Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Life is Sweet



















An energetic and pasty little boy runs across the parking lot, his face jubilant as he yells "Mommy!", and his little body (all 32 lbs of him) leaps into his mother's arms. His spindly legs wrap around her waist, his arms squeeze her neck tightly and he whispers into her ear, "I love you mommy! I missed you!". Once he releases the death grip, he pulls his head back, his eyes look straight into hers, he puckers his slightly dry lips and without any hesitation, he goes in for the kill. 


"MWAH!" he says.


This was yesterday afternoon and I've been beaming at our tender exchange ever since.

Being without my best pal for 11 days of uninterrupted parent-time (no contact whatsoever- not even a call) felt like forever but it that same instance, it went by really fast, too. I used to feel guilt for enjoying quiet and personal time away from Little Dude... like I wasn't a good mom if I had fun without him.... or if I found a refreshing and rejuvenating pleasure in it.

Once I realized that this was my new-found reality and would be for the next 14 years however, I decided to change my outlook on the whole thing and now, believe it or not, I actually look forward to this time.

Little Dude is my whole life... and it's taken me a while to get used to not being with him all the time, but you know what? I can adapt and I can make the best of it... and all the hard things that I thought to be impossible, are not only DOABLE but they can be very REWARDING as well. 

I guess it 's all in the eye of the beholder... and the way I see it, yesterday might have gone down as one of the sweetest moments I've ever had with my son. It may not seem like much to you, but for me it felt like a big blessing disguised as something small... because, even amidst the really hard and lonely times of being in a non-traditional family and sharing a child, I felt like life couldn't possibly be any better!

Did I mention that I'm so glad he's home? I can't stop smiling and kissing his cheeks... :)


**Anything that has you beaming lately? Even a little something like this? Tell me the reasons you have a smile on your face!


Monday, July 30, 2012

YAY or NAY: Video Games?



















I say nay.

I just don't like them.

I don't like the way Little Dude tunes out completely when he plays. I don't like the way he hardly blinks, making his eyes red. I don't like that he could zone in for hours on end. And I don't like how he's always asking when I'm going to buy him some.

We don't have one video game in our household. Not one. I won't download any games on my computer and I won't install any Apps on my phone, either.

Call me too strict but for some reason or another, I think I'm slightly afraid to take such a step, introducing that element into our (his) life. Educational or not... I just won't go there right now.

So all you moms out there... YAY or NAY on video games?

No judgements here. I'm genuinely interested in your take on this.  If you DO allow them, what type of rules have you set? If you DON'T allow them, how have your children coped?

Image Credit

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Eleanor Roosevelt




















"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along."


"You must do the things you think you cannot do."

~Eleanor Roosevelt

** Her smile... her wisdom.... this made my day! Hope it does the same for you! Have a lovely weekend, whatever you find yourself doing!

Image credit

Friday, July 27, 2012

My Name is ERICA



My name is ERICA and I’m an Australian Step Mum.























I first met Noa Daly, when she was four, in September 2009 while I was interviewing for my first Chef’s position at a restaurant in Balmain, NSW (suburb of Sydney). Her father, now my husband, was one of the Chef Lecturer’s at Le Cordon Bleu Sydney where I had just completed my training and I was anxious for a job. I never actually had ‘Chef John’ as a teacher but he did substitute for a few days, so we kind of knew each other.

I landed the job at ‘Our Place on Darling’ in Balmain, NSW where Johnny was one of the owners. I saw him here and there but never consistently. We both had some fresh wounds from our first marriages so the relationship took a LONG WHILE to blossom. But when it did it was in full bloom!

My first behaviors around Noa were just the same as a regular person would treat their niece (or nephew). I didn’t try too hard to impress or spoil, I was just sort of there for company. Noa is such a survivor seeing how she was raised by a single father since she was 2.5 years. Her mother lives in Canada and is active but still so far away (she sees her mother once a year).

When Johnny and I moved to the next level in our relationship, I naturally started to provide my influence as a woman onto this little child. She wanted to be around a ‘girl’ so badly and just needed to feel like she wasn’t alone. At times, I literally would think that she just didn’t know how to be a girl due to her upbringing. SO, I taught her how to shop, take care of her hair, paint her toes/nails, choose ‘pink’ items for school, winge for things she wanted, enjoy certain foods, take care of her female body, etc. We had so much catching up to do!

