Friday, May 29, 2015

Enjoy Your Life

Yesterday was the last day of school for my kids. Of course they were excited, and they wasted no time in telling me what grades they will be in next year. They are growing too fast, as we all know. That's what kids do. But sometimes...sometimes I still catch a glimpse of the little babies I cuddled so long ago. 

My daughter just turned 10 couple weeks ago. But she still has to hold my hand. She holds my hand when we're singing in church. She holds my hand from the car to the grocery store. I can't even get my keys in my purse before she grabs my hand.  She holds my hand when I sit with her at lunch at school on those days when I visit her.  My little girl has always been a physical touch kind of baby. That is her love language. She rode in a sling until she was 15 month old when she decided to walk. She liked to be close to mommy. When she would sleep with mommy and daddy at night she had to touch both of us. She would make the crosswise line of a capital h between us. Who knew the baby could take up most of the bed? But these times are fleeting. She is growing so fast and she is very independent in a lot ways. I feel like she's comfortable with her independence because she knows she is loved.  She knows she can always come back and cuddle. 

 UL NEW rosemary tea

My son is leaving on a trip this weekend and will be gone for 5 days. At 12-years-old, he will be traveling across country with a group from school to go to Washington D.C. and New York City. I am so proud of him for working for the money to do this. He has worked hard for the last year and a half.  I think he's excited to go, but at the same time a little nervous to be away from mom and dad for that long and so far away. I know he'll have a blast!  I'll admit I'm a little nervous for him to be so far away without me. However, the truth of the matter is that we really don't have any control over what happens to our kids. The only thing we can control is our response. And for that we are completely responsible.  

These times when our kids are young are precious.  They are so precious. Those moments are our lives.  Remember to enjoy them.

I would ask for your prayers for my son and his classmates as they travel.  These precious kids have all worked hard to earn their money for their trip, and it will be fantastic.  It's a great learning experience!

What experiences and moments stand out with your kids that stand out in your memory?  Please comment below.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What Do You Want to Be?

A couple Sundays ago, it was Mother's Day.  It's always a lovely day of feeling a bit of the appreciation from my kiddos that they sometimes forget to express.  The same goes for me and my mom, too.  I often forget the sacrifices she made for me, the unwavering support, and encouragement to do whatever I wanted.  To celebrate Mother's Day this year, we decided to keep the celebration simple and just enjoy each others' company.  In other words, we went out to eat so someone else could clean up after us.

During the course of the meal, my mom got an excited look on her face and asked a question of my children,

"I haven't asked you guys in a while...what do you want to be when you grow up?"
Without missing a beat my beautiful girl piped up immediately with her response,

"I want to be a beautician, an ice skater, a teacher, a principal, a musician, a fashion designer, a dentist, a mommy, and a model."

Of course she does!  My mommy heart just beamed.  My sweet girl just struggles sometimes with her school work.  We've done all sorts of different testing to make sure nothing is "wrong" with her, but honestly, she's just perfect (aside from a stubborn streak a mile wide--that I have no clue where it came from...).  I really think she just looks at things differently than most people do, and that's not a bad thing.  In fact, it's an awesome thing.  I think most people get stuck in the sad land called average, where the cream of the crap is the norm.

 This girl! First time on the skate board.

My girl doesn't want to be one thing when she "grows up"--she wants to be 9 things.  And I believe she can do it, if she wants to.  Being stubborn is also called tenacious when it's used for something positive.  I'm sure eventually she'll whittle her list down, but it's not going to be from me telling her she can't do it.  She can do all things through Christ who strengthens her.

 UL sugared plum

What did you want to be when you were growing up?  Are you anything close to that now?  If not, would you like to?  Or are you glad you chose a different direction?  I'm starting to head back toward what I thought I wanted to do as a child: interior design.  While I'm not an interior designer, I am a Color and Inspiration Consultant.  Please comment below with your answers to my questions.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Some Gave All

Memorial Day and Veteran's Day are often confused, and I completely guilty of doing it.  Therefore, I wanted to share a little history so we can all be more educated about it and honor the people the days are meant to honor.

