Better Late than Never. 

Okay, so I know that I haven’t posted in awhile.  I really thought I’d be more dedicated to this whole blogging thing but it turns out that I’m just pulled in about a million different directions.  One of those directions is my journey to finish school.  I finally received my Associates Degree.  I started in 2001. I know. It’s taken me forever. Life, hardships, babies, just kept happening and I kept putting it off.  But finally here it is. A light at the end of the tunnel.  I’m proud of myself for not giving up and for finishing what I started.  Even if it was almost 14  years ago lol. 

Now on to my next adventure!!! My bachelors!!! I’m currently taking summer classes. Have no idea why I thought that was a great idea! Oops! Wish me luck! 😘

Forced Break…

So I know every parent out there would love just a tiny break. Some peace  and quiet. Some R and R.  But on your own terms.  Unfortunately for the Brett house, this mama was forced to take a break in the hospital.

I’ve been battling what I was thinking started out as a sinus infection for a month and a half.  The sinus infection went to my chest, my asthma started flaring up, I had three rounds of antibiotics, steroid shot, breathing treatments and absolutely nothing was working.  

I ended up at the ER and admitted for 2 days to try and get everything under control. Thankfully, I’m home and relaxing now. But it’s absolutely killing me to just “sit” and “relax” while there’s so much to do.  I can’t go back to work until I’m feeling 100% better and my body is just wore slap out. Turns out I had developed pneumonia along with acute and chronic respiratory hypoxia. In other words, my lungs were so not functioning like they needed to be for an otherwise healthy 34 year old woman. But it’s what happens when an otherwise healthy woman is completely stretched to her breaking point and is running on empty. 

It’s the peak of the holiday season. Our last home game is this Friday. We have a neighborhood fall festival, trunk or treat at church, lots of stuff to take care of at work and I’m confined to my sofa. Which makes me cranky and not happy at all. I guess the silver lining is my parents are visiting and have been here to help with our two and four legged minions. Mom has been cleaning, cooking, doing laundry. Dad has been making trips to the grocery store. My sister has helped out with Maverick and my sweet husband has just been by my side the whole time. 

Being forced to take this “break” has made me realize a few things. One being that I cannot take care of my family, my home, my work if I am not taking care of myself.  I need to eat better, manage my asthma better, develop a new exercise routine, or whatever so I can be there for my family. I can’t refill everyone else’s cup if mine is always empty. I am not super woman. I’m just a regular person who tried to handle everything, who ignored how tired her body was, and it all ended up biting me in the ass. No bueno. 

The second thing I realized is I don’t know how to just sit down and relinquish control. Honestly, I’m a control freak! I hate for everything to be going on and me be in the background not being able to control anything lol!

I guess the moral of this post is that we parents, need to remember how important it is for us to take care of ourselves so we can take care of our families and our other obligations. We deserve some time to ourselves. Even if it’s 15 or 20 minutes a day, we NEED to make ourselves as much as a priority as others.

To help drill this into my own brain I decided to illustrate a picture in my journal 😂.

Hope all you had a fantastic Halloween. 

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year y’all from very soggy and rainy Mississippi!!! I don’t know about the rest of you but I always look forward to new beginnings. Fresh starts. New chapters to be written! The last couple years have just been touch and go for our family.  With Nick’s 5th concussion and the birth of our Maverick, it feels like we went through a whirlwind of change and not all of it was for the better.  I think 2016 was hard for a lot of people.  It was definitely hard for our country.  I’m hoping that 2017 brings much needed comfort and peace to everyone. 

Rather than make New Years resolutions that really won’t be kept, how about we all just make one.  One to be kinder. It costs nothing to be kind. I’m not talking about trying to walk eggshells so you don’t offend someone. I’m talking just saying hi to a stranger. Or saying thank you when someone holds the door open for you. Believe it or not that’s not common place anymore.  The reason we see something “kind” being shared on social media, is because it’s simply not taking place as often as it should.  We have become increasingly more self absorbed and indifferent to everything going on around us. I’ve been just as guilty as any of you. But I want to change for the better. I want to change because my neighbors need it. Because my city needs it. Because you and everyone else in the world needs it.

It’s not going to cure anything over night.  It’s not going to fix all of the gigantic problems that we have facing us as a society. But it will bring a little more sunshine. And who doesn’t love that! 

