Friday, April 18, 2014

Love your NOW

Last night as I was tucking my adorable little two year old into bed, he looked up at me, smiling, and sang his rendition of Jesus Loves Me. Just when I think he cannot get any cuter, he goes and does something like that! This was definitely the longest version of Jesus Loves Me that I have ever heard (I was standing there dancing for a good five minutes), but I just stood there soaking in his tiny voice, bright eyes, and pudgy fingers. Little moments like these that happen randomly throughout our days are the ones I long to hold close and never forget as my he grows. I pray that I am able to hold tightly onto these happy memories, relishing every moment with him (and any future children) during their younger years. These years are so important and are full of so much growth (for both parent and child) that I sometimes seem to struggle finding the balance between enjoying the "now" and looking ahead to the future.

As much as I loved listening to my little guy sing, I found myself realizing how many times as a young girl that I looked forward to these moments. I remember many times as a child thinking ahead to the days when I would be married. Who would he be? What would his profession be? What would he look like? I would rock my baby dolls, combing their hair and thinking ahead to the days where I would be a mommy, pouring my heart and soul into tiny humans every day. I looked forward to the hope and joy that I prayed would one day be mine, the blessing of being loved so unconditionally by someone who fully relies on you and trusts you (at least at this age)!

Now that I have arrived to this stage of my life, I can officially say that my expectations and hopes have been proved so true. While we don't imagine the tough days of marriage or motherhood when we're younger, we also don't fully understand how much joy, love, and laughter will fill our hearts during this time. Even still, I catch myself wishing ahead, just like I used to when I was little. I like to think that a lot of my looking ahead comes from the fact that I feel so "behind" all of the other people that have children the same age as mine, but I know that no matter what our situation, looking forward to "better days" is just something that we all deal with. I catch myself looking ahead to a day when my husband works "normal" hours and is gone during the day, but home to enjoy dinner with our family at night. I catch myself looking ahead to a day that I have a backyard to enjoy with my kids. I look forward to so many things, wasting the time I've been given to enjoy what is already here.

We spend so much of our lives looking ahead to the next big thing instead of savoring what we have now, focusing on today because tomorrow will have it's own troubles (Matthew 6:34). What a waste! As middle schoolers, we dream about the days of boys, prom dresses, and dating. As high schoolers we dream of college, freedom, and figuring out who we are. As adults we look forward to being married, having children, and saving up for a new home. Each new stage comes with its on joys, its own sorrows, and its own hardships. That is why it's so important for us to just enjoy where we are. You're single? Enjoy all of the extra free time you have and go treat yourself to a movie! You're married but don't yet have children? Save up a little money and go enjoy your spouse! You have kids but haven't bought your first home yet? Enjoy the advantages that come with renting, doing your best to focus on who you are living with, not where you are living.

Our lives are unique journeys, crafted in such a way that no two are the same. Rather than waiting, most of the time impatiently, for the "next big thing" to come our way, we should celebrate that we all approach the different stages at different times--rejoicing in the goodness that each part of our lives hold. We all feel the pull to look ahead to the future, and while we should be excited for what's to come, we should also be excited for what's already here.

What is your "Jesus Loves Me moment?" One of the things in your life that are so beautiful, but that you almost miss because you're looking ahead? What is one thing you can do that will help you "love your now?"

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A day for random thoughts

Sometimes I have so many thoughts running around in my head that I get a little overwhelmed. Does that ever happen to you guys? I honestly think that blogging has somehow created this little problem for me because I no longer look at things as simply. My brain has been "trained," if you will, to notice and remember things that I would have ignored and moved on from at any other point in my life. While I don't walk around just searching daily activities for topics that would make great blog posts, my mind constantly swirls with opinions, frustrations, to-do lists, and mental notes. A lot of times I can jot down those ideas separately, returning to them later so that I can share them with all of you, but sometimes, I just need to sit down, stare at this white screen, and let my thoughts flow. Removing the barriers of what will work as "good" content for this space, forgetting about the pressures that we all sometimes feel to hit that little "publish" button, and returning to why I enjoy doing this in the first place--say what I want to say and share it with people who make me feel like it matters. So for now, I'm clearing the canvas, sipping my coffee, and letting the thoughts flow.

