podcast, Wellness, Young Living

Podcast Episode 3 – My Next Top 5 Oils

Hi! And welcome to the Cultivating Abundant Life Podcast! I’m Kait Palmer, and I am passionate about helping mamas cultivate better lives physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

As mamas we are usually the caretakers of those in our family. We kiss the bumped heads and wash and bandage the skinned knees. We clean the dog’s ears and tolerate–I mean nurse–our husbands when they get the dreaded man cold. Somewhere in there, we try to exercise, stay up to date on current events but not be consumed by them, keep the romance alive in our marriages, continually pick up the house, feed our families healthy and sustainable and locally grown food, stay on top of the laundry, mow the lawn, organize the garage, help our kids grow mentally and emotionally, work on growing good friendships, and occasionally take time for ourselves. 

We are overwhelmed. But we still love those around us and what we get to do! Over the past 9 years I have learned that essential oils are the best way to help us be those caretakers in every area. 

When I first began to look at ALL of the essential oils there are I was overwhelmed! All I wanted was PanAway–that was the one that worked for me so why did I need anything else? 

I was VERY glad that back in 2013 the only way to get your 24% membership discount was to get a starter kit. I quickly learned that those oils are your basic Oily Toolkit! Last week I told you my top five oils to have if I was stranded on a deserted island would be lavender, peppermint, Thieves, PanAway, and Valor. If I was airdropped a survival bag with five more essential oils…what would those be? 

First, a Young Living product I’ve been especially thankful for this week is Purification. And guess what–it’s one of my next top 5 oils as well! We have a 16 year old lab/German shepherd mix big dog who has had a bad week as far as bodily functions go. I’ve had to wash him, blankets, rugs, mop the floors…it’s been a doozy! But Purification has played a big role in helping because it neutralizes odors. I’m not kidding–pop some in a diffuser and see for yourself! I first became aware of how awesome this oils was on a road trip back from Branson, Missouri,  to Edmond, Oklahoma where we were living at the time. My oldest was 3 years old and we had allowed her to have way more treats than normal on our last day of vacation. She proceeded to spew up said treats around midnight on the drive home…with absolutely no where to stop for a good 45 minutes. That poor baby had a puddle in her lap and the smell? Oh Lord…it was bad. I was afraid my mom and I would start gagging being in the car with it for so long. I had my mom get out Purification and sprinkle it all over the back of the car…and we were AMAZED at how quickly it worked! No further upchucks ensued! At boxing this week a gal commented how stinky her gloves were, I had the great idea to make a spray bottle with water, witch hazel, and Purification to spray into my gloves between workouts. This spray is also great for stinky shoes, garbage pails, laundry piles…the list can go on! This blend is also great for keeping those outside annoyances at bay! Before a hike (if I don’t have one of the Insect Repellent wipes on hand), I’ll wipe or spray my ankles and exposed skin. When my dog was hiking with us I would spray him down as well! I’ve even used this oil in a soak for his collar to make a homemade…annoyance…repelling…collar. This is also a handy oil for occasional scrapes and boo boos and even if a lovely pollinator decides to not be so nice. We keep this oil in our car first aid bag and our hiking first aid bag! I may have also used this around–not in–eyes and ears for various things. 

OK, a quick recap that you can use oils aromatically, topically, and the Vitality label oils internally. Do you remember the difference between the vitality label and regular label? Nothing! Yay! Want more detail on that, listen to Episode 2 of the podcast! Without further ado, here are my next 5 oils I would pick on my deserted island. 

Frankincense

This was my second experience with a Young Living essential oil was with good old Frank. I had been to my first class where the teacher told us all these great things essential oils did–this was before big brother narrowed down what we could say despite peer reviewed and published studies, but I digress. I was still the utter skeptic, and highly dubious. After the class I approached the teacher and asked if there was an oil for a dog with a golfball-shaped…thing…on his shoulder. She recommended frankincense. I, being a snotty and critical 20-something year old asked, “You mean like baby Jesus frankincense?” She laughed graciously and said yes. 

Being young and broke I figured it was a cheaper option than going to the vet, so I gave it a try. I poured frankincense on it a few times a day until it broke open and got all nasty. Then I would take him outside, hose that area off, dab it dry, and apply more oil every day. In three weeks the scab fell off and the skin was smooth underneath. That was almost 9 years ago and nothing…unusual…has ever shown up in that area again!

The book of Isaiah 59:20 and Isaiah 60:6 foretells the birth of Christ and even the gift of frankincense (incense was mistranslated –in Hebrew it is “lebonah” which is frankincense). Mary would have known to massage this oil on the young Jesus to keep him healthy, and it’s scent was most likely a real comfort during a turbulent and frightening time. 

What’s so great about Frankincense? 

  • It promotes the appearance of healthy-looking skin.
  • It may help reduce the appearance of uneven skin tones.
  • It has a sweet, honey-like, and woody fragrance that’s very uplifting.
  • It can create a safe and comforting environment when diffused.
  • It can enhance your spiritual and meditative practice.
  • It is perfect for grounding and spiritual connectedness.

The scent of frankincense can lift your emotions, increase spiritual awareness, promote meditation, and improve your attitude. Whether topically or diffused, this oil is a great one to break out before studying the Word, meditation, yoga practice, or even a relaxing bath. This is also a great one to rub on “the girls” daily. I use it on my face every night, especially in the summertime!

Frankincense also comes in a Vitality version (remember–same oil, different label). It contains properties that can help support overall well-being and a healthy immune system when taken internally. It also supports the respiratory system and the integumentary system.

Raven/R.C.

So Raven and R.C. are both blends that have very similar properties. You can exchange one for the other, and I keep both on hand. RC was very instrumental in the health of my grandma who is currently 79 years old. She started smoking back when the “science was settled” that smoking was totally safe and helped curb cravings and clear up your oily skin…ha…ha…ha. She was lighting cigarettes for her aunts at 5 years old! As you can imagine that wreaked some havoc on her body that she is still dealing with, but RC has been a huge thing for her. She does not leave home without it and I’ve seen it work amazingly well for her! Now, everyone is different and RC might not be your thing, but it’s a great one to have on hand! 

Raven is a cool, refreshing combination of Ravintsara, Peppermint, Eucalyptus Radiata, Lemon, and Wintergreen essential oils.

What’s so great about Raven? 

