be THAT girl who tries to understands racism…

You Don’t Fight Racism With Racism. You Fight Racism With Unity….

As I sit here pondering how to put into words about how I feel about the brutality of George Floyd’s death….my heart breaks. I feel ashamed. Ashamed that I too have become ignorant to the reality of racism. I have been hesitant to post anything about the situation for I fear I will say the wrong thing.

I was living in Edmonton in a townhouse on the west end with my husband and a few of our children. I had been at the church attending an activity for the women. It was probably around 9:30pm when I came to a 4-way stop close to our house. When I pulled up to the stop, I was signalling to turn left. There was a car straight across from me who was also signalling to turn left. So, I proceeded to pull forward and turn but just as I did, the car facing me, who was signalling to go left changed his mind and decided to go straight therefore resulting in me cutting him off. As I headed in the direction of my home, I noticed that someone was following me very close. This made me very uncomfortable and extremely nervous. As I pulled into our parking lot, I noticed that same car park right behind me. I sat in my car for what seemed like forever to see if that car would get out of the way but it didn’t. It just sat there. I got out of my car, and as I did, I heard a man get out of the car behind me. He started to yell at me for cutting him off. I froze. I couldn’t move or say a word. I forced myself to walk toward the house and as I did, I turned around to look at him. As I looked at him he says to me….”oh…that makes sense. Why don’t you learn how to drive or go back to your own country!!”. He then got in his car and sped away. I walked into the house and I began to sob.

I had experienced name calling as a child but that was the first time I felt like an outsider as an adult. It immediately brought me back to the days where I hated the colour of my skin and the slant of my eyes. I just wanted to look white so no one would say shit like that to me.

I want to be clear that I am not saying that my experiences are the same as any black individuals. I’ve been on the receiving end of racism but I am also guilty of being on the racist end as well. Going to school in a predominantly white and indigenous community, I stuck out as different. A half Japanese girl that didn’t really look like either or. I had good friends of both of those races that treated me as an equal and I to them. There were also those that were so insecure about themselves that they had to focus the attention on others which is easier to do that when that person looks different. Because of the name calling when I walked down the hallways of the schools, I noticed the one’s who did this were white and indigenous which caused me to have some pretty negative feelings towards their race and who they were as individuals. That was not fair. Not fair to their culture and to their history of injustice. That was not right and I do apologize. I do believe that as a human race we do need to acknowledge any and all racist acts in order for us to educate each other and ourselves. We need to each take responsibility for our own actions and become more aware of the injustices that go on. You know the saying outta sight outta mind….well that shouldn’t be a thing. We may not notice it happening right in front of us but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening!! It is 100% happening and right in front of us. We are just choosing not to look, listen or learn about it. That is ignorance.

So I ask you to decide today. At this very moment. For yourself.

Will you commit to help stop the injustices that are going on?

BE THE CHANGE!

I believe Garth Brooks says it best in his song “We Shall Be Free”…

When the last thing we notice is the color of the skin,

And the first thing we look for is the beauty within;

When the skies and the oceans are clean again,

Then we shall be free.

We shall be free, we shall be free.

Stand straight, walk proud,

‘Cause we shall be free.

When we’re free to love anyone we choose,

When this world’s big enough for all different views,

When we all can worship from our own kind of pew,

Then we shall be free.

We shall be free

be THAT girl who knows her weight is not her worth….

I am an absolute fucking babe and my weight does not define me

Real talk today….

Hands up if you have ever felt fat! {insert my hand going up}

How many of you have tried a “quick fix diet”? {insert my hand going up}

How many of you have tried throwing up? {insert my hand going up}

How many of you skip meals in hopes that you will lose the weight? {insert my hand going up}

How may of you feel this way right now?

I am going to get real with you all today. Most people don’t know that these are things that I have struggled with. I know you are thinking….as if, you are so skinny. My skin crawls when I hear those words. Just because a person look skinny to someone does not mean they automatically feel that way. The reality is, no matter how thin or curvy we are, we all have our insecurities and struggles. No one is immune to it friends! We are bombarded by it on the daily by media telling us that we need to look a certain way to be attractive.

