Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A Christian Walks Into a Gay Bar

All of my life I grew up as a Christian with a pretty conservative outlook on life. There were a few years where I strayed away from God and my religion, but I ended coming back and really put my heart into my faith. I am now 32 years old, married with 2 children and I've also experienced 3 miscarriages. Life has thrown a ton of curve balls my way and every time I seem to come out alright. No matter if you want the world to change or not, it's going to change, whether you approve or don't approve of the changes it's making. I would say all of my life I was against gay marriage and gay relationships. I didn't understand them and from a religious stand point I just didn't think they were right. I'm sure I'll get negative feedback for that statement and that's fine, but it's what my beliefs were and how I was raised. I don't regret any of my past decisions or thoughts. With that said, even though my views on people's lives may have been different I always respected them. I've always had the mentality that if you respect me, then I  am going to respect you  no matter what. 

I feel as you get older and if you allow yourself to grow you begin to think about life a bit more differently. I've always known people who are gay and never thought twice about it, other than I just didn't agree with their lifestyle, but over the past few years my mind has shifted a tad. I have had a rough couple of years and I think it's helped open up my heart and mind to others. The more I look at life and how people live their life I start to think that I might not be so against what I used to be opposed to. Our society likes to strike down people who are different, whether it be race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, society has set standards. It's the same with beauty standards (which is a whole other post I need to do), we are expected to fit into this mold and that's just not even possible. The more I research and look into my religion rather than just viewing the surface that was taught to me, I am learning that love and compassion is what Jesus was all about. At the end the of the day from a religious stand point, I am not the one who has to judge people. I do not live a perfect life, nor have I ever. I have done things that some would view as unforgivable. So how do I have the authority to tell you that what you do is wrong? I mean I have standards and there are things that I do no agree with, but from a basic standpoint, I have no right to judge how you live your life. If it does not effect me personally I have no space to judge you. When I finally realized this it was like a light bulb going off...I just need to love and respect as many people as I can so they know people care. 

Our world is filled with so much hate it literally makes me cry. There are nights where I have to shut off social media because it brings me to tears. Where did we get this notion that we are the almighty ones?? I love my God and I love my religion, but I no longer use it as a platform to judge people and how they live their life. At the end of the day, I don't want anyone telling me who I can and cannot love, or who I can and cannot marry. No one should be told who they are supposed to love or who they are supposed to be. 

With all of this said...this is my story. A Christian walks into a gay bar and had the time of her life. I think the old me would be hesitant to go into a gay bar, but when I was in Chicago with my sister and our friend Jen, I did not care one bit. We were unaware that we were going to a gay bar to be honest lol. I had asked our hotel concierge where is a good place to go and dance, and he suggested we go to Roscoe's. As soon as we landed our fine little booties in Boystown,  we knew where we were lol. We all just laughed and headed to the club. Instantly we were greeted with smiles, a group of guys wanted to take a selfie with us. It was a fun, judgment free zone, and I am all about that kind of life. We drank and danced our asses off and no one bothered us and people just respected our space. I literally have not had that much fun in forever. I felt welcomed and safe, and that is a good feeling when you're going to the club. My sister and I actually talk about how badly we want to go back to Roscoe's because we had so much fun!!! Now lets fast forward to the following night. My sister and I went to a normal high end straight club and well....it sucked. It was over priced, people were rude, guys didn't get the hint that you didn't want to dance with them, and honestly I didn't feel comfortable or safe. We should have gone back to Roscoe's.




What am I trying to get at?? Moral of the story, this little Christian girl is trying her hardest to no longer judge people. People have asked me, "why would you go to a gay bar?" My response as been, "why would I not?" You can't judge people by how you think they are, you need to give them an actual chance, and in this particular situation we gave a gay bar and all those people in there a chance with zero judgment and it was amazing. I'm not saying I'm the most awesome person ever (although I'm pretty close). I make mistakes, I can be rude and bitchy, but I am trying so hard to love others because this world needs love. I'm still a Christian and I'm still conservative, but I now have a more open and accepting mind, and it feels really good! So take some time and do some reflection on what sort of impact you are leaving on this world. Maybe you could give just a bit more love.


As the great Martin Luther King Jr. once said,
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."


Much Love

-Katie-

Thursday, August 18, 2016

One Year After Our 3rd Miscarriage

As you grow into an adult and get married and start talking about having kids, you hear about all of the sad stories about pregnancy, but you never think in a million years it'll ever happen to you; and then it does.



