Weekly Motivation #2

I will preface this week’s motivation by saying that I am flat out exhausted. It was one of those nights. Presley was grumpy and wanted nothing to do with sleep. She is such perfection. I am not complaining a bit that she needed me most of the night. The long nights are worth it. Having been awake since early yesterday morning makes for one very exhausted momma. On top of her being a typical newborn, my older children had need of me throughout the night as well, though their reasons differ a great deal from hers.

With that, I bring you “Weekly Motivation #2”. As sleep deprived as I am, motivation is absolutely necessary if I am going to keep functioning. Coffee is amazing, but it does not always work miracles.

“No one looks back at their life and remembers the nights they had plenty of sleep.”
“I’d rather be completely exhausted from the hard times which breed success than well rested from achieving nothing.”
“When you face difficult times, know that challenges are not sent to destroy you. They’re sent to promote, increase, and strengthen you.”
“My life is far from perfect, but I’m happy with what I have and working hard to get where I want to be.”
“Your life isn’t yours if you always care what someone else thinks.”
“I am resilient and can get through anything.”
“Somewhere, there is a past you overflowing with so much pride looking at how far you’ve come.”
“You owe yourself the love that you so freely give to other people.”

Good Boys

A couple of nights ago, after all of the kids were asleep, the husband and I watched “Good Boys” for the first time. I rented it from YouTube because we’ve been wanting to watch it but just hadn’t yet.

Does Seth Rogan ever get it entirely wrong with his movies? They’re almost always hilarious, even if they cannot be watched with my kids in the room. “Good Boys” is seriously funny, but I couldn’t turn off the mom-brain throughout the movie. That’s not a bad thing. It just left me with a few questions and thoughts.

1. Do my kids behave that way when there aren’t any adults present to witness it? Goodness, I hope not!

2. Do my kids think they’re as bad ass as these kids think they are?

3. Why are there no teachers supervising in that cafeteria? Seriously, my kids’ middle school cafeteria is full of teachers. Even the Vice Principal supervises their lunch periods.

4. Things like this are why I don’t own a swing.

Honestly, though, it was such a funny movie. The husband and I laughed pretty hard and not just because it was 3:00 in the morning and we hadn’t had any sleep.

I definitely recommend it if you haven’t watched it.

Does this look like a sippy cup? No. It’s a f*cking juice box! Because I’m not a f*cking child!

Thor, Good Boys

Presley

In April of last year, I learned that I was pregnant. A new adventure was blossoming within me. We were so far beyond ecstatic. Around week twelve, genetic test results came back with the news we were hoping for. Our sweet little jelly bean was a girl!

Deciding on a name was hard before I knew what we were having. I thought I was set on a girl name and I was no where close to deciding on a boy name. When we got the news that our baby was a little girl, I instantly knew. Presley. I chose the name for her Nana, who is a huge Elvis fan. To keep in theme with her Elvis-driven name, I decided on Presley Gracelyn as her full name.

My pregnancy with Presley was by far my hardest. Maybe it was my age. By comparison, I had my other three children during my early twenties. Being in my thirties made a big difference. Around week twenty, I started having issues with hypertension. My blood pressure was crazy and there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to what triggered spikes and what didn’t. It was insane. Not only had I completely blown up (I looked super pregnant within a week of finding out I was pregnant, at seven weeks), but I hurt all the time. My hips and pelvic floor seemed to absolutely hate me.

By twenty weeks, I could barely make it through an eight hour shift at work. Walking hurt. Standing after sitting down for more than ten minutes hurt. Changing positions in bed hurt. Everything I did seemed to hurt. It was okay, though, because I knew Presley was worth whatever I endured.

Around thirty-two weeks, I failed my three hour glucose screening. Ugh.. The glucose screening. The one hour screening was a breeze, even if I failed it. The three hour screening, though? Not so much. I went to my original appointment to do the screening and didn’t even manage to keep the orange drink down for a full five minutes. The second time was easier, but I got tired of being a pin-cushion. I’d already had a few other blood tests that week and then had to deal with blood being drawn four times the day of my glucose test.

