Why I Started This Blog

When I set out to start this blog, it was to give insight and hope to those who may have had a tough upbringing. Along the way I started to lose track of that, and I think honestly I just wasn’t in a place to share, because I was facing things head on. It wasn’t until I was talking to my friend Maggie (a post about her is to come very soon), that I realized I need to be vocal, and continue what I set out to do. For those of you who may have read previous post, I did not have a “traditional” upbringing, whatever that means, and with the older I get, and I hope wiser, I realize I am hardly alone. I used to disqualify myself from so much because I didn’t have a “normal” childhood. Little did I know, that things I went through were more common than I ever knew. My upbringing was traumatic to say the least, but I wanted to start blogging to be transparent and share my journey, and hopefully give encouragement to anyone struggling, especially struggling to parent when you feel like you are dealing with your own issues from childhood and now congrats you’re in charge of raising tiny humans. I like to bring humor of parenting if I can, but to be really honest I feel like the hard topics should be talked about, and for awhile while I was dealing with becoming healthy, I wasn’t even sure how to share. Now that I am the healthiest I have been (emotionally, physically and spiritually), I am ready. Have I got it all down? NOPE. But I would like to share my journey as things come up.

What I have realized is, as Arwen is reaching ages of when traumatic events happened to me, I start to have more fears and anxiety, and that is when I find in those moments I need my family, community and lots of prayers the most. It can be hard to parent in moments where I am having a flash back or when worry consumes me, but by the grace of God, I can, and I want to encourage anyone struggling with similar issues, you can as well. It is hard. It is really hard. During the rough days or when I feel I am trapped by fear, I feel I am failing. I know in reality that is not true and I want to try my best to keep facing these awful things head on and continue my journey of becoming healthy. If it wasn’t for my kids, I don’t know if I would have ever started this journey of becoming emotionally healthy. More on that in time.

I will start to share some of the obstacles I face when my past traumas meet head on with me as an adult trying to parent. I am still going to share random things, and it’s not always going to be heavy.

If there are any topics you specifically have questions about, I would love to hear them, and I will try my very best to answer them from my personal experience, or through guest bloggers.

As a side note. I wanted to encourage those struggling, to not be scared to share and talk to safe people about what you are feeling.
I never know how to end, so I guess I will just say TADA, and walk away.

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I’m a Mess

This post has actually been inspired by one of my friends that I see every Saturday at church and that I adore. Everytime she sees me she says “you always look so put together. ” She has said in passing while joking that it makes her feel bad, or that she doesn’t get how I look so put together with having two kids. I laugh everytime she says this, and I tell her I will send her pictures of what I look like the other 6 days of the week. Her comment got me thinking though, and one goal of mine as I adventure into blogging is to also be real. I love to share how cute and awesome my kids are, but I also want to share about the gritty stuff. So I guess you can say this post is me keeping my word.

If you look in this picture you will notice that I am still in my PJ’s holding a coffee cup, that’s fine and all…this was at 4:45pm. I’m rocking my Harry Potter shirt (I a hufflepuff if you were wondering), with spit up on my shoulder, coffee that I spilled on the front of myself, unwashed hair, my headband is inside out, and the coffee I am holding is cold.

Not pictured is my son just in his diaper, and my daughter who has changed her clothes for the 45th time today, and things thrown about. Thrown about I tell you!

This is usually what I’m rocking, although I do go crazy and change up my PJs, you know to keep things exciting.

I look “put together ” on Saturdays (and honestly I try on Friday’s for date night with my love, but he usually gets the unshowered meesyier version of me being “put together”), but I clean up well because my wonderful husband is home and he watches the kids so I can have some time, and I really just like to do my makeup and my hair (if I have time) because it makes me feel good. I have also had days where I rather take a nap so I go to church in workout clothes.

I am all for keeping it real, and although at times I clean up nicely, that is not a fair representation of my day to day. I love my day to day, spit up, cold coffee covered shirt and all, but I do like to clean up once in awhile as well.

I just want to encourage everyone who feels like they look at someone and they feel they have it all together, more than likely they do NOT. Social media doesn’t do us any favors. I was getting so overwhelmed once by all the happy mom photos, that I had to text a friend and ask if they ever get frustrated with their kids, or am I just awful? She assured me, we all struggle.

