Sunday, July 1, 2018

Hello July!

How in the world is it July 2018 already? 
For our family, July is filled to the brim with doctor appointments, surgery prep, big decisions with Zachary, major travel for Kaylee and Travis, and I'm sure many hours of fun in the pool! I've kept pretty quiet here and on social media for the past few months not sharing much about our lives - partly because some things have gotten harder and I haven't know if, how, or when I wanted to share. God has also been making it VERY evident that He wants me to get back to writing and sharing, yet I haven't know where to start. I've logged in, opened up the "create post" page, and stared at the blank screen many times without words coming out to fill the page. The video camera that once recorded our days has sat in the same spot on our counter for months. 

All that to say, much more to come. I'm ready to open up a bit again and share the tough stuff, the family fun, the big God moments as we experience them, and hopefully be an encouragement as we walk though the months ahead.

But first, lets set our hearts aright as you and I begin a new month, a blank canvas.

It is the Lord who goes before you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you. Do not fear or be dismayed. - Deuteronomy 31:8
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:7
You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you! - Isaiah 26:3

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. - 1 Peter 5:8-9
You are my refuge and my shield;
I have put my hope in your word. - Psalm 119:114

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Vegan Vampire Juice

I have no idea where that silly quote originated from, but it definitely paints a vivid picture in my mind! My husband Peter and I have been diving deep into educating ourselves on our guts and how gut health affects everything about the rest of our bodies. While I have spent time lately learning from library books and blog posts from doctors and professionals, I have been ultimately reminded that GOD made our bodies complex, intricate, and so very efficient. 

Nutrition, cleaning up our eating habits, and thinking more about what exactly we're putting into our bodies has been our focus lately. We're eliminating sugar, carefully choosing grains, drinking our Pink Drink, taking probiotics and vitamins, daily drinking our Taco Tea, and last week we re-entered the world of juicing!

I would like to take this moment to introduce you to the newest member of our morning routine - Vampire Vegan Juice! (Affectionately named by Peter after it's beautiful blood red color.) Technically our new juice recipe is called Prime Juice and it's taken from one of our new favorite books The Prime but I think I like our name better!

As you can see, we're packing this glass of juice full of veggies and fruits I would definitely not usually get in a single day.


Makes 1 serving

1 cucumber
1 apple
1 handful fresh spinach
1/4 head purple cabbage
1 carrot
1 beet
1 lemon
1 inch peeled fresh ginger

Chop the veggies to fit your juicer and drink immediately.


Friday, April 6, 2018

1800 Minute Exercise Challenge

April is a month that's always a wake up call for me. Five years ago in April, I found a group on Twitter logging 1800 minutes of exercise for 3 months. That challenge literally changed my life and set me on a new path of working hard, losing baby weight and learning about healthy eating, supplements, etc. 

Once again, April is here and I'm ready for a restart - a "begin again" as it were. I've set some health goals for the next 3 months and beyond and since it's better to do this with accountability, I'd love to invite you to join me! I talked about it in a live video HERE. Check it out! And if you're in, as a FREE gift to you, here's a link to get my 1800 Minute Exercise Tracker. 

When I send you the tracker I'll give you a link to a Facebook Group you can join and we can link arms and do this together. 

I don't care what program you do. When I started 5 years ago I was just logging my minutes walking. That eventually led to following an exercise program and having incredible results. But whatever you choose, lets just get our bodies moving and grooving, one minute at a time!

Let's do this!


Thursday, December 7, 2017

I've Got Some Big News!

We've made a change around here and I'm ready to let you in on a little secret. Honestly, I've been waffling about this change for a while now. Not because I'm not confident it's what we need to pursue, but because of what others may think. I've felt scared and have spent literally months praying and somewhat dragging my feet with making this announcement public. But after MUCH prayer I'm excited to share my news!

The big news! 

Can I backtrack for just a minute? As many of you know, a few years ago I joined Beachbody and began working a side gig selling workout programs and Shakeology. We love the Beachbody products. Love them. And still use them. 

Unfortunately when Beachbody changed their format for selling their programs, it quickly became apparent it wasn't as easy a way to make money the way it had been. I definitely need a side gig that's not only a company we can stand behind with confidence but I also need one that will help us make some money. (Just being honest here.) 

Enter the new health and wellness supplements we started taking. Peter and I immediately fell in love with the vitamins and probiotics and Peter especially started seeing instant results in his health. Consistent health issues he dealt with were pretty much gone right away. We both have amazing energy and sleep incredibly well. We have done our research and are confident these are the best of the best when it comes to probiotics, prebiotics, vitamins, etc.

So here we are. I'm ready to share with you that I'm starting a NEW side hustle and I'm super excited about it. 

What is Plexus exactly? 

Plexus is a health and wellness company with products that focus on balancing the body from the inside out. Once you get your gut health in check, your immune system starts working properly, and your body will thrive! You may have seen people promoting that weight loss is often a "side effect" of Plexus. I'll be the first to say you still need to be eating right and exercising. But when your systems are functioning properly, often people notice:

- better sleep
- improved state of mind
- sustained energy
- stomach/digestive issues diminish
- unhealthy cravings are reduced
- body discomfort diminishes or goes away
- increased willpower over food... and the list goes on!

