Category Archives: Family

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

I’ve felt blocked for months.  I’m going to share and see what happens.  That was my original intent anyway on this journey to personal power.  There are times when I feel like I’m supposed to have answers for my life that I don’t have and so I get quiet.  

Good, bad, ugly…I’m going to say where I am and how it’s affecting me.  You’ll either judge me and go away, or you’ll relate, or you’ll have something encouraging to share.  

Fear

The other day I saw an online article meant to induce panic.  It gave the scenario of a woman becoming friends with a man she didn’t know on Facebook, thinking that she’d probably met him somewhere and forgotten.  He seemed nice so she accepted his friend request.  Later on when she shared a post of her child, he took that picture and offered it to his sex trafficking customers.

HOLD THE PHONE!  

Needless to say I analyzed what I make public on my page and if I wanted to shut it down on the spot because it’s definitely not worth having one of my babies abducted over.

After calming down a little and further consideration, I thought about all of the millions of people using social media, including authors, bloggers, and YouTubers whose kids go un-abducted every day.  With my overprotective nature, my kids will continue to be as safe as they’ve always been and I can keep sharing through this creatively satisfying process of blogging and Facebook posting.

Don’t let FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) keep YOU from enjoying what makes you happy. We can live in constant fear if we choose to, but fear and worry truly are misuses of our imaginations.  Let’s use our minds to create a beautiful present moment, instead of worrying it away.

We’re all interconnected.

It seems like every time I’ve thought about shutting down my page, in moments of self doubt, fear, or guilt (feeling like I’ve taken way too much time from my family for this time consuming, zero income producing hobby)…anyway times like these are when POWERFUL women seem to step out of the shadows and send a message letting me know that they appreciate the page.  That happened this morning and it’s always the boost I need to keep on keeping on.  THANK YOU to those of you who have sent messages or made encouraging comments!  I appreciate it more than you know!

My Life

It’s a mess, both literally and figuratively this week.  I am surrounded by boxes.  Four months ago we moved out of my brother in law’s house but didn’t move all of our stuff with us.  He recently got married to a wonderful woman and moved out too.  They’re selling his house and so we HAD to move the rest of our crap.  Jason wanted to throw it all away but I objected, so now I have to deal with it all.  I’m dealing with it by writing this post.  That works, right?

Our personal mess is upstairs and one third of Jason’s business is downstairs as he transitions from one building to another.  We’re up to our eyeballs in stuff.  I said I was sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly.  The following picture is of Jason’s goods, but they don’t look so good piled up in our downstairs living room. Parts of our house look like an episode of Hoarders.

Possum Junk

Donald Trump

Don’t even get me started.

Marriage

Jason and Sarah Carousel

I said I was sharing good, bad, and ugly so…

My marriage has suffered the last few months and a lot of the problem has been my thinking about our marriage.  I’ve stirred pots and picked emotional scabs and…I started going to counseling a few weeks ago to break the cycle of my stinking thinking.

I’m a big fan of counseling.  We went to family counseling over the summer a few times and I was geeking out.  I LOVED IT and wondered why we hadn’t always been doing it.  I think my enjoyment of family counseling had something to do with my enjoyment of my family.  We’re all a bunch of goofballs and that means a lot of laughter, even in counseling.  These family sessions were being filmed because the two counselors were still under supervision..  One day on the way home, my 15 year old admitted to giving the camera random glances like Jim in The Office.

jim-halpert

NBC The Office

 

That’s comedy my friends.  I wonder what the “counselors in training” and their supervisor thought when they watched the video.

Back to marriage.  Marriage is T-O-U-G-H but our lifelong friendship, love for our family, and mutual disgust with Donald Trump make the load lighter and the days brighter.

Work

I’m still making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in a factory.  With Jason’s work picking up for the Spring and Summer, I’m able to go down to two days a week!  Yay!!!  That starts this week!  I’m looking forward to helping him out, being home more, and having more energy to put toward creative projects and having the What One Person Can Do conversation with POWERFUL women.  I actually have time to do that again!

The Future and Work

It’s up in the air.  I’m still thinking about going back to school.  I especially think about going back to school on Peanut Butter Jelly days.  It’s just a matter of fitting all the pieces together.

