Welcome to my blog! This is where I share stories of Jesus, oils, photography, infertility/pregnancy, and life in general!

I'm so glad you are here! Feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email! ♥

 

Our Infertility Story

March 05, 2019  •  1 Comment

Have you ever had a vision for your life and then slowly watched it slip from your fingertips?  Yes, me too! I always dreamed of getting married young and having kids within a year or two.  I wanted to be a young mom.  But, the Lord has other plans and we don't always get what we WANT.  We do, however, always get what we NEED.  

COPYRIGHT SCOTT NELSON PHOTOGRAPHY Colton and I met in July of 2011, got engaged in November of the same year and married in August of 2012.  When you know, you know! We waited almost two years before I tossed my birth control in the trash and started trying to start our family.  Each month, I thought I was pregnant because my period never showed up. Negative test after negative test proved otherwise.  We decided after a year of trying to track my super unpredictable cycles to get some help.  I scheduled an appointment with my OBGYN and he prescribed clomid because it was apparent that I wasn't ovulating (clomid is supposed to induce ovulation).  We tried three rounds of clomid with no success.  I ovulated one of the three rounds.  By the end of that time, Colton and I were stressed out and needed a break.  We decided to let things be for awhile and see what happened.  People would tell me "when you quit trying, it'll happen" so that's what we hoped for.  That didn't happen. 

After about a year long "break", I visited a natural doctor.  Through muscle testing, she found that I was extremely nutrient deficient and had low hormone levels.  She told me to cut out dairy, bananas, peanuts and most carbs for at least 3 months.  She also put me on several supplements to increase nutrient absorption and boost vitamin levels.  I started to feel better and my cycles became more regular with this diet.  It was a lot of work.  I ate meat and veggies for those three months and then slowly added dairy back in.  Still not pregnant though. 

We basically "gave up".  I prayed that if it wasn't in the Lord's plans for us to have children, that he would take away the desire.  He never took away the desire, yet nothing happened for two more years.  During that time, I continued to eat healthy.  We also looked into foster care, adoption and fertility specialists.  Something in our hearts kept telling us to "just be still" and to "wait".  It was so hard.  I knew the Lord had kids in our future, yet He was telling us to "wait".  

Colton and I took those two years to travel and do some things we knew we wouldn't be able to do after having kids.  We probably spent too much money and went a little crazy, but it was the best.  Honestly, even though it was hard to wait, we were at complete peace knowing that the Lord's plan would eventually be revealed to us in His time.  

Last February (2018), I had a weird suspicion that I was pregnant.  I didn't want to take a test because of all the negatives I had seen.  I didn't believe that it would "just happen". I thought for sure that we would need to see a specialist after almost 5 years of not preventing.  I didn't take a test.  Instead, I googled every "early pregnancy symptom" and all my symptoms matched up.  I was exhausted, hungry, moody, and I suddenly hated coffee.  I love coffee.  That was weird. 

On February 17, 2018 I started bleeding.  It was different than a period.  There was SO much pain.  I immediately took a pregnancy test because I knew that even if I was miscarrying, the pregnancy hormone would still be in my system.  There it was.  TWO pink lines. What? After almost five years of trying, I finally get pregnant only to miscarry.  On one hand I was ecstatic because I knew I could get pregnant. On the other hand, I was an emotional mess.  I have no idea how far along I was.  I think I was close to seven weeks.  But, I do know I have a baby in heaven now that I can't wait to meet someday! 

After a few weeks of healing (both physically and emotionally) and tons of prayer about where to go from there, I felt led to see an acupuncturist.  I started seeing her every other week.  I don't know if acupuncture did much for my fertility, but I do know it tremendously helped my stress levels and overall health.  I continued on my minimum dairy diet and increased my protein intake by about 40 grams a day.  I was previously eating 20-30 grams and started striving for closer to 70 grams a day.  Protein is the main building block for our bodies and my body was not getting enough.  How did I expect to heal and grow in health if I was starving myself of one of the main key nutrients?  I started feeling so much better after this change! In July, I had to quit going to acupuncture.  It was a long drive and my schedule was getting too crazy. 

