Essential Oils: A Skeptic's Thoughts

So, for those of you who don't know me very well...

I am a total skeptic.


So when I heard about essential oils over a year ago, what did I say?

Yeah, right... nothing's that good.

But then... my oldest son, Landon, kept getting sick. I was taking him to the pediatrician almost every week. I kept asking, isn't there something we could do to boost his immune system? Wash his hands often, take some vitamin C, but yeah... that's pretty much it. I was so frustrated... I wanted to help him get better, and I couldn't. He wasn't even in daycare, and he just couldn't stay well.

What I didn't know at that time was that Landon has something called DiGeorge Syndrome, a deletion on his 22nd chromosome. One of the biggest issues kiddos with this deletion have is a low immune system. From the time Landon was itty bitty, he got frequent colds. When I stopped nursing him at a year, it just got worse. He had constant ear infections, croup, strep throat, sinus infections, pneumonia, etc... and ugh, the fevers. They just didn't stop. He was on antibiotics non-stop, particularly in the winter. I tried everything - supplements, lots of hand sanitizer, fruits and veggies - nothing made a big difference. I was getting desperate, and I was so tired of my little guy being absolutely miserable.

At the beginning of December of this past year, after Landon dealt with some severe viruses that landed him in the ER, I was so done.

Fine. I, the Skeptic, would try some essential oils. They wouldn't work, but at least I could say I tried. I messaged my friend Myra to order some Young Living Thieves oil, and while I was waiting for the order to come in, my friend Aubrey lent me some YL Thieves and lavender to use since we were getting ready to go on vacation.

Landon was sick when I got the oils (of course). The night I started using them on him, his symptoms improved. Within a couple of days, he was better. And then, miraculously, he stopped getting sick. His fevers stopped. I didn't worry about putting him in church nursery or therapy anymore. We traveled, visited with lots of people, and he stayed well.

Fast forward to the end of March. Landon has gotten a few colds. One low-grade fever (that went completely away when I used peppermint oil!). This past fall, before we started using oils, he was sick for 6-7 weeks without a break. We were at the doctor's too many times to count. And now? There's no rushing to the ER because his fever has spiked, or because his breathing is too shallow, or because his cough has gone to his chest. His symptoms went from severe to barely there.

That's amazing, you guys. When a doctor tells you that there's really nothing you can do to improve your child's immune system, and then you find something that actually works... let me tell you, I was over the moon.

Okay, so, I know some of you are still skeptical. You're like me, and I get you. How am I really so sure that the Thieves oil boosted his immune system?

Welp, here's one reason I know it works. I did the unthinkable. I ran out of Thieves oil. 

And then... my boys got sick, really sick, and it was not pretty. In fact, I think I slept walked for two weeks because those boys were so miserable and sniffly. It was a happy, happy day when our Young Living box came to the door!

My husband looked at me a little strangely when I screamed, but he knows it works [he just doesn't scream about it]. When he feels like he's coming down with something, he takes a drop three times a day (right down his throat), and he feels great within 24 hours. Prettttttty amazing.

Okay, okay... so I just told you about one oil... and I know that's not enough to convince you that these oils are legit. So first, I'm going to tell you a little bit about essential oils, and then, I'm going to share some of my favorites and their uses with you.

I won't go all scientific on you, but here's a textbook definition from Oil Testimonials (which, by the way, has thousands of testimonies about essential oils).
"They are the "life force" of a plant and distributed among its flowers, leaves, bark, stems and roots. These oils protect the plant from insects and other herbivores, from bacteria, molds, fungi and micro-organisms."
Essential oils are anti-bacterial, anti-cancerous, anti-fungal, anti-infectious, anti-septic, anti-parasitic, and anti-viral. That's why my little sickie stopped being such a... sickie! Essential oils have the ability to affect every cell of the body within 20 minutes.*

True story. 

But I didn't just use any old brand of oils. I don't know about you, but I'm not too comfortable giving my kiddos (or me!) oils that aren't tested for purity, among other things. Basically, if you go to the grocery store and buy a bottle for 10 bucks... you're NOT getting a quality-grade oil. So why did I decide to go with Young Living? Here's a handy-dandy graphic that nicely outlays all my reasons!

Below are some of my personal favorites, along with (some of) their uses! [By the way, that's one of my favorite things about essential oils... you can use one oil for so many different things.]

Thieves: Okay, you already know why I love this one. But... you can also use this for cold sores, teething, headaches, dental issues, and strep throat, to name a few. It's my absolute favorite (and there's also a Thieves oil cleaner!).

Lavender: We use this for sleep (blessed, blessed sleep), sinus pain, calming, teething pain, allergy/congestion issues, burns, scrapes, and cuts. It's probably my favorite... maybe because I associate it with sleep!

Peppermint: I wish I could tell you how much I loved this oil. Let's just say I haven't had to pop ibuprofen in months for my tension headaches. I put some peppermint on my forehead and temples... gone within minutes. Works for my husband's flight school headaches, too. ;) It's also great for appetite control (*cough*), energy levels, heartburn/nausea, and fevers.

Lemon: Great for detox, cleansing, weight loss (woot woot) and again, allergies! I also use it to soothe a sore throat. Lavender, lemon, and peppermint are a fabulous combo for sinus issues. I diffuse them when I'm feeling foggy... which is quite often, actually.

Frankincense: I mix this with my face cream at night... my skin feels SO soft in the morning. It also helps with wrinkles, for those of you who are worried about that (*raises hand*). This is also another great oil for coughs, as well as emotional balance.

Vetiver: This is a calming, balancing oil that smells really woodsy. It's typically used on kids diagnosed with ADHD, but I think every mom with a hyperactive kid should own it, to be honest. It literally calms Landon within seconds... he'll stop what he's doing, put his head down, and say "night-night." I find that even after I apply it on him, it balances me, too. (Stop looking at me all weird.)

