Since I’ve been known to brighten one’s day from sharing stories of how I’m a complete moron… here’s an oldie but goodie:
When I was in Vail on tour with Jonny (maybe 19 years old) I went into a high end gift store. I am a candle and product junkie and can spend hours sniffing away in a store. I love for my space to smell nice and finding the perfect smell for my atmosphere can change my whole mood. I sniffed forever and found a brand that smelled delicious! Good enough to eat. I started loading up on all their different products and took my giant basket to the counter. The sales guy said “Wow, you like this stuff!”. “Yeah I’m obsessed! I’m going to collect the whole line and use it daily.” I declared with excitement! I mean, I had just discovered the greatest new brand! “Do you live here or do you want me to ship it?” “Well, I’d like to keep some items with me so I can start using them immediately and I’ll ship the rest to my parents house. I bought some duplicates for my mom. My dad will love it too.” I went on with my day smelling sweet as a cupcake…
I took it back to the chalet the band was staying at and immediately lit one of the candles. I left the products out because I was trying a lotion on… Everyone started laughing…. uh what the heck?
“Where did you get this stuff?!”
“At the store.”
“What kind of store?”
“The gift store.”
Well, to make a long story short I had bought the whole line of KamaSutra products. I didn’t know then that these were sex products! I’d never even heard of Kama Sutra before!
I told the guy that I was sending some to my mother to ‘use’ and that my dad would love them too!!!! I told him I needed to keep a few bottles with me to use that day!! HAHAHAHA So embarrassing.
Hello my beauties! So, this is where I usually write an excuse on why I haven’t written in so long and I’m sure I could give you a list a mile long… but who really cares. It’s not like this is a paid job I’m failing to follow through with….aaaaannnddddd I’d probably be late even if it was! Anyways, life happens, we all got one, moving on. I’ll act like I wrote yesterday and that this is just a continuation. Because, like an old friend, my blog and I, we meet up and it’s like not a day has passed.
The picture beginning this post is from my Instagram. If you’re not following me there, please do so! I’m better at keeping life updated in those tiny little square pictures and short descriptions-although I’m aiming to get my main brain dump happening here once again. This picture was taken after reading a ton of accumulated unread messages. Obviously, if you read the caption you already know this. But I was sitting in my pile of waaaay backed up laundry, feeling COMPLETELY and utterly overwhelmed when I stumbled upon these messages . I was feeling crappy, unmotivated and basically frustrated at the conditions in which I had let my surroundings become. Which in my brain is a massive deal. My ‘space’ somehow mandates how I feel about life. If I’m in a clean room I’m killing life. If I’m in a cluttered mess I’m an utter failure and my world is falling apart. This is a funny thing, because I grew up with Betty Crocker Barbie for a mom. She has a gift for being the greatest hostess ever! Everything was always clean and tidy and our house always smelled of an awaiting delicious home cooked meal and baking pie. So my happiness was trained to be connected to a clean and amazing smelling environment. She did it with such ease!
The problem with this is that she didn’t ‘train’ us. Which all homeschool moms know is a MUST part of ‘life’ curriculum. I am a complete disorganized mess but my everything depends on cleanliness. This is a dichotomy for the ages. How to become ‘that mom’. I’m basically a frat boy trying my best to hack together life while at the same time keep 5 kids alive and fed. I’ve come a long way -but dang, it creeps up on you fast if you get lazy!
The timing of finding these letters was great…they really touched me. I was a mess, IN my mess, and all these kind words from strangers totally changed my mood. I sat in my pile reading for who knows how long (let’s be real…probably hiding there for some peace and quiet as well! You know life is rough when you find it relaxing to fold and sort!). In these messages there were a few common threads. One being- why don’t I post pictures of myself. The answer to that is: I am NOT a selfie gal AT ALL. I would be mortified to post a selfie…don’t know why….not downing people who do it….just me even thinking about doing a photo shoot with…me… is embarrassing. I’m usually the one behind the camera and I actually don’t like being in pictures. “You have beautiful children” “You are so blessed” “Your life is amazing” “I look up to you” <—(GULP)
Then one message in particular struck me. It was basically telling me that I had THE perfect life…I was living this person’s ultimate dream! I needed to post more of myself living this *perfect *glamorous* life. The thought crossed my mind “Man, wouldn’t it be great for her to see me now!” Screw it, I’m going to DM this person a picture of me in my perfect life!!! Laughing my butt off, I yelled for my 11 year old daughter, Saylor. After climbing the mountain of clothes she finally reached me. I read her the message and she looked at me, scanned the room and slowly, trying not to, started to crack up. I told her of my idea and because I’m insane most of the time, my poor child didn’t even flinch. As she took this picture I said out loud “I am a glamorous woman” in my old movie star voice! Immediately following the first photo I got a charlie horse from having my leg up and toe pointed. Apparently the way too long 20 seconds pose was a bit too strenuous for me. She continued to take pictures. Thank you my sweet child, I deserved that and will continue to deserve that!
