Do It Anyway

I heard him rummaging about in the kitchen (though he was trying to be quiet). He was making a quinoa meal for our lunch today. He was going for another run this morning.

Oh, those sheets were comfy. They were still warm where he’d been. I rolled over onto my belly. My body trying to convince me to just stay there.

I padded out to the kitchen and was wrapped in his warm arms.

“Good morning. How did you sleep”

“Good” – came my answer, muffled in his chest.

I slipped back to the bedroom. Collapsed on the bed and checked my phone for a couple minutes as my body woke up.

One more hug and then I pulled on my gear and kicked my butt into my workout.

He came down before he left for his run and asked me how it was going. I gasped out, “I suck!” and he just said, “Keep going”, and I did. Those last shoulder presses – I pushed through them. Reverse crunch? …grunt…O-N-E more!

Oh, I deserved that slow, methodical stretch at the end. Mmmmmmm, feels so good to stretch warm muscles.


I’ve been thinking about how I haven’t felt very motivated these past couple months. I’ve been kind of disheartened and afraid to push myself. What if I am successful? What will that mean? Where do I see myself in the next few years. Can I do all that I want to do? Do I have it in me? Am I ready for the work that will require?

sink

It’s waaaaay easier to just stay still, isn’t it?

It’s waaaaay easier to just stay in that warm bed, isn’t it?

It’s waaaaay easier to leave the dishes in the sink and watch TV, isn’t it?

It’s waaaaay easier to just eat the same food that I know isn’t good for me, isn’t it?

It’s waaaaay easier to just do it myself, rather than let the kids do it, isn’t it?

It’s waaaaay easier to do the same things every day, with the same people, isn’t it?

It’s waaaaay easier to stay in that job where I’m miserable, isn’t it?

It may be easier, but is it better? That’s the question I’m asking of me today. How about you?

Whimsy

Today, I am feeling whimsical. Remembering special moments and how much fun I’ve had in my life. Remembering to have fun every day.

I had a plan for today’s posts. I was feeling so organized. Then, I couldn’t find the stuff I needed. I was ticked off. I was disappointed. I was bummed. So I did yoga, had some tea and went to bed. Sometimes, you just gotta throw the plan out the window. Which is easy to do when it’s written on a paper napkin.

paper napkin

 

Just for today:

  • Read Calvin & Hobbes and remember your imaginary friend (I know you had one)
  • Revisit the inscriptions on your favorite books – my Nancy Drew hard covers given to me by my great grandmother at this time of year “for passing”; the year marked in the front
  • Smile and remember your favorite movie. Swiss Family Robinson. We sure loved to pretend we were them out in the treehouse
  • Drink a Margarita on a Wednesday afternoon. It’s 5:00 somewhere.
  • Sleep naked ’cause pj’s aren’t as much fun 🙂
  • Star Wars. That just never gets old. I still have my storm trooper figure I got for Christmas in 1977
  • Dance around like a wild woman while you’re doing dishes. Belt out a few lyrics. Makes dishes less boring and the kids embarrassed. Who doesn’t love embarrassing their children?
  • Get up in the morning and walk barefoot on the grass. Dig your toes in the dirt. Smile at the neighbors. Suddenly remember you slept naked…
  • Chew bubble gum. Remember that time it got stuck in your hair?
  • Sweet Tarts. Enough said.
  • Eat a DQ dipped cone – the biggest you can get and as fast as you can before it melts. Don’t share with anyone.
  • Wear a revealing outfit, kiss him like a hussy and “sassy-walk” away. See if he follows.
  • Sip coffee on the deck, even if it’s raining again. That’s why they made umbrellas.
  • Blast your favorite songs on the stereo. Leave the TV off and just rock out.

I’d love to see your whimsical list!

