Our Christmas - 2014

I realize I'm almost a month late with this post, but I'm gonna go ahead and say that's ok. I've been focusing on a lot of different things in my life other than blogging, and for right now I only want to come here when it makes sense for me and I really have something to say. And today, I guess I've got something to say about Christmas ;)

This year our Christmas was pretty low key, and pretty perfect. The weekend before Christmas we went to Oklahoma to spend some time with my Dad, which Grayson absolutely loves. He could spent an entire day out at the barn with my dad, playing in the dirt and just generally being a real country boy. This is hilarious to me because when I was a child I had zero interest in my dad's barn or any of the horses inside of it. I was so not "country". And somehow I've got a son who is being raised right smack in the middle of a city and loves nothing more than being inside a smelly barn.
The next day, we went on to see my Uncles. We love spending time with those guys, and their place is pretty much our home away from home. Things are quite relaxed when we visit these days since Grayson is involved. Before he was a part of the group, we spent a lot of time going out and having drinks and staying up all night. Now I typically go to bed with Grayson around 10 or so (he gets to stay up late at the Guncles house), the hubs will stay up with the Uncles and mom having a glass or two of wine, then everyone's usually in bed by midnight. BIG change.
On Christmas Eve we had A's family as well as my parents over to our house for a little Christmas gathering and lunch. Grayson and his "big" cousin Haik played together more than they ever have before (Haik hasn't been Grayson's biggest fan thus far haha), so he had an absolute blast. After a very long and relaxed lunch/dinner, all of A's family headed home and we did our gift exchange with my parents. This year I swore I wouldn't go overboard because this kid already has so much stuff and doesn't NEED anything else, but I really just can't resist. And neither can my parents, apparently. We set out cookies for Santa and G got to stay up pretty late that night, too.
Christmas day we woke up early and did Santa gifts, as well as opened our stockings. Stockings have always been my favorite part of Christmas for some reason, so I made sure A knew he better stuff my stocking with some good stuff! After that, we headed north to Oklahoma for Christmas with my mom's side of the family. There are so many littles running around now with that side of my family, so it's just so much fun to watch them all playing together. There's Grayson who is 20 months, Isabella who is 21 months, Jayden who just turned one, and Jonah who turned one on Christmas day. It's so cute to see so many tiny ones right around the same age together. Wish we all got together more!
This year was so much fun because Grayson was really into it. He got excited about all his gifts, opened them on his own, and loves his toys so much. Last year he was just kind of taking it all in, but this year he was running around like a maniac and enjoying every minute. I can tell that every year is going to be more fun than the last one - hopefully in the future I can get it together and refrain from going overboard with things one spoiled little boy really doesn't need. Ha, good luck, right? Even though it's so ridiculously late to say this, I really hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season with loved ones!

The Courage to be Great

All of my life, I've been naturally good at things. I realize that sounds a little braggy, and I don't mean for it to be. But many things have just come easily to me. School was always easy, I was a good dancer, a good cheerleader, I could speak well in front of a crowd, you get the idea. But even though I was "good" at all of these things, I was never great at any of them. I never pursued anything with any sort of passion or drive. I always just did as good as I could without putting in much effort at all. I never wanted to be the best, to outshine everyone else.

Except that I did. On the inside, I wanted to be the best at whatever I was doing. I mean, don't we all, really, want to be the best? But what held me back from the greatness that I desired was a serious lack of confidence, and a huge fear of failure.
Even though I kind of thought that I could maybe be great at whatever it may have been that I was into at the time, like acting for example, I never truly believed in myself. I would start to envision myself doing the task at hand, and then I would be completely overcome with thoughts of how I would never be exceptional, I didn't have the talent, it would be too hard, I would work and work and it would never pay off - basically, anything that I could doubt or question, I would.

And the fear of failure was just too much to take. It's why I never truly pursued anything with any real intensity. Even when I moved to LA to "be an actress", I barely did anything to chase that dream. I took a few acting classes, I went on a few auditions, I read a few books, met a few people - but I never let myself passionately pursue it like I knew I could have, knew I should have. I was so afraid that I would give it my all, and then I would just end up being average anyway. It would be five years down the line and I would have nothing to show for all of my hard work, and then I would have to figure out something else. So instead of working toward it and seeing where it got me, I just gave up. I packed up, moved home, and decided that I just didn't have what it took to be an actress.

