To exercise patience we have to accept things at times that cannot be changed and face them. Sometimes when things happen in our lives that were unforeseen, we find ourselves devastated. I am a big believer in the adage that “Everything happens for a reason,” But, I do admit that I have difficulty applying this to my own life. Every single piece of advice I have been given about something that is troubling me, be it a relationship, my job, my son, finances etc.. has been ” wait and see” or “just give it time.” This is hard to do because we feel so strongly that we cannot possibly bear life with this change or this stage in our lives. “Wait” they say. Easier said than done! We push for things and lose patience, because we feel that time will change things; that the moment will pass; feelings will fade; someone will buy out all of our size in the new Steve Madden snakeskin pumps.

I know I need to be more patient in my relationships. Especially in my relationship with my son. It is easy for me to “lose my cool” with him when he does something unfavorable. It helps me to just take deep breaths and tell myself that he is young and learning and to be patient. It would not be smart for me to just give Jake whatever he wants when he wants it, and so I exercise patience in that regard. I have learned that I can never give up on him. I should never give up on anyone for that matter, especially myself.

One day in the future, I hope to look back at my hardships and  be thankful for them. I may even laugh and say “Wow, What was I thinking?” or “I am really glad that worked out that way because if it didn’t then such and such wouldn’t have happened” It would be nice if we got everything just how we wanted it and then said ” OK, STAY.” Every new person that comes into your life changes you. Every moral dilemma or emotional experience changes you. It’s your job to decide if it changes you for the best or not. That is how we develop character. I try to just make the best out of every situation and trust that God’s plan is way better than the one I think I have.

 

Not Pregnant. Again.

IMG_6421.jpg

Really thought this would be the one. You know, the cycle that after 2 Weeks of Waiting and Wishing and Hoping, that I would see 2 lines on a stick that I just urinated on. 

Oh, sorry, I should have caught you all up to speed.

We have Unexplained Infertility. There I said it. I have been keeping a big secret. Most of our family and friends already know about our struggle over the last 2 years, but I haven’t shared publicly because I just figured I wasn’t supposed to talk about it, and that it was best to keep this part of my life private. But though this struggle, I have realized that there are so many people going through exactly what I am going through, and that it doesn’t need to be a taboo subject anymore. 

I also didn’t realize how much it was going to affect literally everything in my life. 

Like…

My fitness goals – “Will working out too hard affect my treatment?” “Will I gain weight on this medication?” “ Will the baby detach from my uterus if I am pregnant and don’t know it?”

My motivations – “Screw it, I will never be pregnant, we should just stop trying.”

My relationship – “I feel guilty, maybe I shouldn’t have had that glass of wine, I wonder if he is blaming me too?”  “Why can’t he understand what I am dealing with and just be nicer?”

My life plans – “Should I really start that new class or job if Im just going to be pregnant soon?” “Nobody wants a pilates instructor who is pregnant” “Should we spend money on remodeling this room or going on vacation when we might need the money to afford another fertility treatment?”

My friendships – “Oh you’re pregnant with your 4th child, How wonderful.. Sure, I can throw you a shower.” 

My Faith – “ Is God really there?” “ Why are my prayers going unanswered?” “Why, me?” “Why NOT me?”

Those are actual thoughts that I have had over the course of the last 2 years. I am not necessarily proud of all of them, but what I have learned from countless other women and couples who have been in our place is that while struggling with infertility is hard… it is crucial to give yourself love and grace and literally “Trust the Process.” I have had to forgive well meaning people who said things that offended me, or made me feel worse about myself for not being able to do the one thing that my body is meant to do…bear children. It’s not their fault, but If I hear  “It will happen” or “It will happen when you stop trying” one more time, I might be featured on an episode of SNAPPED.

We are working with a great Reproductive Endocrinologist and I know that whether its this year or next year, our miracle will come. After several failed cycles of IU and trying naturally, we will soon undergo IVF as our last hope to conceive. I am sure it will be worth the wait, but until then these “one liners” that aren’t funny at all,  is what my life will continue to look like….

The single pink lines, 

The bloodwork

The doctor visits

Cycle monitoring

The basal temperature taking

The heartache

The prayers

The stress

The anxiety of the dreaded 2 week wait

Spending hundreds of dollars on pregnancy tests because I didn’t just wait until the Dr told me to test, and I thought 3 of them could all be “false negatives”

Feeling defeated with each negative

All the googling and reading pregnancy forums

The injections

The inseminations

The meds

IVF research

Egg Freezing

PGS Screening

That’s all! Will share more of our journey later!

XOXO – H

Snapseed.jpg

Me on my Last IUI.   March 7, 2019

Time is an interesting thing. A lot can happen in a short amount of it. A moment can change everything. One phone call, a lack of a phone call, something you said that you wish you could take back, something you didn’t say, roads taken and roads abandoned. Each thing has the power to change the future so drastically that one cannot help but wonder what could have been.

I just finished watching a movie in which the characters go back in time to alter the past so that they come back to the present day living a better life. Sometimes I wish it were that easy. I often wonder if I would have a better life, if certain things had not happened in the past, the way that they did. Some are obvious. If I had finished school, I would probably have a better, higher income job. If I had not had my son as a single woman, would I have already been married and had more kids by now? I wonder that, but at the same time wonder ”Would my life be as rewarding without my amazing son to brighten my days?” It is a tough debate, but obviously I could not imagine my life without him.  I wonder if I hadn’t met certain people (friends and acquaintances) would I be who I am today? Do I even like the person I am today? Of course, we all have things we would change, but if one minor life experience hadn’t happened, would all my negative qualities outweigh the good? (Currently, I don’t think they do.) I think if we begin to see life as a quest to find or create ourselves rather, then every experience becomes a lesson, and every person in it a teacher. I have made many bad decisions and many good decisions, and sometimes its difficult to tell the difference. Things haven’t always turned out the way I imagined, but I learn lessons from every necessary thing that happens in my life. Hindsight is always perfect vision and if we are smart shows us the way we should act in the future.

Timing is everything. I really think some great things happen to us at the wrong times. Paradoxically, horrible things happen to us at the worst times. When it rains it pours. You may meet the right person at the wrong time or be ready to meet someone and they never come. You may be given a great opportunity, but not ready in your mind and heart to accept or recognize it. These are all lessons to be learned. Everything happens for a reason. There are battles we have to fight, villains we have to face. There will be times when we win and times when pieces of us are stolen. There are things that nobody can teach you, you just have to experience and feel them for yourself. Some of these events change us for the better, and others leave us gun-shy. Though I say that timing is everything, when it comes to love, I believe that the timing doesn’t matter. You create the time if it comes down to it.

I know this started out being about time travel, but my last 2 sentences really got my head spinning. (In 2 directions mind you!) For timing in love is something. There is no length of time. It isn’t rushed. Sometimes it isn’t recognizable. I didn’t know that I truly loved my fiancé  for quite some time after he already loved me. I think I was finding every reason to avoid it. Love is scary, honestly. Those things that keep us from loving are self made, based on our life experiences. Because of the many years of heartache, I experienced in the past, I am able to fully appreciate the loving relationship I am now in. I truly am grateful to God for all my unanswered prayers, and answering them by allowing Brandon to come into my life when he did.

The following quote is by Neil Gaiman and I sure love all his quotes. If you’re ever bored go read them. He speaks from the heart.

“I’ve been making a list of the things they don’t teach you at school. They don’t teach you how to love somebody. They don’t teach you how to be famous. They don’t teach you how to be rich or how to be poor. They don’t teach you how to walk away from someone you don’t love any longer. They don’t teach you how to know what’s going on in someone else’s mind. They don’t teach you what to say to someone who’s dying. They don’t teach you anything worth knowing.”

So back to the main idea: If I could go back in time and change things, would I? I think knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t. I am happy where I am at, and looking back has never allowed anyone to move forward.

What would you do?

