. This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.

Several weeks ago, I made the silly assumption that our lives would slow down once our daughter started kindergarten. I think I'm realizing that it has been quite the opposite. As I'm juggling writing, teaching, and running my Today Is A Miracle shop, I'm always on the look out for tools to help streamline our days and assist in making our lives easier.

As I am in my early 30s now, it is hitting me as clear as a bell that everyone in our family is happier when momma is happy and taking care of herself. Sometimes that is more of an effort than I would like to admit though.

Most days my life looks like this, in a snapshot. Messy, chaotic, happy, busy, free.

What you don't see is me setting our oven timer for roughly every thirty five minutes or so when we are home so that I can aim to get at least ten doses of eye drops in a day. I don't like to take them with me everywhere and do my best to get a bunch of doses in when we are home, instead of every hour on the dot. Sometimes I'm running around, trying to remember what supplements I still need to take in the morning, in the midst of getting water bottles ready for kindergarten and jackets, shoes, etc, etc.

And here is where Medisafe comes in!

The Medisafe app was created by people who actually have experience living with chronic health conditions and seeing how complicated it can be to stay to a strict schedule while still living your life. The founders created this app to help their father better manage his diabetes on his own. You can read more about the story behind the app on their website. It has even been featured in the LA Times! So you know many people are trusting this app with staying on top of their health and wellness! They have many great posts on their blog full of inspiration and motivation!

I loved many aspects of this app! Including the fact you can connect friends and family with it for encouragement, or if you want a backup of a real person reminding you to take your meds. Something that makes this app unique is that you can truly personalize it to fit your own unique medical needs. It is so much more than simply a pill organizer!

Because Cystagon, my main medication for treating Cystinosis and basically the most important medication in my arsenal, is a speciality medication and not something I can simply run to the store to get, it was refreshing that it pulled right up when I started typing it in and I didn't have to add it manually. This was a big suprise for me and a huge plus if you have rare medications that aren't usually included in the norm.

Cystinosis is a complicated disease and while I am on the least amount of medication I have ever been on in my life, I really liked that this app can grow and change with you as your healthcare life evolves over time.

Another bright point in my experience is that Medisafe is user friendly with a crisp layout, including nice colors that aren't obnoxious.

If you are interested in downloading the app for yourself, here are the links! Two million people are currently using it, so you know it is useful and can be trusted!

Android users can download HERE
iPhone users can download HERE

I received compensation for my work on this campaign. This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.

On The Eve Before Kindergarten

From that second you slipped into this world and immediately grabbed my finger tightly with your tiny perfect fingers, I've wondered what this day would look like. I've thought about where we would be in our lives, what incredible teacher would find their way into your world, your favorite things you would have discovered about this earth, and the quirks that would have imprinted their marks on our days together; these five and a half years of being your momma bear. These days with you are precious to me beyond measure.

And yes, there were times I might have doubted if we would be here together. Things can be so unpredictable and no one really knew how my body would handle pregnancy with you, on top of everything else. The past version of myself lacked faith in my health and my own strength. Perhaps not so much doubted if I would still be here with you, but played that wicked what if game that is oh so dangerous in the depths of the heart of a momma. However, the fact remains that your love has been the best healer there could ever be. I believe your amazing soul is just as potently powerful as modern medicine.

From that extreme, I have gone far to the other end, speculating if you would be a big sister by now, by some unexpected avenue. While this isn't the fact right now, and I am the first to admit I have no idea what the future holds for our family in that aspect, it is okay that we are somewhere in the middle of these two vast circumstances. More than okay really, because the place where we actually are is an extremely beautiful one.

Right now my dear? Oh honey, right now we have three crazy cats in our family, you love to sing, your bike makes you so happy, you are a fabulous friend to many, your creative brain astounds me, you are more passionate than most, and you are healthy. Busy, inquisitive, kind and brave. Every single day you wow me with your take on things. Your endless questions and thirst for knowledge remind me that we should never stop learning or inquiring. And that love is always the solution to the problem.

I hope I have shown you how to find magic in whatever comes you way, and that you remember fairytales are true because dragons actually can be defeated. The three of us have already defeated so many together.

Look Outside Of Yourself

It can be so easy to fall into the trap of getting lost in your own worries in your own story that you are living out, every single day. Lately I've felt a lot of worry on my shoulders, and when I get caught up in my own world, it can be a dangerous place where I lose my perspective too much. I don't like it. Honestly, is there anyone that does?

I feel like at the ripe old age of 31 (well alright, 32 next week!) I'm coming to a place where I recognize you can be grateful and you can still have obstacles that wear on you. It isn't an either or type of thing. Is this a revolutionary notion? Not exactly, but when you give yourself permission to feel all of your feelings, even the ones that conflict with each other? That is where big changes start to brew and real growth has the chance to come to fruition.

A few nights ago I could feel every single emotion of the past few weeks bubbling to the surface. It was around 6 p.m. and my to do list was still a million miles long while my house really did resemble the middle of a Jumanji game I was not winning. (Loved that meme, by the way.) There were other things weighing me down and I felt like it was all simply too much.

I stopped. I put on the John Mellencamp song, Save Some Time To Dream. I took some deep breaths. I stood in the middle of my life and I said thank you. I kneeled down to my daughter's level; my darling daughter full of mischief and wonder. I played with her. (She is pretending to be asleep in the photo above.) We went through baby clothes to send to a dear friend with Cystinosis who is expecting twins in the fall (!!!) I helped another friend with Cystiosis create a page on Facebook to further assist her search for a new kidney. She is in desperate need of a third transplant. The thing is, you always have something to offer someone else, even when you're feeling a complete mess yourself. And it isn't about doing things for others because it makes YOU feel better, it is so much more than that. Take some time to sit outside of your own mess and give where you can. You will be amazed at how a light inside of you will spark with the magic of doing something for someone else. It doesn't have to be a grand gesture either. Simple things to let someone else know, hey, I see you. You matter. You are enough. I have found that it often sheds a new perspective on my current obstacles, and when I come back to them all, I am reenergized and armed with a fresh approach.