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In #GotGoalstoCrush, Being Mama on
January 8, 2018

the Imbalanced Balance

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.

And then one day, amidst the chaos, I just said this is dumb out loud. This is so dumb that I’m making myself crazy like this. No one expects me to be able to do it all but myself. It was a definite turning point, but it took some more digging to really root out the lies I had let get embedded. So later that night I pulled out a notebook and wrote out the things I felt guilty about. It was a longer list than I had been expecting. And then I went to war. Some of them were easy to combat, but some took some prayer and stopping and listening for truth, and even inviting Jeremy in to help me figure out where I needed to land. I want to share some of them now:

Lie: I am a bad wife for choosing getting work done over dishes/laundry/cleaning/etc.
Truth: My dreams matter too. And my dreams are not completely comprised of the above. They include contributing financially and building a business and having a voice. My husband did not marry me to have a maid. He married me because I am driven and capable and fiery. He is fully capable and willing to help pick up the balls I drop in pursuit of my goals.

Lie: I am a bad mom for working in front of my kids.
Truth: My kids are lucky to get to watch me work. My children will grow up with a mother that didn’t let having children stop her from getting out there and getting what she wanted. My girls will grow up knowing that they are capable of an imbalanced balance and that they deserve to be married to a man that helps. It is good for children to be able to self-entertain, and I am able to know when enough is enough and spent intentional, precious time with them.

Lie: This isn’t a legit business.
Truth: Well, first of all, the taxes I pay would like to disagree. Secondly, who decides if a business is legit or not? You do. And you know, I’ve decided this business is legit. I work really hard, even if it’s in hour long spurts spread through the day. I have real life clients that I make an impact on with my work. I bring in a small but effective income. Yeah, I’m going to go with legit.

These were the three that I realized topped the list in the struggle. That I felt beaten over the head with daily. And some days I have to pull that notebook out and remind myself of the truth in light of the lies. But the most freedom has come from just letting go. Letting go of the bar I believe I’m supposed to measure up to that no one but myself set. Letting go of the lie that I don’t deserve this, that my dreams don’t matter, that I’m just here to pick up after everyone. That’s a bunch of bull, and sister – if you’re reading this, and that one stung a little, then it might be time to do some digging of your own. No one’s dreams look the same as the person’s next to them, so the path there isn’t going to look the same either. We’ve been talking about goals and dreams a lot in my instastories, and I just recently recorded a podcast about it that will come out on Thursday, and this blog just serves as another installment of the Blake Tour of Reminding You Your Dreams Matter. Whether your dream is to run a marathon and that means time away from your family to train, requiring your husband to pick up some slack; or going back to school which requires late nights on your laptop studying; or your dream looks like mine, and it looks like dropping a lot of balls to run a business while your crazy children climb all over you – IT MATTERS. Okay, I’m sorry I yelled at you and that this blog is longer than I meant it to be, but man I am fired up about this lately. I would say I’m done talking about it, but that would be a lie.

In #GotGoalstoCrush on
December 28, 2017

Surviving & Succeeding: a Clean Eating Challenge



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.

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In #GotGoalstoCrush on
November 3, 2017

Clean Eating Recipe Round Up [Whole30, Paleo, Etc.]


If you don’t follow me on Instagram (you should, we have lots of fun), then you wouldn’t know that the Huz and I are currently neck deep in Whole30. Well, actually, what we’re doing is called the Journey, a clean eating challenge through local personal training company Body Bayou. We’re finding it’s better for us than Whole30 for a multitude of reasons, the top one being that the Journey includes constant communication and support from its creators. That means we can be standing in the grocery store, unsure if something is on the program, shoot them a text, and know for sure before we check out. It also means I can text them at 9 pm after a rough day and say I want to give up, and they can remind me of all the reasons not to.

Two weeks in I’ve lost 10 pounds and Huz has lost 13, so…I’d say it’s effective.

I’ve been posting on social a lot about my favorite Whole30 approved foods I’ve found and made, and in turn am getting a solid amount of recipe requests. The Instagram poll I ran showed pretty much all of my friends are down for a recipe round up, so here it is. Breakfast, snacks, dinners, & desserts! I’ve made every single one of these and they are completely Guichet approved 👌🏼 (Note: honey is allowed on the Journey, & not on Whole30. Many of these recipes contain honey.)

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In #GotGoalstoCrush, Growing + Learning on
September 27, 2017

Let Me Fight

I’ve never been what I would necessarily call “healthy”. For a long time I’ve gotten by on a fair metabolism and loose shirts. In high school and early college I was still in the studio upwards of 4 days a week, so that somehow carried me past the freshman fifteen. After I got married I started to add on a few newlywed pounds here and there, made excuses to skip the gym, we ate out a lot. By the time I got pregnant with Pacey I was probably a solid 15 pounds over where I would “want” to land. By some miracle of God I only gained 25 pounds through that pregnancy, but in the end it didn’t really matter. I held on to those 25 pounds like they were a life raft, only losing them approximately one day before finding out I was pregnant with Elliot. So here I am, five months postpartum from #2, who even knows how many pounds over what feels like the loftiest goal ever. Breastfeeding is holding out as a priority, something it did not do after Pacey was born, so I’m not in a place to make drastic detox moves. But I could be healthier. It’s just a fact.

But honestly, I feel like I don’t even know where to start. Food seems like a giant barrier I’ll never scale. I’ve struggled with healthy choices and probably even bordered on a binging disorder, like a roller coaster built on donuts and burritos. I tend to placate unpleasant emotions with food. And celebrate positive emotions with food, as well as events and even just generally good days. Now with two children, the word exercise can make me laugh out loud on the spot. We recently canceled our gym membership in an attempt to trim our budget (we’ve got weddings to save for, y’all), and now I’m faced with the daunting task of attempting to work out at home. I see all of these “no excuses” moms on social media and while I’m real good for you I’m actually more can you please get out of my face? The list of excuses is endless, actually. And a majority of them at least feel damn valid.

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In #GotGoalstoCrush, Growing + Learning on
June 7, 2016

I’m Done Being Sorry

Somewhere along the way, I bought into a big lie. And “bought into” is putting it gently. “Dove headfirst into” is more honest. Sometime after creating and growing and nurturing a human being, I decided I needed to be sorry for my body. To apologize for subjecting the world to it. The extra weight and softness and scars became my biggest sins that I spent all my time repenting and atoning for. No one implicitly told me to. Subliminally, I’m sure; it’s never exactly been American media’s M.O. to make women comfortable in their skin. But no one I loved looked me in the eyes and told me to apologize right now for this sad excuse of a body. My husband loves me exactly the way I am, and tells me so nightly. If anything is going to influence the way I think of myself, it should be that. Yet, it consumed me. It’s a strange and sad existence when every other thought about yourself is “ew”. You may not realize it, but that thought pattern will wreck you. One day you’re functioning fairly well, making it – at least, and the next you’re telling your husband you’d rather die than exist in this body anymore.

Uh, come again? No ma’am. You see, somewhere in this year’s wide-reaching journey for self-acceptance (more on this coming, eventually), I made an impossible deal with my body. “I’ll accept you and love you once you look the way I want you to.” I covered it up nicely in grace and that I’ll take it slow and have realistic expectations, but in reality I’m rolling my eyes at myself anytime I catch a reflection in a mirror, scooting out of pictures when others try to include me, and talking to myself like I would never speak to my worst enemy. I’ve said things to my reflection that I would fight other women for saying. Horrible, degrading, downright mean things. I put my self-esteem in a headlock and dragged her down as far as I could get her without actually killing her. I think. I think she’s got a small amount of fight left in her.

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