We soon started getting closer and Noa understood that I was her Step Mum and I was never going to leave. Which was and still is quite a big deal.

It wasn’t always pleasant though. I remember there was a point in the relationship between Noa and I where it almost felt competitive. Noa was used to having her dad to herself and I knew that as an adult this was not proper behavior for a child. She looked at me as though I was taking her father away. It took a lot of work and patience to overcome that. There were definitely growing pains but we’ve settled in quite nicely now.















There were days that she hated me and days that I hated her. But we’ve got to a point now where we just can’t be without each other. Sometimes I get frustrated and go into my bedroom and close the door and within ten minutes my mind is thinking ‘what’s Noa doing? Where is she? I want to hug her or tease her’. I need her more now than I’ve ever needed anybody in my life. She’s such my little buddy, my pal, my best friend. She always takes my side when Johnny and I fight frivolously, we listen to each other, I stick up for her in social situations that she still struggles with, we talk about everything (even down to boyfriends and marriage), she just wants to be ‘a girl’ and I’m so glad that I’ve given her that female influence that she so desperately needed 3 years ago.

Because I don’t have a child of my own, I’ve learned the difference between being a mum and a step mum and that is that you get the pleasure of being an influence on someone else’s life as a mother and also as a friend. I know that she will hate me when she grows up, at least for a few years, fingers crossed but what I get to see, experience, and help out doing is so worth the eventual pain.

I know she’ll never call me ‘Mum’ or look into my eyes and see a part of herself in me, but I still get to have all the amazing experiences in raising and watching a child grow up AND I didn’t even have to change a diaper-how lucky am I?!


**Remember that the purpose of this series is to uplift, support, strengthen and inspire. Erica will be reading your comments so if you have questions or thoughts you'd like to share, you may comment directly to her.

*Erica was one of my very best friends throughout my k-12 years. We spent time together as couples in our previous marriages and have tried to keep in touch, even though there have been significant changes in both of our lives (divorce, moving Down Under, etc.). I appreciate her willingness to share her experience because we all don't have the luxury of being in traditional family's... but what a wonderful knowledge it is that we can adjust, adapt, embrace and build happy, fulfilling relationships anyway.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fashion Column: "MCKAE STYLE"


Good morning everyone! As you know, Wednesday means it's Fashion Column: "READER STYLE" time.

I am so pumped to introduce my darling friend, MCKAE!


I'm Mckae, a stay at home mamma to my 13 month old little guy and an interior designer on the side. Before I had the little dude I liked to get dressed up, but now seeing that I am normally covered in graham cracker crumbs and milk, getting dressed just seems like too much work. So on a typical day you can find me in jeans and a t-shirt of some kind, I know, boring right? If I'm feeling really wild I might throw on a pair of colored skinnies! I like both of these outfits because they are casual and comfortable without being drab or frumpy. That pink boyfriend T from Target is my absolute fave! I'm sad to admit that I own it in a few different colors.


I still love getting dressed up and, contrary to what my daily pony tail tells you, actually doing my hair. On special occasions, mainly Sunday for church, I'll wear a comfy dress and some fun shoes (as seen below). I would wear dresses more often, but it's not very practical when I'm crawling around on the floor all day playing my kiddo.





























Mckae! You are just beautiful! I love how casual, yet totally fresh and cheery and FUN you look! You've given me some great ideas to pair with my tee's from Target... I have the same shirt in about 6 different colors, too :)

You are so charming and so is your blog {Kae's Corner Design}!

You guys, she is so incredibly talented and has really cool ideas!  I mean, can't you tell by these pictures that this girl has got a killer knack for design? I sure think so!

Thanks for sharing Mckae! You are awesome :)

**Doesn't she have just about the cutest casual look ever? I love the colors paired in every outfit and I loooooooove her hair! What do you love best? How many Target t-shirters do we have among us? :)


P.S. I'm needing more submissions! Here's what you need to do!



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Let's Get Better Acquainted, Shall We?


Remember how much FUN we had the first time we did this? I'll ask some questions and you give me some answers... Got it?

I'll do it too :)


Q: What is something that most people don't know about you?

