Thursday, May 2, 2013

Honesty: From the Inside Out

I was inspired to write this post after reading this and this in my geek group on Facebook the last two days.

My whole life, I was taught that beauty comes from the inside out. That what we see at face value has very little to do with what goodness lies within. My mother worked very hard to instill these things within ALL her children.

Growing up as the youngest, tiny child in a family who all struggled with their weight, I didn't really see those things because they loved me, held me, protected me, and showered me with everything. I was by far the most spoiled in our family.

I never struggled with weight and was always in some sort of dance or gymnastics class from the time I was three. I had a knack for it. I lived in front of a mirror all the time. My mother bent over backwards to make sure I was able to spend my time in dance, costumes, make-up and performing. It never really seemed like enough because I lived for the adrenalin rush of pushing myself to be the best, learning new stage make-up techniques, soaking up the spotlight on stage.

I started to notice weight in 3rd grade because of a girl in my class. She was big. I never thought about it really, until she started to pick on me and push me around. My mother made me beautiful clothes, upcycled or from scratch. I loved what she made me because it couldn't be found in stores. It made me unique. But this big girl made me look harder at myself. I was the poor girl in small private school. I was different. Perhaps even ugly.

I took it all in and held it inside because being so little, I didn't know what I was feeling could eventually become self-destructive. I went to 4 more years at that private school with no friends and was constantly inventing new excuses to stay home because I was afraid of the backlash I felt from the students and even from my fifth grade teacher, who spent most of her days taking all her anger and frustration with the entire class, out on me. I almost never went to school that entire year.

As I went to junior high, an entirely new dynamic of judgement entered my life. You all know it, the "Wow, I don't dress right, that girl is wearing the same thing as me but looks better, why do I get out of bed if I look so ugly" stage.

I was a flower child. My 6th grade year was the time of 70s fashion revival. The swishy sundresses with neon flowers, the bell bottoms, the leather headbands and stacks (shoes). I spent HOURS at the mall with my mother on the rare nights and weekends I didn't have dance. I LOVED it because I fit everything. EVERYTHING. And it gave me time to be with my mom and not have to think about the things at school or my own body image because I could try on things I really loved to wear and there was no one to tell me that it wasn't "cool" or "right".

Then in seventh grade, I got really, really, sick in November shortly before Thanksgiving break. I lost 20 pounds in about two weeks. At my doctor's appointment, I weighed in a a whopping 72 pounds and I was 12 years old. I was super freaked out. I knew that wasn't healthy.

I was unsatisfied with how I looked because none of my clothes fit me anymore. For the remainder of the year, I wore a satin blue button down shirt, a Wonder Bra to fill it out, a pair of baggy secondhand jeans, and my older sister's blue and green plaid long sleeved shirt wrapped around my waist. I hid behind my blond, waist length hair even more than I did in sixth grade. I think I was trying to disappear from reality.

Over the next year or so I became more evened out with my weight again, but now I was living with my dad. I don't know if either of them realized it, but every time his new wife would take me shopping, she tried to force me into her daughters' mold. I did not look like them, I did not act like them, I did not dress like them. We had totally different body types. I was in every sense of the word DIFFERENT, from them. Eventually by the time I reached the middle of my freshman year, they realized that I wasn't wearing anything they bought unless I chose it 100% for myself.

Throughout this period, I still spent nearly everyday in dance clothes in front of a mirror. I loved my body. I spent so much time teaching it to do what I willed it to do in those classes. I was told by my dance teachers I could go all the way. I had "it", which made me love my body more. My steady boyfriend was even thinner than I was because he was cross country runner. There were times I felt huge compared to  him, but mostly my curves along next to his thin frame made me feel more beautiful and womanly because women are supposed to be that way, right?

But at school, it was different. Society teaches us women to be self-deprecating and to talk down about our selves because if we have the audacity to speak positively about ourselves, especially our bodies, we are rude, self-centered, and stuck-up. So I would talk about my dress size and speak down about myself and laugh and say I wish I was a size 2 instead of a 4 and that my hips were too big, or my breasts were too small, or my bubble butt was annoying, and on and on and on. Never mind the fact I didn't really feel these things about myself, most of the time.