Kids

Saturday we took a road trip.  This is a normal event for us but it was not a normal day.  In the history of road trips, this one’s going down in the books as one of the worst.  Our girls were DIFFICULT.  By the end of the trip, Jason and I decided we’d just go alone next time.

We set out to go to an exotic animal auction to see zebras and camels.  We were about an hour late.  SHOCKER!  We paid $5 a head just to get in.  We missed the exotic animals, but a couple there had a little capuchin with them.  We did see a zdonk in with some plain old boring donkeys. We learned that one zebra sold for $10,000 and one of the camels sold for $20,000!!!

We watched a couple of miniature horses sell and walked around and looked at the normal animals.  I don’t know llamas from alpacas, but I’m pretty sure it wanted to eat me.

Exotic Animal Auction

I LOVE going places I’ve never been before and I LOVE taking the road less traveled.  We saw some of the most beautiful scenery…giant hills and deep valleys and cows grazing on steep hillsides.  As we were driving up and around one hill, there was a turn off onto another road.  We could see that second road down below us, making a wider curve around the hill.  It was such an interesting view of both roads.  I wish I’d taken a picture.

Road Trip

As much yelling and fighting as our girls did, there was the usual laughter and fun too.  Even though we came away from the road trip worn out and a bit frustrated, the experience wasn’t a total wash.

Road Trip 2

Why yes.  That is a two headed doll that we lovingly refer to as Two Baby.  Nora picked Two Baby out when she was four.  He/she resurfaced during all of this moving of STUFF. The whole family is sentimental about Two Baby. #BoucherStyle

The girls’ rough housing earlier in the day was bad enough that Amelia’s new earring came out. When we got back into town, my boys accompanied the two of us to the mall to get her ear re-pierced.  We ended up eating dinner at a sushi train.

Sushi Train

That was a fun meal, even though Amelia dropped a WHOLE PIECE of sushi onto the floor!

My boys LOVE sushi!  They DON’T love hanging out with their little sisters.  Every day with 3 little sisters is like living our road trip over and over and over again, so this dinner was especially nice. Chuck played Paper Rock Scissors with Amelia and attempted to teach her how to use chop sticks. Sam took over while Chuck and I finished eating.  They watched Youtube videos of animals to pass the time.  I’m a REALLY slow eater and Chuck was going to get as much sushi out of the deal as he could.

The night ended with the purchase of a new laptop.  I’ve been using the slowest computer known to POWERFUL woman kind.  This new one is so speedy!  Is it bad that I told Cortana to refer to me as YOUR HIGHNESS?  Maggie helped me come up with that 🙂

And now after months of silence…you’re all caught up.

Thanks for reading this lengthy post.  As I’m finishing it up, it seems fitting to end with the little things quote.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”

-Robert Brault

Wishing you a heart full of love for yourself (in addition to all of the other people you love) peace, and joy in the little things in your own life!

Love,

Sarah


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What Are You Working For?

What Are You Working For?

Sarah Boucher | I Am A Powerful Woman
This is a question I’ve asked myself quite a bit lately.

I’ve been a stay at home mom for 15 years, with just a few months employment here and there, once in a wholesale club, another time as a school bus driver, and off and on over the last 3 years as a childcare provider in my home, but for the vast majority of the time, I’ve been what my husband now calls, “The Stay At Home.”

I’ve been measuring belts in a factory at my new job. It’s easy, but boring. It’s given me lots of time to ponder life’s greatest mysteries, well my life’s greatest mysteries anyway. My mind is ALL OVER THE PLACE during those 2 hour stretches between breaks. I’ve been amused by all the thoughts that come and go rather quickly, completely unrelated to each other (and the songs that pop into my head.) I’ve spent time being nostalgic, thinking about my childhood, revisiting some unhappy times as an adult, giving myself grief over mistakes, and then cheering myself up with some of those songs. I’ve also been able to get in some quality brainstorming.

Here are some of the songs that put some pep in my step or remind me what I want to be up to in life.

You’ll Be Okay
Put on a Happy Face
Breath of Heaven Not everybody’s cup of tea but it encourages me.
All I Want To Do (not the Sheryl Crow song)
Tonight You Belong To Me (random fun song that pops into my head A LOT)

I’m looking at any job I work at through this temporary service as just that, temporary. I like looking at it this way because I feel like I’m not stuck in this particular factory job forever, whether I end up working here for 5 minutes, 5 months, or 5 years. It’s one of the thoughts that are helping me transition from being “The Stay At Home” to a working gal.

