2018 - Life as Mrs. Wilson

09 April, 2018

She & I

April 09, 2018 0
She & I

She lived in daily fear but had moments of courage. 

I’m not afraid anymore. 

She worried what others would think when they saw her paralyzed face and chose to hide most days. 

I’m okay if they judge me, I’m not afraid to be seen. 

She hated her body, her face, her flaws. 

I embrace who I am, flaws and all. 

She is not me, and I am not her. I was her..and I’m thankful for the lessons that have been learned. But even just one year later, from that picture to this one, I’m a different version of myself. Stronger, braver, and much more happy with the person I am. 

The point is, let yourself change - on the inside and out. Growth is never comfortable, but this life was never meant to be such. Keep growing, keep changing, and keep working toward the best version of yourself. 

25 March, 2018

Adversity? Opportunity.

March 25, 2018 0
Adversity? Opportunity.

I was told at a young age that trials are just opportunities, and that every struggle we have has purpose, even if it is just to show us that we are strong enough to endure it. We have opportunities to learn and grow through every situation in life -- the tricky part is to just remember that during the hard times.

I've written before about my love for the changing seasons of the earth, and how symbolic I feel they are in comparison to seasons of our own lives. Just as we need the life and warmth of spring, so too do we need the bitterness of winter. We need the heaviness to better appreciate the joy, and it truly does us no good to wish away the winter in hopes for warmer days, when we could have been playing in the snow all along. 

I feel that it's so fitting that this season of rebirth and growth is coming at a time filled with so much change in my own life. Just as the trees are starting to blossom and become filled with life once again, I too feel that excited energy. Excited to live and to be alive, despite sometimes feeling afraid that the cold frost could come back and hinder me.

 It's been a difficult month. With moving and adjusting to this new chapter of my life, I've found myself in tears of frustration and fear, and just pure exhaustion at times. While I am so excited for all of the new changes that are happening, I've struggled with feeling overwhelmed with it all. But as I've had time to sit and ponder, I'm starting to see the opportunity from the chaos.

I've learned how to find peace, even when surrounded by stacks of boxes and an energetic toddler.
I've accepted and found comfort in the knowledge that taking a break is okay, and that not every second of every day needs to feel productive.
I've embraced the mess that life sometimes is, and am learning to just go with it - even when my anxious mind wants otherwise.

I love this time of year, and I love where this season of life is taking me. Sure it's been hard, and sure there's a lot more struggle than simple at times. But these trials we face - no matter how big or small - are opportunities. And when we stop and see adversity for what it really is, there comes a liberating power with that knowledge.

So whatever it is you may be struggling with right now, know that you are strong enough to get through it. Know that you are absolutely never alone. Just as the calm always comes after the storm, joy will always come after sorrow. Never forget that you are enough, that you are loved, and that you are needed. Whatever it may be, just keep holding on, and look for the opportunity in the adversity. 

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26 February, 2018

Pursuing Joy Despite the Pain

February 26, 2018 0
Pursuing Joy Despite the Pain
I believe each of us are born with a life purpose, and I believe that one of the most important things we must all do in life is both discover and honor that purpose.

While I'm still on the path to discovering my own personal life purpose, I do know that if I could give you one word to describe what I honor most in life right now, it's joy. Or rather, the pursuit of joy.

I've always considered myself a happy person, which felt deeply hypocritical to say during the darkest of my years with depression. However, I have always held the belief that we were each created to have joy here on this earth - and that that is actually the point of our very existence: to have joy.
Now I'm not trying to say that I think we were meant to just have joy and only joy in this life. I believe that there's value in trials, even necessity for trials. I truly believe that we must endure sorrow to fully appreciate joy, and that our greatest struggles in life will guide us to the greatest joys in life. The most significant thing I've learned regarding joy, however, is how crucial it is for us to pursue joy despite the pain we experience.

My life, and I am sure your life as well, has been filled with a lot of pain. From the big trials to the small trials, and all the way to the ones that have brought me to my knees in despair, I get that it's not always easy to even want to pursue joy. I get that there are moments in life that knock us down so hard we feel that even breathing is too heavy of a burden, but even in those moments of anguish, we each have the power to continue on. We have the power to choose to pick ourselves back up, rise above the sorrow, and begin to heal.

We have the power to chase contentment, and we have the power to create a life for ourselves that is not only happy, but joyous. 
I wish I could adequately express to you how profoundly better my life has become since I truly discovered that I could still live joyfully despite my struggles, and even during my struggles. I wish I could better describe to you the hope, gratitude, and peace I feel knowing that we were each innately designed to have joy.

