Dear Husband: I'm not the Woman You Married | www.TheMcBaileys.com

Driving in the car the other night my husband finally lost it on me. He told me he was exhausted with trying to figure out if I was in a good mood or a bad mood, that he wasn’t sure I actually liked him, and he just didn’t know what I wanted. I felt bad for him, I felt bad for me. But most of all, I felt bad for us because he was right. He didn’t know and I didn’t know either. The thing is, I realized in that moment I wasn’t who I used to be. I wasn’t the gal he married five years ago.

When we met 7 years ago my biggest concern in life was what class I was going to take the gym. My biggest responsibility was paying my rent. I was an independent, 28-year old, career woman. I was in shape, eating healthy, going out with my friends, traveling the world, and care-free. I’m not that person any more. There are days I wish I was, but I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever be that woman again. I don’t know if it’s possible to be that woman again. I’m not sure I want to be that woman again.

Since that beautiful autumn day in October when we exchanged our vows in front of our closest family and friends, we’ve bought two houses, had two children, switched jobs to better suit our family, moved away from the city and taken on commutes. I’ve experienced depression, suicidal thoughts, and death…my life, our life, isn’t the same. I’m not the same. I’ve changed. Physically and emotionally, I have changed. I try to be fun. I try to be care-free. I try to smile. I try…I try. But as hard as I try, I can’t be everything all the time. There is just too much at stake. There is too much attention from other little people demanded of me. There is too much expectation I’ve set on myself. Too much I need to teach and show these girls to make sure they grow up to be better than me and you. Too much work, too much stuff, too much responsibility, too many demands. There is just too much. Too much of everything. And I don’t know, I REALLY don’t know how to make it stop.

Husband I’m trying to balance it all. I’m trying to figure out how to make it all work. It’s not easy ya know? I know you know. Because I know you are trying to do the same. I know you feel the pull of me, and our children, and your work, and your friends, and your hobbies. I know you don’t understand why I’m so hard on myself and hard on everyone else. I know there are days you look around and think “who is this woman and what is going on here?” I know you think that because I think the same thing.

There are days I look in the mirror and barely recognize myself. There’s gray hair and a smooshy stomach. There are wrinkles and creases that appear overnight. There’s self-doubt in my eyes, and unbearable pain in my heart. There’s darkness where light used to shine. There’s sadness where joy used to exude. But then there are days I smile and laugh when I look in the mirror. I created and carried two children! I wasn’t supposed to be able to do that! I have lines from where I’ve laughed and smiled so hard and so often over the years, they are becoming permanent. There’s happiness where there used to be sadness, as I learned to navigate the waters of death and grief. There is determination in my eyes where there used to be doubt in my abilities as a mother, wife, business owner, daughter, sister, and friend. There’s hope, so much hope swirling around me.

Husband, I know, I KNOW loving me is hard. I know living with me is hard. But bear with me. I may not be the gal you met, fell in love with, and married. But she is there. She’s just a little different. She might be bogged down with life, but I know she shows herself every now and then. She’s there, she just isn’t the same. She’s changed. She’s transformed. She’s actually a lot cooler than that chick was. She can laugh at her mishaps, and cry at her defeats. She can admit defeat proudly, and share it with others. She can look into her children’s eyes and feel more love than she thought possible. She speaks to a man in the sky with such fierce commitment and blind faith, and He hears her and shows her the way. She’s crazy (no really, she is certifiable), but she knows when to tell you and when to center herself. She’s broken, but healing. She loves you so much it hurts, it actually hurts to think of a life without you. She is there, she has just evolved and morphed into a Phoenix. She is constantly seeking the Truth, and the way.

