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Hello, My Crazy Peeps! The first week of 2017 is under our belts! If you've made any resolutions or set any intentions or goals, you may be finding it difficult to stay the course. Today on Lowcountry Live, I kicked off the New Year by sharing my SASSY approach to goal success and the #1 key to crushing any resolution.

You can check out the segment here!

Being an author, wife and mother to 8, I am always excited for the start of a new year. Without fail, Fall rushes us through Back-to-School, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. After that whirlwind romance, most of us are ready to press the reset button and get going with a fresh set of goals. And most of those goals fall into some pretty hefty territories. Weight loss, organization, time management and self-care, to name a few. These types of goals can easily lead to feelings of overwhelm if you don't properly plan your attack.

First and foremost, it's important for you to understand that the #1 key to accomplishing a goal is CLARITY! If you have a vision of where you'd like to be in a certain period of time, you have to get clear on some things or the vision is pointless.

In order to get clear, you have to examine the What, Why, Who and How of the goal you seek to achieve.

  • What am I trying to accomplish?
  • Why am I trying to accomplish it?
  • Who am I trying to accomplish it for?
  • How am I going to do it?

That leads us to the SASSY Steps to Goal Success!

Why SASSY, you ask? Well...several reasons!

  1. It's easy to remember.
  2. It's fun! Crushing goals with Sass doesn't seem so daunting.
  3. And lastly, I'm Southern and Sassy, so why not?!

So, let's jump in!

State:

Establish your goal. Write it down and make it plain. Put it in your planner. On your refrigerator. In your office. Let it be a constant reminder.

Assess:

Identify resources that may help and obstacles that will hinder your progress. Take into consideration your current status and what must be achieved and avoided in order to elevate you to the next level.

Strategize:

Devise a written plan with those resources and obstacles in mind. Include checkpoints to measure your progress.

Silence:

This is where CLARITY is extremely important. Spend some time alone. Embrace the act of self-discovery. Quiet your mind and seriously ask yourself the questions listed above.

You:

The rest depends on YOU! Put your plan into action! YOU are the only thing standing in between where you are now and where you want to be.

Happy, SASSY New Year! Here's to crushing those goals with sass!

PS. Don't let my sass fool ya...Life is still CrAzY!!! My son, Allen-Michael, wasn't feeling so fab and had to tag-along today. The show must go on!

Hey Mamas! It's been a while, but boy have I been busy! Last week, I was blessed to be a guest on Lowcountry Live, where I not only shared tips to help moms manage their back-to-school mornings more effectively, but also did the cover reveal for my upcoming book entitled, "The Belief in Wings: Evolving from Self-doubt to Personal Power."

Check out the interview below!

Yes! That's right! I have an upcoming book! And here is the cover for all of you to see!TheBeliefInWingsCover_BlogPost

The Belief in Wings: Evolving from Self-doubt to Personal Power is a three-part journey designed to encourage teen girls to define and deliver their voices; choose courage and become the heroes of their own stories; and step into their personal power and greatness. This book will provide the stepping stones and guidance necessary to encourage girls to believe in their unique gifting and to make strides towards achieving their dreams.

This book has been a labor of love! I am so excited to give you a peek at what's to come. The book will be released this fall, so follow me here, on Facebook or Instagram for updates.

I want to take a moment to thank the artist behind the cover art, Dana Klein of Photography by Dana Klein. Through this gorgeous storybook image, Dana captured the essence of this book's title and contents. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect image, and I am blessed and grateful to have Dana join me on this creation journey. And my oldest daughter is the cover model!

Thank you to all for the outpouring of support for this book project. I am humbled and pray that I deliver a work that will bless each person who reads its pages.

Much love,

Donloyn

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People are always asking me how I manage life as the mother of 8, saying they have a hard enough time juggling the day-to-day with just one or two. They ask for advice, and of course, I give it. Sometimes they just need a shoulder, a friend, someone to listen. Without hesitation, my ears are all theirs. After all, motherhood is hard work...no matter how many kids you have.

Recently, my crazy has hit an all-time high. And truth be told, I could use a shoulder, a friend, someone one to listen--a pair of ears to be all mine...just for a while.

In the midst of all the "normal" demands, pressures and obligations this family faces on a regular basis, we're moving. We, a family of 10 who has been deeply rooted in the same home for 12 years, are moving! I mean really moving.

It's overwhelming. The pressure has been mounting, and my head is about to pop! When I look around, I don't see my home anymore. I just see THINGS...things that need to be packed, things that need to be sorted through, things that need to be yard sold, things that need to be done...things that need to be MOVED.

A couple of weeks ago, my dear friend, Angie Mizzell, gifted me with an awesome desk plaque. It reads, "Gone Crazy...be back soon." I love it! The only problem is only 1/2 of it is true...I have "gone crazy," only I see NO possibility of returning any time soon.

The only way to Keep Up with Crazy is to Go Crazy yourself!
The only way to Keep Up with Crazy is to Go Crazy yourself!

Shortly after, Brandon, my "man-child," brought me a toy Despicable Me minion that he had gotten from a kids' meal and was keeping in his truck. He handed it to me and sweetly said, "Here you go, Mom. Take care of him for me. He doesn't say much, but he'll listen."

