10 Things I'm Afraid to Tell You

Looking at my Instagram feed (or anyone’s for that matter), you may get the impression that I have it all together. I have this smooth life with a fun little hobby that makes me money and everything is just smooth sailing. Well, if you believe everything you see on Instagram, then you’re totally right.

But if you’re no stranger to my blog (or my life), you’re laughing right now and thinking, “Yeah, okay! I know better!”

In today’s “Perfect Feed” world, it’s become instinct for us to hide all the things we don’t want people to know about. And this is nothing new! Before social media, we still hid all our shit. When we have company coming over, we all have that one room that everything in the house gets thrown into and the door stays shut. (Maybe yours is a closet… mine is a room. My bedroom…) In the good ol’ black and white television days, it was not uncommon for many wives and mothers to be on anti-depressants or opioids of some sort. Don’t you find it kind of creepy that women were always smiling when you know those pointy bras and waist cinchers were NOT comfortable?! I mean, come on, I used to live in corsets because I thought they were hot (and I may have been a little goth girl at one point, don’t judge) but those women lived in them because they were expected to.

My point is this: we are not supposed to be flawed. We’re not supposed to have imperfect lives. But most of all… we’re not supposed to let people know that we don’t have our shit together! Because then, what will people think?!

So. This post is to share something extremely important with you. This post is to let you know that you don’t have to clean that one area of your home before you take a quick selfie because I know that just outside of camera view is a pile of crap that you said, “Oh shit… that can’t be in the photo.” This blog is to tell you… there are things I’m afraid to tell you.

So today, I’m going to share those things and hope that someone out there, somewhere, will read this and know that they aren’t alone in being human.

10 Things I’m Afraid to Tell You:

1.     I suffer from severe anxiety.

Anxiety is one of those things that if you’ve never had it, you don’t really know how to empathize. And if you have had the “pleasure” of experiencing it, you know what I’m about to tell you is entirely too true. Anxiety is this horrible thing. It’s something that can come on at any given minute and make your day go from wonderful to scary. I’ve had anxiety since I was a child. It’s just something that’s part of me. There are days where I literally cannot move off the couch. There are days where I force myself to speak. There have been times where I have run out of my house just to be somewhere else because all the walls closed in and my blanket was just not enough. It’s not something I talk about and it’s definitely not something I want people to know. But it’s there, and sometimes I just have to push through it.

2.     I don’t like social events.

It’s not that I don’t like being social. Let me clarify. I love having friends and being with friends. I love being out and about. I love the energy and the atmosphere of a good spot with lots of laughter. What I don’t like is being in a room full of people I don’t know and having to force conversation. It makes me super nervous. I never know what to talk about and I always feel like an idiot. At our 10-year high school reunion, one classmate told me that she always liked me. I was surprised, to say the least! And I told her, “I didn’t think you liked me! I always thought you and the crew hated me. That’s why I never really talked to you guys.” And do you know what she told me? She told me that everyone thought I was a bitch. Everyone thought I was being bitchy because I never talked to people and I always looked like I was judging everyone. Well, that was far from the truth! If I knew then, right? If you see me out and I’m not being social, it’s not because I don’t like you or because I’m judging you. It’s because I’m scared. It’s because I’m scared to death to make a fool of myself or I’m scared that you won’t like me!

3.     I get nervous before EVERY shoot.

Maybe this has something to do with my anxiety. But, I want you to know that if you’re nervous about your shoot, I’m twice as nervous! Not because I don’t know what I’m doing, but because I’m so passionate about what I do that I just want everything to go PERFECTLY. I want you to feel amazing and I want to be sure that I can help you with that. I have a very specific routine I run through before every single shoot and it really helps. But, by the time the shoot starts, all my nervousness melts away and seeing the back of my camera with this stunning image of you just gives me the rush I need!

