Monday, September 19, 2016

Resolutions

Resolving not to wait on another new year. 

Typically we make resolutions and goals on January 1 and typically these revolve around fitness, weight loss and health

But today, right this very minute is different.  NO MORE DIET GOALS!!!! and no waiting for a new year, for a Monday, for some obscure date in the future.  I resolve to start today...to be more and do more NOW! 

Starting today...

1. Read a new book every month πŸ“˜
2. Take the kids on a hike
3. Take a hot yoga class
4.  Say what I mean and mean what I say
5.  Surprise my husband 🎊
6.  Watch the planes come and go at the local airport with the littles
7.  Dress up
8.  Show up
9.  Bake with real ingredients....real sugar, real milk, real butter, no "healthy/trendy" substitutions
10.  Encourage another mom to love herself as she is...perfectly imperfect
11.  Learn to use my camera for real πŸ“Έ
12.  Compliment strangers
13.  Paddleboard
14.  Be brave
15.  Dream πŸ’­
16.  Be my husband's true love πŸ’‘
17.  Listen to a live band outside
18.  Feel all the feels
19.  Lift heavy things just because I can πŸ‹
20.  Explore somewhere new locally
21.  Photograph beautiful things
22.  Dance
23.  Read the Bible out loud to the kids
24.  Pray
25.  Go camping in a tent πŸ•
26.  3 words:  60 second hugs
27.  Learn to make a perfect cup of coffee and not depend on my Gold status quite so often #Starbucks
28.  See a waterfall
29.  Watch a sunrise and a sunset
30.  Take a walk
31.  Create something
32.  Play with the kiddos
33.  Be grateful for a crazy past that got me here today in this equally crazy present

So, live, love, experience.  Your turn! 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Giving up perfection



I am not a work in progress.

I am not on a journey.

I am neither perfect nor imperfect.

I am a daughter, a wife, a mom, a friend, an employee, a boss, an adventure seeking, outdoor loving girl.

To define me simply by my looks is to minimize the millions of other things I am.

Friends,

It's okay to better yourself for you.  It's okay to have goals. 

It's also okay to just be and enjoy each day with no expectations.

A life spent in love and exploration is a good life.  The rest is just minor details. 

How are you embracing life and living it your way?

Recent photo shoot with KT Photography




Saturday, March 5, 2016

Oliver Nature Center


I got to take a little time alone this morning so I decided on a nature walk with a side of photography.  The pictures pretty much speak for themselves.  The park is peaceful and beautiful.  Not much more needs to be said.


I saw a lady add a rock to the top of this sign.  There were 5 or 6 rocks on the right side and none on the left.  When I made it back around the park, I noticed the rocks had been separated.  What does this mean?
Monarch area.  I was shocked I got the sun like that.  







No wild flowers yet. 
Have you been here?  Great for a nice walk or family pics.  Definitely go past the entrance.  Lots of good little nooks and crannies. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Quitting the fitness mlm scene



After 4.5 years of being signed up as a "Coach", I quit.  These are my reasons.  If you have found a way to authentically market yourself and have the training {aka certification} to give good advice then I wish you the best.  This is not for you.

I took this post down for awhile and this is the revisions.  Honestly, I was BULLIED into believing I didn't have the authority to share my own experience.  I have since realized that is just not true.  This is my testimony and my experience.  To be honest, I felt led to share this in a need to protect women and mom's from ever believing the lies that you have to live an extreme life designed by someone else or that your physical or mental self is not good enough.  This life is meant to be lived and enjoyed.  Please do not let an extremist tell you how to live and find fulfilment in life.  You alone are the captain of your ship.

So without further ado.

1.  Perfect will never exist.  It is hard to view the thousands of selfies with captions like "not perfect", "still so much work to do", "it's a journey" etc as anything more than a need to be validated rather than a desire to inspire.  I get it though.  Social media is a new outlet for expression and who doesn't want to have millions of people telling you good job, but it is hard to determine the heart's true desire from a selfie and a blurb about how everyone can get this supposed and imagined  "Imperfect", yet obviously desirable figure (are you confused yet?) just by spending x amount on the latest and greatest product.  It's not just the weird sales pitch though.  These are tiny "perfect" beings with self confidence issues.  If you aren't perfect looking like that then what must I look like to you????  I'm having confidence issues just thinking about it.  I actually have fat, like for real, not imagined. 

