Why You Need To Stop Complaining About The Ice Bucket Challenge

When my mom was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma I immediately went on the internet to learn everything I could about it.
Because it mattered.
Because it was my mom.
And because I had never heard of it before.
When I tell people that my mom has Multiple Myeloma they say, “oh?”
It isn’t until I throw out the word cancer that they pay any mind to it at all.
Then it’s, “I’m so sorry, that’s so awful!”
Because we all know what cancer is, generally speaking.

I don’t see athletes wearing burgundy during MM awareness month, nobody has bracelets that say “save the bone marrow!” and there certainly isn’t any kind of viral Facebook challenge raising awareness and funds for this crippling terminal cancer.
But I wish there was.
I wish more people got involved with everything instead of nothing or only the things that personally affect them.

By now none of us are strangers to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that has been sweeping our news feeds by storm.
But what you may still be strangers to is the true impact of this movement.

Eye rollers unite!

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I know you’re popping them out at me right now.
But stop complaining about the drought or the narcissism or the non-Eco friendly bucket someone used and take a step back to learn why this movement started in the first place.

And then there’s this:

What An ALS Family Really Thinks About The Ice Bucket Challenge

Oh, and this:

And countless more I am sure.

Facebook is one of the largest media outlets in the world. 

I know hardly anyone who watches the news but everyone I know checks their Facebook.

Like it or not, the internet is a great platform for awareness of what is happening around the world as well as in our own backyards and I’m tired of hearing people complain about it.

Is California in a horrible drought?

Absolutely.

But tell me, have you started taking cold showers so as not to waste water while it warms up?
Have you protested going in swimming pools or spas?
Have you stopped boiling your food and instead adopted a raw diet in order to conserve?
If you truly are worried about the water crisis then shouldn’t these cut backs take precedent over complaining about using it for the ice bucket challenge (aka, a good cause)?
Wouldn’t protesting efforts be better placed over daily water wasting habits rather than a single isolated event in one’s life?

“People are only doing is at a narcissistic cry for attention!”

Maybe.

But if 5 people do it to look good in a video and 1 person learns something new and donates because of it then why do you care?
15 million dollars have been raised so far compared to the 1.7 million for all of last year.
So don’t tell me that it’s not making an impact because it is.

Personally, I think we should stand up against all killers whether they be law enforcement,
ISIS, or deadly diseases.

And if awareness means “jumping on the bandwagon” then sign my ass up every damn time.
Because I couldn’t care less how the word gets out there, only that it does.

Pretending that our world is represented by Buzzfeed quizzes and cute proposal videos is a misuse of our social media and skills.
We all have the power to make a difference.

Cancer, ALS, racism, terrorism, anti-semitism, etc. etc. etc.
Get involved!
Speak out, stand up.
Don’t hide behind a closed envelope donation or quiet support.
The more we share the more people we get to care and that creates a chain reaction.
So post your Ice Bucket Challenges proudly.
Get talking about things that are scary.
If you’re uncomfortable, then good!
It means you’re stepping outside of yourself and seeing the tragedies of this world.
Challenge others to do the same.
Because you ARE making a difference and together we can move mountains.

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I Will Always Wonder

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My friend Nikol (check out her blog here) posted the photo above this morning on her blog’s Facebook.
While today is just Tuesday to most, for several mourning families it is a reminder that they are not alone, that their lost children are not forgotten, and that every child conceived is a miracle whether they make it to this earth or not.

Losing our daughter made Derek and I part of a community that nobody ever wants to be in.
Miscarriage, stillborn, infant loss: It’s the booth at a fair that you pray to God stays empty.
But it doesn’t.
In fact, once you stop by you find out that it is even bigger than you could have possibly imagined and it makes your heart hurt.
Because the truth of the matter is that there are so many families out there who have lost a child.
So many left with a hole in their hearts.

I found this book at TJ-Max the other day and it broke me (so naturally, I bought it).

It’s called Love From My Heart To A Cuddly Little Boy.

Here are a few pages:

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“My heart would be searching for YOU!”

