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Friday, March 2, 2012

Finding the Balance in a Place Called Happy Mommy

I can't thank everyone enough for your kind words and support on my decision to cut back on my blog a bit to find the balance in not only creating a happy place for my family but a happy place for myself too. It is so important that we can all step outside of what is running through our heads at a 1000MPH and see how it is truly effecting not only ourselves but all of those close to us.

Wednesday, after I posted that blog, I went to a yin yoga class with one of my closest friends. She actually bought me a few classes at her gym on one of those amazing Living Social deals. We have participated in a few different styles of yoga that her gym offers but for some reason after writing that post, I got more out of the yin yoga class than I ever had before.

Source: via Andra on Pinterest

Yin yoga is a practice where you focus on opening your ligaments, focus on your breathing and clear everything out of your mind. You hold poses for 2-5 minutes depending on the intensity and you seriously have to dump everything out of your head to hold the poses that long. It is all about being...being there...not being at the racetrack in your head...but being in touch with how your body works.

The instructor coaches you along in a soothing voice. She reminds you that you are there for one hour and fifteen minutes of "me" time. There is relaxing music playing in the background. There are very lightly scented candles burning.

It is the only time that I find that I can truly shut everything off. Yes, you read that correctly. I am not one of those people who ever shuts things off. I used to say that I should be paid overtime for all of the work I did in my sleep.

I can shut out the world in this class. I can feel the energy move from place to place in my body with each change of pose. I can feel relaxed enough to giggle (and possibly snort) when I think about even trying to put my body into the pose just shown in example. I can settle my thoughts enough to get into that very pose. I can calm my breathing to work through the intensity of holding that very pose. I can do it.

I can do it and it feel incredible afterwards. I walk out feeling stronger, lighter, cleaner and refreshed. I can walk out knowing that for one hour and 15 minutes I put myself first. I can now realize that it doesn't mean that I'm being selfish...

It means that I am finding the balance in a place called "Happy Mommy".

What do you do to feel recharged and less stressed? Have you ever tried Yin Yoga?

P.S. Melanie, Thank you for this AMAZING gift that is so much more than just exercise! xo!

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Missing The Moments...

When I resigned from work last April it was because I had let my career take over most of my life. I never turned my phone off. I answered emails at all hours of the day, seven days a week. I take full blame for not prioritizing things and putting my family first.

Some of you may not believe this but I never wanted children. I wasn't that teenage girl you called up to cover you on a Saturday night to watch your kids so you could get a break. I was the girl who understood why you need the break. I knew way back then that kids were a handful.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't mean I didn't like kids but I didn't seek them out to play with them or keep them entertained at big gatherings. It was never a natural thing like I see it can be with so many teenagers.

So, as I matured and thought about my life, I decided that I didn't think children were going to be a part of it. I never felt the warm fuzzies when seeing a newborn or the baby clothes in the stores. You never heard an "Awww, that is sooo cute!" escape from my mouth.

Then I fell in love (true love) for the first time. I was dating a wonderful guy who was really good with kids. He would put them on his knee and played "Buckin' Bronco". You know, where you hold the kids by their hands and bounce them on your knee. He would tickle them and make them laugh. He would chase them and make them squeal with delight. It got me thinking that maybe I was missing out on something.

Then I met and fell in love with my husband. The very first time I saw him work through the nervousness his 3 year old niece was having from not seeing him very much (they lived 9 hours away from each other) and winning her over...I was sold. I trusted this man enough to help balance what I was lacking in kid skills. I knew the two of us could be a team and raise happy and very loved children.

Somehow, I just always thought my career would come first though. I know, not the best plan but I had 24 years in of thinking I would never have children. I loved working. I loved bringing home a paycheck. I loved knowing I could do things on a project that no one could do quite the same. I loved having a start and an end date. I loved having annual performance reviews. I never thought that it would be any different...

Until I realized that I was missing the moments. The moments that turn into hours. The hours that turn into days. The days that turn into weeks. The weeks that turn into years. I was truly missing them.

They were happening right in front of me but I was too busy, too stressed and too focused on work that I let them go right by me with barely a notice.

When I resigned, I promised I wouldn't let that happen again.

I have though. I have turned this very computer that I am typing on right now as a distraction to those moments. At first, I had the excuse of, "Well, I am blogging about some of the moments." Then I used the excuse of, "Well, I need to grow my followers and then I can cut back." Now, though...I have realized that I have tried to turn blogging into my career when it isn't.

I will never make any money off of this blog. I will never turn any of my writing into the next bestseller. I will never be invited and sponsored to a blog conference. I will just continue to be a very small fish in a very large blog pond.

I have to find my happy with that. I started this blog with the best intentions. I started it to share who I am, to make some new friends, to find a creative outlet.

I just can't let it lead me to missing anymore moments.

My plan for just write as me, to write when only inspiration finds me, to remember that this blog is supposed to be about fun and not about work.

I'm not going to disappear from the blogging world. I imagine I will still be here 2-3 times a week and for the first time in a while...I imagine sitting here at this computer with a true smile on my face.

