I just want to redirect you to this blog post -- it's such a good reminder to live LIFE - the real thing, not just the one on the screen. I love finding people I identify with - whether it's through social media somehow or in real life. I love feeding my mind & surrounding myself with people and things that are positive, creative, funny, and happy. I just love smiling and feeling hopeful! It's what life is all about. It's funny how people you don't even know [or know that well] can influence & inspire you. I love it.
Annnnd here's an inspiring quote to leave you with for today:
I feel like I've finally discovered the thing I love doing most in the world [besides spending time with the people I love, of course ;)]..DRAWING. It's funny, cause I've ALWAYS loved to draw -- I've probably doodled on gajillions of assignments and papers I'm taking notes on, etc... I just love it! I've only taken 2 or 3 art classes in my life, but my mama is an Artist & so is everyone else in my fam [in different ways - Mom's a sculptor, one sister watercolors & does photography, another sister paints, one brother does photography and computer animation... ETC]. I just love that I was raised in such an artistic home. I totally believe that the more you do something, the better you can become at it. That's why I want to keep drawing -- I want to get better at it! My favorite thing to draw is definitely people [specifically: faces].. ahh! IT TOTALLY GIVES ME A HIGH. I love spending any extra time I have drawing -- it empowers me & is like an addictive drink I just can't get enough of. :) Anyway. This is my last drawing.. Steve Jobs! Took me about 3 nights to do [an hour or so each night :)].
I had such a great time working on this.. ah! I can't wait to do more art!
The other day in church, we're all sitting there chatting before class began [which is... normal, right?], when all of the sudden, we're all startled by this full-on YELL of a [normally quiet] old man sitting in our class shouting, "WE'RE READY TO START NOW!!!!!!!!!!!" ..............................ummm! For real?! Sheesh, man! Take a chill pill! Nick's in the Sunday School Presidency and was just about to start class when that happened... haha. GeeWIZ.
The funny thing is, this isn't the first time something like that has happened at church in the short 3.5ish years we've been married. A couple years ago, in our first ward as a married couple, Sacrament Meeting ended - I think there was a Farewell that day or something - so everyone's just kind of standing around talking for a few minutes, when - out of the blue - we hear an older man in the choir shout, "WE'RE GOING TO SAY THE PRAYER NOW!!!!!!!!!!" **SHUDDER!**
Oh my gosh, those are SUCH AWKWARD, CRINGE-WORTHY MOMENTS! I mean, I get it -- it's annoying when you're trying to start choir practice or class while there are people talking... but isn't there a better way to go about it? Is it really necessary to YELL AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS for everyone to pipe down?! I can just imagine the insides of both of these old men during those moments... their blood boiling - like a can of soda being shaken, when all of the sudden POP! THEY CAN'T HANDLE IT FOR A SECOND LONGER AND HAVE TO FREAK OUT. Hahahahaha. Oh man. Awkward moments. Gotta love/hate 'em.
I HAVE... -been stuck on an elevator before. In NYC. With about 23 other people. I just remember looking up into the mirror-like ceiling & trying to make people smile or laugh... it was one of those awesome "movie moments." -gone skinny dipping! WOO! At Girl's Camp... with Leaders.. hahaha. I loved my YW experience growing up. :) -moved to VEGAS... for a week. Haha! Cracks me up every time I think about it. -snuck onto a lot of roofs...in Salt Lake, New York, San Francisco... I LOVE DOING THAT! Harmless fun ;) -played the drums with a Jamaican...in the middle of a huge crowd in NYC. CLOUD NINE. -gone spelunking..! Crazy experience. -tasted snail, alligator, frog legs. Verdict: NASTY, chicken-like, Gross. -given birth.Fear = Faced. Check!
-had deja vu. I know, right!? Lameness to the max. -been out of the USA!I have a passport, though, so I am READY. -gone snorkeling or scuba diving.I wouldn't mind trying snorkeling, but that scuba stuff is a big NO THANKS for me ;) -been on a CRUISE! Now that I live in Miami [aka, cruise-central], it's officially on the MUST-DO list. -seen Snow White. Is that the one with 7 dwarfs? ;) -ridden a bicycle built for two. ONE DAY!!!
