Wednesday, January 25, 2017

What drives us...

I was asked the other day what it is that drives me. Basically - my "why" for everything I do.

Why do I work?
Why do I work hard?
Why am I successful?
Why do I work from home?
Why am I building my own business?
Why am I always tired and never sleep?
Why do I volunteer my time?
Why do I give?

I cannot help but respond identically to each and every one of those questions.

My family

I bust my butt (my hubby calls it hustling... lol) because I want to provide my family with what they need.

I am an entrepreneur because I understand that the corporate world or really other people cannot always give you what you want/need. Sometimes they may stand in the way of that and the best way to get it is by yourself.

I am successful because I have to be. I need to prove to my family that if you work hard then you will be rewarded. Success is not always monetary, it is about being where you want to be. For me, that means that I am successful when I get to spend extra time with my kids, my hubby and do fun things. I am successful when I make it through the day and nobody has broken a bone or had to get yelled at a million times. Success means that at the end of the day we still love each other and are happy with the decisions/outcomes we have made.

I have spent the last year home with my kids - because I didn't want to miss any opportunities with them, milestone with my little, and I felt like with all the transitions happening in our lives at that time, it was important to be present. That took priority over money, career, and my selfish desires in a way. Don't get me wrong - I wanted to be here, but I also set everything else aside to make that happen because my family was more important and needed me more.

I decided to join Rodan+Fields because I know there is potential there. I am building my business as a part time entrepreneur and loving the community of ladies I get to partner with and work alongside. I am able to work wherever, whenever, with my kids, without my kids, and the flexibility of that has allowed us extra income and again - it comes back to my family...

We get asked a lot why we can't do things on Sundays anymore - why we are so busy Thursdays or really all the time :) We decided that God is first in our marriage, our lives, and our family. A part of that means that we give back to our community and our church. There are many ways to give back, but portions of that are financially and through our time. Eric and I both serve on the music team at our church. We love using our gifts and sharing that with others. Creating an experience that allows for people to really see/hear God and for God to meet them where they are. We have also decided to work on Restoring our community through giving of our time and volunteering. We are super excited about what the future looks like for that and cannot wait to get started on some community projects. Additionally we have decided to give financially. Basically because what we have is not ours and we feel it's important to be faithful stewards of what we have.

Ultimately, we want to ensure we are setting a good example for our kids and helping them see that life isn't just about our careers, how much money we have, or what possessions we have. It's not about where we go on vacation, how we get there, or how much we spend when we are there. Life is about being together. We are better when we are together. When we live life in community with others, we can build each other up, serve each other, pray for each other. Life is about others, not about us.

So ... what drives me? My answer to that question was...

My family drives me. I want my kids to have what I didn't have when I was younger. I want them to know they are supported and loved. I want them to be able to experience life to it's fullest. I do everything I do for them.

I know that isn't always the norm, but it is our norm. So, I wasn't surprised when the response to that was, "well what about the money. this is a business..."

Well, of course. You cannot do most things without money. You cannot have a home without a mortgage, a car without a payment, meals without grocery shopping, vacations/time with family without expenses. Of course there is always a price tag that goes with almost everything you do. But wasn't Mastercard good at pointing out to all of us that even though there is an expense to life, that ultimately it is all PRICELESS! We need money to get life done, but what is life without the people we love?!

I work hard - own my own business - generate opportunities - follow dreams - because I know that I need to generate enough income to live out the dreams we have been dreaming for so long. There is a season for everything - whether that season is 1 week, a couple months, a few years, or even 10-15 years. Life changes and it changes us. Life happens and we are called to step up, grow, change with it.

Wouldn't you rather progress than be left behind?!

So, at the beginning of the year I started praying - You're will be done.... I didn't tag anything else onto that. I didn't say - You're will be done as long as it fits into my comfort zone... or ... You're will be done as long as it doesn't disrupt our current situation ... or ... You're will be done as long as it's easy... There were no "as long as" clauses in any of my prayers. Just ... you're will be done. So now we are praying for clarity to know if the door in front of us is a result of this prayer.

What drives you? Why do you do what you do? Not, what or how, but why?

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Transitions

How long has it been since I had time to blog? or really do anything for that matter?

