Thursday, 28 November 2013

Attitude of Gratitude

I think I just realized that I haven't announced my pregnancy to the blog world, although I think most of you know by sorry if you don't!  Anywho, my due date was November 22...that's 6 days ago. I will say that my due date and the 2 days that followed were tough.  I was weepy and feeling all out of control of my life and my body.  I don't like to be out of control.

A few things have been said to me that have helped put things into perspective.  One was from my pastor,  Fr. Bala who reminded me that every time someone called me or emailed or texted or stopped me at Church to ask how I was feeling, it wasn't to make me crazy, yet only out of love and concern.  While I knew this all along, it helped to hear it.  He said to reflect on how many people care about me instead of how anxious it was making me.  (I'm feeling so much better about this, so if you are one of the people checking on me, don't stop!!!).

The second came from my friend, Sue (one of the ones texting to tell me she was praying for me).  I told her I think that by being overdue, I was being taught a lesson in "letting go" and was not experiencing peace.  Again...hard for this control freak.  She told me this:  "Put yourself before the Presence of Our Lord.  Squeeze your hands really much you are holding onto it...then slowly open your hands and hand it to him!!  He wants it!!  Stay in His Presence!! That's MY peace, just sayin'."  After she sent me this message, I realized that I was literally walking around with my fists clenched.  I have since let it go and feel such peace.

The last thing I heard was last night and is more about preparing me for the pain of childbirth I will be enduring soon.  It was from a podcast by Fr. Michael Schmitz on his homily from 11/24 called "The Plan."  He said this:  "Here is Eve, and she doesn't trust in God's love, and so she turns in on herself.  And so what does God say?  God says, 'The problem is that you've turned in on yourself.  The solution is that you need to die to yourself.  And so what am I going to do?  I am going to allow you to experience pain in bringing forth life so that you can know the cost of love.'  The point of that pain in childbirth is not punishment.  It's meant to be remedial training.  Eve didn't know how to love, so I am going to teach you that love costs something."  How beautiful is that?!  That God gave me this message so that I can reflect on dying to self and that love costs something.  The end result of my pain will be the love of a baby.

All of this is mainly for me to look back on in the future and see how I was feeling when I was 41 weeks pregnant.  I'm very grateful today.  Grateful to be pregnant when I know so many others who long to conceive and can't.  I'm grateful that I got to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with my sweet family and not in the hospital.  I'm grateful that God has a plan for me and this little one's arrival.   And while I don't know when it will be, I do know it WILL BE EVENTUALLY!!!  I won't be pregnant forever.  In the meantime, I am letting go of control slowly but surely.  Oh, and here is a pic of how I look at this point.  As much as I hate to post this big mama pic of me (or a pic of me at all), I know I'll want this on here to remember.  I wish I could post the ones of me and the kids...they are super cute.  I'm also grateful that physically, I feel good.  Things could be worse, right?  Thanks to you all for your prayers.  I definitely feel them...keep them coming!  I'll let ya'll know when sweet angel arrives!

Monday, 11 November 2013

From a Daddy's Eyes

The following incident took place when Muhammad Ali's daughters arrived at his home wearing clothes that were not modest. Here is the story as told by one of his daughters:

When we finally arrived, the chauffeur escorted my younger sister, Laila, and me up to my father's suite. As usual, he was hiding behind the door waiting to scare us. We exchanged many hugs and kisses as we could possibly give in one day.

My father took a good look at us. Then he sat me down on his lap and said something that I will never forget. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, "Hana, everything that God made valuable in the world is covered and hard to get to. Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected. Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell. Where do you find gold? Way down in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock. You've got to work hard to get to them."

He looked at me with serious eyes. "Your body is sacred. You're far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered too." Source: Taken from the book: More Than A Hero: Muhammad Ali's Life Lessons Through His Daughter's Eyes.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Theology of Her Body

This is a beautiful view from a man's standpoint...

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Modesty...Can we still dress cute and be modest?