I can think of so many times in my life where I had a dream, or a desire, or even just an idea for something that I thought might be fun, but I just couldn't make myself go for it. What if it was a bad idea? What if I wasn't any good? What if I was just ok, but couldn't really, truly succeed? There are already so many people who do (whatever random thing you want to insert here), what if I'm not as good as them?

It makes me so sad that I've spent 30 years on this earth with that mentality. That a girl who was so naturally good at so many things never had the confidence to make herself great at anything. That instead of really shining and standing out, I just let myself stand on the sidelines.

The great thing about this is, I've finally realized that it doesn't have to be this way. Sure, I may try and fail at a few things, but what if I don't? What if I try, and I actually survive it - and what if I try, and I thrive? What if I find something that I'm really great at, something that fulfills me and gives me peace and joy and lets me know, hey, this is what I'm meant to do? I'm only 30 years old, I've still got so, so much time to pursue whatever it is that my heart desires.

If you're reading this, and you have similar fears or worries or a lack of confidence, I hope that this can encourage you in some way. Of course I don't have all the answers, but I do know that there are millions of people out in this world, chasing their dreams every single day. Of course not everyone succeeds, but man, what if they do? What if there's something that you've always wanted to do, but you've been to afraid - what if you try it, and you rock it out, and you suddenly have this incredible life that you've always dreamed of?

I think it's time that we all go for it. That we reach down inside ourselves and find the courage within, the courage that will allow us to truly be great. I know we can do it. If you have a passion, a calling, a destiny, whatever it is that you believe it to be, I absolutely believe that you can do it.

So get out there and get to work. I know I plan on it.

When I Grow Up

I'm one of those people that gets inspired easily. It doesn't have to be much. A commercial, a magazine article, a candle...literally, just about anything can spark a bit of craziness in my head. I always tell A that my brain never stops working, that I never stop thinking, and it's 100% true. This is why we may be sitting on the couch quietly watching The Vampire Diaries (hello new guilty pleasure) and I spout off with "You know what I was thinking? I think I want to pull that window box off the front of the house and plant a few bushes before too long...and I think we should take out all that mulch and put in some of that rock filler instead. Yeah?" No matter what I'm doing, my brain is thinking about approximately 13 other things.

This is why literally every time I say "You know what I was thinking?" he groans, or says "What now?" or "Please don't tell me this is going to cost me money."

So when I think of all of my bajillion brilliant ideas that excite me and inspire me and overwhelm me with the urge to get up and move and do things and accomplish things and be amazing, I have to remind myself - this might not be the time for that. Right now I'm a little bit wrapped up in mama-land.
I've already been over how I need to focus, and to as A suggests, just pick one or two things and focus on that. So I have been. But every once in awhile I get this feeling in my belly of ridiculous excitement when I think of all the things I want to accomplish someday, when I'm a real grown-up and I have time for accomplishing things. I thought I'd gather them here and share them with you. Plus, it'll be nice to have a checklist of sorts to look back at 30 years down the road to see how many of them I'm able to say I did. Fingers crossed it's all of them, at least in some capacity.

social work

I seriously considered going with social work as a major in college, but I decided to be logical and choose something that was a bit more high-paying and less stressful...so I chose public relations. Yeah, it makes no sense to me either. But I have always had such a heart for working with those who are less fortunate, and I just really feel called to do this in some way, shape, or form. I've told A I think I might want to go back to school after all our babies are in school and start a new career in the social work arena, but maybe it will be more along the lines of volunteering at a shelter or being a court appointed advocate for kids in the foster system. I'm not really sure what it will be exactly, but before all is said and done I'd love to make something happen here.

