Category Archives: Inspiration

Keeping The Edges Sharp

Keeping the edges sharp…

If you caught my FB live last Sunday Morning (Coffee Chat, Sundays 10am EST) among my connection struggles you would have heard me talking about how we can avoid succumbing to apathy and complacency.  You would have heard me tell you about a conversation that my son, Antonio and I had that morning…we have an immediate family member that no longer has their kick-ass and take names mentality and I was saying to Antonio that for all that particular person had taught me in my lifetime about keeping my edges tight and being effective, I was at a loss as to how they got to their current state.  Antonio replied that he understood it and so I asked him to explain. He went on to say that when you have things that you want to get done everyday to feel effective and on purpose and then you miss the mark and have a bad day, it requires even more discipline to get back on the bus and once you don’t get right back on the bus it becomes harder and harder to do so until all of a sudden you turn around one day and your life has very messy edges or no edges at all…

The kid is right you know…let’s use my workouts as an example…I can be doing great, working out daily, getting it done, kicking ass and then I have an off day and I miss one.  Then I feel like an asshole because I am off track and so maybe the next day I don’t get it done either and then before you know it I have gone TWO weeks without a workout…and therein lies the story of the last 7 years of my life…pathetic in my opinion.

Sooooooooooooo kind of like the old adage about one step at a time, the question, “HOW DO YOU LOSE YOUR EDGE?” is aptly answered with one undone task at a time.  After the live I was talking to one of the 3 life-coaching clients that I still coach…(the 3 of them have been with me for over a decade now) and I was telling him about the conversation that I had been having on the FB live and he said, “yeah I get it.  I still have not unpacked my suitcase from the trip in November, I have baskets of folded laundry laying around to put away and I have a collection of dirty silverware in my dishpan because I hate washing silverware so I keep leaving it there and only wash the one fork at a time that I need (WHAT?!) (He lives alone in case you could not tell) and then I come home from work and just fall asleep on the sofa because I exhaust myself thinking about all the things that I am not getting done.  We laughed about it and he said, “I really get what you are saying about this, all these things are taking away my edge and making me less effective and they are such small things that I didn’t even notice…yet when I put them all together in a list it is quite a bit.”

And so it goes right?  All of us have these little things, the messy corners, drawers, closets, cars…the things left not straightened when we go to bed because we will ‘get it tomorrow’, the laundry left unfolded or in baskets not put away because we ‘don’t have time’—all these little things dull us just a bit every day—the too many cookies we ate, the workout we didn’t do, the trash we didn’t empty, the papers that we didn’t throw away…

On the FB live video which you will find on the FB page under videos I tell you about how years ago my Coach gave me an effectiveness assignment and I encouraged you all to do it with me…here is how it works:

Make a list of TEN DAILY things that you want to see yourself accomplish, ten things that if you did them every day you would feel like you were on top of your game.  The items can be as simple or as complicated as you wish…brush your teeth, make the bed, take your vitamins, workout, read for an hour…whatever YOU wish. Then make a checklist so that each day you can check off the task.  At the end of each day give yourself a score, if you got 2 things done = 20%, if you got 8 things done = 80%–you get the idea. Then at the end of each week look over the whole thing and give yourself a weekly average score— data doesn’t lie, this is a really great way to see just how effective you are being and also a great way to sharpen up your edges.  Go back and watch the FB live, I will be sharing my own scores with you weekly on Coffee Chat. See you soon.

XO, Noelle

You Do Not Always Need To Hold It Together

You do not always need to hold it together….

Some of us know the hit song “Homecoming queen” by Kelsea Ballerini. 

”Hey homecoming queen – 

what if I told you the world wouldn’t end. 

If you started showing what’s under your skin? 

What if you let em all in on the lie? 

Even the homecoming queen cries

Yeah, What if I told you the sky wouldn’t fall?

If you lost your composure, said hell with it all”.

 

This song just gets to me every time.  Why do we always have to hold it together?

Growing up I learned to keep my emotions together.  I did not show much sadness or tears. Through my marriage it continued. It was all about holding it together even when I felt like a mess inside. It’s this feeling that you always have to be perfect..or act a certain way. I hid my feelings for years, thinking is this how I’m going to live the rest of my life. I still have a hard time showing my true emotion to my parents.. it’s a hard thing to overcome. 

It’s like the song, what if you started showing what’s under your skin? What if you showed people who you really are.. so many times, I changed myself to fit others.  Or I hide how I felt inside.  