A: I had a TRACHEOTOMY from the time I was 5 months old until I was about 3 years old. Because of my prematurity, my lungs were under-developed and I was scarily sick the first few months of my life. After being life-flighted for emergency care, the doctors decided that the only way I could survive would be to open a direct airway through my trachea.

If you look close, you can see it in the picture below...



The quarter-size scar on my neck (oft times mistaken for a giant hickey... yes, people have asked that) reminds me every single day of how lucky I am to be alive!



Q: What chore do you absolutely LOATHE doing?

A: Laundry. It's never ending... Need I say more?

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Q: What was the last movie/book that made you cry?

A: To be totally honest here, I broke down in tears during Madagascar 3 with Little Dude. When Katy Perry's Firework started playing and the zoo animals believed in themselves enough to put on a good circus show, I lost it. Haha! I'm not sure what came over me...

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Q: What is the #1 most played song on your iPod?

A: Well, considering that I've never used iTunes EVER... I don't have music on my iPhone... but if I had to pick a song that I listen to most right now (in the car via C.D.), I think it might be "Awake My Soul" by Mumford and Sons. I love, love, love it!

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Q: What celebrity do you get told you look like?

A: I've been told the 1980's rocker Pat Benatar a few times (woah!), but I prefer Ashley Greene- you'll recognize her as Alice Cullen from the Twilight Series. When my hair was short and the craze was on, I'd get it EVERYWHERE I went. What do you think? 

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Okay all you peeps out there... I'd really love to get to know you better! So, take a few minutes, say hello!, and answer the questions!

To make it easier, here they are for you ;)

Q: What is something that most people don't know about you?
Q: What chore do you absolutely LOATHE doing?
Q: What was the last movie/book that made you cry?
Q: What is the #1 most played song on your iPod?
Q: What celebrity do you get told you look like?


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Because Punctuality Matters!





























I used to be late. All the time. 

It's like it was physically impossible for me to get anywhere on time. No matter how hard I tried, I was perpetually late for everything. And then I had a baby... and I was even more late, more often.

Pretty soon, being late had become my normal. I just expected it. Not good at all.

Since being on my own again, however, I have re-realized the importance of being on time and have since committed myself to being a more punctual person. After one full year of an honest effort, I am loving the new and improved me!

Of course I owe much of this lifestyle change to my "man friend" because he is the epitome of punctuality.

In the almost one year we've dated, Seth has been early (by about 3 minutes) almost every single time we've had something planned. The rare times he's shown up late (like twice) it's usually by no more than 5 minutes and is because of a delayed traffic light, or something completely out of his control. To give you an even better idea of his solid awareness of time, he has been admittedly late 5 times to work during his 5 years there. I should note that each and every occurrence was due to public transportation issues and nasty weather. Yes... he is that on time, all the time.

It's been SO awesome living a life with (alright, not quite that... but dating) someone who is this precise and considerate with his/other people's time. My eyes have been opened and honestly, I've had to step up my game a little bit... okay... more like A LOT!

Here's what I've learned:

When I am on time, I feel better about myself. Because I am in control of me, being on time proves that I am the master of my time. I am the master of my life! When I was always running late, I felt a victim to the clock. I spent so much time frantically rushing to get ready, speeding in the car scoping out for cops, and making apologies for my late arrival.

When I am on time, I will be known as reliable and dependable. This admirable trait will not go unnoticed, for it will prove that I can make and keep commitments. I can be trusted. I am as good as my word. I will follow through. You can count on me.

When I am on time, I am doing the right thing. Being late is just rude, especially when others are waiting on you. But if I am planning ahead and organizing my time appropriately, I am being polite and considerate. There is a sense of good that comes in being prompt.

When I am on time, I am valuing other people. By being prompt to appointments, dates, business meetings, or even a simple get together with friends, I am respecting others and the importance of their time, too. I am no longer thinking about only myself.

When I am on time, I am proving to myself and all those around me that I value MYSELF and my time!


With the exception of tardiness once and a while (usually due to elements that are completely out of my control- blocked freeway due to a car accident, Little Dude poops in his pants, or yucky storms and icy roads), I am usually a little early OR right in the nick of time to almost all of my appointments/obligations. I'm not perfect by any means, and still manage to screw up here and there, but I'm working on it very constantly!