 

This holiday season I have been really reflective on how we have forgotten the meaning of Christmas. It is centered on the idea, that it doesn’t cost you anything to be nice. The best gifts we can give cannot be bought or put on lay-away. Our time spent with those we care about is more precious than a beautiful, gold ribbon trimmed package from Santa. (yes, I still believe in him.) The things we acquire in this lifetime do not go with us when we pass. Some of us spend so much time chasing wealth and “things,” that we forget those that matter and simply overlook what will truly make us happy. “The things you own, end up owning you.” It is simple and true.

The reason I bring this up, is that I noticed something a few days before Christmas. I was at the mall with my bargain goggles on, all around me the hustle and bustle of last-minute shoppers. When I slowed my own panic-stricken “will I ever get all my shopping done in time?” mind down, I began to take note of what the people around me were doing and saying. There was a teenager with headphones on complaining because her mother wouldn’t buy her one more outfit; a woman arguing with her husband on which particular game to buy their son; people pushing and shoving without a single ‘Excuse Me’ spoken, cashiers who were probably underpaid and over-worked who acted annoyed when you took longer than 3 seconds to get out your credit card, or when you forgot to push the green button on the machine asking if your to be charged amount was correct. When did we lose the Christmas spirit? We are all humans, so why do we treat each other, people we don’t even know, and especially those we love, like animals. I tried to say that it was typical to have a less than positive experience at the mall when you are there a few days before Christmas, but the reality is, we are a greedy people driven by our own purposes, not afraid to push anyone down in our midst. Christmas has become “why don’t you buy me this?” or ” I want this” instead of ” Wow, thank you, that is so nice of you to think of me and surprise me with a gift.” And worse of all it has become commercial and not “Christ centered.”

Let us not forget the real reason for the season was that Christ gave us the ultimate gift. A gift that we can never repay. The least we can do to honor him for the price of the gift He gave us, is to serve and love others and store up treasures in heaven instead of on earth.

Hope you all enjoyed the season and Have a Happy New Year!

 

 

There was a time not so long ago that I lived in constant fear of wondering how I was going to put food on the table. I was a single mommy to a 4 year old boy who was/is my world, getting no help from “baby daddy” and working as a hostess at a restaurant making minimum wage, which hardly paid the rent. I commutes 45 minutes for this job a few times a week for what wasn’t even a 4 hour shift sometimes. I ran out of gas on the 405 freeway, one of these times not once, but twice! Luckily, OC has a roadside assistance service that helped me as I stood on the side of the road wondering how I got in this situation in the first place. It doesn’t matter how I got in the situation. We all get in situations. What matters is that I was lucky enough to have angels in my life at that time that helped me and I am eternally grateful. That same year I was feeling guilty that I wouldn’t be able to give my son the kind of Christmas he had years prior and I really lost my faith for a little bit because I felt so hopeless. Luckily some “angels” on God’s errand who knew me and saw my pain stepped in. There was this woman I had grown close to in the church I that I was attending, who the first time I met her wrote her name and phone number on a piece of paper and signed it “your other mom” since she knew my family all lived long distance. I am not 💯 certain if it was she who rallied members of my congregation to donate toys and gift cards and delivered them to my door on Christmas Eve, but I had a pretty good idea that it was her because I recognized the handwriting in the card. No name was signed. And that’s just it, she did it with no expectation of getting a Thank You or for any recognition. She gave and she inspired others to give because she was following Jesus when he said “Feed My Sheep.” Christmas morning was awesome and I recorded Jake’s reaction when he saw all the gifts. I think we were in shock. His favorite gift was a guitar that he played well until he was 6 years old. I vowed at that moment that I would never take for granted what little I did have and that whenever and however I could, I too would give back. I realized that I DID have A LOT though. I had my health, my family, a roof over my head, angels all around me and a Heavenly Father who knew my name, my heart, my hopes and fears. With my eyes wide open, I wished so much that I could be in the place to help others in that small and simple way, and in retrospect I can definitely be doing better to help those in need. Ps- the writing in the card said “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” I’ll never forget this experience for as long as I live. It was truly a holiday miracle.