Through my divorce, I would cry in the shower.  We all have that place where we can let it out.   I would put on my favorite music and cry. It was the place I could escape the outside.  And it was the place that my kids would not see me. It’s hard to always put on that happy face.  At times, I would feel so alone. And even though my divorce was my decision, I still felt sad and alone. This is something a lot of people do not understand. I would hide it from most of my friends. The entire divorce process can take so much out of you.  I felt deflated at times, like it was never going to end. Why at age 40 something, do we still feel we need to hide our emotions???

I grew up not being able to communicate emotions and I was married to someone that could not communicate emotions, so this was a challenge.  It’s a lifelong process moving forward. Learning to tell someone that you didn’t have a “good” day instead of just lying through it. I want my kids to see that I’m not always happy.. and that sometimes I have bad days also.  I want to just be honest with them and tell them when I had a bad day at work or when someone treated me poorly.  

The world is not going to end because you can’t hold it together.  It’s ok to break down.. it’s ok that you can’t get your kids to school on time or that they wear their shirt backwards.. it’s ok that you are not perfect. It’s ok that you skip events for school. It’s ok that your kids don’t shower everyday.  Or if you forgot about soccer practice. No one can hold it together all the time.

I want to teach my kids that they don’t need to hold it together. I want them to be able to show emotion. I want them to know that they can get angry and sad and frustrated and let it out. They don’t need to hold it together for me or anyone else.  I want them to be able to just tell me when I’m frustrating them. I want them to be able to communicate how they feel. I notice how my daughter holds it together so many times when she should just be able to let it out. We all have have melt downs and tantrums in life. 

I want my kids to just show emotions and who they are… when they are upset with me I ask them why.  There was a time in my life when I would just blow up and say no to them, but I learned that didn’t help anyone.  I now make them communicate to me why they think I’m wrong.. instead of just stomping to their room mad. I ask them why they are upset with one of their friends and explain it to me.. don’t worry I get plenty of eye rolls and huffing like a teenager, but sometimes I learn that I am overreacting and they are right.  We compromise a lot, but I get them to talk more then I would have in the past. And mostly I want them to learn how to tell other people how they are feeling. I want them to not be perfect and hide their emotions.

Little by little I have learned that I was doing the best I could. And little by little I learned to let more and more of myself out.  I started to show my kids who I really was… that I’m funny and sarcastic, but there are also days that I’m overwhelmed. That I forget things and that sometimes I’m just too tired. Or I just don’t want to do it.  And the more that I do that with everyone the more happier and content I make my life.  

Snarkydivorcedgal

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com/blog

The Tao of Mr. Rogers

The Tao of Mr. Rogers….

While I am not a fan of resolutions I have been trying really hard to make both my 48th year and 2020 the year I am kinder to myself.

It started by not filtering my photos.

It’s a small step but if I can’t embrace and love who I am, how can I possibly expect anyone else to?

A lot of this shift started with Mr. Rogers.

I work with the under five set and I grew up on Mr. Rogers, so when the Tom Hanks movie came out, I started visiting with my favorite cardigan wearing sage again.

Secret: I would change my shoes and put on a sweater when I would watch the show when I was little.

Now you know that about me.

ANYWAY…

One of my favorite quotes from my man is:

“There is no person in the whole world like you and I like you just the way you are.”

Another absolutely fantastic one:

“There isn’t anyone you couldn’t learn to love once you’ve heard their story.”

Yet we live in a world that tells us to hide our true selves away.

As I write this I am snuggled under a blanket that looks like a tortilla because I love tacos.

Obsessively so.

I am a taco snob.

For real.

I fly that flag- high.

As I should. 

But along the way I’ve been teased, questioned, gotten an eye roll.

Why?

That’s a teeny example. A random kinda silly one.

But a bigger secret. A deeper, harder one to share. I am incredibly shy. I have a hard time showing my true self to people I care about. See people I’m dating. Yes we are going there, just a little for now. I worry about being too much. Not enough. I have had a bad habit of comparing myself to other people.

Boy, Mr. Rogers would be disappointed in me for that one.

There isn’t a magic switch to make that stop. But, I have changed my environment. I’m working on changing my mindset.

I have edited out the people who thrive on being negative cheerleaders. Here’s the thing. I appreciate honesty. I don’t appreciate cruel. Backhanded compliments. People who feed my insecurities.

We all have had those people… “I’m your honest friend.”

Are you?

A blog for never.

Forty eight may be the year of no filter, but it’s also the year I let certain things go.

Even if they’re people.

Somewhere along the way we forgot the lessons from our childhood. Being yourself is amazing. People who really, truly love you will love you. Even if you have a really unhealthy obsession with tacos.

