Happy 2019

One of my favorite things about R+F has been personal development. Here’s one example of something I have learned and adopted. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ˜ #wordoftheyear

I cannot recall when I first started this practice, but a few years ago one of my teammates introduced the idea of having a word of the year. Simply stated: choose one word that will be your focus (and goal) for the year. Post it around your home. Come back to it. Move towards it.

For 2017, I chose Believe. Self confidence has been an issue for me for a long time. I wanted to Believe in myself. Trust myself. Have more confidence.

Additionally, I wanted to Believe. Anchor my beliefs in Jesus. Build my faith in Him. This is the year I began reading more Jen Hatmaker books and eventually the Bible. It was a year of spiritual and personal growth.

For 2018, I chose Listen. I wanted to Listen to the internal nudges. I wanted to Listen to what I God wanted me to do. I wanted to quiet the anxiety and Listen to Him. I began meditating more frequently and tried to quiet my mind from the constant internal to-do list (and not so nice self talk). I started a prayer journal.

I also wanted to Listen to my family better. Put the phone down and concentrate on what people were saying. It’s still not my strong suit. ๐Ÿคจ

With 2017 & 2018 behind, I cannot say I have fully mastered either of the aforementioned words of the year. I do think I have improved, which was the goal. Perfection is unattainable, but progress is always possible. Looking on to 2019, I will carry the knowledge I have acquired along with me.

โ†—๏ธโ†˜๏ธโžก๏ธI am really good at jumping. Obvi. ๐Ÿ˜† #shouldhavebeenatrackstar

Soooo… What will be my word for 2019? I have had many thoughts on this. First, I was leaning toward some sort of active verb. Act. Move. Action. Go.

Believe, Listen, Act. It seemed to flow. It had a trend. But as I prayed and meditated about this, I kept getting the feeling that it was wrong. I heard something entirely different and I was called to read about Moses in the wilderness.

Do you have any guesses yet? I was being told to have patience, which is not my strong suit. To wait. To pause. I was being reminded that things do not happen on my timeline. As the Yiddish Proverb says, ‘Man plans. God laughs.’

In discussion with some other like-minded souls, I landed on Align. The other words just did not seem to carry the connotation I was looking for. I want to align myself, my actions and my thinking, to my beliefs. Not force things, but allow whatever is meant to be, to be.

That doesn’t mean that 2019 is my year of doing nothing. Instead, I will follow what feels good and right. I will get myself into alignment and let God and the Universe take care of the rest. If my plans do not work, I will have patience and give thanks. Obviously, whatever did not happen was not meant for me and the Big Man upstairs has something else (something better) in the works. #believe ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™Œ

I also want my choices, both financially and time spent, to Align with what is most important to me. My faith. My family. Bringing harmony. Helping others. Becoming a better version of me. So many values that do not include a new Kate Spade bag (which is in my Amazon cart saved for later, TBH). Which is why 2019 is also the year of no shopping for me. I started on Nov 29 and it’s been a struggle, but I’ll post more about that later. #stayawayfromthemallbrandi ๐Ÿ™ˆ

So what about you? Do you have a word of the year?

Where do you want to improve? Or what aspect of your life do you want to highlight? Joy? Family? Organize?

It could be anything, but lean toward something on the positive side.

I’d love to chat with you about this if you want to brainstorm! ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ˜˜ #nerdatheart

Much love and Happy New Year!

Brandi

This year is gonna be RAD!

Humbled

Today a person I loved gave me some amazing compliments. Unfortunately, they were the kind that I knew would be leading up to something…

‘I hope you know that you are beautiful and have a lot to offer the world…’

“Thank you” – I replied. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ

‘Some of your posts though. (Silence) do you think you’re depressed?’

Shock and self-doubt came screeching up in a hurry. Anger soon followed suit.

My response was out in an instant. “No, I’m not depressed. I just get sick of people posting that their life is always cupcakes and rainbows. Because it’s not. Sometimes it’s hard. Parenting is hard. Some days you find yourself with your head in your hands, wondering what happened here. And people only showing off their glowing, perfect lives on social media make me mad. And it makes some people depressed. So I’m not going to be like that. I want people to know it’s okay to struggle.”

The conversation continued and changed course, but my mood had definitely been impacted by the interaction. After reflecting, I realized the question came from a place of love, which helped dissipate my anger.