When I read this and saw all of the little angel children I couldn’t help but think of my own angel in Heaven.

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I still cry sometimes when I see a mom and her daughter wearing matching outfits.

Or when I see other little girls who are the same age she would have been.

I will always wonder how she may have looked, who she may have been.
I prayed and prayed for a day of hope and a lifetime was given to me with the birth of Declan.

But we still talk of her all the time.
We still remember.
And we love her very deeply.

To anyone who has lost their child, hold on to hope.

Hope that we will one day be reunited with our sweet angels.

In memory of Kinlie Marie.

Lost but never forgotten. 

 

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The Vegas Bikini

You could blame it on the new morning routine of 5:00 am wake up calls that has left me sleep deprived.
Or the mastitis that had been overwhelming my body.
Maybe it was because I had been dealing with a fevering, teething baby for three days.

I honestly don’t know if it was the exhaustion or the Super moon but doesn’t change the fact that I found myself at a one year old’s birthday party this past weekend in my Vegas bikini.

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It wasn’t.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around how the same girl who lives in jeans and a tank top managed to misrepresent herself so well.

While packing our bag in the morning I was in a hurry.
I grabbed the bikini off of the dryer along with Derek and Declan’s trunks, without really thinking about which one it was.
Once we got to the party, Declan was desperate to get in the pool.
And because the fates hate me, for the first time ever Derek did not want to get into the water.
So I grabbed my suit along with a cover up and went to change.
It wasn’t until I had even come back from changing that I had realized the gravity of the situation.
Derek said, “You brought your Vegas bikini?”

Shit.

I used Declan as a human shield to cover my body as I scurried quickly into the water.

I can only imagine how pretentious I looked in my bright green Victoria’s Secret suit and giant sun hat.

You know it’s bad when you’re thinking, “this bitch” about yourself.

Unfortunately for me but lucky in the situation, I don’t exactly fill out said bikini like the Victoria’s Secret model advertising it.

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I’m still asking my mom when my boobs are going to come in.

But boobs or no boobs I still felt like a giant one.

And while I may be banned from 1 year old pool parties for the rest of my life I at least learned a valuable lesson:

Victoria’s Secret bikinis should be stored in the naughty drawer to avoid uncomfortable situations like these.

Because Lord knows that thing is collecting dust.

(Just kidding).

But seriously.

I need to store my shit better.

Peace, love, and tanning grease!

Spending Time With Your Children: Guest Blog

Today I would like to introduce everyone to a friend of mine!

Meet Ricky.

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Daddy to Aven, boyfriend to Lindsey, and entrepreneur.
Derek and Ricky have known each other since they were kids so it was pretty cool when we found out we were going to be having our sons only two months apart.

Ricky recently approached me about doing a guest post and I was happy to oblige.
I love connecting with other people and that goes for the rest of my readers too.
If you’re a fellow blogger or even if you’re not and just have something you’d like to share, please feel free to message me and I would be happy to have you do a guest blog!

I enjoy Ricky’s blog as it is filled with lots of uplifting, motivational posts.
He really has a knack for inspiring people and I encourage you to check it out.
(If you would like to read more, you can hop on over to his blog here!)

Enjoy!

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SPENDING TIME WITH YOUR CHILDREN

As kids, spending time with mom or dad was a magical time.
Every child looks at their parents like they are true super heros.
They hang on every word of advice their dad offers them.
While being overwhelmed by the amount of love and joy their mother gives them.

Having a strong and powerful relationship with your children is essential for them to grow and become the best they can be. Parents play such a vital role in the development of their kids, whether thats a good role or a negative one. In today’s society A lot of families have lost that special touch. We are living a a fast pace environment, Where sit down dinners turned into fast food drive throughs. Where sharing stories of our day turned into staying silent and watching made up stories on television. Where spending time with our children was only the drive from home to the daycare.

