Tuesday, February 9, 2016

shop is open!

i mentioned in an earlier post about how vaughan and i and our little family have been through some big changes at the beginning of this year! one of those changes was letting go of my former job/love of my life, Little Nuggy. the founder and my partner, Ale, became one of my closest friends through this process and by bringing me on board with her business i grew and learned so much more than i could have imagined! it truly did bless my life at a time of need. towards the end of the year we both decided that it would be best to go in the direction we felt we needed to in our own lives and our own families. 

during the transition of leaving Little Nuggy i had a friend text me asking if she could pay me to help run/manage/give advice about her instagram account! that same week another friend asked the same. through Little Nuggy i learned so much about the world of social media marketing and how to succeed, so when i was with my friends i would give them advice if they asked or help point out things they could do to build their following if that's what they were looking for. i would have never thought that these things i learned could turn into a business! 

and then i started getting more and more emails about my etsy shop being closed down and people wanting custom blog design and wanting to know where they could purchase my pre-made templates! during Nuggy i closed down the shop because i wanted to focus on my new venture. i was honestly so surprised of the feedback and inquiries i got once my shop closed!! i am honestly flattered! hahaha i had no idea people even really cared that much for my work. 

so, without further adieu, i have now opened my etsy shop and custom blog design shop again!! same classic templates as before but i'm totally willing to design some more if you guys want me to! and custom blog design will be few but email me and we can figure something out.

i also wanted to introduce my social media managing tab at the top!! since accepting my friends offers about working for and teaching them about social media, i've figured out my schedule and the basics of what i offer and it's all on that tab! there are so many different options and we will work together to figure out what is the best social media strategy for you that fits into your budget! there is also the option to purchase my training on how to build your instagram following or a guide to taking, editing and posting pictures. 

i have taken on a few clients so this month is limited but if you're interested i have about 1-2 spots open! feel free to email me at ryleeblakegreening@hotmail.com if you have any questions or are just interested in how it works or if you just want to say hello :) 

and if you're just here because you like pictures of kai, then i love you. yall'z are the best! 
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Saturday, January 23, 2016

our hawaii trip. in 2015. but it's not too late to document it! AMIRITE?!

if vaughan and i could live anywhere in the world. well, not like LIVE by ourselves. but if we could relocate all of our friends and family and our ward and ourselves anywhere it would probably be hawaii. or new zealand. i don't know! both.

and wow. what an amazing intro paragraph i have going on right now! i'm sure everyone will be totally drawn in to what i have to say next! haha ANYWAY you basically get the point that we have a love for North Shore, Oahu. specifically Laie and all it's green-ness. we flew over with some of my fam and their kids and found an amazing deal on this cutest beach house right on Hukilau beach. from our bedroom we would walk a little 20 foot path right onto the sand. vaughan would tell you that this is probably the happiest he's ever been. if you ever want to see this 240lb polynesian man get giddy like a child, give him an ocean.

he would wake up right as the sun would rise and be out in the waves already. he'd come in for food and to check on baby and me but for the most part i wanted him to be out there to soak it up as much as he could! and i loved that he was only feet away from us or that we could watch him from the pergola in the backyard.

and it honestly was no surprise that kai transformed into a little fish. i would sit him down on the beach (naked most of the time because WHY NOT?! and it was only fam around and they didn't mind) and he would crawl straight into the ocean. legit get mad at vaughan or i when we picked him up if he was going to deep hahaha and then when he wasn't trying to swim he would just sit where the water breaks and play with the sand. for hours i'm sure if i had let him.

is it weird that some part of me dies inside that i can't give my boys the chance to be closer to the ocean? when vaughan was growing up in New Zealand as a little boy, his dad would take him surfing every day before school. it's one of vaughan's fondest memories and i wish i could let him and kai relive that. i know the fact that we aren't in a place right now to move somewhere like that isn't my fault, but i suppose it's just the mama and the wifey in me who wished i could give my family the world, ya know?

