Young Living Lavender Essential Oil

some of my friends know that i have been bitten by the essential oil bug.  it happened about a year ago, and really... I've kept pretty quiet about it.  why?  no idea.  dumb, really.  they have rocked my world.

I'm so honored to be a part of a really great team that has single-handedly changed the way we market and talk about our oils.  i don't want you to buy oils from me... i want you to buy oils from yourself.  buy a dang kit and use them.  don't have a party, don't beg, just buy the kit and fall in love.

THEY ARE AMAZING.

i plan to talk about an oil here and there... introduce you.  I will also be setting up an entire area of my blog devoted to essential oils.  first things first... let's talk about lavender.

* Add one drop of lavender EO to your mascara tube to promote lash growth, extend your mascara life, and strengthen and add volume to your lashes.  ONE.DANG.DROP.

*apply 2-4 drops on location to sooth minor burns.  You know, those that occur when your fingers get too close to the flat iron?  yep.  Soothing.  

* need some help sleeping?  LAVENDER IS YOUR FRIEND.  Rub a drop on your palms and smooth over your pillow.

* Rub lavender on dry, chapped, or irritated skin.  YES, PLEASE

*  Sunburn?  Lavender + Coconut OIL BOOM....

*Drops of lavender and epsom salts in the bath to promote relaxation and super peaceful sleep.

*Lemon and Lavender together can kick the pants out of eczema.


Transparency, Story, and Essential Oils Welcome back

There are times during the day that I have an opinion, or a thought, or when God speaks and wants me to get it out...  There are times where I want to tell my story, where I want to start/join/end a conversation.  I'm interested in blogging, but not the typical "mommy-blog" that promotes perfection (even if the world knows it's plastic).

I want to be transparent.  Okay, no I DON'T want to be transparent, but I feel called to be on this journey.  It's something that I've been battling for a long time... years.  I've blogged and then stopped.  I've shared some really personal stuff, even posted pictures, once.  I received emails from folks thanking me.  I received hugs, advice, and even some flack.  

I'm not going to promise a post schedule, although I hope to get to somewhat of a regular posting system.  I'm not going to promise that what I say will be relevant to your life, or even interesting.  I will promise that my writing and my context will get better.  Stick with me!  I'll hopefully have some guest bloggers who jump in and tell their story.

I'm AM going to rain oil down on your head from time to time, because it's legit, I love it, and I BELIEVE that essential oils will rock your face off.

I am going to tell MY STORY.  My perspective, my life.  If you don't want to read it, then don't.  If it should hurt feelings, then... sometimes the truth hurts.  I've had my fair share of humiliation and hurt feelings.

In the mean time- I've got to decide what to do with the aesthetics around here.  something that is me.  There might even be a new blog that is born from this blog... There is a lot of history at this little corner of the internet main street so starting new is scary, we will see if I stick to it.

Thanks for walking with me.  Transparency is super scary, but since He is the one urging... it will be worth it.

Love, Rudy


I don't remember when we became friends.  She was just always there.

Amy grew up across the pasture from my grandparent's house and since I practically lived with them, we were neighbors.  Man did we have fun...  When we were little, we spent hours underneath the big tree in the backyard playing in the sandbox or riding our bikes.  When Amy got a swimming pool, we were there. She even tried to kill me once, it was in a go-cart on highway 16.  Someone AMY might have pulled out in front of a semi.  Scared me to death, we laughed for hours.

When I was little, my parents weren't happy.  They were angry and I took a lot of the brunt of the emotion.  They were two different people... One person in front of people and a completely different person behind closed doors.  Amy knew that.  She was there and witnessed it.  She was the only person who really understood.  We didn't speak a word of it, we were just there for each other.  Amy covered my bruises with makeup, she braided my hair tenderly when my head was sore.  She showed me love that I didn't understand.

Softball was our thing.  Our dad's were coaches... we spent many hours at those softball fields together.  Looking back, it was fun.  There are lots of times I wish I could go back... just for a week. I would go back to the summer before we moved to New Mexico.  We were so amazing that year.  When we were winning, things at my house were good.  (now you know why we were so serious, girls.  not because we liked to win... but because we had to win.) We played 73 softball games that summer.  We won all but 2.  Why do I know that?  Because my dad, to this day, talks about our glory days.

That summer, Amy and I spent a lot of time walking through the woods 9 miles south of Bristow.  We tried to get lost, but never did.  We spent hours on the phone.  We had no idea it would be the last summer together.  Had we known, we wouldn't have had as much fun.  I'm so thankful for that summer.

