Wednesday, December 23, 2015

it feels like Christmas!

Everyone here in Indiana is freaking out over our warm, green, Christmas weather. "It can't be Christmas without snow!" They cry.

Meanwhile, I feel like this is totally appropriate Christmas weather. When you spend 90% of your childhood Christmases in Southern California, 60 degree weather is right on target. In fact, it's been making me feel full of nostalgia and a bit giddy. It FEELS like Christmas.

It just goes to show that so much of life is what we are used to. One person's disappointment is someone's preference. We are products of culture and habit. We can't ever think we know all the right things, or our way is always the right way. 

I hope no matter what your expectations are this Christmas, you find yourself filled with joy and peace. And when life hands you a green or white Christmas to your dismay, you still find a way to stand in awe of our Savior.

This Christmas, may our expectation be set aside as we say, "Come, thou long expected, Jesus".

Monday, December 7, 2015

a blog about a blog

I've been thinking about something for a very, very long time. In a way, it came to a head for me yesterday, and then I read this blog post this morning and I decided it's my turn to talk a little bit about this issue.

For a long time, I've been saying, "It's not you, it's me", but I think it may actually not be me.

http://johnpavlovitz.com/2015/12/01/my-emancipation-from-american-christianity/

I read that blog this morning and tears came into my eyes. Tears of frustration, of loneliness, of relief. Frustration for things I do not agree with but I feel are accepted as "cultural norms", loneliness for thinking I am one of a very select few who think this way, and relief to hear that I am not the only one.

That last one is why I decided to write this blog: if you read that above blog post and resonate; or if you sit somewhere on Sunday desperately wanting to worship God but wrestling with a Christian church or the American Christian Church; if in Christian culture you often feel like you are a round peg in a square hole; if you know only pieces of your faith make sense and they don't fit with many other people's pieces of faith - you. are. not. alone. I read that and cried, I sit and feel alone, I am the strangest shaped peg, my pieces don't go with other people's.

And all that is okay.

I often pray the prayer, "Lord, move - or move me." So far, I keep being moved, and I keep being moved farther away from the direction I think I should be going. I do not get moved back to mainstream Christianity, but I often feel like I am moving closer to Christ. So far, I haven't ever felt moved to leave church, and that's not really an appealing option, anyways.

This is not a passive aggressive statement towards anyone in particular, or towards a Body of Believers, or any one thing; nor is it a criticism or calling out of anyone who has not had these feelings. I am a member of a church I love. I call myself a Christian. But I keep many things buried deep within, and when I cannot reconcile them, I leave at the feet of Jesus.  I don't need anyone to agree with me, but I don't necessarily need to agree with anyone, either. I just need space to exist and trust that God is faithful to me - someone who is not wise, who has a lot of questions, and who recognizes her need for a Savior.

When all else fails, I cling to that old rugged cross. It has never failed me. I hope you can do the same.

Friday, October 23, 2015

a note about the bold

Someone recently told me, "If you struggle with boldness, there is no hope for any of us." to which someone else said, "You are probably the boldest person I've ever met."

This is not a blog about me, though.

This is a post about becoming the boldest person you've ever met, and how I am just a normal girl from Wisconsin.

I joke the greatest disservice my parents did to me growing up was to forgetting to tell me there are limits to what I can do. Now, don't get me wrong - my parents were not supporters of the "you can be anything you want to be in life" mantra. I suck at lots of things, and it was pretty evident to them and to me that if I had tried to pursue after any of them, it was not going to go well for me. However, as far as things I had aptitude for and interest in, there was no limit.

Enter YWAM. End game.

Friends, I am not even kidding here, but if you think for two seconds YWAM leaves you when you leave YWAM, it's not true. Like a dormant disease, it will stick around in your blood stream and slowly take over, pollute, and seek to eat away your worldview and life as you know it until you come to grips with the fact that your life is worthless and dead if you aren't doing what you are supposed to be doing.

What does this have to do with boldness?
YWAM teaches you a few things. One is that you don't have to be particularly qualified to do a task. You just have to love Jesus. It also teaches you that no task isn't your job, so just go ahead and do it.

YWAM gives you the audacity to start being bold in things that you seemingly have no business being bold about. YWAM taught me the boldness in willingness, not in qualification.

Bob Goff says love is it's own calling card, and that resonates so deeply with me. I don't have to worry about being qualified/doing it exactly right because that's not my job. I just have to love well, and that message will end up speaking back to the one true Love of all - God, who, as the Bible says, is Love.

