The Obstacle That Led To My Path

Can I share something with you?  For many years I prayed about something and begged God for a miracle.  I remember as a teenager asking why me?  I remember the days of not feeling whole, like I wasn’t truly a person.  I vividly remember one of my teachers, Mr. Cone, asking one day in class who was going to a dance coming up.  I didn’t answer.  Why?  Because who would expect me to go.  Middle school is tough for any kid.  Add in there something that makes you different and it’s even worse.  I honestly can’t remember a time when anyone really ever made fun of me.  I really don’t.  I might have been teased, but if I was, I’ve blocked those moments out. There were a couple of situations that I do remember that made me realize that not everyone accepts things the same way.   But inside, I felt less than whole.  I was the last kid to be picked in gym class.  I never dated anyone in high school.  I wondered many times if someone could love me.

Now I look back and wonder how this happened.  I had two great parents who loved me.  They didn’t put limitations on me. But my mind did.  All because I have one arm that doesn’t work well.  I suffered what is called a Brachial Plexus Injury.  I was a 9# 11 oz baby who was stuck during a difficult delivery.  My mom tells me the nurse was on top of her trying to push me out.  I can only imagine how terrifying that was.  I survived, that’s the true miracle here.  I didn’t suffer brain damage…at least I don’t think.  Haha.  There is talk of negligence of the doctor who delivered me.  Here’s what matters…it happened and even if there was, you can’t change what’s happened.  You can only move forward.  What good would it do to focus on the bad?  Nothing.

What happened to that girl who was praying for a miracle for her arm?  Well I grew up.  I carried around this question in my mind of whether I would spend my life alone.  I tried to hide my arm, even in my 20’s and 30’s.  I would always put my hand in my pocket.  I wore a lab coat for my job and I always hid my hand.  Or I would carry my binder and hold my hand.  I had many people tell me they didn’t even notice anything was different about me for months.  But in my mind it was like I had a flashing red light above my head.  That’s what the mind can do.  It can create these feelings that can limit you.

I reached my 30’s and had lost my mom.  I weighed more than I wanted to.  All these things added to my lack of confidence and not feeling happy with where I was in my life.   I decided to make some changes.  As I lost weight and became more fit, my confidence soared.  I met my soon to be husband online.  My greatest fear was telling him about my arm.  He didn’t care.  We had two kids together and guess what, there was nothing that I couldn’t do to take care of my kids.  All these fears I had in my mind all those years…they were all for nothing.

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I still lacked confidence at times though as an adult.  When I chose my wedding dress, I bought gloves to cover my arms so they would look the same in pictures.  I still wore long sleeve shirts out on my walks in the heat.  I’m still a work in progress when it comes to showing how I’m different.  I’ve never enjoyed being in the spotlight and even considered a destination wedding to avoid being the center of attention.  But I’m glad we chose to stay local and have family and friends present when we married.

Two years ago I was offered an opportunity.  What I could never have imagined was the impact it would have on my life.   I began coaching and part of the company’s vital behaviors is personal development.  Every day I was listening or reading to something uplifting.  I gave up the old me who looked at the negative side of life, the just get by attitude, the settling for where I am thoughts.  I started realizing that I am worthy.  I’ve always believed God had a very specific purpose for me in this life and I’ve honestly thought for years that my arm had something to do with it.  I just never knew how He was going to use that “obstacle”.  I started realizing that my story inspires many.  Those that have a million excuses why they can’t do something, often think again when they see me.  I’ve changed from the inside out.  I’m still working to get back to my pre-baby weight, but I know I will.  I believe I was made for great things.  For me to name my Facebook Page One Armed Warrior and name this blog by the same name….that never would have happened even 5 years ago.  I would have still been trying to hide that piece of the puzzle that makes me who I am.  I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and overcome much of my shyness and anxiety.  In the process I’ve met some people who have changed my life.  My friend Becky is a coach and has become my success partner and great friend.  My friend Ellen, not only did she lose an amazing amount of weight, she became one of my coaches and a wonderful friend.  When you change your life, it becomes a ripple effect.

beckyandme

 

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I have thanked God many times for my injury.  That sounds strange,  I know.  But I honestly believe the compassion I feel for people is tremendous.  I love people deeply.  I want more for them.  I might not struggle with the same things they have…but we are all His children.  I want others to know that they can be whatever they choose to be.  They can lose weight with a great support system. They can start their own business. They can feel good in their own skin.  All this is possible!

