Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WOW and WOW!!!!!

OMG.  I cannot even put into words my gratitude for all the comments, messages, tweets etc. I received yesterday regarding my post!!!  I mean seriously, THANK YOU SO MUCH YALL!!!

The funny thing is, I go into posts like this very nervous.  I am always afraid I am being TOO REAL and opening myself up for embarrassment.  I immediately called Shane yesterday and told him I posted it
(I had talked to him before I wrote it) and I was alot a little nervous.  He told me to take it down if I did not feel comfortable. But I told him that if I was going to write things like that, hitting "publish" is me putting my money where my mouth is.  I was soooooo glad I did!!!  I always hope maybe one person will tell me it helped them, and I got more than thought :)...

So, it is Wednesday, time for Words of Wisdom.  Here are just a few...

1.  Write a blog post from the heart.  It is so therapeutic and freeing.  Don't be afraid of haters or that stupid girl from high school may read it.  Know that there is a huge support system here in blog world and many women are as sweet as a krispy kreme donut.  PRAY about it!

2. Put lime in your diet coke.  It tastes like a cocktail :).

3. Wear really pretty cover ups over your bathing suit.  We all hate wearing bathing suits, but if you are slightly covered up in a gorgeous tunic or pretty top that matches your suit, you will feel fabulous!! If you are really wanting to raise the bombshell look, wear a big floppy hat :)!

4. Getting your manicure done in hot pink and wearing shiny coconut lip gloss while working at your desk will make you feel even closer to your beach vacay!

Happy Wednesday!!!  I am so close to vacation, I can see it!!!  Trust me, I have enough pretty cover ups and floppy hats for all of you to wear too!!!

Yall are the best!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Do these earrings make me look fat?!

We all know I am not afraid of being real on this blog.  If you didn't know, go here, here or even here.   Today may be the most real I have been in awhile or really ever. Will I regret this later? Maybe.  Do I think the Lord is pushing me to write this.  Yep.

Hi, my name is Rachel Lynn Brown and I am a size 14 and happy.  Not lying.  Not in denial.  I am happy with myself and feel blessed with this curvier body the Lord gave me.  Wish I would lose some lbs?  You betcha!  Does my life revolve around that fact? Absolutely not!  How did I get to this point of peace inside ME?...let's talk.

I have struggled with my weight since I had Claire.  I would go up and down with each pregnancy.  I would lose weight and then gain it right back.  I have always come back to this size right now.   I have been depressed about my weight in years before.  I have been completely obsessed with dieting and working out in years past.  It was a never ending cycle that was absolutely tiring.  It has taken over my life before.  The insecurity in my physical appearance was a demon and really a false idol in my life.  About 6 months ago, I decided I was going to make some changes.  The decision was not to make changes to my physical appearance, but to change me on the inside and fight this demon.  I am a strong mother of three children, a wife to an incredible man and a servant to loving Lord, I was NOT going to let this ridiculous insecurity get in the way of what was most important to me.

So many of us feel this way and struggle inside.  Insecurities are the evil one making us non believers.  Have you read the Beth Moore book  "So Long Insecurity, You Were a Bad Friend to Us"?  This book alone started the "Inner Beauty Revolution" inside me :).  If you have not read it, you should.  When we feel insecure in ourselves, we are not trusting God with what He gave us.  Think about it.  He made us who and what we are.  We do make our own decisions along the way, but He made us beautiful in our own ways and in His eyes.  Who are we to question that or allow it hurt us?

So back to me. I had to ask myself a very important question:

"Why do I want to lose weight?"

I asked myself this question and realized that was my problem.  I was not losing weight for myself. It was for everyone else.  I was losing weight so others would see me as a skinny girl and think better of me.  Hopefully they would think I was prettier and I would fit in with the skinny girls.

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??!!!  This really pissed me off. 

I HATE insecurities.  I HATE when we get so wrapped up in what others think of us and I was doing that very thing.   Why is okay to be so vain???? I knew right then, the boat had to stop and I had to do some work on ME.

