Monday, December 31, 2012

goal setting

The hubs and I have a lot of thoughts for 2013. I'm so excited for just about everything.

Starting tomorrow we're officially cutting out junk food in our diets. We'll be cutting dairy, sugar and meat - so being vegan sans sugar for this month. I mentioned reading the book Seven and this is how the first month is going to look for us. I've thought a lot about this and only eating seven foods I just can't wrap my head around. I think a healthy 'cleanse' is what our family needs. Fueling our bodies with predominately fruits and vegetables. I tried to go paleo once and it was horrendous. I have a strong feeling this will be different.

Mostly because there is a spiritual component. I'm cutting out everything but the necessities in my diet giving me room and time to focus more on my Creator. This makes me excited. Nervous because I know it's going to be difficult, but also really excited to see how God uses this and what he's going to teach us through this. Plus, I'm kind of excited for the hubs to STOP drinking 10324 cups of coffee a day! (So thankful he jumps on board with all of my ideas!)

We have mini goals of nightly chore chart, inviting friends over for dinner way more often (we need something to propel ourselves towards completing that nightly chore chart..), weekly family/budget meetings - I get our social calendar and hubby gets the finances - we make an awesome team. 

My photography business is going really well and I'm excited to see what happens with it in 2013. To think I've only been doing this for about 6 months is crazy - I never imagined it would grow to what it is now. It's not huge, but when I started I had so many doubts I didn't think I could do it. And now I'm doing it and it's awesome.

Our kids are fantastic. I'm working on a routine for us and it's a challenge. A big challenge because routines don't come easy to me. But routines are so beneficial to little ones I know I can do this. But I'm excited that 2013 is just a new page. A new page for us to start again and for me to take a deep breath and just try my darndest to rock it.

I went to a Jazzercise class with a friend yesterday. Yes, Jazzercise. And you know what? That is one tough class. It was so much fun and I am so sore today, I've decided to join with a goal of going 2-3x per week. 

Lots of random tiny updates... I plan to write more as our family goes vegan this month, so if you're interested in that type of thing, stay tuned! :)

Friday, December 21, 2012


My daughter woke up at 6am. I rolled out of bed happy. Thrilled, actually, to go and see her. To nurse her and comfort her. All of the noises she made were the most beautiful noises I've heard in my whole life and I couldn't believe how lucky I am to be her mommy when she looked up at me and smiled.

I laid her back down at 6:30 only to go back to bed to find my son laying his sweet head on my pillow. How in the world did I get to be so lucky? To have this two ridiculously awesome children. I don't ever, ever want to take them for granted.

I'm sitting on the couch while my son watches Wonder Pets and my heart is so full I feel like it's going to burst. This is joy. I've found joy in the mundane today... and it's just ridiculous.

I wholeheartedly believe this shift is all due to being thankful. Every year around this time my husband is very, very busy with rehearsals to prep for the Christmas Eve rehearsal. This year we'll have two services Sunday he'll be doing acoustically as well as two services on Monday for the holiday. It's the busiest time of year for church rehearsals. If I'm being honest... I'll admit that usually around this time I'm horribly selfish. I'm mad that my husband isn't home for more than a couple hours and upset that our kids aren't getting to see him.

But this year? This year there's been a change within me. (Sorry if that sounds cheesy or lame, but it's just true...). God is changing me and I'm learning to listen and take heed of some of these lessons. So the past two days I've not gotten to see my sweet hubs hardly at all and like I said, that usually has an incredibly negative impact on my attitude. But this year I've chosen to not complain. Often I think of that verse "Out of the heart the mouth speaks..." and I get so disappointed with the state of my heart if I can be so complain-y. Anyway, I've not complained. I've not moaned or given him a hard time for leaving to go to rehearsal, which I'll admit, I've done many, many times before. And this alone has such a positive affect on us, on me, and I can only assume on him as well.

He has to go to rehearsal. I can serve him by taking care of our children and just simply encouraging him. It's so simple and makes me feel so guilty. I think so highly of this man. This sweet wonderful man that is my husband. Why would I want to do anything but encourage him? To try to bless him? So with that guilt of how I've acted in the past comes change for the future. I did not complain about any rehearsals but only  tried to encourage him. I wanted him to be fully present without worrying about me or the kids. He is so busy and is giving so much of himself - literally going from work to home to play with our kids and  interact with them as much as possible in the one hour he has at home then head to rehearsal just to get home really late and go to bed then wake up early and do it all over again. He's awesome.

And because I've been more aware of my actions - how big of an impact my words and expressions leave on my husband - I've chosen to try to be a blessing to him. Bless him by doing the dishes and cleaning up our art projects. Bless him by picking up the trains scattered throughout the living room and doing bed time with both of our sweet children. Bless him by only speaking positive words and not words that would make him feel any less than unbelievably awesome. And because I've been trying to be a blessing - I am blessed. I have this joy today that I can only believe is a result in my change of attitude. God is so, so good.

A tiny shift in attitude but has left such a big impact on my heart. I encourage you to be a blessing today. Even if that just means doing the dishes. ;)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I've gone back and forth about whether on not to write this, but it's a lesson I've learned and while I still have so many things I need to learn and in no way have 'mastered' this - it's something that has changed me. For the better.

I've been reading the book One Thousand Gifts for over a year now and you guys, it's incredible. I've read and re-read so many pages and have to put it up for weeks at a time to absorb some of these lessons.

Anyway, the overwhelming theme of the book is thankfulness. I started reading this book at a low point in my life - I had a one year old, was nannying a little girl and was also pregnant and getting so sick every day. I was depressed and overwhelmed.  I bought this book and within a week even Michael noticed a shift in my demeanor after I started reading it.

So shift to today. Emmaline is what we'd call a terrible, horrible, not good sleeper. At 2 months she was sleeping through the night. At 4.5 months she was up nearly every hour each night. This lasted a month (still in the throws of it, honestly). It's hard. We're exhausted.

But I've had a mental shift. Yes, it's still hard. But being thankful helps. It starts out drowsy with not much heart, but once I pick it up, it's amazing to feel the change within myself.

Fourth time getting up with my girl... Thank you for this daughter of mine, thank you that she is healthy and home... thank you that we have a home to bring her, that we are able to give her a room of her own, a bed... Thank you for being with my body as it provides nourishment for my daughter and thank you she is comforted in my arms... and on and on. Then I climb back into bed happy and not nearly as upset as when I got out of bed.

Thankfulness precedes the miracle. every time. I've seen these little miracles within myself when I open my heart and say thank you. And my problems that seemed so overwhelming at first seem so small looking at them with fresh perspective. Yes, I've gotten just an hour of sleep before I hear her start to stir and whine and wail. But reminding myself that she is healthy and God is with us and He is good makes it easier. I've been so blessed by these long nights. It just took me awhile to realize it.

A friend posted a quote the other day that essentially just said... you're in this position, get what you can get out of it while you're there. (horrible translation, but that's what I took) and I'm realizing I've learned a life-changing lesson. Pretty neat.