What I move for.

As a mom... what drives you?

What compels you?

What inspires you?

Really... take a moment. Think about your answers to these questions. With Mother's Day right around the corner, take the time to reflect on your motherhood journey.

I've been taking the time to ponder about what I move for. What makes my heart skip a beat. What makes motherhood feel so profound?

9CCC3206-C8D0-492C-A759-CF8FF3D82EB7.JPG

And for me, its the joy in my kids voices. It's their laughter and their passion for life. It's in the highs and the lows of each passing day. And it's in the way I see them learn and grow in who they are. It's in the adventures they encounter throughout our daily life and their pure zeal for finding joy in every day living.

Those are the things that make me move and want to be better. My kids are what I move for.

There are times towards the end of my pregnancies where I truly have this urge to move more. Where I miss the wrestling and the running and the actual physical activity I can't engage as much in with my kids when I have a big ol' basketball belly in front of me. I enjoy the journey and also look forward to "moving" more with the kids once I give birth. 

49B03107-EFC5-410C-B485-77B0D6ADB05F.JPG

And so, in reality and personally, I love that theory to move. Move forward. Onward. Further.

And in both capacities, Easy Spirit has helped me do so.

Okay, so they've get these great new style of shoes called Geinee and they are kinda the best mom shoes you can find. And when I'm talking about what makes me move in reality, these bad boys help me keep up with kids. Running, jumping, hiking, playing basketball in the driveway. Whatever our activity includes, I'm keeping up with it with my Geinees. 

20507834-D39D-435D-95B6-32659341EE4C.JPG

And when I'm talking about what makes me move in a more personal and figurative way, Easy Spirit still helps me because they are running their incredible #MoveFor campaign that serves as a reminder to remember that purpose in our motherhood of what keeps us going. 

And seriously, every mom needs a good pair of shoes to keep up with their littles (or bigs). The thing I love about the Geinees is how comfortable, light and uncomplicated they really are. Which truly represents the entire EasySpirit brand. 

You can get your own pair here.

6D9C761E-E7E1-47B1-929E-2AC0196ECD02.JPG

There are so many times the kids are running out the back door and I'm hustling to find something to slip on. Or we take a spontaneous trip to Target (you know what I'm talking about.) And all I really want is a great pair of shoes to easily and quickly slip on. Oh, and that don't look ugly. And here is right where the Geinees perfectly fit into my hardcore mom lifestyle. Because first, they look super cool. Second, they are ridiculously comfortable because of their great fit, breathability and cushioning. And that is what I truly need in a good pair of shoes. Third, they are easy to slip on and off because of their light fit and versitility. And keeping up with my 6 youngsters is key when it comes to the shoe department. 

I'm seriously loving my Geinees, ya'll. Every mama needs a pair. 

What do you #MoveFor?

09C50C2C-238D-47D5-BC37-A3AB5B8AFF65.JPG

Arrow's Birth Story.

April 27, 2018 - 7 days overdue.

Mild contractions began around 3am that I was able to sleep through. Seborn left for work in the morning and I grabbed my whimpering 2-year-old, Zion, and brought him back to bed with me to snuggle. He fell back asleep and I got up to be greeted by my 4-year-old, Shiloh. We headed down to breakfast and sat at the counter to eat together and chat. Slowly, the rest of the kids began to wake up and come downstairs. I was having continuous contractions that were very mellow. 

I continued on with mild contractions throughout the entire day, normally about 7-11 minutes apart. Around 2:30pm, my husband said he was leaving work early to come home and since contractions were consistent, I called my midwife to fill her in on the progress. She made sure I was eating and drinking and said we would check in with each other later in the evening. I don't know why, but I was stormed with emotions and with the anticipation of my husband coming home, I threw my head down on my pillow in my room and wept. I was overwhelmed with emotion. Maybe fear. Maybe nerves. But I needed to cry. Hard. For just a moment. Then, I bucked up, prayed to God for strength and joined my children back downstairs for some card games.

I was so happy to see Seborn walk in the door around 3pm and I had prepared a meal for us all. After eating an early supper, Seborn and I decided to head upstairs really quick for some "bedroom time" to possibly get things rolling a bit faster. At this point, we've been going on 12 hours of labor and I am wanting to stop and focus during contractions which are now 6-9 minutes apart. Since it was already evening, we decided we would keep the kids with us (instead of having my parents pick them up) and just relax with them before putting them to bed. Praying and seeking the Lord for strength during this time as lingering labor is just not that fantastic to experience. We took a family walk to the park. It was so fun to see the kids running around and laughing and playing. It started to sprinkle so we walked back home and daddy took the kids to get ice cream. We finished off the night with family movie night with The Greatest Showman. We put the kids to bed at 8pm and I tried to keep it cool as my mind was swirling with emotions of this labor as I was kissing the kids goodnight. I had been trying so hard to stay in the present moment with Seborn and the kids all afternoon and evening but the thoughts of impending labor were consuming me as I continually was experiencing contractions and waiting for them to pick up the pace. 

Along with contracting all day, I also had excessive loose stool. I was eliminating every 10 minutes or so all day long. I was constantly on the toilet throughout the entire day and didn't even have much of an appetite to get more food in, but just kept having everything come out. This made for a pretty sore bum by the end of the day.

I took a relaxing bath with some essential oils and my contractions halted during that time and then I tried to relax in bed for a while until it hit about 10pm. I checked in with my midwife and let her know that I hadn't reached any further progression in labor so was going to try to get some sleep. Upon setting my phone down on my nightstand, I had a big contraction while laying on my side and it got super intense at the end and I felt a huge POP and then a gush of water. My water had broken and it was yellowish brown (meaning there was meconium in it.) I picked up my phone to  chat with my midwife about it and we said we would stay connected. Because of this change in labor, Seborn and I decided to head back downstairs, watch a show together and see if things progressed even more. My contractions were 4-5 minutes apart for the next 2 hours until about midnight when we decided to try to get some sleep. 

