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Friday, July 27, 2018

My Wedding Ring Doesn't Fit

     About two, maybe three years ago, I had lost a lot of weight. For the first time since having kids, I had gotten below an important weight milestone. I was super stoked and happy. Then, after maintaining that weight, Christmas came and went as well as all of those other holidays that encourages holiday eating. I gained some weight and was back to pregnancy weight- ewwww.

     I was still able to wear my wedding ring until I hit a weight that was past pregnancy weight. I've been there for a while now and haven't worn my wedding ring in a little over a year. It's very frustrating, and sad, and mortifying, and leaves my hand feeling naked and weird.

     I could go on and on about how sad my life is, but it really isn't. Life happens, people gain weight. Clothes fit, then get too tight, and then loosen up again. I've been rotating between 3 different pant sizes for the last year.

      The good news, now is... I've lost almost ten pounds. I'm tired of being so heavy. I'm tired of looking at pictures of me, but most importantly, I'm tired of looking at naked fingers as I type. It's time to take back my fingers. Water weight is a real thing and I'm going to shed it, even if I have to go to the bathroom 103949183748317 times a day- ok, maybe that's to many times and pretty much impossible. How about 10 times a day. That's more realistic.

      My garden is flourishing- literally, not metaphorically. I have more cucumbers and zucchini than I know what to do with. My Pinterest is overflowing with zucchini recipes. I'm going to eat healthy and exercise more! (I've promised this before in a different blog, but this time, it's true!) I'm not sure I believed that with the laughing I heard in my head. (Ugh! the tomatoes haven't even begun to turn red, yet. #SaladsForDays)

     It's time to don those rings! Who's with me?

               
OMGosh!!! They're tight.... I don't think I can get them off! Do I really need a ring finger?

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Momisms


Hello everyone! I've written this before, but I was hoping to make it better for social media. As parents, we have learned that things don't always mean the same thing to those who don't have kids. I had a little bit of fun making up some Momisms. What do you think? Are there any more that should be added?


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

     I just read a book by Jennifer Fulwiler that literally could have been about my life, called One Beautiful Dream


     

 In this book, she writes her story about her journey to becoming a published author while being a stay-at-home mom of six children. She writes about feeling inadequate with being a mother, a teacher, and a writer and how she overcomes those feelings by including her family in her decisions and how thinking differently helped her home life. This is a book that I recommend anyone who has ever done anything to read.

     As a mom who stays home, I've wondered if what I do matters. I see my kids and I wonder if the way that I'm raising them is going to help them in life or make them little serial killers in the future. (Since they are playing nicely and aren't skinning animals, I think it's safe to assume they're going to be ok). There really isn't a right way to raise kids, especially when they all have their own individual personalities. My daughter, for instance, wants to be a mother when she grows up. (One good parent point for me) My oldest son wants to be a video game designer (maybe I let him spend too much time on video games) and when he's done with that, he wants to be the president of the United States. I'm a creative person and not a teacher, I find house cleaning abhorrent, (I get cleaned what needs to be clean, I just detest it in the process), and I don't like to play toys with my kids the way that they want to play. That doesn't make me a bad mom, though.

      Jennifer explains many of the things that I've talked about and have wondered in her book and says it better than I could. I highly recommend that you read it!

      I've had this blog for over a year and still don't consider myself a writer. My whole life I've written stories and have started writing books and am almost finished, but still don't think of myself as an author. In the book, Jennifer says that everyone has something that fuels them whether it be arts and crafts, writing, organization, or hospitality. She calls this your blue flame. This is the thing that energizes you and gives your life fire. You see, the blue flame in fire is the hottest source of the fire and is where it originates. We can be stay-at-home moms or women or men who work, but we all need something to fuel us. Even if we are good at what we do, we can still burn out, which is why she says to find that thing that fuels you.

