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5 Tips for Chasing Your DreamFeatured

Do you know what I’ve been waiting for?

The official launch of lulalucy.com! I’ve been a writer for many years and my journey started in Ohio writing for our local newspaper. You see I was part of a community of freelance writers and literally wrote for free for a few years. What I have truly loved is that writing from the heart has always been my main focus. The rest of the opportunities have come full circle because of it. I look back to the early years and realize that I have been blessed in so many ways. It started as a community project and I ended up landing a writing gig with my own column.

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This week in Ask Lucy the question comes from Lori.

“I am a mother of two kids and work full-time. I’m also a wife, a friend and I am constantly doing stuff. I would love to start getting fit, but I do a lot of self-sabotaging. I’m tired of making excuses. I lack motivation and often wonder what I would look like if I had the body that I used to have before my beautiful children. I want to keep the spice alive as a wife, but am not sure where to go from here. My husband says that he loved me then and still loves me now. If I could start some kind of routine and diet I know that would boost my self-esteem. What can I do to get on the right track this time?”

First of all let me start by saying thank you for reaching out to me. It takes a lot of courage to bring up wanting to get fit and explaining what you have gone through. Your situation is so relatable to many.

I know it is tough when you work a full-time job plus have a family to take care of. Luckily our children are older and very independent. Don’t let that fool you though because you will always be needed. That’s not a bad thing either, I welcome it.

Start by making a list of the reasons why you want to get fit. What do you hope to gain from it? I’m not talking about pounds either. Think about the reasons why fitness would be good for you.

What would happen if you were to shed the weight and tone up?

I have found that your fitness journey is what you make of it. You can join any program, try any diet, watch a ton of videos on fitness, but in the end it is up to you.

You will always get advice on what to do and what not to do. If you work out diligently three times a week and then continue to eat the way that you’re used to guess what happens? You don’t see the results that you are looking for.

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Finish Your Own Race

There is so much advice on the ways that will help you accomplish your goals. You can google information at a click of a button. It is always at your disposal.

I have read some great articles on honing your craft in writing, blogging, marketing, fitness, business and archery too. Who doesn’t want to improve and become their best?

Reading these type of articles or posts is a learning experience. I have learned that my dreams and goals are unique to me. Do I yearn for getting to “peach gang” status with my glutes someday or becoming a New York Times best-selling author?

I would love that, but in the meantime I am accountable for myself and in the way that I get there. Although it is easy to enter the comparison game it doesn’t have to be a competition.

Imagine a marathon runner. Who are they running for? Many times it is for a special event, but deep down they are running for themselves. To get to the end of the road on their own.

Marathon runners put in the work, the sweat and the time. They prep in advance by dedicating all that it takes. To ensure that they will be their absolute best on the day of their marathon.

Does everyone finish first?

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This week in Ask Lucy the question comes from Andrea.

“How do you break bad news to a good friend? It’s a friend that I’ve known for a long time. I’m unsure of whether I should be the one to do it or if I should turn the other cheek.”

Giving bad news to anyone is never easy. Especially to a good friend. I guess it would depend on the kind of bad news that you have to deliver. There are a few things that you have to consider.

Will giving the bad news hurt your relationship?

Is there a chance that your friend will blame you or get upset with you? Sometimes it is easier for another person to give the bad news. How will your friend benefit from being informed?

Depending on the nature of the bad news how do you think you will feel afterwards? If you will feel relieved and think that your friend will appreciate knowing sharing the news might be best.

Be strategic in your delivery. Depending on what kind of friend that you have will determine how you will deliver the news. There are some friends that might be able to handle bad news more easily than others.

Think about the types of friends that you have. You have those that are tough and can take it. There are those too that might feel shattered and lost once you tell them.

How would you handle bad news?

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Slowing Down Enough To Be Grateful

Ever wake up to a new day in a frenzy?

You immediately think of every task that you need to accomplish. I can promise you that there will always be laundry to do, dishes to wash or errands to run.