But as I fell more in love with my body and what I could do with it, I noticed more and more the things within my family and the issues with their weight as well as my friends and without realizing it, became caustic and silently hateful of them because of it. Never mind the slew of health issues they all had to deal with.

I broke 110 lbs. my junior year. I felt awesome because it was all toned and trained muscle, but weird because I no longer fit into my size 4 jeans. I wore size 7. My dance partners struggled to lift me above their heads and constantly dropped me. I started to worry I wasn't what I needed to be for them. Perhaps I needed to drop some weight.

My senior year, I moved back in with my mom to a new school where I knew no one. Two weeks into school (and due to start a brand new ballet studio the following week) I was on my way to lunch with a new friend when we were in a rear end collision. As I was looking down to buckle my seat belt just a block from the high school parking lot, a moth flew up in my friend's face and we slammed into the back end of a stopped car waiting to turn onto a cross street. My seat belt never clicked into place and my head slammed into the windshield, creating a spider crack, much like a bowling ball would.

I'll omit all the painful details, but by the time things were over, I learned that I had a two severely injured disks in my neck just above my should blades and my physical therapist told me I should never dance again. To say I was devastated would be the biggest understatement of my life.

I went to therapy. But I still went back to dance. Twice. I wasn't ready to let go. More than the physical pain, was the denial that I would never be able to dance again. It's what I wanted to do with my life. Everything in me was built to be a dancer. I was crushed. I eventually suffered a breakdown and was put on an anti-depressant that made me gain 20 lbs. in two weeks.

At the age of 18 when most girls bodies are starting to change into womanhood, my body bolted from 120 to 140 like a lightening bolt. More devastation. I eventually dropped out of school because the physical and emotionally pain I was going through was too much for me to know how to handle. I watched my high school graduation loom in front of me. I forced myself back into school to be able to eek out graduation, only to be failed by the English teacher who refused to believe I wrote an extra 5 pages on my Senior thesis just because I wasn't in her AP English class. She didn't believe that I could write that well without being put in an advanced class. So with only one trimester left of school, without that English class, it meant I couldn't graduate, so I failed several other classes because I stopped trying. And my weight continued to climb.

Not to be run down, I pulled myself up and went back to school the following autumn for a 5th year of high school. Two weeks to the year of my car accident, I was on my way to my first hour class when a woman ran a stop sign and slammed into my car, sending me spinning 180 degrees. That was September.

I went back to therapy. I dropped out of school to deal with the emotional and physical mess I was in. I went back on anti-depressants to deal with it. I gained more weight.

The following February, I was in a friend's car, on my way to school to register for the last trimester of school. It was pouring ice cold rain and we were pulling up to a stoplight just off the freeway. We never stopped. I watched as he slammed on his breaks and we slid right through the light at 55 miles an hour, catching the back left corner bumper of a van coming off the freeway. Slow motion. By the time we stopped spinning, I was aware of searing pain running through my neck and shoulders. We went to urgent care.

X-rays revealed that the injured disks from my first accident were not injured anymore, they had fused from the impact and injury resulting from more than one accident. And not only that, I had fused disks in my lower back and massive muscle swelling in my left shoulder. I was given a neck brace, a written prescription for narcotics and discharged.

I never filled that pain prescription. I still went over to my school to register for the last trimester of school and I went to to graduate and walk the line for my high school diploma all a week before my twentieth birthday.

College was a mess. (Cosmetology, another career where you spend your life in front of a mirror. Anyone else see the irony??) Weight up and down and all over, but I ended up slimming way down because of stress and I walked everywhere because I didn't own a car.

By the time I got married at 22, I was once again a size 4. The most painful day of my life was the day I got married. The weight of my dress, standing all day, my 8 lb. bouquet I was only able to hold for pictures, was placed next to the cake and forgotten about. The two day drive to our new home I spent with my husband was more pain than I can remember experiencing. When we'd stop for gas, he'd hold me while I cried.

