Friday, March 25, 2016


So I’d like to ask you all a favor.
(Trivial Side Note: I grew up an hour from Chicago -- I therefore naturally say “you guys” instead of “you all” or any other option that refers to a group -- that’s just the way we do it here. But, I naively used that once as a kid while visiting Texas and I had a rather offended girl on my hands insisting she wasn’t a guy. I’m now nervous any time I go to write something addressing everyone at once while Blogging. ha!)

I’ve noticed that as a whole "you all” have been more open with me in commenting and/or writing lately. Which I totally appreciate. It makes me feel sure people are actually there, ya know.

So I’m wondering if you regularly read this, if you could do me the favor of answering this question:

“Why do you read this blog?”

Maybe you could tell me how/why you found this blog, and why you’ve stuck around. Maybe you could tell me which parts/subject matters appeal to you. Maybe you could tell me if you feel a personal connection. Maybe we know each other in-person and this is how you keep up with my life.  Maybe I’m just enough of a train wreck that this blog is kind of like watching a reality TV show you just can’t quite drop. (If that’s your answer, I don’t mind if you want to tell me that. I like honesty. I much prefer it to flatter. Honesty is the best way to go.) Whatever your reason, whatever you want to share -- I’d gladly gather it up.

I’d really appreciate hearing from you.

I’m in a questioning place. When something very big changes, it kind of makes everything change, or changes how everything seems. So I’m constantly asking myself why about lots of things. Big, small, things that might not even have why-ablity. I’m asking it all, all the time.

So you answering will help me with two things:

1) Kind of giving me a mirror to see myself with. (Losing my brother has caused me to pause and wonder who I am, and what am I doing, and how to I affect people.)

2) Help me figure out which way to go with the blog currently.
     I keep having all sorts of passing thoughts that sound like, “If everything were normal right now I’d totally blog _______” and then I question if it’s even worth it. I’m honestly not sure why you have been/are sticking with me on this blog thing. I started the blog to show house stuff, then it turned in to pregnancy blog + c-section/vbac/birthy-stuff, then back into house stuff. I thought a couple times I’d try to do some clothing stuff but never stuck to that too well. I’ve mentioned our food allergies as well as home school. Then the blog turned into the lady who cries because she’s pregnant and sick, and then the lady who cries because her brother died. And then sort of the lady who’s still kind of doing house stuff, but still a mess. But I also have other random stuff in my head. I just don’t really know why anyone is here. So in my questioning state I’ve felt stumped on what to share. All my subject matter seems so random, I can’t figure out how anyone’s found a reason to stay.
     I mean, I get that this is my blog, so I can do whatever I want. (That’s kind of my style.) But currently I’m feeling kind of like I need to be my own parent (for lack of a better way to describe it.) I know I’m in a very strange emotional place, I feel like parts of me have gone back to childhood (makes sense with losing someone who was my childhood.) So part of me feels like I need to protect myself in a parental way. Like “Hey maybe you shouldn’t share that on the internet because when you "grow up” (aka get your normal brain back) you will think that shouldn’t be on the internet. Maybe hold your cards a little closer than normal. (I’m usual extremely honest and to me withholding doesn’t feel honest.) Just till you know your in a more regular mental state.”
     But mix that concept, into the questioning everything concept, and I often feel silent but full of words. I do want to be real, open and honest on here still. I still want to share. And that parental part of me thinks it’s fine to share about grief, or anything really, it just wants me to be careful while I’m vulnerable.

Anyway it’d be nice to have some direction just in knowing why you’re here.
And it’d be even more nice just getting to know “you guys.” :)

So if you ever were to comment, now would be the perfect time.

Thanks “guys” ;) for sticking with me through thick and thin.


  1. Replies
    1. Hmm, I’ve been getting a lot more spam lately…but I asked for more people’s responses this time around….so this comment has me stumped. It seems spamy -- but I gave it a mental go, trying to make a correlation between the lyrics and how they might be an answer to my question, but I didn’t find any. So, spam?

  2. Hi! the reason I found your blog was the hip clincher review (lol), and the reason I stayed was because I love following people in their pregnancies and parenting lives, I like seeing fitness before and afters and reviews of those products (like your beachbody stuff), so that's why I am here.

    1. Ok, Cool. I find it interesting, surprising even, that you’re still sticking with me -- as I have been sorely lacking on posts on essentially all of that. But I’m quite glad to have you. (If you are patient enough with me, I may finally catch my breath enough to venture back towards those kind of things again.)

