Getting Quiet

If you happen to follow me on Instagram you may (or may not) have noticed I haven’t posted in a week.  If you know me well, Insta is my favorite slice of social media.  I started blogging back in 2011 and I believe it was that year that Instagram made its debut.  I loved my little blogging/insta community. It was real, raw, and pure.  Friends from all over could share their photos instantly with adorable captions.  I had so many amazing connections with women over fashion, food, family, husbands, you name it!!

Fast forward to 2018 and my feed was filled with overly airbrushed images, ads to buy something and picture perfect squares of everyone’s perfect lives.  I knew that when I would scroll, put the phone down and then only to pick it right back up and scroll again, it wasn’t making me feel good.  I kept brushing it off because I still do have some amazing, inspiring and uplifting people that I follow—but that wasn’t how I was left feeling after looking at Instagram.

Instead of feeling empowered, I felt insecure, jealous, envy and literally joy was being sucked out of me.  I’d wish that my house was more perfect, that my kids could strike amazing poses for photos and that I must not really be inspiring anyone because, well? To be honest, I was hung up on the numbers.  I don’t have 21k followers.  Hell, I don’t have 1,000.  And I was beating myself up.  I must not be helping enough people.

Regardless, I was going through a low point, feeling sorry for myself, oh woe-is-me, playing the victim, and if I’m being brutally honest? I was ready to go to a Dr and ask for a little magical pill that would maybe make me feel happier.

All because of Instagram? No.  Absolutely not.

But I can say that taking a little fast from Instagram, helped me quiet my mind, soul and allowed me to truly listen.  I have never been addicted to anything, but I believe that I had a problem with incessantly checking this silly app! So once I removed it off my phone, a lot of things happened.

Instead of mindlessly scrolling, I picked up a book:

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This book seemed to speak to me and allow me to reflect on what the hell was going on inside my mind.  I didn’t read it cover to cover, but I don’t think that I needed to or was meant to.  I got what I needed out of it.  People need other people in order to not only survive but also thrive.  Staying home I clearly don’t get as much social interaction as I used to when I was a teacher, but somehow I stopped going out pretty much all together.  I’d get the groceries.  Visit my husband at his work.  Do the school drop off/pick up.  Take the kids to the occasional park or library.  Dance class.   But when was the last time I did a mommy meet up?  Play date?  Had fun with the kids some place other than home?

I immediately decided to take the kids to the Museum of Play that very next day since Brooke had a day off.  We had so much fun.  While they played in the “Vet clinic” for no joke, 45 minutes, I decided to look up the local gyms in my area.  Interestingly enough, the gym I was interested in was having a $1 sign up fee and $20 a month membership.  What?!  You know what I did? I took immediate action.  Why? Because that is how you conquer fear.  Anxiety.  Stress.  You do something. Anything!! After we left the museum I went straight to the gym and signed up. I knew that the classes would be excellent for me, I’d be more social and around happy, energetic and healthy people.

Know what? It’s working.

I’m not saying that medicine is a bad thing; if you honestly need anti-despressants or anti-anxiety meds then definitely take them!  I was at my OBGYN’s office Wednesday of last week telling him about how I had been feeling.  It seemed to coincide with my monthly cycle.  The sadness, crying, overwhelm.  He suggested I figure out the root of my problem, come to a solution and execute!  If that didn’t work then he obviously suggested that I go and talk to someone and maybe explore medicinal options if need be.

I can’t explain why I was feeling the way I was.  I have a beautiful life and everything I have ever dreamed of.  I listen to positive podcasts.  I read leadership books. I was grateful, writing gratitude lists, trying to cling to anything that seemed to try and help pull me from that funk.  The guilt I felt about just not feeling happy or well, was becoming overwhelming and only when I took the bull by the horns and acted upon something did it all change.

While I have only been going to the gym for a week, my body, mind and spirit are in so much better of a place.  I feel as though I’ve cleared some cobwebs, decluttered the social media accounts I choose to follow and have really begun to listen to what matters most.

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I’ve also started to listen to a little meditation on you tube each morning. Maybe about 10 minutes or so, and I just allow myself some time to wake up and listen to good things.  I feel like it helps our crazy morning routines go by with more ease, less stress and certainly more smiles.

As women, we can sometimes take other people’s problems on as our own.  It’s our job as a mom to fix boo boos, wipe tears and lend an ear.  I tend to be overly empathetic and while I know watching the news isn’t great for me, I didn’t realize how much toxic energy I was absorbing through social media apps.

