Archives for March 2012

what i wore on the mommalogues & L.A. times

What is one thing your father taught you that has stuck?
I lost my dad suddenly from a heart attack about 11 years ago, and he and I were extremely close.  Although he was far from perfect, he had such an incredible and loving heart, that I paid attention to the things he talked to me about. He definitely taught me how to find treasures at thrift stores and garage sales, and how to fake cry when he didn’t want to have to spank me. But, I would say that it wasn’t until his funeral that I truly understood the greatest lesson of all from him. It took a line forming all the way out the door of people who wanted to share about how he had changed their lives.  I sat in awe and just soaked in all the ways that he selflessly gave and loved, and I knew he had definitely left a legacy behind.

what i’m wearing:
fur lined hoodie: tj maxx

headband: muchloveilly

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What is the one thing you’ll splurge on?

I was born with the thrifty (cheap?) gene.  I was created that way and I really can’t help it.  I have a hard time spending full price on anything, especially when I know I can somehow find it for a better price somewhere else.  That said, there is one area where that gene seems to be missing.  Just one area that I absolutely can’t seem to skimp on…and I’m so devoted to spending money on it, that I put it in my wedding vows so Jimmy knew not to mess with…..My hair appointments.  And I’m not kidding. In sickness and health, and costly hair appointments….I thee wed.
what i’m wearing:
top has no tag, but i recently found it at salvation army
feather earrings i found at a boutique in texas
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Having potty trained two kids, one being a boy and the other a girl, I would say I got a good dose of what and what not to do’s….For example, always keep gifts and treats as rewards. Use cheerios for aim issues. Take a calming supplement/medicine (for yourself, not the child) throughout the entire potty training time. Ask for prayer….You know, the usual stuff.  And then there’s the what not to do that I learned the hard way.  Like keep their underwear ON at all times.  And here’s why…
{they edited it out of the video, BUT, it has something to do with POOP in the carpet being tracked all through the house.  Yum!}
what i’m wearing:
the coziest sweatshirt ever from walmart
necklace is “vintage” from a little church thrift store near my house.
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Oooh, this is some drama….ex’s on Facebook?  Scandal!!!  So am I one of the scandalous girls who has ex-boyfriends as friends on Facebook?  Um, Totally. But, it’s not what you think.  First, they’re all husband approved, and second, we don’t really ever chat or email…it’s more of a, “hey that’s kinda cool how their life turned out” kind of thing. As for friends from childhood, absolutely!  They are the most fun to keep up with, and one of the reasons why I love Facebook so much.  I am such a “people watcher” that the more people I have to watch, the happier I am.  And by watch, I mean watch.  Not stalk.  I do know the difference. And, that’s the key, I think.  In order to safely have ex’s and childhood friends on Facebook, you have to understand the boundaries.  Here they are…
what i’m wearing:
polka dot top: salvation army {recent purchase!}
necklace: also from salvation army

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What a crazy busy week.
I got to go back up to L.A. to visit my sweet and beautiful friends Laura (Hollywood Housewife) and Candace, where we had another amazing lunch at my new favorite restaurant in LA at the moment, Gjelina.

Not only did we enjoy the most amazing food….

lasquid
{one thing i’m learning about Candace, is that she’s willing to try anything.  including squid.  i shudder.}

lacauliflower
{the BEST cauliflower EVER, and Laura’s delish pizza}

lakale
{a shared plate of kale.  notice in the far corner Laura is trying to be adventurous by trying a “taste.”}

lameatballs
{the most AMAZING pork meatballs in a cheesy tomato sauce, and i never wanted it to end.  i kept cutting them into smaller pieces just to make it last longer. mmmm}

…..but the best part?
I got to sit and enjoy two of the most beautiful souls that I’m sure exist in L.A.
I’m so thankful for them, and I absolutely love and adore their hearts.

lagirls
{my slip from aslipshop}

And then….then Laura and I headed over to Bellacures where we got amazing mani/pedi’s courtesy of Sanuk Footwear…..

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Where, I also found Chloe’s spring line of shoes.

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What?
Don’t most 3 year olds need a new spring line of shoes?

Maybe I spent too much time in L.A….

