Monday, June 29, 2020

I’m that girl.

I’m that girl. 

I’m that girl who forgets to text you back at 1 PM because my kids are screaming and I can’t think straight. You’ll more than likely hear from me around 4 AM these days. But it’s fine, because I am eventually going to get back to you. Hopefully we both still remember what we were talking about. 

I’m that girl who will call to tell you a story but I’m laughing so uncontrollably hard you can’t understand a word I’m saying.

I’m that girl who isn’t going to hesitantly sigh out a yes for you when it should be a flat out no. I don’t sugarcoat, and I won’t lie my way around the things you need to hear. If that blue eyeshadow makes you look like a peacock, girlfriend we’re fixing to have a talk. I would hope you’d do the same for me, but you know a peacock belongs in the zoo, and honey, we all know I got your zoo. 

Boy mom. Mom of boys. Corralling wildlife. Raising tiny humans. Call it what you want. It’s the best, hands down. I’m never really sure what day it is, and I don’t even call them by the correct name these days, but they’re clean, fed and loved. They’re pretty happy, too, I think. Even if they’re hanging from trees and testing the boundaries daily. I’ll claim em’ anyway.

I’m not going to glamorize my life for you. If you come to my house in the middle of a work week, I’ll probably be suffocating under a pile of laundry, there will be a heap of socks I haven’t matched and a hazardous pile of toys in the front hallway. Watch your step. 🙃 We will more than likely be eating a frozen pizza, yelling over each other and there’s a good chance my appearance will have seen better days. Don’t worry, I always try to at least brush my teeth. But you’re always going to be welcome. It’s not always pretty. I’m not going to put on a show. I’m not going to kill myself trying to impress. And it’s not always subtle. But it’s a judge free zone with open arms, and you can always find that here with me. 

I’m the girl who is on time for this but late for that, and I’ll probably stop for an overpriced iced coffee on the way. I’ve got this one life, and I’m not going to spend it decaffeinated. 

I’m moody in the morning and in my best spirits when I know it’s Friday, but I also know how incredible it is to have another day, no matter what day that is. God is good seven days a week, but I think he knows that a little coffee and Jesus hits different on a Friday morning. 

I love being a wife. My husband is the absolute greatest. But lawd help us all when my stress level and the laundry basket have hit their maximum. Thank goodness for good men, chocolate and Bota Box. 

I’m that girl who loves being a wife and momma. I love having babies. My health and pregnancy aren’t kind to me, but I’d have a baby every year if I could. I love our family life. I love my husband. But I’m also the girl who has been critiqued and criticized for all of those things. So now, I’m the momma who doesn’t tolerate the outside input. I do what’s right for my own. I make the best choices for my babies and I’m grateful I don’t have to decide for yours. At the end of the day, you don’t pay my bills, buy my formula or clean up that blow out diaper baby #3 had at the mall - so it’s probably best to stay in your lane, Carol. 🤚🏼

I’m that girl who doesn’t pick and choose who I love. If who you are makes you happy, then I already love you. I don’t care what you believe, how you look, or who and how you love. I care that you’re kind and a good person. I care that you consider other people in the room when you’re about to swipe the last Chicken Express roll. I care that if someone smiles at you, you smile back. That you still go down swinging for the underdog even if no one is watching. What determines a good person from a crummy one? I’m not really sure. But I’ve set my own standards, and these days, I think they’re pretty spot on. 

I’m not political and I don’t plan to be. The world is so different. We are all different. I don’t expect anyone to think the way that I do. Ever. I know what I know and I don’t really care if anyone else submits their seal of approval. I don’t need opinions, propaganda or arguments over Facebook to convince me whether or not my morals are in the right place. Come November, I decide what box I check on my ballot. If you’d like to do it for me, feel free to also fill the car up with gas, watch the kids and fold a few baskets of laundry while you’re at it. God speed. 

I’m already too tall for high heels and still too short to reach the diapers on the top shelf at Walmart and still not skinny enough to fit inside that crack between the washer and dryer.

If I put on any kind of dress I immediately feel like I’m going to a funeral, I have a love affair with dry shampoo, watermelon needs salt and I’m all about the brownie edges. I would probably swim tirelessly in Doritos and hot fries dipped in ranch if it wouldn’t stain my flesh red. 

I’m too much for some people, and not enough for the others. I’ve spent a great deal of my life working toward goals, growing and learning from my mistakes. I’ve always built a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at me, and I will always be that kind of girl.