I’m not depressed. I have anxiety, yes. Depression, no. If I did, I hope I would have the courage to own it. The stigma around mental illness is incredibly frustrating and delays treatment.

I did not think I was one of those adding to the stigma, until I found myself feeling insulted by that question. How humbling. Disappointing as well, but another opportunity to grow.

So today, my friends, I encourage you to check in on those people around you. Whether their posts have you concerned or it is changes in behavior. Ask how they are.

And if you’re struggling with something, reach out. Hold on. I’m praying for you. ๐Ÿ™

With love and light,

Brandi

Rough

It was a rough morning in our house.

Our oldest is unhappy and struggling. Frustrations from school lead to aggression and outbursts at home. He does not respond well to a strong hand, which makes managing these issues difficult. Yet yelling still happens. Because well… I’m human.

Our middle is learning, but his mother is worried that he is behind. Working on letter recognition led to frustration and tears. Another failure on my part. Great.

The little has hand foot mouth. Moana has been on repeat for nearly a month. She is up and down and all around. #exhausting

Parenting is hard. So hard. Somedays it seems as though nothing you do is right. Or good enough. ๐Ÿ™ˆ

I know other moms certainly must have days like this. But it still sucks when you’re in the midst of it.

So. If you had a morning like mine, I am with you. I believe in you. I know you love those kids more than seems humanly possible. I know you are trying with everything in you. You are enough, mama (or daddy). You can do this.

Let’s both say a little prayer and get back in here. Google for some fresh ideas or reach out to others for support. We’ve got this.

Love,

B

Vows

Last night I was able to attend a wedding in the most gorgeous venue I have ever seen.

The mountains. The water. The sky. The atmosphere. Just all of it. Beautiful.

The ceremony was untraditional and amazing. The couple chose to write their own wedding vows, which I always think takes some bravery.

Both of their vows made me a little teary-eyed, but something the bride said has really stuck in my mind…

“…I promise to love myself and to love you…”

Every time I think about those words I am shocked and humbled. What an amazing woman. What a great foundation for this marriage.

I could not help but put myself in her shoes. My husband and I were married eight years ago and maybe, maybe I could have said those words… but likely not if I was being honest.

Confidence still does not always come easy for me. Anxiety leads to self doubt and shame. I’m working on this and will continue to, because we need more people like this bride.

Maybe the reason this has been so prominent for me is because I was doing a really, really good job at beating myself up yesterday. #momguilt Then a sweet friend reminded me that I needed to give myself some grace.

So this is my little reminder that we all need to give ourselves some grace. Be kind to others, certainly, but also be kind to yourself. Love yourself. I bet everyone would be a whole lot nicer if we did.*

With love,

Brandi

*Narcissists may not fit under this umbrella. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Weight

I wrote this months ago… but it’s still pertinent. I did update it slightly. Hope you enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve got another confession…

I get somewhat obsessed with my weight.

I’ve always been pretty thin, but it’s also always been something that I’ve been very aware of. Low-carb diets before prom. Sneaking some weight loss pills in high school. Yep. Been there. (Also, that is not recommended. Sometimes kids do unwise things. Sorry mom & dad.)

After my first child was born, I was back to my pre-baby weight in 6 weeks. The bounce back from baby #2 took a little longer… and the tonsil removal when he was around 1 y.o. left me lighter than I had been since junior high.

My 3rd baby just turned 2… and I am still struggling with this weight. I have weighed the same since she was probably 10 weeks old. Sure the composition has changed (i.e. I feel less like a marshmallow now than I did shortly after her birth) and there has been some fluctuation, but that damn scale remains higher than I’d like.

Sticking to a diet has been more difficult this time. Working out stalled after some knee issues. And I am one who ties waaaay too much of my self worth to my weight.

The point? I’m not entirely sure. I am sure that people with more weight to lose than I do may be annoyed with this post.

But I guess this is a reminder that I’d say most of us struggle with weight, regardless of your pant size at this moment. Certainly someone else’s health may be more at risk than mine is. But. I still hate it.

Anyway. I had to quit weighing myself. I re-read the book Fit From Within. I went back to eating mostly plants and things I know are good for me. Less things that come in boxes.

And I feel better. My stomach feels tighter and less bloated. And my weight? I’m kind of dying to know… but what if I’ve lost nothing? Then I’ll wonder what this effort has been for and may want to go back to eating unhealthy. Or what if I’ve lost alot in a short time? Then I may get over confident and start over eating again.

