SEWERCAKER SEWERCAKER SEWERCAKER SEWERCAKER SEWERCAKER SEWERCAKER

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Let's Get Real

  This is just a warning, there are NO CRAFTS in this post.  I have been wanting, no, Yearning for the past 2 years to make a change here on this blog.  For the past 5 years I have showed up, way more often the first 2 or 3 years than the last 2, showing off my work, sharing my patterns and ideas, trying to share the crafting knowledge I hunted and searched all over the internet and library to gain.  I tried to pretty much keep my personal life and beliefs out of the posts.  I have tried to be upbeat, cheerful.  I have failed miserably at that at times, and other times far exceeded my original plans.  While feeding the crafting soul, I feel like I was smothering the spiritual.

I am not talking churchy spiritual, but the deep feelings of my heart on subjects that have so intensely changed my life.  I am so frustrated with where our current social trends are taking us all!  Terror strikes the heart when I step back and realize how little concern for others there is in the world.  As I approach my 5th anniversary as a blogger I need to clarify, more for myself than any of you, why I am still here.  I need to Get Real.  I am hoping to re-align my goals with those I originally had so that blogging is something I enjoy again, not something else on my to-do list I am not getting done.

If you do not blog, you probably are not aware of the incredible target you have on your back by blogging.  I get emails, letters, phone calls, all from marketers wanting me to endorse their crappy products I never would buy, much less advertise for free.  I am asked constantly to donate product for drawings to get "free" advertising in exchange.  There are surveys about what people visiting my blog would "respond" better to {respond = will go out and buy}.  There are people contacting me letting me know I can get more followers, more traffic, more centrally publicized posts, all if I just subscribe to their services.  My old posts get spammed constantly, people putting links to their own sites in my comments and I have no idea if those links are actually validly useful or links to viruses.  I closely monitor those now and only allow comments on old posts if they are real people, on links.

I have barely been able to post the past...basically 18 months and I still have this chaos constantly.

Beyond that, all over the internet are post and articles and podcasts on how to improve your blog, sell your product, tips for what you should be doing, how you know if you are terrible at what you are doing.  I hate to admit it, but ALL OF THIS has disabled me.  How could the thought, "Hey, I should start a blog!  Then I would have all my projects all in one place so I could find them!!!" turn into this huge, complicated, impossible-to-do-right, out-of-my-control thing.

--let me set this straight...  I do not care about how many followers I have.  It is a status symbol I am not seeking.  I do not care how search-engine friendly my blog is.  I no longer participate in surveys and focus groups and marketing groups.  That is not what I am about.  I need money, but I am not going to throw more flashy wastes of space at the viewers of my space in hopes of getting $.03.  I am not online for attention or praise or to be validated by others.  I am here to help, to share knowledge, and to lift.  When I cannot do this and take care of my family, my whole extended family, I will not be posting.  Family comes first.

I have let the pushing of people change why I blog.  That stops now.  I am sick of worrying if what I have is cute enough, interesting to other people, photographed just right, those photos edited because they can never be photographed just right, text written clearly, checked and spell checked and re-written.  I am over it.  And my house!!!  My house is ALWAYS dirty.  We live in it.  Not only that, but we left the new-styled house in sunny Arizona and moved to the always-grey midwest and live in a too-small house with dark trim and no storage and I can't find one single place to photograph my stuff.

It is time for a reset.  My whole life needs a reset, but part of that is having an outlet, and this is mine.  I get maybe 5 minutes to myself during the day.  There are days, weeks, and sometimes months when I don't get to think about myself at all.  I have gone days, weeks, or months without looking at myself in the mirror.  Ornament season on Etsy is that way for me.  From the end of October until the week before Christmas I am lucky to get 4 hours of sleep, dinner in any form from any location to the table is an accomplishment.  I am tired.

I want to be real.  I don't do fake.  I don't do keeping up with the Jones-es.  I will not compare my kids to other kids to decide if they are ok.  They are ok because I love them. I am ok because Jesus loves me.  If you don't believe in Jesus, that is ok too.

Let me tell you who I am.

I am Vanessa.  I was born in Utah.  I LOVE Utah, but I am embarrassed to tell people I am from Utah because of stigma.  My dad took me from my mom when I was a little girl.  She missed me alot.  My dad married an amazing woman who took care of me while I was away from my mom.  She is my mom.  This matters A LOT to me, for I am a mom and not a day goes by that I don't hurt for both of my moms.  One must have cried 6 billion tears to have her baby taken from her, just talk to her once in a while on the phone, to go years not knowing where her baby was or if she was safe.

The other woman must have cried not knowing how to raise another woman's child when she was just 20.  Surely she cried more when she had her first born and still had to take care of this other child, when she loved this child, but this child cried at night for another woman called mom.  She was called stepmom, like Cinderella's, even though she was not at all like her.  She had sleepless nights worried about another woman's child when that child was out on dates, worked late, cried over boys, watched her dad beat every member of the family.

Life is so not fair.

