8 ways to chase away the Monday blues

From a few days ago-not a Monday! 😂

It has been the most stereotypical Monday morning.

My 3 year old peed his bed. My 18 month old had a horrible poop explosion. I spilled my coffee all over our couch. It’s pouring rain. The world is going crazy with awful, unimaginable things. I woke up in a panic from a nightmare at 5am. Liam has run into the bedroom and slammed the door announcing “me grumpy!” Twice.

We’ve just been bombarded by things all morning, and it’s not even 8:30am! It’s tempting to just give up and have a lazy, movie marathon day. Or, we can take a little while to reset our day, and try to reclaim the day.

The “ducky pond” we love near our house that’s normally little has completely flooded the surrounding area in the last 24 hours. We’ve gotten a lot of rain!

These are some of my favorite ways to do that:

-get outside. Spend some time in the sun. If it’s raining, get outside anyway! Fresh air (and a change of scenery) is amazing for resetting moods!

-drink a extra cup of coffee or tea. This is very calming to me, and actually sitting down to enjoy a hot beverage is relaxing!

-read your Bible. I’m catching up on my chapters from Numbers that I missed this weekend.

-Watch the rain from the window. It’s oddly calming to watch the rain drops roll down the window.

-Get some exercise. This is so important and a great way to start the day over! Get those endorphins and the blood pumping through your body!

-Journal a prayer and/or some things your grateful for.

– Read a book for 20 minutes! (Leave a comment and let me know if you want a suggestion! )

-Call or text a friend. It could be something simple. “I was thinking about you!” Or something more involved like getting together. It’s about taking the focus off of you and your bad day, and brightening someone else’s!

We are headed out for a run (in the rain!) in a few minutes, and then we are going to work on doing some of these to help continue to reset our day!

Love,

Becca

5 things I’ve Learned About Smaller Living

We have been living in small spaces for about 2.5 years now. We started out by living in an RV for about 6 months, which we really loved. It was so different learning to live with 1/4 of the stuff we had in our former apartment. But it ended up sparking a new mindset for me, and I am so grateful we’ve had the opportunity learn to live with less. It’s been life changing in many ways!

After 6 months, we needed to move out of the RV, and had a very quick timeline. We found a small local apartment, and moved it! (It’s about 450 Sq feet.) It’s not been without challanges, (there is no oven, so we learned to cook everything in our smoker and other kitchen appliances.) but the way my mindset has changed towards things, and what we really need, has been huge, and I wouldn’t give that up for the biggest house in the world.

1. Kids don’t need as many toys as you’d think.

We have had to keep toys at a minimum, due to lack of space at first, but then because we saw that our littles were more than content with the intentional toys we brought into our home. We’ve also seen them become more creative, and using their imaginations with other things from around the house. We prioritize books, and toys that encourage imaginative play, (instead of electronic toys that sing for example!).

2. If you actually need it, you’ll find space for it.

There have been some things that we thought we needed, and then realized once we’d moved it around multiple times, that if we can’t find a place for it, we don’t truly need it.

3. To be intentional about what we bring into our home.

This was a huge one for me, and I am so thankful to be learning this early in our marriage! With minimal space, and a place for everything, I have to be 100% sure we need something, and that we know where it will go before we buy it! This means that I do lots of research, and think about purchases a while before buying anything, which also has helped us save money.

4. Minimal doesn’t have to mean boring and stark.

I was just looking through pictures from when we first moved in, and it’s amazing how different our apartment looks now. We’ve slowly added little touches and enough decor to make it feel homey and hygge, but not cluttered or overwhelming. It’s a fine line, and means I am always straightening up, because there is no closets or drawers to throw random junk in.

5. Declutter daily

This doesn’t have to be huge or whole closet makeovers. This is just getting rid of the daily clutter, putting stuff back in its designated place, and making sure that things that shouldn’t be in the house are gone. (Garbage, broken things you could fix, but won’t, things that are no longer practical, etc.) It makes a big difference in my mental load to have the visual clutter calmed.

What are some things you’ve learned through through your home or current living situation?

With love,

Becca

Reflections and Challanges

An early snow this Christmas

I love January. The way the calander offers a chance for newness. The opportunity to make some goals, and spend some time reflecting on the past year. Setting intentions, and creating a plan for the next year. Whether those goals are attained and go well, or unforeseen circumstances change them, I love taking the time to reflect on growing and learning in the new year.

From Christmas morning, 2021

As 2021 has been winding down, the word that keeps coming to mind when I am thinking about 2022 is Challange. I said it in the post I wrote on my birthday earlier in December, I am looking for a challange, goals to work towards and the drive to keep growing and learning. So this is my list of goals for 2022. They’re not huge or revolutionary. Some are health related, some are going to greatly reduce stress! (Dealing with the photo problem! I’m a huge picture taker, and the thousands of photos are becoming a bigger problem by the day!)