4.     I’m afraid of failure.

When I was in elementary school, I was a straight A student. It was something that came very naturally for me. It made my grandmother proud and she always bragged about how smart I was. So, it became something I was almost obsessed about. I had to have the best grades. I had to accomplish everything I tried. When I told my grandmother what I wanted to be when I grew up, my grandfather told me I wasn’t smart enough to become an archeologist. I got my first B. It crushed me. I was already struggling with other things at that time, and this was the one thing that sent me over the edge. I thought my world ended. I thought it was over because of that one stupid letter on my test. That fear has never left. I have struggled with this more as an adult, maybe because there’s more at stake. I have kids now and the fear of failure has become more important. I tell my children, “Sometimes we lose and it’s okay. But you know what makes that a good thing? Now we know what doesn’t work so we can try something different next time!” I try really hard to follow my own advice.

5.     I was scared to be a mom.

I lost my mom when I was 10. She was my biggest cheerleader, my biggest supporter, my most secret diary, my hero, my idol. She was my best friend. She was my Mother. For the longest time after my mother’s death, I believed I was responsible. I believed that it was my fault. So… I was afraid that I’d do the same to any kids I had. That I would let them down or cause them pain or whatever it was. I was scared to be a mom. I also came from a pretty abusive household and I was so scared that I would somehow bring a child into what I thought was just a normal way of living. I am still fearful every day that I will somehow cause some unseen damage to my children.

Boy… this is getting real. Okay, you’re halfway through. (I was talking to myself.)

6.     Money has always had a hold over me.

saddle shoes

This is a tough one. I’m not saying I’m obsessed with money. I’m not even saying I LIKE money. This one is more about the lack of and what that does to me. I hate being in control of finances. I hate knowing about the money situation. I have given every bit of that over to my husband. It stems from not having the proper amount of money as a child and the bullying that went along with that. I remember one year, I had a teacher that took on being more than just a teacher. She picked me up from home and took me to special events. She was involved in my life more than teachers are supposed to be. She started taking me and my siblings to these Christmas events at her church. I didn’t know that the events were like “Christmas for those in need” charity events. I thought we were just being loved, you know? So, I got these cool saddle shoes that I immediately fell in love with. (Check out the pic if you don’t know what saddle shoes are.) I wore those shoes to school and the first day, I was met in the hallway of my elementary school by one of the “popular” girls, holding her little purse, and she told me how ugly my shoes were. She told me that I was obviously white trash because “who else wears ugly shoes like those?” It was then that I knew money made a difference in people lives- some for the better, others for the worse. Not coming from a family where money was abundant was both a blessing and a curse. I grew up not knowing what it was to have everything I wanted, but I also grew up knowing how to appreciate the things that most take for granted.

7.     I’m actually a very boring individual.

I’ve had my share of interesting moments. I’ve partied with Gene Simmons from KISS. I’m worked with some of the best hairdressers in the world. I’ve done hair and makeup for runway. I’ve been both in front of and behind the camera. I’ve met some amazing people and been part of some amazing moments in others’ lives too. I also love nothing more than sitting at home, on my couch, with a hot cup of coffee and never changing out of my pj’s. I love my life now even with all the stressors. I have piles of laundry that I roll my eyes at. I have a dinner menu in place (well, for the most part. My husband may tell you that’s a lie, lol). I wear my hair in a ponytail most days. I watch Disney or Pixar movies over and over and over with my kids. I’m not very adventurous with my food. My IG feed may show me out and about, but I still go to the same places and order the same thing with the same people- most of the time. If I didn’t have to take my son to school now… I would probably go days without ever leaving my house! I’m really not that exciting. So please, if you see me or want to talk over social media, reach out! I’m probably just watching The Emoji Movie for the 5 millionth time and drinking a cup of lukewarm coffee.

8.     I struggle with body image.

It’s no big surprise if you’ve already read some of my blog posts or you’re involved in my Facebook group - Lovely Boudies. I suffer with Anorexia. It’s become easier to talk about since I made it public a couple years back. I like to say that I’m currently in recovery. I’m not anorexic anymore. I actually eat really good. Sometimes too good, to be honest. There are still days where I struggle though. And every day is a war with the mirror. I’ll catch a glimpse of myself and somehow the image in the mirror doesn’t match what others’ see. I’m getting better, I think. I now know where that healthy point is for me and I try to maintain that. I want nothing more than to set an example for my kids. I have struggled and fought to get to the point where I can enjoy a piece of chocolate cake. I want to show my kids what a healthy relationship with food looks like. And I can’t do that if I continue to let this disease win. If you struggle with an eating disorder and you need someone to reach out to, I’m here. Always. Find me and message me. I can’t promise to cure you, but I can promise to be an ear and listen. I can promise to tell you how amazing you are even though there may be another voice in your head that tells you differently. If you have no one else in your world that you can be open to about it… you can be open with me.

