Posts tagged mom

Conferences Propel You Forward

Judy Goss and Kristin West
Judy Goss and Kristin West doing what they do best.

Conferences Propel You Forward

Ever get back from a conference fired up to apply everything that you learned? If you haven’t then I highly recommend that you consider the What Women Want National Conference in 2019. I came back from this conference so excited to move forward with my dreams and goals.

The theme this year was to Go Big.  Judy Goss put together a conference that had something for everyone. There were a variety of speakers and breakout sessions to choose from.

When you consider attending a conference do your research and be open-minded to what is being taught. There is always something valuable that you can take away from it.

Remember that not every single part of a conference may be a fit for you. This usually depends on the topic and who it is geared towards. Examine the parts that you think might be for you. How can you apply them to what you are doing now?

Fitness and Inspiration

Cathryn Marshall of Simple Fat Burn was a great speaker talking about diet, nutrition and fitness. All things that I am familiar with. I was reminded that I needed to up my water intake. She talked about sugar being in a lot of foods including some fruits and vegetables.

Even 10 minutes of exercise at home is beneficial. It is easy to make things more complicated than what they must be. She reminded us about getting our daily dose of greens too.

Nikki Walter was there with her daughter Addie to talk about their journey. There were some heartfelt moments throughout her story. It’s easy to be inspired by such a beautiful woman that is a hard worker and still finds a way to balance it all.

She was the perfect example of someone holding down a full-time job, a fitness powerhouse and a wonderful mom. The kind of woman that gives other women hope that they can do it too.

Lesley Jane Seymour was a great speaker as well. I connected with her talk. She is all about reinvention in middle age through her platform called Covey Club. I enjoyed her strength and examples of being resilient through some hard times.

Amy Newmark publisher of Chicken Soup for the Soul shared inspiration from some of her books. I have been a huge fan for many years. I couldn’t leave without asking her for a tip on writing for her someday.

The good news is that her tip resonated with me especially on my flight home.  I was reading one of the stories when there was a light bulb moment for me. That is what many people can take away from attending a conference. That golden nugget that will be the game changer.

We all have those epiphanies when we are strongly engaged to a speaker. It is about being a listener first, asking questions and then applying those principles. Without the application you stay in the same place.

Put in the Work

Anyone can attend a conference, but not everyone will do the work afterwards. I know that I wasn’t going to be that person that didn’t. Have you ever attended a conference that made you want to do more? Aside from learning things you get the opportunity to network.

You get the chance to establish new friendships. The in between moments when you can talk with each other are the best. People tell you their story and their plans.

What I loved about this conference is that it made you want to go after your goals. This time it made me feel more determined more than ever. Let’s face it when you hit midlife you start realizing that you don’t have all the time in the world.

So, to all the younger people out there go for it! For all my midlife people keep going and don’t stop. You will reap the rewards before you know it.

Forget Excuses

If you are looking to change your current situation find a conference near you. Buddy up with a friend. Start local then eventually travel to one that is 6 hours or less from you.

Don’t make up all the excuses of why you can’t. I almost wasn’t going to be at this conference this year. However, I made the decision to do whatever it took to be there.

Your Time Is Now

Judy Goss is someone that I admire and respect so much that I knew I had to be there. I am so grateful to her for what she has created and this community of women helps us empower each other. Attending a conference like this makes us see the bigger picture.

Yes, your time is now because we all get the same number of hours in a day. I left this conference feeling so pumped up to Go Big. I can tell you that a year went by fast since I attended last year’s conference. It may be Fall of 2018, but so much can be accomplished before the end of this year.

Will you be willing to do what it takes too?

College Send-Off Bittersweet

College Send-Off Bittersweet

The time is upon us to drop our kids off at college. A time where students step into the next chapter of their life. Yet, they are not the only ones making their way towards unknown territory. The same holds true for the parents that must learn to live without them.

The following is a letter to my son upon his leaving home and going towards his calling in life.  It is such a bittersweet time.

The Little Things

I’m like any other mother out there holding on to what once was and trying to let you go. I know it’s important to you to get your feet wet in that next big thing in life. You are venturing towards a fresh independence of becoming who you are meant to be.

That doesn’t change the fact that of course I’ll miss the little things. For you see the little things started so many years ago. It started the very day that you were born.

When I met you for the first time and held your tiny hand in mine. What about the time that you finally learned how to walk or ride a bike with your Dads help? Throwing you fun birthday parties just because it made you happy.

As your parents we got blessed with eighteen full years of having you home. People told us that one day you would have to leave. The day that your life would begin in college.

That was so many years ago. I thought I had more time with you. To do all that I used to do.
For you see not only are you beginning something great, but I am letting go of one of my biggest achievements in life: You. There really isn’t any manual that tells me how to go on without you.

Time to Let Go

Only the wisdom that comes with time that it will all be alright. I’ll still worry across the miles because that is what a mother does. Yet, I’ll be your biggest cheerleader through your college years.

The same way that I was when you were in sports growing up. Going to as many games or matches as possible. Being there for you meant everything. To see your smile when I was there made it worth it.

