Prompt 11 – What would you do if you loved yourself unconditionally?

If I loved myself unconditionally… I would definitely be more comfortable in my body.

I spend so much time wasting precious brain cells trying to be comfortable in my body where it is in this moment in life.  Logically I know that it is a waste of time, but I think there is something to be said about the technology at our fingertips and the images we are inundated with.  So, while I think I look fine… then I look at Pinterest to get ideas for work outfits and feel like 90% of the results wouldn’t look good on someone who has such a fondness for Wine and Nutella…. like myself.

So, I’ve actually been making this a focus of mine lately (not wine and Nutella… because that’s always a focus of mine).  I’ve been focusing on being more grateful to my body and what it can do for me.  I would like to spend my time focusing on this deliciously adventurous thing called life…. than focusing on losing a couple inches in middle section of my body.

So… here’s to playing with balance and priorities and landing somewhere in the middle.

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Prompt 10 – What does unconditional love look like for you?

**Playing catch up on these prompts on this beautiful rainy fall morning.**

What does unconditional love look like to me?

It looks like my dogs.  They love me every day.  They don’t care if I’m hangry, hormonal or having some other human experience.  They are excited to see me every day.  They will cuddle with me even if I was a jerk five minutes ago.  They make me laugh and smile.

The love they show me is contagious.  It makes me want to be a better human for them.  When I’m mad because I’m cleaning up dog fur… for the seventh time that day because Huskies are always shedding, or I’m cleaning up poop or pee because one of them has a serious anxiety problem when it comes to fireworks… I just remember that they would love me if I pooped on the floor or was shedding all over.

In all seriousness, my dogs are a great example of unconditional love every day.  I hope to be more like them when I grow up.

Prompt 3 – Two moments I’ll never forget in my life are… Describe them in great detail, and what makes them so unforgettable.

Moment 1:  Standing in the Barn during my wedding late at night.

I took one moment to stand apart from everyone and take in the moment.  Thinking to myself… this is MY day.  And just being filled with such gratitude and joy for all the people who made that day the BEST day.  I will never forget standing there and being filled with such pure love and joy.

Moment 2:  Pep talk from my cousin Carmen

I was at a high school dance.  I had been shut down or pushed out of a group and was feeling bad about myself.  My cousin Carmen came over and gave me the best pep talk.  She basically let me know that I was awesome and everyone else’s opinion did not matter (she used shorter words that rhymed with curse words… or maybe they were just curse words).  Long story short… someone who I loved and admired told me I was worth all the awesomeness.

I know the challenge is to write two moments, but I have so many.  So many special memories of my amazing family. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Siblings and Parents… have all blessed me with their time and love.  I am a blessed human and having to choose just two moments reminds me how very blessed I am… because I have HUNDREDS of special moments.

Tis the season!

Wrapping up one year and looking forward to the next. What an interesting process. I remember many years where I couldn’t wait for the fresh start that a new year would bring. Funny how optimistic I always am at this time of year considering I live in Wisconsin and the new year just means 4 more months of cold weather. 

This year however I am just truly thankful and blessed to have experienced all the days in this year so far. I’ve experienced so much growth in so many areas. 

This year marked 5 years of togetherness with my husband and 2 years of marriage. It has seriously flown by.  I’m so thankful for us and hope we continue to share many more trips around the sun together. 

I attended a life and business coaching group for 9 months out of the year that totally changed my perspective on many areas of my life. It’s helped me declutter, repriorotize, rediscover and challenge my thoughts and beliefs. 

I enjoyed my 2nd full year of consulting on my own. It’s been such a rewarding experience and opportunity to work on different projects with different people. Definitely a different kind of education. I’ve really started to appreciate and acknowledge what I can add to a team and project. Being my own cheerleader has been such a blessing. 

My step-son turned 14 and watching him grow and discover himself is something I’m thankful to be a part of every day. He’s such a blessing and gives me perspective and many learning experiences. 

We spent the year focusing on our finances and now find ourselves debt free (except for our home). This is such a freeing accomplishment and it takes so much pressure of our career choices and really allows us to enjoy our 9-5’s more since we don’t feel trapped by them. 

