As Thanksgiving approaches (tomorrow! How did that happen so quickly?) and we deck our halls with Christmas garb (three weeks ago, who am I kidding I am a Christmas nut.) we get a chance to reflect on the previous year. Set new intentions, throw out what didn't work, embrace what did and start anew.
A rebirth of possibility, wonder and hope.
This space, my blog, my baby, has been quiet on and off this year and as I look back I can see where I took pause in many areas of my life this year. Personally and professionally, to evaluate and dig in to what feeds my heart for God, family and purpose.
Instead of keeping up with the hustle and the "busy" of it all, I wrote content slowly, took sponsorships from time to time when things were tight and aligned with brands I believed in and used social media for more connection than promotion.
The main threads that weaved through what I want to carry through to 2019 are as follows:
Since it's been a while, I also wanted to give an update on where I've been and where I am currently in this fluid, ever-changing, beautiful journey we call life. Read on if you will, and if you do, I hope that you leave a comment with how you've grown/changed/stayed the same this year.
One thing that leaving Facebook, pausing with blog life and diving into Instagram showed me, is that making friends with my readers/followers more than using this as a stage with a spotlight is where it's at.
That's where the good stuff is. The God stuff.
Me + God: Challenging myself to read more of the bible itself, but have surrounded myself with more Godly women. Starting each day with devotions, podcasts and Christian music have helped keep me centered in a Christ-focused marriage, motherhood and daily life in the stay-at-home/work-at-home mom life.
Marriage + Motherhood: Honestly, parenthood is hard on a marriage you guys. Even for a couple who are the best friends, attached at the hip, obsessed with spending all time together type. We've had to navigate the sea of parenting decisions, limited alone time and exhaustion just like anyone else. Thanking the Lord that he's still my balance and my rock, because post-partum hormones messed me UP, ya'll. Motherhood is beautiful, funny, SO love filled, hard, sweet, frustrating, growing, life affirming work. I prefer the toddler stage to babyhood and am trying to wrap my head around number two. God's working on me and I feel He has a bit of work to do, but He's a great big God who can do far more than I can comprehend so I'm not stressing.
What I'm Reading: So many things. This season of motherhood (the toddler years) affords me more reading time (or the outlook that I actual want to now due to less sleep deprivation), either way I'm loving devouring the written word again. I have a constant rotation of 5-7 books at a time and the list is too extensive to put in this post, but I am working on a short and sweet follow up post that will list all my favorite, and not so favorite, reads from the past year.
Health + Caring For God's Temple: With still breastfeeding and my CRAZY rollercoaster of hormones, my mental health has felt strained. I honestly have put on a few pounds, and I am setting my sites on eating clean and green MORE for energy, even moods, hormone improvement and health than I am for shifting the number on the scale. If the numbers improve, then I'll happy dance in smaller yoga pants.
Career: Saved this one for last, because goodness gracious, I've been taking some serious time this year looking into where I really want to devote my limited time I take away from raising our boy and caring for our home. As a woman who loves to contribute to the family and work on my passions outside of motherhood, (Proverbs 31 is a huge focus of our home life) I knew I wanted to embrace some aspects of my versatile backgrounds. I just knew I could no longer juggle them ALL. After much prayer, thought and family discussions I have decided that for now I will hang my hat on nutrition. While I still love recipe creation and guiding people towards better eating, I plan to keep it simply to this space. Moving back into entertainment, I accepted a spot on the business side of film and music and am working slowly on my first screenplay for Amazon. My husband and I are launching our own small shop, and that for now is keeping me plenty busy.
I would love to know where you are all at on your journeys, leave your story below and how I can pray for you. I'd love to connect with you all - follow me at Instagram.com/NoshandNurture, leave mea DM and I'll connect back!
Those before me always said, that once I became an adult, and especially when I became a mother, that time would fly by.
At lightening speed.
And there wasn't a darn thing I could do about it.
