21.

21 days. That’s how many days I have officially been wheat and sugar free. Sugar. Out of MY diet. Me… not consuming chocolate all day, everyday?! Crazy. Right?!

And today I’m making bone broth. Who in the actual hell am I?!

IMG_7574

Well I can tell you who and what I finally am not. I am not absolutely and completely exhausted. I can get out of the bed in the morning and not struggle to just make it through the day. I don’t feel as sluggish and forgetful and totally crazy. And I don’t feel like I’m dying a slow death. Kinda dramatic? Maybe. But that’s really how I felt. There were so many days my husband would say to me “I’m worried about you. Are you ok? How are you even functioning right now. I think you need to see a doctor. This isn’t normal.” Because the physical and mental exhaustion was so bad. All things I chalked up to #mombrain or #momstruggles. I would oil up, take supplements all day and take my Ningxia red 3-4 times a day just to get me through the day. Which really helped but I realized how much better these oils and supplements would work if I was actually a normal functioning body vs an actual real life walking zombie.

I started researching. About the importance of diet and gut health, eliminating wheat/ grains and sugar. So I did it. I found a way of eating that I thought would work for me and I went for it. Out of desperation. And 21 days later, I am amazed by how much better I feel. I know my body is still working to repair all the damage, but getting out of bed and making it through the day is no longer such a struggle and that right there is a huge win that I will gladly take. I’m stumbling upon a new desire and passion to learn all the things. For myself and for my family. Because I can never go back to feeling the way I did 22 days ago. It’s just not an option. And do you know what’s really awful is that I didn’t share this with many people prior to starting because I wasn’t sure I would be able actually do this. I expected to fail. Like I usually do when it comes to quitting sugar. I am a very goal driven person. When I put my mind to something, I don’t stop till I make it happen. But sugar. Ugh. Quitting sugar. It felt impossible and I felt bad labeling it an addiction when other people are battling real addictions, but by definition that’s exactly what this is/was and I feel like bringing light to it, it allows me to acknowledge and take action.

So here I am. Taking action.

to be continued…

xoxo,

-m

my monkeys, my circus…

 

IMG_3727.PNG

We went to the park yesterday and I captured so many adorable and loving moments of these two and I was so proud to watch their love and appreciation for one another. These right here are some of those precious moments captured that make you feel like you’re parenting game is so strong.

 

Unshakable. You’re doing everything right. Of course minus your all too frequent trips through the Chick Fil A drive thru, goldfish (the snacks not the actual fish. I don’t want any fish activist coming after me) and grapes being thrown at them just so you can finish one more thing that should have already been done and the constant forgetting to sign the 2nd grade daily progress sheet resulting in your kid not being able to hit up the prize box at school every Friday. Aside from that…You’re doing pretty damn allllllright. You kids clearly love one another so much that it totally makes up for all the other “not my best parenting moments”.

Then the sun goes down and they turn into hungry little maniacs. And I’m not talking hunger for mac & cheese. I’m talking about hunger for your sanity. The screaming. The destroying of your house. The running around you as you (im)patiently wait for your instapot to make the magical beeping sound of success while you huff your Stress Away essential oil bottle like those people you see frantically breathing into paper bags in the movies. But hey it’s all in fun, right? They are just kids after all. Kids having “fun”.

Then after repeating “eat your dinner, please” 2738 times you give up and cut your losses after approximately 37 pieces of macaronis and 102 chips eaten collectively. Yeah. I saw the bag of chips you thought you were hiding. Actually I heard you before I saw you. And I’m now strongly considering banning chips from ever entering this house again. Whhy whhhy whhhhhy do they chew so loud?!??

You’re so close now. Bath time. You got this. You totally got this. Home stretch. And as you’re getting the water ready you overhear the conversation being had between your two kids…. that love each other so much……

Ash: “Laila ever since you’ve come around, you been taking all my stuff. Enough is enough already! You’re going down!”

Laila: “shut.up.Ash!! Shut up! Shhhhhuuuutttt up!!!!!!! Give me my sword!”

Followed by the loudest screams ever while she rushes him and takes HIS sword.

Ash: “ugh Laila. You are such a beast. You’re never gonna have any friends, if you keep this up.”

Laila: “suuuuuuush Asssssssshhhhhh!!!”

Me: “Laila. Come here. You’re not being nice.”

Laila yelling: “I am nice!! My sword.”

As she pulls it in and guards it with her life.

Me: “no you’re not being nice and that’s Ash’s sword. You need to go give it back.”

Laila. “Ugggggh. Fock.”

But not just any old F bomb. She dragged it out…”Foooock!”

