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I can’t believe it’s already Thursday, another week has almost come and gone. Lately I have really been struggling to get everything done that’s on my “to do” list. I feel like my list is never ending. I’m wondering do I want to do too much or am I just not using my time wisely and can actually get it done if I just buckle up and focus.

I started a new Bible Study last week and the group was asked to label their current feelings with emoji faces. There was a mix of emoji’s in the group but there was one that kept coming up. It was the closest I found to overwhelmed! So many of the women said how they have so much to do and have a hard time getting it all done. As the week has gone on I’ve thought so much about it this. It was good to know I’m not alone but then sad to know that other people feel defeated by their lists too.

Is this just the forever woman/mom struggle having too much on our plates? I wonder is it me or society putting the pressure on me to do it all, I guess it’s probably a mix. I did a study once The Life Ready Woman by Shante Feldhahn where she talks about how women are expected to be able to do it all. You have to be the perfect homemaker while working outside the home, be the perfect mom, wife, baker, cook and whatever else. She simply stated that there is no way to be it all and do it all and we shouldn’t have to. Here is a little info on the study.

“Thankfully, God has given us exactly that timeless, unchanging guidance for how to find peace, clarity, and God’s best for our lives once we know where to look! The Life Ready Woman: Thriving in a Do-It-All World, reveals a profound biblical roadmap for how each of us can find the abundant life we are longing for, rather than the stressful, torn, how-do-I-balance-it-all life we often feel like we are trying to keep up with today. Actually being a LifeReady Woman means that you are clear about your life, bold in your faith, and able to find God’s best for you, and the end result will be that you not only survive but thrive in our do-it-all world.”

Doesn’t that sound great?! I think I need this study again. It’s funny because when I went through this a couple years ago my life looked very different. I lived in a different city a different house had no kids. I remember thinking what good advice and great practical principals. I wonder why more women don’t practice this and understand they don’t have to do it all. Fast forward a couple years and insert a big laugh and eye roll for my naivety. My prayer and plan is to slow down not focus so much on my list and “BE” ok with:

Not having a perfectly clean house

Not showering everyday (keeping it real)

Taking a nap without having guilt

Not bringing in a regular paycheck

Serving fish sticks and mac n cheese for dinner (sometimes)

Taking a day or more to reply back to texts and emails.

Not being able to do it all!!

I know there’s more but that’s all I could think of for now. Is there anyone out there feeling the same way? I would love to hear from you.

Happy Monday! I don’t know about you but I am a podcast lover. I am so encouraged and motivated by them. I thought it would be fun to share my favorites with you.

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There’s something so special about the very first Podcast I ever listened to, Revive Our Hearts. I was told about this ministry from a dear friend. They have some really great 30 day challenges that I have done, I really recommend them!

1. Revive Our Hearts  The love and knowledge that Nancy Leigh Wolgemuth shares about the Lord with these podcasts have helped carry me through some of the most difficult moments in my life. Seriously you will walk away feeling enriched and stronger in your faith.

2. Your Move with Andy Stanley  I can’t really put into words how great Andy Stanley is. Just go listen!! He is wonderful!

3. Parenting Great Kids with Dr. Meg Meeker You will love her! Go download now. Matt’s currently reading her book Strong Fathers Strong Daughters. He’s having a lot of Aha moments.

4.  Dr Laura She’s so many things 🙂 where do I start! She’s bold, moral, honest (some say rude), funny and tells it like it is. We all need a little Dr Laura in our lives. P.S I met Dr. Laura at a book signing for The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands years ago it was pretty cool!

5. Focus On The Family These next two are constant and classic. Their titles pretty much explain it all. They are all about Christian family values, marriage, parenting and personal growth.

6. Family Life Today You may have heard of The family life marriage conferences. Matt and I went years ago to one in Monterrey. This is such a cool ministry. They have a great app too.

7. Joyce Meyer  is a powerhouse. She is amazing and full of faith, knowledge and wisdom. You will feel challenged and convicted to be who God calls you to be after listening to her.

8. Dave Ramsey  I usually catch Dave on the radio but sometimes I’ll download his podcast if it’s been awhile since I’ve heard him on the radio.

9. Christy Wrights Business Boutique I just recently started listening to Christy Wright’s podcast. I heard her on Dave’s show and loved everything she had to say. She always has a guest on each podcast, which I love. It’s such practical advice.

10. New Life Live This is another show that I usually catch while I’m in the car. They are a group of Christian Counselors that answer callers questions. It is so, so good but beware it is usually for mature audiences.

There you have it some of my favorite podcasts. I have a few in my library that I want to get to but just haven’t yet.

