share goodness.


We have been the recipients of so much goodness lately and my heart is feeling so full of gratitude. 

This world is so full of kindness and generosity! When we focus our attention on abundance, our lives are impacted daily with positivity in all forms.


This month I have chosen to accept a daily challenge to serve others. 

Whenever I feel stressed or burdened, I know that the best way to find peace again is to focus on helping others and forget about myself. 


Our sweet neighbor gave us some zucchini from his garden (see what I mean?! People are so generous ❤️) And so today I baked zucchini bread, muffins, and brownies to deliver to some friends and neighbors. 


It’s a small and simple gesture, but I am lucky to have wonderful friends and neighbors to send a little happiness their way. 

thoughts on our family vacation (without our whole family)


Just trying to keep it all together right now. This trip has been about throwing that smile on and making magic happen for my little babes. Creating beautiful moments for them no matter what. Knowing that my attitude will directly impact how they perceive these memories and intentionally choosing JOY. 


Even when it’s hard. (when I have to hide behind my sunglasses because all I can think about is how much Elle Kade would have loved this trip). (and calling to hear her voice because I can’t be there to hug her after her first day of school). So hard. 

It’s overwhelming to balance those emotions. I feel as much love, gratitude and happiness for this experience as I do guilt, stress, and sadness.  


But this trip isn’t about me. It’s about spending time with family and having an amazing vacation with Carter and Clare. 


We always have a choice. Perspective is so powerful. The negative thoughts will always be there but how long will you allow yourself to focus on them? Acknowledge their presence and remember that they do not serve you. Find a way that works for you to shift your mindset to gratitude and joy. Become so determined to radiate positivity and love no matter what. 

Shift

And just like that… she’s gone.


 I know it’s coming. Every time. But how can I prepare myself for the heartbreak? It doesn’t get easier. I’m a whole mess of emotions right now and I can’t think about it. 

When I’m faced with conflict, my instinctive reaction is to avoid and ignore it. I distract myself and turn away from whatever is causing the anxiety.

I fall back into addictive patterns that mask my limiting beliefs. My emotional response is to go eat and shop. But I’m learning that those habits do not serve me nor do they make anything better, they just numb the feeling or make things worse. 

I’m learning to take gradual steps through the healing process to release old wounds that resurface during stressful situations. I’m taking time to meditate and focus on gratitude. I’m giving myself the opportunity to witness my subconscious blockers and recondition my habits into positive behaviors. 


There is nothing more powerful than a mindset shift. Experiencing peace during a time of trial is completely possible. 

I’m embracing my feelings of sadness, guilt, and stress and experiencing a change of heart through meditation and emotional freedom techniques. There is such a powerful connection between our physical and emotional wellbeing. 

I’ve felt so inspired to share my journey with you and hope to post more details soon! ❤️ Until then, I want to leave with you this quote that spoke to my heart today… 

Everything


I was sitting next to Matt yesterday in the church where we met and had an amazing full circle moment. 

I remember being in that exact room by myself as a struggling single mom watching other families, knowing I would never have that. I felt so hopeless and alone. 

My reality right now is something I never dreamed I would have… but here I am sitting with my beautiful family. ❤️

It’s been a long, difficult journey through trials and challenges, but we have each other and that is everything.

Summer with Siblings

One big adjustment for our family when Elle Kade is here is the relationship between her and her siblings. 


They absolutely adore (and sometimes smother) her! It’s been a source of happiness and contention which has been really hard for us to balance. 

I feel really challenged because I want for them to have so much fun together, but I don’t want to force their relationship. Some days are better than others, and today has been rough. 

Elle Kade wants to spend time alone in her room with her phone, and Carter and Clare want to play together in our playroom. They don’t understand the concept of privacy and she doesn’t know how to react to their attention. 

There’s only a 4 year age gap between Elle and Carter because when Matt and I got married, we decided to start our own family right away so there wouldn’t be a separation between “mine and ours”. 

But we are realizing that just because there isn’t a big age gap doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren’t differences in maturity.


One reason she finds it hard to adjust is that I usually visit her in Florida where we only spend one on one time together. She gets 100% of my attention and we have so much fun without many distractions or responsibilities. 

Another factor is that she has one stepbrother (who is 13 months older) at her dad’s house so her role is completely different than it is at our house with little kids running around.


We are finding it hard to adjust for such a short amount of time, which is something we really struggled with when she lived with us and visited her dad every month. It’s difficult to establish routine and stability when there isn’t consistency. And trying to find balance between normal, everyday life and fun summer activities is something we are still working on! 


Our summer bucket list has been a great tool to provide creative ideas to spend time together as a family while letting the kids earn their activities. It’s been a great distraction from the boredom that comes from being at home all day, and it allows us to create memories from this summer! 

We are also implementing a morning routine for the days we are spending mostly at home which sets the intention for our entire day. 

We’ve created boundaries for the little ones to help them understand when and why Elle has alone time. Elle is also beginning to understand why Carter and Clare are spending so much time with her and she’s navigating her reactions based on love and understanding (with a few reminders here and there).

And hopefully we are doing enough to encourage them to remember all of the good times and not so much of the bad. ❤️

Let’s make it better


Elle was texting a friend today so I asked to see what they were talking about (overprotective mama) and a text came up from her stepmom. I couldn’t help but read it with her and it really took me by surprise. Their entire conversation was about how Elle is so bored and isn’t enjoying her time here. 