Recently I found a Brachial Plexus support group on Facebook and joined.  I have learned more in the past couple of months than I ever knew in 41 years.  I now know how blessed I am that I don’t deal with some of the issues many do.  Wow, you feel lucky when you hear what some others are going through.  Gives you a whole new attitude.  But I am so thankful I found this community of others.  I also learned this is an injury you can experience at any age.  I had no idea.  I’m very thankful it’s all I’ve ever known.  It’s far easier to learn from birth vs as an adult how to do things with one good arm.

I continue to be thankful.  If I can inspire others in some small way to make positive changes to their lives through this injury I had at birth, it’s ALL worth it.  I pray you look at your life circumstances and see the good in what you might think is the bad.  If you are the parent of a child that has had a BPI (Brachial Plexus Injury) or some other injury/limitation, just love your kids with all your heart.  Tell them every day they are great.  Tell them they can do anything they set their mind to.  Help them share their story from a very young age with others.  Kids love learning and are so accepting when you tell them what happened. Just think, that injury may lead to greatness in their life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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success redefined

1997.  That was the year I began my career as a Registered Dietitian.  Not sure how nearly two decades have passed but I sure have learned a lot about myself and this world in those years.  I was the typical excited college grad just looking for a job.  I was willing to go wherever I found that first job. I ended up in Lafayette.  I had only been there traveling through on the way to Chicago.  I quickly found an apartment and was excited to start.  $11.63/hour.  I didn’t realize at the time how challenging that would be to live on, especially without any courses on budgeting.  I was 23 and thought I knew everything.

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The funny thing is it didn’t take long before I realized this 8-5 thing just wasn’t “my thing”.  I was salaried but you were expected to stay the whole day regardless of the patient load.  I like to stay busy.  On days when the load was light, I would have preferred to leave early.  I worked in an office in the basement.  I saw the sunshine when visiting with patients, but much of the time was in the dungeon.  I daydreamed about what type of job I could work outside.  The problem with that dream is I’m not a big fan of extreme heat or cold.  So I kept working.  I only intended to stay 2 years, get some experience, then move to Indy.  Well I met some great friends and stayed 9 years.  I recall a week about 3-4 years into my career where I felt like I was reliving the same day over and over, day after day. The same daily grind.  The alarm would go off and I would think to myself, didn’t I just do this?

Fast forward 18 years.  I finally discovered there is life outside of the “norm”. I knew all those years ago I was meant for something better.  I honestly wondered all the time if other people felt the same as I did but never really had the courage to ask others.  It seemed like maybe it was just me.  They seemed ok with coming to work and doing the same job, day after day.  Living by other people’s schedules, rules, and plans.  Every time a new “rule” was put into place it just felt like the box was shrinking and I was trying to climb out.

I started listening to and reading The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster by Darren Hardy last week.  He says that only about 10% of people are entrepreneurs, leaving the other 90% in the normal category.  Well I knew I was probably in the minority, but I am glad to know there are others who understand the need to be different.   I will say that the road to success is not easy for entrepreneurs, but like a friend told me, “once you’ve been your own boss you will never want to go back”.  So much truth.

As I was listening to the audio in the car, Darren was talking about how we define success.  Success in my eyes as a new college graduate would have been to be a Registered Dietitian who climbed the ladder and lived comfortably.  I never found that position that held that potential and I quickly learned that just wasn’t my dream job.  Now that I’m in my 40’s and married with children, what defines success for me is having a career that allows me to have flexibility.  I define the time of day I work best.  I attend any event that involves my children that I desire.  I can help in their classroom.  I am feeding my kids breakfast, picking out their clothes per their request, and I’m home when the bus pulls up.   I’m helping with homework and projects.  I’m tucking them in at night.  I want my children to remember a mom whose priority was being there for them.  What I realize now though is success is defined differently for each and every one of us.  And we should respect that.