These next two are tough.

9.     I’m not a very good wife.

Marriage is HARD, you guys! I’ll be honest, ladies. I suck as a wife. I don’t keep the house clean like a Stepford Wife. I barely cook edible food. I’ll get lucky with a good meal once in a while, but there are more overcooked or undercooked or just plain “blech” meals than good ones! I’m needy and moody and I don’t communicate well. I cry way too much and I get angry for no reason. And I drive.My husband.Insane. My restless legs at night are enough to make him sleep in another room. I want too much chocolate and not enough sex. That’s right, I said it. I’m a terrible wife. But I’m working on that. I don’t just accept it and say, “You know what, that’s the way it is.” No. I’m trying to be a better wife. The cooking is improving. I know what I like, but that doesn’t necessarily mean my husband is going to drool when he hears we’re having Tuna Noodle Casserole for dinner. He’s never slept anywhere other than our bed even on the worst of nights when I end up doing the angry bed-bounce because I can’t get comfortable. (You know what that is, don’t lie.) He’s an amazing husband and I hope one day I can be half the spouse he is. And sometimes, I’d like to think that makes me a somewhat good wife.

10. Whew. Last one. I’m a worse friend.

I really am. Don’t get me wrong, I will do almost anything for my friends. You call me, and if I can answer, I will talk to you all day long. At least until my signal cuts out because Verizon really DOESN’T reach everywhere. #getittogetherverizon I am the friend that will go months without calling you or texting you. It’s not because I don’t care. It’s just that my mind is so scattered that sometimes I get overwhelmed with my own life that I simply… forget. And by the time I remember, it’s when my insomnia is raging like a hormonal bitch and it’s 2am and I know if I text you then, you’re gonna be like, “Seriously? 2am? This couldn’t wait till morning.” and then I’d be like, “No because I’ll forget because I’m only going to get 3-4 hours sleep and have to figure out how to adult in the morning.” I know we all have lives to live and we all have stuff that needs attention. And I can tell you that I will fight tooth and nail for you if you are my friend. I’m just a quiet individual!

Okay… so there’s that. Typing it out wasn’t so hard. Hitting that publish button though… that’s the hard part. My point of this post is not to show you how to focus on all the bad things, but it’s to “out” some of those things that make us feel not worthy. It’s to show you that other people go through the same things that you may go through. So, if you’re like me and you suffer from being human, let me know in the comments what you can relate to. I’d love to hear about it.

 

Deflect the Deflection

Today, we're going to tackle something important. Too often, we as women deflect. You all know what I'm talking about.

Compliment: "You look so good today!"

You deflect: "Oh please, I really need to lose weight."

Compliment: "Oh my god, I love your outfit!"

Deflection: "Oh, yeah, I've had this thing for forever..."

Compliment: "I seriously don't know how you do it. I am in awe of your strength."

Deflection: "You don't see me when I'm screaming and yelling!"

No. No more of that. Today, we will give each other compliments and we will ALL work on fighting that need to deflect. If you're in the grocery store today and someone compliments you, I want to say, "Thank you for that. I really needed that today!" Because you know what? That makes the other person feel good too.

Because when someone gives you a compliment, they are essentially giving you their energy, their love. When you deflect that compliment, you're deflecting their energy; deflecting their love. Think about how you feel when you compliment someone and they push it away. You feel rejected. You feel like you have to try harder. And eventually, you just stop complimenting, right?

So, stop that. Stop deflecting. Stop rejecting other people's love and acknowledgment and recognition of something they think is amazing- YOU!

Here's what I propose and I challenge. Today, I want you to not only accept compliments, but I want you to give them. When you give them, and someone deflects, I want you to tell them, "No. You deserve that. I see it in you and you're amazing." And when someone gives YOU a compliment, I want you to say Thank You. And I want you to believe it. Believe it with all you heart. Tell yourself, "I deserve that! You damn right I'm fabulous!"

