Wednesday, April 30, 2014

FAQ: why I don't wear makeup

Besides the horrendous comments on my GMA interview, I did receive some inquisitive ones that I'd like to address.

1) Why wear a dress and heels and do your hair if you are not going to wear makeup? Isn't that hypocritical?

I'm not against looking my best. In fact, I love to dress up and be pretty! I don't think there is anything wrong with that, makeup is just not part of that process for me. The reason I choose not to wear makeup has nothing to do with being against looking good or primping myself.

2) So, why don't you wear makeup?

This is a hard question to answer. I touched on it a little bit in an old blog post, but I'll rehash it here.
  • Most makeup is chemicals. I don't want to put chemicals on my skin. 
  • I felt a big stigma TO wear it in order to feel pretty in college. I even put this pressure on myself, thinking I could never be seen as beautiful or sexy without wearing it.
  • After college, because of all the pressure I felt, I decided to stop wearing it completely. It became a kind of prideful thing for me that I didn't wear it. I thought that most people who choose to wear makeup did so because they felt uncomfortable with how they looked or had low self esteem. This was a complete 360 degree flip on how I felt about makeup in college.
  • Today I don't wear make up because it's my choice, its how I feel and it's what I best think represents who I am. It does not make me better then anyone else, nor worse. It is simply what makes me comfortable.  

3) What did your husband say when he saw you not wearing makeup at your wedding?

I don't think he noticed. We were getting married and I think both of us were just jittery as can be. I don't normally wear makeup so I think if he had seen me wearing some it would have been shocking to him!

4)  Would you let your kids wear makeup?

Yes, if they wanted to. The main thing is I don't want them to feel pressure to wear it. I just want them to wear it because its fun or new, not because they feel like they need it to be accepted or pretty. I'd also make sure the makeup they did wear was as natural as possible!

5) Do you regret not wearing makeup to your wedding?

Nope! Totally would do it all over again!

Hope this helps answer any and all questions you may have about my choice! If I've missed one, leave a comment and I'll get right to it!

Monday, April 28, 2014

5 Reasons I love being a Stay-home wife

I am a stay-at-home wife. This is basically a women without kids who does not work outside the home. I've been a stay home wife for about a year now, so I thought I would make a post about what I love in regards to my new position!

  • I can help at the drop of a hat.

One of my dear friends was having car trouble the other day and I was able to stop what I was doing at home and help her take her car to the shop. I have several other stories along the lines of this one, including emergency babysitter, impromptu photographer and instant emotional support provider! All my friends and family know I'm able and willing to help whenever they need--and best of all my schedule is wide open to accommodate them!

  • I hardly ever feel stressed over chores.

I know there are several moms and working wives that handle chores efficiently, and while I can't report on their stress level, I can report on mine. When Brian and I first married, I quickly realized how much he worked and how little time he had to help with chores. My husband works anywhere from 8-14 hours a day and he often works weekends. Because he is so busy he used to (before we married) eat out after work, and he only completed the very minimum of chores. I, however, drastically dislike eating out. I also like things very organized. (Not to say my husband was not organized, he was, but it was not a "neat" organization. Think piles.) He also does not have the same idea of what "order" looks like as I do. So, for the first few months of our marriage I was attempting to handle the organization and food preparation and emotions of two people on top of a job. Needles to say, I was quite stressed. Now that I've quit my job, I have more then enough time to complete all the chores in my preferred method and organize everything down to the last detail.

  • I'm free on weekends. Every weekend. And holidays.

When I first married I had to work holidays. I worked (not every holiday, we rotated, but some of them I worked) most holidays at the call center, and also every. single. Saturday. I also worked all the days up to and after the holiday. Since my husband has a salary position, he (is supposed to) get weekends off, and he always gets federal holidays and usually many days before and after said holiday off. This is the perfect time to plan a getaway, and now that I don't work we totally can! When he's on vacation, we have unlimited uninterpreted time to build our relationship without me having to worry about getting ready for work or packing a lunch. Having this "down time" that is not broken up by a work schedule has greatly influenced the depth of our marriage and strengthened our bond as a couple.

  • I never worry about time for myself.

When I was working I was also full time taking care of my husband. This left little time to care for myself, as in alone time or time for hobbies. Sometimes this caused me to resent my husband and his need for my attention! On the weekends when I wasn't working often I just wanted to relax, not make meals or do laundry. Quitting my job gave me "alone time" in the mornings to read my bible, plan my day, exercise and practice positive self care. This, in turn, gives me the energy in the evenings and weekends to go all out helping my husband relax from his long day at work and making sure he is taken care of with a positive and happy, stress-free heart.