Is my job easy?  Yes and no.  I LOVE what I’m doing and it’s a true extension of my career, but in a far more wonderful way.  Is it challenging to build a business to be successful?  Absolutely.  But what I believe is I was meant for this.   This IS my dream job.  I love helping others live better lives.  I love fitness and nutrition.  I love that I can help someone else who has those same feelings burning deep inside that there is a better way, a better life.  Where their success can be defined however they wish.

This picture shows a much happier person than I ever felt in my 18 years in an office.  This is my friend Becky Munger.  She is also my success partner.  We signed up as coaches the same week.  We talk all the time and are so much alike it can be scary.  I am so blessed and thankful we connected.  As an entrepreneur, you need a great friend who can lift you up.  It is definitely a roller coaster ride.  But I wouldn’t have it any other way.  When you are excited to get up super early on a Saturday to attend a meeting or make it to a workout to train with the best, you realize you have found your passion.  I found my Why.  I found something I love and my hope is each of you do too.

abetterlife

 

 

 

 

 

New to Aldi? Here’s The Scoop

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Growing up my mom went to numerous stores to buy groceries each week.  She would pour over the sale flyers and make her list and one day each week she spent most of the day shopping.  One of her stops as I got older was Aldi.  I remember lots of generic foods and not really enjoying going there.  They have come so far in the past few years!  If you haven’t been there lately, give it another try.  All the cool moms shop there.  🙂   I run into someone I know nearly every week.  If you are against saving money, don’t go in there.  Stick with the high price grocery stores.  I know some people “feel” good going to the Organic stores.  I enjoy going there too but only on an occasional basis.  Each week or every other week as I’ve recently started trying out shopping twice a month, you will find me there starting our shopping.  I head to Meijer next for the items Aldi doesn’t carry.  I wanted to share some tips for those who have never shopped Aldi as there are some things to know.

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1. BRING A QUARTER

Aldi saves money by having a cart return system.  Put a quarter in and get a cart.  I promise you will get it back when you return your cart.  This saves Aldi money as there aren’t carts they have to pay someone to retrieve in the parking lot.  Less cluttered lots mean more parking spots and less dings to your car from rolling carts. The parking lot is small too so even on a rainy day, you won’t have far to go.

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2. BRING YOUR OWN BAGS

Bring lots of reusable bags, the sturdier the better.  This is great as you don’t have 25 grocery bags to deal with every week.  You can wash these occasionally.  🙂 I just keep them in my car at all times so I always have them with me.  I suggest about 8-10 bags, at least 1-2 of those insulated bags.

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3. HAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO BROWSE

Aldi is small.  But they do carry a lot of great items in that small space.  I have my regular items I get every visit.  But the fun thing is they always have seasonal items and new things to try.  They also are greatly expanding their gluten-free line and organic items.  You will find name brand items there as well as their own line.  Did you know they are a brother company to Trader Joes?  It’s funny how the name of the store can conjure up feelings.  People often think of Aldi as cheap, generic food whereas they think of Trader Joe’s being upscale, cool, and trendy.  Trust me, if you truly enjoy getting good food at a cheaper price, Aldi is your place.

So what do I buy there?  I buy nuts, snacks for the kids such as pretzels and popcorn, crackers, pure maple syrup, applesauce, canned fruit, beans, fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, milk, almond milk, salads, ground beef (they carry grass fed organic), cheese, cheesesticks, specialty cheese, spices and herbs, cooking spray, coconut oil, frozen and fresh chicken breasts, deli turkey, ziplocs, trash bags, dryer sheets, broth, frozen fruit among other items.  They carry chia seeds, flax seeds, and many other healthy items.  Aldi is making great strides to avoid food dyes and other additives.

4. BRING CASH OR A DEBIT CARD

I’ve heard rumors of this changing but for now I believe it’s cash/debit only.  It used to be cash only so it’s nice they take a debit card these days.  You can get cash back as well using your debit card.

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5. YOU BAG YOUR OWN GROCERIES

When you check out at Aldi, you place your groceries on the conveyor and as they scan the products (there are numerous bar codes on every item which makes it super fast), then they place them back in your cart.  Even with a few people in line, the process is very quick.