Thank you to everyone who supports me on this blog. I have never once regretted a single post or reply to a comment that I have ever taken the to write. I only regret that is that I didn't prioritize better. I hope that you will see the change in me and my writing very soon.


Monday, February 27, 2012

My Baby Turned Eight...

Over the weekend we celebrated our Bean's 8th birthday. It is hard for me to believe that my youngest is now 8 years old. Where did all of that time go?!

Bean is a girl that is full of imagination. She loves bright colors, butterflies and crafting her little heart out. I wanted to capture all of that in her birthday celebration.

I decorated with ribbons, flowers, butterflies and brightly colored candies. The birthday girl and her friends made ribbon hair elastics, tye dye butterflies from coffee filters and pipe cleaners and scratch and design butterfly ornaments.

Bean was in her element and I never saw the smile disappear from her face the entire two hours of the party. It warmed my heart to see that with each gift she opened she took her time to read the card first and then made several comments about the gift before moving on to the next. It warmed my heart even more to see that each gift was so thoughtful and represented all of the things my little girl loves. When I asked the girls if Bean had given them any ideas of what she wanted for her birthday they all told me no and that they just knew her very well.

My favorite part of the party was before we sang Happy Birthday to Bean. I asked each of the girls to share something they liked about Bean or liked doing with Bean. I wanted my girl to know how she makes her friends feel and what they like about her. Her face lit up and she giggled with some of the words they used to describe her and my eyes well up now as I think about them.

When I asked Bean what her favorite thing was from her party, she told me that it was hearing what everyone had to say about her and that her very favorite was what her big sister, Ash, had said about her in front of everyone. (It was pretty amazing. I wish I would've recorded it.)

My Bean is an amazing girl. Yes, she received some awesome presents but she knows what is truly special about birthdays...that they are all about love and friendship.

I count my lucky stars every day that I get to be the one she calls Mommy.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Pinterest Made Me Cut My Shirt...

I tried my best to stay off of Pinterest. I really did. I would just take a peek here and there. Then one day I needed a quote to go with my post and I wanted it to be all "prettied up". I knew where to turn...Pinterest.

That was the turn that has led me down a path of crazy. Now I turn to Pinterest for recipes, hair styles, garden designs, home decor...

Pinterest is full of LOVELY!

Lovely things that I will never be able to recreate because I just don't have the vision or let's face it...the energy. Like this outdoor party...

Lovely places I will only dream of going because I'm pretty sure I would need a lot of shots before going some place like this and I would be freaking out that the cave would collapse around me. Like this swimming cave... 

Lovely foods that I would love to eat but only if someone else did all of the prep work, cooking, serving and clean up. Like this plate of deliciousness...

Source: via Rita on Pinterest

Lovely outfits that look so simple to put together. Lovely outfits that I would love to wear but can't stand shopping, trying clothes on or the fact that when I get to the store I can rarely put an outfit together that even looks as simple as this...

Source: via Bianca on Pinterest

Lovely birthday parties that would make any little girl squee with delight. Like this amazing woodland fairy themed party...

Yes, I know that there are plenty of photos that are of your everyday backyards decorated for a cookout that scream, "We know how to party!".

Yes, I know that there are plenty of photos that are of the standard family vacation in a regular hotel on a nice beach without broken beer bottles and hypodermic needles.

Yes, I know that there are plenty of photos of that are of food that I can actually prep, cook, serve and clean up without much trouble (notice I didn't say that I still wouldn't be complaining about having to do all of it).

Yes, I know that there are outfits that are simple to probably copy in a cheaper way with little effort but those aren't the ones that make me say, "Oooh & Ahhh" and running to the mall.

The birthday party photos though...will someone please start pinning some regular ol' house parties with crepe paper, balloons and paper plates from Party City. (Oh, I also need the parents to be not so crafty. I am doing my best to decorate for Bean's birthday party tomorrow and I have stapled one of my fingers, burned another one, fell off of a chair I was standing on to hang something up and cut a hole in my shirt. Not sure how that last one happened but I am going to blame it on Pinterest!)

What are your favorite things to swoon over on Pinterest?


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wintertime Fun - Minus Heavy Coats and Snow...

We haven't had much more than an inch or two total accumulation of snow where we live this winter. I don't need a ton of it but I do feel we have been shortchanged somehow.

I mean if it is going to be cold (okay, we have had a few early Spring like days scattered here and there), I want at least one snow where my girls can go out and make snow angels, build snowmen, slide down our neighbor's hill and come inside begging  asking for hot cocoa with extra marshmallows.

Since that hasn't happened this year, my girls found another way to have fun...

Do you remember how much fun jumping off of things used to be when you were a kid? There wasn't hesitation. There wasn't thinking about the what ifs. It was just plain old fun.

I would've joined them but it looked a little high for me and I was worried that I would break something. ;-)

parenting BY dummies
This is my first ever Wordful Wednesday link up with Dumb Mom of Parenting by Dummies. So excited to be in the company of so many wonderful bloggers!