 

Clutter Chaos

gerberia daisies

The dog wants out in the middle of the night. As you fumble towards the front door, you trip over the pile of clothes in the bedroom, bump over the box in the hall, stub your toe on the stack of books at the top of the stairs and have to push the coats & shoes out of the way as you struggle to get the door open…

You decide that you want to make a special cake for your 8 year old for his birthday. After pulling 8 pans out of the cupboard, including a bundt cake pan (what the heck is that thing for, anyway?), you finally find the one you’re looking for. You rummage through the pantry trying to find the brown sugar. When you finally find it, you realize that it is hard as a rock. You run to the store and end up buying a cake from the shelf instead; for twice the price of the sugar…

Your husband calls you from work and offers to take you out for dinner. You are elated and excited. After spending 10 minutes looking for your babysitter’s number on that piece of paper, you jump in the shower and knock over 3 shampoo bottles that have a tiny bit of shampoo left in them. Then you try to grab a fresh towel and pull down 5 others in the process. You untangle the cords from 4 different curling irons. You rummage through the closet past outfits you wore 10 years ago to find your favorite pair of jeans. You realize the top you wanted to wear is wrinkly in the dryer. 15 minutes later, you realize that the iron you plugged in isn’t heating up because it’s the one that your hubby was going to fix and you remember you bought a new one two months ago and find it still in the bag from the store sitting beside the freezer. After dumping 3 make-up bags out onto the counter in the bathroom, you’ve got your mascara on and quietly pray that it’s only a year old instead of the two you think it is. Your husband gets home and you realize that you forgot to tell him to pick up the babysitter. You get annoyed that he didn’t think of that and you start the evening off glaring at each other…

Everyone in the family is exhausted. You check the calendar and realize that there are 3 times in the week that you have to be in the opposite sides of town at the same time. You can’t remember the last time all of you sat down and had a meal together. You don’t remember the last time you just played a game with the kids or had a pajama day and just stayed home. If you’re not going to a practice or a recital; you’re heading to the mall “for something to do”. You realize that there are several items of clothing in all the closets (some still in bags) that have never been worn and are now too small. You have multiple projects on the go, and haven’t touched any of them in months. You are exhausted, and just don’t know what to do.

We have been there too, we know what it’s like. We’ve been doing a lot of minimalizing over the past couple years, we’re here to help you. Minimalizing isn’t about throwing out everything in the house. It isn’t about living like a hermit. It’s focusing on what is really important and getting rid of all the excess. It’s not about keeping up with what everyone else has or does; it’s about doing what is best for you and your family.

The Simple Life Gals encourage you to go through different areas in your homes and lives and really prioritize what is important to you. We welcome your questions and we’ll support you in whichever way we can. If you would like to book a session, with us, check out our sessions here: Organizing Services.

The Blink of an Eye

My beautiful sisters

 

A friend of mine lost her sister yesterday, in the blink of an eye. It made me realize yet again how precious a moment is. I talked to my mom & dad and my sisters & brother. I’m so very grateful to hear their voices and just know they are with me. I cannot imagine being without them. It makes me grateful too for friends who have become like sisters to me. I realize how much I am blessed by people in my life. It sure makes all the petty little “issues” disappear.

I find I’m noticing moments much more these days. But still…I am rushing from one thing to another. And so…I breathe…

Just for a moment:

  • I kiss his soft cheek good night and see how much my baby has grown, thankful he still lets me kiss him good night
  • I stand beside this beautiful soon-to-be woman who has it so much more together than I ever did when I was her age
  • I worry and wait for my oldest son to find his way in the world, though knowing in my heart that all will be well because he is a good man
  • I think of friends I have known and send them light and love whereever they may be
  • I feel my strong husband’s arms around me as I drift off to sleep, safe and warm in his love
  • I awake to a cold winter day, yet I am warm while so many others are not
  • I remember waking in the wee hours like this on Christmas morning and sharing secrets with my sisters & brother so long ago
  • I am excited to spend two weeks soon with my mother and sisters while another is not even able to call her sister on the phone

In the blink of an eye:

  • They are embarrassed by your kisses
  • They are walking down an aisle
  • The friends have moved on
  • They are married with Christmas mornings of their own
  • She is here and the next she is gone

Create the moments. Cherish them. Capture them. Nurture them. Hold them. Love them.

* This is a tribute to a young woman, gone too soon. Be at peace Leslie. You will be missed.

