Category Archives: Parenting

Gratitude and Abundance!

It has been almost 2 years since my husband Craig and I both decided to go to nursing school full time.  At the time I didn’t think there was any way possible for me to continue with I.M. Spa and be in school full time, and I am grateful every day for the opportunity to keep walking into our space and connecting with our community through health and massage.  I’m grateful to our staff because they truly are the ones who have made it happen.

 

We’re also grateful to you. Without you choosing to get massage, facials, acupuncture, and waxing at I.M. Spa we would not be here. Thank you for choosing I.M. Spa for your bodywork needs.  I’m so honored every time I walk into a treatment room that I get to share that space with this community.

 

I am busier than I have ever been at this point in my life. I work with I.M. Spa, I go to nursing school full time, I have a part time job at the VA as a student nurse tech to get experience, and I have 3 of my 4 kids at home doing everything they do.  Thank goodness we have such an amazing community helping us out. Friends helping pick up our kids from school when we’re in class, friends helping kids get where they need to go, community everywhere supporting us all along the way.  You know who you are :). Fayetteville is an amazing place and I can’t imagine making it through without this beautiful combination of people in our community.  We’re so grateful.

 

I’m really looking forward to getting done with nursing school in May of 2016!  What a relief that will be!  We’ll have to have a party!

 

There are some exciting changes in the works for I.M. Spa.  We are moving to Evelyn Hills (next to Ozark Natural Foods, Uncle Sam’s, Cardamom & Curry, Treasures from Africa, and Handmade) and expanding to include a yoga studio. Downtown has been good to us. We are looking forward to more great neighbors, great parking, a place for you to drop off your kids while you get a facial or do a yoga class (Arkadia), and continuing doing what we do best.

We’ll keep you posted as the transition happens. We’ll be on Block Street till the beginning of January. And then we’ll have a big party in the new space!!  In August we will have been on Block Street for 6 years! Hard to believe.  It has been a sweet time.
Thank you for continuing to support I.M. Spa!  We look forward to serving you. It’s a favorite.
Love, love, love,
Wendy Finn
Schedule a massage, facial, acupuncture, or wax appointment at I.M. Spa:  479-251-7422
Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, student nurse tech at the VA hospital, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.  Schedule an appointment for a massage  479-251-7422
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Father’s Day Foot Massages

It’s that time of year again.  Time to honor our father’s for their contributions to our lives.  Whether it’s with time fishing or a hiking date, time in the spa for a foot massage date with your dad, I hope you are able to connect with your dad this Father’s Day, the 21st of June (which also happens to be the Summer Solstice).

My dad has passed, but he was a troubador, traveling all over the states, playing music, sleeping at friends houses and in a camper on his truck on the way.  I wouldn’t hear from him for months sometimes and then one of my friends would have what we called an “Ed sighting.”  Somebody had seen him at a festival or some town along the way, Luckenbach, Kerrville, Mexico, Cody, or somewhere in New Mexico or Arizona and they always went out of their way to tell us about it.  It was a pretty good system.

I was at the bank last week and ran into an old friend, Josh, who has a deep appreciation for my dad.  I hadn’t seen Josh in a few years.  We hugged and he started to tell me a story about coming home one day to a hand written card attached to a CD of my dad’s music.  The card said, “a wind blew through while you were gone.”  It was a reference to a song that my dad had gotten some recognition for called, “A Wind Blows Through West Texas.”  It was the first “Ed Sighting” we have had for a while.  My dad was a character.  A charismatic performer and story teller.  I’m so glad when people remember him to me.

Do you have a good memory of your dad to share?

Call to make a foot massage appointment with the Dad in your life: 479-251-7422

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.  Schedule an appointment for a massage  479-251-7422

 

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Mother’s Day Local Shopping Guide!

Mother’s Day is coming this Sunday!  And you already know that the best thing you can get the moms in your life is a Gift Certificate and a Gift Basket from I.M. Spa.  I can’t tell you how many women come in to the spa and say, “I keep telling them to get me a massage, but they never remember.”

But you may not know about some other awesome local businesses in the area that would be perfect for your mom’s day presents.  For instance, there is a Mother’s Day tradition here in Northwest Arkansas at Chotkowski Gardens where you can walk through the peony gardens from 1 to 4p.m.  Every year I see the invitations for this event and never seem to be able to make it out, but this year I’m taking my whole family and as many friends as I can wrangle.  I love peonies

I wish there was a smell feature on the computer, because peonies smell divine!

