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Feeling some (messy) things, thinking some (messy) things.

2. February 2015

It's so easy to think of things that aren't going well at any given moment. 

I will be the first to admit that I get lost in my thoughts of what I want to improve and how I want to improve it. And when I say I get 'lost' I mean that I get hopelessly distracted from reality and am incapable of redirecting my thoughts to anything productive, or even to what's in front of me at any given moment.

I've been living in this fog a bit over the past few days.

Thoughts of marriage and motherhood and friendship have crashed over me, leaving me feeling insufficient and exhausted.

Sometimes it just feels like I'm not enough and never will be. (I know, I know, dramatic, right!?)

I don't mean to say I'm unhappy, because I'm truly not, but more that at this very moment I'm dissatisfied with life in its current state.

messy feelings

|| Maybe it's because Tim was out of town for the last week and my time with Clara was harder than I even anticipated (and I had anticipated it would be hard).

|| Maybe it's because I finally have the energy and desire to get out of the house alone (sans child and husband!) and I've been confronted with the fact that lives and friendships have gone on without  me, and it's hard to just jump back into the social game after such a big life transition.

|| Maybe it's because leaving the working world has been an adjustment and my life seems much less 'productive' now than it previously seemed.

|| Maybe it's because I'm not at my pre-pregnancy fitness level and I really wish I was.

|| Maybe it's because my marriage is not perfect and it's not the same as it was pre-Clara (even though it's still awesome!).

|| Maybe it's because most of my best friends live hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away and I really, really miss their physical  presences.

I'm working through some transitions still, clearly, and some days I wake up and the last thing I feel is thankful. And then I remember some truths. 

I remember that I have a wonderful husband who is endlessly supportive of me. I remember I have a joyful daughter who smiles every time she sees me. Every single time. I remember that Tim and I are fortunate to be able to afford me staying at home to watch Clara full time. I remember that I have amazing friends scattered around the country who I could call anytime and have a great & deep conversation with. I remember that my body is healthy and miraculous, even if it's not as strong as it once was.

I remember that I am blessed beyond words, even if I'm struggling at this moment.

Not that everything is magically fixed by me choosing to be grateful as opposed to bitter. I'm still feeling a bit defeated today, if we're being honest. I feel like I should be more and I'm not sure I have the energy to get to that place. I feel like I'm holding myself back but I'm not exactly sure how or what to do about it.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
Philippians 4:6-7



* Linking up with Emily.



Nourished.

1. February 2015

One of the best changes I've made this year (well, one month in) is the increase in time I've dedicated to reading each day.

I've always loved to read - always always always - but I'd fallen off the reading wagon over the past few years.

However, I'm back in the game now, and I'm thoroughly enjoying devouring one book after another.

Nourished

I recently finished the book, 'Nourished' by Becky Johnson & Rachel Randolph, and it spoke to my heart in a lot of ways. One of the reasons I picked 'intentional' as my word of the year for 2015 is because I wanted to dedicate more quality time on things that nourish my soul, instead of wasting away my time on things that do not advance me intellectually/spiritually/emotionally/etc.

In the beginning, the authors (a mother and daughter) list the top 10 everyday stressors of women, which include:

  • Stress of chaotic surroundings
  • Stress of schedules
  • Stress of negative body image
  • Stress of negative self-talk
  • Stress of food issues
  • Stress of fitness
  • Stress of friendship
  • Stress of marriage
  • Stress of raising children
  • Stress of feeling like a spiritual slacker.
As soon as I read this list I became convinced that these authors/women have been reading my mind. Yes, yes, and yes, my mind is consistently weighed down feelings of inadequacy in all of these areas, unfortunately. And of course, I wish this wasn't the case. I mean, a little self-reflection and improvement is always necessary, but sometimes I think about areas of my life more than I actually work on them, if that makes sense.

'Nourished' breaks down each of these stressors and discusses how this mother/daughter duo have each struggled with and worked on improving these areas of their lives. Some of the stories are humorous, some are touching, and all are relatable. 

