Enough Comparisson

I’ve had enough.

I am over the feeling of being inadequate.
I am over the feeling of not being like Sally Jones.

I am sick of looking at how she dresses and feeling like I am dressed like I threw on a garbage bag.
I am sick of looking down at my wedding ring that I love and feel like I look poor because my ring is smaller than hers.
I am sick of struggling when making food for the kids that isn’t 100% organic paleo.
I am sick of feeling like I don’t measure up to her parenting skills.

I AM OVER IT.

You know what, I try hard.
I work hard.
I do a lot.
While I don’t do it perfectly, I homeschool, work a very weird FT job, have my kids every day but a few hours on Thursdays, I shuttle them to piano/Swimming/Royal Rangers, they are dressed (usually in something I swore I would never let them wear), they eat food (sometimes its literally GMO,food colored, gluten), you can see 60% of my carpet and we are all still alive.

Without settling for a place of complacency and refusing to better myself, I am done trying to measure up.
I am who I am.
It is what it is.
I do what I gotta do.

I want to be a good wife and mom FOR MY FAMILY.  Things and appearances will not enhance that. My kids are not going to look back and be like “my mom was awesome because she had a big wedding ring or was dressed to the 9’s all the time”.

If it isn’t a passion of mine or something I feel convicted about, I am not going to kill myself to try to achieve it, or for not trying either.

Self development, education and practice is important but we can’t do it all. Do what you are passionate about. Do what you are feeling drawn too. Do what you are being convicted about. Who cares what Sally does, I am sure she feels the same pressure.

 

 

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Control

Hello.

My Name is Alicia.

I am a control freak.

I am a planner.

I am always early. Being on time is late to me.

This makes life with me exceedingly difficult.

It also makes life run smoothly, if you follow my plan.

There I admitted it. I am a type A, controlling person that allows that to rule my life more often than not. I know that it makes me hard to love , I really try to calmly allow the disruptions to cream my plans. However, that rarely happens. When people ruin plans, arrive really late, expect me to attend something that I am told about last minute, a beast comes out of me. You do NOT want to get in my path.

I balance so many balls on a daily basis as a FT mom, FT(plus) working momma whose husband has a new job that requires more of him than his last (I am SO proud of him with this job). I feel like I am one moment from everything coming crushing down. I guess I am in the midst of a fight or flight mode which took my idiosyncrasies and multiplied them by 50.  My life is planned out a month at a time, each detail written in a specific manner in my planner on a weekly basis. When someone tells me about a family event we need to be at next week, I die inside and then turn into Satan. Have you not known about this for a longer period of time and are just now telling me?

In my messed up mind, I translate that into disrespect. You know me, you know my life, yet you continue to do this to me. How self absorbed is that statement. This is what I am working on. Choosing to respect people for who they are even when I feel like they are not respecting me for who I am. After all, I am sure they wonder the same thing “they know me. They know I am always last minute.”.

You see, the Lord works in mysterious ways and about 99.9% of the friends and family that surround me are perpetually late and last minute. At the end of the day, me being frustrated and a raging lunatic will not change the situation. Me raging will not send us back 2 weeks ago when they knew about this upcoming event. Me being frustrated will not change the reality that I now have to use dreaded white out all over my wonderfully charted planner (I don’t undo my planner, if its in there on that day. It will get done. I have to complete and cross off). I love them and value you their place in my life, this  {minuscule}hiccup can NOT get in the way of that.

I also am a control freak. If I have it set in my mind something needs to be a certain way, it needs to be a certain way. If I am hosting a group of ladies for a brunch and tell you not to bring anything. DO NOT BRING ANYTHING. Why? Because I have taken the time to mentally  plan what I will make, where I will place it, how I will label it. And if I didn’t make room for your veggie tray in my scheme, then obviously all hell breaks loose when you show up with one. No leaving it on its plastic store provided base isn’t an option (you know, BPA and stuff.HA) . This isn’t because I am a gifted event planner, chef or even own remotely cute serving dishes. It is because I didn’t want you to or plan on you brining food. I want to serve you and you are getting in the way of my blessing gosh darn it.

