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We have been overwhelmed with all the prayers, texts, calls, facebook comments, and visits that we’ve had through this entire experience.  The post about Marshall has had 375 views and that blows my mind.  Wes and I cried like babies when the baseball team presented Marshall with a gift.  On the gift bag was a picture of Marshall and the boys with their hands in saying 1-2-3 Desperados before running out for an inning.  It said “tough boy” under the picture.  My son is tremendously loved.

Marshall’s teacher hit the nail on the head when she said, “I saw his picture with his thumbs up in the car and I knew this wasn’t a kid who needed people feeling sorry for him at all!”  It’s so true.  He has never felt the least bit sorry for himself and doesn’t need anyone else feeling sorry for him either.  I have heard kids are resilient and I know that to be true.  But God gave Marshall a particularly strong character.

I wanted to share his perspective and unwavering positivity, so I interviewed Marshall.  These are his exact words when he answered my questions.  I didn’t guide him.  I asked Marshall a question and he told me what he was thinking.

 

What does it feel like in your mouth?

Good!  Really good!

How is it different having fewer teeth?

Weird.  It feels weird a little.  It’s like none of my teeth are there.

What do you remember from the hospital?

Watching Frozen, falling asleep and having a really cold bath and crying.

Anything else?

Oh! Them looking at my teeth!

How many visitors have you had since being home?

About like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8…maybe 11.  (We went through all the people together.) 20 visitors at my house.  And Kristin, Julie, Daddy Pop, Kim, Nannie, TaTa, and Philip at the hospital.

What has made you the most happy about losing 5 teeth?

-When my dad was helping me put the ice on my mouth.

-Getting my Skylanders from Elijah.

-Playing Skylanders with dad and mom.

-The Tooth Fairy left the teeth for me.

(The Tooth Fairy let Marshall keep the teeth that were pulled.  She kept the one she found in the baseball field.  What a thoughtful Tooth Fairy.)

What do you think your friends at school will say when you see them tomorrow?

“WOW Marshall!”  “That’s cool!”  “How much teeth have you lost, Marshall?”  And I’ll say, “5.”

What’s it like to eat without your front teeth?

Cool.  I chew in the left back teeth.

Is it hard to eat?

No.

How long til you play baseball again?

Soon.

Would you play today?

Yea, I want to.

Are you scared to play at all?

Not really!

God is a good God and he loves you very much.  What do you think he wants you to learn from this whole thing?

Learn that I can’t do that anymore.  I learned a lesson that I can’t go out when someone is about to swing a bat.

 

We can learn a lot from this little 6-year-old.  Well, he’ll be 6 in 30 days.

  • Circumstances don’t define you.
  • Looking different is cool.
  • When you project self-confidence others won’t notice your differences.
  • Being positive is contagious.
  • Fear only has power when you let it.
  • Disney cartoons are always the answer.
  • Having your hair brushed and stepping on a Lego are both more painful than getting hit with a metal bat.

Thank you again for all your love, support, and well wishes.

Advomom4life.

 

Mommies never want to get the call their baby is hurt.  It is the most gut wrenching feeling and you physically hurt thinking of what their sweet bodies endured.  I got a call like that on Friday night.  The hubs called and told me Marshall got hit with a baseball bat and would need stitches.  Sad, but honestly more inconvenient than anything.  A busted chin is a sad injury, but it’s not tragic.  Stitches hurt, but it’s a trip to urgent care.  Turns out that’s not the kind of injury my sweet Marshall had.  A few minutes after the first call, I got a second call.

This call sent panic into my spirit.  Marshall got hit in the mouth and his teeth had massive trauma.  Some teeth where missing, some were pushed back, some were poking forward.  His gums were like hamburger meat.

Marshall is a baseball player through and through.  He hit off the tee and ran the bases at 2 years old.  He can catch, throw, hit, field, and just looks like a baseball player.  Marshall’s favorite thing is being the bat-boy for his cousin’s 8U select team.  Daddy, Uncle, and Daddy Pop all coach the team.  It’s pretty incredible.  He cheers on the boys.  He pats their backs as he gets the bats between batters.  Marshall gets in the huddles and sits with the team after the game to hear the coaches feedback.  Marshall is part of the team.

