Growth, Reading

What I’m Reading & You Should Too

Nothing makes me want to read [or take  a nap] more than a rainy fall day. And with the weather being so perfect for sweaters, apple pie, and warm coffee, what’s better than to snuggle up with a great read.

Here are some books that I’m working on or have just completed. I hope  you consider checking some of them out for yourself.

  1.  Settle For More. With all the controversy regarding Trump and herself, I just had to check it out. I felt that the beginning was really solid and I could connect with her story. Toward the end I wasn’t so sure what I thought. But the general message of the book I appreciated and felt like I was maybe more informed for reading.
  2. Boundaries. This book I picked up because I had heard it advertised by Dave Ramsey the money guru. Since having a tumultuous upbringing, I wanted to read something that might help me improve my current relationships and realize why some people are the way that we are. I also have issues saying no to others, and this book teaches us how. Highly recommend.
  3. Do Over. Jon is hilarious. He is the kind of author that can make the truth sound so funny in such a non corny way. He’s genuine and down to earth but also talks about what is necessary to get a job doing what you love and living in your purpose. Loved it.
  4.  And The Good News Is… .Working in the New York State Legislature, I really wanted to read a book based on the ins and outs of working in the White House. Dana does just that. But she also paints the picture of the American Dream and how a small-town girl from Wyoming can go to hold a high office position in the White House.

This piece contains affiliate links, to read my disclosure policy, click here.

 

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Family, Growth, New Motherhood

For the Mom Who Misses Her Freedom

I sat in the nursery, looking at the blank walls and the sleeping baby in the crib. I saw all the mess on the floor from clothes tags that had been ripped in a hurry, to an empty formula bottle. And I sat on the rocker in a state of complete exhaustion.

As I sat there, I looked at my precious boy in the crib, in his napper. He was swaddled sweetly, sleep peacefully, breathing to a hypnotic rhythm. All the beauty around me, a beautiful mess, if  you will, and I felt horrible. IMG_1340

I wouldn’t call it post-par tum depression. I wouldn’t call it baby blues. But it was this deep and knowing feeling that my life, as I knew it, was over. It was the death of the old me, very much like marriage, and the birth of something new, a new life.

In that moment, that moment of feeling upset about all the changes, I felt guilty too. Shouldn’t I be so in awe of my baby that it doesn’t matter? Shouldn’t I be so in love with him and our new life that I’m overwhelmed with happiness? The thoughts of how I should have felt caused me to feel guilty.

Sitting there, I’d think about how my life was now reduced to feeding and nap schedules. I couldn’t just go on a date with my spouse without having a sitter lined up. I couldn’t just get in the car and get groceries without carrying what seemed like 10 million bags and bottles. The simple ways that my life had changed began to suffocate me, as this realization dawned on me all at once.

I think it’s fair to say that when you’re expecting, you’re super excited and maybe a little anxious. Everyone tells you to enjoy it, and how quickly it’ll all pass away. But no one really preps you for the insane amount of change that will hit you. all. at. once.

Once the epidural of the “in love” baby phase wears away, and the sleep-deprived coma sets in, don’t be shocked to hear yourself say, “What have I done?”.

And moms, it’s okay to feel that way. I’d venture to guess we have all thought or said the same thing. It’s totally normal, and it will wear off, just like the “in love” baby phase. There’s so many great adventures waiting you and your baby, and it’s healthy to allow yourself to feel upset or disappointed from time to time. Sometimes phoning a fellow mom friend or getting out for a girls day can really help. But don’t allow yourself to think what you’re feeling is wrong or selfish. It’s all changing and all normal.

For more articles like this click here: —->http://eepurl.com/c8NEOb

Growth, Healing, Wellness

How To Find Your Strength Again

The phrases, “Thank God it’s Friday” or “Oh, God, it’s Monday” seem to plague us now more than ever. Even as working moms, sometimes we can lose sight of living and go instantly into survival mode — as if it’s the same as “living”. But truth is, it’s not. And I think that having great energy and a sense of purpose or vision, go hand-in-hand.

Here are some tips that have helped me to maintain my energy and my sanity.

Have a vision.

