May 2017 - Life as Mrs. Wilson

31 May, 2017

Life as Mrs. Wilson: May

May 31, 2017 0
Life as Mrs. Wilson: May
Something I used to write in my journal was a little life update on the last day of each month. I would write about things that happened throughout the month, things I was grateful for, lessons learned, favorite things, etc. I thought I'd start doing these monthly updates on my blog so I can look back on what has happened and so anyone else can read along the way too if they'd like!
May 2017

Things I'm grateful for:
1. Answers from doctors. For the past 6 months I've been struggling with my health quite a bit. For most of those months I had no idea what was going on with my body, but a few weeks ago at my doctors appointment I finally got some answers and learned that the majority of the pain I was experiencing was because I had an ovarian cyst that ruptured. I also discovered that I am gluten intolerant and lactose intolerant, but am still waiting to know whether I have Celiac Disease or NCGS/NCWS. I've been able to adjust my diet so I don't get sick every time I eat, and it has actually been a great way for me to get more into cooking! (I've thought about adding in some gluten free/dairy free recipes to my blog every so often, so I'd love to hear if that's something you'd be interested in seeing!) I am just so thankful to finally have some answers from doctors and hopefully be on the road to recovery.
2. Eternal perspective. This month has brought on a lot of trials that I was completely blindsided by. Because of that, I have found a great deal of comfort in leaning on my belief that there is more than just this life, and that most things in this life really don't matter in the long run. I feel so strongly that families are forever and that is something I'm extremely grateful for, especially this month.
3. More time with Conrad. I feel so fortunate to be in a situation where I get to be a stay-at-home mom. Since graduating college, I've been able to focus a lot more time on just being a mom and it has been so great. I feel extremely blessed and thankful to have this extra time and energy for Conrad.
 
 
Conrad's bottom teeth came in this month!
Lessons learned:
1. Don't worry about the feelings of one person towards you. It has been hard for me to accept that you just can't control how people feel about you or perceive you, but I am learning that the most important people in your life won't ever abandon you. There's no point in wasting your time worrying about why someone has hurt your feelings or has left your life. Invest your time in those that choose to stay.
2. You can't afford not to tell people how you feel. I lost someone I cared deeply about this month. I had plans to go visit him the Monday after graduation and thank him for the positive influence he had on my life, for visiting me in the hospital the day I had Conrad, and for helping me get through college. I was a week too late. He passed away before I had a chance to thank him and I regret that deeply. I don't want to regret things like that in the future. Because of that, I have tried harder to speak my mind and thank people sooner than later.
3. It will always feel better to do. Most of you know about my struggle with anxiety and depression, and the majority of this month left me feeling depleted. I guess sometimes I just forget that distancing myself from everything isn't going to make me feel better. So towards the end of this month I made a greater effort to just DO. Even when I've felt like I can't do anything, I have tried so hard to be productive and get myself out of the house and I can't tell you enough how much it has helped! Things are finally starting to look up and I attribute much of that to just choosing to do.

Current favorites:
1. Microbladed eyebrows - I wrote a bit about this on my blog earlier this month (you can read more here) but I am seriously so happy that I got my eyebrows microbladed! It has made getting ready in the morning so much easier and has given me a boost in the confidence I often lack.
 
2. Chick fil a superfood salad - I don't know about you, but I can never get enough chick fil a - especially their superfood salad! I was craving it often enough I knew I would need to figure out how to make it on my own before I spent all of our income on it ;) You can find the best "copycat" recipe I've found here!
3. Mormon Mompreneur Podcast. Last month I mentioned that I started listening to podcasts on my walks with Conrad. I recently found this podcast and am loving it so much! I am always left feeling uplifted and inspired after each episode, and it has blessed my life tremendously to listen to these inspiring women every day.

Memories:
1. I'm a college grad! I graduated with my bachelors degree this month and it was such a happy day! I had a lot of wonderful support and it was so special to have them there to cheer me on. Afterwards, my mother in law took Conrad so Jake and I could go on a temple date. It was the first time we went since having Conrad and we even had the opportunity to be the witness couple for our first time. It was so refreshing to be there and especially nice to have some alone time with each other! That evening we also had a barbecue at my in laws home and enjoyed the beautiful weather and great company.

