“What’s That?”

 

Have you ever read the article swirling around social media called “Dear Dad’s: Take the picture” ?

It’s a message to all father’s encouraging them to snap candid photos of their wives/girlfriends with their children.

My husband is actually pretty great at doing this sometimes, and I love him for it.

One day recently I caught him snapping photos from across the room of me and my one-year-old reading a book.  Of course I hated the way that I looked in it, and immediately became aware of everything about the picture that probably made me look ugly.

But it didn’t matter.  Those pictures were for me. And for my daughter when she’s older.

Anyway, the baby had been on this “what’s that” kick: pointing at everything in all of the pictures asking

“what’s that? what’s THAT? WHAT’S THAT?”

My husband started walking towards us to get a better close-up. Because you know, we were so cute.

The baby smacks the book again and says

“What’s that?”

And before I could answer her, Joseph interrupted this candid moment to scream

“Zoey, what is that?!” and pointed to my daughters shoe.

“What’s that?!” the baby mimicked.

I followed his finger to her sparkly pink little shoe and instantly I knew what ‘that’ was and yet still I replied with,

“I don’t know, what IS IT?! WHAT ISSSS ITTTTT?!”

Shit.  It was dog shit that she trampled through from outside.

“POOP. OHMYGOD THAT’S SHIT ON HER SHOE JOSEPH. GETITOFF GETITOFF GETITOFF.”

Dear Dad’s: definitely absolutely positively always take the photo.  Every moment is a memory ready to be captured and treasured, or laughed about.

 

Advertisements

Want to Change your Perspective? Start Keeping a Journal

It always surprises me how many people are put off by the idea of keeping a journal.  

Maybe it’s because the word ‘diary’ comes to mind, and unless you’re a 12 year old tween, then I’m guessing you don’t fancy carrying around the stigma of having a ‘diary’.

Or it might even be because you just ‘know’ you wouldn’t keep up with it. Maybe you have even tried it before! But…eventually life shifts- and you find yourself no longer in the habit nor with a desire to attempt again. 

Personally, I’ve been expressing myself in the form of written word since the 90’s. The number of journals I have filled up makes me feel proud to have stuck with the habit for so long.  Not only do I have so many crazy parts of my life documented, I can literally SEE when my change in attitude changed my circumstances.  

If you would like to change your outlook on life, it helps to know what your current state of mind is. In furiously filling up all of those pages, I was able to get to know myself. 

Journals are also incredible goal trackers.  They’re great for blowing off steam without hurting anyone’s feelings. Also- they will allow you to remember some of the most trivial things about your own life that you never would have otherwise thought twice about.

Weather its a bullet journal, gratitude journal, or regular notebook that you jot your odd little thoughts in…..by giving yourself a safe space to express true feelings, you are permitted a front row show debuting everything you are allowing to travel through your mind. Once you get to this part, then you can start working on developing the ugly parts about yourself that you so desperately want to grow.

What are your experiences with journals? Is there anyone out there like me who can’t go a day without writing?  Anyone wanting to start, but is doubting their ability to stick with it? If that’s you, my advice is to simply SINCERELY TRY. You owe it to yourself to be in control of your own thoughts, perspective, and ultimately every damn detail of your life.

 

 

6 Reasons Your Small Business Needs a Blog- Content Marketing Strategy

Does your small business desire to branch out in its content marketing efforts? Has your website seen a plateau in traffic?  Many small businesses eventually come to the conclusion that adding a blog to their business usually brings nothing but good things.  If you find yourself wondering ‘why?’ read the following points to become enlightened!

 

  1. Blog articles bring traffic to your website.

  2. They help your customers get to know your company better. (Provides a better connection.)

  3. They provide practical and up to date tips for your target customers (which builds trust in your brand.)

  4. The more content a website generates, the more searchable it becomes.

  5. Blogs aid in building industry authority.

  6. Regular blogging helps increase engagement as well as helps circulate great reviews.

Screens

I remember a time when smartphones weren’t a thing.  I remember when the only time I spent staring at a screen was once a week in ‘computer lab.’ When the extent of my virtual conversations were my email inbox that went eternally unchecked. I remember when my mom limited our TV time to one single episode of The Brady Bunch right before bedtime.

