Maggie

Mabel’s Closet: Getting Ready For Fall

Check out the score I bought today for Mabel’s Fall Closet!
SO excited to see her in this adorable Jacket by Next and boots by Livie and Luca. I bought them used from a friend and fellow boutique addict.  $40.00 for both!
SWEET DEAL!
jacket and boots

Fall time in Michigan is THE BEST!
I can’t wait to share the beautiful pictures of the farm with all the fall colors! And this jacket and boots are going to make it easy for some great fall pictures!
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Falling in Love…again

Isn’t funny, how time can turn shiny and new into old and run down in our minds so quickly.  Something that was so desperately longed for can quickly become yesterday’s old news once we have obtained it.

How can we fall out of love so quickly?

In this case, I am talking about our house.  We did a semi custom build about 2 years ago.  It was a process of blood, sweat, and many, many tears. It took about a year from start to finish. A year where we dreamed every single day of living in this home and calling it ours.  We  painstakingly planed every detail. We constantly visited the model home for ideas, measurements, and just to be in that space that would be just like ours.

I remember:
When we hit stumbling blocks and it looked as if our house of dreams would never be ours.  I remember walking through the skeleton of the house and trying so hard to disconnect myself because we feared we might have to walk away from it, and how that broke my heart.

When we finally got the keys to the finished house. I remember walking through it, unpacking all my dreams for the future of this home, and our family.

How is it that less than two years later we find our selves dissatisfied and talking of ‘the next house’. Is it because it’s not the ‘new’ house on the block, because it’s smaller than the newer floor plans, because the fresh scent of construction has faded?  I’m not sure.

What I know is that when I stopped to take a moment to be present in my still new home, I remembered that love is in the details. I remembered what I had started to overlook.

I remembered what made me fall in love in the first place.

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Ignore the gardening items, we are getting a late start this year.

I remembered this door.  I picked this door out all on my own.  It was love at first sight. All my adult life I had dreamed of my own home. Not an apartment, or a rental, but my home. And the images of this home always had a big, beautiful wooden door. When I saw this door in the builders showroom, I knew it was MY door.  I didn’t even ask my husband’s opinion, I just made the command decision. Then I spent months dreaming of wreaths, and welcome mats, and welcoming family in for the holidays.

Processed with MOLDIVI remembered this brick. We upgraded the exterior package just to get this brick.  I cant explain it, but I love it. It just makes me sigh with happiness to see it.

Processed with MOLDIVI remember this porch and the hours spent selecting just the right rocking chairs. As far back as I can remember, my family has enjoyed simply sitting outside and watching the day go by. I specifically remember my grandfather siting in front of his home, watching the day go by and simply being present.

Processed with MOLDIVI remember these floors. I was over the moon when they showed them to us, and when they told us we could afford them. We picked the whole color scheme of the house based on these floors.

Processed with MOLDIVI remembered these walls. This was an option that cost us a pretty penny. But a it was worth it. These walls still make me smile to myself. Only in my dreams did I ever have walls like these, and now I have them regardless if my eyes are open or not.

Processed with MOLDIVI remembered this vanity. Living in apartments, we never had a good bathroom vanity. We spent a good amount of time considering all the options before settling on this one.  The crisp white still makes me feel like everything is fresh and clean. And my bunnies finally have a space to call home.
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Lastly, I remembered this.

Processed with MOLDIVI remembered this little detail, that I am positive, no one else even sees.
Crown molding was another option we really wanted to have in our house of dreams.  I remember when we stopped to look at the progress of the house and I noticed this little edge of molding as I came down the stairs.  From that day on, I took to considering this little hidden detail as a friend of sort. I still see it most days and smile to myself.  This little detail reminds me of our journey in this house. If we ever move from this home, this is what I will miss most because most of all, this detail reminds me to be thankful.

Maggie

What I Am Reading


Oh my goodness! Have you read these books?

So worth it.

When my husband and I first were married, the church we were attending did a small group with this book. We learned so much about each other. When we had children I knew I was going to have to read the children’s book. This is now my 3rd time reading this one! It’s soooo amazing, and I feel like every time I see a different layer and learn something new!

As my kids grow and change I find their Love Language really starts to show! I alway try to understand and respect how my kids are wired!  This book lays out what makes your child feel loved and respected. Often we treat people by our own love language instead of really trying to understand what they need to feel loved.  Do yourself and your family a favor and put this on your next to read list!
P.s Now, we have four children…. so WISH ME LUCK!

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Maggie

Sometimes My Kid is an Asshole, and that is OKAY. 

Let me start by saying, I would never ever ever call my child an asshole, so let’s get that straight right now before we even start. My husband and I are really against labeling our children in any way. But, when they act out I surely think it to myself! We parent in a way that we {try} to speak positivity and joy into our kids. We are not in anyway perfect but it is important to us to make sure we are the “calm” to their “wild”. But what happens when all the hard work behind the scenes doesn’t show to someone else?