 

2. Our first day trip without a baby! For Jacob's birthday this year, my mom gave us the gift of an entire day baby free! She and my dad watched Conrad while Jake and I took a day trip to Las Vegas, which is about 2 hours from where we live. We laughed a lot, especially when we celebrated at the fact that we could walk into a gas station together at the same time and not have to stress over taking Conrad in and out of his carseat. We chose to go to IKEA for the first time, which probably sounds like the least exciting thing someone could do in Vegas, but it was exactly what we wanted to do. With my love for design and Jake pursuing a career in architecture, IKEA was perfect for us! We actually spent 4 hours there and loved every second. 🙈 Afterwards we went to Zupas (WHY isn't there a Zupas in St. George?!) and enjoyed our drive back home together. It was so nice to go on a date with my husband again, but holding Conrad after not seeing him for so long was exactly what I needed at the end of the day.
3. Hey, Jude. One of my friends asked if I could take her son's newborn pictures this month and it was such a great experience! I've never really taken someone else's pictures before, so I was nervous and excited to take on the challenge. Her and her husband were so kind and little Jude was sooo perfect. I had a great time taking the pictures for them and I posted lots of pictures from their session here.
 
4. Meeting Ava Emilia Devantier. This morning, our best friends welcomed their sweet baby girl into the world! I was so honored that Savannah wanted me there to take pictures. She ended up needing a C-section, so I barely made it to the hospital in time! I got there right as they were bringing Ava out of the OR and was able to see her within minutes of being born. It was so amazing to see Conrad's godparents become parents themselves and to meet their beautiful baby girl, and I'm so excited to watch her and Conrad grow up together.
 
This month has been filled with lots of ups and downs, but has ultimately been a month I'll look back on as a positive one. I think it's so crucial to recognize that when our lives take a turn for the worst, it is up to us to find the joy wherever we can. As we do that, we will begin to see the many blessing that have surrounded us all along. Life is good as Mrs. Wilson!

27 May, 2017

Hey Jude

May 27, 2017 0
Hey Jude
I was so excited when my friend Quartney asked if I would take her son's newborn pictures! Baby Jude was only 3 days old and seeing the love his parents have for him and for each other was absolutely amazing.
  
        

                        
Congrats on your new baby, Aaron and Quartney!
xx

25 May, 2017

When You Don't Get Closure

May 25, 2017 0
When You Don't Get Closure
I don't know what I did wrong, and that's the hardest part. I lost one of my best friends and I don't know why, and I probably won't ever know why. I'm learning that sometimes you won't get the closure you want from an ending relationship or friendship. Knowing that you are just going to have to live with that and move forward can be heartbreaking, and I think that's where faith comes in. 

To have the faith that things will work out for your better good and that God or the universe or whatever higher power you happen to believe in - well, to have faith that they don't want you to fail - is everything. They don't want you to be sad. In fact, they want you to have joy. So much joy! This higher power wants you to live out the measure of your creation and to live the fullest life you can. This simply cannot be done when you are hindering yourself from moving forward. 

I believe that there are times and reasons for all things in our lives and that we can choose to let them define us in a negative way or we can search for the good in our situations and try to become better because of it. 

To feel abandoned and not understand the reason for it can be devastating. And it absolutely crushed me when I felt that way. Those feelings of rejection still creep up on me at times and I begin to over analyze every minor detail until I've completely picked myself apart and thought over every possible thing that could be wrong with me. So often though, our losses aren't about us at all. And even when they are, moving forward without closure can sometimes be a necessary thing to do. 

It hurts and it's hard and you may never get the answers you want, or any answers at all. And I suppose that's just a part of life that I'm going to have to continue to figure out how to navigate. 

But the thing is, we are never truly abandoned.

We have this higher power that cares for us - and deeply. We can find comfort in the truth that we will never be left alone in our sorrows. With patience and diligence and love, we can be at peace even when the closure we seek never comes. 

There will be times in each of our lives that we feel discouraged and downtrodden and forgotten. Know that you are not forgotten. Know that you are loved and know that things will all work out. 

I've come to realize that while some things in life don't go the way we hope they will, happiness is never too far out of reach. We can move forward with our lives and find peace in doing so. 