Oh, how life changes when you have a little human who takes all your attention, you are working home part-time (which really means you are working on call which means all the time plus more), starting your own business, have two big girls home for the summer, going to the pool, taking vacations, and enjoying life... #summer #summerfun #muellerfamily #summershenanigans

I'm currently avoiding packing for a trip, my baby girl is sleeping, my hubby is working on our deck, I just closed a 58 hour work week for Andy Frain and a business building week for R+F, I served at church for the first time this weekend and I should be napping... #haha #rfroadto1 #workingfromhome #nonstoplife #procrastinationisafulltimejob #hardlyworking

So, here's the update:

February:
My sweet Lorelei was born! Oh boy, I mean girl, she is a precious little thing. It was a long journey to get to meet this little one we longed for greatly. When the time finally came, I had a scheduled C-Section (not the easy way - for anyone who would like to share their opinions...). I had 6 weeks of difficult recovery, was unable to sleep in my own bed for a long time, had to buy a recliner chair to sleep in, couldn't bend/stand/sit or do lots of things for a while. #february #baby #loreleigrace #momlife #surgery #healing #cesarean #recovery #notsoeasy




March:
Most of March was filled with a sweet baby, adjusting to being a mom, healing from a gapping abdomen wound surgery, and family. Mostly lots and lots of family - which under any other circumstances I would have been against, but this was so much needed and appreciated. My family planned it out and took turns staying with us so that I could have help with Lorelei. It was amazing! I don't know what I would have done without all those extra hands. It meant I got to shower and sleep and other people cleaned and cooked. My hubby didn't have to do everything and that made me less stressed as well. #marchmadess #momlife #healing #loreleigrace #family #lovethem #cantdoitall



April:
I cried when Lorelei got her first round of shots. I felt so helpless, for the first time in a long time she cried that super sad baby cry as if she were saying - momma, why do you let them do this to me?! - oh I am not looking forward to the next round of shots at our 4 month follow-up. #loreleigrace #gettingtoobigtoofast #momlife #sometimesthereistears #wehatethedoctor



May:
My littles finished school - started summer break! Its been fun, hectic and much more already. We had a family photo session when my sis Ang came to town. We have had planned excursions to the library at least twice weekly and now that the pool is open they are wanting to go every day! #schoolsoutforthesummer #summer #summerfun #muellerfamily #summershenanigans #familyphotos




I turned 30. It doesn't feel different than 29, but I guess it makes me seem more legit. lol. My husband is amazing and threw me a surprise birthday party (with the help of my brother Matt). The first party anybody has ever throw for me and it was so very special! #dirty30 #birthday #surprise #party #lovethem



I started my own business with Rodan + Fields and became an independent consultant - WOOHOO! Building my future one goal at a time. Just starting out, but I can see greatness in my future (was that on a fortune cookie? cause it should be!) #rfroadto1 #rodanandfields #changingskinchanginglives #joinme #bossbabe #sparetimeentrepreneur

June:
Served at church for the first time in a long time. I'm singing with the worship band ... it brought on a lot of anxiety, nerves, stress and fell into the same week as my crazy busy AFS work schedule... But it was good. I made new friends, I am building a community and I am excited to continue on this path. #serve #CCCMontgomery #churchfamily #community #love #god #vox #workingmytailoff #idontevenhaveatail #icouldbuyatailwiththisnextpaycheck




Amazing how you think you have been pushed to the limit and then God pushes you further... This week has really shown me what I was made of. Obviously not stone cause I did have a minor meltdown, but then after I cried it out I was fine. Life is full of transitions, one phase to the next and if we are not careful we will blink and miss it all. This month my baby girls turns 4 months old - for anyone who's keeping track, that means a 1/4 of her first year is over already and that is just too fast for me. I know I will blink again and she will be in elementary school, then junior high, high school, college, or getting her career off to a start or even getting married or having kids. Some people will say - don't rush it. I'm not, but I am absolutely realistic and I couldn't imagine any of this differently.