2. I was seeing more and more coaches offering advice they had no training in.   When did we suddenly decide to get our information from random strangers with zero credentials?  The idea behind coaching was to be an encourager of healthy habits not a know it all with zero training.  It is so easy to dole out advice, but at what point is it irresponsible?

3.  This is a business.  I have zero problem with that.  I just think that any business person should conduct themselves with integrity and always ask if this is how they would want to be treated.  When you are in business for yourself it is so easy to find ways to "cheat" the system.  Sometimes you win big that way.  I have seen it many times, but most times you end up the loser and by loser I mean your money.  I saw so many down line coaches oversold on what is "possible".  Sure, anything is possible.  I can find you a million quotes and memes on Pinterest to support that thought, but at the end of the day sales is not for everyone.  I hate to see people conned into believing that by signing up family members they would suddenly be successful.  Let's make a pact to leave family out of it.  Ok?  I mean I want them to be healthy, but if I love you I am going to sneak healthy treats into your life without making you pay me.  Like long walks on the beach?  Yep, me too.  Oh, that's not exercise is it?  Oops.  You still love me though.  Like pizza?  Yep, me too.  Betcha didn't notice all the veggies I pureed and snuck in the sauce.  Nope.  Can't taste it can you?  Looks like I gave you a nutrition freebie too.  I must really love you!  My point is that you will never be a success by attacking your friends and family.  Give your family an opportunity sure, but then leave it at that. 

4.  The sacrifice is too great.  My goal is to be a good wife and mom.  Truth is I was suffering and failing at both because I was spread to thin.  My guilt was all over the place.  I felt guilt if I worked out or worked on "my business".  I felt guilt if I spent time with my family.  Guilt is not worth the sacrifice.  I struggle with being a good wife and mom under even the best of circumstances.  Put me through added stress and I am fairly worthless.  

5.  It honestly felt like a cult. You know how many times I saw people in leadership roles tell their community of followers and down line to forget the people not on the same path?  That if they weren't willing to join you then they were not good enough to be around, like health and fitness are the only worthy goals in life.  Aw yes, being a good person is out, fitness perfectionist is in.  Got it!

6.  I lost my love for health and fitness completely.  The social media version of health has become a source for bullying.  We all know what works for us, but there is a huge difference between sharing what works for you and shoving it down people's throats.  Mostly I was tired of feeling inadequate because any dedication I have to my health and fitness is never at the appropriate level.  Let's examine the over used #noexcuses.  Am I the only one that realizes how much this reeks of bullying?  Go hard, give it your all, but stop putting people down for living life and being actual humans.  The only reason most people have any inclination to work on some kind of fitness goal is because society and these fitness "professionals" are telling them they are not good enough unless they subscribe to this mantra.  In the words of my 2 year old and 4 year old, this is ridiculous. 

7.  I joined hoping I would make friends with people that had the same goals as me and what I found was just another version of junior high except now there is money and prestige involved so the ego is large.  I wanted that elusive tribe of women I hear about in the mommy community.  Friendship is apparently only based on your amount of success and for the most part felt fake and forced.  I suppose that is life though. {sigh}

8.  The insane focus on being a stay at home mom.  I never intended to be a SAHM and I am not.  I work outside the home.  My kids go to daycare and they thrive there, but the constant PSA that SAHM is the way, the truth and the light was just too overwhelming.  I love that it works for you, but quit bullying me into believing my situation is not good enough, because it most certainly is good enough. Again, I don't want to be the person that makes you feel like you are not doing enough.  Being a mom is a super tough gig.  We don't need other mom's adding to the drama.