And as I spent part of the the day looking at photos and "Timehops" from 2004, days and nights that seem like just yesterday, I get a gnawing in the pit of my stomach. That 14 years FLEW BY. Just like that. And now that I'm a mother, I'll blink, and my 1 year old will be 15. And I have to catch my breath as these thoughts swirl in my tired little brain.
Every year since 2015, as I prayed for it, God has put a word on my heart. A word of the year if you will. "Diligence" became a focus that first year in which he'd like me to work all areas of my life. I took it to heart and was diligent in not only studying the word to become closer with Him, but I also finished a degree in nutrition and stayed the course in trying to get pregnant. As unfun as finals and invasive infertility tests were. He blessed and delivered. His promises are so good. Always.
For 2016 he placed "abundance" on my heart. And He delivered. Not only were we blessed with the greatest blessing of all, our son Grey, after years of infertility, but we also received amazing job opportunities, traveled with our sweet darling newborn to beautiful places and made new friendships. The year, as exhausting it was with a new little boy, was definitely abundantly blessed.
I feel like it marked such a significant year in our life. Sometimes its hard for me to grasp all the beauty that was wrapped up in this one year of our life, because to be honest, for so much of it I felt like we were simply surviving. Learning how to be parents. Learning how to be a married couple with a baby. Learning how to function on minimal sleep. All of it, just learning my new role as a mother, wife, daughter of the King. And as the days, even looking back on them, blur together into one hazey picture, I know this year is one i'll treasure at the top.
2017 the word "Community" came through clear as day and I set about seeking friendships that I could pour myself into, while at the same time finding fellow women and moms who could in turn fill my cup as well.
Mr. Charming and I did well at keeping up with our friendships, dinner hosting and party planning. We made relationships outside of our little family bubble a priority last year and it really paid off in so many amazing ways. Just building the tribe we call ours and we're excited to see the relationships continue to flourish in the future.
2018 arrived and I was excited for the focus area God would ask me to look towards. In all honesty I was hoping for something really exciting. Something that meant I would be getting back to me more. Something that meant my home business would take off, or that we'd travel to tropical locales. A grandiose word that brought about images of excitement, thrill, or again, abundance.
Falling asleep the night of the 2nd of January, I heard Him softly whisper.
Hm? Come again?
"Acceptance." This felt so mundane. And I actually fought against it. Surely that wasn't meant to be my word for this year. And as ironic as it was, I didn't want to "accept" it.
But as I sat with it for a couple of days, I saw so many ways in which this was a jumping off point to be a growing year for me. And He was right. Just as He always is. There have been heart issues I've been fighting against for some time. Situations, relationships, and just my role in life at the moment, that I need to accept. That I've tried to change, that are not my place to change, or that cannot be changed. They simply need to be accepted, and no one can do that but me.
Whole-hearted, giving-it-to-God acceptance. And when I think about the heartwork and surrendering that this will take me this year, grandiose seems fitting after all.
Do you pray for a word each year? Do you set a word for yourself? I'd love for you to share and I'd love to keep the conversation going on how it's going for you, (and in truth for me too.) Connect with me on Instagram at @NoshandNurture and we can chat about it.
There was a day in the not so distant past that tried to overwhelm us. As a household. Which means, I feel, that the enemy was trying to break down our walls and shake our faith.
The baby wasn't sleeping well during the challenges that presented themselves, so I was teetering on an emotion-driven cliff of exhaustion. The body shop/insurance company from an accident we were in on vacation totaled our car and we needed to buy a new car and have a car payment all over again when we worked so hard to reduce our debt to try to buy/build a house.
Speaking of the house, the city denied our permits and we can no longer build the home on the land we've been planning towards since before our baby was born.
So, like I said, there was a day, in the not so distant past that tried to overwhelm us.
I learned through prayers and tears that we need to trust God's no's, and trust God knows our future and His plans for us better than we do. As hard of a pill as it is to swallow, we weren't meant to build that small family homestead with the big tree, pool and garden. It wasn't meant to be our place as much as we could picture ourselves raising our tribe there.
