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Don’t listen to your fears

Just 8 months ago, Adam was working full time as a Chemical Engineer.

He has always been such a hard worker providing for our family.

He would wake up before the ☀️ sun and come home just in time for dinner and bedtime. Our girls were missing out on knowing him… and he was missing out on knowing them.

My youngest daughter… just wasn’t really attached to him at all and it made my heart hurt so much. In my heart, I knew there was another way for them to know each other. read more

Why it should rain on your Wedding Day

Adam and I were married young O.o 

I didn’t realllllly realize how young we were at the time lol but I was 19 and he was 21. We had been together for one year when we got engaged and then were married a year later.

and we were in love.

wedding day

I’m sure that there were plenty of people who didn’t think that getting married young was a good idea… but I’m happy to report that we are going to be celebrating our 12 year anniversary in May!!!

I have no regrets for getting married young. I feel like we have been able to grow up together and that has strengthen our relationship too. As I think back to that day… May 28, 2004, I really believe that I learned something crucial.

 

Life isn’t Perfect.

So many of us go into marriage with unrealistic expectations. 

We plan this “perfect” day to start the “perfect” life together… but then we wake up one day and realize that…

Life isn’t Perfect. 

You can make plans… You can make lists…. but at the end of the day – we have to be okay with adapting to whatever is thrown our way.

 

It rained.

On our wedding day… I remember waking up at 4 am (not on purpose!) and it was pouring!!!! In Louisiana humidity… with my frizzy curly hair… this was *perfect* (not).

It poured all. day. long. 

I remember meeting my bridesmaids at our luncheon before the wedding and it was pouring. 

I remember looking out the window while my hairstylist was fixing my hair and it. was. pouring. 

 

At that moment… I had to decide to focus on who I was marrying… and the weather was not going to make that less important or special.

It poured.

Even with the rain, Our wedding was beautiful. The church was decorated with gorgeous flowers. My dress was the dress of my dreams. The food was AMAZING!

But the best part was that it was Day One of our new adventure of husband and wife. 

wedding day

Life never stopped raining… and sometimes it poured. 

We didn’t get the job we wanted.

We didn’t get a house we wanted.

Our car broke down in the street.

I had health issues.

Then the other car’s axle broke.

I lost a job.

Relatives passed away.

Life just happened. 

 

View More: http://emilywilliamsonphotography.pass.us/parker-family

 

but the sun shined. 

We became part of a great church family.

We were blessed with two beautiful girls.

We were able to get great jobs.

We moved to a great neighborhood.

We bought a house we loved.

We started our own thriving business.

 

The Sun Shined through the clouds.

Is life perfect? No where close!

Could we focus on the rain or Could we choose to focus on the sun breaking through the clouds?

 

Everyday may not be Good, but there is Good in Every Day.  read more

Turkey Curry on Pita Bread

low Carb turkey curry wraps

Turkey Curry on Pita Bread

Adam and I love Indian food. We love the flavors of curry with stir fries and soups. I love this Turkey Curry on Pita Bread because, it is simple enough to throw together and serve with a side salad on a busy night. It is also easy to warm up for a lunch. We have been making this recipe for several years now and we still love when it makes its way on the meal plan.

Curry and turmeric are wonderful spices for your health as well. Turmeric is a great spice for detoxing your liver. Curry has been shown to help with blood sugar control, has anticancer properties, helps manage cholesterol levels, and also helps to detox.

 

If you don’t have curry, here is a recipe for making your own curry spice mix.

Also, Check out this  recipe for making your own Pita Breads at home. 

I really love that this meal is a one skillet meal basically. You start with browning your meat, then cook down your vegetables. Next, add some spices and Tada! Dinner is served.

You can warm your pita breads in the oven wrapped in a towel while you are cooking your meal.

 

 

If you love Indian Food, check out my Crock Pot Chicken Curry.  It is a quick to throw together meal, then you just let it cook all day. Perfect for a weeknight.

 What are your favorite Indian Dishes?

 

This is linked up to Motivational Monday  and Homestead Barn Hop 
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Easy Crockpot Chicken Curry

easy crockpot chicken dinners, crockpot dinner, crockpot curry, crockpot meal

 Easy Crockpot Chicken Curry

 

Oh Yummy. I love curry. This is such an easy recipe for a Crockpot Chicken Curry. Adam and I love Indian food. We have a few Indian restaurants around here, but I love being able to have a good curry at home.

