Letting go of materialistic things

Are we working to build and create a life that we love, or are we working to buy things that society tells us that we need. Look at your surroundings, are you surrounded by things that are purposeful and add value to your life, or are you surrounded by things that are name brand and make it seem like you are wealthy or trendy. I recently watched a documentary about minimalism and it really got me thinking. Basically the documentary is about minimizing your life and the things in your life down to things that only add value, serve a purpose or making you a better person/happier because of their presence. And then I took a look at my living room which was stuffed with toys. What am I teaching Addison to value? How can she appreciate her toys when there are so many they are just in piles around the house. And so we purged. Addison and I went through many of her toys (I did my best to explain that they are going to boys and girls who dont have any toys). Some she struggled to bid adieu to and others were easily given the nod of approval to give away. It.felt.so.good.

Then I had to look a little deeper at myself. Why do I constantly feel the need to buy her all these things, why do I personally want so many things. We want that temporary fix, that temporary high you get when you buy something and we fool ourselves into thinking those things will bring us happiness. But yet we walk away feeling just as empty, quickly racking our brain for the next thing we want to purchase, the next thing we “need”. How can we ever truly appreciate what we have if we are continuously stuffing more and more things into our homes? I encourage you to take a look in your home and find some things that you are willing to part with. Ask yourself, is the useful, does this make me a better person and does this add value to my life? If the answer is no, then DONATE! I promise you will feel better!

Society tells us that you need the latest and greatest, nicest and newest to amount to anything. What you own does not define you. Do you want people at your funeral to say “she had such a nice Louis Vuitton purse” or “she drove the newest version of a Mercedes”. I want to be remembered for the relationships I formed, the service I did in my community, the love I had for my family and friends. We can’t take it with us when we leave people. So I urge you to reflect and ask yourself what do I value and how can I reveal that to others with the way I live my life. Let’s work on letting go of the material things and focus more on people and how we can leave this world a better place.

I love each of you and hope you are inspired

 

 

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Mommy Guilt

You know all too well this feeling if you are a parent (more specifically a mother). If you are not focusing 110% of your time and energy into your child, then you’re failing your child. Being a mother is the best thing that has happened to me, but I like most of you, long for my independence. So we stop doing the things we love and focus on the one thing we are supposed to love (our kids). I’m slowly learning to get over “parental paralysis”. After having Addison, time stood stil. There were no more date nights, visiting friends, pedicures, spontaneous trips out to dinner. Just because you have a kid, doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to still take time for yourself or do the things you enjoy (in moderation). As a parent, if you do something you enoy you feel selfish and other the other hand if you invest all of your time and energy into your child you aren’t quite fulfilled.

So we stop. We stop taking time for ourselves and the things we enjoy. We focus all of our energy and time into being the best parents we can be. We give our children every single ounce of our love and time. But as more and more time goes on, and more and more love is poured into your child we find ourselves lost. This is a disservice to our families and to ourselves. But it’s so hard… It seems impossible (or irresponsible) to trust anyone other than immediate family to love and care for your child while you and the hubs go out for a date night. It’s so hard because half the time we don’t want to even share with others that we did something for ourselves, because it would appear selfish or as though we have abandoned all responsibility as a parent. Why do we do this to ourselves? Because the moment that baby arrives in this world, we are used to giving them our everything. all our love, time, patience… and somewhere along the way we get so caught up in being a wonderful mother, we lose who we are as women.

There’s so much more to me than just being a mother (although this is my greatest accomplishment). I have come realize that I am responsible for my happiness and sometimes that means I can be happy, and not have my daughter within my eyesight. It hurts my heart and I even feel guilt as I type this. But I know that to be the best mother, wife, friend, and family member I must take time to do what I love with and without Addison. It’s crucial to make time to see your girlfriends. I enjoy the occasional pedicure. Drew and I have been on maybe 5 date nights since Addison was born. I realize I have to make time for all those I love, including me. I know this will benefit not only me, but my family because I will be truly happy. It will all come around full circle. By pouring love and time into myself, I am able to pour into Drew and Addison and give them the love and time they deserve as well. 

So if you are a mother, and can relate I challenge you to take time to do the things you love. Take time for yourself and try to not be so hard on yourself with the guilt. And forget how anyone else makes you feel. Let’s all try to find the balance between being an excellent mother and wife and take time to invest in loving ourselves along the way. 

Love to you all. 

Andrea

maybe you can relate

As many of you already know, Drew has a demanding job and has weird hours, that’s the life of working shiftwork. Well currently he is on the tail end of working 40 nights. This has been grueling for both of us. Drew is physically working so hard and has sacrificed time with me and his baby. I am exhausted because I am living like a single parent doing all of the parenting and house work. Let’s just say I have had a lot of time for “reflection” if you will.

