Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Let the past be the past....

I have been thinking so much lately about my journey to where I am now. I have never been happier in my life, and never been as thankful as I am lately. I have never been more proud to be me, and that includes being proud of my past. I feel like I have grown up so much in the last couple of years. My relationship with my husband has never been better, I have never been a more dedicated mother. I have finally learned to let go of toxic relationships, physically and mentally. I have learned that even though it is hard, at first, to get rid of these toxic relationships, it is so worth it in the end.

I have mentioned before I was young when I had K. My social life and money seemed to come first. We went out quite a bit, and even though B makes PLENTY of money to support us, I decided we needed bigger and better- which meant me working also. I regret this with ever fiber of my being. Life moves by way too fast and you are never guaranteed tomorrow- so why waste it on material things and friendships not promised to last? I went through every weekday feeling empty. Wake up, drop off K, go to work, come home, make dinner, put K to bed, go to bed, start over. My weekends were spent hanging out with "friends". I wasn't easy to trust, and I trusted people I shouldn't have. I was miserable. It was so hard to let all of that go. I am a creature of habit and I get easily attached to people. I knew, however, I couldn't keep going on that way. The best thing I could have ever done for myself, and our family, is become a stay at home mom. Once I did that, everything else just kind of started falling into place.

I realize that this life isn't for everyone. The point of this post isn't to tell everyone how spoiled I am and how you are all doing it wrong. This is just what was right for me. The point of this post is to share my growth and to prove that when you do what you feel is best, things usually fall into place.

As the next couple of years went on Brett changed jobs, we met new people, we lost old friends, and I started growing even more. The people in my life now, I can truly say, are put there for a reason. Each and every one of them has a major impact on my life from day to day. I have so much to learn from them and I feel as if they can learn from me. Most of us are trying to create the same life style and trying to become better people. It is so nice to have people in my life that I feel I can grow with- not just people that I can go out and drink with on the weekends.

It's crazy to me to think about how much I have changed. I have gone from doing just enough to get by, to going above and beyond. I am always trying to think of ways to better our family, to save money, to do things better. That is SO not me.... for those of you that know me you know this! :) I have gone from being that teenager that had the messiest room and never cleaned her bathroom, to being that OCD woman that can't stand things dirty or laying around. I have gone from that person that hated being in the kitchen to the woman that finds reasons to be in the kitchen because I love it so much.


I can proudly say I am so happy to be where I am today. I am finally happy WITH MYSELF! This is helping me be happier in my relationship with my husband, son, and friends. Life is good. I'm so glad I followed what I thought was best and kept following through- even though that wasn't always what was easy. No matter how much I look back at my past and cringe, it has made me who I am.

Monday, November 11, 2013

30 days of thankful- all in one!

In light of all the thankful posts on Facebook, I decided to just do a blog post about it. I figure this way its easier to go back and look at when I need to remember to count my blessings! :)

I have gotten A LOT better about realizing I am blessed, I have a good life- but, there are still those days where I feel like the world is against me and nothing goes right.

I am very blessed, so I am going to try to limit this to 30, since that is the idea of the Facebook version. Then I don't go on all day! :)

1- I am beyond blessed to have a smart, healthy, happy, well behaved, handsome little boy. He came into my world when I didn't think I was ready, and made me a better person from the start. Looking back, I can see why God did things the way he did and I wouldn't change a thing! K has his daddy's brain. his mommy's attitude, and a combination of our looks that makes him the most handsome thing I could possibly imagine!

2- The second best thing to have ever happened to me (or tied for first), my amazing husband. He works so hard so that I can have the privilege of staying home and taking care of our son, and home. He is so ambitious, has so many dreams, and works hard to achieve them. He wants nothing more than to see K and I happy and that is an awesome trait to find in a person. He is stubborn as all get out, but that is part of what makes him so special. He has taught me to hold my own, stick up for myself, and not blame myself in every situation that goes wrong. He reminds me on the days I am struggling to see how things will work, that they always do no matter what. Most of all, he loves me no matter what, and THAT is a miracle in itself :)

3- My mother in law. She is the best nana K could possibly ask for, the most supportive mother B could ask for, and an inspiration to all of us of strength. She has been an ear for all of our frustration, even when she is struggling herself. She has lost so much, but continues to see the blessings she has in front of her. She has been through so much, in such a short time, and continues to laugh and smile through it. Rather than be bitter about the bad, she smiles and remembers the good memories. I can't imagine having her strength, but I certainly will do my best to learn from her!