I scanned through my feed at the many ‘perfect’ moms I follow and looked at them a little bit differently after what had just happened. I remembered many times that I had looked at pictures and thought “Wow, they’ve really got life together. How the heck do they all always look so good?” Then I realized a reason I don’t post pictures of myself is because I’m not ‘that’. I don’t blow out my hair and do a full face of make-up everyday. My kids aren’t perfectly dressed and I’m not balancing on spike heels while holding my baby. Are they actually like that on a daily basis? Do those kids have a mom who is actually that patient to let them do messy crafts on their suede sofa?!!
I kept scanning and realized Instagram is like a magazine! Methodically chosen, perfectly filtered pictures. I get it…It’s not bad….I do it too…I mean what idiot is going to post something NOT great for people to see? Uh….hmmmmm….perhaps I’ll be that idiot! My DM suddenly and without much thought turned into a post and off I went. My family and friends get crap like this texted to them on a daily basis and THEY think it’s hilarious. So maybe some mom will see this and find humor in it! Back to my laundry-which I finished the next day btw after continuously running those poor overworked machines 24/7. I recently figured out a follow up system…yes ME…an actual Haylie made system…which requires these littles of mine to put their own clothes away! The last one to get this daily chore done ALSO has to hang Tevi’s clothes. Where has this help been all my life? Oh, right in front of me you say? People contributing to this disaster are actually capable of helping in the process of getting it back to normal?? These are the kinds of things I’m oblivious to! I’m not a ‘natural’ folks.
I have a pretty small profile. At the time I had around 3500 followers. Within an hour I had WAY more likes and comments than I’d ever received. My phone was BLOWING up. My profile grew a ton from that one idiotic post! What the heck? I felt so amazing bringing failure to Instagram! Then the messages… apparently I’m not alone in the overwhelm of momhood. Many of you came along side me- it’s been beautiful. It was a giant hug huddle with strangers over the internet!
I won’t give too many details for her privacy but a new mom with postpartum depression wrote that she was in an extremely dark mindset when she happened upon my post. She said she was overwhelmed with the thought that she would never get this mom thing down. She basically felt horrible she wasn’t immediately transformed into supermom. She truly believed, by how people portray their lives, that this transition should be an easy one. HELLO!!! Maybe I’m in a low percentage of woman but this was NOT the truth for me. I have a feeling from the response from this simple post that I’m not the only one!
Guys, we are all just human beings! Some of us might have more of our crap together but, we all have moments feeling helpless, lost, heartbroken, empty. It might be for a second, it might even be for years. But I’m just here to remind you that no matter where you are…even if you feel you are in the furthest depths, there’s someone looking up to you. Take a second…Someone might be blessed by seeing the failure in you today!
Which brings me to a challenge. (Competitive me has to throw down a challenge. I’m a born gamer in all ways and if you tempt me with a good time I will throw down, leaving all at my feet, bloody and begging for life….Sorry I get sidetracked.) I’m making a new hashtag my peeps. #Blessingyouwithmyfailure. Rules are this: You don’t have to be a mom- you just gotta be human! Is that you? I WANT YOU!!! Be brave and post a picture of yourself rocking it, in whatever your overwhelm is, getting sexy in the most shamefully messy area of your home, take this time to admit a weakness in a certain area and announce it in a frickin ballgown. Be creative and have fun! How do we step out of these parts of us and move forward if they’re hidden little weights? Set yourself free. Put your darkness in the light! You might be surprised at who is affected by your sincerity and openness! I know I was!
In this fake ‘reality’ world, lets bombard them with our beautiful weaknesses and failures! Cause you know what- it IS beautiful! It’s humanity! THIS is reality. THIS is what people feeling worthless while scrolling Instagram, feeling like they’ll never measure up, need to see! Don’t get me wrong… Life does have so many perfect moments but isn’t there always a mess to accompany these moments? That picture of your kid blowing out their candles is a sweet forever remembered moment of perfection. The moment the crowd leaves and the kids go to bed and the disaster this amazingly perfect day made…not perfection!