In this time not only have I missed time with my husband but I have missed general companionship. Having friends and people to spend time with has always been a natural thing. I have always had good friends, even if it’s just a few, I’ve always had someone I could spend my down time with. Well Drew and I have been in Sugar Land for 2 years now and quite frankly I have no friends here. This is something that is essential to my happiness and is something I didn’t realize I was missing until it was smacking me in the face.

Now here’s where you can probably relate. I know… It’s part of growing up, moving away from your high school/college friends and creating your own life with your spouse or in your career. We all have to move on with our lives and realize that as important as our old friends are, we are in a new place and must embrace the unknown territory of beginning again. I’ve asked myself “how can I make new friends”. I want friendships to be authentic and as easy as all of my other friendships have been in the past. But I realized that like most things we want, we have to put some effort into it. Friendships have always been so effortless so the idea of going out and trying to make new friends.. well it’s difficult and not something I felt confident to do. But I’m sick of walking around this town feeling like I’m just a visitor, feeling like I’m just a passerby. If this is where we are going to ground our family, I want to feel like I am part of a community. I want to have people I can call on to go for a walk if Drew is working nights, or just have people to invite over for dinner. I think we as humans are so scared of rejection and the unknown. What if they think I’m weird. Can they tell that I’m desperate to have someone to just confide in. Where do I belong? This is a very raw subject and please don’t pity me. I’m just opening up about something I think we all feel and desire. We just want to feel a sense of belonging.

Well I’m ready. These 40 days have showed me that I need people in my life. I need to be more trusting and open. I need to push myself outside of my comfort zone. I need to take the opportunities that present themselves and seek opportunities as well. I hope you are encouraged to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and explore new things, whatever it may be. Whatever it is that you have always been interested in but never had the guts to do it, give it a go! Be brave. Be willing. Be courageous. Be you.

Andrea

Grabbing life by the walnuts

People. I have some great news. I have lost weight. Like… a lot of weight. The numbers aren’t important but lets just say, I have lost a tiny human. And I am full of JOY! Now, let me make myself clear. I have always been confident, I have always been “uncomfortable” with my weight, and I have always wanted to be “thin”. But TO HELL WITH THAT! I want to be HAPPY! After having Addison I had many realizations. I want to provide my baby with healthy eating habits. I want to teach my baby the importance of being physically active. I want to show my baby (and myself) that no one is responsible for your happiness but YOU! Since losing weight, people have began to ask me, “so what are you doing” and aside from exercising and eating healthy..I have taken ownership of my own happiness! This is vital for a happy life. You cannot look to anyone else to make you happy. You have to transform your life and make the necessary changes to be happy and enjoy life.

But back to losing weight. It’s hard yall. I dont want to work out. I want to sit in my t-shirt and undies and watch Kelly and Michael. and some days I do.. But you.gotta.get.active! Find something you love to do. For me, it was baby bootcamp. I had a place to go get out of the house for an hour each morning. I’m active, leaving the house, exposing my baby to healthy habbits, and leaving bootcamp happy and confident.Whatever it is for you, find something you enjoy and make it habbit and incorporate it into your routine. Now the part I really disliked and sometimes fail at. EATING HEALTHY! No, I dont eat 2 salads each day. But I eat less and I quit allowing food to affect me emotionally. Food can be healthy and enjoyable. I always hates eating healthy when going out to dinner with friends. Eating was supposed to be a fun social experience, I felt like if I got a salad I was “missing out and had a bad time”. Now I realize that you can eat healthy and still have fun (maybe accompanied with a glass of wine ;)). Broaden your horizons and try cooking new meals, get ideas from friends, and find foods that you can enjoy and make you feel good!

So I’m here to spread the good news. It.Can.Be.Done! I mean, I am nowhere near the size of a Victoria Secret model and I’m perfectly happy with that. I still have a few pounds to go but I am happy. I can look at photos of myself and not criticize every detail, I can wear clothes that show off my curves, and most importantly I can love who I am.

I thought really hard about doing a before and after photo of my weight loss and then as I was looking through photos I decided NO! I was happy, I was me, in that moment I was confident and felt beautiful. I have come a lonnng way. I am nowhere near perfect. I won’t be writing a weight loss book (considering I had brownies earlier). But I am here to spread the good news. Wherever you stand in your health, I’m just an average girl here to tell you that you can be happy. You owe it to yourself. Love each of you who took the time to read this. Even more love to those who have encouraged me and given me confidence in the compliments. I love you all!

#MomLife

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One of my most beloved friends called me today and wanted to remind me that I am doing a great job being a mom, and to her, I was a supermommy. It’s nice to be told that from time to time. As a parent, it’s easy to think you could always be doing more or aren’t doing enough. This blog if for all you parents with a living room full of toys, a sink full of bottles, a heart full of love you’ve never known, and a desire to always be better.

