Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Role of a Lifetime

In this hard time of life right now, trust is a huge factor in why I chose some people over others. I've learned that for most people, time is not a factor in life. I do believe in the theory of "Reason, Season and Lifetime". 
Reason- To help get you through a time or purpose. To teach a lesson of life that you might not otherwise have learned, and is pertinent for the rest of your life. Now, "Reason" might only be in your life for a very short time, a certain doctor who can heal your illness or wound or even a stranger you pass on the sidewalk who smiles at you and it brightens your day. "Reason" can also be in your life for a longer amount of time. They could be a boss who teaches you how to do your job better or more effectively so that you can promote to a better position. It could be that friend in 7th Grade who taught you to love with your whole heart, no matter how much it hurts inside. Whoever "Reason" is, learn from them what you need. God put them in front of you right now, or right at that time for a reason.
Season- This is a person who means just a bit more than "Reason". "Season" is the one who stood by you all through High School, but come graduation, you went your separate ways. You have great memories with Season, good times to recall on when reminiscing about your old glory days. Season can also be that friend who was there during a special or difficult time in your life. They were there for advice, a shoulder to cry on, to laugh with. Season was put in your life to teach you about who you are or who you are becoming. Season can be that old fling who taught you what you wanted from a relationship, and more importantly, what you wouldn't have in any future relationships. Season can be around for a short time, but is usually not. Season usually takes part in your life for at least 1 year. 
Lifetime- This is a person who is there through each and every season of life, and stays. Lifetime is a constant in your heart, but doesn't necessarily have to be a part of your daily life. Lifetime is the person that time doesn't have a factor for. Lifetime is a tried and true friend. Lifetime is also very rare. Lifetime is the one who you can go for months without talking to, and you pick up right where you left off, like not a day had passed. Lifetime is not one you have to question if the relationship is ok.
There is one other kind of person. I call them "Bubble". Bubble is a person who has somehow become all 3. They are not a constant part of your life, but have been in your life for the longest. They come in for a Reason every once in a while, and maybe they stay for a Season. At times they only come for a Reason and then they are gone again. Each Season they come back for teaches you a little more about yourself, and them as well. You grow as people together and apart. They Bubble up in your life as God sees fit for you. 

I have all of these kinds of people in my life. I have a couple of Bubbles, I have fewer Lifetimes some Seasons and a usually quite a few Reasons. And the truth is, just because someone starts out one way, doesn't always mean they they will stay there. It doesn't always mean that they stay, at all. But what it does mean, is that they brought something into your life. If a person coming into your life changes you at all, they become one of these people. Whether it be that stranger smiling at you as they walk past (Reason) or it's the best friend who you go to the ends of the earth and back with time and time again (Lifetime). 

The funny part of life, is that God doesn't usually tell us why some people stay and some people go. Why he closes the door on a relationship when we think that the person is the only thing in life we need. Or why that friend that is an on-going on again off again person in your life, always seems to be there at just the right moment. 

I have been blessed with that answer twice. Why, when all I thought I wanted to do was have that door wide open, and have that person in my life forever, God had another plan. He knew that I would end up hurt, more so than what I was when the relationship ended. He showed me that I would have just been one of many in a line of women who were tossed when he had better things to do. That person I wanted for my own, who for a time I thought he was, was only there to teach me about myself. And I did learn from him. I learned that I am beautiful and desirable and wanted, despite what I thought of myself. I learned to not compare myself to other women, because it has nothing to do with what I see in them but what he sees in me! I also learned that I deserve to be first choice. I don't deserve to be a secret or something kept hidden. I am lovable and I am meant to be shown off and praised. I learned that no matter how hard you pray for something, if God really doesn't want it to happen, it won't. He was my ultimate Reason who was a very big part of a Season. 