I’m a little apprehensive in sharing all of this publicly, but as Brené Brown keeps speaking into my ear, the power lies in vulnerability. (I’m currently listening to her newest book, Dare to Lead.)  So I suppose I am sharing all of this on my blog so that if you’re feeling stressed, sad, overwhelmed or just not happy, I am suggesting that you get quiet.  I went and got a pedicure and put my phone down.  I read some of a book.  I listened to that still small voice that I don’t make enough time for.  It’s never too late to start something different.  To make one small change.  One step leads to so many more. After you get quiet, I also highly suggest you force yourself to work up a sweat.  10, 20 or 30 minutes whatever–get your body moving! Just as we were intended to be social creatures, our bodies crave movement.

I think I’ll be taking more “social media cleanses” and I know that checking myself has done more wonders than I could have imagined. Once I realized that time is our biggest gift and the one thing we can never ever get back, I knew I had to be more strict with my time.  Where my time goes, my energy flows.

 

And of course, in Jenn fashion, there are a few quotes that really resonated with me…

 

 

 

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You matter. You are beautiful.  You are strong.  You are brave.  You are real.  You are living this one life that is truly a gift.  When you fall down, brush yourself off and get back up.  You are not a victim; you and you alone are responsible for your happiness.  Happiness is your birthright.

All my love,
Jenn

My Thoughts on Being a Stay at Home Mom

So many thoughts.  Good thoughts. Frustrated thoughts.  Scary thoughts. Silly thoughts. Wonderful thoughts.  FOMO thoughts. Unforgettable thoughts. Questioning thoughts. Breathing thoughts.

It’s funny, if you think too much how crazy you can drive yourself.  Staying home to me has been one of the biggest gifts, blessings, passions, best and most wonderful thing!! At the same time, it can be a tad lonely, scary, worrisome, and if I let it, questioning.   In today’s world, women are told we can be and do anything.  Yay!  No I am not a feminist (far from it) but I love that we have the ability to do whatever we want.  I think the hardest part is that you have to find what you’re happy with.  Throughout the last 5 1/2 years I have had thoughts cross my mind that maybe I should go back to work. I will admit that it’s mostly when things are hard, (duh life is hard!) but also as teacher friends get ready to go back to school in the Fall, I have a twinge of “what if…?”

But as with anything, I allow myself to work through my feelings.  I write, I talk it out, usually with my husband and good friends, or my mom.  I try to figure out why I may feel a certain way and go from there.

I will say that running a business and staying home is not for the faint of heart.  I truly believe there is MORE than enough work to do taking care of a child, or children, cook from scratch, clean the home, care for dogs, and take care of a husband who works crazy intense hours.  It’s hard to find time to do things that need to get done, things you want to get done, plus play with the kids, enjoy the time with them and possibly give yourself some down time too.

I believe it takes a village to raise children, and villages don’t really exist in my world, so other than an awesome sitter who actually just had a baby of her own, it’s hubby and I.  Family lives far away and so a lot falls onto my shoulders.

I had to take a good look at our life and pick and choose what and where I want to spend my time.  For me, there are several non negotiable terms when it comes to our home life.  I find it extremely important for the kids to eat a warm breakfast most days.  Even if it’s a bagel and cream cheese or one little egg.  I think that a hearty meal first thing in the morning sets you up for success.  I also will always be here to greet the kids off the bus.  Until they are in high school, I truly find that after school time to be crucial.  Is this the only way to be a mom?  Absolutely not! But in my heart, it’s the way I want to be.

I’ve recently discovered my true need to break a sweat at a gym.  We had a monthly membership to the Y, but I decided it was a tad expensive and canceled it in August.  Well, September was absolutely nutty trying to get into a groove with one in Kindergarten and one in preschool a few hours each week.  Once we settled into the swing of things, it was all of a sudden Halloween.   I would make lame attempts to do at home workouts, or walk the dogs and play with the kids, but I missed socializing with people! I haven’t even been there a week yet, but I can tell you in the few times I’ve gone, my smile is bigger and my mind is quieter. I’ve also implemented a few more things, but I’ll touch on those later.

Bottom line, being a momma is hard.  We worry even if we don’t want to and I always want to do the right thing.   I will tell you it’s difficult to not give into the tantrums, the junk food, the instant gratifications.  But it’s so worth it.  Stay at home or work at home, moms are amazing.  (Dads are too, but this post isn’t about them!)

Like I’ve stated before, there is not “right way” when it comes to staying home or working as a mom.  There is only what’s best for you.  For me it’s a crazy combination of staying home, and also working.   I believe that once the kids are both in school full time I will be open to even more opportunities.  I have quite the ‘bucket list’ of dreams I’d like to accomplish and the ultimate dream being to work with my husband every day.

