My Words for 2018!

I am so excited for 2018. There is no real reason why, I just think I like the thrill of a new year. A fresh start of sorts. I’ve been working on my list of New Years Resolutions for the past couple months now and all the while have been trying to settle on my word for 2018 as well. I would get a good list going of creative words that I felt good about, but I always had the same word planted in the back of my mind during this whole decision making process. The reason I didn’t want to pick it though is because…it was the same word as I had picked for 2017. How boring and lame would it be to repeat the word? However, I pretty much focused on that word for January and February of 2017 then forgot all about it. In fact it wasn’t until a few days ago that I finally went back to my 2017 Resolution list that I even realized the word I was pretty sure I’d pick for 2018 was the same word I’d chosen for 2017. So I kept on searching for a new word and actually found two more I really loved, but I still couldn’t shake that original word. So I decided to mix it up a bit this year. Instead of one word for 2018, I have three. (the first is my original word)

KIND, BRAVE and TIME.

Kind: Heaven knows the world could use more kindness – why not try and put a little more into my small corner of the world? I have always felt a particular pull to this word. I want to be genuinely kind, always – or as much as possible. I want it to be real, too. It is easy to act kind on the outside but have a very different mindset on the inside. I want to have kind thoughts and kind words and deeds. I know very well this won’t happen overnight and will take practice and may be something I never truly master, but I do know I’m very capable of at least getting better at it. I want to be one of those people who everyone feels comfortable talking to and turning to because I am kind, gentle and loving. I know I’m not the funniest person, I’m not the most creative person, I’m not the wittiest person or most social person and I’m like 99% sure I never will be. But I can be one of the kindest people. I want to see the good in others, give people the benefit of the doubt, love unconditionally, be more charitable and give much, much more service. I want to be Christlike and be a light in others lives. I want to leave people feeling better than they did before.

Brave: This is definitely the scariest word for me. I am not very brave at all in any aspect of my life. I’m not saying I want to be brave in that I’m going to go hike to the top of Angels Landing and look over the edge (oh sheesh I just spiked my anxiety just typing that) because that is not going to happen. I want to be brave in my words and actions involving my family. I want to be better at standing up for myself. I want to be better at speaking my mind. I want to be better at not making it my life mission to avoid any and all confrontation. Stuff like that, you know? I’m getting antsy even thinking of potential scenarios…but I also know how life changing it could be for me even if I just improve a little bit. In 2018 I want to be braver than I’ve ever been.

Time: As I’ve reflected back on 2017 I noticed that the majority of my mom-guilt came from feeling like I didn’t manage my time well enough to give my kids, husband and even myself the best life I can provide. I am not good at time management and I probably never have been. But thats going to change this year. The priority for me is making sure my time is spent nurturing my children and creating a home that is a safe place for our family. I want to spend less time on my phone and on social media and reading blogs and more time on the floor playing with blocks, identifying shapes and colors and changing diapers while having funny conversations with my toddler and exchanging coos with my newborn. I want to be actively involved in conversation with my husband and be a sounding board for him when he comes home from work. I want to spend more time in the kitchen making meals and less time on the couch in front of the tv (but don’t worry, I’ll still make sure I save some time for tv because I’ve got to be me!) I am going to spend time tidying up the house and making it a place where you can have a clear head and less time doing something useless and letting things pile up on the floor and counter, creating a frustrating environment. My time is going to be much more well spent and my whole families life is going to benefit from this.

2017 was wonderful. I loved it, I really did, but I am so excited for this new year. Hello, 2018! I’m ready for you. Lets do this.

Happy New Year!

 

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Pray. Say thank you. 