But seriously, my husband is the best human being on this planet for dealing with me and my issues. Over the last 12 months (again, actually more like the last 3 years) I’ve had to deal with a lot of things that were easier to push down and let hide below the surface than deal with head on. I wish I could tell you this work in progress part of me came from reading a wonderful book, prayer or deep self seeking. It wasn’t. It was from reading THIS BLOG POST . I guess the Lord really meets you where you are… even in your FB feed. This post convicted me, opened my eyes and spiraled me into a sleepless night full of reflection that ultimately brought me to the realization that I am a self absorbed, tired momma that allows situations and life to control/ ruin days for both me and my family/friends.

I constantly tell myself under my breath: Choose Joy. Choose Patience. Choose Love.

Today I had a wonderful opportunity to practice this. I went to Costco, along with 500 other people on this 90 degree day. After walking about 6 miles to get into the store and seeking out the last cart they own that was not in use, I made my way through costco buying the 3 things on my list. If you think I left with just 3 things, then you are incorrect. I of course found the semi-decent deal on winter gloves for the kids that we could need tomorrow (MN weather is incredibly bi-polar), socks, crackers, a new cheese dip and sale priced gummies on my way from grabbing a 10lb pork loin and heading to the checkouts.
I held in my vomit as the cashier told me my total and I started walking towards the door. On the way I glanced down at my receipt and noticed that I was charged for 4 gloves instead of 3.
I didn’t even want to buy the 3 I need, let alone pay for a pair we didn’t actually have in the cart to take home. I waited in the 36 hour long customer service line as one lady rolled in, cutting the entire line just as it was my turn (chance #1). Finally it was my turn and I nicely and calmly explained the situation as the lady at the desk told me I would have to go to a different register where the manager would meet me to take care of the refund (chance #2). More waiting. The manager finally arrives at the check out only to need a 2nd manager to co-approve the return of an $11.49 overcharge. Moments later they apologize for the inconvenience and send me on my way.
I journeyed the miles back to my car (we call it goose- Honda Pilot- Goose Pilot), unloading the $160 of items into goose only to realize I now have only 2 pairs of gloves, paid for 4 and refunded 1… I should have 3 gloves, I paid for 3 gloves.(chance #3) I brought my receipt and the two gloves into the managers register area to let him know he accidentally forgot to hand me back my 3rd pair of gloves he used to issue the refund moments ago. He was confused and said that the gloves were most definitely put back into my cart. At this point I was almost audibly saying “choose love, choose joy, choose patience. They are gloves, its $12 and not worth escalating”.  Full of joy, I insisted he check the cart where I just watched him put return items to be restocked. He finally did and sure enough there they were.
I walked out all proud that I dealt with that situation without getting angry. I don’t always externally show my disgruntled feelings but oh boy there is lava flowing inside of me. Then,I thought “why on earth are you proud of yourself for this. This shouldn’t even be a thing. You have lots of work to do”….

So, here I am, costco poor with 3 pairs of gloves and proud that I took baby steps today towards a better me. SO much longer to go. I am trying.

 

Searching & Breaking

This past year has been likely the hardest one I’ve had to endure in my 30 years of life. While I am beyond blessed that it wasn’t hard because I lost a child or endured a horrific life event, the dark emotions I had were hard on me.

A part of my inner struggle has been, “Am I allowed to feel these emotions without negating the painful journey someone else is on?” And while I don’t know the actual answer to that pressing question, I have arrived at the decision that it is indeed fair for people to feel/experience/share their struggles in a respectful and sensitive manner. So here we go, the next few posts will be me trying to be respectful and sensitive as I hash out the last 12 months (way longer if we are being honest here) of struggles out on paper. Please know that I am so far from perfect. I am a hot mess. I try to be kind and am not passing judgement or trying to make light of others struggles, however, as a simple person I lack the ability to articulate the correct words that portrays this.

