What Feeds Your Soul?

Many years ago a friend {who had the enviable energy of the Energizer Bunny} said to me, “energy breeds energy”. This little tidbit has stuck with me for over 20 years. Recently it has repeatedly popped into my head as I am finding things that feed my soul and feeling how that energy grows and grows based on the excitement and fire within me. It’s like this perpetual effect. It’s pretty amazing really.

goodenergy

Today I had coffee with a friend. We met to talk about the 21-Day Fix as she is starting her first challenge on Monday. I have done two challenges in the past year with the same coach that she signed up with. I knew there were some things that I could tell her to make her start an easier one. This coffee date had nothing to do with me but I left feeling so rejuvenated. Now, let me just say that I always feel refreshed after hanging out with friends. Today was a little different. My friend told me how awesome I was and how much I helped her. She said that I could be a coach. What? Me? Why? By sharing what I know. How I cope. What motivates me. What brings me joy. By lifting her up and offering encouragement. I think we all can scoop up energy and little life lessons from others. As women, we definitely lean on each other for support. A lot.

So what advice did I give her? To take care of herself. Yes. Seems basic, right? But it’s so much harder than you’d think. We as grown-ups – as women – as moms – as wives – give and give and do and do and we aren’t overly good at saying no because oh the guilt. Guess what? If your tank is empty, what good can you do? You can’t continue to give without fuel in your own tank.

Last February I challenged myself to be active every day for the whole month. I named the challenge, “Fit in February”. This meant that I needed some kind of physical activity every single day. Some days I got a walk in, other days I did a workout video but I moved my body every.single.day. How did I feel at the end of the month? Recharged. It was so mentally empowering that I stuck to something but it was also so good for my emotional well-being. I’ve learned that moving my body is a must. I have stayed pretty on track with the exception of summer {which entailed so much running around and travel in general that I wasn’t stagnant by any means} but I picked it back up consistently in August and I feel good. Do I look like a super model? Nope. Do I feel good? Yep.

So what feeds my soul?

  • Moving my body. I love walking. I aim for 2-4 miles a day. I’ve also dabbled in yoga over the years. I have recently added that back into my schedule. I sweat like I never have before, I move my body and challenge myself. I leave a class feeling like I am a whole new person. In really sweaty clothes.
  • Date days with my husband. He is a firefighter so his schedule is a bit more open. Date days when we are both off of work are easier than night dates when the kids are home. Reconnecting is huge.
  • Family dinners, game night and vacations. I really enjoy my family and the times when all 4 of us can just be together are rare. Time is fleeting and I am very aware of how much longer I might have my boys at home for. I really try and take advantage of my time with them.
  • Time with friends. I really love girlfriend time. Dinners and coffee are the norm. We’ve laughed and cried together. The amount of support and girl power is priceless. I love my village.
  • Seeing my kids happy. I encourage happiness.
  • An organized home. Yes, really. Something about this really makes me happy and content.

Doing all of the above things fill my tank. Some days are busier than others and we live in a very over scheduled world but try. Try to carve out some time for you. Do some of the things that fill you up. You don’t have time for a 30-minute workout, do 10. Walk around the block. Tackle one thing on your to-do list. Meet up with a friend for coffee. Little things can be a game changer. Take care of yourself. See how you feel. I promise, feeding your own soul will breed energy which is what you need to take care of those around you in the best way possible.

Feed your soul and watch how it changes the ability of what you can give others.

The Power of Pen to Paper

I am a big believer in greeting cards. The real ones made out of card stock with pretty fonts and colors. The ones that you buy at a store, not via a website to send electronically. Don’t get me wrong, that method works well for a lot of people but for me personally, nothing beats a real, hold it in your hands, greeting card. Some people think that they are a waste of money but personally, I am a big fan. There is something about finding the perfect card for that special someone. Maybe it’s for a birthday, maybe it’s a get well wish for a sick friend, congrats on your wedding or new baby. Sometimes I send cards just to let people know that I love them. Cards come in all kinds of styles. The funny. The sentimental. The short but sweet.

