Modestly Beautiful

I have been mulling over this topic for a while now and wasn’t quite sure how I would start it off, I guess the best place to start is just by sharing what is on my heart. I, like most girls have always wanted to be beautiful. There are many times in my life that I have felt far from beautiful and then there have been times where I truly have felt beautiful. I think this is normal, as we all go through seasons in our lives. I grew up in the 90s and 00s where Jennifer Anniston’s stick figure and board straight hair were the very essence of what society called beautiful. It was difficult during that time for a girl with curves and wavy hair. However, I made it through, unscathed for the most part, with a better understanding of how to work with what I had rather than trying to achieve the impossible and all the while trying to accomplish this goal modestly.

A couple of months ago I was at youth on Friday evening (my husband leads youth at our church) when a young girl told me that she aspired to be like me. Whoa. She went on to tell me that I was beautiful and always looked put together (maybe not in these exact words, but it was what she meant). Talk about a humbling experience. Realizing that the choices you make about what you wear and how you act are being watched by these young adults. You see, I have all sons. Truly I could probably walk out of my room wearing a potato sack and they wouldn’t bat an eyelash. What I choose to put on each day is not because I have daughters at home watching what I wear. What I choose to put on each day is a representation of my walk with the Lord, wanting to honor my husband, and wanting to look appropriate for work or church.

This is the goal I hope to accomplish with Lydia & Lilac. Providing a selection of clothing that will make women feel and look beautiful and that will also honor the Lord. When you look through our collection or watch our sneak peeks on YouTube, you will see that we sometimes make suggestions on what to pair a dress with (a cami, a sweater, leggings, etc.). This is because we are sometimes provided clothing by our vendors that may be on the shorter side or low cut. However, most of the time you will find that out clothing is modest and appropriate for work, Church, etc. We desire to honor God through our clothing options, because we live in a society where this is becoming more difficult to find.

We have a responsibility as Christian women to dress in a God honoring way and set a godly example for the young girls in our churches today. When this young lady said this to me, it was a reminder that just because I don’t have daughters, doesn’t mean that there aren’t girls out there watching how I present myself and I can guarantee that they are watching you as well. The truth is they watch more than what’s on the outside, they watch our actions and they hear our words. Are we displaying the beauty of Christ through a gentle and quiet spirit (which does not mean to be a weak woman without a voice…but more on that at another time)? Are we displaying a look that is God honoring? Take some time to reflect on this today and join me in a conscious effort to set forth a godly example for these young girls with our actions, in our words, and in our dress.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1Peter 3:3-4

The Truth About Being a Mom of All Boys

I am a boy mom. There was a time in my life that I truly couldn’t have pictured it. I mean I love the girl thing! I loved doing my friends’ and nieces’ hair and painting their nails growing up. I’ve always loved dressing up and can’t imagine life without makeup! I love chick flicks and delving into a good Nicolas Sparks novel. In fact Lydia & Lilac began with the nudging from my husband as being a great creative outlet for me in all things beauty and fashion. The truth is, now that I’m a mom to all boys, I couldn’t imagine anything else! There are some precious truths that go along with being a mom to all boys. I’m sure some of you can relate!

My house is full of legos, bey blades, and hot wheels.

Being new to the art of blogging, I find myself on Pinterest a lot! I am constantly looking at pictures of beautiful homes where everything has a place and it all stays there! To me a house like this would be as fascinating as taking a trip to the Land of Oz! My house is lived in. If you decided to stop by, you would find traces of boys strewn throughout in the form of legos, hot wheels, bey blades, and a myriad of other boy toys. You’ll likely sit on a nerf dart. Try as we might to keep things picked up, Jerry and I are outnumbered and this can be quite a challenge at times. I’m at a point in my life now that when I look around and see the lightsaber laying on the floor next to me, I realize that time is passing by faster than I could ever imagine and there will soon be a day where I will miss seeing their toys about the house.

I know nothing about Pokémon, Star Wars, D.C., or Marvel.

But I am learning! These subjects used to be a foreign language to me. However, slowly over time I am learning and even have some of my own favorite characters and movies within these series.

I still have a guest bathroom. (Which unbeknownst to me at the very moment I was writing this was being flooded by an overflown bathtub!)

We have 2 bathrooms in our home. One is for me and Jerry and the other is for our boys and our guests. Although our boys use it, I keep it ready for our guests at all times. This means beautiful towels, a gorgeous shower curtain, and tiny little soaps that look like seashells. Although far from Pinterest worthy, it’s important for me to have a nice space for family and friends when they come to visit.

It’s so easy to get them ready!

The truth is, they don’t care what they wear. This makes it incredibly easy for them to get ready each morning. They just throw on a shirt and shorts and they are ready to go.