-Nick is so funny!!! He makes me laugh everyday. I just love how he thinks & acts... I'm pretty sure he'll just say/do things sometimes because he KNOWS I'll get a kick out of it. And I do! Sheesh. True love. ;) -Even though he basically has a Full-Time job [school] + a Part-Time job [work], he still makes time to clean, help make dinner, go grocery shopping with me, run other errands, go on walks or outings with us... and he still gets As in his classes & on his tests! I don't know how he manages it all. He's a smarty, that one. -Let's talk about patience for a sec. Not only is Nick [way more] patient with Jaden than I am, but he's patient with me. He lets me shove my cold feet in his knees to warm them up. He will take Jaden-duty in the early mornings [when I'm too grumpy..], even though he doesn't have the luxury of napping later on in the day. He doesn't get easily ruffled -- I've never even heard him raise his voice. He's such a good soul! -He's creative and open-minded. He isn't afraid to try new things and is constantly thinking of new games or party ideas or different ways to do/make things. I love his clever brain.
Some things about Jaden
-He is so smart!! He signs, says so many words [his clearest words are "nana" for banana and APPLE :) the kid loves his fruit, I guess ;)], and he understands even more words! He loves reading books and looking at pictures & flashcards. I'm constantly impressed with him -- pretty sure he's teaching himself a lot of these things! -He likes to take his dirty diapers to the trash can and throw them away. Can't complain about that - saves me a step ;) -Jaden seriously gets SO excited whenever he has a blanket on his head. He'll just start walking around all will-nill. That boy tickles my funny bone. -He gets SO EXCITED about things -- especially little kids/babies. He'll get right up in their face and start squealing. I think it's safe to say he's pretty social ;) -We have these flashcards [ABCs, Numbers, Animals, etc] that we look through & match with things... he LOVES the "M" one, because it has a picture of a moon. One night, we went out with the flashcard to try and find the moon, and now he wants to do that every night. His memory, I tell ya! Doesn't just let things slide. -He's so happy! He's ticklish & playful, smiling and laughing all the time. And boy, do I love hearing that laugh and seeing his big toothy smile. Enough to make my mama-heart melt right outta me.
Some things about me
I did my best myspace face, 'cause, y'know... THOSE were the glory days. ;)
-I don't know what it is about gift baskets... but I LOVE THEM! They just seem like the cutest, classiest, most charming gift. -I guess I just BARELY realized that Pinterest is actually more than just "pinning" pretty pictures... like, it's USEFUL. OH, you mean I could actually try MAKING that?! Or hey - here are a million clever ideas of things to do with your toddler! All nicely pocketed away in a place that I can get to whenever I want. Cha-ching. I've always loved the creative aspect of it... and now that I've connected the dots, I love it even more! [...maybe too much.] -I've always been able to play on my own. When I was a kid, if I reeeeally wanted to play a game & nobody else could [or wanted to], I was totally fine to just play it on my own. [At least that way I won no matter what ;)] I'm a big believer in being able to entertain yourself, since you're with yourself 24/7! -I think I have the worst knee reflexes ever. Nick gets to practice different things on me that he learns in school, and finding/nabbing my reflexes is one of 'em. When they finally kicked into gear & reacted, it was THE FUNNIEST THING. I couldn't stop laughing. And then it just got funnier with each whack. Oh man.
Just read an article on being a new mama. It was a good one. This stuck out to me:
measure your day not as tasks, but as feelings, as sounds, as colors.
Right?! It's so easy to think you just haven't done anything with your day when you literally haven't DONE anything. But I just love this spin on it -- it's more about the simple things... the feelings, sounds, colors, sights, tastes -- basically catering to our senses. I can definitely get on board with that. I want to be a creative mom for Jaden & always encourage him to explore his world. I love the essence of "discovering." That's what life is all about... just unwrapping it, day after day. There are so many things to experience and DISCOVER! I want Jaden to truly believe in himself and believe that anything is possible... that the world is his playground, where he can let his imagination run wild.
My sister sent me a different article called "Mom vs. Mom: The War I Didn't See Coming" -- such a good reminder that we can't do/be it ALL... and that's okay! It's more about excelling in the areas you shine in, and just doing the best you can do. I like to try having the mindset of not comparing myself to others, but comparing myself to myself and trying to improve. Some days I'm better at following that than others, but y'know.. I'm human.
