Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Years Resolution

Hope everyone had an amazing Christmas!  Here it was fantastic!  Steve & my Christmas started Thursday!  We are spoiled ;) & spent Thursday with Steve's family.  Kinda cool we got to see them & still see my family, I like how that worked out!  Then Steve & I went to PA to visit my family (and for Steve to meet those family members that didn't make the wedding).  We were there Fri-Mon (never seems long enough).  It's of course always amazing to see my family, but it was even more special to be able to share memories & experiences with Steve!  He now got to see the Eckel family Christmas and the big hectic experience that it is.  He also ate lots of firsts (which surprised me): Wedding Soup, Perogi, Permanti Brothers, & Pitzels.  Some of which I didn't realize southerners hadn't heard of.  All in all it was amazing!

Now back to reality & preparing for New Years!  I always love New Years eve, I always remember it being a fun & exciting time.  This year we are having people over, which means I have extra motivation to make my house spotless! YAY :)

But another reason I love love New Years, is I like making resolutions.  I like setting goals to accomplish that year.  This year since I'm blogging, I thought I'd share for the extra motivation to stay on task with my resolutions!  In no particular order:
--> Finally get house organized *including guest bedrooms, completely unpacking all my stuff , & putting up all of our photos!
--> After spending 2 years at my current job learning a TON, I think it's time I find something else that will lead me to new experiences rather than staying in my comfort zone. 
-->This is a big one and I've commented on this often, and it's not reacting to negativity.  I need to remember that I can't control others behavior I can only control my reactions.  I don't want to be such a reactor anymore, as I find it often brings me down.  I'm mostly a positive, happy, & calm person, but the moment I allow others anger or negative comments affect me I lose all of that. 
--> The very big need to detox and get back to having a healthy lifestyle.  This includes working out & yoga/mediation.  No more candy for breakfast & chips & french fries!  I used to be very aware of what I was putting in my body, and due to some stress & busy lifestyle I have lost it.  I know getting back on track will help me feel better & have more energy!
-->Read/study/research more.  When I was in school I was constantly filling my brain with lots of good information & I know if I don't continue I will continue to go down my spacey path!
-->Last but def. not least, a sorta personal confession, and very important one---learning to better finance my money!  Save more-spend less! 

*It's important when making resolutions to keep them realistic, but also to challenge yourself to improve.  I tried to do just that, but know that I have made some big goals.  However, knowing that each of these will increase the value of my life---I must do them.  I will keep you posted on how I am doing, but please if you follow this feel free to help keep me accountable.  Check in on me, call me out if you see me eating sweet tarts for breakfast, yell at me if I want to go shopping, etc.  Also, I encourage you to evaluate things that you can improve in your life & set your own resolutions! :)
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I will I will I will I will....

So I haven't necessarily been following up with my blog, and I could make 100 excuses as to why I haven't but I'm just going to be honest.  I haven't had the extra positive umph in me to find any motivation to blog, and then it hit me, that's when I should be blogging.  That's the thing about negativity, sometimes it gets so thick that it ways down your every part of life!  I was having a conversation with a coworker & he said, "Sometimes you just have to snap out of it, you don't have the time to be all down & bla."  Reminded me of this:  :) 

So with that, let me say a few things.
I will get it together. I will get back to being happy & enjoying each day.  I will regain my focus.  I will get all the things I've been procrastinating done. I will be the positive influence the world needs. I will blog regularly again.  In general I will go back to being awesome. ;)

Completely unrelated but want to share Our wedding video by the amazing Taylor Graves & Jeff Kaplan!  I am soo happy with it, and have watched it AT least once a day :)  It's a great reminder of the special day! yay <3

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thanksvember :)

Growing up with my momma, she always drilled into my head the importance of being thankful.  I've always loved Thanksgiving, not just for the food & being around family; but because it reminds people the importance of thankfulness.  In undergrad I had an AMAZING professor (Dr. Slattery) that suggested in class one thanksgiving for us to take the month & think of something each day to be thankful for.  I've done something similar with my family, but usually it's just the week of thanksgiving, so each November I try to stretch it for the whole month.

So this November I'd like to challenge everyone to remember how many things there are to be thankful for, and spread the good and find something you are thankful for each day; whether you post it on a blog, facebook, twitter, email, a journal, or you just say it out loud to yourself.  Take a minute each day to remember to be thankful. 

