Being Called Home

This week has been an incredibly long one. I don’t know exactly what it is about getting older which makes things always a little more sentimental. We get a little more serious. We realize the things that were important in our youth, aren’t really AS important on the grand scheme of life. On Wednesday, I caught myself saying “Is tomorrow only Thursday?” and Thursday came and I wished so much I could take back those words.

We are drawn to certain people in our lives that touch our hearts in such a way as to never quite fully know the impact they have until it is too late. It was no accident I wound up at Indiana University and was a cheerleader there. It was no mistake either. I was so blessed to have met some awesome life long friends and people who you hope never to lose track of on your continuing journey. Regardless of whether these individuals were past or present of this family program, they will always be there to support and love on you. Todd was one of those individuals. On Thursday morning, I found out that Todd lost his fight with his second bout of cancer. Todd’s first bout was while cheering at IU. He was 21 years old and having to bravely fight for his life then. He tackled that battle that nearly killed him right then and there and that is when everything became so much more important.

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Here was a soul that was so encouraging. He always wore a smile on his face and always remained positive even when faced with an uphill battle. He was the one that was always your advocate. Todd was a man of God. I know through both of his battles, his faith never wavered. His example of compassion and kindness are exemplary. All I could do is sob in heartbroken disbelief that this man was now called home. I am happy that he is no longer suffering, and yet at the same moment I realized the impact this very man had on my heart and soul.

Continue reading “Being Called Home”

Class of 2008

As a graduate in the middle of the Great Recession with a graphic design and fine art degree, my experience of the job market and career opportunities is greatly skewed. I didn’t fully realize this until my interview for the job I currently have. It went something like this:

The owner of the company, now my boss, takes the samples I’ve brought to show my design ability (mostly my wedding invitations, programs, save the dates, etc), looks at them for maybe 20 seconds and says, “Why haven’t you been doing this (meaning graphic design) all along?”

Deep sigh, “Well I graduated in 2008…”

“Ah, that explains it.”

It was not until this statement was spoken into my life that I realized how frustrated I was as an artist and a young professional. I was stunned and grateful.

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Source

To say I was a good student in school would be an understatement. Overachiever would be more appropriate. But when I graduated, I couldn’t even get a job at a coffee shop, let alone a job in my field. And I had coffee shop experience! This was not the world I was expecting. I was told from kindergarten on that if you work hard, do your best in school and graduate from college, you’ll get a good job. I wasn’t expecting a design job, but I was expecting to at least be able to pay my bills. Little did I know the world had drastically shifted. Continue reading “Class of 2008”

How I will Chase 2015

Did you read Erica’s post on choosing a word to inspire your year? If not check it out here. I love this idea and just reading hers made me want to chase the year too.

Chase Hope

So I thought I would let you in on what I am going to chase for 2015. And go a step further and let you in a little on how I plan to chase some of these things. So here goes…

1. Healthier Eating – I addressed a lot of this in my post Back On the Wagon. Just getting down to eating cleaner and less processed food.

2. Give More – I want to give more of myself to people. I give a lot to my children and husband, which fills my heart with joy. But I know that now that I am no longer attached to a baby constantly, I have the time and ability to give more of my time and myself to things like volunteering and helping friends. I plan to be more involved in our church and really become vulnerable and closer with friends.

3. Physical Challenges – My biggest physical challenge is coming up in 4 months, the Tinker Bell Half Marathon. And on top of that I want to challenge myself to complete 100 miles of walking/running in a month (I have yet to choose the month, but I will). I also want to sign up for more fun runs that include obstacles to be challenging and fun.

4. Grow Closer to Christ – I want my children to be able to see the love that God has for them through me. To do this I need to become closer to Christ so I can be more like Him. I want to show the love, kindness, generosity, and patience that He has with us everyday.

5. Save Money – My husband and I both know we want to start saving more money and are working on plans to save monthly for things like Christmas and birthdays. Also to start saving money to one day (after Navy retirement) buy a house.

I challenge you to chase this year. Chase the things that you want to accomplish. Find even just one thing to actually go after with all you can. Come up with a plan to do this and be intentional with your plan. Don’t just say you are going to workout or spend more time with your family. Plan out your workout days and family fun days. I challenge you to truly ‘Chase 2015’ with all you can!

Single During the Holidays – It Really is OKAY

Today I had the privilege of taking care of one of my favorite patients. He is an older gentleman and often forgets what he asked me the week before. As a result, some of his questions repeat themselves, including his advice. It is a regular question to ask me if I am married and when I answer no, if I am dating someone, I then say no again. His response is always “and that is okay!”

But today he went on to tell me more. He went on to tell me how he has 2 daughters and that he always talked to them about waiting for the right one, no matter how long it took. He was encouraging me as he told me his one daughter had to wait until she was 30, but for both of his daughters how he couldn’t find a better guy for each one of them even if he had interviewed guys for 100 years straight. He didn’t make me feel sorry for being single, he didn’t tell me I was doing it wrong, he just encouraged me that waiting for the right one is the important fact. He assured me that where I am now as a 28 year-old-single women, is okay, in fact, that there is nothing wrong with it. He didn’t make me feel like less of a person or less interesting because I have no husband or kids at home yet.