H

Imagine being kept in captivity since birth, growing a thick coat of wool every year and then a shearer who is not paid by the hour, but by volume handles you very roughly in their hurried effort to shear your wool. One million of your kind will die of exposure because you were sheared prematurely. Sounds like a pretty lame life, and for what? Oh, because Cosmetic companies are the #1 purchasers of Lanolin. What’s Lanolin? Imagine not showering for days. You know that greasy build-up in your hair? Now imagine never, ever showering and living in a steam room. Well, imagine putting that greasy build-up on your face. #yuck Lanolin or “the excretion from wool-bearing mammals” is found in most lipsticks, lotions, diaper rash cream, shampoo, shaving cream, nipple cream, and makeup removers.

If you aren’t grossed out enough keep reading:

You know all the animal parts that the slaughter house didn’t use? The fat, blood, bones, offal, brain matter, eyes, cartilage, tendons, feathers and fur. Where do they go? The answer is a horrible place called a Rendering Plant. These are places which take animals/animal parts from farms, roadkill, feed lots, veterinarians, (yes that’s right your sweet family dog who had to be euthanized) and shelters. YOU can even bring a dead animal to them and they will take it as if it was an inanimate piece of furniture you don’t want anymore! So, they take the animals and they throw them all in a pot and they boil it down until they get what they’re after: The thin layer that rises to the top which is used as filler in our cosmetics. All the hormones, antibiotics, cancers, and diseases that the animals had are in this filler as well. The Tallow and Lard as it’s called, created from this process goes in your lipstick. You.Are.Putting.Animal.Fat. On your lips! Tallow is the most common ingredient in Personal Care and Food products. There are safer ingredients out there but the cosmetic and skincare industries use the animal by products because it’s cheaper. It’s difficult to identify reliable vegan companies and products. Labels don’t always state the origin of every ingredient, and it can be hard to even differentiate because many cosmetic ingredients can be derived from either plants OR animals.

Personally, I find all of this disturbing. It’s gross, it’s harmful, it’s not compassionate.

We need to show more 💕 for the creatures who share this planet 🌍 with us. I’m doing my part by only supporting cruelty-free companies. I don’t even like the fact that the cutie in the photo above (not me the other one😂) is being used for “petting.” I love that #Arbonne is in alignment with my views on animals and they guarantee that we will always provide vegan products! No exceptions! We were Vegan before it was a thing! #worldveganday is everyday at Arbonne!

For the best cruelty-free makeup and skincare click on my website.

www.heathermcpeak.arbonne.com

I recently began doing Arbonne’s 30 days to healthy living program. I thought I would let you all know how it works and why I decided to do it. Mostly I chose to do the program because of what I learned about toxic fat and how our bodies processes toxins. First of all it is not a quick fix or diet! You WILL LOSE weight on the program, but that is not the main purpose. It is an elimination diet to balance blood sugar and PH level and rid the body of toxins. Let’s talk about toxins. If you lose toxins, you will lose weight! When we eat something that our body cannot process, our body creates a fat cell to encapsulate that toxin and then stores it as fat to protect our internal organs. If you have ever started a workout regimen or diet and lost weight but found yourself hitting a plateau where you can’t lose that last few 10lbs or if you’re having trouble with your tummy region (aka the muffin top🙋🏼‍♀️) toxic fat is often the culprit! By removing toxic ingredients from our diet we lose the toxins and therefore lose the fat! The fat is only there to hold the toxins! By eliminating allergenic, addictive, and acidic foods we create balance in blood sugar and pH levels in the body.

A bit about blood sugar: The typical American diet is high in sugar. This causes fatigue and cravings! Think of it as a roller coaster…we eat sugar causing our blood sugar to go up, an hour later our blood sugar goes back down. Because of this crash in blood sugar we’re tired, we’re cranky, we need to refuel, we crave MORE sugar. So, what do we do? We reach for that cookie, that soda, and consume more sugar. There is no nutrition in a high sugar diet. This cycle leaves our body hungry nutritionally.

