Our Journey Through Wellness: A Story of Our Struggles and Accomplishments

Love this sweet pumpkin patch photo shoot with The Vintage Modern Wife! See more pictures and read about their journey through wellness. It's great!

There are many things we took for granted before we became Addie’s parents. We took for granted the ability to breathe, the ability to hold up a head, the ability to speak or hear, the ability to run and do a fast errand as a family- lots of things. For a long time, Addie was in a season of illness. She spent the first 10 months of her life in a hospital, and we’ve worked really hard to keep her out of the hospital except for small, planned procedures. It’s been a year and almost 4 months since our family was in that season of life, and I’m truly amazed at how the Lord has blessed us with a journey through wellness instead of more illness.

 

Love this sweet pumpkin patch photo shoot with The Vintage Modern Wife! See more pictures and read about their journey through wellness. It's great!

What we Wore

Addie: shirt / pants (similar) / vest (similar) / bow

Stephanie: shirt / scarf (similar) / pants

Mathew: shirt / jeans

Photography by Lauren Gilbert Photography

Whenever I sat in the NICU for 8-12 hours at a time, only leaving to get lunch or exclusively pump, I had a lot of time to think and a lot of time to pray. We had many talks with doctors who thought Addie wouldn’t “make it” out of the hospital. That she’d be a forever patient. As a parent, it was excruciating to watch. There were always so many tubes, cords, and probes. Nurses and Respiratory Therapists that would have to help me get her out of her little bed because she was so medically fragile. Even as she was older in the PICU and sedated in order to help her breathe easier, I never quite knew what our outcome would be. I would pray and pray for our sweet girl, and would put my best foot forward to stay happy because I knew my mood effected hers.

Love this sweet pumpkin patch photo shoot with The Vintage Modern Wife! See more pictures and read about their journey through wellness. It's great!

Being in that season of illness for such a prolonged time takes a toll on you, and to be honest, we were ready for a change. When Addie came home after those 10 months, our lives changed for the better in so many ways, and we strived to begin our journey through wellness. We worked hard to eat healthy meals and enjoyed finally eating as a family- in our own home. We took Addie out for walks at the zoo to get the fresh air we so longingly wanted during the past 10 months. We joined Young Living and started replacing toxic chemical-laden cleaners and household items with ones that were natural. Still, with all of the fun, we were extremely cautious. We had a friend dress up as Santa with a never-before-used costume, and kept Addie indoors as much as possible. I used Thieves spray like crazy whenever I went out to the grocery store by myself so I wouldn’t bring any germs home), and we made sure that any visitors that came over had not been sick or around anyone that was sick.

Love this sweet pumpkin patch photo shoot with The Vintage Modern Wife! See more pictures and read about their journey through wellness. It's great!

Our diligence paid off. We spent our entire respiratory season last year without any sickness from Mathew or me, and Addie never went to the hospital because of illness. It was amazing. I honestly wasn’t sure if we could do it, but I figured if we made sure to wash our hands frequently, use our essential oils, drink our daily Ningxia Red, and keep Addie away from public places, then we’d be ok- and we were. In fact, the Lord has blessed our family with so much wellness since respiratory season started last year.

Love this sweet pumpkin patch photo shoot with The Vintage Modern Wife! See more pictures and read about their journey through wellness. It's great!

Because of our ability to keep Addie healthy, we had a blast this summer. We took Addie to the state capitol, the zoo, a friend’s birthday party, my 30th birthday fiesta (yet another thing I need to blog about!), holiday get-togethers, a few restaurants, and even random trips out of town to Austin and San Antonio just because. Addie had her birthday party with tons of friends and she actually was able to be passed around to people unlike the year before. It was seriously a summer to remember.

