Thursday, April 3, 2014

Normal?

you ever just feel...blah? Like you can't muster up any enthusiasm for anything? Everything is a huge hurdle you have to overcome and you just want to crawl into bed for days until the feeling (hopefully) subsides?
I've been having one of those weeks. I have been such a grouch, just going through the motions and not happy about it, either.
I hate when I get like this. I consider myself a passionate person. I am either full of love and cheer or I am screaming at you like you'd never believe. I used to be more mellow, but I guess life happened. Or, in all seriousness, I might possibly be bipolar. Hence the down & out mood.
I am a firm believer in getting help when you need it. Mentally, physically, emotionally. I know that sometimes that help is not in the cards for us, for whatever reason, and we just have to do the best we can when we get into a funk. Maybe it's PMS. Maybe it's despair over things in life that we want to change but can't (or won't). Maybe we just need a breather.
I was seriously having a metaphysical crisis with my weird mood yesterday. I was thinking "What is the point of life? Why am I going through the same old bullshit all the time if it ends up the same no matter what we as human do? What was I thinking bringing kids into this world? I don't contribute anything worthwhile. People would be better off if I weren't here."
I was digging myself deep with those dark thoughts.
Sometimes I really have to take a step back and think of things that I know to be true.
I know that God wants us to pull ourselves up when we feel down. He gives us the power to do so. Our faith in Him is the greatest gift we can ever have.

Also, as Lucille Ball put it, "One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn't pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself"

I love that. It's so true. Sometimes you just have to push through things, even if it's the last thing you feel like doing...

I do my best, even on my bad days. I have blessings that I forget about when I am throwing myself a pity party. I have to remember that I need to be a light to someone else, even if I don't feel like it. That one is hard and I sometimes (often) fall short of what I should be doing, but I fail, and I try again.

Psalm 129:2
Isaiah 49:31

If you ever need to talk, I am here to listen. I have been lonely and needed a friend many times in my life. Please don't hestitate to reach out to me, or anyone else, if you need to.

xoxoxo




***If you feel like you want to harm yourself or someone else, please don't hesitate to call the Depression Hotline-1-630-482-9696, or the Suicide Hotline 1-800-784-8433. Please don't feel any shame or embarrassment by calling if you are at your wits end and need the help. There is a reason these hotlines exist. There are thousands of people who have needed them.***

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

don't make me give up my yoga pants

I have fallen into a frump. I've been losing weight, so I don't want to run out and buy new clothes right away because (hopefully! fingers crossed!) I will be losing more weight. I love buying clothes, don't get me wrong, but I am on a budget and so I don't quite have the money to go buy a new wardrobe every few months. Thus, I make do with what I have. My sweet mama, she went to Kohl's yesterday and bought me some clearance clothes because she is constantly on me to dress better. I don't impress myself much either, mama. I wear sweatpants or yoga pants every day. Except Sunday, I wear dresses/skirts. But even then, comfort is key and I can't wait to get back home and throw on my trusty sweats. I tried wearing jeans one day and it was awful. It got me thinking, people claim jeans are the comfiest pants around. If I wear jeans that says I put some effort into my dressing. Sad but true. Jeans are like business casual for me. Unfortunately, most jeans look ridiculous on me. They either sag in the booty area but my stomach can breathe....until they slide off my hips. Or they fit in the booty area but squeeze my muffin top so bad it looks like I'm wearing a child-sized inner tube.
Clearly I am in the minority of the body-types jeans are designed for. Unless....I am buying the wrong jeans.
As I said before, I am on a budget, so buying expensive jeans is out for me. However I came across an article that tells about the difference buying the right jeans can make.

http://www.graspingforobjectivity.com/2012/07/gap.html

this is very important! Hilarious, informative and enlightening. Everyone should read it.

I guess my next venture will be to save some money for a couple pairs of expensive but flattering jeans. I have my eye on Express jeans. I noticed they have jeans (at the moment) on sale for $40. Which is about how much I expected to pay in the first place.