      Find your niche- that's something I've been reading about when creating a blog. My blog has been a smorgasbord of topics, therefore not quite how it should be according to the "blogging experts", but this is my life and things that I enjoy. I may not think of myself as a writer or author because someone hasn't said, "Girl, you're a writer,"but that doesn't mean it isn't so. Jennifer wrote and kept writing and she called herself a writer even though it took her five years to finish her first book. I just need to keep on doing what I love. I'm writing, (Ok, maybe typing) I'm publishing online, I'm getting the things in my brain on paper and into words, I'm a writer.

      Keep on persevering, keep doing what you love! If you keep doing it, you are it. I'm a writer, you're an artist, you're a teacher, you're a caregiver, you're a minister. Embrace who you are, weirdness and all. You don't need someone to tell you who you are, just DO IT!

Have you found your blue flame? What gets you energized?


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Friday, July 20, 2018

Do You Worry About Being Remembered?

     I don't know if it's just part of being a woman or maybe every human feels this way from time to time, but sometimes, out of nowhere, I get into a weird funk. Sometimes it happens when I'm reading a book or when I'm listening to old songs (this is usually what gets me) and I get taken back to a time years ago. Sometimes it happens when I try on a pair of clothes and they no longer fit or when I see a picture of myself and think, "That's not what I look like in the mirror." I can get really down and I start thinking about what it was like in school.
 
     I used to be a very outgoing introvert... I think the terminology might be ambivert, now.... or maybe I'm wrong about that. I was the type of person who liked to go meet people, but after a while, I liked to just be by myself because I overwhelmed myself from trying to get popular. I was the type of person who tried to befriend everyone! I was the person who followed the calling, "Go forth and make disciples" (especially when it was competition time in the youth group.) If I knew you, you probably were getting invited to church all the time.

       I used to be cute and skinny and had many boyfriend prospects. It was nice to know that people liked me and that I could make friends so easily. Perhaps that's why I get into funks now. As a stay-at-home mom, my priorities have changed. My friends are my kids and my family members. Yes, I wonder from time to time if someone thinks about me and has great memories of me just like I do them. It can be discouraging when I think about how large my group of friends were, even though I still had my close group of friends too.

      I thinks its natural though, to separate from each other. We're all at different parts of life, right now. I've been blessed to get married right out of college and have kids right away. At some point, we had to grow up. We went to different colleges because that was what was right for us. We had to move away because we had better opportunities. When I get into my funk and I wonder if I'm thought of often or even on occasion and hope that I'm thought of fondly, I should be glad to have had those experiences at all. We weren't dumped by our friends, time and life just happened and we should be glad that our friends are happy and wish the best for them.

     Here's my challenge for you: If you think of someone from the past, pray for them. Let them know. It's funny how we have this thing called Facebook. Send them a message; a word of encouragement. Don't be shady about it, because that's just weird. Say "Hi, I was thinking about you today. Remember when....?" It might brighten their day, and if they're like me and feeling down about their weight or feeling a little lonely, it can turn a funk day around to a good day. So let's encourage each other, today!







Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Never Bite Off More Than You Can Chew- Procrastination

     I'd hate to admit this, although if you know me, it really isn't a secret... I'm... a procrastinator. When it comes down to it, like the important things- you know, work- an actual job, I can get myself motivated and work extremely well. Unfortunately, I haven't had to work in four years, so motivation has escaped me, most days.

     Around last Thanksgiving, I thought that I would start crocheting again. I had posted some pictures of projects that I could do and even put up prices. I thought that I could crochet enough that I would be able to start doing craft fairs and bring in a little extra income without really having to leave home to do it, giving me more freedom to watch the kids, but also work. I had gotten a couple of orders and did really well until I got one really BIG project. Someone I knew wanted me to crochet a queen size blanket. I figured, "How hard could it be?" Well the answer was- mediumish hard.