A huge reason I believe this is happening is the demand of providing a life in today’s world. We need money for everything. Even for basic living sources such has water, food and shelter. What makes it worse is most are only taught how to work for money instead of having money work for them. With most jobs barely offering enough money to get by, most families are forced to have the father and mother both work long hours, almost every day, every month, year and year again.

To me this is unacceptable. That is why I have looked for opportunities that will allow me not just financial freedom but time freedom. I don’t just want to stop there either. I want to help as many other people and families achieve the same type of freedom. To bring back the comfort and joy of being a connected and unified family.

Wouldn’t you rather be the coach then the parent in the stands or the one that is at work?
Wouldn’t you rather be the one cooking your kids meals then a fast food restaurant who has signs warning of chemicals that have been known to cause cancer?
Wouldn’t you rather spend your time with your kids and your family then at some job?

There are more efficient and effected ways to earn an income while not sacrificing precious time in your children’s lives!

If your interested in hearing about these opportunities please contact me at: https://www.sfacebook.com/onethought11

About The Whole Breastfeeding Thing…

My body decided to round out World Breastfeeding Week (yes, it’s a real thing) with a nice case of mastitis which is a breast infection caused by a blocked duct.

I had it back when Declan was about two months old and both times it has sucked.
But I’ve got some antibiotics and should be better in a few days.

Anyway…

I always teeter totter back and forth on discussing my views of breastfeeding on here because the whole topic is so controversial.

But in honor of the week I decided to woman up and do it.

I’m going to calmly tread into the storm that is nursing and hope that everybody walks away with the right message.

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As a mother who has been breastfeeding for over a year now I am obviously a huge advocate for doing so.

You just can’t deny the science, the health, and the bond attached to it.

But I don’t post links about how mom’s who formula feed are lazy, selfish, and poisoning their children.

I don’t ever say things like, “breast is best”.

And I never take or post nursing selfies.

I’m not trying to be glamorous or admirable or to stick-it-to-the-man when I nurse.

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I do it to nourish and bond with my child.

The end.

There is no other reason.

It’s not about feminism to me, it’s about me and my son.

Primitively speaking, this is what I was designed to do.

Culturally speaking, I was raised to know that nursing your child is a good thing but so is being respectful to your environment.

More than that, nursing is a very special and personal experience for me.

In the home I grew up in, my father would have been absolutely mortified if he had walked in on me changing or seen any private part of my body exposed.

I was taught to treat my body as a temple and to guard it from the sick world we live in.

I treat my son’s body with the same respect in that I never post nude photos of him on the internet, no matter how adorable his little toosh may be.

My breasts are more than just boobs to me.

They are a part of my temple and they do more than just entertain my husband.

They nourish my child and provide him comfort.

It is such a beautiful thing and I can see why mothers want to share it with the world.

But for me personally, that beauty is something that should be protected.

I guard that beauty with my life because I want to preserve it and keep it safe.

I have nothing against a mother who proudly displays her breastfeeding in public.

Feeding your child is nothing to be ashamed of.

But I want to make it known that just because I choose to cover up does not mean that I am ashamed.

I will feed Declan whenever, wherever.

But I will do so proudly covered up.

And I shouldn’t be looked down on by moms doing the exact same thing as me just because I choose to do so.

I mean, really?

Being a mom is like being in high school all over again.

Only this is an all girl’s high school that has over 85 million women in attendance and all of their periods seemed to be synced.

It’s time to stop mommy bashing.

Why do we care so much either way?

Does it really ruin your entire day if you see someone nursing?

Is it the end of the world if you cover up your baby for five minutes while they eat?

It’s not okay to make other women feel like less of a mother for doing one or the other.

Talking down to people doesn’t make you an activist but it does makes you an asshole.

Nursing is not easy and I commend the women who have kept with it but I do not blame the ones that didn’t either.

Formula or breast, covered or uncovered; are these the type of things we want to teach our children are the most important?
I want my son to be kind, patient, and courageous.
I fear that in an effort to stand up for what we believe in sometimes we end up teaching our children hate and intolerance rather than love, respect, and kindness.

We deserve to feed our children however we see fit as long as our child is not in any harm from said methods.