Valor: This one smells SO good. Again, calms Landon, calms ME (because I totally need this, believe it or not), helps with my muscle pain and tension, and helps with anxiety. If you think I might be high-strung, you might be right.

All these oils besides Vetiver, by the way, are included in the Premium Starter Kit, which I personally think is the best way to give these a try. See the details on my Young Living Page! I have yet to see someone be disappointed with that kit. A diffuser, eleven oils, so much info... ahhh. Okay. I'll stop now.

So there you have it. That's why this girl is a believer! This stuff works!

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to email me. I would LOVE to talk to you about these oils that have literally changed our world!

*from Quick Reference Guide for Essential Oils

The information presented on this web site is not intended to take the place of your personal physician’s advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. 


When I Complain about Good Things

Last week, Landon started therapy. I was sitting in the waiting room waiting for his therapist to come out, and a mama walked by with her daughter. Something was very obviously wrong; she was probably 11 or 12, her speech was unintelligible, and she couldn't walk without support or help. The therapist came out to take her back to therapy. As they walked in to the rehab center, I heard the girl's mom talking proudly about the progress her daughter was making - she'd been trying to take a few steps unassisted.

WOW. Just... wow.

I complain about Landon's progress being slow. I complain a lot

[If you don't believe me, ask my sweet, incredibly patient husband.]

Yes, this is hard, especially because I'm his mama. No, I am not downplaying it.

But when I heard that mom's excitement and pride over her daughter's progress, progress that certainly puts her far, far behind any other child her age, I realized something.

I do not take joy like I should in how Landon is growing, changing, thriving.

I complain that he's not articulating well...
                        ...instead of rejoicing that he's able to communicate with us at all.

I complain that he's too hyper...
                       ...instead of rejoicing that he's active, alert, and full of so. much. happiness.

I complain that he's too clumsy...
                       ...instead of rejoicing that he can walk and run and move.

I complain that he's not caught up to his peers...
                      ...instead of rejoicing that he is just who God created him to be.

I have so much to be thankful for.

So, so much.
{Stay tuned... later this week, I'm going to be sharing more about essential oils and how a skeptic (that's me) turned into a believer!}


Peanut Butter M&M Caramel Chex Mix

I have a confession. I have eaten an entire bag of peanut butter M&M's over the past week. I don't know how many calories that is, nor do I care to know. When it comes to peanut butter and chocolate, the numbers on the scale cease to exist.

Well, sort of.

[This picture was taken on my beautiful table. Notice the marks on said table. My three-year-old took a fork to it. That was really nice.]

I keep meaning to post this recipe. It has changed my life. Possibly also my hips.

It is chewy, buttery, sweet, a little bit salty, addicting, and it will not last long in your house.

You will need:

7-8 cups Rice Chex cereal
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Peanut butter M&M's

In a large bowl, measure out Rice Chex; set aside. The amount of Rice Chex will depend on how chewy you want it - if you want it more on the chewy side, use 7 cups; if you want it a little crunchier, use 8 cups.

Line cookie sheet with waxed paper or grease with cooking spray.

Melt butter in large saucepan. Add brown sugar and corn syrup until fully blended. DO NOT LET IT BURN (trust me on this).

Add baking soda until combined and bubbly.

Add Rice Chex and remove from heat. Mix well until cereal is coated.

Pour cereal on to cookie sheet to cool and try not to eat it all while you wait.

Pour into large bowl and add peanut butter M&M's (or your favorite flavor).

Hide from your husband and children. Eat it all in one sitting.

Then go for a very, very long run.


(printable recipe here)


Colton Is One!

I truly cannot believe that it's been a year since I had our little Colton Blake. And I know everyone says that. But really, how does it happen in the blink of an eye? I thought time went by fast with Landon, but wow! I feel like I was in labor just yesterday. (Sort of. I totally don't remember the pain... purposefully.) I can only imagine what number three will feel like. Not that I'm planning to figure that out anytime soon.

Less than 24 hours old. Read Colton's birth story here.

I love every stage for different reasons, but this age is one of my favorites. I adore watching their little personalities develop. Colton is curious, into everything, a little ham, oh-so-snuggly, and my, oh my, so very stubborn. I have NO idea where he got that from. (My family might.) He loves trucks and balls and I always finding him stashing stuff in containers. He is loud when he wants attention, sleeps wonderfully, grins at everyone, eats all day (no, really), loves to climb, and is constantly giggling. I love it! 

We had a little party with some friends here in Texas. I didn't really plan anything - I threw stuff together a couple hours before the party (Colton will never know!). But we had fun and ended up playing multiple games of Monopoly Deal. I mean, what else do you do at a one-year-old's birthday party when he's already in bed? 

We had pizza, M&M Chex Mix (I will post the recipe later this week because it's to die for), veggies, chips, and of course, cake. I made Colton a mini smash cake and Landon got into it at least four times. What can I say? Buttercream icing is a life-changer.

He was so frustrated that Randy wouldn't let him have it immediately. What did I tell you, impatient!

He sure smashed his smash cake. I think he enjoyed smashing more than eating.

Mmm... maybe not.

"Dat ish guuuuud. Berry guuuud."

Finally my mother is being kind and letting me eat my brother's cake and OD on sugar.

Love that smile - he was so proud!

Right before we took the cake away, he decided he hadn't had quite enough.

What can I say? He also inherited my love of sugar.

We are so thankful for this sweet, stubborn, giggly, messy, loud, independent, silly, chubby, blue-eyed, blond-haired, absolutely lovable little guy. Can't imagine our lives without him.

Happy birthday, Colton Blake. You are a gift from a kind God, and we are so grateful He chose us to be your parents.

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