Friday, September 30, 2016

That Groove Thing

I'm not in my groove. I moved out of the groove on purpose, as I wrote about a couple weeks ago. I stopped exercising to let my foot heal. It was frustrating and annoying, but now I'm going back...and its really surprising to me how much more it makes me want grow my discipline in other areas, too. 

By getting up early and going to work out, I want to rest better. When I get up early and work out, I want to eat better. It gives me motivation to keep up the momentum...and it makes me realize how much I've lost. Even though my choice to step away from my workout plan was intentional, I had to admit that it was really disruptive to my general self discipline habit.

 UL terra cotta

Now that I'm wrapping up week two of being back in the habit, I'm ramping up my mental habits, too. And it feels good. I missed it.  It just struck me.  It's only about 3 hours each week that I take to workout, but it makes such a difference in all I do. Three hours of self care.  What small amount of time are you not using to care for yourself? Now that you realized it, you can address it.

Make it a beautiful day, friends.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Oh...This Kneeling Thing

First of all, I will admit that I don't love watching football...not on TV, anyway.  I'm more of a let's-watch-it-live-and-in-person-and-get-the-whole-feel-of-the-experience kind of person.  Alas, my hubby and son like to watch it, so watch it they do, and hear about it, I will.  I hear about the great plays and the exciting moments and the good calls and the bad calls, and about this new kneeling thing.  

At first, I thought this new kneeling thing was a kneeling thing like Tim Tebow did: a kneeling of reverence to show humility and thankfulness through his faith in Jesus Christ.  Unfortunately, this is not. It is my understanding that these players are kneeling during the National Anthem to create awareness of racism and/or alleged police brutality against black/African American people(sorry for not being more pc on the term, because in my mind people are people are people).  

Here's my problem with the recent trend: it's not productive and it only serves to offend and exacerbate rather than help the problem.  Seriously.  The National Anthem.  They live in a country that allows them to have a voice and an opinion, so they are using that voice to denounce the country they live in and the people that stand up for and fight for that freedom.  How does that make me want to support their cause?  If anything, I have less respect for someone (and their cause) if they feel the need to be disrespectful to get my attention.  I'm not saying racism isn't a problem.  Not at all.  It is worse now than it has been in my entire life, but that's not where I'm going today.

colors: UL hot cocoa & mustard seed

I don't often blog about hot topics in the news and especially in sports, but this doesn't seem to be going away and I'd like to offer a suggestion.  Instead of kneeling for the National Anthem (and thereby dishonoring our country and veterans), how about players wear something on your uniform to show you're feeling out of sync with our current racial climate?  Green socks?  Purple sticker on your helmet?  I don't know, but this kneeling thing isn't working. You may get a fine from the NFL for being out of uniform, but then I would be more inclined to believe your conviction level.  It would cost you something personally.  Let's have this discussion about racism.  But let's not do it at the cost of creating more rifts.

One final thought on this.  No one enjoys being told they're wrong.  I don't, but sometimes I need it. Our response is the only thing we have control over.  
Do not speak strong words to a man who laughs at the truth, or he will hate you.  Speak strong words to a wise man, and he will love you.
The modern version of these words is "haters gonna hate." Let's be wise.  Let's be kind. Make it a beautiful day, friends.

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Random Politic Stuff

I don't like politics.  In fact, I loathe it.  On an everyday level, I don't like politic-ing because it seems to bring out the self-promoting, egotistical, underbelly side of us that is not real or true on any level. But on a bigger, national scale there is a place for politics.  We need leadership and governing.  I do realize the importance of laws, law enforcers, and law creators.  I just don't like the facade and drama that has turned our government into a "reality" show.  It's barely effective and seems more about hiding and manipulating truth than actually doing good.

I wasn't too excited to help my son write a congressional bill for school.  I know what bills do and have a good general idea about how they are passed, but actually writing one...well, it just feels like not my favorite kind of writing.  However, he had written most of it already.  He just needed to add some specifics and refinement.  Where do people go to get information on anything these days?  The internet, of course.  Turns out you can go directly to websites like or and read what our congressmen and women and senators are doing on a daily basis.  It was actually kind of interesting.  There was a representative from somewhere that introduced a bill to not put a full social security number on pieces of mail, unless absolutely necessary.  We need an act of congress to do that?  You've got to be kidding me.  There were also weightier issues like sending money or weapons to foreign countries and whether we should do that or not.  It was fascinating to me to see the daily agendas and how many times bills were discussed and tabled, move on to the next one, go back to the last one, and then go back to two bills before that.  If I worked like that all day, it would drive me crazy.  It was completely inefficient and wasteful.

 color: UL royal blue

My point in all this is not to tell you to go run for office, but to just be aware.  Elections are coming up and it is our responsibility to vote.  So go look and see what your senators and congress people are doing.  You might just find out they are doing what they said they would, or you might find out otherwise.  Who knows?

Even in the midst of politics, make it a beautiful day, friends.