How do you find time to be grateful for the small things though?

You have to remember to be present in the moment. Ever have a conversation with someone and not remember anything that they said? Or picture that reversed.

When has that happened to you?

We live in a world where we are constantly in a hurry. To get to the next thing on our lists of things that should get done. When we live in this state of mind that is when we miss out on the small things.

The small things really aren’t all that little if you think about it. They are usually the moments that we encounter with those that we love. They are opportunities of happy living that can either fall in our lap or fall out of our grasp if we aren’t paying attention.

Chances where we can create meaningful memories. Think of your life as a scrapbook. Each space on the page can represent a special moment.

What do your pages look like?

Remember that your pages will include times that might not make you feel grateful. How do you put yourself in a place where you can express gratitude?

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This week in Ask Lucy the question comes from Sonia.

“Growing up it was easier to make friends easily wherever that you went. As a grown up this has been a challenging thing for me. How do you make friends as a grown up?”

I love this question Sonia because I am all about making new friends. It was so much easier as a little kid to make friends. You see when you are a kid anything goes.

Go to any public park and watch kids from all walks of life play with each other. No judgements are being made most of the time. They interact with each other for the same reasons. To play with each other and have a good time while doing it.

Don’t you wish that were still the case as an adult?

As a grown up you have become seasoned to the world. You are more aware of what you do and don’t like in people. As adults you tend to be a bit more selective and cautious with people in general.

Are you a shy person or do you like to mingle and get to know people?

From your question, I’m going to guess that maybe you can be a little shy. There is nothing wrong with being shy. What are your interests as an adult? Do you have any children?

Think of the things that you like to do. What are your hobbies and interests outside of work or the home?

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Getting Out of Your Own Way

Ever find a roadblock on the road?

Usually there will be a detour that isn’t the most convenient, but you take it nonetheless. Roadblocks come up in your journey too. That dream or goal of yours doesn’t go away because of a little roadblock.

How do you identify the roadblocks within your dream?

The biggest one that you will have is yourself. How is that even possible right? If you avoid the things that you are afraid of doing then you end up quitting. That right there is what should scare you the most.

Can you imagine not following your passion because you were too afraid to?

Not me, not even for a minute. Over the years I have been quite the procrastinator. I used to be the one that only wrote when I felt like it. I’d wait around for my muse the same way one waits to see the next rainbow.

Over the past year I have learned that my biggest roadblock has been me. Hard to admit that in public, but this is a place where I have to be honest. Fear of the unknown is a powerful thing.

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In this weeks Ask Lucy segment the question comes from Melissa.

“I have gone through some very hard times in my life recently. Things that made me feel like it was the end of the world. How do you get your old self back?  You know the person that you used to be before things got ugly? I want so badly to put my hurt in the past.”

Life can get uncomfortable sometimes. There are times that it will take you for a spin and always when you aren’t ready for it. If you allow it to then it will take you to a very sad place.

Hard times are inevitable and unfortunately happen to everyone at some point in their life. There isn’t a cure-all remedy either. Depending on your situation will determine your course of action.Think about what started that awful moment or chain of events that gave you the painful time.

Wouldn’t it be nice to rewind time and have a do over?

It would be great to have an opportunity to erase that pain and exchange it for a moment that brought you happiness instead. Here is the thing about hurt you don’t have to hurt forever.

That is the good news. Being human you are expected to go through your emotions. Perhaps it made you angry, sad or brought you to tears. At the time I am sure it did not feel good, but you don’t have to live with it daily.

It is good to confide in a good friend or family member to get someone elses perspective. Maybe you are solely looking for someone to listen to you without judging. If that doesn’t help you consider going to your church or finding a therapist that can help you dig deeper.

Painful moments in life require a lot of tender loving care. Some moments are more painful than others.

Are you feeling guilty about this?