so what did we do in hawaii beside the beach? i honestly don't even remember. we ate of course! at seven brothers, kahuku grill, that one famous shaved ice place that is to long for me to spell out, tita's, ted's bakery. all places i would for sure recommend. but my most favorite is by far NORTH SHORE TACOS. i'm seriously craving it now that i'm even thinking about their chicken burrito. my gosh. give the girl some freaking cafe rio delivery and 12:30 in the morning already!! hahaha if you're ever near the area just go and send me a pic k?

we went to the PCC obvs and got a sick hook up because vaughan's poly (jk but sort of not jk) and i'm not even kidding when he ran into people that he knew there from all around the world. besides being in a Samoan ward for church, we don't really have much of his culture around here since vaughan's fam is mostly in NZ. so it was comforting to hear that beautiful kiwi accent that seriously just makes me feel right at home.

are my posts so long now or what? haha they are too long. so to wrap it up hawaii was bomb. i miss the food. kai should've been a fish and we are moving back to new zealand.
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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

i don't even know how to write a post title anymore

oh hey. what's good? here i am, more than half a year later, to follow up about that last post. it's crazy looking back on that california trip at how much has changed. how much vaughan, myself and kai has been through since then. 

for one, vaughan graduated from college in december!! woot woot! that was a huge game changer for our little family. before that, vaughan was barely here. between full-time school, 2 jobs and being called as a Young Men president he was spread pretty thin. he did his best though to make time for us and he always made sure we were his main priority. even through the thick of it he was always here when we needed him. and for that i just feel so lucky that he chose me to be his partner in life ya know? he honestly is the greatest man i've known. 

kai is just a little tiny human now with all these made-up words and feelings hahaha i can barely keep up with him! always saying "ball!" and mama and dada and please and duck and more and no. he has a couple signs down, like "all done!" which he starts to do in his carseat after he thinks we've been driving for too long. he's down to one nap a day, no longer takes a baba and is eating all them big boy foods! oh and he's walking/running every chance he gets. he also is so kind to his momma. always trying to be "soft" with me and randomly gives me hugs and cries out for me when he first wakes up in the morning. between him and vaughan, they certainly keep me busy! but i just love my boys. they've been my rock for what was almost one of the hardest years of my life. 

when i think back on this year, all i can think is 
how in the world did i survive? 

it honestly was just insane. between all of vaughan's things going on and then kai, being, well... a baby/toddler and then me. my Young Women's calling, being a mama 24/7, supporting a husband through work and school, running a new company with a new partner, not having much money, emotionally being there for some rough family situations and the most difficult to admit, coping with this new body i had after having kai. 

like just thinking about all that makes my whole body tighten with anxiety! it's not that it was just these major events that kept happening that were just mind-blowing. it was honestly the little things. day after day for almost 6 months, that by the end of December i checked out. i still did the things that needed to be done but i wasn't really in it, ya know? i didn't feel like myself. 

it wasn't until Vaughan and I went on a date night after finals that things started taking a turn. we had watched a movie, and now i honestly can't even remember which one haha but i remember it was so funny! and i just laughed. i really laughed for the first time in months! with my sweetheart. and in that moment driving home things were all good. and i just kept telling vaughan, like why don't i chose to do more things that make me happy!! why do i stay stuck trying to fix the same things over in the same way that clearly is just bringing me more stress and more unhappiness. 

i mean it really became so clear. 

so some things changed. 

one, vaughan graduated school! he was finally home. and his jobs also had ended so he was able to be with us almost 24/7. that in itself was a huge blessing for us. and we finally found a babysitter (non family) that we trusted and was old enough that we felt safe leaving kai with her. so we started and still do date night every weekend. those date nights are game changers. 

two, i let go of Little Nuggy. it was honestly one of the hardest decisions i had to make this year. i can't even begin to tell you how much i loved the idea and the products and my partner! i loved being apart of a business that involved both mama's and babies. it was like my dream job! but ultimately, i felt like it was time to move on. so instead of fighting it i finally let that go, trusting in Heavenly Father's timing. 