When I heard about the Dignity Project, I didn't wait. I started sewing and asking friends to sew. At this point, dozens of you have gotten involved and I am overwhelmed, grateful, and excited to serve the women in Uganda.

When MOPs needed a co-coordinator, I didn't overthink the whole "I haven't even gone through an entire years of MOPs myself" thing. I just "yes", because there was a need. Guys, I am NOT qualified to co-coordinate MOPs and have zero clue about what I am doing. But I'm doing it.

When a friend told me they need someone to organize food for the homeless one time a month for 100+ people, I reached out to another friend and said, "Will you do this with me?". We are NOT expert homeless-feeders. Just two women who are willing to make sandwiches (which, btw, I got TONS of assembly line sandwich making experience in YWAM, so I'm feeling pretty good about that). It's going to require a sacrifice of other uses of our time, but it's probably what we need to be doing.

I could give more examples, but again, this isn't about me. It's about saying "yes" and trusting God to do the rest. And it doesn't have to be crazy. You can love your kids well, treat your co-workers kindly, work in your own sphere of influence. It can be small, like we are asking for less Christmas gifts and more donations to Samaritan's Purse who are working with Syrian refugees. But say yes, be bold, and then the next thing you know, you are a bold person.

"Audaces fortuna iuvat" (latin)- Fortune favors the bold.

Monday, October 12, 2015

challenge update

So, we finished phase one of the challenge! How's it going?

-Shakes: I really struggled to like the shakes. Turns out, it just needed unsweetened, vanilla almond milk. Hardly adds anything nutrition wise but way improves the taste. Since the challenge pack only comes with 14 shakes, I went ahead and ordered more in the chocolate mocha. Yum! The chocolate was good, too, but I liked the mocha better!

-Energy: Before I started the challenge, I said that if I wasn't feeling better in one week, I was going to call my primary doctor and have a check up and get a blood panel drawn. I was tired, struggling to sleep, and just not feeling great. The first 2 days of the challenge I did not feel better. By the 4th day, I felt totally different. I had energy, I could think clearly, I slept better. I know good food is good medicine... some times we just need help hitting that reset button!

-Appetite: I was hungry the first 2 days. I haven't been hungry since day 2. In fact, I have been making my dinner smaller and smaller. I am just not hungry. That sounds insane. I am always hungry. I'm sure it helps that my food options do not include cookies or ice cream. I feel like I could *probably* be hungry for those things. But after my protein and vegetable in the evening, I am good.

-Supplements: we added in the nutrition supplement system for the second phase of the cleanse. Most of it is ok...  one of the four packets definitely makes me feel "off", but I am going to give it a few more days. I am pretty sensitive to most medicines and supplements, so it definitely can take me a while to tolerate something.

-Diet coke / coffee: I just miss drinking it. I don't *need* it, though. Spark has been hugely helpful, and I'm sure it's better for you than Diet Coke! In fact, usually I am racing for that second Diet Coke after lunch, which has now been replaced with Spark... and yesterday I totally forgot to drink it. Which means I felt fine.

-Exercise: I've been keeping my activity level up as much as I can, but I did something to my left shoulder and need to have it adjusted before I can keep going strong... so it's going to be cardio only until Friday. Not ideal, but just life.

-Support: the ladies and coach doing the challenge with me are awesome and hilarious. It definitely helps!

-Weight loss: Isn't this the only one that matters? Ha! I've lost 4% of my body weight since starting, which bumped me down to the lower middle number on the scale! A middle number I haven't seen since before I was pregnant. YES! So good and definitely motivating! (If you don't know what I mean, I will give an example that is not my actual weight. Let's say you were in the 190's - the next lower middle number is the 180's. Make sense?) It feels good to bust through a barrier I have struggled with and still to have 2 weeks left on the challenge.

-Hard parts: When I want non-challenge approved food. But that's the whole point, right? Reset to a healthy diet. Also, the packets for phase 2 have been a bit hard to remember, because you have to take them before you eat, which means remembering to bring them with you/take them before the meal. I think the more I do it the easier it'll be. Dinner is also hard, because I have to figure out what both Robert and I can eat that we both like, and that, my friends, is a Venn diagram with no overlap.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

24 day challenge.

So, I agreed to do an Advocare 24 Day Challenge because I really care about my health, want to be intentional with my eating, and struggle to find the time to eat well as a stay at home mom.

