"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Clearing the fog

Yesterday was dreary and kind of sucked, to be frank. 
For a variety of reasons, I was all "in my head" and not feeling good about a lot of things.  
It was more than a bad day, and I don't even have truly bad days often anymore.
But talking it out with supportive loving friends and family helped the fog clear.
I was able to let go of the heavy thoughts pulling me down.


Like finding an unexpected jar of Nutella buried in the pantry, (if you like perfectly good chocolate that's been contaminated by hazelnuts)


life's joys became clear again.  It's amazing how much better I feel less than 24 hours later.


If you're struggling with something, I suggest turning to someone close to you.  Trust that they care enough about you to want to help, and know that you aren't a burden.  Wouldn't you want your loved ones to trust that about you as well?  I sure hope mine do.

"A friend should be radical - they should love you when you're unloveable, hug you when you're unhuggable, and bear you when you're unbearable. A friend should be fanatical - they should cheer when the whole world boos, dance when you get good news, and cry when you cry too. But most of all a friend should be mathematical - they should multiply the joy, divide the sorrow, subtract the past, add to tomorrow, calculate the need deep in your heart, and always be bigger than the sum of all their parts."

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

65


There 65 days until Spring.

That is all.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Getting (kind of) crafty for Baby Honey

 I promise I won't talk about Christmas much longer.  I'm actually putting away the tree and decorations right now, but wanted to share this really quick.

I love to decorate for Christmas, but like to keep it pretty simple for the most part.  All of our ornaments are either gifts, made by the children, souvenirs from trips, or ones we've bought to represent our family that year. (like this one from 2005 when we were expecting but still didn't know the sex of the baby...)


We all felt sorry for baby Grace when she didn't have a single ornament for the tree this year, so I decided get a little crafty and make her one myself.  


--Fair warning: this is not a Pinterest-worthy project.--

I bought a 97-cent plastic globe ornament from WalMart and that was my only expense.
We've always enjoyed reading The Berenstain Bears books with our children, and with a boy as the oldest, then a girl, and finally a baby sister, our family was completed with our own "Baby Honey."  
"Baby Honey" became her nickname while she was in my belly and BabyCakes still calls her that.
After searching online with no luck, I decided to make my own Berenstain Bears ornament so our new addition would have a proper ornament on the tree.


First, I printed out a photo of our family onto regular printer paper (it looks better in person), sized to fit the ornament.  
Next I searched for an image of the Bear family and printed it out at the same size.  
I'd already packed up the ornament hooks, so I used a twisty tie from a loaf of bread for the next step.  I glued the pictures back to back with the twisty tie in between, and wrapped the twisty tie over the top of the globe and under the cap.  
This holds the pictures in place instead of them floating on the bottom of the globe.
I wrote on the top "Baby Honey Makes 5  - 2014" but you can't see it here because of the glare.


Wow, I just noticed that we are even standing the same way in our picture as the Bears are in theirs.
The ornament's not perfect, but neither are we.  
It does, however, represent what I look for in life these days:

It's simple, special, and makes me smile.  :)



Friday, January 9, 2015

The post I don't want to write

Several years ago I decided I was TIRED.
Tired of feeling bad about myself.
Tired of letting my appearance -- which I didn't like -- affect choices I made in my life.
Tired of always choosing foods that would make me feel the happiest in the moment but was a bad decision in the long run. (Fettucine alfredo? Sure, I know it's often the highest-cal item on a restaurant's menu, but I'll have that and the bread that comes with it, too, please!)
But most of all I was tired of feeling powerless to change.
I decided I WOULD change.  I would NOT make excuses, have regrets, and berate myself for goals unachieved over the course of my life.
Above and beyond losing weight, I wanted to shift my outlook to a happier one, and prove to myself that if I wanted change -- in anything-- I would get it if I worked hard enough.
Sometimes the change didn't look like what I envisioned, but it was still different from where I started.
Focus on the lessons learned, the opportunities at hand, and the wonderful tiny and tremendous things about life.

I did.  Less and less I judged myself and others.  I took setbacks in stride.  I found more joy in everything.


I still do... for the most part.  Somewhere along the way, this joooourney I've been on with my weight has made me weary.  We could go round and round with why's and how's but really, that doesn't matter.  What's done is done and my weight today reflects my past, both good and bad.
Now, in the grand scheme of things, this struggle of mine to make good food choices is not huge.
But my lack of control affects how I feel about myself and that affects everyone around me. 
Not always in big ways (or even much at all) but in ways that I can feel -- and I don't like it.

I'm tired again.

So it's time for change... again.