+ I have been really good this spring with picking out new items that I would normally never pick out. My closet is filled with mostly neutral colors with a few pops of color here and there. I have always been pretty simple with my choices, but I am stepping out of the box this season! For all of you that asked for more fashion posts, they are on their way to a computer near you! :) [Be sure to check out this post about how I prepped my closet for spring]

+ My biggest source of frustration lately has been how mean and inconsiderate a lot of people are these days. I know that a lot of this frustration comes from the amount of time that I spend on social media and in the blogging world, sifting through hundreds of posts each week, often picking my jaw up off the ground after reading what someone said. It seems that people have forgotten the true meaning of "intolerance," "personal opinion," and worst of all....RESPECT. There needs to be a PSA issued that everyone is required to read, reminding each person that just because someone holds a different opinion doesn't mean that they are evil. Stop tearing people down because they hold a different position than you. Holding a differing opinion isn't intolerant, calling names and acting foolish is.

+ I love having fresh flowers in our home and I love that my husband picks out the most gorgeous bouquets for me!

+ I love Frozen just as much as the next gal, but my little toddler loves that movie too much. I really do think it's because of all the music, but man am I getting tired of hearing "Let it go."

+ How is it that it still hasn't set in that we are moving? CRAZY!

+ I wore sandals the other day and my feet first. By the end of the day, I was missing my comfortable, closed toed shoes and begging my feet to stop screaming out in pain. Does this happen to anyone else? My poor little toesies.

+ I recently won a Whitney English Day Planner and had it shipped to my in-law's since they live in the city we are moving to. The estimated ship date was April 29, which would be right in the middle of our move, and I thought it would work out perfectly. It shipped last week and is sitting SO lonely in Greensboro. I need it nowwww!

+ Eli's birthday party was so hot the other day that I complained about the heat....Now that the cold has temporarily returned, I am regretting that. Oops.

+I had a consult with The Rachael Way the other day and she wrote some really kind words about it. Consults have really become something that I'm really passionate about lately--I just love connecting with other bloggers and allowing them to work out their thoughts! Our little "hangout" inspired her to make a few changes and you guys should definitely check them out, because it's gonna be full of fun!


Speaking of consults....

I'll be meeting with this awesome gal in just a few weeks and CANNOT WAIT. Samantha writes over at The Samantha Life and she's so sweet-- her blog is fully rebranded and all around awesome! 

You love accessories, so what is your favorite pair of shoes?!

I really do love accessories and of all the different accessories out there shoes are probably my biggest weakness. If I had to pick a favorite pair of shoes I would pick any heels - peep toes, pumps, strappy sandals, boots, whatever! I feel my sexiest when I've got a pair of heels on. Unfortunately, most of my heels are black because my husband doesn't think I need a pair of heels in every color (men are so silly!) But I'd have to say my patent black peep-toes with the buckle across the front are probably my favorite.

Someone just gave you $5,000! What do you do with it?

If I'm being serious here I would probably use this in completely practical ways, which is so completely boring! But at this point in my life I would probably save it to put toward the down payment on a house in less than a year. Sometimes though, I sit and think about what I would do with large sums of money if I was not a practical person. In which case I would buy a pair of heels in every color [ see above :) ], or go on a trip with my husband, or buy pretty decor to redo my living room and bedroom. A girl can dream right?

Responsible and in love with shoes? Told ya she's awesome! 

These are a few of my favorites from Samantha:
This one on what you should be looking for in sponsorships
This one on why she SHOULDN'T be a blogger
This one about embracing ourselves