     I spent weeks crocheting this blanket. The stitching was beautiful and it came along wonderfully. Unfortunately, our family became plagued with a stomach bug and then the flu. It took up my time because I didn't want to be working on this blanket and then have kid throw up on it, so I didn't work on those days. When the kids got out of school for Christmas and New Year break, I worked day and night to finish the blanket... and I did it! The only thing I had left to do after doing the body, was to put together the extra design- something that I thought could be done easily, but it wasn't. Everything I tried looked stupid. It ended up taking me about four extra months to get it together to a point where I felt that maybe, it was ok and sent it along with a family member to give to the person who wanted it. It didn't have to take that long, especially since the bigger part of it was the actual blanket base, but I got overwhelmed. I didn't want to work on it, because I wanted it perfect and it just looked stupid. I've tried a project here and there afterwards, but I'm just not into it anymore.

     I'm a creative person and since being home, I have written three complete children's stories. I started of with great motivation and even tried to work with someone to get them published, but it was a bust when they wanted $1,500 to illustrate and publish just one. Without an extra income, I figured it could wait. I have, since then illustrated one of my own, but haven't put it together. Right now, it's overwhelming. I don't know where to start; so instead of moving forward, I put it on halt.

     Last year, I started an adult Christian novel and have paused at chapter 11. I started working on it again, the other day after a few months break. Will I be able to continue writing it? It probably won't be very long and really, it will probably be finished with just a few more chapters. It only took me a few days to write the first three. If I put effort into it, I could finish it. I could officially call myself an author. Would I have enough determination to get it published?

     I did, actually, publish a short story a couple of months ago. I went through Kindle Direct Publishing, just to try it out. If you look up "All Hail the Repairman" or my name, Brittany Vantrease, you'll find it there. I had joined an online writing group that sends you writing prompts. The winner of that prompt received $50 and got their short story published. I didn't win, but that's ok. I had actually written something and then got it published. I finished something.

     When we procrastinators pick up something big, it's overwhelming. It can make something we enjoy turn into a chore. I have a friend who told me once, "I'd like to help you, but you know what its like to do something when you don't have the motivation for it." - I paraphrased that a bit, but it was along similar lines. This is from the same friend who always had straight A's when I had C's. She's always been able to work when she needed too, but like procrastinators like me, extra projects can really bring a person down. 

       When you procrastinate, it's better to do the small things first and work your way up to the bigger thing. This blog was something small that I started out with. I may have taken a break from writing, but this is something that I have been able to pick back up, easily. Since my kids are now home for the summer, I'm going to try to work better on not procrastinating because it really makes more of a mess and gives me more than I can do. When I see that there are plates on the table, I'm going to try to pick them up. When the sink gets filled with dishes, I'm going to try to run them through the dish washer before I end up having to just hand wash everything because the spaghetti from two nights ago has dried to the plate and the dishwasher can't touch it. 

     If I do this, work a little at a time, then I won't have to be overwhelmed by the mess that gradually built up and I'm too overwhelmed and anxious to clean, therefor causing me to be anti-social because I won't want anyone to come to my house. I will try to adhere to the schedule I made last year so my kids don't spend the whole day watching tv. I may even exercise and lose the weight I've been saying I was going to for years. But! I will take baby steps and I won't try to bite off more than I can chew. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Are You a Worried Yeller?

     I'm a naturally loud speaker, but when I get worried, I speak even louder. I'm guilty of this every time my kids lose a pair of glasses or when something happens that wasn't planned. My husband accuses me of yelling, but I tell him that I'm not, I'm just excited.

      It's not enough that I'm already worried about something, I end up getting into a frenzy. Glasses are lost? Obsess over it until they are found. Talk loudly at the dog, talk loudly at the kids and hubby, and frantically tip over things in search of them. I mean, I'm not yelling if it isn't directed at them, right? Ok, so maybe I am yelling.

       It's not like yelling, I mean- talking loudly, is helping. I often find out that when I take a breath to become calm and say a little prayer that the thing that caused the loud talking reappears after reassessing the situation.

