Moving – A Real-Life Moment

Being totally honest- I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t really know what I am saying. I am just free writing this in the hope that something will stick. Maybe I’ll come back in a little bit and edit it, maybe I’ll just let it post exactly as it is. We shall see…

A little caveat before we get into my rambling- this is not the post I had originally anticipated posting. This week I had a quarterly favorites post (which will be up on Wednesday) and then was going to do another installment in the Utterly Ridiculous Short Stories of My Life about our HHG delivery. HOWEVER, my brain is fried and quite honestly, every time I look at the partially written short story I just crack a little more. I want to be able to do these posts justice and share good content so instead of giving you a half ass short story, I am going to just blabber for a minute about how I’m actually feeling. I hope this isn’t an issue for anyone.

So, if you haven’t been following along…never mind that – If you are reading this post, you are probably well aware of our move. If you follow me on Social Media you are even more aware of it as I think I’ve mentioned the words “our move” more than anything else…I wish I was kidding,

It’s safe to say that I am very excited about our move. Brief breakdown (just skip two sentences if you don’t want to hear this bit for the umpteenth time), we moved to Germany in February of this year. We’ve been living in a hotel apartment up until a little shy of a week ago. Moving to Europe has been a dream come true and I can say without a doubt that within the first week or two we (as a family) had the overwhelming sense of home. It just feels really good to be here.

More than that, our neighborhood is one of the really good ones in our area. We have had the most welcoming and happy neighbors (on both the American and German side) and our house is perfect for us. The boys have been able to have all of their toys back and they have a large yard to go run laps…err energy off in.

And now? Well now my brain is absolutely fried. My body is exhausted. And I still feel the stress and anxiousness of “things to be done”. I am one of those people that, when moving, has to do it all right then. I don’t take breaks very often in the unpacking/settling in process, preferring to just go, go, go until it is all done. That is a) not a very healthy mindset, and b) not something that is really possible with two kids.

**Side note, but relevant- I am also one of those people who can’t slow down/rest while there is a mess or clutter. It’s all got to be cleaned up and put away before I feel like I can sit down.***

My goal by the end of the first week was to have the house 75-80% completed. I would say as of writing this post (Sunday afternoon), we are at around 60%. No big deal. We’ve got most of the main floor done, minus décor/final touches, and we’ve got pretty much all of the second floor done, again, minus décor/final touches. In some ways I’m feeling really good about where things stand this afternoon. In fact, as I am sitting here, cataloging the rooms in our house, I am getting a little relieved at how much has actually been done.

BUT I know that the moment I walk all the way down the stairs, down to the basement, I’ll be feeling a different type of way. It’s the one area of the house that hasn’t really been touched. In one way it’s because it is a lot of the décor stuff, which we aren’t doing until the end, but also because it is where the things that we don’t know what they are, or don’t know where to put them, go. It’s the stomping ground for everything that doesn’t have an “official” spot yet. And it has quickly devolved into a catastrophe. It’s a catastrophe that is going to be handled this week.

All of the above to say that moving has been the most incredible, exhausting, exciting thing ever. It’s been fun to basically design the interior of our new home, to feel all of the good vibes flowing through our house (this may sound a little out there depending on how you think, but I truly just feel like this house has such a good feeling to it, felt it when we walked through the first time, when we got our keys and off and on throughout the unpacking), but it’s also been absolutely exhausting on both a physical and mental level.

In all the heyday of moving and the excitement of our new home, being in a foreign country, traveling all over, we forget that moving is HARD. There is a lot going on, a lot of sorting, of unpacking, of setting things up. And while I’ve been so excited to set everything up, to find the right spot for all of our furniture (and nick knacks and artwork when that time comes), I’m also sitting here, almost a week in wondering what the hell has happened over the past week.

I know it’s a phase. I know it’s coming to an end. I know we’ve been able to accomplish so much in the short few days we’ve been here. And I know, at the end of this it will feel so good to just be settled and be able to go on vacation and relax. But first we have to get to that point. One cup at a time (which I am brewing a plenty of cups).

It’s the first of July and even though we are not done unpacking, I am hopeful that we are past the worst of it, that we can have this first day of a new month serve as a fresh start. That we can start getting our actual routine back. That I can breathe and start finalizing the little details for our trip this month. I’m feeling positive. Basically: That light at the end of the move tunnel is shining really bright.

So, there’s my current status. I don’t really know if this has made any sense at all. If you’ve moved recently, let me know how it went for you! Also, let me know if you are a go, go, go kind of person or a take the needed breaks kind of person.

