Instituting Change and Loving Life

As many of you noticed, I have not been posting for the last several months. I will explain why, but first I wanted to say that I appreciate those of you who have come back. I hope you enjoy the new content that I will be posting in the near future.

Around February or March of last year I did what I do every year at the same time. I checked out. Yep that’s right, I stopped caring about literally everything. This happens every year. Mentally, emotionally, physically gone. Most people would probably not even realize it when they look at me. I still feed my kids, take them to their activities but deep down I don’t feel anything. Can I explain it? No, but finally reaching a point in my life where I can recognize that it happens has allowed me to start taking steps to try to change some things in my life. And those changes will hopefully make those months easier for me when they come around again.


The First Change:

I started a program on October first called #last90days by Rachel Hollis. The basic premise is to not give up now and wait to start new goals in the new year. We have 90 days left THIS year to make changes. In the program they set out five things for you to do EVERY day. Please go to her website or search on Instagram for #last90days to get more information. She explains it way better than I ever could.

The “Five to Thrive” have really changed not only my behavior but my mindset as well. I get up each morning and make a plan for the day. How will I be able to get all of my water in, will I be able to exercise at my normal time or do I need to plan for it later in the day, will I be somewhere that might tempt me to have soda?  These are all questions that I ask myself BEFORE I get into the actual situations so that I am in control when they come up throughout my day. My hope is that by doing this program for 90 days, I will develop these positive habits, and I will continue with them well into the new year and the months that I tend to struggle emotionally.


The Second Change:

The second change I made started with one of the five to thrive but led me to a deeper place. The last thing to do each day is write down 10 things you are grateful for. 10 things every day???? How is that even possible? I was sure I would have trouble with this, and I did at first. Being focused on the negative in my life has always been my “normal.” I wasn’t taking the time to see the little amazing things that happen to me every day. When I started writing them down, I was amazed with how happy it made me. I even started noticing the negative things a little less.

Write 10 things you are grateful for each day! And gratitude will change your heart!

The Last Change:

I started writing again. Yes this blog! Writing makes me incredibly happy. Putting my thoughts and feelings into words makes me feel like I have accomplished something. Even if only one person reads a post and comments that they understand where I am coming from, I feel like I have made a difference. And that feeling is pure euphoria!

My New Blog Focus:

Checking out emotionally was not the only reason quit blogging. I was not happy with where I was forcing my blog to go. I was trying to make into something that it wasn’t! Trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I can hear you all asking, “What do you mean?” All of the hype about making hundreds of thousands of dollars just by blogging had sucked me in. What!! I want to make money doing what makes me happy, so I tried to force my blog to become something that it wasn’t. Poorly placed Amazon affiliate links were jammed into posts where they shouldn’t be. My journey as a parent, a wife and a woman has always been my main focus, but I found myself trying to blog about organizing and decorating because it was easy to add links to those posts. I just forgot one simple fact. . . I am a horrible decorator and lack most home organization skills.  

So I am back! You can expect new posts about my everyday life sprinkled with sarcasm and sass! I have thrown the Amazon links out the window and accepted that the joy I get from writing is reward enough. Feel free to comment on any posts that touch your life. I love feedback and honest discussion. Have a grateful day!

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The New Normal: School Shootings and Active Shooter Drills

The New Normal: School Shootings and Active Shooter Drills. We need change.

I am really struggling this week with the new “normal” that my kids are living in. Where school shootings and active shooter drills are common. My first daughter turned one just days before the shooting at Columbine High School, and I remember the horror I felt watching that tragedy unfold. Fast forward almost 20 years, and Americans have almost become numb to senseless tragedies that are being shown on our news almost weekly.

I usually only watch the news in the mornings and for the rest of the day the only news I get is from social media. Valentine’s Day was no different. I heard there was a school shooting and early reports said up to 20 injured with one fatality. And I went about my evening just like any other day. Didn’t even phase me. How sad.

Then I woke up the next morning and turned on the news, and it felt like I had a ton of bricks on my chest. 17 dead. Oh my God. 17 dead.

The New Normal

When my son came down stairs for breakfast, I asked him if he had heard about the shooting. He said yes. I told him 17 people died, and I could tell the number surprised him. Then I asked him about active shooter drills and lock down drills they do at his school. He told me the procedure, and I started to cry. I told him the only thing I could. If you can run then run, if you can’t run then hide and if you can’t hide then play dead. How sad.

This is what our world has come to. I am telling my 15 year old son to play dead. Something needs to change. This has become our new normal, but this is anything but normal. We need to do something to stop these wonderful children from dying.

