Category Archives: boy mom

Edens Garden Oil Mama!



I have several friends that swear by Young Living oils. I wanted to try them, but after looking at the price became disinterested. While shopping at Vitamin World, I found a collection of oils in the aisle. I tried the big ones: Lavender, Peppermint, Tea Tree and Eucalyptus. I became addicted! I am a scent girl (think wax warmers in four rooms) and began to hunt for more. Eventually I stumbled upon Edens Garden and now I am hooked for life.

I use Lavender and Thieves to calm my sleepy baby and protect from illness. I used Clove during teething and Lemon for his allergies. I use peppermint for his belly aches and Tea Tree for cuts and scrapes.

I am more a blend girl for myself. Stay Alert is put on my pulse points at lunch to keep me going. Good Night is my sleeping blend, Calm and Peace is diffused for anxiety and Stress Relief is for those hectic testing times at school. There is even an Age Defy for wrinkles…trying to delay Botox. PMS blend calms my monthly visits and there is even a blend for those in the mood moments. Too far? Sorry.

Finally, I have recently begun trying blends to keep my Lupus in check. Copaiba, Renew and Frankinsence (sp?) is good for the immune system and Muscle Relief calms my aching joints.

I have recently bought a set for my parents to try as they were asking how I kept from getting sick (so far) this winter. I feel like things you love you should share 🙂

Obviously, I continue my Plaquenil and Prednisone but these added to the mix keep the doses low and the flares at bay. I have no idea how they work…it may be all mental, but I tell people it does not hurt to try it. I write this post not to anger or argue with Young Living reps, do what works for you (do not get me started on Scentsy vs Home and Garden wax) I just want to share an often not discussed option for those as freaked out as me over a forty dollar bottle of oil.

The good news is: God is the ultimate healer and oils do not replace a doctor. I am a believer in modern medicine, too, but these smell great and are all natural so why not?

A Letter to my Son



Dear Callen,

You have no idea how proud I am to be your mother. Not just a mother, your mother! I was told I could not have children because my body would not carry a baby; it was devastating news to hear. I knew I wanted to be mom, but now I felt confused. So many choices. Then God put on our heart to adopt and the decision felt right. I worried about who, when, where, how and then we let The Lord take over. I remember being so afraid that we would adopt the wrong baby and it would not be the perfect fit. I wrestled with trusting God to make you perfect for us. I remember thinking what if the child likes something I cannot understand or what if he/she is the exact opposite of us and we never quite click.

Why did I worry?

You are now two years old and I cannot imagine a more perfect child for our family. You complete Nathan and I and everything about you is what we envisioned for our ideal child and more. People say you even look like us. They always comment on eyes like your daddy or hair like your mom. We giggle at our special secret or amaze them with the truth: you are adopted and created by God for us…of course you look like us!

At two you are already showing so much personality. You are strong and brave; not a whiner or a complainer. You love the water, love the mud, love the outside and running instead of walking. You love to eat and dance when a bite is good. You are a meat eater all the way…and will try anything. You love music especially Little Einsteins. You sing when you are happy. You are glued to Frozen and act out the scenes. You have the most contagious laugh ever! You play hard and love hard. You give us kisses and hug your animals. You cuddle with blankets but not with mommy unless you are sick. You are as athletic as we are and maybe even more.  We love to compete and so do you-without notice you will say “on your mark, get set, go” then take off.  We know you have started and race and we better get going!

You are smart. You pick up our phrases easily and copy us often. You tackle daddy and hide from us under the table; you strain and say “I’m stuck!” when you really are not. You imagine with your wrestling figures. You climb up the bed and fall face first into the sheets and love every second. You are observant. You survey the room and watch before you commit to opening up. You talk up a storm and share about your day. You invite others to play with you by saying “come on!” You are a leader and direct the dogs to do what you want. You pray with us and listen as we read Bible stories. You are always thinking! Always learning. You sing Frosty, Let it Go, Happy Birthday, ABC’s…you take a bath for over an hour because you hate to get out.  I have to make you drain the tub.

You love animals and love reading. You are passionate and throw yourself down when things do not go as planned. Sitting you in time out calms you. Your latest trick is crossing your arms and saying “I don’t want it.” You love to laugh and live life. I am proud to call you my son and I am grateful that God allowed for the circumstances to happen that brought us together. Infertility is my friend since it brought me to you. Every decision I make you are in it. I love our relationship and you. Everything about you. Never forget that…I would never change you. I would never change us and our story.  Thank you for these memories, these hugs, these moments and these best days of my life now that I have met you.  Thank you for calling me Ma, Mom, Mommy and Julia (your dad taught you that).  Thank you for filling my heart with this unbelievable love!

Love, your mom

10 Years, Y’all!!




If you cannot tell, I am off for the week and finally get to catch up on some writing!  The more and more I read Jen Hatmaker, the more I realize being a writer would be my dream job even though teaching is pretty amazing, too!

