Community Faces: Meet Lise


July 25, 2016

Modest Empress Maxi Dress

by Yonit Willis, modest fashion blogger at Miss Mellalina

If you loved learning all about this lovely lawyer in our last customer post, then read on to find out all there is to know about Mode-sty member.

Meet Lise, a West Coast woman who traveled out of state for the first time to visit her family since adopting her children two years ago. Here she is enjoying this special occasion and her 10 year wedding anniversary in our Empress Maxi Dress. These are the questions we asked her:

1. What does modesty mean to you?

2. Can you give us a few lessons you've learned after 10 years of marriage?

3. Can you share something about adopting? (How you decided, what it's meant to you, advice for those considering it)

Modest Empress Maxi Dress

Modesty means so much to me. It is more than what you wear- it's an attitude and for me it has always been a way of life. I was raised in a culture where dressing modestly is a sign of respect for not just yourself but those around you. Growing up I will never forget my mom telling me that what you wear says a lot about a person but how you act says more. I want to pass that wisdom onto my kids. In a world where it's difficult to find stylish modest clothing, especially for teenagers the pressure can be overwhelming. My daughter dreads shopping because many of the stores do not carry modest clothing and it breaks my heart because shopping for clothes should be a good and fun experience for a girl her age. Like my daughter says "Modest is hottest" and unfortunately this is still a work in progress for us. I am determined to find or even create (if I have to) a stylish yet modest clothing line for teenage girls. I know this may sound strange to some but I always feel more sexy and confident with modest clothing on. I feel like I'm giving people the real me, people can truly focus on who I am as a person without the distraction of showing too much skin.

Modest Empress Maxi Dress

For us, the first year of marriage was the hardest, I moved from the laid back West Coast life to a fast paced city life in Philadelphia. The environment alone was a difficult transition for me. However, the hardest part was trying to get used to living with someone I've never lived with before. We were trying to get used to each other's habits but compromising goes a long way. It really goes both ways- you give some, you lose some but thankfully we eventually found our rhythm of coexistence.

I have learned that giving of your time is more valuable than anything material. When we both have busy days, we always make sure that when we are home, we are spending time together as a family. We sit down and have dinners every night and we talk about our day. I find that our kids talk so much about the happenings of their school life or the drama my daughter is having with some friends when we set that time aside to be together. It's a comfort for me to know that no matter how busy we are- I will see my family at dinner time.

I cannot stress how important communication and honesty are in a marriage. My husband is truly my best friend. I tell him everything and he tells me everything. We never go to bed mad at each other (maybe twice in our whole marriage have we gone to bed mad) we try and settle our differences before bed because it's a lot harder for me to sleep if I know something is amiss and I don't like feeling that way. Great advice we have implemented in our own lives comes from my husband's grandparents. They never argued in front of their children and I really admire that. We always talk in private about big decisions concerning them or each other. Sure it's healthy for our kids to see us bicker about small things once in a while but we never have serious arguments in front of them. I want them to enjoy their childhood without worrying about adult stresses because becoming an adult is inevitable for them. Best lesson is that marriage is a journey it's not mean to be miserable, it's meant to be enjoyed with the person you love so don't forget to inject some fun in there.

Modest Empress Maxi Dress

Having children and starting a family has always been a dream of mine after I got married. I knew that no matter what, I was going to be a mom. How that would happen, well I left that in the lord's hands. It took years of infertility treatments and strong medications before I had enough. I was so baby crazy that I didn't step back and see the big picture. I was tired of all the appointments and the way the medications made me feel like a zombie was definitely no fun. I felt that god had other plans for us. We looked into adoption and took the classes we had to take to get certified. We had a failed adoption of a sibling set of three that we fell in love with but a family member came out of the woodwork and although we were crushed- we knew it wasn't meant to be. I took it pretty hard. I remember telling my husband that 2014 was going to be the year we just relax and just focus on us and maybe travel. However, because it wasn't on our time in February of 2014 we received an email from our agency saying that we have been matched with a sibling set. I was hesitant to jump in because I didn't want to get close and then not be able to keep and love them like I desperately wanted. They were always older than I imagined and I was intimidated to take on older kids. However, there were so many signs right in front of my face and it finally took my husband telling me "Lise, god is literally putting these kids right in our hands- he is giving us what we've always wanted. Why would we ever question his plan for us?" I really needed that push and we started with the weekly visits with the kids that turned into weekend visits and eventually they moved in with us on June 6, 2014- the day they got out of school. We adopted them on August 11th and to say it was a whirlwind and probably the fastest adoption ever is putting it lightly but we are so very blessed to have these amazing children in our lives. I like to say we are uniquely matched because of my Polynesian descent, my husband being Irish and German and my children being African American but we wouldn't have it any other way- we are a family.

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