Sunday, October 28, 2012

My rant

Who believes in the future?  Who believes that the future is the decisions that you make now?   My mom asked me about voting and I just babbled on and on about no one taking personal responsibility for their own actions and finances.  I rant only when I have recently seen my own faults.  I was feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders and complaining about money, my relationship, taxes (dang taxes) and feeling like there was no path to a brighter future.  My negativity wasn't coming from only the external, it was coming from poor choices I've made "in the moment", blaming others, and lack of time management.  It was time for some internal weight to be taken off.

That extra weight of the world may be coming from your own decisions if...
  • you are late paying rent but just bought the latest Halo game for XBOX
  • your electricity nearly gets shut off every month but you just filled a cart full of non-essentials at Target
  • you can't afford healthcare but you eat out every day, smoke a pack a day, and drink $40 worth of booze every weekend.  
  • you complain about not having money and then eat out every day 
  • you tell everyone and their dog about your problems but don't do anything to change them
  • you would rather take vacations... then pay your mortgage
  • you grab a coffee, scone, and leave a tip and then panic when you overdraft your bank account
  • you complain about taxes but do you really know how much you pay in taxes compared to how much "good" marketing sucked you right into the IPHONE5, a case for it, a charger for home and your car, and a few apps?
  • you talk about gas prices going up but haven't peddled a bike or walked a few blocks in years
  • you say you have no time for anything but you update your facebook status, instagram, and twitter 12 times per day
  • you say that you should reeeeally clean your car out but a rerun of the Kardashians is on
  • you say that you never see your spouse but you're online 2 hours a day
  • you say that counseling isn't for you but you tell all your friends all your issues
  • you tell everyone that you just don't understand why your kid can't pull it together but you never let them learn or grow because you want to be a hero all day and clean up their messes for them
  • you don't have time to volunteer to help others but you find yourself at Walmart in the clearance aisle for 30 minutes at a time plus the other 45 minutes where you add $50 more dollars worth of crap in your cart that you don't need
  • you can't afford to eat healthy but you can afford beer and cigs
  • you continue to buy the latest clothing styles, phones, toys, gadgets, etc for your kids but wonder why they don't respect you when you say no, or don't make time for you or the family.  (You are teaching them to take you for granted) 
  • you are jealous of everyone else's stuff so you go buy your own stuff only to regret it, just like the person you were admiring did after they bought all their stuff
Honestly, I'm not on a high horse, I just hired a financial adviser to help us see the big picture of our future because I have chosen several of these options.  I easily had several of these things on my list!  I hated the way I felt about my future and I was getting so stuck in the problems of today that I forgot the hope of tomorrow.  

I recently had a realization that my life is continuing to go at the same pace  it always has.  I KNOW, REVOLUTION!  It's not slowing down!  If I am going around in circles with my financial situation because I can't handle walking into Target or a mall without blowing my savings, then we have a problem.  Yes, I do love to save but I also love shoes!  I have to make a choice of buying shoes that will be out of style next year or invest in my long term future.  Honestly, shoes win about half the time.  I do love my husband but if I'm not daily or heck, even weekly investing in him then I'm not investing in my future with him.  I talk to people of all ages and I have come to realize that we really don't change if we don't change.  Age doesn't change a person, a person who takes the time to make a change is the only way that people change.  Sometimes it takes almost losing a life to change and sometimes you lose your business, your house, your kids, your job, your car, your spouse, or your best friend.  

Change isn't always about the right timing or a feeling, it's about investing in your future.  If you have a vision for your child, then invest in your child, start a savings for them, teach them how to respect others and prepare for the future, teach them to contribute to society instead of only taking.  Don't wait for the future to change you, you change your future.  Think positively about it, write down goals, take your time to make time for important things.  If you write your goals down, map it out, dream it, envision it, walk it, and live it. Ignore negativity and for goodness sake, stop saying YOLO (you only live once) while you blow your future dreams only to wake up and it's reality and you have to start over...AGAIN.  Ask for help, get accountability for goal setting, make sacrifices.  Do you really need the latest and greatest?  Ask yourself where that need is coming from, do you want acceptance, do you think you aren't great enough as you are?  Like yourself, and love yourself.  

I know that voting does make a difference but don't get sucked into the negativity.  Let's talk about the good stories, lets start at home with positive words and let it spread.  Pay it forward by giving someone a compliment, make a lunch for someone, carpool, go for a walk with a new friend, make your significant other feel special, and take time to volunteer.  Remember the "Golden Rule", do unto others as you would have them do to you.  Take responsibility for your actions because that will make the world change.

