For those of you that don’t know me, I’m Abby and I am behind Beautiful You by Abby (hence the name *wink wink*). I’m a single mom who has always wanted to provide the best life for my two girls. That’s a little hard to do when you don’t see the beauty within yourself first.
From a young age, I have always felt less than and even as I got older, that feeling seemed to amplify. I turned to food for comfort, specifically anything carb filled and the most sugary drinks you can think of. Next thing I knew, my highest weight was pushing into the 230s.
I did everything you could possibly think of: diet pills, starving, extreme exercising, etc. All unhealthy ways of eating as you can see and while I saw short term results, the weight would just pile right back on. I eventually tried things like Weight Watchers and going to a women’s only gym on my lunch breaks. I managed to drop 15lbs!
But then like I tend to do, I blame my busy life for slacking and then not going to the gym and then it turned into not eating right. For the last 10 years, my weight has fluctuated and it was when I couldn’t fit into my regular size 16 jeans, that I realized I needed to make a change. Insert the Keto Diet. After having been on Keto for almost a year, I realized that I was getting bored with the meals.
I started thinking back to when I felt my best and it was definitely when I was working out. The feeling of completing workouts and eating healthy is AMAZING. Not to mention, the amazing support from a group of women who are also on this journey to better themselves. We support one another and get to do this awesome journey together. My goal is to provide you with the most exceptional mentoring and motivation to ensure you reach your goals. Most importantly, I want to help you be the BEST you that you can be. I want you to find your Beautiful You. So will you join me on this journey? If so, fill out the form below for more information!
Everyone has heard the expression, “it’ll come back and bite you in the ass.” That could not be truer in my case. My first blog post talked about how I became a single mother (for those of you that didn’t get a chance to read it, check it out here. I remember I had made a vow back when I was mourning the loss of my husband that I would never cry for him again. At the time, I needed that so that I could focus on my girls and keeping my job so I could pay the bills. I was basically in survival mode.
What I didn’t realize until much later was that I really wouldn’t cry for him, or anything else, from that point on. Sure I cried when I was downing a bottle of wine but I never cried when I was sober. I felt numb. No emotions. I avoided talking about Mike at all costs because I didn’t want to fall back into that depression. When I did talk about him, I made sure no emotion crept out and if it did, I stopped myself.
Unfortunately, that became true for a lot of things, not just him or his death. I would see my sister cry constantly when the Sandy Hook shooting happened or when the tornado in Oklahoma flattened an elementary school with kids still inside. She would cry telling me about the news articles of these tragic events and while I thought it was sad, not a single tear fell from my eyes. I didn’t even feel sad, it was just a sad event that happened. I felt disconnected.
For the longest time after that, I kept wondering if something was wrong with ME. Something had to be wrong for me, as a mother, not to feel sad or shed a single tear over tragic events. It was at that time that I started to realize that I felt numb to a lot of things. The only thing I remember feeling was angry and tired. I was too tired of feeling angry and tired. Things needed to change.
The light bulb went off and I finally made the call to a therapist. That started in December 2012 and since then, I had been going every 2 weeks religiously. I will never forget one session where my therapist pointed out that I don’t cry; that I stop myself before I start crying by looking up at the ceiling or changing the subject. Having someone point it out really opened my eyes to the fact that I really sealed off all emotions. I mean, I knew I didn’t feel right since Mike’s death but to have others noticed it just amplified it.
Before I moved from the Midwest, my therapist and I worked on trying to figure out exactly why I feel so numb. She would ask me and I just didn’t have an answer for her. I still don’t. All I know is that I do get a little bit more (not much) emotional now a days. Since the move, I’ve started seeing a new therapist and this is a topic that comes up often in many different scenarios.
It’s still something I’m working on but I didn’t realize that making that vow almost 4 years ago would cause this much trouble. I hope to get to that point where I am more myself but how do I know what being myself really is anymore? Only time will tell….
I was looking for something in my closet when I came across my journal from when Mike passed away. I didn’t journal religiously but I did write whenever I was feeling depressed or was missing him. Sometimes I was just so overwhelmed or stressed that I needed an outlet. That’s where my trusty purple journal came into play.
