Tuesday, September 16, 2014

"Lifetime to Learn" {by my friend, Anonymous}

Hi loveys,
Today, a dear friend of mine has reached THIRTY DAYS of sobriety.  Today I celebrate her by sharing her words that she writes each day.  The words you will read have filled me with hope.  They have also filled me with pride for my friend.  So very proud of my girl, Anonymous.  Words are power...Read on, loveys, read on. 

Lifetime to Learn

"For the first decade of our life our brain is wide open and is ready to absorb all things that life has to show us.  Our brain is stimulated with each lesson the various people that come in and out of our lives are trying to teach us.  Our brain's constant craving for more knowledge excites all of our senses.  We marvel in all the many things our eyes can see.  We are mesmerized by a multitude of emotions and sensations we feel either by touch or within our souls.  The smell of some beef on an open fire is as stimulating to us as the smell that a startled skunk expels.  The two smells are on two different ends of the spectrum but they both stimulate our brain.

During the second decade of our lives our mind begins to interpret what our brain is in-taking.  I must stop right here and explain a very important concept.  The brain is a tool.  It can solve a math problem, it can create a poem, it can recall a drug dealer's telephone number.  But when you can't stop thinking of that math problem or the drug dealer's number or when random thoughts and memories arise without your intent, that is not your brain working, but your mind wandering.  At this point, your mind controls you and you have run wild. 

During my third decade of life, I let my mind take complete control of my very existence and it lead me astray.  It had me thinking that I knew all that had to be known and I needed no further guidance from my Higher Power (HP).  I did not turn my back on Him, I just went off on my own.  Today, I have finally proven to myself that I don't know what the hell is going on because I am lost in the twisted weeds of self-reliance and self will.  I am stunting my growth.

In order to begin to grow again, I need to find sobriety's reality.  They say it is filled with a sense of purpose and a joy of freedom.  I have to finally understand that my past is not a shameful one that I have to lie about or avoid talking about.  For it is the roots of my life that is set deep in the ground and is necessary for me to grow.

The Red Head
An older red head man once told me, "You have to stop getting in your own fucking way.  You should be tired by now, by thinking you can do everything on your own."  Once those words soaked in my brain, I realized that my HP knows my history and I can confide everything in Him.  You see, my HP stood by patiently and waited until I cam back to Him and He welcomed me with open arms.  All of this time, I was never alone, my HP was always there.  Thank,s Red Head Man, for snapping me back into reality.

Ha Ha Ha
When I laugh at myself I feel more willing to grow.  I can't take life too seriously because that is when the brain puts on the brakes and the mind steps on the accelerator.  If I am not so serious, I can focus on my recovery.  If I focus on my recovery, I can move one baby step closer to my purpose, I can make progress.  If I make progress, I can look back and laugh at myself.

Action Figures
I have to take responsibility of my actions.  I have to take responsibility of my life as it is, or circumstances for my predicament.  I caused me to hit the bottom.  As I open my eyes, I realized that my health, happiness, and even circumstances of my life have been arranged for me.  By being open-minded to the 12 Step process, I have began to be responsible for me.

Up to Me
The last thing is that I have to constantly remember..."I will get out of this what I put into into this."  I have to believe I can do it although I do not know what I am doing.  You see, no one said the 12 Step process was going to be a piece of cake.  Yet no one said it is like taking the California bar exam.  So what is spiritual growth?  What will make me more connected to working the 12 Steps?  I am not all-knowing, but I do know...

...it is what I make of it."

Thank you for reading my friend's words.  Remember that each of us has a mighty force behind us...willing us to be brave, strong, and enough.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

TIGF: Things I'm Grateful For

Monday's Post.  The first post of this week was so good for my soul.  I needed to be real on here and talk about what was really on my heart.  Thank you so much for your comments and love to that post.  It meant so much to read those comments and see that I am not alone.  We all have something in our lives that we need to work through.  It makes my heart happy.

Working Out.  I started working out on Monday!  I am so proud of myself.  I'm doing the Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred and it is making me work.  Feel the burn!  It's pretty cool to sweat and feel the muscles working.  I feel like I am accomplishing something.  I'm so grateful to myself on this.  I look forward to seeing how my body changes.  Now I'm in search of a good meal plan.  Any suggestions?