And as that band Wilson-Phillip said in 1990 ...  I just got that song stuck in your head, don't deny it, you're going to sing it all day :)  You're welcome.

I know this pain 
Why do lock yourself up in these chains? 
No one can change your life except for you 
Don't ever let anyone step all over you 
Just open your heart and your mind 
Is it really fair to feel this way inside? 

Some day somebody's gonna make you want to 
Turn around and say goodbye 
Until then baby are you going to let them 
Hold you down and make you cry 
Don't you know? 
Don't you know things can change 
Things'll go your way 
If you hold on for one more day 
Can you hold on for one more day 
Things'll go your way 
Hold on for one more day 

You could sustain 
Or are you comfortable with the pain? 
You've got no one to blame for your unhappiness 
You got yourself into your own mess 
Lettin' your worries pass you by 
Don't you think it's worth your time 
To change your mind? 

[ Lyrics from: ] 
I know that there is pain 
But you hold on for one more day and 
Break free the chains 
Yeah I know that there is pain 
But you hold on for one more day and you 
Break free, break from the chains 

Some day somebody's gonna make you want to 
Turn around and say goodbye 
Until then baby are you going to let them 
Hold you down and make you cry 
Don't you know? 
Don't you know things can change 
Things'll go your way 
If you hold on for one more day yeah 
If you hold on 

Don't you know things can change 
Things'll go your way 
If you hold on for one more day, 
If you hold on 
Can you hold on 
Hold on baby 
Won't you tell me now 
Hold on for one more day 'cause 
It's gonna go your way 

Don't you know things can change 
Things'll go your way 
If you hold on for one more day 
Can't you change it this time 

Make up your mind 
Hold on 
Hold on 
Baby hold on

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Give it up

Giving did not come to me as a natural gift.  It's something I've prayed about for years.  I've always had this natural desire to keep and save.  Save and keep.  I would save my halloween candy for a year and only eat one piece at a time.  What a strange thing for a child to do.  I couldn't give up clothing, toys, old notebooks, or work books for anything.  I hauled stuffed animals around with me for until I was 21 years old and I met my husband.  He gave me a huge television box and told me to throw all the stuff I don't need into it.  I gasped and felt a twist in my gut.  What if throwing all that away made me forget what it was like when I was younger?  He gave me a much smaller box and said, "choose carefully".  What ended up happening was he went to work and then came home several hours later to me surrounded by a pile of nastalgia.  I was reminiscing over toys and pictures and shoes.  Oh, how I love shoes.  Below, you'll see my love of shoes looks like a taiwanese shoe store at the night market.  It's GLORIOUS!  Hahaha!

I eventually threw out, gave away, consigned several things and felt lighter.  I don't regret it, I don't look back and think about that thing I don't remember because I didn't need it if I don't remember it.  Make sense?  Anyways, I since have prayed about having a more generous heart with things, money, my talents, and time.  I don't mean spreading myself thin but I mean having a heart for people and investing in human hearts.  That of course, is what it's all about right?  What's the point of living on this beautiful earth if you are only going to take take take.  NOTHING.  If we aren't investing in relationships, what are we investing in?

I knew when God told Scott and I to open a salon, that he meant not to make us rich in money but rich in community.  He has led us in various ways to give and I'm so thankful God has transformed my heart from a scrooge to someone who loves to give.  We are humbled all the time by His perfect plan.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Human shield

Every year there is life and death.  Last year my baby was brought to life through some crazy miracle of a sperm meeting an egg, then I grew this person inside of me for quite some time, then I pushed this person out of my twa-twa (as my mom use to call it) and THEN i fed this person all the nutrition she could possibly need.  WHOA!  One whole year flew by and as I like to say, everything that's good goes fast except for the last 8 weeks of pregnancy.  As I've watched the miracle of life, I have also experienced the fragility of life and relationships.  As of maybe 7 years ago, I wasn't personally in touch with how life and death worked.  My grandpa passed away in 2006 of old age.  He was a fantastic grandpa with a sense of humor that he made work for him up until his last breath.  I witnessed his death and it was life altering because I literally felt the presence of his spirit leave.  I tear up thinking about him basking in the sun in our front yard with his shirt sleeves rolled up and his face tilted up towards the sun.  I always knew, as a kid, that on any given day I would see him either in our yard or in the blue la-z-boy chair in the living room.  Years have passed and there hasn't been a death that impacted me so much.  Or at least that I let impact me.

