Proper Prenatal Nutrition For the Super Crunchy Pregnant Ladies

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Nutrition is paramount to me.  Nutrition while pregnant is bordering on being as necessary as the air I breath.  

I am taking a boat load of supplements. 


When finances aren’t as tight, I will add a greens supplement such as alfalfa, moringa, and/or spirulina and start drinking “pregnancy tea” every day. 

In the meantime, this is what I start my day out with.  

  • Dehydrated grass fed liver pills
  • Omega vitamins
  • MTHFR approved prenatal vitamins
  • 40mg of Prozac (blah!)
  • Garden of Life probiotic

Depending on how my day is going, I try to split it up into taking them twice a day.  I do have a 3 year old, though, so most of the time I’m trying to choke it down in one gulp. 

The grass fed liver pills are super nutrient dense.  I actually buy these at the farmer’s market, but I’ve known many people that buy a liver, chop it up into bite size pieces, freeze it (for at least 14 days to ensure that any parasites are killed) and then swallow the pieces like pills.  

This will benefit me in one of two ways (hopefully).  With my first, my iron was low and I had to take a prescription supplement that made me feel miserable.  It made me nauseous AND constipated.  I definitely don’t want a repeat of that. 

Secondly, I suffered from low milk supply with both of my babies.  This can be caused by a nutrient deficiency in the first trimester.  That’s why I also want to add a green supplement like I mentioned above.  In the interim, though, grass fed liver actually has a similar nutrient profile to the greens I listed.  

I used donor milk to supplement my second baby, and hope to be so blessed this time around as well.  We are planning on buying a deep freeze and finding a donor early on so we can use the breastmilk at a similar age range as our baby.  I have already put out a couple of requests on local milk donor boards.  If you happen to know someone who has a good milk supply and a newborn, I would love to chat with them! 

I use the Seeking Health Optimal Fish Oil supplement in addition to the Seeking Health Optimal Prenatal.  I chose these because I likely have MTHFR, which these are designed for individuals that have this genetic mutation.  Epigenetics is a blog post on its own, so I will just touch briefly on it.  This genetic anomaly was likely turned on within my DNA due to inadequate nutrition throughout my early years.  As a result, some nutrients aren’t properly absorbed by my body.  This impacts baby by also causing the same genetic mutation.  Once it is turned on in the mother, the only way to turn it off in your child is to ensure proper prenatal nutrition.  One of the tell tale signs of MTHFR in newborns is tongue tie.  Both of my kids are tongue tied.  I am as well.  

Most prenatal vitamins contain folic acid, which is actually detrimental to those with MTHFR.  It is assumed that approximately 40% of the population have MTHFR, however, this is new research and still isn’t widely accepted in the medical field – (in the same way that gut health still isn’t widely accepted as a link to neurological health, also new research).  

I have to take my Prozac because it keeps me out of jail.  I really don’t want to be pregnant and in jail.  It probably isn’t healthiest for baby, but me being in jail also probably isn’t healthiest for baby.  Priorities

And, finally, my probiotic.  I like the powdered stuff because I like adding it to plain yogurt.  Plus it’s easy for me to keep a few in my purse in case an upset tummy plagues any one of us while we are out.  A newborn receives all of its intestinal flora from mom, so ensuring that it receives a healthy population of intestinal flora upon birth is crucial for avoiding things like allergies, spit up, colic, etc.  I don’t know that any new mom desires that for baby.  Had I known I could have potentially avoided it in my first two pregnancies, I would have jumped on it.  

I have no guarantee that this will produce the results I want to see, but it’s worth a shot.  When I worked on healing Leif’s allergies and vaccine injuries through nutrition, I had no idea if it would work, but I was desperate enough to try.  I am very pleased with our results.

This time around I am also at my recommended weight and have limited my exposure to toxins since shortly after my second baby was born.  I am very interested to see how this pregnancy is different.  

Wish me luck!  I’ve backed off on rigorous exercise, but am still hiking for at least one hour every other day.  I am considering running twice a week for 4 miles or less until it feels uncomfortable.  I was very physically active with Leif and I do think it benefited him well.  

In the meantime, I had a butterfly sit on my hand for almost 20 minutes today while the toddler was playing.  They are paying our family lots of visits lately. They symbolize transformation, which is very exciting for us! 

