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A Peek Into My Life This Past Week

Welcome to my weekly post where we take a break from money-related posts and I share about what I’m loving right now and give you a little peek into our life from the past week.

We spent this past week at Bull Shoals Lake with all of my extended family this week (a tradition we’ve had since before I was married!). I was mostly been offline and it’s been fantastic to have time to just hang out with my family, have in-depth conversations, laugh together, enjoy swimming and water sports, and just have time to breathe and savor a quieter pace of life.

For the past 10 years or so, there’s been angst for me during this yearly lake vacation because I’ve felt the stress of trying to run a business plus take a “vacation.” So I’d either wake up really early or stay up really late or miss out on a lot of the activities and fun because I “had” to be back in the cabin blogging.

This year, even though I didn’t have as much time to prep ahead like I’d hoped, it truly has been a vacation for me. It’s not necessarily because my workload has decreased, but because my mindset has changed.

For instance:

  • I’ve stopped living life feeling like I was a victim of my calendar and my inbox.
  • I’ve stopped feeling like so many things were urgent and must-do’s.
  • I’ve stopped believing the lie that I was the only one who could do most of my business tasks.
  • I’ve stopped sacrificing sleep on the altar of productivity.
  • I’ve stopped feeling like I have to post something every single day or at a certain time every day.
  • Instead, I’ve started realizing that I am in control of my calendar and I can choose to say “no”.
  • I am not obligated to say “yes” to other people’s requests (or even demands… because unfortunately, there are quite a few people who think that because I have a blog, it’s okay to get pretty bossy about what I should and shouldn’t post.).
  • It’s okay if I disappoint people. It really and truly is.
  • I can choose to get 7+ hours of sleep at night instead of feeling like I must wake up really early or stay up really late working.
  • I can guiltlessly be offline for half the day and know that it’s going to be okay. As one of my friends reminds me often, “Did anyone die while you were offline? No? Well then I think you’re okay!”
  • I’ve gotten really good at deleting emails and tasks that just aren’t really essential or necessary.
  • I’ve gotten a LOT better about trusting my team to take care of things for me instead of exhausting myself by trying to micromanage all the tasks.
  • It took a lot of heart work and personal healing and letting go for me to be able to get to this place, but the more I adopt this mindset shift, the more fulfilled and at peace I feel. The more I’m able to enjoy the present moment, savor what’s right in front of me, and love my life!

What I’m Feeling Bittersweet About

He starts SECOND GRADE on Tuesday! How did this happen??

We went to the back-to-school meeting yesterday. We met his fellow classmates. We saw his classroom. And the whole time my mama heart was all torn up inside.

Seeing our kiddos grow up is a beautifully bittersweet thing.

On the one hand, I’m SO proud of him. He’s grown up a great deal this past year. He’s come out of his shell in a big way. He’s thriving and living life with zest and gusto.

He’s become fiercely independent and highly responsible and so capable of taking care of himself… and he needs very little oversight from me.

And he’s going to Grammar School all by himself this year instead of with his two older sisters like last year. (Kathrynne is going into 7th grade so she’ll be in Lower Division this year and we’re homeschooling Kaitlynn.)

I know this is the best decision for him. I know that this is where he’s going to excel this year. And I know that he’ll be just fine, but it still makes my mama heart feel all the feelings to realize that my baby has grown up into a self-sufficient boy!

However, I’m so happy that in spite of how much he’s grown up and matured this past year, he still begins almost everyday telling me, “I love you, Mama!” And then coming and wanting to snuggle next to me for 10 minutes or so. It’s one of the best parts of my day!

Despite all the responsibility and self-sufficiency, deep down, he still loves and needs his mama! 😉

What I’ve Been Contemplating

“How do I make you feel most loved?” “What do I do that makes you feel most unloved?”

I asked my kids this question in the car on the road trip and then I listened to their honest answers, without defending or explaining myself.

You guys, I learned so much about my kids through these two simple questions.

Love is spelled T-I-M-E. And they want lots of it. Quality and quantity.

They want to know that their voice matters. That I care deeply about what they are interested in.

That I’m really listening when they are talking. That I want to hear about what they are excited about.

When they show me their artwork or creation or experiment or project, they want me to show genuine interest and enthusiasm and ask questions about it, praise specific parts of it, and appreciate the effort they put into it.

It’s so easy to get busy with life, with our own projects, with keeping everyone fed and clothed and on track, that we fall into a rut of not really paying attention.

Sure, we might act like we are listening, but when they are talking a mile a minute, we’re actually thinking about our projects and to-do’s and saying “uh-huh” and nodding along and responding “oh wow” or “cool” without really stopping to appreciate these amazing people and their gifts and their talents.

They are more perceptive than we realize. And if we stop really listening and paying attention when they are younger, they will eventually stop talking to us and find someone else to share their accomplishments and excitement and interests with.

I want to be my kids’ biggest cheerleaders. I want them to know that I’ve always got their back. I’m always FOR them. And even if no else else cares, I will always care.

As a result of my conversations with them, I’m more committed than ever to make really listening, really paying attention, really noticing, and really genuinely caring about what they care about my priorities as a mom.

It requires work, effort, sacrifice, and time. But I truly believe it’s one of the best investments I can be making right now in my life.

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  • Tyla Milian says:

    Thank you for always sharing your processes of learning and growing. There are so many ways the experiences you have mentioned over the years have helped me progress as a mom, business woman and as a person in general. Thank you.
    I loved the book Say Goodbye to Survival Mode and I highly recommend it to anyone who’s thinking of reading it. I will be sharing the current low price with my social media followers.

  • Erin says:

    I loved what you said about your mindset shift as well as asking your kids what makes them feel loved. What great exercises for us all to do with our lives and families. Happy Monday to you! xoxo ERIN

  • Bethany says:

    This post touched my heart. It was a great reminder of just spending time with my kids and not trying to accomplish something all the time. Do you have any recommendations on spelling curriculum? My 1st grader knows how to read well but he will not write a sentence on his own.

  • Mary says:

    Crystal you commented on Silas, “Despite all the responsibility and self-sufficiency, deep down, he still loves and needs his mama! ?

    I chuckled because my “boy” is 24yo and that tall young man still gives me bear hugs when he sees me. He calls me when he’s had a major accomplishment.

    I think you’ll have many wonderful years of Silas loving and needing his mama.

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