Monday, April 18, 2016


I'm trying HARD not to be that obsessive mom staring at my child's head and I really am continuing to feel God's peace all over this situation. I thank Him DAILY for his gift of peace. I did something really difficult several weeks ago. I thanked him for this situation. I thanked him that she hardly had any hair, I thanked him that her hair was falling out because He is sovereign and what seems major in this world is really not even a speck in the scope of eternity. {"Be thankful in ALL circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." I Thess 5:18}. It was HARD and it didn't feel good while I was saying it and I'm not going to lie, I cried a few times while saying those prayers. But within days I felt the peace that I had been longing for and I am SO SO SO thankful for that.

Now let's fast forward a few weeks:

Over the past couple of days both my husband and I have been commenting to each other, "Her hair looks longer, right?" "I think her hair is thicker, right?" So today I decided to pull out some photos to compare....

March 30
April 18th
Are we being crazy? It really looks longer and thicker to me in this picture right? I haven't been doing anything differently topically. I bought an iron supplement but haven't given it to her yet as I really want to try to do what we can naturally. The only thing that I have changed is incorporating 1/2-1 oz of an herbal cleanse drink that we use. She obviously doesn't fast or anything crazy like that. But a couple of weeks ago I went to a training session for the health & wellness company that I work with. I was blessed to be able to chat with one of my nutrition mentors, who is the former CEO and President of an international nutrition company and renowned speaker and nutrition expert who was even invited to speak on nutrition at Harvard. Well, he works with our company now as well and he was going on and on about the benefits of using one of our herbal cleanse drinks for children. The quality of the ingredients and the natural herbs and root extracts that make up the drink. I never mentioned Nicolette's hair issues but talking with him about the incredible health benefits for children made me want to look into this a little more closely. 

I've spent A LOT of time researching the individual ingredients of this particular product --- as you all are probably well aware just how insanely (and annoyingly) particular I am about what I put in my children's bodies. This evening I went through ingredient by ingredient and found study after study linking many of the herbs and roots in this product to increased hair growth and/or decreased or total cessation of hair loss. The only difference between photo #1 and photo #2 is incorporating 1/2 to 1 full ounce each day. It's hard to tell from the angle of the photo but the hair at the nape of her neck is definitely longer and I feel like the hair on top of her head is longer and definitely fuller. Unless I'm just fooling myself!  

Regardless, I'm cautiously optimistic about this!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Never say never

Wow….10 months ago I was chatting with my sweet friend Amy Potvin about this mysterious “alkaline nutritional cleanse program” that she had been so excited about for the past 8 months. I had been stalking her posts about it as soon as I heard the word "alkaline". 

Let me rewind a little bit. Not many people know this story but back in 2012, shortly after our sweet daughter was born, The Italian had some routine blood work done as part of a physical for work. We didn't think anything of it until we received his lab reports back and learned that some of his liver enzymes were off and I mean WAY off. I quickly put my Google MD to work and learned that really the ONLY reason that this result appears on blood work is the big C word. That's right Cancer. 

When we got his results the Dr's office also called and said that they wanted to see him in person the following week. The following week???? Do you know how much time that gave me to google the heck out of this and find out every single worst case scenario on the internet???? I wanted to die. I mean we had a beautiful baby girl who was just a few months old at this point. We had JUST decided that I was going to be a stay at home mom and leave my job. How in the world could this be happening to us? 

Over the course of those agonizing 5 days I spent hours each day scouring the internet and a common word kept popping up..."alkaline". Back in the early 1900's, Dr. Otto Warburg proved that cancer cells cannot thrive in an alkaline environment. Conversely they THRIVE in an acidic environment particularly the fermentation of sugars. So for 5 days I delved into researching how to put our family on an alkaline diet to starve any cancer cells that may be in our bodies. To reduce sugars, to increase greens, limit dairy, limit most protein...Let me tell you this...if you want to implement an alkaline foods plan, even 80% alkaline, 20% acid with whole foods alone, it is A LOT of work. I worked tirelessly to plan my shopping list, meals and carefully portion out our foods. Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue represents about 70% of your immune system so it makes sense that creating an alkaline environment within your digestive tract is of immeasurable benefit to you and your overall health and wellness. 