Now, Fall is here and we’re getting back into the swing of being a bit more cautious due to respiratory season. We recently got to take Addie to a sweet little pumpkin patch near town and my friend Lauren Gilbert got some great shots of us. She has a little business, Lauren Gilbert Photography, and is always so kind enough to offer to take pictures of us. After our photo shoot, we took Addie out to Cracker Barrel for brunch, headed home for a little family time, and then went over to Lauren’s house for dinner and so Addie could play with her friend, Ollie. If you would have seen Mathew and me, you would’ve seen how big the smiles on our faces were. It was a PERFECT day. Perfect. I went to bed that night thanking God for such a glorious day and for our abundance during this journey through wellness. I think we also realized that night that it’s time to start winding the getaways down, which is what made the day even more special because it went so well. We have plans for a fun Halloween as a family (so stick around!), but not quite sure yet if we’ll hit up a church fall festival or just stay home all dressed up. I’d love to take Addie out, but it just depends on the wellness of others, to be honest. Either way, it’ll be a blast! We also are in talks of what we’ll do for Thanksgiving this year (it’s insane how fast time is flying.)

Love this sweet pumpkin patch photo shoot with The Vintage Modern Wife! See more pictures and read about their journey through wellness. It's great!

Our journey through wellness is always evolving as we research more about toxin-laden products (Have you tried the Think Dirty app?!), use essential oils, eat a more “clean” diet, and have a strong wellness plan with Addie’s specialists. With the tools and resources we used last year, we are praying that we continue to have an abundance of wellness! It’s not an easy task, but we’re up for the challenge!

What are your favorite ways to stay healthy in your journey through wellness?

The Most Relaxing Foot Scrub and Foot Soak

The Most Relaxing Foot Scrub and Foot Soak recipe was sponsored by Amopé™ as part of an influencer activation for the #AmopeCrowd and Socialstars™. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review, but all opinions are my own.

This foot scrub and foot soak are the best I've ever tried! That Amopé™ Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry Rechargeable Foot File made my feet so soft! Definitely will be using this essential oil recipe again!

Lately I feel like I’ve been out of the house way more than usual. I’ve had classes to teach for Young Living, covering various events for social media projects, speaking at events about Addie’s journey, and been out enjoying the nice weather with my little family. My calendar is constantly booked and I’m working so much to help provide for our family until Mathew’s new job starts. By the end of the day, I’m utterly exhausted and feel like I just need to relax. I’m usually wearing heels or wedges to events that I attend because I’m so short, so once I get Addie in bed for the night, I grab Mathew and we both roll up our pants and give each other the most relaxing foot scrub and foot soak. The aromatherapy of essential oils fills our bathroom and we just sit and talk about our days. It’s so nice!

This foot scrub and foot soak are the best I've ever tried! That Amopé™ Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry Rechargeable Foot File made my feet so soft! Definitely will be using this essential oil recipe again!

We’re on a tight budget lately so going to get a pedicure isn’t an option right now. Because of that, I have been taking extra care of my feet, especially when they feel like they’re going to fall off after wearing the world’s tallest high heels. Instead of going and paying for a pedicure, I save money with an essential oil filled epsom salt foot soak, my Amopé™ Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry Electronic Foot File so I can get a good foot scrub, and my Eucalyptus Spearmint Foot Mask. Plus, it makes it so much better when Mathew joins me so we can just chat. I feel like our days are so busy and filled with constant appointments (whether at home or at the actual doctor), lots of alarms from Addie’s pulse oximeter, phone calls, texts, and Facebook alerts, that it’s SO nice to just sit there with him and take time for ourselves. Although it might seem like we aren’t doing much some days, you’d be surprised at how much we do and how we usually don’t get to even relax until 11 at night most of the time.

This foot scrub and foot soak are the best I've ever tried! That Amopé™ Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry Rechargeable Foot File made my feet so soft! Definitely will be using this essential oil recipe again!