Cancer...we're all f'ed.  Isn't that how it feels when every week/month/year someone close to you or you work with is cursed with the word cancer.  I remember I had a client who was 24 years old when he told me he had cancer.  I was shocked because I was 24.  Probably, much to his annoyance, I questioned him about his first symptoms, his diagnosis, his prognosis, his treatments and his emotions.  He kept coming back to me for haircuts so somehow, I must have not chased him off with my naive questions.  This young man was fortunate enough to see the cancer move on.  That's what cancer does, even though not contagious, it just seems to move on and next thing you know, you're hearing the next person's story of cancer.

Our world doesn't have an outbreak of cancer but a deficiency of love.  We are in a drought of love.  I'm not talking about a feeling, I'm not talking about reality tv love, I'm talking about the real gritty love that God calls us to.  The selfless love that spreads steady and with a foundation so firm it can not be ripped away from you.  What was meant for evil, turns to good and turns to love.

Through this evil, I've seen families run together that were once parted by selfishness and hurt.  I've seen the immense strength and determination to fight for somebody's life.  Friends who forget to keep in touch suddenly step in and take action to act as a shield.  People are literally using themselves as weapons against this damn cancer.  Where there was no money, there's money to help with bills.  Where there was no hope, there is suddenly a new sunny day.  Where the prognosis was 6 months, the patient lives an extra two years.  Where there is death, there is a people left behind praising God for the time they had together.  Where a life had no meaning, damn it, people find meaning.  Where people couldn't find time, they make new priorities.  We are reduced down to what we are made from, LOVE.  Some people get scared and run but most of the time you will observe a human fortress of love overcome the sick.

I sent this verse to a friend yesterday

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.     JAMES 1:2-4

Remember there is work being done in us that we can not see until it has been done.

My heart goes out to you that suffer and are sick.  I cry because I know that I'm not immune to evil touching my life but I rejoice always because I know that I will have a human fortress putting up their shields and pointing their swords outward ready to slay evil.  Thank God for the strength He gives us to battle for love.  It's not always about life but it is always about LOVE.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Part 1 and Part two...what a day!

1st Part of the day:
Today started out with Rhylan being brought to me while I was in bed.  She laid on my lap and said some words then laughed.  It brought so much joy to the start of my day.  After getting ready for work, I headed to the main floor just in time to hear Scott yell, "help! help!"  I headed towards the voice.  Scott and Rhylan were in the bathroom and he said, "Hurry, help me!  I was taking her to the toilet to poop but she already started in her diaper and now it's all over her leg!"  This was all said in a panicky voice and I couldn't help but laugh.  Scott held her hands up and I wiped her legs.  Suddenly, she was pooping again and it dropped out on the wipe I was holding so we threw her back on the toilet.  She finished there and we started to clean her up again and there it was again!  She was pooping some more!  I couldn't catch it this time and it hit the bathroom rug.  We were laughing and trying to contain the poop but it was impossible.  She stepped in it first, then found a way to get her hands in it.  I was trying to wipe her as she was pooping and smearing it everywhere.  Scott's hands were poop smeared as well.  I pulled her dress off of her and told Scott we needed to shower her because I wasn't hauling her poopy body upstairs.  He told me I needed to do it but I refused as I pulled off his shorts and pushed him into the shower.  He was reluctant to shower with our poopy baby but I didn't want her to leave a poop trail around our house.  She stood in the shower with her naked dad as he used Axe body wash to clean her off.  I wrapped her up in the towel and she smelled just like a teenage boy but I suppose that's much better than feces.  Baths are a common event in our house these days.  Who knew babies were so messy?

2nd Part of the day:

I was wrapping up at work tonight when Scott called with Rhylan fussing in the background.  He told me to hurry home because there was a big bruise on her chest and a vein coming from it.  I really didn't know what to think but I am not prone to panic so I didn't.  When I came home, Scott was feeding her and she seemed a little out of sorts so I asked him to show me the bruise and vein.  I then stepped into the kitchen, grabbed a rag and wiped it off.  That's right, it was something sticky on her chest that attracted dirt that made a dark spot on her.  I appreciate that he was concerned and started to google "bruised chest with vein on baby."  If I hadn't arrived when I did I'm sure he would've ended up at the ER with her.  He's such a good dad :)  I'm just glad that we didn't get charged $1000 for cleaning our kid.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I may offend

Recently went to the aquatic center here in Ames and I was saddened.  I'm not going to beat around the bush.  The number of 8-17 year olds that I saw wearing string bikinis was appalling.  I couldn't believe that these little girls who either didn't have any curves or were just developing were wearing hardly anything.  It only made them look 5 years older...ONLY?  I was super bummed out.

