Did I Really Just Cry Over Netflix?

If the television is on in our house, you can almost bet its never for anything I voted to watch. There are plenty of reasons I say this, but it’s true.

Since we cancelled cable, we rely on Netflix and Amazon Prime and have really gotten some good use out of our Apple TV and Fire Stick. Normally if the TV is on, it’s Moana or Pee Wee Herman as of late; soon it will be football (foreshadowing to a great post, I’m sure <insert eye roll emoji> ), and lots of times it’s golf or Wheel of Fortune (always gets my vote). And I can’t fail to mention that we are big Big Brother fans, so Reid and I do make an effort to watch that together when we can. Thanks to our nifty wireless antenna, we can pick up a couple dozen local channels and haven’t missed cable a bit.

I could say what most would say – “I don’t have time to watch TV…” but the reality is I choose not to watch TV. I’ve enjoyed getting lost in books and writing posts like this, planning out the finishing touches on projects I’ve been meaning to finish for weeks/months/years, spending time outside or working on my business.

The way I see it, we have little chunks of space in our day, and we get the privilege of choosing what we do inside those spaces. The choices we make will create our life, over time. We control our time, our time shouldn’t control us, and watching TV always seems to take the reins of control when I give in to it. Much like scrolling through social media, I’ve learned to appreciate and actually crave the disconnect from screen time. It’s too easy to get sucked into a vortex of comparison and judgement when we compare our lives to someone’s best when we are potentially at our worst. But, I digress…

It came as somewhat of a surprise last Monday night when Reid suggested that we start a new show on Netflix together. He delivered a beautifully pitched invitation for us to “spend some time together after the kids go to bed”, which I saw appealing and agreed to, truthfully without even knowing what show I had just committed myself to watch.

Ozarks. Jason Bateman. Fair enough, I thought. And about 10 minutes in, I was hooked to the story line, or I suppose I should say, what I assumed the story line would develop to be.

We snuggled up on our over-sized couch with a warm blanket and watched quietly as the first episode of this Netflix original series played in front of us. I was into it.

And then, when the episode ended and I got up to use the bathroom, I noticed Sadler sleeping on the steps. Again (roll eyes, again). So, I carried her back to her bed and proceeded with somewhat of a bedtime routine to get her back to sleep.

Meanwhile, downstairs…guess who starts to watch episode number 2? Without me????!

I walked into the bedroom, and when I noticed what was happening, I saw red. I was so mad. Here I had been, duped into a TV show I didn’t really even want to watch in the first place, and was sold on the fact that “we can do it together”. And he is watching it without me.

I shared my frustration aloud with him, which seemed stupid to him. And then I realized how stupid it really was…I’m crying, over Netflix???

I woke up the next morning to think about what had happened, and it hit me.  A blog post I had recently read said something like this:

Our Expectations, minus our Observations, equal FRUSTRATION.

Having expectations is a tricky one. We can and should have expectations in life, right? I have expectations of myself. Typically, too harsh ones. When I managed a team of people, I had expectations of them, too. And when they actually did or didn’t do a task that seemed to correlate with my expectation, that’s what I was left to observe. And then I was frustrated.

I have expectations of my children, and how they should behave and what they should eat and how often they should try to pee throughout the day.

Clearly, I expected the Netflix thing to turn out differently. Never did I think I’d come back downstairs and see him watching without me. But, it was even more clear that I was so bent out of shape about it.

Will it matter in ten years?…doubtful. But the fact that I expected the situation to turn out a certain way, and then it just didn’t go down that way, I was left feeling…frustrated. Which led to sadness, which led to saying things I regretted the next morning.

This incident compelled me to decide that it was time for Reid and I to declare a few expectations, ones that we could hold each other accountable for. We decided to declare the pillars of our family, and what would be important foundations to raise our girls upon. You may be thinking: shouldn’t you have done that BEFORE you had kids? Maybe. And maybe we thought about it. But this time, we’re doing it.

Letting go of my expectations in order to make room for a clear plan is exciting to me.  A plan that will hopefully craft a life of purpose, with healthy sprinklings of Netflix time here and there…except, next time there will only be tears shed if we are watching Beaches.