I get the opportunity to be home with my kiddos. It's a huge blessing! I would not know how to do life any differently. I cannot imagine not enjoying all this summer fun with them. I cannot imagine missing any little moment with Lorelei. Life will never be perfect, but this is pretty darn close to it. #love #wouldntchangeathing #ilovehashtags #momlife #muellerfamily #transitions #changeishard #changeisgood #adjustingtothisnewwayoflife

Okay. I really have to stop this and go start packing.. #memphisherewecome #summershenanigans #muellerfamily #moretocome


Thursday, February 4, 2016

#momlife

I've been a "mom" or "mother figure" for a really long time. I'd say, almost my entire life. When you grow up in a large family and you naturally take on mom-like responsibilities at a young age because it's always about the #familywin and not about the #melife. This naturally made me really good with kids and I was the sought after babysitter in every neighborhood I ever lived in. There were times that people would move away and still drive to come pick me up because I was the only one who could take care of their kids in all their glory.

Obviously, I love kids. I always have. I always knew I would grow up and be a great mom and that is what I wanted for myself, my future husband, my family, etc. Then, in high school I was told that was not likely going to be the future for me. As I got older, the doom and gloom of my body not being able to produce a child became more clear and devastating. Every year I would ask the same questions of my doctors and every year they would run tests and follow that up with the dark phone calls that shared the results.

At some point I gave up on the idea of ever creating a baby of my own and just focused on the idea of adopting a child. I still did not want to give up on the idea of chasing that #momlife but I knew that I couldn't keep chasing after that idea that I could bare my own child some day. This concept was a huge struggle for me for a very long time. I hated God for taking this from me and I didn't understand why he would give me such a long and perseverance for a dream when it was not going to granted to me.

I never questioned my faith or my knowledge of God's ability to perform miracles. What I did do though was became complacent with my body and what it could and could not do. I just accepted this idea and never thought for a minute that I would have another life.

Then I met the man of my dreams and the girls of my #momlife desires. I know that sounds crazy and most people would think I am crazy because I jumped into this #starterfamily the way I did, but it was perfect for me. He was perfect. They were perfect. So much love poured out of my heart and I could not imagine life any other way than with them. We became a family and though it is unique, different, crazy, stressful, hectic and much more it's also loving, joyful, exciting, fun, peaceful...

I had some crazy medical stuff come up and was basically told - this is it... if you want to even try to have a child ... then it's now or never. Eric and I talked for a long time about it and we both had a longing for that addition to our family. We decided to go for it. We spent months meeting with doctors, I got poked and prodded time after time and loaded up with hormones. Nothing worked. Everything became drab, dark, and devastating all over again. The doctors had given us this hope and as we ran toward the light it seemed to be dimming.

Feeling absolutely helpless at this point, I remember getting a text from my dad. I know, if you know him then you know he is a strong foundation. A man that stands strong in the word of God and hears him when he speaks... On 1/29/2015 he sent me a text that read...




Something changes that day. I read and re-read Hannah's story. I prayed and prayed every day. I prayed not for a baby, but I prayed for healing of my body, my heart, my mind. I prayed for my husband and our daughters. I prayed for our family as it was and as it would be - whatever God had in store for us. It was hard and humbling but I did it. 

I'm not sure if it was the struggle of Hannah that brought me back to life - if it was marrying the man of my dreams - if it was having two beautiful daughters in my life that I call my own even though I didn't birth them. I have no idea what regenerated this crazy love and longing for that #momlife that I had always dreamed of... but it came to me and I ran with it.

I have images, scans, ultrasounds, dr reports that say this is all impossible, but NOTHING is impossible when you have an UNSTOPPABLE God. Because what I and many others prayed for happened. My body was healed. From test to test, the doctors basically couldn't believe their eyes. What they said could never happened, happened. Drs questioned whether the images they were seeing were actual images, whether they were timed and dated correctly, whether they all belonged to me... But they did.

And now I sit here typing, 37 weeks pregnant. What a miracle. I have seen God work miracles over and over in my life and in the lives of people around me and I don't care what anyone ever says - I am in awe and always will be. I put my faith in that.

I know that there are a lot of moms out there that talk all the time about the sacrifices they made to be a mom, the life they gave up or the life they wished they could live...