When I was 13, my mom allowed me to wear a two piece swimsuit but it was modest.  No bikini for me at that age.  I know that it looks cute to dress your daughter up in clothes that make her look like a little woman but let's be honest about who's looking at them.  It would be peaches if the average age that someone was exposed to porn wasn't 11 years old.  It would be awesome if the USA didn't have the highest rate of pornographic movies produced.  It would be super if the average age of the viewing audience of porn wasn't men ages 35-48.  It would be great if there weren't over 7 million people searching for teen porn every day.  Wouldn't it be relieving if 34% of teen girls didn't feel pressured to send sexually suggestive content via text or social media to feel "sexy".  It would be a wonderful world if there weren't over 100,000 girls 9-19 years old abducted and sold into sex trafficking. 

Sadly, these are real statistics.  Next time you think your 10 year old is just a 10 year old and it's cute to see her in a string bikini, think again.  It's cute to you but to some, she looks like a 15 year old and is seen as a sexual person.  

I'm not judging anyone but I do caution you to dress your daughter in more age appropriate clothing and watch out for what she puts on the internet.  Here are some really cute, appropriate swimsuits.  They're out there, but maybe just not at Target or other popular places.  It's worth the time to look though.  You're daughter is worth it.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Little Bitty

Rhylan Jo

10 months old
9 month check up: 16.12 lbs, 27 inches long

8 teeth

Can now fit into size 3 diapers

She eats like a champ:
All foods including June bugs

Stood on her own one day before she turned 9 months

Took 2 steps at 9 1/2 months

Walking shortly before 10 months old

Special skills:
Waving, clapping, holding toys in her mouth in movement (like a dog), can bump her head and get right back to work without crying, sign "all done" and "food", spit whatever is in her mouth into mommy's hand, crawl up stairs (since 7 months old), drink out of a sippy cup, says "whasthat?" and "whosthat?" (Now, I'm not sure if that's what she is really saying but it's said in context most of the time so we will go with it)

Weird skill mommy taught her:
Going potty on the potty.  I read an article about starting potty training now because then it is a natural progression.  I sit her on the toilet first thing in the morning and she tinkles then we say good job and diaper her back up.  When I see the poop face, we immediately say potty and run her to the toilet where she does the job.  She's only pooped in her diaper once since we started this routine.  Every time we get home from a walk or running an errand I take her in to go potty.   It's at least entertaining for me because she really does know when she is going potty and makes a cute face.  Call me crazy, I don't care :)

New on the menu:
Her naughty streak.  Everyday, it seems like she is getting herself in trouble and for fear of being the "no police" we try to find different ways to let her know what she is doing is wrong.  She knows our tone and our look when we catch her doing something naughty.  She even will turn around and beeline in a different direction.  It's hard not to laugh but she watches so intently for our reactions that if we crack a smile she will do it again.

Rhylan Josephine (dad), Little bitty (mom), smilin' Rhylan (grandma Patti), No buns (papa), Jo or teeny meany (Grandma Diane)

She's entertaining to say the least.  I told Scott the other day that I have the biggest "crush" on my daughter.  I think about her day and night and can't get enough of her!  Her daddy is just as smitten :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Nurturing Nature

Rhylan had her first big cold last week.  She was full of snot, coughing and she ran a slight tempurature.  I felt so bad for the little baby girl as she tried to tell us how much her throat hurt.  It was this tiny wraspy voice that cried for help.  She clung to me day and night.  In the middle of the night she cried out for us to come get her so I wandered into her room at 1:30am to pick her up.  Her voice was nearly gone and every time she coughed she cried because it hurt.  Immediately I felt her temp had raised.  Obsessively Scott checked her temp every few minutes then called first nurse.  It wasn't over 102 so they felt that it was okay for now.  We held her until she fell asleep.  A few hours later she woke us up again and managed to have a smile on her face.  The temp went down as morning went by.  We prayed that God would heal her little body and thanked Him for her.