Since that revealing moment, I have never been happier.  I started really praying specifically about this situation and asked the Lord to open my eyes to what HE sees is beautiful in me and change me to see the same things.  As well, remove these insecurities and give me strength to be a better example to other women.  I am BIG believer that any person can start a revolution when they allow God to lead.  He does not want us to be vain and wrapped up in ourselves, but in Him.  He will then show us our beauty.  Do I still watch what I eat?  ABSOLUTELY.  Do I work out regularly?  YES!  Does my life revolve around these two things? NO, and NEVER AGAIN, will allow them to.

So why am I writing this?  I want everyone else that worries about their weight and physical appearance to feel this same way.  Do I still have bad days? Yes.  Do I sometimes try things on and want to throw a fit because I can't wear it?  Yes.  These are the days I pray harder and...wear more jewelry :).  You have to make serious changes in how you look at yourself in the mirror.  PRAY that you feel better.  PRAY for your insecurities to go away.  PRAY that your eyes are opened up to how beautiful you really are. 

The Lord will help you. Trust me.  You just have to ask.

Now, I also have some helpful hints and tips to in how I dress and make myself feel better.  I get comments and emails asking where I shop and about my style (thanks yall, you can can make my chubby cheeks blush :))  So, here is this curvy girl's tips to looking fabulous ;)...

1. WEAR YOUR SIZE!  Geez Louise yall.  This one is huge!!  I know my size.  I can order a 14 online and 9 times out of 10 it fits.  I know that is comfortable and flattering for me.  If I really wanted to, I could squeeze into a 10.  I look like a size 20 when I squeeze into a 10.   The only reason I would do that would be to say or know that I am in a 10.  Ridiculous!  Size is just a number.  When you wear the right size, you look thinner.  Not only that, you will be more comfortable and not feel fat. 

2.  KNOW WHAT LOOKS GOOD ON YOU!  I know what styles look best on me.  My stomach is my trouble area (thank you Bree Leighton and that lovely C-section :)).  I don't wear anything that is tight on my tummy.  When I find something that I like how it fits, I buy almost every color :).  Try things on, play with your shape.  I think everyone would be surprised to know what really looks best on them.  I am lucky enough to have my own personal stylist, Tara...errrrrrr ok sister :), that challenges me all the time to try new things.  She is usually right and I have to credit her to almost all my dresses and looking good for events.

3. ACCESSORIZE!! I am the queen of accessories.  I have more necklaces than one woman should.  I wear many accessories every day.  I love my big rings and earrings, scarves, belts, and flowers.  I don't do alot of bracelets because Bree is always taking them off me and I never see them again, but I do love them.  Here is my go to outfit (everyday for work or on the weekends): solid long or short dress, necklaces (usually a couple layered), big hoop earrings, and a big ring.  I know this looks good on me and I feel beautiful in these things. If you see a pretty necklace, get it! I buy cheap and expensive jewelry. I buy more things on sale than not.  If I see a necklace that I know will make any outfit, there is no stopping me :).  I buy F21 big hoop earrings probably more than I buy bread :). 

4. ALL ABOUT THE BAG AND SHOES!  In addition to my jewelry, I always have a good bag and shoes.  I may have on a $16 maxi dress from Walmart, but I am carrying a Louis Vuitton bag (for the record - that was a VERY gracious gift from my father and yes, I am spoiled rotten).  I LOVE expensive bags.  That is my weakness.  I have every one I have ever bought (or received :)) and I collect them like art :).  A good bag can make you walk with an extra spring in your step. It does not have to be an expensive one, just one you LOVE.  Take the time and pick a good one out for you.  Trust me, if you have a bag you are proud of, when you are out shopping for pretty necklaces, you will have more fun.  Just saying, it's a fact :).  Shoes are sooooooo important.  I have MANY shoes too...but almost every pair is comfortable.  I am mother to three, I do NOT have time to be limping around in some stupid pair of uncomfortable shoes.  When I am wearing my "uniform" I referenced earlier, I try to always wear a fun pair of shoes to complete the outfit.  I also, only buy shoes on sale.  There is ALWAYS a shoe sale. 

