Don’t Look Back

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I saw an awesome quote the other day: “Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.” Wow! How profound. I don’t know why, but human nature has cursed all of us a bit—we too often dwell on the past when there’s not a thing we can do to change it.

It can be something small, or something earth-shattering, but regardless of the size of our regrets, y’all, there is no going back.And I know that’s a bitter pill to swallow sometimes. I think people who are heavy sleepers are crazy-lucky because it’s incredibly miserable to awaken at 3 a.m., only to be visited by your unwelcome past—all those mistakes and missteps love to bang around inside our heads in the middle of the night.

I’m a firm believer that everything seems worse when you’re tired, and chewing on old bad news when you’re lying awake in bed is akin to being forced to eat a cauliflower steak: it’s distasteful and downright wrong! (Have y’all seen those on Pinterest? A big ol’ slice of cauliflower grilled like a steak? Nasty! But, I’m digressing…)

I once had a sweet little old lady (who lived to be 99 years old, by the way) tell me: “Once you’ve made a tough decision, it’s done. Never look back, regardless of the outcome.” I believe that little gem of wisdom, and I do my best to follow it.

Because, here’s the deal: when we go back and second-guess our decisions and revisit our regrets, we somehow think things would’ve been perfect if we’d just chosen a different path. That’s just not so. Why, you ask? Because, there are no guarantees. In our pretty little heads, we’ll design a past created out of “I should’ve” and “I could’ve” and “if I had only,” and, well, maybe that past would’ve created a perfect future, but maybe not!

I could look back on my life, my career, and second-guess a few decisions (yeah, y’all know I’ve probably done that…who hasn’t?). But, all of my decisions, good and bad, have led me to where I am today. Should I have gone straight to a school that specialized in design? Maybe. But, I didn’t. I went to Texas Tech, and every step I made from the time I graduated from high school and departed that big, sweet, secure ranch I called home has been a journey.

They were my choices, my mistakes, my triumphs and, on occasion, my sorrows. But, stacked atop one another, they’ve made me who I am. In the light of day, I’m unapologetic about who I am.

So, gals, let’s make a pact. Flee the past, keep your eyes on the horizon, and whatever you do, don’t look back, you’re not going that way!

–Amy Moorhouse

Perspective on Parenting

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So, last night I was at a dance event for Jaylee. As I sat there listening to the chatter of excited moms around me, I was overcome with a feeling of being disconnected. Not from Jaylee. Not from her at that dance activity. But, I felt this weird sort of, I don’t know, question mark rise up inside me. Does that make any sense? Here, let me explain more…

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There’s always excitement at these events, just like there’s excitement at all kid-related stuff. The parents are all worked up, worried, excited, happy, whatever. I sat and listened to the frenzied conversations about the girls’ clothing, about their hair and make-up. I saw cameras flashing and girls smiling nervously, posing for their parents. I had this sort of epiphany, like, is this the right thing to be doing as a parent?

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I mean, Mother’s Day is just behind us, and I enjoyed being pampered for a day. But, really, for me, it’s also a day to celebrate having children. What an amazing blessing that is, and what an unbelievable gift from God—kids! But, along with all the joy and amazement we experience as moms (especially new moms, when you have that first baby…it’s emotionally and physically overwhelming), I have a wish for all moms. What’s that wish? Well, it’s that we put the lives of our kids in perspective.

We all want to raise kids who are happy, healthy, respectful and successful! But I think we’re all guilty, at least once or twice, of getting swept away in this tsunami of “wants.” Whether it’s put on us by society (keeping up with the Joneses) or by our kids (But, I want this! I have to have this!), we get busy, we get scattered, and sometimes we allow ourselves to be washed away in this tide of unimportant stuff. We spend an inordinate amount of time and money on things that, in the end, may not matter. There’s no purpose in all the activity, we do it because, well, we’re supposed to, right?

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Now, I’m not saying all this to say that nothing our kids do matters. Not at all. But, when I look at God’s greatest gift, I want my girls to succeed and be happy, but I want a lot more. I want them to be respectful, happy, caring and I want them to be able to care for themselves. I want them to know how to clean a house, make a bed, wash their clothes and cook a meal. Those are things that will count.

I also want them to remember the times we spent together, as a family, doing things that really didn’t cost any money: watching a movie on TV, taking walks, shooting baskets, taking a slow, easy horseback ride, just for fun (OK, yes, there’ s money involved there, but, the actual ride itself is free!). Those are the times I, as a mom, cherish. I hope my girls will, too.