One moto, sadly I didn’t know it was a moto until Arwen kept copying me this week and saying it to me, is “I’m a mess.” That’s not even talking about my appearance, that’s about how I dropped food everywhere, stubbed my toe, or whatever other thing occurs.

In it all, I love my messy bun, cold coffee, spit covered life…with mascara 😉

Everyone Needs a Mary!

This lady here. I dont think she even knows how God used her friendship with me all the way back in high school to set my on a path of healing, boldness, and having the confidence to talk about my story without shame, and to hopefully share it to help others.

Once upon a time back in 2001 or so I went to Valley Christian High School. I came in my junior year, and didn’t know anyone. I was extremely shy, so much so that I came off as more of a mean person. Some backstory, I had been in foster care for about 3 years at that time, and I was dealing with a lot of stuff that no one knew. For the most part I tried to hide the fact that I was in foster care, and I tried to hide the fact that I was taken from my mom, and I was dealing with major abandonment issues, anxiety, and some depression. I have become a Christian at age of 15 after being taken from my mom, and despite everything I’ve been through I always felt God was there and had his hand on me. Even with that knowledge I was still dealing with feeling very unloved, and caring shame for things that I didn’t need to carry shame for.

One of my classes I came across Mary. We became friends, and she introduced me to a weekend away called Tec, which stood for Teens Encounter Christ. This weekend away changed my life. I was coming out of my shell a little bit more, but most of all the healing process of all I had been through started. During the next round of tec, Mary let me know that I would be speaking and giving my testimony. In that time I froze up and almost started crying. My people pleasing was at an all-time high, and I felt like I couldn’t fight it, so instead of fighting it I just said okay, but was deathly afraid. I was scared to even give a presentation in class, or even really speak to anyone one-on-one that I didn’t know. When I first started High School I was so scared of people that I would hide in the bathroom and eat my lunch so I wouldn’t have to talk to anyone. For those of you who actually know me now I think it’s a testament of all God has done, and that I am not that person. For the most part you have to get me to stop talking, and I have no problem speaking in public, or to strangers anywhere. I ended up speaking to a room full of people at Tec and it was the first time I had really ever told anyone all that I had gone through. I left some of my story out because I hadn’t dealt with it but that’s for another time. It was one of the most freeing experience I’ve ever had. It was like I was calling everything out of the darkness, and everything was brought to the light and there was no longer this hold on me. People that I didn’t even know, people that I went to high school with now new all of my dirty laundry, but I felt more free than I ever had when I was hiding everything.

Mary not only helped me come out of my shell, but she really has no idea how having me speak at that event changed my life. I have since spoken freely about all that I have gone through, and I don’t have shame over what happened. She taught me how to stand up for myself, and to stand up for any Injustice done to me. She taught me how to have a voice in more ways than one.

After she went off to college, some other stuff started happening to me, and I felt like I needed distance myself from my previous life, with that we lost touch, and would keep up with each other here and there with social media.

In the past few weeks Mary’s younger sister Megan and I got reconnected because our girls are in the same dance class. This past weekend I was driving and I saw Mary’s husband crossing a street, and my heart lit up because I realized if he was down here that Mary must be nearby.

Saturday we got to see each other for five minutes, but those five minutes made my heart so happy. I miss my friend so much, and I’m so glad we reconnected. She was someone that was so instrumental in my life, and I want my kids to know her, and I want to know her kids. I love this lady so much and she will never understand how truly thankful I am for God putting her in my life. Everyone needs a Mary.

Glitter In The Ashes Is On Social Media

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Happy Tuesday!!!

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to see more, you can now follow me on Facebook and Instagram!  I mostly post on silly things Arwen says and does, me not blending in my makeup (not interesting really, but kind of amusing that it looks like my beard is growing in nicely).  Also, feel free to share my blog or social media accounts.

I would also like to hear from you!  Is there a topic you would like covered, or questions you may have? If so let me know what they are and I will try my best to cover them!

Thank you for all of your support.