I never thought I would experience 1 miscarriage let alone 3 miscarriages. It's hard, it's really really hard. Nothing can prepare you for going into the doctor's and just seeing your baby in the womb lifeless. All the ideas you put in your head about what your baby would look like and how they would act are gone; completely gone; you can't get your baby back.

Sadly, August 18 of 2015 we lost our 3rd baby at 12 weeks and 6 days. I was at the doctor's office by myself, and honestly I didn't think anything was wrong. I had been super sick and 3 weeks prior our baby had a heartbeat of 175; so there was no thought of loss in my mind. When I saw the baby had no heartbeat I was devastated; and it was even harder because I was alone in that room with just the technician. She tried her hardest to comfort me. I had a D&E ( here is a link to a less detailed explanation of what the procedure is: D& E Procedure )procedure done (not a D&C like a previously stated...I got them mixed up). If you want to read more detail about this particular miscarriage you can read it here

So what is life like 1 year after my 3rd miscarriage? Well, life is back to normal, or whatever normal is with two kids at the ages 2.5 and 4.5 lol. We have bounced back and forth with wanting to have another child, but have decided to be done. It's hard decision to make, especially when we were so excited to be pregnant with our last one.  This miscarriage was for surely the hardest both physically and mentally. I suffer from anxiety, but after this last miscarriage my anxiety went through the roof. I suffer daily from it and I am learning to work/live with it. Certain things will also trigger flashbacks to my last miscarriage. I get flashbacks to the day I found out and also the day of the surgery. Most of the time I can come out of the flashbacks, but if I can't then I end up having an anxiety attack. I will actually probably do a video soon on what life is like dealing with anxiety and flashbacks after a miscarriage, only because I know so many can relate. But moving past the anxiety and occasional flashbacks, my heart is at peace. 

Our original due date was February 24th, 2016, so we should have an almost 6 month old, but I can't sit around and dwell on what we should have. Dwelling on our losses will not change anything. It won't bring our children back, but it will make the healing process worse. I would say the one thing that helped me heal a lot during this process was naming our child. We didn't name her until a few months after we lost her, but it brought more closure to us knowing what gender she was and giving her a name. (You can read about her name here). The other two losses we weren't able to find out what we were having, so it never really brought that closure around full circle. With all of that said, I am happy with where I am today in the healing process. There are great days and there are bad days, but I would say the great days out number the bad ones and I am grateful for that.



If you have experienced a loss of your own or are in the middle of experiencing a loss, please know that there are others who can relate to you. The number of women who suffer from miscarriage, still birth, and infant loss is large; so you don't have to face this alone.

Thank you all so much for your kind words, they make my heart smile more than you could ever know.



Love,

Katie

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Pink Smokey Eye Tutorial

I love a good smokey eye, and I love mixing up my colors. I get bored easily with the typical smokey eye look. So for this look, I added some pink to add a bit of color to it!! I hope you all enjoy this look and give it a try!! Remember, makeup takes practice; so if you mess up, just keep trying!

Products Used:

Mineral Touch Liquid Foundation in Organza
Skin Perfecting Concealer in  Scarlet
Addiction Palatte 2
Minerals Pigments in Vulernable
Liquie Precision Eyeliner
3D Fiber Plus Mascara
Beachfront Bronzer in Sunset
Revlon Photo Ready Highlights

https://youtu.be/JrSPOVp1_Zo


You can find all of these products and more at:
www.cateyelady.com

Saturday, June 18, 2016

A Story About My Dad

Father's Day is on Sunday, and I really don't talk about my dad too often, even though we have a really great relationship. I'm a big momma's girl, so maybe that's why I don't talk about him much. 
So in  honor of Father's Day, I thought I share a bit about my dad, and our lives together. 

We don't have the average relationship, I will start off by saying that. I have have known my dad since I was born, but not in the way you may think. You see, I have two dads, yup, two of them. My mom had me at a young age, and my father at the time, his name was Craig. Sadly when I was 5 years old, my dad passed away in a car accident. I know very little about my "real" dad, but cherish the photos and little memories that I do have of him. Now you may be wondering how I could know my dad since birth or you just may be confused like most people are with my story lol. My stepdad, a.k.a. my dad, has been in my life since I was born. He was my "real" dad's friend, and has always been in my life. I have been told, that he was always like a second father to me even when my dad was alive.