I am a Mormon.  My dad is a Mormon too, but the Mormon church is not ok with men beating their families.  My dad was beaten by his dad who was beaten by his dad.  It isn't a church thing.  Just a vicious ugly cycle that stopped with me.

As for my church, I L-O-V-E IT.  I cannot express in words the level at which I love the teachings and practices of my church.  The people are human, the the church is God's church.  You hate it?  That is ok.  I love it.  I love the church I was raised in with all my heart and wish EVERYONE in the world could know what I have come to know as I studied, not blogs and tabloids and smut put out by man or by word of mouth, but the very words of our scripture, the words of our prophets, the words written on my heart in permanent marker.

I am 39.  That is old.  Isn't that old?  I can tell you, it isn't as old as it used to be :0}  My body is tired.  I don't give it sleep and exercise and pedicures like it wants, but I pick it up every morning, move it where it needs to be and lay it back in a nice king sized pillow topped bed with scottie dog flannel sheets I scored at Black Friday this year for $12.  Many days I wish I could just leave that body in the bed.  But I don't.

I have three beautiful babies.  17, 14, and 7.  I wanted 6 kids.  I have 3.  2 weeks ago I had to have a hysterectomy so there will never be another baby born of this body.  That makes me sad, but I will deal.  These three I have, I don't even remember them when they were 2.  Life is so busy doing just what we have to do to keep those three kids alive and happy, that is the biggest reason whey I don't have time to look in the mirror.  I'm ok with that.  They are worth it.  When they leave my house I will have more than enough time to look at myself in the mirror.  Today, I look at them...and tell one to empty the dishwasher, the other to fill it and the last to READ FOR 30 MINUTES FOR THE LAST TIME!!!

I have a husband who is far better of a person than I am.  I love him like the stars love the sun and look up to the sun and wish they could shine that bright and make everyone warm like the sun can.  He lifts me body, mind, and soul.  He rubs my sore feet, my sore shoulder, my wounded heart.  He always has.  It makes me sad that there are people without a soulmate like mine.  I thank the Lord above we were smart enough to marry 19 year ago so we didn't waste a minute we could spend together.  He makes me feel beautiful even though I know I am not.  He makes me feel special, like there is no other woman in the world like me.  The world should be glad ;0}  I feel blessed that the good Lord in Heaven loved me enough, not that He doesn't love others just as much, but He knew me.  He knew I needed Scott.  He also knew Scott would drive me just crazy enough that he gave me a sense of humor.

I am broke.  I am ALWAYS worried about money.  I will not succumb to get-rich-quick or get-rich-at-the-expense-of-others schemes.  I do not want to outsource my Nativity ornaments because I put a tiny piece of my testimony of Jesus Christ in each and every ornament, each and every nativity vinyl cut.  We have money to meet our needs from October-December when ornaments are selling, but I am so tired and out of my mind during that time, we spend half of it paying for processed food and fast food and treats like a constant stream of Redbox movies to watch while picking nativity vinyl.  It is just a vicious cycle I need to figure out.  Still won't outsource.

This always-broke-thing is a crazy thing for me.  I feel the need to work to ease that burden, yet I desire to be here at home with my kids, with my husband, here when they need me, here when they want me.  I want that more.  Every 3-4 months I take all the wood pieces off my Etsy site because I feel too torn from my family by work.  I decide I need to focus on them...then the bills pile up or we want to drive out West to see family in the summer and so I throw it all back on the Etsy site and start the cycle all over again.

I am ok with it though, because I am still home.  My babies are never alone when they don't want to be.  I will not have regrets about that when they leave home.  This is one of those points of conflict, mom's staying home.  If it isn't your thing, if you can't or don't want to, by all means don't.  Go to work.  The other half of me wishes I had a day job, cause then we wouldn't be $2 from zero so often in the bank account and getting out of the house would be nice once in a while.  In the end, I spent so many days and nights alone 6 year old me swore I would not leave my kids alone.  They would have a mom around when they needed one.

I am a self-taught crafter.  The sweet woman that raised me had to figure household things out on her own.  I don't hold it against her that a glue gun was used like a sewing machine.  In fact, I still own her first glue gun.  I cut up sheets and made barbie clothes.  I cut up sheets and made skirts, hot glued together.  They came undone in the dryer, but a little more hot glue and we were good to go!  The hem on my prom dress was reinforced with duct tape.  You do what you gotta do.  Best thing I could have learned in life.  Make what you have work cause nothing in life is perfect.

Sadly, I am a perfectionist.  This is a huge downfall for me.  It keeps me from doing.  I don't have enough time, or supplies, or money to complete a project to my tight standards, so I don't do it.  I fight perfectionism every day.

I fight depression every day.  Some days are better than others.  I have a pretty clear cycle of functionality.  I have about 1 good week every 6 weeks.  That is usually when I get my wood cut. There is a clear 2 week downhill fall, one solid week at absolute bottom-unable to accomplish anything, making dinner is an accomplishment.  Then the slow climb back up out of the sludge to the sunlight.  It is exhausting.

