The plan was never to be a work at home mom. When I got pregnant with Pacey Claire a mere year after we had gotten married, we pretty quickly decided I would stay home. I wrestled with the idea of no contributing financial for a while, but – as you’ll hear me say often – I am married to one of the greatest men to ever live. He quickly pacified those concerns by reminding me of how valuable being home with our child is. About 6 months after Pacey was born, I started my wedding planning business. The business did pretty well, better than I had expected. But I need to make an internet confession – I never really worked very hard at it. I took in the brides that came to me through referrals, but that was about it. After Elliot was born, literally laying in the bed in the hospital holding her, I heard God tell me He had something else planned for me apart from wedding planning. So right there, with a few hour old baby, I closed my wedding planning business.
Two months later Magnolia Ink was born, and my passions were lit on fire. How had I come so far without knowing how much I loved helping others build their business and achieve their dreams and goals? Where had this unreal (and completely legal) high been all my life? Between Magnolia Ink and officially re-launching myself into the blogging world, I’ve honestly never felt so fulfilled in my life. But then came the guilt. Guilt about prioritizing business work over house work some days. Guilt about pulling my laptop out in front of my kids. Guilt about working late nights while Jeremy watched TV next to me in bed. So I started searching for a balance. Trying to figure out how to successfully do it all, which is impossible and left me even more frustrated than I was when I just felt guilty.
Things have been super quiet on the blog front this month – but that’s just because once December hits, our lives turn into a real life version of that movie Four Christmases. Between Jeremy’s one billion families and trying to see everyone, December brings a lot of travel and recover and travel and recover for us. It’s the best, and getting to see the people we love love on our girls is worth all of the bending over the front seat to return a pacifier or juice cup. But here we are, last few days of 2017. I’m planning on doing a bit of a “year in review” post to wrap up, but I wanted to look forward for a moment.
I posted an instastory earlier this week, asking who else is doing anything Whole30-esque in January, and the answer is approximately everyone. Which is great, because doing this with people makes it much easier. The Huz and I are starting our second round of the Journey on January 2nd, and I am pumped. The Journey is, in our opinion, Whole30’s better sister. We loved it so much when we did it from October to November, and both saw great results! When we launched into it last time, I kept it a little hush hush. I have a lot of fear of failure (working on it), and didn’t want to be shouting my clean eating from the social media rooftops only to fall on my face. But as we waded through, by the time we got to days 14, 15, 16, I started sharing a little bit about our journey. We successfully made it all the way to day 30, which conveniently landed on the day before Thanksgiving. Talk about a cheat meal, haha. We’ve mostly stuck to paleo during December, but let’s be real – there was a fair amount of cheating.
It’s not even a serious fever, but as I watch the numbers climb on the thermometer, I can feel my chest tightening along with it. It’s been two years since a severe febrile seizure led to an unfortunate series of events that almost cost us our eldest and I still absolutely cannot handle it when one of my children is under the weather. I look at Jeremy through bleary, teared up eyes and tell him Elliot has a fever, and I can see the concern wash over him. Not so much for her, but for me. Sometimes the guilt I feel over him having to be married to someone with an anxiety disorder is enough to drown in. He asks how high and I tell him, and he flashes that kind, soft smile and reminds me it’s barely even a fever. But let’s give her some Tylenol just to be safe. He gives me a kiss and wipes tears off my face and whispers it’s okay. And it does feel a little more okay. After 6 years, he’s pretty much a pro at being married to anxiety. The nights spent on the bathroom floor, just sitting and being with me through the latest panic attack. Remembering to grab me a glass of cold water because it helps for some reason. Rubbing my back, not trying to fix it, because he’s learned the hard way it doesn’t help. Sternly disagreeing with me when I label myself crazy. Always there with the right thing to say, not patronizing, not generalizing, just…right.
Look, I love Old Navy and Target as much as the next person, and did some serious damage at both stores online yesterday. But there’s just nothing like buying local. Every time you shop small, an actual, real life person does a little happy dance, & I tell you that coming from experience 😉. When you buy local for gifts (or, you know, #treatyoself), you’re supporting the people around you that are hustling day in and day out, turning out beautiful products. Owning a small business is no joke, it’s a lot of long nights and the work never leaves your presence, but it’s so worth it. So I thought I’d take the opportunity to point people to some of my most favorite small businesses in the Louisiana area.
Take it away, Ern.
Just to be clear, there aren’t any affiliate links to be found here. I just genuinely love all of these businesses (even though you know even if there are affiliates, if I’m telling you about someone, I love them)
‘Tis the season for Christmas shopping, y’all. Raise your hand if you do all of your shopping from the comfort of your couch. Whether you brave the crowds or cozy up and knock it out at home, I’ve got some goods for you. Here’s the thing – this time of year, your feed is probably flooded with bloggers posting their gift guides, right? I know mine is. I’ll be honest, there aren’t many “trends” I hop on in the blogging world (or the real world, #rebel), but this one is worth it. Buying gifts is hard. Buying gifts that don’t suck is even harder. So, I’m super proud and excited to give you some help in that department.
Here’s what makes this gift guide a little bit different than most: I can personally vouch for the whole thing. I own or have owned every item on the for her guide, I’ve bought my husband almost every item off the for him guide, and outside of a couple of toys, my toddler has been gifted every item off the kids list. You ready?
P.S. Be sure and make it all the way to the bottom of this post to enter the Few of Our Favorite Things Giveaway with Cold Coffee Hot Mess & be sure to click through to check out their gift guides!
There are some links sprinkled through this post, they’re all Bible verses that intertwine with the things we’re talking about today.
“It’s just been a really long week.”
My answer to the inevitable question my husband is going to ask at some point between the days of Friday and Sunday: “are you okay?” I don’t say inevitable in a condescending way, I say it because I completely understand why he asks. It has been a long week. I have a three year old, a seven month old, a business, a home to keep up, and about 1000 other plates to keep spinning. I’m pretty sure every week will be long for the foreseeable future.
For the foreseeable future, personal space is some mythical concept that will always be out of reach.
For the foreseeable future, getting things done in an orderly, time effective manner will be downright laughable.
For the foreseeable future, the laundry will never be done. Neither will the dishes or the disciplining or the cooking.
For the foreseeable future, my needs come last on a very long list.
This is my reality. A reality that is very easy to get bogged down by. I don’t mean to be negative, there is so much joy and goodness in my life sometimes I get absolutely overwhelmed by it. But are you with me that it’s just all so much? I want to make sure we’re calling it like we see it. Yes, being a mother is so dang beautiful it’s ridiculous, but holy cow – it’s also hard. They don’t call it in the trenches for nothing. I’m here to tell you that I spend a lot of my time overwhelmed, bogged down, grouchy, foggy. There’s a reason my husband and I have a weekly standing are you okay conversation. Because honestly, a lot of the time, I’m not. I feel somehow entitled to this shitty attitude. Like look how hard my life is, do you see all this crazy? Of course I’m pissy and checked out, I have to do everything (um, lie). It’s a vicious cycle that I think if we’re being honest, we all get caught in one way or another. Your negative emotion just may look different than mine.