The other answer I got from God was that no matter the situation, God will always protect me from things meant for my harm. As deeply as I love and as hard as I fall, God's love is deeper and truer than any we can experience from another human. No matter how much I wanted the relationship to go on forever, God knew when it was supposed to end. He also knew that my heart could handle a Lifetime relationship that would never be together. He gave me everything good from himself, and as soon as he did, he was gone. I have an amazing and beautiful reminder of him on a daily basis. The very best of him, walking around and being all the good things that he or I could have ever imagined from ourselves. And recently, after my heart had healed and was no longer broken, God revealed to me exactly why He closed that door. I pray for him now, and can only ask God to show him the path that He has made for him. But I can also live now, knowing that he no longer holds a piece of me. And for that, I am blessed!

Do you have a Reason, Season or a Lifetime? Maybe you even have a Bubble?? We all usually have a few of each, but do you know who they are and what role they play in your life? My message to you is ask God to reveal Himself to you. To show you who is supposed to be in your life and for what role. Also, trust Him when He answers you. When He is closing that door, don't try to put your foot in the way to keep it from closing. He has a reason, and one day, He might show you. Trust in Him in ALL things! 

Proverbs 3:5-6 
       Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not into your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to Him,
and He will make your paths straight.

Currently Listening to: The Seattle Seahawks Pre-Season Game 1!!!! GO HAWKS!!!


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Long Road

Well, it has been some time since I last wrote. Things have happened. Things have changed…

In May, my mom went in for a mammogram. She got called back in., "I'm sorry to tell you K, but you have breast cancer." My world was shaken upside down. In a whirlwind of time, my mom was diagnosed, going to specialists and prepping for a bi-lateral mastectomy. My grandmother has also had BC twice, once on each side. So, when my mom was diagnosed, she had options. Lumpectomy, remove one side or remove both. She made the courageous decision to have both of her breasts removed. She didn't want to worry about having to go back every 6 months, to go through the anxiety of "what if". She was able to go through the genetic testing to see if she carried the gene, and by the grace of God, she doesn't carry that gene, which means that I most likely don't, which means my girls most likely don't. (((DEEP SIGH OF RELIEF))) Well, we prepared for what was to come next. 
So, now we start June 

The day before my mom went in for surgery, my husband was at an event with WWP. At the event (touted to be a motivational thing, not a physical thing) a guy was demonstrating a martial arts move with my husband, and instead of just demonstrating he came down on my husband full force and fractured one of his ribs. So, the next morning, my mom went in for surgery. All went well, with a couple of "surprises" that kept her under for 2 extra hours. But all went smoothly and (shockingly) she came home that day. Yes, now they have finally realized that recovery at home is actually a good thing. We got my mom home and settled and comfy. And then, I had to take my husband into the ER. 

His chest was in incredible pain. And with his burn-pit exposure from down range, he has a decreased lung capacity, so he already has issues breathing. Well, when we got to the ER, they took us back into a room. The room they took us into just so happened to be the same room, where 3 years ago, my grandfather passed away. I was with him in that room when he took his last breathe. I was overcome with emotion, to say the least. They did x-rays and a MRI, and from what they saw, he was possibly looking at emergency surgery. However, at that hospital, they cannot handle his type of case, so they had to transfer him to another hospital. At the next hospital, they did more x-rays and another MRI. There was a lot of internal bleeding, or so thy thought, so they had to keep him for observation. Luckily, there was only internal bruising, he was not bleeding internally. 

During this time, this last few days of my life, I kept saying "I can't handle anymore". I used the analogy of the unknown strength that comes over a mother to remove a car from on top of her baby, that energy, that rush of adrenaline, was the ONLY thing that i was working with. I hadn't slept in days. I wasn't able to eat much. And during this time I'm still helping to take care of my mom, to lessen the work for my dad. I'm still taking care of my husband, who really can't do a lot of anything because of the pain. I'm still taking care of our daughters, the littlest is still nursing. I'm still taking care of our house and animals. (I must stop here and mention that at some point in the first week of June, our cat went missing and we have still yet to find her) I'm still trying to find time to sleep, ha ha ha 

My mom has a couple more procedures during the month. But her recovery is going along very well. She is healing well, and her doctor informs her that he is very confidant that he got all the cancer out. She is now, and still,  in the process of going through the next phase of the journey. She is now getting ready for chemo. This woman has the strength that only God can give you. She has come through this with such joy and high spirits. I am in awe of her. I know that is  with God and only God that she has made it through all of this with such grace! 