I was probably in grade 9 when I really started to feel like I was not enough. My acne was horrible, to the point where kids would ask me what was on my face, I was getting my “mature” body in all the wrong places and I had heard from a friend that some boy was grossed out by my back acne. All the fun things! When I hit high school I quit my sports and started partying with my friends on weekends. I remember being told that people could tell I was gaining weight because I was partying so much. So, I decided to try throwing up so that I could still party with my friends on the weekend but not gain weight. Made perfect sense to me. I couldn’t actually make myself do it. I tried and it never worked. I ended up slowing down my partying and I maintained my weight. Still didn’t change the way I started to feel about myself. I felt ugly. I felt fat. I felt worthless.

Fast forward several years….I had babies and my weight fluctuated like a pin ball machine. Obviously to be expected when creating and growing tiny humans in your body. When I hit 30, I had a plan to get in shape and get control of my weight. That would happen every so often when I would feel guilty for eating crap that I knew wasn’t good for me. I wanted to try every fast weight loss pill there was! None worked. As soon as you stop taking them, weight comes back. I would start working out and then stop because I didn’t have enough time. I had 5 kids you know and they took up every waking minute of my day and even some of the sleeping hours. I was just too exhausted. That’s the lie I would tell myself anyways. I could basically talk myself out of anything. The reason I wasn’t invested in my health like I should’ve been was because I didn’t love myself enough to make time for the things that really mattered. I was more concerned that my kids got to do all the things. I put everyone elses’ needs before my own because that is what I was taught. Serve others and worry about yourself last…at least that was the message I was receiving.

Yesterday, I sat down and made a list of what my body does for me:

  • allows me to breathe
  • allows me to create life
  • allows me to be a MOM
  • allows me to think thoughts
  • allows me to walk
  • allows me to speak
  • allows me to sing
  • allows me to dance
  • allows me to see
  • allows me to touch
  • allows me physical activity
  • allows me to feel

I know that this is not everything but seriously…LOOK at what our body can do for us! Now think of this…if your best friend in the whole wide world, gave you these gifts, what would you do for them? I want you to picture one of your very best friends and think about this.

Would you look at them and tell them that they are fat? Would you tell them they are ugly? Would you look at them and tell them they are disgusting? Would you tell them that they need to stop eating the things that make them happy because it makes them look gross?

NEVER EVER EVER!!!!!!

So, why do you tell yourself that? Why do you treat your body, your best friend, that way?

I was listening to an interview between Jen Hatmaker and Hillary McBride, where Hillary had the best suggestion. When we speak about our body as an it, we are objectifying it. When we speak about our body as a Her, we are turning Her into an actual subject. Now, think about that for a minute. If you name your body, it literally changes the way you start thinking about Her. We are wired for connection, give your body a name and connect with Her. Become Her friend! Speak to Her as if she is your bestie.

This past 9 months I have promised myself that I would get healthy. I have been loving my journey. It has not been easy and I have wanted to quit so many times but I know that if I want to be around to see my kids have kids and maybe even their kids have kids, than I need to take control of myself. Over the years I have taken many “before” pictures so I could see the change that I was going to make when I committed to my latest diet and exercise regime. Want to know where they are….I deleted each and every one of them. I never wanted anyone to see how “fat” I was. Ya. Sounds crazy but that’s how I was feeling at the time. Yes sometimes I wish I had them but it is a reminder that in all actuality, those pictures don’t matter. I know how far I’ve come and that’s what matters.

I have ONE life, ONE body, and ONE mind. It is up to ME to make sure I am fueling Her properly! Most days, I do something for my mental health, my physical health and for my nutritional health. What that looks like for me may be different for you but I can tell you that these have helped me become a much happier, stronger, and positive human. I no longer rely on the number on my scale to define who I am and how happy I get to be. I will continue my journey to become even stronger in all areas of my life. I believe my purpose is to help others to see that they are unique and beautiful regardless of size, shape, race, or sexual orientation. Take back your control. Let yourself decide who you are meant to be! Get comfortable in your skin. It is completely up to YOU!