The answer is a resounding YES!!! This weekend I'm giving a talk to a group of high schoolers on modesty and purity (pray for me please!!).  While preparing, I have found some stoies, videos and quotes that I have loved and will use in my presentation.  So this is the first in a series of modestsy posts you will see over the next few days!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Pope Changing the Face of Fashion

What do you think about that?  Check out this Vouge article and decide for yourself.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Artist and Picture

"He is the artist and you are only the picture.  You can't see it.  So quietly submit to be painted."
-Leah Darrow quoting C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Workout to Real Life

Now we all know that in a perfect world, when you are done working out (if the working out part even happens), you would have a cute outfit in your bag and you would shower, change, fix your hair, put make-up on and you would be fabulous before running your errands.  But how often does that happen?  Ain't nobody got time for that!   I took some pics of my adorable yoga instructor, Keleah, the other day to show you how to go from your workout to real life without anyone even knowing (except for maybe the smell of stale sweat). cute is she?  

Start with a colorful or black legging and workout tank (coordinating headband is a bonus!!)

Add a long tunic, scarf and boots/or sandals (depending on the season), and VOILA!!  You have a cute outfit!


Sunday, 17 February 2013

De-clutter Your Life

I am partly preaching to myself here.  Clutter can cause more stress than the activities in our lives.  Have you ever just been sitting on your couch and looked around at your dis-organization and felt a tightening in your chest?  This happens to me often, and I have to spend a day getting my house in order.

I know I have mentioned this before, but I clean out my closet four times a year.  At the beginning and end of each season.  So that is actually one place in my house that stays organized.  I can't, after all, tell clients how to organize their closets, and not do it myself.

I was reading an article in Yoga Journal about how you can't really practice yoga in peace when you have piles of mail everywhere and a sink full of dirty dishes.  I took away some wisdom from this article and wanted to share it with my 2 readers ;)  "...I try to apply the 'one in, one out' rule:  If I bring something home, I have to get rid of something else.  And yet clutter still manages to sneak through.  When I'm trying to pare down my belongings, i ask the classic questions:  Is it beautiful?  Is it useful?  Is it deeply meaningful?  Have I enjoyed it in the past year?  Plus, I invoke a freeing gem from a friend:  'It's possible to accept the essence of a gift but let go of the object."

I love this statement!  I will be using this forever with clients.  I can't tell you how many times I have had people hold onto something that they never use/wear, because it was a gift from a loved one.  This make so much sense to be able to hold onto the love from the giver, but let go of the tangible gift.

Lent is a perfect time to get rid of things that separate us from God.  How about trying to get rid of one thing a day for the next 40 days?  Or how about each week during lent, tackle a different area of your house (pile of mail, kids closet, email inbox, bookshelf, etc).  Maybe even incorporate prayer while you are doing it and then give away the things you no longer need to those who do need them (almsgiving).  Simplify your life and see if you are able to breathe a little easier.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

It's Make Your Own Skirt Day!!!!

Ok, not really.  But it was for me yesterday.  My dear friend sent me this link on how to make a sweater skirt.    I loved the idea and immediately found the sweater I was going to work with.  I also knew that I didn't have a good enough sewing machine, nor the time, desire or energy to make it the way she did.  So here is the lazy, impatient way to make your own skirt out of an old sweater!!!

Step 1:  Choose a sweater (and ignore the stain on the front).  I chose this tunic thing that I never loved on me.  It was clingy on the belly. I figured turning it into a skirt would solve that problem!

Step 2:  Cut right under the arms of the sweater (this will vary depending on the length of your sweater and how long/short you want your skirt).

 Step 3:  Here comes the "lazy, I'm not talented or creative" part.  Get you a roll of Stitch Witchery, or any other type of fusible bonding web you like.  Cut it to measure the length of one side of your skirt.  

Step 4:  Next, fold over the top edge of your fabric about 1.5" and then tuck under 1/4"and stick your Stitch Witchery under the fold.  

