How much room can there be for me?

Starting a blog is a daunting task. It requires an immense amount of time and creativity, both of which come in limited supply for me. Not to mention the saturated market. There are thousands of bloggers of all varieties. So how much room can there be for me? I’m trying to create a unique, authentic brand of myself for the world, but what if there’s no room? What if every topic has been covered? What if every word has been written? What if every idea is a mere replica of something I’ve seen or read before?

Don’t we often feel that way in life? Is there room for me? For my thoughts and my opinions and my personality and my spirit? Everyone else is so good at their thing, who needs me? Would anyone miss my presence if I didn’t exist? Do I fit in? Am I valued? Is there room for me?

Here’s what I know: we are hardest on ourselves. We have to live inside our own heads, and that makes us our own worst critics. We constantly think we are failing or making a mistake, when in reality others are admiring us for our bravery and tenacity.

The truth: there’s always room for you. The world needs you. The real you. The messy hair, says the wrong thing, can’t find her keys you. And also the got a promotion, ate kale for dinner, changes her own oil you. We all fail and we all win. Others need both to inspire and motivate them. When we fail, we can show others how to be brave. When we win, we can show others how to be gracious.

There will always be room for you. For all of us. In your job, in your relationships, in your family. We make up a whole that cannot be complete without any one piece. And you have something extraordinary to give.

XX

You Should Go and Love Yourself

What’s all this talk about self care? Like do I use a face mask and call it a day? No. Allow me to explain. (Self-proclaimed “expert” here…)

Self care is about more than cosmetics and bubble baths. It’s about adding yourself to your priority list, near the top. We so often work and hustle and give that we forget that we need rest and care too.

Self care is about doing something for you. Whether that be working out or shopping or reading a book, it’s something that brings you joy, feeds your soul, and allows you to refresh. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you can’t pour from and empty cup. You can’t give when you have nothing left. You need to refuel, and you need to do so in a way that makes you happy.

Why is this so important? Because we freaking deserve it. Like I said, so many of us work or parent or run a side hustle or care for a loved one or volunteer and that is so important. It’s also important to refuel and remember. Refuel so that you’re able to continue changing the world. And remember that you matter too.

Today was spent as a self care day. For me, that meant taking a nap, watching Friends, showering and moisturizing my whole body. After three weeks of travel, my skin was so thirsty and needing some TLC. And of course I took a hot bath. Because you know how I do. I’m sharing some of my favorite skin care products of the moment below. This is what I used today and my skin feels revived and youthful.

Don’t forget to rest and recharge. God even added a self care day to the week when he created the world. You gonna argue with God?

XX

Kopari Coconut Rose Toner

Lancôme Eye Cream

Lancôme Beauty Sleep Perfector

No-Needle Eye Fix

Lip Scrub

Life Lately #5

Life lately has been hectic. I taught summer school and then left town for a conference. Chad has been working like crazy and picking up where I’m slacking. Cook has had doctor’s appointments and viruses and saw the ocean for the first time. We are all just taking one day at a time and soaking up these days where I’m at home all day to dote on my boys. Life is hectic, but sweet.

Most recently, we took a beach trip as a family. It was so wonderful to see Cook react to the water and the seagulls. We got to see family that we only get to see every now and then, and I think that made the trip. It made Chad and I realize how blessed we are. We ate pizza poolside, drank too many beers, and have sand all over our house now but it was so worth it. Salt water cures everything. And now we are so glad to be home.

Speaking of home, we are in the middle of moving (yes, still) and I’ve got a bad case of the don’t-wannas. Don’t wanna pack. Don’t wanna clean. Don’t wanna unpack. Just don’t wanna. We did show the house today, but the agent complained that it was dark and said they had to fumble around to find the light switches. Our realtor and I had a good laugh about that. We have 20’ windows and the light switches are placed where you think they’d be. On the wall.