Memorial Day is meant to specifically honor those soldiers that have died in battle, any battle. Originally, it began in the Civil War as a way to honor soldiers that had died in that war, it was later expanded to include any war.  Click the link below for a little more history on Memorial Day.

Veterans Day on the other hand is meant to honor veterans living and alive in both peacetime and wartime.  It's origins are more recent beginning at the end of WWI, and being redefined after WWII. Click the link below for more history on Veterans Day.

I hope it's been helpful to re-hear about the distinction between these two holidays.  It was a good reminder for me.  

In looking up the history of Memorial Day and Veterans Day holidays, I noticed a trend to not elevate soldiers to hero status as they have enough of a hard time adjusting to "regular" life when they come home from a war.  I don't believe the people that feel this way are being haters for the most part and are honestly trying to help soldiers.  Here's my two cents on the matter: Soldiers/veterans are regular people, but they are regular people that have chosen to intentionally put themselves in harms way for me and everyone else back at home.  For that, they should be thanked and supported.

 UL crimson red & bright white

I'd love to hear your thoughts.  Please comment below.  

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Results Are In!

I had a whole different post planned for today, but it got pushed back until another day. This girl just found out she passed her black belt test. Yep. That's right. I passed!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So for now, I'll keep it short. It's a bit surreal at this point.  I'll just sign off for now by asking you this: what dreams are you working toward today?  Never, never, never give up.

 UL bright white

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

New Friends

I have great friends.  Not just great friends, but beautiful, wonderful, caring, genuine, sincere, funny, amazing friends.  I don't feel like I need to go find new ones.  They truly are awesome friends.

In all my activities, I meet a lot of people.  Some people I click with right away, and others it takes a little while, but that's usually 1 or 2 new to me people at a time.  I don't often walk into a room and not already know several people there.  It's a small town where I live, and I just know a lot of people.

Every now and again, I have opportunity to go someplace where I don't know everyone.  This past weekend I had one of those times.  My family and I were invited to a BBQ at a relatively new friend's house.  We have mutual interests, but hadn't really hung out together yet.  When we got there, I actually didn't know anyone except our hostess and her family.  It was quite a shock to me, and a lot of fun!  I'm not sure why I was surprised to meet new friends, but I honestly was.  It was lovely and refreshing, and I couldn't wait to meet these people introduce them to my favorite friends (I don't like to say best friend because I have a circle of best friends--they're my "favorite" people).

 UL bright white

I have to give credit to my beautiful friend, Lorretta, for inviting my family to this fun filled, friend time.  Without her friendly invitation, we wouldn't have been able to enjoy this lovely day.  I just want to remind you that sometimes it's okay to venture out from your circle of friends.  It doesn't mean you love them any less.  I hope that you have beautiful, genuine friends like I do.  They are such a huge blessing in my life!  But don't forget to share that blessing with others by bringing new friends into the blessing circle.

Please comment below.  I'd love to hear if you've had a similar instance of discovering a new friend or two when you weren't looking.  How'd that turn out in the long run?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Be a Nice Ninja

The point of karate is to not have to use it. Really. I knows that sounds like an oxymoron. On the outside it looks like karate is just a study of how to punch, kick, take people down to the ground, etc. But it's so much more than that. 

There's the discipline of practicing on a regular basis for starters. With regularly scheduled classes, it does make it simple to practice.  Simple is not the same as easy, though. I still have to make the choice and the commitment to go. I decide ahead of time and then I go.

Its not a team sport all the time where I can rely on other people to cover for my shortcomings. (There is nothing wrong with team sports, but I feel like people benefit from doing a solo-type sport, too.) If someone were to attack me, I would be the only one there, more than likely, to defend myself. I can't say, "Hold on, attacker. I need to go get my friends to protect me." It doesn't work that way.  I need to know my skills and be confident in my ability to use them, and be able and willing to use them at the drop of a hat.  Confidence is another bi-product of karate and I believe that comes directly from having the ability to protect oneself, but also having the ability to hurt another human being...and yet not doing it.