What does my mom life look like?
I cut my salary in half to be closer for my family and give my girls opportunities they didn't have before. I traded in my vehicle to get that #familycar. I sit at home on the weekends when my friends party because I would rather be there than anywhere else. My hubby and I are very selective as to when we go out, if we do, because we want to be extremely intentional about having as much #familytime with the girls as possible. I say no to making plans a lot because I choose the #momlife. I get a #girlsnight every time my hubby has a show or band practice and it gives me more opportunity to build an even better relationship with my precious girls. I choose to be the #toughparent because I know that is my kids need, they have enough friends - they need an example, boundaries, someone to show them the way.

The #momlife is not a sacrifice to me. I know it is different for me than many others. I don't try to get away when I can because I need a break. I don't try to plan as many play dates as possible so that I can have a break. I don't need my kids to be in numerous sports or activities to prove that I'm "involved" or a "good parent".

I heard something on the radio the other morning that I thought was absolutely precious and want to start instituting. A mom did a daily #heartcheck on her kids. She would put her ear to their chest and list to their hearts. She would then tell them... "Your heart checks out... Its a happy heart... probably because of ..." and then she would list a few reasons why their hearts would be happy. Something they did well that day, something that they did that made her heart beam, that made her proud, etc. Her kids are now double digit ages and they still long for #heartchecks every day.

This is the life I have been granted and I wouldn't change it for the world. Now I get to spend a little time focusing on the gift of an addition we will soon be making to our family and how much more abundant that will allow my #momlife to be.

So when I say ... #momlife ... it's not at all a negative. It's basically the easiest way for me to sum up everything I have said here, how grateful I am that I get to have this experience and how humbling it is daily. To all the mommas out there... take a few minutes and just bask in your #momlife and what it means to you. Celebrate that you are doing your best, that you are an amazing mom, and that someday your kids will look back on all the good and what you instilled in them and be grateful too. I am.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A light...

There's a light at the end of the tunnel. I can see it and feel it. 35 weeks along and 5 weeks to go. And this has been a long journey. Though I know it has flown by so quickly, it has also drug on slowly. I don't know how else to consider this time other than a crazy timeframe that I will cherish forever.

Pre-Baby


We are pregnant!!!


It's a girl!


It's October, which means we are 22 Weeks along - 18 to go!


It's December, getting closer! Weeks 29-31


January!! Not too much longer to go...


Only 1 repeat shirt... haha. Can you believe how big this belly has gotten even from the beginning of January to now? My maternity shirts are almost not fitting anymore. Belly getting bigger means shirts getting shorter..  haha - soon enough I will get to wear a tent or something like that... haha.

And we are nearing the end - we have assembled all the furniture and baby gadgets - we are as ready as we can be. Her room is painted, put together and ready to go. I've got clothes in the dresser and categories in the closet. Her bookshelf is getting fuller and fuller as the days go by. All I can do at this point is wait for her to arrive.



My family and friends blessed me with a baby shower! I cannot even express how amazing and humbling it was. Just to be provided with almost everything that we need for Lorelei. Blessed is even an understatement to express how I am feeling.

I feel like this page has been neglected in a way because I have dove so deeply into preparing for her and preparing my family. I have been writing to her every week. We have spent a lot of time figuring out what projects need to be completed before she arrives and getting those projects done.

Soon and very soon we are going to meet her and I cannot wait to blow this page up with cutie little pictures of my girl!! Excited! There is absolutely a light at the end of this tunnel and as we chug forward quickly, I press the brakes a little just to take it to the end slowly. I just want to be sure that we are all healthy and ready. I have waited a very long time for this and I am okay waiting a couple more weeks to make sure she is fully cooked!


Monday, October 26, 2015

Baby

I cannot believe how fast time is flying by. I know I always say that but it seems to be traveling at light speed lately.

I am 22 weeks along and this baby is growing bigger and bigger as the days pass by! #loreleigrace is kicking and dancing around! It's one thing when I get to feel her and have been for a while now, but it's another thing when the hubby and the girls get to feel her! so amazing! We are all so excited it is hard to wait!

The baby shower plan are coming together and though January is far away, it will be here before we know it! I'm officially registered at Babies R Us, Target, and Amazon (i know... i didn't know you could have a baby registry at amazon?! but it's cool for all those Prime shoppers!).


The things they tell you that just aren't true.... 
- you will have more energy... what? did they know you were expending energy taking care of yourself, your family and growing that baby?!
- so happy and glowing ... i think not! more like crying for no reason because of hormones and crazy pimples
- eating for two... do not fall for that crap - they tell you an extra 300 calories a day ... did you know that's how many calories are in a piece of toast...

