Thursday, September 26, 2013

Balancing Act

Step right up, folks and be prepared to watch the most spectacular balancing act of all time! A balancing act that is like no other! In one hand she juggles the schedules of all her children and husband and in the other hand whips up breakfast, lunch and dinner. And in the other...yes folks she has more than two hands...she cleans...she dusts and she vacuums like no other. Who is she: your mother!!!! (The crowd erupts in grand applause).

 Daily life as a mother can seem like an amazing balancing act. If only we did get that grand applause everyday. But sometimes it goes without notice. That is ok. We don't need constant praise, but a little appreciation bouquet of flowers would be nice, right? When we leave the hospital we are taught a few things like: how to feed your child and how to change them. But, beyond that we are on our own. There are many resources like books and other mama's advice but every ones schedule, personality, beliefs and children are different. It can seem so overwhelming. There are many decisions you have to make and you want to do what is best. At times we may fail and other times we succeed. Right off the bat we need to make decisions like Natural birth or Epidural, cloth or regular diapers, breast milk or formula, shots or no shots and on and on.

I remember going to register for my baby shower at Babies R Us. Holy moly! That was the most overwhelming and stressful event I have ever experienced. I felt my mommy hood was on the line. What if I chose the wrong bottles? What if I chose something that was not organic? What if the stroller I picked out was not safe and would eventually be recalled? I can't help but think of way back when before internet and before Babies R US. What did those mamas worry about? Probably Rubella or Scarlett fever! Or not having an Epidural. Oh the horror!!! But, hey they had no idea what they were missing. It just seems like we are so over inundated by the mass amount of stuff and ways to parent. While scrolling through Pinterest I see all these great sources for making my own play dough, making homemade fruit snacks without all that yucky stuff in them, learning activities to help with your child's motor skills...and on and on and on. This pretty much sums up my feeling as I see this:

It is easy to try to measure up to other "Mums". You have the "Healthy Mama". You know that one that shops at Whole Foods and makes her own baby food from organic vegetables and uses only organic baby products that have a magical fruit found only in the Artic where they are harvested by hand and whose company also gives back to help fight against GMOs. Or the Active/Activity Mama..the one who is constantly on the go to Disneyland, schedules regular play dates, has all 4 children in different sports/music lessons and so on. Oh and we can't forget the "Holy Mama". The mama who has her 2 year old reciting all ten commandments, involved in AWANAS, MOPS and VBS. And finally, the "Educational Mama" who has her child reading by age three, writing their name and making all the other Preschoolers look like failures:). I am saying this all facetiously but in reality all these mama's are doing what is best for their children They are sacrificing there time chopping up all those fruits and vegetables. Sacrificing their time to take little Jimmy to Soccer practice and then running over to drop of the next child at guitar lessons...all the while not having time for their own activities and wouldn't change a thing.

As mothers we are all unique in our own ways. I do not have it all together. Neither do any of us. But what I have learned and keeps me motivated is that I need to be present in my child's life. I need to be engaged. Continually comparing myself to other moms who appear to have it together will get me nowhere because chances are they are doing the same thing. We are a nation of busy people. Just this week I had to work my normal 40 hours and week and then on top of that I had to put in 16 hours of OT!!!! I begin to feel overwhelmed just thinking about it. Then Shane got the flu...dundundaaaa. I had to miss work on Monday not making the boss very happy. I was up every hour from 4:30am until 5:30 PM cleaning up puke and doing 5 loads of laundry. He puked on every surface of our home. It was lovely! Luckily, he had puked up so much that it was just water after awhile. He even said to me at one point, "Don't worry Mama that one was just water". Poor kid. I think he could see I was tired. But, guess what I would do it everyday. Which made me thankful for a normally healthy child. Some parents have to take care of a sick child daily. They are the ones that have a true balancing act! No matter what challenges we face they are all worth it. Seeing our children grow into their own. Seeing them learn new things and accomplishing a new task is what it is all about. So be present. Be engaged. If you are a working mom I want to encourage you. It is so hard! Trying to balance work and home life. Something has to fail. Unfortunately at my house it is house cleaning...which may not be that bad of a thing...just kidding. I would tell friends who came over, "Don't look down" referring to my dirty floors. As a working mom there is a lot of guilt that we feel. We miss things like first milestones or events at school. It is hard to be present when you have to work long hours or maybe need to bring work home. I am in a bit of a different situation as I work from home. I am blessed to be here with Shane. I do have to miss somethings at school. The biggest struggle I have is time. Time spent teaching him how to write or reading to him. Taking him to play dates during the day can't happen. I find myself telling him quite often to "hold on" or "wait a sec". Usually I completely have to ignore his requests because I have an obligation to my work. I feel guilty even doing things I love like writing this blog or reading a magazine. I feel like any free time I have belongs to him. No matter if you are a working mom or a stay at home mom two things for sure are that we all need more time and we all fall short.

