Dugouts and Diapers

Jessica Starr Nichols


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True Cellular Detox

Exercise, eating clean, counting calories, counting steps, and watching the number on the scale go up! Grrrrrr!!!!!! This has been my life for the past 5 years. I would lose 5-10 pounds but never anything more. I never had this problem until after I was on 8 weeks of bedrest during my second pregnancy. During this time, I gained 80 pounds, and after he was born, I was exhausted and was never able to achieve any real weight loss results. I've tried and given it my all for nearly 5 years. I went to my physician, and they would tell me I was an excellent candidate for weight loss surgery or would offer diet pills, which when you have epilepsy, do more harm than good. I didn't want a quick fix. I was willing to do the work. I just wanted to know why! Why, despite all my efforts, can I not lose weight, and why do I feel exhausted, ill, and just plain sick?

Fast forward to July 28, and I emotionally met with Dr. Bart Precourt and the staff at Balance 30A in Seagrove Beach, FL. Dr. Bart has helped my parents find an all-natural way to maintain their health as they grow older, and my mom suggested that he could help me too. It was emotional, because I had struggled for so long. After extensive testing, we discovered that my hormones were so far out of whack, which happened during the bed rest nearly five years ago, that my body was filled with inflammation. Dr. Bart explained that when the cells needed certain vitamins and minerals, despite my choice to eat healthy, the cells couldn't absorb the nutrients they needed because of the inflammation, and my body didn't know what to do with what I ate, except store it as fat.

Please understand that I, in no way, am saying that my weight gain was completely hormonal. I did make some poor choices, because I was so overwhelmed, frustrated, and exhausted with no results, despite my best efforts as well as dealing with the stresses and challenges life has presented us. Some of this was my fault. Everything is a choice!

Dr. Bart and his staff are so kind and compassionate. From the moment you walk in the door, you feel like these people genuinely want to help you. That was such a comfort as well as an answer to prayer. After my appointment, I told my mom that for the first time, I felt like there was actual hope for me to be healthy again. I cannot put into words what a comfort that is.


Two weeks prior to my appointment, I had made the decision to begin a morning exercise routine and revisit our previous clean eating habits. So, I was already headed in the right direction to prepare my body for the treatment. How do you treat this? Well, you rid your body and brain of all the toxins that have caused this inflammation and are keeping my body from functioning properly. For me, it's going to be at least a 100 day process.

For the first ten days, I continued waking up every morning at 5am to exercise and ate no gluten, no sugar, no red meat, no dairy, and drinking only water, which is all my family has drank for the last two years. So, that part wasn't difficult. I was also taking Standard Process supplements, which Dr. Bart sells at Balance, three times each day. Literally three days into this, I felt like a new person. I've told many people, "You never know just how sick you actually were until you begin to feel better."

The next 90 days will be divided into three phases: Prep Phase, Body Phase, and Brain Phase. These three phases make up the True Cellular Detox. You begin by completing an online training course, to familiarize yourself with the program as well as to explain what's going on in your body, and how each phase is going to affect your body. I began Prep Phase today. My morning was greeted with some of the suggested yoga poses, breathing exercises, and a burst workout, which is recommended in the training videos. I haven't been hungry or miserable at all, due to the filling Ketogenic type diet. I've felt satisfied, hopeful, optimistic, and excited.

Each phase will last 30 days, and I will consult with Dr. Bart at the end of each phase, where we will recheck my toxicity levels and progress through various testing and measurements. He and his staff have made themselves available at anytime to me, which again shows their dedication to helping people be healthy as well as their care and compassion.

I'm so thankful for not only Dr. Bart and the Balance 30A team but also for my incredible parents that are always willing to share their knowledge and wisdom as well as offer support in any way they can. If my mom had not told me about Dr. Bart and had I not seen the results she and my dad have achieved, I never would have gone. I am also so extremely grateful for a wonderful husband that is so supportive and has finally seen and understood just how sick I was for the last five years. I'm thankful for children that are not picky and eat anything that is cooked, because cooking two separate meals wasn't an option. Hahaha. I'm thankful for the perseverance and will that God has instilled within me to give my everything to this process. I've always been determined, strong, and a hard worker. I'm thankful He made me the way He did.

