Thursday, December 29, 2011


I'm not one for New Year's resolutions. I kinda think if you are going to start something, start it today!
But what better time to set a direction for the year and reflect-so here I go.

I'm all about not setting these vague goals. Give me practical application. How do I accomplish this day in and day out? What specific things can I do to make this happen? What does a certain goal look like to me? What has prevented me from being who I want to be or accomplishing goals in the past? What does such and such really mean?
It's good to take a look at, "Where have I been, where am I now, where would I like to be?" Figuratively. Literally. 
I make sure I have short term and long term goals. I  always have some lofty ones but I call those dreams not goals.
What's the fun in life if you have no dreams!
Knowing that my goals aren't contingent on anyone else or anything else gives me both a sense of responsibility to myself to see them through and accomplishment when they are reached. No one can take those away from you!
Sometimes I think if x, y, and z all align then I can accomplish my goal but this is malarkey! Start how you intend to go on. If I'm waiting for everything to calm down or for all the factors to be just right it will never happen. If I have learned one thing lately it is this: life is cuckoo and some thing will always come up. Life is life and it is a crazy ride at that!!
(*Jumps off soapbox*)

So here I go (take two) with my resolutions.

Be healthy, both physically and mentally.
Practical application-
Workout at least 5 times a week. 
This helps with my attitude. Gives me some me time. Gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment that only physical goals such as running or doing a Bob Harper workout can give. All around my mental and physical health are greatly improved. The better me I am, the better wife and mom I am. Simple but true.

East breakfast. 
OK, I should be more a healthy breakfast something that does not include a sugarfest* or skipping it all together.

Take time to be quiet.
No phone, FB, Twitter, TV....filling every moment with some thing. Take a moment to breathe. Maybe journal, like with an actual pen and paper.

Enjoy the moments-just be.
Stop thinking and thinking and over thinking everything. Make a meal plan so dinner isn't such an ordeal every night. Know that it's OK for life to be messy, the house, the kid, the dog and the husband. Know that the time I have with R is so incredibly precious and short. Having this mindset daily will have such an affect on my attitude.

Live up to my wedding vows.
(So much easier said than done)
Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Know that the world will not end if what I want done doesn't happen right at this very minute-the dishes can stay dirty for an evening.
Listen way (OK way, way, way) more than I talk.

These don't seem too hard to me. But, doesn't everything always make more sense on paper-ha ha ha!
I've had this thought rolling around in my head lately:
This is it in life. One life, one body. No do-overs, no second chances. I'm not suddenly going to wake up one day and be 20 again.
I feel like I'm in a limbo of sorts, like I'm waiting for life to really begin. What am I waiting for? Cause it started a loooong time ago!
Am I waiting for all my ducks to be in a row?
Who knows!!???!
But I'm going to start off this year with the mindset of living. Not just surviving or making it through or being on autopilot here and there, really living. 
Taking an active role in enjoying the beautifully messy life I have. It's the only one I have but at least it's mine.  Taking responsibility and control to work on the aspects that need improvement and delight in the wonderful, joyful moments. Giving to others, investing in myself, family, marriage is how I want to live.

Well, let's get going. Bring on 2012!

*Yes this is a word, and yes I defined it as a food group.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Silly Photobooth

 I decided it was time to have a post of some silly photos. I love taking photos. I love looking at photos. You never know what special little moment you will capture. These are silliness...enjoy.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Tom and I had the privilege of attending a wedding the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It was a lovely ceremony that was held at Reiman Gardens. Flowers in full bloom, new beginnings. It was beautiful.
Thus the inspiration of this post.

Marriage is a big deal. A commitment. A contract. A joining of hearts. However one chooses to look at it. IT IS A BIG DEAL.

It is a union not to be entered into just because one is not sure what next step to take in life. Because they have nothing better to do. Because they live in the Midwest and they are 23. Because its "that time" in a relationship. Etc. Etc. Etc.
I'm not going to be presumptuous enough to say why I think one SHOULD marry but I definitely know a gazillion reasons why you shouldn't.

I read an article once about the changes you go through in life between 18-25. Just think about that for a minute, the difference between and 18 & 25 year olds....
It's crazy. One (typically) goes from being in high school to either college or a full time job. Living under your parent's roof and rules to your own or living by your own rules.
You are discovering who you are as an individual. What you like what you don't like. What you want to do with the rest of your life. Hobbies. Rebellion. Reading. Learning. Growing.
What path you want to set for yourself.
Of course this isn't accomplished with ease and perfection. There are goof-ups and victories. But they both come with their own set of lessons. 
So much life happens during this time in one's life.
So do I think you should wait until you are 25 to marry? Maybe. Maybe not. Plenty of couples that have the right tools (and patience) can grow together, both as a couple and as individuals. I admire these couples. It takes a certain sense of maturity at an immature age. 

Back to the point-Marriage.
What makes a "good" one? What makes a "great" one?
Here's what I think, well know, about marriage.
I like the analogy that marriage is like a garden.
Think of a small garden, basically dirt and a couple of blooms. And then think of what it can grow into.
As the marriage starts, the dirt is fresh, the flowers are in full bloom, there's no weeds. Everything has just been tended to, ready to grow, last, be beautiful. 
I think of this as the process of engagement and the wedding. A couple relationship is (hopefully) in its best shape going into a wedding. They have every intention of being their own best so the other can be their best. Both giving 100% not 50/50.
Then life happens. Arguments. misunderstandings, miscommunication, hurts. (Weeds) One needs to constantly pull the weeds. If you have ever had a garden you know this takes a lot of patience sometimes, other times you can pull those weeds right up. 
You can deal with the weeds one of two ways either pull them from the root or trim them back with shears. 
A couple can deal with problems the same way-look at the real issue or just the symptoms of the issue. 
Apologies, forgiveness, making things right, getting on the same page, communication. (Pulling the weeds)
If one doesn't deal with the weeds it leads to all kinds of problems. It might not affect the garden so much right away but left unattended there a huge mess and no way to find the blooms struggling to survive.

There's also giving the garden what it needs to grow and bloom to its fullest.
I think of this as showing you love your mate how they receive love.
Words of encouragement, gifts, notes, thank-yous, I love yous, appreciation, kisses, hugs, laughs. (Sunshine, fertilizer, rain, shade)
Different plants need varying amounts of light, rain, shade. People show love and receive love in very different ways. It's an adventure to find out exactly what your mate needs and wants. This also can change at different stages in their life.
Which brings me to seasons. Literally. An outside garden in Iowa goes through all four seasons. Marriages go through them to. Some winters last longer than summers. But during these times it's important to remember that spring is coming and there is a bloom in need of it. It won't always be summer and it won't always be winter but both are normal. You are in this together. After all you are planted there. (Commitment)
And every plant that is moved isn't quite the same.

Picture now a big garden with huge trees and tons of flowers, plants, herbs...
(Great grandparents, grandparents, parents, kids, etc etc.)
That can be your legacy.
But it takes work, maintenance, love, caring, and the "want to."
A real marriage can be such a blessing to so many and an incredible gift to one's children. A old neighbor of mine used to put fake flowers in pots in her garden. Ridiculous. The same change be said for marriages. We all have weeds that need to be tended to and sometimes we might have lost our blooms from a storm but that's life and that's real.  
I could come up with a garden analogy for every aspect of marriage (and its struggles and joys) but for now I'm leaving it at this.