I’m really excited to start working on these, and the opportunity to grow and learn through them in 2022!

⁃ Read 22 intentional books

⁃ Run 12 minute miles. (Pushing double stroller.)

⁃ Learn and incorporate a strengthening workout into my routine.

⁃ Clean up our diet even more.

⁃ Dispose of the paper clutter in our home.

⁃ Organize our digital photos.

⁃ Run 15 miles a week. So at least 780 total in 2022.

⁃ Actively work on cultivating some friendships.

What are some goals you’re seeing in the new year?

Love,

Becca

22 reading challange // 2022

I’ve always been a very avid reader. I was the kid who got in trouble for reading long into the night. My poor eyesite is actually accredited to laying on one side while reading with my flashlight as a child. (That’s why one eye is doubly as bad as the other.)

I’ve done reading challenges (with Goodreads) since 2014, with anywhere from 150 to 35 books, depending on what stage of life I was in! All that to say, I love to read. This year I did pretty in number, around 45 books, and while I’m happy I read, and it was nice to keep my mind engaged, the quality and content was mostly “fluffy” type reads. Mindless stuff I could fit in while my kiddos napped.

In 2022, I’m looking for a challange, and I’d like learn some things. Focusing a little more on quality and content, over numbers for my list.

So this is my 2022 reading challange. I picked 22 because it is catchy, while also a nice number of challenging works, but leaving some wiggle room for recommendations and other books that catch my fancy.

A couple of these are rereads, but ones I thought were worth the extra time, and I’d like to spend more time getting into them.

2022 reading challange!

These are a mix of memoir, nonfiction, self help, and a couple fiction titles I’ve been meaning to read for a while.

1. The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin

2. Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday, by Valerie Woerner

3. Share your Stuff, I’ll go First, by Laura Tremaine

4. Declutter like a mother, by Allie Casazza

5. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

6. When Breath becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi

7. Wild, by Cheryl Strayed

8. Lillian Boxfish takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney

9. Welcome Home, by Myquillyn Smith

10. Landslide, by Susan Conley

11. How to Talk so Little Kids will Listen, by Joanna Faber and Julie King

12. Mrs Mike by Benedict freedman and Nancy freedman

13. Hillbilly Elegy by J.d. Vance

14. Worthy by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Eric Schumacher

15. Uninvited by Luda TerKeurst

16. The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr

17. Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry

18. The Flirtation Experiment by Phylicia Masonheimer

19. The Next Right Thing, by Emily p. Freeman

20. Burnout by Emily and Amelia Nagasaki

21. Cozy Minimalist home, by Myquillyn Smith

22. The Lazy Genius Kitchen by Kendra Adachi

I’d love to hear about your reading life, lists and any challenges your considering in 2022!

Love,

Becca

Family traditions around Christmas

Liams traditional photo with the stocking he was given from the hospital when he was born on Christmas Eve. I love taking this picture every year! I am excited for when he’s grown, and we have 20 of these photos to look back on! 😍

//

I am loving traditions more and more every year. Especially with kids that are growing older and more able to participate and create them with us! This year we are staying home for Christmas, and it’s ended up just being us. I’m a little sad about that, I love the family gathering aspect of Christmas, and have struggled this week with not having family close by. But we have so much to be grateful for this year, and we are making memories and traditions together, and I’m really thankful for that.

One of our favorite traditions is watching “Its a wonderful life” together on Christmas Eve. We love Jimmy Stewart’s performance, and the reminder of what is important in life!

We’ve also started driving around a couple nights in December to look at everyone’s beautiful Christmas lights, and it’s really fun! The kids enjoy it, and it’s amazing to see everyone’s displays.

We started reading a family advent book this year, it was very much too old for our kids, and we’ve missed days here and there, but it was nice to be a little more grounded in the reason for Christmas, and to help our kiddos start learning that.

I’d love to hear about your families favorite holiday traditions! ❤️🎄

Love,

Becca

Birthday Thoughts 2021

Here’s to 25! 😍

The past couple years have been long, and so very busy. But they have also been amazing, beautiful, and life changing in the best ways! (Kids. 😉) I am feeling settled in our routines, and loving the stage we are in right now!

I’ve loved the idea of picking a word for new year, and the past couple weeks I’ve been mulling over what a new year means and looks like for me and the word I keep coming back to is challenge.

I’m wanting a challange, and some goals to work towards. The drive to keep learning, to grow.

