Wednesday, October 14, 2015

3 Exciting Invitations and a Little Update

There has been a lot going on behind the scenes here. It's been exhilarating (and kind of scary, if I'm being honest), but I feel strengthened from above and so happy to have energy to serve those in my sphere. God is so good.

Three pretty big projects have come to completion this month, and I'm excited to share them with you.

(1) The Mom Conference 
Saren (my Power of Moms co-director) and Desi (from Unconventional Kitchen) have done the bulk of the work on this beautiful online event (wow, it's been a huge project), but I had the chance to do five of the video interviews, and my life has been SO blessed because of them.

The conference officially ends tomorrow, but there's an extra replay day on Friday because of some technical issues that happened yesterday, so if you haven't signed up yet, please do!  You won't want to miss this.

Register here for the Mom Conference (totally free!) 

(2) The SANE Show

I wrote about SANE awhile back, and it's now been more than a year since Alia and I totally changed our diets--cutting out sugar and processed foods. We're still working on getting the whole family on board (#theylikesnickers), but we have never been healthier and happier, and Alia wants to devote her life to helping other children (and adults) learn that being overweight is a choice--that doesn't involve starving yourself.

As I have emailed back and forth with Jonathan Bailor (founder of and NYT bestselling author of The Calorie Myth), I shared my appreciation for his research and program and explained how I feel a kind of calling inside to help share this with the world.

Well, we collaborated on and launched our SANE Families program a couple of months ago, and now I am the new co-host of Jonathan's podcast, "The SANE Show."

I'll be writing more about this in the future, but for now, I'd love to share the video trailer (Alia's before and after is in there!) and invite you to subscribe for free via iTunes. We have a new show every week, and I so wish I'd had this information when I was a little girl.  It would have saved me years and years of struggles.

If you have a child who is overweight, or if you are counting calories and working out every day to try to lose weight (but only ending up tired and hungry), please join us. I don't want to come across as a crazy person, but I really, really, really think this is the solution to our country's obesity and diabetes epidemic, and I want to get this information out there.  :)

(3) LearnDoBecome and the STEP Program

I also announced a few months ago that Eric and I just launched our brand new website, This has been a dream of ours for years, and while the content and podcast will be resuming soon, we've been doing a lot of thinking, planning, and building behind the scenes.

It's been a gift to get to work side by side with Eric, and it's been fun to see him in "running-a-website" mode while we take turns managing the household and running the carpools. He's super cute behind a laptop...  We're creating a platform that we plan to build for the rest of our lives.

I don't know if you've read Good to Great, but it's an amazing book, and one of my favorite parts was about identifying your "hedgehog." What can you do BEST in the whole world? What are you passionate about? What can drive your economic engine?  (Great questions, don't you think?)

As we discussed where we can be most helpful in the world through our efforts at LearnDoBecome, Eric expressed his deep love for "Life Architecture"--helping others to map out what they actually want to DO with their lives.  More on that in the coming months...

And as we talked about MY hedgehog, we decided that it was time to take my love for GTD and organization to a new level and build a program that works for moms and dads, husbands and wives, grandmothers and grandfathers, students, singles, professionals, and anyone who is interested in creating a seamless system to manage all the "stuff" that comes at us--so we can use our time and energy in ways that fulfill our deepest purposes.

I've been working with thousands of moms on this over the past 8 years, and of course I'll still be working with my beloved Mind Organization for Moms community at Power of Moms, but here's the situation: no matter how great the program, a man/student/single/professional doesn't feel super comfortable logging into a website for moms (I don't know why!).  Our new program, called Steps to Everyday Productivity (STEP), is co-taught by me and Eric, and it's designed to help people achieve a balance of personal and professional development.  I'll share more soon, but the first few modules are up and running, and I am really, really excited about it.

If you haven't yet joined us at LearnDoBecome, please pop over and sign up for our free guide and audio download, "Five Life-Changing Habits Most People Overlook." You'll get a good feel for LearnDoBecome, and then we'll email you when our other resources are ready to go.

So there you go. Three invitations that I hope will be helpful for your life.

