Day 10: 31 Days of Being Present

I am not feeling very present today at all. Productive? Yes, but present? Nope. First let me just say that when something gets in my head, it’s not always easy to shake it out. I received a phone call about a very sick longtime family friend this morning. He is heavy on my heart as his family. I then received an email from another friend who needs to discuss something with me this week. In person. I replied, “I hope everything is OK” to which the reply was, “Things are not good”. Gulp. Worry climbed right into my head. Does worry change the outcome? Nope. But I can’t help it. How can I be present when my moments are not the ones in my mind right now? Well I think that is when I turn to being productive. It’s my way of feeling in control when so very often, life feels kinda out of control. So guess what I did today? I went on a 4 mile walk. I felt a little like Forest Gump, like I could have kept walking and walking and walking. But I didn’t, instead I stopped at 4 miles and got an iced coffee cause those always make me smile.  I came home and then I cleaned. And cleaned and cleaned. Now I am sitting her feeling sad. Hoping for good news and miracles but knowing that may not happen. Sigh. At least my house is clean, right? Maybe I should bake some cookies. I promise to be present while eating them with my kids 😉

Day 9: 31 Days of Being Present

Ah fitness. Something that always makes me feel great BUT something I make the least amount of time for. It’s really quite awful. Working out is not only so good for us but also important as we age. Forty is just a couple of years away and now I think a whole lot more about things like bone loss, wrinkles and even the dreaded menopause. I know, I am a barrel of joy today 😉 But really taking care of ourselves makes all of the above just a little easier if not non-exsisent {wishful thinking ;)} I have never, repeat never been an athletic girl.Two activities that I do enjoy are walking and yoga. I’ll talk about yoga another day. Trust me, I must be present in yoga at least once if not twice this week.

This weeks goal, especially now that the weather is finally in the 70’s {thank you Mother Nature – I was wondering if you were hearing my begging} is to walk, walk and walk. I plan to log 15 miles this week. Doable but not too crazy.  This is a bit of what I am seeing on walks these days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 8: 31 Days of Being Present

Ah yes, the life of a blogger. What exactly does that mean? It means I get to share stuff with you via my ramblings posts. Well, it is a whole lot more involved then that and now that I am seriously, truly, really digging in {in hopes of growing and maybe making some money doing what I love} — I can easily get caught in 50 things at once. I constantly have several tabs open at once and I am always cutting and pasting. It’s never ending and I often hop around from one idea to another. My most  open tabs? Facebook for sharing, Pinterest for pinning and then there is the blog hopping that happens when you add your stuff to a linky party. It’s a very social thing really.

Now one of my goals aside from always adding new posts is to do something bloggy business related daily. Sometimes this involves reading something that a blog savvy person has written, other times I am just checking out other blogs to get ideas for crafts, advertising, etc {in other words I am looking to see “how do they make this work”} and somedays I am just learning something new like how to get Twitter and Pinterest  buttons on my Facebook page. Oh and one of my favorites? Meeting with other people that are on this journey whether they blog, own an Etsy shop or even a local business. I think it’s fun to learn about what other people are up to and as I mentioned in a post last week, you never know what kind of helpful information you can learn or share with someone.

My  ‘lesson’ for today was learning a little about Pixlr. Wow. I am feeling giddy over this new tool {and thankful to my friend Tracy at Made from Pinterest who shared this fabulous site with me}. It’s definitely a bit of a toy cause it’s so fun. I don’t have Photoshop but I have a feeling that it is it’s own version of Pixlr. Again, I have nothing to compare too! I love graphic design although I have no idea of what I am doing so I need the tricks and tips. I love adding words and fun fonts to my photos and I love how quickly some fun editing can change the whole look of a blog post. Have you explored Pixlr? If not, you should. It’s so much fun!!

