Current Mantra

I ended my last post asking you to imagine how your life would look in one year if you started to make decisions based on what would make you happy (making sure that they, of course, aligned with your priorities). If you took me seriously and really imagined what it would look like if EVERY action and decision you made was to move you one step closer to a happier life… It might’ve given you goosebumps. Which is a good thing…

I started Lara Casey’s book Make It Happen some time last year and never got past the first few chapters. It wasn’t the right “time”. After what has gone on these past few months, I know if I had finished that book the first time around Lara’s message wouldn’t have resonated with me as much as it did when I read it the second time around over the holidays. A few months ago I made the scary decision to choose my family over my job (reading that it sounds ridiculous that anything should come before your family yet how many of us get judged for having to do just that?).

I called my Nana crying because I felt like I was such a failure. That I couldn’t make the right decisions and find a good job. An honest and hardworking person like me (and imagine how many others out there) couldn’t find a decent paying job with stable hours… But she reminded me that I needed to be strong for our family. Thomas is the strength and foundation but I keep us operating and plan and keep track of EVERYTHING. I can’t afford to crack under the pressure.

Amazing things happen when you finally surrender to what is. I had to be honest with myself, the hours and what was expected of me at the pub just wasn’t going to work for our lifestyle. I had so much more to offer if I could only find the stability and reassurance I needed that my job would take care of my family.

With a new fire lit under me I scoured the Internet for a job. We have heard nothing but amazing things about working for Fred Meyers (a grocery store in our area that’s a part of the Kroger chain) and they had an opening for a deli clerk position. I was totally intrigued. I had faith that if it was meant to be it would be.

As an early Christmas present, I landed the job. And I honestly love it. It’s everything I love about the restaurant industry (customer service, food, teamwork, and daily challenges) with the stability a server position lacked (pay and hours to name a few).

I knew I would need to find a way to balance all these priorities in my life (faith, Thomas, family life, work, and mommy time which includes working out and creative time) so I began to put purpose behind as many of my actions as I could. I knew the first thing to suffer would be my workouts… And they have. But I try to put purpose behind everything I do at work. I try to alternate lifting the heavy chubs of meats and cheeses between my right and left arms which has helped to keep my pesky lil’ wings under control (you know what I mean right?! Those darn arm flaps that are so hard to get rid of!)! Making sure I put purpose behind everything I do, whether it’s at work or at home, puts me in the best position to make the right choices that move me towards a happier life.

But life, of course, always has its curveballs. Thomas’ retail job started drastically cutting his hours and as our bookkeeper fear started to creep back into my mind. If you know Thomas… He puts a lot of passion and purpose into each one of the relationships he builds. And one of those relationships saved us just in the knick of time. But with sudden blessings comes sudden changes. This week my emotions have been on a wild rollercoaster as we remain grateful for all these opportunities and blessings while trying to stay on top of finding someone to watch our kids along with trying to get our new schedules to jive. Through the craziness we’re trying to stay focused on the lessons we’ve learned these past few months… Because they’ve really gotten us through some hard times.

God has shown us that if we keep pushing and putting purpose behind all our efforts the outcome always blows our mind. In my last post I shared it was a rough day because I was letting fear and worry take over my mind. I honestly don’t have room or time for that in my life so from here on out… This is my mantra:

Surrender to what is.
Have faith in what will be.
Put purpose in everything You do.

These three things (plus love & honesty <3) have never failed us… And are words I choose to live by.

megan
I’ve been putting inspirational quotes as my phone’s home screen to keep me focused and I’ve made this mantra is my current one. Feel free to save it!

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My current mantra. Over these past few months these three things have gotten us through so much.

Brain Dump & Life Update

I’ve been struggling for a long time to find the right words to sum up what’s been going on in our lives. But I guess a great place to start would be today. Today has been a rough one for me. And it really shouldn’t be because Thomas and I have been blessed with amazing opportunities after several months of, let’s not sugar-coat it, struggling.