Other places you will want to shop for Mother’s Day are:

Click here to buy a Gift Certificate for a massage, acupuncture treatment, or facial online! Or call us at I.M. Spa and we can make it beautiful for you: 479-251-7422

Read here if you want a little giggle about why you should honor your mother.

Me and My Mom
Me and My Mom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day!!

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.  Schedule an appointment for a massage  479-251-7422

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Fayetteville Skyline Love

Ben Climbs Cross in the Skyline
Ben Climbs Cross in the Skyline

When you have a small business and you are a full time nursing student and you have four sons, it’s important that you grab every moment you can to do special things like go up to Mt. Sequoyah at sunset with your 10 year old.  These are the best things in life, eh?  Not to mention, he got up early with me this morning to do yoga together. My life is amazing.

Another Cross in the Sky Tonight
Another Cross in the Sky Tonight

Spring is my favorite. Vibrant colors. Clouds. Fresh turned dirt. Clouds. Sunshine. So much green. Fayetteville is amazing in the Spring, and I’m so glad I get to share it with my sons. Makes me breathe deeper just looking at these pictures.

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6 Commitments or New Year’s Resolutions

Today was the first day back in nursing school after a 3 week break.  And during the break I took some time to try to define what was important to me to keep up with if it was at all possible during the craziness that is full time nursing school, full time business owner, and full time mama of four boys.

Planner
My 2015 Planner (covered with post its).

Things I put in my planner were:

  1. I want to continue to run to school and to work, but I’m also training for the Hogeye Half Marathon with my son Sean (he’s 16) and Ellie, a young colleague from nursing school.  We’re training 5 days a week.  Yeah.  I don’t know how that’s gonna get done either–but there it is.
  2. I want to meditate daily-15minutes.
  3. I want to blog 3 days a week and not get onto myself if it’s not perfect.  I at least need to show up.
  4. I want to do yoga with Ben one day a week (Mondays because it’s a rest day from running).  When your nine year old kid wants to do something with you, you’d better make time for it, because God knows, soon enough he’s going to have a life that is too busy for yoga dates with mom (hopefully not, but it’s a distinct possibility).
  5. I want to continue developing my book.  Yeah, I said it.
  6. I want to invite friends over to play once a month.  Because I love them and they’re just going to have to forgive my messy home.  It is what it is.

I really don’t know if there are actually enough hours in the day for this crazy list.  But surely if I just do a little bit regularly I will be okay.  I’ll try to keep you posted on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.  But if you don’t hear from me for a while, you’ll know that I’m buried with school work.

And if I lose my mind in the process, you’ll be hearing bout it.

Schedule your appointment at I.M. Spa :  479-251-7422

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.  Schedule an appointment for a massage  479-251-7422

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Running with my Sons

It’s Christmas break in between semesters of Nursing School at the University of Arkansas and my boys got me running in 30 something degree weather at 10:30 at night.

Midnight Run with my Two Middle Sons
Midnight Run with my Two Middle Sons

My life is amazing and I am so grateful for these two guys and that I live in a town where we can run late at night and not be afraid!

Where do you like to run?

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.  Schedule an appointment for a massage  479-251-7422

 

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Grateful Year in Review: 18 Things Remembered

This has been an amazing and busy year.  I wonder if I’m normal because I take on so much work.  Does everybody do that?

There are so many amazing things I want to get into and so little time.

My Stroller makes it possible for me to run everywhere I go
My Stroller makes it possible for me to run everywhere I go

My year in review:

  1. Completed 3 semesters of nursing school with a 4.0 gpa (not sure that matters to anybody but me, but there it is).

    My Clinical Group 2014
    My Clinical Group 2014
  2. Fed my family mostly vegan, mostly raw, most of the year!
  3. Ate lots of veggies out of my own garden (which was a miracle because I had zero time for gardening).
  4. Kept my business going for a whole year while I simultaneously attended nursing school.
    I.M. Spa Store Front
    I.M. Spa Store Front

    Also didn’t think that was possible.  There are amazing people who work at I.M. Spa, that’s all there is to it.

