My story matters

Have you ever attended an event that completely changed your outlook on life? Read a book that made you really think about yourself? Heard a song that resonated with you? Last night I attended an event called Becoming Me which was hosted by one of my friends from college. It was for women and the purpose is to lift women up and they did this by having a few share their stories.

The first story was from Katie Gilligan who I’ve seen on Instagram, etc and only knew as a gorgeous woman who owns an adorable boutique. It was easy for me to assume from her Instagram posts that she is “perfect”. She always looks put together, even with two kids. Last night she shared her story and it was honestly so eye opening. It was raw, honest and messy. She shared things you wouldn’t expect to hear from someone who seems so “perfect”. We all know there is no such thing as a perfect person but it’s easy to compare yourself to others and wonder what they’re doing right that you’re not. Her story really touched me and inspired me to share my story.

I learned from the event and the speakers that even when you don’t feel important, you are. Your story matters. MY story matters. I’ve been abused. I’ve been raped. I’ve felt unloved and looked for it in the wrong places. I’ve done drugs and drank alcohol trying to numb the pain. I’ve had an eating disorder for over 12 years. I’ve hated myself, blamed myself and wished I were someone else. After my miscarriage I have changed. I’ve grown. I don’t want to be the person I’ve been, I want to be better. Sharing my story is the first step in my journey and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

My little apple seed

A baby is growing inside of me. When I look down at my belly, I cry. I have never felt more blessed, excited or happy for anything in my life.

I’ve really been struggling with my fears these past few days since I found out that I was pregnant. What if something I did before I knew I was pregnant hurt the baby? What if I have a miscarriage? I know it’s common for a lot of first pregnancies. But then I remember that God is in control. He gave me this baby for a reason. He answered my prayers and blessed me with this little angel because he knew I was ready for it. Gods plan is so much bigger than I can even comprehend. If he believes that I am strong enough to grow a tiny human inside of me, then I know that I am. I cannot live my life in fear and I know the importance of being happy and excited for what is to come.

I have had nothing but pregnancy on the mind since I found out. I’ve focused on the baby inside of me every time I go to eat something, every time I feel like I’m about to throw up, and every time I smile. In 9 months, I will be holding my baby in my arms smiling at their little face and wondering how I got to be so lucky. As far as symptoms go, I haven’t really felt too much. Nausea, gas, bloating a fatigue mainly. I slept for ten hours last night, then came to work and have slept another five hours or so, on and off.

Thinking back on these last five weeks or so, I laugh at how God planned this pregnancy. I had been to Florida 3 times total. Once for a wedding, and twice because of my Neene passing away. Little did I know that I was pregnant every time I went. I felt bloated, ugly and gross each time I was there, but just blamed it on the heat of Florida and my love for food. I’d been peeing SO OFTEN but just figured I’d grown a weaker bladder. I have had NO energy, one day I slept until 4:30 pm just because I had nothing to do and I was so tired. Just this past Monday I had run some errands with my mother in law and told her how bloated I was feeling.

My period was ten days late but I figured it was the stress of work and of my Neene dying, little did I know, there was a little babe inside of me. My sister in law urged me to take a test, so I went to the store on Wednesday and purchased two boxes of two different tests and two different brands. I took the first one when I got back to work, expecting it to be negative because it was the middle of the day and I had already consumed a ton of water and sweet tea. I walked out of the bathroom and left the test on the counter, did some chores around the house and then went back. I did about thirty takes of the test.

“Is that really a positive sign?” “Am I blind or what?” No, my eyes were not deceiving me. I WAS PREGNANT!!! I called my MIL immediately, shaking uncontrollably and bawling my eyes out with happiness. I then called my mom, grandma and husband and shared the news. Everyone was thrilled! Zack was in shock at first but is now excited too. I then called my doctor and made an appointment, and to my surprise they scheduled me for an ultrasound on April 9th!

I have all four tests saved at home, and I look at them every day to relive how excited I was when I first found out. Only knowing for a few days and being this happy and excited only has me wondering what the rest of the pregnancy will be like. No amount of sickness could keep me away from being happy and excited to welcome this baby into such a beautiful family. I am already so in love with my little *five week* apple seed, and I cannot wait to see it on the monitor in a little less than two weeks! No fear.

Invest in people who invest in you. 

I saw this quote on Instagram @thealisonshow and immediately fell in love. It seems that things are always delivered to you when you need them and I needed this quote. 

I have always been a million people in one body. Does that make sense? Probably not so I’ll try to explain. I can be a people pleaser and a me pleaser, independent but shy, an extrovert yet introvert… The list goes on and on. When I took the Myers Briggs personality test in college, I wasn’t surprised to find that I am not just one of the personality types. I have a little bit of everything thrown into one person.

One thing I pride myself on being is a good person. I have been a bitch, dishonest, legally wrong, sinful and hateful. I have done things I am so ashamed of and I’ve lost little pieces of myself along the way. But I have grown so unbelievably much. I look back on the things I’ve done and can only be thankful for them. They got me to where I am now, physically, mentally and emotionally. When I compare who I am now to who I was five years ago, it’s apples and oranges! Then, I was outwardly happy but inwardly depressed. I bundled all my emotions up until I couldn’t hold on to them anymore. I was boy crazy, unconfident and always trying to buy my happiness.  

