30 November 2016

Body Image + Being a Boy Mom

I've see many posts about the importance of teaching young girls to have a positive body image.  With all of the magazine covers, social media, and all of the things we watch on TV, there is plenty of of fuel for negativity to thrive.  Our social standard for beauty in America is a bit twisted and realitively unattainable, even for the rich and famous.  Once I found out I was having a boy the first time around, I was relieved.  Thank goodness that was one thing I wasn't going to have to deal with like girl moms do.  Thank goodness I wasn't going to have to worry about a daughter having an eating disorder or constantly worrying about her weight and appearance.

But later, after another pregnancy and getting back my body after breastfeeding stopped, I started to think much differently.  Boys can have these same problems.  Just because the statistics are much higher for girls, doesn't mean my boys are exempt.  I already see a perfectionist streak in Gav and it worries me.  I know what that feels like and it's not that fun.  The urge to constantly be the best, or do everything, or be good at whatever you try can be exhausting.  Part of that, at least for me, was in my appearance.

Part of me hesitates to write this because I do realize that I am not a big person.  I'm short and have a realitivly small build but I can honestly tell you that that is not what I always see in the mirror.  I can't help it.  I struggled with bulemia in college and that was a very hard place to be.  I grew up in the dance studio where being thin is longed for and praised.  I still struggle with it at times but never act on it.  Having a positive body image is a constant battle for me but I'm getting there.  Oddly enough, I'm the most confident in my body now, after two children.  But what does this mean for my boys?  I want them to learn two things from having a positive body image.  One is the obvious.  I want them to love themselves exactly the way God made them.  For them to know that they were fearfully and wonderfully made.  That they're worth lies in the Lord, not some image that they feel they have to meet.  I want the same things for my boys that girl moms want for their daughters.  I want them to have self confidence, to own who they are.

To add to this though, I want them to see me as a woman who values herself.  Who finds her own worth in the Lord, not some image I feel I have to meet.  I want them to see a woman that respects her body and that a woman's body is to be respected.  It is why I don't ever act on my negative thoughts.  It's why I pray for self control and courage.  It's why I eat as best as I can and stay active.  I have to model this behavior for them as their mother.  I know that I can't shield them from ever feeling badly about how they look feeling doubtful about they're appearance.  Self consciousness is natural, especially in t hose oh so glamourous teenage years.  Not to mention how grateful I am that I didn't have to be a teenager when social media came about!  (Seriously, thank goodness!).

As an adult, I have witnessed the negativity on multiple occasions.  I watch my students at the dance studio complain that they are "fat", when they're clearly not, more times than I'd like to count.  It breaks my heart, yet I know how they feel.  I've seen girls go through feeling hurt when the boys they hang around with or once dated call them names or belittle them.  Neither situation will be my boys.  They will learn that all bodies are beautiful.  That all bodies are on a journey.  It's that old cliche, be nice to everyone because you never know what they're going through.  I'm not naive to think that they will never have these feelings.  I just pray that when they do, that I have set the example of positivity. That I have been an example of finding my worth in God and not the cover of a magazine or movie poster.  I pray that they see that others are to be lifted up, not torn down and that each body is sacred, made in God's image.

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."  Psalm 139:14

XO, Kelly

28 November 2016

The Elves Have Arrived!

It was late afternoon on Black Friday.  We had had a wonderful holiday the night before filled with family, playing, and even a little "slapping whip cream in the facing".  As we came back in from an errand, there they were!  Santa's scout elves had arrived!  But there was something different this year.

First of all, there were two elves instead of just one and each came with his very own scarf.  One with a G and one with an R so we can tell them apart.  Gav immediately knew which on was his.  And they also had a note, tell the boys who they were and why they were here.  The note read as such:

All story telling aside, I'm so excited about doing kindness elves this year!  I'm really working on getting Gav into the spirit of giving rather than getting this year.  He's almost five (insert big crocodile mama tears) and he understands a lot more now.  It's a super hard lesson to teach as a parent, heck, it's difficult as an adult sometimes but the reward to so amazing.  I want my boys to experience that, the joy you get from seeing the joy in others.  And speaking of JOY, that's another Christian lesson my hubby and want to instill in our children.  It's the Christian order of giving/caring/loving/etc.  Jesus, others, then yourself - J O Y.