My job at a small family owned pub was going well for a while until their high turnover rate started to bite me in the ass. I am, honest to God, a hard worker. Ask Thomas, I sometimes have a hard time saying no to my job at the expense of my family. But I pride myself in being transparent. I constantly reminded my managers that I couldn’t be working the late night shifts. That I could cover them once in a while but if this was going to consistently be happening it wasn’t going to work out. I had to be honest with myself, I didn’t LOVE my job. I would come home frustrated at how things were.

Thomas and I have come to believe something. If you hate your job. Why hold on to it? There’s SOMEONE out there who could really use your job and would appreciate it. Just like there is a job out there for you that you will love and enjoy. After being reassured by my manager that things would change, I got stuck pulling another 12 hour shift from 2pm-2am. I was done. I had to be honest with myself and I walked off my job.

If I hadn’t done what I did that night, I wouldn’t have been frantically job searching the next few days. And I wouldn’t have found a job posting for a deli clerk position at a well-known grocery chain. I loved the food industry and was looking to find away to get back into it without compromising my family life. I took a plunge.

All of this happened at the close of 2015. It was at the moment I decided to stand up for my priorities and surrender to whatever God had planned for me, because I just knew the pub wasn’t it and why settle in life especially if you know you can do better?

I got through our busy holiday season and I have been making strides with the training they give me. Unfortunately, Thomas’ hours started to get cut. We expected them to cut them back a bit with the ending of the holiday season, but not literally taking away half his days with each passing week. His schedule eventually got cut down to one day. And that was just not gonna cut it.

By the grace of God, Thomas got a phone call the very next day and it was a job offer for a line cooks position at Dirty Oscar’s Annex (D.O.A.).

Now, I know I brag on my hubby a lot but I had no idea how he would top working at Chambers Bay during the U.S. Open last year, but he’s freakin’ doing it. A few years ago, D.O.A. appeared on Food Network’s Diner’s, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Thomas had a decision to make.

Walking away from both of our jobs were the best (and scariest) decisions we both made in our lives after moving. And with sudden changes there are, of course, consequences. We’re doing our best to juggle our schedules and luckily the few close friends we do have up here have been amazing life savers and have been keeping an eye on the girls for us if our schedules overlap.

This of course isn’t ideal for the long term but it’s an amazing opportunity for the both of us. We’re going to have to make some adjustments but I’m glad we have our priorities straight. Bottom line… If there’s something in your life that’s not making you happy or adding value or positivity to your soul… Do something about it. Life really does go by too fast to be spending time worrying about what other people think. Because imagine this… What if you put purpose behind EVERY action you did throughout the day towards making your life happier. Imagine where you could be in a year. Of course it starts small… But the most amazing things happen when you let go and have faith.

megan

Changes

The decision has been made.

I have been so beyond blessed that Thomas wants me to be a stay-at-home-momma.  To tell you the truth, until we lost our jobs and he asked me to stay home with our baby, I had never considered staying home longer than I needed to.  I had always thought I was going to be a career/working mom.  Over these past two years I have been able to bond with our girls and watch them grow and it’s truly made me see the blessings of being a parent.

To make ends meet, Thomas had to work no less than full-time and make a certain income.  No questions asked.  If you read my previous post, Love and Honesty, I talked about how after having Hailey I felt like I was drowning.  I talked about how for these past few months I’ve been taking a lot of time to focus on myself and, in a sense, reorganizing myself.  Back in July, God sent me another little blessing.  I had met Kaitlyn on Instagram and we had formed a mommy friendship over social media.  One day, Kaitlyn approached me with the crazy opportunity to be a fitness coach.  Now, being a blogger and active momma on social media, I was totally prepared for my typical “thanks but no thanks” speech.  But something spoke to me and told me to look into the opportunity more.

