Operation No Real Pants

I’ll admit.

I’m on the leggings bandwagon.

I wasn’t.  I was against it.  Probably because I wasn’t educated on the proper care and wearing of leggings and just saw people putting it all other there, leaving little to the imagination.

Fortunately for me, I’ve been added to eleventy-bajillion Lu La Roe groups over the past few months and have no less than ten friends who have decided to start their own boutique business and now I own a pair… or twenty.  (No, I don’t really own twenty… but I’d like to. And really, I am not excited about being added to all those groups.)

I love them.

I love their feel.

I love how cute I feel.

I love how comfortable I am.

It’s a win win… especially going into the frumpy fall and winter months.

54e75beb60d34_-_sev-leggings-meme-lgn So I’ve declared operation no real pants.

I’ve decided that I’m going to do everything in my power to NOT have to put jeans on.  And I was a jeans and t-shirt kinda gal… but I’m excited about being cute and comfy all. winter. long.

And my rationale is… working from home, it’s easy for me to sit in my jammies or throw on a frumpy pair of sweats and work… but then I’m frumpy… I’m not looking like a rock star so I don’t feel like a rock star…

But with leggings…

Different story.

Now… I love me some Lu La Roe.  And I support all of my friends (I remove myself from any other group) when I can, but I’ve also had to figure out how to do this on the cheap…

So here are a few things I’ve found…

Fabulegs – Cute leggings (or solids) for cheaper (and she runs sales)… she’s got fantastic customer service… customers pick the prints… she doesn’t believe you should have to pay more than they are worth… so she’ll reprint the leggings if there is a demand… and I like the feel just the same as Lu La Roe… LLR calls it buttery… Fabulegs calls it milky (which baffles me because I’ve never poured milk or butter on my legs so I wouldn’t know what that feels like)… bottom line… I’m still telling people to feel my legs in the Fabulegs and they are super cute.  She also has a Facebook group.

But the tops… I found myself with all kinds of leggings and no tops.  So I went on the hunt.  The irma from LLR is my favorite.  It covers everything and it’s comfortable.  After a few trial and errors… I found this brand on Amazon. It might be one of my most favorite tops ever.  I ordered a large as the review says it runs big.  (That’s what I order in Irma’s) and I think I could go to a medium, but the large isn’t horrible.  🙂  I ordered a medium just to see.

So there you have it.. a few more pairs of leggings (I have donuts and halloween ones coming soon) and a few more tops and I’ll be well on my way to not having to wear real pants all winter long…

Now I just have to figure out shoes…

Guess I’ll need to sell a few more totes to make it all happen…

Until next time…

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Today’s To-Do List

My life has never been boring.  My work allows me to be who I am, capitalizes on my gifts, and provides me the flexibility to be with the kids.  It’s a win-win.

I love to look at my to-do list.  Today was a particularly busy day and I got all accomplished that I needed to.  But today’s list, while probably not out of the norm, struck me in a way that it hasn’t before.

 

Today I…

  • worked on my upcoming sermon
  • worked out the final details of next week’s missions trip
  • had the best pedicure I’ve ever had in my life….at a fancy day spa that I normally can’t afford but had a gift card and a coupon… score!
  • planned snack and crafts for the next four weeks of my summer program
  • created social media graphics for an investment campaign
  • made a list of the games we’ll be playing at Messy Olympics
  • shopped for said games – which included buying every can of shaving cream the Dollar Store had (all 16 of them)
  • finalized a social media campaign based on previous statistics and finished writing all the posts for the rest of the month
  • sliced massive amounts of peaches with my buddy who dries the fruit and makes peach jelly…
  • Caught Pokemon with my kids

Seriously.  I did all that today.  While I work a few jobs, most days I’m able to compartmentalize them so I’m not posting on the Investment Facebook page about the upcoming messy olympics… it’s a safety precaution, really.  But with my exciting week next week of Thrity-One Conference and missions trip, I had to get all this done today… PLUS those peaches.  I’ve been eyeing them in her kitchen for over a week and mentioned to her.. let me know when you’re ready to cut them.. I want to come help.

Because we sit and solve the world’s problems with peach juice everywhere… just like they did in the ol’ days.  (And then she makes things like peach pit jelly and I have to really wonder how she and I became friends…)

On the days when I think my life is insanely boring, I want this to look at… I want to see this… that my life is what I’m making of it… that I’m doing what I love and what I’m good at…

 

That I’m being me….