I also have been watching a course called "Dressing Your Truth". I am all for the right fit, the right coloring, the right textures/patterns. But apparently there is a whole myriad of other things that affect the way you dress and feel about yourself too. It has to do with your personality, your features, your whole self. It's pretty interesting. Check it out if you'd like to know more.

http://dressingyourtruth.com/bpcourse-episode01/



Friday, March 21, 2014

AB(E)

I was checking my Facebook page earlier. I rarely check it anymore. I do always check to see if someone is having a birthday, because I think everyone should at least get a "happy Birthday!" message, no matter how impersonal it may seem.
The reason I can't check my Facebook that often is because I have the AB(E) syndrome and didn't even realize it till now.
I see people on Facebook buying new houses, taking fun vacations. I see girls who have had several children and their bodies bounced right back from it. So many happy, smiling faces. So many success stories. So much to be jealous of....I may not have everything, but Facebook is quick to help you forget the blessings you do have!
I saw that everyone was congratulating a couple I know from high school. The girl is singing and her husband is managing her and helping with her music. I think he plays music as well. Anyway, she put out an album. She is flying off to big cities to promote her music. She is doing all these big things and I always thought "Geez, brag a little more" or "She isn't even that pretty". I watched her videos and thought "She isn't even that talented". Then today, as people were congratulating her and I saw that she was moving forward with her life project, the endeavor she had put herself wholeheartedly into, I found myself thinking, "She'll never make it. She is comparing herself to big-time people? I hope she falls on her ass."
Then it hit me.
I was wishing for somebody to fail.
I was wishing a couple who were decent, hard workers, who came from humble beginnings, to fail at something they really wanted in life.
I was a little shocked at myself. That isn't me, I thought. I don't really want them to fail.
Or do I? Is that who I have become?
If they want to be excited that they have a nice house, a nice car, let them. They worked for it.
If they get a little preach-y and braggy about being on the right path, let them. That's their journey.
I looked at my heart. It has been through a lot, but no more than anyone else, really. I have felt really isolated in my pain for years. I have had setbacks, watched other people succeed and do things I want to do. It's began to harden me. It's been a blight on my heart for years, the AB(E). Anger, Bitterness, and hidden Envy.
I have been so bitter and hateful for so long. I want to let go of the negativity that is weighing my heart down. When good things happen to people, I want my heart to soar for them. I don't want my first reaction to be "Why doesn't anything great happen to me and my family?" I don't want to be angry all the time. I don't want the bitterness in my heart to ruin my outlook. I hide my envy. And that is what it all stems from, envy. I have been downtrodden. I have fallen and didn't pick myself back up. Now I look at others and say "What about me? When am I going to get to enjoy life?" I get jealous of others, to the point of saying that I hope someone falls on their ass.
That was the wake-up call. I needed that. I needed to tell God I was ready to release my heart from all this angry, painful resentment I have been holding onto. I am affecting not just myself, but my family. That is so unfair.
I found myself praying for that girl to go far. All the way to the top. Ultimately, God decides such things, but I wanted to root for her. I prayed that if it were in God's favor may she be successful and humble, I prayed for continued blessings to her and her family.
It is the most unselfish thing we can do. Even if our life isn't going right, we can always pray for others as well as ourselves. We can elevate others. Even if our heart is crying, is tired, is in pain. We can find it in our heart to be glad for others. It isn't easy to do, as I mentioned above. I have been so angry for so long. I have been hurting and envious and down for so long. It is not easy, at all, to watch others gain ground while I seem to be losing it.
Sometimes the only thing that works, when I am having a particularly bad day, is to tell myself that someone out there has it worse than I do. Not that I want anyone to have it worse than me. I pray for them right along with myself.
 It doesn't help you to wish anyone, particularly those who are hurting nobody, will ill.
I found this and I hope the author doesn't mind me posting it here. It is a prayer about releasing anger from my heart. If you need it, please pray along with me. If you don't think you need it, it never hurts to pray for others. Someone out there might need it.