I woke up with my husband this morning – which is code for: I woke up really early this morning. Like 5 or something gross like that. Of course, he didn’t know I woke up because I laid there with my eyes closed trying desperately to fall back asleep. I’m almost 35 weeks pregnant, so it’s no surprise that I didn’t have a great night of sleep last night. Our sweet little H who has been struggling to sleep all night lately laid beside me sleeping soundly and I was jealous. He looked so relaxed. So I tried really, really hard to fall back asleep. But every time I felt like I was at the brink of sleep, something would wake me up again. A movement from H, a sound from Wild Man out in the kitchen, a wiggle from baby boy, a sharp pain in my hip or another charlie horse in my leg. It was weird. It was like everything but my own brain was telling me to stay awake. 

I heard Wild Man leave and I could hear the dog adjust in her kennel out in the living room. Then there was silence. I laid in our dark room with my eyes open just wishing I was asleep. There seemed to be absolutely no reason to be awake at such an early hour. Then, what felt like out of nowhere I had a thought pop into my head: Pray. Say thank you. 

I’m a little bit embarrassed to say I didn’t immediately start a prayer. H was wiggling around and I was watching his funny little sleeping faces. Baby boy was also wiggling and I was trying to figure out what body part it was I could feel. I knew I should pray, but I guess in my mind I thought it could wait so I brushed it off. Both of my boys settled again and as I sat in the stillness and quiet and looked at H’s perfect little face I heard it run through my mind again: Pray! Say thank you! This time the thought was accompanied with a realization that it is because of Heavenly Father, who I pray to, that I have my sweet, healthy, almost two year old, my wiggly baby boy in my stomach and an incredible husband. I knew exactly what I was supposed to say thank you for now. 

I didn’t even sit up or kneel. I stayed in the same position in bed with my toddlers left arm draped over my face and his feet tucked under my belly. I closed my eyes and said a prayer in my mind. I thanked Heavenly Father for my many, many blessings – especially for my wonderful family. It wasn’t a long prayer and it didn’t feel particularly powerful. When I finished it, I didn’t feel as if I’d had some incredible experience. But as I sat there I came to realize I was feeling something I haven’t really felt the past week. 

I felt peace

I’m not sure what it’s been about the past little while in my life, but it’s been hard for me not to feel overwhelmed, inadequate or like I’m doing my role as a wife and mother. I have been easily upset at myself, I’ve been impatient, emotional and feeling very off. It’s been a struggle. I have a lot of craziness running through me, likely since I’ll be having a baby soon – but I felt like there was even more to it. I was a mess and my mind was a mess and (a lot like my house, lately) I couldn’t get it cleaned up and organized which just caused me to feel less and less peaceful and…ok. 

My shoulders felt a little lighter after this prayer. I felt like the elephant that’s been crushing my chest lately was gone – or at least less paralyzing – and I could feel my regular happiness starting to familiarize itself with my body again. That’s when I realized that this whole time I’ve been feeling miserable for myself, I’d been praying the whole time, but I was always asking for things. I was asking for help. Begging for relief. For things to go my way.  Complaining and venting. But I never stopped to take the time to pray about what was going right – what I was thankful for. It hit me like a ton of bricks. THATS why I was feeling off and that’s why my life seemed as if it had a little extra level of difficulty to it that I couldn’t figure out how to effectively combat. I wasn’t thanking Heavenly Father for my blessings! 

The sun hasn’t even come up yet. It’s not even 7 in the morning yet. Who knows if I’ll fall back asleep this morning or not. But I am grateful I woke up at 5am this morning (NEVER thought I’d say that) and they I finally said a prayer of thanks. I hope it has set the tone for my day. I hope this can be what flips this weird month around for me. I hope I will remember this experience and not go so long without being thankful for my blessings. I feel so good. I feel so light and happy. I feel like I was a dead battery and am now fully charged and ready to go. My mind is much clearer. 

It’s funny how the Lord works sometimes. But it’s always in the most perfect way for our individual needs. He answers prayers in His own way and His own timing and it’s always just what we need. 

Now let’s hope that with all this newfound light and clarity, my body and house can get on board 😉 

xoxo

ceeceesparkles 

My Little Boy

I have been hit pretty aggressively with the realization that we are down to just a few months of having just one child. Our sweet baby H. The perfect little bundle of joy who made us parents and introduced us to a happiness and overwhelming feeling of pride we never could have known if it weren’t for him. 

