Thursday, July 31, 2014

its been two years since i looked at you

i can't believe it has been two years. two years since my mom was here on this earth. this time 2 years ago today she was here. she was alive, warm and talking to me. reassuring me that her headaches were caused by an ear infection and that she would be fine. william was barely walking - he was for sure not talking, maggie was about to start kindergarten and i was about to turn 40.

today is the day before my 42nd birthday, maggie starts 2nd grade next week and william is running and talking back to mommy!

i can't believe that tomorrow will be 2 years since my mom was about to go in to surgery to have several masses removed from her brain.

two years since i had hope that maybe she would beat cancers ass after all.

two years since i was able to hug her and have her hug me back.

two years since i was able to hear her say she loved me without it hurting her to speak.

two years since maggie was able to crawl in bed with her and watch "a show".

two years since william shared breakfast with her.

so, what have i learned in the past two years?

time does heal...try to tell me that as i was crying on the back deck of my childhood home waiting for them to come and collect my mothers body. but it does. it has too. you will wake up, you will eat and you will laugh again. i had two little ones to raise. and my mom would have been so disappointed in me if i didn't raise them well. she loved those kids more than anything - i know they are the reason she fought as hard as she did. in the beginning, i thought about her all the time. i replayed her death in my mind regularly, i cried ALL the time. i even had a panic attack around christmas the first year - 4 months after she died. and then it slowly started to not hurt as much. all of the "1st times since she died" passed and i survived. and then i not only survived but i began to thrive, i took control of my own life back and started to focus on me and what i wanted. i was no longer a girl with a mom dying of cancer. i was me. i had a family of my own and a husband and kids that needed me. it took a while but i made it back!

people grieve can not judge another person by the way that they grieve. people process emotions uniquely, as unique as they are, and you can not expect otherwise. some people cry, some get mad, some don't talk at all. and its okay. you have to give people permission and freedom to grieve whatever way they need to. and it takes as long as it takes. because...

great love = great pain...i had a great friend tell me once that the reason i hurt so bad is because i loved so much. if i would not have loved her as i did and had her love me as much as she did then i would not feel as much pain. i would take this great pain any day to have had the kind of relationship i had with my mom. she was truly the best fiend i have ever had.

the littlest things will set you off...i may think i am plugging along doing okay and then maggie loses her 1st tooth and i am sobbing on the bathroom floor because i can't call my mom and tell her.

hope is stressful...i didn't realize how stressful until she died. but it is. its stressful to not know what is  coming. to keep trying this and that. putting her through all the things she went through. seeing her in so much pain, but ever hopeful that this would be the thing that worked. she even surged  a couple of days before she died. she started talking and passing out kisses to everyone. and even though rationally i knew she was dying, i still hoped that maybe, just maybe, she would be the one to defy the odds. and then she died.

its okay to feel relief...and once she was gone, as much as it hurt and still hurts, it was a relief for her to not be in anymore pain. to not have to wonder what else she would go through. i remember thinking that i am so relieved that her death was peaceful, grateful that the process wasn't, but could have been much worse. its okay to take all the energy that i was putting towards caring for her and put it towards myself and my own family. its okay to focus again on my marriage and my personal health.

children do feel...when i first found out that my mom had compilations from her surgery, maggie was the 1st person i thought of. they were so close and i just knew that maggie would be devastated. they were best friends...what would maggie do without her. i was afraid to tell maggie. but when i did she was okay. she moved on about her day and even went to the pool. at the party to celebrate my moms life, maggie wrote a note on a balloon and sent it up to grandma. she played with friends and it didn't seem to even phase her. i remember being mad at her. wondering WHY isn't she sad? when maggie would cry over having to leave the dogs at my dads house to go back to our house i yelled at her: you are crying over the dogs, what about your grandmother??? and then a few months ago, about 18 months after my mom died, maggie got upset. she started crying and wanted to talk. now we are able to talk about her and its okay. i don't cry and maggie is able to tell me how she feels. i think she knew I needed time. I needed her to wait to talk about grandma. I needed to be the one to be able to handle it. not her.

i miss my mom and it hurts sometimes more than think i can take...but i don't think about her all day every day and thats okay...

its been two years since i looked at you, put my head on your shoulder and said i loved you

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


LOVE LOVE LOVE the new products coming soon! This may just be my favorite!