Friday night was like any other.  He and daddy went to a game.  Marshall was especially excited that night and was part of the activity in the dugout.

Things can change in an instant. 

Marshall went to get a bat.  A kid taking a practice swing accidentally hit Marshall.  Accidents happen! That’s life! That’s sports!  Marshall was attended to, given ice, and sat in the dugout.  I got the first call during this time saying Marshall got hit in the face with a bat and needed stitches.  Like I said, I was sad, but at this point I was also annoyed.  I was out with girlfriends and my night out was cut short.  Don’t judge me and think I’m not compassionate, or that I’m selfish, or anything else.  I’m just being honest.  A busted chin can be easily fixed and that’s all I thought it was.

I started driving toward the field to pick my sweet boy up to get stitches.  I started calling some of the baseball moms to see what happened.  That’s when I got the second call and I was immediately in hysterics.  Marshall took the swing of a metal bat in the teeth.  One of the moms is a doctor and had an intuition to check on Marshall.  He was acting very calm for the hit he took.  She assessed his chin then started looking in his mouth.  Bottom teeth looked perfect.  She lifted his top lip and saw the damage.  She immediately drove Marshall and Wes to Cook Children hospital, called on the way to let them know the situation and check that certain doctors where there with a specialty in his injuries.  She left her son’s game to help my son…I’m forever grateful for her selfless action.  When they got to the hospital ER they went straight back to a room…no waiting in the overcrowded ER waiting room.

I was a few miles behind calling friends who could calm me down.  Seeing my boy injured was more than I thought I could do.  Fevers, tummy aches, bumps, bruises, bug bites, those are my thing.  This trauma was terrifying.  I was told he looked banged up but not bad unless you looked in his mouth…so I told myself, just don’t look.

Parking the car and getting to the room to see Marshall was the most scared I’ve ever been.

I saw my boy propped up on a hospital bed.  He was holding gauze on his chin.  He looked hurt and it broke my heart, but he was ok. I relaxed a tiny bit.  The ER doctor came and looked at his mouth and started rattling off all the injuries inside.  I never looked.  Marshall answered every question politely.

“Are you hurting?”

“Nope!”

“Can we get you anything?”

“No, thank you.”

He never winced.  Never cried.  Followed instruction.  Didn’t get upset hearing about missing teeth or seeing blood on the gauze.  He was the strongest I’d ever seen him be.  God made him with an inner strength and confidence even greater than mine.  Pardon my saying this, but he was a bad ass.

The hospital stay progressed.  Marshall was the definition of strength.  They did a CT scan and a specialist came from home just to look at Marshall’s mouth.  We watched Frozen and hung out.  The baseball team saw a picture of Marshall in the hospital bed holding a team baseball and came back from behind and almost won!  We saw family and friends and passed the time late into the night.  At 2 AM he finally crashed.  The only time he cried was when he found out we weren’t meeting the team at Buffalo Wild Wings and that we had to spend the night in the hospital.  We got to our room, he suffered through a semi-cold bath, and showed his first sign of pain.  Warm, in his bed, with pain meds and he slept perfectly.

6:20 AM we woke up to take Marshall down for surgery.  They wheeled him out in his hospital bed.  He was asleep.  They told us about anesthesia and the surgery details.  He was asleep.  They gave him meds to help soothe him in transport to surgery.  He was asleep.  Do you feel God’s hand in all of this yet???  Do you feel the layers of protection he had over Marshall, Wes, and me? We didn’t have to see him scared or worried about surgery.  He never felt pain.  He was calm and positive the entire time.  God is good and he is faithful.  I haven’t wondered “why did this happen” or “what did Marshall do to deserve this?”  Shtuff happens and it happens to everybody one way or another.  God knows Marshall better than I do.  He knows what this injury will teach him and what it will teach me and Wes and all the baseball family and Marshall’s classmates and all the hundreds of people who have reached out in prayer and well wishes.  God is good…all the time.  He knows what’s up.  And he loves Marshall more than I do.

