3 ways to take your life back..

Do you ever feel like you need a page 1 rewrite?  Sometimes it is a day that you just want to start over, maybe you were sick and the week has been going wrong since Monday, maybe you have been in a slump since Christmas, or maybe you said goodbye to 2017 and wanted to give it a swift kick on the way out the door.  The latter was me!  I don’t want to be one that doesn’t recognize how blessed I am, but 2017 was a HARD year.  Trials hit our family that I never could have imagined and I needed a clean slate.  We needed a page one rewrite!

I felt like my priorities had gotten knocked off course.   I had been working tirelessly on my real estate career for two plus years and somehow I lost sight of what was truly important.  I wasn’t enjoying my family and wasn’t enjoying real estate anymore either!  I remember thinking to myself and confiding in a friend, “I feel like I’m failing at everything and not truly succeeding in any aspect of my life!”  I felt like I was mediocrely doing everything.  I wasn’t being an excellent wife.  We would still go on date nights and we weren’t fighting or anything, but we had become complacent.  I wasn’t being a good mom.  My kids were getting fed, sometimes it was takeout and sometimes it was a thrown together semi healthy meal, but they weren’t starving.  Their clothes were clean, but not always folded.  The house was clean some of the time and I was home for morning prayers and we did our best at Family Night, but I wasn’t THERE all the time.  I wasn’t PRESENT.  I had my phone with 500 text messages and 40 phones calls to return; and my stress level was through the roof.  I wasn’t being an amazing Realtor.  While trying to still be a wife and a mother and being pulled in 50 different directions, I wasn’t nailing the business side of things either!  There was always one more facebook post to do, one more client to call back, one more search to do, or one more open house to schedule.  IT WAS TOO MUCH!!

I can’t even tell you how many people have said to me “I don’t know how you do it!”  I feel like the only speed I know is FAST.  Cory and I have always taken on a lot at one time and we seemed to thrive by taking on new projects and always having a new and exciting venture.  I know how to work well in high stress environments and I felt like our kids were learning valuable lessons of hard work and entrepreneurial skills.  While I still feel like this may be true….something had to give.  Something needed to change.  I was running faster than my short little legs could handle and I was about at the end of my rope.

Henry Ford failure

Henry Ford said, “Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently”.  I felt like I was at a point where I had failed.   I wanted to a new beginning, a fresh start.  Here are a few of the steps I took to get a fresh outlook and to begin again more intelligently.

1.) Don’t Look Back

I feel like it to SO easy to look back at things that didn’t go as planned and to want to change how things happened.  You want a do over.  You want to be able to CHANGE decisions you made or a reaction you had.  I know as 2017 closed; I looked back and didn’t have any idea how it was ending the way it was.  It was almost surreal to me.  I did not get to this point in a day….or a week….or really even in a month.  However; I finally made the decision to NOT LOOK BACK.  You can’t change the choices that you made, but you can learn from your mistakes and take one small baby step at a time and MOVE FORWARD.  The first step is the hardest.  I promise.

2.) Don’t be afraid to say NO

I feel like you have to be FIERCE with what we say YES to.  When we are saying YES to something; we are saying NO to something else.  It reminds me of a talk by Elder Dallin H Oaks titled Good, Better, Best.  Here we are counseled and warned that there are SO many GOOD things in this world.  It is good to volunteer at your child’s school.  It is good to go out to lunch with your friend, it is good to help with the bake sale, it is good to allow your children to have extra curricular activities.  But we must remember that every time we say YES to something good, we may be saying No to something better or even best.  I don’t know what the answer is for YOU.  I actually am slowly realizing that my social life is one of the GOOD things that I need to take a step back from.  I LOVE to entertain.  I am a very social person and I enjoy throwing parties, having people over for dinner, playing games, and filling our schedule with good things.  However; I am learning that our little family gets stronger and relationships are cultivated when we spend quiet evenings hot tubbing together and talking about our day.  We are creating memories as just the 5 of us snuggle on our king size bed and watch football.  This one has been hard for me.  I also came to realize a few years ago that more than likely my children weren’t going to become olympic athletes or prodigy pianists.  I want them to be well rounded kiddos that are allowed to cultivate talents and learn and grow into amazing adults, but they also don’t have to be in 50 different activities and have every minute of every day planned.  When you have three kiddos, or more….(bless all of your souls) even one activity each week can leave you running ragged.  It is ok to tell your children NO when they want to sign up for ONE MORE THING!  It is also ok to say NO when you are asked to volunteer for one more thing or FILL IN THE BLANK.  Be FIERCE with your time.  Know your limits and remember that you are only one person.

3.) Find what makes YOU happy

You cannot take care of your family and help fill their cups when your cup is empty.  I was  running on empty and didn’t think I had the time to refill my cup.  I know that I was not giving my best self to my husband, my friends, or my children when I was beyond stressed, not eating right, not sleeping well, and running full steam ahead at all times.  I felt like I had to be available to my real estate clients 24/7 and felt like they would go and find someone else if I didn’t answer the random text at midnight or didn’t stop in the middle of dinner to answer that phone call.  I wasn’t taking time for myself to refuel in order to be better for everyone!  Read a book, go get a drink at Starbucks and surf on Pinterest alone, take a warm bath, invite a friend to lunch to catch up, get your nails done, or go try a new yoga class.  Whatever floats your boat….find what makes you happy and MAKE TIME for it.  The time will NEVER just magically show up.  You have to make yourself a priority.  For me; I love to be able to play volleyball one night a week.  I told my hubby that this was important to me.  It was time for JUST me.  It was without kiddos and it helped relieve stress and it was fun!  Find what that is for you, and are it happen!

