Monday, September 30, 2013

How To Look Normal On A Bad Day

Mom365 put together a great article about how to look better on those days when all you want to do is stay home in your pajamas: 10 Comfy Ways to Look Put Together. You don't have to be a mom though to get some good tips.

My favorite ones were: "Go Fitted" - wearing baggy shirts just makes you look bigger, it doesn't really hide much. "Rock Some Layers" - I wear layers a lot, and a black tank top underneath can do a lot to cover up and make you look longer while being discreet. "Cover Up With A Cute Coat" - who doesn't love covering a little extra tummy with a cute jacket or coat! "Pick Dark Denim" - Dark clothes hide the bulges better, which is why almost everyone looks good in black.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Apology Accepted

It's hard to sincerely apologize, but here's a little help from Mumford and Sons:

It was not your fault, but mine
And it was your heart on the line
I really (messed) it up this time
Didn't I, my dear?

You can add- 'I'm sorry, I'd like to make it up to you.'

An apology is a great foundation for reconciliation.

When you know you've made a mistake and need to apologize, it can seem agonizing to do it, but once it's done, you'll feel better. Even if the other person won't accept your apology, at least you did all you could. If they do accept your apology, you can begin to fix things and have a stronger relationship.

Remember- don't burn bridges, build bridges and use them!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fit Parent Workout


I have an exercise regimen that any parent can easily follow. If you don't have kids, someone will surely let you borrow their kids, they may even pay you to take them!

Warm up -  Get yourself out of bed in the morning.

The Vacuum (Endurance) - Hold a child who is suddenly scared of the vacuum while you vacuum the whole house. Bonus workout if the kid is trying to poke your face the whole time.

The Slide (Arms) - Lift a child repeatedly to the top of the slide so they can go down again and again.

Ball Chase (Cardio) - Run down the driveway to catch the ball before the ball or the child runs into the street.

Pick-up (Squats) - Repeatedly squat down, or bend over, to pick up things the child drops.

The Store (Cardio) - Run down each aisle of the store after the child while pushing a loaded shopping cart.

The Oven (Balance) - Balance on one leg while using the other leg to keep a child away from the hot oven while you use both arms to pull out a steaming hot dish.

Cowboy (Endurance) - Crawl on hands and knees with child on back until you collapse.

Superman / Blast Off (Legs) - Lay on back with legs bent in front of you and child on top of legs, your hands holding the child's hands/arms. Continually lift legs and arms so child flies into the air.

Couch Lifts (Legs) - Sit on the couch with legs down and child sitting on your feet. Lift legs, especially calves, into the air until you can't anymore.

The Hold 1 (Arms) - Hold a wiggly child who wants to get down or is throwing a fit.

The Hold 2 (Arms) - Hold a child who is sleeping and that you don't want to disturb.

Cool Down -  at night after the child has been put to bed, read a book, watch a movie, play on the computer, or spend quality time with a loved one.

Bonus late night moves:

The Hop (Legs) - Hop up and down in pain after you step on a sharp toy in the dark.

Freeze (Balance) - Hold completely still in whatever position you happen to be when you accidentally make a loud noise after the child is asleep.

Bonus health idea - you can eat all the vegetables your child won't eat on top of what you already dished out for yourself.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Light From Inside

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm is an older book, so many people pass it by, but it is a good book, especially for young girls. Those who like Anne of Green Gables will like Rebecca too.

I'm writing about this book because there is a part that I really liked. Rebecca isn't a beauty, but she has a beautiful and sunny personality. She has endeared herself to a particular older couple. The woman says that Rebecca isn't beautiful, and her husband replies that she is because she shines!

Personality will do a lot more for someone than just looks. Beauty makes a good first impression, but personality makes a lasting impression. I would rather be friends with someone that was nice to me, whether they were pretty or not. I would rather be friends with someone who cared about me, whether they were handsome or not.

