24 February 2017

Memories of Warmer Days

It's blizzarding outside. This has me reminiscing about the summer and as I was flipping through pictures, I landed on our wedding. I realized I haven't shared any reception pictures on here. Today is as good as any to share.

When Mr B and I started planning our wedding, we decided we wanted a "garden party" feel. My sisters and I got on Pinterest and starting pinning away. Amazingly enough, when I look through my reception pictures, it's like looking through my Pinterest page. I thought it would be fun to show you my inspiration, and how our version looked.

From Pinterest:

OUR Version
We did everything ourselves (with the help of family, of course). Mr B and I grew all of the succulents ourselves! We propagated them from plants that were growing in my backyard and then grew them for the couple months before our wedding. We spray painted and decorated the centerpieces, as well as arranging the succulents and flowers. I spent hours on the backdrop and Mr B's mom and aunts helped make the bunting. Mr B engineered and put together the posts to hang everything. My little sis was the general director. My mom put together the food tables and my older sister created the gorgeous labels on the sign in table and food tables. Mr B's sister designed our sign in book and helped pull last minute details together.

 We have asked ourselves "Looking back, what would we have done differently?" and both of us come up with the same answer every time. "Nothing."

09 February 2017

You're not a mess....You are brave for trying

This is a slight brain dump. But I have had these thoughts ping ponging around me since the beginning of the year and it's time to spew them out, even if it is word vomit.

People ask me all the time how I'm doing. Sometimes it's a stranger/acquaintance in passing or to be polite. Sometimes it's a coworker or friend that does care, but doesn't really want to get into anything in depth. Once in a while it's a family member or old friend who really wants to know. When it's more than a passing "hey, how are you?" I have always struggled with knowing how to share or how much to share.

Because, really, I am fine...I think. And I am happy...mostly. And things are great...almost. 

When I came across this quote by Joan Bauer, I related to it way more than I wanted to:

"Almost. It's a big word for me. I feel it everywhere. Almost home. Almost happy. Almost changed. Almost, but not quite. Not yet. Soon, maybe. I'm hoping for that."

THIS IS TRUE FOR ME! How sad is that? It's horrible! I have an amazing husband, but I'm still "almost happy." We own an amazing town-home and I'm all moved in but I still feel like I'm "almost home." It's not my circumstances keeping me from being happy or feeling like I'm not home. 

It's ME. I want to be better or at least striving to be better. I want to be growing and improving. But I'm not. I'm "almost changed" into that better person I want to be, but not quite. And I haven't been trying to get there either!

I don't want to be almost...I want to be THERE! But apparently, I didn't want it bad enough for a long while-- because even though I have had thoughts about goals lurking in my brain, I haven't done anything about them. WHY??

Well, I think it's because I am afraid to fail. Because I feel like I'm just a mess. Part of me worries that I will attempt to change and attempt to improve and not attain my goal and then I will feel worse off. Like I'm still "almost" and this time it will just be because I'm "not enough."

It's time for action. No more letting fear hold me back. I came across two things that pushed me to move forward. This:

And This:

So I decided to step forward, to go after what I want, to CHANGE SOMETHING. I sat down and started writing down where I want to be and brainstorming the goals that will get me there. It's still in diagram form, but over the next few days, they will turn into S.M.A.R.T. goals--steps building me up to where and who I want to be.

I might feel like a mess along the way, but I'm not a mess. I'm brave for trying. 

Will I fail? Probably in many ways. And if that happens, I will get up and try again. Either way, I will be better off than I am right now. Enough with "almost." It's time to "Be."

Credit to my dear friend Laural for this one

02 February 2017

In the bleak mid-winter

Today is the exact middle of winter--half way between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.

Winter is a harder season for me because of the following:
1- Since I work transportation, winter brings massive amount of people moving during the holidays. It's also when all of my employees want time off. So in the busiest time of the year, I am working with the least amount of support.
2- With the snow comes bad roads. With bad roads come delayed buses. Also stressful at work.
3- I can't run outside in the winter. Which puts me in circles on the track.
4- Mr B and I can't camp or hike mountains this time of year.
5- I don't get my fix of vitamin D.

My list of what's "killing me" right now could go on and on. This winter has been the hardest one I have lived through in a long time.

But I will instead take inspiration from my favorite blogger and focus on the list of what is saving me right now. These are the little things that keep me going through the cold days.

What is saving me right now:
1- My Erin Condren Lifeplanner. Maybe it shows the geekiness in me, but the bright happy colors, my name on the front, fun stickers and even a meal planner dashboard get me super excited. I take it with me wherever I go. I write everything down. I check things off. I actually remember birthdays. I love it.

2- Trying new recipes with Mr B. I love my "Our Best Bites" cookbooks and have used them for quite a few years. But, like most people, I go back to the recipes that I love over and over. Mr B and I decided to go through them and make a list of the ones we wanted to try. Every week we've been making a new-to-us meal together. It makes meal planning and prepping much more fun. Especially because we are doing it together. And the food is delicious.

3- Winterish Essential Oils. I have been diffusing pine, sandalwood, fir, cinnamon, grapefruit, clove, vanilla, peppermint, orange and all sorts of combinations of these scents throughout my house. It helps me appreciate those winter smells.

4- Books. Books always save me. I read constantly. But especially in the winter, curling up with a good books makes me feel better about not being outside. And lately Mr B has picked up a series (Harry Potter...again) that he can't put down. This had led to some lovely evenings curled up together with tea, cookies, blankets and books.

5- Cross Country Skiing. We have tried to go at least every other week. It gets us outside and moving. We can work up a sweat in negative 0 degree weather. It makes me appreciate the snow. It helps me soak in the little sun we have had. And we have seen some beautiful landscapes and fun animals on our adventures. We head out again on Saturday.

6- Deleting Instagram from my phone. I still have an instagram account...but when I have to access it from a computer, I am on it A LOT less. I already knew that social media was hard for me. That's why I don't have Facebook and was off of insta for over a year. I realized in the last 6 months of using it again that I was getting sucked down into comparison and time wasting. Not mindlessly checking it all the time helps.

7- Fresh Citrus. We have kept our fridge stocked with oranges and grapefruits while they are in season and on sale and tasting amazing. A grapefruit a day keeps the grouchiness away.

8- Cuddling. One of my two top "love languages" is touch (unusual for a girl, but true for me). We've discovered that I am much happier in the morning if before anything else, I get a little cuddle. So we set the alarm 10 mins before we have to get up and I get at least one blissful "snooze rotation" to curl up with Mr B before attacking the day.

9- "Do Not Disturb" on my phone. After the insanity that was my holiday season (in which I was working graveyard shifts and then taking calls all day long) I was completely burnt out with work. I had been on call 24/7 for 6 years and haven't had a Christmas in 9 years where I didn't have to deal with a work issue. After a conversation with my boss (that I honestly was going to result in me job searching) he actually agreed to pull me off call! Now, for the fist time in 6 years, I can ignore my phone. I find myself delighting in putting my phone on "Do Not Disturb" during movies, concerts, ski trips, date night, when I take a bubble bath, or when I go to bed.

10- My conure. I've always loved my bird. But lately I have found her to be so delightful. Maybe it's because Mr B has never lived with a bird before, so I'm watching him see all of her eccentricities and remember the joy of when I discovered them the first time.