For you Dad…

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As a child, I was a total mommy’s girl. I never wanted to leave my mom’s side. My parents split when I was in the second grade, and I remember the attachment to my mom only intensifying. Ironically enough, some of my favorite childhood memories were spent at my Dad’s house. I remember trips to Sea World, camping, Big Bear, lake trips, days at my Dad’s movie set, mornings spent at Paint Pals and Discovery Zone, pool parties, and Eggo waffles for breakfast… all happy things. So I look back and wonder why I had such bad separation anxiety from my Mom. You look back on pictures of me from age 7-12 and I was likely crying or had red eyes. It’s something now, that my Dad and I laugh about.

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Somewhere during my high school years, my Dad became my hero. The guy that saved me from my crazy, lost self. The one that took me (and my best friend) in when we had no place to go, no questions asked. The guy that funded my many privileges, even when I was less than deserving. The guy that loved me when I was not very lovable. The one that cried happy tears when I told him he was going to be a Grandpa and watched me get married all in the same month. The guy at my bedside minutes after delivering Landyn with flowers in hand. The one that spoils my sister and I with an all expenses paid trip to Hawaii for a week. The one that saved me from an unhealthy marriage and helped Landyn and I get on our feet. The guy that has a soft side and has cried with me before. The one that makes me laugh harder than anyone can. The guy that is a “guy’s guy” yet ended up with 2 daughters and a grand daughter.

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I love you Dad. You are my hero, and I owe it all to you.

And to all those who have lost their Dad, who don’t have a father figure in their lives, and too all the single mom’s that play both roles, you are in my thoughts today. For me, I am counting my blessings.

Lindsay

I am in counseling…

**I started to write this post on Saturday, but let it sit in my archives while little voices in my head told me not to click publish. My goal is to bring awareness on this topic because I know there are so many struggling.**

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Typically I don’t blog on weekends. I like my weekends to be spent disconnected from social media so that my brain can recharge. But my computer was calling me today. Landyn is in her room napping and today I’m fingers to the keyboard. These mid day writing sessions are actually a great time of reflection. Our house is situated in a little valley amongst rolling hills, horse property, and agricultural land so as you can imagine it’s always pretty quiet. And it’s times like this where silence is golden, that I’m reminded how blessed I am to live where I do. The only noise to be heard is a dog barking 2 miles away, and my neighbors tractor plowing dirt through their orchard.

I’m going to get a little candid on you today. These open posts seem to be far and few between lately because truthfully, the vulnerability is too much at times. I’m always afraid of saying too much, or having it affect my daughter in some way. Maybe my words will come back to haunt me. These are all very real feelings, but when I think about my theme here and what my readers are drawn too, it’s always when I am most open.

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Back in October, I went through two months of terrible anxiety. The heart racing, short of breath, dizzy, butterflies in your stomach kind of anxiety. I found it to be worse in the morning, but it would creep up on me at any given time. I could be out to dinner with my favorite girl friends and start to have a panic attack. There was no rhyme or reason for my anxious feelings, they would just pop their evil head.

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So I did what I do best, I went to the worse case scenario. Rather than identifying these as anxiety triggered “panic attacks”, I convinced myself that there was really something wrong with me. Sure I’ve dealt with anxiety before in the past, but nothing like this. There was no relief. I eventually went to my doctor, but I knew inside of me how to tackle this one. While life seemed to be going my way and I’ve never been happier in my personal life, I knew somethings were affecting me more than they should, and I needed an outsider to help me work through it.

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I’ve gone to counseling in the past when things aren’t going well for me. The separation of my parents, the death of a friend, a breakup, a divorce. So naturally, I’ve always associated “counseling” as a negative. But what I have come to realize is that counseling shouldn’t be sought just in the bad times. Sometimes it’s in the best of times when life is going your way, that we choose to invest in ourselves and our relationships. We always seek to be a better version of ourselves and I knew I had some layers I wanted to peel back. I wanted to better understand my past and why things worked out the way they did. I wanted to be a better mom, girlfriend, friend, daughter. And I absolutely did not want the past to repeat itself. I was on the right track generally speaking, and I wanted to do everything the right way this time around.

So the first time in my life, I have stuck with it and have gained some much wisdom. I’m learning to ease up on myself and not take life so seriously. I’m finding more joy in everyday situations. I’m letting myself take a nap on days when Landyn naps and not cram in 2 more hours of work. I’m enjoying hot tub dates with Josh after Landyn goes to bed at night and putting my phone and computer down for an hour. I’m letting myself cook no fuss meals or being ok with take out. I’m trying to incorporate exercise into my daily routine. I’m calling my best friend to catch up when I have an extra 10 minutes in my day and not feel pressure to catch up on my social media channels. I’ve cut out caffeine and have replaced that habit with more water. I’m learning to say no and not overcommit myself. Im taking fifteen minute walks around the lake to admire my beautiful hometown before preschool pick up. I’m not letting toxic people affect me anymore. I’m worrying less and trusting more. Im breathing.

And you want to know what? I woke up one day and the nervous feelings were gone. As soon as I started listening to my body, speaking my mind, and talking through my past, a weight was lifted from my shoulders.  If something makes me anxious, I deal with it and move on.

