Wednesday, June 14, 2017

June Ipsy Bag | 2017

 


I'm still just as obsessed with Ipsy. I'm loving this bag, it's adorable. I also love that everything is black (yes, I'm aware the nail polish isn't, I'm ignoring it). Anyways, here's my list of everything in my June Ipsy Glam Bag. As always, if you want reviews on any of these products please leave me a comment down below and I will do one in a few weeks, you know after I've actually tried the product. (Don't expect one on the nail polish. I don't typically wear nail polish, especially if it's not black, but I did learn it is pregnancy safe so if it was black I would probably test it out.)

Want to get your own Ipsy subscription? CLICK HERE! (Affiliate Link)

Original Cost: £14 (about $17) for 9ml 

Original Cost: $54 for 17oz

Original Cost: $22

Original Cost: $22 for black and white eye primer duo
Also, if anyone knows how to open my Ipsy sample PLEASE let me know.

Original Cost: $21 


Friday, June 9, 2017

Summer Wishlist - Maternity Edition | Fashion & Beauty

What is up my friends?! How is the beginning of your summer going? Mine is filled with lots of work. And feeling my little girls kicking, which is super exciting. I'm in the process of redefining and changing up this blog, so slowly you'll see changes. I will be a mother come September/October so my mindset has changed, therefore, this blog will change. But it will still be about all the things that make me happy.

Like clothes.

For today's #FashionFriday I have made my summer clothing wishlist! Now, these are all maternity clothes, so if you're not pregnant, I'm sorry to not cater to you too. Next year you'll get your shot. All of these are shoppable if you click on them and all are under $50 (which is kind of difficult to do, but it's been done).

So enjoy shopping some of my summer maternity favorites!



By clicking and purchasing from the above links you are helping me receive a small commission to go towards my twin girls. Thank you! 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

2017 [Pregnant] Summer To-Do List | DIYs


It was less than a month ago Chris and I were at a Real Salt Lake game and it was snowing. Now it's averaging 80 degrees every day. Utah weather is so weird.

But summer is here and I'm so grateful that it's finally warm outside! I get to spend this summer pregnant with my twin girls. I'm so happy that I get to start my family that it's easy to ignore the fact that my summer plans aren't what they normally would be.

Here is a list of my summer plans. If you're not pregnant, I'm sure there are a lot more adventures you'll be going on, but if you are pregnant, maybe my list will give you some extra ideas on how to have a little bit more fun when you're uncomfortable and dying of heat.



2017 SUMMER TO-DO LIST!!
BBQMini Golf
Be spontaneousMovie in the park
BowlingOutdoor yoga
BubblesPick flowers
CampfirePicnic
Chalk DrawingsPool Day
ConcertRead books
DIY spa dayRoadtrip
Drive-in movieRodeo
Explore SLCRoot beer floats
Farmer's MarketSkip rocks
Figure 8 RaceSnow cones
Find an ice cream truckStar gazing
Finish a puzzleTake more pictures
FireworksTry a new recipe
Go fishingTry new restaurants
Go to a ParadeVisit a garden
Go to the fairVisit a museum
Lake/Beach dayWatch the sunset
Make a pizzaWaterpark
Make lemonadeWrite poetry
Make popsiclesYard Sales
Make summer wreath

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

May Ipsy Bag 2017








Hi friends! Here is a list of all the products in my May Ipsy Glam Bag! I will be doing a comprehensive review on Ipsy as a subscription that should be coming out soon, so please come back for that if you've ever considered getting Ipsy for yourself. This post is a no-frills kind of post, but I hope you enjoy it anyways!








Sunday, May 14, 2017

Thoughts On Mother's Day


Happy Mother's Day to all the moms, future moms, and women who have influenced someone else (yes, that counts). This marks the first year my husband gave me something for Mother's Day: white roses and "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" the movie, because, let's be honest, he's been rereading all the Harry Potter novels and he's a bit obsessed at the moment. But I appreciate the gift, all the same, I love the movie too.

I remember last year Mother's Day was very different. I had lost my child months prior, had been trying desperately to get pregnant again, to no success, and was absolutely devastated that I wasn't a mother. In my younger years, I was the type of girl who dreamed of being a mother, of taking care of my children. I was not the type of girl who dreamed of who I would marry. I wanted a family, I wasn't desperately looking for a man. I knew, even at a young age, that the man I marry would have to be a good father, and would want a family as much as I do.

Good thing the Lord led me to my soulmate, who hit all my qualifications and more.

I've now been married to my soulmate for four years. Which, when you believe that you are sealed together for eternity, doesn't seem like very long, but at the same time, it's a fairly long time in our current society. Chris is my best friend, and over the past four years, our marriage and friendship have continued to grow. I'm a huge fan of that Brad Paisley song, "Then", which states "And I thought I loved you then." The day I got married, four years ago, I didn't think it was possible to love Chris more, but I find my love for him grows stronger every day.