A HUGE thank you to Sanuk for the invite up and for the amazing Yoga Sandals (most comfortable flip flops EVER) and Rasta sidewalk surfers, which I’m dying over and now feel a need to get more more and more.

~~~~~~~

Have a great weekend you guys!
xoxo

© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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the truth about playgroups

Awhile back, one of my best friends Betsy and I used to write together on a little website out there in Yahoo land.
And we were kind of good together I think…so good that I have decided to bring back those articles here to share with you.
Today we are talking about playgroups…..
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When my daughter was just six weeks old, I (Betsy) went to my first mommy group–a breastfeeding support group. The nurses at the hospital where I’d given birth had told me that it would be a “great way” to meet new friends and get used to the idea of self-imposed torture (I mean “breastfeeding”).

Yeah, right.
Normally I would never venture into such dangerous and physically revealing territory. But when you’re sleep deprived and still walking bowlegged from the birthing process, you’ll do some crazy things. 
So I gathered Lily, found the meeting in a nondescript office building, and shuffled into the room with my overstuffed diaper bag, leaking boobs, and screaming newborn.
Between the handouts, florescent lighting, folding chairs, and forced introductions, it actually seemed more like an AA meeting. 
It was that uncomfortable. 
There, we were encouraged to share all our horror stories while our sponsor (I mean, “lactation consultant”) gave us advice. Then, if you didn’t want an hour of free instruction, you could always chat up the other moms while you tried to avoid staring at their naked boobs.
You’d think that would be enough for me to grab Lily and run for the door, but nooo, I was determined to make friends. Unfortunately, I’d joined the group two weeks too late for that. 
By the time I showed up, everyone had already formed alliances.
I tried going several times, and no one-NO ONE-so much as returned a smile or talked to me. 
Each time I got home from a meeting, I would study myself in the mirror. 
Spit-up on my maternity clothing? Check. 
Bags under the eyes? Check. 
Cute, overpriced diaper bag? Check. 
I was just like everyone else there. So why didn’t these moms want to be friends with me?
Was it the nipple shield I’d used during group? 
Or the face I made when one mom boasted about how much she loved nursing? 
Who knows? 
The point is, mommy groups can be more cliquey than the junior high lunchroom. 
And facing down the “A List” is always nerve-wracking, but when you’re still experiencing night sweats and wearing maternity underwear, it can be brutal to your self-esteem.
Lest you think I wrote off all mommy groups on the basis of one bad apple, though, let me assure you that I tried. 
Several months later, I checked out a playgroup in my area. 
It has to be better than the breastfeeding support group, I thought. 
And it was . . . for the other moms. 
I just didn’t fit in. 


This became painfully obvious when they talked excitedly about how we needed to do a girl’s night out.
“Let’s meet at my house,” the leader squeaked, clapping her hands. “We can all bring our wedding albums and scrapbooking materials!”
I looked at her, trying to mask my disappointment. 
Seriously? Because honestly, I’d rather scrub my bathroom than spend my one free evening gawking at the wedding pictures of people I hardly know.
By this point you must be thinking that I sounded as snobby as the women I tried to befriend in the breastfeeding support group. 
Maybe I was. 
I did feel bad about the way I acted when I stopped coming abruptly and ran into the playgroup at our neighborhood park several months later. 
The thing was, I just couldn’t get over the forced sisterhood. 
When you join an organized mommy group, you’re hanging out with people you may never normally be friends with in the hopes that you’ll be able to have a few hours of adult conversation while your kids steal toys from each other. 
The groups are supposed to be for the kids, but kids don’t care who they “play” with, especially when they’re little. 
The groups are really for the moms. 
And if you’re not connecting with the moms, then what’s the point?
So I gave up and found friends the old-fashioned way. 
At the park. At my church. And on walks. 
I now have a great group of mommy friends. 
In fact, we all get along so well that my husband has nicknamed us “the Gackle,” because we squawk like geese as we go on walks and talk about really important things like the latest botched nose job featured in US Weekly. 
I don’t know what I’d do without the Gackle-or the “P.O.T. Group,” as we used to call ourselves. (“P.O.T.” meaning “Parents of Toddlers: Because You’ll Need to Smoke Some to Get Through These Years!”)
The bottom line is that whether you find friends through an organized playgroup or more organically, you need to have your own Gackle. 
Because mommyhood is hard, and you need all the support you can get. Spanx and sisters included.
Speaking of sisterly support, it’s your turn, Summer.
Let me (Summer) just start by saying that there’s nothing wrong with playgroups. 
Really. 
They are awesome and necessary and well loved by many moms. 
Unfortunately, the “organized” ones weren’t quite my cup o’ tea either.
To be fair, I haven’t been to very many groups. 
Actually, I’ve only been to two. 
But both of them made me feel very un-motherly. 
And I make myself feel that way just fine already, so I really don’t need any encouragement from others.
I think in order to fix the issues we’re having with these “organized” playgroups, we need to require that all playgroups have names that describe exactly what they’re about (or not about). 
Too many of them just go by the name of the area they’re in, like “Town I Live in Mommies.” 
It’s misleading.
For example, one of the playgroups I attended should have been named Scrapbook or Bust.” 
These moms were very into their crafty ways. 
Let me again say that’s totally cool. 
More power to those of you who find love and freedom in your craft. 
It’s just that I would much rather pay you to do mine than sit and do it myself. 
After all, I have my own addictions to feed…like gossip magazines, thrift shopping, and blogging.
{each to our own, right?}
The other playgroup I tried out was a bit more stuffy than I’d like to think myself to be. 
I mean, I may not be high class, but I’m sure I do have some class. 
Unfortunately, the other moms didn’t seem to think so when I showed up for the “Mommy’s Night Out” with doughnuts in hand. 


I heard snickers and snide remarks: “Oh my word, who brought doughnuts?!?” 
And, “Are you kidding me, are those really doughnuts?” 
To which I replied, “What?!? Mama needed some doughnuts! Why you gotta diss? Shooot!”
(And by “replied,” I mean, of course, that I thought it in my head! Come on now, I said I have some class!!!) 


So, you see, if they had just named their playgroup… 
Moms That Are Too Good for Doughnuts,” 