http://revivedlife.com/blog/prayer-to-release-anger/

Monday, March 3, 2014

What the parenting books don't tell you

Confession time!
I never really got to enjoy much of parenting. I feel like I was robbed of all a lot of the little things. I don't say that to be a whiner. I know being a parent is hard, even on good days. I know now that I am lucky to have the children I have and the love is greater than anything I had ever imagined. It's crazy when I think about where I started. My first pregnancy was unexpected and a shock. I had issues all the way up till labor, then after my daughter was born there were a plethora of new issues. I had bad, raging, post-partum depression. I was never taken seriously by doctors or properly treated for it. I cried all the time. My moods were unpredictable, I was angry and scared and sick daily. My baby girl wailed day and night. It was clockwork, she would cry and cry at certain times for hours and I felt like a shit parent. I would get so angry. Nobody was taking me seriously, I couldn't soothe my baby, even after months of being a parent it was risky to take her anywhere. I remember taking her to the grocery store one day when she was about 8 months old and we actually shopped, bought our groceries and brought them home. No canceling the trip before we even made it out the door, no abandoning the half-full grocery cart due to an uncontrollable meltdown. I will never forget that. It was so amazing. I'd see people doing the same all the time, and I'd never had a trip anywhere that didn't end up an emotional uproar for us both. Trips to see relatives were hard, the crying would begin and not end... and so often I'd get that disapproval of my parenting, not raising my child "right". I just wanted to scream that it wasn't my fault. 1st birthday....2nd birthday.... Playdates with others were totally out, the meltdowns were epic and too unpredictable. One playdate gone wrong meant being shunned by an entire community of moms. By the way, when I say meltdowns...I don't mean tantrums. I don't mean a crying/sobbing fit that bruises your ego as a parent but subsides after a little while. I am talking full-on meltdown. There is no picking your child up and carrying them out of there to a quiet corner. No reasoning, no talking down, no soothing. It's a storm that unleashes its fury upon everyone involved. My child was fighting me, the environment, the situation, herself even. I had to learn certain holds just to carry her out of the situation. Sometimes 45 minutes to wrestle her into a carseat, leaving me breathless, exhausted and in tears. I didn't know what to do. All the while I was being assured that this was normal. First it was because of acid reflux. Then being spoiled/high strung. I blamed myself. You don't know how I blamed myself. And my husband blamed me too. I think had I had a sense of not feeling so alone, I would have handled it differently. I lashed out at everyone, I was so scared and depressed that this was our life. My child was not thriving. We were lucky to be surviving each day.Then I have -surprise!- another baby. It was like being on a life raft, just trying to hang on. Oh, you have room for one more. Here you go. And we did. We did make room for one more. It was a totally different experience. As my oldest became a completely indifferent older sister, and my youngest grew from a helpless infant to a toddler, something began to click inside of my mind. I couldn't quite say exactly what it was, but I knew, as I think I had always known, that my oldest daughter had a real, underlying issue that wasn't being addressed. I had known since she was 6 months old that something wasn't quite right. No pediatrician, not one, single person would listen to me, so I just assumed it was me. And kept going it alone. At the age of three, taking her into a pediatrician for a strep test, that was the day everything changed. The strep test was negative, but the doctor, who was part of the pediatric group and had never laid eyes upon my daughter before that day seemed to hesitate when talking to my daughter. He asked her questions. He seemed interested. Finally he turned to me and said "I want you to have her tested for Autism". I'm sure he wasn't expecting the sudden outburst of crying, from this un-showered crazy person who was attempting to feed an infant while soothing a temperamental 3 year old. He was quick to say it was just his professional opinion, but something I should just rule out. All I could say was "I knew it. I knew it was autism." I hadn't even dared to entertain the thought to myself, instead pushing it aside and going along with the statement "she'll outgrow it". No, she won't. It's a part of her. It's a part of her that I want to be addressed so she can get what she needs as a person.
3 years later, after an Asperger's diagnosis, lots of therapy, an awesome support system, and lots of trials and even more learning to adjust (mainly me, to her needs) I am happy to report that while things are still a work in progress, my oldest has come a long way. She is sweet, bright, busy and loving. Her sweet and sassy younger sister looks up to her, fights with her (as much as she can, when my oldest actually engages it) and she is protective of her too. It isn't at all the road I ever imagined we would travel, and we're just learning as we go. Scary? Sometimes. But everyday is a learning experience. I love my daughters and I would not change them. I am proud of them. As for those people who cannot accept us as we are, I have learned, as a born people-pleaser, that you can't let that get to you. There is so much more to focus on. You can't let someone who doesn't understand your struggle determine your self-worth. You have to focus on the here and now. Which believe me, is enough.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Intervals