For me, being punctual has become a priority in my life. It is so extremely important to me! I feel like I've reclaimed a sense of control that I haven't  felt in years. I feel more confident, I feel more trusted and I feel waaaay more liberated.


Gone are the days of being a slave to my own minutes. Gone are the days of being embarrassed. Gone are the days of panting for air while signing in 10 minutes late at the Gyno's office. Gone are the days of continually being disappointed in myself because I should be able to get there on time. Gone are the days of making stupid excuses and feeling stupid after saying them. Gone are the days of always feeling like I'm running.

Hello, brave and exciting and totally NEW DAYS filled with planning, precision and pride!


I LOVE BEING ON TIME!


**Are you a prompt person? Or are you typically running behind? Anything you'd like to add to my list of why you like to be punctual? Did this motivate you to make a better effort to be on time? 


Image Credit


Spread the Love, Please!

Listen up everyone! My dear friends, Kam and Steve, are in hopes of finding the newest addition to their little family!

Together, these two make one of the most kind, generous, good-hearted and LOVING couples I've had the honor of knowing. Kam is genuine and funny and the type of person you can't help but smile around. And Steve... well, I think he's about as pleasant and solid and good as they get. Add their darling daughter, Ruthie, into the mix and you've got yourself a pretty amazing family! Surrounded by so much love, this little girl has been so blessed... and now it's time for her to be a "Big Sister".

Please help this wonderful family spread the love by sharing their ADOPTION PROFILE to anyone and everyone!






















**Hope you've all had a relaxing weekend, surrounded with those you love most!


Saturday, July 21, 2012

OK!

































Little Dude is with his dad for 10 whole days.  I miss that silly kid already!

Since I'm kid-less, the "man friend" and I decided to chill with my folks in Wyoming this weekend... ya know, a little one-on-one time. And yes, they love him just as much as I do!

So, today I'm going to enjoy a ridiculously amazing time with ridiculously amazing people!


**What are you up to today? Anything that'll make it RIDICULOUSLY AMAZING?

Image Credit

Friday, July 20, 2012

My Name is LACY

My name is Lacy and my son is my HERO.














My life was going just the way I wanted it.  I was married to my best friend.  He was the cute quarterback in high school, I totally scored.  We had been married for almost five years when we had our first baby boy.  He was perfect and healthy, just what we wanted.  Life was so great.

Two weeks before our son turned 2, our lives were changed forever.

Our son was sick.  We thought he had the flu that was going around.  He was throwing up occasionally, but never complained of anything else.  After two tries at the doctors office and some antibiotics that we thought were not working, my mother-in-law suggested we take him to the emergency room to find out what's wrong since they can't release you until they find something out.  Seven hours later we were told our son had a brain tumor.  We were going to be life flighted to Salt Lake City in 15 minutes.  My son just got to this world, why him? Give it to me instead, I thought. My In-laws were crying with my husband in the hallway as I prepared myself to get on the plane. I was in complete shock.  My mother-in-law felt so bad because she had just finished treatment for breast cancer.  She knew what we were in for.  I remember everything about that day, because my life changed in a second, and there was nothing I could do about it.  Our son had cancer.  My son, my first born child, had cancer.

I knew that even though this was going to be hard, we were going to get through it.  I also knew that things just fell into place for us and for our journey that we were about to go on.  Our Emergency Room Doctor was amazing and I know he was our Doctor that day for a reason.  My parents were on an LDS Mission in South Africa and had 2 weeks left before they were to return home.  They called me after my son and I landed in Salt Lake and we cried together.  My mother is a strong woman and hardly ever cries. They were on the next flight home.  I was so excited to see them but not for this reason.Our son had brain surgery the following morning to remove his tumor.








Medulloblastoma.  I knew I would have to learn to say and spell that word but I didn't want to.  After a few days of recovering, our son wanted to get out of his crib and walk.  I didn't know it at the time, but that was and indication of the type of fighter we had on our hands.  He wanted to walk to see if he still could, and yes he could!  Seven days later we would start chemotherapy.