From my humble little family in MS, we wish you the love of friends and family, good health and memories in 2017. God Bless y’all!

❤️Ana


****Picture was found on Pinterest and is not my own****

Falling into the Perfect Season.

Fall has finally reached the Mississippi Gulf Coast and I couldn’t be happier. We’ve literally had what felt like an endless summer.  Picking pumpkins and going on hayrides is just not the same in 90 degree weather let me tell you.  Our church put on a trunk or treat after service and the poor kids were sweating and and coming out of their costumes.  I was getting super cranky of not being able to wear my scarves and my boots.  But as with all good things, Fall decided to show up and now I can finally light up a fire in our fire pit, sip hot chocolate, and snuggle next to my babies or Nick under a cozy blanket.  

When I was younger and had time to worship the sun, I lived for summer. I lived in my bikini from the time the sun was up until I went to sleep.  I’m a summer baby so I blamed my love of the water and heat on that. However now that I’m older and I work more and I have two kids, I desperately wish that we just lived some place that each season is clearly defined. Like say the north east or Nebraska (Midwest) around that area.  And while I love Mississippi (it’s home) I itch for mountains and trees where it looks like the horizon is on fire, crisp mornings followed by crisp nights around the fire place.  I want to have a white Christmas.  I’m sure that if I lived somewhere that had snow for month after month, I’d tire of it quickly.  But I lived in New York for a couple years as a child and I cannot recall it being terrible. As a matte of fact, it took me a while to adjust to the fact that I would no longer have a white Christmas down here.  I’ve accepted it. But at 34, I still very much wish it to happen.  Just like every year when my calendar says it’s the first day of fall, I somehow get my hopes that I’ll see bright reds, oranges, yellows, covering the sky line, and having piles of leaves to jump in.  I keep hoping that Halloween night will be ended with a camp fire and some smores not melted off makeup and sweaty preteen smelling costumes. I keep waiting for Mississippi to “fall” into the Perfect Season.  Do y’all have a favorite season? Or a favorite tradition that is a MUST once fall hits your town? I’d love to know what it is!

Our hayride after church!

Pumpkin Patches and corn mazes! We visit a corn maze every year! It’s my favorite family tradition!

For Better or Worse.

Most people don’t go into a marriage expecting the worse part to show its ugly head early on. I think most of us really feel that the worse will show up after ten years or so. I mean, you’re getting married for Pete’s sake. You are completely in love, it’s all exciting, it’s all coming together. You are beginning a journey based off of hopes and dreams.  First things first, Nick and I celebrated our three year wedding anniversary this past April.  Three years. Only three. And yet our second year of marriage we were met with a hump on the road to marital bliss.

Nick isn’t one to share things. Like very little to none at all with the general public. Our family and marital issues are ours and ours alone. And rightfully so. But I’m writing this post because this isn’t so much about our marriage but because of the TBI (traumatic brain injury) that decided to put its bitch ass into the smack dab center of our family and marriage. And I’m sharing our experience because after joining a Facebook support group and talking with others affected by numerous concussions, it’s obvious that society still doesn’t understand and that the family members and friends of the TBI loved one still feel anger and emotions towards the problem and sometimes the victim. This is his 5th TBI.

Life has changed as we once knew it. The person I married has changed.  I have changed. Our family has changed.  I wanted to share the REALITY of our life and the REALITY OF TBI.

People don’t get it. When you break something or have scars, something that’s VISIBLY wrong with you, it’s easier for other human beings to understand. It’s easier for them to be sympathetic. When it’s your brain however, the damage is hidden. You look the same on the outside so you MUST BE BETTER!! wrong. So very wrong. People continue to put unneeded stress & continue to demand the same things if not more than they use too and the person who has suffered the TBI is just not capable of always resuming their regular responsibilities. It’s overwhelming, emotional, and does more harm than folks realize.

Depression Risk is Higher.  Repeated concussions raise the risks of a person becoming clinically depressed. So much so that they also have an increased rate of suicide. They will need your love and support. They will need the assistance of a professional and some meds to help them get through life. 