If you must know, I last left you in my joooourney (I put this word in italics because the word is SO cheesy yet so accurately describes the situation -- thus its continued use) with 70 pounds being the most I'd lost.
My weight at that point was difficult for me to maintain.  I'm more of a sandwich-instead-of-salad-for-lunch-at-a-restaurant type of eater.  I wasn't ready to fully commit to the changes necessary for that maintenance.
But my weight at 50-55 down?  That I could do.  I've always been thicker (muscular legs and a large chest adds to this) than most of my friends and thought I carried it decently.
Now after having baby #3 and the changes in my daily life that came with her, my weight has crept up a bit to an uncomfortable zone for me. (About half way to my highest, so roughly 35 pounds from my lowest.)

I'm back to my joooourney and I want to share it.  
In truth, I will always struggle with food.  We all have things we struggle with sometimes -- and this is my thing.  And I need to remember that that's okay.  I tell BigBoy that all the time with his classwork -- "There's no shame in it being difficult; the problem is when you give up."

So yes, it's difficult and no, I'm not giving up.

Funny, after writing all this I don't feel so tired anymore.  Maybe all that guilt I was carrying was too damn heavy!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Matryoshka

A couple years ago my parents gave me a set of Christmas matryoshka dolls for my birthday.  We all like seeing them when we decorate for December, 
but BabyCakes looooves the "Christmas eggs," as she calls them.


This year I decided to buy her a set that she can have out and play with all year long. (The paint on the Christmas ones seems a bit fragile so she doesn't get to just play with them a lot.)

Turns out those suckers aren't cheap.

Unless you inadvertently order them from China (on Amazon).

And then it takes 6 freakin weeks to get them.


So, "Merry Christmas!  Happy New Year! Here you go, BabyCakes. It's a Wednesday -- have fun."


There are 10 in total and red/pink in color... and they are precious.  I knew the giant set would thrill her because she's never seen a set with more than 5 dolls in total, and that's kind of the point of them when you're a kid -- taking them apart and then nesting them again... over and over and over.

The tiniest one, complete with a painted face and all, was her favorite.


It fits inside the smallest doll to still open, named "Alice" by BabyCakes.


This morning she named all the girls and I wrote their names inside.
Welcome to the Davis family, 

Jessie
Val
Ariel
Katie
Lindsey
Serena
Princess
Cayce
Alice

-and-

Gracie (the baby, of course!)






Wednesday, January 7, 2015

My favorite Christmas gift

Christmas 2014 was unconventional for us, to say the least.  Part of that involved a last-minute earlier-than-expected trip to Tennessee and having to leave behind presents that had been ordered yet not received.  One of those presents was my Christmas gift from J and the kids.
I love it.


I had a circle pendant with the names of the first four members of our family and a heart on it, but there was no room left to add Gracie.  I didn't want to put her name on the back or on a separate pendant because her place in the timeline of our family does not reflect her importance.
I was hoping I would get a new necklace, and I did. :)  I had no idea what it would look like, though.  That was all J.


The pendant is made of pewter and the chain is silver, completed with a pearl.
 It's long in length like I like these days, but a different shape than I'm used to wearing so it's fun trying something new.


By the way, the color of the hutch is WAY different than it looks in the picture for some reason.  This is what it looks like in person:


After thanking him for the gift and telling him how much I loved it, I thought about our very first Christmas together in 2000 when he gave me a tiny pair of heart earrings.  


I said to him "You really like heart jewelry for me, don't you?" and smiled.

He instantly replied "Yes, but that's probably because you stole my heart." 


 I really really like my Christmas gift this year, 
but I love the reason -- and the man-- behind it even more.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Frozen Walk in the Woods

Like all parents in America with children under the age of 10, I am no stranger to the phenomenon that is Frozen.  BabyCakes (Is she too old to call that?) looooves the movie and its songs and characters.  When I saw that my good friend and former neighbor Melissa was creating this fun twirly skirt for her new kids clothing shop, I knew one had BabyCakes' name on it.


I found the matching long sleeve tee at WalMart for $5 and it was an outfit.
Today was her first time wearing it, so we ventured into the frozen woods behind out house for a few photos before school.



 This Winter she is wearing it with knee socks and boots, but I plan to pair it with a short sleeve shirt and sandals for the summer.
It really is a fun twirly skirt for a little girl to just be a little girl in!


BabyCakes reminds me of Anna from Frozen.
She's playful, brave, and deeply loves her siblings -- she even makes up songs about how much she loves her family. :)


BabyCakes is also a dreamer with a big imagination and would totally "start talking to the pictures on the walls" if she was alone!



The new Frozen skirt is just like our BabyCakes, sweet and full of personality. :)


Check out Especially Special Designs Facebook page for details on Melissa's children's clothing and her services. You might even recognize a couple other things she's done in the past! (hint: pearls were involved)