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Being Strong

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I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the word “strong” lately. What does that actually mean? How can I use this word to help myself, or others? How can I help myself live a more abundant and meaningful life? Can I, me, one person, ACTUALLY help others along the way, too? These are all big topics, and thoughts, but I know that the answer is yes to every one of these. The only hard part is, it takes work. It takes work to be strong. It takes work to be independent, to give everything you have every day. It takes a lot of work.

So with all these thoughts, I’ve come up with my own answers on what “being strong” means to me.

Being strong isn’t just about going to the gym, and putting in work everyday. Sure, that has something to do with it, but that’s not what it’s all about. Here are some ways in which “being strong” has more meanings.

I got up when I didn’t want to. I might not have felt good, I might have been tired, sore, sleepy, depressed. But I did it. I got up, and I put my clothes on, and I’m conquering the day. That’s being strong.

I stood up for myself. I didn’t let my boss, friend, family, or co-worker speak to me in a manner that I didn’t like. I didn’t feel used or neglected. I stood my ground, said what I believe, and I did it with all the integrity, and grit I could. I wasn’t a pushover today. I stuck to the things I believe in, and I didn’t take no for an answer. That’s being strong.

I remembered what it’s like to not give up. I kept going today. If that means going to the gym when I didn’t want to, or leaving the house, or going to work, or doing whatever it took to make sure I am doing the best I can for me. I did it. I did it when I didn’t want to, and I conquered the shit out of it! That’s being strong.

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I lifted someone else up. I decided that It’s not always all about me. It can be about other people, too. I supported a friend, coworker, spouse. I supported their dreams, wishes, thoughts. I helped motivate someone to do something they didn’t think they could. I am a team player. I set my views aside to help someone else. That’s being strong.

I surround myself with positive, like-minded people. I decided I didn’t want to live in the negative, anymore. I want to be happy, be positive, be inspiring. I want to live MY LIFE to the fullest. Whatever that means to me. I want to give my husband, and my child the best parts of me that I can. No matter what it takes. If that means going “out with the old” and “in with the new” I will do it. That’s being strong.

So you see, my friends. It’s really not about what you look like. What you wear. How your hair is done. How much money you have, the kind of car you drive, or who you are keeping up with or not. It’s about what is truly INSIDE of you that counts. Those are the things that you need to look inside of yourself, dig deep, and find. Sure, it might hurt to come up with the answers, sometimes. It might be scary as hell to do (it was for me) but I can promise it will be worth it in the end.

That’s being strong.

What’s your strong? What does being strong mean to you?

Leave some love!

 

strongpaths

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Traveling with Toddler-Must Have

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I’m sure you know by now, but Jamie is a year old! I still can’t believe it. We have had so many experiences in the last year, I can’t imagine what the years to come will have in store for us.

The first time I traveled with Jamie by plan, she was 4 months old. Luckily, I had my dad with me on our flight to Virginia, and we flew Southwest Airlines and if you haven’t ever flown with them, with a child, it was a great experience. They were very helpful. The second time we traveled together was 4 months later, and we went back to Virginia. Jamie was almost 8 months old, and I was traveling by myself. Now, here we are again, a year old “toddler” and I traveling to Indiana. We made it successful, on a different airline too. After all of this I want to share some tips and tricks that I believe have helped along the way.

Distractions. Bring lots of distractions for your children. I’ve been lucky enough that all of the flights I’ve been on with Jamie have been 2-3 hours at the most. I know when we are at home, she plays with something and is ready to move onto something else within 10-15 minutes. I try to pack enough distractions for her to enjoy for the duration of our flight. I download apps on my iPad, and have some interactive toys as well.

Snacks. I can honestly thank my Sister-in-law for this one. She traveled with her youngest right before I had Jamie and she was by herself. She is ALWAYS good about having snacks for her children, and on a flight is no exception to this rule. When I traveled, I made sure I had enough different snacks, I probably could have fed everyone on the plane. It worked. When Jamie was hungry or bored, snacks saved the day!

Milk/Water. I’m still nursing, but I also had a cup of milk, and water for Jamie for on the plane, and in the airports. Security will let you through with those items for a small child, which is great!

Blankets, extra clothes for you, and child. Seriously. YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT CAN HAPPEN! I’ve had spit up on me, a blow out on the airplane, lost socks, you name it, I think it’s happened. If you don’t want to pack extra clothes for yourself, at least bring an extra shirt or something to cover up with. The blankets serve as a nursing shield, or you can help cover them if you’re flying during nap time.

