Peanut Butter Grits
Thursday, August 30, 2018
By Mellisa Pendleton

Well, there it is. I have one daughter in college and one who just stepped up on the school bus like she meant business. Kindergarten. College. Elementary & Middle School. ALL.THE.FEELS. Full circle feels. I've had so many questions this week like...

"what are you going to do?"

"are you sad? happy? scared? etc. etc."

"do you think you'll go back to working outside of the home?"

"will you be taking more clients now?"

All well meaning questions. They all come out of love. The thing is...I have no idea. I have spent the last SIX YEARS raising babies, whining butts, making a million snacks, doctor appointments, driving to and from every place imaginable, all while not only starting, but managing a business. Chaos doesn't even begin to describe it. There were times I wasn't sure I could make it. But here I am. I got my first baby to college and my last to kinder, while raising the two boys in between. 

I had big plans for this week. I mean, it was the first time in six years that I had consistent, longer than 3 hours, to myself. I didn't even know what to expect, but I had made a list. 

That list got thrown out the window. The silence is so strange. I found myself Tuesday just sleepy. Like my body finally relaxed and can rest...just do it. Y'all I'm not gonna lie...I slept. I ate Nutella out of the jar, watched crap tv, read my book, and just slept. It was bliss. I started to feel bad, lazy even, but then thought to myself...screw that. I've spent the last 18 years raising children. The last 6 raising them as a work from home mom. I'm tired. My body is tired. 

And I don't feel bad about it. 

So instead of taking that list and pounding out all those things I've been waiting to do...this week I will rest. I will sit in silence, or in my case jamming out Big Bad Music, and allow myself to breath. I did it. We did it. 

I will sit with the fact that it's ok. 

It's ok to feel sad yet excited that I have some time to myself. 

It's ok to have ordered pizza already this week even though I've had time to actually cook. 

It's ok to hold my breath waiting for the first one of my children to get sick since school has started back and pray they don't. 

It's ok to watch that 3rd episode of whatever. 

It's ok to not do a damn thing this week because I can and I haven't been able to say that in who knows how long. 

It's ok to feel empty that she is not a baby anymore. None of them are. 

It's ok to feel guilty that you danced a little in your head when you dropped them off at school. And then let that guilt go.

It's ok to start dreaming of things you want to do. 

It's ok if those dreams for yourself don't include your family. 

It's ok if they do. 

What I'm getting at is that it's ok to just sit. Sit in the stillness of the house. Don't like it? That's ok too. I don't feel guilty for allowing myself to be excited that she started school. 

I love her more than all the stars in the sky and yet it's still ok to want to miss her. 

My letter to her: 

Dearest Ella, 

Six years. You've been by my side for six years. I've seen every milestone, every hiccup, every fall, every joy, every meal cooked, every diaper changed, every nose sniffle, every single thing I've been here for. I wouldn't trade the last six years for all the rubies in the world, but you're ready. I'm ready. We've talked, read, played, snuggled, cooked, traveled, cried, sang, danced, and lived. You have been my constant side kick for so long that it does feel like a limb I'm missing somehow. I hope you remember to be kind to everyone. To find that child sitting by themselves and ask them their name. To remember your manners even if you don't want to. Listen to your teacher, but remember that their opinion doesn't define you. Read, read, and then read some more. Readers are leaders. Home is your safe zone. You can be anyone you want to here. We are our safe landing. It's ok to pray before you eat and don't let anyone tell you differently. It's ok to say no as long as your respectful. You do not have to fit in, you are born to stand out. You were made for more. I love you baby girl. 

xoxo Mellisa (aka: momma)

Friday, August 03, 2018
By Mellisa Pendleton

Made for More. What do those words mean to you? For me, it's an eye opener. Last night I was surrounded by like minded women wanting more. Wanting to transform their lives into something extraordinary. I took my daughter, who by the way is leaving for college in 9 days to see a movie. Not just any movie, but Rachel Hollis's Made For More film. I had purchased us tickets the moment I found out her story/conference/sneak into her life would be shown on the big screen. She's a force to be recon with. She started her business with only a high school diploma, but more than that, she has created a wave of change. A down pour of self love, big dreams, and not taking no as answer. 