New Baby, New Outlook

wedding

There are so many amazing outlets out there that promote how being healthy is more important than being “skinny.” There is an Instagram account I follow called “Healthy is the New Skinny,” which actually helped inspire this post. I have been following this account for a few years, and I have always loved what it promoted, and in essence I knew it was true, but even reading all of the encouraging words, and posts about just being healthy it was still hard for me to believe that for myself.  After having my daughter I still was focusing more on the getting skinny part (which I was failing at), and not so much the healthy part.  I would try different fads to lose weight or anything that seemed like a quick fix to losing the pounds, and clearly it wasn’t working. When I got pregnant with my son, I was at the heaviest weight I had ever been, and I was so scared of how much weight I was going to pack on because I had gained over 40 pounds with my daughter.

I was pretty sick during the first trimester with my son, so I didn’t gain much weight at all, but once I felt better I wanted to eat everything in sight. I would eat salads and fruits and veggies, but when I had a craving, which was a lot of french fries and Hot fudge sundaes to dip the fries in, I went with it.  To be totally honest, this wasn’t a pregnancy craving, sundaes to dip my fries in have always been my go to, but being pregnant was my excuses to do it more.  I really wasn’t even focusing on how healthy I could be, especially with this little guy growing in me.

It was when I went in for an ultrasound and the technician asked me if I had gestational diabetes because my fluid was a bit high that my eyes were opened.  I let her know I hadn’t taken the test yet, and she gently encouraged me to push up my test ASAP.  That ultrasound changed my life.  I walked out of there and decided I was going to act as if I had gestational diabetes if I had it or not, which was pretty much just eating what was best for baby and I, mostly baby, and say no more than not when a craving for a whole chocolate cake came up.  I had so many friends encouraging me, and so many friends who told me they had gestational diabetes, and what they ate when they had it.  These were women who ate right and exercised and still had it, so I knew you could get it even if you were my size or a smaller size.  Even with having that knowledge I knew I wasn’t doing my best for myself and I wanted to do my very best.  With that I took the dreaded hour test, where you drink an awful sugary drink and give blood, and I failed.  I was told to come back in a week to take the 3 hour test.  That whole week I ate right and walked, and I felt so good, and I passed the test!  Being on the borderline of having gestational diabetes though scared me into sticking with my plan of eating right and continually walking.  Please don’t get me wrong, I still ate cake, but I actually never gave into my craving for fries and a sundae, I knew that would be a gate way for me.  Just writing that part, I am impressed with myself.  I really hope this isn’t coming off as a judgement to anyone, because that is not with this is intended to be, but for myself, I have struggled with eating right and not being able to say “no” to cake, fries, anything amazing and delicious. So for me, this was my wake up call of starting my journey of being healthy, and I don’t know if I would have taken it as serious if I didn’t have another life growing in me, so I am thankful for that motivation.

Boaz is now 2 months and Arwen is 5 years old. After my c-section I decided I wanted to get back into running which I had been into before my daughter. I made the mistake of texting one of my best friends Janiele saying I found a color run I wanted to do for my 35th birthday.  I was texting her with the idea, thinking we will say we will do it, but as time gets closer I won’t, but I liked the idea of it. My friend Janiele had and has been working so hard on getting healthy.  She was doing spin classes, and yoga, and I was proud of how healthy she was getting (and still is getting), and she truly motivated me to want to do the same, but again, I didn’t think we would actually do the run, I just wanted to look cool and suggest it.  I should have known I wouldn’t get away with that with my her.  She signed us up that day, and I realized I was locked in, and I for sure didn’t want to waste this opportunity, and I for sure didn’t want to look lame in front of my friend, so I knew I had to start training.  So 6 weeks after my c-section I started doing a couch to 5k program.

After my first pregnancy I was saddened by my changed body, even though it gave me the best gift.  This time I look at my body and see the extra skin, and the oddly shaped tummy I have, and I am not sad.  Yes, I have lost weight, mostly due to the fact that Boaz loves to eat (I’m breastfeeding), and the fact that most of the weight I gained while pregnant was him. Yes, it is nice to be losing the weight, since I was at an unhealthy weight, and still am, but it’s not the weight I am the most excited about.  It’s the fact that I feel healthier, and I am proud of myself for finally not taking a shortcut and realizing what is important.  It’s important for me not to fit in the skinny jeans (although not going to lie, it’s up there), but to be healthy for my kids, my husband, and myself. When I look in the mirror at my body, I can see a healthier person and I see the body that gifted me two babies.  This is a huge difference from after my first pregnancy, when I looked in the mirror  and thought horrible things about myself.  I was happy and blessed to have my daughter, but looking back I realize I was sad that I wasn’t taking care of myself on the inside and I knew I just wasn’t healthy.

