Sunday, August 31, 2014

30 Things: Day 7 of 30

What is your dream job, and why?

I would love, love, LOVE to be an artist/designer/creator. Of any and all things. Clothes, home goods, jewelry, makeup, painting, music. I am all about anything creative and it is one of my deepest, darkest fantasies to be one of those perfect Prada/Pinterest moms. The ones who always look pulled together and chic. The ones with the perfectly styled homes, the best, freshest food. The happiest, most well-turned out kids. That's never going to happen, but a girl can dream, and occasionally create something sometimes...

If I had to pick one of the above, I would say clothing designer. I have read fashion magazines since I was 8. I have sketched clothes since about that age as well.  I may always be in yoga pants, but I harbor a secret love for couture and well-cut runway designs. Mixing the slouchy with the polished. A pop of color with all neutrals.I wish I could be more practical in my dreams, but maybe that's why God didn't let me end up with buckets of money.


{Dany Tabet Couture S/S 2014}

Another dream job I've always wanted is to be a person who gets paid to travel to posh places all over the world and research them for travel agencies and such. Awesome! I even planned to learn as many languages as possible in order to be considered for such a positions. I would also have liked to work for the UN in my dream world job. A tad more practical and just as awesome.

{art by Andy Isaacson [via] }

These days, my dream job is to be an amazing mom/person. A real Proverbs 31 woman. That's a hard gig. i may always have my fantasies, but my reality is takes precedence and I just want to do well at it. These days, I take my culture on the side.

30 Things: Day 6 of 30

What is the hardest thing you have ever had to experience?

This one is a little tough for me. I want to be completely up-front and honest with you, but I don't know if I can share the details of the absolute hardest thing I've had to deal with. There have been many tough situations I've found myself in, but I do have one (actually, 2) that are at the top of the awful list. I was dating my first boyfriend and although I know that we have to go through hard things in order to learn valuable lessons, I wish I would have never dated this boy. I lost pieces of myself, things I can never get back, and put my family through things they should have never had to go through. The girl he dated/married/divorced/remarried/divorced again (in subsequent years) made my life miserable as well. I was no longer interested in being a part of his life but I'm pretty sure she is/was a sociopath and he was nothing but trouble. I blame myself for knowing better but not listening to my common sense and good advice. I now am more careful with whom I let into my life and know that people can turn on you without warning. That doesn't mean you shouldn't get close to people and keep everyone at arm's length, but you should exercise caution and listen to your intuition. That's really all I can say, sorry. I promise to be more entertaining and detailed on the next subject!

Friday, August 29, 2014

30 Things: Day 5 of 30

What Are The Five Things That Make You Most Happy Right Now?

1. Watching my children grow and learn. Every day they learn something new or impress me in some way that is unexpected and heart-warming. I love them and I love seeing the world through their eyes. It makes me feel protective and give a damn in a way I never have before.

2. Coffee and Autumn mornings. It's hot as balls in the afternoon, but the morning are cool and golden. I can drink warm coffee and enjoy the impending crispness that means the approach of Fall is coming. It doesn't last long, soon it will be cold and the warm weather will be gone, but I enjoy this brief time each year. My other favorite time is when Spring leads into Summer.

3. Learning to forgive myself and others. My last post, about the 10 things I would tell my 16-year-old self, was actually really therapeutic. I hadn't realized how much hurt and blame I was holding onto. I was not being very good to myself, I beat myself up for every little thing because I was letting my past continue to haunt me. And while I so have to pay for things I did in the past, some I have to make right, some I will just have to live with forever, I need to make peace with what I can and move on. I'm not broken. I am still the same girl I was. I have changed, but essentially I am still the same person. I am happy that I did that post yesterday. Going through life and shit makes you forget yourself sometimes.

4. I am finally getting a handle on this weight-loss thing. I've finally got my diet under control (sort of...for the most part). I have been working out steadily for 3 months and am getting stronger. I may never look like a VS Angel Bombshell, but that's all right. I can tighten it up and be healthy. The benefits being healthy and in shape go beyond how you look. Seriously, I had no idea that even my posture and back problems would improve.