Which brings up another point. I am at a low-tolerance level for BS lately. People’s emotions, people’s opinions, people’s negativity. I am too busy working on myself to let your problems interfere with my progress. And you should be too. Tuning out all negative vibrations. *insert peace sign emoji here*

All in all, life is great right now. Busy and weird, but great. We are pushing through change and adjusting to new normals and enjoying every minute of it. So many blog post ideas in the notes on my phone so stay tuned.

XX

More Springs

“That is one good thing about this world… there are always sure to be more springs.”

~ LM Montgomery

I was reading a Real Simple magazine today when I came across this quote and it spoke to me. More springs. More fresh starts. More renewal. “Springs” don’t necessarily have to be the actual season. They can be small changes. Restarts. Blank slates. New habits. New hobbies. A face mask and a manicure. A move across country. A new job. Anything that sets forth a spirit of renewal and change in you.

Chad and I are on the cusp on a new spring ourselves. As I’ve mentioned before, we have listed our house with a realtor and will be downsizing. Chad has been moving furniture while I’m at my parents, and I’ve been pining away on Pinterest looking at decor ideas. I’m excited for this move for many reasons.

1. It’s back to basics. This is a temporary living situation, so I won’t feel compelled to perfect every detail of this home. We are living on “sweat equity” so I will be doing projects, but because it is not my home I won’t be as pressured to have everything Instagram-worthy. I get to focus on what matters. Time with Cooksey, time with Chad, reading books, cooking, exercising, meditating, living simply. I can focus on quiet time with God and quality time with my family. I can call my mom from my back porch while the dogs run in the yard and I sip my wine. I can raise my chickens that Chad doesn’t know we’re getting yet. The basics. The simple things. The good life.

2. It is a fresh start. We get a whole new schedule regarding commutes to work and dinner time. We get a new routine in regards to what time we wake up and go to bed. We get new scenery. A new kitchen to work in, a new office to write in, a new backyard to play in. It will all be fresh.

3. It begins a new chapter in our life. Cook was brought home from the hospital to our current house, and it has served us well. We have made so many memories in it, and will miss it desperately. But this is a new chapter for us. We get a new set of daily experiences. We get to make new memories within new walls. We get to start new. A blank page.

We all need new springs in life. We need the times that turn over a new leaf and give us a fresh outlook. We need the renewal that comes with those times. We need new chapters to start new habits or begin new hobbies. We need to go back to basics, regain our strength, and start anew.

I hope you have many more springs in your life.

XX

Baby Shark

How do Baby Shark, cows, and hand foot mouth all relate? Lemme tell ya.

Yesterday Cook was real sick. Puked all over me. Wouldn’t be put down. Only wanted Mama. That kinda sick.

This morning at 5:30 we woke up and he was miraculously better. Happy baby, we listened to Baby Shark on my parents’ patio no less than 50 times. And he danced and danced.

I went to change his diaper to get ready to go to the zoo, and noticed his “chigger bites” from two days ago we’re much worse. Dark red and oozy. It was time to take him in.

Hand foot mouth is the diagnosis, which is a viral infection. Very contagious. Guess who’s also in for the same weekend? My niece and nephew. Quarantine time.

Because there is nothing we can do other than topical treatments, we went to the zoo. Cook ate a cheeseburger and was awarded some new toys for all his toil. Boy deserves the whole gift shop.

Fast forward past naps, the family has gone out to the cabin and C and I remain at the house. He’s down for the night early because he’s had a big day, and I’m on the patio enjoying a glass of wine. Grape Creek Vineyard for the win. The property next to my parents holds about 30 head of cattle and they’re right next to our fence. Longing for home and my own cattle, I walk barefoot over to the fence. 53 and I make an instant connection. She wants to eat out of my hand, even lets me touch her nose, but then runs away. Her playfulness sparks joy in me, and the simplicity of the country makes me thankful. I’m reminded to count my blessings; that of a healthy, happy baby, that of a loving family that supports me through the rough patches, that of a husband that has answered every FaceTime and phone call today. All of them. Simplicity is often the answer to life’s ailments. Overwhelmed? Simplify. Stressed? Simplify.

Cook is healthy, and CC and I had the chance to talk more today than when I’m home. Life is good. And simple.

XX