Self-Care Day 1

Today, we are moving from Eufaula, Oklahoma to Branson, Mo. We break up our long trips into 3-4 travel days. Driving 3-6 hours in a truck with three kids…can be hard. Today, my self care is to breathe through the hard parts.

Kids fighting and yelling?! Take a deep breath in, and let it out.

Kids loud, laughing, and having fun?! (This is hard because loud in general makes me feel anxious and tense) Take a deep breath in and out, and remind myself to enjoy their joy.

One kid whining and complaining about something that he doesn’t want to help with?! Take a deep breath, and teach him that our family unit helps each other.

Breathe in, breathe out.

I’m thankful my watch as a “relax” setting. You take two minutes to breathe in and breathe out, and it vibrates to prompt you for each inhale and exhale.

Now that I’m thinking about it, it might be helpful for my kiddos to use, too!!

This was super helpful during the day….Now, I need to extend practicing taking deep breaths at night…when my kids are still not asleep at 9 pm, asking for this, wanting that, and getting out of their bed for the 100th time…and I just.need.a.little.peace.

Anxiety and self care

Wow. When I wrote this…it was back around Thanksgiving. I remember this one-two week period, distinctively. It was the moment I realized that I really and truly have to shut down, all of the things, so that I may feel all the feels and sort through all of the thoughts. Now that we are 3 months into Corona time, with all of the things that are currently going on in our world. I’ve realized that there are some amazing people out there who don’t know that what they are going through is ok. What you are feeling is ok. You are not alone. If you are someone who lacks the support you need, I’m working on creating a resources page. If your situation is urgent, I implore you…find and seek help in your local community. In the meantime, I hope this reflection of what I wrote back in November is helpful and brings you hope.

Anxiety and Self-care:

Over these last couple of weeks, I felt myself winding up…anxiety wise. I couldn’t figure out what was going on…but I felt like I needed to slow down. So, I did.

I allowed myself to not go full steam ahead.

I allowed myself to slow down and tune in.

If I didn’t feel like writing, I didn’t. In fact, I slowed down to pretty much only my 30 Days of Thankfulness that I was 100% committed to.

I slowed down on house work—to what needed immediate attention…

You know, I have talked about my “5 Daily Things” I started making progress towards, after hearing John Maxwell speak this summer…and for 2 weeks…I didn’t focus on those at all.

And that’s fine. I needed to slow down and figure out what was triggering me.

It took a couple of weeks, and one good night of crying…but I finally figured it out and got all of that anxiety tension released.

I love this article about anxiety and self-care.

We really need to make ourselves, and listening to our bodies a priority.

When we are taking care of ourselves, we are better able to take care of others.

There is room and grace for survival mode.

There is room and grace for missing out on taking care of ourselves. It happens.

But, once we cue in…we can slow down to figure out what’s going on. And what we need to do.

Check out the article. Tell me what you think. I’ve tried all of these tips and agree.

It’s funny, because I used to hate yoga for exercise. It felt slow and awkward. But last year, I tried it for a season and loved it. It was just what I needed..and I’ve been missing it, since I gave it up last summer.

When you think about self care, don’t be surprised if something you used to hate or would never think about doing for you turns into a something you like.

If something crosses your mind to try…try it.

If you’re a mama-or someone who needs self care, but doesn’t have a budget to spend on yourself…don’t worry.

When I started my self-care journey I had to get creative, because we didn’t have the budget for me to go get massages, pedicures, and the like every week.

I’ll share resources on some budget friendly and simple ways to find self-care. As well as, things that are self-care that you may not have thought about. I certainly didn’t.

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Homeschool partnership

As we are looking to homeschool next year, I have been looking for an option that will best serve our needs. I.am.so.excited. That I stumbled across School House Teacher.

As I learn more, and begin our homeschool journey, I can not wait to share our experience, tips, and tricks with you.

Stay tuned for more info as this school year closes, and next school year begins.

25 Days of Christmas

Every Year, I want to lead up to Christmas, to explain the true reason for celebrating Christmas, with my kids. And every year, I slack off on planning ahead. (Yikes)

Join us, for our first time, taking the 25 Days, leading up to Christmas to learn and celebrate Jesus being the Reason for the Season.

