Hosts Wanted for CAPPA Trainings in 2017!

November 21st, 2016

 

earn 50% or more off of your CAPPA training fee by hostingHave you wanted to sign up for a CAPPA Childbirth Educator Training, but traveling to attend presents too great of an obstacle? Why not let me come to you instead? I don’t want anyone to miss out on the opportunity just because traveling isn’t an option! While I don’t currently offer scholarships, I do offer the chance to earn 50% or more off of your training fee. You can even earn a FREE training!

I am planning my training calendar for 2017 (possibly even 2018), and I am looking for a few good hosts to help me organize a training in your hometown! I have openings to train in March, June or July, and October or November in 2017.

Who is eligible to host?

  • Nurses & Other Support Staff
  • WIC Professionals
  • Public Health Staff
  • Physicians & Midwives
  • Current Childbirth Educators
  • La Leche League Leaders & Lactation Professionals
  • Labor, Birth, & Postpartum Doulas
  • Nutrition Professionals
  • Anyone who wants to support families during pregnancy

What locations are great for a CAPPA Childbirth Educator Training?

  • Hospital classrooms and board rooms
  • Hotel conference rooms
  • Event centers
  • Public buildings such as libraries
  • Conference centers
  • Chiropractor offices
  • Health department classrooms and board/conference rooms

If you can…

  • Help me find housing
  • Find and book a host location
  • Market the training in your area
  • Provide a minimum of 4 paid registrations
  • And a few other requirements

Then I will…

  • Take 50% off the cost of your training (or more, depending on the number of paid registrations)
  • Provide all marketing materials and tips
  • Support you in your professional journey

What are you waiting for? There is no time like the present to get started on a professional career helping make birth healthier for women and babies right in your backyard!

Make sure you visit my training page for more information and click on “Host a Training” to get started.

Grace & Peace,

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Thankful 30: Words

November 1st, 2016

four fall leaves on an aged wood background with Thankful 30 header

Good morning, Colorado Springs! I know it has been a minute since I blogged, but I love that you are here anyway, checking out whatever it is I’m writing for you. I love that November feels like a reset to me, almost like a New Year, because of the Internet tradition of sharing gratitude all month long. So, here I am, beginning my very own Thankful 30 posts for 2016.

Today, I am thankful for Words.

When all else fails me, I can fall back on words.

Because actions speak louder than words, sometimes words aren’t good enough. This leads some to believe that words are never good enough.

Song lyrics.

Poetry.

Quotes.

Scripture.

Books.

All of these things and more speak to us. They touch a part of our souls that actions cannot. They open our hearts to receive comfort, help, reprimand, respect, love, and dignity. They train our minds to respond to hatred with love. To grief with comfort and empathy. To anger with gentleness. To despair with hope. To poverty with generosity.

Words teach us. They shape our minds and our hearts deeply, whatever the source.

Without words, there would not be action, because words have the power to move.

The power of life and death is in the tongue, and out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.

“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.” ~Patrick Rothfuss

What are you thankful for today?

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I Apologize.

September 8th, 2016

A gift came my way
I was loathe to refuse,
though I knew
rage
would come.

I apologize?

I die to myself
over and over again,
though I know
I’m
not seen.

I apologize?

Walking on eggshells,
every encounter is fragile,
and I know
I
can’t win.

I apologize?

I hold my silence
when words are let loose
in a torrent
of
hard knocks.

I apologize?

When I fall short
of impossible standards,
never as good
as
even my past self.

I apologize?

Just when I think
everything’s going so well,
I am tripped
up,
I stumble again.

I apologize?

For being myself.
The only self I can be,
imperfect, but loving
I’m
not enough.

I apologize?!

Finished with doubt,
my friendship still holds,
not in the right image,
Does
it matter?

No more apologies.

It’s always my fault,
venting and craving
capitulation
and
pity.

No more apologies.

My heart beats a rhythm,
my stomach turns sour
waiting for honest
words
pouring out.

No more apologies.

I’ve suffered enough
under the tyranny of misery,
no more will I stand
the
object of scorn.

No more apologies.

There is pain, yes,
but I’m hurting too
every time flames are let loose
and
burn me.

No more apologies.

I’ll never forget some of Dad’s last words to me: “Never apologize when you’re trying to do something nice for someone. Don’t ever do that.”

Even when I know that I have done nothing wrong–not only that, but when I know that I have made every real effort to do and be what is kind and right–I will find a way to blame myself for any misunderstanding. Every time. I can always find something to apologize for, even when there is nothing. I actually tend to apologize for other people’s feelings.

No more.

I will continue to forgive, as many times as it takes. Not because I am such a great forgiver, but because I have no excuse to withhold forgiveness, when I think of what has been forgiven in me. But, forgiveness does not always lead to reconciliation. For the first time in my life, I might have to be okay with that.

Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about this in my close relationships, but there are some relationships deep in my past in which I carry scars and not-quite-healed wounds. These words stemmed partially from those experiences.

Grace & Peace,
Tiffany



First Day of School, part 1.

September 2nd, 2016

The first day of full time, real life, public school for the three younger kiddos this year was August 16th. I was so nervous about the logistics of getting them hither and thither, but I needn’t have worried. It was no big deal. And the kids all had a good first day, even though they thought it was soooo boring to have to listen to All The Rules! Ugh!

There are definitely different challenges with public school than homeschool, but so far I wouldn’t say that either is particularly easier. While I miss my kids during the day, I am definitely finding that I’m able to get quite a lot done without them home, which is great, because once they’re home, I can really focus on being WITH them, rather than trying to multi-task work and studying with homeschooling and housework. Not to mention fitting Levi in there somewhere, poor guy!

The homework level isn’t bad at all, either. None of them have more than about half an hour of work on a daily basis. I feel hopeful that this year is going to turn out to be a year of great progress for my kids!

We didn’t do our traditional “What I want to be when I grow up pictures,” but we did snap some decent shots on their first day. Here you go:

DSC00990Lydia’s first day of 6th grade. She wanted to declare to everyone right up front that she is a proud geek. So, naturally, she chose her “Marvelous Club House” Woot shirt for her first day. I totally cried when I dropped her off.

She was able to find her way to and from all her classes without any trouble on the first day, and also discovered that she doesn’t have a locker partner! We weren’t certain at first, but as the days wore on, it was confirmed. Lydia officially has at least one space in the universe that is her Very Own. We have yet to get a few decorations, but we will.

We also found out this week that Lydia has tested into advanced Literacy, Social Studies, and Science classes! She needs some help in math, but I expected that, being that it was my weakest homeschool subject, no matter how hard I tried. The good thing is that her favorite teacher is her math teacher! I call that a blessing!

DSC00991This is Audrey’s first day of 5th grade. FIFTH GRADE, people! She was so, so excited for her first day! Daddy took her, since it was a Tuesday, and I had an early appointment at the office. That was probably best, since I would have been a hot mess dropping them off after dropping Lydia.

My little extrovert is already making friends and loving her teacher! She says her teacher is pretty strict, but she’s hilarious, so that makes it all worth it. The focus in class this year is preparing them for middle school next year, so her teacher is taking the approach of helping them shoulder the responsibility for their school work. I like this teacher already.

Overall, I am optimistic about Audrey’s prospects, and I look forward to seeing her blossom a little more this year. I think the challenge and stimulation of a classroom environment will be good for her this year, and it’s so far been confirmed daily in her after school chatter.

DSC00993Dain. This kid is in 3rd grade, if you can believe it. Honestly, I can barely believe I got him this far, and consider teaching him to read my greatest Life Accomplishment thus far. Frankly, I have run out of ideas of how to keep him focused and motivated, and am grateful for the help his teacher is already offering to him and to me as we navigate this year.

Third grade is a bit of a jump from second, and I wasn’t sure he was ready for it, even though we put him through first grade twice. This kid is uniquely bright, but difficult to motivate. He’s a lot like his daddy that way, which is encouraging to me. I have a feeling that he’ll be very self-motivated when he finds the right subject matter.

He adores his teacher, and wants so badly to live up to her high expectations, and I count that a blessing! He couldn’t care less what Mom thinks! (Of course I know my influence is more powerful, so just shush. If you’re a mom, you know what I mean.) His teacher and I are on the same page, and I have a feeling she and I will be talking a LOT about this kiddo and how to push him and challenge him without discouraging him.

Durin’s first day isn’t until September 6th, so no picture today. But I’m going to have to share a picture of him next to me, because Holy Tallness Batman! Sigh…

Why do they have to grow up?

Grace & Peace,
Tiff



My Little Stinker is Nine

September 1st, 2016

So, Dain is nine now. As of August 9th.

How, may I ask, does such a thing happen? The passage of time is incomprehensible to me, and it gets old quickly. This kid. What can I say about him? He is my challenge and my joy. Snuggly and little one minute, rambunctious and loud the next. I don’t understand him all the time, but I love him deeply.

He is my last born, the bearer of all my “last firsts” as a mother. He often gets overlooked, to both his detriment and his benefit. The downside is that I often plan the least for his birthday, and think of him last when planning playdates and sleepovers. The upside is that I forget that his brother was doing a lot more around the house at his age, so I have to be conscious in spreading the workload a little more evenly.

His freckles just melt my heart, and his eagerness to please touches my warm fuzzy feelings. I’m a bit of a sucker for him, as hard as I try not to be. And I overcompensate sometimes by being harder on him than I should.