I never would have found myself in that situation to begin with. 
Because I could never be part of a group that didn’t embrace fried bread and frosting.
Oh, and that same playgroup, the “I Hate Doughnuts” one? 
They have a message board that I used from time to time. 
I officially knew it wasn’t the group for me when I posted a message asking which BPA free bottles would be best to use. 
And instead of help, I got a backlash of whisper and chatter: 
“Who is that girl asking about bottles? Ugh, I just wanted to respond, ‘Doesn’t she know that Breast Is Best?'” 
(I had an insider in the group, so I know these things!) 
I mean, come on now! 
At least I was asking about BPA FREE bottles! Don’t I get some credit for that?
Anyway, I’ve decided that I just need to start my own playgroup. 
After all, it’s a requirement that seems to go with motherhood (along with breastfeeding). You simply must be affiliated with a playgroup. 
It’s the unspoken word on the street.
So I’ll call mine:
“Moms who love scrapbookers but would rather pay to have it done for them, who love to read and gossip about celebrities, who don’t want to talk about their kids when they’re with other adults, who could care less who breastfeeds or formula feeds, who wouldn’t mind having a glass of wine at playgroup, and who want to pair that wine with a nice big ol’ doughnut.”
That’s the playgroup I’m looking for!
Fellow Mamas, are you in?
© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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maybe it’s not about a book deal after all

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{kindergarten summer, when my love for writing began. perhaps earlier}

Ever since I was little I wanted to write and publish books.
In my mind, it was such a simple goal to accomplish…..

I would write a book.  Send it off to publishers so they could “oooh” and “ahhh” and fight over who would get to put their publishing name on it, and I would “hmmmm” and “welllll,” until the price was right and then BAM!

A deal would be made.

There would be book tours to follow.
And of course I’d stop and talk to Kathy Lee on the Today Show and we’d bond over my struggles and laugh about the humor I’d been able to find through it all.

Ellen would call me, and we’d banter back and forth about our books.  
Then we’d play games…and she’d give me silly gifts…
oh how much fun we’d have.

And then I’d speak at churches and womens conferences, and it wouldn’t even be about money, it would be about FINALLY getting my story out there and being able to connect with women over OUR HEARTS and OUR TRUTHS without being all cliche and “christian-ese” about it.

So that was my dream well into….well….my mid thirties, which was all of um….just a few days ago.

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{headband by muchloveilly}

And then I recently got a healthy dose of reality that actually inspired me and opened my eyes…
in a good way.

You know why?
Because I got quiet.
I put aside my busy thoughts and my dreams and MY WAY, and I just listened.

And it all started with a few emails from a few INCREDIBLE readers of this blog.

One I know in real life, sort of.
After spending time reading my blog, she wrote me a letter sharing her heart and her struggles which completely matched mine, and my heart ached as I read what sounded like my own words coming straight from her.
And at the end, she thanked me.
She. thanked. me!
….for being so open.
For taking a risk in being vulnerable so that she felt safe enough to do the same.
And so that finally she didn’t feel so alone.

And then there was another email….encouraging me never to give up on my dream of writing a book, even believing enough in me herself to say she knows it WILL happen when GOD’S TIMING is right.
Her encouragement, her belief, her LOVE….brought me to tears.

I read it several times that day and over the weekend.
I read it to my counselor. {okay, therapist…whatever.}
I read it to my husband…..

And then I did something I’ve been trying to do more of lately….

I prayed.

I quieted my mind and my heart and my dreams and instead of asking for something, I simply thanked Him for these amazing women who have come into my life.
I thanked Him for these incredibly brave and beautiful souls who have opened up to me and shared their hearts and lives. 
And I thanked Him even more for giving me the ability to SEE them.
To know them.
To feel and understand EXACTLY what it is they are sharing with me.
And during that prayer, I heard him remind me…
“you understand because of what you’ve walked through.  
you see their hearts, because you’ve continued to walk with me in the midst of it, and have trusted my spirit to work through you.”

And as I said, Amen….

my heart changed.
it began to sing a new song.
The dream was still there.
But suddenly I saw it differently.
Sometimes God’s dream for us is even BETTER than the ones we’ve come up with ourselves.

Quoting the email from my sweet Canadian reader/friend: 

“I really believe that God loves us very much. Now just because he loves us doesn’t mean he gives us our every wish (I know this because I would have a walk in closet, and it would be STACKED with A LOT of clothes in it), but I do believe he knows the PURE desires of our heart.”
He is an incredible God, who CAN and WILL give me the desires of my heart.
But this dream of a book?  
I had to ask myself some hard questions….
If I don’t care about the money or fame (cause you know, authors become famous overnight millionaires from what i hear…not.), then what is it really all about?
~For me, it’s always been about connecting with women.

~It’s about desiring a platform to share my journey, my truths and my humor through all the tough stuff (and fun stuff)…so that we’re not always crying and whining, 
but laughing sometimes too.  

~And most importantly, not doing it ALONE. 

~It’s about CONNECTING us.

~It’s about making each and every one of us feel LESS ALONE in this life we’re living.
And then God said….
“Um, Summer….????”
“Have you heard of the blog, Le Musings of Moi?”
Okay, maybe He didn’t AUDIBLY say that, but that’s what my heart heard.
Maybe this book dream of mine, morphed into a BLOG dream of God’s.
I don’t know for sure where He will take me with my desire to write and speak and share.

But I do know now, right in this moment, that I have got to stop with the lamenting.
I must stop wishing I had more of what other bloggers have.
I have to end the jealousy and comparing and wishing for different or more.

Because this God of ours?
He is good.  
Sooooo good.
And incredibly loving and faithful and amazing.
And I trust that if I keep on doing exactly what it is I KNOW He has called me to do….
I will be living the dream.
His dream.
Which is so much better than I could ever imagine.
So thank you.
Every single one of you who come here to read.
Whether you come daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.
Whether you comment or don’t, email or not….
Just for being here…
Thank you.
God is working through you.
YOU are changing me, and growing me more than you will ever know.
And I kind of massively love you for it.
xoxo