Nowadays 7 & 8 year old’s are walking around with personal smartphones and nobody is even questioning it.  I’m horrified at even the amount of time my own son spends looking at a screen every day. Binge watching Netflix is considered an acceptable pastime, and weather we like it or not it’s something that we all do.

How much time do you spend looking at a screen in just one days time?

If I’m being honest with myself, I’m ashamed of how much time I waste scrolling. And I don’t even consider myself addicted to my phone.

Cell phone addiction has been found to be associated with an assortment of bodily and cognitive complications including loneliness, depression, and anxiety. And this is only the beginning of the research that has yet to unfold, as smartphones are still a fairly new phenomenon.

It’s easy to get lost in the scrolling.  Just like it’s easy to get lost in the hours we spend binge watching TV shows. Many of us get home from a long day at work or school and settle in for some ‘digital resting’ as a way to pass the time to unwind. I know that I watch a lot of TV, hence the reason this is on my loooong list of adjustments to be made in my life.

In the same way that continuously scrolling through our social media sites is detrimental to our self-esteem, TV can be a sneaky way to infect our brains with toxic thinking patterns.  I also think that watching so much of it is incredibly destructive to our imagination.  Instead of giving our mind space it needs to  interpret the world, TV literally hijacks our original thoughts to redirect them to whatever agenda is currently being played out.

So now that we agree that the amount of screen time we subject ourselves to may in fact, be a problem, what are we going to do about it?  There are several apps for both iPhone and android that were developed to help us with just that!  The options range from free to not-so-free, which means no one has to be excluded from benefiting by them!  I personally like the Quality Time app for android. It shows me exactly how much time a day I spend on each individual app on my phone, and also shows me how the alarming number of times I have unlocked my phone within one day.

Can you imagine a world with no TV or scrolling time? If these two things weren’t such a prominent pastime in today’s society, how much more productive do you think you would be? Think about if you seized all the hours in a week that you spent staring at a screen, and then applied that time toward achieving your goals.  How much faster do you think they would be achieved? Do you think you might find room to grow creatively? Would you consider honestly evaluating your personal smartphone usage/ TV time?

 

Top 5 Personal Reasons to Practice Yoga

 

There’s no doubt that I’m at the bottom level of the ‘knowledge of yoga’ totem pole. I mean I have only ever been to a total of maybe 3 to 5 classes, and like most beginners- I always pick a spot all the way in the back, so that when my body fails to bend the way the instructor tells it to, fewer people will be there to witness my crumpled ass on the floor.

Most of my perspective on yoga comes from an 80’s video tape of my mom’s that I did a couple times in high school.  The instructor sounded like Rafiki from the Lion King, which is apparently very soothing because both times I completed the tape- I ended up asleep on the floor.

Keeping a consistent and steady fitness routine is hard. I need a style that comes with flexibility, costs me little to nothing, and helps me become a present person. Mindful, decisive, and purposeful. There is always so much extra information rolling around in my brain, and it makes me feel unfocused on my priorities and overly anxious.

All signs point to yoga.

Which brings me to the whole point of this post. Read below my 5 personal reasons of practicing yoga, and please if you can add more reasons to my list in the comments, definitely do so! (I’m trying to stay motivated here, help a gal out!)

  • I can practice yoga anywhere & need minimal equipment. This is great for moms who can only focus on themselves when the kids are sleeping, or for someone who isn’t too keen on spending a lot of money on a gym membership or equipment.

  • It’s timeless.  Yoga has been around for many years, and will be around for many more. There’s GOT to be a really great explanation for that.

  • ANYBODY CAN DO IT.  Old, young, tall, short, lots of muscle, lil bit of muscle, boobies, no boobies…you get the idea. There’s a modification for almost every pose so anyone at any level can start somewhere.

  • YOGA PANTS. Need I say more? I think not.

  • I’m hoping it will help me yell at my kids less.  Yoga connects you to your breath, which gives you more endorphins.  Endorphins make you happy.  Happy mama’s just don’t yell at their kids.  RIGHT?! (That was a legally blonde reference btw.)

All jokes aside, I have been on this search for a deeper mind/body connection for what I feel like has been years and because of the reasons I listed above, I will continue to grow in the practice of yoga -crumpled in shame on the floor or not. After this last year’s events , my life is finally routine enough to dive into something that challenges me.

