Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Balancing Act

As most anyone trying to coordinate multiple events or tasks at one time knows, it isn't easy to keep your balance and maintain a good pace while managing or multitasking more than one thing. Mothers often times have 101 things going on throughout their day, coordinating meals, tending to and corralling kids, pets, and husbands (yes, I said it... husbands need corralling too), doing laundry, carting kid 1 to this practice and kid 2, 3 or 4 to their respective practices, plays or recitals... the list could go on. Dads hit the ground running too every day juggling work, meetings, picking up kid 1 from practice and meeting up somehow with Mom, kid 2, 3 or 4 to attempt a family dinner, a reasonable bed time and maybe squeeze in a bedtime story if it isn't already close to 10pm. It's all about balancing and preparation... nothing in life can be done, especially done right, if you are spreading yourself too thin.
Where do you fit time in to give proper attention to your health and wellness?? When do you take a breath to make sure your spirit, mind and body are aligned so that you aren't off balance?? How do you stop the running from here to there and set time aside to make sure you're physically centered? It's a delicate balancing act. Whether you are a single working professional, a stay at home Mom, a working Dad, a 2 parent working family,  or a single Mom/Dad... it doesn't matter, Life is about Balance!!! Being healthy is a 4 part process... to me if any of the 4 are not level, I am not at my best. To me, my 4 steps to balanced wellness are proper nutrition, a focused spirit, maintaining a peaceful mind and a building a strong body.
Pretty much any time you see me, I will have my planner in hand, a water bottle and/or Herbalife product in my bag, my Ipod charged, ready to go and a scripture or daily devotional read, posted or listed somewhere!!! That's how I stay balanced... having all those things in my life keep me centered and allow me to lead a purposeful life. I wasn't always like that though. It took a while to develop my routine, to perfect my balance and learn how to prepare myself to be successful in all of these areas. That doesn't mean I am perfect or that I don't slack or let 1 or more of these areas in my life fall short from time to time. It happens more than not... but the difference in me now from me 3 years ago is that I know I have a choice every day to try and stay balanced. I know, for me, what it takes to lead a purposeful life. I choose my direction. I pick my focus. I give my days and hours meaning... no one else does that for me. No one else determines my balance in life but me. No matter how busy my life gets or how many practices I shuffle kid 1 to and pick kid 2 up from... with preparation and focus I know my days are balanced and filled with grace.
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
2 Timothy 1:7
A false balance is a an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight.
Proverbs 11:1

How do you maintain balance?? Do you have a plan to give better focus to your days and schedule? How do you center yourself spiritually every day? Share your tips!!! Let me in on your plan and maybe we can all learn from each other...

Always - Abbey

**This post is featured on the monthly {Faith and Fitness} series on the  Worthy of the Prize blog**

Friday, March 22, 2013

#Mommaprobs {take 2}

So today... today I cried. I just couldn't help it. Chalk it up to lack of sleep, being overwhelmed, or the ever present womanly time of the month. Whatever it was, or all of the above... I sobbed. To be honest, I don't have anything really earth shattering to be sad about or worry over or even be depressed about. I went to an amazing concert last night with my love and wonderful friends, knowing our boys were with their Nani (who was spoiling them rotten, no doubt). Life is good... Our house is intact, our health is above par, and we have full lives that keep us busy and fulfilled. But the tears came anyway. We do have stress, who doesn't? But today I let the little things get the best of me. I haven't blogged in weeks. My workouts are scarce, but my eating is constant. Then our big boy woke up pukey at 4am. I had had a 'little' too much fun at said concert. The laundry was already taking over the left side of our house and then the poor sicko added in multiple 'puked/pooped upon' items that I won't mention. Speaking of unmentionable... the dog, whom I love dearly also wanted in on the pity party. I had to drag out her out of said puke-poopish laundry items, 3 TIMES!!!! But I'm not mentioning that....
I mean, really? How could something so cute be so gross...???? Moving on... As I yanked the pooch outta the poop pile 'o laundry, I couldn't help but cry. Because I was tired? Yes! Because I was totally grossed out? Um, yea! Because in the middle of nothing big, I started to pile on (no laundry pun intended) all the little worries and hurts, stresses and let downs, insecurities and anger... basically I created my own emotional pile of dirty laundry! I was totally sweatin' the small stuff. Hell... the small stuff was smacking me in the face and egging on the dog to jump in the poop pile! 
So after a good couple cries and pushing my way out of the laundry pile I stopped by the chocolate covered almonds (yea, hello pms) and decided to get over myself. I may not be able to control when puke hits or when life throws you an emotional sucker punch, but I do have control over me, my perspective and how I choose to deal!! Someone once told me that we are all stars of our own movies. And from that I have learned that often times I forget to take a lead role in my own feature film. I rely on my co-stars to make my movie good, worthy of praise. And that's when the sadness sets in for me. When I see that I am thinking more about what surrounds me rather than just about me. It may be because I am a care taker by nature and a giving person who truly loves to see people smile, but my spotlight in life is just important as anyone else's. Yes... I was for real when I said I was an emotional wreck today!! Thus the deep, yet over the top movie star references!!
Moving past the shame spiral of over thinking... and putting away the chocolate almonds (for the night at least)! I totally don't think my worries rank up there with half of the worldly issues some people face. And I am completely using the movie reference to draw a picture of how we all, me especially, get caught up in the little non sense stuff and loose sight of the important things. Like being healthy, having security, being your own best friend, taking time to see the goodness that surrounds you. I may not know much, but I do know this for sure... Tomorrow is a new day and it's not guaranteed. See the good and be the good while you can. For me, hopefully the puke has subsided and the poop will find it's way out of the laundry and into where it belongs!!! I am going to focus on what I can control... Me! My movie, my worth, my happiness! I will gladly take center stage and happily star along side an amazing leading man and 2 precious co-stars that have bright futures, oh... and one spotlight hogging(and dirty laundry stealing) pooch! I should be my biggest fan, I mean if I don't believe in me why would anyone else!?! I might be over the top, but together with my team of 4... I think we are Oscar worthy and totally have a shot at a People's Choice Award! Ha...
More posts to come from our Spring Break adventures, fun girlfriend times and maybe a few more #mommaprobs to share!!! BUT... I promise less poop talk and definitely no more sobbing in the laundry room!!! Nobody's got time for that kinda movie...