April 28 - 8 days overdue

Upon getting back into bed, our goal was to get even a little bit of sleep. I was able to calm down enough to "rest" for 10 minutes at a time before I needed to focus on an intense contraction. Everyone 10 minutes, I was awoken from the next wave. I'm not even sure how productive my "sleep" was in between contractions because my mind was overwhelmed with thoughts. This continued on for 3 hours until 3am when my contractions suddenly became more intense, lasted longer and were 2-4 minutes apart on average. I needed to get up from bed and be in an upright position for contractions. We turned our mood lights on, put worship music on and my diffuser. Seborn and I discussed if we should call our midwife and let her know about the sudden change of pace and so, at 3:15am, I called her and we decided I would give it another 15 minutes to call her again and see if labor sped up more. I hung up the phone, had a huge contraction and told Seborn to call her right back and to start her drive to our house. 

Contractions continued to come and were very intense. I am a diehard toilet laborer. Most of my active labor is spent over the toilet. My moans were becoming deeper and longer to help me get through each wave. My midwives arrived on the scene and quietly began to set up their supplies in our bedroom by 4:15am. All the kids were still fast asleep and I felt comfort in knowing they were all tucked in their room safely awaiting their sisters arrival. 

I didn't know how much longer I would be in labor for but I needed to hold onto Seborn for my contractions now. I told Seborn that I wanted her to be born before 6am. I wanted to give all the kids the surprise of their lifetime when they woke up in the morning. Off the toilet and into our bedroom while standing on a large pad, I held on to Seborn's waist during each contraction and watched the blood drip down from me each wave. I had 1-2 minutes between each contraction and would pray and my labor became a worship to Jesus. It felt so peaceful. I knew the next wave would be coming and I would be closer and closer to pushing. I anticipated the urge to push but patiently awaited it because I knew once I started, I would have to keep pushing until she came out.

I wanted to try sitting on the ground so sat between Seborn's legs for 1 contraction. Nope. I leaned up on my knees on our couch in the room for the next contraction. Nope. I needed to get back on my feet and put my arms around my husband while leaning forward. That was my position. And the urge arrived. Each new wave presenting the intense pressure to push. I beared down and pushed gently yet intentionally. I asked my midwives if they saw her head yet and they said, "She's coming soon, Meghan. You are doing great." 

The urge came  stronger and I pushed harder, bearing down as hard as I could. The head was coming out. I needed to keep pushing. I needed to catch my breath and make very purposeful pushes. Intentional on the muscles and force to get her out. Praying and pushing. Finally, her head was out. I always would hope that my babies would just slide right out after this part, but they never have. My pushing was not done yet. I tried to push the rest of her body out but she was so snug and tight in there that one of my midwives needed to hook her shoulder a little bit to help slide her out. After 3-4 more intense pushes, her body came out and I practically lept out to Seborn to hug and kiss him. Then I sat down and turned around to see my baby girl. She was perfect. Absolutely perfect. It was such a miraculous and holy moment.

Sitting there in the calmness of the early morning hours in our bedroom feeling empowered and capable at the miracle God just laid in my hands. There were so many times throughout this process that I wanted to give up, that I wanted to find an easy out but Almighty God brought me through it with such grace and faithfulness. 

F8E947DB-46C2-4418-B5C4-F2E6A812758A.JPG

Arrow Journey Gray Yancy was born at 4:54am on April 28. I held her in my arms for 2 hours, sitting on my bed with her still attached to her placenta through her umbilical chord. It was so neat to watch my midwife push all the blood left in the chord back into Arrow's body through her still attached chord. The entire morning was so laid back and relaxed. I sat in bed and nursed her. She instantly latched on and we breastfed there on the bed so sweetly relaxed together. One by one, my other children groggily woke up and made their to our bedroom and rubbed their sleepy eyes to reveal their new sibling. It brought me so much joy to watch each of them crawl onto the bed and gasp with pure joy and gratefulness. I cherish those moments.

IMG_4826.jpg
IMG_4855.jpg
IMG_4820.jpg
IMG_4836.jpg
IMG_4843.jpg
IMG_4840.jpg

After examining the placenta, Seebz cut the chord and held onto his new baby daughter as I went and took my highly antipated post-birth shower. Upon getting out, I felt so light-headed and needed to get down on the ground and regain some energy. Realizing how my body eliminated so much the prior day, giving birth to a baby and not being able to intake much food in the given timeframe, my body felt so depleted. And I was so grateful to be home. I crawled into my bed, all fresh and clean and snuggled with my family. 

IMG_4832.jpg

My midwives did the routine to check up on baby Arrow and she weighed in at 7 pounds 9 ounces and 21 inches long. Big girl all tucked into my belly because even at 41 weeks pregnant, I was only measuring at 35. The exam on me showed no tearing and barely even any swelling. Which means my healing will be even better. 

IMG_4868.jpg
6F17390C-491B-4F10-92D7-E09E620EC3BF.JPG

I have been dreaming about these moments of after-birth for months. Waiting patiently to live them out. And we spent the rest of the day resting. Napping. Snacking. Snuggling. Family coming to shower love on this new addition and basking in the peacefulness of home. I'm so grateful for homebirth, my amazing midwives, and the sheer miracle of birth. God is so good. 

IMG_4865.jpg

The days to follow have been peaceful, calm and relaxed. My instructions are basically to rest in bed for at least the first full week. I love that. I allow my mind + body to rest while my husband and family support that healing time. Plus, I get such sweet time to bond with my new baby. It is pure bliss.

IMG_4881.jpg
59C0B36F-14B9-4E21-8817-4B94664D9C16.JPG
IMG_4968.jpg
IMG_4957.jpg

On day 2 of Arrow's life, we gathered around our bed and my dad prayed a blessing over her life, praising God for every part of who she is. We all prayed in agreement with him and then my dad and husband anointed her with Frankincese essential oil. It was a beautiful moment all together and one that was impactful. God brought this beautiful blessing into our lives and it is with purpose and passion we gather to praise Him for His goodness. 

