My Year of Firsts

I will be 40 this year. I have no idea where the last decade went. It has NOT been an easy decade for sure. So, this year I decided that I would take every opportunity to try new things this year. It’s not a bucket list. It isn’t a wish list either. But, when an opportunity presents itself, I will jump on it. It’s a promise I made to myself.

I’ve been taking stock of things, internally, lately. I figured this would pull me out of my slump, get me moving more, & maybe, just maybe, motivate our youngest to try new things, too. Now, some things might not be big things. In fact, most won’t. I suppose my theory is to just do things. Having two debilitating diseases, one of which is progressive, makes a person re-evaluate a lot of their time and effort. The bottom line is that if my body is going to be tired anyway, I might as well give it a good reason to be tired!

A hinderance for me has always been anxiety. Whether it’s caused by or in addition to, my diseases, the doctors can’t specify. But, I do have issue with crowds, strangers, etc. Wal-Mart is a literal nightmare for me. So, some of my firsts are going to challenge me. I know that. It also takes me twice as long as my husband & son to get somewhere we’re walking to and I am usually exhausted a whole lot quicker. So, the firsts will be a physical challenge too.

So far, I have done some small things. I ate at our local VFW with a crowd of people there. It was a major step for me. However, the people were pleasant, the food was fantastic, & we had a good time. I also tried yoga for the first time. But, I did The Yoga Prayer. Basically, it’s yoga but at times when one would meditate & such, Biblical Scriptures are read along with a Christian prayer. It lasted 45 minutes. It was tasking, difficult, but motivating & I felt accomplished when I’d finished. For a few of the poses, I did have to change a bit. There a just a few things my body can’t physically do.

Win, lose or draw, I hope to accomplish a lot more as the moments arise. If nothing else, I feel like I have a goal for the year. Hopefully, I will have a much fuller list when 1/1/18 arrives!

Unexpected Reactions to Medicine

My husband and I are nearing 2 decades of marriage. Over that time, he’s had a few ear problems, a headache here & there, and one or two bouts of the flu. Other than penicillin & Tylenol, he isn’t a medicine type of guy. Now, he’s a year away from 50 and has begun to have some arthritic issues. Most notably, the cartilage in his neck is gone.
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Challenge Yourself to Have Healthier Teeth

If you’re a parent, you’ve no doubt repeated the mantra ‘Brush Your Teeth!’ hundreds of times. But, if you’re like me, oral hygiene becomes an especially urgent message.

Periodontal disease is prevalent in my family. Many of my relatives no longer have their natural teeth. I have both an upper & lower partial. From my high school years on, I have suffered from cavities, abscesses, extractions- you name it! Now, I can honestly place some of the blame on the medicines I take. Most of them carry the side effect of a dry mouth. However, a significant portion of blame falls directly on my shoulders.

Many times, I’ve put other things before dental visits. I wasn’t always careful to about which dentist I chose. I was lacking in the whole care routine in general. So, starting with my first child, I swore I’d be diligent with their teeth. Thankfully, that’s a pledge I took very seriously. My boys have all gotten their exams in a timely minor, have had few cavities by God’s grace, & floss. I have made my self a pain in the neck (or mouth, if you will), by nagging them to brush & floss morning, night, & after meals.

We’ve gotten the special strengthening treatments that dentists advised & have used toothpaste that provides more than just a clean mouth. We’ve even had them compete to see who can swish longest with mouthwash! Anytime they’ve been less than enthusiastic, I’m quick to reiterate to them all my issues & literally, show them what happens when your teeth aren’t a priority. Most of the time that works.

In today’s world full of bells & whistles of technology, brushing has come a long way. We have toothbrushes that play music now for goodness sakes! But, if you really want to get kids into the swing of things, have them take a selfie. They’re going to take hundreds of those today anyway. Why not have them take one that actually benefits their health?

