Finding “momME” — From Me to Mommy

Once upon a time, a little girl wanted nothing more than to be a mommy… and her wish came true!

 

From the time I could talk, “mommy” was at the top of the “What I want to be when I grow up” list.  And now that I am a mommy and loving it, I’m happy to say that I’m also discovering my “momME” as well.

So what do I mean by “momME”?  I doubt I’m the first to use this term, but as with many things, there are multiple interpretations around a similar theme.  I am talking about being the kind of mom I wanted to be (a little “granola,” child-centered SAHM), but finding a balance that allows me to be “me” as well.  My daughter comes first MOST of the time, but I am acknowledging that in order to be the mom that I want to be, I have to be selfish from time to time and create times to simple be “me.”  Every mommy has different expectations and wants for their “mommy” experience, but we all know that a happy mommy makes it easier to be a “good” mommy.  We each give-give-give, and we need to take moments to refill before we can give any more.

So, what’s my story, and where had I gone?  At 28, I met my husband and it was love at first sight.  He was wearing armor, how could I not fall instantly in love? (more on that another day)  I married at 30 and had my daughter 2 years later.  She was our gift for our first anniversary.  Before that, I had a successful career as an autism interventionist and program director.  I had a lot of time to find the things I enjoyed and a lot of time to be selfish.  When I had my daughter, my life changed as I knew it… not because it had to, but because I chose to.  My life revolved around my daughter.  Her needs were almost, if not completely, 100% ahead of my own.    I loved this life because it was the life I’d always dreamed of, or at least it was the life I thought “mommyhood” was supposed to be.  Then one day, I sat down at my vanity and didn’t recognize the person staring back at me in the mirror.

What’s your story?  Are you a mommy?  Have you found your “momME”?  Have you ever wanted something in your life, but then realized when you got there, you wanted it to be a little bit different?   Have you ever gotten lost and had to find yourself again?

Coming soon: Stuck in a Dream and Finding “Mom-ME” — How I Unmasked My Radiance and Awakened My Sparkle

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“but I don’t have time” — Time-stealers and Choices.

Once upon a time, there was a fork in the road… only no one saw it was there.

“I wish I could ___, but I don’t have the time.”  Do you ever catch yourself saying this?  This came up several times in the past week or so and I meant to blog about it sooner… but I “didn’t have enough time.”  Truth is, I was extremely busy preparing for my husband’s graduation and party, but I did find time to play a few games on Facebook.  I made the choice, whether purposeful or not, to do things other than write a blog post.   I needed mindless, and that’s what I got.  Now I need to be productive, so here I am.

I find myself saying “I wish I had time to ___” more times than I care to admit.  But last week, I ended up reading blogs and getting into conversations about choices.  And what we all came to agree upon was that “not having time” had nothing to do with the finite hours of the day, but in our choices in how to manage our time and what we choose to prioritize ahead of those things we “don’t have time for.”  It’s also about the time-stealers that we don’t see coming and often underestimate.

Have you ever taken an accounting of the time choices you made in a day?  It might surprise you to see where you are putting in your time.  Toggl is a great site I found with a free time tracker.  It’s so easy to lose time when you jump online.  How many times have you gone online to check something specific and been side-tracked by emails, games, checking friends status updates, etc. only to find that an hour later you still haven’t pulled the information you intended to gather in the first place? As a WAHM (work-at-home mom), these time-stealers can make or break us.  How many potential customers could you have called instead of tending your online farm?  How many emails could you have drafted in the time it took for you to locate something because your work area was disorganized?  Or how many books could you have read with your child instead of randomly reading status updates?  I’m far from judging those who do those things, because I do them too.  But, I think we all need to be aware that everything we do is a choice of that activity at the expense of another.  We need to be more aware of our choices and be purposeful in what we choose to do.

So the next time you catch yourself saying “I wish I had time to ___,”  stop and think about what you could take off your current priority list so that you now have time to do what you really want to do.  Maybe that online farm or cafe aren’t quite at the top of your priority list when you sit down and write it out… and if they are, then that is your rightful choice.