As I sat there with tears rolling down my face at a certain time during the show(trust me, I wasn't alone), I kept going back to the quote "if you could not fail, what would you attempt to do?" Sit with those words for a minute. Really, let them sit. 

What big dreams do you have? I have so many. In fact, I have a whole notebook filled with them. It's usually the same ones year after year. So why have I not reached any of them yet? 

There is was. I had been finding excuse after excuse to why I wasn't reaching those dreams. It's never going to be the right time, the right moment, the right circumstances. Never.

No, now is the time. Now. Not tomorrow when you feel up to it, not next week when the schedule is better, not next month when you have a little more money, not next year when you want to....fill in the blank. 

The next thing that really hit me was when she said focus on ONE goal. One? I have like 20 right now running through my head. That's the problem. I had never thought about it like that. I've always had so many I was working on at one time, but never really reached what I would call finishing those current goals/dreams. Hummmm, so what if we worked on ONE goal and filled our time & energy to fulfilling that one dream? 

I was intrigued. What if I put all my energy into one goal that I KNEW would propel me to the next one. I came home revived. REVIVED 

That's how she does it. She fires you up so much that you have no choice but to really reflect. 

I came home and began my list. This list was different. I had ONE goal I wrote at the top and underneath it were all the actions I could take to reach that goal. How long will it take? Only you can answer that question. 

I am #madeformore. I wasn't just put here to live & die. I wasn't. I was made to do something extraordinary. I have to stop being so scared to tell my whole story. My whole story is what make me who I am. Lets begin...

xoxo Mellisa 

Thursday, July 05, 2018
By Mellisa Pendleton

Happy Summer friends! The hubs was out of town the entire month of June for work so the kids and I did our best to make this month as uneventful as possible...didn't work lol. Ryder had a solid 10 days of a fever and around that 8 day mark(after a previous trip to Urgent Care), we headed to his pediatrician. They ran a slew of tests and decided to send him on to the ER for further a spinal tap. He handled it like a champ while I sat quietly in the corner with tears streaming down my face. I was so scared. Turns out after the tap, a chest X-ray, and blood work he was diagnosed with viral meningitis. He felt horrible. Even with that crazy diagnosis, I was still grateful. There were so many things running through my head and test results after test results came back empty, I was relieved to finally have a reason. We have no idea how he got it, or where it came from, but were so grateful that's all it was. I kept thinking what if. I sat and prayed for all the parents who didn't get that relief. I can't imagine. 

He's good as new now and we're back to limiting electronic use and keeping them busy ;). The boys are currently upstairs priming a bedroom so we can begin moving everyone's rooms. A new season approaches. Kailyn will soon leave for college, Ella will officially start Kindergarten, and the boys will go on to the next grade. I was talking to my mom yesterday when I asked her what age she considered to be middle aged. 40. Holy crap, I'm 3 years away. How did that happen so fast? Yes, yes, people say how it goes by so fast, but until now...I haven't really realized it. I've been reading Rachel Hollis's new book Girl, wash your face and I'm just enthralled. I mean, I've read all kinds of self help and enlightenment books(it's my jam), but reading her words has put a new spin on MY next chapter of life. It's gotten me to think what do I want? 

I've spent the last 6 years not only building my business, but raising my children. ALL of my time has gone to both of those two things. Balance. It's been a rough, tear filled, joy induced adventure. What's next? Rachel says to write down those dreams. REALLY write them down. She goes on to say these words that stuck like glue to my soul "I am successful because I refused to take no for an answer. I am successful because I have never once believed my dreams were someone else's to manage."   

Think about those words for a second. What if every time you heard the answer "no" it gave you the drive to not only find out why, but push further? No one is in charge of where your dreams take you. Want to write a book? DO IT. Want to start a new business? Figure out HOW. You are the only one stopping you from doing what YOU want to do. 

That brought me to my dreams. What did I want? Let me stop here and say I'm not talking about having a healthy, thriving, humble family. I'm hoping that is everyone's dream. I'm talking about the dreams you hide deep down inside. The dreams you fear if you said out loud that they may get laughed at. The dreams for your life that you have felt so unattainable. 

