Friday, February 13, 2015

Reality ain't pretty.

I meet a lot of new people and the one comment I hear most often is "You're just so real!"
And I probably am. Embarrassingly painfully awkwardly ... real.

Last week The Man and I spent time in the Caribbean. Oh my goodness, it was so needed!
Endless naps, an abundance of rum punch, copious amounts of food, hours spent on beaches just watching people.... It was blissful. No internet access, just time to breathe.
Excessive laziness.
Tan skin, saltwater in my hair, flip flops, private islands. Vitamin D for days.

Then we came home. The first week back from vacation is always rough, isn't it? I think the week after vacation should just be like half workdays or something.
But we were thrown back into reality, full force.
My three businesses; Emma Creek Barn, Kansas Barn Sale, and The Rusted Chain all had mountains of work for me to tackle when I returned. Reality.
Stress and schedules and laundry and bickering. Reality.

Early in the week the school called to tell me The Baby had fallen, busted up his face pretty bad. I got him, took him in for stitches/glue, and spent hours taking care of him.
He stayed home the next day. Then went to school again, and the school called me... again... to tell me he'd fallen and busted it all open... again. Reality.

Yesterday I got news that my only brother (just 2 years older than me) had collapsed with a seizure, stopped breathing, and was being taken to the ER. Reality.
He's alive, undergoing a lot of tests today.

I don't tell you all this for sympathy. You have problems just as big as, or bigger than, mine. You need a vacation worse than I did. It's just that life isn't always beaches and rum punch.
It's not always rainbows and cupcakes. It's not always palm trees and pretty flowers. It's bumps and bruises, blood and needles, sleepy, overworked, tearful.

Life is gritty sometimes. But the grit creates appreciation and gratefulness. The grit adds strength and character.
The rough patches make the smooth patches seem so much better.
Reality ain't pretty. But it's real. And it's beautiful, if you intentionally look for the beauty.

Thursday, January 29, 2015


I'm as stubborn as they get. Bull headed. Determined.
And I believe that "fighters fight".

But... sometimes there is a place for surrender.

Surrender - : to agree to stop fighting, hiding, resisting, etc. : to give the control to someone else : to allow something to control you.

Surrender to chaos. Surrender to silence. Surrender to the journey. Surrender to the process. Surrender to God.
There can be great peace found in the surrender.

Palms open, heart open, breathe in and surrender.

Wishing you peace today!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tattoos for the "good girl".

My whole life, I've never been a big fan of tattoos... for me. They're great on other people, but I've never been interested in one for myself.
Until recently. Somehow I got bit by the bug and started really wanting one!

It's surprisingly hard to find subtle simple tattoos, which is what I wanted. So here are some that I gathered off the internet for inspiration.

Fear Less (this is mine! I did it!) By nature I'm a very timid person. Afraid of failure. Afraid of success. Afraid of social situations. Afraid of taking chances. So this is a reminder to me every time I look at my wrist, to fear less.

The prettiest butterfly I've ever seen.

Just one breath is a million sighs.

Kind of blurry but it says "I follow the rules". Ha! That one makes me laugh.

Loves Jesus & America too

I am enough the way I am.

Be the change.


Love me for who I am.


Act justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly.

"I will fear no evil for Thou art with me"... I like the placement and the wavy pattern.

Not all those who wander are lost

A pretty bird

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

What about you? Do you have tattoos? Do you want any?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Weight loss... Let's discuss. (ugh!)

I'm very uncomfortable with this topic. I've struggled with my weight my entire life. More than the weight, I've struggled with body image and self esteem issues my entire life.
Over the past few months I've lost a decent amount of weight. I've done it quietly.
Privately. Not mentioning it to anyone other than a few close friends. But enough people have begun asking me about it that I feel like I should talk about it openly now.
And with it being the first of a new year, maybe it can help some of you.

As of today, 28 pounds are gone from my body. Hopefully forever.
I don't belong to a gym. Don't take any special pills or shakes. Don't have a trainer. Don't have fancy workout clothes or shoes.

Just grit and determination. That's it.
Running 3 companies, I'm extremely busy. But I knew I had to squeeze in exercise too. I allotted myself 20 minutes a day. That's all. Seriously.

