23 Years of Adventure

Today I am celebrating twenty-three years of life. Twenty-three years of love. Twenty-three years of adventure.

I heard my birth story from my aunt and grandmother a bunch of times growing up. I think mainly because, as they tell it, it was a wild day! My mother was in labor prematurely and it was sometime in the morning when my aunt and grandma took my mother in to the hospital. I don’t know exactly how many weeks early I was born, but they had to life flight my mom from our local hospital to the hospital at the capitol, Springfield. My aunt and grandma tell the story that they actually raced down the interstate to beat the helicopter. They both swear they were in the hospital parking lot when the helicopter landed.

Sometime just after lunch I was born via emergency c-section. My back was actually up against my mother’s abdomen when they cut her open to deliver me, so I have a large scar across my back from where they cut me when performing the c-section. I was so small I wore doll clothes because preemie clothes were too big. I’ve been told it’s a miracle I survived.

But here I am. Flourishing in the sunlight, and dreaming of tomorrow. I have been blessed many times in this life. I do my best to slow down, breathe it in, and enjoy the things that bring me joy. In honor of today, I have made a list of a few of the things that bring me JOY!

  1. My beautiful daughter, Della Rae. Her spunky attitude and playful heart brings an overwhelming sense of pride every time I look at her.
  2. My handsome fiancé. Dylan’s passion for music and sly rhetoric reminds me that the simplest things in life are the most important. Our love is truly an adventure and I cannot wait to marry him in just over one year!
  3. The adrenaline rush that comes when you start to run.
  4. Sunrises.
  5. My family.
  6. Pumpkins patches and autumn weather.
  7. Hugs.
  8. Hearing “I love you”
  9. Good hair days.
  10. Singing in the shower and on road trips.
  11. The way my keyboard sounds when I type really fast at work.
  12. My daughter’s laugh.
  13. Hiking and camping.
  14. Pay day!
  15. Sunday morning snuggles in bed with Della Rae and Dylan
  16. Softball and basketball and football and hockey and any sport, really.
  17. Blogging and the friends I’ve made through WordPress.
  18. Mexican food and margaritas.
  19. Friends.
  20. Watching Grey’s Anatomy.

Some are silly, some are very common. But all bring me joy and make me enjoy the life that I am living. Today I am celebrating twenty-three years of life. A good life.

I am so very blessed. Here is to a life full of love and adventure!! 🎉🎁🎊

Good News … Finally!

Life has been absolutely CRAZYYYY lately… Is anyone else ready for fall, too? I haven’t had much time to put into my writing because I feel like I’m so busy I can’t even breathe sometimes. Everyone tells you it’s hard being a mom, but you can’t really prepare yourself for something like motherhood. I think what I miss the most about my life before my baby is that I had unlimited time to spend on myself. Not that I ever really did all that much, but the option was always there to pamper myself if I wanted to. My life has changed now to the point where I can’t even take a shower at a relaxing pace because I’m constantly worrying about what is going on outside of the bathroom…

However,

I do have some life updates that I feel like are worth sharing. I know we all get into slumps, and hopefully if you find yourself in one now, this will give you comfort that there is always light at the end of the tunnel!

I got a promotion at work! I’ve been working at my current company for almost a year now. I was hired on last August for a part-time position. Five months later, I took a leave for the birth of my daughter. Two short months after that, I returned back to work. Not long after my return, my manager asked me if I would be willing to work full-time hours. Since I was in a part-time position, I would still be ineligible for employee benefits, vacation and sick days, holiday pay, and performance-based bonuses. So, in short, I was working full-time hours, but not getting all of the benefits that the rest of the full-time staff was entitled to. To be frank, I was getting screwed!!

A full-time position opened up within my department, so I thought, ‘What the heck, I’ll just throw my name in the hat!’ My boss told me I’d still have to go through the entire hiring process of a three-person panel interview and online testing. Sooo, we scheduled the interview and testing. I walked out of it all totally disappointed and so sure they wouldn’t give me the job. I had envisioned the scenario over and over in my head and I felt like I had let myself down. It didn’t go at all like I thought it would. But of course, it’s human nature to be harder on yourself than what was reality. I was offered the job!!

I am now going to get good health insurance for myself and my daughter, a $2.50 raise, holiday pay, bonuses, etc. After some long, hard months, things have finally turned around.