We are doing no one any good by deflecting. What we are really telling others and ourselves is that we are not worthy of love. And what happens when you tell yourself something over and over and over again? You start to believe it.

Don't give in to that shit. Do NOT for one second, ever, believe you are unworthy of love. You are so worthy. Now, your call to action-

Has someone complimented you today? Tell me about it. Leave me a comment on what the compliment was and how it made you feel! Did you deflect or did you accept? If you deflected, what would have been different if you had accepted that compliment?

By the way... you're fucking awesome.

*Photo courtesy of Google Images

*Photo courtesy of Google Images

Perception is a Bitch

This particular post is a healing post. It’s taken a couple months to write it and finally be able to push that “Publish” button. While it may not seem daunting to others, getting personal doesn’t come easy for me. So, here it is. Get ready for this one. Get comfy. Get a snack and maybe a bottle of wine because you and I... we’re gonna be here a while.

It has been quite a year. Looking back on things, I can now say that the old “hindsight is 20/20” adage is true. There are things in your life that you accept because that’s just the way they are. You don’t bother processing how you feel or even how it affects you. You go about your life just living in the lies and deception and thinking, “That’s just the way it is.” 

And maybe it is. But that doesn’t mean you have to accept it. 

I am still processing the death of my friend. Well, let me clear- the death of our friendship to be more precise. But it was ultimately caused because the friend I believed her to be was a contract with terms and conditions. I’m still upset over losing her. I’m still pissed off and hurt and angry and sad. Yet at the same time, I’m free.

I’m sure you’re wondering what the details are. Especially since I just wrote about how I would take a running jump off the proverbial bridge with her. Well, we did jump together. Except she suddenly watched me fall without even so much as trying to catch me. Instead, she changed her truth. She made ME to be the bad guy. And I’m certain if she reads this, I’ll be her topic of conversation for the next few months to come. Hey, who knows, maybe I’ll even get a few extra followers because she’ll no doubt show everyone she knows what a horrible person I am, writing about this.

So, here’s the deal: I don’t like fake people. I don’t like people who try to say one thing and be another. I ESPECIALLY don’t like when people tell me that what I feel and/or believe is “stupid” or fabricated or makes me a despicable human being. The fact that she told me the fear I have for my children and family during a time of intense racial prejudice and injustice is invalid and “you’re stupid if you believe that” should have been flag #1. But I brushed it off and didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to start an argument, and, frankly, I was shocked that she said that to me! So much so that I couldn’t respond back other than just to change the subject. Flag #2 was raised high and waving when she made a visit and focused more on comparing her ex-boyfriends and watching her iPad than with my family- that’s not the problem (I’ll gladly listen and compare and I don’t care if you want to watch a show on your iPad), it’s coming- and then tried to tell me that my husband treated her like dirt because he didn’t try to entertain her after working a 14-hour day and only sleeping 2-4 hours a night. (By the way, he didn’t. He actually spoke to her more than he spoke to me when he was at home!) But the Finish Flag lowered when she decided to put all the blame on me. It came down fast when she didn’t even TRY to fix anything; when all she wanted to do was play the blame game and tell me we needed to apologize to her but didn’t want to take accountability for anything she had said or done. She pointed finger after finger and never once said “I’m sorry I made you feel that way. I’m sorry I allowed you to feel like I abandoned you. I’m sorry I tried to invalidate your thoughts and feelings.” A friend doesn’t do that. And the whole time, I was the one begging with her “what can  I  do to fix this?” Our friendship died the day she told me that what I felt was unjustified and didn’t matter- this was about her. 

That was the beginning of a downward spiral. A 13-year old friendship just tossed into the dirt like a piece of lint you find on your clothing. Now add on the fact that I have a very honest Rheumatologist... and wow!

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis- an autoimmune disease that thinks my body is a foreign intruder and attacks itself. I was diagnosed after having my daughter in 2015, but I’ve been dealing with the pain since I was a teenager. This disease really hates my joints. Some days it hates my whole body. I’m not the type of person to not ask questions when it comes to stuff like this, so I research. A lot. I came across several articles that spoke about the fact that this disease can cause a shorter life span. In layman’s terms, I’ll probably die sooner than I’m supposed to.