  • It creates a cooling sensation and provides a comforting aroma when applied topically to the chest and throat
  • It provides a refreshing aromatic experience when diffused or inhaled directly.
  • It may be used as part of your exercise routine to help promote the sensation of deeper breathing.
  • It may give you that boost of energy and motivation you need to conquer the day! 

Easy Uses: 

  • Diffuse in any stuffy environment for a fresh, crisp atmosphere.
  • Add a few drops to a wet washcloth and set outside the stream of water during a hot shower for an invigorating experience.
  • Add a few drops to Young Living’s carrier oil, V-6 Vegetable Oil Complex, and create a relaxing massage oil. 
  • Add a few drops to some coconut oil and stir for a quick chest rub. 

DiGize Vitality 

This oil is a powerhouse for the digestive system. Seriously – it works in seconds flat (at least for me it does). DiGize Vitality is a blend of Tarragon, Ginger, Peppermint, Juniper, Fennel, Lemongrass, Anise, and Patchouli essential oils. Put your googling fingers to work and do a little research to find out how amazing those oils are for your body! You’ll be amazed. You can take this oil internally with a veggie capsule (personal favorite), in food or drink, or directly under your tongue.

What’s so great about DiGize Vitality? 

  • It helps support and cleanse the digestive system.
  • It’s a great companion to Young Living’s enzyme supplements when taken with meals to support your wellness regimen.
  • It includes antioxidant properties.

One more thing, this one comes in a solid-label bottle too. That means it can be diffused or applied topically as well. Remember – same oil, different label.  I like to apply DiGize on the tummy and rub in a clockwise motion, too (I’ll dilute a bit for my kiddos using this method). Whether things aren’t moving at all, or moving too much, DiGize helps bring things into balance.

Personally, I think this blend smells like black licorice so I prefer the internal use the best. You get to decide what works best for you!

Joy

My last oil? It’s a classic. The original name for it I heard was Love. But you might know it as Joy. This was one of those hippie emotional oils I wrote off when I got my kit because seriously, how can an oil help you feel joy? 

One MAJOR way is your limbic system. Your limbic system of the brain plays a vital role in interpreting and channeling intense experiences, particularly memories of fear or trauma. Two parts of the limbic system that play a major role in emotional processing–the amygdala and the hypothalamus–are located less than an inch away from the olfactory nerve. When you inhale essential oils, the molecules stimulate receptors in the olfactory bulb that send messages directly to your limbic system. They also can directly affect your endocrine system, which is responsible for your hormones, metabolism, and growth.

Not only this, but did you know they are discovering smell receptors all over your body? Your skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, testes, colon–all of these are found to have smell receptors as well, which I find so crazy! Essentially, they are specialized chemical receptors. These are stimulated by certain chemicals (like…you guessed it! Essential oils!) to transmit messages to the organ. Next week I’m going to talk more in depth about emotions and how we store them in the body and how essential oils can help, but once I learned there was an actual scientific reason behind the reason a blend like Joy might help your mood and emotions, I was much more open to it. 

After the birth of my second daughter I was feeling like my fuse was much shorter. I had a two year old at the time and felt my frustration just shoot through the roof at the slightest thing. My baby was nursing every 45 minutes, and I was just drained. I was speaking at a class when she was 3 weeks old and someone else had a Zyto scan there. A zyto scan is a medical device that uses galvanic skin response to basically ask your body questions electrically and obtain a response and see what things you need to bring your body into balance. Again, I was totally a skeptic the first time I used it but it was so accurate I was impressed. During this scan, I scanned for Joy, Ningxia Red, and Young Living’s multivitamin called Master Formula. Basically I was sad, depleted, and had no energy. YEP! I had been using Joy over my heart when I would feel at the end of my rope, and it helped, but after that scan I became really intentional about using it in the morning and evening. After about three weeks of doing this I felt a shift emotionally. I’m not sure how else to describe it other than that, but I was no longer quite at the end of my rope. 

Four years later when we sold our home in Oklahoma that same baby was having a very hard time with it emotionally. I began to use Joy on her as well, and she called it her “pink” oil since the label was pink. Even she recognized how much it helped her! 

I could go on and on with stories about this oil and the difference it has made in people I know. That’s why I love my job–getting to hear stories like this and the change it can help people accomplish. So if you have a story, I’d love to hear it! Honestly–drop me a line at kait@cultivatingabundantlife.com because I’m a junkie for testimonials like this!

So those are my next five–Purification, Frankincense, R.C. or Raven, DiGize, and Joy. Add that to my top five–Lavender, Peppermint, Thieves, PanAway, and Valor…and you’ve got an amazing oily toolkit that can cover you from head to toe. 

I think this is why Young Living offers their amazing starter kits. Because you might just want one or two oils and a diffuser, but it’s literally like half the price of buying things individually if you get a kit! And so in my kit–almost nine years ago–I got nine oils, most of them I listed in my top 10. No diffuser, no samples, no bonus oils! And in the nine years they’ve changed oils and added two more AND a diffuser the price has only increased by $25! Say WHAT? I’m sorry but I think that’s crazy, and why when I want to buy another diffuser I buy another premium starter bundle! 

If you’re ready to give essential oils a try, you can head to CultivatingAbundantLife.com and click the “Get Started With Young Living” button on the right hand side. You’ll get to join my oily team and get access to ALL the classes I offer both via text and online, AND, coming soon I hope, a Vault of classes and private forum to discuss all things oily! If you’re in the Southern Oregon area, too, you get free Zyto scans! Yep, after having so many scans be scarily accurate my husband and I decided to invest in our own zyto scan and have had one for the past 7 years. We scan everyone in our family about once a week just to see what our body could use to get into balance. There’s also a free classes section on my website if you’re just dipping your toes in the oily water and wanting to learn more–just head to CultivatingAbundantLife.com and look at the menu at the top!

Thank you for taking this time to learn about some of my favorite oils. It’s my honor to get to serve you in this manner, and I hope you take away some practical ways to use oils, as well as maybe piqued your interest in doing some research for yourself on what these awesome oils can do. I’ve been doing this for 9 years and still have those “wow!” moments! Remember, there’s no wrong way to oil–you might find that DiGize works for some neck tension and RC helped lift your spirits!

Until next time, be well, and I hope you cultivate an abundant life this week. 