I’m also officially enrolled at my university again to get a degree in Business Management. I start on August 26th. I’m suuuper excited to get back to learning and furthering my education. It’s going to be tough, but there is no one more determined than I!

How is your guys’ summer going? Our county fair started last night, which means FAIR FOOD, DEMOLITION DERBIES, AND VISITS TO THE BEER TENT! Can’t wait to hear from all of you! Sorry it’s been so long!

It Will Always Be Her

I love the way my daughter’s face lights up

When I walk into the room

After a long day of being away.

I can see she has missed me

Just as much as I’ve missed her

But then again,

I miss the days of

Being able to drop my things

As I walk into the door.

Oh, how a child can change your life

It’s beautiful and enriching

And I wouldn’t change a thing,

But sometimes I miss all the times

I used to be able to 

Invest into myself.

My happiness matters too,

But somehow I have fallen to the back

I am put on hold,

Because she will always matter more to me

Than even myself

I will give and give and give 

Before I ever allow someone 

The opportunity to question

Who I care about more

Because it will always be her.

It will always be her.

 

Story time!

Sorry to disappoint, but this isn’t a fictional story… I haven’t had much time to put into my writing lately, but I wanted to give you guys a quick glimpse into what I’ve been up to lately!

1. I have a baaaad rash of POISON SUMAC. 🌿😭 A few friends and I thought it would be fun to go creek swimming, but to get to the water we had to walk through some high weeds and grass. We must’ve walked through a patch of poison sumac because OH MY GOSH my legs are broken out and itch soo bad! It has spread on both legs, both feet, up onto my hips, and on my bum! I’ve never had poison ivy, so when my fiancé broke out I didn’t think I would too! Turns out, I did and I have GOT to get to the doc because I can’t take this anymore!

2. We had nearly $500 stolen out of our house this past week. It puts a huge strain on paying the bills this month. We don’t know who did it or what to do now that the cash is gone. VERY frustrating!

3. I have a job interview for a full time position at my current workplace! After the awful poison sumac and stolen cash, this news was a light in a dark tunnel! If I get this job I will make $3 more an hour and be offered great medical benefits. Fingers crossed I get this job!!! 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼

4. Babies grow SO FAST. My daughter Della turned SIX months old on the 5th!! She is the best part of my day and it’s so fun watching her grow!!!

What have you guys been up to? Sorry I’ve been a bit absent, but I’d love to chat!! Drop a comment!

Finding the Happy Medium Between Caring For Others & Caring For Yourself

I have a hard time making sure that I take time to do things for ME. I am totally the type of person to give and give and give myself away to everyone else in order to keep those around me happy. I truly believe that giving is better than receiving, but let’s be honest… It does feel good to receive!

You owe it to yourself to not feel shame about doing what makes you happy. I used to think that doing so much for everyone else was simply me wearing myself down and not taking exploring the things that I love. But then I changed my perspective. I love to comfort people. I love to take weight off of people’s shoulders. Ilove making people feel welcome and at home. And just because I go out of my way to make those things happen, doesn’t mean that I care any less about myself. It makes me happy making others happy, and I shouldn’t feel shame or regret about the fact that caring for others (sometimes more than myself) brings me joy.

Find a happy medium. So… yeah. I like to make others happy. Most people do. But what you have to keep in mind is that you can’t truly be happy unless you are happy with yourself. You can give endlessly for those around you, but if you aren’t giving yourself even half of the attention that you are giving to everyone else, there is no way you can possibly be happy. I can’t stress just how important it is to spoil yourself every once in a while. Sometimes I forget that my happiness and mental health matters too, and it always end in a crying fit of rage and jealousy. So find a happy medium. It’s good to care for others, but do not forget that YOU MATTER TOO!

Spoil yourself! Believe it or not, but I am not the typical girl. I would much rather go hiking or fishing than going to get my nails or hair done. The point is, it’s important to identify the things that bring your mind and body peace and do those things! If you’re not sure what things you would enjoy to do for yourself, there is nothing wrong with exploring to find what works best for you and your schedule. You deserve to be spoiled because YOU ARE AN AMAZING, LIVING CREATURE! Life is hard! Make the most of it!