I look forward to writing more soon and having time to share pictures of my cute parents and stories about what's been happening with our family. (Everyone's doing really well, by the way.)

Thank you so much for your continued prayers for my mom. I've still been going every week, and I hug and kiss her and sometimes crawl right into her hospital bed so I can hold her in my arms for awhile.  Last week she fell asleep on my shoulder, and it was the cutest thing ever.

Now, if you don't mind me sharing my heart for a second...

Sometimes, when it's just the two of us, I push my cheek against hers and say, "Mom, there is so much going on. I didn't know it would all get this big. The projects I'm working on are scary for me. I don't know if I'm up to all this."

She always gets a concerned expression on her face, looks me in the eyes, and then starts a sentence with something like, "Oh, no, you musn't..." but then she trails off and gets distracted by a noise in the hallway or a snag on the corner of her bed sheet or something colorful hanging on the wall, and she forgets what she was trying to say.

But, like I've written before, I know what she would have said.

And so one quiet morning, a few weeks ago, I actually wrote down the best advice that my mom and my Heavenly Parents have given me over the years when it comes to facing hard things, and I made an audio recording called "Daily Reminder" that I listen to each day before I jump into my day's work.

Oh my goodness... That has been one of the most beautiful gifts in my life.

I don't know how I forget these things from day to day, but every time I hear those reminders, they fill my heart and help me to keep going.

Because it's not about me.

Our work is never about us.

It's about those who can be helped by what we can offer, and it's about listening closely to that Voice who is gracious enough to allow us to be instruments in His hands.

Okay, I think that's all for tonight.

Love to all of you!  I've missed you.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

It's Time to Talk about SANE

Many of you know that body image issues have been a struggle for me for most of my life.

I started counting calories when I was nine, I ate between 600 and 900 calories a day the summer before I started high school, and throughout my first 14 years of motherhood, I tried to eat as little as possible each day--and still get out to exercise (even when I was exhausted from being up all night).  That part of my story hasn't been pleasant.

About a year ago, I started something new.  I read The Calorie Myth my Jonathan Bailor, and my frustrations with food and exercise finally made sense to me. He explained the science behind how our bodies work. He told me which foods would help my metabolism to heal. More importantly, he helped me to finally achieve "nutritional serenity," so I don't even have to think about calories anymore.

I wish I could explain how much this has meant to me. Looking back, I can't believe how many years I spent going hungry.

(These are my "before and after" photos - I can't tell you how reluctant I have been to post these, but I know it's helpful for people to see...)

But the story gets better...a lot better.

My daughter, Alia, started struggling with her weight when she was in third grade.  I helped her to count calories (like I did), and I encouraged her to eat less sugar.  I also tried to get her moving more and invited her to participate in my workout DVDs.  Nothing worked. She kept getting heavier and heavier.

However, when I started applying the advice from Jonathan and The Calorie Myth, she saw that it was working for me, and she began to follow my lead.

It was slow at first. We started eating green smoothies together, and I showed her how to get protein into every meal. But over the course of a few months, her entire body changed.  Every few weeks, we were heading off to Old Navy to buy her smaller pants and poking new holes in her belt so she could tighten it.

It wasn't only her body that transformed.  She became happier and more confident than I had ever seen her--without EVER being hungry.

Last September, I reached out to Jonathan Bailor on Twitter and thanked him for making a difference in our lives. Then I invited him on Power of Moms Radio, and he invited me onto his podcast.

We talked about Alia--and all the mothers, fathers, and children out there who are overweight and/or diabetic--not because they are weak, but because they don't know what to do besides "eat less and exercise more."

Then we decided we could do something together to help save lives. We outlined a step-by-step program for families--including things like how to grocery shop, how to pack SANE lunches, and how to eat healthfully while on the go. We recorded videos about how to get organized so the process would feel easier, and we interviewed Alia regarding how she made this transformation as a 15-year-old girl.

This week, our SANE Families program has launched. 

It has taken hundreds of hours behind the scenes to get it up and running, and there's still a lot of work ahead of us to get it out to the families who need it, but this is part of my Butterfly Project I've been telling you about.

