October 2017 - Life as Mrs. Wilson

24 October, 2017

Redheads Can't Wear Red

October 24, 2017 0
Redheads Can't Wear Red
Today I did something society always told me not to do: wear red lipstick. I know how strange that sounds, but for as long as I can remember, I was told that redheads aren't supposed to wear red. That redheads can't 'pull off' red. And so for the majority of my life, I just accepted that rule and avoided wearing red at all costs (even though I really wanted to).

And I get how frivolous and superficial something like lipstick is, but I spent most of my life struggling with low self esteem, and so much of it came from the expectations upheld in the media and societal approval.

My whole life I tried so hard to make myself look like the pretty girls I saw, but I always came up short. I hated my red hair and freckles because it meant I couldn't wear what the other girls wore (or at least I thought that's what it meant). I struggled hard with the comparison game and the whole mindset of this is what I should look like, but I'll never look like them.

It was so hard for me to let go of needing the approval of others and the fear of not fitting in. The hardest thing I did was move from self hatred to self love, but it was absolutely the best thing I ever did for myself.

So in case you needed it, here's your reminder that you don't need the approval of society. And you most definitely don't need that approval to be happy.

Here's your reminder that you are beautiful because of your unique qualities (even especially the ones you are self conscious about).

And here's your reminder that you CAN pull off that thing you've been avoiding because society told you to avoid it.

The reason I write this isn't to try and give you fashion advice, or to tell you that redheads can *officially* wear red lipstick now. But I guess I'm really writing this because it's what I wish someone would've told me years ago.

I'm writing this because I wish someone would've told me that happiness doesn't come from the approval of anyone else.

Because I wish someone would've told me that I could still be beautiful even though I didn't have blonde hair or tan skin.

Because I needed to hear that the beauty of someone else didn't take away from my own.

Because I needed to hear that truth for a l o n g time.

Because I'm done seeking societal approval.

And because I'm done with "redheads can't wear red."

19 October, 2017

Let's Talk Motherhood - Seasons of Life

October 19, 2017 0
Let's Talk Motherhood - Seasons of Life
I'm so excited to be back this month with the Let's Talk Motherhood series! I've teamed up with some amazing moms to share in a conversation from each of our perspectives on different seasons of life. These bloggers have answered the following questions on their own websites, and all of their perspectives are linked at the end of this post for you to read! This interview collaboration series was created to connect, encourage, share, and relate with other moms. No matter how different our perspectives may be, we're all in this amazing and challenging journey of motherhood together.

On different seasons of life as a mother:

1. What is something you want to remember about this particular season of your life? I think above all, I want to remember how happy I am right now. I also want to remember the little things, like how Conrad is in the drunken baby stage of walking, and how he is constantly chatting to himself and everyone around him. I want to remember how much Conrad laughs when we chase him, and how he'll grab my hand and start walking. How he talks the whole time we're on our morning walks and how much of a personality he is developing. This is such a joyful season of life for me as a mother, and I just really want to remember that.

2. Through each new milestone in your child's life, (like the transition from crawling to walking or gaining independence in other ways) how have you adapted and transitioned your own life as well? It's interesting, because I think the biggest thing I've learned from each new milestone is that everything gets easier, and harder - at the same time. Once he started walking, I didn't have to hover over him 24/7 - but now I have to chase him down before he gets into things he shouldn't. It's awesome he can feed himself better now, but now he's starting to throw his food too. Like I said, it gets easier and it gets harder. But I feel like I struggled to adapt to the milestones at first. It was hard for me to let go of each stage of Conrad's life and I felt like time was so fleeting that I was reluctant to move forward. Yet other times, I was so desperate for sleep that I would long for seasons of life in the future when I wouldn't be up throughout the night. But as this first year of motherhood has gone by, I am learning to embrace each milestone and allow myself to be more flexible and more patient with myself and others. I'm letting go of what I had in mind before and just going with it.

3. What was the transition into motherhood like for you? How did you manage adjusting to such a different season of life? The transition into motherhood for me was devastatingly hard if I'm being honest. While I've always wanted to be a mom, I didn't feel ready to be one when I found out I was pregnant. Then, the intensity of Conrad's delivery and the time in the NICU created a whole new set of challenges. I struggled with severe postpartum depression and anxiety, along with PTSD from the delivery, so it was difficult for me to adjust for quite some time. It took a lot of faith, and a lot of hard work, and a lot of leaning on my husband for support to find my rhythm with motherhood. It's crazy to look back on how difficult those days were and how much I struggled to embrace motherhood, because now I can't imagine life any other way - and wouldn't ever want it any other way.

4. In three words, how would you describe your current season of life? Peaceful. Joyful. Exhausting.

5. What advice would you give to mothers that are struggling to embrace the season of life they are in? Give yourself some grace. It's okay if you're struggling to embrace where you're at (the entire 7th month of my sons life was pretty miserable for us all with 6 teeth coming in at once and a sleep regression - I get that not every season of life is going to be a happy one), but don't let your mind get trapped in the past or the future. Be mindful and practice gratitude. Be kind to yourself and know that you can find joy in every single day. My advice would be to start a gratitude practice! Doing that has genuinely changed my life and has helped me so much to embrace the now. The harder you search for reasons to be thankful for the present moment, the easier it will become to see that there is good in every season of life, no matter what it may look like. 

Be sure to check out the rest of the perspectives linked below!

If you'd like to be a part of the Let's Talk Motherhood series, email me at lifeasmrswilson@gmail.com!

