where and what on earth??? (a much needed update!)

Can you believe it??? A new blog post!!!

I’m still alive, really I am!!! (If you follow me on YouTube or social media, you might already be aware of this!) But, this blog? Oh my word. Have I ever been the most neglectful writer of life…
And my only excuse is…

FOUR KIDS & FOSTER CARE!!!
(I always wondered why more people didn’t do foster care…and then I became a foster parent. But that’s another blog post & another discussion for another time!!!)

Although I happen to know a lot of super moms with more than 4 kids, foster care, adoption and even more going on that are still able to juggle it all, the truth is, I don’t think I will ever be THAT cool. These last 8 months have been an emotional whirlwind, and while I don’t wish away the experience whatsoever, I do have to admit that now that it’s behind us, I see and appreciate the past and the present that much more.

Hindsight really is 20/20 isn’t it?

IMG_5852

But you guys, I can’t wait to share with you all that God did and all that God is doing, and the good news is, I will actually begin sharing it HERE once again! Now that life is calmer and more settled and my brain feels less mushy and cobwebby (new word), I am actually incredibly excited to begin writing again as well as continuing to make my videos over on my YouTube channel. I even have a really fun & exciting little project I’m working on just for you guys that I hope to have ready to go the beginning of January!

I think after all these many many years of ups and downs with my writing and my blog and trying to find my voice and a balance, I’m getting closer and closer to understanding what it is God has put on my heart to do. Maybe it’s the circumstances that have happened over these last few years, maybe it’s age and getting older, or maybe…it’s more likely the combination of both.

Either way, I’m back, and I am so excited to connect with you guys here once again!

xoxo

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a girlfriends guide to life, style and beauty

A girlfriends guide to life, style and beauty…

I’ve spent a lot, A LOT, of time thinking about where I want to go with my blog & YouTube over this last year.
Maybe too much actually, which is definitely not always a good thing, since it’s in those moments of overthinking that I find myself paralyzed and unable to tap into any kind of creativity.

Oh the woes of being a middle child.

But, when I really spend time thinking over this and praying on what I should do, I always come back to knowing that I definitely love sharing what I know to be true of me…and I remind myself what matters most is that I STAY true to me and my focus…despite the process.

I just want to live, learn, and enjoy this life I have been blessed with, and I definitely don’t want to do any of that alone.

I am that girl who when I find something I love in life, style and beauty, I immediately think of who I can tell or who else just has to know. I call my best friends, I text my sisters…I get to Facebooking or sharing an Instagram picture…I just never want to keep what I’m excited about to myself. {oversharer maybe?!? ha!}

And more than anything I just love connecting with other women, whether it’s through sharing our personal stories or by sharing our favorite shade of lipstick…I truly love it all.

So with all that said, I wanted to create a little video sharing my heart in all that I’m doing, and thank each of you from the depths of my heart for continuing on in this journey with me!

 

lots of love!
xo

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learning how to write again

I’ve been at this blog thing for quite a long time. What started as way to write, years later has turned into something far greater than I ever expected. And I don’t mean that in terms of page views, readers, or even SEO. You see, I simply wanted to write. I’ve always felt and said that in order to breathe, to think, to be…I just needed to write. Writing was my exhale.

businesswoman with a note-book

And for years I’d found comfort in the pages of my journals, processing through my parents divorce, rape, death, broken friendships, broken dreams, heartbreaking decisions and painful relationships…as well as celebrating the joys, the lessons, the wisdom and the strength that stood out through it all. Allowing my pen to spill the stories, the feelings, and the memories, gave words to so much that I found I was never able to speak out loud.

Inside it was just a hurricane of emotions, but on paper, it would suddenly make sense. And only once that it was written, was I able to find the courage and the words to speak.

Starting my blog… It was because I deeply longed to write and have it be…less lonely, I suppose. I never had expectations of how many readers, or comments, or page views, or even had any comprehension of SEO or Google Page Ranking. I simply wanted to share publicly the echos of my journals in hopes that maybe there were others who connected and needed to feel less alone in it as well.

*******

And as things happen over time, things changed.
Blogs changed.
Blogging changed.
And I changed.

I looked around and quickly noticed I wasn’t enough.
I compared…too much, and then suddenly I found myself joining the race and dancing the dance. I tried to put on the costume and act the part, doing all that I felt I was supposed to. I attempted to look like everyone else, all the while longing for the simplicity of what it had all begun as for me.

Still though, I shared my life, joys and struggles…but as I’d close the laptop each time, I noticed that I was feeling even lonelier than before the blog had ever begun. Writing was no longer what it once had been to me…and it no longer soothed me the way I had always known and needed.

I was trying to play by the rules and keep up, and it simply wasn’t working for me. Here I was totally exposed yet incredibly alone, and I found myself beginning to resent writing for causing such a struggle.

It was when an opportunity to submit a book proposal to an agent who had hope for me and my ideas, a lifelong dream of mine, seemed to stop me in my tracks. My excitement was quickly replaced with feeling paralyzed by the task of having to include my reach, my numbers and ultimately what felt so much like my “worth.”

I compared, I fell short, and in that, I lost my ability to write.

Ironically, it took until this last writing sabbatical, weeks of not writing…for me to find the truth in all this. To find the reason behind my resistance. It’s as though God stepped in and put a firm halt to the dog and pony show and said, “Stop this. This isn’t who I created you to be. This isn’t what I’ve asked you to do. You are not them. You are you, the you I created with my own hands just I needed you to be, and just because it maybe doesn’t look like what the rest of them are doing, doesn’t make what I have for you wrong. It doesn’t make you not enough. You are enough. My plan is enough. Trust me.”

“They” say to know my page views, and not only know it, but strive for more. I should create titles and topics and keywords that have something to do with SEO, and then promote and get others to promote so that page rank or something like that gets me further up the blogging chain. Clickable links, pinnable pictures, weekly memes, link ups, not too much of this, but just enough of that…

I’m not trying in any way to say all of that is wrong. It works for SO many. It helps to get your message out. And that can be amazing, especially when ultimately the message is about Him. (the Lord)

But I now understand and fully embrace that it is not all about that for me.
Before anything, I simply come to write.

And so from this moment on, whether it makes sense or not, or follows successful blogging protocol or not…simply writing is what I must get back to doing.

All the rest I joyfully place in God’s ever so capable hands, right where it belonged from the beginning. I’m learning how to write again…

I’m learning to write again…

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finding my purpose ~ celebrate how you were created

Finding My Purpose

It is amazing what taking some time off can do for someone who claims to be a writer.
It’s like going on a tropical vacation and coming back rested, tan and ready to…vacation some more.

Ha.

It’s true though!

But after taking some time off, I truly found myself so ready to be back to my blog, back to writing, back to my first love.
I have really been spending time praying, studying, seeking wisdom and advice from those nearest and dearest to me that I truly love and respect, and it was good.

I had questions presented to me that I had never truly pondered over before, and it was good.
It was tough, but it was necessary.
The tough moments usually are.
And I spent many late night hours writing a bunch of randomness that would never make sense to anyone but me, so that I could finally…at last…sort out my thoughts and goals and hopes and dreams.

And while all of that is still swirling around my world and my head and heart, I knew it was time to come back.

summerblog

And just as any well rested vacationer should do, I plan on easing back into it all.
Maybe 3 posts a week, 4 if I’m inspired… and that’s enough for me for now.

My purpose here though, remains the same, as the heart God’s always given me is the heart I always will have:
To create a place, where any person who longs to be known for who she truly is, flaws and all, can come to feel loved and less alone. And most importantly, feel celebrated regardless of what isn’t right or what may still need to be changed, because we are complicated and always changing, and we just want to love and be loved.

Yes, we can get deep and meaningful and angsty and emotional.
But also, we can also switch right from that to the lastest makeup we love or what the heck just happened on The REAL Housewifes of blah blah blah.

We’re complex. We have many places and spaces our hearts and mind travel, and I don’t feel a need to limit it to one niche.
Because there is fun to be had, meaning to be found, laughter to be experienced, and simplicity to be enjoyed in the little things of life.