Follow Along, this week to find where we got our Advent Calendar and What Bible Verses we will read on each day, and what conversations we plan on having with our kids.

Family Encouragement and Edification

A lot of things that we do in our family have resulted, because of some sort of tension. There’s a problem that isn’t working anymore, and so we’ve had to come up with a new solution.

One week, my boys were constantly fighting…saying not nice things to each other, and would not apologize and forgive each other.

One tip I had read about was how this one family edifies each other. They go around in a circle, and they say something nice about each person.

So, that’s what we did one day.

The boys were fighting, extra that day.

So, I stopped them. Walked them through the problem. Had them apologize and work on forgiving each other.

Then, I said: “Ok, ya’ll are going to look at each other. Hold hands. And, ya’ll are going to say 3 things nice to each other. (And then I gave examples).

So, my youngest son went first. Did his thing, and was waiting for his brother.

And then it was my oldest son’s turn.

He absolutely would not say even one thing nice. He cried. He threw a fit. And he would not say anything.

So, I had my youngest go play, while I had a talk with my oldest.

“Get a piece of paper out. We are going to sit here, and you are going to think of 10 nice things to say about your brother.”

“I don’t want to. Other families don’t do this. I’m too big for this.”

“No sir. You are not. Other families do this. People do this at their jobs, and you are going to think of nice things to say about your brother.”

So, I pulled up a list of characteristics.

And we went through several. I would say “What about ______ is your brother _____?”

“Yes”

Give me an example of a time when he was _____.

1-10.

And we finally got them. Then, I had his brother come back. They sat back down, held hands, again, and he read his list off to his brother.

The next day, we went around the table at supper. We all took time to say something nice, or that we noticed about each other that day.

We did that for a week, or so, until the atmosphere in our house changed.

Now, we don’t always do it every night. But, we still do it. And they love it.

Family Encouragement and Edification has become a special part of our days.

Striving for Wellness

Striving for wellness…..It has been a struggle. And, I keep coming back to it….because, health and wellness is important to me.

Part of my struggle is I feel like I have to have the perfect situation to be able to move forward, when in reality, all I need to do is show up.

I need to show up to make healthier nutrition choices.

I need to show up to make healthier lifestyle choices…another round of Hulu…or get that workout in.

A couple of days ago…I half- way showed up.

I did half of a home workout, doing all of the moves half-way.

But, I was glad I did it…because I got my body moving…

And, for some reason…I was having a block…I was making excuses as to why I couldn’t do my home workouts.

And then…I was like…STOP. This is silly…so, I went and did it.

It wasn’t perfect..in fact…far from it…but I did it.

And you can too.

If you are waiting for the perfect situation, like I was…that moment is never going to come…you just have to jump in and do it.

Eventually, you will get where you want to be…but first, you have to start somewhere…

This time, as I jump back into my wellness journey…I want to keep a journal of it.

So, be on the look out for a daily Health and Wellness Journal. It’s mostly for accountability, for me…and a record of my journey…but hopefully, it can also be something for someone out there.

Let’s do this together!

Car Convos

When my oldest son started PreK4, it was the first time that he was at a school where I would not also be there.

It was harder on me than it was on him.

By this time, our bedtime routine was also getting harder. Making sure that I tucked in both boys, and listen to their stories from the day…or whatever they wanted to tell me…on top of bathtime, and brushing teeth…made for a verrry long bedtime routine. So, I was looking for ways to make our routine shorter. I started singing to them and stopped asking about their day at bedtime…and started asking about their day in the car.

For 2-3 years, it got increasingly harder to get my oldest to talk to me…about anything. This little 4-7 year old.

Then, I remembered an article I had read a couple of years before.

It talked about instead of asking “How was your day? What did you learn today?”

To ask this list of other questions.

So…I did that. For months, it felt like pulling teeth, getting him to talk to me.

He is a car rider, so every day, when he got in the car, I’d ask him “What was your favorite part of your day?”

Then, one day…I purposefully didn’t ask. He would screech, cry, not want to answer…so, one day…I just let it be…

(In a whiny voice) “Mom. You forgot to ask me about my day!”