4- My late father in law. He was my biggest supporter. He never let me believe I was any less than the best I could be. On my worst day, I think back on all of the times he would tell me I was doing my best and that I was doing wonderful. Never has anyone supported me the way he did, and that is one of my biggest blessings. He gave me a better sense of humor, and made us laugh constantly- he is still making us laugh from the other side! He raised my husband to be the hardworking, loving, stubborn, man he is and I couldn't ask for anything better! He was the most amazing papa to K. He has given us all such amazing memories. When we miss him so much, we can look back and laugh, and we know we have the most bad a$$ guardian angle anyone could ask for! For that, I will be forever thankful!

5- My father. He worked his butt off to support 3 high maintenance girls. Even when he was struggling, he never once let us know he was having a hard time and he smiled through it all. He gave all of us girls everything we wanted, and would still do almost anything for the 3 of us. He has given me my OCD, stubborn personality. He gave us so many fantastic memories of biking, game nights, movie nights, sound effects, and songs. He pushed us to be better, and has always offered the best advice. Even if we don't listen at first, we see in the end he was right. We have been through a lot together, fought, loved, laughed, cried. I wouldn't change a thing because it has brought us here.

6- My sisters. We are so different, yet so similar. We have been blessed enough to have each other through many moves in elementary school, through our parents divorce, and even now when things just don't always line up. We argue, we disagree, we have beaten each other, we have screamed and yelled at each other, but at the end of the day we have become amazing friends. I love that I can rely on them when I need them. We can treat each other wrong, but trust we will be forgiven and loved. A relationship with a sister is a special relationship and I wouldn't have it any other way!

7- The rest of my family :) I am blessed to still be close to a lot of our family. I don't always see eye to eye to them, they don't always treat me right, and vice versa- but we are lucky enough to have a large family and I love that K is now able to become closer to them also.

8- A roof over my head. We are so blessed to be able to afford a clean, safe, happy environment to live. We don't have to stress about how we are going to pay the rent, and we are able to put money away for our dream home. We are blessed to be able to do all of this at the same time. A year and a half ago if you would have asked me my thoughts on this, I would have had a much more negative attitude. Once again, however, I have seen the plan God has for us unraveling and I love it!

9- I am thankful we are able to afford good, healthy food and, once again, not worry about how we are going to purchase it. I can go to the grocery store, wrack up a huge bill, and other than my flippin' buyers remorse when I see the bill, we don't have to think twice about it. We always have food in the cupboards; we always have milk in the fridge; and if we want we are able to go out to dinner on a whim without a second thought. We are blessed!

10- The struggles in our lives. We have been through so much, in such a short time. We have lost a father, grandfather, grandmother, dog; been a victim of scam; dealt with a million frustrations; and still at the end of the day we have each other. Every single struggle we have been through, whether it be together, or in our own lives before coming together, it has made us who we are and brought us to where we are. We have never been closer than we are now, as a family, and for that I am forever thankful. It was a lot of hurt getting to this point, and I am sure it isn't over, but I say bring it on! We can handle it and we will always come out on top!

11- Our amazing friends. I have few friends in my life that I can really rely on. We have a great time when we are together, we are able to listen to each other, understand each other, and not go telling the world about what is going on. We have become more adult together, but we are able to let go once in a while and act like we are 21 :) They have inspired us to become better people. We are able to bounce ideas off each other and learn. I am not going to list names, but I think our good friends know who they are  :)

12- Reliable transportation, and a husband that knows how to work on vehicles or has "connections". :) We have never had to wonder if our car will get us from point "A" to "B". We have never spent an arm and a leg on fixing our vehicles, and never have to wonder how we are going to pay to fix them. It is something we often take for granted!

13- An amazing job for my husband. He has never been happier at a place of employment, and he is blessed to have pretty good job security. I adore that we don't have to worry about him having a job. They are a close group, and we have made some good friends through that place. I have a happy husband when he comes home that doesn't have to stress too much about what is going on at work. That is such a blessing!

