Love Your Neighbor

“Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,”answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31

Love your neighbor as yourself

I have been wanting to write this for about 3 months, but I have let a lot of other things get in the way! I could make excuses because a lot did happen and I had a lot of company in and out of my home, but the truth is I have managed to keep up on all my Real Housewives shows so obviously I just did not prioritize writing!

However, it’s a new day and instead of getting down on myself for all I could have done I’m just going to take action and get things done! Starting with writing this post about my next door neighbor, Rachel. I did not ask Rachel if I could write about her and use her name, but she will forgive me… I’m 99.9% sure of it!

The truth is, one of the reasons I have delayed writing this is because in order to tell the whole story I have to go back to a time when I wasn’t doing so great and I don’t really like revisiting that time in my life, but I think this is important to share so I’m going to take a brief moment to journey back to summer 2016 when I was still knee deep in depression and anxiety and tell you how one person’s actions helped pull me out of a dark pit and lead me back to joyously living my life!

One day I will write the story of little j’s birth and how it simultaneously helped me love harder and feel the greatest joy I ever have, but also the circumstances caused me to sink into a deep depression followed by crippling anxiety. I did my best to hide it and unfortunately I think I succeeded for the most part. There were so many people who would have been more than willing to help me if I had just expressed that I needed help, but I didn’t (I have since learned from that!) and it caused me to live in the dark for a very long time.

During this dark time little j never slept…I mean never. So on top of all I was experiencing I was completely exhausted as well. The only way I could get her to nap was to drive her around in the car. So every day I grabbed a book and drove the 5 miles down to Lake Thunderbird (hoping she would fall asleep on the drive) and parked at a trail head and stayed there until she woke up. It was a lonely exhausting routine, but she needed sleep so I did what I had to do.

On one of these days late spring/ early summer 2016 I got a text from Rachel asking if I wanted to go for a walk. She brought me food after little j was born so I had her number, but we hadn’t had much interaction before then. We spoke outside when we saw each other, but truthfully I didn’t leave the house much for the first year after little j was born. At first it was because of the oxygen, then it was flu season and after that I honestly just didn’t know where to go or what to do so most days we stayed inside.

Knowing that it would take me 10-15 minutes to get back I figured she would just go ahead and go for her walk and for the most part I didn’t really want to go anyway. I had gotten really great at giving excuses for not showing up places and I was tempted to just fall back into that same habit. But somewhere deep inside the real me was screaming up through the darkness, begging depressed me to just give it a try and see if maybe she would wait for me to drive back so I could have some adult interaction and maybe make a friend. I sent her a text explaining where I was and that it would take a while for me to get back and to my surprise she said she would wait. I was so excited at the idea of just being normal and walking and talking so I drove back long before the nap should be over and we went for a walk. It was the start of what is now a great friendship and someone I couldn’t do day to day life without.

Let me emphasize something about this event that is so so important. Rachel reached out. Rachel made an effort. She herself had every excuse to not see if I wanted to go on a walk, but she was being obedient and loving her neighbor as herself and I truly cannot express the difference it has made in my life.  At that particular time she was around 8 months pregnant and her son was only about 2 1/2 so she wasn’t exactly getting a lot of rest herself. She could have told herself, “well I’ll reach out after my baby is born” or “I’m sure I’ll get to know her eventually as time goes on” but she didn’t. She made an effort and in that one moment she began a healing process in me and I will never ever forget it.

We now have a friendship that is more like family. Our kids are little best friends who freely walk in and out of each others houses and yards, we have meals together, we watch the other’s kids when things come up, we miss each other when we go on vacations, we got on trips together (and she remained my friend after I ran out of gas and stranded us in a median on I35) we are in each others lives in a day to day way and it feels complete and the way God intended for us to live.

Too often we are so quick to find excuses when something arises that might pull us out of our comfort zone. How many amazing people are we missing when we do this? How many lives could we change by making an effort?

Changing a life is as simple as loving someone the way you would want to be loved. Easy as that. So this week make an effort to knock on someone’s door and bring them cookies, offer to bring dinner to someone who is overwhelmed, smile at people as you walk down the street. Get out of your comfort zone and make a difference.