My Husband.  Last night, I walked into the kitchen and watched as my husband was washing dishes.  This overwhelming feeling of love came over me for him.  No, not because he was washing dishes, but it hit me that he is all mine.  This life is so much sweeter with him in it.  We will be celebrating ten years of marriage this February, thirteen years of dating in November, and being friends since August 1989.  My husband, boyfriend, and best friend for all this time.   Super awesome, right? :)

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Thursday, September 11, 2014


I don't feel like I can just write or blog as I normally do on this day every year.
It's a day for few words and some type of blog silence.


To the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters,

 wives, husbands, daughters, sons,

 girlfriends, boyfriends, co-workers, and best friends of the

 people who died that day -

Our prayers are with you.

We. Will. Never. Forget.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My hair and skin thanks you! {The Gnarly Whale}

This product review is a coincidence, really. I received these products from Ashley as a gift and then thought I should tell you all about it. Visit The Gnarly Whale. What are you waiting for? 

The thing about blogging is that you can foster some pretty amazing friendships because of it.  Take me and Ashley, for instance.

I started blogging about some four years ago.  I began to connect with a lot of different bloggers online, some that I am still friends with.  Ashley was one of those ladies.  Ashley, the one that left her nine-to-five to pursue her dreams.  Ashley, the one with all the tips and inspiration a mama and blogger needs.

At the time she had a different blog, After Nine to Five, and I did too, Cover to Cover...and Everything in Between.  Gosh, it feels like so long ago!  I had no idea what I was doing in this blogging world and then I started following Ashley and everything became really clear.  She inspired me to be a better blogger.  We would comment on each others' blogs, you know the usual.   And then it happened...a friendship began to form.

I left the blogging world for a bit and then came back with a vengeance - I was going to be me.  I was going to inspire my readers.  I was going to tell my story.  The pretty truths and the not so much ones.  I was going to take a lesson from Ashley.  I reconnected with Ashley a few months ago and it has been great.

She now blogs over at Hello Nature and I love going to her space and learning more about her.  That's how I found about her shop, The Gnarly Whale.  She is pursuing her dreams, loveys!  She and her husband own The Gnarly Whale, a shop that "strives to provide low-impact, minimal ingredient beauty, bath, and body products to dudes and dudettes around the world." Pretty special, right?!
Not only that, but The Gnarly Whale's "products are 100% vegan and cruelty free. Final product testing [are] done on humans."  That means no animal testing.  Which also means that if humans aren't harmed in any of the testing, then it's Number One in my book!

I have really sensitive skin.  It's pretty annoying.  Trying to find products that work with my hair and body is sometimes difficult.  That is until Ashley sent me some products from her shop!  I got a bunch of things in a package one afternoon and squealed with excitement when I opened the package.  She had told me she was going to send me a little something, but wow!  That's a lot of little somethings up there!

I got body spray, hair detangler, beach waves, milk soap, sugar scrub, toner, and two lip balms.  I have used the Mimosa lip balm on the daily, as well as the detangler and beach waves.  I don't feel itchy after I use her products.  My skin and scalp don't get irritated.  All the products are natural - I was so surprised not to see one ingredient that I couldn't pronounce.

I'm trying not to use all the stuff at once.  I'm savoring this sweet natural treat.  Although I've already made a date with myself to take a glorious long shower this weekend with that Pink Grapefruir coconut milk soap and exfoliating every inch of my body with the Lemon exfoliating sugar scrub.

I've already put a bunch of her products on my Xmas wish list.  Life is pretty grand right now.

See, the thing about blogging is...
You not only gain some pretty wonderful friends and confidants, but you get some pretty awesome skin and hair in the process.

Thank you so much, Ashley, for the wonderful care package and this undeniably wonderful friendship we have.  Thanks for always reminding me to shine.  Love ya babe!

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One more thing...You can find The Gnarly Whale products online, at Urban Outfitters, and more.
Oh, and...If you want to get your Gnarly Whale on, I noticed the shop is having a sale!  You're Welcome:)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Keeping it Real

I shouldn't have stopped taking my meds.  I shouldn't have let my prescription run out.  I shouldn't have thought that I could handle life without my Lexapro.  It was a mistake.  I need to take medication to even out.  I need it to feel on instead of always feeling off.  My husband noticed this morning.  "Baby, have you stopped taking your happy pills?" I told him I had and that I was ashamed that I had to take them.  He told me that he would rather me take them so that I'm not unhappy anymore.  He understands that I can't take life on my own.  He knows that I have a little switch inside of me that needs to be turned on by that little white pill.  He doesn't make me feel bad about taking them.  He knows that it's not my fault I'm like this.  He knows that I'm not 100% mentally normal and that the little white pill helps me achieve normalcy.  Well, normal for me.  