And now, here we are, months away from becoming a couple with a dog to a family of four. Having twins was completely unexpected, yet at the same time, when I heard the news, it just felt right. I am always amazed at the path my Father in Heaven has set for me. I lost a child and was heartbroken over it. And while nothing can replace that child, I now get two at once to help make up for lost time with my first. They say a woman becomes a mother when she gets pregnant, well I first got pregnant in July of 2015, so I am ready to be a mother. 

And I know that having twins will be a struggle. Money has always been an issue as I am still struggling to figure out exactly what I want to do with my life. Being pregnant with twins is already making me miserable, and I'm not even halfway through my pregnancy. Caring for two kids, no, two babies can't be the easiest feat when I've never had a child of my own before. Yet I have been filled with so much peace and confidence, that I barely even worry. 

I know the reason I am so confident to become a mother, is because of the many women who have been mothers to me in my life and their influence on me. 

Growing up LDS, I had my ward family. I had primary and young women's leaders who were like second mothers to me. And they still are. There is a whole group of women in my parent's neighborhood who love and support me. When I moved back into my parent's home last September, I began to realize how much I love these women, how much they love me, and how much they support and influence my life. They have always encouraged me to do my best, to be my best self, and to live my dreams. These women supported me and showered me with gifts as I was getting married four years ago. They were excited when I first got pregnant and showed me all the love and heartbreak of a true friend when I miscarried. And now, as I am expecting my twins, they want to again shower me with gifts and love because they are the secondary mothers that helped raise me. 

I love these women and the way they have shaped me into who I am. Just this last week I watched as many of them first learned about my twins. One even cried, coming up to me, and told me how grateful she was for God's hand in my life. These women want the best for me, even after years of living away from them. They are my other mothers and I love them and am truly grateful for them. 

I grew up in the dance world. And while "Dance Moms" may get a bad rap on TV, there were many dance moms and teachers who helped me through my life. I believe that as a child, I had a hard time recognizing my depression because dance made me so happy. And through the dance community, I had a group of women, and fellow dancers, who helped me when I needed them. Particularly in college, when I was away from home, my dance coaches were like my other parents. They cared about me and pushed me to be my best. When they came to my wedding I was both shocked and thrilled. These were people who helped me through my first few years of college. They were my other parents, my college mother, and I have so much love and appreciation for them. 

Despite my hatred of high school, I have a particular love for the women who were my English teachers. I want to be a writer, and it's not an easy path. But I had so many wonderful teachers who believed in me and my writing. They supported me and my future career. They taught me the foundation that could lead me to success. I never believe I thanked them enough, and when I got to college and realized my professors weren't nearly as supportive as my high school teachers, my love for those few teachers grew even more. These were all women who had thousands of students passing through their classrooms, but they took time, even just a little bit, to tell me that I could succeed, that I had potential, and that, if I continued to learn, I could achieve my dreams. 

Throughout my life, I've had two extra mothers, my Nana and my Grandma. Both of these women raised their children with such love and respect, believing in their children and supporting them through it all. As their granddaughter, I've gotten a lot of this same love and support. As a child, I remember the excitement of exploring my Nana's backyard and the fun when had doing crafts together. My Nana taught me to find the beauty in little things, as we turned pinecones into a work of art. Four years ago my Grandma moved to Utah to be closer to my mom and aunt. Over the past few years, my relationship with my Grandma has continued to grow. Her excitement for the small accomplishments I achieve make me feel proud of myself. She believes in me, as does my Nana. Both my grandmothers, while not being my real mothers, are extra mothers to me. They show me all the love and support of my real mother and I've had a lifetime of their motherly love, and could not be more grateful for them. 

Four years ago I gained a new family, a family that was so easy to love as much as my own. In my marriage, I gained another mother. My mother-in-law is an incredible mother. The love that she has for each of her boys has been an incredible thing for me to watch and to learn from. And that I get the spoils of that motherly love as well, blesses my life and my marriage immensely. This is a woman who believes in God through everything and asks for his help through even the smallest of things. She influences me to trust in God more, even when I am at my worst. When I lost my child, she lost a grandchild, and she shared in my heartbreak. She gave me a beautiful painting of Jesus holding a child, and while the artist didn't paint it for me, I see that painting and know that my lost child is with Jesus, that they are protected and loved. 

I love the man that I married and I know that he is the person he is today because of his parents, because of his mother. I am so grateful to my mother-in-law for the man that she raised. I am treated like a queen on a daily basis. Chris didn't have any sisters, all he knew about relationships with women was built in his relationship with his mom, and I am continually amazed at the person that she has shaped him to be. I love my official second mother and the support and love that she gives me and my husband. She cares for me just as much as she does her own children and I love her with all of my heart.

It is impossible for me to love another woman the way I do my own mom, though. 

My mom has helped saved my life. In high school, when I was suicidal, my mother found my diary and learned of the pain I was going through. She wrote me a letter, a letter I still have to this day, that changed my perspective. My mom is my greatest hero. I've watched her go through trials and come out on top. She is such a hard worker and has done so much for her children. She loves each of her children and wants them to be their best. She believes in us and wants us to be happy, but has helped let us know that happiness cannot always come easily. 

