Living a life of freedom and abundance...is it possible?

A few years ago, I belonged to a weight loss group called TOPS (ever hear of it? there are chapters all over the world!) and I recall one of the members, an older lady perhaps in her 70s, share that she thought at her age, weight wouldn't be such an issue for her. In her younger years, she had tried many diets and had always figured there would be a day where she could just live her life, unconcerned about how calories would affect her and even if she still had extra weight on her, it wouldn't preoccupy her thoughts as it still did.

I have to say, I think the same thing. I'm 44 and I have always held this thought (ahem, fantasy!) that someday I could also be happy with my weight and not have to put so much effort into managing it. Of course in my fantasy, I am thin and fit, but I should hope that even if I'm not, I can grow to love my body just as it is. While still moving it and choosing healthier options to nourish it.

But right now, I'm not happy with it. See, in 2011, I started...

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What did you give yourself this year?

 

 

 

 
This week, most of us here in the group will be celebrating the holidays with our families.
 
We all know that Christmas is the season for giving and maybe by now you have all your gifts under the tree ready to give to all those you love. Or maybe you still haven’t finished your shopping...no judgement 😉
 
Either way, I’m going to guess you forgot at least one person who deserves so much love and may have been overlooked this whole year.
 
She often puts herself last because she wants to make sure everyone is taken care of and has what they need.
 
She’s likely the first one up in the morning and the last one to bed at night. When everyone else is playing, she can often be found doing laundry or dishes or tidying up.
 
Or worrying about what she’s going to make for dinner or how her husband is doing at work.
 
She works tirelessly to take care of everything and...
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Finding Balance in Motherhood

 
What exactly is balance and what does it mean for us moms? Do we still need balance if we don’t work outside the home? How do we know if we have it?
 
This is exactly what we’re digging into this week. Balance is that point where we feel content with how we are spending our time. It’s not a 50/50 division, but a sense of feeling like we’ve done our best to tend to all that we need to as a mom.
 
Finding and maintaining a balance is not about being perfect. On the contrary, when we embrace the reality that we can’t be perfect, finding the balance actually becomes much easier.
 
For me, I am more likely to notice when my life becomes unbalanced than when all is well, which is where practicing gratitude helps. It keeps me from going crazy!
When my life is unbalanced, I feel like I’m being pulled in a million different directions, like I have 50 things on my to-do list, and at the end of the day, I got nothing...
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Making Mom Friends

 
Who agrees that it’s hard to make friends as an adult? When I became a mom, I was 22. My friends were those who I went to school with and I was one of the first to get married and have kids.
 
I was an Army wife and when Jason was deployed to Bosnia, Ariella was seven months old and I packed up and moved north to live with my parents. Sure, my mom was an awesome help, but what I craved was friends who could relate to where I was as a new mom.
 
It was then that I joined the MOMS Club. For those of you who are unfamiliar with MOMS Club, it is an international organization standing for Moms Offering Moms Support.
Fortunately, there was a chapter within ten minutes from where I was living.
 
If you have a chapter near you, I highly recommend joining it. It costs to be a member, but it’s not much considering all the benefits that you can get from belonging. And as a stay-at-home-mom surviving on an army salary, it must not have cost much or else I...
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The Power of a Self-Care Plan

 
As you may know, it was about 20 years ago that I made the decision to quit my teaching job and become a stay-at-home mom. I was living down in Georgia, my husband was in the Army, and our oldest was 6 months old.
 
I remember like it was yesterday the dreaded feeling when I’d go off to work each day and leave my baby with the lady who lived next door to a friend. I was young and didn’t know anyone and not being around family, I was limited with childcare.
 
I was lucky in that the woman who watched Ariella lived across the street from my school, so I would go over at lunch and commute time from separating from her wasn’t much at all.
 
But still, it was rough for both Ariella and myself. So at the end of the school year, my husband and I decided that it would be best if I didn’t go back to the classroom the following year. Plus, he was heading overseas for a deployment and so the idea of going up north to stay with my parents...
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Taking Care of Your Finances is Taking Care of You!

 
On my list of things to do this week is to get back to budgeting.I was doing really well with it at the beginning of 2020 but then over the summer, I started slacking and at this point, it’s gone by the wayside!
 
