A ME Update

So tell me something. Is it weird that I’m 30 years old, and just now feeling like I’m finding myself? I mean, I don’t feel like I’ve been lost for the past 29 years, but I just feel like I’ve found my groove. I feel good. I’ve been making changes in my life that I’m passionate about and feel really great about. I’ve uncovered a new side of myself that I’m delighted to finally know and am so eager to continue on this journey with the ‘new’ me. I just feel…right. Things are lining up and I’m at peace with how my puzzle pieces have been falling into place.

I am 8 months postpartum. Obviously this still comes with its own slew of problems. I’m still battling anxiety more frequently than I like to admit. I’m still figuring out how to be the best version of myself as a mom to three little ones. I still have hormones that throw me out of whack and make me act ways I’m not always proud of. I also have post-baby hair growth happening and look a little bit like a baby duck. But you know what? Its ok. This is part of my journey. 8 months postpartum with my third child – thats a chapter in my story that I’m blessed and pleased to be living out.

I’m a month into my new healthy-living endeavor. Um. Am I vain if I say I’m killing it? For a whole month – and three days – I have stuck to healthier food choices and daily movement. I’ve stuck to listening to my body and fueling it with things that I know will help it be a better cared for, more respected body. I’ve also found some of the body-love I lost after I had my third baby. Its not all there, but hints of that same body confidence I once had are showing up more and more frequently. I’m motivated. I’m feeling capable. I believe in myself. I’m seeing and feeling physical, mental and emotional shifts in my body and mind and I’m exploding with gratitude for this whole journey. I’m so glad I finally got the guts to start it and stick with it.

I have big ideas. I knew 2021 would be the year I stop dreaming and start doing. I don’t want to give things away yet, but I have been stewing over a plan for years and years. I’m not sure why I never really started reaching for it until now. But I’m in the beginning phases of this new chapter and I’m thrilled. I’m equally as thrilled to tell you guys about it, but that has to wait until I have some experience, knowledge and stories under my belt 🙂 I’m also so dang grateful for Craig, who is without a doubt the greatest support person in the entire world. How on earth did I get lucky enough to marry the best guy? He’s been urging me to chase this dream ever since I told him about it when we hadn’t been married that long. Nearly 9 years later, and he’s still my number one cheerleader.

Life is not perfect. A lot is still messy and crazy and I still mess up like, always. But life is also really good. There is beauty in the journey, no matter how crazy. I can truthfully tell you that right now? I’m in a good, good place. I’m blessed, humbled and super duper thankful.

I’ve Got Your Back

The other night, I posted this on my Instagram stories:

“It was a weird day mentally. And now I’m in bed and I can just feel my anxiety getting thicker and yuckier. I’m stressed because I seem to get these anxiety attack flare-ups when I don’t sleep well, and Flora doesn’t sleep great lately. So I feel like I’m just sitting here waiting for it to get worse. Ugh. Its a crappy, heavy feeling.”

“I’m sharing this as a reminder that its normal to not feel 100% all the time. Its also normal for things to switch quickly. It happens to SO many people, its just not vocalized all the time. I was feeling so good a lot of the day, but in the last few hours its progressively switched. Its ok. Its normal. Im going to focus on dealing with this. Feeling it. Acknowledging it. Then doing the things that usually help me feel better.”

After posting those stories, I went to bed. The next morning I woke up to 171 DM’s. I was flooded with messages from people offering words of encouragement and advice. They shared with me their own stories and hardships with mental health.

I have always known that mental health and postpartum hardships aren’t a rarity. But having that many people reach out to me was something powerful. In all of those messages, I felt validated and United with a group of people who didn’t choose their hard, but are still powering through. Some days it’s easier than others, but we’re doing it! I’m proud of that. I’m proud of us.

If you’re one of these fellow warriors, I just wanted to tell you I love you. I hear you. I support you. I’ll advocate for you. I’ve got your back. If you feel alone, or on edge, or at a breaking point or any other strong, hard emotions, and you have no one to talk to – talk to me!! I will listen. I won’t cast judgement or question why you feel the way you do. Because I get it. I understand it. Let’s help each other. Let’s keep speaking up. Let’s keep having each other’s backs.

A Necessary Change

For the first time, I am feeling it.

Last week I finally hit the point where I felt like social media was weighing me down more than lifting me up. I’ve done a good job at only following accounts that make me feel good and I’ve always tried to be aware of my time spent on my phone verses the time I’ve spent with my kids/family.

But last week I felt like even though all the content on my phone was good, I wasn’t feeling good. I wasn’t giving my kids all the attention I should be. I wasn’t giving Craig and the attention I should be. Same with my house, dogs, work, etc. Then, when Collin Kartchner passed away (ugh), it made me reevaluate my relationship with my phone even more and made me see even clearer that I needed to reprioritize things in my life.

