Life’s Gripes and Grapes | And a Unique Wooden Watch

IMG_2795Anyone who’s married knows marriage isn’t always a cakewalk. I think that’s good though because if it were, there would be no opportunity for growth. Constant cakewalking=stagnant relationship. My goal in my marriage is to always be evolving and growing with Ryan. I have an expectation that I will gradually know him more and more deeply as the days go by and sometimes the fastest way to do that is to experience adversity together — it’s the silver lining to crappy situations.

Everyone goes through tough times in his or her lives and most people choose not to share it publicly (with the exception of those few who post pity party essays as their Facebook status’ for attention). But the majority of us look like we have the most perfect lives when you scroll our feeds – I’m guilty of it too. But I do it because dwelling on what’s negative in my life doesn’t serve me well – what does serve me well is putting a positive spin on things, then posting about it. I basically trick myself into seeing the bright side of obstacles haha.

However, when I started this blog, I told myself I’d always be honest; I want to share my real life. So I’m going to take a moment and list out on here what’s been putting a strain on me and my marriage lately and how I’m working through it.

For context: One of the PR firms I worked at (arguably my favorite one) used to take a moment at staff meetings and for employees to share their “gripes and grapes.” Gripes were things that were bugging you, Grapes were positive shout outs. So here I go with mine…

Gripes:

  • We live at my parent’s house because our house was gutted for a remodel
  • Our oldest son is struggling emotionally from living in limbo
  • We’ve been feeling unsettled for 9 months and counting; it’s wearing on us
  • We don’t know exactly when our house will be done
  • We are making big decisions when it comes to money and it’s stressful
  • We don’t get very much time alone
  • We have tons of design decisions to make together regarding our house; it can feel overwhelming
  • Ryan spends most of his free time working on the house
  • I have a million goals regarding my blog and some other things but I don’t feel like I have the time I need to spend to accomplish those goals and it makes me feel frustrated

There ya go…my little rant. When I read through it, I feel like I’m being a whiny millennial, which is why I don’t like to share things like this on social media. Was that uplifting to any of you? NO! Lol. Not to mention, I know a million plus people have it worse than I do! I know I could be dealing with REAL issues like cancer, death, divorce, hunger, poverty or any other sort of crisis so I feel silly whining about my life. But at the same time, my issues are impacting my sanity. Here’s how I cope…

Grapes:

  • I drink wine if you haven’t already noticed via my insta stories
  • I go on mommy dates fairly frequently and it fuels my soul
  • I pray and talk with my oldest son about how he’s feeling and try to show him unconditional love – I’m also completely redoing his room so that when we move back into our house, he’ll be blown away
  • I think about how lucky we are that my parent’s have a house big enough to accommodate our family so well
  • I remember how supportive my parent’s have been and how gracious they are to let us live here, rent free
  • I remember back before Ryan got his engineering license and I quit my job in PR and we were BROKE with a newborn baby in our starter house – I’m beyond grateful we have the means to buy a house in our dream neighborhood, then gut it to studs and remodel it
  • I think about how lucky I am to be married to a man who trusts my design decisions and genuinely loves and appreciates how I can transform the look of a room
  • I communicate with Ryan about how our lack of alone time together is making me feel disconnected from him – we remedy this by going out on dates
  • I remember that accomplishing big goals requires small, consistent efforts; although I can’t put the time/energy I want into accomplishing those goals right now, I’m still working towards them in small ways and I’ll eventually be able to ramp up my efforts

In addition to all of these things, I also totally surprised Ryan with a unique men’s wooden watch for Valentine’s Day a little early. I’ve gotten a JORD Wood Watch for him before and he LOVED it, but they’re constantly coming out with new designs, so I wanted to add to his little collection. They are also a great Valentine’s Day gift for him PLUS you can enter to win $100 towards the JORD site (enter here). You may not win the $100, but you automatically win $25 just for entering! Contest closes 02/04/2018

Thanks for listening to my rant. Next time you find yourself going to negative town, try and spin each gripe you have into a grape 🙂

Links below to check out more watches!

Ryan’s watch

Men’s watches

Women’s watches

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Luxury Wooden Watch

 

8 Reasons I Love Being a Boy Mom

JRP_3372copy (1)Let me start this off by saying that this post is not a dig at girl moms or to say being a boy mom is better. Nor is this meant to imply that I wouldn’t love a daughter one day, because of course I would. What I’m sharing today is simply all the things I love about having boys.