Don't be discouraged you are doing a great job. Your child may not be able to read, write or tie their shoe but they enjoy random dance sessions with you or a tent set up in the living room. Or maybe they have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches far too often but they get to enjoy music lesson or horseback riding lessons. I love watching all my friends parent. I learn so much from them. Children are a blessing and so are Mamas:).

For a little laugh today:

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fear, step aside!

I can not tell you how many times I have tried to sit down and write this blog post. I began questioning if that was a sign that I should not even write it. I truly believe that this might be helpful to someone out there. It will even be helpful to understand me more:). I feel blessed to be able to share with the few who read this blog. My blog is a mis-mash of all sorts of subjects. Whenever I post something a bit more personal I get the most I hope you enjoy reading this one.

This year I turned 31. Blah! I have mentioned before growing older does not excite me. This year though I really felt the need for some changes. Getting older never excited me as far as getting older physically. I mean what is good about getting fine lines and grey hairs??? Nothing! But, emotionally and spiritually getting older is actually really super! It is painful at times but the end reward is awesome.

We usually start off any new year by making resolutions. Hoping to start fresh and accomplish some goals. I personally love the new year. Being able to start over is a wonderful thing. One of my favorite things about being a Christian is receiving God's Mercy....they are new every morning! Boy, do I need mercy. I heard this song that described exactly what I felt when I was in a "woe is me-nobody likes me-I guess i'll go eat worms" moment: 

This must be it
Welcome to the new year
The drinks were consumed
The plants were destroyed and the hors d'oeuvres dismantled
I'm not smiling behind this fake veneer
I am often interrupted or completely ignored
But most of all i'm bored
I'm trying to find out if my words have any meaning
Lackluster and full of contempt and it always ends the same
Why won't she listen to me
Why did i come
Oh why did i come here
These humans all suck
I'd rather be home feeling violent and lonely
I'm not trying to sound so insincere
But the postcard that's taped to the freezer reads "wish you were here"
How i wish i could disappear
I'm trying to find out if my words have any meaning
Lackluster and full of contempt and it always ends the same

This song is so depressing and I wanted to hug whoever wrote this. This how you can feel when you are shy and don't deal with it. When you don't pick yourself up and ask God for help.

This year The Hubs and I celebrated our 10 Year Wedding Anniversary! There is nothing I love to do more than to make my husband happy and proud. Most of you know The Hubs. Many of you have probably read a few of my posts about how different we are. completely opposite. He can talk to anyone. In fact, he enjoys it...weird!!! It is an act of God for me to engage anyone in a conversation. I about have a heart attack every time I have to. God is funny...isn't He? Making me fall in love with a guy who would love nothing more than to just talk all day with people and get to know them. Hang out every night with someone new or old friends. Be in an industry where you are constantly meeting new people and going to events. But, you see this is what I need. I need to be exposed to new people and settings. It is not what I fact it is my biggest fear. God knows what He is doing and I am enjoying growing a tad more wise and seeing Him work in my life.

Fear is not from God. It is something I have had to get on my knees and ask God to take away from me. He did...but I found it again and again and again. I am pretty worn out over this whole ordeal. I have lived 31 years as a shy person. When you are younger it is a bit more acceptable to be shy. By now though people expect you to have it all together. I mean I have been married for 10 years. I am a mother. It is not that simple least not for a shy person. I thought one day when I hit my mid twenties that I would just wake up and the fear would disappear. I would magically become the person I wanted to be. The fear would be gone and poof I would be changed. naive. It is the hardest process I have to go through, each and everyday. I remember in 11th grade a girl who I thought I was pretty friendly with asked me out of the blue " Summer, why do you hate me"? She laughed but she said I never talk to her. Those words hit my heart like a ton of bricks. I told her I am shy and I do not hate her. I apologized and she said she was just kidding, but there was some truth there. She was feeling unloved by me. The very thing I was afraid of people doing to me I was doing to others. That statement changed me.

Do you struggle with fear? It can be crippling at times, I know. It makes you question your worthiness. I have cried out to God..."why did you even make me..I am worthless?". It causes depression and even illness. Fear is God is more powerful. He has shown me His love and mercy over and over again. My husband is such a gift from God. Although we are so different in personality and times it is hard for us to understand each other...we are what each other need. The Hubs helps me to break free from this fear...on a more regular basis than I am comfortable with:). And being friendly is a great thing. On the other hand...I am able to help my husband take a step back and relax. Sometimes he has meeting after meeting. He is such a helper. Always volunteering for things. Again this is all good, but I am there to let him know that sometimes he needs to rest:)

I have found so much comfort in God's Word. I always do. My "life verse" is Philippians 4:6-7(I added verse 8 too...because it is another favorite)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I have had the privilege of meeting some great people in my life. Unfortunately, I don't get to really "know" anyone that I meet. The Hubs and Shane are the only people I really know and even then I put my guard up at times. Being shy, for me, is two parts.

Part 1: Rejection!!!
I think it is safe to say that no one enjoys rejection. How I handle it is the real issue here though. Or how I don't handle it I should say. I am in constant conversation with myself...yes I talk to myself a lot! The conversation usually goes as follows: "Do they really care what I have to say"? "Am I right" "Will they think I am stupid" "Is that going to be funny" "Should I say something now...or maybe now...ok...I should probably say something now...opps they have moved on to the next topic". It can be quite exhausting. So, what is the big deal if someone does reject me? As I sit here, thinking, there have been very few times where someone has been cold to me or unfriendly when I try to reach out. Guess what? That is ok! There are plenty of other times when I have met wonderful people who are genuinely interested in me. Who want to know about me. This can't be one sided though. It isn't fair if they are the ones interested in me and I do not return that same grace.

Which brings me to Part 2: Perfection
Perfection or the illusion that you are perfect is my family curse. I feel like we put on the "nothing to see here...everything is wonderful" face when we have struggles. That is a whole other blog post so I will spare you all that business. But, when you feel like you need to present yourself as perfect you will always fall short...because one is perfect. God is the only one who gets that title. Physically..I like to wear makeup and nice clothes. I am fat....lets just put that out there. So, I never physically feel perfect. Emotionally...oh Lord...very far from perfect in that area. So, why do I feel the need to make it look like I have it all together..when I am falling apart? Again, fear is the answer. Fear that I will have to open up about a struggle. Fear that I will look like a hot mess of a person. Fear that people will judge me. Fear that no one would want to be friends with me. Judgment is never good. God has given me the gift of discernment but at times I have messed that up by turning it into what my flesh thinks is discernment..but in reality is judgment. I believe when you see things you don't like in people many times it is things you don't like about yourself.

I don't want this to be a depressing post. This year I have made it a goal of mine to reach out and make new friends.Also, to work on the friendships I do have. To go to events that I would have earlier stayed away from. Just last night we had an event at our home. I knew maybe 3 people there besides The Hubs. I thought of ways to make myself look like I was busy or to attach myself to Scott's side. Then I had a moment of...this is my home and I need to make these guests feel welcome. So, I put my big girl pants on and went outside and talked to not one but almost everyone at the party. It may have just been a "hi, thank you for coming" or a long conversation, but man did it feel good. The best part was knowing that I made The Hubs happy and myself. Also, everyone was so nice and no one punched me in the face or threw anything at me! It is still a really long road. It is a daily battle. People are all not mean and scary. I have some wonderful people in my life as I mentioned before. God is so good. I love when he reveals these things to me. I love when I can feel His presence in my life. So many times I wanted a guarantee that what I was doing was going to be ok. For instance, talking to someone and knowing that they were going to accept me. That is not how faith works though. That is how fear works. I recently read this from Brennan Manning "Insisting on some divine guarantee before yielding to God's word. That is NOT faith".  So, have faith that whatever you struggle with God is right there. It make take you 31 years to get yourself together or maybe 70 years!!! No matter what the time is I love that I have peace knowing God will be there for me. Patiently seeing me through it.

And because the lyrics of music are so important to me. This is the song I love when I am needing some encouragement:
By Jonny Lang

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Summer Lovin

I have to say I am hating summer right now. So it will not be on my list of favorites. It has just been too hot for too long! We also have air conditioner issues so this summer has not been fun! But, enough with the negatives. I wanted to share a few items I have been lovin!

First off I started a new workout program called 10 minute Trainer. It is a DVD series. My friend's trainer has Challenge groups on FB and I joined one. I was doing so good and lost 6 inches and then labor Day hit and I fell off the wagon. I am getting back on though! I love this because if you are a busy woman you know how hard it is to fit in a workout at the gym. With this I do it on my break and am done in about 15 mins(including warm-up and cool-down). Weight loss is such a daily struggle for me and I am so glad I found this. I do have to say the guy who does the videos is super cheesy but he makes me laugh and I get a kick out of it.