Always - Abbey

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Counting Blessings {VDay recap}

The past few weeks have taken us by storm. Just like every year, the lead up to spring comes on like a wave of endless days filled with too many appointments and an over abundance of places to be. We loose track of our hours, end up being crabby and ultimately loosing sight of what is right in front of us. We loose sight of what's most important, our family! Plain and simple, we let the 'things' take over the 'us' that brings on smiles and laughter, the 'us' that gives smiles and relaxing moments!!! Our boys have been tired and whinny, begging to stay up later to play, fighting us to sleep in and crying through the school drop off lane! My hubs and I are walking zombies, trying our best (but failing) to keep our whits about us as we rush thru the day to day and skip over the bedtimes stories at night so that we can grab that extra minute of sleep that we so desperately need! Basically... we need a break. We need to reboot so that we can remember 'us' and forget 'things' that get in the way of counting our blessings.
So that is what I am doing today, I am taking a break and counting my blessings. I am barricading myself at home (with the exception of a visit to the doctor) and forcing myself to rest and recoup. While I force feed myself quiet time, I thought it would be nice to look back at our Valentine's day pics. The pics I never got around to posting... The pics that I never put words to... The pics that got lost in the shuffle of 'things' and took a back seat to sleepless nights and wake less mornings of stress and over looked blessings... The pics that truly make me remember 'Us'!

{Team Lewis, VDay 'Glow in the Dark Dinner' 2013}

These are our blessings. This is 'Us'... No matter the day, no matter the time!! Even when we forget and let 'things' get in the way, we are a family and that is our biggest Blessing!!!

Always - Abbey

Monday, March 4, 2013


There are so many words out there, floating around. We teach our kids to speak with kind words and slow their tongues in anger. We try to show them the right way to string together their words so that they can be heard and understood... 'use your words, honey!" But sometimes there aren't the right words, or the right words come at the wrong time or the wrong words come at the wrong time.  And we are left without words? How do you explain that sometimes people use words to hurt you or confuse you or even to belittle you? When is it ok to look at those innocent eyes looking back at you for explanation and tell them that not all words have the best intentions? Hell... I am still trying to teach myself to dance around words that hurt or words that sting or even words that catch you off guard!!! How can I teach our little guys, if I am still learning? And better yet, what do you do when you teach your kids by example to speak with kindness and respect, yet others don't give you the same words back? There isn't a right or wrong approach to this aspect of parenting or life, for that matter. Everyone is different and everyone's words are formed by what and who they have around them. It is what it is. It's what makes our world both glorious in it's own right, and terrifyingly frustrating all at the same time...
We try to keep things honest and real around our house. No question is off limits and no feelings left unheard. We dance in the kitchen after dinner to music that some might think twice about playing for their 9 and 5 year olds. But that's us!! We don't shy away from explaining the meaning of words in songs, on TV or the computer. That's just the way we do things. It might backfire on us now and then, like when our little man's teacher tells us that he was gladly singing along with his friends at recess to the tune of Will.I.am and Brittany Spears latest song... you know the one.. "Brittany, Bitch", yea that one!!! Ha! There's one that backfired on me!!! We no longer listen to that song, thank you very much!!! But our boys do know the real meaning behind the word, bitch!!! And not to ever use that word!!!
Either way, lately I am finding that no matter how much real life we prepare them for, how many words we share with them or prep them with... there are still going to be times when we are left speechless as parents. There are going to be times when our heart breaks watching our loves experience the true let down of hurtful words or actions. We can't prepare them for everything, we won't be by their sides forever. Sometimes even what seems like a simple thing, like making new friends, can be hard. I am even finding it a surprisingly hard transition to watch our big boy play out front with a new 'friend' without me being out there to monitor or supervise.  A friend I don't know in and out, who I didn't introduce my son to and haven't met the parents of. A bigger boy, who seems a little too mature for our 'big boy'. But I do it... I let him go out front, exchange words and play his way into a new friendship. I may be standing at the front window, behind the curtain, straining to hear every word spoken... But he doesn't need to know that, for now!
In my heart I know that the day to day love and support we give our boys will guide them through whatever happens in their lives. I can tell that our openness has given them words of growth and strength when they needed it. And I pray that continues as they get older. We will have words that backfire on us and words that we didn't prep for, but hopefully we won't be left speechless. I want our boys to search for the deeper meaning in their words. I hope they speak with kindness and purpose. I need them to sing at the top of their lungs to Jay-Z if that's what gives them the confidence to move forward in whatever it is that challenges them. Without words I would be lost. I would be unmotivated and deprived of the joy of expression. There are times when my words escape me and I find them at the wrong time... but I never stop speaking or writing or singing. I trust that our boys will see that in me, in us as a family and carry that with them wherever they may go! 
Always - Abbey