Reflection and Being Gratefeul Despite the Circumstances

human-quote-cry-honesty-inspirational-print

We interrupt the usual DIY, cutesy post today to keep it real with y’all.

Just like everyone, life behind the scenes (or blog) is as real as everyone else in the world and we have good days and bad. With Thanksgiving coming up we’ve had time to reflect and feel like sharing. We hope you share your stories of gratitude {the loss and pain that go with it, too} with us, too. Send us an email at hello@jsorelle.com.

No one ever said life was easy. We just didn’t know it was going to be so hard.

As we look at the big picture, yes we are alive and life is good. We all have a place to call home, wonderful and supportive parents, beautiful children, 2 out of 3 amazing husbands, love and each other. At the end of the day, it’s those little things that matter.

But that doesn’t mean we haven’t cried everyday, felt anxiety paralyze our bodies, mourned, felt like we were hit by a bus, prayed on our knees and worried until we lost sleep.

In just one year, we have mourned the loss of our grandma, come to grips with our grandpa’s Parkinson’s diagnosis, tried to make sense of a family member who we loved that lived a double life and deceived and hurt us beyond what our wildest dreams could have imagined, learned the pain and heartache of a divorce first-hand, been shocked by the loss of a dear friend and family member, and heard the stop-in-our-tracks, heartbreaking diagnosis of ‘childhood epilepsy’ of one of our own from a hospital room.

To be honest, some days it’s been hard not to hate and it feels impossible to forgive.

We are not complaining because we know there are stories of hardship and pain that are unfathomable, and for those of you who are in the midst of it, or through it, our hearts go out to you.

A wise friend once said, “When someone’s asks how I am, if I’m good, I say, I’m in between problems…because life has bumps in the road, and in between the bumps, life is good.” In between our ‘bumps’ this year, we have watched our children laugh and grow, witnessed the joy of a 1-year-old take his first steps, help our parents celebrate their 37th wedding anniversary, held each other close, felt the unconditional love of family by our side, laughed until we cried with friends and celebrated the pure joy of a pregnancy announcement (followed by morning sickness).

So are we grateful for his year? Yes. Do we wish it went down differently? Hell, yes. But we will take each breath, step and hope we can muster because at the end of the day, that’s all we have! We have grown closer to God this year and pray we’ve reached our heartbreak limit for the year.

After all this, what we know to be true is that everyday we have a choice. Do we wake up with anger in our hearts, scour at the world and the people who hurt us, hold on to life the way it was? Or, do we wake up with grateful hearts, accept life and who we are, choose to smile, remain humble and kind? We choose the latter {most days}, and that will save us. We will not take love for granted.

We’ve discovered that love, faith and family can get us through it…it doesn’t hurt to have awesome sisters by our side either.

We hope you find gratefulness in your heart this Thanksgiving. Lord knows we’ll be crying, praying and giving thanks as we go around and talk about what we’re grateful for at the table this year.

Keep us in your prayers, and we’ll do the same for you.

Thanks for listening.

three-sister-lady-fall-tree-family

Breastfeeding Gift for the New Mom

As you know, Jodi is expecting a baby in about a month {I’m so excited, I can hardly stand it}, and we recently celebrated her beautiful baby shower {pics of that cuteness to come soon}. As a mom of 3, I of course have opinions and tips on everything related to ‘baby.’ However, there is one subject that I am very vocal about…breastfeeding. This may be TMI {too much information}, but I’ve had it all – mastitis {breast infection}, engorgement, toe-curling pain, bleeding, constant leaking, inconvenience, etc ALL THREE TIMES. I’ve managed to stick with it for many reasons {6-9 months with the first two and I’m on month number 3 with the 3rd}, but it’s tough. I’m honest about it because everyone I saw breastfeeding as a mom {before I experienced motherhood} made it look so easy and pain-free, and that wasn’t the case for me, so I wanted my sister to be “in the know” about all the things women may not always confess…

Thus is the purpose for my shower gift cleverly presented in a ‘bra-sket” complete with a Bebe au Lait Hooter Hider, cream, nursing pads, a bra filled with a pink and blue ‘boob-balloons’ and a breastfeeding poem written by your truly titled, Boobs…Your Babies Breast Friend. Jodi got a laugh out of it, as did all the women at the shower. After being asked for it several times from other women for upcoming shower gifts, we’ve decided to sell in our etsy store. You can buy it here for your new mom friend…believe me…she will love it.