Have you ever thought about how you want your life to turn out? Sometimes we act like nothing in life is in our control, and then our life truly ends up looking “out of control”. And while we aren’t God and don’t have all the power, there is something that is up to us. Our lives are what we make them. So have a plan, think about where you want to be in ten years, twenty years. What’s the end goal? To build a family? To further your career or education? To build an orphanage in South Africa? Whatever the goal is, start your days with that end goal in mind. It’ll give you vision on tough days when the laundry is overpowering and the children are screaming.

Take care of your body.

No one wants to do it. Everyone wants to eat all the junk and sit on the couch but still have tons of energy and a six-pack. Unfortunately, if you want the energy, you’ll have to work for it. Find the pieces in your day where you can take a walk, take the stairs at work or push the stroller around. You get one body, there is only so much replacing a doctor can do. The more you move, the more you take care of yourself and put good nourishment into your body, the longer you’ll be able to keep up that pace. Click here, if you’d like to read more about losing the baby weight. I know that I can get into a bad mood, get more headaches, or just feel lousy when I don’t get proper nutrition and exercise. You’re important — act like it.

Take time-outs. 

You’re not meant to do it all. I’ll schedule in some down-time in my week. This is a time to paint your nails, read a book, enjoy a chat with a friend. It’s imperative to refresh your soul as well as your body. It seems crazy at first, but these quiet times have become the thing that recharges me most. You cannot pour from an empty cup — take time to refill yours.

It’s knowing where I want to ultimately end up, that helps me determine my everyday plans. I know where I want to be in my family, in my career, and health respectively. If you haven’t sat down and had a meeting with yourself, do it. It’s not about perfection or scheduling your whole life. But good things don’t happen by accident. Raising good children, excelling professionally, and loving your spouse, they are a series of choices.

The dreams and desires I have for the future, determine my decisions for today. And so can yours.

To get your daily dose of inspiration & laughs click here —> http://eepurl.com/c8NEOb.

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Gifts, Growth

To The Mom Who Feels She’s Not Enough

I sat there, my face in my hands, listening to the tick-tock of the clock on the living room wall. I felt defeat. Ever have the feeling that when one area of your life improves, the other two slip? It was like I couldn’t catch a break. Work would be great, then I’d have an argument with a friend or my spouse. I could manage the house for a little while, then a pile of laundry would accumulate. Have you ever been there? In that moment I truly felt like there just wasn’t enough: not enough time, not enough money, not enough of… myself?

These moments and thoughts of feeling inadequate or like you’re not doing enough can really get you down. I know there were days where I’d just sit on the couch and feel awful and utterly guilty, like I should have this figured out by now.

When we start a marriage, have a new baby, or build a life, no one gives us an instructional manual. When you decide to become a doctor or a teacher, you take years in school to develop your craft. And then after you get your degree you spend years after as an apprentice or in residency learning how to do your craft just so. But there’s none of that for life, for building a life together. But yet, we demand so much out of ourselves, or at least I did. I wanted the Hallmark family, the Christmas card family, with all the trimmings. And when I found myself not hitting that mark, I felt behind.

The road to a “perfect-family” or the well built family, is a process. It’s a serious of good decisions, the choice to be kind, to go to church, to eat as a family, to save a little more. It’s being nice to your spouse when you don’t want to, it’s reading an extra bed-time story, it’s being present for giving tickles.

So when I have these moments that I feel like I’m not cutting it, I cut myself some more slack, and you should too. Because there is no manual, it’s your first time, and you will make mistakes, and it will feel overwhelming. But in time, it’ll get better, you’ll get a rhythm and build some momentum. And maybe one day in the future, you’ll be the “Christmas card” family, and can reap the rewards of all those years of hard work and feeling inadequate.

You got this.

 

 

 

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Growth, Personal Development, Talents

When People Don’t Understand “No”

Have you ever felt this? Someone close to you, a friend a family member, told you they needed you. You’re the only one who can help. It’s all up to you for their outcomes. I mean, if you don’t do it, who will? What will become of them? Well of course, you have to.

