October 9, 2014

Finding My Place

My goodness this blog has been so neglected. I could go into each and every one of those reasons but there is no point in dwelling on why my space has been so quiet.

Lately, I've felt a pull to get back into blogging. I just adore the community that comes from sharing a piece of our lives on the internet. The friendships, advice, and support that this little place has blessed me with over the past 6 years is simply amazing. And a piece of me longs to jump back in and reclaim my space.

But an even bigger piece of me feels lost when it comes to blogging again.

When I first started blogging (way back in 2008 under a different blog name and domain) I openly blogged about my struggles with infertility and pregnancy loss. I connected with other women who understand the painful journey that was. We cried in our defeat and celebrated in our triumph. Ultimately, I overcame that struggle and handed in my title of Infertility Blogger.

As soon as my high risk pregnancy with Kate was a bit more stable, I moved over to this space and blogged about important things like do I buy a Bugaboo or an UppaBaby. (What I wouldn't give to have that be the hardest decision I had to make!) I shared pregnancy updates and ultimately shared the joy that comes with bringing a new life into this world. As I welcomed Kate into my arms I handed in another title - the title of "Pregnancy Blogger" and proudly accepted my new title of Mommy Blogger.

I spent a good chunk of the first year as a Mommy Blogger painting a rosy picture of life with Kate. I wasn't trying to be deceitful about our struggles; I just wasn't ready for the world to know my perfectly amazing baby girl was sick. I needed to keep some things private until we had answers. So I blogged about crawling and park visits and baby food and teething. And I even spent a few months blogging about being a working mom and how that means you will, at some point, walk into a boardroom in a suit that has your kids poop on it.

On June 6, 2011 my title of Mommy Blogger morphed into the title of Special Needs Mommy Blogger. That day forever changed my life. I was no longer just a mom concerned with normal things like teething. I was concerned about scary things like donors and chemo and transplants. With an actual diagnosis in our pocket, I could no longer avoid sharing our struggles. And I wanted to share them. Because I knew I would receive so much support.

With the surprise of a second baby, who was also sick, I continued to wear my Special Needs Mommy Blogger badge and kept sharing.

Then life got a bit crazy, my kids got healthier, we moved, and moved again, dealt with some other medical issues, and dealt with life.

But most importantly, we began enjoying life like a normal family. And while that normal felt oh so amazing, it also came with feelings of guilt. I cannot tell you how many posts I have sitting in draft about awesome days - first day of preschool, normal activities, Will's big post transplant trip to Disney, mundane posts about typical weekend fun. But I just couldn't bring myself to hit publish. I felt guilty for sharing our joys and celebrating what we've overcome because so many families are still struggling. Or never got to experience the joy of overcoming. Survivors guilt is real. And I still battle it daily.

Last night I was laying in bed awake and it finally hit me why I just can't seem to hit publish these days.

I no longer know my place in the blogging world. Yes my kids have continuing medical issues related to their transplants. But I don't entirely identify with the label of special needs mommy blogger b/c our struggles seem to pale in comparison to what others are experience these days.

However, I don't quite feel like a normal mommy blogger either. My life has forever been altered by what we've experienced. I will never be a mom that can live a carefree life that doesn't personally understand fatal conditions. I just can't go back to where I was pre June 6, 2011.

So I sat here in limbo. Feeling lost without a label.

I want to be normal but I never want to forget.

I want to share our joys with each and every one of y'all that supported us during the darkest of dark days. But I never want to cause someone still in those dark days to feel upset because of our newfound joy.

I am label less in the blog world.

But you know what? That is OK! I've finally realized that no one who started blogging back in 2008 is still the same person, with the same struggles. We have all grown in our own unique ways; morphed into the people we are today due to the encounters and experiences we've had over the past 6 years.

It is ok for me to post an unimportant update about a random Wednesday at the park. And it is also ok for me to post a deep, emotionally charged rant about some of the struggles we still face.

I'm determined to find my voice again and re-enter this community. Just bare with me as I navigate this new road!

March 13, 2014

February 2014 Stitch Fix Review: Box #2

Y'all. This review is SO late. Like over a month later than I planned.