Adam bought me a great Indian Cookbook a few years ago that really focused on the main spices in Indian dishes. There are no crockpot recipes in that cookbook, haha. I did learn a lot of the flavors though.

You could additionally top this Easy Crockpot Chicken Curry with some Greek yogurt.

We served it with riced cauliflower because we are trying to eat lower carb meals. You can serve with brown rice if you like.

Adam says it is a good balanced curry because it isn’t too hot, yet has a lot of good flavor. He also enjoyed the riced cauliflower with it. Aidalyn just ate the chick peas plain, haha. My little picky eater.

For Trim Healthy Mama’s This Easy Curry would be an Energizing meal because of the carbs in the chick peas. Using Lite coconut milk allows us to keep the fat low enough to be considered an energizing meal. Check your lite coconut milk grams of fat. Mine had 4.5 grams in 1/3 cup of coconut milk. This easy crockpot chicken curry serves about 6.

I hope you enjoy my Easy Crockpot Chicken Curry! 

 

low fat curry, crockpot chicken curry dinner, easy crockpot meals, easy chicken curry, easy chicken dinner

Do you enjoy Indian dishes? What are your favorites?

 

This post was linked up to Allergy Free Wednesdays and Lovely Ladies and Welcome Home Wednesdays  and Wildcrafting Wednesdays and Wellness Wednesdays Blog Hop Thursdays at All Things with Purpose  and Let’s Get Real Party Friday and That’s Fresh Friday and Real Food Fridays and Healing with Food Friday’s 
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4 Space Saving Ideas

organization

Space Saving Ideas

Here are some space saving ideas that Adam and I are implementing to help organize our house this year. Along with our health New Years Resolutions, Adam and I made some organization resolutions for our home. We moved to Richmond last year, and then I immediately got pregnant (and pretty sick initially). The house just has never been as organized as we would like.

Adam started reading a book about organizing your life and house room by room. We started last week in my sewing area and play room. This week we moved into the kitchen. So far we have made some good progress and I want to show you some of our space saving ideas.

 

Our first tip is to add more storage in unused areas. 

Shelf Above the Door

above the door shelvesWe have some extra toilet paper there. The disposable diapers for Annaleigh that we use when we go on vacation (we cloth diaper when we are at home). I have a small step stool that I can use to easily reach these items, but they needed a home. You could have extra soap or towels up there too.

Behind the Closet Door

closet organization

When we moved into our house, we didn’t have a downstairs closet for our pantry or cleaning supplies. We had a coat closet, but we really needed that extra space for a pantry. Adam installed large shelves so I could use the space for my flours, coconut oils, herbal teas, snacks for Aidalyn and cleaning tools and supplies.

We added baskets on the wall and hanging shelves behind the door. All this extra storage was perfect for helping us stay organized and have a home for everything that I needed close by the kitchen.

It still needs work! We are happy to have the extra storage for food items and such instead of a coat closet though.

Behind the Cabinet Door

We bought some organization baskets that attach to the back of cabinets doors for added storage. These are perfect for under the kitchen sick or in a bathroom.

Under the Bed

We store extra blankets, wrapping items, and some books in flat plastic storage boxes that fit nicely under our guest bed. This is likely a place you may overlook for extra storage for your home. You can craft short storage boxes with wheels that will roll out and back easily.

 

I hope that these tips help you start to organize your home and reach your organization resolutions.

What are your tips for finding unused space and turning it into storage? What are your best organization tips?

Linked up to Motivational Mondays

What is Stevia?

stevia_hebam3000

 

What is Stevia?

We learned in Cut the Sugar, that we need to make changes to reduce the sugar in our diets. I am so excited to see more and more Stevia products on the shelves. This is great news for people wanting a zero calorie, healthy sugar alternative.

What is Stevia exactly? 

Stevia is actually derived from a plant. It is related to a daisy and ragweed (I’ll take the daisy, thank you!). The Stevia plant can be found in Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina and it is cultivated in China. You can even grow it yourself if you want! Stevia has zero calories and is 200 times sweeter than sugar without affecting blood sugar. Since it is sweeter than sugar, a little goes a long way! You also don’t want to over do Stevia because there can be too much of a good thing, then it will taste bitter.

Some studies showed that consuming other artificial sweeteners increased sugar consumption and eating, but not so with Stevia. People who consumed a meal with stevia instead of sugar did not eat more and had lower blood sugar following meal (Win, win!). 

Stevia is more than just a sugar substitute: Livescience.com says that “stevia also served as a treatment for burns, colic, stomach problems and sometimes as a contraceptive.” Pretty neat stuff here!

