Monthly Archives: June 2016

No Makeup

Let me start by saying, I in NO way think any less of women and mothers who wear makeup regularly. This article is about a personal choice I have made, not one that I am forcing onto others.

Growing up I thought my mother was beautiful. I still do. I remember being confused when she refused to go in public without putting her makeup on. My Mother wore hardly any makeup. Concealer under her eyes and a little bit of blush. As a child, I couldn’t even tell the difference between her with make up and without. She always told me she felt better about herself when she wore it. I thought it was strange… as an adult, I understand. I think that women should do whatever they need to do to feel more confident in themselves.

That being said, I hate that we depend on makeup for that confidence boost. Society has made us believe we should be working 40 hours a week, taking care of the kids, cleaning, cooking, and doing all this in heels and lipstick. Our lives are too busy to get the recommended amount of sleep, but heaven forbid we have bags under our eyes.

I’ve never worn much makeup. I wish I could say it was because I’m a confident person. But I’m not. It’s because I’m not good at applying makeup. But even though I wasn’t good at putting it on and I didn’t wear a lot of it, it has always made me feel better about myself.

I stopped wearing makeup on accident. When pregnant with Lucille I was sick so often that putting makeup on became pointless. It just meant I would have to wash it off in 30 minutes after I got sick again. Then after the kids came I was just too busy for it.

Lately I’ve started taking back some “me time”. Taking walks, writing for my blog, doing things that make me feel like more than just a Mom. I thought “Yes! I’m going to start wearing makeup again! That’ll make me feel like more than just a Mom. That’ll make me feel pretty! Maybe I’ll have someone teach me how to do my makeup better so I can wear more of it!” I was excited.

But then I remembered being young. Not understanding why my beautiful Mom needed to put makeup on before she’d let people see her. Children think their Mothers are beautiful, no matter how they look. They see the beauty in their hearts and don’t focus on physical imperfections, freckles, short eyelashes, etc. The real beauty that makes a person.

I want my daughter to have realistic expectations of what women look like and what makes them beautiful. I want my son to have realistic expectations of what women look like and what makes them beautiful. I want them to know that what is on the outside doesn’t matter, but what’s on the inside means everything. I want Lucille to be confident in herself without layering on foundation and eye shadow, blush and mascara. I want Lennon to make his future wife feel confident and comfortable enough in her own skin to shed the makeup.

FB_IMG_14628213098759864

IMG_20160407_1717594_rewind

So I have chosen to not wear makeup. And this time on purpose. Not because I think I’m more beautiful without it, but because I want my kids to think that. And I think if I don’t use makeup as a crutch, I’ll someday learn to see myself through their eyes.




Our 3 Year Anniversary

On our wedding day, Peter and I were obviously in many pictures. I told him every year on our anniversary I wanted to take a picture of our family and add it to a picture album so I can flip through it when I’m old and watch how we grew and changed over time. It’s crazy how much we’ve changed already.
IMG_8300 (2)
Our wedding day was beautiful. Beautiful weather, on a beautiful lake, surrounded by beautiful friends and family. I was so excited to start the rest of my life with Peter, who I had loved since the moment I met him. I loved him more and more every day we were together and by our wedding I thought I loved him as much as anyone could love another. I’ve since seen him become a father and must admit, I was wrong, as my love for him has grown even more.
Anniversary1
We clearly wasted no time trying to start a family. Lucille was 3 months and 1 day old on our first anniversary. We celebrated by bringing her to the Club where we got married. Look how tiny she is!!!
DSC_0817
And we clearly wasted no time expanding our family. I was 33 weeks and 5 days pregnant with Lennon by our 2nd anniversary. After we spent the day working (Peter at his job, me babysitting) we dropped Lucille off with Peter’s parents and had dinner just the two of us at the Club. Look how big I am, haha!
DSC_2128
For our 3rd anniversary Peter took the day off and we had a fun family day! We went to a local park that has not just your typical playground and such, but a splash park too! I was so excited to bring the kids and get our annual family picture. I dressed the kids and myself in matching bathing suits and Peter dressed himself in something that didn’t clash so I figured it was good enough… between the kids being, well, the kids and my Dad not being able to figure out how to work my camera, this is the only family picture we got at the park. I think it represents our life pretty perfectly right now, the kids are doing their thing, Peter is clueless, and I’m pretending I am in control of the situation. Anyways, it was a great day, we went out to eat, Peter and I finally watched our 3 year old wedding video and we dropped the kids off with his parents and had a couple drinks at the Club!

Lucille has recently discovered the photo album I started with these pictures. She’s obsessed with it! I hope my kids will always love this photo album and that we can look at it together for years to come.