5. As much as I worry about my kids when they are away from me, I am happy they are both in school this year. I need the little break more than I could ever admit. They need time away from me too, in a safe environment of course. They need to foster independence and know how smart and capable they can be. I am always there when they need me but it's good for us to have a little time apart from each other. It makes me feel less overwhelmed and makes me a better mother.

Sometimes things are awful and never go right, but these are the things that make me happy at the moment. I take any little happiness I can get.

Ecclesiastes 7:14 ESV / 36 helpful votes

In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

30 Things: Day 4 of 30

List 10 Things You Would Tell Your 16-Year-Old self, If You Could.

only 10?!

okay, well, here are ten very important things I would tell myself at 16...if I had only known....

1. You need to broaden your horizons.
You want to be just like your friends, the cool kids, you don't want to stand out. I understand your fear of being noticed/ridiculed/mocked is the time to find out what you love to do. Because in a few short years you will be considered an adult, making tough decisions, and trying to build a life for yourself. Your friends and peers have their own paths they will take. Find the one that is for you. It may not be easy, but listen to your heart. You'll know the right one.

2. You. Don't. Need. To. Date. Those. Boys.
You don't need to date that boy who doesn't appreciate who you are. He doesn't let you hang out with your friends without checking up on you and following you. He is verbally abusive. He becomes physically abusive. He tears down your self-esteem. You are worth so much more than anything he can offer you. He needs to go find peace for himself before he can love anyone. And as wonderful as you are, even you can't change him. He has to do that on his own. Oh, and despite everything you do, he finds someone else and leaves town with her. It isn't worth it. Then boy who is so cute and funny and clever? He isn't worth your time. He is playing games and they aren't fun for you. Leave him be. Then, boy who is older and lies, lies, lies? Leave him be. Most of all, be grateful you got away from the very first boy. That was a dangerous and unhappy path. The scars and stories and loss are terrible. It wasn't worth what you must carry with you forever because you didn't know the simple truth: You are amazing and deserve so much more than you believe.

3. Focus on school.
Yes, you can drive and work, and make your own money right now. Now is the time that you can be wild and free. Just be more responsible. You will have plenty of time for parties and fun in college. You need to focus on the classes you are struggling in. Listen to your teachers. Convince your mom that you have real learning problems when it comes to math and need real help. Put your studies before everything. You need to learn that discipline. Without it, I can assure you a real mess will follow you and haunt you in adulthood. Trust me on this one.

4. Assholes aren't worth your time.
Seriously. Who cares what people who aren't nice think? Stop spending so much time trying to impress people who aren't nice to you. Don't waste your time on anyone who makes you feel crappy all the time.

5. Ignore that girl who tries to make your life hell. She isn't worth it, not one bit. Starve the parasite. Without you hosting it, it has nothing to feed off of. Pray for her. She needs someone to.

6. Spend more time with your family.
Your need to bond with your mom. Your mom would never admit it, but she needs you right now. Your sister needs you right now, too. Take her out, just you two, more often. Ask your dad to teach you how about home/car repairs, help him garden. Spend more time with your grandparents. You will miss this precious family time so, so much in a few years.

7. Save your money. Don't blow your entire paycheck at the mall. Put aside a little each payday. Learning the habit of putting aside a little extra is worth more than that new sweater. You never know when you'll need it.

8. Don't be ashamed of who you are. You are only human and everyone screws up. Some people might like to focus on your screw ups because it helps them forget their own for a minute. Don't ever forget that you are not the only one trying to figure it all out. Nobody is perfect.

9. Be more social. Follow your interests. Look outside your social circle and be friends with whoever you want to be friends with. People don't have to have labels. Everyone is unique. I promise you that variety will round out your life and make you a lot less lonely in the future.