On another note, it's crazy to think that my little newborn is already a year and a couple months old! Sometimes those newborn days & months seem like a lifetime ago. I've realized that I'm a happier mom now than I was a year ago -- something about getting SLEEP... and enjoying that interaction & communication & independence & playfulness that wasn't really there back then... I just like where things are going :) I love that he can sign now and say words. He understands so much - I love it. I love playing with him! I also love that he can play by himself ;) I think some people are totally great at the baby thing... I think I'm just more of the toddler/kid+ style. ;) But those calm baby snuggles are definitely something I adore.
Being a mom is such a crazy, rewarding, exhausting, tender, frustrating, endearing, beautiful job. And sometimes all of those feelings happen in the same 5 minutes. :) As hard as it can be sometimes, I wouldn't want to be or do anything else with my days. I love being buds with Jaden & taking care of & observing all his little "isms." He's such a smart, fun[ny], playful, happy boy. I'm so grateful to be his mama!
Lately, I've been feeling this new-found energy and determination to do ART! I just feel SO HAPPY any time I make time to do it. I llllove to draw - with pencil and/or pastels [chalk]. I believe that we're all given gifts/talents and I want to use & improve mine before it's too late and I regret it. I'm so grateful I was born into such an artistic/music-loving/creative home that 100% encouraged us developing those right-brained interests & hobbies! My friend threw a "Great Gatsby" party the other night [sooo fun! I'll post about it on my NicKel blog :)], and was sweet to ask if I'd draw the Gatsby eyes. Um, YES! I was so flattered she trusted me to do it! Annnnd voila! My soul was filled with happiness.
I NEED TO DO THIS ALL THE TIME! I love it so much! I get a high off of any time I do something I'm passionate about [drawing! writing! making a movie! playing/singing along to music! exercising!]. I told Nick that if I ever seem down or in a slump, he just needs to tell me to go draw for an hour. He smiled and chimed in, "Or I'll say, 'Let's pull out the video camera and make a movie.'" -- he's the best! No explanation necessary, he just understood what I meant. He's my perfect match.
Anyway. I just need my life to be filled with creativity! Annnd on that note, I'm going to go draw now! XO!
So, remember the classic '90s TV show intros? How super cheesy - yet awesome! - they were? Nick and I heard the song "All I Need is a Miracle" a few years ago as we were enjoying our tasty dish at Zupas, and it sparked a thought... RECREATE ONE! So, when we were visiting in UT this past month, we finally saw that dream through. We collected a few of our favorite people & got to it. Without further ado, I give you the beginning of the '90s show that NBC missed out on, "All I Need is You."
We got back from UT late at night last week, and I spotted a dead cockroach, multiple [DISGUSTING] millipedes, and a bunch of ants in different corners & crevices. My eyes caught a glimpse of a blue spray can that had the word "insect" on there, so I grabbed it and started spraying the heck out of our place. A day or two later, I looked at that can and saw that it said, "Family Insect Repellent." .........soooo, that's awkward.
Nick and I were driving around talking about cookies one day, like we do, and started to wonder just HOW many cookies we've eaten throughout our lives...? Girl Scout Cookies, after-school-snack cookies, cookies at gatherings & get-togethers with friends... cookies on a Sunday.... cookies at a fast-food place or restaurant... cookies at meetings... SO. MANY. COOKIES. !!! We agreed that we probably don't want to know the answer to that question. But it's probably about 100,000. At least.
I think God knows I need old people in my life, so he blesses me with at least one or two that I get to see on a regular basis throughout the different stages in my life. The ones I have around right now are Georgina & Armando. Georgina is THE CUTEST lady, who sits in her chair with a headset on, watching Opera & such - doesn't speak a lick of English... but she always waves at us & blows kisses when we go on our mail walk & pass her cute little place. Armando is a retired Engineer, who speaks broken English and has the biggest smile. He also throws both of his hands in the air in a giant wave as we stroll past their place. Georgina has spunky red hair and gets a huge kick out of pretty much anything Jaden does by giving a lovingly loud cackle, while throwing her head back. Armando is sweet to point to Jaden and say, "He's going to be somebody great one day." :) He also makes funny jokes, like, "Salt Lake City -- or SUGAR Lake City?" HA! I LOVE MY ELDERLY FRIENDS!!!!