But, over the past month I've packed an entire house, had the flu, moved to temporary housing, and lived without internet for 2.5 weeks. All while continuing to search for a home. Living without internet may be the worst part of it all.  However, we are back up and running! All recovered, all moved in, still without a house, but adjusting to life in the burbs!

I have so much to blog about - like Kate's first day of preschool!!!!! - but I wanted to get my February Stitch Fix post up before my March box arrives next week! Yes - I've given in and moved to monthly boxes. Stich Fix is BOOMING and scheduling fixes is getting harder and harder as the company becomes more well known. I loved my first box so much that I wanted to make sure I was getting regular fixes!

Stitch Fix run down:
1. Sign up to become a member.
2. Complete your detailed style profile.
3. Wait for your box to arrive.
4. Try on 5 pieces selected by your personal stylist in the comfort of your home ($20 style fee applies).
5. Keep some, keep all, keep nothing. Receive 25% discount if you keep it all! $20 style fee applied to any purchases made.
6. Check out online, give feed back about items.
7. Return items you do not want in a prepaid shipping envelop!
8. Schedule your next fix!

See? So easy! And oh so fun!

I was so excited when I opened my box! This month I specifically asked for a blazer and something a bit out of my comfort zone. Christine did a great job pulling items. Last month I liked my box but felt like it was a bit dark. I made sure to let the Stitch Fix team know I wanted more color - and they sure did listen!

Tip: Be extremely detailed in your feedback - not only on each item, but on your box as a whole. The more feedback you give, the better your box will be! Promise!

Here is a random collage of my items. It is so hard to style items with 80% of your closet is already packed for an upcoming move. I also never got around to taking real, non iPhone pictures of me wearing the items because 12 hours after my box arrive I came down with the flu. While packing. And moving. And tending to two small humans.

Here are the details:

1) 41Hawthorn Moni Stud Detailed 3/4 Blouse ($58)

Oh this blouse. How I love it. So much. The color. The detail. The fit. It is perfection. Looks great with skinnies or shorts. Is super comfy. All around a HUGE win in my book!

Status: No brainer. Keep

2) Oxmo Dayton Sequin Pocket Plaid Cotton Shirt ($78)

I was very meh about this top. It fit fine but it just felt so fallish to me. It's nearly 80 in Houston right now and I just can't imagine wearing something like this until October/ November. Add in the high price for a sheer top and I was not so impressed.

Status: Return

3) 41 Hawthorn Madox Tribal Print Fit and Flare Dress ($68)

 I was instantly in love when I stalked my box and saw this was headed my way. This dress is so amazing and looks even better in person. I was expecting to keep this especially since it is such a great price for a dress! However, the fit was off. It was pretty big everywhere. It looks like lots of people got this dress and experienced the same thing. I think the Stitch Fix team didn't realize this dress was running a bit on the big side when they shipped it out in so many February boxes.

Status: Sadly sent back

4) 41Hawthorn Toshi Contrast Detail Longsleeve Blazer ($88)

This was an item I requested for my February box (not this specific blazer, just a blazer in general). I was a bit disappointed. My January feedback stated I wanted more color in my next box. I was hoping for something fun like a mint green or cobalt blazer. After hanging up my Corporate America hat 3 years ago, I have no desire to wear a black blazer while wiping snotty noses and running to HEB! This blazer was also pretty tight in the bust on me.

Status: Return

5) Just Black Adora Skinny Jean ($88)

I'll be honest, when I saw a pair of jeans was included in my box I was not super happy. I hate shopping for jeans and immediately assumed there was zero chance of these fitting properly and hated that something I expected to not fit was taking up one of my five items. I was wrong! While they were a little long, they fit great and I loved them! I am not normally a fan of colored skinnies (these are a light blue) but I thought it was a fun color to add into my wardrobe. Unexpected and not something I would have ever picked myself!

Status: Keep

Overall, I was very impressed with my box. Had the dress fit, I would have just kept everything and received the 25% off discount. But, with the dress being too big, the plaid shirt being out of season for Houston, and the blazer making me feel like I needed to run back to my old office, I decided to just keep the pink top and the skinnies!

