As close to a 30 day challenge as I have ever gotten.

I attempted a month of OOTD (outfit of the day) and I did pretty well considering I stink at these things. My life is crazy sometimes to focus on that when sometimes I struggle to find time to focus on little things like eating, working out and keeping my laundry pile to a minimum.

But I tried to bring my “A” game this month with clothes for a few reasons. I have been again supplementing my clothes with newer ones that actually fit. 2nd if you remember we did spirit week at the end of October and I dressed “down” so to speak and it made me feel so incredibly awkward and that phrase “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have” kept coming to my mind. So I upped my clothing and shoe game for the month of November. I enjoyed the challenge. Also, I am trying to do heels more and put more care into outfits.

Somedays I missed the mark on a picture and you got workout attire, or it was just the weekend. The last and final picture is a reminder to take care of yourself. I spent so long not taking care of me, that my health is a priority now. It was time for my yearly mammogram, which is my birthday month present to myself. My doc recommended that timeline last year, so I would never forget and I love it. So here you are….

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“The way people dress makes them a part of an army, dressed in their own uniform, determined to do something.” -Susan Menkes

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Last and final grateful day.

We should always be grateful. It shouldn’t be a time of year or a week or thirty days. Life is good.

But for me I am grateful for the chance for this life. The ability to have life and to give life and all the wonderful parts of life even the tough stuff.

It is all worth it when lived with love.

Grateful Day # 5 – My Empath Journey

b11d318af2db4355c4c3c37c9fcc593aWhen I was 17 I sat in a hospital room with a person dying of cancer. I wasn’t that close to the sufferer, but I was super close with those that were suffering. I felt an intensity that I couldn’t understand. A presence in the room that created pain within my insides. It felt like I was being bombarded. At one point I stepped out because it felt so intense. The sadness was all around.

I didn’t understand in that moment but that was likely my first memory of being an empath. I am not just a person sympathetic to others feelings. Sympathy and empathy are not the same. I literally feel the feelings of those around me and much of my life is lived choosing to serve those around me because I am empath.

It took years to embrace this part of myself. A lot of times people would call me “too sensitive” or I would be considered (or even use it) as a party trick. But in reality being an empath has become one of my favorite parts of myself. I cannot even put into words how it works, but if you know me or you spend any time around me you have likely seen it is action.

And yes sometimes it is too much and I truly hate being around negative and stuck people and sometimes I just want to shut it off. But in reality it is who I am and I wouldn’t change that. It is a huge part of my faith as well which I plan to bring in tomorrow. I know that service to others is what fulfills me and being an empath is a part of that journey.

Empathetically Yours, MR 

Grateful Day # 4 – I can thank myself.

If I could even put into words how bad I wanted this. Years. 4 years of working. 4 years of ups and downs where I gave up and started again for the 100th time. Maybe it took 4 years, or maybe it took some fire within, or maybe my surgery or maybe I just continued even when it was hard.

Frustration reigns supreme when you are focused on numbers. I know that. I purposefully had not weighed myself in a few days because I was tired. I was tired of the trying and eating and really just wanted the doing.

I see my doctor next week and I had hoped I had met my last and final goal. The one goal that felt impossible for years. As it seemed like more of a possibility I didn’t give into hope. Today I decided to step on the scale and it had been over a week. I didn’t expect much and I looked down and an audible scream came out then tears.

I sat in the dark of my living room with just the christmas tree lights glowing crying quiet enough to not wake up my number three. Sniffling and smiling and trying to snap a picture without the flash.

So today I am grateful for me for not giving up on myself. I am grateful that I have healed my relationship with food. For too long I let it beat me and let myself hide behind my weight, big frumpy clothes and all of my favorite carbs.

I am grateful I found me. I am grateful for finding comfort in my own skin on the inside and the out. I am grateful I let my “dear fat girl” posts go. Why would I ever address myself with such contempt?

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Dear beautiful girl, the one who fights for who she is and who she wants to be. Never give up. I am so grateful for you. – MR

Day # 3 – Why I keep this letter in my purse.

Do you enjoy taking on way more than you can ever possibly do? Do you look at situations and think they feel absolutely impossible? Do you like never knowing second to second what your day will look like? Do you enjoy the likelihood that you will make someone mad every single day? And most of the time the things that make people mad have nothing at all to do with you.

This is the life of a teacher and it is honestly only the tip of the iceberg of what a teacher’s life truly looks like and because I am who I am. I am empath. I am over thinker. I am overachiever. I am a people pleaser. I am a recovering perfectionist. It is so easy for me to get caught up in the the “Stuff”. That doesn’t even mention all the intrusions from politicians and societal opinions that interrupt my classes daily. They tell me what to teach, how to teach and the ways in which I should.