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Some day I hope to have more than just my own feet, but I’m beyond thankful for this time of growing and learning as a single woman.

Continue reading “Single During the Holidays – It Really is OKAY”

For All the New Mommies

I have tons of friends having babies, more than ever before. And it has prompted thoughts about being a new mom again. I have done the infant stage 3 times and I can tell you I am not an expert by any means. Anyone who says they are an expert is lying to themselves. No one knows exactly how every baby is going to respond to every situation. Those of us who have been there can give advice and suggestions, but we can only speak from our experience. There are a few pieces of advice I have found that every mom has been in agreement thus far.

Cry. You are exhausted physically, mentally, and emotionally. Your hormones are out of control. You are going to reach a breaking point and no matter how much you love your baby you are going to lose it. It’s okay. We’ve all been there. Cry. Have one of those deep from the gut ugly cries. Do it anytime you need. The middle of the day when you can’t get baby to eat or sleep or stop crying. The middle of the night when you are trying to figure out when the last time you slept more than an hour in a row. I have cried at all these times, it doesn’t make you weak. It makes you a mom.

Take a minute to yourself to just breathe. I know you are thinking ‘…when can I find time to myself?’ This is especially difficult when you have more than 1 baby. It doesn’t have to be long or far away. But step outside, by yourself at least once a day. Even if it’s just on the porch. Just sit or stand for a minute and breathe. Don’t think about the things you need to get done or what comes next in baby’s schedule. Just thank God for the day. That’s it. Just breathe and be.

Let your house go for as long as you need. I promise anyone who comes to visit could care less if you have dirty dishes or laundry. They want to see your baby and you (more so the baby). They don’t care it your floors have been mopped or your toilet has a ring. And if they do, don’t invite them over again. But do take people up on their offer to help. Let someone do your laundry, clean the bathroom, or make dinner. I promise at some point you will be able to do it all, but with a newborn it’s not worth trying.

Remember this most of all. You are doing fine. There is no right or wrong to this parenting thing. Breastfed or bottle fed. Swaddle…no swaddle. Stay at home mom or working mom. Cloth diaper or disposable. It doesn’t matter. Love your baby and you are doing it right.

All the pictures are the first ones of me with my new babies. I may not look great, but I was happy as could be.

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Week 4: And this is what stress does…

I have been stressed out.  Stressed from what, you might add?  Well stress comes in all forms.  This week I totally fell off the bandwagon of portion control and eating well.

Let me recap this week for you:

1. Had some emotional stress with a friend.  So in a feeble attempt to keep myself cool, calm and collected I ate some breakfast Sunday morning and went on a run.

2. On this run, my phone (which was my music source) died shortly after I stepped in animal feces.  I did however meet a goal of extending my run time to .92 mile even though I literally almost died. Huffing, puffing, and trying to encourage myself to “keep going!” (Yes, I did yell at myself while on the run…probably looked like I was crazy…) Oh yes, don’t recommend eating so close in time frame before you decide to run a hard run.  It doesn’t end well.

3. I was social this week.  While giving myself a facial, I ate a few bites of Gelato which ended up being an inch down in the container!  No, bueno.  I ate pasta shamelessly 2 days in a row for 3 different meals.  I drank a regular pop (gasp!).  Don’t judge, I could barely stay awake and it was 2pm.  I also ate wings with a friend last night. They were fried and I only ate 6. I knew every ounce on that scale was going to reflect it too…

4. Aunt Flow is right around the corner and whenever she comes to visit, I crave chocolate.  I couldn’t do it!  I couldn’t resist…yep I ate a Milky Way Fun Size and Lindt (1 square) chocolate piece back to back.  Hello saturated fat!

5. Work has been stressful. I get home in the evening and I sit.  It is a death wish to any sort of physical movement you may or may not want to do.  Productivity becomes zero.

6. I haven’t made time for good workout’s this week.  I have been doing calf raises, lunges and strengthening activities intermittently through my  day.  I have been trying to strengthen instead of sit idle.

7. I have been trying to find more time for prayer, meditation, and peace.  I think I am doing an OK job at that even though I could always use more.

8. I got wonderful notes of encouragement from a few girlfriends this week!  That was so wonderful.

This made me smile :-)
This made me smile 🙂

All in all, this week my focus was elsewhere.  This is much how life goes.  Life  will pull and tug us in our many directions and it is so important to remain in control.  It too is important to prioritize our issues, get our feelings in check, and maintain a sense of dignity and control over our being.  Praying has helped me get back to a level of which is normal stress.  It has given me much-needed peace about a lot of the stress I just recognize I cannot control.  What I can control however is myself, how I react, and how I choose to conduct myself.  I know this to be absolutely true. I am convinced that next week will be better…

Week 4: Height 4'8"; weight 102.5 lbs
Week 4: Height 4’8″; weight 102.5 lbs.
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