I am who I am. That’s all I can be.

Let’s start fresh. I haven’t been very regular on here for a while, and things have changed a lot these past few months and then some. You can get to know me more as I get to know myself better day by day.

So let’s start with who I am and what I can tell you about myself.

I am a wife.

 I have been married to my husband for 8+ years, known him for 10 years. I was 20 when we got married. We’ve had plenty of days of stupidity, but we have also had plenty of days of harmony. We go through OH SO MANY ups and downs, but he remains my best friend. My life partner. Some days I want to punch him in the face. Other days I just don’t want to leave his side. All in all, my love remains strong for him.

12231690_642332604578_2055889363_n 12242961_642332609568_1336990525_o

I am a mom.

Many would say I’ve only been a mom for 3 1/2 years, but that isn’t accurate. I’ve been a mom since the day I conceived my first baby spring of 2009. I had four babies born into heaven from 2009-2011. Finally, in May of 2012, I had a baby girl born into my arms. Almost exactly 2 years later, I had a baby boy born into my arms. Then, earlier in 2015, I had one more baby born into heaven. So when you think about it, all together I have 7 children (crazy thought haha), but I’ve only had the pleasure of actually raising 2. God decided to raise the other 5 for me <3, along with the help of my 2 grandmas I like to think. But there has been no greater experience than raising my girl and boy. They are my treasure, and I hope they grow up knowing that. They are two incredibly wonderful, unique, and goofy individuals.

12242256_642333941898_504681955_n 12226523_642333946888_1861230619_n

I am a MILITARY wife/mom. 

Bam. That makes me special, right? lol No. I’m no greater or more qualified in life than any other woman. We all have individual struggles that others may not understand. But let me tell you what some of those are when you are affiliated with the military, at least in my personal experience.

Finances are still a struggle for us, too. We are not rolling in dough. Far from it. Especially when you deal with a system that makes it hard to promote.

Babysitters? Pretty much non existent unless you are rolling in dough or live close to family by some miracle. I find myself most of the time exchange babysitting or paying a friend for the occasional date night or appointment.

Speaking of date nights- marriage. It’s probably made 10 times harder than it was before, and at the same time, about 10 times stronger. The deployments, the long hours, the weekend and 24 hour shifts…it’s hard to not have hubby/daddy/wifey/mommy around no matter how long of a time he/she’s gone. It can put a strain on things from stress and being overworked. At the same time, the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is so very true. Sadly, we don’t always know what we have until it’s gone. You learn to appreciate even just their presence.

Traveling, moving, seeing the world, blah blah blah- This can be a curse and a blessing. I HATE packing to move. I HATE having to meet new people and build new support and community. I HATE it. But at the same time, I love seeing the places we’ve seen. Experiencing the environments we’ve been in. And as far as meeting new people, I hate that I have to, but you really REALLY have to if you want to survive in the military world. I have met so many incredible people throughout our military life that I will NEVER forget. Sometimes we might lose touch because of moving, getting out, or just plain being busy, etc., but every single person has remained in my heart.

The kids? It’s hard to say with how young my kids are how they are affected. But when daddy has been gone, even at their age, there has been a difference in their behavior. I believe it’s because they sense everything we feel. So it is a struggle to keep a stable home when a parent is gone. When routines have to be rearranged.

12212578_642332579628_1056105607_n  12242782_642332569648_1672939180_o

I am a Bible follower.

You can call me Christian, a believer, whatever. The point is, I follow Christ. I follow the Bible. It is the rock on which I stand. It is what defines all that I am describing to you about myself. It is the reason I live and the reason I AM alive. I would be literally nothing. Dust. Ashes. Nothing…without my faith. Jesus died for my sins that I might have a chance to spend life after death in heaven with him and our Father. He placed me here to share that with others so that they might know about the same chance.

No, I don’t go to church EVERY Sunday. I don’t stick to my devotions and prayer time like I should. Why? Because I’m human. I struggle. I sin. But I know that as long as I confess and hold tight to Him, He’ll keep welcoming me back into His arms when I fall. Over and over again.


I am a musician. 

How many of you knew that one of my greatest passions is music? Most of all, singing and writing songs. I’ve been focusing on my singing since I was 11 years old. I even started as a voice major in college. Originally I wanted to be a famous pop star lol (what little girl doesn’t?). My dreams have changed over the years as God has made my calling more clear, but I do know that somehow the stage is still part of that calling. Whether it’s simply helping with praise and worship at a church or performing and entire concert of my own, my heart and my passion comes out when I am on stage. God speaks through me there.

I am a complete weirdo. 

