Dressember 2016: Welcome to My Day Eleven

At first glance, it appears that I’ve accomplished nothing today. Not much on my normal Saturday To-Do List has been marked off.

Now that I spend time in reflection, however, I believe differently. I no longer feel I’ve lost my day to nothingness.

I slept this morning until 11:00. Out-of-it kind of sleep, not just my typical being lazy not want to do chores lying around.

This sleep deprived momma got some much needed restorative rest.

I chose to focus on yoga and yoga related causes because that’s healing for me, and it’s what I love. With my migraine, that’s what I needed instead of forcing myself to get everything done that I felt like SHOULD be done. I had a video to shoot for Melissa West’s membership community, and I hit record over and over again. I let go of “perfect” eventually and realized I was causing myself unnecessary stress. There’s no such thing as “Perfect” anyway!!

During an argument over recurring issues, I found courage to speak what was on my heart and set some strong boundaries, which I fully intend to hold firmly in place regardless of another’s reaction. I decided I deserve to be treated better, and I’ll make changes if others won’t.

Speaking of making changes, I had to have pictures for Dressember! Christopher, my oldest came home from college, so I took some time catching up with him, and he graciously accepted the offer to be my photographer for the day.

Modern-day slavery is prejudice to NONE and any place can be a trap!

From Polaris:

Victims of sex trafficking can be U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, women, men, children, and LGBTQ individuals. Vulnerable populations are frequently targeted by traffickers, including runaway and homeless youth, as well as victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, war, or social discrimination.

Sex trafficking occurs in a range of venues including fake massage businesses, via online ads or escort services, in residential brothels, on the street or at truck stops, or at hotels and motels.

Since 2007, the National Human Trafficking Hotline, operated by Polaris, has received reports of 14,588 sex trafficking cases inside the United States.

Care to help raise awareness of Human Trafficking?

Melissa West, Jenn Ashton, Madeline Hilde Sicinski, Nicci Rea, Harmony Darling, Aynne Johnston, Laura Moyer and I would love to have you join us: Sunflowers and Snow!

Perhaps you would be willing to make a Donation?

At least, wouls you simply “Like” and “Share” any Dressember posts you see?!

Namaste,

Nikki

Dressember 2016: Welcome To My Day Ten

Migraine, Migraine go away. I don’t have time for you today.

I must go to work. I want to see my boy play. So, please go on your merry way.

That Number Two, he sure is cute. I absolutely love to watch him shoot.

I will fight you. Again and again. Not to try would be a sin.

Your chronic fatigue can go, too. My life’s busy,  chaotic, like a zoo.

No matter what you choose, I say today,

I’m not going to lose,

This opportunity for Dressember Day.

You want to know why? Well I’m glad you asked.

Let me give you some facts and stats.

From Polaris:

Sex traffickers use violence, threats, lies, debt bondage, and other forms of coercion to compel adults and children to engage in commercial sex acts against their will.
The situations that sex trafficking victims face vary dramatically. Many victims become romantically involved with someone who then forces or manipulates them into prostitution. Others are lured in with false promises of a job, such as modeling or dancing. Some are forced to sell sex by their parents or other family members. They may be involved in a trafficking situation for a few days or weeks, or may remain in the same trafficking situation for years.

Globally, the International Labor Organization estimates that there are 4.5 million people trapped in forced sexual exploitation globally.
In a 2014 report, the Urban Institute estimated that the underground sex economy ranged from $39.9 million in Denver, Colorado, to $290 million in Atlanta, Georgia.

As a mom, this greatly saddens me.

Will you please take a stand with me?

Melissa West, Jenn Ashton, Madeline Hilde Sicinski, Nicci Rea, Harmony Darling, Aynne Johnston, Laura Moyer and I would love to have you join us by being part of our team Sunflowers and Snow, or you can Donate, or simply “Like” and “Share” any Dressember posts you see!

*Logan, thank you for your continued support by faithfully taking my photo each day this week. Thank you for enouraging me when I didn’t really feel it!!

Much Love,

Nikki

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Dressember 2016: Welcome to My Day Nine

Here we go again! Another day, another dress!!

“Be Stronger than your strongest excuse.”

Dear Dressember,

I’m having a love hate relationship with you today. I went to bed exhausted last night and woke up the same way. I would have loved a day off in my pjs! My office had a very important visitor today, and I was filled with anxiety. Being as late for work as usual was not an option, but I had to shave my legs. Please don’t make me choose between that and my makeup! Not with our guest coming. I wasn’t up for tights, though, because some days I just don’t want to feel restricted or constricted, and I already knew I was going to be chained to my desk, dependant on others for  potty breaks and water refills. Ok…not so bad… Smooth legs and makeup done. I was starting to feel more excited to get on with my day. Thank Goodness for boots and under desk heaters because, boy, was it cold today!!