This year, since it's everyone's first year doing this and I have two young children, we're starting off small.  However, I don't want my boys to see it that way.  I want them to see that even the smallest thing that they do, if it is for the wellbeing of someone else, they can have a big impact.  A simple smile can even make someone feel a little less invisible.

Some of the kindness acts on our list include:

Drawing pictures for others (Gav loves to do this!)
Making blessing bags
Painting word rocks to leave at the park
and a few more!

I plan to do one a week, and then leave Gav a piece of candy or a note of encouragement the rest of the time.  They are still elves after all!

What are your elves up to this Christmas season?
XO, Kelly

PS: These are $3.00 ornaments from Target with felt wrapped around like scarves.

16 November 2016

It's Been A Minute...

Somehow I've ended up taking a month long brake from blogging.  A MONTH.  And I have to say, it was much needed and accidentally came at the right time.  If we're going for complete honesty here, I was in the middle of one of those blogger identity crises where I had no idea what I was doing anymore.  I loved blogging but had no idea if anyone was reading my stuff, was my stuff any good, why am I doing this, and so on and so forth.  So I stopped.  I stopped stressing about getting something done just to be able to push the publish button and sat back a decided to refocus.

I stopped worrying about applying for campaigns or reaching out to companies to do collaborations because, while it was really awesome to get those things, I didn't find my voice in it.  I love small shops and of course I love the companies that I applied for sponsored posts for but in all honesty, I'd just rather purchase from them, post about it if I want to and share that way.

So why even blog anymore?  Because I want to share my DIYs still, I'd like to get back to that.  I'm constantly crafting and I enjoy being creative. I want to keep this as a log of motherhood, especially these early stages.  I want to connect with other people.  That's the exact reason I started blogging in the first place.  It was my way of feeling connected to the world again after Gav was born.

Another reason this break has been a happy accident is because I have been super busy!  I've been blessed with so many chalkboard art clients, commissioned art pieces, and photography work that something had to give.  I want to share that all here as well.  So I guess to some it all up, why still blog?  Cuz I wanna!

There will be some changes here and there and I will be in and out.  My hope is that by the new year I will have all of my ducks in a row and be ready to tackle a tight but doable schedule.  This hopefully will also include a switch over to Wordpress. *fingers crossed*  As for now, I'll be popping in from time to time, sharing this or that.  If you have stuck around, THANK YOU!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!  I pray that you will continue to visit my little corner of the web and walk with me on my journey.  Want to know where you can pretty much always find me?  Follow me on INSTAGRAM and say hey!

Check out what I've been up to and stop by the SHOP and my PHOTOGRAPHY site.

XO, Kelly

10 October 2016

Ten Little Things #146

1. A sweet little ballerina in my class
2. THIS video
3. Moments this week where my small group study has helped me understand more of the Bible
4. Gav earned his yellow belt at tae kwon do!
5. Fun painting something for my family
6. Fun at Gav's pre-K fall festival
7. Amazing intensive on leadership at our church
8. Movie in my parents' neighborhood...fall breeze and free popcorn!
9. Inspiration to start a new type of journaling
10. A great time with high school ministry home group

What brought YOU joy this past week?  Follow along on INSTAGRAM for more joyful moments.
XO, Kelly

05 October 2016

Hey, It's Wednesday!

I keep typing and deleting this post 5 million times.  At first, it was turning out to be a vent session but that's just not me.  As I typed up all the things on my mind, including the actual pain that is, I'm pretty sure, a cluster headache, I realized how trivial and "first world problem"-y it all was.  Yeah, I have a long to do list, but I'll get it done.  It'll all get done.  So instead, I'm sharing a picture of my fun little faux pumpkin piece which is a result of my attempt to actually do things from Pinterest again.  You can check out my Pinterest "bucket list" HERE.

Also, pumpkin spice glazed pepitas from Target are amazing.  Run, buy some, and thank me later!  Oh fall, I'm so glad you're here!  See...positivity. It's a beautiful thing.

Happy Wednesday, y'all!  Keep your heads up, praise the Lord that you're here, and bust you way through the rest of the week.  In other words..."Wake. Pray. Slay!"

XO, Kelly