My siblings and I were raised in the church, and while I myself have had my struggles staying in the church, as I am finding my way back, I realize what a blessing it was to grow up in. I would not have had my ward mothers without the church, I would not have been the person that I am, and being doing the things I'm doing with the church, and, most important, I would not be with my soulmate without the church. I cannot thank my mother enough for raising us as Latter-Day Saints. I would not be who I am without it, I would not have survived my depression, my miscarriage, without it. And while being a member of the LDS church has never been easy for me, I know that it's the right path for me, and my mother helped keep me on that path. I could not image raising my children without the gospel. As my twins are on their way, I'm putting more focus on the church because my children need it as much as I did, and I'm grateful for my mom for teaching me that. 

My mother is already spoiling my twins and I'm so happy that I'll be the first to make her a grandmother. I'm also grateful for the way she raised her own children to be best friends. My sister and brother are my best friends, and I hope and pray that I can be like my mother and create strong friendships between my own children. I want to be a mom like my own mother. I want my children to have the same love and support that my mother always gave me. I want to be able to teach my children about life the way that my mom did. I want to be the same mother to my children as my mother was to me. For me, there is no greater mother to influence me. 

As I am on my path to becoming a mother to two children, I am influenced by the many mothers in my life; ward members, neighbors, dance coaches, teachers, friend's mothers, grandmothers, in-laws, and my own mother. These are all women who made me who I am. These are all my mothers and I wish each of them a happy Mother's Day, and hope they know how much I love them all and how I am striving every day to take the lessons they taught me, to become a wonderful mother for my own children. 

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Four Years

Photo courtesy of Mariah Mae Films


Chris,

Happy four years of marriage to my best friend. Four years ago I could have never pictured what our lives would be like now. Through every trial, every heartache, every fight, you've made me laugh through it all. Together we've gone through a lot of pain in our short marriage together, but we're the perfect team, and you are the one I always want by my side through the good times and the bad. I'm so happy that we're months away from starting our family on earth. I know you'll be a great dad to the twins... you're already a master at the lame dad jokes. You're such a hard worker, so strong, so brave, and you treat me like a princess. I would say four years ago today was the best day of my life, but honestly, every day with you just gets better and better. I love you more than I can explain. You are my life. Happy anniversary baby!!

Kaylee



Thanks Mariah for these photos! You're amazing and I absolutely love these!

Friday, April 14, 2017

My Snow White Skirt | Fashion Friday








OUTFIT DETAILS:
Shirt: Forever 21
Shoes: Ross


Wow, looking at these photos I can't believe I thought I looked fat. Especially now that I'm 14 weeks pregnant with twins and have a real belly now. I took these photos months ago and recently found them on my camera and decided to post them because I am obsessed with this skirt. I got it for Christmas from my mom after she saw me fall in love with it at Kohls. It's part of their Lauren Conrad/Disney Snow White collection. Unfortunately, this skirt is not available anymore. But they do have another super cute one still available and that's the one linked above.

I also just love my hair in these photos. I hope my pregnancy sickness goes away and I can start doing more with my hair again because currently, I'm just too tired and lazy.

Below I've linked some other amazing tulle or tulle-similar skirts (as always, $50 or less) because I grew up in ballet and tulle is like my life. (Did you ever see my wedding dress??) I really want to make a tulle skirt of my own, but I'm just so lazy. I also I'm really hoping at least one of my babies is a girl so I can make them tutus all the time. I'm good at tutus.



Sunday, April 9, 2017

One Year | A Letter To My Miscarried Child

Dear Lil Pumpkin,

Today would be your first birthday. When your dad and I discussed that the other day we were both amazed. We couldn't picture ourselves as parents to a one-year-old.

It's amazing what I year can do. A year ago I was still suffering, still crying on a daily basis from losing you, lost to my religion, lost to any direction in my life, and broken, seemingly beyond any repair.

Now a year later, I hardly ever cry, despite thinking of you on a daily basis, I'm stronger in my religion than I have been in years, I have a new job, new life goals, and I am pregnant with your younger sibling.

At thirteen weeks I am still terrified of what might happen. I was fifteen weeks when I found out I had lost you. Your Aunt was much further along when she lost your cousin Jamison. I don't see pregnancy as a guarantee and I'm constantly worried about what might happen.

I don't believe I could survive another miscarriage. Not now at least. I was meant to have a one-year-old by now, but I don't. I was meant to be a mother for a year now, but I'm not. And I still have to wait until October to become one.

I have so many fears with this pregnancy. What if I lose this one too? What do I say when people ask if this is my first? Do I talk about you? What if I begin to forget about you? Will this child be healthy? Will they survive? How could I possibly cope with losing another child?

I hope to never, not even for a day, forget about you. You are my first child, my angel child. I had prayed and waited a year for you. I prayed daily that you would be healthy and safe, and came to terms with the fact that you would be safer and healthier if you never came to earth.

