Author Archives: Lara

About Lara

I'm a stay-at-home Mom and run my own business. I am married to a wonderful and supportive man, who helps makes my dreams a reality. We live on a small farm and enjoy the simplicity of country life!

Why Unpleasant Chores Excite Me

I’m not exactly sharing a cleaning gadget or way to speed up chores, but I am sharing something that has made the thought of chores almost disappear…See_! I'm preppingdinner, holding a baby, and talking!!

MY BLUETOOTH!

(I had to search high and low for a photo to prove how much I use it, so I hope this is convincing enough! )

Thaaaaat’s right! Because of this awesome device I am able to call someone while I do laundry, pick up toys, sweep the floor–you name it–because it allows me to be hands free! And no more sore neck after a long phone call, yahoo!! 🙌

If you are someone who thinks “Oh, it can’t make that much of a difference. I don’t want to spend the money anyway” TRUST ME. Or just ask my sister, Jenny. She put it off for a long time and raves about how much more she is able to connect with people (me!😜) because she can do stuff around the house while she talks. In fact, I often save chores that I really dread, for a time when I know I can call someone, because I don’t have to think about it. Today I called a friend while I wiped down the interior of our farm truck (which means it was mostly muddy rags when I was done) but it was a breeze because I was so focused on our conversation.

Do you have a Bluetooth? If so, what kind? I have always bought mine on ebay. They are affordable and if the kids end up snapping it in half (yup.😫), it’s not as painful on the pocketbook :)

Lara

 

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Filed under Inspiration, Systems

I’d Be Missing Out

We can all think of a time when we wanted to isolate ourselves from the wOrLd.  We believe if we didn’t have jobs, we wouldn’t have to deal with stress or deadlines.  If we could disconnect ourselves with people—family, friends, strangers—we’d never have to deal with awkward moments or conflict.  If we didn’t have to run errands, we could avoid being reminded of how great everyone else “has it” when we are out and about.

As the year of 2012 wrapped up, I found myself thinking a lot about all the awkward, uncomfortable, stressful and difficult moments of the year.  And you know what I realized?  If I was able to erase those moments of my life, I would have been missing out.  If I would have quit my block business after making some stressful mistakes, I would no longer get to experience the J O Y I receive when customers send me thank you notes after their blocks arrive.  I could have avoided an awkward moment by not talking to a stranger on a plane, but I would have missed out on an aMaZinG cOnVerSatiOn about his faith journey.  Not to mention the moments with friends and family through the year that involved moments of frustration, confusion or discomfort.  If I never had those interactions, our relationships wouldn’t be as close as they are today, let alone the sPeCiaL mEmoRieS we made together.  And as you know, sharing the move of our house last summer required a major gulp of humility, but I would have missed out on the sense of FREEDOM I felt by sharing my real life…just how it is…and knowing that you accept me…just the way I amgirl

Wearing your heart on your sleeve, doing things out of your comfort zone (looking for a new job, trying a new hobby, meeting new people), and standing up for what you believe in are all very hard things to do.  Many times they don’t even seem worth all the effort they require.  But let me assure you, they are.  Your life is richer, more meaningful, and above all, impacting more people, all because you are willing to face your fears, deal with hurt, and conquer challenges by moving on despite the outcome.

So what will 2013 look like for you?  This year I am welcoming more embarrassing moments, uncomfortable conversations and feelings of defeat as I work toward new goals.  You are going to have to deal with these weird feelings/emotions regardless (because we are human!) so why not do them while enriching your life?!  I don’t want to MiSs OuT on the best life I can have….do you?

Lara

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Filed under Getting Real, Inspiration, Inspire, Life

I’m Not Going There

I got up this morning with a mission to help my daughter.  As a homework assignment, she was asked to gather pictures of herself which capture her favorite things.  As I began skimming through files of photos on my computer, you would have thought I was spending most of my time smiling and reminiscing about the past.  To my surprise, recalling those days turned into feelings of discouragement as my role as MOM.

You see, after I had my first daughter, ten years ago, I did a great job taking lots of pictures and getting them into a scrapbook in a timely matter.  As life got more hectic and our family grew, I didn’t capture the same moments by photograph with my other two kids—probably because I usually had one kid on my hip and a basket of laundry in the other.screen

The reality is, life will always be hectic and I CaN’t Do iT ALL.  As soon as I had those sunken feelings this morning I could see how this day was going to pan out—feeling guilty ALL day about the numerous things I should be doing better.  Like how I should plan meals ahead of time instead of pulling meat from the freezer at 4:59 every afternoon…or logging our monthly expenses in a spreadsheet every month instead of staring at a pile of receipts from the last 5 months. The list is never-ending, isn’t it?

Instead, as soon as my daughter left for school, I shut those feelings down by thinking to myself, “I’m not going there”.  I’m not going to spend the entire day beating myself up about my areas of weakness as a mother.  To help, I tried to imagine what our seven-month-old would say to me when he becomes an adult.  If he knew how terrible I felt for not taking pictures of his sweet feet when he was only a few days old, he would say, “Mom….really?  That’s what you’re worried about?  It’s not a big deal. Really.”  And then he would go on to remind me how I would play tractors with him on the living room floor and  spontaneously make him a farmyard out of old oatmeal containers and cereal boxes.  Ahh…thank you, my sweet kiddos, for loving me for my imperfect self.  And Leanne, make sure you remember this if you become a Mom some day. Don’t be so hard on yourself :)

So if this is you today, pick yourself up and start focusing on the things you do well.  You simply can’t do it allDon’t let special moments (like scanning through years of pictures and reflecting on the past with your kids) pass you by because you are beating yourself up, wishing you’d done better.