5.  SMILE!  I learned this from Shane.  When I am trying things on and ask his opinion, he always says "Smile, and it will look good" :).  When you have found your style, you will feel better and you will smile more.  There is nothing more beautiful than a confident, smiling woman.  When I am in a situation where I am feeling insecure and feel myself sinking in, I have a specific challenge. I challenge myself to get up, get in the middle of whatever conversation and SMILE.  It works like a charm every single time.  Trust me, when you are smiling and enjoying conversation, NO ONE is looking at your arm fat.

My favorite places to shop are New York and Company, TJ Maxx, Dillards, and Riff Raff (local store here, go like them on fb and you can shop from there, GENIUS! ).  Now I ALWAYS peruse Walmart and Target when I am doing other shopping to make sure they don't have any good staples I need.  I buy jewelry everywhere. If I see it, I buy it.

These things work for me.  I do have to say, my best accessories are my hot husband and three darling kiddos :).  I owe it to them to feel beautiful and confident.  I have two little girls that listen to my every word.  I want them to know always that they are beautiful just the way God made them!  I believe it all starts with a strong mother in their life telling them everyday and feeling the same way herself.  This is not being vain, this is being beautiful on the inside and it shining on the outside!

Now, I would love to lose weight and hopefully I will.  Diabetes runs rapid in my family and I have to watch my health.  But I am going to do this the right way and live a lifestyle that will enable me to lose weight slowly and the healthy way.  IT IS NOT GOING TO RULE MY LIFE!

Yall are beautiful women, round, thin, short, tall and everything in between.  Be proud of who you are and smile!! The Lord is smiling when He sees you, smile back!!

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sweet Summertime

Happy Monday!! We had a great weekend!  I had planned on being really productive, even made to do lists, but I wasn't. We did some fun, summer stuff and that was much better!  I felt like if I waited to do everything this week, it would go by much faster and we would be loaded up, beach bound before we know it!  Get back with me Friday when I am losing my mind and mad that I waited to the last minute...

Picture time!

Friday night, Shane's office had the Team and their families out to a Natural's game.  They had a suite
(which was the only way I was going to a baseball game in 100 degrees!) and food.  It was fun and the kids loved it.  Strike, you will see him in the pics below, is the team mascot.  Claire and Owen think he is great.  Bree DESPISES him and was terrified. We may or may not have laughed, but Daddy saved the day and "protected" her from him :)

Saturday, we went to Bree's bestie, Catherine's birthday party!!  Tara helped Boni throw her an indoor picnic party!  ADORABLE!!!!

Saturday night, we went to see Zookeeper. HILARIOUS!! The kids were dying laughing and we were too :).  LOVE going to the movies on summer nights.  It makes me feel like I am on vacation.  Don't know why, but it does :)...

Yesterday, we got some more shopping done for the beach.  Owen stayed home with Shane and they shaved his head for his "beach hair cut".  Owen was pumped! 

That was our weekend!  Now let's get through this week!!!!!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Getting in Gear

Happy Friday!!  Best words ever!!

I am really looking forward to the weekend.  This week has been busy with work and home.  I really need to get some things done this weekend.  Weekends mean so much more to me now that I am working in the office. 

Inspired by Blue Eyed Bride, I am creating my "Life Management Notebook".  She created a wonderful Home Management Notebook and it really inspired me to get my act in gear and organized.  I saw the need to incorporate my work life in it as well.  I also ordered me (and Nonna :)) LifePlanners from Erin  They are very smart and fabulously gorgeous as well.  They are a little pricey, but I think it woud be worth the money to have more organization in my life.  My goal is to have a binder that includes all my calenders, the kids' and Shane's calenders as well as my Menu Planning, Prayer Lists, Vacation Planning, Party Planning and Blog Planning.  Blue Eyed Bride also included many printables that are easy to use and very helpful.  Once I get mine completed, I will share.  Go check her blog out, it will definitely inspire you!

