Wednesday, February 28, 2018

These Are The Times That Try Moms' Souls


Long time no see! It's been a while since I've had time or desire to post much of anything over here (partly to do with the ups and downs of getting divorced last year and trying to figure out life afterwards and partly to do with just being in the trenches of young motherhood), but my heart has a message to share today.

Motherhood is rough.

There, I said it! A million other bloggers and YouTubers and moms dropping truth bombs have said it, too.

Being a mom is hard.

Since I moved in with my parents about a year ago, I have been extremely grateful for their help and support. My mom tries to give me an hour of free time on the days her work isn't too demanding so I can read my scriptures, work on a project, or finally have a chance to shower. My dad has taken the early shift with a sick or sleepless child when I've been up with them all night and can't keep going, doling out breakfast and vitamins before he has to go to work so I can catch another hour of sleep. They both help with babysitting so I can go on dates or just get out of the house for a bit. Even my brothers and sisters have stepped up to help. I couldn't have survived this past year without all of them.

Despite all they do, and how much I absolutely adore my three girls, this year has been hard. Every time I think we've finally turned a corner with sleep or tantrums or preschool or any other subject of toddler/baby life, something else goes wrong. And sure, that's kind of how life works in general. Opposition in all things and all that. But there's something extra frustrating about the millionth cold/cough/flu of the season working its way through the girls yet again, and there's not much I can do about it besides cuddle and love them and try to function with the few hours of sleep I manage to steal when no one's looking.

My dad, the superhero papa that he is, has something that he says on the mornings when I come downstairs and look like a total zombie, almost in tears from exhaustion.

"These are the times that try moms' souls."

I do my best to smile and get started on the breakfast, whipping up smoothies and "Bread with butter and toasted, BUT NOT CRUNCHY," as Brielle always requests these days.

And today, when I was up all night with sick kids yet again (is winter over yet?) and Brielle woke up at 5:30 am mid-panic-attack, that sentence could not have been more true. The screaming went on for hours, over too loose diapers and pinchy diapers and too much toast and vitamins that make your hands sticky if you don't eat them for an hour and the wrong blanket and the wrong show (she picked it) and trying to do a somersault in your sleep and hitting your head on the wall and baby sister climbing in bed with you and waking you up just after you've FINALLY managed to calm down and fall asleep.

Yeah. It's been one of those days.

But I have a message for you, people. I've been feeling called to share it for some time now, but I have been too wrung out and nervous to actually write the words.

Not anymore.

To all you moms with spit up and boogers on your shirt who don't remember what a full night's sleep feels like. To all the dads who go to work all day and come home to a worn-out wife and a messy house and circus-act kids who take their turn even though they've worked hard all day too. To all the grandmas and grandpas who should probably be done with this parenting thing by now yet welcome your kids and grandkids back into their homes. To step-parents who are just trying to figure out how they fit into all of this and do their best to help. To aunts and uncles and friends and extended family members who lift the burden however they can. I bring you a cheesy and outdated High School Musical quote:

"We're all in this together."

Remember how they say, "It takes a village?" The truth of that has really hit home this year. Sure, it's easier to survive when you have a nuclear family with mom and dad in the home. But that's not my reality right now. And even when it was, postpartum depression and anxiety and other problems made me feel so isolated and alone.

I bet you feel alone sometimes, too.

But guess what?

You're not!

I'm here for you! That mom from the park is here for you. Your mom or grandma or mother-in-law or aunt or sister or neighbor--they're here for you!

So if you're having one of those days, like I am, where you feel like you can't take one more've got this. We've got this. We can do it together. One nose wipe, nap, snack time, or tantrum at a time.

I believe in you.

So take a minute to breathe in the pantry or bathroom or wherever it is you're hiding to read this and then get back out there.

You're amazing.

And beautiful.

And the whole army of moms in this world has got your back.

You've got this.



Friday, February 19, 2016

Dressing Your Truth

There is a little bit of a back story to this post. At the beginning of 2014 (over 2 years ago now), I set a goal to love my look more. I was feeling like a frumpy mom, and Zia wasn't even a year old yet! I had fallen into a rut of wearing yoga pants or pajamas all day unless I was going out, and that was just not working out for me. I dyed my hair, switched around my wardrobe a little bit, tried my hand at sewing my own clothes (with mixed results), embraced some of the current style trends, and still felt like something was lacking.

A few (frustrating) months into the "love my look" experiment, my mom told me about a new system she'd heard about called Dressing Your Truth (DYT for short). It is a fashion system based on energy profiling. The overly simplified explanation of DYT is that there are four energy types, and everyone has different amounts of all four energies inside them--one of them being their "dominant" or "primary" energy type. There is a free profiling course and book that helps you figure out which dominant type you are. Figuring out your type takes into account your facial features, body language, mannerisms, personality, and more. After you figure out your type, it's time to buy the course for your type. (If DYT is something you're interested in, you can use my link and we both get $10 free store credit at the DYT store. Click HERE to learn more.)