10. You are only 16 once. Make the most of this time. Protect your sweet, tender heart, keep sticking up for the underdog, and stop starving yourself. You aren't fat at all. In fact, you look great and you won't realize how great you looked until later. Exercise more. Stay away from cigarettes and the tanning bed.

p.s. one day you will have daughters. Listen to them, even when they aren't speaking with words. Sometimes silence and behavior speak louder than words ever will. Help them through the toughest of times and don't budge on rules that are enforced for their well-being. Listen to them and let them be heard, but remember when to be the parent. You will remember being 16 and thinking you knew everything. You will marvel at how little you knew. And how much you still have to learn. And you will look at their angry, tear-stained faces and feel a pang of nostalgia on top of that irritation and frustrated, fierce love that parents are so capable of feeling.

We live and learn....

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

30 Things: Day 3 of 30

I am a little behind. I am not great at this blogging thing. But let's persevere on. I'm here now. 

Describe Your Relationship With Your Parents:

Hmmm. Well, I guess it was good. 
My mom came from a shaky home life and she ensured that we were provided for and cared for, since she had to go it alone in so many parts of her life. She worked a lot, and there were times I wished she could have been more "present" but I know she loved us. She was so patient and resilient. I always admired her fortitude. She taught me to give a shit about things-appearances, helping other people-and to be humble too. 
My dad had some issues, but for the most part I have to say he was a good dad. He had some demons and I didn't understand until after he died 5 years ago how hard he had to fight them, and how those demons would defeat him from time to time. He could be a real asshole, he drank way too much and too often, he cheated on my mom, he was very distant most of the time. But despite all that, I know he loved my sister and I. He loved my mom too, I don't think he realized how much until the end, after she was fed up and done with him. Even though he could be a jerk, he did teach me how to respect others, he taught me to appreciate nature. He showed me that people are just people and you can't always change them.
Lots of my issues are my own and I will not fault my parents for them. They did the best they could with what hand they were dealt and nobody is perfect. I am thankful for what I did learn growing up with them-the good and the bad-because I hope to use it to be a good parent. Isn't that what each generation of parents do? Swear they won't repeat their parents' shortcomings? Then we grow older and realize that we all have shortcomings and forgive some of our parents' transgressions while struggling to improve our own in hopes that our children look back on their childhood fondly and take the tools to have a good life from what we can provide. Being a parent is hard and I didn't appreciate this fact until I became one myself. It's damn hard. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

30 Things: Day 2 of 30

Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.

1. I have always worried about my loved ones, starting from a very young age. I had really bad separation anxiety as a child. I would cry and cry when my mom would drop me off at daycare or school. I would worry about my mom when she would take business trips, whether it would be a day-trip or a week-long one. I would have an anxious pit in my stomach that didn't ease up until she returned. If my sister went to a sleepover, I would worry about her, hoping she would be all right. As I got older, I rarely left my loved ones without saying "I love you", in case that was the last time we spoke. Of course, I did have some hot-headed teenager moments where I'd storm off in a huff, but luckily I outgrew that...sort of...
Now that I have children of my own, that love is reflected and magnified in an even bigger way. I still worry about my mother, now it's what she will face in her older years? I worry still if my sister is happy and feels enough love. I worry constantly about my children and their health and happiness. I keep a tiny shred of fear as a parent. Am I doing the right things? Are they safe at school? Are they happy? I fear for the safety of my loved ones, and will always have that anxious pit in my stomach, to varying degrees, till I am with them and am reassured they are safe.

2. I am terrified of depression, mental illness, and "differences" controlling my life. Different does not mean less! A few posts back I spoke of my oldest child's Asperger Syndrome diagnosis and the long hard road it entailed. I am afraid of anything holding her back, because it isn't necessary. She is bright, funny, able. She should never have to feel less or be held back in any way. I have struggled with some demons too, and I fear sometimes that they'll get the better of me. I just have to give myself over to God. I show him my aching heart and sometimes it takes a while, but He always gives me help and hope in His perfect timing. I hope both my girls find peace and happiness, no matter what.

3. I am afraid of never reaching the goals I set for myself. Weight loss, finishing college, and generally being a better person. I give up way too easily over every setback, and I am afraid of what this says about my character. I feel like I am too easy on myself, then beat myself up for it later. Vicious cycle. I want to break it and am afraid I never will. I refuse to give up and I think that one day it finally might flipping stick already.

