New Tests, New Trials

So I try to find things that are relatable for everyone that way we are all kind of on the same page. Well, one week ago we got a new puppy. And let me tell you, I wasn’t mentally prepared for a puppy.

Maybe most people can relate to the constant chewing, peeing everywhere, and piles of poop that come along with a housing puppy. I have raised a few dogs in my life already so I guess I was thinking I was a pro and told myself, “I got this!” 

Well, I don’t have this. This dog is straining my energy, the little tiny bit I had left after taking care of 3 kids this summer and keeping up with a house that seems to be always messy. He is constantly under foot and we are desperately trying to not step on him all day. He is a nuisance. He tries to chew on the kids. He has tried to eat my front door rug. He pooped in his kennel again last night and let’s just say it wasn’t fun to wake up to at 1:45 am this morning.

But even through all of that, we still love him. We may want to leave him outside for the remainder of the day at times, but his snuggles and kisses make up for all of the flaws.

He’s not perfect, so why was I pretending he would be? Why was I putting an expectation on him to be perfect, especially as a 9 week old puppy? 

Thanks for bringing me back to reality HP. I previously prayed for patience with the kids and I believe the dog is the answer to those prays. I’ve realized…it could always be worse!

Rain, Rain, Rain

It’s been storming here all night and even across a large part of our region yesterday. There was some flooding near my hometown, but overall not a lot of significant damage that I’m aware of. Rain has the tendency to be beautiful and destructive all at the same time.

For example, we’ve gone through periods of severe drought where all of the technology in the world couldn’t save what rain could help in just minutes. There have also been times when a lightning storms rolls in and I couldn’t imagine another way I’d rather spend my time on this earth than observing the magnificent natural light show before me.

So is the way of life…

We have times of great joy when things happen just when we need them to happen, there are times when we desperately pray that something will save us from the chaotic ways of a life we no longer understand, and then there is beauty in how the destructive ways of our lives have led us to the most beautiful outcomes we never could have imagined.

Thank God today for the rain…

We All Need Some Grace

Ever since I got back to every day life and reality has had time to set back in from vacation mode, I realize I’m already starting to get down on myself. “School is right around the corner and there is so much that needs to be done. Meal planning, school clothes shopping, organize the kids’ clothes, organize the pantry, get the garage in order, and I’m sure tons of other things that need to happen!” Yes, these were all of the thoughts running through me head about 5:30 this morning. That would make anyone go crazy, right?

Well I’m glad I can realize when old habits creep in and I have the power to not let those old things take over my life. I’m not in control of everything around me, but I am in control of myself and how I choose to go into the new school year. I’m in control of how I spend my time each day and whether I should spend time worrying or spend my time in a more productive manner.

I feel that some people think the more stressed out you are (and the more public you are about it!) means you are more productive. I believe the contrary to be true. When you are busy getting things done, you don’t have time to complain about how busy you are!

None of us are perfect here! We all need a little patience and a whole lotta grace!

Back to Life, Back to Reality

Hello friends! I’m so happy to be back with you today after a week of travelling. I was in another country for a dear friend of mine’s wedding. While we were gone, my husband and I had time to reflect upon many things in our lives.

One of the more notable mentions is the fact that we weren’t 100% ready for a wedding/party type atmosphere. We were in a country in South America where the liquor and beer flows freely during any kind of celebration. My friend’s family in particular likes indulging in drinks just as much as any American family.

We didn’t even think (or I guess I should say I didn’t think) about the rehearsal dinner and the reception being that much of an issue. But then they brought out the serving trays of beer and shots that kept rounding our noses every few minutes. (I mean, the waitresses were really doing their jobs in making totally sure we really didn’t want any.)

We tried to find the just the right amount of time between staying at the party and not being rude by leaving too early. Finally, we had all of the water our bladders could handle and enough temptation to feel like we’re playing with fire.

We left the party early as well as the wedding reception because we had served our purpose. We were there to celebrate our friend’s wedding, meet the people important to her, and enjoy the party. We were not meant to linger around tempting fate to see how long we could really stay before one of us accidentally drank the champagne sitting right next to our water glass.