What are your experiences with yoga practice? Have you ever been in the habit of practice for longer than a month? If so, what kept you motivated to be consistent? Please comment below and share with me!

Also please comment as many reasons as you can think of to practice yoga. Personal, scientifically, educational, whatever!! My initial list is only intended to get the ball rolling on all the awesome reasons to practice yoga that I know are out there.

Carmichael vs Beale

20160129_151001.jpg

Let me begin by stating very clearly, that I love being Mr. Beale.  I have loved it for the last 7 years, and I will continue to love it for the rest of my life.

Sometimes though, I catch myself doodling my signature with my maiden name.  I can’t quite put my finger on why.

I signed that name for so long.  Everyone in my hometown knew me by it.  It was who I was for the first 19 years of my life.

Zoey Carmichael was a different person than Zoey Beale.  She was single, she was a workaholic.  She was proud, a little selfish, extremely impulsive, a dreamer, and a ride or die type of best friend.  She had the worst potty mouth.  She played volleyball and softball.  She sang solos in choir concerts.  Her dance moves had once been described as similar to ‘a stripper with ADD’.
Zoey Carmichael was Sami and Sabrina Carmichael’s sister.
Fast forward post marriage and babies.
Zoey Beale is a wife and mother.  By day she changes diapers, packs lunches, kisses boo boos, goes to work, brews a lot of coffee, makes lists ontop of lists..and by night she writes.  She reads her bible, furiously scribbles in her journal, and she worries way too much.  Her hips swing the way they use to when she tries to dance.  Zoey Beale has mom hips.  She still loves her friends dearly, but is no longer able to drop everything on a whim to be there for them like she use to be.
Zoey Beale?
Who??
Is she related to those Carmichael girls?
The thing is, I don’t like one Zoey more than the other.  Instead of viewing these two identities as separate, I prefer to see Zoey Beale as the grown ass woman version of Zoey Carmichael.
I have managed to hang on to a ton of qualities and quirks that Miss Carmichael carried.  Obviously I still have that potty mouth.  I’m still a dreamer, impulsive, and will unfortunately be forever clumsy.  But I am so much smarter now, and I like that I am a little less selfish than I once was (being responsible to keep a couple tiny humans alive will do that to you I suppose.)
I still have a couple of old high school shirts with CARMICHAEL written across the back.  I will cherish those forever, and remember my glory days every time I wear them.  But then, I look at my wedding band and feel that these glory days are just as important, and bring to the surface the same type of pride in my heart.  I am now simultaneously my husband’s wife, AND a Carmichael sister.  Talk about a win-win.

Father’s Day Shoutout 2018

I missed a Father’s Day shoutout because I wanted it done properly.

This day in target was hell.  We scouted out this awesome cart in the hopes that the kids would be amused enough to SIT the entire time.

That was cute.

Brayden was obsessed with all the Pokémon items the store had on display, and made it known.  Nova screamed until we let her out, where she proceeded to run through the aisles growling like the hulk, and climbing on top of all the shelves like a tiny Godzilla.

After 20 minutes of dirty looks from the other customers as well as making little to no progress on our shopping voyage, we decided that you would take the kids outside to the car and I would finish the grocery shopping.

So THEN I made a spectacle of my own.  Ramming into everything under the sun.  Because that cart is ridiculously oversized.  And continuing to get dirty looks from the other customers because they were probably wondering WHY I even had a cart specially designed for kids, without any kids in it??

I’m so grateful that you are who I get to create these memories with.

The level of father you are can be deciphered with a peek at the way our kids light up when you get home from work.  No matter what job you have had throughout the years, it’s typical for you to come home either exhausted, covered in grease/dirt, sunburnt as all get out, or a mixture of all three.  And yet the first thing on your agenda is to have yourself a proper tickle fight with the kids.

I am so lucky to have you as my team mate.  Many days you do more than your fair share of the workload.  Not to mention your patience becomes increasingly impressive every year.  The way you find creative ways to help Brayden learn something new makes my heart warm and fuzzy.  You are involved. You are setting an amazing example.  And you are so damn appreciated.  

Happy belated Father’s Day to the love of my life and my biggest supporter.

P.S. You just came into my office (/closet) and plopped a quesadilla on my desk.  And you are appreciated for that as well, good sir.