And I’m proud of it. I have a wide ranged sense of humor. I have sarcasm, I’m beyond a goof, and I love making incredibly stupid faces. I’m really good at it. My laugh is obnoxious. Back in my school days and at past jobs, I was known for my laugh lol. My humor is part of what defines me as an individual. Some might see it as immature. Some might see it as complete psychotic behavior. But those who know me love me for it.


I am a sufferer of chronic anxiety and depression.

Whoa, speaking of complete weirdo, right? Wrong. Oooooo, ouch. It is NOT uncommon. At all. Sadly, it’s more common than any of us realize. Mental health is no joke. Yet it is so misunderstood and looked down on, even by those who go through it. I have dealt with it my ENTIRE LIFE. It runs in my family. We’re a bunch of crazies (and you know you love us) ;). Seriously, though. It is nothing to mess around with or to ignore. It is not something that you just fluff off and not ask for help.

The anxiety? That’s the worst part for me. EVERYTHING POSSIBLE is an easy worry for me. What people think about me. What deadly illness I might have. The worst possible thing that could kill me 5 minutes from now. The worst possible thing that could happen to someone I love 2 seconds from now. What I’m going to wear to that event on Saturday (really is something I’m thinking about right now lol). Who I have to interact with in the next 24 hours. BLAH BLAH BLAH. You name it, I’ve probably freaked out and stressed about it. And if it gets bad enough, I get a random anxiety or panic attack where my heart races and it’s difficult to breathe. Fortunately I’ve dealt with attacks enough that I for the most part know the techniques to get them under control. But the thoughts are still there. My mind races with every possible thought every second of every day.


The depression is a result of my anxiety. Hard to explain why. It’s a long story. But it’s real. The depression is something else. It can come out of nowhere even if I was feeling super happy earlier that day. Just suddenly BAM. The world is ending and should be ending. All you want to do is curl up in a ball in a dark corner where no one can see you and just cry away that pit in your stomach. What do you do instead, especially if you’re me? You feed your kids the milk and cereal they’re whining for. You wipe poopy butts. You go grocery shopping. You go to work. You clean the house. You put a happy face on because sulking around showing the world how you REALLY feel is just going to have an effect on the whole world. Sometimes, like I have in the past, we never let ourselves go. We bottle it up. Act like it’s all ok. Until we break down in front of everyone because it’s out of control. With true depression, sometimes that break down comes from nowhere. You’ll be going about your life chatting with the people you come across throughout the day when suddenly, you get in your car and lose it. Sometimes a social life can be exhausting for us.

On that note, I am an introverted extrovert.

 I am not a snob. But I’m also not really shy. I’ve realized that some might see me as hard to approach. Hard to read. I don’t really pay attention to what my facial expression might actually say haha (need to work on that). My whole life I have tended to be reserved and shy. This is in relation to low self esteem, which is in relation to my anxiety. Afraid I’m just going to look like I’m an idiot. At the same time, though, I’m not afraid to talk to complete strangers. I will randomly strike up a conversation with somebody I’m standing in line with at the grocery store. Sometimes they act kind of reserved themselves, so then I just back off lol. But let me tell you, don’t be afraid to approach me and talk to me unless you’re not ready to talk deep. You start talking to me, and I will chat away typically. Let’s talk about life and something inspirational and deep. I could talk forever with people. It’s small talk that I’m a little awkward with lol. And on the topic of social life being exhausting, I also have many times when I would rather not be around people. Just me and peace and quiet. Maybe a book, a movie, a computer to type on, etc.


I am a health and fitness enthusiast. 

Say what? No way. I’m sure no one knew that (sarcasm, if you didn’t catch). This has been a more recently discovered PASSION. Interest? I’ve been highly interested in it for over 5 years. My passion for it came clear more recently. When my life was changed by it. I thought I was healthy before with the way I ate and how I kept a workout routine. I’d lost weight before. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Yeah. I was trying, I give myself that. But I was also lying.

When I had my miscarriage earlier this year, something snapped in me. I had been at a stand still weight after having my son for MONTHS. Then I got pregnant again. I was determined to take better care of myself than I had with other pregnancies. Then I lost the baby. I knew what I needed to do. I still needed to take better care of myself. I had made a mental decision to be myself again. I ended up getting better. I got a new me, the me that I was meant to be.

It started with getting reconnected with an old friend who had found out she miscarried the same day I found out I did. She eventually, with her husband, got me going on Herbalife. The shakes tasted so much better than any protein shake I’d ever had. But it was more than that. With their help, I developed a healthy lifestyle. They gave me guidance in what to eat and when to eat along with my Herbalife products. Almost right away, I started noticing a difference just in the way I felt. I had more energy. I felt happy. Feeling the way I did is what kept me going. I eventually got down a little past my goal weight, which was my pre-pregnancy weight. I felt better than I ever did in my life, even more than when I’d lost weight before. Because I was doing it in a healthy way.