There are other thoughts keeping me going too. One of the biggest motivators is of course that paycheck at the end of the week. That MAGICAL paycheck. That paycheck that’s going to help with bills, cover summer birthdays for 5 kids, allow for a couple of Girl Scouts trips this weekend and a road trip with my husband in September, and fund some creative projects. It’s AMAZING how far that paycheck can go in my mind and THAT’S JUST THE FIRST CHECK!!! Okay, in reality the first check was gone to pay a bill an hour after being cashed, but I never would’ve made it to the first check without the dream.

Half the time I enjoy what I’m doing and appreciate the fact that I have all of that quiet thinking time and the other half of the time I think about what other more enjoyable work I might be missing out on and how my right arm is sore and my wrist is starting to hurt and wah wah wah.

REALITY CHECK

When I got to work Thursday night, the lady who works across from me told me that an employee was found dead that morning. He was only 30 years old. I didn’t know him, but I felt sad for my co-workers who lost their friend. It snapped me into the present moment and to what matters most in life.

What am I working for?

For the rest of the night that magical paycheck didn’t seem so magical. In the grand scheme of things, what am I doing with my life? Am I working for “stuff”? What do I want for my future? What do I want now? What am I trading my family time for? Why am I doing this?

I’ve come up with these three answers.

#1 I want the money but not the STUFF.

I’d love to have the ability to buy STUFF but I don’t want that to be my motivation. Stuff is not important to me. I want the money because I don’t want to struggle financially any more. There’s too much stress in the struggle and it can be alleviated. I want financial freedom. Don’t we all? 🙂

#2 This is just part of the journey.

Working now in this way is a stepping stone. It’s necessary and it’s not a big deal. I’ve got a vision that I’m working toward and this is going to help me get there faster.

and finally

#3 I don’t have to have all of the answers.

“The greatest joy in life is being a contribution.” Bill Cumming

I’m pretty sure that the quote above is the short and to the point version of this much longer quote.

“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish, little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”
George Bernard Shaw

For now, I’ve chosen to contribute to my family in this way and I like the way that contribution feels.

Do you have any words of wisdom to offer for balancing work and home? What are some of the ways you keep things running smoothly? I can use lots of help in this area 🙂 Leave your comments below or come on over to facebook and share them there.

I Am A Powerful Woman shirt
Sarah Boucher happily encourages women to grow in their power daily at I Am A Powerful Woman. Come join the conversation there. If you are interested in learning about the 12 week conversation What One Person Can Do, you can get in touch with Sarah here.

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You Make A Difference

The Boothby Institute

You Make A Difference

“Who determines a handicap? What is a hardship? When are circumstances overwhelming? The answer in every case lies with the individual. You and I determine these things by making choices that work or they don’t. Only an individual can decide when things are overwhelming.” You make a difference. You get to choose whether it will be a positive one or a negative one.

Steven Ray Gabhart
April 20, 2012
My father is 60 years old and lives in half of a tiny nursing home room. 60 years old! It is unfathomable to me to think about anybody that young living in that environment day after day–to have a sound mind but a broken body, to be surrounded by a building full of elderly people who don’t know where they are and are just trying to get home, to have your neighbors crying for help, wandering in and out of your room lost, sometimes messing with your feet and not being able to protect yourself, to push the nurse’s call button in this situation and not be attended to for five minutes or more, to have to depend on others for everything, to have none of the comforts of home, to be talked to like a child and to be told what you MUST do without a say. I can’t imagine not being able to attend my father’s funeral because I need around the clock care at 60.

Sometimes I become very angry with myself for not becoming a doctor or a lawyer when I had that full ride to college. I frittered it away. I quit. If I had only known.

When I talk about finding a way to help my dad get into his own home again, it is encouraging to have a handful of supporters who see the possibility. The naysayers pat me on the back, offer their sympathies, and tell me why I can’t. As you will find in pursuing your own goals, the naysayers usually outnumber the cheer leaders. I just politely nod and resolve even more to prove them wrong.

This is what I know. If I was in my dad’s situation, I would pray every day that someone would go to bat for me.