I have a long list of fears, but those are some of my deeper, darker ones. If you'd like to know others, here you go:

-Spider, snakes, insects, parasites, creepy-crawlies in general.
-I am claustrophobic and hate to have my head covered up.
-Mucus. Enough said.
-Those fish at the bottom of the ocean with the lights that dangle in front of them and those super scary teeth.
-the dark. Yes, I'm serious.
-people not liking me. I crave approval. The older I get, the more I have learned that respect/approval is a two-way street.

So, tomorrow is day three! "Describe your relationship with your parents". Is it just me, or is this starting to seem a little like therapy? Blog therapy? Hmmm.

Good night...

30 Things: Day 1 of 30

my poor, neglected blog. Has it really been 4 months since I last posted?
I want to write, it just all seems to get jumbled up and comes out long-winded, so I end up either ranting, preaching, or just posting pretty, inspiring pictures I find and want to share.
In an attempt to be more personal and a tad more organized, I would like to share an idea I found on the sweet site, . Basically, she compiled a list of 30 random topics that she will share about herself each day, for 30 days. Since I would like to get into the habit of blogging more and don't really like talking too much about my own self, I've decided this might be a fun little exercise for me. Plus, I will still be posting pretty, inspiring pictures most of the time because that's just what I do. So, here we go!

Day One: List 20 Random Facts about Yourself

1. Growing up, I was very interested in art and fashion. I wanted to be a designer and would practice drawing outfits and models for hours. I still like to dabble, when I have time. It's more like Project Runway before bed or coloring with my kids these days!
2. I am allergic to horses, hay, milkweed, and rosehips. Growing up in the South, Benadryl became a relied upon friend.
3. I am smart but tend to sell myself short. By "smart" I don't mean I know everything, I just don't always use my brain when I should.
4. I can be too nice and let people take advantage of me. I'm trying to become more assertive and set more boundaries. Mainly because I want to teach my daughters when to be nice and when to say no.
5. I tend to have road rage. Some people just drive like they are the only ones on the road! Come on!
6. I am trying to boycott the circus in my town this year because the thought of animals being abused and imprisoned made me cry when I took my kids last year.
7. I am kind of an introvert.
8. My mom is the most amazing person I know. She went through a lot of crap and she still made sure my sister and I had a good upbringing. She knew exactly when to hold back and when to be honest with us. She gave me a realistic perspective that I didn't fully appreciate until adulthood. I am so very thankful for her. She is my hero.
9. I hate wearing jeans or "real pants". Seriously, you will rarely catch me in anything other than leggings, sweats or maxi dresses.
10. I have been known to drop off my kids at school in my pajamas. I am known for it, actually.
11. Having kids is so hard, but it really is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
12. I love to laugh. Funny shows, funny movies, funny people. Laughter cures many ails.
13. I hate really scary, suspenseful or paranormal anything. Nothing good can come of it. It creeps me out.
14. I have always wanted to travel the world. Starting in my own country. The first place I want to see is New Mexico. Italy, Iceland, Bali, France, the UK, and New Zealand are also places I'd like to vacation at someday. Hopefully they are as nice as they seem.
15. I bite my nails. I have since I was 10. I try and try to stop. Sometimes I'll stop for a week, then suddenly I realize I just bit a nail down to a nub. I am determined to break this habit.
16. I can't tie my shoes the traditional "bunny ear through the loop" way. I have to make two bunny ears and tie them together. My grandmother taught me that trick, otherwise I would have never learned to tie my shoes!
17. I really try to do my hair and makeup every day. I also exercise 6 times a week. I don't feel like it most days, but unless I am just having a difficult day, I try to make myself do it anyway. It makes me feel like I haven't given up on myself just yet.
18. I have never been in an airplane.
19. I don't mind them cooked, but I find it pretty much impossible to eat raw tomatoes or onions.
20. I love the smell of lavender, the beach, fresh peaches, and good coffee.