Uhhhh….yeah. The 2.5 year old dropped the F bomb. And although you’re kinda impressed that she used it in the proper context, you hold your head in shame because you’re pretty sure she got that word from you. Actually you know she did. There is no doubt because when that word leaves your lips, that’s EXACTLY how it sounds. And as you file tonight under “not my best parenting moments”, you’re just thankful the 7 year old didn’t here the F bomb dropped so the damage control is limited to yours and your 2.5 year olds potty mouths and you hope that she quickly forgets this word in her sleep. Dear 6lbs 7oz baby Jesus, just please hear this prayer!!!

I’m not alone, right?!? I can’t be. There are other moms out there with potty mouth toddlers? Or kids living off of Chick Fil A and a prayer….right?!

And this is my #totalMayHam

to be continued….

storms+rainbows+hope…

IMG_3097.PNG

 

I love how Facebook tugs at my emotional heart strings with these adorable pictures and memories. This picture was taken 5 years ago today yet it seems like yesterday.

img_3067Since I’m working on “being free” this year, I’m going to share a bit of my heart here. These memories are sometimes bittersweet to look back on. I remember being so happy and thankful for my little family, but I was silently battling depression and anxiety while struggling through infertility and loss. I was talking with a friend today and shared about what a lonely road that was to walk sometimes. Even with the most supportive family and friends. It’s not always easy to put on a smile and act like you’re keeping it together or answer those heart breaking questions of when you’re gonna have another baby. But I always told myself, I have to trust the path laid out for me. Even if that meant feeling like a piece of my heart may always be empty.

With each negative test, each hormone shot, each medication that made me a hormonal nightmare to be around, or with each loss I always tried to convince myself that we would one have another baby. I tried to never lose hope, but every once in a while the thought would creep into my head “what if my arms will always be empty? What if I would never again get to hold a baby that grew inside of me? What if that is my path?”. The thoughts always crushed me, but I felt I needed to always be ready for that hard possibility.

After one of our losses I had a friend that had previously lost a pregnancy tell me “you will one day hold the baby you were meant to have.” I remember looking at her and saying thank you, but in that moment I remember being angry at those words. I wanted the baby I just lost. And the one before that. It wasn’t until I held Ash in my arms that I realized. He was the one. He was the one I was meant to grow and hold. I can’t imagine a world without him and I know he is meant to change the world with his heart and his compassion. 

So after having already gone through the storm with Ash, you would think I was better prepared for that several year storm the next time we faced it. Nope. I think when you’re in it.  You’re.in.it. And it’s intense. The whole uncertainty of it all. That’s probably one of the hardest parts. If I knew that after the storm, the rainbow would come…I would battle a million storms to get that rainbow. But the hard truth is that the rainbow doesn’t always come. 

Our next storm was rough. 2 more losses, unsuccessful treatments, side effects of meds, discouraging news after discouraging news. I was told to not hold out hope with “traditional methods” and that if I did become pregnant this round, the pregnancy would likely end in miscarriage because the same medication that was supposed to help me get pregnant was the also making my uterine lining an unsuitable environment for implantation. After this news, I was done. Mentally. Emotionally. Physically. Done. 

Well what do you know. That was the month I got that positive test. I have never prayed so hard. I asked every morning and every night and just about ever hour in between for this baby to just hold on. “Hold on, baby. Just please hold on.”  Talk about being in a glass cage of emotions. At 6 weeks, we thought we were going to lose her. Bed rest. At 18 weeks, we thought we were going to lose her. Bed rest. And let me tell you, being a NICU nurse during this was not easy. At 32.5 weeks, I was admitted to the hospital in preterm labor. As a NICU nurse, I know that had she come at that time she would likely be fine but I also know how important those last few weeks of growth and development are. So all day, everyday in that hospital

fullsizerender

Ash cheering on Laila to stay put.

bed I pep talked her “just hold on, Laila. Please just hold on.” And funny enough when they turned all my meds off at 36 weeks in true Laila fashion, she did what she wanted to. She held on…till 39 weeks. She shocked everyone. And if you know her, you will know she’s still holding on since the day she was born. She is 2.5 years old and is the clinger of all clingers. Always in my arms or my lap. I’m trying to still really embrace this since after all she probably heard “please just hold on” at least a billion times in the 39 weeks I grew and carried her.