~~~~~~~

Now it’s your turn to think deep.
Is there a dream you’ve been clinging to that perhaps if you just shifted your perspective, you could see it a little differently?
Do share.
© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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what’s in my makeup bag for march

You guys all subscribe to my YouTube channel, right? 
If not, you should because I have LISTS of videos I’m about to film over the next few months, and I am so excited to get back on track with paying attention to YouTube again.  
Today’s video is all about What’s in my makeup bag for March….and I say for March, because each month I seem to change out what I take around with me.
After we filmed the SheKnows Mommalogues video of What’s in our purse, I couldn’t let go of the fact that I didn’t have time to share every last item and WHY I had it and loved it so.
This is where my YouTube channel comes in….it’s the story AFTER the story. =)
I’m also planning do Monthly Favorites of both beauty and hair products, but also ALL things I’m currently loving.  Such as books, websites, food, clothes….you know, my favorites.
And then there will be my hair care routine, my skin care routine…my my my….whatever else you guys may suggest.
And yes, you may suggest.
Please.
Anyway, enough of that.  
Let’s just get to todays video…
products mentioned (with links!):
makeup bag ~ mark.com
the BEST tweezers ~ mark.com
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So let’s make this a tag!
What’s in YOUR makeup bag???

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btw.
Did you know you can respond to other peoples comments below???
Do you know how amazingly happy I would be if the comments became more the focus than the blog post itself?
I dream of it becoming a place of community where we share and connect with each other.
So many women feel alone in their stuff….and it helps that I’m here sharing.
But I know it would help even more, if so were you.

You know….just an idea I thought I’d throw out there.