14- My best friend, and cousin, B! We don't always see eye to eye, but that's okay. We understand each other. We have grown from being 2 in the same, to 2 VERY different people. We have so much in common, yet we differ. We are quick to forgive and see the other's side. We can be frustrated with each other, but we TALK IT OUT, and see the other's side. On our worst days we know we can call each other up and they will make us feel better. It's the most special relationship, because we have been through everything in our lives together. (Other than that stupid point in our lives that we rarely mention :P)

15- K's school. I hear so many scary or negative things about schools these days. It is so nice to send my son to school and not have to worry about his safety. He has learned SO MUCH, and enjoys going every day. I have not met one teacher, assistant, or parent there that I don't enjoy. It is a big part of why we are staying in the town that we moved to temporarily. I can't imagine sending him anywhere else!

16- Our health. It sounds cheesy, but it is a blessing. I am so blessed to be able to workout when I want to and not worry about joints, bones, heart... K has been so lucky to have so many minor illnesses, and every time B goes to the doctor he is told they can't believe how healthy he is. We are so blessed to be in good health and not have to worry about it day to day. We whine about getting colds, but it could be so much worse!

17- We are able to go out and have some fun! We are so lucky to be able to afford to go to a show, or go have a few drinks with friends, or go away for a weekend. It is another thing we take for granted, but we are so blessed to be able to enjoy ourselves and let lose. Not only can we afford it, we have a safe place for our son to go when he doesn't go with us. He would much rather be there than with us sometimes, and so we know we don't have a thing to worry about when we leave.

18- Our free country. It is something we don't often think about. We are so lucky to be able to go out to the store, go to school, go to work, go to church, pray at a restaurant, go play at the park and not have to worry about it! It's so nice going to do all these things and not worrying about our safety. We know at the end of the day we will return home.

19- The 4 seasons. I am one of the crazies that loves everything about every season. I will take the heat in the summer; I will take the freezing cold in winter. I love the changing of the leaves, even the brown, I love the colorful flowers in the spring. I am blessed to live in an area where we get the best of all the seasons. The coziness in the winter, the business of the summer, the fresh air and open windows for the first time in the spring, the cooling days in the autumn. It is all a wonderful gift from God, and I consider myself blessed to be able to enjoy it all!

20- The places we have lived. We moved quite a few times growing up. We hated it. We had to leave friends, family, the place we were finally comfortable in. Looking back, I wouldn't change a thing. We got to see some fantastic places, and meet some amazing people. It has made me realize how lucky I am to live where I do, but I am glad I got to live where I have.

21- Hear me out on this one.... Facebook. Now, before you think of me as some social media addict (which I may be guilty as charged) I have a very good reason for being thankful for this. I love that I am able to keep in contact with friends of the past, and family that lives far away. I love that I can easily share photos, stories, and thoughts with everyone, and get the same from them. It has brought friends from many of our moves back into my life, and family we hadn't seen or talk to in years. It's a fantastic thing!

22- Our hobbies. I love that we are able to do so many different things, and I love that we, as a family, get to enjoy the together. From classic and fast cars, to RC racing, to camping, to DIY projects- we get to do so many things and we enjoy doing them all TOGETHER as a family!

23- Peaceful time alone. I love my family; I love being together. I HATE sending my boys off to their "other lives" come Monday- but, I LOVE that I get a little time to myself. I love my coffee on Monday morning in peace. I can collect my thoughts, relax, and prepare myself for the week. After an hour or two I am ready to have everyone back together, but that peace and quiet is something I will never take for granted!

24-My husbands family. His grandparents were the most amazing example of what a marriage should be. They were loving, and supportive to each other. They lived a Christ centered marriage that was so amazing. They were amazing grandparents to him, accepting to me, and such fantastic great grandparents to K. His aunt and uncle have accepted me as family also, and love all of us so much. His family is a big blessing in such a small package. I am so lucky to be a part of it!

25- Holidays. I am a holiday FREAK! I love every single holiday and make a huge deal of them. It brings family together, and gives us a reason to celebrate. I love the decorations of all the holidays, the excitement. I will never grow too old to enjoy any holiday.

26- Birthdays. Another thing I make a huge deal of. Why? Because we are so unbelievably blessed to be celebrating them. You are never guaranteed next year, so I love the fact that we can celebrate THIS year. I never go into a birthday thinking "holy cow I am another year closer to 30". I go into it thinking "holy cow I am still here!". Yes, it is so hard to watch your babies grow, but I love the fact that I am watching mine grow! Every birthday makes me excited for the future, and treasure the past!