I have a bod - a mom bod. I shimmy my love handles into high rise jeans and have pretty well given up on the padding in fancy bathing suits and wearing a wired bra. Bralettes are where it’s at anyway. 🙌🏽

I’m not going to diet. I’m not going to loathe the way I look when I see myself in the mirror. I’m not going to slim down or tone up anytime soon. I’m not going to Snapchat myself working out so you can tell me I’m on fire. I’ll never be a Victoria’s Secret Model, because let’s be real, THAT’S NOT REAL. 

I like makeup and I love a good contour. I don’t know anything about how to contour, but I know I like to stare at the process on YouTube like I’m going to make a genuine attempt at it. 

If you’re my friend, you’re my forever friend. I’m going to love you unconditionally and wholeheartedly. I’m going to open my door for you whenever you need some girl talk and come to your rescue when you’ve gotten yourself into trouble. I will fight the same fights you fight. I will sacrifice for you and be a shoulder to sob on. I will check on you even when you’re annoyed that I’m checking. I will want the very best for you because you deserve it, and I vow to drag you out kicking and screaming if it’s not. I will take the pictures, savor the memories and crop out our double chins. And I’ll bring the wine. I will always bring the wine. 

But let me also tell you something about my friendships. They’re real. They’re with real people who stay to clean up after the messes are made. They come when you need them, and are on emergency stand by if you don’t. They also love with their entire heart. They’re the people who I know respect me in the way I respect them. We don’t need validation, attention or constant negativity for our relationships to thrive. We don’t ever need to backstab, badmouth or tear each other down to make ourselves feel better. We’re far from shallow and too close to crazy, but we love, support and cheer each other on, and if you’re not sitting at a table like that- you need to throw in the napkin, get that margarita to-go, and hit the road, sister. Don’t forget to tip the server on your way out. ✌🏽

I’ve been called stupid and ugly. I’ve been made to feel like less than what I am. I’ve been told I’m too happy and that I’m not happy enough. I’ve been the girl who didn’t fit in. I’ve been told I wouldn’t succeed, and disposable in someone else’s eyes. I’ve wrestled with expectations and fought to be “good enough” when I didn’t actually have to. I’ve been the girl who wondered if she’d make it - and the girl who did. 

I’ve also been the girl who is strong when she didn’t think she could be. I’ve stood back up after a knock down I thought I wouldn’t come back from. I’ve went out on limbs that I just knew would break beneath my feet and rebounded from heartbreaks I didn’t think could ever be healed. I’ve always picked myself up and kept moving, and I’ve never had any regrets. 

I’m a lover of the little things- the small things. That solo mommin’ car ride by yourself when you can finally turn the music up and roll the windows down. The comfy date nights at home in our pjs with a greasy pizza and some reruns. The smell of fall candles and pumpkin spice. That sip of Dr. Pepper that touches your soul. The special moments with the people I love. The small things, yeah, they make up every bit of who this girl is.

I’m that girl who says what’s on her mind. Some days, it’s a downfall. Other days, people tell me I should work for the prosecution. I’m unfiltered, untamed and untouchable most days. I stand up for what I’m passionate about and walk away from the things I’m not. Life is too short. 

If it doesn’t contribute happiness, positivity and light to my life, I’m not about it. I’ve lost the motivation and don’t have the time for things that don’t truly bring me joy. So, if I’m not as chipper as the moment I get to consume the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies I’ve been perfecting, it’s getting scratched off my priority check list. 

I like yoga pants - leggings - laughing and cake, hold the icing please. I love a good movie but a good book is even better. Give me a rainy night and a page turner I can’t put down until 2 AM. So I can hate myself in the morning and it can feel totally worth it. 

I’m loyal, stubborn and a pro chaos coordinator. I’m a mess - A hot mess. With a messy bun that I indeed struggled to make look messy. I’m nine kinds of hell in a hand basket with only one thing on my mind. When do we eat again? 

I’m that girl who writes to her hearts content. I’ve always believe that words are powerful. They’re emotional, spiritual and important. They can absolutely save you someday. You never know when. You never know how, and you probably won’t know why until it’s all said and done, but they’ll save you. 

You can catch me at the thrift store, Target or waiting in line at McDonald’s for McNuggets because that’s what my picky kids live off of right now. And it’s fine. We don’t eat healthy meals nightly. We don’t do keto or paleo. We do sanity. We do what works today. And hey, it’s 2020 - and we’re in the middle of losing a game of world Jumanji, who has any room to judge? 