His tumor was located right in the back of his head.  That area effects speech, balance, and fine motor skills.  We were going to endure a years worth of treatment.  Four big chemotherapy's once a month, two smaller ones during the next two weeks, and a chemo by mouth the last week.  In the meantime, we would have to learn to take care of the port put in his chest, have a nurse come twice a week to our house to check his blood, and not go anywhere so our son would not get sick.  After 4 months, we got a month break and then we were going to start radiation in Salt Lake City.  We lived at the Ronald McDonald apartments for 6 weeks.  Our son had 30 sedated, radiation treatments.  While we were there, my mother-in-laws cancer had returned and we were told she only had about a year to live.  Really, this can't be happening!?!  When we got home from radiation, we had another month off until we finished with our last four chemo treatments.  My mother-in-law passed away before our sons last chemo.  She was 50 years old.  I was so distraught, I did not want to finish our last chemo. I couldn't even imagine the heartache my husband was going through.  But as time went by we were ready to fight again and I am so glad we did.


Chemo and radiation were so much easier than getting back to a normal life.  Our son was now 3, and just missed a big year of his life. A whole year of growth and development.  We started speech and physical therapy as soon as we could.  There is nothing harder than watching your child struggle and not being able to help them.  I left a lot of therapies crying.  My son is a fighter though and is so determined.  He worked so hard.  To this day, we are still catching up with his speech, but everything else has been great! We go to Salt Lake once a year for an MRI and brain tumor clinic.  The doctors are so pleased with his life and improvements.  We couldn't be luckier and more blessed.  I know lots of prayers were said for our little guy and we had help from above, there's not doubt about that.  I'm not going to lie, we worry about our sons life everyday.  We don't take life for granted, we celebrate the little things because they mean so much to us.


Our son is now 9 years old and is as healthy as can be.  He is a great kid and has taught us so much.  He was the son we always wanted to play sports and hopefully turn out like his dad, or like his mom and play soccer.  And maybe someday he will.  But for now, he is already our MVP.  He has already endured so much in his life and continues to make huge strides.  


After all this, I thought could we even have more kids? There was just so much work to be done with him.  Well, we had a little girl 2 years after treatment and she has been such a blessing and our sons biggest cheerleader!


**Remember the purpose of this series is to support, uplift, and encourage and even though this took place many years ago, I'm sure Lacy would love any questions and/or positive words.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Giveaway WINNER!


















KATIE!! You won the darling wallet!!

Email me your mailing address and I'll get this (and all the other little goodies I need to mail out) shipped next week. Thank you for reading... and for participating!

XOXO


p.s. I was told I need to sign up for Instagram... so I did! Don't my pictures kinda look Instagrammy?? (Ahem... Kami... ;)


YAY or NAY: Party of One?



















Before I was single, I would have never even considered hitting up a restaurant alone. Waaaaaaay out of my comfort zone.

Now, I do it ALL the time.

I actually find the quietness of the whole experience very enjoyable. Watching all the chattery people entertains me and nothing is gives me more satisfaction than eavesdropping on diverse conversations when possible.

But I remember the first few times I ventured into a restaurant, as the newly single me, and the hostess said "just one?". Embarrassment ran though my veins and I nodded my head in shame. Sheepishly I follow her to my table and avoid any eye contact with anyone. Talk about awkward.

However, the more I powered through the uncomfortableness and made myself do it, the less stupid I felt... and pretty soon, I kinda dug the whole thing!

I've finally gotten to the point when they say "just one?", I now smile and think no, not just one.... THE one! and say "Yes, just me. Thank you."

As my Little Dude says, with his hand clenched in a fist by his face, Yeah baby. Yeah.

And you know.... I do it with movies even. Although, I'll admit that the 10pm showing of Inception probably wasn't the best film to pick as my very first attempt. I was confused and tired and sweaty and had absolutely no one to converse with after it was over. I was tempted to talk to the two hairy chested young bucks in wife-beaters (who sat one seat away from me in a vacant theatre) buuuuuut decided I better not open that door at 1 o'clock in the morning... alone... in a dark and deserted parking lot... ha! Now I do matinées and I feel much more safe :)

**SO, YAY OR NAY? Are you comfortable dining out alone? What about going to movies alone?


Image Credit

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fashion Column: "JO STYLE"



You guys! I received a few submissions for the Fashion Column: READER STYLE! Woot woot! Thank you! I need more... more, more, MORE! Keep 'em coming, OK? 