If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.

Best October EVER :)

So I had an obviously BUSY October, seeing that I didn't blog once---I know shame on me.  So here is a quick update on the events of October <3

So October has always been my favorite month, but this October obviously takes the cake. :D

October 1, I experienced my first college football game as Steve & I (& Rachelle & Rob) went to a UGA game. (Thanks Sean Canavan) SO much fun!  It was great to experience a piece of Steve's past with him, see where he went out during college & hearing all the stories...Feeling the excitement of the GA fans, I got totally sucked in. :)

October 2, my amazing girls threw us an amazing couples shower!  It was perfect time for us to celebrate with some of our closest friends & a good chance for some of Steve's & my friends to meet. 

Weekend of October 8-9, I had my bachelorette party weekend at Helen.  It was so much fun & definitely a weekend I will never forget.  We made our version of the 'hangover', without a doubt.  So many laughs & crazy/amazing stories!! <3

My family came in Friday October 14, & it was so good to have them there to help me through the craziness.  (My mom, brother, sister-in-law, nephew, aunt, cousin, & sister.) Without them I wouldn't have been able to get all my last minute things taken care of & I would have had a HUGE melt down with the way things started to go a little sour the day before the wedding.  Also that day my amazing in-laws threw our rehearsal dinner, which was amazing!  Stay tuned for the montage Rachelle put together of Steve & I, I will post it soon.

FINALLY it's October 15, 2011 & everything went AMAZING!!!  The unbelievable amount of support that we received that day to help it all go off without a hitch is amazing!! It was a day that I will never forget, and thanks to our great team of photographers/videographers (Raymond, Taylor, Jeff, & Say Yes to the Dress) I will be able to relive it over & over.  I wrote a previous blog about this, but everyone from stranger to friend truly came together to help us have such a special day, and we couldn't thank everyone enough.

So that very next week, October 17, Steve starts his trial medication & I go back to the real world.  We are so grateful for Steve to have the opportunity to be on this trial, but it was a rough week for him.  The way it will happen is Steve will go into Emory for 5 days in a row & have 22 off.  Those 5 days he receives an IV of the medication, which is a painful & long process.  This continues for up to 6 months, and then we find out the next step then.  Steve has a great attitude that despite the pain & inconvenience of this process that he knows it is an opportunity for a cure for ALS, and is willing to sacrifice any of his time to help with this process. 

October 22, is the walk for ALS.  The walk was a huge success & we had a great group of people there to support Steve.  I was so proud of him the walk was 2.5 miles through Atlanta, up & down hills, & he made it the whole way only needing 2 breaks!  This was such a success for Steve (especially for the sudden drop in temperature) & was a huge encouragement.  :)
The rest of that weekend with lots of help, we began the process of trying to organize our house.  This one stay tuned for because when it actually is done, I will post pictures :)  May take me a while ;)

October 26 = Happy Birthday Steve! I nominated myself for wife of the year for the whole birthday I threw him, but main reason was me cooking his steak! ;) (ew.)

Surprisingly we find out we have tickets for the Georgia/Florida game October 29. For those of you who don't live in the south let me fill you in.  This game people go CRAZY for; they are huge rivals & Florida has won the past 18 games they've played against each other.  The game was in Jacksonville, so after receiving the tickets (Thank you again Tori) Steve & I jump on to finding a hotel, and we left for Jacksonville Friday after work.  It was another amazing experience & not just because Georgia won!  It was a blast & it's always great to see things that are spur of the moment come together & turn out well.  I'm also starting to think maybe Steve & I being at GA games brings good luck (so keep the tickets coming ;)) 

Of course in between all these events there has been work & lots of other social things going on, and I must say Steve & I are surrounded by the most amazing people ever & without them this month wouldn't have been so special or fun.  We never take a minute of friendship/family relationship for granted, but that's a whole other blog.....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Special Thanks :)

Ok this is going to be short &&&&& this isn't NEARLY everyone that needs a "thank you"...However I wanted to write a special thanks to those that have gone above & beyond for Steve & me.