 

 

24 Mondays

That’s how many I’ve had to rock you before nap. That’s how many I’ve had to hold you in the heirloom rocking chair in your bedroom, the place we’ve both come to know and love with such intimacy and sacred appreciation.

It’s how many Mondays I’ve had to notice that you like to grab hold of the sides of the rocking chair, one arm at a time, nice long stretches, while your head stays rested on my chest. How you love to hold onto my shoulder with only one arm, like a baby sloth, and you sleep with your mouth open and have a tiny growl of a snore.

It’s how many Mondays I’ve had to feel an inching wonder that you may never stop breastfeeding, and while I appreciate the bond and beauty and all that breastfeeding does for our soul and the souls of mamas and babies all over the world…believe me, I’m so grateful. But I’m ready for it to end.

But then…I can’t help but think that in 24 Mondays from now, you probably won’t want to nurse anymore. You may not even want me to rock you, and who knows if you will even want to be held at all. How many words will you say then? You’ll have a new thing that you do, and a new preference about you. Will you still call it “bbubbbbll” and like to be patted on the butt to be soothed? Will you want to play with your sister, or find solitary adventure without her?

All these things that I think won’t ever stop, they will. That’s just the thing.

And I will miss them.

I’ve come to realize that you’re likely the last one, Everly Jean. The last baby to be birthed and rocked and swaddled and breastfed. The last one. They saved the best for last with you. You’re good, you. Mama loves you, more than you may ever truly know.

I’ve watched you change other people, too. Strangers sometimes. Often times. They connect eyes with you and you give them that toothy smile and your eyes light up like Mama Dot. They see you like I see you.

Life is teaching me that finding gratitude for what shows up in my path, that’s true beauty. That my purpose right now is to be a mother, and to be there for you and your sister when you need me. To teach you to appreciate what you’ve got in life, to be kind to every single person you meet, and to love with all that you’re made of.

Raising and growing you into the lady version of yourself so that you, too can be a mama and a light for your own girls some day.

Knowing that a day will come when you won’t need me at all anymore and I will be lucky if you call me before bedtime each night when you’re all grown up.

All the growth and digging deep in self-discovery over the last year of my life seems to run parallel to your existence. You are wondrous to me, and I may never be able to find the right words to tell you exactly what you are to me. My hope is, that you’ll just see and know like the world sees you.

Perfect wonder, you are, Everly Jean.


I look forward to 24 more Mondays with you, that lead to Fridays and weekends where Sunday seems to drag out forever. Those are our favorite days.

I’ll try to stop rushing you to grow up now. Sleep well, our princess. Mama loves you.

 


 

In Case You’ve Wondered What It’s Like

Guilt. There’s been a lot of that.

Because I underestimated what it would be like to be at home. There have been fewer showers, less projects and more chores. There have been days when I feel like I’m on top of the world, and days when I cry for hours and wonder when I will get a break and feel sane again.

I sometimes eat dinner in the bathroom while watching my kids play in the bath tub, and my house isn’t nearly as clean as I thought it would be.

I completely took for granted the 40-hour break I got from being a mom each week. Not that my  mom-worries and responsibilities stopped when I went to work, but shifting my responsibility to something else for eight hours a day was a break. And I didn’t ever think so at the time.

I underestimated the value of a lot of the relationships I had with my co-workers, and I’ve realized that I wasn’t a very good boss or friend at work. I couldn’t have been. I was trying to do it all by myself, and had lost faith in God and I too often let my stress get to me. I always seemed annoyed and no one ever seemed to need me at a time that was convenient for me. I was so buried in tasks and the desire to perform. I cared deeply about always doing the right thing and being good for everyone, but I wasn’t good for myself. I am thankful for this awareness now and look forward to continuing to nurture the relationships I had through work that I know were real.

I miss interacting with adults all day and I miss taking a lunch break. I miss holding team meetings and watching my maintenance guys roll their eyes because I asked them to hang a sign.

There are days when my mind surges with ideas for my new business and all I want is eight hours to sit at a desk and my laptop and colorful pens and planners and a good playlist. I’d even take four hours. I just miss the grind of getting stuff done. Having a perpetual to-do list that carries over from one day to the next makes you feel like you’re digging holes on the beach. The wave comes, and fills up your hole and you have to dig again. And then more waves.