Over the past few months, Beachbody has provided me with resources and tools that I can use to genuinely help people make positive changes in their lives.  For me, my Beachbody transformation started off as a mental and emotional one.  Personal development is a huge part of many of our coaches routines and there’s a reason for that!  Successful people are constantly seeking more knowledge and the opportunities to grow.

I have been able to contribute financially with my Beachbody business which is why Thomas has been able to accept a part time retail job at Skechers.  As random as it may seem to others, the situation and people remind us a lot like his opportunity at Chambers Bay so we’re going to run with it.  With Thomas’ change in schedule I’ve decided to also put myself out there and join the work force again! The last day I worked was on July 31, 2013.  We are so beyond blessed that I have landed a serving job so quickly after such a long period of time and, just like Thomas, I’m very excited to work with the people I’ve met so far.

“We cannot control the wind, but we can direct the sail.”

Now, before you scoff at the idea of Thomas being in retail and me being a server all while pursuing our dreams of building a Beachbody empire using this blog and our YouTube channel (Phew. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg :-P) We’ve got big plans and goals, and we’ve got two daughters who are more than just depending on us.

What Thomas and I want to build is a legacy.  To show Chloe and Hailey that no dream is too small as long as you’re willing to put the time and work in to turn it into a reality.  Because there’s always a silver lining to everything.  And I think to most, our financial situation would seem like rock bottom.  But to us, it never was.  It was a chance to regroup and come back with an even stronger drive.  The bottomline is that nothing will get done if we sit and wait for perfect opportunities to fall into our lap.  God has given us options and opportunities and those are blessings as well.  At the end of the day I thank God for the family I have, the home that keeps us warm, the food that keeps us healthy, and the love that keeps us happy.  As long as I have those four things, my cup is full.

megan

Love and Honesty

Man, oh, man where to start…

Thomas and I knew that when we left Hawai’i with our little (growing) family, that we would be taking a gargantuan risk(s) and that it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park.  I mean, we were picking up our lives and relocating over 2,000 miles away.

And well… We’ve been doing a lot of growing, and changing…

People who have known us for a long time, usually consider me to be the control center for our family. I keep track of everything. Although Thomas has the memory of an elephant, he literally can recall the smallest details from what would seem like such an ordinary moment over twenty years ago, yet he can’t remember the details of an appointment even if he made it the day before. I’m the mature one of the two of us.  But what people don’t know, is the deep and very profound side of him that I’ve watched develop before my eyes.

Unfortunately for me, over these past few years I’ve gone into auto-pilot mode.  In an effort to make everyone around me happy, I put my own feelings aside. Moving away from Hawai’i forced Thomas, and ultimately me, to realize that this wasn’t going to work anymore.  I couldn’t “fake” my way through my happiness anymore, and Thomas could clearly see that that was what I was doing.  Somewhere along the way, a time when Thomas and I were happy, I settled down and stopped growing.  As Thomas and our lives together evolved, I kept telling myself that what worked as young twenty year olds would still work as two parents in their mid-twenties living on their own. I was just fooling myself. I needed to change, I needed to grow up.

Over these past few months I’ve really taken the time to reevaluate my life and its priorities.  Of course the first few were no brainers: my faith, my family, and my relationship with Thomas.  But when it came to me and identifying me, I had no clear goals.  And that’s when I realized my life lacked focus and direction.  Back in July, I shared my 25 in 25 list, and to be honest, when I wrote it I guess I really was lost.  I was praying multiple times a day for some sort of guidance that would help me get a better handle on everything, I felt like I was drowning and had no support from anyone who genuinely understood how I was feeling.

I needed some love and honesty.

I’ve been MIA for three months because I’ve really been using this time to focus on me and my family.  And although I’ve missed writing and documenting our lives (our vlogs have taken a serious toll as well…), it was for the best.  I needed to take some time to listen to the love and honesty that Thomas was trying to give me.