My beautiful & amazing bridal party!  You all mean the world to me & couldn't be doing all of this without you:::::: Cori Adcok, Kylie Roger, Erica Adams, Candice Moran, Rachelle Moran, & Brittany Ledford.  You are all amazing & I am grateful for each of you! From focusing me, staying on me to get things done, helping with decorations, listening to me.... You girls haven't complained once about any expenses or the "rush" y'all have been working in.  I'm so excited for the amazing bachelorette party & couples shower you all have planned. 

My amazing mom---between making the favors, the programs, & just listening to me vent---I love you & all your support is forever appreciated! :)

My family that is traveling down here for my's a long drive & with such short notice y'all have done everything you can to make coming down for my wedding as amazing as possible!  I'm especially grateful for my brother---he will be walking me down the ailse & is part of the wedding party. I can't wait to see everyone (which includes my niece & nephew!!!!!!! yay)

My amazing soon to be in-laws---All the help (which is LOTS), support, suggestions, & love is amazing & I am so lucky to have you all in my life!

Raymond Adams ---One of my best friends & biggest supporters.  Raymond is giving me the hook up with my hair (ALWAYS) & photos for the wedding.  I wouldn't be able to afford the amazing images he always provides me with & I am so grateful/blessed to have him in my life.  Plus he makes my hair look AWESOME. :) 

Jeff Kaplan ---One of the many photographers I've gotten to work with, get to know, & I am a HUGE fan of his work!  JKAP has been gracious enough to affordably help Raymond out with photos for the wedding!!  Raymond & Jeff work great together & I'm so excited to see what they work up for me! :)

Rod Michael ---I have been great friends & a fan of Rod Michael for about 4 years.  I am so excited that he agreed to play for our ceremony.  He has an amazing talent and Steve & I both enjoy listening to him play.  His voice is AMAZING & it's going to make the ceremony that much more special. Little old--but love this performance of Rod Michael!

The Say yes to the dress Atlanta was an amazing experience as mentioned before, but I really want it to be known that Lori & the staff at Bridals by Lori are some of the most amazing people I have met in a long time! 

Joel Thomas is an amazing pastor who is part of North Point church.  Steve & I attend North Point & it really meant a lot to us to have someone from there to marry us.  The church is HUGE so we are very grateful/fortunate to have Joel to be who is marrying us.  He is an amazing person & I know he is going to do excellent on our ceremony. 

Complete Music DJ company is helping us out with our DJing for the wedding.  They are amazing (and luckily) family.  I'm so excited that they have allowed us to personalize everything for the wedding & even more excited the music (dancing;)) surpirses to come!

All the guys in Steve's wedding party (and just all of his friends really)--all the support you all give him, means so much to me.  You are all a really great group of guys! :)

So many others have been offering support, love, offering to help, & just have been there to listen to me vent if I need to...and truly I'm overwhelmed!  So grateful!

I REALLY wanted to make sure all these people listed & EVERYONE truly realizes how grateful Steve & I truly are for all of your help making our wedding as special as possible!  You all mean so much to me! Thank you, thank you!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Celebrate the small things

So I know everyone always says, "celebrate the small things."  I always thought I did just that, but with my whole new outlook on life I realize that now I truly do.  Today Steve & I both had mostly what was a great day.  With everything going on Steve & my moods go through many different ups & downs throughout the day.  Today I truly feel I finally understand the concept of celebrating the small things, that we decided to celebrate our good moods. Tonight Steve & I went out to celebrate us being in a good mood & having a good day.  We have so many exciting things coming up, and have so many wonderful things to be grateful for.  We never forget that at any moment & for our moods to be lined up with the excitement we have is something to truly be celebrated. :)
I want to remind everyone, that life is a gift & every single moment should be celebrated.  Whether it's missing all the red lights, getting a new puppy;), getting out of work early, or simply just feeling happy for no specific reason (:)) at all, it should be celebrated.  I thank God everyday for the strength he gives me & the amazing support group he provides me with.  I thank him for Steve, without him I wouldn't truly realize how precious & amazing the gift of life is.
So throughout each day, remember---celebrate the small things :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

say yes--best experience

Ok so I wrote a blog about the experience with Say yes to the dress, but I actually realized that I shouldn't share the whole story with you, because why then would you watch the show ;) So with that, let me just say it was one of the BEST most touching experiences I have ever had.  I am blown away with how gracious & sweet everyone was especially Lori from Bridals by Lori & my consultant Robin.  After it airs I will repost my original blog with all the details.  For now we will wait in excitement for the show to air which will be next season Winter/Spring.  :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Keep your head up.