These entries were raw emotions and anyone reading them could tell when I was in a dark place and when I was feeling hopeful. As I look at this journal and read the entries, I realize that the biggest emotion that comes up time and time again is anger. I was very angry. I was angry at Mike for bailing on me and more importantly our girls. I was angry at life and I was angry at God.
The questions that kept coming up time after time was “what did I do wrong?” What did I say that day that turned the day’s events from planning a vacation to planning a funeral? Did he not think of his daughters? What do I tell them? How in the world do I explain to two girls that they’re daddy is gone, by choice?
The truth is that six years later, I still don’t know the answer to those questions. Sam was only two when he died and now that she’s in school, she sees that kids have their dads and moms. I won’t forget when she came home one day with a Daddy – Daughter Dance form. She told me that she couldn’t go to it because she didn’t have a daddy….what the hell do you even say to that??!
It’s something I still struggle with. I remember having these discussions with my therapist back when I was seeing her and it seems like there’s just no easy way to have that discussion with the girls. That’s not a discussion I’m ever going to be ready to have.
As I continue to read these entries, I see the emotions and the stress of adjusting to my regular routine without talking to Mike, crying on my way to work because I couldn’t text him “Have a good day babe. Love you.” Having to put the girls to bed without him there, adjusting to making EVERY decision. Then there was the stress of going through all of our things so that I could sell the house.
Like I said, A LOT of ups and downs but it’s true that it gets easier as time goes on. The loss isn’t gone, it’s just not as strong as it once was.
Ever have that feeling like you should be doing more than you already are? I know I have. Being a single mom already comes with its stresses and never ending to do list but I feel like I should just be doing MORE. I’ve tried to be ok with what I do and be ok with not doing more but then I get this restless feeling. I love my girls, I really do but I also love my career and my business. I’m the type of mother that could never be a stay at home mom (props to those who do it and love it!) but I can’t just be satisfied with that. Then again, I can’t be satisfied with all the balls I’m juggling now.
I even feel like I’m not doing enough when I’ve got so many things going on. I wish I could just sit on the couch and have a Netflix marathon but I feel like I should be doing more so I am. I started working out first thing in the morning, started reading books that are inspirational (currently reading Restless by Jennie Allen and Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey), make sure my planner is as up to date as possible, anything really that helps me get rid of this feeling. Three weeks in and I still feel that way.
I also felt that way when I started my business. I thought maybe this is what I am supposed to be doing, that way I can be satisfied and be around more for my girls. As a single mom, the flexibility of having my own schedule is like a myth. There’s no way that I could be able to work a job and have the flexibility to be around for all the activities that my girls wanted to do. It’s possible but what no one told me was that it wouldn’t be easy in the beginning. Having your own business is HARD and it’s been slowly growing. It’s constantly taking care of your customers, making sure they are happy with the products they are receiving, and ensuring I have the inventory on hand. AND even after working my business (aside from my regular job), I still feel restless.
Then comes the other ideas to help with this feeling. For the last 6 months, I had even toyed with the idea of obtaining my CPA certification. Yeah, I know that by doing that, I’d have absolutely no free time. My days would be consumed with my regular duties: work, chores, girls activities and homework, and then my own studying. Oh but it doesn’t stop there….I’ve even contemplated with getting two more certifications that would take almost just as much time studying.
So what do I do now? I just don’t know. I want to be happy with how my life is right now, I don’t want to feel this way but I just have to find out why I’m so restless. That, my friends, is a work in progress.
Like many of you, I didn’t plan on being a single mom. I had my life planned out: college, marriage, kids, grandkids, etc. What I got instead was: marriage, college, kids, suicide, single mom. Yes, I said suicide. Everyone has their story as to how they became a single mom. I didn’t think I would ever be a single mom, let alone a widow at 27, but it happened.
I woke up on the 4th of July in 2011 and was planning our first vacation without the girls to NYC. It was going to be my husband’s birthday present. We had just finished up the last details of the trip and just a few short hours later, I had police and EMS at my house trying to perform CPR on my husband. To this day, those events are a blur.
