So… It’s been awhile. Sometimes we allow life to get in the way of our creativity and passions. In the effort to rediscover what has been lost for a period of time, I’m choosing to invest in myself.

In the world today we have so many expectations of ourselves, others, and events… What if we let all that go? What if we stripped ourselves of the guards, the barriers, and preconceived notions that we use for self-preservation and let inhibitions fall aside. What if you took that leap today that fear or anxiety (or both) have been keeping you from making. Scary thought, huh?

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I thought so too. Until I started investing in the person I am for me; the woman, mother, daughter, sister, friend that I am now; in this present moment. Not the person I was 10 years ago, not the person I’ll hope to be 10 years in the future, but the woman now.

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Electing to prioritize the time to emotionally, physically, psychologically, and spiritually feed yourself is difficult as an individual let alone when you bare responsibilities for others. We’ve been told it is “selfish”, but here is the important lesson… IT’S NOT. It’s self-care. Difficult events in life can have a way of tearing you down and eroding away the traits, characteristics and nuances of what makes a human unique; in essence ripping yourself apart for others.

We need to take the time to educate ourselves and change our mindset towards wellness and holistic healing. This is when I gave myself an assignment… Are you ready, because it’s simple and possibly cliche. I took a day with my children to be truly present (easy for me since I stay at home with them)… I disregarded all the expectations I place on myself daily. Here are just a few: laundry for a family, cooking healthy meals 3 times a day (plus the ever-important snacks), dishes, cleaning, planning activities, scheduling doctor’s/dentist’s appointments, going to said appointments, scheduling playdates, “schooling” at home, even reading a certain number of books daily. These are a part of my everyday, so what would happen if I woke up with my babies (like I do everyday) and decided to “wing it” for a change?

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Here’s what I discovered, at 1 1/2 and 3 1/2 years old, they don’t care about laundry, chores or “schooling”… they want me. That’s it. They want their Momma. First, I owe it to them to be the best me and that means investing in myself in the midst of life’s chaos. Second, letting go of the expectations was a revelation. To have the freedom in the day to enjoy moment to moment with them. What would happen if we stayed at the park for an extra 30 minutes and got Chickfila on the way home, instead of eating a more well-balanced meal… You know what, nothing. Nothing would happen except the enjoyment and presence in the moment, to truly experience what our life can be.

Children, have a way of teaching us daily what it is like to be innocent; their ability to find joy and sustaining happiness in simple everyday occurrences. Their willingness and openness to truly feel and express it regardless of audience or circumstance. I don’t ever want to diminish their spirit, and then upon thinking about this more… Is that not what, we, as adults do. We shut ourselves down, make ourselves numb, expect the world of ourselves; in a sense setting ourselves to a standard we are destined to fail.

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I’ve promised myself that I will now make time for me so I can be there for others. I encourage others to do the same… Whatever that looks like for you and see the positive changes that can come from it.

Keep believing babes
XX

World Breastfeeding Week and Day

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As I learn more about life, mamaing, wifeying, blogging, etc. I discover new things about myself and those around me. As a mom of two little boys, Crawford (2 1/2) and Cashel (9 months), there have been great days, horrible days, good days and many moments on all of these days in which I have found joyful memories and love. As a mom and a work at home mom, it’s so hard to meet everyone’s expectations, especially my own.

Yesterday, the boys, my mother, and I went to Chick-fil-a for lunch. Around here, Chick-fil-a is a mom’s way of life; a must have “adventurous” outing for the day of a mom who is at home most days. As my mom took Crawford in to the play area Cashel was asleep in his car seat with me (and at 20 pounds plus his carseat it is no small feat getting him into a place without waking him up). As another toddler was screaming he woke Cashel up and I was let’s be honest a little irritated… Even as a fellow mother who has been in her shoes before. I then picked up my now awake Cashel and proceeded to feed him.

A few minutes go by and the toddler from before was screaming again, he was definitely upset about something. Something probably life altering like the ketchup had touched the french fries. As I happened to look up I caught the mother’s (of the screaming toddler) eye. I recognized the same feeling in her eyes I have had myself many times: stress, frustration, concern, fear, and at the heart love for one’s child. I looked at her as she was apologizing to everyone around her; I smiled and said, “Oh don’t worry about it, I’ve been there.” What happened next was a revelation to me… All of a sudden the woman wrestling with her toddler seemed to have a weight lifted from her shoulders.

That fleeting moment, instead of judgement, condescension, or disregard, she was met with kindness and acceptance. The importance of another mother being able to identify with her was a disarming relief. As I walked by to go to the restroom, she asked me what I did when I was in the same situation and we struck up a conversation in which both of us realized how much we could relate to one another.

