Thursday, April 10, 2014

Jase is 10 Months!!

You turned 10 months on March 8th! IMG_1101

Weight: You weigh 22.4 lbs. Unfortunately we know that from taking you to the doctor. Not sure about height- you seem to be growing into your height just a little. You still have some big hands & feet though. You’re in size 18 month clothing & can even fit in size 24 month footie pjs, and size 4 diapers. (Size 3’s are officially too small.)

Health: Poor little guy! This is your first time being for real sick. It started around March 28th with a little cough. We took you to the doctor on Monday, March 31st because it wasn’t getting better & you started having some green drainage. He said your ears looked great & lungs sounded good. You didn’t have a fever, so he told us what to watch for & to come back if any symptoms worsened. (He did say you were the most compliant baby he has ever seen. You sat perfectly still & let him look at you eyes, ears, nose, & throat. Such a big boy!) We took you back on Friday, April 4th because you weren’t getting any better and had a fever of 100.6 on Thursday night. You were so excited to see and talk to everyone in the office. Dr. Carey gave everything a thorough look & did some blood work. I kept waiting for you to cry when the nurse pricked your toe, but you just smiled and laughed at the her. She asked if you could come back in and give lessons & even Dr. Carey said she never heard a peep. You sure are a TOUGH little dude!! Unfortunately that makes it tricky to tell when you really don’t feel good. She prescribed your first antibiotic- Amoxicillin. I’m not happy about it but trust the doctors.

We’ve been using Little Noses Saline Spray in your nose, homemade vapor rub with essential oils on your feet (with socks on), a Cool Mist Humidifier when you sleep, & the aspirator as needed (although we try to limit it). Friday night (your first dose of antibiotic)your fever spiked to 102.6, so I talked to the nurse with the CHOA nurses’ hotline. They were very helpful and told me what to look out for. I alternated Motrin & Tylenol every 5 hours or so to keep the temperature down. It was a rough night’s sleep for you & me both. I just prayed and prayed over you every time you woke up.

No more fever after 24 hours on the antibiotics so we stopped with the Motrin & Tylenol. You’re still not all the way better, but we can hear all that junk breaking up. It would be so much easier if you knew how to cough, blow your nose on command of spit out the junk when you cough something up. You look so pitiful and we’ve been praying for you all the time. You don’t act like you feel too terribly bad,  but you’re definitely not your happy smiley self which breaks my heart.

They never told us officially what it is- just that there’s a lot of crud going around. Your blood work looked fine. They said it really looks like allergies or a sinus infection, but you’re a little young for both of those. My gut says sinus infection. They said you’re a little young for that, but that it is a possibility and that’s exactly what I think it is.

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Sleep: Other than the rough couple of nights while you were the sickest, you have been sleeping well. The “vapor rub” with essential oils is helping. You’d rather sleep in your bed than anywhere, but adjusted well for the naps you took while we were at Grammy’s this week.

The few times you wake yourself up early from a nap, it’s usually because you’ve pooped. And then of course there was this day… which was loads of fun for everyone involved….AKA me & you.

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Nursing/Eating: You seem to be somewhat weaning during your middle of the day feedings, as those are pretty short & you are eating more and more solids. Your daddy & I joke that you eat as much as we do! (But for real….you can put down some food!) You eat any and everything. Hopefully you’ll stay this great of an eater.

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You have started throwing food off your tray when you don’t want it…..time to get the paint stick out.

What You’re Up to: Oh my word, Jase….you are SOOOO much fun!!! Seriously, you have the coolest little personality and we are so in love with who God created you to be.

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You are hilarious and such a people person!! Everywhere we go, you look around at everyone waiting for them to talk to you. You’re pretty relentless until they say hi, and people are just drawn to you. Maybe because I pray Luke 2:52 over you daily.

You smile and talk to everyone. Love to wave, clap your hands, & say “hi.”

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You laugh a LOT & it is so hilarious to us every time. If I’m ever laughing at something you’re doing, you get tickled & giggle right along with me. You are so SILLY!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVCGoZCrT0s (Laughing with Daddy)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hT7IdbkI9p8 (Back Porch Fun)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bcj-Ya-1xLg (Laughing with Mommy)

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You’re also standing unassisted for a few seconds & walking (assisted) all over the place. You can pretty much run behind your wheeled toys.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x41mw4c8JjE (1st Day of Spring)

You can use utensils & a straw now. You absolutely HATE getting in your car seat and pretty much make a fuss every time we put you in there, but you’re fine once we get going. You’re obsessed with the stairs and LOVE to climb them!! I’m teaching you to come down too & you’re getting it figured out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqFSLeI_Z2M (New Game with Dad)

You are also very helpful & love to help me clean your tray & vacuum.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vBdCXaUVuM (Mommy’s Helper)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCM5LAQRKIA (Helping Vacuum)

You also LOOOOOVE big kids!! You don’t pay much attention to other babies unless you try to poke their eye balls out. (Not sure what’s up with that?)

