Monday, March 6, 2017

Visions of grandeur and homeschool reality

I'm a night owl. I get a burst of energy at night similar to a hamster. 
Now that I think about it, maybe that's why I liked having hamsters so much as a kid. 

Anyway, what I also have, are visions of grandeur. Big plans. Confidence in success. All mostly at night! I go to sleep with my mind racing with all the wonderful ideas of things that will get done. I'll wake up with the birds and get Monnie and Nece started on their schoolwork pronto, and when they finish after an hour of committed work (yes, my unrealistic expectations do include them too), we'll start on all the creative and extra-curricular work! 

What really happens is that I wake up at 8 AM tired and drowsy from falling asleep at around 2 AM. I'm not a morning person, so I doze back off and get up at around 9. By this time, the girls are already doing their schoolwork-more or less-in between talking and arguing intermittently. I realize I have to run some grown-up errands, and so I head out with instructions for them to really concentrate and finish (because I'm still kinda excited about last nights plans.) I start looking for my shoes, and it takes 30 minutes, because I can never find my shoes...And when I find them in Monnie's room I'm very upset at the wasted time. In dire need of the coffee that I'd planned to pick up while I'm out, and the "hungry Elisabeth" attitude I fuss at my younger sister who has the annoying habit of looking at me blankly when I'm instructing her. I leave the house grouchy, turning on Christian radio in the car hoping some Jesus time is all I need. 

I feel better when I get back home an hour later, but the girls are still doing their schoolwork with minimal progress! They're requesting to listen to audio books while they work (like I ever say yes,) and slouching in their chairs. Someone help me! I'm quickly losing my creative drive already! So I let them know I'm not in the mood to wait forever, and sit down to post a blog, because sometimes the best idea is to change your plan if it's not working. 

What shall we do today? Nece is learning about reflected lights and lenses and things in her science so I was planning on some flat lays. It may take a little longer, but I sure hope we get to it!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Working out and acne

So FYI, I finally bit the bullet and started back working out. I just finished up my third week! 
Oh my gosh. It was harder than I thought.
Just a little more information than anyone ever probably wants to know, (so skip this part if you want) but I started off working out so hard that first week that I started my period and my face started working out! So you know that specifically for girls with PCOS, adrenaline turns into stress, and stress creative HAVOC in our bodies. Other than walking around that first week like a 110-year-old woman, I honestly do feel better physically. I'm struggling a little being back in my old class, because instead of being the one that goes the extra mile-or extra push-ups, I'm the one in the beginner side barely making it.

I haven't forgotten about my photo project, but it is really hard to take pictures of my acne-ridden face. I'm finding that fear is something that has to be conquered over and over again. I hope it gets easier, but so far it hasn't...And yes, that is in spite of there being a very small amount of people actually seeing/reading this blog. 

If you have words of encouragement, or even need some yourself, please please comment and say something! 


Tuesday, February 21, 2017


L-R: Bex, Candice, Clarissa, me, and Tanee

Sometimes girls need to celebrate each other. They need to celebrate that before and after and during romantic relationships, girlfriends are there to complain to, cheer on, and reminisce with. Right before Valentines I got together with some friends of mine for a Galentines outing. I told them to come prepared to take pictures, and they did! I loved that Bex donned her red skirt, she was the talk of the day!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Fear is a road leading to boringville

About five years ago, a boyfriend told me that I put too much on my blog. "Too much" basically meaning I was being too honest and open. Thankfully, that boyfriend has been an ex for awhile, but I have had a hard time since then really just being open at the level I was before without discomfort. That boyfriend would also email me news stories about crimes committed in my area to prove to me that it wasn't safe for me to be going out at night. 
Remember, I live with a unique type of family, to give you an idea of what I mean: I walked into the laundry room to find two strange men washing their clothes and wasn't surprised. When I asked my dad who those men were, he said they were homeless and came back too late to get into the shelter (and would be spending the night.) Most of the people people were afraid of were at our house for supper on Sundays. Basically, has family has always lived with less fear than even is necessary at times. 
I said all that to say that I'm going back to the old me blogger. The one who didn't care about a lot of readers, but also didn't fear putting myself out there either. You know that movie "Me Before You"? It was one movie that I could watch a few more times, I cried in the theater. ANYWAY, the author of the book that movie was based on wrote another book that I'm reading now. It is called Paris For One (author is Jojo Moyes) and it's about a girl who never does anything without weighing the pros and cons. She is sensible, if sensible is the keyword for fearful. Then her worst nightmare happened, and her trip to Paris didn't go as planned. Through all the "mishaps" she learned to embrace the unknown! 
Do you know that I went to the post office on Valentines Day (looking a mess after a visit to the gym) and a guy standing near me packaging up his mail started a conversation and asked if I had a boyfriend for Valentines Day. I thought of how I probably looked, and was so embarrassed that I cut the conversation short so that he wouldn't ask for my number because I was sure it would be out of pity. Isn't that sad? I kept going back to it later in my mind, and realized that my fear of what he thought was almost surely worse than what he actually saw. And what if he had thought I looked at mess? Who cares? I don't even know him! I'm not traveling the road of fear to Boringville, my life is meant to be so much more than that. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

New Idea

When I was setting my New Year's resolutions I didn't actually plan on some of these things that I have now decided are really important to me to accomplish. At first I felt bad about it, and maybe a little guilty at the possibility that my goals I’d been so excited about just a couple months ago I wouldn't actually accomplish. I have sense come to the conclusion that one good thing about goals is that they can you know change and develop over time.

So there is this photo project that I want to do and it has to do with my hyper-pigmentation on my face. I found that I haven't really become less self-conscious about it, it's just that sometimes it's not as much at the forefront of my mind. Basically I'm used to it being there, but still don't like it and I still sometimes get the feeling that people are staring at me. For my birthday I want to do a special photo shoot for myself, and I have a friend who is a makeup artist and she will be able to do some really unique things. It’s all just living in my mind right now, but I'm working through the kinks. If you go through Pinterest you can find very fashion forward  pictures of freckled girls. If you look for something similar for acne scars or hyper-pigmentation (that isn’t just advertisement for getting rid of them) you won’t find a thing. I'm all for fading the marks on my face, but it takes time and I need to be able to look in the mirror until then. I literally refuse to wear makeup all the time.

Since I'm not sure that I have the financial wherewithal to get someone really experienced to take the photographs for me, I'm practicing self portraits. Actually my first one was today, and although it’s finally not blurry, it is completely uninteresting (in my opinion.) I’m going to keep practicing in different lights and locations though so I can and I decided I'm just going to keep practicing until the actual event come for the shoot so that I can see how it is in different light and get an idea for exactly what  get a better idea of what I want. I’m not comfortable sharing pictures like this, but it will help me to get used to putting myself out there. It’s not just for me, but for others who struggle with their flaws.
It's not that I was miserable, this was just like the 50th photo lol. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Thrift Store Finds and Dentist Visit

I'm trying to decide if I have the wherewithal to blog daily, or at least a few times a week; either way, I'm gonna try. I wanted to share this thrift store find because I was so excited when I discovered it benignly sitting on the shelf at Goodwill. A set of Downton Abbey DVDs! Each one cost me about $3 and I know it's a steal of a deal!
This happened on Tuesday when I had my first dentist appointment in five years. Yes, FIVE! I have so many positive memories of the dentist as a kid, as weird as that sounds. This dentist gave us a payment plan (even though it was in the ritzy part of town where we did people's lawn service) and back in that day we didn't have insurance. The staff was always easy to work with and they let us visit the prize box afterwards where we would pick out an airplane or bouncy ball and play with it outside in the parking lot. Anyway, back to the present: thankfully, I have no cavities (I was worried), but my gums were really sore until today! Worth it? Definitely. 


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Be still...rainy day thoughts

"Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side..."

I decided going into this new year that I wouldn't be always distracted, always going. I have such a problem with focus, and my mind is going going going so much that I've found solace and rest in daily naps. As it turns out, you can't change that quickly. 

New Year New Me? Hardly. 

I think breaking habits requires real work, maybe it's so that you can prove you really want it. I do really want it! I bought planners to remind myself, to get my day scheduled...But teaching myself to be quiet deep down will be difficult. I get discouraged, and then I see the rain outside today, and decide I won't go out and "be productive" and there is hope of succeeding again. 

"Leave to thy God to order and provide."

I want time with my Master. I need to peel my eyes away from the news, from the Instagram feed, from Facebook and TV shows that stir the unrest in me. I wish I were alone in this, but I'm sure I'm not. I hope you join me in my quest for purposeful quietness and stillness.

This was a bit of a diary post, and if that was a turn-off, I apologize. Have a happy Sunday!


Monday, January 9, 2017

Nature walk with some of my favorite kids

The other day my sister had an appointment and dropped off all three kids. With my renewed enthusiasm to get healthy, I decided to take a walk. I told Mikey that I had a brilliant idea, his big eyes lit up. 
"You do?" He asked.
"Yep," I replied "We should go outside!" 
"I have an even better one, we should go on a NATURE WALK."
He was right, his idea was better, so we went with it. 
Dear neighbor, I'm sorry Baby Girl loves flowers so much that she claimed your mailbox flowers. 

Buttercup didn't much like the sweet gum balls

My definite favorite. Gotta cover those ears! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Late night honesty

Yogi brand skin detox tea.
Last night I stood in front of my mirror and cried, I guess I just needed to get it out. In my defense it was a long day. I spent from 9 AM to 4 PM trying to finish up the process to begin volunteering at the VA (mostly lost wandering through the hospital). It was all on an empty stomach except for coffee and some jalapeƱo cheetos, and you don't want to meet me hungry let alone when I've had to smile at everyone for hours. Add to that I had a cystic acne breakout right beside my nose, making me feel hideous, and when I stepped on the scale after starving all day, I was the same weight as days before.

Having PCOS is hard sometimes. Gracious, being a female is hard, but let's stay on topic. After a very symptomatic few months (weight gain was one of those symptoms), I decided to buckle down once the holidays were over. I visited the farmers market and Aldi and stocked up on good food to start, but now I'm left with choosing how I want to get active. Yoga is supposed to be really good for PCOS because of the stress link it has, but I loved when I used to work out and the trainer included kickboxing. I'm struggling so hard with the business(es) and all this health stuff, and even though I decided I would be brave this year, I am wondering about my ability to. 

I recently heard someone say that when you're trying to accomplish something by looking at the negatives you want to change, instead find the positive reasons. The idea is that if you end up reaching a goal that you were only doing because of all the bad feelings, you'll find that there were no positive ones and you won't be satisfied even when you reach it! I'll admit I'm not always a glass half full kinda gal, but I'm gonna try. I want to be healthy because of how much more active I can be with my nieces and nephew, because I want to be able to focus for my business, and because I want to show my little sisters that being healthy is worth working towards. 

So, yes, I cried in front of the mirror last night. But I'm gonna be just fine; it was just a speed bump. I hope you will join me in making positive changes this year! Oh, and happy new year a few days late!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Life is too short for...

When I was little, we used to visit an older lady that lived near us. My mom liked to stop by just to check on her because she didn't really have family or friends, and she wasn't physically able to get out a lot. I remember her being a very sweet talkative lady, and how she sponsored a child in another country that she loved to talk about. Sadly, the biggest thing I remember is the huge couches covered in plastic. In the heat of Georgia summers, my three sisters and I would file in behind my mom and climb up onto the huge seats, and when the conversation was over we would peel the backs of our legs off of the couches and leave. I hated those things. I always wondered what their point was, and when mom answered by saying "To keep the fabric clean." I was only left with more questions. From what I could see, this lady never hosted other people in her home. Whose dirt was she so afraid of that she would encase her sofa in that uncomfortable, shiny, protective covering?

Although as I child I asked these questions (the deep thinker developing in me), I have found myself doing the same thing in life. In preparation of the possibility that something bad would happen, I have wrapped certain talents in plastic. They can be seen, but not touched and no one wants to mention them or use them in the way they're meant to be used.

Even when I announced that I wanted to be a photographer professionally, I only posted about it on my blog and Facebook, I didn't say a word about it on Instagram (where I get the most responses to what I post) except to mysteriously point them here. I'm afraid of failure. I'm scared of what people will think or say. Well y'all, this year I've decided to live bravely. I'm going to gleefully unwrap all my dreams and prepare to have them possibly torn, poked, laughed at, and muddied, but mostly enjoyed.
Because life is too short for plastic-wrapped couches. Don't you agree?