Friday, October 24, 2014

Ten Twenty Four Fourteen

Friday again, so soon? Thankfully! This week hasn't been a breeze. There were temper tantrums, lots of work and the man cold. So really, need I say more? 

But, there was some fun and it started on Friday night for Brookelyn. Celebrating a friends birthday and her first middle school dance. Let me say that again, middle school dance. How did my girl get so big, so quickly? We didn't make a big deal of the dance really, after all, it's middle school. She chose to wear jeans, a tank top and a cardigan- all of which she asked me to pick out, I must add. Such pretty girls, inside and out. Brookelyn is lucky to have a great group of friends. 
The beginning of the man cold. First, it was Cohen, so Matt stayed home with him while Brookelyn and I went to her volleyball games. Getting us girls out of the house means pulling the Wii out of closet upstairs, a rare occasion in our home, a special treat. The next morning Matt was in full man cold mode, although I do have to say the whining was kept to minimum and he was feverish, so I know he must have felt like crap. All are healthy now, thank goodness.
In between everything else, I managed to find some time to make the kids some fall treats. Gooey-goodness. I can't wait to share my Grandma's recipe on the blog with you!
Last spring I posted some about our struggles with Cohen's behavior. He's so sweet & loving, except when he's not. And when he's not, he's really not. Summer was kind to us and we're back to the naughty behavior again. There's not a doubt in my mind that anxiety comes into play (because- he's my kid), but I've also been reading anything I can get my hands on lately. Anything that can offer me some insight as to what is going on in his little head and how we can help him best to channel his energy into good behavior. I read an article the other day and this is an excerpt from it that hit me pretty hard. "Strong-willed children often seem to be simmering" brought me to tears. The thought of Cohen being on the verge of a fight at every moment makes complete sense and breaks my heart, all at the same time. Do you have a strong-willed child? How do you help them to behave?
After a really rough Wednesday, Thursday afternoon alone time with Cohen was on the books. He was on a fun pumpkin patch/farm field trip all day with his class and told me all about it over hot cocoa and a brownie from our local coffee place. One on one time with mom seemed to help him a bit and Thursday evening went beautifully. I just want him to smile like that, always. Not be be gearing up for a fight, or angry at the world. I so treasure those special times my kids.

Here's to a great week next week, to less fighting and more loving & good behavior.

How was your week? What are your weekend plans?

Linking up with Jeannett at Life Rearranged.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

What are your Guilty Pleasures?

We've all got them, whether you want to admit it or not. In 2006 after being a stay at home mom for 6 short months I met with my doctor because I truly thought that maybe I was going crazy. Turns out, I was.. a little bit. That's the day that I started dealing with depression, anxiety and infertility. My doctor prescribed me some medication and that's not all that stuck with me. She also told me that I needed to find my "guilty pleasures", to remember that while being a mom & wife had replaced my job, I needed to remember not to lose myself. We talked at length about the importance of continuing to do things for me, to enjoy the things that I love that don't have to do with my child (at the time, just one) and being a mom. 

Since that day I've made it a point to take time for myself, I've talked about this on the blog before. Even if it's 5-10 minutes, locked in a bathroom with a book. Some chunk, be it large or small, of time to breathe and remember who I am. For 2.5 years now my kids have been in school all day, so I've had more time to myself. But I find that so much of that time is spent doing work around the house, blog work, and now virtual assisting, that once again I'm having to carve out that time in the day for me. 

Eight years later, I still always fall back on what my doctor told me. I'm confident that my guilty pleasures are what get me through some days without completely losing my mind. I'm going to share a few with you. I want to know what yours are too! 

A few of my favorites: 

The Real Housewives of New Jersey- I can't get into the others as much, but I love me some NJ drama.

Gossip Girl- I've loved this one for years and I feel like I'm invested in the characters. When it ended, I was sad. So sad. But, it's one that I can watch over & over and not get bored of.

Friday Night Lights- If you haven't watched this show, you need to. Need, because it's great. The characters, the story line, the music. Everything about it is amazing. Definitely one of my favorite shows of all time, right up there with friends.

Good Quality Tea- Until last year I didn't quite get the whole "tea" thing and was perfectly content drinking my coffee each day. I needed something to replace my afternoon coffee and decided to try tea (I try to stick with caffeine free teas) and fell in love. But, my love is only for good, high quality tea. I don't like cheap stuff and I don't like a lot in my tea. Rishi is my favorite (and a local tea) and I like just about any chai tea out there. 

Thrifting- As long as it's a good thrift store, I can browse forever. I love seeing all of the old things, and imaging what I could do to make some of them new. And, finding amazing scores!

Raw Cookie Dough- I know, they say it's bad for you but, YUM. 

Stupid Cell Phone Games- There are three that I love. They're so dumb & it's hard to admit it, but I'm totally addicted. Probably once a day or so I'll take a few minutes (usually before I get Cohen from school), sit on the couch and play a game. It's calming to me, but I should be reading instead. Guilty please though, right?

So, those are mine! What are your guilty pleasures? 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Love Life. Be Happy.

Recently I read an article about the 10 things that the people who love their lives are doing differently and it was a bit eye opening. I can honestly say right now that I love my life. Sure, there are lots of areas for improvement & things that I hope to change in the next year or so, but for the most part, I'm happy and I do love my life. 

Reading the list made me take a more in depth look at things and suddenly I was craving change. 

They don’t bother trying to make others like them — mainly because they don’t care if they’re liked.

