I’m Just Not Feeling It Today

Today’s just one of those days; one of those kind where you don’t really feel sad or mad, but you’re just kind of meloncholy for not really any particular reason. It’s the kind of day where I fall into my own world of deep thoughts, and eventually start thinking about things that do make me mad or sad, maybe in some sort of subconscious effort to match my unexplainable mood.

For whatever reason, though, I’m just not feeling it today. Yesterday was a really rough day at work – a man I’ve known for 12 years, a good man, great leader and even better professor, husband and father, was done a great injustice. It started making me think about all of the utter bullshit I’ve seen in the oh-so-tightly-wound bureaucratic corporate world that plagues both private and state/government run institutions. It happens when the black and white hard lines of policy and procedure cloud the vision where you can no longer see the real, live person standing in front of you or on the other end of the phone. It happens when a society becomes so overrun with sue-happy people that we’re all of a sudden scared to sneeze without being held liable for some grossly exaggerated claim. It happens when an employer is too afraid to do the right thing when it comes to disciplinary action or even termination that we’re now forced to pay for a lazy asshole of a person to continue working. It’s all because of stuff we’ve done to ourselves, and yet we, as a society, just sit back and boo hoo about how unfair and unjust things are. When are we going to start doing something about it? When are we going to start making our voices heard at the polls, or maybe even run for office ourselves? It’s something I’m seriously considering.

So I went to school today, still upset about yesterday, and I was tired. I had a long evening with my kids, tried to go to bed early, but still slept like crap and woke up at 5:30am. I made my bed and even made coffee today in an effort to tell myself, “At least you have time to do ___ since you’re up so early,” but it didn’t really help. I went to class anyway, and in class, being one of three “non-traditional” students (that’s the school’s fancy way of saying we’re old), I found myself aggravated by the young students standing around talking for over 30 minutes instead of helping us finish today’s project so we could clean the lab space. You see, I was off of work today, which meant after class I could make the 35 mile drive back home and play with my kids today. I wanted to finish and leave.

On my way home I stopped to get groceries for dinner and bought myself flowers because I thought, “I deserve them.” Then it hit me. Loneliness.

Let me pause for a minute and say a couple of things. I’m totally fine being single. I’m the happiest I’ve been in 10 years. I no longer dread going home to meet someone who’s manipulative, emotionally abusive and unfaithful. I no longer feel like I’m under appreciated. I no longer feel ugly. I no longer feel worthless. I didn’t always feel this way, but after a year of healing post-separation/divorce I found the person who I’ve always been, but lost sight of. I learned to be happy on my own for the first time in my life. 

Now, after all that, it sucks being alone! I know, I know, I sound like I just completely contradicted myself, but I didn’t. I don’t mean it sucks to be alone in a way like you “need” someone to make you happy, I mean it just sucks to be physically alone sometimes. On those days when you’re exhausted coming home and all you can think about are the million-and-one things that need to be done, and all of which are relying on you alone. The kids who refuse to nap because they just want to see you. The grass that grows faster than my energy and time allows me to mow it, and then when you get time you run out of gas and can’t go get more because the kids are asleep. The dinner that never seems to cook itself. The homework and pressure of being a full-time graduate student. The impatience and restlessness from wanting my degree to go faster so I can fully get back on my feet financially. The desire to move somewhere far away to start over, but knowing I can’t. The dreams I have unfulfilled. The time I’d rather be spending with my mom so she can see more of her grandkids. The hand of a loved one in mine and hug I’d like to feel at the end of a long day. All of that is what I think about on a daily basis and it gets overwhelming at times, even depressing. I just get so tired of doing all of this alone sometimes that I want to scream, “It’s just not fair!”

So ya, I guess all of that to say, I’m just really not feeling it today.

~Amanda

TMI – You’ve Been Warned….

Your fit includes: 2 bags of protein, 2 boxes of fizz sticks, 2 boxes of detox tea, 1 seven day cleanse, 1 box of digestion plus, 1 bag of fiber boost, 30-day guide, and a FREE gift

 

So last month a team member of mine and my boyfriend embarked on our 30 Days to Healthy Living Challenge – aka: 30 Day Challenge, 30 Day Detox, whatever you fancy.

My boyfriend, of course, lost 30 pounds easily as we cut out most dairy, sodas, alcohol, bread/wheat, and processed sugars. Men.

