Dear Vivienne!

Dear Vivienne,

Today you are one year old! ONE! YAAAAAAAAY ONE! We are teaching you to count right now, so there you go. Joyeux Anniversaire!! We are also teaching you French, and will continue to do so. Je t’aime mon petit champignon!! (this means mushroom) and Mommy loves mushrooms, so it is in fact a term of endearment.

Look at you! Your smile lights up the world and you charm everyone you meet.

You are a treasure and as we tell you each and every day,

“We love you, We are proud of you, and You are ours”

I would like to add, Thank you so much for being born!

You are teaching your mother patience and grace. Two things your Mom is still working on AND you have done a great job this first year instructing her on how “to relax, relax, relax”

It may interest you to know, your Nana has been trying to teach me that lo these many years, so congratulations on doing that which she could not do.

What a joy you are, what joy you bring to the world and definitely our world!

Your eyes sparkle and I can see the wheels turning, you haven’t said your first words yet and I can’t wait till you do. I can’t wait to talk to you for hours (though that’s many years into the future) about your favourite subject in school, your friendships and relationships and the movie you can’t wait to see or the books you are reading and well, just everything. 

You definitely have moments of upset and that is normal and ongoing.

I hate hearing you cry when there isn’t anything I can do to help you feel better. At the moment, you are teething and we give you medicine and icy teething rings along with the occasional Orajel application when the pain is just too bad. I wish so much that you could avoid pain, but this is part of growing so it will continue in one form or another.

Mommy never wants to lie to to you, so I am being honest when I say, this pain will end but another pain will take it’s place. More on that, when you are old enough to understand it.

You are walking.. a few steps and then falling and quite literally this is known as “baby steps” and absolutely expected.

Before you know it, you will be running, maybe with Mommy? VivienneONE

I love you my sweet baby girl and you make Mommy very happy!

Happy Birthday!

Love,

Mom

The 5 R’s of Rescuing Relationships

Dear Readers,Connection

I am no expert, but I can tell you that relationships, romantic or otherwise take work to thrive.  I have recently discovered a few tips that I want to share with you.

By the way, this can be applied even if you aren’t having trouble, here goes. It might even be a good defense against difficulty in the relationship. Here goes!

  1. REFRAIN– Stop yourself from saying the thing that would be the perfect zinger (because you are hurting or angry) while it may feel good in the moment, regret will often follow and you can’t unsay what has been said.
  2. RESHAPE– The way you think about what they say and do. You find what you look for, so look for the good. Try to think the best of them and their intentions
  3. RECAPTURE– Why did you create, build and nurture this relationship in the first place? Think about early interactions and why you like/love this person.
  4. REACH – Do three nice things for the other person and watch to see how they receive your gesture. Their reaction will tell you a lot. Don’t point it out, you have to do it, and not ask for credit. (This is SO HARD, AND WORTH IT!)
  5. REINVEST– Make plans for a date night, weekend away, whatever will help you prioritize that relationship                                                                                                                             Final thought– Don’t be too busy to take care of your relationships.

Think About It….

 

 

What do you do with your White Privilege?

Dear Readers,StandAgainstRacism

Today I come to you to talk about my white privilege.

First, I have it, and if you are white, you do as well.

This weekend I had the honor of attending my friend’s wedding.

I was one of seven people there who were white.  Yep, I counted.

My first thought was, “Are we the only white people here?”

My second thought was, “I am very uncomfortable. Will I be able to relate to anyone here?”

I am not proud of it, but that is what I thought, which is utterly ridiculous because while I don’t use the term color-blind I don’t think about my black friend first and I would never use it to describe a friend, because it’s so limiting. My friend, their title or who is also a coach for Beach Body or who I work with, or my friend who just became debt-free (YAY) are usually my descriptors.