I wanted to know if this was true. I don’t like surprises like this. I mean, I feel like I need to plan around this if it’s the case. But I needed facts. I was being switched to a medication called Methotrexate. It’s a low-dose chemotherapy and it sucks. I asked him about the shorter life span in conjunction with the medication. He told me the truth:

”Yes. Many people have shortened life spans. But the medication can put the disease into remission. Which means that you have a higher chance of living a normal life, though it may be shorter. In some cases, it can extend your life beyond what the disease would allow you to live. Good news though is this particular medication has a high success rate of treating the disease and sending it into remission.” So, he did his job of confirming it but giving me hope with the high-success rate addition. That still didn’t help, though.

So, it’s true and I have three possibilities. My life can either end sooner than expected while being miserable; end sooner than expected while being relatively pain-free; or, ideally, it could be a normal life with a normal finish line. 

Sigh. Insert sad emoji face here. Scratch that- insert confused, crying, angry at life, scared, and depressed emoji face here. 

Depression hit hard. And I didn’t even have a friend to talk to. I already felt like a burden to my husband and bringing this on him... I just didn’t know how to handle the sobbing-hysterically conversation of “What if I die before my kids even graduate high school?!” There were a few other things that happened between then and now that sent me further into the darkness that enveloped me... so throw those into the mix and what do you get?

You get hopelessness. You get numbness. You get uncontrollable crying and snapping at small shit and you get fucking fed up with everything and everyone- especially yourself. You get thoughts about how people telling you years ago that you’re not good enough may be true. You get thoughts about how maybe everyone’s life would just be better if you’re not there to bring their life down. You get an imagined validation that all these thoughts are what everyone else is thinking, too. And no one to talk to about it.

The darkness not only envelopes you, but it grabs hold and latches onto your back like a monstrous leech with wings that wrap around you and lock your arms to your side and your head down. It sucks you dry of any emotion and replaces it with despair. And the darkness only grows darker until that tiny speck of hope starts to fade out.

Then... you get Perspective.

Let’s talk about Perspective. Perspective is a Bitch. She is a high and mighty know-it-all, smug, self-serving, crass and crude, dominating and beautifully intimidating queen that shows up in the middle of the night to yank you out of your bed and pull you kicking and screaming by your hair, throwing you in the middle of your life whirling around you and quietly demanding with a tone that you know not to fight- “...look.” And it’s as if your eyes pop open with the force of a champagne cork being thrown out of the bottle. 

You See. You see that through all the darkness and the dank swampy thoughts you’ve been pulling yourself through just to survive, you see that what you thought you had in a friend... 

...was nothing. It was a shit show. It was a one-way road. It was a 13-year relationship of giving and when you THOUGHT you were receiving, it really wasn’t for you- it was for her.

You see that all the thoughts that you’re not good enough may be true- but that it’s finally up to you. You see you are the one that controls how you feel about you and as a result, you are the one that controls how others see you.

And you are the one that controls if a friend like that holds power over how you feel after they have shown you they don’t care enough to fight for your relationship. 

I don’t know about you, but I get mad when someone tells me what I feel and think isn’t worth the time to even consider. But now that I have a family? I fucking REFUSE to allow someone to tell me that my family doesn’t matter- that my  kids  don’t matter. I will not allow you to remain in my life. I’m not upset over losing her. I’m upset over losing the person I believed her to be .

And that goes for the Darkness too. Now that one is a bit tougher to get rid of, but I’m working on it. I’m slowly climbing and dredging out of the muddy pit while the tiny speck gets a little brighter each day. But, now , I can finally look back- and forward! Now, I have Perspective by my side pulling me as I try to climb and kick away the darkness grabbing at my feet.

Perspective is a Bitch, man. But I’ll be damned if I let her go. 

Burn, Baby, Burn!

There's a snowstorm coming! I sure hope everyone got their bread, milk, and eggs! *wink wink*

I want to do something a little different this weekend. Let me tell you a story first.

I was raised by my grandparents but they weren't exactly the spoil-me-rotten type. I mean, they couldn't be. They had to, essentially, be my parents, you know? But, they were older and they were definitely from a different era. Certain things didn't sit well with them and my childhood was a little ... sheltered. I remember when I was about 12 or so. I had been a straight A student and very studious. My grandfather overheard me talking with my grandmother about college. Yes, at age 12 I was already thinking about college. He asked what I wanted to study in college. I told him I wanted to be a lawyer.

