Unsafe.

Unsafe.

It’s a word that most people associate with this present moment. We all know when something is unsafe. Usually, it’s a glaring problem, one that is very noticeable. Fire. Burglar. Car accident.

But this week, I realized that I have felt unsafe my whole life without knowing it, and this has really affected my life.

Growing up, I felt it was unsafe to be myself in school and at home. I was bullied at daycare, at school, and being such an old soul, I think my parents didn’t really know how to handle me. But I did know that I was safe when I was being extraordinary. I started singing solos at church when I was only 5-that was extraordinary. I got really good grades-that was extraordinary. I did extraordinary things to keep myself safe-to make my teachers and parents like me, even though I wasn’t like them. This was a safe way to be different, but if I acted different in any other way-I didn’t feel so safe.

This way of living made me depressed. I started to cut myself when I was in the 8th grade. I would sit in my room and cry and sing to Evanescence. But it was unsafe for me to be depressed, so I pretended that I wasn’t. But then it all got too much for me to bear, so I pleaded with my mom to send me to therapy. But she didn’t. So I kept being depressed and it led to so many emotional issues that I am obviously still trying to work out as a 27 year old.

It was unsafe for me to leave the Christian faith at 14 and do what was right for me, which was being openly Pagan. I got kicked out of my house (just for one day, but the unsafety scarred me deeply), and even when planning my wedding, I was told I was going to hell.

Unsafe.

I was sexually assaulted twice in my life-the first time I was very young and working as an Ebay lister down the street. Some older guy worked in the furniture store portion of the business, and I had a crush on him. One day, he attempted to get my pants off and I freaked out, but I liked the guy, so I didn’t know how to say no. I don’t remember how I said no, but I know this situation scarred me, as any sexual assault would scar a young girl.

Unsafe.

I was sexually assaulted again at 17 when a series of bad decisions led me to a party with a group of people I’d been friends with for about 4 years. After some crazy things happened, I decided to avoid drama by staying with the couple whose apartment we were at. Then the guy proceeded to sexually assault me.

Unsafe.

I can’t speak for all women, but I do believe that women probably feel unsafe much more than men do because many times, we are at the will of the men around. They can hurt us at any time-we must do and say things to keep ourselves safe. *I know this is a generalization, but please consider this truth in your own life*

So here I am, just now realizing how unsafe I’ve felt my whole life, and realizing how it has sooooo dramatically affected my life without me even knowing it. It’s affected my relationships with everyone, especially my husband.

Since having this realization, I have been using mantras that start with “It is safe for me….” which has definitely helped me. Even when something doesn’t really make sense, I am using the mantra because feeling unsafe has permeated through my whole life. So even things like “It is safe for me to go to yoga,” or “It is safe for me to nourish my body,” have been making a huge difference to me.

And feeling safe is a huge part of TRUST. Which is my word for 2016. Learning to Trust has definitely shown me that I haven’t felt safe, but now that I am aware of the unsafety and showing myself that life is safe, I can more fully TRUST my path.l034

Sending you big love on your journey in this life. <3 I am with you on this path, and I honor your path.

La Rae

Why LOVE Really IS the Answer

Do you want to know what the answer is to all of life’s questions?

Love. It was, is, and always will be the answer. No matter how complicated a problem seems, the answer is simply love.

Do you want to know WHY this is? Let me tell you.

Everything has energy, a vibration. Every thought, every word, every action. This is how things like the Law of Attraction and Karma work. They are based on vibrations throughout the Universe.

We’re getting woo-woo here, I know. But stick with me.

There is so much hatred in the world. There is so much sadness and heart-ache. These are low vibration emotions and energies, and they, like all emotions, have a spiraling effect, except these spiral downward.

Love, trust, and PEACE are all high vibration energies, and they too spiral, but they spiral upward.

That is why Martin Luther King, Jr. said “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Because you can’t escape a low vibration emotion with other low vibration emotions.