After you've checked up on your elected officials, you can go have some fun by following me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.  You can also subscribe to receive each and every post in your inbox when it's hot off the presses.

Monday, September 19, 2016

This is Going to Hurt

If you've ever started a new exercise program, you know that your body is sore after the first work out.  When you start a crossfit workout program you need to multiply about 10.  Due to the whole body nature of the workouts, it just works out that way.  It's a beautiful thing once you get past the first week when your body starts to adjust, and then you know that each time you go to the gym you are getting a total body workout.  But before that happens, you have to start--and that means sore muscles.

Tomorrow morning is that start for me...again.  I'm actually looking forward to it.  I'm not looking forward to the pain, per se, but I am looking forward to feeling better, in general.  As one of my lovely friends put it, "lighter on my feet and less old feeling." That's it in a nutshell.  There's a difference this time, though.  This is not my first time starting a CrossFit workout plan.  Here's what I know:

*I'm ready.  I already know how great I will feel and how strong I will be.  It's time to get back to that place again.

*It's going to hurt.  I know that.  I'll take an aleve when I get home and drink lots of water.  Then I'll go again.

*I know that I won't be able to start where I left off 3 months ago...and that's ok.  I hadn't peaked yet when I had to break for a bit.  I was just starting to hit my stride.  I'll get back there again, eventually.

 colors: UL electric pink & nautical blue

*My community is waiting.  One of my absolute favorite things about working out at my local box is the community of people.  They are the best! And they're one of the biggest reasons I'm going back.  They are real, and encouraging, and they push me in the best way possible.  They help me to be the best me I can be.

*This will be hard.  I know I'm going to be very frustrated when I can't do the things I could do 3 months ago.  This will be an exercise in tenacity and grace.

What hard thing have you been putting off?  Is it time to begin again?  Next up is a Whole30, but that's not today.  Go do your thing.

Make it a beautiful day, friends.

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Saturday, September 17, 2016

What Day is it?

I'll start by apologizing for the late post!  If you've been following me for any length of time, you know I post on Monday and Friday mornings at 5 a.m. (usually)...and I wasn't there yesterday.  Super slacker I was!  I was at a conference in Las Vegas, and I brought my hubby along, so it was a bit of a vacation, too.  

We had a ton of fun.  I just enjoy being with him.  He's hot and funny, so it's fantastic to hang out with him.  We ate way too much food.  Pretty sure I gained at least 5 pounds from eating all the delicious food.  The good news is I'll be starting back to the gym on Monday--after a 3 month hiatus while my foot healed.  I'm looking forward to that and dreading it at the same time...

 colors: UL peony pink & carribean blue

I'm just checking in and want to encourage you to get away with your spouse.  It's important for a lot of reasons.  Someday your kids won't live with you anymore and you need to have connection with the person that's left.  Your kids need to see you make your marriage a priority, too.

Keeping it short this time.  I'll catch up more on Monday.  See you then!  In the meantime...

Make it a beautiful day, friends!


Monday, September 12, 2016

What Happens After

We all remember what we were doing on that Tuesday morning of September 11th, 2001, if we were alive and old enough to remember.  I was at work when one of my co-workers first told me the news. We didn't have good reception, but we watched our little TV to find out what was happening.  My pastor had preached that previous Sunday about the end times talked about in Revelations.  I remember telling a co-worker,
"I knew the end of the world would come, but I didn't think it would be this week."
Turns out it wasn't the end of the world, but it was the end of the world as we knew it. When events of this proportion occur, we often lose hope for a time and experience discouragement and other emotions ranging from despair to anger and everything in between.  I love the motto that came out at that time: America is open for business.  We heard it.  We owned it.  We weren't going to be intimidated.  And eventually we began to have hope for our future again.

 colors: UL crimson red & navy blue

My family is a reminder to me that life does go on.  My son was born in the fall of 2002.  It was a little bit over a year after the 9/11 attacks.  Life went on.  It's not that we forget.  We must never be aware of future attacks, and to be aware of our need to love our neighbor.  We must never forget that today may be our last day.  It may not be a terrorist attack.  It could be a traffic accident, a stroke, a...anything.  

Take this day as a reminder not to hate, but to love.

Make it a beautiful day, friends.

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Friday, September 9, 2016

Clutter Confessions

I have a terribly embarrassing confession to make: my house is a disaster. To convince you of the truth of my confession, I'm actually including pictures (eek!).  It hasn't reached hoarder status, but it's on it's way.  I'm mortified that it has grown to the depth of mess that it has, but it was intentional...sort of. Why would someone intentionally let their house get to an overwhelming, cluttered mess on purpose? Because sometimes, something's just gotta give.

Just to be clear, my house isn't dirty...well, not filthy anyway.  We still take the trash out.  We still clean the bathroom weekly (mostly).  We still do the laundry regularly--even if it ends up in a pile on the couch. here).  But my office is truly a disaster because it's literally in the middle of a it's overflowed onto the coffee table.  Then the regular things that would land on the coffee table migrate to the dining room table, which then overflows to the floor beneath the coat get the point.  And now I'm just done.

dining room table & front entry way "before"

the coffee table "before"

the coat rack "before"

My office "before"...

