Project in Process

I’ve been asked a lot about what my goals are for this blog, and honestly it is just to have fun and write about things that inspire me and I hope to bless someone along the way. I also want to share art work , and maybe create some pieces that might be nice for a baby nursery.

Growing up, we would always visit a magical place filled with love, warmth, apple crisps and peach cobblers and root beer floats with beautiful antique china and flowers blooming everywhere. This would be my Grandma’s house. And at her house she had this book:

I remember reading it around Easter and eating some yummy Sees candy. In my adult life, I rediscovered it on the blog, Catholic All Year. The blogger of this site, Kendra, claimed this book was her mothering inspiration.

You see, in the book a little bunny has big dreams and is told she can’t achieve them because she has too many babies and responsibilities at home. But she gets busy and trains her babies to be responsible and hardworking and proves that her home can run without her and she’s able to become the keeper of the Little Gold Shoes.

It’s a delightful book, I think brought tears to my eyes when I reread it. Don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t follow your dreams because of having children. If anything, for their sake, you need to get busy and show them how to live life to the fullest amidst serving others.

Here’s a mockup:

As you can see my sweet little girl scribbled on part of it. But that’s okay , afterall, she’s part of my team.

And here’s what I have completed:

7 Things I Had to Accept to Wake Up Early

I’m not a morning person.

But I have goals, and I have kids. And I feel so much better when I am the first one to wake up. So I decided to start waking up at 5:30 A.M. to be dressed, have my makeup on, prayers said and to work on my blog for a bit before my kids wakeup.

Sounds simple right? Wrong. That’s where resistance kicks in. First of all, I like to be up at night, I don’t really get sleepy at night. It’s also my only time during the day for time with my husband. I also tend to snooze my alarm. Here are the things I had to accept to start making my early morning a reality:

  1. I will survive without watching T.V. every single night. Guys, seriously. I was genuinely concerned that I wouldn’t be living my life to the fullest without an episode of “Midsomer Murders” or whatever show that I’m binge watching.
  2. Connecting with my husband each night doesn’t mean I need to be up until 11 P.M. In my mind, I created this law that to have a healthy marriage, we had to spend several hours together every night.
  3. I don’t need to stay up late, I only think I do. Another mental block I had, that if I am going to be refreshed for the next day, I need to stay up late and read or watch T.V. for a few hours.
  4. I need to be in bed by 9 P.M. so I have time to unwind, read and get sleepy. I may not have 2 hours to read a book, but I have 10 minutes!
  5. I have to get up immediately when my alarm goes off, and keep it far from where I’m sleeping. No snoozing allowed!
  6. I need to be very disciplined about when my kids get to bed so I can have quiet time with my husband before I go to bed. Otherwise, it won’t happen before I have to go to bed.
  7. I need to put my phone away when my kids go to bed so I can be present with my husband.  If I don’t, we won’t be able to have a real connection.

In other words, if I can wake up early and make progress toward my goals even though I’m naturally like this:

tired the princess and the frog GIF

so can you!

 

Do It Anyway

Have you ever wondered “why does the way of the wicked prosper”? Have you ever looked at other people around you and wondered why they get the same or better pay, treatment, recognition or attention as you, but they seem selfish or lazy or just not that great of a person?

I have, especially in the workplace .

I have often felt like a fool working as hard as I do while others don’t work half as hard. Have you ever felt insecure or insignificant? Like “the least in your family”? I have often felt this way because I compare myself a lot to others and I feel insecure about not having a career, a degree, etc. I still struggle with these feelings at times but the following quotes help to set me free:

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When I get those feelings or I’m just having a bad day in general, this quote reminds me of what’s important: MY actions. I don’t have control over what other people say but I do have control over my behavior – and God sees everything I do. Knowing that, it refreshes me and makes it easier to do the right thing even if I am upset, feel betrayed, exhausted, etc.

