Soul Food

I’ve been taking a bit of a social media hiatus lately. A few weeks ago, I noticed that I was feeling SO irritable and having a lot of negative thoughts. I took a serious self-inventory, looking at my daily habits, and paying attention to my mindset and emotions throughout the day. I noticed a significant amount of time and energy was being spent non-productively on social media. Now, I use social media for my businesses, as well as staying connected with friends and family, but I was doing a lot of scrolling through senseless posts, reading people’s rants, and found myself getting downright pissed at some of it. The number of people bitching and complaining on social media is astronomical and started to really wear me down. I got so sick of opening up my feed and even some messages to see yet ANOTHER “oh my life sucks so bad” or “poor me” type posts and messages. Too many people with a victim mindset, feeding their lame excuses, and lamenting about all the horrible things going on in their lives really got to me! So, I said “buh bye” to social media for a bit and logged off.

For hours and even days at a time, I have been off social media, leaving my phone on silent or off. Taking those minutes I would’ve been stuck in the “scroll hole” and doing something for myself, my family, or my home instead. Even if it’s 15 minutes while big sis watches the baby, I’ll run to the bathroom and do a face mask real quick. I’ve been decluttering, organizing, and redecorating our home. Sitting on the floor with my baby memorizing the details of his soft chubby cheeks and belly, long lashes, and sweet giggles while I read to his big sister. Listening to my favorite music and filling my home with the scents, sounds, and tastes of fall. Having heart to heart conversations with my preteen and teen about life and growing up, and reminiscing about my awkward years. Logging off was so needed for my sanity and my family! I now have a refreshed mindset and a more grateful and positive attitude simply by enforcing a boundary of what I allow into my mind and heart, and ultimately, my home.

The kitchen is the soul place in our home.. It is warm, cheerful, sunny, and very much the most utilized room. One simply cannot be grouchy in my kitchen!! 😂 Soups, breads, pies, cookies, and some of our favorite meals and memories are being created there, and sometimes I just stand there and take it all in, almost as if videotaping it with my mind to be able to remember years from now. When I’m old and all my kids are out of the house, I won’t remember the posts on social media, but we WILL all remember the times we spent laughing, dancing, and making messes in the kitchen. This is the place that feeds not only our bellies but our souls… ❤️

What soulful days are made of…. Grandma’s hand-me-down pie dish, cinnamon, clove, ginger essential oil diffuser blend, soup simmering on the oven from a roasted chicken the previous night, classic rock playing in the background, a baby cooing at my feet, and baking therapy….

A simple sugar-free apple crisp using monkfruit as sweetener, the topping made with organic palm shortening, monkfruit, and almond flour. I added some Young Living Vitality Essential Oils for flavor – Cinnamon Bark, Clove, and Nutmeg 🙂

Do you find yourself grumbling about your circumstances? Take a step back and evaluate. Maybe, like me, you are spending too much time looking at other’s lives, comparing yours, or being dragged down by the negative Nellys? Don’t get on social media and snivel. Instead, find what feeds your SOUL, what makes you feel happy and content and stay in that place. Journal, meditate, get outside, surround yourself with friends and family who share a high vibe positive energy, laugh, dance, be silly, listen to good music, eat good food, and block out the rest. Because, as my cousin said,

“Life’s to short to sit and watch everyone else’s!” 

13 Years

My husband and I are celebrating 13 years of marriage this year. I wish I could tell you that it’s been sheer wedded bliss and everything has been so beautiful and magical with fluffy unicorns, raindrops on roses, and all that crap. Honestly, our marriage has been filled with heartache, loss, debt, and there were several times we thought we wouldn’t even make it.

We got married young (I was 20, he was 27), and while we both loved each other, neither of us I think really had any clue what true love was all about. I especially still had a lot of growing up to do, and we faced a LOT, and I mean, A FREAKING SHIT-TON of obstacles in our marriage. If you would’ve told me 5 years ago that we’d be celebrating 13 years HAPPILY and excitedly welcoming our FIFTH baby soon, I would’ve laughed in your face!!!

23795327_1951487895172435_7013579274464955709_n

I’m no relationship guru, but there is one HUGE thing I have learned that I believe is KEY to what makes my marriage successful:

Respect ~ Those that know me know I am not the submissive type, when I’m told what to do or what I “should” do, I usually just laugh…  I’ve always been fiercely independent and stubborn, with a bit of a rebellious streak, so “respecting” my husband was not something that was on my radar. “Respect” was one of those words that would instantly repulse me. It wasn’t until more recently, that I have found what respect means both to me and my husband… For instance, he needs transparency, but for me, I need support; and because we respect each other, these needs are met.

He also doesn’t want a docile doormat of a wife, in fact, he has told me that one of the things he loves about me is my headstrong ways… And one of the things I love about him is his alpha character…  With two very tenacious people, it can be “like a tornado meeting a volcano,” but when we work together, magic happens!! THIRTEEN YEARS and we finally understand mutual respect, instead of butting heads, we put them together and figure out how we can tackle life’s curveballs.

23659369_1951488015172423_7571042272014780390_n

On the surface, my husband and I can be very different. Polar opposites in some ways, even. But our core beliefs, values, deep love and commitment for each other and our family are the ties that bind us 

He’s also one of my favorite humans, and here are just a couple reasons why: 

~ He can straight throw it down in the kitchen, it’s like having my own personal chef when he’s home. This is AFTER he’s worked ungodly hours (up to 70 hours a week) just to provide a comfortable life for our family. This may not seem like much, but the way to my heart is through my belly!! 😛 He shows his love in very practical ways, like letting me take a nap when I’m sleep deprived, making extra food for leftovers during the week when I’ll be busy.. And I am SO GRATEFUL for these expressions of love!!!

~ He’s my rock. I’m a very emotional creature, (INFP, Cancerian, empath — all signs say I am ALL heart), so I tend to get worked up about the STUPIDEST things, and he is always the voice of reason, talking me down with logic and patience. (In fact, when I found out I was pregnant with #5 and was losing my shit, he was the one saying, “It will be just fine, I will do everything I can to help you, AND maybe we’ll get a little boy!”) 😉 He is supportive of some of my crazy ideas. Doesn’t mean I won’t get an ear full of what a dumb idea it might be, but he’ll still listen to my side of things, offer his best advice, and then let me do my thing.

We certainly aren’t perfect, never have been, never will be. But we are perfect for each other and are finally reaping some of the rewards for sticking it out through the hardest times of our lives. I know that no matter what happens in this life, as long as we are together, we can face it head on and will persevere…

Here’s to 13 years, and many more to come!!!! 

 

~To love and be loved is everything ~

23659627_1951487948505763_5817574678301140798_n