The time I was spending on my phone/social media wasn’t bad or excessive, but I realized that it was more time than I should be spending at this time. I was giving a little too much energy to the apps and a little less to my kids – and it felt as wrong as it sounds. So I did some pondering. Social media really is a source of joy for me. I really do like it and it is a good outlet for me. I’m definitely not giving up social media – no way. I’ll still be on daily and posting often, but I’m going to be a lot more mindful of the time I spend on it, scrolling mindlessly, etc. I’m going to be more intentional with my time and I’m excited! But the fact is, as much joy and as many highs as I can get through my phone and computer screen is absolutely nothing compared to the joy, the highs and the happiness I get from my real life and my family – and its time I give that more of my energy, again.

How It All Began

I’ve been getting a few requests to include more Disney back into my blog (and instagram), and believe me – I want to! I plan to! But if we are being totally honest, I’ve just not really had the time recently to dedicate myself to the blogging world and to dive into a topic (disney) that I’m so passionate about and want to talk about in the best way that I can. Does that make sense? However, I won’t be this busy forever. So I promise you that Disney content will come – it just may take a little patience on your part. If you have any specific things about Disney you’d like to hear about, learn more about, etc, PLEASE let me know! I want to make you all happy when you’re spending your precious time on my little page, so just know that much like Mickey Mouse, I am all ears and I will bring you the content you want and deserve!

In the meantime, I thought I’d start with my Disney Story. Being a massive Disney fanatic, I get asked quite often where my obsession began.

Would it be so cliche and silly if I told you in began in the womb? ‘Cause it did!

I was born to a mom who really loved Disney. She grew up going often with her family (some of my favorite Disney pictures are the ones of her and her sister in the Disney Parks when they were younger) and she took that love and made it even bigger. She not only loved it, but dove in and learned so much about it and just made it her lifestyle. My dad (just like Craig when I married him) rolled with it. He recognized it as something my mom loved so he made it something he loved, as well.

We grew up visiting Disneyland and Disney World frequently. I was an only child for eight years, and honestly some of my greatest memories of my time as an only child are from visiting Disney. Then my sisters were born and the trips only got better. Some of my favorite family memories were made within the Disney properties and I don’t care how dorky this sounds, I’m eternally grateful for Walt Disney for creating these magical places so I could live out such wonderful, magical and amazing experiences with my loved ones.

The first time we brought Craig along on one of our Disneyland trips was exhilarating – and quite a test for him haha. We were still only dating and I was curious to see how he’d hang with us. He knew it was my favorite place and a giant piece of my life, so he fully embraced it. It was on that trip I feel like he really started to delve into the lifestyle and appreciate it in a way he’d never thought of before.

Being able to take Harrison and Emmett into the parks (can’t wait until we take Flora girl!) has been the cherry on top of this whole Disney thing. Seeing the magic through the eyes of your children, no matter their age, is beautiful. Truly exquisite. There was this one time that Harrison and Mickey shared a hug for well over a minute and that changed my world. Seeing Emmett excitedly point at each and every thing he saw as we walked down Main Street when he was around one is still one of the most tender memories. As they’re getting older and able to retain some Disney memories of their own, I try so hard to make sure they don’t forget these things. We talk about the park often. We talk about our favorite rides, listen to the music from the park and attractions and study maps frequently. And lets not forget all the Disney Park content on YouTube that we binge watch.

I’m so grateful I was born to a woman who had Disney in her veins and magically passed it on to me (and my other sisters)! Disney has shaped me in so many ways. Its kept me positive. Its given me magic. Its directed my life in many ways. It is 100% one of the most important and special things in my life. I can’t even imagine not being a Disney fanatic – and its all thanks to my amazing mama.

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Are you a Disney fan? Want to share how your Disney Story began? I’d like to start a series here on my blog where I share a short interview with people who also identify as Disney Fans! If this sounds interesting to you – comment, email me, contact me on social media, whatever and give me your email and I’ll send you over the little Disney questionnaire and in return I’ll let you know when you’ll be featured on my blog!! You can be featured with your name, or anonymously. I just want to share even more Disney on this page!!

The Start of Something New

…it feels so right to be here with you, ohh!

{bonus points for you if you know what thats from}

On Monday I committed myself to something, and I have every intention of staying committed. I started exercising and paying attention to what I’m putting into my body. I am feeling so motivated and empowered and am actually very excited for this journey I’m taking myself on.