The cashiers are paid over $11/hour, more than the average grocery store pays.  What does this mean to you?  They are friendly, helpful, and they stick around.  You get to know them pretty quickly.  I always enjoy chatting with them while I’m in line.

After you have paid with cash or debit card, you take your cart over to the bagging area.  If you happen to forget your bags, they do have some you can purchase for a few cents each.  There are also boxes throughout the store you can grab to put your groceries in.  Have your bags handy and you get to sort and bag your own items.  I actually like this.  You choose where your cold items go and can sort according to where they go in your fridge or pantry.

Once you’ve put your groceries in you car, return your cart for your quarter.  I always have quarters in my cup holder in the Jeep so I’m never out.  One of the fun things is, most of the time people want your cart and will give you a quarter without you having to go return it.  I’ve often had people bring me a cart and refuse to take my quarter.  It’s just a nice way to see people at their best.  People often let you go ahead of them in line.  Forgot your bags?  Often someone will hand you one of theirs to take.  I’ve honestly never experienced the friendliness at any other store like I have at Aldi.

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6. YOU SAVE MONEY

My total for the groceries you see pictured was $130.71.  I challenge you in 45 minutes to be able to get the same items at any other store for less money.  Unless you are an extreme couponer or go to several stores to get all the great deals, chances are it would be a challenge.  I used to have a huge binder full of coupons from the paper and printed off the internet.  The time I spent cutting and sorting and pulling them out and haggling with the cashier was costly.  I also found a large majority of coupons were for not so healthy items.  I still use paper towel, toilet paper, laundry/dish detergent, shaving cream, and other household item coupons, but most food coupons I was not using.  I do love at Meijer when I score coupons printed off at checkout for produce, dairy, and bread items but those are rare.

Aldi does not accept coupons (other than ones in their flyer or in the newspaper occasionally).  Some say they will not shop at a store where they can’t use coupons.  But I know grocery prices well and since the stores have stopped doubling coupons, I know I save money without using coupons.  I don’t miss sorting all those coupons honestly.

Today, I noticed some markdowns on nuts and other items.  Another score was the greek yogurt quarts were 50% off for 3 days.  I’m hoping they offer more deals like this in the future. I’ve noticed the past few visits they were out of whole almonds (unsalted, baking aisle type).  This week they had a 12oz bag of organic almonds for $7.99.  I think I can do better at Meijer so I passed on them.  I think the key is knowing your prices and also paying attention to the labels.  Know what you are looking for and what you are avoiding.

One more tip…shop early.  If you go early in the day, the store is very quiet and you can get in and out quickly.  Go in the late afternoon or evening and it will be far busier. Same with weekends.

Give Aldi a try if you haven’t been there lately.  I recommend it to my friends all the time and I think the trend is catching on.  Maybe I’ll see you there one day soon?

If you are an Aldi regular, share any tips I may have forgotten and please share what your favorite items include.

 

why I almost said no to beachbody

Next month I celebrate my two year anniversary with Beachbody as a coach. I can say it’s one of the best decisions I ever made.  Looking back I realize it almost never happened, I spent several months being offered the opportunity and declining it.  I sort of just wanted my coach to go away.  Why?  Because I was a skeptic.  I have to give my coach, Lora, kudos for not giving up on me.  I’m thankful she kept asking even though I had plenty of excuses. Too expensive.  I don’t need a shake.  I just left another direct sales company with no intention of ever “selling” again.  I can do it on my own.  I’m a Registered Dietitian.  She finally asked me a question that got me thinking that I just needed to make a decision.  Yes or No.  I decided why not?  I told Facebook I was signing up before I even officially said yes to her.  If there is one thing I feel I’m usually very good at, it’s making decisions.  I appreciate that quality in others as well.  I thought to myself, what can it hurt to give it a try.  I’ll save some money on these shakes I’m drinking and if I don’t love it, I can quit.  But I did love it.