As a result, after trying out direct sales company after direct sales company, I found my fit (no pun intended). I’ve always wanted a way to help others who have felt the way I have. Nutrition and fitness had become my therapy and my God send. I wanted to encourage others into the same kind of life. To push others to extremes they never thought they could go. Because it IS possible when you put your mind to it. So yeah. That is why I now sell Herbalife.



There’s more to it, though. This path with Herbalife has led me to realize I want a deep understanding of the way this works. So I’m now seriously pursuing becoming a certified personal trainer with a focus on fitness. Just trying to find the right “fit” as far as where I’m getting my education.

This has become another large part of my calling. As I’ve been helping others on this path, it has been so rewarding to me. It touches me just to hear that I have inspired others and that they can see how happy I am. Don’t care about how “good” I might look. I care that I shine a light.

All of this about who I am comes down to the reason I wrote this post. I still struggle. *GASP* Yep. It’s true. I’m not perfect, remember? This time of year is especially hard as we end daylight savings time. I get Seasonal Affective Disorder, also know as SAD. That it’s known as SAD is ironic because it basically is just that either you get depression if you didn’t have it already, or the depression you already deal with just gets multiplied by 10,000. I’ve usually been the latter. And this year, it’s threatening to hit me HARD. But I’m not letting it. I am a new person now. I’ve fought too FREAKING hard to get to where I am now.

So I’m here now to come back to sharing my struggles. My “puddle” of “pickles.” Which also end up leading to my victories. My triumphs.

So come. Join me in my journey :).


Facing the Fear

Again I have let a long length of time go by before posting. Almost 4 months this time. But in those short 4 months, since dealing with a deep depression and my 5th miscarriage, my life has been changing significantly.

When I had that miscarriage, in my last post I mentioned that I felt God already turning it into good. Well, that was just the beginning.

I had made a decision. Enough was enough. I was sick of the rut I was living in with the depression and hating who I was. So I began to make changes. I started focusing on taking better care of myself. I was determined to lose the last bit of baby fat that was just not going away and to just be healthy.

I started using a program through Herbalife. Right away I was sold just by the taste of the shakes. Then, I started just FEELING better. Long story short, I got back to my pre-pregnancy weight 15 lbs later. The most amazing part? I felt the best I ever have in my life. I felt better not just about myself, but about my life. I found new purpose and meaning with living the lifestyle I was. Being active and especially eating so much healthier by Herbalife’s guidelines made such a difference in my energy levels, and even my mood. My depression? Not gone. Never gone. But controlled. Most days I can say I feel happy and can be positive. I still stumble of course lol. But I finally see a light again.


This was day one of starting Herbalife to when I hit my goal.

I even started being a distributor. “Oh no, another company she’s trying to sell for.” I know that’s what some people thought when I first announced it on Facebook haha. And I don’t blame them. I’ve been through a lot of trial and error with direct sales companies.

But this? This is it. This is so incredibly and amazingly different for me. Already I’ve been helping people get started on a healthier life, and I love it!! It is a true passion. I’ve always wanted a way to help others through what I’ve experienced, and I found a way. I want to help. Make some money from it? Sure, yeah that’s nice. But I finally am doing something I LOVE. I plan to take it as far as I can. I’m still working on my business degree. But I also plan to add on becoming a certified personal trainer and nutritionist. I always thought I might enjoy that, but now I know I enjoy helping others in this.

What about my music you say? Heck yeah that’s still a goal! Who says I can’t do it all? Lol music and health and fitness are the gifts God has given me because they are my therapy in my weaknesses. They make me stronger, physically and mentally in so many numerous ways.

My heart has been overflowing with joy in this new journey and the parts ahead.

But yeah, the stumbling? I still struggle. Still have my issues haha. Now that I’ve gotten my depression mostly under control, I’ve been facing the bigger issue. The root to all of my struggles. Anxiety.

Anxiety is the original problem. I have dealt with it as long as I can remember. Irrational fear and worry about every detail in my life. I dealt with a lot of panic attacks early in life. Still do sometimes, but now I’m used to them and can see them better before they hit and most of the time get them under control.

So since making the changes I have, I’ve been breaking out of my shell a lot. Putting myself in situations that I normally would just naturally avoid. The biggest one? Social situations. Meeting new people.

Being a serious Herbalife distributor, I need a support system everywhere I go. So I started going to the local nutrition club where they sell the shakes and do fit camp workouts. One step at a time. Went with friends the first few times. Introduced myself to the owners. Then I finally went by myself and started making a conscious effort to introduce myself to other people there. Talk about shell shock lol. I was so glad I did and feel blessed to be getting plugged in. But then, I get home, and I find myself stressing about it and worrying about what everyone thought about me and if they’re still thinking about what an awkward idiot I am haha.