I thought I’d share my recipe for the most relaxing foot scrub and foot soak so you can take time to yourself too. Here’s what you need:

Amopé™ Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry Electronic Foot File

1 generous cup Relief Epsom Salt (unscented)

6 drops Young Living Stress Away Essential Oil

1 tbsp Baking Soda 

2 tbsp Fractionated Coconut Oil

16 oz Wide Mouthed Mason Jar

Here’s how you make it:

All you need to do to make your foot soak is pour your epsom salt and baking soda into the mason jar and shake your jar really well to incorporate. It’s important to get an unscented epsom salt since it’s better to use therapeutic grade essential oils and we’re adding our own scent. Then, mix the coconut oil and Stress Away essential oil together, and pour them into your mason jar. You’ll want to put the lid on and shake your jar once more. I generally use this for two foot soaks. You’d be surprised to find that you don’t need much to get it to help you have the most relaxing foot soak ever. We generally soak our feet in the tub (like I said, just roll up your pants and sit on the edge!) and chat for at least 20 minutes. The epsom salts work to assist with alleviating muscle tension, and the Stress Away essential oil works to relieve daily stress, encourage relaxation, and reduce nervous tension. It’s a wonderful blend of vanilla, lime, copaiba, lavender, and cedarwood essential oils. I love adding the fractionated coconut oil to the foot soak to moisturize my feet so I can get them ready for my foot scrub.

Once we’re done soaking, we use the Amopé™ Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry Electronic Foot File for a relaxing foot scrub to add extra finesse to our feet. It has 2 different speeds (fast and faster!), the ability to take off the file part so you can change it when it’s dull (or when you want to share, like Mathew and I), and you can use it wet or dry. It also has a little recharging dock that comes with it which is really nice because I hate messing with batteries! The Amope™Wet & Dry Foot File also features an ergonomically designed soft touch handle for a better grip when wet. Really good for someone clumsy like me! Because I am on my feet a LOT, I like to use it on the highest speed, especially on my heels. It’s the first foot file I’ve used that gently and effectively buffs away rough, dry feet and hard calloused skin effortlessly. I had one that I used manually and put lots of elbow grease into my filing, but it didn’t work well. I dare say this is as good or better than the nail salon with their cheese grater file!

When we finish using our relaxing foot scrub and foot soak, we drain the water in our tub, pull out the Eucalyptus Spearmint Foot Mask that I made (a little goes a long way!), and sit for another 5-10 minutes just chatting and letting them dry. Then it’s time to rinse and admire our pretty piggies.

This foot scrub and foot soak are the best I've ever tried! That Amopé™ Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry Rechargeable Foot File made my feet so soft! Definitely will be using this essential oil recipe again!

It’s so great to spend some uninterrupted time with Mathew, especially when our days have been so crazy this past month. Taking the stress away with the most relaxing foot scrub and foot soak definitely helps take the edge off while we reconnect in the evening. I hope you’ll try it either by yourself, with a friend, or with your spouse as well! Let me know how much you like it!

Grab your Amopé™ Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry Rechargeable Foot File at Amope.com to make your most relaxing foot scrub and foot soak. I promise you’ll LOVE them together!

Eucalyptus Spearmint Foot Mask

This Eucalyptus Spearmint Foot Mask recipe was sponsored by Amopé™ as part of an influencer activation for the #AmopeCrowd and Socialstars™. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review, but all opinions are my own.

This Eucalyptus Spearmint Foot Mask is the best one I've ever tried! Using it with the Amopé™ Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry Rechargeable Foot File made it even better. Definitely will be using this essential oil recipe again!

Being a stay-at-home (working) mom doesn’t exactly give me the opportunity to get out much. I’m constantly doing therapies with Addie, feeding her, changing her, working on social media, blog posts, or Young Living. Getting out is a luxury that I don’t get often, especially now that Mathew is in between jobs at the moment. Living on just the income I’m making definitely has changed our budget. That meant that Valentine’s this year was smaller than usual, and we were absolutely ok with it because it helped us get creative!

