Checking in (on my 2015 resolutions)

There is nothing I love more than the one-word resolution ‘trend’. In 2013 my word was ‘Freedom’, in 2014 my word was ‘Still’, and in 2015 my word is ‘Intentional’.

I think that the fact that I remember my ‘resolution’ from 2 years ago is a testament to how well the whole let’s-just-focus-on-one-word thing works!

More specifically, back in January I listed a few goals for this year:

To read more. (Yep! I’m reading at least one book per week)

To write more. (Eh…. I’m trying to write in my journal more!)

To turn the TV off in favor of conversations and cooking and doing things around the house. (The TV is off but I’m not quite so sure any housework is getting done. But I am paying a lot of attention to Clara, so I think that counts)

To entertain guests more often in order to increase the amount of time we spend with loved ones and show hospitality. (Actively working on this one and I think I’m succeeding!)

To take pride in my home by cleaning it and decorating it and making it lovely. (Ughhhh. Baby steps.)

To dress in a way that makes me feel good, instead of putting on whatever is the easiest to get out of my closet/drawers. (YES. I have totally cleaned out my closet and am thrilled with the pieces I’ve acquired lately. I feel like a whole new person!)

To eat healthily (and cook more frequently). (Another yes! We have a lot of fruits and veggies on hand at all times and we make most of our meals.)

To exercise in order to feel great, but not to any extremes. (I could be doing better at this, but I have definitely been more active than I was at the end of 2014 and I haven’t been pushing myself too hard. Plus I went to physical therapy which has made a huge difference.)

To spend time thinking about things that need to be thought about, but not to waste time with thoughts about the past or future. (This is another area that I’ve really improved in! Of course, I could always do better, but I’m proud at the changes I’ve made thus far. The only thing now is that sometimes I find myself living in the future and not the present. Not in an anxiety-inducing way, but in the ‘Oh I can’t wait for…’ type way. Now I’m working on slowing my roll and being present RIGHT NOW, RIGHT HERE.)

These were pretty generic resolutions, but I think I’ve been successful thus far because I’ve remembered them and have been focused on the common theme of being intentional. At the beginning of 2015 I was uncertain about how this year would go, and I’m happy to report that (although it’s nothing like the excitement of last year) I’m enjoying my time with Clara and Tim immensely! We’ve done some traveling, we’ve spent a lot of time with family and friends, we’ve experienced so many of Clara’s ‘firsts’ and we’re getting some sleep here and there! Plus, I’ve crossed a major item off my bucket list by taking a few photography classes.

Part of me being intentional has been to invest more in myself, my family, my friends, and my community – and it’s been so rewarding. I’ve also been spending more time in the Word and listening to what God is calling me to do with this life of mine. It’s amazing how clear His voice is when I don’t have so many other things distracting me, and I feel like I have a better understanding of which things I need to be pursing and which things I need to let go.

I’m excited to see what the remainder of this year has in store for us. Now that it’s summer, I’m seeing all great things ahead!

Do you remember what your 2015 resolutions are? How have they been going?

 

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My two cents on the decision to legalize same-sex marriage

Of course you’ve heard that the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage.

Finally.

I love everything about this. I am on board with any decision or ruling that promotes equality in general, whether it be equality of the genders or of race or of sexual orientation or of age.

Some Christians’ responses to this ruling have been far less than accepting, which I think is a shame. Quite honestly, I don’t understand what this ruling has to do with religion. Our government now recognizes marriages between two people of the same sex and provides them with the same benefits that husband/wife combos have been enjoying for quite some time. Of course this makes sense. It’s the government’s role to ensure that the citizens of the United States are treated equally and fairly and to look after our general safety. Are we all the way there yet? Nope, but we’re clearly taking step another step in the right direction with this ruling.

Thoughts on the legalization of same-sex marriage

(source)

The government is not telling churches and religious leaders that they need to perform marriages for gay couples, so I’m not so sure why some Christians seem so bothered by the types of marriage the government now recognizes. Two men or two women getting married to each other has absolutely nothing to do with my own marriage; and another man and woman getting married also has nothing to do with my marriage.

The Bible calls us to love each other. To hate the sin but love the sinner. To treat our neighbors as ourselves. To practice grace, forgiveness, and mercy. The Bible, in no uncertain terms, tells us not to judge each other. 