So husband, if you happen to met a gal that reminds you so much of who your wife used to be, don’t lost hope on me just yet. Remember that girl won’t be skinny and care free forever. She may be fun now, but she’ll change. The years will change her. The children will change her. The job will change her. Just like it’s changed you. We are different, but better. Older, but wiser. More flawed, but stunning. I love you, I want you, I need you. And thank you. Thank you for loving me even when I’m unlovable. Thank you for gifting me these two incredible humans. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for wanting only the best for me. Thank you for showing me what true love it. Thank you, it doesn’t go unnoticed.

Hugs and Loves,
Your New and Improved, Yet Perfectly Flawed Wife

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DIY Dress-up Clothes Storage

December 28, 2016

DIY Dress Up Clothes Storage | TheMcBaileys.com

Santa brought Waverly a whole slew of dress-up clothes this Christmas (read: Momma and Grandma found a million on 80% clearance the day after Halloween and we bought all we could get our hands on). Regardless, I needed somewhere to put all of these clothes. We have a closet in our playroom, but the closet rod is normal height and waaaay too high for Waverly to reach. I wanted to make sure she had full access to the clothes and all of the accessories to go with the outfits – and could also help us clean up. I tried to find one that I could quickly purchase, but ummmm $100+…I’m rolling my eyes. I can FO SHO make one for a lot less. So I put on my thinking cap. And here you have it (‘scuse the terrible lighting, it’s in the basement and well, ain’t no natural light happening in there)!

DIY Dress Up Clothes Storage | TheMcBaileys.com

DIY Dress Up Storage | TheMcBaileys.com

DIY Dress UP Clothes Storage | TheMcBaileys.com

DIY Dress Up Storage | TheMcBaileys.com

DIY Dress Up Storage | TheMcBaileys.com

DIY Dress Up Storage | TheMcBaileys.com

DIY Dress Up Storage | TheMcBaileys.com

DIY Dress Up Storage | Bottom Shelves

So here’s what I did – I purchased two of these bookshelves from Target:
roomessentialsbookshelf

We assembled them (took like 15 min each) and only put in one shelf, at the very last possible shelf position. We purchased two 3/4 inch wood dowels from the ole Home Depoticals, cut them to size, drilled a pilot hole to ensure the dowel didn’t split, and inserted a screw into each side (4 total).

Then, we bolted them together with carriage bolts at the top and then the bottom.

bolts

I added in some leftover wallpaper I had in storage (from Target) that I was going to use in Waverley’s little house under the stairs, so I just put that on the back of the shelving unit (on the terrible flimsy pieces of cardboard they give you (Laughing)) to give it a little something.

Lastly, we secured the unit to the wall because…children = climbing. Safety first right?

So what do you think? Easy peasy (AND SUPER QUICK) way to store all those crazy clothes and accessories for dress up. Let me know if you make one or have made any other ones. I would love to see yours!!

Hope you like it – Waverly is in LOVE with it.

Hugs and love,
Megan

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Gender Neutral Nursery

Surprise! I had another baby! *laughing* Well, we found out in January we were expecting (I think I shared that but can’t be certain) and I haven’t been doing a good job of blogging. *Read, I HAVE NOT BLOGGED AT ALL* But I thought what the hay, I’m on maternity leave maybe I’ll post my newest nursery. Just like the first go round, with our daughter Waverly, we didn’t find out the gender of our baby until the baby arrived. So, I set out to ensure I had a gender neutral nursery again this time, that could easily accommodate male/female colors once the baby had arrived. I’m super obsessed with black, gold, and white right now, so I knew for sure that I was going with that color scheme for the nursery. I think it’s pretty eclectic with some rustic, some glam, and some whimsical. I hope you love it as much as I do. I’ve listed sources at the bottom. Also, I’m waving in one of the pictures. *laughing* It was IMPOSSIBLE to get that shot without me in it.

