Category Archives: Choices

Medical Bills_edited-final

Negotiate Your Medical Bills Away

Bills, bills, go away! Don’t come back on any day!

So, Kerstin has told me a number of times that I need to blog about the topic of Continue reading

IMG_0603

The Love & Joy of Raising Our Toddler Daughter

As I shared in “Loving Life with a Toddler: The Things I Most Appreciate Today” I was extremely surprised by how deeply I loved being the mom of a toddler. I must say that I have a completely different relationship with our little girl, Baby B, than with our little boy, Kiddo A, but I’m just as fond of her toddler stage. She regularly leaves me missing the two-year-old version of the boy who made me a mom and I delight in watching her explore, develop, and acquire knowledge.

Baby B is quick to  Continue reading

Baby Easter Basket Feature

Baby’s 1st Easter Basket

I know I’m not shocking any of you when I say that we are big holiday people. Well, more accurately, I am a big holiday person. I always go overboard and have been working on scaling back to a more reasonable level. I will always have special treats and traditions for my family around the holiday, but maybe, just maybe they don’t need quite so many. Continue reading

hannah-morgan-64027

Scared to Death Over Peanuts: Finding Sensitivity

It’s official. I’m that mom…the helicopter mom. I just spent the holiday season hovering over my 4-year-old hounding him about Continue reading

IMG_2740

Little Brother N’s Story: A Different Kind of Birth Part II

Read Little Brother N’s Story: A Different Kind of Birth Part I here.

After so much walking, and so little action, we decided to get comfy in our room to save up our energy for the next day. The doctor and nurses started visiting with us about inducing. We all agreed we would wait to see what the rest of the night had in store and regroup in the morning. Continue reading

page01

All the Single Working Mommies

All the Single Working Mommies:

I see you and I couldn’t possibly pretend to fully understand your reality. I will tell you that when my husband is away at a work conference, I can barely hack it. From the moment he leaves I start a mental countdown to the time when my support will return. Continue reading

5 Baby Product FeatureF

My 5 Favorite “New” Baby Products

I was anxious with anticipation as I lay in the ultrasound room waiting to find out if I was having a boy or girl. It was my choice last time to wait to find out the sex of Big Brother N. This time, Seano really wanted to know. Prior to our 20-week appointment we had decided we would find out the sex of our growing baby. Little Brother N wasn’t cooperating as the ultrasound tech drove the wand over my belly and we waited and waited for what felt like hours but was probably mere seconds. Finally, she said, “Oh, I can tell what you are!” She proceeded to type, “Oh boy, I’m a boy!” on the ultrasound screen next his male parts. We were going to have another baby boy! Several things immediately went through my head: little boys love their mommas so hard, and I was going to be lucky enough to get to experience this again; a built in best friend for Big Brother N; and we would hardly need anything as I kept EVERYTHING from Big Brother N’s babyhood. So far, it seems I’m right on all three accounts. Continue reading

paykyb-8er8-ian-schneider

A Challenge: The Perfect 1-Hour Date…With Yourself

I, like Chelse, am not really a resolution person. I talked about it a little bit in this post. In hindsight, closing out and looking at progress from the last year while feeling I have a fresh, clean slate heading into a new year, does always get my brain churning. What did I accomplish? What do I still need to work on? What is most important to me? What do I need most right now? The answer: to take care of myself; because I want the best for myself and so I can offer my children and husband the nicest, fullest, most loving version of me. Continue reading

vzm-img_20170102_170516

I Talked to Fierce Women about Health Hacks and it was Awesome!

Happy 2017, Jelly Bean Journals Community! I hope you are off to a wonderful new year.

You already know that I’m not a traditional “new year resolution” type of gal. I try to engage in serious self reflection often enough to establish necessary goals for staying on track or changing my course through each year. However, at the risk of sounding cliche and in the spirit of heading into the new 2017, I reached out to some of the most impressive Casper ladies I am lucky enough to know. I asked them to share their best health hacks for women and moms, requesting that they provide real life advice which they actually utilize themselves.

These gals absolutely delivered and gave awesome health hacks in differing areas including emotional well being, physical fitness, and mental sharpness. Cheers to a new year and honoring resolutions using the advice of fierce women who reach their own goals on the regular!