Not a day has passed since you left that I haven't thought about you. Every holiday over the past year I thought about how different our celebrations would have been with you there. I miss you and I hope you know I could never replace you, but I need a child. One I can hold and care for.

I'll always love you. I'm grateful for the time I had with you. And I'm grateful that I get another opportunity to become a mother on earth.

Watch over all your siblings until it's their time to come. I know you're a great big sibling.

Love,

Your Mother

Sunday, April 2, 2017

General Conference April 2017 Thoughts

Hello, friends! This post is going to be a bit of a mess. I'm going to just type up thoughts and quotes while watching General Conference. I'll clean it up the best I can before posting it Sunday night, but these will be the things that stick out to me the most while watching/listening.

I rarely do this, but I'm trying something new. Oh, I did not listen to Women's Conference so that's not on here. I hope to listen to it soon. Thank you to the LDS Conference Twitter page for the images I've shared as well.  Enjoy!

SATURDAY MORNING SESSION



Pres. Henry B. Eyring - "Gathering the Family of God"

-The names 'Brother and Sister' are more than just terms of endearment. 
-We accepted Heavenly Father's plan and accepted the sacrifice with a promise to obey the commandments. 
-Family history has made a big increase in recent years. 
-"God knew that you would be drawn to your ancestors in love."


MY THOUGHTS: As I have since my miscarriage, when I hear a talk on family and the importance of raising children, I tend to zone out. But I do love the quote above. All families are different and imperfect, including my own, but I was so blessed to have parents who love me unconditionally and have shown me throughout my life what true love really is. 

Brother M. Joseph Brough - "His Daily Guiding Hand"

-God has created a "care package" to help us return to him. 
-Never disregard the counsel of your bishop. They are there to guide us. 
-More import than words is our example of living the gospel. 


MY THOUGHTS: I love the idea that scriptures, family, friends, and the church are all a "care package" that God has given us to help us survive the trials of life. That's probably my favorite metaphor ever. He knows exactly what we need and he provides us with everything we need to return to him and to find happiness. He is the source of all the tools we need to live a rich and fulfilling life. 

Elder Weatherford T. Clayton - "The Plan of Salvation"

-If we repent, we suffer less. 
-"Even in our moments of deepest grief, in the moments when time stands still and life seem unfair, we can find comfort in our Savior because he suffered as well."
-"Come and live a happy Christ filled life."


MY THOUGHTS: Honestly, I didn't listen to this one as much. But the last quote that I wrote, "Come and live a happy Christ filled life" speaks to me. I have referred a lot lately to a quote by Al Carraway, "With God, life is oh so good!" It's one of my daily mantras. We can only find real happiness through Christ. 

Elder Dale G. Renlund - "Our Good Shepherd"

Monday, March 27, 2017

Will Blogging Ever NOT Be Hard For Me?

That's a serious question. I want a serious answer. For reals, I make all these goals, I set plans, schedule posts, have a ginormous list of posts I want to write, and then I still go over a month without posting. Will blogging ever become easy for me? And if so, how do I speed up that process?

Despite having a freaking long list of posts, I'm in a writer's rut. I can't even get myself to work on Heroes & Villains which has an actual deadline and is insanely important to me. If anything, that should be my focus, but I can't even bring myself to do that.

I've also filmed quite a few videos to put on my YouTube channel, but once I get to editing, I panic that they aren't good enough and just discard them. They still exist, but will probably never be posted for public viewing.

I'm just stuck between my high expectations and reality. See, I have a very, very vivid imagination, which I love and I think that's what allows me to be a writer. But in my imagination, I see myself as a successful blogger, YouTuber, and writer. And when I realize that I started my blog four years ago and nothing has come of it, I get insanely discouraged.

I've never been the type of person who always believes in myself. In fact, I've spent many years of my life struggling with self-loathing. I am so good at putting myself down and making myself believe that no matter how hard I try, I won't amount to anything. I started writing stories at the age of 10. Freaking ten years old! I'm now 26 and have nothing to show for it but Heroes & Villains (which, again, I'm very proud of, but still, it's not a published book).

Let's not forget that life gets in the way. I would love to travel and do more posts about that, but I've never had a job that allows that. And I hope to someday be able to blog as my job in order to do that, but how do I get there if I'm always at jobs that keep me from blogging?

I know I'm overthinking it. I think that's a family trait. But I can't help that I get so caught up in what I want that I can't see the present for what it could be. I can imagine blogging as a career all I want, but unless I take the time today to do something about it, that dream will never come true.

I want to rebrand a bit, change what kinds of posts I do. I think that giving myself a more specific niche will help me to actually blog.

I've read dozens of blog posts about "How to be a Successful Blogger" or "How to Make a Career From Blogging" and I keep looking at those posts as things that I can do in the future. But I need to start looking at them as things I can do now. I'm certain I could make my dreams a reality if I just learn to stop being lazy, stop thinking about the unrealistic future, and focus on what I can do now.