I went to a conference recently and a woman spoke about her tragic life, but she was so funny, everyone laughed the whole time. She had part of her face removed and has prosthetic eyes because of cancer. Her face doesn't look pretty, but her personality is so fun that it doesn't matter what she looks like, everybody just loves her.

We all come with a pre-made body. Surgery or sickness change the body but at great expense, physically or monetarily. Try the easy fix instead- have a great personality, an easy smile, and you will be loved and appreciated.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Forgive And Forget?

There are some things that happen to you that you won't ever be able to forget. If the event was good, then it's a wonderful thing to have the happy memories. But if the event was bad, it can haunt you day and night.

There is a phrase: Forgive and forget. I don't necessarily agree with it. My version of it is: Get rid of the bad and learn from the past.

Forgiveness is about you. Forgiveness is about the emotions you have inside you. Forgiveness is about what you do with your life after an event, how you let it change your life.

After a bad event there are normal and needed negative emotions: fear, anger, hate, guilt, shame, denial, numbness, loneliness, betrayal, and a sense of loss. These negative emotions help you deal temporarily with what happened; they provide a needed buffer to reality. They are part of the process of healing and forgiveness, an outlet for the pain.

Everybody uses these emotions for varying amounts of time. For most people, there comes a point where they want to stop feeling bad, and they want to start feeling normal again. Normal is an ever changing concept. Normal will never be the same for everyone, or the same throughout your life. You need a new normal, a new way of looking at life that incorporates the event and how it changed you into a new you, a new normal.

This is the beginning of the healing and forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the bad. You shouldn't forget because you need to learn from the past, but you can let go of the bad feelings inside you. It is not easy, but it is possible.

You will still feel sad when you think of the event, and you'll have flare ups of negative emotions, but you'll be able to rid yourself of the constant blackness inside. It can be scary to let go of the bad feelings because they've been with you for so long, your normal, but you'll feel better once they are gone.

Heart don't fail me now
Courage don't desert me
Don't turn back now that we're here
People always say
Life is full of choices
No one ever mentions fear
Or how the world can seem so vast
On a journey to the past 

Bad events need to be worked through with healing and forgiveness the end result. You don't need to forget the event once the bad feelings are gone, but you also don't need to dwell on it. Learn from your mistakes, and learn from the mistakes of others. Mis-take, took the wrong path, missed taking the right path. Now you know what the right path is for you and for others. 'Life is full of choices' so choose the right ones, choose a positive new normal, choose forgiveness so you can have peace.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Facebook Page

I started a Facebook page for this blog! Go to to like it.

Catch And Release

I was talking with my mom last week, and I complained about something. She told me to not think negatively, or just don't think about it. I said that I just needed to say it real quick and then I was done. Just a quick release of negative energy. My mom called it 'catch and release'.

When negative thoughts come your way, catch the thought and release it. It's easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of negativity, but if you can catch a bad thought and release it, then it won't be swirling around you anymore.

The easiest way for me to do this is to just say it out loud, or write it down. Doing that makes it real- I caught the thought and released it. Sometimes you have to do this a several times, but practicing helps you do it better.

Catch and release the negative thoughts so you can enjoy the positive thoughts.

Friday, September 20, 2013


It was my 29th birthday yesterday. I'm at the age that a lot of people like to say they are because they can't quite admit they are in their thirties yet. My husband is excited for my next birthday because then we will both be in our thirties.

I'm at a really great stage in my life right now. I have pretty good health, except near the end of my pregnancies. I have the best husband and kids for me. I have a great family and family-in-law. I have some really good friends and lots of good people I know and live near. I have the best job for me- staying at home with my daughter and doing some work on the side at home too. My husband and I could give you a good list of things we would like to buy, but really we do have a lot- everything we need and then some. Life is pretty good right now. 

The trick now is to get older in age without getting older in body! Anyone have some good tips on how to do that? 

As my birthday present to all of you, I'll share a poem I wrote that's near and dear to my heart.

My child asked me, "Mommy, are you scared of dying?"
I said, "Well now, let me see.
Though I'm too young to die, I've lived a good life.
It was not without sin, but I've paid the price.