Bye!

podcast, Wellness, Young Living

Podcast Episode 2 – How To Use Essential Oils and My Top Five Oils

Welcome to the Cultivating Abundant Life Podcast! I’m Kait Palmer and I am passionate about helping people cultivate better lives physically, mentally, and emotionally. Today I get to share with you WHAT essential oils are, and if I could only have 5 essential oils with me stranded on a deserted island…WHAT would I choose? Honestly, it was REALLY hard to narrow it down! I know I said last week I would do an oils 101 but I figure this is a time I can really explain a bit more about oils so I’m narrowing it down to 5. 

So open up your notes app or grab a notepad and pen if you’re old school like me, and let’s start learning!

First I want to start off by sharing a product I’ve been very thankful for this past week. This past week I’ve been thankful for and using the Cel-Lite Magic Massage Oil. This oil blend features Grapefruit, Cypress, Juniper, Cedarwood, and Clary Sage essential oil diluted in Young LIving’s carrier oil V-6 —a rich, moisturizing combination of sesame, sweet almond, wheat germ, sunflower, and olive oils. This massage oil works with your skin to improve the natural skin barrier and improve the appearance of skin tone and texture. It does have the word “magic” in the name! It is also FANTASTIC for your lymphatic system. Your lymphatic system is a network of vessels and organs that regulates the amount of fluid in your body and defends it against infections. It’s a part of both your circulatory and immune systems, but unlike the circulatory system it does not have a dedicated “pump.” Your heart keeps your blood moving through your body, but you need to actually move (or have your body moved) to get that lymph flowing. Think of your circulatory system as a border collie–always ready to go! And your lymphatic system? It’s like an English bulldog. It needs a LOT of motivation and prodding to get some movement! Our neighbors have two English bulldogs and if they’re trying to take the dogs on a walk, sometimes the dogs will just sit down and refuse to move! So exercise like jumping jacks or bouncing on a trampoline or running, getting a massage or using a fasciablaster (ooooh…I’ll do a podcast on that later!) or dry skin brushing–all these things help move your lymph. 

Right now I’m doing a sort of “Love your Lymph” challenge for 14 days where I’m incorporating dry skin brushing, those exercises I mentioned, taking citrus fresh vitality internally, using citrus fresh and cypress topically over lymph areas, detox baths every few days, and of course the Cel-Lite Magic Massage Oil. I usually use it while fasciablasting after a shower, and love the improvements I see in my skin! I also had a massage last week and had my masseuse use this oil and it was fantastic! You can even up it’s lymph-loving factor and add in a whole bottle of ledum essential oil!I challenge you to take a week or two to focus on a healthier lymphatic system and note what changes you feel and see!

Ok moving on to your basic oily toolbox. 

With things like cancer, infertility, and other health challenges on the rise, there is no time like the present to kick all those nasty harmful chemicals in your everyday products to the curb. If you.ve listened to my story, you know how I saw that my body improved after I learned to clean up the toxic burden in my everyday products. It is time to give your body what it deserves: clean products that support your body rather than make it work harder.

With clinics on every corner and around 6,000 registered hospitals in the US, we are armed and ready to be sick. But what if we as a society made a shift, and were better at HEALTH care than we are at sick care? If you’ve been around the past couple of years you might have witnessed a serious lack and suppression of talk of HEALTH care. 

So often we react to issues versus coming at them prepared and ready. Being proactive with our health can be highly beneficial if we’re willing to do the work. Trust me, I’ve had to learn this in reverse! Might I add, that disease does not happen overnight. Body systems do not fail overnight. It happens little by little, day-by-day, choice-by-choice. Everything you do either fights disease or contributes to it. You can’t “oil your way” out of poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle.

So I ask you, are you ready to put your health first so you can have more days with your loved ones, your babies, your grand-babies? This class will show you just how simple that is. Ok I’m putting my mama bear side away and let’s have some fun!

I know that making healthy lifestyle choices isn’t always easy. Do you struggle to order the salad over the burger? Been there! Maybe you struggle with choosing to exercise regularly or maybe it’s hard for you to get solid sleep. Maybe your house is filled with questionable products and you don’t know where to start. Been there too! The first book I got on the issue was called Green Living and reading through all the toxic things I should replace completely overwhelmed me! I still have that book not because I really reference it anymore, but because I like to flip through and see how far I’ve come in the past 15 years. 

Making these changes does NOT have to be overwhelming. And making them is MUCH easier than it was 15 years ago! There’s a better option than making a vinegar cleaner and stinking up your whole house! You can take small steps that really add up to big ones. Ditching the chemical-filled, hormone disrupting cleaner for a SAFE, plant-based cleaner infused with the best essential oils is a GREAT start. Then maybe you decide to ditch those toxic facial products and switch them out for ones that are made from ingredients that are truly safe for you. Then maybe you move on to replace your laundry soap and so on. Small changes lead to big results. 

So What are essential oils & how does Young Living compare? 

Essential oils are the liquids extracted from plants. Think of them as plant concentrates. They are distilled from shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes, fruit, rinds, and resins.

Oils consist of over 100 different, natural organic compounds. Essential oils help the plant stay healthy, and they can do the same for us.

Since there’s just a tiny amount of essential oil in a plant, it takes a TON of work to cultivate plants needed for oil. For example:

There’s over a pound of peppermint in a 15ml bottle of oil!

It takes over 75 lemons to make a bottle that same size!
–It takes 60 THOUSAND rose blossoms to make just one ounce of rose oil

–Lavender is more abundant, but it still takes 220 pounds to make 7 pounds of oil

–Jasmine flowers must be picked by hand before the sun becomes too hot on the very first day they open, thus making it one of the most expensive oils in the world! It takes 8 MILLION hand-picked blossoms to produce 2.2 pounds of oil! (Take note—that 30ml bottle for $12? CAN’T be pure!) Ylang ylang is another night blooming flower and you can probably still find a Youtube video of Gary Young explaining the harvesting process–it’s awesome!

–A sandalwood tree must be 30 years old and 30 feet high before it can be cut down for distillation

But a little goes a long way. Most oils are $10 to $33 a bottle–I actually just countied and there are 88 right now!  A 5 ml bottle contains about 90 drops, and a 15 ml bottle contains about 250 drops. Each application is one to three drops–or less if you just put your finger on the top of the bottle, tilt, and use that oil, meaning even a small bottle will get you 45 to 90 applications (or more). 

Thieves cleaner is made of plants only and costs about $1.50 a bottle to make. You can’t even get that in the organic section at the grocery store! It replaced a multi-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, and floor cleaner. The organic versions of those can run you $4 to $6 a bottle.

