Everyone Has a “Thing”

If the title of this blog post didn’t get your attention, then, I don’t know what’s wrong with you, haha! (Life with boys will make you laugh at things like this!)

But, in all seriousness, I wanted to write a post on the idea that I know it’s easy sometimes to think that there are all these ‘normal’ people walking around out there, and these people have no issues just because they don’t have the issue that you have.

Sometimes anxiety can make you feel so isolated, and it’s easy for your brain to make you feel like you are all alone and that you are the only one experiencing what you are experiencing.  We all think these thoughts from time to time, and trust me, it’s an easy rabbit hole to go down. I personally feel like there’s a lot of ‘what if’s’. For example, ‘what if my friends don’t understand my anxiety, or worse, what if I lose my friends?’

Here’s the hand-to-the-Bible-honest-truth:  EVERYONE HAS SOMETHING that they feel they are single-handedly figuring out or working through on their own.  Everyone.  Please, please believe this!  I’m not saying everyone has anxiety. I’m just saying that EVERY SINGLE PERSON walking this green Earth has something they are dealing with.

I feel like a majority of this whole ‘everyone else is perfect but me’ thought process comes mainly from social media.  We all get on social media of some type, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter….and see these beautiful feeds, and beautiful websites and success stories.  What we don’t stop to think about is what’s going on behind the beautiful red velvet curtain, that is, social media.  For example, one of the bloggers I follow looks like she has the most beautiful perfect life, the most perfectly dressed kids, the most perfectly decorated house, always sitting right up front at concerts (hello $$$), has really really nice cars etc.  But you know what?  Her husband is overseas, in the military.  He’s never home.  She has to do everything herself.  He was in Afghanistan 8 years ago fighting for our country with no guarantee of coming home.  Can you imagine?

Another blogger/influencer I follow has tried for 8 years to have a baby, and had 3 miscarriages and multiple failed IVF attempts. Can you imagine how many times she probably felt alone and like she was the only one dealing with that situation? PS, she has since had a baby, but it has been an extremely traumatic road to get to where they are now.

There are people in my personal life that I’m around all the time that are dealing with an incurable illness or horrific family issues or have immediate family members going through a stage of life that’s extremely difficult. On the outside, you would never know. If you walked by them in Target you would think their lives seemed perfect.

When we have an issue, however small or big it may be, we have this tendency to feel like we are the only ones dealing with the issue. I don’t like to think of it as being self centered, rather, I think it’s just human nature to have some ‘not so optimistic’ days. If we could only walk in others’ shoes, right?

What I think is important is that we open our minds and consider the thoughts of our neighbors, family members, friends, co-workers and even the stranger standing next to you in the Starbucks line. Be kind. Be forgiving. We are all human and not meant to be perfect. We are flawed and need to realize our actual real life isn’t something we should compare to someone else’s highlight reel.

That’s all it is friends, a highlight reel. Makeup, good lighting, the right photo op, professional photography, a really beautiful house (let’s be honest, it’s only clean for photos and all the clutter is stashed in another room) or a career that seems fun. Also these people have full time assistants, house cleaners and nannies most of the time to run their business online so that you continue to see the pretty highlight reel.

Think about this? What if a stranger stumbled upon your social media and looked at the last 10 photos and posts? What if the same barista at your local coffee shop saw you come in day after day and thought they had you pegged? What would that look like? I can almost say with certainty that there are people out there that would think YOU had the most perfect life, and watched YOUR highlight reel.

I was tired of the comparison game, personally. We live it enough in real life that the last thing I wanted to do was live it on social media too. So, I did a social media ‘dump’. I went through Instagram and looked at each and every person I followed and if they made me feel like I could never compare or if I felt if we met in real life, we would never have anything in common (or if their faces were full of filler and they used a filter all the time), peace out ✌🏻!

It honestly felt so good to get rid of almost 100 people that didn’t contribute to my life in a positive way. I challenge you to do the same!

I’m going to wrap this up by giving you a few things to think about this week, especially since we’re so close to Christmas; places can be more overwhelming and people can be more emotional than usual.

**I CHOOSE to speak out about my struggles with anxiety (panic disorder and OCD) because I know, for me, being open and talking about it helps! I also love that my voice is helping others!!! However, keep in mind that not everyone is like me, and there are a lot more people out there going through something that don’t want to talk about it.

SO

**Be empathic

**Be sincere

**Be understanding

**Be an ear for someone

**Be a support for someone

**Reach out to friends and family that may need a support system

**Keep your patience

**Be aware of what your surroundings entail. Maybe there’s someone out there that may need a helping hand more than you realize.

**Be thankful. A thankful heart can never be anxious.

Xoxoxo (& Merry Christmas, friends!!!)

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My Christmas wish to you…

My Christmas wish to you is simple. Love Jesus, Love family, Love yourself and love to love.

Christmas was hands down my most favorite holiday growing up. Gifts played a part in that of course, but I really, honestly, believed in the magic of the season. My brother and I would put up lights around our bedroom ceilings and windows, we would decorate trees for our rooms, we would sing Christmas songs together, go to Church programs, help my mom bake her famous sugar cookies and sit and listen for reindeer hooves on the roof on Christmas Eve. We were in the moment and loving every second of the season.

When Brayden came along, I tried my hardest to make sure he had some Christmas tradition in his life and I worked so hard to make Christmas the most wonderful time of the year for him. I wanted him to feel how my brother and I felt every Christmas.  

Somewhere a long the way it got really hard to even accomplish the basics.

The other night I was having (dramatic girl voice) “the worst day ever”. I cried and it’s like a faucet turned on and I couldn’t stop crying. I was to the point of never using Instagram again. I couldn’t handle seeing ONE MORE PICTURE of families at Yuletide, Christmas at the Zoo, downtown, baking together or basically any Christmas related task. I was so stressed about getting wrapping done, all my shopping done, getting the playroom cleaned up and ready for the next round of toys to come home from Christmas gatherings and only a billion other things. This was after working about 45 hours last week and a few nights getting home when Mason was already asleep, which basically rips my heart into pieces and feels like the pieces are being stomped on.  

I don’t have time to bake or have Christmas craft time with my kids; I barely see them during the week! And scratch any type of baking in general because I haven’t had a few extra hours to do it—even on the weekends. I will say that the intention was there though, which is why I have 4 bags of mini chocolate chips in my baking cabinet and 2 bags of coconut and about 5 different types of flour. I tried to have a family night one night a couple weekends ago and drive downtown to see the circle and tree, and Brayden complained after about 10 minutes because all he wanted to do was get to Target to get a toy. We did get to make a very quick trip to see Santa last Friday though, we saw Santa, grabbed take out and headed home since the boys were both hungry. Brayden didn’t want to watch a Christmas movie, so Brock and I sucked it up and bought Minions for him. I feel like a terrible parent this time of year because on a normal day, I’m basically just trying to keep my head above water. Throw in the fun activities and tasks that Christmas brings and I’m spent.  

When did this happen? When did normal every day things come between the joy I used to always feel at Christmas? The even bigger question is….what do you do to fix it? I have to have a job, our kids have to go to school, homework doesn’t stop, evenings don’t get longer, houses don’t clean themselves….

I mean, there are some really crappy things happening around the world right now. I think a lot of people wonder if it will ever get better or become a kinder place to live. It makes me very thankful for what God has given to us.  

Here’s what I do know, even with all the crazy I listed above, as with anything in life, it just takes one person to take the lead. Start leading by example, start making kindness contagious. Good ol fashioned pure kindness and genuine love. One by one, and after a while it will make a difference. Love to love. Tell your kids you love them often, your spouse, your parents, and friends….mood boosters like that are passed on when you make someone else’s day.  

Love Jesus. After all, Christmas is the celebration of His birth. A few days ago, when I was having my “worst day ever”, the only thing I knew to do was get my Bible. Only, I couldn’t find it. So, I ended up with Brayden’s Bible, reading chapter after chapter. The more I read, the more I could feel my insides unwinding and my mind calming down. I prayed for Him to lead me down the right path and for my family and I to never forget the reason for the season of giving and to always be thankful for what we have.

Love yourself. You know what they say? You have to love yourself before you can love others. Make good decisions, get your health on track, do something nice for someone else, pay it forward, have more friends nights, have more date nights. I’m personally taking my own advice on this one. Life gets complicated and extremely busy, but I need to plan ahead more. I will probably be just as busy next year, maybe busier, but there has to be a way to squeeze more time out of the day for family. My goal for 2016 is to schedule a date night more than 2 times a year, and around the holidays I will make a calendar of events I would like to take the kids to, so everyone knows in plenty of advance so we can all plan our schedules accordingly.  

 

I wish you a wonderful, fantastic, super, stupendous, slap happy, amazing, joyous MERRY CHRISTMAS.  

From my family to yours….. xoxoxo

  

  

 

Christmas Wrap-Up!

I hope all of you had a wonderful, fantastic, eat so much you can’t breathe, drink so much you can’t stand up, sleep so much you feel 20 years old again Christmas!