  3. I found you via a Pinterest pin for your bra-adjusting tips, and stayed because I was intrigued by pregnancy and birth, yearning for my own baby. Your honesty and stream-of-consciousness style made me feel a personal connection, and now when I read your blog it feels like catching up with a friend. Hopefully that is no creepy, lol. I will probably keep reading your blog no matter what direction you go with it. Now that we are in our own place and acquiring new-to-us furniture I am going to be searching your archives for furniture refresh ideas in particular.

    Ps- I say you guys too. I'm originally from California. :-)

    1. Woohoo! Another "you guys"-er! I find this so great. I thought it was just us Chicago folk.
      I don't think that's creepy in the slightest. I think it's super sweet.
      If you ever want furniture thoughts, that's like my favorite past time. It's like my version of crossword puzzles -- brain storming furniture redos and design stuff. I'd be happy to throw thoughts your way, if you need any.

  4. I stumbled upon your blog just after my 2nd child was born. we had just moved,and I was reading all sorts of blogs. I was trying not to lose my mind being stuck in an unfamilier place with a toddler and a new born. i really liked the name of your blog, and the reasoning behind it. I like that it is real honest life. you helped me look beyond my struggles, to find something good. I can relate to a lot of what you post, even the randomness.

    1. Thank you for sharing, Breken. Wow yes, I was very much in the place a while ago (moved, second baby, trying not to lose my mind.) is that when we met maybe?
      I'm so glad to hear I helped you look towards something good. There have been times where I've felt like I never would find anything good to see, so I can worry I'm just spreading pessimism around. I actually find it really reassuring to hear your comment.

    2. My little one is 15 months on Saturday, so I've been following your blog for about 14. I can't remember what I was searching for that led to it, but I'm glad it did.
      Also I say you guys, and ya'll. I lived in Utah, then Florida, and now England.

    3. ❤️
      Ooo England -- I’ve always had a draw in my heart to go there at some point. (Haven’t so far.)

  5. I just like knowing what is going on with you and your family :)

  6. I'm from Australia so it's you guys all the way. I started reading while I was pregnant and was enjoying hearing your journeys. Very different to mine but good for perspective and remembering that we are all unique individuals who experience the world around us in our own way. I've stuck around because I find your take on life so very different to mine (even though we are in very similar circumstances) and it's good to shake my brain up and consider a wider perspective.

    1. I'm so excited to hear from so many people that "you guys" is their go-to statement. I had no idea it was so wide spread!
      I find this so interesting. Your comment makes me very curious to hear all about you, your circumstances, and your take, Ellee.

    2. My reality is not really all that interesting! I'm a stay at home mum with three kids like you although I think mine are a little older (they're 6,4 and almost 2) and all boys. I'd call myself an impulsive under thinker and extrovert. We live in a house we recently bought in a largish town in Australia and really should be fixing it up a bit but never seem to find the time or motivation to make things pretty! It's all about practical and functional here at the moment. Reading your blog encourages me to be a bit more patient and thoughtful.

  7. I found your blog on Pinterest from posts about pregnancy weight loss... The struggle is real! I love your house projects and I love your perspective on life. To be honest sometimes I enjoy reading it because it gives me a fresh perspective on life. I am pregnant with #4 and I was with you all through your last pregnancy and I can say " at least it wasn't as bad as Lydia's" (said in a the kindest most sympathetic way possible.)

    1. Pinterest is so randomly cool like that. I'd hardly think that was was pin worthy. But yes(!), the struggle is real! Sigh, Can't pinned-time count as good enough to get a free pass for this time? Ha! (Need to start again on that journey soon. Trying to gear myself up currently.)
      Congratulations on #4. When are you due? I hope it's going well, and can't hold a candle to mine. But yeah even the "easy" ones can have hardness. Growing a person is no joke. (I was just marveling over that this week, I've grown three people!!?!! That fact will never be in-amazing.)
      Thank you for sharing this with me. I find it so humbling to think my perspective could be enjoyed and help anyone. It means a lot to hear that.

  8. This is really the only blog that I read! I bookmarked your blog about 2 years ago when you were posting about getting back into shape. I think around the same time you were posting about the new house and I stuck around to see the transformations and as motivation to get back to working on my own house. I have had a rough couple of years myself and I think the consistency of your posts and your optimism and your willingness to keep trying kind of pushed me not to feel so helpless about my own life. I was heartbroken and prayed for you through your 3rd pregnancy and the subsequent losses in your family. I keep checking in on you now because I keep waiting for you to be okay again - I think I need to see you pick yourself up again, either because I've been around so long that I feel connected, or because it will show me that there's hope for me to get back to my pre-depression self, or who knows, maybe some other reason. Hopefully writing this blog has been as cathartic for you as it reading it has been for us. Hang in there Lydia, you are blessed, difficult as it may be to remember that these days. Thank you for letting us into your world.

