Introverted. Quiet. Shy. Hermit. Wallflower. Observer. Silent. Anti-social.

These are all words that describe me. They are also easy to say and use as labels for myself.

Since 4th grade, I’ve been quiet. I was told I was precious a few too many times and decided to shut up and lock up the other parts that made me, me. No one could say I was precious or cute or funny if I didn’t talk and show them.  I talked so little, kids referred to as the “girl of many faces”.

Since then, I have navigated school, college, friends and my career being the quiet girl. The one most people didn’t even notice. I was so and so’s friend, often without a name and certainly never remembered.

In my mind, if I could achieve ultimate anonymity, I didn’t have to live up to any other standard than my reputation as being the quiet one. I could dodge confrontation and responsibility because I was lurking in the shadows.

Lesson Learned

Hiding from others behind this silent facade, has also allowed me to hide from myself. I have been in denial of who I am and have believed the lies that “things don’t happen to me” and “I’m not that person”. I’ve given myself a pass on achieving anything more than daily survival.

It’s affected everything from the way I dress, to the guys I dated, to the way I don’t speak up about my ideals and principles. I’ve believed I’m a nobody and that nobody is interested in anything about me.

I believe this is what’s called Impostor Syndrome. Perhaps not an actual syndrome in my case but the sentiment is the same. Imagine my own surprise when I felt this undeniable tug to start blog and build an Instagram following. I want to be a world changer, or at the very least, change my own little world and leave a legacy for my kids. But why me? Why would people care a thing about who I am, where I’ve been and where I’m going?

I have interests, hobbies and qualifications but I struggle to see them as anything more than self-claimed and therefore illegitimate. I see other influencers and their success and confidence and think, “that’ll never be me because I lack the credentials and personality”.

It Changes Now!

Today I’m going to own who I am! These are the things that make me who I am and with any luck, there will be a few things that intrigue you enough to keep you coming back for more!

 

 

 

I am:

A believer and a Christian

My parents took me to church regularly and taught me Christian values. I’ve had my weak times but I am finding my way and making my beliefs my own. There’s still a long way to go but can’t thank God enough for His patience with me.

A wife

After 11 years you’d think this one would have sunk in but sometimes I still feel like we’re just playing house instead of building a meaningful marriage. But whoa, 11 years is a pretty big deal!

A mother to 3

Yes, I birthed them and spend almost every waking hour with them but I still don’t always feel like a mom who is responsible for the physical, emotional and spiritual upbringing of these three little people.

A home school educator

Our son is going to a charter school this year, but prior to that, I’ve schooled our children at home. It hit me recently how I have never owned that! Perhaps it’s because my approach is “life is our school” but even still, I have never felt like a home schooling mom. I’ve definitely felt like a fake which has no doubt caused some missed opportunities.

(Shew this is getting harder….)

A friend

I’ve recognized a pattern in myself, eventually with friendships I start doubting my worth to the other person and I simply walk away before they have a chance to reject me. Why would anyone want to be my friend??? I see this now and am fighting hard to keep showing up for the women in my life.

A trusted adviser

I was accepted into a psychology program the same day I got a design job offer. I took the job. But the desire to help people never went away. I regularly get calls and texts from friends and family asking for my thoughts on relationships, parenting, health and what they should hang on their walls. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love it!

An interior designer

I’ve neglected my own home and haven’t pursued a design career but the $26K I’ve spent the last 15 years paying off, gives me every right to claim this one! Yet I’ve spent years denying that this title belongs to me. But watch out world, or at least family because this house is about to get glammed up!

A graphic designer

Okay, this one feels like a stretch. I haven’t been professionally trained but rather self taught. Welcome to the school of Google and YouTube, right?!?! I’ve designed multiple logos as well as advertisements and other business graphics. So I’m going to own this, at least so far as being a “budding designer”.

A blogger

This one is hard to claim. I’ve been dreaming this dream for years but assumed people would think, “who does she think she is? She’s not a blogger!” But I have a website, I’ve written blogs and I have to start somewhere! So I guess I’m a blogger! Eek!