Looking back on my list that I made just a few months ago, I now see that the roadblock for so many of those goals was fear.  As soon as I started embracing who I was, including and ultimately my flaws, I started to feel more at ease (weird right?!) and I was able to prioritize my life and what I needed to tackle better.  In the beginning I thought I was having to step back to take a break, but now I realize that it was to let everything fall into it’s own place.

I’m finally taking the time to share this because lately I’ve been getting a lot of very kind messages from fellow mommies/girlfriends/wives on Instagram and Facebook asking, “How do you guys do it?”  And although it’s been really humbling, to tell you the truth, things have gotten a bit choppy lately.  But Thomas and I have our faith and we’re navigating the waters the best we can.  I grew up listening to the song I shared at the beginning of this post, and now that I am a wife I hold the words dear to my heart…

There’s more to life than getting by.
There’s times in life
To really try.
My love for you
Really made me see,
I won’t give up,
Won’t lose my dreams,
Your being there
Is everything
And I promise you
Love and Honesty. 

On March 1, 2013 I made a vow to stand by Thomas’ side for better or for worse, I promised to give my all to him and the family we knew we were creating together.  There really is more to life than just getting by and Thomas reminds me of that every single day.  I’m learning that happiness is an evolving journey, and like perfection, we’re constantly chasing it as it grows and changes.  Although growing and changing can be so scary, bottom line is he’s worth it… We’re worth it. <3 megan

Good-Bye June

Sunrise at Chambers Bay Golf Course at University Place, Washington.

We are officially starting the last half of the year. Holy. Cow. I know I normally share our usual Currently update (check out previous posts here) on the first of every month, but I’ve been trying to put together this particular post for a while and I think it’s time for me to finally share it.

I wouldn’t be holding true to my blog name if I didn’t start posting some simply honest and  simply real stuff. If you’ve been following my journey, or especially if you’ve known Thomas and me for a while, you can probably tell that Thomas and my babies are literally my everything. I don’t know if it was the strain of learning to split my time between three people who I love more than anything or just an accumulation of years and years of events and bottled up “me” (who am I kidding it’s definitely a mixture of both) but Thomas and I have been having a lot of, what we like to call, “heart to hearts”.

If you’re close to Thomas you know he can (often times) be brutally honest, sometimes crossing the lines of being polite. But it always, always, always comes from a place of love. Now that he’s working, he’s noticed a change in the dynamics of our relationship. And I won’t lie, it’s been like this for a while, probably going back to around when I found out I was pregnant with Chloe. Although he never questioned my love for him, the way I was showing it was just all wrong. Now that he’s gone for, sometimes, 10+ hours a day, time with us is even more precious to him and he felt it was finally time for me to address it.

Have you ever tried saying something like that to a stay at home momma of two under two? It didn’t go over so well the first 16284636 times we had that conversation. But God always works in amazing and mysterious ways and I finally started to really think about what Thomas was trying to tell me.

What was funny was Thomas kept telling me that I was trying too hard. That I was focusing so much on him and the girls and what I thought would make him happy, that I’ve lost myself. I’ve forgotten to take into consideration what would make me happy. I would keep telling him “I just want you to be happy…”

To which he would respond, “What would make me happy is you doing what makes YOU happy…”

Even though Thomas' coworkers offered to watch the girls, I couldn't bring myself to not include them in this once in a lifetime experience. It definitely wasn't easy wheeling the girls up and down the hills of Chambers Bay, but Thomas and I are both glad we pulled on our big girl pants and sucked it up. You can catch me and my little family with our little green wagon throughout the PNW. ^_^

Even though Thomas’ coworkers offered to watch the girls, I couldn’t bring myself to not include them in this once in a lifetime experience. It definitely wasn’t easy wheeling the girls up and down the hills of Chambers Bay, but Thomas and I are both glad we pulled on our big girl pants and sucked it up. You can catch me and my little family with our little green wagon throughout the PNW. ^_^ (You can check out a bit of what we saw at the 2015 U.S. Open on our YouTube channel here. I’m hoping to find a new blogging/vlogging schedule soon!)