I lost just under 10 pounds myself, and at first, was feeling really discouraged by that number on the scale. Maybe it’s my preconceived notion that a certain number is what’s ideal for me, or because I wanted to fit back into a pair of pants I haven’t worn in a while. Whatever the case may be several things happened recently that changed my opinion on that…

Before and After Pictures

I recently shared my boyfriend’s 14 day before and after pictures, but after 25 days of wondering if I was really seeing any changes I decided to take some of myself. Here’s my own personal results! Let me just preface them by saying I couldn’t be happier! I still have some work to do to meet my ultimate goal, but holy smokes that’s a big difference in 25 days!

I’ve Never Felt Better

One of the biggest differences I noticed almost immediately was how great I now feel. I didn’t realize how bogged down I was really feeling! The processed sugar was making my blood sugar spike then crash, the extra weight and bloating was making me feel tired all the time, and the constant coffee intake was upsetting my gut health as I just tried to stay awake. (Single mom and full-time grad student here)

After just the first week  my blood sugar balanced out with no more headaches and no more blurred vision immediately after eating. I felt clear-headed instead of struggling to focus on the tasks at hand. I’ve slept the best over the last month than I have in YEARS! (no exaggeration, I have a 3 and 4 year old) and I no longer get the intense, sudden hunger pangs at meal times because I’m allowed to snack healthily throughout the day. I just feel FABULOUS!

Then the Biggest Benefit Came and Went (this is the TMI part, so stop reading if you’re not ok with women stuff….)

For my entire mature woman life I’ve dealt with symptoms of PCOS and Endometriosis. My periods were never regular, passed blood clots as large as golf balls at times, cramp horribly to the point that I had extreme back pain and diarrhea, hormonal migraines that caused me to vomit, bleeding that last well over 6 days and bloating to the point that I’d go up almost a whole size in clothes every month. It took me three and a half years to get pregnant with my oldest daughter, having three miscarriages prior to that. My monthly cycles have literally been HELL for me since I was about 16 years old, most of my life suffering in silence.

I started seeing a chiropractor just before getting pregnant with my oldest daughter, and have more or less been seeing one on a regular basis since then. This helped tremendously with the regularity of my cycles and the most extreme pain that I dealt with on a regular basis, so to Peak Potential Family Chiropractic I owe a great deal of gratitude!

What I didn’t realize, though, was how much my diet was affecting so many other areas of my life. I ate pretty healthy, or so I thought, prior to doing the 30 Day Detox. I have fresh eggs from my own yard, purchase organic food as often as possible, and watch the amount of sugar I consume, but not to a level that I really understood was necessary. Did you know that people need less than 10g of sugar per day to meet our necessary energy requirements? Did you also know that most of us consume well over 15 times that amount per day?!

I ate bread, pasta, and enjoyed beer, probably a little too much, on a regular basis, but thought that was ok because I cooked at home 95% of the time, so that must be ok, right? Wrong! What I didn’t realize was all of the other ingredients in the food products we purchase on a regular basis, along with the added sugars, artificial sweeteners, flavorings, colors, etc. My body was well past time in need of a good detox!

So I embarked on my journey, and saw some great results as you read above. Then it happened. Day 25 I was scheduled to start my period, and really didn’t think much of it until it was over. You know what? It was fabulous! I mean, as fabulous as a period can be I suppose. Can I get an amen ladies? In all seriousness though, in over 14 years this is the first time I HAVE NOT  thrown up, HAVE NOT had a hormonal headache, HAVE NOT cramped, DID NOT bloat, HAVE NOT been completely exhausted, DID NOT have diarrhea, DID NOT have any back pain, and my period only last 5 days with NO CLOTS and it wasn’t heavy at all! HALLELUJAH!!!!

If that was the only benefit I would have received from this detox that would have been perfectly fine with me! I know many of you are still thinking this is a diet, or quick weight loss deal, and as you’ve ready above, this is so much more than that!

I really hope you consider joining my next group. Contact me to find out how to easily order your fit kit  and get added to our Facebook Group (you don’t have to be local to join us!).

Wonder Woman Rocked my Socks

Ok, I know I’m probably several weeks late in expressing my absolute FABULOUS review of the Wonder Woman movie, released earlier this month, but better late than never, right?

