Progress Not Perfection

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

Two weeks ago I was on a roll. I was working out every day, eating healthy, had so much energy, I was getting so much done. It was great. Then March Break happened. My boys went away for the week with my parents and my husband decided to take a week off work. It was just my husband, my toddler, and myself for a whole week. I didn’t work out. I didn’t eat the most healthy items like I could have. I didn’t work. I honestly didn’t do anything that I had planned. I even threw out the to do lists that I wrote.

Do you know hat I did for the week? I was present. I was here. I was on the floor playing with my toddler. I was sitting on the sofa cuddled up with  my husband talking for hours. I was in the moment. And you know what? It was the best thing I could have done. Productive it terms of work? No. Productive in terms of self care?! YES!

Progress not perfection.

If this had happened before, if I had an entire week off from working out, eating healthy and work, I would completely flip out. I would fall into a deeper depression. I would think I ruined everything. But now I am finally learning that none of that is true.

Yes, I needed to do things, things had to get done. But the things I did do, spend every minute with my husband and daughter is also what I needed, what we all needed. My husband and daughter have never had that much time together to just play. It has been years since my husband and I have had so much time to talk. I don’t remember the last time we got to talk so much, have such deep conversations, discover new things about each other.

This past week went nothing like I planned, but it was everything I needed. I feel refreshed. I feel better. I feel more focused. I feel more at peace with myself, my husband, my life, with everything.

Things don’t always go as planned, slowly but surely I am learning that that is ok. Sometimes that we think we need is actually what we need.

~ Michelle

 

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Self Care

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

Last week, yet again, I wrote about getting back on track, back to the basics. Do you know how many times I have written something like that? A lot. Why? Because I keep falling, I keep going down the wrong path, I take 50 steps back. But do you know what I also do? I always try to get back up again, and each time I do I end up learning something new about myself. I find new strength in myself. I find new passions. I find a new way of looking at things.

Something  I have learned over and over and over again, is that I suck at self care. I blame it on my anxiety and depression. Do you know what else I have learned over and over and over again? Self care is super important. Like really important. But still, I suck at it. My anxiety and depression monsters tell me I am not worthy of it. I don’t deserve it. I am not worth it. My time would be better spent doing something else. That I am selfish if I want to spend time alone, do something just for me. Its hard. It really is. These monsters, they are so loud. They are so powerful. They are so convincing at times. They wear me down, they drain all of my energy until I can no longer fight them.

I have decided to start yet another journey, this one about self care. I have also started a fitness journey. They happen to be one in the same. For the first time my fitness and workouts are not about actual physical fitness, they are purely for my mental health. And you know what? I enjoy my workouts even more now. I don’t feel pressure about how much weight I may or may not lose, how many calories I am eating, because right now, they don’t matter, they are not my priority. Don’t get me wrong, my psychical health and over all health is important, they just aren’t my focus right now when doing my workouts. As I focus on my mental health, everything else is falling into place. I feel better after I workout, and so I make better choices about the food I put in my body, and slowly I have started to feel better both physically and mentally.

Lets be honest here, I don’t know how long this will last. I don’t know how long I will be able to do this. I don’t know how long it will be till the monsters knock me back down again. But what I do know is that when that happens, I will get back up again, eventually, slowly, but surely, I will get back up. I will continue to try. I will learn something new. I will find new strength. I will continue this dance with the monsters, trying to tame them, over come them??? Honestly I am not sure, but I will not give up, that I am sure of.

How do you take care of yourself? How do you make sure you are getting enough of what you need? I would love to hear! Leave a comment or message me!

You can follow along with me on Instagram as I try to do this thing called Self Care.

~ Michelle

Lets Talk, About Anxiety and Depression

I don’t normally talk about this. I don’t like to talk about this. Talking about anxiety and depression gives me anxiety and makes me feel depressed, sad and weak, sick and stressed. A whole whack load of different emotions.

