the pressure to be perfect and learning to be myself

EVERY year, my family and I go to a local greenhouse on the first weekend before spring.  It started a long time ago and has kind of become a celebration of surviving a “midwest winter.”  (It tends to drag on and on, teasing you every once in a while with a warm day, only to divert back to freezing rain the next.) So we go, and each year as our family grows we take in all of the things that mean spring.  The bright colors, the smell of dirt, all of the opportunities of our soon-to-fail square foot garden.  It’s kind of become a celebration. 

greenhouse trip

This year, I thought it would be fun to write a little post on this sweet family tradition.  This will be great.  I figured all the kids were off school, I’ll bring my camera, snap a few pictures…perfect!

greenhouse trip with kids

Well, in short, that was optimistic.  The reality I found myself in was actually more something along the lines of this: an hour drive of arguing and whining and ‘are we there yets”, followed by bad attitudes from not eating breakfasts and us all still trying to make it through daylight savings. There was rain, lots of rain. My children running: on tables, down aisles, over to fountains, into breakables and away from me.  And the worst part: me and my big fat need to get the best pictures for a post. 

planting succulents

My dumb attitude was the worst part.  As much as I wished it wasn’t about getting the perfect picture, that is exactly what that outing soon became all about. I snapped at my sister, at my kids, at my mom.  All because of the pressure I was putting on myself to get that great shot.  To look cute, but not stupid.  To pose my uncooperative kids, to get the right lighting and to make sure I was sucking in. 

I don’t know if you guys have ever felt this.  I tend to be a perfectionist and when everything out there already seems to be perfect and I am such a hot mess (even when I try so hard not to be) the pressure is too much.  Who am I trying to be anyways?  It’s just a dang picture.  But I think it’s more than that.  I think it’s the scary part of trying to put myself out there more.  Anytime you share yourself, in any way, it’s vulnerable.  And though I wish I was cool enough to rise above it, I fall hard into the struggle to be perfect trap.

spring flower planting
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And you guys, in my chase for perfection, for the best photos, I missed the moment.  I missed my kids having a great time, smiling. My cutest little nephew who I do NOT get to see near enough and who is running now.  I missed time with my mom. Asking her about her work, their upcoming trip and her concern for a dear friend who’s husband was sick.  I missed my sister, who I treasure time with, and asking her about her growing business, and how mom life feels and what she’s looking forward to.  I missed Everett recognizing some of the plants and planning out what herbs we’re going to plant this year.  I missed Courtland’s dimple grin and the sheer happiness to be with the whole family.  I missed Isla’s first time really experiencing the flowers and how every single aisle was an opportunity to explore.  

family outing spring

On the ride home we stopped at a drive-thru for coffee and as we were paying, my oldest son shouted through the window at the barista. “I love your voice!”  So I rolled down my window so he could tell her again. Interpreting for him I said “my son thinks you sound like a nice person.” She smiled so big and through the suckers she gave them, I could tell it meant a lot to her. 

I kept thinking of that.  “I like your voice!”  I think I am learning. When I am just me, when I am “my voice” and not trying to be any one else’s, or trying to say/be what I think people want or trying to look how I think I should look, or be someone I think I should be, I am way more free.”

spring succulents

When Racheal and I decided to blog more this year, it was because of a pull we both feel to just be ourselves in hopes of encouraging others to do the same. We want to be human, along with other humans.  There is a lot out there telling us how to be someone else, but that’s not why we are each made so different and diverse.  Its nice to see someone just be themselves, don’t you think?  When I see someone else being “human” I feel like I get them.  I feel like “I can do that too.” We should be inspired and encouraged by other’s honesty and vulnerability because it creates a real connection.  No one is perfect, no matter how hard they try, so I’m gonna work on not trying.

-erin

i'm not perfect so i'm going to stop trying to be

Maybe The Grass Isn’t Always Greener

This spring started with a whirlwind as my husband (the calm & steady rock of our family) mentioned to me that he was looking at a fixer upper house for us to buy.  WHATTTTT??!! Who was this spontaneous stranger I was talking to???  Amongst the little baby stage we were just submerging from, I honestly had forgotten that fixing up a home together had been a dream of mine for as long as I could remember.

Fast forward to falling in love with two houses on the market, late night debates (we won’t call them fights ;)) one offer–which we quickly retracted and a couple of broken hearts.  Slowly, over the course of realizing what a fixer-upper house would entail for our family and jobs at this time, was NOT the best decision for our family.  Not a “never” but just a “it is wise to not embark on this journey yet” grown up sort of decision for us.  So I put away the Pinterest boards and forced myself to stop checking listings every 2-3 hours and made myself stuff the dreams back into my back pockets for another time in our lives.  This was a hard time for us, for my adventurous spirit. Let’s just say there was a lot of sulking.