Lexapro makes me myself.  That self that conquer anything, the self that is brave and strong.  Without it, unfortunately, I am not any of those things at all.

On top of the medication, I also need to take care of myself.  I haven't been taking care of myself physically or spiritually.  I haven't been taking care of my body.  I haven't been exercising or eating healthy.  I haven't been talking to God much either.  

I have to remember that I need to speak to Him when I need help.  When I feel lonely, even in a room full of people, or my thoughts are in darkness, even on days that are supposed to be the happiest...I need to start talking to Him and putting everything in His hands.

I forget to do that.  I forget to put Him first so that He can take care of everything.  I forget that I need God, medication, a healthy lifestyle, and my family to survive this life.  Actually, I don't forget about my family.  I always put them first.  I try to be selfless when it comes to them.  It's all those other sides of my life that take a back seat so much.

I need to stop doing that.  I need to set my priorities straight so that I don't get overwhelmed with this life My Father has given me.  I need to remember that although I need to take a little white pill to make life a little easier, I shouldn't feel bad about it.  I shouldn't feel less because a pill helps me to feel more.  I shouldn't feel embarrassed that my mind attacks me more than the average person.

I have to remember that God put me into this life because He knew I could handle it.  He knows me better than anyone.  He believes in me.

It's time I start doing the same for myself.

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Friday, September 5, 2014

TIGF - a shit week.

It's been a really rough week.  

This morning, as I was trying to figure out what gratefulness I could take out of these last few days, I just couldn't.  I'm pretty exhausted - mentally, physically, emotionally.

But then...the light bulb flashed in my brain.

I figured out  what the only logical answer to that question.  

Yes, I've had a not-so-awesome week, but the gratefulness is in the road I'm traveling.  I am grateful that this was a bad week.  It reminds me that it's not like this forever.  I am going through certain things this week that open my eyes to what I really want.  

I will take this journey in stride.

Each step takes me to the destination that is so worth all the shit I may be going through.  It's His promise.  

My Father never keeps me in the potholes too long.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

You are pretty wonderful, you know that?

You get yourself up every morning, ready for a new day.  You get the kids' breakfast made, pack up their school snacks, lay out their school uniforms, make work lunches for you and your hubby, get everyone fed and out the door in record time.  

You grab a coffee on the way to work and read your Econ text while the hubby drives.  You work your 8-5, fitting in lunch between meetings, and try to take a break here and there to see if you can get some homework done.  You get inspired by the life around you and write a blog post.  You snap photos of your coffee, lunch, and maybe a selfie here and there to keep your blog friends up to date on your life.  

The work day ends, you drive home with the hubby and get more Econ reading in, get the kids from after-school care, showers, dinner, cuddle time, and then put the kids to sleep.  You put the laundry in the dryer, wash dishes, cuddle with the hubby a little, and then you sleep.

You are pretty wonderful, you know that?  

There is more in your everyday than just the words I just typed out up there.  

You get it done.  You fit in work, school, family, love, children, friends, and so much more in this life of yours.  You are doing an amazing job.  I'm proud of you.

Each and every one of our lives are different.  I know that.  Some of us are way busier than others.  We have so much on our plates - the stress, the hustle and bustle - but then, out of the blue, beneath all those tired moments of busyness, there are those quiet moments were you get to kick up your feet and exhale.

You look at this life you have created and feel good.  You are your own brand of fabulousness and you can do anything.  There is nothing that can get in the way of this absolute phenomenal life that you have.  

It makes me happy to know that.  You have been through some ups and downs in your life.  You've struggled like so many of us before you.  You have felt at times like you want more but don't know how to get to it.  But you persevere.

You stand up, get going, and fight.  You make this life worth living.  You are loved.  You are strong.  You are brave.  Every single day...

We are pretty wonderful, right?!  

This was as much for me as it is for us.  That "Us" that knows that when it gets rough out there, or we feel like we can't put one more step in front of the other, that "Us" just knows.  

"Us" knows we have each other.  We know that the grass is greener where you water it.  We know we can do this thing!

We've got each other.  We have each others' backs and it feels good to know that you are there for me.  I'm there for you too, babe.

Don'tcha forget it, you wonderful woman, you! 

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