I learned a new word from Thomas’ nephew, Deray. The word is compersion. It’s a new concept that has come to be with the changing of times and cultures. According to a HuffPost blog post by Gracie X, it’s the joyful feeling one feels for their spouse after they’ve spent time with their lover, similar to happiness you feel for your husband or wife when they get a promotion or finally achieved a goal they’ve had set for a long time. She goes on to say how this polyamorous principle could and should be applied to monogamous relationships. She basically summed up what Thomas has been trying to tell me all along: it’s okay for me to find joy and happiness from a source other than him and my girls. In fact, I needed that time to find me.

Thomas and I are middle school sweethearts. And I think over this past decade I’ve just fallen so completely in love with him and the family we’re making that I’ve forgotten how to love myself. Not taking the time to do what I love and not separating myself from my family has caused me to lose my identity. It has me constantly second thinking everything I do because I want everything to be perfect for my husband and daughters.

I have a life outside of being a mother and a wife and I also have an identity that’s separate from the roles I play in my family. I want to find them again. I’ve seen a few of these lists that people make that contains goals they aim to accomplish before their next birthday (here are two of my favorites: here and here). Thomas has practically moved mountains since turning 25 last May (fun fact: our first full day in Washington was Thomas’ 25th birthday) and since my 25th birthday is coming up in a few weeks I’ve put together my 25 in 25.

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This is my beautiful FoxyDori (aka LoveDori). A lovely gal bought her used and didn’t end up using her as much as she’d liked. So, she wanted her to go to another good home. She has a few imperfections but so do I. I think she’ll be perfect to house anything and everything that deals with my journey to finding the new me.

My list has a nice little mix of activities I’d like to do more of like cooking, memory keeping/crafting, picnics and hikes as a family, go on a date with (just) Thomas, reading and journaling more. But it also contains a few deeper items like “own who you are and everything you have to offer the world”, “love yourself”. Or my favorite: “make this year the best one yet”. ^_^ I’m aiming high from here on out. (You can read my full list here.)

Thomas has really found himself since we’ve moved up here and I honestly feel like a butterfly who’s ready to emerge back into the world. So… Again. Thank you so much for joining me on this crazy beautiful journey called motherhood and here’s to (re)defining me!❤

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megan

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25 in 25

On July 14, I turn a quarter of a century old. As I get older, I really want to embrace my age and all the experiences that go a long with growing older. I want to make the best of each year, so, I decided to put together a list of goals for me to accomplish by my 26th birthday. You can read more about my decision to put this list together here. I wanna keep this post short and to the point so here’s my list of 25 things to work on before turning 26!

I'll be using this beautiful FoxyDori that I bought from a very sweet girl, Krystal, to journal in!

I’ll be using this beautiful FoxyDori that I bought from a very sweet girl, Krystal, to journal in!

1. Go on more family adventures: Canada, Leavensworth, WA, California, and wherever else God may take us.

2. Read at least five books.

3. Complete one straight year of vlogging.

4. Enjoy nature more, especially as a family: sunsets/sunrises, hikes, beaches, lakes, stargazing…

5. Dress “up” more.

6. Revamp my blog and our YouTube channel!

7. Learn to bake.

8. Start putting together my recipe book.

9. Love yourself. Own who you are and everything you have to offer the world.

10. Find a good blogging routine and schedule.

11. Network more! Start putting yourself out there and don’t be afraid to build relationships with people who inspire you.

12. Find balance.

13. Stay organized.

14. Take time to do what makes YOU happy.

15. Grow something.

16. Handmade holiday cards.

17. Contribute financially.

18. Completely go through ALL of our belongings and keep only the things we use and what brings us happiness.

19. Decorate our apartment.

20. Go on a date with (just) Thomas.

21. Trip to the coast.

22. Trip to the mountains.

23. Trip to a lake.

24. Learn to take criticism like a grain of salt.

25. Make this year the best one yet!

I’m definitely setting my sights high from this day forward! I’ve already started tackling this list… It’s never too early to start.😉 Have any of you tried a list like this? What are some of your current goals?
megan

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Planner Peace?!

