Taking Care of You: All About Self Love

Hi everyone and happy new year! I can’t believe this year brings us a new decade! WOW! It makes it feel more special than other new years. What will we do in this bright new decade?!

I am taking part of Julie Hedlund’s 12 Days of Christmas for writers, and today’s focus was about taking time for yourself. This is such a wonderful concept, but somehow gets pushed to the back of our busy days, schedules, and family responsibilities. She stated that taking time for yourself isn’t selfish…..it’s self LOVE! Yes, I completely forgot about this somewhere along the way. Just because you stop to do something for yourself for more than a moment or two, does NOT make you selfish. How can we be expected to run 24/7 without ever taking care of ourselves? And, more importantly…..should we be ignoring our own needs? The answer to that is no.

We as individuals are people too….with needs, wants, and desires. Whether that desire is to take time to write, to read a book, to build something, to go outside in nature, or to pamper ourselves…it’s ok! And in fact, it’s necessary. Self love preserves who we are. I catch myself telling my kids (in-between their requests for more milk and lunch #2, don’t ask) that I’m a person too!!! They just look at me like I’m silly….like, come on Mom! Oh well, at least I’m voicing it! But now I need to put that into action.

Putting self time into action isn’t always easy. If it is for your, that’s wonderful and do please share your secret! If you find it harder, than take a serious look at your schedule. When does time work for you? Are days of the week better than others, or specific times of the day? For me, I struggle with getting up before my kids. But if I did, that would be a nice amount of quiet time for me to enjoy my coffee WHILE sitting down and relaxing. Another option is when the kids are in bed, but by that time, I would like to maybe somedays workout, spend time with my husband and watch an adult show that doesn’t consist of kid creature rescues or dinosaurs on trains.

So as this journey of self love starts, I wish you luck. And please, write me with your thoughts, struggles, suggestions or just to say hi. Let’s make this a great new decade!


Friday Faves: Not Quite Snow White by Ashley Franklin Illustrated by Ebony Glenn

I have another wonderful book to share with you today! Not Quite Snow White is a delightful story perfect for ages 4-8. It’s the wonderful debut book for Ashley Franklin and has vibrant and adorable illustrations by Ebony Glenn.

Tameika loves to sing and dance, and is very excited for her school musical. But on audition day, Tameika over hears the other kids suggest that she isn’t quite right to play Snow White because of how she looks. A once confident young girl starts to second guess herself. She comes home to her loving parents who assure her that she is their princess and has just the right amount of everything. It’s a tender story that teaches kids about kindness, self love, and acceptance of others.

I read this to my 7 year old daughter who saw a girl with different color skin than hers experiencing problems and emotions just like she does. Tameika gets hurtful things said to her, and my daughter pointed out that that would make her feel sad too. Picture books are wonderful and powerful tools that can teach kids how to treat one another from an early age. I encourage you to read this lovely book!

Happy reading!

Inner strength and validation

Sometimes you just need someone to tell you that you’re doing a good job. This is how I’m feeling tonight. It’s been a busy week, the checklist has been checked, the chores and responsibilities have been accomplished (well, for the most part, let’s not get to crazy) and I have a little bit of free time before my husband comes home with the kids from soccer practice. I planned on taking this time to delve into my writing and make some serious headway on the stories I’m working on…..and yet, I pause. Writing can be a funny thing. I love creating stories and seeing how they grow and develop. But it’s only me seeing the growth, it’s not out in the world. It is my DREAM to be a published author, and I’m doing everything I can to get there. But until I do, it’s almost like throwing darts into the darkness, aiming for an unseen target, or one that continues to move away. (Tricky little target.)

Have you ever felt like this? That the goal you wish to obtain just seems out of reach enough to make you exhale a little longer than usual? I think it is in these times, where believing in yourself has to drive you forward. It has to come from within, to feel the steady and confident voice inside….that’s my validation. That’s my reassurance. To keep going, keep striving and pursuing….to not give up. How can your situation ever change, if you don’t take the strides in the direction you wish to be? I encourage you to keep going on your journey, and find the strength and endurance you need to accomplish your goal.

Learn to swerve

Hi everyone! Here in the mid-west it’s raining and in the mid 60s…it feels like fall! I have to admit, I do love a rainy day. It’s an opportunity to cozy up, slow down just a bit, because let’s be honest, you can’t exactly run in the rain. (Well, I guess you COULD but would you really want to?) You can still be super productive, but there’s an ease to the day. It’s almost as if you have to have realistic expectations since you can only get so much done. Extra errands become less necessary. I’ve already rearranged my day because the thought of taking my youngest in and out of the car to various stores in the rain just seems ridiculous.

Life is like that sometimes. We have a set plan for our day or week and then something unexpected happens and we have to adjust. It is in this adjustment that we can either succeed with grace, or fail. I worked as a nurse for 16 years, and I’d go into the unit with my set plan and mindset for the day. Which is funny because the minute I entered my first patient’s room that all changed. I HAD to adjust to my patients, to their expectations, fears, disappointments, successes, or regressions. You prepare yourself as much as you can for your day, then see it shift once it starts.

This shifting occurs all the time as a parent! I’m actually laughing at myself because there have been mornings when I’ve gotten up extra early, got ready head to toe, and have lunches packed all before my kids wake up. Once their feet make it downstairs, any of my preparedness is out the window, blown away by the storm that is children. It’s not all bad, it’s just that they are people too, with THEIR own agenda and THEIR own internal schedule. They aren’t robots set to obey all commands.

So today, be kind to yourself. Life doesn’t go to our specific plan. If it does, consider yourself lucky! But if you’re like the rest of us, remember that it’s going to be okay. Let the rain come, bring your umbrella, and shift when you need to!