The Value of Outdoor Preschool

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Today is the first day of preschool.  


Leif has the privilege of going to one of the first outdoor preschool and kindergarten programs in Nashville.  It is perfect for him since he doesn’t function well inside.  His parents don’t either.  We are both very outdoorsy people.  

My husband grew up in the suburbs but was an avid hunter and fisherman during his teen and early adulthood years, traveling all over the United States for different experiences.  He overcame his drug addiction by hiking the Appalachian Trail.  He followed up with two degrees in Biology, and working in places like The Everglades and Kentucky Lake, where we finally met.  

I grew up out in the middle of nowhere.  I still remember the day we got a Wal-Mart nearby.  It was a 30 minute drive, but the whole community was excited.  

We gardened and rented our land to farmers who raised large animals like cattle, horses, pigs, etc.  They weren’t ours, but I still spent hours roaming about with them in the fields with my dogs.  Anytime I wasn’t in school, I was climbing trees, foraging, or playing in our creek.  Way back on our family land there was even an old settlement with a few cabins and a graveyard.  It took an hour to hike back into it, but occasionally we would go there and picnic as a family.  

I always dreamed of living in the suburbs until I actually lived in the suburbs.  Now I ache for the joy of no neighbors and being surrounded by nature as far as the eye could see, spending hot summer afternoons paddling a canoe along the shore until we spotted the perfect beach to comb and take a dip in.  

When I think about this, it is no wonder that my husband and I found one another.  I wanted a taste of his childhood and he wanted a taste of mine.  Every time I get frustrated with him, I have to remind myself that when we are together, we balance one another in the most perfect of ways.  There almost are no words to describe it.  I embody his growth and he embodies mine.  As long as those are treated as a synergistic spiral of upward growth, our possibilities are endless.  We just must both constantly choose to move forward and learn.  Sometimes that is easier said than done, but having this awareness is a profound gift for our family.  

Today is the first day I have the house to myself in several months.  I have conflicting feelings.  I love the silence.  It is music to an introvert’s ears.  I don’t get silence nearly often enough.  


On the flip side, I already miss my husband and baby.  They both bring me so much joy and comfort just with their presence.  At the same time, I recognize my need for silence for my sake of sanity.  Parenting is also a balancing act.  

This is why I need to get certified in yoga, balance.  

I am happy that despite living in the city, we have so many resources for our children here in creating a healthy reverence for our natural world.  This is something that is still lacking in my generation, although, we are an improvement on the previous generation.  My husband comments on my inherent deep connection to the earth.  I always smile and say, “This is my ancestral land.”  I have a close connection to the Cherokee on both sides of my family just a few generations back.  My husband’s ancestry is entirely European.  I would be interested in seeing him navigating Norway at some point in our lives. 

Growing up in the country, I learned a lot of skills in finding small game, navigation, wild foraging, etc.  This was just a part of our everyday life.  We had such a large tract of land that we just meandered our self made hiking trails to our places of interest.  Along the way, we might gather berries, flowers, or even a couple of rabbits if we were especially hungry.  It was a wonderful thing for a child that desired independence.  

My mother had a signal bell.  She would know where my older brother and father were and if I wanted to join them, she would signal the bell.  She would then send me on my way along the trail I was to take.  My brother and father knew to look for me and if I took too long, they would head along the path to tell me to hurry along.

This knowledge and connection to my earth mother gives me a sense of trust in my intuition that I’m not certain I would otherwise have.  I know that no matter what happens to me, I can live off the land.  I don’t know that many people in this day and age can say that, and it makes me feel sad.  It forces you to be a prisoner of a system that thrives on prisoners.  I can do a lot of what I desire because I am safe in my knowledge and ability to care for myself.  My husband has this same privilege, although, he is a bit more dependent upon tools than I am.  Then again, a big man needs big game, I suppose, and they aren’t as easy to catch with nothing but your hands. 

 

It is very reassuring to me that programs are popping up in the United States that value this connection and foster it in the early years, when the connection is most natural.  I hope that it becomes the norm for our youth with all of my being.  I know it is something I value deeply.  Even my 11 year old, who tries to resist it with all he has, lights up when walking barefoot along a hiking trail.  

Humans are beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.  