He went in for his appointment and the Dr. confirmed that yes, cancer is typically what these tests indicate so he ordered some more tests just to be sure. Guess what that means...more waiting. I don't recall how many days we had to wait. But I do remember when we got the call that now his numbers were totally within the normal range. The doctor said that there must have been some mistake with the initial blood work because numbers don't just adjust like this.  I don't know about that. I'm not claiming that our two weeks of alkaline eating reversed the results BUT I DO know how many prayers were said on our parts and I know that the hand of God was all over this from the beginning. I also know now that God was planting a seed in my heart that he was going to continue to water over the next few years. 

I continued to do more and more research about alkaline foods, about our broken food system - about the use of pesticides and herbicides and genetically modifying our foods in order to tolerate MORE pesticides and herbicides.  Do you know that the latin word "cide" means? It means DEATH. If you think it's only killing the weeds growing around the plant and having absolutely no effect on your precious earthly body then you are SORELY mistaken. Anyway, I digress.  I still strived to incorporate more alkaline foods into our meals and snacks, trying to eliminate sugars, refined white carbohydrates, even trying to eliminate acidic vegetables and limiting fruits. It has been exhausting but I consider it a ministry and an act of service for my family and I have been happy to share information as I was learning it with friends and family. 

So fast forward to November 2014 when I see my sweet friend Amy resurface on Facebook! This woman is one amazingly tough and spirited cookie. She has been through more than any one person should have to bear in a single lifetime. She's going to write a book some day - mark my words. She starts excitedly sharing about this new alkaline nutrition program she's doing. She's using the word "cleanse" which has always freaked me out. I lurk around and "like" pretty much every one of her posts and start to do a little research of my own. 

I spent 6 months researching this program myself, determined to find the flaws and prove that my exhausting and holier than thou 100% organic whole foods alkaline eating plan was infinitely better until I learned about the mineral deficiencies in our food today (even organics) due to the overfarming of our land and excessive use of pesticides and herbicides on our soil. AHA - so that explains why I can eat organic spinach, kale, sweet potatoes and wild alaskan salmon or pasture raised organic chicken and still feel exhausted, lethargic, irritable, crabby and fluffy!!!! I was still skeptical but after researching each and every ingredient in the every component of the program I was finally ready to take the leap and place an order and still skeptically give this a try. The program came with a 30 day money back guarantee so I figured, what have I got to lose. I can go all the way to day 30 and if I don't have the pep in my step back then this puppy is going right back!  

Let me be clear, I had ABSOLUTELY NO intention of ever telling a soul about this program or participating in any way, shape or form with the "business" aspect of this company or these products. I had reluctantly participated in a direct selling business before and was TERRIBLE at it. I mean HATED it! Beyond…UGH...I only lasted a month and blushed and stammered and wanted to crawl into a hole every time I ever even had to MENTION it to anyone. Sounds like a true network marketing superstar right? Well, after just a few days of using the products my energy (which had been severely lacking) picked up exponentially. I was sleeping better than I had in the longest time. And I suddenly lost so many of the wicked cravings I had been struggling with. I had read the science and it made sense but after experiencing the benefits for myself it was a NO BRAINER! I was hooked…but I still didn’t want any part of the business. I did mention it to a couple of  friends that week and they enrolled right away cause hey, it’s more fun to tackle something new with a friend, right? So all of the sudden I get an email from corporate that I’m a “Consultant” with one of the top health and wellness companies in the entire world. What the heck does that even mean? Then this credit card looking thing shows up in the mail with over $300 on it…for me! How is this happening??? I simply told a couple of friends about my personal experience and helped set up their accounts and I was getting paid within a couple of weeks? Was good by me....but I am still not participating in the business...or so I thought. 

Shortly after that, our world came crashing down. My husband very unexpectedly lost his job. We were in a tailspin, I was panicked and as I always do when life seems unbearable, I turned to God and prayed. I prayed out loud asking him what we were supposed to do. I quoted Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." I asked for his guidance, what are we supposed to do? And he said one word "share". 

