Being Brave

In the midst of two very special birthdays, coming off of Christmas and well into the New Year, I finally find a minute to breathe.

It’s within these stolen moments where I can reflect on, count, and re-count my blessings.  Sometimes life doesn’t go the way we intended it to; in fact, it doesn’t go the way we in which we planned at all.

I’m learning to lean deeper into surrendering and to focus on the now, the present, the little bit I can control and letting go of all the things I don’t.

This New Year has been nothing short of intense, painful and quite life-altering. It’s been hard, unfair and there have been more tears than smiles.

This too shall pass.

I believe there is a bigger picture, a plan in place and I have no choice but to let go and let God.

If you’re looking for comfort, then do what it is that gives you that feeling.  Life is short, and so uncertain.  If there is one thing I keep coming back to in these brief 16 days of 2019, it’s to embrace what we are given, with the people we have in our lives.

I’ve begun a small journey with a new devotional, 100 Days to Brave.  I’ll admit I was so angry at the words I was reading and literally said to myself, “You are far from brave.  You are so not brave it’s not even funny…” and then I cried.  After a few moments of stumbling through my own in-coherent thoughts I thought about what I needed most in my life.  And then I acted on that thought.

And you know what dear reader?  That made me brave.  Acting in the face of fear, no matter how small, makes you courageous.  You do not have to go fight an actual battle to be considered brave, but you do have to figure out your next right move, (thank you Oprah) and have the desire to change.  Put one foot in front of the other.  For me it was reaching out to a friend whom I hadn’t seen or really spoken to in quite some time.  It was asking for help.  It was stepping down from “trying to do all things alone because that is what bravery is.”

No.

Being brave is doing the thing you didn’t really want to do, but that still small voice inside of you won’t be quiet and so you must act.

Do the thing, and you will have the power.  — Emerson.

The universe has my back, and I am highly attune to all the small things.  Rachel Hollis said on her live video with her husband yesterday something that made me stop dead in my tracks.

She said that it’s not going to get easy.  If you think for a second if you just work really hard and then one day poof you’ll be flying high with no cares or worries, you’re sorely mistaken.  (I know I’m improvising her words, but still the same meaning is there…) essentially we are all going to have struggles and stumble.  Through sickness and in health marriage will be hard work, babies will be hard work and living a beautiful and meaningful life will be hard work.

Just don’t quit.  You can fail. You can rest. You can do whatever you need to do temporarily, but the moment you give up?  That’s where it ends.

So while I may have a few obstacles to overcome in life, no one and nothing will stop me from going on.  I know that there will be so much good after so much pain.  Without rain, we’d have no flowers.

What helps me be brave?

  • Reading inspirational books
  • Talking to people who understand me
  • Exercising
  • Acting even if I’m scared
  • Trusting God

Hello 2019, you Sexy thing!

I may have had a quiet night in and no, I didn’t even see the ball drop.  I think the last time that happened I was at my Grandma Owl’s house sleeping on her pull out couch? I feel like I spent NYE there quite a few times and loved it.

It was a long Winter break full of lots of sickness, but all is well.  I will miss my little girl today! I’m not ready to send her away all day.  There were moments of pure bliss where I would just stop and watch her and Bradley play so well together. (There were also time-outs and some fights but eh, I like to focus on the good!)  It made me miss having her around so much.  I haven’t had her all day long for over a week since August!

Since I was pretty much stuck at home with all the illness (myself included but I rebounded fast, thank you God!) I was able to really organize and de-clutter my office, Brooke & Bradley’s rooms.  I still need to go through the basement playroom, but after wandering around my extremely messy house aimlessly for about a day or so, Oprah finally told me, “what’s the next right move?” I was seriously starting to go insane not even knowing where to start or what to do with myself and the insanity that was surrounding me.

It’s so true though, just break down your overwhelmingly large to do list and just do one thing. SOME thing. It can be anything, but just do it.  Now all of the odds and ends are out of my office and I am actually sitting here typing my little blog here on a clean desk. #winning

Baby toys are gone and all broken, missing pieces, fast food toys and little annoying pieces of I don’t even know, are now removed from my son and daughter’s rooms and everything has a place, I mean EVERYTHING! We are only on day 3 of this, but so far so good! If they know where something is supposed to go, it makes pick up a whole heck of a lot easier.  Plus it will help with the random, “hey let’s dump all the toys out so I can find that one thing I am looking for!”

