Category Archives: Everything Else

Liebster Award Winner

Liebster Award:

If you haven’t heard of the Liebster Award, it’s pretty much a way that bloggers help connect their readers with other great blogs. It is really more of an online blogging chain letter than anything else, but I’m excited to participate, and look forward to following the chain that continues from my nominees!

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Thank you so much EatMyScience for passing the nomination to me! (and my apologies for taking so long to respond; I admit I was a little overwhelmed)! I appreciate you taking the time to give me a shout-out! I am blogging my little heart out and really appreciate when anyone notices my efforts. Jadie, I am so amazed that your blog is so new, it is really beautifully done. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

Here are my answers to your  questions:

Questions:

  • What was the moment of inspiration that motivated you to start your blog?

I guess it was a long time coming. I had blogged casually and sporadically but my mother always told me I should write professionally. Then a few of my friends really encouraged me to work on my own brand rather than just contributing to other blogs. Finally I reached the tipping point of motivation and confidence and took the leap.

  • What is your favorite post that you have written so far? Give us a link!

This is one of my favorite posts because it really takes me back to the chaos and craziness that was the first few years of parenting twins. It also reminds me of how much better things are now and that my current challenges will one day be funny memories (hopefully).

  • List a few of your favorite blogs.

www.franishtheblog.com/
http://sheaffertoldmeto.com/
www.unfancy.com

  • What is your favorite thing about writing/blogging?

I love how writing clears my head and it just feels like what I am supposed to be doing. Also, I love knowing other folks are reading my thoughts! That’s a good feeling.

  • What goals do you have for your blog in the next year?

So many goals! I would like to figure out more about design and improve the flow of my blog. I really, really want to work on my photography and photo editing skills. I need to figure out my niche a little better.

  • If you could start another blog, what would the topic be?

Maybe a blog exclusively about twin stories and twin parenting tips! My problem is that my memory is so foggy about that exhausting time that I may not be able to remember any of my own tips!

  • What advice would you give other new bloggers?

I am not sure I should be giving advice yet, but one of the most important tips I have is to proofread your blog! Spelling mistakes can ruin a good post!

  • What are your hobbies other than blogging?

Do you count being woken up ridiculously early by the same kid every day and drinking way too much coffee to make it to sunrise? I also love crafts when I have the time and shopping whether I have time or not.

  • What is your favorite food?

Coffee is my favorite thing to consume, but if I have to pick food I would probably say cheesecake. With a cup of coffee.

  • And finally, what is one random thing about your life that you think your readers would like to know?

I have GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder). Rather than saying I have Anxiety, I like to call myself a worse-case-scenario enthusiast. If you would like me to provide you with a worse case scenario for any given situation, just email me. It’s a natural gift.

I am always early. I feel like folks may think this is because I am super uptight (and hey, I kind of am, see above). But I really just hate being stressed, and running late makes me stressed. I have found that I can avoid stress by always leaving early so that’s what I do. Since I leave early, I always arrive early.

I am not athletic at all. But I was a green belt in karate and I did once break a concrete block with my hand. I don’t really care about goals or baskets or points or teams, but kicking a guy in the crotch is very liberating.

Sorry. I see that I gave you three facts instead of ten. Over-sharer.

 

Nominees:

Finally, I get to pick my own Nominees. Here they are!

1. Caroline Ganahl

2. Grace Enough

3. Creed of Man

4. Refurbish360

Now, here’s what ya’ll have to do. That is, if you want to. I totally understand if you aren’t up for spending a couple hours of time on this post!

  1. Thank the blog that nominated you on a post and in your blog.
  2. Answer the questions asked by the blog that nominated you.
  3. Nominate 4-11 other new bloggers.
  4. Create 10 new questions for the nominees to answer.
  5. Notify all nominees via social media.

Here are the Official Rules of the Liebster Award, along with lots of graphics. 

My questions for my nominees are:

If you could pick one person in the world to read your blog, who would it be?

What is your favorite book of all time?

What’s your favorite post of all you have written (have to copy this one from Jadie!)?

What is the hardest thing about blogging?

What’s a topic you’ve wanted to blog about, but haven’t yet?

I guess that’s it! Thanks again for reading, thank you Jadie for nominating me, and thank you nominees for letting me pick you even if I didn’t ask ahead of time.

praise of his glorious grace

 

Ephesians 1

 

It’s all about the Praise of His Glorious Grace! Read more from Ephesians 1


praise of his glorious graceEphesians 1

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God’s holy people in Ephesus,[a] the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he[b] predestined us for adoption to sonship[c] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purposeof his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Thanksgiving and Prayer 

15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”

 

Ephesians 1 is what I am reflecting on for the month of June. I will never forget one of my dearest friends and teachers explaining how Ephesians 1 answers so many questions we may have as Christians. It’s important to understand that God’s ultimate goal is to glorify Himself….and if we can’t understand that or accept it we aren’t even beginning to grasp His Holiness. Last week our church had a message based on the passage and it has been on my heart all week.

