On Being Still

So many things have changed in the last 5 years. I went from being a married full time employee working on a Master’s degree to a stay at home mom trying to keep a baby alive and my sanity from disappearing. In order to keep that from happening and to feel more useful to both my family (financially) and my community. I sought ways to make myself a more needed part. I joined groups, I started businesses, I built and led and created. It was fun and fulfilling until it wasn’t.

I’ve recently come to the realization that I do not need to be a leader in order to be happy. That’s what I had been doing, wasn’t it? Slowly and steadily working towards leading a community- first through social justice then through mothering communities. These were amazing outlets for sharing information, catalyzing change, and feeling part of something greater than myself but I was constantly moving and doing and striving. While I will always feel compelled to work towards being better (and I wouldn’t suggest to anyone to work against that- in faith, health, and relationships) but there are times it may be best to be still and thrive in the quiet. (“Quiet” is a loose term when living in the presence of preschoolers- here I mean it to portray separation from the outside noise that takes place in our society.)

I touched on the idea of examining the aspect of where my energy was best spent in a previous post. In this spring season of renewal, I also took the opportunity to look at how I have changed in the last few months since that post. Since taking a step back from sharing my everyday life with the world through social media, I have created an opportunity to reflect on what is important to me in the day-to-day. If I was sharing in those outlets now, what would be important to share? If I am wondering how a friend is doing, why not reach out in a more personal manner? If I think of something witty or hilarious, its OK that it is only in my head or shared just to the adult next to me. Yes, I am giving up some connectivity and community, and that is a hard pill to swallow sometimes, but it has created a stillness and intention to my days that is so much more life giving.

So *PLOT TWIST* I am going to change my word of the year from “Solace” to “Still”. And for now, instead of a word of the year, it is going to be a word of the quarter. Solace was definitely appropriate for the beginning of my year as I needed to do a lot of healing for my heart. I feel I have done that and so it is time for an update! I encourage you to evaluate your first quarter and see if you have made the steps towards the changes you wanted to make at the beginning of the year. If not, be still, and you may just find what you need there.

With honesty and kindness,

Honest T signature

Let people love you.

For some reason our society has created a facade that women need to be stoic islands. I think this has created a space for women who are lonely, depressed, sad, mad, frustrated, concerned, stressed, worried, and burdened to shut themselves off (even easier done when you are a SAHM or a WFHM) because it is easier to have those feelings alone then share them with the people or because their is a feeling that other peoples’ lives are more involved then our own. We’ve created a martyr-esque society that thinks people are too busy to love on their friends and neighbors.

Here’s how I am defining the modern-day (non-religious) martyrs: someone who is a constant sufferer. The person who, even when their tribe is wanting to lift them up, lend a hand, or just give a hug, chooses to block those opportunities because it may cause the other tribe member extra effort. STOP IT. STOP IT RIGHT NOW. The people you surround yourself with like you and probably even LOVE you and they are doing these things for you to help you feel, do, see, be better. Why do you thwart their efforts?

I recently read Hallie Lord‘s book  The Other Side of Fear and in a particularly humbling circumstance she had to let people love her. It was a hard pill to swallow because fear, anxiety, and the possibility of rejection held onto her tightly. BUT there was no other way out of her situation then to ask for her (God’s and) friends’ help. Her friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family showed up for her and she let them. It made me think about they people around me, the people I invest my time with and hope they in turn are willing to invest their time into me and I came to a conclusion:

The Honest T take- most of the people in your weekly circle of contact would be willing to help you emotionally, physically, and even financially if you would (ask and) let them. Yes, we are all busy, some of us strapped, most frantic, but 98% of us are willing to help a friend in need. Maybe you never voiced your need or maybe you specifically voiced your need- LET PEOPLE SHOW UP FOR YOU. LET PEOPLE LOVE YOU. (yes, I’m yelling that at you).

If I love you, let me. If I am offering my time, talent, or treasure to you, please, take it. Not only do I want to give it to you, it is hurtful to me that you, my friend, don’t want these precious things from me. Now, this is not saying let people drop in anytime they please, or let them pay for the one egg that was borrowed, or that you have to take the free painting class they’re offering if it doesn’t interest you. What I am saying is that when your tribe people want to take you to dinner for your promotion, or spend a time hanging out in your box filled home before you move even though its not comfortable, or show you how to hand letter an envelope during nap time, or bake you their famous rum cake, or drop off a pizza and cozy socks at your door because your kids are full of snot and you’re solo parenting and they know you need it- please let them.  Maybe you didn’t know you even wanted or needed this thing from them but I promise, it will be good for both of your souls.


New from Noonday

While I am stepping back from actively holding trunk shows for Noonday Collection this season, I did pick up some new pretties from the Spring 2018 line. There are so many versatile pieces that launch online February 15. Here are the five I chose for myself.