I have been facing my fears and talking about anxiety lately. See, we are going on a family trip soon, and yes I am happy, I am thrilled, but the thing is, I have severe anxiety and chronic depression. So even though I am happy about something, I am never truly *just* happy about it. There are ALWAYS underling feelings and emotions going on. Always. It is none stop and it is beyond exhausting.

So why am I talking about it now? Is it because of the trip? No, not really. I am talking about it because I am sick of trying to ‘cover it up’ and act as if its not there. But it is there, its always there. Sometimes its small, and sometimes its so over powering I don’t know how to explain it. Sometimes I even think its gone, but it always comes back. It is there, it is a part of me.

I have severe anxiety and chronic depression. I am in a constant battle with myself to do every day things every day. I am always in a struggle to ‘put on a happy face’. I am always gauging my mood, trying to stay one step ahead of it. Always on the look out for the next trigger, but most of the time I don’t even know what the trigger is. It can be so exhausting. Always on the look out, always putting on a happy face. The truth is most people would never even guess that I have anxiety and depression, that in its self is exhausting. Always holding a mask up so the world won’t see the true me.

I want to talk about this, because I want anyone else to know who is going through this that it is ok! There is no shame!

For years I used to walk around confused, feeling so alone because I could never properly voice what was going on. Some days I still can’t. People would say “get some sun”, “cheer up” or “its all in your head, just be happy, its easy”. But it really isn’t that easy some days. I want to be happy, and even when I am, I’m never 100% happy. I will always feel some degree of sadness, some degree of anxiety. And that is ok. That is who I am. I am still a good person. I am still (for the most part) a happy, go lucky, look on the bright side, find the silver lining type of person. I am still a good mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend.

There is no shame. Yes I have anxiety, yes I have depression. And that is fine. It is ok. It doesn’t make me less of a person, even if sometimes I feel like it.

Like anyone else I have good days and bad days, mine just tend to be a little bit more up or down, sideways and all around swirly than other people. And thats ok.

So if you are out there, and you have anxiety, or depression, or both, if you are scared, or feeling alone please PLEASE know that it is ok! You are not alone! There is help out there. There are people out there that can help you, that you can talk to, and people out there that you can relate to and understand you. You are not alone. Despite what lies your anxiety and depression may be telling you, you are not alone! There is help!

Writing this  post right now its giving me so much anxiety. I feel physically sick right now. Trying to explain that I have anxiety and depression but still a good person sounds so stupid and hard to believe, but it is true. Trying to explain how having anxiety and depression feels is one of the hardest things. I still haven’t figured out how to properly explain how it feels, and I don’t know if I ever will.

I am writing this for me. I am writing this for you if you feel the same way. I am writing this for my kids, because if they ever feel like this, I want them to know it is ok! I want them to know there is no shame. I want them to know I understand. I want them to know, and for you to know, that you don’t have to hide away all of your complex feelings and thoughts. You don’t have to hide any part of you. You, all of you, every part of you, you are beautiful. So beautiful.

I found these photos on Pinterest the other day. Apparently the universe was pushing for me to write this post because these two photos showed up in a mix of other photos about recipes and decorating for the holidays. I believe everything happens for a reason, I may not ever understand the reason, or know the reason, but its there, some where.

I am going to say this again, please, please, PLEASE know that if you have anxiety, or depression, or any other issues going on, there is always someone you can talk to. There are people out there that can help you. People that will understand you, and help you.
If you can’t reach out to them, you can reach out to me mommyhoodland@gmail.com

~ Michelle

2 Years, The Countdown Is On

My kids are at school, and I am sitting at the kitchen table alone with my toddler while she nicely eats her lunch. Just kidding she’s playing with her food and most if it is on the floor already.

I can’t help but wonder… Now what? How long will this last? And what happens after?

My two boys are in school, already Grade 5 and Grade 4, and my daughter is already two and half. She will be going to school in 2 years. 2 short years.

The house is already eerily quiet without my boys here. But I love it, because I get one on one time with my daughter. But I can’t help but wondering… What happens after? After she goes to school?