My March box arrives next week and I am so excited! I'm really hoping I see some spring/ summer tops, fun colors, lots of patterns, and maybe even a pair of shorts! I am secretly hoping to get a killer floral top that matches the light blue skinnies I kept this month! I'll report back soon!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own. However, if you follow any links in this post, and schedule a fix, I will receive a referral credit. If you are not comfortable with that (totally understand!) just google Stitch Fix and sign up from their site directly!

February 25, 2014

Life is CRAZY!

There is no other way to describe our life right now that comically crazy. If you follow me on InstaGram this is all old news. But for those of you who don't, here is a snippet of our life over the past week.

Things are crazy because we move Wednesday. To temporary housing. Because we sold our house. And do not have a new house. More on that in another post. But we have movers coming Wednesday and officially close Thursday. It is extremely bitter sweet.

I'll start with some sweet! My amazing in-laws were in town last weekend and were so helpful! I had several hours at the house alone to pack. Not only are we packing to move but I am having to sort everything. What do we use on a daily basis? What can we go without for months until we find a house? Needless to say, it has been tedious work.

But I was able to step away from the packing last Monday and we loaded everyone up and headed to the Houston Zoo! Totally unprompted, Kate walked up to Will and said "Bubba, des are flamingos. Hold my hand. I'll lead you to dem. See dose gray ones? Dey are the babies. Dey'll be pink when dey eat more shrimp. Isn't dat cool? I saw dem when dey were eggs. You couldn't come den. But you can see dem now!"

And then my heart melted. And I cried. And I thanked the good Lord for every blessing He has shown our way. Two miracles. Healed. Living life. Perfection! (Side note: how grown does Kate look in her casual wear with her ponytail?)

Ok so back to crazy. A milk sippie got lost in my car. And then exploded. So my car smells like death. And we've been in it a lot as we run up to the apartment for this or that. Kate is not a fan and screams the first 15 minutes we are in the car about how nasty it smells and how she needs someone to hold her nose so she can take pictures or play on her iPad with both hands. Girlfriend is queen of the first world problem.

My kids are certain we don't need any furniture in the apartment. We were there Thursday (pre-flu - see next picture for details) to get the keys and they were in heaven. Too bad it is going to be filled to the brim come Wednesday. They are blurs b/c they were running so fast!

About an hour after we got back from the apartment, I started dying. Ok I'm being dramatic. But only slightly. I seriously was hit hard and fast and could not function by 5pm Thursday (2/20). I called Alex and begged him to come home early so I could make it to the RediClinic before they closed. I got there, they did a flu test, and sure enough, I was diagnosed with Influenza A. Before anyone asks, yes I got my flu shot. And before anyone tells me it is in effective, save your breath...or fingers...I will be getting the flu shot again next year. And all of the years after that. It isn't 100% effective. But I will always do anything in my power to avoid the misery I've been in since I came down with the flu. We all started Tamiflu in hopes of protecting Will and I am finally feeling a bit more human.

So I've mentioned we're moving. And packing. And then I got the flu. And had to wear a mask in order to contain my germs. Fever + sneezing + coughing + mask wearing is not fun. At all.

I was literally unable to do a single thing this entire weekend. Which meant Alex had to pack. And I witnessed this. No that is not garbage. That is my husband's packing method. Throw shit in a contractor bag. No joke. Unpacking should be loads of fun.

Thanks to the flu, this is the current state of my kitchen. Did I mention movers will be here in 36 hours? And that while Tamiflu has most likely lessened the impact, Will is now sick? Fever, snotty nose, fussy. Yep. Probably the flu. I have to bring him in this morning to evaluate him and I am just praying he is not admitted. Because I cannot imagine moving and closing while Will is in the hospital. Not to mention I would probably not be allowed on the BMT floor at all since I have the flu myself. It would just be insane to deal with.

So yes, life has been insane in the Boggan household. Packing, moving, flu, still searching for a house! Lots going on over here! 

All joking and dramatics aside, I'm so glad Alex was able to pick up my slack and that we are ready to make this move...and then do it again in the near future when we find our next house!

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