I know there are so many out there that struggle with anxiety. I have definitely not mastered the topic, but I am writing this to bring awareness to the issue. What works for you? How do you cope with anxious feelings?

Your comments all light up my day. So thank you.

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Thoughts on self worth and raising daughters

As a child I was painfully shy. I remember knowing the answer in class, but never raising my hand to speak up. I pretended I was sick before I would ever give an oral presentation. I also remember always having perfect citizenship and seeing A’s and B’s on my report cards, but without fail the teachers would always mention my lack of participation in class. I never failed to have friends, but I was more of a follower than a leader. I hung with the “cool” kids but I always stood in their shadows. Even into high school my sense of self was always a bit skewed. I was never skinny enough. Tall enough. Smart enough. I never knew what I wanted. It was almost like there was this void that was eating away at me. I always thought a guy would be that missing piece, which we all know is a recipe for disaster. I was constantly compromising myself for everyone else’s happiness. I honestly think it took me being a mom before I truly grew into myself as a individual and was able to discover what it was I wanted.

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I recently got an email from an old friend that knew me before I was a mom. A girl that used to be a mentor of sorts that I will forever love and respect but have lost touch with over the past few years. She follows my online journey and her kind words truly meant the world to me.

Hey Lindsay! I was looking through your pictures and you look so happy and confident in who you are and where you are going. I enjoy seeing and hearing about everything you are creating in your life right now! I remember when you were more quiet and reserved. When did you step into this amazing woman I always knew you were? What I mean is… Something shifted and almost like you let go and allowed yourself to shine! I am really excited to hear more about your transformation!

My heart could have burst reading this. Why is it that people pop into your life at just the right time? With the busy nature of our lives, sometimes it takes someone from your past to pop into your life and point out growth in order for you to step back and really grasp it.

So thank you anonymous friend. Thank you for pointing out what I knew but was failing to give myself credit for. You know who you are and your truly made this girls day.

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And then there comes the nature of being the mom of a girl. I can’t help but relive some of my biggest struggles though her and hope she is everything I wasn’t. I wish I could give Landyn all the secrets and always whisper the right decisions in her ear, but the reality is I can only guide. I can’t control. With Landyn I will forever meet her half way. I try my best to always encourage her, build her up, and always make her feel secure. I will always support her dreams and hope she finds something she is good at and chases it. I think as parents we are always wanting better for our kids no matter how good we had it growing up. There will always be things we take away from our parents. And then there is things we choose to do without. I already see so many differences in Landyn’s personality then I was as a kid. When I look at her, I see confidence, independence, leadership. I love peaking in on her preschool class and seeing her engaged in the classroom because I never did that much. Or her ability to meet friends at the park or in a doctors office waiting room. That’s good stuff right there. Kids are constantly changing and I am very aware that she can change tomorrow, but for now I foster all these positive qualities and try my best to point them out early on.

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Peer pressure. Eating Disorders. Decisions about love. Life goals. She may be playing dress up now, but these are all real life topics that will have to get addressed at one time or another. Will I ever be ready to tackle such topics? I may never be. But her knowing she is loved and valued is me laying the foundation to whatever is thrown our way.

I love that I can document this journey and have this space be a testament to those I hold dear to me. A place my loved ones can always look back on. Thank you for always following along.

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Random things

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photo credit: Love Letter Photography

1. Whenever I move into a new house it takes me months to hang things on the walls. Something about putting holes in the walls seems extremely permanent and gives me anxiety. If you came in my house right now, you’d see frames and shelves laid out around the perimeter of the floor. Josh loves it I’m sure.

2. I bite my nails and need an intervention. Tips?

3. I tend to see the good in everyone and this is known to backfire on me.

4. I collect crosses. There is no significance behind it. I have a collage wall of them in every home I’ve lived in.

5. Girl time is good for the soul. It fills my cup, inspires me, keeps me going, and reminds me of where I come from. Do it more girls.

6. Have you tried Trader Joe’s frozen macaroons? Try them. Your welcome.

7. I just started this book. Read it and be inspired.

8. One of my biggest downfalls is caring what other people think. I’ve made huge strides since becoming a mom, but it’s still something that surfaces from time to time.

9. This board is making me happy right now. I can’t wait to have my own craft room/office space.

10. I am two semesters short of finishing my Psychology degree. I used to see this as failure but years later I see the other avenues it allowed me to explore. I still have thoughts of going back.

11. I have to be wearing a watch. I feel naked without one.

12. I always wanted to meet a guy with similar traits as my dad. I knew if I ever found him, I’d hold on tight. He’s been found. Grateful.

13. Growing up, my mom was the nurse at my pediatrician’s office. For the past 15 years she has been the nurse at my obgyn’s office. Landyn is a patient of my old pediatrician. I am so grateful for these doctors that have become family to us.

14. I can’t watch a movie at home without falling asleep.

15. I talk to both of my parents at least once a day.

16. I went to an all girls Catholic school for junior high and high school. It’s there where I met my friends for life. I hope to send Landyn there one day.

Let me get to know YOU better. Leave something random about YOU in the comments below.

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