My Hope For This Week

Mondays are hard.
I was actually just texting two friends about this walk we are going to do this morning. It’s 6 miles around this beautiful lake in San Diego and we were trying to decide if we were going to jog or not – the amount of back and forth on what should be an easy decision was pretty dang hilarious. It also made me realize that this IS a Monday and I have A LOT I want to get accomplished this week so it’s time to make a list.

My hope is that today sets the stage for a week full of conscious eating, healthy movement, and decisive time management. The next few weeks are going to be all over the place with (hopefully) a small vacation for Eddie & I, some Navy stuff, family coming to visit, and then Beth coming to visit too! That means I need to get everything I want on the walls hung up, purge through the closets and intentionally walk through each room, make healthy meals, and be budget conscious. It also means that I want to be smart in my downtime, investing it wisely by crossing off some march goals and planning ahead for all of the adventures.

The truth is, for some reason this Monday is straight up hard for me. I’d like to blame it on the time change and not take any responsibility but that would be a lie.

This space is also for me to be real with myself and real with you.
I didn’t take time this weekend to plan out blog posts – in fact I’ve felt like no one reads this anyway so what’s the point (hormonal honesty haha). I haven’t felt inspired or encouraged to write and I’ve been surrounded with community again and that feels…well refreshing. Balance has quickly become a word I’m consistently reminding myself to use and the journey is just beginning.

So hello Monday!
Let’s do this.

Current Reads

Leaders are readers.
It’s what the pastor at the church I attended back in Charleston would always say and it resonated with me. This year I took the Good Reads challenge again and plan to go for at least 30 books ( you can follow along with my progress here). A few years ago I think I read 70 books in a year, most of those were fiction and quick reads, and I really want to push myself to read more. I LOVE reading but haven’t made it a priority. So this year I want to find a balance and not read all the fiction books and add in some excellent non-fiction reads.


JUST FINISHED

+ Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children | Maria & I listened to this one while driving cross country and we were HOOKED. I had already seen the movie, which I loved, but the book (as always) was just so much better! It was a fun read full of twists and turns and we were constantly guessing what was actually going on!

+ Hollow City | Book #2 in the Home for Peculiar Children. I just finished listening to this one too (we started it after the  first one) and I NEED TO GET THE 3RD BOOK! Aka it was just as good! (but if you listen to the audio books the 2nd book has a different reader than the first and it threw me off at first but then I got used to it)

+ The Year Of Cozy | I found this book on Target’s clearance after Christmas and basically snuck into the cart when Eddie wasn’t looking. I’ve earmarked multiple pages to try out recipes, days, and even a few relaxing activities. Mainly I bought it because it looked pretty to sit on my “desk books” but since cracking it open I’ve found a few useful pieces. It’s kind of like a printed printerest, which there is nothing wrong with that!


CURRENTLY THUMBING THROUGH

+ The 5 Love Language * Military Edition | I took the 5 love languages test a few years ago and even themed through the original copy but since getting married I knew I needed a refresher. PLUS with our marriage being tied into the military it adds a whole other can of struggle/communication issues that unless you’re walking the same path it’s hard to explain. So I’ve told Eddie that I’m going to read the whole thing, then we will both take the test to see if anything has changed in the years since we last took it and then he can read my love language too. (pretty sure mine hasn’t changed, I’m words of affirmation ALL DAY LONG!).

+ 100 Days to Brave: Devotions for Unlocking Your Most Courageous Self | I’ve really been enjoying this devotional. I haven’t been doing it on consecutive days because I’m still trying to get back into the hang of doing a daily devotional. I would say if you’re looking for a new devotional this is a great one to consider!

+ Nothing To Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard | YES I am still reading this one. WHY? Because it’s so good, such a gut-punch that I have to take it on in small bites. I’m not kidding when I say that basically the entire book so far is underlined. My goal is to finish this book this month – so hold me to it!