I’m that girl. Yeah, the one who will walk up next to you in the grocery store and strike up a random conversation about the kind of cereal you’re buying. We’ll bond over being boy moms, and our kids not listening. I’ll probably say something awkward and we’ll go our separate ways. But you’ll probably go home and tell your husband about me, and how funny it was that the bags under my eyes still showed through all the concealer and my leggings were clearly on inside out. 

I’m gonna be the girl you remember, because if you need me I’m not going to question it. If you ask for my advice, I’m gonna give it. If you say you want me gone, I’m outtie. If you need me to be your plus one, suit up because I can look pretty decent with a layer of foundation and some cheap lipstick. 

I’m that girl. Lively. Real. Raw. Driven. And I’m always going to hug you, help you, and clap for you. I’m going to build you up and push you to chase your dreams. I’m a handful, but I figure that’s why you got two hands. 🤷🏼‍♀️ I don’t have it all together but I’m stitched together with real good intentions so that has to count for something. I’m forever going to be this girl, and I don’t change for anyone.
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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Hope in faded pink.

To any woman picking this box up to stare at it in longing, in mourning, in hesitation. To wonder. To wish. To throw it in her shopping cart again this month. 

Throwing it in with hope. With fear. With premature excitement. With anticipation. With a sense of dread that it may just be another down the drain waste basket Walmart drop of $12.98.

To any woman who has pulled this test out of it’s box time and time again, only to cry in disappointment and frustration at that one faint negative line in the result window. Only to remember why this has been the hardest money to spend and the hardest pill to swallow. After all the treatments, injections, prescriptions, hormones, cycles, and positive feedback, how could there only be one single line? How? How could the test still be negative? Why, after everything, is completely crumbling to shambles her end result. How come nothing she has done been successful? How come not a single medical breakthrough has actually broken through? Is she a failure? Is all hope completely lost? 

To the woman who could own stock in these not so cheap little plastic sticks. Because no matter the difficulties she has faced or the hurdles she has struggled to jump, she never loses hope - hope that maybe this might finally be her month. Maybe this excruciating journey will come to an end, and she’ll finally get to make her first doctors appointment, and plan her announcement. Maybe she can tell her best friend during that joyful lunch date or video conference her family in another state. Maybe she can look forward to the good for a while and forget about the bad. 

To the woman who has picked this up in the store and put it back, because she can’t handle another heartbreaking night in the bathroom. She can’t handle another shower just to hide the gut wrenching sobs. The woman who walks past this test in Target, and gives it a soft glassy glance. “Why bother?” She asks herself. 

To the woman who took this test last week and got her positive. She got her wish. Her miracle. She got the one thing she had prayed fervently for. The woman who is on the table this week at her first ultrasound hearing no heartbeat, thinking back to the relief and joy she felt the moment the test in this pink box made all her dreams come true. Dreams now crushed - by devastation, by an unexpected and unwelcome fate. The woman who is now living with a broken heart, broken plans, broken dreams and broken promises. 

This test does not define you. This test does not make you more or less of a person. It’s thin, stained lines selfishly taunt some of your most valued, precious endeavors, but it does not define your goodness. It will never measure your womanhood, or your ability to love. It doesn’t compare you to others, and it doesn’t set your worth. 

Your life is incredibly valuable and at the end of the day, whether or not that second line appears, you are still strong. You’re still going to keep pressing on, and you’re going to be ok.

It is not your fault.

You are not broken. 

Your body is not damaged.

Your are still very much a woman. A woman who is no less than the women this comes effortless for. 

You deserve to achieve all of the things you set your mind to.

Your dreams, goals and life visions are and will always be worth chasing, no matter the cost.

It’s ok to ask questions. 
And it’s ok to ask the hard ones to God. 

This is not the end for you.

This battle is not your whole story.

The pain you feel is real, and yes, you should feel it to it’s full extremity. 

You should talk about it. 

You should keep fighting it, but only because you are 1 in 8 that are brave enough to. 

Sweet girl, do not let this downpour consume you. Do not let it become who you are or what you are about. If anything, allow it to give you a bigger voice. Allow it to become your motivation. Your power. Your direction to win this race you’re weary of running. 

I’m not going to say be patient. I’m not going to see try harder, or take a break, or “just relax.” I’m going to say, there are no realistic answers here. There are no incentives that exempt us from the trials and tribulations of life. No matter how much I wish there was, there just isn’t. There are no fairytales. There are no explanations for why things happen the way that they do, but - but I trust that there is a reason. There is an underlying purpose in our deepest, darkest struggle. Maybe it’s a beautiful, happy ending. Maybe it’s being the comfort and salvation someone else needs in this exact journey. Maybe it’s simply a small voice that whispers for us to get back up and try again tomorrow - because it is going to be ok. 