An oil in a diffuser can soothe a child’s tough day at school and provide a calming effect when you’ve had a stressful day at work. Oils can be used as an alternative to toxic cleaning chemicals in the home.

The thing is though… not all oils are created equal. How do you know which one to choose? 

Well, for me, it all came down to something called Seed to Seal and Young Living is the ONLY company that provides this. Seed to Seal is a quality commitment unlike anything else; they have control of the ENTIRE process, from the seed to the sealed bottle. These are some of the strict guidelines they abide by. 

  • plant material that is grown on corporately-owned farms or carefully vetted partner farms (that you CAN visit! I’ve been to the farms in Utah and Idaho)
  • sustainable farming and sourcing practices, providing the purest oil
  • great care taken to preserve and protect natural resources
  • hand-weeded fields and ZERO use of pesticides
  • oils that retain all their natural constituents and therapeutic properties
  • use of food-grade distillers with state-of-the-art design and distillation methods
  • low pressure and low temperature distillation, without the use of solvents or synthetic chemicals
  • rigorous testing on each batch by internal labs and third-party facilities
  • oils that are carefully reviewed through every step of production in order to meet or exceed industry safety and purity standards (beyond organic!)

And the best part… if the oils do not meet these high standards they are rejected and will not be bottled as a Young Living product. Check out more info on their Seed to Seal promise at www.seedtoseal.com.

How do you use essential oils? 

Before we dive into the these oils I want to explain how to use them.Anyone can use essential oils – no aromatherapy training needed. As Gary Young said, there’s no wrong way to oil. Let go of the idea that oils are prescriptive…”x” amount of drops “x” amount of times per day. Just get your hands on your oils and start using them! 

You can use oils topically by applying oils to your wrists, neck, back, feet, etc. Just keep them out of your ears and eyes, directly. If you get oil in your eyes, don’t rinse it with water. Instead, apply a fatty carrier oil around the area.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some oils are gentle enough to put directly on your skin without diluting. If you notice it getting hot or making your skin a little red, just apply some carrier oil on (coconut oil, grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, etc.). For kids and elderly people, dilute it more heavily. Don’t overcomplicate it; keep it simple! 

Another way to use them is aromatically. Crack open a bottle, and breathe it in. It can be that simple! Add your oils to a diffuser and enjoy the therapeutic benefits from diffusing. Put a drop in your palm, rub your hands together, and cup your hands over your nose. Breathe deeply and enjoy! No matter how you do it you still reap the benefits.

You can also use essential oils internally. Add a drop (or more) of a Vitality oil into an empty vegetable capsule, a cup of tea, or a glass of water. You can even cook and bake with them! Try some Lemon Vitality in your yogurt or a toothpick tip of Oregano Vitality in your next batch of spaghetti sauce. One of my favorite things to do is add 4 drops of Peppermint Vitality to a box mix of brownies! One thing to note: citrus oils can break down the petrochemicals in plastic so it’s safer to use stainless steel, glass, or ceramic when adding oils to your dishes and drinks.

Now, before we go any further… I want to make sure you know the difference between a Vitality oil (white label) and the “regular” oils (solid-color label). The Vitality oils are labeled for internal/dietary use so they can be ingested. The solid-color bottles are labeled for aromatic/topical use. However, they are the SAME oil. The only difference is the color of the label. It just makes it easier for us to know which oils can be safely ingested. Does that make sense?

OK let’s talk oils!

First up… Lavender, which is probably one of the most well-known essential oils. They call this one the “swiss army knife” of oils because it is extremely versatile and can be used for so many things! 

Being that I am not a doctor and cannot diagnose, treat, or prescribe anything to you, an essential oil reference book comes in handy when getting to know your oils. Be sure to connect with me after you take a listen to know my favorite resources!

What’s so great about Lavender? 

  • It may promote feelings of calm due to its balancing properties that calm the mind and body.
  • It fights occasional nervous tension.
  • It may help cleanse and soothe minor skin irritations.
  • It may help reduce the appearance of blemishes and support aging skin.
  • It can be very soothing to the skin after a day in the sun.

It’s great for those little cuts and scrapes and accidents we are all sometimes prone to have! One time I was lifting a roast chicken out of the Instant pot with tongs, when it fell apart as I was transferring it! Instinctively I reached out to grab my precious organic free range chicken and caught it in my left hand and—realizing it was BLAZING hot–I opened my and it rolled down my arm! I’m telling you…I’ve had three natural births but this was INTENSE!!!! After washing it in cold water I immediately slathered the thing in lavender, and then in peppermint. Over and over. I was shocked when there was no blistering or anything other than some redness on my hand right where I caught that bird. That definitely made me a believer in lavender!

Did you know? Lavender also comes in a Vitality version (same oil, different label). It can improve sleep quality for occasional sleeplessness, supports general wellness, and contains cleansing and antioxidant properties. Lavender Vitality supports the integumentary system, nervous system, and cardiovascular system when taken as a dietary supplement. 

During the spring, I often take a capsule full of lemon vitality, lavender vitality, and peppermint vitality to help with those seasonal changes.

As far as emotions go, lavender is tied to feelings of abandonment, criticism, and fear of unfoldment. If you feel those emotions resonate with you, try diffusing or swiping on some lavender! We’ll go over emotional release much more in a future podcast, but when in doubt…lavender!

Peppermint Vitality

Speaking of peppermint–let’s talk about that one! The longer I keep this oil around the more uses I find for it! It has a strong, clean, fresh, minty aroma. This oil can be considered a hot oil when used topically, so I would recommend starting with it diluted or having a carrier oil on hand. Personally, I love that cooling sensation! I’ll use it on my temples (watch the eyes), the back of my neck, or even a few drops in a foot bath. This oil has such a COOLING effect–you can even test it yourself if you’re feeling a little warm! I did this a few months ago with my daughter and we were amazed at the numbers on that thermometer! If you have a kid who’s feeling overly warm, you can apply some on the bottom of their feet and put some socks on. I’ve even used this on my dog’s paws when he seems to be really hot after a summer walk. 

When I was pregnant with my second and third babies this was a LIFESAVER! I was throwing up 5-6 times a DAY with my first pregnancy. Second pregnancy I had a bottle of peppermint in just about every room, my purse, and one lived in my car! I threw up 6 times total my second pregnancy, and only once my last pregnancy…but I blame that on a Carl’s Jr. craving…So that worked really well for me! But remember, all of our bodies are different and I have a mama friend who couldn’t stand the smell of peppermint while pregnant! 