Also, in July I bought a Young Living starter kit.  I had been wanting to make the switch to cleaner household and personal care products for a long time so I used my birthday money and grabbed a kit.  At the time I also bought a product called Progessence Plus.  I started using all these products as soon as they arrived.  I used oils mainly for emotional support and the Progessence Plus for hormone support.  It has natural progesterone in it and after the miscarriage I was diagnosed with PCOS. A main factor in PCOS patients is low progesterone so this was the main reason for trying Progessence Plus.  I did a ton of research on how to support the hormonal/endocrine system with Young Living products and started implementing a lot of what I learned.  I also prayed a TON that the Lord would help me to be patient in getting pregnant again. 

Early November, I suddenly hated coffee again.  I was so scared to take a pregnancy test so I decided to wait until November 12th.  November 12th was a good day because on November 12, 2011 (seven years ago), Colton and I got engaged! I couldn't believe my eyes on November 12, 2018.  There were two pink lines again. At first I was terrified.  What if I lose this baby too?  I prayed, Colton prayed.  After a very short time, we instantly felt peace.  This baby was going to be just fine. We decided to start celebrating this little life right away.  We told family almost immediately and by nine weeks (after a perfect ultrasound), we announced our miracle to the world. 

I am still in disbelief and awe of God's goodness through this whole journey.  His timing really is SO PERFECT.  Colton has been on the road driving his truck since we got married.  We never knew if he'd be close to home or halfway across the country.  Although I didn't mind this schedule, I was always worried about having kids and how they would be with their dad gone so much.  We had been praying for an opportunity for him to still pursue his passion, yet be closer to home.  Last Spring, Colton's cousin bought an aerial application business and long story short, gave us the opportunity to work with him and own our own ground sprayer.  So now, Colton will be close to home a majority of the year doing custom spraying for local farmers and then he will still truck (regionally) in the winter.  I am SO THANKFUL for God's timing in making this career shift possible right when we have our first kiddo!  I'll also be working at Western Ag doing office work and will have more evenings and weekends to be with my family due to cutting back on photography.  This is all a HUGE blessing and we are so very thankful! 

If you are in the midst of infertility, please look at our story as a story of hope and God's faithfulness.  If you are being told to "wait" right now, please know my heart is with you! I know how hard the journey can be! I would love to pray for you! Shoot me an email or drop a comment below! 

 


Sweet Baby Woodrow {Lifestyle Newborn Session}

March 04, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

I always dreamed of owning my own photography studio.  Finally, after seven years in business my dream became a reality.  I rented a place in town for almost two years and within a year I realized that my "dream" was not what I thought.  The truth is that for me, studio photography was not where my heart was.  It was too restraining.  I was stuck to using the same backdrops, the same props and doing a lot of the same poses.  I'm not saying studio photography is bad by any means.  Studio photography is just not for me.  I want so much more for my clients.  I want personal and unique images.  Images that you can only capture once in a lifetime.  I made the choice in November to move out of my once dreamed about studio and I am so glad I did.  I now travel to my clients' homes to capture intimate lifestyle sessions.  This is where my heart is.  I love these unique images.  I hope you enjoy them too! Meet sweet little Woodrow...

 


Officially Oily {Why I joined Young Living Essential Oils}

March 03, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

When I first heard about Young Living Essential Oils, I thought it was another one of those fads.  Some of my friends were raving about the amazing uses of these oils and the products containing them.  At first I didn't believe that tiny little bottles could have THAT MUCH EFFECT.  I watched my friends use these oils and talk about their essential oil businesses for about three years.  Those three years went by and I watched as these families' lives were transformed for the better.  They seemed like they had so much energy, loved what they were doing and just seemed overall happy & healthy! They continued to share and claim how essential oils and Young Living products had changed their lives.  I figured after three years, this had to be something good.  I did some more research and decided to jump in. 

Why did I pick Young Living? I chose Young Living particularly because of their Seed to Seal program (more info below) and quality of oils, their selection of products beyond oils and their rewards program (SO MANY FREEBIES).  I also witnessed some of my friends see financial freedom because of the income potential of running a Young Living business (Click HERE to check that out!). I was looking to cut back on photography and jump more into a flexible work from home position so I decided to jump into the business at the same time as grabbing my kit! 