You never know, you may have your own Rachel living next door and I can tell you first hand she’s worth baking cookies for!


5 Classic Movies for 5 Cold Nights

Ever since that silly groundhog saw his shadow it has gotten COLD! The whole country is shivering and let’s face it…we don’t want to do ANYTHING! Our hands are dry and cracked, our noses are raw and we just want to curl up by the fire and watch a movie. Am I right?

I personally am a big fan of old movies and I have grudgingly brought my husband along on my journey. They haven’t all been home runs, but these 5 are absolute winners, proven by the fact that he has stayed awake through all of them!


1. Singing in the Rain

I absolutely LOVE this movie! It’s stars Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connorand follows Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont who are the biggest silent film duo in the country. When The Jazz Singer comes out and “talkies” become the way of the future hilarity ensues as Don tries to find a way around Lena’s shrieking voice. Debbie Reynolds stars as Kathy Selden, who saves the day with her beautiful voice and captures the attention of Don Lockwood. If for no other reason you should watch this movie for Donald O’Connor’s number Make em Laugh. You will sing and dance around the house for a week and you will find ways to say “What do you think I am? Dumb or something?” in your best Lina Lamont voice.

2. How to Steal a Million

Netflix suggested I watch this movie and I’m so glad I did! Starring Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole this movie will make you laugh and has a little love story to cap it off! Audrey Hepburn plays the daughter of an art counterfeiter who is at risk of being exposed.  Her father, played by Hugh Griffith whom I didn’t know prior to this movie, absolutely cracked me up!  In order to keep her father from being discovered she enlists the help of a burglar (Peter O’Toole) to steal her father’s Cellini sculpture from a museum. It’s a light-hearted, fun movie that I will certainly watch again.

3. Woman of the Year

This movie, starring the dynamic duo of Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, will surprise you with how progressive it was for the time period. Filmed in 1942, at a time when women traditionally stayed home (with the exception of working outside the home during the war) it follows the story of Tess Harding, an international correspondent who has been named woman of the year and her relationship with Sam Craig, who is a sports writer. I don’t want to give away the whole movie, because it is more fun to just watch it, so I will just say it will make you laugh and also appreciate how far we have come and how much compromise and work it takes for a marriage to work so that both people can truly be themselves in the relationship. Watch it, you will be glad you did!

4. Desk Set

This may give you a sense of deja vu because it also stars Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy but it’s just too good to leave off of the list. Hepburn plays Bunny Watson who is in charge of the reference library (Google) for her company who worries she is getting pushed out by a computer that is being brought in to assist in the functions of the reference library. Tracy plays Richard Sumner who is the inventor of the computer which is called EMERAC (Electromagnetic MEmoryand Research Arithmetical Calculator, per Wikipedia). As Bunny and her staff work hard to prove they are more useful than Richard’s precious EMERAC, Richard finds himself falling for Bunny. The movie has a fun little twist at the end and is another winner from Hepburn and Tracy.

5. Oklahoma!

Odds are you may have seen this one, but even if you have you should watch it again. I became a fan of this movie long before I moved to Oklahoma, so it’s not just for Okies to watch! With the classic songs, Oklahoma!, Oh What a Beautiful Mornin’ and The Surrey with the Fringe on Top, you can’t help but wish that you could spend a day on Aunt Eller’s farm in early 1900’s Oklahoma. The story follows the love story of Curly and Laurey and exposes you to a version of early Oklahoma that only Rodgers and Hammerstein could dream up. If your kids are watching make sure they run get a snack at the end because things get a little dark for a minute! However, they bounce back quickly and you will sing your way to bed and wake up to a Beautiful Mornin’! Bonus: you can probably check it out for free at the library!

Happy viewing! What would you add to this list?

3 up 3 down

Today was a good day. I actually got things done and I FINALLY heard some news about my broken watch from a few blogs back! Also, check out this perfume my sweet friend gave me! How perfect right???Oh and I’m also jacked up on Girl Scout Cookies! February, you and I are gonna get along!