We need to lean in to God and let Him continue to lead and show us where He sees us and trust that whatever that looks like is better than our best vision.
Always been a goal-oriented, dream board, planning type of gal it's always fun to see what other dreamers and doers want to accomplish. Now I know life has plans for us and maybe throwing out tons of lofty goals isn't always realistic, but I believe when we listen to God's guidance for our journey, it can be good to set goals and focus on things that bring His kingdom attention, bring our moments here a little joy and help us set our passions on fire.
I saw another blogger do a list for her 31st year and I thought it was a neat idea, as I'm about to become a mama and my life and schedule are going to become foreign to anything I've known before, to make one for this year since I just celebrated my 33rd birthday this week.
I'd love to hear your lists too! If you have one, feel free to share some of what you are looking forward to doing this year and we can cheer each other on! Now on to my list!
16. Travel in an RV
My husband loved his experiences RV traveling and camping growing up and I've never done that, so I think it'd be a fun new family tradition to try.
17. Try Growing Something Organic
As someone who spends much of her paycheck on organic food, I'd love to learn to grow a small garden that we can enjoy year round. So far we only grow our own green onion, which is a start, and is GREAT in omelettes.
18. Workout A LOT More Often Than I Do
Yoga & walking are two things I want to become daily, normal habits for me. Working full time and now becoming a mom, I know I have to REALLY prioritize this, not only for me, but for my family. As staying in shape is vital to our health.
19. Conquer A Fear.
It's all about growth.
20. See The New Movie 'Secret Life of Pets'
Because this is so how I picture our dogs behaving when we are away. I swear they are little humans in dog form sometimes.
21. Watch The New Gilmore Girls Mini Series
Could I BE anymore excited for this? I don't think so. Who's with me? Cuz we can totally throw a viewing party. haha
22. Go Camping With The Hubs and Little
Mr. Charming is at peace and is blissed out when we camp. It's how he connects with God, which I think is so beautiful. And I know this pregnancy has been hard on both of our wanderlusting desires. So once the baby is old enough to be left with family or to camp with us in his or her pack and play, it's to the forest we go!
23. Take The Dogs On An Adventure
I think spending quality time with your fur babies and allowing them unique life experiences is important to their quality of life just like it is with ours. We took our lab to a cabin for the weekend to play in the snow and I think it was one of the most awesome moments of his life. I'd love to take him back in warmer weather and I'd love to take Charlie to the beach.
24. Get Back To My Pre-Baby Weight
I have confidence that a Paleo diet, breastfeeding and light exercise will accomplish this, and I'm not putting any specific time limit on myself. But it is a goal for the year.
25. Spend More Time On The Coast
The ocean is such a calming place for me. I want to see California more this year after the baby arrives.
26. Get Family Passports
I can't believe it's been ten years since I got mine and its actually expiring this year. I want to get Mr. Charming and Baby P theirs as well so we can travel internationally as a family.
27. Improve My Beauty Routine
I was blessed with pretty even skin that doesn't need me to fuss with it much. But as I get older I do see changes and such and I want to have a weekly regiment I do to keep up with it and take care of it to keep it healthy.
28. Clean Out My Emails.
Again. And. Never. Ending. But this always makes me feel lighter.
29. Get A New External Hard Drive
For all those baby photos, of course.
30. Be More Intentional With Random Acts Of Kindness.
Paying for someones meal, groceries, etc. I want to be more conscious of those who may need a pick-me-up in their day.
31. Continue To Pray For and Uplift My Husband Daily
Being intentional in doing so is the best thing I can do for our household.
32. Be The Maid Of Honor In My Sisters Wedding
She is still planning her dates, but if this happens before next June, then I can cross this off! It's been a dream of mine my whole life, as she was mine.
33. Attend Three Conferences
Always learning and growing. I have one scheduled for November, but I'd love to choose two others in the new year.