Another item that needs balance in the body is our pH levels. On a pH scale, on one side you have acidic foods, in the middle you have your neutral, and on the right you have your alkaline forming foods. A typical diet is high in acidic foods. Acidic foods cause inflammation. Inflammation is bad, you guys! Inflammation is the basis of every disease from heart disease, to Alzheimer’s, even cancer. Cancer cannot live in an alkaline environment. In your body right now you have healthy cells and sick cells. Healthy cells are fed by oxygen and sick cells are fed by sugar. There are eight times the sugar receptors on the perimeter of a sick cell than a healthy cell, so when you eat sugar that fuel is going to the cancer cell. When you feed something it grows! Every time we eat sugar we are feeding our cancer cells. If you crave sugar it could literally be killing you.

Here are the ingredients we avoid to balance out the body and why:

Refined sugar- (I went over it above, but as a reminder: Sugar is so bad for you!) Sugar is 8x more addictive than cocaine! Refined sugar is found in your pasta, breads and processed snacks.

Artificial sweeteners- Our bodies, amazing as they are -have NO idea how to process artificial sweeteners, so they actually spike a hormone in our body called insulin to try and break down these chemicals. As a result, we eat more and we crave more carbs. Studies have actually shown that when people switch to Diet Coke which is high in artificial sweeteners that they actually gain more weight than the people that stuck to regular soda. This is because of the insulin spiking artificial sweeteners! Stay far away!

Processed Foods- Processed foods are anything that did not grow naturally. If a man made it, it is processed! These foods are high in calories and offer no nutritional value whatsoever.

Dairy- We have always been taught that we need dairy because of the calcium, but by the time that milk gets from a cow into your cereal, there’s not actually much calcium in it at all. Cows milk is filled with sugar, hormones, and antibiotics. Dairy is very acidic. It causes acne. It is mucus forming, causes ear infections, respiratory infections, asthma sinus problems, etc. If you have any of those symptoms, dairy might be the reason for that. Also, we are the ONLY species who drinks another species milk. Think about that for a minute. Cows milk is for cows, people! You can get all the calcium you need from other sources like spinach and almond milk. Almond milk actually has two times as much calcium as cows milk.

Gluten- Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. About 1 out of 2 people actually have some degree of gluten intolerance. Gluten is difficult to digest. It causes gut problems like IBS and bloating. It also can cause focus problems, moodiness, irritability and headaches. I know for me my diet was super high in gluten, and before I did the 30 day program, I had already eliminated gluten from my diet, but occasionally when I decided I was going to have a bowl of pasta, A few hours later i looked 6-7 months pregnant. Not fun!

Soy- Soy is acidic. It is Genetically modified. Soy is highly overused in processed foods. Look for soybean oil on the nutrition label of some of your food right now. Yep, soy. Sneaky huh!? Soybean oil is inflammatory and contains a lot of plant estrogen. This increases the risk of female cancers, lowers fertility rates, and can aggravate premenstrual symptoms.

Alcohol- For me this is one of the hardest ones! I love my glass of wine and my fiancé is a craft beer connoisseur. Alcohol performs like sugar in the body and it’s addictive. If you want results on this program you have to cut it out!

Coffee- Coffee is acidic and it causes inflammation. Our fizz sticks are a great caffeine supplement as a stand-in if you are a coffee drinker.

Vinegar- Acidic

So what do we eat?

We focus on:

-Whole Foods- nothing processed

-Organic fruits and vegetables- (naturally alkaline forming foods)

-Lean protein( grass fed beef free range chicken and cage free eggs)

-Healthy fats ( avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut oil)

-Healthy carbs- brown rice, quinoa, beets, sweet potatoes.

I am on week 2 of the program and my typical day consists of 2 protein shakes and a dinner comprised of the above ingredients. I have snacks and supplements like fiber to keep me full and satisfied throughout the day. It is not easy, but it is worth it! Arbonne gives you all the tools and ingredients to make you successful. You can do anything for 30 days! We have new accountability groups starting each month! We check in with each other and give support and tips and there’s a sense of community that I absolutely love! I’m saving money, losing weight, detoxing, and learning as I go. Best of all, I am feeling so empowered and honored that my body is capable of all of this and I owe it to myself to have it running at its optimal level! So do you!

For more information message me or click here to view our products!

Heathermcpeak.arbonne.com

“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”

Ann Wigmore

Health and happiness,

❤ Heather