We send our kids off to school every morning and want to believe that they are safe. But they aren’t. We can tell ourselves that what happened in Florida or Kentucky or Colorado can’t happen here. But it can. There are 17 teachers and students who left for school on Valentine’s Day and thought they were safe, but they are never going to come home again.

We Need to Change America.

We need to have stricter guns laws, and we need have better mental health policies. Not one or the other but both! I am not saying that all guns should be banned. Not even close. But there are people out there that should not have access to guns. The mentally ill, people with a criminal record and people with restraining orders just to name a few. We need to look at the kinds of guns that are available as well. On the other side, mentally ill people need to identified and helped.

This is not a problem that is not going to go away unless we speak out and demand change. I urge you to call your local senators and representatives. Don’t stand by and wait for the next tragedy to happen because next time it might be in your school district.

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Parent Guilt: Nobody is Immune

I struggled with something this week that I am sure most parents have faced as they raise their kids and send them off in world. Parent guilt. You yelled when you should have listened, or you snooped into their lives when you should have trusted. Well my guilt came when my high school freshman had his first Mock Trial competition. He specifically asked his dad and I not to attend. He was nervous about competing for the first time and didn’t want us to watch the first round. I agreed to stay home, but I was filled with a lot sadness and regret that I wouldn’t be able to attend.

Parent Guilt: Nobody is Immune.

My Regrets Grew into Guilt. . .

Then he mistakenly came home and told me that the teacher had asked whose parents were going. When he didn’t raise his hand, the teacher had joked that I had gone to see his older sister compete but not him. Well telling me that was my son’s big mistake. The parent guilt inside me overtook all of the sense I had left. I emailed the teacher for more info on the times and places of the competition.

The next day I received an angry text from my son. Immediately I realized that I was putting my wants in front of what my son needed. When he got home I apologized, and I did NOT attend the competition last night. Our kids don’t seem to understand that a parents only wish in life is that our kids go out and do great things. And as a parent it is very, very hard to not witness this greatness. I struggled with letting go and with listening to what he wanted from me.

This is not my first rodeo. I have a daughter in college so this confrontation really caught me off guard. I am realizing that sons and daughters are two totally different animals and that their high school years will be vastly different for me. My daughter never seemed to care if I went to events as long as I stayed in the background. At times she seemed to really want my help. My son on the other hand is very independent and less accepting of help.

Parent Guilt: Nobody is Immune.

They won!

Last night they won and will move on in the tournament. I am bursting with pride! You can bet money that wild horses will not stop me from being in the courtroom during the next round.

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Big Little Lies: A Great Addition to Your Must Read List

Big, Little Lies: A Review.

Reading is a big part of my life, and I am always on the hunt for new books to read. While watching the Golden Globes a couple weeks ago, I heard about a new HBO series that was winning big that night. Big Little Lies is a new series that is based on the novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty. I decided that before I watched the series that stars Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon, I would read the book.

The Setting

I have read Liane Moriarty before, so I knew that her books are popular and easy to read.  Big Little Lies did not disappoint. The book is set in Australia and surrounds the lives of families whose children are starting kindergarten.

I like her reading style because she begins the book by hinting at a death that takes place at a school fundraiser, then she proceeds to tell you about the months leading up to the night of the fundraiser. It keeps you hooked because you want to find out who died and how they are killed.

The Relationships

Big Little Lies is filled with exploring relationships between the characters in the book. Mother/child relationships. Wife/husband relationships. Ex-Spouses and their new spouses. Kindergarten parents. These interactions all lead to a web of secrets and lies that ends with the death of one of the characters.

Big, Little Lies: A Review.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Big Little Lies. Now that I finished the book, I can’t wait to rent the HBO series and see how it compares. I like to read first and watch second. Do you like reading the book or watching the movie first?


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When College Kids Come Home for Winter Break

This is my daughter’s last week home before she goes back to college. Brenna is a sophomore, so this is not our first winter break. It is still hard to wrap my head around it though. For those of you with kids going off to college in the near future, just wait. It is an experience like no other.

They come home from college . . .

They come home for sometimes a month or more. And they are different people. College changes them. For the better in most ways but also for the worst too. They do whatever they want, whenever they want. So they stay up super late and wake up in the afternoon. Yep, you heard me right, afternoon! I sometimes don’t know whether to wish her a good morning or just walk away. Their independence can be refreshing like when they do their own laundry, or off putting like when they don’t call to let you know when they will be home.