Even Martha Stewart is whisking her mess away to a back room while multiple people are scrubbing and cleaning. I long to be like my sweet, ex con, Martha. But, to be like Martha Stewart, you have to not only be like her but ALSO all of her staff as well, to pull off the same feats! (This last example just showed my age… who’s the Martha right now? Rachel, Ro, Pioneer Woman? Re-read with the person you want to be like. I think this statement is pretty universal to anyone you look up to as well… Cardi B…No?)
I’m going to feature a ‘beautiful in my disaster’ picture a month. A calendar of real people killing it in real life! Not a whole wall calendar people! Because- get real- I can barely get to a computer to post once a year much less print a calendar!! But I will feature you on my Instagram:) And once I have a full years worth, I’ll do a full post here:) #Blessingyouwithmyfailure. I’m excitedly anxious to see what disasters await!!!
Blogs, websites, html oh my! Just to start this blog back up right, let me be upfront about a few things! When it comes to anything having to do with a website I have absolutely NO experience. How I got my old blog migrated here and up and running is a straight up miracle you guys!
Let me try and answer some questions:
To comment (for the time being) you need to click the title of the post which always includes a ‘ #’ and go to the bottom of that posts page. I also got some comments and messages asking where you guys can follow this blog….hahahha I’d like to know that as well! If you see something completely wrong about this website, know that slowly but surely mamas trying to figure out how to fix it all!! I know exactly what I want it to look like and do…getting it to that point though is going to take a bit more time. So please have patience with me:)
Which is basically a great analogy for my life right now!! While migrating my old blog to this site I had a chance to look over all my old posts. Now this is going to sound psychotic but while reading one I thought “Wow, I wish I could be more like that”. It was as if I was reading someone elses words because man, have I strayed far from what the old me felt at the time. To see what I’m referring to click here:
I am a straight up styrofoam box yo!!! How did this happen? Where did my fall back to styrofoam occur!!??? I’ll tell you what happened! Dang babies! You have these amazing little creatures that grow inside of you, that you would literally die for and after they come out you are a blob of goo. Now, after 3, I was good to go! I had all the energy in the world and I was a force to be reckoned with.
My My My! I’m a different person pathetically reading ‘old me’ posts with half sadness at my great fall and weirdly enough being inspired! hahaha. “Thanks Self for those words of encouragement..”. This is why blogging or journaling in any way is so great. At times you can look back and be like “Hot dang! I was a mess look how far I’ve come..Go me!”. But you can also find yourself in a valley and feel like your world is stuck and read something you wrote previously, just in a different mindset and it can help you start the journey back to- “I’m made for so much more. I’m capable of crazy joy!”
These last 2 pregnancies were rough. I’m just realizing now while the fog is slowly diminishing that I had postpartum depression. I should have realized with Lilou….but didn’t. From the time I was 7 months pregnant with her I would cry EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. I was positive I was going to die during childbirth. I went so far as to write letters to each family member, telling them how much I loved them. I hid them around the house to be found after I didn’t return from the hospital. Crazy I know! I had had HORRIBLE birthing experiences with the previous deliveries (like horror film status) and felt emotionally that if something bad happened again my heart wouldn’t be able to take it. That insane anxiety just snowballed itself down a steep hill and into PPD.
But eventually it goes away. You start seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. You feel your body slowly coming back up to the surface. As I started writing my first post back, it felt like a huge inhale after being under water too long. An outlet…everybody needs one…you need to find that one thing that is your personal sanity. That thing that feels like throwing up. HAHAHAHA Such an attractive comparison but so true. Being bottled up is horrible. And even worse if its self imposed! It’s been years since I’ve written and it’s one of my true loves. I look back and know that the times where I’ve been the best me I’ve been writing. Even in times of utter devastation if I could get away and write, the effects would be minimal. It’s my mini, private, party of one, vacation. I have novels I’ve written that no one will ever read. It’s my therapy.
I have friends who say ‘when I’m angry or sad I run’. HAHAHA don’t I wish. Jonny golfs. Some people go in their room and scream into their pillow, leave it all on the dance floor, beat the crap out of drums, knit a frickin intricate afghan, swim across a lake. We all need to find our thing to be the best us and do it. So this, guys is the extremely long winded way of saying, this is why I am blogging. I love throwing out my crazy thoughts and sometimes getting a “me too” from a complete stranger. How awesome to just be humans sitting at a computer and encouraging others. I love that I can write ‘_______ just happened what the heck should I do?’. And a bunch of amazing suggestions come my way. Or writing something and have somebody write you that it helped them… We are meant to love each other and blogging has made me feel that. You guys are awesome. I have the most supportive loving readers and love that I have made friends along the way:)
So, I’m shedding the styrofoam off my heart and mind and s-l-o-w-l-y shedding the styrofoam uniform. I’m far from the old me at this point but give me a minute and I’ll be writing while adorned in rhinestoned and tasselled pasties and panties! My tired bod needs a minute to recoup still before giving up my Uggs. I’ll get there….