I try to remain focused on myself and my own relationship with God and not concern myself with what others are doing in their own lives. I think that we can best show God to others by showing love and acceptance and allowing His light to shine through us. Does this mean we need to agree with everyone and support those things we don’t condone? Of course not. However, there is a difference between not (necessarily) supporting something and spreading hatred and using the Bible to justify judgement against a group of people.

I for one, am excited for all of the people positively impacted by this ruling!

That’s my two cents.

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Posted in current events, rantings | Tagged | 4 Comments

What I read from around the web

Guys, I’m practically a morning person today. So what if it’s accidental?! I went to bed before midnight last night (something that rarely happens) and Clara woke up at 5am today so I woke up then, too! Of course, Clara promptly fell back asleep in her crib but I can’t go back to sleep once I’m awake so here I am, hanging out on the internet until our day officially begins.

I see a Starbucks chai latte in my near future.

This Last Week In Photos:

Week Recap & Favorite Links

  • You can tell me that there are prettier or better cities than Chicago, but we’d have to agree to disagree. There is simply no better place than Chicago in the summertime, and I love being on the lakefront path to take in the best views!
  • A play-date at the beach while her daddy played volleyball? Clara was in heaven.
  • We took Clara on her first bike ride around the city earlier this week, and she had a lot of fun! Although, in this picture she’s thinking, “what do you mean we still need to ride 4 miles back home?!”
  • We were blessed to celebrate Fathers Day with three generations of dads. It’s no wonder Tim is such a great father, he has awesome role models to look up to in that department.

Worth Reading:

“When we switched from tipping to a service charge, our food improved, probably because our cooks were being paid more and didn’t feel taken for granted. In turn, business improved, and within a couple of months, our server team was making more money than it had under the tipped system. The quality of our service also improved. In my observation, however, that wasn’t mainly because the servers were making more money (although that helped, too). Instead, our service improved principally because eliminating tips makes it easier to provide good service.” (here)

“Be an experience collector.
Life is about growth and expanding your range of experience. Treat life as an experiment. Test your assumptions about what you like, and don’t like. When making decisions, ask yourself ‘What would 80 year old me want me to do?’. Do that.” (here)

“Often, our loved ones only receive a fraction of the love, joy, support, humor, or friendship we have to offer because we are distracted. Busy. Stretched too thin.” (here)

“That’s the thing: Our schedules and strategies, pragmatic as they may be, can keep us from actually living presently in community. We’re so thirsty for authenticity and understanding, but our own ideals and agendas quench the life out of what community really is: the people already around us and the places we’re already in.” (here)

“The merger of the Internet of Things with baby gear — or the Internet of Babies — is not a positive development. The mind-set of a first-time parent can be summed up as: terror. When you leave the hospital with a fragile newborn, all the horrible ‘what if?’ scenarios suddenly seem very likely, and parenting books either don’t go far enough in calming those fears or they exacerbate them, naming hundreds of ailments your baby will almost certainly never suffer from. So you worry. In the first few weeks of our daughter’s life, her father and I fretted about whether her room was too cold or too hot, whether she was getting enough to eat, whether she had jaundice, whether she was wetting enough diapers (a lack of urine is a sign of jaundice!), whether she was pooping enough, whether the color and consistency of the poop was good or bad, whether she was breathing oddly. When she slept loudly, we worried that she wasn’t sleeping well; when she slept silently, we wondered if she had died.” (here)

Check Out:

Primavera Studio

My sweet friend, Erin, has launched a website design & consulting business, Primavera Studio, which she describes as “a space for your story to thrive, offering creative design services, blog content, and one on one pep talks to cheer you on to live fully in your current season.” How amazing is that? Erin is a wonderful person and I can’t think of a more encouraging and thoughtful woman to discuss blogs and business with. Definitely check out her services if you have a business and/or blog and need inspiration, support, or a new site design!

She also has an Etsy shop with beautiful and encouraging canvases and more!

I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

 

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Posted in links, week recap | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

This week is one long ‘mom moment’

I’m feeling like a mom this week.

Yesterday I ate an entire bag of these for lunch because I was starving and couldn’t find anything else suitable to eat that would require absolutely zero effort.

