I thought I’d try something new this season and take down some notes on what’s working to keep our family well. I’m always brainstorming ways to make the content I create here more personable, useful, and transparent. I felt like this was a fun way to share some of our story that might be helpful to yours! My hope is that there are some takeaways for you to apply somehow or simply just give some thought to!
When I consider wellness I think of five key areas… FAITH, FITNESS, FINANCE, FAMILY/FRIENDS, and FAVORITES. These are the categories that I use to gage mine and my family’s overall health.
Here are a few things from the five categories that are worth noting about our life lately… I’ve themed them around man, woman, and child and given insights into each!
Notes On Him…
FAITH- Jared has a pretty demanding job and he works away from home each day for a a good chunk of hours… This has always been unfortunate for us, but it has provided for our family and given him good opportunities to grow in ways he’s wished for. That being said, it’s always been a challenge for us as a couple to catch up and have time together. The past couple years he’s changed that dynamic by making it a priority to call me every day on his way home from work. He never told me he was making this a thing, he just began doing it and I started expecting it, and now it’s become special. It’s a great way to maintain a consistent time for communication and it’s helped us to stay connected even in this busy season of our life. It also wins browny points from my perspective because it makes me feel like I’m first priority after his work day which I really appreciate. I also love that it shows my husbands heart. It’s one of those everyday things he does that shows his character and proves to me where his values lie. I think the most attractive thing a man can do is to act out what he believes in. The proof of a man’s character is in his behavior. (Any men reading this- take notes! ; P)
FITNESS- Jared recently started a new position that has required some added time and responsibility. Right when the new job began, he started having tooth pain and ended up needing some major dental work. It was such a challenge to deal with the pain, appointments, and surgery all at once while maintaining a strong work life. It made him realize that he had been neglecting his health care. Rather than waiting until something is too bad, it’s better to be proactive and serious about taking care of yourself. Now he understands the importance of routine/preventative checkups and he’s making those a priority.
FINANCE- We had a lot of unexpected finances come up this summer that we just couldn’t possibly be accountable for. We ended up having to get our first credit card to pay for these expenses and it was so sad for us- lol. We’ve always prided ourselves on not having credit debt, but now that we have some, Jared has been adamant about us paying our extra towards the card rather than putting it into savings. We try to have a set amount in our savings and if that’s met we will save for other goals, but right now we are buckling down to pay that darn debt off.
FAMILY/FRIENDS- It’s no surprise that engaging and playing with your children is beneficial, but with three, we are quickly learning to be selective with what all we sign up to be involved in. We can easily wear ourselves thin and end up resenting what we commit to. That being said, Jared started coaching Jake’s first year of pee wee football and even joined the board of director’s! His dad was one of the founding members of the program and so was mine! It’s special to see him out there on the old stomping grounds as well as serving the community. He finds it rewarding and I must say I love seeing him so excited. I’m even getting on fire for football now that my little boy is playing… we’re pretty proud of our little linebacker! It’s been great for building a bond between father and son and I really only mention this as contributing to our family’s wellness because I think it’s important to be observant about where that magical connection happens and make sure to give it attention. A lot of it comes with trial and error, but being observant about what your child’s into and what you are into and finding that magic place where those two collide is where it’s at. As a bonus, he gets to coach alongside his best friend which brings him that brotherly love that everybody needs too!!
FAVORITE- It’s fall which means Jared’s already planning for his favorite time of year… hunting season. He looks forward to hosting his annual deer camp each November and he’s already dreaming about those days of doing what he loves. Each year he tries to improve his camp and this year I have a feeling it will be in the food department. He enjoys cooking wild game while he’s out there, but lately he’s been mastering chicken wings… so I’m wondering if that will be his specialty this year. I think for his next gift, I need to get him the Meat-Eater cookbook and maybe some fancy wing sauce!