The bottom line you have enough, you do enough and you are enough Mamas. Whether you breastfeed, formula feed, stay at home, work outside the home, cloth diapers or disaposables… You are doing enough. As long as you face the day willing to learn your humanity God will grant you the grace you need to be the best you.

So go out, pay it forward and be a BELIEVIN’ MAMA!

XOXO

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The 20 Minute Maxi Skirt Tutorial

I hope you all enjoy this tutorial. I am in love with black and white together especially when they are polka dots. I found this fabric at Hancock Fabrics on sale for $4, and I thought it was too adorable not to buy. I snagged a steal! What do you think? I promise I will get better about taking more process pictures! Thanks and enjoy!

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Materials:

*Any fabric of your choice 3-4 yards
NOTE: *A chiffon, chiffon-esque fabric or jersey knit will work best; a fabric that has flow to it.
*1 inch elastic (I like the way this looked best but you could use any width)
*Saftey pin for threading elastic
*Sewing machine
*Thread
*Scissors or rotary cutter
*Serger (optional)

A Few Measurements You Will Need:
*Waist to Floor in inches (This measurement will give you the desired length of your skirt.)
*Elastic for waist: Your waist measurement and subtract 2-3 inches.
*Hips in inches
(You might have to adjust ALL measurements based on the stretchiness of your fabric, elastic, or your individual measurements.)
NOTE: All of my measurements are in US inches and are my measurements for the purpose of this tutorial. (Conversion Calculators are Available Online)

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Step One: You will need to measure your waist, hips, and length from your waist to the floor for a maxi length. (for additional lengths measure to your desired length)

Step Two: Cut 2 panels of fabric measuring: (2xhip measurement) by (your waist to floor measurement+2 inches). My hips are 34 inches, and length I wanted was 38 inches; so the 2 panels were 68 inches x 40 inches. (More than likely they will be some form of rectangle, and it sounds really wide but that’s what will give you a voluminous skirt once the elastic is in at the waist.)

NOTE: Now that we are ready to sew. I have a serger; it is not necessary for this, but it finishes your seams and gives your sewing a professional look. Both the top and bottom edges were pre-serged for finishing. You can also use pinking sheers or a French seam to help with those raw edges.

Step Three: Place the right sides of the fabric together and sew down both sides lengthways using a 1/2″ seam allowance (down the 40 inch sides). You can use your desired seam. I have a serger to finish the raw edges, but if you want to do a French seam or Enclosed seam please do so.

Step Four: Measure down 1 and ½ inches from the top of the 2 panels and place your pins. You will be leaving an opening in which you can loop your elastic (unless you want to get fancy and use professional methods in which I’ll be doing another tutorial) 😉

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Step Five: Once you have sewn all the way around the top of the garment using a 1 and 1/4″ seam allowance, remember to leave your opening to loop your elastic; attach a safety pin to the end of the elastic and loop it through. My waist measures 26 inches so the elastic length was 24 inches. Once you have the made it back to the opening with elastic completely looped through the garment, sew the elastic together. Enclose the elastic fully by sewing that space you left open for the elastic looping.
Almost there!!! I told you this was fast!!! It’s time to hem the skirt. If you are working with a jersey knit this is not necessary and you are DONE! However, I like to finish the hems regardless.

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Step Six: Measure up from the bottom hem 1/2 of an inch and pin. Sew all the way around finishing your seam and

VOILA! Your 20 minute maxi skirt is complete!!!

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As my first blog post, I’m excited to have been given this wonderful opportunity in life, to share my passions and little dreams with you all. What a blessing to find support doing something that I love! You can read a little of my background on the “My Story” page off the main Home Page, but I hope to share with you my inspirations and aspirations through my perfectly imperfect life. I’m a weird amalgamation of hippie and chic; classic and modern; granola and glam.

Now, onto the really important topic for this post. Freshly Picked is an enormously successful company with a perseverant and inspirational woman behind it. She began her business by taking left over windows to recycle, that is how she gained the capital to begin her Freshly Picked Moccasin brand. She truly is a self-made woman and it was a complete pleasure to work with them on this giveaway. I was a longtime admirer of how cute their baby moccasins were, then I received my first pair in the mail and… I was in LOVE! The craftsmanship is amazing, the colors are bold and fashionably on point, and come on… how much more adorable can you get than chubby baby feet in those moccasins!! The Freshly Picked Giveaway Winner is…

@mommy2myaxavery

Congratulations and please email me to claim your prize!!!

Thanks for your continued support and I can’t wait to share more adventures with you all!

Believin’ Mama is trademarked and all images are copyrighted.