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Ways To Provide Summer Learning Fun

Pretty soon the kids will be out for summer fun. Are you ready to have them continue learning throughout their time off? It is a great time to keep them engaged in learning if you prep ahead of time.

The local library was always a great way for my kids to read over the summer. They had the chance to participate in a summer contest and earn a trophy. If you were a kid and you wanted to win that trophy you ended up reading and fulfilling the required time that it took.

You see summer has its perks. There are plenty of learning opportunities if you find out what is available. Ask other moms to see where they have gone or plan on going to. If you live in an area close to museums look into that also.

Our hometown in Ohio happened to include the home of President Rutherford B. Hayes. It was great to be able to walk on the property and visit the museum there. A part of history that we were fortunate enough to learn about. Spiegel Grove as it is known will always hold some fond memories.

http://www.rbhayes.org/

We live in an age of high technology. Technology is great, but disconnecting for a little bit is good too. Revert to the ways in how things used to be. Let your kids get outdoors and get dirty. Know the best times to include technology.

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Remembering Mom on Mother’s Day

Ever feel like you were the luckiest to have your mom as your best friend?

I read about this topic all of the time. Most of the time it has to do with younger kids and that a mom shouldn’t be your best friend. However, when you’re an adult as I am, then I cherish that additional title for my mom. She truly is my biggest fan.

You see without her where would I truly be today. In this very moment. Would I have the desire to pursue my dreams in the way that I have? To marry when I did and start a family too? I don’t think so.

My mom has been so influential and supportive all of my life. That is why I truly feel lucky. To have a relationship of such understanding and meaning with her.

Mothers have the pleasure of raising their children and guiding them each step of the way. It’s part of their role in helping us find our way. I’m forever grateful to her for that.

I hold many memories of my mom. She has this incredible sense of humor and she makes small talk wherever she goes. The gift of gab is her specialty and any stranger that she talks with will feel they have known her for a long time.

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Stages of Motherhood Are Bittersweet

Becoming a mother comes with so many different stages. For nine long months you are responsible for carrying a new life inside of you. That is definitely a big deal.

When your child enters the world for the first time it is a bittersweet moment. With both of our boys I remember feeling like that. I was excited during each pregnancy and then it was time for our kids to enter our world.

In the beginning it was such a mystery on how to care for each of our boys. They are six years apart so each birth came with some new experiences. Ever hear of “mom brain?”

That’s when you forget everything including how you took care of your first child. No, not really, but it certainly feels that way. Eventually instinct kicks in and you remember how to do it all.

It is easy for me to reminisce about my mom moments because honestly I’ve had many. I remember the first day of kindergarten for our oldest as I do the youngest. They were both so little.

Watching our oldest ride the school bus for the first time is hard to describe. Part of me wanted to go back and get him and take him to school myself. The school was well within a short drive away, but nevertheless that was me trying to hold on still.

Photo by Pixabay

I have many friends that still have babies, toddlers and elementary school aged children. As a mother of older kids I wanted to share my experiences as a mom. Hopefully, it will help those that haven’t gone through these stages yet.

I remember being pregnant with our second son and wondering if his older brother would feel neglected. As a mom you go into protection mode. You want the absolute best for your children.

Think you won’t have enough love for more than one child?

You always have enough love for each child. You all learn to adapt to a bigger family. It brings along so many good times as a family.

Being a mother or a father means so many things. You are the one that they go to when they are hurting or when they simply need you. You are who they always ask when they want to know something that they don’t understand.

It’s like you are that reference book that you find on a bookshelf. It’s always at your disposal. You keep your answers ready to go in your mental compartments.

Those compartments are where you store vital information. It’s like that important note that you put in your back pocket. If you don’t know then you find the answer the best way that you know how.

When my kids entered elementary school it was a time to help them with homework, projects and going on the occasional field trip. There were the times to plan for an upcoming birthday. Making sure that you sent them to school with lunch money.

