• Where I Am Wednesday: Just muddling through | Gypsy Magpie

    Where I Am Wednesday: Shiplap, Birthdays, & Bullies

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    Like I said last week, I’m trying to learn to embrace the process. In that vein, I thought I’d start a little occasional post series on here called Where I Am Wednesday… all about what I’m doing and where I am right now, in this moment. Sort of a mash up of everything going on, and on my mind so I can clear it out and focus where I need to.

    It’s kind of a blogging rule that you are only supposed to post nicely lit photos and “quality content” so often times we don’t see the whole picture, the real life. I don’t love that. One of the things I promised myself when I started this blog was that I would be myself no matter what, which means being authentic and true to who I am. I’m a pretty open book, a random mish-mash of creative squirrel kind of book. I learn through action: doing, talking, touching, feeling and when I face a problem I talk about it, I pull it apart and dissect it. It’s loud, emotional, and messy. Needless to say, I’ve never been the quiet, demure, sexy, intriguing type.

    As I look around at the beautiful selfies and amazing perfection, I feel more and more like a Marianne living in a Ginger world.


    But then, the artsy-fartsy inside reminds me that it’s the quirks that make life interesting.

    The freckles, wrinkled hands, the cowlick, or the childhood scars that tell stories of climbing trees and falling off slides. It’s those first big bucky teeth in a baby boy’s grin. The sweet unsure girl with the new pair of glasses that magnify her eyes to the size of truck tires. The old man’s goofy laugh that infects your soul and makes you giggle too. Those are the things I am drawn to. Those are the delightfully true that stand out in a sea of boring perfection.

    So, where am I this Wednesday morning?
    Where to start?


    The faux shiplap project is slooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooowly inching on.

    I took some much needed time off to enjoy Spring Break and a little red dirt adventure with my fam the past few days. We went to Goblin Valley then to Moab and I feel like a new woman! I’ll have the low down on all the goblins later this week. I’ve got so many fun pics to share! Yesterday I was swimming through piles of sandy laundry and today I bought more underlayment and paint. I’m hoping to spend tomorrow afternoon tackling more of the “shiplap”.

    You guys, it’s going to be amazing! If there were two of me, this whole thing would go a lot faster than it is right now so don’t let my lack of speed discourage you if this might be a project you’ve been thinking about. I’m getting more and more happy with it as the days go by.

    It’s fun to see your vision start to take shape!


    Wow, this could be a post all in itself. Other than my genetic mutation and eating disorder, I don’t know if I’ve ever come right out and talked about all the other health blah. Maybe someday I’ll break it all down, but for now I’ll just hit the bullet points.

    • The autoimmune problems that came with childbirth haven’t gone completely away, but I am doing a lot better. They still don’t have a name for it, but the further I get from the birth of my last child the better I feel. My sinuses have healed really well since my surgery and the grafts seem to be holding up. I hate the way my nose looks and I can’t sing worth a lick anymore but I can breathe, so there’s that right? There’s still random days when I wake up completely exhausted and have to push myself through but thankfully, those days seem to be getting farther and farther in between. The intense allergies have almost completely gone away and my immune system is getting stronger which makes me very happy!


    Where I Am Wednesday: Iodine | Gypsy Magpie

    • I had a blood panel done and found out that I had a hormone imbalance which was a major a-ha moment for me. That explains so much! They haven’t been able to fix it yet as things are tricky and my genetic mutation complicates things, but hopefully soon. At least I know now when I go all out momster that it’s just hormones.
    • I also found out from the panel that I was deficient in Vitamin D and Iodine. I was put on a supplement regimen and it’s like night and day different! The painful lemon and softball sized cysts on my ovaries and the masses in my breasts that I’ve stressed over for the past 6 years are pretty much gone. Who knew that cysts were a symptom of Iodine deficiency or that it was linked to breast cancer? Not me! To think that a tiny element in food could have such a big effect on how I feel totally blows my mind. I wish I would have gotten those labs done years ago! If you have unexplained health issues, you should seriously talk to your doctor about getting a blood panel done. Warning, insurance probably won’t cover it. Yeah I’m sure you are shocked, dang insurance. I had to pay completely out of pocket, but it was worth it to get a better understanding of what I was lacking and how to fix it.
    • As for the BRCA2, I have less answers than ever before so I’ve just kinda pushed it to the side of my health plate for now until more research can be done and more doctors can get on the same page. Oh, the joy of being a mutant. But with the cysts gone and the masses and lumps becoming less of a big deal, I feel a lot more peaceful than I have in a very long time. I have yet to find a good MD who practices whole health and that is frustrating. There is a great one in Alpine, but she isn’t taking anymore patients. If you know of a Utah based doctor who uses the best of all medicine, pretty please with sugar on top tell me in the comments! This morning, my cousin (who also carries the gene) told me about recent evidence showing cancer starting in the Fallopian tubes then traveling to the ovaries. Supposedly removing the tubes could help prevent ovarian cancer. Guess I’ve got some studying to do, huh?


    Yep, I said bullies and boy have we been learning more than we ever wanted to know!