My heart is feeling torn in so many different directions. Of course I am beyond thrilled to have our second little boy in November. I’ve dreamt my whole life of having several kids and that’s still my dream! I am so excited to see H become a big brother and to finally meet this little brother of his. I am so anxious to see his face, to learn his personality and to soak all of him in. I actually feel more excited this time around, probably because this time I’m not so clueless. I know how special my children are now. I know how much I love them and how much I love being a mom. I can’t let myself dwell too much on this or else I turn into an emotional puddle. 

But then there is the part of me that knows how much H’s world is going to be rocked. Life as he knows it is going to drastically change and a part of me, in a weird way, feels a little bit guilty. People who often joke about how H is going to be second place, etc certainly don’t help the way I feel either. He is very accustomed to being the one and only. He’s used to undivided attention and snuggles on demand. I know it’s good for him to learn that the world in fact doesn’t revolve around him…but there’s still guilt!! 

I hope he can figure out quickly that he’s still so loved. Our love isn’t going to lessen for him even in the slightest. In fact I’ve heard the love we have for him will even grow! Our hearts are just going to get bigger so we can have the same amount of love for little brother! I hope he sees that he’s still our world, our joy and our tiny best buddy. Because he is – he always will be!

I know that especially once the baby is here I will feel differently. I’ll just know our new family of four is perfect and meant to be. I know that now, come to think of it – I’m just.. I don’t know. Am I even making sense or do I just sound crazy? I am so in love with this crazy 20 month old and I want him to never feel that his value has decreased just because another baby joined our family. It’s giving me so many emotions I honestly wasn’t anticipating. It’s funny how I am so far past elated for this new addition but at the same time feel a tinge of guilt. 

Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s ever felt like this? Also please tell me it’s just hormones or a phase or something and I’ll get over this before November?!

xoxo

ceeceesparkles 

Stop the Comparisons 2017

We have a cousin who’s daughter is just three weeks older than H. We are very close so we see a lot of each other and for the first several months of their lives I realized I was always comparing our babies to each other. Not in a who’s baby is better than who’s kind of way, but in that I was always comparing their milestones and achievements. I always felt like H’s cousin was progressing faster than him and it freaked me out and I spent way too long worrying that maybe, heaven forbid, there was something wrong with my perfect baby. I (thankfully) eventually came to realize that there wasn’t anything wrong, but that they are two different people who do things differently than one another. H was farther along on some things and his cousin was farther along on some things. Sometimes I feel like I spent so much time on worrying that H wasn’t just like his cousin that I missed out on really enjoying the current stage he was in.

Since I became mindful that I was doing this, I’ve come to realize I actually do it…like a lot. With so many different areas of my life. I cannot even count how many times I have made myself feel small and inadequate because I have compared myself to other people who I swore had it more together than I did. I’ve really felt this as a mom and housewife. I have one child and am pregnant and its seriously a struggle for me to always have my whole house clean. Then I think of my sister in law who is pregnant with her fifth child, or 99% of my friends who have more kids than me – and they all have these clean, organized homes. I’ve spent countless hours crying while I clean my kitchen, feeling overwhelmed that I’m a bad wife because I can’t do this one thing as good as so-and-so. Its draining and its debilitating. I am SO good at comparing myself to others and its a really rotten talent to possess. I could give you so many examples of times I have compared myself to someone else who is seemingly very near perfect at something, then looked at myself and have felt instant misery because I wasn’t at the same place they were. It takes you to a place of sadness, heartache, depression and a loss of self respect and love.

I know my husband and son love me and appreciate me, but so often its easy to feel undeserving of such feelings. How could my husband truly appreciate me when the sink is full of dirty dishes, theres toys all over the floor, I don’t know whats for dinner and the bed isn’t made – and lets not even mention the laundry. How does my son still idolize me when I stick him in front of the tv so often while I have a meltdown or try desperately to catch up on housework? Its feelings like these that start piling up way too easily and swiftly drag me down to a place of feeling so bad.