This is the power of love. Love is the highest vibration emotion there is, which means it can pull any low energy emotion/energy upwards. You cannot hate and love at the same time. You cannot be scared and trust at the same time. You cannot be chaotic and peaceful at the same time.

The problem is that low vibration emotions and energies are harder to get out of on your own. Which is why I’m always attempting to SPREAD love. Sometimes it takes a little help to raise your vibration. However, it is not impossible to get out of on your own. Most of the time, YOU are the only one who can make the decision to rise.

While that explanation may be more woo-woo than you feel comfortable with, you just simply have to know that LOVE really is the answer to everything. If you think that it’s not, just trust me. It really, really is.

La Rae

Focus on Love.

So today is International Peace Day, and peace is something I have always believed in but could never achieve within myself.
IMG_9845
There are so many lessons I have learned just even in  the past week that are leading me towards the path of peace, which I am so thankful for!
One major thing that has been helping me lately is this:
 
I am an empath, which means many times I take on the energy and emotions of others. I also was born to be a world-changer, but a world-changer cannot change the world if he or she is constantly drained from the sadness in the world. So I have been working very hard on actually NOT reading too much about the bad things that happen in the world because it doesn’t do any good to allow those bad things to break my heart. Instead, I am simply focusing on doing what I can to make the world a better place.
 
Maybe you think this is naive, but it is the only way I can function without completely shutting down. I can’t watch the news and be completely emotionally shattered. I can’t allow the sadness of the world to swallow me whole.
So if you find that you are completely heart-broken by the world….maybe it’s a good thing to take a break from watching the news and focus on love.
I pray that we can all find peace.
La Rae

What they don’t tell you about following your heart

My cute little VW Van shaped coffee mug is one joy of my mornings. It brings me so much happiness.

This morning I was filling my cup, desperately seeking joy from my coffee, when the wording on the inside of the mug hit me a little differently today.

“Follow Your Heart.”

14341889_10157454939325427_24877361_n

It’s something I’ve always told myself + have recently had the chance to follow that advice down a very unsure path.

But this morning, after such a dark night, my inner voice said, “There is so much they don’t tell you about following your heart.”

Yes.

When people say “Follow your heart!” in business or life, they are saying it to you once they’ve already made it out of the darkness that follows. They know they are out of it, so they can tout that joy.

People rarely say it when they are in the darkness. The darkness that is fear of not being able to pay your mortgage.

The fear of equipment breaking and not having money to replace it.

The fear that you can’t make it, that it could all slip away so easily and you will be fucked.

Yes. I rarely have dark nights of the soul. But I guess they wouldn’t be good for you if you got nothing out of them, no?

So today, I know there are some safety nets I need to put into place to make my darkness not seem so vast and frightening, so all-encompassing. I need to make those things a priority.

After all, the only person you have to take responsibility of your life, at the end of the day, is yourself.

La Rae

Clear + Electric

Breakthroughs do not come easily. 

They are so precious that they require a great deal of work. Messy work. Hard work.

This weekend, I had a bit of a breakdown, which ended up being soooooo good for me.

The past few days, I have such a sense of peace and clarity. I feel lighter.

I have been working with so many people who I would consider healers. Even the people in my life are healers. Pain and desperation are healers. All the things I have learned are coming together, along with my intuition, and I’m hearing my intuition so clearly it’s amazing.

Some things that have moved through me since this weekend are,

-It is safe for me to give myself what I need
-It is safe for me to care for myself
-It is safe for me to relax completely
-It is safe for me to let go of other people’s energy
-It is safe for me to let go of the extra weight I’m carrying.

 

There is something to the fact that I need permission, even from myself, to let go. There is something to the fact that I have to remind myself that it’s safe. I will definitely be exploring this deeper.

After feeling so shitty for so long, mmmmm life feels electric right now.

I am one of those girls.

Here’s a quick little happy post!

