Direct Sales

So, I have done my fair share of direct sales. Most have been done in the form of social media marketing which I acknowledge can get a little annoying when you have received your 500th notification that week from someone trying to sell everyone something “they love or believe in.” I get it. Even with some background in the world of it all I still find myself saying “Seriously? This is like the 10th Lularoe party I have been invited to in the last 3 days…” Really thought it doesn’t bother me all that much, it’s just someone sharing something that are excited about and are trying to make it work.

I am into my 4th direct sales “position” as I just teamed up with a friend to sell Lipsense. You probably are wondering why or telling yourself “Great. Here she is to hound me again and guilt me into buying something I’m not really interested in or don’t want anything to do with.” First of all, NEVER feel as though you have to buy. Secondly, my goal (and I believe everyone else’s) is not to bother people or fill your newsfeed on Facebook with so much marketing that you roll your eyes so hard you see your brain. It’s just kind of the world we live in today. The internet has taken over which is evident as we watch big box stores close their doors. I personally find this sad and believe it or not prefer to shop in person. Anyways, I digress.  077fa775de4f3233da21e27ee995617a

What draws me into these position is usually my own interest or love of the product, so yes I do usually love the product I am promoting, which would only make sense. In the beginning I have always had aspirations to Go Big or Go Home but I have yet to see serious success from one of these companies. Direct sales is something you really have to commit to and is something you get out of what you put into it. You also sort of have an “I don’t give a shit attitude” but still be positive. Does that even makes sense? Your heart has to be in the right place and you have to want it for yourself but also for the people you are selling it to. I have heard many stories of people who paid themselves completely out of debt doing gigs like this and I have also heard the other side. I sort of fall in the middle. I have yet for one to put a bad taste in my mouth but I also haven’t made crazy money on it either. What I have walked away with is a sense of support, pretty awesome products, and a little bit better understanding of people.

After my 3rd one I sort of scolded myself and told myself “You will not do another one of these. People are getting annoyed and your family and friends can only support so many of your mini business ventures.” I guess time sort of erases those thoughts because here I am again. Thats ok though. I really do enjoy this product (as I have all the others) and can I be honest? We sort of signed up to get the consultants discount! If we are able to sell some though that would be really awesome too.

So…. Lipsense it is this time. You can currently find us on Facebook at Lush Lips by Hailee and Jessica. Feel free to send messages with questions!

(Originally posted on April 9th, 2017)

Perfect is Impossible

  I’ve written this one a few times in my head and keep coming back to it.  The title sort of says it all but I’ll elaborate.  If it isn’t already obvious to you (as I hope it is to everyone) no one is a vision of perfection.  I certainly don’t fill those shoes.  Guess what? That’s alright.
  I have received comments from many people on what a good mom I am and how I just seem to have it together.  (Insert actual laughing until I am crying response.)  One person was even kind enough to send a personal message asking for advice, as she was about to become a new mom herself, and I seemed to know what I was doing.  I hesitantly typed out a response I thought was uplifting but wondered if I actually lived the words I was sharing with her.  While I so appreciate these messages and comments it also makes me reflect on the image I may be portraying on social media to make you think I have it all together because I don’t.  I lose my patience with my children and with my husband.  I clean up yet another mess someone has made and quietly resent them for it.  I get stressed about things like nap time.  I think to myself what it would be like to only be responsible for me and then scold myself for thinking such a thing because I wouldn’t give my children up for anything.  Motherhood is one hell of an eye opener to the world but one we often keep to ourself, especially the struggles of the day in and day out.  Imperfect-283x300
  I mentioned social media in the above paragraph which is sort of my direction with this particular post.  It is such a significant part of the world we live in today which is both a blessing and a curse, a double edged sword.  The last few years I have heavily relied on my social media presence to stay in contact with friends and even find social outlets online in order to find answers to my many questions about being a mom and caring for a tiny human.  I have really gotten sucked into the world of it all.  A few weeks ago my toddler actually asked me to put my phone away, she is 2.  That stung.  I deleted Facebook off my phone that day.  I still have it but it is much less accessible to go sit at my computer versus my phone that I can carry with me all over the house.  If you find yourself getting sucked in, my advice?  Delete it off your mobile device.  Easy peasy.
  What about social media is so intriguing and why do we think that those around us lead stress free completely mess proof lives?  While I don’t have a direct answer to that what is obvious is that no one is going to willfully air their dirty laundry.  Those who do choose to share the problems that might be present in their lives may be viewed as negative and/or whiny. I really think the way we go about most things is just a flaw in human nature.  We often fail to realize how we contradict ourselves.  I mostly share cute pictures of my kids, wish people happy birthday, share funny (sometimes sad) articles, and I’m not gonna lie… I creep on people. I’ve probably creeped on you and your profile.  Sorry!
  My point in all of this is don’t let someone else’s vision of perfection fool you or make you feel guilt in your own life.  My guess is 1. that is not their intention 2. they are just doing what we all do which is share the good and the happy, and 3.  they likely have just as many problems as you do and who knows, maybe they even look at your posts and wonder how they can be as happy as you! The amount of likes you get on a picture you post or status you make does not define you.  YOU define you, don’t let social media do it for you.  Be real and be honest and if someone doesn’t like its that’s fine.
Do you need a social media time out?  Take a minute and think about how  many times a day you send a tweet, check your facebook, post a picture to instagram, or how often you are sending snap chats.  If I added it all up I know I would cringe.  Put your phone down or close the computer.  I promise it will still be there in a few hours and you can catch up on it all after the kids go to bed or during nap time.  What will not remain the same is your kiddos, they are only little for so long so take the time to tickle those tiny toes a little longer, soak in the giggles, and just hug them as much as possible.
(Originally posted March 30th, 2017)

