Negativity vs Positivity

negative

Earlier today Jodie over at Utter Imperfection was talking about a 7 day challenge to not complain. This got me thinking about how much we all complain about the most mundane and irrelevant things on a daily basis. It then led me to thinking about not only complaining but also negativity, specifically self negativity. This may be one of my biggest struggles, it always has been.

You’re not good enough.

You’re fat.

You’re a failure.

If people said these things to us we would most likely remove that negative crap from our lives. I can’t think of a single logical reason why any of us wouldn’t walk away from that type of damaging and toxic person. Yet we allow ourselves to say those very things to ourselves. I know personally I am constantly speaking this negative stuff in to my life. I have struggled with that inner voice winning more times than not. I have convinced myself over and over again throughout my adult life that I wasn’t smart enough to go to college. I am not outgoing enough to be a leader. I am too fat for people to want to be friends with me. Believing these things and so many more lies has held me back. Why do we do this to ourselves? It is really quite ridiculous!

Compliments, don’t even bother. If any of you have ever had the joy of giving me a compliment you have likely recieved a response such as–

are you insane?

are you blind?

no I’m not!

Is a simple thank you really all that hard?

One thing I have become really aware of lately is how much my girls, especially Audrey who is 4 1/2 hears and absorbs the things I say and do. It is up to me to be an example. I don’t want her to pick up these things from me, I don’t want her to grow up thinking of herself and struggling in ways I have. I want my kids to be confident and not let their lives be dictated by fear or not being good enough.

I would like to challenge all of you to commit to POSITIVE self talk for the next month. Lets check in with each other at the end of May, or throughout. Let’s stop letting the lies we tell ourselves outshine the truths others tell us.

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Self-Care

Guys, I AM EXHAUSTED! My kids have emptied my tank lately. One day it is non stop fighting and tattling on each other. The next it is listening to absolutely NOTHING I do or say. The next they are bored to death no matter what I give them to do. Then there is Lauren and her nighttime antics. She wakes up angry and inconsolable and inevitably ends up in our bed where her and the dog vie for position as they both hog the blankets and basically push us to the edge where we are holding on for dear life.  I. AM. TIRED.

Everyone is always on about how important self-care is. In fact I have a card hanging in my bathroom from my good friend Carly that I keep as a reminder of that. selfcare

I put it here so it would be a reminder daily. I have never been great at making time for me. Between cooking meals, doing things with the girls, keeping the house in working order, spending time together as a family and spending time with Chris it’s hard to find time for myself. I need to better at it. At least once a week or for a short time each day.  My tank is empty and I need to fill it back up. I need to make time to take care of me so I am able to be present and at my best self for my family.

What does self-care look like to you? How do you find the time?

Embracing Time and Chaos!

A few weeks ago, Audrey got to stay home two out of her three mornings that she is normally at school because there was a snowflake (literally…ONE) and everyone–as usual–panicked! In the moment, I was so frustrated because I have been a little exhausted lately. Mostly because of Lauren. Since the day she was born she has basically been attached to my side. That really isn’t an exaggeration. Even as I type this she is sitting at my feet and I am begging her to go play with her sister in their playroom. And not only is she always wanting to be right by my side, she also barely lets daddy do anything for her these days. He tries to help but she yells, “I WANT MOMMA TO DO IT!!” I really don’t get much time to breathe. Thankfully, Audrey is definitely more independent these days and is happy to sit on the couch and watch a movie alone or quietly color or play with her toys.

Those three mornings a week that Audrey is at school is a little bit of a breather for me. Yes, Lauren is home with me but it still gives me just a little bit of quiet. So when I didn’t get that that week it was frustrating and I cursed all of the people in the Portland area who run for their bunkers the second they even hear the word snow.

Fast forward to this morning. Audrey had a field trip to another school to go see what it is like in kindergarten. Chris took her, but while they were gone the reality hit me that my first baby is less than 6 months away from turning 5 years old and starting kindergarten and she will be gone everyday. And yes–before you say it–I KNOW how fast they grow up. I am living it everyday already. She is so excited and she is learning and growing so much everyday.

The realization that this time with her at home most of the week, except those few hours 3 times a week, is coming to an end is making me rethink my attitude from a few weeks ago. I am chosing going forward to enjoy those days and to enjoy the fun-filled summer we have ahead of us. And no I am not one of those enjoy every moment people, because let’s face it, while being a mom is rewarding it is also exhausting and messy. But I do want to embrace and make more of the time we have together on a daily basis.

How do you find some quiet and peace in the midst of the chaos of raising tiny humans?

Anxiety and Me

anxietygirl

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

People with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) display excessive anxiety or worry, most days for at least 6 months, about a number of things such as personal health, work, social interactions, and everyday routine life circumstances. The fear and anxiety can cause significant problems in areas of their life, such as social interactions, school, and work.

Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms include:

  • Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Having difficulty concentrating; mind going blank
  • Being irritable
  • Having muscle tension
  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
  • Having sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, restlessness, or unsatisfying sleep

Some general risk factors for all types of anxiety disorders include:

  • Temperamental traits of shyness or behavioral inhibition in childhood
  • Exposure to stressful and negative life or environmental events in early childhood or adulthood
  • A history of anxiety or other mental illnesses in biological relatives

All three of these potential risk factors fit me to a t…

I have always been shy. That may come as a shock to some but it is very much true. Growing up I struggled with any type of presentation I had to give at school etc because I was always so paralyzed with the fear of standing in front of the class. It has held me back from a lot of things. It has always made it hard for me to make friends. Instead of being myself I am always this awkward shy mess. I will stand alone in the corner because it is better than the alternative of approaching a group of people I don’t know.