Hugs and Loves,
Megan

Gender Neutral Nursery | Black, White, Gold

Gender Neutral Nursery | Black, White, Gold

Gender Neutral Nursery | Black, White, Gold 3

Gender Neutral Nursery | Black, White, Gold 4

Gender Neutral Nursery | Black, White, Gold 5

Gender Neutral Nursery | Black, White, Gold 6

Gender Neutral Nursery | Black, White, Gold 7

Gender Neutral Nursery | Black, White, Gold 8

Gender Neutral Nursery | Black, White, Gold 9

Gender Neutral Nursery | Black, White, Gold 10

Crib: Walmart | Crib Sheet: Target | Paint Color: Agreeable Gray by SW | Dream Catcher Mobile: The Dream Barn on Etsy | Animal Prints: SynPlus on Etsy | You Are Loved Painting: Erin’s Modern Art on Etsy | Giant Rabbit Print: Groovy Magnets | Rug: RugsUSA.com | Moroccan Pouf: Overstock | Black Tassle Pom Curtains: Walmart | White Curtains: Pottery Barn Kids | Rabbit Tie Backs: Anthropologie | Dresser: Ikea | B Pallet: DIY | Gold Buckle Tie Back: DIY | Side Tables: DIY | Wall Dots: Amazon | Changing Pad Cover: Amazon

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US Heart Map This has been a crazy couple of weeks in this country, has it not? I struggled with whether or not I should even chime in on this topic. Do I have the right? Am I knowledgeable? Do I have enough experience? What right do I have? Who do I think I am? I truly don’t know if I can answer any of those questions. But I do know my heart and my brain tell me I should say something. They both tell me that I can’t just sit back and feel the sting of defeat. That I can’t sit idly and watch this all unfold. That I shouldn’t be silent when I see and hear things that just aren’t right. That if I don’t speak up, who will? I don’t really know what I hope to gain from this post. I DO know I don’t want to just check off a box and say “Look at that post, see I tried.” and then go about my merry way. So here I am, throwing my ten cents out into the Google machine in hopes that maybe one or two people will read what I write and reflect with ” I never really thought about it like that.” or even maybe “Hmmm, she’s has some valid points.”

Did the title of my post turn you off? Piss you off? Make you roll your eyes? I bet for some of you it did. I expected that. I’m not offended. I bet you’re tired of hearing about white privilege, “Black Lives Matter”, and all that jazz. But I wish you weren’t. I wish you understood how lucky us white people really are. I can already hear it now “Oh for the love Megan!” I know, I know. It hurts to hear doesn’t it? Does it make you cringe? Make you uncomfortable? I know it does. Mostly because I know you don’t even realize it. How could you? How could you fathom what it’s like to be black in this country, if you aren’t black? You’ve never dealt with racism, you’ve never been profiled by a police offer because you were “Driving While Black” (yea you guys say that in jest, but it’s a REAL thing). You were never not allowed to vote (except us women, we know all too well about that don’t we), drink from the same water fountain, get an education, receive a bank loan, be afraid to raise a black son (I could go ON AND ON, but I won’t…). You were always allowed those basic things, because you are white.

It’s been just over 50 years since segregation ended (1964). But let’s be real folks, the whole nation, every single person in this country, didn’t wake up one day and change our minds about black folks. Nope. Segregation may have been illegal, but racism was/is still very alive and running rampant. It’s ingrained in us. Generations raised on a belief system. So it isn’t your fault, you just don’t know any better. But really, you do. You do know better.

You do know that blacks are stopped by police more frequently that whites. You do know that blacks are 2.5 times more likely to be shot by officers than whites. You do know that minorities don’t have the same opportunities that we, as white Americans do, BECAUSE you do know that it takes a little longer than 50 years to end an entire belief system, to correct our wrongs, to provide equality. No one is saying that your life doesn’t matter. No one is saying the life of police officers doesn’t matter. No one wants to incite violence or retaliate. What people are saying is that we cannot continue to turn and blind eye. We can’t. We can’t continue to act like this is okay. We can’t continue to ignore that generations, GENERATIONS, were taught to hate and raised with racial bias.

Listen, I’m white. I’m privileged just by being born white. It’s a fact. I grew up lower-middle class, but in a predominately white neighborhood. I was schooled in public schools, well-funded, surrounded by mostly white children (But I will give it up to my alma mater, Princess Anne High School, in Virginia Beach, VA. It was by far one of the most diverse schools when I speak to my inner circle about their high school experience. Thanks PA, love you forever!). I went to predominately white college, surrounded by white classmates. My first job out of college was with a major rental car corporation, run by white males, and surrounded by mostly white male colleagues. Think about that for a moment. Really think about that. This is also because whites make up 77% of the U.S. population. That’s a lot of white people! (laughing) But I think you can see how there might be a tendency, based on that fact alone, to cater towards white Americans in media, in politics, in movies, in the news, in everything. You cater to the majority, right? Right! It’s just the way it is.

But, I don’t want the fact that we are 77% of the population in this country to affect our ability to think clearly, to be decent humans, to know the difference between right and wrong, to fight for equality, to give everyone a fair shot. We are all the same. We all deserve a fair chance. We all deserve to be treated with respect. Not all black people are violent and/or criminals. Not all black neighborhoods are terrible. Not all police officers profile blacks. This is an unbelievable country, founded by immigrants (yea we weren’t just born here, unless you are Native American, we came here on boats y’all), based on helping each other, celebrating successes, and our pledge of allegiance ends in “with liberty and justice for all.” So, if you immediately snap back with “ALL LIVES MATTER” just take a moment, try and hear what someone is saying, try and think about your experiences versus theirs. You may just find you have a compassion and the will to learn a little more about a road unknown to you.

Hugs and Love from TheMcBaileys.com

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So You're Having a Baby, Let's Chat | www.TheMcBaileys.com

Your first baby? CONGRATUFREAKINGLATIONS!! First and foremost, getting pregnant is a lot harder than people think. So if you struggled to get pregnant, kudos to your cervix, your uterus, your vagina, your eggs, your special private areas, your body, and all of the rest of it. Because that crap, ain’t easy and I know it first hand. I’m super excited for you. Having kids, if someone hasn’t mentioned this previously, is single-handily the most rewarding thing you will ever do in your life. Unless you are Mother Teresa, and then you probably will do way more rewarding things like save children from poverty, make the blind see, and all of those other great things people who are way more giving than I am do. But I mean here in my world, single-handily the most rewarding. That being said, it’s also the most challenging. So let’s just a few things straight.