But I hope that if you are currently in a season of sorrow or pain, that you know how incredibly loved you are, and that there is joy in store for you - and lots of it. I hope that if you're reading this and can't remember what joy feels like, that you will fight for that feeling with everything you have, and that you won't give up on pursuing joy today. I promise you it's worth the pursuit. It's worth the struggle, it's worth the tears, it's worth the pain. And I think it's important that I remind you of that.

So I guess maybe that is my life purpose...to have joy and to share joy. Because my goodness, I have never before felt so compelled to simply share the joy I feel. I've never been this happy in my life, and I know it is because I intentionally choose to pursue joy every single day. So whether you're in the trenches of trial or the pinnacle of peace, I hope you know how deserving you are of joy. I hope you know that you were meant to have joy in this life, and that you can pursue joy despite the pain.
"The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives." 
-Russel M. Nelson

16 February, 2018

In Times Like These

February 16, 2018 0
In Times Like These
I know that many of us are left with hollow feelings as we read the news each day. It can feel overwhelming and downright depressing as we hear day after day of yet another tragedy. Another crime. Another source of pain.

I recognize that so many are questioning, where do we go from here? How can we help?

So, might I suggest starting where each of us are at --- right now. Many are capable of donating time, talents, and resources to those in need - do such. Many of us simply need a message of hope - seek those, share those. And many of us are wondering what comes next.

Well, next, we serve. And we lift. And we love.

We reach out to those close to us and we love them. And we show gratitude for them. And we grieve as we need to, and then we allow ourselves to seek and feel joy once more.

If you, like me, are struggling to feel joy in times like these, take heart. Though there is undoubtedly evil in this world, there is more good. There will always be more good.

So, be that good. Share that light. Build others up - willingly and lovingly. Continue to be kind. Continue to believe that there are great days ahead of us regardless of any tragedy we may face. Never surrender to the darkness.
And don't give up on this world just yet.

I believe in people.

I believe in the inherent goodness that exists in each of us.

I believe in a Heavenly Father who loves each and every one of His children.

I believe in hope for the future.

I believe in peaceful days and peaceful hearts.

I will never stop believing that there will always be more good in this world than evil.

And that's what gets me through times like these.

31 January, 2018

Conrad These Days

January 31, 2018 0
Conrad These Days
Conrad is a little over a year old (15 months) and is growing and developing sooo quickly. I feel like this stage of life, more than ever, I am catching myself being that mom that can't stop rambling about how FAST time goes by. It really is an interesting thing, to feel like the newborn stage was both a lifetime ago, and also just seconds ago. This has definitely been the most fulfilling stage of being a mother for me, and while I still struggle with my confidence, I do feel that Conrad and I are comfortably finding our rhythm and routine in life together.

Here are 10 things about Conrad these days:

1. He L O V E S alllll the healthy stuff. Seriously you guys, his favorite foods include kale, almonds, raisins, kiwi, and spinach -- he definitely did not get that from me, that's for sure! This kid is a little health nut and I adore that about him (but secretly hope he'll enjoy sneaking some icecream with me every once in a while in the future years).
2. Conrad loves things to be clean and in order, just like his mama. 
3. The kisses. You guys, the KISSES. He is constantly blowing kisses to us and even sometimes to strangers in Barnes & Noble, and will sometimes grab our faces and go in for a big ol' slobbery kiss. This kid is full of love and has the sweetest heart.
4. Peg + Cat is his favorite show. We may or may not have the theme song downloaded on our phones to help ease those I'm-stuck-in-a-car-seat-so-time-for-a-meltdown moments.
5. Conrad has more energy than I can even wrap my head around. He plays hard and loves to run.
6. He is CRAZY stubborn, and quite possibly more stubborn than I am.
7. He's also incredibly resilient, and is the epitome of 'getting back up on the horse' after each fall. Any time he gets hurt, he'll let me hold him for a minute tops, then go back and try to conquer what he was doing. He has come up with some pretty creative solutions and I am always in awe (and usually exhausted) by his determination to succeed.
8. Rad LOVES music. Any music, really. We've tried to introduce him to just about every genre there is, and from every decade, and he seems to love it all. Anything by Michael Jackson will get some guaranteed dance moves, and if there's not music playing throughout the day, you can bet he'll start yelling at the Google Home to play something again.
9. He refuses to sleep without his blanket and stuffed monkey.
10. Conrad thinks piggy back rides, giving zurbers, and standing on his tippy toes are all hilarious. And that laugh, I could listen to it forever.
Conrad James: if you ever read this someday, I want you to know what a joy and blessing you are in my life. You are constantly making me smile and laugh, and watching your personality develop and unfold is so great. Never stop trying, keep loving hard, and always remember how incredible you are in my eyes. Mama loves you, baby boy.