This was a big one for me. Despite what some might think, I'm a people pleaser- big time. Over the past few years I've worked hard to change that because I know that I need to be happy and I need to come first in my own life, but it takes a lot of work. And, I've still got a ways to go too. 
When Matt & I made the decision to move (years before we actually moved), a lot of people thought we were crazy & we were often asked how we could move so far from all of our family. This is exactly why. We knew that we'd never be happy in California, we knew the type of town we wanted to live in, the sort of neighborhood where we wanted to raise our children and yes, that meant moving far from family. We miss our family, but we're also happier than we've both been in years and our marriage is better because of that. And, I'd like to think that we're both able to be better parents because of that too!

They do things because they want to do them, not because they believe they have to do them.

When I first read this one, I thought "wow, that's a big deal!". It might not seem like it, but really think about- you're an adult, how often in our lives do we do things because we "should" or to please others? Matt & I were both so guilty of this for years. Moving away changed that for us, because everything that we do is up to us. It's nice to have that control over our lives, not that we were controlled by anyone before but when you're living around family and there is tension (for any reason), you tend to do things to make others happy.

They love their friends but don’t rely on them.

There is something about being in a new city & only really knowing 1 other family, that throws you into this. In California we could rely on family, but here we're on our own. Sure, we live in a neighborhood that is extremely close knit and we've got friends who'd help in a heartbeat and we're there for them in that same way. It feels good to know they're there, but to be on our own and rely on each other rather than anyone else. I truly believe that it's brought Matt and I closer and all 4 of us closer even, because we've now spent holidays as only a family of four, we've spent more family time with together than we used to even.

When you ask them what they do, they don’t give you a job title.

This is interesting to me, because when someone asks us we tell them what we "do". Matt's an accountant, I'm a stay at home mom and if the conversation goes further I might mention the virtual assisting/blogging that I do. Or, I might not. I can't imagine answering differently, but I think it'd be an interesting conversation to have. 

When you ask them where they live, they say, “At the moment…”

This won't happen for us. There's no way, not "at the moment" anyway. When we're retired and the kids are grown? Maybe. But right now, no. Our move was to get us to a good place, a place where our family would be happy- and we've achieved that. Moving around with the kids, while they're going through school & growing isn't something that would make us happy, so we're staying put. Right here in our happy place.

They have their own philosophies, their own religion they created and live by.

Matt & I to a "t", no doubt about that. We've tried going to church (a church that we loved), but in the end it wasn't for us. The two of us know our morals & values and we're passing them onto our kids. Our children are free to dabble in any religion they choose and when the time comes that they're curious, Matt and I will support whatever choices they make.

They embrace their impermanence.

When I think about dying, my anxiety kicks in. Embracing my impermanence is something that I'm not sure how to do at this point in my life. It almost makes me sick to even think about, because of my children. They need me and I hope to be around for years and years and years. 

They see the world as their playhouse and their mind as the conductor.

This one is really interesting and the article included this:

"They don’t believe there is a single way that the world is — a single reality that exists. Instead, they believe themselves to be the originators of their reality.
They believe they have full control over how they interpret what they perceive. They see the world the way they choose to see it because they understand the power such a skill has. We all live in a reality of our own construction. Some of us just construct our realities better than others." via
I get what Hudson is saying, but I'm not sure that I can say I'm "there". I'd like to think that one day I will be though.
They live in the moment, but dream in the future.
Very, very much so! Matt & I live very much in the moment, within our means, and try to make the best of every situation and what we have. We dream about the future a lot as well, we know what we want and have plans to achieve it. Those dreams are what got us from California to Wisconsin, so I'm confident that Matt and I can once again (over and over hopefully) turn those dreams for our future into a reality for our family. 

And we're teaching the children to dream big about their futures. We want nothing more than for them to know that they can achieve anything that they put their minds to and for them to enjoy every moment of life that they're given.

They don’t bother changing others, but instead learn how to deal with them appropriately.

This last point hits home, hard! After seven years of marriage to Matt we had issues and I was frustrated. That frustration came from not being able to change things about him that I wanted changed. It took marriage counseling (for that and many other reasons) for me to realize that I couldn't change him, even if I told him a million times a day that him changing would make him a better husband & dad. In counseling he learned how to redirect, and I learned how to handle and better understand the things we were dealing with. We both had to give a little in order to change something within our marriage. 

Each of us has changed a lot over the 11 years we've been married, and we've changed and grown together, making our relationship stronger than ever. 

Each of these really challenges me to think about how we're living our life, how happy we are or aren't. They make me wonder if there are things we're doing that we can change or things that maybe we aren't doing, but should be doing. I feel like we're happy though and I'd like to think that we can continue to be this happy, maybe happier even for many, many years to come. 

Are you happy? What do you think of the points that came from the article?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dream. Create. Inspire. 1

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Welcome to the first week of our new Dream Create Inspire Party! I am so excited to kick off this new link party with Holly, Alyson, and Tabitha. Each week you will come and share your favorite creative blog posts. You are more then welcome to link up to four posts each week. We do ask that you visit and comment on some of the other links. We will be featuring some of our favorites next week. I am looking forward to checking out your posts! Meet Your Party Hosts. hosts copy
Check out what we have been up to lately. 2014-10-20_0001
Dream Create Inspire

Dream Create Inspire Party Guidelines

  • Link up any creative post from your blog. It can be diy, crafts, printables, tutorials, recipes, etc.
  • Leave a link to the specific post, and not just your blog.
  • You may link up to four posts each week.
  • Add the button to your blog, or a text link directing back to the party.
  • Make sure to visit and comment on some of the other links.