That brings me to the present moment. The finality of having to release you into this crazy world of ours. In the hopes that you will continue to make good choices.

To be honest it’s more of no longer being able to protect you from it all. No more being a helicopter mom of sorts. There aren’t words to describe the way that I will feel once you are gone. The days when I’ll walk past an empty bedroom.

Who ever said parenting was a piece of cake? Nobody did I’m sure. So, yes, I may be a little mushy with this letter, but let’s get to the next part.

Things I Want for You

I want you to do your best in college. Get in there and see who you are. Enjoy the path of self-discovery. Don’t let fear dictate who you are meant to become. If someone thinks that you can’t it is your job to prove them wrong.

Dream big and don’t ever let anyone make you think small. Be a giver and do it without asking for anything in return. When you are chasing your dream it’s important to lead others to do the same.

Hang in There

There will be times when your self-doubt will test you. It’ll make you think that you aren’t worthy, ignore it. You are way bigger than that.

When things get rough you can vent for a bit and then move on. You are only human. Look at upcoming obstacles as a challenge. I wish that I could tell you that you won’t get any, but you will.

It’s part of your journey. Something that is bound to happen. Don’t worry because it will soon pass as soon as it arrives.

Determination Goes a Long Way

Be determined about what it is that you are seeking in life. The most successful people walk through fear because their commitment pushes them past it. Be that person.

Through it all you will shed layers of doubt and you will gain layers of maturity. If there is one thing that your independence will teach you is perseverance and true grit.

Three things that you should always keep in your pocket are: your integrity, your morals and your faith. This is a time that you will see what you are made of. It’s a big test to see if you will either give up or keep going.

The good news is that you are not alone. You can always lean on me no matter where you are. When in doubt all that you must do is look up.

Believe in yourself the way that I believe in you. I know that you will still carry a bit of me with you. You’ll remember our talks and I hope that will move you forward.

New Beginnings

Although this may seem like the end of what we have always known it’s only the beginning. This is the part where it gets even better yet again. The part where you get to be the director of your own story.

As you embark on your next chapter be ready to create your own opportunities. Don’t wait around for them to arrive. Do the work and the rest will soon follow.

You are well on your way to greatness. This is the moment where you embrace how lucky you are. It is where you get to pursue everything that you have ever wanted. A dream in the making is waiting for you.

Although it feels bittersweet know that I am happy for you. For you are chasing your dream like I knew that you would.

In my mind you’ll always be my baby, but for now I must let you take the lead. I’ll be watching on the sidelines rooting for you every step of the way.

You have us, your family giving you high fives. Be ready because you have what it takes and then some. It’s time to discover the part of you that has been waiting for this moment.

Now’s your time to gather all your hopes and wishes. Put them before you to allow yourself to dream big.

Why stop there though? I say dream as big as you are willing to go. Even if it seems impossible. For when you do great things are sure to happen.

 

High School Graduation Means Letting Go

High School Graduation Means Letting Go

The minute your child enters kindergarten you are already prepping for milestones. Yet, when it is time for their senior year that is when reality sets in. High School graduation means letting go.

This is where I was most recently with our youngest and several years ago with our oldest. All sorts of emotions start to come about. Often, I think I’d like to revert back to accidentally stepping on Legos. This would allow me the opportunity of reliving their childhood once again.

Sounds extreme doesn’t it? I mean who would want to step on tiny hard plastic pieces? Or maybe I’d like to push my kids on a swing again at the park.

Reminiscing Good for Your Soul

I remember when our kids were little I thought that graduation seemed so far away. I don’t think that I took my time for granted, but the progression of time speeding by seemed unlikely.

Back then being part of their moments with growing up felt like time was standing still. As if I was in a time-lapse photography session with each milestone that was reached. Teaching our kids how to walk or my husband teaching them something that I didn’t know how to do.

It was all part of the process as a family. Being connected on a level so deep that the thought of them growing up seemed so far away.

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Shopping Local with Swagger Boutique

Shopping Local with Swagger Boutique

There is something about supporting a local business that warms my heart. For me it meant shopping local with Swagger Boutique in Raleigh, NC. When I find out that a business is owned by a woman that makes it just as wonderful. To me that means it is a woman with a dream like myself.

I like the idea of being your own boss and always striving to do more with your dream. Mandy Krettus Becker is doing that very thing with her awesome boutique called Swagger. This is her second location with the first one located in Cary, NC.

Social media allows you to connect with some amazing people. It was through that platform that I found out about her MoMosa event recently. It was right before Mother’s Day and Skin Raleigh was there to give away a Cellfina treatment to one lucky winner.

Skin Raleigh
Skin Raleigh

Getting Pampered

Lauren Raines of Salon Blu at Falls Village was braiding hair for any customer that wanted a great summer look. Victoria Renfroe was glamming it up by giving women an eye makeover. She also included lashes to complete the look.

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Keeping Up With Fitness Goals

Keeping Up with Fitness Goals

Here we are in the middle of January 2018. Many of you have started your resolutions and are feeling the pressure of staying on the course. Keeping up with your fitness goals is necessary.