Now to the good part...
Meet my newest partner in crime... my darling friend, JO!




























Hi! I'm Jo, I'm a nomadic Air Force wife, currently awaiting the return of my Airman from Korea- next month! And my style is THRIFTY! I approach shopping as a challenge, a game in which the winner is the one who scores the best deal while still looking stylish! My mom instilled in me the idea that good quality, flattering clothing never has to cost full-price, and I take pride in saving more than I spend each trip! In fact, when my mom and I get the chance to shop together, we always try to out-save each other! I'll never forget one time I went in wanting to spend 20 dollars and I did, while saving over $200! I mostly shop at Kohl's, though I often buy name-brand clothing from the stores in the mall- I do it by shopping clearance, using discount coupons, and buying as much as I can off-season! This outfit saved me about $100 dollars. 

Top: Kohl's- $4.20
Tank: Rue 21- $2.50
Shorts: Kohl's- $3.80
Sneakers: Asics- $45
Rings: Olive Bungalow (a cute handmade jewelry company, they were a gift)

Other than thrifty, I would describe my style as laid-back feminine. These days, I'm almost always found wearing shorts and one of these great loose crop-tops, layered with a tank top. I love how the shorts show off my legs (and so does my husband!) and the flowy, loose tops like this one make me feel feminine, plus they show off my shoulders, which are my favorite feature. Of course, I'm almost always wearing my bright pink Asics. I spend a lot of time outdoors, walking and running with my best buddy (my aussie-border collie mix, who we have nicknamed Poopy :) ), so good sneakers are a MUST for me! I also make a lot of my own accessories, like hair clips and scarves, though I wasn't wearing any today! My most common "accessory" is my beloved Canon T3i. 





















Jo... I think you are soooooo COOL! I love your whole aura, but I think what I like most is that smile of yours! You look exactly as you described yourself... laid back yet totally feminine and I love your thriftiness! I dig the color of your blouse with those bright Asics. Fun, summery and super CUTE! I'm so excited for you to finally get your man back... YAY! 


You too can follow Jo's craft blog, Paisely and Dinosaurs. She is sooooooo full of ideas and ever so talented! Check it out!

** Isn't this such a fun look? Are YOU thrifty? What kind words would you like to shower JO with today? She's reading so DO TELL!


P.S. Tuesday was a rough day... and no, not because of my Sahara Deserty dry legs. Don't worry, I'm fine... BUT I received a ton of comments yesterday that I'd like to respond to but haven't had a free minute yet. Some were funny, some not so much (on other posts)... I promise I will attack all of those today... I love you all. Really, I do :)

Oh, and last day to enter the GIVEAWAY! Cutest wallet EVER!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Perfection- A Disservice




















I'm quickly growing tired of feeling the pressure to be put-together and perfect all the time. I feel like there's this overload lately... this constant OVERLOAD of perfection everywhere I look (Pinterest, magazines, blogs, television, etc.)! You're swamped with thousands of images of hairstyles that no one can figure out how to do, make-up tricks that are just too time consuming, and apparel portraits that are way out of the normal persons budget.

Sometimes it feels like we're all in some sort of competition with each other.... everyone... all women.... everywhere...

Sometimes it feels like it's all about who can look the best... all the time... every minute of every single day. It's all about who's dressed in the most expensive and coordinating outfit... who can keep up with the most eyelashes, tans, extensions... who can be the most daring and bold. It's all about who has the hottest body.... and who can rock a bikini the best...

It's all about who's got this... who's got that... and it's all so in your face... all the time.

And then I think to myself.... "WHY DOES IT BOTHER ME?"

I know exactly why.... because I start to get down on myself... and I think (even as I type) of all the things I should be doing to make me look better, you know... so I can keep up with the image of what everyone else around me is doing.

Disservice to myself. A terrible, terrible disservice.

So why do I do it? Even when I know I shouldn't.... why do I let myself get sucked in like that?

Maybe it's insecurity... maybe it's because it's just plain everywhere... I really don't know....

But this is when I force myself to EXIT from that mentality and move onto things that matter to me, personally. I don't need to be doing what everyone else is doing. I don't need to get my panties in a wad about what some woman blogger (whom I'm never even met before) is doing with her life. I don't need to emulate Charlize Theron or J. Lo every time I leave the house (or ever). I don't need to compare myself to anyone because all it is is one big, fat, self-destructive time waster.