My WHY is very strong and because of that, I have full confidence I will succeed. I have a long road ahead of me and while the odds seemed stacked against me, I will not quit.

Steve oustide smoking
May 27, 2013
My father, a United States Air Force Veteran, passed away July 15, 2012.

My grandfather passed away a couple of months before my dad and both sides of my grandparents’ families gathered together to honor him. The room was packed. Honored he was. Two months later in the same packed room, the families gathered again this time to honor my dad, only it was such a poor attempt at honoring a great man. That sounds like a very harsh criticism but it is accurate nevertheless. Cousins he was close to growing up were asked to share their favorite memories. Those were sweet stories, but there was nothing of the man he was when he died.

My brother and I were also asked to prepare something to be said about my dad. My great uncle, with his scattered notes, skipped my part of the memorial. He sincerely apologized later and I am not upset with him one iota, but I was disappointed. The reason it was a sad attempt was not my uncle’s fault. It was that the family really didn’t know my dad anymore. They lived a couple of hours away and he just wasn’t that same 14 year old boy making mischief with his cousins when he passed away. My uncle did the best he could with the information he had.

During the memorial service, his strength battling physical pain for forty years, day after day was not mentioned. FORTY YEARS. He rarely complained. You just knew he was hurting.

My dad was such a dreamer. We would sit outside the nursing home while he smoked and brainstorm businesses we could start. He really wanted to DO SOMETHING.

One day he told me that he felt like he was still 19.

From his nursing home room, he touched more lives than I was aware of. A sweet employee wrote this on his facebook wall the day after he passed away.

Steven you are among a few of the best people I have ever met in my life. It’s been a great experience knowing you… all the great LONG talks we’ve had over the years (when I was supposed to be working lol), all the crazy stories, funny jokes, and wisdom you passed along to me, all the hilarious pictures we took, endless cigarettes we smoked… I will never forget a second of it!!!!!!!!!! I know you knew how much I cared for you from the very beginning, when you came to me on 200 hall so very many years ago. And I know we were always close, but I just wish I would have told you just HOW much you really meant to me. I took all you advice to heart, I want to live my life by example of ur crazy stories, and I wanna tell my daughter your hilarious jokes (when she’s older tho cuz they were always dirty!!). You have had a great impact on my life, and I am PROUD to say I got to be so lucky to get to take care of you. Yesterday was the best I have seen you look in months, and I know you are PAINFREE, free of the MS, free of the struggles it brought you. I know you’re happy, and you’ve finally found relief and peace. I will miss you every day, and I’ll always think of you when I drink a Monster or watch a Louisville game your family is in my prayers Steven, I know a lot of people will be sad to see you go!

She also said this to me in the comments below that post.

“It was so easy to be his friend, he’s just a very loveable person. I always enjoyed spending time with him, he was always the one that I’d go have a good laugh with bc my day was going bad, and he’d always turn it around. My prayers are with u and ur family, and I’m glad u get to see people commenting on his Page, he was very much adored by everyone there.”

This young woman spent more time with my dad and knew him better than I did. I would go into that room and feel helpless and so very sorry for him. That was the message I wanted shared at his funeral–the difference that he made and the truth that none of us have to go out searching for a way to make a difference in the world. You make a difference every day. Is it a positive one or a negative one?

I am proud of my dad for the difference he made in the lives of so many people. He was a strong man even though his body was weak. He was full of jokes and laughter in the midst of constant physical pain. He was a dreamer in the face of a harsh reality and given more time, we could have made some of those dreams come true. He cared deeply for others. Steve Gabhart was a really good man and I was his princess.

Remember that you make a difference every day too.

I would love to hear about the difference the ones you are honoring today made in your life. Leave a comment below or over on I Am A Powerful Woman.

Sarah BoucherLove,
Sarah

Sarah Boucher offers encouragement for women to grow in their power daily at I Am A Powerful Woman.

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How Did You Cope?

Boucher Family

The Boucher Family

When I started I Am A Powerful Woman on facebook, my biggest problem was that we were a family of seven with very little income.  I was on top of the world emotionally.  I was no longer a victim of my own thinking.  I was creating my days instead of reacting to them.  Nothing could bring me down or so I thought.  I was living through tough financial times and I wasn’t freaking out over everyday challenges. In all our years of marriage I felt like we always had our priorities straight.  We didn’t have money but we had each other and five healthy kids.  We were rich indeed.  And it was just getting ready to turn around for us financially.  My husband was promoted to management and we finally had enough money to get on top of our financial situation.