My life and Alia's life have been so transformed by Jonathan's work that we feel compelled to share it with others who are struggling like we were.

If you want to hear our podcast with Jonathan and learn more about our SANE Families projects, this is the link that includes all of the key SANE information:

So excited about this--and hopeful that we can make a real difference.

Much love,

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

When Your Knowledge of God is Deep in Your Core

***Quick Book Update (before I start this post):

Thank you all for your support and inquiries regarding my upcoming book, Your Children Want YOU!  I am more excited about it than I can say, and I thought it might be helpful to let you know what's happening.

(1) The book is finished.  It has taken more than two years, but it's done.

(2) I shared it with my dear friend Rachel Nielson, who is more than an editor. She's a deliberate mother who lost her amazing mom to cancer years ago (you can read her story here). Out of everyone in the world, I felt like she could give me the feedback I needed on this book.

(3) She did. In fact, her feedback was so good that I decided to take some extra time to apply all of her edits and publish the book "right." Rachel has never met my mom, but she knows her. She would say things about my book like, "I don't think you meant it this way. I think your mom would have said ____ instead."  And she was absolutely right.

(4) The book is coming. I feel like it's a sacred project that will not only honor my mother, but will strengthen others who need her.

This is what I wrote in the dedication:

To My Mother, Zoe:
Even though you can no longer remember these stories, 
I am keeping them safe for you and sharing your light with the world.

So I'll be announcing more soon, but if you want to receive an email when I launch, please sign up at  (the new site my husband and I just launched that I'll talk more about soon!)

With love,
April here's today's post:

I was about to jump into my day (lots of emails and projects calling my name), but I felt like I should pause for a moment to record a powerful experience that won't leave me. I hope it will be helpful for you.

Last Thursday, my children and I went to visit my mom (as usual!).  We went boogie boarding at the beach first, so we were a bit tired when we got there.  I actually crawled into my mom's hospital bed right next to her and took a little nap while she held me. I haven't done something like that in nearly 20 years.

Well, after our rest time and our dinner, my sister Laura came over to visit for a little while.  We pulled up a few chairs around Mom's hospital bed--me, Laura, Grace, and Alia--and then we just talked.

Mom doesn't participate in these conversations anymore.  She usually fiddles with her bedding or hugs her stuffed animal (a blue bunny this week!), and then whenever we make eye contact, she smiles at us like this:

A few minutes into the conversation, Laura mentioned that she was teaching a lesson at church that Sunday about justice and mercy.  (This excellent talk was the basis for her lesson...I definitely recommend reading it.)

We talked for a bit about what kinds of questions she could ask in her lesson and about how we have personally felt the Lord's mercy in our lives.

Then I shared a thought that has been strengthening me for the last few weeks:

I need the Lord's mercy every single day. Sometimes I look at the challenges--and the opportunities--in front of me, and I think, "There is NO way I can do this. Zero. I don't have what it takes. I don't have the energy. I can't possibly get through this. I am not up to the task." 

But then I step back for a moment, and I ask myself, "Has there EVER been a time--even once--when the Lord has let me down?" 

And the answer is, "Not once."  There hasn't been one time in my entire life when I have felt like I was falling, and when I have called to the Lord for help, and when he hasn't come to rescue me. He gives me SO much more than I merit, and so when I start walking into what seems to be a long, dark, overwhelming time in my life, I only need to remember that I have help RIGHT there.

The power I feel when I remember these thoughts completely lifts me. However, what is more powerful is what my mom was doing while I shared those thoughts.

"Look," Laura said, "Look at Mom. She's listening. She's here. She's nodding her head."

I turned to look at my mother (who is about five years into her Alzheimer's), and although she didn't have the words to say it, this is what I felt:

April, what you're saying is true. The Lord is there for you. He's there for me. Don't give up. NEVER doubt Him. His mercy is a gift, and whenever you need Him--no matter what--He will take care of you. 

