Grief is uncomfortable. It hurts like hell, more than you imagine, but it is unbelievably uncomfortable. You wake up, feel heavy, slap on a smile and fake it until you're alone and have a moment to cry. Everything reminds you of the person who is no longer there. Your toothpaste. A commercial. Your neck or hands. Food. The ice machine on the fridge. Your own eyes.
I struggled with whether or not to post this. I didn't want to believe it. I still don't want to believe it. Life right now is a constant thought process while trying to find things to distract myself.
Days before Christmas, I lost my mom.
I want to curse these words out of my existence but it's true.
My mother.. My mom. My momma. The person who made me who I am. The person I expected to hold my babies. The one I wanted to call when I felt broken. The one who encouraged me. The one who never judged me. The person who was so fragile and still somehow so strong. The person I prayed for multiple times a day that my God would protect and keep. The one who smelled and felt like home. The one who taught me love. The one who taught me acceptance. The one who showed me what the grace of God entailed. The one who never wavered despite her circumstances. The woman who raised me.
My mom. Melissa Leigh.
How can time keep moving when you're not here? I'd give anything and do everything to feel your hug right now and hear you say "I love you, my Sissa Leigh". I miss you so much it hurts, Momma.
Oh God, I am completely broken but still - I cling to You. "And if not, He is still good" Daniel 3:18
One of my mom’s frequently quoted verses my little sister, Elizabeth, recalled.
I don’t know what to do with myself right now. I don't know who I am without her.
This morning at church, my pastor spoke of discovering your identity in who God created you to be. That's hard for me to comprehend without my mom because she defined so much of who I am. However, I was so grateful to hear these words. This is what my mom would want. This is what my mom instilled in me as she raised me.
I’m not sure what my future holds... but I do want to share with you a devotional that Daniel read with me a few weeks ago from a book my mom gave me called Jesus Calling. I pray it helps you wherever you are - grief stricken, wandering, broken or confused.
“Softly I announce My Presence. Shimmering hues of radiance tap gently at your consciousness, seeking entrance. Though I have all Power in heaven and on earth, I am infinitely tender with you. The weaker you are, the more gently I approach you. Let your weakness be a door to My presence. Whenever you feel inadequate, remember that I am your ever-present Help.
Hope in Me, and you will be protected from depression and self-pity. Hope is like a golden cord connecting you to heaven. The more you cling to this cord, the more I hear the weight of your burdens; thus, you are enlightened. Heaviness is not of My kingdom. Cling to hope, and My rays of Light will reach you through the darkness.” - Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer."
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."
My prayer and my hope is to be just like her. I know that means to be like Jesus because she was the purest form of Him I have ever encountered.
I miss you, mom.
We finally have our tree! Well, we've had it for over a week now but I'm still so excited. We usually like to snag our tree the weekend after Thanksgiving and get the house all festive but this year we were a bit busy. Ever since we got married, Daniel and I have made little videos of us decorating together - it's like a little tradition! The first one is crazy to watch because we were newly weds in our first apartment. Seriously such babies! You can watch them here, here and here. Today I wanted to share our new vlog with you! I actually posted two new vlogmas videos over the weekend but this particular video makes me SO HAPPY. When I showed Daniel he said “this kinda looks like a home video” and I was like... “yes, it does!”. I love that idea. When we were really little my dad would whip out the ginormous 90’s camera and just film our family. They are still so much fun to watch together and see what life was like at a time I have little to no memory of. Daniel and I don’t have kids yet (except Marble, duh) but this concept makes me smile. I love watching our lives together unfold and videos like this will always hold my heart.
We had such fun Sunday on this day. It started off at our second favorite taco spot in Dallas, Taco Joint -shout out to Revolver Taco for being our first favorite!- and then shopped for our Christmas tree. After three Christmas's together we finally upgraded from our usual 3 footer tree to a 5 footer! Yas! We snagged our tree from Home Depot because their 5 foot Christmas trees were only $20. One day I'd like to only purchase from small businesses and support local when it comes to greens + plants but when you only have a couple weeks to enjoy your Christmas tree and you're money is spoken for, I think a $20 Home Depot tree is just fine *winky face*. We popped our cutie of a tree right by our big living room window and dressed him up with our trusty icicle lights - haha! We have used these icicle lights every year since being married because why buy actual Christmas tree lights when you have something that works just fine? We finished off the tree with ornaments that were given to us by my older sister along with a few smaller Dollar Tree ornaments I've had for years. And can you spot my super cute, boho DIY around the tree?? So obsessed! I love the way our tree turned out! You can see the final look of our tree here, in the vlogmas video or in the very first picture above. It's simple but it's perfect!
Before we got home with our new tree, we popped into the pet store to get more treats for Marble and I saw the teeniest little santa hat and.... I HAD TO GET IT. GUYS. It's a little dream come true of pure puppy cuteness. Feast your eyes. You're welcome. You can watch the video to see her being totally not into it but being SO DANG ADORABLE trotting around with her baby santa hat. Best $5 I have ever spent, tbh. Anyone else with me when it comes to dressing up your fur babies in cute and ridiculous things?? I'm confident this was 100% a great choice.
We left the rest of the house pretty much the same! Our stockings were too long to hang on our tv stand and I just didn't know where else to put them! They used to hang on our fireplace but alas, we don't have one at this apartment. You can see how cute they looked at our old place here. I swapped out our pumpkins + gourds with my thrift store challenge candle sticks and left the Target dollar section wreath on the kitchen table. The clean and cool Christmas decor around the apartment has felt so nice. I love lighting our Christmas candles and turning on our tree lights while cuddling with Marble on the couch. I hope you guys have been having a lovely season! I feel a little all over the place but I have loved each of my weekends spent at home with Daniel and Marble. I'm for sure looking forward to taking time off to do just that and more.