Have you ever heard God speak? It's kind of scary. It's not like an audible voice...for me anyway. It's a tug at the heart stronger than anything you've ever felt before. I didn't want to share. I didn't want to tell anyone about this. I wasn't qualified to tell anyone about this, we had only been doing this for a couple of weeks. I was seconds away from canceling our next month's shipment since I didn't know where our finances were going to stand aaaand again I felt the tug but this time it felt like a death grip on my heart. I knew what I was supposed to do but with every fiber of my being I didn't want to. I had loved sharing about nutrition, about food about how to make better and healthier choices for ourselves and for our children. I loved that I received messages from friends weekly THANKING me for helping them to learn and become advocates for their family making better food choices in the grocery stores each week. I felt like I had developed a reputation and I didn't want to tarnish that by stepping into direct sales even though this company, the culture and the products lined up and supported pretty much every belief that I had developed about nourishing our bodies in this new day and age. I was being prideful. My ego was the only thing standing in the way. So I opened my laptop and I prayed. And then I started to write. I wrote a post and I let it sit there untouched on my computer for 3 days. I left my laptop plugged in and open and on in our room and would walk past it and just sigh. Saying, "really God? THIS is what you want me to do? THIS is what I need to do?" Finally I couldn't ignore the vice grip any longer and I walked over to the computer. Took a huge, deep breath and clicked "POST". I wanted to vomit immediately. Seriously felt physically ill. This was a huge mistake. I slammed the computer shut and ran to get my babies up from their naps. 

Within the hour something crazy happened. I had 9 friends asking for information, by the time I put the babies to bed that night it was up to 15. I had no idea what I was doing so I put together basically a 30 page email (all who know me know that I have a tendency to OVERcommunicate) and sent it out to each of them detailing out much of the research that I had collected while trying to decide whether or not to give this a shot. God bless my friends. I can't believe that so many of them actually enrolled after I basically threw up all that information all over them. To my friends who have read that long email...God Bless Your sweet souls. And to my friends who skipped down to the bottom and just placed their orders...God Bless You and your blind faith and trust in me and my judgment. 

Within my first month I had advanced to a Manager position. I worked tirelessly during nap times and after the babes were in bed to help coach my sweet friends who had trusted me with their health. This was not (and is not) a responsibility that I take lightly. I spent hours each day doing even MORE research, learning best practices, learning the science behind the best practices, researching the differences between our ingredients and other reputable brands all the while continuing to use the program myself. 

Within 90 days I had advanced to a Director position and just a few months ago I received the notice that I had achieved one of the highest positions within our company as a Crystal Executive. I'm not sharing this to brag or boast simply to show that when God calls you to do something, it doesn't mean that there isn't work involved. On the contrary, quite a bit of work goes into it. But the difference is that when you are called, the work doesn't feel so much like "work". I am like a sponge and I love learning about health, nutrition and fitness. I also love coaching and mentoring. I was blessed to spend 4 of my 6 years with the Carolina Panthers TopCats as a Captain. Through that role God planted another seed which is my true love and passion for encouraging, empowering and lifting others up. Now I get to combine two areas that truly help me feel fulfilled - health/nutrition and encouraging others. 

I never in a million years would have thought that I would participate in a Direct Sales opportunity. Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with direct sales. I actually support several of my entrepreneurial friends and their Direct Sales businesses. But none of those companies seemed to be the right "fit" for me. For many I just couldn't stand by the ingredients in the majority of the product line or I just wasn't passionate about the particular industry. But the seed that God planted back in 2012 years has been faithfully watered and tended to over the past 4 years and has now developed into a legitimate income source for my family. When we were suddenly down to no income, God used that as an opportunity to give me a big ol' PUSH and I stepped out and said I trust you Lord. As a result He rewarded us and rained down manna from heaven in a way that I NEVER would have expected and certainly don't deserve. This was such an unexpected blessing to us and to top it off my husband was offered an even better position within a couple of weeks "in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purposes" Romans 8:28 comes to mind and he has shown that in our lives time and time again.  

In all honestly the TRUE reward is the continuous stream of text messages, phone calls, emails and Facebook messages that I continue to receive daily, sometimes several times a day about what an absolute blessing this program has been to their lives. When the body is given the proper nourishment and cleansed of the toxic residue that resides within then amazing things can happen. Reduced aches and pains, reduced inflammation, helping families with special needs children, lifted moods, mental clarity and of course many have lost fat in the process! I'm blessed to be a part of the #1 team in our entire company and as such have access to incredible training, getting to speak personally with formulators of our products and health and nutrition experts who help to explain the science, the rigorous testing, the quality control and the constant research and development that goes into ensuring that we are AT LEAST 10 years ahead of all other health and wellness companies in regards to product development and efficacy. Helping others provide much needed income for their families has also been a rewarding blessing but the true gift has been in sharing this program with so many and knowing that as I help my team share that we are helping hundreds who truly, truly, truly need it. 