    1. Wow Rachel, what moving words. I feel so honored to be any of that to you. And just completely humbled. I really had no idea anyone was really connecting with me in all this, I just kind of feel like a whiny lady blathering on. Your comment really does help me reframe myself and my life. So thank you for sharing that.
      I'm not sure all that you carry and the struggles you face but I'm cheering you on and you are now on my heart and in my prayers.

  9. Hi,Lydia,
    I stumbled across your blog almost 4 years (!) Ago now...I was pregnant with my second, due 7/2012 and had a surprise csection with my first in one in my "real life" really understood how I was feeling and I really related to your posts...I've admired your candor,honesty and sensitivity in each post. [Side note, had vbac with my second!!]
    Despite having very different lives, I think we've had similar emotions /reactions to some things (and some completely different! ) However, (and this is going to sound crazy) you helped me get through some tough times and made me feel less alone...what I've also learned about you from your blog is that you are very strong and very brave! Three kids, a husband AND homeschooling AND refurbishing projects! That's a lot and I've been impressed...I don't know if I'd be able to manage like you!
    It had been a few weeks since I had checked your blog and was truly shocked to hear about the loss of your brother. [Again, may sound crazy since I don't know you, but hard to explain ]
    I'm really sorry to hear about your loss...and grief...grief is a tricky thing...process...your post on it described it perfectly to me and the raw vulnerability that accompanies it. It brought me to tears...
    Obviously,the future of your blog is up to you, but if there's ever a doubt about it, know that you have (and still are) making a difference....and I'm sure there are people who feel similarly, but won't write in...
    Take care,Lydia and know that there are a lot of people out there who are rooting for you!
    PS:I'm from DC area and have always said "you guys" :-)

    1. Woohoo -- I had no idea “you guys” was so acceptable all over! That’s awesome!

      How cool is that? We were basically mirroring eachother’s pregnancies back then. It seems like we VBACed right about the same time.

      I’m so speechless to think I could help you with your tough times. I’m so glad. I just had no idea anyone was getting anything, I felt mostly like I was just talking into a vacuum for myself to hear -- I’m currently so overwhelmed to hear back from you and know my somethings meant something to your somethings.

      Thank you for thinking I’m strong and brave. I can’t say I’ve felt that much. But you are helping me reframe myself. That means a whole lot, especially right now.
      (By the way, I hope my honesty is honest enough, and you know that while I’m doing those things I’m not doing lots of other things (like ever putting away laundry, and a million other things.))

      Thank you for your sympathy and understanding. It is always so reassuring to find other people to tell you it's feel ok to feel the things you are feeling -- it makes the feelings more tolerable.

  10. Lydia, I found your blog when searching for info on bras. The reasons I stop by every so often to take a peek??

    1. You are GENUINE
    2. You keep going; putting one foot in front of the other (somehow) when faced with new found adversity and
    3. Yes, I do feel a connection to you.
    4. You seem FEARLESS (compared to me anyway)

    So, if all the genuine-ness that you exude through your words makes me feel like I have a connection to you--so be it. I enjoy seeing all your projects and hearing about your kids (aren't kids precious to remind us about the wonders of life).

    I'm orig from Central IL & it's always been "Hey, you guys". I relocated to Chicagoland in 1987 & been here ever since.

    I admire your ability to tackle all the things that have come your way. I'm envious of your ability to start & finish the decor projects (I'm frozen in that dept.)

    I've been stuck in various depths of grief--it's a changing process for all of us. When I heard about your brother, I added your sorrow to mine.

    I've never been pregnant, but I wanted 6 kids. I've got 2 grandkids (1 diagnosed w/autism spectrum & the other probably will be too). My brother is 11yrs younger than me--he was like my baby for many yrs.

    Ok--now I'm blathering--because it's late & it's past my bedtime, etc. Sorry.

    I'm not a participant in organized religion, but I would say I'm a spiritual person and truly believe we are all connected in ways that words fail to describe. I found your blog at a time when I really needed a friend (facing Mom's terminal rare disease) & couldn't be available to be a friend to anyone. I took care of her for 4 yrs. I"m still recovering from that--it hasn't been a full year since her death. I'm still "stuck"--not going out much; afraid to venture out for fear of ripping the scabs off my wounds of grief.

    Reading about all your adventures has given me a sense of what normal is like. Hope normal doesn't offend you. So, I couldn't relate personally to the pregnancy things, but I still enjoyed reading them. It's what makes you real as you build upon your experiences. I never have to "agree" 100% with someone to appreciate them.