All this sickness was new to me.  I don't have a nurturing bone in my body on most occasions.  Being the youngest child allowed me to be the one cared for plus I'm rarely sick.  If I am, I sometimes call my mom and she immediately asks me how she can help.  I usually reply I don't need help, I just needed to tell her.  There's something about telling your mom that you're sick that makes you feel better.  When Scott is sick, it takes everything in me to want to help him.  I say "buck up, you're not dying, you have a cold."  I know, it's pretty insensative but I know every woman that I talk to says that their husband can tend to be a BIT dramatic when they're sick.  It's not like I don't care, I do, but I'm a problem solver.  I try to prevent illness by not touching door handles, not sharing food, wiping my shopping cart off, and I use my feet, knees, elbows, and wrists to open or close things.  For anyone who lived in the nineties, we call that behavior, "what about bob".

By nature, I am not nurturing.  Nurturing is out of my nature.  However you put it, I envy the ones in my life that are so sensitive to other people's feelings and wear their heart on their sleeve.  I tend not to show much emotion on my face.  I will tell you I am excited without a change of tone or lifted eyebrows.  I will be sarcastic without putting a smiley face next to it and that's when I get in trouble.  Back peddle, back peddle, back peddle.  This can make me seem super serious and intimidating when I'm smiling on the inside.  Generally, I think people are fantastic.  There are times when Scott will ask what my problem is and it takes me totally by surprise.

I concentrate on smiling with my mouth and eyes.  When I was pregnant, I cried enough for 10 pmsing women every day.  As a non-prego, I don't cry very much because I feel like it doesn't get anything accomplished besides ruining my makeup and an ugly cry face.  It doesn't bother me if other people cry though.  Everyone is allowed their own expression of emotion.  Mine just happens to be an internal dialogue then immediate problem solving with no expression on my face.  Is that weird?  I have been told it's kind of weird so I will continue work on my nurturing nature with my daughter, husband, family and employees.  It's okay to cry and be overly happy and be angry all in the same day.  We were made in God's image with all these emotions.

John 11:35 Jesus wept.       How refreshing to know that.

When it all goes wrong

Recently there have been some major events in my life and other's lives that have prompted me to write again.

Last weekend I was suppose to do some training in Wisconsin.  I have gone back and forth about quitting teaching for my color company.  I got into being an educator because I knew that it would take my career to the next level.  It was going to push my limits and take me out of a comfort zone.  Now, I'm busy with a growing baby and a salon that is growing by the day.  It's a daily stretch for me and for Scott.

As I was planning this trip to go teach I realize that I'm forgetting a lot of things.  I didn't reserve my hotel room until 5 days before and I didn't get my teaching materials all together until two days before.  My least favorite thing is feeling unorganized.  My class was almost five hours away so I had to make sure my ducks were in line.

The plan was for my mom to join me in my travels but then Scott had to train on Monday so then that left me with no childcare for Rhylan.  It was getting more and more confusing and I really just wanted to call the whole thing off.  That was not an option though.  Scott decided to see if he could train on Tuesday instead of Monday and that worked out.  We decided to take Rhylan with us and make it a family thing.  I knew Scott wasn't looking forward to the drive but I really wasn't prepared to go it alone.

Before we left we needed to do payroll at the salon.  Long story short, we didn't leave as soon as we planned.  I had mixed feelings as we headed out of town.  I knew that Scott wasn't super excited about going so I told him to turn around and I will go by myself.  He told me that it would be fine and we should keep going.  I just wanted to quit, quit everything.  You know when you just want to escape all responsibility and head for the hills?  I never would but sometimes I forget I have the power of the Holy Spirit to comfort me and self-reliance becomes my "go-to".

My sighs become heavier and louder.  Scott rarely sees me like this so he spoke up.  He offered prayer first and it immediately softened my heart.  We started talking but I didn't tell him how confused I was about how I was suppose to manage all these responsibilities.  Scott can't let problems go, he can't see me hurting, so he takes action.  He started giving me solutions and I felt instant relief.  My heavy heart and bad attitude lifted.

Through all the mess and the discouragement God still shines.  It's not always cut and dry, it's not always a smooth journey.  There have been a few big moments in my life that God allows things to get stirred up so in the end, all I see is Him.  In the midst of all my planning God speaks through it and what looks like chaos is actually controlled chaos.  So, if I would've quit teaching, if Scott wouldn't have been able to go with me, if we wouldn't have been delayed at the salon, we wouldn't have talked through our situation.  I would have given up.  I'm not a quitter, I move on.  In this case it wasn't the time to move on.  It was time to learn my limits.  