Getting them out the door is like pulling teeth.

Although it takes them about 5 minutes to get dressed, brush their teeth, and get their shoes on, it takes them for.ev.er. to actually get out the door. There are always a 101 little things that they need to stuff in their pockets before heading out the door (this is where we go back to the legos, bey blades, and hot wheels!), because you never know when they might get bored!

It’s fun being the only girl.

Yes, I am outnumbered when deciding which movie to watch or which game to play, but it is nice being the only one interested in buying makeup, because it saves us money. Also, when we go out I usually have the door held for me and when playing make believe when the boys were little, they always would ask me to be the princess! Plus when it is my turn to choose the movie or pick what we do, it always feels special knowing that they are going along because they love mom.

I have a ton of animals.

More than I ever imagined we would. I always thought we would have a dog. I never would have guessed we would have a hamster, a bunny, two dogs, eight chickens, and a cockatiel on the way!

We have deep talks.

I know that the thought process for me, before having children, was that moms and daughters have these wonderful moments where they talk and bond and grow close, like I have with my mom. I didn’t realize that moms of boys had this too! Now that the boys are getting older, they come to me, ask me questions, and they want to share things with me that I wasn’t sure they would. We are so close and I love that!

My heart is incredibly full.

When I look at these three incredible little boys God has blessed us with, my heart is so full it could burst. I love hearing them laugh and giggle, I love watching them run around and play outside, I love to watch them create things, I love seeing how compassionate and kind they are. Being the mom of boys is so much more than than I could have ever imagined or asked for and I could not be more thankful!

My Theme for 2018

The idea of creating a theme for the new year instead of a resolution is one that has been popping up all over the blogging community. I first read an article on this several weeks ago and thought to myself, “sounds interesting.” You can read the first blog I read about themes for the new year over at joi-knows-how.com. I have never been one to really make New Years resolutions. It’s not that I’m against them or anything (unlike my husband who made a resolution to not have New Years resolutions anymore and he has stuck to it ever since! LOL), but I just don’t really stick with them. Instead I find myself creating goals, getting myself in check, and reflecting throughout the year. This is why the thought of a theme is so alluring.

You may be wondering to yourself what exactly I’m talking about. You are not alone in this. I didn’t really get the whole theme idea at first either. Basically a theme for the upcoming year means choosing an area of focus and incorporating changes into your life that build upon that focus. For example some of the themes floating around out there focus on self care, financial freedom, or health. Those who are choosing themes are not creating goals per say, but rather incorporating many things into their daily lives that represent their theme. Let’s delve a little deeper by taking a closer look at my theme for this year, healthy living.

I’m choosing this theme because it literally encompasses all aspects of my life physically, spiritually, and mentally. 2017 has been an absolute whirlwind in which all things healthy have fallen to the wayside. Truth is I’ve been so busy trying to get through each day that surviving became my only focus. This probably has a lot to do with finishing up my second masters degree, launching a business, and starting a blog all the while keeping up with my other commitments and responsibilities. Now that I’m finished with my degree I hope to have more time to focus on other areas of my life. This year I don’t want to just survive, I want to grow and thrive!

By focusing on healthy living, I’m not just talking about eating well and exercising (although this will be a part of my theme for this year as well). For me getting healthy goes beyond this, I want healthy living to seep into everything I do. I’m going to take a closer look at getting our finances on track, spending more time in God’s Word, reading a book (or 2), writing, getting more rest, drinking more water, spending more time investing in my relationships, and the list could go on! See, by choosing a theme instead of a resolution, I can concentrate on so much more. I will feel successful any time I do something that incorporates my theme. With a theme for the new year, success doesn’t come at the end when I check off the boxes, success comes each time I take a step in the right direction! How bout you? Are you making a resolution or going with a theme this year?

Happy New Year!

Chickens…Never Say Never!!!

CHICKENS…Never Say Never

OK, so for those of you who don’t know, our family started raising chickens in January.  This was quite an astonishing event for our household, because I had said at least a hundred times that I would never get chickens…

I’m noticing a reoccurring theme here.  I should really learn to stop saying the word “never” (read about another time I said I would never do something here)…

Anyway, getting chickens was just another item on my “I will never list”.  Then my precious 10 year old son Donovan watched a documentary on the egg industry.  Donovan is genuinely the most compassionate child you will ever meet and loves animals so very much.  He names every animals he meets and know more animal facts than anyone I have ever met.  Try walking through the zoo with this boy and you will learn the  most amazing things!  He came to me in tears about the terrible things he had watched.  It was from that moment I began buying insanely expensive eggs with the guarantee that they were raised humanely, and trust me, with 3 boys in the house we go through eggs like crazy!