Beachbody is a community.  Not a crazy cult.  No kool-aid.  But we love each other.  We are like minded people who are focused on living healthy lives and sharing that with others.  We don’t ever presume to be perfect and the beautiful thing is we all have the opportunity to share our struggles with others and inspire people in the process.  I admit the name threw me. Beachbody.  I’m not a big fan of the name.  It eludes to us all wearing bikinis and having perfect bodies.  If you have been to a meeting you know that we come in ALL shapes and sizes.  I honestly have no true desire for 6 pack abs.  I might be one of the few coaches who will tell you that.  I want to be thin, healthy, full of energy…but I don’t ever want to obsess about my weight or all my flaws.  I have plenty of those already.  I share that because I want others to know it’s OK if your goal is to lose 10#, to fit in a chair, to be able to go on rides without worrying if you will fit.   Those are life changing goals.

I have had the chance to share my story with many of you over the past two years.  Prior to becoming a coach, I had a LOT of confidence issues.  I was a different person.  When I started sharing bits and pieces of my life on Facebook, I was overwhelmed with the support and nice comments I received.  I got to know my coworkers better because the shy Melissa finally started creeping out of her shell.  I’ll always be an introvert at heart, but I found a way to share “me” and inspire others.  I have a lot of flaws, but releasing some of those and sharing what makes me who I am has opened up a life I never imagined.

I had many self-limiting beliefs before I became a coach.  I thought as a Registered Dietitian I didn’t need help from a shake.  Honestly though, I’ve struggled with my weight since I was around 10 years old. As an adult I’ve ranged from a size 12 to a size 0.  It’s tough when you are in the nutrition business to be overweight.  Trust me when I say you are certainly judged.  And I get it.  You expect the one giving advice to be perfect and never struggle with what they are teaching.  But many of us do.  Maybe it even led us down the path to becoming a dietitian to help others.  I’ve never dealt with an eating disorder luckily, but I know portions and grazing and eating too many carbs have been a challenge for me.  I enjoy eating.  Even with my skills and training, in 2013 I had let stress at work have an effect on my food choices.  I avoided the scale until the yearly doctor visit.  I realized I weighed nearly 20# more than I weighed after I gave birth to my son a few years earlier.  So I said yes to trying Shakeology.  But only when offered with an incentive.  I tried my first month at the coach price vs customer price.  I admit the first time I tried it I hated it. Another coach recently said it tasted like dirt to her when they first released it a few years ago.  I’d say that would sum up my thoughts too.  So when people say they hated the sample I gave them, I get it.  It’s truly about finding the right recipe.  And finding the value.  For me it was the curbing of my addiction to sweets.  I can honestly say within a month of drinking Shakeology every day, I had overcome that addiction.  Sweets no longer had a hold on me.  27 months later I’ve hardly ever missed a day of drinking it.  I love having one easy, yet healthy meal each day that I don’t have to think about.  There are no artificial sweeteners in it, no soy.  It’s not filled  with caffeine.  There are no extra pills to take.  It’s packed with superfoods. There’s even vegan options (happens to be my favorite) for those who avoid whey.  Despite the fact I  was never into “shakes”,  Shakeology is honestly a lot more than a shake.  I just had to open my mind a little to a different way of thinking.  That tends to be hard for many dietitians, including myself.

One of the most challenging parts of coaching for me has been inviting.  Inviting others to join a challenge group or inviting them to the coach opportunity.  Why?  Because I don’t want ANYONE to think I’m inviting them just to make money or advance my business.  I think this is a common issue in sales.  I know many coaches have told me they don’t invite their family or friends.  Their business comes strictly from Instagram, Pinterest, or other social media platforms.  I’ve thought about that a lot.  My primary goal is to help people.  If I don’t know them, I still want and love to help them.  But I also feel like if I am passionate about my journey, passionate about how my life has changed, the benefits I’ve had from Shakeology, my love of great workouts, I NEED to share that with the people I love.  I realize not everyone wants or needs what I have, but I do feel it’s my job to offer it.  I hear a lot of no’s.  That’s ok.  The reason I became a Registered Dietitian was to help my family and friends live healthier lives.  I found my passion lies in nutrition/fitness.  So if you have been invited by me to join anything, it truly is because I care about you and feel what we offer could make your life better.  It’s funny when I think back to the people who have reached out to me.  Runners.  Very fit women.  People I never thought “needed” what we had.  Once again it was me assuming and me deciding for others.  Once I realized we offer something for every level of fitness and nutrition, I knew that I need to think differently.  Some people even join Beachbody for the business opportunity before they even know anything about the programs.  No matter where you start, the key is starting.

