Friday, January 1, 2016

Goodbye, for now

In 2014 my new year resolutions were to slow down, simplify, dream big and enjoy. The past few years had been chaotic and stressful. Most of the time I felt cranky (my husband probably used another word to describe me!) and unmotivated. Part of this was symptomatic of baby raising sleep deprivation. . .but most of it was just me being in a funk. I had lost my mojo. So I needed to slow life down a bit and really enjoy the day to day craziness that is my life with two little loves and a super goofy husband. 

After a long heart to heart with each other, Sean and I agreed that we were going to make 2014 our best year yet. And boy did we ever! We cleared our house of clutter, buckled down on our finances, made our health a priority, went back to church, focused on our children and most importantly, on each other. 
In 2014 we learned a lot about ourselves and our relationship, paid off thousands of dollars in debt, made some changes to our crazy work schedule (Sean stays home with the kiddos on Fridays now!), connected through faith, worked out more and ate healthier foods, and simplified our house and home so that we could focus more on what matters most: our family. Don't get me wrong, we had our fair share of ups and downs. We still argued and rolled our eyes, I yelled at my kids, I stuffed my face with Doritos and ice cream (not at the same time...though, I wouldn't judge anyone who did!), skipped workouts and let the clutter pile back up. That's life. That's normal. 

The difference is that I didn't let those little setbacks pull me down completely. I didn't let a messy house, a humongous pile of laundry, cranky kids, a husband working overtime, an unexpected late night at work, a missed workout, or a really bad indulgence in not so healthy food change my attitude. By letting go of this idea that I had to be the perfect working mom and wife I became a better working mom and wife. In 2014 I truly did keep calm and mommy on!

So, in 2015 our resolution was simply to maintain everything we had worked so hard for that past year. We decided to stay fit and clean in 2015! And not just physically fit. Sean and I supported each other to be more emotionally fit, mentally fit, financially fit and faithfully fit. Staying clean meant keeping the clutter out of our home. Physical clutter sure, like useless things we don't use or need. But more importantly, the emotional clutter (i.e. drama) that drowned us as a family had no place in our home in 2015.  

That was hard for us (me) sometimes, as it meant letting go of relationships or activities we had long invested time and energy into. However, in doing so we felt a sense of relief and pure happiness as we had more time for ourselves and each other. 

In 2015 we grew in so many ways - I started two side businesses with Rodan + Fields and KEEP Collective, we paid off over $40,000 in school loans, car loans and credit card debt, we bought a bigger car (paid for in cash!), we opened our home to a very good friend of ours, we traveled, we sent our first born off to school on a big yellow bus, we tackled a clogged septic and flooded basement with as much patience and grace as you can muster when dealing with sewage, we got along, we did things on our own and as a family, and we made a baby!

What does that leave in store for us in 2016? This past year has been busy, love-filled, and productive. . .but it has also been tiring. As we prepare to welcome a third child to this crazy life of ours I have to really think long and hard about how I spend my time and where I exhaust my efforts. Home and work come first, of course. And they always will. Every fiber of my being loves being a wife, mama and assistant principal (even on the hard days when my children, or students, are testing my patience!). But this past year I've also stepped out of my comfort zone and into the business world with not one, but two personal businesses. I signed up to be a girl scout troop leader, took a graduate course, attempted to keep up with my blog and social media accounts, and scheduled a thousand and one activities for my children to be involved in (sports, dance, horse back riding, etc). Oh, and I've been packing on the pounds like crazy cakes because apparently I decided with the third child to just let myself go and eat everything in sight!

My plate is full. Correction, my plate runneth over. My plate has passed through the all you can eat buffet line several times (literally and figuratively). I know, I know. . .my own demise. So, I am declaring 2016 the year to clear my plate of the things that matter the least, in order to leave plenty of room for the things that matter the most. I am constantly striving to be a better wife, mother and employee. To be the best I can be for my people, both at work and at home, I need to carefully reflect on how and where I spend my time. But I also don't want to lose sight of my long term goals and dreams. I don't want to lose my creative side. I don't want to forget the reasons why I stacked my plate so darn full to begin with. 

That being said, it is with a heavy heart, but with much reflection and contemplation, that I've decided to say good bye to the blog world. . .for now. I started blogging almost 6 years ago now, at the time, to share pictures of our baby girl with family and friends around the world. It grew beyond just my close circle of friends and into "Keep Calm + Mommy On" and has connected me with so many amazing women from around the country who I now call friends. Women who lift me up and support me on the toughest of days. The time I truly want to be able to commit to keeping up with posts and content, however, just doesn't exist right now. When I do make the time, I feel guilty for spending hours editing photos, writing content, and updating posts while my kids are being entertained by the TV or iPads. I no longer want to feel obligated to post things regularly to satisfy the people paying to advertise their businesses on my page. 

What the heck does all of this mean? I'm not deleting the blog. Like I said, it is just good bye for now! Plus, there's nothing worse then clicking on an image in Pinterest and the content no longer being available. I would never do that to my fellow Pinterest-obsessed pals out there! I will not be posting new content for a while though. . .not sure if that means a few weeks, months or years. I'll be taking down the ad spots and replacing them with my own personal referrals and blogs that I love. I'll update the about me when bambino numero 3 arrives. . .but other than that, it will be left out there in cyber space where every now and then I'm sure someone will stop by via a linked image in Pinterest. 

Fear not, my sweet friends! I'm not cutting all of my social media ties. Blogging has always been a creative outlet for me. A space to share fun DIY projects, parties, home organization ideas, life with kiddos, and our financial peace journey. I will continue to post content and share tidbits from our daily lives over on Instagram along with my creative concoctions, business promotions and struggles from the life of a working mama! I'm thinking of it as a more of a mini-blog platform! I have no idea what exactly this will look like or how it will roll out, but I'd love for you to follow along in this new adventure of mine. 

After months of soul searching and dreaming and praying I've decided that this is the right decision for me. It comes on the heels of my desire to be more present for my husband and children, and to be able to give more to people who need it (remember that dream of mine to be able to provide glamourous birthday parties for children whose parents are deployed, or sick, or unemployed or don't have the money?) while still being able to give 100% of my attention and efforts to everyone at work. 

Thank you all for being a part of this incredible journey in the blogosphere! I wish you all a very happy, healthy and loving 2016. . .and just in case I'm not back, may 2017 be wonderful for you too! All my love and a thousand and one hugs. . .