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Every January 1st, it stares me in the face….the not so anticipated new year’s resolution. I have to admit, I’m not a big fan.  I don’t really need one more thing to put pressure on me…especially the pressure of failing that shiny new year goal…whatever it may be.  I think to myself, if I couldn’t do it last year, what makes me think I can do it this year?…because undoubtedly it’s probably the same resolution/s I’ve had every year…And when I do fail, because no one is perfect (no matter how hard I try), I kick myself over and over again because I couldn’t maintain the level of expectations I set for myself.  So, are resolutions bad?..No, absolutely not.  But, how I respond to myself when I can’t maintain my (often times unrealistic) resolutions is bad. What am I going to do about it? If I say I will change, doesn’t that sound like a new year’s resolution?! I guess what I am hoping to accomplish is to live this next year with goals in mind, but not putting so much pressure on myself if (and when) I don’t live up to them……For example:

I would like to spend more time alone with God, but I will not condemn myself if I only read a page from a devotional book

while sitting in the bathroom. 

I would like to feed my family more clean meals (yes, I’ve jumped on that wagon), but I will not condemn myself when I take them to McDonald’s on occasion….because a kid needs a happy meal every once in awhile even if the chicken isn’t real. 

I would like to actually “enjoy” cooking, and if I ever get into a nice dinner making groove,  I will not condemn myself for using store bought meat and tomatoes from a CAN…because I just know if I eat too much chili using canned tomatoes, I will surely kill us all….

I would like to spend more time connecting with my children, but I will not condemn myself if I can’t give them my full attention every second of the day. 

I would like to be a better photographer, but I won’t condemn myself when I can’t devote as much time to it as I used to because I want to have more time with my family. 

I would like to learn to play the guitar with my son, but I won’t condemn myself if I only learn the basic “g” and “c” chords and never get beyond the “smelly cat” song talent. 

I would like to be more patient, but I will not condemn myself when I have moments of yelling…because let’s face it, I have four children and my patience was near gone after two. 

I would like to be an all around better person, but I will not condemn myself when I don’t live up to my expectations of being that “better person”……

My hope for you and for me this year is to stop putting so much pressure on ourselves and to be happier knowing that we are perfectly imperfect!  

What do you hope for this year?

photo by Ashley Sommer Photography

At 11:45 tonight my baby girl will be one! I simply cannot believe it.  I waited for nine long months to find out if we were going to be blessed with boy number four or a girl…and sure enough, we had a you..Adley Rose. You have changed our lives so much, I can’t imagine it without you. 

(some emotional images captured by my friend Janelle at Happinest)
I couldn’t even look at you because I was crying so hard. I kept saying, “it’s a girl? no way, are you sure?!”

And just like that, we celebrated your first birthday this past Sunday. You were so adorable when you opened your presents. You were excited about everything. 

 Today, I followed  you around a bit and took your picture to remember your big day of turning was exhausting for you. 

I love you so much moo moo!

When I turned 21, one of my college roommates gave me a children’s book, ‘If you Give A Moose A Muffin’, which is about a Moose who goes from one thing to the next and is always wanting something.  Inside the cover she wrote, “Contentment. Period.” I never knew thirteen years later I would still be reading that very book and still be struggling with contentment. I always wanted more…. to do more, to be more, to travel more, to be liked more, to have more….more, more, more. I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting more for yourself, to be driven is a wonderful thing, but when you are never happy with where you are and what you have, it’s pretty sad. I have dreams and aspirations and I get so overwhelmed with wanting to “be” more, that I lose sight of what I already have and what is important.  Just a few days ago I was on the verge of spending a large chunk of change to do something for my business that I’ve always wanted to do….(the hubs vetoed it down), and in desperation I looked at my husband and cried, “I just want to do something amazing!”, to which he pointed at my daughter and my sons and said, “Isn’t she amazing? Aren’t they amazing?”.  Ouch, truth hurts when it hits you in the head. I’m so grateful for a husband who helps me put things into perspective. Why can’t I ever be satisfied?  When I was growing up,  my grandma Webster always told me the best part about saving up money to get something new was saving up the money and having the feeling of anticipation, because once you put down the money and had the new toy in your hand, you would be happy for five minutes and then move on to the next shiny toy. She was right. I need to be intentional with my thought life, and thank God for what He’s given me. To look around and breathe in all of my blessings, because they are truly endless. I need to be more content. Period.

 Thanks J for loving me!

In February I wrote a blogpost about my grandma, which you can find here. Soon, she will be with the Lord…. I can’t sleep….so I write. 