I bought my Premium Starter Kit (more on this below) last July and started my Young Living business.  I was immediately welcomed into a community of the most loving, supportive and encouraging women.  At first I was overwhelmed with the amount of resources and information, but this community was so helpful in teaching me to take it one day (or product) at a time and to learn as I went.  I started learning SO MUCH about oils and using them every single day, multiple times a day!  I also started sharing them with my friends and family who started to fall in love with them as well! 

Since purchasing my starter kit and using Young Living products everyday, I have noticed that I am sleeping better, my energy levels are more sustained, my immunity is insanely strong, my hormones are evened out, my skin is clearer, and I rarely experience roller-coaster emotions anymore.  It makes me feel so much better knowing I am using products that are healthy and safe in my home! No more toxic candles, soaps, & lotions for this household! **Find out the safety of your household & personal care products HERE!

Here are just a few MORE reasons why I LOVE Young Living essential oils - 

>> Essential oils are the aromatic, volatile liquids distilled from plants. The oil can be obtained from the roots, seeds, shrub, flowers, trees, and bring health and healing to the body. (in the same way that plants are essential to our heath because of that whole oxygen/carbon dioxide thing)

>> EOs were mankind's first means of wellness and are, in fact, mentioned ALL through ancient Scripture. The oils are very complex and very powerful, which is why they are able to reach every part of our bodies on a cellular level. Within minutes of using or breathing in an oil, they can be found in every organ in your body. CRAZY AMAZING.

>> The fragrance of the oils on the limbic system in the brain where emotions are stored and can help relax and clear the mind as we release stored negative emotions. Because emotions are stored in different organs in our bodies, caring for emotional health means we are caring for our physical heath. 

>> They have a Seed To Seal Promise - meaning they control the product from the beginning growth of the plant, tree, root, etc. all the way to the bottle you receive. They own their own farms and use essential oils on their crops. It's the only company that does this! We love that about them as it lets us know we can trust what's in those little magic bottles. 

CLICK HERE to learn all about Young Living's Seed to Seal Program!

>> Essential oils are actually SUPER EASY to use! Use them straight out of the bottle in the diffuser, dilute them with a carrier oil (ex. coconut oil) and massage into skin, add them to epsom salts for a relaxing bath, make room sprays and homemade cleaners, etc.  The possibilities are endless! 

 


 

My life has truly been changed by supporting my body with Young Living products.  Whatever health battle you are facing or even if you are just wanting to make a change for the better, a Premium Starter Kit may just be the thing you need to get started! It will never hurt to kick toxic products to the curb and replace them with healthier alternatives. 

I would love to help you on your journey to wellness, however that may look for you! Here is some more information on the Premium Starter Kit.  

The Premium Starter Kit is the best bang for your buck! 

($165 :: over $400 retail value!) 

 

It includes:

+ 12 of the most popular oils

+ a diffuser (best deal ever)

+ Thieves cleaner samples

+ Thieves hand purifier

+ Ningxia samples (overall wellness and immunity boosting like a boss) 

+ A wholesale account so you can get 24% off forever after. 

+ An amazing community to support you and give you all the resources you need!

 

The oils in the kit and some favorite ways to use them: 

Peace & Calming: Put in the diffuser before bedtime, during a bath or just when you need to relax. 

Valor: Roll on your temples or wrists when you need a confidence boost.

Citrus Fresh: She is a gem that will make any day smell like spring and uplift any person or room in minutes. 

Lavender: Put this gem in the bath, in linen spray, carpet powder, on dryer balls, on your baby's crib mattress, bottoms of feet and in the diffuser. 

Frankincense: Wear topically when needing to feel grounded and calm. It is amazing for your face. 

Panaway: Throw it in your gym bag and freshen those muscles after a hard workout. 

Raven: Diffuse, make a roller for your chest to breathe in. 

Lemon: Make infused water, lemon cake, clean with it and spray your front porch with lemon water. 

Thieves: In your tea, in a cleaner, diffuse with peppermint and cinnamon, ultimate immune booster. 

Digize: Helps keep your tummy happy!

Peppermint: Powerful in helping fight allergies, throw in hot chocolate, cake, so many uses for this gem! 