*All linked content will take you to the page where items will be uploaded on February 15*

The first stunner is the Atitlan Tote made in Guatemala. I fell in love with this immediately and knew I had to have it for summer! Its roomy enough for an overnight bag, farmers market tote, or just use it as your everyday purse/ diaper bag.

atitlan tote

Admittedly, I am a necklace girl and when I can get two for one, I am in! These classic
silver and gold Layered Artillery Necklaces from Ethiopia are made from up-cycled layered artilery necklacesartillery shells and can be worn together or separately.




There are so many GREAT earrings this season! Fun, funky, classic, versatile, big and small! I chose the go-with-everything Druzy Drop Earrings and the wear-a-million-ways Mumbai Hoops both made in India. The Mumbai Hoops come with 10 charms you can mix and match!


Finally, I chose the add to my ever growing arm party. I picked the newest dainty paper bead bracelet called the Paper Play Bracelet. Made in Uganda the multi -colored upcycled paper beads mixed with a few gold seed beads makes this bracelet so easy to wear. I have paired it with my Simplicity Stack bracelets that come as a set of three and it is an instant colorful accessory.






I do receive a commission from purchases through my link http://www.tinafranklin.noondaycollection.com

I want summer back


That stupid groundhog saw his shadow so its 6 more weeks of winter! (pretty sure its more like 4 more months of sub 50 degree weather anyway.)

I woke up to 12 degrees this morning. The cold makes everything harder to do. We are all at our wits end. No one wants to put their coats on before we get out of the car. All the puppies are tearing the house apart. Further, I have no motivation to pick it up since it will be destroyed again in hours. BRING BACK SUMMER!

When my oldest was a baby she was 3-9 months during the coldest parts of the year. I was a new SAHM and pretty bored. I needed to get out of the house but the weather didn’t make that the easiest. I remember picking a different store to peruse about 3 times a week. One day I would go to Target, one day Kohls, and one day some random choice. I could get out of the house for an hour or two (maybe spend too much money) and put cabin fever off for a while.

With two walking children, one of which is the definition of terrible twos, getting out in the winter months is even harder than it was with a baby! Our area doesn’t have many indoor “little kid” friendly activities unless you count a playplace, library or Chuck-E-Cheese. Many of those places are not where you necessarily want to be during flu season. In warmer weather I can send them outside, go play at the park, give them a hose and bucket and we are all content for hours! Mama might even have an adult beverage while getting some much-needed Vitamin D.

There should be a cold weather mom support group. We could drink hot toddys and talk about all the play doh stuck to the table, snotty tissues, coat battles, and screen time happening and we would all nod in solidarity around the fireplace. I would then go home and search Zillow for homes in Florida. Not because I didn’t enjoy the time with my support group, but because even commiserating about the cold makes me hate the cold.

Til then (a move or summer, either or) I will keep bitching and watching this clock

With Honesty and Kindness,

Honest T signature

Being an Modern Day Advocate

You can do it whatever way you like.

Some of you may know that a tiny part of my life over the past 3 years has consisted of advocating for marginalized peoples. While you haven’t seen me on the streets pounding pavement, I have used social media and direct sales as a way to work social justice and advocacy into my life in a way I can manage and in a safe space. Now, some people will say that by staying in my lane hardly makes me an advocate or a world changer, I will counter with- at least I am doing something and trying to help those who need it and you can can also work it into your life is you so wish. If a one day march works for you- do it. If a thirty day social media frenzy works for you- do it. If a multi-year mission works for you- do it. Each of us can do something!

This was the third year I took part in a fundraising campaign called Dressember. The challenge is for women to wear a dress each day of December and share about the atrocities of modern day slavery and human trafficking. But #itsbiggerthanadress . I have learned so much from taking part in this campaign over the years. We just received an email saying that the 2017 campaign reached its goal of $2 Million!!!! My team and I helped raise .001% of that- a little over $2,000! This year there were around eight thousand fundraisers and thirty thousand donors. I am so proud to be one of them. The funds raised produce grants for the following:

Ending sex trafficking in India through rescue operations, justice system transformation and immediate aftercare through International Justice Mission’s field office in Mumbai.

Expanding the international prevention campaign, “Can You See Me?” through A21.

Empowering Mcmahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center to continue outreach to at-risk youth and provide aftercare for child survivors of trafficking in Syracuse, New York.

I challenge you to find something that YOU can do this year to help make the world outside your home a little better.

With honesty and kindness,

Honest T signature


If I wrote a book

Fiction (based on reality).

She squints and touches the top of the baby monitor amidst the calls for “mama”. A quick glance at the glowing red numbers on the digital alarm clock positioned across the room confirms it is twelve minutes to seven. Why was she still the only one who heard the baby, or better yet, why hadn’t she moved the monitor to her husband’s side of the bed? It had only been four years of her waking up to the calls of the children. Wasn’t it his turn? Oh, but he worked so hard to afford her the luxury of staying home.

She rolled out of bed and into the kitchen. Coffee grounds, water, push button and praise be, the caffeine laden drink began to flow. She filled two hot pink sippy cups with milk and nuked them for forty seconds. As she stretches and rubs the sleepies out of her eyes she couldn’t help but think of what today holds. Some of the same or something different?

