8 Things I Learned in August

August 23, 2017


1. Seeing your child take their first steps is one of the most amazing feelings ever, but seeing them get excited about their own accomplishment is 100000x better.

2. Baby free overnight trips are the secret to sanity, and shouldn't be something to shy away from for almost a year (@myself). Let go of fear and anxiety and GO HAVE FUN.

3. When you continually work for a goal, opportunities will start showing up. Keep going!

4. Volleyball is something I need to be doing far more often - it instantly makes me a happier person.

5. People are often more thankful for your willingness to show up and try than they are for your talent or ability.

6. A simple misunderstanding is all it was. I over analyze way too much.

7. You have more people rooting for you than you realize.

8. It always gets better. Always. Even the darkest moments will come to an end. Don't ever give up on the fight for happiness.

LetsTalkMotherhood

Let's Talk Motherhood - Self Care

August 19, 2017



I am so excited to be back this month with the Let's Talk Motherhood series! I've teamed up with some amazing moms to share in a conversation from each of our perspectives on self care. These bloggers have answered the following questions on their own websites, and all of their perspectives are linked at the end of this post for you to read! I created this interview collaboration series to connect, encourage, share, and relate with other moms. No matter how different our perspectives may be, we're all in this amazing and challenging journey of motherhood together.

On self care as a mom:

1. Has your view on self care changed since becoming a parent? If yes, how? 
Oh absolutely! Before I had Conrad, self care didn't feel quite as vital to me, or rather, I had the freedom and time to do more for myself so I didn't think much of the importance of it all. I never knew how crucial taking time for myself would be after becoming a mom, and how much even the simplest forms of self care could change my life. I think I value alone time a lot more now and am more appreciative of the moments I do get for myself.

2. How do you make time for self care as a mom? 
I feel extremely fortunate that my husband goes the extra mile to make sure I have time for myself. He really tries hard to give me some alone time when he's off work and it has made a huge difference in my quality of life. Throughout the day, however, I recently made the decision to do at least one thing for myself when Conrad is down for a nap. I sit down, read a book, write, or just relax for a bit instead of going straight to cleaning up the house or whatever else needs to be done that day. It has helped me so much to feel refreshed and ready to give Conrad all of my energy when he wakes up.

3. What are your favorite ways to practice self care? 
Okay, people always think I'm crazy for this but I LOVE going grocery shopping. Love it. I love shopping alone and planning meals and I would literally go grocery shopping for other people if that were a real career, that's how much I enjoy it. 😂  I really enjoy listening to podcasts and reading good books, and I absolutely love going out and playing volleyball! I basically grew up in a gym with my dad being a coach for so long, so volleyball runs in my blood and is still one of my favorite things in life. But even simple things like just lighting a candle at home and listening to music is therapeutic for me, and as I've started working harder to practice self care every day, I feel like I'm a better mom and a happier person overall.

4. How do you overcome 'mom guilt' when you do take a few minutes to yourself? 
It took me a serious meltdown and a lot of time to overcome the dreaded mom guilt. It took my husband literally forcing me to lay down and read a book one day to realize how necessary time to myself is. I had to have a bit of a rude awakening to push past guilt, but when it does creep in from time to time, I just have to remind myself that I do matter and that I do deserve and need time for myself. I try to look at self care like it is as necessary as brushing my teeth, or eating lunch (which, let's be real, that IS solely what my self care practices looked like for the first month or two of being a mom). But I've tried changing my perspective to see it as a vital part of living, and to recognize that self care is not selfish - it's necessary. Remembering how much better of a mother, wife, and friend I am when I am taking care of myself is the best way I think I've been able to overcome the guilt.

5. What advice would you give to moms that struggle with practicing self care?
Something I always tell my friends that are about to become mothers is to be adamant about taking time for themselves. I learned pretty quickly when I became a mom that when I don't take care of myself, I can't take care of others the way I want to. The best thing I could tell someone is to understand that self care is so vital to your well being, and that in order to be the mother you want to be, you need to put yourself high on that checklist of who needs your love and attention. Learn to graciously say no when you need to, and recognize that self care is necessary and should not be something you allow yourself to feel guilty for. Whether self care for you means listening to a podcast or going to the gym, do it and do it often. Treat yourself kindly and do what works best for you.

Be sure to check out the rest of the perspectives linked below and feel free to share what you do for self care (whether you're a mom or not!) in the comments as well!