All during the month of June, I kept saying "I can't handle anymore", " I just can't do this". Well, God knows me better than I will ever know myself. He knows just how strong He made me. And He also has a sense of humor. 

I have a great friend who is an amazing photographer. I've actually know her since I was very little, she was one of my babysitters. Every so often I help her out with events and projects. We have a GREAT bartering system. I "work" for her, and in return I get professional pictures of my family and an amazing discount!! (I'll put in her website at the end of this, in case you need a good photographer) Well, one of the last days of June, I was scheduled to work with T. I had an appointment  just before going to work with her, so I was looking great walking into the office! The first time in a long time that I had put makeup on, done my hair and looked better than the "crappy jeans and tshirt with a messy bun" look that I normally go for. I was feeling amazing about myself and looking good!! Well, God and His sense of humor decided to pop up just as I was walking into the office.

TCF. Of all the people in all the places. I was walking through the parking lot, just about to walk through the breezeway to go into the office. And there I am stopped dead in my tracks. Probably looking like I had just seen a ghost. I couldn't move my feet. All I could do was stare. My daughters biological father was sitting right there in front of me. well, he was sitting off to the side and somehow I mustered up enough to move my feet so he couldn't see me watching him. I just stopped and watched him, he was talking to a woman. She walked back into the building, and he started off for the parking lot. I had to talk to him. I hadn't seen this man in over 8 years. And the last time I had seen him, it was not the best parting. The last time he had seen my child was almost 10 years ago.

We talked for about 20 minutes. It was one of those times that you never think is going to happen. I know I've had so many unanswered questions. And I finally got to ask him. Does he think about her? Does he care about her? Did he regret signing the adoption papers? Is he ok? I got to ask, and he actually answered. The best thing he ever did for her was walk away. Just looking at him, you could see the drugs had done quite a number on him.He used to have this amazing smile, and ow all thats left is a mouth without teeth and the faint hint of a person who used to be in there. And he was ok. Just ok, but at least ok. I saw the reason God took him out of our lives. God answered that question that had lingered in the back of my mind for so many years. I said goodbye. And as I was walking away (still shaking, mind you) I knew that I had just closed that chapter. Finally, after all this time, I got to close that chapter in a way that I wasn't left with more questions.

God has a funny way of showing us things. And for some of us, who do't get it, He puts it right in front of us, in the flesh so that we can see it, feel it, hear it And still know that it's Him. My God has given me the very best. I don't praise Him enough for all He has done for me. He has opened up doors to things I would have never thought possible. He has closed doors on things that I fought so hard to have open, and all because He needed to protect me. If not from the person or situation, at the very least from myself. 

Has God done things like that in your life? Have you ever had that very blunt, in your face answer? Well, God knew what He was doing when He created me. He created me to be strong. Stronger than I even know. He created me to be passionate, caring, compassionate, empathetic, loving, kind and extremely emotional.  He created me to go through the toughest parts of life, and come out victorious on His shoulders! 

So, now we move into July

The 4th of July is always a little difficult around our house. With the Hubbs PTSD, it can be interesting. My birthday is this month, and I am SO blessed that I get to spend it with Ayana, who's birthday is just 2 days before mine! The big kid starts her cheer practice again and later this summer gets to go to Summer Camp (a whole week away)!!! The little kid is getting in her 2 year molars and is not dealing with it well. My mom is gearing up for chemo beautifully. 

Then theres me. I am stressed, blessed and taking one step at a time. I thank God for my blessings and lean into Him when the stress gets to be too much. Thanks God for having such great timing, in all things.

Listening to: Z and L watching cartoons
Word: Phillippians   4:!3 "I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength."

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Do you DSFY?