Here's a question... what happened to the good old-fashioned, classic CHICK-FLICKS? The ones like Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, Runaway Bride, While You Were Sleeping, My Best Friend's Wedding, Return to Me, The Wedding Planner, A Lot Like Love, Julie & Julia, Dan in Real Life... etc, etc, etc. Sometimes it seems like every "chick flick" nowadays has to be bombarded with some type of "kidnap" or "murder" or action-type [or sad] story. Is it so wrong to just want that funny, light-hearted, lovey-dovey CHICK FLICK??? The one that ends well & leaves you smiling, loving, and dreaming about life? The dramas are fine, but sometimes they're too depressing. And I don't think life has to be depressing! I know some of the chick-flicks are maybe TOO fairytale... but heck, why not believe in them? Sometimes they ACTUALLY happen & DO come true! Why not daydream about happy, love-filled lives, rather than sulk in a miserable, down-trodden life? I'd so much rather laugh & watch people happily fall in love, then live the rest of their years together still in love! Doesn't it inspire you to search for that kind of relationship? Or rekindle the one you're already in?? It promotes happiness, I tell ya! Those are my absolute favorites, and it seems like they've gotten fewer & farther between in the past few years. Is the world just becoming some sad, "settle-for-this-since-it's-all-you're-gonna-get" type of place? If that's the case, then I'm going to start building a new world ;) I WANT MY ROM-COMS BACK!
First off -THANK YOU for your comments in my "Reset" post - I appreciate each of them. I try not to complain on here, since that gets old fast... but I like to be real. I genuinely try looking for the positive side of most things, but there are those times when it/life gets tough. For whatever reason. It's always helpful to relate to & hear from others in similar situations. To those who wrote something - it made me smile & tear up. I really appreciate reading your thoughts. Thanks for taking the time to help a fellow sista out ;)
I've never been one to broadcast my weight/exercising/eating habits with the world... but for some reason, I just want to write this down & share these thoughts today.
So, as I said, I've become a firm believer in exercising! There was a time in my life [9th-10th grade?] when I was very aware of my weight. I would step on the scale and feel super down if it went up a couple numbers. I'd eat less at meals and obsess over the scale. It never got way out of hand, but at some point, I realized it was unhealthy to let a dumb scale govern my moods. I could just eat healthy & try to stay "active." That was my new game-plan. So, I basically stopped weighing myself -- I knew roughly what I weighed & was okay with it [wasn't my ideal weight, necessarily, but I was content]. I rarely stepped on a scale for probably 7 or 8 years. I didn't care - I was what I was. I didn't exercise regularly, but I counted walking around during my lunch breaks as exercise. Or walking up the stairs [rather than taking the elevator] good enough. I would go for a jog sometimes... I got a gym pass once or twice [and was your typical New Year's Eve exerciser-dropout]. I was just never able to consistently workout. Plus, I worked full-time for a lot of those years & "didn't have time to work out." I tried to eat relatively healthy foods, would exercise when I got around to it [once or twice a month sometimes, if that] and was fine with things. Welp. Pregnancy happened, and my philosophy carried on -- just eat a balanced diet and walk around. :) But I also figured I needed to be sure I was healthy for my baby. I remember asking my doc if I needed to exercise... he was like, "Well... It's HEALTHY to exercise - everyone should exercise 3-5 times a week for 30 minutes or so." I was thinking, "Uh-huh... like walking around - that counts, right?" just seeking for the easy way out. I barely exercised throughout my entire pregnancy. On top of that, I have no idea how much I weighed throughout it all. The doc knew & would tell me everything was fine and that I was healthy... but I didn't care to know the exact number. The day after Jaden was born, the doc came into my room and was giving me the run-down of the next few