Okay. I’ve had a planner in my life since they first gave us one in elementary school to learn how to keep track of our assignments. I’ve also had an obsession with school/craft/stationary supplies that started around the same time. Ever since I finished up college, I’ve been in a sort of limbo with my planners. Especially since I don’t hold a traditional 9-5 job (heck yeah I count being a 24/7 stay at home momma a job… Don’t believe me check out this video. I digress.) Since I no longer need to keep track of assignments or work meetings but instead tasks I need done, my husband’s work schedule, important dates, and our finances etc., I found that I wasn’t using a lot of the features that came with the planners I was typically drawn to buying. Now that we have two little ones and Thomas is back at work full-time it’s been even more important for me to find a system that works for me… And I think I’m finally on to one! 


I somehow stumbled across traveler’s notebooks while tumbling down the planner rabbit hole one day and I instantly fell in love. I immediately saw endless possibilities. 

Since my days revolve more around things that need to get done, I’ve found that bullet journaling works really well for me. I first heard about it through Inkwell Press (you can go here to see a super helpful video about it). It’s basically prioritizing and listing your tasks or activities for the day. This literally takes just a few minutes. Every night before I go to bed I write out a rough list of what needs to be done.  I also have a brain dump book that I use so I can quickly dump ideas, appointments, lists etc. if I don’t have time to write it nicely in its proper place (putting things in its proper place is also important but more on that later). That way the next day I don’t have to rack my brain over things that caught my eye the day before. When you’re a mommy, especially of multiple little ones, you don’t have the luxury of sitting and taking your time to decide and plan out your day. The less thinking I have to do on the fly the better. 

  
So, you’re probably wondering when do I find the time to put together my layouts? Well. One of the reasons I was MIA for the past few months is because my desk just became buried under a pile of crap. I have no idea where it all came from but all of a sudden I got really overwhelmed. Thomas and I took a weekend to thoroughly clean our apartment and I completely purged and reorganized my supplies. Now that everything has a place (I even went the extra step of labeling things ^_^) I don’t waste time searching for what I want. And since I purged everything (and I mean I literally looked at every little embellishment and stack of paper) if I didn’t love it, I found a new home for it. 

  
I also take advantage of any downtime. I take advantage of every opportunity I have I try to finish up the items I have on my list that way I can have “mommy time” later on. I’ve also found that it helps me to take my supplies on the go! I’ve met a lovely fellow PNW gal through the Instagram planner community, Ayano (@frugalcitygirl on IG), and I bought this AMAZING bag from her! I use it to store all of my embellishments so I can plan on the go. And believe me when I say it holds a TON! I have a bunch of journaling cards (both 3×4 and 5×7), a few samplings of various Target Dollar Spot sticky notes, practically all the washi samples I’ve accumulated over these months, a few sheets of stickers, the Heidi Swapp washi book my planner friend, Caitlyn, sent me… You get my point. I also take a pencil case that holds any rolls of washi I might want to use, a double ended permanent pen, mechanical pencil, ball point pens, erasure, an adhesive roller, and scissors. ^_^ So far, this set up is working out great!

 

I notice that even when I plan at home I pull out these on-the-go bags and I just pull extra embellishments and such as I go. 

Ever since I had little Hailey, I feel like I haven’t been able to find a good balance in my life. I know that it takes time, but I feel like a big part of it was because my life was such as “mess”. Since decluttering, and finding a system to help me stay organized I feel like things are falling into place again. This has become my “me” time and I’m enjoying sharing it with you all. Hopefully this means blogging and vlogging will fall into a good schedule again as well! Happy planning!

  

megan

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