27- Laughter. Our family is never lacking in laughter. We are so lucky to have been brought up with a sense of humor, both B and I, and be able to pass that on to K. There is never a day that we don't have tears from laughing about something in this family.

28- Hot water, and electric. Something we rarely think about while using, but man am I so happy to be able to sit here watching television, typing on the computer. Later, when I get done with my workout I get to hop into a hot shower and relax. Cheesy, yes, but something I need to often remember we are lucky have!

29- This isn't a cop out:)- but, I am thankful for the private moments in life. I am thankful for the moments we have been through as a family, or with our friends, or in our marriage that we don't openly speak of and we keep between us. I think the little secrets in life bring you closer together and give you a special connection. I am blessed to have those moments in life!

30- My religion. It is not something I talk about enough, nor practice as I should- but, I am so happy to have been brought up to know Jesus as my savior. I am saved, I know I am saved. I know where I am headed when my life here on Earth is done. I know I will be able to see those that I miss again someday. It is something that brings me peace on my worse days. I am so lucky to have such a forgiving Father in Heaven!

Remember, today, and everyday; this month, and the months following; if you have a list, look back at it now and then. It's so easy to take for granted, or forget all of our blessings. Each of us has so many blessings, big and small!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Real Food? No thanks; I'll take the donut

That is how I feel today! As good as eating right makes me feel most days, today I woke up craving a donut, so a donut is what I had; and it was DELICIOUS!

I have to admit, when this whole organic, Real Food, no processed food thing hit I rolled my eyes. I was sick and tired of friends pushing it via Facebook, or in conversations with me. I grew up on canned veggies, and processed dinners, and I am still fine! We often had macaroni and cheese, processed loafs of meat, lasagna from a box, cookies, Spaghettios, fruit snacks, and the list goes on. I don't have cancer! I'm average to below average for my weight. I'm still living with no health issues. Why change what is working okay for me?!

Then I started reading and researching for myself. This made me frightened! How am I pumping my child full of chemicals and not thinking twice?! How am I doing that to myself and my husband?!

Commence the slow turn over to Real Food.

NOW! This is where I begin my "I am not perfect, no one is no matter how much they want you to think they are" portion of my post.

This week my grocery budget was shrunk down quite a bit. This meant I either had to get less food, which, who can do that with a 7 year old son and husband who still eats like a teenage boy?! Or, I could buy the cheaper version. Lest, very little organic food made it into my cart. I had to get the normal chicken tenderloins, the pesticide ridden strawberries and grapes, and so on and so forth.

Last night, as I was feeling SUPER guilty about feeding my son food that had so many chemicals in it, I got to thinking; for a bed time snack he asked for a bowl of fruit. I mean an OVERFLOWING bowl of fruit. He didn't ask for cookies, chips, crackers, ice cream, or candy. He asked for FRUIT! I scrubbed the fruit for a very long time in very warm water and peeled the apple and cleaned it again. He was eating Real Food. No, it wasn't the ideal, but it was so much better than the alternative! How could I feel guilty about that?!

This morning, as i was scarfing, and I DO MEAN SCARFING, down my donut I got to thinking again. I don't do this every day; I don't do this even once a week. This used to be a Saturday tradition for K and I, and I caved for the FIRST time in a long time today. Why am I feeling guilty?! I should be allowed to splurge every now and then and not feel bad about it!

Its hard to afford a completely organic, natural meal night after night for a family who loves to eat - especially if there is more than one child! Yes there are some of us blessed enough to be able to afford it, and yes there are weeks we have extra so we can splurge, but we can't always do that. AND THAT IS OKAY!

I'm sick of feeling guilty for feeding my family a meal out of a box here and there. I'm sick of feeling guilty when I have to buy the pesticide ridden fruits and veggies. I'm sick of being judged on what we eat and how we do it.

Yes, it is important to get the right food in your diet; we all know it. No one needs that rubbed in their faces. We are ALL doing THE BEST WE CAN with the resources we are given. That is the most important thing to remember.

So, tonight, as i feed my son a few more of the fruits that I have to scrub a little extra, I am going to be thankful that he is asking for fruit! I am not going to feel guilty that I couldn't afford the "better stuff" because I got the best I could and that is OKAY! No matter how you look at it, it is Real Food, and that, in itself, is a blessing to me!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

One Step At a Time

Today I feel content. 