Special Guest was not so bad, thankfully, because he comes back tomorrow. I also really enjoyed the smile and energy of one of our new PCS technicians. He lifted my spirit which keeps falling into a strange place today. It isn’t sadness, exactly, but tears want to surface. I wonder where they’re coming from, but I won’t dwell there. I suspect they are in part due to you, Dressember.

I won’t post statistics or info tonight, because I’m not sure my heart can handle it. Something is happening inside me.

I am thankful for yoga, and getting together with a couple of students to teach tonight. Like I have all day, I didn’t feel quite like myself, fuzzy-minded,  and scatter brained, but I might like Thursdays as a regular teaching night! Something to think about, I guess, but maybe not always in a dress!

Please continue to show your support!!

We are Sunflowers and Snow. Melissa West, Jenn Ashton, Madeline Hilde Sicinski, Nicci Rea, Harmony Darling, Aynne Johnston, Laura Moyer and I would love to have you join our team Sunflowers and Snow, or Donate , or simply “Like” and “Share” any Dressember posts you see!

Thank You!!

Nikki

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Dressember 2016: Welcome to My Day Eight

I am a Giddy Girl on this Dressember Day!

THANK YOU to everyone who has “Liked” and “Shared” our Dressember posts. THANK YOU for your comments, compliments, and kindness. Taking this stand puts me out of my comfort zone in a mighty big way, so YOU have encouraged me greatly!! THANK YOU for my photographers, Logan, Rachel, and My Little Man. THANK YOU, Melissa West and Dr. Kate Flynn, for helping face my fears! THANK YOU to those who send private messages and texts. You carry me through my day when I start to doubt my decision to do this. THANK YOU for those of you who are simply reading these posts. I know many of your hearts are with me and you are carrying me in prayers. How do I know? I can feel it.

Whoo Hoo!!

Dressember Team Sunflowers and Snow met our goal of $1,000.00!! We’ve surpassed it, and we’re not stopping yet!!

I want to THANK YOU for all the generous donations, especially to Anonymous who donated through my link. All monies collected will be used by International Justice Mission and A21 to rescue victims of human trafficking.

According to A21, every 30 seconds, someone becomes a victim of modern-day slavery. There are more slaves in the world today than at any other point in human history,

NOW, GET THIS!!

Only 1-2% of human trafficking victims are ever rescued.

The average age of the human trafficking victim is 12 YEARS OLD.

Folks, that means that IF they are able to survive, most pre-teens being brutally forced into sex exploitation and laboring in the manufacturing of goods are living the majority of their lives this way. Help us Help them!!

We are Sunflowers and Snow. Melissa West, Jenn Ashton, Madeline Hilde Sicinski, Nicci Rea, Harmony Darling, Aynne Johnston, Laura Moyer and I would love to have you join our team here Sunflowers and Snow, or you can Donate, or simply “Like” and “Share” any Dressember posts you see!

Much, Much Love and Gratitude,

Nikki

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Dressember 2016: Welcome to My Day Seven

Sometimes you just have to sit back, put your feet up, and chill!!  Oh…and don’t forget to tell the Inner Critic to hush up!!

Logan was kind enough to retake the photo once…but we could have been there all day!! There was so much I saw wrong, but I decided to let it go!! Huh. I can do that now! Remember when I couldn’t?? I’m still practicing, but for today…so what if my eyes are still swollen, my lipstick is a bit smudged, and that’s an awful lot of brown??

You see, I know where my kids are, and I know where there are kids in safe, loving foster homes! Thank God for families with hearts as big as gold!

Did you see the stats I posted the other day?? With a heavy heart, I continue to think of those numbers, knowing they have only increased.

Let me repeat!

The U.S. Department of Labor reported in 2015, an estimated 1 out of 5 endangered runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were likely child sex trafficking victims. Of those, 74% were in the care of social services or foster care when they ran.

They are in  constant dangerous and abusive situations, being exploited for sex and labor of goods.

I cannot fathom the thought of my child or yours or anyone’s being violated in such horrific ways.

I’m proud to be part of the Dressember team

Sunflowers and Snow. Thanks to you all for being so awesome!! Melissa West, Jenn Ashton, Madeline Hilde Sicinski, Nicci Rea, Harmony Darling, Aynne Johnston, Laura Moyer and I would love to have you join our team Sunflowers and Snow! You can also make a donation.

Don’t forget, though, simply hitting “Like” and “Share” on any Dressember posts you see also helps to raise awareness for modern-day slavery.

Dressember 2016: Welcome to My Day Six

Today is an anniversary of great importance. You see, it signifies the beginning of a new era. A new life. A new me.