Okay so most everyone knows what is going on with Steve & I, for those who maybe are still unaware you can refer 2 blogs down for full story.

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." Oscar Wilde

I wanted to write today about something that is going to be the most important aspect for both Steve & I throughout this whole process.  That is remaining positive.  I feel it's a choice that no matter what life throws at me, that I remain positive & keep my hope & faith.  This is NOT at all always easy, so now I'm going to write about it. 

There are days, mornings, afternoons, evenings, etc that I am just so flustered with everything going on and I have to snap myself out of it.  I have to realize that despite the situation, Steve & I are very blessed.  I know I said this 100 times before, but I truly believe life is what you make it.  If Steve & I get consumed with being upset about the situation we let ALS "have control."  We need to remain in control of our lives & remember that every single day is a gift, be thankful for it, & ENJOY it. :)  Being negative does not allow us to enjoy the day God has given us. 

WITH THAT-I want to add a special request.  There may be days where I have my own mess going on & may not have the extra "happy" in me to continue to give Steve the extra encouragment (or even myself for that matter).  So please keep the hopeful messages, well wishes, love, prayers, & encouragement coming.  They do help.  Every call, text, or email helps raise our spirits.  I don't know that I can express my gratitude enough.  xox

Keep your head up :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

3439857 things at once!

So between making a lot of lifestyle changes, getting adjusted to a new shift at work (that now involves traffic), planning a wedding, & moving all my stuff into Steve's I have been super busy & hanging on the edge of not losing my mind ;).  No really though- It's been hectic.  However, I wanted to write a quick blog just expressing how blessed Steve & I are with GREAT, fantastic, amazing people in our lives (even strangers).  Everyone has been amazing & it's because of all of you Steve & I are still holding our heads above water!  I wanted to let everyone know that every single act of reaching out means so much to us.  We may not always have time or the energy to adequately express our gratitude, which is why I wanted to do this real quick.  I also wanted to thank everyone for all the donations & support with the ALS walk.  It's not too late to sign up or participate if you are interested click here!

Steve is holding up well.  He grows more & more positive daily.  There have been lots of changes implemented into his daily life & his acceptance is also growing daily.  It's never easy making an adjustment (for him or those around him), but each day it gets easier.  Lots more changes to be implemented, so I ask for continue prayers for continued strength & patience for everyone involved! <3

On wedding side, we have gotten A LOT done with help from a lot of amazing, amazing people (you all know who you are).  The latest exciting thing is that I will be on TLC-say yes to the dress. Due to some awesome people contacting the creators of say yes to the dress (some people I actually don't even know), they contacted me expressing how much they would love to share our story.  Well, not that I needed much convincing, but of course I think it's a wonderful opportunity to continue to spread awareness of ALS, to the public.  Plus it will be a lot of fun!  Yesterday Steve surprised my mom & I and got her ticket to come visit (spilling the beans because this is not only sweet but super exciting for me!) So lots & lots of exciting stuff... 

Once, I get all moved in & settled into Steve's, I will have more time to write again (hopefully) and I will try to blog more progress.

Thanks again to everyone for sticking with us & all the love & support!  We couldn't do this without y'all!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fears, Tears, Acceptance, Moving on, Love

I know I haven't blogged in a couple weeks, and this is one big blog on why...

Most of you already know this has been a whirlwind of a month.

I have been blessed enough to meet the man I knew I was going to marry, and the man I was always looking for this year.  He's been my rock & saved me from a downward spiral I was headed in.  We've been enjoying our life together & he's been showing me things I haven't been able to see before.  Life was good. Life was great.  We had nothing but sweet, good, love songs floating in our heads & were walking on clouds & sunshine!

My love, Steve, has been having some health issues.  It started in his right hand about 8 months ago.  He had weakness that has worsened to the point where he is unable to do much with his right hand or arm at all.  This weakness then spread to his left arm, as well as affected his balance and ability to walk.  We all kind of looked at it as something "simple" or "curable" and thought that it would be a simple and quick fix.

