National #LazyMomDay ?

LAZY…adj also known as inactive, sluggish, apathetic, careless, dull, inattentive, indifferent, lackadaisical, lethargic, passive, sleepy, tired, weary, asleep on the job, comatose, dallying, dilatory, drowsy, flagging, idle, indolent, inert, laggard, lagging, languid, languorous, lifeless, loafing, neglectful, procrastinating, remiss, shiftless, slack, slothful, slow, slow-moving, somnolent, supine, tardy, torpid, trifling, unconcerned, unenergetic, unindustrious, in-persevering, unready.

None of those words would describe any of the mom’s I know. I love love love looking for reason’s to celebrate a day. Having a national calendar makes it that much easier. I am a bit taken back and this is the first national day that I think it is a strange day. I mean who really took the time to make it a national day, I know it wasn’t a “lazy mom”, as I am sure she didn’t have the drive to make it a national day…So was it a judgmental mama who “thinks” others are lazy because they don’t see what they do, just what they are thinking they are lacking at?

All of us mamas have had lazy days, where you have not slept for 4 weeks and you don’t even know when the last time you showered was. This is not a sign of a lazy mom, it is a sign of a mom getting it done! A mom giving up smelling good and feeling pretty to keep a little human safe and happy.

For me the first four years of any of my children’s lives is a blur, I am so grateful that even in my sleep deprived state I took pictures! I am that mama who needs to get over 8 hours of sleep to feel on her game. When little ones keep me up, I still function and I am told no one can see my faults when it comes to it ( I must have remembered to put on deodorant and brush my teeth although I don’t know of a time I did it lol) but I sure don’t remember it.

So boo to you who ever thought of making a national day for lazy mamas. If you have so much time on your hands to make a day to tease people and make them feel bad maybe you should have knocked on the door to the lazy mom and ask her how she is. Maybe her little angel has been a spawn of Satan for the last few weeks while he was getting his teeth in and some kindness would go along way.

Just sayin…Kindness goes a long way. Taking the time to smile and each parent walking by will help your day go better too. It is impossible to reject the positive feeling a smile chemically brings to your body. So smile at the lazy mama today, and let her know she is not alone, so when it is your turn someone takes the time to smile at you too! 🙂

Community over Competitiveness every day!


Cheers til next time!

Dreams? Did the Eclipse caused it? Maybe God is showing you the way!

We could not see the eclipse at all here in South Dakota as we were under first a thunderstorm warning, and then a flash flood warning. The only thing we saw was rain! This picture was taken in Illinois from my sweet friend Richelle Colon who owns Richelle Kristine Photography. This is just a snap from her phone but it fits my mood perfectly as I think about it all. The Sun surrounded by all the gray moody clouds and was being over powered by the moon, is if to only say listen I am still here you’re not alone and then the SUN burst with power as it was recharged. NOW, I saw that online in a live feed and I am not a scientist but honestly, that is how I saw it in my mind while watching it.

How my day went…I woke up at 5 to a text from my oldest saying she was going to take her dog for a walk before heading to work at 6:30. I woke up answered the text and had my morning moments with God. Now some people call this praying, some call it meditating. I don’t call it anything just my moments with God.

So I thanked God for allowing me to wake up and have another day here. I thanked him for all that I could think of, for my family, for our health, for our dogs, for everything that crossed my mind. I fell back to sleep. Don’t judge too harshly, I know some of you wake and get moving and go to the gym, make big breakfasts, and even work super early. I need to sleep when I can, I find that I am almost always tired each day, that had not changed my whole life. I can almost always fall back to sleep.

So I did…I slept in a weird trance like sleep where I dreamt all that I thanked God for was GONE. My family gone, my pets, my home … everything. I was so distraught, my heart hurt, my body hurt. I could feel everything as if it was happening to me right at that moment. I could feel the HOT tears pouring down and I was alone, I saw my self-selling my families things, I saw people flash by me saying they were sorry for my loss…I saw it all. I felt as if I was dying and my life was flashing before me, ALONE.

As I am writing this I can feel that pain and my heart aches.