Am I scared of heaven or hell,
Or where I'll go when death rings his bell?
No, I'm not scared of the great beyond,
Of where I'll go when I am gone.

What scares me though, my child so dear,
Is you living a life without me near.
 The motherless child, the widower man.
I can hardly imagine, but at the same time I can.

The birthdays and school plays and weddings I'd miss.
The tears and the laughter are all things I wish.
To be there besides you, with you through it all,
I pray for it every day, to heaven I call."

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Three Years

It is three years to the day when we lost our little boy as a stillborn at five months along, his three year birthday. Tomorrow is my birthday. My husband and I have been married for four and a half years- the best four and a half years of my life. The last three years have been the hardest of my life because of not having our little boy with us, but my husband and I have each other and that's what keeps life sane for both of us, and we have our little girl. And that's all there is to say today.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Omission and Commission

Everybody in this world makes a difference every day by acts of omission and commission. Acts of commission are acts that are done- a nice or negative word to someone, hitting or hugging someone. Acts of omission are acts that are not done- not saying something nice or negative, not hitting or hugging someone.

Each act of commission or omission makes a difference in the world. Acts of commission have ripple effects, good or bad, that have widespread unknown consequences. Acts of omission can omit the ripple effect, or have a more silent ripple effect.

Every time you do or say something nice, it helps people feel good. They feel better about themselves and pass on that confidence and cheer. On the other hand, every time you do or say something bad, it helps people feel bad. They feel worse about themselves and pass on that downhearted and depressed feeling to others. It's best to do positive acts of commission.

Acts of omission work in a similar manner. When you omit a negative thought or action, you've helped other people. When you omit a positive thought or action, you've withheld good feelings.

If you think you can't actually make that big a difference in the world, let me give you some strong examples: school shootings, especially Columbine and Sandy Hook. A person decided to do an act of negative commission, and it affected the whole country, and the ripples are still going. A parent decides to abuse their child, a negative act of commission that will have lifelong consequences for the abused and those he comes in contact with.

On the other side, Martin Luther King Jr. made a big difference in the world. Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Jesus Christ, Shakespeare, Mozart, Marie Curie, and good parents.

Refraining from doing negative things leaves the whole world a better place. There most likely won't be any recognition or thanks, but it's the right thing to do. Committing pleasant acts will make a difference in the world. There still most likely won't be any recognition or thanks, but it's the right thing to do.

We have a choice everyday to put out positive or negative acts of commission and omission. These choices will have effects that you'll probably never know, but the combined goodness will result in a better world.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Prey On The Run

I was watching Wild Kratts with my daughter, and the Kratt brothers were being stalked by a wildcat. One of the brothers was about to take off running when the other brother told him not to run because "... nothing triggers a predator like prey on the run ..."

They were dealing with wild animals, but some humans seem to have a streak of wild animal in them, and they are predators that prey on weak humans.

I've mentioned before that if someone is trying to physically attack you, you should definitely try to run away, and that is still true! I've also talked about avoiding poisonous people, which you still should do if you can. This post is about a different type of running away.

If you're walking down the hall, and you see someone coming towards you that you really want to avoid (aka a predator). If they haven't seen you yet, and you can turn before they see you without messing up your plans too much, then by all means, go ahead and avoid them. But if there is an unavoidable meeting because they've already seen you or you can't go another way, then don't run, it will trigger them.

The bullies of this world prey on people who appear weak. Don't appear weak. Turning and scurrying away when predators see you, prey on the run, will trigger their predator instincts. Cowering as you try to hide in the shadows as they approach will trigger their predator instincts also.

Put on an act of bravado on the outside, even if you're not feeling it on the inside.  Head high, eyes aware, no fear on your face, shoulders back and down, arms swinging, a powerful walk, and a nod in their direction while passing. Doing this show confidence not weakness. Predators may still go after you because they are just that stupid and habitual, but they will probably target weak prey somewhere else if they can.