Monday August 1, Steve had yet another doctor appointment, this time a neurologist.  The neurologist quickly diagnosed him with ALS Amytrophic lateral sclerosis, Lou Gehrigs disease  This news was devastating for all the obvious reasons!  However, I couldn't believe one could.  No way could the man God finally provided for me to marry, no way could he have ALS.  He's only 28, and it doesn't make sense!  So with this came hope, and lots & lots of research.  I swear I spent at least 48 hours researching it, and could explain to you the disease inside & out.  We were blessed to get Steve in with one of the top neurologists in Augusta, GA on August 10.  I took off work & took the journey with him.  Through out this whole experience I have tried to remain positive, hopeful, & continue to encourage Steve.  I was really beginning to pat myself on the back and thought just wait till Dr. Rivner sees him, he is going to find something else & everything will be OK!  After spending 5 1/2 hours with the doctor, watching my babe get all kinds of tests done & seeing the look on his face getting worse & worse, I still kept my hope.  After the last test the doctor then took a long pause and proceeded to tell us that Steve does in fact have ALS.  Again, as I sat there holding the love of my life in my hands hearing the doctor tell him harsh truths, I still didn't want to believe it.  I begin to ask if there is anything else that it could be, what else can they do.  However, he did not provide us much hope, and started preparing us for life with Lou Gehrigs!

Now when a doctor (who can't give you any hope) tells you that the one you love may only have 5 years to live, how do you respond?  I was speechless, and instead of trying to at all worry about my reaction, I was focused on trying to keep Steve positive.  I fought back tears multiple times while comforting him and kept thinking, "this can't be it, there has to be something else..." That 3 hour drive home was a long and difficult one.  Neither of us really knowing what to say or how to react.  Both breaking down and trying to maintain our composure.  My heart was broken!  I had such hope that it would be something else, and heard my worst nightmare come true. 

I shortly after received an email from a complete stranger (I've told so many people, and they have told everyone, and so on & so on) that was a friend of a friend of my mom's.  The email read that this particular man had been diagnosed with ALS when he was 29 (In November of '97) and that he was still alive & fighting after 14 years.  Immediately after this email I started hearing other stories of people living longer & some even living up to 25 years!  And little by little, hope is restored!

The remainder of that day was shock, sadness, & lots of preparations for all the lifestyle changes that will now be required.  The next step is acceptance, and with acceptance comes peace.  This step is always the hardest, and one I must say will be a battle for a few months, but am hopeful that it will occur more & more each day!

Steve is one of the strongest & most passionate people I know.  He is so full of love & has an amazing spirit.  I have never met anyone like him in my life & I love him more than I ever imagined.  When we first found out it was a possibility of ALS, we discussed that we still want to live our life like we planned.  After getting the true diagnoses we decided that since we both want to get married & have children, we are just going to fast forward & do this a little sooner.  I knew an engagement was coming, but Steve still did an excellent job surprising me!  Last night he mentioned he wants to go to our river each day to walk, to remain as active as possible & to enjoy "our spot" for as long as he can.  This morning he woke up in good spirits,and began to tell me the car ride there how much he loved me & that he and his family were forever grateful for me being in his life.  I smiled & shared the same feelings of gratefulness, but still had no idea he was leading up to a proposal.  After walking up & down the river twice, he finally suggested we take a break on our typical break spot.  As we were sitting there we both noticed the peacefulness of the river & enjoyed a moment of peace & calmness!  He then proceeded to get on one knee & go on with the best most heartfelt proposal ever!  Of course chocking back tears I said yes & our spirits were lifted!

Our plan is to get married in 2 months!  Yes, October 15, 2011 is our date. Although on the outside looking in this may appear to be bitter sweet, I see it as nothing but sweet!  We love each other & there is no reason this terrible disease should stop us from sharing the life we planned for as long as possible!  I think our relationship will only be stronger because of this.  We now have an understanding for what is truly important in life.  Life is a gift, and every single day needs to special.  I know there will always be ups & downs, but for everyday I get with my love I am grateful!

There will be lots of ways to help us in the future, as it will be a long journey & we both appreciate everyone for their constant reaching out, support, & LOVE :)  For now we are signed up for the walk for ALS, which happens to be the weekend after our wedding.  If you would like to join or donate click here!