Growing up I always knew that I was lucky to have my dad. He was the one I talked to when I was upset, I could cry to him about my boy problems, gossip about the issues I was having with my friends, and just be my weird self around him. When he had poker night, I was the paid 25 cents, sometimes 50 cents to get the guys beer and snacks...it was a good way to make a living as a child lol. My dad taught me to be strong and independent, and he also taught me how to stand up for myself and fight. I remember being up at the barn one day, and he taught me how to box and punch so that I could win if I ever got into a fight. It's something that I will also teach my children, because I want them to be tough and strong, just like I was taught to be. My dad was always the "cool" dad that my friends didn't mind hanging out with, and to this day is still one of the cool guys.



I've always been thankful to have a positive male role model in my life, but it probably wasn't until I was older, or maybe even after I had my own kids, till I realized how blessed I have been to have someone to call my dad. It takes a strong and special type of guy to become the father figure to children that are not biologically his. There was me, and my mom was pregnant with my sister when my real dad passed away, but through it all, he never stepped aside as being our father. Unless someone asks, you will basically never hear me call him my stepdad, b/c he's just always been my father figure. There are a lot of people out there with stepdads who aren't so lucky, and who don't have good relationships with their stepdads, but I am fortunate enough so have a great relationship with mine.



So I just want to say THANKS...thanks for all that you have done and still do as my father.

Thank You for....

Being my softball coach
Being my cheerleader on the sideline at soccer
Being someone I could and can trust
Being a tough parent at times
Being a friend if I needed one
Being a listening ear when no one else wanted to listen
Being a ride home if I ever needed after I partied too hard
Being someone who trusted in me
Being a good husband to my mom

And most of all...

Thanks for the being the best dad and Papa to me and to my daughters.

We are so lucky to have you in our life.

Love,

Your awesome daughter


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Peace After Miscarriage

Do remember when it happened? You either realized that your body was rejecting your baby, or when you went to your ultrasound appointment, there was no heartbeat detected. No matter how you learned of you miscarriage, there is no doubt you remember how heart broken you were. Losing a baby is so hard, and I can never come close to describing the hurt, pain, and anger. You feel like you will never heal emotionally. Sometimes the emotional healing process can take forever, but I'm hear to tell you, that if you let yourself heal it can happen.



I have lost 3 babies, and I miss them every single day. Right now I am supposed to have a 3.5 month old baby girl, but sadly I do not. Last night I was thinking of her, and how we named her Isabella Joy. I love her name so much, and it's such a beautiful name. I wish she was here for me to talk to her, but she's not and nothing I do can change that. The only thing I can do is talk to my 3 babies every night during my prayers. I'm aware of their presence, and I know that they present themselves to me in the most beautiful ways. Happiness and observation is such an important part of the healing process. You need to be aware and observant of what makes you happy, and what causes you strife and anxiety. After our last miscarriage, my anxiety went through the roof, and after trying to fix it myself, I finally caved and saw a therapist and also went on anti-anxiety medication. Both the therapist and anti-anxiety medication were life changing for me. I was FINALLY allowing myself to heal and see the positive life that was around me. Sometimes when we are stricken with grief, we get so caught up in 
 the sadness that we have a hard time of seeing the light and joy in the world around us. When I finally opened my eyes, I began to heal emotionally. Each day was better and better, and I woke up happy, rather than dreading what was ahead. 

My days are no longer filled with anxiety that leaves me non-functioning. Now don't get me wrong, my anxiety isn't gone. There is no magic pill that will completely erase my anxiety, but my medication helps me manage it, and I've learned my own ways of managing it. I have taken the time to realize what makes ME happy, instead of what makes others happy. Finding what makes YOU happy is a huge step towards finding peace of miscarriage. I'm the type of person who gets so caught up in everyone else's success and happiness that I often forget about my own. It got to the point where I was so exhausted cheering on everyone else except myself. With that said, I re-branded my photography company. That was a dream of mine for 2-3 years, and I finally made that big scary step. Even though taking that step to re-branding my business and becoming a boudoir only photographer was scary, it was the best business decision I have ever made with my photography. I also became a Younique presenter, which is another thing that brings me so much happiness, and it also helps me support my family. On top of my two work from home jobs, I also have a part time job right by my home that i love so much. I prayed for months to get the job, and it happened, and I'm so thankful and blessed. 