Stevia Sweetened Kettle Corn

Is Stevia Safe? 

100daysofrealfood.com explains that not all Stevia is created equal.  read more

Working out as a Stay at Home Mom

how to work out as a stay at home mom
how to work out as a stay at home mom

 

I like working out for the most part.

 

In Junior high and High school I was fairly active. I played tennis, ran track and cross country. I even played for my college tennis team for one semester!

 

When Adam and I were first married, I worked out using my elliptical machine and some workout videos to do at home. But… I never was really good at a solid routine. Adam and I would fit in the occasional walk in the neighborhood.

 

After a couple of months, Adam and I joined a small local gym. I seriously thought I had died and gone to workout heaven!! I had never been a member of a gym before!! There were treadmills, stair steppers, and classes with LIVE instructors! read more

Does Your Doctor Respect You? Part Two

Does Your Doctor Respect you

Does Your Doctor Respect You: Part Two

Yesterday, We covered that we have had many experiences of doctor’s not respecting their patient’s time in the waiting room. Today we are going to share about how some doctors carry that disrespect into the exam room.

You can read Part One Here

The Exam Room

Many doctors probably start their practice with all the good intentions in the world. They want to help the masses and do no harm. In my experience, doctors are not evil. My brother in law is in rotations soon to become a doctor. His intentions are to learn about diseases and how to help people. I think he will be a great doctor! However, I hear countless examples of how doctors lose respect for their patients over time.

I have had personal experiences where I became a file chart instead of a person. My issues weren’t fully heard and I was rushed in and out just to get another patient in the room.

The Expectant Mother

There are some things I’m pretty passionate about, and one of those things is don’t mess with natural processes including pregnancy, labor and birth when able. It is not uncommon for doctor’s to overstep their part in the matter and bring unnecessary interventions leading to more complications: baby in distress, failure for mother to progress, and cesarean sections.

I get it though. Doctors want to “fix” the problem (the pregnant woman). Doctor induced “sick” patient to “heal” her of her pregnancy quickly. Mother’s body wasn’t ready for labor. Medications don’t work effectively. Baby wasn’t in the best position for birth. Baby is in distress… Mother fails to progress… Delivery ends on the operating table.

The Doctor didn’t respect Nature or the pregnant woman’s body. 

The Sick Child

We have been very lucky and haven’t had very many times when we have had to deal with a sick child. I feel like

prevention is key read more

Does Your Doctor Respect You? Part One

Does Your Doctor Respect You?

Adapted from http://www.flickr.com/photos/maunzy/5531925035/

Does Your Doctor Respect You

Doctor’s are great sources of information. They are good at decision-making when they are presented with your common health issues. They are great at

emergency situations read more

Story of a Waterbirth: Happy 3rd Birthday Aidalyn!

IMG_3449_edited-1This is Aidalyn’s birth story and a 3 year update! I thought it was appropriate to share on her 3rd birthday.

This was the day I became a Mama.

Aidalyn is such a joy. She is so full of energy and and spunk. She is so stubborn and will fight you to the death that her dress is actually a shirt (or vise versa depending on her mood). I think she would be a great lawyer.

She loves My little pony and Go Diego Go! oh and don’t forget Disney Princesses!

Her favorite foods are black beans and cheese, almond butter sandwiches, and muffins. Favorite snacks are popcorn, nuts, yogurt, cheese, and fruit.

Her bedtime is 8 pm and we read a book, sing a song, and say a prayer (she will say one too most nights and pray for her friend Charlotte). She wakes up at 8 am usually asking where daddy is.

baby-aidalyn-1-101

This birth story was actually written just a few days after Aidalyn’s birth, so hopefully it is more reliable than me retelling the story now. Enjoy!

I started having contractions early Wednesday morning around 5:30. I was 5 days post due date (or only 2 days late given due date based on conception/ovulation and not last menstrual period). I started timing them and noticed they were about 10 mins apart. I had been having weeks and weeks of BH contractions so I didn’t want to get too excited. I just stayed in bed, glancing at the clock whenever I’d have a contraction. They weren’t too strong, but they were consistent.

When Adam woke up for work around 6, I told him what was happening and to keep his phone close. I stayed in bed until 8 and then called my midwife, Becca. She told me to get my contractions going by being active. So the rest of the day I went walking for two hours, skipping, squatting, shopping at mall, going to Starbucks. I was doing anything to stay on my feet.

