Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Living Authentically

So, where to begin? Last year, I shared with you about the decision to divorce. We went back and forth for months but finally decided it was right, on our 10 year anniversary. Once we left our "church", a whole world of pain and possibilities and regrets opened up into our world. We realized our entire lives were based on a cultish lie and that really does something painful to a person's mindset. We thought we were strong enough to withstand it. But life has a funny way of sweeping you away and forcing you to look straight at the problems, which was especially hard for my husband who ended up going through an early mid-life crisis. It became this unhealthy, traumatic thing that could no longer continue as it unraveled layers of pain. It was a year of immense tragedy. So, it had to end, so that we could both find healing. We both deserve healing.

Trying to figure it out, as a new single mom of 3, how to support my family, how to gain control. Being a stay at home mom for the majority of my adult life gave very little hope of earning potential to do this. I worked three jobs at one point just to be able to move out of my house. I drowned sorrow in the horrific world of dating. We had just moved across the country with zero support system or network in the area and it seemed that was the only way to meet people. To make matters worse, leaving our church and getting a divorce meant that our entire social network within our church shunned us, family disowned us and friends chose sides between us. Many only saw the outside of a happy marriage and didn't look at the truth of it's demise, and I didn't want to do any mud slinging to protect my image. I recognize we both had to grow and were operating out of a place of pain. So really, I've been negotiating this world alone. I did meet a great person that turned into an amazing relationship but that didn't work out, so I've mostly been nursing my wounds and feeling basically, like a piece of garbage that is so easily thrown away by so many.

So at this point, I'm really just working hard on myself and my children's happiness. It hasn't been easy, but we are resilient. Finding new ways to connect and help them feel loved and stable sharing two homes. Brushing up on skills and embarking on a new career and seeing where life takes me has been my only sight of hope. I know so many people share similar stories of starting over and that's the only reason I share a very brief version of what happened in my life. I can say that every day is a struggle, but I am determined to be deeply happy, naysayers be damned. I still don't know how to drown out the pain that I feel during quiet moments, but it's something that I am actively working on. I won't have much time to share my home decorations and crafts like I used to love to do here on my blog, but I hope that through writing and finding other pieces of beauty to share, that healing will come in time, for myself and for readers alike.

People ask, if you hadn't left the church, you would still have your marriage, you wouldn't be going through all of this additional hardship. Would you still make the choice if you could to leave? And while that may be true, I would rather live an authentic life of truth. I found out the truth of the church as I was very actively defending it. Through thousands of hours of intense study, prayer and research, I realized I had been lied to and ensnared by a religion I once thought I loved and devoted my whole life to. There is hidden pain in the church that members don't speak of, many don't recognize it because there is a learned repression of cognitive dissonance and fear of spiritual manipulation of losing your eternal family and soul if you question it. So when members *do* discover it, it's an earthshattering pain to realize you have sacrificed your entire life for a huge, hurtful lie... but living under the banner of truth and the ability to finally think for myself... that's worth everything. I am mostly happy that I discovered the truth and escaped the cult before it entangled my children's lives. They were hurt by it too, but in their youth, they are able to heal more quickly. It's been so freeing, painful, but freeing and being free yields a calm peacefulness inside my soul that I never had before. The journey out of the church was difficult, but the inner peace and happiness I feel as a woman of honor and truth replaced any false happiness the church claimed to provide.

Are you a Mormon, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that is also having questions and deep doubts about it's truth claims and policies that are causing pain to people? Do you want to do your own research? Feel free to contact me and/or visit here. These
sites are all extremely well researched, sincere and not "anti".

 Mormon Think
CES Letter
Ask Reality - I suggest watching his videos 1-8 in that order
BBC Special with Jeffrey R Holland
Cult Education Institute - 10 Signs of a Cult - I read this list as a Mormon and didn't see how what they said was dangerous. After years of heavy research and allowing myself to look at it with a discerning eye, it terrified me to see all the warning signs exist in this religion.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Aquatic My Way

I have been gone forever! Life has been a hurricane and many times I felt the waves crash over me and pin me down. It knocked me over with such force that I couldn't tell which way was up. I found moments of respite in the eye of the hurricane and in those times, I floated on a life raft and paddled vigorously to keep my head above water, but it only left me parched. Anytime I found dry ground, my feet reached for safe harbor, but then something else would sweep me away as I struggled to keep up, gasping for air. But it was salty. Feeling alone, completely lost at sea, trying to make a difference but getting pulled back in the undertow, I was purely in survival mode. Too many times I struggled to breathe and didn't know how I was going to make it.

 But I'm coming back.