 

la-4

It was in this exact moment right here that I ugly face cried. Hard and uncontrollably. This is the moment it hit me, that all the previous tears, the heartache, the disappointment, the raging storms led us to this very moment. Ash holding Laila and looking up at us with tears in his eyes, “I’m sorry I’m a little bit crying. I’m just so happy she’s finally here. I knew she would come. I told you she would come.” And as he looked down at her, “I’ve been waiting so long for you, Laila. But I knew you would come. I love you my little baby shooting star.” This. Right here. My rainbows after the storms. My whole heart. laila_2weeks-11

I look at these memories and my life now and I can’t help but shed both happy and sad tears. Happy tears for all the rainbows after the storms. Sad tears for all those in the storm. The heartache and heartbreak anyone experiencing infertility and/or loss has to experience. But I also have hope. Hope that they will one day find peace and comfort in their hearts. Hope that their rainbow is right around the corner. Hope that  they know they are not alone, even when it feels like it.

xoxo,

-m

lies + chocolate and possible jail time…

img_2118

 

The truth shall set you free. So here I go. Setting myself free. After all that’s what my twenty seventeen is all about, right?!!

So a few things you may or may not know about me. I LOOOOVE chocolate. Dark chocolate specifically, but chances are if you put most chocolate down in front of me it may not survive. It’s a real problem. I will go to the store and without even realizing it, I will have put bars of chocolate in my cart. I guess the heart knows what the heart wants…and mine wants chocolate. All the damn time.

img_2120

oh just me eating chocolate for breakfast.

So another thing you may or may not know about me, I’m a baaaaad liar. Like the worst. My mom knows this, my husband knows this, my friends know this. I know this. So here’s where I need to own up cuz I lied and it’s about to bite me right in my 1?0 pound ass. We just got new/more/different life insurance because well…apparently adults do responsible things like this. And I filled out the paperwork and entered those numbers like I was filling out my DMV paperwork. Cuz everyone lies on their drivers license, right?!! What? Are they gonna weigh me? Noooooo. I don’t think so.

Well…so it turns out, the life insurance people…they do weigh you. They come TO YOUR HOUSE and weigh you!! “It will only take 10-15 min.” She says on the phone. And of course in my mind I’m convinced she’s throwing around those exact numbers because she was on to me and my lies. So I hang up the phone and run up upstairs to weigh myself and vow to lose 10-15 lbs before my appointment…. the following week which is ridiculous. And even more ridiculous I run downstairs and stress eat bars of chocolate. The weight obviously doesn’t magically fall off so what do I do? What any normal person would do and change my appointment…not once… but 2 more times. In an attempt to lose weight by eating ridiculous amounts of dark chocolate bars. Huh?! Seriously?!

Sooo….here we are on the eve of my 10-15 min weigh in and I am down exactly zero pounds. But what I am down is approximately 6-10…ok maybe more Trader Joe’s chocolate bars.

fullsizerender-3

my pantry at any given moment.

So…tomorrow may be the day I either go to jail for insurance fraud or get denied coverage cuz I’m way too short for my real weight…not my drivers license weight. Time will tell. Please tell me you’ll write….

To be continued….

ugly face cry strikes again…

So just when I thought all the ugly face crying from leaving my nursing career was out of my system…a package shows up in my mailbox that reopens the flood gates. This time. Only happy tears.

 

img_2045

one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received.

The contents of package is a reminder that I am on the right path. With the right people. People that I would never know had it not been for this business that accidentally fell into my lap. I love it. And I love them. So much. This tribe of women that I never knew I needed.

My one word. Free. And my intention not only for this year, but from these moments forward. Free to be…

img_2043

Today the happy tears flow because I know I have found my people, my tribe. The ones that know my flaws, my crazy and still love me, accept me and cheer me on. Thank you for being in my life…

img_2039

 

to be continued…

xoxo,

-m

why not mayhem…

 

img_1882

 

what’s in the name…

I’m sure the spelling of MayHam may be driving some of my teacher/grammar friends craaaazy. But there is a reason and let me assure you, I know how to spell (well, most of the time) and even if I didn’t we all know good ol autocorrect has my back. But does is really?? I mean how many times have we been burned by autocorrect. It for reals rejected MY spelling of MayHam at least 163 times.

So MayHam is a smash of my names. Well kinda. My husband (Eric) has always called me May or May May. And Ham is the first 3 letters of my last name. But is it reallllly a strange coincidence that when you smash the words together it’s a play on words of actual word mayhem?? Which if you know me… parts of that definition kind of perfectly describe me. The chaos part. Yeah, go ahead and put me down for a big fat HELL YES. And part of the reason behind this blog is me embracing the colorful chaos of this imperfectly perfect life of mine. The mess and struggle is real. Soooo real, but so is the beauty. So come along as I open my heart, thoughts and ridiculousness. This is my MayHam.

xoxo.

