What does and doesn't help.

I wanted to make a list of things that I have done in the past that does & doesn't help me feel better.
Found at http://www.cleanmama.net/free-printables

Let's start with what doesn't help, shall we?

-staying up late
-sleeping in
-being on the computer
-being on my phone
-not cleaning the house
-staying home from activities

Okay, so pretty much being lazy & immature
moving on....

Things that help:
-talking with spouse for support
-writing down a to-do list
-sticking to a routine
-making goals, having a purpose
-picking up the house
-reading my scriptures
-going to bed early
-waking up and getting ready for the day earlier than later
-talking with empathetic friends

These two kind of go hand in hand as opposites.  If i'm not doing one thing, I end up doing the other.  It's kind of the 2 extremes for me.  But when I write out my day, plan ahead and just stick with something, i'm much better off than having nothing planned at all.  The balance of it is that the things I plan need to be small and manageable.  It needs to be something that won't interfere with my #1 priority, my family.

I think that's what been hard for me, finding the balance between these two extremes.  I like being part of things and productive.  But if it overshadows the most important role that I have as a wife or mom, then I feel guilty and ashamed that I am not being a "good wife" or "good mom"  So then I stop planning.  But then I become like  "dust in the wind".  And sadly being a wife or mom didn't have the biggest purpose for  me.  I felt it was just what I had to do.  It was hard finding joy in it.


I am understanding that it's okay to have things on the side.  It's okay to find joy elsewhere.  For me, just as long as there is a balance between the two.
I am also learning & loving what is right in front of me.  It's hard to see it sometimes when things get crazy and chaotic.  But if you slow down and really live in the present moment, if you really look at your child and REALLY listen while they talk to you, it changes your perspective.

So, this has been an interesting journey, the journey of myself.  It's hard and difficult.  You have to face things you don't want to.  But in order to grow and change, you kind of have to.

So here's to me trying this out...

Facing Reality

Hello, my name is Lyssa & I have Diastasis Recti....and I've had better years.  Not sure what that is?  I'll explain but first some background on the subject.  It may be wordy but it's sure therapeutic for me.

This past year has been a doozy.  Really.
Both physically, mentally & emotionally.
Obviously moving away from some place you LOVE would be devastating, and it was.  Too hard really.  Something I didn't want to face so I kept it inside.  Then on top of that, trying to lose the baby weight and your stomach that doesn't want to budge.

So as we said good bye to our home in WA, I tried my darnedest to be positive and hopeful for the what was ahead of us in Memphis.

Luckily the move was a distraction that I really needed.  All that unpacking and settling in helped me not deal with what I was feeling inside.

Another "distraction" was Emma's baptism at the end of September.  That event motivated me to get my house in order as I would be having family come and stay with us.  It also helped me to start moving and lose some weight.

So things were really good.

I lost weight, enough to be satisfied at the moment.
My house was set and ready.
And not to mention that my oldest was growing into a beautiful girl who was making a wonderful covenant with Heavenly Father.

So when my beloved distractions were gone, there was nothing else to hold back what I was feeling.  So immediately after Emma was baptized and family left (except my mom, who stayed for a week, which was a BIG help adjusting back to the mundane), all the pain and sadness I felt from everything that had happened the past year kind of exploded in my mind.  Happiness & motivation was no where to be found.  Something moved in that I couldn't replace.  I just didn't enjoy anything.  Depression had settled in.

So I started finding things to fill in the voids that appeared.  Start a business?  okay.  Be part of a craft DT?  sounds good.  Organize a huge craft night just for fun?  sweet.
And let's not forget all the Holiday fun that time of year holds.  Life was busy...too busy.  But I didn't want it to stop.  I didn't want a pause or I might feel that pain inside that I didn't know what to do with.

Come December.

I think it was my birthday, maybe a day or two after, but really, it doesn't matter.  What matters is that I had a break down.  It felt like I finally succumbed to the depression that had developed and faced it.  I finally had to start breaking apart my brain.  So I first started with grieving from moving away and the friends I missed.  I faced the reality of how things will be while Joe is in school.  I faced the reality that I had to start over again.  Joe was my sounding board as I tried to figure out how to get out of the slump I couldn't get out of.  It was so frustrating because I have never felt this way before.  It was so unfamiliar.  I hated it.  I hated how I felt, thought, did, not to mention looked etc etc.  I hated me.

It's sad to hear that now as I recall all of this.  But that's how I truly felt.  But luckily, Joe was very receptive and understanding.  He's gone through his own bouts of depression so he was definitely the person to talk to.  And since then, he's been helping me more than he knows to get back to where I want and need to be as a woman, wife & mother.

Sooo along with how I felt during this time, of course exercise was the last thing I wanted to do.  And of course I gained back the weight I had lost plus more.  So as the new year came, I started to realize I needed to stop what I was doing.  I needed help and I needed to change my habits.

As you can imagine, my body went through hell carrying Jake over full term and then birthing out an 11.1 lbs baby.  My stomach & back was and still is so weak.  Right after having him, and seeing what the heck was going on with my body, I started researching.  Come to find, I had Diastasis Recti.