Jodi is framing her copy because it matches her nursery, it’s chevron and when she’s breastfeeding her baby, it will make her laugh.

If you can’t read the words, please let us know and we will fix it so you can properly read it and laugh!

{images via Tutto Bella}

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happy father’s day, dad

here’s to…

the first man we ever loved.

the one who taught us to always try our best and always have high expectations {to never settle}.

the one who makes our heart melt and eyes tear up just thinking about how much he means to us.

the calm presence and logical mind we needed in a house full of emotional {and fun} women.

happy father’s day, dad. we will always be daddy’s little girls. we love you.

xoxo
your girls

happy father’s day to all the men out there who work hard to provide for, protect and guide their children. and for those of you who lost your fathers – may their love and wisdom be with you today and always.

damsel in dior features me

Our fashionista friend Jacey, the talent behind Damsel in Dior, featured us on her Follow Friday feature today. I was interviewed for the feature, and it exciting to see the interview ‘live’ today. Check out the full interview here…you will learn stuff about me I bet you didn’t know {I think I learned stuff about myself answering the personal questions}, and you can see all the fabulous things Jacey’s been up to {and wearing}.

While your there, you should check out all of Jacey’s Follow Friday features – she’s interviewed some interesting people with a great sense of style and fashion.

 

Thanks for the feature and kind words Jacey!

{images via Damsel in Dior}

2011 in review

for auld lang syne

2011 is another one for the books. It’s been a year of ups and downs {mostly ups}, fabulous parties, new trends and stories to share. We’ve each compiled our favorite’s of 2011. Maybe you have some favorites moments/discoveries/obsessions of 2011 you’d like to share – if so, we’d love to hear them.

Looking forward to all that 2012 brings…

Jessica’s Top 11 of 2011
1. Favorite event of the year: The Royal Wedding. No one looked more gorgeous than Kate Middleton {although her sister was a close 2nd} and there was not a better fairy tale to be told than the Royal Wedding.
2. Favorite athlete: Tim Tebow. My husband loves watching sports, so I’m used to ESPN being on ALL THE TIME. However, I’ve been a huge fan of Tim Tebow for quite some time, and have the utmost respect for him. He’s a good role model for our kids, a great athlete {frustrating to watch at times} and easy on the eyes too.
3. Favorite new project: Tutto Bella Blog. This has been a great creative outlet for me, and I’ve met so many wonderful people through the world of blogging. It’s been more work than I anticipated, but it’s a passion and I love doing it. Thank you all for your support and inspiration.
4. Favorite new obsession: Pinterest. If you haven’t signed up, you have to – become at Tutto Bella Blog follower. It’s a wonderful resource for DIY inspiration, wedding ideas – it’s a creative mecca and I LOVE it.
5. Favorite song: Colder Weather by Zac Brown Band. My hubby and I went on a double date with my bestie and her boyfriend to see Zac Brown Band at Red Rocks {coolest venue ever} and fell in love with this song.
6. Favorite party featured on the web: Milkaholic Sip and See by Carrie Sellman of Half Baked. I thought this party was so creative and so many unique ideas that people can bring into their own baby showers.
7. Favorite show: Parenthood on NBC. I can relate to everything on this show and I’m addicted. :)
8. Favorite place to find homemade goods: Etsy. This website is genius and so many talented people make and sell unique goods you couldn’t find anywhere else. You can find almost anything on Etsy.
9. Favorite patterns: Stripes and Chevron. I LOVE stripes so much, I am painted my daughter’s room in stripes {I will share photos soon}. I love this entry wall of stripes. And, oh how I love Chevron. Pillowsrugs and walls and furniture - I love it all.
10. Favorite DIY project: Oh man, this is a tough one because I ADORE DIY projects, but two top projects that come to mind are the individual cake stands I discovered at Bump Smitten. The possibilities are endless with the idea of making your own cake or cupcake stand. I also love Martha Stewart’s Decorative Tray with the Chevron pattern.
11. Favorite new ice cream flavor: Ben and Jerry’s Dublin Mudslide. Irish cream liqueur ice cream with chocolate chip cookies and a coffee fudge swirl…seriously delicious!