  • I am able to 100% pursue my dreams.

I have so many dreams. Like knitting. Sewing. Making videos. And because I am a stay at home wife, I am in the unique position to unabashedly pursue those dreams. Knitting all morning? Yes, I can do that. Dressing up in a pink wig? Totally have time for that. Blogging about my life struggles and spending all day interacting with others? Yes, and yes! I'm very lucky that being a stay at home wife is my desire--and it also provides the time for me to grow my own personal ambitions.

What about you? Are you a stay at home wife, and if so, what do you like about it?

Friday, April 25, 2014

A open letter to comments on my interview

Dear people of the internet that saw me on Good Morning America, thank you for all your wonderful and uplifting and insightful comments. Many of you made me smile and blush!

However, some of you were less then positive. Some of you were downright...illogical. Take, for example, these.

Okay, personal anger aside, WHAT? I thought today's society was over judging women by physical appearance. That we knew how to love people regardless of our own personal standards of beauty. THIS is why so many women struggle with low self esteem and body image--because others keep trying to impose their own ideas of beauty on them. And no one can live up to that.

Think before you comment. If you really believe I'm hideous, be glad that you are not married to me and then keep your opinion to yourself. Do you not understand that beauty is not an absolute, but an ideal that fluctuates with each and every individual person? I mean, I'm all for constructive criticism but these comments are not edifying.

Yeah, I don't even know what to say. Except that these comments didn't hurt me, they mostly shocked me. I mean, on my interview that celebrates my choice as a women to enjoy the freedom of not wearing makeup, (something men really never have to deal with)--THIS is the kind of comment you decide to leave? One that objectifies me? A comment that shoves your idea of beauty on me? Clearly you have your head on straight.

Women should have the freedom to look how they want when they want any time that they want, at any event that they want, as long as they are not breaking any laws! This isn't rocket science, and it really isn't news, but there you go.

Now if you excuse me I'm going to knit something and forget about these comments, because they don't matter. Humpfppph.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Let's Talk Fitness

Six months ago I realized my clothes were not fitting. It was August 2013, and at the time weighed 171 pounds. Now, I don't think I'm overweight, and I certainly don't think I'm fat, but the little pudge I'd put on after marriage bothered me. For reference, I am 5ft 6inches, and pear shaped. I have 44 inch hips, a 34 inch waist, and a 38 inch bust. At the time I measured myself, I was fitting into a size 14 pants/skirt and a medium to large top.

Thankfully, I'm not someone who has ever struggled with weight or body image in the past. However, it had been about a year since I'd done any serious exercising. Add to this the fact that I'm almost 30, and (at the time) worked at a call center where I sat down almost exclusively--all these facts really challenged me to start exercising.

I decided to start slow, with the 30 day shred by Jullian. For the first 30 days, I did the DVD every three days, using no weights. (you are supposed to do it every day, if you didn't know) I'll be honest, this was the hardest part. Because I hadn't exercised in so long my body flat fell apart after five jumping jacks, much less a totally 20 minute work out. In that 30 days I tried to train my body back into being able to move and not collapse.

By October I was down to doing the 30 day shred twice a week and another dvd, called 10 Minute Pilates twice a week as well. I felt much more energized and was also able to get through an entire 20 minute Jillian workout without totally falling apart.

In November I started going to the gym. The gym workouts were an hour long, and I would go 2-3 times a week. They were hard at first, but the other people in the class motivated me. I mean, who wants to look like a wuss in front of 55 year-old women who are owning the Zumba moves like pros? Seriously.

Sadly, I took off the entire month of December due to having a miscarriage. I struggled with depression during this time and felt even worse about myself.

August 2013, right before I started exercising. I weighed 171 here.
But, come January 2014, I decided to go back to the gym. I could do it! I started slow, managing a good 2-3 classes a week for both January and February.

In March my husband tried this crazy crash diet, and he lost 14 pounds in two weeks! His blood sugar plummeted and he was hungry all the time, so we quit that diet and decided to try and lose weight primary by exercising. We both started swimming on the weekends.

This April I finally decided to weigh myself. I didn't expect to lose any weight, because I was basically just trying to work up to exercising every day. However, I found I now weigh 164 pounds!  I was back in my size 12 pants/skirts and my medium tops were looser where before they had been tight in the belly. At this time, I've decided to up my exercise and see what I can accomplish!

March 2014, down to 164
So, yesterday I signed up for Revolt Fitness. I'd learned about Revolt from Oh Whimsical Me. It's only $50 a year, and has a 7-day free trial period. It also looks completely intense. I think I've finally worked out enough to be able to give it a try, as I can now push myself without worrying about getting hurt or spraining something.