You, dear girl, are going to be ok. 

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Sunday, September 29, 2019

Home Sweet New Home

This is the home where so many memories were made... 

Where my babies were babies.

Where two of my boys took their first steps, and said their first words. 

Where I spent many late nights piled under books and coffee, studying for college exams. 

Where my husband and I tip toed through this very living room setting up six wonderful Christmas mornings for the best little boys in the world. 

This is the home where I found my style - my decorating preference, and my vision of what I wanted to be the place we called home. 

This home is where my family came for quick visits on so many weekends, and where my wonderful daddy came running to fix things we weren’t quite sure we wouldn’t screw up. 

The home where I spent weeks prepping nurseries, matching little socks and rocking three sweet, sweet babies to sleep in their bedrooms. 

Where my husband and I celebrated every wedding anniversary, and conquered many of those fixer upper style projects. 

Our kitchen became a slow dance floor, and the big window behind the sink became my go-to display for so many vases of roses. 

This is the home where we endured so much love, and life’s unexpected grievances, and this roof has never failed to offer us the best shelter and peace during both the good and the bad. 

Through joyful births, and difficult deaths and the heartache of people we once knew becoming strangers. 

This is the place where I cooked yummy Thanksgiving dinners, and wrapped birthday presents for friends and family. 

Where I dressed my oldest baby for his first day of school. 

Where we laughed so hard we couldn’t catch our breath. 

This is the place where we became a family of five, after many struggles with health issues, turmoil pregnancies and losses. 

Where I had moments of needed silence over a good book and moments of pure chaos with an untouched cup of coffee still sitting on the counter at lunch time. 

Home to me is the place where you can turn in when the day is done. It’s where your littlest ones are waiting to run and give daddy their biggest, best hugs. It’s that pure sigh of relief when you’ve been out in the busy world all day long and you can finally just collapse because this is where you can. So many beautiful memories, and so many more to come in our new home. 

As we close this chapter of six wonderful years, it’s somewhat bittersweet to see this place so empty. The rooms echo, the hallways seem darker and I can already tell the smells of what used to be our home are starting to dissipate. But that’s ok because this is not a sad time in our lives. This is a new beginning, a brand new place to call our own. A chance to start something new and fresh and exciting. And I wouldn’t want to do it all with anyone else. 

We look forward to all of the amazing memories we are going to make in our new home and we pray for the next family to love and care for this place as much as we have. It has been a fun and eventful 6 years. 

You know, I like to think we leave a little piece of us anywhere we live, and I sincerely hope that the pieces we leave behind in this home will be the starting point of only more joy for someone else. 

So here’s to you, Breezewood Dr. May you be all of this and so much more for the new family that fills these rooms. 
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Monday, February 25, 2019

Everyone else’s time won’t be yours. That’s ok.

I think, too often, we spend our time comparing our life to someone else’s. Society has given us a mindset of being on a crunch for time. Social media and it’s false portrayal of reality often causes us to feel like we are too far ahead, or slacking behind. We look at celebrities in envy, comparing our bodies, goals and luxuries with theirs. We look at certain individuals, friends, enemies, sisters, brothers, idols, and consider them more attractive, deserving, or intelligent. We wonder, ‘why can’t we get there.’ We’re looking to compete with the person next to us instead of working to better ourselves. We look at other people, and determine how successful we are on our totem pole based off of where they are on theirs. Trying to get to the next phase of life. Trying to make a deadline. Trying to make something work that isn’t working because it just isn’t the right time, and we feel like we’re drowning because we’ve been made to feel like it has to be NOW. But who really makes up these deadlines? Why are we in such a hurry? Sure, we only get so many years in a life, but it’s not an hour glass. What kind of life would we live if we had constant anxiety about how much of it we had left? Who put a date and time on when and how you figure out what’s best for you? Who set barriers and road blocks for when something can/should happen? Who decided what a “normal” life is?