Regardless of what your “job title” may be, the best advice I can offer is to stay focused.  Don’t get caught up with what other people are doing.  This I am learning, is very tricky with social media in my hands.  I can very quickly get down on myself for not being where I would like to be.  It’s good to push ourselves, but it’s a whole different ball game to compare and lose sight of what is right in front of us.

Would I stay home or go back to work if I had to do it all again?  

I’d stay home 100%.  Even on the hardest of days where I feel like I accomplished nothing, I know that I am making the right choice for my family.  If you stay home and feel like you’re in a rut, then I highly suggest shaking up your routine.  Get out more; have more fun; meetup with some other mommas or do a baby or toddler class.  Leave the dishes be and get on the floor with the kiddos.  Snuggle them on the couch and ignore the laundry.  It’s all gonna be there anyway.

Also, mamas, ladies, women friends, do not ever feel guilty for filling your cup!!  Take the bubble bath and lock the door.  Pour a glass of wine and play the jazz music.  Sneak off to the coffee shop and bring your laptop.  Join that gym and go do your favorite class.  Read that book or follow that dream inside of you.  You are worth it!!  If you’re so caught up in your crazy busy life and don’t even know where to start, then you definitely need to stop and take a pause…

I’ll be sharing more on my pause in an upcoming post.  Until then, feel free to comment or reach out to me. You are not alone!! Motherhood aint easy, and there are way too many mean girls out there competing.  Life is not a competition; it’s your journey and yours alone.  Tune out the negativity and quiet your mind…I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Make today beautiful friends.

 

CBD Oil

I’ll preface this post by saying, I am not a doctor nor do I have any sort of certification in the health world.  I do however love sharing what helps my family and I feel our best.

My husband has Crohn’s Disease and has dealt with it since diagnosed at 17.  He’s been on all sorts of medications and steroids, eliminated certain food and drinks from his diet and really watches his stress levels.

He saw a HUGE change in his overall health this past year when he added CBD.  First and foremost, for the love of all things, IT DOES NOT GET YOU HIGH.  There is no THC in CBD, it is NOT the same thing as “pot or weed” as most of us know it.

I’m still “new” to CBD, but I wanted to document n

It does not have to be smoked.  You can use a vape pen, or a tincture or it can be an edible like these gummies.

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The gummies my husband buys from a local CBDepot here in town.  They do taste yummy, but I don’t love the extra chemicals…

My husband was so kind and saved these for me to share, if you’re into visuals like this:

I know this is a bit blurry, but it explains how CBD can effectively work in our bodies.

I personally like this oil from Thoughtcloud, which I’ve seen others post about as well.  The quality is great and it’s super effective.  I started with this 750 mg bottle and just did a little drop under my tongue before bed each night.  I slept like a rock!!  I also noticed that my moods were a little more stable and the biggest difference for me was that typically the week before my period I was a MESS.  I’m talking, crying, angry, frustrated, hating the world, everything felt like it was crashing down on me.  I was making mountains out of mole hills and feeling like I couldn’t breathe. I really rely on holistic approaches, not that I’m against doctors and modern meds, but nothing that I was doing seemed to help.  I was getting ready to bring up my issue as possible PMDD at my next OB appointment because of how badly I was feeling.

Since adding this, I have felt SO much better.   It does take awhile (I’d say a few weeks for me) to start seeing a significant change. It’s not a quick fix, nor can you feel an immediate effect if you’re super overwhelmed or feeling a bit out of control.

I upgraded to the bigger bottle last time so that it would last me longer.

Does it make you sleepy?

I have taken it during the day and have had zero effects of feeling lazy, tired or unable to function. If anything, it has helped me focus and get whatever I was trying to accomplish, done.  I have even had really great workouts because of it!  You will not wake up groggy from taking it the night before either.

My husband and I have nothing but rave reviews about CBD oil.

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If you are interested, use this link to checkout Thoughtcloud! They are constantly running sales and promotions on their products.  I only wish I had started taking the oil sooner! Any of my friends who have tried it also have seen great improvements in their ability to sleep, better moods and less anxiety.  It is the FIRST thing I now recommend to people, along with Acupuncture, eating clean & healthy foods as well as exercise and rest.

Feel free to ask me any questions and I will do my best to answer you honestly, as always!

Stepbet Thoughts

My best girlfriend Ann joined a “Stepbet” and basically made me join too.  LOL!  No really, she encouraged me and said it’d be fun, all we have to do is meet our daily walking goal 4x a week and power goals 2x a week and you get a day off.  You put $40 into the pot and if you stick with it all 6 weeks, you get your money back.  If others drop out, you get a cut of their money split amongst the rest of the crew who stuck it out.  If you have an Apple Watch or a Fitbit, it will calculate your averages for you. Somehow my friend Nikki thought it’d be fun too, so she joined in! HA!