The biggest thing I have been missing in my life lately is service.  Time spent in the service of others is the most incredible blessing possible.  I crave it.  I need it.  It is the best medicine for my depression, for my anxiety.  I see the hardships of others, find ways to ease their trial and in turn get to forget about my own.  The funeral we had yesterday did just that.  I went to my drs appointment today and had to count the days it has been since my surgery, 2 weeks!  More on that later, when life permits me time to tell that story.



This is probably more than anyone wanted to know about me in one sitting.  As anyone, there is so much more to tell, but there are also so many things I was supposed to get done today, all still sitting un-crossed on my to-do list.  Thanks for listening as I vent, reset, and carry on.  I hope the same for you.  I pray you feel the love of your God in your life today for you are so loved.

Crafts and patterns are coming, slow but sure.  I just needed a minute to get real first.



14 comments:

  1. Amen! Amen! Amen! Thank you for sharing :) You are A OK!!! Love from Canada

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Cindy! Everyone needs to hear they are A OK once in a while ;0} Warm wishes sent to you in Canada!
      Vanessa
      The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker

      Delete
  2. Thank you for sharing your faith, family, and real life with us. Makes me love you even more!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bless you! Thank you for taking the time to comment. You made my day <3

      Vanessa
      The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker

      Delete
  3. Hello Vanessa! My name is Debbie and I am fairly new to your blog. Let me start with I LOVE Utah!!! I had the fortune to go to Park City in June of 1994 for an off-site sales meeting. I fell in love with Park City. In fact, I left a part of my heart there. For the first three days I asked everyone I encountered if they took the views for granted. You see God's work...so gorgeous. I had the opportunity to go back several years ago with my husband. I had to introduce him to the city that stole my heart. He loved it, too. In fact, should I win the lottery, I have my home already picked out. I am still fairly new to blogging. My 3 year anniversary will be this May. I try to keep it real in my postings. I will always show you the entire room...no vignettes for me. :) I don't always get it right...but I'll try my hardest because like you, I am a perfectionist with imperfections. 39 is not old. My birthday was last Thursday and I turned 57. I am so grateful God has blessed me with 57 years and my wonderful family. From time to time I have anxiety attacks. I have learned that it is always when my adrenals are shot. I am very fortunate to have a store Natural Rewards to work with on getting supplements. Without a doubt, I know your adrenals are shot. You are exhausted. I am a firm believer that if you can get your adrenals back in shape life would look way differently for you. Please feel free to contact me if you'd like to talk more. God bless you and thank you for sharing your many talents. Your new friend, Debbie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debbie, thank you! I have had such a hard time...for years. Trying to keep going, but just struggling to pull myself through. I heard of B12 shots recently and firmly believe I need to get some! I will check out the Adrenals you mentioned. I am up for anything right now.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I hope you have a lovely weekend!
      Vanessa
      The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker

      Delete
  4. i loved you before, vanessa ... and i love you even more for your post!! it was absolutely perfect and truly what i needed today. i am struggling to not play "mary poppins" and be practically perfect - TRY, that is, and fail miserably and not want to do anything ...

    ~ jannet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awe, Jannet. I am so happy to hear some good came out of my rant. I think more people need to talk about their struggles and find strength from each other. Isn't perfectionism crippling!!! Mary Poppins, what a great analogy. That is exactly it. Everyone does expect Mary Poppins, no wonder we feel like we've failed. Who has a bag like that anyway ;0} I have a bottomless bag, but I never find what I am looking for in there!

      Have a great weekend and take some time for yourself!
      Vanessa
      The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker

      Delete
  5. Vanessa, I have never commented on anyone's blog before and HATE it when people are mean, negative, and critical of others. I'm sorry if you have had to endure that. I just had to say "thank you" for being real. It is so refreshing! We all have struggles, but sometimes feel alone and that no one understands our particular struggles. You and I know that He does. And that is what matters. God bless you and your family!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Vanessa you hang in there and just be you...we all love you for that. I LOVE Utah. Being a Vegas gal, it's close and a favorite go to place for me.
    Love yourself, love your family, love your heritage, love your crafty work regardless if its wood food photography, etc...it all makes you...you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This post ripped my heart out and helped me heal a little. Thank you for sharing your journey...

    ReplyDelete
  8. One of the reasons I love your blog so much is because it is "real" The pictures aren't perfect, the projects are unique, (they aren't mass produced from china), there's a mess in the background just like my house. It's real life, real projects, and genuine. It's Real beautiful and so are you!

    ReplyDelete
  9. One of the reasons I love your blog so much is because it is "real" The pictures aren't perfect, the projects are unique, (they aren't mass produced from china), there's a mess in the background just like my house. It's real life, real projects, and genuine. It's Real beautiful and so are you!

    ReplyDelete
  10. One of the reasons I love your blog so much is because it is "real" The pictures aren't perfect, the projects are unique, (they aren't mass produced from china), there's a mess in the background just like my house. It's real life, real projects, and genuine. It's Real beautiful and so are you!

    ReplyDelete