I didn't find this book to be overly deep or informative, but I did think it was a nice, easy, and enjoyable read and it further convinced me to take some action in various areas of my life which I feel need a bit more attention.

Specifically, I would like to pay a bit more attention to the clutter in my house and to my lack-of-routine and create an environment that better suits my (Type A!) personality type. Disorganization stresses me out. Stuff stresses me out. Inefficiency stresses me out. However, as I look around my apartment I see piles of papers without a home. I see books scattered about. I see 'stuff' everywhere. I also notice that I have no routines in place, which is a bit ridiculous for someone who loves schedules.

My major takeaway from this book was that I should have a morning routine that I look forward to each morning. This routine should be an incentive for me to get out of bed. Well, this spoke straight to my heart, as my mornings are more-often-than-not spent with me delaying getting out of bed other than to gather Clara in my arms and head back to bed to nurse her! I spend time scrolling my phone, I spend time gazing out the window, I spend time hitting the snooze button... but I do not jump out of bed ready to start the day, that's for sure.

I really do think that having a routine could change all of that. My goal for the next week is to determine what would get me out of bed in the morning. I have a feeling this routine is going to involve herbal tea, a good book, a podcast, and some breakfast, but I guess we'll see if those things make the cut, or if I need to be a bit more creative in jump-starting my day.


Do you have a morning routine? What does it entail?


I'm happy to tell you that I have a copy of this book to give away. I highly recommend you read it, but I also think it'd be a great 'thinking of you' gift for a friend or loved one. This is one of those books that I actually don't want to keep on my bookshelf, because I want to pass it around to ensure others get some goodness out of it, too.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you're having a most wonderful weekend so far! As I type this we're waiting for a storm to arrive in Chicago... It should be perfect Sunday football-watching weather!

Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.


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I'm exhausted but at least my hair looks better with a bit o' grease.

30. January 2015

I'm not going to lie, this week was rough. Tim was out of town and I was left alone with this daughter o' mine and it wasn't easy to play single-mom, if only for a few days. I could go on and on about this, but suffice it to say that I'm more convinced than ever that parenting is a two person job. Also, I've never been more tired in my life.

Also, due to lack of sleep / free time I haven't been able to do basic things like eat full meals or scroll Instagram on my phone (or do anything on social media) or talk to friends or read... (yeah I'm just throwing myself a pity party but I'm on a roll so just bear with me) or even shower, as is evident by this conversation that took place the other day, which of course I documented via Twitter:


(This Week) I Kept Myself Busy By

... trying another new yoga studio - I like Vinyasa more and more each time I go.

... hanging out with other moms on play dates. I don't know what I would do without other moms who reassure me that I'm not the only person who feels like they're going crazy every day.

... attending church group. Right now we're studying Philippians and I'm excited to see what this study teaches me.

... spending time at my mom's house in the suburbs.

... watching The Bachelor (and drinking wine, of course) with girlfriends.

... hanging out with great friends and enjoying awesome chili & conversation.


(This Week) I've Learned:

  • The best months to buy things in 2015. (here)
  • The value of blank spaces. (here)
  • Everyone seems to agree that meetings are a large waste of time. (here)
  • Evidently big companies pirate software. (here)
  • Millennials want to move to the suburbs but, evidently. (here)


(This Week) Clara

... is acting like she's never gone to sleep by herself in her life. I'm back to nursing her to sleep. What in the world happened?! 

... enjoyed spending time with lots of relatives who took turns babysitting her! 

... is stubbornly refusing to eat bananas and sweet potatoes.

... seems to be so close to crawling (in my non-expert opinion).

... had a blast hanging out with her friends. Except it turns out she's a hair puller and she made her friend, Alex, cry on more than one occasion. She didn't feel remotely badly about it.


(This Week) I Wrote:

  • A rare domestic post on meal planning and some of my favorite recipes. (Tues)
  • About giving my daughter better advice than I give myself. (Wed)

I'm so excited for this weekend! I'm planning on resting as much as possible and enjoying my family being under one roof again.
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