He is sweet, cuddly, hilarious, goofy, serious, devoted, friendly, and affectionate. He is challenging, mysterious, soft-spoken, clever, and distracted. I can’t wrap my brain around him, and I’m done trying to understand him. I just love him. With all my heart. Always.

Happy birthday, Dain!



Just Some Pictures

August 31st, 2016

This summer has brought some crazy weather. Really crazy. The aftermath of this hail storm was mild compared to the ones that would follow after Jared & Tischel went home. I don’t have pictures of the storm that bought us a new roof, gutters, a paint job on the house/decks, and more. Perhaps I should. All I know is that the crazy weather can just stop now, thanks!

At the beginning of August, Trina and her boyfriend Jeff came out to pick up Jared and Tischel. In the one full day they were here, Trina wanted to take Jeff to Garden of the Gods. So we went. Once again, never tired of that place!

I love my family so much, and it’s always so good to see my sisters and their kids. What a privilege and a gift it was to have them with me for awhile.

Grace & Peace,
Tiff



Breastfeeding in Public: What’s a mom to do?

August 30th, 2016

What kinds of images come to your mind when you think of breastfeeding in public? We often think primarily of the stories about moms who were breastfeeding in public and someone, usually a stranger, asked them to cover up. This can cause feelings of anxiety about how to breastfeed in public for moms who have not done it before.

First, let’s talk about what your rights are as a breastfeeding mom in Colorado, and how to be comfortable with breastfeeding outside of your home, free to feed your baby when he or she is hungry without worry of being embarrassed or harassed.

Colorado breastfeeding law 25-6-302 states quite clearly: “A mother may breastfeed in any place she has a right to be.”

Now you know that as long as you are allowed to be there, you can breastfeed! It’s pretty straightforward! The law protects and supports you as a breastfeeding mom.

Should you cover up while breastfeeding?

“Should” is a strong word. In short, if it helps you feel more comfortable to breastfeed in public, then, yes! If you or your baby struggle with covers or dislike them, then don’t bother! It is not your responsibility to make sure others around you are comfortable when your baby is eating.There are many, many different kinds of covers that you can buy or make yourself.

My favorite breastfeeding accessory was the nursing tank. I could un-snap from the top, pull baby in close, and latch him on without anyone noticing. My belly was completely covered. It was nice not having to lift up my shirt or pull my breast out above my shirt. This was the most discreet way that I found to do it. It gave me the confidence to breastfeed anywhere that I needed to, including the store, church, or at someone else’s house.

But what if someone confronts you while you’re breastfeeding?

Be reassured that most of the time, no one will even notice you are breastfeeding in public. It is rare that someone is asked to stop breastfeeding by a stranger. The media would show otherwise, but don’t pay attention to that! The stories you see on Facebook, etc, will give you undue fear and anxiety. Be confident that you can feed your baby and meet his or her basic needs in peace.

What should you do in the unlikely event that someone does say something to you? First and foremost, try to stay calm. You are representing breastfeeding moms everywhere and you have an opportunity to set a good example and be non-inflammatory. You could even role-play what you might say with your partner or a friend ahead of time.

State to the stranger that you are protected by law to freely breastfeed. Let them know that you are meeting your baby’s basic need and that you have every right to do so. Then look deeply into your sweet baby’s eyes and think about how much you love them and love being able to sustain them 100% from your own body! Amazing, right?

In summary, the best people to talk to about breastfeeding in public are the moms who have already done it successfully. Get ideas from them about how they do it. You might be surprised by what you hear. Most of them are probably going to tell you that they quickly learned how to feed the baby while out-and-about with little to no problems.  ❤️



On Extroverts

August 29th, 2016
how-to-care-for-extroverts

If anyone can show me the original source, I’d be grateful. Thanks!

These days, we glorify the introvert.

I get it. With societal pressure to be “more friendly, extroverted, and/or outgoing,” it must be exhausting to be an introvert. Believe me, I can relate more than you think I can. Because I’m an ambivert.

I’m an introverted extrovert. Meaning that I lean more toward extroversion, but have strong (STRONG) introvert needs and tendencies.

For example: I have the strong bonds of an introvert, with the expansive reach of an extrovert.

Still, I do lean more toward the extrovert end of the spectrum. And I feel like we’ve been given a bad rap recently. Extroverts are loud-mouthed, self-centered nuisances who don’t know when they’re not wanted, right?

All an extrovert needs is ATTENTION ATTENTION SPOTLIGHT ATTENTION, right?

Not so much. Sure, there are some like that. But most just want to be included. To feel important, needed, and appreciated. Like most human beings. (Go figure — we long for human connection.)