We get pulled into situations and problems that really aren’t ours. It’s not our cross to bear, it’s not our problem. But somehow, we get pulled in, nonetheless. And it weighs on us, and it’s heavy. We think about it many times throughout the day, our anxiety mounts. But we tell Aunt Betty that we will do such and such to help her, after all, isn’t that what families do? We tell our best friends we can through that last minute party for them at no charge, we listen to our grandparents complain for the fifth time. We allow our family members from out of town to crash at our house, because it’s “the right thing to do”…

Why can’t we say “no”? Why do we say yes to things that we know we don’t want to do… deep down our stomachs churn and flip at the idea of doing XYZ. I think I know why. “No” is confrontational. No is a word that creates clear boundaries. People may get offended by our boundaries. If we tell Aunt Betty “no” she may cry for an hour and try and guilt us into something. And that may be true. But you’re not being true to yourself nor are you helping Aunt Betty, by enabling and allowing someone to control you.

If you’ve struggled with setting healthy and proper boundaries or you get anxiety about the “No” word… then you need to read this book. It’s called Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud. In it, he goes through examples of how people control others, of how we feel toward them, and discusses why we feel awful saying “no”. I’m almost finished reading it, and truly it’s an eye opener. If you haven’t read it, get a copy by clicking the link. I guarantee it will help you and set you free to say “no”.

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Family, Growth, Personal Development

For Better Or Worse

Today marks four years of marriage for us. During this time, I’ve learned why the vows are what they say. During this time, I learned the weight of those words. We have had richer and poorer, sickness and health. We’ve felt the better and the worse.

This is going to be brief. But basically my message is this. If you hit moments in your marriage where you question, doubt, don’t know if you’re doing something right, you’re in good company, most of us don’t. But day by day you learn. You learn more about your spouse but mostly yourself. Just like motherhood is new and when you start, you won’t have it figured out, you won’t in a new marriage either.

So today, trust the process, love your spouse and give yourselves permission to not have it all together. None of us truly do; don’t give up.

‘Til death do us part.

Growth, Personal Development

When Progress Won’t Come

I’m sure you’ve felt this way… maybe you’ve tried something over and over again and don’t understand why you just aren’t seeing the results. You have been eating healthy and not matter what, you can’t drop the weight. Or maybe you’ve tried to sleep train your baby and it feels like. It’s. taking. FOREVER. Possibly it’s a relationship that you feel you’re putting so much into, and not seeing a lot of reciprocation. I get it.

When I’m working on a goal or a plan and I don’t see results, much like the confused people at the Weight Watchers meetings, I feel like giving up. I think we all take the “lack of results” as a “lack of progress”, which actually isn’t true.

Something I heard Joyce Meyer say in a podcast was this:

“You may have to do the right thing for a long time before you get a right result.”

Wow, how true is that. Just because you aren’t seeing the rewards of all your hard work, doesn’t mean your work doesn’t count or you aren’t getting closer.

For instance, we have a family goal of paying off student loans. It’s hard, it’s daunting, and it takes time. But this is one of our many goals. Some months it feels impossible. But step by step, as we keep working together, we make progress. Sometimes progress is slow, but even slow going is advancement.

As a mom they say sleep training can take up to two weeks. Well that’s not super encouraging to the mom that’s trying to get her own sleep. When you hear that noise on the monitor and all you want is for some consistent shut eye, it’s not super encouraging. But you do it, you keep moving forward. And then that glorious night will hit — you will sleep the whole night with ZERO feedings.

Like a seed that’s planted in the ground, it takes time to sprout. Because we don’t see the sprout for a few weeks, doesn’t mean the seed is “broken”. And just like that seed, your goals will take time. Don’t dig up your “seed” prematurely and kick the dirt in because you don’t see instant results. Keep working at it mama, keep driving, and your plant will bloom… in time.

Growth

Embrace Today

Has this ever been you?

You slept crappy… it made you cranky.
You had a well-crafted to-do list… but only crossed off three things — maybe.
Your baby was super happy for about an hour…then suddenly lost it.

Yup–me too.

But a realization hit me and maybe it has you too.

One day, that house you live in will be quiet. One day, that spouse you complained about, won’t be by your side. And one day, your house will be spotless because the children are grown and gone.

To wait for that day when life feels less “crazy” makes a waste of the day you have. And that day is today.