I have been a stay at home mom for just over 10 years now, by the time my daughter starts school it will be 12 years. 12 years I have been home with little humans around me, to care for, to play with, clean up after, snuggle with, all day every day. But when my daughter starts school, thats it. She is my last baby. What will I do?

I have two businesses now as it is, Sugarplum And Applesauce , and my newest, Inspired By Five. Well 3 if you count this blog. For the first time ever I will actually be able to work without interruptions. But it is not the work I am wondering about. It is more about how I will spend my day without little humans around me all the time? How will it be to not be needed like that ever again? Not not have my day revolve around someone else?

I love having my kids home, but I also love sending them off to school and seeing them grow and blossom into their own individual special person.

But lets face it, going 12 years with someone always home with me, to having no one home will be a big change. And yes I know it is not for another 2 years, but 2 years in motherhood passes a lot faster than 2 years any where else! I can’t help thinking about it now. Maybe it is in attempt to prepare myself for it. Or so I can cherish this time that much more? I don’t know why, but I can’t stop thinking about it.

At some point every mom goes through this, its natural and unavoidable. But that doesn’t mean it is easy.

I know these next two years will pass by in a blur. A blur of snuggles, playing, reading, tantrums, play time, more tantrums and so much love.

I love my little humans and the time I have been given with them. It is so quick, but so jammed packed with awesomeness.

outdoor fun

~ Michelle

Back To School. Grade 5 & Grade 4.


My boys are back to school. Its hard to believe. The summer went by in a blur. I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I just sent my boys off to Grade 5 and Grade 4! I still remember those grades like they were yesterday! Especially Grade 5, a lot happened that year. I was living in Kenya. I met friends that are still in my life today. I had my appendix out. Which resulted in 3 hospital visits after that including another hospital stay.   I went on a school trip to Mt. Kenya, which resulted in one of the hospital visits and being sent home early. Good times.
And now here I am, the mother of a son in Grade 5 and another son in Grade 4.

I remember thinking when I was little that the days would just drag  on and on. But now, it is as if someone has push the fast forward button on my life. I’m not sure I am ready for this. Every time I feel like I have my kids figured out, they go and grow up and change on me. Always changing, always growing.

I wonder if my parents ever felt like this? If they did they never let on. Maybe they just had better poker faces that I do, or they just handled it all a lot better than I am.

Lets be real here for a minute. Completely honest. I am a complete wreck over how fast my kids are growing up. I don’t feel like I am handling it all that well. I am an emotional wreck. I feel like I am constantly playing catch up. Always just one step behind them. Just when I think I have it all figured out, they go and grow up a bit more, not a lot, just enjoy to change every single thing!

Something else, HOW AM I OLD ENOUGH TO HAVE KIDS IN GRADE 5 AND GRADE 4?! Ok… never mind lets not go there.

Back to the important thing here… My kids. School. Such a bitter sweet thing! I am so incredible proud of them! They are such awesome little humans. They love school. They do well in school. They behave in school! But they are growing too fast. I love watching them grow and reach new milestones, but does it have to happen so damn fast?! This mama isn’t fully prepared for it.

Time to pull up my big girl panties, and handle this like the mom boss that I am!

Onward and upward.

Forever changing and forever growing.

Now… If I could get people to stop telling me when my daughter will start school and talk about how quickly that is coming, that would be awesome!

~ Michelle

So Many Passions

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

Oh Monday. I have such a love/hate relationship with you. Monday for me is like a mini new years, in that I feel energized, motivated, hopeful, and dream big. But it is also Monday, and Monday can be a little mean. Monday is the Murphy Law of the week, if something can go wrong, it will. Yet every week my hopes grow, and every week… well Monday.

I have so many things I want to accomplish. So many plans. So many ideas floating around in my head. It is completely overwhelming. I have no clue where to start. I try writing out lists, but my lists end up having lists, and those lists have sub-lists, and it never ends.