When Parents Really ARE Crazy

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On days like today, I think to myself, “you really ARE crazy.”

I woke up shortly after 5am, to Leif having a bloody nose.  He wakes up in a way that there are no words to describe.  I think my mom called it “a cannonball.”  That’s pretty good imagery.  

My children don’t sleep.  Neither of them did.  DJ does now that he is 11, but sleep was always a constant battle.  I’ve read The No Cry Sleep Solution.  I use teas, herbs, detox baths, essential oils, etc.  

This kid still only sleeps 10 hours maximum, which is on the low side of average.  He naps intermittently.  

And, so, this morning, the cannonball was not going back to sleep.  

I made my coffee, put on our rain gear, and took him to the greenway.  We walked for a little over an hour before the fits started rolling in.  At approximately the same time, I had a small bout of nausea as he was screaming, “CARRY ME, MOMMY!”

When he started screaming that the rain was getting in his eyes, I conceded, and carried him back to the car.  

Here it is, nap time for ME, at least, and he isn’t having ANY of it.  

This morning on our rainy walk as the sun rose, my husband said, half-jokingly, “Did you see that article on ‘Have a third kid if…'”

“No,” I said.  I don’t look on the internet much, although it may appear that I do.  Usually it is intermittent scrambles as I’m choking down tea or coffee and trying to not think for a split second in the middle of my day.

“Have a third kid if you’re crazy.  Have a third kid if you hate sleep.  Have a third kid if you don’t like having time for yourself.  Have a third kid if you don’t like having money.”  And then he laughed, quite pleased with himself.

That’s all you can do, really.  Laugh or cry, or better yet, do both.  

My house is a wreck and the midwife is coming next week.  I’m trying to strategize in my head how best to clean it over the weekend while managing a toddler.  Do I forego sleep?  Do I let him “help?”  Do I send him and dad away and do it all myself?

If I’m honest with myself, I realize my husband does a better job of cleaning.  He totally has one upped me in his housewife game on that one.  I love it too.  Cleaning is my arch nemesis.  

Then I’m like, well, Leif, DJ, and I could do something together all weekend.  I immediately feel exhausted.  I miss my housekeeper.  

Nap isn’t happening, because God forbid you rest enough to have joy in this world.  Is this some sort of strange in born trait?  Do some people think, “In this lifetime I shall scream at the top of my lungs because my milk glass isn’t FULL TO THE TOP and completely disregard the real reason for my upset: exhaustion.”

So I sit here, staring at my husband working at the dining room table, beaming that his company decided to switch 99% of their technology to SQL server.  He is a SQL DBA about to be promoted to SQL Architect.  I think that means he goes from database boss to database maximum boss.  I always think of The Matrix when he says this.  That’s as close as my understanding of his field gets.  He follows up, informing me he has to take a business trip to Seattle. 

“They let him work from home,” I remind myself, trying to find my gratitude.

Leif is running around naked.  I have to remind him that we don’t rub our penis on the dog.  He keeps screaming “poop, poop, poop!” at the top of his lungs.  No wonder our neighbors are moving out today after only being here a few months.  I would too.  

I am drinking hot water with lemon.  To deal with my feelings of frustration I over ate.  It was good enough overeating.  You know, sourdough bread and butter and fried eggs.  Comfort food for a harsh day, but pregnancy indegestion was kind enough to kick in.  

I am reading Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide.  I just contacted my mother to see if she would like to help us with Leif during labor and for a week or two afterwards.  She responded that she would love to, but likely can’t take off work.  

I wonder if we should go ahead and hire a labor doula for an extra set of hands.  (If you have any great suggestions, let us know!)

I just sigh.  And sigh again.  Then take a deep breath.  

I may be crazy, but at least I make crazy look good.  THERE is where I can find my gratitude.

How to Parent Your Children Differently in a Culture That Says Difference is Unacceptable

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My name is Chelsi Williamson, and I parent my children differently.  

I think that my culture of parenting is similar in some European and Asian cultures, but definitely not in American culture.  I love looking at parenting culture in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Japan.  I think we would be right at home in these countries. 

With a new bean growing and forming in my womb, these things are at the forefront of my mind.  I have no doubt that this child was conceived in some delicate universal balance, as I feel most children come to fruition from some cosmic space – call it God or what name you are most comfortable with.  