The things they don't tell you about being pregnant....
- registries are stressful and hard to put together (nothing like a wedding registry)
- baby will kick you and it will hurt
- you have more anxiety between appointments than joy because you are worried something could go wrong until you hear that heart beat again or see that smile
- you want to clean everything all the time but can't even bend over to load/unload the washer/dryer

The things they tell you that are absolutely true....
- it's worth it

Enough said right?! Before I was pregnant I would always get angry at all the moms who were pregnant or had babies that would complain all the time. They were uncomfortable, annoyed, tired, their kids were being unruly, etc. I couldn't believe that a woman could not just appreciate every minute of this miraculous adventure. Why would they be complaining?! It was so hard for me to make this baby... I would never complain - not at all...

Well... that was before I got pregnant.
Now... I understand.

It's not so much complaining as it is sharing the experience. I have to tell someone how I am feeling and why. I want to share every minute of it. No, it's not always rainbows and butterflies. Yes, most of the time you will be uncomfortable, tired, swollen, achy, etc. But that's all a part of the process. It's so frustrating wanting to try to do life as I always have and not being able to. I cannot do laundry, dishes, host parties, sleep, walk, drink, eat the same as I once did. Everything has changed.

I'm pretty sure my nose has widened more than my hips... lol

But.. it's all worth it!

No, my body will never be the same, but it will bear the marks of the adventure I took with this baby. I will have a daily reminder of the miracle of being a mother as I hold her in my arms. And sometimes we might have to cry it out together, I am sure I will mess things up, but... it's worth it!

I was always mad at people when they would tell me "You'll understand when you're a mom" ... I have been a mom for a long time - a second mom to my siblings, a second mom to my girls, a mother figure to many - and it would always make me so angry when people would say that to me because they did not know my circumstances and understand that I didn't have to be pregnant to be a mom...

It's true. You don't have to be pregnant to be a mom. Many women adopt, use a surrogate, have a blended family or parent other ways. I have been there and will never discount that. There are obviously different ways for people to get their point across.

IE - you will never understand or know pregnancy until you're pregnant, you will never understand or know newborn months until you are the on-call parent 24/7, you will never know or understand parenting a teen until you are in the war zone of teenage years... etc. Because you cannot know it until you have really lived it. This is what they should say. Because it is true.

I never knew until now what pregnancy was like, growing a baby or everything involved. There is still so much that I will encounter and experience and I cannot even understand it until I am there, but I am excited for it all! Is that weird?

Anyways... she is kicking/punching the crap out of me, dancing or something right now and I just cannot help but smile. It's all just so amazing. So very worth it!

Fall

It's that time of the year again... 

Pumpkin loving (#yum #foody #beer #PSL #candles and everything else I missed)
Birthdays and girly sleepovers
Trick or treating #yum #candyexplosion #halloween
Costume wearing #crazycatlady
Decorating #ugh #ihatecleaningupdecorations #imascrooge

... season is in full swing. Fall and the changing colors of the leaves is also a great reminder of the day I married the love of my life. Amazing! #lovehim #marriedlife

Holidays are around the corner - we are hosting this year!! So excited! This year we will be hosting 26 people in our new home! We just completed a birthday sleepover and a family gathering this weekend and I couldn't help but feel at home for the first time in a long time. 

Home is where the heart is... A home is also where you live, laugh and love! This weekend we absolutely had a house full of people, laughter, and fun! I couldn't feel more blessed, thankful, excited for the opportunity to share that with everyone I love. I am also a party planner... I don't know if you know that about me, but I love hosting every event, every opportunity, etc. Yes it can get a little overwhelming being pregnant and feet swollen all the time, but it's so much fun!! #buyingcompressionsocks ... #ugh ... 

This time next year we will be a family of 5 and posting absolutely adorable photos of an 8 month old baby and pumpkins to add to the collection of thousands of photos I am sure we will have by then.

She is kicking! #loreleigrace is moving and dancing so much lately that Eric finally felt her! #precious I’m hoping that next week she will finally cooperate enough to give me a smile and a face shot! We will see.