That is all a lie. I agreed to do it because I want to wear my pre-pregnancy jeans this fall.

Either way, I am motivated.... and I promised to blog about it, so here I am.

Yesterday was the day of all meal prep. I made zucchini noodles, chicken fajita bowls, and egg and veggie "muffins". I used the zucchini noodles today for some fake Italian for lunch, and I was surprised by how much I liked it.

This morning started off with Day 1 of the challenge. Since I am a type A person to the core, I love the packets of supplements and check list. I get to CHECK it off? Done.

In the kit is a seemingly innocent box labeled "fiber drink". Since it was on the check list, I dutifully drank it this morning. It was not my favorite experience, but I got it down. I may put in a small splash of orange juice in it tomorrow to cut the gag factor.

I drank an Advocare meal replacement shake for breakfast. It was okay. It tasted a little "off" to me - but that could be that it's just a new protein shake. I have found some good recipes online to help the shake a little... and really, most protein shakes need some doctoring if they don't have a bunch of sugar in them. It still tasted better than Shakeology. #youcannotpaymetodrinkthatstuff

How am I feeling? Pretty good. Things got really shaky at 12:00 when I could not have a Diet Coke. And by shaky I mean I considered taking my own life, but I powered through. I didn't blink when they told me no coffee, I felt whiny about no chocolate, but the no Diet Coke thing? #thestruggleisreal

I did get really hungry after breakfast. I went from totally fine to "wow I need to eat or I am going to pass out". Yes, I was drinking plenty of water! Luckily, I had Women's Bible study, and knowing all the good treats there, I had packed some peanut butter + apples in case I was tempted. That turned out to be a good idea.

Since I have Spark (#lifesaver), I have no headaches. But I really drink mostly decaf coffee, so that's not too surprising. I am slightly hungry but not starving by any means, and the check list says I get another snack soon, so I'm sure I will be fine. The best news is that today I probably have eaten 100% healthier than I normally would have, and that's a big win.

I will keep you updated on how it goes! I promised I would post, but I also promised I would be honest, so you can expect more Diet Coke whining ahead. I'm also hoping to have some other people share their challenge experiences, so we may have some other perspectives, too! #TeamSassy



Friday, September 11, 2015

the fashion addict and the boy

friends, it's no secret that clothes shopping for boys is way inferior to clothes shopping for girls.

is it easier? yes. cheaper? probably. simpler to put outfit togethers? yes, thank goodness.

but the girl's stuff is just so... i don't know. addicting? 

the exception? 

little boy winter sweaters & jackets.



i cannot even look at a crisp denim jacket for joe without somehow justifying that he needs this james dean inspired look. 




a wool pea coat? i die. 


a thick cable knit sweater with toggle buttons? i'll take one in each color.


a brightly colored fleece? yes, bring some cheer to those dreary winter days.

before long, it looks like i'm stocking up an LL Bean catalog in our hall closet... just in kid's size. 

AND IT'S ONLY SEPTEMBER.





Wednesday, August 19, 2015

the question.

"Do you want more kids?"

I pause. The question. Do I want more kids?

Joe is that age. That age where many people add their second child.

I have no easy answer to that question. We love Joe with our hearts and souls and love being his parents. I love being at home with him (most days ;) ), and I love our little life together. We watch him get bigger and better and wish for all things baby. "Of course we want another baby!" I want to say.

Hyperemsis gravidum is a weird thing. You are totally fine, and then you get pregnant, and you are totally not fine. Then, after 9 long months, you get a newborn, which requires all your energy and work after you already gave all your energy and work just to stay out of the hospital while pregnant, and then, 18 months into motherhood, you are totally fine again. So I should do it again, right? After all, how cute is my kid?

I hold my friends' babies and my heart aches. A baby. I look at my sister and brother and think I could have not asked for better life-long friends. A sibling.

But it's just not that simple.  I know I can do it, I know will make it. I know there's a chance that some of it will be easier the next time around. But that's a big gamble, and it's a bet I'm likely to lose.

And in that, I will lose everything. Which will be okay, but I'm not going to lie - I love what we do! I love my MOPs group, my women's Bible study. I love helping people, running errands without puke bags, exercising, cooking, hosting events, going to events, going to church, volunteering at church, staying awake past 9PM, traveling, and doing a number of things that are nearly impossible when I'm pregnant. That's a long 9 month prison sentence - with a toddler, none the less. Maybe it's selfish. Maybe it's smart. Maybe it's a mix of the two.