Pay attention.  That's something I've learned.  It's not that I didn't pay attention before, and it's not that I'm always on alert, but I do pay attention to what is happening around me.  Environmental awareness is what we call it.  You saw someone that made the hackles go up on the back of your neck?  Ok.  So what was he wearing?  You're going to a parade this upcoming weekend with our kids?  How tall are they now?  What color clothes do they have on?  Pay attention.  It's all little stuff, but it adds up to make big stuff.

 UL Peony Pink

Discipline, practice, self-discipline, fitness, respect, self-control, awareness, commitment: all things I've learned in my martial arts studies.  What are you doing to help make yourself stronger, more confident, and benefit others?  Comment below.

--Jennille the Nice Ninja

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Why of Motivation

We live life in a broken world.  That's all there is to it.  Apparently, it's our human nature to want to be broken.  Eve who was the second person in existence ever had a perfect father, hard working husband, and a perfect, beautiful garden to live in, and yet she thought she wanted more...and as a result, ruined it for the rest of us.  Literally.  But that's water under the bridge now, or is it?

We still have the sin nature created by Eve when she disobeyed the command God had given to her to not eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. We still mess up on a daily basis, regularly and without fail.  That's what it means to be a sinner.  What is sin anyway?  I endeavor to not get stuck in "Christian-ese" where not everyone might know what I'm talking about.  Sin, put simply and  as it is explained in 1 John 5 is this: all wrongdoing.  All wrongdoing is sin.  Our God, the Creator of the universe, is so completely pure that He couldn't possible be around us if we weren't cleansed, so what in a broken world could cleanse us enough to be able to enter the presence of one so pure? Only an entirely, completely pure and holy sacrifice: Jesus Christ.

 UL bright white

We're broken.  That's all there is to it.  We need redemption.  We need saving and God gave us an option--the only option that will actually save us.  It's the only option that will actually give us life. His perfect Son, Jesus.

You might notice in the expression above there are some words missing.  In the Bible, it's the words "the world." In this version, I like to plug in my name because if I were the only person on earth, God still would have sent His son to die in my place.  I'm the one that deserves to die, but He died for me. That's why I need to be constantly reminded about the good I can do in this world...because I'm broken.  I'm lost, but I've been saved by grace, meaning I didn't deserve it at all.  He loved me anyway.  

Through His strength alone, I can do good.  I can be a mirror reflecting His love to the world. Sometimes my mirror is dirty and smudged, but His grace washes me clean again, and I can again reflect His love to the world.  I'm not the source of the light.  He is, and apart from Him, I can do nothing.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Patterns of Success

I'd the rope climb this morning at the gym.  That's nice, you're thinking. But I'm so excited! I've never done the rope climb before. Ever. In my entire life.  It's not that I didn't have opportunity, it's just that I couldn't do it...until now.

I was a healthy kid. I played a lot.  Big wheels, tag, bike riding, and games of hide and seek with the neighborhood kids were the norm growing up.  I played soccer and basketball on teams.  We didn't eat a lot of junk food. I was healthy and strong, but I never could quite conquer the rope climb in p.e. class.  Darn the rope climb!

I'm a grown up now.  I'm 38-years-old, to be more specific--it's not like I'm 22--and I just decided to conquer this now.  I'm starting to see a pattern here.  It's a success pattern.  I'm at a point in my life that I want to see some things happen, so I'm making them happen.  I've taken my black belt test (and am I hoping that I passed).  I've finally conquered the rope climb.  I'm growing my business and starting to do well at it.  I've decided to make reading my Bible more of a daily priority.  I got a coach that I love and relate to and whose wisdom and experience give me guidance and encouragement.  I'm not perfect by any means, but I am creating positive patterns for myself.  I'm creating successful patterns.

When I finished my black belt test, I had a sense of confidence because of what I had accomplished--passed or not, it was hard and with God's help and the preparation He had allowed me to do, I had done it!  The following Monday when I went to go do my crossfit workout, the sense of accomplishment continued. 