You know I like new starts, so the beginning of a new month is just the right time to recharge and refocus!  I have reached the 3 month point of my 6 month goals so last night I looked through them to see where I was and how I can step it up to accomplish them all over the next 3 months. My last couple of posts I was pretty hard on myself, but now that most of the snot has drained from my head and I don’t have to mouth breath the day away I am feeling more optimistic and ready to continue to live joyously and crush these goals!

The two I am focusing on right now (along with continuing the others I have been working on) are:

Continuing to declutter the house

Memorizing Scripture

Since January I have been working on continuing to de-clutter my house and get everything organized and I have actually made quite a bit of progress. However, I have to make sure you read that my goal was to CONTINUE to de-clutter the house…I actually have been working on this for about a year. I just didn’t want to give anyone any false hope that this can be done quickly, that just isn’t gonna happen buddy!

That being said I want to encourage EVERYONE to consider making this a 6 month goal. It is such a freeing thing! You never really how much stuff you have until you start to get rid of it!

Contrary to popular belief you don’t actually need 24 half used bottles of shampoo, 4 bottles of rubbing alcohol or that heart shaped eraser you bought at the Scholastic Book Fair in 4th grade. It’s time to start letting go.

I began this journey of de-cluttering because I felt like all I did was clean a house that never got clean (I still feel that way many times, but it’s improved dramatically) and I was SICK of it! I would try to get rid of things and I would go through a closet, or a box and at the end of all my “getting rid” all I had done was organized everything and decided I “might need it someday” so I couldn’t get rid of it.

So I went to the Bar (Barnes and Noble…nerd alert!) to figure out how to solve this problem. I started sifting through the books about cleaning and organization and I came across The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. I bought it that night took it home and read a little each day and really started to put it into practice. She has a very practical approach for organization and letting go of your stuff. There were a couple of parts I skipped over because they didn’t really apply to me, but overall it is a very useful book and can help you start your decluttering process and finding your joy again!

The part that has totally changed the way we live on a daily basis is how we fold our clothes. She has a very specific way of folding clothes and if you buy into it and do a complete overhaul of your closet and dressers it will seriously make your life so much easier! Jacob and I have been doing it for months and I just re did little j’s dresser this week (I don’t know why I waited so long to fold her clothes this way!) and I can find clothes so quickly! It’s amazing! The point of folding them is so that you can open your drawer and see all of your clothes at one time and not have to dig. Google “folding clothes the Konmari way” and you can watch videos or find visual step by step directions for folding each item of clothing. It takes a little getting used to, but if you commit to it I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Here are a couple of the drawers in my dresser. I seriously love this way of folding now and could never go back. I can find everything! PS her clothes are much more perfectly folded than mine, but here is a realistic version of it which is still very functional!

Once I tackled how to organize my clothes I moved on to getting rid of things. As I went through my stuff I realized that part of the reason I struggled to get rid of some of the things I never wore or didn’t use was because they were perfectly fine and nice things, I just didn’t use them anymore. That’s when I got strategic and begin sorting things into piles of “sell”, “donate” or “gift away”. Some of the things I didn’t want to keep, I could imagine someone else using and enjoying so I mailed little packages out with things that I hoped would brighten someone else’s day! It was a lot of fun! (Hopefully the receiver felt that way!) Now don’t start mailing people your stupid crap, only nice little things you think they might enjoy. Also, I would highly recommend finding local non profits who may benefit from your donation pile rather than just dropping them at Goodwill (which is a for profit company in non profit clothing). There are many homeless shelters that could use your coats or blankets, churches who may know of someone who needs kitchen supplies, resource centers who will take your baby items. Don’t just focus on getting rid of, but giving the items a new life somewhere else where someone very much in need will appreciate them. This has helped me let go of things that otherwise would sit in a closet until I croak!

I have organized all of the closets and the pantry so that means the bathroom cabinets are next…oh goody! Actually I’m looking forward to it because I know life will run more smoothly once it’s all done. Don’t wait until spring to start cleaning and organizing, start now so that when the spring gets here you can spend your time outside enjoying it instead of knee deep in your high school yearbooks.