Trust me.

I am also wearing taco socks right now. Yup, also a gift.

I know it’s hard. Being yourself. Not comparing. But did you forget who you are?

You’re a Momma and there is absolutely no one like you, and that makes you amazing.

 

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise

Laughter Makes Everything Better

Laughter makes everything better….

When was the last time you belly-laughed?  I’m talking laughed so hard that a few hours later your belly muscles hurt?  Laughed so hard you cried and you didn’t even care how your makeup was being affected?   Laughed so hard that your own laughter made others laugh along?

THAT makes everything better.  It’s like a cup of hot cocoa on a cold day or like a glass of milk and a delicious home-made cookie.  Or better yet…like a new pair of shoes that hug you like a glove. Laughter just makes everything better.

Stress does not help, burdens do not help, long to-do lists do not help.  But if you can stop in the middle of all that ‘stuff’ and find something to laugh about….heck how about something to smile about even!  That really truly could make everything better.  

When you are authentic in your search for humor in the chaos, joy in the sadness, peace in the crazy that is all around you….there… in that truth, in that space of uncertainty… you just may find that right there in that place…. Aside from the one thing that matters most, the one thing that has you baffled, the one thing that your thoughts keep going back to in anguish…. you can release all the ‘stuff’ that gets in your way of finding the laughter, and just for a moment, stop and giggle.

Was there a time awhile back that a friend said something silly that make you laugh, or a cousin reminded you of a memory that caused you two to crack up with stinging cheeks, or maybe you yourself laughed at your own ridiculousness while crossing your legs tight so you didn’t pee your pants.  Remember that, give yourself permission and laugh out loud. It really can make everything better.

xoxo

Your God girl

Tracy

Make Them Strong By Being Weak

My one wish for my children is that they are stronger than I am. A lot of people that know me personally have made comments about how strong I am and how much strength it took to walk away from a destructive relationship. Well, that might be partially correct, but it is also partially wrong. I had to be weak before I could be strong. I had to become completely broken before I could muster up the strength I needed to walk away. To stop a cycle and prevent my children from repeating the cycle because it was considered “normal” in our home.

My children have always viewed me as strong. My daughter has told me many times “mom, I can’t find your weakness. I mean, I know us kids are your weakness, because if someone hurts us they hurt you, but you come out swinging with all your strength that you have to protect us and fight for us.” Well, my sweet daughter’s perception is correct. New Years Eve gave me an opportunity to speak to my daughter, who is in the formative years of her life, developing her own personality, figuring out her future, and what she wants. We had a very raw conversation about the relationship her father and I had and my wishes and worries for her, her sister, and her brother. She asked some hard questions, made some quick and wise observations, hopefully realized that the by her mom being weak, she will be stronger because of that.

My daughter, because I was weak, realizes that she can set healthy boundaries for relationships, friendships and romantically. Because I was weak, my daughter knows that life will knock a person down, but that weakness eventually turns into strength and the person gets up, dusts themselves off, and goes forward in life. In my weakness, I made my daughter strong because she will know how a woman is to be treated, how a woman is not to be treated, and she will find a person that is set apart for her that will fulfill the desires of her heart in a relationship. My daughter saw me weak, and stay in an environment where it was not healthy, and because of that, she knows she does not have to remain weak and stay. She will be stronger and walk away sooner, to preserve her spirit, her heart, and her soul. In my weakness, my daughter saw me lose my identity, my passions, and myself. But my daughter, she will be strong and never lose those parts of herself and have to rediscover them.

Being weak, while most view it as a negative characteristic, really is my greatest strength. While I was weak, I was teaching my children how to be strong. Strong for themselves. I was given then one, big life to impress upon my children life lessons. I hope a life lesson they take from watching their mother be weak, was that while in her weakness, she found her strength. The strength to pull herself together everyday, to rediscover her passions, find her own identity again, rise up with a renewed strength. I am grateful for the weaknesses that my children have seen in me, because they will be stronger than I ever could be. I made them strong because I was weak. There is something to be said about finding your strength in your weakness, because it is utterly true.

R

You can visit R’s blog page here:

https://thedignifiedgrace.wordpress.com/

No Filter

I turned 48 in November. As I do every year I made myself a promise.

This would be the year of no filter.

I started simply. I removed Snapchat and any photo editing apps from my electronics.

When I did take a picture I added a cheeky caption- “me in my bathroom while my child is getting ready for bed.”

Surprisingly my friends were into it.

