Dugouts and Diapers

Jessica Starr Nichols

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Back to the Basics

Since my post next week will be dedicated to celebrating my oldest son’s 16th birthday, I decided to post today about where my journey is leading me. First of all, let me say thank you to every person that reads my blog, subscribes to my blog, leaves me comments, and follows the Dugouts and Diapers Facebook page. When I started this blog, I never dreamed I would have people subscribe to read what I write. Mind blown 🤯! I enjoy writing. It’s therapeutic for me, and I originally began this blog as a way to let go. I had no idea anyone would actually be interested.🤣🤣

My loyal readers know of my perfectionist ways, and lately, despite my best effort to follow all the rules of intermittent fasting along with an all organic Keto diet and exercise, I’ve just hit a brick wall. I just finished a 10 day cleanse, thinking that would get me back on the weight-loss, muscle-gain train. Well, it didn’t! Yesterday I had a full-blown breakdown! I cried and cried and cried about why things have come to a screeching stop. After my eyes were good and swollen from crying, I began praying. I asked God to show me what steps to take next. Well, as I was cleaning house, an OLD song came on my phone. It is a Christian song from the 1980’s or early 1990’s by 4Him called The Basics of Life. That was it! Thank you, Lord, for ALWAYS leading me in the right direction and ALWAYS being faithful to answer when I ask!

The answer was, “Get back to the basics, Jessica! Do what you know works!” Back when I began this journey, as a matter of a fact, up until March (so the entire first 8 months) I was losing pounds, gaining muscle, feeling great, and not obsessing over every aspect of my journey. The basics….I ate 3 organic Keto meals/day and exercised everyday. Well, in March, I began intermittent fasting and was having to count hours between meals, worrying if I was eating too much or too little, still exercising everyday, but I haven’t lost much weight, nor have I gained very much muscle mass. It has become more of a stress than something that just comes naturally. Clearly it’s excellent for maintenance, because I haven’t gained any weight. I’ve just pretty much stayed exactly the same, give or take a few pounds. So, once I get to my healthiest version of me, I might go back to the intermittent fasting as a method of maintenance. For now and the journey I’m on, it’s not right for me.

Besides getting back to dietary basics, beginning July 30, I will also be getting back to family basics. God has opened the door for me to be a stay-at-home mom, and I am so excited! My manclan needs me and loves for me to be available for them. Weston has missed me terribly since I went back to work, and I didn’t get to attend any pep rallys for Banks. My time with Adam was minimal due to all the chores I had waiting at home once I got off of work. The truth is, Banks only has two more years of school, and I want to enjoy every moment! I miss my manclan. I miss my time with my husband. I am also looking forward to having some time for myself again. I’ve been so busy, I literally had to start trimming my own hair in January, because I didn’t have time to go get my hair cut! 😬 So, back to the basics….do what works! I’m thankful for these opportunities, and I encourage those of you that are hitting brick walls at full force in both your health and home….stop, and get back to the basics! For the first time in MONTHS, I feel encouraged and excited! I can’t wait to share with you all how these changes work out.

Thank you again for reading and come back next week as we celebrate Banks’ 16th birthday!!!!!!😱


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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. Hahaha😂

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!💙

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!😁

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. 🏕

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.😃


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?