Advent: A Flood of Troubles Calmed

Advent Essentials: Keeping the holidays simple and creating focus

 

Truth be told, I started working on this post before Advent started. Before our life took a sudden turn. I thought I knew what our Advent season would look like. I had a devotional in hand, the notion of daily quiet time, Advent candles at the ready, simplified Christmas goals & acts of kindness planned… we would quietly and joyfully anticipate the arrival of Christmas Day. An “ideal” Advent. But life is far from ideal, a lesson we have learned over & over.

All we can do is trust. Be present. And trust.

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Another Sad Goodbye

We pray for peace wherever she finds herself. Never gone from our hearts.

Judy Riedner

March 28, 1951 – December 4, 2017

Another goodbye ~ Judy

 

It is still with much shock and sadness that we share the unexpected passing of Marcus’ mom, Judy. She was only 66. As the days keep passing, her presence will be missed. We we not always the best of friends, but I loved her greatly. And I will be forever thankful to her, for raising the wonderful man that is now my husband.

 

To All the Different Mamas

Motherhood Quote ~ Positive Mamas ~ Mom journey through grief & adoption ~ Blog by Bubblegum Sass

Love to all the mamas 💜

I continue to learn about the different kinds of mamas in the world. Those waiting to be mamas, those that have sacrificed their own motherhood to give their child life, the mamas to little angels they never got to meet. Motherhood journeys are vast & varied.

I recognize that Mother’s Day is not always happy. It can be really hard for some. There is sadness to that day for me. We buried my own mom two years ago, on May 12th. I miscarried for the finally time on Mother’s Day of that year. I said goodbye to any chance of having another biological child. I would never again be pregnant.

And I could not have gone through any of those experiences without all the other mamas in my life, supporting & loving on me.

And here we are, praying for some unknown mama to sacrifice her own motherhood so that we can give her child a life in our family. Adoption journeys come from a place of loss. I never want to forget that. The brave birth mom who chooses this path, will have all my heart & respect.

Motherhood. What a complicated & blessed thing.

A Year In Review: 2016

A Year In Review: 2016 ~ Bubblegum Sass ~ New Year, New Dreams

 

As the hour approaches and this year draws to a close, it’s time to reflect a bit on 2016. {To see my previous year reviews, click here}

Age: 35

Books I kept beside the bed:

  • Jan Karon’s Mitford series {still reading it}
  • GriefShare workbook
  • Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

Most enjoyed restaurants/food:

  • Last Best Brewery & Distillery
  • Charcut
  • The Chocolate Lab

Songs I’ve had on repeat:

  • Thy Will by Layla Mackey
  • Fight Song by Rachel Platten
  • Good Good Father by Chris Tomlin

Biggest Challenges:

  • Admitting the full extent of my depression & grief and seeking help. It’s all an upward climb to get out of the depth of the darkness, but one of the hardest parts is that first move to get help. After years of knowing my depression was getting worse, I finally realized I couldn’t go on without doing something about it. I went to my doctor and asked to start anti-depressants. I started checking in with her once a month to ensure the meds were on track & helping.
  • Hiring a nanny for the summer. It might *seem* small & silly, but admitting that I needed help with childcare was a big deal for me. I’m a stay-at-home mom. So getting a nanny seemed indulgent, but I knew, I needed the help to keep my sanity & make my self-care a priority in those early months of tackling my depression.
  • Committing to, showing up for, and participating in a 13 week grief support program at a local church. If you’ve ever walked through or are currently facing grief, I highly recommend the GriefShare program. It’s fully Christian based, but connecting with others who are going through loss is huge to healing.

 

Weekly Color Inspiration ~ By Bubblegum Sass ~ Birthday Unicorn ~ Nursery Room & Girl's Room Decor Inspo

 

Smartest decision I made: Walking through the doors of the local gym, committing to a weightlifting program, and connecting with a wonderful group of moms all doing the same thing. It’s been an incredible two months so far! I don’t feel weak anymore. I don’t feel sick. I don’t feel so broken. I like feeling my muscles work, I like the sweat & the challenge. I like the little village I’ve finally found myself in & the support & inspiration we freely give to each other. And I keep saying, as long as I walk through the doors of the gym, I’ve completed my goal. Doesn’t matter how the rest of the workout goes.

Glad I finally: Set some clear boundaries on my craft business that I’m comfortable with. Although it meant a loss in sales and having to say “no”, it was wonderful to be closed for the month of December. No markets, no online sales, no custom orders. Every year, I take steps to turn my focus to the true spirit of Christmas & going forward it will always mean being closed in December, so I can do just that.

Most thankful: For my Sammy, hubby & family. For friends, new and old. For customers & their custom orders. For getting a spot on a local adoption list. For God continuing to surprise us at every turn.

 

Much love to you & yours this New Year’s Eve! May 2017 bring the best surprises & the best changes to your life!

 

A Year in Review: 2016 ~ Bubblegum Sass ~ New Year, New Dreams

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Honesty. Authenticity. Voice.

Honesty. Authenticity. Voice ~ A blog about struggling with mental illness ~ Bubblegum Sass

Honesty. Authenticity. Voice. Three things I’ve been trying to get more “real” about over the past few years.

More real honesty. In my feelings to myself & others.

More real authenticity. In how I share our lives, the whole rounded story, good & bad & faith led.

More real voice. In who I am & want to be. Connecting with that voice & trying to live it out.

So let me be more real with you. This week marks the 5th anniversary of my oldest brother’s death. This week I started a grief support program because I’ve finally realized I am grieving many losses (brother, mother, unborn babies & loss of my uterus). And I can’t keep going until I learn to walk with all of this a bit better. And that means talking about it.

I’m taking my mental health much more serious these days. I switch got flipped a few weeks ago while taking my antidepressants & I’ve realized how much darkness I was living in for years.

So. Today, I’m not okay. But I will be.

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Seeking Self-Care When It Really Matters

Seeking Self-Care When It Really Matters ~ Blog post by Bubblegum Sass

So, I just went through the most difficult time of my life. Really, I’m still journeying through it. The loss of my mom is a fresh, raw hurt that no one can actually heal. And yet, I’m still expected to get out of bed every day, make meals, take care of our son, do laundry and perform the whole “mom/wife/daughter/sister” bit. Oh yeah, and there’s that running-a-part-time-craft-business and assisting-my-husband-with-his-business role too.

What happens when I can’t?

Because to be honest with all of you, I can NOT do it ALL.

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