Let’s just be real here, America is in a huge flux, and, well, our culture could use a bit of improvement in my opinion.  I am no expert, but I do have a lot of knowledge and good access to my intuition and faith.  Some restructuring of priorities could be very beneficial, I believe. 

I have some fear about birthing a baby into a country whose future is so unknown, and potentially poised for a profound shift, either good or bad. I cannot say.  

All I can control, though, is my environment, my thoughts, and the peace and love that I continue to try to embody in this world.  I keep seeking like minded families and resources that I can study.  I listen whole heartedly to what speaks to me. 

Today I had my first EMDR session.  If you aren’t familiar with EMDR, it stands for “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.”  It is a type of therapy used to treat post traumatic stress disorder in order to lessen unwarranted physiological responses to stressors.  It is similar in nature to a type of meditation or hypnotherapy which accesses your subconscious trauma in order to reprogram it.

In essence, it assists your brain in releasing trauma from your body.  


It was immensely uncomfortable for me.  I love talking to others about their souls, hopes, prayers, etc., but when it comes to me, I am pretty off limits.  That is why I started this blog.  Vulnerability for myself is extraordinarily difficult.  With as much insight as I have into others, I know that I would have to willingly give of myself, and that will likely not be appreciated as fully as I feel I deserve.  That is what it is to be human today, I believe. But in that, you find the rare gems that see your true beauty for what it is.  I love and appreciate these people in a way that words cannot describe. 

I have learned to talk lightly about my past in a factual, unemotional sense.  I have made the intuitive connections between my past and my current behavior.  I have gone to school for therapy (master of social work), and while working I did lots of trauma focused training.  I have even seen countless therapists over the years, who congratulated me on my ability to link all of the pieces between my past and my present. 

And, yet, the physiological response still occurs.  I have never talked deeply or emotionally about my childhood trauma, until today.  No one has ever asked me pointed, meaningful, digging questions, until today.  

I still struggle to cry in front of others.  I haven’t cried in front of a therapist since my supervisor when I actually WAS a therapist.  I sobbed in every supervision meeting.  Ugly crying.  Hyperventilating wails.  Luckily, this isn’t uncommon for us bunch and she just held space for me.  

I didn’t cry once in my session.  My heart raced and I had a terrible headache the entire time, but I got to my car, turned the ignition, and just started sobbing.  I drove down historical Music Row, blubbering everywhere.  

This is hard.  This journey I have stepped on.  This is stuff I have come to terms with logically, but not physically or spiritually.  It is hitting me at my core.  Deep, deep inside of me in places I have never let anyone in.  Never.  

I am trying to feel safe in the world.  Not just for me, but for my family.  For my husband and for my children.  I want them to know that they are also safe, despite what is reflected in our outer culture.  I want them to know that we are surrounded in love and light because we are in touch with ourselves.

And to impart this message, I have to do this work myself. 

My anxiety is through the roof.  Our finances are tighter than they have been in a very long time.  It seems like unexpected bills are rolling in every day, including my tiny bean growing in my womb.  I am struggling to tap into that feeling of safety and security right now, but I am desperately seeking it.  I am constantly prayerful and hopeful for continued miracles.  My heart, at least, isn’t failing me and is trusting the process like a boss.  


I am researching all of the alternative modes of parenting a newborn, particularly Waldorf focused and based in soul unfoldment.  Both of my children are highly sensitive (The Highly Sensitive Child is a great resource), so being conscious of that reality from birth onward will be interesting.  My Pinterest board is already filled with “strange” baby rearing items.  I’m quite pleased with myself.

  
In the meantime, though, I am curled up in bed, reading “Your Reincarnating Child: Welcoming a Soul to the World,” and truly contemplating the complexities of consciousness.  

Your Super Crunchy Guide to Birth Control

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I’m working on it.

Do you know how hard it is to swallow ten pills at once?  The whole thing is awkward, but it is the only way to take ten pills in one sitting.  If you try to take them one at a time, you will burn through your daily water requirement.  That’s just as awkward and weird feeling. 

Earlier this month I was convinced I was passing a kidney stone.  I had horrible lower back pain, I had to pee all the time, and my sleep was super restless.  Just as quickly as the pain came on, it passed a couple of days later.  I assumed that I must have passed it and just not noticed it.  