Why am I here?  I exist to praise “His glorious grace” and point others towards that grace. When I forget that, I become dissatisfied and bitter. When I forget that, I find myself lost and afraid. When I forget that, I expect from others what I should be accepting from God’s open hand. When I re-align myself with Ephesians 1, I find clarity and peace.

Just for Women: Part 2

I mentioned in Part 1 that I have become a loyal convert to reusable feminine care solutions. I am so much happier dealing with “that time of the month” since I switched from disposable products. My first menstrual cup was the Diva Cup and it was revolutionary for me. However, recently I have been searching for something that would work a little better for me, and I am excited to share about it now!

FemmyCycle was kind enough to send me a free reusable cup to test and honestly review. I did not receive any compensation for this review, nor did I commit to writing anything other than my honest opinion about the product. Luckily, my honest review turns out to be very positive!

Here’s why I was really excited to try the Femmy Cycle. It has the largest capacity of any cup I could find. Also, it comes in three different sizes which includes a low cervix version. Finally, it has a unique leak proof design that no other cup offers. A few other things that make it different from the others: it’s softer, cleaning instructions do not suggest boiling, and it’s suggested lifespan is only two years.

Down to the details:

Is it comfortable? YES. I found it more comfortable by far than others I have used.

Is it easy to use? After practice, sure. Like most products in this category, it does have a learning curve.

Is it effective? For me, VERY. Performance was better for me than anything else I have used. Keep in mind that every woman is different, so results may vary.

Does the spill-proof feature work? To my amazement, YES.

I really like the FemmyCycle and will continue using it. I do think that the design makes it a little trickier to learn for a first-timer, but I think it’s a great option for those who have trouble with other cups or just need better protection. I’m not sure why it would need to be replaced every two years, when other cups’ suggested life span are closer to a decade. It’s slightly pricey compared to other versions on the market, but most of us can overlook the cost which is minimal over the life of the product. Women should be aware of all their options, and FemmyCycle is a great one!

FemmyCycle was kind enough to send me a free reusable cup to test and honestly review. I did not receive any compensation for this review, nor did I commit to writing anything other than my honest opinion about the product. Luckily, my honest review turns out to be very positive!

Dear Target,

Dear Target,

Yep, it’s me, your old friend Leah. I remember shopping at your store when I was a little girl, before you got your makeover and became the trendy discount alternative that you are today. When I got married, I registered at Target. When I had babies, I registered at Target. My Target card is the only store credit card I own. The cartwheel App is on my IPhone and I share Target deals on Facebook frequently. When I was a bleary-eyed mama to baby twins and could barely put one foot in front of the other, I clicked their Graco carseats (from Target) into their stroller (from Target) and I went to Target. My fussy babies seemed distracted by the bright colors and friendly voices. Somehow I felt like my life would go back to normal, as I did something normal with all the other normal folks pushing their red carts from aisle to aisle.

Target

It became a joke on the weekends that my husband just knew he would end up having to go with me there for one thing or the other. I have reviewed and raved about your store brands (your baby wipes are the only ones I will use), I have blogged about my love for your company and I’ve snapped selfies of myself as I enjoy a blissful child-free trip to your store. Your store associates know me, my house is full of white and red handled bags, and my children can navigate your toy department better than some of the employees. And all that was before you added a Starbucks.

I am not alone. Target has become the retail home away from home for many enthusiastic shoppers, and a particular favorite for moms. I constantly run into friends at Target. I have always felt catered to, appreciated, and included at your store. I love you, Target!

When I saw your announcement about the bathroom policy this week, I felt like I had been slapped in the face. Slapped in the face by a friend, no less. A place I had felt welcomed, a place beloved and familiar had just made a change that would alienate thousands of their loyal customers. This has nothing to do with politics or even religion. It is just about common decency, common sense, and public safety. I have no problem sharing a bathroom with a transgender woman. I’ll pass her the paper towels just like I will for any other woman. But opening the bathroom door to male or female regardless of biological sex based on their claim of identity is dangerous.

I had just started letting my nine year old girls go together into some bathrooms, but I am still nervous. Strangers are strangers after all, male or female. With the protected opportunity of entering a female public restroom you are giving a gift to the community; the predator community, which is sadly much larger than the transgender community. Now every customer is vulnerable. Any crime that is committed in a Target dressing room or bathroom will be clouded with confusion because the space is now virtually unisex. There is no way of gauging a person’s motives or thoughts and now it will be harder to prove the guilt of any man because he has been invited to a space where women and children are most vulnerable.  The countless women who have been sexually assaulted and abused by men will now feel like they are being victimized all over again during a simple shopping trip. In effort to show compassion and inclusion to a few, you have alienated a huge group of parents and women. I hope it’s worth it.