Stress Away: Promotes stress relief and is great to add to a warm bath. 

ANOTHER REASON I love Young Living is because if you purchase a Premium Starter Kit, you aren't required to ever purchase again! No autoship, no hidden costs.  If you decide you love your oils and want to order again, there is a great monthly rewards program to join (but only if you wish)!  You also aren't required to sell a thing when you grab a kit.  However, the income potential for this business is insane and the resources availabe to take off with this business are at your fingertips! 

Feel free to shoot me an email if you have questions or want to grab your kit today! I'll get you all set up! ♥

 


New Look { A LOT of Change }

February 26, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

Do you ever have those times in life when you think things will never change.  Yes, me too!  I thought for so long that I would always be a full time photographer and never have kids.  I hoped that Colton and I would be able to start a family someday, but it always seemed like it was never going to happen. I also thought that Colton would always be an over-the-road truck driver.  I prayed for an opportunity for him to still do what he loves, but to be closer to home.  It felt like that would never happen either. 

Well, let me tell you something.  When change comes, it seems like it comes all at once, when you least expect it and it's big!  At least that's how it has been for us. 

Change #1 My Career - Last Spring when Colton's cousin (Brandon) purchased an aerial application business (Western Ag Aviation, Inc.), I mentioned to him that I'd love to help with the office work if he needed someone to do invoicing and paperwork.  My degree is in Ag Business and I've always wanted to get back into working in the agriculture industry.  He accepted my offer and hired me to do the invoicing for the summer.  This was a flexible part time job that allowed me to still do photography pretty much full time so it worked out well.  As the summer went on, I realized my love for the job and fell a little out of love with photography.  Brandon mentioned that he may need a full-time person for the next year and I quickly agreed.  I started clearing my photography schedule and cutting back so I can work more hours at Western Ag.  I even moved out of my photography studio.  I will still be doing 2-4 photography sessions a month and a few small, intimate weddings when time allows.  The sessions that I do will be either lifestyle in-home or outdoor natural light sessions for children or families.  I will also continue my Young Living Essential Oils business in my free time.  

Change #2 Colton's Career - While working at Western Ag last summer, Colton & I started talking and he mentioned that he'd like to get back to custom spraying.  He use to do this before we got married, but then went full time with the trucking business when we got hitched.  We asked Brandon if he saw a need for a ground rig with the business and he said, "Yes, for sure".  Colton & I started pursuing the possiblity of purchasing a ground rig to run under Western Ag.  Long story short - after a ton of work and stress, we signed the papers and officially bought a rig.  Now, Colton will custom spray for farmers during the busy season and when weather allows.  If he's not spraying, he will be trucking.  We are so excited and thankful for this opportunity for him to be closer to home and working with more of our local farmers.  

Change #3 A Baby on the way - YES, not long after signing papers on the spraying business and not long after I decided to get my evenings and weekends back (thanks, photography), we found out we are expecting!! This was a total shock because even though we've been praying for this for 5 years, it was another one of those things that seemed like it would never happen.  I'm currently 20 weeks along and feeling our little BOY kick as I type. We are so excited to finally be parents!  

So....as you can see, Colton and I are really changing things up! I am working on transitioning into this new schedule and work life.  As I do that, I am revamping how my whole business is structured.  I use to keep everything separate (personal life, photography, oils, trucker wife life, etc.), but now I am combining everything to simplify my workflow and be able to keep up on posts.  I knew one of the main things I needed to change in order to do this was my website.  It is now www.laurenjchase.com! It is still a work in progress and I will be adding a ton of content in the future, but it's a one stop shop now.  Whether you are interested in my photography, Young Living Oils, Infertility/Pregnancy, life in the country, etc., you can come here! I'll be sharing tons about all those topics and more! If you are a past client, please shoot me an e-mail if you are trying to view your photos.  I'll send you the new link! 

Once again, thank you ALL so much for all the support and love you've shown Colton and I throughout the years of business and life! We are so grateful for everything going on in our lives right now and can't wait to share more with you! If you have any blog post topics or things you'd like me to write about, feel free to comment them below or shoot me an e-mail! ♥


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