Here are some ideas of activities you can do to make sure you are caring for yourself:

  • Play an instrument
  • Read a book
  • Wash your face or put on a face mask (I tried this for the first time the other day, and even though it was a quick and subtle fifteen minutes, I couldn’t believe how refreshed I felt afterwards!)
  • Ride a bike
  • Paint your nails
  • Take a bubble bath
  • Go for a walk or drive alone
  • Put lotion on (I have recently made this a habit after every shower. It sounds silly, but that extra 5-10 minutes I get alone to myself after a shower really makes a difference! Plus, who doesn’t love soft, smooth skin!)
  • Take yourself on a date
  • Paint, write, or draw
  • Listen to music

Whatever activity or hobby you decide to take part in, make sure you are doing it without distraction and focusing on reaching a peaceful and happy state of mind. What do you do to rejuvenate your mind and body? I’d love to hear some of your ideas or recommended products!! Drop a comment and let’s chat!!

Excuses & Friendships

Maintaining friendships after parenthood is hard. Most parents will agree.

But I always kind of had a hard time keeping up with others even before I had a baby. I have always been more introverted, and I can’t really think of a time in my life where I truly felt like I had a “best friend.” Sure, I had people I trusted, hung out with, and considered more than a simple acquaintance, but I never really felt a connection deep enough to where I felt totally comfortable and completely understood.

A short time ago, I had an old high school friend message me and ask how the baby and I were. I hadn’t heard from this friend in quite a while. I will admit, I was being petty about her not coming to visit me like I feel a good friend should. After all, she lives a county away from me. When she messaged me, I was busy doing whatever thing I had on my list of things to do as a working mom, so I gave her a simple: “We’re good.”

I didn’t mean anything negative by it. I was just … BUSY! So she ended up getting upset about how she tries to keep up with me now that I have a baby and that all I do is shut her out. I can see where she is coming from. In all honesty, I will probably always be the type to keep my distance when it comes to outsiders. I like friendship and I do believe that healthy relationships are important, I just no longer have the time to put a bunch of effort into people that aren’t making an actual, solid attempt to see me. You can make every excuse under the sun as to why you don’t go visit someone, but when it comes down to it… it just shows that you don’t actually care that much. And I told her just that.

How much you care is how much you try.

On the other hand, I had a friend that actually put in a great deal of effort to see me and meet my daughter for the first time. When I first got out of high school, I headed straight to Eastern Illinois University. There I met a girl named Tiffany. Now, we both only went to school there for one semester, but we were thick as thieves. We would run out to my car and smoke cigarettes, go to the frat houses, and hang out in our dorm rooms. All college fun… but that was four years ago. We never lost touch. 

Tiffany and I while in college

Tiffany and I this past weekend

I actually met up with Tiff in Chicago about a year ago, and then this past weekend she made the four hour trek to come visit me and meet my daughter.

I’d say that is a helluva lot more effort than most people give.

And we had only seen one another one time in the last four years.

My point of this isn’t to bitch about the people that aren’t putting effort into relationships.

My point is… The people that care, will show up.

It doesn’t matter if you only knew them for a total of four months.

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t seen them in years.

And it doesn’t matter how far away they are.

If they care, they will show up.

 

The big 5-0

I have finally hit 50 followers! I just wanted to dedicate this to all of you awesome readers that follow my journey, read my story, and leave your comments.

When I started this blog, I had no idea what I’d be getting into. I’ve always had a passion for writing, and I knew exactly what my platform was going to be. Writing has always been a great outlet for me, and it’s something I love to do!

I started to write a book back when I was in high school, but kind of just let it go to the way side. I’ve decided I wanted to get back into creative writing and work on publishing chapters of a new book! I already published a prologue for it, if you are interested in reading it I have left the link at the bottom of this article. I think it will be a fun journey and a great way to challenge myself while also pursuing a long-standing dream of mine.

Anyway, THANK YOU for your follow, your friendship, and your support! 50 followers may not sound like much, but this blog has turned into way more than I ever could have dreamed!

-Xoxoxo, Chrissy-

❤️

Read Prologue here.

Playing in the Rain

It’s a rainy day today. 