Embrace today. Embrace the mess, the clutter, the bills, the family and the noise.

Growth, Healing, Uncategorized

Night In Room 4: Trauma Unit

“So dear, how many seizures would you say he’s had tonight…” the nurse asked me while I choked back sobs.

“Uh… I’m not sure, maybe 20?” Greg held his breath and yet again cringed and turned ashen as another wave hit him, and he let out a big exhale as it passed.

“Okay, height, weight, any known allergies?” She asked again.

I dappled through the litany of questions, while Greg shook and we headed into the ER entrance right away and he was lifted to a stretcher.

TWO HOURS EARLIER THAT EVENING…

“Hey honey, how was work today?” I asked, stirring a pot of noodles waiting for Greg’s arrival.

He dropped his lunch box to the floor and headed upstairs.

“Pretty good, I’m just going to head upstairs and shower before dinner.”

He came downstairs shortly and wolfed down a bowl of tortollini and salad. Once cleaned up from dinner and loading the dishwasher, we sat on the couch to watch some Seinfeld reruns. Greg took some more cold medicine, he’d been fighting symptoms all week, but was getting better…or so I thought.

As we laughed between jokes on TV, I noticed Greg was gripping the couch in an odd fashion. He closed his eyes and braced himself, once then again and again. It was as if he was having contractions, that was the best way to put it. One would come and then leave, then they got closer together. I figured his blood sugar was low, he had been sick after all. So I grabbed him some orange juice. He downed a glass in a single gulp and seemed to be okay for a few moments. Then they came on him again, this time worse than before. His body twitched and contorted.

“Let’s go Greg, NOW! We are going the On-Call clinic.” Why I didn’t just bring him to the ER, I have no idea. I willed my brain to work.

“Why? I’m fine.” He uttered.

“No you definitely aren’t.” I raced for my keys and flip-flops and headed out the door.

When we reached the On-Call clinic they insisted we go the ER. On our way over, Greg began to twitch and contort voraciously around in his seat. I said his name, shouted it out and he didn’t respond, as if he didn’t hear me. Then he uttered a huge exhaling breath and slunk back in his seat exhausted. I lost my focus and tried to regain it while racing to the ER.

BACK TO PRESENT IN THE ER

They led us back to a room, Greg being raced over on the stretcher. We entered the room and a short but lean looking doctor entered, no lab coat, but rather a t shirt tucked in and cowboy boats. He had curly long hair and ice blue eyes with a weathered face.

“Hey, where is this guy’s EKG, where’s his chart?” They hooked Greg up to monitors and determined it was his heart that was starting and then stopping, over and over… 30, 50, 100, 120, 50, 40, 15, 0… flat lining…

A nurse entered the room…

“We are going to move you to room 4.” They moved the stretcher out quickly and I followed suit. When we got to the door I noticed the large glass windows that pointed toward the monitors in the hall with a team of doctors gathered. The door read, “Room 4, Trauma Unit”. I prayed Greg was too incapacitated to read it.

The nurses rushed around taking blood and reading the machines.

One nurse moved toward the bed with a device, paddles and a box. I knew what this was.

“Honey, this is just going to go on your chest, just as a precaution…”

I knew it wasn’t, it was very possible they’d need to restart his heart.

Soon after more vitals were taken, a cardiologist about seven feet tall entered the room.

“Hello, folks, I’m the cardiologist on the floor tonight. Now I see some wild stuff is going on with your heart and I’d like to put in a temporary pacemaker.”

A pacemaker I thought? That’s for old people who really need it… this can’t be good.

“We also gave you antibiotics for lyme disease because it’s very rare that this would happen in someone so young and healthy.”

“Potential risks of the pacemaker are a collapsed lung. But the risk is low.”

Greg nodded, we prayed and he was rushed away without any hesitation.

The dam behind my eyes broke and I wondered what exactly would happen if and when he returned from the OR.

TO BE CONTINUED.

photo credit: https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=0ETW5W0P&id=0B6BDB52A503062BC2A78A4720903DA28AAA8CC7&q=flat+lined&simid=608024416818237155&selectedindex=6&mode=overlay&first=1&thid=OIP.0ETW5W0PZ_p8caxLnTkLJwEsD6.