The actions mentioned above make you look bigger and more powerful, like many animals do when in danger. Pufferfish quickly fill themselves with water to poof out and look bigger and make their spines poke out. The Australian frilled lizard will spread out it's hood to look bigger and more intimidating.

Don't be prey on the run, be confident and big!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

What Am I?

I read an article recently about a woman who stays at home with her children, but also works from home. She mentions that once you have kids, there seem to be only two categories women are put into: working mom or stay at home mom. People don't always understand that she stayed at home and worked and was a mom.

I'm the same way- I do a newsletter for a group and am their webmaster, plus I have an Etsy store and write this blog, and I stay at home with my daughter. It's always tricky trying to tell people what I do because they want to know if I work or stay home, but I do both!

Being a stay at home mom (sahm) and working at home is a great combo for me and I love it. Here's an example of what I've done at home and selling on my Etsy store- JEP Creations:

SAHM Seeking Mommy Friends
Everybody needs friends, but sahms (or sahds), seem to need other Mommy (or Daddy) to chat with. You can swap crazy stories and speak with an adult, and the kids entertain each other.

I have the perfect mix for me- work at home and stay at home mom.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

In Our Minds And Hearts

Some people weren't alive twelve years ago when America was attacked. Some people were alive but can't quite remember why people make such a big deal of remembering what happened twelve years ago today, September 11, 2001.

America was attacked, we were threatened. Many people were hurt and killed. The after effects are still strong in the lives of the people of the United States of America.

Each year this is a reminder that we need to protect our liberty. Each year we mourn the loss of those who died while we lived. We honor the families of the fallen for surviving bravely. Remember the events of this day so that they will hopefully never happen again.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Beautiful Heartbreak

I used to babysit a particular family a lot when I was younger, and they were really fun to babysit. I taught them to play Monopoly, an easy kid friendly version. They taught me about Dragon Tales, I still get the song stuck in my head sometimes.

Earlier this year, I found out that the little innocent girl I used to babysit had lost her little baby. She and her husband were able to spend a few days with their little boy before he died. My heart hurt for the innocence I knew they lost that day, for the loss of their little boy.

I was able to connect back with her, and we shared our stories. Our hearts broke a little more for each other, but at the same time healed a little bit too.

She wrote the following blog post about her experience:

It's been 26 days since my beautiful baby boy was brought into the world. 

And 22 since he passed. 

I've made it through 22 days. 
 Sometimes I miss him so much it makes my heart ache and breathing seem difficult.

Everyone has moved on, I don't blame them.

They didn't know him like I did.

While life has gotten back to normal, in a way it hasn't.

I'm not the same. I'm completely changed.

But it's a good thing.

People ask, how are you? 

It's a valid question.

But I don't know how to reply.

"Good" just doesn't seem adequate.

"Ok" isn't accurate either.

I'm better then ok. I'm better then good, even.

But I'm still hurting.

My son has changed me.

Everything Jon and I do, our son is on our mind and in our hearts.

Instead of seeing life as stressful, or monotonous,

now I see it's just beautiful.

I try and see life through my sons eyes.

Every detail.

And the most beautiful part is the unseen.

What we don't see, but know is there.

And somehow this experience has brought me closer to the unseen.

"Prove you believe in things not of this world.." 

A feeling that came over me as I laid in a hospital bed and found out I would have to say goodbye to my son in this life.

Proving is a painful process. But it is also a rewarding one.

The whole experience, if I had to sum it up in one word, it would be:


Every detail about the experience has defined my life.

Do I really know I will see him again?

Do I truly believe in an all powerful, and all knowing God?

Is the power of the atonement, unconditional?

And the answer?

The truth is, this experience caused me to question these things more then ever. 

I never doubted it. I just needed to be reminded, because so much was on the line. 
And now, I know it so much I can't imagine questioning it ever again.

This rings true in every detail of my life.

Before I make a choice, I think, what would my son think of me?

If he was watching, would he be proud to call me his mom?

I hope so.