I have never participated in a boycott and I didn’t expect to, but this issue is too big, too dangerous to ignore. I will be going to Target today. I will be returning the merchandise that I have at home brand new and unused. I will be deleting my cartwheel app. I will be cutting up my RedCard. I will have to explain to my children why we may be shopping at Walmart, which none of us will enjoy.

Dear Target, I love you. I will even forgive you. But I can’t be around you when you are making such dangerous life choices. Please write if you change your mind.

Sincerely,

Leah Prescott

Just for Women: Part 1

TMI ahead: If you are a guy, or squeamish, or not open to, well, open-ness, you might want to stop here. WARNING: THIS POST IS NOT ABOUT CHOCOLATE. (The truth is, I crave chocolate all month long, not just at that “particular time”, but there is a traditional association with chocolate and a women’s menstrual cycle so I went with it.) You have been duly warned.

I have always had a miserable time with my period. The medical consensus is that I probably have endometriosis or a similar condition that causes severe and extended symptoms. It’s not a fun time (and it lasts a long time). I decided years ago that I was going to find the absolute best menstrual solutions. I stubbornly believe women (or any consumer really) shouldn’t be satisfied with sub-par products simply because they are mainstream. So if there was something better out there, in the name of Aunt Flo, I wanted to know about it!

I’m here to tell you, over the last decade I have tried it all: multiple brands and types of disposable pads and tampons, disposable menstrual cups, several different reusable menstrual cups, and multiple brands of reusable pads. Now, every woman is different and we all have different needs. But my experience has been that reusable options are DRAMATICALLY better than their disposable counterparts.

Years ago, I switched to a reusable menstrual cup and I would never, ever go back. It’s more comfortable, convenient and reliable. It offers substantial financial savings and less risk of TSS. It’s easier to store and travel with (one small item rather than a big box of supplies). It’s a wonderful choice from an environmental perspective. There have been many concerns about traditional disposable products and I have decided I am much more comfortable with medical grade silicone than bleached cotton blends that could cause irritation or even encourage bleeding. There are truly more benefits than I have time to list. The only negatives that I can think of are 1) there is a learning curve and it may require some practice and 2) you sometimes have to shop around to find the right product, which can be pricey. You will still be saving a ton, though! Check out this post at Bargain Babe that talks about the possible financial savings of reusable feminine care products!

I want all of my friends to know about ALL of the options and I am happy to answer any questions you may have; just email me at leahprescott@gmail.com. I am happy to point you toward resources that will give more info about the different products available. In Part 2, I will share a review of a product I am so excited to share with you. I have been given a FemmyCycle Cup for testing and review and I can’t wait to tell you about my experience. It has all the benefits I love plus some innovative features and options that are brilliant!

Sibling Day

Sunday was Sibling Day, and on that day my sister and her husband gave me an unexpected gift. They let me join them for the birth of my nephew. It was a scary, sweet, and breathtaking moment that I will never forget. The experience gave me a new appreciation for almost EVERYONE. I appreciated my mama, for going through that four times. I appreciated my dad for being with her and caring for her. I appreciated my sister for letting me step into that private moment and for her amazing strength and calm. I appreciated her husband for being there for her with so much love. Also, my appreciation for my husband is magnified because I truly didn’t understand the enormity of experiencing childbirth as the support person (I wasn’t even in that role myself, just observing it really). Now I understand a little bit better how that must feel.

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I am sure I will soon post again about my sweet nephew Han. I am overwhelmed with amazement. He is so precious, beautiful, smart and strong. I am also amused at my desire to tell everyone, even strangers, about this new addition to our family. (I have seen this second hand, but never experienced this myself.) Happy Birth week, dear baby Han! And thank you Caroline for the best sibling gift ever!

Flashback Friday

Once in awhile, it’s productive to remind yourself of your own past. In my case, it’s encouraging to remember that however chaotic today is, I’ve gotten through worse. Here’s a description I wrote of a normal day in our lives about four years ago; back before my son came on the scene….back when diapers were double…..back when I still thought I could win the battle against clutter in our home…..and before I surrendered to the inevitability of takeout on the weekly menu. It still makes me laugh, and cringe a little. It also makes me miss those two little curly heads that have grown into big girls with even more curls.

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There isn’t enough Prozac or Febreze to fix this terrible, awful, horrible, no-good, very bad day.