So, let's skip to summer of last year, when I first bought the course. I started out thinking I was a Type 2, and I had a hard time with a lot of the aspects of Type 2 style. I didn't love the muted colors, felt frumpy in the flowy styles, and hated the lace and ruffles I was apparently supposed to wear. However, I felt much more put together and did my best to keep the "rules." I got pregnant with Brielle a few months later and even got rid of a lot of my non-Type 2 maternity wardrobe. However, there were a few things (especially black things) that I loved and wore anyway. I had a lot of doubts about my type, thinking maybe I was a Type 4 after all, but I got lots of compliments for dressing the way I was and thought I was probably overthinking it. However, after a whole bunch of doubts, reading and rereading the book, and watching all the DYT videos a million times, I realized that I was actually a Type 4. My mom and little sister had been telling me I was all along, but I was stubborn and tried to prove them wrong. I had been dressing as a Type 2 for over a year, and I had gotten rid of almost all of my Type 4 clothes! Instead of being too drastic and getting rid of all my Type 2 stuff, I went to the thrift store and bought a few Type 4 outfits to try out. This was one of them.

I felt like a different person! I stopped trying to embrace my wavy hair and wore it straight or up (which is how I preferred it for most of my growing up years). I put on bold lipstick and saturated colors and black and white and looked so much better! I posted this before and after on the DYT Type 4 (T4) page, and everyone was freaking out. Carol Tuttle, the author of the book and creator of the course, even asked if they could use it on the main DYT page as an example. I said they could. It's crazy how different I look!

And so my T4 journey began... The T4 ladies on Facebook quickly became "my people," so to speak. I decided to cut my hair. I accepted some things about my personality that I had been in denial about before. I slowly sold or traded my T2 wardrobe for new "bold and striking" clothing. I'm still working on it, but it has been so much fun to develop my new look! I have settled on Type 1 as my secondary type, which explains why I'm not quite as serious and "still" as some other T4s. I still love to be with friends and family, though I'm an introvert at heart. It's an interesting dichotomy of personality traits that all try to work together in my head... Anyway! Just for kicks and giggles, let's look through some of my outfits from the past six months or so.

Then I finally got the guts up to do something I'd wanted to do for a very long time (but felt I couldn't)--chop off my hair! Again, I felt like a whole new me! I got so many compliments, and people told me my hair suited me like never before. "It's just so YOU!" they would tell me.

There's kind of a funny story behind this next shirt. I was watching the TV show Bones with my husband one night when the main character, played by a fellow T4, Emily Deschanel, had on this exact same shirt. I instantly fell in love. I was bouncing up and down on the couch and squealing, which is not usually something I do. Haha. :) But I found it on Poshmark a day or two later (basically online thrift shopping--use my code for free money, once again ;) you can use my code, PKOYW to get $10 off your first purchase). I was thrilled! I bought it as fast as my fingers could fly, and it showed up in my mailbox a couple days later. Such a great find. :)

T4 pajama pants from my best friend in junior high or high school...I can't remember when she gave them to me. But they're still going strong!

I made myself some T4 pajama pants for Christmas Eve. Yay! I bought a cheap Walmart t-shirt to go with it.

I think Brielle is also a T4. She's not technically dressing her truth in this picture, but she looks great in black, white, and bold colors. Little cutie! She has lots of T4 characteristics, too.

And my latest haircut from two days ago! It's the shortest it's ever been, since I was a toddler. But I like it so much. It dries so quickly, is versatile, and is so much more me than my long hair ever was. I'm not saying I'll have short hair forever, but I'll definitely stick with T4 haircuts and styles from now on. It makes a big difference!

And this is me today. I'm rocking a faux hawk for the first time in my life and totally love it! I have been wanting to try this look since I first tried a pixie cut last summer, but it was too long. Now it is short enough, and it is SO FUN! I told Austin this morning that if someone had told me in high school that I would eventually have, not only a pixie, but a FAUX HAWK pixie...I would have laughed in their face. Well, younger version of me, you were silly. Because this is awesome.

I unintentionally twinned with Brielle today. She also had on hot pink pants and a faux hawk, which was fun. :)

So! That's all my pictures for now. Someday soon I hope to actually start using my DSLR for OOTD pics and blogging about it. I mostly need to find a spot in our little apartment that gets good light and has a nice background. And then add a few more hours to the day for projects and blogging.

Things I've learned through this experience:

  • What we wear really affects the way we feel and the way others feel about us. People treat me the way I want to be treated, now that my outside matches who I am on the inside. 
  • I love black, navy, white, kelly green, cobalt blue, and hot pink. I wear other colors, but those are my favorites. I come back to them again and again. 
  • DYT has AWESOME online communities. I have made so many friends (both in the T2 and T4 groups) through this experience. I've even met a few of them in real life, which is always fun. It's great to meet like-minded people.
  • Some things are going to be hard to get through. I had to accept some things that I didn't like about myself when I realized I was, in fact, a T4. I have been shamed for a lot of my life for some of my personality traits. Realizing that I can have certain tendencies and personality traits while still being a good person was a big part of this process. There are people who may not like these things about me, but I should not try to act like a soft, subtle, sweet person if I am bold, striking, and direct. (These are keywords from the T2 and T4 courses, respectively.)
  • I am finally ready to build a capsule wardrobe for spring! I have been wanting to do it for a while but haven't gotten around to it. Now I know which colors are going to work best for me and what styles will get the most wear. I can't wait to get started!
  • Type 4/Secondary Type 1 ladies often mistype themselves as T2s for various reasons. There is a great YouTube video about it!
  • Use the YouTube channel if you have any questions about typing. I wish I had been more thorough with watching them before I first decided I was a T2. 
  • I LOVE cat-eye eyeliner. It's my favorite.
  • People close to you will probably be shocked by the change. You might be shocked by the change. It's okay! Enjoy the journey. :) 
If you have any questions or comments, I'd love to hear them! Thanks for reading!