I am honestly, probably one of the laziest people you will ever meet. Today I didn't leave my bed all day. I didn't even take my dog outside to let him pee. Granted, I am also sick so there was a slight necessity to my laziness, but even I am getting to a point where I'm sick of my own laziness.

And instead of lying in bed listening to podcasts (I personally love Not Too Deep with Grace Helbig) and watching YouTube videos (I think my Thatcher Joe obsession is getting to be a little bit too much) why didn't I just work on one of the many blog posts I have planned? Even if it doesn't get posted for a while, why didn't I just start?

I don't really know what this post is about, other than letting you know how much of a failure I often believe I am, but I hope (and I can only hope) that this post leads to more soon. Better ones. Much better ones. In fact, I have a good one coming in a few weeks. It's currently my only planned post, I'm very excited for it, but after it's posted I don't really know what else to do.

Anyways, I should end this post now before I embarrass myself too much because, quite honestly, I'm embarrassed to admit all this. Especially the thing about not letting my dog out to pee. In my defense, Zoram laid around and slept all day with me. He didn't whine or show any signs of needing to go until I started putting shoes on to pick up my husband from work. But I am sorry Zoram. I love you very much and I know you can't read, but I hope you can find it in your little heart to forgive me.

And to end this post here's a picture of my adorable dog.


Oh... And this picture was taken on the bathroom floor of my new apartment... which I never mentioned on here that I moved and barely even said it on social media. I'm failing. Sorry.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

My Testimony


I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

At the age of seventeen, I was horribly, dangerously depressed. It wasn't a new feeling. I remember being a kid in elementary school and crying on the playground. I never knew why, there never was a reason, and I never told anyone. Somehow, as a child, I already was conditioned to believe that crying was a sign of weakness, so I did not tell anyone what I was feeling.

No one knew what I was going through.

I had gotten a recommend from my bishop months prior to the age of seventeen that would allow me to get my patriarchal blessing. And at the push of my parents, I made an appointment to go. I was at a terrible time in my life and my depression was at its worst. I was lost, broken, and felt that there would never be any hope, and light left in my life. My soul was slowly dying and I had no way of stopping it.

No one knew what I was going through.

And yet, there I sat with a priesthood leader's hands on my head and I listened to him give me a blessing. A blessing with words of advice that no one should have known. I had never told a single soul what I was going through. The only one capable of knowing was my Father in Heaven. My prayers for help had been heard and I was getting an answer.

My testimony is that God hears us and knows us.

I wish that after an experience like that I could say I've never fallen away. But depression is a disease that distorts the mind. It makes me believe that I am useless, that my life will never amount to anything, that I am ugly, fat, that I have no friends, that no one loves me, that I will never be happy again. Depression distorts my thinking. Depression has often made me believe that my Father in Heaven does not love me. That the pain I feel, that the terrible things that happen in my life, are because I am unloved.

This is not true.

Depression is a product of Satan. He is the one who distorts my thinking and makes me think the way I do. I am in a war against Satan and his games and unfortunately, I have lost many battles. My testimony of the gospel of Christ is not strong. Never has been. But I have never given up.

Because God knows me and listens to me.

He knows that I am struggling, that each of us has struggles and hard times. He hears us when we pray to Him. He has a plan for each of us. It is up to us to trust His plan, to trust in Him to guide us where we need to go. It's hard to hear Him sometimes, or all the time, but we can never give up on Him, because He will never, EVER, give up on us.

He loves each and every one of us.

I can't guarantee I won't fall away again. Being a member of the church is the absolute hardest commitment for me and I have to consciously think about it every day. Some people make it look so easy. For me, it never has been. But I know what he has done for me in the past, and I can never deny it. And by always remembering that I have always found my way back.

A testimony is like a plant.

It takes constant work to nourish and maintain. Plants need sunlight, water, and good soil. Testimonies need study, prayer, and an open heart. Keeping a testimony strong takes effort. If your testimony begins to fade, you can always get it back. Some people have bigger testimony plants than others, some people only have the seed, but in the eyes of God, it doesn't matter. Because if we have something, He will help us. He is the ultimate gardener, and He will show us what to do.

My testimony is only a seed.

I hurt all the time. I am constantly fighting. My life is a struggle and being a member of the Church is a commitment I sometimes cannot find possible. But my Father in Heaven makes up the difference and shows me the right way. My testimony is only a seed, but it's growing, it has potential. And that is all that is truly important.

I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

And I know that it is true.

_________________________________________________________

If any of my readers are curious about the LDS church, Mormon.org is a great resource to learn about what we believe, and find people in your area to teach you more. I am happy to send a Book of Mormon to any of my blog readers who want one. Email me at thedancingcowblogger@gmail.com if you are interested. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Bows









OUTFIT DETAILS

SHIRT:  Store: Ross, Brand: Siren Lily Maternity
SKIRT: Store: ???, Brand: Promesa
SHOES: Store: Ross, Brand: White Mountain

Yay! Fashion Friday! I love this outfit and a wear it a lot. It's a go-to dress up outfit for me because it's actually super comfortable and looks great. Please ignore how pale my legs are. It's winter. Forgive me. Also, it was not warm enough for me to not be wearing no coat or tights, but I sacrifice my warmth for fashion photos. Yep.