I guess they’re at least semi-healthy?

Mom Moments

Then today I shared a bowl of pesto pasta with Clara (will I never learn?) and things got a bit messy. And by ‘a bit’ I mean that I was covered in pesto because Clara really loves shoving both hands into bowls of food and squishing the noodles between her fingers and then giving me the biggest and best hugs ever. And then she tries to feed me by shoving the noodles into my face.

Anyway, it was a beautiful moment that resulted in her needing a bath. While Tim was taking care of bath time, our doorbell rang and (upon seeing it was the FedEx man and hoping it was something for me that I forgot I had ordered – no such luck) I opened the door and chatted with him for a few minutes while signing for the package.

After he had left I walked into the bathroom to see how bath time was progressing and what do I see in the mirror? Myself (obviously) – but a pesto-covered version of myself.

My former childless self would have cleaned off food from my body immediately, but evidently my new mom-self decides it’s no big deal and goes about her day with pesto stuck to her face/neck/chest/back/shoulders/arms/everywhere. And then shows off this new ‘accessory’ to anyone who shows up at the door.

Ooof.

I think my standards of self-care may be slipping.

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What my daughter has taught me

Over a year ago, when ‘Bumpy’ was only 20 weeks old and still in my uterus, I wrote her a letter, not even knowing she was a her!

Now, my baby is almost a year old, so prepare yourself to read quite a few mushy posts in the upcoming weeks.

This one is about what my daughter has taught me.

What my daughter has taught me

Dearest Clara Jane,

In many ways I don’t even recognize my new (but improved) mom version of myself. I look in the mirror and feel like I’ve aged years and years due to sleep deprivation. Working out is no longer even on my list of priorities. My body was literally ripped open and I have the scar to prove it. And my heart has grown in ways that I never knew possible.

I know all sorts of things I never knew before. I know about baby milestones and parenting theories and how to make baby food purees and what babies should and shouldn’t eat as first foods. I know how to change a diaper and how to use cloth diapers. I know how to get a baby to bed and sneak out of the room afterwards. I’m definitely not a parenting expert by any means, but I certainly know far more about babies than I ever knew before.

I’ve also learned a lot about you as a person over the last 11+ months. I’ve learned that you are a happy baby. You were born social, and you continue to be our little social butterfly. You wave at everyone and everything, constantly. You don’t cry often and you’ve never met a stranger, only friends you haven’t met yet. You put everyone at ease around you; However, you don’t necessarily like being held, as you’d rather explore the world on your own. You absolutely love nursing, and that’s the only time I get to cuddle with you, and even when you’re nursing you’re always moving around, practically detaching my nipple from my body. You took your first few steps today, and I felt immense pride that you’re about to figure out walking all by yourself.

People always comment on what a joyful little person you are. Some friends and family members have claimed they’ve never seen a happier baby. I believe them. It is easy to make you smile and laugh. You especially love Ozzie because he makes funny noises and his tail wags and sometimes hits you in the face.

I’ve learned all of this about you and more. Actually, I think I learn something new about you each and every day.

I’ve also learned about myself. I’ve learned that being a mother is hard but that I’m capable. I’ve also learned that I possess more patience and tolerance than I thought possible and that I can be a very laid-back individual. Right now I’m wearing a shirt that is covered in pee (I guess you had a leaky diaper on when I was holding you earlier tonight) and pineapple juice (you squeezed your pieces of pineapple onto me when you were trying to feed me dinner tonight) and I don’t even care. I’m simply thankful for the small moments I get to experience with you and I cherish every single one of them. My pre-mom self would have freaked out about being peed on… now I’m just glad that urine doesn’t stain.

I’ve learned that being a mom doesn’t necessarily mean being completely selfless and that it’s okay for me to spend time, energy, and money on myself. I’ve come to learn that date nights are necessary to my marriage and that people in our community enjoy watching you for us. I’ve learned that I can still be myself while being a good great mom.

Being a mom has taught me more about myself than I had learned in the previous 28+ years, and I have you to thank for that. Thanks for allowing me to see the world, you, and myself in a different way than I had ever viewed it before.

I truly love being your mommy.

– Me.

** Linking up with Amber today!

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Posted in being introspective, clara jane, consciously evolving, motherhood | Tagged , , | 8 Comments