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Friday, June 30, 2017

A heads up would have been nice... #blogproblems

Warning: a little rant...

If you are reading this on your computer you might be able to see a whole bunch of these all over my blog:

I have almost all of my sidebar images and branding images, and some blog post photos hosted over at photobucket. I've had them there for years (since 2008). It's been great! (I used to use flickr, but then they changed and I couldn't load a simple photo anymore so I stopped using them a long time ago.)

Anyway, a took a look at my blog today and saw a whole bunch of these!!

ug. that's ugly.

So I went over to photobucket.com/p500 and took a look at what upgrading entailed. First of all I couldn't look at anything for a good 5 minutes because I kept getting overrun by popup ads, which also entailed signing up for a new account that I didn't want and didn't mean to do. Frustrating to say the least.

I finally got logged in and took a look... $399 a year to put my pictures on my blog (or $39/month). I don't even pay that much for my Shopify store! Sticker shock is an understatement, especially with no warning what-so-ever that my pictures would suddenly be gone and that I might need to come up with another plan for hosting my images if I don't agree to pay them the big bucks. An email might have been a nice courtesy to your potential customer, Photobucket.

Perhaps their their reasoning behind this suprise tacktic is knowing that no one is going to want to leave their site filled with the above images, and so out of sheer laziness or lack of immediate options, they suppose everyone will just sign up. And perhaps they will...

Me, not so much. Photobucket, you're out.

Why am I sharing this? Because unfortunately my blog is going to be ugly for a while. I don't currently have the time to replace all my images at the moment... so for hopefully a short time, this is what you'll see. I'm sorry. Hopefully everyone reads this on their phone and then it won't be a big deal. ;)

So here is my disclaimer... ugly blog. please don't judge a blog (my blog) by it's appearance.

Update: I just looked and saw that they are going to delete my account in 2 days! What??!! I get they would do that to people who never log in or use the service, but I do. And it makes me even more confused that they wouldn't inform me of any of this! anyway.... just a little frustrating. I will now never recommend Photobucket to anyone.

Otherwise, happy weekend!!! :)

Friday, June 9, 2017

"I want today to be about me" + Mistakes

Things have been pretty busy around here lately. A few weeks ago we got our carpet replaced, which meant that our cabinets were in the garage, which to me was the perfect opportunity for me to sand them down and paint them white. That was the worst idea I've ever had! lol.

 Sanding off varnish and stain is the worst task ever. ever ever. ever ever ever. I never want to do that again. lol. Then after sanding them down, the wood was SO BEAUTIFUL so I decided that I should stain them white instead of painting them, so I could still see the beautiful grain.

I can paint. I know nothing of stain. I spent too much money buying exactly what I didn't want and what didn't work. I ended up just painting them white. Had I stuck with my decision to paint them I wouldn't have had to sand them down as much as I did. Anyway... it was a learning processes. I learned, so I don't regret it, but it was exhausting.

I finally finished them a few days ago and we brought them back inside. Last night as I was loading them back up I suddenly realized that we hadn't secured them back into the wall. suddenly as in it was falling on me. It was scary. It happened in slow motion. It was like one of those sudden super powers I-could-lift-a-car-to-save-my-baby moments. Those suckers are HEAVY!! I was somehow able to turn around and push it back to the wall... as things fell off on me. Something landed on my head, and the rest on my lower back and around me. There were a few glass jars that broke (though I didn't get any cuts). My big toe was bleeding, but that was it.

I was in shock after it happened. I was shaking for quite a while and as that wore off the pain came full force. My hands, arms, shoulder, lower back, knees (from being pressed so hard into the carpet), my feet and ankles. ug. It was the worst.

I ended up going to bed early, and my hubby gave everything a good rub which helped a lot. He is so sweet and was a good friend to hang out with me. It didn't seem like a big deal, but my emotions were a little lot crazy. It was traumatic.

This morning I was still pretty sore, and as we dropped my hubby off at work I wished that he could stay home. "I know life isn't about me, but I want today to be about me." I cried a little. It was hard to have gone through a hard thing, still hurting and sore, and knowing that I had to suck it all up and take care of everyone else. That I was "fine" in everyone else's mind and they all moved on. But I didn't feel fine.

After washing the dishes I had an epiphany. I was overwhelmed with gratitude. I realized that while I wanted the day to be about me, that has to come from someone else. not from myself. I can't make today about me - that's just being selfish. That's closing myself off to everyone else. I can't give, love, make the world a better place if I am focused inward. If I am focused on me.

If today was going to be about me, it had to come from someone else. Which also isn't something I can demand or wait for.

I was grateful that I wasn't having a pity party. I was grateful that despite, and perhaps because of, my recent experience, I could still give and do things. I had the thought that because I'm not focused inward on myself, that means that I have all this power and emotion to focus outward and give to the world! I can create and serve and do something awesome! And that is WAY better than getting distracted on myself.

I love this quote from this recent conference talk,

“Service,” Amy testifies, “saved my life. Where I ultimately found my strength to keep moving forward was the happiness I discovered in trying to relieve the suffering of those around me. I looked forward to our service projects with great joy and anticipation. Still to this day it seems like such a strange paradox. You would think that someone who was bald, poisoned, and fighting for [her] life (battling cancer) was justified in thinking that ‘right now it is all about me.’ However, when I thought about myself, my situation, my suffering and pain, the world became very dark and depressing. When my focus turned to others, there was light, hope, strength, courage, and joy. I know that this is possible because of the sustaining, healing, and enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.”