Living near lots of windy mountain roads we STILL keep a bottle of peppermint in the car!
And remember, with the white label we have peppermint vitality, too!

What’s so great about Peppermint Vitality? 

  • It supports gastrointestinal system comfort.
  • It enhances healthy gut function.
  • It maintains efficiency of the digestive tract.
  • It may support performance during exercise.
  • It reduces feelings of discomfort after large meals. 
  • It provides a refreshing, minty flavor to food and beverages.

How awesome is that?! Peppermint is SO much more than a flavor – when you get the real deal. Just like other Vitality oils you can add this one to food like brownies, cakes, cookies, candies, fruit dishes, etc. You can also add it to drinks like water, tea, or protein shakes… You can also take a few drops in a veggie capsule as a dietary supplement – whatever works for you! 

If my head is feeling tight or stuffy here’s a great tip–get some oil on your thumb and hold it on the roof of your mouth! You might feel a bit silly but trust me–it works!

Emotionally peppermint is tied to feelings of failure, fear of dependence, restriction, and rigidity. 

Thieves Vitality

Thieves is a most amazing blend of powerful oils: cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, lemon and rosemary. This is an AMAZING one to diffuse in your home…especially in winter…and spring…ok year round! I like to add some orange to it for a yummy fall scent!

You can swipe this bad boy on the bottom of your feet before heading out the door, or even use it on a splinter, cover with a bandaid, and see what happens! This is considered a hot oil because of the cinnamon and close, so if you use it anywhere besides the bottom of your feet you may need to dilute. 

Did you know? The name ‘Thieves’ was inspired by the legend of four 15th-century French thieves who formulated and wore a special aromatic combination of clove, rosemary, vinegar, and other botanicals that they believed provided protection while they were stealing. The story goes on to say that when the thieves were caught they were offered a lesser punishment if they would divulge to the king the secret to their immunity, despite being exposed to a highly infectious, deadly disease. Pretty interesting, huh??

What’s so great about Thieves Vitality?

  • It provides immune system support.
  • It’s cleansing to the digestive system.
  • It contains antioxidant properties.
  • It provides general wellness support.

Again, because it’s a Vitality oil, it can be added to food or drinks, taken in a veggie capsule, or placed directly under the tongue–or on the tongue if you like red hots! Some people enjoy it added to oatmeal, parfaits, coffees, desserts, honey, or NingXia Red. My favorite is Thieves Vitality tea. I use a black tea, add a drop of Thieves Vitality, a bit of stevia, and a small splash of cream to give it that richness. 

Thieves is connected to emotions of feeling different, sneaky, and uncertain. Again, we’ll unpack this more in a later podcast. 

PanAway

This oil… MAN! This was my gateway oil…the one that changed everything! My life–and I mean that quite literally! It just makes that _____ go away, like the name implies. It has the smell of good ol’ fashioned root beer and feels like heaven when applied. (there used to be the letter “i” included in the name…see if you can figure out where)

I use this one a lot on my temples, my forehead, my neck, on my wrists after boxing, on my calves after running…get my drift? You can mix it up with some coconut oil to make a great sore muscle rub–you can even throw some eucalyptus and copaiba in there! I will say, while this is on of my “desert island” deserted island? I have come to find a lot of other oils and blends help me in that area as well. Peppermint, Cool Azul, Deep Relief, Aroma Seiz…our bodies are all different and always changing so what is a deserted island oil for me may not be for you!

What’s so great about PanAway? 

  • With Wintergreen, Helichrysum, Clove, and Peppermint essential oils, PanAway has a refreshing, cooling sensation when applied to the skin – shoulders, neck, and scalp. 
  • It offers a refreshing, stimulating aroma when inhaled.
  • It includes the naturally occurring constituents methyl salicylate, gamma-curcumene, menthol, and eugenol.
  • It cools the skin after physical activity.

Did you know? PanAway contains Wintergreen, which is high in a constituent called Methyl salicylate. Methyl salicylate is used as the active ingredient in many sports creams, but usually from a synthetic source. Young Living uses the real deal. 

And yes, even PanAway is connected to your emotions! This deals with feelings of exhaustion, fear of emotions, and pain…sort of makes sense, right? 

Ok what’s my #5? Raven? RC? FRANKINCENSE?
For me, it’s Valor

This oil holds a special place in my heart. It just calms me every time I take a whiff; I can’t get enough! Sadly my amazing story with Valor is not one I can share on here, but it involves my newborn daughter, a VERY fast birth, and advice from our pediatrician who was an MD as well as an ND. I stocked up on so much Valor I still have unopened bottles of the original formula with rosewood, which we no longer use as it’s endangered. Now the blend uses camphor and honestly is just as effective!

A reason this is one of my desert island oils is for both the physical and emotional aspect it gives.

What’s so great about Valor? 

  • It is a unique blend of Black Spruce, Blue Tansy, Camphor Wood, Geranium, and Frankincense – a true member favorite.
  • It encourages a positive attitude and promotes feelings of courage and confidence.
  • It has a great woodsy, grounding aroma that is great for massages and perfect for wearing as a personal fragrance. 
  • It helps freshen the air when diffused and creates an uplifting, positive environment. 
  • It may also enhance the appearance of healthy-looking skin when applied topically.

Did you know? Valor is the first oil in the “Great Day Protocol” lineup, created by the late Young Living founder, D. Gary Young. You should search for it online – it’s pretty amazing! 

My favorite way to use this oil is along the spine. If I can’t reach the whole thing I’ll use it on the back of my neck and down as far as I can reach. I also like to use it just after a kid bonks their head on a doorframe or slips on the stairs…it was amazing on toddler goose eggs they seem to get!

Emotions and Valor? Oh you bet…I picked this as the last of my 5 primarily BECAUSE it’s a great oil for emotions! Ready for this list? Valor is connected to feelings of aggression, defensiveness, fear of conflict, inability to cope, losing a battle, persecuted, resignation, or feeling withdrawn. If any of those pinged your heart a bit, open up a bottle of Valor. 

So that’s it! Lavender, Peppermint, Thieves, PanAway, and Valor are my five desert island oils! 

