3 Things I Learned From Going Live

Okay so the title is a little misleading, I didn’t learn these things just from going live, I learned them from stepping out of my comfortable little box. The box that keeps me feeling safe and controlled. The box that also is holding me back and caging my potential in. The little box called my “comfort zone” or as I like to call it, the “danger zone”.

I’ve known for a while that to do anything great, you have to step out of your comfort zone. But I honestly had no idea where to begin, where was I stepping to and how I was supposed to find that place to step out of. After a couple months of self-evaluation and development, I knew I was ready to go LIVE. I have so much valuable information I want to share with the world, so I went for it. Needless to say, I got stage fright after my first time on live video, it was scary and distracting and all my thoughts just suddenly disappeared. I felt super UNCOMFORTABLE.

That’s when I had an “A-ha” moment, a perfect opportunity to keep going with something outside of my safe place. Also, I was super embarrassed, I couldn’t leave it at that! So the next morning, I very awkwardly hopped back on live and declared that I would go on for the next seven days, because I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and use a valuable platform, I know I will use a lot in the future.

So here are the three things I learned from stepping out of my comfort zone, every day for a week:

  1. It’s an adrenaline rush, every time.

If you are an adrenaline junky, seriously just keep stepping out of your comfort zone. You feel so many emotions at once, happy, scared, excited, nervous, strong, and just pure amazing. I loved how energized I felt after I got off from going live. It sounds so silly, because you’re literally just talking to yourself in a phone, but it really is so liberating, and getting to tell people what’s on your mind, without anyone interrupting is pretty cool too!

  1.  I found what I believe is my passion and calling right now.

I love inspiring people to believe they are meant for so much more than they think they are. And motivating them to get out of their comfort zone and do something they might just fall in love with. I feel like I came out with a greater sense of self-awareness. Just a heightened sense of reality, it’s a cool feeling!

  1. It’s not really about me.

        This is a big one. We as humans, are very selfish, we stop ourselves from going after our desires for the fear of “what they might think”. But we have to go after what we are called to do, or we’re just wasting space and not really helping anyone along the way. Something as simple as going Live on Facebook sounds ridiculous, especially for “finding my greater purpose”, but I had numerous people tell me I was inspiring them to chase after what they wanted. And If I would’ve just quit trying to go live after the first time, no one would’ve witnessed me stepping outside of my comfort zone and they wouldn’t have been motivated to do the same.

Hakuna Matata, friends.

Oh, You’re a Coach?

Okay, let me preface by saying, writing this has me swallowing my pride and stepping way outside my comfort zone, but hey, what great thing has ever come from a comfort zone?

This is going to be my ‘coming out’ post, coming out as a fitness coach that is. I’ll start by telling you about my ever-evolving fitness journey. After, Barrett was born (my third baby), I hopped right back into my routine of working out while the older two entertained themselves (for the most part). But I was quickly slapped in the face with a crying baby who needed me and liked to sleep ON his mommy only. Which is totally fine, I love the cuddles and know they will end all too soon. So with B only sleeping when I was feeding or laying with him, in my bed, I faced the struggle on figuring out how exactly to get my workout in.

I have a gym in my garage, so I can’t just have the gym daycare watch him. I couldn’t workout while he was asleep, because he slept in my bed and would roll off if I wasn’t right there. So my only option was to take him out in the garage with me. However, that only lasted so long before he was ready to do something else. So what’s a mom to do?

Cue the awesome coach that reaches out every month to join a fitness group. Honestly, I had never had an interest in an at-home video workout, I mean I have a gym in my garage. But the more she reached out, the more I realized how nice it would be to have that community and accountability. And it was the answer to my workout woes, I could workout right next to the bed while the baby slept!

So how does someone go from lifting (heavy) weights to doing an at-home workout with no equipment? Well honestly, I’ve always looked at these workouts as a joke, want to lose weight? Lift. Want to ‘tone up’? Lift. Want abs/booty/quads? Lift. Boy, did I eat my words. I chose to finally do the workout program I did, because I was left with lower back pain from Diastasis Recti (separation of abdominal muscles), and wanted to take a break from the weights and focus on strengthening my core.