After marriage, I learned to eat my feelings rather than take it out on dance, but I had no idea that's what I was doing. We found and amazing chiropractor would help me start healing over the course of the last nearly 7 years. I learned from my chiropractor the worst thing I could've done was quit dance because it would've kept my muscles and spine flexible and may have helped my disks from fusing together. More devastation. More anger. More antidepressants. More weight gain.

Then I had two babies, whom I love more than anything in this world. More weight gain. I hated myself. I beat myself up.

But over the last few months, I've started to discover how to love myself, take care of myself, be myself. My new self. I can create and mold and shape my life in new ways. It doesn't have to be spent in front of a mirror. I realized that even though I was in serious pain and still deal with pain everyday, I have enough wherewithal to do it all without drugs. No prescription pills and no OTC drugs for the most part either. I do have my bad days, but I've been given the strength to make it through.

My point I'm getting at is this~ I spent a LOT of time judging people on their size without realizing it. I spent a LOT of time judging myself on my size. I spent YEARS hating my genes and the fact I have a predisposition to be a certain shape.

But we all have own own journeys. People are all at various stages of their lives. Some people may have more health issues than others.


I can't promise I'll never judge people based on their appearance. But I CAN promise that I'll try to be more understanding about those things. We all have our own private hell we endure. I can promise I will be more loving and understanding. Because I've been on that scale. I know the hurt from every side.

It's time to stop judging yourself for what you THINK you should look like and loving yourself for who you are ARE and your AMAZING abilities you DO have.

I have a lot to offer. I learned that a lot of the girls I work with in youth group actually love me. A LOT. And it's not because I just lost a dress size or because I'm a principle dancer in the NYC Ballet Company. It's because I'm me.


Whatever negative thing you're telling yourself in the mirror when you see yourself, STOP IT. The most positive words you'll hear in your life come from INSIDE YOU. If you're constantly beating yourself up, you'll never heal.

The more you spoon feed that you inside with goodness and love, the more YOU you'll become. The more YOU you'll discover. Just like that quote from Dr. Suess:

"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You."

Become the "youer" you. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

To Thine Own Self Be True

After a random conversation with my dear,dear friend Mary, she told me about an article she read. She said that "women don't ever speak positive about themselves because it's socially unacceptable." We seem to think as a society that giving ourselves credit for the things we do well is wrong. Well, how wrong it that??!

Ever since that conversation 3 weeks ago, I've been thinking a LOT about it and beating myself up (as usual) for the things I don't do, but I know that I can do but can't seem to figure out how to work into my life with two very busy kids.

But I'm tired of seeing my friends do thing that *I* love and can do for myself, but just can't seem to find the time for. I often think of myself as someone who is capable of anything, but can do so many things only mediocre and I'm not proficient enough to call myself great at just one thing. Backward way of thing? Yes.

So I'm going to toot my own horn. I'm going to list the qualities that I secretly love about myself and be ever so thankful that I've been blessed by God with and not be embarrassed or feel guilty about saying these.

My Awesome Qualities :

Sewing~ I can create a pattern out of my head and make it work. In fact, most of the time I DON'T use a pattern because it hinders me. Patterns easily confuse me. =P At this point in my life, I have yet to get back into it because I don't have a machine, but I am a good seamstress. Just don't ask me to make anything because I have no machine. But even after all that, I still prefer to hand sew. It's how I started. I love just sitting down and listening to a movie or music and sewing something by hand. It's incredibly soothing.

Cooking~ I am an awesome cook. Mary taught me that I can experiment and not worry about caring since, if it's terrible, you don't have to eat it or make it again. But if it's wonderful, write down what you put in it immediately so you don't forget when you want to make it again. Baking terrifies me, but I've never failed at anything I've made, so I don't know why I freak out so badly. It's not as if my husband is going to leave me if I mess up rolls or burn pumpkin bread. I need to start trying new things again once the weather cools down.

Party Planner~ I am a wicked hostess. I'm WAY into throwing parties and get-together's since we moved to a house. It allows me crazy creativity. There's something about it that makes my whole self come alive with excitement and tingles when I think about it. If I could do it for a living, I would.

