Blog Posts

Saying Goodbye to Elementary School

Saying Goodbye toElementary School

Last month we closed another chapter in our home. We will not have any kiddos in elementary school. I’d be lying to you if I said I was sad about this reality. While I had a hard time with our oldest turning 10 years old since then I’ve discovered that I don’t need to be sad about the milestones we face. I don’t dread the future because the more independent our boys become the more fun they are to be around.

I went on a few 5th-grade field trips this year and I can confidently say that elementary school teachers are saints because I wanted to scream at some point of each trip. The inability to stand up without talking is one I’ll never understand.

Levi had an amazing teacher this year and I have no doubt she’s prepared him well for middle school. He’s taken his initial tour and picked out his preferred classes. He now attends Sunday and Wednesday night middle school youth group at our church. The transition is almost complete.

Of course, I reserve the right to shed a few tears come promotion day, I’m not completely heartless! Reflecting on all this kid has dealt with in 6 years of schooling reminds me of how resilient he is and that is a reason to celebrate.

There are a few other reasons I’m ready to say goodbye to elementary school. Y’all, I am SO not a PTA parent. Don’t get me wrong, I DEEPLY appreciate the parents who put on the carnivals and fun runs and track the fundraising and find the grants and do all the things. I know my children benefit from the work of those amazing women, which is why I’ve tried to do my part. I ran concessions at the festival, donated to parent/teacher conferences, and even attended a few PTA meetings. No pat on the back needed. I understand my effort is the bare minimum.

There is a PTA board in Middle School, and I fully intend to half-heartedly attend fundraisers as needed next year as well, but there is SO much less work involved with older grades!

Another plus to putting grade school behind us is both boys will be in the same school which means only having to remember 2 school schedules instead of 3 and having a shorter drop-off drive each morning. I’ll admit, the fact that I’m working full-time likely plays into the joy I feel moving beyond elementary school, but it’s not the only factor.

So goodbye 5th grade, you’ve been a fun one, but as they say, all good things must come to an end.

Upward and Onward! See ya in August middle school!

That Other Oils Post

that other oils post

A little over a year ago I wrote a post highlighting all the doTerra essential oils our family was loving. I thought it might be interesting to see how our oil uses have evolved over the last year. In addition to the oils, I’ve incorporated several vitamins and supplements from doTerra I’ll highlight as well.

Here are our favorite essential oils:


  • On Guard: immunity support, taken internally with droplets, diffused at night, applied topically
  • Cinnamon: blood sugar regulation, add a drop to water or protein shake
  • Peppermint: energy increase, add a drop to water, taken internally with droplets
  • Purify: diffused in main living area (kitchen/living room open floor) to eliminate odors and promote fresh smell, a drop in the wash or on wool dryer balls is nice too
  • Serenity: diffused at night to help Ordell and I sleep, in a roller to apply at night when traveling
  • Lavender: help the boys sleep diffused at night, eczema reducer, also great on wool dryer balls
  • Lemon or Lime: drop in drinking water, helps with digestion, liver support
  • Breathe: doTERRA Breathe is a remarkable blend of essential oils including Laurel Leaf, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca, Lemon, Cardamom, Ravintsara, and Ravensara.
  • Vegan Lifelong Vitality Pack: this is our multivitamin choice. While I use the flaxseed, Ordell uses IQ Mega fish oil. No more fishy burps!
  • Shampoo: I LOVE the doTerra shampoo!

Weekly or More

  • Eucalyptus: a drop in the shower helps clear the allergy stuffiness away.
  • Citrus Bliss: this vanilla and citrus combination has been perfect to get the grumpies out in the car before heading to school
  • Wild Orange: emotional support, promotes cheerfulness
  • Deep Blue: most used in our house, muscle soreness support.
  • Aroma Touch: droplets into bath helps reduce muscle soreness
  • Clary Sage: cramps and emotional imbalances from monthly cycle removed
  • Terra Shield: 20 drops of oil to 4 oz of water makes an amazing bug spray! This can also be diffused for the protection of a larger area.
  • Douglas Fir: Ordell has found this is a perfect layering oil for him with Deep Blue on days he’s sore from lifting.
  • DigestZen: aids in the digestion of food, soothe occasional upset stomachs, and reduce uncomfortable gas and bloating.*
  • Balance and Serenity together are called the grouchy blend. I’ve found the blend perfect for our boys in the pre-teen and teen years.