"I just did my black belt test.  I can do this really tough workout--it's not that bad.  I really can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
 I was covered in prayer and abiding in Him.  I'm definitely not saying that I will automatically be successful just because I asked God for it.  That's not how it works, but I do believe that if I use the tools He has given me, some of which are power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7), love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness (Galatians 5:22), I will reap the consequences of those positive actions.

 UL chocolate brown

It's an exciting journey I am on.  I'm excited for you to go on it with me as I build on my successes (and failures!).  Jesus told me this in John 10:10,

"The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy; but I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
Have it to the full...not just have good things, but have it to the full, abundance is another translation. I am choosing to build on each of those experiences and honor God in each stage.

What patterns are you creating in your life?  Positive, successful patterns, or are you getting stuck in the negative, defeating patterns?  Please comment below.

Monday, May 11, 2015

It's Okay to Wait

I'm still waiting to hear if I passed my black belt test.  I took it in April 18th. Yes, as you read this for the first time, it is May 11th. It's okay, though. Honestly, it is. I know I did my best.

If I can honestly say I gave my best, my honest best effort, and I don't pass, then it's okay.  If there is any doubt about whether or not I gave my best effort, then I might doubt if I should pass and I might not be satisfied with myself if I don't pass.  Here's the thing, I know I gave my best effort, and I know I wasn't perfect.  I made a few mistakes.  It's just going to happen.  I just chose to move on and not get stuck there.  I love this expression:

 UL pink peony

I very easily could have slipped into the getting stuck on my mistakes during the test, but I didn't.  I very easily could get trapped in analyzing my mistakes after the test, but I'm not.  I'm choosing not to. I'm looking for the good.  I'm looking for the blessings in it.  I'm choosing to look for the honestly positive aspects.  I'm really not stressed and that is just part of the blessing that this test has been for me.  It has shown me that I am strong, and tenacious, and willing to go the distance.  This is my journey and I must live it.  I can't be afraid to live.  I can't be afraid to make mistakes, because I'd never get out of bed if I were afraid of that.  I mess up all the time, but sometimes...well, sometimes I fly.

 UL May special in pink peony

I don't normally promote my specials on my blog, but I just absolutely love this one, so I wanted to let you, my lovely readers, know about it.  Click on the pic to pop over and grab yours before it's gone.  I hope it stays around for a while, but there is no guarantee of that.  It's a deal with purchase kind of thing on this one.  Enjoy!

What have you been afraid of failing at, but then decided to try and found that you could fly?  I'd love to hear about it.  Please comment below.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Run Your Race

It's very interesting to me that as I talk with people about my latest 5k experience with my daughter, I keep getting the same response and it goes something like this:

I bet she won't be doing that next year!

Then chuckles ensue and people start to get on with their day. These aren't slacker type people.  They are successful managers, business owners, parents, and friends.  They do things well and are people of excellence.  Yet it seemed they all wanted to let this 5K episode just hang out there. That idea didn't sit well with me.  It's not that I'm in denial that bad things happen in life.  However, if it's something that I do have control over and I have the option to change it...I think I should.

In Hebrews 12:1-2 it says "let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith." While we know that Paul wasn't specifically talking  about physically running a race in this passage, it does give us insight into the literal race that my kids and I ran.  I don't believe that God calls us to do anything half-heartedly.  Let us run with perseverance...persevere.  The literal translation of persevere?  Per means through.  Through severe. Let us run through through the severe the race marked out for us...the race God marks out for us. Through, as in, not stop in the middle.

 UL navy blue

So back to this infamous 5K.  I don't think that I need to force my girl to become a runner.  Is she a good runner?  Yes!  Could she become a great runner?  Probably.  That's not my point, though.  I don't want her to never try to run again because this was so hard for her on this occasion.  It won't always be this hard.  Let's just not get stuck in the middle of this rough spot.  Let's work through it together, and with God's help we can do anything!

What is your race that you are facing?  Are you persevering or getting stuck in the middle?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

My Hardest Run Ever

I know my children are not robots.  They remind me of that everyday.  They have their own will, and it is not always a happy thing when I try to force my will upon them.  It wasn't so much a force of my will upon my kids as it was contagious enthusiasm when we decided to run our local 5K race last Saturday.  I threw it out to the whole family as an event that we could do together.  Fun family running time!  Can you just hear the cheers and excitement exploding from my house?  Of course not, but they weren't completely opposed to the idea, so 3 out of 4 Spellmans participated in the run. (Daddy is a great cheerleader, but running, well, that's not his favorite thing to do.) We agreed to do it and I signed us up.  5K here we come!