Stroller. If you are traveling solo, the stroller is great to have. It just makes life easier. All airlines will let you gate check the strollers, and it’s ready for you to grab once you get off the plane. I wouldn’t leave home without our stroller when I’m traveling. I didn’t have one the first time, but thankfully, my dad was with me. Now – even if I had help of someone else, I would still bring the stroller.

This is my must have list for traveling solo with a child. Most of all, just remember to have fun, know that things happen, and be polite to the people along the way. It will get your farther. Don’t forget your diapers and wipes, and remember to breathe!!

Do you have something to add to this list? Let me know!

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** Links to some of my favorite items**

Umbrella Stroller

Snack Holder

Interactive Toy

 

 

 

 

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12 things I’ve learned in the first year as Mom

I’m still in awe that you are a year old. How in the heck has this past year gone by so quickly? I remember it like it was yesterday, your dad and I thought we were going to a football game, and about 8 hours later, you were born. ( See that post HERE )

It’s easy to say this has been the best year of my life. This has also been a year of reflecting, learning, growing, and developing for myself, too. Watching you grow and learn isn’t the only thing we do. We grow and learn right along with you.

So, in honor of your first birthday, I want to give you 12 things that I’ve learned in this first year.

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  1. Everything you thought you “would” or “wouldn’t” do, throw it out the window. – Remember when you thought you wouldn’t drive around in the car to get your child to sleep? Remember when you said you wouldn’t give into letting her/him have the phone? The Television? Yeah. Go ahead and throw it all out the window. Take bits and pieces of what you want, or don’t want to do, and make it your own.
  2. You seriously have no idea what you are doing. – You have read all the books, you have researched it all on the internet. You think you are going to be prepped, ready, and you have loads of information just at your disposal. Let’s also remember, there is no handbook. So while all those things are useful, they have NOTHING to do with your child, family, or life. Take bits and pieces of everything you’ve read, learned, or researched, and make it your own.
  3. Shop all the diapers, and figure out what is best for you. – Don’t just think that one brand is going to be better than another. Sure, they might be for one child, or family, but for your child? NOPE! What works for one, doesn’t always work for another. Try them all, and see for yourself.
  4. Eat the peanut butter. – Let your child experiment with foods. Give them anything and everything you can while they are young. If they don’t like it now, they might like it tomorrow. Eggs, peanut butter, lunch meat, chicken, pork. Whatever we are having for dinner, you are usually eating too. Baby foods are ok, but let’s face it, who really wants to eat that stuff?
  5. Call your parents, and in-laws often. They appreciate it more than you know. – It is just as important for your families to see and hear about different growth and developmental stages as it is for you to see them for yourself. Call them. Send pictures. Give updates. They really do appreciate it.
  6. Smile. Laugh. Cry. – It’s ok to roll with the punches. Remember when I said that you have no idea what you’re doing? Sometimes you get frustrated. Sometimes you think you’re a failure. Sometimes the realization of having no idea what you are doing hits you. It’s ok to smile. It’s ok to cry. It’s also ok to laugh. Remember, “this too shall pass.” Also remember, “The days are long, but the years are short.”-Gretchen Rubin
  7. What really is sleep training? – THIS. IS. A. HOT. TOPIC. I can honestly tell you I have NO IDEA what works or doesn’t here. I can tell you that your dad and I have been blessed with a good sleeper, for the most part. It really didn’t take me long to transition you into sleeping all night once I tried it. I will thank all the heavens and angels above for that.
  8. FaceTime is just as important. – Use the technology you have for good. Keep in touch with your family. Again, they really do appreciate it.
  9. Spend time outdoors. – We live in Texas. This summer has been crazy hot for a baby. But going outside even for just a few minutes a day has helped tremendously. Babies seem to really love the outdoors, and it makes me feel less like a prisoner in my own house. Play outside. It’s ok to get dirty. You will get a bath, I promise!
  10. Put the phone down. – This is hard for me, too. I work from home, so I need to use my phone during the day. But I’m also a mom, and I don’t want to miss things. Spending time with my family is also important. Having some disconnect time is good for the soul. It’s good for your relationships, too.
  11. Take lots of pictures. – Remember that time when my phone was filled with nothing but pictures of my animals? Fast forward a year, and now we have pictures of the animals with the baby. TAKE THE PICTURES! They are amazing for looking back, and for remembering the sweet times                                                                               **This can be good, and bad for baby fever! 😉 **
  12. This  IS the best time of your life. – Seriously though, I can’t think of another time in my life that I can say has been the best time. Sure, the day I married your dad was AMAZING. Relocating, vacations, dinners, parties, anniversaries. They have all been truly spectacular, but this, THIS is really the BEST time in our life.