Join me next week as I’ll cover the next five I would take…because I had a HARD time narrowing this down! If you’re new to oils and don’t really know how to order them or use them, head to cultivating abundantlife.com and browse through my free classes, or if you’re ready click that “Get Started” button in the upper right hand corner! 

If you’re watching or listening to this please click that Subscribe button and give me a rating if you feel so inclined!

Until next time, continue cultivating your abundant life!

Parenting-thing

The Battle Belongs (Part 3)

Two and a half weeks has passed since Tatum was discharged from Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, and so far her eye has continued to heal and look better and better!

If you missed part 2 you can read that here

Looking back I can see the repeated hand of Yahweh in our midst. The draining of the abscess spontaneously prevented her from needing surgery. After we recovered from a sleep shortage she felt pretty much back to normal–just stuck in a hospital room with the full attention of both of her parents. She was sort of in heaven, lol! She never experienced any pain despite what had to be a lot of pressure in her sinuses!

You can see on the right how the pus built up in the sinus cavity and into the orbital cavity, displacing her eyeball

To answer some questions I’ve received a lot:

The team of doctors *think* it started as a virus “with no symptoms” that made the cilia in her sinuses “tired” so they didn’t move out mucus–just on one side. At that point it became sinusitis, and the pus built up until it made it’s way into her orbital cavity and formed an abscess. Thankfully the abscess formed a head on the skin between her nose and eye and began to drain spontaneously, and continued to drain well with warm compresses.

She never felt any pressure or pain at all! She felt “sick” and had a fever on Christmas and the few days afterwards. On the 26th she woke up with her eye swollen shut.

There was nothing I could really have done to prevent it–how do you prevent something you don’t know is happening?! Yes, I asked multiple doctors.

There was nothing more I could have done than what we did (again, I asked because I don’t want to repeat this!). She was on antibiotics on the first day her eye swelled up. I even scheduled a repeat doctor visit because I was concerned the antibiotics she was on weren’t strong enough if it was periorbital cellulitis (which it was), so we switched and it seemed to improve. As someone who’s been able to handle almost every ailment at home with three kids (and a dog) for the past 8 years, I’ve made it my mission and my business to educate myself, and had three different doctors ask what my medical background was, lol. However, I think God was teaching me how little control I *actually* have.

And you know what–even if she HAD to have surgery, even if we had a much longer hospital stay, even if the really scary things that are associated with periorbital cellulitis had happened–he is STILL a good God. This world is broken–we broke it. He’s going to fix it all, eventually.

As a mama, reflecting on my time in the hospital I thought about how our Abba, our heavenly Daddy, does so much for us. I was *always* with her, an arm’s length away and ready to do whatever needed to be done. But I’m human. I got tired. I had my moment of tears when I learned they weren’t going to do surgery and I could release some emotion. I need my alone time. I get touched-out (like snuggling with her in her bed and she unknowingly elbowed me repeatedly in her sleep).

God doesn’t need “me” time. He doesn’t need a break from us. He doesn’t need a nap, need a break, need a cup of coffee. He’s always there, by our side, willing to do what He knows we need and be Who we need Him to be.

The girls and I have been listening to Everybody, Always (for kids) by Bob Goff on audio (read by him, which makes it even better). There’s a chapter where he talks about one of his kids who likes to skydive, and so he secretly took lessons to learn and told his son the next time he went skydiving to invite him to watch. Instead of just observing, he strapped on a parachute…much to the shock of his son…and assured him he’d be fine–how hard could it be? When it came time to jump, Bob talks about seeing his son leap out of an airplane and he had an overwhelming urge to be with him. He jumped so hard he literally jumped out of his sneakers. That kind of love–jumping out of your sneakers to be with someone–is one I know a lot of you have experienced, and I love knowing that amount of love is just a drop in the bucket compared to the love He feels for you.

So as I write this tonight, in an actual comfortable chair instead of the hard plastic one in the hospital, I’m so very thankful to rest in the knowledge of His love. To have experienced His indescribable peace. I have friends right now who are dealing with illness, looking at upcoming surgeries for themselves or their kids, or are sitting in a hospital room. My prayer is that you would feel him wrap His arms around you in His overwhelming love. If there’s a way I can pray for you, please feel free to drop me a line through this site or email me at kait@cultivatingabundantlife.com

And know that like in 2 Chronicles 20, the battle belongs to Yahweh. We pray, get prepared, and worship, and He takes care of the battle.

Tatum this past week earning her Bat badge in our homeschool group
Writing

Pre-Kid Kait

At the beginning of this month I, like millions of others, set about making some resolutions. As I wrote down things I wanted to do more in general (or less in general) a picture started taking shape.

  • Write more often. Privately. Publicly. Getting it down on paper or screen.
  • Play the guitar more often (and learn to play the ukelele better).
  • Do yoga everyday (so far I’ve only had a few days where I did absolutely nothing…most days I at least do a few things to wake up or with the kids).
  • Continue to get my body into better shape (hey, 20 pounds lighter than last year–this is one resolution I’m just continuing to keep!) so I can keep up with these munchkins. And climb mountains. And rock climb. And kayak. And snorkel. And maybe try surfing again when we get to a beach this year.
  • Have more adventures. More camping. More exploring. More time outside.

The things I was wanting to do more of weren’t new things, per say. They were things I did more of before the advent of those smallish people in my life.

I love personality quizzes. Florence Littauer, Gary Smalley, Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, colors, gems…I love ’em all! What I like is when there’s a question you’re having a hard time deciding between, is that many of them suggest to think about what you were like as a child. (Hopefully) before you had to make any hard life choices or have any do-what-you-have-to-do-to-survive experiences.

As a kid I was down for adventures. Somehow I managed to talk my parents into letting me go to Florida and Venezuela as a 12 year old (had my 13th birthday there) for 5 weeks!

img_2090
This is the morning I left for Florida/Venezuela…my dad was thrilled

When I was 6 or 7 I read in a kids magazine that leopards were being hunted for their fur, so naturally I made a sign and sat in my driveway protesting the killing of leopards to whoever drove by…our cul-de-sac. I always had some new idea, some place I wanted to go…I read Into Thin Air when I was eleven and fantasized about climbing Everest. I realize now my childhood dream to be a missionary was really more about getting to travel than anything more noble.

I wrote. A lot. Stories, poems, thoughts, lists…before the commonplace of the computer screen I wrote on lined paper and stapled it together to make books. Getting something typed up was a laborious effort and I treasured the printed results–with wite-out and ball point pen markups over the type.