Mathew and I grabbed some cards for each other, skipped the chocolate (we’re still trying to “be good” after Whole 30), and bought one small gift for each other. We even planned on eating a nice little dinner at home for Valentine’s Day until my in laws came by with a few Valentine’s gifts for us (and Addie, of course), and gifted us a gift card to a local steakhouse. I jumped on the opportunity to go out and have a nice meal for the holiday, even if that meant leaving late because we hadn’t made plans for Addie’s nurse to come earlier. It’d been since New Years Eve that we got dressed up nicely, so I wanted to make sure I looked good for the night!

This Eucalyptus Spearmint Foot Mask is the best one I've ever tried! Using it with the Amopé™ Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry Rechargeable Foot File made it even better. Definitely will be using this essential oil recipe again!

Y’all know I love my Young Living essential oils, so I grabbed my Valentine’s bath bombs that I’d made, Eucalyptus and Spearmint essential oils, my Amopé™ Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry Rechargeable Foot File, and a few other ingredients to pamper myself in the tub. Guys- it’s been since probably early October since I’ve had a pedicure. Ew. I couldn’t go out with strappy heels and nasty feet- that’s just WRONG. I washed my feet really well, then grabbed my Amopé™ Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry Rechargeable Foot File and really went to town on my heels. I definitely prefer filing my feet when wet, so I usually have a pumice stone in my bathtub, but it never really quite gets the job done. The Amopé™ file works with either wet or dry feet and has two different speeds, which was really handy with my neglected feet. I didn’t have to use it for very long and my feet felt immediately soft and smooth. Sometimes when I use other files I feel like my feet are even more rough than when I began. The file on this is like mid range with coarseness, so it was enough to get off the dead skin, but not so rough that it didn’t smooth well. Once I was done smoothing out my feet I slapped on a homemade Eucalyptus Spearmint foot mask to just moisturize my feet and lock in the smoothness. The Eucalyptus Spearmint foot mask was so minty, refreshing, and moisturizing that I thought I’d share the recipe with you!

This Eucalyptus Spearmint Foot Mask is the best one I've ever tried! Using it with the Amopé™ Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry Rechargeable Foot File made it even better. Definitely will be using this essential oil recipe again!

For the Eucalyptus Spearmint Foot Mask you’ll need:

6 tbsp Bentonite Clay

6 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

2 tbsp Grapeseed oil or Fractionated Coconut oil

4 drops of Young Living Eucalyptus Globulus essential oil

2 drops of Young Living Spearmint essential oil

Amopé™ Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry Rechargeable Foot File

This recipe for the Eucalyptus Spearmint Foot Mask is SO easy. Literally dump all the ingredients together and stir with a plastic or wooden spoon. Because of the properties of the bentonite clay, it’s recommended that you not use a metal spoon as it will deactivate the clay. Take about a tablespoon of the foot mask for each foot and apply it in a thin layer. Stick your feet out of the tub (while you drink your wine and soak in your bath bomb filled bathtub) and allow to dry for 5-10 minutes. Once dry, dip your feet in the water and rinse off! TAKE NOTE: bentonite clay produces a reddening effect! It rushes blood to the area where the mask is to improve circulation. Your feet will be pink for 15-20 minutes after your mask has been removed. This is NORMAL. Just use your Amopé™ Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry Rechargeable Foot File and Eucalyptus Spearmint Foot Mask about an hour before your date and you’ll be just fine.

This Eucalyptus Spearmint Foot Mask is the best one I've ever tried! Using it with the Amopé™ Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry Rechargeable Foot File made it even better. Definitely will be using this essential oil recipe again!

I was so glad I took the extra time for myself on Valentine’s Day by using the Amopé™ Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry Rechargeable Foot File and Eucalyptus Spearmint Foot Mask. My feet felt so soft and I was able to throw on a cute dress and some strappy heels for a nice dinner with Mathew for a rare night out. At the end of our night, Mathew even surprised me with the SWEETEST card from Addie (check it out on my Instagram) to complete a perfect, low key, Valentine’s Day.

Grab your Amopé™ Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry Rechargeable Foot File at Amope.com and everything to make your Eucalyptus Spearmint Foot Mask. I promise you’ll LOVE them together!