I thought to myself, this cannot be good to feel like this. I never could correctly label myself as an introvert or an extrovert. And I don’t know if I’m even an extroverted introvert or introverted extrovert lol. Why? It goes so much deeper. It’s called social anxiety. Ever heard of it? I had because of family history, but I never realized till now how bad it actually is for me.

Want to know what life is like for me? Found the perfect article through Pinterest on Buzzfeed. Click it and read it if you want to understand me a little better. Helped me understand myself better lol.

But the key thing? I get nervous about things in a social situation that some people don’t even think about. I over analyze everything. I think about it for days even sometimes.

This is honestly taking a lot of guts for me to share about right now. It’s embarrassing. But, I’m learning not to be ashamed. And I’m sure there are people out there who can relate and will now know they are not alone (even if you think you want to be alone haha).

So a problem defined is a problem half solved. I can joyfully say, I’m going to get through this. Gonna continue with the shell shock. Facing my fears, though sometimes stressful, has been empowering. I’m gonna embrace it.

Do you want to embrace the power too? Don’t wait to talk to me. I’m all ears and would love to help you get on a better road.

Peace and God bless, my friends! 🙂

Doubting the Drive


I think this is my biggest struggle. Believing in myself. Believing I have the strength and the will power to make my dreams come true.

In my eyes, though, our passions don’t just come from nowhere. I believe God gives us all our passions and for a reason. So why be so doubtful of success? Why be so doubtful of ourselves? Aren’t we just insulting God by doing so?

I have a passion for music. I have a passion for writing it and performing it, sharing it with others in hopes that God might touch their lives through me. I don’t have a passion for teaching. I don’t have a passion for conducting, directing, or anything behind the scenes. So I perform. At least that is the direction I feel led for now. I have been sure of it all my life, just the way to get there and achieve has changed several times.

I also have a passion for direct sales and having my own business. I’ve been getting myself in and out of it for the past maybe 5 or 6 years. Most of it was just finding the right company. But I always enjoyed doing it. I like building a relationship with my customers. I like placing their orders and also putting them together and delivering them. There has to be a reason I keep doing it, right? I believe I have finally found the perfect company for me, too. It just feels right. Giving up feels wrong in the times I fail. Initial Outfitters holds my values, they function as a whole team, they are personal, and their products (especially jewelry) perfectly fit my style. I have never loved a company more.

All in all, I have a passion for serving people. Helping people. I especially hope to help people who go through the same things as me. Depression, anxiety, miscarriages, parenting, marriage, direct sales, etc. And these are the ways I believe God is leading me to do so.

Point is, I believe in my passions. So why not believe in myself? Why is that so hard?

With that in mind, I can more easily believe in my ability to achieve and succeed. I can fail and learn with confidence to work my way to success.

We All Have a Story


Heartache. Love. Grief. Passion. Regret. No matter the topic, everyone has a story to tell. Nobody leads a perfect non-eventful life. We all are human. We have emotions. We have feelings. We make mistakes. And we triumph.

Our story creates our purpose. The lives we lead become a light to others.

My story becomes more real everyday. I’ve learned so much through my depression and my faults and failures in life. I hope to also help and teach others through those experiences.

I’m still learning, too. I will learn till the day I die. But as a result, I can teach beyond my life.

So where is this coming from? Well, I’ve hit a slump today. Those pits and stabs of depression return. So strong my kids felt the vibes. In my slumps, I have to remind myself and take joy in the fact that I am strong and will push through. Then I can help others push through.

This blog is one way I hope to help. I don’t tell you all these things for a pity party or to depress others. I tell you these things so that when you experience anything remotely close, you will know that you’re not alone and that you’re strong as well.

Another way I can help is by the services I offer. I do hair. Yes, I have a cosmetology license. As a result, I can help people feel pampered and listen to them as they talk.

I can even help through direct sales. Simply by offering above average customer service. Give them a shopping experience they’ll appreciate.

Then there’s my music. My music is my truest gift. Yet, I so often forget it and neglect it. And it’s time I remembered. I sing, write music, and play a little piano to it. It helps me release. But it is also my biggest calling.

All these aspects are things I want to incorporate into my business. My big dream. My big story to share behind it all.

What I like about the saying above is the way it makes me view all the people around me. I don’t hate anyone. They’re may be done people I don’t really like, but I at least know they have a story and a reason for who they are. They have experienced hardship in some form and are human. Because of that thought process, I can cut people some slack and love them.

So what’s your story, and how will you use it to help those around you?

Initial Outfitters consultant- http://www.initialoutfitters.net/MandyLR