{and i will take a second to recognize that I know many people who would give anything for the choice to be able to have their own children. I don't know what that feels like, and I know this probably sounds crazy to someone who just wants to have a baby. But this struggle is real, too, I promise}

So do we want more? Yes. Do I want to be pregnant again? No. Do we want to consider other routes to expand our family? Maybe. But those aren't simple answers, either.

So do I want more children? Sure, when God puts it on my heart that it's time. Until then, I'll keep doing all the other things he's called me to do while I'm healthy and have a healthy toddler. And I'll keep praying for courage and strength if he calls me to pregnancy again.

Friday, July 31, 2015

a boy and the water

While it's no secret that (one day, when they cure severe morning sickness) we would like more children, I am sorta loving the just having one stage.

I can do things like take my one year old to the beach. Friends, keeping up with a crazy toddler at the beach is no joke, and if I had a baby or another kid under the age of, like, 6, it would not be happening.

So I took Joe to our small, dinky, very-Indiana beach. What it lacks in views (seriously, you are looking at a highway, townhouse construction, and a hospital... so I guess it may not be that hard to pretend it's California), it makes up for in accessibility and in our son's joy of being there.

Joe loves the water (he always has).
Joe did a Baywatch reenactment the first time we took him to the beach. Full force, unbridled, he ran straight to the shore and dove face-first into the water.

He giggles and giggles as he splashes. He digs and digs in the "sand". He runs around. The sun makes his hair more strawberry than blonde and his little, squinty red face is full of contentment.


1/4 Californian, with 100% of his grandfathers having been life guards & swimmers, this kid has it in his genes to be a water baby.

While he soaks up the sun and environment, I soak up getting to be his momma. (and I love, LOVE how with his rolling cheeks and squinty eyes I see my dear father-
in-law, and mischievous grin I see my dad, and messed up crazy hair and face shape I see my brother as a little kid)

And my heart hopes he finds his Maker here, and wishes for his kingdom more than the shores of the sea.

But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. Amos 5:24


Friday, June 26, 2015

one year: and what to do

A year ago today we lost my father-in-law. Shock doesn't even describe the feeling I got when I got that phone call.

Today we will celebrate. We will celebrate his love, his life. We will probably fight back (or not fight back) tears. We will smile when we see Don's face in little Joe's eyes and expressions. Today, we will give thanks for the gift of having Don in our lives, and for the promise of eternal life through Jesus.

There's a really great blog post being shared on Facebook about what to do when someone in your life is grieving. It's good - read it, do it.

My advice on what to do when someone in your life experiences tragedy? Show up. You don't have to know the right words (and, as that blog points out, saying the wrong thing or admitting you don't know what to say is better than not saying anything). You don't have to know what to do. Just show up. 

That night, a year ago today, my mom quickly rearranged everything (she was watching my sister's kids, and my sister's in-laws jumped up and took them so my mom could be with us), my dad drove through the night from St. Louis (he was at a medical conference), my dear friend rushed over to watch my sleeping baby so I could be with my husband and his mother. 

I will never forget and forever be grateful for every single person who showed up for us. Friends flew in from across the country. Friends took time off in the middle of their work day for the funeral. I will never forget looking up and seeing our entire small group, dressed more formally than I had ever seen them, walking in and taking a seat for a funeral for a man they did not know because they loved us. My friend who had a newborn had her husband drive around in circles with the baby during the viewing so she could give me a hug. Another friend, the wife of Robert's business partner, rocked and walked with Joe for over an hour at the viewing while he slept so I could stand in the receiving line. 

Show up. 

When my sister emailed us to ask how we were (she was in China. Good gravy, why can no one ever just be home when tragedy strikes?), my response was this, "We are sad but well cared for. My house is full of meals, carbs, and booze." 

The journey of grief is hard and long, but it's so much lighter when you aren't alone. 

When Jesus knew he was about to be taken away and crucified, thereby pouring out grief and hardship on his followers, these were some of his last words to them.

 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Friday, May 22, 2015

forward.

i hate lasts.
last night in our house.
i brought my first baby home to this house.
so many things have happened to us here.

change is never easy, friends.

when i feel that knot in my stomach rise up and catch myself holding my breath, i force my abdomen to relax. "breathe", i remind myself. the shutting of the door is hard, the few steps forward to the new one is always the hardest part. usually, once we're there, it's ok.

we just have to take those steps.

i spoke last year at our women's retreat.
the past isn't bad, i recounted to my fellow sisters, but if we hold onto it and wrap our hands around it until our knuckles turn white, it becomes an idol. if we don't let go, it will get in the way of our worship.