One day Jerry said to me, You know, we could always get chickens”.  HAH!  He had been trying to get me to agree to chickens for quite some time at this point, but not to fear there was no way I was going to cave!

That night I decided to look at some chickens just to reinforce my opinion that getting chickens was one of the worst ideas ever. (Am I the only person to ever Google why not to get chickens?)  So here I am looking at these chickens, reading about how much people loved them, when I stumbled on a certain type called Silkies. These adorable chickens were described as the teddy bear of chickens and I was in love!  In the end, we ended up with 4  Silkies (we also have 3 Easter Eggers and 1 Lavender Orpington…which is another story for another day!). Smokey, Dash, Sugar, and Paddington are all part of the family now, and Cloudy, Dazzle, Sunny, and Cordoroy followed behind them.  We built the most gorgeous chicken coop I have ever seen and now spend our free time tending to our 8 chickens.  The crazy part is that I love them!

By the way, I’m still buying crazy expensive eggs as they have not begun laying yet and we just recently learned that Smokey (named after our favorite vacation spot) will never lay eggs, but we love him anyway…he has the cutest roo!  I am pretty sure Sugar may begin to roo soon too, and I’m not honestly sure how that’s going to work out, but we’ll take it one day at a time.

Your Son has Hashimoto’s

F4DAB252-987D-4F38-9E3B-788AA7569619.jpegI have wondered if I should hit the publish button on this post all week.  I know others experience things that are much more difficult beyond this.  We are thankful that we now have an explanation for the things our child has been going through and for the good treatment our son is able to receive.  It was still difficult news to hear.  I have also wondered if this post would be to personal to share on the Lydia & Lilac site, but we acknowledge that Lydia & Lilac is also an opportunity for us to share what the Lord is doing in our lives.  So without further ado, here is our post originally written October 3rd.
“Your son has Hashimoto’s”, these are the words that were spoken to Jerry and I this week.  Although we had a pretty good hunch that the diagnosis was coming, preparing yourself for the news that your child has a disease that you, as the parent, cannot take away is never something you hope for.  If you are like most people I talk to, you may be wondering what in the world Hashimoto’s is.  Simply put, Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease that attacks your thyroid.  In a child this manifests itself in a myriad of symptoms that include sensitivity to cold, dry hair, skin, or nails, constipation, difficulty with memory, weight gain, and lack of energy.  Hashimoto’s can also cause a stunt in growth, intellectual disabilities, and learning disabilities; which we fortunately, did not experience.
Our little boy has always been a happy and healthy kid.  In first grade he was diagnosed with ADHD.  He has a hard time sitting still, loves to chatter all day, and enjoys playing outside with his brothers.  He loves to run errands with mom and he is brilliant.  Academically, things come naturally to him and there are times I wonder if he has a photographic memory.  He has a smile that can light up a room and he is silly beyond belief.
About 3 months ago, we went to a routine appointment for ADHD.  Our little man had gained quite a bit of weight.  While talking to his doctor, we began to realize there had been quite a few changes.  He didn’t want to play outside very often, was always tired, didn’t ride his bike anymore unless his brothers absolutely begged him to, he rather stay home than go on an outing with mom, and when friends came over to play, he would play in short bursts spending most of his time on the couch.  He was having stomach problems and was cold all of the time.  We were on our way out the door of the office, when his doctor caught up with me and said she had been looking at the numbers and thought it might be a good idea to get his thyroid checked.
So off we went for blood work and we made a follow up appointment with his primary peditrician.  At this visit, his pediatrician said that he thought it was probably nothing, that no one had ever come through his office for weight gain and ended up having Hashimotos.  Then, he looked at the numbers.  Next he started to talk to us about Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism and sent us for more blood work.
Fast forward three months and here we are, a new diagnosis, one that I know very little about and am still trying to wrap my head around, I am sure in time I will come to have a better understanding of things like THS, T4, etc.  In the mean time we find ourselves here in this place of uncharted waters.  I think it finally hit me yesterday when picking up his medication.  I had a small melt down.  I realized that this is for life, I can’t take it away.  I’m thankful that it is something that we can manage with medication, but as a parent you never want your child to have any type of disease, disorder, or disability.
We know that our little guy is in the hands of God and we trust that He will take care of him.  I have been reminded again that my children are His and that He has given them to us to care for and point to Him.  Our job is to teach our son that God loves him and to take care of him.  We have been blessed with the support or family and friends.  They have been sending us information and articles and we are so thankful for any and all support as this is still very new to us.  We will face the days ahead together with compassion and a better understanding of what our son is going through.  We will face each day with prayer and will continue to let him know that he is loved beyond belief.