I love reading. I have ALWAYS loved reading. I haven’t made it enough of a priority in my life, despite being a part of a book club (LOL).

I’ve also been sooooo entrenched in self development that I am over it for a while, so I figured I’d get back into the fiction grind.

My favorite author is Sarah Addison Allen. I have read ALL of her books and wish she would write more! But alas, she has not, so I am left to find other authors that write similarly.

A friend of mine suggested Nora Roberts and I’m all like OH NO. Nora Roberts? Do I really want to be a person that reads Nora Roberts??

Well, I guess now I am! I looked through all of her books and picked one based on the titles.

The first book I picked up is Blue Dahlia, which is the first book in the series.

nora roberts blue dahlia

I have to say, this one did not disappoint. Sometimes us women just like our regular old romance. The story is sweet, it’s set in the South, and there is a ghost. What more could you need?

I finished it just in time, since it’s due back today! I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series, Black Rose!

What are you reading?

Thoughts on Wifehood

EU4A3371

So many things are happening around me that it’s definitely hard to process.

I’ve been letting the sadness and loneliness really get to me.

I’ve been feeling so much guilt and shame.

I’ve been feeling so lost and disconnected from myself and from my husband.

I also know that there ARE things in my control, and I am allowed to change those things.

So here’s the low-down:

Throughout this dark period of our lives, we have really seen who our friends are. My husband’s friends come around a lot less, and definitely don’t really call to see how he is anymore. That’s fine, this path is not theirs, and it is definitely a hard one. But it does hurt and it does affect our dynamic.

I have been the only one around for the whole journey, and having someone depend on you emotionally and psychologically can be just down-right draining. On top of him not being physically capable of doing many things because of his injury, I have really had to give so much of myself. I am a total giver, and sometimes I don’t know a) when to ask for help and b) when to say no.

Of course, this is all part of the journey. There is always something to learn, and I am doing my best to be open to the lessons, even when I think those lessons are going to break me.

I have really been taking a good hard look at what it means to be a wife, from society’s perspective and my own.

I don’t have it all figured out-who does, really?

But the biggest thing I know is that one cannot give from an empty cup. Self-care is the most important way a person can continue being strong-for themselves and others.

IMG_9844

Here are some ways I can help myself in the coming days and weeks:

  1. Clutter-there is so much clutter around the house that our energy is trapped. We have piles of items that we need to sell or get rid of. I can do myself a favor and get rid of those things.
  2. Unfinished projects: One of our rooms in particular is full of tile that will be used for our bathroom renovation. I could do myself a favor and just lay the tile.
  3. Laundry: Our laundry has definitely piled up. I definitely need to go through and get rid of clothes, and also perhaps do one load of laundry per day.
  4. Set specific office hours for my business so I’m not working on things all the time.
  5. Ask my husband to handle supper.
  6. Ask my mom to come help me with house work! My mom is retired and was previously my grandmother’s sole caregiver. My grandma recently passed away and I know it would be mutually beneficial if my mom came and helped me.
  7.  Spend time with friends-not just complaining about life, but doing something fun.

Here are the things I want to bring into my life more during this dark period:

  1. Allowing myself to feel beautiful-wearing clothes and makeup that I love
  2. Reading
  3. Yoga
  4. Walking/running
  5. Connecting with my husband
  6. Smiles and laughter

Along with these things, I think that developing a schedule will help. I usually don’t like schedules, but at least during this period of time, I feel like structure will definitely help!

What do you do for self-care?

(PC-Nicole Harnois Photography (top) + Sally Kleiss Timmer Photography (just me))

sky at dawn

How to be an adventurer when you can’t go on adventures

Hello again friends! I am so excited to have another blog post up so quickly. This one is a set of ideas that I have had in my brain for some time now, but didn’t know how to formulate them. That I actually have I’ve felt for so long-that the feelings, emotions, and lessons are there, but I wasn’t able to pull them into cohesive thoughts.