  1. Opinions are like Assholes, Everyone Has One…don’t listen to them. Your next door neighbor, your co-worker, a girl you knew from elementary school, and people in the line at the grocery store (just to name a few) are going to give you “advice,” aka OPINIONS. Opinions on sleeping, on your marriage, on your perinatal health, on feedings, on milestones, on anything and everything they feel inclined to shove down your throat without even being prompted for their opinion. It never ends {even after you have the child}. So, just smile politely, nod your head, thank them, and don’t retain a word that was spoken. Little secret here, we’re all just winging it. We have no idea what we are talking about. I know most people mean well, buuuuut it’s going to get really annoying.
  2. You’re Never Going to Sleep Again…just kidding! You totally will. In like 6 – 8 months from the day you deliver. Did you know that sleep deprivation is actually used as a torture mechanism? True story. You will soon find out why. You think you aren’t sleeping now because you’re uncomfortable? Oh honey, the walking dead is about to become your reality. I already hate it for you. It is THE PITS. Nothing can prepare you for it, nothing. And you’re going to look like shit. There, I said it. You’ll also feel like shit because…
  3. Your Body Will Not Be a Wonderland…sorry John Mayer, but my body was WRECKED. I had a c-section so I’m different from a vaginal delivery gal. But I’ve heard about the splitting, and I’ll take my c-section scar any day over that. I bow my head for the ladies who’ve been cut, ripped, split….ooooo girl, tear in my eye and grabbing my crotch/backside just thinking about it. You won’t look like yourself. You won’t feel like yourself. Your stomach will be weird. Like there is still a baby in there, but there isn’t. It will be squishy – like bread dough. And those hormones. I mean sweet mother of all things holy, those hormones will send you straight to the loony bin. Crying in the shower, in the car, on the couch, no reason for any of it. Just crying. It just takes a little while for you to start feeling okay. AND THAT IS OKAY! Don’t rush yourself – let the healing process do its thing. But if you aren’t feeling yourself after two or more weeks, and your Baby Blues have extended a bit further, tell someone. Specifically tell your OB. We don’t need you getting into the situation I was in.
  4. You Might Want to Divorce Your Husband…don’t worry, you won’t! And you totally aren’t alone. Speaking from experience, I actually contemplated stabbing mine once. It was when he told me that he “needed 6 hours of sleep, at least, to be functional.” *I have a very not nice look on my face right now* I was going off of 9 straight days of 2 hour sleep intervals. Yea. He was was getting 5 hours/night of uninterrupted sleep. You can see how my sympathy for his plight ran thin, can’t you? Anyhooo, listen, this is a HUGE life change. HUGE. It’s hard for you, and for him, and for your marriage. And a lot of this is just not natural for men. Maternal instincts are a REAL thing. If your husband hasn’t had any exposure to infants previously, how in the heck would he know what he’s doing? No amount of baby classes can help that! So yes, if that thought crosses your mind, NORMAL. And don’t worry about mentioning it to your other mommy friends. They thought it too, even if they look at you, put their hand on their chest, gasp, and say “Oh no, I never thought that. He was so helpful!” LIES. LIES AND DECEIT! They wanted to stab him and divorce him at least once, if not 10 times. Doesn’t mean they love him any less. And their marriage is probably stronger from it.
  5. You’ll Question Why You Ever Did This…ha! We all did!! I’m not joking, you will actually look at your husband and say out loud “What the f%*! were we thinking? Why did we do this?” You’ll want your old life back. To sleep. To just hop in the car and go to the gym or get your nails done. On a whim, just cause you can. But you can’t. Your whole life becomes a plan. Uggggh planning. So much planning. *laughing* Yes, someone will be nice enough to come watch the baby for a little while for you and the break will be glorious! But there’s always a time limit and you’ll never stop wondering what’s happening at home. It takes a while to get used to the whole thing. I found it took me almost a year to fully adjust to life with a kid. I know that varies from person to person, but it was crazy hard. 34 years of doing my own thing – 16 adult years doing my own thing, hard stuff. But you find a new norm. And you will still years down the road long for your old life some days. But 99% of the time, you wouldn’t change a thing {okay maybe 98.8% ;)}.

So after saying all of that, let me just say this: It’s hard. It’s tiring. It’s cool. But it’s going to suck. And I feel like no one tells anyone that. It really is going to suck for a little while. And then one day, it just doesn’t any more. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. It’s so cool, and so hard, and so sucky, and did I mention hard? You’re going to do great momma, don’t worry. But don’t beat yourself up, don’t think you’re alone, and don’t say I didn’t tell you so. 😉 *laughing*

Hugs and Love from TheMcBaileys.com

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A grateful heart is a magnet for miracles. | www.theMcBaileys.com

Gratitude is define as: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Most people express gratitude in different ways. My mother always told me that the words “thank you” can go a long way. She was right. A simple, genuine, thank you can take someone by surprise and make them crack a smile when they haven’t in days. But saying thank you isn’t the only way to express gratitude – I think it goes beyond those words and comes from the heart. And it’s not just by thanking those around you, but by being appreciative of what and who is around you. Yes, a simple thank you can go long way, but what if you began to truly, genuinely {not in a false attempt}, began to express thankfulness to your surroundings? How would that change your perspective? The perspective of the person on the receiving end?