Fun fact, this top is a maternity shirt that my mom bought for me back when I was pregnant in 2015. I'm in love with this shirt and it looks great, pregnant or not. So it's a win all the way around. I'm loving my hair in these photos. I'm trying to find more ways to make my hair look naturally wavy, but I can't figure out how without using heat all the time. My hair is so fried.

Anyways, I did take a couple different outfit photos on the same day so my hair and makeup will be the same in the next few #FashionFriday posts, but considering I do the same thing most days anyways it's not too far off from my real life. I'm trying to do weekly outfit posts so we'll see how it goes.

Love this outfit. Love you guys. See you soon!


SIMILAR SHIRTS UNDER $50


Sunday, February 12, 2017

How To Be Happy



I'm sorry to disappoint, but I don't have the answer. I can't tell you how to be happy when happiness is something that often evades me. But that doesn't mean I don't continue to try and find happiness. Nor does it mean that I can't help you find happiness as well.

See, happiness is often said to be a decision. We are often told that if we want to be happy, then we can make ourselves happy. But as someone with depression, I have to say that's bull. Happiness is something I work so hard for, yet I often fall short. And it's not because I didn't decide to be happy, it's because depression distorts my mind.

Happiness is not just a decision. It takes work sometimes. If happiness is something that you want in your own life, here are a couple of things you can do to help find happiness in your own life.

1. Read positive daily mantras

I recently created a note on my phone with my mantras. I read these every morning and every night. I also read them when I feel I need a pick-me-up. When I move into my apartment I plan to hang these on my bathroom mirror so I automatically see them in the morning when getting ready and at night while brushing my teeth..

Your mantras should relate to you personally. Scoure the internet, Pinterest, music, books, whatever to help you find a few short sentences that will lift you up and make you want to be better.

Here are my current daily mantras. I'm sure this list will change at many times in my life, but here is what I need in my life currently:

"With God life is oh so good!" 
(This is a quote by Al Carraway, my current blogger obsession.)

You are perfect, God makes no mistakes.

"Who you are is not where you've been."
(This is from an amazing Taylor Swift song called "Innocent." I would link the quote to my Spotify, but T-Swift took her songs off Spotify, something I can never forgive her for.)

You are beautiful, inside and out.

"Do you like the person you've become?" 
(This is from my theme song for the year, "The Weight of Living: Part II" by Bastille. Read about why it's my theme song by CLICKING HERE.)

I am a warrior.
(This relates to my tattoo. Read about why I got my tattoo by CLICKING HERE.)


By reading these mantras daily, I find happiness comes a bit easier. Repetition helps us learn, and repetition can help us to think more positively. 


2. Have faith

Whether it's faith in God, faith the sun will rise, faith that things can't get any worse, having faith will bring you happiness. We as humans need something to believe in. We wouldn't get up in the morning and commute to a job we dislike if we didn't have faith that it will bring us money or something better in the future. We always believe in something. 

For anyone new to my blog, in November 2015 I had a miscarriage and lost my first child. Without faith, I would have never survived that experience. My heart still aches when I think about it and I still cry over my lost child often, but I have faith that I will see my child again and that someday, somehow, I will be able to become a mother. 

When you are feeling low, and happiness is too difficult to find, figure out what it is that you have faith in. Do you have faith that you will survive the pain? Do you have faith that you are loved? Do you have faith that you will be successful? Take that faith, cling to it, and you will make it through whatever trial you're going through. 

3. Find the things that make you happy...

For a while I did "Happy Tuesday" posts, where I literally just listed the things that had made me happy the previous week. The act of writing down what made me happy, made me feel happier. It was often the littlest things that brought me the most happiness. 

Here are a few examples of the things that make me happiest:

Dancing. Music. Cows. Writing. Notebooks. Zoram Gerrard. My husband. Reading. Makeup. Food. Sugary food. Rain. How To Train Your Dragon. Binge watching TV shows on Netflix. Pinterest. And more. 

I recently found a Tumblr post (which is now lost in the internet world) that said something along the lines of, there is no excuse too small to not commit suicide. At the age of 17 I was suicidal. I survived for various reasons, but one of the main ones was that I knew my family loved me, and I refused to hurt them, even if it meant I was suffering myself. 

Also at the age of 17 I met an incredible friend by the name of Colton. He was the first person I ever told about my depression. He invented Happy Tuesdays with me and every Tuesday we would hang out together. I looked forward to my Tuesdays every week to be with the person who made me laugh the most. Tuesdays became one of my small reasons to not commit suicide. 

Everyone finds happiness in different ways and I encourage each one of you to find what makes you the happiest and go out and do it. (Unless it's illegal, maybe don't do that, maybe find something that's morally good as well as happy. Just a thought.)