Step 5:  Follow ironing instructions for the Stitch Witchery...which I didn't do...oops...I didn't do the damp cloth part.  Your sweater fabric will want to roll, so you'll need to do this in sections.

Step 6:  Sport your new skirt!!!!  And remember the tights or leggings if your are making a mini.  "Modest is Hottest!"  I totally stole that saying from the blog I got the idea it!

I'd love to know if any of you do this (sew or lazy version).  Send me pics if you do!  

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

How to Host a Clothing Swap

I don't know about ya'll, but I'm not much for New Years Resolutions.  I set myself up for failure, never seeming to go through with my supposed "plan."  However, our family has decided to tighten up the finances.  Get on a strict budget and see where we can cut back to really start saving.  We really want some land so we can have chickens and grow a garden (and have some horses if you ask Hadley).  In order to achieve this goal, we have to be radical and different.  We're going to be "weird" like Dave Ramsey says.

So my big cutback is to not spend family money on myself for clothing this year.  I know...crazy.  My sister says I'm aiming too high and I should maybe just shoot for doing this for a month.  But I need to be radical.  And oops...I just told you all about it, so I guess it's for real now and I have to stick to it.  I do have the rule for myself that I can spend money given to me for Christmas or me...I'll be holding onto that money for when I REALLY want something.

This fall, I hosted a clothing swap, and I really think that doing another one of these in the spring will help me with my goal.  I usually find myself only wanting/needing a few items to freshen up my wardrobe each season, and if I'm smart, I can do this for little to no money.

Here are the steps to take if you'd like to host a clothing swap yourselves:

1)  Send invitation:  I sent an email inviting friends to clean out their closets and bring them over earlier in the day, or the day before for me to organize.  Be sure to invite people of all shapes and sizes so you have plenty of options.  And if people are self conscious about their size, encourage them to clean out their accessories drawer and shoes.  Make all feel welcome!!!

2)  Set a time that works for you:  Once organized, I set a time.  I did a few hour span (like 5-7:30 pm). People could come and go as they pleased.  However, the "early birds got the worms."

3)  Set Rules:  I set rules, like if you brought ten items, you went home with ten items.  But by the end of the night, I wanted people to take as much as they wanted!   Also encourage folks to bring things that are not dated, stained, or ripped.  You are looking for good closet items that may just not fit anymore, or you are tired of wearing.  Also, decide if you are going to just do one season, or all types of clothes.  We decided to stick to fall clothes, but some brought spring.  Either way is fine.  Just decide and tell your guests.

4)  Decide on a place to donate items:  Make sure nobody there is too attached to their items and will freely let it go!   I had a few items left over when all was said and done.  I took the name brand stuff to a consignment shop (where I have a store credit waiting for me....whoop, whoop!), and we donated the rest of the items to our church.

Once I got all of the clothes, I got to organizing.  I didn't have hanging racks, so I just made piles on my furniture.  One couch for Smalls, one for mediums, one for larges.  My dining room table housed accessories and shoes and some wine and cheese :)  I planned it last minute, so I only had 6 participants.  But all had a great time and went home with clean closets and a few new items each.  Here are some pics of what I came away with.  I even got some spring things that will be new to me when the weather warms up!  Also, (not pictured) scored a pair of peep toe black heels, a scarf and a handful of jewelry.

 Two blazers.  One fitted one for spring and a gray H&M boyfriend blazer.
 Two spring tops.
 Brand new Anthropologie sweater!  This was my favorite find.  I wore it to Christmas eve mass with a black pencil skirt and gray textured tights and gray heels.  Have also worn to dinner with friends with skinny jeans and boots.  LOVE THIS SWEATER!!!
Few more spring items.  JCrew t-shirt, pink pants (perfect length on me...shocker!) and a mint green and white diagonal striped skirt!
 Crop sweater
 Cozy Sweater with toggle buttons.
Basic cardigan.

Have you ever hosted a clothing swap?  If so, I'd love to hear about it.  If you are local and want to be invited to my spring one, let me know and I'll include you for sure!