On a side note…I have created an accountability group on Facebook for the ladies if you need a little direction on where to start! It is a great group to help encourage, empower and inspire you to get started and take control of your life. If you have any questions, you can shoot me a message through Messenger or Email, tj@aneca.ca. Always happy to help you!

be THAT girl that loves her Mama…

EVERYTHING I AM, YOU HELPED ME BECOME…

Where do I even begin when it comes to sharing how special my Mom is. I’m sure most of us feel the same way right? Or maybe I’m one of the lucky ones? Being a Mom myself now, I realize just how patient, kind, and selfless she actually is. My Mama is such a great example of how to be a Mother! What I love most about her though is her capacity to love. She has the biggest heart when it comes to loving unconditionally. Let me explain….

Quite a few years ago, my Grandma Takahashi was diagnosed with cancer. After years of treatment, my Grandpa couldn’t take care of Grandma so my Mom, as well as some of her other siblings, would go help them out when they could. Eventually they needed someone there 24/7. My Grandpa was deteriorating from old age and Grandma from her cancer. Mom lived with them 6 days a week for a long time. Eventually they both passed away. This was not only taxing on my Mom but my Dad basically was a bachelor most of that time. They got through it…they have the most incredible marriage…but what an act of selflessness on my Mom’s part. She doesn’t regret those years of helping them out. She was able to spend those years getting to know her parents better and was able to be there when both of them passed. How beautiful is that.

About 4 years ago we went through a huge change and made a life decision that rocked all of us. It was not an easy decision but one we felt was best for us. I remember calling my Mom and bawling to her. She just listened while I tried to form words between my sobs. I remember her saying to me, “you do what you need to do….we will still love you and support you”. In that moment I knew that regardless of whether or not they thought we were making the right decision, that her and my dad would not shame us or make us feel like we we had to follow the herd to be loved. And they have continued to do just that.

My Mom has been a huge part of who I am becoming. She continues to push me to be a better version of myself….not by what she tells me but by what she models. Her determination is one that cannot be reviled. My Mom is 68 and is in the best shape of her life. I believe it was after her parents passed she decided to take up body building and man has she ever impressed me with her discipline. 5 to 6 days a week she is in the gym working out, eating healthy and drinking all her water plus more I’m sure because she always has to do a little bit more than what is expected. LOL! I don’t know a more talented human. Whatever she wants to learn or do she does it 110%! Almost a fault….when she learns something she makes 500 of them instead of just a few.

Mom…I sure love and appreciate you and who you are. You have the ability to make EVERYONE feel like they matter. I know that there are many people that have had the opportunity to feel that unconditional love you give. My hope is that one day I can be at least half the incredible human you are for my family and friends.

Happy Mother’s Day Mama!!

be THAT girl who gets to know her parents a little bit better…

The Greatest Legacy We Can Leave Our Children Is More Happy Memories.

Well….it’s been over a month in quarantine, how is everyone doing? I can honestly say that I have had some good days and some really hard days. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling this way. We all crave connection! It is totally normal and it is a necessity. I hope we are all connecting with our loved ones as often as we can whether it be in our own home, 6 feet away or through some sort of social media.

I wanted to share with you, an evening we planned as a family to interview my parents. I knew some things about their story but I sure didn’t know as much as I thought I did. There are only 3 of us siblings in my family so it is a little easier to coordinate than some of the larger families that I know. We asked our kids to each come up with some questions that they had for their Grandparents. With 18 grandkids that’s quite a few questions. I also found lists of questions off of pinterest that work as well. Once we had that organized, I sent the list of questions to my folks so they could review them before we all sat down together.

We set up our call on an evening that we could all just hang out together through zoom. It was nice to see all of each other’s faces and be able to connect with one another. I sure do miss my family!! Once we all settled in, we started to ask Grandma & Grandpa questions about their life. It was fun to hear how they each grew up, how they met, who’s their favourite kid (obviously ME) (wink, wink). We got to ask additional questions as they would come up. They kept saying…”ask us anything”. The kids did and they loved hearing about their stories. It was a really nice way to spend an evening connecting.

One of my favourite questions was….”What is the most important lesson you have learnt during your life?”