I started working out a few weeks ago right around 6 weeks postpartum, but long story short, I just lacked the motivation. I also didn’t feel all the way healed, because while I exercised a lot still hurt and didn’t feel right. So it was a short lived thing. But now I am about 10 weeks postpartum and feelings leaps and bounds better physically and mentally, and I’m ready to do this.

I want to be clear about something though, I’m not doing this to lose weight. I’m not doing it to get my “pre-baby body,” either. I’m doing this to feel good about myself. I’m doing this to do something good for myself. I’m a mom and a wife — so I spent the good majority of my days doing things for others to make them feel good. But I need to do things for myself, too. I need to make sure I’m feeling good, as well. I’m totally a believer that when you’re putting yourself as a priority, you’re a better person all around. I need to do that. However, if I do lose some pounds and tone my body up while on this journey, then awesome – I’ll have worked hard for it, so I’ll be proud of myself. But ultimately, I want to keep my body, my wonderful body, healthy and happy.

I’m excited to start this! I’m excited to feel stronger, feel more confident and get back that body confidence thats so easy to lose when you’ve recently had a baby and all you see is flabby, stretched skin, extra pounds, stretch marks and a tired face. I’m doing this for me – to feel like me, again, and I’m ready!

Do you have a goal? Start today!! Lets reach our goals together! Lets motivate each other! We can do this!!

Yes. Always.

Eight years ago this evening, Craig took me to a park, walked me to a picnic table that was underneath an enormous balloon bouquet and handed me an Adventure Book that he’d written and created. We read it together, reminiscing on all of the adventures we’d gone on in our year of dating. At the end of the book, he’d wrote that he loved our adventures and wanted them to continue on forever.

On the last page, he asked me to marry him. YES YES YES. The best, most easy decision I’ve ever made is agreeing to marry my Craig. I am better, happier and lighter because of him.

Be the Good

First of all, how great is this t-shirt from Poppy & Dot? I’m in love with the phrase on it. I know my influence on the world, and sometimes even my own little corner of it, is very small – but regardless, I do try really, really hard to be a force for good. To be the good. To be kind. To spread happiness. To be a friend. The world is really chaotic and messy right now, but its comforting for me to remember that there are still good people and good things. I’d just like to remind you — and me — that all you have to do is look for the good and you can still find it. Also, you can be it. Don’t let the darkness of the world dim your unique light. Be the good!!

Spring Flowers

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On the Saturday before Mothers Day I did one of my favorite things I do all year, which is plant my flower garden. Its mostly all the way finished and I’m already obsessed with it. For some reason flowers in my yard, along with these totally grandma looking light-up butterflies, bring me immeasurable joy. I’m sure Craig’s already tired of how many times I’ve told him that I love our flowers, or how many times I’ve exclaimed, “look at our flowers!”

Watering my flowers daily has also regained its title of one of my very favorite kinds of me-time. Sometimes I’ll water my flower-babies and listen to an audio book or podcast, sometimes I’ll stand out there quietly and let my thoughts run wild, or sometimes I’ll have the boys (and sometimes dogs) out there with me, and I smile and laugh as I listen to them and watch them do their thing. Its just a great, great thing. I am so happy that its Spring and I finally got to plant my flowers.

Something I noticed about flowers, especially last year, is how resilient they are. I have this specific area, which I fear will be similar this year, that tends to struggle on and off during this season. There is some kind of bug or something that likes to eat leaves and occasionally petals of my flowers. Then randomly I’ll go outside and a couple of my flower plants look 100% dead. I’m a dedicated plant mother, so I know they aren’t struggling because of lack of water, etc. I’m still puzzled about what it is that attacks this certain area, but this has happened a couple years in a row now, and every time I am in awe that after a few days of extra care, they perk back up and look as beautiful as ever.

Last year I made the connection that I’m kind of like these flowers. I know, its kind of a silly analogy, but it really helped me last year, especially because as I noticed all of this, I was struggling internally with some things so I don’t think the thought was a coincidence at all.

Sometimes I’m doing so good. My petals and my leaves are vibrant, healthy and beautiful. Other times I am withered, spotted with holes and looking distraught and droopy. But thankfully, I can choose to put a little extra effort into myself – put a little more self-care into my routine and I can perk back up, just like my funny area of flowers in my front yard. Sometimes that comes through extra water (no, for real, making healthy choices can change you!), sometimes it comes through extra time spent in my scriptures or saying prayers, sometimes it comes from staying off of my phone for long periods of time, sometimes it comes through spending more quality time with my husband and children. There are lots of ways I can perk myself back up, and I just wanted to proclaim how grateful I am that those possibilities are out there and that I’m aware of them and have figured out how to implement them into my life when I get particularly ‘droopy’.

I’m also very grateful for my pretty flowers. Seriously, you guys, I love them so stinkin’ much.