9.  I'm all for getting my family healthy but having my kids around while I workout is not safe.  I lift heavy.  I move fast.  My kids are young and they think mom is a jungle gym anytime I get down to their level.  The trend is to show pics of your kids in the background while you are working out or even them joining in because supposedly that makes you a good mom.  My kids don't need to watch me do a 30 minute workout.  They need to see me active.  They need to go on walks with me in nature.  We need to play at the jungle gym together.  We need to wrestle on the ground and chase each other in the backyard with spray guns.  We need to ride bikes together.  I never want them to feel self worth from a 30 minute workout.  I want them to feel loved and just plain alive.  I want them to have experiences and use movement in life to keep them healthy.  I don't want it to be a chore.  One day when they are older if they want to join me and add to what they are doing then great, but showing them at this age is a bit unsafe and unrealistic.  Aren't we over the perfect mom social media staged photos yet?

Mainly I just didn't feel safe or happy in that environment.  I removed my Coach and all the other coaches I followed from my Facebook account.  They were more of a distraction of perfection than a source of inspiration.  I hope that any affiliation you have with MLM fitness communities help meet your needs and fulfills you.

What has your experience been with the various fitness and health MLM's out there?  




Saturday, December 26, 2015

Dear Mom in the Target Parking Lot


I hate that I have to write this, but I do.  Dear mom letters are really not my thing.  I don’t even want to read them anymore.  They generally are meant to be sweet gestures, but end up sounding like a “perfect” somewhat know it all of a mom needing to be “liked”.  I get it.  We have created this culture.  We have lost our helpful nature and have become, dare I go as far to say, narcissists needing affirmation from everywhere and everyone around us.   So goes mommyhood.  Mommywars fueled by the ever need to one up the Johnsons and the Smiths and be better. 

So this is a personal story.  One that is super embarrassing for so many reasons and left me really in a bad place for about 24 hours.  Even now a few days later I relive every detail and the shoulda woulda couldas come to mind but there is a moral to this story so I will share.  Here goes….

Dear Mom in the Target parking lot,

You followed me and waved me down, screaming, “He’s just a kid.  He’s just a kid.  I’m calling the police.  I have your license plate”.  You thought you knew the story just by some tiny 5 second blurb that you saw in the parking lot and assumed that you knew how to parent better than I and you were going to have your say.  I get it.  No one wants to see people struggling with children.  We are conditioned to believe based on social media that all kids behave at all times and no one poops and if they do misbehave {or poop haha}  there is a set way to discipline.  Only there is not.  The set of circumstances and the variation in child temperament and even the amount of learning disabilities these days always is just too vast.  No one form of discipline works at all times for all kids.  You are naΓ―ve if you think that way. 

I’m not exactly sure what you saw, but here is what happened (most of which you I am sure did not see).  Remember you saw maybe 5 seconds.  You judged me on 5 seconds.  Let that sink in.  

Monday morning my 4 year old and I took my husband to the hospital for surgery. We stayed long enough for the dr to arrive and get him prepped.  We would have hung around and waited for him, but as life goes, he had errands for us to run.  We have been without a fridge for roughly 25 days.  The night before we had finally gone to get my brother in laws deep freeze so we would have something to use for the weeks my husband would be off recovering which meant we needed to pick up a few things.  

I have totally gotten in a just give up on life and shop for all of life’s needs at Target.  I used to grocery shop at grocery stores and then I had kids.  Now I need a one stop shop for life and Target has become it.  So, while Mark is in surgery I take G to Target.  He wants one of those atrocious giant shopping carts with the extra seat thing in front of the cart.  You need a semi license to drive one of those things.  I needed to be fast and there wasn’t one anywhere to be found so we settled on a regular cart because honestly he would have just walked anyway while I was stuck lugging some giant mommy hating cart through the store. 

We are on a mission for soup because that is what Mark and I agreed would probably be easiest on his stomach while he was recuperating.  We find that and then G decides we need to fill the cart with mac and cheese.  Seriously, he was throwing them in there.  Settle on 6 or so packages and then find the pasta sauce and some pasta.  G then decides to rearrange the whole cart as I am looking at something.  Bam, the pasta sauce goes on the floor.  We find a very nice lady and let her know.  Tell G to apologize, which he does ever so quietly.   Very nice lady says no big deal she drops things all the time LOL.  Well, there you go.  