I digress.  Nathan and I celebrated TEN years on November 6th!  TEN, people!  If you don’t know our story, scroll back into my files because I have shared the details there…but here is the short version.  We married as eager and God fearing whipper snappers (years 1-2), got lost along the way (I take most of the blame), were separated for TWO years–yes lived apart for a year and lived together angrily for a year (years 3-4)- had divorce papers printed and ready to go, God changed my heart then eventually changed his heart (years 4-5), miracles of all miracles we stayed together and years 6-10 have been 100 times better than the first five even though the first five had some great memories too.  I say all that to say the two years of TOUGH times are so worth the remaining (Lord willing) 20 plus that we get to share happily.

During those years 6-10 we endured a medical diagnosis of Lupus, infertility, eventually adopted and are now raising a toddler together.  We say over and over, we needed to have those rough years to make us stronger for our future and now we are in this thing together and rooted in the Lord.  Callen is a blessing from that and reaps the benefits.  God prepared us for the future generation that will carry on our legacy.  I do not regret those rebuilding years because it made our marriage stronger, but I also recognize our story is rare because most couples that endure all that we endured do not survive.  The forgiveness is tough, the waiting is tougher and a divorce would have been way easier (we stayed together because of the dogs) 🙂 .  Amazing though how God can change your heart and put a mercy beyond all understanding.  We now get to share our story with others and be a rock for couples that need to know it does not have to be perfect to be strong.

We celebrated with another half marathon in Vegas and have a few more plans up our sleeve to celebrate the BIG 1-0!!


The good news is: WE made it!!  We were so busy that neither one of us received an anniversary card or gift, but we have a toddler that is currently reprimanding the dog “Sit down, Izzy” to show for it.  He is the true benefactor and the reason God needed to knock us down to rebuild us anew.

Let’s Talk about Two, Baby!





I bought Callen a shirt that says “Two’s aren’t terrible…I am having a blast!” This shirt sums up our experience right now. He is a runner, climber, talker, screamer, player (the good kind not the boys we hate in high school), and such a fun kid to be around. He repeats everything we say, so we have to be careful (like the time I said, “Tell daddy you are a weirdo!” and oops..he did it and I got the Care Bear stare which was not so caring). He loves to hop, climb on beds, kick his feet up Hot Dog Dance style and loves to party. Recently, his Bible school teacher did a skit where she put something on her head, sneezed and the object fell off. Well, no one knows the lesson because Callen had a field day with that trick. He began to put things on his head, sneeze and throw objects into space. The other kids saw how much he was having and joined in. She said it was hilarious, but she lost control after that…we will give his teachers our cell phone numbers and tell them to put it in their speed dial!

The good news is: He is perfectly us! Loves sports, good music, good food (he says Hmmm….this is so good!), loves to sleep (12 hours each night and a nap), loves to laugh and have a good time, and loves to pray with us then clap when the prayer is over. God blessed us big time with the child that is perfect for us!


Parenting Got Tougher..



We are parents of a toddler, but more specifically a parent of a one and a half year old. We have heard from many that the threes are far worse than the twos, but we are beginning to experience that phase of complete meltdowns due to frustration over not being able to communicate. We often see him throw himself on the floor, fake cry, scream in anger, hitting or throwing—he is seeing some consequences with these, and just pure “life is over” when he cannot get things his way. Now, as a teacher and a police officer, we are all over these behaviors and trying to teach him to use his words or prevent these outburts by planning nap time, dinner time and really life around his schedule. One thing we learned over the vacation is that dinner out may not be happening as much until the kinks are worked out.

We blame ourselves for taking him too late because we knew he was beginning to get tired and hungry. But our worlds of freedom are closing more each day as we realize we must get a sitter, train him to act right, change our schedule or just eat at home. We know the world understands and does not judge us too much, but we judge ourselves and we fear raising a spoiled brat that manipulated us to get what he wants or the other extreme of strict parenting where he will one day rebel or resent us. For now, I am content being the mean teacher, but so much we are learning as we go and what is a realistic expectation vs we live in a fantasy world. He loves these alphabet songs on youtube, so while we were eating out a little bit too late, we threw the phone in his face and just watched the judgmental glares of “how dare you put your kid in front to the media so you can eat in peace” If they were not saying it, then we were because we do not want to be that family that is all on their games/phones instead of talking. For now though, we will just accept we did what we had to do to keep him from throwing food or screaming in random outbursts (almost like he is angry at the world or getting bad service) while we figure it out.

The good news is: I think we are judging ourselves too harshly, but it is such a hard age and a crucial age to develop good habits. We don’t want him to learn these tantrums produce positive results but we don’t want to ruin the dinner of others either. Thankfully, we have grandparents are good sitters nearby because stuffing our face and getting the check early is getting old.

Update Three: First ever Tyndall Family Vacation!


So the Tyndalls ventured off into the great unknown and took our first ever family vacation with our son! We were terrified to take him out of his comfort zone, but knew it was time. We packed up the car..literally stuffed all his things into the trunk and journeyed to Surfside Beach Texas.

