Allow me to introduce myself.
Hi! I’m Kaitlin [Katie, Kate, Katiebug, Katiedid, Katiegirl, Katiecakes, Mrs. Standley, Mrs. S, Tippie, Tippiegirl, Tip(s)] Yeah, I think that about covers it. Anyone else have a million names!? Tippie is my maiden name and it’s just one of those names that’ll stick around, ya know?
Regardless of how you get my attention, I hope this blog keeps yours!
If you asked me a year ago, heck even a month ago if I would’ve started a blog, you probably would’ve gotten a response that sounded something like this “Hmph, yeah right.”
So why the change? Well, if I’m being completely honest, I don’t have a solid answer for you. Have you ever had a moment or a time where you were just drawn to something, like it was calling your name? Well this “blogging” was calling mine. I felt compelled to open up and share with you all a glimpse into my life, more specifically speaking my life with Cystic Fibrosis. I owe it to myself to share MY story and to my fellow CFers to spread awareness.
So here you have it, the birth of Lungs N Bergamot Roses – It’s More Than Just a Lifestyle.
Are you asking yourself, “What is Cystic Fibrosis?” Don’t worry because I promise to tell you aaaaall about it. But I wanted tell you more about myself and not just myself with CF because it doesn’t DEFINE who I am, it’s just a PART of who I am.
So, Hi! I’m Kaitlin [Katie, Kate, Katiebug.. JUST KIDDING! Let’s not go through that spiel again. Welcome to my lifestyle blog!! I’m a fur mama, a wife and a nurse. A lover of Jesus, coffee, essential oils, leggings, my husband’s t-shirts and naps with my 2 spoiled pups!
Here on this blog, my intent is to be real, to be raw, to be transparent and most importantly to be me. After all, there’s only one YOU! We’ll chat life – the good, the bad and the ugly. We’ll chat love, family, work, those annoying but necessary trips to the grocery store, does the toilet paper go over or under? – but seriously, the endless climb up the Mount Everest of laundry, and why can’t anyone find the damn matching Tupperware lid! Simply put, just all the things.
So welcome to Lungs N Bergamot Roses.
Growing up with Cystic Fibrosis, I had to learn to be flexible. With my schedule, my time, my health, my everything. In my younger years (and honestly sometimes now), I was rarely willing to be flexible with completing treatments. I didn’t want to take the time to sit down and complete my therapy. Why? Because it felt like I was being punished. Taking 20-30 minutes, 2-3 (sometimes 4) times a day was just too much time to not be outside. To not be hanging out with my friends. To not be going to the movies. To not be living life. I wasn’t willing to be flexible with CF and therefore it wasn’t willing to be flexible with me.
Cue the hospitalizations. And guess what that equated to? Even more time away from friends, school and life! Because hospital stays were ALWAYS a minimum of 7 days. Are you saying “Girl, get your sh!t together!” because believe me, I am too. My younger self was dumb, in denial and ashamed of CF. Trust me, I know what your thinking. But I can’t change that part of my life, it’s in the past, and honestly, I wouldn’t want to. Because I grew from it. I became resilient from it. I now get the opportunity (praise Jesus!) to pick up the pieces, care for myself properly and be flexible, SO flexible.
Allow me to introduce you to the newest member of the fam – The Monarch Airway Clearance System. *Currently taking name suggestions* This bad boy allows me to do my chest therapy anywhere and everywhere because it’s completely mobile! Before my Monarch, therapy was done with a vest attached to a 6ft hose attached to a box that had to be plugged into an outlet. To me, that meant 20-30 minutes of doing nothing when I could be getting other things done. Not ideal but necessary. Now, I have all the flexibility and I’ve never felt more free and in control!
Unload groceries and vest ✔️
Empty dishwasher and vest ✔️
Make my morning coffee and vest ✔️
Post coffee poo and vest ?? ✔️
Go outside with the dogs and vest ✔️
Decorate the house for fall and vest ✔️
Make dinner and vest ✔️
Travel and vest ✔️
Get ready for work and vest ✔️
Publish this blog and vest ✔️
There’s nothing I can’t do and vest at the same time now! #NextLevelMultitasking
I never imagined a day where I’d be walking around freely and doing my vest at the same time. The advances and research made for CF have made bounds and leaps and for that, I am so incredibly grateful!! Watch out, you never know what you’ll see me doing and vesting next!