I can't wait to get started! I don't have a specific weight goal. I suppose my goal is to get through the exercise in one piece and become more healthy as well.

What about you? Any fitness stories to tell?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Wears

I don't think I've ever worn lavender before, but I'm in love. Purple is one of my best friend Beth's favorite colors, and seeing her wear it often helps me be more inclusive with my wardrobe.

Everything I'm wearing here is from Goodwill. Goodwill, I love you. Sometimes. I only go about once or twice every few months, because my closet is full, plus they have drastically raised their prices. It seems every time I go things are a little bit more expensive. I understand they need to make money, but I can buy a new dress on clearance for $7, so paying that much for a used one does not always make the most sense. What are the thrift store prices near you?

I hope you guys had a wonderful Easter! The husband and I went camping over the holiday and had a very cold, but amazing time. It's still a bit early for camping!

Also, I'm almost finished with my sweater! (Just in time for spring, I know, hah!) I have one more sleeve to do. I've never wished for only one arm, but I might have a few times while knitting this contraption.

With the weather, my spirits as well have risen. I've started a garden, begun exercising more often, and am even planning a flower arrangement for my home! I never realized how much I really missed the daylight. It lasts so long into the evening, unlike winter where it feels there really isn't any sun time. Right now, I always want to be outside! Happy Spring, everyone, and have a great week!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Another Interview!

Hey! Just a quick note--I was interviewed again, by both Good Morning America and the Huffpost live! This time it was about makeup--specifically my choice not to don any at my wedding!

For the Huff Post interview, I was one of three amazing guests they had on. For GMA, I had a small speaking part on their national (O_O) show. You can view the GMA interview here and the Huff Post interview here! Also, special thinks again to my photographer and best friend, Elizabeth Ewing!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Body Image

I made these signs to hang in my church bathroom. What do you think?

I'm not a designer by any means, but I hope these simple prints bring a smile to my friends and fellow church members! (Also, which of the top two do you like best? I couldn't decide)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What Not to Say When a Friend has a Miscarriage

I've had some pretty insensitive things said to me when I've opened up about my miscarriages to friends, family, and church acquaintances. Here they are, with explanations attached! Hopefully this can help you connect to a friend who is or has gone through a miscarriage.

Don't worry, I'm sure you're be pregnant again soon!  

This actually causes me a lot of anxiety. I am suddenly hit with the realization that I will have other babies to worry about, other babies that might die. This statement actually caused me to panic. Also, I'm grieving for this child. If your grandmother died, I wouldn't try to make you feel better by telling you not to worry, you'll have another grandmother one day, would I? 

Are you sure you were pregnant? 

Yes. I'm very sure. You go to the emergency room when you are having a miscarriage, or to a birthing center if you are beyond the first trimester to, well, have a stillbirth. The doctor checks your blood levels as well, when you are admitted. Usually you have already had a doctors appointment verifying your pregnancy at some point before the miscarriage. Honestly, I don't understand this question when people ask it.  

Wow. That's my worst fear ever. 

Great. I'm living your worst fear. That totally helps me deal with this in a rational manner. Please excuse me while I go sob uncontrollably into a pillow.
Did you drink when you were pregnant? 

Why don't you find something more productive to ask, like helping me grieve? If you are not my doctor, you do not need to know what I did/did not put into my mouth during my pregnancy.

Aww, don't worry, it wasn't even alive yet!  

I understand that everyone has a different idea for when life starts, but besides that, this statement just drives me nuts. It makes me feel silly and stupid for grieving, like my sorrow and sadness are trivial and do not matter. Even if you think life starts at a different time then at conception, realize that to me this baby was a potential life, a life that was wanted, dreamed about and greatly anticipated. Now it will never be and it's perfectly reasonable to grieve over the loss.   

Did you know ______ can cause a miscarriage?

Yes I am aware that there is a mile long list of items that you are not supposed to eat when pregnant. And yes, it is none of your business trying to pinpoint what items I may have consumed, or even if they might have affected me in any negative ways. Also, asking if I exercised or rode a motorcycle also does not apply.

I know that most these questions come from individuals with good hearts that are just trying to help, or that people are just curious, but to be honest these statements mostly bewilder me! What do you think? Also, I'm not trying to point figures at anyone--I know it can be hard to think of something to say! I've never had an online friend say any of the above, but in real life I guess people can be more judgmental!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Stars on my Legs

When I'm having a hard day, these leggings make me smile. I love wearing them. I'm not sure why--but they are just so unique and fun and colorful, and so me that I can't help get over whatever trivial, first-world thing that was previously bothering me.