I woke up again, my pillow was covered in tears, I could not breathe out of my nose. My body thought it was all true too, I was physical reacting to my dreams. My sweet littlest daughter was rubbing my arm asking if I was okay so I was obviously crying loudly in my sleep. I said I was and she said “good can I have a cinnamon roll” lol J I hugged her tight. I have a WHOLE new appreciation for my family. I love them before with all my heart I thought…but today having them back after feeling their loss was intense.

I know that this Eclipse is supposed to alter your senses and you will feel weird, your animals will be confused. BUT this I didn’t expect at all. I am not sure why I am sharing something so deep and emotional. I am sure that this will be meeting with thoughts of “what a freak” “who dreams of their families deaths “or maybe a psychological response of “it happened because I was appreciating so many things that I love and am grateful for before I fell asleep”.

I just had that AhhHaa moment. The moments that I feel that God is talking to me, go ahead think I am crazy lol. I almost want to rewrite everything from another point of view, but as I am searching to find my happy I am going to leave it all as it is…because this has caused me to find happiness in the joy of the pain not being real!

The last year I have struggled with so much in my life because I am the people pleaser, I need to be liked, and everyone to be happy. I don’t share things because I over think it…My husband says I am like that old cartoon where the devil is on one shoulder and the angel on the other. I am always thinking how my words or actions will affect everyone and if I think it will cause distress for anyone, I don’t share…which means I don’t share. I mean do I show the highlight reel from my life, do I share the nitty gritty, and gross…what is real, because it ALL is real, it all happens. I have been praying to GOD to take it from me. To allow me to share, to take away that what if they don’t like me feeling. LET ME Tell you God just answered my prayers, not in some empowering life changing way like I just won the lottery way. He showed me that I am NOT at my lowest, anything else that happens in my life NOTHING will ever hurt like that pain did. A PAIN that doesn’t even exist it was ALL in my head!

What ever your thoughts are when you read this it cannot hurt me. I have now felt the deepest pain I could imagine, and nothing from this point on can ever hurt me again.

Some of my most favorite words…Psalm 23:2-3 “He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”

God is our Good Shepherd and He is the One Who leads us beside the still waters and restores (revives or makes alive) our soul and then He leads us in the right path; the path of righteousness which is found in Christ alone (Acts 4:12). Want to find the path to eternal life? Trust in Christ. Follow your own way and it leads to destruction (Rev 20:12-15).


Cheers, Til next time!

Homeschooling from another point of view. Guest blogger Heather Ashley!

Hi everyone, I am Heather.

I’m honored that I was asked to guest write by Charlene who is a dear friend of mine. We met years ago, bonding over photography, then just life in general. She is one of those people that will inspire you & hug you at the same time. Everyone needs a Charlene in their life. 

I am a blonde (bottle….shush lol), wife to a country hearted man, mom to a 3.5yr old boy whose energy level could power a small state, small business owner of a trucking company & Every Bit of Sunshine that specializes in high end newborn photography props, lover of peonies, knitting, Gilmore Girls & the colors mint & blush.

I recently started my blog “Creatively Honest” because writing has always been a stress reliever for me & I realized that the more vulnerable I let myself be the happier I was. I have spent a lot of my life keeping up appearances & when I stopped, the freedom was exactly what I had been needing. I thought maybe just maybe other women in similar situations would find comfort in knowing they are not alone. I have written a piece about my decision to homeschool my son. I hope you enjoy it!


Heather Ashley


I am getting ready to start the journey of homeschooling my son this fall with preschool. I get a lot of questions about why I would choose this right off the bat instead of giving public school a chance first.

People have a lot of curiosity about this when I mention it. I am reminded that it is still a bit of the road less traveled.

Some of the most common questions are:  Is it because of the government? Due to the increase in school shootings over the last several years? Am I worried that he will not be socialized enough or if he will feel like he is missing out? Mom’s ask why I would choose to skip a few hours of free time each day? Some have looked at all the pans I have in the fire with the businesses we own & wonder do I want to make the time for school each day as well? If my patience will hold out lol?

Truth is, those are all such valid questions. These are all things I have asked myself.