Now my little B is a strong, healthy girl.  She and I ran the mile for her school spirit run 2 weeks ago. Remember that one?  I said it was my best run ever.  It was amazing and invigorating and she performed spectacularly.  She ran really well at her spirit run.  Great stride.  Good breathing.  Not walking once.  It was awesome!  So being the optimist that I am, I expected the 5K to be the exact same thing.  This is the picture in my mind: B and I running down the river walk, sun shining, a lovely 65 degrees outside, other runners admiring us running in stride together saying beautiful things like "Oh, look at that mother and daughter!  They are so in sync and bonding in such a fantastic and healthy, loving way.  I wish I could be like them." The bluebirds would sing, and the butterflies would flutter.  Can you just hear the music in the background now?  It's a dreamy, lovely picture, right?  Why wouldn't it happen again?  Because this is planet Earth and I live in something called reality.

Fast forward to race day, we eat our protein breakfast.  We're staying hydrated.  We get our running shoes tied and we put on our matching shirts that I had made for us.  Yes, we are just that cool.  We are the Spellman 3 and we are going to dominate this race...ok, not necessarily dominate, but we're going to run most of it and we're going to finish together.  Honestly, that was my goal: run together, finish together.  (I wasn't expecting little man to stay with us.  He's done this before and is pretty much an old pro at it.  We saw him at the start of the race and then the horn went off and we saw him again at the end.  Go, buddy, go!  He got 38th place overall.  Not too shabby for a 12 year old.  Super proud of him!)

We were off to a good start.  B and I were going at a steady pace; not too fast, but not the slowest either.  We're going.  We're running, and little missy is still going strong.  About 1 mile in she starts to get tired.  It's okay.  I expected this.  Water is soon.  We'll make it to the water station and catch our breath and keep going.  All along the way, I'm talking to her.  You're doing great, sister.  You got this, baby.  You're strong, sweetie.  Let's do this.  And then something snapped in her mind.  I'm tired, mom.  I can't do this.  I can't do this.  I can't do this.  I can't do this!

 UL crimson red

She got stuck in her mind.  She got stuck on I can't.  Next it was I can't breathe, which was true because she was so upset that her airway was constricted and she really wasn't taking in much air.  I could see how breathing could be tough.  The ironic part is that she would then get mad at me (because somehow I was causing her to not breathe by telling her to slow down and take a deep breath???) and then she would sprint ahead of me 100 feet, then stop and look back at me and away we'd go again.  Then she'd run a little more with me.  Slow down, Mom!  (I'm telling you, friends, this mom is already one of the world's slowest runners.  It was literally impossible for me to go any slower.  Walking was faster than what I was doing.) I can't do this.  We can do it together, B.  Mom is right here with you.  I can't do it!  Yes, you can.  You can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you.  That's what the Bible tells us.  No, I can't, Mom.  (Because the rules of the Bible apply to everyone except her??? Oh my stubborn, sweet girl.)

Did I mention my girl is stubborn?  She gets it from me, but I like to call it tenacious.  Doesn't that sound nicer and more productive?  Moving right along...this went on for the next 2 miles.  It was exhausting.  It was constant.  I'm not one that normally concerns myself with what others think of me, but I can only imagine the stories going on at dinner tables across the city that sound something like this: "Did you see Jennille with her daughter?  That poor little girl!  That mean mommy must have forced her to run.  Oh, the sweet, sweet child." And then there was some sort of continued discussion about whether to rescue my daughter from me.  It was craziness to watch, I'm sure.  I would jog backwards, while trying to motivate my strong-willed child to go.  She's giving me the stink eye and saying things to me that without any doubt express her lack of motivation to finish this race.