Scrapbooking~ I have a milliondy things and pictures I have to catch up on and every time someone has a birthday, I get more and more behind. But, again, it allows my creative juices to flow. I love the idea of making things easier and going digital with those kinds of books, but I much prefer to make things by hand. I love making things, cutting things out, etc. all by hand. It gives a great sense of accomplishment when I see the spread I've created once it's done.

Photography Ideas and Settings~ Although I took a few photography classes in high school, I never really had the knack for capturing exactly what I wanted about 98% of the time. But I discovered that I'm an extremely creative person when it comes to making photography work; I can see things in my head the way I want them to work out, but I don't have the ability to capture it so I have to rely on people who have that talent to do that part. I'm also an incredible editor, something I learned and excelled in when I was in my classes. I think that comes with being an artist.

Cosmetologist~ Albeit it was something I was forced into and I really didn't have much of a desire to do it when I started, I discovered I have a special proficiency in what I do. It gives me great pleasure to help someone feel better and more confident about themselves. I'm getting pretty darn good with color, too. I think that trickles back to my art classes I took as a teenager. When I look at some one's hair, I get a flashback through all the color classes I took in art as well as in cos school. I see the color wheel almost immediately whenever I have someone in my chair. And actually, I LOVE giving pedicures. As relaxing as it is for the client, it's more so for me. Massage has a way of relaxing me when I do it for other people. I would have never believed in a million years something that I didn't want to become would be something that I really enjoy and gives me so much ability to create and learn from every time I do it. I mean, who wouldn't want to spend all day playing "Make Over"??

Organizer~ I take GREAT pride in my home. I've always had an incredible knack for organizing, but only recently have I figured out how to make it work for me in every aspect. I read this great article of how to organize your home and I cleaned and cleared out my house like a boss. My home is now ALWAYS clean. It might get cluttered with random piles of laundry or toys and trash might explode, but underneath all that, it's clean. The only thing that I need to do is a basic pick up. I now vacuum every morning, wash the dishes after every meal, and sweep every other day. If cleanliness is close to Godliness, I can personally attest to that because now that my home is always clean, I love my family more and worry less about messes because I know that it's not hard to clean up afterwards. There is nothing that can substitute a clean home for my level of sanity. No doubt about it, I'm a more loving mom when my house is clean. Are you seeing a theme here, because I am. I think I love to work with my hands. Very hands on type of person. =)

Musician~ I realize this is an incredible gift that I have been blessed with. But, only recently have I discovered how deep it goes. While talking to my mother last week, she told me that was I was really little while we were all at a concert, I covered my ears and said, "Mommy, make them stop. It's ugly and wrong." Apparently my ability for perfect pitch has been with me my entire life. I may not always have the ability to sing with perfect pitch (being tired, sick), but I always hear with perfect pitch. I admit I regret not staying closer to the piano, since I quit my junior year of high school after I learned to sight read all the hymns in the hymn book (parents requirement for quitting piano lessons) and I have a HUGE desire to start playing again.

Mother~ There are a million things I could say about what I need to change, since we are always our own critics, but I won't. I'll focus on the good. While talking to my really good Stacia during a very long color appointment, I confessed that I felt I was failing at motherhood. nearly crying, I choked back tears in how I thought how terrible of a mother I was. She laughed ans said, "Are you drinking, doing, drugs, leaving your children on the streets to fend for themselves? No? Then you're a good mother." Then she asked me what some things were that I do do as a mother with my children and I listed them off: I play with them for a solid hour everyday nearly everyday with no distractions, I've taught them to pick up after themselves with their toys and to put their dishes in the sink, I sit down with them for every meal, I bathe them every other day, I brush and floss their teeth every night (I sometimes forget in the morning), I help them say their individual morning and evening prayers, we always read the Book of Mormon together as a family before bed, we have family prayer together every morning and night, and I sing them each two Primary songs of their choice before I put them in bed every night unless I have a soar throat.

There are many more things I'm good at and capable of, I'm sure, but these are the things that come to mind. As a mortal being, there is much room for improvement, but we need to stop criticizing ourselves. God has said, "Love One Another" which, includes ourselves. We cannot hope to help another person strengthen themselves if we do not first strengthen ourselves, love ourselves. I want to love me. If I wasn't worth loving, i wouldn't know so many good people and have such amazing friends, right? The same thing goes for you.