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eK2et27xIZQ (Hokey Pokey)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaBgn9BDrZU (Playing with Cousins)

Thoughts: Baby Jase…you MELT my heart!!! Even your daddy says “I hope we have a house full like Jase.” You’re the most precious little angel baby and we fall more in love every day, even when we didn’t think it was possible. That may sound cliché, but I MEAN it. You are such an easy, happy, sweet baby and we thank the LORD for you!

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This was a really, really tough last week for Mommy & Daddy and the rest of our family as we said goodbye to your Uncle Michael. You brought joy to us through this sad time. Our hearts our hurting so bad without him. My heart aches for your Grammy & Granddaddy so deeply because I know how much I love you and can’t imagine ever losing you. I’ve been praying for you and your future siblings non-stop since your uncle Michael went to be with the Lord.

You were very much a trooper at Grammy’s house too & stayed on your schedule for the for me while we spent a good bit of time over there. Thank you for doing that & even taking a few extra long naps so I could get things done to help out.

**Huge thank you to Renee, Kelly, & Jade for watching you during the services.

So thankful for you, my sweet, sweet boy. I love you more than words.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Help for the Rainey Family

I cannot thank you enough for all of the outpouring of love, support, & especially prayers for our family over the last week. Our hearts are still hurting beyond words. Michael was truly so special as seen during his beautiful service. He had such a tender, loving heart and he will be so greatly missed as a son, father, husband, brother, cousin, and friend.  I would especially appreciate continued prayers for my Mom & Dad and for Ragan & the kids. My dad and Ragan were the two people the very closest to Michael; they both saw him and spoke with him multiple times a day (Michael and my dad were in business together). It’s going to be hard for them not being able to pick up the phone and call him just anytime…

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I still have times where I can’t do anything but cry. We are clinging to the promises of God’s Word right now. Thankfully we know he is in the arms of Jesus….but selfishly we still want him here with us & it’s hard to see & be part of the family he left behind.

Michael loved Ragan and his kids more than life and wanted nothing more than to provide for them.

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Unfortunately he did not have life insurance. My heart is broken for Ragan & the kids- losing their husband and father, and I want to do everything I can to help ease the financial burden. So far we have been able to cover the funeral and cemetery costs. God has placed some awesome people in our path to minister to us through meals, lawn care/cleaning, and taking care of the animals temporarily. Several neighbors and friends have stepped up to buy household & baby supplies as well. We are so very appreciative of each and every person who has helped in some way, & praying for the Lord to bless you for the kindness.

Y’all know  it is not cheap raising children- especially four kids, and Michael was the primary provider. Ragan will need a lot of help financially. It will be a while before social security will kick in because we have to wait on the death certificate to apply for anything. (I can’t help but cringe typing that.) We are doing our best to handle everything for her so she doesn’t have to worry about any of that…

Many of you have asked how you can help. Truthfully, prayers are SO appreciated and the number one thing we can request right now. However, if you are looking for a more tangible way to help out and feel led to donate, please know that ANY little bit will help and we appreciate any gift. We have an account set up through BB&T called the “James Michael Rainey Children’s Memorial Fund, and donations can be dropped off at any BB&T bank.

Donations may also be given through this Go Fund Me account.

Our family is rallying together to take care of our sweet sister & nieces and nephews to the best of our ability and plan to do so for as long as they need. Thank you all again for you love, prayers, & anything God lays on your heart to give.

“True devotion, the kind that is pure and faultless before God the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their difficulties and to keep the world from contaminating us.”- James 1:27

Monday, March 31, 2014

Prayers for my family…

Saturday, March 29, was the worst day of my life in all of my 28 years.

My big brother Michael unexpectedly went to be with the Lord. He was only 40 years old. He went to sleep Friday night and didn’t wake up Saturday morning.  We are beyond devastated & absolutely heartbroken…

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My heart hurts especially for my sweet parents & the precious family he left behind. No parent should ever have to bury a child. And my sister-in-law, who has been by his side for the last 21 years, is now a widow and going to be raising their four beautiful kids (including a 6 month old baby who will never know her father) on her own. I just cannot imagine…

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Michael & I had a really special bond.  He was my friend & he meant so much to me. His speech at our wedding was one of my most precious memories of the whole weekend, especially because I know how much he hated speaking in front of people. He was so nervous! He really loved Jonathan too….always called him “brother” and they were pretty inseparable at family functions. They were supposed to work together today actually. I just can’t wrap my mind around the fact that we are never going to see him again and I feel totally overwhelmed when I start thinking about it.