This has happened to me a few other times in life where I feel like the odds are against me and the weight is too heavy but guess what, it's not my weight.  You know that saying, "God never gives you more than you can handle?"  Well, it's true because I am still standing ;)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hug the Unhuggable.

Today, I woke up and looked at my outgrowth on my hair and cringed.  It put me in frumpy dumpy mood.  I put on a outfit that only added to my frump.  Overall, my aura screamed "I feel poopy".  It didn't encompass my being but I could feel "it" coming.  You know "it"?  I caught myself slumping over a lot and I my eyelids were heavy.  My mind shut off anytime there was silence.  When I got off work I decided I was very tired but could I take a nap?  Nope.  Instead of getting sleep I vacuumed and fed Rhylan.  Then, I decided to see if I could get Scott riled up (not in the good way).  That didn't go well...duh.  There was no winning with my tiredness taking over.  Toddlers get cranky when they are tired and become unreasonable.  I was a toddler today.  Scott had two babies to take care of but one was super cute and little and didn't know any better.  The other baby was me, in frumpy sweatpants, had fuzzy hair in a frumpy ponytail and makeup that was working it's way off my face.  Quickly I was turning into a mess and I was trying to bring him down with me.

Scott maintained his cool.  He even made an attempt to leave the house to escape the madness but he came back within a minute.  After a rant that made only 30% sense, I calmed down.  I stopped talking for fear of what would come out of my mouth.  We turned on American Idol and made conversation about the singing.  It was enough to bring us back to the heart of the matter.  I was still tired and that was the major cause of my meltdown.  With honesty Scott said, "you wouldn't be happy alone even though I know you think you would be."  It was true.  It's not that I don't like being married but part of my personality makes me look at production as a necessity of life so I love seeing results.  The harder I work, the more results I see.  If anyone slows me down I see them as a disposable object.  This is something I have worked hard at preventing and prayed about for years because I know that it can make me seem non-emotional and intimidating.  I allow myself to work so much that suddenly my body says STOP!!!  Crash and Burn.  Apart of me thinks that I could conquer the world alone...haha!  That's crazy talk!  It's a sin of pride and definitely not the love that God calls us to.  Why do I tell the world this through my blog?  I don't know.  I just shared my biggest struggle in life.  It's easy to hide, it's easy to pretend it doesn't exist, and for that reason it's hard to get rid of.  The solution, let someone hug me.  Hug the stubborn, prideful, self-reliant crap out of me.

I don't really give a lot of hugs so when I do, I mean it.  Most of the time I would rather just high five someone instead of give them a hug.  I admire "huggers."  I told Scott that next time I go into toddler mode he needs to hug me.  Even if I run away and kick and scream, please hug me.  He needs to hug me until that cold exterior melts and tears stream down my face.  He agreed to the challenge.  HA!  Sucker!  No, really, I'm so blessed to have a husband that has pursued me even when I shot him down at the beginning and said, "let's just be friends."  I have a few good friends that are huggers and I cherish them.  They love to hug and it's truly a gift.  Keep on hugging the unhuggable you hugger lovers!  Keep on it because we need you...I need you.

If I suddenly get a bunch of hugs now, I'm taking this blog down.  haha!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

How's parenthood?

How's parenthood?  That's the question that I get asked a lot.  And a lot like my answer when people would ask me how being pregnant was, there's no cut and dry answer.  Now, of course, I give an easy answer to those I feel like are just asking to ask but here's the real scoop.

Parenthood is unimaginable until you become a parent.  In whatever way you come about becoming a parent there's always one thing that I know as truth, no one knows until you KNOW.  We love our new life but it's different than the old one.  I've read the "carpe diem" blog that went around and I get it but then again I don't.  I don't have a toddler yet and I only have one child.  I am cherishing each day, I can't help it.  Scott and I don't have any family plan of adding on to our child tally so it could be that Rhylan is the last baby I have.  Looking at her each day while she grows right before my eyes is the highlight of my day.  She isn't a crier or a fussy kid so it maybe that reason that I can soak in every moment with ease.