Photo Courtesy of: Lisa Hammond Photography


Waking up almost every morning happy and looking forward to your day, as well as looking forward to going to work feels so good. I have been praying for years to be happy and to come into peace with my losses. It's been such a long and hard journey. I have shed thousands of tears, and have spent a lot of time laying in bed. I've had several anxiety attacks, and flashbacks to the miscarriages. But through it all, God has always been on my side, along with family and close friends. With my strength to never give up and my willingness to let myself find peace; I have finally found it.



Finding peace has allowed me to find freedom. Freedom from my inner thoughts that were holding me back. Freedom and strength have allowed me to live a life of happiness and thankfulness; and for that I am forever grateful for all that I've been through. 
Hard times and triumphs make us who we are, just as long as we never give up during those hard times.

Much Love to You All,

-Katie-


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Losing It To Find Myself

My entire life I have had self esteem issues. I was popular in high school, I was a starter for my soccer team, and into my adult years I was a successful go-go dancer. I was always fit and in shape, and often craved the attention of others. Even with all of the attention and being in shape, I suffered almost always from a lack of self esteem. Maybe it was how I let people treat me, maybe it was because I didn't always hang out with the best people, or maybe it was because I was always trying to fit into a certain mold that others wanted me to be in. Whatever the case, I have never been happy with who I am physically.

(This is how I am currently)


Did you catch that?? "I have never been happy with who I am physically." PHYSICALLY being the key word in that sentence! I am fully confident in who I am as a person. I am well educated, a Christian who sins a lot, a fabulous mom, a terrific wife, I have good morals, I do what I can to contribute back to society, all in all, I am a good person who has my own faults, but I'm ok with that. People judge me often because of my appearance. The always changing hair colors, the shaved head, sometimes too low cut tops, but it doesn't bother me because down to my core, I know who I am as a person, and I am happy with who I am. 

I do however have a constant daily battle with my physical appearance. If you have ever suffered from depression or anxiety, or both, you know the mental battles that you can have with yourself, and they are never ending. While I am fully confident internally, I am not confident with who I am physically. I wake up every morning dreading getting dressed. I walk into the bathroom and lift up my shirt to see if my stomach magically disappeared over night, and keeping my fingers crossed that I'm not as bloated as the day before. Everyday is a constant battle with fighting back tears because I can't wear certain shirts because it's too tight on my stomach or my boobs are too big to even pull it over Some day my jeans fit a bit tighter than before and I want to do nothing  but hide from civilization. Not loving your body is a hard and destructive quality to have, and I would like for it to leave.


I am not used to having this body on me, I am not used to weighing this much, I am not used to people asking me how far along I am if I wear a shirt too tight.  Knowing that people can tell I have put on weight makes me feel embarrassed and not pretty. I used to feel pretty, but most days I do not. My weight started with my first pregnancy, and then after that I had 4 more pregnancies, 3 of them resulted in miscarriages between 12 and 13 weeks (all 3 required a D&C). My body has been through hell and back, and on top of all the pregnancies, miscarriages, and surgeries, I also have Diastasis Recti, which makes it harder to loose weight and causes me to bloat really easily. My constant body issues play constant mind games with me, and I am exhausted. 

I stepped on the scale the other day and it was a wake up call for me, I NEED to change. Even though I am depressed about my weight gain and my anxiety often takes over, I HAVE to get this weight off of me. It's time for me to take charge, and stop letting my internal mind games win. 

This is NOT a cry for attention, I am not wanting you to tell me how pretty and how blessed I am. I don't want any of that. I'm writing this because I know so many women who are in the same boat as me. I know so many of you hate how you look and feel, but have so many excuses not to change or are too tired to do anything about it, or just want to give up! But I encourage you not to give up, but try harder and win! I could give up and some days I want to, but I don't want to live the rest of my life hating the person I am on the outside. I don't want to feel ugly everyday. I want my daughters to see that they have a confident mom and that I can conquer anything that gets in my way. It all starts now and I need your help!

This week I am going to start prepping. I am still sick (ugh going on 2 weeks of being sick) and have decided not to workout this week. I have started eating healthier, and I am also going to be meal planning over the next week and weekend. Monday I will be starting to workout again and stick to my meal plan. I am the only person who can change how I feel about myself, and I want to feel happy and pretty, and I am ready to make that change. If you are feeling the same way I do, I encourage you to join me! I may no longer be a Beachbody coach, but I would love to still help you on your journey as much as I can, as a real person and as a friend. 

