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Friday
Aug242012

The “Accidental Garden”

 Today's post written by a wonderful friend, customer and now writer for Blessed Nest..welcome Christal

 

I have what I affectionately call my “accidental garden”. You see, I had very little to do with it coming into existence. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted a garden! Towards the end of last winter I began planning, as I would imagine only diabolical scientists do. I purchased a worthy stock of raised garden bed supplies, delighted in schematics, and gleefully poured through a seed catalog. I carefully plotted what it would take to feed my little family of five, determined to avoid the produce section at all costs. At night, when my husband would pry me away from my gardening books, I would dream of canning with my kids. Oh, the bounty I imagined we would reap from the confines of our back yard.

 

By Spring I had everything I needed and began installing our raised beds. Once I was satisfied with their placement, I set about the task of waiting patiently for the weather to signal planting time. While I waited I poured all of my precious compost into the soil and churned it. I imagined all our vegetables benefitting from my sometimes fanatical composting, and it made it all seem worth it. Then everything came to a screeching halt.

 

I have suffered with migraines since junior high, but the headache that hit me one spring morning felt nothing like what I’d had before. For days it seemed that it wouldn’t stop. I couldn’t eat, could barely talk, and the normally joyful noises my kids made felt like some sick form of torture. Then, on the fourth morning, my vision went haywire. I couldn’t see right and had crazy zigzagging lines running all over my field of vision. Something was very wrong. I knew it the way a mother knows when her child is sick. I felt it in my gut.

 

I went to the ER with some trepidation, knowing that most military doctors aren’t keen on finding out what’s wrong with you. Most are incredibly patronizing and treat you as if you’re faking it. I was fortunate enough to have a doctor who took me very seriously. She ordered an x-ray first, since it would give her results the fastest. I didn’t wait long before she rushed back in to announce there was a mass at the front of my skull, located by the right frontal lobe. I was scared, but the look on my husband’s face was worse. I could tell that he was thinking about the possibility of raising our brood alone.

The next morning I went in for a CT scan to see exactly what we were dealing with. When the results came back, we all breathed a deep sigh of relief. It seemed as though it was a calcified meningioma. My mother had multiple meningioma, so it made sense to me. One thing kept nagging at me though; if it was calcified, meaning that it had been there a long time, then why was it suddenly hurting so badly?

I was referred to neurosurgery to meet with a specialist, who ordered a scan with contrast. He explained that he also felt it was a calcified meningioma and offered to leave it for observation or take it out. With the pain I was in, this was an easy decision. I wanted it out yesterday. He seemed slightly irritated, but agreed to go ahead with removal right away since it was causing me pain. He did, however, tell me that he didn’t believe it was causing my headaches. I disagreed. About the time my seedlings should have been peeking their heads from carefully cared-for pots, I lay in recovery. Brain surgery, as it turns out, takes some time to heal. As usual though, I recovered faster than expected, but still hardly felt up to a task as monumental as setting about a garden. I was depressed over the loss of everything I had planned so hard for, but accepted that it fell in line with the rest of my life. As they say, the best laid plans….

 

Then, after proper time for pathology had passed, I got a call from my surgeon. He said to me, “Your pathology results were VERY interesting, very interesting INDEED!” I shuddered slightly, wondering what would be that exciting to a neurosurgeon. As it turned out, I had an incredibly rare type of cranial exostosis. An exostosis is simply bone that grows in a place where it shouldn’t. Some types are common, and cause no ill effects, while others can be quite debilitating. Mine was potentially life-threatening. As it turned out, this exostosis had generated from my skull, grown through the dura (lining of the brain) and lodged into my brain. It hadn’t just butted up against my brain, but rather bore a hole into my right frontal lobe. Left untreated, it could have caused permanent damage.

 

I laughed hysterically at the fact that the odds are never in my favor, and cried with relief that it was out of my head. One day, as I watched the kids play in the back yard, I noticed some unmistakable plants rising from my raised beds. I ran in the house and drug my husband outside. Tomatoes! I counted 8 glorious plants. Then I noticed the squash plant…and the potatoes. The compost that I had mixed into my soil had yielded a garden. It wasn’t symmetrically planted, and I had no idea what type of bounty lay ahead, but it was a garden!

 

What I learned from this experience is that, sometimes, all of our planning and good intentions don’t get us anything (or worse, get us a result that we don’t want)…and that’s ok. What happens in our lives, when we step aside and allow time and nature to step in, can be even more rewarding. In the history of gardening, I don’t believe there has ever been a garden more appreciated then mine. Every day that I go and harvest bowls of tomatoes, I am reminded that good things can happen when you least expect them. Every time I drag the water hose out, I am grateful for the plants I’ve been entrusted to care for.