And then, as if the stars aligned (or God knew just the whispers I needed to hear) I ran into the book Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner. It melted my heart and shook my world in all of the good ways.  I finished the book in 48 hours (which if you know me, this is quite an accomplishment.) I swear that book was just what I needed.  

I came to realize that though it is 100% ok to dream and it is a beautiful thing to want to accomplish them, I also began to discover that in order to dream I had to choose the best dreams for me at this moment.  With the busy of three littles, a growing business and a husband working in a ministry position, we wanted to be able to still give to all of these without losing us.  Without losing what we felt was worth fighting for.  

I came to realize that though it is 100% ok to dream and it a beautiful thing to want to accomplish them, I also began to discover that in order to dream I also had to choose the best dreams for me at this moment.  With the busy of three littles, a growing business and a husband working in a ministry position, we wanted to be able to still give to all of these without losing us.  Without losing what we felt was worth fighting for.

My dear friend mentioned to me that she had started a gratitude journal and after many obvious signs of my need to focus on the good, I went to the store and grabbed a journal out of the dollar bin (ironically it was titled “The Good Life”.) I began to write down the beauty I did have.  I began to WORK on not thinking about the things I deeply wanted but just weren’t in the cards yet. 

Erin Loechner, in her book, said that chasing slow is a chase.  I am slowly learning that there is nothing wrong with fixer-uppers or fighting to follow big dreams.  It just is about focusing on having the right heart.  Choosing to stop and ask, why am I chasing this?  What if what I actually really want is right here all along.  And then the paint brushes and the new light fixtures just enhance the beautiful things I already have. We all have beautiful dreams right in front of us. 

Some of my Beautiful Things:

little hands, screen doors, deep conversations with friends, royals games & good attitudes, hammock snuggles, sidewalk chalk, sunshine, lavender candles, porch lights, morning coffee, loud hip hop songs, great workouts, yummy food, porch time with the hubs & spontaneous puppy adopting. 

Some of my Beautiful Things: little hands, screen doors, deep conversations with friends, royals games & good attitudes, hammock snuggles, sidewalk chalk, sunshine, lavender candles, porch lights, morning coffee, loud hip hop songs, great workouts, yummy food, porch time with the hubs & spontaneous puppy adopting. 

I’ll be honest, I’m not great at it yet, but I have caught myself looking for things to write down and found a new happiness in chasing the small things.

-Erin

Gold Hoops Style

Statement earrings are back, and BIG!  I mean gold hoops have always had a special place on my favorites list, but right now the style seems to be the bigger the better!

Being a “jewelry artisan” I love being able to take a style or certain fashion trend (ie: chokers) and making it work to how a person like myself would wear it.   Let’s be honest, I am a suburban mom, with kids to chase and errands to do (and little grabby hands) so I wanted something that would somewhat fit my busy lifestyle, while still participating in the make-a-statement look.

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Here is what we came up with.  These are light weight hoops.  Not so big they are touching my shoulders (which I need to save for diaper bag placement, and not so small that they don’e say something.  They have the perfect amount of “diva” to them.  These hoops are gold plated, so nice and shiny and for a little extra touch, they have slight horizontal etched pattern all around the outside.  

I’ve officially been wearing the for about a week straight and I LOVE them.  They are t-shirt worthy, work-ready or even cute with a bathing suit & turban.  They are my new everyday favorite grab.  Easy style upgrade and perfect for this mama.

-Erin

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Baby Steps and the Next Right Thing

One of my favorite parts of this job is the drive, the constant push. That’s also sometimes one of my least favorite parts. I’m driven, but I also need to rest.

Balance is so hard, ya’ll. I am learning to start small. Baby steps. When I set a new goal for work, I start on focusing on that goal in small, manageable ways so that it can eventually become a daily habit. Baby steps are hard because that means I have to be patient. I can’t accomplish it all in one day. Whaaaaa? Big revelation. I just don’t want to lose sight of the way bigger picture.

There’s a reason I’m in this. I want to try and focus on doing “the next right thing” because i’m learning that consistently doing that adds up to things i couldn’t have dreamed of. And focusing on that next right thing allows me to stay in the moment and be patient for what’s to come. 

-Racheal

a classy statement piece.