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glasses-341552_1280

Hotel Sex

glasses-341552_1280

Yep, I said it…the “S” word…oh my….it’s a controversial topic it seems. Personally, I think, if people talked about “IT” more, there would be less cheating, less “hang-ups” and waaaay more healthy relationships! If we made “IT” a priority and not an obligation in our marriages, it would change our family life. I know this because I’ve done it and “IT”…often….

So many of us only have “good” sex when we go away to a hotel. Which is only a few times a year! (eek! maybe even only ONCE a year…I don’t even want to think about that!) We barely touch each other at home; we’re just too “busy”. Intimacy? That was for when we didn’t have kids! How many of you each “do your own thing” in your marriage? Or, worse, don’t do anything at all? Your lives revolve around the kids and work and the house and that’s about it. YOU are not a priority and frankly, neither is your marriage. I know this. Been there, done that. Still there sometimes. I’ve heard (and SAID) all the excuses why this happens:

  • “The kids are so much work”
  • “I’m too tired at the end of the day”
  • “I just want to veg and watch tv”
  • “I don’t feel like it”
  • “I am not sexy enough” or “good enough”
  • “When I lose weight, we’ll do it more”

Friends…they are EXCUSES. I just couldn’t take it anymore – the excuses caused US and ME nothing but heart-ache. Yes, it still happens sometimes, but not as often because I really did not want to wake up and say, “Who the heck am I? Who is this person in my bed?” (If he’s still IN the bed!)

So, we started talking. Yes, talking. Actual quality time talking about what we dream about, what we need, what we love, what we don’t love. Not about kids and bills and work and CRAP! About US! About ME! About HIM! We spent REAL time together with the 7 Days of Sex Challenge that was more than the sex. It was about real intimacy. It was a challenge to spend focused, open time together! This challenge opened the doors to our beginning to understand what WE are as a couple. We’ve come a long way baby! ;P

Oh yes, I hear the excuses again: “We don’t have time!”  “The kids are always around” “He doesn’t understand me” “I’m exhausted”. Yeah, well, keep making excuses and you’ll wake up one day when the kids don’t need you anymore and you’ll wonder what the heck happened….

STOP IT! Please! Take IT away from the HOTEL! Make IT a priority! IT is more than sex. IT is:

  • Kissing him passionately in the hallway while the kids are watching TV and continuing on to the laundry – that’s going to make him think!
  • Talking about your dreams and listening to his while you’re driving and the kids are plugged into their DS games or a movie
  • Sneaking up behind him and throwing your arms around him while he’s making coffee
  • Sending him a sexy text message in the middle of the day (or email or even a note in his lunch or in the truck)
  • NOT doing HOUSEWORK when the kids are away at sleepovers! What are you thinking!!?? This confuses me when you post that on FB?? Get off FB and away from the vacuum and get BUSY!! Take every opportunity that comes your way. You don’t know when it will come around again! Walk out to the garage in nothing but a housecoat – you’ll get his attention!

  • Taking a holiday day or sick day and STAY in BED with each other! You are allowed you know!
  • Snuggling up on the couch and watching TV if you must – rub or scratch his back while he sits beside you
  • Exercise together and play footsies while you’re supposed to be trying to do sit-ups! LOL!
  • Make it a priority to have a conversation for even just 15 minutes every day. You can find 15 minutes. Even if it has to be on the phone. And it can’t be about the kids, bills or the van broke down or anything like that. REAL conversation
  • Find a way to have a date night (click for ideas) – even if it’s just a candlelight dinner in the kitchen after the kids are in bed. Try something!
  • Do SOMETHING together. Anything. Even just once a week or even once a month. Be a TEAM
  • Lock the door and be very quiet if you have to! 😉 5 minutes if you have to! Get IT where you can, whenever you can!!

And the other thing – YOU have to start. Don’t wait for him. Take the lead. Tell him what you want. Tell him what you need. Don’t whine about it, just have a conversation. If he doesn’t hear you the first time, try again. Try something other than talking if that’s not working. Surprise him! Start something, even if it’s just a back rub on the couch. Pay attention to him. Pretty soon, he’ll pay attention to you too.