Craig Groeschel Life Church.tv 

Marvelous Moms 

Do you have any podcasts you love and want to share? I am always looking to add to my list!

Have a great week 🙂

Earlier this summer we took a trip to the San Francisco Zoo. We got there a little later in the afternoon which was really nice because there were no crowds. Lily wasn’t the only one who had fun, we all loved it! The only disappointment was no elephants, boo.

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She loved watching the penguins get fed 🙂

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Watching some cute little monkeys swing around.

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This was super cool, we got to see the grizzlies eat! They both went and stood at the wall looking up about 5 minutes before the lady came to feed them.

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We bought this book Zoo Poo in the gift shop. Little did we know it would be one her favorites. People either love it or hate it, ha. We think it’s hilarious!

Zoo Poo: A First Toilet Training Book (Barron’s Educational Series ...

On our way home we stopped by one of our favorite pizza places in Oakland Zachary’s Chicago Pizza. We are typically an NY style pizza eating family but once you see this big beautiful pizza you’ll see why we love this place!

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We get the Zachary Special when we go. Matt wanted to try their thin crust this time but I didn’t agree…guess what we ended up getting? 🙂

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Lily couldn’t even look up for the picture!

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Our day trip to the bay was great. If you are heading that way anytime soon check out the SF Zoo and then a stop at Zachary’s on the way home.

For Mothers Day this year I was so lucky to get a family photo shoot as a gift!! I scheduled it right at Lily’s 18 month mark so we could capture her in this fun stage. I have said that every stage is my favorite and it’s true I love watching her learn and grow and change but I must say that 18 months has been so special and exciting. Her little personality is really showing and I can’t keep up with her growing vocabulary.

We had the chance to take pictures with Tori Wible and she is AMAZING. We met at this great spot in Lincoln called Coyote Pond. Here are some of my favorites from the shoot.

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We brought along her giraffe (raff) which goes everywhere with us and her blankies. Looking back I’m not sure it was the best idea since all she wanted to do was hold them.

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I know there’s a lot of pictures 🙂 I could do a family photo shoot once a month ha. Luckily I have Matt to keep me from getting carried away. I keep saying I need a bigger house for all the pictures we have of Lily. I used to pray for the day we could fill our walls with pictures of our baby and now I get to. Sometimes I still feel like I’m living in a dream. God is so good and we are so thankful he chose us to be Lily’s mom and dad. Thanks for peeking at our photos and sharing in our lives.

 Outfits

My Dress is from Macy’s and it’s on sale right now!

Matt Shirt (similar) and Shorts Nordstrom Rack

Lily’s Dress Old Navy,  Headband H&M, Shoes Target

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Today is our 13 year anniversary, yay! With each anniversary I am so excited we made it through another year of marriage. Gosh that doesn’t sound good haha, it’s not like we suffer through the year but hey marriage is hard and I feel like anniversaries deserve a huge celebration.

To be honest this last year has been one of the hardest in our marriage. Not in a, we are fighting everyday kind of way, but it’s been hard in the way of finding time for each other. I always heard once you become parents its easy for things to become all about the kids. When I used to hear that pre-parenthood I remember thinking that will never be Matt and I (ha). Fast forward 19 months into being parents and I totally get it now.

I have definitely learned that date nights and one-on-one time do not just happen on their own. Matt and I have to be intentional, which means planning and looking ahead in the schedule to carve out time for each other, which doesn’t feel very romantic. I’m hoping we get better at this because I am usually too tired to plan our dates.

The longer we are married I learn more about myself and Matt. Lately I have been feeling a scary shift in my attitude towards him. We have talked about it a couple times and it isn’t something I can really ignore anymore. I have been getting really annoyed and defensive whenever he asks me things or questions me, especially regarding Lily. I feel like I do so much for Lily and I’ve got my system down with how I handle certain things. Then when he is home and questions something I do, I do not handle it well. Then I feel annoyed at myself for being rude to him. And I think, we’ve been married too long for me to act like this. It can become a vicious cycle and I don’t like how I’m acting. I am really going to make a conscious effort to change my attitude. It can be so easy to point fingers and play the blame game but that never gets anyone anywhere.

So this next year of marriage I have a few goals first I’m going to make an effort to really make time for us. Second I’m going to work on having a positive attitude towards my husband. Third I am going to apologize when I am wrong and not make any excuses for my bad attitude or sarcastic comments. Oh boy, I’ve got my work cut out for me. I thought I would keep it real in this post since so many times we can look at others, especially through the social media lens, and think they’ve got it all together. Matt and I have had our ups and down and I’m sure we will continue to have them but we have come a long way and I am so grateful for every bit of it!