Not that long ago I became really aware somehow that I was letting these spiraling thoughts into my mind way too easily. So I decided to try and actively fight these evil thoughts. Its really hard not to compare yourself to all the ‘perfect‘ people in your life. Believe me, I know this from experience. Its hard to feel like you’ve done some good in your life and the life of your family when someone else has an immaculate home, perfect child, well-trained dog, a homemade meal on the table and has perfect hair and makeup every day.

But guess what? That perfect person most likely feels just like you do. Who knows, maybe they even think you’re the perfect person they keep comparing themselves to. Its very likely there is something you do really well that someone wishes they, too, did just as good. The things you think you’re bad at, someone could be wishing they did more like you. The reality is that none of us are perfect – we are all just trying. And its a lot easier to try and be the best version of ourselves when we only worry about ourselves – not about the neighbor. Everyone is struggling somewhere in their life. They have days where they feel awful, too. Even that Lifestyle Blogger who only posts the pretty and perfect things going on in her life.

Actively reminding myself of these facts was a game changer. I obviously don’t always remember this and have plenty of pity parties. But when I do remember that everyone is just trying to get better and the only person who I should be worrying about is myself, I do a lot better.

Its so easy to compare and its really hard not to. But oh my gosh when you stop worrying about what someone else’s home and life is like – life gets 100% better. I have been able to take more pride in what I’m doing around the home. I am able to see why my family values me. I am better able to go throughout my day with a clear mind and light heart. I am happier and calmer and have a lot less anxiety. It makes me more confident and relaxed. It takes concentration, mindfulness and focus but forgetting about all the other perfect people makes my life seem a lot more perfect.

It has been the biggest blessing to be able to feel like I’m sort of getting a grasp on this. I know myself, so I know this will be a constant, lifelong struggle for me, but I am so glad I know how to combat these feelings too. Also, talking with family and friends has worked wonders. The people around you who love you will really boost you up and remind you of your worth and will be able to help you see that no one is as perfect as you fear they might be.

I imagine I’m not the only one who feels like this from time to time. If you’re one of these people I really hope this post gave you some ideas or gave you some hope. We are all just doing our best!

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Back to Me!

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Finally at 22 weeks pregnant I am feeling almost 100% myself, again and I want to shout this good news from the rooftops! When I got pregnant with H, though I was really sick, I still felt *normal* as I could. I was able to get things done, I was able to find motivation even if it was just in small bursts, I was still myself more or less. But this time around it took me so long to feel that way. Like I said, I’m still not 100% but I can see and feel the changes finally. I’m able to keep the house clean, stay on top of laundry and do the dishes regularly. I can put effort into dinner again. I just feel so much better. So much more me!

This all came at the perfect time really because this past week poor H has been the sickest I’ve seen him. He got hit with a nasty bout of diarrhea and then also started throwing up. Just when I think he may be on the mend he has another yucky diaper or throws up again. Its kind of heart breaking. Seeing him laying on the couch for hours at a time just watching movies is sweet but also really sad. But thankfully now that I’m able to be motivated I’m able to keep up on the dirty laundry this poor sick boy has created in ever growing piles. I’m able to keep his room and bed (ohhh the messes that have happened in his crib) clean and sanitized and feel like I’m doing all that I can and should be doing to hopefully help him along the road to recovery. Its a good feeling – feeling like I’m able to give my all to being the best mom I know how to be to my more than deserving little guy.

