Slow to Speak

March 21, 2018

I was listening to a local radio station the other day and the hosts began to talk about the verse "Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry" James 1: 19. Although my first thoughts about this verse are to ensure that we are conversing with people in a respectful way and taking time to choose our words correctly, it also made me think about how I approach my part of a conversation with people. 

I've always prided myself on being a good listener. I mean, as a counselor (even if I am just a school counselor) that's pretty much my job. Listen to the worries, the fears, the excitement, the stories... I feel as though I listen all day long. Yet as time has passed, I have learned that I'm not good at really listening. I find myself preparing for what I'm going to say, how I can relate to what the person is telling me, or my mind has wandered to other things that I need to do or accomplish.  

As I was self-reflecting on my listening skills, I thought about the saying "We have 2 and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak". People don't always need to know that you have trudged through the same waters, or what your opinions are about the topic they are discussing. Sometimes, they just need to speak those words out loud, get them off of their heart, or share them with someone who will stop what they are doing, give them their attention, and listen. 

This hit home with me as a partner, friend, family member, mother, and counselor to young students. If I am spending all the time doing the talking, then I am missing out on what is being said or needing to be said from the other half of the conversation. I think as humans, we want to be able to make a connection with people, and we do that by sharing our own personal experiences but the more I've thought about, the more I see that sometimes the connection is made just by being the listening ear. 

In traveling along new paths lately, I feel like I have come to learn a lot about myself. There are moments when I am proud of new skills that I have learned, ways that I have grown, or things that I have learned about myself that I didn't know already. But with that, comes things that I wish I did better, was better at, or could accomplish in a better way.  Being a better listener, being slow to speak, is definitely an area that is a work in progress for me. 

Do you find yourself speaking more than you listen? 

Carousel Ride | Life Thoughts

March 15, 2018

Adi and I went to the carnival during the local fair last weekend. I love that she is getting to an age where she enjoys things more and more although #momfail. I let her wear these cute new moccasins I had purchased for her before she was even born and all she wanted to do was walk around through the dirt in them. But that's besides the point.

What ride is the one ride that kids of any ages, young and old, can ride? You guessed it. The carousel. Adilynn has an adventurous little spirit. She loves to try new things and can be very independent when she sets her mind to it. I had no doubt in my mind that she would love riding around and around on one of the horses as it went up and down. I could just picture her little tooth-filled grin as she smiled her way through the whole ride.
At least that's what I lead myself to believe it was going to be like. We stepped up onto the carousel, followed our friends until they found the animal they wanted to ride and then I put her on the pretty horse nearby. I just knew, as the ride started, that she was going to squeal with delight. Wrong. As it started to move, she hated it. I mean full on panic set in on her face and I could see her shaking trying to figure out what was happening. She wanted absolutely no part of any of it. So I spent the whole ride standing between moving animals, holding my sweet girl who glared at the animals as they went up and down beside us.
So what gives? She had her momma right there beside her, she loves to be adventurous, and she smiles her biggest smiles when she's riding different toys of hers. Everything was set for success yet she hated every minute of it.

As I was sitting in bed last night, I started thinking about how her reaction to the ride is like our reaction to new situations. We can prepare for them, be excited about them, feel in our hearts that it's the best situation ever, yet some how it doesn't always meet our expectations. Or, in some cases, we absolutely hate it. I had so many preconceived notions in my head about how our ride would go that I didn't think twice about her possibly hating it. I know that is a fault of mine. I see clearly one side of something and don't always take the time to get a feel for the other side.

As our carousel ride ended, I could see the relief on Adi's face as we walked away from it. I know that feeling of relief. It's like surviving your first day as a brand new teacher, that awkward moment when you walk into a room and don't know anyone but you finally spot your best friend, or when you go for something not really sure if it's the right next step and all the pieces fall into place. Relief. Thankful you tried, thankful it's over, and more hopeful than ever that the next time you try, it won't be quite as bad. Here's to our next carousel ride sweet girl.

March Goals

March 14, 2018

To say that March snuck up on me is definitely an understatement. February was a busy month, both at home and at work. Adi turned ONE whole year on the 2nd and I still just can't believe I have a one year old. What is this life anyways? I have to admit that she is just getting more and more fun with each passing day. I still stress because I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing over here but I'm sure trying my best at this whole "mom" thing.

I figured I would get back to my blogging roots with one of my very favorite posts that I liked to do every month; my monthly goals post. I can see how they might have started to get a little redundant but I like it to keep myself on track and who doesn't love crossing things off to see what you accomplished? Just me? Ok. well here I am, putting this out there so that come April 1, I can come back and cross these things out as completed. 

Date Night

M and I are slowly getting the hang of allowing other people to come in and watch our girl while we spend some time together. We've officially gone on one date since Adi was born. Pretty sad right? I hope to spend this month being better about that.

New Book

A few books have crossed my path that I want to sit down and take some time to read. Do you have any suggesting for any that you have read lately? I finished "The Light we Lost" just recently and holy smokes. I loved that book. It's a bit over the top in some areas but it keeps you interested for sure.