As far as how it has changed Scott and I is really complicated.  Having a baby brought us closer together and also gave us another reason to disagree.  There are times when we are enamored with each other and there are times when we are arguing over what to feed her and how much.  When Rhylan was 5 months old we started to feed her a little bit of solid food, meaning rice cereal and pureed veggies.  We were excited and we loved to watch her eat.  I went to Los Angeles for a week shortly after we started her new food adventure. While I was gone Scott and his mom had the whole week with my baby.  Yes, I say my baby because I was gone five days and I didn't want anyone else to touch her when I got home.  The next two days proved to be a challenge for Scott, Rhylan and myself.  Starting solid foods caused Rhylan to get backed up/constipated for four days.  I know they say it's normal but she was NOT happy about it at all.  She started to fuss and cry non-stop one day.  There are a lot of babies that do this on a regular basis but not Rhylan, it's not her.  Scott kept saying "feed her, feed her!"  I would feed her and she still cried.  Then he said the words that no man should say in a moment of crisis..."when my mom was here she never cried..."  OH NO YOU DIDN'T!!  He was banished from ever touching me or his child again.  I quickly scooped my baby up and ran up the stairs and told him to go away.  He apologized and said he didn't mean what it sounded like.  PFFF!  I felt like I had the forehead stamp "BAD MOM" all over me.  My kid was crying and it was because of me.  We were all sorts of frustrated with the situation.

I was obsessively Rhylan how much I loved her while she cried and suddenly I realized that she was probably in pain from being constipated.  I prayed for patience and for God to forgive me for overreacting and to give Scott and I wisdom.  I laid my hands on her belly and prayed for her tummyache to go away.  Scott came up and I explained to him what I was thinking and how his "factual" statement affected me.  He understood and also apologized.  During that time of reconciliation Rhylan had calmed down and within the next half hour she pooped.  You could tell she felt so much better and Scott and I looked at each other with pure joy.  Our little baby girl pooped!  We were all in love and the experience taught us to never do anything without prayer.  Babies get sick and injured so if Scott and I run around like crazy people in a state of panic every time Rhylan fusses we are going to lose sight of what we need to do.  Pray! Pray! Pray!  I have no clue how to be a parent or what parenthood looks like or if I will get chance to make another baby but it's okay, I promise to pray for Rhylan as much as a I can.  I pray that God will use Scott and I to help develop her gifts and talents, keep her healthy, keep her safe, give us wisdom to guide her, bless her life, and show us how to love her like He loves her.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  Phil 4:6

My mom gave me something that I read every day on my dresser.  It says, "All the things that I prayed you would be, you are."  Plain and simple, why wouldn't I pray for her?   

Carpe Diem in some uses can mean: to enjoy, seize, use, make use of
Can't you make use of every day?  Good or bad, isn't there some use to it, especially when a child is involved?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

All the single ladies, all the single ladies

Here are my thoughts for ladies that are dating.  Relationships are never cut and dry but there are some things that you really shouldn't compromise on.  I'm not saying people can't change but you never should go into a relationship hoping someone will change to make them what you think they should be.  I talk to women all the time that have been in unhealthy relationships and they (me included) say the same stuff.  They wish they would've listened to their friends and family.  Here's my advice in no particular order:

1. He should have a steady job if he is over the age of 20. (If every person he works for is an "idiot" then it is most likely that he is the idiot)
2. He should believe in Jesus Christ as his personal savior (no compromise)
3. He should respect authority and elders (threatening to beat up an old man that cuts him off while driving is a red flag)
4. He should respect your body (your body is a wonderland...not Disneyland, make him wonder what's under there)
5. He should live on his own if he is over the age of 25 (this also includes men that still allow their mom to clean their living space and do their laundry)
6. He should have a bank account (If he has to cash his checks at Walmart, I would reconsider dating)
7. He should be drug free (Hugs not drugs)

Here are some red flags:
1. Men that are suicidal (it's dangerous to emotionally involve yourself in that way because if something ever did happen you would try to blame yourself)
2. Men that spend money they don't have (if he owes people money or is in a tremendous amount of debt, it WILL fall on you)
3. Men that degrade you to get their way (If he says mean things to guilt you into something, please run far far away)
4. Men that say they love God or have faith but then act a different way (Don't put your "I'm a Christian" blinders on...if he doesn't walk it then it doesn't matter if he talks it)
5. Past relationships where he has cheated (odds are he won't quit with you)
6. Boyfriends that try to isolate the relationship= control issues