I did 30 days of this core intense program, and let me tell you, it was intense. It was an MMA style workout and a lot of push-ups were involved. I can’t believe the definition in my core, insane, especially after only being nine months postpartum with my third baby. Also, pull-ups are something I struggle at, and I was seeing my push-ups progress with this program and decided to go test my strength. I did 4 pull-ups, that’s double what I was doing before (P.S. I know that’s not a lot but they are freaking hard!).

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30 days of Core De Force

So besides the program itself, the thing that made me fall in love was the community and the accountability to show up every single day. If my motivation was running low, I knew when I checked-in and had to put 0 for my workout, I would feel disappointed in myself. Also, I’m super competitive, not in a mean way, but a way that I will push myself that much more to try and “win”.

When I started this program, I thought I was just going to do a month and be done, but I’m so thrilled it’s just the beginning of an awesome opportunity for me. I’ve toggled for a couple weeks now, on actually becoming a coach or not, all because of the fear of judgement. The fear of becoming a stereotype, “Oh just another SAHM, trying to sell us something”. But you know what? I don’t really care what those judgy Judy’s think, this is just a tool for my fitness journey and tool to use toward my business and brand.

So to sum this up, this is my WHY I decided to become a coach. I found the missing piece in my fitness journey- community/accountability. I want to help people feel like they’re apart of something when starting their health and fitness journey. I don’t want people to feel alone, when motivation runs low. I want moms to know they don’t have to sacrifice time with their kids in order to fit. But at the same time, know that it’s okay to take care of yourself.

If you’re interested in joining me in a fitness group please comment below or find me on Facebook!

“Well why the heck not?”

5 Tips to Beat Sleep Deprivation

 

This week has been a rough one, I don’t think I’ve slept more than an hour at a time. Last night, it wasn’t even the baby keeping me up, it was my three-year old and the dog! That shouldn’t be allowed when you have three kids! Also, I don’t get why they have to switch off nights either, it’s like, can’t we just have an all-night dance party twice a week and sleep peacefully the rest of it?! Wishful thinking.

 

I know sleep deprivation is all apart of motherhood, but that doesn’t mean it’s fun. It makes the day seem to drag, with zero energy. I don’t know about you, but I want to be the best mom to my littles, all the time. But it’s hard when my energy and attitude are lacking.

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So here are my five tips to battle sleep deprivation:

  • Bulletproof-ish coffee

I added the “ish”, because this isn’t technically bulletproof coffee, just more my version. I make my coffee, then add a TBSP of coconut oil, a TBSP of ghee (you could also use grass-fed butter) and some coconut milk (I use the canned coconut milk). Blend and enjoy. This keeps me full for hours and energizes me, literally all day.

  •  Affirmations

By telling yourself “I feel energized and happy”, “Today I choose to be alive and well with energy to sustain me throughout the day”, “I am a good, fun, loving mom who has energy to keep up with my kids”‘ you will actually believe yourself, and begin being those things.

  • Get moving

It doesn’t matter what you do, or for how long, just get your blood flowing. Do 20 jumping jacks, a yoga salutation, or just simply stretch. You will instantly feel more alive!

  • Get out of the house

Take your kids out to go do something, go to the park, on a walk, trampoline park, or go to an inside play place like Chick-fil-a. They can get energy out and  play and you can take a breather.

  • Drink water and eat nutrient dense food

One of my favorite breakfast is, spinach leaves topped with roasted sweet potatoes, and a fried egg over the top. So good and so healthy. Also, I try and drink a gallon of water per day. When I don’t my energy and mood can tell! I bought a $1, 32oz cup and just make sure to drink 4 of those a day and it kicks my energy up a notch!

 

These are just a few things that help me after a rough night, what help you get going after a night of little to no sleep?

A Natural Birth Story

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As I sit down to write out baby B’s birth story, I can’t believe my littlest (and last) baby is already five months old. It’s crazy how slow they seem to grow in your belly, but how fast it goes by once they’re Earth side. Anyway, let’s move onto the juicy details of how he came into this world! 🙂

 

I’m going to give you a brief summary of how my other two births went. Ryder (my first) was definitely the hardest on my body. The whole time I was pregnant, I said I would do it all-natural but wasn’t preparing my mind in anyway. So 39 weeks rolls around, and I’m huge and miserable in the middle of summer, so I asked to be induced. The labor was 14 hours long with 1.5 hours of pushing, it was not fun. After his birth, I knew I never wanted an epidural again. So two years later, my daughter came at 41 weeks, with an all-natural labor lasting 8 hours and maybe 5 pushes.

 

After my labor with my daughter, I was a huge advocate for natural birthing, there is just something so empowering and liberating about it. I never thought, in a million years, that I would choose to be induced again, but each pregnancy is different. So fast-forward to 40 weeks pregnant with my third, I chose to be induced at 40+1. My husband travels a lot for work, and I wanted to make sure he was in town to witness his last baby being born. The date I chose happened to be my grandpa’s birthday, so although I got induced, I love that he shares a birthday with his great-grandpa! But anyway, back to the story, the night before my induction I was so anxious and nervous, I still did not want an epidural, but I knew it was going to be hard with the Pitocin. We arrived at the hospital at 6 AM, checked-in, went through the five million health questions, and alas, it was time to start the Pitocin.

 

Butterflies is an understatement, of what I was feeling, but I was still determined and prepared to endure the worst. So at about 7am, they started the Pitocin drip, and surprisingly, I laid in bed until around 9am. At 9:10, my doctor came in and checked me, I was only at a 4 (mind you, this is my third labor, aren’t they supposed to fly out?), and she broke my water. I wasn’t a fan of her breaking my water (I’m actually thankful she did, I know it sped up the process now), the contractions normally hurt a lot worse when your waters aren’t intact. After she broke my water, I was still able to get out of bed (thanks to an amazing nurse, they really do make or break the experience) and bounce on my ball.  The contractions still weren’t bad at this point, I was still talking through them. I put my headphones in, tuned out the world, bounced on my ball, and imagined my contractions just as they were, a contracting muscle. I read in one of my birthing books to flex your bicep and then just hold it, that’s exactly what a contraction is, so that’s what I imagined and it was not painful one bit.

 

Around 11:15 AM, I started to feel a bit nauseous (which I knew was a part of transition), so I asked my nurse to check me, just praying I was at least a seven. My pain was non-existent at this point so I was feeling a bit discouraged that I hadn’t progressed. She went to check me and I was at a NINE! WHAT?! Seriously, a 9? So the nurse quickly called my doctor and told her to hurry, she could tell baby B was about to make his entrance. I had the urge to start pushing about five minutes later. So she checked again, 9.5. The nurse kept telling me not to push, but not pushing when your body is doing its thing, is pretty impossible. I remember telling her (while pushing) “I’m really trying not to, but I’m pretty sure I am!”. There were about 3 more contractions like that, I truly believe if I would have just pushed, I would of had a pain-free delivery. Luckily, my doctor walked in during the 4th pushing contraction and I just let it all go, I pushed with everything I had. He was out in 2 pushes. He basically came out flying, into the doctor’s arms.

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Barrett T. McLelland was born at 11:42 AM on April, 7th, weighing 7 pounds 7 ounces and 20 inches long. How it was possible for me to have an (almost) pain-free delivery, with Pitocin, I don’t know. But all glory to God, He is so faithful. I always tell people my favorite part of pregnancy is labor and delivery, if I could birth all the babies, I would! It is so empowering and awesome to be a woman, our bodies are amazing and capable of so much.

 

Have you had an all-natural birth, what was your experience?

 

 

10 Favorite Books

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Reading is so important, and you should never quit learning new information. I’m a sucker for motivational/self-help books. I always want to continually grow as a person and I know there are always new habits I can takeaway from these types of books. I also love books about food, and how it affects our body. Basically anything I can learn something from, I love. It’s not often I get time to read, so I don’t waste it on meaningless material (I usually just read 10 pages of something a day). With that being said, here is a list of my all-time favorite books that have helped me grow over the years.

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  1. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

If you only read one book on this list, let it be this one, it is life changing. The audio version is awesome too!

  1. Living Beyond Your Feelings by Joyce Meyer
  1. The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone
  1. Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins
  1. How to Win Friends & Influence Peopleby Dale Carnegie
  1. Power Thoughts by Joyce Meyer
  1. It Starts with Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig
  1. The Daniel Plan by Rick Warren
  1. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
  1. Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize

If you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or will be pregnant sometime in your life, you have to read this. It is a game changer. That book changed my mindset and allowed me to have an almost pain-free natural childbirth.

imageIf you haven’t read in a while, I encourage you to start with one of these books, learn something new. What is one of your all-time favorite books?

Four Years Later

Collin (my husband) and I have been married four years, today. Three kids (and three dogs) later, I can honestly say I love him more today than I did then. I know, super cliché, but it’s true. We have learned so much about each other in the past four years, like he can’t drink water out of the same cup twice, or I am not the most consistent person, with laundry. But in all seriousness, being married to him has definitely made me a better person. So anyway, to celebrate four years, here are four reasons that I think make him the greatest person on Earth.

JulieandCollinWedding00781. Ambition

If you know Collin, you know he has crazy ambition, the kind that keeps you up all night, with all kinds of new ideas. He is always working on something, whether it be for his job, or for our financial freedom. I am so thankful for his drive, it has allowed me to be a stay-at-home mom with our kids, ever since our first baby was born. His ambition and drive for success has definitely rubbed off on me, and has opened my mind more than I ever thought possible.

 

2. Generosity

Collin has the most generous heart I’ve ever witnessed. Let me pause and tell y’all a little story, from 2012. We were new parents in our early 20’s, just trying to adjust to adulthood. I was working at a church at the time and I met a lady who had a two and five year old. After getting to know her, I found out she was homeless, and I felt terrible for her, so I went to Collin asking for advice. Without even thinking twice, Collin went and bought them beds to sleep in, and he even bought her a car, so she could start getting to and from work. He wants to see everyone around him be successful and will help out anyway he can, it’s such a rare trait that I truly treasure.

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3. Honesty

Okay, this one is an attribute that I love and hate. Just kidding. I love that he is brutally honest, even when it’s not exactly what I want to hear. He pushes me to be the best version of myself, by always telling me like it is. I can say, without a doubt in my mind, that he’s never lied to me, in the seven years we’ve been together, not even a small, white lie. I love that I can always count on him when I need an honest answer.

 

4. Family

Two parts to this one. He has given me the most precious family, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that. Our kids are amazing and (I can’t believe I’m admitting this) clones of him. Second part, the family he came from are amazing people. Every single one of them. Both of his parents have accepted me 100% since day one. I love my in-laws, and cannot relate at all when people don’t get along with theirs. I have been so blessed to be apart of their family. I’m so happy that my kids inherited such a great, loving, caring, and generous line of relatives!

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One thing I have learned about marriage is (or even any relationship), you feed off each other’s habits. So I am very thankful for all the healthy habits we both pick-up from each other. He has made me a more generous and open-minded person. I cannot wait to see how our life unfolds over the next 70 years.

I Create My Own Luck

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How many times have you thought “Wow! She is so lucky to have a body like that!”, or “I wish I was lucky enough to win that dream job”, or even “They are so lucky to live in that beautiful home.”? I know I have been guilty of this, but what if I told you luck had nothing to do with it.

If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me.

Often times, we look at people’s lives and think they have it made and it looks so easy for them. But that is just an outsider’s perspective, you don’t see all the preparation it took for her to get that amazing body or all the extra hours she put in, to get that job. In The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, he lays out the formula for luck and I couldn’t agree more.

Preparation + Attitude + Opportunity + Action = Luck

Preparation

I like to think of this as self-development. What are you doing to reach your goals? Are the choices you make everyday helping or hurting you? This is probably the most important, and you will be preparing yourself until the opportunity comes along.