Here are mine: 

1) I want out of debt. It's no secret that I originally started this blog to keep myself accountable. I love to show people how we manage our finances, even if we fail. 

2) I want my work to be published. 

3) I want to write a book.

Those are my top 3. There are so many more, but I needed a starting point so I knew which way to begin. 

What are your dreams? What is stopping you? 

xoxo Mellisa 

Friday, June 01, 2018
By Mellisa Pendleton

Well, that's it folks. I no longer have a child that is in daycare/preschool. She was the last one. Here comes the truth bomb...I am so damn excited. She's ready. She's been ready. I've been ready. We're both ready. It's time. Now, save your hate mail for someone else because that doesn't mean I'm going to miss her tiny little self. I KNOW I will. But, but, but, she needs this. She needs to be around kids her own age for longer than a few hours a week. 

Another but, BUT I will miss it just being her and I. I will miss our secret lunch dates that we don't tell anyone about. I will miss our "nap" times(aka: me giving her my phone and me snoring away). I will miss her bolt of excitement every time I walked through that church to pick her up from MMO(mother's morning out). I will miss her teachers. The same ones who have probably never seen me showered. I will miss our errand runs together. I will miss our time of just her. 

This life is so bittersweet. I had one graduate from high school and one from preschool this month. It's been a wild ride this year already. I hope I'm always her favorite. I hope she always sleeps with her "elephant." I hope her hair still smells of maple syrup years from now. I hope she realizes how much I freakin adore her. 

Off to the next adventure my little nugget. 

Love Momma 

Friday, June 01, 2018
By Mellisa Pendleton

It's been so very long since I've really sat down to write. Like 2 months long. Ahhhhh, this season of life....

For those of you who don't know me personally, my oldest daughter graduated high school a few weeks ago. I've known for awhile now that I wanted to do something extraordinary for her. Something that would fill her love tank up and let her feel how proud I am of her. This kid. She is just amazing. I'd go on and on, but I'll keep that part simple and just tell you she is the absolute best. She really is. 

I've had this epic surprised planned for some time now, and around Easter, I couldn't hold it in any longer. I was taking her to Ireland. We were to leave the day she had her 2nd graduation(she graduated with not only her high school diploma, but her Associates in Science as well). I'm gonna go over a few questions I know I would want to know: 

1) Did we use a travel agent? 

Absolutely!!!!! We used a local travel agent and I can't say enough great things about her. Travel Center of Hickory (Dina). I made an appointment with her, told her what I wanted, and I came in and had a few choices that she found for us. SOOOOO easy. 

2) How did you afford it? Was it expensive? 

Well, it wasn't cheap, but the great thing about using a travel agent was that I put a deposit down and then when I had any extra cash, I'd head over there to her and put it towards the balance of our trip. Doing things this way took a lot of pressure off of me to pay everything all at once. 

3) Did you backpack it or go with a group?

This was going to be my first time out of the country by "myself" (aka: without my husband) and with my daughter so I was a little nervous to just 'go with the flow,' therefore we went with a group/coach/tour thingy. I was nervous about not knowing these people, but I can't say enough about how amazing it was. These people were hilarious, kind, and just as excited to be there as you were. 

4) What tour group did you use?

Globus. I can't stress this enough...THEY WERE AMAZING. There was not one tiny glitch in the entire trip. We stayed in the nicest hotels, were given the best food(yep, a lot of our food was included with the package), and the tour guide was AMAZEBALLS. This women knew everything about the country she grew up in. 

5) Is there anything you wish would have been different?

Honestly, the only thing I probably would change next time is not have picked the fastest moving trip. What I mean is that you can choose a trip that is leisurely, fast fast, etc. We did the extra fast lol. We were in a different area probably 6 different times and that meant changing hotels that often as well. I probably would do just a slightly slower pace next time ;).  But, moving that fast meant we got to see ALOT and I mean ALOT. 

6) What was your favorite place you saw? 

As much as I loved every single place we saw, my heart struck a beat with Kerry. I've never seen anything more beautiful. I can't even describe it. 

I hope you enjoy seeing Ireland through my eyes.

xoxo Mellisa