(If any of you are contemplating suicide, please check out the resources in THIS POST for help. You can also email me at thedancingcowblogger@gmail.com if you need someone to talk to. I'm here for you. I know what it's like, you are not alone, and you can find help and you will survive.)

4. ...And get rid of the things that bring you unhappiness

This past year I moved from Logan to the Salt Lake Valley to live with my parents. Did I ever expect, or want, to be twenty-six years old, married, and living in my parent's basement? Not really. But I left Logan because I was unhappy. Logan had become the place I dropped out of college, the place I lost my child, the place so many bad things had happened to me, and I just couldn't take it anymore. 

Could I have waited until we could afford an apartment of our own? Sure. But I was unhappy and needed to do something about it right away. So I did. I was offered a job and I got out of Logan as fast as I could, with my supportive husband by my side. 

There are certain things we can't just get rid of immediately. I would like someday to be a full-time blogger and writer, no longer having to work for companies. Quitting my job and dedicating my life to writing would make me happy, but the stress of unemployment and struggling for money means that I have to endure and have faith (ah ha, see, #2 totally is important) that what I am doing now will help me to get where I want to be. 

But any of the little things in your life that are bringing you down you need to get rid of. This can be done in many different ways. For example: Do you have a friend who is constantly bringing you down? Maybe it's time to find a new friend. Does your weight make you unhappy? Put in the work to get rid of it and become stronger.  Do you not feel comfortable in your wardrobe? Sell it and buy new clothes. Does college make you absolutely miserable? Maybe you need a break, or a different major, or a different location. 

If you want to be happy you have to put in the work and that includes staying away from whatever brings you down. 

5. Build strong relationships

I cannot imagine my life without Chris. He is my soulmate, best friend and everything in between. He is many times the only reason I find the strength to get up in the morning. He gives me so much love and he only wants me to be happy. My relationship with my husband is a strong bond that I never expected was possible. 

If my husband is not around and I just need someone to hug, who loves me, and is always happy to see me, I turn to Zoram Gerrard, my dog. Zoram is such a snuggler and his snuggles often bring a smile to my face even in the darkest of times. 

But most importantly, the relationship I turn to most when I am feeling unhappy or weak, is my relationship with my Father in Heaven. I know that my Father in Heaven knows every pain that I am going through, he has a plan for my life, he does not want me to suffer, and if I rely on him and trust in him, then I can be happy. 

I have so many wonderful relationships in my life with my parents, siblings, friends, and coworkers. Building these relationships brings me happiness. As I mentioned before, I would never do anything to hurt my family. I put them above myself. Their happiness means to world to me. And more often than not, when we work to make other people happy, we find happiness ourselves. 

Whether your strongest relationships are with family, friends, spouses, God, or even your pet, build up that relationship until you cannot break it. That person then becomes your rock, someone you can turn to when you need help. I promise you that everyone has someone in their lives that loves them. Love them back, with all you have, and you will find happiness through each other. 


What in your life brings you the most happiness? 
Let me know in the comments below! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

I Am Still Living



I am still living. 

I have been suicidal. 

I have cut myself, burned myself, made myself bleed, made myself cry. 

I have hated myself, brought myself down. 

I have lost a child and not been able to have another. 

I have lost my religion and found my way back again. 

I have sabotaged my own happiness. 

I have torn down my self esteem and fought to get it back.

I have driven into the night not knowing if I would return. 

I have starved myself.

I have screamed, cried, and questioned why I feel this way.

I have had darkness take over, consume by body. 

I have given in.

I have let myself break, I have given up. 

I have fought back.

I have lived with depression for as long as I can remember.

I have coped, I have fallen, and done everything in between.

I have prayed.

I have turned to Christ.

I have become a warrior.

I have turned to family and friends.

I have cried in my husband's arms. 

I have hated the world that doesn't seem to understand. 

I have hated myself. 

I have told myself things would be better more times than I can count. 

I have found happiness and lost it again. 

I have been strong and I have been weak. 

I have been emotional. 

I have started a day positive only to fall apart by the end. 

I have given up. 

I have made goals. 

I have become a different person, time and time again. 

I have depression. 

And I am still living. 


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Why I, As A Mormon, Chose to Get a Tattoo

 


No one can ever call me a perfect Mormon and I'm not even that close to the top. I've made so many mistakes. I've allowed myself to fade away multiple times. I've never actually completed reading the Book of Mormon all the way through. I always forget to pray. And my testimony of the gospel is not the strongest.

That being said, I've never completely fallen away either. I was lucky to have an experience at the age of 17 that ensured that I could never deny God or leave the church for good. I believe the God, I believe the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the truest gospel on the earth today, and I love the teachings and blessings that I receive when I do attend.

But as someone who suffers from depression on a daily basis, being a member of the church can be incredibly difficult.

My depression is a full blown, daily struggle, daily having to remind myself to be happy. And I know I'm not the only one who feels this way.

A month or so before I met my husband, I was at a very difficult point in my life. And in a moment of weakness and loss of control, I took my hair straightener and pressed it against my left arm, leaving burns.