Not always does “Do Something for Yourself” equate to you spending tons of money exploring your surroundings, or even leaving your house for that matter. Sometimes, remembering to do something for yourself can be as simple as taking time out for a long hot bath, spending an hour watching a TV show that you love, preparing a yummy meal of all your foods, or even taking a long walk to clear your head. For me, reading is a simple, inexpensive way for me to connect with what brings me joy.

This year, a good friend of mine challenged me to read one book a week leading up to my birthday in July. I hesitantly accepted this challenge- as my life usually leaves little time to sit down and enjoy a book the way I used to-, and decided to start this endeavor by reading a book that has been sitting on my shelves for over a year. This particular book is Wild, by Cheryl Strayed.

As a little back history; my father passed away suddenly on April 29th, 2013. I was crushed, broken to pieces, and spiraling into a manic/depressive frenzy months after his passing due to grief and misplaced anger stemming from that loss. For months after his passing and memorial service, we received an assortment of cards, flowers, money, prepared meals, and much more from people who knew him (both at work and personal life) and wanted to honor his memory and pay their respects. One day I found in the mail a hard cover copy of Wild, along a card that read:

“Dear Mrs. Young,

I am so sorry for your loss. I know there is nothing that can be said right now that would heal your heart, but I do believe that sharing others experiences with loss helps to ease the pain, and allows you to move forward without carrying that pain with you. I am passing this book onto you in hope that you will connect with someone who has been in your shoes, and allows you to grow from the pain.”

I was touched and grateful that someone- a complete stranger to me- thought enough of my Dad, and me, to send us something that she felt would truly help me get past what was at that time, the greatest pain I’d ever felt. Even though I was melting on the inside at the thought of this strangers kindness, after reading the book jacket, and learning that the book was about a woman who lost her mother, the idea of reading such a heavy memoir was a little too much to take in just then. Now that I'm past the majority of my grief (although I still miss my Dad deeply), and a little less raw in the feeling department, I felt this would be the perfect time to jump in with both feet and use this book as my kick-starter to my friends 2015 book challenge. And you know what- I'm so happy that I did!

I won't spoil it for any of you interested in reading this book, but I will say I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love her perspective of healing after loss, and inadvertently the process of dealing with the unexpected emotions that arise after a loss. I know that several of you who follow this blog have had lots of experience with loss due to the war and/or aftermath of war; it's my hope that if you have experienced a loss that you are finding a way to cope while healing and surviving through grief. Loss is never easy, and almost always cuts as deep as emotional scars can cut, however, finding ways to cope will provide you with the strength and courage that you will most definitely need to move forward.

I hope you are all enjoying your New Year thus far, and finding ways (each day- either simple or extravagant) to Do Something For Yourself, connecting with what brings you joy, and allowing yourself to not just understand the importance of, but actively practicing putting yourself first, and loving yourself enough to take time out for you.

Health and Happiness to all


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Wake up call… and learning to embrace love