Her new home. When Your College Kids Come Home for Winter Break.

Just when you have gotten used to them being gone, they come back. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the movies we went to see, the lunches out and the shopping trips. I love having her around, but it has also meant that I have not been truly alone in my house for over a month. For an introvert who likes and sometimes needs alone time, that is difficult.

Then they leave again . . .

This week is full of last minute appointments and packing and shopping. All in preparation for driving her back on Sunday. Of course the weather has to interfere and stress me out. We had to cancel her dentist appointment and her hair appointment. But we will make do and get what we can done. And I will enjoy every last second we have before she leaves.

Move in Day. When Your College Kids Come Home for Winter Break.

So I guess I am a little bit happy this week, but a lot more sad to see her go. I know she is happiest when she is at college. She has her friends who keep her busy and she is living her life. And next week I will have an empty house during the day and lots of quiet! (Unless the other kids have more snow days. Ugh, is winter over yet?)

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How to Bring Balance to Your Life?

Here is where I get real. I feel like I am drowning. Not just drowning but failing at everything I try. I know we all feel this way at times. Like you have so much you are trying to get done and only doing all of them halfway. Or if you try supper hard at one thing then all of the others start to fall apart. Why is it so hard to find balance in our lives?

My friends have told me that I am trying to do too much, but what do you stop doing completely in order to focus on something else? The kids, the house, the blog (which I am hoping to to make a successful stream of income), the husband, myself? What do I drop? Nothing, so I keep giving everything half of what it deserves and feeling like a failure at everything.

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Resolutions or Goals: Which is better?

With the start of the New Year, we all tend to look at our lives and think about what we would like to change or make better in the year ahead. We all make resolutions whether you write them down or just think of them in your head. Some people say they don’t make resolutions, they make goals. To that I say yes all resolutions are goals but not all goals are resolutions. Resolutions are goals you make at the start of a new year.

 Resolutions or Goals: Which is better?

Some people don’t like to call them resolutions because they have heard that most resolutions are never fulfilled. Well to that I say that it depends on you. If you make the resolution, it speaks to you and you make steps on how to achieve it, then I think you have a great chance of reaching your resolution. It is when we don’t actively try to complete the resolution that we fail.

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Welcoming 2018 With a New Outlook and Blog Focus

Starting 2018 With a New Outlook and Blog Focus

New Year, New Approach to My Blog Focus!

I started this blog in September with the goal of expressing my thoughts and hopefully helping other parents realize that we are not perfect and that we are all doing the best we can. I feel like I got off to a great start, but I hit a wall. Like I often face when trying something new, I start strong then something happens to throw me off course.

In November when I got sick, I started blogging less. And when I got sick again over Thanksgiving, I completely stopped. As often happens to me when the going gets tough, I quit. I listened to the voice in my head that said, “I have too much to get done, and my blog isn’t as important as everything else.”

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Jeans Shopping . . . The Worst Errand Ever!

The turn in the weather made jeans shopping a necessity this week. . . the worst thing ever, well maybe second only to swimsuit shopping.

Jean Sale

I walked into Kohls armed with $60 in Kohls cash, a 20% off coupon and the will to find some jeans. My adventure began with scouring about 20 tables full of folded jeans, searching for my size (I will spare you the actual size). Of course, I have to dig through each and every pile in search of the right size because there seems to be no easy way to organize jeans in a store.

The Joy of Having Long Legs

My first difficulty lies in that I am just slightly too tall to wear regular length jeans. The hilarious part of it all is that sometimes the longs are way too long, leaving me in this weird limbo world where nothing seems to fit. So once I locate my size, I have to search for a “long” which is ridiculously hard to find. They have “shorts” in every style and brand but “longs” are rare. Adding to the length problem, I am now currently in between sizes. The bigger size is comfy, but I find myself always pulling up my jeans. On the other hand, the smaller size makes me feel like a sausage, and I can’t sit comfortably. So which way to go?

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Honor Roll Injustice! What is a Mom Supposed to do?

Nothing gets a mom fired up more than when your kid is facing an injustice. We want to “fix” the wrong but how?

My freshman son brought home his first quarter report card yesterday. I looked it over and was totally impressed with his grades. Told him awesome job and went about my day. Until I realized that there was no mention of honor roll listed on his report card. Weird. With a quarter average of 98.9667, why didn’t he get honor roll. So being the type of mom who can’t forget things no matter how hard I try, I went to the district web site to look up the criteria for honor roll.

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