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And of course I can’t help but have regrets. I wish I would have spent more time with him…told him how much I loved him….prayed for him more. Friends, go hug your loved ones and tell them how much they mean to you often. I know we hear that often, but tomorrow is not promised to any of us and you just never know…

Our faith, family, & friends are getting us through day by day. I cannot imagine going through this without faith….the only comfort we have in knowing the promises of God’s Word.  Knowing that God will never leave us and never forsake us. That He works together for the good, even we do not understand it. That He will give us peace that surpasses all understanding and comfort us as we mourn. Michael knew the Lord as his personal Savior, and we find comfort and peace in knowing he is in the arms of Jesus.

Still, this is the hardest thing I have every experienced. My heart hurts beyond words. The next few days are going to be unbelievably tough for our family as we lay him to rest on Thursday. I know I have some prayer warriors that read the blog, and I  would really, really appreciate prayers for our family during this time. Especially for my parents as they bury their only son. For my sister-in-law as she buries her husband, best friend, provider, and the father of her children. And for the kids as they bury their daddy. Also, for us siblings as we say goodbye to our brother.

RIP Michael Rainey. You are forever in our hearts and will be so missed…

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Day in My “Diet”

There are so many misconceptions about healthy eating.  Even the word “diet” has a negative connotation. The reality is, everyone has a diet. What you eat- healthy, unhealthy, Paleo, fast food, Atkins, junk, high protein/low carb, whatever- what you eat makes up your “diet.”  Unfortunately we often assume a “diet” means starving yourself, completely eliminating food groups, or eating cardboard to be healthy skinny. This couldn’t be further from the truth!

I eat a good bit throughout the day. I never feel hungry, I have great energy. And I enjoy a variety of very flavorful foods. I enjoy eating.

Being totally transparent though, I used to spend a lot of time thinking about what I eat (in a negative way). I counted calories or points, tracked everything, etc. Honestly, it was exhausting and consumed my mind. After learning HOW to eat the right way, I am SO THANKFUL I don’t have to spend time obsessing over it anymore. That is very freeing. I still spend a decent amount of time with meal prep, but it’s absolutely worth the effort. Honestly, I have learned to listen to my body and what it needs. I eat a good balance of protein, complex carbs, healthy fats (I love cooking with coconut oil & olive oil, eating raw nuts & nut butters, avocadoes, & 1-2 egg yolks + Omegas), & a TON of veggies- eat the rainbow!

It is SO worth taking some time to educate yourself. If you don’t know where to begin, I love Tosca Reno’s book The Eat Clean Diet or The Eat Clean Diet Recharged as a starting place. Super simple. Very interesting. And it teaches you the basics what you need to know to eat healthy.

Here’s an idea of what I eat each day. Of course I mix it up (especially for dinner), but this gives you an idea.

9:00 – (this is when I eat breakfast with Jase) 4 boiled egg whites & 1 whole boiled egg + 1/2 c steel cut oats (quick cooking, organic, gluten-free just for fun) with sliced almonds, ground flax, chia seeds, cinnamon, & raw honey (I used water boiled in tea kettle). If we have somewhere we have to be (Sunday mornings for church, for example) I drink a meal replacement shake. I also drank a shake every single morning when I was teaching.

11:30 – green smoothie or juice (I typically juice vegetables rather than fruit) + handful of raw nuts (almonds, walnuts, etc.)

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1:00 Typically Jase & I eat leftovers from dinner the night before. Sometimes I make a jumbo spinach salad full of veggies & some type of lean meat (tuna, salmon, grilled chicken) + slice (or 2) of cinnamon raisin Ezekial bread with Greek yogurt and cinnamon spread on top

3:30-4ish Here are 4 of my favorite snack options: Apple with raw nut butter, raw veggies & hummus, or homemade kale chips

**On days I work out I have a Vo2 Prime Bar and hour before workouts & Post-Workout Recovery or Pro20 after- around 5ish

7:00 Lean grilled meat (we eat a lot of chicken & fish and use lots of spices or SALSA to amp it up), 1-2 veggies or beans (we love brussel sprouts, asparagus, green beans, broccoli, & peppers) & brown rice or sweet potatoes. We also have a few staples- “fried rice” quinoa, Ezekial wrap burritos with ground turkey & homemade taco seasoning, spaghetti squash spaghetti with turkey meatballs, homemade pizzas on Ezekial wraps, homemade veggie soup, white chicken chili, crockpot meals, etc.