UP NEXT:

+ Grace, Not Perfection: Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating Joy | I actually found this at one of the bargain bookstores back in Charleston and was like “woah, wait, i’ve seen this cover multiple times and have heard it’s really good” so I snagged it! I’m really excited to crack the spine open and give it a read. Can you also tell a theme between what I’m already reading (ahem last one up there) and this one – I struggle with comparison and perfection!

+ Library Of Souls | Book #3 in the Home for Peculiar Children and I’m waiting for the audio book to be off hold on the online library so I can listen to it while driving around! I’ve found that I do a few books by listening when I’m in the car all the time – I might as well make use of that dead air space and fill it with something fun!

+ Messy Grace | I started this one a while back but only got a chapter or two in. I’m not 100% sure on where this gentleman stands in his convictions or within his theology but I’m interested to hear his perspective and to have him share his story.


 

// Real talk, what are you reading right now?
What have you read that you LOVE and would recommend because I NEED some other books to add to this list! Especially if you have some non-fiction favorites to help challenge my brain!

 

 

 

Pushing Forward

Q || How do you want to push yourself forward?

The last few months have been full of reflection for me.
With all the moving and chaos I’ve found myself really trying to figure out what I want to be doing now that I’m settled for longer than 6 months. There are so many questions rolling around in my head that I don’t even know where to start: how do I want to spend my time, what all do I want to see while I’m on the west coast, who should I be investing in, what will my blog look like, will I get photography clients? I really should just make a list of all the questions and just see what’s next and what I hope to glean from this San Diego living experience.

The time Eddie and I have here will be full of so much joy and adventure and a lot of dang hardness. We will be going through a deployment, seeing all the beautiful places, being apart from family, being apart from each other, making new friends, dealing with disappointment, making adventure happen, going on hikes, being more active…it’s a lot of life coming all together. Yet my heart and mind have come to this place of peace where I wouldn’t have it any other way. I mean don’t get me wrong I’d love to have a “normal” dependable schedule for the two of us and not be far from family & friends, but this has been really really cool to thrive and struggle and grow through together.

Mulling over the question at hand I really do want to use this time to push myself to places I may be fearful of. I want to travel MORE and see all of these places even though I don’t know the coastline or anything. I want to meet new people and invest in them and get to know their stories. I want to push myself to loose this weight I’ve gained and even go further – maybe even 30lbs before age 30?! I would love to get back to a healthy and thriving place with Jesus where I feel full and connected and overflowing to others. I want to connect with my family even with the mile and time difference. I want to dig deeper into my marriage and continue to strengthen it and figure it out and learn how to be husband and wife. Learning to love myself in a healthy, positive, and lasting way would be the cherry on top. I REALLY want to just PUSH.

Right now I have the fire.
Sitting here on a Friday morning typing this out there I have that insatiable hunger in my gut to just make it happen and cross everything off the list. My eyes are clear and my heart is willing; but I know that all days won’t be like this – there will come days that require a little or a lot of effort to make these things happen. So, my tribe, what are YOU wanting to push yourself forward to? Tell me your hopes and dreams and lets chase after them together!

 


Location: La Jolla, San Diego California
Outfit Details: Ellie Activewear Monthly Subscription Box | 3 items per month – $39.95 | 5 items per month – $49.95 (Use the code “TAKINGSTEPSHOME15” for 15% off your first box!)


 


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Don’t Hold Back

Would you like to know something I’ve learned since moving multiple times?
Don’t hold back.
Just let things happen and make them happen and don’t be afraid to use something or get rid of it or be finished with it. I can’t count how many fancy candles I had that weren’t used, or how many outfits I was saving for “the perfect occasion”, food I was waiting to eat with friends, makeup that I bought for special days…it is just so much good going to waste.

USE THE THINGS.
WEAR THE THINGS.
TELL THE PEOPLE.
MAKE THE TIME.
Light that fancy candle, wear those nice underwear, use the expensive perfume, enjoy the makeup, have the tough conversations, read the books, give things away, purge the unused, and be happy.