IMG_4973.jpg
IMG_4977.jpg
IMG_4982.jpg
IMG_4984.jpg

Homeschool + Snapfish.

We are quickly nearing the end of our school year. And even with homeschooling, we look forward to a summer break. Not only because we are in Minnesota and actually finally get to experience some warm weather in the summer, but also, just to continue in our route of freedom in play + natural learning each day.

 

5B743DA0-5699-474C-AD14-04869C62C418.JPG

As I look back on our homeschool year, it started much differently than it ended. (One huge factor being adding another family member to our clan), but also just in the way we have functioned. We have allowed for more flexibility and spontaneity.

 

This year, Makkedah is finishing up 3rd grade (9 years old). Samaria is conquering 1st grade (7 years old). Nehemiah has been dabbling in pre-K (5 years old) and Shiloh pops in and out of all our learning (4 years old). We don’t get to do any formal Kindergarten graduation or anything of the sort because of our education path, but that does not mean we do not celebrate the school year and all the memories we created along the way.

2C9D23AD-688D-4140-A65E-FAA382C47BB6.JPG

As we have been reflecting back on our 2017-2018 schoolyear, there is nothing but good things to remember. Every day was different. We started with an online curriculum, switched to a book curriculum a few months in and then transitioned into more of an unschooling route of learning. It’s been a wild ride and one we have been navigating together.

07BE504C-932A-4ED9-9EF2-43CDDA975EFF.JPG

Our milestones have been in the simple things. Realizing that Nehemiah didn’t know the alphabet at the beginning of the year and now cruises through is flashcards. The fact that my older girls will sit for hours reading a good book. When I see Makkedah get completely entranced in watercolors. When Shiloh wants to sit by her big brother and learn her letters too. And yes, even with little 2-year-old Zion hops in the mix and loves to pester his siblings while they try to work. These are the memories I want to remember. These are the milestones we celebrate, though seeming little at times, they are monumental and worth making note of to us.

6FC08B38-654B-457A-92F6-F15A37DF6376.JPG

I’ve also been pregnant the whole school year so it’s been neat for the kids and I to experience the growth in that. With the help of Snapfish, we have truly been able to cherish the memories from our schoolyear. One of the ways we went out with a bang was a fun family photoshoot that captured the personality of each of my children. And we will forever have keepsakes in physical form through Snapfish.

16F07652-2576-4972-863D-C6DE2B76B3F2.JPG

Snapfish provided a way for us to have personalized and unique memories for us to celebrate the end of school in style. I cannot tell you how pumped up the kids were to see an actual blanket with their faces on it. It is well-loved in our house already and will always serve as a reminder of the time we cherished at home together all year being able to homeschool. We are all homebodies and so it suites us quite well. Check out this link to see all the goodies:

https://www.snapfish.com/photo-gift/graduation?cid_co=us&cid_ch=soc&cid_su=inf&cid_ca=gof&cid_pr=gif&cid_te=grad_meghan

 

*and use this discount code for 40% off sitewide:  

YAYGRAD

 

The really cool thing is, Snapfish makes it so simple. You can pop your photos straight over from Instagram or your computer and create a masterpiece.

We combined some great shots from our photo shoot and made the best blanket- highly coveted in our house. (Truth is, my husband just wants to hang it on a wall, he loves it so much!)

1E6867ED-68D9-4FA5-998E-722B2C17D7E6.JPG

But, the good news is, I also got an incredible quality canvas wall piece with our family on it to serve as the best reminder of this past year together. It hangs on the wall in our homeschool/schoolroom now and I smile each time I look up from our flashcards or chalkboards to see it.

9F7663B5-8E15-4A6D-ADB3-910D8EB0E074.JPG

It’s a beautiful thing to be able to fill your home with memories that become so tangible when you can see them with your eyes, hold them in your hands or wrap them around your entire body for that matter.

62A69D95-2880-4AD4-95CF-72806C00304A.JPG

It was an easy and fun experience to create these gems on SnapFish and we will always remember this year with such joy as we look on our unique custom pieces. I’m one happy homeschooling mama.

620232A7-0441-4D4A-A88E-E0F4FA84D440.JPG

Don't forget to check this out:

https://www.snapfish.com/photo-gift/graduation?cid_co=us&cid_ch=soc&cid_su=inf&cid_ca=gof&cid_pr=gif&cid_te=grad_meghan

and use discount code YAYGRAD for 40% off sitewide!

Unschooling. {Part III}

We sat there. Makkedah and I. Dumbfounded and bored with the task before us. Her homeschool writing assignment was utterly dreadful. Filled with lists and research and rules and regulations.

I’m not saying everything has to be fun. I’m not saying that learning important skills such as editing and proper writing techniques aren't important.

But we sat there, and something I LOVE doing... writing.... was absolutely a chore. It wasn’t intriguing and magical like most of the time I feel when I sit down to write. It was painful and structured and robotic. And Makkedah felt that weight too. She just wanted to be done with it. Get over with the assignment and move onto the next subject. And when you are doing something "just to get done with it," what are you really learning in the process? Anything?

I had already set her up to just go through the motions of what we are told we need to learn and I stiffled her flow of creativity. And I realized once again, the beauty of homeschooling. I slammed the book shut and we were done with that ish. We went to grab one of our creative writing books which gives a prompt for any type of writing a story. And over the next days, I watched Makkedah pour her heart into her stories. And I’m not kidding you, it was beautiful writing. I had to ask her where she thought or saw to write these things and she said she made it all up. It was absolutely lovely. And she enjoyed it! (And then I felt a little bad I had assumed it wasn't her own original thoughts.)

Then I watched her pick up her Ukulele and write + play a song using one of her writing pieces (it’s all about peace on earth and all people going to Heaven- the most darling song an 8 year old can write.)