Check out all my "FLAIR"! SO BLESSED!

At training this weekend spending some time with
Jim Rhodes, former CEO and President of an international
nutrition company, nationally acclaimed educator and nutritional counselor.
He has spoken to Harvard Medical School with representatives from
over 50 Universities on the subject of the state of nutrition in food today.
He participates in our daily calls and in person training events.
Such a privilege to learn from such an intelligent, Godly and humble man.


If you have any questions or would like to learn more either about how to start this program for you and/or your family or how to share this program with those you love and build your own precious team responsible for changing lives, please feel free to email me at I am happy to share and promise that I look at it simply as that, an opportunity to share something that I believe in very much and that I KNOW can impact your life in multiple ways if you'll let it. But if you decide that it is not for you, that is OK! My feelings are not hurt. It's just like turning down my offer for a breath mint. I know you need it but I'm not going to cry about it if you say no. ;-)

Friday, April 8, 2016

Some results

I didn't mean to leave anyone hanging...I know you've all been on the edges of your seats waiting for an update 😉

The shedding seems to have stopped almost entirely over the past several days. Praise the Lord. This is an ENORMOUS relief to this mama's worried heart.

We thought we'd have some results by Monday but I didn't hear from the doctor. I finally gave them a call Thursday and heard back on most of the bloodwork. Great news is that she is PERFECTLY HEALTHY. I mean, INSANELY healthy according to the doctor. Thanks to this food nazi's health and nutrition program she isn't deficient in any vitamins, minerals or nutrients. She tested negative for Celiac, her iron levels are great, immunoglobulins were all perfectly within the normal range and her thyroid function is normal as well. Thank you Jesus for a very healthy little girl!!!! While this is wonderful news it doesn't help to shed any light onto why her hair was falling out and why it may be so slow growing in. We should hear back from her allergy testing probably late next week and I don't really expect to be surprised with what we may learn from that. . She doesn't seem to have food sensitivities so I'd be shocked if that came back with anything and I think it's pretty obvious that she has seasonal allergies due to the reaction to the tree pollen over the past few weeks.

If the allergies don't reveal anything that can be a cause for this then we'll likely be referred to a pediatric dermatologist in Chapel Hill. If she is diagnosed with either or both LAS and/or SAS then we'll pretty much be done as there is no treatment for either syndrome. Well I should rephrase that, some parents do use rogaine on their children but that is simply not something that I'm comfortable even considering given the lack of research and the potential links between the use of rogaine and infertility.

Gluten intolerance is still something that I'm investigating and we're discussing removing it as a family as I think it could only benefit all of our health overall, but I'm just not ready to make the leap just yet.

Still holding out hope and saying many prayers that her sweet hair is just slow to grow, that the shedding was just a random one time thing and that I'll be laughing about what a psycho mom I was in a couple of years. But regardless thankful for my perfectly healthy and beautiful little girl.

December 2015
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016

Maybe I'm just fooling myself but I do feel like I see SOME progress.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." Romans 15:13

Thursday, April 7, 2016

This guy...

So Walker deserves his own post for sure. Once he arrived I tried to keep up with posting updates but man, life with two was a lot busier than I expected! I think it's past time for him to have a post all of his own!

Walker David is 19 months old and is ALL BOY. He wants to climb and run and jump and play with balls and trucks and cars. For those who don't know me, this is pretty much new territory for me. I'm great with barbies, baby dolls, twirling and playing house but playing with Monster Trucks is a whole new adventure. I'm just trying to figure out this "boy mom" gig one day at a time.

One thing I would LOVE to get some feedback is HITTING. This guy hits as soon as we take something away or tell him he can't do something. We've done timeouts and he seems to like them (so did Nicolette). I'll say, "It's time for a timeout" and he walks right over to the timeout spot, sits down and smiles at me while he waits for me to get him out. As soon as he's done we talk about how we don't hit and that it hurts people and then he will give me a hug and if it's Nicolette that he hit, he will go hug her even without prompting. We just didn't have this issue with Nicolette so I'd love to hear thoughts and ideas as to what other moms have done to nip this in the bud as quickly as possible.  Anyone? Anyone?