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The same inner struggles can happen outside of work, too. If you are a wife and mother or caretaker of some sort, you know the things you do for your family can seem monotonous, endless, and insignificant. You do laundry, dishes, give baths, feed babies and change diapers nonstop. You don’t get pay or recognition, you do all of this unseen. But what better path to become like Jesus? God wants us to do good works unseen. These quotes makes me feel better about not having a prestigious career, it reminds me that the little things matter in God’s eyes. I may not make a lot of money or be able to change the world but I CAN do small things with great love and I can “do it anyway.”

I’m In Love

So guys , I’m in love with this guy. He’s super sweet and he hugs me and kisses me and says he loves me but he also :

  1. Kicks me
  2. Bites me
  3. Runs away from me
  4. Spills his water on purpose
  5. Yells at me
  6. Usually doesn’t listen to me
  7. Throws things at me
  8. Doesn’t appreciate the food I make for him
  9. Doesn’t have a job
  10. Needs help going to the bathroom
  11. Wakes me up in the middle of the night.
  12. Embarrasses me in public
  13. Begs me for sweets and everything he sees at the store
  14. Always says no

Okay, okay. You must think I’m crazy to be in this relationship or you just have figured out I’m talking about my son. Lol

Guys when you feel mad at your kids remember, parenting is super hard and if your child was an adult you would have discontinued contact a long time ago due to their disrespectful behavior! So give yourself the grace to be human and don’t beat yourself up when you feel mad.

If I Hadn’t Seen Such Riches, I Could Live With Being Poor

My husband recently reminded me of this song called “Sit Down” by the band James. Basically an 80’s one hit wonder (which basically sums up my taste in music LOL).

James – Sit Down

A phrase in the song really stands out to me:

If I hadn’t seen such riches , I could live with being poor

Just ponder that for a moment. How much of our misery in this life revolves around money?

We are so spoiled these days. We got some first world problems, y’all.

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I think sometimes our first world problems can keep us from the desires of our heart.

For instance, we may think we can’t afford to have children. (Or more than 2…)

Somehow we get the message that every child should have their own room. Brand new clothes. Tons of activities. Constant entertainment. 10 million toys. A trip to Disneyland every month. Spa-quality food.

Okay, I may be exaggerating a little, but you get the picture here.

Even though we have so many luxuries that previous generations didn’t have and that we totally take for granted. Fast food. Hot water. Air conditioning. More than one family vehicle.

Guys, we live better than kings did. Think about it. A King in the Middle Ages may have had a bunch of gold and food but he still had to wait for his food and didn’t have much of a choice. Even people who are considered impoverished in our country have iPhones and countless options for food and entertainment at their fingertips.

So if you want a big family, forget what the world thinks. You can do it and it will be good.

I think we only get these ideas in our heads about what makes a good life is because we have gotten so used to a certain lifestyle.

But you know what? Although these luxuries certainly can be fun and add to our lives they aren’t what matter. What matters is the little things. I love this quote:

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I am currently reading a book called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families (it’s great check it out) – there’s a story in it about a Dad and his 4 year old and 6 year old sons. He takes them out for a fun day to an amusement park and the movies. At the end of the day, the 4 year old falls asleep in his car seat so the Dad takes off his jacket and puts it over his son so he doesn’t get cold. Then he goes home and prepares to put his 6 year old to bed. He asks him “what was your favorite part of the day” and his son glumly replies “I guess the trampolines”. The Dad goes on to ask him a few more questions, his son still withdrawing. The Dad finally asks “Son, what’s wrong? You can tell me.” Then his son tears up and says “Dad, if I fell asleep , would you give me your jacket to keep me from getting cold too?”

Wow.

It just goes to show the little things are what we notice and cherish and what we remember. And you don’t need money for that. You need peace. You need time.

How is money holding you back from your dreams?

Everyone is Fighting a Hard Battle

The recent suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have got me thinking.

We are all so quick to say “what a shame” and “they will be missed”, etc.

