WELCOME TO MY BLOG! Meet the family & me!

This is my first post after completely redoing my site! If you know me, then you know that this site used to be my father’s blog. I took over the blog after he passed away. I kept all of his original posts and am working on a page as a tribute to him, but decided it was finally time to turn this into something bigger. I will still be addressing mental health/mental illness, but I will be covering a myriad of topics and I’m extremely excited! This new site is definitely a work in progress but I have the foundation and I cannot wait to build on it!

Not only will I be talking about all things motherhood, family, favorites, and life in general… I will also be incorporating fashion, beauty, home, working towards paying off debt, and even featuring my hubby along with some of our hobbies!! I’m so excited to dive in as I have a lot planned in regards to upcoming content and big life updates!

I want to start off though by introducing myself and my family. My husband and I have two amazing kiddos (ages 1 & 3) and two of the best fur children anyone could ask for (lab collie mix & pitbull/boxer/black lab mix). My husband and I have been married for almost 5 years. He is a locomotive engineer (which I’ll actually be getting into more in the future) and I have worked as a freelance makeup artist for over 6 years along with side jobs like social media marketing for small businesses. I recently helped start/develop a local mom group in our city that has grown majorly and I cannot wait to see what God has planned for that! We live close to all of our parents and a few siblings. We couldn’t imagine a more amazing place than the Midwest to build a life and raise our children!

I am very passionate about supporting women, moms, building each other up and using the unique skills/interests/passions that God gave each and every one of us to compliment one another and work together to make the world a better place, and glorify God in the process.

I love that meme that says “I’m a trophy wife, but more of a participation trophy” or however it goes. I feel that in my soul. I love being a mom but I also would not describe myself as mom of the year by any means. I’ll tell you like it is. I’m very open about mental illness, struggles of motherhood, and the raw and real of life in general. I love my friends but I love to recharge and have time to myself! I’m an enneagram 4 and an INFJ, coffee lover, watercolor obsessed, love to people watch, hate doing dishes, and my happy place is sitting on a covered porch in a swing while reading The Awakening by Kate Chopin or building my dream home via Pinterest.

If you have made it this far, you are a trooper!! Can’t wait to start getting content out and share it with all of you!!

Food for thought…

A follow up on a post from months ago….

A while ago I posted about how I’m just fed up with all the non-toxic lifestyle things being broadcasted everywhere i turn. I had a newborn baby and a toddler along with having surgery when my son was only 2 weeks old. I was trying to survive and paper plates, water bottles, and plastic silverware made that season just a little bit easier. Do I think striving for a non toxic lifestyle is good for yourself and your children? Heck yes. Do I think realistically that our world can revolve around it? No I don’t. Yes when we know better, we should certainly do better. The unfortunate thing is that many people live off of canned food, non perishables, whatever they can get their hands on to keep their children’s bellies full. I guess my whole point with all of that is we need to not only focus on our own family, but our community. Another thing that is extremely toxic for the body is stress. If you are completely stressing over how to afford everything all at once, how to incorporate a non toxic into your home, being overwhelmed with recipes and food choices, and prep, and the list goes on. Point blank, don’t stress yourself out over all of it. Small steps. Maybe you start with switching out some of your cleaning supplies with water and vinegar in a spray bottle, or having people take off shoes at the door, or incorporating one meal a week with good Whole Foods.

This is kind of all over the place but I’ve been thinking about it for a while and felt like I needed to follow up on that post…..

Let’s get something straight.

This was a picture I posted today after spin class. I had a green smoothie, I was able to go to spin, and I had a good 20 minutes in a quiet house so I was able to take this before tornado Eva got back. You didn’t see ANY of the behind the scenes. Like the fact that i was pumping for the 9 millionth time while taking this photo.

I have noticed a few posts circulating about pregnancy, standards during pregnancy/postpartum , along with health and fitness during pregnancy and postpartum around social media lately.

Let me give you a glimpse into what it takes for me as a mom with a toddler and a 4 month old to make it to ONE cycling class. Just one. Not a week of cycling classes, not a month. Literally just one 45 minute class, that is less than 5 minutes from my house.

Let me give you a little background here as well. We are extremely fortunate to have grandparents very close to us that are retired, which takes huge childcare costs on a regular basis out of the equation. I am also extremely fortunate to have a husband that is able to provide well for our family so that I can have a more flexible work schedule, so that takes a 9-5 job, M-F out of the equation, giving me ANOTHER leg up. I couldn’t imagine even trying to fit that in with my husband working on the road so much, working a 9-5, and have zero support from family…..Moving on.