This wasn't my first instance of self-harm, and it wasn't the last either. Only the largest and most significant. In high school I spent nights with tweezers, picking at my legs until they bled. In college, I used my razor on my wrists. And after getting married, I used my own fingernails to scratch at my arms till they were raw and almost bleeding.



Growing up LDS, I was always taught my body is a temple. We are meant to love and protect our bodies the way we would the temple. But the distortion that depression causes, has never allowed me to fully grasp this concept.

For me, my body, my skin, is the thing that holds in all the darkness, the depression. When I cut myself, it was because I needed to feel real pain, to see an actual wound, to be able to put a band-aid over it and know that it would heal. Depression, the darkness inside of me, doesn't heal. I can't put a band-aid on it, I can't control it, I can't stop it when it comes.

There are ways to ease my depression, but it's still invisible. Treating an invisible wound isn't the same as one you can see. At my weakest points, I needed a visible wound to help me feel like I was in control again. If I couldn't see the pain I was feeling, I would make pain I could see.

A few years ago I found a song by my idol, Demi Lovato. The song is called "Warrior" and the moment I heard it, it changed my life.


This is a story that I have never told
I gotta get this off my chest to let it go
I need to take back the light inside you stole
You're a criminal
And you steal like you're a pro

All the pain and the truth
I wear like a battle wound
So ashamed, so confused
I was broken and bruised

Now I'm a warrior
Now I've got thicker skin
I'm a warrior
I'm stronger than I've ever been
And my armor is made of steel, you can't get in
I'm a warrior
And you can never hurt me again

Out of the ashes, I'm burning like a fire
You can save your apologies, you're nothing but a liar
I've got shame, I've got scars
That I will never show
I'm a survivor
In more ways than you know

Cause all the pain and the truth
I wear like a battle wound
So ashamed, so confused
I'm not broken or bruised

'Cause now I'm a warrior
Now I've got thicker skin
I'm a warrior
I'm stronger than I've ever been
And my armor is made of steel, you can't get in
I'm a warrior
And you can never hurt me

There's a part of me I can't get back
A little girl grew up too fast
All it took was once, I'll never be the same
Now I'm taking back my life today
Nothing left that you can say
Cause you are never gonna take the blame anyway

Now I'm a warrior
I've got thicker skin
I'm a warrior
I'm stronger than I've ever been
And my armor is made of steel, you can't get in
I'm a warrior
And you can never hurt me again

No oh, yeah, yeah

You can never hurt me again



I cannot express how much this song speaks to me. It sometimes feels as if this song was written about me, for me.

I've talked in the past about being a warrior. One year ago I shared a post called "Become A Warrior" in which I shared how I would write the word "Warrior" on my wrist to remind myself to be strong. And when I got the urge to claw at my arms, I would see the word on my arm and remember that I am a warrior, I am a fighter, and my depression "can never hurt me again."

On November 4th, 2015, I had my miscarriage and lost my first child. And throughout 2016, my depression had been worse than ever before in my life. The song "Warrior" was the only thing that kept me from injuring myself. I was consistently writing the word on my wrist as a reminder that I could survive. Somehow, I would survive the pain.

As a person, as a Child of God, I am in a war against Satan. Because of my depression, he has a strong grip on my life. I have to be a fighter to make it through the hell I am put through. I have to work hard on a daily basis to break the hold Satan has on my life, my actions, and my emotions.

"Warrior" helps me in the war against Satan. It helps me to not injure myself. It helps in the moments I want my life to end. It helps when my social anxiety appears. It helps me to be confident. It helps me to stay strong, be positive, and look for the light when my head is so full of darkness.

On November 4th, 2016, I got a tattoo of the word "Warrior" on my left wrist so I would never be without the support and strength that word gives me.

In my religion we are told not to get tattoos, to protect our temple. For me, getting this tattoo was one of the best ways for me to help protect my body and temple. And while I not supporting breaking the commandments the prophets have given us, I believe that for me, in my life, in my situation, getting this tattoo was important.

The night I got my tattoo, I said a prayer to my Father in Heaven. I apologized for breaking the rule and explain why I believed I needed it. And for a brief moment, I felt peace that He understood. I'm not saying that my decision was right or wrong, but I made the decision and I fully accept anything that comes of it, good or bad.

I have never once felt guilty or ashamed of getting my tattoo. I am proud to show my tattoo. I am happy to tell people why I got it. And while I know that many other members of the church will never understand, I still believe it was the right decision for me and I am not going to let them bring me down.



I cannot say that having this tattoo has made my depression go away. It's not magic, I know that will never happen. But there have been moments where the darkness takes over, I begin to lose control, and I see the word and make a change.

I still hurt, I still make mistakes, I still find myself in pain, but I am now constantly reminded that I am a warrior. Even if I lose a battle, I can still win the war. I can still triumph over Satan and his clutches. I can still find happiness even when I feel all hope is lost.

My life is not over. I can be successful. I can be the person that I want to be. 
Because as a warrior, I will NEVER stop fighting. 


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