Oh! Also!
Did you know if you comment on your cell phone, somehow it doesn’t use the Disqus platform.
Not sure what that’s about…but thought I’d let you know.

© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

31bits winner…..

I hope you all got a chance to get to know 31Bits a whole lot better through this giveaway….
and even though there is only ONE winner,
you should absolutely go and SHOP and support their cause.
More importantly support the women who put their love and devotion into creating such incredible pieces of jewelry all so they can experience freedom.

That said….the winner of this giveaway is….

Jen of http://www.jennsog.blogspot.com/

Girl, email me your info and I’ll get your necklace right out to you.

Thanks again for entering friends, and get ready for another awesome SKIN/BODY CARE giveaway coming up in a week!

xoxo

© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

what i wore on the mommalogues & a to do list

This week on the SheKnows Mommalogues:
I’m a complicated girl. It’s one of the things Jimmy has always said he loves most about me, that I always surprise him, and he can never really fully figure me out. For example, one time before we were married, he was totally surprised that I got a little upset when he called me “bigger boned.” Whoops! Surprise! I was kind of a little upset about that one!!! (yes that was 10 years ago.  And yes I’m starting to laugh about it now….) Sigh.  Men. So, when narrowing it down to three words to describe me, I went right to him.  The man that knows me best….and I think he pretty much nailed it. The best way to describe me is with three “S” words….and basically with that little story I just shared, Jimmy pretty much got a taste of all three words in the same day.
what i’m wearing:
black sweater: TJ Maxx
circle necklace: Charlotte Russe (super old though)
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When I was a little girl, I had dreams to be many many things.  My biggest dream, I remember, was that I had to, just had to become a Radio DJ.  And then on top that I was going to be an actress, because I was always told that I had such a talent at being dramatic. But then I began to read.  And write.  And then in 2nd grade when I was chosen to attend a Young Writers Conference because of a story I had written, it was like the heavens opened up and the angels began to sing. I was a going to be a writer, and that’s all there was to it.
what i’m wearing:
top: forever 21 
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You know what?  There was once a time where I was totally into attachment parenting!  I needed them to be with me all the time.  Literally, I couldn’t them off of me. It was such a need that when I pooped, I had to bring them along.  And when I got sick and had to throw up several times a day, there they were, totally attached. We were so attached that it didn’t matter what the event or occasion, whether it be shopping, sleeping, eating, or breathing, I made the decision that it was better to be attached then apart. And then I gave birth to them….and the umbilical cord was cut and we were free!!! I could poop alone! (if I locked the door) I could eat alone! I could sleep alone! And it was wonderful! But do I attachment parent now?  I would say not necessarily if we’re going by the “technical” definition. (But for goodness sakes, our house is 1200 square feet….if that doesn’t qualify for some sort of attachment parenting award, I don’t know what does.)Yet, I do snuggle my kids constantly.  I kiss them a million times a day, and tell them they’re so incredibly sweet that I just want to eatThemUp. And when they need a night here and there in our bed because they’re sick or scared, we are all about it.  (Well, we were about it…maybe not all about it.) We love our kids, and we are all most definitely attached…just not so much in the co-sleeping kind of way. And for our family, who needs lots of sleep space, I think we’re all better off for it.
what i’m wearing:
top: TJ Maxx
necklace:  Jennifer Zeuner
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Get this…Insider Scoop.  Not too long ago, I was actually considered for a Reality Show about Mommy Bloggers.  Sounds amazing right? I had always thought so, until it was actually, well…um…a reality.  The further I got into the process, the more and more scared I became.  I mean, come on, lets be honest….how many regular people who have gained fame from a reality show turned out ok? One word,  Snooki. One word,  Heidi. One last word, Spencer.  Need I go on? Thankfully, I wasn’t chosen (thank you Jesus!), and I think that perhaps a reality show isn’t a dream of mine after all. However, the question is what my show would be called if I was the star…and that, my friends, is how you get my attention….so here are some working titles and ideas I have going. You know, just off the top of my head.  It’s not like I’ve ever thought about it….at all. Ever.
But it would be about my life’s ups and downs and struggles….and it could be called:
“See?!?  It’s not just you!”