Valuable

I’m unique and was created to fulfill a need in this world. I may not always know what that is, but I know God thought enough to make me and make me who I am. Mine is a story to tell and it may not be filled with major plot twists and excitement but I guarantee it’s a story that will resonate with more than a few people! I’m on a mission to find those people!

I am ME!

Do you have trouble owning who you are? How has it changed the direction of your life? Will you comment below with some of the things that make you uniquely you?

 

 

When I was a teenager, I lived for the silly quizzes in teen magazines. I remember one of them even had a whole issue of quizzes! It was the best thing ever! See, I was a teen before the internet completely took off and before Buzzfeed was a thing. I had to rely on magazines to tell me what summer trend was perfect for me or what kind of best friend I was.

As an adult, these silly quizzes were replaced with personality tests. Oh, yeah! Am I an introvert or an extrovert? What’s my color or my gemstone? What animal am I? All. The. Tests! (For the record, I am an introverted, yellow-green, pearl horse.)

I feel like the problem with many of these tests is that some circles assign a hierarchy of types. One is ideal and if that’s not you, YOU ARE flawed. And as you can see, I’m definitely not what many would consider ideal.

Ennea….what??

When I first heard about the Enneagram it was totally over my head. Sometimes I decide I have enough info in my brain and there is no room to learn anything new. For months, I proclaimed how much I hated the Enneagram! I wanted to love it, but I couldn’t.

I had taken the tests, even paid for a test! They were inconclusive. I tested exactly equally a 6 and 9 with 5 right behind them. Everyone else knew their number (and their wing! What?) without a doubt and I was waffling and confused!

I don’t remember exactly what changed it for me, but I know I was giving it another stab and reading through some descriptions, which now I know is really how you should type yourself anyway, and it hit me, I was a 6! I. was. a. SIX!!! Finally!

Every single description resonated with me. I felt like someone had walked into my life and found out my inner feelings, thoughts and….no, get out! It was too real but it was then that I fell hard in love with the Enneagram.

No excuses!

I have long said that I felt like personality tests were just a way to excuse your poor behavior. But the Enneagram is not that way! It tells you what your type looks like when you’re healthy and doing well and also when you’re stressed. So your behavior is understood but not excused and you have a path to follow for growth.

I’m not exaggerating when I say this has changed my life! I had validation for my feelings but also a direction to move to improve. As a 6, I know that I want nothing more than to be safe and secure (which is something I identified a few years ago even before knowing my number!). I also know that when I am doing well I will have some qualities that healthy 9’s have. My anxiety will be moved aside and replaced with being at peace. And I know when I’m stressed I’ll take that anxiety and multiply it by an unhealthy 3’s feelings of worthlessness.

 

Know thyself

The Enneagram focuses on your motivations more than just your actions. This has helped me really understand myself. Rather than focus on my fears and anxiety on any given thing, I now recognize that I am just searching to feel safe and secure. I don’t have to beat myself up when fear stops me in my tracks, instead, I can identify what would help me feel safer, do that and then move forward tackling whatever is scaring me! I also know that being a 6 means I want input from those I love. This explains why I spend a lot of time asking for advice and running ideas past people before I jump (I want to feel good and safe, see?). That’s also why as soon as I’m done writing this, I’m gonna send it to by bestie before I hit publish!

Gone are the feelings of being weird and alone. Instead, I just feel like a 6 and I know there are lots of other people out there feeling just like I do! I also don’t feel like being a 6 is any better or worse than any other number. Being a six comes with gifts and struggles just like every other number.

It Takes Us ALL!

And here’s the big secret, it takes ALL of us to make this world work! The Enneagram illustration itself shows us how interconnected we all are! What would the world be like if there weren’t people like me questioning every decision, thinking through every possible scenario and making sure everyone is safe? Or what would happen if we didn’t have 2’s to make sure we’re all taken care of and happy? Or 7’s to keep us spontaneous and loving life? It takes ALL of us!

So if you hang around here long, you’re likely to hear more about the Enneagram. I’m not an expert yet but we can learn together!

Can I have your number?

Do you know your number? If not, I do still suggest taking a test, this free one will do! Then once you have 2 or 3 top ones, read about them a lot. One day, it will hit you square in the eyes! You will feel exposed and vulnerable but then you will feel exhilarated and understood! Really!