But what if we contributed to their demise?

Because something we are also quick to do is judge. I think most of us don’t realize it because somehow we think it is our duty to regulate others.

We comment on the way others are living their lives without having all the facts. We are judging them and contributing to their own feelings of shame, unworthiness and sense of failure at life.

So what can we do as a culture to remedy this? I think a lot of it comes from a sense of over responsibility. We think that we want to control others and give our thoughts and opinions about running their lives in order to help them. We really need to understand what our ACTUAL responsibility is.

  1. Self-control. All you can really control is what you will and will not do. People have free will and can do as they wish. It is your choice to be a part of it or not and it is your job to speak up if you are being wronged and do something about it. Everything else is on them. You can tell someone how their behavior affects you but it must be done in a loving, nonjudgmental manner.
  2. To love others. All people really need from you is empathy. Seldom do they want your two cents. Keep it to yourself and learn how to listen by saying “I hear you”, “tell me more” and “is there anything else?”. If they want your advice they will ask for it.

We all have our battles to fight and aspects of our life that are beyond our control that we are truly doing our best to cope with – be it mental illness, chronic illness, loss of a loved one, addiction, etc. Just show up, listen and speak kindness into others lives. You just might save one.

To Be a Fair Lady

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We can all get so caught up in the world’s standards of beauty. But what is beauty?

I love these beauty tips by Audrey Hepburn.

“Audrey Hepburn’s Beauty Tips
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge you’ll never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; Never throw out anybody.
Remember, If you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.
The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!

I would add:
For confidence, build others up. Especially other women. Compliment them, encourage them, notice them.
For favor (popularity) with others, reach out, smile, be welcoming, invite someone over, make the phone call. Don’t be afraid to make the first move. Assume positive intent. Be friendly and be kind. Don’t worry about having things in common.
For joy, dance, sing, smile, savor – delight in little things. Be positive. Be excited. Speak joy into your day. Be proactive. Pray. Do what you can do and let God do what only He can do. Happiness is when good things happen. Joy is something you choose. It is action and takes effort and is something you tend to and cultivate – but it is worth doing.  Joy is lasting.
For wisdom, read. Talk about ideas. Talk about life. Seek and you shall find.
For peace, think before you speak. When you are wronged forgive and seek to bless the one who wronged you. Keep a daily schedule or a routine but know when to ditch it when it no longer serves you. Make time for yourself .
To be rich, give. Give without expecting in return. The joy of giving lies in the act of giving .
To be humble, be honest about who you are. Say thank you when you receive a compliment, don’t say “that’s not true” because what you are doing is fishing for more. To be humble is to know both your strengths and weaknesses. It doesn’t mean to pretend you are nothing.
To have style, like what YOU like. Don’t be afraid to get inspiration from anywhere, be it a childhood cartoon or a classic painting. Be yourself. Shine.

What at would you add? Let me know in the comment section below.

The “Perfect Mom”

 

progressUpon reflection of my last post, “You Only Live Online”. Upon reflection, I decided I to write this post.

I pray that my blog can be a blessing and encouragement to anyone who reads it, especially you moms out there. The last thing I would want to happen is it to be another thing for you to measure yourself up against or compare yourself to. I don’t have it all together. I struggle daily to get dressed, make a phone call, keep my patience and just stay sane. When I had my first child I was a total mess and I struggled with a lot of anxiety and guilt. My anxiety kept me from sleeping and my guilt kept me from enjoying anything I wasn’t doing for my new baby. In my mind I thought if I wasn’t spending time with him every second I was a bad mom. I have the same struggles everyone else has. However, I have found coping mechanisms that help me and that is what I wish to share on this blog. (and writing about them helps me remember them!) I don’t have my life altogether now, I don’t have a clean house all the time, I don’t eat right all the time, etc but I do do those things MORE than before I was a mom. It’s progress, not perfection. (Something that is very hard for me to accept) Remember, there is no perfect mom.

