Thursday, August 2, 2018

After Will was born I really struggled to find balance & a good routine. It took awhile to learn that there's no such thing as balance. It's all about priorities and making them a priority, because there is no way you can balance it all - and you know what?! We weren't meant to. 


God has not intended that we should be able to do everything we would like to do. If there were not more to do than we are individually capable of doing, we wouldn't have to make choices and we would never realize what we value most. 
Jeanne Inouye 

Free agency & choices are a big part of our earthly life. In the end, our small day to day choices will determine our destiny and the direction we go in life. I've talked about this before, but the choice to agree to go rappelling the day of my accident didn't change my life as much as the small day to day decisions of choosing joy, optimism, faith & being consistent. 

I thrive on structure & routine and the first 3 months of Will were anything but that. I never knew when he was sleepy or how long he'd sleep or when he'd wake up or go to bed. I'd get dressed in my workout clothes and would try and sneak out during his sporadic naps to try and move my body. I wish I'd just taken 30 minutes for myself and "me time" to exercise and move my body. I knew the times I needed to pump and so I'd try and get some structure and things done during those 15-20 minutes.

Since April, we've had a really good routine going. I've been using this chart to help me organize my priorities and most important to-do's. There are 4 check boxes and 4 priorities that I want to be sure to do every day -
spiritual, physical, mental & temporal. 

For the last 3 months or so Will has been sleeping through the night and is on a pretty consistent sleep schedule and so I started waking up at 6 AM. First I get ready with just the bare minimum & put on my workout clothes. Then by 6:15 I've started reading God's word. Right now I'm studying in the Doctrine & Covenants. I've always loved studying there because it feels so easily applicable to my life. 

One of my favorite verses as of late is:

D&C 6:8 Verily I say unto you, even as you desire of me so it shall be unto you; if you desire, you shall be the means of doing much good in this generation.

Verse 33 & 34 also go on to talking about doing good. 

As I've tried to be more intentional with my social media lately and what I want my purpose and mission to be there, this verse has helped me clarify my vision. I want to be the means of "doing much good" and #sharegoodness. That is it at the end of the day I want to share goodness and light with others. 

Back to my morning routine. By 6:30 AM I'm either out for a mountain board ride or on my ski erg for 30 minutes. When I get back or while I'm on the ski erg, Trevor is off to the gym. Then I'll jump right in and go get Will when he wakes up, make breakfast, pack Trevor's lunch & the order always depends on how long Will sleeps in, but it's typically never past 7:30.

There was another talk I listened to and it talked about what we do shows our kids our priorities more than what we say. We've been all over the place with our family scripture study and life is only going to get busier so we've committed to family scripture study at breakfast. Back in April while we were doing the Whole 30, we got in the routine of having breakfast together and I really liked it. So I figured why not add some scriptures to that time. 

Two of my four check mark priorities are already done by 7 AM. Lately my mental check boxes have been writing. I have so much I'm constantly working on. Between girls camp talks, other speaking engagements, blogging and sharing paraparenting tips, I feel like I'm never caught up. I check the box, as long as I've done a little writing, some days thats just a title or a paragraph, then I can check the box. Finally, my temporal tasks for the day vary based on the day of the week. Monday's are laundry & groceries, Wednesday are bathroom and the other days may have a note next to them of medical bills, leases, organize a closet etc. 

With these four daily tasks I feel a little more accountable for my days and all the other minutes in the day are devoted to Will. Lately after his first morning nap we'll take Cooper down to the dog hill, which is only shaded in the morning. I'll stretch and work on some physical therapy exercises, while intermittently throwing the ball to Cooper and playing with Will, but mostly he enjoys being outside and is pretty easy to please. 

One hour of "me time" is well worth the investment. The last thing I've been doing lately is not dealing with social media until after I've completed my spiritual, physical & mental tasks for the day. It just helps me keep a clear space in my day to focus on my priorities and also reinsures that I look to God before I look to the world. So to simplify everything my morning looks like this:

6:00 AM
Wake up/simple get ready/put on workout clothes
6:15 AM
Scripture study
6:30 AM
7:00 AM 
Make breakfast/Pack lunch/Feed & change Will
7:45 ish
 Breakfast & family scripture study

*In case life happens and those days when Will wakes up early or I need an extra half hour of sleep, I do my workout & scripture study time after he goes down for his first nap around 9 AM depending on how early he wakes up because that's just life.


Sunday, July 29, 2018

My dad turned 60 this year. Since we all had come home to Naperville for mother's day, we decided to meet up in Colorado. Tori had just started her new job with Northwestern and on top of that Tori & Braden were moving into their city apartment, so they weren't able to join us. Trevor got off early on Thursday & we got on the road by 3 PM. Laura & Christen were flying in from Denver and we both arrive within a minute of each other. Will had been out cold in the car, but woke when grandpa came to get him out of the car. Clearly no one missed William. 