We all go through times in our lives when it seems like nothing has gone the way it should. Our plans go out the window and our hard work seems all for not. Life has a funny way of reminding us that we’re far from being in charge of our own destiny. My best advice is to keep planning, do as much as you can to prepare for the life you want, and then be prepared to sit back and wait if life deems it necessary. After all, you never know when your accidental garden will pop up.

 

Christal

Thursday
Aug162012

Back at home

Wow, we haven't posted since January. I think we just loved the post below so much we decided to leave well enough alone here at our perch!

We have made some changes and will update you soon but I basically wanted to tell you I'm back from taking a one year leave of absence to spend time with my family after we lost a friend who took her life and my struggling marriage ended in a divorce. Crazy, I know. But I've been good to myself and have taken the much needed time to enter into the grieving process and I'm so excited to "come back home to Blessed Nest." 

As some of you know Heather and I wear our hearts on our sleeves. We love sharing our life journeys with you in hope that it may encourage you or help you know you're not alone in the struggles you may have. We will be covering many different topics on the perch and look forward to getting to know you all too. Don't keep quiet. E-mail or leave us a comment and let us know how we can help you more!

Donna and SophieThis is Donna and most of you who have been around for a while know me as Heathers right hand gal, the one who answers the phone at Blessed Nest or at least gets back to you ASAP. I also help out with wholesale and retail sales.

Another love I have at our nest is writing. I love to bring you news about what amazing moms are doing and news about how we can nurture you so  you can nurture your baby with peace of mind! But, I'm a busy momma and don't always find the time to get over here.

As we re-group, we are looking for a fresh team of writers for our blog. Please e-mail me with any ideas of what you would like to contribute and we'll see if we can create a community of Moms, Aunties, Sisters, Grandmas and friends who can nurture women everywhere.

E-mail ideas to Donna@Blessednest.com

 

Thursday
Jan052012

Some of our favorite ways to use the Nesting Pillow and Nest Egg 

The following post was written by Code Name: Mama. Thank you ladies for sharing how much you love our Nesting Pillow!

I am in love with the Nesting Pillow from Blessed Nest. I received it in the second trimester of my pregnancy with Ailia, and it has been used nightly - and now daily - ever since. It's not only a phenomenal nursing pillow, it also provides wonderful support during pregnancy. I decided to share some of our favorite ways to use the Nesting Pillow and Nest Egg (the smaller pillow available from Blessed Nest). Be sure to visit Code Name: Mama and Natural Parent Network this Saturday, January 7 - we'll be opening up a giveaway so that you can win your own Nesting Pillow from Blessed Nest! Enjoy the pictures! And feel free to share your own favorite Nesting Pillow or Nest Egg positions in the comments.

17. Nursing Support (Cradle Hold)

Of course! Use this pillow the same way you'd use any nursing pillow, but this one is even better since you can reposition the pillow thanks to the insides full of buckwheat hulls. Read more at Blessed Nest's website.

Cradle Hold

16. Knee Relief and Back Support

Tuck the Nesting Pillow behind your back and put the Nest Egg in between your knees for support during pregnancy.

Knee support and back relief

 

15. Squatting Support

Practice your squats with the Nesting Pillow underneath your tush for support. Why squat? "Squatting stretches the calves of your legs so that getting into a good pushing position will be easier. . . . In contrast to lying on her back, a woman in a squatting position allows gravity to help move the baby through the birth canal." There are many more reasons to practice squatting every day - pregnant or not - read about them at Birthing Naturally, and find out how at Aligned and Well.

Squatting support

14.  Nap Time for Baby

We wedge the Nesting Pillow behind Ailia's back during her naps. Like Kieran, Ailia does not like to sleep on her back, she prefers to sleep on her side. This gives her support and lets us tilt her somewhat backwards while lying on her side.

Naptime for baby

13. Big Pillow

If you're stuck in bed with lots of pillows behind your head, use this one!

Big pillow

12. Massage Support

Prenatal massage is so relaxing, but you'll need plenty of support on either side of your growing belly. Check out Prenatal Massage Techniques for tips, and use the Nesting Pillow for support.

Massage Support

11. Knee Relief

Put the pillow squarely between your knees for back and leg relief.

knee and leg relief

10. Newborn Nursing

The Nesting Pillow is great to use with newborns, see instructions at the Blessed Nest Perch.

Newborn nursing

9. Yoga Help

There are several yoga positions you might appreciate some soft support for - this is a picture of me using the Nesting Pillow to help me in Child's Pose.

Yoga Help

8. Child Pillow- Nest Egg

The Nest Egg makes a perfect pillow for your little one!