Ethan was home from work, the girls didn’t have school, and she, Sophie, was free as a bird. No commitments at all, other than the three squares and endless snacks everyone required as well as the cuddles, affirmations, and support she gave each day. But those were endlessly better commitments to have than those she was recovering from.

Last year Sophie was over-committed and overwhelmed. She was a part time work from home full time stay at home mom with a traveling husband and a family half a country away. She had started her year with a rush of enthusiasm and drive. Her dreams of having it all were at her fingertips. So she said yes to everything. That’s what you’re supposed to do in your early thirties when you finally have the capital and time to pursue your passions, right?

The baby whines for mama again and Peyton, their independent 4 year old says “mama’s coming sweetie”.  Sophie ascends the stairs and scoops her sweet nugget from her crib, takes a deep inhale of Dylann’s overnight baby breath as she nuzzles her warm rosy cheeks then begins the diaper and pajama change routine. Peyton reminds her that she can pick out her own clothes and comes out donning a hot pink sparkle shirt with yellow leggings, red tutu, and rain boots. Ah, yes, this is what Sophie signed up for, this was her dream even though she didn’t know it until recently.


Just for fun!

With honesty and kindness,

Honest T signature

The Luxury of Self Examination

“The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being.”- Socrates

Last Sunday was Epiphany Sunday and the priest quoted Socrates during his homily. He had my attention. I am currently in a place where I am examining a lot of different aspects of my life- what brings me joy, what brings those around me joy, what am I being called to give my energy to, how can I be an encouraging of others, what things have been taken away from me that seemed like losses but were really blessings. Lots and lots of questions and examination happening in my 3lb brain. Lots and lots of internal dialogue and a few scribbles on some paper.

Two weeks into 2018 and this is starting to feel like a year of discernment. A year to decide whats next and sift through what was weighing me down. But you know what, it feels like something super special to do for myself. I have TIME to THINK about ME. Self examination is an amazing luxury.

When you are in survival mode, there is no time for reflection. You are just slugging through hoping to do the next right thing and keep yourself alive. I’m pretty sure the first year of motherhood is NOT a place where much self-examination happens and that is probably for the best. Also, the first year of each subsequent baby is born is also not a good place for that. So in this portion of my mom life, I’ve basically just gotten to a good point where self examination became realistic, which is probably why it’s actually happening- for the first time in 4 years (at least).

I’ve been looking at those past 4 years. Here’s a timeline of my crazy:

Baby P born Sept 2013 *mountain top*
Back to full time work Jan 2014- care for baby, self, husband gone for 3 months.
Quit full time job May 2014
Start as Noonday Collection ambassador Oct 2014
Get pregnant with Baby N March 2015- care for toddler while pregnant. meanwhile, husband in career limbo leads me to stress eat, cry, live in constant anxiety etc.*valley*
Baby N born Dec 2015
Things turn around for the better *climbing up the hill* Jan 2016
Start fitness business May 2016- teach 3-4 classes per week plus handle business side, care for baby, toddler, self, while supporting husband’s career that takes him elsewhere.
Start Pampered Chef business August 2017
End fitness business September 2017 *valley*
End all other business ventures December 2017

Soooooo…… maybe I’ve been in survival mode…. most of the last 4 years. Yes, I had times where I got out of the valley, saw the world from the mountain top, took a good deep breath, and then went back to the trenches. There were definitely times of pure joy, feelings of success, and relaxing moments during those years but none lasted all that long or long enough to make me feel comfortable enough to be introspective. Now, your life might not look anything like mine and maybe you aren’t out of the woods yet, but you will be and there will be a time for you to examine whats been working, what hasn’t, and what you can do to make things more joyful. Or maybe your time is now and you’d like to join me.

These are the reflections I am  going to be working on:

In those years where I was pouring my energy into something other than my family or myself was it because being present was hard? Was I trying to make up for something or was I doing it for the joy of it? -whether that be for myself or the others around me. Was I working to prove my worth by what I can do, what I possess, and what people think of me?

In the hills, mountains, and valleys of life, am I OK with being on a plateau- constant and steady with a few bumps or do I enjoy the highs and the lows and am I contributing to them?

When I have felt mistreated in a relationship, did I jump into that relationship too quickly (this seems to be the underlying constant)? How can I do better for myself in the future without keeping people at an arm’s length?

How can I teach empathy? For others or for myself?

How can I be an encourager? In the past I was more giving and considerate, I would like to add more of that back into my life. Do I have the bandwidth to do so?

To contemplate about these things is so much more life giving than to think about how I am getting dinner on the table, or if the baby poops enough, or how the heck I’m going to lose the last 10 pounds. But I also know, not every season of life lets us think this way. Good luck on your journey RIGHT NOW. Wishing you lots of joy this year!

With Honesty and Kindness,

Honest T signature

PS- If you like my blog posts, please share them! I am off social media for 2018 and won’t be doing so myself.