A few of my favorite resources for cards:

funny-card

  • World Market – they have a really nice stationary section. I really like these assorted boxed cards

mixed-cards

  • Marshalls – I find great cards here at a $1.99 price point
  • Home Goods – same as Marshalls, pretty cards at a great price
  • Target – especially great for seasonal and thank you cards. I am especially loving these pretty floral ones.

mum-thank-you

Do you still send cards? Put pen to paper and add a stamp. Just do it, you’ll make someone’s day. I promise.

Piercings and Tattoos

Did I catch your attention? Sorry, you might be a bit disappointed by this post 😉 Blog challenge day 9 asks if I have tattoos or piercings. My ears are pierced once. I think I have actually had them done twice. Once when I was younger and then they closed up and I had them redone. I don’t have a huge memory of this other than being scared of the piercing gun and it not being too bad. I do not have tattoos although I have contemplated them over the years. Now at the age of 42, I am over the idea of it. Once upon a time I considered getting a small flower on my foot and then many moons later, I considered have the word breathe done on my inner wrist to remind me to do just that, breathe. These days, I’d rather have a new pair of shoes or a nice dinner out with my husband over spending the money on tattoos.

3 Personality Traits I Am Proud Of

Day #6 of the 31 day blog challenge asks what 3 personality traits I am proud of. Well being a highly emotional person also gives me a lot of compassion. So I’d say compassion is #1, followed by honesty and being thoughtful. I have strong opinions but I really try and be objective and give people grace. Hurting feelings is something I really try to avoid as it makes me sad to see someone sad. I want to build people up.

Do you have a personality trait that you feel extra awesome about?

My Guilty Pleasure

iced-coffee

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Day #5 of the 31 day blog challenge asks what my guilty pleasure is. Hmmmm, I mean really I could go in so many directions but I will keep it simple. I jump start every day with an iced coffee. I used to drink iced coffee with 1/2 whole milk but now I have made the switch to 1/2 almond milk with a teeny splash of half and half. I also have to have vanilla although I am trying to cut back on the amount of vanilla that I add. Sometimes I make these at home with my Keurig and other times I pick one up at Starbucks, Peet’s or Nugget. I really love visiting random coffee shops while on vacation and doing a comparison. My favorite iced coffee is from a little place in Amador City called Andrae’s. They make their own vanilla milk. Say what? Yeah, it’s worth the drive every now and again for the splurge.

Do you have a guilty splurge?

How The Local Honey Got It’s Name

Day #3 of the 31 day blog challenge asks the meaning of my business name.

tlh-logo

It was around 5 years ago that my brother and I brainstormed on a possible stay at home business. He’s an entrepreneur and always loves a good business venture. At the time when we were talking about this blog, we were focusing on activities in and around the area and things that would draw in local families. I paid to have a logo made and the blog set up how I’d like it to be seen. Later on that year, I went back to work part time which turned into full time during tax season. That became ‘enough’ of a time filler for me and I didn’t blog much. I am still part time but I really do love and miss writing, sharing, projects, organizing and cooking. I am looking to revamp this blog and share the parts of it that my readers seem to love. So local was obviously geared towards my audience and honey was a sweet way to pull people in. Hence, ‘The Local Honey’.

The Local Honey was born because of my focus on my local community. Now I feel that the name is still inviting but I’d like to focus on a larger demographic and not just stay focused on local activities and events {although I do love this little community of mine!}.

 

Happy New Year

Hi friends,

Once again I have gone rogue. I miss writing. So often I find myself journaling in my head about the things I’d like to write about here on the blog. Then time gets away from me — again.

I hope you all had a great holiday season and are kicking off the new year in whatever way makes you happy {resolutions, clean slate, fresh start or just treating it as another month, another day, another year}. This was the first year in I don’t know how long that I was in bed well before midnight. I am night owl almost always {and a ‘sleep in’ kinda girl when I can to make up for it}. The night before New Years Eve was a late one for us due to my husband’s work Christmas party. I couldn’t hang for two nights in a row. Yawn. We did manage to have a nice dinner with friends. It was some much needed catch up time with some of my favorite people. It was really a perfect way to end 2014.

I kicked off 2015 with a Starbucks and an almost 5 mile walk with a friend. Perfect. We finished it with a little dinner at B.J.’s {Pizookie anyone?}.

