Not Mad. Motivated. to Share – Carrie, the Photographer

I was once very thin and it took a random shopping trip for me to figure that out. As a graduate student, I worked in a research laboratory within my department. Somehow, I ended up going shopping with a undergraduate student with whom I worked. She suggested a size 2 pair of jeans for me. I doubtfully tried them on and, surprisingly, I could “fit” them. After reading Carrie, the Photographer, the latest book from author Kira Parris-Moore, I remembered just how difficult it can be to see an honest, unbiased image of one’s self.

Book cover of Carrie, the Photographer

About Carrie, the Photographer

Carrie is a young woman who is forging a successful career as a photographer. Although Carrie takes beautiful pictures of others, she struggles with how she sees herself and develops an eating disorder. This book, for children age 9 and older, follows Carrie’s journey from self-doubt and self-harm to self-love.

Carrie, the Photographer is not just a story, it is a great way to start a conversation with children about body image. Please do not underestimate how important it is to help children develop a healthy image of themselves. A negative body image can lead to many self-destructive behaviors; conversations and modeling healthy behaviors can make a big difference.

After the Book: Let’s talk!

The lack of body confidence as a child or young adult can follow a person for a lifetime. Imagine the negative health impact caused by the mental angst over food and exercise. This is not only an “invitation” for the development of eating disorders, but can also

  • lead to other mental health disorders (including depression and anxiety)
  • affect one’s ability to be an integral part of the community leading to isolation and feeling unaccepted
  • become a building block for toxic relationships with harmful people.

There are direct and indirect messages telling children and young adults that they are not good enough. Play an active role to enforce that they are! Here are a few ways to help:

  • Let them know that every BODY is different and make being different normal – because it is!
  • Help them find beauty everywhere and they will learn to find beauty in themselves.
  • Compliment them often; not just about their looks but on their skills and intelligence, too.
  • Don’t insult anybody’s body – not even as a joke. Children can internalize your words even if your words are not aimed toward them.
  • Love your own body. Be the model that they need!
  • Listen to them. Make their voices matter and help build their self-worth.

Lessons From Carrie, the Photographer

There are many great lessons that you can take away from Carrie, the Photographer. This book is about a young adult named Carrie, but the story is actually told by a younger cousin. This help us remember the need to model healthy behaviors.

Carrie finds strength to get better with support. This lets us know that good support is the key to our success. No matter what your goal is, having support makes it easier to attain that goal. Children need to know that they are never expected to go through any difficulty alone.

We also learn to accept our differences and to focus on what makes us special. Let us make a point to show our children just how special they are to us and to the world.

The final lesson that I want to share is one that I did not expect from a children’s book. Remember: your benchmark for success will change as your self-worth and self-awareness improves! I love this. Too often, we gauge success on the money we make and the things we can buy. However, often, when we value ourselves more, the positive impact we have on others defines our success better than our bank accounts.

I’m Not Mad. I’m Motivated.

I was very active as a teen and a young adult. Running track and participating in marching band, along with many other activities, kept me moving throughout high school. I walked SO MUCH in college and graduated school because I did not start driving until I was 24. And with the diverse group of students I interacted with in graduate school, I also danced a great bit! I stayed active. My body weight was healthy. Yet I found myself worried about how I looked physically many times during those years.

Did my lack of confidence in my appearance leave me vulnerable to a toxic relationship as an adult? Probably likely. But I am Not Mad. I am Motivated. Motivated to share stories like Carrie, the Photographer in the hopes to remind you that you are Beautiful – so that you can remind the children in your life that they are too!

Go tell someone that they are beautiful! This card I made will go to my 16 year old niece.

“Not Mad. Motivated.” to Find Solutions

Life presents obstacles . . . daily. It is sometimes the smallest, most mundane difficulty which seems to multiple any other hardships you are experiencing. You know what I mean, right? You are juggling the ‘world’ while cooking dinner and making sure the kids are participating in virtual learning and then . . . you spill a cup a milk. The reality is that we sometimes cry over the [tip-of the-iceberg] ‘spilled milk’. After that “cry”, it’s time for a “Not Mad. Motivated. to find solutions” mindset.