Today, I am going to talk about a huge change our marriage has gone through since my husband hurt his back last year, and if you can’t tell by the title of this post, it’s adventures. Our relationship has been full of adventures, including traveling the world together, going on walks/hikes, climbing trees over rivers, trying new restaurants, going to various new towns, etc. So when he hurt his back, we couldn’t do these things anymore. We honestly still can’t do many of the things that we have loved.

For a long time, this made me really angry, and not being able to go on adventures made me so depressed because I identify myself as an adventurer. It is only now, after a year and a half of living this part of our life, that I have come to find ways to still be an adventurer when you’re not able to go on adventures.

  1. Explore locally: When was the last time you did tourist-y things in your own town?? There are usually many cool things to do; museums, restaurants, walking/biking trails, etc, that you could see for the first time, or re-discover with new eyes. Another thing that really helped me with this one was gardening. When you plant food, you really begin to notice the little things. You get excited when you see even the smallest cucumber growing, or when the berries are just starting to come in.
  2. Learn more about the places you’d like to visit: Through the internet, chances are you can gather so much information about all the places you’d eventually like to visit. For a very long time, I was obsessed with Oregon, even though I’ve never been there. I created a board in Pinterest for things just about Oregon. Through photos, videos, and other bloggers, I felt like I was there. Then earlier this year, I began to be obsessed with New Mexico. I could feel my own personal energy shift from adventure (Oregon) to wisdom (New Mexico). So I did the same thing. It’s a way to virtually visit or live in a place, and it’s amazing.
  3. Make a bucket list: My husband will hopefully not be hurt forever, so piggy backing on the above suggestion, create a list of places you want to go or live. This is also an amazing way to create a vision board or a painted picture.
  4. Notice the things around you:  When my husband got hurt in March of 2015, we had to stop moving at such a fast pace, and since he can’t drive for very long in a car, we stopped going on long road trips. This made me feel incredibly stuck. Our plans have always included leaving Iowa to find a place that suits us better in terms of climate as well as social opportunities. These dreams were certainly put on hold. But, what I thought of as “stuck,” I now see as “blooming where I’m planted.” When my husband and I were in our prime adventure time, we traveled outside the country 3 times, and were always searching for something NEW. The problem with newness, though, is that  you usually only notice the big things. Once we were in the same place for a longer period of time without being able to do anything extravagant, I started noticing patterns. Last year, I noticed many thing for the first time. I’m not saying that I’d never seen these things before, but I NOTICED them for the first time. I noticed fields full of lightning bugs and fireflies. It was astonishing. The beauty knocked the wind out of me. I noticed that these beautiful creatures start coming out early-mid June. Last year, I noticed the Milky Way for the first time. I know that the wildflowers are at their peak in July. I have officially deemed July as the most incredible, magical time in Iowa. I also know that the light changes in the fall. The winter, while brutal, can also bring beauty, such as sun dogs. So although I originally hated Iowa and couldn’t wait to get away, I now know the true beauty of it.
  5. Find a hobby that requires you to notice: As a photographer, I’m always trying to notice small yet important moments. But sometimes you need to also take your ability to notice in your own yard, neighborhood, or town. Here are some instances where I wouldn’t have seen the beauty if I hadn’t noticed.sunset july 2016 summer sky 2016 sky at dawn queen annes lace 2016 oliver close up little blue flowers lilies 2016 lili 8 chance 1 grass drinking in the sunlight window I also feel like my love of Interior Design has been taken to a new level because I’m noticing more how colors and textures are working together.
  6. Develop your sense: living on an acreage, I am constantly surrounded by beauty. Sometimes with all of the wonderful things going on, birds chirping, window blowing, smell of fires or flowers, seeing the sunset, one can actually get overwhelmed with beauty. To allow myself to completely soak in the beauty, I try to use only one or two senses at a time. I will close my eyes so I can hear the birds and feel the wind. I will cover my ears so I can focus on what I see. I will plug my nose and close my eyes, or any combination. This is a wonderful way to work on noticing and feeling.
  7. Track your cycle: Now, most of my readers are women, and this may or may not be directed towards women, but I guess men have their own cycles too, so take it how you will. Starting to pay attention to my moon cycle has really helped me start noticing patterns within my energy, moods, emotions, and body. I have been using an app on my phone called Clue to help me do this. One of the best things I’ve ever done as a woman is start to honor and notice my moon cycle, especially because this brings me closer to myself, the Earth, the Moon, and to my female lineage. This has also helped me feel like a little adventurer/explorer/scientist.