Attitude

Attitude is your mindset. Do you believe in yourself?  If you want to read more about the importance of Words of Affirmation, read this post.

Opportunity

God sends something your way. Be ready! If an opportunity arises and your mindset isn’t right, chances are it will blow right over your head without you even realizing!

Action

It’s up to you to take action. If opportunity arises, take action immediately. You’ve been waiting for the perfect time, well this is it, go for it!

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So if you can create your own luck whats holding you back?

Circumstances. People often get caught up in excuses, in their circumstances, and can’t see that they are the ones putting a halt to their own success. For example, one thing I hear all the time from people around me, is how they want to eat healthy. Time and time again, I have personally sent them resources, recipes, and even pictures of the food, for them to tell me they just “don’t have enough time to cook.” You don’t have enough time, or is your mindset just not right? Time is just a circumstance, you can make time for anything. If you don’t have enough time to cook, meal prep on the weekends or mornings. If you want to start working out, but always say you’re “too busy” with kids, that’s just a circumstance. Take the kids with you, most gyms have childcare. If you can’t afford to go to the gym, the internet is full of at-home workouts, some that even include your kids!

Determination will trump any circumstance, every time. If your mindset is right and you are determined to lose weight, or be a more successful at work, it will happen! You just have to keep going, keep pushing, waiting for that one opportunity to arise and then crush your goals.

What are some things you can work on to create your own “luck”? I would love to hear from you in the comments.

Recipe Round-up!

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My nutrition has evolved so much over the past five years. I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to start eating healthy. It started when my oldest son was about one. I honestly knew nothing about nutrition and what processed foods did to your body. But I ran across a blog, 100 Days of Real Food, which opened my eyes to what I was eating and feeding my child. I started cutting out processed foods one by one, and we were eventually eating a whole foods diet. Fast forward a few years, I came across The Whole30, I completed my first Whole30 in 2014. It was an amazing experience, but definitely not a maintainable lifestyle. I tried eating paleo for a while after that, but honestly, it was exhausting, kudos to anyone who can maintain a paleo lifestyle!

So after years of trying to figure out this whole nutrition thing, right now this is what works for us. I have eased up a bit on hating all things processed. We still eat mostly whole, organic foods, but you will still find a few convenient options in my pantry. It’s all about living a balanced, maintainable lifestyle.

 

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I recently started counting macros, I never understood why anyone would want to do that, but I actually love it! I’m breastfeeding right now, so I don’t want to cut calories, I just want to make sure I’m not overeating. Also, tracking my food helps with accountability. I’m a sucker for sweets, in a “can’t stop, won’t stop” kind of way, but when I know I have to write down what I just ate, I usually won’t reach for that third homemade chocolate chip cookie. MyfitnessPal has made tracking so fun and easy. If you’re interested in counting macros, I highly suggest the app.

 

Quick easy meals

These are recipes I’ve gathered over the past couple months (since having my third baby), that have become apart of our weekly meals. A lot of them have the same ingredients, which in this season of life, I’m completely fine with, it makes grocery shopping much easier!

 

 

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Crockpot Chicken Burrito Bowl

I love anything thats in bowl form, it means less dishes! Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!

Macros:

  • Calories- 279
  • Fat- 8.9
  • Carbs- 42.7
  • Protein- 11.5

 

Healthy Mexican Casserole

Amy Updike shared this one on Instagram (@fitamysuzanne). She’s very active on Snapchat as well! One of my favorite fit moms to follow!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground bison (or beef)
  • 1 C organic canned black beans
  • 1 C corn (I use frozen)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 can organic diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 C green diced chiles
  • 1.25 Oz taco seasoning
  • 3/4 C plain greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 1 pack Carb Sense whole wheat tortillas (or corn tortillas)
  • shredded cheese on top (optional)

Cook bison (or beef) and onion until browned. Then, add diced tomatoes, corn, black beans, green chiles and taco seasoning. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Spray baking dish with non-stick spray, then cut tortillas in half and lay down half of them in the baking dish. Then, pour half of the meat mixture on top. Then, spread the yogurt over meat mixture. Next, lay the other half of the tortillas and meat mixture on top. Cover and bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Sprinkle desired amount of cheese on top, let it melt & enjoy! (Serves 6)

Macros:

  • Calories- 382
  • Fat- 16.2g
  • Carbs- 29.1g
  • Protein- 29.3g

 

Watch how easy it is to make crack slaw! You just might fall in love with it & make it for dinner every night! Simple ingredients, tons of flavors & low carb!:

Easy Crack Slaw

My sister sent this to me last week. We enjoyed it. I had leftovers at lunch the next day, and added it into a pita pocket with some lettuce. That’s definitely how I’ll eat it from now on.