To make one 9am cycling class, I have to hope to God I get more than a cumulative of 4-5 hours of sleep between baby waking up to feed so often and a toddler that is still learning to sleep in her own room. I then have to wake up earlier than the rest of the house to make sure I get something in my belly to keep me going and load up on water as it’s easy enough to get dehydrated just from working out, not to mention breastfeeding too. I then have to pump so that the baby has milk while I am gone which takes me around a half hour. After that is finished, I have to get dressed, get my kids up, dressed, fed, and off to one of their grandparents in time for me to race to class.

That is already around 3 hours of my morning spent literally just prepping to leave the house and give the kiddos to someone. Once I’m there I warm up, take the class, then head home to pick up the kids, shower, and either make a smoothie, pick up something or cook something because I’m usually STARVING at that point. By this time I usually need to pump again, so I’m using my foot to rock the baby in his bouncer to keep him settled enough so I can pump while my toddler runs around doing God knows what in the house that i will have to tend to later. You get the point. IT IS A LOT. it’s a lot to just make it to one class or to the gym for 45 minutes. I am already exhausted before I even go. Do I feel better afterwards. Heck yes a majority of the time. Is it a huge priority for me at the moment? NOPE!! I’ll get it in when I can. I workout enough right now between pumping, walking loads and loads and loads of laundry up and down the stairs, chasing a toddler around, getting them both to where they need to be and I need to be…. you get where I’m going with this. Now add on the fact that after all of that, I still need to work, make sure my kids are fed, get them to their activities, find “me time”, if that is even a thing anymore.

What I’m trying to say is, health is very important to me. Mental, physical, and emotional health are very important, but there are seasons for everything. When I was in college I could go to hot yoga, group fitness classes, the gym, etc and not even think twice about it. As a mom, wife, and business owner, I am juggling so much more and getting to the gym is just NOT always a priority at the moment. Does it mean I don’t care? Definitely not. It means that in this particular season I’m focused on being a mom to very tiny humans at the moment who 100% rely on me and sometimes my energy is better spent fitting in a nap when I can rather than go to the gym.

Don’t even get me started on when I was pregnant. There were days i felt so sick I literally just could not get off the couch. It’s like all my limbs had weights attached to them , I was nauseous, exhausted, and literally all I could accomplish were very basic tasks to keep my toddler alive. The very last thing I ever wanted to worry about was working out. I was growing a human and those for 20 weeks were rough. There is nothing that compares…no cold, flu, off-day, nothing compares to literally growing a human-being inside you. Some people are blessed with amazing pregnancies and some just are not. It doesent matter how healthy or not healthy you were going into your pregnancy.

If you are a mama or not, and you made it this far, I want to say that I’m sorry that we as women not only have to go through so much on a daily basis as it is but then to add in the mom shaming, mom bullying, and hurtful comments that circulate around the internet on parenting whether it’s about how and where your baby sleeps, whether you vaccinate or not, etc. … You are doing an AMAZING JOB mama. I see you. I see you as a first time mama pregnant and completely dying from how awful you feel, yet struggling with guilt because you know how much of a miracle it was to even get pregnant in the first place. I see you mama with young kiddos, just in complete survival mode, totally wondering who you even are anymore, feeling disconnected from yourself, your husband, your “old life”. YOU ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH. YOU ARE DOING AN AMAZING JOB (even if all you can do is rest and try to find ways to help your horrible nausea) or even if you feed your toddler cereal for dinner because you just. Can’t. Right now.

You’ll get back to yourself, you will encounter different seasons. Some full of exercise, girls nights, date nights with your hubby and some seasons full of just making sure the bills are paid, your kids lunches are packed, and trying to get 5 hours of sleep each night.

You’ve got this, don’t let the internet or people who have no frame of reference make you feel less than you are. When you see other moms posting about things they get to do or how seemingly perfect their life is, please please try to remind yourself that everyone is in a different season of their own life and you have no clue what going on “behind the scenes”. Let’s root for each other! Lets lift each other up. Let’s acknowledge all the positive things we are doing as women and moms. Let’s not forget we are all human 💕

Also, next time you are questioning why a pregnant woman or mom is not “working out” (like daily tasks with 2 kids is not enough cardio 🤣) on a consistent basis, or why the gym or group fitness class or whatever it may be is not a priority, is not because we do not value our health and fitness. It’s because we have slot of shit to do that you can’t possibly understand during this season in your life.