Here are some lasting qualities that a man should have:
1. Love and appreciation and respect for his parents and elders (my ex was VERY disrespectful of my parents and I chose him over them but in the end it was my parents that were there for me and would do anything for me)
2. A willingness to seek wise counsel (it shows humbleness)
3. Should have your best interest at hand. (Any time a man puts his own interests in front of your own while dating will certainly do the same when you are married)
4. He should support your hopes and dreams
5. Love is not just a word.  Action, action, action 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Bottom line, when you get past all the mushy gushy feelings, he is really just a person. No one is perfect but there are things that you should never allow in your life. I did once and it caused me so much heartache. A heartache that I never want anyone to experience. 
Also, I thought that I was helping my ex-husband by staying with him but actually I wasn't.  I didn't allow him to learn things on his own that he should have. He leaned on me for everything and having a one sided relationship is NOT fun. It may seem intriguing at first but in the end it sucks.  I know a few couples that started out very rough and God transformed their lives but they will tell you, it's not an easy road.  Listen and watch for "red flags."  Use that girly intuition that God gave you.  Don't date just because you don't like being alone.  No other human will make you "whole" but God can.  I suggest you search for His wholeness before you try to have a relationship try to fill that hole.  

Ladies, be prayerful in who you date.  Giving up a relationship that you know is not right may seem like the most impossible thing to do when you're in it but stepping into God's will  never seizes to reap blessings.  Seek wise counsel while dating and into engagement and definitely into marriage.  

   "Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards." Benjamin Franklin  :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Baby talk and Salon Talk and Love

6 months have past and I am blown away by the progress a human baby can make during that time.  It's so annoying that I can't squeeze her until she pops or eat her cute face.  It's like she is a piece of cake with a glob of frosting on top.  There's no resisting that sweet smile and two little teeth.  Ugg...seriously.

After six months of constantly trying to figure out which phase she is in or how much food she's eating, I am exhausted and energized at the same time.  The salon is getting busier and we have a fantastic group of people that work there BUT it's another source of growth for me.  Every day I feel like I am adapting to other humans ages 6 months to 30+.  When I reflect on our first full year of being at our new salon location I am utterly overwhelmed at the changes that occurred last year.  Pregnancy and having a baby being one of the biggest changes, also the salon was busier, we had some new staff and we added new services.  This year I am feeling a sense of renewed energy. Even though I know things will only keep changing, I feel ready for the challenge.

What makes me so ready for the challenge you ask?  Plain and simple, state of mind.  I have decided to take all these challenges/changes to God in prayer.  I realize that I can not, I repeat, CAN NOT do this on my own anymore.  I know that not everyone may believe in God but I just KNOW that I can not be a wife, mom, business owner, traveling color educator, friend and whatever is left that makes up the hours in my day without His guidance.  He gives me a peace which transcends all understanding.

I asked God to show me new ways to love this year.  What a humbling experience.  Agape love, unconditional love.  Asking this of God opened me up to some intense experiences.  My request has revealed some unsettling things about myself.  Not in a horrible sense that I'm a bad person or don't love but in a sense that I have been missing out.  There are so many ways to show love and that's what I am called to do here on this beautiful earth.  Two months in to the new year and He has already revealed so much to me.

1.  We have an extravagantly, recklessly generous God

  • I don't give nearly enough compared to how much I am blessed
  • I don't thank Him nearly enough compared to how much I a blessed
  • I never understood how He gives in insane ways.  When I am cautious, reserved and unwilling to give, He steps up to the plate and gives when it looks like there is nothing to give
2.  I want to love eternally
  • Supernatural love
  • Love that goes beyond what I understand, beyond this earth, beyond current circumstance
3.  Love=Relationships
  • I need to nourish relationships
  • If I don't nourish relationships then I nourish stuff, aka shoes/clothes.  What will appreciate me when I die?  Shoes or people?
4.  Let people love me, no strings attached
  • I can't assume that because someone gives me something that I owe them or they want something in return
  • Enjoy gifts given and giving gifts
  • Gifts are an example of Christ's gift of salvation.  It's free...take it

Baby Rhylan Stats:
  • No crawling but she finds ways to get around while carrying her toys
  • Chatting up a storm in the form of "Na nananananana"
  • Practicing inflection and tones
  • Eating solids-not a big fan of peas but loving avocado
  • Sleeps through the night
  • Laughs up a storm (mostly at daddy)
  • She's a petite lil lady...weight and height measured in just a few days
  • Loses only one sock several times a day...only one, never both
  • Sits up like a champ with posture that I envy
  • Loves crackle noises