I walked into her a room a few nights later before bed to sing to her + pray with her and she had her journal out. She had been drawing. And it was good. Such creative pictures of animals and people and even a McDonald's McFlurry. Yep. She just rolls with it. 

IMG_9175.JPG



In a matter of a few days, I watched her creativity soar and her imagination thrive with the time and space to explore her God-given gifts and abilities. It’s been magical to watch and all I want to do is continue to create a place for her to do that. Allowing the Holy Spirit to move in her and inspire her and see all she can and will become in this world.

There have been other times when I’m teaching Makkedah homeschooling and I’ll be checking her work and she asks me, “Mom, why do you have to look up the answers?” And I’m like, well.... I don’t know the answer. And she says to me, “If this is something you don’t even know, why do I need to know it?” (These smart little 3rd graders, I tell ya.)

Good point.

Cuz I have frickin’ no clue what the answer is to a lot of the crap we drudge through. And as I’m teaching it, I’m thinking to myself, “I’ve NEVER used this information in my entire life. Why does Kedah need to learn this? And study. And memorize. And get an “A” on a test. What does this prove for her intelligence?”

61B5F31D-30A1-4953-860E-11746975D3EC.JPG

 

I’ve seen parents sharing their elementary school kids homeschool on FB and talking about how they have no clue how to help their kids with their homework. Listen... if the parents don’t even understand the work (THUS the reality that they have never USED that type of information in their life) why do we spend hours upon hours every day teaching concepts that may not actually add any value to their life?

Why do we run them through a system that might not have any validity in their life? 

Instead, I would rather have them play, imagine and create all day long. And LEARN through the process of actually LIVING.

D11D3677-1291-4934-91C3-525FD18E238A.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

GOLD Bunny.

As if going to a CHOCOLATE shop isn't already cool enough, you soon realize you get to take chocolate home and EAT it. Umm... pretty cool.

So, we recently hopped on over to the good ol' MOA (for you out of towners, that is Minnesota lingo for "Mall of America.") And we ventured into the Lindt Chocolate Shop and spent a GOOD hour there. It was incredible! So many different kinds of chocolate and the most helpful staff. And my kids... oh, they were in chocolate heaven. Total La-la-land. It was so neat to see them explore the flavors.

 

ABB28AC9-D7BC-4E27-924D-A47CB4CF4A26.JPG

And we went at the best time! Easter.

Yep. The Lindt GOLD BUNNY was one of the highlights. And the LINDOR truffle flavors have us drooling all around the store. Basically, we had everything we needed at one store to fulfill all our Easter fun. The kids got to custom pick chocolates for their Easter baskets at the store. (Note, in Minnesota, there are two great Lindt chocolate shop locations: Mall of America and Twin Cities Premium Outlets.)

IMG_1968.jpg

And then, we had even more fun when we got to bring our assortments home and create our own Easter baskets. I usually love doing this myself and creating a scavenger hunt along with it but the kids had a blast designing their own basket. And I'll still get to leave little chocolate hints leading to a path where their baskets will be hidden for the scavenger hunt part. 

You know all these fun basket creations led to some serious fun (and mess). With chocolate in tow, our day turned into a dance party/wrestling match/total chaos fun. With the Lindt GOLD BUNNY, LINDOR eggs and LINDOR truffles, these kiddos just loaded their Easter baskets with exactly the flavors and shapes they wanted. And the 5-packs are so cool! They come in the cutest Easter shapes like lambs, bunnies and ducks. (Did you know there are 56 Lindt Chocolate shops across the US that have these cute little Easter basket chocolates? Yah... me either!

 

IMG_2003.jpg

 

One of the really fun things we did at the Lindt Chocolate Shop was the pick and mix station. We got to create our own gifts for friends and family and pick out personalized flavors for each person. It was so neat to see the kids browsing all the flavors and deciding what would be perfect for each person. There is such a large (and delicious) assortment!

41C5C3D8-F84F-4C1C-B23E-42842218F20F.JPG

Our Easter basket creating time turned into a total party with music included and all. 

IMG_1979.jpg

Whether you create Easter baskets every year or maybe are trying it for the first time this year, I highly recommend checking out your local Lindt Chocolate Shop and making the most of your trip. We had a total blast from start to finish. This is some of the most delicious chocolate we have ever tasted and definitely got us in the Easter mood!

1521686549898.JPEG

What will you create with your Lindt chocolate this Easter?

Unschooling. {Part II}

Let's take me for example.

I graduated high school and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I enjoyed playing volleyball but had no idea what job I wanted or what to major in so I could not justify going into debt at college to play volleyball (and find a husband) only to not major in something I loved and was passionate about.

I had gone to Mexico shortly after I graduated high school for about 4 weeks and I lived in an orphanage because long-term missionary work was on my heart. But I was so homesick, I just couldn't make it work. I came home still not knowing what do with my life. All my friends were preparing to head to college and I had my job at the local grocery store.

Truth be told, I wanted to be a mom. And a wife. And that's what I envisioned for my life. I wanted to have lots of babies and be a homemaker. But you don't need a degree for that. 

My mom and dad helped me with some soul-searching to see what I could do with my life and they pointed out how I always loved to do hair. I was always experimenting with hair and makeup on myself (and others.) My dad and I toured a beauty school that Friday afternoon and I began classes that following Monday. And thus, began my journey as a cosmetologist. I graduated in 2006 and worked at various salons for a few years.

God brought me my incredible husband and we are now on baby #6 and I am LITERALLY living my dream. I stopped working at the salon after our second baby and just continue to do hair on the side. It's been a wonderful trade to have as I am constantly changing up my own hair and have the capabilities to do my kids hair. It's been a money saver, for sure! And I didn't break the bank in debt to be qualified for my license. (+ I obtained it in about 1 years time.)

All that being said, I found myself exactly where I had always imagined and married to a wonderful provider who takes care of the kids and I and I didn't even have to use my skills to bring in an income. And in the past 4 years, God has opened the door to so many more beautiful life-giving opportunities. 