So I don’t really like to make resolutions but I  do like to set some goals – in hopes of achieving them – for the New Year. I really use the new year as my start because October – December are pretty busy months around here. I host several things including a Favorite Things Party, an annual craft event and our annual adults only Christmas Party. That with house guests sprinkled in through-out and we are busy. A good busy. A busy that I really enjoy and I am always sad to see it end.

That being said, I am also looking forward to making more memories in 2015. One of which is becoming an auntie again in just a little over a month. I can hardly wait to meet my new little nephew. My sister in law is one of my favorite people and I loved having her here over the holidays. Her, my brother and my cute – almost 3 year old nephew – stayed with me so our nights were spent on the couch  with me feeling her baby belly movements. One of my favorite things. I am pretty sure this kids gonna be a boxer.

Some of my goals for the New Year ….

eat better — I am not a diet kind of girl. I end up more hungry and less happy. Plus life is for living. So that being said, I’d like to do little tweaks and less calories but still allow myself some of my favorite things like my Starbucks iced coffee with whole milk. It’s my ‘thing’. I also don’t want to have what I eat become my main topic in life. I have so many other things I’d rather talk about.

exercise more — my two favorite things are walking and yoga. I am so out of shape. It’s up to me to take care of myself. So the plan is to walk and do more yoga. Ideally I’d like to do yoga 2-3 times a week and walk 3-4. I am trying to be practical about what I will actually do. If I do more then I get a sticker or a high five. Just saying.

be more productive — this is basically my way of saying that I need to stop wasting time on mindless things. I waste too much time on Pinterest. It’s not something I will quit but I think I need to set computer limits. It’s easy to waste away hours when I really could be doing something that is good for me, like going on a walk or taking a yoga class. Or blogging. The whole point of this blog was to make a job of it. I.HAVE.FAILED. So far.

blog more — I have so many things to share and say. This blog is my voice. And I like to talk. A lot.

see more — I love seeing new places. We have a lot of cool places within hours of where we live. Plus I just finished reading Wild so I am feeling like I should do more 🙂 Although hiking the Pacific Coast Trail is not on my list of 2015 goals. I’d love to hike more and seriously, we are smack dab in the middle of San Francisco and Lake Tahoe. The options are endless.

be present — need I say more? Whatever I am doing, I need to be fully committed to that moment.

play more games — we tend to do this during the holidays but we should be taking the time more often then that. We have a blast. Even if my husband it highly competitive and loud and we all have to ask him to take it down a notch. Ha ha.

garden better — we have a great spot for a garden. We tend to plant things only in the summer but I am not great at tending to it. Summer gets busy but really, this shouldn’t take a lot of time once it’s planted for us to harvest the goodness. Right?

budget better — we are wrapping up some debt in 2015 so 2016 will really be a fresh start for us. I’d like to save more and spend less. With that comes better planning for things like groceries, etc. Those last minute trips to the store add up at the end of a month.

delegate — I think in general my kids could do more. Sometimes it’s easier to just do it myself but they are capable of stepping it up. Same for the hubs. He is a rockstar but there are a few things that he could take on that would help me out.

As always I hope to do everything with kindness and gratitude. In a crazy world {that seems to be getting crazier} it is so important to treat others well. I also feel grateful daily for all the things I have been blessed with. So take a moment to smile at a stranger, to say thank you, to count your blessings.

Also, I wanted to share this list I found on Pinterest. I just love it.

 

hny13

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Happy New Year friends. I look forward to seeing more of you in 2015.

39 Things at 39 Years

I’m a thinker. Often times I am an over thinker. That can be good … and it can be bad. In this case, I think it’s good? 😉 I am doing this little post about 39 things about me at 39 years. Yep. Lucky you. So here is the down low in bits and pieces. I also thought I’d include a silly family photo taken last week at Ocean Cove. Our final camping trip for 2013.