I have so many passions and not nearly enough time. I want to do it all. And I will do it all. I just have to figure out how to manage my time so I can do it all. I love my blog. Its pretty awesome if you ask me. I love my first business I started, it has grown into something I never expected it to. Sugarplum And Applesauce is my baby. I found a new passion in my new jewelry business, Inspired By Five. And now I have a new passion I never knew I had, making wooden signs. I made two for my parents and I have so many more in the works. But it comes back to time. Everything takes time. Especially if you want something done right and done well.

Of course there is my biggest passion, and life calling, who I am, however you want to refer to it, I am a mother to three beautiful children. I love my kids. They drive me completely crazy but they are my life, and they bring me so much joy, and they steal so much sleep from me, but they are prefect and I love them.

So instead of setting out 10 goals for the week, I only have one. Organize my thoughts and ideas, and figure out which ones can be done first, and make an action plan to accomplish everything I want.

Being a mom is my first and most important job, but I still want and need to do other things and follow my own dreams and passions that don’t involve my kids. Which is easy enough to say, another thing to figure out the time, and whole other thing to get over the mom guilt of it. Yes there is mom guilt. I hate mom guilt. I have it all the time, and its stupid, and a waste of time I know that. However I still can’t shake it at times.

So this week, is about organizing my thoughts and ideas and passions. That shouldn’t take too long, right?! … I may need more than a week.

What do you hope to accomplish this week? What are your goals?

~ Michelle

 

Backyard Painting With A Shower Curtain

A few weeks ago I was on Facebook and I saw that Todays Parent Magazine shared this story about a moms amazing backyard for her kids. I fell completely in love with her yard! It is amazing! I want to play in it. It also got me thinking. I don’t have a forest in my backyard, but I do have a backyard for my kids, and I have been thinking of what to do about painting with my toddler. My toddler LOVES to paint. But paper outside just doesn’t seem to do it, and we would paint right on the fence, but she didn’t like to finger paint on that. So this is where this article gave me the solution.

Hang up a clear shower curtain in the backyard! Its perfect! The rain can wash it clean, or you can. And the possibilities for my little artist are endless!

We didn’t have two trees close enough to tie it to like the mom in the article. So this is what we did, and you can to! All you need is a shower curtain, string, and a fence!

First stop, the dollar store!

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Next go outside, get some string, and string it through the loops. Next tie up the ends to the fence! Poke holes in the bottom so you can tie down the bottom corners as well!

Next step, get paint and have fun!

Even the big kids got into it! Everyone LOVED IT!

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This has quickly become the favourite spot in the backyard!

We put this up yesterday and already this morning my toddler was asking for this as soon as she finished breakfast!

I have a feeling we will be going through a lot more paint now!

~ Michelle

One Step At A Time

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

Oh, what will this week hold? What do I hope to accomplish this week?

I am starting this week out completely and utterly overwhelmed, filled with anxiety, stress, and I’m already tired. I want to think positive, I want to believe that this week will turn out completely wonderful. But honestly, thinking that positive just seems like a lot of work right now. But that doesn’t mean I won’t try. One step at a time. One step at a time.

So this week I decided to start writing out weekly goals again. I hope it will help me to focus, and relax, so I can accomplish everything I need to, and mostly so I don’t end up crying on the kitchen floor. (Why is it always the kitchen floor?!)

So my goals for this week:

Home:

1. Get on top of laundry. Laundry is seriously evil.
2. Nightly clean up. Some days, especially lately I am just too tired at night, but I always regret it in the morning.
3. Home cooked meals. Having home cooked meals every night helps everyone moods and not to mention everyones tummy!

Family:

4. Have more non-tv family nights. Movie nights are fun, but card game nights… those are hilarious.
5. Go for more walks. I miss walks. We haven’t go on many walking adventures this summer. And that make me sad. I like going on walks with my kids.

Personal:

6. Remember that I am only one person and there is only so much I can do in a single day.
7. Starting working out regularly. My workouts have been so random, most days I don’t have time, but I need to start making the time!

Work:

8. Focus on one thing at time. I have a million ideas, but I can’t do them all at the exact same time!
9. Clean up and organize my work space.
10. Step out of my comfort zone.

What do you hope to accomplish today? This week?