And when I am tempted to complain or feel sorry for myself, I think of his tiny body on that table.

Fighting to be on this earth for just a little bit longer.

He was our little fighter.

Something he got from his daddy.

Guilt still tries to find it's way in sometimes.

But the what if's don't matter now.

He wasn't meant to stay. 

And even though I struggle everyday to accept that fact, I have managed to, for 22 days. 

No matter how many tears it requires, or how painful it is. 

I know he wasn't meant to stay. 

He is healed, and he is happy. 

And through tender mercies given by the Lord, I have come to know that my son knows I love him so much.

That brings more comfort then I thought possible,

       and more joy then I thought I was capable of feeling. 

It's a beautiful heartbreak.

Monday, September 9, 2013


Next time you hit up against Impossible, change it to I'm Possible. You can achieve great things when you set your mind to it and don't give up. Make sure what you're doing is worth your blood, sweat, and tears, then give it your whole heart too.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Happiness Is A Form Of Courage

Holbrook Jackson said, "Happiness is a form of courage."

It can take a lot more effort to be happy than to be sad. This world makes it easy to be sad, discouraged, angry, and unhappy. To rise above that, to find good in the world, to be the good in the world, to be happy takes courage.

Many people are mocked for being happy in an unhappy world- it takes courage. Many news stories are called stupid because they are about happy things- it takes courage. Happy people are called naive, innocent, unlearned, backwards, and looked down on. But if we didn't have happy people, this world would be an angry chaotic mess. Choosing happiness helps others choose happiness.

How do you be courageous and be happy? You make a conscious effort- it can take work to be happy. Smile more, laugh more, search for good, ignore the bad that you can. Let bad feelings and bad people go. Hold on to good feelings and good people.

While this piece of art unnerves me a little, it also has a good message. These people choose happiness instead of staying mired in the muck of this world. They are breaking free. It takes courage to get up and move instead of just laying in the familiar mold.

Take courage and choose happiness!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

National Pregnancy And Infant Loss Awareness Month

 "You may think of Fall as the season to carve pumpkins, drink cider and rake leaves; however, it is also a significant time of reflection for bereaved families across the country. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan declared October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month to recognize the nearly one million families annually who experience perinatal loss.

In the years since, the number affected by this tragic experience has not significantly declined and little attention is drawn to the issue. Did you know the death of a baby during pregnancy or shortly after birth is over twenty-five times more common than that of breast cancer and twice as common as heart-disease related deaths?  Today, one in four pregnancies ends in loss. Many bereaved parents find the help they need, but thousands remain shattered by the death of their baby." 

   -Share Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support, Inc.

 It seems like with all the advanced, life saving medical care we have these days, that there should be no little babies lost, no children dying before their parents, no need to have a National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. But people do lose their pregnancies, there are many miscarriages, stillbirths, SIDS, cancer, tumors, accidents, baby deaths, toddler deaths, children's deaths. 

It's scary. It makes people hold their children tight and hope they never have to know first hand what it is like. It makes people do crazy things when they do experience it. It makes people scared to get pregnant in the first place. 

This October month of awareness isn't about scaring people. It's about raising awareness for an unspeakable topic. Too many people keep it to themselves because it can be awkward to tell their story. 

We always have a dilemma when asked how many kids we have. There's a quick fleet of thoughts, "Should I say one or two? Should I tell them two and not mention the first one died? Do they look like they can handle the information? Do I feel comfortable enough with this person to tell them my personal pain? Are they asking in passing or do they really want to know?" It creates a little pause that makes the asker sense something isn't quite right.

If we tell them two kids and all they see is our little girl, they ask where the other one is. If we tell them one, we feel like we're leaving out a big part of our lives, our stillborn son. If we tell them the story, they don't know what to say and feel awkward. 

But sometimes, after a quick debate we feel we should tell our story, and it's a good thing. The other person has experienced loss themselves, whether it be their own child or a loved one's child. There's an understanding there that helps heal and support.  