My third thought was, “I am honored to be included in such an important event” and it’s true, I love her and I am so happy for her that she has found love and is getting married, I have watched her grow and mature and seeing her do really wonderful things including get out of debt and find financial peace so it was an honor to watch her take this next step and witness her marriage!

In general, people have differences that make them unique and special individuals.

(Whoa, I almost said snowflakes there)

but more unites us than divides us and I found that in talking to the other people at the wedding, I had several things in common (wedding anniversary) (proposal stories) (mistake on someone’s name) (getting lost) (finances) with several different people who do not have my same color of skin. I hate that I was surprised by that, but I was.

We had a very good time and after the initial (self-imposed) awkwardness

I came away thinking, this has taught me about myself. This has taught me that even as an self proclaimed activist, I still have white privilege. The question is what do I do with it? What will you do with it?

I am committed to using my white privilege to do good, to stamp out racism when I see it, hear it or encounter it. I have NO idea what that looks like, because I am designing this as I go and it’s not anyone else’s job to tell me what to do, I need to figure it out.

As for you….

Think about it.

 

Banish Guilt, Give Yourself Grace!

Dear Readers,

Today, I want to tell you about something I feel guilty about. I feel guilty about not working out as much as I said I would last month. It’s a promise to myself and I broke it.

I could spend a lot of time telling you why I haven’t worked out 3 times a week for this month or I could own it and say, I didn’t work out 3 times a week this month. Okay there, I said it. I feel so much better, AND what is the next step?

Giving myself grace to say, it’s been busy at work and at home. Vivienne is teething and our 11 month old little girl has changed from sweet and smiling to surly and pissed off, much like an old man sending back soup in a deli. We are hanging in there but truth be told it’s been a hard month of parenting. I will go on to say, if you see either of us and we look tired or seem cranky this would be why.

That is one reason for me not working out three times a week, like I said I would, so I give myself the grace to go ahead and sleep in last week, 4 days in a row, and didn’t work out.

The truth is, I wasn’t working out AT ALL a few months ago. It took a really good friend to give me a kick in the pants. She and I both said, we would motivate each other and that worked for a while, we texted back and forth some silly pictures and messages to spur each other on. Then I got tired, and wanted to sleep. (Remember my sixth love language is sleeping in? )

Then I tried to motivate myself with Pepsi ( I LOVE PEPSI ) and pop tarts, which may seem counter-intuitive to long-term health but as my wise friend, Dr. Howard points out, “Different things motivate different people” and as I am always saying, “progress not perfection” so working out is a process and doing it three times a week will involve a series of baby steps, one of which is packing my bag with all the things I need and getting a good nights sleep, for me that means at least 6 hours of sleep, and be sure to spend time with my husband and daughter and then fit some time in for me to fill up (read a book, watch a little tv) or do some self-care and prepare for the next day’s work.

So this morning, I was all set to go to the gym and I had my bag ready and I looked at the clock and I said, nope, I just want to sleep. So I did. I gave myself grace, and I banished guilt. In that moment, I actually did not feel guilty, I promised myself I would work out tomorrow and Thursday and Friday so there are the three days.

My mom is fond of saying, “Screw Guilt” (cleaned up but you can imagine what other word she uses) to say how useless it is. It has taken me a VERY long time to give up on guilt, and I still work on it daily. She is right, it’s a pretty useless emotion.  The second that you say, “I feel guilty about xxxx, you stop any action. you don’t move things to the next step. So, much like my post about AND not BUT, the next time you are going to say, “I feel guilty about…. XXX” I would encourage you to say instead, “I feel guilty and I grant myself grace for this and I am going to do Step, 1, 2, and 3”

So, much like my post about AND not BUT, the next time you are going to say, “I feel guilty about…. XXX” I would encourage you to say instead, “I feel guilty and I grant myself grace for this and I am going to do Step, 1, 2, and 3”

I am going to challenge you to banish guilt and give yourself grace. You will feel better, trust me!

Think About It and Then DO IT! slow