Notes On Her…
FAITH- A huge part of my faith is prayer and meditation on what I feel God is calling me towards. Problem is, every time I’ve ever felt led to something by God, it’s always in an area I feel inadequate. There have been a few significant times I’ve felt like God was telling me to pursue something that I had to trust only he knew the plans for! Usually it’s something that I would have never chosen or even thought of on my own. Some examples include starting this platform, educating my children at home, and growing a flower farm. These pieces of my puzzle were not things I envisioned ahead of time but rather took a leap of faith in listening to God on. That being said, I’ve been battling the belief that I’m not qualified to be encouraging others in family life. My greatest fear is that my own family will fail. The lies tell me I’m no professional and I don’t have it all together myself so who am I to encourage others, or what if something happens out of my control that leaves my family broken? What I keep being reminded of, is that whatever happens, God has what’s good for us. As long as I’m pursuing him and good choices then that’s where my character and honor lie. I will never have control of outcomes, but I can always have control of my actions. I hope that I have a reputation for pursuing this positivity.
FITNESS- When it comes to my health, it’s an ever evolving journey- haha! As I age, I grow fonder of the do what feels good to you philosophy. All of our bodies are unique and each of our lives have been unique, so why would it ever make sense that there would be one cookie cutter way to take care of ourselves. Of course we all need to be mindful of our diet and our exercise but what I mean is that it will inevitably look different for different types of people. Personally, I’ve come to love a low impact form of exercise called Eccentrics. It helps with range of motion, lengthening, and strengthening. It’s also good for the brain! I’ve never been on a diet and hate the thought of giving myself such restrictions. I believe in being good to your body and observant of what your fueling it with. I’m still learning and growing in this every day but it’s a positive perspective that keeps my motivation and momentum moving forward in a much healthier way. A new thing I’ve discovered lately is the EVE app. It’s for women to track their cycle and it’s been such a benefit for understanding my body and adjusting to what’s happening. The reason I specifically chose this app is because it’s one of the only free ones that tells you what’s happening with your hormone levels and how that effects you. I love this knowledge!
FINANCE- A little tidbit that’s been a new mindset for me… For forever I would get cash out each week for Jared and I as personal money to have cash on hand when it was needed… Unfortunately, I’d always spend mine quickly on drinks or snacks for the the kids with the mindset that those items were those extra trivial things. I changed my thinking to put those items in the food category of our budget – duh! So now I only use the cash for what truly NEEDS cash- for instance a toll booth or a concession stand! Now I actually have cash when I need it- game changer; ) lol
FAMILY/FRIENDS- I’ve really come to value the strength in having some go to gals in my life. Don’t get me wrong I’ve always valued strength in numbers when it comes to women and supporting one another, but there is truly something special in having camaraderie amongst females. My go to’s are my mom, my sister, my cousin, and my best friend… (I know, I know it’s generic, but I’m not done yet!) These are women I trust to go to with personal information and I know they will listen kindly, support me in love, and steer me where I need to go. Everyone needs 3-5 go to people in their life to help them when in need. I believe it helps for these people to be of the same gender and it also helps to have a range of personalities so that they each bring different perspectives and strengths to your aid. Along with this close circle I think it’s so rich to have a wealth of other circles to reach out to and enjoy as well. I have other circles within my family, a bible study group, a childhood friends group, different groups with common interests, and the list goes on! A new circle of women I’m loving lately is The Company Club. It’s a group dedicated to supporting women in the community, especially within businesses. I have only been bonding with these ladies for a little while but I already received the sweetest gift from one of them. A beautiful book called “The Language Of Flowers” came in the mail with a nice note attached which gave me all sorts of affirmation! Sometimes when I want some new insight I also tune into podcasts. I was introduced to the Goop Podcast by Gwyneth Paltrow over the summer and I really enjoy the takeaways from it! I believe a good group of girls in your corner contributes greatly to a woman’s wellness.
FAVORITE- Right now my passion project/hobby is creating the new field guide for this platform. I’ve been talking about it for a long time, but it was never quite coming together and having complete clarity until now. It’s going to be an e-course called “Planting The Seeds of Your Story” I’m so excited to finally be finishing it up and I can’t wait to share more details about it with you! It is very close to my heart to encourage people to pursue their passion and turn it into their purpose. I believe it’s really the best way to live and I believe it’s wise for families #livingforthemost and leaving a legacy.
Notes On Them… “Smalltalk”
FAITH- The kids are getting bigger now and understanding so much more than I give them credit for… They are all close to the ten year milestone marking the timeline of identifying their independence and individualism. With this comes a new level of faith and I think a personal responsibility of learning to trust. I’ve been encouraging them to pray on their own more and also to not just pray for other people’s needs but praise God for things and go to God for personal prayer requests. This is something I’ve always modeled for them, but I believe they need to began experimenting with on their own. A personal relationship has to get personal right?