The surgery went well.  Three teeth were removed.  A fracture was reset.  Stitches were given.  The surgeon who came in specifically for Marshall was our hero.

Back in the room Marshall slept easily.  He came out of anesthesia perfectly and woke up asking to go sit by the window.  Wes gave him the team ball the entire team signed and his eyes lit up.  He drank a smidge of juice out of a syringe and soon after, we were on our way home.  Later that day Marshall was playing with his cousin and we had to remind him to take it easy.  Amazing.

An inch up or down and Marshall would be in a different kind of recovery.  His injuries are cosmetic.  His teeth were all baby teeth.  He will most likely be toothless for a really long time, but maybe not…and really, who cares!

Marshall is inspiring.  He is strong, positive, and sees the good in every situation.  He’s excited to show his friends that he’s lost more teeth then they have.  It’s all about perspective.

48 hours after the hit and Marshall looks adorable.  What a story…with a happy ending.

Advomom4life

 

 

Here’s Marshall at 2 AM finally asleep.

Then post surgery with the game ball.

And on our way home.

 

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Hank will be two in June.  Anyone who has raised children or been around an almost two-year-old knows what that means.  It’s a difficult age.

It has been especially challenging lately as my sweet Hankity is a high pitch screamer.  He doesn’t hold back.  Ever.  I’ve had to change my approach and let go of my stubbornness to parent this delightful little man.

Parenting is HARD y’all.

But the joys are abundant.  Hank is my cuddle-bug.  He loves his “nank-net” and loves his mommy to hold him.  He adores his bubba completely.  I see a lot of myself in Hank.  He is fearless and a thrill seeker.  He is not afraid to try new things.  He adores people and gets really attached.  He likes options and dislikes feeling confined (restaurant high chairs are quickly becoming the “screaming chair”).  Hank is funny!  He has a quiet confidence too…as long as mommy doesn’t leave him.

In the last week Hank has learned more words and his screaming has gotten much better. (Knock on wood) His personality is magnificent and watching him become more and more “Hank” is the greatest reward ever.  I’ve been with him 98% of his waking hours and it’s been a gift I cherish every day.

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Advomom4life

I

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You were created ON PURPOSE for a specific purpose and reason.

You have qualities that were perfectly knit together to accomplish things only YOU can accomplish.

Nobody else gets to be like you.

I want my boys to understand who they were created to be.

They are so unique and different, each with their own strengths.  I can see the qualities God planted specifically inside them.  It’s my desire to cultivate those strengths and encourage them to bless the socks off of countless people.

And I believe they will gain the best understanding of how to do that by my example…how I do that in my own life.

So I live in confidence that I was created ON PURPOSE for a specific purpose and reason.  I have qualities that were perfectly knit together to accomplish things only I can accomplish.  Nobody else gets to be like me.

Advomom4life

 

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If I could have a super power I would ask for wisdom…and the ability to fly.  Ha! I’d be an owl!!!  Anyway, I digress…

Wisdom does not come with age. I’ve seen some pretty interesting situations lately with adults making epically stupid decisions.  It’s shocking really.  I feel like having wisdom is a choice to constantly work harder on yourself than anyone else.  Wisdom is a skill and a characteristic of your personality.  But like any skill it takes practice and being intentional to master.  And any master will tell you, they are a constant learner.

How do you gain wisdom?  Where does it come from?  Friends and family you admire and trust are a good gauge for wisdom.  But for me, I must go to the one who created me because he knows me best.

James 3:13-17 (New Living Translation)

True Wisdom Comes from God

13 If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.

17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

 

That’s the kind of person I desire to be.

 

And may I just add…thank goodness for GRACE!

 

God provides us with a plethora of opportunities for growth.  Children’s sporting events are a magnet for opportunities to show grace and exercise wisdom.  So is traffic.  And anytime you are working with people.  Or if you’re married or have children.  And when you let God lead the way, he will surely show off.