Day 7: 31 Days of Being Present

Happy Sunday friends!! It’s been a very mellow weekend around here. Productive but also mellow. Lets see, what have I been up too? Well I have been crafting my buns off. Last year I hosted a vendor fair at my house. Well there were 4 of us. It was a lot of fun and people have asked if I am doing it again. I had thought not but now that I am coming up with some fun stuff for myself that people are actually putting in custom orders for, I figured, “hmmm — why not?”. So we shall see if I can now get the same amazing vendors that I had last year. This also means that this mama better get her craft on!!

Aside from crafting, I got to have some one on one time with my handsome littlest dude. His name is Mason and he’s 7. He’s super funny and a love bug. Big brother went to G&G’s for the weekend in Napa {yeah, poor kid}. Anyway, they wanted some one on one as that is so rare these days and daddy went to work so guess what? It’s just me and the moo {nicknames are a fun thing eh?}. I let him pick what we were going to do and he had ideas. We started our afternoon with a lunch date at Pete’s {garlic knots anyone?} and then we went to see Frankenweenie {yes, we both cried. Sheesh! Some date eh?} Of course we had to wander over to Target and pick up a few things. Flour and sugar for baking for mom and Lego’s for him. He’s got a serious Lego addiction. I think we might need an intervention soon!

Handsome kiddo

 

This was all yesterday. This morning started off with breakfast at IHOP {his choice} and then we hopped on over to JoAnn’s for some serious shopping. They have killer coupons right now so we took advantage. When I say ‘we’ I really mean me cause he could care less 😉 I had to do a little bribing to keep him smiling.

The morning was quickly behind us and then it was homeward bound. Now the afternoon has entailed a pedicure for me {DIY — saving some money over here}, putting away the summer clothes and pulling out the sweaters AND making that pile for Goodwill. Of course there has been a lot of Lego building but not by me, I am a bit Lego challenged. It’s embarrassing but true. I am totally uncreative when it comes to those fabulous bits of plastic. Oh well. We all have our talents, right? We were able to get in a good game of Sorry. It was so close. Down to the wire and then I got the 3 before he got a 3 and well, mommy won. It happens.

Now we are about to make some Snickerdoodles {again, his choice} and we have to go and deliver a Boo to a special someone. Shhhh!!

So how have I been present this weekend? I have spent some very special time with a very special little guy and you know what, you can’t get this time back! Thankfully he is still very much about his mommy and daddy and loves spending time with us. He told me last night that he will have a place big enough for his daddy and I to stay when he goes to college. He then completed that conversation with, “If you don’t come and see me at college, I will cry”. Yep, this boys is not afraid to show his soft side and I love it!!

 

Day 6: 31 Days of Being Present

Today I am going to talk about being present while buying presents. I know, so many of you are just amazing at this task but there are many that struggle. I think this post might be perfect for so many husbands!! 😉 Especially mine! Often times we run out at the last minute to get ‘something’ for that birthday party we have to attend. Is that ‘something’ special or does it literally look like you grabbed the first item you saw at the first store you were in? I love buying presents for people. I am thrifty, I admit it but not in a bad way!! I love to find deals but I am also very much about finding something special that is exactly what fits the person I am buying for. I often pick up things throughout the year just because I know it would make the prefect gift for a special somebody. I then stow the gift away in giant Rubbermaid container and pull them out as needed.

A few occasions which will warrant gifts: birthdays, hostess gift, retirement, housewarming and new babies. I am sure the list goes on and on but you get the idea. Always keep your eyes peeled for that special gift. Not only will you feel happy giving it but the recipient will be so thankful that you know them so well.

My mother in law’s birthday is coming up. She is not always the easiest person for me to buy for but I feel like I still manage to come up with something that is ‘her’.

This year I decided on a cozy theme since we are in the midst of Fall. One of her favorite things to do is wake up early and sit on her back porch while enjoy some tea and a good book. I decided I’d contribute to this love. I was at the best store ever Target and decided on this lovely blanket {yes, it was on clearance from $24.99 to $17.98), I also found this adorable matching red mug for $1.99 and a box of chamomile tea. Yes, I just totally told you what everything costs but one thing my MIL does not do and that is read my blog. Sigh. It’s OK — we all do different things with our time eh? Anyway, I love that I got a great gift that truly does fit the person for a great price.

