Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Nurture ~ Acrostic Poem


Never forget to nurture yourself & your needs

Unraveling the stresses, the guilt, the negative emotions, letting yourself

Release, rest, rejuvenate and be able to rise, feeling full after

Taking time to trust, to talk, to do the things you enjoy,

Utilizing the things that fill you up & nourish you, bring you the energy you need

Readying you to rise to face the day

Each day ~ enlightened, energized, and ready to embrace what is in front of you

Friday, July 13, 2018

Health, Fitenss, Diet ~ Sharing My Journey with You

I have been asked several times what my "secrets" are for my weight loss and diet journey.   I haven't said much, just a few things here and there.  I have been thinking about writing on this topic for awhile now, but just haven't seem to be able to always find the words.

You see, health, fitness, and diet are as unique as the individual going through it.  But there are some things that can be learned to help one grow in their knowledge that does cover all.

I am going to share with you my journey up until now and keep adding to it as I continue down this path.

Some of you may be able to relate, some may not.  But I hope there is something you can take away from it all somewhere along the way.

This journey really ramped up about 2 1/2 years ago, but it goes back further than that.  So I am going to use one day during the week to talk about this topic from my own personal experience and journey.

I encourage you to follow along and to share your thoughts and experiences along the way.

For the time being, the titles for these posts will start off with Health, Fitness, Diet and follow up with what the main theme is from the post.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Saying Yes to You ~It's Hard Sometimes, But Worth It

Recently I wrote about taking time for one of the pieces in your life's puzzle, your marriage.  Another piece I made mention of is the piece that is you.  Remember, it started as you.  Then got married.  Then grew your family.

Sometimes in the mix of all that, well, we sometimes loose sight of who we are and taking care of ourselves gets placed on the back burner while we take of the others around us and the other responsibilities we have. 

You need to take care of you.  Yup, you heard me.  You need to take care of you.  It is an important piece to the puzzle.  You can't fuel others up and fill them up without taking time to fuel you and fill yourself up.

How many times do we make excuses to set us aside?  I don't have the time, our schedules are always busy, no one to watch the kids, and so on.

Did you know you can still take care of yourself even if the kids are around?  You can say yes to you, the things you enjoy.  Of course it is easier to do sometimes when you are alone.  But think about it.  During the day, where are times you can say yes to you and your time that is needed?

It doesn't have to be long.  Sometimes 5 minutes is all it takes.  It may mean that you have to put the remote down, the social media down, the online games down.  I know, it's easy, accessible, and just sort of becomes habit.  I have been known to zone out to a couple hours at nap time or in the evening watching NCIS reruns. 

While yes, this is nice sometimes, aren't there other things that you enjoy?  What gives you energy?  Make a list.  And while you are at it, divide your page into two columns.  Write the things that give you energy in one and in the other, write the things that zap your energy.  I know, laundry and dishes aren't always energy boosts for most people, but there are just some things that have to get done.

I got the idea to write out the things that give me energy and the things that zap it from an Abundant Mama Project activity.  After writing my lists out, I decided to take it one step further.  I decided to find ways to decrease the amount of time on those energy zappers to the point where the task is done more quickly, I don't do it, or have changed my perspective on the activity.  As for those things that give me energy, I made the decision to set a time in the week for them.

I also listed out the chores while I was at it, because for me, while they don't give me energy, they also don't zap it either.  But gone left undone for too long can cause issues in itself.

I put all into a schedule.  I took the things that give me energy and put something to each day of the week, at least Monday through Friday.  I figure I would leave the weekends open and see where they lead.  The chores, I did the same thing.  I broke them out and gave them a schedule for a day during the week.

By doing this, it helps me fuel up and fill my tank each day.  It also has helped cleaning and chores to get done weekly, but not feel like a struggle.  Though I do laundry on the weekend, I try to have it washed early in the week and pick a night or nap time while watching TV to fold it.  Now, I have to admit, the kids stuff gets put away rather quickly, however I have a tendency to leave the basket full of my own and hubby's stuff in our room.  At least it is clean, out of the basement, folded.

