Seasons

If you are familiar with the Christian vernacular you have heard the phrase, “It’s just a season we are in.” This is a phrase I have heard and used many times before, particularly when it comes to the hardships we’ve experienced the last four years; however, it wasn’t until I was talking to a friend last week that I realized it’s really just been one long season. I’m not sure about you, but I often think of seasons as short bursts of something. Summer only lasts 3 months and then it’s gone. But that’s not necessarily true with the seasons of our life.

It’s no secret that in the last four years we have gone through infertility treatments, miscarriage, illness – both physical and mental, job dissatisfaction, high risk pregnancy, family cancer, death, surgeries, 135 days in the NICU, physical therapy, speech therapy, feeding therapy, vital stim therapy, eye exams, doctors appointments, hours on the phone with insurance, being denied services, fighting to get medical equipment, financial difficulty, unknown after unknown, and I could keep going. One. Long. Season.

Recently, I’ve been reminded of the battle of Jericho that is detailed in Joshua 6. God often does this for me – He presents the same story or verse over and over again because He knows how stubborn I am. In fact, as I am writing this I’m watching Queer Eye on Netflix and there is a choir singing The Battle of Jericho. Ok God, I hear You.

In Joshua 6 the Israelites had finally made it to the promised land after 40 years in the wilderness and then they come upon Jericho. If I were an Israelite, I’d be like, “Really God?! We just went through 40 years in the wilderness, the promised land is in our sight, and you’re giving us another battle to fight?” Jericho was an impossible battle and what does God tell them to do? Walk. Just put one foot in front of the other. Keep going. And that is what He is telling me.

Rachel, I see you in the wilderness.

I am with you.

Walk. Put one foot in front of the other.

I will fight your battles for you.

I don’t always feel this truth, but He is gracious in reminding me, in pulling me back to Him when honestly I’m just angry. Angry at this broken world. And He pulls me close and says, I know. I see you.

Deals of the Week – Memorial Day sales!

J. Crew –

1

1. lace sleeve t-shirt –  $12

2. two tone denim  – $32

3. swim suit  – $49

4. maxi tank dress – $26

5. Cotton sweatpants – $23

6. leopard print ball cap – $10

American Eagle + Aerie –

2

1. White eyelet headband – $9

2. Beaded tiered earrings – $9

3. jumpsuit – $45

4. cut out one shoulder swimsuit – $27

5. Bright side sunnies – $9

6. stripe paperboy shorts – $34

Old Navy + Gap –

3

1. stripe button down – $24

2. Mens linen cotton short sleeve shirt – $27

3. toddler swimsuit – $8

4. tie-shoulder v-neck swing dress – $28

5. men’s swim trunk – $15

6. ruffle set for baby – $18

health + beauty –

4

1. organic coconut oil – $12

2. Acure shampoo + conditioner set – $17

3. bite beauty liquified lipstick – $12

4. bkr glass water bottle – $31

5. whirl trio interchangeable curling wand – $250

6. coola mineral face SPF 30 – $27 plus free gift with purchase

Baby –

5

1. Pack ‘n Play – $75

2. love to dream swaddle up – $30

3. city select baby jogger – $370, normally $529

4. Graco extend 2 fit carseat – $179

5. baby monitor – $80 – save $10 with coupon

6. diaper bag – $36 plus 10% off coupon

 

Happy shopping!

xo, Rachel

deals of the week!

Copy of More Natural Favorites

1. Sidestroke swimsuit – $10 off with code SUMMER

I’m not joking when I say this swimsuit might be my favorite article of clothing! But in case this style isn’t your thing, the whole Summersalt site is $10 off with code SUMMER!

2. Jason’s Vitamin E Oil – 17% off – $8

I’ve been combining this with coconut oil to get rid of my stretch marks and Bryan even commented the other day how much lighter they look. I’m also going to use it to make a lash grown serum – stay tuned!

3. Picasso tiles – on sale for $33.99 – normally 99.99, plus there’s an extra 5% off coupon

These are Lainey’s favorite! She loves stacking them and I know they will grow well with her too. Bryan also loves them and will play with them on his own sometimes! If you are the type who buys Christmas presents all year long – now is the time to snag these!