Memorizing scripture has been something I have wanted to do for a long time and I’ll start and then life takes over and I quit. Guess what life? I’m in charge now, so step off and let me memorize these scriptures!

This goal is pretty straight forward, you just have to do it! So I have framed a passage I am working on in a cute frame so that I will see it often through out the day and can practice. One step at a time! I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going!

Soooooooooo about that watch…oh man, the watch. This has now become a 3 month saga, but today I have resolution and a pretty sweet conclusion! So to catch anyone up, the short story is I went to a jewelry store at the mall and asked them to change my watch battery. They not only did not fix the battery but they cracked the face of the watch. I try to show grace so I remained calm and they assured me they would send it off and get it back to me “probably in a week” but they said a month to be on the safe side. Three months later I get a call from my “case worker” because that’s where we are in this process and after apologizing profusely she tells me she has learned that the worker who sent the repair in never approved the “estimated value” so the watch has been sitting there for 3 months waiting on someone to push a button on a computer so that it could be fixed.

She then says to me “So we have a couple of options for you. We can give you the estimated value of $300.00 in cash or you can have the watch repaired, but I’m going to warn you it will probably be another 6 weeks or so”.

At this point I’m sitting here thinking…$300??? There is no way that watch is worth 300 dollars…did I write that? Why would I write that? I mean I guess I was in a jewelry store with a 2 year old for 30 minutes while they broke my watch, maybe I had convinced myself it was worth $300 so that I wouldn’t cry for my wasted time and broken watch. Am I burning dinner? Say something Joy don’t just sit here in silence. 

After my painfully long inner monologue we somehow came to her sending me the 300 dollars (I basically feel like a millionaire!) and my watch back (still broken, I’ll get someone else to fix it!) and hopefully the watch saga is over! As I’ve been waiting for my watch to return I have picked up a couple more. Here is my latest from Michaels (yes the craft store). With my 60% off coupon I paid a whopping $4…see why the whole 300 dollars thing was so startling to me?

If you haven’t set your 6 month goals take some time to develop a few and get started on them! There’s no better time than now! You really can be a better version of yourself on February 28th than you are today, but that’s totally on you.

So go make something happen…and try not to spend all your watch repair money on Girl Scout Cookies!

Will I ever get it together?

I don’t know about you but I feel like I have been tripping down a never ending staircase ever since we rang in 2018. Don’t get me wrong, there has been a landing every once in a while where I can catch my breath but then something propels me forward and I just continue to trip on down those stairs.

January is always a busy month for us. We are usually in 3 different time zones, and spend more time away than at home, which is a lot of fun but very exhausting. It’s become even more exhausting since having a child and there are times I feel like I just cannot get myself together despite my efforts.

Let me give you a couple of examples.

More than one time today little j has asked me for certain food and the words “I think I have some of those in the car, let me check” have come out of my mouth. One was a pouch and the other was peanut butter crackers…and yes I had both of them in the car. My car is like a tiny super market. You know the ones you stop in to use the bathroom in small towns and think “people actually shop here”. Yup. That’s the inside of my car, despite my efforts to keep it clean.

Another example is that I picked a half eaten apple up off the floor that j had abandoned at some point today, washed it off, trimmed the edges, cut it up and used it in dinner because I hate wasting food! (Don’t worry I don’t do that when I invite other people over… )

Or maybe when I realized I hadn’t paid the city bill and I have to pay the $12 late fee.

As I was cooking dinner I started getting very frustrated at the lack of progress I’m making in the goals that I have set. Sometimes I feel like nothing has changed, like I’ve made no progress on my goals (even though I have if I look back) and I continue to look at other people and think how on earth do they do it?

How do these people have it so together?

But I think I making a big mistake in this

because I’m equating someone having their nails done as having it together. Someone who has a clean car as having it together. Someone who goes to the gym 7 days a week as having it together.

The real truth is that none of us have it together and we never will.