the last thing I feel like doing right now is exercising, but I have to. I have been working way too hard to just let it go, just for this one night. One night turns into two nights. Then three. Then a week. Next thing I know I am right back where I started, and wondering why I let it get like this, yet again. I do believe that your body needs "rest" days, but it's a slippery slope. You want to push yourself, but not too hard. Then I got on the scale last night, which I regret, because it says I have gained weight. GAINED!? I have been doing these grueling workouts for weeks, some of my clothes feel a bit looser, my butt seems to have lifted. But, oh, I've gained weight. Scales...they really are not an effective weight loss tool. I know that is has been said that muscle weighs more than fat, water weight builds on women, weight fluctuates all the time...but this was a significant gain. Like 6 pounds. I almost had a moment where I thought, what is the point, but I didn't entertain that thought long. I can't give up. Simple as that. Unless circumstances beyond my control actually prevent me from doing so, I am not giving up.
Progress has been made. I still have a long way to go, but I have noticed that I am not only seeing slight results but feeling them too. It's subtle, but I have a tiny bit more stamina than I used to, I have it in me to keep going a little longer than I could before. I am far from a fitness guru yet, but I am fully in the stages of beginner, whereas I began as a novice. It's nice to progress, no matter how insignificant it seems to anyone else, it's still a small victory for those who have worked for it. We all need some of those, now and then. It helps keep us going. Setbacks are obstacles, so concentrate on the victories and progress, no matter how small.
Anyway, I before I ramble on any longer, I will leave you with the above workout that I have been doing recently. I alternate my workouts, but this one is the more strenuous one as of now, and I like it, even though it's challenging. Quick and effective, what more can you ask for?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Results at Home? I'll test that theory!

Today I am giving you these great ideas seen on the Internet and testing them for real-life purposes. I don't know exactly who to credit for these photo references, but to you I say good job, and thank you. 

First up, the "Neutral Smoky Eye"



Funnily enough, this is my favorite tutorial. It has no words or demonstrations. All I need is the clear step-by-step visual which includes the make-up brushes used. Helpful!  *If you want to know the exact step by step instructions please let me know.* The only thing I had trouble with was the liner & shimmer in the inside corner of the eye. I get squeamish of putting makeup near my tear ducts. I need more practice but the overall effect was similar to the photo. That never happens! How exciting. The best part is that once you get this down, you can use different colors to get some fun variety. Finally, in this very scientific research project (ha), I found I can achieve a smoky eye that's great for every day and event worthy. Let's face it, I have no real need to have dramatic smoky eyes on a daily basis. I mean, I guess I could if I wanted to, but I also don't have time. So this is the best look I have found thus far.


Next up, the braid bands

We've all seen the intricate braid adorning the crowns of heads everywhere. I can't even french braid, so I counted myself out of that one. Turns out there is one I can do, that works with my hair type....excellent...