I have been building my own business from home and its been incredibly enriching and tremendously FUN! I've been doing it all from home. While raising and homeschooling my kids. Sure, it takes time and it is hardwork but I absolutely adore it all.

I run a Young Living Essential Oils business from home and have a team of over 500 people I help educate and some to help build their own businesses. I run a website and blog which ties into my Instagram. I feel social media is a mix of ministry + business and I love every minute I get to spend pouring into it. I have a small Etsy shop that is just for funsies but ends up being quite profitable as well. All while writing my first book I hope to publish in the near future. Along the way, I get to partner and collaborate with some amazing people and band together to make a difference in peoples lives. And all of that, I do FROM HOME, and did not require any type of college degree. Nope. Just me. Just personal + professional development. Just having the heart and hustle to pursue it. Just opening up my heart and mind to the new doors God opened for me. And saying YES.

And I say all this to express that there isn't a one way method to do things anymore. The world is changing and growing and there are so many possibilities for our children in this world. I'm a HUGE advocate of network marketing now. I LOVE entrepreneurship. And I love every piece of what I get to do each day. So, whether my kids want to go to college or start their own business or travel the world, I want those opportunities to be there. And I want to foster an environment for them to explore those aspects now as they are young. To have the time and freedom to search for the things that make their soul soar. 

98DFA9F4-6E7C-4666-8304-A8203DA77E5D.JPG

Instead of spending our days studying complex math facts and studying the facts of a historical figure to make sure and get 100% on the test they will take, I want to spend our time living life and learning their passions through experience and actual interest. If their heart leaps when learning about history then that will be where our time is spent. If their naturally inclined as a math whiz, we will keep focus there. And yes, while still learning the basics of what we should know in certain subjects. But I will no longer be tied down to the 4-8 hours a day of endless researching and memorizing of pointless facts beyond what our natural abilities need to know. I want them to flourish in their natural gifts and talents and find new things that they are drawn to in life. While teaching life skills and beneficial skills to utilize in life. 

I want to raise disciples for Jesus. I want them to grow a deep love for the Lord and shine the love and light of Christ wherever they go. 

And you know what else? Having a buttload of freetime for PLAY. Having the freedom to play and imagine and create and build and dream. Yes. All of that. Lots of time for that. 

My point of sharing a bit of my story is that I became an entrepreneur without any prior knowledge, experience or degrees. I didn't go to college. I'm bringing in income from home while doing everything I love. And I wasn't previously trained in anything. By the grace of God and his divine plan and purpose for my life, I've been able to thrive and hustle and enjoy the entire process. I always looking for ways to better who I am, grow in my entrepreneurial journey and expand all that I am doing. I didn't need a college certificate or a title before or after my name to be successful. And I've been able to match my husbands 40+ hour a week, 9-5 income as well. That alone shows me how much possibility there is in life. 

Whatever your path is, rock it, enjoy it and I'm applauding you along the way. The "normal" route just wasn't my path. And I could have felt unworthy or unqualified but I love what God has done in my life and how He keeps inspiring me to reach higher heights. So, with my high school diploma, I can confidently say that are so many other routes to take in life to find passion + success.

And I get to show my kids that every day. I get to show them balance between my hustle and my breathing and nurturing time. I get to show them that they don't have to be just one thing. That they don't have to be away from their families all day every day. I get to show them a different way of life, and if they choose to follow that path, awesome. If they find passion on another route, I know God will work in their lives for HIS good in anything they choose to glorify Him.

4530EF68-8539-43BC-806E-19A475BE9AB3.JPG

And so right now, in their childhood, we can begin to cultivate that culture. And it's freakin' awesome. Like.... seriously fun. 

You guys. Legitimately. Every day feels like a Friday. That is a really good feeling.

Here's another concept to grasp hold of:

You know how you pay money to go learn a cool new thing?

Like how to paint? Or how to make ceramics? Or how to brew your own beer from home? Whatever it is. Whatever tickles your fancy. And while you are doing it, it’s super fun! And you enjoy learning this newfound skill or hobby. And you remember the concepts you learned in that time. And you desire to  dig even deeper into it. It ignites something in you.

You want to go home and do a little research. Maybe get some supplies and practice what you learned. Sometimes, it even turns into a great passion. Maybe even a business venture because it just did something to your soul and everything fell into place. And it all just started with exploring something new.

 

Now, during that event or class, you didn’t have to be read a script and structurally taught the tactic. But you learned for experience and actually DOING it. It was an entire creative process. And you didn’t have to study and memorize facts about it and then take a test that you needed to get a good grade on to prove you understood it, right? You just got to learn by living it.

That’s how I want life + education + homeschooling + learning to be for my kids NOW. That is is how I view unschooling. Exploring new concepts and finding passion through the natural process of experiencing it firsthand. Finding enjoyment and pleasure in the actual act of living it out and no pressure of test-taking and grade-giving to create a standard of our knowledge. (I know, there may be a time and a place) but with the flexibility we have as unschooling homeschoolers, I'm going to exercise that right of the beautiful creative process.

982DD0A4-8050-4925-ABD3-7EAE1A750373.JPG

I think this has been something festering in my soul for a while now. I think this has been a long time coming. But I never knew it was an actual "thing." I just always thought I was super weird for thinking the way I did.

I've never really been impressed with titles. Seeing "Dr." in front of a name or a bunch of letters after someones' name never meant much to me. Not like I didn't place much value on education, but... I just viewed things very differently. Titles were never important to me. 

And I've heard people say before things like, "I don't want the opinion of a blogger, I want the science behind the matter." And for me, my mind just doesn't flow that way. I kinda like hearing the wisdom behind experience. Not just the proof of studying hard and passing tests. I like hearing the opinions of someone who has been there. (I'm talking about regular life things, not about heart surgery. Bare with me. Of course I would want a qualified + experienced doctor operating on me and my loved ones.)