It is frustrating and sometimes I want to just say, “No, I am gonna use my English degrees for another career path,” but I don’t. I don’t because of letters like this.

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I have carried this letter in my purse every day since I got it years ago. It gets beat up and gross and a few times I have thought about taking it out. But then I don’t because chances are (and they have proved right) I will run into that letter just when I need it and the “stuff” all gets to be too much.

You need to know a bit of the background of this letter to understand why it is there. This is a letter from a student who told me to my face they hated me. Day after day of battling a system that told the student I am the enemy. I am the one they need to fight. An educational system that is broke and not always on their side. By all accounts I stood for everything that had gone wrong in their educational experience. But I worked hard and never gave up on the student. A year with that student to prove I was different and that I did care and I wasn’t a part of the system the way they saw it. A year of being the teacher they needed. One that didn’t give up on them because it got difficult.

There is obviously a lot more to this story, but I have many more of these stories where this one came from. This is why I do this every day. This is why I kill myself for my job, and why I don’t move to a more lucrative career with my degree. There is more money to be had, but I don’t do it for the money. I mean I do, but I picked this career path because it fulfills my passion and my calling and money alone cannot do that.

That letter reminds me why I do this. It is less about the student who wrote it and more of a representation of my why. A physical manifestation of my heart and mind in education. I do it for them. I do it to be a voice and light in the world where there needs to be more.

I have always been and will always be on your side, my students, and I am ever grateful that you are in my classroom. Once in my classroom…you are always my student. – Mrs. E (aka MR)

So grateful to you my baby girls.

I remember very distinctly the first time each of you realized your feet could carry you in the opposite direction of me. At the time it was a game of “Catch Me”, but also at the time was when I realized that parenting was single handedly the most heartbreaking thing I would do because I would forever spend the rest of my life fighting the feeling of letting you go while simultaneously wanting to hang on forever. But I couldn’t and I can’t.

I am just so grateful to have three beautiful daughters who make me so incredibly proud everyday and take on the world’s hard choices even though sometimes other routes would be easier. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of your journey and so grateful you call me Momma. You three have always called me momma and that name means everything to me and always will.

And finally thank you for the motivation and encouragement to push me to be my best self and always reminding me along the way that my best self is right in front of you. The best secret to my own success has been making promises to you. ❤

It was so hard to pick just a few and before I knew it I had 100 pictures here! But each and everyone them captures a moment forever in my heart. Life is beautiful and you each have made my life more beautiful.

I am so much more than MR to you all. I am your momma. Forever Grateful, Momma

 

Week of Grateful.

I am so grateful for you…my guy. The years of laughter, love and everything I didn’t know I needed, but you did. I know I don’t always make things easy and sometimes I am plain difficult to love. But you always do. You always show up for me, you always show up for us. You make me smile inside and out and you make me look forward tomorrow and saying good night every night. Every success and good thing that has happened in my life has happened because you believed in me.

“You are the love of my life. And you are the reason I am alive.” – Sammy Kershaw

I cannot seem to commit to a month of grateful…but a week. I can do that.

– Gratefully Yours – MR

Quiet Town Catch Up.

I just claimed it this year my mood is heavily changed by the time change and seasonal change together. My mood is meh and I need more sun then I am getting. Add in that I teach in a building with few windows and I work odd hours 9-5 basically I get there early when it is mostly dark and leave usually when the day light is winding down. So….my mood is meh.

But since I know that this year I know how important it is for me to work out. As someone who suffers from OCD and anxiety/depression because of the OCD it is important that I get my workout in because when I do not feel it. My endorphins from my workouts have been helping so much. And because I know this I rarely miss. I have been taking one rest day a week. Thankfully this hasn’t been that big of a deal because I have been focusing on lifting lately, so my muscles are so sore so I save those rest days when my muscles are crying.

But so you can see I am still getting out there and living life, just not as publicly I have some pics from daily life. This is all from the last month.

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The prettiest view in Fort Wayne, IN

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I was kinda proud cause I sewed these. They are capes for my teacher bestie and I

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Facetime with my ladies while they traveled

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The day I dressed up as Meredith Grey. Coffee Included.

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Looking in the mirror and having trouble believing it is you looking back

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Going to movie hoping to be scared and you weren’t

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Resting after a workout and “watching” Falcons football

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Two weeks off of keto – EATING ALL THE BANANAS YUMM!!!!