"An empty lantern provides no light. Self care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly."


love

It Matters

August 14, 2017


It is no secret that we live in perilous times. It seems that the world is growing in chaos, and many of us are left wondering where we stand, and what our role is amidst the turmoil. I have spent many nights reading the news and wondering how I can possibly help. I've pondered how I can have peace in my heart, and how I can raise my children to have strength and peace in their own lives as well.

And what I've come to find is that we must start within the walls of our own home. What we tell our children matters, and how we say it matters too. How we approach each crisis in this world, matters. And when we stand up for what is right and say something - it matters.

It matters that we as parents instill love in our children from the very start. That we strive to raise a generation that will also stand for truth and righteousness. It matters that we teach our children to love. Not just love those around them, but to love all of mankind. It matters that we teach our children that the color of a person's skin does not change their status, or role, and it matters that they know it does not define who they are. It matters that we teach our children that love is the driving force of all goodness and joy.

If we do not stand up and teach our children to walk in the path of love, it will be far too easy for them to be swayed to walk in hatred. It is our responsibility and our duty to raise our children to be steadfast and loving. To be accepting and caring. To be fearless and brave.

May we strive, now more than ever, to share goodness. To spread light, love, and peace to this troubled world. May we start within the walls of our own homes, and spend each day cultivating a spirit of love and peace in our children and in ourselves. May we treat one another with kindness, love, and compassion, and be adamant in doing so.

"Are these perilous times? They are. But there is no need to fear. We can have peace in our hearts and peace in our homes. We can be an influence for good in this world, every one of us." - Gordon B. Hinkley. 

happiness

Remember Your Life is Wonderful

August 06, 2017

For 10% off your next order at ilymix, use code mckellwilson.
 (
I'm wearing the hagen sunnies in pink)


About a month ago, something I was told was to "remember your life is wonderful." It wasn't what I expected to hear, or even what I wanted to hear. Remember my life is wonderful? Please, my life is a nightmare right now. I was exhausted, depressed, and sick of the life I had. I was tired of the mundane, ready for a change. At first I thought that I needed a vacation, but ultimately realized that what I really needed was a change of heart. 

I've always been the type of person that felt the need for solid schedules and things going exactly as planned - which has caused a lot of unneeded stress in my life. Structure was my safety net and I held on to it dearly. A while ago I noticed myself getting agitated if my baby didn't go down for a nap at exactly the same time every day, which seems pretty ridiculous now that I look back on it, but I just craved structure and schedule so much that if things didn't go according to plan, it stressed me out - big time.

So two weeks ago, I chose to let it go. Which certainly doesn't mean I'm an expert at living in the moment and am magically healed of my perfectionistic ways, but my goodness life sure feels a lot different these days - and in the best way possible.

I decided that it was okay to just sit down with my baby and let him guide what we did for the day. That we would play when and where he wanted, and that when he started to rub his cute little eyes, that meant it was nap time - whether my clock said so or not.

I decided to start smiling in pictures again and stop worrying about how my bells palsy has altered my smile and eyes. 

I decided to embrace life for what it is now rather than wait for a better future to come my way.

It's been two weeks since I made the decision to let go of structure and hold on to happiness, and what a world of a difference it's made in my life already.

It's just, I had lost all the fun in life and was left frustrated wondering why I wasn't enjoying my days. Obviously there are a lot of factors besides my struggles with wanting everything just right, but I started seeing the joy and embracing the fun and letting go of rigid bedtimes and schedules and just..lived

I started listening to music in the mornings, loud. I let Conrad splash in the puddles and eat some dirt. And I started to feel that happiness and spontaneity that I was missing.

I started to remember that you don't need more to have fun. Quite frankly, I think less is the secret to more happiness. I didn't need more money, more sleep, or more whatever. I just needed to change my perspective and focus on what was right in front of me. As I write this, my husband is chasing our son around the living room, both of them giggling louder and louder. Before, I would've been focused on the mess that I'd be cleaning later, the headache I currently have, and the endless to-do list that I could be doing instead of sitting here watching them play. But today, instead, wow this feels wonderful. The two most important people in my life are laughing and it's music to my ears. I'm chasing slow and growing to love the simplicity of my life. 

Less worry, less stress, less structure. 

It's been two of the best weeks of my life, and I don't see that stopping any time soon. I'm finally remembering that right now, where I am, my life is wonderful. 

I hate that I forgot that. That I completely lost sight of how wonderful now is. 

So whatever your life may look like right now, remember it is wonderful. It is wonderful in ways you may not see unless you are actively searching for it. Slow down, enjoy today. The mess can wait, naptime will come sooner or later. Please, if there's anything you remember today, remember your life is wonderful.


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