God and Kids: human and goat kind

After a nightmare of my goats dying, I realized that I am radically emotionally invested in their wellbeing. I realize they need me in a unique way. I wake up to trudge out in my coveralls, raincoat, or tee shirt to do chores. If I don’t do it on time, they suffer. I’m passionate about helping them not suffer. 

They have turned into “family.” I have to  feed them, nurture them, and make good decisions for them. God put me in charge of them. They need me in the same materialistic way that my kids need me. My actual kids need more of me because God has a bigger plan for them. The goats may have a purpose but my kids have a special plan designed by God. I’m the tool to help them fulfill that plan. Naturally, that’s a bigger undertaking compared to doing chores for goats. And yet, I’m radically invested in the goats life that they live here. Can you imagine my emotional investment into my children? Can we even begin to realize the emotional investment God has put into us

I know I have a hard time wrapping my head around it: the love we have for those who matter to us is just a part of God’s overflowing to us every day. 

That’s why I don’t mind doing chores. I understand the responsibility, and I love the ranch life because ranching isn’t a job- it’s a life.  A life that we get to live and participate in God’s amazing plan and dip into His outpouring of love. 

My Biggest Struggle 

Cleaning any time of the year is not fun, but the summer time makes it feel almost impossible. Between the open windows flinging the dirt everywhere and the constant shoes tossed about, I’m about to give up. 

But I can’t. I wish I could, but I can’t. But I can lower my standards and be okay with everything not being perfect. I realize my kids won’t remember if my house is clean or perfect, but they will remember the memories we make together like making puzzles, tickle fights, swimming in the pool, and running through the sprinkler. 

On the other hand, they need to have good habits. I am the foundation on how they will clean each year they move forward. 

This is where I think the goal is somewhere in the middle, and it’s constantly changing. Each day we have a new version of our life. Each day we have responsibilities and goals to achieve and yet it’s the moments of pure love and joy that we’ll remember when we’re old. 

But there’s one more thing: Sin made us have to work for anything. We have to open up our arms to work in order to get closer to God. Open our arms to sacrifices to drive to our Ultimate End: Heaven. Without curbing our lazy, slothful human being, we have little chance of getting where we want to go. 

Discipline and consistency is hard but there are harder things to endure like dispair and depression. 

It only takes one day, one moment, to get on the right path. 

This advice is as much for me as for anyone who needs some motivation. Truth me told, I have such a hard time with this very thing. 

Could you help me stay on track? I promise I’d love to do the same for you! We are all human and it’s okay to finally help each other do more and do better.. together. 

My Loud Mouth Might Be My Strength 

My loud mouth and attitude can come off a little brassy but I’m confident that God gave me those specific gifts. Gifts that I needed to use and nurture. 

Can you imagine that I actually came to realize that being a little brassy could be a gift!? I’m the friend that is blunt and to the point. I’m the trainer that pushes hard. I’m the lover that is passionate and independent. Isn’t there value in that?

But that took me a while to realize. I had to spend some time digging deep into myself and betting on myself that I had to have some amazing ones. 

If you’re having a hard time thinking about it for yourself, ask someone trustworthy in your life to help you make a pro (strengths) and con (weaknesses) list of you. 

But brace yourself, becoming self  aware means you have to swallow your pride (you’re not perfect) and have some thick skin (we hear things we don’t want to).

But it’s worth it. Why are we obsessed (OBSESSED) with fixing our weaknesses when God gave us amazing gifts that we gotta USE! 

Stop wasting your time on fixing the unfixable and dive into what makes you, you! 

What I mean is: I’m not creative. So should I spend 20 hours a day painting? Hell no! I should be spending 20 hours a day talking, uplifting, pouring more of my contagious heart into other people. Because that’s what makes me tick

What makes you tick? I’d love to hear it. What makes you, YOU? 

When I First Started Milking 

When I first started milking our goats, I would trudge out to the barn in my coveralls and warm gloves. The wind would bite my face, and I would feel overwhelmed in every step. I would have to overcome my fear of momma cows at each milking with their company right outside my goats’ door. These cows soon got used to this crazy goat lady with 3 buckets and a podcast playing. My goats, though, they welcomed me with sweet hearts every time. Even though these girls were tolerant, I remember asking God to help me get through each milking. I remember saying the Guardian Angel prayer 6 times (2x for each kid) that the kiddos would be okay in the house. I felt exhausted and still overwhelmed. As I would walk back to the house, I would stare in awe at the starry sky and just thank God for that silver lining. As the days went on, I was less nervous and more excited. Milking time was momma’s alone time, and I learned to love it. Now, I have milked in my tee shirt. I worry less and trust more. I knew this city girl could get better at raising goats, and so far, I’ve kept them alive. When it was hard, I just trusted God would help get us through it and that it would get easier and better. Sometimes when I would say, “We love the goats”, I was half lying. I knew we would love the goats, but I wasn’t there yet. Proudly, I am now. I love these goats and can’t wait to see what the future will hold. 

(Hint: its full of homemade cheese, yogurts, and more delicious milk) 

How I Manage To Do It All 

We all know what we need to do to achieve our goals.   Executing is always hard but it’s the gateway to results. You have to DO. 

This is what I do to develop good habits and achieve my goals and not just dream about them. 

I bribe myself. 
Chocolate anyone? Insta / Facebook scrolling with no guilt? Play with the Snapchat filters? Breakfast and coffee? Only if I get my stuff done first. 

I remember why. 
Why I wanted the goal in the first place. For our home, it’s our wellbeing. For our habits, I believe my kids habits are learned by copying my example. When I really don’t want to do the work, I decide to do it for my kids. 

I stop thinking and just start doing it. 

Most of the time I think it’s going to be harder or more miserable than it is. Just get into it and stop sweating it! My dad had the perfect quote for this: 

The hardest part of starting our day is rolling out of bed. 

I keep it simple.  

The more complicated you make something, the harder it is to accomplish. 

I purge anything unnecessary. 

Ever try cleaning around clutter? It makes it dirtier and harder to clean. No one wants to do office work when it’s a huge stack of papers. Purge everything you don’t need/want to help keep your space, and mind, clear. 

I practice discipline.

I talk myself up to do it by understanding that discipline is a learned virtue and only can be strengthened with practice. It’s important to do the things you said (even only to yourself) you’d do. 

I make it a game. 

I turn on some tunes and crank it out. For cleaning the house, the kids and I race the timer. We make it a workout and dance party then end up laughing on the floor. 

I set up accountability partners. 

I have the morals and discipline to hold myself accountable, but the pressure of impressing someone else is real (and not always a bad thing). I recruit an accountability partner if I really need some help. I clean my house for my husband and my kids. I work my business with a mentor. I do my yard work for my landlord. I do it to make them, and myself, happy. 

We all have goals and dreams, but they take work to make happen. Do the work; it’s worth it. 

10 Ways I Cured My PostPartum Depression Naturally 

I was shaken, strangled and suffocated with post partum depression. It took me a while to come around to the idea that I was struggling beyond adjusting to life with a new baby. It was my husband who really pointed it out to me when he reached out to me saying, “Are you okay?” 

Of course I’m not okay… I’m bawling my eyes out, and I don’t know why. 

That’s when it hit me – I was messed up. The guilt that flooded me made me feel humbled and hopeless. It takes a lot of pride swallowing to say that you have a problem with your mental state. Then I realized: it’s not my fault, and Postpartum Depression (PPD) is not anyone’s fault. 

It’s okay to not be okay. 

Then I went into research mode and looked into everything I could think of to heal my PPD naturally. 

I’m not a doctor and this is a journey you should travel on with an actual doctor and mental health therapist. Be in close relationship with them because they will certainly help you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting medical help. In fact, I encourage that. Nothing comes with sacrifices.  Nothing is perfect, but you know what’s best for you. 

What did I do? 

Simply, I changed my nutrition. I fed my body in a way to heal my hormones, my brain, my mental health, and even my physical exhaustion. 

I started implementing: 

  1. Support System – my husband was amazing. Completely there for me yet kindly helped me snap out of it. Here’s the important part: you get to choose who is in that support system. Even if you feel like you have no one, you can still get through this. Still, reach out to someone if you can. 
  2. Gut health- high end probiotic at night and an anti inflammatory supplement during the day. Here’s why: Your feel good hormones start in your gut. 
  3. Really good omega to help feed your brain. I never missed a day. 
  4. Multivitamin that absorbs well – do your research and find a good one. Even a “greens and fruits” supplement that you can add to a shake or smoothie would be an option. 
  5. Vitamin B to help regulate your metabolism, maintain your energy, and balance your mood. Vitamin D deficiency will feel very much like depression, and this came at a time when I couldn’t handle anything else – and in the winter. 
  6. Essential oils: I used ones that helped get me excited to take on the day and make me feel happy. I diffused oils like YoungLiving’s joy, lavender, frankincense. It’s very individual so find the ones that make you feel good. 
  7. Herbs – I took mountain meadow herbs’ “baby blues” and some others.  It’s true that there are herbs trusted for centuries for postpartum women. I trusted them too, and they helped. 
  8. Coconut Oil – brain boosting fats. This was vital! 
  9. Healthy foods: homemade smoothies, homemade vegetable juice etc 
  10. REST- be gentle on yourself. Love yourself. What you think matters. It’s possible to let a mental tangent take a hold of you. You also have much more control over your mind than you have been led to believe. Yes, weird thoughts pop in, but they don’t have to stay. 

What I tried to eliminate 

  1. Alcohol 
  2. Too much caffeine/ coffee 
  3. Processed foods 

PPD isn’t a hill easily climbed and it’s a slow process, but it’s possible to overcome with help. Be patient. Track and journal your daily “score” of how you feel, not how well you did. Let others help you and know that no matter what, you can get through to the other side. No amount of guilt, hopelessness, or sadness is impossible to overcome. 

However, you do need to do something in order for it to get better. 

Time helps but it won’t heal on its own. You have to work at it to overcome it. 

Know your not alone. 1 in 7 women battle this. It’s the most common postpartum complication. 

It’s always worth it, and your baby deserves a healthy and happy momma. You can become it, and it’s okay to ask for help. You’re not alone. It’s okay to not be okay. 

A Health Journey For Happiness 

I find it sad that I have to start by saying I’m not a doctor. I haven’t attended medical school. I’m not a professional giving professional advice.

I am a work at home mom on a transition to a healthier world in our home. I want to help everyone hit their health goals. This is just the start.

Self-Awareness

I started it all by asking why. Why was I getting sick all of the time? Why was my son intolerant to cow milk? Were my kids getting enough nutrition to grow and thrive? Was my husband eating right in order to work his body hard? I even looked into my extended family and friends. What were they doing? What did they do for food and how was my nuclear family comparing? I evaluated our eating, sleeping, working, stress inducing, and exercising habits.

Our habits fell short of my goals and list of “non-negotiables.” Our non negotiables are time with God, time as a family, “work” and farm chores, eating healthy food, and housework. Everything comes after that. It’s about priorities.

Everyone’s list is different. Everyone has different hopes and dreams for being “healthy.”

Find your definition. What do you realistically want? Make your list of “non-negotiables.” You can’t hit your health goals without knowing what those goals look like.

Regulate your body

Start with your gut health. Balance and feed your gut and your body will work better and you’ll feel better. You’ll have more energy and sleep better at night. I bet there are one hundred articles why getting healthy starts in your gut. Go read some of those actually written by docs.

First step is to find a top of the line probiotic. I have one that has five strains and an anti-fungal. It’s important to get the cultures to your actual gut so find one freeze dried instead of refrigerated.

Cleanse your gut often, if you can. Pregnancy and nursing has made it impossible for me to do a total body cleanse, but it’s worth doing gently if you can handle it. Find a supplement to support your body while expelling the toxins because we all have them.

Be a progression

We started on this health journey with raw goat milk because our son, Caleb. He needed it because of a minor dairy intolerance, but it turned into a gateway drug into dipping into healthy food to heal and fuel our bodies.

I then made a conscious effort to make our diet more protein and less refined carbs ( I thought of simple things like less noodles and bread). Of course through this process I inflated our fruits and veggie portion of our groceries considerably. I made a conscious effort to stop buying anything in the snack isle, and if we really wanted it, I would make an alternative at home. I still think fresh fried potatoes are better than chips from a store. We still enjoy life. We still participate in a social beer, and the kids still eat candy for a special treat.

The time we spend in the kitchen isn’t that considerable. It can’t be to be honest. I have three kids, two toddlers and an infant. I can’t spend a lot of time cooking. So I made shortcuts where they mattered. We simply started making simpler meals…

Like three “ingredient” meals. For example, eggs, bacon (I know this more than one ingredient but we raise our own – we know what’s in it), and spinach. Many days we have hamburgers (with no bun) with veggies and fresh baked potatoes.

It’s about making a choice – a choice that matters to you. What are the things that you really love and don’t want to give up? Then don’t – entirely. I loved refined carbs and coffee, but I knew I wasn’t feeling well and that was the culprit. I had to crack down and just make a choice. Health or the instant gratification of said food.. most of the time I made the long term choice, but I also still enjoy a big, hot cup of black coffee on occasion.

Fat doesn’t make you fat

There are a hundred articles on the science of it all, but realize we need fat for our brain and our cells. Fat isn’t what makes us fat… our metabolism does. It’s simple, what goes in goes somewhere. We use it, lose it, or yes, store it (maybe in our love handles and tummy – wait, just me?). Enjoy the fat on your steak and butter on your veggies. It’s going to be okay.

Fat-free doesn’t mean free.

Things labeled “fat free” might have all of the brain boosting fats sucked out of it, but they have to put stuff back into it to make it anything at all. Think of commercial skim milk. Milk processors ultra- high temp pasteurize it killing all of the bacteria. They remove some of the components, like cream, to make butter and other milk products, then homogenize the rest so it doesn’t separate. What is left? Not a whole lot, so they fortify it with synthetic vitamins and minerals. They might also add preservatives or other components that “help” it be more palatable.

This is at no fault of the dairy farmer. It has nothing to do with them. They raise beautiful cows they love, but they lose some power when the milk leaves the farm.

If you haven’t already, read the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon with Mary G Enig, Ph.D. It’s worth your time.

Forget Gluten; it’s the processed grains that suck

Research processed grains and flour. It’s a sad reality of the amount of non-nutritional components. I still felt like everything needed a side of noodles, a side of bread, a roll, a pastry, a cookie, a brownie, etc.

Processed grains are hard to digest, and they bond to vitamins and minerals in our gut to block their absorption into our bodies making us vitamin and mineral deficient.

Even if you’re not gluten sensitive, or have a condition, it’s best to lean toward healthy true whole grains instead of quick rise breads and flours. Think of the tough sourdough bread that has fermented and soaked grains because a simple forgotten art is soaking your grain before eating it.

An easy way to do it yourself is with oatmeal. Soak oats overnight for breakfast. It helps your body have a kick-start on digesting it.

Google and YouTube info on soaking your grains before eating. It’s been a lot of fun researching it.

Processing, toxins, and the great debate

This is where it gets tedious with reading labels, researching companies, and googling terms. Things like cold pressed coconut oil vs regular. What makes a product organic? Why should we eat organic? GMO? Grass fed beef and what does it mean? I think we can all make specific decisions for our family individually here.

My best piece of advice is that I think the truth is in the middle. Is grain fattened beef bad? I actually don’t think so, but I have some basic common sense rules I put with it. As a farmer/rancher who deploys this common sense in my dairy goats, I’m having a lot of fun trying new things with them.

I want you to know this about farmers and ranchers: they aren’t trying to kill the world, and they are literally feeding the world. Again, I think we need some common sense here too. We have to feed the world and take care of the land. The processes on a conventional farm are quite necessary to keep each U.S. farmer producing enough food to feed and additional 155 people.

However, when making decisions for food, pick the best you can afford to buy. This is fuel for your body. This is important for your body to thrive and move and yes, live. This is such basic common sense that I find it mind boggling that I have to say it.

If you are having a hard time keeping a budgeted grocery bill, then cut out most everything with more than one ingredient. Search online for recipes, and be open to trying new things. Simplify your meals, and you’ll be surprised what it would do for your health.

Supplements

Do you really need them? Probably, unless you are near perfect in your nutrition, cook and process your food correctly every time, and hardly ever “cheat.”

I still feel like it’s important to mention that it’s so hard to find good, reliable ones. My advice: read labels, understand how it’s processed, and how it will be digested in your body to make a good decision.

Pick your hard

Everything is a choice. Everything is a sacrifice. If you want to keep up with your kids, your grand kids, your peers, your whatever, take care of the body God gave you.

It’s simple. It’s worth it.

But, it might be a little more than that. You might “feel fine” and you’re “doing okay”, but you never know when bad habits will sneak up on you. Maybe it’s with diabetes, heart disease, whatever. I had a real truth moment when I realized Caleb was dairy intolerant. It took a minor thing in our life to shift us in the direction of making better choices. Now, I hardly recognize our meals, but I’m so satisfied in what I’m helping them achieve: health for life.