That being said, I just always thought there were other ways of doing things. I didn't like how our educational systems were set up. I always felt like there was more to life than going to school all day every day for 20+ years. There had to be a different way.

I don't know how the whole "unschooling" thing fell into my lap. God, no doubt. And all of sudden, I discovered I wasn't the only one who had felt this way. I wasn't a total weirdo. (I'm still quite weird, but just not the only one.) There are others who desired this life of LIVING. And so, I've just been trying to immerse myself into it and naturally educate myself on what that can look like. And wow, it's a beautiful concept. 

Unschooling.

We are on our 5th year of homeschooling and it's the bee knees. It fits so well with our lifestyle. And we know it is God's calling on our lives. Let me be clear that in the beginning of our marriage, my husband and I were on totally opposite ends of the spectrum of homeschooling. I was all for it and he was completely against it. Through the years, God has aligned our hearts in the matter and it's been a wonderful process. (And this is from a man who is a private school assistant principal!)

 

And through this journey in the past 5 years, we have learned so much (and I know we have so much more to learn and grow in.) We initially decided that we would take it year by year and kid by kid. If at one point, we saw that one of our kids was needing something different, we would accommodate to that and make adjustments. And not to say we won't still fulfill the needs of each of our children but, God has revealed to us that this isn't a "fly by the seat of your pants" assignment. This was a calling on our lives. To steward and raise and educate our children at home.

It was freeing to hear this purpose from God on our lives and not waiver in it. And our next step has been to be able to teach the kids together, as husband and wife. To partner together in not only the parental responsibilities but in the educational field of our kids growing as well. And it's been an exciting concept to lead a life we love with our kids, while they are still young.

Especially within this 2017-2018 homeschool year, I've been feeling some strange things. Okay, not strange things, but my eyes have been opened to other ways of life. Other opportunities. Other methods of learning. And I've been trying to soak in these concepts, open my mind and heart to new possibilities that break the mold of the normal. They go against the systems of society and some of you may think I am downright crazy and weird. Some of you might highly disagree with me and text your friend like, "Dang girl, you see what Meghan posted today? Girl is nuts!"

So... let me explain. (And it's totally okay if you  still don't agree with me. Let me also preface with saying that this is not a knock on traditional schooling and everyone who adheres to the guidelines of it. This isn't a downplay of teachers or educators because I believe they are so valuable to our society + I have tons of friends and family who work in education. I am simply sharing our own personal journey and viewpoint for what we envision for our family. So, don't get your panties in a bunch.)

Let us proceed.

Sometimes, when I’m teaching homeschool, I’m thinking to myself , “Why the heck do my kids need to know this information? It’s pointless.”

I’d rather be spending our time playing, imagining, creating, and enjoying learning.

There are so many times through life that I think of all the hours wasted on memorizing facts to get a good grade on a test, only to forget (and NEVER even use) any of the information I was forced to learn and “get a good grade on.” I mean, I got dang good at studying. I could memorize exactly the information I needed to know to get a good grade on the test and then promptly released it from my brain database (because I had much more important things to retain like how to get a boost at the beginning of a N64 Mario Kart game.)

And while I believe there are many valuable subjects and concepts to learn (Example: reading + multiplication + typing, to name a few), there are so many other things that are unnecessary. There are so many things in life I wish I would have spent time learning instead of the square root of an isosceles triangle. (and yah... I have no clue if that’s even a real thing.) I know there are electives in school where you can learn more hands-on life lessons like changing the oil in a car, or plumbing and cooking. But those REAL LIFE classes aren't the core, they are electives. And, they are still functioning in a "get a good grade on it" way. It is taught in a format of study + test + pass. 

 

And you know what, learning how to BRAID has saved me THOUSANDS of dollars in my life thus far. I'm not saying everyone needs to learn how to braid, but that has been a very instrumental skill for me to learn for my life circumstances. What else could I have missed out on? I mean, it's never too late. I can still learn and grow more as an adult.

Instead of going through the motions of a one-size-fits-all curriculum I am going to ask my children this question...

“What do you want to learn today?”

And you know what? We are going to learn about it and have a dang good time doing it. This is just a little taste of the UNSCHOOLING life. 

 

DD318A6B-A714-4165-81AB-68D6C3B44ADF.JPG

And through prayer and research and listening to the Lords guidance (and obviously with my counter-cultural viewpoint), God has continued to align my husband and I's hearts in this matter of "unschooling" as well. 

One day, Seborn asked me, "Are the kids learning what they are supposed to? Is Makkedah going to be up to the same level as her other 3rd grade level peers?" And my answer.... No.

No, because while it is beneficial for her to learn basic math skills, I don’t understand the necessity of spending time learn complex math concepts at 8 years old for 8 hours a day. She’s passionate about so many other things and has natural giftings in so many other areas that  I want to spend our time cultivating that. 

So, no. She’s not going to know all the things other kids her age know because I don’t find them to be beneficial to the human and woman of God she will grow to be. I want to foster an environment of creativity and freedom and learning through living actual life. I want to practice patience, grace, confidence, generosity, kindness and so many other beautiful character traits throughout our day. I want to welcome her into my space of entrepreneurship and let her see a glimpse of that world. I want her to know her possibilities are endless.

I don't want her to rummage through a curriculum book of useless information that someone deemed as necessary to learn 50 years ago JUST BECAUSE. 

Life isn’t about spending 8-10 hours a day in a building being drilled with unnecessary knowledge for 180 days out of the year from ages 4-18. That’s not LIVING to me. I don’t want only nights and weekends and summers with my kids. I want so much more. So, the system that is set in place in this society, just doesn’t sit right with my own heart.

 

 

I want to live life for every beautiful crevice of secret spaces and locked away gifts that are just waiting to be explored. I want my kids to have their childhood. Filled with playtime, downtime and adventure. And in that... natural learning. 

 

 

 

Baby Yancy #6 Round Up.

And before I even know it, we are within 8 weeks of baby's due date. (Let's keep in mind that my previous 5 babies were all 9-12 days overdue). That being said, I'm fully depending on it being closer to 10 weeks before baby Yancy #6 makes her arrival.