three, new job!! it actually was totally unexpected but like i said before, perfect timing! i am now a social media manager for a couple individual clients. it seriously is like not even a job to me because i love it so much! haha but it fits like a glove with my schedule and it is something that i've always loved and taken an interest in. this job just kind of fell into my hands so now i'm just running with it and seeing what happens. it brings me true joy though, and i think that's the best part. 

four, different mind-set.  especially when it comes to my body. before getting pregnant i was an athlete through and through. since as long as i can remember i've always been active in at least one sport and so with that i always had a natural strength. i was always in shape. i never thought twice about my body, not really. it did what i needed it to do and it looked how i wanted it to look. but then i got pregnant. 

then with pregnancy i got so sick for months that i couldn't even sit up. vaughan literally had to put me in a bath, take me out, dress me and lay me back down in the bed. it was awful. i barely ate and hardly had a chance to move for myself. then after the first trimester i was feeling better! but tired. always tired. just walking around the house made me sleepy. and i was craving Noodles n Co mac and cheese like every day hahaha so i basically worked, cleaned, ate mac and cheese and slept. i was pretty content. at that time i felt like i was doing the best i could. then third trimester comes and i'm relatively active despite my big belly! at that point i was a volleyball coach so i was always waddling around. nothing too high-endurance though. and nothing strengthening. 

and then came labor. despite pushing a human out of my body, and the seizures, and the tearing, my body came through. it did what we needed it to do. and it was such an honor, it really was. after kai came i kept having mini seizures whenever i would get too stressed. it was the weirdest thing. i think it was just my body reacting or coping with this drastic change. i don't know! but breast-feeing didn't work out quite like i imagined so after two months we switched to formula. at that time i had the go ahead to start working out again! i was stoked. i finally would be able to get back to what i was before. 

but that didn't happen. 

i still remember the very first workout i tried. it was a relatively easy youtube video that i streamed on my laptop in the family room. i had my work out clothes on, my yoga mat ready and i was pumped. i thought my first workout would be hard, i would have never guessed that i wouldn't have been able to finish it though. in fact, i couldn't get through the first five minutes. 

all that former strength i had before kai, was gone. all of it. i couldn't even finish a plank for 10 seconds in that dang video. and i cried. i actually was sobbing. there on my yoga mat in the family room i laid down crying. i have never felt more defeated. more worthless. more weak. and i was ashamed. 

i tried getting into different work outs but none of them stuck. i couldn't find that consistency. each day as i was getting dressed i would look at this body in the mirror and just stare in embarrassment. the love handles, the thick thighs, the saggy booty, the now small boobs, the flabby arms and the pooch tummy. it got to a point that i didn't even know how to dress. my go-to outfit was jeans, a big baggy sweatshirt or shirt or cardigan or anything that would cover up all the things i hated. 

even in the summer, i would wear jeans and a long sleeve sweater. someone asked me one time if i knew how hot it was outside and why i looked like i was dressed for winter. i don't even remember what i said. i just remember feeling fat. 

and granted, when i say fat i'm not looking for condolences. i know what being fat looks like. i know that 150 pounds isn't really that bad. but for me, it was the heaviest i've ever been in my entire life. 

it wasn't until finally the end of December, when i had that epiphany of doing things that made me happy, that my mind-set concerning my body issue changed. 

i decided to work out because i LOVE my body, not because i hated it. i decided that i needed to start taking care of it. because guess what? my body has been through some pretty traumatizing stuff. stuff that i hadn't fully healed yet from that it still carried. i wasn't giving my body the respect that it deserved. i just expected it to go back to what i wanted it to. and it didn't work that way because with having kai, my body obviously did change. but i finally figured out that this wasn't a bad thing. 

it really was quite beautiful. 

i gave all of my strength to kai's little body when he was born. i gave it to him when i carried him for 9 months and for when i was able to feed him naturally. would i take that back all to have the body i had once before? 


so here i am now. learning what foods do the most for me. educating myself. working out because it feels good. taking care of myself rather than giving it hate. clean slate. 

and that's made all the difference. 

it's been 4 weeks now that i've consistently been working out and eating better. the longest i've ever gone. it doesn't seem like much but to that mama who was crying on her family room floor, it means everything. and to no suprise, i feel better than i have for a really long time. i have more energy, i think more clearly and am just genuinely happy. i still have my days of course. but overall i am starting to feel more like me. 

and for once, in a very very long time. i have hope in my future. i'm choosing to hope for good things. and they'll come. just like i think and know they will come for you, too. 