I am busy busy preparing for our trip to Gulf Shores!  I have lists made out of things I have to get done this weekend and outfits that I need to finish for me and the kids.  It is ridiculous how much I stress myself out over clothing, but it is what it is :).  I love it anyway!  I am really trying to be as organized as possible this trip to prevent any extra stress on the 12 hour drive and 7 days in the house with all our family.  This trip will be much different from last year as Bree is older and does not need so much gear!  Last year she still needed bottles!!!  It will be a huge relief that she is more independent even though I miss my rolly polly chunk baby girl. Look at how much they have grown since last year...

I can hardly wait to go!!!!!!
Have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!!   Seeing as we are a week and a half away from vacay, days are going by sooooo slow!!   Somehow, though, I am still running around like a crazy woman..never fails.  Whatevs.  Let's go...Words of Wisdom Wednesday!!

Sleeping in the playroom every night on a pallet in the floor can be fun for kids and feel like camping...even better for Mama when their beds have stayed made for almost a week!

Your 7 year old and almost 5 year old do not need iTouchs. 

An iTouch will be one of the greatest things you can ever give a 7 year old and almost 5 year old.  Picture this: *Silence* and no fighting at the pizza place.

An almost 5 year old will become obsessed with said iTouch.  It might be an issue when he wakes you up at 3am (he does not need sleep and woke up in the middle of the night) to listen to his favorite song.

It is great when his favorite song is "The Way" by Jeremy Camp or as he calls it "Jesus Song".

It is not great when you find your son with all the neighborhood boys laughing hysterically over the "pooting cat" on his iTouch.  Even worse, when you find him laughing hysterically with his daddy and poppy over the "pooting cat" on his iTouch.

Spending 24 hours with your husband while your kids stay with grandparents is absolutely wonderful and is a great thing!

Leaving your children with grandparents where apparently they install the cry buttons back on your babies feet that were removed several months ago, not always a great thing (cry buttons are little buttons on the bottoms of their feet so when they touch the ground, they make your baby cry :))

Sugar Free Red Bull is the best pick me up on summer mornings.  Especially over ice.

A 23 month old will not go into shock if she finishes off a Red Bull she found in the kitchen that was left over from what her Daddy did not finish.

Trying to bake cookies and eat them in secret when your kids are in bed (read: playroom floor) is hard.  Even harder when baby mentioned above has finished a Red Bull moments before.

Chocolate chip cookies are just as good at midnight.

Drinking ice water instead of milk with said cookies erase all calories :)

Have a great day!!!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Good Company

Monday - you are here again, maybe a little bit better than last week, but you are still Monday. 12 more days.....

We had a great weekend!!  I mean seriously, a GREAT weekend!!  We dropped off the kids at Shane's parents' house Saturday morning and did not get them back until late Sunday afternoon!  We had the whole weekend to celebrate our 10 year Anniversary.  It was FANtastic.  We shopped, we ate good food, we moved slower than usual, we relaxed, and laughed a ton.  It had been a long time since we were able to just chill, just the two of us and it was so wonderful.  Saturday, Shane surprised me and bought me a Yurman ring!!  I am so excited about it and absolutely LOVE it.  We had dinner reservations Saturday night at 9pm...the only reason so late, because we could...such rebels :). 

By the time we picked up the kids, we actually missed them and were excited to get them home...they were not as excited to see us (love Nana and Papa's house) but we loved on them a bunch last night.  We also tried a new local place here for brunch yesterday that was to die for!! Can you say carrot cake waffles and lemon souffle pancakes??!!!  Here are some random pics from the weekend...

Us on Saturday :)
My new bling!!!!  Champagne stone in the middle!

 My strawberry peach sangria Saturday afternoon...YUM!!
 Going to dinner at 9pm :)

 The amAzing brunch menu!

 After brunch...

This is dinner last night...Owen was exhausted from his fun weekend, he passed out AT DINNER!
Have a great day!!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Better than Bacon...

Today is me and Shane's 10 year Anniversary!  Wow!!  10 years is a long time but at the same time, it seems like yesterday, we were getting married on a hot Saturday in July!  It is so crazy to think that we had no idea, that ten years later, we would have three little people with us everyday that we love to the moon!

I could do a long, mushy, romantic post about how much I love my Shane, but that's not me.  Instead, Shane and I surveyed our kids the other night, questions about us 10 years ago and before.  All three children were quizzed and I took all three answers...including B :), so I had to do some translating and just write down whatever she said :)...I also included below their answers, the correct answer.  ENJOY!