LISTEN! How did he know? Was there a blinking, neon "Listen to Me" sign above my head? Was I unknowingly rambling and murmuring about needing someone to listen? That was really significant for me! I don't know about you, but my kids never listen. They want to be heard...but they never listen. They say crazy things like, "Mama! She won't listen to me! He won't answer me," expecting me to force someone to hear their every word. But they know nothing about listening to me.

Not only have I Gone Crazy, but I am now talking to plastic toy minions!
Not only have I Gone Crazy, but I am now talking to plastic toy minions!

In the midst of all this house selling and moving business, I was invited to teach a writing workshop for teen girls as a part of the Burke High School Teen Empowerment Conference in Charleston, SC. My topic...Finding, Defining and Sharing Your Voice. These young ladies were yearning not only to share their voices, but also to have them be heard. They shared with me things you don't share with someone whom you've just met. That's how badly they needed someone to listen. I know how it feels to long for someone to listen, which is why Voice is so important to me. So quite naturally, my ears were all theirs.

Young ladies sharing their voices, being heard.
Young ladies sharing their voices, being heard.

On March 2nd, I'll audition for a stage production called "Listen to Your Mother." If selected for the show, I'll have the opportunity to share my thoughts on any aspect of motherhood, really speak my heart. After all the listening I've been doing, that will be a welcomed change. Angie, the same friend above who recognizes I'm crazy but loves me anyway, is the director and producer of the Charleston show. The idea is to give "personal stories about motherhood a voice, microphone and a stage."

Listen to Your Mother is a stage production put together in honor of Mother's Day.
Perhaps I should invest in a megaphone!

After all this wishing for someone to listen, my audition piece isn't even written. I have no idea what I'll write...no idea what I'll say. I don't even know when I'll squeeze in the time to write it with all the packing, unpacking and upheaval that will be going on. When will I even listen to myself so that I'll know what story to convey? I just don't know.

But there is one thing I do know. The subject of Voice, being heard and the treasure of having someone to listen permeates my life. It always has.

And truth be told, that's all any of us really want.

Sometimes, we just need someone to listen.

 

 

I wanted to post this Wednesday, since it not only marked the first day of a new year, but also the first day of a new chapter for my family. But that would have been completely misleading, since I am on time to Nothing...Nowhere...Ever. Eight kids tend to do that to you. Plus, I'm all about keeping it real, or in this case...keeping it crazy!

I posted these two photos on Facebook as a little sampling of how we brought in the new year.

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Me & my Glitter Girls! Decked out in our tutus, cuz that's how we do!

 

 

 

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I received lots of positive feedback, but these two identical responses stood out most.

You are such a fun mom. Happy New Year! -TF

You're such a fun mom...love it! -VR

I can only hope my children feel this way.

With a family this large, a lot of yelling, fighting, fussing and hollering goes on. Even on a good day.

But I believe that in between the chaos...embedded in the mayhem...buried beneath the bedlam, there are also many moments of fun, silliness and laughter--The Good Crazy.

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Our night was full of Good Crazy. The television was tuned in to New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest. We had homemade french bread pizza and wings. The kids were hanging around, playing games--the usual. My husband was on call (His first day back at work after emergency dental surgery that took place the day after Christmas, and he, of all days, was on call.) We sang along to the music and ate entirely too much. The girls excitedly ran back and forth to the sliding glass door each time they heard fireworks. I straightened up my mess in the kitchen, glanced at the clock and rushed to spruce up the girls' hairdos...because being crazy doesn't mean you have to look it! It was 11:40 and I needed Aastan to set up our glowing eye masks and glasses and pass out our squawkers and blowouts; after all, the new year must be brought in properly.

And then it happened! 11:42 pm, Aastan got a call from work. And the New Year crazy began! He took the call, handled the issue and darted into the den to get our party items set up. I rushed through the last ponytail as he was throwing masks and glasses at kids left and right. In the last 60 seconds before the new year, he switched to throwing blowouts and squawkers so we could at least, "Make some noise!" At the 45 second mark, he said, "We're not gonna make it!" To which Allen-Michael, one of our twin boys, responded, "Can't you just pause it?!" Wishing secretly that we could, since that would seriously be the solution to all my problems, I said, "No, child! You can't pause time!" There's a lesson in that, I'm sure.

At the stroke of midnight, the ball dropped in Times Square, and we wildly shouted, "Happy New Year!" Some of us with masks and glasses, and some without. And the family, who is always rushing, rushed right on into the new year!

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On this night, Lauryn was sick. We found out yesterday, she actually has strep throat. Maybe a Dose of Good Crazy was just what she needed to enjoy bringing in the new year. Or maybe she was having flashbacks of the many times I've shouted, "The next person who gets sick in this house is gonna be in for it!"

I know...it sounds insane. But in my defense, a house full of sick kids will cause you to lose it! I mean, r-e-a-l-l-y lose it!

But, as far I see, I'm ahead of the game. Because you have to be a little nutty in order to keep up with all of this crazy!

 

Have a Happy New Year filled with all kinds of Good Crazy!

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