Reducing Anxiety: Step Three

I’m a multi tasker. I don’t know how to do one thing at a time. Even when there is no reason to multitask, I do. I drive my husband crazy when we watch TV together and I’m on my kindle the whole time.

Some people may multitask happily. It stresses me out. I do it constantly, but that doesn’t mean I’m good at it or it makes me feel good. I need to stop.

Sometimes it seems multitasking is the only way to get shit done. But it’s not! If I have 3 tasks I need to do and I don’t prioritize them, I just do them all at once. This doesn’t get anything done any faster. It probably takes longer because I lose my train of thought. And nothing is getting done well. I’m half assing everything because I can’t stop thinking about the other projects I’m working on.

I’m learning to focus on one task at a time. While I do this task, I shouldn’t be thinking of the 8 other things I need to get done in the next hour. It doesn’t benefit me at all to stress over what needs to be done. It’ll get done. And if it doesn’t, the consequences are usually pretty minimal. Truly, I stress myself out over things that have such petty repercussions. Things that don’t matter.

Even worse is when I multitask while spending time with my kids. Here’s an example: I’ll be feeding Lennon and reading articles on my kindle. That’s fine if Lucille is entertaining herself. But when I’m done breastfeeding and I’m still reading this article or looking at pictures on Facebook and one of the kids starts interacting with me, I need to put it down. I don’t need to Facebook and spend time with my kids. Spending time with my kids is enough!

I’m not saying if the kids want my attention I need to drop what I’m doing no matter what. I work from home. There are times I need to finish writing a script and email it to my client before I can read Lucille her book. But other times, I’m just reading a mother’s debate about what to name her child while I watch Curious George. And then when my child interrupts me I get agitated. But why am I reading that instead of snuggling the babies and enjoying the movie with them?

This may be my issue and nobody else’s, but screen time makes me angry. It makes me feel like I have too much to do. So many tabs and apps open. But in reality, none of those tabs or apps matter. When I need to react to what’s happening in the real world, it needs to take priority over what’s happening on the screen. Not just needs to, I want it to. I’d much rather spend time with my kids than pin a bunch of recipes I’ll never take the time to cook them. But I’m not used to just spending time with my kids. I feel inactive, like I need to do more…. But something about that glowing screen in front of me… it just makes me irritable. And in reality, I’m not accomplishing anything on it that needs to be accomplished.

IMG_20160619_1706153_rewind

IMG_20160619_1748255_rewind

From now on I am only using electronics when it’s necessary for my job, I’m breastfeeding, or both the kids are in bed. This may not be a necessity for everyone to live a happy life, but I believe it is for me. At least for now.



Reducing Anxiety: Step Two

I recently posted that I’ve been struggling with anxiety. I still am, but I can honestly say, I’m getting better. Last post I talked about enjoying time with my family to relieve stress. This time I want to focus on spending time by myself.

When looking into natural ways to reduce anxiety almost every article I read recommended exercise. And originally that stressed me out more. Lennon is constantly breastfeeding still and as a result I’m 13 pounds less than when I got married 3 years ago. I’m down to 103 pounds. I know some people are reading this and cursing me out for losing weight without trying. But truthfully, I’m beginning to feel self conscious about how skinny I am. I don’t think I look too thin. But I’m close…and the fact that I haven’t worked to achieve this weight makes me feel unhealthy and uncomfortable. The idea of exercising and becoming skinnier terrified me.

But then I realized, I don’t need to do an intense workout that’ll make me shed 5 more pounds in a week. I can do something easy. Something that’ll make me feel healthy. Maybe even build up some muscle instead of looking mass. And I remembered how I used to walk. Almost every day of Jr. High, high school and college I took a walk. I brought music and just thought or day dreamed or listened to the music until I was ready to go back home and back to reality. After college I started dating Peter and became happier than I’d ever been. My walks became less frequent. But on particularly stressful days, I would still walk to clear my mind.

When I got pregnant with Lucille my walks ended. I felt too sick. And they weren’t necessary for my stress. I was a happy newly wed and excited soon to be mother. Once Lucille came and I was recovered from my c section. Once I could walk, I forgot about it. I was too busy working and momming. I’ve missed walks.

100_4622

A couple weeks ago I found my college iPod and decided to take up walking again. I’m getting the exercise that is so highly recommended to fight anxiety. But I’m also getting time to be myself and think. Think about my past. About my future. About my dreams. And mostly about all the things I’m grateful for in the present. I come back from these walks refreshed and with priorities straightened out.

I have not made these walks a part of my daily routine as they used to be. For now, a couple times a week seems to work fine. If I continue to struggle with anxiety I may decide to walk more, or I may add yoga to my schedule on non walking days.