None of this is a fool proof method.  There are some days where I just set it all aside and zone out to TV and social media during my downtime.  There are also some days where I try to incorporate what fuels me into the activities we are doing as a family or the activities I am doing with kids.  Added bonus, both my kids love to just sit and color.  Both also love to be outside.  A lot of times they want to create their own world, which means I get some time to do my own thing.  So either I join in or I do a chore that needs to be done or I find some way I can yes to me during that time.  Even if it means a few sips from the now cold coffee that I have given up on trying to reheat and drop a few ice cubes in it to make it an iced coffee.

Saying yes to you can be an activity that has a cost, like a coffee shop stop, purchasing something you've wanted, or pedicure type things or it can just simply be sitting on the porch while the kids play happily and you do your own thing.  It doesn't always have to come with a price tag. 

For now: reading, being outside, creative time, writing, exercising are a few things that fuel me.  So those are the things I try to incorporate each day of the week.  Not necessarily all of them every day, but they all get added into my week.

Since doing this I have noticed a lot of things.  I have noticed my attitude has begun to change, more positive.  I, most nights, sleep better.  I feel more connected, more grounded.  My perspective has shifted, I get to have me time (even with kids in tow).

How about you?  What brings you energy?  What drains it?  How can you find time for yourself each day, even if it is only 5 minutes (down the road, try to add more time on to it)?  What do you do for you to take care of the you piece to the puzzle?

Take the time because you deserve it.  You are worth it.  Take the time because it will benefit everyone.  Make it a priority, even if you have to schedule it.  Down the road, it will become natural and a part of your daily flow and balance.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Ease ~ Acrostic Poem



Each day you

Awake, take a deep breath in,

Set yourself for the day, and

Embrace what is to come

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Life is Like Puddle

Life is like a puddle, you can either:

Carefully, strategically walk or step around it,
Sometimes staying dry and in the clear, sometimes leading to sinking in the mud

Try to leap over it as far as you can, maybe missing it completely or catching just the edge

Just walk right on through and continue on

Slow down, get your footing, and step where you easily can

Run through it with a big splash, turn around and do it again

It all depends on the moment, the season we are in, the path we are on

Making Mistakes, Learning, & Letting Go of Perfect ~ In Ourselves & Our Kids

We all mistakes.  It doesn't matter how young or old we are, we all make them.  These are the words I was saying to my oldest.

Sometimes it may be one mistake in a moment, sometimes many in that moment.  But we all make them.  Why? Because we are always learning and growing.  Mistakes are a part of that process.  What matters is how we handle those mistakes.

What do we do with them?  How do we respond?  What can we learn from them? How do we move forward?  How do we take what is needed from the experience, learn from, and let it go?

All the mistakes, along with the successes, are what make up our journey.  We can either pile them up on our shoulders or lay them down as stones on our path.

If we choose to place them on our shoulders, then one of two things can happen.  If we pile only mistakes on our shoulders then we begin to feel weighted, unworthy, undervalued.  We begin to let more fear, guilt, worry, anxiety in and our inner negative self critic begins to get too strong a foothold and won't let go easily.

Or if it is only successes we pile up, then we begin to have an unrealistic view of reality.  Our ego gets a bit of a big head and pride rears it's head.

So, instead, let's place them all...all the mistakes...all the successes....under our feet, helping to guide us on this journey.

Not always easy, I know.  But this all got me thinking or well, what my oldest said to me got me thinking.  You see, he told me he doesn't want to make mistakes, hates them, and won't make them anymore.  Which then lead to him saying he wanted things to be perfect.

For a moment, I wondered where he picked this up.  I know I try to make things perfect, but I am learning that perfect doesn't really exist in the sense of our expectations and to be okay with that.  We can plan, dream, try to set things up to be "perfect" but in the end, there are things that don't go quite right and we need to be okay with that sometimes.  Now, that is not to say that there aren't moments that are perfect, where everything seems to come together just right, have a good flow, good timing and in any other circumstances wouldn't have happened.  But to have everything be "perfect" all of the time, for everything, in every way, that just isn't how it goes.