I know this is a short, random little post. But I’m feeling really jazzed about feeling good. And really hoping H can join me soon in this feeling good party. ::fingers crossed::

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

 

Its Good to be ME

One of my New Years Resolutions for 2017 was to really focus on embracing who I am and not being embarrassed about certain pieces of myself. I have been lucky enough to have a pretty good track record in my life of being confident in myself – I mean of course there have been some things – but I have always been ok with being a little ‘different’ or ‘weird’ to people if it meant that I was happy with myself and was doing what felt was right to me. As we all know very, very well now, social media can be great and social media can be awful. For the most part I love it, but something I have noticed since really getting into the blogging world and opening myself up to more people is that I have lost some of that confidence in being exactly who I am and being proud of everything I am and everything I do. People share their opinions and their own thoughts on their blog, their Twitter, their Instagram, etc, and I read these things and so often I have noticed that according to them, I am doing something wrong or annoying or shameful or just embarrassing and for some dumb reason I start taking their words to heart and start telling myself I need to stop doing {insert thing here} because its wrong, annoying, shameful, embarrassing… But then in doing so I realize I really didn’t want to change that part of myself and then I go to this weird place of wanting to be like someone else and be genuinely liked by them, but also not wanting to lose my authentic self. In the end I usually am able to remind myself its ok to be me and I remind myself that other peoples opinions really shouldn’t define me or change me or even matter to me all that much. But still its hard sometimes to not feel that constant nagging in the back of my mind that what I’m doing is unacceptable and stupid to someone else and to continue on doing so anyway.

The last few days I have been thinking about this a lot. And I have come to the (obvious) realization that you can’t please everyone. No one is going to love, support and agree with every single thing you do and thats just fine because life would actually probably be really boring if everyone agreed with everything you did (although maybe we’d all get along better and the world would be a happier place?) So I now have this new boost of confidence and motivation to be me. The real me that is going to live life to the beat of my own drum and (try really hard to) not let other peoples opinions get to me so much that they begin to change me.

I am obsessed with Disney and I talk a lot about it. Maybe that makes me childish and immature to some and maybe you’re really sick of my Disney posts, but to me, it makes me happy and it makes me feel youthful and it makes me think of magical memories with my family.

I don’t use our real names on my public social media because my anxiety is that bad and I have heard so many nightmare stories about families in the media that to me, this is a way to keep us a little more safe. Maybe thats annoying and makes me seem paranoid to people – and if its annoying, sorry! And if it makes me seem paranoid, its because I AM.

I sell Lipsense. Even I will loudly admit, MLM’s are the worst! But I pride myself in the way I run my little side business – I’m not naggy, I don’t automatically add people to groups without their consent and I don’t fill up peoples social media timelines. If my posts I share bother people so much, they can scroll right past them or if its that bad, unfollow me. I like being able to (pretty stinkin’ easily) make some extra money just by playing with lipstick – and seeing as I am a licensed make up artist, I can’t really think of a better situation.

I am still nursing. Obviously it’s waaaaay less frequently now.. For quite a while it was the only thing my son would reliably eat. I am not sure why but my milk supply has really not even started to dwindle. I produce SO much – like I’ve been nursing over a year and I still leak and spray! TMI? It’s insane. But that’s not the point. It still feels like nursing is still right for us. It’s really just before naps or bed now and I’m sure it’ll happen even less soon, but it’s what we still do and I know that’s weird to a lot of people, but I do what I feel is best for my baby and I stand by it.

I choose not to swear. Its a personal decision I made when I was young and its something that makes me, me. People call me Molly Mormon because of this, they assume I am a prude and am judgmental and all ‘holier than thou’ and that is SO not the case. I just do it because it makes me happy.

I am terrified of offending people. It makes me act awkward and say weird stuff and I have got some interesting comments from others because of this. I have attempted to be a little more confrontational and straight forward but it is NOT me. The only time I really get confrontational is when I feel the need to protect or defend my son. It doesn’t make me weak, it doesn’t make me easy and it doesn’t mean I’m shy.

Really I could go on with these things. Some are things I have heard since I was little and some are things I have heard more recently. I’m not saying at all that I’m picked on, bullied and people are always talking bad about me. As far as I know this actually very seldom happens (thank heavens/i hope) but I still find that I easily get embarrassed about these traits I have that make me who I am because someone else has a different opinion or a negative thought about it. Ugh.