Just love people for who they are and where they are at.

Grandpa & Grandma Harris

Best advice EVER!! There is so much wisdom in this statement. We just need to love humans regardless of their race, religion, or sexual preference. I think sometimes we forget that we are all here just walking each other home (thank you Dr. Jody Carrington for the daily reminder). We are all in this together. This is not a competition or a race where there is only one winner. This is a marathon where the journey is the only thing that matters.

Thank You Mom & Dad for being those humans for us. You have always showed up for us and given us grace when we’ve needed it. You have loved us and supported us even when it has been hard. You are both shining examples to each and every one of us. You are definitely doing your best to help walk each of us home. Love you guys!

be THAT girl that is socially aware

i’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and your’re not in this world to live up to mine

BRUCE LEE

Day 21 of quarantine….how are you all holding up? For myself, I am okay. I am trying to keep some sort of routine just to help me stay sane. I am so impressed with the amazing teachers out there that have had to readjust to fit the new “curriculum”. Gosh…how lucky are we to have these humans to help hold our littles’ in a time of such chaos. HUGS to all of you doing your very best. I think I can speak for most….THANK YOU SO MUCH! We love and appreciate you all.

Our next lesson for our C.A.L.M Class is on Social Awareness and Social Management. Again…this is an add on once we have become aware of our purpose, our core values, our character, our feelings, and taking responsibility for our behavior and well-being .

SOCIAL AWARENESS is the ability to understand and respond well to the needs of others. This is something that is going to be used everyday in our lives whether it be at work, at school, at a party, at a family function, even social media….we need to be able to “read the room” as some might say. Being able to notice other’s emotions and respond empathically will help us become more aware of what others need or want from us. One thing that I have been working on is learning to manage my expectations of individuals or situations so that I don’t get offended or become disppointed.

I have been noticing, on social media or even when I go to the grocery store, people becoming very defensive and some just down right ass holes to each other! Where there is crisis, there are scared feelings which a lot of the time are presented as anger. This is the time that we all need to be socially aware of what each of us is feeling and try to give each other some grace. Some of us need to make sense of it all. Some of us can’t make sense of it all because it causes too much stress and anxiety! Let us all be aware that we do not think or feel alike so BE KIND! You do not know or understand everyone’s mental state right now. We are all in this together just trying to navigate through this experience. In the words of Ram Dass…”We are all just walking each other home.”

Let’s be the positive influence to and for each other while we manage through this. When we are socially aware of each other’s needs then we can begin to manage ourselves socially and become a positive force to be the change!

Be the change you want to see in the world

Gandhi

be THAT girl who is self-aware

the start of all growth is the introduction of higher states of conscious awareness…

Leo Tolstoy

Something I’ve learned on my own journey of self-growth is that in order to begin we need to understand what it means to be self-aware. That self-awareness allows us to pivot onto a path of self discovery that we should all be working towards.

Yesterday’s lesson and today’s lesson go hand in hand so I wanted to make sure I had covered both topics before I posted about each one of them. Yesterday we discussed self-awareness and today we built upon that and discussed self-management.

SELF-AWARENESS is the ability to focus on how our thoughts, emotions and actions align with our core values. If you haven’t had a chance to write down your top 10 core values from most important to you and so on (not that any aren’t important), then refer back to my previous post about that. When we are self-aware, we focus on the reality of our behaviour versus the story we tell ourselves about ourselves. Basically we stop trying to convince ourselves that we are someone we’re not. One way to help become more self-aware is to pretend you are looking at yourself through someone else’s eyes. Really look in the mirror and study what you actually see. We all have our own self-image of ourselves but it is not always the reality of the situation. For example…we might call ourselves OCD when it comes to cleaning our house but in reality, we live in chaos. Don’t be fooled by the image of yourself that you have convinced yourself of being. This is a time to get really honest with ourselves and become better aware of our reality.

Another step to becoming more self-aware is to not ignore our feelings or intuition. The more we ignore that feeling the more anxious and stressed out we become which causes us to feel stuck. I spoke about feeling our feelings a few posts back. If we do not acknowledge those feelings they will not go away. We can learn to repress them but they will resurface at a later time and may become increasingly difficult to deal with causing a major reaction that is hazardous to our health.