God didn’t put us on this earth to “get it together” and Jesus never taught us to “succeed in business” or “work hard and have the best!” Jesus taught us to be to give to the least of these, to be merciful, to be peacemakers and so many more unselfish things.

I think the reason I’m at a stalemate in so many of my goals is because they are selfish goals and don’t serve a purpose outside of myself. I think all goals should serve a purpose outside of yourself, should work toward helping and bettering others and in doing so motivation comes a little more naturally.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that it’s wrong to take care of yourself, I think it’s absolutely IMPERATIVE that we take care of ourselves (I’m the worst, but I’m working on it) All I’m saying is that we should take care of ourselves in order to reach out and take care of others in need.

I do want to continue to try and better myself, but my reasoning for it will be just a little different than before. I never want to wake up and not try my best. If I think really hard about it most days I am trying my best and most days I really am succeeding in what matters most.

Maybe we won’t ever “get it together” in the unrealistic superficial way we wish we could, but maybe “having it together” isn’t always shiny and pretty and Pinterest worthy, maybe sometimes it’s reflected more by loads of laundry, smiling faces covered in chocolate and a little bit of chewed up food spit back in your hand. And in all of those respects, I’m living dream!

What are you doing?

I think I get asked this question 427 times a day. Little j loves to ask, “Mommy, what you doding? What is that front door dodoing? What is that fridge dodoing? Mommy, what you doding?” Most of the time I just tell her what should be an obvious answer. “I’m washing hands.” or “I’m cooking dinner” or “I’m playing with you.” However, a couple of days ago I actually considered the question…what am I doing?

Most of the time I coast through the day or I’m barreling through the day. I feel like there is really no in between. I have goals I’m working toward and some days I do well and others I just…well I just don’t. I have objectives that help me define those goals, give me concrete steps. I have all the pieces, but the biggest question that I really need to consider is “What am I doing?” and more importantly “Why am I doing it?”.

Why am I trying to lose weight? Why am I trying to de-clutter the house? Why am I lessening technology? And so on and so on. I really had to sit and consider these things and honestly what I found out wasn’t all that great.

You want to know why I want to lose some weight? Because I’m a vain prideful human and I want to “look good”. It has very little to do with being healthy and feeling good and I had to readjust my mind and change it. That’s not fun to do. It’s not fun to admit that you’re vain and prideful, but it’s true. In order to ever change anything you have to recognize that it exists. You can’t fight hidden demons, you have to bring them into the light. We talked about this (In a much more broad sense, not so much about losing weight) at our small group with our church last night. We watched a video from Pastor Tony Evans and he talked about navigating our way through a room with the light on. It doesn’t mean the obstacles aren’t there, just that you can see them. It sounds so simple, but it means so much.

So then I had to start thinking about my other goals, what my motivation is behind them and I uncovered similar things. Many of them I just wanted to accomplish so that I feel like I’m a “good person”, like I “did something”…pride. Pride is just a beast and you can feed it and watch it grow and destroy the village, or you can starve it and watch it slowly die off.

I plan on starving it. Taking away it’s Cheetos. Sending it to bed with no dinner. I’m not going down without a fight! When little j asks “What are you doding Mommy?” I’m really going to think about it and I challenge you to do the same. Are you really living life the best way you can every moment? If not then stop and re-evaluate, several times a day if necessary.

I have been re-evaluating my goals, my purpose, my time and my blog! I have a lot of new things planned for my blog this year!  I want to incorporate DIY projects, activity ideas, recipes, videos (Scary I know!) and so much more, but most of all I want to stay true to why I started blogging in the first place. I want to live my life with joy and I want to encourage you to do the same and that will always be the core of what I do and all the other stuff is so you can get to know me more and hopefully learn a couple of things!

So as we go into this new day, new week and new year let’s not waste one more minute not knowing what we are doing and if you need some reminding I’ll send my little cutie over to ask you!

Going out with a Blog!

What a great year 2017 has been for my family and I! 2015 and 2016 were tough but for me 2017 has been a great year of restoration and some sanity returning (some people…some) and I look forward to what 2018 brings!