It’s a common phase used by every walk of life. It’s meaning varies from individual to individual, but typically anyone who hears it, says it, or even encounters it maintains on general consensus regarding it, and that consensus urges it’s importance. That phrase is…love yourself. I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase, I bet you have even- as advice- issued this statement to those around you from time to time. But how many of you truly practice it?
That’s a big question, and revelation I’ve had to even ask myself over the last few months. No, I’m not out there calling myself stupid, ugly, unimportant, or shaming myself for things I haven’t exactly done “right”, but that doesn’t mean that the concept of truly loving myself is one that I’ve mastered, or even consider a priority. Why is that? There is only one me- for the rest of my life. I’m living in this body, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Day after day, week after week, month after month. I’m not EVER going to wake a different person, than I am today. So in light of that, why is loving myself such a hard concept to put into action as a daily regimen? It’s almost comical that I haven’t even thought much about what loving myself really means. This is something that should be as routine as breathing, and yet it’s the one thing that I struggle with daily. And it’s not just me! I found that several of my other warfighter (Combat Veteran) wives struggle with this exact same thing!
Now since I brought this subject up, I feel like I have to examine it a little further. First- what does loving myself mean to me? Let me elaborate for you. To me, loving one’s self means treating yourself kindly and gently. It means having pride in who you are, even when you make mistakes- no matter your successes or pitfalls- finding reasons to encourage positivity within you instead of highlighting and waxing morosely in your shortcomings. For me, loving myself means that I pledge to care for myself; emotionally, PHYSICALLY, mentally, and otherwise. It means I will nurture my creativity, passions, emotional stability and HEALTH, but it also means I pledge to own my mistakes, acknowledge them and grow from then instead of allowing those mistakes to wedge my success. It also means I will speak kindly of myself, and infuse positive thoughts at all time.
Now…here’s why I say I’ve struggled with remembering to truly love myself. My days (throughout the week) start fairly early in the morning. I wake up (or I should say I struggle to wake up) early, get out of bed, immediately go check on the frogman to wake him up and get him ready for school. After froggy is ready, I rush through washing my face, brushing me teeth, makeup application, getting my hair together, dressing and gathering everything that I need for the day. I then rush out the house, usually in a hurry, get froggy off to school and brave high speeds to make it to work on time. Once at work, I am officially ALL work NO play. After a full 8-9 hour shift, I dash home, fighting traffic, pick up froggy, fix dinner, bath time for frogman, shower myself to steam away the stress of the day, take care of the hubby, wash the dishes, and finally crawl into bed by 11:30. Not much different from every other working mom out there. But where in that routine did I stop to eat breakfast? Lunch maybe? Did I take any time out at all to breathe before immediately jumping up from one task to the next? Did I take any time to relax other than the shower- which by now is luke warm because I bathed the kiddo first and used almost all the hot water on cleaning the tube before jumping in myself. In fact- what part of that busy schedule allows for time to practice loving myself? Think about my statement above about what loving myself meant to me. Am I practicing my pledge of treating myself kindly or gently? NOPE!! Not a bit. I didn’t even realize that simply forgetting to eat, or not having time to take a few minutes in the morning to just breathe before stepping out of bed, or not taking 5 minutes throughout each day to re-commit myself to taking time for breaks; all these things are examples of me not loving myself enough to put myself first.
Here’s what this revelation brought to light. In April of last year, I started to feel sharp stabbing pains somewhere over my left ovary. I didn’t think much of it. I picked up a bottle of ibuprofen from the drugstore, and went about my way. By August the pain was so severe I actually missed nearly two weeks of work! I called my doctor and scheduled an appointment to see her. She examined me and noticed that I was extremely bloated and swollen on the left side, and she decided to order a MRI just to rule out any serious complications. Thank goodness she did that! Ladies…OMG ladies, when the MRI came back it showed a mass on my ovary, the size of a grapefruit, and several stringy pieces of tissue absorbing the entire left tube and lower intestine. I FREAKED! Do I have cancer? Am I going to be ok? Will I need surgery? All these questions clouded my mind and completely brought all upcoming events (both at work and personal life) to a halt. I am happy to report that it was not cancer!! But it was (is) Endometriosis. I had a cyst on my ovary that grew 5 times the size it ever would have due to endometriosis. I also had a ton of endometriosis completely encasing my left side including the end portion of my intestine, left fallopian tube, outer left quadrant of my uterus, and wrapping itself tightly around the affected area to a point where blood circulation had been compromised. In short, I was closer to meeting my maker than I ever want to be in my youthful years. I had endometriosis for more than 4 years, and I never even knew it, and I didn’t know it because I WAS NOT TAKING CARE OF MYSELF. I didn’t take time out to listen to my body, because I don’t stop long enough to even think about my body. I didn’t even stop to question my health once the pain started. I just figured it was a strange cramp, or even gas.