what i’m wearing:
sweatshirt: walmart baby!
necklace: jennifer zeuner
~~~~~~~
Okay, I have just a few To Do’s for your weekend.
1)  Enter the 31bits Jewelry Giveaway, because I’m picking a winner on Sunday!
2)  Like my Le Musings Facebook and check out my HOLY GRAIL skin care product.  I’m seriously blown away.  It has completely cured my skin/breakouts AND it’s fading scars and fine lines.  I’ll share more later on YouTube, but look at my before/afters for now.
3) Speaking of my YouTube, make sure you subscribe because in the next few weeks I have some fun videos that will be going up. And it’s going to start being a regular thing. =)
4)  Visit my sweet friend Candace Cameron‘s online mag, RooMag….where I’m now a contributor (click to see my bio!).  I’m honored to be a part of it, because I so love the direction and the heart behind the website, and it is incredibly inspiring on sooo many levels.
5)  Pray for Jason Russell of Invisible Children and his family.  I don’t know the real true story behind what’s going on with him, but regardless, he is in a terrible place.  And nobody deserves to experience what he’s dealing with.
{you all know my fear here, so this REALLY strikes a chord with me.}

6) Last but not least….consider checking out the comments section of each of my blog posts.  I love that people are commenting more, and I think it would be even more amazing if you guys responded to THEIR comments.  We could make it like a little community forum type thing, where the conversation continues AFTER the blog post is over.  I envision it being a place where we can go to connect and support each other.
Yes?

7) Now go have FUN weekend!  And come back on Monday, k???

© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!

i’m just going to come out and say it

I’m sitting here right now, and it’s really late.  Like midnight late.
I should be sleeping because my kids like to wake up early and make the most of their days.
{where on earth did they learn this is what I want to know….}
But instead, I’m at my kitchen table in the dark, alone and feeling….content.

Or should I venture to say it?

happy.

2011 was a rough year.
Between pancreatitis and losing my gallbladder and trying to treat anxiety naturally….there were plenty of very low lows.
I remember dreading the mornings, and longing for the nights.
All I wanted was sleep, rest, relief.
I felt like a terrible mom and wondered why God had even allowed me children.
I tried to pray and draw near to God, but I just couldn’t feel Him.
Don’t get me wrong, He was there….but I was too lost to feel Him.

I felt no joy and was sure this was to be my life, and I would simply just have to put one foot in front of the other and walk forwards until one day it became a habit.
I would smile on the outside, and struggle on the inside.

And while this may sound dark, but in the depths of my anxiety, I felt I had a glimpse of what hell must be like.
An eternity without hope or joy.
And that’s exactly where I was…

But I never gave up.
I’ve never been a quitter.
{well, except for beauty school, but let’s not count that right now.}
But that’s mostly because God’s spirit within me wouldn’t allow it.
He nudged me, and while I couldn’t see it then, I definitely see it now.


Hindsight is always 20/20.

And though I don’t like to spend much time thinking on the last few months of 2011 for too long, I at times allow myself a moment or two.
Because I know I had to walk through it.
Again.
I had to in order to be where I am right now in the middle of my kitchen at midnight….

content.
happy.

Nothing is different.
Except I gave up control.
I stopped trying to fix myself by myself.

we weren’t meant to do this alone.



I finally allowed God and others to speak into my life and I accepted help when it was needed.
And when I finally was able to do that?
I suddenly felt God again.

He had always been there.

“the Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.”
exodus 14:14

And while I now have answers to the some of the why’s and I am realizing that there IS a reason behind the struggles, the funny thing is….
even before the answers, simply by letting go, I was already on the road to contentment.

And now….I am excited to wake up.
Okay not excited per se, but I do it now without anxiety.
And then at 10 am, I really AM happy to be awake.
I savor every moment with my kids.
{except for when they’re annoying me, and then I call a babysitter.}
But then I go somewhere alone and savor them from a distance.

I look forward to my future…because for the most part I have hope again.

I have joy.

Things aren’t perfect in my life by any means. 
Nothing significant has changed situationally.
There’s still no massive growing of my blog and my dream of a book deal has yet to be offered…
There are still relationships in my life that need healing.
There are still moments of bad moods, anxiety, and tears….

But through it all, right now, in this moment….and actually in many moments before I sat to write it all out…
I realize I am blessed!!!