At week thirty-four, the doctor started discussing inducing because of gestational diabetes and hypertension. Without a doubt, we would meet Presley by week thirty-eight. My doctor started having me do twice-a-week non-stress tests during the second week of December. The first two non-stress tests went great. On December 17th (the end of week thirty-five), I went in for my third. Within a few minutes of being strapped up to the TOCO monitor, her heartbeat dropped. It only slowed for a couple of minutes, but it was enough to get the nurse’s attention. My doctor ordered an ultrasound to see what was going on. A few minutes after the ultrasound technician left my room, the nurse came in and asked “What do you say we have a baby?” My husband was sent downstairs to register me to be admitted and I was transferred to a Labor & Delivery room.

At just after 3:00 that afternoon, they started inducing me. Between the excitement and stress of the whole situation, I couldn’t relax. Not a bit. By the third day of being induced, I was tired, irritated, and still not making much progress. I was told I could opt for a Cesarean section if I chose to do so, but decided that I wasn’t giving up until my doctor did. On the evening of December 19th, my mother-in-law asked the nurse to give me Benadryl because I was incredibly itchy but afraid of bothering the nurses.

Flash forward about two hours after the Benadryl was added into my IV. I woke up in pain despite a really well-placed Epidural. I had relaxed enough to allow my body to do what needed to be done and woke up to very strong contractions. Ten minutes later, it was time to push. Of all the babies I’ve had, she was the easiest. Within four and a half pushes, she was out of my tummy and laying on my chest. She was beautiful and tiny, weighing only five pounds and three ounces.

We stayed together in the hospital for three days. She spent twenty-four hours under the Bili light and I had tubal ligation done. We came home on December 21st. Her original due date was January 18th.

She has been here with us for a month and we could not be happier. Everyone went out and got her Christmas presents to celebrate her first Christmas. She is very alert for being so little and tries hard to hold her head up (she can do it for a good few minutes before getting tired). She’s a messy eater, makes some of goofiest faces I’ve ever seen, and loves being snuggled.

Presley Gracelyn Evans.

Born on December 19th of 2019 at 11:18pm and worth every ounce of the pain-in-the-butt pregnancy that I had. She is a blessing.

15 of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Most Inspiring Quotes

A U.S. federal holiday since 1986, we honor Martin Luther King Jr. and his accomplishments in the fight for human rights and equality for African Americans every year.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a social activist and Baptist minister who played a major role in the American civil rights movement. From the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968. During that time, he was was a key activist behind the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the 1963 March on Washington, helping bring to life landmark pieces of legislation suck as the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. In 1964, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Today, in honor of all of his accomplishments and in an effort to ensure that his legacy endures, I thought I’d share some of my most favorite inspiration quotes.


Martin Luther King Jr. in 1964
PHOTOGRAPH BY REG LANCASTER/DAILY EXPRESS/HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES
  1. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
  2. “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
  3. “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
  4. “Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”
  5. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
(Original Caption) Reverend Martin Luther King peers over a battery of microphones during a press conference at Christ Church near Harvard University in this photograph. King, declaring he would make an announcement on his possible candidacy for president, pled for a national volunteer group of 10,000 persons to form a political bloc “powerful enough to end the war in Vietnam.”
BETTMANN VIA GETTY IMAGES

6. “Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”
7. “Let no man pull you low enough to hate him.”
8. “The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what’s important.”
9. “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
10. “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see that whole staircase, just take the first step.”


VIA GETTY IMAGES

11. “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
12. “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. he who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
13. “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”
14. “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”
15. “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

On My Bookshelf

I have tons of books on my bookshelf, but I thought I’d share a few of my very favorites.

#1. The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning

#2. Night by Elie Wiesel

#3. Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson

#4. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

#5. The Odyssey by Homer

Putting Yourself First

We’ve all heard the saying numerous times throughout our lives. “You need to fall in love with yourself first.” But how many of you actually do? If you don’t, you definitely need to start. Here’s why!

1. Your Family & Friends Benefit

When you actually put yourself first, when you genuinely love yourself, you’re ultimately a happier person. Think about it. When you are tired, you don’t think anywhere near as clearly and you’re more prone to becoming irritated over even the smallest things. Rest up and schedule some “me” time to recharge. Everyone around you will thank you.