In July I just started getting up in the morning and going on a brisk walk for 20 minutes before I started my work day. Before I knew it 5 pounds were gone. Then 7. Then 8.
Then I was stuck at 8 pounds lost for a few weeks and it frustrated me. I decided to throw in jogging. (Wogging, I call it... walk/jogging.) I am NOT a jogger or runner. 30 seconds in, I thought I was gonna die.
I came home and texted my sister "I just ran. Like, with nobody even chasing me. I RAN!!" Ha!
I continued with that and the pounds kept coming off.

- I don't count calories, but am aware of what I put in my mouth. I am a food lover and refuse to live my life on carrot sticks. I still have everything I want... but now it's usually one slice of pizza instead of 3. If I want a donut, I have a donut... but I know I have to watch my intake somewhere else in my day. If I want Chinese food, I have it... but then eat a bit lighter the next day.

- My personal challenge each day is to see how intense I can get my workout in the shortest period of time. I have to admit that I did increase my time to 25 minutes when 20 wasn't doing enough for me anymore. And as of this week, I'm up to 30 minutes. It's a sacrifice in my day to commit that much time to exercise but it's worth it. I can take shorter showers or something. Ha! (If I get creative I can probably increase the intensity and lower that time back down too.)

- When wogging wasn't quite enough, I grabbed some 3 pound weights and at the end of my wog, I started doing squats and punches with them. Then that got too easy and I increased to 5 lb. dumbbells in each hand. I'm up to 8 lb. dumbbells now. Squats with 16 lbs of extra weight are killer.

- I added in kickboxing. I added in hula hooping. (without an actual hoop - just the motion is great for abs and thighs.)

- I added push ups. And crunches. I don't just want to burn calories with cardio. I want muscles.

- I increased my regular squats to double squats. (down in a deep squat, half way back up, down again, then all the way up. That's 1. "down, up, down, One .... down, up, down, Two." Oh my heck. They hurt.)

- I try to get enough protein because I really dislike being hungry. Smoked almonds are wonderful. And I swear by Dannon Light & Fit Greek yogurt. (12 grams of protein for 80 calories.)

- I lay out my workout clothes every single night before bed. If I have to get up in the morning and hunt for a sports bra or tennis shoes, I won't do it. I throw on my workout clothes first thing and get in the workout before my brain is fully awake and can talk me out of it.

- I usually grab a few bites of yogurt before my workout to take away the hunger pangs in the morning, but not fill me up. Then I eat the rest when I'm done.

- I'm a total girl... "what about my hair?!" While I DO shower every day after my workout, I don't wash my hair every day. Dry shampoo is my friend.

- I've worked out through pneumonia (maybe not my smartest move), a knee injury, a hip injury, sore muscles, asthma, and lots of sleepy mornings. I just know it has to be done, no excuses.

- On the days my body is just begging for a break, I do a light yoga workout instead.

- I've hit a couple of plateaus. They stink. It's counter intuitive but in those times, I dropped my workout entirely for 2 days and increased my calorie intake. (ack!!! That's so scary to do!) But it really does shake up the metabolism again.

- I've kept it quiet just because... I don't know. I'm uncomfortable with attention. I don't want or need compliments. It's all just... awkward. It's uncomfortable that I let myself get so big, and not a fun reminder to see it in pictures. I'm cringing at the ones below.

- I don't have a specific goal. I know I'm not where I want to be yet. I don't know where that is. But I'll know it when I get there.



Do you have specific questions? I'll try to answer them.
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2014

One little Word of the Year - 2015!

Words are powerful. We have a whole business dedicated to word jewelry.

So many of you choose a Word Of The Year rather than traditional resolutions... a word to inspire you, remind you, challenge you.
A simple word to change your life.

I love doing this too.
One of the best things is when a word or phrase appears to you again and again, and you KNOW it's meant to be used.
That has happened to me in previous years... I couldn't escape my "word". It came to me repeatedly.
This year, however, I struggled. I've been searching for the right word for 2 months now.
And the other day it hit me... I read the phrase "journey to Jesus" and knew immediately that my word was to be "journey".
It popped out of nowhere and smacked me straight in the forehead.

2015 will be the year I embrace the journey. And I'm excited to see where the journey takes me!

Our Word of the Year necklaces are available now! You can grab one here.

Have you decided on your one Word for 2015?