So, I savor nap time and all that I’m able to accomplish (like this blog post), but I feel guilty for telling Sadler she can watch TV while I work.

I’ve moved on to living life in my favorite robe and yoga pants, spending most of my day in the kitchen and building a rock star essential  oil business. I’ve gotten to spend more time with my Granny over the last three months than I’ve spent with her in the last 10 years. I’ve cancelled cable, sold my dream car, paid off debt, started this blog, read at least a dozen books and made lasting new friendships.

I’m grateful for all the naps I’ve been able to rock Everly before, and all the times I’ve been able to say Hi to the mailman.

I know that being needed all of the time may seem heavy and hard, because it is. But I’m thankful for the time I’ve learned to make for myself and appreciate each minute more than ever before. I’m learning to let the guilt of it all go, because I feel in my bones that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. And doing it with dirty hair and yoga pants makes it just that much more fun.

I know how the lotus flower grows…

 

 

 

Reflections: A Season Ends

I had a really close friend in college tell me out of the blue that we couldn’t be friends anymore. She just stopped hanging out with me. I remember feeling super-confused and I asked another friend if he knew what happened to make her stop wanting to hang out. He said, “You were just too much for her to handle”…

My journey as an at-home mama began at the end of winter. Spring came in, a fresh breeze of light and momentum. Now it’s nearing an end, and summer starts next week. A new season, a new set of goals and a new wave of life and adventure.

I’m learning to accept that people come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. They may float in and it feels as if they’ve been in the room all along. Like a feather. (I saw a feather on the beach just last weekend. It reminded me of the down pillows on Mama Dot’s bed and it made me smile/cry a tiny tear.)

Some people leave suddenly like my college friend, and we can’t help but wonder what we did to suddenly shift things so unexpectedly.

But then sometimes, we are blessed with people who land on our path at just at the right time. We instantly feel warm and we know we will love them forever.

I see life differently now.

Do you remember those books we used to color in as a kid? The ones where the pages were black and white drawings with tiny boxes within the drawing, like a big puzzle… and there was a number in the box and you filled in the boxes according to the little legend at the bottom of the page? Well, now when I look at those pages, all of my tiny boxes are filled in with color. All of the drawings are colored in in beautiful colors. It’s the same book, but I see all the colors. I now get the joy of adding glitter to the pages.

I’ve learned that being misunderstood is one of the most painful experiences as a human. Or, at least for me as a human. I can be seen by many as a punch in the face, packed into a pill form, immediately followed by a smile and a hug. But what I’m learning is that we all see differently, through different lenses. And I’m just not seen by everyone. And I can’t change that. I have a big heart and a strong passion to help others find the light within them. I’ve been called to help others see what I now see.

I’ve felt my friendships shift over the recent weeks, as the season has shifted into summer. I feel the energy moving around my circles and feel the different bonds forming as weekends and fireside nights turn to beach memories and family time at the park. I feel some drifting away as some are drawing closer. I welcome and appreciate the joy I feel in my life every day and am thankful for the people who have allowed me into their space. If you’ve been in mine, I can assure you it was a pure joy for me. I savor every bit of time I have to give love to others and am humbled by what this season has done for me as a person, a mother, a wife, a friend, a business leader.

The light within me sees and honors the light within you.

I look forward to summer. More time in the sun, more time in the sand, more time in the hammock, more burgers on the grill, more deep talks on the back patio. I look forward to pool days and spending time with some of my sweet mama friends around the baby pool.

I am thankful for what spring cultivated in my life. It’s incredibly beautiful to watch growth through nurturing and a little love and attention. Grace gets us far, I’m learning. God is so big and great and good.

 

The Game of Life and How to Play It

Some of you will read this title and think I came up with it. That would be natural of you to do. But I didn’t. It’s the title of an incredible book that I have just started reading, and I honestly have become so moved by it that this post is burning inside me.

I just started the book and am only about a third of the way through it, but I’ve been reading it in every bit of “down time” I have. I’ve been compelled to even jot a few things down because they just resonated with me so much. I felt moved to write them down, so I could then share them with you.