Becca came by the house to check me around 5 or 6 that evening. My contractions were around 7 mins apart, still not strong enough to cause any pain. I was dilated to 3 and 100% effaced, but that was no change since my last appt. My contractions were real, but not painful at all. They just were not progressing to active labor. I had previously had cryosurgery of my cervix when I was 18, and a side effect is for your cervix not to dilate and cause labor to be very drawn out. I had been coached by Becca to be aware of this. So, we all decided to go to bed and try again in morning. Adam decided to stay home from work and help me get this labor going.

On Thursday, I woke up went walking again. My contractions were weaker than Wednesday. Becca came over around 12. We talked about how my body was trying to go into labor, but my cervix wasn’t cooperating. We decided to strip my membranes, I took homeopathics, used pressure points, and I ate spicy food. Around 3:30, I ended up on my exercise ball to help ease the contractions. My contractions started getting stronger around 4 or so where I couldn’t talk through them. By 4:30 my contractions were in full bloom: harder and getting closer coming less than 5 minutes apart. Becca came over shortly.

Before Becca arrived, I moved into the bedroom. I labored on my hands and knees for about 2 hours. I had some heat on my back at one point. Becca and Adam fixed the bed for me, putting all the waterproofing on. During the contractions I would say “ooooh, ooooh, ooooh” in a low voice. I was in control of them for the most part. If I was prepared for one coming, it wasn’t bad. But If I was talking right up to the contraction, I had a little more difficulty handling the pain.

I had three strong contractions back to back and I said “I need a break!” then I got about a three min break. I looked at Becca and said that’s a long break. She said “I know!”  I went through transition right after the break. During transition I got the shakes very badly and I threw up. It was pretty quick though. Becca asked if I wanted her to check me. She checked me and I was at 7 cm. I asked if I could get in tub ( Becca thought “if you make it to the tub!”) I got in the tub and labored there for two more hours. Adam ended up in the tub with me. At first I laid down in the tub, but the contractions didn’t seem like they were very effective in that position. I found some comfort in feeling the water run over my hand during a contraction. Then, I moved into kneeling on my knees and faced Adam. He held me through the contractions. Becca left us in the bathroom to labor by ourselves.

I started feeling the contractions lower in my pelvis. I remembered that these were the pushing contractions. The contractions seemed to be pushing too far back, so I moved into a position where I felt the pushing more towards the middle of my pelvis. I looked at Adam and said “I think she’s coming. I feel her head. Is her head out?” He kept telling me “no, no she’s not coming yet…” Then I finally convinced him that she was, and he called Becca into the bathroom. Becca was on the phone in our bedroom giving the other midwife directions to our house. (I had progressed so quickly she wasn’t going to make it!)

When Becca came into the bathroom, Aidalyn’s whole forehead had emerged already. When Becca looked, she saw that Aidalyn had her hand next to her face which explained why it had taken 2 hours in the tub (So theoretically I could have been in active labor for less than 4 hours, if Aidalyn hadn’t had her hand up!) Becca coached me to raise my leg to give room for her hand. In three pushes, Aidalyn was out at 9:10 PM on Thursday, December the 2nd. Becca passed her threw my legs and I grabbed her and turned around to sit with Adam in the tub.

Aidalyn was in shock from such a quick labor, so we needed to get out of the tub and get her breathing and more responsive. Her APGAR scores were 5 and 6. We moved to the bed where Becca turned Aidalyn on her belly and got her to start crying. I held her and laid in bed with Adam as the midwifes left us alone. The other midwives arrived about 30 minutes after the birth. I nursed her for about an hour.

The midwives came back in the room and started doing all the measurements of Aidalyn: 9 lbs, 20 ½ inches, 14 cm head circumference. She was perfect! My mom arrived about an hour after the birth. I was a little scared for them to check me, because of how big she was. When it was time to check me, I only had first degree tearing and it wasn’t bad at all. Becca said I really didn’t require a stitch, but I would have to be on bed rest for two days for healing. The other midwife and Becca decided to give me one stitch just to be safe.

When we were settled, the midwives left and my mom , Adam, Aidalyn, and I went to bed. It was around 2 or 3 in the morning. It really was perfect and I wouldn’t do it any other way. The adrenaline was so high after the birth that I told Adam I wanted to do it again! I was in active labor for 4.5 hours and in the end had an amazing un-medicated childbirth experience that ended in a perfect miracle, my daughter, Aidalyn Grayce. baby aidalyn 1 058 birth story read more