I wish I could have taken a photograph or a video of her face and her eyes. I wish you could have seen how she wasn't confused or distracted for those few moments.

And do you know why?

Because her knowledge of God is so deep in her core that nothing--not Alzheimer's, not dementia, not old age--can take it from her.

That is what I want for me and for my family.

Forget about all of the shallow things that get way too much attention these days.  They don't matter.

Forget about the questions or doubts that creep in.  They're not from the right Source.

Life is not easy--for anyone. But I have no doubt whatsoever that God loves us, knows us, and cares for us.  It is by His power that we can do whatever He asks.

I hope you can feel His love for you today.

Monday, June 22, 2015


I've received several inquiries lately from those of you who read this blog--essentially asking, "How are you? How's your mom? What's happening right now?"

Thank you so much for caring.

A lot has been going on these past few months, and I had to take a step back to assess where I am, what I am doing, and where I am going with my life.

I'll be talking more about this soon, but I'm calling this process my "Butterfly Project," and I've been in the "Cocooning" phase.

(Eric refers to it as my mid-life chrysalis.  Isn't that a fun concept?)

I didn't talk about my Butterfly Project openly at first because I thought it sounded silly.  But as I've slowly opened up about the process to a few close friends, I've discovered that it's practically a universal need to assess and redefine ourselves every so often.

In many ways, I've been living my life as a caterpillar--staying close to the ground, living below my privileges, and being okay with situations that simply are not optimal.  And while I know I have a blessed life with so many beautiful parts, living as a caterpillar is exhausting.  You have to crawl everywhere, even though deep inside you know you have the capacity to fly.

Well, a few months ago, I decided that it was time for a change.  It's time to shake things up and get past all of my super-comfortable limiting beliefs and become that butterfly I've been dreaming about all my life.

This is scary.  It's even scary to write about here, but I'm going to make this transformation or literally die trying.  (There's nothing particularly dangerous about this process--I just mean that I will either succeed soon or I will keep trying until my days in this life come to a close...hopefully after I hit 100.)

I want to live my life with purpose every single day and know with absolute surety that I am pleasing my Creator. I want to breathe deeply and feel more confident with my decisions. I want to feel joyful--even when life isn't easy.

This cocooning process has consisted of spending lots of time in thought and prayer, reading dozens of books that have opened my mind to possibilities, and having hours and hours of important discussions with Eric--who has been my #1 Butterfly Project champion. (He hung these glass butterflies on my wall, and then Alia made this darling caterpillar to inspire me.)

At this point, it's about time for my cocooning to come to an end, as it is starting to feel stifling here in this chrysalis.  :)

So look for more posts coming in the next few weeks!

Now before I close, I do want to give you a brief update on my mom.

In many ways, she is doing really well.  She's totally off of hospice, and her caregiver, Cheryl, is doing an amazing job.  Mom is more responsive than she has been in a long time, and she is even reading a few sentences at a time.  (That floored us.)

The hard part is that she never knows me.

She knows some people in the family, but I can't remember the last time she said my name.

Honestly, I'm okay with it now.  It's enough just to be with her.  I hug her and say, "I'm April. I'm your daughter."

And she says, "Oh, yes, of course!"  (Even though I know she doesn't quite remember...)

At last week's visit, I was getting dinner out of the car, and Alia and Grace went into my parents' house first.  Mom was in her wheelchair by the window, and the girls said, "Our mom is coming in soon.  When you see her, say, 'Hi April!'"

They practiced with her over and over, and then when I walked in, she gave me a big smile and--with the girls by her side, slightly holding their breaths--said simply, "Hi!"

My girls were so darling.  They said, "Oh, we're sorry, Mom. We tried so hard to help her say your name."

I told them it was okay, and I let them know I appreciated their effort.

Later that night, as I sat alone in my room, however, it struck me just how sweet that was of them.

To know that I have children who know me and love me is such a gift.  They're perceptive enough to know how much it would mean to me to hear my mother say my name.  That fills me.

Thank you for your friendship and your goodness and for all you are doing to strengthen your families. Thank you for caring about our family and this life we're working so hard to live well.