We asked our kids to help us list some ways that can help us to become more self-aware

  • Journaling our feelings multiple times a day
    • making sure we journal how we are feeling throughout the day Noticing positive, negative and meh feelings
    • ask yourself, where is this feeling coming from?
  • Recognize when our energy is high, low or meh
    • most likely it will coincide with our feelings and emotions

Once we become more self-aware, we can start to work on our self-management. We begin by taking responsibility of our own behaviour and well-being. One thing that I have learned and live by is, responsibility breeds empowerment. I know we all love that feeling of being empowered to do something. This is why finding balance in my life has been so important to me. Now, when I say find balance that doesn’t mean that each part of my life is going to get equal attention. That is IMPOSSIBLE!! It just simply means that I acknowledge the 4 cornerstones of MY life. Spiritual, Physical, Mental and Social. If I can do one thing a day in each one of these “bubbles” then I feel like I have some balance happening. That is going to look different for all of us.

Again, we asked our kids to give us an example of something that may help them manage themselves….they came up with…

  • Create a Routine
    • having a routine is definitely a key element in helping us create good healthy habits
  • Consistency
    • being consistent is what we, as humans, crave. We are built for boundaries and thrive when we have them.

As much as this situation isn’t ideal, I enjoying the time we have to reconnect with each other. Life get’s so busy and full of “schedules” that sometimes we forget to say NO to things. This has been a great reminder that we could be better at creating a routine where connection is more present.

I hope you are all hanging in there! Keep your heads up and search for the silver lining because there is one friends. Stay safe and Stay home.

be THAT girl that feels the feelings

feel the feeling but don’t become the emotion. acknowledge it, allow it, & release it….

I am writing this on day 4 or quarantine…I’m sure we are all at the point where we have been feeling extremely emotional saying goodbye to our former normal. I know it has been for me and for most of my family & friends. In these uncertain times we start to let our emotions take over which does not serve us, or the people around us, well if we don’t know how to release those emotions. Let’s all be mindful that we need to feel the feelings but becoming the emotion is hazardous to our own health and well-being. Most of us have learned how to suppress our emotions from a very young age. We learn to “get over it” and not deal with that emotion which will absolutely resurface at a later time where we will repeat the same reaction of suppression.

Learning how to process the emotion while feeling the feelings is something that I am still working on. In fact…it’s something that I had to do today. I’m not an expert….let’s just state that fact….but I feel the need to share with my friends what works for me. Take it or leave it. I won’t be offended.

If there is one thing that I have learned over the years…feel your feelings. You hear people say that all the time. What does that mean? To me, it means that whatever feeling arises, I need to honor it and just let it take over my body for a while. Let that feeling come over you like a huge wave and feel it. It will be painful and it will make you ugly cry….well, at least it makes me ugly cry. Like I legit look like an Asian Yoda with tears. And even when I’m all cried out then I look like Hulk Hogan took a few rounds outta me and left me with a very swollen face. (I’m sure you get the picture) When we deny our feelings that can cause us to choose undesired or harmful behavior. Which is never good for any of us.

Once we learn to feel those feelings, we need to acknowledge where those feelings are being stored. For example, some feel tension in our muscles, some feel a sharp pain in an undesired place, some eat, some feel it in the gut and some just feel that “heavy” feeling everywhere. For myself, it us usually a heavy feeling felt in my gut or tension in my muscles. This feeling has caused many sleepless nights. Did you know that motion unwinds emotion? For myself, getting myself in the gym and working out has been the best way for me to unwind. I first started hitting the gym to lose weight but soon realized that it was serving my mental and emotional health far beyond my physical health. Some days when I feel especially emotional, I lay on my yoga mat and meditate after my workout. I turn down the lights, lay on my back comfortably, take really deep breaths and I focus on the inhale and exhale. I think about what emotion I am feeling…I acknowledge it, and then in my mind say…”thank you (emotion…whatever it is) good-bye” and I visualize the word of that emotion actually being blown out with each exhale. I can’t explain the peace I feel after I have let go of those pent up emotions. When we are unbalanced it will cause us to be in a very negative mindset which isn’t good for any of us.