YOUR LOVED ONE IS STILL IN THERE.  They still love you. And they desperately want to be able to do the same things they were use too. But they can’t. Speech may be affected. Other motor skills can be affected.  Be patient. Be kind. I can get frustrated. And angry. And it’s sometimes hard for me to not want to lash out at my husband.  Maverick was just 2 months when it happened. Nick couldn’t get out of bed for WEEKS. I was exhausted from lack of sleep, working, and what felt like taking care of 3 kids and 3 dogs all by myself. I was so angry and sad. I ended up having to be put on Zoloft to help me cope.  My advise, join a support group. Talk to someone. But try not to lash out at your family member, loved one, spouse. It does absolutely no good.

NEW NORMAL.  Say goodbye to doing things together that might cause over stimulation.  Concerts, places with too many people or noises. Night clubs. Anything with strobe lights. If the person has been exposed to several TBIs, say goodbye to doing any activities that has an increased risk of getting another. 

Ongoing MEDICAL NEEDS. He/she might need ongoing counseling to battle depression or help with managing stress, temper, memory improvement and problem solving.  Treatment for migraines and vertigo.

•They are Brain Damaged not Brain Dead.  Okay, sometimes you’re going to want to just do all the shit yourself because it’s easier than watching your significant other struggle or get it done painstakingly slow. But don’t. DO NOT start taking over everything as if they are some helpless child.  They need to relearn. It’s hard to watch them struggle but it’s part of the process. It’s also damaging their pride and self worth. Help if it gets to be too much or if asked. Don’t treat them like incapable children.

I could go on but it would take up entirely way to much time.  I hope that this has opened your eyes a little bit to the struggles people have when it comes to TBI. Or at the very least let you know that if you’re going through this, you are not alone. 

Have an amazing and blessed day! Love, The Brett Family

Master Bedroom Reno.

So y’all we’ve lived in our house for three and a half years. We ripped up the carpet in our bedroom like 2 years ago I think. A third dog, a pregnancy, a new baby, an accident at work, we FINALLY put paint on our walls and floors are down! I am doing a happy dance right now. Walking on bare unfinished concrete floors sucks. Walking on bare concrete floors in the winter time sucks major balls.  

So we painted the room. In June of last year. 😂 and we finally HIRED someone to put down the floors 8 months later. As in like two weeks ago.  I’m pretty sure that we are not doing another thing to this room.  But here it is y’all. Our little slice of heaven. 

Direct Sales. Real Talk.

So I told myself a very long time ago that I would not involve myself in direct sales.  I don’t have any desire to do a pyramid scheme. I don’t want to shell out money for products I have to push. 

I don’t like pushy. At all. I don’t like for people to show up at my house and try to push things on me.  And I don’t like to do it to other people.  With all that being said, I don’t even know why I was browsing online for DS companies, but I stumbled across Pink Papaya. 

I’m using it myself more than I’m selling it, but I genuinely love their company and their products.  They empower women. They’re cruelty free. And all their products are made in the USA! Right now I’m hooked on their body butters. They’re so rich and smell amazing. I use their foundation powder EVERY SINGLE DAY!  EVERY. Day. It’s lightweight but covers enough that I feel put together. So as of now, it’s my go to makeup product. Also their eyeshadows are long lasting so for any woman working a 12 hour day, that’s always a plus. 

Am I making money? The short answer? Yes.  Long answer? It’s not as much as I want and I put it on the back burner for the holidays so I made zero in November and December. Truthfully, direct sales income depends on the amount of work you want to put in.  It’s not going to run itself. You’re going to have to figure out how much time you want to dedicate to this new business venture.  Right now, I’m on Facebook nonstop trying to promote. I’m doing FB parties, leaving catalogs where ever I can. 

I give out samples when an appropriate opportunity arises. I also think because I genuinely like using their products, I really like to tell other people about them. Enjoying the products you sell makes a big difference. Is it making my dreams come true? Well, in a round about way, yea. Is it making me thousands?! Nope. Not even close. But I work 40 hours a week along with having to tend to my family, so I’m only giving a max of 5 hours a week to this. I’m squeezing time in between breaks at work, lunch, Maverick’s naps on the weekends, Hails baton night on Thursday. You get the picture. 

Direct Sales is absolutely what you make of it. It’s not easy so don’t ever let someone give you an easy sell! You have to want to make it successful. You’re going to have to work for it. Whether you’re curious, wanting it just as a hobby, or really want to earn a little extra, it is what you make it out to be!