I really hope this week is a good week. I really hope my anxiety monster stays at bay. This week is going to take a lot of effort. I hope my toddler lets me sleep this week! If she doesn’t that possibility of me crying on the kitchen floor will most likely happen.

~ Michelle

Lets Talk Dreams

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

Monday, lets do this. Today I am pumped. I am excited. I am hopeful. I am happy. I am blown away. Also I am a whole lot of anxious. But lets focus on the good.

I told you awhile back about my new adventure, following my dream, my new business Inspired By Five. It has always been a dream of mine to create and design jewelry. And now I am. I took the leap. Or rather my husband pushed me off the edge. Either way here I am.

IMG_5579 (1)

I have a small circle of friends and family. I’m a major introvert and it takes a bit for me to let someone in. So like I said, my circle is small. So I knew starting off the new business with zero money put away for any kind of advertising I would be relying on my awesome family and friends to help spread the word, and hashtags. I love hashtags. And Instagram. Instagram and hashtags are sorta of my happy place. Any who…

Yesterday I woke up and chased my kids around like normal, wrote out my grocery list, and decided to check on my social media accounts. There waiting for me was an order. Not just any order but an order for two, yes TWO Sea Glass Necklaces! Dude, I was so excited. Like happy dance in my kitchen happy. That was quickly followed by another order! 3 orders in one day. I was truly blown away! I still am.

I dreamed of this, but still in my wildest dreams I did not think I would be here. You know? Its crazy, right?

So here I am, Monday morning. The morning after. And I am thrilled. But being the anxiety filled person I am there is also my anxiety cloud following me around. Especially because I sent out a package of two necklaces, and until I know that they got to their home sweet home, I worry. It gives me major anxiety. Last week I sent out two packages and I was a wreck till I got word that they made it. I never expected to feel like this. Actually I never thought about it all. But I guess it is something I have to learn to deal with.

So right now, I want to focus on the good. The happy. The excitement. All the warm fuzzy feelings.

I also have to adult. So I have to focus on this week and my kids. I have a what seems like 37938202873893048 appointments this week. This week is all about balance. Balance of looking at the big picture of everything that has to be done, keeping track of it all, working on my business, being a kick ass mom and wife, but also just taking it one day at a time.

Deep breaths.

I can do this. I will do this. I will totally rock this week!

~ Michelle

Inspired By Five

I thought that being a mom would be the scariest thing I ever did. And it is. It scares the sh!t out of me almost daily. But there is something else in life that I never thought would be scary and it ended up being so scary that it held me back for YEARS! Wonder what could possible have that much power over a person, well I will tell you: Following my dreams. Seriously. I’m not kidding.

Ever since I was a little girl I have had an obsession with designing and creating. Anything from clothes, crafts, houses at one point, but mostly, always, jewelry. I used to have notebook upon notebook filled with drawers.

Then I met my husband, then we had 2 kids in 13 months. Then I started Sugarplum And Applesauce. Like I said I have always loved to create and design. I’ve always loved fabrics. The different colours, textures, all of that. But still my first passion was always jewelry. But I held back. Why? Because it absolutely, without a doubt, right down to my bone, scared me.

I have held off on my dream for years. Far longer than I should have. But then I suffered a miscarriage, then I had a high risk pregnancy. Then I gave birth to my beautiful daughter. My family was finally complete. Those events changed me. Changed me to my core. Finally having my whole family here supporting me and encouraging me finally gave me the strength to push forward. To take the leap. To jump in. Whatever phrase you want to call it.

And thus, Inspire By Five was born. You can also find me on Instagram  and Twitter.

Inspiredbyfive2

Now that it is here, I am still scared out of my mind about it! I haven’t fully launched it yet. But still, it is out there. Out there for the whole world to see. I feel like not only am I showing people a piece of jewelry I created, but a piece of my soul. And that thought terrifies me.

I hope you will join me on this adventure as I turn my dream into a reality.

And if you have a dream, I hope you find the strength to follow it! Don’t wait! Jump in now! When you do, I will be here to cheer you on to and encourage you!

~ Michelle