Once you enter the third week of January this is when the questioning begins. If you are on a fitness and diet path you are feeling it. What do you do now?

How do you find ways to stay motivated?

Here is what happens when you begin anything new. You feel motivated and excited to get back on track.

Find support through a friend. This way you are keeping each other accountable. Your primary motivation should be you though. You are the one that will decide if the journey is worth it.

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Creating Beautiful Wreaths at Boyce Farms

Creating Beautiful Wreaths at Boyce Farms

boyce farms
Wreath assembly

Boyce Farms has been known for their gorgeous Christmas trees and their excellent customer service. It is a place where you feel right at home and you end up coming back year after year. Creating beautiful wreaths this season was a wonderful experience.

It is my pleasure to highlight them because they have been my go to place for our Christmas tree every year. Last year I missed it because I waited too long, but rest assured we will be getting another one soon.

This year marked their first ever “Wine, Wreaths & Christmas Trees” event. I signed up when there were a couple of available spots. A last-minute decision turned out to be a great way to spend my evening with great company.

Jennifer Lavrack was a great hostess for the evening along with the other amazing team of people. It was a nice way to unwind after a long day. I am sure the other women that attended were happy to get together with their friends too.

Even if you did not go with a friend you had a chance to meet new people. I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and go alone if you don’t have a friend to go with. Everyone will make you feel welcome.

Boyce Farms
Wreath making

These were some of the tools that were used to construct our freshly made wreaths. I loved being able to cut my pieces with the hope that it would come out pretty. The tutorial was easy to understand. It was a matter of finding the right pieces and in the end, we all had our own unique wreath.

fire pit
Fire pit warmth

This fire pit created a warm ambiance as we made our wreaths. Plus, you had a great view of all their Christmas trees.

Boyce Farms
Centerpiece and Wreaths

These centerpieces made me want to cuddle up back at home in front of our fireplace. A variety of wreaths were available also.

At the end of the night we had a new wine glass to take back home as a souvenir. Making a wreath was so relaxing and it added to my favorite time of the year.

I love my wreath and will also be adding some additional Christmas decorations to it. As of now it is already on display on our door.

If you are looking for a fun night out stop by and get a taste of tradition, kindness and all the goodness that comes out of your visit to Boyce Farms. You will leave there with a little more holiday spirit in your heart.

That you can count on.

 

http://www.boycefarms.com/

 

Reinventing Yourself Through Your Dream

 

Ask Lucy: Finding Balance in the Chaos

This weeks question comes from Natalie.

“I live a very busy life. I work full-time, have a family and feel as though I’m pulled in so many directions. How do I take the chaos out of my day-to-day and still stop to smell the roses?”

Being a busy mother with a full schedule can feel overwhelming at times. I can relate, but am blessed that our children our older and independent. However, as a mom you will always be needed. Not only as a mother, but also as a wife and friend.

Is it possible to find a healthy balance?

The answer is yes. Find out what is making you feel as if you can’t do it all. Identify the things that are causing you stress. I have found that it helps to delegate some duties to other members of my family. Whether it is my spouse or our children.

Find out what works best for you and your family. If you had the opportunity to stop and smell the roses what would you do?

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Reinventing Yourself Through Your Dream

Reinventing Yourself Through Your Dream

Pursuing your dream is a process. It has the tendency to test your limits. Reinventing yourself through your dream is the beginning of a journey.

From the get go you find out a lot about yourself and what you are capable of. You end up discovering the person that you are about to become.

Going after your gifts will require to think out of the box. That is the part that will stretch you. You may even think you might not want to do it.

Often it is easier to stay confined to your safety net. It’s the space that is comfortable. The area that you can count on. Most of the time there aren’t any opportunities to fail there.

Do you tend to stay in the comfort zone or step out of it?

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Ask Lucy: How Do I Get Him To Notice Me Again?

This week in Ask Lucy the question comes from Alexis.

“I have been married to my husband for many years and we have two teen children. We both work and find it difficult to make time as a couple. Actually I suggest going out, but all I get in return are excuses that he is too busy with work. I’m not trying to be shallow, but I also stay fit with exercise to continue being attractive for him. How do I get him to notice me again and have him look at me the way that he did when he fell in love with me? I’m grateful for our marriage, but not feeling that he realizes I’m still sexy and need that time alone with him outside of our house.”

Ah! This is a good question! Being together in a marriage for so many years takes a lot of work. I know from my own experience. As couples we tend to get busier as our children get older.

Having a family to take care of and working full-time can seem overwhelming. It doesn’t mean that you both don’t still have the wow factor though. I bet he notices you more than you think. Marriage comes with its trials and tribulations.

Some men are awesome about letting their wife know how beautiful that she still is. Yet, there are others that don’t do that, but that doesn’t mean that they are bad people. These type of men have a different way of expressing how they feel.

Stop and think of all of the wonderful qualities that your husband possesses. What made you fall in love with him? Think back to the day that you felt those butterflies in your stomach.

Do you remember how that made you feel?

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Ask Lucy

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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