Our Christmas was absolutely wonderful!  Brayden, our 6 year old, was 125% committed to Christmas this year so it was so much fun to see how much he enjoyed it.  Mason, our 17 month old, has earned the prize for youngest present un-wrapper.  I’m impressed with his mad skillz!

So before I move onto a 2015 post, I wanted to share some Christmas photos.

I hope you don’t get bored.  If you do, there’s this little “x” in the upper right hand corner of your screen.  Just saying. 🙂

Enjoy!

santa collage

Meeting Santa…..aww, how sweet.  Mason was terrified and Brayden spent the entire time trying to calm Mason down.  I just laugh. Everyone HAS to take their kids to see Santa every year and for parents it has seriously become a rotating line of kids who talk his ear off, kids who scream, kids who wont even go near him or kids that just stare at him intently.

gmabarbschristmas

You try to take a picture of 6 kids and get good smiles from all of them.  Mason took off long before I could snap the pic.

gmabarbschristmas2

Dad, the present can wait, just give me your phone!

gmabarbschristmasbtooth

Brayden lost his second tooth!

masetree

Hey cutie booty.  Mason was the KING of taking ornaments off the tree.  I’m almost positive I’ll find them in the most random spots in the months to come!

braydenchristmaseve

So, when I took this, Brayden was so excited to be able to sleep in Brock and I’s bed.  He tried to wait to fall asleep until I was in bed, but he was out like a light when I fell asleep.  This was Christmas eve, eve.  He loved every second of Christmas this year and I really hope we were able to live up to everything he expected.

doggies andb

Typical.  A boy and his boxers.

christmaseveRE

Christmas Eve!!

gpabrianchristmas1RE

Stocking goodies!

christmasevetree

Silent Night…..

istandonmypresentsRE

I do tricks guys, I’ll be here all day.  Except I nap from 9-11 and again at 1-4.

santashopgift

This may sound sappy, but this bracelet is from Brayden.  He bought it for me at the Santa Shop at school.  I love his sweet heart.

christmas day dinner

Christmas Dinner at my parents house!

momanddadschristmasmorning

I love this picture!  We have our own Christmas with the 4 of us first thing in the morning, then we head to my parents house for the day.  My brother and his wife were in town and spent the entire day at my parents house as well.  I’m pretty sure nothing more could make my parents happier than both their kids with their spouses and their 2 grand kids under the same roof.

dinnerwareflatware

You know you’re old and boring when you get excited about receiving the new dinnerware and flatware you asked your parents for, for Christmas.

new years eve

New Years Eve.  This year I had a plan!  We ordered Mexican food and rented the newest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.  Even though this was Brayden’s second time seeing the movie, he was still glued to it.  NYE–success!  I have a lovely cold right now, so no pictures for me haha.

I truly hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.

xoxox

 

Currently…..

currently nov 2014

When your brain can’t think of anything clever to write about, you can always whip out the ol’ trusty “currently” post, as seen below.

+Listening To:  Taylor Swift–1989 #cantstopwontstop #sorrynotsorry #noreally

+Eating:  Taco Bell chicken protein power bowl with no rice.  Get.In.My.Belly!

+Enjoying:  My Young Living Essential Oils.  They really have helped with things like cuts, scrapes, KIDDO SLEEP, snoring and even stress.  Diffusing thieves oil makes our house smell great too.  Winner Winner!

+Working On:  our Thanksgiving menu.  We’re hosting this year.

+Buying:  The question should be what am I not buying?  Christmas shopping has consumed me.

+Cooking:  For real, normally this wouldn’t even be something I would write about.  For a while now, I’ve been a devoted fan of DashingDish.com.  It’s become my go-to when I have a few spare minutes to make dinner.  My favorite dinner recipe is the deep dish cheeseburger pie.  Sweet mother its good!

+Wishing:  The weather was nicer.  In typical Indiana fashion, it cannot make its mind up.  3 days ago it was 65 degrees, now it’s 34 degrees.  Whatevs. Indiana—Whatevs.

+Excited For:  Short term22 Jump Street comes out next Tuesday (Holla!) Long term–Watching everyone open Christmas presents, ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas shows and my mom’s famous Christmas sugar cookies.

+LovingAKA—telling you that you NEED this:  My Thirty One Medium Utility Tote.  This month ONLY they are $7!  Seven dollars, 7 doll-hairs, 7 smack-a-roonies.  Check them out here!

+Setting Goals For: Myself to re-start my Yogalosophy DVD again.  It will be a fight.  Ugh.  In case you were wondering though, it does work!  You can find more detail about Yogalosophy here.

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