I was diagnosed with Ménière’s disease in August. An inner ear disorder that causes ear ringing, vertigo and nausea. By cutting out caffeine and sodium I’ve managed to control the symptoms (and my anxiety around the sparadic nature of the episodes). So, yay. 

I traveled to Napa (CA), Orlando (FL), Mexico, Lake Placid (NY), Door County (WI), Rockville (MD) and of course Cleveland and Cincinnati for work. I enjoyed every trip and was lucky enough to spend time with great people and make wonderful memories at each location. Not to mention some good food too. 

We took down a wall (thanks HGTV for the words “open concept”, repainted most of the main level, filled a dumpster of crap to declutter the house, and put in new vinyl wood planks instead of the old carpet. 

I started and cancelled a wine club. I started and cancelled a fitness subscription. I gave up giving up Nutella. 

And so many other wonderful things… with wonderful people. 

With only two weeks left in this year, I have nothing but gratitude and love for 2016 and can only imagine what 2017 will bring… and I look forward to finding out. 

Happy 2014!

This coming year is going to be full of such love, laughter and family!  … and stress, panic and financial deprivation.  Sounds fun!  I got to spend New Years day with my sister and the nieces while Jason worked tirelessly.  Spending the first day of a new year with some of the most precious people in my life truly warmed my heart!  It makes me smile every time I think of it.  Those girls can love you to death one minute and poop on you the next… literally and figuratively.  Makes you really appreciate the times when they are smiling or sleep, and especially if they are doing both at the same time!

Throughout my years of adult hood I have known that I leaned more towards not having children.  I find my nieces to be a good litmus test.  It is truly a mystery to me how I can love my nieces unconditionally and with a great awe… and yet still have no desire to make my own.  Kinda like enjoying fine wine.  I truly enjoy it in the moment, but have very little ambition to go out, plant grapes… and wait for a few years to see the literal fruits of my labor.  I also think that it helps me to be able to focus on Vince and our semi-functional family with all my heart.

On a totally unrelated side note, I’ve been watching about 87 hours of the series “Bones” a week.  I feel like I have only dabbled with this show before, and now I may be on the edge of slight obsession.  I find that I spend every episode waiting for Bones and Booth just get together already.  I’m almost to the end of season 4 out of 8.  Jason is a little worried I might be melting my brain.  I feel like that is an astute observation.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I’m watching it now :)

On the wedding front, I just ordered some fun colored plastic utensils for the wedding.  I don’t know why, but that accomplishment makes me very excited.  I’m just waiting for the mail man to come out and deliver my fancy disposable dinner-ware.  I am hoping that I can somehow serve a buffet as non-buffet-esque as possible.  I find my greatest weakness in wedding planning is that I find it a constant struggle to reign myself in financially.  I want the day to be so thoughtful for everyone that attends. I know it is in the country and not that close to people’s homes. I don’t want anyone to feel like the day was less than the perfect use of their precious time that day.  Silly, I know. They say you should focus on what you want, but what do you do when what you want is for everyone else to have a fantastic day?  Probably accept the fact that I can’t control what other people feel about our big day… blah blah blah.  ;)  Easier said than done, my friends.

Craft-tacular find… Paint pens.  I am quite sure that I am late to this trend, however it was literally like an episode of glee when I opened up the pack of paint pens and first brushed them across a paint glass.  Your welcome and/or I’m sorry for what will surely be an influx of christmas/birthday and wedding presents that are painted.  With love.  Maybe with some wine too.  Mostly love.

Braces/Invisalign.  I just put aligner 40 out of 47 into my mouth yesterday.  That sounds damn close to the end to me!  For the most part, I am totally adapt to having them in.  I can take them out and put them in during a meeting and people don’t even notice.  Being 80 weeks into braces, most people still don’t notice that I have them in when we are talking.  It feels good to not be ashamed or embarrassed of my smile at the moment, especially when I have so much to smile for!  Totally worth the investment.

In short, pretty much an awesome start to the year 2014!