I have also lost friends and disconnected with people I thought I’d be attached to my whole life. I’ve healed relationships and started fresh with others. When you look at your life in a five year span, it’s a little nerve wracking to see how much can change in what seems like a small amount of time. 

Back to the quote, it seems lately I have been in a funk about being the one to reach out to others. I get down on myself when I realize that instead of a mutual friendship where you’re both investing time in trying to plan something to do together, I have been the sole planner. This is in no way in regards to every relationship, just some. And it sucks. Why would you waste your time with people who don’t seem to care whether you’re in their lives or not? 

It ties in to all of my friendships as well, though. I have some friends whom I go days and sometimes weeks without speaking to, but I know that if I ever needed them, they’d answer in a heartbeat. We don’t need to communicate daily because we are that close. I don’t get upset if they don’t text me back right away and I don’t call them until they answer. There are friendships that mean the world to me, where we understand and respect each other unconditionally. 

If I have something I’ve been beating myself up about, I reach out to Aida. If I feel sad and miss home, I call Aly. When I need to laugh and reminisce on high school times or remember an old song, Ashley is my girl. I have some of the best friends in the world. They get me and never let me down, no matter what we’ve been through. Realizing this makes the quote a little more real. 

Invest in people who invest in you.

You shouldn’t have to work at a friendship. It shouldn’t feel like a tiresome job. Instead, it should benefit you and make you feel great. Time is so precious, why would you want to waste it on someone who doesn’t care to use their time on you?

Just some food for thought on this snowy Tuesday. 



Friendsgiving

I was randomly thinking about my relationships with people in the past and present. How they got to where they are and why some ended. Something I’ve always known, but maybe never really started doing accurately until maybe the past two years, is that communication is the most important thing in any relationship.
I used to hold my emotions in until I just couldn’t anymore. I wouldn’t tell my mom when something upset me, instead I would keep building up more and more frustrations until we had a huge fight. Mom and I fought like sisters because I couldn’t ever figure out how to communicate with her. To this day I hate that I acted so bratty towards her in the past but I can’t take it back. I can only move forward knowing what I know and attempt to react differently in the future.
Every person has a different communication style. Some people tell you how they feel with just a look. Others will tell you flat out that they’re mad at you while some will change their exclamation point to a period in a text if they’re pissed off. Subtle things that you either notice or don’t, can really affect the way a conversation is going to go.
One of the biggest things I’ve been trying to glue into my brain is the people cannot read your mind. If you’re upset, SAY SOMETHING. Don’t expect your boyfriend to get that you’re not really “just tired” but upset about something he said or did. It will get your relationship nowhere. When Zack and I started dating, his ex girlfriend started a lot of drama in our relationship. Calling, texting, cyber-bullying me, etc. Sometimes I would tell him how I felt, but others I would just mope silently and expect him to know what I was upset about. I expected him to make me feel amazing without realizing that I had to first make myself realize that I am already amazing.
Openly communicating doesn’t necessarily mean complaining about every tiny, inconsequential thing that irks you. It just means being honest when you should (well, you should always be honest obviously… But do it tastefully) and taking a step back to really think about whether or not it’s something that should be brought up.
I’ve come so far from the type of person I used to be. I no longer get my panties in a bunch over stupid things that shouldn’t bother me. I try to keep an open mind and see both sides of every situation. When I’m upset or feeling depressed, I talk about it. Nobody can read my mind but me, I can’t expect everyone to know when I need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen (or an eye to read because I rarely call anyone). I’ve realized the importance of reaching out to friends and loved ones when you’re in need.
Think about your friends and family and what you know about each of them. You’ll be able to pick out their communication style and what they need as an individual. It really is quite beautiful when you think about it.

