Thursday, January 19, 2017

Parenting: Not All Sunshine & Butterflies

Real life photo - no filter
I know we try to always put our best face forward. Especially when posting in a public forum. We share the happy moments, the fun outings, the pretty pictures of our kids and homes. And when things aren't going so pretty, we just deal with them behind the scenes. Okay, most people. I've mostly given up on Facebook as it seems more and more people overshare and use it as a place to rant.

With that said, I have something to share. I made a conscious decision to keep this blog positive. There is a ALOT of negativity out in the world. I wanted this to be a small space of happy. When things started not being so happy, I stopped posting. I detached myself from my online presence, and my in person friends.

I'm making more of an effort to start connecting again. With these connections, I find that a lot of moms I know share my story. Maybe you can relate too?

When my kids were little, I thought I was doing pretty okay as a mom. My kids were reasonably well behaved. The had manners and said thank you. I had my mom-fails but they were young and seemed to be resilient. They got along well with others and made friends. I made sure they knew they were loved. I encouraged them to be themselves and tried to make sure they didn't try to change to impress others. I'm sure they can both recite back my "pep talks" by memory.

Now, they are older and I have more and more days where I think maybe I really messed up. I tried so hard to always hold on to an even temperament (not so successful some days.) As a friend and I discussed we were always "fine" even when we weren't. I thought I was being reassuring, but I think instead when they are feeling not "fine", they believe something is wrong with them. I didn't give a good example of how to handle their emotions. I probably justified "signs" that things weren't going well with a rationale of hormones, middle school drama, high school pressure, etc. Why? Because as previously stated, I don't do emotions well. I have a super high, gargantuan wall around them. Built to be durable and withstand mighty attacks. (Yeah, yeah, I have my own childhood issues)

Now they each are finding their own challenges and some days I think to myself that maybe I'm not really so good at this parenting thing. I wonder if anyone is really a great parent. We work hard to not make the same mistakes our parents did, and instead we make new ones.

My point is, I don't have all the answers. I'm pretty sure no one does. And I'm also pretty sure that those who think they do are just mistakenly confident or very deluded. I'm going to stick by one of the same pep talks I give my kids. You are doing okay as long as you are doing your very best. So, each day, each situation, I will just need to ask myself if I'm doing my best.

I turned out more or less okay, so hopefully my kids will survive their childhood as well and go on to become healthy, happyish adults who can torture themselves over raising their own children. No rush on that last part!


Thursday, January 12, 2017

18 (And a Half) Years


I usually try to take pictures of the kids each year around their birthdays. This year Bailey was already in Nevada for school. He couple of trips home have been whirlwind weekends.

Winter break for school is almost an entire month so we finally had time to take pictures. And, even more surprisingly, he was cool with doing it too. 

It has been wonderful to have him home for the past month. He has been working hard to make money during this break. Jobs on or near campus have been tough to find. And the dogs are being excessively spoiled. 





Thursday, January 5, 2017

3 Favorite Cardigan Sweaters



I'm really, really not a fan of the traditional cardigan sweater. The word cardigan kind of makes me cringe. But with that said, there are a few I have been wearing non-stop this winter.

1. GNW Long Cardigan

This isn't exactly the same as the one I have but it's the same brand and style. My mom bought me mine for Christmas and it's more of a knit fabric. It's super soft and comfortable. I can wear it layered over jeans on the weekend or throw it over my dress pants during the week.

2. Mixed Knit Layered Sweater 

I purchased this one just before Christmas and love it. It has a more tailored feel and the shorter length still keeps you warm but is stylish enough for work too.

3. Multi Wrap Open Front Sweater

This cardigan is amazingly versatile. It is longer in front and shorter in back. I have worn it loose, one end thrown over my shoulder, tied in front, crossed and tied in back, and used a bangle. There are several videos for inspiration on YouTube and I also found some inspiration here.

I also have a Simply Vera Ruffled Cardigan from a few years ago that is in the rotation. I couldn't find a picture online anywhere and didn't have a picture of me wearing it. I tend to be behind the camera, not in front of it.

There are a few others I have seen online or while shopping but haven't invested in. I haven't been strictly following my capsule wardrobe but I do try to limit how many pieces I have in my closet at one time.

Do you have any cardigans that you are loving this year?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Year in Review



I look back at my post from last January 1st and realize that a lot has changed this past year.

A few of my goals were realized but lots remain to be worked on this year. Here's a recap of the big events in 2016 courtesy of my cell phone.

January:
Mariner's Event

First run of Aristocats: Scat Cat Alley


February:
Dining chairs received a makeover

Anique excelled in 6th grade

Ken celebrated a milestone birthday

Anique got braces

New puppy, Jordan. Now known as Jordan the Destroyer


March:
Second performance of Aristocats: Scat Cat Alley. Makeup done...