I would LOVE to see each one of you who read this to make and post your own lists so that I can add to it. This world is hard enough without praising each other for what we excel in. let us take time to love and appreciate each other. And also, let us take time to say thank-you and not argue with those who took time to give you a compliment. it's just as important to tell someone thank-you for sharing their gift as it is to accept.

I look forward to reading your lists in the near future. =)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

We Date Who We Marry

We often times get wrapped up in our everyday humdrum lives and it's easy to take for granted what brought  us together in the first place. We repeat the same stories, jokes and punch lines, et cetera to each other and constantly tell one another these things until we think we'll turn blue in the face. But there are those certain brief moments that time stops and we can connect on that level we did while we were first dating and become that young couple again.


We were sent out Saturday night without a curfew after a long and hot day at the beach with no shade by my parents who were visiting for a few days. Tired as could be, we tossed back and forth about where we should go since we're at the end of our summer money with just enough for food and a wee bit of gas. 

As we were getting to the freeway, we passed Golf 'n Stuff, but it was packed more full than I've ever seen it and I had no patience to do more lines. I wanted to go to Knott's, since I've NEVER been there (even though I've lived in LA for nearly 6 years), but of course that was totally out of the question. (Yes, I now realize there are lots and lots of line at Knott's, but remember I was tired and burnt to a crisp from all day at the beach.) We bantered back and forth and eventually decided to see a movie and ended up at the Long Beach Town Center. We got a decent parking place and walked past the fountains and splash pad to the Edwards 20 to see what was playing.

We looked at the marquee and narrowed it down to a 3, since we had no energy to stay awake through a movie that started later than 10 and over half the movies were rated R. I looked up one that I'd wanted to see on my phone and was shocked at the amount of indecent things that were talked about and we opted out on that one. Then I looked up that other two movies and we both agreed we didn't want to pay $12 a ticket to see anything. So we sat at the main fountain in front of the theater and enjoyed the cool air trying to figure out what to do, since I couldn't be out that late since I had to sing for church the next morning. 

I decided to hit up Ben and Jerry's since I knew that they serve frozen yogurt and smoothies. I ended up getting a frozen strawberry lemonade and Lars got something sickeningly sweet like he always does. Then we started to head back toward the parking lot. I spotted an open bench in front of the waterfall fountain we passed on the way into the town center and we sat, chit chatting and laughing, just enjoying each other's company. I laughed at his jokes because for the first time in a long time, I honestly thought they were funny. It was hard to want to go home, so we sat for a little while longer before we headed back home.  

I hate to say how often I forget to honestly just BE with my husband. It's hard when your life is completely wrapped around two very small children, one of which is in the midst of potty training and the other not far behind. I forget to like myself and end up turning it outwardly to him thinking he'll think the same about me that I do, but he never does. And in this moment, you can honestly see that we were just happy to be together, loving one another. Tired as all get out, but more happy than I've been just to "be" in I can't remember how long. 

I really love this man and I need to start trying to like myself again so that I have enough emotional support under me to pass it on to him, because no one loves me more than him. No one. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Rock the Boat

It's been a looooong time since I've posted. Let's face it, blogging just stopped being important since I started to write in a real journal awhile back. But I haven't and things are simply just busy and life is happening and time is sliding by without me noticing.

But tonight I'm full of emotions and just need some feedback, maybe to know that I'm a normal 20-something mom/woman and I haven't lost it.

I've been cleaning house like crazy the since yesterday and then my mother-in-law took both my son and daughter over night for a gift to me for Mother's Day. Needless to say, rather than turn in early to catch up on sleep since we're at a battle of wills with the baby concerning any type of sleep, I was buzzing from cleaning endorphins. Then when I finally lied sown for the night shortly after midnight, I couldn't sleep. All I could think about was the fact that the kids' doors were open and through the doors their curtains were open because I didn't close anything since they didn't go to their beds to sleep. I just kept thinking about how they were both away from me.