Jenna’s Top 11 of 2011
1. Favorite concert of the year: Amos Lee with my husband. My Christmas gift, and it was a wonderful one with many memories I will never forget and wonderful music.
2. Favorite event: Opening up my paper & gift boutique Fleur de Lis in April. Truly a dream come true!
3. Favorite monthly club: Book Club! I have really met and fallen in love with the most amazing group of women – all of whom are dear friends.
4. Favorite book: Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, a book I love so much I could re-read at least once a year. A great story filled with love, lust, history, architecture, mystery, conspiracy – this book has it all!
5. Favorite movie: Midnight in Paris – a smart, funny movie I really related to with living in Italy, being an old soul, and living your dream at any cost.
6. Favorite routine: Listening to the Today Show every morning as I get ready for work.
7. Favorite new snack/treat: Dark Chocolate Acai Blueberries from Costco. Simply delicious!
8. Favorite lesson learned: You can’t change people. You can only change yourself. Don’t let other people negatively affect your dreams in life.
9. Favorite fashion purchase: My new Ray Ban optical glasses. I am legally blind, so glasses are an everyday accessory for me. Good thing these Ray Bans go with every outfit :)
10. Favorite new obsession: Blogging about weddings and fashion on Tutto Bella Blog. Thanks to all of our readers for following! I feel lucky to be able to do this fun project with my two sisters.
11. Favorite new website: Reign, Denver’s Authority on Fabulous. I check this website every Tuesday/Thursday for new happenings and shops in Denver.

Jodi’s Top 11 of 2011
1. Favorite event of the year: My wedding on September 3, 2011. By far the best day ever. I am incredibly lucky to have married the most amazing man I know. Stay tuned for Tutto Bella’s upcoming feature of the wedding.
2. Favorite drink: Skinnygirl Margarita. Bethenny Frankel is the most entertaining reality star to watch on her hit show, Bethenny Ever After, and she knows how to make one delicious drink!
3. Favorite concerts: My hubby and I went to two of our absolute favorite country stars concerts this year – Kenny Chesney {at Red Rocks – you just can’t beat that venue} and Keith Urban, where he sang our wedding song, Making Memories of Us.
4. Favorite bridal shower gift: My personalized bridal hanger from Suspended Moments that my sisters got for me.  Definitely some of my favorite detail shots of my wedding :-)
5. Favorite yoga songs: The Hop by Bajka & Radio City, Dog Days Are Over by Florence and the Machine and Gold Dust Woman by Fleetwood Mac.
6. Favorite trip: Our honeymoon in Maui. Drew kept our designation a secret until I saw our destination for Maui at the San Francisco airport. So fun!
7. Favorite cleanse: Clean by Alejandro Junger. I did this before my wedding last summer and I am starting it again the first week of January. Cannot wait to detox from all the holiday sweets and drinks!
8. Favorite wedding dress: My very own wedding dress, Amsale’s Bijou. I am beyond obsessed.
9. Favorite episode: ABC‘s Modern Family’s Door to Door episode. I nearly cried from laughing so hard when Cam and Gloria look for Stella the dog.
10. Favorite Pandora radio station: Adele radio. She rocks – I listen to it almost every day!
11. Favorite new project: Tutto Bella Blog. We are having so much fun with Tutto Bella! We are excited to share new ideas with you in 2012 and feature your unique décor ideas, parties and weddings!

{image via A Field Journal}