One person who has inspired me to keep inviting and being ok with all the no’s is Ellen Jones.  She is now one of my dear friends and coaches.  But her journey started with me asking,   “would you like to join a group I have starting in February (2015)?”  This was in January of 2015.  A year later she has lost 186 pounds!  To say I’m proud is an understatement.  It’s humbling.  Her life is very different than it was the day we started.  But she keeps me motivated to keep inviting.  I never know how  the decision to join one of my groups or the business might change your life.  If I don’t ask, the answer will always be no.  I pray a lot about my business.  I believe I have the potential to change many lives, including my own.  When people say yes to me, it’s about far more than a sale.  To me it’s about the story.  Your story.  How your life has changed and how you can bless others with your story.  I always wanted to be a part of something big and this is it.

So what about the cost?  Well, I finally decided I was worth the expense.  To live a healthier life…that is priceless.  I also enjoy sharing what I love with others.  As coaches, we do earn commissions from our sales.  But even if you stop buying from me, I am still your coach…for free.  Seriously.  I found my passion in the nutrition business years ago but this business has offered me the chance to help those who truly want help.  I figured out a long time ago that if you truly want something, you will find a way to make it happen.  $140 to change your life?  That’s pretty reasonable in my opinion.  That’s a few less drive-thru meals, a few less Starbucks, a few less energy drinks, a few less impulse buys at Target each month.  Trust me, you CAN find the money.  Sell a few things.  If you want to change your life, we have a great product packed with nutrition.  We have programs.  We have accountability groups to plug you in to. The decision to change is up to you.  But what I found is if you surround yourself with positive people who are on a journey themselves to live a better life, you will find that your life is so much richer.

May you find your passion in life.  May you find something that brings you joy and fills your heart.  That’s what this life is about.  Helping others and knowing you’ve made an impact in this life.

 

scatterjoy

 

A Life Well Lived

I’ve had someone on my mind and in my prayers the past few months.  I know many are following her story.  It’s all over Facebook.  The headlines are always sensationalized it seems.  The difference with this story is I actually know this person.  I grew up next door to her.  She’s 14 months younger than me and she and her siblings became my siblings from an early age.  They were my playmates.   She is living her last days on this Earth.  For believers, we know she will be leaving this place we call home for her real home.  This brings some peace, but for those remaining, a void.  I’m writing about Joey Martin Feek.

Joey grew up in the farmhouse where my dad lived for many years.  Our home was built next door to that farmhouse.  Some of my earliest memories include playing with her and her sisters Jody and Julie, and her brother Justin.  Jessie came several years later.  If it was nice out, I was often at their house, a few steps away from mine.  We were almost always outside.  It seemed like all day long I would be over there, but who knows, time seems so different as a kid. We played in the barns, the horse trough, in the field, walked down the road.  Somehow even with one good arm I remember climbing the vertical stair rung to get to the hay and find kittens and their mommas.  We went to the corn crib and played school and house. I have great memories of dressing Justin up in girl clothes while he slept (or pretended to sleep).   If I could compare my childhood to a TV show, it would have been very similar to Little House on The Prairie.  We lived in simple times.  We lived in safe times, or at least it seemed that way.  There are only four homes in a mile stretch where we grew up.  It’s far different from life in a neighborhood or even in a town or city.

Gardening is something you tend to do if you live in the country.  My dad always had a large garden and my mom took care of canning and preparing our meals.  The Martins were no exception.  They also had a garden.  Joey learned from an early age about living off the land and seemed to have a great appreciation for the simple life.  I can tell that from Rory’s posts, from listening to their songs, to seeing pictures of Joey in their garden in Tennessee.