4. Little Unicorn Outdoor Blanket – $33.75 (25% off site wide today – May 13 – only!!)

This blanket has come in handy so many times! I just keep it in the back of my car and pull it out any time we go somewhere we need it. I also love Little Unicorn swaddles!

5. Isle of paradise self tan mousse, mitt, and bronzing water – $34 plus $5 off with code TAKE5 – normally $64.50

This product has a cult following and is almost always sold out on Sephora. I found this deal on QVC but it’s for TODAY (May 13) only so snatch it up! I’m excited to try it! I’m jumping on the self tan wagon because I’m trying to be more conscious of sun damage and this is a great natural option.

6. Gelato “boyfriend” t-shirt by aerie – $17

Graphic tees are really in right now and I love it because they are super versatile and comfy! The reviews on this shirt say that it runs big so beware of that.

xo, Rachel

 

 

 

mental health awareness month

I was in college when I saw a therapist for the first time. Up until that point, I thought everyone lived with what I can only describe as aggressive butterflies in your chest. I’m not sure why it never crossed my mind that it wasn’t normal but one day I walked into the health center and the counselor took one look at my form and said, “so you have anxiety?”

Oh. Is that what that is??

After that I began medication and joined a group therapy and simply having a name what was happening gave me control over it.

Flash forward a few years (post graduation where mental healthcare was no longer included in tuition!) and I decided it was time to start seeing a counselor again. We had had our first miscarriage and I specifically looked for a counselor who had experience with infertility. A few days before my first appointment I found out we were pregnant again and I almost canceled. I’m so glad I didn’t because we lost the baby a few weeks later and I’ve been going to my counselor every few weeks ever since then.

After Lainey’s NICU stay, my counselor and I decided it was time to begin medication again. During her stay I was in survival mode, so most of these symptoms popped up after we got home. I went to see a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with PTSD and OCD. I had pretty much guessed the PTSD but the OCD really surprised me. I’ve never been one to count steps or turn the lights off and on a certain number of times. He explained that compulsions could manifest in checking Lainey’s breathing obsessively or not being able to sleep because I was afraid a painting above Lainey’s bed would fall on her. With those compulsions, I couldn’t rest until we did something about it. With medication I still get those compulsions but I can put a name to them and recognize that I don’t need to act on them.

Medication means we don’t have to rearrange Lainey’s room just in case a driver drives through the front of our house.

Medication means Bryan is still alive even if he doesn’t answer his phone.

Medication means that the other shoe isn’t necessarily going to drop (though often it does, and that’s ok too).

How freeing.

Moral of the story, taking care of your mental health is so important. For some that looks like counseling and medication. For others it might be exercise, meditation, prayer, journaling. Do what you need to do and don’t be ashamed.

Also, I realize that mental healthcare is a luxury which is ridiculous. Because of that you never know what someone is dealing with on their own so be kind to people regardless of how they treat you.

xo, Rachel

Sephora Beauty Insider Sale

I love a good sale and right now you can get 10% off at Sephora if you become a beauty insider! All you have to do is create an account – no fees, subscriptions, or anything like that – and you’ll get 10% off as well as earning points for future products. I also love that Sephora has clean products, free of sulfates and parabens. Here’s what I picked up in the sale:

1. Drunk Elephant Out of Office set

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2. Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm

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3. Kopari Starry Eye Balm

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4. Ilia Prime + Set Mini Duo

BBF28968-401D-4EA5-9FFB-3CE0057A5F43

5. Drunk Elephant Rise + Glow Brightening Duo

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Here are some products that I have and love!

1. Kopari Coconut Deodorant (as long as your armpits tolerate baking soda!)

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2. Korres Vitamin C Sleeping Facial

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3. Sephora Nourishing Moisturizer

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Here are a few things I’d like to try in the future:

1. Sephora Glow Peel Pads

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2. Origins Retexturizing Mask

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3. Briogeo Leave-In Curl Defining Creme

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enjoy! Xo, Rachel