I also did this in a response to strengthen my confidence. I still struggle. I am not going to tell you I don’t. I am not a size five. I just cut my hair off and I’m covered in tattoos. I am not the stereotype of what sometimes our world tells us is attractive.

And I know I’ve sang this song before, but sometimes there will be a wobble and I need a reminder.

I also have a daughter. What am I saying to her by editing my photos before posting them? It’s one thing to not post a photo because my eyes are closed or maybe my smile is a bit goofy. But to change it to the point I don’t look like me.

I can’t show her that.

Although, I do like the filter that puts tacos around my head.

There is a great quote “in a society that profits from self doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.”

Every week I write these blogs encouraging you all to love yourselves meanwhile I’m struggling.

That’s my secret to share in this year of no filter.

I am a fabulous cheerleader for others.

Me- I need to work on.

So with each picture I post in color, without a fun Snapchat filter, I’m learning to love the freckled, wrinkled face staring back at me.

Look Mommas if you dig the animal ears, you do you. Seriously. But you are gorgeous with or without those ears.

<3 Caprise

The Negative Chit Chat

Ahhhh to have chit chat with a friend can be a beautiful thing.  To get together over a cup of warm coffee, to sit back and feel your body relax…..your shoulders drop, the space between your eye brows softens, your heart is open.  You are chit chatting about all the things that are going on in your lives and between the listening& the talking there is laughter. Gut deep laughter. Opinions are shared, ideas are created, stories are told.  What better way to spend this time, on this day? 

But what about the negative chit chat in your mind.  The noise that goes on & on about how you can’t do anything right, that you messed up AGAIN, that you’re crazy for even thinking that you could possibly do XYZ. 

The negative chatter in the mind can be a difficult thing to tame, to ignore, to silence.  Even though there may be no outside noise, there is a lot of noise within. Too much noise and it can grind you down.  You can shut off the TV, turn off the radio, send the company home, but you might have a tough time telling the negative chit chat in the brain to go away.

There are ways to manage the chit chat of the mind.  Ways to take a hold, change the thought patterns and have your own internal cheerleader instead of an opponent.

– write down and repeat saying daily affirmations

– reading transformational books

– read Scripture

– call a friend who believes in your highest good

– write a powerful verse on your bathroom mirror so you see it every day

– listen to motivational CD’s in your car

– read daily devotionals

– find a safe place to sit and do nothing and let the mind empty

And remind yourself how amazing you are.  Every. Day.

xoxo

Your God Girl,

Tracy

Bravery Is A Keyboard

Bravery is a keyboard…

As I do every Sunday I grab a drink, turn on some music, take my pit stop on social media and start writing.

When you read this it will be a new year. 

Literally 

A new decade

Literally 

As I mentioned in my last blog, I don’t do resolutions.  Guys,I struggle getting my laundry folded. The pressure of a new year, new me. Nope.

However, as I mentioned, I am going to do more things I enjoy.

I am also going to dig into that little catchphrase known as self care. 

I am going to be gentler on myself.

Gentler on those around me.

We all have a story to tell. 

Some of us just can’t tell it.

Over the last few years I have let my insecurities sometimes cloud my judgement. It’s not fair to me or the people in my life. 

 BUT….

I have found strength in a surprising place.

Here.

Every Sunday when I share… one less secret, one less brick holding up my wall.

You all have given me back the bravery I forgot I had.

For that I can’t thank you enough.

Happiest of New Years and New Decade Mommas 

<3 Caprise

The Blessings In The Midst Of A Mess

My kids are constantly making a mess.  Whether it’s in their room, their diaper, my car, or the kitchen floor, there’s always a mess. 

It drives me absolutely insane to think that I am always cleaning up for them to just create the mess all over again.  Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means a neat freak. Nor am I the best housekeeper. I’m that stay at home mom that could use a good cleaning lady.  But seeing as how I don’t have one, and I do like for my home to be somewhat tidy, I daily go behind everyone and clean up the mess. At times in my frustration, I find myself mumbling not so pleasant things as I go around cleaning.  Especially after almost breaking my neck on a toy that I know I yelled about no less than 5 times already. But the funny thing is that no matter how irritated I am, my kids just happily keep on playing in the midst of all of the chaos as if they were in their own little personal amusement park. 

As I sit here now staring at the mess which has spilled over from the playroom into my foyer, I can’t help but to be reminded that this is a blessing. My children are happy and creative and have more than enough to entertain themselves. That is a blessing. My children have a home to play in where they are safe and loved.  That is a blessing. My children love to play and share with each other, well sometimes. But that is a blessing. My children don’t care that I’m not a great housekeeper. That is a blessing. So while I once again have to sweep cheerios off of the kitchen floor, vacuum the cracker crumbs from the carpet, and pray that the stains come out of my son’s new shirt I will try to keep a few things in mind.  We have food, we have clothes, we have a home and we have love.