The flowers are in full bloom here as well. Aren't they lovely? Sometimes I'm very glad Earth does not have man-eating plants that disguise themselves with pretty blossoms, because I'd be the first to get eaten. For real.

The thing I've been struggling with lately is shame. Shame over, well, three failed baby attempts so far. But then I realize that I don't need to and should not feel shame over this. I have no control over what my body is doing. Yes, I try to take care of it, but it can make decisions without me. I also have no control over how certain parts of society might view me. But I can view myself the right way. Yes, I want kids. But an inability to have them does not make me somehow less of a person. Anyone that thinks that is wrong. I am wrong for thinking that.

So I want to throw off the shame by taking about it! Yes, I've had three miscarriages. Yes, I'm struggling, Yes this is hard and not fun and weird. But it isn't shameful. And it shouldn't be! No matter if I have five or zero kids, no matter if they are biological or adopted or fostered-- I have nothing to be humiliated about. And I want to live that way.

Last week I told someone in my bible study about my miscarriages, and the first thing she asked was how I could just talk about it so nonchalantly! I told her that while I am sad, I want to bring awareness to the issue and help other women who have gone through the same thing. No one talks about miscarriage (at least not in my church) yet so many women have had one! I noticed when I mentioned it everyone looked at the ground. I suppose they might not have known what to say to me, but this struck my heart as a weird reaction. Like I was mentioning a taboo topic. I don't want my struggle to be a scandalous subject to bring up in conversation. It's a medical condition, not a label, and shouldn't have any negativity attached to it.

Besides that, I always feel welcomed in my bible study. It's wonderful to have a place to talk about my current and past struggles, and to help others. I am blessed to have such a wonderful group of women to mentor me, and I know none of them judge me at all. I really do love them--I know that any awkwardness I may perceive in them is just that--awkwardness--as we all strive to love each other more.

Hmm, so, how are you guys doing? I have a doctors appointment about my uterus soon and to be honest I'm terrified. They are going to poke me (draw blood) and I know I'm going to freak out. At least my husband will be there! (hopefully...)

Perhaps I'll wear these awesome leggings to my appointment, in hope that they will calm me down.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

What does a stay at home wife DO?

I get this question a lot. I guess people are just curious, or maybe they simply want to understand what it is I do. Sometimes I don't know how to respond.

Therefore I decided to write a blog post about it. So, what does a stay at home wife do? To be honest, it's very hard to keep track of what I do, so I filmed the first half of a regular non-gym day at home. In my pajamas. Because, why not? I usually wake up at 7, but the first hour of the day is just me lethargically sitting on the couch listening to a sermon from GTY and drinking tea. No one wants to see that, because I'm basically a zombie.

Every stay at home wife's day will look different, of course, but this is how I sometimes spend the first half of my morning. Every other weekday I try and visit the gym as well. I do lots of different things, from knitting, blogging, outdoor work, photography, volunteering as much as possible, spending time with friends, cleaning, meal planning, romantic note writing...the list goes on and on. The second half of my morning (usually from 3-4pm onward) is usually spent cleaning up after the first half, making lunch, planning and making dinner, and getting ready for my husband to come home.

Another hard thing is trying to explain to others why I am stay at home wife in the first place. The main reason I am a stay at home wife is so that I can be home with my husband when he is home.  He works anywhere from 8 (on a good day) to 14 hours a day, coming home anywhere from 5:30 to 10pm. And he wants me to be there. I am part of his relaxation process after a hard day, and he wants to spend time with me. We are both willing to sacrifice the money I would be making at a job for the memories and quality alone time we spend together in the evenings and on the weekends. This is important to me and my husband, important enough for me to stay at home for. Luckily, my husbands job pays enough that this is financially feasible for us.

Now, this isn't how every marriage works, of course, and don't think I'm trying to say that at all. This is how our marriage works. And mutually, we both enjoy it. This allows my husband to work hard all day, and me to get the chores done so he can relax when he comes home. It allows him to have peace of mind that his laundry is going to be washed--he does not have to worry about dinner, or try to make time in his busy, stressful schedule to run to the grochery store that night to make sure he has something for breakfast before work the next morning. Likewise, I never worry about bills, or house payments or where the money for our next meal is coming from. We both support each other with our different chosen roles.

I'll be honest, my willingness to forgo out of home work has revolutionized our marriage. For starters, we've both defined our roles within our marriage. We both know what to expect from the other, at least in cases of household chores and salary. The house runs smoothy, almost as an afterthought by now, and I've ceased asking my husband about bills or purchases that are covered by our budget, and he never has to wonder if he should do the dishes. We both completely know our own roles and don't have to question the other on what we should be doing.