I am only one month into 2018, but I feel like there are good things to come!  I read an article the other day about the power of a positive attitude.   It was excellent and made some very good points.  Take the next step forward, get out of your slump, turn to the next page in your story.  Life is a beautiful journey.  Our trials, scars, mistakes, challenges, and worries make us beautiful and unique.  Don’t let one bad day, week, or year define you and your journey.  Here’s to a fresh start!

img_2699-3

What are we teaching our kids?


I just saw this on Facebook. I Love Love Love this!! It’s SO true! I feel like this generation is being coddled and ruined by technology and parents that are afraid to make their children “unhappy”!
We all want what is best for our kids. Does that mean they have to have every new toy, device, or random crap that fills the check out isles at the grocery store?  The answer is clearly NO! It doesn’t seem that simple. There is the constant pressure of keeping of with the Joneses. I feel like the adults are worse than the kids in this realm. Why do kindergarteners have cell phones? 😩
The social pressure continues as people discuss how many extra curricular activities your kids are doing? Do they take piano lessons, speak a foreign language, and are they on the all star traveling sports team that takes EVERY single weekend and every ounce of family time you may have??
What happened to family dinners? What happened to chores on Saturday that everyone pitched in with because if they didn’t they got their buts beat?
I feel like I am failing so many times when I get a snotty response from one of my kids and another adult says….”if I talked to my mom like that when I was young; she would have knocked me into next week!”
I KNOW that I don’t have the answers to these questions. I KNOW I can make big changes that would result in more self reliant, hardworking kiddos that respect their elders. We were doing yard work with our kids last night and they acted like I was asking them to move a mountain! For the LOVE! Please just grow up to be good humans that grow up to move out of the house and contribute to society!!
I do know that we have taken a step back the last few months. We paired down our schedules. We made the kiddos make HARD choices and do a little less. We are trying to eat dinner together even if it’s one of those one pot frozen meals that I heat up in 12 minutes with no side dishes! 😆 Dinner is served! 😋. It’s not perfect, but we are together. Our evenings are a little less hectic and we are focusing on giving our kids experiences rather than THINGS.
We plan to travel more and use the funds that we were spending on the extra classes and activities and put it towards a family trip. The kids gave us a little backlash at first, but quickly jumped on board.
I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how you instill these values in your family. Is something in particular working well for you right now? Take a look at this video. Stephen Covey is one of my FAVORITE authors. He was a wise man and I love his principle based teachings. Take a look!
Green and Clean by Stephen Covey

Are you a mess?

The last few months have been pretty rough in the Smith household.  We have been dealing with some pretty crappy stuff and it has been a trial of my faith.  There have been days when I was at the end of my rope.  I think when you are dealing with loss and you feel like your world is falling down around you, it is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.
I am by nature, NOT a patient person.  This seems to get magnified when life isn’t going exactly as planned.  I was losing my temper with my kiddos, I was beyond stressed at work, and I wasn’t enjoying the time I was spending with my husband.  Not to mention my horrible diet and lack of exercise. I was a MESS!!!

Have you ever felt that way?  Like no matter what you did, life wasn’t going the way you had planned and you kind of want to give up and crawl in a hole and hide?  Where do you turn when you feel that way?  I know that I have been talking God’s ear off and for some reason I don’t think I have been in the right place to be getting much inspiration and direction.   My husband is probably sick of talking to me!  One place I found comfort and peace is with my bestie Janelle!  She is amazing.  She loves me for who I am.  She doesn’t expect me to pretend that life is all roses and a Facebook Highlight Reel.  I can cry on her shoulder, ask her for advice, or go out for a lunch date to get my mind off of things.  I am truly grateful for her friendship.

I think I have often taken my friendships for granted. I just read the book Of Mess and Moxie and it made me realize how important friendships are! It is the most AMAZING book!  Jen Hatmaker from www.jenhatmaker.com is seriously hilarious.  I fell in love with her years ago when her Worst End of School Year Mom blog post went VIRAL.  I loved her voice and her sense of humor was real and refreshing.  Somehow the magic facebook wizards or pinterest gurus out there put her newest book in my newsfeed because I swear THEY KNOW US BETTER THAN WE KNOW OURSEVLES!  It’s creepy!  Anyhow, you can get it on Amazon but I HIGHLY recommend listening to it on Audible.

The way she tells the story is SO much better than it would have been reading it.  I listened to it in a matter of days and I am tempted to start it over again because I feel like we became friends.  I miss my friend!  This book made me grateful for my tribe.  It is a rather small tribe and I wish that there weren’t so many miles between me and some of my close friends, but at the end of the day I know they are there.  I know that I have someone to lean on when chatting with your hubby doesn’t feel like the answer.  If you are dealing with tough stuff, if you want to laugh and cry, or are just looking for some good entertainment, I highly recommend you check out Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker.