Thursday, May 21, 2015

JA Spotlight ~ Samantha and her Royal Walkers

Today's JA Spotlight is a special one! On Saturday, May 30, the Arthritis Foundation is holding their annual Walk to Cure Arthritis and today's JA Spotlight also happens to be one of the child honorees for this years walk. Today's feature is all about Samantha. Here is her story as told my her mother, Cori. 


Samantha was diagnosed when she was 2 1/2 years old.  When she was learning how to walk she continually kept falling down.  At that point we noticed that her knee was swollen. From there we did a bone scan, blood work and multiple trips to Children's Hospital.  


When the doctor came in and said it was arthritis we just didn't know what to think.  We, like many, thought that this was a disease that only affected the older generations. We were wrong.  We tried a few different medications and are now finally on Humira which seems to be our wonder drug.  Although with all medications you wonder when it may stop working and if we have to start all over again.   

Samantha has a secondary condition from the arthritis which is the uveitis.  This is usually what gives her the most trouble.  Any time we start to try to ween off the biologics she gets eye inflammation.  

Between the doctors appointments, the being aware of people being sick, the watching of others being sick and being around her, and her just plain being down and out keep our family busy.  Do I wish she didn't have arthritis? Yes.  But I'm glad that if she has to have it that she was diagnosed at such a young age and she knows no different. Doctor appointments, weekly shots, lab work are all just normal things to her.   She is a super strong warrior.  She rarely stops going.  She won't let this disease beat her.  She may be exhausted after keeping up with her friends but she will NOT be left behind. I applaud her for this.  I can see when it is too much but sometimes you just have to let her go.  Have we kept her out of some activities, yes.  Should we maybe have let her try, yes.  But sometimes you just have to go with your gut.  

 
We are honored that Samantha has been selected as the child honoree this year for the walk to cure arthritis.  We want to help educate, fundraise and hopefully help find better medicines or even better find a cure.
 

Samantha's Royal Walkers are SO close to their goal of raising of $5,000.00.  If you would like to help Samantha and her family reach there goal you can donate directly on their walk page. You can also follow Samantha's Royal Walkers by following them on Facebook


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Blog Makeover from the #1000MomBlogMakeovers project by #Blogelina!

I've been blogging for about four years (wow) and since the beginning I've been a Blogger girl but I've been thinking lately it might be time to switch to Wordpress. Problem is, I'm terrified. Yep, you read that right. Change scares me a little and so do things I don't really know anything about. I'm so familiar with how things work with my blog right now that I've been to scared to learn about Wordpress and such. 

BUT, I found Blogelina and saw she is doing something pretty amazing. She is doing a #1000MomBlogMakeovers project! Well, when a friend shared this with me I figured maybe this was my nudge to make the move. You can read more about the project on the Blogelina post if you are interested in being one of the 1000 blogs! I know I'm excited and a little nervous. But, change is good right? And so is helping others. xo


Friday, May 1, 2015

Hello, my name is Ashley and I'm an essential oil addict...

That's right my friends...it's time I admit it. I am an essential oil addict. No joke. Ask my husband and his family...I'm hooked! Got an itch...I have an oil for that! Can't sleep? Let me rub some oil behind your ears! Feeling sick? Let me rub your feet with this oil! Just got a tattoo? Let me apply this oil infused salve! I could go on but for now I'll stop. ;) 

I'm excited to share with you that after all these years of being hooked on essential oils I have decided to jump in and share my addiction, er I mean, love of these oils with you! I am now officially part of the Young Living family! Young Living is the world leader in cultivation, distillation, and production of pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils and aromatherapy oils. Their 'seed-to-seal' process ensures that they produce the best, most authentic essential oils in the world. Sure you can find a variety of other oils out there but when you want to experience the true benefits of pure essential oil, Young Living is definitely the way to go!

I can't wait to share more about this journey with you as I get more involved. Right now I'm just excited about my new adventure and wanted to be sure to pass a little bit of that along to you! Once I receive all my information I'll be planning some fun events both in person and on Facebook to help education those who are interested in learning more about how essential oils can help YOU!

For now I'll leave you with some awesome facts on my absolute favorite oil...LAVENDER!!! Seriously you guys...this is the BEST oil! If you could only purchase ONE oil right now this is the one I'd highly recommend. I don't think a day goes by that I do not use my lavender oil! 



Are you interested in learning more about how essential oils can change your life? Let me know! I'd love to help! Ready to order some of your own? You can do that too! Just click here to go straight to my page and purchase your own life changing oils (just enter my distributor number at checkout 2850747)! Want to take a step and be part of the Young Living family with me...click here...I'd love to have you join me! 

Love and oily joy to you! xoxo Ashley 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Reflections

I'll admit that I'm not one who is up to date on news or current events. I truly despise watching the news because most of the times when I do watch they're either gushing about "breaking news coverage' that they have on some celebrity (which to me isn't news at all) or it's stories that break my heart about how corrupt and cruel people are. 

BUT...this morning I was reading about Nepal...my heart is broken and it aches for that country. So devastating....truly there are no words. I sat here thinking....how I take so many things for granted. I mean, here I sit, sipping coffee while I scroll through Facebook on my computer, in a decent sized three bedroom home, with a refrigerator full of food, two out of three of my three kids are safe at school getting a wonderful education and my youngest is eating "Monkey Charms". All while a nation is mourning a loss of over 3,000 lives. To me that number is unimaginable! I just cannot wrap my head around that. I also heard on the radio today that they are saying the whole country is going to be basically shut down for six months because the roads are impassable. SIX MONTHS. That means that there are probably thousands of people injured and in need of help who may or may not be able to be reached because they live in an area where the road has slid off the side of a cliff.