In the days that followed, I went through the motions of planning a funeral and trying to figure out what the hell happened. See, what most people don’t understand is that suicide isn’t something that comes out of nowhere. The signs are there, small, but always there. It’s a comment here or there, it’s the sudden mood swings, it’s the actions that they take. It’s all there. But sadly, some of us don’t realize the extent of it until it’s too late.
It took me almost a month of crying and walking in daze to realize that I was a mother. That I had two beautiful girls that needed the only parent they were left with. I remember the day clearly, sitting in an empty parking lot during my lunch break crying uncontrollably. Right there and then, I made a vow to my husband and myself that I would not cry a single tear for him anymore (which btw came to bite me in the ass later & requires it’s own post). I would move on and focus my energy on our girls and giving them the life they deserved. Not the one they got because of a choice that was made.
Six years later, therapy, and a move a cross the country, I am finally able to breathe and be happy. I know I’ve got a lot of growing up to do as a mother and woman but seeing my girls happy is what makes all this worth it <3
Welcome to my weekly musings for the week of 11/12/17. For many of us, we go through the motions of our daily lives and for those of us that are attuned to the hidden meanings that are in everything, this last week was an energy draining week! It took me a bit to determine what I would write in this week’s post but as I sit here at my desk, I felt the need to finally type it out. Here is what I’ve got for you:
30. The Perfection of Your Life
Many of us have seen storms from a birds eye view – on the news of course – but none the less, there is a beauty in seeing it from that view. While it is a beautiful site, within the storm, there is nothing but a violent experience. This is also how many of us feel when we are dealing with the internal chaos that goes on in our heads and in our hearts.
Sometimes the chaos seems subtle or strong, whether it is internal or external. Whichever the case may be, you have to know that everything is working out just as it should be. There is a higher plan for those of you reading this today and while it may seem like you are losing hope, know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
If you are feeling that there is no hope, that you are stuck or being denied, know that it is all unfolding the way it is meant to be. Sometimes our perception of reality is different that what is really going on. Every storm has to erupt at some point, so feel free to cry, scream, dance, paint, etc. Whatever gets you to express yourself in the way that feels right for you. Expressing yourself releases the energies that have been stagnant and that in itself, will help move things along. Just remember that at the end of every storm, is the bright sun and in most cases, a beautiful rainbow.
My brother in law and a few close friends of mine currently serve our country. It is because of them that I am able to sit here on my couch with my girls and write this post. I am so proud of them for their service and their dedication to this country. I am proud to call them not just friends but family.
I remember watching “American Sniper” with one of those close friends, Bryan, and I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the film. I asked him questions of the authenticity of the events in the movie and I just couldn’t believe what our men and women go through so that we can sleep at night. I cried at the end of the movie and since then, I’ve watched it multiple times, crying each time. I will forever be grateful for EVERYTHING they do.
Let us take a moment to thank those who currently serve and honor those who have served. Let’s remember those who gave their life for us. I am proud to be an American and proud of those who protect us daily.
Blogs are often used as an outlet, an online journal that most allow others to read. In certain cases, people can find comfort in knowing that others are going through the same things or having the same thoughts. Whatever the case may be, I would hope that those that come across my website will find something they can take away from my posts.
With that said, here are my little musings for the week:
17. What is Already With You
Two hands opened up letting white butterflies free. This image has a clear message: you hold in your hands that which you seek. Have you been searching for something that you just can’t seem to find? Maybe its as simple as car keys, or maybe its greater than that, like your next big business venture. Whichever it is, it is closer than you think. It may just be right under your nose!
You already have what you need and what you want. That doesn’t mean that your search is over, no. It means that you need to acknowledge that everything that is necessary for success is already with you. You have everything you could possibly need to be successful. You just have to learn to accept and believe this and then it will be possible for you.
While it might not seem like you have much to start with, or you feel that all you have to do is something small: an email to send, a simple decision to make, a conversation to start, etc. No matter how small it is, it is that small task that will get the ball rolling. Don’t make the mistake of believing that what you need is either behind you, with someone else, or hasn’t yet appeared. Just take the step.