What do you think? Did I do good? The weather totally cooled down today and I personally would love to snuggle up with a soft blanket and a hot pumpkin spice latte. Mmmmmmm!!

How do you shop for gifts? On the fly or well thought out?

Day 5: 31 Days of Being Present

MONEY!   yes — the place where we all need to be present but often times we would rather not deal with it at all. Finances. Bills. Debt. Whatever you call it, it’s all about paying the bills. There are over 1000 bloggers participating in the 31 Days over at The Nester. Of course it’s fun to see what topics other people are picking.  This is where I found 31 Day to a Better Budget at A Time for Everything.

I love that she is so amazingly organized and that she has every day broken down for the entire 31 days. Wow. Maybe this is the first clue that I should listen eh? She seems to know her business 😉

So won’t you follow along and see what you can do to make the best of your budget? Maybe by being more present and actually following some guidelines, we I can become more aware of how to spend more importantly, how to save!

 

 

Check out her blog to follow along on a 30 day journey to a better budget.

 

 

 

 

Day 4: 31 Days of Being Present

This afternoon I am having a very hard time focusing. It might have something to do with the amount of candy corns I ate like I’d just experienced sugar for the first time devoured. I am somewhere in-between a sugar coma and why did I do that kinda place right now. Blah! Once upon a time I used candy corns for decorating purposes only and then I ate one. Then two and then I had gone through handfuls. So that is my afternoon. A tummy ache from too many evil candy corns and trying to process the loads of information that I got this morning  {keep reading}, this is where you will hear how I was present today!! Let me just say that knowledge is power and networking is a very good thing.

Recently, I was introduced via text to a new local blogger. My friend Lisa {remember the wreath thief  customer?} It’s a friend of hers. So anyway, she connected us via the wreath she had just got from me. She was doing a bit of show and tell. How sweet of her uh? Her friend, who’s name is Tracy and her sisters are starting up a site called Made From Pinterest. Tracy is local and her sisters are in Utah and Virginia. I’m a little jealous that there are 3 of them cause somedays I want  three people running The Local Honey. Only because I feel like I am “trying to wear too many hats” {As Tracy said this morning}. Anyway, over the course of two hours we swapped bloggy business and even shared some personal {non bloggy} stories. I loved that I was able to meet a new person that lives within my community and who also shares so many of the same interests as me.

So by giving two hours of my time this morning and being present, I was able to not only make a new friend but gain so much information that can only help me in my bloggy business. Plus I feel like I was able to provide her with some information that will help her grow as well. How often do we put off meetings, appointments, etc? Well don’t — stick to them and open yourself up. You never what you will get from them 🙂

Day 3: 31 Days of Being Present

Ah yes, parenting. Always a place to be present but sometimes we are pulled in so many directions so it is hard to be present all the time.

Oh, sorry – I stepped away to do homework. No, not my homework although most days I feel like a student. You know, like a 2nd and 4th grade student. Ha ha! Well often times I am trying to test my children on their spelling words while I cook dinner, blog, clean the house, etc., etc. I have to remove myself all the time from my distractions to give 100% to things like spelling tests. You know what I notice? When I am more present, my kids are more present as well. I just spent 10 minutes completely focused on words like enjoyment, destroy and trousers. My child did excellent and I wasn’t having to repeat them because I was missing his answers. Yeah me!!

The picture and quote below popped up on someones Facebook wall the other day. I can’t locate the original source but I love it. Of course I reposted it and several mamas commented about how true it was. What do you think? Do these years fly by? I think so. So take the time, whether it’s reading their favorite book, studying spelling words or making cookies with them — cherish the moments and be present. It’s a gift you can give yourself. I promise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go and snuggle my neighbor/BF’s baby cause she too is growing fast. 😉

 

Day 2: 31 Days of Being Present

First of all, I am so super excited about October. It’s my favorite month for so many reason. I get to relish Fall {when it starts that is, we are still dealing with 100 degrees record breaking temps in No Ca}. I am also so excited to share my daily thoughts on being present. It’s more personal then a lot of the other things I talk about. If you know me, I am not a shy person. I share. A lot. I like to talk hence my name maybe? It is Gabby after all 😉 In my conversations I gain so much. I also feel like I am able to help give other people, especially moms a perspective that can sometimes be very validating. I love those moments. Where we all kinda help each other feel so normal when so often we feel alone in how we cope with the daily ‘crud’.