Some other quotes that are meaningful to me:

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I think the above image especially exemplifies motherhood, the hardest job there is. It takes all that you have. You pretty much live in a storm. So if you are going to enjoy it, you have to learn to dance in the rain. And below, good ol’ Joyce Meyer:

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36 Ways to be Excellent to Others

We all want to be liked, right? We want to be the person that people are happy to see and thankful to be around. Of course not everyone will like you, and that’s okay. (Maybe you don’t like them lol)

So here’s a list of things you can do to have favor with others , things I’ve learned from reading books and blogs over the years :

  1. Pray for favor .
  2. Fill yourself up so you have something to give to others.
  3. Compliment other people.
  4. Ask questions about their life.
  5. Don’t give unsolicited advice.
  6. Remember their name.
  7. Remember their birthday.
  8. Keep your word.
  9. Invite them to do things and let go of how many times they invite you.
  10. Be clear and direct, but also kind.
  11. Speak joy into your day.
  12. Encourage and build others up.
  13. Write personalized notes.
  14. Smile.
  15. Don’t brag .
  16. Don’t teach someone unless they asked you to teach them.
  17. Be yourself
  18. Find common ground . You can get along with anyone whether you have much in common or not.
  19. Be hospitable.
  20. Offer help.
  21. Be silly.
  22. Be confident but approachable.
  23. Always assume positive intent.
  24. Set boundaries in a loving way, free from judgment.
  25. Give gifts.
  26. Don’t try to please others, just be kind. You aren’t responsible for their emotional state and vice versa.
  27. Be good at what you do.
  28. Be welcoming, say “hi , how are you?”
  29. Don’t be jealous, build others up.
  30. Be patient with others and remember everyone is still learning to grow up, too.
  31. Seek first to understand and show empathy before you try to cheer someone up or give advice.
  32. Be gentle. If someone doesn’t know something or has never done something don’t act shocked, just shrug it off and move on.
  33. Don’t worry about how others treat you, worry about how you treat them.
  34. Give credit, don’t take credit.
  35. Don’t seek to be significant, seek to make others feel significant .
  36. Don’t wait for people to approach you, approach them.
    Never let yourself miss an opportunity to say the important things like how much you care, or that they are doing a good job or that you are proud of them. These are lifelines. You never know the impact these words can have on someone if you can be vulnerable enough to use them.

Basically seek to please God and most people will like you because they are naturally drawn to God’s love and goodness – and desperately longing for it.

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

Society tells you it’s good to be popular, rich, famous, go to prestigious universities and receive high honors and accolades, have highly successful careers , etc.

But really? Does all this matter in the grand scheme of things? Not according to the dying. Here are their top 10 regrets:

What if we lived our lives with these things in mind? What if we prioritized relationships , service to others, self care, love and honesty above what other people may think of us? What if we stopped killing ourselves making money to buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t even like? What if we didn’t live afraid?

To live this way is highly controversial. You will be judged for it. People will think you are a loser, stupid, lazy, not trying hard enough. You will get teased and laughed at. You will be humiliated. You will be cast out and ignored and ridiculed. But you know who has experienced all of that pain and completely understands?

Jesus.

So have your wealth. Have your fame. Have your approval. Have your excesses and riches and stuff and achievements. What will a life of living intentionally look like for you? I will be living my life lavished by the blessings of peace in my home, peace in my relationships, I will make my fortune in quiet moments before everyone wakes up, meaningful conversations , love letters, holding chubby little hands and bedtime stories, the pride of providing a clean and safe home for my family, providing good food to eat , long walks, books read, hours writing, time creating, time to be. Time to love, time to spend, time to waste. Time to stop and have gratitude. Time to be surrounded by the people who really love me and really care. And I will bask in the magic of laughter and kisses and tiny hugs , and rejoice in the magnificence of spills and messes to clean up because thank God I have a family.