We live in a crazy world where we post everything on social media. Every day I see numerous posts of amazing dinners and perfect-smiling children sitting with legs and arms crossed, wearing perfectly clean clothes, in a perfectly clean house. But let’s be honest, unless you are my sister, the picture was edited to not show the enormous pile of clean laundry on the floor.  Or in baskets that have not been folded and put away.

I mean let’s be real!

I am lucky I had the time to wash it.  But to actually fold it AND put it away?

FORGET about it.

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This is my life

What you also didn’t see in that picture is that just 5 seconds before the perfect smiling poses the kids were fighting, or that they were mad because one of the brothers farted. There was me, yelling at them to be nice to each other and to keep their hands to themselves, and it took 15 pictures before I got this one.

Let’s be honest; the little snap we see isn’t what life really is.  Our brains are being conditioned constantly to compare ourselves to these snaps. Mom guilt is heavy in this world. I think people forget it is OK to admit that we don’t always have it together. Just once, wouldn’t you like to see the post from that one person who you think depicts the perfect family saying their kid just got sent home from school for telling his 3rd-grade female classmate to “suck it” while pointing to his crotch?

I’m yelling from the rooftop that was MY KID!

It’s something my son heard on the bus and is against every feminist thought in my brain… MY SON? Really? After getting the call from the school I was soooo embarrassed driving to school to pick him up. I was worried about what “they” were thinking about us as parents, or wondering what type of environment my son lived in that he thought it was appropriate to say that.  Not only to another kid but to a female kid. I was worried about what I would say to my pastor in-laws the next day when they realized he wasn’t in school because of his inappropriate behavior.  What would people who knew me think about my kid? I don’t want them thinking my kid would be a bad influence on their kid. Or think I was a horrible parent, obviously exposing him to things he was far too young and immature to understand.  I had visions going through my head as to the direction his life was heading; that he was going to be the jock in the locker room degrading some girl, or breaking a girl’s heart for not putting out. I started thinking about him being labeled as a danger for daughters to be around.  Really, you said the words “suck it” and pointed to your crotch! Why is it that this bothers me so much? To be honest, it’s hilarious. I’m pretty sure I’ve said it to people I know on several occasions. I did it and I thought I was hilarious for doing so. Then why is it so upsetting that my son was sent home from school for doing the same thing?  I don’t know, but maybe it’s because I’m trying to raise boys who empower women, not degrade them and to not be that typical, chauvinistic male our society seems to desire. And then like being hit with a bolt of lightening I was empowered from within! It was like F@:k that! Life is not perfect and it IS okay for my son to make a mistake! I felt empowered to use this as a VERY powerful learning opportunity, teaching him that it is NOT okay to speak that way and by doing so, he put that little girl in a position to feel exposed and violated.  I had to explain to him what that expression meant (at a 3rd-grade appropriate level) and that is was used to belittle and make others feel victimized.  By the end of the conversation, he looked at me with tears in his eyes and asked if he could write an apology to the little girl and to his teacher for speaking that way.  He obviously had no idea the meaning of what he said. He only heard some older kid on his bus say it. And we all know anything that has to do with his penis is hilarious and of course, he decided to repeat it.