In high school and college I really got the travel bug with repeat trips to Romania, all over the UK, Ireland, Italy, and lots of US trips thrown in there. Throw in a week-long backpacking trek in the Grand Canyon, kayaking in Mexico, and learning to rock climb and subsequently practice yoga and there was no turning back.

In the crush of people outside Buckingham Palace during the Changing of the Guard

And if you followed along in 2008, I wrote Your Morning Cup. Little happenings to keep connected to family and friends, but also a journal in some sorts…sort of like this 😉

So in the past few years, I’ve found my primary personality trait–the red, choleric, lion, ruby, ENTP-A, however you want to classify it–has stayed the same. But removed from the things I love doing, that I feel are what make me ME, my secondary traits shifted from sanguine (blue, fun, otter, sapphire) to melancholy (green, planner, beaver, emerald). I had three kids in five years–I was/am in survival mode. We moved across the country, bought a house, started new jobs, started other new jobs, lost a job, started another new job. I’ve been homeschooling for two years full-time (4 years part-time). I run a business with a whole new group of lifelong friends. We started a Life Group. To say we’re busy is an understatement!

But as the months tick by…you know, where I’m not nursing every few hours, only one is in diapers full-time, Matt’s job is secure, and my business is beginning to take on a life of it’s own…I’m finding I might have some breathing room for the things I love. Littles now will get their own ukuleles if I pull out my guitar (rather than insist on playing mine). I can leave my laptop on the counter and write in spurts between snacks and potty help and playtime. They enjoy doing yoga with me, and we unroll 3 yoga mats on a regular basis to wake our bodies up or quiet them down before bed. They all really enjoy the child watch at our YMCA so I get to exercise AND shower (how awesome is that?). And now that we’re on the precipice of leaving bottles and cribs behind and naps are a bit more flexible, it’s getting that much easier to load up Big Brutus (as the girls have dubbed him) and explore.

There’s hope! Not that these little years have been bad by any means! Don’t misread that! They’ve just been hard. It’s hard to feel like the shower you take at 2 in the morning counts as “me time.” It’s maddening to hear the words “itsy bitsy spidah?!” repeated 11, 837 times. There’s a lot of estrogen in this house, and to a tomboy like me it’s a lot to process (there’s no crying in baseball!). Trying to find time to connect with my soulmate while not doing the some of the things that originally connected us (being in the great outdoors…love you Oklahoma but we’ve been incredibly spoiled by California and Washington…) has been a challenge (thank God we’re both foodies!). These have been beautiful, sweet, stretching years. But now we’re able to come up for a little air and reevaluate things.

And so I sat back and looked at my New Years Resolutions, and realized that–for a lot of it–I was aiming to get back to Pre-Kid Kait. Just modified. Pre-Kid Kait 2.0, or Post-Kid Kait who’s going to be more awesome than ever. Lately I’ve been re-taking a few personality tests and that sanguine, fun, otter trait is once again secondary. And I hope that whatever passions my kids exhibit now and in the near future–that I nurture those passions like my parents did with me. I still have the Life Magazine book titled “The Greatest Adventures of All Time” that my parents put in my stocking for Christmas in 2000, because to me it was validation that those instincts in me–to adventure, explore, seek out–were good. Were worth pursuing.

And so, in a roundabout way I guess this really is about my kids (isn’t everything?). That me reconnecting with the things that resonate with my core will help me encourage those passions I see budding in my kids. That they, like me, will be able to grow up secure in the knowledge that God placed certain desires in them, and I’m there to help them in any way I can. And because they will emulate what they see, I want them to see a woman who does what she loves–and (surprise!) she can do it as a mama if she wants. Those are New Years Resolutions worth pursuing.

My mom used to tell me, “If you want to be a ditch digger, I’ll buy you the best shovel.”

Here’s to using my shovel.

Adventures, Family culture

Zoo Day(s)

It’s times like this weekend I’m reminded how very blessed I am to be a mama to three such unique and wonderful girls.

Tatum is becoming more independent and adventurous. She used to worry about running to the mailbox while I stood at the open door watching her. Yesterday I asked her to grab the picnic blanket from the stroller while we were sitting in the elephant presentation area (I could see her the whole time and it wasn’t more than 25 feet away), but whereas before it would have taken a lot of reassurance that I could see her the whole time and it was ok, she chirped, “Sure!” and hopped down, ran to grab it, and came back waving at the zoo employee who was showing people to their seats. Sometimes I have to remind her I don’t need an additional parent, but then she’s a great help to me at the same time. She and Tatum play together a LOT, and she has a special place for Bennett–helping her out and trying to carry her around (she’s 30 pounds!) She’s learning so fast–reading things we haven’t even touched in phonics! She is THE big sister, and enjoys that role.

Kenna has become very much a mama’s girl the past couple of weeks. Maybe it’s a phase, because my once “jump first, think later” wild one now has a meltdown if I leave her sight. Heaven forbid I run an errand without her. That’s ok, I think this phase might be fleeting so I’ll take it. She is learning to play with Bennett, and it’s becoming more common to hear them squealing with laughter together. She is very much about HER space, though. HER shelves. HER bed. HER toys. I get it, it’s got to be hard to have a big sister who gets a loft bed and shelf far above the reaches of the baby, and here you have to put up with the meddling on the ground floor. She is ridiculously adorable. When I took her hair down from these buns she looked in the mirror and giggled, “Mama, my hair is wiggly!” It’s a good thing she’s so cute, so that when she calls from her bed at 11 pm that she has to go potty, and afterwards pipes “Pank you!” as she skips to bed your heart skips with her.

My Bennett Rae–Bennie Boo at the moment (her nicknames change a lot).  She is also going through an attached-to-mama-at-the-hip phase. This morning when Matt asked if she wanted eggs she said yes so he cooked them up, but when it came time to leave my lap to eat she wouldn’t have any of it. She loves to be sung “Bye-o Bye-o Baby” and if I don’t sing it she will–and pat me with her chubby little hands. She is obsessed with Roy and Peek (the cat) and pretty much any animal. She fell in love with a full page picture of a bison in a Backpacker magazine, and I accidentally said “buffalo” first and then corrected it to “bison.” Well, BUFF-a-whoa it is and she loves them. Today we got to see them up close and personal at the zoo, and I bought a hat with the outline of a bison on it…it’s now an ongoing war between me saying “bison” and Matt saying “buffalo” and so far he’s winning. Bennie is fiercely independent, want to do everything her sissies do, and is a world of toddler contradictions wrapped up in ridiculous cheeks and cuteness.