I am not going to lie…it was hard work! Keeping up with a toddler in someone else’s home is no joke, but we made so many memories as a family and Nathan and I tackled this task together which is always a blessing. At the end, we were proud that we did it and we felt like Rock Star parents!

As soon as we got there (about five hours) we immediately introduced him to the beach! His daddy did a great job of carrying him (he is heavy) while I carried the huge bag of beach toys we bought for the trip.

At first, Callen was afraid of the waves. He loves water so we were surprised, but he would run up to them and then when they came up close…he would turn around and say “no!” He finally got used to them our last day there and then loved them!

We rented this amazing house that was perfect for us. Our first night Callen was so tired that he had a huge breakdown at bedtime. He climbed out of the pack and play (has never happened) and screamed for about forty five minutes. We moved him into our room (which has never happened) in his pack and play since we don’t share our bed and he finally calmed down. After that first night, he did great every other nap and bedtime!

Callen’s biological brother lives near Surfside, so him and his family got to spend the day with us on Saturday. They had a great time swinging, tossing the ball, chasing each other, screaming-a lot and playing in the sand. I always love seeing them interact since it is unlikely Callen will get a sibling from us…it makes me smile to know he still has one.

Callen loved the sand! I am very appreciate of Shadymates for this shade we were able to set up in the sand just for him. It was lightweight, easy to carry and perfect for his toys!

We ventured to walk the jetty and were deceived at how long it was! Poor Callen was so hot by the end, but he was a trooper. We asked a fisherman to take this pic of our family and I love it!

This trip gave me so many chances to praise God and admire his creation. I ran the beach one day listening to my worship and praise music and just admired how small we are compared to this huge body of water. On the last day, I set my alarm to see the sunrise from our porch and it was glorious. In light of our troubles, there is so much goodness to be thankful for. God is good!

One of Callen’s favorite things to do is throw sand! It was a battle we faced all weekend. I love this outfit he is and it will what he is wearing in our next professional pics…such a cute beach outfit!

Finally, Callen loves hats and I thought this one of him wearing my floppy hat was just perfect! It sums up our adventure of family, laughing, relaxing and just making new memories together. I definitely see us making this a yearly trip!

When did my baby turn into a boy?



My “baby” just turned 18 months and I am trying to wrap my brain around it.  Where did the time go?  How did it all happen so quickly?  One minute I am cradling this gurgling infant in my arms and the next he is wiggling out of my lap saying “outside”.  I am sad that the baby years seem to be slipping away, but so proud that he is a healthy and growing baby boy!  I am very blessed that he is progressing on schedule, learning new things, is active and most important healthy.  He really does make being a mommy easy…almost too easy! 

Callen is a very curious kid.  He explores the world around him.  He wants to know how things work or how it fits together.  He will break a toy just to see what is on the inside.  He is not afraid.  He will climb on things, jump off things, touch things, eat things…whatever he needs to do to figure it out for himself. 



He is a talker.  He babbles about things so passionately, but then can also say a lot of words too.  He says outside, up, look, oh my, hold on, cup, snack, dog, bless you, thank you, no, yes, good girl…and so much more.  He is always ready to talk about something, but he can be shy in front of strangers.  We try to get him to do his tricks and he never will unless he knows you.  He gives high fives, fist bumps and shows his muscles…he loves to entertain us.018


He is loving.  He likes to give hugs and kisses.  He pats us on the back. He loves on the dogs and on everyone.

He has a temper.  When know when he is ready for a nap because he throws things including himself on the floor.  He gets mad easily when he is tired and small things not working drives him crazy.  He says no a lot when he is tired.

He loves to watch music videos that are educational.  His favorites right now is the animal sounds, BINGO and the Monkeys on the Bed.  He calls it “this” and he will climb on a chair to try to get to the laptop to see it.  He is addicted!


He can play with friends or by himself…both work well.  He is very easy going.  He does not cry when he gets shots, just lays still when the doctor examines him and adjusts easily to new settings.  He just started to cry when we leave, but that is only at church so far.  He goes to everything else pretty easily.

He loves to run.  He loves to walk without holding your hand.  He loves to swim. He loves to play in the park and outside for hours.  He will stop to get a drink then go right back to playing.

He loves to eat.  Everything.  He is a meat and potato kinda boy.  He is just now losing his belly a little bit even though he is still in the 16% in height.  He is learning to pray before he eats and loves to say “amen”.

I am in love and I get giddy doing his laundry, making his bed, cooking for him or buying him new clothes.  He loves music, pushing things, sounds, lights.  He is just a great kid and I praise God daily that I get to wake up and be his mom.  The cherry on top is how handsome he is.  We know beauty comes from within, so to see how loving he is on top of his killer girly lashes and blue eyes is a gift.  We love that he is loving to us and to others. 

Finally, he loves to read!  He brings us books all the time.  The same ones over and over.  He reads in the tub, so we put books in every room for him to read.  He cannot get enough of it so it makes this teacher happy.  God chose the perfect kid for us…loves the outdoors, loves sports, loves being silly, loves laughing…I am so grateful that I am his mommy and that he is our son.