My husband moved out of the house a month ago.  I was completely blindsided.  My well being flew out of the window and I crashed hard.  I am not angry–just very sad.  We are not at each others’ throats.  Our communication is civil and the situation could be much worse than it is, but it is still not at all the way I would choose for my life to be going.  I was CRAZY in love with him and my life was completely intertwined with his.  I am still scratching my head over this turn of events and what is to become of me.

Some of my first thoughts were that I would be okay one day.  I will get through this and it is an opportunity to explore my life independently.  I was a young wife and mother and have never been independent from another grown up.  Some days I have been just fine.  Other days I don’t know how I could ever be happy again.

I thought recently about how much pressure he was under to provide for such a large family and how unhappy he was in that struggle–especially the last couple of years.  During his darkest days was when I learned I had control over my thoughts and could be happy regardless of other people’s emotional state and actions.  I soared.  He sunk.

My feelings of despair have really shaken me up.  Will I ever be happy again?  How is it possible that I was able to feel happiness in the midst of his stress, but I can’t feel it now?  How can I separate my life from his and find myself again?  Where did my POWER go?

Have you been in my position?  Are you here now?  I am very curious as to how others coped through these hard days of learning a new way to live without sinking into despair and not functioning.  The best advice I have been given for really rough days is to ask myself, “Am I breathing?”  and then ask, “What’s the next thing?”  With five kids, there is always a next thing to be done.

I cannot change the past.  It is what it is.  The ONLY thing I can control is the way I CHOOSE to BE in the world today.

I made a list yesterday of all of the things that I have done for myself or that others have done for me that have encouraged me during this time.  Here are a few of the things on my list.

* Self Care

* bubble bath

* candles

* an $8 purse

* Pumpkin Spice Latte

* dinner with a couple of friends (Yummy Mexican food!!!)

* my mom took me to the movies (a lovely distraction–We saw Dark Knight Rising.  Nothing like fighting and killing to get over a broken heart.)

* I bought a puppy for my kids

Puppy Power

Puppy Power!

* Loads of love and support from friends and family–texts and calls.   These have meant so much to me.

How did you cope?  What did you do (or are presently doing) to make it through a similar situation?  What helpful books did you read?  Comment below or come over to fb and share.

 

 

 

 

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The Days Are Long

This was a facebook post I made January 28, 2012.

“Do not be concerned about the future; keep your attention on today, and stay in the present moment–Don Miguel Ruiz

Presently I have a one year old emptying the box of garbage bags all over the kitchen floor and a five year old ready to do a sewing project. How cute–she thinks I can sew : ) I better go get present.”

Fast forward to about three weeks ago and these were the messes my 2 year old made on a less than present day.  It was amusing to retrace her steps and document her path of destruction.

Amelia Decided to Feed the Fish

My older girls alerted me to this near fatal (for the fish) but well intentioned effort on Amelia’s part to care for smaller creatures.  As soon as I cleaned up this mess, I spotted the following one.

Amelia Decided to Fix Oatmeal

I personally find the thought of eating dry oatmeal rather unappetizing.  She picked this up from her older sisters.  Yuck to eating it and cleaning it.

Amelia Decided to Enjoy a Refreshing Coke

Can you blame her really?  She put so much effort into making sure the fish were well fed. And then she prepared her own snack.  You’ve got to wash all of that dried oatmeal down with something.

Amelia’s Mommy Decided it was Nap Time

I am just thankful that when she keeps herself busy, she is looking for ways to contribute to others (like the fishies) and working on becoming a self sufficient mini POWERFUL woman.  What more could a mom ask for?

Even though I was somewhat distracted on this day, I am glad I was present enough to enjoy her two-ness.

It was just another reminder to be more present.

One of my favorite quotes is by Gretchen Rubin.  The days are long but the years are short.

My oldest just turned 16!  I wish I knew about being present when Sam was Amelia’s age.

Sam on his 16th Birthday!

What is the craziest mess your children made?  Pop over to facebook and share.  What are your tips on being present?  I am interested in hearing both!

Sending lots of love and POWERFUL thoughts to you!

 

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