Dear Mimi,

 You will never know what you mean to me. As your time here on earth is coming to an end, I find it hard for me to tell you what’s on my heart. The only thing I can muster is I love you…which I do to the moon and back..but there’s so much more I want to say.  So, forgive me for my random thoughts…but I know this will make me feel closer to you.  
I will always long for your arms to reach around me like they did when I was younger. I want to hang out around your kitchen table and make you laugh so hard you pee your pants. I want you to be able to make macaroni and cheese and pickle chip dip sandwiches. I can see your kitchen drawer full of pencils (I can smell them!) and Avon catalogs…no, I don’t want anymore skin so soft. Now I understand why I made you so mad when I messed up the curtains in your “good room”.  Do you remember all the forts I made in your backyard and how I always requested (yelled for) the green girl cup at lunch? Sometimes you would get stuck in your stupid glider chair from Kroger and I would have to pull you out..that’s what we get for buying furniture at the front of a grocery store.  Thank you for always buying me silver dollar ice cream bars from the schwan’s man, I realize now how expensive they were.  I never liked it when you wore a wig, I could always tell.  I’m sorry I whined and bugged you until you gave in and gave me what I wanted, I was a brat.  I wish I could grow plants in my house like you did.  Who is going to inherit the big Christmas stocking? Do we still have it somewhere?  When you were watching tv, I would sneak in your bedroom and put your jewelry on my head and pretend I was a princess…I’m pretty sure you knew though.  Why in the world did you put contact paper all over your fridge?.. it still looked like an ugly fridge.  I can still smell the musty smell of the closet beside your kitchen and the little wooden fold up stool.  Remember when I saw a mouse and jumped on your table? Remember when I broke out in hives from penicillin and you gave me more of it because you thought it would help?, lol…I looked like violet from willy wonka..but at least you held me in your lap until my mom came to get me.  You always gave out the best Halloween candy (I was mad at you when you said I was too old to get my own special basket of candy).  Thank you for always going to my dance recitals, sporting events, and special moments in my life. I always put my fingers in that ugly oil/string lamp that you had in your living room…it was rather mesmerizing.  I will never be able to iron like you, I never understood how you could put an iron pleat in jeans.  I felt so bad when you fell on one of those moving floors at the airport and broke your front teeth..but I couldn’t help but laugh because you looked like a hillbilly…so glad you got those fixed.  I still laugh so hard about the time when aunt Vick kept shutting the camper door in your face when you were trying to get out of the bathroom because she didn’t know you were in it.  You were always there for me…to lean on, to hug, to love. Life will not be the same without you in it. I won’t be able to go to mom and dad’s without expecting to see you in your chair. Why didn’t I come over everyday just to say hi? I know you are tired, and I want you to know it’s ok to go home. Jesus has a much better place prepared for you, I’m sure it even has the Hallmark channel (every movie is the same, yet we both sit there in your room and watch them over and over..). You will have a perfect body, you will have no pain, and know no sadness. I will cry when you leave, but I know you are saving me a place beside you. When you get there, tell Aunt Sis and grandpa that I miss them everyday. You are an amazing woman and if I can only be half the grandma you were to me, I will be honored.  I will carry you in my heart forever. I love you the mostest infinity. 

love, Colie
This is the smile I will always remember…

Lately I’ve been suffering from a terrible thing, which I self diagnosed as W.I.M. otherwise known as Woe Is Me syndrome!  It seems I can’t go two seconds without complaining about something and feeling sorry for myself. Since the birth of my fourth child, my hair has been falling out around my forehead and sides and I swear I’m going to go bald…woe is me. I’ve wasted hours looking online for magical cures and natural aides to help it grow back, and have let it consume too many of my thoughts…woe is me. I’m pretty sure no one notices anything until I point it out..because of course I have to point it out so they don’t notice it first….makes sense right?! As if having my hair fall out isn’t bad enough, my face looks like a teenager going through puberty…woe is me. I’ve had nice skin my entire life, now in my thirties, I break out all over…woe is me. My breasts and my belly button now share the same horizontal plane…woe is me. I get startled when I walk by the mirror and think I have a spider on my back, but then realize it’s the lovely tramp stamp I got in college…woe is me. My kids tear the house apart after I just spent two hours cleaning..woe is me. I spend too many hours looking up recipes on pinterest only to get overwhelmed and call in and order a pizza…woe is me. The laundry keeps piling up and I don’t know if the kids are wearing clean or dirty underwear…woe is me. I’m pretty sure there is a tiny orchestra of people with white gloves playing their little violins around me…I think I hear them now…woe is me. I know my family is sick of my disease of self pity…and quite frankly I am too. It seems that many times I get so caught up in my own little life bubble that I forget to look around me and be thankful for all I have…To look around me and see there are others who are sick and hurting… To look around me and simply smile at a stranger….to just look around ME! I find I’m a much happier person when I take the focus off myself and focus on others. I’m much happier when I take a step back from the mirror and see myself the way others do (not with a magnifying glass). I’m much happier when I stop complaining and start thanking. Do you suffer from W.I.M.? If you don’t know, I’m sure a friend or family member can tell you if you do!! If you do suffer from this highly contagious disease, take a deep breath and start thanking God for all you have in your life…the only side effect is becoming happier!
Leave a comment on how you cure yourself from Woe Is Me syndrome, I’d love to hear from you.

Love your life,