Monday, November 18, 2013


Have you ever had one of those conversations that after it's over, you think to yourself "That was all truth!  Surely, anyone and everyone could benefit from that in some way."  I had one of these earlier this past week.  I was telling someone the story of my tattoo and what it means to me.  I won't get into the whole story here, but I'll tell you it's in memory of my the baby I lost eight months ago.  It may seem strange to some of you that have never suffered a miscarriage to hear that I still struggle with this so many months later.  I know that before mine, I never realized how deep a scar it can carry.  I was talking with this person how it's weird that I'll go several days being okay and then something will happen; a song will come on the radio, somebody will say something, or really... any random thing could happen and I'll just burst into tears.  This person told me something that I had already known, but them saying it out loud simply validated it as a truth.  They told me to feel what I'm feeling, no matter how silly or ridiculous it might seem.  Isn't that so simple?  Simple, but completely brilliant.  It's okay to cry when a hip hop rap song comes on the radio, if that's what I'm feeling.  It's okay to mourn the loss of someone who passed several years ago, if that's what you're feeling.  It's okay to feel totally blah if that's where you're at.  Cry.  Do it. Feel it.  Just make sure, you get up the next day ready to face and feel whatever comes.  That's life.  It's hard, it's tough, it's beautiful.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Long Overdue: The Remodel

This is a post that is long overdue.  Going back over the past posts, I realized that I promised to show ya'll the redo of our house after we bought it.  To recap, we repainted pretty much everything in the front rooms and the kitchen.  (Sorry to say but I don't think I have any before and afters of the kitchen.)  Also, we tore up all the carpeting and laid down vinyl flooring.  With Jarrod working 70 hours a week at the time, I laid most of it myself.  I'm not saying this to play down his role by any means (if it weren't for his busting his butt at work, we wouldn't have been able to pay for the flooring.)  I am telling you this, so that when you see the floors, you will know that I. am. a. rockstar.  I'm not kidding of course.  But, it was super hard work and it makes me appreciate my pops even more for what he did and still does to make a living for his family.
Okay, I'll shut up and show you the pictures.

Wow, this is really bad quality.  I apologize.  You never know taking a picture with your phone, what kind of quality you're going to get.  Seriously, sometimes it looks like a professional took it and others you get, well, you get the above picture.  You get the idea though.  You see the color of the paint and the carpet right?

So, first things first.  Gotta tear that carpet up.  I thought this would be super easy.  Boy was I wrong.  I think my back was stuck in the bent over position for two days straight. First, the carpet had to come up. Then, we had to tear up the padding underneath and then (yeah, still not done) we had to hammer down all the nails that were sticking up from the floor.

Again, I apologize for the quality.  I must start using my actual camera. 

Once everything was up, it was time for momma to show her stuff.  Check out these floors!
Now why did this one turn out so good?!  I will never know

Of course Jesalyn had to get in on the action.  Is this not the cutest picture you have ever seen in your entire life?!  She looks like she knows what she's doing doesn't she?  

Before the floors we decided to repaint.  I wanted gray.  A lesson I learned through all this is that there really is no true gray color.  All gray has a little bit of another color in it.  If you read my blog before you know the other lesson I learned.  "If your best friend tells you that the paint chip you took home looks more blue than gray, you should believe her."   Yes,  I picked out what I thought was gray, bought like 4 gallons and started painting the walls.  Halfway through I realized that it did, indeed look blue.  I thought I could handle it and kept painting.  About 3/4 the way through, I decided that I wouldn't be happy so we went out and bought more paint and did the whole thing again.  Luckily, we had lots of people helping us paint or I would probably still be doing it. 
Here is my step-dad.  He was a professional painter for 20 years. Notice the drastic difference!

I must preface that since the "remodel" we have already moved things around and purchased new furniture, but you get the idea.  

and after...

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Raising Confidence

    When I was in college, however many years ago that was (we don't have to get into numbers) I had an obsession with food.  I obsessed over the amount of fat, the number of calories, how much sugar was in it....  Every time I ate, I would immediately head to the gym to try to burn it off.  I became so obsessed with it that it just became easier not to eat it.  I never became anorexic.  I ate, but my meals were more like mini snacks.  I remember a time that my roommate's (and BFF) parents came for the weekend to visit.  They were going out to eat for supper and asked if I wanted to join them.  "No thanks" I said, "I have already eaten" referring to my half cup of applesauce.  I remember waking up in the middle of the night in pain, because I was so hungry.  I would force myself to go back to sleep, while secretly feeling good about the fact that I once again was able to push aside that feeling of hunger.   I don't know that I was super tiny, but I do know that my weight was not healthy for me because I lost my period for about a year. Instead of this worrying me, I instead felt proud that it was all steps to becoming a smaller me. 

   So why I am sharing this with you?  A few years after I got married, the hubby and I started talking about having kids.  I had gotten over my obsession with food, but my biggest fear was that I would have a girl and that I would inadvertently pass on this feeling of having a negative body image. I knew I would never ever speak words to her about her body being one way or another, but I knew that children at a young age look to their parents with how to think and feel about things and I was terrified that she would see me obsessing about something not fitting right or overhear me talking to someone about how I was trying to lose weight.  This was such a fear that it grieved me to think about it.  Of course, when I did become pregnant and I found out that it was a girl, I knew that it was up to me to help instill in her the confidence of being a female; to see her body as vessel that allows her to do things, be strong, and enjoy life.  She is almost four now.  Her dad and I tell her every single day how beautiful she is.  We absolutely never talk about weight, good or bad.  She's actually very small for her age and I try to even watch calling her skinny. I don't want her to ever feel like she has to be one way or another.  I want her to know that she's perfect in every way.  As she gets older, she will see things that will test her self confidence, no matter how much I try to shield her.  My prayer is that she has had enough confidence built inside her that she will not feel the need to conform to what society says is beautiful.  That she will know that she's beautiful. So instead, I talk about being healthy.  When she sees me lifting weights and asks me why I'm exercising, I tell her it's so that I can stay strong. She has started asking if she can run with me.  Not because she wants to be thin, but because she sees how much I enjoy it.

   All this is good, but this morning she threw me for a loop while we were getting ready for work/school.  I was putting on my lipstick before we left and she says to me "mommy, your lipstick is so pretty.  Do you think that maybe someday I could wear lipstick?"    "Kiddo, your pretty without lipstick" I say to her.  Her reply? "So are you mommy!"  OUCH! I've been so wrapped up in making sure she's confident in her body that I haven't even thought about the make up piece. Of course I'm not opposed to wearing make up.  I never leave for work without it, but she has made me step back and contemplate some things. I don't want her to feel like she has to cover her face up to be beautiful.  Sure, I know she's four and she's not thinking about all that.  Right now, to her, it's just something fun that mommy does and she wants to do too, but how do I teach her to be confident in herself when mommy has to put her "face on" to go out?  How do I teach her to know the difference in being confident in herself while also wearing make up and only feeling confident when she's made up?  Does that make sense????  I gave her some chapstick and took her to school, but now she's got me thinking.  Any of you mommies out there have any advice?  With this crazy, messy world we live in, it's important to stick together and raise strong, self confident girls.   

Thanks for reading y'all.  It's been a while I know.   Comments are always welcome!

This is a really, really good article that all parents of girls should read.