Well, it’s been at least a year and a half since my heart was here. Blogging was a huge part of my life for a long time and for most of that time I honestly LOVED it. I loved that it saved me money on therapy, introduced me to new friends from all over the world, and gave me a creative outlet outside of my boring job and the tediousness of motherhood. Today it is obvious that blogging really isn’t my “thing” any more, but I’m not closing the door on it. I have so much time and heart invested in this space that I very much plan on continuing with it – just maybe not as passionately as I once did. Right now I want to bring you up to speed on my life over the past year+ so that I can move forward with posting here more often. I guess this post is a way of playing catch up (for those who may care) so I can once again start fresh
Near the end of 2015 I felt myself sinking into a familiar rut. The monotony of my day-to-day life running kids to and from school and activities, keeping the house together, fixing food…. it just all felt so “blah” to me. The short, cold winter days definitely weren’t helping. Having just survived two very emotionally taxing surgeries on my little guy while also struggling with a child whose behavior was challenging me as a mother, I found myself in a place where I didn’t even know myself. I felt tired, lonely, depressed and completely uninspired.
One day in the middle of the week when both boys went down for a nap and Leila was at school, I realized just how miserable I was feeling and that I needed to do something about it. With 400 ideas in my head as to blog posts to write and hobbies and ideas I wanted to pursue for my own personal fulfillment, I froze up yet again. I’m pretty sure I suffer from analysis paralysis – I tend to just shut down instead of taking steps to actually accomplish anything. As I lounged on the couch stuffing my face with potato chips in an attempt to eat away my negative emotions and browsing Netflix for a way to escape my current reality, I came across the documentary version of The Secret. Being a long time fan of the book, I knew it was what I needed to watch in that moment to feel inspired again.
An hour later I was off the couch, the chips were put away, and I had a renewed sense of excitement for life. I felt determined to change my attitude and make things happen in my life. I turned on some upbeat tunes and spent the rest of nap time going about my usual chores while thinking “happy thoughts” about all the good in my life and the opportunities that I just knew were coming my way.
No joke, that very same night my husband got home from work and was beaming with excitement as he informed me of a business opportunity that he had been presented with that day. It was the very same day that I came out of my self doubt and into the light of “big things are happening in my life.” Without knowing anything about this business or the products or what it would take to run it, I knew it was meant to be. Less than three months later, the business was ours.
We’ve been business owners for exactly one year now and the past year has in no way been easy, but I always return to that day when I was handed something good at a time I needed it most. A month after we took over the biz, we put our house on the market and it led us on the most emotional and financially taxing roller coaster ride we’ve ever been on. Who knew buying and selling a home could nearly kill you! We put a lot of faith into a person we thought loved our home and had every intention of following through with the purchase only to have our hearts broken at closing. We found ourselves with TWO mortgages and 1 million pounds of stress on our backs for a few months. Lots of lessons learned in that process! Through it all our hyper-sensitive middle child felt every ounce of stress and acted out in ways we could never imagine being a part of our parenting story. Not to mention, nurturing a happy marriage becomes nearly impossible when the load on your back feels that heavy.
Fast forward to last fall. The clouds finally parted and the sun broke through. Our first home FINALLY sold (to the most AMAZING family ever I must add), school started back up for the kids (routines are EVERYTHING), and we were settling into our new home and business.
As 2017 came, I felt like I breathed the hugest sigh of relief. I feel the fog lifting on the darkness in my heart and I feel super excited for all of the opportunities I’m being presented with this year. Through all the crap and the doubt and the heartache of the last two years, and through losing myself at times, one thing always remained constant in me. Deep down I always knew bigger and better things were on the horizon. I never gave in completely to my own doubt. I truly believe that if you ask and you believe in the things you want to happen in your life, they WILL.
It seems like most years the summers here seem to fly by and disappear in the blink of an eye. With long, dark, cold winters and rainy springs, we normally cling as hard as we can to the two months of solid heat, packing in as many waking minutes outside as we can.
Unlike years past when I find myself wondering what happened to that sweet summertime when I see the back to school products hitting the shelves at the end of July, this year the summer is just dragging on and I’m honestly ready for fall. We were lucky to be blessed with an exceptionally early summer in terms of beautiful weather here, so now that July is almost over, I feel like we’ve already enjoyed a few months of sun and sand and adventure. Not to mention, this summer has been anything but relaxing for my family.