I know this all may sound completely silly but I’m just sharing what works for myself. I’m curious what works for you? Feel free to share your ideas…no judgement on my part but I’d love to hear.

Hang in there friends! I will be posting more and more since I have a little more time on my hands. Haha! We are all in this together.

be THAT girl that doesn’t stress over things she cannot change

don’t stress yourself out with things you can’t control or change…

Well friends….I don’t know about you but I am still trying to wrap my head around our new normal. I think what is so difficult to process is the fact that this is uncharted territory for everyone. No one really knows how to move forward in the midst of this chaos. That can be a very scary time for all of us. So, here are my thoughts on the whole thing. STAY CALM.

A lot has happened in the last week alone and there is still more change coming. We can choose to lose our damn minds and let our thoughts spiral us into a tailspin of panic and depression OR we can calm the fuck down and process what our new normal is going to look like. I feel like this is the time to settle in…work together as a human race and as indivuduals. We are all in this together. We are more than just ourselves, we are a community that spans the earth. We need to be asking ourselves what we can do for each other. How can we help each other get through this epidemic as best we can? What does that look like to you? We can all play a part in the prevention and spread of this virus.

I read a beautiful statement by Kitty O’Meara that made me really think about how I’m going to handle this situation…..

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art and played games and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal. And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

Friends, we cannot change what is happening, but we can sure as hell control our actions moving forward as a human race navigating our new normal. What that looks like is completely up to you. For myself and my family, we will do our part in taking the recommended precautions to help aid in not spreading the virus. We will take this time to connect with each other, to strengthen each other and to support one another. There is strength in UNITY…which begins with U!

be THAT girl who knows she’s a good mama

it’s like no one in my family appreciates that I stayed up all night overthinking them…

This is gonna be a long one friends so get cozy….

We have raised each of these incredible humans basically the same and they are all so very different. They each came with their own personalities which is what I absolutely love about them. Life would be so boring if we were all the same. Because we are not all the same and none of our kiddos came with a user manual, we are not going to know how to raise them the “right” way. We will make mistakes. We will not always know the answer. But one thing is for sure…we will do our very best!

I remember when Awesome and I were dating and we had the discussion about kids…you know…the one where you decide how many kids you want to have. I only wanted 2 kids. Awesome wanted lots. Almost a deal breaker but I was far too attracted to his hot legs to give a shit so I brushed it off and figured I would get my way regardless cause I am the girl. Haha! Soon after we were married and I wanted to start having babies, I quickly changed my mind on how many littles I actually wanted. I loved the thought of a big family, maybe not as big as his but bigger than mine. I don’t think we were ever set on a specific number we just figured we’d just know. Each one of our babes were planned…well, except one but that ended in a miscarriage. That’s another story for another day. I remember having number 5 and thinking to myself…can I do this again? Let me just say…do not decide that right after you pushed that watermelon out of your pinhole with no drugs.

Now, our number 5 was not an easy baby. In fact, I’m pretty sure I nicknamed him Satan. LOL! He was the worst sleeper EVER!! Picture this, Awesome’s last year of University (his 9th year). I birth a baby. One week later Awesome begins his last year of dental school. I’m up every hour to feed Satan. I have 4 other kiddos that need me all day (Kato had just turned 7, Kami was 5, Mari was 3, Mak was 1 1/2). By the time the hubby got home, I was ready for a nap. I clearly couldn’t keep functioning like this. I was on the verge of a break-down. So, Awesome being his awesome self, he offered to sleep on the couch with Satan every other night so that at least one of us was getting a good night’s sleep and could recharge. Oh….In case you are wondering….I was not nursing. We put a stop to me nursing when I had the first one. It did not work for us. Anyhoo, after about 4 months of “shift work” for us, he finally started to sleep a few hours at a time so we could get back to a “normal” sleeping schedule.