My point is, overlooking things as small as properly hydrating myself, nourishing myself by way of GOOD food (no fast food ladies), resting a full 8 hours at night, or even taking time to listen to my body- as pain is indicative of a problem- are all things one should do in conjunction with loving yourself. If I don’t care for me, who will? I suddenly was faced with a wakeup call- take care of yourself, or there won’t be a YOU to take care of again. It’s harsh to put it to term in that form, but ultimately it’s so true. As I sat in the recovery room after surgery, I asked an on call nurse (whom I’d spoken to before and discussed my diagnosis with) what could I do to encourage healing and prevent this issues from becoming this bad again, and her answer blew me away. She told me that my diet (what I thought was good food at the time), stress (not new news at all), inactivity (healthy exercise or active lifestyle), and of all things, SODA, contribute to healthy management of endometriosis. Why didn’t I know that the combination of all these things, could cause a reproductive issue? It blew my mind, and I knew I had to change something really soon! So I did! I had the surgery, stopped eating nasty foods, and went back to my vegan roots, cut of soda all together (no soda in over a month!), and also decided to cut out processed foods and excessive sugars. Within one month I have lost 26 pounds, and have already started to feel a difference in my breathing, mobility, sleep, and (surprise, surprise) my mood! I’m happy! No, really- I wake up happy!
I learned a good lesson, that luckily did not cost my life, but it’s an important lesson that I wanted to share with all of you. You see, loving yourself isn’t always you looking in a mirror and loving what you see. It goes so much deeper than that. Think about it, when you are in love with someone, they have your complete attention don’t they? Of course you still can maintain a job, kids, friends, and everything else- I mean, loving someone won’t consume you to a point where there is nothing else other that your object of affection. Loving anything typically means you will care for it. You will view it highly, and it will become a focal point in your everyday life. That is what it means to love- so why not apply that love to you! In loving yourself, you will (despite our crazy busy lives), make it a point to make you a priority EVERYDAY. I’m not saying make yourself a priority all day every day, but every day you should be taking time to think about you. What drives you? What excites you? What motivates you? What do you need for your own growth and physical and emotional health? And it doesn’t just stop with your physical health, there is an entirely separate issue of our mental health to consider as well. I was more prone to criticize myself, before I would ever praise myself. I would come down hard on myself if I couldn’t do something for someone, or if I didn’t do enough. Want to know what that did to me? I can tell you it took it’s toll physically, and made me sick.
We have to take a stand, and take care of ourselves always. So here are some suggestions on how to do that even starting small.
1)  Take 5 minutes in the morning once you wake up to meditate. You can do this by connecting to anything that calms you. You can choose to pray, or you can close your eyes and think of things that make you happy. You can even grab your iPod and play a song that lifts your spirits, or clams you. Anything goes, as long as you don’t leave your bed for at least 5 solid minutes. Breathe deep, and connect with you
2)  Water heals all things. Drink at least two 8 ounce classes of water first thing in the morning. It’s suggested to drink 8 6 ounce glasses, but I’ve confirmed with a physician that two 8 ounce glasses will suffice. This process of drinking water soon after you wake will help rehydrate your body as we often dehydrate overnight. This will also help to kick start your body and energy levels. Drink lots of water throughout your day as well.
3)  Kick caffeine- now don’t kill me ok… I’ve heard many times that drinking coffee can actually cause multiple health issues later on in life. Try drinking a cup of green tea instead, and if you are looking for energy throughout the day, eat granola bars, and energy fueled veggies and fruit for lunch.
4)  Learning to walk again- Walk peeps! Oh what walking for at least 30 minutes each day can do for your body, mind, improving lung function, weight loss, and so much more.
5)  Take 30 minutes at night before bed to lay silently. No TV, no music, no light, just you. It’s fairly common knowledge that getting into a quiet space at night for at least 30 minutes prior to bed will promote healthy sleep. This is important for us ladies because our combat vets often have nightmares that wake us throughout the night. If you watch TV right before bed, your mind is still stimulated and often doesn’t completely shut down to allow for restful sleep. This combined with being woken up by nightmares of your loved one, and really prevent a healthy sleep schedule, which leaves you tired, confused, and actually trigger you to eat comfort foods throughout the day that could be equally damaging to your body and overall health. By shutting everything down and lying in bed for 30 minutes prior to bed, you allow your mind to quiet down, thus allowing you to fall into a restful sleep, which will promote better focus, energy, circulation, and even burn calories over the duration of your sleep!
Remember, these are just small cookie cutter steps you can take to kick start your overall journey, but they are all very important factors of loving yourself.  I’m not saying you should completely omit the notion of caring for your combat vet or children, but what I am saying is that if you don’t find a way to incorporate taking care of you as a priority, the results could be devastating. It’s worth it, you are worth it, so just do it already. Believe me when I say, you won’t regret it when you do.
Until next time
Health and Happiness to all!