I feel content in the fact that I can only do so much without feeling overwhelmed. 

This is a revelation a long time coming for me. If you read my first post you know that I often feel I am not doing enough. I am not moving quickly enough in our family's "Real Food" diet; I am not getting projects done fast enough here; I am not doing ENOUGH

But, today I HONESTLY feel that is OKAY! I'm okay with it! 

I was talking to a friend today about the things on my list of "to try", and it hit me. I have come SO FAR! I am learning new things everyday, and doing new things and that is AWESOME. Never mind the fact that I am not making everything from scratch, or the fact that I have 3 pieces of furniture waiting to be painted, or boxes waiting for new shelving. I need to concentrate on things I HAVE done. We have gone out to dinner ONCE in the last 2 weeks, which is a miracle for us! I made bread from scratch the other day, never mind it was super easy... it turned out and my picky boys ATE IT!!! I have a finished piece of painted furniture and  making headway on another; I have gotten into a great schedule of fitting in my workout; I have been blessed to help out at school. I have accomplished SO MUCH

I also have realized lately that life is way too short. K, my one and only son, turned 7 a few weeks ago. Where has time gone?! I worked for the first 3 years of his life and I regret every minute of it. I was young when I had him, so my weekends were about socializing. Yes I was still a mother, and yes we spent quality time together; but not enough. So, last night when I should have been priming some furniture, I instead sat on the couch with him next to me and my husband next to him and we laughed, watched his bedtime show, and taught him how to tie shoes. Yesterday morning he had a delayed start at school. I should have been getting things done, but I sat and laughed with him and watched him play instead. 

We have become such a fast paced society. If you aren't doing it all, you aren't doing enough... and as we are doing it all, our kids are growing, and we aren't LIVING! It's time to slow down and enjoy life. Yes, it is important to make sure that our families are eating good stuff, and it is great to have a hobby; But if we are getting too caught up on that and not enjoying it, then it isn't worth it. I don't want to be one of those people that says "I did it all", but look back and say "but I missed this". 

That being said, I suppose it is time for me to accomplish SOMETHING on my long list of to do's before I go get K from school! Just remember today, slow down! Enjoy life! You only get one! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

And it begins

To begin, I should introduce myself. I am a stay at home mom of one elementary aged son. I have an amazing husband that is able to support the three of us. We are a high maintenance family, working on living a more natural, low maintenance life. This isn't easy, and in our journey to do this I have been following quite a few different blogs of all different lifestyles. A few weeks ago, while doing some reading, and looking through Facebook news feeds, I noticed something - something that I found to be very discouraging. I felt as if I wasn't doing enough. I have unfinished projects all over the house; I use unhealthy cleaning products all over my house, because I don't trust the "natural ones" to kill the germs I am SO unbelievably afraid of in my home. I still buy bread, even though I have the time to make my own. I have packaged granola bars, even though I have time to make those as well. The pins I have made on Pinterest have piled up, and I have yet to use most of them. Why? Because I have either been too busy, or too lazy, or both. Then I look over and I see Ms. DoItAll on her blog posting about how she has started home schooling her kids, while raising animals on her farm, and baking all of her own food, and cleaning with all natural stuff, and I think to myself, "How can I not keep up?! I have all day to myself. My husband works and my son is in school, and yet I can't find time to finish these projects and bake my own stuff from scratch and keep a perfect house!" All these thoughts led to more thoughts - thoughts on starting a blog about my very imperfect life, and my journey to a better one. I have big aspirations of someday doing it all, but I want to do so HAPPILY. I don't want to feel stressed, and as if I have to keep up with every "perfect" person out there. I want to realize that I am HUMAN. I make mistakes. Not every recipe I try is going to come out perfectly, not every craft I attempt is going to look like I bought it at Pier 1. My house is going to be dusty and germy and messy at times. I am going to have lazy days where I accomplish NOTHING, and that is OKAY!

In this Pinterest, organic, fast paced world we live in I feel as all of us need to realize we are human and can only accomplish so much. So, here I begin my journey of sharing my very bumpy road to a better life with you all. I hope in my journey you find inspiration and hope for yourself. I wish for you to share your imperfections as well; and when something IS perfected I hope we can all rejoice in that fact together. We all need a reality check from day to day, and I look forward to all of us finding that here together!