I remember when number 5 was about 3 years old, I begged Awesome for another baby. I knew that we were supposed to have one more. I just never felt complete even though my sleep deprivation could’ve been the one making the decision….who knows. He was a definite “HELL NO!” At about year 7 of bugging him, I finally accepted the fact that we would not adding another little Aneca to the bunch. Plus I started to do the math and figured that I was getting to old to be a mom. Keep in mind, I started at the ripe old age of 22. I was now 36…obviously too old right? (face in palm)

Well, as you all know, number six found his way into our family when I was 39. Ya…a story for another day but just like I knew, we were not complete until our little Daisuke (Dice) joined us. As hard as it all was to wrap our heads around the idea of a baby 10 years later, he has been the biggest blessing we could’ve asked for. He is such a good mix of all of us combined. He is definitely the center of our universe.

We have been through some really significant changes in our home in the last 4 years. We had a baby and left a religion that basically outlined our existence and purpose. No big deal right? LOL! Needless to say, as our family has grown up and moved forward, we have been through some major speed bumps. Through all of this change we have tried to do our very best in parenting our children with a new set of guidelines that we are still navigating. If there is one thing I know, it’s that in every decision and choice we have made, we have done it because we love our crew so fiercely and want them to succeed in life. Are we the perfect parents? NO! Are we fucking up? ABSOLUTELY! Will we continue to make mistakes? YOU KNOW IT! None of us are getting it right…in fact, I would say that it’s basically a crap-shoot.

So mamas….give yourself some grace. Believe that you are doing a good job and keep trying. That’s all you can do. I see you. I understand hard days….trust me I do. I have a teenage adult. I GET IT! I have those days too where I feel like an absolute failure as a mom. I have those days where I wonder where I went wrong. I have those days where I cry and make it about me. But I also have those days when those little shits hug me, text me, write me notes or even just smile at me, where I know I’ve done something right. Relish in those moments. Allow yourself to take some credit for the good things that they do or say. What I’ve learned is that I can’t control their choices but I can control my choices and how I am going to handle each situation that doesn’t go my way. Just like I need them to be patient with me, I need to be patient with them as they make mistakes and grow. Is it painful to watch them do that? ABSO-FREAKIN-LUTELY!! It has brought me to tears on multiple occasions but I keep going back to the fact that I know I’ve done my very best and that’s all I can do.

No judgement here Mamas! You go this.

P.S. Number 5 is no longer Satan….he is the kindest, sweetest, funny and quiet child ever!

be THAT girl that let’s go of shit that doesn’t matter

Stop getting upset over things that don’t matter with the people that do matter….

I don’t know about you but I know for myself, I am givin all the gratitudes I can to God to the Universe to whoever I need to, to show my appreciation for these people right here. The people in my life that matter. And in case no one has told you today….YOU ALL MATTER, to me, to your family and hopefully to yourself. I’ll tell ya what… I am holdin these people a little closer with the recent tragedy that has rocked our world. One minute they’re here, the next minute they’re gone. It happens that fast.

Trust me when I say….it is not easy to let shit go. These people right here are my why, they are the one’s that fulfill me the most yet these are the one’s that can hurt me the most because I have so much LOVE for each and every one of them. There are days when I’ve said or done things to them, either on purpose or by mistake, that I regret and wish I could take back and vice versa. But, at the end of the day, what really matters? I’ll tell you what matters…YOUR HUMANS, YOUR PEOPLE. You know, the one’s that you would give your life for…like jump in front of a train for. I’ve really been thinking a lot today about how fast my reality could change if something were to happen to any of my humans. Life can change in an instant friends.

So, keep this in mind when they leave your side in the morning….did you hug them? And not a quick little “routine” hug, I’m talking a big ass bear hug. What is the last thing you said to them before they left? Were you upset at each other? Or did you let them know just how much you love them? Or if you didn’t get to see them off, did you text them to tell them how much you appreciate and love them? If not….DO IT!! I always have the best intentions to do this but some days I definitely fall short because I think I have time. Well…I’m wrong. “We have time” is a lie we tell ourselves so we don’t feel the guilt. The only moment we know we have for sure is right now. Don’t waste it holding grudges and getting upset about shit that doesn’t really matter. Let it go and hold those precious moments close with your people. THAT, you will never regret.