Did you hear me storm?! I always thought I was a strong swimmer, but this has been an endurance test. It's important for my well being to indulge in the therapeutic powers of creative mindfulness. Substance and purpose to enhance my life and those around me. After all, how can I extend a life raft if I can't even hang on to my own? But here, my little island... this helps me create goals, stay focused on lovely things and enhance my soul, so that I can face future storms that I know are coming. Allowing words, and visions of beauty and creation to wash over me. A baptism of growth. I'm ready to take a breath of fresh, crisp air and fill my lungs with a voice again. It's my turn to revel in my inner force of nature. No longer adrift, my compass is set.  I embrace my journey. Join me.
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*post title borrowed from 311's  "Brodels"       *image, unkown

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sweet Treats: Happy Valentine's Day - 2014

This is kind of a weird time for Valentine's Day in my life. But I had to go ahead and make a yummy treat for the kiddo's sake. Pink lemonade cake with pink lemonade and butter cream frosting. And of course semi-sweet chocolate chips and sprinkles! I hope all of you are having a wonderful Valentine's Day, Single Awareness Day... or for me, a soon to be divorced mom... this is my last official Valentine's as a legally married woman day :/

I know, I always choose the most proper timing for news.... but a separation leading to divorce around the same time as a cross country move will take a person away from blog-land for a while. But you know, all good things eventually come to an end of some sort, which is exactly how this cake will end up, dirty dishes in the sink :)

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Wicked, Twisted Truth of Beauty

I recently worked tirelessly on a few fashions shows, and though many pics I have not yet worked on, I felt the need to share them before the year runs out. This phase of my life has come to a tumultuous turn, however I am thankful for the experiences that broadened me as an artist and as a person. True tests of character, work ethic and family ties have awakened me stronger than before, and in many ways, I have my salon's fashion show to thank for that!

The first was our Fair Queen pageant, which turned out to be a great success and an exciting experience to be a part of.
 Here I am getting my model all dolled up and ready for her debut as a Fair Queen candidate.

The second event, really stretched me as a stylist, artist and a person.... At the salon until the early morning many nights, working exhaustively on scripts, costuming, props and the like. But what an amazing experience  that I would not have traded for anything! I hope you enjoy my work :)

I hand painted this dress with black latex paint, and hand bustled with with black tulle and ribbon. The petticoat was supposed to also be bustled, to show the black layers underneath, but they forgot that part when I was directing the show. Still looked amazing.

 The puppet scene... these ladies really stripped down and went crazy with it!

 The I&II Band really helped us out with show intervals.

 I created this bustled angel skirt and it was awesome. Unfortunately, they put it on backwards!
I spent quite some time on this black swan mask. Unfortunately, the "poison ivy ' character that I spent the most time on, evaded the camera, so no pictures of her amazing costume and hair.

 I love my ugly vintage dress collection. This one fit perfectly for the dia de los muetros mourning scene, complete with a photo of my granfather in his Korean War era soldier uniform.
 The angel wings were pretty weak, so I got several pairs and restructured them into a larger, fuller set.
I spent hours on these ladies sugar skull make-up and costuming accessories! The blue one was my favorite, I have a better picture of her on my other camera.
 My sister's old homecoming dress came in handy here.
 This scene was a young couple vs their older selves. Kind of sweet, glad I had this frame they could use.
 My pink vintage skirt made an appearance. 

I ran out of time to make her bridal hat, so I quickly weaved flowers into her hair as I pulled it up into retro glamour twists and braids. You can see me peeking over her shoulder getting the next gothic bride ready to walk.
I made her necklace and the accessories the bride behind her is wearing as well.
I loved creating their hats and dress accessories almost as much as I did working on their hair and faces.

The end of a very long, exhausting day... wait weeks... no months!
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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Inspired Interiors: Bean Bag Chairs

Well, it's been a crazy ride, but we finally made our cross-country move! The nice thing about our new home, is the large finished basement where we can allow the kids to have free reign. Design possibilities allow us to have a more colorful and comfortable atmosphere there. Which is why I was really excited to come across these really neat bean bag chairs from Gone are the old vinyl, soccer ball looking ones from my youth... these are more cozy, stylish, come in an array of colors, patterns, even faux leather and lame. They can also be molded into chairs. I absolutely love the look of the above playroom. Those are definitely within my color palate of turquoise, sage, black and white, kid friendly but with a perfect sense of style for the discerning adult.These would make excellent gifts for the holidays as well, and free shipping for all of my Canadian readers! Be sure to check out their facebook page, for some really neat style ideas.

Lovin' this lavender little girls room! It doesn't take much space or energy to create a cozy reading corner. More adorable pics of this shabby chic room here on Baby Eagle T.
 My two little guys would love to dive in like this!
I love this perfect little reading and activity nook for the kid's basement. An IKEA bookcase, tables and chairs, toy storage and cozy seating in bright colors are a welcome room for any kid.  via
Ever the sucker for orange, this room morphs from little boy to growing kid quite well.  via

I have to say though, I *really* love Bean Bag Boss' metallic chairs. My Elisabeth's room has pops of gold, and I feel that golds and silvers add a touch of class to most any rooms.Would even be pretty in a modern master bedroom.

So, are you digging the new style of bean bag chairs? What's your color preference? These are cozier than the poufs craze of previous years!

*sponsored, paid for post. thank you Bean Bag Boss!

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Stress Fest

You know that kind of stress that grows from within, yet imposes from without, and it pushes and pulls you in all directions... and sometimes it is exciting and fun to see where it will take you, but other times it creates hardship and overwhelming circumstances that you have no idea how to handle, but know that you just have to keep pushing through it, and it will be over with soon... which is both a good thing but a bad thing, so you love the excitement of the unexpected, but feel the sadness and fear of everything else and you are left with a bittersweetness of it all, so not really sure what to do, say or think of it all, but what you do know is that you are overwhelmed and overtired and so not on task...? Well yeah. That is where I am right now. So, now you have the world's longest run-on sentence and a lot of pink, flowers and glitter. Because those make everything better, right?


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