I will continue to update my blog periodically throughout each phase and post results as I see them. If anyone reading this has ever felt hopeless when it comes to your health, I encourage you to contact Dr. Bart and his staff at Balance 30A, because they can help you and want to help you.


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Fall Breakin in the Mountains

There has been so much going on in my family over the past two weeks. So, there is really only one fair way to do this….write two posts๐Ÿ˜œ. To my faithful readers as well as my visitors, check back in tomorrow for another post.One thing my manclan has been begging to do is go camping. So, when you live in a house full of testosterone, you load up the van and head to the great outdoors! We knew Banks had his annual appointment with his pediatric neurologist on October 11, so we began googling campgrounds near Huntsville, and luckily we found Cloudland Canyon State Park. It was only an hour and a half from Huntsville, therefore we knew we could enjoy camping all weekend then load up on Monday morning and head to the doctor’s office before driving back to Dothan. We also knew camping would be an affordable option. There are not many four-day vacations that a family of four can enjoy at just under $100. I grew up camping nearly every weekend of my childhood, but I had never stayed at a campsite like this๐Ÿ˜ณ! You park your vehicle and hike about 1/4 mile to your campsite, and the only amenities are a leveled area for your tent and a firepit with a cooking grate over it. The closest comfort station, electricity, and fresh water was about 1/8 mile from our campsite. Now, thankfully, growing up, my mother was the world’s most organized camping wife. So, I learned a lot from her, and I was able to implement many of the same tricks she used, and spending my childhood watching my parents use camp stoves, lanterns, and clotheslines, I had no problem planning meals and organizing each person’s “bath house basket.” For a little TMI, when you are with a group of boys, and the nearest comfort station is 1/8 mile away, you learn to go #1 in the woods and only make that trek to the bath house when necessary. Following a cool night’s sleep in our tents, we spent day 2 hiking. We hiked a total of about 12 miles that day. Although all the waterfalls were dry, the scenery was majestic! I was so proud of Weston and my Chrissy! Weston rode in his stroller as far as the trail would allow, but he hiked a good 4-5 miles, and that’s a long way for his little legs. My Chrissy is part Beagle, part Bassett Hound, and her personality leans more toward a Bassett, but she loved sniffing out the trails, and she was an awesome hiking dog! While Weston preferred to stay on the ground, Banks was a mountain goat! If there was a place to climb, he found it! Have I mentioned that he is in incredible shape! I was planning my funeral at the end of the day, and once we got back to camp, he was still running up and down the side of the mountain with his Go-Pro strapped to him! We spent day three hiking a bit closer to our campsite. We discovered the cutest little bridge, a few very unique trees, as well as a strange bug or two! Day 3 was really special! Adam taught Banks how to make a campfire, and using only an axe, Banks chopped down a dead tree next to our campsite. Like I said, he’s in incredible shape! We had delicious meals the entire time, s’mores each night for Weston, and campfire smooches for my honey and me. 

Monday morning, we woke up with the sun, ate breakfast, packed up, and headed to Huntsville where Banks received an excellent report from his doctor. She even gave him the “go-ahead” to get his permit next summer when he turns 15, as long as he remains seizure-free, which we have total trust in God to keep him healthy.

Quite possibly the best part of the trip was the time we got to spend with Adam’s dad in Hartselle, which is just a hop, skip, and a jump from Huntsville. I am thankful for repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation. I am thankful to know my helpmate felt love. Mostly, I am thankful for over a year of answered prayers! 