The second reason I enjoy being a stay at home wife is that I really wanted to start my own knitting business. I do this on the side, and it has been really fun, but I would still call it a hobby.

I hope this helps you understand what a stay at home wife does all day. The short answer is that I do it all, anything and everything I can to help my spouse--and I don't have to rush, because I literally have all day! I really, absolutely love what I do, and the time it allows me to spend with my friends, and above all the way I get to minister to my husband. I enjoy the freedom of being able to help my friends out at the drop of a hat whenever they need me.

What about you? Does your day look like mine or is it completely different?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Obligatory Spring Photos

Signs of spring are filling my heart with joy. How is the weather where you are?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Feeling lost

I'll be honest with you. At many times in my life I really don't know what I'm doing. Or supposed to be doing. Sometimes I feel like I'm just existing, taking up space, lost in a sea of other people who are aimlessly wandering around right along with me.

I mean, I like making things. But should that be my life goal? Make things?  We live in a world surrounded by so many things, in a society where advertisements scream at us to buy more things. I struggle with wanting to buy things and I really dislike myself for it. I wish I could find that balance: own just enough to live but not enough that I drown in a sea of plastic nothingness. What can a mere apparatus add to my life?

I do know my goal isn't to make myself happy. My desire, when I think about what I want to do with my life, is to bring joy to people. That is what my heart longs for. There are so many hurting people in the world. If I could just help them achieve a measure of peace--that would be wonderful. But, I confess, I don't know how to begin to do this. Should I buy things for them? Hug them? Give them money? What kind of material possession brings long lasting joy, anyway?

Sometimes the thought that I don't have a definite all-encompassing goal paralyzes me, causing me to doubt that what I'm doing with my life holds any meaning.

In the end I'm just reminded of the small things. Like making coffee for my husband every morning. Folding his socks. Submitting my heart to God. Exploring my city. Having lunch with a friend. And hearing how much my blog helps you--others who struggle with infertility or depression or Christianity. 

In the end, I think, perhaps life is lived in small moments. Not summed up in some great task, but built slowly, day after day, act after act.

Then maybe the biggest, greatest thing I do every morning is get out of bed.

What about you? What are your dreams, your life goals, and how did you come to realize them?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Shoe Refashion

I bought these lovely shoes on sale at a Ross Dress for Less. I love them, but I thought they needed a bit of a pick-me-up in the way of color! So, out came the paints and brushes to work some shoe magic!

My favorite color this year seems to be teal. I keep painting everything teal! But I also wanted to put in some gold, as well!

What do you think? Did I do them justice? I'm in love and I've been wearing them all week, since the weather has finally decided to cooperate with the calender season.

In other news, one of my friends in my bible study is pregnant. I'm very happy for her, but I am also sad, because she was the only married lady (besides myself, obviously) who came to bible study and didn't have any children. Besides myself, there are two unmarried college-aged ladies without kids who come. Everyone else has at least one munchkin and many have a munchkin on the way as well as two or three running around..

I feel like I am some sort of rare creature, almost thirty and not a baby in sight. But oh well, there is always something to paint or knit...

But I still wish there was someone relatable in my demographic in my bible study. When you have kids you can't really hang out at the drop of a hat, or make non-kid plans very often. Can anyone else, well, relate?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

What if you were a song?

So, I'm relatively bored. And when I'm bored I think of weird things. Like my favorite bloggers. And what if they were songs. So, here are my favorite blogs and what song I think they would be.

Did I guess right? Also, what song do you think I would be? You know, if I was invisible and made of sound, that is...

Friday, April 4, 2014

Kitty Goes Pink

All my life I've wanted pink hair. Today I finally realized that dream!

Would you ever dye your hair a pastel color? I actually think a cooler color would suit my skin tone better, like perhaps a purple or blue--but today my hair is pink. And I'm in love with it.

I even went out in public with my hair like this. Everyone smiled at me! It was really neat and also scary, because I was afraid of being laughed at. In my town no one has "non-normal" colored hair. But, it wasn't scary at all, it was actually really, really fun. I went to my local coffee shop for most of these pictures. And people kept coming up and talking to me!

So, what do you think of my hair? Actually, the hardest part of this style was cramming all my locks underneath this wig. I have so much hair it almost didn't fit over everything!

I have many more plans for this pink wig! If you have any suggestions for something I should do wearing it, let me know!

See you next week, and I hope you have am amazing weekend! I know I will.

Shirt and shoes: Modcloth
Dress: Ross, Dress for Less
Tights: Francesca's
Necklace: Goodwill
Wig:  Cosplay