Lots of love!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Never let anyone bring you down...

You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him.  ~Leo Aikman

What has happened to our society?  Why is it despite all the absolutely crazy things going on, people still think it to be okay to bring other people down?   

It doesn't matter what age you are, words still hurt, and people still use them negatively even as adults.  Some people see the "trash talking" limited to when you are in high school, which is a huge problem, but it doesn't stop there. Bullying now has carried over into cyber-bullying as well as face to face bullying.  Social networks were not set up for people to bring people down via statuses or posts.  They are meant to help people keep connected with loved ones.  However, people are now using things like facebook or twitter as a way to talk negatively about others.

I can't believe how much people have lost focus on what life is about.  Life is about building & maintaining relationships, which includes building people up---not putting them down!  Just because people aren't like you---maybe not as smart, as pretty, as wealthy, aren't into the same things you are--doesn't mean you have any right to judge them or put them down.  Who are you to think you are any better?   There are so many more productive things you can do other than trying to bring others down.  If everyone would focus on that & trying to build people up the world would be a better place.  There would be less hate crimes, less crime in general, & more importantly less suicide.

To those of you who continue to speak negatively about others, I encourage you to think before you talk.  Think about how that person may feel if they knew what you were writing or saying, and how you would feel if it was reversed. 

To those who have someone speaking negatively about them, as the campaign says it gets better.  Do not focus on the negativity that these people bring you.  Focus on all the positive good people you have in your life, and cut out the rest.  Avoid them, delete them as friends on facebook, don't respond to their negative comments.  Rise above it & be grateful for the positive you do have.  

With the recent negativity that has surrounded me, it has reminded me how lucky & grateful I am to have the supportive people I have in my life.  It also, helps inspire me to continue to grow, and leave the childishness behind.  Hopefully the message can get out to everyone that has people trying to get them down, that it's important to rise against it, and not be defeated.  

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A calling...

"Do what you love & you'll never work a day." 

Most people spend the majority of their lives preparing themselves for their "job."  I like most did the same, and was in school until I was 23.  However, I truly believe that with my job it's not something I prepared for, it's something I was called to do.  Currently, for those of you who don't know I am working at a drug & alcohol medical detox.  On a daily basis when I answer the phone and say, "Thanks for calling new vision this is Hope, how may I help you??"  People start out (what is typically a very hard conversation for them) by saying, "What a great name for what you do!" 

Now it's true, my name is perfect for my professional life, and I try daily to have it be for my personal life also.  I bring people hope, when they come see me.  Most people I come in contact with my job (as well as my past jobs since graduating) are at their lowest point.  A lot of them are goal restore the hope!

I recently was considering a change of careers, not just a job change but completely stop doing any sort of counseling related job.  I revamped my resume, applied to hundreds of places & didn't hear anything. I kept believing it was because it's hard to break into a new industry especially when the economy isn't fully repaired (some places not even close).  Then I thought about it, I am good at what I do.  I know and understand what I do very well.  I have personal experiences that help cultivate the professional work I do. That's not something that should be just thrown away!  Maybe I'm not meant to get out of my field.  I believe that with hard work & perseverance if something is meant to be God will guide me in the right direction for it to be.  So here I am, reevaluating my life goal AGAIN (which I won't get on a tangent on this because it's a whole blog in itself) and realized I need to stick with my calling.

So after the reevaluation of my goal, there's a lot I need to do in order to get to where I want to be in my field.  I've always said this & still feel the same way---I want to own my own practice.  That's what I want to do, and now I just have to restore my hope & do what it takes to reach that goal!

Hope is not a dream, but a way of making a dream reality!  

Friday, July 8, 2011

Wouldn't change a thing...