 

Advomom4life

 

 

 

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What’s holding you back from breaking through?  There’s a tremendous amount of potential for you today.  Do not allow anything to keep you from your preferred future.

FEAR

ANGER

DISTRACTION

DRAMA

Sometimes you have to get out of your own way and live the life you were created for!  I am the only one in control of my breakthrough…and nothing will hold me back today.

Advomom4life

 

To Everything
There is a season
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late

The Byrds (I took out some parts)

Words-adapted from The Bible, book of Ecclesiastes
Music-Pete Seeger

I have been reading Ecclesiastes and when I looked up the lyrics to this song, I was not surprised to see they are adapted from the same book of the Bible.  That’s the season I’ve been in.

What’s interesting about a season is that it has a beginning, a middle, and an end.  It’s temporary.  We rarely know when the stages are happening because we are hanging on for dear life!!!  Or we are thriving and living it up…which a way better season to be in.  But ups are not without downs.

My most recent season lasted about 6 weeks.  It sucked.  It was emotional.  But God was incredible and faithful and in it all.  He showed off and, in the end, it worked out.  Whew!  The hubs and my friends and family rallied behind me and I’ve never felt so loved and supported.

So now I’m out of that season and continuing in the season I am much more excited about.  It is rich in possibility and opportunity and FUN and friendships and breaking down walls and talking to people.  It is a season of JOY and THANKSGIVING.

I think sometimes we get stuck.  Sometimes we need a little nudge to move from one season to the next.  It could be a friend, or a book, or powerful words from a mentor that give the courage to push through.  That certainly happened for me.  So I’m taking action and I am certain my confidence will follow.  This season is all about personal growth and working on myself harder then anyone else.  It’s about taking risks and being ok with hearing “no.” This season is about dreaming and seeing those dreams become realities.

Here’s to a fruitful season…to my husband, my kids, my family, my friends, and dreamers just like me.

Advomom4life.

A few weeks ago, the hubs and I read a book that changed our thinking forever titled  The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class by Keith Cameron Smith.  I strongly recommend it.

One of the distinctions that Smith explained is millionaires have multiple sources of income.  This makes sense doesn’t it?  If you have multiple sources of income, you will have more income.  (This is an extremely paraphrased explanation.)

A great way to add income is through a multi-level marketing business…MLM.  I super lovedy love being part of an incredible MLM business.  It has created freedom for my family and has added value and increase into the families we have helped.  I’m skimming over this topic quickly.  I could write an entire blog on the benefits of having your own MLM business.  But for this entry, my main point is coming up…so here we go…

Why did I title this blog MLM is not a four letter word?

Maybe because there are negative perceptions about multi-level marketing businesses?  Nope.  I do not feel the need to defend my MLM business.  It’s legit.  Our products are incredible and the business plan pays people for their efforts.

I titled this blog MLM is not a four letter word because people who are already part of an MLM business are slamming other MLM businesses!!!!!

This absolutely baffles me.

WHY would you slam another MLM?  We are all in the same family!  We are united in purpose.  We are providing incredible, top-of-the-line products and offering anyone interested an opportunity to earn income.

I do not know very much about other MLM products or business plans.  What I do know is that if I bashed other MLM businesses it would be like talking badly about my family to people outside the family.  I do not have to agree with what other companies say or do.  I am allowed to have my opinions.  But I will chose to keep them to myself.  The integrity of other AdvoCare Distributors, their customers, and their families are more important to me then any opinion I could have about another company.

Integrity and reputation are not easily recovered once tarnished.

A few days ago, I came across a blog about AdvoCare.  Blogs are a platform for people to share thoughts, opinions, and in some cases, facts.  A blog is not checked for accuracy.  Sources may or may not be referenced.  I love my blog and the opportunity it gives me to share things I feel are appropriate for this forum.  However, I know that once I type the words and hit publish, this is public information and I’ve opened myself up to receive feedback…positive or negative.  It’s a blog.