Thyroid Support

My thyroid support combination is the one that has changed the most. I finally have a balanced thyroid again after 13 months. When nothing else worked DDR Prime kept me functional. The other two are great support for digestion and hunger cravings. Even though I’m still on thyroid meds without a veggie cap of these oils I’m pretty wiped out by the end of the day.

  • Slim and Sassy: helps boost your metabolism and manage hunger cravings, this comes in oil and soft gel form.
  • Zendocrine: comes in oil and soft gel form
    • Supports the body’s natural ability to rid itself of unwanted substances*
    • Supports healthy liver function*
    • Purifying and detoxifying to the body’s systems*
  • DDR Prime: DDR Prime is a proprietary blend of CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils that help protect the body against oxidative stress to cellular DNA.* The essential oils in DDR Prime provide antioxidant protection and support a healthy response to cellular stressors.


  • Ginger in salad dressings
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint in brownies
  • Lemon in lemon bars

On Guard

For cleaning, I’ve started using the on guard cleaning concentrate in a glass spray bottle. It’s the perfect multipurpose cleaner and the only thing that gets the grime off our tubs!

I can’t believe how long it lasts. We’ve only had one bottle and we use the spray several times a week on counters, the microwave and bathrooms. I’m not even halfway through the bottle.

We’ve also swapped out for the on guard foaming soap. No more Bath and Body Works in our house!

On Guard beadlets kept us healthy this winter even with 3 guys in 3 different schools and a severe flu strain.

On Guard cough drops were a great booster when we did have short-lived colds.

Ordell and I also use the on guard toothpaste. It’s replaced Sensodyne and our dentist is pleased to report zero cavities and whiter teeth.

So there you have it! We now use more doTerra daily in various ways than a year ago.

Here’s What We’ve Eliminated:

  • ibuprofen
  • acetaminophen
  • tums
  • clorox spray
  • melatonin
  • cough drops
  • vicks
  • dayquil and nyquil

Here’s What We’ve Swapped in:


***I don’t sell doTerra, but I know some awesome ladies who do! I’m happy to refer you to my favorite doTerra reps.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

A Year in the Book of Romans

A Year in the Book of Romans

I had the opportunity to participate in Bible Study Fellowship this year with about 300 other women in our current community. If you participated in BSF in past years you may be surprised to learn that the rules are loosening. No longer do we always answer every question and we have a lot more time to chat and get to know each other as a group.

I’ve loved my small group and have really enjoyed time with them both during small group and outside of Tuesday mornings. I’m so thankful for the friendships that have formed. I believe that studying Romans together has helped us drop the surface conversations quickly and deep dive into the important things.

It hasn’t been an easy book to study this year, but I can’t argue with the relevancy of the Bible when I read Romans. Paul could have been writing to the United States in 2017-2018, and in some ways, he was. At the same time, I think Romans is a book that many people skim through to avoid the “hard parts” which really aren’t as scary as others may lead you to believe.

Our group leader did an amazing job of encouraging us while also not letting us get away with short answers. She asked insightful questions and she was also willing to learn alongside us.

As I reflect on the key things I’ve taken away from a focused season of studying the Book of Romans I realize the list is shorter than I expected it would be. Paul lays out a clear understanding of the Gospel, and he makes a strong argument for “right living”. And maybe that’s why people have a hard time with Romans. While nuance is present in some sections, many are pretty clear. Do this, not that.

Here are a few examples:

Romans 13:7  Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”

Romans 13:13 “Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.”

Romans 14:3-4The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.”

While you may be tempted to say “Everything? that didn’t include foods we have now. If Paul knew about ____ he’d have written that differently.” Um NOPE! “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant?”

The Contrast is Clear

Ultimately, this season studying Romans put a giant spotlight on the division that currently dominates many news cycles. The church is deeply fractured and none of the issues we are facing now are new ones.

Through it all, God is still God.

The most important take away for me is that God is so much bigger than we allow him to be, and our calling has more to do with our relationship with God than any other aspect of our lives.

Coaching Family’s Preseason Getaway

While our summers are never exactly the same I’ve tried to prioritize a few things. One of the benefits of building summer memories is that they have helped to ease the boys into the football season.