When I was little and heard the story about the origins of Valentine’s Day it always stuck with me.
There are a few legends I know, but the one I was told was this… During the third century in Rome there was a priest named Valentine. The Emperor at the time believed single men were better soldiers than men with families, so he outlawed marriage. Valentine continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When he was discovered, he was put to death. So we are basically celebrating a man who fought for love and celebrating the freedom to love:)
Around this time of the year I think of all the amazing love stories I have witnessed in my life. But one in particular stands out to me….It is like a fairytale to me because I never actually knew the people. I only knew of their story through their things….
When I was 12 my mother happened upon an estate sale in Burbank, California on a Sunday. Like always, she had us in tow. We always went open housing and estate sale crawling on Sundays, which I still love doing. There is nothing like walking in to see how other people live:) Anyways, this house was crammed with a lifetimes worth of stuff. The wife, Diane, had passed away a few years earlier and the husband, Bill, had recently passed. They had no children and had no living relatives. His best friend was running the sale….Herb.
We slowly made our way through each crowded room. There was so much stuff that Herb just priced things as people would inquire. I noticed the walls were carpeted and asked why someone would choose such a strange design. I learned Diane had been in a wheel chair the last few years of her life and Bill always wanted to keep her hands protected when wheeling through the hallways. Her closet hadn’t been touched, her things meticulously kept just the same. Bill had met her when they were both very young and they had spent their entire lives together in this home and it was very evident. As Herb spoke of this couple we began to fall in love with them as well. There were pictures on the wall of Bill from the forties. My little sister, Ashley, (who was 9 at the time) kept saying “I know this man” “No Ashley that photo is from a very long time ago” “I do..I really do!”
After having spent the majority of the day there with Herb, listening intently to him recount fondly his pals and their glamorous old Hollywood stories, a man walked up to Ashley. “Aren’t you the little girl from Growing Pains?” “Yes”. A conversation started and Herb interrupted. “Wait you did know Bill!” He walked us into Bills jam packed office and sitting amongst a million things was a tiny framed picture of Ashley with Bill!!! Bill had been one of the heads of Warner Brothers and the founder of Toys for Tots. Every year Toys for Tots takes a picture with the oldest and youngest person at Warner Brothers. A month before he died, he had been the oldest and Ashley the youngest!
This tiny 2 bedroom home was a treasure… a mess… but still a treasure. “We are about to put the house on the market” “I want it” said my mother. Meanwhile my father was out of the country. He was a ship captain and was unreachable for weeks at a time. He often would return home to find mom had made a huge life change, a pool built on a whim with no prior discussion, a car bought, the house completely redecorated… but never had she bought a house while he was away! At the time we were living in a large 3 bedroom house across town and mom decided we would leave it and move into this tiny, carpet walled home! That’s my mama for you…. The stories I could tell about mama…Which I will!
Within 30 days we had the keys to the home (with everything in it mind you!). So ALL of our furniture from a house over twice the size plus their stuff which was packed to the ceiling. What an adventure it was rifling through all the things and deciding what stays and what goes.
The back house was a full editing and developing room with the giant old equipment. It was donated to the Warner Brothers museum, which to this day I haven’t gone to see. We were starting to feel as if we knew them as time went on. We would sit and cry over pictures. They had such a love story. he was a photographer and photographed her every moment of every day. You could tell with the angles and how he captured her that even after all the years together he still desired her. There was such a look in her eyes as she stared through the lens at him.
After some time we went into the attic. There was a rocking chair and small table and lamp. Why on earth would someone sit up here. Then we put the pieces together…There was a nude painting of Diane propped on an easel and a stack of letters over a foot high. They had saved every single correspondence from the moment they met!!! They had written each other love notes until the day she died…he’d even written a few after…
They taught my preteen heart so much about love:) I sat up there reading about fights and how they made up through their letters:) That you stay when you love someone even through the hard times. Marriage is meant to last and you fight for the one you love. You keep the romance alive even in times of boredom. You WORK on your relationship like it is the most special garden. A garden that needs daily tending to, enough sun and just enough water.
So this time of the year I think of Bill and Diane, as I often do as Valentines creeps up…
I hope to have a love story like theirs, for they definitely were an inspiration for mine:)