This list may evolve over time, but I wanted to give everyone some ideas on how to make the best of a situation that you may not love. I believe that everything happens FOR us, even bad things. Sometimes the bad things happen to give us experience, or sometimes it’s just meant to guide us to become who we are meant to become.

I hope you can view your world with new eyes.

La Rae

Changed plans

Well friends, it’s been far too long since I’ve updated you on my life. It’s been a long few months for my family for sure, and we haven’t made a whole lot of progress on much.

We did add a new member to our family, though!

lili 1 lili 2 lili 3 lili 6

Lilith Artemis is the newest member of our little family!! She is a blue merle Mini Australian Shepherd and is now about 11 weeks old. She is so independent, spunky, and full of life. She absolutely adores her brothers too, which is great! They got along right away, which was a huge relief! We are working on potty training, and she already knows the command “kennel,” and almost knows “sit.” Eventually we will get to the other ones. 🙂

I also got a new job that I am absolutely loving! It’s part time, so I am also pursuing my photography business more.

In other news, our basement makeover is definitely taking a lot of time to get done, and we have changed the plans a little bit. We got the floor leveled, we painted the floor with Drylok Masonry Waterproofing paint, and have painted a few of the walls. We have had a couple of estimates to re-do all the plumbing and will need to also have an electrician come in to update electrical.

Our bathroom update that we wanted to start in October still hasn’t been done, but those plans have also changed. The biggest part of that update was to install a 6 foot whirlpool tub because my husband has a bad back. After talking with a plumber and opening the box to the tub we bought, he told us that the tub we bought is a drop-in tub and wouldn’t work in our bathroom. He told us we could exchange it though, and they would happily install the correct one.

So, we found a new tub online and were going to exchange it. But then, in a moment of clarity, my husband said, “Why don’t we put the tub in the basement.” DUH, why didn’t we think of it sooner?!?

So today, we scouted out where we would put it in the basement, and we concluded that we will turn the sump pump room, otherwise known as the dungeon room, into our spa!!IMG_1094 IMG_1092 IMG_1091

Can’t you see it now?! This is going to be a super fun makeover. It will COMPLETELY transform the space!

So, since we are trying to lighten up the basement, the walls and floors will be white….and also because the Drylock masonry waterproofing paint only comes in 3 colors and I really only want to use white, lol!

The tub surround will be white subway tile with black grout because I will never stop loving subway tile and I don’t want to clean grout 😉 I will also be adding lots of greenery and artwork!

basement bath 2 basement bath 3

I recently bought a stencil that resembles the cool cement tile that’s so in style, so I hope to paint the floor like this:

basement bath 5

And I of course want to add subtle country details, like this beautiful bouquet in a pitcher:

basement bath 1

And this pallet shelf:

basement bath 4

Anyways, I hope to keep up this blog a little better now that I have more time, and I feel like I have so much more to say. Life is beautiful, terrible, and so amazing all at once, and I know that I am meant to make a difference in some capacity. Someday, I hope this blog turns into something that reaches lots of women.

Until next time.

The Randall Homestead’s Biggest Pain in the Ass

If you read the title of this post, you know what you’re getting yourself into. You’re about to hear a long story about the worst room of our house.

Are you ready to go on this trip down memory lane with me?

Here we go.