Do you ever feel guilty for a privilege you have that others are denied? Questioning “why me?” for something good happening to you when most ask the same question when something bad happens to them. Almost like an alternate universe playing out in your mind. Well, sometimes I feel guilty for living such a healthy life with Cystic Fibrosis while others are struggling to “Just Breathe.”
The phrase “Just Breathe” holds a different meaning to everyone. Whether it’s a cliché saying turned tattoo, a phrase you say during a stress-filled day, what you tell your kids when they come crying to you because they just fell on the playground, a standstill moment when the doctor tells you you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, an important saying you hold near and dear because your family member is struggling with COPD, or in my case, because you’re living alongside a chronic illness that primarily affects your lungs.
“Just Breathe” is a common and well-known phrase among the CF community. How it became a designated saying for CF, I’m not sure. But what I am sure of, is that it holds significant meaning to me, as if it’s engraved on my heart. Or better yet, my lungs. That sounds more appropriate, right? It is, however, permanently engraved on my wrist – and not the cliché saying turned tattoo as “Just Breathe” is no cliché in my world. I have my own twist however, the word breathe inside the infinity sign and to me, it means “Breathe Forever.” A reminder that I get to stare at each and every day to defy the odds because I’ve never let the statistics of CF stop me.
**Let’s get real** Here’s the part where I started to act all badass. The part where I started telling you while lying to myself, that CF is MY bitch and I don’t let it dictate my life. But that’s not the case. I most certainly don’t bow down to my disease but I also am very mindful to the fact that it is unpredictable and CF deserves some R.E.S.P.E.C.T. — Sing it, Aretha! Trust me, you don’t want to hear my singing. As mentioned in “This Is The Introduction”, CF doesn’t DEFINE who I am, it is just a PART of who I am. And that is exactly how I view it, as an adjective, as in “describe yourself in 3 words.”
Many say that certain diseases do not discriminate. And while that may hold true to those diseases, it does not hold true to CF. Cystic Fibrosis does discriminate and it discriminates hard. It distinctly picks and chooses all of its losses, its wins, its hospitalizations, transplants, its victims and its fighters… and then the ones who defy all odds. The ones who take the statistics of CF and crush them.
I don’t exactly know why I was chosen to lead this life with CF. Or why I drew the hand I did when it comes to my health. Sure, you could chalk it up to science and the background behind genetics. But why, me? Specifically me. Well, all I can lean on is PURPOSE. It is MY purpose. I was placed exactly where I am supposed to be, so carefully and delicately by God to lead a life of purpose. To give hope and share my mission, my story, my intention and my gratefulness with others living with (and without) CF. In fact, I have CF to thank for a lot of things! It’s strange how that works because why or how could anyone thank something that is so unpredictable? So cruel and life-threatening? It’s because it made me strong, made me determined, made me thankful and what ultimately lead me to my career. It is because of CF that I am the woman I am today and for that, I am thankful.
Happy Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month to my Cysters and Fibros!
I enrolled with dōTERRA almost 2 years ago. My initial reason was for personal use only and to learn more about this up and coming “essential oil craze”. I had purchased a few oils from a co-worker and dabbled here and there but didn’t really know what I was doing – let’s be honest. I’ll share with you this, I diffused my husband out of our bedroom with Breathe, dōTERRA’s respiratory blend. It smells similar to Vicks VapoRub and I only needed about 2-3 drops in the diffuser and I probably used close to 15… what an amateur move! #Rookie
Shortly after getting my oils and the whole diffuser incident, my mom and I attended an in-home oil class and instantly FELL IN LOVE!! Needless to say, we both officially joined the dōTERRA family and ordered our very own Family Essentials Kit.
I’ve mentioned before that I have CF and am also a nurse, so for me, it was all about finding a balance between natural solutions and modern medicine. And let me be the first to say that not only did I find the balance I’ve so eagerly yearned for, but also a passion that I didn’t know existed. It didn’t take long for these oils to make an impact on my day-to-day life that I felt the desire and drive to share with others. Since then, dōTERRA has become my side hustle, as I call it. And as for my mom, she also fell in love essentials oils, dōTERRA, and their mission. Together we’ve created Simply 65 Roses– Simply, Your Mother-Daughter Duo!
I’ve completely changed my lifestyle since then. On the daily, I use essential oils and other dōTERRA products for everything, literally everything! My best accomplishment yet is swapping out all of our household cleaners with some simple and easy DIY recipes, which I promise to share with you all. Can I get an “Amen” for toxin free cleaning products!? I use them to clean the counters, wash the dishes, tidy the bathrooms, shampoo the carpets, wash the laundry, brush my teeth, shower, calm the dogs, boost my mood, aid in sleep… you name it and these oils can be used for it!