The first week is a prep week and it doesn’t actually count. This is where I learned the value of charging my watch; it died a few times and that was bad. I am not gonna lie, the second week I ROCKED it!  I was walking the dogs, pushing the stroller, running around like a mad woman–all while the weather was nice.  However as soon as the temps started to drop, so did my activity level.

Now I’m not a stationary person to begin with; but I don’t hit almost 11,000 steps every single day either.  I’ve learned that this is harder than I thought!! There are days where you are stuck in the car, going to appointments or sitting doing work (chores, playing with kids, snuggling, etc) and there are also times where you just want to not walk!

I literally have 4 days left.  2 can be active and 2 have to be power.  I developed a small (yet annoying!) chest cold on Saturday, so my energy has been zero.  I tried to “rest” as much as I could while still getting in my steps Monday & Tuesday.   Today as I type this at 3pm, I’m at 5,322.  I still need to get to 10,781 by midnight tonight.

My friends and I have found ourselves doing jumping jacks, pacing hallways, running in place and just walking for literally NO reason.  I think it’s kind of hilarious and kind of obnoxious all in one.  I’m a huge fan of challenges, but man alive I’m ready for this one to be OVER! Why is the last week of something always the hardest?

If you’re reading, then please say a little prayer I’ll actually finish this last week; mama needs all the support she can get!  I so appreciate all of my friends who encourage me and to those of you stepping, we’ve got this!!  I will let you all know how much money I end up with at the end. #positivevibes

Here is what today looks like:

Here is a look at the whole 5 weeks that actually counted.

I must say there are a few pros/cons.

Pros- I feel like my legs are super muscular! My booty is looking fine too (according to the hubs! LOL!) I have not gained any weight and honestly, I’m enjoying carbs and yummy treats.  I’ve bonded with some good friends.  I feel like Superwoman when I complete each week.  I know I’m being healthier and getting outside with the kids, when I maybe would wanna curl up and be lazy.  I feel like I’m being a good role model for my son and daughter.

Cons– Really the biggest is maybe the stress of it this last week.  Getting sick sucks and I’m just tired! I don’t want to lose my money, so I must finish! The only other con is that I miss lifting weights and doing yoga.  If I’m “going to spend time being active” then I need my darn steps!

Have you or would you do a Stepbet?

#blogtober…the show must go on!

Hello hello!! I am not even sure who even reads this little space here.  In true life fashion, I have missed two days of my #blogtober challenge.  Le sigh.

However, I will not apologize.  Sure, I didn’t show up for myself, but ya know what?  It’s okay.  Saturday I started coming down with a little scratchy throat, of course the night where hubby and I were to have a fancy date night and be able to go out and be wild, crazy & kid free!

In reality, I ended up bumping the back of my head getting into his car and we were home by 9.  I felt like to total poo yesterday but it was nice to “rest” a bit.  I say that because let’s be real. Moms and wives don’t get sick days.  There is no time off.  I got to watch a few clips of Food Network in the morning and I didn’t have to  make dinner two days in a row.

Life is nutty!  I tried so hard to form the words to explain the benefits of CBD oil, but I just couldn’t get my sentences write, but I do promise to post about it.  It has changed mine and my husband’s lives so it’s that important I will get to it.

I just didn’t want to neglect my little spot here once again; I’m fitting in this tiny post in between searching for certain Land Trust agreement paperwork (So much paperwork in real estate!!) and going to tuck my little munchkins into bed.

We are all healthy, alive, well and good… Okay I’m not 100% there yet, but give me one more day I’ll be there.

So if you’re hanging on by a thread, I’m here to tell you, it’s all okay.  Push yourself just a little more, but not too hard.  Get some sleep. Drink more water.  Breathe.  You’ve got this; whatever it is, don’t give up.

It’s like my girl Rachel Hollis was saying this morning on her Live video with her husband Dave. (I was organizing my daughter’s dresser–out with the old and in with the new!)  Just because you ate a cookie, don’t beat yourself up!! We are here to build a better version of ourselves daily.  How do we do that? By being NICE to ourselves.  Yes, that means no talking badly to yourself if you didn’t get your blog done, or the workout in, or you yelled at your kid.  Just be better tomorrow.  Be sweet to yourself; she’s the only one you’ve got and you’ve got to be with her forever!!

On that note, stay healthy friends!! Wash your hands, use the essential oils and for goodness sakes, get some sleep.

See you on the flip side!

xo