Thanks for reading. Tell me, how do you get rid of stress in your life?



Peter and Bea

I mentioned a few posts ago that my very talented cousin and her husband of whimsy roots photography did a family photo shoot with us. They¬†got many lovely pictures of our whole family, which amazed me because Lennon was such a crank the whole photo shoot!! (He fell asleep in the car before we started taking pictures. He rarely naps… but when he does, it’s best NOT to interrupt him.)
With father’s day coming up I wanted to share some pictures Jenny and Brock got of Lucille and Peter playing. Like always, Peter did such a great job entertaining her while I tended to my little mommy’s boy.
View More: http://whimsyroots.pass.us/connollyView More: http://whimsyroots.pass.us/connollyView More: http://whimsyroots.pass.us/connollyView More: http://whimsyroots.pass.us/connollyView More: http://whimsyroots.pass.us/connolly
In case you can’t tell, my daughter adores her daddy. (Lennon does too, but he also clings to mommy when he’s upset, as he was that night.) I fully admit that Peter is better at being the fun parent. He is carefree and when he plays with our kids he clears all other stresses and worries from his mind. He devotes all his attention to being goofy with them for as long as they’ll allow him to be. He acts like a child himself and laughs right along with the kids. Watching him play with our children makes me fall in love with him over and over again.
He loves them so completely. And I can see him melt every time Lucille hugs or kisses him and every time Lennon reaches for him. I know he’d do anything for them. I know he does do everything for them. He works hard to provide for them and when he’s not working he spends all his time enjoying their company.
I couldn’t have picked a better, more caring or selfless father for my children. I am so happy that he is my partner in this crazy journey called parenthood. And I’m so happy he is the primary example my children have of what a man should be. I hope they grow up to be just like him. Strong but gentle. Practical but fun. And loving above all else!



Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Teething Biscuits

Today I decided to try an experiment that could help with 3 current problems I’m dealing with:

1. Lennon is a big ol’ cranky mess from teething.

2. Lennon still has little interest in table food and wants to live off breast milk and Graham crackers.

3. I have a TON of baby oatmeal. I stocked up when Lennon was almost old enough to eat solids because we went through so much with Lucille, I assumed we would with Lennon too .. wrong!

So I decided to make some teething biscuits. I found this awesome recipe, but as I didn’t have pear baby food I thought I’d change it up a bit. What a success!! Lennon loves them, so of course Lucille had to try them too. She was also a fan. I get so happy when I’m able to try something new and see my kids enjoy it! Especially when it’s something easy I can do repeatedly, which this certainly us. Here’s how:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and put parchment paper on a baking sheet.

In a mixing bowl combine:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of baby oatmeal
  • 1 cup of applesauce
  • 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon

Form mixture into long biscuits with wet hands. Should make a dozen to,so, I think I made 11.

Bake for 30 minutes.

That’s it. So easy! I’m thinking I’ll try it with all sorts of different flavors to get Lennon eating veggies and such!

1465329479297



Reducing Anxiety: Step One

I’m an anxious person. I always have been. But since I’ve had Lennon my anxiety has become a whole new beast. I get so upset over such small things. I get so overwhelmed for no reason whatsoever. These should be the happiest days of my life, raising my babies. I’ve wanted to be a mom my whole life and now that I am one I’m so stressed. I’m happy, but I’m stressed. More than I should be. So I’m taking steps to improve myself.

I work from home which means when Peter is home on evenings and weekends I am often doing work because (this will surprise you) it’s hard to get my work done when I’m taking care of two babies. Peter also works a half day every other weekend. So for me, weekends are sometimes more filled with work than Monday-Friday.

I’m grateful to be able to work from home and help support my family financially without having to go to an office. But I need to enjoy my family as well. My entire family. When Peter is home, all 4 of us should be making memories together. So Memorial Day weekend I decided not to even look at my work for 2 days. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

IMG_20160530_1256156_rewind

Seriously, I don’t think we’ve spent so much time relaxing, enjoying each other’s company and having fun since Lennon’s been born. And it definitely helped that the¬†weather was gorgeous!!

DSC_2080

Recognizing that my anxiety has become a problem I believe is an important step to overcoming it. Because now that I’m aware of overreactions and disproportionate stress as I’m feeling it, I can calm myself down quicker. But weekends like last weekend are going to help me too.

One weekend a month I am vowing to not touch work. This may mean I will have to do more work throughout the week. It may mean I’ll have to give up some of my work responsibilities. But I think I need to take time to enjoy all the blessings I’ve been given. Focus on my loved ones and nothing else 2 days of every month without interruption. Because they are what’s most important.