Life Challenges, Motherhood

When life gets you down “just keep swimming”.

Leave it to a fish with short term memory loss to be brilliant with reciting a famous line, over and over and over again. Words of such simplicity, but so much meaning behind them.
Have you ever been in what I call “a funk” and it seems like life is out to get you? Well, that’s where Dory’s famous words come in handy, especially when it’s on continuous repeat in our mind “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming“. It gives us the opportunity to shift our mindset and swim out of that deep dark tunnel (where all the bad fish are).  Someone wise once told me it’s called tunnel vision (if you’re reading this, you know who you are.)
I have interpreted this into NOT “running away from problems” but dealing with them full force with a different attitude. (Because I’ve been the type to think even the smallest of problems my world was shutting down.)
Warning: This post is not recipe related, diy related, or any parenting hacks…simply just words related to emotions…proceed at your own risk… (seriously though at least scroll to the bottom for an amazing book review)
I’m not one to hide the fact that I too have my own life struggles, just like anyone else, it’s simply human nature. Recently there have been moments where I have wanted to hide under a blanket and just be in my own “mom fort” for a little while (long enough to BREATHE). Have you ever tried it? Imagine being in a quiet and calm place where no one can find you… Sounds so peaceful, right?!
Life is complicated, messy, and hard. PERIOD. but the good news is there’s usually always something good waiting for you (that’s the “just keep swimming part”). Bottom line is, when you recognize that this is LIFE and although the hard times aren’t necessarily going away, a little twist on your perspective can make those problems not seem as big.
Always, always, ALWAYS think about the good happenings in your life. Big John is actually really good at reminding me of this. It’s definitely difficult at times to “see” that good, but that’s where the change in perspective helps you to put on your “goggles” so you can actually see where you’re swimming.
No one needs to know your struggles, we all have them, but in different ways (sometimes it just shows in our face)…what people do need to see is how you’re perceiving life. Be kind, jubilant, grateful, and humble throughout the day. Something I’m striving for when I drag myself out of bed and rise to a new day.
I needed a moment to write this to you because I had my “mommy melt down” recently where stress was just built up, and it exploded inside of me. (We have all been there, I’m sure!) I won’t go into details about the underlying factors, but let’s just say I’m overworking myself. I also came to realize my perspective on things was a bit off
I’m tired too (which I know many readers can relate) and a voice inside my head was calling for me to slow down my swim strokes, but keep going. Slow isn’t a bad thing…remember the Tortoise and the Hare story?! My point is, don’t get distracted by negativity in life, or anxious thoughts that keep swirling around in your head. Let the water guide you through the current and set ease on a new perspective. (I’m pretty sure I’m just giving myself a pep talk!)
My sister recently sent me a book (can’t thank you enough, sissy!)  Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy Beautiful Life by Glennon Doyle Melton. It’s a read that every mama should have on her list! They’re short essays about finding that balance between messy and beautiful within life situations. Along with accepting that life isn’t always “peachy”, and you know what it’s okay. She’s an authentic writer who helps you to build connections, understand that you can “do hard things”, and even gives you moments of laughter. Glennon takes you through scenarios in her everyday life where her perspective on things started to change, and guess what? She’s living a much happier lifestyle. She kept swimming.

Today my friends, take these thoughts with you…


  • keep swimming through life, but with a new perspective…meaning-be grateful for what you have, stop comparing to others, and hold your head high to find the beauty in your daily grind. (I know… easier said than done, but it’s definitely an achievable thing with persistence and the right mindset.)
  • everyday see what you have to be thankful for, maybe even make a mental list
  • see the good out of those messy situations (trust me there usually is at least 1 good thing)
  • it’s okay that life is messy sometimes,  you will survive (you may start to become the best swimmer yet!)
  • self care-slow down and take care of yourself
I write off here leaving you with a gift of reading. I’ll pause here so you can look this book up on Amazon and purchase this as a present for yourself (consider it from me;) )
Remember when life gets you down, let the wise words of Dory whisper to you on repeat “just keep swimming”, and you’ll whisper back to yourself…

“Be grateful, Be humble, Be calm. AND Remember who controls the winds and the waves.”

A bit of a deeper post for me, but a much needed one.

Wishing you well,

~Amanda
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Life Challenges

Can HAPPINESS truly be defined?

john lennon

The one thing I have always wanted was to “be happy” in whatever I do. Silly me…of course we ALL want that. I love how John Lennon says he wants to “be happy” when he grows up. Though, the struggle can be “how do we take the feeling of being happy and find the actual Happiness in our life..

Feeling happy is different from the sense of Happiness.

Happy is an adjective, which is a feeling. We can have this all throughout our day. Where as Happiness is a noun. It takes time to find Happiness, which then presents itself into a “person, place, or thing” in your life that you wouldn’t be able to live without.

Which leads me to this thought…

Can Happiness truly be defined?

There are so many different personalities within the world that we all have our own sense of Happiness. Some of us are still trying to find that Happiness…

As I was drinking my coffee this morning I thought to myself…

“I wonder what Happiness is to others.”

Johnny and I went on a mission around Lake Eola  to ask the question to others “What is your Happiness?” Below are the responses I received. It was so interesting and empowering to ask that question to others. Of course people were surprised that I stopped them to ask, but in the end I actually had a few people “thank me”.

Our first stop was Publix (which is our favorite grocery store!) We stopped there to get a few flowers so that we could give them to people after I asked them about their Happiness. It was just a token of thanking them for responding.  Johnny and I then proceeded to walk around the lake and find people that we could ask. We looped around the lake two times, and it was amazing to pass by the previous people we talked with and see them still carrying their flower.

Below are the responses I received after asking the  question “What is your Happiness?”

“Jesus”- two Publix cashiers

“family”- two women runners

“not running, sleeping” – a woman runner

“freedom to do what I want”- elderly lady

” I don’t know, but I can present thoughts: helathy foods, or just a sense of life”- elderly man

“you can’t contain happiness from others and things, I learned I have to find it within myself”- mother of two boys

“dauther & wife”- elderly man runner

This next one was the one that stood out to me the most…

“nothing”-young lady

Happiness can be the most difficult thing to achieve due to what we call LIFE.  It takes a lot of determination, patience, and overcoming challenges to actually achieve it.

happiness

So I leave you with this thought and challenge… What is “your” Happiness?

Happiness is _______________.

If you haven’t found happiness I challenge you to have that be your mission. You may be surprised by what it truly is.

Ready, Set, Go! 

P.S. My Happiness is my family: John, Johnny, and LadyBelle (our dog). (Generic I know, but it truly is!)

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Life Challenges

What’s In Your Neighborhood?

 

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine?

-Fred Rodgers

I challenge you to go for a walk around your neighborhood. Wait for it…. here is the real challenge, leave the devices at home and “look up” at what your neighborhood offers. Feel free to share in the comments. Make sure to post the city and state that you live in, along with your discoveries. What did you see, smell, hear, feel, or taste?  Ready, Set, Go! 

Johnny and our dog LadyBelle were up for the challenge! 

As we were walking out the door these little guys decided to say “Hi”! We went for a walk right after a summer thunderstorm. 


I live in the downtown colonial south district in Orlando, FL. This is a historic district and many of the homes were built in the 1920’s during the Florida Land Boom. As you walk along the street and view homes you will notice many have a plaque placed near the front entrance stating what year the home was built. These homes have so much character to offer. 

Crisp and Clean 

Have you noticed that pineapples are starting to become a popular decor? I like pineapples because of what they symbolize: hospitality.