I still can’t believe I’m only 25 years old and a mom of a 6 month old baby. She changed our lives for the best, but Lord it wasn’t an easy transition. But I wouldn’t take back being a mommy for one second. For me, it was something I always knew I was made to do. It was something that I have desired and wanted forever, just maybe not as soon as it occured (be careful what you wish for..ha). The first month of having Addison was pure survival mode. In between late night breast feeding, tucking those diapers around the umbilical chord, and a husband who works shiftwork, I’m still asking myself how I survived. But you do. You get through. You learn a lot about who you and your husband are as parents, and who you want to be. You will change and grow with your baby. I’ll never forget the day where Addison was about 3 weeks old, she was crying and Drew and I looked at eachother and without speaking we knew, in that moment, we were desperately longing for our old life. You realize how precious time is to you, when you dont have any time for yourself. As a parent, if you aren’t sacrificing your time, you aren’t doing it right. That will look different for each person, but being a parent requires a lot of sacrifice for that tiny human that completely depends on the familiarity of their mommys smell and daddys voice. Accepting those sacrifices are not easy, so embrace them as they come and remember that it is okay to be human and it is okay to miss the days before you had another human life that you were responsible for.

Another aspect of my life that I knew I needed to change was my relationship with the Lord. I dont take for granted that we were/are blessed with a healthy baby. I knew the moment Addison came into this world, that I owed it all to God. I owed him all of my gratitude for blessing me with the healthy happy baby. So Drew and I started making some major changes. How could I teach Addison about God, when I needed to plant my feet firm in my beliefs as well. I made the promise to God, that by blessing me with this healthy baby, I would do everything I could to show my gratitude in how I lived out my faith. I am by no means perfect, but I know with the Lords help, Drew and I will provide Addison with a life that she does not need to recover from. I want to give her the best of me, so this was the first place I wanted to start.

So wherever you are, with kids, without, dont take it for granted. If you are without, enjoy going to Target without loading up a carseat, enjoy date night without needing a babysittier, enjoy a good nights rest. If you are a parent, enjoy the overpouring, unconditional love you have for your tiny human, find joy in the late nights, soak up their tiny fingers and toes because before you know it, this time will pass and life will keep marching on. It’s okay to always want to better, but if you are a parent reading this, you are a superhero in your childs eyes, take that role seriously, and remind yourself that you are enough.

Live the life you love, love the life you live

I am like everyone. I compare myself to others constantly. I want their hair, their body type, I wish I had a car as nice as them, I wish my nursery looked like an add for pottery barn, how can they afford a huge house. Along follows this internal dialogue “they probably starve themselves, their car is probably leased, I bet they’re house poor” you get it. It’s so shameful and the name of this inner demon is, say it with me.. J-E-A-L-O-US-Y!!! It’s very hard not to look at someones “facebook life” and think of how great they seem to have it. They look so happy, go on so many trips, have so many friends. It’s human nature to only share the good.  I catch myself doing this a lot more than I am proud to admit. But then I bring myself back to reality and remind myself of the life I have. Why is it that when we list the things we have, it never seems to be enough. What will it take to be truly happy with what you have. The worst part is that the only way we see what we have is when we see others facing tragedy.

Live the life you love. Read that sentence again and let it soak in. Are you chasing after the life you want? Now dont beat yourself up over there people. We give ourselves little to no credit. But if your instant reaction is no, you have the power to change it! What would you change to have that life? What could you change tomorrow. What could you change over the span of a year. As we all know,life is a blink and then its gone. Seek a the life you want, and set your sights high my friends. In my world, living the life I love includes many things. Simply the life I desire is a life full of love. I wish to live a life so full of love thats awe inspiring. It’s called living man, L-I-V-I-N. I’ll let Matthew Mcconaughey take it from here..

Love the life you live. It’s pretty simply. If you are living out the life you desire, then you will love the outcome.

I’m A Blogger? (in Ron Burgundy voice)

Okay so it has been on my heart to start a blog. I cant tell you how many times I started to create one and chickened out. Mainly because I couldnt find a url that was clever and partly because I dont know how many people will actually care to read my “dear diary” posts. Either way, here I am. Being that the main form of communication I have is with a 6 month old baby, I realized I need to keep my vocabulary in use. My heart is SO FULL of things I wish to share. I’m a brand new mom, which can be humerous, overwhelming, terrifying and elating all at once. I love JESUS. I have so much to share about my faith in a way that doesnt make you feel like something is being stuffed down your throat, but is real. I have the best friends and family this world has to offer who I might feel compelled to name drop from time to time. And I KEEP IT REAL. Life is so short not to share our wisdom and love with others. So here goes nothing.