We have exceptional multi-vitamins, probiotics, omega supplements, as well as nerve health and pain relief products. The testimonies of customers finding relief from a variety of symptoms are endless! Plexus products are PLANT BASED, gluten free, non-GMO, dye free, and free from artificial sweeteners.

I'm literally going to be shaking when I click "publish" on this post. There's been a lot of prayer and wrestling to make the best choice. But here we are!

If you are needing some best of the best supplements to help you be your healthiest from the inside out, I'd love to help you find what would work best for you! I'm just an email or Facebook message away! 

And if you want to see what all the excitement is about, check out my brand new health and wellness website!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Affordable Gift Ideas for Her

It's the most wonderful time of the they say. Anyone else overwhelmed that Christmas is 3 weeks away? Friends, I haven't even started making lists of names and gift ideas yet. And we haven't set up a Christmas tree! Ahhh! If you have a special person or friend in your life and need a creative, not so ordinary gift, here are some of my top picks for you!

I still drool over this hat on Amazon. Actually don't you think one that says Special Needs #momlife would be awesome? Someone make that for me. Okay?! :) 

This book is so good. I've had the privilege of meeting Kat a few times and have helped with her Hello Mornings online ministry for several years. Kat is simply tremendous and I know you'll love this book. 

In Hello Mornings, Kat introduces a simple yet powerful three-minute morning routine that integrates Bible study, planning, and fitness into a foundational morning habit that fits into every schedule. This would be a GREAT gift idea for any and every woman on your list. 

Okay, this may sound a little strange, but I LOVED doing this foot peel. I rarely ever have time to go to get a pedicure and this honestly was almost better. No, not as great as sitting with nothing to do but get your feet rubbed, scrubbed, and polished, but the end product was just as good or even better.  

Gift one of these foot peel kits and throw in a pair of super soft socks with maybe a book or a candle. Just what the busy and tired mom ordered!

Isn't this necklace gorgeous? I met my friend Tiffany online. She is a mom who has a son with Lowe Syndrome just like Zachary does. Tiffany sells Premier Designs Jewelry and when she posted this photo today, I fell in love and knew I just had to let you all see it too. Isn't it lovely? Check out the necklace and other beautiful jewelry Tiffany sells HERE.

Work with me here. I know this may not seem like the typical gift. But as a mom who puts any extra dollar it seems into sock or shoes or school fees for my kiddos, I would LOVE if someone gave me some health and wellness products. I have no problem with practical gifts I'll definitely use. These are our new favorite vitamins we take every morning.

Make a gift basket with a bundle of vitamins, supplements and throw in a cute water bottle!

With the dawn of the New Year brings the hope of a fresh start. Many people re-think their fitness goals for the new year but another area I love to re-think is the expectancy of a new year in God's Word. I've been drooling over this Write the Word Journal from Lara Casey.

Read this description and I have a feeling you'll fall in love and put it on your wish list too.

"The Write the Word Bible journal is unique. It is a simple way to spend time in scripture. Each journal was created to meet you in the season you're in. Whether you want to Cultivate, Faith, Renewal, Joy, Gratitude, or Hope, each journal comes with a selection of verses that help you grow closer to God in pursuit of each of those things. On each page, you'll get a selection of key verses to write out, along with space to write your thoughts, prayers, or whatever God places on your heart. Use your Write the Word Bible journal in whatever ways you wish! These journals are all about grace and digging into God's life-giving truth."

How about that bright yellow leather cover? Wouldn't this be a beautiful book to gift?!

Okay ladies, have you jumped on the charcoal mask craze? How many of you have watched those crazy videos on Facebook of people trying to peel of a mask and screaming in pain? 

Well...let me tell you! I have fallen in LOVE with this charcoal mask. It has done wonders for my skin, I noticed a difference after one use, and IT WASHES OFF! No terrifying peeling.

My friend Doriann sells it - you should totally give it a try and gift one to a friend. I think it's a perfect present.

So the other day Peter and I were in the car and he said, a little scoffing I might add, "Are you wearing fake eyelashes?" Ha! I immediately laughed and said I wasn't. My eyelashes are actually growing like weeds due to this amazing Esteem Lash Serum a friend I met online sent me. 

Ladies, this stuff is legit! There's no way I'd ever put on fake eyelashes. But my own lashes looking longer and fuller? Yes please!

Happy shopping! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas Season with your family and friends!


This post contains affiliate links to help support the Newland family.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Life Lately // A Zachary Health Update

I'm well overdue for another life lately post. The last time I left you was a couple months ago when we were deep in the throes of Zachary's hip surgery recovery. I'm definitely happy to say those days are behind us! Zachary's hips have healed nicely and new bone is growing in where they cut and moved things around in there. He has had regular X-rays to re-check and we've been cleared to not go back to the see the surgeon for another 6 months where at that time they'll begin the talk about his follow up surgery. Yes you read that right - he requires another surgery approximately a year after the initial surgery to remove the plates and screws they have put in. 