We turn 18, and we immediately start to feel rushed. Graduation, college, career, marriage, house, kids. Let’s cram it all in before we have time to truly enjoy a single moment. Then we creep up on 30 and it’s like, “oh, now your biological clock is ticking.” “So, when is your baby coming?” “When is your NEXT baby coming?” Why are you waiting so long for this, and for that. And we can’t win, because even when we think we have it all together, there’s judgments, and questions. “Don’t you want to go to college?” “What is taking you so long?” “Now, make sure you get educated in something that matters!” As if the career goals we’ve set for ourselves simply aren’t going to keep us afloat later in life. “Why do you have such a high degree but no job? “Why do you stay home with your kids? You must just not want to work.” “Why do you have so many kids? Do you not know what birth control is?” Some women want big families, some women struggle to have even one baby. Some simply don't have a desire for children at all. It’s really not up for discussion. Life goals, decisions, and the way they happen are not anyone’s business but your own. More often than not, the judgement and critiquing is coming from someone who didn’t meet a single endeavor of their own. So, don’t take it to heart. There’s unsolicited advice and expectations from people who really don’t even matter, but we try to see a point of view because we care. We’re human.

So many people are unsatisfied with their current place in life, because of timing. Not because of actual time itself, but because someone else, at some point in their life, has set their standards for when the right time actually is. Try to remember that as long as you are living your life to the fullest, you are in the right place, doing the right thing. If doing what you are doing right now, in this moment, makes you happy, then do it. If you are working toward something you want, do so without worrying about whether or not your best friend has already done it. Do so without concerning yourself with what people will think, or how they will react if it doesn’t make it’s, “deadline.” Stop marking your calendar. Stop anticipating. Stop racing through life with other people in mind. Think about yourself. Have a little faith in yourself, and grace, because you will have setbacks, and mountains to climb. You will have to start over a thousand times. And maybe a thousand more. But you will climb them. Trust your goals. Trust your plans. YOUR plans. This is your life. This is your happiness. This is your time. Don’t ever let anyone take away, put a schedule on or make assumptions of that time. You decide your life. You make it happen, and make it happen when you believe it should. Some people will say negative things to you. They will say negative things about you. They’ll knock your goals every chance they get. They’ll make you feel beneath them, or not good enough. That is when it’s important to remember that it isn’t about them. This is your journey. Run with it. Or walk. However YOU are most comfortable getting there, as long as you are happy. 

I adore my life. I have never been super woman with timing, but I definitely stumbled across my husband at what couldn't have been a better, more complicated time in my life. I was busy. I was barley 20 and in college. I was pre occupied with the chaos. And to say I was not remotely mature enough for a serious relationship would have been an understatement. and oh boy could I tell you some stories about my anxiety back then. I’m thankful for my husband, because he wasn't all about the, "timing." He was all about when I was ready. I wouldn’t have done many of the things I’ve done without his encouragement. I’m thankful for my beautiful children, who show me everyday that time spent savoring the moment really is what means the most. Between all the plates I spin, and the frenzy I work myself into, it's my babies who continue to teach me the true value of things falling into place at the right moment. My health is something I’ve learned to embrace, because it hasn’t been the greatest, and a pregnancy that is thriving when I wasn’t sure it would. I’m proud of our lovely home. It’s ours, and it's warm. It's welcoming comfort, jam packed with toys coated in sticky handprints and animal cracker crumbs. I’m blessed to be surrounded daily by incredible people who motivate me when I don’t feel so motivated. I’m fortunate to hold an education I am proud of, and to live in a world where I can write and speak freely because it’s what I absolutely love to do. But, it took me a long time to understand that my timing wasn’t based on everyone else’s. I am almost 28 years old and there are still so many things I want to do and see. I spent years struggling trying to figure out my path. Trying to shed the stress other people had put on me to do things, be things, that I just absolutely couldn’t at the time. I spent a lot of time being frustrated with myself because things weren’t happening in this picture perfect way. But when I took a step back, I realized, that picture perfect way wasn’t actually mine. It was often someone else’s. It was often something I had simply grown familiar to hearing, or seeing, not figuring out myself. I will pursue the rest of my goals, dreams and future. I will do more of the things I want to do. It may not be today, and it may not be next week. I will probably make a huge mess and it won’t go as I planned. But I will laugh. I will still love who I am regardless of the off road challenges. I was told after my first son was born that it was in my best interest to not have anymore children due to an unexpected diagnosis of MS and the way my body was, "malfunctioning." Guess what? I had another baby. And am scheduled to have yet another in July. Someone up there clearly thought differently about the plans another person had for me. 😉 I want to share this mindset with others because I see the shame and burden of high expectation so often. It’s unfortunately become a cruel reality that can really hurt people. Life is valuable, but it is only going to appear that way if you value your life, and that value comes from YOUR happiness. It’s ok to take it one day at a time. Some of the greatest accomplishments in the world come from weeks, months, and even years of preparation and perseverance. And most of all, belief in a dream. Don’t ever let someone else put a time stamp on that dream. 
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Monday, October 15, 2018

Beauty all your own.