  5. Took my work crew to Dallas spas and raw food restaurants.

    I.M. Spa Crew
    I.M. Spa Crew
  6. Traveled to Disney World with my family over Spring Break.

    Ben Wins the School Spelling Bee
    Ben Wins the School Spelling Bee
  7. Watched my kids:  win the school spelling bee (Ben), play soccer and baseball (Zach and Ben), march in band (Sean) and go to Disney with the Band, sing a solo in the St. Paul’s Christmas Pagaent (Ben), take crazy courses in college like Calculus 3 and chemical engineering (Levi), attend their first homecoming dance (Sean), and fall in love with drumming (Zach).
  8. Floated the Buffalo River with dear friends.

    Float the Buffalo
    Float the Buffalo
  9. Saw Boston in concert.
  10. Revived my meditation practice.
  11. Ran to school and work regularly.
  12. me and my momMade dreamcatchers with my mom and just always love being with her.

    Made Dream Catchers with My Mom
    Made Dream Catchers with My Mom
  13. Watched Craig pour a concrete slab for a Hot Tub that we have not yet found.  Watched Craig do amazing things in personal growth, change his food, and get his blood pressure under control with meditation.  He amazes me.  And he bikes 60 miles round trip to nursing school in Bentonville.
  14. Took my neice (Bella) to the Nutcracker.
  15. Picked blueberries with my family from Texas.
  16. Maintained my gratitude practice with my Gratitude Partner via email.  For that I am eternally grateful 🙂
  17. Snuggled with my boys a LOT!  It’s a favorite.
  18. Blogged a little.My Family

I am so grateful to be here and can’t even begin to imagine what kinds of things we’ll be getting into this year.  I’m glad to have survived a year of nursing school while being a working mom, and I am constantly amazed at all the opportunities and experiences that we have.

What are you grateful for this year?

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.  Schedule an appointment for a massage  479-251-7422

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Tea Tree Sanitizer

Flu Season is Coming!

As soon as my kids started back to school they started bringing home the germs.  Ben, my 9 year old just recovered from an upper respiratory infection that knocked him down for 3 days.  Yuck.  And all the girls around me in nursing school are sniffling and sneezing.  Flu season is coming!

One of my teachers was actually teaching a section on proper procedures and systems to help employees be able to go home sick without consequences to keep from spreading contagious illnesses in the nursing home.

She taught this class while she was so sick she couldn’t even talk.

I was sick this semester and didn’t want to contaminate the patients at the hospital and stayed home for one day, but I probably should have stayed home 2 days.

Sometimes it’s hard to go home when we should.

You may have heard me say it before, we are 10 times more bacterial cells than we are our own cells.  We need those little buggers.  But we don’t want to get those germs that make us get sick and have to call in.

I have a bad attitude towards the toxic hand sanitizers that are all over our kids’ schools, hospitals, and in the checkout lanes of the major stores.  The ones that are alcohol based are just fine.  The ones you want to watch out for are those containing TRICLOSAN. It is a thyroid and estrogen disrupting chemical that is also related to an increase in food allergies.  It is found in hand sanitizers and toothpastes and has been banned in Minnesota, and is being investigated by the FDA.

When we are looking at products we can put our name behind here at the spa we look for products that do the job, but don’t make you sick in the process.

We carry a hand sanitizer at I.M. Spa that uses Tea Tree Oil and we love it.  So if you feel like you need a hand sanitizer this flu season and you don’t feel like damaging yourself in the process, come by and pick some up.

When I took Microbiology at the University of Arkansas, we did a lab test on different kinds of antiseptics to see which ones were most effective, and tea tree oil outperformed all the others.

Tea Tree Sanitizer
Tea Tree Sanitizer

I think the future of medicine is going to involve more development of healthy bacterial biomes and environments, and less attempts to wipe out bacterial populations.  In the meantime, this hand sanitizer will help you maintain your bacterial biome without threatening your hormonal balance, your potential for food allergies, or your risk for getting the flu.

Can’t wait to see you at the spa!  Happy shopping!

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.  Schedule an appointment for a massage  479-251-7422

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Early C Section in Arkansas

What’s a Doula? You have Options.

When it came to birthing babies, I knew I didn’t want to do it in the hospital.  I had all 4 of my sons at home with my dear midwife who is still one of my best friends almost 20 years after the birth of my first son.