I haven't shaved my legs in 5 days...  my toenails haven't been painted in over a year... I shop at Ross Dress for Less... I got acne medicine from the Dermatologist today... and I can't button up any of my jeans so I'm using hair-ties...

How's that for perfection? lol...

But you know what? It's OKAY because I'm cool with me! I've got a life to live dangit! I've got the things I'm working on and there's no sense screwing it up all for the sake of a few photos I saw on Pinterest, right?


Ah! I feel better now :)


Image Credit


Monday, July 16, 2012

I Can Do Hard Things!






























Lately my four year old wants me to make his bed for him... to put his socks and shoes on for him.... to wipe his bum for him... to carry him everywhere we go...  to do the little things that he should be doing.

When I positively ask/tell him to do something, he usually replies with his head down, and his shoulders slumped, "But I can't do it, mom. It's too hard for me!"

It is then that I say with nothing but optimism "But you CAN do it. I know you can. You can do hard things, Little Dude!"

I can see the wheels spinning... I know he can do the task at hand.... but he doesn't think so.

With a little more encouragement and a little bit of time, he will usually run over totally elated saying "Mommy! I did it! I did it! LOOK!"

"I knew you could and mommy is so very proud of you!"

********************************************************************************************************************

It's funny how such a simple exchange, one that I use with my small child, actually applies to me as well.

Every now and then people will say to me, "I just don't know how you did/do it!"

Usually I brush it off with some comment like "Oh well, it's life... you just survive."

Every now and then though, I wonder how I survive(d) myself. I try to piece together the puzzle of these last 2 plus years. It happened so fast. How on earth did I do it? How on earth am I still doing it?

I recognize that I couldn't have done it without the support and love from my family and friends... I couldn't have done it without the life-saving help from my therapist.... I couldn't have done it without my relationship with my Heavenly Father... 

But I think sometimes I forget to recognize myself. Sometime I forget that I played a BIG part in it. Me.

 Jacy.

Because I can do hard things!


And guess what? We all can! Every. single. one. of us.

It doesn't matter if it's a challenging goal you're trying to meet (like weight loss, a marathon, schooling, blogging every day for a whole entire year- what was I thinking? :) or something very difficult (health issues, death, divorce, addictions, marital problems, troubles with children, etc), if you maintain a positive mental disposition and always always ALWAYS keep trying, truly believing in yourself, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish... what you can survive... what you are capable of doing...

So whatever you're facing in your life right now.... whatever the task... whatever the trial.... whatever the goal... and no matter where you are in route to the end result... I hope that you'll remind yourself today that you can do this!


Even if you don't see immediate results... or if you think it should be different than it is...

Remember that you can do hard things!

Even if things get really really bad... like they can't get any worse...

Remember that you can do hard things!

Even if you get down in the mouth... and begin to lose hope... and negativity begins to take over...

Remember that you can do hard things!

Even if life feels totally unfair... and you hate what's happening... and you question everything around you...

Remember that you can do hard things!


Just like I'm teaching my son, we, too, can do things that seem totally impossible. We just have to know that we can, first. And then we have to keep on going- never giving up! And if you don't believe me, I encourage you to go read (or re-read) all of the posts in the "My Name Is" series. You'll see exactly what I mean!





**Do you sometimes forget that you can do hard things? What are some of the hard things and/or goals you've overcome and/or accomplished in your lifetime? I'd love to hear!




Sunday, July 15, 2012

Dolly Parton















"The way I see it, if you want the RAINBOW, you gotta put up with the rain." 
~Dolly Parton


**Psssst! Did you enter the latest GIVEAWAY? A super cute and totally funky little wallet is on the line! Be sure you check it out!




Saturday, July 14, 2012

Wyoming FUN!



Here's what we were busy doing in WYO:

BUTTERFLY CATCHING!


GOLFING!



TARGET SHOOTING!


TRAMPOLINE JUMPING!

















HOT TUBBING (in cooled down water)!





We also played tennis, went fishing, swimming, 4-wheeler riding, and we RELAXED in between in all! It was a blast! Although, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't really happy to be home with this guy :)





ENJOY your weekend!!

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