moving forward

Washing my face

I just finished reading the book, “Girl, wash your face,” by Rachel Hollis. I believe I mentioned it in my last post, but while the majority of the book is common sense, it really opened my eyes back up to things I’ve been ignoring. Myself, self care, self love, motherhood, relationships, and friendships.

This past weekend my dear friend from Chicago came to visit. Her niece had a swimming competition in Orlando so she asked if she could come for the weekend. I said an absolute YES!!! In the last few years I’ve really struggled riding the fair weather friend bus, so I’ve stopped trying so hard to maintain one-sided friendships/relationships. And since my departure of said bus, my life and heart seem so much lighter. That’s something I really took away from reading, “Girl, wash your face.”

But with this particular friend, I’ve never felt our friendship was one-sided. She was one of the few that didn’t get tired of me saying “no” to invitations while my husband was deployed, and instead she understood and continued to be there for me when I needed someone the most. She IS one of the few that takes (and has for the last 6 years) the time to ask how I am, and I do the same for her. Too busy? Nope. Too tired? Nope. Have too much on her plate to chat for a few minutes even if it’s just via text? Nope Nope and Nope. These types of friends are hard to come by in life. And that is why I try to always be a good friend in return. I am not always successful but I sure do try without compromising my well being.

So we spent the weekend eating, drinking wine, staying up to late talking, eating and drinking some more and even got a couple beach visits in despite the chilly temps. And while the temps were a little chilly for my new Florida blood, I can tell you my heart was warmed having a close friend in town. If I were to have one complaint about our move here, it would be the fact that we don’t have close friends or family nearby. That being said, I hope to have several visitors that are trying to escape the bitter temps up north in the near future!

Here’s a few pics from our visit. I look forward to her coming back to visit, SOON!!

Do you find it hard to maintain friendships outside of your relationship with your spouse/significant other? How do you handle these challenges?




Searching for my Christmas spirit this year…

Thursday I received a text from my sister.  I yet again, for the second year in a row, ordered the WRONG gift for my youngest nephew…and I also shipped said gift TO my sister, not my home.  The news nearly sent me over the edge, and between that moment and the lack of sunshine for the last MONTH it seems, I found myself in tears.  I was ready for this season to be OVER.

This…isn’t me.  I LOVE Christmas, the magic the season provides, the thrill of lights, glitter, and lovingly wrapped gifts usually gives me SUCH joy. But this year is different.  I am stressed, tired, and over the entire season hearing my kids ask for expensive gifts our budget just can’t provide.  It HURTS not being able to spoil my kids during this season…but I got them what I could, and have their presents wrapped neatly under the tree.

So as I left work Thursday, in a ball of stress and tears combined, I found myself turning in to the parking lot of Hobby Lobby to pick up treats for my coworkers and staff.  I picked out cute candy boxes with more than enough candy to fill said boxes, and cards and candy canes for my peers.  I needed to turn this funk around, ASAP.  I picked up my youngest daughter from daycare, explaining to her my plan, and she beamed.  “Mommy, can I help you assemble the boxes?” she asked…”Of course,” I replied.

So after dinner, showers, and homework we set up shop on the kitchen table. I expressed my lack of spirit, to which this beautiful soul exclaimed, “Mommy, you always say I am the happiest girl in the world, so let me share my Christmas spirit with you.”  I wiped away a couple tears, and we filled 30 boxes of candy with love, and spirit. I hand wrote on each box, and filled out cards taping a candy cane on each one.  I also made cookies for my amazing team of techs, PA’s, and Pathologists.  For I have to say, I work with the most amazing team of people, well, ever.  My pay may stink, but these people are rock stars.

who doesn't love sugar cookies!?
who doesn’t love sugar cookies!?

Today I delivered my gifts, wishing each person a Merry Christmas, and ordered pizza for them all for lunch. And with each smile, I felt my daughter’s words resonating in my heart.  I took the spirit she gave ME, and passed it forward.

Not much, but given with love!
Not much, but given with love!

At the end of the day, I received the most amazing gift and card from a woman I have come to love and cherish.  She saw something in me years ago, that I didn’t see in myself, and helped me find my confidence again.

Best. Gift. Ever.
Best. Gift. Ever.

My eldest daughter could feel the stress too…but came down stairs tonight to ask me to braid her hair. She is 15, and normally wants nothing to do with me.  But as I brushed her hair for the first time in years, I found myself choking back the tears.  I took my time, for I truly didn’t want the moment to end.  Ever so neatly I braided her hair, and she hugged me a little harder tonight.

I ended the night, watching a movie with my husband.  We watched “Haute Cuisine” on Netflix which was such a great flic.  It was about a cook who was hand picked to cook for the President of France.  GREAT movie.

So as always, at the end of the day I am found counting my blessings, not my misfortunes.  All thanks to the amazing people I have been blessed to call “my circle.”

❤ Michelle