39

 

1. I feel deeply.
2. I react quickly — this could be any range of emotions. Happy, sad, mad, etc.
3. I over-analyze. I’m taking baby-steps to overcome this. It’s not easy.
4. I believe that everyone should be able to live as their true-selves without judgment. As long as it does not hurt others.
5. I love music and I am often dancing and singing in my car. Unless you pull up to me at a stoplight then I suddenly become still and quiet.
6. Organizing is an instant stress reliever for me.
7. I wish I exercised more but I don’t make it a priority. My exercises of choice are yoga and walking.
8. I follow the rule, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all”.
9. I find inspiration in others. We all possess super powers of some kind.
10. I love photographs yet I haven’t taken the time to truly learn photography.
11. I tend to freak out and then settle down once I get it out {some of my girlfriends are oh so lucky to be my sounding boards. To those of you, and you know who you are, I apologize for this and I also thank you from the bottom of my heart}.
12. Target is sometimes my version of therapy. So is HomeGoods and Marshalls.
13. Girlfriends are my religion.
14. I do not go to church. Religion is not a part of my world but my values match those of my friends that do attend church.
15. I have two rescue dogs, a cat that was found on a rock as a itty bitty baby by my dad and lots of fish that keep having to be replaced. I believe in rescuing animals. There are so many abandoned animals waiting for a forever home.
16. I love Lake Tahoe. Just sitting by the lake soothes my soul.
17. I love the ocean. The vastness of it scares me a bit but I love sitting on the shore and listening to the waves.
18. I love to bake. Trying out new recipes and hearing, “This is amazing” makes me happy.
19. I’m crafty. I make things.
20. I just tried sushi 3 years ago and I love it but I’d rather not know ‘exactly’ what it is that I am eating.
21. Fall is hands down my most favorite season of the year. I CAN NOT GET ENOUGH OF THIS SEASON yet it goes by much too quickly.
22. I feel like we live in a very noisy world. Technology, social media, smart phones — we have so much at our fingertips and true time outs are few and far between.
23. The above makes me worry about raising my kids in a world that is so different then how I grew up.
24. I love my boys. Hubby included. They are the center of my world
25. I think snow creates the most peaceful landscape. The world somehow feels quieter when blanketed in snow.
26. Instagram is awesome. Period. I’m at #thelocalhoney if you’d like to follow me.
27. My favorite food is Mexican. Or appetizers. I {heart} appetizers and could easily make a meal out of them.
28. I cherish my old friendships but I savor the new ones as well. I believe people come into our lives for a reason.
29. I am a complete chicken. A few of the things that terrify me the most: driving along the edge of a cliff without guard rails, roller-coaster rides and jumping off rocks into lakes. Yes, really. I am quite content at amusement parks IF I don’t have to ride anything that has drops in it.
30. Evening walks with my 10 year old make me happy. Especially because he still wants to hang with his mama.
31. The best humor comes from those who don’t try. Like my 8 year old. He says the funniest things.
32. I adore pedicures. Perfectly polished piggies make me feel ‘pulled together’.
33. I am way too addicted to my iPhone.
34. And my laptop.
35. I’m ‘running’ a 1/2 Marathon in October and I don’t run nor have I trained. I’m a bit annoyed with myself for signing up.
36. I am not competitive AT ALL. I think board games are all in fun. Aren’t we all winners? 😉
37. My two favorite songs at the moment are Blurred Lines and Brave.
38. I’m a social girl but I also really enjoy my alone time which is hard to come by. I take it when I can get it!
39. I am grateful for those of you who read my blog. I love writing and sharing with all of you.

There you go — 39 little things about me. Happy Thursday friends. Friday is only a day away!

Parenting, My View from 10 Years in the field

My sis in law has made me an auntie to a super cute little guy. He turned 1 on March 10th and I have provided her ‘mommy advice’ since day one.  I don’t claim to be an expert by any means but I’ve been around the mommy block. Twice. Plus I have lots of mommy friends. I hear lots of stories, tips and insight. I take it all in. Because you never know what tricks other mommy’s have that could be the magic cure for your parenting er, situation.

Maverick

I love this sweet picture of my cute lil nephew.

I have two boys – they are polar opposites. The things they have in common:

  1. Same parents
  2. Daddy’s chin dimple
  3. Stubbornness
  4. The love of being in the water
  5. Sugar

I’m pretty certain that is it. They do not look alike. One is white blonde and fair and the other is dark blond and tans in two seconds. They have the most different personalities and likes. One likes to try new things and is quite the explorer, the other swears by carbs and meat and Legos and his iTouch. Seriously. Night and day is happening in my house.