I have spent the last week in LA with my wonderful hard working husband and little j in anticipation of watching OU play in the Rose Bowl and we have had such a blast! We went to Disneyland for the first time and it was loads of fun! It took 2 1/2 hours to get 30 minutes down the road and the park lost most of its power for a large portion of the day but it really was lots of fun! What was little j’s favorite part of Disneyland you ask???

This puddle of water…

I mean she’s two puddles are pretty much the best thing ever!

Also, if you haven’t been to “The Happiest Place on Earth” and feel like you’re missing something then next time the county fair rolls around take yourself on down there on the busiest night, pay them 5 times the price of your normal admission ticket, get in the back of the line and let 300 people skip you, and imagine 6,348 more strollers than are currently there. Bam! You’ve been to Disneyland!I kid! I kid! Calm down all you Disney fanatics. It was much better than the county fair! It’s at least state fair level! She did get a Minnie Mouse Doll and I got a Churro so all in all…pretty great day!We also decided to go down to Santa Monica Pier while we were here and that was kind of a disaster but only because there were 3 million people there and j hadn’t eaten. Not a great combo! However we got some cute pics to lead people to believe it was totally seamless. See??!!The beach part was actually pretty fun, but a hungry 2 year old and an hour tram ride just isn’t super fun. That’s real life people, no need to pretend every second of your life is perfect! That’s exhausting!So moving on to the next day, j grabbed her baby and we went exploring at the Grammy museum!
Little j loved getting to touch all of the buttons!!! There is nothing better than buttons people! Unless it’s drums!
Or Michael Jackson!

I honestly have no idea what we did the rest of that day. There are no more pictures of her in that outfit so I can only assume we napped and ate the rest of the day. It’s a pretty safe assumption.

On Saturday Jacob’s mom came in town and she watched j and I was able to go out on the town and make my housewife dreams come true! If you don’t already know…I am a Real Housewives junkie! Is it stupid trash tv? Yes. Yes it is. But I love them, all of them. My DVR consists of 108 episodes of Paw Patrol, 56 episodes of Bubble Guppies, a few movies I will never watch but can’t make myself delete and every current season of whatever Housewives show is airing. Right now Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is airing so it just made it all the more magical! My first stop was at Kyle’s store where I couldn’t really afford anything but at least felt I could walk into it since I didn’t dare set foot in any store on Rodeo drive for fear I would get the Vivian Ward treatment! (Pretty Woman for those of you scratching your heads)She does have a sort of “Housewives gift shop” section and I did spend more money than I should have on this hat, but it’s my souvenir and I love it and that is that!Then I went to eat lunch at Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurant Villa Blanca. It was delish and so classy and I was just so out of my element but I pretended the best I could and had a good ole time! The best part? The lunch special is only 10 bucks so all in all it was one of the cheaper things I have eaten all week! (Dinner is expensive so don’t get any ideas of taking the whole family) Hats off to you Lisa, you care about us little people and want us to eat too! I salute you!After Beverly Hills I went for a Warner Brothers studio tour that I thoroughly enjoyed. I love old Hollywood and they had quite a few old dresses and costumes. It was really fun! I would recommend it if you’re ever out this way. Oh and lots of current stuff and a whole lot of Batman and Superman. I don’t care much about that, but I do care about Fuller House! Also, nothing says cool like sitting on the couch at Central Perk all by yourself! I’m currently taking applications for friends…no pun intended. It was a fun day! Then today we went to the Grauman Chinese Theater and I put my hands in some of the greats hands! It had been something I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember. I truly loved it! Judy Garland, Julie Andrews, Marilyn Monroe, and then I finally found Debbie Reynolds. I am a HUGE Singing in the Rain fan so I was so excited to find this and get a picture. And in true Joy fashion someone stepped on my hand…It was pretty hilarious and I love that there is a picture of it! However, there is nothing cuter than j putting her tiny precious hands in Shirley Temples hands! I felt every stage mom instinct inside of me come alive! Seriously though, it’s just too adorable!Jacob and I rounded out the day taking a hike near the Hollywood sign. It seemed no matter how much we hiked the sign never got closer. But it was still pretty to see. Smog is a beautiful thing. I just heard some commotion outside of our room and realized it’s now midnight so HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! There is a private party being put on by Snapchat and apparently Drake and Kendrick Lamar are there but I wasn’t invited so whatevs.