I don't like making mistakes I told him.  No one does.  But what matters is what we do when they happen.  Because you know what, it is going to happen.

He told me he still doesn't like when they happen.  

I know, neither do it.  What is important is that we really try our best.  If we make a mistake, we fix it.

This, for the time being, ended our conversation. But I know the topic will come back around again.  It is my hope that I can help teach my sons to lay down their success and mistakes under their feet and help guide them over this terrain, so that one day they can look at those spots in their lives and see how far they have come.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Take the Time ~ Savor the Moment ~ Go on the Adventure

My kiddos knew strawberry season was coming up and were looking forward to the chance to go and pick our own.  We were able to go this past weekend.  Saturday, the day was hot and opted for an adventure to Sillwater because of timing once everyone was ready for the day.  So Sunday looked more promising.

We told the kids if it is raining we may have to find something else to do.  Well, it was raining, but the berry line said they were still open.  Despite the rain and the voice in the back of my head telling me we should just change our plans to avoid disappointment and the fits that succumb to that disappointment usually, we agreed to give it a try.

And like my youngest said, "if we can't because of the rain, no biggie.  We will find something else to do".  A few weeks back we had been invited to go berry picking with friends, but opted to pass as I didn't want to navigate two kiddos picking by myself (A's first time actually picking) or the mud from the day of rain before.  At that point the kids said that was fine, A wanted to stay home anyways, and they both wanted to go when we could go with daddy.

The gates were still open when we arrived and the rain was starting to pick up.  We got ourselves set up for picking in the rain and head to the entrance in hopes we could still sneak in before they closed up due to rain.  As luck would have it, we were the last group of to get to go out in the field.  Smiles and all we road the tractor ride.
We made quick work of picking just in time to start heading back as the rain really began to pick up.  Second to last tractor ride group back and a decent amount of delicious strawberries in our baskets.

Despite the rain, we still tried anyways.  I don't know what the kids liked more, picking berries or riding on the tractor ride.  But what I do know is that both kids were thankful for it that night when we did prayers. 
Sometimes we just have to take in the moment and savor it.  We knew going in plans could change if they closed before we got there.  But we got to pick berries and even had time to make shortcake to enjoy with them when we got home. 

Added bonus, a day later, despite the heat, we went for a short walk around our block to check out the blackberries in our backyard.  There was enough ready to fill a couple of small containers and there are still many left to ripen for picking later in the week. 
Sometimes we just need to lay things aside: the chores, to do lists, etc. and just take in the moment.  Take in the timing of nature, the timing of the season.

Take the time.

Recharge ~ Acrostic Poem


Release, and find rest & rejuvenation

Ease emotion, enter energy

Change control, become more centered

Have hope

AMP it up, become alive again

Revamp by recreating rituals & routines

Give grace, get gratitude

Each day's end begins anew, envelope yourself with excitement

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Invest in Your Marriage ~ Keep Dating Your Spouse, Even After Kids

So back in February, I did the Abundant Mama Program.  It has taking me on a journey of reflecting where I came from and how far along I have come.  It has allowed me to reflect while digging in deep, showing me where things needed to change going forward.

There are tough days in life, there always will be.  In motherhood, we face them more often it seems. It may be a day, it may just be a moment, or it may be a season or a phase.  It seems easy to balance you and your marriage, but when you add in kiddos, you are facing a whole different balance needed.

Often once kids are in the picture a lot of things get pushed aside.  Which completely makes sense.  They are totally dependent on those who are taking care of them.  But it is a phase.  They will grow out of it and things will change again.

Again and again we ride this wave.  Priorities shift and number one today maybe not be the same tomorrow, or next week, or next month.  Heck, it may not even be the same in the next minute or hour.

What happens over time when we keep it going that way?  Giving less and less to the other areas of our lives?  Yes, I know with changes, some stuff gets let go of because it has to.

But on a basic level, lets remember something.  There is you.  You got married.  Congrats!  Now you are a spouse.  Then you decide to grow your family.  Aw, such amazing, beautiful little miracles begin to be added to your family.