 BrothersAren’t they cute?

What I’ve learned:

  • No two children are the same.
  • Parenting styles are different. That is OK.
  • It’s OK to ask for help. We are all human and parenting is a hard job. Period.
  • Be consistent. {The hardest thing but it really is worth the results!}
  • Love them.
  • Follow your gut.
  • Holding babies too much won’t spoil them. Plus it goes by fast. Enjoy those snuggles before they are are so big that carrying them kills your back. Trust me.
  • A good night of sleep makes all the difference in a good day or a bad day. Sleep train but use whatever method works for YOUR family.
  • No two parenting books are the same. Take what you can from them but they are not the Bible.
  • All babies start out with their own personalities. You will see that your parenting style will need to be tweaked with each child. My oldest requires me to be more firm and constant while my youngest is more sensitive so less firm works just fine.
  • Be honest. When they ask questions, give them answers. Again, they all process different so use words they will understand. Never shut down their curiosity. Communication is a door you will always want to leave open.
  • Give them freedom but also set limits. Tricky uh?
  • Love them even when they are naughty.
  • Teach them forgiveness.
  • Show them that even though people are different, we all deserve to be treated with love and respect.
  • Hug and kiss them every time you say goodbye and every night before bed.

I know the list can go on and on but these are some of my best bits and pieces. What parenting advice do you have to share? I’d love to hear it.

 

Mommy Nostalgia

First off, I have been feeling so nostalgic {ie — boo hoo} as of late. Another school year has wrapped up and that means that my babies are another year older. While I cherish what this age brings — freedom, independence and just new experiences, I miss the other ages and stages. Friends are telling me that it’s the elementary years and that junior high and high school are so different that becoming attached to teachers is not the norm. There is something about my son’s second grade teacher that just makes me sappy. My oldest had her and now my youngest. Both boys have named her as their favorite teacher and they have had several amazing teachers so this says a lot.

When I helped with Mason’s party the day before the last day of school, it was a constant tug at my heart. The kids playing field games {I was in charge of limbo but due to my ‘too tight jeans’ I thought it best I not attempt to limbo. I would have quite possibly traumatized the kids for life!} They had this sweet energy about them. Cheering each other on, giving high fives, being highly competitive — it was just fun! While the kids went to lunch the parents set up the sundae table. Well, most kids went to lunch. Mine was stuck to me like glue! Throughout the games, and ice cream set up, eating ice cream and then after. He was a bit of a mess. Not in tears but on the verge of when I was about to leave. So the teacher suggested I just check him out early so he could be with me. Well this mama had plans for that last hour of freedom {don’t judge ..} so I pulled him from school. We proceeded to run some errands and he was just my little buddy for that time. It was sweet and sentimental. He is my little boy. My love. And this is all going SO FAST!

 

boyartEtsy – Lacey Fields

The last day of school went something like this: me crying in the car on the way to school, me hugging boys on last day of school, me telling oldest child to have a great last day of 4th grade and letting him run to class solo {cause he likes to do that — I am only cool when I am at my car, not near the classroom}, saying hello to mama friends behind my sunglasses and attempting to not start the waterfall of tears, a few mamas ask how I’m doing and they can hear the warble in my voice and the tears start inching down my face, me walking into the 2nd grade classroom for the last time, I.can’t.keep.it.together!!! Major tears and the teacher is hugging me. One hug, two hugs, three hugs. I’m a mess, the kids are looking at me like I am crazy. Yes, I am THAT mom. At least that day I was. No worries, I own my ‘mess of emotions’. As I walked out of the classroom I held in the flood that was about to overcome me. I pulled myself together and walked away. A few moms wondered why second grade made me this way. I think it really is the teacher! That and I also feel like 3rd graders are more like ‘big kids’. Sigh. It flies by. Nothing makes time fly by like being a parent. I swear to this.

I use the word bittersweet often. The moments are sweet but the bitter creeps in cause those moments won’t happen again. I don’t know that I want to think of any part of these moments as bitter. Perhaps that takes away from the beauty of it all?

Anyway, I could go on and on and on … about how I feel and how nostalgia creeps in daily but I thought I’d leave you with this fabulous article that I stumbled upon last week. It showed up at just the right time for me.