I can shape them into gentlemen

This is probably the biggest one in light of all the recent news stories on inappropriate male behavior. I didn’t participate in the social media #metoo frenzy for various reasons, but I’ve experienced my fair share of unwanted comments and even some situations where I had to be physically aggressive to keep myself safe.

There are so many wonderful gentlemen out there who are overshadowed by the animalistic predator men who view women as objects for their enjoyment. I have been blessed with the opportunity to shape two young boys to become the former, not only by what I deliberately teach them, but what they observe watching the Ryan’s behavior toward me and other women around him. I feel like God has given me the opportunity to better our society of males by entrusting me with TWO to raise right.

Chivalry won’t be dead and manners will be ingrained

Does your husband know how to properly set a table? Like does he know forks go on the left? Does he pull out your chair? Open your door? As much as I love Ryan, those things aren’t ingrained in him. It’s something you have to be taught and I definitely am already teaching Porter at the age of four about good manners vs. bad manners.

I don’t have to host a wedding

Since we only plan on having one more, at the very most we’ll be responsible for one wedding.

Boys love their moms

Of course they love their Dad’s too, but that mother-son bond is unique and I creepily stare at them with doting eyes on the regular.

I don’t have to clean poop out of a vagina

That’s all I’m gonna say about that.

I don’t have to have a teenage girl

Because I hear teenage girls just love their moms; I know I did.

I save money

Being honest about the fact that I would probably spend way more on clothes if I had two girls vs two boys. And that would likely continue until adulthood.

I’ll have special relationships with my Daughter-in-laws

I’ll have such a pent up need for estrogen in the family that I’ll probably spoil and love my daughter-in-laws like they were my own more than I would if I literally had my own daughter. But only if they’re quality girls. If they aren’t, I’ll just do my MIL duty of intimidation.

So… if whenever we decide to try for a third and I end up with a third boy, don’t give me the “I’m so sorry!” charade. Although I’m sure I’ll 100% get at least a handful of comments like that from random complete strangers.

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Message to the Judgmental Natural Birth Moms

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Note: This is an old blog post I found in my drafts. I edited it a little bit since my writing style has changed, but my feelings on this topic are the same.

Dear random judgmental mom at the grocery store,

On a casual shopping trip to Trader Joes, you successfully ruined my day. I’m sure you didn’t mean to, but you did. My 10-month-old Porter was sitting in the shopping cart eating samples, happy as a clam. Just prior to bumping into you, a kind stranger told me that he looks like Prince George. We’d gotten this before; Porter is fair skinned with chunky cheeks and he’s a big boy, – he’s been in the 90’s on the charts his entire life, with the exception of his 100 percentile head.

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So there I was, drooling over the cheese section as per usual and you pulled up next to me. You had a son in your cart too — the boys began to cutely interact.

Random Mom: “How old is your son?”

Me: “He’s 10 months. How old is yours?” I asked with a smile. (I’m careful not to have my #restingbitchface when talking to strangers)

Random Mom: “He’s 15 months. I know he’s small.” (for reference, he looked substantially smaller than Porter)

Me: “Awww he’s so cute.”

Random Mom: “Your guy is big but I bet you weren’t able to give birth naturally without any drugs like I was!”

Me: “No actually I ended up with an emergency c-section and it was a really horrible experience.”

Random Mom: Shuts up.

I walked away as quickly as possible.

I bet you weren’t able to give birth naturally without any drugs like I was!”

I realize this lady said this because she’s clearly insecure about the size of her child, but this is not an isolated experience. Through social media and even other face-to-face interactions, I’ve encountered numerous mothers who judge c-sections. What’s crazy to me is that if I hadn’t had one, I would have risked Porter’s life. He wouldn’t budge after two hours of pushing (you can read my full birth story here), so when his heart rate dropped and the doctor said they needed to get the baby out, I said OK because obviously I wanted my baby to be born safely and alive and I’m not the one with the MD after my name and neither does your doula.

“I bet you weren’t able to give birth naturally without any drugs like I was!”

Who honestly says that to a complete stranger or any mother for that matter? Do you want to get punched in the face? Or maybe you want me to tell you how amazing you are that you gave birth to your smaller than average baby without any drugs? That’s not how this works. I honor ALL mothers no matter how their babies come out because we all sacrificed ourselves on some level to make a human, and we all have our own stories to tell.

My opinion of anyone who brags about anything, let alone how they had their baby, is that they are immature. A woman of wisdom understands that being humble earns more admiration. If you want me to think you’re awesome, don’t tell me how awesome you are.

“I gave birth naturally” in my head equates to “I made the choice to give birth as though it was the olden days so I could feel like I’m better and judge other mothers who used drugs or had surgery.”

This is less relevant to the point of this rant, but I personally think pretending we live hundreds of years ago is kind of stupid. So although you think it will impress me, I literally think you’re kind of a weirdo. But I would never say that to your face because we are all different, and that’s ok.

I thank God I was born when I was, with modern medicine saving lives on the daily. I plan on embracing modern medicine for the rest of my life.

And to the natural birth moms who judge my c-section: If you ever have to have a limb amputated, I challenge you to do that “naturally” too. Let’s just pretend it’s the olden days for everything. Let them cut off your limb naturally; no anesthetics – maybe just a shot of whiskey and a stick to bite on from a pesticide free tree.

Ok, I’m being snarky now. I know I’m probably pissing a lot of people off and I sound like a hypocrite because this sort of comes across like I’m judging the “natural” moms. I’m really not though; this rant is about all of the judgmental moms out there who try to make other moms feel bad about themselves. I couldn’t care less how everyone’s babies are born because it’s none of my business.

Motherhood is hard enough, so let’s just support each other. You might be thinking something in your head when you see another mom, but don’t say it out loud unless it’s kind/supportive/encouraging.

Rant over.

Xo,

Bethany

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Mitchell Family Holiday Photos 2017

Photo shoots are HARD when you have a four year old and a nineteen month old. With Porter, we were dealing with smile refusals and attitude problems. With Preston, we were dealing with just general crazy behavior that mostly included running away when we put him somewhere to stand or sit or even heaven forbid we hold him and he isn’t diving head first to the ground. I tried bribing with food, but it was ineffective.

Somehow our photographer managed to capture some moments that made it look like we have our *ish* together, so thanks for that Jacki Raney. Hopefully we can fool everyone that’s on our Christmas card list. And thank the Heavens above for Amazon Prime’s free two day shipping for giving me something to wear. My outfit is linked below and I really think every girl should buy these shoes.

Sam Edelman Leopard heels (on sale for $119 from $140 – kind of a splurge for me, but I’ve been obsessed with these forever and plan on wearing the heck out of them)

Plaid Shirt (only $15 with a looser boyfriend-ish fit)

Tulle Skirt (Under $30 and comes in every color you could ever want)

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How MomFriends Make or Break your #Momlife

Momfriend: A friend you make with the common bond of both being moms

The term “momfriend” didn’t enter my vocabulary until I had my first baby. Before that, I just had “friends” or “girlfriends.” Fast forward four years and my “momfriends” are just my friends, because the only friends I have left are moms (with the exception of a few).

“A good momfriend is a lifeline when you’re drowning in a sea of crying babies, unfolded laundry and cranky husbands.”

It wasn’t until I became a mom that I realized the crazy bond momfriends have. I literally feel like I could not live without my momfriends even though I know I technically could, but it would really, really suck. Because mommin’ ain’t easy.

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A good momfriend is a lifeline when you’re drowning in a sea of crying babies, unfolded laundry and cranky husbands. A good momfriend is there for you to vent to whenever you need it and it’s judgment free; sometimes it’s via text, sometimes it’s a phone call, sometimes it’s over Snapchat with a funny filter. If you need her, she’s there. A good momfriend is down for a night out and sometimes it’s at a moment’s notice because you’re losing your sh*t and need a break. A good momfriend loves your child almost like they are an extension of their own kin – they treat them with genuine care and understanding. At a BBQ with a bunch of people and your kid trips and hurts himself/herself? A good momfriend swoops in and plays the mom role if you’re not around. Did your child accomplish something? A good momfriend is genuinely proud and excited for him/her – and there’s zero passive aggressive comments made about how their child did it earlier and is so advanced, blah blah blah because a good momfriend would feel sick if she knew she made you feel anything other than happy and proud of your child. Is your child struggling at something? A good momfriend finds the silver lining and helps you to see it in a more positive light. She encourages, supports and loves and you give all of that right back to her. Making a medical decision for your child? A good momfriend never ever criticizes it because she knows those types of decisions can only be made by the mother/father. She tells you to trust your mom gut – and she definitely does not send you links from .org websites to argue her point that what you’re doing is harmful to your child.