Looking for a statement piece that goes well with lots of things? We love this black tassel glass beaded necklace.

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We love this tassel necklace. It’s a classy crystal & black Czech glass beaded necklace with dark gray glass settings and a black genuine leather tassel. The length of the chain measures 36″. The tassel hangs 3 1/2″ long. Modern. Chic.

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We like it best with jeans and a white blouse or dress shirt.  It also looks really pretty with bolder solids, like fuchsia or royal blue!

 

weekly feature. 10.28

Gray and Cream Baby Turban HeadbandChildren  Accessories  Headband  baby headband  girl headband  baby girl headband  headband baby  headband girl headband baby girl  baby headbands  girl headbands  headbands baby  headbands girl  baby girl turban  baby girl turbansI love this fabric! A gray knit with cream eyelet lace stripes is beautiful! A charming neutral headband. We love this one for fall.

Long Locket Necklace . AyaJewelry  Necklace  Locket  long locket necklace  long locket  necklace  long  locket  necklaces  locket necklace long necklace locket  locket long necklace  long necklaces  gold locket necklace  necklace gold locket  long necklace long Jewelry  Necklace  Locket  long locket necklace  long locket  necklace  long  locket  necklaces  locket necklace long necklace locket  locket long necklace  long necklaces  gold locket necklace  necklace gold locket  long necklace longThis long necklace has a beautiful gold plated brass folding locket with an intricate floral design etching. It is on a 36″ antique bronze chain necklace. The locket can hold 4 photos.  It will add the perfect touch of chic to your look.

Black and White Triangle Turban Children  Accessories  Headband  baby turban  baby turbans  turban baby  turbans baby  baby turban headband turban headband  turbans  headbands  turban headband baby  turban headbands  baby headband turban  baby headbands headband babyI love these comfortable headbands. They are so easy to wear, super soft, and won’t leave a mark on your darling’s head. They add the perfect vintage charm to any outfit.

Gold Dangle Earring . AvieaJewelry  Earrings  Dangle  gold dangle earring  gold  dangle earring  gold dangle  earring  gold dangle earrings earring gold dangle  earrings gold dangle  earrings  gold dangle earing  gold dangle earings  earing gold dangle  earings gold dangle Jewelry  Earrings  Dangle  gold dangle earring  gold  dangle earring  gold dangle  earring  gold dangle earrings earring gold dangle  earrings gold dangle  earrings  gold dangle earing  gold dangle earings  earing gold dangle  earings gold dangle Jewelry  Earrings  Dangle  gold dangle earring  gold  dangle earring  gold dangle  earring  gold dangle earrings earring gold dangle  earrings gold dangle  earrings  gold dangle earing  gold dangle earings  earing gold dangle  earings gold dangleThese are gold plated brass hammered crinkle drop earings. They’re texture is beautiful and catched the light beautifully. They hang on delicate gold plated chain approx. 3 1/2″ long. These gold dangles are chic. Their hammered look catches light perfectly. Throw these statement earrings dangles for a modern & chic look.

 

Find all of these and more goodness in our shop.

weekly feature. 10.14

Here’s a look at some of this weeks featured items.

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This turban baby headband is super soft and fun. It has the perfect fall colors- pink, orange, and gray!  These turbans are incredibly comfortable and easy to wear. A great way to add the perfect stylish touch to her (our your) outfits.

Tribal Jewelry Statement Earrings . TribalJewelry  Earrings  Metal  tribal  tribal jewellry  earrings tribal  tribal earring  earring tribal  tribal earing  tribal earrings tribal earings  jewelry trends  jewelry trend  turquoise  big tribal jewelry  big earrings

Tribal jewelry just for you! These tribal style statement earrings are pressed antiqued bronze. They hang about 3″ long.  These earrings have a subtle wild side. Throw these on with your favorite neutral top to add a touch of style to your everyday look.

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An true gray jersey knit is made into a turban headband. Perfect for those days that you just don’t feel like doing your hair. Roll out of bed, throw your hair up and slip this turban headband on. It’s also great for working out!

Tribal Silver Earring . AnastaJewelry  Earrings  Dangle  silver earring  silver  earring  silver earrings  earring silver  earrings  silver earings silver earing  earings silver  earing silver  silver silver  silver silver silver  tribal silver

These antiqued silver plated earrings are tribal style chandeliers. They catch light beautifully. They hang approx. 2 1/2″ long. Silver is sleek and modern, but will forever be timeless. Throw these earrings for instant elegance. Pair them with your favorite pair of jeans or dress them up for a stylin’ night out.