When my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer in July of 1996 it began a pattern of  stressful situations that would plague my life over the next few years.

I have at least two family members who suffer from some form of mental illness such as depression.

My odds were never great, but I spent most of my adult life thinking I was just a worrier. Nothing out of the ordinary, just regular worry and anxiety that we all experience at some point. Then out of the blue this past September fear, worry and anxiety took over my life. It became debilitating, it was all I had to function enough to take care of the girls every day. It was scary because I literally felt like I had no control over my fears and my emotions. In October I was prescribed medication and I started seeing a clinical psychologist. A lot of people hide these types of things from others and I don’t really understand why. My medication has been literally life changing. I am calmer and feel like I see things more clearly than I have in years. I don’t want to take meds for the rest of my life, but for now it has given me the balance and calm I have been needing in my life for many years. And because no pill is the magic and perfect fix, I have been seeing a therapist to  help me better cope when my anxiety is trying to get the better of me.

Anxiety is something I think that people on the outside really struggle to understand. It’s not something we can just shut off.  It is also something that none of us should be ashamed of. We need to all stop hiding behind the perfect little life we put on social media for the world to see. Be you, be real and if people don’t like it then they aren’t your people. It has taken me 41 years to finally learn that lesson, but I have and it is freeing.

I know it has been  quiet around here the last few months, truth be told I have been selfishly wrapped up in my life and my family. The end of 2018 came crashing down on me in a way I never could have imagined. The last 4 months have found me walking a path I never thought in a million years would be part of my story. But, I am here and hopeful and fighting with all I am to reach new heights in my personal life I never imagined possible. Don’t worry it is not health related, we are all fine. But it is a story that I am not ready to share. If and when that time comes you all will be the first to know!

 

41 things for 41 years!

Every year as the New Year approaches I start thinking of all the things I’m going to change the following year. Most of the time it includes weight loss. And most of the time the year comes and goes and not much changes. I decided not to make any resolutions this year. 2018 (my 40th year) felt like it should be this big symbolic, monumental year for me, but, it wasn’t. At least not in the way I would have expected. The last two months of 2018 were among the hardest of my entire life. In fact, it almost broke me. But, it didn’t and it has made me rethink my not making a list of resolutions for the coming year.

The other day Carly posted THIS and it inspired me to do something similar. Since I want and need 2019 to be a year very different from the last I’ve decided to make a list of 41 things I would like to change or accomplish in this coming year. I’m still working on my list and when I finish it I will post it here so that you all can join me and encourage me and maybe push me along the way.

One of the first things on my list is writing here. Writing has always been something I enjoy and has always been very therapeutic for me. I’ve gotten away from it. Much like reading which I talked about in my last post. I want to be more committed to using this space to share with all of you a little bit more of me each day. Hopefully you will stick around and see where things go.

What are your resolutions for this coming year?

30 books in 2019

Ever since I can remember I have loved to read. When I was a kid I was always at the library or asking to go to the library. At school it was one of my favorite places to be. I was a terrible student, but boy did I love to read. I kept a flashlight in my room and long after I was supposed to be sound asleep my mom would always catch me hidden under my blankets with my flashlight and whatever book I was currently reading. Car trips, riding the bus, recess. Basically any chance I got I was reading.

As I got older my love for books only grew. I’ll read almost anything but my favorites are law/courtroom dramas, which makes it no shock that my favorite author is John Grisham. Any suspense, crime type books. I even went through an Agatha Christie phase. While I do enjoy non-fiction, nothing beats getting lost in a good story. Escaping in to the pages of someone else’s story is one of the best ways to wind down my day. Yet somehow I’ve gotten out of the habit.

Some might say because I have kids I don’t have time. That couldn’t be further from the truth. My kids still nap. Once they go to bed I’m up for at least another three hours. I have the time, I’ve just chosen not to. This year that changes.

To get to back to reading I’ve decided to challenge myself to read 30 books in 2019. I’m excited to start towards this goal and dive in to a bunch of new books.

So hit me with your book suggestions. What books have you loved and are must reads? Fiction, non-fiction, romance, drama, crime etc. I want to hear from you!

Gone to the Cows

Back in September I made a post about some of the things I had hoped to do that month. We actually only ended up checking one thing off of that list, visiting a Dairy Farm.

We found a local Dairy Farm not far from us. I sent them a message on Facebook and to my surprise they responded almost immediately and told me when they milked the cows and fed the calves and that we were welcome to come by the farm any time.

We picked a day to go the following week. The girls were so excited! When we arrived at the farm one of the owners was there to greet us. She was so nice and gracious to show us around. She took us in to the milking barn. There was 5 or 6 cows hooked up and being milked while a whole crew waited patiently for their turn. I may or may not have stopped and have a conversation with my new friends.

During milking they filled up a huge jug straight from one of the cows to put into buckets for the calves. I couldn’t believe how nice and gracious they were in allowing the girls to get right in there and help.

Both girls were beside themselves with excitement. After feeding the calves milk the girls got to help give them their grains. Audrey probably would have stayed and slept with those babies had we let her. While Lolo loved the cows she was a little more obsessed with Zeus the farm dog, who was much more interested in finding mice! We also met their horse named Vince who sneezed carrots all over Audrey and Chris and it was hilarious!

We need to go back and buy some milk from them. I encourage all of you to support local farms and business. After such a great experience I am looking forward to finding more local places and learning about them.

I learned a lot about cows, especially that cows have very dry and rough tongues and also if you stand with your back to a cow they will lick your butt!

If you are local and looking for some farm fresh milk check them out, Schoch Dairy and Creamery!