Stefani's most-fantastical-reads book montage

Crooked Kingdom
Six of Crows
Yellow Brick War
The Wicked Will Rise
Charm & Strange
Their Fractured Light
These Broken Stars
Big Little Lies
I'll Be There
Red Queen

Stefani's favorite books »

Friday, January 2, 2015


Pink eye.

Day 2 of 2015 and I come down with pink eye of all things. I am just thankful that I have a cabinet full of doTERRA and am able to treat this kind of thing without the hassle and expense of heading to the doctor and being told it's a virus and I'll just have to wait it out.

Not with doTERRA. Last night I diluted 2 drops of melaluca and 2 drops of lavender in a small amount of fractionated coconut oil and rubbed it around my eye socket (NOT in my eye... holy geeze, that would burn...) It was noticeably better this morning and after reapplying today it feels like it's mostly gone. I expect that by tomorrow I will be back to normal.

(If you are interested in learning more about doTERRA essential oils and how you can take your health into your own hands, message me or visit my website here. I promote these because they have changed my life and the life of my family - not because I want to earn income from them.)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Organized Chaos

If there is an accurate description of my life, 'organized chaos' would be it.

2013 was the year I lost my dad. My world was dominated by grief and loss - I couldn't write about it. I couldn't talk about it. I was consumed.

2014 was a year of learning the hard way. I tried to come to terms with what life without my dad meant and I did it in all the wrong ways. I vowed not to write about my marriage on a public forum and I will keep that vow, but I will say that I made mistakes, I caused tremendous pain. When I tried to cope and grasp onto what was the shards of my life - I hung onto the one thing that I have always controlled. Food. In February I entered back into a battle with anorexia - one that drug me down to 103 pounds and five days without food. Early spring was rock bottom for me but it forced me to make some tough decisions. I was on the precipice - on one side was six months of in-patient therapy, likely out of state. On the other was intensive outpatient therapy. Even my medical team doubted my chances of success with outpatient treatment. I couldn't stand the thought of being away from my family and I knew that I needed to learn to cope with life as it was happening - not in a secluded resort, away from the reminders of the pain and the stress that look me in the face each day. So I entered outpatient therapy. I went to counseling. I saw a nutritionist. I found a psychiatrist who is nothing short of amazing. I started reading scripture daily. All of these things combined into a painfully slow healing process that has brought me to where I am today. I have exited counseling. I have exited nutritional counseling. I see my psychiatrist every other week and we are working on an ever changing combination of medications to manage my anxiety, to help me sleep, to manage my depression, and keep my eating disorder in check. My faith has been my anchor through all this. I made an effort to be more involved at church - I taught vacation bible school every other week during the summer, I volunteer with the middle school youth group every Wednesday. My small group should be starting back up now that the new year has begun. I make an effort to read scripture and keep up with my church's teaching of The Story. As 2014 came to a close, I felt like I was finally walking in the right direction after a year of being caught in a labyrinth.


A new year.

A new beginning.

I'm not a fan of New Year's Resolutions. They scream failure to me... I can make a list of all the things I'm going to change about myself and my living habits and by January 15th I'm overwhelmed and I give up. So I'm not making resolutions. That being said - I am goal oriented. I always have a to-do list. Lists help me focus. So what follows is my public declaration of my goals for 2015. I am going into this year knowing that some days (or weeks or months) some goals will be a focus and others may fall to the background. I'm okay with that. It has taken me 33 years to truly realize that I am and always will be a work in progress. This list simply highlights the areas where I hope to look back on in a year and say that I have made progress. PROGRESS not perfection. In 365 days, I want to be a better version of me than I am today.

Spiritual Growth:

  • Carve out time each day to read scripture and pray
  • Continue to find time each week to be a part of youth group
    • Make a more focused effort to connect with the kids
    • Develop lessons around scripture that challenge the students and myself

Family Focus:

  • Be a better wife to my husband and a better mom to my kids
  • Plan a 'family night' at least once a week - board games, the park, go for a walk - anything as a whole family and without social media involved
  • Develop 'homework' for both kids to complete each weeknight (15 minutes max)
  • Develop chores for both kids to complete nightly
  • Take a vacation as a whole family

Physical Health:

  • Train for and complete a 5k run
  • Train for and complete a 3 minute plank
  • Train for and develop a butt :)
  • Stretch daily


  • Drink at least 32 oz. of water daily
  • Replace prescription medications with natural options wherever possible 
  • Eat at least three times per day
  • Develop a daily and weekly routine for doTERRA oils
  • Develop a weekly menu to plan shopping and ease chaos at night
  • Develop a list of healthy lunch choices and HAVE THEM AVAILABLE AT WORK

Professional Growth:

  • Organize and lead a PD book study
  • Get the 6-8 ELA team up and running on SharePoint
  • Create a vertical alignment for 6-8 ELA

Financial Health:

  • Stick to weekly food & gas budget
  • Divide spending money three ways: 33% to savings, 33% to spending, 34% toward debt consolidation loan principal
Just Because:
  • Alternate what I'm reading - YA fiction, teacher/PD book, Kindle book
  • Take one (or more!) Epson salt/doTERRA bath each week
  • Teach 4 (or more) doTERRA classes and maintain my Addicted to Oils FB page
  • Spend 15 minutes picking up every night
  • Write. 

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