This year, most of us have found ourselves at home more then usual. With schools closing in March and virtual school this fall, my youngest son has much more time and opportunity to get into things. He is quick and quiet when he wants to be. And he has proven that toothbrushes, toothpaste, and shampoo are not safe around him. Regardless of his special needs, I must teach him how to interact with household items. However, until that lesson is learned, solutions were needed to relieve some unnecessary stress.

More time home? More time for small hands to be busy!

1. Wall Mounted Adhesive Toothbrush Organizer Stand

Many toothbrushes – and a few tubes of toothpaste – have gone missing over the past few months. Some have been recovered, often behind beds and mostly in a bare state (without bristles). After buying yet another pack of toothbrushes, I decided to look into a solution to keep these valuable grooming tools safe.

I decided to give a wall mounted toothbrush organizer a try. The system should be sufficient for two people – I purchased one for each bathroom. It is easy to assemble and to secured with the included adhesive strip. After a month, there is been no issues with it moving or shifting, and no toothbrushes have gone missing. A win so far!

2. Door Monkey Door Lock & Pinch Guard

We recently had a room change in my house. My youngest son moved out of a room that was his for most of his eight year. I expected that he would continue to go to this room and treat it as his own, even though his brother’s belongings would now be in there.

I thought about adding a chain lock to the outside of the interior doors; although I did not like this idea. I was ecstatic to find a temporary solution that did not require drilling, plus every one who is suppose to open the doors could easily do so. It keeps the door slightly open, but can be pulled off with no problem when complete privacy is needed. However, it only works if it is on the door, so remembering to return it is important to our success!

3. Rustproof Suction Basket

Have you ever spent a little extra money for a good bottle of shampoo or conditioner – and then see it going down the drain? I had my new bottles of hair care items in the reach of my son while he was in the bathroom. What a mistake! I went to the next room, briefly, and I returned to see his bath water full of my investment. When I replaced my shampoo and conditioner, I also picked up an handy basket to keep items higher .

The suction on this basket has been 100 percent reliable so far. My son has not paid too much attention to it yet. If he started pulling at it, I will really see what it is made of. However, for now, it is serving it’s purpose – eliminating a small bit of unnecessary stress from my day!

Bonus Solution: A “It’s-Right-Here” Fanny Pack

I recently purchased a fanny pack in hopes that it would help me keep up with medicine, and small items that I may need at anytime. Here are some items I keep in my “It’s-Right-Here” fanny pack:

  • Nose Spray
  • Nail Kit (clippers, emery board, nail file. . .)
  • Box Cutter (for opening and breaking down boxes)
  • Eye glass screwdriver (mainly for tightening small screws)
  • Assortment of writing utensils (pen, pencil, Sharpie, Expo marker)

What would you keep in yours?

Not Mad. Motivated. to Find Solutions

Sometime, the smaller obstacles in our daily lives can feel tremendous when they are placed among other taxing problems. Look for solutions that can help ease those smaller obstacles. You will not only relieve a little stress but you could also build up confident and motivation to conquer bigger tasks! Your ability to problem-solve is infinite. Get creativity and find what works for you! And remember, do Not get Mad. Get Motivated. to find solutions!

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Faith is. . .

What is Faith to you?

Faith is knowing, even when you are not sure.

Faith is living after you close a door.

Faith is finding joy among your sorrows.

Faith is holding on to hope for all your tomorrows.

Faith doesn’t mean that everything is perfect,

but Faith let’s you know that the work is worth it.

Life comes with hardships. It comes with pain.

Be motivated by Faith and let Faith direct your aim.

Not Mad. Motivated.
Let Faith turn your “Why Me” into “A Better Me”.