Does any of this even make sense? Do I just sound like a whiny baby right now? I promise that wasn’t the point of this post. It was just more to say I am proud of who I am! I like who I am and what I do and how I go about my life and how I am raising my child. I like being me and I do all things in my life in the way that feels best for me and my family. I know not everyone agrees with everything I am doing but thats just fine! Thats the beauty of agency – we all get to decide things for ourselves and form our own, unique opinions.

I’m excited to keep this momentum going. I feel like this will open up a lot of new doors for me. I’ll have more blog content thats personal and exciting to me. I won’t feel so embarrassed and like I’m surely going to lose followers/friends/respect when I post something or talk about something that I know some people roll their eyes at. I’m just going to be me and roll with it! I’m going to be proud of myself and all the weirdness that comes with me because I really do like myself and I really do love my life!

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Perspective

I get really, really caught up in things that I know better than to get wrapped up in. I start thinking the way I dress, the make up I buy and wear, the way I do my hair, the way I present myself and the state of my house is super important. I allow myself to believe that some of the most vital things are if the laundry is done, the floors are swept and mopped and if my home somehow doesn’t look like I have a hyper one year-old living in it when I actually do. Oh and don’t forget how important it is to be emotionally stable at all times and ensure that everything in your life is happy, bright and shiny. Of course its completely impossible to attain this kind of lifestyle, but somehow I still find myself in ruts when I strive to be that ‘perfect’ person with a ‘perfect’ life and so on.

Thank goodness Heavenly Father has His ways of reminding you very quickly that there are things SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT. Sometimes He reminds you in gentle, soft ways and other times He reminds you in loud, scary, earth shaking ways. But He always gets His point across and the reminder is blatantly there.

Not very long ago I got my reminder. It wasn’t the first and it won’t be the last, but it was a reminder unlike one I have every had in my life. It brought with it a lot of fear, worry and uncertainty, but it also brought an insane amount of miracles, blessings and life lessons like you wouldn’t believe. Its always weird to say you’re thankful for a trial (especially when you’re in the midst of it) but when you finally are able to even start getting the smallest glimpses of the bigger picture its amazing what you’re able to see and realize how much you have grown and how much growing you still have ahead of you. I think thats the stage I am in right now. There is a long road of understanding and comprehending ahead, but I have seen glimpses and I have already seen blessings and lessons surface and even though its easy to get swept up in ‘why me?’ and ‘this is terrible’ its kind of awesome to see what the Lord has in store for me and my family and our friends because of the trials He gives.

In short, if your house is messy and your dishes aren’t done and theres a pile of dirty laundry in your room – there is a lot more things of much greater importance that are in your life. If you didn’t do your hair or make up and you’re wearing dirty clothes, its not the end of the world. There are much more important things. If your home was left messy because you were spending time with your family or offering service to someone in need – in my opinion you’ve chosen the right task. Family, service, love and being there for one another is so much greater than vacuuming and making your bed every morning. I’m not saying your home can now turn into a disaster though. I just can’t stop thinking about how much more people are than what your house looks like. Priorities get mixed up I think. And also, its ok to cry! Its ok to be miserable and be confused. Its ok to tell people you aren’t happy and your heart is heavy. Its ok to show people that your life isn’t perfect. Its ok to fall apart sometimes and be raw and real and ask people for help and prayers. You don’t have to be perfect! Ever! Because no one is or every will be. I think its better if we embrace how messy and weird life is.

…can you tell I have a lot on my mind and have no idea how to properly voice it?

This is probably so jumbled and may not make any sense at all. But I have been feeling a lot of things lately and I just really felt like I wanted to share this and remind you guys we aren’t given challenges we can’t handle and we are given trials to learn from and grow from. I also want to remind you to be kind and respect people. Keep in mind you never know what they’re going through and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Say I love you, give support, lend a helping hand and don’t shy away from service. Let people vent to you, be a shoulder to cry on and never let people forget you are there for them. We are here to help each other, to love each other and to travel together on this journey. I’m grateful for those people in my life, for you reading this and especially for my wonderful family.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles