Chalk Paint 

I started a new hobby – Chalk Painting. I love to use chalk paint and distress pieces of furniture to make something boring into something with character. I learned how to chalk paint by browsing pinterest, YouTube and by reading lots of articles and blogs. 

The first time I used chalk paint I painted a nightstand. It turned out ok. Nothing fancy. I just painted it yellow and added some cool vintage looking hardware. I think I might distress it this weekend. I didn’t think I wanted to but I think that now that I added the hardware, I do. That is the beauty of chalkpaint! You can do so much with it. You can just paint it and leave it plain, paint then distress it, add a whitewash or glaze, and I think you can even add a crackle finish! 

Here is a picture of the final nightstand. Like I said… it’s just ok. I think distressing it will make it so much better!

The next thing I painted was an old twin bed set! I painted it white and distressed it! This is in my daughters bedroom now! 


The last thing I painted was a table in my formal room. This was a plain dark wood. I chalk painted it a teal color then distressed it and waxed it! So beautiful! I need to get a new lamp…the red one doesn’t match now! 😊

This weekend I plan to paint an old sewing desk. I’m painting it for my mom! She doesn’t want it distressed, just paint and wax. I’ll post before and after pics and maybe I’ll try a tutorial with step by step pics and instructions! I make my own chalk paint, so I’ll give you that info too! 

Happy chalk painting! 

Career Center 

February 27th- Center 

I work in a Career Center at a high school. I am a  Career Development Coordinator. I help students figure out what they want to do “when they grow up”. I work in a system where a lot of the students are at risk. What is at risk? At risk for dropping out of school. At risk of not meeting grade level proficiency. At risk of becoming pregnant, joining a gang, going to jail. Maybe. Maybe not. At risk means a lot of different things.

I believe all students have the potential to be successful. In my job, I try to match students interests with potential career opportunities. I provide students with work based learning opportunities -apprenticeships, internships, job shadowing, volunteer work, etc. I love my job, and I love the kids I serve. But, over the past 9 years I have worked with students that have dealt with things that they never should have had to at 15 years old.

One student in particular will always have a special place in my heart. She was a special child. She lived in a broken home. When I first met her she was living with her mom, but that changed. This student, lets call her A, was taken from her mom’s home and moved to her Dad’s house because her mom was living with an abusive boyfriend. Mom chose the boyfriend over her daughter. Unfortunately, things didn’t get any better at her Dad’s. At her dad’s she didn’t have electricity. Or food. Or hot water to take a bath. She didn’t have clean socks or underwear and wore the same dirty jeans every day. I was able to get her food and clothes. New underwear and bras and socks and new jeans and shirts, everything. She couldn’t wash her clothes at home, so she brought them to school for me to wash. We had a plan. Her bus driver would bring me the clothes in the morning and I would give them back to the bus driver in the afternoons. Not too long after she received her new clothes she came to me. She told me that her dad sold her new clothes…for drugs. He sold the food stamps…for money to buy drugs. She was hungry.

A  would miss school every now and then. When she came back after being absent I would ask her why she was absent. She would tell me that she had to stay home to watch her 1-year-old brother. If she didn’t stay home, the 1 year old wouldn’t have anyone to watch him because his mom and dad were too busy doing drugs. This was her half-brother from her dad and his girlfriend. The girlfriend wasnt very nice.

A came and sat with me a lot during her lunch. I kept macaroni and cheese and fruit in my office for her. I bought her deodorant and face wash. She had acne from bring malnourished. She was so thin. I cried a lot after our visits. I wanted her to know how special she was but I didn’t want her to think I felt sorry for her…but I did. I would have moved her into my house, but my husband said we just couldn’t do that.

A was not a troublemaker. She didn’t act out in school. She was quiet. She was smart. She was kind. She was one of the kids who could easily fall through the cracks and she did in a lot of her classes. Her teachers had no idea what her story was. They didn’t know that nobody took care of her or that she took care of herself and all of her younger siblings.

A graduated from high school with a B average. She told me after she graduated that I was more like a mom to her than her real mom was. We’ve kept in touch since she graduated a few years ago. She needed a car to get to work, so I gave her my old car so she could go to work. It made me happy that we were able to help her. She is still such a good kid.

The Career Center is more than a place where kids can learn about their careers. Relationships are built in my office. I’m passionate about my job and helping students see their potential. God has put me in my position to help share His love with students…at risk or not.There are so many kids like A. It’s heartbreaking and inspirational all at the same time.

Jiggle

February 26th – jiggle

I asked my husband what was the first word he thought of when I said “jiggle” – he said fat. That was the same word that came to my mind, too. 

I asked my 8 year old son what was the first word he thought of when I said “jiggle” – he said shake.

I asked my 5 year old daughter what was the first word she thought of when I said “jiggle” – she said jiggle bug. 

The adults think of something negative, but the kids just give me a definition and a cute answer. Gosh, how nice would it be to be young again and not not brainwashed by society. I hope I can raise them to be happy in their own bodies forever.

 

 

Breast or bottle?

I read this story this morning and it actually infuriated me. I am all about doing what is best for my children, but people have got to stop this breast is best crap. I never heard of the “Fed is best” organization but I agree with them 100%. Babies need to be loved and fed not starved to death because doctors pressure moms to breast feed and their mom cannot produce enough milk. I was one of the moms that couldn’t produce breastmilk and the pressure to exclusively breast feed is exhausting. I actually contribute some of my poat partum depression to not being able to breast feed and feeling like a failure of a mother right out the gate! I even had to wear some stupid tube taped to my breast that would give my baby forumla but still allowed him to “latch on” at the same time. I would wake up to a screaming, hungry, baby and I would have to spend 5 minutes getting taped up before I could feed him. I tried for 6 weeks with Aiden and then quit. I felt terrible, but it was just too much pressure and I didn’t even produce milk! Nurses and doctors need to quit pressuring moms to breastfeed. It’s not for everyone! With Addison, I tried to  week or two and quit. I wasn’t going through that again!! This story here is proof that babies need to be fed and loved – not starved until a moms boobs can produce milk! This is just terrible to read! Bottle feed for crying out loud!

Girls night

My son stayed at a friend’s house tonight for a sleepover. When I told my daughter that Aiden wouldn’t be home tonight she was devastated. Big, huge, alligator tears. She doesn’t like Aiden to be away but mostly SHE didn’t want to miss out on any fun! I explained to her that we could have a girls night. She could sleep in my room and we would have girl time! It made the tears stop, but she was still sad. But, we came home and just hung out. My hubby cooked dinner and then Addie and I cuddled on the couch. 

We played on snapchat…

She got to sing and dance…

 We pampered ourselves with a facial…

And now she is camped out on our bedroom floor! 

Addison said “I didn’t expect this tonight!” I think our impromptu girls night (plus daddy!) was a much needed success! 

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.  💕

1 Corinthians 13:13

Baby blues

The one word prompt today is – Baby. When I saw the prompt the first thing that came to my mind was my son, Aiden. Aiden is my first born – my baby. I got pregnant pretty soon after I got married and had Aiden about a month before my 1 year anniversary! I had a pretty easy pregnancy. I had Aiden on July 25th and he was due on the 26th so he was full term. I had the normal aches and pains during my pregnancy, but nothing I couldn’t handle. What I didn’t expect was how I felt after Aiden was born. The “Baby Blues”. I didn’t expect to feel so blue. I knew it was common to feel sad for a few days after giving birth because of the shift in pregnancy hormones, but didn’t expect the blues to turn into depression. It took me a while to admit it, but I suffered from post partum depression. The blues turned into an empty black hole. I felt depleted. I felt terrible. I felt like the worst mom in the world because I really just wanted to run away from it all. Why didn’t I feel happy? Why didn’t I feel like that connection? Was I not supposed to be a mom? This made me so sad.

I had a lot of different things going on at the same time I was pregnant. We bought our first home and moved into the home the same weekend that I had Aiden! I had Aiden on a Friday morning and my husband moved our things into our new house on Saturday! I had just quit my job and was getting ready to start a new job. I had 6 weeks home with Aiden, and then off I went, sleep deprived, to a new job! And, I was doing something that I had never done before – teaching high school! It all caught up with me. I was overwhelmed and drowning.

I went in for my 6 week check up and decided to talk to my doctor. I was scared to be honest about how I was feeling, but she listened. She told me it was not uncommon for moms to feel this way. She suggested medicine, but I didnt think I needed it. She told me to talk to friends I could trust, and just give it time. She told me that if someone asked me “what do you have to be depressed about?” then they didn’t understand depression.  Thankfully, my post partum faded away over time. I was able to get over the hump. It took me a few months to feel normal again. I did a lot of reading on post partum and joined a few discussion boards. But the turning point for me was when I was finally honest with my best friend about how I was feeling. She understood where I was coming from and didn’t judge me or make me feel like I was crazy. She confided in me about some of the things she had been going through, as well. We promised to always confide in each other.

The most important lesson I learned through my journey with PPD was that mothers need a support system. Every woman needs another woman to confide in. Pick her carefully. Find someone who does not judge you in your darkest moments. Find someome that will call you out when you are wrong but will listen to you cry, too.

I have the most amazing bond with my son and he is such a gift from God. I told myself that if I could help other moms realize that PPD is a real thing and that it is OK to talk about how you are feeling, then I would. When I saw this prompt today I felt that it was my turn to help other moms out there. Maybe you have PPD, or have had it. Maybe you’ve never told anyone how empty you felt after you had your child. It’s OK. You are a good mom. You are not alone. You need to find that one person you can tell anything to and talk to them. If she is a mom then chances are she needs someone to confide in, too. Ladies, moms need to stop judging and start encouraging. The world needs more kindness and understanding. You are a good mom. Don’t forget that. 

Daily Prompt: Baby

Where does mommy guilt come from?

Parenting. The most rewarding yet excruciatingly difficult task I’ve ever done. My children are a blessing. I was told at 20 that I probably wouldn’t be able to have kids. If I did, I would have a hard time getting pregnant. However, I got pregnant two months after I was married! It was a huge surprise. God is good and blessed us with a healthy baby boy, Aiden. A few years later we had Addison. She wasn’t as easy, but more about that a different time. I’ve been given the most important job in the world  – Mom.

I love my kids with every ounce of my soul. They are my life. I work full time but I do everything I can do be at field trips, school celebrations, football, basketball, baseball, dance…heck we even tried karate! But – I’m not superwoman. I can’t do it all. I have a career that I will not apologize for. I went to college and earned a degree to work. Yes, I would love to be a stay at home mom…but I can’t. For the past 8 years I have held onto guilt about so many things but being a working mom is the one I struggle with the most. My son has to ride the bus because I work. He hates the bus, but I can’t pick him up in time in the afternoons, so he rides – guilt. I have missed every school party for my daughter this year because of work – guilt. When I leave to meet a girlfriend for dinner – guilt. The time I didn’t even know about the 10oth day of school celebration and Addison was supposed to wear something with 100 items on it – guilt. When I get home from work and want to rest instead of play outside – guilt. Not having a five course dinner for my family every night – guilt.

Where does mommy guilt come from and why do I put so much pressure on myself to be perfect? Part of it is my own image of what being a Mom means and the unrealistic expectations I set for myself. Part of it is I feel guilty for being tired and stressed when God has blessed me with a family…all I ever wanted!! But some of my guilt comes from comparing what I do or don’t do to others. Where do I see this? Social media. Everyday I see moms and dads posting their best pictures. Their best pictures of the best parts of their best day and their fabulous trips and activities with their kids and pictures of moms at school parties and functions and then they post their best dinners or gourmet breakfasts or their 10 mile runs and….you get the point.

I like to post about my children and husband, too. I post adorable pictures for my friends and family to see. I want to share my great life, too. But do I think about who is on the other end of that phone, computer, or tablet? The mom on the other end who is struggling with her kids, husband or family? Or the woman who can’t have kids at all who sees my children plastered all over my page? Yes, they can unfollow me and I can unfollow those moms who drive me crazy with their posts but that just hides things. It is still there, just hidden from my view or until a different person posts about their perfect life.

I don’t think we can run from it. We all strive for perfection and want others to look at us and see how wonderful our life is. We don’t want our real struggles to show so we post pictures of our husband and kids and dog and dinner. Once I saw someone post the information about the new $450,000 house they were going to buy! And, surely,  you agree that pinterest adds to mommy guilt, too?? Now I have a place to store all the unnecessary ideas that ill never have time to accomplish!! Pinterest birthday parties are crazy! Our posts (and I’m to blame myself!) show everyone our picture perfect life.  But let’s call it what it is – fake. Other moms look at our best photos and think we don’t have the worst pictures to go with it! The worst pictures that show our kids fighting with each other. Kids that don’t listen (ever!) or boxed macaroni and cheese for supper. Or, how about pictures of that dreadful laundry that has piled up to the ceiling in the laundry room??  Or pictures of the floors that need to be mopped (because they haven’t been done since Christmas!) Or, a picture of that temper tantrum that the kids had this morning that caused World War III and now everyone is grounded from EVERYTHING for the rest of their lives!!! Or, dare I say, the fit I had this morning myself because I didn’t give myself enough time to get ready so I was impatient and fussed at my kids for no reason. Our posts don’t show the fights with our husbands or hurt feelings we experienced in our friendships. It doesn’t show the real life battles.

What it does show is highlights of a fairy tale world. The world we want everyone to see. I know how I feel when I see everyone’s best life thrown around on social media but I still post my best, too. I think if moms were honest with each other about how we really feel sometimes or how hard being a mom really is, then maybe we wouldn’t feel so guilty. If I knew that I was not alone with how I felt, maybe I’d  break free from some of my guilt. I have an awesome life with awesome kids and and an awesome husband, but I don’t need a million likes to prove it. Once I start believing that my life IS as awesome as I want it to be, maybe the mommy guilt from the unawesomeness  (is that a word?)  will go away.

I’m not saying that we should stop posting our pictures, but what I am saying is that we need to remember that we ALL have the worst photos to go with the best ones. I don’t want to contribute to another mom’s guilt and I don’t want to compare myself to others and feel like I’m failing, either. All I can do each day is try to be the best mom and wife I can and show my husband and kids the love they deserve with my actions…not with my posts. Today, share with your mom friends about some of your struggles. I bet they have some to share, too. Some days are better than others. All I can do is try. The guilt thing, I’m working on.