Life is way to short to not love yourself 100% 

I am ready to love who I am. Are you?

-Katie-

Thursday, May 12, 2016

I'm a Worn Out Mom Just Like You

Life is amazing isn't it?? We are just a big ball of mass floating in space, and we are just little specs that live on it. I'm amazing at life and I'm amazed at being a mom. To this day, I think it's crazy that we as mammals can carry life inside of us. Sometimes it seems like a weird sci-fi movie, but if you put the weirdness aside, it's truly a miracle that we can carry life! I mean, one child or even more depend on us women to carry them to a safe life, and provide for them inside of the womb.  There is nothing more magical than being a mom. Even if you're a mom through adoption or surrogacy, etc. you still know and have the amazing bond with your child, and that is nothing short of a miracle as well.



But beyond the miracle of birthing children, you have the task of being a well rounded parent who has to raise these little munchkins. Now this post isn't going to be about bashing our children lol, but just a real look on how exhausting parenting can be. And yes let's get this out of the way because I know everyone will be thinking it, if not writing it on this post. I KNOW that being a parent is a blessing, I KNOW that my children are amazing, I KNOW they have changed my life for the better. I am very well aware at how amazing being a mom is; it's life altering and I wouldn't change it for the world; but with that said, I am worn out. Flat out, want to hide in a closet, take a vacation by myself, worn the F out!

Now I'm not saying that my children aren't precious little beings, because they are. My kids rock and I love them more than I could ever explain. Being a mom though can be exhausting, especially when you are in certain seasons of raising children. Currently we have a 2 and 4 year old. My 4 year old thinks she's a diva, and my 2 year old, my goodness, is so smart and naughty that some days I don't even know what to do with her! I went from a quiet stage of raising children, to the chaotic phase of having two toddlers in the house,; toddlers who could give a shit less about what I am asking them to do. They don't care how many time outs I give them, they do not care if I take away their toys, I could probably flush our fish down the toilet and they'd just move on with their lives. 

We are strict parents, and raise our kids the way we were raised. We try not to do this new modern day raising of children where rules don't apply, and your the child's best friend, etc. But some days I swear we have raised heathens that think they run this house! There are days where our home is filled with peace, and they listen like little angels. All is perfect in our own little world. I go to bed thinking, well that was a great day. And then the next day is a day filled with temper tantrums, fighting, stealing of eachothers' food, they are pissed at the world because I gave one of them the wrong colored cup, and then they decide to go deaf and don't listen or hear one word I say!! I currently have walls that need to be repainted because my "strong willed" child as they call them  these days, drew all over our walls, and on her walls. I also have carpets that need to be replaced because they look like crap from our dogs and from my youngest squeezing sunscreen all over, which by the way leaves yellow stains behind. Not to mention, white cupboards that look like we took grease and smeared them all over. Seriously, I clean them all of the time, how do you keep those suckers clean??!! My house looks gross and I have no energy to repaint all of our walls at this time, and no money to replace the carpet. 

I am so worn out. Yup I said it, I am 100% worn out. No one told me how hard this thing called Parenting would be. My children are one of my biggest blessings and I am so thankful for them, but I am in the season of parenting where I am exhausted. There isn't enough time in the day, my patience are thinned out by the end of the night, I look forward to bed time (that's if our 4 year old doesn't fight us going to bed lol), and honestly I need a break. Not like a forever break, I love my kids and family way too much to leave forever!! But I need a break. Just one night, to myself, a nice quiet break. Time where I can think, de-stress, and get some actual rest. I think as parents and moms, we need to check out for a day or two and recollect ourselves. We can't be good moms if we are falling apart on the inside. We can't give our all to our family, if we aren't even 100% ourselves! 



So moms of all different sorts, you are not alone. I am a worn out mom just like you. 
But remember after the tantrums, and fights, and screaming...remember one little thing...

YOU GOT THIS!!!


Now go be a kick ass mom, and plan time for yourself. Gather new found energy and become whole again. You deserve to be more than a worn out mom all of the time. You deserve to feel great as well!

Much Love,

Katie
Mom of two toddlers
&
3 Angel Babies
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