On Letting it Go

Monday, April 20, 2015

I'll be the first one to wave the motherhood and business flag. Chase after what you're passionate about? I'm on that train. When women, especially mamas, use their gifts to bless others through small business, crafting, blogging, homemaking or otherwise, I get super fired up. The world is better when we are all living into our purpose.

But lately, I've been trying to do both motherhood and small business at full speed ahead. Not to mention housework, self-care, wife-hood (Is that a word? It is now), and squeezing in some fun now and again. I am the first one to plead guilty when it comes to buying into the Instagram Highlight Reel where we see other mothers, women, business owners, DIYers who, through their little pretty squares, appear to be doing it all and experiencing great success. And here I am, burning the cheese on the "nachos" for lunch, wearing my workout clothes from yesterday and eternally bouncing our four month old on the blasted exercise ball praying to the sweet Lord Jesus that her eyes start to close. Run a business? Yeah...right.

Last week we had a little come to Jesus moment in this household. I was tired, defeated, cranky, messy, and feeling stretched to full capacity. I was not being the best mom I could be and I was trying to work productively in the tiny cracks I had of the day. And here's the thing: it's my own fault. I alone was the one holding my own head underwater, expecting a pre-baby output in my post-baby lifestyle. It was my own constant striving after the things I thought I wanted that was keeping me from experiencing real peace, joy, and contentment in my current reality. 

So I'm chucking the expectations and agendas out the window for a little bit. It's time to spend a little season simplifying, refocusing, and dwelling in the current place God has me -- because there is purpose in that place. There are many glorious days ahead of working on some house projects, trying new recipes, taking long walks with our little family, being out in the warm sun, and digging into some fun projects just for me...just for creativity-sake. Simply put, I want to spend some time doing things that are too awesome for the internet. Amen?

If this is you too, if you are burnt out, tired of striving, weary from spreading yourself too thin, know that you are in good company. If you are holding your head just under the surface instead of taking some deep, deep breaths of the fresh air right above, I'm right there with you. May this be your official permission slip to let it go. Let all the things go. And take some time to dig into the good marrow of your current reality. Because there's good stuff there just for you. There's contentment and joy and inspiration and refreshment there just for you.

Candy, Poofy Dresses, and Traditions with Kids

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Look, I like the Easter Bunny as much as the next person. Okay, maybe not. The life-size bunny? I'm not so sure. But the chocolate eggs! Oh the chocolate eggs. Holidays are chalk full of childhood memories, family traditions, and, of course, sweets. Just the other day, I was reminiscing about how I loved searching for my Easter basket every year...and how every year either mine or my brother's was hiding in the dryer. But having a kid this year for the holidays feels like a game-changer.

Yes, I want to carry on some fun family traditions with Naomi. I want her to enjoy her Easter basket, wear her big poofy dresses (I'm dying of cuteness overload over here), and remember all the special things we did with her on those days. But there's a part of me that wants to throw it all out the window -- Santa, the Easter Bunny, the gifts on top of gifts on top of gifts. Part of me, in fact, wants Naomi to be the girl in school that tells the other kids that Santa isn't real. Is that mean? Maybe that's mean.

Having children feels like an opportunity to start fresh in a way. It's a chance to throw out all the bad stuff and start new rhythms and traditions and ways of thinking that are more about what they should be about. I have the biggest desire to REALLY make Christmas and Easter about Jesus. And not in a "glue together a popsicle cross and call it good" sort of way. But in a way that makes him the center and everything else a fun surprise on top of something that's already good enough. Because our faith, our God, is a good enough reason to celebrate. It's the only reason to celebrate. The gifts, traditions, and treats are the cherry on top -- ideally a meaningful addition to the central celebration.

I want to raise kids that call B.S. on the Easter bunny. Maybe that's idealistic of me. Maybe that's mean to shatter childhood fantasies about life-size mammals and a magical old man who rides a sleigh in the sky. But maybe, just maybe, our kids would give gifts in reflection of what gift we've already been given. Maybe they would be excited on Easter Sunday because it's a day to celebrate new life, the redeeming of brokenness, and the hope we have in things that outlive us. And the candy, fancy dresses, and traditions would be things that lie in the shadows of what we're really celebrating.

What do you think? How do you keep meaning at the center of your holidays without squashing some of the fun stuff?

april goals

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I love the beginning the month -- fresh start, fresh goals, and...it's springtime!! All the party hat emojis! Here's a little recap on this month and a look ahead to April. I'm getting a little ambitious but I'd really like to tackle some different things this coming month.


MEAL PLAN FOR THE WHOLE MONTH - This is still a work in progress. I would say three out of four weeks got planned, with a few nights eating out. I will say that a big success for us was eating out only on planned occasions, and not just because we forgot to plan dinner at home.

SET UP GUEST ROOM - Check! Before March, we were essentially using our extra room for storage. WE had several people stay with us this month and it felt so good to transform that room into a friendly, clean space.

SORT OUT HOSPITAL BILLS AND ADDRESS CHANGES - Check! That whole having a baby thing is kind of a financial mess. It felt really good to get started on some of the admin stuff this month.

ESTABLISH A WEEKLY ROUTINE - Well, we did have one...and then little Nay Nay decided to stop sleeping and change up her whole pattern. So...we'll have to hold off on sticking to a routine for now.

PHONE-FREE AFTER 9PM - This has helped so much this past month. I was better about it at the beginning than towards the end. But I think it's really important to have some time at the end of the night to not be distracted by social media, emails, or work stuff. I sleep better and am mentally healthier for doing that. Definitely going back on my list for April.


+ Continue the no phone after 9pm thing.
+ Continue to meal plan each week. So far, the first week in April is a win.
+ Work out three times a week. I have a workout buddy and that's toooootally helping.
+ Eliminate soda. (It's counterproductive to the above goal and not helping the "lose the baby weight"    thing.)
+ Finish a book.
+ Attend community groups in the area and make meaningful connections.
+ Add another product to the Primavera Studio shop (excited for this one!)
+ Restructure website/blog. This may take longer than just one month but I'd really love to simplify my blog & business website. Not sure what that looks like quite yet, but I think it's the right move.
+ Plan a baby-free night out. We ate Mexican and shot pool this month and it was so good for us to get out. We are so doing that again.

If you've got goals too, let's hear 'em!

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