 At my core I am happy, and I cling to moments like these where hope and joy are as clear as the morning sky after a storm.

I have the clarity, because I have battled through the storm.
And I know I will battle many more.

And you know what?
So will you.
But I love that we will walk these paths, bumpy or smooth…(or perhaps filled will peri type moments)…
together.
Whatever it may be….we won’t be alone.
We have this place.
We have this community.
We have each other.
And through it all we will help each other find the joy.
© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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you cant positive think your way out of hormones

So.
You know how I’ve spoken of PMS before, and how it’s kinda not the best time around these parts?
Well, if you think PMS is bad, try out a little PERIMENOPAUSE!!!

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Ooooo hoooo ya baby.  That right there, are SOME real good times….
And I should know…because I, at age 33…..have been diagnosed.  
Well almost.
At present time of writing, it’s been 9 months of low progesterone.  
And I guess to be “officially” considered part of the peri club, you have to have it for 12 months…
but come on, the writing’s on the wall.  
Or uh, on the blog.
Oh, and this time and that time???
It wasn’t me!!!
It was my new excuse BFF Peri!!!!
Actually, Jimmy’s had the chance to get to know her quite well too….
we’re a happy go lucky threesome around here.
Allllll the month long.
Now.
I’m still in the learning stages, but from what my 2nd opinion Dr. has told me, 
(this would DR. GOOGLE, very reliable guy he is), 
is that not only is perimenopause a random fluctuation of hormones throughout the month, but it can last years!
Like TENOFTHEM!!!!
And then???
You get MENOPAUSE!!!
Being a woman?
Is kind of awesome!!!
{all the !!!!’s are making me feel better, just roll with me here.}
Girls, I know how to make things FUN and INTERESTING around my house!
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This is GREAT news for you who may happen to like reading my blog, because this just means I have at LEAST 10 more years of good story telling and plenty of time to find the humor in it all.
{maybe one day i’ll even get PAID to write!  Imagine that?!?}
The BAD news is….
Well, poor Jimmy.
Recently we had a “little tiff”…I think right after a bout of PMS, where I complained of a headache. 
{another peri symptom right there! gotta love it!}
  It was just one PMS headache too many for him I suppose, and out came a quote I’m pretty sure he wishes he could now take back….

“Well, of course you do…it’s always been something with you.  You know, I understand things have been hard, but maybe you could try to look at the bright side once in awhile LIKE I DO.”
He said that.
 FOR REALS.
{you just can’t make that stuff up.}
And he said it OUT LOUD in the middle of Costco, which is a good thing I guess, because I tend not to get feisty (or “peri” as we say now) around free food samples, so I held it in until we got home.
and my word was that ever a fun afternoon….
But when I sat in the doctors office last week and got the diagnosis, not only did I feel relief that there was an actual medical REASON for my “fun days”, but I almost hugged her when she said….
This may explain your sudden and random anxiety.  Low progesterone can cause that to happen out of nowhere, and you just CAN’T POSITIVE THINK YOUR WAY OUT OF A HORMONE IMBALANCE.”
She said that. 
FOR REALS.
And I may have asked her to write that down and sign her official doctors name to it, so I could have a legitimate doctors note for my husband to see the next time he wanted to get sassy at Costco.

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So, there we go.
Now we know.
I may have some hormones to sort out (shocker!) and maybe a little weight to lose (hello Tracy!), but now we know what’s causing it, and it’s FIXABLE.
Except on the off “peri” days it isn’t, but that’s okay because I now HAVE A DOCTORS NOTE.
Being 33 is awesome.
{also?  found out my cholesterol is high on the same day.  just hand me a walker and let’s be done with it.}

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© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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out of suffering emerges strong souls

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“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” 
– Kahil Gibran
~~~~~~~
When Laura from Hollywood Housewife first sent me this quote, immediately my thoughts flashed back over my 33 years.
The struggles I have endured.
The pain I have felt.
And how I definitely don’t feel that I have the strongest soul because of it all.
I most certainly don’t always see a more massive character emerging.
Instead I see a girl, not even a woman really, weak and struggling to still find her place.
I see the real me, insecure at times, wondering if what I’ve been through will ever be used to “bring beauty from pain.”
But tonight, as I finally sat down to write on this….I did something I don’t always do before I write.