Contact me as soon as possible to schedule your fall event! mckennah1972 (at) gmail (dot) com

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

mothers day is coming!

Mothers Day is one month and 2 days away! What are you getting your mom or wife for her special day?  I can help you design something special for her with an Origami Owl Living Locket. These lockets are beautiful, stylish, versatile and affordable!

This is the perfect way for her to brag on her family or celebrate the things she loves! The last day to order and receive standard shipping is April 30th. Don't wait and have to pay extra! 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

engaged idealist

i took one of the many test that is going around Facebook these days about my personality and got the following, its pretty accurate!

Engaged Idealists are extroverted and helpful. Others find them to be very congenial and inspiring - especially as they are always willing to see the best in the other person. Their humour, their energy and their optimism attract other people.
Engaged Idealists are very good at communicating and are good at convincing and firing on others. That is why it is a matter of course that they often take over the leading role in groups. This personality type often produces very charismatic persons.

Engaged Idealists have an unusually strong ability to empathize  They are tolerant and generous towards others; they sometimes tend to idealise their friends. They always try to suit everybody and want their relationships to be harmonious and satisfactory. To achieve this, they are prepared to invest a great deal and to put their requirements last. As Engaged Idealists are very considerate, there is the danger of them sacrificing and overexerting themselves for others. In their job, they therefore have to be very careful not to develop a burnout syndrome.

Engaged Idealists are reliable, well organised and love structuring complicated situations. They have difficulty accepting criticism; they quickly feel hurt and misunderstood. Their perfectionism also influences their love life - they look for the perfect relationship for life. Once they have made their decision, they are faithful, well-balanced and loving partners. However, should they get involved with the wrong person, it can happen that they allow themselves to be exploited for a long time before they end the relationship.

Adjectives that describe your type
extroverted, theoretical, emotional, planning, idealistic, committed, likable, enthusiastic, responsible, helpful, loyal, diplomatic, friendly, inspiring, caring, solicitous, optimistic, effusive, adaptable, communicative, articulate, convincing, energetic, optimistic, open, vulnerable
As an Engaged Idealist you are one of the extroverted personality types. You enjoy working in a colorfully diverse group of people who interest and inspire you. Working all by yourself is not your thing. You enjoy emphasizing with those around you and soon everybody senses the high priority and importance people represent to you. Therefore a team-oriented project is just right for you.
Your insight into human nature, your feel for your colleague’s and/or subordinate’s positive sides and potentials and your preparedness to encourage and support everyone around you to the best of your ability quickly brings them closer to you. People like to ask you for advice, appreciate your caring ways and appreciate to be taken under your wings. Within your means you are always available to others who need you because you yourself enjoy the ultimate gratification of being able to help others to make the best of themselves and to be successful mediating conflicts among people.

You are well suited to be an executive: It is difficult to resist your charisma, your enthusiasm and your ability to excite and motivate others. Authoritarian management attitudes are not your thing; it is your way to convince others of a project’s reason and significance who will then look forward to follow you voluntarily. You place a lot of value on creating the willingness to cooperate in others and with your gift to motivate that usually comes easy to you. You do not enjoy conflicts, need harmony and invest lots of energy and time in a good working climate and a harmonic relationship of your colleagues among each other.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

random thoughts

i need to find a pace and settle into it. for the past few weeks i have been wide open trying to do too many things at once. clean everything. organize. love my husband. be a good mom. eat healthy, cut out caffine. help the hubs with his work. sell origami owl. etc etc.

of course i go all in, i'm an addict. i don't know how to do moderation. i'm either all in or none. before i started all of this internal cleansing that resulted in external changes i was caught in a rut. a pretty bad one. when i look back i realize i was really depressed. my days revolved around when i could nap. its all i thought of. seriously. even when i was working full time, i would plan my lunch "breaks" around sleeping. on the weekend i would sleep in, nap with william and then go to bed early. gone were the days of taking turns with christian and allowing him to catch up on sleep.

in my sleep i found something i needed. i found an escape and i found my mom. almost daily she would appear in my dreams. sometimes i would even wake up and think that she was still here. the dreams seemed so real bc more often than not she was dead in my dreams but had come back to life. most of the time only i could see her. sometimes we are sitting in her room having conversations like we used to and sometimes we are out and about and she was healthy. i guess this is part of the grief process. i miss her so much and feel so lost without her that i looked so forward to those times together. sometimes i think i could sleep for a week in the hopes that i would see her again.

grief is such a weird experience. sometimes i can think of her and even replay her death minute by minute and won't feel anything, and sometimes i will weep over not being able to share something so simple as maggie losing a tooth with her.

i was thinking about her a lot yesterday, i think the little girl from williams school who was getting picked up by grandma for the weekend set me off. william was only 18 months when she died. today marks 18 months since she has been gone. tomorrow william will be older than the amount of time that he knew her. something isn't right about that. maggie was only 5 ½, i know that eventually her memories of her grandmother will fade, and it will be up to me to keep those memories alive within her. thats a lot of pressure. that adds to the stress that i already feel. i have a really bad memory and have a hard enough time remembering my own things let alone remembering for someone else. i am not one of those people who says... remember back in so and so when so and so happened. i struggle with memories. i always have. not sure why. i used to think it was bc cause of all the drinking from back in the day but i know ppl who drank/still drink a LOT more than me and don't have issues. i guess its just me, how my mind works.

my mom wasn't much of a journal person. i only have a few random things that she has written down. i wish she would have journaled more. maybe thats a lesson for me. i should start again. i used to journal a LOT. like a new journal almost every other month or so. maybe ill start again. even if just to help me remember things.

anyway this post is a major ramble fest but i just needed to write down that i really miss my mom and its hard. its hard to not have her. its hard to have had such a small family to start with and now that the "glue" that kept us together is gone everything has scattered.

i started this post with the fact that i need to find a pace. i feel myself being drawn back into the sweet escape and i need to call it what it is and resist it. i will not go back to the darkness that is depression.

Monday, February 3, 2014

justin bieber and the nipple incident

so it happened, i finally reached the point in my short lived run as a belieber. im done.

this time last year i was hard core supporting him. doing my best to get my then 5 year old to love him as much as i did - i secretly wanted an excuse to support him seeing as i am a 40 something mom :) but he's a talented guy so i didn't really need an excuse to jump on the bieber train but since i have a little girl, what better excuse? so i spent most of the end of 2012 and all of 2013 into him. i spent more hours than i care to admit checking his twitter and following along with all of his drama with selena and his crazy fandom. those girls that love him to the death, which i where i am afraid he is headed.

it was a fun escape, maybe i was reliving my teenage years all over again. it was an innocent obsession, something to do late at night after being a mom all day, you know be-bopping around to his upbeat songs and wishing i had just an ounce of coordination to dance a smidge like him! i read his moms book, spent many an hour flipping through his books and may or may not have had "beauty and a beat" on repeat in my car. so yeah, i was into him and was super excited that my daughter had someone she could look up to and music she could listen to that i wasn't too worried about. yes some of the songs may have inappropriate words here and there but over all the biebs was all good!

at the time i was working with a non profit that serves women and girls who have been victims of sexual abuse, specifically sex trafficking in girls 12-17. i was so hopeful that somehow someone could get JB to jump onto this cause...i mean come on, his audience is that exact population. how amazing would it be if he could begin to educate his beliebers on how to keep themselves safe. even his own mom has been a victim of sexual abuse. such an amazing opportunity to show these precious girls, that would do anything for him, how amazing they are and to show them how a real man treats women... i was hopeful that he would come across this cause on his own and do something. it would have been the perfect platform for him, especially when it comes to prevention. if we can educate these girls we are that much further ahead of the perpetrator. anyway off that soapbox, it was just a dream.