Nest Egg Child Pillow

7. Front Support and Knee Relief

If you'd rather have support on your belly side, you can either use the Nesting Pillow between your knees and curve it up in front of your belly, or use the Nest Egg for your knees and the Nesting Pillow for your stomach.

Front Supporrt and Knee relief 

6. Naptime for Baby + Beanbag Prop

Reminder: Never leave a baby unattended with anything loose such as blankets or pillows until they are over the age of two.

When I was a baby, my mama had a frog beanbag that she would slowly set on my back in place of her hand as I drifted off to sleep. With Ailia, if we can manage to lay her on her side, we attempt to slip the Nest Egg against her belly so that she doesn't realize that we're not lying right next to her. Obviously we are careful not to put it near her face, and we're vigilant while she is sleeping that she does not pull it up.

Nap time for baby and bean bag prop

5. Hugs for a Sleeping Child

Give some back support to the big brother or sister by hugging them with the Nesting Pillow during naptime or nighttime.

Hugs for a sleeping child

 

4. Nursing (Football Hold)

The Nesting Pillow makes nursing in the football hold incredibly easy!

Footbal Hold

3. Arm Support for Older Sibling

Big brothers and sisters always want to hold baby, but they may need a little help. Use the Nesting Pillow as a way to prop up little arms so that baby heads are held up properly.

Arm support for older sibling

2. Co-Sleeping

Ailia, like Kieran, sleeps cuddled up on my chest. In order to keep her up there, I have to prop my arm on a pillow - the Nesting Pillow is ideal!

co-sleeping support

1. Awesome Baby Photo Prop

And my favorite way to use the Nesting Pillow? Well, it's my favorite way for posterity's sake anyway - use the pillow for super sweet baby pictures. Check out Miss Ailia when she was only a week old! How do you use your Nesting Pillow? _________________________ Dionna is a lawyer turned work at home mama of her amazing son, Kieran, and a beautiful new daughter, Ailia. You can normally find Dionna over at Code Name: Mama where she shares information, resources, and her thoughts on natural parenting and life with a little one.

Thursday
Dec222011

The Tree House, A Cafe at Play

The girls and I have spent the past couple of days playing in the snow at the local mountains in CA. I always wonder what families do that live in areas with harsh weather. Sure, there are play dates at friends homes but I would imagine parents are always looking for new, fresh ideas outside of the local fast food play place...ugh

As a Southern CA girl, I would have loved to have alternative educational play date ideas that did not cost a fortune.

The Tree House, A cafe at play in Asheville, NC is a mommies dream; both educational and fun!

Description:

Looking for fun, engaging things to do with your children? Families play and learn together at The Tree House, A Cafe at Play - rain, shine, or snow! This Mountain destination is located in the beautiful and quite neighborhood of North Asheville and is just minutes away from downtown Asheville, West Asheville, Weaverville, and Woodfin. It offers flexible hours for open creative indoor play, a site-built and safe indoor treehouse, classes for kids and adults, as well as a comfortable cafe featuring delicious food, coffee and wi-fi. Come join us for what is promised to be a fun-filled day of learning, relaxation, and exploration!

Mission:

Our goal is to provide families with a safe and engaging place to play and learn together. Kiddos will be excited to play here and parents will have the satisfaction of knowing that their children are having fun in meaningful ways. We also strive to offer parents the latest and most developmentally appropriate parenting information so that they become facilitators of growth!



Teachers at the tree house:

The tree house, a cafe at play has an amazing staff...

I've had the pleasure of getting to know the wonderful DePoy family this past year. Jamie is starting a new journey with The Tree House and we are so excited for you as you begin to teach at The Tree House, a cafe at play!

About Jamie:

Jamie moved to the Asheville area in 2009 from Michigan, where she had been actively engaged in early childhood education in both private and public academic settings. Jamie graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2003 obtaining her Bachelors Degree in Education and in English, solidifying her Teaching License in elementary education. Jamie's passions include spending time with her family, photography, and volunteering in the children's ministry at Exodus Church. Jamie helps to create the developmental curriculum at The Tree House and will also be teaching these ideas to parents and children throughout weekly classes. She has been married to her husband, Jay, for ten years and together they have three daughters, ages 7,4, and 1. To read more about Jamie's life experiences as a mom, follow her blog at Raising The Girls

 

 



 

 

 

 

Friday
Sep302011

Green Child Magazine & Blessed Nest

Our Blessed Nest Nesting Pillow & Nest Egg are featured in the October edition of Green Child Magazine! Click here to view our products on page 20~ ( or click the image below)

Green Child Magazine & Blessed Nest

 

Thank you Green Child Magazine~