-m

to be continued…

this is happening…

Well folks…here I go. Sharing my chaos with the world. Or at least the people of the interwebs.
Who or what is total MayHam?

 

It’s me. The beautiful chaos that is my life. It’s messy. It’s crazy. It’s amazing. It’s mine. And everyday I’m just trying to figure it all out. As a mom. A wife. A recently retired NICU nurse. A business owner. And a hot mess. Like the hottest mess in all the land. But here I am trying to figure it out. Determined to make magic happen and dreams come true.
What will I share here with you? Right now, I’m not exactly sure about specifics. But it will probably be ridiculous, funny, sometimes insightful, a lot of the time random, always from my heart or my crazy mind and 100% me.
Welcome to my total MayHam. I hope you join me on my crazy ride.

 

To be continued….

img_0755-2

my beautiful chaos.

 

letting go…

img_1713

Soooo…remember that time I talked about being free. And fear holding me back from that? Well today I did something really hard that scared the crap out of me, but it’s part of me being free. It was one of the hardest and scariest decisions I’ve ever made.

21 years ago, at the age of 16 I was pregnant and scared as hell. No idea what the future held for me or my baby. But what I did know is, I had to fight. For us. For our future.

The day he was born changed my life forever. I wasn’t doing well. He wasn’t doing well. We were separated. They took him from me. At the time I didn’t even know where they took him. I honestly don’t know how much time had passed before I even got to see him. But I remember when I did see him, he was this perfect tiny little thing with an IV poking out of his head. The NICU nurses were so amazing to me. They gave me hope and encouragement. Not just that my baby was ok, but for our future. Sadly the nurses helping me through my c-section recovery were not so nice to me. In fact, several were very mean to me. I am not angry. I am not bitter about that. Both experiences opened my eyes. Both experiences showed to me who and what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a nurse…a NICU nurse. I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to provide for my son. I would make it happen.

I worked hard. We (me AND Andrew) sacrificed a lot. We lived off very little. But we made it happen. I love being a NICU nurse. I love going to work. I love the people I work with. I love the babies and parents I take care of. Being a NICU nurse is a huge part of who I am. Which is what made today so.damn.hard. As much as I love this job. I love being able to be home with my family. I love being able to drop what I’m doing to take care of my family. I love building a successful business from home that provides us my full time nursing income. I love not having to leave home to work 12-14 hour shifts and miss kids/family bday parties, Ash’s basketball games, baseball games, ASU tailgating with friends and family. I love not having to choose to work a night shift to not miss all the above things, but be so sleep deprived that I can’t even enjoy the moments.

 

15826172_10211887935100836_3935723830780994804_n

So today, I RETIRED NURSING. There. I said it.

Honestly, I thought I would do this amazing job forever. But today I hung my scrubs, my stethoscope and my badge up. For me. For my family. For my coworkers. For the babies and the families in the NICU because they deserve to have a nurse that’s fully present. That has her whole heart there when she’s there. And that’s just not me in this moment and it’s not fair to anyone. I will miss it. I know I will. My heart physically hurts making this decision, but I know it is the right decision in this season of my life.

I am so incredibly thankful to all the amazing people that I have had the wonderful pleasure of crossing paths with over the last 13 years because of my time as a nurse. I’m so grateful for the friendships, the mentorships, the laughs, the tears, the fun, the sadness, the joy, the heartache, all the feels. I am blessed to walk away with so many memories.

Who knows. Maybe this retirement isn’t forever but it is for now and for now I say thank you to all that I have had the amazing honor and privilege to work with and meet in my time as a NICU nurse. So very appreciative of what you all have brought to my life. So much love and admiration to you all.

To be continued…

-m

my one word.

 

img_1710

 

My one word this year.

Free….

Free to be. 
Free to be unapologetically me.
Free to live.
Free to love.
Free to let go.
Free to hold on.
Free of fear.
Free of excuses.
Free of blame/placing blame.
Free of judgement/passing judgement.
Free of all the what ifs
Free. 

I have been wanting to share this but kept putting it off cuz well…fear. I’m embarrassed to admit how much fear and worry control me. I’m a worrier. Always have been. And I just can’t be anymore. It is standing in my way of fully being free. Fully being me. Fully reaching the potential I know I am capable of and the life I am deserving of. Because fear has even at times convinced me that I am not worthy.

I am who I am. And I may not be for everyone and I’m learning that that is ok. This is the year that I start being FREE. Letting go. Holding on. Loving more. Living more. Giving more. Giving less.

Allowing me to BE….FREE.

To be continued…..

-mimg_1451-2