We made it! We did it! We grow stronger every time we venture out to another uncomfortable social atmosphere and I’m proud of us. My husband even salsa danced with me…SOBER! I feel more in love with him at that very moment!

 

Fantastic Friday to the Rescue

What is it about Fridays? I mean of course besides the more relaxed bosses, the ever-popular causal Fridays, the willingness to order pizza instead of cooking at home (maybe that’s just our house?), and of course it’s the kick off to a much anticipated weekend. But really, what is it about Fridays that gives me an extra giddy-up in my step?

One conclusion I have is that the pressure of a full week ahead of me is now behind me at this point. I’m still motivated on Fridays, but for the following week not the one I’m currently living in. But why do we jump ahead to the next week when we haven’t even completed this one? Maybe it’s because it gets easier to focus on things that are further away instead of what is right in front of us.

No matter the way you view Fridays, I believe everyone is relieved to break from the hustle and bustle of the work/school week. Maybe I’m wrong and I’m definitely open to others’ view points on this, but Fridays are just the best.

Today, I’m thankful for Fridays…

I hope you have a Fantastic Friday today!

Progress Not Perfection (On Repeat)

Why is it so easy to get caught up in the trying to be perfect” mentality when we all know perfection isn’t attainable? We sometimes don’t even realize we’re doing it until it’s getting to the point of being ridiculous.

Why am eating nothing but protein shakes and salads? To have the perfect beach body selfie on vacation? Why am I making sure my kids have the right hair cut and clothes that are crisp and neat? To portray having perfect kids? Why am I so damn worried about putting on makeup for others? I don’t even wear it while I’m at home. Am I trying to be a different person when I’m around others?

I know I’m not the only person who struggles with the idea of perfection, otherwise there wouldn’t be the “Progress Not Perfection” rule out in the universe. None of us are perfect. None of us are perfect. None of us are perfect. (I figured if I said it three times, my fairy godmother would appear and say I was perfect in some way, but that didn’t happen.)

Foolishly, I tell myself I’m not trying to be perfect. I tell myself, “I’m not doing any of this to impress anyone.” Let’s be real, you may not want to “impress anyone else” but it feels good when people acknowledge the effort you put into something. Is this the pursuit of perfection or a whole other monster altogether? Is that the pursuit of acceptance? (Dang, now I’ll have to write a post on that one too. I digress.)

The reason I bring all of this up today is because I have been struggling with my own self-image the past few weeks and I needed to tell myself I’m being ridiculous. Like any good friend, I try to talk to myself in a constructive manner rather than tearing myself down. (The other way just doesn’t work for anyone and makes you feel like a complete failure all of the time. Trust me on this one.) 

So to everyone reading this today (myself included), I wanted to tell you that you are a beautiful individual created by God.

Do You Ever Feel Trapped in an Endless Loop?

Please tell me you’ve seen the 90’s movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray. His character wakes up every single morning with the exact same song playing on the radio, the same people crossing his path, the same food being served, and every other thing about the day being the same over and over and over and over again. An endless loop of insanity. He can’t even get out by killing himself. He just wakes up again to repeat the day once more. The only way he is able to escape the cycle is to be the best version of himself and make choices that are truly honest to who he really is.

Sometimes I feel like I’m living in my own Groundhog Day.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not to the point of trying to attempt being run over by a vehicle to escape the trap of perpetual sameness every day. But I often hear the words, “Didn’t we do this yesterday and last week and last month and last year?” creep slowly into my mind. Sometimes it feels like we eat the same food all of the time, read the same books, have the same workout, watch the same movies or shows on Netflix, wash the same clothes, wash the same dishes, and have the same conversations. (Note: When I say “we” I am mostly referring to the fact that I’m at home this summer with 3 small children.)

So what do we do to break the endless cycle of sameness? Do we need a new job? Do we need a new perspective? Do we need to make a drastic change in our lives? Do we need to hang on to these precious fleeting moments because we are told one day we will miss them?

I believe the answer lies in going back to the movie. How can we be the best versions of ourselves today and make the decisions that are truest to who we really are?

Try that on today. Try to be the absolute best version of yourself and make choices based on what you really want out of life. Hopefully tomorrow you’ll wake up with a different song playing on the radio.