I sit here and wonder, "What can I do? How can we help from so far away?" I know first and most importantly I can pray. Pray for the help that is being sent gets to those who need it quickly. Pray that those who are collecting funds are doing it for the right reasons and use those funds to help those in need. Pray for those who are there helping this hurting country that they are safe while they are there. Pray for peace for those who have lost so much. Pray for those hurting, not only physically but emotionally. Just pray. 

I also came across this post by CNN on How to help the victims of the Nepal earthquake if you are looking for some place to donate funds: 

I hope today that we can all be humbled a bit and remember those who are hurting...not just those in Nepal but all over the world. That we can take a moment to not gripe or moan about how slow our phone is or how our coffee is cold but count our blessings and remember how blessed we truly are. 

~Ashley xo


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Slide the City comes to Pittsburgh for FUN for the WHOLE family!

You guys!! I am SO pumped about this awesome new event that is coming to Pittsburgh this summer! If you're looking for a way to cool off with your whole family this is for you! Check out SLIDE THE CITY!


Want to join the fun? Here's what you need to know....

Slide The City Comes to Pittsburgh - Saturday, June 6, 2015 11am-7pm


Best Rates - Early Bird Registration begins Wednesday, April 22, 2015! 



Summer time is approaching fast and we are bringing 1000 feet of slick vinyl to brighten your city streets. Slide the City is a family friendly slip-and-slide water party event. There will be live music, food, drinks, water, and of course the biggest slip and slide ever to hit Pittsburgh!

Come dressed to impress because it's not every day you can strut through town with your hot bod, cool dance moves and slick slides. Did we mention 1000 feet? Yeah, that's over 3 football fields. 

Make sure to bring your water buckets, floaties, and water guns (non-realistic of course), to squirt, spray, splash, and get all attending soaked. 
---------------------------

Is there an age or height limit?
All who are over 46 inches tall and over 5 years old are invited to slide, but remember if you're under 18 you'll need to get a sign off from your legal guardians.

Are there group rates available?
If you have a group with 20 or more participants send us an email.

What do you do to address water conservation?
Water conservation is also a priority at our events. We strive to have zero environmental impact on the community. The Slide was designed to have zero water loss, and it treats and recycles the water safely and efficiently throughout the day. When permitted, we donate the water back to the community. Methods of disposal include local reclamation centers, parks, golf courses and other places dependent upon local regulations. 


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Thoughts...or a Vent...Maybe Both...

I consider myself a calm, thoughtful person. I always think before I speak, sometimes to a fault. Sometimes I'll have entire conversations in my head before even having the actual conversation to think about how some one will take what I say. I'm always so careful not to say or type something that could be interpreted as upsetting.* I make a habit of never actually posting any of my personal, deep opinions on Facebook or any other social media avenue for fear that some one won't respect my right to my opinion and will lash out at me. I'm not a bitch even though sometimes I wish I could be. Let me tell you something though, sometimes being the better person just sucks!

I've had a really rough year. I'm not going to go into details because it's my personal, personal life and I just am not comfortable blogging about all that at this point. But, this year was rough. Could things have been worse, yes! Did my world end, no. But guess what, to me, in my little world, it was hard...really, really hard. I've struggled. I've cried more than I'd like to admit. I've questioned myself and wondered so often if there was something wrong with me. I've struggled with my faith. I've struggled with friendships. I've tried so hard to stay strong and hold on while the storms blew around me. I'm human though. I hurt. I feel. Sometimes too deeply...often to a fault. But guess what, that's ME. Bad and good but it's me. I have to accept that and pray that those in my life can accept it too. 

I've expressed opinions and had them misunderstood. I've even lost friends who I've loved deeply over misunderstandings. I've tried to talk to them and explain my 'side of the story' but I guess it just doesn't matter. I'm not sure why this keeps happening to me. It's made me question so many things (see above). I just don't get it. I'm not a hurtful person. I love my friends deeply and would do anything for them. I often care too much I guess. I never speak up when I'm hurt...even if my feelings are justified. I've found that the few times I do I'm just thrown away like yesterday's trash. It breaks my heart a million times over. I don't understand. I know I'm not perfect. Relationships are rough. Not just marriages but friendships. True friendship is supposed to be about hearing each other out. Being there when some one needs you. Being in tune with what your friend is going through. Listening when they are hurting or confused. Understanding when they screw up. Forgiving when they screw up. Not just willing to toss you aside. Like I said, I just don't understand. 

My goal this year is to walk away from the negative...cut out all those toxic relationships. Sometimes it's so hard to see them too and let me tell you it's heartbreaking to walk away. I hate losing people. Hate it. Maybe it's because I come from a divorced family. Maybe it's because I lost a lifetime of 'friends' when we left our church 11 years ago. (That's a whole different post.) Who knows why it hurts so much. I just know it does. 

You're probably wondering why on earth I'm writing this or sharing it on my blog. Honestly, I'm not 100% sure. Maybe it's in hopes that those friends I lost will see and understand that I still love them. Hoping maybe they care enough to see I'm not a horrible person. Maybe I just need to vent/rant. Sometimes that alone is therapeutic. Maybe I want those others who are like me to know that they aren't alone. Maybe it's my closure...maybe I can finally start healing and move forward. Whatever the reason this is truth from my heart. It might ruffle some feathers, who knows. Honestly at this point I've seemed to ruffle so many that I don't have many others left to ruffle. 

This is me, take it or leave it. I am honest, I am kind, I am compassionate, I am true, I am ME. 

Now I will leave you with some quotes that I found on Pinterest that have spoken to me...who doesn't love Pinterest?! 






*(I've read and re-read this post so many times deleting and rewriting it because I don't want to upset someone. See, I told you! lol)