To say the least, our fall break was wonderful! We cannot wait to plan our next trip, and anywhere my manclan leads, I will follow!โค๏ธ


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Everyday I’m Hustlin

As I shared two weeks ago, I will be going on a mission trip to Austin, TX in June 2017. Mission trips are expensive, and as I was pondering ways in which I could help off-set the cost of this trip, my sweet friend Amber called me. She knows I enjoy cooking, and she also knows I am an excellent baker. So, she recommended that I sell my homemade, baked items throughout the holiday season.


After considering my friend’s idea as genius, I began compiling a list of my favorite holiday recipes. Then I began picturing the presentation of my goodies, what my menu would look like, and once Weston was down for his nap, I spent the next hour typing a rough copy of my menu. Due to Adam’s extensive knowledge in the catering and hospitality business, I knew that I would need to consult with him on pricing. 

So, without further ado, I present P 31’s Holiday Bakery!!!!!! What is P 31, you ask…It is the book and chapter in the Bible in which I have prayed to mold my life after for the last thirteen years. Being a Proverbs 31 wife, mother, and woman is extremely important to me. She is a lady that works diligently, and that certainly describes me. She also uses her talents as unto the Lord, which is what I am attempting to do with this holiday bakery. 

So, if you are in the Dothan area and are in need of some savory or sweet treats for a gift, family gathering, holiday party, or simply to enjoy, please contact me beginning October 1, with your order. I guarantee super yummy goodies made with love โค๏ธ.


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Uneventful Week…Uneventful Post

Oddly enough, it’s been a rather uneventful, slow week for my manclan and me. I went shopping with my mom this morning and told her that I did not really have anything to write about this week, and she said, “write about that.” So, for those of you that actually enjoy my blog, this is a post about nothing in particular. Hahaha๐Ÿ˜‚

Monday night, Banks had a JV football game, and he played great! He had two interceptions, some great blocks and tackles, and Houston Academy won! He was extremely proud of himself, as were Adam and I. Some of our friends from church came to watch him play, which made the great plays all the more exciting. Tonight, he will play with the varsity team in Goshen, AL, and then we will do it all over again next week. We love cheering for our Banks and the Raiders!๐Ÿ’™

Weston’s highlight of the week was singing in church on Sunday with his Mission Friends Class. They sang two songs, and he seemed much more interested in the flower arrangement than singing. Thankfully, he pulled it together by the last verse of the first song, and the entire group did a phenomenal job! I love getting to teach this group of kiddos every week! They make me smile!๐Ÿ˜

He also learned how to form the letters “L” and “O” at school this week. They use the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum, and it is amazing to watch Weston take cars, candy corn, and even his sweet little fingers to form the letters. The more I read about this curriculum, the more I love it. We are very proud of how much Weston is learning every week.

Adam and I have spent the majority of our time away from work, football, carline, church, etc… making a checklist and beginning to pack for our upcoming vacation to Cloudland Canyon State Park. We are very excited to spend fall break as a family in the mountains. I spent nearly every weekend of my childhood camping. So, this is nothing new for me. I’m thrilled to camp and hike with my manclan. One of the many things Adam and I have in common is our love for the outdoors. ๐Ÿ•

Well, as I explained earlier, this week was not quite as eventful as usual, but if everything were always the same, this life would become extremely boring. We have enjoyed this calm week and are looking forward to our last free weekend until the middle of November. Come back next week to see what my manclan and I have gotten into.๐Ÿ˜ƒ


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Go, Serve, Love

This week I finally get to share some very exciting news!!!! At the beginning of May, I began praying for my VBS class, and I prayed specifically that the Lord would send more kids my way this year. VBS came, and He more than doubled the number I had from the previous year. I was pumped, and as if that were not enough, two young ladies in my class came to know the Lord! At this point, that flicker within my soul was now a flame!๐Ÿ”ฅ After VBS ended, I told God that I wanted to lead people to Jesus everyday, and as always, He answered me just as matter of factly as I speak to my friends, saying, “You can do this everyday, Jessica! You just have to be willing to be used by Me.” WOW! It was a real “duh” moment for me.