We’re searching, learning, laughing…all while playing with makeup & skincare, and doing our best to find a balance to it all.

This is our place to go, whatever place you’re in or journey you’re on, where someone WILL get you.
Someone WILL accept you.
Someone WILL help you learn, will laugh with you, and will say the two little words you always longed to hear…

“Me too.”

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help me help you: an anonymous survey

I mentioned on Monday that I’m taking a bit of a writing sabbitical so that I can breathe, live, and find my purpose and direction with what I do.

It’s Thursday, and I already feel a bit of a revival in my soul.

It’s like I was on a hamster wheel running in crazy circles with absolutely no direction, and utterly exhausting myself.
Now that I’m standing still and feeling a little less dizzy, I can see where things need to change.
And this is where I NEED YOU.

Already this week I’ve had the incredible blessing of talking to some inspiring bloggers/mentors that have really been able to speak truth into my struggles.
And I think the next step in getting things right is by checking in with you!

I created a SUPER QUICK & EASY survey, where you can be anonymous, and honestly share with me your thoughts and ideas on what you like and then maybe like not so much.

So if you wouldn’t mind, could you please take a quick moment and help me help you?

I love you, by the way, lots.
And I’m excited for whats to come…

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

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the DTR talk: time to define the relationship

Sometimes it’s just good to have that talk.
To really set some boundaries so that you and everyone involved can really know what to expect…

I’m getting focused.
I’m defining me.
I’m defining my “brand.”
I’m defining us.

And after you watch, I need a little something from you too.

Watch and see….

***As you may have noticed, I’ve been splitting my time more between my blog and my YouTube channel.  It’s been refreshing for me to have both outlets for me to share creatively.  And I’m so incredibly thankful and grateful for every single one of you who have continued to support and encouraging me all along in “a place to say, ‘me too!'”***

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write because you have a story to tell

The blogging world has changed so much.
And some of it’s amazing, and some of it, not so much.

I totally get the “not so much” part of it though.
It’s the necessary next step, the natural progression…and I am the first to say, I fall right into that “not so much” part of it pretty often.
It’s why I get boring.  And uninspired.  And consider just shutting it all down.

I’m curled up on my couch right now at nearly one in the morning.
I had to get out of bed after a long tearful talk about life with Jimmy, because I needed to remind myself of something important.
And sometimes just getting it all out of my mind and into writing is the release I need to finally sleep peacefully.

I came across a website today, and it was a tough reality to see.  It was full of people having hurtful opinions about people they don’t even know.  Thoughts and assumptions and plain old mean cuts and comments.  I know some of these people they were picking on, and they’re sweet and genuine and what they do what is right for them.  And now there’s doubt and hurt in their heart, I’m sure.  I know, because I’ve been there.  I’ve been on the receiving end of these kinds of websites and it broke. my. heart. to see such evil.
Because tearing someone apart is just that.
It’s evil.

I get that as bloggers, as people who are living out loud, we are choosing to be exposed to that side of the world.
What I don’t get is why people even care?  And care enough to create a forum about it.
And not care enough to consider that the name they’re throwing around is actually a real person outside of the computer, with a real beating heart and feelings.

I love when others come to read what I write and they are able to relate and we connect.
But for me, (and I get that it’s not this way for everyone), that just can’t be what fuels my blog and my writing.
I can’t always write for the readers.
I can’t always write for the advertisers.
I can’t always write for subscriptions or to gain popularity.
I have to write for me.

I may not fit a genre.
I may not fit a mold.
There may not be a niche I settle neatly into.
And I see people unsubscribing because there’s too much of this or not enough of that, and that’s OKAY.
I even wish them the best and thank them for the time they gave me.

But when I wrote my first story at 5 years old, it was because there was a story in me to tell, and not because I had an audience to please.

me at 8

Yes, my heart soared when I’d read my stories to others and they’d smile or laugh or seem proud.  But even without all that, I knew even at that young age, that I HAD to write.
I loved it.
It was me and it was mine.