A friend loaned her copy of the book to me, and if it were mine to keep I’d be marking all over it. Normally I listen to books on Audible, and if you don’t know about this app you should totally check it out. So finding the time to actually sit and quietly read this hasn’t been as easy as you may think as an at-home mama, but I’m reading it every chance I get. I can’t put it down.

The title of the book says enough about what’s inside but I have found it to be incredibly eye-opening and moving. The author shines bright insight into my own life and in her book, Florence Scovel Shinn reminds us that the mind gives us power.  As Proverbs says, “your thoughts run your life”. We reap what we sow. If we fill our minds (which are basically thoughts, that we can control if you really think about it) with negativity, hatred, anger, fear, disgust, comparison, resentment, etc. then we will have failures and sickness and troubled situations in our lives.

In an early chapter, she writes:

“Continual criticism produces rheumatism, as critical, inharmonious thoughts cause unnatural deposits in the blood, which settle in the joints.”

Basically, she is saying that if we walk around being nasty to one another and spend time criticizing each other and ourselves, we can literally make ourselves sick. Crazy, right?! We screw things up and throw off our own energetic alignment by choosing to think negatively, or comparing ourselves to others, or being judgmental. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could all shift to a place of observation rather than dwell in a place of judgment? Notice what’s around you, but let the thought end there. Don’t be envious, or critical, or greedy, or ungrateful, or jealous, or angry, or fearful. Choose joy, and watch the universe begin to work in your favor.

We seem so quick to look for something or someone to blame for all of the junk in our lives, but the truth is, we must take 100% responsibility for our own lives. We have endless choices each day. Our feelings affect our thoughts, which affect our attitude, which affects our actions. So, if we live the majority of our days feeling that we aren’t deserving of having something, we won’t ever have it. If we feel that we aren’t worthy enough, we won’t ever get more. If we feel like we can’t do something, we won’t ever do it. We must learn to get out of our own way. Don’t step on your own big toe.

Shinn goes on to say:

“Man should watch himself hourly to detect if his motive for action is fear or faith. There is no peace or happiness for man, until he has erased all fear from the subconscious. Fear is misdirected energy and must be redirected, or transmuted into faith.”

Misdirected energy…meaning we give the directions. We tell the energy where to go. Fear and faith don’t go together.

The most incredible part of this book for me, though — is realizing that this book was written in 1925How fascinating that almost one hundred years later, so much can still be said for humanity and how much our mind plays a part in our story.

So, folks. Here comes the secret. If you never pick up or listen to this book, maybe reading isn’t your thing. Or maybe you think I’ve lost it finding so much enjoyment in a book like this (funny thing is, I actually feel like I’ve found it.) But here is the secret. Here is what Florence Scovell Shinn says is the object of the game of life:

“…to see clearly one’s good and to obliterate all mental pictures of evil. This must be done by impressing the subconscious mind with a realization of good.”

While most people see life as an ongoing battle, it is really a game. However, we must create harmony in our lives. It’s about Love. It’s about Joy. “Keep thy heart (or imagination with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

And yes, I realize this is a premature book report as I have barely finished the book. However, I couldn’t help myself. It’s too good not to share today. To think that someone out there in the universe could be one book away from opening a door within their soul that gets them back into the light again. Sometimes, we forget that our flame is always burning to show us the way.

Reflections: Motherhood for Me

Something salpingitis. That’s what I remember my doctor saying to me. She was young like me, so the tears in her eyes as she told me made sense to me. But I still didn’t understand. Having children on my own would be very difficult because my fallopian tubes were blocked? I’m sorry, what do you mean exactly? I remember getting in the car and sobbing. We knew we wanted to have a family, and we had already discussed adoption if it truly wasn’t in our plan to have our own children. But I was devastated to think of the possibility.

God proved that doctor wrong and we became pregnant with Sadler in 2011. When we found out we were pregnant, I will never forget the way that I felt. I felt happier and more excited than ever before! I quickly became washed with the gift of motherhood and made my body a temple to prepare for the precious child God would bless us with.