Macros:

  •  Calories- 336
  • Fat- 24.1
  • Carbs- 6.8
  • Protein- 22.8

 

Beef Fajitas

This is a quick lunch, that we eat all the time.

Ingredients:

  • beef fajita meat
  • Carb sense whole wheat tortillas
  • plain greek yogurt
  • pico de gallo
  • cheese (if desired)

Assemble & enjoy!

Macros (Per fajita & without cheese)-

  • Calories- 222
  • Fat- 6g
  • Carbs- 17.9g
  • Protein- 25g

 

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos - Our Best Bites. Freeze (unbaked) & make extra for an easy meal to enjoy later! #taquito:

Baked Chicken Taquitos

One thing I loved having as a kid were taquitos. But now that we’ve cut out most processed foods, I haven’t eaten one in years. This was so good! It was yummy before I even baked it, but after it was amazing! I used the whole wheat carb sense tortillas.

Macros (per taquito):

  • Calories-167
  • Fat- 6.8g
  • Carbs- 14.8g
  • Protein-11.6g

 

What is a weekly staple recipe in your house right now? I’m always looking for new, healthy options.

 

 

Is Being a Mom Really that Hard?

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I was reading a blog post the other day about the woes of motherhood. As I was reading, it struck me, I’ve read the same blog post from different moms over and over and over again. It seems like every “mommy blog” these days, starts off with how hard being a mom is, and ends with a small motivational paragraph at the end. But is it really motivational when you just spent the whole article talking about how tough your life is?

When is it time to put a stop to the negative thoughts?

I’m a stay-at-home mom to 3 kids. They are five, three, and three months, so I get it, not every day is a perfect day. But we have the power in our words, to either build us up or break us down. Personally, when I read a blog post about the troubles of being a mom, it makes me reflect and agree that my life is hard too. And it makes sense because the writer just wants to be relatable.

It’s All About Mindset

What if we were to shift our mindset? How powerful could moms become?  We could become successful at raising happy, positive adults. Just imagine if you were constantly filling your mind with positive thoughts or reading positive stories. Your mind is where everything begins, you become what you think about.

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The Law of Attraction

The law of attraction states that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts, a person brings a positive or negative experience into their life. You see, if we focused our energy on the positive experiences we will constantly breed new, great experiences into our lives. The fit-throwing, disobeying, fighting siblings, or teething baby won’t seem so daunting, because you  know the good outweighs the bad. It would be so freeing, to just let those things happen and not think of how you will write a blog post on it later, just to relive it and bring the negative energy back.

I know this will probably strike a nerve with some people. Its hard to understand that we control our thoughts and actions, and can overcome any circumstance with a little determination.  But once you wrap your head around that, it’s a very powerful tool. You can choose to change your life right now. Choose not to dwell on negative actions, just let them go and be happy. You can choose to be a positive and joyful influence to those around you, especially your kids.

Words of Affirmation

 I challenge all of you to start your day with words of affirmation to yourself, a week of repeating “I am a good mom (wife/person)”, “I am a happy mom (wife/person)”, “I am a patient mom (wife/person)” and you will start becoming those things. Say them out loud to yourself, it may be strange at first and you might not believe yourself. But after repeating it several times a day, you’ll eventually start believing yourself.

Here is a great list I found of words of affirmation to repeat daily.

Being a mom is one of life’s greatest joys, we shouldn’t take that for granted. It goes by in the blink of an eye, so let’s embrace the journey, build each other up and be positive influences to those around us.