It was a major struggle to get to the place of courage which enabled me to choose to make one of my life’s toughest decisions. It took me a very long time to understand and start to believe that I deserved a better way of living. The thought of making this change scared me to death, but I knew I couldn’t go on with the way things were.

I was an empty shell and barely holding on.

It was a long road to make my choice final, and still today I suffer the consequences of someone else’s punishment.

That’s ok, though. I hold on to my faith the best I can, and I trust in my healing process and that all my day to day needs will be met.

My experiences happened for a reason. To share. To help others.

My story is NOTHING compared to those belonging to victims of modern-day slavery!! That’s why I’m taking a stand for #Dressember. To help raise awareness of the manipulations and abuses of human traffickers.

Dressember Daily Facts from Polaris:

Statistics from the National Human Trafficking Hotline  and Polaris BeFree Textline:
More than 29,800 total cases of human trafficking have been reported to the Hotline in the last eight years.
The Hotline annually receives multiple reports of human trafficking cases in each of the 50 states and D.C.

Wanna help? You can! Here’s how:

Donate, join our awesome team Sunflowers and Snow, or simply “Like” and “Share” any Dressember posts you see!

*Sunflowers and Snow is made up of Melissa West, Jenn Ashton, Madeline Hilde Sicinski, Nicci Rea, Harmony Darling, Aynne Johnston, Laura Moyer, and me! We would love to have you join us!!

**Logan, welcome back!! Thank you for taking my picture today!!

Dressember 2016: Welcome to My Day Five

“What you see is what you get.”

One day, I’ll be able to say that and genuinely mean it!!

There is nothing on my schedule today. The kids have their time with their father on Sundays, so I try to use that time to replenish and renew my Spirit each week. Today, that won’t happen in my usual ways, but I’ll continue to get some things accomplished at home, and with a grateful heart.

Sometimes I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle, but my precious kids and their messes and their dirty clothes and dishes won’t be around here forever. De-cluttering today, I remember this, and I remember my longing for a more simple life.

Simplicity. How to get there? I’m not sure, but my dress today is definitely reflective of my vision of a life of less. Comfort was what I was going for today when went to my closet and chose that simple 20+ year old dress I bought when I worked retail before Christopher came along. Mine was a simpler life then, not without struggles, of course, but I knew my priorities. Those priorities have become screwn through the years, but I believe it is now time to get back to basics.

So off I am now, to do my chores, knowing that if I don’t know yet how to prioritize for my Highest Good, at least I know that I’m honoring a call to advocate for those who have lost their voices.

Dressember Daily Facts from Polaris:

The International Labor Organization estimates that forced labor and human trafficking is a $150 billion industry worldwide.
The U.S. Department of Labor has identified 139 goods from 75 countries made by forced and child labor. In 2015, an estimated 1 out of 5 endangered runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were likely child sex trafficking victims. Of those, 74% were in the care of social services or foster care when they ran.

There is no official estimate of the total number of human trafficking victims in the U.S. Polaris estimates that the total number of victims nationally reaches into the hundreds of thousands when estimates of both adults and minors and sex trafficking and labor trafficking are aggregated.

Wanna help? You can! Here’s how:

Donate here, join our awesome team Sunflowers and Snow, or simply “Like” and “Share” any Dressember posts you see!*Sunflowers and Snow is made up of Melissa West, Jenn Ashton, Madeline Hilde, Nicci Rea, Harmony Darling, Aynne Johnston, Laura Moyer, and me. We would love to have you join us!!

**Thank you for taking my picture today, Sweet Child. You’re an awesome son!! I love you andappreciate you more than you understand!  

Dressember 2016: Welcome to My Day Two

​Dressember…what it’s all about?? I’ll tell you! 

Dressember Mission Satement is dear to my heart: 

“DRESSEMBER IS A COLLABORATIVE MOVEMENT LEVERAGING FASHION AND CREATIVITY TO RESTORE DIGNITY TO ALL WOMEN.

As women take on the creative challenge of wearing a dress for the 31 days of December, they are advocating for the inherent dignity of all women. 

THE HEART OF DRESSEMBER IS FREEDOM– THAT EVERY WOMAN HAS THE RIGHT TO LIVE A VIBRANT AND AUTONOMOUS LIFE.

At its core, Dressember is an embracing of the inherent freedom and feminity of all women.

In 2013, Dressember took on new meaning: opposing the worldwide trafficking and exploitation of women.”

Each day throught the month, I’ll give you a bit of info on human trafficking, and give you a chance to show support by:
* making a donation

joining our team here 

* helping spread awareness by liking and sharing each and every post you see

My courage came a few days late, so I hope you’ll help me catch up with the rest of my gorgeous team Sunflowers and Snow!

Thank you, Logan, for being my willing photographer!


 today!