These girls, they are more challenging and stretching than I could have ever imagined. More exhausting and repeating (oh my gosh, the repeating) than I could have anticipated. But more fun and adorable than I know what to do with.

We headed to the zoo on the first warmer day all week–I’m all about there being no bad weather only bad clothing, but when it feels like it’s below zero we just don’t have the gear to play outside long in that. So all week we were only outside in short spurts and then headed inside to warm ourselves by the fire. So walking around outside for hours felt glorious.
We finally saw the elephant presentation, too! We’ve been coming to the zoo since Tatum was a baby and have never made it to one! I love elephants, and so do the girls…so imagine my surprise when they were far more interested in snack time and asking when we could walk through the big cat forest than actually watching the elephants 10 feet in front of them. After asking repeatedly “Anyone want to get a picture with the elephants?” I gave up and got one of myself, because I could have sat there and watched them all day!The Oklahoma Zoo (and Edmond in general) have a ton of bronze statues throughout, and the girls always love climbing on them if they’re not too hot. Tatum hopped right up on the goose but Kenna…well…she was a little fearful after I put her up there.

My middle girl also seems to be a bit sensitive to smells–note the nose holding? Yeah, she did that a lot. Here we’re just looking at a caracal–a type of cat–not exactly stinky monkeys.

Last stop was the children’s area petting zoo. Fun fact–the goats are all named after towns in Oklahoma! This is Dewey, and we learned he is a glory hog, like to be up on the bench, and if you sit down he thinks he’s a lap goat and will snuggle right on up to you! I didn’t quite catch it, but he and Tatum were definitely having a snuggle fest!

And of course my animal-lover Bennie was in heaven. She thinks every animal is like her Roy and she can just get in their face and love on them, lay on their side, and basically OWN them. Even our outside cat, Peek, lets her treat him like this…yeah we might have to work on that. Thankfully these goats and sheep were pretty used to crazy toddlers and took it in stride.

Matt got home that afternoon from a trip to Portland, and brought the girls a board game book–with dice attached! They played a few rounds together for a fun family night.

The next day we wanted to get outside as a family and debated where to go…but sorry for the newsflash but Oklahoma in January is…brown. Every park or lake we talked about going to just didn’t seem worth the trip…so we headed back to the zoo! I have to say, watching your kids get really excited about an animal is pretty darn fun. Bennett loved the owls, the house mouse, the weasel that was running around like he had a touch of OCD, and of course the bison (BUFF-a-whoa!).

Tatum and Kenna got an up close view of a rattlesnake who was checking them out….

He followed their fingers and they played a game to see who he would follow the most.

Note Kenna’s nose holding…

And we got to look at the fur of a black bear up close as he hibernated. Bennett refuses to look at the camera…

It was so nice to be outside in the warm sunshine and cool wind, and even though there was a toddler meltdown on the way home it was totally worth it.

We may not be traveling just yet, but we have made it a priority to have more family adventures… Even if that’s just a trip to the local zoo.

Adventures, Family culture

A Quiet Morning

My mom and grandma took all three girls to play today…and I’m sitting in a perfectly quiet house drinking a cup of coffee that is actually hot. Pinch me.

What do I start with?

Devotions which should normally take 15 minutes but usually stretch into 2 hours with all the interruptions and tears and “Mama–look-s” and three kids who suddenly act like they’re in the middle of the Sahara and if they don’t get a drink of water right NOW they’re liable to faint? Or do I tackle my desk–a standing desk I built and one of two places in the main living area Bennett can’t reach (yet) so everything gets dumped there? Or get some oily work done–sending samples to people I love, getting my January newsletter written (oops), or setting up a Boot Camp for people ready to make an income? Fold the 2 loads of laundry waiting? Shower?

The choices are overwhelming, so I read a chapter of The More of Less by Joshua Becker.

It’s a book on minimalism, but before you scoff at the idea of 3 kids having 3 toys and Matt and I pared down to a toothbrush and yoga mat, listen to his definition:

Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we value and the removal of anything that distracts us from them.

I like that. I can do that. My definition of minimalism will differ from yours.

As I start this process of going through our home, I am figuring out what to get rid of now, what to get rid of once we sell our home (adios couch), what to put in storage, what to move to my parent’s house, and what to take on the road. That’s a lot of lists! And what feels like not a lot of time! The good news is, these are all self-imposed deadlines.

So I guess I’ll stop my rambling here and start where Becker suggests. Making a list of why I want to minimize our possessions, and what goals I want to accomplish. Drink a fresh cup of coffee. And tackle this desk. And probably shower. Good plan.

Do you practice a minimalist lifestyle? What resources have you found helpful?

Family culture, Parenting-thing, Uncategorized

Mamahood is…

Mamahood is knowing exactly how to hand your four-year-old a banana so she doesn’t see the tiny blemish.

Mamahood is not leaving your house all day except to check the mail but by the end of the day your feet hurt.

Mamahood is using your toddler’s bottle of milk from the fridge for cream in your coffee.


Mamahood is not being able to stop your toddler from going fishing in the dog bowl with her bath toys because you’re pumping and don’t want milk to get everywhere.

Mamahood is weighing 13 different contributing factors when your kid asks if they can play with play-doh. Factors include the distance between meals, their level of energy, their level of rascaliness (I’m sure that’s a word), how clean the house is, and whether or not you were planning on vacuuming the second time that day.

Mamahood is bouncing your baby until your biceps are sore praying they’ll nod off, and then missing their snuggles when they’re asleep. 


Mamahood is deciding what’s for dinner based on how much energy you have for cleanup.

Mamahood is throwing impromptu dance parties just because it’s Wednesday. 

Mamahood is perfecting your band-aid rule book. 

Mamahood is letting them play in the backyard paddling pool and deciding they are clean enough for bed.


Mamahood is wearing nine different shirts in a day when your baby is on a spit up spree.

Mamahood is having your eyes water every time your baby laughs because it’s so beautiful you can’t take it. 

Mamahood is eyeballing the bench at the gym trying to decide if it is wide enough to nap on. 

Mamahood is working so so hard to ensure enough boredom for them to be creative.

Mamahood is magic kisses and hugs that heal the hurt.