In Case you foolishly forgot...

Happy New Year! So…did you miss us? Well, we certainly missed all of you.
It’s been a while since my last blog post- life literally became far too complicated for me to find adequate time to blog the way I wanted to blog. But, blah, blah right; we all get busy, and because of that, I plan on making it a point in 2015 to make more time for blogging and connecting with all of you.
 Lots of wonderful things have happened for me and my crew- the adoption of my 4 year old son is almost complete! I had surgery…boo! Work, mommy life, etc- which I thoroughly intend to put into words and share here, so look forward to many more post from both myself and Em.  
It’s a new year, and we hope you are all taking time for yourself, remembering to breathe through the storms, and enjoy every bit of the sun whenever possible. I have a TON of information to blog about, resources that I’ve found, and lots of fun stories and adventures to share. Stay tuned for upcoming blogs- I think you'll find them useful.
Health and Happiness to you all!

Monday, June 16, 2014

My DSFY Journey

I'm learning that I do have to take care of myself. Who I was 6 years ago, is NOT the woman I am today. Back then, I would have never thought that I was strong, or capable. I was sure I was going to live on as a single mother just me and my girl Z. 

Now life has brought on changes, and challenges. But I haven't taken time out for me Well, a couple weeks ago I finally did something for me!!! I had a "Boudoir" Photo Shoot done!!! And I know there are probably plenty of you out there who are thinking "wow, thats brave. I couldn't even begin to think that I could do that looking the way I do now..", well, I'm here to tell you that you CAN!!! I'm going to let you in a a little secret, I'm not a size 8!!!!! As a matter of fact, you have to add a 1 to the front of that to get my size!! Yep, thats right, I'm a size 18. This is the biggest I've ever been, and hopefully this is the biggest I'll ever be! I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into?! Was this going to make me want to run and hide in a carton of ice cream? Well, you be the judge…
While this isn't one of the racier photos, it was one of my favorites! It captured my personality and I think I look pretty darn good! And here is one that I was able to crop and post…
This one… this is one of the best ones… I have my top 3, and this is one of them!! A very good friend of mine is an amazing photographer!! She is able to transform women who might be a little scared, or feel a little unsure about the way they see themselves into gorgeous pieces of art!! I ended up giving the finished photos to mu husband for Father's Day, and he about fell over with surprise! He had no idea that I did this, and was probably just as surprised as I was with the results. Don't get me wrong, my husband thinks I am the most beautiful woman in the world (I don't always agree) but he hasn't seen me all dolled up in a very long time!! 

And dolled-up is what I got!! I am a professional make-up artist by trade, but just like with life as we know it now, it becomes very difficult to find time to even shower some days, let alone do hair or make-up. When you are spending days taking care of a wounded soldier, two kids, animals, a house… it takes its toll on a person. 

You can find time for YOU!! Even if its a matter of taking yourself out for a short drive, go down to your favorite spot and just breath in the fresh air for 20 minutes. No reading, no pampering, no phone calls… just you and your self for 20 minutes. At least twice a month.  You can find time for you. 

This journey is just getting started for me. You can begin your own journey, just make the first step. Plan a date for yourself. If it makes it easier, make a date with a friend. Just get out and away from "life" for 20 minutes. 

I have plans for me coming up and I will continue to post my "DSFY" so you can be inspired too!!