In today's video I chat about my new favorite Instagram app and show you how to use this cool, and ~very~ free app on your iPhone and computer! I started using this bad boy a little over two weeks ago and I am OBSESSED! It's great for fashion and lifestyle bloggers or anyone who is interested in growing their Instagram game. I personally love it because I am such visual person and it helps me plan my Instagram posts in such a cool way! It's called Planoly. Have you heard of it? It's simple, beautiful and super user friendly. As of now, I use the free account and I think it's just perfect for what I want to accomplish. Soooooo many times I've had to take Daniel's phone, pull up my instagram feed and hold up an image that was displayed on my phone because I wanted to see what it would look like on my instagram. Does that make sense? Ha, maybe not... and it all might sound REAL over the top to some of you but again, I'm a very visual person. With this app, I've loved being able to rearrange posts on my insta feed. I am just now getting the hang of shooting + editing images that I think are just my style but this app makes it 10x easier. If none of this is interesting to you, I totally get it - but couldn't help but share it with you guys since it has been such a game changer for me!
Let me know if you download it and try it out! Again, it's free unless you have more than one account or want to unlock more features. P.S. this is totally unsponsored, haha. I'm just such a fan and wanted to share it with you!
The rest of this video is my casual Saturday at home. I ran a few errands, snagged a few thrift store goodies (YES, sweater weather!) and worked on my blog and YouTube. When Daniel got home from work we gussied up and went on a date night with our friends Austin and Ashley. If you live in DFW area, you HAVE to (I MEAN THIS IS A MUST, PEOPLE) go to Wabi House and try the spicy miso ramen. I've literally never tasted a ramen so delicious and just trust me, go, eat your heart out, enjoy the hug in a bowl and have the best ramen in your life.
I hope you enjoy this vlogmas series! You can subscribe to my YouTube channel and hit the bell notification so you get my videos straight to your email. That's how I keep up with my favorite YouTubers like Nikki Phillippi, The Phillippis, Alli Cherry, Kitty Cotten and more! Let me know if you like these casual videos! I love getting to chat with you guys so tell me what you think.
Upcycled Bejeweled Collar
The funkiest and chicest DIY accessory. I created this beauty a year ago and I still love it! All you need is a cut off collar from an old button down, a handful of chunky sequins and fabric glue. Anyone can make this and everyone would be envious of this super unique gift. Pinky promise. Click here to check out how simple it is to create your own!
Add Fun Confetti to your Images
What's the best way to make your favorite photo of you and your besties even better and ~wait for it~ is completely free?! Funfetti. Add a little confetti to your beloved pic to gift to your pal. I've created a little PNG (this means it has a transparent background!) of confetti for you down below. Drag and drop this onto your desktop or save to your smart phone. The easiest app to layer this PNG confetti to any images you want is called "over". I use it all the time! Downlad that bad boy to your smart phone for free and pop this cute confetti on the edges of your image or all the way around your picture. You can add as many layers as you want to get the effect you love! Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions - I'd love to help!
Remember back over the summer when I shared this bracelet as one of my current favorites? It still earns my attention on the regular and I love throwing it on when I am feeling sassy and want to tell the world that it's okay to "do you boo". Sitting in my craft closet I still have plenty of alphabet and colorful beads and stretchy jewelry string that makes this DIY oh so simple. This would make the cutest and CHEEKIEST gift for your best girlfriend or sister. You can change out "do you boo" for any saying or word your heart desires! I know a few gals who would really love "plant mom" and even "wine not".... *winky face*
DIY Multi-purpose Boho Gift
Wait, what? A very cute DIY that is super easy, inexpensive AND would make the perfect gift?! Yes, yes I did. This insanely cool boho fabric is so multipurpose and effortless that you might want to keep it for yourself. Good thing it is so cheap that you can make two without breaking the bank! Click here to read a little bit more and watch the video to see how to make this cutie.
Happy Tuesday! I posted the second video of vlogmas around 9PM last night and I'm feeling pretty good about getting these posted so quickly! They've turned out to be so simple to edit that I might even say they are more fun to edit than my "put together" videos (such as DIYs, hauls, how-to videos, etc.). Those take little more time and I feel like I am still working on finding my "Alyssa" groove while also trying not to scare my viewers away. Ja feel?
This Sunday vlog is mostly in the evening as our day was pretty busy and we were both exhausted! I was up early to lead worship at church after a late night out at my friend's bachelorette party. It was a blast but let me tell you... I really pulled through getting up that early. After church, we cruised around town and settled on Torchy's tacos for lunch. I could not stop laughing at EVERYTHING. I blame it on the exhaustion. One bowl of queso, a taco and mimosa later we were back at home and I crashed for an hour. I am not a napper, people. This was out of pure tiredness. I couldn't even keep my eyes open! The short hour nap wasn't long enough but I got up, we took Marble on a walk and then popped over to Whole Foods to try and get our Christmas tree. They were all out. Instead, we grabbed stuff to make dinner and headed back home to have a chill night in. #bless #neededsnooze #sotired
This vlog is short but sweet. What does your perfect Sunday look like? Mine would have preferably more energy to enjoy the day. Thank goodness it was cloudy and the perfect weather for cuddling up and shutting out the world for a bit.
I'm Alyssa, thanks for stopping by! A few things: I enjoy laughing, making youtube videos and thrift shopping. Currently listening to "Everything Now" by Arcade Fire. I like my coffee black and my preferred method of maxin' & relaxin' is with my husband and pup.