Thank you to everyone who has been reading this and encouraging me to continue writing it. I have a lot of plans and ideas for 2018 so don’t give up on me yet! I pray you all have a happy, healthy year full of blessings!

Sweatin to the Oldies!

It’s Monday and time to get back into the groove! So I’ll just jump right into it with progress report from my first (#2) goal that I have been working on. If you haven’t read my post on my 6 month goals here they are:

1. Honoring the Sabbath

2. Minimizing technology use

3. Memorizing Scripture

4. Sticking to our budget

5. Implementing an exercise routine

that doesn’t take away from

family time.

6. Developing a meal plan that helps

me stay on budget and takes

some of the stress out of grocery


7. Continuing to declutter the house.

8. Making an effort to reach out to

people who may slip through the


The one I decided to focus on first was #2 Minimizing technology use. My objectives for obtaining this goal are:

1. Wear a watch.

2. Removing social media from my phone and only checking 1 time a day, at night for a 15 minute period.

3. Putting my phone in one designated place and not carrying it around the house with me.

Progress report is…. B-

Honestly, I’m pretty happy with a B- at this point. I still have room to grow and I haven’t totally screwed this whole thing up yet. Yay me!

I still haven’t gotten my watch back from the jewelry store that apparently used a tack hammer to attempt to change my battery, but I did find a cute one at Michael’s for 5 bucks and I have enjoyed it! I don’t check my phone nearly as much and I don’t feel the need to carry it everywhere.

I am doing well at keeping my phone in a central location as well, but that’s mainly due to the cute little container I found at Hobby Lobby! Isn’t it adorable? sweatin5I haven’t decided where I want to hang it so I just have it on the kitchen counter for now, but I spend 90% of my day in the kitchen anyway so it works!

Another thing I have been doing is not using my phone as an alarm clock. My neighbor mentioned that she has been keeping her phone in the bathroom at night so I decided to try that and I have LOVED it! You should try it! Go buy yourself a 10 dollar alarm clock and get that phone off your night stand. It’s very freeing!

The reason I have a B- is for looking at social media on my phone. My main hang up is that people plan things through Facebook and I forget what time things start and I don’t feel like firing up the computer to check. This is an excuse. I need to write something down if it’s that important or just check at night and make a note for the next day. I could make up more excuses, but at the end of the day they are just that and I’m soooooooo tired of excuses! Therefore, time to do better!

Objectives are really the only way to truly accomplish goals. If I had not decided concrete ways I was going to minimize technology use then I guarantee I would not have accomplished anything at this point. If you are feeling stuck in your goals then rework them and include objectives that you can track. This is the best way to start moving forward. Try it! And let me know how it’s going!

Now that I have that goal under way I am starting work on my next goal…HAHAHAHAHAHAHA you thought I was going to start back at #1 and work my way down right? WRONG! Have you learned nothing?

So goal #2 is really #5 Implementing an exercise routine that doesn’t take away from family time.

I used to exercise quite a bit before I had a child, but since my precious girl has come into my life exercise has landed on the back burner. When she was younger it truly was hard to find time, but now I just don’t make time, or better yet I don’t use my time wisely.

When I lessened my technology use I realized I had a lot of spare time, but it comes in little chunks and I have to take advantage of it. Truth is, most of the time I am too tired to take advantage of it. I stay at home full time with my 2 year old and while that is tiring (we do A LOT of fun stuff throughout the day!) I can only really blame myself because I just go to bed too darn late. If you know me very well you are probably laughing and nodding right now. 12:30-1:00 seems to be the time I finally settle down and fall asleep. I’m thinking I need to add in “Decent bedtime” as one of my future goals, but for now I’m just working around it!

Last night I decided it was time to get serious about exercising. My husband and I are going to Hawaii in February and I am not exactly “swim suit ready” so time to buckle down. Also, you know, health and all that stuff.