 

Why I’m (Finally) Done with Nostalgia

By Katrina Kenison

I’ve sometimes wondered if I’ll spend the rest of my life missing my sons as the little boys they used to be.

Though it’s been years since I reminded anyone to look both ways, the sight of a mom crossing the street hand in hand with a little guy with sleep-tufted hair and rolled up jeans can still fill my eyes with tears.

Arriving at an elementary school to give a talk one morning not long ago, watching parents bending low to kiss their children good-bye, observing the sea of bobbing back-packs, the bright art on the walls, the exuberance of six-year-olds beginning their day, I was so overcome with emotion that I had to slip back out to my car for a few minutes to compose myself.

Still, standing up at the podium in that room full of young mothers, I wasn’t quite sure I could trust my voice.

“Do you know,” I wanted to say to them, “how quickly this will all be over? Do you realize how sweet and rich your lives are right now? How fleeting?”

Of course, this is what older people have been saying to younger ones since time began. And no one wants to hear it.

Busy, distracted, wondering how to transport the kids from point A to point B and pick up some food for dinner and get the homework done without too much of a fuss, an over-stretched, over-tired parent isn’t worrying about the end of childhood so much as how to survive the hours between 3:00 and bedtime.

I know that. I’ve been that mom, too.

But my sons are 23 and 20 now. It’s been a while since I had two boys living at home full time. And what I’m most aware of, looking back, is not how endlessly long those days could be, but how quickly the years flew by.

At times my nostalgia for our family life as it used to be -– for our own imperfect, cherished, irretrievable past –- is nearly overwhelming.

The life my husband and children and I had together, cast in the golden light of memory, seems unbearably precious; what lies ahead, darker and lonelier and less certain.

Adjusting to my new empty-nest reality, after over two decades of 24/7 mothering, has been a slow, bittersweet process.

Even as my days fill with new joys and occupations, I live in the shadow of that darker, lonelier future. With both sons grown and gone, I wonder if any as-yet-unwritten life chapter could ever feel quite as right, quite as challenging and fulfilling, as those years of intense, day-in-day-out togetherness.

It is such a raw, relentless business, motherhood.

How many times have I been brought to my knees by the sheer intimacy of tears and blood and poop, fevers and sweats and strange skin rashes, sibling battles and wild nightmares and crazy, irrational fears?

And then, within the same hour sometimes, I’d be lifted right up again, exalted and turned inside out by wild laughter or a whoop of glee, a whispered confession, a cuddle, an imponderable question, a kiss delivered to an elbow or a knee (why there?), some random joke without a punch-line that made us all giggle anyway.

When all that ended, when first one son and then the other had the audacity to grow up and leave, I was pretty sure our family life would never again be quite as good.

Last weekend, both boys were home. We didn’t have much of an agenda –- watching some basketball on TV, a couple of family dinners. The guys did laundry. I made chicken potpie from scratch.

On Sunday, between basketball games and my marathon in the kitchen, my husband, the boys and I took the dog for a walk, our favorite loop through the woods.

Gracie trotted ahead, glancing back every few steps as if she couldn’t quite believe her good fortune. For a border collie, heaven is having your entire herd in the same place at the same time: ideally, outdoors and sticking close together.

I knew how she felt. I was happy, too.

In fact, as we tramped along the path it suddenly occurred to me, for the very first time, that I wouldn’t turn the clock back now even if I could. Not for one hour, not for one day, or for one year or ten. Not for anything.

It hit me with the power of epiphany: this sudden, unexpected end to the nostalgic longing I’ve carried like a bruise on my heart for so long that I’ve nearly forgotten what true ease in the here and now feels like.

Who we are, what we are, where we are at this moment is different from what was, absolutely. But it is in no way less than.

And the surprising thing is: I wouldn’t trade our beautiful, complicated, ever shifting and fleeting present for any simpler golden-hued yesterday.

Instead, I’m struck with wonder at who we are right now: four still-growing human beings, each of us irrevocably, mysteriously connected. Each of us finding our own way in the world.

And at the same time, each of us gratefully returning to this hallowed place called home: this piece of earth, this house, this dinner table, this history, this tangled web of us-ness.