Why, oh WHY is it times when I have my sights set SO high on getting SO much done that the entire world seems against me? Let’s go chronologically, shall we…

6:00 AM Psychotic beagle wakes me up, running around the room for no apparent reason. Take off her collar so it will stop jingling, then put her on my bed, which is typically off limits. She proceeds to jump up and down and run around the house so that I cannot fall asleep.

6:35 AM I fall back asleep finally, right before the girls wake up, grumpy as usual.

6:50 AM Try to entice the girls with TV, but wind up having to fix breakfast and spinelessly give in to feeding them in the living room. I feel like I have already compromised my values and I haven’t even had my coffee yet.

7:30 AM Since things are already on a downward spiral, it seems like the appropriate time to prepare for the inevitable Walmart trip.

9:30 AM We’re finally ready to go. Leave front door.

9:45 AM Leave drive-way. Yes, it does take that long, I swear. Have you ever tried to carry two toddlers to the car along with their accompanying accessories while simultaneously blocking a headstrong beagle from escaping the front porch? It’s no wonder I have tendonitis. In both wrists.

10:00 AM I have a love/hate relationship with Walmart, I really do. I mean, I even worked there for awhile and I have found some great deals. Besides, where else can you find lawn furniture, pizza crust and diapers all under the same roof in the middle of the night?  However, in the huge, vast Super Walmart there are only two, count them, TWO double carts. Thought I was lucky to find one then realized it was soaking wet. Get cart dried off, then realize straps are broken. Too late to back out now. The girls ride standing in the front of the double cart. Do NOT try this at home.

10:15 AM Tell the girls 27 thousand times to not stand on the seat. Stand on the floor of the little front cart car thingy. DO NOT STAND ON SEAT.

10:45 AM Criss-cross ginormous store finding about half of the items I actually needed, forgetting the other half. Remind twins DO NOT STAND ON SEAT.

11:00 AM Spend 15 minutes locating a manager to politely suggest, ask, then desperately beg, that the store “invest” in at least 2 working double carts. At this point, I’ve clearly abandoned all self-respect, not to mention publicly admitting I’m a frequent Walmart customer. Manager looks at me as if I am a little OCD and then asks how old they are. “UMmmmm. Old enough to need to be buckled into a cart, and not old enough to walk along side it.” Old enough to realize that a store this size NEEDS more double carts!

11:15 AM Unload groceries, get kids into house, take incessantly barking dog outside, try to start chopping veggies to put in crock pot for soup. Turn around and the twins have sprinkled flour on roughly half of the contents of our pantry, and generously dusted themselves as well. Close door on pantry and try to forget that. Wasn’t that door supposed to have a child lock?

12:00 PM Give girls lunch, realize (once it is too late) that all ingredients will not fit into the crock pot. (At the time of this writing, I had not yet discovered the Instant Pot. Clearly this entire story would have gone differently if I that were not the case.) Recipe is probably now ruined as I haphazardly scoop out “half” of the ingredients.

12:10 PM Naively decide it is a good time to clean out fridge, so pull out most of fridge stuff all over the kitchen which is already covered in groceries, half chopped soup ingredients removed from pot and flour. Decide I should either clean out fridge much more often, or never.

12:25 PM Girls have taken applesauce and milk and made a paste that is now coating chairs and table, and their flour-dredged dresses, which, might I add, were new until today. Scarlet cries because I refuse to replace milk she has deliberately poured all over kitchen.

12:30 PM Clean girls off, strip dirty clothes. Sophia wails because I will not let her continue living in filthy dress. Trash can is starting to smell from fridge which is still open and half scrubbed out. Counter is now covered in empty cans, choppings, half of ruined soup and the contents of fridge.

12:40 PM Something SMELLS. BEAGLE HAS POOPED IN LIVING ROOM. The girls are screaming and gagging in horror, still naked. Fridge remains open, food is all over kitchen. Applesauce/Milk paste is covering furniture. It gets worse.

12:45 PM Realize too late that BEAGLE HAS stepped in poop and tracked it on rug and floor. Capture beagle and cage her, while telling her of all the places she could live that would make me quite happy, realizing all the while that I will now have to bathe beagle and clean cage. DD1 starts crying because apparently, she has wet her diaper and that just CANNOT WAIT. Clean poop off of floor, apply carpet cleaner to rug and search in trepidation for more.

1:00 PM Take girls to bedroom, change them, dress them and put them in bed for nap. Sigh in relief, start to leave bedroom. See poop-covered Croc (Croc Mammoth OF COURSE) in corner and realize the poop has now been theoretically spread from living room, down hall, and into girls’ room, covering throw rugs, laminate floor, and carpeting in its journey.

1:15 PM Cook chicken pot pie, fattiest food item I could find in freezer and eat it with a taboo Mt. Dew. Slowly come to accept reality that we must now move to get away from the omnipresent poop.

It’s crystal clear that getting off Prozac was a huge mistake.