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And tacos and….

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Can we talk about how terrible I felt after all of that? It was BAD even though I would do it again because it was my birthday.

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My Guy. My Heart.

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Mascara Always.

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The Importance of Being Earnest – Fall Play 2017

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My best friend who always loves me and ready to show me

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Reading my Jewel Poetry

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Trying to become okay with all the extra skin I have and in case anyone was wondering I have lost almost 25 and am rounding out to almost a 30lb lost since my surgery. So skin sagging is an issue. But it is a good representation of how far I have come in 4 years.

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Grading by christmas tree lights is kinda the best for a mood

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There is so much beauty in the world, we just gotta look

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Ummmm can we talk about how much this girl has grown since August. We bought new school clothes and none of them fit now. She literally grew two sizes. She went from my tiny baby girl to a pre-teen (sad face). But I am so proud of her.

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That brings us to today. I am looking forward to a day of back to school shopping in December with my older two because # 2 also decided to have a growth spurt. # 1 just enjoys shopping and a Starbucks. But coffee for me is definitely a necessity because I slept terribly because my puppy girl has a slip disk in her neck and I let her hog our bed all night.

 

Finding Gratefulness in the Midst Of…

ee329d34aaeb841e556ebd56c49a632bMy children have been on my heart and mind a whole lot the last 48 to 72 hours. This isn’t a proclamation that they always are not but more of me giving space in writing to something that has been very much taking shape in my thoughts. I wonder do I write it in letter format or do I just type my heart and guts on a page.

The older my kiddos get the more I feel the world knocking on our door. The world that can sometimes be unbearably cruel. The people in it who may not always have the best intentions with them. The people who look like friends but often are foes. Or the biggest monster still is the unknown ones. The unforeseen circumstances. The life changing ones. The ones that in the matter of minutes change the very essence of who you are. FOREVER.

So dear daughters, dear children of party of five and dear strong independent women I hope I am raising you to be,

As much as I want to talk you down from those things above or make you feel better when the world or the people are in it are unkind I don’t feel like that is very productive. There will always be someone who is willing to be mean. There will always be unforeseen circumstances. There will always be cruelty that comes your way that is undeserved.

What I would like you to do is to take a step back….take a deep breath…count to 10 and recognize the world’s reactions aren’t in your control or power. You cannot make a friend be kind to you. You cannot stop that accident from happening. You cannot predict the unthinkable. They are not in your control.

What is in your control is how you, in that moment, move. Notice I didn’t say move forward and I didn’t because sometimes that isn’t how it goes. Sometimes we stay stuck and stunned or even move back. But you choose. Your reaction is your choice.

And as hard as it is to imagine or even fathom I would like you to again start from the top…take a step back, take a breath and count to 10 and realize your next move says so much about who you are in the world. It is your perspective. It is your choice. I encourage you to be grateful for the moment. Grateful in the midst of is a beautiful thing.

If you find gratefulness you keep your power. If you find gratefulness you are the living embodiment of beauty. No the cruel world isn’t beauty, but finding gratefulness in the midst of it definitely is. And if your reaction isn’t always beautiful, just know that is okay. But then start from the top and repeat as needed. Take a step back, Take a deep breath, count to 10 and start over.

Sometimes people take your gratefulness as not being realistic and I encourage you to repeat the above steps and move the heck on when that situation arises. They have their choice and you have yours. What I think happens is those world moments that smack you in the face give you glimpses (or think of them as chances) to shape who you are and what you put out into the world. The cruel world, the unkindness of others, the unforeseen those are all other people’s problems, issues and personalities showing through and though they may be directed at you…they have absolutely nothing to do with you. So don’t repeat or replay what just smacked you in the face. Find gratefulness = finding beauty.

So again I say….STOP…Take a step back, Take a deep breath, count to 10 and start over.

And yes the world can sometimes really suck. I am 41 and yep I have seen some major suckage in the world and when I look back at the moments I was strongest and proudest of, they were when I was grateful in the midst of. Sure bad things happen and I am not asking you to ignore it. We have to acknowledge them, but we cannot give ourselves over to them.

Acknowledge it, but do NOT and I repeat do NOT give over your power. Your power is in your attitude, your response and how you proceed in the moments, hours and years following. So keep your power, own your perspective and know that that moment is a chance to decide who you want to be. Do you want to be the positive or do you want to maintain the cycle of negative.

Notice I didn’t ask it as a question because I already gave you the answer.

Take a step back, Take a deep breath, count to 10 and start over and find gratefulness in the midst of… – MR (Your Momma)