"A lawyer??" He laughed. "You're not smart enough to be a lawyer." That's when I got my first B. I was crushed.

When I was 14, I was looking at art schools. I wanted to do something creative. Something that didn't require books and studying. Something that allowed me to express what I felt inside. Something that spoke when I couldn't.

He asked me again. "I don't know. An artist of some sort. Maybe painting or even photography."

My response was met with the same mocking laughter, except this time, it was a little more harsh. There was a little hint of heat in his eyes. "You might as well just give up. You're not smart enough to do that. You'll never amount to much of anything, anyway."

At age 17, I graduated early in the top 5% of my state. I applied and got accepted into SCAD. I stared at my acceptance letter with tears in my eyes. Tears of joy mixed with tears of disappointment. His voice ripped into my head and reminded me of everything I couldn't be. I tore up the acceptance letter and buried it in the trash.

I buried a lot of things in that trash then. But I buried all the wrong things. I buried things that mattered to me, things that make me who I am. I buried things that should have made me happy. And I kept all the things that made me unhealthy. I kept all the judgement, all the ridicule, all the scorn, and hate and anger and frustration and embarrassment and self-harm. I kept all the darkest parts right on the surface of me.

And I buried all the light.

Have you ever been made to feel like you were something less? Maybe you were bullied by the Mean Girls in school. Maybe a boy teased you about your acne. Maybe you wore a smokin' hot pair of electric blue vinyl pants and you felt more confident than you ever had and you were told that your thighs just don't fit the pants, even though you were a size 0. Maybe you've never been a size 0 and that's what you carry around.

So, I want to get rid of all that. I'm holding a virtual bonfire during this amazing snowstorm and I'm inviting all of you to sit with me and enjoy the warmth, the welcoming, the love... the Light. Throw all of your darkness into the fire and watch that shit burn.

I'm throwing mine in. Will you join me? Leave a comment to let everyone know what you're burning. Then, end it with the only thing that remains. Fire and Light.

* Bonfire photo not property of TTGP. Photo credit: static.pixels.com

*Bonfire photo not property of TTGP. Photo credit: static.pixels.com

Let's Talk About Resolutions.

2017 is almost here. It's almost time to watch the ball drop. It's almost time to toast your friends, family, loved ones, pets, or whomever you've decided to spend this momentous occasion with. Hell, maybe you'll be sleeping! (I have to admit, I've opted for sleep on numerous occasions myself!) But, the fact is this: It's almost here.

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Party Party Party!

This weekend was amazing. But, let me just say... it almost wasn't!

This weekend we had our very first Boudoir Parties. You could say it was our very own private Grand Opening. We've been planning these two parties for quite some time now. This was no last minute decision! My husband and I were out doing some last minute shopping for the events and I wanted everything to be perfect! I had a vision in my head and I just was not seeing it coming to reality.

We're in the middle of Wal-Mart. If you know me, even in the slightest, you know I absolutely oathe this store. I think it's safe to say most people have mutual feelings about this place. But, we shop there because it's convenient, it's cheap, and let's face it, it's the only place open 24 hours in this small little town! So, here we are, standing in Wal-Mart at 10pm, and it seriously took me an hour of wondering the fabric section to finally decide on white drapes. Like I said, I had a vision and I needed it to be what I saw in my head. After getting the drapes, I was thrilled and ready to bust out of there and get home to my bed to rest up for a spectacular day in the morning!

...that didn't happen. Instead, I had a full-on anxiety attack in the middle of Wally World. My husband made a comment about decorations and I was so overwhelmed at that moment that all I could think in my head is "This isn't going to be what I want! It's going to be horrible!" My husband put his arms around this hyperventilating, sniffling, trembling ball of nerves and quietly said, "Hey... it's going to be great! We'll get what you need, ok?"

As I started to relax and listen to his words, I knew he was right. I started to breath a little deeper. I started to see a little clearer. I started to get excited again.