Recovering and re-gaining his walking and standing skills have been a bit harder that expected. He's re-learned to crawl but had some progress delays due to unexpected issues with his feet. We will be getting new foot braces next week to hopefully help his feet. 

I am happy to say that we witnessed a little miracle this morning as he briefly stood on both feet! I quickly snapped the picture below before he knew I saw what he was doing. That's a HUGE little glimmer of hope in that picture. He'll get back to walking was eventually, I just know it. 

While we're talking about Zachary, I'll try to quickly share our last couple of weeks. Zachary seemed to come down with a stomach bug on a Saturday night and by morning was showing significant signs of dehydration. Due to his kidney concerns, the kidney doctor quickly got involved and asked us to go to the emergency room. After several hours of fluids and lab work, we were sent on our way.

Unfortunately the dehydration didn't improve and we were sent back to the emergency room 2 more times that week before they admitted us for a 4 night stay. After other symptoms began presenting themselves, additional tests were run and we learned Zachary had C-diff. C-diff is a very nasty "super bug" that can be commonly caught by those frequenting a hospital or who have weakened immune systems after antibiotics. While C-diff can be quite hard on the kidneys, Zachary's kidneys seemed to have hung in there nicely. We're not exactly sure when or how he caught the nasty bug but thankfully with some strong antibiotics Z seems on the mend. 

The only remedy to kill the nasty bacteria spores that can linger on a surface from months to a full year is bleach. Needless to say, I've been on a bleach disinfecting rampage and have even had nightmares about the pesky germs. 

We are grateful God has protected Zachary's kidneys amidst a week of frustrating dehydration and the C-diff bug and we are pretty much staying away from people and germs for the next while. It's somewhat common for the illness to return and so we are being extra cautious to keep Zachary and his weakened immune system safe and healthy.  When you have a kiddo that's extra fragile, many things are simply not worth the risks!

Want a glimpse into our days? We've been picking up the vlogging camera again and you can see a little bit of our hospital stays on our YouTube channel or check out the video up here ^^^ or down below! 

Want to not miss a vlog? Head to our actual YouTube channel and you can click "subscribe" and then the little "bell" in the corner to be notified any time we post a video.

Needless to say life has pretty much revolved around Zachary's health for the past several months, but we are doing our best to make sure we find time with the other kids as well. They have all been so patient, caring, and helpful as we navigate what has been an unusually hard 4 months. 

If I could give you one quick piece of advice whether you have a special needs child or really any other things in life distracting you, it's to not forget to make time for the others in your life who need you. It may mean saying no to others and other activities, but in this moment here and now the most important people we need to be pouring into are those 3 big kids right there.

Something fun? We found a gem of a hiking place yesterday.  I have no idea why we've lived here for so long and have never ventured this this park. But it's now our little secret place that I have a feeling we'll sneak away to often. 

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving week! We're looking forward to the "hopefully" quiet week ahead.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Life Lately

I'm so glad it's almost the weekend! So very glad. 

Today I'm taking a break from Friday Favorites to do a little Life Lately post. It's been quite a while since we've posted a Vlog or blog post about how life is going. We are still in recovery mode for Zachary after his double hip surgery, but we're down to counting the days until we are hopefully done with his annoying brace between his legs. Let me repeat - we are in a single digits countdown and I don't know who would be more excited, Zachary or Peter and I. Well, Zachary doesn't really understand any of this so I guess we're more excited. This has been a LONG SIX WEEKS to say the least. 

I'm grateful for so much during these six weeks but we are definitely ready to move past all of this. For example, it is currently 8:53am on Friday morning and I have re-applied his brace approximately 10 times. He can now take the brace all the way off and just threw it across the room. Yep. This is my life.

Next Friday we will have Zachary's post-op appointment at the hospital. They will do X-rays to see how everything has healed and hopefully we will get the word to be all done with the brace and to start the process of learning to use those teeny legs again! I have no clue what that will be like for him or us but we're ready.

I guess I can't really share a Life Lately update without talking about the 2 new additions to our family. Two female snakes now reside in our home and that now makes 3 ball pythons. Exciting, right? Doesn't that make you want to come visit?!

I'm trying to be the supportive mama as Travis wants to work with reptiles for a living. I hate to admit it but I've almost felt a glimmer of compassion for these slithery things. What is happening to me?

Last weekend I had a date with a special guy. I think there's a longer blog post coming about all of this and the heart behind it, but Daniel and I had a super fun yet simple afternoon out. Just Mommy and Danny. He's the sweetest kid you may ever meet.

We have a brand new coffee shop just blocks away and it is quite tremendous. This picture right here is proof we have a nurse that is helping us a little bit now. I can sneak away and get some work done and sip on the prettiest of lattes. To be honest I was to the point of desperately needing a break and this did the trick. Hooray for home health nurses!

Have a great weekend, my friends. Hopefully next week you'll see an update from the hospital that we are leg brace free!