2. You will see an improvement at work.

When you go to work tired, you’ll find that tasks take longer and you feel overwhelmed most of the day. A well-rested mind and body functions better making it take less time to accomplish tasks because you’re thinking more clearly and moving faster. Get adequate sleep, eat well, and take time outside of work to prioritize yourself.

3. Your mental health will improve.

This is something that has been major for me over the past year. I have spent so much time over the past decade neglecting myself because, having a family of my own, I felt as though it was selfish to do much of anything for myself. My hair and skin suffered, I gained weight, and I ended up being 30 years old owning literally the exact same clothes I bought when I was 18 and nothing else. As a result, I felt awful about myself. I was extremely unhappy because I was doing absolutely nothing for me. Over the past year, I’ve really started putting myself first. After all, if I don’t, who will? If I don’t love myself, who will? I noticed that I felt better and better about myself and my overall mental well-being improved tremendously. These days, I make time for myself on a regular basis, even if it’s just to sit in the tub for an hour and clear my head after a long day.

My anxiety and depression still get to me occasionally, the anxiety being more prominent than anything else, but it isn’t nearly to the degree that it use to be. During those times, I remind myself to take what my daughter’s teacher refers to as a “brain break” and give myself a few moments to just breathe and take time for me. Love yourself. It is the very best thing that you can do for yourself and for those around you.

Lessons: 2018

The year is coming to a close and, as we approach a brand new one full of opportunities and fresh starts, I felt like I’d share some of my own lessons from the last 365 days. It has been a great year for me. I’ve learned so much about myself and about life.

The first, and this is a major one for me, is that allowing mental illness to consume you isn’t a way of coping or growing. In late 2017 and early 2018, my struggle with depression was at its very worst. I had been going through the world’s longest breakup and it was consuming me. I felt like it would never end. The relationship had been over for a good couple of years, but he just wouldn’t fully let go and still hasn’t. To make matters worse, I didn’t know I had the strength to finally stop opening the door or answering the phone. I allowed him to keep treating me like a yo-yo, so my lack of self-worth at that point was largely my own fault. I gave in to depression and self-harm as though they were this magical, super-safe security blanket. They definitely weren’t. I’d self-harm because I wanted a way to release some of the pain and then I’d end up feeling worse than before because of the marks left behind from a temporary lapse in judgment. I did it over and over. Eventually, I started opening up about everything, self-harm, the awfulness of the never-ending bad break-up, all of it, to the guy I’m with now and my friends. It took a while to see it, but I found that opening up to them and not isolating myself made me feel better. I am now going into my tenth month without self-harming.

The second is that it is entirely possible to be in your 30s and not actually know how to love someone. If your idea of loving someone is constantly controlling their emotions or actions, you don’t love them; you love controlling another human being. No one is bulletproof. When you incessantly belittle someone or control everything they do by either denying your permission to do it or by guilt-tripping them into not doing, you’re hurting them. Don’t confuse things by making them feel like nothing and then coming back around with an “I love you” and an apology an hour later. They aren’t your puppet and that’s not love. If that’s how you show someone you love them, you don’t know the first damn thing about love. Love should not hurt and it should not be a constant battle. Tristin taught me that. In the past year, he has shown me nothing but kindness, patience, and understanding. He does not ever raise his voice at me and he never makes any attempt to belittle me or make me feel bad about myself. He was one of my biggest lessons this year. He showed me what real love is and that taught me how to love myself.

The third was to keep my circle small and tight. You will meet so many people in life and so many of them will call you a friend. On some level, they might be, but that does not ever mean that all of them should really know everything there is to know about you. When it comes to friends, there are those who are by your side through thick and thin, those who are only there during your good moments, and those who are only there for something to talk about with everyone else they know. Your inner circle should only ever be the ones who are always there for you. Those amazing people are the only people who should ever really know your deepest secrets. Not everyone should know everything and not everyone belongs in your inner circle. Keep it small and tight.

I’ve grown a lot over the past year and still have quite a bit left to go, but I’m getting there. What are your lessons from the past year? How have you experienced personal growth?