Now what?  Yes, it is the decisions you made.  But who says that once you have kids your marriage should get pushed to the side?  Yes, I know, you ask, how do I find time for my marriage? For myself?  For my career?  My hobbies?  And the list goes on and on.  There are many pieces to this life puzzle.

But, what happens when you don't keep connecting the pieces every so often?  Remember, it's you. then you added a spouse, then you added growing your family.

Kids need to see what marriage is.  How do mom and dad take care for each other?  How do they show love?  With a solid marriage, kids will feel safe, loved, and will thrive.

But how do we keep our marriage solid and still raise a family?  It's not as easy to go on a date night, or just have couple time often.  I will admit, my kids talk...a lot.  When we are all home, the two of them are going nonstop.  It is hard for my hubby and I to usually get a conversation in, let alone finish a sentence sometimes.  Doesn't matter where we are, what we are doing, or even in the car.  The kids voices are heard over everything, all the time.

How do you take time for your marriage at all stages so that when the kids are grown and moved out, you can still know each other, have a conversation, spend time as a couple, and continue your marriage?  Even if you can't get out of the house?

Do you remember before marriage?  Do you remember dating your spouse?  Once married, in a way you still continued to date each other.  You would find time for your work, yourself, and your spouse. 

When you have kids, you still need to continue this.  Even if that means finding a way to do date nights at home for awhile.  Still flirting.  Still leaving notes for each other.  Talk to each other when you can, snuggle too.  Give affection, hugs and kisses even when kiddos can see.

Keep dating.  Keep flirting.  Keep that spark going. 

At the end last year in the focus group I am a part of with author and speaker Jill Savage, we helped create an awesome resource called flirt alert.  They are simple messages or things you can do for your spouse.  You can print off the pdf list, pick which one you want to do, and when.  You can receive daily emails, which is a great way to then easily pass along to your spouse.  Or even sign up for texts.  Just copy and past and pass along.   You can find Flirt Alert here: https://www.jillsavage.org/flirt-alert/.  Maybe it give you inspiration and help create your own.

Another idea, because sometimes coordinating schedules, finding a babysitter, and trying to make things budget friendly is hard to do sometimes, is date nights in.

My hubby and I had one of these recently.  We sat on the porch, ate custard, and chatted.  I realized how important it is to give ourselves time to chat more often when we were in the car just ourselves.  The silence was different, as I have gotten used to having the kids chatting, music going.  But this time it was just us for a longer drive on a beautiful evening on the way to dinner.  The kids were riding in my parent's car.  At first, the silence was nice.  But then felt a little awkward as it was like, what can or should we talk about while we can have an actual conversation.

As hard as it is to let others watch our kiddos, it is what we need, our spouse needs, and our kids too.  I know, I have a hard time with letting go of control.  Letting others watch my kids.  Missing the bedtime rituals we have created, like rocking, snuggling, reading, singing.  It's hard.  I know it is.  It is something I am still working on, but I am getting better with it.

Just like you need to continue to invest into yourself and your kids, you need to keep investing into your marriage.  Because just like any investment, it takes time, patience, and consistency, but the reward later on down the road is well worth it, for everyone.

How do you spend time with your spouse since having kids?

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Finding a New Way to Write ~ Acrostic Poem Style

I have been enjoying some creative poem writing lately.  I have found a joy in creating acrostic poems.

The idea came to me through the Abundant Mama Program and Peace Circle.  Each month there is a theme and we are given a word to turn into an acrostic poem.

It can be as simple as finding one word that starts with each letter of the main word. Think of different words that start with each letter.  Then pick the ones that resonate most with you.

For example, let's take the word Smile. See, More, Intrigue, Loving, Everyday

Another way is to make it into sentences with each letter of the main word at the start.  Let's take the word smile again. Seeing myself stretching, Moving mindfully, Into the space around me, Letting myself listen and learn, Enveloping myself in the moment.

It is a fun way to write and let your mind create a flow with words.  As I create the poems I am going to share with you what I write.  If you want to join in, try creating your own acrostic poem and leave it in the comments using the word that I use in the post.