Finally, we passed the 2 mile sign.  Almost there.  Please, God, let her see that and want to finish strong.  When we had talked prior to the race about our strategy, I told her we would go at our own slow and steady pace for most of the race until we got to the last 1/8th of a mile or so, and then we'd kick it into high gear and sprint to the finish line, but she was not having any of that either.  Oh, my girl.  She is so a little me.  I'm jogging backwards again, desperate to find any encouraging words to make her want to run across the finish line.  No, such luck.  Let's go, B!  I'm pretty frustrated at this point because this is always how I finish a race: I sprint it in.  Imagine to my surprise when I turn around to run to the finish line and BAM!  There's a sign there--as in, right there.  I smacked it hard. If I were a spectator seeing this event transpire, I'm sure I couldn't avoid laughing.  It was pretty funny in retrospect, but at the time...well, that was the straw that broke the camel's back.  I picked up my girl and started running with her.  She didn't say anything at that point.  I think she knew mommy was about to lose it.
"I'm going to run a little ways holding you, and then you are going to run the last 100 yards," I told my sweet, little stubbornness. "Ok, Mom."
So I did.  Oh mylanta, friends, this momma was fit to be tied.  When I ran into the sign, I hit it hard, (but I didn't fall!) whacking my hand, wrist, knee, and face.  I cut my eyebrow and still have bruises on my body.  I finally put Breanna back down for her to run.  It was literally the last 100 yards to the finish line.  Her mantra the previous half mile had been, "I want Daddy." Fine, sister, he is waiting for you at the finish line.  Go get him.  When I put her down, she didn't want to run again, but I just don't quit.  I believe quitting is a habit just like everything else, and I choose to not create that habit.

Run, baby, run!  Let's go.  Let's finish.  We're almost there.  Let's do it together.  Here's a picture from the trail that the newspaper photographer got of us:

Now isn't that the picture that you saw earlier when I described the lovely family 5K run?  We weren't smiling, but it was good.  Actually, it was a good moment...which I'm glad he captured.  There were a few of those good moments before we got to the end.  This next picture was us crossing the finish line and is a more accurate picture of what most of the race was like.

My girl was upset, I was frustrated, but we did it and we did it together.  Once I calmed down after the race and had some time to digest and process my thoughts, there were some great takeaways.  This is what I learned:

  • My girl is strong, just like her mommy.  I need to help her channel that energy in a positive way.
  • My girl was selling herself short.  She was thinking that just her brother is the athletic one.  Not true at all.
  • I had failed her because I assumed she would be as mentally strong as I am, without having to prepare herself like I do.  
  • We are going to spend more time together doing physical things.  We will run another 5K, and do it better next time.
  • I believe more is caught by our kids than is taught, but what am I throwing out there for them to catch?  Much of my go-getter activities (crossfit, business, karate studies, etc.) are done while they are asleep or I do them outside of the house.  They may not see me doing the things that I want them to catch.  I need to be more deliberate in teaching those things to them.
I know this post was much longer than most, but I had a lot to digest on this one.  I hope you were able to glean some truths and maybe some encouragement from a fellow grace-needing parent.  I did apologize to my girl for not preparing her better.  I did talk with her about doing it again, and preparing better, and she actually seemed excited.  It's girl time, right?

I'd love some feedback on this one.  Do you think I was too hard on her when I didn't prepare her for it well enough?  Did I do the right thing to push her?  Please comment below.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Life Lessons From a Jumprope

In a recent post, I talked about how I can be a bit scatterbrained.  It happens.  I'm also a restorative person, meaning I like to fix things.  It's why I'm good at my day job of being an optician.  People bring me broken glasses and I fix them.  

Since it might be viewed as a fault to be a bit on the scatterbrained side of things, it only seems natural that I would want to fix that particular feature about myself, or at least make it work better. As a crossfitter, we always work to have good form so as to avoid injuries, gain strength properly, and work efficiently.  The work outs are hard enough without me adding unnecessary movements.  Here's where the jump rope enters the picture.  My friend, Ian, just launched a new, super amazing company that makes super stellar jump ropes, Double Under Wonder.  As part of the super amazing-ness, he created these podcasts to help people learn about doing double unders (one jump, two times around with the rope), and to do them better.  Cool!  I get it, but it struck me as I was watching the intro video, that I'm while I'm definitely not doing my double unders as efficiently as I could, there are probably a whole lot more things that I could do a whole lot more efficiently.