My testimony: One of the health benefits I’ve achieved since starting with dōTERRA has been tackling my acid reflux. I was taking 40mg of Omeprazole once a day for well over 10 years and guess what? With the daily use of essential oils, I haven’t taken it in over a year, not once, nothing!
Please see disclaimer.
So out of all the companies out there offering essential oils, why did I choose dōTERRA? Specifically for their transparency and sourcing. I wanted to use their products to improve my health and in order to do that, I needed to make sure they were the real deal. Due to their third-party testing, every batch of essential oil goes through an 8 step testing process. This ensures that every single bottle is 100% Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG). And what I find to be even cooler, is that you can find out exactly where the bottle you own came from by typing in the code on the bottom of the bottle at sourcetoyou.com. dōTERRA means “Gift Of The Earth”. They have a global Co-Impact sourcing model, which means they source their oils where that plant grows and thrives best. Let’s say for example, you were given the choice to choose from an orange grown in Florida or an orange grown in Ohio, which would you choose? Uhhh, Florida! dōTERRA sets off into the world to seek and find the appropriate temperature, humidity and proper soil for each and every plant. This is so important because it gives these plants their highest therapeutic property. As if this wasn’t enough, when dōTERRA sources their oils from other countries, they are supporting small communities. Through their Healing Hands™ Foundation, they are able to work to bring lives free of poverty and disease. And THIS is what sets dōTERRA apart from ANY other company!
I could go on for centuries about dōTERRA and their products, but I’ll let the oils do the rest of the talking!
Today is my 27th birthday – closer to 30 than 20… WTF!!
Now I know what you’re thinking, “This girl over here is still in her 20’s and she thinks she’s old, just wait until she hits 40, 50, 60, etc.” Let me start off by saying that that is in no way my thoughts. It is truly and honestly so surreal to me that I am 27 and to see everything I have accomplished while also looking ahead and seeing the plans my husband and I have for our future and all the things we still have left to accomplish.
As cliché as it may sound, the older I get the more appreciative I have become. In a sense, I guess it also feels crazy to me that I am 27 because I feel older at heart. I’ve always considered myself an old soul and have often been told that I am wise beyond my years. If I had to guess, I’d say this is a combination of growing up with a chronic illness, being raised by one hell of a strong ass woman – my mother – and becoming a nurse.
I’ve learned to be kind, grateful and thankful for what I have because there is always, and I mean ALWAYS someone who has it worse than you. I’ve learned to be mindful of life because it is so incredibly fragile and tomorrow is never guaranteed. I’ve become a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason”, even if that reason is hard to understand and doesn’t make sense at the moment. I’ve learned that a relationship with God is so important and that praying for each blessing in your life is good for the soul – although I have to be honest and say this is something I am still working on. And if I am being completely transparent with you all, I still have days (many) where I struggle with the things said above. But I am not a perfect person and I don’t believe there is one out there. I am fortunate enough to be living the life I have, have the family and husband that I do and also a job that I find very humbling, grounding and rewarding. This emphasizes the fact to enjoy the simple things in life, which is exactly what I did today!
My birthday went exactly as I had imagined and as I am sitting here getting ready to tell you about my day, there’s a huge smile and a full heart sitting behind your computer screen typing these words. Today, I slept in and cuddled my fur babies, enjoyed a cup of my favorite coffee at 2pm (yes, you read that correctly), and binge watched a TV series. When my husband came home from work, he made one of my favorite meals which is any type of pasta. Backstory: It was my first birthday spent in our new home, 3 years ago, and my husband surprised me with a home cooked dinner, the noodle kind. Talk about a happy girl! It was some sort of version of chicken alfredo and man was it good! I believe the term is food-gasm – HA! But each year since, I’ve asked for essentially a repeat of the year before. A night in, enjoying my favorite meal with my favorite person and our dogs. The funny part is my husband never saves the recipe so each year he has to look up a new one because he can never find the previous one. Is it appropriate to say, “typical man?” All jokes aside, it is always a delicious dinner and good quality time spent together. The rest of the evening was spent relaxing on the couch, cuddling our pups and watching TV. These little things wrapped up into memories made are what make me more and more appreciative each and every day!
What do you remember about your 27th birthday? And if you are someone reading this and have yet to turn 27, soak it up! Enjoy every last minute of every last day because each year just goes by faster and faster.