God only calls us forward.

while i don't have all the pieces to the big picture of what's next for us, i know this is my next step. i can slip this piece into that puzzle confidently. even though there's still that knot in my stomach.

i had one good semester in college - one. and i wasn't at college - i went on consortium to an urban studies program in San Francisco. if you ever hear me talk about a "friend from college", 99% chance it's from that one semester. needless to say, i didn't exactly want to go back to my normal college experience. and a friend there shared that beautiful Sara Groves song - Pictures of Egypt.

i have played that song on repeat over and over.
when i left that semester.
when i moved across the country.
when i moved back across the country.
when i got married.
when we moved to Nashville.
when we moved to this house.
when we joined our church.
when we said good-bye to our dear family when they moved away.
when we got brave about where we were at.
when i was sick while pregnant.
when i was still sick while pregnant.
when robert lost his job.
when robert started the company (i was still sick & pregnant)
when i quit my job to stay home.
when i was a scared new mom.
when i buried my father-in-law.
when i became less of  scared new mom.
when i buried a family friend.
when i held my dad's hand in the hospital after he nearly died.
when i thought God was calling us to something new.

because the places that used to fit me
cannot hold the things i've learned.

This is what God says,
    the God who builds a road right through the ocean,
    who carves a path through pounding waves,
“Forget about what’s happened;
    don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
    It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
    rivers in the badlands.

Isaiah, the Message

you could say we've been in the badlands.

but my river is bursting forth.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

just a happy post

Frankie, our blankie friend
At age 1, Joe is fun and full of life. And if there is anything Joe loves as much as life itself, it's Frankie.

Frankie the Blankie. Frankie is a lovey that we were given, along with half a dozen other little blankies & toys. But Joe picked Frankie out of the masses and has chosen him as his companion. He learned to say, "Dadda", then "Momma", then, "Frankie!".

Frankie is a trooper. On any given day, Frankie gets bitten, thrown, covered in grossness, and put in any number of precarious positions.


Like shoved in a drawer.
  
or tucked into the Batmobile
.





Or taken along for a couch climb.

 Where there is Joe, Frankie is usually along side, game for action. Frankie is also practical, a helpful friend for tasks like finding lost toys under the couch.

 And at every nap and bedtime, Frankie is safely tucked close, keeping Joe company through the night, getting rest to prepare for the next day of adventure.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

his intentions for me are good

I was reading the book of Esther.

Because I was so. tired. of everything feeling so hard.

What was the call we received? Why isn't our follow through working? Why is our life like this? Are we living accidentally or intentionally? What if it is accidentally and we can't change it?

I was casually talking to a licensed therapist today about our life - she was at a Q&A session at MOPs - and she asked if I wanted to schedule a session. That really made me feel great about our life.

When I read Esther's story, I feel like a lot of things that happened to her weren't exactly easy.

Orphaned.
Virginity given to the King because he's mad at his wife.
King happens to be of skeptical character.
People are trying to kill her one remaining family member.
She doesn't know what to do.
She's of a race that someone is out to destroy. She has to keep who she is a secret.
She has to risk her life multiple times to try to save herself. Oh, and her entire nation.

I think a therapist would ask her if she wanted some therapy, too.

Honestly, I am not sure I would want Esther's story to be mine. Yes, it ends with a happily ever after, but those means aren't very pretty.

My means aren't very pretty these days.

I read the book of Esther over and over. There was a message that stood out to me went beyond the heroics of a faithful woman. The message that stood out to me was his intentions for me are good.

Joseph said it to his brothers - you gave me evil, God meant it for good.
At every hard thing in Esther's life, I see that God's intentions for her and for his people are good.

I am reminding myself of that truth as we face the hard things.

Surely, goodness and mercy will follow me.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

joe cried tonight when i put him down

Tonight, we did our bedtime routine, and then something remarkable happened.

Joe cried when I set him in his crib.
I cannot remember the last time he did that (except for in illness).
And since Joe does not snuggle or generally cry to be held, when I shut his bedroom door and heard him cry, "Mooooommmmmyyyy", I went back in and held him.

I sat in the rocking chair that we have sat in hundreds of times in the past year, and I let him snuggle into me and settle into sleep.

Tomorrow, Joe will wake up a 1 year old. And I won't have a baby anymore. I will be the mother of a one year old. So it seemed fitting that we would close out our year with this gesture, with this moment, with this gentle reminder that we are on the eve of the next stage.