Let’s talk flaws, and self-esteem, and mirrors, and not realizing our true beauty even when it’s right in front of us. Seriously, your reflection. 

How many of you give yourself a hard time about your looks? Have you ever woke up, looked in the mirror and thought, “Why do I have to look like this?” or “I wish I could look like so&so.” Have you ever put something on and looked in the mirror and been disappointed because it didn’t look the way it did in the picture, on the model, or the mannequin? That was me. 🙋🏼‍♀️ That was me Every. Single. Morning. I would wake up, wash my face, brush my teeth, and take one passing glance eye roll in the mirror and think, “Ha, not much is going to make that face look decent.” I tore myself apart daily. It was a pretty terrible mind sickness, and let me tell you, it will rot any self-esteem you do have right out of your brain. 

You know what was so awful about that, other than the fact I was pretty much hating myself? I didn’t really know why I didn’t like the way I looked. I mean, I knew I had flaws that stuck out to me, but I didn’t really fully know the legitimate reason I felt that way. Guess what? It was because I was always trying to make myself someone else’s definition of beautiful. I was comparing myself to someone else all the time. I was trying to live up to the hype of the picture perfect skin, the beaming straight smile, or the skinniest body on the cover of the grocery store magazines. I was letting other people, and the world around me, dictate what “beauty” was. It was addicting, persuasive and so, so terrifying. It was all I could think about. Why was I not pretty like her? Why was I not a size 2? Why didn’t I get the perfect jaw line, or the perfect hair I could do anything with. Why why why. Why couldn’t I fit this mold of the beauty I saw around me. The world around us can be so corrupt for self image. Without even realizing, we allow it to poison our minds with frustration, anger, guilt, envy and doubt. Who says that I’m supposed to look just like the model who wore the top I ordered? No. One. Who says I have to have the same body type as her? NO. ONE. But, I allowed myself to expect that. 

Unfortunately, It is so easy to hate ourselves. I know. Sad. It should be easier to love who you are, but it isn’t. We spend 90% of our time critiquing ourselves, and if we aren’t critiquing, we’re criticizing. We are SO mean to ourselves. Would you say what you say about yourself to your little sister, mom, or your daughter/son? No. Absolutely not. It’s that cruel at times. Beauty is so much more than expensive clothes, fit bodies, “ideal” facial features and the perfect messy bun. It’s traits that have been past down over time. Traits that connect you to the wonderful family you have. It’s the strength to carry on when your heart has been shredded into a billion pieces. Have you ever seen another person who has been completely beaten down by life, but still, somehow, lives life to the fullest everyday, always smiling and thinking positive. It’s pretty beautiful to witness such great healing and strength in a person. Beauty is in the way you carry yourself, and help to carry others when they grow weary. Beauty is the smile you gave the stranger on aisle 6 today. You didn’t have to, but the kindness in your heart was beautiful enough to reach out to someone else. Someone you didn’t even know. It’s those moments of laughter and joy with the beautiful babies you prayed so hard for. Beautiful is the uniqueness, and diversity of human kind. We will never be the same - not a single one of us. We may not all agree, or have the same outlook on certain things, but I believe that is what makes us strong, and strength is a beauty of its own. I believe that we all have attributes that make us beautiful. I challenge you to look for your beauty in that mirror you cringe at. Pick out a few things you love about yourself every morning. Embrace those compliments you give yourself. Let them change the way you feel, and open up your eyes. You weren’t mass produced in an assembly line for a reason. 

Beauty is, in fact, a lot of the things you might hate looking at. Often times, our flaws are the very things that someone else finds intriguing. The way the light hits your forehead when you have no makeup on, the dimples in your smile, or the way your cheeks crinkle up during a moment of laughter. Sure, you may not look like some overly edited and photoshopped model, but you look like YOU - and nothing is more important. 

Never hate who you are, or the way you look. Don’t be intimated by negative thoughts of the mind. You can love that first look every morning. You were blessed to look like you, to think like you, to love like you, to BE YOU. Draining yourself emotionally, mentally, and physically, trying to look like, be like, act like, or impress someone else is simply a waste. Love the person you are. Love the beauty you’ve been so graciously given. It’s there, and it’s always been there. You know that saying, “Once you see it, you can’t unsee it?” I believe it. I believe that saying can justify many things, even beauty. 