Dolley Madison Dentistry is awarding one hygienic selfie-taker a $100. All you have to do is snap a pic of yourself brushing your teeth in the craziest location you can think of (safety first, don’t try anything too crazy!). By visiting their website, you can get the full details plus take a look at other super-brushes & their ideas.

With summer in full swing & your kiddos are out hunting Pokémon, they can be brushing away. Once they hear that selfies are involved, they’ll be on-board! Have fun. Be creative. Encouraging your family to be responsible with their health is a precious gift. Instilling these values now will stay with them forever.

http://www.dolleymadisondentistry.com/dental-news-mclean-va/185-toothbrush-challenge-showcase

*Sponsored Post

Join the ASPCA in Their #ShopWithYourHeart Initiative

SWYH-Shareable_square_062916_cow-decideDo you worry about where your food comes from & how it’s obtained? If not, then  we should. Join in the Shop With Your Heart Initiative. The ASPCA is shining a light on inhumane practices within the food industry. Most of the facts will alarm you. Hopefully, they will also change the way you view your food.

Visit their site and see how many people have decided that enough is enough. Watch the Video here. Make your own decision to avoid food brought to you in an unethical fashion. Take to social media & join the movement. It’s simple and completely free.

We all love taking selfies, so take one with your hands in the heart-shape. Add the hashtag #shopwithyourheart and @ASPCA. Sign the pledge as an educated consumer & tell your kids about it. After all, for things to have a lasting impact, our next generation has to pick up the torch, too. Once you sign the pledge on their website, you’ll have access to “an exclusive Shop With Your Heart Grocery List, including welfare-certified and widely available plant-based brands.”

We may not all be able to travel, donate, or hold elaborate fundraisers. But, we can all do something! This is simple & quick. I know you love sharing on you Social Medias so go for it! Spread the pledge!SWYH-Shareable_square_062916_chicken_factory-farms

 

Why Ali’s Death Affected Me So Much

I’m not a sports fan. In fact, neither my husband or I watch sports. I knew of Muhammad Ali’s boxing legacy & that there were documentaries & movies about him. He left behind a legendary career to those who followed boxing. But, that isn’t what I was focused on about him.

He suffered from Parkinson’s. With the drastic differences between his life & mine, this is one issue we had in common. Perhaps, prior to my diagnosis, I may have heard of his health woes. But, it wasn’t until I saw a piece on the news about his wife that I realized he had the same disease. Standing by his side as a tireless caregiver, his wife told of the highs & lows of his struggle.

When someone has a chronic or terminal illness, it’s human nature to absorb information on social media & television that mentions whatever you have. Obviously, Michael J. Fox has become the poster boy for Parkinson’s. Often, we see him on t.v. & think, ‘Oh, he doesn’t look so bad.’ He recently had another television show & continues to be very active. But, Ali was different. His struggle wasn’t as ‘camera-friendly’. That scares me.

My diagnosis isn’t that old. Some days, I can almost forget I have it at all. Then, when the house is quiet, I will notice a tremor & be reminded all over again. Since hearing of Ali’s hospitalization, I’ve become ultra-sensitive to every little twitch. I’ve even gotten ‘lost in my own head’ while doing mundane tasks, blocking out the world around me to ponder the endless what ifs of Parkinson’s.

Summer is here & I’ve become even more aware of the things I cannot do. My family wants to camp & experience nature. Quite frankly, I’m going to miss out on most of it. I’ve even caught myself being extra-sensitive to comments, even ones meant to be kind. Bottom line: I’ve been in a huge pity party. Here we had Muhammad Ali- called the Greatest. A man full of self-confidence, dare I say arrogance, a super hero, athlete. The epitome of strength. He was reduced to mortal status by a disease no one can cure or even contain.

Parkinson’s is merciless. It doesn’t discriminate and doesn’t care. But, I do care & I do not want to live in the land of pity. I want to live a full life. It isn’t fair. However, nothing in this life is fair. Name any disease. Sufferers can ‘why me’ & ‘what if’ any one of them. When someone we know, either in person or via their persona, dies from the disease or a complication from it, it’s going to affect us.