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Don’t get me wrong, seeing a cute little girl in a dance outfit all dolled up, I love it! And, I think it’s great for kids to get out in front of people and be gently pushed a little bit beyond their comfort zones—that builds character and confidence.

But, I marvel at some parents who have their kids in an event every single evening, and sometimes Saturdays and Sundays. Wow! That must be exhausting, and does it leave down time for anybody? Time to just lie in the grass and watch clouds blow by. Time to sit on the porch, watch a sunset, then wait for the lightning bugs to begin their tiny, slow fireworks display. Time to crawl in bed and read a book just because. Time to paint toenails, soak in a tub, try out a new, silly hairdo?

Being involved is an important part of growing up, but there is such a thing as over-scheduling. Learning how to take care of yourself and others is also part of growing up. I’m working hard to raise two independent girls! As a mom, I’d feel that I somehow failed them if they couldn’t look after themselves. So, yes, my girls wash their own clothes, they make their own lunches and feed their own animals. They participate in some activities here and there, as well. But I never want that to overtake our lives, where there’s never a minute of freedom.

Because freedom also teaches kids how to manage their time. So, in addition to chores and activities this summer, I will also make sure my girlies chase fireflies, swim in a river or lake or pond, stay up past their bedtime, watch at least four or five movies with me, whether it’s at home or the theatre. We’ll collect freckles and natural highlights in our tangled hair, we’ll have as many fires in our outdoor fire pit as we can.

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Because I want to remember, and I want them to remember, the good, old-fashioned family time we spent together when they were girls. Because, at the end of this crazy, busy, hectic time in my life, that’s what will really matter.

xoxo-Lorinda

Summer

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I really do love summer. There’s something about this upcoming season that seems a little more fun and relaxing. Probably in part because my girls are done with school, tests, homework and so many of the accompanying activities that make the school year so insane (a good insane, but, hey, we all need a break!). It’s a couple months of freedom, and I think that feeling washes over most of us because we still remember the playful, easy days we had during summers as kids. It’s when you visited grandparents, or aunts and uncles, had family reunions, took vacations, went swimming, got sunburned, watched fireworks, ate ice cream, stayed up late and slept late, chased fireflies and later, chased boys.

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 And of all the things I love about this fiery season, summer mornings are my favorite! I so enjoy when the sun’s just peeking over the horizon, when the air is warming slightly, yet there’s still a coolness created by a soft breeze blowing across dew-covered grass, trees and flowers.

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I love the freshness of the day, the feeling that anything could happen. It’s a new day and I can make this day however I want to make it—and the day could turn out to be a great day, it could turn out to be a bad day, but with the dawning of the day, it’s sweet, new and perfect. With my first steps out the door, I’m awed by the tranquility, usually brought on by those first bright rays of sunshine breaking over the horizon and the clean scent of the dew-soaked grass. Damp grass is just one of those soothing smells, isn’t it? Everything is just beginning to wake up, even the birds are still and silent.

But the quiet doesn’t last long for me. Y’all may know I grew up in California, I just didn’t grow up on the water or near a beach. That being said, I’ve made up for that! For the last 14 years I’ve spent loads of time out on a boat because, to my outdoor-loving husband Joel, summer equals the river. Summer also equals the sun and the smell of the water, sunscreen and the boat—the exhaust, the seats, the boat carpet—all pleasant smells to me. It’s invigorating to get out on that water, in the late afternoons, and your problems and stress just melt away, left behind in the wake of the boat. It’s amazing how cleansing water can be, physically and spiritually.

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Another bit of summer excitement for me is, and I know I say it over and over, but it’s my barn! As a kid, my family showed in the summertime, so we spent lots of hours at the barn. Now my kids are showing in June, so my barn is home to noisy, stinky, funny show pigs—and pigs really are smart and cute, each with its own silly personality. That smell—the barn, the dirt, the hay, the animals—it just takes me back to that fun, peaceful, energetic time in my life. I have so many goose-bump-raising memories of that time in my life. I loved it! And what an awesome gift that now I’m getting to share this special time with my daughters.

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So, yeah summer’s hot, yeah it’s hectic, but it’s a different kind of hectic than what we live with during the school months. This is all for us, it’s our time, our memories. And, yeah, some of the memories will be hot, and crazy, and, where the pigs are concerned, a little stinky, but every memory will be precious. These are our summer days that won’t soon be forgotten.

XOXO- Lorinda

Like A Boss

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What’s it mean to be a Soule Sister Boss? To me, it means keeping your power, or, if it’s something you’ve lost, taking your power back. It’s more than just being the boss at work; it’s about being the boss of your destiny and your dreams while doing it in a graceful and polite way. Being a Soule Sister Boss means being true to you and those around you.