So my word of the year?

 

Simplify

I started a few years back with choosing one word and trying to repeat it to myself throughout the year.  {2017: Success & 2018: Be}

I know my life is chaotic but I believe it could be a more organized as well as simplified chaos.  I want to focus on what matters most, what has to happen/get done and what fills my soul with happiness.

This week off was unexpected. I thought we’d be here there and everywhere doing all the ‘fun things’ as well as having some down time.  But honestly?  This is just what I needed as well as my little family and though I would not wish sickness on ANYONE especially the loves of my life, I am glad I could be the one to take care of all of them.

So here is to an amazingly epic & simply sexy 2019!

What is your word or resolution for this year?

 

 

 

Year in Review

In January we threw our 3 & 5 year old a Troll Birthday Party

Rent to Own Open House was held come February, for our real estate business.

March made me lose my mind and We got a Puppy! 

My bestie got us tickets and in April I met RHONJ Teresa Guidice!!

May brought The Most Beautiful Mother’s Day Yet!

June was stressful but we still enjoyed Father’s Day & Family Time

Joe & I celebrated July and Our 8th Wedding Anniversary

On 8.18.18 My Momma Got Married!

September brought back to school.  (I vowed myself to be a present and happy mama when getting my oldest off to Kindergarten & my youngest starting Pre-school.  I made the after school cookies, I cooked healthy meals & was very in the moment. Apparently I was so in the moment with that I barely blogged…I did share some Fall Fashion. 

October I made an attempt to blog every day, and re-introduced myself.

November came and we Stay-Cationed.

Queen of Christmas, I made sure to soak up all the things in December.

Overall, 2018 was a pretty kick-butt year.  We had some downers, and I’ve learned not to trust people so easily.  (ALWAYS PERFORM A GOOGLE SEARCH!!!!) My family grew closer, loved ones beat illness, bonds grew stronger, we traveled with the kiddos on a plane and by the way, they just keep growing bigger and bigger!  Getting a puppy was probably the most stressful and one of the harder things of the year.  Things were just getting into a groove with the kids being older, and well having a puppy is legit 10x harder than a child. I said it.

I’ve learned a lot this past year.  I feel like I’ve finally understood how precious time and who and what to give my time to.  I pretty much re-learn weekly that I need to put myself first sometimes and that in order to give, I need to take time outs for just me.

I’m working on letting go, I know I’m a control freak and I want things to go a certain way.  Like this blog; I write because my soul craves it and my heart feels so happy when I share.  However, I struggle with how much I share because anyone can read it.  I’m always real, authentic and honestly don’t know how to be any other way.  This is my happy place and if I’m going through something I share because maybe my words could resonate with someone else.

There is so much power in written words.

I pray my words will be used for good and not against me.

I’m hopeful and excited for the new year.  I will be sharing my “word of the year” for 2019 soon and have quite a few blog posts already scheduled–who dis?!

Have a beautiful New Year’s Eve and stay safe friends!

 

Self-care Sunday: Masks

Who doesn’t love a spa day??

Goodness knows that I could use an actual facial, in fact I have my eyes fixed on a Hydrafacial (This treatment offers the perfect skin care solution for the time-challenged, by bathing the skin in rich antioxidants and deeply hydrating hyaluronic acid. It starts with deep cleansing and gentle exfoliation, followed by painless extractions, and ends with a burst of hydration.—Relax the Spa)

But the reality is, spa days are far and few between.  So what’s a mama to do?

Try all the at-home masks she can!

Here are a few of my favorites.

These guys have been on rotation for awhile now; a friend told me about them and she didn’t steer me wrong!  They’re great to keep in the refrigerator for an extra cooling effect.  They’re SUPER inexpensive and I feel like the do a little something for my under eyes.

Collagen Eye Masks

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I also grabbed these off of Amazon after my step mom gifted one in my stocking last year!