Before bed I told Jacob that I was going to wake up early and exercise before he went to work. Bless his heart, he didn’t say a word. He knew as well as I did that I was not going to wake up early. When I was telling him this it was already 11:30 and I was nowhere near falling asleep yet. By the time I closed my eyes it was 12:30 and I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to wake up early either, but I set my alarm anyway.

Little j woke up around 6:15 so I woke up around 6:15 but she laid back down after a few minutes and I knew I was at a crossroads. Before I had time to consider what I should do I found myself turning my alarm off and pulling the covers up to my neck. Why is the bed the absolute comfiest right before you have to wake up? I fell back asleep and then Little j and I woke up around 8. As you can imagine there was no time to exercise once both of us girls were up…that is until nap time!

Now, in the past I would have thought “Well I didn’t get up this morning, but I’ll do better tomorrow and just start then” That’s silly. That’s the way people who “dream” and don’t “do” behave. That is how I used to operate and I can’t go back to that.

I didn’t get up early enough but it was still only 8:00 AM,  that leaves a whole day left to accomplish my objective! I decided while Little j napped I would exercise. So after I laid her down I did what any mom would do. I grabbed the laundry basket, turned on last nights episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta and began folding. Unfortunately I am somewhat caught up on laundry so this chore did not take very long and my legitimate excuses were dwindling! I finished up the other couple of chores I needed to do in about 5 minutes and then headed to clean the kitchen. One quick glance around that dump and I decided exercising would be a welcomed distraction.

So I grabbed a cookie and went digging through my DVD’s and found my “Jillian Micheal’s 30 Day Shred” from 2 years ago. I wiped the dust off and popped that sucker in (Incidentally that is the most dusting I have done in a month).

I am not the biggest fan of exercise DVD’s because I just get so darn irritated that they are barking orders at me and then they don’t do it themselves! I’m not an idiot. I don’t need you to walk over to your poor assistants and point at their abs while they do sit ups. I get it. Also, they never do equal numbers of reps when they do individual legs. While you may not think this would bother me seeing as how I am so disrespectful to the order of numbers in my goal list, it actually bothers me a lot.

But I pressed on. I grabbed my 2 pound weights and I focused on that gold fish crumb on the carpet as I managed to do at least 4 of the 600 push ups she expected me to do. sweatin1You would think after 2 years of carrying a child around I would have more upper body strength but those 2 pound weights and 4 push ups had me burning!

Little j woke up while “we” (I’m looking at you Jillian) were finishing up our 3rd circuit. She wasn’t crying or standing up though so I resisted my urge to quit and go get her and just put the monitor where I could see it and finished up that last circuit. sweatin2It wasn’t the best work out of my life and it was only day 1 of the “30 Day Shred” but I felt very accomplished. I looked all of my excuses in the eyes and kept going and that means something. Getting SOMETHING done is always going to be better than getting NOTHING done.

I could have cleaned the kitchen and it wouldn’t have been a lazy way to spend my time, but it definitely wouldn’t have been the most productive way to spend my time. I can clean the kitchen while she’s awake, but I have tried to do exercise DVD’s while she’s awake and every time I get on the floor to do anything she comes and sits on me. While it’s fun, I don’t burn very many calories!

Formulating objectives for this has been a little tricky because I feel the need to make them super specific and at the same time flexible. So here is what I have come up with:

  1. Exercise 30 minutes a day 5 days a week by either running early in the morning or doing a workout DVD during nap time.
  2. Sign up for 3 races (actual races may be in next 6 month time period)
  3. Find times throughout the day to walk with Little j so that I can get extra exercise and fresh air.

These sound pretty simple but they are what will get me on the right track! I can feel the difference in my attitude toward these goals. I am moving slowly, but I am changing and I am happy with the changes.

Don’t wait until the new year to start making changes. If you don’t have the motivation to start now you aren’t going to magically wake up January 1 as Tony Robbins. Start small, Start slow, but just START! And if you need a little motivation I will send my 2 year old to sit on you. If nothing else you will definitely start smiling 🙂