A college summer for our family has provided a more flexible schedule than our current summers.  High school football includes weeks of practice. Our season essentially began this week and with the exception of a few days off here or there we will wrap up football in November.

Tommy Bartlett Show

This extended focus on the season has increased the importance of a family getaway and this year we headed to Wisconsin Dells for a great time of waterpark fun. We were able to enjoy time with cousins, time as a family of four, and time as a couple.

We laughed, we stayed up late, we tried new things and most importantly we created new memories. Mostly, we didn’t talk about football except when we ran into an incoming Freshman who’s dad had to say hello while we were eating at a restaurant…but that’s actually normal for us too.

I have come to believe that one of the best things we can do to help our boys foster a love for the football life is to create amazing memories that have nothing to do with football. There is no doubt football is a calendar priority and a family affair, but it doesn’t have to be the ONLY important memory our family holds.

Adjusting Back to Life

Interestingly, the day after we arrived back from vacation was busier than normal with a full work day, dentist appointment, kick-off of Bible study and of course the need to grocery shop. While we were away I finished Chrysal Stine’s book Holy Hustle. Her encouragement to reflect on my calendar and to reflect on a life where we embrace the work we’ve been given while finding our worth in God alone had an interesting effect on me.

Pre-season is usually the time of year where I become super organized and try to think several steps ahead in every calendar area I can find. Instead, I found myself unwilling to step back into the hustle. Even with a pressured expectation from a family member outside our house expressed an urgency about a matter that wasn’t really urgent I sidestepped the usual instinct to jump on the bandwagon of doing things according to other’s timelines.

I’m thankful for a vacation to realign my perspective and reaffirm desire to find work/life balance this year.

Holy Hustle Book Review

What I loved most about Holy Hustle is how relatable Crystal Stine is. Her transparency and vulnerability allowed for me to see how my life journey has run parallel to hers and even times I’ve caught myself in the same cycles of running the race (or hustle) the world sees as necessary.

I’ve spent the majority of my life since college seeking to position myself to fully understand and live God’s calling for my life. Holy Hustle was perfectly timed as a reminder that our yeses and nos are important both in work and life.

Crystal does a beautiful job of tying in what scripture says about work and life balance. In this year of striving to simplify life Holy Hustle was the perfect mid-year affirmation I needed.


Favorite Gifts for Your Favorite Coach

FavoriteGifts forYour FavoriteCoach

Not only is Father’s Day coming up, but June and July are the most common months for coaching families to celebrate their wedding anniversaries! I’ve compiled a list of gifts that I think are unique, useful, or both!

Check out my suggestions for favorite gifts for your favorite coach:

Qalo Silicone Ring

Ordell recently switched to his first Qalo ring. His gold band has become pretty misshapen from strength training. Qalo has a great message, tons of variety and a discount for members!

Personalized Belt

Holtz Leather belts are beautifully made with a classic look. More than that, you can personalize them with a message on the inside! I love this idea. How cool is it you can remind your coach each time he dresses up how proud you are of him?

Digital Photo Book

Have you had an especially great run that you want to document? Digital scrapbooks are a great way to feature photos and stories together. Shutterfly and Walmart are both services I’ve used in the past.

For Your Foodie

Do you find yourself constantly sending snacks to the office? I love this new subscription service UrthBox, a healthy snack subscription service. This is a great way to encourage healthier snacks and discover some new treats to stock up on.

I love this set of four Habanero Hot Sauces or these Bourbon Infused Coffee beans from Uncommon Goods.


Does your coach love to watch film? Check out this cool smartphone projector. 

If you haven’t jumped on the external battery bandwagon yet it might be time. Cell phone batteries are not what they used to be!

Does your guy misplace his keys? The Tile products are the perfect solution. Slip one on his key ring, one in the wallet, and even attach one to his gym bag if needed. They work in reverse to help you find your smartphone too!

Movie Pass

You may think I’m crazy to feature going to the movies, but Movie Pass is the coolest thing it’s worth considering. For $9.95 a month you can go to four movies a month with participating theaters.

This means spontaneous dates now have a destination!! No stressing about waiting to make sure the movie isn’t a waste of money. If it looks good, ya go!

Happy Anniversary coaches wives! Enjoy the summer break. Camp will be here soon.