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

California Diaries

First off, it's kind of sad how long it has been since being on this blog. To be honest, something inside of me a long time ago just didn't want to do it anymore. I think it got too much. Too overdone. Too much of "more of this on my blog, link in profile" going on. Like blogging became a default for young married girls or mommies. I didn't want to be a default. I don't really care for doing what everyone else is doing! haha i'm such a butt like that. When things get on the band-wagon it like loses it's cool for me. BUT also with that, during pregnancy and having a baby I didn't even have time or the energy even if I wanted to! And I have wanted to. I miss my friends from blogging. I miss the sweet girls who would comment back and forth on my posts. I miss the way I was able to connect with, dare I say, kindred souls from around the world?! hahaha really though! I don't know why but I don't really have that kind of community on instagram. I did, but only for the first couple of months with Kai being born. Then it faded, maybe I just have become irrelevant or I don't post enough pictures of my son (jk, there were plenty) or maybe, and probably, i just am not ever really open and real as i was on here. It's so weird how many captions i'll write on a picture for insta but i'll delete them because 1: no one will get my sarcasm! i might offend somebody. 2: ahh man another religious quote??! no one will read this or 3: i don't think my followers asked for a novel on how my day as mother went. it's like i'm so concerned with others that i have lost my voice. and it makes me incredibly sad. because as you other momma's know, you lose parts of yourself when you do have a child. you lose your pre-preggy body, your time, some of your hobbies, most of your energy, and sometimes within all that you lose yourself! it's really is a battle everyday!

that's why i think it's so important to never lose your voice. through journaling, blogging, social media-ing (yeah that's a word) or whatever it is that you do to make you feel like yourself, keep doing it. always find time for it. because when you are taking care of yourself too, you really are being the best mother and wife for your loved ones. 

so yeah. 
about that california post..... 

Laguna Beach is seriously our haven. We went there last year when I was pregnant and stayed with family. While we were there I laid in the sand almost everyday and watched vaughan in the ocean while little baby kai kicked in my belly. Even though I was born and raised in Utah, I've always had a sense of belonging to the beach. I think it's more than fate that I ended up marrying an island boy who feels the same way. Our dreams are to be able to live in New Zealand one day soon, so that our kids can have the same experiences vaughan had living there. And also, with my kids being half polynesian, i think it's extremely important that they have a strong feel for their culture. Orem is a lot of things that I love but I don't know if it has everything that I want for them. If only we could have a million dollars to have two homes and endless sky miles so we could just fly back and forth! Kai is already such a beach baby. We would put him down in the sand and he would crawl like 20-30 feet away from us and just play by himself hahaha he looked like a little sand turtle. Was a little afraid of the ocean but would put his feet in from time to time. 

Anyway, not that we're locals or anything BUT from the week we were there our favorite places to eat in Laguna are Active Culture (the yummy acai bowl and wellness bowl), La Sirena (Mexican food), BJ's Pizza, Greeters (for Breakfast), Nicks and Johnny Rockets! We just stay on the main beach most days but we went up to Thalia and loved it there for bigger waves. Also, the Pacific Edge Hotel was money! We ended having to stay there for a couple days and I wish we would have done it sooner! Steps from the beach, right on the main road of Laguna with a Ralphs Grocery Store right across the street. There is also a Taco Bell next door in case that is a game changer for you. 

We miss it already. Most trips we can't wait to get home towards the end but with this it felt like we were leaving a little part of us there. 

xx ryleeblake