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  • Carrie Usmar

When you’re flying on an airplane with 3 kids under five there isn’t time to contemplate your life and the direction that you want to go.

Five hours into the flight, I’m starting to lose it. The baby looks possessed arching his back and crying. I'm trying hard not to let him throw toys at the person sitting next to me.

One kid wants a new show, the other one is asking for snacks.

I passed Crosby off to my husband, so I could take a break.

While I am sitting alone in this seat I have a moment to think. My mind started to run. This is horrible, I can't believe we signed up for this... What was I thinking? I am so dumb. This trip is going to be hard....

SHUT UP!!!!!!!!! Silence...

I thought about how nature stops the noise in my head but I have nowhere to go except the bathroom and that's the last place I want to be.

The little voice in my head says to open the window shade, that's as close to nature as you will get.

I looked down at the morning light shining on the mountains. Speechless, I sat and stared. My mind went blank for a moment, all the noise turned off. I looked at the way the light hits the top of the mountain and the shadows fall at the base. It almost looks like the veins in your body. An endless amount of them circulating the blood and keeping you alive.

I thought I am small. I am one tiny person in this huge world of millions of people. What good can I do? What is the point of all of this? The writing? The sharing? Facing the stifling fear?

Immediately I told myself NO, I’m not small, I matter. I make a difference, even when I am doing my monotonous tasks, feeding kids and wiping bums day in and day out, I am raising the next generation. Even if only two people are reading this, if it helps one, then I made an impact.

I thought about how grateful I am for support from all of you. You are kind of like my blood vessels. Not only do you help me survive but you help me thrive. You inspire me and you've taught me I CAN do hard things. I am capable of more than I give myself credit. You have many characteristics I admire.

Some of you make me laugh, we get together and can’t stop laughing.

Some of you are comforting, you don’t even have to speak, I know you are there.

Some of you are always smiling, bringing joy and light to many, even on days when you feel down.

Some of you bring people together, not only do you organize events but help people feel loved and included.

Some of you listen, you don’t offer your opinion or guidance, you listen because people need to feel heard.

Some of you follow, I know you and I see you, I like to follow too, there is beauty in the follower, they are loyal.

Some of you are welcoming. I love you. I enter a room knowing no one and you make me feel at home, you introduce me to people and help me feel loved.

Some of you are huggers, I don’t feel comfortable hugging people, I do an awkward dance and give hugs, but if you want to give me a hug I won’t say no and I appreciate it.

Then there is the encourager, the one that reminds me, I can do hard things.

Let’s not forget the people you trust, you could tell them you did something terrible and there is no shame or judgment, only let’s figure this out together. I am grateful for all of you. And I want you to know you make a difference in lives every day, even when you don’t feel like it. Maybe you are feeling discouraged or lost. Maybe you are tired of doing everything and no one thanks or appreciates you. I want to remind you that you are worthy and loved, and you matter. All that you do makes a difference in someone’s life and even when you aren’t feeling like it, keep going, you never know who you are impacting with your love.

Inspirational Quote

#Inspiration #honesty #Gratitude

  • Carrie Usmar

It feels like yesterday you almost came out of me in the car. Recently, I heard some of the music we listened to on that unforgettable ride to the hospital. It took me back to that night. My stomach churned thinking about how afraid I was.

It feels like yesterday I savored every minute, holding you on the few days your dad had off of work. I knew that newborn time was fleeting and my time with someone to help was precious.

It feels like yesterday that you first smiled at me with those beautiful lips.

It feels like yesterday I was tirelessly walking you around the kitchen island over and over asking Alexa to play Disco Inferno by Rhino Hi-Five for the 50th time. It was the only song that made you stop crying.

It feels like yesterday I heard your first laugh. It was nothing like the other kids and from then on we spent a lot of time trying to make you laugh.

It feels like yesterday, I drove around town, exploring all the back roads because it was the only time you slept.

I admit as you got older I didn’t get to celebrate many of your firsts and I definitely wasn’t anxious for you to move through any stage quickly.

I remember one day putting you down on the ground outside for the first time. (I hate how messy clothes get when babies crawl or roll outside) But I let it go and put you down and you decided to crawl. Celia shouted, “Mom Crosby’s crawling! Look, Look Mom!” (Your big sister often tells me what you are up to when I am busy). We were all excited.

I’m pretty sure your first food was Cheerios off the floor.

I never put pants on you, or socks, or hats. I don't stress over what you are wearing. I just found you wearing 4-6 months pants, you are almost one. But that’s the way it’s been with you my third. Hectic, Fun, easygoing, and you are happy.

There are times I’ve felt ashamed, afraid I am not doing enough. Not caring for you well enough. Afraid I will forget you. And I feel guilty, I don’t get to pay attention to you. I don’t remember everything you like. I didn’t get to make you your own food. I can’t make a list of exactly how you like to be put to bed. I don’t have any idea of which toys you prefer. I’m pretty sure you get into things I never thought possible.

But I thank God for you every day my rainbow baby.

If I focus on all the ways I am not enough, I am stuck feeling inadequate. It takes the joy away from those special moments and amounts them to nothing when they are everything.

I have done my very best to love you and let go of perfection and all of the “should haves” that come to mind often.