Advice from Kristen Zook: Listen to Your Body & Don’t Stress

y35

Don’t stress yourself out trying to follow ALL the health suggestions. That leads to anxiety, insanity, and likely the opposite results you were aiming for. There are a lot of “gurus” out there giving nutrition, exercise, and health advice. Your body is the best expert and is always telling you what it needs. The trick is figuring out how to speak its language. Some days it will want a workout and vegetables, other days it will want a nap and cookies. There is a time and a place for all of it.
Advice from Tara L: Find Your Support System & Work Out

dsc_5041-edit

Now that we have our daughter {L}, I realize time is incredibly valuable; time with her and time to myself. My family makes health and fitness a priority not for vanity reasons but because it feels good to be active and strong. It’s also important for us to raise our daughter around like minded individuals who lift each other up instead of tearing each other down, which is why I’m proud to be a part of CrossFit307. At CrossFit307, we’re surrounded by friends who have become family. They were there when our daughter was born and are there for support when we need parenting advice. I know your readers have heard it before, but it’s worth saying again, having a village to lean on is the key to making it out alive at the end the day.

img_0024

Advice from Jenn: Share Your Passion & Read with Your Kiddos

unnamed (3)

Find something you are passionate about and share it with your kids; for me that is reading. My firm belief is a home with books creates a home of readers. The more books and more choices, the more likely you are to raise a reader. Our house is covered in books, stacked in every room, including all our bathrooms, kitchen table, and in toy baskets, backpacks, diaper bags, purses and even in the car. Some we buy, some are borrowed from the library, some are gifts; books to fulfill the growing interests of our kids, books to solve our latest parenting conundrum, some just to escape into. My kids know that books are usually the one thing mom won’t say no to at the store and reading could get them five more minutes awake at night, ease a long car trip, or make us late for school in the morning. Reading doesn’t have to be limited to physical books as it could be blogs, newspapers, magazines, eBooks, listening to an audiobooks, and it can happen anywhere, anytime. I read as much for fun as I have time for to balance the mental load of learning, working, and parenting.

28224

Advice from Beautiful L: Stay Focused & Mind Your Eating Habits

12091311_928601057201248_8961751656691860726_o

I generally eat six smaller meals/snacks throughout the day and ensure that I have some source of protein in each meal, if possible. I try to focus on consuming healthy fats like avocados and nuts and good carbs like whole grains, oatmeal, fruits and veggies. Proteins are typically eggs, cottage cheese, lean meats and chicken. I aim for a small meal made of protein and carbs about an hour before I train and a healthy quick protein snack right after. This provides fuel for a workout, keeps me satisfied while training, and then provides my muscles with nutrients for recovery. I also try to drink at least half my body weight in water (or more) to help prevent dehydration and breakouts.

15032085_10211421168589071_4168504258095630347_n

I cannot thank these four ladies enough for sharing their real life health hacks. They are valuable gems and each a different approach to daily health. My favorite part is that their words can be instantly applied! Be good to yourself, find a support system, spend time with your loved ones and be mindful of how you fuel your mind, body and spirit. Perfect advice from stunning women to carry us into the new year!

If you liked this post, I think you’ll love these Jelly Bean Journals shares:

There’s a Hack for That: Bottle & Breastfeeding

Our Family Today

I’m a Bad Ass and So Are You.

I Hit Your Mailbox: Thanks for the Reminder

The Easiest Kids New Years Eve Craft Ever!

I Talked to Cheeky C about Coping with Child Suicide During the Holidays

Morning Sickness Tales & Tips

I Talked to an Educator about Age Appropriate Choices & It was Awesome

6 Pinterest Wins You Should Try

I Talked to The Tall Mom & She’s Awesome

Mentally Preparing for VBAC: 4 Tips

img_1489

I Talked to Cheeky C about Coping with Child Suicide During the Holidays

Ian was 18 when he died by suicide. Cheeky C is one of my closest friends and Ian’s mom. I remember receiving her call four years ago that he was gone; and I’ve not witnessed a girlfriend survive a more devastating loss. I have come to notice that the winter holidays seem to be the worst for Cheeky C. Although she is a warrior and a survivor, this season hits her hard. My spunky, outspoken, and cheeky pal becomes withdrawn and more downcast. The truth is, I will never have my original Cheeky C back. Losing her son was a traumatic turning point and I know she is changed forever, but this time of year seems to be especially heart-rending.

carrie-and-ian-morning-ian-left-for-bootcamp Continue reading