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Do you have any insight to add to the list? What are some things you learned in the first year of your child’s life?

**Link to our amazing photographer HERE 

 

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*NEW* Toy Box!

It’s been a while. To say the least, we’ve been busy. We’ve been undergoing a lot of changes here lately, and life have been HECTIC! That’s a positive thing though, right? Change is good, right? YES! We like change around our house, but sometimes that means we have to take a step back from the other things we enjoy doing, and figure out one stop before we move on to the next.

Thus, here we are again! Jamie is now 10 months old, crawling, babbling, eating solid foods, pulling herself up and cruising furniture, and fighting every nap she possibly can! I wouldn’t trade it for the world, though. She is a blessing to our little family, and I truthfully could not think of a better job to have. Being her mom is such a wonderful experience. I truly am lucky God blessed me with the joy of motherhood.

Around our house, I try to repurpose things, or sell them if we can’t find another spot of them. With that said, I had this old hamper in my closet for the longest time, and I didn’t know exactly what to do with it. I thought I might use it in Jamie’s room eventually, but until then, It just sat in my closet, collecting bags, shoes, and whatever else I needed to throw in there for the time being. Needless to say, it was ON MY NERVES!

Well, we’ve transitioned my office, to also be a playroom. It’s nice because I am able to work on the computer and Jamie can play. It’s been a positive transition so far, and I only hope that it continues on this way. While making this transition though, all of the toys were just thrown here and there on the floor, with no rhyme or reason. That brings me to my new idea. Why don’t I use that old hamper and make it into a toy holder! It was so easy, it cost around $8.00, and I’m really happy with the outcome!



What I used

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  1. Old hamper
  2. Burlap (bought at Wal-Mart, 2 rolls for about $8.00)
  3. Hot Glue
  4. Scissors

What I did:

We used the hot glue gun for adhesive for the burlap, and simply wrapped the burlap around the hamper! I also threw in an old bath towel that I needed to throw away and put it on the bottom of the hamper. That’s really just an option, whether you want to or not.

Seriously! It was that easy! I didn’t over think this, as I’m very capable of doing, and really, I think it turned out great for what we are going to use it for! In the future, I can use it in Jamie’s room too, if we want! Also, right now it’s perfect for her because she’s going to pull herself up on it, and if she falls, it won’t hurt her. DOUBLE WIN!

What do you think? What kind of things have you repurposed that have been really easy too? I would love to hear of more ideas for future projects!

Enjoy!

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Fab Margarita Friday!

Just because I’ve been making some big changes in my life, and really trying to focus on my overall health and fitness, doesn’t mean I can’t have a little fun, right? After all, it’s all about balance, and how to balance everything you want in your lifestyle. IF you ever want to know anything about it, it’s that I’m all about experiencing life to the fullest, and having a lot of fun while doing so. I enjoy being healthy, and working on my fitness (thank you Fergi for that) but I also enjoy kicking back with family and friends, and having a drink or 2.

So a nice friend of mine told me about this awesome, ALL NATURAL margarita, I knew I had to try it for myself. So I did what any normal American person would do and I took to the inter webs to try to find the best, easiest recipe I could find. That’s when I came across this awesome lady – Averie Cooks and made this SUPER EASY margarita recipe. See below :

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You guys! This was seriously the easiest and best homemade margarita’s that I’ve ever had! you can go to her website, and check it out (Link to website above) but seriously it’s so easy. Even my husband approved, and he approves of pretty much no website recipe.

Here are the instructions for you to check out:

All you need is limes, agave nectar, tequila, ice and water. You Juice the limes – I used about 5 to make 2 drinks (roughly), then you add 1 to 2 shots of agave nectar, 2-4 shots of tequila (depending on how strong you want them, and for how many people you are making), 1-2 shots of water, and ice. Mix that all together with the lime juice, and serve! THAT’S IT!

There are several other recipes that she has on her site that look really fun to try. I know I’ll be going back for more shortly, but seriously you guys, you need to try this. It’s easy, natural, refreshing for summer, and fun to make!

Give it a try, tell me how you like it!

What are your favorite drinks to make for summer?

Any other all natural recipes you care to share so I can try?

