Sunday, November 19, 2017

Play.

Well look at me.  Blogging twice in one week?!

I figured after the last post, I'd lighten it up a bit. 



When we bought our home a few years ago, one of the top things on my wishlist was a playroom near our living space.  I'm OCD about a few things, and toys laying around my living room is one of them. 

Yes, I've heard all the quotes about "letting them be little," and "embracing the fingerprints on the walls," as well as my favorite, "putting the laundry down, leaving the toys strewn all about and just play with your kids."




Toy chest made by Grandpa!

Well, listen here.  I'm a better mom when the chaos is contained. And my kids have clean panties.  So thanks for the advice, but I'll never be able to "embrace" stepping on play-doh or sharp blocks as I walk across my kitchen, or not doing laundry for more than a week. 

When it was just Lara, the thrown together playroom in the pictures below worked fine.  We had a massive TV cabinet where I stuffed away most of the junk and a toy chest.  As time went on, the TV cabinet became a catch all for toys we needed to get rid of, not for actually storing a television. 

So off it went, and off we went to Ikea. 

Playroom Before


For less than $300, we now have a playroom that mom and kids can enjoy because every toy is organized because every toy has a spot.  





I'll link some of my favorite items in the event you're looking to organize your play space this winter! 


  IKEA Dog Tail Hook


 IKEA Toy Trunk Storage
 IKEA Kids Toy Storage Trunk 

 IKEA Metal Wire Photo Hanger

 IKEA White Ledge Shelf 






Pandora Disney Music all day, every day on this nifty little Bluetooth speaker. 






The best gifts are homemade gifts!  Made for Lara by a dear friend for her first birthday

 



Thursday, November 16, 2017

November.

Oh, November.  I’ve been feeling all the feels these past few weeks as November is now upon us.
This time last year I was 38 weeks pregnant.  Our house was under a massive renovation, walking was nearly unbearable due to how physically uncomfortable I was and I was convinced I wasn’t going to love this baby as much as I loved my first as I hadn’t yet connected with her.

And then, I lost my job. 

I’ve been reminiscing a lot these days as Sadie’s first birthday quickly approaches.  I’m in awe that one short year ago, it seems like things were so dark

I’m reading this book and a recent chapter really struck a chord.  It’s discussing how much growth you have when thrown into situations that seem debilitating.  Those times where you’re forced to close chapters you don’t think you’re ready to close, and start new ones.  Moments where you’re forced to take new roads, maybe roads less traveled, and you’re freakin’ terrified.  Overwhelmed, perhaps.

It’s in those moments where life changing growth happens.

Let’s just say November was a month of growth for me…literally and figuratively. 

But looking back, I would do it all over again.

I would get pregnant when Lara was a mere 18 months old, when I was in the midst of dealing with postpartum anxiety I didn’t realize I had. I would do it all again in a heartbeat just to watch my two girls roll around, giggling on the living room floor together.  I remember vividly praying to God to allow us to become pregnant when he thought we were ready.  If it wasn’t meant to be for another few years, I was totally ok with that.  But sure enough, that pregnancy test was positive a few short weeks later and I freaked out. 



I panicked, really. 

Here I was in the throws of PP anxiety from my firstborn, pregnant again!!  But God always has better plans than ours, doesn’t he? 

Because of the anxiety, Jon and I would find ourselves at church a few short months later.  I remember crying those first few services we attended because I thought my brokenness would never heal.  Then a crazy thing happened.  We joined a small group, formed life changing friendships with others who were hurting, and slowly….a small glimmer of light began peeking thru the curtain that was drawn.



I would take on another house renovation because this winter, we won’t worry about our family being cold because our windows are so old.  I feel beyond blessed every time I walk into our home. 


Blessed to have a place to raise our family; a safe, warm place.  I would do it all over again…just maybe not at 9 months pregnant. 










I would lose my job all over again if I could.  While it was one of the most excruciating experiences of my life, man, I’d go thru it all over again. The day I received the news, I sat sobbing on my couch. Horrified and humiliated.  The feeling of failure in that moment felt insurmountable. 