    I'm battling my own life struggles: (will I ever work in my occupation again after years of long term family caregiving?), Aging, my completely malfunctioning stepdaughter/single mother, grandkids w/autism, my father's aging & paranoia, my sister-in-law friction, loss of a friend (lack of integrity on her part, not mine), financial woes, physical demands of the grief from losing 9 family members in 2yrs, etc. Now, my brain really hurts.

    But DO what you need to do for yourself at this stage in your life. You've got 3 beautiful & innocent lives in your hands that you have been given to help lift them up to become fully functioning exceptional human beings.

    Best Wishes, From: ChoklatSlutz on Facebook aka Deb

    1. Oh Thank you Deb (It’s nice to know your name now.) Whenever you comment I feel your genuineness right through the screen -- it’s always such a comfort.

      Thank you for thinking I am fearless. You may be surprised if you ever stepped foot into my mind -- it’s a roaring waterfall of fears. I just know I’d drowned if I listened to them all -- so I try to do my best to at least conquer some -- I most certainly don’t conquer them all. But your saying so sure does help me a lot -- I can get bogged down by the fears I haven’t conquered and forget the ones I have.

      Also -- please know I have like 75 non-finished house projects strewn about. They are not all finished. :) (It would take me too long to blog all the stuff I’m in the middle of/want to do/ partially do/can’t do…) But for me, crafts, and the like, have always been my thing -- as I kid I was always doing as many of them at once as my mom would let me. (And she’d always say “Don’t you want to finish any of these?” to which I’d reply by just begging for a new one to work on.) I think people come by certain things naturally, and it’s always good to both try to round yourself out a bit, but also to really just let your natural things be your go-tos. And then not get down on yourself for the stuff you can’t get to. (There are LOTS of things I am not good at -- basically anything resembling being a responsible adult -- bills, appointments, social events, etc. For those I just try to get by and lots of time it’s poorly, but those just aren’t my thing and I try not to get upset about it.) Anyway I say that because some of my friends I know in person get intimidated by my house-stuff, but I get intimidated by their strong points. We can’t be good at everything, just be our best at our bests. And it’s ok to ask someone who’s strong in what we are weak in for help.

      I’m not offended by “normal” being thrown at me -- it’s usually not -- so I’ll take it when I can get it. ;)

      I’m so glad I could be your friend. It’s such a sweet thing -- hearing that, knowing that.
      I know what you mean about the scabs. It’s really very hard to feel safe by people now. But some people have made me feel very safe -- and I know I can be by them. Other people make me feel very “yuck” and I’ve had to let go of the desire to be ok around them.
      Have you tried any grief groups? I haven’t, but I’ve been told they are very helpful. I’m weighing out my feelings on the matter. I’ve also recently started going to counseling, for the grief, but also for “the everything.” I didn’t realize that my (many?) insurance will help pay for that. I’ve only just started so I’m not sure what will come of it -- but I’m happy I’m taking that step.

      Anyway, thank you for all your sweet words (that you’ve ever shared with me) -- they really mean a lot to me.

    2. Ah, KINDNESS.

      I wanted to reply about the grief support groups. I suspect they are very helpful. I have been to a couple---but NOT for myself. (whaaat, she says?)

      I went for my (step) grandson and they were tailored especially for kids but included a separate time for parents/families as well. He lost his only other parental figure (his mother's mom). He introduced our family unit & informed everyone that I was his "replacement grandma". That was pretty humorous.

      I found them to be extremely helpful for him. I was amazed at the exercises they had the kids do; so therapeutic, uplifting & making sense of the senseless. We did an exercise where each child was supposed to say 1-2 things they missed the most about their loved one.


      When it came our turn, he "missed her making PB&J sandwiches" and THEN he poured his angst out saying how he has "searched everywhere, looking under every single blade of grass for her spirit and he cannot find it no matter how hard he tries"

      Seven years old. WOW

      While driving the other day, I (rather stupidly) asked him if he is ever sad that she is gone. He said "yes". I responded that I am sad about my mom too. (stupid because sometimes stuff just comes out of my mouth that shouldn't)

      Then he calmly explained, (get your tissues again!)

      "but they couldn't stay here anymore; they HAD to go because it HURT them to stay here (meaning their illnesses) and we will see them again one day."

      I struggled not to burst into tears. (Last time to EVER have that subject matter while driving!)

      I've had individual counseling before and it can be useful if you find the right person. I have seen 2 psychiatrists (post-divorce & post job loss) and they seem to cut thru the BS & get you back on track faster than psychologists (3 separate for previous marriage) in my opinion.