(Just so you know what I'm talking about, here's the link to the video: "What is a Double Under" from February 26, 2015.)

It's cool to be able to see in slow motion how Tara is working inefficiently doing her double unders. She is exerting so much more effort than she really needs to.  It would be such an amazing gift to be able to view our lives in slow motion and analyze it to see how we could do things better or more efficiently.  But that's not really an option.  Life can only be lived at full speed ahead...and only understood looking backwards.  That doesn't mean that we can't take a little bit of time here and there to look at what we're doing and tweak things a bit.  Maybe it's just doing something simple like as you're cleaning house grab a basket and pick up everything in a room that doesn't belong and drop it off the next room that it belongs in as you make your way around the house.  Maybe it's journaling daily and instead of getting distracted from it, keep a separate sheet of paper handy to write down the other things you need to do so you don't have to try to remember them later or stop what you are doing.  Maybe it's scheduling one hour, once a month to reflect on things and see what is going well, and what could be done better.

 UL NEW peony pink

I would love to hear what little tweaks you've made in your day to work more efficiently.  I am far from efficient all the time.  Squirrel!  I am constantly making myself notes and lists, so that I don't have to waste my time trying to remember forgotten things.  Please comment below to tell me how you get things done well.

In the meantime, jump over to visit the great folks at to get a fantastic, customized jump rope.  If you'd like to get the "dreams don't work unless you do" expression, just click on the graphic to go directly to my website.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Secret to Being the Best at Everything

I was watching a video yesterday from a lovely, inspirational lady that I follow on Facebook and Twitter, Alina Schumacher.  Her video discusses the advantages and health benefits of drinking a miracle substance that we all have access to.  This substance gives your body energy, makes your skin glow, aids in digestion and ridding the body of toxins, among many, many more benefits.  Do you want to know the miracle substance?  I'm sure some of you have guessed it: water.  Water has so many benefits and yet we are chronically dehydrated.  Here's the amazing reason why we as a western society are chronically dehydrated...wait for it...we don't drink enough water.  That's it.  It's so simple!

It's all the buzz right now on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, etc... to put a number on something. "Thirteen steps to the most successful business in all history." "Seven easy steps to the cleanest shower ever and forever." "Two simple steps to being the best chef on the planet." You get my point. The tag lines have a set number of steps that promise instant success with an astronomically unrealistic result.  Sometimes the things work fairly well, but most of the time it's really not all it's cracked up to be.  We want shortcuts.  We want results that often take years for other successful people, and we want it to happen in months or weeks for us.  We oversimplify what we should really be using to develop patience and perseverance.  

The flip side of oversimplification is over-complicating an issue like the dehydration issue that I mentioned previously.  We want to add steps, make it scientific, take a survey and get actual percentages of water drinkers.  There is no need.  We need to just take responsibility, quit making excuses and get it done.  Drink more water.  Exercise more frequently.  Take time to spend with kiddos and spouses.  Just get real with ourselves.  Make good choices consistently.  Everyday.

 UL concord grape and stone cottage

Here's the video if you'd like to check it out.  Information is always good, but don't overcomplicate it or over simplify it.  Accept the information and use it as it is.  

What are you over complicating in your life?  What are you over simplifying?  Comment below.

If you're having trouble making the simple choices in your life, perhaps you need to work on some self-discipline.  All of us can always improve on that one (myself included).  Click here to read my series on self-discipline.

As always, click on the images to head directly over to my website to get them for yourself.  Glad you stopped by.  Remember, sharing is caring, so if you liked this post or any of my other posts, share in your favorite social media outlet.

One last thing...happy 50th blog post to me!  Here's to staying consistent and valuable.:o)

Okay, just one more thing...a shout out to my friends over at for getting purple ropes!  Whoo hoo!  Check them out and see how you can customize your own rope.

I'm done now.:)

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