When my boyfriend asked if I wanted to see that movie shortly after it came out, I’m pretty sure my response was, “YES!!!” Ever since seeing the first preview I’ve been anxiously anticipating its release. I don’t consider myself a feminist, because I think that word, by definition, has been degraded to some form of modern woman that I don’t want to associate myself with, but I will say that I felt a sense of pride in being female when I first heard they were FINALLY making a female lead character action movie like this. There’s just something about being a single mom and considering myself to be a strong woman in general that made me absolutely elated and wanted to see her kick some Marvel ass! Pardon me…I’m getting excited again.

After seeing the movie I was Totally. And. Completely. Blown. Away. I was expecting the high intensity action that the movie clearly achieved, but what really got me right in the feels was the display of compassion, grace and love from Diana – Wonder Woman. I’m not the only one who took note of this either. Take a read here! And get out to see the movie this week!

It Happened

That moment I had been dreading finally happened a few weeks ago, well over a year since becoming single. I walked into church, settled into my usual seat, sang a couple of songs, and when we were prompted to greet one another a lady said, “Oh, you’re [my ex-husband’s] wife, aren’t you?”

No, no ma’am I’m not. You see, the church I still go to was the church he grew up in. We attended church there together for 6 years before he left. There are many families in the church that have known him since he was a teenager, and still associate me with him. I wanted to crawl under my chair and die. I changed my name back to my maiden name for a reason.

I wasn’t expecting to hurt as bad as it did either. Don’t get me wrong, today I’m 100% happy with my decision to go through with divorcing him. Like I said, there’s a reason why I changed my name back, and through wonderful counseling and lots of prayerful thought I’ve come to understand exactly the type of hell I was truly living in, but didn’t want to recognize at the time of our separation. I didn’t believe in divorce, and even more so believed in the vows I took on our wedding day. I think the reason it hurt was because what I still feel is just disappointment. I feel disappointed in his actions and decisions, even still to date as I battle for what’s best for my children emotionally. I’m disappointed that it has to be this way even though I’m happy and have moved on with my life. I’m disappointed for my girls, to have to grow up with divorced parents, because I know what that’s like still at 30 years old when it comes to planning trips, holidays and special events. It’s a total pain in the ass!

So ya, just like any mature adult….I’ve been avoiding church for weeks now. I know, I know, “But Amanda you’re so strong and you’ve come through a lot and you can go back to church confidently! So what if they thought you were still married!” I know. I’ve been listening to sermons online and trying to muster my courage to go back. I’ve gone a few times and sat there, praying the whole time that no one would talk to me, but I’m working on returning with my head held high. I will soon, I promise.

~Amanda

“Detox” Is An Ugly Word

Detox – it’s been a word in recent years that either gets people excited or cringe at the sound of it. There’s this assumption that in order to complete a successful detox you must either starve yourself, eat strange foods or costly supplements only, or spend 24/7 in the bathroom because your body is voiding everything possible. I’m here to say maybe there’s products available to the general public that do promote those things, but not all programs and products are created equal.

A true, healthy detox will not do any of those things to you. Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living Challenge will not deprive you of food or consumption and you won’t be running for the bathroom for a full 30 days. Instead you’ll be drinking two filling protein shakes per day with gut-health promoting additives, consuming fizzy sticks and detox tea for energy and calming support of your elimination organs, learning how to exercise in a healthy life-giving way, cooking and eating clean at home with even some tips for eating out, gaining more restful nights sleep, improved mood and clarity of thought, and at the end of 30 days you’ll be so glad you took this challenge because now you have a path to get your life back! This if far from starving yourself to lose weight!

Detoxing isn’t anything new, but it seems to, just recently, be taking the world by storm. Why is that? Well it’s no secret that the United States has been one of the “fattest” countries in the world for several years running. Our busy lifestyles and easy access to fast food, processed and pre-packaged things make poor choices more efficient to make at times, leading to an increased consumption of chemicals, preservatives, artificial flavors, sweeteners and additives, which in turn cause inflammation and more deposition of adipose (fat) tissue in our bodies. Dr. Oz completed a three part video series on detox-friendly foods in 2013 discussing the same things we train you on in Arbonne’s 30 Day Challenge!  You can watch the video series below.

This is about learning how to make better health choices when it comes to what you’re consuming to you can be a healthier version of you, that’s it! When you get your gut healthy, stop putting processed ingredients into your body, reduce or eliminate inflammation promoting foods, exercise and consume healthy things your body will begin to function better. A better functioning body will burn fat, and, most importantly, will feel better!

I’m leading a group through a 30 Day Challenge right now and here’s Doug’s 14 day results! He’s down over 20 pounds, wore a pair of jeans this last weekend that were too tight 2 weeks ago, and can now buckle his belt on the third set of holes in instead of the last ones. He’s swinging better each week in his men’s league softball, sleeping better at night and now enjoys working out on a regular basis. The best was when he told me yesterday, “This money saving this is legit. I’m not spending money on crap food or a bunch of beer. Buying healthy food and fruits and veggies is a lot cheaper and I was able to put over $200 in savings this month.” Detoxing has more benefits than just on your waistline! Check out Doug’s before and 14 day picture comparison below!

Are you ready to join my July 1st group? I host groups each month just through a Facebook Group, so no need to join a special gym or meet up. You do your own detox in the comfort of your home on your schedule. To order your kit go to my website and click on Shop Arbonne in the second menu from the top of the page. If you’re already a client or preferred client you can click login. If you haven’t yet ordered then click Sign Up Now under the Preferred Client section (bottom right button). You’ll follow the on-screen prompts until you confirm your registration, then click continue shopping when you see this as an option. After you’ve completed your registration and you’re back where you can shop click on SPECIAL OFFERS and select the Arbonne Special Value Packs. You’ll see the Nutrition One close to the top, if not the first value pack available. Select this one. It will automatically come with a box of Digestion Plus, two boxes of Detox Tea, and a bag of Fiber. You will select your flavors of Vegan Protein (Chocolate, Vanilla, or 1 of each), your flavors of Fizz Sticks (Citrus, Pomegranate, or 1 of each), and a 7-Day Cleanse or Greens Balance. The 7-Day cleanse and the Greens Balance are both options for your free gift, and I recommend having and using both for the 30 day challenge, so pick one in your kit and get the other as your free gift.

I hope you’ll consider joining my next group that starts in a few short weeks! If you have any trouble ordering your kit contact me directly and I can help you to make sure you get it in time!

Father’s Day Is Weird

Father’s Day…..it rolls around once a year and to this day, at 30 years old, I still feel a void that I really can’t put words to. My Dad and I have repaired a good deal of our relationship in recent years. While it’s not where I’d like it to be, it’s a great deal better than it was 10 years ago. I grew up with a wonderful step-father who’s been in my life for going on 23 years now. So what’s missing?

I think it stems back to things being “different” and not being able to do anything about it. It’s the exact same way I feel about my girls now, being a divorced single mom myself. Do I wish I was still married to my ex-husband? NO! Getting divorced was the best thing for us! It wasn’t until after we were separated and I started working on myself that I realized how much manipulation and control I was living under. But that doesn’t mean that I’m glad for the tears my girls have cried, the hurt they’ve felt, or the confusion they’re still trying to wrap their little minds around. They may not really understand or come to grips with the present time for decades, and I know exactly what that’s like.

So, yes, Father’s Day is weird, just like every single other holiday when you’re the child from a divorced family. There’s a constant feeling of never being settled, never really at home no matter where you go, but your own home, feeling like you’re walking on eggshells to protect any and all parties, and unconsciously playing referee with all stories, news and updates. As my girls grow I hope I continue to cognizant of how I feel right now so I can do my best to keep them from feeling the same way. We shall see…

In the mean time, Happy Father’s Day to everyone:

  • To all the Dads who want and try to be around more even if you’re not with your kid’s mother
  • To all the Father’s who chose your children instead of raising them by biological obligation,
  • Tall those single moms who are rocking the hell out of being both Mom and Dad.

I hope you enjoy your day fully!

~Amanda

Mother’s Day Is Approaching

Mother’s Day…..

This day I longed for in my early twenties. I was married just shy of my 21st birthday, and from our first anniversary for the better part of four years my ex-husband and I struggled with infertility. I had my first miscarriage right before our anniversary. Our second was right around our second anniversary. The third happened a short time before our fourth anniversary. Each time I felt more and more isolated, more and more ashamed, more and more broken. I suffered through each one alone and silent.

Why was it happening to me?

I was left with a myriad of unanswered questions throughout those years. I did find out I was pregnant with my oldest, beautifully healthy daughter, just a month after my third miscarriage. I’m so thankful for her, but my heart does feel unsettled still. Why did I go through those years? What purpose did it serve? I may never have those answered until I’m in heaven one day, but one thing I’ve seen already is that through my suffering I’ve learned to be more understanding and compassionate, and have come in contact with other couples on multiple occasions experiencing the same tragedy and I’ve been able to share with them and listen to their needs. I think those years, as well as my year through divorce, have shown me that our sufferings allow us to shed light to others.