Yes, there’s always a mess, but now I can be grateful for the blessings in the midst of it all.  

 

~1spentmom~

When Life Gives You Postpartum Depression

We’ve all heard the saying, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”  But what about when life gives you postpartum depression?  What do you make with that?

August of last year I gave birth to my 3rd baby and I dealt with postpartum depression after all 3 children were born.  With the birth of my first child, my life was a bit hectic.  I had only been married for a year and was still trying to figure out how to be someone’s wife let alone a mother.  I had preeclampsia during my pregnancy and had to be induced 3 weeks early.  There were complications during the birth, but thankfully I gave birth to a healthy baby boy.  But now what?  I had no idea what to do with this baby.  I wanted to nurse but at that time I was so young and couldn’t deal with the pain of nursing.  I literally cried every time he would latch on.   He was also extremely jaundice at birth so I was told that I would need to supplement him with formula until they cleared him.  The formula they gave me at the hospital severely upset his stomach so our first night at home he literally screamed his head off the entire night.  I remember feeling helpless, exhausted, and like a failure.  I was his mom and I couldn’t fix it.  Everyday seemed to get darker and darker from there.  I loved my baby and finally got a formula that he could tolerate, but I was still so down.  A large part of this was extreme fatigue.  But I also found that I had no patience for adults at all.  People breathing just irritated me to no end.  Everyone wanted to come hold the baby or look at the baby.  No one seemed to be interested in how I was doing or feeling.  No one was asking if I needed help with anything.  I was drowning in laundry and bottle washing and all anyone wanted to do was see the baby.   I didn’t know much about postpartum depression or “baby blues” at the time.  I just knew that I couldn’t tolerate being around people and I felt completely alone.

With the birth of my second son I was older and experienced at this mom thing.  I thought I would be ok this time.  Unfortunately, postpartum depression is not the type of thing you can control.  I will say that communication is a big help.  Years after the birth of our first son, I told my husband exactly what I was going through during that time.  He had no idea how bad it was, I wore that mask well.  He remembered what we’d discussed and made sure to be in constant communication with me about my feelings this time around.  He was such a great support system for me, which is crucial in dealing with postpartum depression.  We were also apart of a new church and they had truly become family.  They brought meals over so I didn’t have to worry about dinners for the first few weeks, which was amazing.   My older son has some great friends with some great moms that checked on me and came over to help out. I was also honest with my doctor about my feelings as well.  Again, I loved my baby and never had negative feelings toward him.  It was everyone else that I couldn’t tolerate.  And the wave of emotions were completely crazy this time.  I remember standing in the aisle at my local grocery store looking at rice and tears were streaming down my face.  I didn’t know why I was crying but I felt such a deep sadness in that moment.  I felt stupid for crying, especially in public but I could not stop.  I hated feeling out of control.  I stayed home for 12 weeks with my son.  The first day I went back to work, I literally sobbed the entire day.  I missed my baby, I missed my older son and everything around me was an irritant.  I began to feel more like myself after about a month or 2 after that.

My daughter was born 15 months ago and I was completely prepared…so I thought.  I will say, I did not feel as bad as I did the first two times.  But that impatience reared its ugly head as it had done both times before.  Also my middle child, then 21 months old, was now going to be staying at home with me and the new baby as I have transitioned to being a stay at home mom.  Let’s just say he was less than thrilled about this little girl coming into our home and stealing his shine.  He began to regress, waking up at night crying and wanting to nurse all the time.  Again, thank God for my husband.  He was such a huge help.  He would get up with me and I’d take one child and he’d take the other.  Our church and friends were also there to help as well.  I didn’t cry in the grocery store, but I have had crazy emotions and that helpless overwhelmed feeling.  Fortunately, my now 3 year old had adjusted to our new normal and adores his baby sister but that transition period was hard for both of us.

So to answer my initial question, what do you do when life gives you postpartum depression?  I’m not an expert but I would say you get honest and get help.  Don’t be embarrassed by your feelings.  You are not alone and you don’t have to be.  Find a support system, people you trust.  Whether it’s your spouse, friend, church…tell someone!  Make sure your OBGYN is aware of your feelings as well, especially if you have had thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.  Postpartum depression can be a dark road but you don’t have to go at it alone.  There’s light at the end of that tunnel momma, just hold on!

~1spentmom~