My philosophy is to tell people on a need-to-know basis. Do I think they need to know? Some people I'll never see again and they are only asking to be polite, so they don't need to know. Some people are potential friends or strangers that actually seem to care, so they can know, if I feel like telling them.

We are going to tell our daughter that if she is asked, she can say she's the oldest or say she has a brother that died before her. She is the oldest living child and she also has an older brother.  We'll tell her that it's up to her to say what she wants to say, what she feels comfortable saying. I'm sure there will be some bad experiences for her because of this, people saying mean or insensitive comments. We'll take each experience as it comes and talk it over together, drawing closer to each other and our little baby boy. 

Sometimes I worry that our kids won't care that they had an older brother because they never knew him, never saw him, talked to him, or held his tiny little body. But I do have hope that they will care and love him because I have a good friend who has always held her older twin brothers in her heart though she never knew them. She cares about them and loves them. I know they will love their big brother because we love him and make sure he is important in our lives.

Remember the little ones that are not with us, and the families that are. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Try Something New

"I don’t know what to tell you ... except that when nothing’s working you gotta try something new."

My brother wrote that and it reminded me that if something doesn't work, then it's okay to set it aside and try something new. I've been doing that lately, and it can get frustrating always trying something new, but it's keeping me on top of things, and I'm learning.

Some say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. How many times do we do something over and over but keep hoping for a new and different result?

 Many people in the business industry try and fail, but the successful ones learn to try something new, while the others just give up. A failure is just one way to not do something, so try a new way or a completely new idea.

The best part about sharing your ideas, besides getting praise for good ideas, is getting an outsider's perspective. It helps to try and see something from a new perspective, a way that you can't see it normally. You may realize that things need to be thrown away, tweaked a little, or that they are just plain awesome.

Then he said, "Also, sometimes when everything seems stuck life has a way of giving you a jump start to shake things up.... But you won’t always like what it does.”

You're not always going to like what life throws your way, what people say about what happens to you. Life will jump start its self sometimes, which can give new life, but it's not always easy life. The best you can do is learn to pick yourself up and make the best of it.

Try something new today, and tomorrow, and the next day. Take the best life has to offer everyday.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Better Prepared Than Just Scared

Some people don't like to think about what would happen if they or someone they loved were attacked, beaten up, kidnapped, raped, or in a bad situation. It scares them, so they don't think about it. These things happen. They may have happened to you or someone you know. They may happen in the future to you or someone you know. I would rather be prepared and scared, rather than just scared out of my wits and defenseless.

Here's a short lesson from Gracie Heart from Miss Congeniality:

 Here's a quick reminder:

S-I-N-G: solar plexus, instep, nose, groin.

Some other sensitive areas: eyes- poke them, ears- pull/slap/hit them, elbow- bend backwards, knee- bend backwards, shin- scrape with foot. And a note on the groin- it's the testicles not the penis that really hurts them, so if you're in close range- go for underneath.

Hopefully you never have to get into a physical alteration with someone, but if you do- fight back! Fight back and yell and scream. Try and get someone's attention. It's okay to use bad language too- sometimes it's the only thing they understand. Try to run away too. It's really hard to hit a moving, zig-zagging target with a gun, so run. Keep your jaw closed- if someone hits your face, and open jaw will be dislocated while a closed jaw will stay in place better.

If you're alone and worried, there are some things you can do:
-Look for a nice looking family or person and stand close to them.
-Stay in the well lit areas.
-Keep your head up and your body in a strong and confident stance- no hunched shoulders, head down, or weak arms.
-Be aware. Don't just stare at your phone. Look around, assess the situation.

One last thing that will help deter suspicious looking people from bothering you is to act a little gross. Burp, fart, pick a wedgie, or pick your nose. It may seem embarrassing, but if you're really worried that someone is about to make a bad move on you, it would be better to do one of those things than to be a victim.

Thinking about and talking about these things with others will help give you peace of mind. These tactics are for good for men and women, boys and girls to learn. It will give them an arsenal to pull from if they are attacked. Be prepared so you are less scared.