I recently took a trip home to visit my family & on the plane ride I read an article out of Elle about a now famous actress (can't remember her name, nor re-find the article), who said she was grateful for her lessons she learned by growing up poor.  This hit so home for me, because (my mom hates the word poor), but let's face it we grew up in survival mode.  While reading the article so many points she said hit home, that I wanted to write something myself about it. 
It might sound odd to some people who know all the details that I wouldn't change a thing about my childhood.  From things that occurred for it be just my Mom raising us, to how we grew up.  I wouldn't change a thing.  Growing up in what some would consider a "struggle" gave me some of my core values I have today. I think the 3 most important ones, that I see helping me in my daily life are:
 #1 Working hard for what you want.  I started "working" at around age 11, helping my Mom's company put stickers on their fliers.  I will never forget how excited I used to get about the few dollars I would earn from that job.  My mother is one heck of a strong woman who did the very best she could, but because it was tough times, I was never just given anything (materialistic that is), I had to earn it or wait for a holiday. 
# 2. Appreciation for what you have.  The whole saying, "when I started counting my blessings my whole life turned around," can apply to this. I may not always have what I want, but it was always stressed to me growing up, that it is important to be grateful the things you do have!  One very important example I have of this, is water we can use. I recently posted this picture in my album from my visit home. 
From 4th grade to 9th grade we lived in a home that had Iron water (also no neighbors for a mile & no stop lights) that was unusable.  Because water purifying systems at that time were super ridiculously expensive (I imagine the one needed in that house still probably is) we couldn't afford any method to fix the water.  So we traveled to Lynn Run weekly to fill up 2 gallon milk jugs of water to drink with, cook with, & even boil to bathe with.  We also had to go to the Laundromat weekly to do our laundry.  Visiting Lynn Run the other day truly reminded me that it is important to be grateful every day for what I have!
#3. Knowing that everything is NOT always going to go my way.  Now I know this is something everyone learns at some point or another, but I feel blessed that I had to learn it so early on.  I learned quickly that I am not always going to be able to do things with my friends, people would sometimes let me down, sometimes I wouldn't be able to wear the new & latest style, sometimes I would have to eat ramon noodles instead of sushi, and if something "unexpected" happens (always does) it's not the end of the world. 

So there you have it, some may wish that I had it "easier" growing up, but I everyday think I wouldn't change a thing, and am so grateful for the very important life lessons growing up this way has taught me. :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mind over matter

So today I have something weighing heavy on me, and that's the concept of mind over matter.  

There are many things in life that happen that can either get us down or teach us how to over come them.  Whenever challenges present themselves to us, we all have 2 choices, we can give up and be over come with it or do whatever it takes to rise above the challenge.  The concept of mind over matter, helps encourage me through situations that present themselves to bring me down.  Mind over matter is the belief that the mind is more powerful than the circumstances that surround you. 

If you find yourself getting discouraged it's more than likely the circumstance has control over you, with a simple change of attitude you can retake control. Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.  ~Winston Churchill

With the right attitude you can be equiped to deal with anything that comes your way.  Your mind is a powerful tool, why not use it for the positive.  Like Ford said, Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right.

Life is a gift and is short, it's important when a problem presents itself to remember that in retrospect it's not "the end of the world," and not to allow it to defeat you.  The less you allow little things to bring you down, the more you can start seeing the joy that is life!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

All Else Fails Without Action

Today while doing my daily motivation point readings, I stumbled across the following paragraph from Josh Hinds (author and motivational speaker) and it motivated this whole blog. 

"To achieve more, be a person of action. Throughout your day keep in mind the old saying, 'all else fails without action'. As you put forth effort on the things you deem to be most worthwhile, you will find that your inner belief system grows. The beliefs you hold about yourself determine the goals you are able to manifest in your life. Dream big, for when you do, truly you will see that your life becomes one filled with rich life experiences. It’s your life, LIVE BIG!" Josh Hinds

This jumped out at me because it's a conflict I have been having with myself and others around me recently.  I often hear people saying things they want to do to better themselves, but I don't always see the action.  This paragraph says it the best when it says, "all else fails without action."  People can have the best intentions but may not always follow through with those. 

I have recently noticed myself falling into this category. This blog is a perfect example, I often think, "I really want to start blogging, it's great for personal growth, social media, & maintaining/improving writing skills."  So there you have it, I am putting my thoughts into actions. 

I hope to continue to 'put my thoughts into action' with all other aspects of my life, and plan to use this blog to not only keep everyone following posted, but also keep myself accountable.  I hope this also helps motivate others to do the same.  You can have plenty of goals in mind but without action it is impossible to accomplish them. 

So here it is my first of many blog postings, and with this I hope to continue the trend of peple living by the old moto, ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS!