Another New Year. I've been silent for over two years now. Not even the inevitable New Year introspective post from me, whether here or in my private journal.

The last two years have been hard. A lot has happened, but a lot hasn't happened either. That's my fault. I've been in hiding. From that which can't be escaped anyway. ::sigh::

Regardless, it is my intention to come out of hiding. It's not so much that I feel like I have anything important to say but that I feel like something must be said. I just need to speak. I used to feel as if I had a voice but now I feel choked off and smothered. And I simply must speak.

But first, let's catch up! Things were kind of booking along pretty well there for awhile. And then, in the Summer of 2018, our home flooded while we were on vacation across the country. It was a silly little water supply line in the downstairs bathroom but it managed to flood the entire downstairs with about 2-3 inches of steamy water, blowing a hole through 2 walls, sparing only the kitchen.

It really wasn't that big of a deal when compared to what others have experienced but it managed to rock my world. Six months of living in two hotel rooms (with my three kids across the hall from me in a separate room) and with a German Shepherd was pretty crazy. We've now been home for a little more than a year and it still gives me anxiety to think about.

Mike, Reagan, and I, all suffered with anxiety attacks while living in the hotel. I think the whole experience did a number on all of us, except little Kiki. It didn't seem to phase her much, thankfully. Overall, the family handled it remarkably well, even our wonderful, beautiful, Kohala. We couldn't have asked for a better dog in that situation. She was perfect.

And now that we are home, the remodeled areas are truly beautiful. We still have some boxes and some rooms that need work, but I can't describe how happy I am to be home. So much that I didn't leave most of last year unless I absolutely had to.

It was a busy year. Reagan turned 15 and adores theater. The co-op that she had been attending for almost 5 years closed last Spring and it was very sad. We were so blessed to find it when we did. She made some amazing friends there that I hope will be life-long. We did find a new co-op for the Fall and she absolutely loves it and has made even more wonderful friends. She is almost always at rehearsals, whether it's for co-op theater, community theater, or a musical performance. It definitely keeps us driving all over the place.

Caleb is 10 now and played baseball in, both, Spring and Fall. I'm really glad he still enjoys it even though Spring ball can be so tiring. We practically live at the ballpark in Spring. He was on a great team last Spring. The 10U Hampton Braves had a great season and even came in 2nd at the tournament at the end of the season. It was so much fun. Spring signups are right around the corner again, so I know the busy season is nearly upon us.

Kinley is 8 and played softball last Spring but decided after the season that ball isn't her thing so she took the Fall off. She has shown interest in Girl Scouts recently and also mentioned archery so we will see what ends up happening this season.

I turned 40 this year and it has been a difficult thing for me to process. I realize that sounds so very cliche. And I didn't expect it to bother me so much. 30 was a breeze for me. 40 slapped me right across the face and then proceeded to show me every dream I had hoped to accomplish since I turned 18 and how I had achieved none of those things. I am struggling with huge feelings of failure and self-worth.

I'm about to go all feminist on you but I have also been struggling with the idea that I am now, somehow, irrelevant. Like, I have now crossed a threshold where I'm no longer a young woman but old, useless, and simply tolerated rather than celebrated for anything. Men simply don't have to deal with that.

I woke up one day and my hair just decided it would no longer be soft, shiny, and beautiful. Instead, it is wiry, frizzy, and lifeless. It goes right along with my dull skin that has new wrinkles popping up here and there and my right hip that aches sometimes for no reason at all. ::sigh::

So, I have decided that there's no better time than a new year and a new decade, on the calendar and of my life, to set new goals. Different than some I've set in the past and some the same. I'm doing the 52 in 52 challenge again because I just love it plus I desperately need the personal development! But I'm also setting some goals to help me achieve certain dreams that I cast aside many, many years ago when I decided to stay home and not just raise my kids but homeschool them, and do life with them.

They are growing so fast and my time with them is quickly running short. And with the political climate being what it is these days, our freedom is running short as well. The time is now to do the things I always wanted to do. I don't know how I'm going to do all of these things but I have hope that by doing the little things, the how for the big things will be revealed.

More to come! I'll also be sharing my 52 in 52 reading list! Stay tuned! And please share your goals for 2020 with me!

For fun, tell me what 3 words you see first! I saw Prosperity, Beginnings, and Energy! 👌🏻😊

I have, literally, started more than a dozen blog posts in the year since my last post. Nothing ever seemed worthy of sharing or I would never finish the post. I didn't even do my typical New Year post for 2017. I supposed it seemed like after the wild ride that was 2016 I would just be grateful for a new year, period.

2017 started off exciting, for sure. We woke up to no power and our electrical pole in the front yard on fire. Yep, for sure. I worked by candlelight and the kids had a blast. It was cold and rainy and we survived. That week the van broke down in the middle of a left hand turn across a busy highway. We survived that too. And then Mom went into the hospital AGAIN with more gall bladder stuff. And that went on and on for a couple months until she finally had the surgery she needed. We all survived that and she is doing much better with the occasional flare up.

I had two more skin biopsies early in the year which came back negative so I was cleared for 6 months. At the 6 month checkup they didn't find anything abnormal. Hallelujah!!! Right??? Right. I felt like I could breathe again.

Made two trips to Salt Lake City this year for Young Living. One for annual Convention and the second for Silver Leadership Retreat which was absolutely amazing. Here are some photo highlights! Can't wait for next year!!



In between all of the bumps in the road and the business travel we did baseball and softball in the Spring and just wrapped up baseball and softball for Fall. Caleb and Kiki both love to play ball and are already looking forward to another season next Spring.

Reagan played the Queen of Hearts in our co-op's production of Alice in Wonderland this Spring. She was wonderful!!! For the Summer, she got her first taste of community theatre where she was an Ancestor in Henry Players' youth production of The Addams Family. It was a huge month-long commitment that she absolutely LOVED. It was an incredible experience.

Now that the kids are going into their slow seasons for extracurriculars, I am going into my busy season for oils and my oily business. It's pretty perfect how it works out. And Georgia is finally getting some gorgeous weather that is perfect for working outdoors while the kids and puppy girl play. This is my favorite time of year, for sure.

We are loving the heck out of October and Halloween festivities. We love harvest decorations and all things pumpkin, orange, yellow, brown, and red. Every week is a tradition of our favorite Halloween movies and books, baking, pumpkin carving, pulling out hoodies, hiking, hunting for the perfect leaf, and tossing acorns into the pond.

Tomorrow is Halloween and we couldn't be more excited! The kids have their costumes all ready and we will carve our last pumpkin during the day while we wait for trick or treat time. And I will use the festivities as a much needed distraction from my latest "news"., probably around the time of Silver Retreat (mid-September) I discovered a teeny lump in my right breast during a monthly self-exam. (So, check your boobies ladies!!! Not just in October!!) Got in to see my doctor about it last Tuesday and was promptly sent to imaging for a mammogram. Had the mammogram last Thursday (first-ever at age 38) and let me just say that it's not as painful as I imagined from what others have said but it was shocking how much of you they try to squish into that damned machine. Uh, it sucked. And the pain started the next day and has lasted until now. You will be sore after for AWHILE which is something no one ever told me.

After waiting for what felt like an eternity in the waiting room full of other women, all wearing our upper body smocks, feeling like part of a sad club or something, I was finally called into a private room where the tech told me they wanted to do an ultrasound also. Ok. More waiting. Finally, they called me in for the ultrasound, after which the tech called the doctor in to tell me there was "a definite mass that is undeterminable in nature. Next step is biopsy. Good news is lymph nodes look good. We want to do it as soon as possible but realize you need to have some time to process all of this. Do you have any questions, Mrs. Bader?"

My mind was going a million miles an hour but my body was in shock so I'm not sure if I responded more than a mere shaking of my head. I tried to play it cool like I was fine. He explained to me that the numbing procedure would take the longest. He sounded like he was in a tunnel as my brain tried to block him out. Yes, of course I know the numbing part is the biggest bitch of all. We did that 3 times last year with the skin biopsies and twice this year. By far and away the most painful thing....but not in my boob. I may have started crying??? He looked worried and kept telling me to take a deep breath, which really pissed me off because it made me feel like I needed to be worried about something. Should I be? Deep breath, right.

Anyway, my biopsy is scheduled for Monday, November 6 in the morning. I'm trying very hard not to freak out because it could be nothing, just like my last two skin biopsies. It could be nothing. Or it could be something. And then what??? And that's what the mind does, folks. It goes there. And I start to consider all the possible scenarios. And I convince myself that's proactive because I want to know what I will choose to do when the scenario presents itself. But then my mind looks around my house at all the "things". All the things that I love that make me happy that will be awful sad memories for those I leave behind if something happens to me. And it's all downhill from there.

Y'all......this is where I was last year waiting for the biopsy results from my borderline melanoma. I can't freaking believe I'm here all over again. I'm in shock, I'm angry, I'm sad, and sometimes I'm hopeful and optimistic that everything will be fine. Mostly I'm scared.

And I've been spending a lot of time thinking about how in love with my husband and my family that I am. I think about how young Mike and I were when we met and feel sad when it feels like we wasted so much time that we could have been together but the odds were stacked against us back then. And when we finally were able to be together we felt like we had the whole world ahead of us. So many dreams and possibilities. A future we'd both dreamed of for years and years. And then I start to feel like there's a weight on my chest and I can't breathe.

Soooo......if you're the praying type and can spare a few moments to pray for me, I would appreciate it more than anything. I will be back next week to update once I get the results back from the lab.

So much has happened since my last post I don't know where to begin! I have wanted to update and share the goings-on but hardly knew how to express my gratitude and happiness. So, I guess I will start where I left off.

It's been several weeks now since I got my lab results back. Excision surgery has come and gone. That was quite the experience. The multiple deep numbing shots were the worst part of the whole thing. They were very painful. I got the call within a week from surgery and the margins were clear! Got my stitches out at 2 weeks and the incision healed much faster than the biopsy site. I go back in January for another full body scan and will continue that indefinitely. All in all, the best possible news and I'm so happy that it's over.

This was with stitches still in. It's healed now but the scar is very sensitive and dark in color. 

Moving on to the best news in the world!!! Y'all who follow me know that I've been working on my big dreams for quite a long time. And if you don't know my story, maybe now is the time for me tell it! Because my dreams are coming true!!

So, some of my earliest memories are of attending Monday night meetings and skin care classes with my mother back in the very early 80s. You see, she was a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant back then in qualification to become a Director. I used to go with her to makeup deliveries. I helped her during skin care classes by wetting the washclothes for the ladies in attendance. I sat with her during recognition and through her Monday night business meetings. Even though I was under 5 years old I knew something really special was going on. My mom earned the use of her first Mary Kay car when I was 9 years old. And then my dad got a job relocation and we moved to another state. In 1989, it was difficult or totally impossible to coach a team long distance since the Internet hadn't even happened yet on a consumer level. My mom lost her team and I watched her dreams fall away. It must have struck a chord in me on some level.

Fast forward to 2004. My first daughter was born and I was working a terrible job in a crazy city with a crazy commute in a tiny cubicle with no windows and bad lighting. It was Hell. I still remember locking myself in a bathroom stall and bawling each and every day because my tiny baby spent practically her whole life at daycare and I hardly saw her at all. It was the definition of heartbreak. I never knew devastating heartache until that year. I decided one day that Mary Kay was the life for me too. I got my hands on some teaching tapes (aka personal development) and spent my days in that dark and lonely cubicle listening to what would become prophesy in my life.

Rena Tarbet was the angel who changed my entire existence. My mom used to listen to her in the car when I was little and now I was soaking in her words for myself. Teaching principles she had learned from John Maxwell, Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, and Napoleon Hill I soaked in ideas and universal laws no one had ever bothered teaching me in school. I started to believe in magic, y'all!!! That's totally what it seemed like at the time, MAGIC!! I decided that network marketing was my answer to being able to stay home with my daughter. Soon after going all in with my business I truly felt like God told me I would be a National Sales Director, which is one of the highest ranks you can achieve in MK.

Well, life has a way of happening and I did fairly well at first but fell off when life got hard. I got divorced and gained full custodial custody of my 2 year old girl and moved back in with mom and dad at the age of 26. I enrolled in esthetics school and while my path changed, my dream never did. I still felt destined for greatness in God's Kingdom. During my stint in Esthetics I was introduced to Electrology and felt called in that direction as well. That was a couple years and a couple miracles down the line (another story for another post) but that panned out as well! I became a nationally certified Electrologist in addition to a licensed Esthetician.

After a new marriage and 2 more kids I found myself in the same sort of predicament as with my first daughter. I was working 12 hour days in a tiny treatment room performing electrolysis on clients who could afford to stay home with their kids and I was barely making ends meet with all 3 of my kids in childcare, a husband in hospitality who worked double time, and me working part time but missing out on way too much. I also suffered terribly after my last two children with postpartum depression. After my 3rd in 2011, the PPD nearly took me. I was at risk of never recovering from that. My life was in a downward spiral. Yet, I still felt called to something great!

A friend of mine from an online Expecting Club 2 years earlier had started coaching with Beachbody and was incredibly successful! Being no stranger to how awesome MLMs can be and also being very intrigued in getting in shape after 2 kids I totally jumped on board with her. I had almost instant physical results with Beachbody! I was in the best shape of my entire life! I even ran a Spartan Race with my brother as many of you know! I blogged all about THAT! One of my greatest life achievements. :)

With the business side of BB I achieved moderate success but found it to be a struggle. Now, I am not opposed to a struggle and some hard work with business because I realize that hard work and hustle are required for success in any venture at all. And I was completely willing to stick it out for the long haul. I quit my part time job as an electrologist in October of 2013 to pursue BB full time. After almost 2 years in Beachbody I hadn't really advanced much but I felt like I was making progress. Until my grandfather died and we moved all within the span of a couple of months. I was thrown. I slowly began to lose all of my physical progress and with it, all credibility I had as a fitness and wellness coach. Things began to spiral after that.

August of that year (2014) was the catalyst. Like many families of 5 with small children we visited the pediatrician's office FREQUENTLY. It seemed like one of the 3 was always on some kind of medication whether it was an antibiotic, a steroid, or some kind of breathing treatment. My oldest was even on multiple ADHD meds. And though I felt highly called to homeschool my kids were in public school because I was terrified of going against the status quo. But August.

August of 2014 I bought a premium starter kit from Young Living through a friend of mine who was an avid oils user. I had been researching essential oils for a year or so and knew some about them from my time in Esthetics school. But I didn't know how amazing they were therapeutically. Being a desperate mama to keep my kids off Rx meds and out of the doctor's office, I bought my kit. Since that day, my kids haven't been for a SINGLE sick visit!!!! Not a single round of antibiotics!! Seriously!!

I was sold! And I wanted to shout it from the rooftops to other moms and share with the world the amazing new reality I had found!!! And so I did! And when I did other moms wanted to know what I was doing so I helped them learn what I had learned. And their families got healthier too!! It was this chain effect of health and vitality!! I was completely astounded!!!! And without even meaning to I was in the business side of Young Living and ranking up with little to no effort at first. Completely amazing!!! All for sharing my love of oils.

Once it began to sink in that this might be the opportunity God meant for me all along I began to see what the possibilities would be in this business for me and my family, which were HUGE!! I set goals accordingly and went "all in" just like I had with Mary Kay many years before. One of my first goals was to hit Silver rank with my team. Silver rank is considered by many to be "quit your job" earning potential. So, that's what I aimed for first. I am amazingly PROUD to announce that I made Silver rank in October of this year!!!!! WOW!!!! First of many BIG ranks to come!

My team amazes me each month! All we do is share our love of these God-given oils with our friends and family and the oils themselves do all the real work! And we are rewarded!! I had the incredible opportunity to go to Young Living Convention in June of this year and witness the farms and distillation process for myself and know that our company's Seed to Seal guarantee is the real deal! And there is NO OTHER company anywhere in the world who can say the same thing. From the very seed of the plant to the time the oil ends up in the bottle Young Living controls the whole process and verifies and guarantees 100% therapeutic purity. Absolutely amazing!! As an esthetician I can truly appreciate that and as a business person I am proud to have a guarantee like that to back my claims!!!

Mom and I at the Young Living Lavender Farm in Mona, UT!

Planting yarrow seedlings on the farm in Mona, UT!

Standing in front of the Lavender. 

So, there you have it!!! From skin cancer to Silver!!! My prayers were answered and my dreams brought to fruition in the same year. What a blessed 2016!!! I can't wait to see what 2017 has in store for us!!! I'm looking at you Gold and Platinum!!! :)

Also, I need to welcome our newest family member, Kohala, our adorable yet HUGE 4 month old German Shepherd. She gives my heart all kinds of tickles. :)

My kids who are growing WAY too fast!!

Me with  new my Silver haircut and style!