Hold on tight to your self-esteem, and treat you body and mind right. You are the only one who can. Nourish it like you nourish everything else around you. You deserve the care and concern you’re always giving to others. You are one of a kind, and that’s pretty incredible. So buy the lipstick, try on the outfit, take the selfie. Loving yourself is too healthy to pass up. 

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Monday, September 3, 2018

Why are you always getting her flowers?

My husband brings me flowers all the time. They’re often random, out of the blue, and I never know anything about them until they get delivered, or I see him coming through the door holding them with a big smile on his face. He picks them up in the mornings on his way to work and keeps them in the fridge all day, or he’ll be out running an errand during the day and if he wants to do it, he does.

Every single time my husband gets my flowers, the first thing he hears, mostly from co-workers, when someone sees him carrying them is, “Damn dude, are you in trouble?” or “Man, you are whipped.” “Denver, I swear if I see you bring flowers one more time I’m gonna hurt you. You’re making me look bad.”

My husband does bring me flowers a lot. You’ll often see me post pictures of them. I know that bugs people. I don’t really understand why. I feel like when something good happens to us, we should want to share it with our friends and family. We should be applauding and supporting the sweet moments. There are so many bad things going on in the world right now. It’s almost hard to look at social media these days. If a post about a husband bringing his wife flowers bothers you, please, don’t hold it against yourself. You can delete me. 🤷🏽‍♀️ My husband doesn’t get me flowers because he is in trouble, and it’s surely not because I am this big fat meanie bossing him around all the time, giving him ultimatums. It’s not because he feels obligated to, and he doesn’t do it to show off for anyone. The flowers aren’t about anything other than his love for me.

Let me tell you something about the man that I married. He. Is. Amazing. Honestly, I think about it all the time. I dated a lot of jerks. It felt like for the longest time, there wasn’t a good man left out there. Then, he stumbled right into my crazy world, and we stumbled right into falling in love, and marriage, and buying a house, and babies. These days, our life is all over the place. Have you ever watched an egg get scrambled? It turns from yolk to scraped up mush in a matter of seconds. Hey there, that’s us. 👋🏽 Most of the time, my husband is working. When he’s not working, he is helping me do things around the house, running errands I forgot about, or playing with our kids who love to wrestle with him, and all the while, still making being a doting husband a priority for himself, and for me. He is the most thoughtful, caring and romantic man. Sometimes, I think he’s the last of a dying breed - one of the few chivalrous left on the planet. He goes out of his way to get me flowers because he thinks about me. I give him so much credit for that because there are days when I’m so busy and so tired I don’t even know I’m alive. I balance both my kids, myself, the cats 😂, with no relief. How could I possibly think about anyone else?! We don’t live this life where when he’s angry he feels like he needs to suck up to me. We work out any problems we run into the old fashioned way. Communication. Sure, roses are nice when you need to make a statement like “congratulations!” or “I’m sorry.” But that is not the only purpose they serve. “Just because” is OK. It’s OK! People really can just be good hearted. It’s so awful that we live in a world now where it’s questioned. There have literally been people shocked by the fact that Denver brings me flowers so often. It makes me sad he has to endure that, but at the same time extremely grateful that I have a husband who is willing to do that for me.

I married my husband because he was passionate about being with me from the very start. He pursued me, and he has never stopped. I married him because he is the type of man I wanted my children to look up to. We have two sons, and I know one day, maybe, they will get married and have a spouse of their own. I’m so grateful I chose such a good man. He is the ideal example of what I want my boys to see, and follow. Maybe, someday, they will have the same goals and ideas in their marriage, because they had a dad who kept the fire burning. They didn’t just see empty miserable parents, with a dissipating spark in their relationship - one that they were constantly having to blow on to keep lit.

My husband brings me flowers because he is thinking of me. Gasp! I know. He thinks of the woman he chose to share his  entire life with forever. Denver knows some days, even when I don’t say it, my world is complete chaos from sun up to sun down. I don’t know which way is up half the time. He knows that I am 400 miles away from my family and closest friends. That I stay tired. That I spin a million plates, and at the end of the day, I still don’t feel like I’m doing enough. That sometimes, I just need a pick me up. He thinks about those things. It may be hard to believe, but my day actually matters to him. He doesn’t breeze through his work day never thinking about anyone but himself. My husband would give the shirt off his back if he saw you struggling. He would go the extra mile every single day if it meant silver linings and benefits for the people he cares about. But he has a different kind of care for me, his wife. He loves me, and he’s not ashamed or afraid to show it. He doesn’t feel embarrassed when he’s in line with flowers. I love that about him. I love that he is proud of me, because it makes me proud of me.