I prayed.
In front of these words, I prayed, and I simply asked God to speak through me.
To not make this about me…but to speak the words HE wants you all to hear.
And then I realized….this quote?
It ISN’T directly about me.
I mean, I can relate, sure.
I know suffering….I mean, hello, I’ve given birth.
I have a strong willed child.
I am a stay at home mom/aspiring writer.
I GET suffering.
{plus, I AM a middle child.  and middle children naturally suffer.}
But.
When I prayed, and I opened my eyes and looked at that quote again, this was my first thought.
“Thank you Jesus.
For living out that example.
For suffering, all because you loved us so much.
For being an example of an incredibly strong soul…so that we could know that in our weakness, you remain strong.”
“And Jesus, thank you for the scars.
Is thank you even enough for all the suffering, for all of the pain that caused your scars? 
You gave your life willingly on the cross simply so we could be free….”

“Thank you doesn’t seem enough.
But you know….you see my heart.
You know the emotions and gratitude that goes so far deeper than this simple prayer.”
And when I read that quote now…

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” 
– Kahil Gibran

….I think of Him.
sometimes all it takes is a simple prayer to see it from another side…

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And because of His suffering, and because of His scars, and because of His massive character and incredibly strong soul….

I am made perfect in His eyes.
All that pain I have endured….
the dysfunction.
the heartbreak.
the turmoil.
all that I see as so imperfect, so impossible at times to overcome….
HAS BEEN OVERCOME.

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And through HIS scars. 
Through HIS suffering, 
I am no longer bound.
I am free.
And as I slip my small hand into His scarred yet capable Hands,
His soul and His character become mine as well.
And suddenly what was about Him…
becomes also about us.

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” 
– Kahil Gibran
I can be this, because I am His child.
I am his daughter, holy and beloved.
And as long as I continue to look to Him, cling to Him really…
Out of my suffering will emerge a strong soul with massive character.

That is his promise.
And it’s against His character to break a promise.
It never ceases to amaze me, how simple it is to pray.
But what absolutely blows me away, is that when I do….
He never fails to show me the truth.
And the truth is…
We live in an imperfect world.
We will all suffer.
We will all have scars.

But through the blood of Jesus, we can all be healed.
And we can all emerge with stronger souls and a massive character
Through Him, there will be Beauty From Our Pain.

{this has been a part of The Gathered Parts Link Party, which I adored, and now I feel a strong NEED to have those cards.}

love feast

© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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its what i wore on the mommalogues this week

Oh my word. Taking away the pacifier from Taylor was almost as painful as breastfeeding him. I love my son, but my goodness, he has a strong will.  And the first and many continuous nights after that, he made us pay for taking away what had kept him calm and happy every night at bedtime.  His beloved binki.  And if we hadn’t “sent them to the babies that needed them” (or what really happened was, we snipped and tossed them), I would have given in the first hour, just to have some peace!!! Thankfully, we stuck in there….but for those of you dealing with this….I’ll just pray for you.  How’s that?

 

 

 

 

 

what i’m wearing
jacket: apple bottom jeans (found at platos closet)
top: i.n.c., found at salvation army
nail polish: revlon colorstay in Wild Strawberry
~~~~~~~
We most definitely come from a land of spanking. Only when we were little it was with a wooden spoon.  Yikes!  But, I found a way to avoid them….. we were always told to go wait in the bathroom until they were ready to come and give the spanking.  And then right when I’d hear my mom coming, I’d quickly sit on the toilet and pretend I was midst poop. That usually put it off a good 30 minutes sometimes, and then on my lucky days she’d end up forgetting and then I’d sneak out and continue on with my day. That said…. do we spank? Well, we have definitely tried, but it doesn’t always work.  Here’s why.

 

 

 

 

 

what i’m wearing
top: no brand, found at Salvation Army
headband: muchloveilly

~~~~~~~
I tend to be a sensitive girl.  And perhaps that’s putting it mildly. Ha! (I can’t help it, it’s how God made me!) So, it probably wasn’t too surprising to those who knew me when I was hit pretty hard with postpartum depression after Taylor was born.  Only for a long time, I thought my emotions were more because he was the one with issues (can we say colic?!?)  Turns out, the apple doesn’t fall from the tree in our case. It was definitely a rough year until I finally admitted that what I was going through was beyond my control and I needed help….here’s a little more of my story.

 

 

 

 

 

what i’m wearing
top: ella moss, TJ Maxx

~~~~~~~
We’ve definitely tried in the past to write down set family rules.  But in doing that, they would only stick for awhile and then usually we’d end up forgetting about most of them.  But recently, I found an incredible poster with a subway art kind of feel, that had basically all of our rules printed out in a really cool fun way.  I snatched that baby up, framed it, and now its front and center in the living room.  Now when one of us breaks a rule, the rule is, we have to go and read out loud which rule it was we broke.  (yes, that’s a lot of rules, I like it that way!) I’ll try to quickly go through them, so you get the gist of how we intend to run our home.

 

 

 

 

 

what i’m wearing
sweater: no tag, found at salvation army
headband: muchloveilly
family rules poster: alexander creative

~~~~~~~

Have a great weekend you guys….and don’t forget to enter 31bits Jewelry Giveaway.
It’s a brand I stand behind because of all they do for the women of Uganda.

We’re expecting a BIG STORM here in SoCal, which really just means lots of rain.
So, in true SoCal style, we hunkering down and staying in all weekend.
I love it.

xoxo

© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!