Pregnant with Ben 2005
Pregnant with Ben 2005

Now I can’t remember how I knew that I could have a midwife assisted birth.  It seems to have been something I knew about all my life.  I realize that many people don’t even realize that birth doesn’t have to be done in a hospital setting, and probably even less realize that you can hire a Doula to help you with your birth whether you choose a hospital or a home birth.  I didn’t know what a doula was until I was in my late 20s, early 30s.

Before we go any further I want to say that I am grateful that we have hospitals in the event of complications in the birth process.  It is tremendous to know that if something goes wrong there is a place where people are trained to handle those emergencies.

The midwife assisted c-section rate in Arkansas is 3%.  Nationwide the midwife assisted c-section rate is between 3 to 4.4%.

That means 4 women out of 100 have major cesarean section surgery with a midwife.  Nationwide.  Pretty good odds.

Here in Arkansas in hospitals, the rate of c-sections (in 2012) was 35.7%.  That’s 11,486 general anesthesia, cesarean sections in one state in one year.

That means 36 women out of 100 (or more than 1 in 3) have major cesarean section surgery if they give birth in a hospital.  Wow. 

Zach holding Baby Ben just before he was born.
Zach holding Baby Ben just before he was born.

There are lots of reasons for that that I won’t go into right now.  Suffice it to say that just with those numbers if you are in your child bearing years, you might want to weigh your options.  Or maybe you didn’t know you had options.

In Europe, midwives attend over 70% of births.  In the U.S. 7.9% of births are attended by midwives.

The United States is 36th in the world for infant mortality rate among developed countries.

What are we doing wrong?

Well, it’s complicated.  I won’t go into depth about the complexities right now, but I will say that our babies are coming too early.  Whether it is a planned cesarean, or a poverty stricken mother unable to carry her baby to term.  We need to care for our mothers better and stop treating birth like an emergency (unless it is one), and more like a process.

Newborn Ben, born at home
Newborn Ben, born at home

I knew I wouldn’t be able to relax in the cold white, cement block walls of an institution with people I didn’t know running in and out of my birth room on their own agenda, peeking up under my carriage and feeling around whether I was ready or not, telling me I had to lay down so they could monitor my progress from the nurses station.  Giving birth was the most primal thing I have ever done in my life.  I wanted to do it at home, moving around at will, standing, squatting, pacing, surrounded by people I love (my mom, husband, kids, friends, midwife), while my mom baked cinnamon rolls.

That’s how we do birth at the Finn house.

And I’m loud when that baby is coming out.  There is a sound that comes out of a woman when she is giving birth that is like the portal between two worlds.  If I hear that sound now it makes me cry.  I’ve heard a similar sound in the wailing after the passing of loved ones.  It’s uncanny, and I could never imitate or recreate that sound again.  It’s like something opens up inside of you that is not of this world.

I can’t imagine doing that in a hospital.

I can imagine that if I were in a setting where I didn’t feel free to open up my body and turn completely inward, supported by the people I love, that I would be more susceptible to needing a c-section.  If I couldn’t move about the way my body wanted me to, if I had to submit to timed cervical examinations, if I were self conscious about what was happening, I know I would have been more susceptible to having a c-section.

Some people just feel more comfortable with the idea of giving birth in a hospital where all the emergency equipment is (midwives also carry emergency equipment, but not for major surgery).  And we’re lucky now to have more options with the Birth Center that just opened up in Northwest Arkansas.  That way you get the best of both worlds, a medical facility with mama and baby centered care in a comfortable setting.

Early C Section in Arkansas
Early C Section in Arkansas

On April 28, 2014, Arkansas Medicaid Director William Golden said “nearly half of the babies born in the hospital statewide in 2009 were born prior to 39 weeks because of elective delivery. Frankly, the data was pretty bad,” Golden said.

All of these things just to say that you have options.  Just because the majority of births happen in the hospital in the United States doesn’t mean that it’s been good for our mortality rates.  More information is better.  And we are fortunate to live in an area with a thriving community of midwives, doulas, and educators about birth.  (But we also live in an area where the medical school UAMS has a 39% c-section rate, and one of the main birthing hospitals has a 35% c-section rate).