And nothing has changed 30 years later.
(I see you doing the math…)

I write because I have a story to tell.
And I choose to do it here, publicly, instead of a journal just in case someone else needs to read it for whatever reason that may be.

And because I remember the MANY posts where someone wrote something so true, or touching, or funny, or inspiring and I felt such joy, relief, and gratitude that they wrote out loud.

I admire the bravery of writers, all possible narcissism we may struggle with aside. (ha.)
Because the truth is, it’s safer in a journal.
In a journal there’s no judgement, there’s no chance of being picked apart in a public forum, no opportunity for rejection.

Out loud, it’s scary.
But we have a story to tell.
And we can’t let fear take away what God has put in our hearts to do.

 

 

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who am i anyway??

I’ve been meeting a lot of incredibly amazing women/bloggers here in NYC at BlogHer and as we’re passing business cards back and forth, I’m sure there will be new friendships and relationships forming.
And because there might be a new person or two visiting, I wanted to say, 
“HEY, girl, HEY!”
If you’re new and wanted to know a little more about me, I would definitely suggest checking out the About Me link.  
There you will find why I write, what I’m about, and hopefully by reading you’ll feel like you’ve found a “me too” place to be.
For some of my favorite posts (i should update that soon!) check out the right hand sidebar where I’ve listed out a few that should get you even more familiar with me and my life/writing style.  
And then….besides here you can also find my articles on the website I freelance write for:
Lastly, I’m also one of the mom’s on the SheKnows Mommalogues along with several amazing mom bloggers which you should absolutely check out.  
It’s a fun and entertaining website, and each month we even have a surprise Celeb Mom guest.  
So, I think that should be enough to get ya’ll started or caught up…
And if we just met, be sure to leave a comment with a link to your blog, so I can get to know you too!
xoxo
© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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the 2nd most important post of mine, a must read

I’ve been on this mission.
A blog soul revamp if you will.

Okay, so you know how Oprah every few seasons would change something about her show?
Her theme song…
caring about weight, not caring about weight….
her hairstyles….{the tina turner wig was a few seasons if i remember right}
her favorite actor of the year that would be on every other month sharing their life lessons…

Whatever it was, Oprah knew that sometimes, change was necessary and change was good.

Now.
I’m no Oprah.
Nor do I worship her the way some do.
Although, after she apologized to James Frey, I did make my peace enough to possibly allow a friendship.

But.

I’ve been feeling this deep desire in my heart that God was calling me to make a change with my blog, or at the very least, a change in my heart towards my blog.

At first I wondered if it was to end my blog, because I like to be dramatic and drastic like that.  And for awhile I considered that in prayer or by constantly asking Jimmy if I should “just quit the blog already.”

I didn’t actually get an audible answer, (either from God or Jimmy), but I never quite got the feeling that quitting right now was the right path to take.

Feelings aren’t always reliable, especially mine Jimmy says, but I’m going to go with this one.

And so one day I put out into the universe (Twitter) just how amazing it would be to have a bloggy mentor help me discover the soul and purpose of my blog.

And yes, I do know my blog doesn’t have an actual SOUL.

Moving on….

And then one amazing godly lady responded, (thank you universe, twitter, GOD)….and we spent the next few days emailing back and forth.

And then she wrote this:
“My question is this: who are you writing to and what do they need? (One sentence). To grow your blog, you have to fill that need. Once you answer that question, the answer goes on your “About” page, and it lives in between the lines in every single post you write. The more clear it is who you are writing to and what you offer them, the more they’ll come and bring friends because you’re the blogger who writes about (fill in the blank).”

I mean, WOAH!

Since we’re on the Oprah topic, can I just say that I may have had an “AHA moment?!?”
{and now that i’ve used that term, i will try never to again.}

I then spent the next few days obsessing, or rather PRAYING (what we christians sometimes call obsessing so as to appear “better christians”) that my dear Jesus would show me exactly what that one sentence, that ONE need was, that He had me begin and CONTINUE this blog for.

One word I kept coming to, because I CLEARLY have issues, is “imperfection…and um, issues.”

Well now.
We can’t very well have an entire blog where I am constantly sharing my imperfections and issues, now can we?
I’m pretty sure that doesn’t invite friends to invite friends.

But, the more I pondered (that’s what us writers do, we ponder, it’s quite a technical practice really), I realized where I was to go with that.

And then I sat down and wrote, for lack of a better word….
My Blog Thesis.
{or perhaps a better term: my blogs mission statement}

My “About Moi.”
My official “Welcome to Le Musings of Moi.”

And rightly so….I’ve decided to link it to the “About Moi” title under my header.

Written there you will find my heart.
My passion.
And my promise to you on what you can and will always find here at Le Musings of Moi,
no matter what kind of post I’m writing or sharing.
It may very well be the MOST IMPORTANT post you may ever read on this blog yet.
{and I say that very UN-dramatically.}

I hope you’ll click and read.
I hope you’ll understand me that much better.
I hope you’ll feel less alone.
Or less weird.
Or more normal.

{or whatever it is you need to feel today}….

And I hope mostly you’ll come back and be or, continue to be, a part of this.

Because as much as it’s been a hard lesson to learn, and despite what I believed in my teens and 20’s….
This really ISN’T all about me.

And it isn’t about a ton of followers or comments or stats or numbers, it’s about joining together to make it through this life.

We need each other.

And I have realized, I most definitely need you.

© 2011 “Le Musings of Moi”

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just to clarify: why i have two blogs (UPDATED)

{I no longer have two blogs, as I’ve combined all into one again.}

I know, I keep two blogs, and it’s quite confusing to some. Sometimes, even I’m confused. (Doesn’t take much though, I know.) So, here’s my best explanation on why there are two…

First I keep my family blog which is mostly just my lazy way of keeping all of our friends and family up to date on our fun and crazy life. I was not so good at sending emails or pictures, so this seemed to be the solution. I tried at first to do that from MySpace, but it seemed that I got more “interesting” friends than I intended on having, and decided this blog might be a better approach. Although, don’t get me wrong, I still have the MySpace page. How else can I spy on those I went to High School with? I mean, come on now. I may be grown up, but I’m not that grown up. Anyway, The Life and Times of the Saldana Fam is all about us. Updates, pictures, stories about the boys (and soon to be girl) in my life…that kind of stuff.

But, Le Musings of Moi is exactly what it says…My musings or better put, My Thoughts. I was given my first journal by my grandma in 4th grade, and ever since I have been hooked on keeping my thoughts and feelings on paper. I have a chest full of journals, and now that I’m all grown up (say what you want about that), I even keep one for my husband and one for my son. I’m telling ya, I’m hooked.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to grow up to be a writer. I tried every year in elementary school to get my teachers to choose me to go to the Young Writers Conference, and have several “self published” books from the times I was chosen to go. 😉 This is about the extent of my publishing though. Over all my many many years, I have resolved myself to keeping journals, entering contests here and there, and trying out some online writing courses. My favorite by far was the Christian Writers Guild.

It’s my passion to write, it’s how I get out all the stuff inside and it helps me to make sense of what I think or believe. It’s how I can connect to other people, and how I can help other people to connect to me. My goal in writing, my dream of writing, is and was never about money. (which is good, since I don’t make any off it!) There have been so so many times I thought I was the only one going through this or that, and just by speaking up (writing up?), I found that there were other people who were in my same shoes. (well, cuter shoes, actually!) It felt so freeing and made me feel somewhat more, for lack of a better word, “normal.”

So alas, Le Musings of Moi was born. In keeping this blog I found a way I could share (almost) everything I thought, felt, or was going through…and allow it to be shared with others who might just feel the same way. This is what my writing is all about. And hopefully, no matter where it takes me in the future, this will remain my inspiration.

Le Musings of Moi is a blog of my thoughts. Sometimes deep, sometimes shallow, sometimes funny (remember, what’s funny to some isn’t to others…), sometimes sad….but hopefully whatever they may be, there will be one person who reads it and finds hope…or at least just a moment of feeling…”normal.” =)

© 2008 “Le Musings of Moi”
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