In January of our 7th grade year, my family thought it would be a blast to pick up and move to Hobbs, New Mexico.  It changed my life...

Lots of letters were written and long distant phone calls were made.  I was able to keep up with my friends back home, but as time went along... we all grew with it.  Holes in my heart were filled with other friends, whom I love dearly, but nothing filled the hole where my very best friends lived.

As we became teenagers we would fall in and out of love, our letters were filled with boys and dates and dreams.  We were going to go off to college together and play softball once again. dreams.

When I was 17, a few weeks shy of my 18th birthday, I wore my mother's shoes to school without asking.  I ended up with my bags packed and sitting on the porch waiting for my grandparents to arrive to pick me up... I was moving home. 5 years later... I was nervous.

My senior year was amazing.  Although we didn't appear as we did when we were in the 7th grade, our friendship was as strong as ever.  Our lives were changing, which was great.  I was able to play softball with my girls one last time in 1997.  Sitting here writing this 17 years later seems outrageous.  It was just yesterday!

We graduated, went to college, got married, (divorced) married, had children, lost parents, celebrated victories... things were going great.  Then the unimaginable happened and Amy was forced to bury her husband.  I can not explain how sad I was for her.  My heart broke in two that day for the sadness of my very first oldest best friend.  I was sad because I felt I wasn't there enough on the last 15 years.  I was sad because she had to deal with such a tradegy.  Sad.

But my friend, the one who talked me through all of the those dark hours so long ago.  Who held me when I cried.  She is resilient.  She is so beautiful, and strong, and happy.

Today is her birthday... I sat down to write a quick, "happy birthday heifer" note and it turned into this.  Funny how God works, isn't it?


Dear Amy,

I love you today.  I always have... I always will.  I am so incredibly proud of you and honored to call you my sister.  This is YOUR year... I just know it.  I am praying for you and can't wait to celebrate with you this year.  Have a wonderful day...


Love,

Rudy.

socks were rocked today

When you read my blog, what voice do you use?  Yours or mine?  When I read someone's blog that I don't know personally, I like to make up their voice.  It's crazy, I know.  When I read a blog written by a friend, I totally hear their voice in the words.  It helps me to know when they are serious or being sarcastic.  I have a ton of blogs listed on my sidebar, but my two favorite are Jes' (did I punctuate that correctly?) and Danielle's.  They don't know each other, but they are so similar.  They have the same sense of humor and they could re-write the phone book and make me beg to read it.  I look forward to books published written by them.   Go check them out!

Now, on to the good stuff...

Everything is permissible - but not everything is beneficial.  Everything is permissible - but not everything is constructive.   -1 Corinthians 10:23

Everything is permissible for me - but not everything is beneficial.  Everything is permissible for me - but I will not be mastered by anything.     -1 Corinthians 6:12

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own, you were bought for a price.  Therefore, honor God with your body.


Kevin and I joined Weight Watchers again before Thanksgiving.  I was ready.  I wanted to do it together, because it's easier, right?   Kevin tends to lost weight fairly easy (in my mind) when he completely removes carbs.  I love carbs, so  it makes eating the same way impossible.  When Kev agreed to go to the meetings, I was so happy.  We went to two.  We paid for three months, but attended two meetings.  I didn't ask God to show up. I haven't even thought to speak to him about my struggles.  I don't talk to anyone about it... not my husband, my friends, or my God.  Which, let's face it... is stupid because He already knows.

I started reading Made to Crave. this week.  I'm not going to tell you that I've had it for years.... sigh.
There is so much that I can pull out of just the Introduction and Chapter One.  so.much.  I've written notes, pulled out two bibles, and dug in.  Folks, the Truth is powerful.  Why I've never listened before is frustrating... but I'm listening now.

1 John 2:15-16 says,
"Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything in the world - the cravings of the sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he has and does - comes not from the Father but from the world."

Seriously, ya'll this rocked my socks off today.  It made me understand... The enemy will do anything to force me away from the Father.  Let's face it, ya'll.  The worse you feel about yourself, the further away from religion you want to be.  right?  Let me explain... it will make sense to you, too.

As Lysa explains, "This passage details three ways Satan tries to lure us away from loving God

1) The cravings of the sinful man
2) The lust of his eyes
3) The boasting of what he has or does

Cravings = Trying to get our physical desires met outside the will of God

Lust of eyes = Trying to get our material desires met outside the will of God

Boasting - trying to get our need for significance met outside the will of God.

Satan knows where we are week.  He desires to lure us away from God, and know what works... the cravings of the sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he has or does. (Good stuff, Lysa.)


Still with me?  Okay- I'm going to tell you about two folks you know.  Even if you aren't a Christian, you'll know them.  Their story

Eve and Jesus.

Satan used those tactics when he interacted with Eve.  "when the woman saw the fruit of the tree was good for food [cravings of the sinful man] and pleasing to the eye [lust of the eyes], and also desirable for gaining wisdom [boasting of what she has or does], she took some and ate it" - genesis 3:6

This is Satan's plan.  THIS IS HOW HE WORKS.  If we realize this is M.O. we can beat him to the punch, just as Jesus did... Watch:

When Jesus was let by the Spirit to the desert, he was tempted by the devil.  After fasting for 40 days and 40 nights (ya'll, he was HUNGRY!) he was hungry.  The enemy came and said "if you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."  [cravings]  Jesus answered with scripture... "It is written: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." BOOM.

Then the enemy had him stand on the highest point of them temple and said, "Jump, you'll be okay... God will save you, right? (paraphrased, ya'll) [lust of eyes]  Jesus replied with scripture, again.  Truth.

Finally, the enemy told Jesus, If you'll bow down and worship me, I'll give you the world and it's splendor.  (side note- did the devil really KNOW how he was talking to? seriously?)  [boasting]  Jesus again spoke Truth and sent the devil away.

The devil used the same process with both eve and Jesus.  Why was Jesus successful defeating him?  Simple.  Eve was saturated in the object of her desire while Jesus was saturated in God's truth.

woah...


This struggle is big.  It's not going to be gone overnight.  I'm looking forward to the process.  I'm looking forward to seeing where God leads me through this.

There is still time to join...  Let me know if you want to jump on the train.


Call me out...

I'm not an elegant writer.  I'm not organized and I do not follow an outline.  I usually just get behind my computer keyboard and start typing.  Usually, some emotion has caused me to voice an opinion, so I let it out.  I usually don't worry about whether the post flows, or if anyone will read it.  In all honesty, most of what I write is written on this platform, because long Facebook status' wear me out.  Punctuation or grammar...yeah, not a priority for me, either.

I really hope to change some of that.  Like I wrote yesterday, I really do love going back through old posts and reading about our lives.  I hope that this year, my focus can be on the story telling part of my emotions.  We'll see.

Beginning today, I am joining over 40,000 (that's FORTY-THOUSAND) women from all over the world in a bible study written by the amazing Lysa TerKeurst.  Her book, "Made to Crave" is one that I've had downloaded on my kindle app for three years.  (If only I had read it three years ago, sigh)  I attended a bible study at First Baptist in Bristow with some really sweet gals that Mrs. TerKeurst wrote and fell in love.  She wrote the book for me.  FOR ME.  It was a lesson on becoming more than just a good bible study girl... Lysa is about relationships and as I get older, I understand the importance of that word.

I signed up for an online bible study about losing your mind, but failed to participate.  I do that a lot... I start something then stop. quit.  walk away.   I am determined to not walk away from this one.

I'm looking forward to what God has for me.  I know that He is herding me in this direction, I've fought Him every way I know how.  I'm not looking to look like Jennifer Lawrence, or Jennifer Lopez, or even Jennifer Hudson (ummm) when this is over.  I am looking to crave my Jesus.  I am looking forward to replacing some past hurts, and letdowns with the love of my God.

If you are interested in this bible study, would you let me know?  Promise- we aren't too late to get started.  Even if we wait a week, I'll do it with you.  If you aren't wanting to participate this time would you follow along with me?  Keep me accountable?  Call me out for hiding?  :)

Here we go.

**Did you notice I posted TWO DAYS IN A ROW?**  
It's a dang Christmas miracle, I tell ya.


Dear Jennifer

Dear Jennifer,


   Where have you been?!  What happened to the 30 days of Thanksgiving posts?  People were complaining on Facebook?  REALLY?  Who cares?  You spent a lot of time planning each post, careful to make sure each area of your life was covered.  Remember, you were saving the last posts to dedicate to your children, you husband, and your Lord?  I remember.  Something else started then stopped.  It's frustrating, isn't it?

  It's time to get back on the wagon.  Time to write about the day to day life with those two precious people who promise daily, "when I am a teenager, I will still love you, Momma."   (Yes, I want them to remember!)
Let's write.  Let's post pictures like we used to.  Let's post our crazy Pinterest projects, the Minnie Mouse party has had over TWENTY-THOUSAND page hits. That's insane.