Some days I do wonder if my patience will be on a short fuse. As a work from home Mom, kid free time daily does sound glorious when bedtime can’t come fast enough. But there are also so many memories I wouldn’t trade for the world & the joy outweighs the frustration by a long shot. As far as the pans in the fire…what’s one more? Are there going to be times that it seems much more complicated & overwhelming when it comes to planning curriculum? Yes totally!

I was in public school through 3rd grade growing up. It wasn’t an amazing experience for me but I don’t think that my son will get bullied like I did. At least I would hope not. I know that I cannot shelter him from mean kids & adults his entire life so that was not a deciding factor.

It is such a scary reality now for parents with how common school shootings are, but we run a similar risk being in most shopping areas or concerts as well. While it can be tempting to avoid places like that, you cannot live your life in fear.

I do worry that he will feel like he missed out, there are times that I did. The picture I had painted in my head of junior & high school were based on shows I’d seen like Saved By The Bell (yes I know I am showing my age lol) which made me feel like it would be fun. Judging from what my friends said, it was very different in real life.

However, my close friend growing up was like a second sister to me. I was fortunate that we socialized at her high school too. I went to prom, football games, etc. We do plan on making open enrollment with sports & extra curricular available to our son as well. There are so many opportunities for children to socialize with kids their own age that aren’t just at school.

Most people were shocked to learn I was homeschooled. As a child & teenager, I had no problem carrying on conversations with adults & kids my own age. At the time, I would hear “but you’re so normal!” from people that our family met on the road. There is such a stigma that you will be able to “spot” a homeschooled child based on how they interact with others. That doesn’t always have to be the case.

All things considered, when my husband & I talk about what we want for our family & I listen to my gut instinct, this is the right choice for us.

I was homeschooled from 4th grade through graduation. We had a unique circumstance that my Father’s work had him traveling full time from location to location. He did it for my entire childhood. When I was 9 years old, my parents made the decision for my Mother, sister & I to join my Father on the road. Drive in our family van from town to town, stay in hotel rooms, while homeschooling & see all North America. In the 10 years that we traveled we saw 48 states & most of Canada. My education was so much more hands-on than a classroom allows for. My Mother found something educational for us to tour in every town we visited.

Let me tell you I loved it & I miss all the towns that will have a special place in my heart. It is my dream to buy a 5th wheeler, pack up my family & travel the country again for months on end. We would keep our family home & business rooted in Iowa to come back to. In the coming years, it may be completely possible based on how our trucking company is growing. It has me planning, dreaming & pinteresting it up until I get the green light lol.

To me, the best thing about homeschooling is the freedom to have your days filled with adventure & exploring. Schooling takes up much less of the day when it is just one student & that leaves so much time to learn about the world around us. To cultivate hobbies & more hands-on projects. Whether it is on the road or helping Daddy in the shop, I love the idea that my son will have what my husband & I feel is the happiest life for us.

Like my parents always said as we traveled growing up, “we will keep doing this till it doesn’t work for us anymore” & it worked for 10 years. The beautiful thing about life is you reserve the ability to change the course anytime. When life starts heading in a direction that you don’t like, you take a deep breathe & bravely change it. Above all, choose what makes you & your loved ones happy.  That’s all that matters in the end.



To read more from Heather and what it takes to be creative, head over to her blog Creatively honest! Where she shares all about being creative, being a mom, wife, and new homeschooling mama! I am so glad this lady is in my life, and it all started in a photography forum online. I am so glad to have found a kindred spirit who even states away “gets it” when ever we talk about something. I love you to pieces lady, thanks for taking time to write something for my new blog, <Super Hugs>

Cheers! Til next time 🙂

Desiderata. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy. by Max Ehrmann.

For as long as I could remember this plack (for lack of a better word)  has been hanging around or found in a box. It just keeps coming up and up and I NEVER read it…Do you have things like that? To be honest the font is small and it is a small piece so it just looked to busy. The last line just caught my eye, It says found in an old church dated 1692. So I had to read it now I mean if it was so important that someone wrote it down in the 1600’s right…Well, it turns out that ONE… it is a beautifully written poem (just with an awful design)  and TWO when looking for the author it was found that it was NOT written in 1692, that is when the church was founded of who’s wall it was hung on. It was written in 1927 and then used for devotions and cards in 1970. Now before I turn into Wikipedia, I will just let you read this beautiful poem. Let it set in and know that each person in each century has felt the same way and struggles with how to live their lives.



Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann.



Cheer! Til Next time 🙂

Friends…The kind that ask you…”WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!?! and some other PUT you in your place things! ”



So since many of you don’t know me. I feel like I should tell you a little bit about me each time I post. I know it may seem daunting but it will help each post make sense so you know where I am coming from!

Since I was a little girl my mother always told me to follow my gut and to trust what ever that crazy feeling was. I have to tell you that it has ALWAYS worked for me. I won HUGE stuffed unicorns at the fair when I was little for my sister and I. All I did was choose which color the mouse was going to run to from on the spinning wheel. I won so many little prizes I was able to turn them into go get HUGE  stuffed UNICORNS, a pink one for Jen and a purple one for me.

Then again and again, over and over I was shown that following that feeling always lead me down the right path and when I ignored it…I paid…I had my heart torn to bits and pieces, by family, friends and even in my love life. So, I trust it I go when my gut says go, I call when my gut says to call, I just do it!

My latest listen to my heart lead me to a job at a local church. I work just in the morning, I am able to be home for lunch, so I can continue to homeschool. I can wear what ever I want, I can be me…I have not had a job where I could wear jeans since I was a teenager…so amazing!

In case you didn’t catch where I am going with this…I do believe that little voice whispering to me is God. Before you start thinking “Who does she think she is thinking God is talking to her?” Know that I am his child, he is my true father and I believe my earthly father sits next to him watching over me so I am sure he is saying hey there…their is a big decision coming up could you help our daughter…and it is so…YOU can think I am crazy that is okay, I get that, but I know in my heart this is truth. In all the places of my life where I care way to much about what people think this is the only one I don’t 🙂

That being said this week, I met up with two friends. Each time my head said “lady you have to much going on in your life to stop and chat…”  BUT my GUT said “GO GO GO, enjoy a  break. YOU can not have friends unless you are a friend!”

So I went and in both this cases both friends (one a newer friend and one that I have had since we moved here)  asked me some questions that made me think all week…I thought I knew the answers when they asked BUT I didn’t!

When I was asked what was new…I told them all my crazy ideas and dreams, and I got….

“Wait, what? You’re adding more on your plate!”

“YES, I can do that! I can add that in, it will not take that much of my time, and I can do this before and this after…”I mean I had it right!

As I sat and thought about the questions they asked me this week, I thought about the bible study I just finished up this last week. It was a book study called Present over perfect. It really was all about doing what is important and just doing it now, being present in the moment, and saying no to the right things so when you are saying NO you are really saying yes to something else that is more important in your life.

So as I thought about all the things I have been saying yes to because my gut was telling me to the last few months, I really was saying NO to some pretty important things that could, should, and will change my life!

I am so grateful that my feelings also lead me to my sweet friends who were not afraid, to tell the truth, to tell me to wait a minute, and look at the things I really love and matter to me and focus on that, NOT everything that I CAN DO. Just because I CAN do something and I would do it well, doesn’t mean that I should do it. Some times I get trapped in this world of I can do it. I can do it all, I have two hands that work, I have two feet that work, I SHOULD just be the one to do it. I mean why NOT….well this week I FINALLY GOT THE “WHY NOT”. I should not be the one to do something because I can because I am taking away the chance of someone who could do it AMAZING!

This week I figured out some pretty awesomeness! I mean, I learned I don’t have to do it all! I can and should let other’s in my life do it, and help when needed, as I don’t have to be the one to do it, especially when someone else is the expert at it! Not everything has to be serious, and not everything has to be done perfectly. Wow, this blog is really doing what I hoped it would…teaching me to stop and reflect on that it is that is going on and showing me exactly what I love!

Cheers, til next time!

Welcome to Establishing Me!

Hi there, If you have not already read somewhere on this site…I AM SO GLAD your here!

Bare with my longish post I swear there is a reason for it! You will get to know a bit more about me and why Establishing ME was born!