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9:00 Muscle Gain shake or Gingerbread Bar

 

I’m still nursing, so I’m sure I’ll cut back on portion sizes some when I am done with that because right now I eat pretty big portions.

I eat a TON of veggies & I LOOOOOVE them!!!! If I ever still feel hungry, I eat more veggies. Between juicing, smoothies, what we eat raw, and 1-2 veggies for supper, we go through a LOT of vegetables around here. We pick up our produce locally each week through North Georgia Natural, & I get the rest at Kroger. (They have a better organic section than Publix in our area.)

The real key is balance & moderation. Eat real, whole foods as often as possible. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. When you have a cheat meal, enjoy it and don’t feel guilty. Just don’t let it become a habit. Oh, and the other key…..PREPARATION. One of the main reasons we go out to eat, order take-out, pull through fast food, or make a microwave meal is because it is more CONVENIENT, right? If you take the time and make meal prep a habit, it becomes a part of your lifestyle & it throws the convenience excuse out the window.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fertility & Women’s Health Clinics Sharing AdvoCare with Patients

I love that there are AdvoCare products to benefit everyone and we are passionate about helping people manage their weight and improve nutrition. I have personally experienced the benefits & know the crucial role nutrition plays in our overall health & well being- everything from mood, to energy, to sleep. This is important all the time for a healthy lifestyle, but it is especially important for women trying to get pregnant or planning to start a family in the near future. Check out this article about a Fertility & Women’s Health Center using AdvoCare products to help their patients improve these areas. Healthcare professionals across the country are continuing to recognize the power of these products.

The products are scientifically formulated by some of the top doctors, nutritionists, oncologists, etc., on our science and medical advisory board. We may not be the brightest bulbs in the box, but we are certainly smart enough to trust that these guys know what we’re doing when they put these products together.  That has become increasingly obvious to us  through our own personal experience and the results of people we have coached. It’s simple. When taken correctly in conjunction with a healthy diet, the products work. They do what they say they’re going to do.

Still, I can’t help but get excited when I read articles like this about how it is catching on across the nation. This just further confirms for us that we are a part of the right company- a company based on integrity that is truly geared toward helping people improve their health (& financial situation if that’s something you’re looking for extra income like we were).

Do you have any friends who you think would be interested in that article? Definitely worth passing along if it can help even one person.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Building Champion Marriages & Families

While in Cabo, we had the privilege of eating dinner with Coach Mike Wade & his beautiful gem of a wife, Dr. Deb. We loved hearing their story and getting to know them better. Even in the short time we spent with them, it was obvious they are both full of wisdom and model the type of marriage Jonathan and I hope to have. 1978609_973545605152_1951975360_n

Dr. Deb is a former school teacher and a licensed psychologist. She just recently stepped away from her practice, but spent many years working with couples and families through counseling. We were blessed to hear her train on “Building Champion Marriages & Families” & I was so excited to bring back what I learned. Does that not speak incredible volumes about the integrity of this company that they see the importance of training on marriage?? I love it. And people think we just ‘sell vitamins.’ Ha!

The first thing we noticed when Dr. Deb went on stage to begin training was…. her arms. Ha! Jonathan leaned over and said “Man, she’s ripped.” I laughed because I was thinking the exact same thing. (What can we say? She’s a product of the products. And we both appreciate ripped arms. And I’m just sayin….I wanna look like that when I’m a grandma!)

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But beyond the surface level, she blew us away when she spoke  & we have no doubt she added so much value to every couple in the room- including us. I asked for permission afterwards to share on the blog (because y’all know I am all about sharing what I learn) and she gave me the go ahead, so here it is my friends. Enjoy!!

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(Seriously, aren’t they adorable?)

#1 SPARK: One of the number one reasons couples come to counseling is because they’ve lost their “spark.” Do something daily to spark your marriage. Schedule 3-4 date nights a month. Make sure you kiss/hug/touch/talk to your spouse the first 5-10 minutes in the morning and the first 5-10 minutes when you get home from work. Treat your spouse like you did when you were dating until it becomes a habit. Find ways to keep the flame burning.

#2 BAGGAGE: Do not live in the past, bringing up previous mistakes, arguments, issues, etc. We all have “baggage” and it’s meant to be in the past. Enjoy the present, focus on positive memories from the past, and dream together in excitement for the future. Guard your heart daily so you don’t add more baggage to the relationship. Learn to say “I’m sorry” and be quick to forgive.