Mark 12:30-31…I could not get these verses off of mind. Everyday I would read them. Some days I would repeat them 3-4 times. What did this mean? I began praying over them, and soon enough, it was clear. GO, SERVE, LOVE!!!!! I was being called to head up a women’s mission trip. Who me???? Why me??? Seriously??? I also began to pray for confirmation, and I did not utter a word about it to anyone except Adam, and at the end of June, I was volunteering at our church for Wired, and throughout the week, three random ladies within our church mentioned that I would be the perfect person to organize a women’s mission trip like they once did annually at Southside Baptist Church. These are all ladies whom I hold in the highest regard, as they have been a part of my life since the day I was born. Isn’t God cool? Wow, ok, God, thanks for the confirmation! 

Now that I knew what I was supposed to do, I had A LOT to do. Where will we go? How do I even begin planning this? There were so many questions. I began by speaking to my pastor, and he said, ” I’m so excited about this, and I’m 200% behind you.” Awesome! What a blessing to have such a supportive and encouraging pastor and friend! Thankfully our church has a treasure in Mrs. Rhonda Grandstaff, who served as a wealth of knowledge and guidance for me in this planning process. Her husband, Dr. Jerry Grandstaff, just happens to be the Director of Missions for the Columbia Baptist Association, and he gave me a folder with 286 missionaries and their ministries to contact. I was completely overwhelmed! I persevered and over the course of two months, narrowed the selection down to four. After contacting all four missionaries, only ONE returned my call. I had prayed for clarity, and God could not have been more clear. We are going to Austin, TX to serve at the Austin Pregnancy Resource Center!!!!

From the first moment that I spoke to Lori Devillez, the center’s founder/director, I knew that this was the place. I cried as she told me about the situations these young ladies have found themselves, and I just praise God for allowing me to use my story to minister to the families. These young ladies have already made the most wonderful choice by choosing LIFE for their unborn baby, and now the Lord is going to allow this group of ladies from my church to share His Gospel and just show love to these precious “neighbors”.

We will be heading to Texas on June 11, 2017, and we will return on June 18,2017. I am still in utter disbelief and completely humbled that God chose me, but I am so excited to live out Mark 12:30-31, as my sisters in Christ and myself GO to Austin, Tx to SERVE the Lord at The Austin Pregnancy Resource Center and LOVE on these young ladies that are so courageously choosing life for their babies. So please join me in the coming months praying for this trip, the center, the people we come in contact with, the finances of the trip, and most importantly, the preparation of our hearts to serve. Again, I am so excited to serve Him alongside my sisters in Christ, and I am thrilled to love on these young ladies that are just as lost as I was fourteen years ago, and I just want to convey to them that I know exactly what they are going through. It will be tough, but they can do it with the help of God. They were chosen, hand-picked by the Creator. I am just thrilled! We appreciate your prayers and support, and I will be posting updates as the trip draws near. 


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Wisdom Gone Wild

Last weekend I left my manclan at home to go off by myself for the first time since I left my parents’ home for college, which was sixteen years ago. A group of ladies from our church traveled to Mobile, Alabama to hear Beth Moore.


There were approximately 9,000 people, mostly women, gathered in The Mitchell Center on the campus of The University of South AlabamaTravis Cottrell led worship, and it was absolutely phenomenal! I was about  two seconds from abandoning my Baptist roots and becoming Pentecostal when we sang Break Every Chain. I love that song!


There were ladies from college to retirement age that went with us, and I was so thankful to get to know some of these precious souls better. Beth Moore spoke out of Proverbs concerning Wisdom vs Folly. She defined wisdom as, “skilled living from treasure hunting.” Metaphorically speaking, she described wisdom and folly as a crossroads, and sometimes they both look very similar, but she gave us seven points to distinguish one from the other.