I am going to stumble, I won’t always have my ducks in a row, but I promise to admit when I’m wrong and not let pride get the best of me.

You are special.

It’s because of you that I started this habit of waking up and writing.

It’s because of you I learned to find joy in the little moments.

It’s because of you, we laugh and giggle a lot.

It’s because of you I got to experience the joy of another child.

It’s because of you I get to see your brother and sister pine over who gets to sit next to you and help take care of you.

It’s because of you I rediscovered my love of photography.

Thank you for shining your light on so many. Your smile brightens the world. Never let anyone darken your spirit. You are worthy and loved no matter what.

Happy Birthday my Rainbow baby

#honesty #Parenting #Motherhood #Insecurities #Inspiration

  • Carrie Usmar

Recently, I submitted my writing to a popular blog. I follow several blogs that take submissions but I never felt like anything I wrote was good enough, or worthy. The “what if’s” started going through my mind. The voice in my head said I’m not a writer.

I worked on this post for a long time, some mornings I tried to edit it, but then changed it back to the way it was. Each day I thought about sending it but told myself all the reasons why I shouldn’t.

My mind said, you don’t have a proper headshot, or why would anyone want to read what you have to say. I envisioned the rejection email saying, please work on your grammar or find an editor.

My writing is not fancy, it’s not full of symbols, or big words, in fact, I love a good run on sentence, and I use the word “just” like a kid sprinkling cheese on their meatballs.

One morning I read the article again. I said to myself it’s time to hit send. I checked the guidelines for submissions and told myself So what if my headshot is old and I haven’t updated my website. I might be rejected, this might not be what they are looking for, and that’s okay.

Then I hit send. My stomach churned, my eyes widened and I felt exhilarated. I did it. I can do it. I am enough. YES!

Later on, when I had a moment to think, I had what Brene Brown calls “the vulnerability hangover”. That feeling of fear and regret after you do something vulnerable. what would people think? Should I have shared all of that? Why does anyone care and how can I get that email back?

Thankfully I felt strong, I wasn’t going to let that voice win. I accepted whatever the outcome may be when I hit send. I felt grateful for discovering my love of writing, and I knew I would keep writing, despite failure or rejection, because it is healing and helpful for others.

I thought about how I got to the point of facing that fear. Why did I do it that day? What is it that made me feel empowered to hit send?

The first thing I realized is I started taking care of myself.

When I was in fear mode, I stopped cooking. I ate whatever I could find in a pinch, usually the leftover chicken nuggets after the kids were finished. I made excuses to skip workouts. I'd stay up late mindlessly scrolling social media on my phone. Transitions happened right and left, and I had to make sure all of them went smoothly. Everything and everyone else seemed more important to me.

When you start making sure everything is right and let yourself go in the process, you are in the perfection zone. I have to remind myself perfection is unobtainable.

I don’t realize when I go into “perfection mode”. I usually start with trying to get one thing “right”. Like a virus, the need to get it “right” spreads and I am trying to cling to everything. I start to control my world, and I forget, it’s not mine, to begin with.

If you are ready to face that fear that's been holding you back, firstly, take care of yourself. It's not as easy as treating yourself to a new pair of shoes. This will be one of the hardest tasks of your day.

I set my alarm for 4:30 am most days to pray, journal, and exercise. Some nights I contemplate setting my alarm, an excuse comes to mind but then I think of how I feel on the days I wake up extra early, I am happier when the kids get up, my mind is clear and I am able to find the light even in the chaos.

I encourage you to find what works for you. Here are some ideas.

Exercise, find your favorite way to get your blood pumping and do it. Your body and mind will thank you.

Go to the gym, put your kids in child-watch, and take a shower ALONE.

Ask for help, sometimes you need an hour alone at a coffee shop, or thirty minutes at the store to shop without the kids.

Go out at night, even when it’s really cold outside and the thought of leaving the couch pains you.

Make time for your friends, pick up the phone and call them.

Laugh. Do you know how many times I go on Snap Chat and crack myself up? Try it, you won’t regret it.

Eat foods that fuel you. One of my biggest setbacks is food, I don’t like taking the time to meal plan, go to the store, or prepare food. But I feel amazing when I am eating good nutritious food.

Turn off social media. You may not realize it but you are on social media mindlessly scrolling taking in useless information and you might be comparing yourself or feeling inadequate.

Make the time to take care of yourself because it’s hard to take care of others when you are not in the right place.

The second tip I realized helped me face my fear was to tell that voice in my head to SHUT UP.

I hate the words shut up, but my mind needs a good strong talking to. That voice tells me I can’t and says I am unlovable. It feeds me lies and shames me. I have to shut it down and fill my mind with the truth. I am loved, I am a good mother, I am worthy, I can, I am special.

If you are having a hard time believing the truth about yourself write out the truths. I have sticky notes all over my house to remind me.

You are stronger than you think. Whatever fear you are facing, you can handle. Living in fear is hard and sometimes you don’t realize it, but it’s important to be mindful of where you are. Not just going through the motions of life but truly allowing yourself to be known and seen. I admit it’s scary being vulnerable, but after facing fear over and over again, I am stronger and love the person I am.

#Inspiration #honesty #Insecurities #Shame #Motherhood #Hope #Howto #Perfectionist

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