Excited to share more soon.

With love,
April (the Butterfly)

Friday, February 13, 2015

The BEST "Winnie the Pooh" Experience You'll Ever Have

Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, California will be featuring "Winnie the Pooh" the first two weekends in March, and if there is any way you can make it, please do! (More details below, if you want to attend!)

The quick story:  I first saw Wilson High School's "Winnie the Pooh" with my sister Laura when I was a little girl (four years old, maybe?).  I was enchanted with the tissue-paper leaf canopy hanging from the ceiling, and the entire production was magical.

Then as a 14-year-old freshman drama student, I auditioned for the play, and when I was cast as one of the little rabbits, I could hardly contain my excitement.  (The cast list was posted right before Christmas break, and I spent several hours of that break hopping around my house to get into character.  I know...kind of ridiculous, but this was a DREAM COME TRUE.)

As a junior, when we did another Winnie the Pooh play (it's an every-other-year thing), I had the chance to be Kanga.  Again...a dream come true.

I had to laugh when I spoke with a recent Kanga (two years ago) because she was born the year I played her part.  Hello? When did I get old?

This is Mr. Bowden, my high school drama teacher, who has promised never to retire.  :)

When I spoke with him after Winnie the Pooh a couple of years ago, I said, "We have got to get the mom bloggers involved and fill this theater up. No one knows about this!"

So this year, that is exactly what I am doing.

Here are a few more photos, and then details are below regarding how you can get tickets.  (Please come!!)

One of the best parts of the performance is when the characters sign autographs at the end.  (I didn't take photos during the show, so this is mostly what I have...) Do you see the smile on my son's face?

There's Pooh, Owl, Kanga, and Tigger...

And Auntie Robin, Christopher Robin, Roo, and Rabbit:

The show is lively, fun, and clever, and it is perfect for any child (or adult).  Seriously, you will not regret the experience, and you will wish you had brought all your friends.

So...are you wondering how to reserve your spot?

Here are the details:

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids, and all kids under the age of 1 are free. (This is a STEAL.)

The dates are March 6th, 7th, 13th, and 14th.

Friday nights at 7:00 p.m. 

Saturdays @ 10:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.
Typically, you can't reserve tickets in advance, but Mr. Bowden has agreed to make an exception for YOU.

Please email april (at) powerofmoms (dot) com with the subject line "Winnie the Pooh" (the subject line is really important, or you might get filtered out) and I'll tell you how to get in touch with Mr. Bowden and which show I will be personally attending with my family. We're also doing a group picnic that day! 

Can't wait!!!  So excited for you to experience it with your children.

With love,

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Heaven-Sent Lift

I miss you. 

I miss writing on this blog. 

I wish I could just sit down every day and talk about all the things I am learning, and all the funny things that are happening, and all of the exciting activities that are totally out of my comfort zone, but for which I am very grateful.

But tonight I just want to record a simple idea that has brought me more strength in the last two days then I had hoped to receive.

I woke up yesterday morning with five or six heavy things weighing on my mind, and because it was early, and no one else was awake, I went quietly downstairs and sat cross-legged on the carpet in front of our little gas fireplace to have my personal time with God.

I read this talkand this particular line jumped out at me:

"Heaven-sent lift will be found for heaven-sent duties."

All of a sudden, I looked at my list of worries I had recorded in my journal and realized that every single one of them was heaven sent.

I think you can relate....

Everything involving my family, my work at Power of Moms, or my interactions with God's children is work I am doing only because I want to serve my King.

I know many of you feel likewise.

And so I realized I didn't need to worry.

Instead, I simply needed to ask Him to send the help that He has promised.

Well, the help came--that "lift" I had hoped for.

It came with more power and peace and beauty than I feel I deserved. 

My heart has been SO calm, and the past couple of days have felt incredibly empowering.

As I look back, I can pinpoint the start of this miracle to the moment I read that promise from above.

So I wanted to take just a moment to share it with you. And I want to make sure you know that for all of your heaven-sent duties, heaven-sent lift WILL come...if you just ask. 

With Love, 

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