So to the friendship I don't think I'll ever get closure about ending - I love you, I still care about you, I am cheering you on in life and will continue to cheer you on even if you never know or care about that. I hope for all the success and happiness in your life, even if I'm not a part of it. 

 

22 May, 2017

My Microblading Experience with Kristy Jo Studio

May 22, 2017 0
My Microblading Experience with Kristy Jo Studio
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know that I recently had my eyebrows microbladed by Kristy Strickland at Kristy Jo Studio, and that I am absolutely in love with how it all turned out! I thought I would share my experience and answer a few questions I've been asked as well.

So first off, microblading is basically a semi-permanent technique using a microblading pen-like tool that is dipped in pigment color with hand drawn individual hair-like strokes applied to enhance natural brows.

I've always been a bit self conscious about my eyebrows, so microblading felt like the perfect solution for me. I was really nervous to get it done, but as soon as I got to my appointment, Kristy was so welcoming and helped me feel comfortable. 

She put some numbing gel on me and we talked about what I wanted to accomplish with my brows. Together, we decided on my ideal brow shape and pigment color. After about 20 minutes, we were ready to get started.

I was really surprised when she started microblading because I hardly felt anything. Every so often, she'd ask if I was doing okay and was so caring about my pain levels. Honestly though, I would rate the pain at about a 4/10 at its worst - as in, it never even got to a point where I felt like clenching my fists or asking her to pause for a minute. It did feel a bit more sensitive toward the end, but really wasn't anywhere close to as painful as I thought it would be. Kristy was so kind and sweet, and after a couple of hours, it was time to see the results.
I was so excited when I saw how my brows turned out! I've been a bit leery about microblading because I was afraid of it being too painful or not looking natural enough for my liking, but my experience totally changed my mind on that. It was so amazing to look up close at the detail and see how realistic my brows looked. I could barely differentiate my natural brows from the microblading, which is exactly what I wanted.

As for the healing process, my brows were sensitive for the first 3-4 days and I was a bit concerned at how dark my eyebrows were, but Kristy had told me beforehand that this was to be expected. By day 5, they had lightened up to my ideal color and all tenderness was gone. After about a week, my brows started flaking a bit and got a little itchy, but it wasn't really noticeable. A few days after that I was really loving how they turned out and was so happy that I could just get up in the morning without having to fill in my brows!

6 weeks later I had my touch up appointment and Kristy slightly changed the pigment color for a warmer look and enhanced the shape a bit as well. Afterwards, I seriously couldn't believe how amazing they turned out! I've struggled a lot with self image, especially after getting Bell's Palsy, and getting my eyebrows microbladed has been such a help with that for me.
Kristy offered to help even out my eyebrows, but we decided to to just follow my hairline instead because I am still recovering from Bell's Palsy, so that side of my face should continue to relax more and even out as time goes on. 

To answer a few questions I've received, microblading is semi-permanent, meaning it will last 12-18 months, and following the aftercare can help make it last longer. You can choose for it to be darker than your natural hair color (this is what I did), but may want to tint your brow hair for upkeep after it has healed (Ashlin Hiatt @a.lashandbrow is my favorite esthetician to go to for that!). You can still get your eyebrows microbladed even if you have sensitive skin as long as there are no medical contradictions. The current pricing to get your eyebrows microbladed by Kristy is $250, which also includes the touch up appointment at 6 weeks. If you've had your eyebrows microbladed before, you can still get a touch up from Kristy and prices will be on a case by case basis depending on how much is still left from your work before and if any corrective work needs to be done. Kristy is located in Northern Utah but does come down to St. George every so often for appointments as well. You can contact her at 801-309-6391 to book an appointment!

 

I am in LOVE with my eyebrows now (am I allowed to say that?) and am so glad I got them done by Kristy. It looks so natural and is so practical, especially as a mom. You can find Kristy on Instagram @kristyjostudio to see some amazing before and after pictures of her clients.

  
If you are thinking about getting your eyebrows microbladed, Kristy Strickland is definitely the girl to go to! She is so down to earth, kind, and is amazing at what she does. Now that I've gotten my eyebrows microbladed, I totally wish I would have done it so much sooner. To finally feel comfortable and confident in how my eyebrows look has been 100% worth it!