HAVE A FAB FRIDAY, EVERYONE!!

*All content is from my own ideas and opinions, and to get to Averie Cooks website please click Here

* Picture was taken from Averie Cooks website on how to make margarita’s

 

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An Ode to Mom – My first Mother’s Day

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As Mother’s Day is drawing near, I can’t help but think about how lucky I am to be a mom. I’m celebrating my very first Mother’s Day this year, and while I’m so excited, and honored that I can now be a part of this amazing group of women I know, love and respect, I also want to reflect on the many lessons I’ve learned in just this short period of time. So here it is, an Ode to my mom – and all the mom’s out there, on Mother’s Day!

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Mom,

I just want to tell you – I get it now. While I might not get all of it at this point, I do somewhat understand what it’s like to be a mom. I always wondered if I would hear myself say those words, and now I’m excited and honored to be a part of this amazing journey we call Motherhood.

Remember all those sleepless nights? I get it now. I understand the sacrifice that you made for myself, and my siblings, working, providing for, and making sure that we were nurtured in the best way that you could. You did all these things while staying strong, and trying to keep a smile on your face at all times.

Remember all those missed, or cold meals you had? I get it now. There are times when you would have rather been entertaining your friends and family at gatherings, or times when you were hungry, but we needed you more. You went without those meals, or ate them later, because you love us, and you knew that these times would also pass. You smiled, and rolled with the punches, and never let it get the best of you.

Remember being happy that we were growing and developing, but sad at the same time? I get it now. You were so excited that we were growing, and learning new things, but at the same time, your babies, your children were growing up into their own people, creating their own personalities, and becoming the independent people that we are today. You smiled, laughed, and cried with us all. And did it in the most gracious and loving ways.

Remember thinking that this is the hardest, most tiring, most stressful, but most rewarding job of all time? I get it now. Being a Mother is the hardest, most tiring, stressful job I’ve ever had, and ever witnessed you do. You did it the best way that you knew how, and you did it with a smile on your face. You showed up when it seemed everyone else was walking out, and you have always been by our sides.

Remember that word you always used – Balance? I get it now. I know that you had to balance a job, family, home, and all the other tasks that you took on, all while making sure that we were safe and taken care of. You did it, and you were always there for games, practices, and whatever else we were a part of. You did all of these things, and you did them all with the highest level of integrity, and devotion, daily.

So mom, I just want you to know, after all these years. Thank you. Thank you for being one of the best role models that you could be. Thank you for teaching me valuable lessons on how to be the best mom that I can be. Thank you for sticking by my side, and thank you for being so loving, nurturing, and understanding.

Oh, and mom. I get it now.

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Yummy Spoon – My thoughts!

Jamie is 7 months old now. I seriously don’t know where time has gone. I find myself staring at her in awe, more often now-a-days because I just am amazed that Seth and I made this perfect little human. For the last month or so, we’ve been experimenting with solid foods. I said I was going to make all of her food, and for the most part I do, but I found some of the least expensive packages at Aldi, and have bought some from time to time.

You can imagine how excited I was when my sweet friend from Yummy Spoon sent me this!
If you haven’t guessed it by now, it’s called a “Yummy Spoon.” This thing is SO COOL, too! Basically, all you have to do is put in some food, like I’m doing in this video, mash it down if it’s a solid food, I used some already pureed baby food from Aldi, but if you have something like a banana, or avocado, you can put it in there, mash the food up, and it will dispense out of the spoon, perfect for your little one! It’s so easy to use, it’s not as messy, and Jamie LOVED it!


It is a little larger than that she’s used too, but that didn’t seem to bother her, and honestly it was probably easier for her to grasp once she got the hang of it. The plastic is great for younger children – like Jamie, and I can totally see her using this spoon when she’s older too!

Oh- best of all, you can throw this in the dishwasher, and you don’t have to worry about anything else! You can ALSO freeze it, so if your little one is teething, it would be nice to have around. We are going out of town this weekend, so I can’t wait to take it with me to experiment with it some more.

All in all, I’m excited for her to have this, and I can’t wait to see her grow and continue to use this YUMMY SPOON!

You can check out the website HERE 

ALSO- Because my friend is so sweet, you can ALSO purchase this amazing spoon with a discount by using the code “MOMWANT” you will get 20% off your order! HOW AWESOME is that?!

You can also go to my Instagram page, and see some more videos of Jamie using this Spoon. Trust me, you won’t want to miss it! @momwantstoeat

Let me know what do you think about this spoon?!