We were half way home.

“No, son. Every day, you get upset with me when I ask…so, today I decided to take a break. Do you want to tell me about your day?”

“Yes”

“Ok. What was your favorite part of your day?”

That day unlocked a little piece of his heart.

He needed to know that I cared about his day, and he had grown accustomed to me asking.

So, for three years, every day, in the car, I’d ask. Some days, I’d get an answer. Some days, I’d get the dreaded screeches and whining. But, most days our car convos would branch into other things he would want to talk to me about.

Then we moved schools. And that felt like another unlocking moment. He loved where he was at, and he was a completely different kid.

Now, I greet him and his brother, every afternoon with “What was your favorite part of today?”

They love it. It’s something that has brought them closer. And it even gets them talking about their day to each other…

I just have to make sure they have a snack, first….because, you know….#hangry runs in the family.

Photo of the Day

Love this photo for a couple of reasons.

1. Silhouettes are fun.

2. At this moment, my little side kick is almost always at my side. I know that soon, she’ll be her daddy’s little girl and not long after she’ll want more to do with her friends than with us. So, I’m loving soaking up all the moments and all the pics.

Photo of the Day

Photography is one of my greatest passions….I love capturing stories and just love sharing the beauty of photography.

So…I’m going to start sharing a photo of the day.

Today’s photo of the day comes to you from one of my favorite spots. It’s brought to you by #iphonephotography (haha), because #momlife.

I love sitting by the river. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. And it’s also one of my favorite places to sit and think.

It’s where ideas come to me.

And where I sit and talk with God.

Comment with one of your favorite places to just sit and be.

One Thing: Health and wellness/ Exercise

Background:

Growing up I liked junk food. It was good, and so I ate it.

In college, I’m pretty sure I ate 3 meals a day from the drive-thru. Don’t judge me. (Yup, I saw the gasp and horrified look in your eyes-haha) It was just so easy.

I also started thinking about the things that went into my body. Through classes and seeing all these recalls on products, my eyes were opened to the fact that all these things entering my body…may not be the best thing for me.

As we got married and starting having kids, we still went through the dive-thru some, but not as much.

When my oldest was about 1.5, we went and watched my brother-in-law run a half-marathon. He had also recently become a vegetarian, and then soon after, vegan. That weekend, my husband and I went home and decided to make some changes. We watched a documentary called “Forks Over Knives”. We, cold turkey, stopped eating meat. We gave away all the meat we had left over. And…we started running and hiking.

With my pregnancy with my second son, I was more anemic, more foggy brained, and had more postpartum depression. Just before I found out I was pregnant with him is when I had my last long run of 10+ miles. And to this day, I miss it.

Shortly after he was born, I found one of two health and wellness companies that I love.

Since then, I have been in and out of making healthy decisions for me and my family.

I’ve learned a lot.

And now, it’s time to move forward.

So, what did the process look like?

* For a solid year, I was making great choices and learning a lot about what it meant to support my body. We were running all.the.time. And, participating in races. But, in all honesty…I let it get to my head…I was a little too prideful.

* With the postpartum depression, I had to put all my focus and energy on healing my mind. So, nutrition and exercise growth went right out the window.

* I’ve spent the past 6 years doing heart work, and mind work…exercising as a stress reliever. I’ve found that I like home works outs, yoga, running, hiking, and kayaking.

* So, now I’m ready to move forward.

Going on:

*My first step is to start exercising every day, again. Although, this time, with a little more love for myself. I was hard on myself last time, and I’ve learned a lot about loving myself in the process.

*Right now, I am up to walking 2-3 times a week.

*Once I get my daily exercise down, all my other goals should naturally fall into place….but here they are

Health goals:

*Eat more natural, less processed

*Lose about 40-50 lbs.

* Exercise daily with running and cross-training.

* Share my love of wellness with others!

* Drink 1/2 my weight, in oz, of water, daily.

Have you been overwhelmingly searching for ways to support wellness in your life?

I encourage you to take it One Thing at a time. Love yourself in the process. Share what you love and learn with someone else- just be sure that they are looking for it, too.