Some Body Love

This post and these pictures are a little out of my comfort zone, but I’m posting them even though it makes me a little…eek. Why? I have two reasons for you.

1) Keliana Shop sells amazing active wear. It’s functional, comfortable and cute! I was sent this adorable set and loved the looks but I was nervous about the color – I thought for sure I’d lean over and they’d become transparent. But they didn’t! Covered, modest and still comfy. Love it. I love the ruffle detail on the bra, and the amazing support it has with its removable cups (I always opt for a little extra support!) and the bottoms are high waisted which this woman with a mom-bod absolutely appreciates!

2) I’m embracing my body! I can get so picky and hard on myself when it comes to things I’d like to change about my body. It actually makes me nervous to think that I may never fully be happy with what I look like, but if I really think about it, my body is awesome! This body has kept me healthy, active and given me very few problems for almost 29 years now. It has grown and birthed two babies that were born very differently from another, and it managed to recover from delivery as well – even from one that was a bit traumatic. Then my body fed both of those babies for well over a year. My body is amazing and capable of so much and deserves so much more respect than I give it! EVERY body is amazing, no matter its shape, size, what it’s accomplished and what other people think about it!

I hope this week you can love yourself and give your incredible body the respect it deserves!!

Diving in Deep

We are getting deep today, are you ready?

I’ve been the driver of the struggle bus lately. I don’t know what it is, but just when I feel like I’m good and things in my life and aligned and happy, a rug is pulled from under my feet by either someone else or my own dang self, and I find myself struggling all over again. I’m all over the place and it’s incredibly exhausting mentally and emotionally.

I’ve always been a sensitive person, but lately I feel even more fragile and frail. I’ve always been emotional, but lately I feel like all I do is struggle under all these emotions I have. I’ve always been a worrier and full of anxiety, but my worry and anxiety have been through the roof and up into space lately. It wears on me after a while.

Lately I get really hung up on how people feel about me. I work my booty off to be kind to others, be non-judgemental and accepting of everyone, so sometimes when I feel like I’m being judged, etc I get really caught up in how icky that feels. For example, we recently got a new puppy (surprise! I’ll do a post on her soon) and I’m really excited about it. I have a special reason I really felt like I needed her and yeah she’s a puppy and is already a lot of hard work, but I feel really good about having added her into our family. But you guys, I have got sooo close to selling her because I’ve been so stinkin’ caught up in what other people will think of me for getting another dog. The logical part of me is like, WHY THE HECK DOES THEIR OPINION MATTER?? They don’t live in my home! They don’t know the dynamic of our families, our story, our thoughts, feelings, struggles, etc, so why should I care a single bit about what they think? But the emotional, stressed out, anxious, worried part of me thinks, THEY THINK I’M AN IDIOT and maybe I am. Maybe they think a dog isn’t right for our family. They think I’m burdening my husband and kids with this new responsibility.

I get really hung up on the kind of mom people think I am. Do they know how hard I try? Do they know how hard I am on myself? Do they even understand how badly I wish I could be a perfect mom for my boys, no matter how many times I read that “you’re children don’t need a perfect mom…” quote? Do they know that my kids are happy and healthy and that they really love me and we are the best of friends? Or do they just see a really frazzled person who is doing it all wrong?

It’s dumb. I know. Deep down I know other people’s thoughts don’t matter. Deep down I know what matters is the decision Craig and I make. But it’s just hard sometimes.

The kind of mom I am and our new puppy are only a couple examples of that. I’ve been feeling all these chaotic feelings about SO many things lately. I wish my thoughts had an on and off switch.

But here’s the thing. It’s ok.

This is who I am. I’m an over thinker, a worrier and a ball of anxiety. I value the opinions of those close to me and I want to be liked by those close to me. Sometimes that comes back to bite me, but I’ve chosen not to try and change the person I’ve always been and likely always will be.

I’m incredibly lucky to have Craig who supports me, even on wild things like getting another dog, painting the walls, starting a new big dream, and so much more. He is far more than I deserve. He doesn’t judge me when I tell him all the weird, illogical, anxious thoughts that run through my brain, he values me as a person and allows me to feel how I feel and say what I think. He’s better than gold.

I’m also lucky to have this outlet. Since I can remember, writing has been my outlet. So if this post seems a little venty, out of place, frustrating and pointless.. that’s alright. More than anything I just needed to get some feelings off my chest so I can breathe a little lighter.

If you’re struggling, I hope you’re ok. I hope your burden can lighten a bit somehow. Things can be hard, emotions can be tricky and hearts can get heavy, but I like to believe there is always a reason for the struggles and there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.

Be kind. Love more and judge less. You’re all awesome and deserve a great day.