I honestly do think my lips look a little more full for a few hours, but more than anything the hydration is KEY! These NY Winters are so tough on our skin.

Gold Lip Mask

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My husband and kids think I look ridiculous, but hey if I can help any wrinkles, (that may or may not be caused by them! Just kidding, I’m sure the dogs are mostly to blame!)

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For Christmas my future sister in law gifted me these gold eye patches and OMG.  Talk about a luxe treatment!! If you are looking to splurge a bit and get an even better effect–try these!

I still can’t decide which way to put them on…I like them both ways! Christmas morning sipping on some  Cocoa.

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The last facial I did get at a spa was on my 37th birthday in July and the girl told me that ANYTHING in Korean skin care was the way to go.

My friend Kristin hooked me up with some of these from a shop where she works, and I LOVED them! I then spotted them at Walgreens and just stocked up.

I’ve been trying to make it a habit to use them once a week minimum and I must say that I believe that it’s helping my skin stay hydrated, clearer and for sure getting a more “glowy” look with my makeup.

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The “bubble sheet mask” was a bit crazy! It did bubble up quite a bit and was rather foamy.  I will say it wasn’t one of my favorites, I really love the gold masks and the pearl!

What Masks are Great for:

  • before date nights
  • in the mornings before applying makeup (especially the eye patches!)
    • Late mommy nights or partying the night before? Use these!
  • at night before bed to relax
  • any time you’re feeling stressed out and need to “take a pause” from kids, dogs, LIFE!

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas…

Holidays can be so wonderful!! I also know that they can be stressful and bring up hard emotions for people as well.  I try to focus on all the good things and stay positive! It’s important to know we are all on this journey of life and none of us really know what tomorrow brings. This holiday season I had so many memories throughout the years pop into my mind.  All great! I think it’s because the kids are getting older and we are way out of the baby season and full throttle into the magic, mystery and wonder that is Christmas, Santa, Rudolph, Elves, Frosty…

I have always loved Christmas and all that comes along with it. It was an interesting month juggling all that I did, but we made it!  Bailey the pup always keeps it extra around these parts.

Now that I survived the hustle and bustle of the week prior, (moms of school aged kids, can I get an AMEN!?) I’ve had a few days to wind down, enjoy some quiet time with my little family, and even watch a Hallmark movie!!

We also decided to change things up and not travel all around on Christmas Day so I’m looking forward to some breakfast casseroles, a day in our pjs and really enjoying the day at home.

Some things that helped me get through the crazy lead up to Christmas…

It’s just a day.  Make it your main goal to make memories of happiness and the true meaning of Christmas.  Don’t try to get to everyone’s house on Christmas day; take time to enjoy different friends and family throughout the week.  People need to understand it’s impossible to e-n-j-o-y if you’re stressed.

Communication. Talk to your family and friends about how to make it less stressful.  Everyone is in a different stage of their lives.  Some of us have little kids, some have grown kids, some are traveling…just talk it through and be open-minded!

Build in down time. We had some unexpected kid free time last weekend and it really helped break up the chaos.  It was so nice to squeeze in extra date nights and alone time for Joe & I!

Let go of expectations. This seems to be a recurring theme in my world.  The more I let go and let God, the better off I am.  I used to try to control everything and have it all in my head exactly how something would play out, only to be mad, disappointed and upset that “it did not go the way I planned.” Newsflash–nothing goes the way you think it should, it goes the way God intends.

Include one or two old traditions, but make new ones too. I stopped putting pressure on myself to try and do a whole bucket list of things.  Reality is, the kids get so much from outside activities, school, and us I don’t have to do it all.  It’s refreshing! I have one thing scheduled for sure on our Christmas break and it’s lots of snuggling time!

Don’t try to be a Pinterest anything…just be present. Don’t get caught up in the illusion of perfect; I’ve talked about it so may times, but seriously. We all have our strengths and we all have our weaknesses.  Don’t compare yourself and try to be something you’re not.  Just do your best and have fun with whatever you chose to spend your time on.

When in doubt, always have an extra bottle of vino on hand! I don’t think this needs much explanation. But seriously, cheers to Christmas and all the fun that awaits!