I have some fitness and health goals I’d like to work towards over the next months. I love to read, so I’m working on a list of books to learn new things, and expand some of my interests. I want to work on pursuing and strengthening friendships, and relationships. To keep working towards on my roles as a mama and wife. Birthdays are a little weird, but they’re also a good time to set some goals and intentions for the next year, and I like putting things out there, (i.e. on Instagram or here.) it kind of feels like accountability for me. That’s been a big help with learning to run this year. 😊❤️

With love,

Becca

It’s okay to Ask for Help

Yesterday last year Tori was having surgery on her eye.

It was a really hard day for me. Handing my 7 week old baby off to a nurse, and walking out of the room was torture. I had a panic attack in the room, and the second nurse gave me a hug, even though she wasn’t supposed to.

It took a little over 3 hours. We sat 4 floors down, waiting for a phone call from the surgeon, and then for the nurses to let me come up. They won’t let you stay with your children as they wake up, and the nurse told me they waited too long to call me, so by the time I got up to her, she was hysterical, and it took over an hour to calm her down.

With her birthday last month, and coming up on the holidays, I’ve been thinking about where we where this time last year. It was such a joyful time, with a newborn, getting to watch Liam become and thrive as a big brother. We were so in love with our little family.

But it was also the hardest time. Looking back makes me so sad too. Between her eye surgery/appointments/care and the tongue tie issues/pumping/bottle feeding and just being postpartum in general, I feel like I completely missed her newborn stage. We were up every 2 hours every night for 4 months, trying to keep her weight and my supply up, and when you’re sleep deprived, everything melds together. It’s just a blur. There wasn’t enough time to just soak up the newborn snuggles, and it hurts that it is gone so fast and forever.

It’s strange that something can be both the most magical happy time, but also the hardest and darkest time too.

All this is to say 2 things:

1. Soak up the little moments with your kids. They grow and learn so fast. Slow down, when you’re able, hold them longer, they’re only little for a couple years, and then they’re independent little people.

2. The hard times don’t last forever. Things will get better. So if you’re struggling, it’s okay to slow down, and go into survival mode for a while. Ask for help, and then actually let them help!

Love,

Becca Weston

Toddler Activity Advent Calander

I have been thinking about Christmas for several months, and about different traditions surrounding that time of year. Now that Liam is a little older, able to be involved and understand a lot more, I was looking for some traditions to start. Something that would be both fun and meaningful. I decided an Advent calander sounded fun, but the more I looked, I just couldn’t find one to buy that fit what I was thinking. There are lots of candy Advent boxes, but I didn’t want him to come to expect candy every single day. And I didn’t love the toy Advent calander, as we live in a very small space, and we tend to be very minimal, and intentional about what we being into it. (Clutter builds up so fast! )

So after looking at a ton of ideas online, I decided to try to make my own, that fit my toddlers personality, and the mix of fun, and “the reason for the season” that I was wanting!

I found all of the components for this at The Dollar store, and all together, it cost about $7 to make. Most of the activities on ours are free, and the couple that cost money are less than $10 each, making it exciting, but won’t break the bank, which is important to us!

What you need:

-tiny clothes pins

-pretty marker

-copy paper

-yarn

-thumbtacks

-decorations (I made the trees out of yarn, and found the tiny ornaments there too.)

1. Write out your list of activity’s on slips of paper, and make tiny envelopes (you could probably buy some!).

2. Label the envelopes 1-24, stuff them with your activity’s.

3. Tack 4 or 5 strands of yarn to the wall, (you’ll do 4 strands of six envelops across, or 5 with 5 envelopes on 4 strands, and 4 on the last one, I ended up liking this look better.)

4. Attach envelopes using the tiny clothes pins.

5. Then add any decorations you want, and enjoy a fun, inexpensive advent calander! (Plus most of these activities are free, and feel free to add your own activities that work best for your family!

1. Read Christmas books

2. Watch Rudolph the red nose reindeer

3. Bake cookies to take to the neighbors

4. Make a Christmasy craft

5. Go look at Christmas Lights

6. Decorate a gingerbread house

7. Read the Christmas Story and talk about all the characters

8. Make Christmas cards for grandparents

9. Decorate a Christmas ornament

10. Go out for Hot Chocolate

11. Mail a Letter

12. Decorate sugar cookies

13. Color a Christmas picture

14. Go shopping for a gift for Sibling

15. Have lunch with Daddy at work!

16. Watch a Charlie Brown Christmas

17. Watch The Snowy Day (Amazon)

18. Watch a Merry Pooh Year

19. Go to the Library and read Christmas books

20. Homemade hot chocolate night

21. Decorate the tree

22. Make a Christmas garland

23. Take pictures in Christmas pajamas

24. Go Look at Christmas displays in stores (Costco etc.)

Let me know if you end up making one! I can’t wait to start this with my son! His birthday is at the end of December, so it’s also a countdown to that, which makes it double fun!