then things started to happen with JB, these songs came out ...lolly and don't hate tha playa, we heard about him peeing in buckets and getting high, on again off again with selena, drama and more drama. most of it i blew off as normal teenage stuff, i mean, i can not even imagine how hard it is to grow up in the media, and as part of the generation who has their entire life published for the world to judge. so i get some of it. money, fame, celebrity. that has to be hard.

but when you sign up for that life that is what you get. you can't pee in buckets, get high and get arrested without consequences. when you are justin bieber a certain amount of accountability and responsibility has to be expected of you. when you have the ability to influence so many why not do more to be a positive influence.

i get it, you help build schools, you visit poor kids, you give them your shoes, you visit children's hospitals etc, etc. but you know and i know that people only remember the stuff of controversy, so stop it.

think about your little sister, what if in 20 years those are her nipples that are being bitten on and photographed and shared around the world. that girl in that picture is someones daughter. she was a little girl too. she didn't dream of being a stripper who would one day become famous because some famous guy bit her nipples, photographed it and allowed the picture to be published. she had different hopes and dreams. so stop it, stand up for women like her and show all of these girls that love you that they don't need to be treated this way to be loved. think of your mom and your sister and all of your precious beliebers who mean so much to you,  do the right thing.

Friday, January 17, 2014

american girl doll

it feels good to be blogging again. there are so many things i want to write about but for now i will start with my first big purge project of this year. as i have been "finding myself" and renewing my mind with healthy thoughts i have been reading other blogs again. i came across a blog post via social media that really hit close to home. in her post about why she took her kids toys away, ruth, talks about what was happening in the hearts and minds of her girls and the selfish behaviors she was noticing, and especially how they just kept wanting the next thing and were not being present in the moment. {this is a paraphrase from me, you should read her entire post its amazing!}.

i had been noticing these insatiable behaviors in maggie for a while and had my own personal aha moment with her when the new 2014 american girl (AG) "isabelle" was revealed on january 1, 2014. you see, maggie had just received the doll of the year "saige" for christmas from santa. before christmas maggie struggled with choosing to ask for saige or for the "look like me doll". we discussed it and decided that she would ask for saige bc saige would only be around until the end of 2013. {those ppl at AG have this doll thing down!} i would not be opposed to getting the dolls for her ~ really any of them and how ever many she wanted of them IF and this is a BIG IF, she actually played with the dang things.

let me back up a bit and tell you a story about another doll. a couple of years ago the daughter of a friend was having a birthday party at american girl in atlanta and any girls who had AG dolls were encouraged to bring theirs, if you did not have your own doll, not to worry, AG has dolls you can borrow. they have these super cute little chairs that attach to the tables so you and your dolls can eat together. great!! my friend also said not to worry bc she had extra dolls and so did her sister. her sister also had daughters so we were all set and didnt need to worry too much. maggie was a bit upset that she didnt have her "own" doll - mind you she did have an $80 AG bitty baby but that was not good enough, but we made it work with one from our friends niece. this doll was beautiful, looked like maggie and was hers for the entire day!

yeah us! the party was great and we survived the day without buying anything. as we left the party that day, the borrowed dolls sweet young owner said that maggie could borrow the doll for a while longer, i had mentioned to my friend that maggie hadnt played much with her bitty baby and i wasnt buying her a $120 AG doll if she wasnt really into them. so they let us borrow her. maggie played with her for about a week or so after the party and would sporadically pick her up if a friend came over, but for the most part she just sat in a bin in maggies room. after a while we were given the doll to keep forever. wow, what a blessing! i was super excited and so was maggie but she still didnt play with her. fast forward to this past holiday season. american girl, american girl, american girl! commercials, catalogs, and the one store in the ENTIRE SOUTH EAST happens to be at the mall we go we had an over load of AG this year. since the dolls are marketed to girls 8+ and maggie was almost 7, i thought, ok, maybe if she has another one, when a friend comes over she will now have two and they can each play etc, etc, etc. so i let her ask for one for christmas. so santa in all of his generosity brought her the doll, and the saige dress in maggies size! we got her and saige matching pajamas and the saige DVD! we were all saiged out and now we had TWO dolls. not only could maggie play with a friend and both her dolls now but she could have two dolls to play with using her own imagination.