If it isn't obvious by the pictures my dad loves being in charge of Will and just having his little buddy by his side. 

We took the morning slow and got settled in and then they tried to do the mountain bikes in the afternoon but they closed at 6 PM and we didn't have enough time to take full advantage of the bike rentals. So I organized a hike for everyone to do. Laura wasn't feeling well so she hung back with me and my mom while all the boys, Will included, took off on the hike. Christian and Will had quite the funny relationship warming up to each other.

After every dinner we had the excuse to get a birthday treat. My dad's real birthday wasn't until the following weekend, but we took advantage of every opportunity to celebrate. 

Vail Village was so cute and dainty we felt like we were back in Europe, only the sky was overcast and covered in smoke from recent fires near the area. 

It's not very often I remember to put Will's sandals on and rarely do they stay on. So I had to throw in a little photo shoot. Plus he was being such a little turkey with those big grins.

Since my accident, I've learned that I have to mentally and emotionally prepare myself for trips and outings now. I was prepared for the hike because I planned it and knowing ahead of time that I couldn't go helped me be okay with not going. I also knew that everyone would be mountain biking the slopes behind our hotel at some point. We'd called ahead of time to ask about accessible mountain bikes, but no one was aware of any. So I had prepared to hang back with my mom and just ride the gondola and look around at the top.

Last minute while we were checking out my sisters bike and finishing waivers, I just asked again if they had any accessible bikes. The employee brought me back and showed me the handcycle. They had a participant take it out just the other day. I had fully prepared myself mentally, emotionally and even physically (I was wearing a skirt). I'd planned to sit back and watch this adventure, but when I saw the bike I was all in! 

Trevor ran back to the room and grabbed me some clothes and we hit the mountain! My mom rode the gondola up with us and stayed with Will so I was able to ride down with everyone.

It was so fun to be able to get out and adventure with my family, but especially with Trevor. So often he hangs back or we aren't able to go on as many adventures as we'd like to together. It felt so special to be out there together. 

Will is such a morning person and I had to capture how much he loves the little air valve on my wheelchair. 

Before we left on our river rafting adventures we spent some time down by the pool.  I quickly discovered with the buoyancy of water I am able to stand/squat in the water and hold Will on my hip and play with him. It was just so magical and fun to be able to play with him in the water & we both quickly fell in love with the pool.  

These are some of my favorite pictures. Oh how I love this boy with my whole heart. 

Our last night in Vail they sky cleared up and was so beautiful. I'm always glad when my sister is around because she captures pictures of me in my chair, which I typically try and hop out of for pictures.

Now that we both have husbands we don't take nearly enough photos together. Seeing her luscious long hair makes me want my long hair back!

Don't mind our impromptu photo shoot, by the one and only Laura. She just kept snapping while  Trevor's was being is normal silly self and everything I love about him. We started with one serious smiling photo and he just took it away from there. 

We had just been out river rafting before dinner so we all cleaned up quick and didn't really get ready. But I'm glad we snapped one more with the birthday boy. Boo bear was asleep otherwise we would have tried to get another group photo. 

Tuesday was departure day, but we packed up our things and spent the morning by the pool. 


Will loved splashing and kicking in the water once he figured it all out. 

 Uncle Christian and Will were finally getting along & we had to put up the mini photo shoot because I just love him on these beach chairs. 

Family fun in the sun. It was the absolute best playing in the pool together and it was the best discovery of the trip, seeing how I could walk, hold and play with Will in the water. 

This kid loved splashing to the point I could keep my eyes open, but oh the fun we had!


Grandma & Will had lots of time together on this trip because we did a couple outings that he couldn't go on - ATV's, white water rafting and mountain bikes. After our last outing I was looking at pictures of Will on my phone because I missed hime and wasn't used to being apart for 3+ hours a day. 

Grandpa & Will have such a special bond together and I'm so glad we were able to meet up for an early celebration. We were talking with my dad & how he really has reached a point in his life where he is able to reflect back on a lot of his success - both in the business world, but more importantly in the home & with his family. All of his kids are grown and married and I'd say we all turned out pretty dang good. My dad always made us kids the priority & coached our soccer teams for over 10 years. Over a decade of early morning commutes into the city to work so he could not only provide, but be home to coach soccer practice. He sacrificed his Saturday's for years to coach our soccer games & when I started running he never missed a high school cross country meet. He always supported me in whatever activity I was pursuing. My dad has given us every opportunity to succeed in life. Even after my accident he still continued to help support me from my hospital days to going back to school. He supported me as I found cross country sit skiing and even flew out with me to Nationals. When I started dating Trevor, my dad would light up and just encouraged me to not be afraid of the future. I'm so grateful for the opportunities he has worked so hard to provide and the endless support and encouragement to help me accomplish my goals. I definitely would not be where I am today or who I am today without him.