You may remember half way through my pregnancy with Roman when we found out he may have hydronephrosis (enlarged kidneys) due to reflux or a blockage in his ureter. After keeping an eye on his kidneys throughout my pregnancy, delivering him a week early just to be safe, and waiting and watching in pain as my baby boy underwent test after test over the first year of his life while being on a daily dose of antibiotics to prevent kidney infections, his urologist has finally decided it’s time for surgery. When we found out that surgery was definitely in the cards for Roman last week, I actually wasn’t surprised or shocked or even that upset. I’ve had a long time to prepare for the possibility. When we went to schedule the surgery I assumed it would be later this year, but nope, they had an opening next week. Between trying to sell our house, losing out on a new home we loved, and Leila being diagnosed with a heart problem, why not add to the dreariness with surgery on my sweet and happy one-year-old?
Okay, I know that sounds horrible and like I’m crying out “woe is me!” but the truth is that through all the sadness I’ve experienced this summer, there really has been a whole lot of good. I think Andy and I have tried hard to overcompensate for the stress we feel and protect our children from it by packing in as much fun in the sun as we can. We’ve been on mini trips, strawberry picking, to water parks, and have spent lots of time enjoying the beautiful lakes that surround us.
In Leila’s words, “This is the best summer ever!” So at least that makes me feel good. And I know with all the drama and stress and pain comes the eventual light at the end of the tunnel. Soon enough we are bound to hit a streak of fortune. I’m doing my best to stay positive and take everything one day at a time. Even though it’s hard at times, I’m determined to count my blessings. So, while I’ll welcome fall with open arms knowing the stress of this summer and Roman’s surgery will be behind us, I’m still living in the moment and making the most of this summer.
And I’ll end with a photo that pretty much sums us up perfectly in this season. 🙂
One of my greatest dislikes is stagnation. I absolutely hate when life falls into too much of a rut or routine. If I’m not constantly moving and changing and growing and working towards something new and looking forward to things to come, life just feels bland to me. And it makes me get all twitchy and I slowly start feeling down and depressed.
This is probably why I’ve never stuck with one thing for too long. My hobbies are constantly changing. I get bored with one thing and move on to the next. Yes, I sometimes wish this wasn’t the case so I could really excel in one area, but it is also what makes me who I am. If I don’t have something to look forward to on the horizon (a new endeavor, a trip, a new baby), I’m not the happiest Ariel I can be.
I was starting to feel that itch of boredom with life tickling the back of my throat a few weeks ago. I was falling into the rhythm and routine of my day-to-day existance with nothing much to look forward to or work on that really excited me. And then my husband who is obsessed with watching the local real estate market found a house in our dream neighborhood with a price that was too good to be true. Were we looking to move any time soon? No. Were we ready to sell our house? No. Were we in a financial position to buy a new home? Not necessarily.
But somehow one spontaneous and rather irresponsible decision brought a spark back into my life. On the same day that the “dream house” was listed for sale we went and looked at it. And then within a matter of hours we got a pre-approval letter for a new mortgage and put in a full price offer (on a house that we probably couldn’t even afford). That day I seriously almost died of a panic attack over all of it, but the adrenalin felt so good at the same time! Ha!
Needless to say, the next day we lost in bidding war to an offer that was like $30k OVER the list price! It was heartbreaking and such a HUGE relief at the same time.
So why am I writing about this when we aren’t moving and haven’t even bothered mentioning it to many of our family or friends? Because that one little (big?) irresponsible decision sparked a couple more spontaneous decisions that have brought a little light and excitement to my boring ole life. First of all, we immediately decided to fix up our kitchen in case we do decide to sell our house soon. Right now we’re installing new floors and will be getting new appliances and having our cabinets painted soon. It’s exciting! And then we booked a last minute trip to DISNEYLAND (!!!) at the end of this month and we’re going to surprise the kids and I’m SO EXCITED I CAN’T TAKE IT!!
Should we be saving money instead of fixing our kitchen and taking an expensive trip? Yes. Should we at least sit on ideas for more than a day (or a few hours) before signing up to spend a bazillion dollars? Absolutely. But ya know what? Sometimes it feels good to be a little bit irresponsible. And I’ve definitely decided I need to make space for a little more spontaneity in my life. Maybe just not the expensive kind next time. 😉
Here are some bits of life lately. Follow me on IG (@dreamstodo) if you want to keep up (since I can’t seem to find time to blog as much as I used to).