  It's time. It's time to get to the bottom of some issues.  It's time to share some funny things said by the Taylor-tots.  It's time to record our lives, because let's face it... you spend a LOT of time looking back over past posts and wish you kept writing.

  In 2014 - I am going to write.  Yes, I know "everybody is doing it" but they'll stop.  It is time consuming, and sometimes hard to think of a topic to write about.  People will stop.  But, really... why are you even worrying about what other people are doing?  STOP THAT!

If you write it, they will come.  Write.  Tell your story.  The people... they will come.


JT


PS- It's okay to post more than one post per day.  You aren't going to crash the internet. PROMISE.

Thankful: Day Six - Softball

Today, I am thankful for the game of softball.

That might seem trivial to most, but to me...it saved my life.


When I was 5, the city donated the old dump and Bristow joined the Green Country Girls Softball Association.  I don't have many memories of how the transaction happened... I just remember my friends and their parents were excited.  Then the work began... I remember Clyde (Jennifer Williams), Amy, Emily, Brandi, and I would be put behind a truck and told, "pick up the rocks and throw them in the bed.  all of them!"  Man, what a job.

When I go out to the complex now, it looks so different.  I still get a swell of pride and am SO THANKFUL for the adults who spent time building something for the girls of Bristow.  It started out just as softball fields, then later baseball was added.

Softball was my thing.  My dad coached from my second year until I was a freshman in high school.  He was passionate to say the least.  He studied the game.  He watched other coaches, he watched games, talked to umpires.  He took us to clinics, games, and tournaments.  We didn't just play for a few weeks in the summer, we played ALL summer.  We were bribed with Nintendo game systems, bicycles, etc.
We played in tournaments LOTS of weekends.  We won.  We didn't know how to do anything else... that is what we were taught to do.  We had fun.  We would ride in the back of dad's truck (the camper shell was our only safety net) to tournaments singing the entire way.  I still sing, "Oh fill me up and let it over flow..." Keisha Massey had such a voice :)

When I moved from Bristow, it was scary.  Softball was how I made friends.  Softball was my comfort. I knew how to play, I was okay... and I was confident when I played.  It allowed me to find girls that I had something in common with.  Without softball, I would have been miserable.  Changing schools 5 times is HARD ya'll.

When I was a freshman, I moved to Roosevelt, Utah.  I started school on the first day of Softball tryouts.  Yes, you read that right... in Utah, you don't get a uniform just for signing up. You TRY OUT.  Talk about scary!  My family and I was living in a hotel room, my glove (they called it a mitt... I tried really hard to correct them every chance I had) was in a box, somewhere.  My uncle mike gave me an old glove that I kept with me close, I knew where it was but it was a baseball glove, much smaller than a softball glove. I had to do.

Walking on that field changed my life.  My coach, Loa Kay Bowthorpe "Bink", changed my life. She taught me how to play with pride, how to respect the field and my opponents.  We traveled a lot in Utah to play softball and we had a few weekend tournaments that we stayed overnight.  Those times are some of my greatest memories.  Riding in the back of buses talking to the girls, learning about their lives.  

We won state that year.  State Champion.  I am a STATE CHAMPION.  Although I graduated from Bristow, that piece of me is and will always be a Union Cougar.

When I moved from Roosevelt, it was harder than when I moved from Bristow.  Those girls were (and some still are) my family.  I missed them more than I could express.

When I moved to Purcell, softball was again what allowed me to get into the right crowd... but my heart wasn't in it.  I moved from my sisters.


Softball wasn't a game to me.  It was a family.  The memories aren't the wins and losses.  They aren't the plays or even the uniforms.  I treasure the friendships, the silly chants, the tears, and the joys.

Most of my closest friends today were started on a softball field.  I love you all.

Today, I am thankful for Softball.




A Month of Thanks - Introduction

Thanksgiving.  It is and has always been my grandmother's favorite holiday.  When I met my husband, he was pretty keen on the day, himself.   When I was younger, it was just a day.  A day that  my family crammed into grandma and grandpa's house, we ate turkey and ham and all of the other obligatory Thanksgiving meal side dishes.  When I was younger, I didn't remember the guys hunting as they do now, I remember Cara and I dancing on the porch, playing in Uncle Mike's bedroom, making Josh play with us when he obviously hated it. It was a family day.  Baseball was over, Mike was home, all four Shelton boys and their families came home.

Now that I have my own little family, I understand why Thanksgiving is so important to my grandmother. She had everyone she loved the most under her roof.  They were all safe and happy, if only for the moment.  isn't that what we all want?  The ones we love to be safe and happy?  