22 January, 2018

To the Mom Who Feels Like She's Failing

January 22, 2018 0
To the Mom Who Feels Like She's Failing
To the mom who feels like she's failing,

I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I get it. I've been there, I am there, and I'll probably be there again.
To the mom who feels like she's failing, I spent all last week feeling the same way. And I want to talk about it, because I don't feel like we as mothers talk about it enough.

Last week was hard, I'm sure you can imagine. I was trying my best, doing everything I could, and yet I still felt like I was coming up short. And as I was holding my son, rocking him to sleep for his nap, I lost it.

All of the doubts and worries and questions started flooding my mind - am I reading to him enough? Should he be talking more by now? Is he getting everything he needs? Am I doing this too much, or that not enough? I felt so overwhelmed as I wondered if I'll ever be capable of giving him all that he needs and deserves and just felt so inadequate and so unqualified and so very much a failure. 

And as I was looking at my perfect son through tear filled eyes, wondering if I really was failing him as a mother, I remembered something I had read right after he was born:

"We need not worry about keeping it together, keeping it perfect, keeping a standard nobody can meet. All we need is to live our small moments with big love."
Small moments with big love. It's all we need. 
So to the mom who feels like she's failing, please remember those words. Please know that even if you don't feel like it right now, your best really is enough. You really are enough. You are one hundred percent, enough. 
Yes, there are going to be days, sometimes even weeks, where those feelings of self doubt might creep back in. But when they do, take a step back. Let go of the expectation of perfection. And live your small moments with big love. 
Last week I was rocking my son to sleep with tears of frustration in my eyes, but today I rocked my son to sleep - still with tears - but this time, tears of gratitude. Tears of joy. Tears of love. 
To the mom who feels like she's failing, you're not. You're doing the best you can, and that IS enough. So here's to getting up and trying again and believing and knowing that our best is enough, even when it gets hard -- especially when it gets hard. Here's to small moments with big love. Here's to you, mama. I promise you're not failing, you're doing great actually. Keep loving, keep trying. It's all going to work out. 

03 January, 2018

10 Talks by Thomas S. Monson That Changed Me For the Better

January 03, 2018 0
10 Talks by Thomas S. Monson That Changed Me For the Better
When I heard the news about our beloved prophet Thomas S. Monson passing away, I began thinking about all of the words he had shared in his life that truly impacted me. His spirit was joyful, powerful, and kind beyond belief. His words always resonated with me so deeply, and because of him, I learned to love the scriptures and gained a greater desire to read them. There are so many more incredible and inspired words he shared than what I have listed below, but here are 10 quotes from 10 talks by Thomas S. Monson that changed me for the better:
"As we arise each morning, let us determine to respond with love and kindness to whatever might come our way." Love - the Essence of the Gospel

"In the game of life a second effort is often required. The happy life is not ushered in at any age to the sound of drums and trumpets. It grows upon us year by year, little by little, until at last we realize that we have it. It is achieved in individuals not by flights to the moon or Mars, but by a body of work done so well that we can lift our heads with assurance and look the world in the eye. Of this be sure: You do not find the happy life...you make it."Faces and Attitudes

"We were not placed on this earth to walk alone."We Never Walk Alone

"From the depths of my soul and in all humility, I testify of the great gift which is our Father's plan for us. It is the one perfect path to peace and happiness."The Perfect Path to Happiness

"Our responsibility is to rise from mediocrity to competence, from failure to achievement. Our task is to become our best selves. One of God's greatest gifts to us is the joy of trying again, for no failure ever need be final." -The Will Within

"Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey, and share our love with friends and family." Finding Joy in the Journey

"He will not always take your afflictions from you, but He will comfort and lead you with love through whatever storm you face."Looking Back and Moving Forward

"Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life."Charity Never Faileth

"I plead with you to have the courage to refrain from judging and criticizing those around you, as well as the courage to make certain everyone is included and feels loved and valued."May You Have Courage

"Remember, you are never alone. Never forget that you are loved. Never doubt that someone surely cares for you."A Time to Choose