I feel strongly that verbal communication is a much better form of expressing gratitude than the written word. Now, don’t get all jumpy/judge’y on me! I realize some people are just better at written communication versus verbal. I know this because I happen to be one of those people. So, I find that I am better at explaining the ways in which someone has brightened my day/week/month/life via a text, a post on Facebook, a card, an email {after typing that I clearly also find joy through public recognition}. But those means cannot replace all verbal communications. They just aren’t the same as hearing someone say to you “I appreciate you.” Humans react strong to words, in both written and verbal form. But to have someone stand in front of you, make eye contact, and say “I don’t know how to thank you, but thank you.” That bears more weight than any Facebook post could ever amount.

I’m telling you all of this {ha! I’m writing it, not telling} because I’m challenging myself, over the next 20 days, to SAY THE WORDS, more than I write them, in daily practice. I want to be more verbal in my gratitude. I want people to know that I appreciate them. I want our Lord to know that I appreciate my life, my surroundings, the gifts which I’ve been blessed. Why did I pick 20 days? Because it takes 20 days to form a habit. I feel confident that if I begin verbally letting folks know how I feel, it will become so engrained in me that I won’t even think twice about it. I want it to change my perspective. Change the perspective of those around me. Have a positive impact. Be the change you wish to see in the world, right? And once that happens, the possibilities are endless. The positivity that will flow through my blood will be unstoppable. Harnessing that positive spirit will push me to higher levels.

I challenge you to do the same my friends. It doesn’t have to 20 days if that’s too long for you – make it over the next 5 days. See how it goes. If you like it, keep going. It can be 30 days if you feel like 20 isn’t long enough. Completely up to you, just a least give it a try. I offer these pieces of advice when you do join my journey: 1. Feel free to focus your positive energy on one person, but don’t be afraid to expand that reach., 2. Change up the ways in which you express your gratitude – verbal, written, physical. If it’s the same you may tire of the practice., 3. Do not go into this expecting gratitude in return. That is a false attempt at a grateful heart., and 4. Enjoy the moment. Do not feel anxious. Do not feel silly. Harness the power of the universe and let it flow through your words, your actions, your body.

And because I couldn’t post about #ThankfulThursday without at least mentioning that for which I’m grateful this week, I’m expressing gratitude for you, my readers. I didn’t actually think people read my blog. I didn’t think they noticed. I didn’t think they appreciated anything I was saying. Your texts, emails, comments, FB messages all gave me a little pep in my step this week. Thank you all for your kind words, taking time out of your day to read my blabbering and entertain my nonsense, and for showing true appreciation for my struggles, my candid nature, and voice. You are loved.

What say you? Joining my short gratitude journey?

Hugs and Love from TheMcBaileys.com

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Why I {Mostly} Stopped Shopping at Walmart

May 17, 2016

Oh Walmart. Do remember the first time you walked into one? How about the first time you walked into a Super Walmart? Not a Supercenter, an actual Super Walmart? We have the third largest Walmart on the East Coast here. It’s huge. Like, ginormous {I’m not sure that’s a word, but I use it a […]

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#ThankfulThursday: 05.12.2016 Edition

May 12, 2016

Confession, I’ve actually missed my Thankful Thursday posts. They provided me a moment each week to reflect on the time I’ve been given on this earth. Someone asked me recently if it was tough for me to find “something” to be thankful for each week. I smiled. Not in a crappy way though. More in […]

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Oh Hey 2016! 2015 {and 2016 so far} Recap…

May 10, 2016

So last year, I published 4 blogs. 4. 2015 was a hard year for me. Hell which year isn’t hard for me? {laughing} I just got REALLY busy. And by really busy I mean just as busy as everyone else, but in my mind I was super busy. Raising a one year old {who turned […]

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Free KD printable

July 16, 2015

I have no idea why, but I got a little sentimental over my college days the other day. I started missing my sorority sisters. I started missing my KD’s. So, I just decided to put together a free printable. I remember being in college and having $0 to buy my little sister anything. I also […]

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