    My beautiful 8 year old has been the recipient of some really ugly words the last little while. Why? Because of her cute little 8 year old body shape. You gotta know that things are getting messed up in America when 3rd graders start fat shaming! I haven’t known exactly how to help her but with my own personal story of unhealthy body image I know that the most important thing is to make sure she knows that I love her and think she is fantastic, because I do and she is. It turns out that the old saying, “Hurt people hurt people” is unbelievably true. My daughter, the school principal, and I had a long talk and I have faith that the sad little girl causing the hurt will get the help she needs. And yes, it is also true that you never know what’s going on behind the scenes of someone else’s life.

    All the more reason to be kind, y’all.

    Where I Am Wednesday: Resilience | Gypsy Magpie

    While trying to help my daughter through her experience I got a tiny taste of what bullying feels like, just in the cyber world instead of the school yard. I was a wreck, but in retrospect I am grateful. The hurt and anger I felt made me that much more aware of the feelings of my sweet sunshine girl and what she has been going through. I was reminded of what it feels like to have someone attack you just because they can and the insecurity that comes with that. My heart ached. My first thought was how could I ever tell my little girl that those hurt kids who bully just grow up to be hurt adults who bully? But then something bigger weighed down my mind, the fact that all that hurt has less to do with them and more to do with us. I guess this is an opportunity to learn resilience and for both of us to recognize that self-worth has nothing to do with what other people think or say and everything to do with who we are and how we think about OURSELVES. That’s a tough lesson. Here I am in my 30’s and I obviously still haven’t quite figured it out. Hmmm, I think I have the beginnings of a Family Focus idea swirling around in my brain.

    In the midst of it all and out of the blue, an 8 year old girl in our neighborhood dropped off cookies.
    Attached was this little note.

    Where I am Wednesday... 8 year olds teaching 30 year olds lessons | Gypsy Magpie

    Her sweet gesture of love not only made my daughter incredibly happy, but it also touched my heart.
    I was reminded that though there are those few angry, bitter, mean people out there, there are also thousands upon thousands of people who are wonderful, loving, thoughtful, and good.

    Her act of love inspired me, but I’ll get to that in a bit.


    I know it isn’t, but turning 35 has felt like a pivot point where you round the corner from young and hip to old and out of touch.

    As a 20 something, 35 seemed so far away. 35 was old! I just knew that by then I would have so much accomplished. That I’d really have made something of myself.

    That 20 year old me, who had all the big plans and a neat little picture in her pocket of what life would be, had no clue what would come. She didn’t see the amount of work she would have to do on herself before she could reach out and work on something else. She didn’t see the health struggles or the pain that would stick around from her teenage choices. She just knew she was about to marry a wonderful man and that things would work out. On that point, she was right. She did marry a wonderful man and things did work out, just not according to her neatly laid out plan.

    Where I Am Wednesday... birthdays | Gypsy Magpie
    Thinking about all the stuff I haven’t done, all the dreams I haven’t reached, and all the goals I haven’t accomplished really ticked me off. Between that, the hubs being on the road, the DIY disaster area, bullies, stress with my son, money, and my birthday coming, I hopped aboard a hormone roller coaster and had myself a nice little pity party. My soon to be teenager interrupted my thoughts as he darted into my room and wrapped his gangly arms around me. He squeezed me breathless and then walked away laughing, as only a 12 year old boy can do, and I started to cry. All that mental junk quietly washed away.

    That big bear hug and the note from the girl down the street gave me an idea.

    Where I Am Wednesday: 35 Acts of Love for 35 Years of Life | Gypsy Magpie

    Birthdays are supposed to be special, right?

    With 3 days until my birthday, I had just enough time. 3 days to complete 35 acts of love… one for each of the 35 years I have lived in this beautiful, crazy world and the 35 birthdays I’ve celebrated. I set to work and by the end of my birthday, my attitude had completely changed. I won’t tell you what I did, that’s just for me. But I will say that I had a choice, to start off year 35 as a miserable cow or with a smile on my face. I chose to smile.

    Trucking still bites and the hormone carnival ride ain’t letting me off any time soon, but life is good.

    Where I Am Wednesday: Just muddling through | Gypsy Magpie

    I may only be a Marianne, but I’m real and I’m passionate, full of love, creative, fun, and standing tall despite my weaknesses and imperfections. It took me 35 years to get to this place. Maybe my 30’s aren’t so bad after all. Don’t get me wrong, I’d sure like my 20’s body back and babies were so much easier than tweens, but this is cool too. I guess I’ve accomplished more than I thought.

    So, where am I this Wednesday?
    Muddling through, just like you.

    Shiplap, you’re next!


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  • Jenny
    23 April 2016

    One thing I’ve learned from my past bullies is that there’s a pretty good chance that a big reason for having to go through that is to teach my kids about it. Either teaching them about treating others kindly or about how some people are just mean and grumpy and they take it out on others because they think it solves their own problems. Hopefully they won’t have to go through those things I did, but if they do, I know I can sympathies with them.
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    • Missy
      24 April 2016

      Sure helps to understand them, doesn’t it? Motherhood is one big lesson after another… for them and for us!