weeks. He said, "You don't strike me as someone who's anxious to get back to the gym... but don't exercise for 6 weeks." I laughed and thought, "You're right, I'm not!!" ...but those words stayed with me, and a few weeks later, I was thinking, "Wait a sec - what did he mean by that? I don't want to be viewed at as lazy! I can exercise!!" Another part of me thought, "I don't want to be 'content' with staying pudgy. I CAN exercise and get back in shape." And - maybe the most important motivator - I thought, "I want my kids to see that exercising is important." I started with some situps/pushups/lunges/jumping jacks. I did that before the 6 weeks postpartum were up, though, and caused myself to bleed even more. :/ So I rested a little bit longer, then decided to try exercising. I didn't want to go running outside. We couldn't afford a gym membership. So, I looked up "ab workouts" on our Blu-ray player/YouTube channel and found some. I started doing that a couple times a week. I'd find videos and "trainers" I liked and search/do their videos. Some days, I only did one 10-minute video... but at least I did SOMETHING. If I didn't do anything else that day, at least I got in a little exercise. I decided to just see how much I weighed one day, and was okay with the number... but I wanted to be less than that. It motivated me to keep trying harder. I made a valiant effort to work out at LEAST 3 times a week - in my living room - for at least 20-30 minutes. I'd weigh myself more frequently - not obsessively - and would feel so proud of myself when the number kept going down and down. I no longer felt like I needed to avoid the scale. I didn't want to be ruled by it, but I could also face up to it. I still believe that the number isn't everything -- especially since everyone has a different build/height. I do think there's an ideal weight [area] for each person, though, and I want to be in my ideal weight-range. Sure, I could give the excuse that I've had a baby - extra chub just comes with it! Or I could exercise. I can choose to eat healthy foods. I can set aside just 30ish minutes a day [M-F] and workout. It's not even about size or weight - it's about taking care of myself and showing my body that I'm aware of it, and that I want it to be active and feeling well as long as it can. One thing I keep hearing in my videos - which makes complete sense - is that you can't JUST exercise or JUST eat healthily. You have to do both. That's why I don't believe in "diets." I believe in living a healthy LIFESTYLE. And it requires exercising. If the goal is to lose weight, you can't just do it through dieting.. at least not in a safe, healthy way. You've gotta get up & move around. I definitely still have my share of treats & snacks - I just eat them in moderation. I don't snack a ton throughout the day, and if I do, I try to make it a fruit or something healthy. Then I have a treat later on. It's so interesting to me, because now I love exercising! I have a PASSION for it! For living HEALTHY! Eating well! I've learned so much this past year - just from doing YOUTUBES. I mean, seriously!? YouTubes? It's awesome! I love working out - just me and the screen - each day. I love that I don't have to commute anywhere. I love that I can do arms/legs/abs/cardio/pilates/yoga/kickboxing -- one, two, three videos -- any combo I want, for however long, each day. I love that Jaden watches me and can start learning that it's just what we do... we exercise. I love that my husband is an Exercise-Science Major, and is also motivated to live healthy. I'm not saying I'm a pro, by any means, but I love continually learning how to improve my body, so that it can be at its best. I'm not doing this for anyone else - it's for me. Sure, it helps that I weigh less than I did pre-pregnancy // in high school... or that I can fit into smaller sizes now. But - more than anything - it's about keeping my heart going, feeding my body with good foods so that I can eliminate potential health-problems, being a good example to my kid [and future children]... it's about feeling GOOD about myself & taking care of the body God's given me. I can't believe I went so long in my life without realizing it! ANYONE CAN EXERCISE! You just gotta decide to do it. And then do it.