Facebook and blogs alike are all participating in the Month of Thanks.  It's been months since I have blogged, and let's face it, I am really behind on some really big life stuff.  There is a reason for that.  Everything that I want to write about, it hard stuff.  Real, life, hard stuff.  Stuff that I have kept inside, and it is hurting.  Do I want to share it with the world?  No.  Do I want to share it with my children?  No.  Do I need to share it with them? Yes.  

Maybe the words that I write will help someone.  That is my prayer.  If it does, please let me know.  I would love to pray for you, talk with you, instagram with you?  Whatever it may be.  

This month, November, I will join the millions giving thanks.  My thanks will be posted here, for my family and my friends to read and maybe someday I'll print the posts for my children. They are the most important after all.

Thank you for visiting.  Thank you for waiting on me to get back on my game.  Thank you for supporting me.


Miss Exie

My dad and I met them at the end of the gravel road.  She and her daughter were walking down to the little white church.  The one where you could crank the lever and water would pour out of the spout. They were walking down the road to gather water.  You see, the little house they lived in, didn't have running water- this was in the early 80's, but she didn't let that bother her.  This is the first memory I have of her.

My mom sold Avon (and then Tupperware) for a brief second around the time I was in Kindergarten.  I remember the time, because I took her ring sizer thingy to school with me (because I thought they looked like a key chain and a million different keys) and got in BIG trouble.  Anyway, she was one of my mother's customers.  I remember going to her house and it smelling like yummy food.  All of her things were put away perfectly.  Her things weren't expensive, and most didn't match, but her home felt very comfortable and I loved going with mother to take orders and make deliveries.

We moved away, I grew up, and grandma would always be sure to mention her in conversations when I would ask how things were at home.  She was a member of our family, her skin color was the only thing that outed her.

I never really knew Miss Exie to be black.  I knew she was incredibly short, but black?  I never noticed it.  She was a woman whom had my grandparents respect, and with that came the respect of the entire Shelton family. 

She raised the children of many of the families around this area, the Help if you can imagine.  Not only did she have the respect of my family, she had the respect of each and every family she came into contact with. 

Miss Exie was 94 years old, and until the last month, she lived alone in her little home she bought in Slick after her husband passed away.  (it did have running water!)  She would hear the ambulance come through town and you could set your watch, she would call down to grams house a few minutes later, "Jo, did ya hear that ambulance? Reckon you know who it came for?"  It was a joke in our house.  We will do it for years to come, but there will be a tint of sadness in the joke from now on.

Miss Exie passed away early this morning.  While I know it is exactly what she prayed for, I can't help to be a little bit selfish.  My daughter was just getting to know her.  Emileigh would dance for her, and Miss Exie absolutely loved her "little dancing girl."  How it warms my heart to hear that.  I had a date with Miss Exie last week.  Onion rings from Sonic, ketchup, and Sprite.  I gifted her a 2013 Calendar and asked if she thought she would see that many years in her lifetime when she was younger. 

What a wonderful, amazing, perfect woman.  She loves Jesus with her life, and she was looking forward to dancing with Him.  She and I joked about the reception she would have.  It will take her years to catch up with all of those she mourned as they took the journey before she did.

I thank God for Miss Exie.  I'm sad because she won't see any more dance performances from my little princess, but so thankful she got to see just once.  So thankful, my little, perfect, angel was able to bless the lady who has blessed so many.

Rest in perfect peace, Exie Maxfield. I love you.

busy

wow.  its been months since i have posted.  so much has happened, life goes by so quickly, doesn't it?

in October, i started a new path, career wise.  i accepted a position as the executive director for the Bristow Area Chamber of Commerce.  the title is crazy, it's really just me.  i have the task to promote and grow the economic path for my hometown.  what a job. 

emileigh started dance class in september.  cutest thing i've ever seen.  she knows what shoes to wear for what dance, that her hair is supposed to be pulled back, and that miss jennifer (her teacher) is beautiful.  i can't wait for her recital in may.

blayne is doing so well in school.  it really is amazing how much he is learning.  i went to parent-teacher conferences in october and to see where he was then and where he is now, it's such a nice change.  i can't believe, this time next year, he will be reading.

speaking of this time next year... kevin will be able to write, Kevin Taylor, RN.  kevin was accepted into the bridge program and will start nursing school in january. 

so, we have been a bit busy since i've last posted.

I do want to wish everyone a very, very, merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.