Shortly after, God provided me professional opportunities I felt undeserving of, and still do at times.  One opportunity in particular felt so right, but so terrifying.  Not one to shy away from a good challenge, I dove in headfirst.  This past year, returning to work after two kids, would have been so much more grueling if I wasn’t doing something I believe so passionately in.  That’s God’s work right there.  I will forever be grateful for those that helped orchestrate where I am today.

Additionally, I was to be able to take an extra-long maternity leave with my new baby girl, my baby girl who I found myself so madly in love with.



Life is funny sometimes, isn’t it? If you find yourself in darkness, hang in there. You’ll see the sun again soon.  I promise.

And try not to follow my cue….like renovate your house, get knocked up and lose your job. 

Maybe just try some yoga instead.

And a glass of wine.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

#LipSenseDropout

Well, hello!

I always struggle with how to start posts after long absences.  Do I apologize?  Do I acknowledge the absence?  Do I come up with some elaborate explanation?

I've decided to do all of the above.

First and foremost, I'm sorry.  I realize I haven't blogged in nearly three months.  Explanation?

I decided to sell lipstick instead.

Lipstick.

Just let that sink in.....

I joined the "dark side" (as haters would call it) and dove into multi level marketing in hopes of becoming one of those elusive females to pocked $60,000 a month selling makeup.

All while driving a beautiful new car also gifted to me by the company.

I had visions of mornings spent sipping lattes in my zebra print office chair, wearing hot pink lipstick mind you, watching my bank account get deposit after deposit for doing nothing. I mean, isn't that how this whole multi level marketing thing works?  You pay a little enrollment fee and voila, you're quitting your job to make a killing sitting on your ass.

I know this will come as a major shock to all of you, but i'm here to say, folks, that's most definitely NOT how it works.

Multi level marketing is hard work, y'all.  You have to put in a ton of time, energy, passion and creativity to see that elusive financial reward people speak so freely about.

You have to learn an entire company as well as their products all on your own, no built in orientation or easy training courses to take those first few weeks of "employment."  You have to hustle, day and night.  You have to have DRIVE. You have to study not only the products themselves, but learn how to market the products in a way that convinces others to not only purchase, but join you in selling them as well! Listen, that's no easy feat.

These girls (or guys) have to have tremendous passion about what they've chosen to sell, whether that be leggings, an at home workout program, killer face cream, magical toothpaste....or LipSense.

And here's the thing, I just didn't.  I'm passionate about a number of things in my life, but LipSense wasn't ever going to be one of them. And that's totally ok.

I have very limited free time these days and I want to ensure I spend that time in a way that makes me happy.  In a way that fulfills me.





In saying all of that, this goes out to all those women who do have a passion for their MLM product or business, let's all quit hating on them.  Please.

One thing I've learned since jumping into the world of MLM sales is that to some, this is a career, their livelihood.  These women put a ton of behind the scenes work into their business, whether it's a side biz or full time job.  And you know what, good for them!

If they're finding killer success and they reach out to you to ask you to join them, tell them no. Or heck, tell them yes.  But don't make fun of them for working their ass off doing something they're proud of.

Did you know there are entire Facebook groups out there hating on these girls?  You want to talk about cyber bullying, well let's get real here people, that's a form of it.

If you don't want to wear their leggings.  Don't.

If you don't want to join their workout program.  Don't.

And if they add you to a private group without asking, get over it.  Don't get your panties in a wad, just leave the damn group.

No need to shame them.

Selling LipSense may be one of the few things that brings them joy.  And in some cases, puts food on the table for their families.

Every single day, I'm grateful to have an amazing career I'm super proud of. I don't need to sell LipSense to financially support my family, but listen, some people do.  And now that I've been there, tried that, I know how hard these girls are working behind the scenes.

So next time you have the urge to gossip about "all those women on your newsfeed selling stuff," don't.

Because listen, she's excited about her little side biz, and heck, isn't that what we're all chasing? Happiness. Financial freedom. Something to be proud of.

So instead of getting annoyed, show some support and buy a tube of her LipSense instead.    


XOXO,

Anne #LipSenseDropOut Xenos


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