But that doesn’t mean I can’t recommit to what I started doing months ago. Did you know that one of the ways that you show yourself love is by engaging in financial self-care?
 
What does that mean anyways? For me, knowing that I’m in control of my money, knowing what’s going in and out of our account and making sure that I am spending it wisely helps me feel less stressed.
 
I listen to Dave Ramsey podcasts (& I’ve read his books) and we’re almost through Baby Step 2. Are you familiar with DR? I know that the system works and so I must persevere and budgeting is part of the solution, that’s for sure.
 
Taking care of our finances is self-care. Aside from lowering my stress, the act of...
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Multitasking isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be

 
When it comes to multi-tasking, us moms can pretty much write the book, right?! 
 
I am a pro when it comes to doing 50 things at once. I can help my kids with their schoolwork, read a book, answer phone calls, prep tomorrow morning’s coffee, and find a band-aid out of the cabinet all while cooking Monday night dinner .
 
And I’m pretty confident that most of us moms here in this group can do the same. I used to think this was the ticket to getting so much accomplished but I realized that some things just can’t be done in this way. And shouldn't be!
 
It took a lot to convince me that doing things this way and trying to do so many things at once added a lot more stress to my life and that it just wasn’t as effective as it seemed.
 
Sure, I got stuff done, but things weren’t getting done as well as I wanted or needed them to get done. Plus I’ve read a lot of research that negates the benefits of multi-tasking.
...
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Favorite Time-Saving Hacks Revealed

 
Wouldn’t it be absolutely amazing to have 25 hours in our day? What would you do with that extra hour? Sleep? Clean your house? Play with your kids? Learn a new language? Read a book? Oh my, the possibilities are endless!
 
Only in a dream-world, right? It seems that there’s never enough hours in a day to get everything done that we want to get done.
 
Truth is, we will never find extra time in our day. It’s just how the whole world spins. 24 hours is 24 hours. There’s no time to be found anywhere.
 
But what if I tell you, you can make time?
 
Yep--you’d think I was crazy, right? But this is exactly what I’ve been doing and really, it’s what you’ve been doing too. Your whole life.
 
You decide how you want to use your time and you make it what it is. You want to sleep longer, you set your alarm later and you make time for sleep.
 
You want to mop the kitchen floor? You make time...
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Assessing and Aligning Your Priorities

 
What do you value? When I ask you this question, what I mean is what do you find important?
 
I think I can guess that most of you here reading this post would say hands down, your family, am I right?
 
As moms, we hold our family near and dear to our hearts and want to do anything and everything we can to keep them intact and growing strong.
 
But what else? Your marriage? Your faith? Education? Health? Your appearance?
 
No matter what you deem as important, why is it that we end up spending much of our time doing things that don’t align with these things?
 
We know in our hearts what is important to us yet we struggle to pull ourselves away from Facebook or Netflix, running ragged around the town doing errands, attending events that we’d rather not, or spending hours working on a project that we volunteered for but is taking way longer than we anticipated.
 
These are not only time-suckers but also joy-suckers as they leave us...
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How to Overcome Mom-Brain When You're Pulled in Different Directions

 
8:11 am Kid 1: Hey mom, do you know where my sneakers are?
 
8:12 Kid 2: Mom, my laptop is about to die, can you get me the cord?
 
8:12 Kid 1: The dog pooped in the hallway again mom.
 
8:13 Kid 3: Ew, mom, I accidentally stepped in the dog poop!
 
8:14 Mmmmmoooommmm, my laptop just died. I need your help.
 
8:15 Kid 3 is spotted walking through the living room, not-so-mysterious tracks behind him.
 
8:15 Phone ringing...Hey hon, would you mind reviewing that report I emailed you last night? I need it by 8:30!
 
8:16 Kid 1: Look, mom, I found my sneakers but they got wet in the rain last night
 
8:16 The tears start flowing.
 
True Story. And unfortunately, this is not a rare event because some variation of the above happens more than I’d like to admit.
 
I am a cryer, let’s just get that out on the table. I’ve cried my fair share of tears over the year and really, sometimes it feels good to release the...
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