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Road trippin’ to Florida

I’m probably jinxing myself by typing this in the car. I typically get car sick trying to read/write while riding but oh well, it’s worth a shot! My husband and I are currently en route to Ocala, the “Horse Capital of the World” a.k.a my hometown. My best friends sister is getting married on Saturday, so it was the perfect opportunity to take a long weekend to see my friends and family.
Road trips have always been an exciting thing to me. I remember taking them when Jordan and I were kids with my dad to visit our Aunt, Uncle and cousins in South Carolina. The thrill of spending a week in a different state with our fun family was always so exciting. Growing up we would also take trips with our mom to see our Papa in Tennessee. We would always stop for Krispy Kreme donuts because Ocala only had Dunkin’ (and Tas-t-o’s… Drool). It was also on a trip to TN that we saw snow for the first time. Now, though, “road trips” take on a different meaning to me.
Road tripping these days means going home. Sure, I live in Charlotte with my husband and doggies, but Ocala will always be my home home. It’s where my mom is. Where my 102 year old great grandma Neene lives in a nursing home wondering when her favorite great granddaughter (me, duh!) will be by to visit. It’s where my Grandmommy spends time with my cousins and sisters missing me (Just kidding…but really). Ocala is where my 15 year old sister is growing up and going through high school without her older sister to help when mom just won’t understand. It’s where my friends are. The ones I can’t imagine not having in my life.
Ocala holds a lot of things for me. Taking a road trip there sends a mix of emotions spiraling through me. I feel excited, happy, sad, stressed… Just to name a few. I’m excited to see everyone, happy to be home, sad because I know it won’t be a long enough visit and stressed because I want to fit in as many people as possible and it isn’t always that easy.
Moving 8 hours away from Ocala has opened my eyes to a plethora of realizations. Family is so important. Not having my Grandmommy a ten minute drive away has had a huge impact on me! Not being able to take my sisters to school when my mom can’t really bothers me. Only seeing my friends faces on social media SUCKS! It’s hard when you have a full time job and responsibilities keeping you in place. We don’t always have time to see each other when we want to.
But moving has also helped me to grow as an individual. I am not the same girl who left Florida as a 21 year old with a Boston Terrier and a car full of clothes. I’ve matured in more ways than one. I’ve grown more confident in myself and my abilities. I’ve learned the importance of keeping up the relationships that mean the most to you. I’ve learned that it isn’t necessary to waste time trying to make people like you if they don’t.
I am almost 24 years old. In the last 23.9 years I have learned, grown and adapted to become who I am now. I’m proud of what I’ve done and gone through to get me to this point. I’m looking forward to where I go next. Well, after Ocala. Thanks for reading!

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When life gives you avocados (because I loathe avocados)

Life sucks (sometimes).
When I have a crappy day at work and come home to shoes that were torn up by one of the dogs, I get discouraged. When I find a cute top that I want but realize I can’t spend the money on that right now, I feel a little down. I often let my stress get the best of me, Negative Nancy comes around too often for me.
Goal-setting Gina is much better.
Luckily, I’ve learned how to not let it affect me for too long. I think it’s vital to ponder on what has you upset and why, then try to figure out a way to see the silver lining. A few weeks ago I had my heart set on buying a 2015 Jeep Cherokee, I love my Hyundai Elantra, but I have major baby fever, and am ready for a bigger car. Anyway, it didn’t work out. I left the dealership feeling discouraged and letting it affect the way I was acting. When I got home that night, I made a list of goals I want to accomplish this year. There are only three items on the list so far, but they’re important to me. Here they are:
• Pay off debt
• Attend and graduate dental assisting school
• Get a job as a dental assistant
Seriously, Olivia, open your eyes!
The thing is, I have a pretty fantastic life. I have a husband who loves me even when I don’t deserve it. I have three dogs who treat me like I’m the most amazing person in the world. I have two families who love me unconditionally and a handful of friends I could never replace. I have a home, job, a car, I can cook and bake like nobodies business, I have an education and skills that nobody can take away from me.
There are always going to be tough days. Sometimes we’re going to want to question what we’re doing with our lives. Sometimes we’re going to regret choices we made. But when we get to the point in our lives when it all makes sense, we can be thankful. Thankful that we broke up with that person who was no good for us, thankful that we quit the job that made us miserable. Every choice we made in our lives led us to where we are now. We’ve heard it before and we’ll hear it again, we will look back on these days and understand why we went through what we did.
When I need a little inspiration, I just let go of what’s weighing me down and focus on the good in my life. It is probably the most difficult thing to do. Sometimes it takes me a while, but eventually I get there. If you’re feeling depressed or discouraged, I urge you to keep your head up, it’s going to be okay.

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Finding beauty in the details

Today, a stranger told me that I am “so pretty”.
I took Savannah (the girl I nanny) to lunch today. When we went to pay, our waitress told me, “I feel like this is weird, but I wanted to tell you I think you are so pretty.” Wait–what? Here I am, hair thrown into a bun, minimal makeup on and feeling super self-conscious and Jade tells me I’m pretty. I almost cried. Maybe some of you can understand… When I look in the mirror all I see are imperfections. So when I get a compliment on a photo, or in person, I initially want to negate it, but hearing one from a complete stranger makes me walk on air. I know I shouldn’t care what others think, but I do (as I’m sure everyone does).
When things like this happen, I really begin to think. I need to find the beauty in the details. There is beauty in every day. When I see an old couple holding hands and having a meal together, when Savannah kisses my cheek and tells me she loves me, when my Basset Hound, Irving, howls his lungs out as I walk through the door. Those moments are beautiful, they’re worth thinking about and appreciating. I encourage each of you to think on the day you’ve had and look past the big ticket items and towards the small details. Maybe it was a sweet text from a friend or loved one, or a kind gesture done by a stranger in public. It’s there.

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Welcome!

Hey all! Thanks for checking out my blog. The purpose of this blog is to share my life with you! I’ll share stories from my past, serious issues I’ve faced and conquered, shopping deals I’ve snagged and just give you an inside look at my life. Here is a little tidbit about me. I was born in Miami, Florida and raised in Ocala, Florida. I moved to Charlotte, NC when I was 21. Since then, I met my (now) husband, adopted three amazing animals, started my long road to recovering from an eating disorder and really started to love life. Stay tuned!
Follow me on Instagram to see my life in photos. http://instagram.com/oliviafcecil/

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