November 17, 2017

Storybook Cottage

Once upon a time (well actually less than 3 weeks ago), in a town not so far away, a husband and wife ran away to a cozy cottage in the woods to celebrate their 17 1/2 anniversary (because who wouldn't want to celebrate being half way to 35) on the same day they were celebrating the 4 month anniversary of surviving the hardest day of all of their years together.

Beautiful, right? At the time of our trip I was feeling so burnt out. We were in the midst of the busiest month we've had in some time, with a kitchen DIY project, getting the house ready for a 10 day visit from a foreign exchange student from France and my Sweet Man having to travel 3 of the 4 weeks of the month. I was physically and emotionally drained. I was depleted. This time away helped get me to the finish line and rejuvenated my spirit as well as my creativity.

The weekend was perfect from beginning to end. A cozy cottage, perfect chilly autumnal weather, good shopping and amazing southern food. We celebrated our anniversary with a dinner at a tiny restaurant that had just opened, where we brought our own wine, met the chef, enjoyed the best meal of our lives and sat next to a soap opera actress I grew up watching on Days of Our Lives.

I love spending time with this man. We have a ridiculous amount of fun together. There is something about getting away from the daily grind and responsibilities of life that really agrees with me. I become someone else. Her name is Vacation Jen and her arrival is much anticipated. Seriously, she's a legend. ;) This was only our third getaway since we got married. We are on the precipice of being empty nesters and we get so excited talking about the travel and experiences ahead. I'm so happy to be sharing this life with my guy and looking forward to new adventures with the one I love best.

November 13, 2017

Life Overwhelm

Well, hey there. It's been awhile, hasn't it? Sometimes you just go through periods of time where all the nonessential life things have to go. That's been me for the last 6 weeks. I'm telling you, it's been a struggle. My calendar suddenly blew up and I had little say so over my days. To be clear, I didn't like it. I strongly didn't like it. I don't like to use the word hate, but if I did I'd say I hated it.

Happily I'm on the other side of it today and celebrating by taking a week of vacation. Nope, I'm not going anywhere. It's more a sacred week to create, read, nap and repeat. Guilt free. I'm not cleaning this week. I'm not cooking this week. I'm not making lunches this week (although I've yet to inform my little lunch eater). I am however, chauffeuring to school and doctor appointments (only because I have no choice and I am balancing the checkbook and paying bills because that right there is a hot mess that will only get hotter and messier if I don't.

But here's the thing, this week, I'm focusing on my own needs. Nobody else in my family struggles to focus on their own needs and I'm guessing it's the same for you and yet when we decide to focus on our own needs it feels selfish. There are probably a portion of you thinking right now that I'm selfish. That's okay. I am past the point in my life where other people's opinions about my life matter. I don't spend the energy required to worry about such things. It's okay for us to stand up and say we've had enough. We're burnt out and need more for ourselves than spending all of our energy serving others. I'm blessed to have a husband who is understanding. Who, when faced with a distraught wife, says I'll cook dinner all week and do whatever I can to help. I also believe that we teach people how to treat us and let's not teach them to take us for granted.

This has been a year of learning lessons, many of which I would rather not have learned but which it turns out I needed to learn. One thing I've learned is that I cannot be everything to everyone. That can be a hard one for people. I feel like I'm still playing catch up with my energy level and I've learned to unplug to save my sanity.

The most important lesson I've learned this year is that if you don't feed your soul, you'll starve your spirit. I've had to repeat that to myself many times and now it is starting to become part of my very fiber. So these past several weeks I worked hard to find the contentment in the chaos which is no easy feat. For me that meant picking up a project when I had a few spare moments.

For me there is no feeling like being creatively charged. It creates a general feeling of happiness and well being that is hard to match. All feels right in my little world if that creative spark is lit. When it's not the opposite is true. And it's not pretty. I create because I have to, because my spirit cannot exist without it.

So here I am with a fresh week ahead of me and so many creative projects calling my name. I'm hoping for a week filled with sewing, knitting, embroidery, photography, art and reading and hoping you will claim some time for yourself to do the things that make you, you!