He'll find a way to climb on anything (and everything)

The boy LOVES animals

Out to rock the vote!

Cool guy

He's obsessed with Daddy's reading glasses

Super stoked for sister's Easter parade

Saturday, April 2, 2016

A child's eyes

Yesterday was a completely draining day. Nicolette's appointment was at 8:00am and her pediatrician's office is about 20 minutes away so with kiddos that sleep until 7-7:30am it meant we were booking it to get there in time. It was a super gloomy, rainy day too so that made it doubly fun.

We made it on time and went through my concerns with the nurse and then again with the Dr. Showed her the vitamins that I currently have Nicolette taking and had her check out Nicolette's allergy eyes. She had a double eye infection AND a double ear infection. Poor munchkin. We talked through everything and they decided to test for the full Iron panel and Thyroid panel, fluoride in the system, celiac and environmental and food allergies. The nurse came back into the room and had Nicolette lie down on the table. They had her look up at me while I held her free arm down. I could NOT have been more proud of my girl. They had to take 4 vials of blood which is A LOT for a tiny little girl like her and she didn't cry when they stuck her and stayed nice and still the entire time. I wanted to cry I was so proud. She's such a tough little thing. They said we may start getting some results on Monday but that some results may take up to a couple of weeks to get back.

In the meantime I've been reading more and more about families who eliminate gluten (and many eliminate dairy as well) and see significant improvements. Even those who don't test positive for celiac seem to see a benefit to removing gluten from the diet. I read the book Wheat Belly a few years ago and do believe there is probably significant value to it and overall health benefit for all of us to eliminate gluten but yikes it's scary and overwhelming to go there. I shouldn't complain since I have several friends with children with SERIOUS allergies and they have no choice but to be vigilant and remove dairy and/or nuts and/or eggs from their diets. It's 100% do-able, I'll just be doing some more research while we wait for our test results.

In the meantime, the hair loss seems to have slowed. I've found no hair on the pillowcase since we started using the "Princess Pillowcase" (her new silk pillowcase) and she's not shedding anymore hair on my shirt or lap when she lays with me. I'm even noticing far less hair in the comb the past day and a half when I've combed her sweet hair. This has helped to ease my anxiety so so so much. With the amount that she lost on Sunday and Monday I had serious fears that she would be nearly bald within a few weeks. We took a walk to Target today and she rode in the stroller and I noticed her hair blowing in the breeze and she was laughing and giggling about it again, how amazing to have that joy. I want to be 3 years old again so that I can be so happy about the little things that we all take for granted as grown ups.

The pediatrician recommended that we wash her hair no more than once per week so I'll only be able to use our essential oils once a week now. The serum is just far too oily to use without washing out afterwards. She did recommend really conditioning her scalp well and I love that she recommended using coconut oil or even an avocado "mask" to condition it. I bought the Honest Company detangling conditioning spray to use daily on her hair. It contains coconut oil and argan oil and no harsh chemicals or endocrine disrupting chemicals so will hopefully help keep her scalp moist in between our weekly shampoo and conditioning treatment. The pediatrician also recommended having her eat some coconut oil and/or olive oil every day so I've started that too. 1tsp of each every day. I use a syringe for the olive oil and she eats the coconut oil off the spoon. She's not wild about it but has done it both days without throwing a major fit.

If the results come back without much information and she's still losing hair and not seeing growth then she said that we would need to see a Pediatric Dermatologist. The sad thing though is that she admitted that there really are not any Pediatric Dermatologists in the Charlotte Metro area with much notable experience in the area of children's hair and hair loss. She recommended that we look at doctors in the Chapel Hill area if that ends up being a route that we need to pursue.

Thank you so much for everyone who checked in on us and sent wishes and prayers for a good appointment. I'll definitely post again as we start getting updates on the tests. My ultimate hope and prayer is that she is 100% healthy and that her hair just starts growing naturally beautiful, long and thick all on it's own. That this is just delayed growth and that this crazy shedding and loss this week has just been the old making way for new healthy growth.

Thank you God for continued peace and strength and for allowing me to see the world through my daughter's eyes every now and then. How amazing this world would be if we all saw it through a child's eyes.


And how appropriate that my Facebook Memory from 4 years ago was this wonderful quote that is still so appropriate today:

"Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation" - Kay Warren