Now if you know me personally you have probably heard the story of how my mom and dad had a naming war. Thankfully my mom won and although I like to romanticize and say I was named after all the strong men in my family named Charles that isn’t entirely true. You see Charlene is the feminine form of Charles and every first born male in my family was named Charles. I wasn’t a male but I was first born still doesn’t count they say! Alas, Charlene was just a name my mother heard on a soap opera and loved.

Had my father won my name would have been Gypsy…for no other reason than he liked the name. You are probably wondering what I am starting my blog with this story of my name well there is a reason so sit tight and give me a few more moments to get there!

(I do have to add that if he won my name would now be Gypsy Rose which makes me laugh and laugh and laugh! )

I am not sure what happened with me and the naming wars but I do believe that although I hated my name growing up. ( I just wanted to be a Kelly, a Sarah or a Jessica you know the girls in your class that had to use their last Initial to tell them apart, gesshh I wanted to blend in). NOW, as an adult, I can see how both names that were spoken over me being minutes old greatly affected who I am.

I am beyond strong like the men in my family. At least I like to think so, I am now learning that there are things my husband just has to do for me. Although, I can push the furniture around and up and down the stairs when ever I get a whim, and I can run a business and household on my own (but I love the help). I am a girl who has a gyspy soul, I can not sit still (thank goodness I can move the furniture haha). We have moved around so many time, and I am sure we will again. This last move was the biggest! We moved from Illinois to South Dakota. Although my heart is still not settled I know I am not the only one in our family, and half of us love to move and the other half HATES it. So, Hubs and I aggreed that ONE more move is all I get an that will be our forever space.

So two years ago we made the big move, the first year of our life was getting settled, finding where the stores that we needed, and of course finding sports and things for the kids to do. The second year started last June and I really don’t remember that year. I went back to work, started my photography business again, and kept up (barely with the house and the kids). Some thing was off…it wasn’t right. Nothing I did here brought me any joy like it did back home. I went through the days doing my to do list and existing. So what did I do, what any irresponsible adult does when adulting is not working I quit it all. The first time in my life I QUIT a job with out another lined up. MOST OF ALL I QUIT feeling sorry for my self! I didn’t, and don’t want to exist, I want a purpose. I want to leave a legacy for my children, I need to know I did something good while I was here on earth. I needed to not find me but keep me going and establish ME again.

So I started writing again, I started taking pictures of my kids again, I started finding JOY in life again. Then I thought I can not be the only one feeling lost! I can not be the only mom who is working or running a business, or homeschooling 4 kids, or jumping back into foster parenting again…I can not be the only one who has moved states away and started over again which I desperately wanted to do.

The thing is I jumped, I held my husband’s hand I committed, we committed, and we jumped. If we are looking at life like being on a boat, and jumping being a risk we needed to take we jumped in! The water was deeper than we thought it would be and the first year was like the frantic swim up to the surface. The water is rushing at you, you want to open your eyes but when you do it is dark and the water stings, you see the light and you KICK hard until you burst through the surface of the water and you see the boat and you see land. Do you get back on the boat, or start for the land that is unexplored? We went to land and when we got there it was different. Things were missing, parts of our lives that were so rock solid back on the boat didn’t exist in this new land.

So we are learning to find things we love, we are learning our place in this new land of South Dakota. The funny thing is as I write that I almost feel like I am writing a clip from a History book, as I can only imagine that the settlers who were first here felt a bit like I did, unsettled, and unsure of what to do or say.

So if I had to sum it up. Charlene=Strong+a wondering soul. Now that I found me I need to Establish me. I hope I find lots of things to love along the way, and if I don’t that is okay too. I will be honest about what I am doing and what it is about and that is all anyone can really ask for. So today I am a writer, tomorrow I will be a mother and a planner as we pack and head East to see family. The next day who knows. I just learned and maybe you always knew but I don’t have to be one thing, I don’t have to be just one type of mom or business owner or wife. I can be what ever I want to be on what ever day I want to do it on. I just have to DO it now, and so I did!

Of course, I had to share a cute Gypsy baby picture of me.  As I wrote this picture came into my head, so it needed to be shared!

Blog post one done! I would drop a mic if I was holding one…but really I know I will edit the heck out of this before I publish it BUT I still did it and that is an accomplishment for me as I am Establishing ME! 🙂


Cheers til next time!