This morning I had a surprise that was so shocking I shook for about an hour straight.  My mind was flooded with a hundred thousand different thoughts and I couldn’t make sense out of any of them. 

We went for a family hike to help shake us back to earth.  On that hike, a butterfly landed on my husband and stayed there for about five minutes.  


If you believe in spirit animals, butterflies represent positive transformation.  

I don’t use birth control.  I’m one of those holistic health junky people, remember?  So what do the super crunch use for birth control?  You have a few options:

  • Diaphragm
  • Condom
  • Spermicide 
  • Withdrawal
  • FAM/NFP
  • A combination of any of the above

So, these are the super crunch birth control options.  I have a diaphragm – also awkward.  Very awkward.  And condoms are fine, as long as you aren’t a man.  Apparently men don’t like condoms.  Condom manufacturers should really look into this.  We have spermicide, but my husband is convinced that it will make his sperm genetically mutated and cause him to create a hulk baby, or some other strange human anomaly.  

Withdrawal.  This is actually the method that we use most often in conjunction with FAM/NFP (Fertility Awareness Method/Natural Family Planning).  The clincher, though, is that for withdrawal to work, you know, you have to actually withdraw.  

I love Fertility Awareness Method.  Love it.  All I have to do is take my temperature every morning, chart my fertility signs, and voila.  It’s actually extremely reliable when used correctly: using a non hormonal birth control method when you are fertile.  

I’ve used it since several months prior to Leif’s conception with no issue.  Leif was also a blessing disguised as an “accident.”  Sometimes, will power is a tough thing to really tap into.  Sometimes.

But when you have a toddler throwing fits at least once a day, will power seems to be easier and easier to find.  Thank goodness.  I love him tremendously, but he does require a certain amount of presence that forces many other things to the back burner.  This is just age 3. I don’t think there is any escaping it for any parent.  

Sometimes, though.  Sometimes the method has worked so effectively, you’re like “eh, what’s one more day? There is like a 5% chance.  You’re safe(ish).”  And that risk is chosen.  

But when you are me and when you are my husband, it only requires a 4-5% chance.


I have a knack for unplanned pregnancies.  I swear that somewhere deep in my subconscious I have some strange plan to single handedly repopulate the earth.  

I love my babies SO much, but my logical mind is screaming.  What. The. Actual. Fuck.  Like I’m too old to be having unplanned pregnancies.  Did I not learn my lesson at 17, at 25?  Now at 29? 

We live in a two bedroom apartment.  This would put us at a family of 5 plus a German shepherd.  My shenanigans have resulted in a complete loss of savings and the ability to apply for licensure in social work (until next June).  So work with an income that exceeds the cost of childcare is not an option (yet).  I refuse to go to the hospital for another baby, and almost didn’t with Leif.  When my husband threatened to call an ambulance, I finally agreed to get in the car.  I had a baby about 10 minutes after finishing my triage and paperwork.  This requires an out of pocket expense for a home birth midwife.  We don’t have the support of my in laws, who I always thought we could depend on if some sort of bizarre and unexpected crisis hit us, you know, since they are loaded

My mind keeps going over these things, but in my heart… I love my heart.  I can always count on it.  My mind, not so much.  My heart is overjoyed.  My heart trusts and has faith in the miraculousness of the universe.  My heart says, you are an expert at unplanned blessings now.  You can roll with the punches like a boss.  

I get the true miracle of being a woman, a mother, yet again.  I get to birth another soul into the world.  I get to nurse another precious life with my love.  So many questions come into my head.

Will it be healthy

Will it be a boy or a girl?

Will I finally have a baby with curly hair?

What color will it’s eyes be?

What kind of brother will Leif be? 

What kind of pregnancy will I have this time?

I try with everything I have to push aside my logical mind and focus on these most profound feelings.  

I am excited to see how this next adventure unfolds.  I am blessed in that my life is never boring.  

For now, though, I’m trying to get used to swallowing 8 prenatal vitamins and 2 omega vitamins in one fell swoop without throwing it back up. 

Wish me luck!

Finding Gratitude in Daily Toddler Life

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I am hiding under my covers right now.  Not from anything in particular.  I just like the solitude, quiet, and dark that it affords me. 

I don’t get much of that parenting a 3 year old.  