Minnesota

 I just want to start of by saying I am not a Minnesota native but have most certainly come to appreciate the beauty of this state, specifically lake country where we live. I am a North Dakota native however so just a friendly neighbor who made a few moves and ended up as close to home as we could manage. Our Minnesota story began in Duluth, MN and is also where our second daughter was born.  Our first was born in Mayfield Heights, Ohio (very close to Cleveland) so we like to keep things busy to say the least as we have seen three different cities in three years….why not right?  Moving is fun!
   Duluth is such a beautiful place and we were sad to leave the city itself but so happy to be closer to our family.  If you ever have an opportunity for a weekend getaway (so long that you live within driving distance) I highly recommend Duluth and what it has to offer.  In Duluth itself there is tons of great eating.  Our favorites were Va Bene which sits along the shore of Lake Superior, Tavern on the Hill by UMD, Blackwoods, and also Northern Waters Smokehaus.  You won’t have the full Duluth experience if you don’t go to the breweries in town.  There is Bent Paddle, Fitger’s and Canal Park Brewing Company and afterwards head for a walk down the shore of Lake Superior to look at the lighthouses and lift bridge.  If your feeling adventurous definitely go up the North Shore to Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse, both will provide you with some seriously beautiful scenery and photo ops!  Often, when we were looking for something relaxing to do we would just head up the north shore for a drive. There is plenty to do if you are visiting Duluth, the old Glensheen Mansion is pretty interesting to walk through as well as it has a lot of old and rich history.  (Am I sounding like an advertisement yet?)
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   Now we reside in Lake Park, MN a very tiny town! We are pretty excited to be back in lakes country again.  We left in the summer of 2014 to head to Ohio for my husbands job training.  We were then placed in Duluth until December 2016, so with that being said, lake time for us has been hit and miss, especially since two of the three summers I was pregnant.  I am not keen on traveling (in terms of riding in the car and spending hours in airports) as it is so you can almost forget it when there’s a baby on the way.  I digress…back on track now.  So, this summer we are planning on getting as much lake time in as possible between Justin’s parent’s lake which is about a 40 minute drive from our house and also my grandma’s cabin near Bemidji, MN which is about an hour and a half from us.  SO MUCH CLOSER!
   A few other ideas I’ve had for myself are capturing some of Minnesota’s beauty on camera.  I will claim no photography skills but really I might just share some pretty sunsets (or sunrises with our youngest) we catch.  I have an old camera with one of those giant lenses somewhere I need to break out of a moving box.  I really would like to be more attentive towards using my camera and not relying on my phone so much to capture memories.  iPhones are great and all, and actually take pretty decent pictures, but there is just something nostalgic about using a camera and getting home to download all the excitement you just captured.  If you have any references for how to be an o.k. amateur photographer, please, send them my way.
(Originally posted March 2nd, 2017)