#3 BOUNDARIES: Lots of marriages are ending in divorce over FB. Be VERY cautious with social media. Never, ever be alone with someone of the apposite sex for any reason. Be careful with touch (side hugs are better than full frontal) and how much you talk. It’s not okay to assume you’re a naturally chatty or flirty person- be respectful of your spouse at all times. Be careful what you allow into your home (entertainment), hearts, & minds. Choose other relationships carefully. Be aware of how you spend your time. Eat meals TOGETHER (no electronics allowed).

#4 INVEST: Invest time into each other and into your marriage. Devote intentional time- at least 3-4 date nights a month. Have FUN! Fun is the glue that holds people together. Take turns planning date nights. Seek wisdom. Invest in yourself as well to keep growing and becoming a better wife/husband for your spouse.

#5 THE DEEP END:  Work on getting beyond surface level and into the ‘deep end’ of your relationship. This is a richer aspect where you are more connected (on many levels) to one another than anyone or anything else. As time goes on in our marriage, it should become a deeper bond. Ask thought provoking questions and really get to know each other.

#6 ICEBERG: We tend to focus on the surface level and fight over silly issues, when in fact there are usually much deeper issues to address. Couples typically have the same conflict over and over because they never address what’s under the surface. Be real & vulnerable. Let your spouse know what’s really bothering you (because it’s probably not really about the fact that he leaves his socks on the floor).

#7 BAD MATH: Marriage is not 50/50. It is 100/100. If you’re not giving 100% effort 100% of the time, you’re not going to get that back. Serve your spouse the way you’d like to be served; extend grace the way you’d like to receive grace; speak to them the way you’d like to be spoken to. The golden rule applies in marriage. Also, back to the baggage thing…Multiplying fractions leads to more fractions. It takes two WHOLE people to successfully multiply (have children) and end with more whole numbers. If you or your spouse are broken, work on healing and resolving those issues ASAP.

#8 BANISH: What takes away the security in your marriage? BANISH anything that does. Busy schedules can be an issue. Even seemingly positive things (like hobbies) can come between a marriage, so be aware of how you spend your time and make conscious effort to keep your spouse first (second only to a relationship with the Lord). Take time to model a loving relationship in front of your children. How else will they learn what a solid relationship looks like? (They certainly aren’t getting it from the media!) Kiss each other! Hug often! Flirt (with your spouse)! Be the kind of wife you want your son to marry and the kind of wife you want your daughter to be (& vice versa for the fellas). It’s probably not a surprise that one of the #1 times for divorce is empty nest. Why? Couples devote all of their time and energy into their children and forget why they fell in love in the first place. That’s why the “deep end” is so important.

#9 DIFFERENCES: Shocker of the century- men and women are DIFFERENT. We have different thoughts, wants, needs, etc. The differences are meant to bring out the best in one another and compliment each other, so the most efficient way to have our differences work to our advantage is through COMMUNICATION. Communication skills take time and effort to develop. Learn how to communicate with your spouse. That means putting down the phone & turning off the laptop and television to really connect and LISTEN. Learn to appreciate your spouse’s differences. (For example, Jonathan is an AWESOME problem solver. One of my strengths is “maximizer” and I do not like to slow down long enough to solve problems. I LOVE that he fills in that gap for me and I need to make sure he knows how much I appreciate that about him.)

#10 DEPOSITS PAY DIVIDENDS: Use your words to build one another up. Discover your spouse’s love language and put it into action. Do something every single day to let your spouse know you care.

#11 INTIMACY: This means both emotional and physical intimacy. This is a gift between you and your spouse that should be freely given. Intimacy is key and part of the special bond between husband and wife. (FYI: Do NOT Google “intimacy” to try to find a picture. Take my word for it.)

#12 BLACK & WHITE: Kids want black & white. There is way too much “grey” in our society today & that is confusing, so establish concrete expectations and boundaries for your children. Have unsinkable standards. Be consistent. Communicate with your children. Deep down, kids do not want parents to be their friends. Be the parent.

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Thank you for your words of wisdom, Dr. Deb!

P.S. I have to throw this out there. Mike & Deb have a single 34 year old son….and seeing as how I have somewhat of a reputation for match-making, I figured I’d throw it out there for all the single ladies! He lives in Tallahassee, FL….I have no doubt is a champion in life based on who his parents are….and know that you would never have an issue with in-laws because Coach & Dr. Deb are the bomb! (I’ll see if she can hook me up with a picture.) Hey, ya never know, right? Any single ladies in the house??