1.  How old were Mama and Daddy when they met?
Claire - Daddy - 18, Mama - 17
Owen - Daddy - 4, Mama - 6
Bree - Daddy - "K", Mama - 2

I was 15 and Shane was 17.

2.  How old were they when they got married?
Claire - Daddy - 25, Mama - 24
Owen - Daddy - 10, Mama - 11
Bree -Daddy - "K", Mama - "K"

I was 20 and Shane was 21.

3.What did Mama love most about Daddy?
Claire - "He looks good!"
Daddy - "His kiss"
Bree - "Kiss" *she kissed me ;)"

I loved his southern accent, his blue eyes, and his kisses :). 

4.What did Daddy love most about Mama?
Claire - "Her pretty hair"
Owen - "Her dress"
Bree - "Mama's B's" - her exact answer, Shane loved it...:)

Shane loved my smile and thought I was a hottie :) (I totally answered that for him :))

5 .  Where did Daddy take Mama on dates?
Claire - Dinner
Owen - Fishing
Bree - "over there" as she points over there :)

We used to go to the movies all the time, Sonic and Applebees.

6. Where did we meet?
Claire -"In a car"
Owen  - "At that place, you know running errands" (running errands to Owen = the mall :))
Bree - we lost Bree for a moment here and she started saying "I want color!" because I was writing on a pad of paper..

We actually met in a car.  Shane and my best friend came to pick me up and I met him when I got in his car.

It was complete chaos when we were asking these questions.  Owen asked me right after the above question while messing with his big toenail "If I take this off, is something coming out of there?"  B had taken off and come back with crayons and a coloring book.  Claire had gotten each kid a string cheese.

7. What was our first fight about?
Claire - "yall fought about what game to play, mama wanted soccer, daddy wanted football"
Owen - "Mama needs to be nice"
Bree - *wants more cheese* no answer :)

Our first fight was Shane jealous over some other boys :)

8.  Where was our first kiss?
Claire - "on your first date, in a restaurant"
Owen "in a car"
Bree - "the house"

On our first date, in a car..

9.Where did we get married?
Claire - "at a fancy place"
Owen - "at the mall"
Bree - "outside" *pointing outside

We got married at the country club here.

10.  Where did we go for our honeymoon?
Claire - "Hawaii"
Owen - "the beach"
Bree - something in Chinese and apparently was very funny because she was laughing hard :)

We went to the Bahamas!

11.What did Daddy's parents like and not like about Mama?
Claire - "You were very nice, but you had a little head"
Owen - "They liked that you ate their dinner, but you fight too much"
Bree - she said "pants" for what they like and "hat" for what they don't like

They loved everything about me!! HA! - I am starting to think Owen thinks we fight too much ;)!!

12.  What did Mama's parents like and not like about Daddy?
Claire - "He looks good, but he comes over too much!"
Owen - "He swims, but he fights too much"
Bree - she said "eyes" for what they like and when asked what they didn't like she started speaking Chinese again and was laughing so hard with her hand over her mouth :)

They loved everything about Shane!

13. How long will Mama and Daddy be married?
Claire - 1000 years
Owen - "until you see somebody else"
Bree - she was done.

I think was my most favorite blog ever :)!!

Shane Leighton Brown - you are the best thing that has ever happened to are the jelly to my roll, the icing on my cupcake, the teasing comb to my hair, the bacon to my eggs, and the guacamole on my make everything better and me a better person!!  I will love you forever and ever, you handsome, hunk of man!! I am one damn, lucky girl!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Yay for Wednesday!! Wednesday afternoon always feels good!  Wednesdays are even better with my words of wisdom...and today they are brought to you from some of my fave boards on you go, enjoy!!

Aren't those fun??!! I love pinterest!! If you are not on, drop your email in a comment and I will send you an invite!!

Hope you are having a great week so far!! Tomorrow is a big day in our house and I will be back tomorrow with an extra fun post that may or may not include another survey of my three little lovelies!!