I’m sick of trying to keep up….

As I lay here with both children sleeping soundly (yes you read that right, I wouldn’t believe it either, and of course I should be trying to sleep now too because Lord knows I’m exhausted but I just can’t) I’m thinking about how crazy this whole motherhood/parenting/adulting thing is. What a mind game it is to be a parent in 2019 where posting a picture of your child can land you comments that passively tear apart your parenting style. This is going to be a very unpopular opinion, but I also feel like the whole non-toxic/super healthy lifestyle thing is a privilege and I just can’t with it all anymore. Hear me out. I struggled with pretty severe PPD/PPA with my daughter who is now 2.5 years old. I truly feel like being a parent in this social media/non-toxic/ peaceful parenting or whatever you call it, day in age, has exacerbated the pressure and emotions that not only come along with being a new parent but being a parent and struggling with mental illness such as anxiety, depression, etc.

The immense pressure to breastfeed, but God forbid you actually feed your child anywhere but your home so you feel like you can’t leave, yet you are supposed to get out and do things to help with your mood, but don’t do it too soon because they need to be fully vaccinated before being exposed to certain things, yet you shouldn’t vaccinate your children, not let my child CIO, but also not let them co-sleep, work like you don’t have kids, parent like you don’t work, be present for them, yet try to balance getting enough exercise, cooking your family healthy meals that are strictly organic, don’t go into debt but spend a billion dollars on produce and every non-toxic product under the sun to make sure your children don’t grow up to have ADD because of the chemicals you are pumping them with, but don’t let yourself get stressed because that’s toxic too, keep your house clean, keep your marriage alive and make time for your partner, but then make sure you have time for YOU, but not too much time because there is literally not 5 million hours in the day and my God do all this without being on some kind of anti-anxiety medication because God forbid you put anymore toxicity in your life because all that stress and pressure is not enough as it is…..OH AND TRY NOT TO LOSE YOUR FREAKING MIND. I mean common, people are literally starving to death, children are being taken away from their parents, horrible horrible things are going on in our world and you are worried sick about making sure your child isn’t exposed to GMO’s or making sure your water is filtered 100 times?!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that people who have high expectations for themselves and those around them are bad people. Please don’t mistake this as me shaming moms who follow a strict non-toxic lifestyle because there are people who have truly mastered this balance. (I clearly haven’t). Us parents have enough shaming going on. I also think exercise, balanced meals, and being aware of harmful ingredients are important but you can’t kill yourself to keep up with everything!! If anything I wish I could keep one or two things straight in my life for at least a week and I’ve certainly been guilty of trying to portray that I have even the slightest clue of how to juggle all of this BUT IT IS NOT REALISTIC.

I feel like at this point I’m completely rambling and my thoughts are everywhere. Although I’ve been very anxious at times still, as I feel that just comes with being a parent, I’ve realized I’m much more laid back this go around with our new family of 4 (6 including our pups of course) because I’m doing what is best for ME AND MY FAMILY. My husband is gone about 60% of the time (his phone literally recognizes the cities as “home”), I have a toddler and a newborn, I own a business along with working another part-time job, and there is just not enough hours in the day to please everyone.

My daughter still co sleeps a majority of the time,my son spends occasional nights in his (GASP) swing because I am SO EXHAUSTED and he won’t let me set him down, I enjoy nights away from my children to do something for ME and while I’m out you bet I’m going to have a drink and yes I’m breastfeeding , my kitchen is currently maybe 20% organic right now if that , my daughter ate Cheerios for dinner tonight, there are nights where she doesn’t fall asleep until 11, the list goes on, and you know what?! I’m finally ok with all the craziness in my life because THIS IS THE SEASON WE ARE IN.

I feel like I have many more thoughts on all of this and so much more to sort through but I’ll end with this. I’m going to continue to strive for transparency and doing what’s best for me and my family even when the pressure can feel like it’s too much to handle. Stop comparing apples to oranges. You are doing an AMAZING JOB mama….

National Semicolon Day

Yesterday was National semi colon day, bringing awareness to a movement addressing individuals who struggle with mental illness and suicide. Tomorrow will be my father’s birthday, his second birthday that he will not be with us due to long time struggle with severe mental illness. We must end the stigma. We have to take mental illness very seriously and educate ourselves and others.