Now I’m single, so what?

Last year was my first Mother’s Day as a single mom. It felt weird to me. At the time my kids were 2 and 3 years old. Their preschool always has them complete a project of some sort to give to you on this day, but in my mind I looked forward to mother’s day the most because I thought my partner would celebrate me for bringing our children into this world. I was in labor for 45 1/2 hours with my oldest daughter and a very hard 9 hours with my youngest. I guess I thought, maybe even desired, for someone to say that I made them grateful, that they were proud of me, that they appreciated the sacrifices I made to have them, as well as the daily sacrifices I made to raise them as a work-from-home mom. Those unmet desires and attuning that my heart didn’t receive for years prior to even becoming single left me in a very weird state last year. Next weekend I’ll celebrate my second mother’s day single, and to be honest, I totally forgot it was mother’s day coming up until just a couple of days ago! Is that sad? Maybe it’s just a season I’m in, but my wish for all of you moms out there, married, single, young, old, is that you feel an overwhelming sense of appreciation on your day! Even if there’s not a physical person to provide you with flowers, breakfast in bed, or even just kind words, I hope and pray that you speak those words over yourself, because you’re worthy and they’re true.

Men, are you still searching for a gift? Help me help you. The mother in your life will LOVE this!! <Rescue & Renew Set> Choose the entire set, or 1-2 pieces. They’re all amazing!

Where Have You Been?

It’s been almost six months since I last posted! You may be wondering what all the hype was about when I announced that Mockingbird Baby is now a landing page for my Arbonne business, and then went MIA for months on end. Allow me to digress, if you will.

A LOT has been going on. Last fall I was accepted to grad school at Sam Houston State University – Eat ‘Em Up Kats! I started my first semester towards my Masters of Science in January, and grad school as a single mom has been NO JOKE! So far I’m doing really well, and my goal is to just keep that same momentum going to get me through the next 1 year and 4 days until graduation. Not that anyone is counting or anything. Now that the semester is ending there may be an influx of posts coming from me.

I started dating again last fall and after several frogs and disappointments I think I’ve found my Prince Charming! His name is Doug, he’s amazing with my kids, he listens deeply and cares compassionately, and I think I finally know what true love means! I’ll share a separate blog post on my thoughts around that one another time.

My mom has been really sick since October; in and out of the hospital more frequently than she can stand, treatments working, then not working, then changing treatments, surgeries, changes, etc. She’s exhausted. I think we’re still in the midst of trying to navigate through what the doctors are going to say next, but the only thing I know how to do right now is just support whatever direction she wants to go. Quite honestly I’ve been really bad at these emotions because it’s a first for me. A scary first that I don’t like. I feel like I don’t know what to say, I’m not sure what I feel half the time, and also I just want to finish school so I can spend more time than I’ve been able to with her. We’d love your prayers in this area if you wouldn’t mind!

My girls are finishing another pre-school year and my oldest, Joni, is officially registered for Kindergarten! Class of 2030 here she comes!

So yes, to say I’ve been busy could possibly be an understatement, but you know what? I’ve never been happier in so many areas of my life! I learned so much about myself last year and I’m ready to see what the future holds! Here’s to being back online!

~Amanda

What’s going on here?

What has Mockingbird Baby become?

You may be visiting the Mockingbird Baby site confused, because, after all, didn’t this used to be a natural family boutique with cloth diapers, soaps, lotions, carriers and other baby items? You’d be correct! In September we had to make the very difficult decision to close both our retail and online stores as I finalized my divorce and made other decisions that were in the best interest of my family. So what now? Well, Mockingbird Baby has transitioned to be a landing page for my Arbonne business as well as an outlet for my Journey of a Single Mom. I’ve learned so much over my 30 years here, especially this last year as my life took the biggest transition I’ve ever experienced. Blogging has become my way of sharing lessons, stories, funny happenings and just allowing you to step into my life on occasion. I can honestly say as I stand here today that I’m the happiest I’ve been in 10 years. It hasn’t been easy, nor fun, getting to this point, but I’m loving it. I hope you’ll follow along with me and enjoy, possibly even learn from, what I share.

~Amanda

A Journey of a Single Mom