I rarely ever see men with flowers anymore. I go into the store on Valentine’s Day, and sure. Men are scrambling for last minute cards, bears, chocolates and roses, but the rest of the year, nothing. The flower bin stays disappointingly full, and not a single person even acknowledges that it’s there. It’s such a waste, because a particular bouquet of roses or daisies won’t live forever. And they’re so beautiful. Don’t try to pull the whole, “not everyone can afford them” card because I have literally seen men buy $56 video games and boos, over flowers for their significant other. Give me a break. You may have to choose, and sometimes sacrifice. But who says it isn’t worth it?

So, the next time you’re the guy who is poking fun at the man who is getting his wife the roses, take a step back. Look at it from a different perspective. Swallow that pride you think is so valuable. Maybe think to yourself, “why am I NOT doing this for my wife?” You don’t have to do it everyday, and you don’t have to break the bank. It’s just an easy way to make your wife’s day. On the nights I go to bed unsure of how I’ll get up and do it all again tomorrow, I look at that vase of flowers on the counter and think to myself, “Well, the only person who really matters believes in me.” And that makes all the difference in the world. I am still crazy about the man I married. If he didn’t bring me flowers, I would still love him just the same. But, the fact that he wants to show that he was thinking of me is seriously the best bonus! The fact, that after nearly 8 years, he still WILLINGLY wants to get me flowers, tells me he really is the best man there is! Because I think we all know women can be a little cray with our temper and emotions at times. 🤷🏽‍♀️

Buy the flowers guys. You don’t owe a justification to anyone. You aren’t whipped. You aren’t, “in check.” You’re a husband making a gesture, and it is NOT and never should be frowned upon. Stop acting like you don’t have time. You make time for the things you WANT to make time for. Why is that not your marriage? Stop acting like it’s a burden. She is your wife. Your biggest fan. Probably soon to be, if not already, the mother of your children. Stop worrying so much about what other people think. Their opinions don’t matter. You should never stop dating your wife. You should always want to win her over again and again. The flowers, well, they just show you mean business. You married her, bro. Treat her like it.

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Your happiness is never negotiable

You are never wrong for doing what is best for you. It's ok to stand up, it's ok to walk away, and it's ok to remember what you deserve. If you need to pack your bags, pack them. If you need time to think, take that time. Taking care of yourself is and always should be a priority. If you ever feel like your heart is breaking; If you feel like you are simply settling, you get to make the decision of whether or not it's time to move on. You get to decide how far you will go. Mountains were created to climb. If you feel as if you are always in the same place, meandering through the confusing, chaotic trails of life, and you want to make a change, you can. Stop telling yourself that it's not possible. The difficulties and hardships you face today are the stepping stones to what can and will make you better tomorrow. No one has the right to belittle, or toy with your emotions. Some choices [and people] will exhaust you, hurt you, but most importantly, teach you. If you can look back on your life and say that the difficult people in your life didn't teach you something, you weren't paying attention to the right things. They may not have taught you how to eat your vegetables, or how to fix your vehicle when it breaks down, but I guarantee they taught you what you absolutely do not have to tolerate. I bet they taught you a teensy bit more about your worth, and your value. I bet they taught you a bit more about just how strong and motivated you are. You can go nowhere fast, or everywhere in the blink of an eye. No situation is permanent. Loving yourself, and the decisions you make for that love is so important. You owe no one any sort of explanation. One of the most important things about getting to the good stuff, is enduring the bad stuff. It's about conquering your fears, problem solving, and learning all of the things you wouldn't have otherwise. Don't spend your days trying to figure out why someone treats you so terrible. You will drive yourself crazy. Don't spend your days miserable, wondering how in the world you didn't know who this person really was in the beginning. Sometimes, people are who they are - the mask just simply falls off. You can't change people. They have to want to change for themselves. You can't make someone love you, and you can't make someone see how their actions are impacting others. Unfortunately, some can see the world clear as day, but are still so very blind. In this world, you must yourself, love your choices, and love the people who love you back. Make times for the things that count. You will only be given so many moments in this lifetime, don't waste them. It's so easy to watch life pass you by when you are sad, and broken. Remember, Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." You are responsible for your happiness. Spend your days chasing it, craving it, fighting for it and catching it. Spend your days for you, because you matter. Your happiness matters. 
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