I love the rain. I love listening to it while laying in bed. I love watching it fall. I love seeing passing cars with their windshield wipers on. I don’t know what it is. Just something about it makes me feel happy – which I feel is kind of weird since literally every movie ever made has a sad scene where it’s raining outside… Haha

I remember there was this one time in high school when I had a friend over to hangout when it started raining. We put on old mud boots, sweatshirts, and heavy socks. When I was in high school, we lived out in the country and the house had a long driveway with plenty of potholes perfect for the making of puddles. We went outside and ran around, jumping in puddles and kicking water at one another. I don’t know if she remembers playing in the rain that day, but it’s a day I will never forget. She was my best friend – still is, for the most part. It sticks out in my mind as such a happy time. We had no worries! That is, until the lightning rolled in… I don’t even remember what we did once we went back inside, but I know my uncle was also inspired by watching us play in the rain because I’m fairly certain he took a photo of us and posted it on Facebook.

Fun doesn’t have to be planned. You just have to make ordinary times special. 🌧

Let Yourself Love

Love is weird.

Whether we want to believe it or not, love can make us give up bits and pieces of who we are and give them to the person whom we love.

Sometimes that’s a good thing, and sometimes it’s not.

You see, I’m the type of person to completely give myself away to the person that has captured my heart. A guaranteed ten times out of ten, I will put my lover’s needs, interests, and wants ahead of my own. That may be my biggest character flaw. I am so willing to go above and beyond for someone as an attempt to show them that I care. However, not everyone gives themselves away so freely. Others are much more rough, like rocks hanging onto a cliff as the wind blows against them. The wind can blow and blow, and some of those rocks will never release themselves to the ground below.

Sometimes the “ground” is scary. We don’t know what is going to happen once we let ourselves go. How far is the drop? How bad will it hurt?

I’ve always been quick to let myself fall. I see love as something you make; something you work at rather than coast through. When you coast, sometimes you forget the things that are really important and disregard how your actions are affecting those around you. I don’t believe love stays once you’re in it. I think it takes continuous reflection and change.  I don’t think once you fall in love that you will always be in love, unless you are willing to give bits and pieces of yourself away.

I know it sounds scary, but I see it differently.

Of course, trusting someone with the depths of your heart is frightening.

However, I have had the love that has shown me that it is not always that way.

I have had the love that makes me yearn for morning light so that he will awaken and we can start a new adventure. I have had the love where he knows the instant something is going to break my heart. I have had the love that not only fulfills me, but also betters me. I have had the love that makes complete silence not so lonely.

None of that amazing, lightning-fueled love would be possible without giving parts of myself away.

I’m not saying giving yourself away is all roses and butterflies, either.

I have had the love that makes me want to bury my face into a pillow and scream for hours straight. I have had the love that makes me lose all motivation to do anything with anyone. I have also had the love that leaves a horrible pain in my chest; so bad I can barely breathe.

None of that hurt makes me believe it all wasn’t worth it.

Yes, it’s hard to love. It’s hard to trust. It’s hard to rely on the hope that love will never end.

Sometimes love does end…

But if you love hard enough, sometimes it’s all worth it. 

I think back on some of my happiest days. I see tents and bonfires and football games and roadtrips and lakes and sunsets. The list goes on and on…

I have had some incredible memories due to the fact that I jumped on the horse and let myself love HARD. I’m not saying that everyone deserves a chance at your heart. All I’m saying is that you deserve, YOU DESERVE, a chance to find crazy, beautiful love. Don’t let the idea of giving yourself to the wrong person take that chance away from you.

You deserve love where your partner completes you. I can think of so many instances where he was just better than me. I could be doing something as simple as cleaning out the fridge. He would come in and ask to do it instead, leaving me to wonder what I could have possibly been doing wrong while rearranging the fridge. And sure enough, there he was doing it just… better. For everything I couldn’t do, he was just better. And that completed me!

It’s strange that I think of rearranging a fridge as a monument of great love, but I do. Because even simple things like that bring a smile to my face as I reflect on the incredible love that I have experienced. I hope you are willing to give yourself away to someone that is better at rearranging the fridge than you are. Because you deserve the love that makes you appreciate a simple life 😊

Open Your Eyes

There is so much beauty in the world

You just have to open your eyes to see it

Get off the phone

Go outside

Look around

Admire the way the leaves move in the wind

Watch the squirrels chase one another

Smell the cool, brisk air

Admire Mother Nature in all her glory

There is so much more to life

Than refreshing online feeds

Let’s converse deeply

Let’s seek understanding

Let’s love harder

Let’s open our eyes