 

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You Can’t Hurry Love

you-cant-hurry-love Day two of 31 Things I’ve Learned About Being a Stepmom….

Love is a funny thing.  And over this past year, I’ve continued to fall in love with my children.  All of them.  Celebrating their wins and standing beside them with their losses.  With three teenagers and a tween in the house, it’s difficult some days to distinguish emotions.  I always love them… but some days?  I just don’t like them.  At. All.  Whether I birthed them or not.

Last year, about this time, I had the privilege of spending the weekend with a group of stepmoms.  Before turning in for the night, I called home to check in on the troops. Thing 4 (then age 9) had spent the night with a new friend. Thing 3 (then age 12) was away at a Bible quiz, his first of the season. Thing 1 (then age 17) had a big paper to write and Thing 2 (then age 15) has just gone golfing with her Papaw who drove in from Tennessee.

And, of course, I needed to know if the hubs was hiding in the bathroom or if the house was still standing. 😉 (You’ve seen Mom’s Night Out, right?)

When Thing 3 told me how well he had done on his quiz, I could tell he was beaming from ear to ear. He’s worked so hard memorizing verses and studying and it was evident in his performance that day. I could feel tears well up in my eyes as I paced back and forth in front of the retreat center in Asheville because I was so stinkin’ proud of him.

It was the same reaction I had while watching Thing 2 serve during a volleyball game and it finally go over the net. Her first year playing and the one facet of the game she just hadn’t quite figured out finally all came together.

I compare the two because Thing 3 is my stepson and Thing 2 is my biological child yet my emotions showed no discrimination.

I wish I could say that was always the case or that it’s the norm for all stepmoms.

Unfortunately, it’s not.

I love children, and the hubs’ children were great kids. They were six and three when I met them – young enough to still have love for any adult who loved them back, but old enough to realize that my presence meant mom and dad were no longer together.

I can’t remember ever not loving my step kids. But I remember a time that I loved them differently than I did my own kids. And I remember a time when, to them, I was just “Dad’s new wife.”

Over time, and through the grace of God, I came to love Thing 3 and Thing 4 in the same way I love Thing 1 and Thing 2 and I believe that love is reciprocated. (Either that or I have future Oscar winners living in our home!)

I learned it was normal to love my biological kids differently than my step kids and more importantly, that’s it normal. This didn’t make me the “evil” stepmom; it didn’t make me a horrible person; it just meant I was normal. This opened my eyes to the relationships others have with my step children. Just because I now love my step kids in the same way I love my own, doesn’t mean that my parents, my brother, my friends, etc. have to. (I’m so grateful that most people in my life don’t treat them differently because I didn’t birth them!)

But, I also learned it takes time.

The Supremes said it best with:

You can’t hurry love
No, you just have to wait
She said love don’t come easy
It’s a game of give and take

If you aren’t there yet, it’s okay.

If you never get there, it’s okay.

But don’t give up.

“The Smart Stepmom recognizes that she will love her biological children differently that step kids. She knows that God can and will give her a supernatural love for her husband’s children if she sincerely asks.” – Laura Petherbridge, co-author of The Smart Stepmom

Love them the best way you know how. They will love you for it.

(Maybe not today, but one day…cling tight to that.)

 

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It’s Complicated…

itscomplicated I’ll admit I’m one of those people who roll their eyes and release a guffaw when I see someone change their relationship status to “it’s complicated” on Facebook.

Because really?

If your relationship is that complicated, Facebook probably isn’t the place to announce that, and you should probably just select “single.”

But, as a stepmother, dealing with the relationships within our realms, there is no other way to describe it:

It’s complicated.

There are days that you are loved and there are days that you aren’t.  There are moments when you wish you could stop time and relish in the feeling forever and then there are the days that you are sitting in the driveway of your own home, afraid to go inside.

Now, I realize that most biological mothers can say the same thing, but when you add the complexity of the relationships with those that don’t reside within the four walls of you home…

That’s when it gets crazy.

And while I know it’s crazy because I live it every day, I didn’t realize the level of crazy it really was until I saw it played out in this video by Ron Deal and Family Life Blended.

(Take three minutes and watch this…seriously… especially if you don’t come from a blended family.. it provides so much insight)

You see, the complications come from simple math (I’ve always disliked math!)

It’s a home divided, then multiplied, and sometimes divided again wreaking havoc on anyone involved in the situation.

Yes.  It’s complicated.

And it’s a blessing AND a curse when someone tells me I make it look so easy.

Because it’s not easy.  And I struggle.  And I fail.

I fail my husband.  I fail my children. I fail my stepchildren.  I fail their biological mother.  I fail myself.

It would be very easy to live in the pit of my failures and allow them to define me.

But I have learned that it is in the time that I chose NOT to live in the “it’s complicated” realm that I find myself with the most joy.  It’s in the time that I embrace the chaos of our family and the complexity that I feel most at peace with our situation.

“A smart stepmom is prepared.  She isn’t naive or ambushed by complex stepfamily issues and is flexible to cope with matters that she didn’t see coming.” – Laura Petherbridge, co-author of The Smart Stepmom

Yes, it’s complicated.

But complicated doesn’t have to have a negative connotation.  In our case, with the complication, also come many blessings.

So if I were have to select a status for our family for all the world to see, I would select “in a relationship” – because I have chosen this relationship – the ups and the downs.  I have chosen to pursue a relationship with my husband, his children, and ultimately?  His ex-wife. (Oh, and I’ll dive a little deeper into that realization later.)

And even though it’s complicated?

I’m all in.

 

Today’s Resource:  Family Life Blended

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31 Things I’ve Learned About Being a StepMom

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I’ve been at this for awhile now and while I think I know a few things, I am not an expert.  But life experience has a way of setting you up as one for some.  I don’t pretend to know it all, but when it comes to this stepmom gig, I’ve been around the block a time or two and have several t-shirts.

And while I’ve figured a few things out, there are still many things that are just now popping up for the first time.

And this step parenting thing?  It’s hard, y’all.

So, for the next 31 days, I’m going to be talking about 31 things I’ve learned as a step mom in the hopes that I’m able to provide encouragement for just one other stepmother out there.  While the topics are similar to the ones I wrote last year, I’m going to be adding new content based on how things have changed for me, or how I think about things…

Because a year can make a big difference!

But this isn’t just for stepmoms.  Know why?  Because I bet, even if you’re not a stepmom, you know one – she’s a co-worker, a woman within your church, or even a member of your family.  Perhaps she’s shared a few things and you’ve stifled the urge to look at her like she has four heads. (It’s okay to admit that, I’ve seen the look more times than I can count.)

Yes.  Many of these things we couldn’t make up if we tried.  They are true.  They are very real struggles that unless you’ve lived them, you probably don’t understand them.  And these posts might not make you fully understand what it’s like to be a stepmom, but they will give you a glimpse into the life of a stepmom.

You won’t find mudslinging, drama or any personal vents here.  You’ll hear parts of my story and only my story, because mine is the only one I need to share.

I welcome comments, but ask that you respect others when commenting.  I don’t want to delete, but I know how heated conversations can get when dealing with these conversations.  I believe we can all get along here, m’kay?

Good.

And please feel free to share.  There are more stepmoms out there than you think and you don’t know who might need the encouragement!

Here’s to the next 31 Days!

Day 1:  It’s Complicated

Day 2: You Can’t Hurry Love

Day 3:  This Might Be My Circus…But They Are Not My Monkeys

Day 4: The Grass Isn’t Always Greener…

Day 5: Establish Some Ground Rules

Day 6: I’m Right Where God Wants Me to Be

Day 7:  You Must Look at Life Through the Eyes of Your Stepkids

Day 8: It’s Nothing Personal

Day 9: Not Everyone Gets It

Day 10: Everybody Wants to Know “When Are You Having an ‘Ours’ Baby?”

Day 11:  It’s Not Always a Blended Family Issue

Day 12: Sometimes Life Gives You a Second Chance

Day 13:  Never Assume Anything

Day 14: Support Systems Are a Must

Day 15: Sometimes You Just Need a Break

Day 16: Sometimes We Just Have to Let Things Go

Day 17: “Family” is Redefined

Day 18: Stepparenting on Pinterest

Day 19: Spend Time Together…and one-on-one

Day 20: Remember…You Chose to Travel This Road

Day 21: Fear is the Absence of Faith

Day 22: We Have No Business Casting Stones

Day 23: Even With a Lifetime of Practice, I Will Never Be Perfect

Day 24: More Kids = More Work

Day 25: Sometimes You Just Gotta Laugh

Day 26: TBA

Day 27: Don’t Lose Focus on What’s Truly Important

Day 28: This is their story

Day 29: We must be careful not to divide our kids in half

Day 30:  Be the kind of stepmom you’d want your own kids to have

Day 31:  I’ve Lucked Out With These Kids

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