A few months ago I stopped and realized that I am the WORST version of myself. That is saying A LOT! Even at my best, I am not enough (we will come around to this statement eventually). I am a type A, a control freak, mental load over load momma on a mission. Many days, you don’t want to get in my way. How did I get here? How am I such a horrible person? Why is anxiety and depression suddenly effecting me in such a way that I spend more time in bed than anywhere else?

After much searching, taking a step back and analyzing life, lots of painful self discoveries and making some changes. Here we are, feeling much better than I have in a long time. I still have crap to figure out, but healing is a process.

From Keto to Vegan

WHAT A JUMP

I’ve been doing Ketogenic diets on and off for 3 years. In fact, I lost 85lbs on Medifast (low carb ketogenic like diet) prior to my surprise pregnancy. I did SO great during weeks 1-25 of my pregnancy and then LOST CONTROL. I gained about 45lbs during pregnancy and then another 40lbs after I stopped nursing. SO, here I am needing to loose 100lbs.

I went back to Keto diet again and felt so sick. Just like I did when doing Medifast years prior. I was shedding lbs but felt so sick! Constant stomach pain, hair loss, constipation etc.

I decided there had to be better options out there. There had to be. That is when I decided to make a jump into a whole food, plant based, vegan diet. I have never been a huge fan of animal related products so I truly don’t miss much. The best part is that in following High Carb Hannah’s clean & lean plan for 2 weeks (even with eating Vegan Pizza 2 times and not being perfect on my meal plan) I lost 7lbs and ate way more food than I could ever have imagined.

I am a firm believer that no diet is a bad diet. Everyone’s bodies responds to things differently. For me, for now, Keto or Paleo is NOT what my body needs. For you, HCLF may NOT be what your body needs.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be a true Vegan in lifestyle but for now, that is how I am eating and I’ve NEVER felt better!!!

The Day I Quit Facebook

If I see one more picture of a baby loosing their life to childhood cancer.

If I see one more picture of the havoc being wreaked on families in different countries.

If I see one more post about uninformed political rants.

If I see one more thing about abortions or sex trafficking.

I WILL LOOSE IT!
Facebook suddenly went from a place to connect, seek advice and show pictures of your kiddos to a negative nancy movement. Now, I am in no way discrediting the fact that the things being displayed are a harsh reality that people are dying (or stupid). I just can’t take having that be all I see.

I recently have found myself entering a state of (circumstantial) depression as my world has just been a lot. Signing on to FB has been an escape for me to mindlessly scroll through the pics and posts of friends… but, now its too much. I would find myself crying so hard I can’t breath or ridiculously angry instead of refreshed.

That is when I decided I needed to deactivate. I needed to take a step back and focus my time on things that didn’t make me upset. It was super painful to hit deactivate. It felt like I was hitting “save” on “deactivate the itty bitty social life you have”. I actually attempted to disconnect about a month ago by deleting FB app on my phone… well, the browser is still right there so it didn’t help.

The next day, you guys this is sick, I habitually opened the Crome Browser in order to look at FB at least 40 times. 40 TIMES NO LIE! Day 2 was a fraction of that and it FEELS SO GOOD.

If this will be the end of my FB life, I am unsure of. However, for now, this is my life. IG and Snap Chat- just beautiful pics and funny snaps to fill my life with smiles or motivation.

If it wasn’t for GPS- I’d strongly consider getting a dumb phone. Well, that and my kids only record of their life is on IG….

 

 

Whole 30, OH MY!

My relationship with food is undoubtedly MESSED up. During my relationship with weight loss and food, I’ve discovered that at this time I can’t continue with Medifast. Same tune, different verse… I am too sensitive to gluten, dairy and soy to handle to food any longer. While they have some options that don’t have one of those ingredients, there are currently none without all . I am sick of having gut rot, acne, headaches, nausea, painful joints, bowel issues, runny nose… anyone that has food sensitivities knows what I mean.