Tell me below what your number is or if you don’t know, let’s chat and see if we can figure it out so your life can be changed too!

 

I got this crazy idea last year when it was time to buy fall clothes: coordinating capsule wardrobes. I executed it, loved it and knew I would do the same for future seasons! So I just purchased Spring/Summer wardrobes for my kids and couldn’t be more excited!

Remember my post about “Faking it ‘til I make it”? Capsule wardrobes made that list! SO I thought I’d dedicate a whole blog to it and give you some tips for curating your own family capsule wardrobes!

1. Decide who is participating

My biggest goal is to have my children coordinate. Since they usually need whole new wardrobes each season right now it’s easy to ensure all of their clothes fit my capsule rules.

I am not a fashionista, but nothing thrills me more than to have my entire family coordinate, especially for worship. So if my husband and I need new things, I make sure they coordinate with what I’ve selected for the kids so we can coordinate occasionally.

2. Choose your color palette

I pick a few neutrals, then add in a few pops of color. For fall and winter, we did black, gray and navy with olive green, burgundy and blush pink. This gave me plenty of options to keep the clothing choices masculine for my son and feminine for my daughters.

For spring and summer, I focused a little more on color. This means it’s not quite as versatile but still plenty of options! But I knew I didn’t want to be a neutral heavy as I was for the cooler months. So our colors are gray, navy, white, coral/light pink, aqua/light blue with a little red for my son.

I will also say, that I do generally pick up a few outfits intended for play outfits. I opt for buying new because I’ve been able to get good deals. But this may be a place you want to stop in your local thrift store and grab some play clothes. I use play clothes as a time to break from our color palette. My 6 year old LOVES color. So this is when I let her experiment with color. Otherwise, I’d probably be tempted to stick to the rules here too. Ha!

 

3. Decide what items you’re looking for

Capsules help you simplify. You will not be buying all the things! Yay, for your budget but you do have to plan ahead and decide what’s needed.

I decide what is the minimum I think we need and buy that capsule style. That usually leaves room for me or grandparents to pick up a few fill in pieces throughout the season. Because we all know Target likes to show us things we can’t live without!

This was my list for my son:

  • 2 pairs of nice shorts
  • 5-6 nice shirts in a mix of button up, polo and nice tees
  • 3-4 athletic shorts to play and sleep in
  • 3-4 coordinating t-shirts for play and sleep
  • 1 more pairs of jeans
  • Flip flops
  • Maybe a pair of Croc type shoes to play in
    (He already has 2 pairs of dress pants, a pair of jeans and boat shoes.)

This was my list for my girls:

  • 3-4 dressy dresses
  • 3-4 casual dresses (good for Wednesday night Bible study and just out around town)
  • 3-4 pairs of coordinating bike shorts for under dresses
  • 3-4 shirts that also match the bike shorts for around town
  • 1 pair of denim Bermuda shorts
  • 1 pair of brown Cowgirl boots
  • 1 pair of sandals (probably silver or gold)
  • 1 pair of play shoes (usually slip on canvas shoes or jellies)

We stay home a lot and we can hang out in play clothes a lot. If your family is more social, you may want to up the nicer outfits. But I try to shoot for about a week’s worth of clothes.

4. Shop no more than 3….4 stores, tops

There are so many options of places to shop, it would be easy to become overwhelmed. But another bonus is that stores tend to put out collections that already coordinate. So that’s a little less work for you!

I typically shop at Kohl’s, Target and Old Navy. This season I also grabbed a few of H&M’s jersey dresses for the girls!

For what it’s worth, I find Kohl’s works best for my girls. Especially since they still enjoy coordinating. I have one daughter still in toddlers and one just moved into the big girl sizes. Kohl’s is really good about having similar styles and fabrics across the sizes. This may mean that the girls have something in the same fabric, but my older daughter has a bit more mature style or they will have the same style, but different fabrics. I like this because we don’t want to be 100% matchy, matchy, but also because I know my 6 year old will hand down some of her wardrobe to my now 2 year old. This avoids years and years of the same outfits, ya know?