Motherhood

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I make no promises on the fluidity of this one because kids are complete craziness.  I mean that in the most loving way possible.  First of all they are amazing and have opened me up to a love I did not know even existed.  It’s such a fierce and real love.   I really don’t even know where to begin…
  So you bring this tiny person home from the hospital and then what? I couldn’t even tell you what, even the second time I was unsure of what my days were going to entail. Days go by and your thinking “Ok where is the sleep? Sleep hasn’t happened yet… there is supposed to be sleep right?” No sorry.  No sleep for you (mom).  Welcome to motherhood!  You go into this thing worn out.  It gets better though, at least this is what I hear.  (Please don’t be scared, you somehow just figure it out and coffee will see you through the tough days, and really I mean all the days.)
  Currently I have an almost 2.5 year old who is one of the most stubborn and demanding people I have met to date. The milk must be in the purple sippy cup (but don’t get comfortable with the purple cup, in the next few minutes maybe you need a pink cup) because putting it in the blue one is a travesty, plain and simple. We actually cry over spilled milk in this household so forget the saying, consider it gone.  What else?  Car rides… now those are fun!  Just a few days ago I changed our youngests diaper in the parking lot of the gas station on the floor of our car.  Why in the parking lot you ask?  It was way easier bending in the most awkward way to change a poopy diaper than it was to haul two kids into a gas station bathroom.  Also, let me add, we had only left the house 3 minutes prior.  Just making some memories right?
  My days are far from glamorous but thats ok, I’ve come to appreciate it.  I clean up the same mess 2-5 times a day, or more depending on what it is.  Laundry never ends.  PLEASE could everyone just stop wearing clothes already???  Joking…. but seriously. Dishes are the same story.  I could go on but I think you probably get it, especially those who already are moms.
  There really is just so much to be said for becoming a mom (dads too), which is why I wanted a blog.  It’s a way to get it all out there and maybe it will give someone the relief to know they aren’t alone in trenches of motherhood/parenthood.  I have so many good stories to share, and not just about my kids and how cute they are (because come on they are adorable) but what I have learned so far on this journey and how much farther I have yet to go.  I think ‘mom’ stories just may consume the entirety of this blog but that is so my life right now and I embrace it.  It’s hard but I’m doing it!  I really could go on and on for pages about different aspects of life that have changed after having children, stories both funny and sad, and just some general (take it or leave it) advice so like I said plenty of writing material.
(Originally posted March 2nd, 2017)

Marriage

Alright.  I’m just gonna roll with this one.  Thinking about how to start a post on marriage kind of stumped me.  I don’t know what to say.  I’m no expert in this uncoordinated dance of having a life partner.  We have our ups and we have our downs, that I know for sure.  So, I thought back to a speech I wrote for a wedding almost 2 years back.  It brought me back to the roots of a marriage and the vows you make to your husband or wife that day.  There was some extra fluff included in the speech I won’t share just because its personal memories from myself and the bride.  So here was my very own marriage advice on this special day:
1. Don’t let the spark die. Always carry in your marriage the excitement, love, and happiness you feel today.
2. Be patient with one another. Yes, there will be days when you drive each other insane, take a step back, breathe.
3. Learn from one another. You each have a skill set as a husband and wife that can be appreciated by the other.
4. Spend time together.  Never get so wrapped up in your own interests that you forget about what brought you together in the first place. A hug, a kiss, and an “I love you” can go a long way.
5. Always support one another.  Remember to be there for one another during each of your successes and also your failures.  You are the others rock.
Let me just add before I go on that I totally breezed through this speech with minimal tears and then the ending happened.  It was like this “I wish you the best with a full and happy life together!  Now lets raise our glasses and cheers the new Mr. and Mrs. Omdalen!”  No problem right? WRONG!  That is MY last name, not theirs…. SHIT!  Everyone laughed it off and once the embarrassment disappeared (mostly) I laughed too, or maybe I cried more?  I don’t remember.
So back to marriage… lets be honest, mistakes (like the one I just mentioned) happen and life is about learning from them and saying I’m sorry, much of what marriage often consists of.  I think the statements I made above regarding what to remember to cherish in your marriage seem like such obvious things to do but they are so easily forgotten.  If I could live daily by those 5 things, I dare to say, that my marriage would be rock solid.  It isn’t though because we are human.  I am human, Justin is human.  We have flaws and we make mistakes. We always come back to each other and we always find a way to regroup and say “ok, how can we fix this?”   I’ve personally discovered, and I think Justin may agree, is that the time we find ourselves valuing each other the most are the times when we are not together. It is then that we realize how much we do for one another and the gaps we fill for the other, especially from an emotional standpoint.
 Life is messy, beautiful, but completely messy. Marriage is a part of that chaos.  Add kids to the mix (I’ll get to them, don’t you worry) and it gets even crazier.  I think what always grounds me with anything is that knowing one day I am going to miss this.  This is it, this is life right now and remembering to embrace every moment is oh so important.  Cherish it all.
Maybe those 5 statements I listed intrigue you and you think remembering them would make a positive change for you and your significant other.  Do they?  Write them down and keep them somewhere easy to take out and remind yourself of what you might be lacking.  Possibly you need to break out your old wedding vows, pictures, or videos.  I can imagine it would spark some amazing feelings of love and joy and have you wanting to do it all over again, and I don’t mean the wedding all over again, I mean falling in love all over again.  Take yourself backs to the deep roots of your relationship and I promise you will find something so worth remembering.
(Originally posted February 28th , 2017)
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September 14th, 2013
(Photo by Darrell Duetz Photography)