As I fight to convince myself to stay on plan, I start to evaluate my WHY. WHY do I NEED to stay on Medifast? Well, in asking myself that question I soon realized that the fact that its the only plan I’ve used that successfully helped me loose a significant amount of weight I created a thinking pattern that has me convinced I can only loose weight on Medifast. Medifast or nothing is basically how I feel. Loosing weight or being fat.

Yea, those aren’t the only two options and that thought pattern goes to show just how crazy messed up I am. Once again, another blog post for another time.

Prior to struggling with my internal fat girl issues, I had started researching Whole 30 a bit more in depth as something I was going to have my boys and hubs do. You see, all 3 of my kids have food sensitivities as well

Jayden- Corn, Citrus, Gluten and Dairy
Josiah- Kiwi, Pineapple,  Gluten and Dairy
Judsen- Fish, Corn and Gluten
Me- Soy, Dairy, Gluten and some veggies

Some are actually diagnosed, others are just from visual or reported reactions to foods more than one isolated time.

As much is it is going to KILL my family that we are cutting out CHEESE and BREAD, I am SO excited for us to all collectively feel better.

My bank account is NOT on board so that will be the hardest part… figuring out how to navigate this and our budget at the same time. I don’t like to spend more than $100 a week for our family of 5, 3 meals + snack a day… my boys can EAT. I am working at starting a 2nd YouTube channel to share my fails/wins/budget advice/recipes/updates on since there are a TON of whole 30 videos but few family related ones… Like great $150 W30 grocery hall got me so excited only to find it was for 2 adults… I basically feed 4.5 adults…

Have you do the Whole 30? I’d love any advice you can give me!

1 am Rain Storms

Here it is, 1 am. Only 4 hours until my alarm will rudely ring alerting me it is time to pull myself together for another 8 hour shift this holiday weekend.

Normal people would be KOed at this point… not me. Nope. I have to have issues sleeping. I blame my husband for going up north with my 3 precious babes, where there is little to no cell service, leaving me alone at home. Not only is the Ninja Turtles menu screen music not playing in the room next to mine but, there is a lack of a warm body next to me. The body that makes me feel comfortable and safe.

The only thing that is normal right now, besides me up watching Netflix at ungodly hours, is the fact that my huge dog is snoring away on the floor squeezed between the wall and my side of the bed. A place she has been since day 1.

Not only am I wide awake, it is storming hard core right now. Storms really aren’t my favorite. Here I am riding out the storm, alone.

It is moments like these that I realize how much I take my husband for granted. I forget how big of a rock he is for me. You know, the way that he puts the boys to bed every night and then checks on them one last time before he goes to bed. The way that before he headed up north, he took my sunglasses and keys out of the looser cruiser and put them in my old lady car without me asking. Or how he is wearing barely intact work boots without complaining so we could get the boys wardrobes updated for the school year and season change.

I lucked out big time!

To say that I show him appreciation, spoil him or build him up would be a lie. I’m honestly a bad wife. I’m snippy, bossy and a control freak. He deserves better. Yet, he sticks around.

We had a rough 2015. Had we both been raised where divorce wasn’t an option, I am pretty sure we would be. Not because we don’t love each other but because marriage is hard and messy. We both had to fight for our marriage, we had to pick ourselves up off the floor as tired and warn out as we were and fight. I am SO glad we did. As cliche as it sounds, we 100% wouldn’t have made it without the Lord, our faith and prayer. Especially since marriage problems are fought in secret.

The bad rain storm going on outside my window will knock some trees down, maybe some power lines. However, it will stop and we can repair everything it ruined in it’s wake. The same goes for seasons of life that are HARD. They are scary and seem like there is no way out BUT, they end and afterwards you can rebuild/repair.

I say all this to give you, to the 3 people reading my blogs, in an effort to give some encouragement to push through. Don’t give up. Anchor down and weather this storm. Trust in the Lord to fill you with grace and mercy.  You are strong enough, you are good enough, you are brave enough. You’ve got this.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

Now, I’m off to try to sleep- how many days is it acceptable to use dry shampoo in order to get an extra 30 minutes of sleep?