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You know what’s sad? Finding good momfriends like this isn’t easy. If you’re new to this mom life, don’t be discouraged! You’ll find your mom tribe, but you may have to weed out the not so great momfriends, or learn to tune out their garbage. But once you find even just one true and genuine momfriend, the amount of enrichment you’ll get from that relationship is immeasurable. Yes, husbands and family are super important too; not trying to belittle those relationships. I just want to spotlight the female bond of motherhood because is unlike anything you’ll ever experience. So let’s all strive to be the very best momfriends to each other: whether you work outside the home or inside the home. Whether you’re “just a mom” (that phrase irks me) or your child spends their weekdays at daycare. Let’s do less of the snarky/passive aggressive comments. Let’s do less Facebook posts of articles that say our way of mothering is the better way. Whether you get an epidural, have a home birth, elective c-section, breast-feed, pump and bottle feed, formula feed or a combination of both, let’s all be good momfriends and give nothing but support, love and encouragement. If moms were all besties, we’d take over the world. So let’s make that our goal, shall we? 😉

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How Momfriends can make or break your #momlife - tips on how to be a good Momfriend

Treat Yo-Self this Mother’s Day with JORD

Giveaway Alert: see at the bottom of this post

Mother’s Day is around the corner, as you’re all well aware. While I typically do not expect any sort of Mother’s Day gift aside from a card that talks about what a fantastic mother I am (Ok, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t also want a pretty bouquet), I was wanting to treat myself this year since being a mom of two has proven to be much more of a challenge than I anticipated – so much so, Ryan and I have both agreed that we are waiting A WHILE before we even consider trying for that third and final baby. Can anyone relate? I’ve been such a stress ball lately juggling life; I just want to be out of survival mode for a while!

You might remember me telling you all about my husband’s Valentine’s Day present, the JORD Wood Watch. I never knew about these chic watches until then and I have honestly sort of fallen in love with the brand, which is why I was so excited when they reached out and wanted to team up with me again. I remember when I got Ryan’s watch, I peeked over at their women’s shop and was a little jealous he was getting the watch and not me. I know, such a nice wife haha. But in all seriousness, I couldn’t be more excited to have one of my own. I got the CORA Series in Koa and Rose Gold and I’m totally obsessed – it’s such a unique watch and it goes with so many outfits.IMG_2774

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I love that it’s a little more low key than my gold watches that you always see people wearing. It’s fun to style it with cute bracelets too – you really can dress it up or down depending on your outfit. They have endless options as far as wood and face colors go too – check out their entire women’s watch line here.

Another thing I should mention is its packaging – it is LEGIT. It arrives in this gorgeous wood box with its own little burlap pillow. It’s the kind of packaging that just adds that extra level of chicness and that nice presentation just makes me happy.

JORD has also been kind enough to sponsor a giveaway in case you’re still looking to treat yourself to a Mother’s Day gift, or if you want to drop a hint to your hubby that you’d really like one of these cool watches. A lucky reader will receive a $100 credit to use towards the purchase of a JORD watch, but everyone will win $25 to JORD just for entering!

Enter the giveaway here: www.jordwatches.com/g/houseofmitchells

This post was sponsored by JORD Wood Watches, but as always, all opinions are my own.


Luxury Wooden Watch

Super Cute Shirt Under 15 Dollars

I stumbled upon the cutest shirt yesterday while shopping at H&M and I just had to share.  It’s so convenient being able to go to ONE STORE and buy stuff for my boys and for me. Plus, everything is so reasonably priced!

I’ve been known to find a top and buy it in every color, so I stayed true to form and did that yesterday with this shirt (I only bought three though). I’m rarely able to shop for myself sans kids and I rarely find a top that is all encompassing in cuteness, cost effectiveness and versatility. Dress it down like I have here with leggings and sandals on those #momlife days with school drop offs, errands, sports events, etc. Or, dress it up for a night out with a cute pair of distressed black denim jeans (tuck the front) with some cute wedges. I’m wearing a Kendra Scott Rayne necklace with my mom outfit because sometimes wearing that and putting on some bright lipstick is all I need to tackle my Momday (besides coffee).

I recently donated a CRAP TON of clothes to the Goodwill, so my closet is pretty empty and I have to admit I’m kind of loving the simplicity of getting dressed in the morning, so I love a versatile blouse that can be worn in various settings. Capsule wardrobes still give me anxiety, but I’m sort of starting to see the appeal.

Sorry for the photo quality. I’m a stay at home mom and my three year old can’t quite take pictures yet so I resort to mirror selfies in the office because my room is covered in mounds of clean laundry waiting to be folded. I’m actually avoiding it right now as I write this blog post.

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Here’s a direct link to buy it; I also got these two below. For some reason the red color isn’t available online! HOWEVER I noticed a striped one online that I didn’t see in store. Gonna need to get that one too haha.

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Hope you all think this top is cute too and I’m not totally losing it!

xo,

Bethany

 

**This post is not sponsored; I just really like H&M and this top!**