On our morning hike, we met an elderly couple at the frog pond. 


Leif barged in like he owned the place, and they were his best friends.  I love it.  It’s a trait I would like to have.  Gregariousness.  Courageousness.  Confidence.  God, his lack of taintedness from the world is beautiful.  He is pure and beautiful and fiery.  


And this is precisely what we talked about,  for 40 minutes.  For 40 minutes, I discussed this with a couple in their 70s.  We talked a lot about spirituality and how young children embody the beauty and rawness of God.


I need more people like this in my life.  I constantly feel surrounded by inescapable negativity.  I want people who hold space for me and open their hearts as well.  I haven’t been exposed to that outside of my home in awhile and I miss it.  It is absolutely the most nourishing experience in my life.  


I take my son on daily hikes.  We often cover up to 4 miles by lunch time.  This is my best behavior management tool.  It is also my biggest motivator for staying fit and eating well.  I have someone whose energy is incomprehensible leading me through life right now.

I tell my husband that I work hard labor and I’ve earned the right to pass out by 9:00PM.  He doesn’t question me anymore after spending 5 weeks taking care of Leif on his own.  In fact, he brings me tea and often talks with me until I slowly trail off to dreamland.  

I get frustrated with Leif every day, but I turn it to gratitude.  I am grateful to be with him.  I am grateful to keep him untainted and pure.  It is a lot of work to walk with and unfold a soul, but it is the work I was meant for.  My goal is to give him the best possible foundation that I can erect in strength of mind, body, spirit.  It benefits me endlessly as well. It forces me to grow in ways that I never imagined. 

My work is to find my patience.  Leif is my greatest teacher yet.  Patience, perseverance, joy, love.  I thank my family for this gift.  

Finding Faith in Desolation of the Soul 


I found this in my drafts today.  Today is not as great of a day as I would like.  I’m exhausted.  And that is an understatement.  I’m not sure that there is a word to describe how I feel.  

Desolate?  It sure seems like a much better fit.  

My bed feels like the only safe place in this world.  And clothes seem so bothersome.  And light.  Today, I realized quite desperately, that we need blackout curtains in our bedroom.  Today, the sun feeling entitled to wake me up at 5:30 AM was a bit too much.

It has been a long time since I’ve really significantly struggled with depression.  When I became pregnant with my youngest son, I promised myself that I would love and care for myself from that point forward.  

And so I did.  And it felt amazing.  Over the last few months, I let myself slip out of priority.  It was like a cascade of things happened one after another.  I put myself on the back burner, but then I arrived to today and realized I’m officially burned out.  I lost my hope, faith, center, what have you, when my mother in law made a massively disparaging comment about my character.  I haven’t been able to regain that space.  It has been almost two months, and I feel like my soul is wasting away.  

I talked to my husband some about it yesterday.  I am two months shy of turning 30.  He turned 40 last year, so I look to him about insights regarding aging.  

He said 30 was hard for him.  I have to say that it is proving hard for me too.  I am trying to find my place in the world, and truly have no idea where that place exists.  

And, well, that’s tough.  I did find it reassuring though, that when I was feeling so profoundly low, that I got on here to read the following post:


Do you ever get knocked down so hard that it just knocks the wind out of you?  

I’m pretty sure that every person can relate to this situation.  

It has happened so often to me that anymore, I mostly just shake my head, regain my bearings, gather my strength, and begin anew.  There were times in my life when I didn’t carry this level of faith.  I look back on those times with immense sadness.  I didn’t value myself then nearly as much as I do now. 

Now, I know my truth.  I know my value.  I know my beauty.  Why?  Because I know exactly who I am, and that person is beautiful. She is amazing.  She shines a light so bright that it echoes throughout the universe.  And I absolutely love who I am.  

My hope is that every person that I meet and encounter also feels this way about themselves.  Because when you feel this way about yourself your love is endless.  

I had two thoughts today when spending the morning with my family.  We took a leisurely stroll up a stream bed on a hot summer day, stopping periodically to catch crawdads.  My husband and I were hanging out and sharing our thoughts as they arose.  They were so significant to me that I stopped and wrote them down.  

“Love is when you love someone so much that all you want for them is happiness.”

“It’s a freeing thing to step outside of someone else’s negativity.”