*disclaimer-my hair isn't that perfect

So basically with this look you just take a curling wand, loosely curl your hair at the bottom and start a braid on the right side of your head. It appears to be above the model's right temple, you could go a tad lower to get the thickest part of your hair, which is easier to braid. Just braid the strand until you reach the end. Pin it up behind your left ear and cover the end with a few strands of the curled hair. My braid wasn't that thick but I still managed to pull this off without feeling completely ridiculous. It didn't take a long time either, which is key for me most days. I had to do this a few times to get it the way I liked it, but overall I give this an 'easy' rating, because if I can manage something, I think just about anyone can. If you have short-medium hair, you can try this with the loose curls and a very loose braid. It may end up near the middle of your head, you can just do the same pinning/covering move. 

"Blessing in a Bottle"

I know who to credit this for: http://littlemsrobinson.blogspot.com/2012/03/homemade-cleaning.html


this is seriously the best homemade cleaner I have ever used. It smells great and it cleans like a boss. I haven't bought traditional cleaner in forever because that's how much I love this. I use it to clean my bathroom, my kitchen, I even mop my linoleum with it. I still keep some Comet around the house because I am a traditionalist but it doesn't get used in anything but the toilets these days. 

I also make my own glass cleaner:
1/4 cup white vinegar 
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
2 cups water
pour into in a clean, empty spray bottle & shake

I've heard you can use to cornstarch to eliminate streaking, but I never remember to get cornstarch. I sometimes use newspaper if I really need to eliminate streaks but honestly I am lucky to get a quick swipe at the mirrors and glass before toothpaste flecks and finger prints mark them back up so I use my old go-to and call it a day.
I don't use this to clean the television since I'm not sure if it's safe for the screen. I take a microfiber cloth (you can find them at the dollar store) and just give it a quick wipe. If it's really dusty or grimy I just dampen t part of the cloth with hot water, wipe it, then go back over it with the dry side. 


At-Home Exercise
I don't have the money to join a gym although I wish I did. Childcare (with hopefully good handlers) while I exercise and shower in peace? Bliss. Alas, it's not in the cards and I am okay with that. I have found several good at-home workouts for beginners like me. I had to go through some trials to find the right ones. I had to Google 'burpees'. I had to try so many different things before I found the right thing for me. Here are some of my favorites:
this one is more difficult, but if you can complete it the full 3 times, it is well worth it. Maybe you can do the 5 and be like a super star, I wouldn't know what that's like, but good for you! I don't do this often since I injured my back. It's on the mend but I try to only do this maybe once in a while. If you are in decent shape and looking for something quick and challenging, I recommend this one.

"Leslie Sansone: Walk at Home"
so I saw this one and I was like "pshht, that can't possibly be a workout!" but when I was recovering from my back drama, I was ready to attempt anything light. I was told by my chiropractor "nothing strenuous", but I really missed my workouts. I started with a couple of laps around the track, when I could do that without feeling like I was going to throw my back out again, I was ready to test something else out. After researching some easy workouts, I found this. Let me tell you, it's perfect for beginners/intermediates. I actually felt like I had done a workout without putting too much strain on my body. Also, Leslie is perky and upbeat without being annoying. She knows her stuff. I was impressed. 

the 1-mile walk

the 2-mile walk

this is the one I do often, the 3-mile walk with light weights 
(I just used heavy soup cans or anything you have around the house, really)

I just started to include this one and I love it! It's a 3-mile, fast-paced walk that really focuses on toning. 
I duct taped 2 soup cans together for each hand weight, because I am still thrifty like that.


So, my other all-time favorite at-home workouts are Jessica Smith's Workouts. She is also a master of getting the job done quickly and efficiently. She has an entire slew of workouts to choose from. I've tried just about all of them (except for the ballet/yoga ones) and I am definitely a fan. Here is a link with quite a few choose from:




So, this is my "tried it at home and it worked!" post! I hope you find something useful out of it! My attempt at blogging is slow going, but I am beginning to warm to it, so thanks for checking it out! 

You can also check out my inspirations and other lovely things I find at:



XOXOXO




Thursday, June 20, 2013

ship chic

So, as my blogger title suggests, I am a fan of anything nautical, aesthetics-wise. I am a fan of ocean-side life and while my home is in the mountains, I like to think a little bit of my heart remains by the sea.