From one parent to another, I think you are doing just fine ;)

Lara

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Filed under Getting Real, Life

Start Over

Good morning Friends!

Today I wanted to pass along something that has been helpful to our family. The other morning I was fixing Leanne’s hair.  She didn’t like it and combed the braid out.  It upset me because I had worked hard on it and we were running out of time before the bus came.  I told her she would have to figure out how to fix her hair on her own and walked into the other room, upset (probably not the best of parenting!).  To my surprise she walked after me and asked,

“Mom, can we start over?”

I replied, “Sure!”  She stuck out her hand and we shook on it.

She smiled.

In a cheery voice I asked her how I could help her get ready for school, and off we went.  It was as if the short moment of frustration never happened.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERADon’t get me wrong, when my kids or husband ask me to “start over” it takes a big swallow of pride to put my anger aside and agree to start fresh.  The human side of us just wants to stew over the problem, which only makes things worse and wastes a lot of time.

But just like ripping it like a band-aid, it only stings for a second!  Do yourself (and your loved ones) a favor by asking if you can START OVER the next time things head in the wrong direction.

Lara

Now that nicer weather is around the corner, do you need help getting motivated to do some spring cleaning? If so, read my “Rip It Like A Band-Aid” post!

 

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Filed under Family, Friends, Marriage, Parenthood, People, Relationships

Impeccable Timing

Every now and then I find myself focusing way too much on areas of my body that I don’t like.  Do you ever do that?  Often times it is the skin spots that keep popping up with age or the way my body has changed after having three kids. *Sigh*.

Well today I got an email that included the video I have posted below.  Talk about impeccable timing.  I am glad God put it on someone’s heart to pass it along, because I needed this reminder.  Just in case you needed it too, I decided to share it with you!

This video is an eye-opener in more ways than one.  Not only does it make me think twice about nitpicking areas of my physique, but gave me a kick in the pants for when I get down about life or complain about a task being too difficult.

Attitude is everything.  Don’t deprive yourself of a good life just because everything isn’t perfect.  And I love what Chris says, “If you are worried about how you look, you are cheating yourself out of opportunities.”  Needed to hear that. So true.

I hope this touches your heart like it did mine.  Enjoy…

Lara

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Filed under Dream Big, Getting Real, Hard Reality, Inspire, Life

Make a Pact

Every once in a while Doug and I will catch ourselves wAsTiNg a lot of time rehashing an upsetting incident, discussing something negative, or spending way too much time on something that we shouldn’t.  Do you ever do that? Recently, we have done something helpful to avoid these ongoing situations.  We “make a pact” with one another to no longer waste another minute on that specific topic.  When we catch ourselves in a conversation that makes us feel sour, one of us may say, “Okay…for the rest of the month we need to work on not bringing up_______.”  From then on we hold each other accountable by giving “the look” or a quick reminder when conversations head the wrong direction.pinky-swear1

Is there something that you are doing, saying or thinking about that you need to nip in the bud?  By regurgitating the same negative conversations you are adding unnecessary depression to your day AND to those around you.  Doug and I always have to remember…the kids are aLwAys watching and listening!!  Whatever we talk a lot about, they will believe!

What conversations can you remove from your life by mAkiNg a pAcT to stop?  Don’t forget, with the help of someone else, you can achieve this goal much easier and catch old habits before they creep back in your life!

Lara

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Filed under Getting Real, Inspiration, Inspire, Life, Marriage, Relationships

Lara’s Story

As Robynn said, we all have a different story which is compiled of dreams, hopes and fears. Each of us is unique, making every individual like no other…which brings you to my story…

I don’t remember how much I weighed back in late elementary school, but the way my body felt and looked is still vivid in my mind. I remember countless times staring at my reflection in the mirror and telling myself in disgust that I was–(I hate to use this word but this is how I “felt”)– fat. It pains me to this day even recalling that time in my life, because the ache it caused me was deep. I was unhappy and felt trapped in my own body.

When I hit eighth grade, I became more active in sports and hit a growth spurt. The combination of those two things allowed me to thin down, but that didn’t mean my eating habits improved. I was lucky enough to stay thin throughout high school due to being tall and active, but deep down I never had peace with food and the memories of my childhood food struggle continued to haunt me.10616916_315678088635031_903975050_n

I gained some weight when I went to college and remember trying to diet–here and there–to shed a few quick pounds. Everyone may have looked at me and thought I was thin, but I had them fooled in regards to how I felt. Food, and my obsession to have an “ideal” body, secretly controlled my life. As a college freshman I remember buying a huge bag of kettle corn from Sam’s Club. I told myself I could eat only popcorn and water, in hopes to lose five pounds. I would even pass up eating dinner with my friends because I had promised myself to stick with my plan—only  to throw my hands up in defeat a week later after a couple pound gain. Not to mention, I missed out on those fun outings I had passed up.

The saga continued after college and into my marriage. I had such a love/hate relationship with food. Loved how it tasted but hated how it made me feel after eating too much of it and the control it had over my life. I would frantically read any new diet fad on a magazine–in hopes to put an end to this madness–but it wasn’t until years later that I found the answer.

When I met Robynn, and our friendship grew, we began to openly discuss our secret struggles with food. It wasn’t until then that I realized I wasn’t alone. And the more we talked about our frustrations, the more we were determined to stop the food insanity that had taken over our lives.

That is where our peace with food journey began. And since it would be too difficult to try and share our experiences all in one post, we will share it in smaller segments as we continue to blog. We hope you’ll stay with us and invite others to join the discussion as we share how to live in PEACE with food.

More to come!

Lara

 

 

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Filed under Peace w/ Food, Self Image, SelfImprovement, You