        When I'm in the car and I know I'm late, I talk louder. If a car cuts me off and I tell the other car that they are an idiot, I'm not yelling at my husband, I'm talking loudly about the other car. For some reason, though, he thinks I'm yelling at him and asks me to stop. I then will ask him if he's the person that just cut me off and when he says no, then I tell him that I'm not yelling at him.

       I wish there was something that I could do to avoid yelling... I mean "talking loudly" but it happens when I'm worried.....I mean, I have tried singing it out like an opera singer, but my family just thinks I'm crazy.

      Are you a worried yeller? How do people react? What do you do to change it?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Why Don't Men Get the Same Family Courtesy as Women in the Workplace?

     My husband has been helping me with my LinkedIn profile because I haven't really played around with it before and I may or may not be interested in getting a real job in the near future. One day, when I was asking him about something related to it, he stops me and asks, "Do you have any photos of me dressed up, by myself?" I told him that I had some of him dressed up, but it might have one of the kids in it. His response dumbfounded me.

     "I was listening or reading something the other day that said that employers are more likely to pass by your profile if you have a wife or child in that picture." I asked him why and this is what he said. "It's because they think that if you have a wife or child, that you will be a liability because you may take off more time to go to events pertaining to them."

      So that had me thinking: Don't we all work towards having the same amount of time off? Yes, you have to earn the time based on how long you've worked with a company, but it's pretty standard to start off with X amount of days of paid vacay and sick days. If a company didn't want you to use it, then why offer it in the first place? I know, by law, companies are supposed to offer something, although, don't quote me on that because I'm not actually sure.

     When I first graduated from college, I was two months pregnant with my first child. I truly believe that is the main reason why it took me so long to get hired on at a place full time. I was perhaps a little na├»ve mentioning to those who were interviewing me that I was pregnant, but I had thought it better to be honest than to surprise them so many months later when I would need maternity leave. However, in spite of that miscalculation on my end, I have worked with companies that had very good maternity leave and great benefits for mothers. At one place that I worked at, they understood that when my kids were sick and needed to be picked up or if there was a doctor appointment that needed to be made, I would be able to take off the amount of hours that I needed to or I could make them up by coming in early or leaving later than the work hours I normally worked. It was easy and there was no need to make a fuss over it.

      I understand that I was very blessed to have that job and the opportunity to work there and get those types of benefits, but there was something that I realized. My husband who worked at that same place wasn't quite as able to take those days or hours off. There was a different type of expectation for him. It was understandable if he needed to go to the doctor, but if it was for a child, it may not have been as welcomed.

      Maybe that was him trying to get out of taking the kids to the doctor and that what was ok for me was also for him or maybe it really wasn't, but I suspect that even if it was ok, that somewhere, somewhere else, there is a workplace who does roll their eyes when a man or even woman, asks for time off for their children and that is just sad!

     I don't want parents to take advantage of having children just for extra time off, but we live in a world now where not every home with children has a stay-at-home mom or dad that can just take their kids to the doctor or to practice or whatever event a kid might have. Even if there is a stay-at-home parent, sometimes those parents would like to be able to go to the doctor or other place or meeting without having to take a child with. I mean, c'mon, my child is going to be just as uncomfortable as I will be if they had to go to my woman's doctor. It's common sense that perhaps that father would take the kids for a few hours.

      So now, employers are giving moms the ability to have a more flexible work schedule- which is great, but they should give father's the same courtesy. Not only all of this, but women are more driven than they used to be and some even have more empowering careers and in order for them to move up, they need the help and support from their husbands in order to succeed.

      This is a different world that we're living in, so please, tell me why my husband can't have a child in his pictures?

About Me

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Hello! My name is Brittany and I'm a writer, obviously. As a stay-at-home mom, there are many things that I have to figure out in order to run a house that appears to be more sane than insane. It's not easy to be a parent and I hope that this blog is able to encourage other moms out there to live life happily and to understand that there can be mishaps along the way, but those mishaps don't define you and anything can be overcome with perseverance and will.

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