that is until the week after christmas and commercials started showing for the freaking AG doll of 2014. these commercials are all mysterious, they show the outline of the doll but you cant see any details of her until the big reveal on jan 1. maggie was hooked, line and sinker and couldnt wait until jan 1 to see the new doll. mind you not even A WEEK OLD saige is on the floor in maggies room. seriously! does she not know that santa paid $120 for that doll?

so i was done. i had enough of maggies ungratefulness, her not enjoying what she has and always wanting more and more. so i took everything out of her room, all of her toys, GONE! i left her with books, her rainbow loom and her 3 american girl dolls; the bitty baby, the sweet gift from our friend and saige. i took everything out. (future post on the mess that was her room and what it looks like now!) i hope this will serve to teach her something...maybe it takes time, i dont know, she is still asking for isabelle for her birthday and you know what...

she still doenst play with those other stinkin dolls!

what about you and your kids? have you done anything like this?

Saturday, January 11, 2014


I need to document today so that when I fall into depression again - hopefully I won't, but if I do, I can read this and know that days like today are possible. 

Woke up at 6:45
Gave Christian his birthday gifts from the kids
Made the family breakfast
Put several of our Christmas bins and decor in the attic
Purged Maggie's room - another post on that soon
Hung cork in the walls in her room
Showered - with only one interruption from one child 
Took William to a 3 year olds bday party
Made Maggie dinner
Got the babysitter settled
Met Christian for dinner
Went to a movie 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

new horizons

stopping by to update the few readers that may still follow this blog or may click on the link i post on social media…..

just a few bullet points nothing too in depth bc ive learned not to say too much bc i may not be able to follow through, plus this isnt jumping on the new years resolution bandwagon, these are things that have been in my heart for a while. if you know me at all you will know that some of these things are going to be big changes for me, starting with:

  • this unstructured girl is going to add some structure to her life
  • this non schedule, non planning girl is going to start doing the opposite
  • ive resigned from my job and plan to stay home with my family for a while 

some of the things that have brought me to this realization:

my sweet bug, maggie, who has always been the light of my life has been getting on my nerves, i have been responding to her meltdowns and attitude issues with my own meltdowns… how confusing that must be for an almost 7 yr old. i know she and i have both been grieving in our own ways since we lost my sweet mom but i do not need to take my anger and grief out on her and that has definitely been my response to her lately. her trying to navigate her own confusing emotions with meltdowns and tears has led to me slamming doors of my own and leaving her alone in her room only to say on my way out, "i just can not deal with you right now"…or even better…"christian you need to deal with her before i physically hurt her". and these things were not said where she couldn’t hear me.

i had a panic attack on Christmas day in response to my step son nick (who has some personal challenges) making a mess with all of his toys and wrapping paper and boxes and excitement…because i did not set him up for success by making sure he walked into a peaceful environment so that he could be excited and make a mess.

i allowed william to dictate what he would eat for days on end by allowing him to only eat nutella for every meal. – i realize kids go through food phases, i lived off mac and cheese but it was getting out of control, nutella is super expensive AND messy! this may not seem like a big deal but this was adding to dinner time chaos and food meltdowns for every meal that he did not consume at school.

so I say all this to say, this is going to be a new year for me and my family. we are going to get ourselves in order and be a family, love each other, be kind to one another, help one another, look forward to seeing one other, spend time together and be intentional.

im excited….join me on this journey as I plan to start blogging again because yeah! i will have stuff to blog about rather than my life seriously mimicking ground hog day ~ SAME OLE SAME OLE.

bring on order from my life of chaos!!