So instead, I’m going to listen to my body. When I’m full, I will quit eating. When I’m hungry, I’ll think about when I last ate and if I could be thirsty. I mean, drinking a little water probably won’t hurt me.

I’m also going to feed my body as many fruits and vegetables as I can. An occasional protein in for good measure. When I eat healthy, I feel good. Then I want to exercise.

And that book… I think it’s pretty amazing. You should get it.

Thanks for reading,

Brandi

P.S. I’ve learned that alcohol significantly impacts my ability to decide if I’m really hungry or not… that freshman 15 makes a lot of sense….

 

–Two months later, I am back to weighing myself and beating myself up about it. I’ll be pulling the aforementioned book back out and actually finishing it this time.

Confession

As the title suggests, I have a confession to make.

It is embarrassing how messy my home is most of the time.

It completely stresses me out alot of the time.

I hate looking around at the piles of paper and the gift bags from a birthday party 2 weeks prior. Dirty dishes on the counter drive me insane.

The logical response to this would be, “well then clean your house, Brandi.”

I agree. 100%. And I try. But sometimes I don’t know where those items should go. And sometimes the sheer magnitude of the number of possessions surrounding me is overwhelming.

And when I do clean it to my liking, it always seems to end up back in its original messy state. I know my young kids play apart in this, but I assure you that my apartment was not spotless prior to children. My childhood bedroom was a wreck, despite my tidy mother’s attempts to teach me her ways.

I feel like I’m rambling, so let me be blunt. I’m not good at being a housewife most days. My house gets messy. We lose things. It’s pretty stressful.

But just recently, I found a decluttering podcast that has been quite helpful. It’s called “A Slob Comes Clean.” The name kinda hurts my heart, but I identify with her in some ways.

Feeling like a failure for not having that tidy home you dream of? Yep. ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ

Thinking that at some point it would just click and I’d figure this out? ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ™ˆ

Yesterday she said something that really helped me while trying to clean/declutter.

**When you see an item ask yourself this question: If I were looking for this, where would I look? The follow-up: go put it there. Now.**

Sounds simple. And obvious. But I kind of love it. And there is currently not a thing on my island and it makes me want to do a happy dance.*๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ’ƒ

If you’re messy by nature and need some comradery, I’m here for you. If you’re neat by nature, I’m jealous. Teach us your ways!

Hopefully this little tidbit can help when you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.

What are your favorite tidying/decluttering tidbits? I’m trying to get better and need all the help I can get. ๐Ÿค“

Thanks for reading,

Brandi

*if you drop by, don’t look at my kitchen table. It is not picture worthy. ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ #workinprogress #tryingtoimprove

Mirror mirror

Earlier this week my husband and I went out on a date. Half-priced margaritas at Chevys and then walking around World Market. Minimal cell phone time and lots of time just talking. It was overdue and just what I needed.

At one point, we began talking about how we see each other and how we see ourselves.

My view of my husband is this: funny, a little nerdy, and someone who loves rap music. Handsome and kind. #hesthebest

My view of myself was this: fragile, yet strong. I surprised myself with that ironic combination, but I also feel at peace with it. I have even found myself coming back to this thought in moments I feel weak (read: anxious).

Why this combination? I am usually an open book. I open myself up to people pretty quickly. And I feel deeply. These characteristics have inevitably led to some pain. But in that moment, I realized that I will always put those broken pieces of myself back together.*

Part of me wishes I could be more emotionally resilient. Stronger. Less apt to be so impacted by others. I’m actually in the process of learning how to set up some boundaries to do a better job of taking care of myself…

But I also think vulnerability can be a strength. Opening yourself up to others allows them to feel more comfortable in sharing their own struggles. It could help us look past color and gender and preconceived ideas about a person we truly know nothing about.

Where am I going with this?

I’m hoping that you can learn to open yourself up more. It can start with just being honest with yourself. Honest, but kind. Because as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, most of us are far from kind to ourselves.

Eventually, I hope you can be vulnerable with your family. If you’re hurt, say you’re hurt and explain why. It’s incredibly easy to be passive aggressive. It’s much more difficult to speak your truth and risk being ignored or hurt. But I truly believe that honest, vulnerable communication allows relationships to grow.

Vulnerability is scary. But you can do it. You are strong. I believe in you. And never forget: you are a child of a King. Lean on him, but keep yourself open.

Thanks for reading,

Brandi