Doing last-minute holiday shopping for that gift that was hard to find because we didn’t get it in advance. Why did it always have to be the most wanted gift of the season?

Have you ever been on a quest looking for that popular gift?

I’ve been there and done that. Would I do it all over again? Of course I would because it meant something. It wasn’t about spoiling our children either, but being happy in that moment together. Seeing the joy that it brought to their face.

There were the times of watching our boys participate in different sports too. I learned about them as they played them. It was a learning curve for me because I didn’t always know all the rules.

There are so many memorable times for me and our kids that I couldn’t be happier. You see as parents you are always trying to figure out what works. Some ways work better than others, but you always do what is right for all of you. At least to the best of your ability.

On top of that try having a full-time job and being a parent. It is a lot of work, but not impossible though. I can say that my house was lived in. A lot of times it wasn’t the prettiest. Guess what there is plenty of mom shame there.

Did that make me a bad mother though?

Of course not. Would I have liked to have had an immaculate house? Yes, absolutely, but I was also realistic.

Many times so many of us as mothers are put through mom shame if we don’t have everything in order or a nice hot meal on the table. The house is a place where all can pitch in. It all starts with the decision you make when you decide for them to learn that.

What did I learn?

I learned that I should have delegated more when I was a younger mother. With my whole family. That it is not all up to me. I’m starting to do that more now.

Guess what?

There is no mom shame about that either. For so many years I’ve tried to do it all. I never did reach that level of perfect either. In fact I wasn’t even close. However, now as an older, but wiser mother I’ve learned about having more balance. That it is okay to hire a cleaning lady every once in a while and that I’m still considered an awesome mom.

Want to know what I gained from that?

I gained mom moments that I will forever treasure in my heart. They left an imprint on my soul. Those moments of joy that you wouldn’t trade for all of the money in the world.

There were family trips that were taken to different places and to familiar places throughout the years. Easter egg hunts, miniature golf, amusement parks and the traditional trip to the local park. Catching fireflies at our country home in Ohio on beautiful summer nights.

I went through different seasons of trying to protect our kids from falling and getting hurt. Then came the time when our oldest son graduated from high school and enrolled in college. Now our youngest son received his driver’s license.

Those fears, those insecurities all coming up to the surface once again. One part of you is so happy that they succeeded getting their license and the other part of you is sad that they won’t need you as much.

Photo by Pixabay

Did I mention it’s hard being a mom?

It is, but it is also trusting that everything will work out the way that it is supposed to. That you can’t protect your kids from every single thing and some things they will have to learn on their own. Part of you goes through the motions of having to let go of that apron string. Little by little and over time.

Welcome to parenthood. I don’t know what it feels like to be an empty nester. At least not yet. If I could slow down time I would do it in a heartbeat.

That is the selfish me talking though. Deep down I know that our kids have to learn about life lessons on their own. That we are here as parents to guide them. Our children have the responsibility of navigating their path based on what we have taught them.

It’s okay to let go of those apron strings. Each stage of their life has been monumental. No matter what ages our children are at we will still be here for them. As we always have been. I have comfort knowing that.

There are so many more mom moments ahead of me. They started the first time that I looked into our kids eyes when they were born. Those same eyes have grown with the years. Each of our boys reaching their very own milestones with the passing years.

So many things await them. Some we can guide and control and other things we will not. We will pass the torch onto them when they begin their own families. The same way that ours did for us as new parents.

Remember to be in the moment this Mothers Day if you are given the chance. Dishes may have to wait or that long list of chores too. Regardless, let go of any mom shame and go enjoy this lovely thing we call parenthood. Live guilt free if even for a moment.

Feel free to share this with a friend if it inspired you and as always thank you.

Have you been pondering over a question that you aren’t sure about? Need advice on it? Submissions may be edited for clarity and your first name will be used unless you specify otherwise. If you would like to have your question featured on an upcoming “Ask Lucy” segment please email me at: hello@lulalucy.com

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