We’re still learning. It is not easy and it does require work. And yes, you will have bad times and heartaches – you are both human beings and nothing is ever perfect.

Most of all, it requires you making “US” THE priority; over the kids and over work and over everything else. The US is that important. If IT meant enough for you to say I DO, then it means enough to work at IT….Way, waaaaaay beyond the Hotel Room…

Need some ideas for reconnecting with your spouse? Check out our Simply Sexy Date Night Package – it’s FULL of ideas are resources!

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[By the way…I highly recommend everyone to watch the movie “Fireproof” as a couple – it will change your relationship]

Gramma’s Wisdom

I originally wrote the post below on my personal blog on October 22, 2009. It’s interesting going back and reading my writing from that time in my life. I had just begun my journey to finding Happiness. Writing was a part of it. A better appreciation for all that I had was a huge part of it. It still is.

Today, I still forget to appreciate the little things. My daughter now towers over me and my youngest son is almost there. My oldest son has set off into the world and I miss him. Some days, I think about all those days/times I wasted yelling or worrying or just wishing that they would grow up. Days that I wish I could have gone to my Gramma’s for coffee instead of driving by. Suppers we could have chatted around the table instead of rushing off to the next thing. I think about those days and my heart fills with remorse and even guilt…then I realize how much of the NOW I’m wasting RIGHT NOW by living in the past that I cannot change.

Gramma would not want me to mourn the days that I did not spend with her. She would want me to remember that afternoon that she made pizza just for the two of us because she rarely got to because it was either just her or 12 people or more. She’d want me to remember the stories she’d told me over the times we did have coffee. The times she came to my kids’ birthdays and events and was a part of their every day lives.

Gramma would remind me that no matter how big they are, they are still my babies. That I still can take the time and hug them and listen to what they have to say, even when I’m “busy”. She always had time for whoever came to her door. She never apologized for what the house looked like or that she hadn’t been to the grocery store. The house always looked wonderful and she always managed to make something delicious. She never counted calories or worried about weight gain. She just enjoyed the company and whatever food went along with it.

She would remind me to be grateful to wake up in the morning and have another chance. That each day is a chance to change. That we all make mistakes and the only thing we need to do is learn from them and start again today.

Thank you Gramma, for your wisdom. I heard you speak to me while I ran today. You’re always there in the quiet when I just take the time to listen. Thank you.

My post from 2009:

I just drove by the car wash today and saw something that made me think.

There was a little boy, about 4 years old, trying to wash his Gramma’s car. He could barely hang on to the pressure washer wand as he sprayed. His Gramma stood behind him and gently guided him along the side of her car.

What made me think was this: How many times have our littlest ones asked or offered to help us do something? How many times have they excitedly asked: “Can I help you make supper Mommy?” or “Dad, can I help you fix the car?”

How many times have we said, “no, honey, you’re too small” or “no, sweetie, I’m in a hurry, I have to get this done!” or even, sadly, “no, get out the way!”

Often, in our rush to get that task done, we do not see those sad, disappointed eyes. We do not see what “you’re too small” does to their self-confidence. They are so eager to be a part of the things we do, and so many times, we just don’t let them!

The Gramma’s Wisdom: Well, that Gramma I saw, I’m sure was perfectly capable of washing the car herself or she wouldn’t have gone to a wand wash. I’m sure she could have got the car washed faster (and saved money!) if she’d done it herself. I’m sure that a 4 year old isn’t likely going to do a “perfect” job on that car and the Gramma would do it better.

But, that Gramma knows all too well how quickly those little hands become big hands. She knows that only a few minutes of patience spent with that little 4 year old boy will mean so very much to his self confidence. That she will be closer to him because “Gramma lets me do stuff”. She will see the smile on his face rather than a tear because she showed him that he wasn’t ”too little”.

Her generation knows that children need to contribute to the family and do chores just as much as the adults in the family do. Children need to know how to do chores, clean the house, cook, do dishes, etc. etc. before they leave home! She knows that he will learn that having a car requires work and maintenance, even if his dad buys it for him. She warns us as we complain about the “lazy” teenager when it was us that didn’t let that child help us when he wanted to! Of course they don’t want to help us now!

They grow up so fast. Soon, that little boy won’t even want to be seen with his Gramma, let alone wash her car for her. That Gramma knows that she has got to take advantage of the time that she gets with her little man before it’s too late.

I’m going to go home tonight and when my little people ask to help, I will let them. It might take longer or might make a mess, but what is more important?

Thanks Gramma for your wisdom.

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Yes, YOU are!

But I Don’t Want to Exercise

“But I don’t want to exercise”….

This is something I hear regularly in the store and out and about. “I don’t want to exercise” is one of the first things people say when they want to “lose weight”. My heart breaks when I hear that. It means that once again, the message has been lost/confused/twisted about this whole “weight issue”. It is almost always a woman and I can pretty much always feel the sadness and self-loathing emanate from her body. I can feel it because that was me just a few short years ago.

One of my goals in this business is to help women realize how beautiful, how powerful, how FREAKING AMAZING they truly are. I don’t want any woman to feel like exercise is a torture that one must do to “keep the weight off” or to please some man with how her body looks. I want to help them understand that moving our bodies is something completely natural and freeing and FEELS GOOD!!!

I wish I could make the whole thought of “lose weight” disappear. Make the diet industry completely vanish overnight! Have the thousands of dollars spent on things like appetite suppression and HCG and special diet “foods” go towards ridding people of their debts or towards charities they care about or being able to do what you love. Oh, the glorious day that would be!! It may not be possible to do it overnight, but I believe it’s possible to make it happen one person at a time. And that’s what I intend to do.

Right here, right now I’m want to tell you to STOP thinking of exercise as something you have to endure to lose weight. That is not a good enough reason. STOP thinking that you have to lose weight. YOU DON’T!! STOP thinking about WEIGHT period!! If you keep focusing on the negative, that’s what you’ll always get. Continuously. I guarantee it. I have been there. Many, many times – just like you. You’ll continue on the roller coaster ride of the up and down NUMBER on a freaking scale. Lose the scale. Right now! Stash it somewhere where you can’t find it.

Please, please look in the mirror and see your beauty. You REALLY are beautiful. Look in those eyes. Think about all they’ve seen. Those lips – the songs they have sung and the other lips they’ve kissed. Your breasts – how they nurtured your children. Your belly that carried them and helped them grow. Even if you don’t have children – worship your body; for it has been with you from the beginning. It has been strong enough to bring you through that time, back then – you know, THAT time. Speak gentle words to that woman in the mirror. She has been through some really tough stuff and here she still is. She deserves your love. She deserves your attention. In fact – that woman in the mirror craves attention. Give it to her. You are the only one who truly can.

Find the movement your body loves. The movement that makes your body feel good.

It should not be something you hate. If you hate the gym, don’t go! Dance in your living room instead.

What did you play when you were a kid? Get out there and do it again!

Start simple. Start small.

Do it not for the “exercise”, do it for the love of that gorgeous body.

Experiment. Try something new.

Find a cause. Find a friend. Find your playlist that makes you feel alive and excited to move.

Get out there. Just move. Have fun! That’s all you need to do.

Let your body tell you what it wants to do.

And then keep doing it.

Stop thinking that this is something you do UNTIL you “lose the weight”. This is not something you do temporarily. This is a different way of LIVING. This is life: moving and being IN IT instead of letting it pass you by as you sit there in front of the TV. I guarantee you that as you move the way YOU want to move your body will thank you. It will help you. It will crave nourishing foods and turn away from the rest. It will feel better. It will stop aching and hurting. It will rejoice! It will change.

And so will you.

Yes, YOU are!

Get Real – Book Shelf

In this shaky, imperfect video, I talk about perfection and what I prefer to do instead of dust my shelf. We can help you organize your book shelves perfectly, but we’d rather help you organize your book shelf to be something you love and something that works for you. We’re not perfect and we don’t expect you to be.

This is REAL life after all!

Get started in your own imperfect journey. We’re here for you. Contact us.