How Do We Handle The What If

You know that little voice in the back of your head? The little one that only comes out at times when you least need it. The one that offers negative opinions, snide comments and criticisms. That little voice is a right old arsehole (yep-went there) and we all have one.

So, let’s put a little scenario together. You have just made a rather big life decision. You’ve decided to…I don’t know…start a podcast or a blog (because this has to be believable/realistic, but not purchase related). You’ve written your first blog post or recorded your first podcast and have everything set to upload and publish. Everything is done it is just a matter for the day to come that everyone can read or listen to your words.

That little voice creeps in…”What if no one reads it”…”What if someone listens and doesn’t like what I have to say”…”What if they expect more from me than I can deliver”…”What if I am absolute rubbish at this”…And on and on it goes.

How do we handle that? What brings this little voice on?

Is it a lack of self confidence? A desire to please people? A fear of failure? Is it caring a little too much about what people think of us?

Is it all of the above?

I like to think that I am a fairly confident person, that while I want to help people and make them happy, I can’t and not everyone will like me. I’m ok with all of that. I like to think that I’ve overcome a lot of my fear of failure (which I can talk about separately if you’d like). Yet, I still deal with that little “What If Arsehole”. “She’s” a rude voice right in the back of my head that has me questioning myself from time to time.

How do I handle “her”? I don’t. “She” asks me questions like the above all the time. I overthink decisions, I second guess myself, and on occasion “she” has gotten the best of me. I would say 80% of the time I just try to ignore “her”. I try to push further because most of the time “she” comes out when I am on the right track. When I am getting ready to do something awesome (if I can say that), but every once in a while “she” does win. This is a time when I don’t have an answer.

I’m wondering if you have an answer or how you handle your “What If Arsehole”. Where do you think “she” comes from? How do you tackle the self doubt? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

Round The Kettle Ep 8 – Worn Out

It’s been a few weeks! How are you??? How has the past month or so treated you?

It’s been a whirlwind for us. We had the movers come and pack our house up, ship it, and start the move out clean process. We got some heartbreaking family news that had us moving our vacation plans up a day (along with some weather coming in). From the moment we got in till now it’s been a second whirlwind and I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t worn through by now. I hit that worn out wall and hit it hard.

As an introvert, I find it absolutely necessary to pull away from everything for a little bit in the early afternoon whether that means diving into my book or just stepping into our room to breathe for a minute. I have got to have that little bit of time to just re charge my batteries or it is a mess. Thankfully I’ve had a relatively quiet day to relax and take it a bit easy before we head straight back into everything.

I think in some ways this move has taken a lot more out of me then our past ones. I don’t know if it is us moving overseas, us having two kids now, us dealing with some other issues. I think it is honestly probably a combination of all of them. Aside from the one bit, it hasn’t been anything bad, it’s just been A LOT. I’m kind of hoping that this coming week things can calm down a bit and we can have some semblance of “normal”.

A couple of things that I’ve really been loving over the past few weeks (which aren’t really anything new or exciting for me):

 

  1. Reading. I’ve been doing lots and lots of reading. From the start of the year I’ve already read 3 or 4 books. One of the better one’s was Us Against You by Frederik Backman. I’m currently reading A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab and have quite the stack of books for our move.
  2. A Discovery of Witches the TV Show. On of my all time favorite book series has been turned into a TV Show. I’m only 3 episodes in (I’m trying REALLY hard not to binge watch them, but savor them…we’ll see how that works after this weekend.
  3. Standard English Breakfast Tea. I haven’t had just standard black tea in the mornings in a long time (having favored a berry flavored with extra black) and while I still like my original concoction, I have been reaching for an English Breakfast Tea (or Scottish) first thing in the morning.
  4. Heeled Boots. After years and years of flat boots I have found two pairs of heeled boots that I am obsessed with.
  5. Journaling. I have to admit- this has kind of fallen by the way side a little bit. We’ve been so go, go, go, but over the past day or two I have done a little bit first thing in the morning and it is just a really nice way to start the day (after a bit of yoga).

Drop a comment below and tell me what you’ve been up to the past couple weeks and what things you have been loving lately.

2018 Wrap Up

I cannot believe that another year has passed! 2018 was a year of growth for me. Growing in myself, in my roles, watching my children grow, watching my marriage grow. I do the whole one word year concept and looking back as much as I didn’t choose the word “Grow” for my word in 2018, I really should have. I’m in a bit of a reflective mood as this year comes to a close (pretty normal).

We went through highs and lows and really learned a lot.

