Wednesday, December 16

Santa Photo & Some Other Ramblings

As the end of this year soon approaches and new beginnings are just on the horizon, I have been reflecting a lot on the lessons I have learned over the span of this year.  With each passing year comes a more seasoned/ripened version of myself.  I have so much more growth ahead of myself, but find this past year a good one in the stretching and refining department.  This picture below has a little to do with what I am about to ramble on about.  Bear with me, as this might be all over the place, but then again when am I not?
Growing up I always seemed to be a bit of a perfectionist.  I remember having to have my bed spread smoothed perfectly, pillows fluffed just right, vacuum lines evenly spaced, handwriting as perfect as my fingers permitted, coloring in the lines with the perfect thicker outer lining, slicked hair without any sign of a bump, chipped fingernails where out of the question and my planner was filled with to-do's.  These are only a few of the the ridiculous things that preoccupied my time.  I set some pretty high expectations for myself, even at a young age.  

In all of my interview prep classes or any interviews for that matter their was always the question posed, "What is one word that you would use to describe yourself?"  I always used the word PERFECTIONIST.  I seriously used to drive my own self nuts and I'm sure the people who surrounded me crazy.  Now don't let me fool you, I was by no means perfect or even thought I was close to perfect.  Yet I had this mentality that perfectionism was perfect, when all actuality I had it all wrong.

I always had things laid out perfectly in my mind.  I had this picture perfect idea of what an excellent house wife, mother, friend, daughter, church member and so on and so forth was in my mind.  I tried to live up to this standard that I set so highly for myself.  Just this past year I about ran myself into the ground.  I was always taking on too much and didn't know how to say no.  It took a toll on my body and thankfully have learned what works for me.

This Christmas I made up my mind that I would NOT do what I did last year.  I had a newborn baby, took on way too many photo shoots, insisted on baking dozens upon dozens of sugar cookies, attending too many parties, wrapped each gift with perfect creases, checked off my holiday to-do list even if it meant staying up way too late on countless nights.  I wanted this year to be anything but the way it turned out last year.  It took some rearranging, but I can honestly say, I stuck to my plan.  This year I most likely passing on the sugar cookie baking, decorating and delivering, I had to say "no" and "I'm sorry" to a lot of people when it came to photo shoots, I brought store bought cookies to scouts, didn't fret about every detail of my house and even brought the most simple appetizer to a friends party, that didn't involve any cooking.  These all may seem minuscule to some, but for me they were huge.

It has been wonderful in every sense of the word.  I even took my girls to see Santa in non Christmas attire.  I had all these plans of getting them all dolled up, but realized that was mostly likely never going to happen and decided to just go with what they had on.  It was quick and perfect.  The girls will never know the difference and it's a testament to my vow to change.

This new me has trickled into every aspect of my life.  It's made my stress levels go way down and has even hopefully helped my kiddos in the long run.  I try and stick to a schedule most days, but realize things don't always go as planned and more often times than not, they don't.  I can only do my best and the thing that has made the biggest difference is not worrying what others may or may not think.  I'm sure others wonder why my kids are always in their jammies or why I'm always in sweats, why my car is a total disaster, my nails are chipped, I bring store bought soup and throw it in a crock-pot, don't sign up for certain things anymore and didn't give my daughter the proper party.  I'm totally okay with others disapproval and have really just come to accept I am doing the best that I can.  My husband and kiddos feel loved, we have full belly's..... most nights and we are hopefully teaching our kids what's most important in this life. 

It has taken me many years to realize perfectionism is out of reach and that it's okay.  I have actually come to embrace letting things go.  It's like a breath of fresh air and the doors have opened for me in more ways than one.  I have total respect for the mamas that throws the most over the top, Pinterest perfect birthday party, have the perfect color coordinating kids, stellar Elf on the Shelf, rockin bods, always dressed and the most well behaved little ones.  I have just come to realize I am not that and that's "perfectly" fine.  Each one of us has so much to offer and in different ways.  Some talents and abilities are more visible because of social media.  I'm a total sucker for those picture perfect mama's.  I follow hundreds of them.  They inspire me and give me great ideas, but I no longer spend the time worrying why my cakes don't look like theirs or why my photo's don't all have the perfect lighting.  

I've also come to the realization that there is a time and season for all things and while this year I am taking a break from baking sugar cookies, it doesn't mean I'm done forever or even failed this year.  I've learned letting people help is hard but so humbling.  I have so much more compassion for others and try not to judge.  For most of the time I'm sure we are all just trying to stay afloat ourselves.  I have so many inspiring women in my life who continue to help shape me into the best version of myself.  I'm happy I can count on them to pick up where I fall short and most of all, I am grateful for a Savior who loves me in spite of my imperfections.  He has a way of refining me in ways I never knew existed. 
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  1. I love this post!!! I can relate to it so much! (We would totally be bffs :)

    1. HAHA!!! You are the sweetest. I know, I wish we lived closer. You are the cutest most amazing mama! Reading your blog always brightens my day.