I honestly couldn’t believe what I was reading… it broke my heart. We have tried so hard to create a happy home for Elle and make sure that she is having the best time with us. I didn’t realize she was feeling otherwise until today. 

What am I doing wrong? How can I make this better for her? Why is she asking to leave early? I was surprised, hurt and upset. The last thing a mother wants to hear is that you’re doing your best and it’s still not enough.

So tonight I wanted to spend some one on one time with Elle and talk to her about what we can do better. I took her to my H⚡️GH Fitness class (she helped me pick the playlist!), then to get ice cream and shopping for things for her bedroom. We talked about how she’s feeling- bored because we don’t allow a lot of screen time, frustrated with sharing my attention with her siblings, and still adjusting to living in a new home with different rules. I completely understand her perspective! I just wish that she would have felt comfortable discussing the issues with me so that I could try to fix them. 

So we set some expectations and responsibilities for our whole family and hopefully that will help! I just want her to have the best summer ever full of wonderful memories!!

Matt

When I met Matt, I was a single mom. Elle was only a year old and her dad wasn’t in the picture for the past 10 months.  I was entirely focused on becoming the best mom possible and I couldn’t imagine anyone else in our life. 

But I saw Matt for the very first time and everything changed. He was too good to be true, honestly. And he absolutely adored Elle. 


We had a few months that were so perfect and then our entire world was rocked. I was just beginning to navigate the court process, hiring an attorney who filed paperwork to establish custody of Elle. This set off a chain of events that led to the most stressful time of my life. I’m not ready to talk about the details, but it completely changed everything. 

I was forced to move back to South Carolina after establishing my independence with a full time job and apartment in Utah. Matt was finishing his undergrad there and I didn’t know how we were going to make it work. 

He had no idea how incredibly hard this situation would be when we met. He didn’t sign up for any of this. But he stayed. And he supported us. He loved me and my daughter unconditionally and we endured together.  



He became a dad when it would have been so much easier to walk away. He still held me together when everything was falling apart. We’ve always been a family, he wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Emotions + Eating


The sweetest surprise showed up at my door today… my grandpa with a box from @janjoupatisserie ❤ (you guys he lives 300 miles away!)

He is the most selfless, giving man with the biggest heart for helping others and I am so grateful for him!

I have so many tender memories of our family laughing together at different restaurants, my grandpa bringing home delicious desserts from his business trips, and going on special dates to restaurants that were way too fancy for my little self. These experiences made me feel so loved! 

But at some point, I began associating feelings of comfort and acceptance with eating. 

like that time we went to Europe and ate ALL THE FOOD.

 
There are two types of thinking: logical and subconscious. Our logical mind states the facts like “I am only going to eat chicken and broccoli”. Our subconscious mind feels and reacts to emotions like “I am feeling stressed so I need to eat my favorite foods” without understanding reason. 
I have an addictive personality and I’m beginning to understand why I struggle with emotional eating so much. My first round of Whole30 gave me perspective on how intense my cravings were when I was confronted with a stressful situation and felt so dependent on food… it was uncontrollable. 

I feel like I’ve tried every diet and nothing works. I can stick to it until I feel overwhelmed and then I HAVE to go out to eat and then I feel so guilty! I get right back on track for as long as possible until I feel stressed out again…. It’s an awful cycle of dependency. Food is the only thing that feels good in that moment. Wow! It was really hard to finally admit that. 

I’m only sharing because a few weeks ago I stumbled upon some information that led to a really powerful realization. And ever since then, I’ve been working with different emotional responses to dig deeper into something I’ve been struggling with my entire life! 


It’s been an amazing process..

I’m still learning so much but my entire perspective has changed. For me this isn’t about Whole30, or paleo, or macros…

It’s about overcoming emotional boundaries and creating a healthy relationship with food as a source of energy. 

This is just the beginning of my journey and I am so excited to share more with you as it unfolds. And I would love to share what I’ve learned with you if you feel prompted to know more! 

Mom Fail

It was one of those days where everything might have looked perfect on the outside and no one would have known about my mom fail moment.

But here’s what really happened…

I was feeling really awesome this morning for helping the kids create our summer bucket list… but that didn’t last long! 

I completely forgot that Clare had a dance performance tonight at the Cherry Festival and didn’t realize it until the very last minute. (2 hours before!) I thought we could make it but it was a total fail. We got there 5 minutes late and Clare was so upset. 

It wouldn’t have even been an issue if I hadn’t mentioned it, but she got all dressed up and ready to go and we barely missed it. I felt awful! 


Luckily the fair was awesome and they quickly forgot about the dance performance fiasco. It was such a fun night and the kids loved riding all the rides!



Going to the fair was something we had on our summer bucket list so we checked it off! 

I guess it’s a lesson learned because expectations and appearances can be so unrealistic and unattainable sometimes. No one would have known that I screwed up if I wasn’t willing to share my failure. Because nothing is exactly as it seems when filtered through the lens of social media. I have a hard time comparing myself to other moms that look like they have it all together. Because I know that my life will never be perfect! I’m just so grateful for the opportunity that I have to redeem myself whenever I get the chance… like bribing my kids with roller coasters and pizza. And here’s to hoping that they remember all the good times instead of the fails ❤