We've even stayed on top of the dishes when we didn't have a dishwasher for the last 3 months (more on that one

Why am I telling you all this?  Just to keep it real.  With the highlight reels that are often played on social media, it's easy to hide the real side of our here I am.  I recently finished up a huge project that I did outside of my regular, full time job.  I also had a crazy house selling that took longer to close than it should have.  While I loved working my side business, it took a lot of time.  I didn't love the house selling project, but I'm glad we did it.  All that is to say, at some point I had to choose to ignore the clutter in my house, so I could focus on the things in front of me that really need my attention.  I had to choose to walk away from my cluttered coffee table to go for a bike ride with my kids.  I had to ignore the overflowing mess in my office to keep my sanity by reading for 30 minutes. Now those two things are done, I will choose to take a month to truly deep clean my house.  Room by room.  Closet by closet.  Before I start my next big project, I am cleaning out the clutter.  My family knows this is coming, and they have agreed to help.

I'm a little late for spring cleaning, but just in time to preserve my clear minded thought process. The clutter in my house is now overflowing into my brain.  I'm committing to clearing out old toys, clothes, unwanted knickknacks.  I'm committing to at least 15 minutes each day, one area at a time. Once I clear out, I will organize.  I'll get help, if needed.  You are my witness.  This will be done...and it will be fabulous.

Anyone else with me on this?  If you are, then comment below (post a picture of your house clutter, if you're brave).  If you're not, then don't worry.  I'm not going to blog about decluttering for the next month, but I'm sure it will come up occasionally. Feel free to join us later, if you are so inclined, but always stop back for more Jen's Walls Talk blog goodness.  And if you'd like to rescue me from all this decluttering fun by hiring me to do some actually fun color consulting, faux painting, and/or redecorating, I'll not turn that away...but it might be a week or two before I start on your project.

Make it a beautiful day, friends.

Stop by Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to see what creative endeavors I'll be working on in the middle of the purge.  I always appreciate shares and subscribers!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Happy Labor Day

As I write this, I am headed out of town with family and friends to go camping. I did my fair share of camping as a kid. It's not my favorite thing to do, but I love going to the mountains. (My hubby was sweet enough to buy me a camper!) That's why we live in Colorado. It never gets old to live here. 

All that is to say, enjoy the extra time with family and friends this weekend. It's a beautiful gift. 

Make it a beautiful day, friends. 

After you get home, jump over to Twitter and Instagram to see my current wall talking and family adventures. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

More Than a Budget--3 Things to Do When in Financial Mess

"A budget doesn't work if there's no money." That's what my friend said to me from a place of honesty, frustration, and vulnerability when I offered a spot at our next Financial Peace University class.  The point was true to a certain extent, but that's not the end of the story.

Sometimes it's not helpful to respond right away when someone is venting.  Sometimes I need to digest and process my thoughts before I can respectfully and helpfully respond.  Sometimes it's just appropriate to shut my big mouth.

It's easy for me to sound like a know it all, so I want you to understand that we have learned many lessons at the school of hard knocks when it comes to our money at the Spellman house.  When we were first really starting to understand and apply all this crazy Dave Ramsey stuff, we decided to sell our rental property.  We sold it because we didn't buy it to be a rental property--translation: we weren't making any money on it.  We bought our current house when the market was low, but we weren't ready to sell the other house when the market was low.  As a result, we rented it out for a couple years while the market recovered in our area.  Fast forward to two weeks ago when we finally closed on that sale.

As we waited 3 months for the closing to happen, our money was tight...not as tight as it has been in years past, but tighter than is comfortable for sure. Here are some hopefully helpful tips to keep in mind as you work to create a plan to get out of your tight money spot.

1. Remember, you and your spouse are on the SAME team.  You got into this spot together. You can get out of it together, and your relationship will be stronger for it.

2. Your house payment should only be up to 25% of your take home pay. Period. That's why we moved. It is really easy to become house poor.

3. Food. Shelter. Lights. Clothing.  Reasonable clothing. That means winter coats and shoes on your feet. (Wal-Mart works fine. You can get the fancier stuff once you're out of debt.) After the basics, credit cards can wait. Start your debt  snowball AFTER you have an emergency fund of $1,000.

 colors: UL cherry red & bright white

I know other things happen to us that are truly beyond our control.  That is life.  But there are plenty of things in our control, too. We can always choose our attitude. We can choose when to ask for help or when to give up.  I strongly recommend taking Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. I don't get any compensation for recommending it to you. I really believe in the program, and the principles it's based on.

What will you choose to do today that will make tomorrow different?

Make it a beautiful day, friends.

I always appreciate your follows, shares, and subscribes. You can see more of my wall talking fun  Instagram. I'm @JensWallsTalk. 

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