My post today is centered around that. Being present for others. So often we scoot about and just try and get stuff done. Do we take time to engage with others? I try. I really do. The other day I was at HomeGoods with my littlest guy, Mason. I started chatting with the cashier about kids and the world of boys. When we left Mason said, “Mommy, you and that lady are friends now”. I love that by my conversation with someone I had never met before, my child sensed that my conversation with her being as friendly as it was meant that we were friends. I hope that will inspire him to be kind and engage people. It really can make someones day and honestly, I love that I feel a connection in such a short amount of time. You never know what you might get from it. Parenting tidbits, a funny story or just the realization that sometimes we are all so much the same.

Fast forward to today. After I had done my 4 mile walk {yes, I was present except for when my brother called and then I walked slower cause I was chatting with him. I tried, I tried}. I was driving in my car and I started thinking about how my 9 year old wanted to decorate the front of the house all spooky for Halloween. I spent two days doing the inside but it’s not quite as scary as he’d like. I got so weepy when I thought about how many more Halloweens he’d get excited for this type of thing. Maybe always, maybe not. So yes, I got totally weepy thinking about how fast they are growing up. I may have been listening to Mumford and Sons which also makes me weepy. Don’t ask. It just does. Maybe it’s the banjo. Maybe it’s his voice.

Guess where I ended up? HomeGoods. I know, there seems to be a pattern. I think they must hire some super amazing people there cause it happened again. Well, not the same silly conversation about the difference between boys and girls and not the same lady. I walked up to do my return and the woman at the counter said, “Can you believe that it’s already October?”, I replied, “No, I love this time of year but it really goes so fast and then I feel sad.” I told her about my moment in the car. You know what happened then? She got weepy!! Yes, seriously. We both joked that we had to shake it off or we would be balling in the front of HomeGoods. Turns out she has 2 sons and 8 grandchildren. She told me she had to request time off for her grandson’s JV Football game. This whole conversation happened in a matter of minutes but it was this meaningful moment where I connected with a complete stranger. Seriously.

So can you be present? Can you spark a conversation that will change somedays day? I dare ya 😉

Day 1: 31 Days of Being Present

When I saw that The Nester was hosting a 31 Day event on her blog, I felt compelled to join. I went back and forth on what I wanted to talk about for 31 days. Wow – 31 days? Gasp. That is a lot of days of talking about the same topic. Well of course I could babble on and on about how cute my kids are {cause they are} or about all the things I love about Fall {which is everything} but I wanted to go somewhere different. I wanted to challenge myself. A certain phrase that I have been repeating since school started this year, “Be present” kept calling to me.

This was something I have been saying to myself and to my hubby. Why? My boys are growing up. Too fast really. They are 7 and 9. My baby is in 2nd grade this year and my oldest is in 4th. With a new school year comes new challenges and I heard that 4th grade was one of the hardest. I knew I would have to be present. To be completely focused on helping my oldest really thrive this year. This seems so basic but is it? Nope, it’s not. It’s very easy to get pulled in many directions, especially as a mama, wife, friend and well just the Type A girl that I am!! 😉

For the next 31 days I will make an effort to be present in my life. By this I mean, everyday I will give 100% in something. I will not multitask every moment, I will be absolutely present and focused. Even if this means reading 50 pages of Pippi Longstocking out loud to my child {oh yes I did} or giving my all in a 75 minute yoga class. Please follow me as I journal my next 31 days of being present. Oh, and wish me luck 😉