We are also also planning to go through the book Waiting for Jesus, from The Daily Grace Co, and do readings out the the Jesus Story Bible.

Love,

Becca Weston

5 ways to calm your mind

I struggle with being a very anxious person, Social situations can be hard. And occasionally the overwhelming awfulness going on in the world around us is incredibly anxiety inducing. Plus I have two toddlers, and I can get overwhelmed with the constant noise and craziness toddlers create! I’ve found a few things that help calm and recenter my anxiety and mind.

1. Listen to some music.

Often putting on some background music is super helpful, especially when I’m home alone with the kiddos. I love anything by Sleeping at Last for when I’m overwhelmed, or Alan Jackson’s Precious Memories album, that is just hymns.

2. Drink your favorite warm drink.

Start with 8 oz of water, and then make a warm beverage of choice. I love the calming ritual of coffee of tea. (I love a strong cup of coffee black or with a splash of cream, or a cup of Harney and Sons Paris tea.)

3. Listen to a podcast.

My favorites right now:

– , no The Lazy Genius, by Kendra Adachi. She’s amazing at helping you figure out how to calm the crazy in your day to day life. She has practical formulas and 13 magic questions to be a lazy genius about everything that matters.

-10 things to tell you, by Laura Tremaine. She is great at the more touchy feeling things, and asking questions that start conversations, whether you just write them out, or talk to people.

-what should I read next, by Ann Bogel. I just started listening to this one, and I love all the conversations about books, along with the book suggestions. I’m always looking for new book recommendations!

Sometimes just having something to occupy your mind helps when you’re struggling with anxious thoughts.

4. Read a actual book.

Reading is so relaxing for me! Some books I’ve enjoyed lately:

⁃ The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

⁃ The Missing Treasure of Amy Ashton by Eleanor Ray

⁃ There’s no Such Thing As Bad Weather by Linda McGurk

⁃ Broken by Jenny Lawson (major language and some content warning. Adult only.)

5. Get outside

Obviously out in the sun is the very best for anxiety or overwhelm, but even if it’s cold or rainy, get outside, walking, breathing fresh air. It’s so important for clearing your mind!

What are your favorite ways to help calm craziness in your life?

Love

Becca

Being a Mama Right Now

Heavy. That’s what I have been feeling lately. Every time I open my phone, scan headlines, read about some new event, catastrophe, horrific suffering and evil people all over the world doing unspeakable things. It feels so heavy.

It’s been 18+ months of our world being turned upside down, mass panic, freedoms being stripped away so fast most people don’t even have time to notice. It feels so overwhelming. My heart is breaking for the nation of Afghanistan. For the people who are losing loved ones in hospitals across the country and can’t be by their sides right now as they slip away. For the families who have been separated for the past 2 years due to borders closing. For the hurting people across the globe. The children without families to love them.

Everyone refers to these “unprecedented” times. But I keep thinking, every generation has had their unprecedented time. When world events upset their lives and changed things, whether the betterment of mankind or the worsening, this isn’t unusual. In my great-grandparents day it was the world wars and Great Depression. I can garentee those were unprecedented times. I can’t even imagine how hard it was to cope with the heaviness of that time in history. Before that was the invented of cars, and airplanes, which must have been an exhilarating time to be a part in history! Those were unprecedented times. Suddenly travel was revolutionized and the whole world was available to everyone!

My point in all this is this: every generation has had their unprecedented time. This is ours. I’m not downplaying the hurt, fear and loss that people are dealing with every day.

But I have two wonderful children. One learned to talk in full sentences and paragraphs over the summer and doesn’t stop talkin for for a moment from the second he pops out of bed until we close the bedroom door after singing and tucking him in. The other learned to walk, and is toddling around everywhere, proud as can be of her new skills, and getting into everything.

I’ve had to limit my consumption the news lately for their sake as well as mine. I can’t let that heaviness take over our entire lives. I am praying for those hurting, and keeping aware of the current events, but I can’t let myself get sucked into whirlwind that is the media and big opinions that every single person has right now. We’re Christians and believe that God is in control, so we are trusting in that. My kids need a mom who is present. And that means turning off the news, limiting social media’s, and avoiding political talk with most people. My kiddos are too important to spend these precious years when they are babies and toddlers riddled with anxiety and fear. These may be “unprecedented” times, but my babes will only be little once, and I want to be here for every moment. ❤️