We are slowly getting settled into San Diego and I’m finding places to hang all the pictures and decorate and unpack and make this house our home – and yet I find myself STILL holding back. Not lighting certain candles because they are pretty or expensive, not wearing a dress because I don’t think it works for the day, not having a conversation with someone because it may be more in depth than I want to go…I’m just holding back – and I’m tired of it.

I’m becoming more and more conscious of investing in PEOPLE than things. I’ve had it backwards for about a year because community in my life has been scarce and hard – but now that I’ve started building some friendships again my perspective is changing, and it’s so so good.

So don’t hold back.
Do something you wouldn’t normally do today – even if it’s light a nice candle and have a bubble bath – who cares if it’s Monday?!

On The Road Again

Well, the time has come to hit the road again.
I can’t believe that I’m moving across the country to start our new adventures in San Diego. As I write this I’m sitting in a tailgating chair in a mostly empty house and taking a moment to binge watch the office while eating oatmeal and attempting to not stress out about it all. Change is hard.

In fact, I used to really, really hate change; now I’ve learned to embrace it.
There is so much good that can come with change, new growth, experiences, friendships, adventures, and opportunities to grow as an individual. There is also a lot of struggle that comes – finding your footing, putting yourself out in new situations, leaving behind relationships, etc. Change is just simply change.

The above was written a few days ago.
This morning I’m doing some last minute packing and I’m about to give Tobi a small pill to take the edge off the first long drive and then we are hitting the road. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t anxious or didn’t have tears in my eyes and my stomach wasn’t in knots; but I also know how good this will be. It’s just a long drive (7 days!) and lots of unknowns coming our way.

Please be praying for travel mercies and that we don’t loose our minds (my friend maria is traveling with us).
I plan on checking in via instagram often so if you’re not already following me there you should to enjoy the trip!
As always I’m so thankful to be able to have this space to fill in thoughts and fears and joys.

Three cheers to new adventures.

Just Rolling With It

I came to Charleston with all of these expectations.
I was going to come home, enjoy Christmas with my husband and my family, say goodbye to Eddie for a bit. Then work on the house, see my friends, grab coffee, go to barre every day, eat healthy, book photography sessions, go to the church I attended when I was here, go downtown, go to the beach, see family a lot; you know, the works. However it didn’t go that way, right after Eddie left Charleston got it’s first snowfall in like 20 years which shut the city down and kept me inside for a few days, that was ok – I could still get my stuff done after the snow! I spent a night cutting in the upstairs hallway to paint and then the next day I started to just feel really, really off. BOOM I got sick. I have been out of commission for the better part of 6 days and am still getting over it and have no energy to paint, workout, see people, or ANYTHING. Did I mention I have a list a mile long I am hoping to accomplish before leaving Charleston to head to San Diego? And I’m only like a week out?!

I’ve been frustrated; REALLY REALLY frustrated with myself and the situation.
I feel like I have had time robbed away from me and I haven’t been focused to workout like I should, eat healthy like I should, instead I’ve been lounging, sneezing, coughing, eating, blowing my nose, eating, and attempting to get out of the house. Yeah, it basically has been a total let down. I’m also missing my husband like WOAH, the only-communicating-through-email thing sucks when you go days and days without a hello. Yet that’s navy life and I’m learning that I’m a lot stronger than I originally knew.

I woke up Sunday morning and as I was watching the snot roll out of my nose (you’re welcome) and I felt this pang of frustration I finally said “I’m just going to roll with it”. I can’t change the circumstances, I can’t change how much time I have left before I move again, what I can change is my attitude. I was watching this youtube video the other day and the girl mentioned how her mother said “A joyful heart is good life medicine”. So much truth. Our attitudes effect our emotional state, physical state, spiritual state…and I don’t want to live in this negative nancy place anymore.

So heres to just rolling with it and embracing having a joyful heart.