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Life Lessons for LB {sharing my heart}

I have been keeping a journal (a gift I got from LB's Dad).  It isn't so much of a journal as it is letters to my son.  I catch myself writing ongoing life lessons.  He's only two and a half so he is going to have a lot of reading to do by the time he is eighteen.  I feel like this has been therapeutic.  I have a way of sharing with him the things that he just can't possibly keep stored.  Now, he will have it forever. 

There is a great quote by Elizabeth Stone, ‘Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside of your body.’ This is very true.  You will learn this when you become a parent.  When you cry, my heart cries.  When you get hurt, my heart hurts.  When you smile, laugh, and love – my heart does the same.  A piece of me resides within you.

Oh the places you’ll go – “There will be times in your life when you feel stuck.  It’s up to you to decide where you’ll go.  Keep on trekking.  Go, go, go kid.  You’ll move mountains.”  I have not a doubt in my mind that you will do just this.  Be strong, be kind and there is nothing you can’t do.

Accept others.  Be kind to everyone.  Everyone has their own story, their own challenges and struggles.  Accept them as they are and treat them with respect – they deserve it until they show you that they don’t. 

Being a man. It isn’t defined by the extra curricular activities that you pursue.  Being a man, being you, is defined by your character.  Be emotional, be sincere, be you.  I am always proud of you.

Work with your hands.  Our family comes from hard workers.  They have dirt on their hands, literally.  I want you to know how to change your oil (and your moms) and I want you to help Grandpa in the field.  This will help you to be a well rounded individual. 

Go to College.  This is not an option and absolutely not negotiable.  I will support whatever you want to do with your life but you have to have a degree and the experience that comes with going to collage. 

Find your passion.  Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.  Do it as your career or on the side as a hobby.  Always know that life is worth living.  It goes too quickly and it is wasted if you don’t enjoy it.  If you live this way, you will inspire others to do the same.

Never stop learning.  If you don’t know the answer to something, ask.  Why and how create stimulation in your brain. That is how you learn.  Figure out the mechanical, chemical, environmental causes for everything.  Take classes for enjoyment ~ Solely for the purpose of learning. 

Respect. Period.  Show it to everyone.  You are no better or worse than anyone else.  Friends, family, loves, strangers, earth – all deserve your respect.  You get what you give.

Put the toilet seat down.  Seriously.  Not only is it polite but it is sanitary to do so.

Dream.  Smile.  Love.

 And last but not least, home is where your heart is.  Go and explore.  Travel and experience life.  Just know that you can always come home.  I will always be there with open arms and with a kiss in the crook of your neck (that’s my favorite place). 

Kisses times 10, LB. Love you! 




February 1 {one month follow up}

Well, a month ago (give or take a day) I wrote Reflection and Anticipation {2011 Review / 2012 New Beginning} and I am happy to say that I am making progress - and progress can never be a bad thing.  Here are the action items I highlighted for resolution for 2012: 

Smile more, frown less: I think I am doing A LOT better here.  I am making a conscious effort to control my thoughts, both the positive and negative and I can honestly say my outlook is better.  I continue to check Marc and Angel for some helpful tips but all in all I can say that after 30 days in, I am smiling more. Very important question: Can frown lines be reversed by smile lines??  Here's to hoping!! 

Compliment more, critique less:  I am complimenting more.  If I think it in my head, I try to say it out loud.  Critiquing is more of a conscious effort to not be negative so, ...  I am working on it :)

Be a more effective listener: Still not very good at this one.  I interrupt A LOT!!  And I multi task while listening, which does not make me a very effective listener.  So, much improvement is still needed here!

PATIENCE: Still working on this.... 

Challenge myself: I think every time I take pictures, blog, and tackle one of my DIY projects I am challenging myself so I would say this is going well.  I am hoping I can add many more posts in February. At least 2 per week - that is my goal. 

Live a healthier lifestyle: Daily struggle.  I am a yo yo junk food junkie...  I go in kicks - buy healthy food = eat healthy food.  Buy junk = eat junk.  It is a vicious cycle! One the positive side, I am working out in the morning!  A few things that are helping my motivation: 1) the gym is right next door to LB's daycare -literally next door so I am not wasting time driving.  2) I am working out with my girlfriend.  We text every night to coordinate schedules.  Having someone else to keep me accountable has been beneficial! 3) Realistic standards - my goal is 3 times per week and if I go more than it is a bonus! I am hoping to get up to every weekday - but I am trying to keep realistic standards until I can develop my routine. 

Take more pictures: check! I still want to do more but until I can have a cool phone (I have one from the 1990's to save money) that will do this for me, it just isn't as feasible to drag the Nikon around everywhere I go.

Set the 'To Do' list aside: I AM making less lists - but, I am also forgetting a lot of things at the store due to my lack of lists...  working on the balance!

Life, Love and Lemons Update: For the month of January I had 232 unique viewers and almost 2000 pages viewed!  That is more than double for December! I have a couple of photo sessions to edit and add this week and a few more to take this month.  Looking forward to February!  Don't forget to get updates via the Facebook page and to contact me on great deals to capture your special moments! 



How do you eat an elephant?....

So, I LOVE this saying...  You may be wondering, if you haven't heard it before, well then, how DO you eat an elephant?  Well, the answer is: ... one bite at a time.  

Sometimes,...  most of the time, in life I would like to be able to just be where I want to be.  But, as life should have it; it doesn't work this way.  Bite by bite, or step by step you eventually get to where you are supposed to be.  Sometimes you may choke and sometimes you may stumble but with a lesson or two you eventually learn to chew more slowly or exam better the path you are walking.  But, you do in fact  get there... or at least that is what I am told.

I choke / stumble a lot :)  I have learned that about myself.  I learn by doing and sometimes the ‘doing’ that I choose doesn’t always work out the way I thought.  My life isn’t exactly where I had anticipated it to be at the ripe ol’ age of 29…. Actually, it isn’t even close… and that makes me laugh a little because I can’t really imagine it any other way but exactly how it is.  I think back to all of the different path options and the different ways my life could have ended up …  but really, what is the point of doing that.  It’s called hindsight for a reason.  

In my new little venture, I have to continue to remind myself to move slowly and to stay focused.  And in the grander scheme, my life, I need to remind myself of that as well.  I sometime get so caught up in what I want for my life that I skip the necessary steps to really get to where I am going, and with that, a lot of the excitement that comes a long with figuring it out gets lost too.  

I dislike using the word ‘mistakes’…  I prefer to say lessons for progress.  I have had my share of mistakes, er, I mean, lessons (the lemons). I am a work in progress, and for me,  I wouldn't have it any other way - If I stop being 'in-progress' then what do I become??

I heart my lemons.  Without them, I wouldn't be exactly who I am.  

If you ask this guy, who I am isn't too shaby...