Sometimes, being a boss means taking the drama out of your life, maybe more appropriately, the people who create drama. I think it’s important to learn my five red flags of negative people. People who exhibit any of these red flags are capable of bringing you down and preventing you from being a Soule Sister Boss.

No. 1: People who make fun of other people. It’s ridiculous. Everybody’s different, everybody’s weird, everybody’s strange. Embrace differences and let’s learn to love them, regardless of their flaws. After all, we’re all made in God’s image, right?

No. 2: People who constantly criticize you and others around them. You know what? Look at yourself in the mirror. Criticize yourself, change your problems, fix your problems. Then, embrace what you can’t change, because God made you who you are!

No. 3: People who say, “Well, you really can’t do that.” Really? I can’t? Well, watch my smoke! (That’s me being sassy and responding to someone telling me I can’t do something…ha ha haaaa). These people just don’t get who you are, and if they don’t get you, then they won’t be capable of helping you achieve your dreams, and they damn sure won’t celebrate when you do achieve your dreams.

No. 4: Negative, negative, negative. These are the people who have nothing nice to say…ever. Stay away from those people! It’s so easy to get caught up in that. The people who can only say, “I can’t,” or, “They shouldn’t,” or, “The world sucks, we’re all going to die.” Forget it! Let’s make the best life we can. We’re only here for a short time, and who knows what we get to do after this? I’m going to have fun while I’m here, please join me!

No. 5: Just plain old nasty-ass people. There, I said it. Stay away from meanness and bad girl power. Stay away! Spend your time around people who make you feel good inside, who get you, who love you for truly who you are, but yet still love you enough to tell you something that you need to hear—like that you have broccoli in your teeth. LOL! Just kidding…sort of! But seriously, someone who will be honest because they love you and value you. Someone who’s like a…well…like a sister!

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Did I just give you a lecture like mama does sometimes? Or like a sister does sometimes? Good! You need it, I need it! Sometimes we need to be reminded to focus on happiness, blessings and the good life, things that matter. Sometimes we need to scrub our brains of the dirt that accumulates, and scrub our lives of people we’ve let build up there that just don’t belong.

It’s  sort of spring cleaning of your Soule, and in order to be a Soule Sister Boss, every now and then, you’ve gotta clean house.

XOXO- Lorinda

I Want My MTV

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The 2015 MTV Movie Awards were held in Los Angeles, Calif., Sunday, April 12, and guess who was there? Gypsy Soule®! Well, our product was there! We were super psyched to be able to donate earrings and a necklace as part of the celebrity goody bags.

I’m a rocker at heart and I’ve always loved MTV! The channel started in the early ’80s and is the reason we have all the unbelievable music videos we have today—talk about cutting edge—they invented music videos. I’m like most kids who grew up in the ’80s and early ‘90s; MTV was a big part of my life. Back in the mid-’80s, MTV was all music videos and they had “VJs,” or video jockeys, who introduced all their videos—those people were rock stars in their own right. I’m pretty sure everybody’s parents hated the channel, but for us, it was our music brought to life—in loud, crazy living color. You could jam to your favorite hair band and see them acting out their insane antics pretty much any time of day, instead of just staring at the band’s picture on the cover of a CD case—or worse, the cover of a cassette tape! MTV became known for the sing-songy, falsetto line: “I Want My MTV,” which was the opening line of the Dire Straits song, “Money for Nothing,” that came out in 1985. Sting actually sang that opening line…that’s your trivia for the day!

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Anyway, back to the goodies! These goody bags given away at awards shows are unreal. I mean, when most of us think about goody bags, we probably think of the little bags our kids get at birthday parties, or what we used to get at birthday parties, just a little plastic bag with some candy, maybe a few small toys.

Well, nope, that’s not how these are! Y’all! These goody bags have thousands of dollars of stuff—it’s like a posh Santa rolled into town. They have too many items to mention here, but it’s stuff like luggage, teeth whitening systems, electronic devices, designer clothing, handbags, gourmet snacks and some pretty badass jewelry—because, you know, Gypsy Soule® (wink wink). But, calling it a “bag” is sort of misleading because there’s so much swag in these babies; they probably need a cart to get it home!

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But this awards show had tons of celebrities there who received these bags: Reese Witherspoon, Rebel Wilson, Scarlett Johansson, Sofia Vergara and Amanda Seyfried. They even caught Tyler Posey from MTV’s hit series Teen Wolf with the gift table!

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It was a huge red carpet event; typically filled with Hollywood glamour, amazing dresses, wickedly fantastic makeup and hair-dos, and we were there!

XOXO-Lorinda