The need just looks different. Where introverts are often good at reading appreciation from others between the lines, and don’t necessarily require concrete demonstration, many extroverts miss that, and could really use an overt “Well done!”

I want to clear something up:

It is not shallow to desire praise.

This is a recent discovery of mine. You’ve heard of the 5 Love Languages, right? Please allow me to remind you that Words of Affirmation is one of the languages. Words. Spoken out loud. In praise of another. Expressed as a need related directly to love.

I have no idea how many extroverts are “Words of Affirmation” folks, but I know that I am. Though we sometimes seem to be vying for attention, it might be deeper than that.

The truth is, we often aren’t fishing for a compliment, we are hungry for affirmation. There’s a difference. Never hesitate to give it. No one ever regretted words of kindness and love shared freely.

You will see us light up in ways you never knew we could, illuminating your world as well as our own.

Cut the extroverts some slack.

Grace & Peace,
Tiffany



Your Job Must Be So Fun!

August 23rd, 2016

baby looking at title, your job must be so fun
This is the most common response I get when I share with someone what I do for a living. When I share that I’m growing into midwifery.

If all we did was snuggle babies and drink margaritas, I suppose this statement might be true.

But this job isn’t all baby snuggles, and it rarely involves even a chance at a margarita.

Fulfilling? Yes.

Rewarding? Absolutely.

Fun? Not so much.

That word, in fact, minimizes what midwives do. It reduces it to the same level of a weekend hobby. Is there joy in this work? More often than not, yes. While the joy inherent in this work is a big part of what sustains a midwife in the long haul, there is so much more to it. There is a hidden side of midwifery that many don’t see or understand, and it is this hidden side that flashes before my eyes when someone comments that my job must be “so fun.”

This is not a job anyone signs up for to have fun. This is a job we sign up for because we are compelled. It is an irrevocable call on our lives.

As Desirre says, “It’s a calling that follows you around until it catches you.” We often don’t even realize it’s our calling until one day we awake to the startling discovery that we cannot escape what we are meant to do. And what we are meant to do is to be “with woman.”

We are meant to be midwives.

Like the “witches” and wise women of old who quietly served women and their babies with dignity and a deep knowledge passed down over time. It is our inheritance, and it carries with it the weight of responsibility, accountability, and power. The calling of midwifery is inescapable for those who hear it, and insurmountable for those who only wish to.

It is “fun” for no one.

There is, however, fun within the work. Laughter and joy are bricks in the foundation, and this work could not be done sustainably without them. The joy of watching a father’s eyes light up at the first sound of that pattering heartbeat. The laughter when big sister has to have her tummy measured too, or big brother insists on helping us hold the Doppler.

Of course, there’s the ultimate culmination of joy, the crowning glory, when that slippery wet tiny human is lifted into a mother’s arms, ready to meet the great wide world. The moment heaven itself pauses to rejoice at another everyday miracle.

The arrival of a new soul on Planet Earth is no small thing. It is a great mystery and marvel, and it is midwives who have always been there, very near the heart of it all, acting as ushers and servants making way for the tiny new being and his mother to step into life together.

Fun?

No.

Miraculous, joyful, powerful, fulfilling, important? Yes.

Ultimately, this work is eternal, impacting future generations forever. And that is a weighty thing, not to be taken on for anything less than a deep and abiding call.

Grace & Peace,
Tiffany
Student Midwife



My Greatest Fear

August 1st, 2016

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

~Marianne Williamson in A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

My light does frighten me. I am afraid of center stage, where hypocrisy, self-righteousness, and pride can so easily take over. I am afraid to face those who would admire and look up to me simply because of what I do for a living. I am afraid to do too well, be too successful. I can deal with and accept my darkness. My flaws and failings are all too apparent, daily. Even hourly. There are glaring gaps in my character that scream at me to stay in a place of condemnation and false humility. I am more comfortable with my sins and flaws than I am with my strengths and giftings.

No more.

I am a midwife.

This is a truth I am trying with all my heart to embrace fully.

No, I have not achieved certification, and still have a ways to go before I do, but it is still the truth. A midwife is who I am. I say it not as a credential, but as an identifying characteristic, like being a wife and a mother.

I have played small up until now, deferring to others rather than stepping into the role for which I was created with confidence and humility.

No more.

From now on, I will serve the world. I will be brilliant. I choose to shine brightly and make manifest the glory of God, in whose image I am created.

I will do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God as a midwife. Confident. Able. Strong. All to reflect his glory and his Name.

I will liberate others to shine, and to walk in the strengths God has given them. Only then can I overcome this weakness of false humility and hypocrisy. I am a child of God, and I will conduct myself as such.

I am a midwife, and I will not play small to fear any longer, by the power of the God who created me, called me, and equipped me.

I will trust in Him. I will not be afraid.

And I will not hide anymore.