Anique and Maddy humored me with a photo shoot a few days before they turned 12

April:
Cousins went skating for Anique's birthday

Anique and Ellie made Maddy a cake for her birthday

Anique played trumpet in the 6th grade band

Anique started playing lacrosse


May:
Senior prom for Bailey and Ellie

UNLV Freshman Orientation
A little sight-seeing while in Nevada

A view of the campus

July:
Anique played goalie
Mermaid hair for Anique
I spend too much time on the couch...
Ellie and Bailey graduate from High School
School is out. Anique is done with 6th grade.
August:
Took the dogs and family on a few summer hikes

Bailey and I drove to Nevada to move him into his dorm 
Bailey turned 18 and got his first tattoo


Celebrated Bailey's birthday by visiting the Stratosphere

Bailey is all moved into his dorm room


September:
Anique started 7th grade


October:
Re-covered the office storage boxes/benches

Painted and updated knobs on an older dresser

We tried to make bath bombs at Craft Night

Anique was the Queen of Hearts for Halloween

Ken and I attended a masquerade ball

Anique did a fantastic job on these mini-pumpkins

November:
Bailey comes home to attend a concert with his dad. Lily gets her cuddle time in

Bailey snapchats me this photo because he thinks it makes him look like his dad. Hahahahahaha!

December:

Rainbow ombre tree this year

New display arrangement for the Christmas village

Christmas Eve and this is the best picture I can get of the kids in their new pajamas
Congratulations if you made it through this horribly long post! I'm not so good with a cell phone camera but find it's good for capturing the unscripted moments.

Here's to 2017 and a bright, happy, full year!



Sunday, January 1, 2017

One Little Word



I've been thinking for the last few days about what my One Little Word for 2017 will be. I realize some people spend more than a few days contemplating this but I feel like eventually I just start circling around and around the same words. If you're not familiar with the One Little Word idea you can read more about it here.

I considered CONNECT, LIGHT and WHOLE seriously but they didn't quite encompass what I want, and more importantly, need to achieve this year. 

After thinking it through I decided my word of the year is going to be HEAL. This past year I have felt broken. Now, I'm not suffering with any great illnesses and I haven't experienced any great tragedies this past year. I'm not trying to be over-dramatic. There is just a sense of despondency and detatchment. There is a lot that I stopped doing in 2016. I just didn't have the "oomph" to even try. Peyton (above) pretty much sums up how I've felt.

My health, family, emotions, home, this blog, my business, and countless other things were neglected. I survived day to day. I stopped trying to move forward. I  just couldn't muster up the energy (physical or mental) to do more than the bare necessities. 

This year I'm determined to start moving again. I know it might be slow in the beginning but I want to heal the areas I've let go. Make them strong again. Make me strong again. Lose the sadness and let go of the anger I have inside. 

I want to HEAL my body, HEAL my heart, HEAL my relationships, HEAL my faith....and find my "oomph" again.

Have you chosen your One Little Word? If you have, please share it with me below. I would love to know what others are working towards this year. 

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Just dropping in to say Hello!

It's been a very long time since I've dropped in to write anything. There have been a lot of life changes this year. Some are bigger than others but all have contributed to me putting my blog on the back burner. I'm sorry about that!

After 10 1/2 years working for the same company I left and moved on to something else. A little over a year later, I went back. It was a new company name and business office, but the same people, same location, same function, etc. In a way, I just went back to the comfortable rut. Now about 1 1/2 years later that new (old) company is closing it's doors. I'm once again transitioning.

All of us affected are thinking about what we've been doing for the past decade plus and what we want to do going forward. Are we happy with our career choices? Do they provide us with satisfaction? Or have we just been plodding along that same rut because it's what we've always done?

Yes, there are sooooo many clichés that apply. When one door closes....It's not an end, it's an opportunity... etc. I figure there must be a grain of truth in there or there wouldn't be so many of them, right?

"It is often hard to distinguish between the hard knocks in life and those of opportunity" ~Frederick Phillips

So I'm looking to make the most of this opportunity. Putting my time and energy into something more creative. Something that will bring my soul satisfaction as well as my wallet (hey, we've all got bills to pay). Now, I'm not sure exactly what that will look like yet but I'm looking. It's kind of like when you buy a house, you have your non-negotiables (min # of rooms, fenced yard, etc) and then those things that you would like to have (double ovens, jet tub, balcony with ocean view). I'm putting soul satisfaction on my non-negotiable list. What's on your non-negotiable list?

I'll work on posting some photography (whimsy) and life updates soon. Quick version: Anique's drama performance this year was awesome, she tried lacrosse for the first time, Bailey graduated from high school and moves on to UNLV in the fall. Anique is trying mermaid hair for the summer. I'm working on a new venture and hope to have more news about that in just a couple of weeks. I've been working on it behind the scenes for a few months now but this job change is the push I've needed to launch the first stage. Ken had two surgeries in about 6 months (Achilles rupture and meniscus tear) but is recuperating well. Knee is currently in rehab stage. He plays and works hard.

That's it for now!