It's so true. How many times do we get so distracted on our current, or past, plight that we fall down the spiral of depression, discouragement, and doubt. I'm grateful that I didn't go that route today.

Instead I found joy in putting my house back together, spending time with my children, holding and squeezing my cute little girl who is growing up too fast! I found joy in service, I found joy in the mundane. I found joy in being kind to the maintenance guy who was here for hours today (and I'm so happy they are finished with everything! Our list of things to fix is now whittled down to one: replace the carpet in the basement! Wahoo!!)

Anyway, I realized that there is TOO MUCH beauty all around us to not keep our eyes open wide and focused on the outside. Whenever I scroll through my phone, or think of my task list... I miss so many precious moments, so many interactions and connections.

I realized that those connections with my children and my husband, with my friends and those I love, with people I don't even know, are all what I want more of in my life! Those are what makes life precious. Those connections and relationships make life worth living. Those are what feed my soul!

I feel lucky and blessed to be at a place where my relationships are no longer tainted with resentment and pain. I'm no longer controlled by how others treat me, or how I feel/percieve that they are treating me (which is often incorrect anyway). Healing that has taken time and learning and growth, and most of all, and always, takes forgiveness. Even when it hurts so bad, forgiving - sometimes opens the wounds wider, but always makes way to perfect and complete healing that can only come through the Savior!

If you haven't listened to this, The Savior Heals without A Scar, (it is free with a 30-day trial of the Deseret Plus audio subscription if you don't want to buy it. I think it's worth it. I LOVE their new Plus subscription. I'm always listening to things). it is by far the best listen to ever!!! It is one of my most favorite messages I've ever heard! (not an affiliate. just being sincere.) This message has made the struggle and the pain, and the journey so much more bearable, and I have since come to recognize those times when the Lord opens my wounds just a little wider so that He can heal me without a scar. It is truth, and I am grateful for this knowledge. If you would like to know of my many experiences with this, feel free to ask. I'm happy to share! But first listen to this! It's awesome!

One thing I've been working on this evening is a secret... ;) but I've been working on it, and I'm a little burned out. I decided to pull out some recently finished quilt tops to motivate me to keep going, and instead I found a mistake! So what did I do? I shared it on Instagram! lol.

I instantly got comments like, "never tell/show people your mistakes", "no one will notice", "it'll be our secret". There is absolutely nothing wrong with these comments. I've made these comments plenty of times to others. But tonight it hit me differently then it has before.

I thought, "why can't I show people my mistakes? Why is that so wrong???" and "who cares if someone notices? should I be ashamed of my error?" I tried really hard to get the placement just right, but I have an error. Does that mean my quilt is now less special, and less worthy of love and appreciation? "Why should I keep it a secret?" I just shared it on Instagram. Not that I have a billion followers, but it's definitely not a secret anymore (although it might be with their algorithms. I'd probably have to pay IG $40 to show it to anyone. lol.)

I hope I didn't offend anyone with my responses, but it actually felt freeing to share my mistake and hoping that everyone sees it! I realized just how perfection oriented our society has become, that we all have to live under this false blanket of perfection, and if we make an error, we definitely don't make it public. "How dare you be imperfect and be in my presence?!"

Woah! I am definitely not perfect, nor do I or have I ever claimed to be. I like to make beautiful things, I like to be creative, I like to work hard and do things to the best of my ability, but I have no shame in admitting my mistakes. I have no shame in being imperfect. I hope I'm not the only one that feels this way.

Why can't we share mistakes? What keeps you from sharing your imperfections?

Who decided that my feed has to be all staged fake perfect photos and experiences? Who doesn't use their seam ripper? who makes a quilt with absolutely no mistakes?! I'm sure there are people out there - they are the queens and kings of quilting, but I bet more than not, they just don't share their mistakes, or they have had years and years of practice so their perfection is well earned!! Hats off to them for their hard work!

In the past, like even a few months ago, I felt paralyzed into not sharing a mistake. I would be the shame of the universe if I were imperfect, or said the wrong thing, or shared a photo with a hair out of place. What is that??? It's rubbish is what it is.

How did I overcome that? By remembering who I am. By reminding myself that I am a mother, a wife, a daughter of God. That I have great worth and value in those things, and that is where I should focus my worth. Not on what some stranger, or even a family member, thinks of me. My worth does not fluctuate with an increase or decrease of followers or email subscribers. I found my place in my life, and what is important to me. I became passionate about what is important to me, and stopped being passionate about what is important to someone else.

Stepping away from my business was the best decision I ever made! (even though I'm still doing a lot with it.) Letting go of EVERYTHING in my life was so empowering. Life is so busy and so distracting, and like this morning, it's easy to forget that what is important is outside of ourselves. What other people think of us does not belong inside of us, and if we are too busy focused outward, and if all of our energy is going outward - giving our best and our love to the world, then those thoughts will never make their way in. What a fantastic feeling!

Anyway, just some random rambling because it's been a while. ;) Blogging has been such a great outlet for me lately, and I've missed it these past few weeks. Time to make more time for it again!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!! 

Go love someone and it will be great! (and if they don't love you back, because sometimes that happens and it stinks, know that it's ok to love people even if they don't love you back! It's not up to anyone else who you love!!! Especially the person you love. You just love them anyway! It's more fun that way anyway, when your love for them is not tied to their love for you.) ;)

Love You!! (especially you! yep, you who is now going to unfollow me! ;))