 View picture below:
Diastasis Recti Infographic

So how did I know I had it?  I did the test:

Q. How to test for Diastasis Recti

A: Lie on your back with your knees bent + your feet flat on the floor. Relax your head + shoulders + place your fingers (palm facing you) just above your belly button.
Lift your head, neck + shoulders slightly off the floor + press down with your fingertips. If you feel a gap, that’s the diastasis. You will feel the muscles close in around your fingers as you lift your head + neck. Don’t lift your shoulders up too high. Repeat the test in two other place: directly over the belly button, + a couple of inches below.
A diastasis recti gap is measured in finger width’s. You are aiming for a 1-2 finger gap or less, but don’t panic if it’s much bigger at first!  (taken from mutusystem.com)

Yep, that is me.  I am still affected by it.
You see, even when I lost some weight before Emma's baptism, I still struggled with strength in my back and core.  Every day, my back would be on fire.  It would hurt so bad.  I also could not flatten my stomach for the life of me!
Right after Jake was born, I googled the term and found some YouTube videos but it was all over the place.  Then I found MUTU System at the end of November, around black Friday.  They were doing a great deal.  I had been looking for something new to do.  But when I saw their main focus and also diet too?  I was sold.

So as the new year started, I began doing this system.  I'm a few weeks into it and I have to say that I have found lots of improvement with how I feel.  They are true to what they say.  They focus on getting rid of the Diastasis Recti by doing exercises that strengthens your back, pelvic floor and core.

And I'm one of those who, if exercising, will feel better about things.  So it has helped tremendously with how I feel inside.  There are still times/days that I have to fight myself from reverting back but it's less than what it was.

Anyways, I guess I wanted to write this post because I know I had this problem back after Luke in 2009 but I had no idea.  A high percentage of women have it and don't realize it.  So I thought I should share this to others so that, if they have this issue, that there is a place to get help!

Visit today if this is something you struggle with!  Click on the image above.  It will send you to the MUTU System website.
And I wasn't paid or given anything to write this post.  I have loved it so far.  So much so that I became an affiliate!  So please let me know if you have any questions!

"XOXO" Valentine Banner

Valentine's Day season is upon us.  And with some lunch bags I had left over from all the other banners I was making, I decided to make one for Valentine's Day!

For instructions on how to make this and more pictures, visit the Craftwell Blog!

*Hearts* Canvas Decor

I keep forgetting to post the crafts I've been making lately being part of the design team over at the Craftwell Blog.  Teresa Collins "Summer Stories" line is just amazing.  I love all the colors, embellishments and paper!
Since Valentine's Day is around the corner, I thought a nice home decor was in order.  This little baby has been brewing in my mind all month.  Check out more pictures and details over on the DT blog!

Happy Birthday Card

I'm going to start posting these on my blog since this is part of why I am so busy!  It's been so fun being part of the DT over at Craftwell.
Here's a fun birthday card I made a few weeks back.  It was made with the Teresa Collins "Summer Stories" line.  I love this line.  Gold glitter is my favorite right now.  You can see more details & pictures over on the DT Blog.

DIY magazine holders from Priority Boxes

**Edited 1/15/2014**
This is still the most popular post on my blog!  Crazy!  I am reposting this since it's a goody.  New year and organization is key, right?
Since making this and using it, I have also rotated the box to fit 12x12 paper!  Duh!  I don't know why I didn't think of that in the original post almost three years ago!

**edited 4/3/2013**
Wanted to thank you guys for stopping by, as you view my "most viewed" post!  I've been researching the use of Priority Mail boxes for a couple of years now since I originally posted this and this is what i've found:

Re-using Priority Mail Boxes is illegal when trying to use the box with parcel or media mail shipping.  If you reuse the box and go via Priority Mail is fine.
For already used boxes that aren't going to be used to ship anymore (my own case), personal use is fine.  So for me, I already had these boxes from a previous business that I was doing.  When it stopped, I had all these boxes that I didn't want thrown away.  So I used them to help me organize my magazines.  This type of use is fine.  It's when people turn them inside out or cover them with tape and paper and try to ship cheaper that it's illegal!  Ok now onto the post :)

As i'm organizing my craft space and getting it presentable, I found a dilhema.  What do you do with 5 years worth of Scrapbook magazines?!
I didn't want to throw them out.  They have valuable information inside of them that I frequently refer back to.  So I needed some magazine  holders.  But I wasn't going to pay for them!  They can be expensive when needing 6 or so.  

So instead I did this for free!

During my de-junking process, I found a box of folded up Priority Mail boxes that I had gotten for free from the post office when I  used to sell and ship items.  But I never ended up using them.
So thus my experiment began.

I assembled a Priority Mail box and got my measuring tape and pen and went to work.

So I took one of the corners that would support an "L" look and measured 4 inches up.

Then I rounded the corners to the sides of the box and measured 4 inches too.

Next from the 4" mark, I measured 2 inches and marked it, making sure I made an intersection with the 4" mark and the 2" mark.  Do that on both sides of the box.

Take the diagonal corner from which you've been working on and do the same thing.
After that, it should look like this.  I circled the intersections too.

Take your measuring tape or ruler and line up the two intersections...

Then you connect them!  Do this on both sides.

Next is the cutting part.  I was NOT cutting them in the picture.  It was all for demo purposes.  These babies are sharp so you be very careful!  Cut along the lines around the box.

Now take them apart...

Flip one over and you've got 2 magazine holders!  If  it were 1/4 inch longer, they could have fit 12 x 12 inch paper!  Oh well...

K I'm loving this!  All my magazines neatly in a row.  There's storage in front too for things!

Ideally, I want them on a shelf on the wall but we aren't there yet.  For now, they are on the shelf in the closet.  I will also paint or modge podge them pretty when I do that.  My OCD side of my brain kept telling me to do that right now but I am FINE with them for now...I need to keep telling myself that!  ha haa.

I hope this helps you get tidy today!
You can order those Priority Boxes for free over at USPS.com
So how do you store magazine or other items that you have a TON of?

I'm linking up to THESE parties!

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