So much to say but so much more to do so this one will be short…

Thanksgiving and November always bring on this rush of “I’m thankful for…” but I try to do that all the time. I’m just overwhelmed by the love and blessings I have… I cannot even begin to imagine how I will be feeling this time next year. Life is not perfect, it never will be, but it’s as close as it ever could be for me!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Hold your head high

Hold your head high and .... you middle finger higher?!

Okay - So normally I do not condone such an attitude, but there does come a time in your life when you can either cant the "sticks and stone can break my bones, but words can never hurt me" or you can stick it to the man and say "buzz off"...


Sometimes people don't understand that the things they say can really leave a mark on you. At times those words are positive and encouraging and we hold those near and dear to our hearts. Pulling them out when we really need them and reminiscing on them when we need them again. Other times the things people say can be really negative, depressing, and drag you down. Those words are the ones that stain your heart and harden your outlook toward them, toward the issue, toward life.

Do you think before you speak or do you just think whatever you have to say is necessary no matter how it will impact the other person or people in your life?

Verbal abuse is described as a negative defining statement told to the person or about the person, or by withholding any response, thereby defining the target as non-existent

Verbal Praise is statements communicating the value of a person's work or behavior by expressing approval.


Think about what you are saying and how often the things you say fall into either category. Just for the record... continually beating someone down verbally does not gain a positive outcome.

We struggle with how to react to our kids, how to pass on the appropriate verbal discipline without it being demeaning and how to praise the correct aspect (ie - the child not the act). We struggle with how to react to our parents, siblings, and coworkers in a positive way instead of a negative way. Often times our sarcasm seeps out and we do not renege it - leaving the words we have slain out to slowly but surely cut deeper and deeper into that person.

Most frequently the side jabs or comments made include comparisons with others, income/job inadequacies, weight loss or weight gain, discounting efforts, judging, criticizing, trivializing, undermining, name calling - I could go on, but we all know what I am talking about.

Do you think before you speak?

Consider this...
Is what you are saying true?
Is it necessary to share?
Is it kind?

A while back I blogged about The Help ...



you can chant the "sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me" until you are blue in the face... all the while those words are breaking you on the inside just as the sticks and stones would break you on the outside. The difference is - people cant see in unless you let them and often times you will never let the bully in.

Before you speak - question whether what you are saying is actually going to have a positive outcome - or whether you are just saying it to beat someone down into submission. You may not even realize the impact of your own words or the canyon that is forming in your loved ones heart because of the things you are saying.

I'm just saying ... consider it.

And to all those that are fighting off the words - the ones that are taking the beating...

Hold you head high. You are bigger and better. You are prettier and smarter. You are worth it. You have something to live for and your future will be brighter. You are perfect just the way you are! You are appreciated, your hard work has not gone unnoticed.

Stick it to the man - give em the finger. Tell em to buzz off.


Hold your head high - because you deserve it! You don't have to prove your worth - if they don't see it then they are the ones missing out!

Don't get me wrong - there are times when this happens in a parent/child relationship or a marriage and you cannot exactly tell the other person to buzz off because you are eternally linked to them. You still do not need that kind of negativity in your life. You need to voice that. If something offends you, say it. If something digs deep, say it. This doesn't make you a wuss, it makes you courageous. It makes you stronger. It makes you feel better about yourself. And hopefully, it makes the other person realize what they are saying - they shouldn't be...

The only reason someone wants to make you feel little is so they can feel bigger! Remember that. Often times they are the ones feeling little and their incessant need to break you down makes them feel better about themselves.

Growing up my dad would always say "be careful what you say because there is a bit of truth in every word you speak."

Those words have carried through life with me and I have grown wiser from them. I have been able to check myself - being quick to renege on something I say when it doesn't come out just right or apologize to someone when I hurt them. I have also been able to understand what people really mean and how there is truth in everything they say. You can say you are "just kidding", but unless you actually recognize that you have offended/hurt someone and apologize - we all know you weren't just kidding.

Dwell on the good things and leave behind the bad things. When you realize you have said something negative and you don't think you can undo it - say 5 positive things. Make a conscious decision to lift that person up and show them that you actually do care.

Obviously we never know what someone else is thinking... but I can bet it looks a lot like this...
 
 
 

Just consider it....