FITNESS- Our children are very active so we don’t put a lot of focus on their exercise, however Jared has been encouraging Jake to do a few push ups and sit ups along with some dumbbell weights and stretches at night to gain endurance and strength for his football season. Jake is our one child who struggles to go to sleep at night and seems to do better when he physically exerts himself. He also genuinely enjoys it for the most part so it works for him. We’ve recently been using melatonin with him as well to aid with bedtime. We spoke with his doctor beforehand to better understand the process and benefits as well as get her recommendation on the subject. We’ve seen a good response so far and are happy to report better rest and attitude for our little man.
FINANCE- Since the kids were small I’ve compensated them for contributing to the household. I know this seems silly and like added work for the parent when the child should be expected to contribute as part of the family… but let me explain my philosophy on it. I have always told the kids they are expected to contribute to our household and their help is needed for our home to operate smoothly. I set a standard for them that’s achievable and sometimes I ask for more but never less. They know what their jobs are and the consequences of not doing them. I don’t make the consequence about the money they wouldn’t earn, but rather about the way the unfinished work would impact our home life. For example, if they don’t put their dishes away and help with washing them, then we won’t have anything to eat with! This has always been a good enough motivator to get a job done, but when I add the money in, it gives good measure! I only add money in because it’s a goal of mine personally to teach the children money skills through this part of our life. I teach them that they have the opportunity to EARN money if they choose. I don’t pay them if they don’t contribute. Often, I also don’t pay them if I have to nag at them to complete the work. I explain that when people get paid for work they are expected to do the job without someone telling them to do it all the time. They are also expected to do the work well. When people don’t do well they get fired and don’t receive compensation. When this has happened it always makes them motivated to complete the work better next time. Sometimes, it also helps to offer their job to one of the other children. This gives one child a break and another extra money! Real life problem solving over here!! haha- Mostly it makes the child that didn’t feel like it today more ambitious- lol! Once they have their own money they give some, save some, and spend some. We go to the bank and learn how to write our own deposits and think about who could use a charitable donation. It’s kind of like potty training at first- it takes some consistency, but once the idea is established they really lean into it easily and surprise you with their capabilities.
FAMILY/FRIENDS- This month we celebrated grandparents day and we’ve been blessed with some amazing ones in our life so I wanted to shed some light on what a critical role they play. My grandparents helped a lot in my upbringing which was a good experience for me. They were very involved in the healthy ways offering support to my parents when needed and extra love and nurture to us kids. Both sets of my grandparents engaged with us, caring about our interests and sharing thiers! They expanded our bubble of life and introduced us to extra things that our parents didn’t, which I’ve come to value deeply about the beauty of the life cycle. Now, it’s sweet to watch my own children experiencing that same fruit and it’s special to have parents and grandparents who model this process for us.
FAVORITE- The most favorite thing overall from this month has been getting our new puppy! Scout Buddy O’Brien is the bees knees around here and even throughout our whole town! We take him to school everyday, to the grocery store, the post office, the bank, and of course to all the football games!! Everyone loves Scout and he seems to be soaking it in pretty nicely. He’s a great puppy. I keep telling people how much I love this breed because he’s playful when we want to play and cuddly when we want to cuddle. He’s friendly to all and he’s so smart- already fetching!!! Another good thing with golden doodle’s is they don’t shed, so he does just fine inside- major plus in mama’s book. Kody Rose has developed another new love this month, pop music! She has started appreciating some new stuff which I love! I want her to know there are great musicians across all genres and I hope she develops a keen awareness of recognizing a good tune no matter the style. Jakey has been obsessed with football and Patrick Mahomes (that’s a given.) He tosses around the football constantly and he’s been working so hard at what he loves which makes it more fun to watch. Jake is very athletic and naturally inclined at most physical activity… he plays baseball and wrestles, but it seems that football might just be his game. Finn is a stud muffin on the field too, but so far September has been more about the social scene for him. He’s mister outgoing and not afraid to share his side of the story. He comes home from school and any event we attend raving about all the socializing he did. We get an ear full from this guy- oh my goodness!
Wow – this was a long post. Thank you for reading and let me know if something struck you… I’d love to hear your feedback and continue more conversation about any of the topics discussed!