What did you “not have time for” in the past week?  What did you spend time on that could have been skipped?  My challenge to you is to think about this every time you say that you don’t have time.  It’s my challenge to myself as well.

Because miracles really do happen if you BELIEVE

Once upon a time, there was a sad, sad story.  But, there was a bittersweet ending.

I’m so sorry I haven’t posted a follow up to my last post and I promise to do my best to be here much more often.

The day after the last post was Allie’s celebration of life.  I can’t even put into words the emotions of the day, but what I can tell you is that there were smiles through tears, as I’m sure she would have wanted.  She had everything she ever wanted in her “Cancer Free” party.  I just wish she could have truly been there with us.  A friend of a friend was the photographer for the day, so please take a look at Allie’s celebration photos and see what an amazing person she was and how incredible those closest to her are.  Thank you to the photographer for the beautiful way she blogged the day.

Did you see the photos?  Did you already see the surprise?  If not, click the following link to see what can happen when enough people truly “BELIEVE.

And thank you to my incredible photographer hubby for this new photo of my little bit of sparkle.  (great pic, needs to be cropped to size properly, but you get the gist)

Cancer sucks, believe, a dream come true, and a little bit of sparkle

Once upon a time, a queen met her king, had a princess, and then was forced to face a fire-breathing dragon.  What follows is the roller coaster of the past few days.


I admittedly have a few posts that I started and couldn’t bring myself to post over the past few days.  Today I’m able to approach everything that happened with a smile in my heart and a little bit of sparkle.

Cancer sucks.  Tomorrow I will attend the memorial service and celebration of life of one of my mommy friends.  We met three years ago when our girls were newborns.  They were in Gymboree together, in a playgroup of “gymkids” together, and in dance class together.  Allie should be celebrating her 32nd birthday in a couple of weeks.  Instead, she lost her 2 year battle with colon and liver cancer on March 1st, at home, surrounded by her family and friends.  She leaves behind her amazing little girl, her incredible husband, and her loving family and friends.  To say I’m devastated for Brian and Riley would minimize what I’m feeling.  I look at my little girl and can’t possibly imagine not being here for her, or her growing up without me.  Things like this aren’t supposed to happen.  Cancer sucks.

Believe.  For two years, this is what Allie told us to do.  Believe in them, believe in her, and believe that she was going to send cancer packing.  And for most of those two years, I was sure she was right.  She never stopped smiling that contagious, beautiful smile.  She never stopped living and being an incredible mom to Riley.  She was there in the mommy & me dance class with her chemo pump on her back.  She was at the park.  It was only last week that I heard she looked sick for the first time.  On Monday morning, I learned that she was in ICU and not expected to make it.  By Monday night, we learned that she was home, unconscious.  Tuesday morning, I purposefully didn’t check my phone/email until I was at a friend’s house because I knew I didn’t want to check it.  I got to my friend’s for a private zumba class, and there it was… the email telling me that Allie lost her battle the night before.  I can no longer believe that she will beat cancer, but for her, I will continue to believe that all things are possible.  I won’t let the little things upset or discourage me.  Those times that my little princess is driving me nuts, I will hug her and love her because Allie can’t do that for Riley any more.  She has changed my life and the lives of so many for the better and for life.  We have a new angel looking out for us.  Believe.

Dreams do come true.  Allie’s dream was of course to beat cancer.  And when she did, she wanted to throw a huge party in a big red barn and have Brad Paisley sing.  His music has been what someone called the soundtrack to her life with Brian and Riley.  A video was made in attempt to get Brad’s attention to do something for Allie’s celebration of life (ideally to have him here live).  I’m happy to say that in less than 24 hours of that video being posted, Brad had not only heard of Allie and seen the video, but he had called Brian.  Dreams really do come true.

A little bit of sparkle.  Today I had the pleasure of hanging out with some new friends at a little home boutique.  Of all of the vendors there, and of all the jewelry that was displayed, this bit of sparkle jumped out at me and called my name.