18 May, 2017

Mama, You Have to Let it Go

May 18, 2017 0
Mama, You Have to Let it Go
I want things to be perfect. I want to have a perfectly clean home with a perfectly clean baby who wears perfect outfits and plays with perfect toys. But that isn't my reality. And that bothered me for a long time.

The thought of letting my son wear a mismatched outfit bothered me. The thought of his hair not being done bothered me. And the thought of my baby putting a toy in his mouth BOTHERED ME. That is, until I had a conversation with my mom. We both have a similar drive for perfection, but the lesson she taught me about motherhood really put things into perspective for me.

My mom told me that one of her regrets after my brother died was that she didn't let him chew on his books. She went on to talk about wishing that she would have just let the little things go and enjoy each stage of childhood as it came. Her words hit me especially hard because I had spent that entire afternoon grabbing Conrad's books from him the second they got near his mouth because I wanted the books to stay perfect.

But why? Mama, you have to let it go.

It's just a book. It's just a thing.

How often do we let ourselves become distracted by the things of this world? Things that really don't matter when it all comes down to it.

It's just a shirt. It's just a toy. It's just a thing. Mama, you have to let it go.

I've spent a lot of time these past few days trying to recenter and refocus. Seeking out balance in myself and in my life. And it's been so beneficial for me to take a step back and think about what really matters.

Of all the things that matter in life, however, a chewed up book is not one of them - and as silly as it sounds, I didn't fully understand that even a week ago. What matters is connection. What matters is joy. Because we only have this short amount of time here in this life, so if we aren't happy, then what are we even doing? What is the point in wasting our days worrying about things that just. don't. matter. 

Today, instead of picking up each toy the second my baby finished playing with it, I sat on the floor with him. And we played in the mess, and he chewed on his books, and it was the happiest I've felt in quite some time.

So let them chew on their books. Let them play in the mud. Let them explore, let them be messy, let them be little. Mama, you can let it go.
  
If I Had My Child to Raise Over Again
"If I had my child to raise over again:
I'd build self-esteem first and the house later
I'd finger paint more and point the finger less
I would do less correcting and more connecting
I'd take my eyes off my watch and watch with my eyes
I would care to know less and know to care more
I'd take hikes and fly more kites
I'd stop playing serious and seriously play
I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars
I'd do more hugging and less tugging
I'd see the oak tree in the acorn more often
I would be firm less often and affirm much more
I'd model less about the love of power
And more about the power of love."
-Diane Loomans

07 May, 2017

Why I Finished

May 07, 2017 0
Why I Finished

Last Friday, I graduated with my bachelor's degree in integrated studies with emphases in psychology and sociology. It was an incredible day that I won't soon forget.

For as long as I can remember, graduating college was something I felt to be of great worth, and at an early age I made it a goal to obtain a bachelor's degree. I've grown up with a deep passion for learning and a desire to obtain higher education, so when I found out I was pregnant, I knew I would have to find a way to finish my last year of schooling no matter what.

The day I couldn't fit in a desk anymore 😅
Going to school while pregnant was one of the hardest things I ever did, and finishing school after having a baby was an even bigger challenge. However, after leaving each class, I was filled with happiness in knowing that I was doing exactly what I felt I needed to do at that time: learn.


I've always felt that if there is one thing I want my kids to know, it's that they can do hard things. That they can achieve their goals and aspirations regardless of how impossible or out of reach they may seem at times. I want them to know that if something feels of worth to them, that I will support them 100% in pursuing their goals.

Obtaining a bachelor's degree was my something of worth, and despite all of the backlash I received for my decision to finish school with a new baby, I still had that burning desire to accomplish the goal I had set for myself all those years ago.

Homework time

I didn't finish college 'just to finish.' I finished college because of the value I place on education. But more importantly, I finished college to show Conrad and my future children that they can do hard things and achieve their lifelong goals, which to me is more valuable than any degree. 


I'm so thankful that I was able to finish my schooling, and I had an incredible support system that helped me to do so. Were it not for them, I don't think I would have had the capacity or resources to achieve my goals. I hope that by pushing myself to accomplish one of my greatest lifelong goals, my children can know that they are also capable of achieving their goals - no matter what they may be. 


So to my future children: You can do hard things. You can achieve your goals through determination. Follow your passions, do your something of worth, and know that your mama will support you no matter what.