      Now, for some general rattlings:

      I have learned a ton of medical stuff (that's what you do when rare disease knocks on your door). I learned that most of the serotonin (feel good chemical) in your body comes from your intestines. So, I take a probiotic everyday (Culturelle or Align). It's not a major shift in my functioning, but enough to for me to notice when I miss a dose and enough to say I don't ever want to go without probiotics.

      I am also a firm believer that stress brings health malfunctions to center stage. We were told by a neuropsychiatrist that the stress in Mom's life brought her medical issues to a heightened level. And it warms my heart to hear that you are seeking attention for your "everything".

      You are teaching your children how important it is to care for yourself! That's something they will only get from you--one of the most impt people in their lives.

      AND HEY--you are only 9MOS out from your pregnancy? Cut yourself a break, girlfriend! I've read it takes 2 years for your body to FULLY recover (on all kinds of cellular levels) from being pregnant.

      I've learned the hard way; if you don't have health, you have NOTHING.

      Now for some happy sh*t:

      That baby boy is the cutest thing I have ever seen!!! Pure unadulterated JOY emanates from his eyes! I think he stole it from YOU! (wink)

      Ya must be doing something right (write)! hahahaha

      That's no fluke, Lydia, it's the loving environment he is in.


  11. Dear Lydia
    I think I found your blog when I was put on bedrest during my 2nd pregnancy. We go through similar things in life and we feel them in a similar way. From pregnancies to food allergies to passing away of family members. And we cope with them in a similar way. Btw I also switch between being heartbroken and interior decorating. I read your blog because I have not found anyone, whose way of thinking is more similar to mine than yours.

    1. Oh Eva -- I’m so sad to hear you’re traveling such a similarly hard path. But I’m happy to hear FROM you and then not feel so alone. (I love hearing you also switch between being heartbroken and interior decorating. That makes me feel super not alone.)
      I hope we can keep each other company. Thank you for reaching out!

  12. I found your blog just recently because I was looking for clothes to put on my own short-torso, hourglass, post-baby body. Note- I now own that wrap dress from Kohl's and it is amazing! I put a chambray shirt over the top and tie the waist into a knot. And you inspired me to actually buy booties, which I had been afraid to even try on before for fear of the short, stumpy leg effect. I appreciate that not only do you seem to be the only person on the entire internet addressing how to dress this body type fashionably and for a reasonable price. And I'm a data geek, so your attention to detail was right up my alley.

    So, in the posts I've read since, I've appreciated your breadth of topics and your honesty about life and grief.

    Btw-CA girl here and I'm not offended by "you guys." I use that and you all alternately, with a little "dudes" thrown in for a little CA culture. Y'all always has seemed most appropriate but since I'm not from TX I never feel I can use it genuinely.

    1. Yes! That makes me so happy to hear about the clothes and shoes! I seriously wear that dress non-stop. Anything event-y it’s been what I’ve worn, and to church all the time. And the boots too. Yay for detail lovers -- details are what make it all come together!
      And yay for more “you guys” -- I so pumped it’s so acceptable!
      Thank you for your sweet and great comment.

    2. Oh yeah, and thanks for teaching me that it's ok and even beautiful to show the bump- we've got awesome curves!

  13. Hi Lydia,
    I started reading your blog because I came across your c--section information. Then I read more about your girls, pregnancies and your daily home decoration. You seem like a normal mom, and I like to read how you handle it all. When I heard your brother passed and watching you grieve I felt for you. You show true emotion and I continue to read because I see you are handling things well. I like to read about other moms who like you are "real" It is interesting to me. Thank you for your blog.I really enjoy it.

  14. Hi Lydia,
    I read your blog all the way from Australia. I came across your blog when I was pregnant with my 5 th baby, she was born on the 2 nd of July 2015, so I have been reading for nearly 2 years now. I read your blog because I can really relate to the things you write, I also love watching all your decorating ideas. I feel like you are really down to earth and honest. It's hard to find blogs that are "real" they all seem so fake, don't you think? I NEVER comment on blogs( this is my first time), but I feel the need to let you know that I really love your blog I look forward to it every week. I think you blog touches more people than you realize. I am so sorry for the loss of your brother and my love and thoughts are with you often. Thank you for such a good read. Michelle xx

    1. Aw Michelle, thank you so much for commenting -- first one ever -- I’m feeling quite privileged here. Thank you so much for your sweet words -- they mean so much to me. I love hearing from moms with babies born around when mine were -- it feels like such a connection -- pregnancy is such a journey (no matter how it goes) it feels big to travel it next to other women. Thank you for letting me feel that link to you. ❤️


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