We can either accept this fact, celebrate the person’s life, and go on or we can give up. I’m choosing to keep going. I won’t stop reading about new nutritional discoveries or the latest research. I appreciate that Ali put an additional face on Parkinson’s perhaps inspiring others to assist in efforts to stop it. I would thank him for his courage. But, in my non-famous, little spot on this Earth, all I can do is what I can do.

I will participate in fundraising, sharing information, and accepting my own limitations. But, I will not accept that my life is over. I know God can heal me in an instant. Jesus paid for my healing & I am waiting for the manifestation. Until then, I will try to live as He wants me to & use it for good.

Hydrate and Energize Giveaway

This giveaway will run from now – 5/9 at 11:59pm Eastern Time.

It is open to US residents ages 18+

1 winner will receive 2 Ultimate Sample Packs from E-hydrate (a $50 Value)

Hydrate and Energize Giveaway Sponsored by Moms Meet and E-hydrate

Hosted by Pea of Sweetness

Hydrate and Energize Giveaway

You know the old saying, “you are what you eat?” Well, it’s true. The vitamins, nutrients, and sources of your daily fuel are what your body uses to rebuild itself—every day. It’s really no wonder why so many people struggle to feel better when their choices are packed with processed sugars, artificial ingredients, and unpronounceable chemicals. That’s why E-hydrate set out to create hydration, nutrition, and energy products that are natural with great tasting, real flavors born in the kitchen, not a laboratory.

Emilee at Pea of Sweetness was excited to discover products to help them and their kids hydrate and energize without the chemicals! See what they thought in her E-hydrate review.

One winner will receive 2 E-hydrate Ultimate Sample Packs: 4 Protein On-the-Go Pouches, 8 Hydration Drink Mix Sticks, and 8 KIDS Hydration Mix Sticks (a $50 Value). This giveaway runs through 5/9/16 at 11:59pm Eastern Time and is open to US residents ages 18+. Winners are subject to eligibility verification and will have 48 hours to confirm before a new winner will be drawn. For any questions/concerns please email emilee.roberts (at) peaofsweetness (dot) com (consider adding this email to your “Safe List” as winning email notification will be sent from this email). Please refer to the full terms and conditions in the Giveaway Tools.

 

Disclosure: Emilee at Pea of Sweetness received complementary products to facilitate her review. No additional compensation was received. Pea of Sweetness and any additional participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

 
IF THE GIVEAWAY FORM DOESN’T SHOW, CLICK ON THE WORDS/LINK THAT SAYS ‘ENTRY FORM’. A NEW TAB WILL OPEN.’

National Stress Awareness Month Giveaway

This giveaway will run from now – 4/29 at 11:59pm Eastern Time.

It is open to US residents ages 18+

1 winner will receive a bottle of Raspberry-Lemon Natural Calm

National Stress Awareness Month Giveaway Sponsored by Natural Vitality

Hosted by Pea of Sweetness

Natural Calm Giveaway

April is National Stress Awareness Month. Natural Vitality has produced a free ebook for a way to experience more calmful living! Plus they’re offering a giveaway for a bottle of Natural Calm! Would you like to win?

One winner will receive a bottle of Natural Calm Raspberry-Lemon Flavor. This giveaway runs through 4/29/16 at 11:59pm Eastern Time and is open to US residents ages 18+. Winner is subject to eligibility verification and will have 48 hours to confirm before a new winner will be drawn. For any questions/concerns please email emilee.roberts (at) peaofsweetness (dot) com (consider adding this email to your “Safe List” as winning email notification will be sent from this email). Please refer to the full terms and conditions in the Giveaway Tools.

 

Disclosure: No compensation was received for this post. Pea of Sweetness and any additional participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

 
IF THE GIVEAWAY FORM ISN’T VISIBLE, CLICK ON THE LINK THAT SAYS ‘ENTRY FORM’. A NEW TAB WILL OPEN.