I don't normally lean nostalgic, but this has hit me hard.

I held Joe tonight and thanked God for his life, I prayed for his future, I prayed for wisdom as a parent, and for the millionth time in the past year, my heart burst with love and thankfulness.

I felt the familiar relaxing and twitching of his little body, and I committed the moment to memory - every sound, warmth, sensation, smell, and closeness. These days of babyhood are so precious, because they are so few. I remind myself of what Jen Hatmaker wrote about children growing older - parenting is not an exercise in scarcity. Fear not, mommas with babies turning into toddlers, who turn into children, who turn into teens, who turn into adults; for the best is yet to come.

Tomorrow, I will be the mother of a one year old.
And the best is yet to come.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

what i've been reading

California, by Edan Lepucki
A friend gave me this novel to read. It's decently written and a fast read. I hated, HATED the ending. The whole book was really up & down. I would either be bored and racing through to something interesting, or I would be wrapped up and holding my breath,. As much as I hated the ending, I do think it asks the question about how brave we really are, and how quickly we would give ourselves a life of ease even if it meant compromising our values.

Divergent, by Veronica Roth
I am so late to this party. Don't judge. I'm not even going to write about this, since everyone is way ahead of me here.

Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty
I really liked this book. It's ultimately a book about domestic violence without being a domestic violence story. And it surprised me. I can't believe I didn't piece together all the clues... I'm usually always not-surprised in books. But this was a good one.

The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
Another party I am late to. I'm trying, people.

Tunnel Vision, Aric Davis
I have no clue why this book had such good reviews. It was awful.

Gideon, Priscilla Shirer
Our women's Bible study did this study this fall. I liked it. I appreciate Shirer's writing and depth and ability to get so much out of a story I've hardly thought about. It did bounce around a bit, so it may not be for everyone... but I did get a lot out of it.

You Are Your Child's First Teacher, Rahima Baldwin Dancy
I'm not quite as devoted to this book as I should be, but I am enjoying it. It has made me think a lot about what I do with Joe and how to translate it through a more educational lens. And it doesn't stress me out.

So who wants to come over and watch both The Fault in our Stars and Divergent with me?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

what i've been thinking about

as the time goes much too quickly toward joe's first birthday, this is what i think.

i look at that little face; the wiggly, crawling away little bum; that crazy, out of control mop of blonde hair; those busy, sneaky fingers.

and i think
this is what i will remember.
when you are grown up and not a baby and independent
this is what i will remember.

i will remember how you loved to open every door, cabinet and drawer and smile mischievously when caught.

I will remember how you would crawl to the top of  the stairs and make faces at me as you waved down at me.

 I will remember how you got into everything, discovered everything, and always looked up at me with that grin that charmed the world.

Friday, January 2, 2015

why i'm having a norwex party

My mom made me do it.

I am only sort of joking. The January hostess gift is something I wanted, and my mom wanted to order stuff, so she told me to have a party, and we all know you are supposed to listen to your mom when she tells you to do something.

So, what's so great about this stuff? I mean, we are talking about cleaning. WHO CARES?!?!

As a mom and self-professed clean freak, I spend a lot of time cleaning. Norwex is faster. Time saved = happy girl. Work smarter, not harder, poeple.

When I got pregnant, I really started to evaluate our exposure to certain things. I switched all my cleaning products and a lot of my personal care products to things that were gentler, "greener", and less toxic. With a baby who puts his mouth on everything, I can't mess around with some killer cleaner that's poisonous.

With this switch, my allergies and asthma improved. Like, I did it for my baby but I started to feel better.

Than I read Jen Hatmaker's "7" and got really convicted about how little I care about the earth/recycling. Norwex is planet friendly, sustainable, non-toxic, and has reduced my waste. I use so many less disposable wipes and paper towels when I clean. That's also reducing packaging waste, too. And that's also saving money not to buy that junk.

The best part? NORWEX WORKS. Not only does it make things sparkle and shine, it's effective as an anti-viral and anti-bacterial. I'm buying a cloth to stick in my diaper bag, I kid you not. And since it traps & locks stuff instead of killing, you reduce mutation and resistance in the bacteria and virus. Anyone who has gone through rounds of antibiotics or steroids to kill something that just keeps coming back will understand the importance of this.

So join my online Norwex party, don't judge me for having it, and justify my mom's decision to make me host it.