The photo does not do it justice.  It is a beautiful lime green and clear crystal, sparkly bangle.  I normally would walk right by the green jewelry and head straight to blue (my favorite color) or pink (for my princess).  But today, the sun was shining, people were happy, and this beauty called to me.  It reminds me of Allie and reminds me of the type of person I want to be.  Green for her Relay for Life team logo and as her signature color, sparkly like her smile, and just plain beautiful which is what Allie was both inside and out.  I know that I had posted that my charity of choice for my Rodan + Fields business was the American Heart Association for both February and March, but in honor of Allie’s life and loss, I will be donating to her Relay for Life team.  Allie gave us all just that… a little bit of sparkle.

Allie, I am honored to have known you.  I learned so much from you about how to be courageous and how to truly live life to the fullest.  You will be forever missed.

Speechless

Once upon a time, I had so many things I wanted to say that I rendered myself speechless.

Only, this wasn’t a fairy tale.  It is my reality.  After being out of town and away from a computer for almost a week, I’ve been anxious to get back on here and get a new post up.  I literally sat down and started typing more times than I can count and each time I find myself deleting to work on a different topic.  So here I am at midnight Friday night/Saturday morning and I’ve started 5 posts.  Should I talk about the great day the princess and I had?  Should I talk about the cool new place we found?  How about the sushi with friends last night or the new massage place with other friends earlier tonight?  And then there was the weekend trip to SF with my business partner for an incredible training by our company’s top earner, doing my first “exclusive skincare showing and experience,” and hitting my favorite spots at home with some of my favorite people.  So here it is.  I have so many things to share that I can’t manage to discuss any one of them.  Here’s hoping some inspiration strikes tomorrow.

The Princess’s New Shoes

Once upon a time, a little princess got a special pair of shoes.  They weren’t hers to keep, but she wore them for her next big step.

I’ve talked about my daughter before.  She’s three years old, incredibly smart, beautiful, and a part-time working model/actress.  My husband and I have a history of literally “falling into” exciting opportunities.  I guess it would be better to say that fate often puts us where we need to be… and then we need to make the decision to act upon it.

A year and a half ago, I happened to see something on Facebook about Tori Spelling running a contest for models for her Little Maven clothing line.  The princess fit the specifications, so I sent a couple of photos that I’d just taken.  Fast forward to watching the video announcing the winners, and there is my daughter’s name!  Fast forward again to the shoot and the princess had a great time.  A few months pass and I see on a local yahoo group for my city the name of a kids’ manager… and it’s one that another friend of mine uses and loves.  I took the chance and sent in those same photos.  Within minutes my daughter had signed with a manager and within a week she had an agent.  Her first acting audition arrives and she becomes a “back-up” for a character on a popular soap.  She did that a couple of times, but never got the chance to go on set.  Her second “acting” audition, and she lands a shoe commercial for Ross “Shoe Week.” Her first time on set and she did beautifully.  Her cute little feet will be famous, lol.

Historically, this happens around the end of March/early April, so I imagine that the commercial will air shortly before/during that time.  Keep an eye out for these shoes and let me know if you see them!!

It all started with a princess

So who am I and why am I starting a blog?  Why should you read past this sentence?  In a nutshell…

… I DON”T KNOW!  No, really.  I have no idea why anyone will want to read this, but I’m hoping you will.

A little about me: I’m just a mommy who loves her life and does what I can for my family and especially my little girl, hereafter referred to as the princess.

Here is my story.

Once upon a time, a girl in renaissance clothing fell in love with a boy wearing armor.

I’d like to say I met my “knight in shining armor” but he will never be a knight and his armor was far from shiny.  That fairytale romance led to marriage and a while later we were told we were having a little girl. I SWORE she wouldn’t be covered in pink, wouldn’t be frilly foo-foo, and everything else that screamed “Girl!’  Three years later, my daughter’s favorite colors are pink and purple, she wants to grow up to be a princess (specifically Cinderella), and my first ever business as a mompreneur was making tutus, hair accessories, and all of those cutesy boutique items that I couldn’t afford to buy at boutique prices.  Hear more about the crazy journey from there to here as I travel from here to the future.

Retired from my career as an autism specialist, this blog will share the craziness and fun that is Castle Jones.  From tutus to skincare to the princess’s acting career and everything else in between, join me as we share in some of the crazy together.