Let’s take a moment to be honest here. Just between moms. How often do you take the time to remove all the makeup and really wash your face at night? As a single mother, my time is spread out so thin that it was a miracle if I removed so much as the mascara from my eyes before hopping into bed. I’d wake up with raccoon eyes (c’mon, you know what I’m talking about) and so my morning routine consisted of washing it all off when I was in the shower.
Over the past two and half years, I’ve learned so much about proper skin care that I can’t seem to lay in bed for more than a couple minutes before getting back up to wash my face (no matter how exhausted I am)! You see, as a Mary Kay consultant, I’ve been trained to learn proper skin care and beauty routines. As a single mother, I’ve learned how to make these routines SUPER simple and quick so that it doesn’t take me 3 hours to get ready in the morning.
If you have a skin care system in place, great! You’re already on the right path to healthy skin as you get older. But if you’re like me a few years ago, you’re cringing at the thought having to add more to your already busy schedule lol. Maybe a few facts might help change your mind:
Did you know that our skin starts to break down collagen and age faster in our early 20s? Yikes!
As dead skin cells accumulate on our skin, our complexions start to have that dull look to it and it makes pores more noticeable.
Our environment, especially the sun, can prematurely age our skin. Studies have shown that sun exposure is one of the leading causes of visible signs of aging.
As we age, our skin becomes thinner and more fragile, natural oils decrease, causing dehydration in our skin to be more visible.
Our skin is constantly regenerating itself! Younger skin can regenerate in 24 – 48 hours whereas mature skin can take up to 120 days to regenerate! Wow!
I don’t know about you, but I want to ensure my skin stays healthy for years to come. That said, let me share with you the proper skin care routine that I teach women when I hold skin care classes (and that I personally use).
Let’s get started!
Step 1: Cleanse
Find a good cleanser that works for your skin! Cleansers are meant to remove any makeup and impurities. I really like Mary Kay’s TimeWise 3-in-1 Cleanser. In the summer time, I use the Normal/Dry set and in the winter, I’ll switch over to the Combination/Oily due to my dry skin. I lather up the cleanser so that the micro-beads really exfoliate my skin and get all the dirt off my face.
Step 2: Day (or Night) Solution
I use the Day & Night Solutions which are anti-aging serums that help fight the appearance of age! The Day Solution protects and shields the skin from UVA/UVB rays with SPF 35, whereas the Night Solution repairs your skin while you sleep by counteracting daytime damage.
Whichever products you choose to use as part of your skin care routine, make sure that you use them daily for best results. You also want to pay attention to how your skin feels. If it feels dryer than when you first tried the products, try switching to one with more moisture. Don’t be afraid to customize your skin care products to suit your needs! The goal is to make sure your skin feels amazing!
Have questions about skin care? Feel free to comment or contact me! Have a skin care product you absolutely love? I’d love to hear about them!
Ah, Halloween. Such a fun time to get creative and enjoy the spookiness of it all. It’s a great time for adults to dress up, go out, or simply decorate your place to ensure the little ones are frightened (in a good way, of course!). Not to mention the candy! I always have to make sure I inspect my daughters’ candy stash to make sure that is safe (and that I grab all the PB cups they’ve gotten but SSHHH lol).
While all that is fun, lets take a minute to talk about face paint, shall we? Many parents usually end up buying masks but for those that choose to use face paint, there are many options out there. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to determine which paints you need, which ones will stay on all night, and which ones will wash right off, am I right?
Well let me make it SUPER simple for you! Mary Kay’s foundation primer is a great base to use PRIOR to applying the face paint. Why, you may ask? Well it allows for the face paint to go on smoothly and it provides a protective barrier to make removal a cinch.
Let’s not forget the AFTER step. Using Mary Kay’s Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover to remove the face paint makes it super SIMPLE and there will be far less scrubbing involved, which in turn leads to less tears. This is so gentle to use and even works on waterproof mascara!
I always bundle these up for Halloween so be sure to ask for my Spooktacular Discount! I sell out quickly so be sure to get your orders placed here TODAY!