As we got older, playing together lessened.  A few years later I left for college and Joey eventually moved to Tennessee.  The last time I remember talking with Joey was in the Summer of 2006.  She and Rory played at the Madison County 4-H Fair.  After the concert was over,  I went up and gave her a hug and we chatted for a few minutes.  We hadn’t seen each other for many years. She said I reminded her of Allison Krause.  I let her know how happy I was for her and how much I enjoyed the concert and after that we moved on so they could greet other fans.  I knew music was her joy.  You could see it in her eyes and the smile on her face.  As they produced CD’s, I enjoyed listening to her music.  When Joey and Rory performed on Can You Duet, I cheered them on.

When Rory began his blog, I loved reading his posts.  They give you a glimpse into their life.  After Indy was born, he opened up about their home birth and the fact that Indy has Down’s and how difficult it was for Joey.  I felt a connection and wanted to give her a great big hug and tell her it would all be ok.  I am different and I’m thankful.  I knew then Indy would bring so much joy to their life.  Then came the cancer diagnosis.  That diagnosis came at the same time two other ladies I knew were diagnosed.  I prayed.  I believed she would be ok.  And she was…for a while.  I was so happy to see Indy’s personality developing and knowing all would be ok.  Until it wasn’t.  I think every mom’s nightmare is either something will happen to her children or she won’t be there to watch them grow up.  My mom had cancer when I was 14.  I remember that feeling of not knowing.  Being scared.  My mom lived until I was 29.  Honestly there is never an easy time to lose a parent.

Joey’s story seems unfair in so many ways.  She and Rory are so loving.  They have a great story.  They have had great success.  They have three beautiful daughters.  Why them?  I honestly don’t know.  Joey lost her brother at a very young age.  It just seems so unfair for one family to suffer the loss of two children.  In difficult times we often use the “everything happens for a reason” line.  But at church we had an entire sermon series on these common things people say to try to make someone feel better during hard times.  The Bible does not support many of the lines we use.  What I do know is she is ready to go Home, to her eternal home.  That brings peace to my heart.  Those left behind, there are no words that can ease that loss.  The emptiness.  What I am thankful for is the life Joey has lived.  She truly is a wonderful person and will leave behind a legacy.  If we can learn from Joey, let’s learn to love more.  To honor God.  To live simply.  To live life to the fullest.  To go after your dreams.

My prayers are with Joey, Rory, their girls, the Martins, and all the family, friends, and millions of fans.  She truly has lived a great life in her short 40 years.  May God richly bless her.  May all those left behind be forever changed having known her.

joeyandroryhymns

 

 

A New Adventure

Welcome!  I’m excited to be joining the blogging community and sharing more about me and my passions.  A little about me first.  I’m Melissa.  A 41 year old mom and wife.  We are raising two kids, Kylie (7) and Liam (5), and my step-son Jordan is 21.  We live in a suburb of Indianapolis.   I have lived in Indiana all my life.  I joke that I’m two degrees of separation from everyone in Indiana.  From growing up in Alexandria, attending IU in Bloomington, Ball State University in Muncie, an internship in Ft. Wayne, living in Lafayette, Brookston, and now Fishers, I feel like I can make a connection with almost anyone I talk with.

I’m an introvert by nature but I do love getting to know people.  I’m not sure if that makes sense but hopefully some can relate.  I love being at home but I also enjoy getting outside and spending time with close friends and family.

My loves include my faith, fitness, food, and frugal living.  I’m also a little obsessed with organization.  Staying organized is a little challenging with a husband and kids.  My husband Bill and I didn’t meet until I was 32.  We married when I was 33 and 9 months later we added Kylie to the family.  I’ve had to adjust my love of clean and neat with other people’s ideas of how they like to live.   But I continue to work on keeping our home somewhat organized and free of excess clutter.  Like I said, it’s a work in progress!

Other loves I have include photography, walking, 30 minute workouts, crafts, decorating, and traveling.  I also love entertaining.  I dream of one day having a large farmhouse table outside to host large dinners and parties.

I worked 18 years as a Registered Dietitian before taking a HUGE leap two months ago to become a full-time Beachbody Coach.  Both are very similar careers but I get to enjoy working from home and being my own boss, a dream come true!

Through this blog, I would love to share recipes, tips for healthy eating, fitness tips, saving money at the grocery as well as how to live on less, plus organization tips.  I’d love to share life as it is and get input and tips from other moms on how they would handle things.  I would love for you to join me in this new adventure.