17 October, 2017

Forgiving My Abuser: Me Too

October 17, 2017 0
Forgiving My Abuser: Me Too
I'm sure many of you, like me, have seen two words showing up all over your social media feeds: me too. These words represent the thousands of women, and men, who have been affected by sexual harassment, assault, and abuse. It's been several years since my experience with sexual abuse, and it's something I never thought I'd share, but after reading post after post stating "me too" I felt that maybe it was time for me to share what has silently weighed on my heart for years now.

When I was still in my teens, I found myself trapped in an abusive relationship. It started out with manipulation, then forced isolation, and soon enough I found myself being emotionally abused on a daily basis. When that emotional abuse turned to sexual abuse, I reached a low point. I felt trapped, and worthless, and I believed the threats that my boyfriend would spit out any time I would attempt to end the relationship. I was left fearful, and for a while, I just accepted that I would be stuck with him until I ended my own life.

I hesitate to share that, because it truly was such a dark time in my life, but it still is part of my story. But eventually, I was able to successfully end the relationship and I am forever thankful that I found the courage to continue my life, free of abuse. 

However, emotional scars lasted beyond the relationship's timeline, and I was consumed with resentment and bitterness. Not only did I hold a great amount of resentment toward my ex, I began to resent myself for staying as long as I did. I began to blame myself - could I have done more? Was it my fault? And while I soon realized that it wasn't my fault and that it really was abuse that I went through, I still held on to the anger towards my abuser.

I held resentment toward him even after I got married, because I would sometimes find myself flinching when my husband would hug me. I knew my husband would never hurt me, but the scars from the abuse still lingered, and still affected me.

And while I admit that I still have those moments of fear even now, my heart is different. And that's because I've forgiven him.

I've forgiven the man who hurt me in so many more ways than he might ever know. I've forgiven him not because I dismiss what he did, but because my heart just couldn't take that bitterness anymore. I physically could not hold on to that anger any longer.

It has taken a lot of tears, and a lot prayers, and a lot of TIME to get to a point of peace. To be in a place where I can even write a glimpse of what I've experienced. But I'm here, and I forgive him, and I'm moving forward. 

This post does not come without fear. It doesn't come without hesitation that I'm sharing too much, or that I may not be ready for people to know that I am numbered among the me too's. But I feel compelled to share because if you are reading this and want desperately to let go of the resentment you have toward your abuser, I want you to know that it is possible to forgive them. And it is possible to heal and to feel whole again.

Whatever harassment, or assault, or abuse you've endured - you can be healed. Know that you're not alone, and know that you have someone to lean on. I hope with all my heart that you will find peace, and that when I say that I have forgiven my abuser, you can also one day say, "me too."
If you want to know exactly how I've found peace and healing from abuse, this article explains it beautifully. 

15 October, 2017

The Joy of Simplicity

October 15, 2017 0
The Joy of Simplicity

For what it's worth:

Your days don't have to be filled with extravagance to be considered great. 

I used to spend a lot of time wishing my life was more exciting, or more adventure-filled, or really just a whole lot more. I wasn't a fan of quiet, and I wasn't keen on the idea of living a "simple life." 

My view has since changed, and I'm so glad it has.

I spent my day stacking blocks with my one year old, going on a family walk, and had lots of sick baby snuggles in between (croup - it's tough). But yet, here I am at the end of the day with a heart completely filled with joy.

You see, simple isn't always bad. In fact, since I made the decision to embrace simplicity, I've never been more at ease and more happy with my life. 

And I guess the point of me sitting here writing this is to say that you don't need more of anything to find joy. Joy doesn't have to come from exotic vacations or adventure filled weekends. Even the simplest of days can bring the greatest joy. 

My day started simple, and it's ending simple. I write with music softly playing as I listen to my husband reading our son a bedtime story in the other room. It's simple, and it's calm, and it's even better than that action-packed life I thought I wanted all those years ago. 

08 October, 2017

Conrad's 1st Birthday Party

October 08, 2017 0
Conrad's 1st Birthday Party
Has it really been a year already? Our Conrad James will be a year old this week, so we decided to throw him a little party over the weekend! It was such a pleasant day with Jake's family and Conrad's godparents, and I'm so thankful for all of the love and support in Conrad's life. 

I'm not a huge party person, but I wanted to do something fun to celebrate Conrad's first year. Jake and I always talk about how crazy and full of life Conrad is, so we decided to go with a party animal theme!

My sweet sister in law, Sarah, helped so much with putting together all of the little details!

The balloons originally said happy birthday, but we had a letter pop at the store, so happy 1 it was!

Jake made his famous tacos for the party, which I somehow never got a chance to eat (running around taking pictures will do that to ya;)

Jake also baked Conrad's cake along with the most amazing Boston cream pie for the rest of us!

One year old!

Rad loved opening his gifts!

Fred + Savannah
(Conrad's godparents)

and their sweet baby girl Ava, too!

Jake's mom, Laurel, and Ava (Savannah grew up spending lots of time at the Wilson's home!)

My boys

These two are the best of friends (and we're trying to convince Conrad and Ava that they're best friends too ;)

Sarah, the most amazing creator, sister, and friend ever. 

By the time I realized we hadn't taken a family picture yet, Conrad was over being in front of the camera. But hey, you take what you can get right?

Had to add this one because Conrad, one day you're going to see this and know that your parents have always smothered you in love, even when you weren't too sure you wanted us to ;)

We had so much fun celebrating Conrad's first year!