And let me tell you. I am so glad I did! I know they say positive thinking will gain positive results, but this is truly something I believe in. If I had stuck with the thought that it was going to be ruined, it would have been! But I believed it was going to rock and I can honestly say I am so beyond excited for the next party!

So, if you're reading this, know that all it takes sometimes is just a change in your thoughts. I see it all the time with the women in front of my camera. I see their body language change from timid and unsure to powerful and confident! I see their camera dodging eyes and  slumping shoulders change to piercing sultry eyes and proud stances. Why? Because they allowed their thoughts to change. They stopped thinking "I'm ugly/I'm fat/I'm flawed" and started KNOWING "I'm BEAUTIFUL!/I'm SEXY!/I'm PERFECT!" It. Is. Amazing.

I challenge you to change one negative thought about yourself into a positive one. Do it for one week. Get excited about yourself! For many, it will be a familiar feeling. For some, it will be the first time. But for all, it should be a feeling that never leaves.

* Cookies created by Kaitydid's Creations located in Mount Airy, NC.

*Cookies created by Kaitydid's Creations located in Mount Airy, NC.

* Cakepops created by Roxane Cann of Mount Airy, NC.

*Cakepops created by Roxane Cann of Mount Airy, NC.

You're So Vain. You Should Be!

I bet you think this post is about you. And you're right. It is about you.

It's about you and it's about me and it's about every single person out there that needs a little reminder that at the beginning of each day, they should look in the mirror and love what they see.

Today, I went to pay a bill. It's one of those bills that you have to pay in person to avoid a processing fee that's almost half the amount of the bill itself. Ridiculous, I know. But, I went in anyway. Now, I have to let you know something. I'm the mother of two children- a boy who turns four in December and a girl who turns two in June. I barely get the time to put on pants much less get all pretty-fied to go out. I also have to let you know something else. This routine that I have now is a DRASTIC change from what I had before children. Let me run through my morning routine before kids:

I woke up early. Took a shower. A luxurious one where I shaved and shampooed my hair and thought about all the gloriousness that the day was going to offer. I slathered myself in smell-good lotion (I personally love A Thousand Wishes by Bath & Body Works) and spent the next two hours on my face and hair. I moisturized, primed, prepped, and contoured. I used three foundations plus two concealers. I used a minimum of two mascaras and two blushes, four eyeshadows, and two brow products. I also used a minimum of three lip products. When I was finished... I was flawless.

Fast-forward to today where I run around looking for pants, spray some dry shampoo (this one by Batiste works amazingly) on my three day old hair in a ponytail (I don't have time to shampoo this mane everyday when I've got an almost 4-year old that knows how to climb cabinets and use scissors!), and manage to grab some chapstick as I grab the keys to leave the house while repeating, "Yes, buddy, I've got your juice! Yes, we're going bye-bye. Let's go to the car! C'mon!" There is no time for getting pretty-fied. Oh, deodorant. I unlock the door and run in to apply deodorant. This routine has no room for contouring. Or even ONE foundation! Can a mama get some mascara?! No? Ok...

So, I go in to pay this bill- one child on my hip and the other holding my hand while I repeat, "Ok, buddy, no touching. Stay with Mommy. If you stay with Mommy, I'll get you a cheeseburger!" As I walk up to the counter, I immediately felt like Frump of the Year. Standing in front of me was this absolutely gorgeous, young, blonde that looked like she was the hand-picked princess of Fairies. Her skin glowed with youth and her eyes were bright and clear. Her makeup was soft and dewy in just the right places. Her lips were highlighted in all the right spots and those lashes went on for days. As I left, I thought back to the time where I used to pull that off, too.

But, you know what else I realized? I'm vain. But I don't think being vain is a bad thing, necessarily! Vain is defined as "having or showing an excessively high opinion of one's appearance, abilities, or worth." What's so bad about having an opinion that you are amazing? What is bad about thinking that you're above average and you should treat yourself as such? I don't think a damn thing is bad about that. You don't have to apply 32 different products to your face to be beautiful, and you don't need to look like the girl behind the counter to be above average. You already are both of those things.

If you're a mom with kids who never has a moment of peace to shower, if you're a woman who just feels like she's a little below standard, or if you're just an individual feeling that you need a reminder today, this is for you.

You're so Vain. And you should be.