After the conversation with my son, I began thinking about the many years I have spent parenting out of fear of what others might think instead of realizing that kids are humans too. Just like us they have bad days. And they say and think stuff that isn’t a reflection of who they really are as a person.  I think a lot of times we punish our kids for being humans, for being kids… and the toughest realization of all is that we punish them for doing the same things we do!   Last night I was out to dinner with two of my most powerful, feminist friends and we started having the discussion about how swearing in front of your kids was not really a bad thing. One of them is a mother of two and the other has no kids and was discussing it from the perspective of her child psychology degree as well as her many years of nanny experiences.  My husband and are very mindful of what our children are exposed to. He comes from a very conservative Baptist family. His dad is a pastor. As a pastor’s kid, he was brought up in a very strict way and avoided all appearances of evil so that he would not provide a stumbling block to those around you.  He was raised without television, as well as no exposure to music other than the hymns he heard in his father’s church. We are both Christians. However, I say that very cautiously. I have evolved enough to say that I’m not a “Christian” but I believe in God and in Jesus as my savior. I also believe that we are called so that people around us would know we are God’s by our love, not our judgment. There are less “no’s” and more freedom given to us by God. We are called to love the broken and the sinners. We are called to live our life knowing we have to claim our decisions on judgment day. However, my husband was raised in such a way that we are very over protective of our children and what we teach them. But if you swear, does that mean you are not a “Christian” or that you are not a good parent for exposing your child’s innocent mind to less than “Christian values”? The discussion that evening was, wouldn’t you rather your child hear swear words being used “intelligently” from someone they trust than from some hoodlum on the bus? Don’t forget MY kid was the hoodlum the next day saying it to a poor, innocent 3rd-grade girl. My friend told a story about her friend and her daughter, explaining how the daughter was allowed to have conversations with her mom asking ANY questions she had. This mom explained stuff in an intelligent, none-emotional way, believing when you approach topics as “off limits” it then becomes a novelty, something kids want to explore to find out what the big deal really is. Does it encourage rebellion and the desire to rebel?  The next thing my friend said was what really got me thinking… she said, “you know what the most amazing part is? This little girl’s questions are evolving.  They are becoming more intelligent and layered because she is allowed to let her mind expand with knowledge. She is being taught things from the perspective of her mother who loves her and has years of experience.” And then my other friend said, “You know what I mean. I am a genius of sarcasm and perfectly placed “f” words.”  All of a sudden it occurred to me she was right!  Maybe I was approaching this parenting thing wrong from the very beginning. I not only want to raise intellectual, kind and all around good people, but I want to raise kids with witty sarcasm, human beings who some day I will enjoy sitting together around the fire.  I want to be able to have conversations that stimulate and debates that can get heated but end with saying  “I respect your opinion even if I totally disagree with you.” My kids have both sides of the fence to learn from. If taught and exposed to appropriate learning experiences they will choose what they believe by what they feel in their hearts and what is their truth. What an incredible, empowering moment to finally realize the mommy shaming and perfection trap was no longer going to control me as a parent.  I need to do “me” and I must give myself the freedom and grace to shout inappropriate words if the situation calls for it. That what family, friends or people of social media think of me shouldn’t matter at all! The realization that yes, sometimes my kid is an asshole, is more than okay!

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Grounding

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For years now I have been studying the idea of “Earthing” or “Grounding”. There is a reason that when I look at pictures of my ancestors, they are barefoot. In my favorite picture of my great great grandmother, Vienna Blevens, she is standing barefoot in the foothills of the blue ridge mountains.  I remember sitting with my grandma and looking through her pictures.  When I came across this picture, I was totally fascinated by it. There was just something about this picture that drew me in. I could almost feel her strong energy radiating off the picture.  She was the real medicine woman you heard stories about. She healed herself of breast cancer long before any modern technology or medicine.   She knew how to listen to her body and knew that nature had everything our bodies need to thrive and heal itself. I just LOVED sitting around the table with my Aunt Mary (my grandmother’s sister) and my grandma  listening to the stories.  They would talk about Grandma Blevins teaching them to churn butter and spin cotton.  I remember telling my Aunt how fascinated I was with great-great grandma Blevens when she responded by telling me that I had always reminded her of  grandma Blevins She said we were “like spirited”.

Ever since seeing this picture I have been enticed to research the idea of being barefoot.  Because if she was doing it, there must be a benefit to it.  Sure enough, I came across the idea of grounding. There are the obvious things we get from nature such as water and food, but did you know that even the soil can heal your body? We are being exposed to electrons all day every day. There are things that give off positive electrons and things that give off negative electrons and we need to try to balance these.  When our bodies get over loaded it can affect us with low energy, trouble sleeping, not being able to focus and it can even create an environment in our bodies where cancers can thrive. Things like Wifi’ signals and cell phones give off positive electrons and our bodies are being exposed to this all day, everyday everywhere we go. The Earth gives off negative electrons and can help balance out those positive electrons that bog us down. Spending time letting ourselves be in nature is so important to balance out the natural energy we have flowing through our bodies. In my research, I read that when you stick your bare feet into the soil, your body picks up the electrons and natural energy the earth gives off.  The coolest thing I read was how what ever your body needs most is exactly where that energy attends to first.  You sleep better, have higher energy,  less stress and anxiety and most importantly yet, it can even help speed up your metabolism to help with weight loss! HOW COOL IS THAT?  Another amazing thing about grounding is it can actually be a pain reliever, helping with inflammatory.  I have read in several places you should ground yourself for at least 10-15 minutes every day.

Not only do we need this, but so do our kids! We are so obsessed with germs and keeping our kids clean that they are not getting time to just play. Its so important to let them go barefoot and ground their feet into the earth. The other day I was thinking about this when I noticed while sitting at the beach, that even while swimming we are putting swim shoes on our kids.  We need to let go and return to the simplicity of natural living.  It doesn’t surprise me that ADHD and ADD cases are rising and that our kids are having issues with behavior and concentration. We are filling their bodies with wifi signals and cell phone charges (positive electrons) but not giving them opportunity to balance out these with negative electrons.

I am going to make the commitment to see what benefits will come from grounding daily. Give it a try and see if it helps you and your family!