This is how the basement looked when we bought it:

basement

Ugly green grass like carpet, boob lights, and the other side, which isn’t shown, was just a big nasty room with a washer and dryer.

We immediately took the green carpet out, leveled the floor, and added vinyl flooring. We also turned this section of the basement into a bar/game room. Little did we know, all of our hard work would go to waste.

The last week of May, 2013, the week before our wedding, it started raining. And raining. And it didn’t stop. And our basement flooded. ONE WEEK BEFORE OUR WEDDING. Talk about a buzzkill!

So unfortunately, we had to cut the drywall. At this point, we didn’t pull up the vinyl flooring, even though we should’ve. We thought it would be fine, and we didn’t want to waste the $1000 we spent on it!

So we contacted the insurance company, and replacing the drywall was covered, so we got estimates to  do this project. But luckily, we never did, because our basement has flooded EVERY YEAR.

Along the way, we updated one of the dungeon rooms, took a wall out to make the basement feel bigger, ripped out the vinyl to find that there was mildew underneath it, I scrubbed the floor and then ended up staining it. Here are a few photos so you can see what we’ve had for about 3 years.

IMG_3185 IMG_3184

With that said, I am excited to announce that this complete pain in the ass part of our house is our next big project!! In a 1200 sq. ft. house, every little bit of space is important, and we really need this space to work for us!

Here are the plans:

The new layout

20160506_153703_resized

We need the basement to VERY multi-functional, as you can see in my little drawing, but I am confident we can make it work.

Here are photos of the basement from the past few days.

As you walk down the stairs, there used to be a door to the laundry room door to the left. We have taken this door out, and we will be making that a wall.

20160508_100834_resized

The old door placement, closer up.

20160508_100843_resized

The new door placement-we widened it because we usually have to bring in pretty big objects and we’re tired of having to take things apart to move them. We are also going to forego a traditional door and put a sliding barn door here 🙂

20160508_100854_resized

And here is the MESS that is our laundry room right now!! No organization, dark, and dungeon like. We are going to change that!

20160508_100907_resized

Here is what’s slated for the remodel:

We are attempting to make sure that this basement floods NO MORE. We have a concrete crew coming in on Monday to level the floor. Once the concrete is done, we are going to drylok the floor so that we don’t get water in that way.

Plumber is coming on Tuesday to fix all of our leaks (see all the buckets?! Yeah, we have a large leak!) He will also give us an estimate for putting in a half bath and will also bring a plug for the drain that causes the flooding…because apparently that’s all it would’ve taken all along!

In the photo, you can barely see, but there are 3 spots where there used to be windows. On the outside of the house, these windows have been covered by foam foundation insulation. We are going to cut the insulation and put in NEW windows so that there is natural light down here. This is the south side of the house, and the sun is ALWAYS shining here.

Do you see the door in the back of the photo? That’s the sump pump room. While it’s incredibly gross, we think we can make it work for storage and a canning room. We will be cleaning that up, dryloking the walls and floor, and adding windows.

Here is the inspiration for my design plans:

We are going to update the stairway to look like this:

lr inspo 7

This is the barn door inspiration from Jenna Sue Design blog, one of my FAVORITE design blogs! She used actual reclaimed barn wood to build this.

lr inspo 6

We’re going to paint the ceiling, which is my least favorite thing to do in the whole world, so hopefully I can pay someone to do this for me!

lr inspo 5

The following photos showcase the mood I’d like for the laundry room: light, airy, and fresh.

lr inso  lr inspo 3 lr inspo 4

We are also going to do this checkboard pattern on the floor 🙂

lr inspo 2

For this project, I am going to try out Magnolia Paint from Joanna Gaines. My first sample is on its way!!

The other side of the basement will be the gym and game room and will definitely flow from the laundry room, but will have a different feel. We will talk about that once the laundry room/workroom/studio is finished 🙂

So, what do y’all think? What are your favorite design ideas?

Thanks for reading!