real estate

I love houses. I love looking at them, I love touring them, I love decorating them. There have been approximately 27 times in my life that I've considered getting my real estate license, and I've just never gone through with it. I'm not totally sure why. Now I'm leaning a little more toward the renovating/flipping aspect of things than the being a realtor side of things - or who knows, maybe both? Either way, I know that somehow, some way I want to be involved in the buying and selling of homes.

foster mom

This is a tough one for me, and it's so close to my heart. This may be the biggest challenge of all, however, because the husband doesn't really have the same draw to this that I do. I just feel like I am so blessed in my life, and I have so much love to give, and there are so, so, so many babies and littles and teens out there who just need someone to love them, and respect them, and believe in them. And I feel like I could do that. I know this isn't feasible with small kiddos in the home, so I honestly think this will be something that I do later in life. But I absolutely think I am called to this.

start a rescue

Oh, my baby animals. I just love them so much. I've wanted to start a rescue since I first got my Addie Jane. I feel like I eventually want to live on like 20 acres outside of town somewhere, and have a beautiful set up for all the puppies and kitties that I can possibly save, and then I want to help all those sweet animals find the human loves of their lives. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it.

open a boutique

This is definitely my more superficial side, but it's a strong side of me, what can I say. I love pretty things, I love shopping, and I absolutely loved working retail. Opening a boutique is like the ultimate dream for me. Designing a beautiful store stocked full of things that I love, organizing and decorating and chatting with customers and going to market to buy things...I just can't even handle how much I want to do this. My mom and I have talked about opening a little shop together someday, and I really hope we make it happen somehow. It would be an absolute blast.

Pretty much what I've decided is that I should just win the lottery, and then I will use the millions that I already have to help put most of these plans into motion. I mean, it can't be that hard, right? With the cash flow I would magically have the time and energy to devote to every one of these things. Isn't that how it works?

But seriously, I just feel all of these things so strongly, so deep down inside of me, that I know I need to make them happen somehow. Maybe it won't be in the capacity that I'm thinking, maybe it won't look like I think it will, but I really hope that in some way I can accomplish all of these things. I plan on doing my best to make it happen, and hopefully I'll start taking steps in the right direction very soon.


Last year instead of doing a New Years resolution, I decided to choose a word to focus on for the year. I'm sure you've heard of this idea, it seems pretty popular in the blogging world. But I must say, it was seriously a great thing for me. The word that I chose last year was Joy, and I can honestly say it was the most joyful year of my life. I think it was always in the back of my head that it was supposed to be my focus for the year, and I just really embraced the idea of looking at everything that happened with a joyful heart. I loved it. So I decided to do it again this year.

Joy came to me easily last year. Almost as soon as I decided to choose a word I knew joy was the one. This year has been much harder. I have a lot of things I want to work on this year, but I just couldn't come up with something that would really include everything I was thinking. After going back and forth on a few, I decided on Invest.
Invest will allow me to really focus on everything I'm hoping this year will be. Instead of a few goals here and there that I want to accomplish, it's really more of a new mindset, a new way of approaching life.

I want to invest in my family - I have a lot of new things I want to do as a family, like dinners around the table instead of one of us feeding/watching G while the other eats, I want to make it a point to read to Grayson every night at bedtime, I want to establish a better day-to-day routine for us that makes life simple.

I want to invest in myself - I almost chose health as my word, because I really want that to be a big thing this year - healthier eating, healthier habits, regular exercise, etc.

I want to invest in my own and my family's spirituality. I don't know that I've really touched on it on the blog, but I've got some major hang ups with religion and Christianity, but I feel like I'm finally at a point where I can look at things with an open heart and try to make some changes.

I want to invest in my relationships - with the husband, with Grayson, with my parents, friends, family, and so on.

I want to invest in my community - I have some ideas for how I want to give back, and I'm sure I'll do a future post or two about how it goes.

So that is my word for the new year. I feel good about it. I feel like I'm already on the right track in a lot of ways. Life certainly has it's challenges, but things are pretty dang good at the moment. I just want to make it all as good as it can be. I feel super blessed to be where I'm at, so I want to pour myself more into the things and people that matter most to me. So here's to a fabulous year for everyone! I hope you're all as excited about getting started on 2015 as this girl.