So we continue shopping and then out of the corner of his little eye he spies that beloved behemoth of a cart and takes off running.  I finally get to him and tell him that I am not switching carts.  He throws a major fit, so I leave our cart, pick him up and cart him to the car.  We drive home with no soup for my husband and a very ticked off 4 year old who can go on and on about life’s injustices for far too long.

Finally it is time to pick up my husband, but we still need rations.  We decide to stop by Target again and my husband would stay in the car.  For some ridiculous reason I said G could go into the store with me.  I’m nice like that.  Besides I didn’t want my super tired just had surgery husband to have to listen to 20 minutes of screaming.  Again, I’m nice like that. 

I just need some soup,  a few mac and cheese, and this grabber thing my husband saw the other day but failed to actually buy.  As the previous trip went, little G began asking for everything and going so far as to put things in my cart as I turned around.  He was running off and just generally not listening.  We finally get what we need plus a little more and then he throws a fit at the checkout stand.  This is one of those super determined never gives up type of kid.  He throws himself on the floor, screams, throws things, hitting me, biting me, pretty much just causes a whole scene. 

I have to get me, a screaming G and our cart of Target nonsense back to the car so I pick up screaming G and put him at the top of the cart where I am holding him.  I guess I should also mention that he will run off and plop himself anywhere when he is mad so dodging a busy Christmas week Target parking lot requires extra safety precautions.  So at this point I am mumbling how I suck as a mom and he never listens to me and just generally questioning why everything in life has to be so difficult all while restraining an out of control 4 year old in a cart. 

Enter the know it all mom who I guess thinks I am hurting him in some way when really I’m trying to protect an out of control 4 year old from getting hurt in a Target parking lot.  So when you started screaming and then threatening me when I’m already at a stressed out state, I lost it and yelled at you to butt out and mind your own business which apparently infuriated you because you either called the police or pretended to.   I continued putting my screaming crying kid in the car as well as the groceries and still managed to put my cart in the cart corral while you stood there judging me.  Judging me on 5 seconds.  Not sure who you called, but it doesn’t matter.   I didn’t stick around because you are neither my circus nor my monkey. 

Here’s what you could have done, the moral of the story shall we.  Should you ever find yourself in a situation where you don’t like what you see, before following some unsuspecting mom through the Target parking lot screaming at her, try remembering that you don’t have all the facts and that little blips don’t tell the whole story.  Then offer to be helpful.  Perhaps this is just a bad day or a bad moment and instead of ruining someone’s life by adding stress and God forbid the cops or CPS, help them.  Had you offered to put my groceries in the car or hold my child’s hand the rest of the way, the situation would never have escalated.  By making threats you alerted the momma bear in me to protect my young at all costs.  You had a chance to diffuse the situation and you didn’t.  You passed judgement on me and asserted your perfect mom ideals on me. 

I get it though.  We live in the social media age.  In the words of my friend, we have become the cult of the child.  We live to please our children and hold them up to God size powers.  We believe that all of life’s doings must be to serve our children in some way.  Whatever happened to God first, husband second and then children?  We have become a nation that idolizes our children.  I’m not perfect in any shape or form and most days I’m just winging it and hoping for the best, but the mommy judging needs to stop.  Bring back the mommies that help. 

Photo Credit:  KT Photography 
I might not have been handling my child the way you would have.  Honestly I wish I would have handled his tantrum a million other ways, but let’s be honest, had I say, sat down at the exit to Target where my child wanted to have a tantrum and waited it out I would have been judged by someone else.  There is no winning, but I’m asking you not to take an extreme situation and make it worse.  Should you want to butt in, do it with grace and with the intention of helping. 

This probably won’t change your view.  You’ll probably still think you are right and well, that’s fine.  My purpose in writing isn’t actually for you.   My purpose is sharing a more loving way to act and react in these situations.  We are all parents doing our best and sometimes we need a little help.  So be a helper not a hero.  Helpers act in love.  Heroes in the case of mommywars act in self promotion.  Ask yourself, can I make this situation better or will stepping in cause more damage or at the worst, am I doing this for the wrong reasons?

How do you handle parenting situations when you are out and about, either with your own children or when you witness other parents having a rought time?