I really like hitting that reset/refresh button in life. There are those times when I feel like I'm coming up short on this or that... lagging behind on something... too many things to do, not enough time to do them... y'know. But then there are those days when I get everything I wanted to get done DONE, and sometimes even more. Like, doing something I've been meaning & wanting to do for days or weeks... those days when everything just sort of falls into place and you feel so productive & accomplished. Ah. I like those days. It's like showering... sometimes it's a pain in the neck to shower, but once you do it, it's like - SWEET! Don't have to shower again for a day or two. But maybe I need to learn how to be more content with leaving things undone & realizing everything is a process. And that a lot of moments in time are just phases. Sometimes life is busy, sometimes life moves at a slower pace. I feel like lately I've let thoughts of not being "enough" get to me. Ugh, I don't like it. Like, am I being a good/creative enough mom for Jaden? Am I teaching him enough? Am I being selfless & loving enough to Nick? How can I be a better, more fun/thoughtful wife??? Or I'll just think, "I wish I were more brave. Or more patient. I wish I had time for doing things I want to do [drawing/writing/playing music/CREATING], rather than just the things I have to do." How do you balance everything in life? I crave to fill my life with creativity & happiness & things that are inspiring and colorful and artistic and fun... I crave to spend more time improving any talents & hobbies I may have. But all too often, my day speeds by in a fuzzy blur & before I know it, it's time for bed. And I would happily stay up later to invest time in those things if I didn't have to be up when my child gets up for the day [too early ;)] the next morning... :) I think this "unsettled" feeling I've been having is a clue that I need to change something. Maybe I just need to manage my time better? Come up with more fun activities to do with Jaden? Think of ways to pamper my spouse more often? I wouldn't classify myself as a super structured person... but maybe a little more structure to my day would help me find time to do things & feel more accomplished. I don't know. Tips? Anyone? I am a firm believer in positive thinking, though. I know that dwelling on negative thoughts for too long can get the best of anyone. I am proud of myself for other things I'm doing - like exercising every morning. I was never a very good exerciser, but I love that it's become a habit of mine ever since a month or two after Jaden was born. I love staying healthy and taking care of myself. It's not even a "chore" anymore - I honestly look forward to my workout sessions with my personal YouTube trainers each morning [XHIT is my latest fave!]. And also, I hope that didn't come across as me saying that I feel unsatisfied with my life as a mom! I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world!!! I love taking care of Jaden and would be heartbroken if anyone else took the lead on that. I guess what my question boils down to is one I already asked -- how do you balance everything in life? And what are different ways to make the day-to-day life more exciting & meaningful? I think I just need more ideas of things to do with my almost one-year old... and okay, I miss being close to family where we can hang out during the day together, which always spices things up! :) :( Anyway. I just had to write down all this mumbo jumbo. I really would love any advice if anyone has some to offer... :)
It's weird how you are with yourself 24/7, yet you somehow forget about so much of your life.
Did we really RUN to lunch in 7th grade? [...and why?...]
What are the inside jokes I developed with people throughout my childhood, or all the different laughed-until-I-cried moments I've had?
What field trips did I go on in Elementary School, and what did we talk about on the bus?
What was said in the many deep, motivational conversations I've had with family members & friends?
How many times have I felt like I'm on cloud-9? And why?
What was my daily life like as a 7-year old?
What was the big thing on my mind in the fall of 9th grade?
What make-believe stories did we come up with at recess in 2nd grade?
When was the last time I played "house" or barbies... and how did that all go down?
Sometimes I wish I could tap into my memory and remember every little thing I've experienced/said/thought. How have the different things I've experienced influenced the different parts of who I am now? And what are those specific experiences? What makes some memories stick out more than others?
It'll be so cool in the next life when our minds are clear and we actually DO remember everything [right?]. Yeah. These are things I think about at 1am when I can't fall asleep. :)
Sooo, as you may or may not know, I'm a huuuuge Owl City fan. Meaning, I've listened to him pretty consistently since I was first introduced to him in May of 2009. He just speaks to me. The melodies + harmonies of his songs & new sound he's created... ah! Love it. He sings, writes, plays pretty much every instrument, AND does the techno, computer stuff on top of that. Serious talent.
I love, LOVE his lyrics; they're so creative and I'm always nodding & loving the clever string of words he's orchestrated together. He's written the words I've always felt, but have never been able to articulate. Underwater Ferris Wheel? YES! Such a cool thought. Reality is a lovely place, but I wouldn't want to live there... um, YEAH. that's why I never watch the news -- I prefer my happy imagination over the negative reality that's broadcasted daily. I could talk about practically every song of his and list off why I love it so much. Needless to say, he's been the soundtrack to the past 4+ years of my life.
That being said, I was pretty surprised [and pleased] to realize that SO MANY of his songs have references to FLORIDA! Not just Florida, but MIAMI! Swimming in Miami... "The Yacht Club" - which we DROVE BY.
He talks about Fort Lauderdale, cruise ships, "the sunshine state," West Palm Beach... for real?! Makes living here feel even more homey, since my favorite, happy-place songs are literally written about my "backyard." Owl City songs just always put me in a good mood. Jaden and I have a lot of dance-parties to his songs during the day ;)