Now, to make things a little bit more clear, my husband and I started to watch reruns of The Wonder Years on our Netflix account and while I was overhauling the kitchen yesterday, I listened/watched to about 5 HOURS of the show. Today was much of the same thing, I overhauled the house, folded, sorted, ironed, and put away laundry to the voice of Daniel Stern's ever familiar voice portraying the adult Kevin Arnold. Now if you've ever watched this show as an adult, the things you thought were super funny as a kid, well they are still ever so funny, but the deeper meanings that are played upon actually make sense being well out of high school and college. Which brings me to what I've been thinking about.

Personal Pressure.

Many of my friends are pregnant again, most of them with their third children. And somehow, I feel like I'm missing out. I feel as though I should be on that baby wagon heading east, or west, or whatever. I feel like I NEED to be having another baby.

But I don't want one.

I had a scare last month when my period was 10 days late, which has NEVER happened since my period regulated after I got off birth control before I had my son nearly 4 years ago. My period happened ON TIME. And intimate moments just weren't happening due to the invasion of a daughter who woke up her brother when she came into our room, or vice versa. The fact I was late didn't add up. So I took 3 tests (like always~ two you could have a false positive, but 3 can knock either  false positive of negative out) and just as I had accepted the fact that I was going to be a mom of 3 (after days, hours, milliseconds of anger and hosility toward this possible unborn child) I checked and they were all negative.

I was happy, right? I mean, I'd been angry and up in arms about what to do with another child when I had SO much to do to be ready to accept and be ready for another child into my heart, arms, home, and family. But the fact was, was I was crushed. Devastated. I had already *just* decided and let the glimmer of excitement (and dreading the physically if carrying another baby without losing weight first) of another baby slip in under the radar undetected and the not-quite-real loss of it all hit me quite literally like a tether ball square in the chest.

The fact is, I'm not ready. I'm having many unexplained health problems that I need to get worked out (don't get me started), my kids are both going through their own power struggles as they learn and I try to teach them their independence (not to mention a million other things) and they're just about all I can handle. Strike that. They are ALL I can handle. So why is it that I feel so lost? Why do I feel like I'm being left behind? I don't want another child. And I feel a wall in my emotions about it. There simply is No room No time in my life now for another child.

But when I think about 3 weeks ago and the lost-that-never-was, I feel ever so sad and teary-eyed for something I'm not sure how to put into words and it's hard to quell the emotion that rises in my chest and the lump that forms in my throat because of it. I lost something. But I kept something as well. And with both, I'm clearly depressed and confused. Actually, I don't even remember what I was going to ask in the first place.

I guess it's just been so long and I've been so busy holding on so tightly to so many deep emotions that I just needed a place to unload. It's a hard uphill road doing it by yourself, keeping ahold of those heavyset emotions, and right now it's simply too much. I'm sad and tired and weighed down. So I'm leaving these things here. Please be kind if you choose to respond. I have so much I'm feeling and dealing with already and I'm likely to tip and spill if you rock the boat too much.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Perfect Posy

It's that time again! I'm making a post about a give away! My girlfriend Mary is an incredibly talented SAHM and this is her business. She's hosting a give away on her blog which is linked to her Facebook business page!

Blog link:

Facebook link:!/ThePerfectPosy

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Business

Hey y'all! After 5 years of licensure in the state of Idaho, I've decided to go into the business I went to college for. My business page on Facebook is call Sepulveda Cosmetology and I'm working on putting up a blog under the same name, so watch for the link! I'm super excited and have started the long process of paperwork to becomes officially licensed out here in California, so more than likely i should be licenced by the end of summer or start of fall this year!!

To spread the word as favor to me, please "like" my Facebook page in the upper corner of this blog, or post this URL into your status. Thanks! I'm looking forward to posting new photos as my business grows!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Give Away!

If I didn't have to to repost this for more options on winning, It keeps the number down in the pot so there's less competition. Call me selfish. But I REALLY want to win this and you will too after going to this blog- Seriously, any woman who has even tehremotest creativity in her wouldwant one of these things!!