No New Clothes

I recently made myself sign a no purchase agreement so here I am, adding this to my list. I have had to unfollow so many of my favorite stores on facebook for the time being. It's like they all know I can't buy anything so they are putting out their cutest things to try to entice me. It's not going to work. I hope. Surely. Leave me alone facebook.


Adventures with Adi

I am hoping to spend some quality time with Adi and have those adventures be a part of this blog. She loves to go on adventures and her momma loves to take her on them. I'm going to make it my goal to take her somewhere new at least once a month and really spend some time documenting our time at that place to share with you all. Would you be at all interested?

Church

M and I have been attending church services together and there is just nothing like it. We are still trying to get the hang of having Adi in there and she's not too big of a fan of sitting still for that long but we are there and we are happy to be there. I hope that I can become more involved with the church as the year progresses.

Happy March friends. I hope the first half of the month was great but the rest of the month is even better. Do you have any goals you have set for yourself? I would love to hear them! 


Adilynn's Arrival | Part 3- NICU Stay

March 8, 2018

After a successful and dare I say easy arrival into this world at a whopping 9 pounds, our sweet girl had some issues with her blood sugar. Before we were even able to spend the rest of her birth day with her, she was whisked away to the NICU to help her figure out her levels and I was left with no baby to hold. My new mommy heart broke into a thousand little pieces as they took her away from me. 
Michael and I were allowed to go see her every 2 hours. Seeing her attached to those pumps and machines was the worst. We were able to spend a little time with her, let her eat, love on her and then give her back to the nurses. We would go back to the room where I would pump, wash all the parts, try and get a little sleep, wake up, take the elevator down to the 3rd floor, feed our girl, love on her, and repeat. I felt like I was in auto pilot but I just wanted to do whatever I could to help make her better. I was very lucky that my milk came in so well and I was able to pump a good amount of milk each time to take to the ladies in the NICU so that they could feed her. 

I don't know if I even have the words to explain how important the nurses were to us. Kartar, the first nurse we met after Adi went to visit the NICU was by far our favorite. Each time we went to visit Adilynn, she was so kind and helpful. She explained all the different things that were going on to us in terms we could understand. She would sit with me during the time I was there, helping me with feeding Adi, showing me different techniques, and talking with me about all the little things that were going to have to happen so that Adilynn could leave the NICU and go home. She was Adi's biggest cheerleader and my NICU best friend. There is no doubt in my mind that she loved her job and all of the sweet babies in there. 

After 2 full nights in the NICU, lots of extra fluids, milk, and love from the nurses and doctors, our girl was released to go to my room with me and eventually home that same day. It was definitely a relief because I had over stayed my welcome in the hospital room and they were kicking me out. We brought her down to our room, where she got her first bath, changed out of her hospital tshirt, and prepared to make the trek home. 
It's amazing that just a few days can feel like an eternity. We arrived at the hospital ready to have our sweet girl and got to leave with a healthy, precious, little love. Our life has not been the same since. What a journey it was to meet her and what a journey it has been to watch her grow, learn, and explore in the big, crazy world.

No-Purchase Agreement

March 7, 2018

I'm sure you've heard the name. Dave Ramsey. He's one of the best known financial advisors ever. He's harsh, strong willed, and very passionate about money and how you should be dealing with it. Michael started reading his book right after Adilynn was born and has been on a "Dave kick" ever since. Our first big goal was to pay off my car. Michael worked hard at putting the numbers together, keeping us on track, and putting money away so that we could accomplish this goal. It has all spiraled into something bigger ever since. 
In the past year, we have saved and moved around money that had already been saved to pay off both of our cars, set up our emergency fund, and are now working on getting car funds set, setting up investments, and building college funds. It's crazy to sit down and see all that can be accomplished with a little bit of planning and assigning where your money goes instead of asking where it went. 

If I'm being honest, M is the driving force behind this. He tells me how much we have left to spend for the month, pulls out our weekly cash, and has set up our online app that tracks where our money goes. I'm definitely the one who plays along. Probably not my best stance to take but it's easier for me to just know how much I have to spend or not spend. 

So, I got to thinking about how I can contribute in a little way to help out in my own way. M isn't a big spender. I swear he has clothes that he use to wear in high school still in his closet. Now me, on the other hand, I love a good weekend trip to the outlet mall or a quick amazon purchase here and there. Especially since having Adi, because what girl mom doesn't obsess over new clothes for her baby girl? 

But do Adi or I need that many different outfits to wear? Although my first instinct is to say "absolutely" the better answer is probably not. So I decided to create a no-purchase agreement that I signed and hung up on our refrigerator. In it, I agreed to not purchase any new clothes until June 30, 2018. If I do make a purchase, M gets to pick my clothes out for a whole week. (Lord help me).  I decided to start with a realistic timeline because, well I know myself. I figure if I can start out strong, then maybe I can make it even longer than I think and can help continue to save money for other, more important things. 

I'll be checking in each month so that you all can keep me accountable and on track. I'm going to have to get creative on some outfits because my body just hasn't been the same since Adi was born but I'm going to take this challenge head on and see where it leads me. Have you every shopped your own closet or made a challenge to not purchase any thing new for a specific amount of time? How did you stay on track? Give me some of your best tips.