I was able to purchase my son’s entire wardrobe from Target which is great because I LOVE the Cat and Jack line! It’s always cute and it’s inexpensive but I haven’t found it to be cheaply made! While I haven’t ever tried to take advantage of it, C&J has a 1 year guarantee! So I feel even better about my purchase.

No matter where you decide, try really hard to buy the bulk from a few stores!

 

5. Shop online

I know, I know, there’s a certain thrill of going out and shopping in person. You can touch and feel and get it all done without waiting for shipping. But here’s a few reasons online is better:

1. You can take your time and make good choices.

Remember one goal in this is to have a carefully curated wardrobe full of stuff we love. Not stuff we bought because we kind of liked it.

It took me 4 days to finally decide what I wanted to buy. I shopped back and forth between websites until I found exactly what I wanted. I also was able to remove a few items from my cart once I saw they didn’t fit my rules, I couldn’t find coordinating pieces, were more expensive than I wanted or just weren’t needed. This really cut back on impulse buying and therefore, shopper’s remorse.

2. You can compare items and pricing between stores.

Some staple items can be bought at multiple stores. Like girls’ bike shorts. We buy these to go under dresses and I usually buy t-shirts to coordinate too. They were $10 at one store and $4 at the other. And knowing both brands, they’re the same quality. So I can save that $6 to buy a t-shirt!

Also, some items like t-shirts, those bike shorts and my sons pull on shorts, are available in special 2 pack deals online only. This usually saves about $1. Just be sure you need both colors otherwise it’s not really a deal.

3. You can use coupon codes and cash back websites.

I never ever make an online purchase without Googling codes. This time the pickings were slim but I was able to find a few. Some stores like H & M will offer you 25% and free shipping for signing up for their newsletter.

I also use Ebates when I remember. I forgot to with Kohl’s but I think I did end up getting about $5 cash back from the other stores. Not a ton but it adds up and better in my pocket than theirs!

 

6. Make sure every item can be worn with at least two other items

This is really what makes the difference in a capsule wardrobe. This is why you choose that tight color palette. Things need to be versatile. So shorts are worn with a tank and a tee for my son or a dress and t-shirt for my girls. But I also make sure each shirt can be worn with multiple bottoms: jeans, shorts, pants, etc.

This also really helps kids who are learning to pick out their own clothes. They can freely mix and match without you worrying about them looking silly or wearing the wrong pants. It also helps when you are behind on laundry. Those pants are dirty? No problem, wear the other ones!

 

7. Keep shoes simple

Were you shocked at how few shoes I buy for my kids? We have 5 people in our family. If we have more than a few pairs of shoes we’d have to build a house for our shoes!

My girls get brown Cowgirl boots. They look super cute with dresses, keep their feet and legs warmer during the cooler spring days and dry during April showers and can be worn into the fall and winter too. The girls really get their wear out of the boots!

I choose silver or gold sandals over white because not all outfits look good with white. Silver and gold just seem more neutral and let’s face it, who doesn’t like shiny shoes?

We get jellies or Crocs for play shoes. These clean easily and can also double as water shoes when they play with the hose or go to the splash pad.

My son gets canvas boat shoes and has since he was tiny. They look nice for worship but also look great with shorts! He can wear them without socks and most of the time are super cheap.

I also usually get him a pair of brown flip flops. Again, versatile and easy for him to slip on as we run out the door for our various summer activities.

 

8. A few final tips if you’ve never had a capsule wardrobe

1. You will wear things over and over. That’s the point. So make sure you love them and get over the fact that people might notice.

2. Pay attention to how you launder. Since your choices are fewer, things will get washed more often. Choose laundry soap that isn’t harsh on your clothes, re-wear things when you can and maybe even hang some things to dry to prevent fading. This is something I wish I had paid more attention to with our fall/winter things. Some are looking pretty worn.

3. Don’t over-analyze things. Don’t over plan. Don’t wait too long for the perfect deal or perfect outfit.

Wanna see what I bought?

I posted everything on Pinterest! Be sure to follow me in case I add more!

Your Turn!

Have you done a capsule wardrobe or a minimalist wardrobe?

If not, I hope this encourages you to give a capsule wardrobe a chance! It’s been great for our family! Be sure to tag me on IG with your shopping haul (@intentionallyunplanned)!!!