We have been so excited and gathering some fun products to welcome her to our family and the world. I just had to share some of the goodies!

 

Dockatot

I've always adored these. And now little baby girl has her own white marble design to rest her sweet head in. They are multi-purpose and can be used for napping, bed transitioning, playtime, changing, tummy time and so much more!

C8A84C29-99A9-448C-9DB4-52CAF3713008.JPG

 

Lorena Canals

They have the most beautiful rugs (+ lots more great décor- perfect for your little ones nursery). Cool thing is, they are washable rugs, and we know that is a huge advantage for mamas with littles (which includes lots of daily spills.)

9826F7BF-8200-4810-92E3-2C0272467333.JPG

 

Binxy Baby

With such a neat concept, now going to the store with your babes is even easier. It's like a hammock that fits perfectly in the shopping cart (with all the safety features included.) It's portable and so easy to throw in your diaper and make your shopping even more convenient.

The Ollie World

The Ollie Swaddle was developed from a mom who had certain needs for her babe and so it was designed with therapeutic benefits involved. While enhancing quality of sleep + promoting calm and rest, there is so much that this swaddle provides for little babes in mind.

3A8F3330-AACB-47C2-8DF0-530732D0281A.JPG

 

Chalk Full of Design

They have some of the best designs that are created for any age. Besides making great décor + learning lessons for littles, they also have the coolest chalkboard growth charts that can be personalized with your child's name. Better believe I'll be sharing those milestone pictures ones little girl is here!

unnamed.jpg

 

Lulla Doll

This doll created by Roro is the perfect sleep companion. It imitates closeness for little ones with the real sounds of breathing and a heartbeat. It is so soft and was created to improve rest and sleep using smell, sound, look + touch. Cannot wait to lay this sweet friend next to my baby daughter. 

64D5C836-BD88-44BD-B0C3-5FFD340DD586.JPG

 

 

Kantha Bae

The creator of this entire brand is the sweetest mama with the coolest Bohemian feel. So many products to choose from that make the blessing of a baby even sweeter. With ring sling, quilt + headwrap in tow, we are feeling the vibes and already excited for the next season of life. Another cool thing, Kantha Bae partners with a boutique that gets their fabrics from and helps Bangladeshi women coming from at risk and trafficking environments.

9B97851C-1279-4377-8202-9CF35001D474.JPG

Go check out these awesome brands and products! Whether you are expecting yourself or maybe feel one of these items would be the perfect gift for a dear friend, hopefully I've given you a glimpse of some neat additions for a new babies life. 

 

 

 

Superbowl + Hallmark + Valentines

All my Minnesota peeps- if you are looking for something cool to do this SUPERBOWL weekend, you gotta go check out the Hallmark Signature XOXO Pop-Up Event - Celebrate your #Touchdownmoments! It is at Periscope at 921 Washington Ave S during the following hours:

Feb 2: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Feb 3: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Feb 4: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"Be the MVP of Valentine's Day" and go enjoy some great photo ops, delicious hot chocolate and marvel at Hallmarks beautiful Valentine's Day cards! The kids and I each got to pick our favorites and send a gorgeous cards to people we love for V-Day!

I just had to share some of our highlights from our time there! This is the perfect little outing for this awesome Superbowl weekend!

2A3E33CB-95A1-4145-8E2A-0FDAF01E83C4.JPG
8D0A56B6-279B-4167-834D-F74A11F51CBB.JPG
44FDA1F3-55E9-4246-B2F2-FB642286A036.JPG
88FE541D-96FF-4F4E-8857-4264C41277CA.JPG
340B2662-9747-4071-9BA0-88A29E85EB22.JPG
96497EAC-7DD6-42C3-880A-A4430BA07402.JPG
71224C27-9CA5-48D4-B53E-4A6B4A89498C.JPG
C9C54E8D-38D9-4204-B45A-35DC57F09C89.JPG
E516F838-A376-4086-88ED-8925061E3BFF.JPG
A559E6A2-2C57-4059-9AA0-05BB499C2A12.JPG
C232574E-0B8E-47DF-B5E9-785AB89A68E5.JPG

Seriously, such a fun event you have got to check out! Let me know how you like it!

Weightloss: The Past Revisited.

* This post was originally written and published on May 21, 2013 and is a direct copy/paste from my old website.

My wedding day on June 21, 2008 I weighed a healthy toned 125 pounds.

 

We got pregnant with our honeymoon baby and I gained 40 pounds that pregnancy. Seemed okay. At the time.

After I had our first daughter, we got pregnant with our second daughter 7 months later. I had only lost 20 pounds up until that point. I gained another 40 pounds during that pregnancy.

Try to keep up with me here. At this point, at the end of my 2nd pregnancy, I weighed a whopping 190 pounds. My dad and I weighed the same. I had almost caught up to my husband in weight as well. I think I went a little overboard.

 

(Here I am visiting my grandparents after having my second child- 175 pounds- my highest “non-pregnant” weight)

After I gave birth, I went to 175 pounds. Still WAY to heavy for my 5’2 frame. I began to work out, going to the YMCA as often as I could and trying to eat lots of vegetables. I did a veggie fast for a week but it wasn’t enough food to breastfeed with so I couldn’t do it long. Through lots of hard work, I finally made it down to 145 pounds. 30 pounds lost! I should have kept going but I was satisfied at that point in my life. I enjoyed food too much to keep losing weight.

We got pregnant a little over a year later with our 3rd child and I was determined to eat better and not gain 40 pounds. And by eat better, I mean not eating a gallon of ice cream a week BY MYSELF and not drinking 2 gallons of milk a week BY MYSELF. Yah… I was a little out of control. I can admit that now.