1. Wisdom turns on its ear. Wisdom listens. It does not always have something to say.

2. Wisdom is awhirl with wonder.

3. Wisdom exists to engage.

4. Wisdom prizes insight over ego.

5. Wisdom sees through seduction.

6. Wisdom knows folly can kill you.

7. Wisdom can tell what time it is. He is a God of perfect timing.

It was quite interesting to see the distinction between the two, and as I recollected to certain times in my life when I was at the crossroads of wisdom or folly, it is interesting to see that as I have grown closer in my relationship with God, I have nearly always chosen wisdom. I am learning to be quiet, listen, wait on His timing, be willing to learn, and to make sure folly does not slip in that one spot that my armor does not cover. Just as my main man James says in James 1:5-8, “ask God for wisdom.” He also instructs us to ask in faith. I pray for wisdom daily for me, my husband, my children, family members, and friends. So, if you are consistently at the crossroads of wisdom and folly, and your are generally choosing folly, I urge you pray in faith for wisdom. It is just another free gift from our loving Savior.


While the conference was good, the fellowship with my sisters in Christ was amazing. I love my church family, and I am so thankful that the Lord gave me such incredible Christian friends. I cannot wait for our next adventure together!


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What’s Your Theme Song?

Everyone uses adjectives to describe another person. For instance, “She’s sweet. He’s handsome. They are kind.” All of those things are great, but why are you the person that you are? What has happened in your life that molded you into the person that you are today? Movies have a theme song. I’ve heard people exclaim, “Oh, turn that up! That’s my theme song!” Well, I love to sing, and I know a lot of songs, but I’ve never heard one song, in particular, and thought…WOW! That describes me perfectly. That all changed a few months ago when I heard the song Clean by Natalie Grant. If you haven’t heard it, you can listen to it here

As I’ve mentioned before, I despise disappointing people, especially people I love, especially my parents and family, especially God. Well, disappointment is inevitable. The thing is, I beat myself up far worse than anything anyone else could say to me or about me. I’m my own worst critic. When I had Banks, I felt so filthy and dirty. I felt like my life was over. I was scared. I was lost, but thankfully, I wasn’t alone. Although I couldn’t see it then, God used Banks to change my life. He used Banks to make me who I am today.

Today, I’m a new creation. I’m a Christian! My life has a purpose. I’m a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. I’m a Type A, highly organized, extreme clean freak, goal-oriented, leader, caregiver, genuine, outgoing, hard-headed, emotional, and loving person.

 I’ve made a lot of mistakes in life, but I’ve learned from them. I’ve allowed awful, unfortunate circumstances make and mold me into a better person. Until you’ve been a single parent, you have no earthly idea how difficult it is. You don’t know how hard it will make you to have people not want to be your friend or date you because you have a child. You don’t know what tired is until you’ve worked two jobs and gone to school in order to provide for another human. You don’t know how worthless you feel when someone you love and respect tells you you’re a terrible wife and a terrible mother, when they haven’t even taken the time to get to know you. You don’t know how strong you are until it is the only choice you have! These things have made me the woman I am today, and God used these experiences to show me that in Him, I’m clean! Where others may see broken, dirty, worthless, or shattered, He sees beautiful, clean, treasured, and whole! What an awesome God! I’m so thankful that my worth is found in Him and Him alone. I’m so thankful for parents, a sister, a brother, a husband, children, and family that see past the hurt and see all the love I have to give. I’m thankful for incredible, true friends that love me and know that they can count on me anytime. I’m so thankful for a Heavenly Father that gave me a tough road in order to bring me to the foot of His cross. I’m thankful that I’m not yet made perfect, but I rest in the fact of knowing that, “He’s restoring me piece by piece.” 

What’s your theme song? What have you been through that has changed your life? Is your life currently tough? Well, keep walking. Don’t stop! Don’t give up! Call out to Jesus! He’s not going to turn you away. How can I pray for you this week?