I believe that my mother did her very best to raise me and loves me just as I love Declan.
I do not think she is less of a mother or lazy or careless because she chose not to continue breastfeeding past 6 weeks.

Don’t let your legacy be the way you shamed other women

Breastfeed or not, covered or uncovered, homemade food or pre-packed.

Being a mom has no instructional manual and we are all just trying to do the very best we can.

I hope you teach your children to speak, act, and live from a place of kindness.

Because not a single one of us is doing it all right.

And every single one of us deserves some slack, especially from one another.

31 Acts In 31 Days

I can always count on Derek to have good ideas.
Like building a bar around our hot tub or turning a salad into a sandwich with the side of bread they give you.
So when he randomly said to me the other day that I should do another round of my “30 Days of Deliberate Kindness” I was like:

So here we go!
Every day for the entire month of August (31 days) I will be doing a deliberate act of kindness.
Then I will share what I did each day at the beginning of September.

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If you’ve never done something like this before or even if you have I encourage you to join in.
Sometimes we have to step outside of ourselves and remember that this world is so much bigger than us and our troubles.

I look forward to sharing with you in a month!

Declan’s Mom

I had a distant memory of a girl.
She was whimsical and spontaneous and free.
She would write songs by the beach and start driving before she had a destination in mind.
Her style was eclectic, her eyes were filled with wonder, her heart was trusting and good.

Sometimes I long for a sense of significance.

At the grocery store I frequent almost every cashier knows Declan.
When we check out they are always talking to him and gushing.
On the rare times I am at the store alone they ask me where he is and remind one another, “this is Declan’s mom”.

I am nameless.
Sometimes it even takes them a moment to recognize me without an adorable baby attached to my hip.

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I am Declan’s mom and I am beyond proud to be such.
But I am so much more than that.

I am a writer.
A singer.
An adventurer.
I love to cook and act and try new things.
My heart is in people and I love to help those in need.
I’m a glass half full kind of lady.
I love being goofy & weird.
Random dance parties are a part of my daily life and I believe in the healing powers of chocolate.

Declan and I have a unique bond.
He has never taken a bottle which made us pretty much inseparable for the first 6 months of his life.
He likes to bring me a book and sit in my lap while I read it to him over and over again.
He quite literally will crawl up me until his body is covering my face while he sleeps, as if to say that he cannot get close enough to me.
He loves with an intensity that I have never seen before from another child.
And it is so special.

But in the midst of being his everything I feel as if I became nothing.
I was “Declan’s mom and Derek’s wife”.
The only time I sang was to get him to sleep, I would cook merely to put food on the table, and the only time I could squeeze in writing was if I chose it instead of sleep which I desperately needed.

I looked in the mirror one morning and cried.
Mulan style, I rinsed my tired eyes and asked myself who it was staring back at me.
I did not recognize this woman.
She was dull and lifeless.
Anxiety was seeping from her pores and she looked lost.
Where had I gone?
And how long had I been away?

I knew I needed to make a change in my body, my mind, and my soul.
So I did.

I started getting Declan to sleep in his stroller rather than on me, so that I could do my workouts in the morning and have the rest of the day to look forward to.
I went shopping and bought clothes regardless of whether or not it would be easy to breastfeed in them for the first time in over a year.
I did my nails and curled my hair and put on eyeshadow.
I bought bright flowers for the house.
And I started to play music during the day again so I could sing along.

It’s funny really.
I think I subconsciously thought that I had to choose between the two.
Like, I couldn’t be myself and Declan’s mom.
I couldn’t be a devoted mother/wife and still do the things I enjoyed, still be the woman I am.
But now I see that all of the things I love and that make me who I am actually make me a better family member too.

When I sing, the whole house listens in.
When I’m spontaneous, we always end up doing something fun and memorable.
Family dance parties have become something I look forward to every single day.
And I am the happiest version of myself that I have ever been.

My significance is found.
And if I am only remembered as Declan’s mom then I am okay with that.
Because being that woman is pretty awesome.