Listening to: Dr Phil is on in the back ground

Luke 18:27 Jesus replied, "What is impossible with man is possible with God"

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Adventures in DSFY Wonderland...

As far as remembering to do something for myself goes, this week I pretty much rocked it. I had the opportunity to check off some major bucket list items, and get some much needed me-time, along with having a chance to spend some  quality time with the hubs, kiddos, and the bestie!

This week was fairly stressful at work, so in order to retain my sanity and keep my promise -to myself and all of you- of remembering to take time to do things that are important to me, I planned a few fun filled weekend (which actually started mid-week) to decompress, unwind, and relax. This weekend has been fantastic, and it all started with a book, and one amazing author!

On Thursday night I went to a book signing of one of my favorite authors, Emily Giffin. Emily Giffin is an author best known for her books Something Borrowed, and Something Blue. Something Borrowed was actually adapted into a film starring Ginnifer Goodwin and Kate Hudson. You may have seen it already since it opened in theaters a few years ago, but just in case you haven’t, I’ll add a cover photo of the movie poster.

The signing was to promote her new book The One & Only and was held at Barnes and Noble in Los Angeles- it was incredible! I got there a little late due to traffic, but I was just in time to hear the last 30 minutes or so of Emily’s discussion and Q &A, and of course get my collection of books signed! Emily was great- she was funny, down to earth, such a sweetheart, and overall a joy to be around. Since I was nearly dead last to have my books signed, I had the rare opportunity to have a great one-on-one session with Emily, which pretty much made my week, and cemented my resolve in believing that Emily and I are now total BFF’s.

 The only unfortunate event of the night was that I completely spaced and forgot my memory card to my camera, so I pretty much missed out on taking any pictures while at the signing (that, and I just saw the exact same book- 6 dollars cheaper- at target already signed! But I digress). I did however take a snapshot after I got home to share with all of you here.

The next day after work, I headed over to my best Jane’s house- Jane C- for an evening out that, that turned into an evening of Sangrias and Tapas at one of my favorite restaurants, Seville. We talked, laughed, and had bottomless Sangrias to the backdrop of Spanish guitars serenading us to our hearts content. We sat outside since it was so warm out- honestly the entire night was so much fun, and definitely needed.

The next day, the hubs and I, sis-in-law, and kiddos headed out to the California Science Museum to see the Space Shuttle Endeavor, and the Pompeii exhibition. As a side note, I’m not a total space geek, but something about The Endeavor has always fascinated and excited me. In truth, the thought of launching into the dark unknown of space scares the crap out of me, but the idea of witnessing first-hand the majesties of the stars, and moon peak my interest and definitely take my breath away.

We spent about 45 minutes to an hour at the Endeavor, walking through the exhibits the science center had in place to educate all of us on how the Endeavor mission came to be, and just what went into making it all come together. The tour was pretty fun, but after 45 minutes, we were all eager to head over to the hanger that held the actually space shuttle. It wasn’t until 5 minutes before the center closed that we were able to finally enter the hanger, and experience for ourselves the wonders of the Endeavor. I was moved- truly moved, and the wait was absolutely worth it. I’m sure you’ll understand once you see…

Before taking the Endeavor tour, I took the kiddos around to a few of the other exhibits the Science Center had to offer. They had a BLAST! The Frogman was SO stoked at having the chance to tinker with all the displays they had available for the kids. He at one point turned to me and said "Mom, this is the best place EVER!!".

After all the Endeavor and science geeky fun, I FINALLY had the chance to have a family photo taken of my entire crew in the middle of The Rose Garden.

Everyone was in such good spirits, and it truly showed as the sis-in-law and I took turns capturing snapshots of the kiddos, and the hubs, the outside of the Science Center, and the amazing flowers of The Rose Garden.

All-in-all, the day was absolutely fantastic and the week of DSFY was a total success!

What did you guys do for yourselves this weekend? Leave a comment and tell Em and I all about it!

Health and Wellness Everyone!