This is a out of my comfort zone for me, but I am posting an image of me that my 5 year old took while I was in the dressing room in our 5th store trying to find something to fit my different shaped body for my sons dedication.  Going to multiple stores because nothing fit my body used to make me sad.  It would make me sad when I couldn’t find anything to wear, but now even though my body is way different then it ever was before I am not sad, a bit tired from taking two kids out of the car so many times, but not sad.  I’m not sad because I see a healthier person, and I am so proud to learn how to dress my new body.  Although running and working-out will help with losing weight, I am more excited to have the energy now to keep up with my little ones, especially since I am not sleeping much these days, so any tiny amount of energy is a gift.

Taken By Arwen (1)

 

 

Then There Were 4!

Hello Everyone!

It’s been awhile, months actually, and I have truly missed blogging.  A lot has changed since my last post. For one, my family of 3 is now proudly a family of 4! We had a fun surprise last October when I had a particularly off day, where I started arguing with my husband over something super silly, and felt super sick, which I chalked up to a bad burrito at first. I then decided to run to the store before church (what better time?), since things were seemingly similar to what had happened with my first pregnancy. I found out I was expecting in one classy way, in a Wal-Mart bathroom. Why at a Wal-Mart and not a Target you ask?  I have asked myself that very question, especially since Target is my happy place. You may also wonder why not wait until you got home? Well, that would have been ideal, but those who know me, know I don’t like to wait to find out the results of anything. I spoil movies and TV shows for my self constantly. So waiting wasn’t going to happen. With that fun little adventure, and a story I will embarrass my son with at every awkward opportunity given, here we are, now a family of 4!

Now, getting pregnant didn’t stop me from blogging, but this pregnancy was a lot harder than my first. It was partially hard because I had a little human who needed my attention, and along with morning sickness, I couldn’t keep up on everything I wanted to do, like blogging. So here we are. I am now back!

I want to announce that Boaz Daniel De Vesta (his nickname is Bowie), was born on June 25th, weighing  9 lbs. 8 oz. We are totally in love, and his big sister is starting to get used to him being around, which has been so great to watch.

I look forward to being back, and talking about how parenting 2 kids is going. I intend to be brutally honest with the happy times and the hardships of it all, but no matter how hard, it really has been a great adventure so far. I just wanted to explain my absence, and show off our almost 2 month old!

saturdaymarch 23, 20194_00 pm

Art and Pumpkins

What I was going for (1)

I love art. I love looking at it, I love creating it. I give the credit for my love of art to my Grandma. Because of her I went on and got my Graphic Design Degree, and also just found a passion for it. Not only did my grandma create things, but for any, and I mean ANY holiday, she would create things for the day.

For groundhogs day she painted a sweatshirt with a cute little groundhog peaking his head out of the ground. For Christmas she would paint shirts, sweatshirts to wear often, and, would a lot of times, add lights. When her or my mom had a cast, which was weirdly often, she would paint their casts with fun things. So much so I tried to break my arm several times just so I could have a fun cast. Sad twist of events, I got a cast 3 months after she passed away . . . anyways not the point, but bummer.

I have more recently discovered that I have that same passion. I have painted shirts for Arwen to wear, but so far nothing with a groundhog. This Fall I have wanted to paint a lot of decor for fall, while eating pumpkin everything, and it’s so much fun, and I wanted to get Arwen in on the fun. She also loves art, but she is four and projects last five minutes. I found the cutest pumpkin patch craft (featured in the picture), we sat down to do it, and of course, it didn’t turn out like the image.

I am not a perfectionist, but I did catch myself trying to direct the craft a bit more so it would be perfect. I am happy to say I caught myself very quickly and sang “Let It Go” in my head, or out-loud, it doesn’t matter. The point is to have fun and do things together, even if it isn’t Pintrest perfect. I adore that she loves art, and I want to make sure I can make it fun for her, just like my grandma did for me.

I am hanging it up, and it will be part of our decor. Arwen loved it and I think it is adorable, plus, so much fun!

How to do this craft

Use whatever paper you want, dip one finger into the orange paint, and then on to the paper.  Let the paint dry, and draw green vines and leaves over each orange circle (our blobs), then you have a fun fall craft 🙂