Find all of these and more fall goodness in our shop.

confidently clumsy.

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I have the worst spatial awareness.  I’m the kind of person that misjudges doorways and table corners.  There are bruises to prove it.  I also trip on flat surfaces.  Let’s not even talk about stairs. Nothing is smooth about my demeanor.

I’ve pretty much been a mess since I was a little girl.  I grew up less than confident about my capabilities.

At the age of three, I danced my way to a broken collar bone.  Just as I perfected my Rockette line kicks on the back of the couch, I catapulted myself into the wall.

I was reminiscing with a friend yesterday about the time I walked… no CHARGED through her screen door in the middle of a crowd.  The screen won. Everyone, especially my husband got a good thirty minutes of cry/laughing.  I still owe her a new screen actually.

I wish I could say I am just clumsy, but I’m a mess in most areas of my life.  The “ungraceful” trait has always been woven into who I am.

I’m five minutes late everywhere.

I have a knack for saying the wrong things at inopportune times.

I’m incredibly forgetful.  My daily routine includes some sort of misplacement of a necessary item.  Keys, wallet, kids… you know. I’ve lost permanently lost my wedding ring…twice.

The list goes on.

Usually, it’s easy for me to go about life not noticing the awkward creature I can be.  It’s the little fails that can take a hit on my confidence and remind me of my short comings.

In this world, we are taught to hold our head high and show no weakness.  So much value and worth go into having it all together.  These moments are fun for me to look back on and laugh, but deep down expose a fear in me that I am not enough.

A few years ago I was reading a verse I had read before many times.  But on this particular time of reading it, it came to mean so much more.  I began to realize the beauty of weakness.  When I feel like I don’t have it together or I am not enough, on the days when those lies about my worth tend to creep in, I am reminded of this…

{2 Corinthians 12:6-12}

“I don’t want anyone imagining me as anything other than the fool you’d encounter if you saw me on the street or heard me talk.

 Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. ”

Insecurity, failure and self doubt can often be immobilizing.  I know they are for me.  The next time you feel less than worthy or foolish, may it drive you to remember grace.  May it remind you that even He came in weakness.  And may it push you to rely on His strength.

*erin

a day late and dollar short.

It is still morning and it has already been one of those days.  I don’t wake up with birds singing, but I am definitely an optimist.

It’s the little things that poke the holes in my sails.

“Why don’t I own an umbrella?” I am drudging my little ones through the downpour as we arrive late to preschool.

I spent 30 minutes in an aisle at target, on my phone, trying to activate my new debit card.  I am miserably failing the multiple choice questions. “What is your father in law’s middle name?” “Uhhh..” “Which one of these astrological signs correlate with your husband’s birthday.”  I mean, I don’t even know my own blood type. I always forget to ask.  (Add it to my to-do list).

An iced coffee down the shirt, a text to the wrong friend (same name, different person) and was one dollar short at checkout.  After it all I forgot the one thing I needed from Target…

As, I sit here trying to re-boot my day, I keep coming back to a verse I have been turning over and over in my head this week.

“It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom.” {Gal. 5: 13-15}

What the heck does that mean?  I don’t feel like I live a free life.  I picture freedom like standing at the edge of a cliff holding my arms out and my hair blowing in the breeze (Titanic style.)  I feel like I can’t get my act together.  My life seems pretty sticky and messy to me.  I am a disaster.

What’s that phrase, ‘the devil is in the details?’  That is my story.  I am someone who gets caught up in and trips over life’s minor catastrophes. It is a slow fade into despair for me. A day full of bank card calls and spilt coffee can truly do me in.

This verse has been rotating through my mind as I slowly have given in to frustration.  I think freedom is starting to become clearer to me.  The freedom I can have, if I choose to partake is simple and oh so sweet.  I think it might be grace.  Grace to be ok with the crazy, with the loss of control, with the annoyances that discourage my spirit.  Grace to say “It’s ok to not have it together.”

And then, as I allow my imperfections and chaos to settle and lose the weight they hold, I can begin to see I have the freedom to love.

That is the freedom I miss out on.  The freedom to love others.  I would bet I am not the only one who doesn’t have it together and it would sure be nice to know.

So I will go on with my day, choosing grace and love and I think I will make that phone call to an old friend who might need a little reminder she is loved.

*erin

jewelry, earrings, dangle earrings, dangleearrings, stud earrings, studs, earring, earings, earing, jewelry,, accessories{photo credit: freepeople}