Which brings me back to what I really wanted to talk to you about in the first place.  I love Jessica Crass.  She has worked with us at I.M. Spa for 3 and a half years and we are so lucky to have her.  She is a talented massage therapist, ex-social worker, traveler, and farmer.  Last year after helping a good friend through her birth process, the attending midwife, Jennifer Creel (from Terra Tots) mentioned that Jessica should consider training as a Doula.

Jessica is a member of DONA International and Northwest Arkansas Doula Connection.  She has one more birth to attend to be a certified Doula, trained to offer physical, educational, and emotional support during the months leading up to birth, as well as during the birth process.

If I were ever going to have a hospital birth I would definitely want a Doula, somebody who knows my birth plan, who knows what I want and don’t want, somebody whose sole job is to help me make it through the marathon that is birth.  I would want somebody who knew the ropes sticking up for me when I’m not in the best position to stick up for myself.

And if I were to have another home birth(which ain’t ever gonna happen again praise the lord.  I love the birth process, but enough is enough), having a Doula would be icing on the cake in the supportive atmosphere of my home.

If you are examining your birthing options, don’t rule out a midwife assisted birth, because it is by the numbers the most reliable, best track record kind of birth you can have.  But also, consider hiring a Doula.  There is so much to learn about birth, and there are so many decisions to make.

Giving birth is like running a marathon.  You need a support crew on the way.  You can do it!  Go team!  Go team go!

Our whole family after the birth at home
Our whole family after the birth at home

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.

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10 Things Every Boy Needs

Every year in July my sons go to Arkansas Interfaith Choir Camp at Subiaco Abbey in Subiaco, Arkansas (close to Paris, AR).  From a mother’s perspective, singing in the choir is one of the most awesome things my boys can do.  Choir Camp is an amazing thing for them to experience.  It gives them life skills that every boy needs.

Church singing Saturday Morning at Choir Camp
Church singing Saturday Morning at Choir Camp

 

 

  1. For my sons to have strong men singing in the choir as role models is priceless.  I couldn’t hope for a better image for my boys to have of what good men do in our community.  There are so many outlets and celebrations of the violent, domineering, aggressive way of being male in our culture that choir culture has given our family a fabulous balance.  Yes son, there are other ways to be masculine that don’t involve guns.

    The Church at Subiaco
    The Church at Subiaco
  2. Having a commitment to our church choir gives them a sense of being valued in our community.  They have a job to do.  The church needs them.  Their voice is important.
  3. Choir Camp gives my sons abilities to perform in leadership roles, to learn interpersonal relationships, and practice those skills with their peers, guided by loving adults from their community who care about them.
  4. Choir camp gets my crazy boys all up on stage, in front of people in a way that is not invasive or scary.  They perform a broadway production every year with opportunities to have leading or supportive roles.

    Sean Goofing around with Friends at Choir Camp
    Sean Goofing around with Friends at Choir Camp
  5. Gives my sons a sense of belonging.
  6. Gives them the experience of being a part of the team.  Yes you are important and yes the team is important.  Gives them a purpose bigger than self.
  7. Gives my boys the opportunity to flex their creativity, explore their voice, and express themselves.
  8. Choir (and Charlie-our choir guru) teaches my sons that singing is a great way to express joy and gratitude.  How awesome is that?  I know, right?

    Beloved Charlie the Choir Guru at St. Paul's
    Beloved Charlie the Choir Guru at St. Paul’s
  9. Choir in church can lead to choir in high school, which every boy knows is where the girls are.  And there is nothing more sexy to young women than strong young men who can sing and dance.
  10. Choir is helping to turn my sweet boys into more well rounded young men.

 

Final Broadway Number
Final Broadway Number
Zachs Group Having Fun
Zachs Group Having Fun
The Pool at Subiaco
The Pool at Subiaco
Zach practices hand bells
Zach practices hand bells
Shenanigans on the Waterslide at Choir Camp
Shenanigans on the Waterslide at Choir Camp

 

 

 

 

 

Me and My Boys after Choir Camp 2014
Me and My Boys after Choir Camp 2014

 

I am so grateful for this community that provides a safe haven for my boys, guidance, a sense of responsibility, and belonging that seem so absent in our culture right now.  Our family is fortunate to be surrounded by such great, loving people.

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.

 

 

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