During my 3rd pregnancy, I gained 30 pounds. So, at the end, I was 175 pounds, and after I had him, I went down to a steady 165. By this time… I just felt gross. I felt uncomfortable. You know what I mean…. the flub drooping over your jeans. It’s disgusting. I just felt so unhealthy. I had FINALLY hit that moment where enough was enough and I was determined to be healthy.

 

(This is me after I had my 3rd child- 165 pounds)

I know I know… I had 3 pregnancies in under 4 years… this is to be expected. Well… not to my extent. I didn’t work out and I ate HORRIBLY! I am a total sweets addict! I LOVE sweets! I would eat them all day every day and still feel great. It was bad.

Anyways, I knew that I was not going to be comfortable and feeling good if I was going to keep going at this pace. And since we want so many children, I’ve got to get a handle on my lifestyle now! I need to get healthy. I need to take care of this temple God gave me.

I knew that I wasn’t going to just diet to lose the weight. I knew I needed to make a lifestyle change. I needed to change how I eat, and be purposeful about getting exercise every day. Now… let me make one thing clear. I love being active- but I love to do it in sports and activities. I HATE (I never use that word, but in this case, I will) exercising just to “exercise”. Like who just “runs” for the fun of it? Well, I do now! After my son was born, I just started low key, making transitions in my eating- cutting out and cutting back but still getting all the necessary nutrients my body needed (especially since I am breastfeeding.) I started doing Zumba on our Wii. Then I found an at-home workout video I LOVED and started doing that. (Any moms who want a great video, easy to do at home and comes with a Hulu plus membership, ask me about it!) As soon as the weather got warm enough, I began jogging. And for the first time ever, I actually kind of enjoyed it! It was great feeling! I got hooked up on MyFitnessPal and have a great community of friends and family on there to hold me accountable. I bought some small weights to use at home and tend to have a dance party with my kids each day.

Having 3 small kids at home and a household to run, I usually only fit in 15-30 minute workout segments at a time, but I try to get a few of those in each day to make sure I’m burning calories. I try to stay at 1200 calories per day and get all the necessary nutrition I need. It has been a long haul but I am making progress.

After I had my son, I made goals. I wrote them out and I hung them up where I can see them in my kitchen every day. I wrote down what weight I wanted to be at by certain months and then my ending weight goal. I put up milestones (weddings, anniversaries, birthdays) to motivate myself to lose weight in time for these special events. You may have seen on Pinterest and other websites all these inspirational quotes with pictures of slim women with the “perfect” bodies. I never liked those. I’m 5’2, curvy, and can build some decent muscle mass. I am never going to look like any of those women- and I don’t want to! I love me! I want to look like ME! I want to be a healthy ME! The way the God made me! So, I grabbed pictures of myself when I was at the best shape in life (before all my pregnancies) and I hung them up around my house so I could see them every day. When I open the fridge- there is a picture of me in a swimsuit and a note next to it that says, “Eat healthy, Megs!.” On my vanity I have pictures of myself hanging uo and notes saying “Get that cardio in!” These are just some of the things I did to motivate myself to keep going! And each time I weighed myself, I wrote down the weight, date, and time of day I weighed myself and over the months just watched the pounds shed off. It was such a steady decline but I kept with it, never really “seeing” results but “feeling” the results. Until I reached my goal weight and I looked in the mirror and I SAW IT! What a great feeling that was!

The really cool thing is that there was no need for a gym membership. No need for a personal trainer. No need for crash diets, diet pills, or any of those “extras.” I did this! Well, through God I did this! All the glory to Him! I didn’t need to spend a ton of money to get on a special meal plan. I just needed to stop buying/eating junk food and eat healthy. I didn’t need to spend hours at the gym. I could do my workouts at home and when I could make time for it. It IS possible!

(This is me on the right with my gorgeous sister at Easter time 2013- 133 pounds- almost there)

My goal weight has been to be at my pre-pre-pre-pregnancy weight of 125 pounds and as toned as I possibly can be for just having 3 kids basically back to back to back.

(Me with all my gorgeous sisters at Keena’s bridal shower- 127 pounds- only 2 more pounds to go!)

It has been a pretty interesting journey- never thought I’d gain enough weight to have to lose it… but I did. So, starting this “journey” from the point of after I had my 3rd child- it has been 10 months so far. (With the more intense weightloss tactics starting when he was 2-3 months old. More realistically, it’s been 7-8 months of actively trying to lose weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.)

 

I am so incredibly happy to say that I have lost a total of over 40 pounds! I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I am so incredibly grateful to God for the discipline He has taught me. For the encouragement He has provided me. For the truth He has revealed to me of taking care of this body He has given me. Thank you, Jesus!

This has been a lifestyle change for me. Not a fad. Not a diet. But a complete lifestyle change and one that I truly love. Not to say I never splurge or have a delicious dessert or juicy hamburger, but I try to look for the healthy, natural, organic options more often. I choose to get a workout in and be active more in my daily life.

My grandma Marxhausen gained 11 pounds in one of her pregnancies (7 pounds of which was the baby.) And she told me she just ate normal (because that was the only thing to do) and she craved oranges. It was a perfect pregnancy, perfect delivery, and perfect baby. That showed me that I don’t NEED to all the extra stuff I always thought I did because “HEY I’m pregnant, I can eat whatever I want.” Sometimes (okay, most of the time) it’s just not worth it. (Don’t get me wrong- I will DEFINITELY have a couple scoops of chocolate marshmallow ice cream, just not every night haha.)

I look forward to what God has next in store. My next pregnancy will be my first healthy pregnancy that I will eat right and actually work out during it. I’m excited to see any differences I may notice in actually being healthy during pregnancy.

A part of me is disappointed in myself for being the person who gained enough weight that now that I have lost it, it is extremely noticeable but I’m going to praise God for it! I’m going to take what I learned from it and continue to grow!

Thanks to everyone who has supported me, JOINED me in the weight loss journey, encouraged me along the way, prayed for me, and every little comment made was motivation to spur me on!

And thank you to my super fantastic husband who has rejoiced with me over every pound lost! I love you Seebz!