The AdvoCare blog was someone’s opinion.  That person is allowed to have their opinion.  My point is what is the purpose in sharing them and using an AdvoCare logo?  What did it accomplish?  The information was inaccurate. (I have the response from AdvoCare if you are interested in knowing the facts.)  The person is part of another MLM business. That business attracts a different market of consumer.  Neither is right or wrong…just different.  When something is different from you, don’t get offended or defensive.  What’s the point?

After all this, my point is simple.  Multi-level marketing businesses are a GREAT way to add extra income for your family.  Choose one you believe in and love.  Learn it, love it, and share it.  Change lives with your products and business opportunity.  Along the way, have integrity and respect for other MLM businesses.  Speak positively about them or say nothing at all.  When it comes down to it, we are all family.

Advomom4life.

 

The year is a circle in my mind.  December is the tippy top of the circle and June is the very bottom. Spring is on the right curve, Summer at the bottom, Fall is on the left curve and Winter at the top.  I love a new year.  There’s so much potential and possibility in a new year.

Trends are a circle to me as well.  Trends are important.  They are a response to a previous idea.  Some trends are ridiculous.  Some are progressive.  Trends bring change and in many cases, change is good.

I see a new trend on the cusp that I am really excited about!  It’s a trend to simplify.  This is in response to the trend of living a “Pinterest perfect” life.  A “Pinterest  perfect” life is filled with hand-made gifts, made-from-scratch meals, and a perfectly organized and decorated house that’s personalized for every holiday.  Let’s not forget the perfect newborn and family pictures!  That trend was fun and challenging, but ultimately frustrating and unattainable.  Sure you could do one of those, but this idea of having everything perfect is ridiculous.  If you’re a working mom, stay-at-home mom, or work-from-home mom the “Pinterest perfect” life sets you up for unnecessary stress.

Let’s shift the trend, focus on what really matters, and cut out all the unnecessary expectations!

In 2014 I am focusing on serving my family, staying mentally and physically healthy, and staying balanced.  I am using the hours god gives me toward thoughts and actions that will serve my goals.  I am going to simplify to multiply.

Simplify to multiply in 2014.

Advomom4life

 

 

The most dangerous and destructive thing you can have in your life is a closed fist.

A closed fist can destroy business.  It can destroy friendships and marriages and build walls between parents and their children.  A closed fist can stop progress and effectiveness.  It can cause pain and heartache and depression.

What is a closed fist?  It’s a mindset.

When you hold tightly to something that isn’t in your control, you have a closed fist.  When you allow fear to control your thoughts, you have a closed fist.  When jealousy, bitterness, or anger dominate, you have a closed fist.  It doesn’t mean you want to fight somebody.  Most people don’t even know you’re walking around with a closed fist.

When you close your fist over a person, thing, or idea you give it power over you.

I’m a mom.  If I have a closed fist around my children I am under the false belief that they are mine.  I’m a wife.  If I have a closed fist around my husband I falsely believe I can use manipulation to get him to do what I want.  I have a business.  If I have a closed fist around my business I’m under the false impression that I am in control of it.

My children are not mine.  I was entrusted to raise them and love them and guide them, but they do not belong to me.

My husband does not belong to me…we are partners.  We are walking this life together with love and respect and (most importantly) grace.

My business will grow with consistent, diligent effort over time.  It will increase when I grow as a leader and pour in to others.  But my business is run by a volunteer army and I am not in control of them.

Having an open palm is a daily choice.  It’s challenging.  It means choosing to trust in something outside of yourself and outside of your control.  It means having complete faith.  Having an open palm is freeing! It’s liberating!  What do you have a closed fist over today that you can release?

Then release it again.

And again.

And extend yourself grace when you find yourself gripping tight.  Then release it again.  It will get easier.

I always sign my blogs with “Advomom4life” even when I don’t reference AdvoCare at all.  On the outside, AdvoCare is an elite supplement nutrition company.  But the heartbeat of AdvoCare is developing people to become more.  I’m an Advomom with an open hand today.  Thank you AdvoCare for all you’ve allowed me to learn about myself.  (I just heard my husband tell my son “One day I won’t ever have to go to work again because of AdvoCare.” And we claim that with an open hand and complete confidence.)

Advomom4live.

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