We wanted a boy. I really wanted a boy. I even knew what I wanted to name him. I remember being in the tiny ultrasound room, my parents and Reid’s parents circled the room as we all patiently waited for the technician to tell us. When she said it was a girl…I wept. I think to this day everyone in the room except for my husband thought I was weeping tears of joy. In reality, the tears were fear and disappointment. I felt guilty for being sad that it wasn’t a boy. But deep down, I feared I wouldn’t know how to be a mother to a girl. My mother and I didn’t have the closest of relationships throughout my life, and while I love my mother dearly and am thankful for the journey we rode because it has undoubtedly led me to who and what I am today — I was scared.

Sadler Mae was born on July 12, 2012 via cesarean because she was breach. Her umbilical cord prolapsed while I was being prepped for delivery and what was a normal procedure turned into an emergency situation in the blink of an eye. My husband was still in the hall being scrubbed in when they made the incision to get her out. The anesthesia hadn’t fully kicked in. I wanted my husband’s hand to hold. I wanted his eyes to look into. Within a few seconds, he stood before me, and I don’t think either of us was breathing. We just locked eyes and cried as the doctors and nurses worked to get Sadler out of my body. She was lodged under my ribcage and it took lots of force and unexpected positioning to get her out. And then, the sweetest most anticipated sound my ears ever did wait to hear. She cried. And I breathed. And my life was changed forever.

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In January of 2015 I turned 33 and for a birthday gift, someone very special to me took me to see a spiritual advisor. I had been to one once before as a teenager, and honestly didn’t know what to expect as we walked in. One of the things that came up during our conversation was whether or not I would be blessed with another child. Reid and I knew we wanted another child, and I really still wanted to have a son. I had dreamt of my baby Dax. I had seen his face before and held him in my arms. So when I told this to the spiritual advisor that day, I felt the look in her eye but wouldn’t fully understand until a few months later. She gently smiled and told me that “soon enough” I would be pregnant again and reminded me to be patient with God’s plan.

I found out I was pregnant with another baby girl in June of 2015 and Everly Jean was born on December 27. She and I rocked out an amazing vaginal delivery, which was something I wanted more than I even realized until it actually happened. It was intense and long and difficult and painful. But there is no doubt in my mind that the second this child exited my body and joined our family earth side, a spiritual gate opened within my soul and my life became bright with colors I’d never seen before.

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I’ve thought often about my conversation with the spiritual advisor that day, and after connecting the dots in some of my own intuition I now believe that we did get our baby Dax. He was living inside me at some point in my life. However, God had Everly held for us and she was waiting. It wasn’t in the plan for baby Dax to be mine on Earth. But it was most certainly his divine plan to give me Everly.

I am weeping as I type this, because I am filled with so much emotion through this realization. We often think we have it all figured out, but we are small in the grand scheme of everything. God has a bigger plan for us all, and doctor’s don’t know everything. Life is a gift and a miracle.

 

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I will celebrate being a mother every day that I’m alive. I enjoyed a beautiful Mother’s Day weekend with my two daughters and husband picking strawberries and just loving on each other. It’s the little things that reset my perspective of my purpose. I’m grateful for these moments.

It Always was WAHM

 

This has been my view lately. It’s what I see when I look out the back window of my house. In front of this window sits a tall kitchen table with lots of chairs. It’s where I sit (and stand) a lot of the day. It’s where I work.

It was February 1st of this year, and it was the very first day that I was at home in my “new life”. On this day, I recall thinking to myself…”I’m never going to think or say the words: I have to go to work again today/tomorrow…“. I even recall telling my husband about this thought I had. I told him that I was going to make it my goal to never utter those words again. I recall him smirking and saying, “OK babe.”  In my heart, these words meant so much more to me than they may seem to you reading them now, or to my husband when he heard them initially. I had felt a shift within myself and knew that I was going to find a way to contribute to our family without ever working outside of the home again.

It was merely a few days later, I was standing in the laundry room listening to my thoughts race back and forth in my head between ideas I’d pondered on ways to work from home. My heart was heavy. I’d been praying about it. Reid and I had been fighting about it. Quitting my job – my CAREER in property management that had provided so many blessings for us over the last decade – was a BIG DEAL. And while my heart may have felt that there was a plan, putting that plan into motion seemed like a more daunting task than I had realized.