We celebrated: birthdays (Colton turned 2, Andrew turned the big 1, I turned 27, the Mr turned 32), a wedding anniversary (4 years!), a dating anniversary (does anyone actually do those? We hit 7 years together), and just the little every day moments that have started to become more and more important as life flies by.

We loved: I fell deeper and deeper in love with my husband, our children have shown us a love like no other, and I also fell in love with new experiences, new books, new teas, a couple (ok more than a couple) new mugs.

We learned: better communication skills (more so me getting better and asking for help when it is needed), how to balance life (we both took on a lot over the past year and had to work through how to balance everything), more about who we are as people and who we are as a family, how to adapt to an ever changing hard to plan everything life change (our big move!). Both kids have taken huge leaps with learning, constantly learning new skills and keeping us on our toes at every turn over the past year.

We traveled: Colonial Williamsburg, Kentucky, Canada, the zoo (multiple times), and all around DC. Our trips this year have been some of the best memories that we’ve ever made. Seeing family, new places, and crossing places off of different bucket lists has been a dream come true for us. Getting away and being together (whether it is just to visit family or go somewhere completely new) has always been a big part of our years and is a big part of our future plans.

Some of my favorite moments in the past year have been the one’s where we just were. No plans, no fancy home cooked meal, just us with some takeout in our sweats on the couch watching a movie. Watching my boys grow and learn and build their own little relationship with each other. I could go on and on about my favorite moments, my favorite things, my favorite books, etc, but there was A LOT! I have a hard time narrowing down my favorites to just a few things- I’ll spare us all that agony haha.

This past year has tested us, adjusting to two very active children in the second half of the year, trying to balance being a parent, with working and following my passions was a tricky path to navigate. Constantly feeling like I wasn’t doing enough, or getting enough done, and trying to figure out how to focus on everything at once was one of the biggest hurdles I faced this year.

I also want to say a huge, heartfelt thank you to all of you. To reading all of my posts, to joining in on my journey. I can’t tell you how much it means to me when you read, comment, and follow along. I never dreamed that even one person (outside my mom, dad, and nearest and dearest) would read what I have to say and now there are quite a few of you! I really appreciate all of you. If I could I would send hugs out to everyone.

We have a lot of changes coming as we look forward to 2019. It is going to be a big year for myself and my family and I can’t wait to continue sharing with you.

Tell me, how was your 2018? Any highs? Lows?

A Little Back End/Brand A Cuppa Cosy Reflection

***This post applies to what I’ve learned over the past year or so with my personal blog. It is not advice for anyone who is trying to run a business or have a full on brand. Just something I’ve come to learn/realize about myself, my blog, my “brand”.

I’ve been working on some behind the scene things in the blogging and social media world. Hemming and hawing over look, messaging, brand, a lot of back end stuff…

There is so much thought that goes into a lot of blog or Social Media postings for anyone. Even for the most random of personal blogs, there is still some planning and thought for posts. If you follow any influencer, or social media “assistant”, or really anyone who helps with these things, the big push is to know what your brand IS. Even as a personal blog it is important to know and differentiate what YOU bring to the table. Knowing that will turn a casual person who just stumbles onto a post into a lifelong follower or even a friend. So, it can be important.

A lot of times we are told to have one “thing”, something that stands out or makes us different from the other million blogs out there. A lot of times you’ll see it on Social Media, accounts use the same style filters for their pictures, or the same style of editing, similar captions…one cohesive look that is “them”.

This is not a BAD thing. It really works well, allows the casual viewer to know who the post is from, what it is saying, it gives an idea of who you are and what your brand is. What you are doing. It’s good to have a logo, a tagline, and a rough color/mood scheme. Beyond that though, I’m not entirely sure.

Here’s the thing…I don’t have a brand or an aesthetic. It’s just…me. What you see is what you get. Sometimes serious, sometimes goofy, always with a mug and a smile. And maybe that’s my aesthetic, I don’t know. All I know is the pressure that is put on bloggers and the like to cultivate your brand, have a certain aesthetic or look to your posts and feed is ridiculous. Sometimes that just isn’t who we are and that’s ok!

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t at least have an idea of what you are wanting to do. What do you want to share, how you want to share, etc, but I don’t think it is essential/a requirement to have a full on aesthetic. It may work for some, it may be beneficial for some, hell for a full business I would agree that it is essential.

But for me?

It’s constricting. It ties me down too much. Because like I said, I’m just me. I don’t follow just one path, and don’t stick to just one thing. I like to explore. I like to change things up fairly regularly. Talk about different things at different times. I like to live in the moment. The ONLY thing that I’ve come to realize stays the same as time passes is that everything I approach, I approach with a smile or a positive outlook, I bounce between being totally goofy/silly and serious, I love my tea and books, and I live honestly.

So, what am I trying to say here? I’m not totally sure, but I’ve just been doing some thinking about how I want to build this blog/brand. How I want to continue to move forward and grow the little community that we are cultivating. My little corner here is starting to grow, to shift and change and I want it to continue to do that in a way that works.

So, while you may not see a certain aesthetic, or a certain look to everything, just know you’ll always be getting me.

Round The Kettle Episode 6: Almost Christmas and A Special Visit!

IMG_7036.jpgI don’t want to cause any panic for anyone (see my earlier post this week about Holiday Stress if you feel panicy), but we are just about one week away from Christmas…

Have you finished your Christmas Shopping? Wrapped your gifts? Mailed any that needed mailed?

I hate to say that we got lucky this year, with our move coming so closely following Christmas, but it has certainly made this year a bit different for us. We didn’t put out any of the normal decorations we would have (because they will simply have to get packed back up ASAP for the movers to get up), we aren’t doing a normal amount of presents (because again, just for the movers to take with them), and I’ve been grateful for that.

This season of Christmas has become so centered around the decorating, the baking, the presents under the tree, but with 2 out of those 3 things essentially being removed, we are being able to focus on what is important to us. The time we get together on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day together. This is #1 in our books and I am grateful that this year we are being reminded and getting the chance to have that.

Not too mention that next year we will be in Germany for Christmas- and they DO NOT hold back when it comes to Christmas.

We’ve been a little frazzled when it comes to move related things. We’ve been loading up the things that are not going with us (being stored), trying to coordinate last minute appointments that have to be handled before we leave, deciding little things (like clothes, suitcases, toys that are going with us, not the movers). All of this on top of our standard jobs,  parenting, and out of town family visits. It’s all been a bit…much. Not too mention trying to keep a running tab of everything that has to be done.

I’ve been trying to take advantage of the bits of time that are not devoted to packing, working, or other standard home things, and getting us out of the house. My car will be getting shipped within a few days, so I’ve been making it a point of us going places. There will be a few weeks (while we are still here) that we will be down to one car and I want to make sure that any non important things get done now. That includes…visiting Santa!

That’s right, we went to go see the big man himself this past week. It was Andrew’s first visit and Colton’s second (we missed a year). The visit was a fun one and we got to scope out some big toys at the same time as we visited Santa at Cabela’s! The boys reactions were a bit surprising, my outgoing talk to anyone Colton did not want to sit on Santa’s lap (although he did run up and talk to him) and my shy, cling to mom Andrew gave a smile and might have actually sat on his lap! You can see the picture below and , despite Andrew’s face, they had a lot of fun seeing both Santa and all of the treats at Cabela’s.

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So, how are you? How are you feeling about it being so close to Christmas? Are you ready or are you just letting the time go and soak up the family time?

If You Could Do Anything…

IMG_7190.jpgI’m curious…if you could do anything, anything at all, what would you do? What is it that your soul yearns for? What is that you want to do, above all else.

Say the stars aligned right now, money, time, family, nothing was getting in the way of you chasing your dream…

What does that look like for you? Is there a way to make some version of that happen?

For me, my dream is two fold.

First, I would love to have a little book shop in a little town that offered walls and shelves lined with books, a little café with some tea and baked good offerings. Somewhere where anyone could find a small comfort, friendship, a safe space to just sit for a spell.

But I also want to do MORE with life (not that owning my own place wouldn’t be more). I want to inspire. I want to create a space for people to just not feel alone. To feel like there is someone else out there who gets it. I love to write. I love to write blog posts, to write short stories, and I’ve loved the beginning process of writing my book.

For years, I dreamed. I constantly thought about what I wanted to do, made plans, made goals for a future that I could have. For ways that I could live a life that I loved and was passionate about beyond being a wife and a mom (which were always dreams).

I’ve managed to live out my dreams in a way. To find a way to bring my passion, what sets my soul in place, to fruition. Now, I don’t own a bookstore, but I do share and talk about books over on The Cosy Book Shoppe. It was also an online store for a little while. Through that I’ve created a book community with the blog, the Youtube vlogs, and our book club. AND I’ve got this blog. This blog that allows me to share little bits of myself with others. To hopefully help others with my stories, my insights, my day to day.

So, to come full circle with my original question, is there a way for you to live out your dream, now? What is holding you back? Is it time? Is it family? Is it funding? Is it fear? Is it not knowing what exactly it is that you dream of? Is it dreaming of so much that you don’t even know where to start? What is it that is stopping you?

Tell me, what do you dream of doing and what is stopping you from doing it?