Tony Horton's 10 Minute Trainer
The rest of what what I am lovin' right now are beauty products. Surprise, surprise. I have ventured out and have tried quite a few new products. The first new items that I am loving are Maybelliene's Color Tattoo 24hr Cream Gel Shadow. My favorite shade is Bad to the Bronze. If you have never tried cream should! Sometimes all I wear is just one shade all over my lid and it is super pigmented. They go on creamy and dry to a beautiful finish. They last all day too! Especially with the addition of my new favorite below!
I was pretty skeptical of lid primers. I really thought they were just an extra product that was really not needed. Boy, was I wrong. I got a sample of the "Eden" primer and it kept my shadow on all day. It looked the same at 10am as it did at 10pm. It would be great too if your eyeshadow tends to crease. This is something I will definitely buy a full size of soon!

 This little beauty is a gorgeous highlighter by The Balm. Their packaging is super cute and the names of each product are so clever. You can click on the pic above to check out their site. This doesn't look like much in the pan but when you add it to your face it is a gorgeous champagne color. I add it at my temples and make a "C' shape down to cheek bone. I also swipe it down my nose.It adds just a bit of sparkle and who doesn't love a little sparkle:)

YouTube Lovin': She is who started my makeup obsession:) She is sooo funny! This girl is just too gorgeous!!!!!
I have many many more that I love but this is just a few! I hope you are all enjoying the last bit of your summer. Back to school is upon us. I am hoping to blog more frequently. I have so many posts that need to be finished up. Many are more personal and it seems like those people like to read the most. Have a great day!!!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

House Love: Part 2

I have not posted in so long I decided to do two in one day:) This will be a short one. I just put the lil man down as tomorrow is his first day of Preschool. This is his second year and I am so not nervous but stressed. Summer is so care free and I don't have to worry about dropping off and picking him up. It will get better once he is in school all day but right now it seems like I drop him off and then turn right around and pick him up! He is super excited and I can't wait for him to grow and learn new things.

I wanted to get in one last post before the busyness begins(does it ever really stop??).

We purchased this dining room table from a dealer. I just loved the lines! She is in great shape for being over 50 years old!

We picked these chairs up at the Rose Bowl Flea Market. the lines and the white leather is just perfect for the room. The small table was bought from the same people at the Flea Market and the ash tray is from a great Mid-Century Dealer...also from the Flea Market:)

These creepy..yet amazing little kitties caught my eye at the Flea Market. I could not pass them up! They reminded me of the Siamese Cats on Lady and the Tramp. "We are Siamese if you please(meow)".  They actually are a light. No light does not come from their eyes...that would be totally awesome though!!!
And this is the living room all put together. Our couches we had custom made by U Design it Sofa. It was so much fun to go in and pick my fabric and custom do custom dimensions. They had never used that fabric on this sofa design. As they were making it so many people liked it a few ordered sofas just like ours! The owner had to order more fabric.  

Of course I had to do a retro vibe pic! We are really trying to keep it period correct. As you can see, if I just took all my Coastal stuff and put it in here, I am pretty sure a mob of angry Mid-Century Crazies would come and take my house away!

Our next project is the back yard. I can't wait to get started. We have a Koi pond that is so peaceful to look at...but it needs some love. Oh the joys of home ownership. The work is never ending but so rewarding. So thankful to be able to own a home again. Thank you LORD!

House Love

****This post is dedicated to my dear friend Elise who has patiently awaited for me to do a post on our new house:)*****

We moved in about 2 months ago into our new(to us) house. It was actually built in 1959 and has such unique character. The Hubs and I are all about character. We lived in a brand new home and we loved it as far as knowing no one else had lived in it...everything was shiny and new and everything was updated and worked! However, if you went down just a few houses on our same street, you would find our same house, In fact, it belonged to our friends. It was beautiful but The Hubs and I longed for a house with character.

Our area is know for the tree lined streets. Which is why it is called The Wood Streets. We live a little outside that area but still get to enjoy all the character. Our home is a Mid-Century Modern home. If you do not know what that is you can read this blog post. It is actually all electric..which is so weird and cool at the same time. I will never have a gas bill...but I will have a larger electric bill:(.

Where do I begin??? How about the front? When I first saw it I was like...uhhhhh where is the grass and when can we start re-painting. But.....I love not having grass and grass loves not being at my house. I killed my backyard at my last house. Like literally every blade.. dead. We did not have automatic sprinklers and ain't nobody got time for that! The plants I do have out front of our new house are desert plants and require very little water! It is wonderful. As far as the house colors. I actually really like them now. We are debating painting it a darker grey and some other accents..but these colors really do add a lot of Mid-Century Modern flair.

Isn't it groovy?!? Totally Mad Men style:)

This is the view from the street. I love this view. The wood beam carries through the living room and kitchen and then into the garage. The windows are amazing too!
If you follow me on Pinterest you know my obsession for front doors:) Hard to tell but the handles are square!
I will post again soon with pictures of the inside.

Come by and see us!