But as I stood there, and continued to pull each piece of clothing out of the dryer one-by-one, it was as if the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, Candice, turn your head to the left”.

On the countertop to my left sat my wooden box of essential oils. Our families medicine cabinet. My reliable emotional health regimen. My daily go-to for at least 5 different reasons for myself or someone in this house.

I remember throwing my head back and literally laughing out loud when this happened. “Really, Lord?!” I cried! Something that had been right at my fingertips every. single. day. for the last two years was now the vehicle to bring income to my family.

What does the word “work” really mean to us anyway? The way I see it, we work to make money. Right?!

So, what if I could make money a non-traditional way? A way in which I never had to “go to work” again, or at least it would never feel that way. And then I read a story about a man:

There once was a man who hauled buckets of water for a living. His job was to haul water every day from the nearest water source, back to his village. Because everyone needed water, he always sold out. If he wanted to make more money, he simply hauled more buckets of water.

After many years of hauling these buckets of water, the man grew tired. Then he had an idea and inspiration! He decided to use his spare time to build a pipeline, so that eventually he could be free of hauling buckets of water, yet still provide water to the people of his village. So, he worked very hard over the next few years to build his pipeline.

The day the man turned on his water spigot, everything changed. He had successfully created an unlimited supply of water for the villagers and himself, resulting in an abundant financial pipeline.

I never knew anything about network marketing. Like most people, I had my own narrow thoughts about what it really was and how it really worked. Prior to this year, I didn’t really care to know about it. I had used the products for the last couple of years and found  myself sharing with friends and loved ones naturally. However, I never had an interest in the business side of the company. I then read one book and that was all it took for me to see the vision.

It also hasn’t taken me very long to see that the business venture I’ve launched into is really a personal development company disguised as an essential oil company.

Over the last ninety days, I have grown exponentially as a person.

I have found support in some incredible people who are walking this same  journey with me.

I have had the beautiful pleasure of helping other people get started on this very same journey. While their pace may be different or their approach unique to my own, the journey is theirs – and I get to be a part in helping them reach their goals.

I have found a way to utilize all of the business skills I acquired and sharpened over the past decade in order to propel my business forward.

Reading this book opened my eyes to living on purpose and gave me a powerful inspiring approach to managing all of the goals in my life and has made them more attainable and the reward seem more gratifying.

I’ve also learned that at an early age, we give ourselves limiting beliefs on what we should do and feel and think and say. By doing this, we have fears that we may never breakthrough. Reading this book has been an eye-opening way to change this mindset altogether for me personally, and has taught me to face my fears head on and then to watch them dissipate.

I have taken a deep dive in, head first and will never look back.

If you find yourself feeling as if you are just going through the motions in your life, you probably are.

If you stare at the ceiling at night thinking that there has got to be a better way to live life, there definitely is.

We were all put on this Earth to do something more than just pay bills.

Life is meant to be LIVED. We should not have to haul buckets for hours upon days upon weeks upon years.

Time is not something meant to hold us captive by all that we “have to do”. Time is actually in abundance if you can learn to shift your mindset about what’s actually important to you. Only then will you see that time is a gift, not a limitation.

I look forward to life now more so than ever. I truly welcome each day as a new gift from God and am so thankful to be able to carry out the plans He has in store for me. My heart remains full so that I may pour into others.

I went from working 40-50 hours a week outside of the home to working about 15 hours per week inside the home and am on a path to replace the income I once earned by the Fall of this year. This opportunity has proved itself to be very real and for once in my life, there is no stress associated with my “job”. It feels weird even calling what I do now a “job” because it just doesn’t feel like work. It just doesn’t.

I don’t sell essential oils. I share and educate others.

I don’t have essential oil parties. I teach essential oil classes.

This is not my hobby. This is my business.

I’m busy building a pipeline for my family so that someday, the mental shift will have come full circle — and we can pack up and vacation for three weeks if we feel like it. And we won’t have any debt left to pay. And we won’t feel like prisoners of time to the demands of the institutionalized world we feel so vacuumed into today.

I have a personal goal to lead a team of 1,000 people to take charge of their own health and wellness. I will achieve this goal by teaching anyone I can about the endless benefits these gifts of the Earth offer.

Who do you know that can help me reach this goal?…