Time Cherished

Wow! I don’t know if I could feel more exhausted right now because I haven’t really slept the last few days. I never sleep well in a hotel.   My oldest daughter and I flew to Atlanta on Friday for her first live cheer competition of the season, and we got back late yesterday afternoon.  It was our first time traveling since the pandemic began, and it was quite an experience.  I was nervous about it and our chances of exposure, but I was also excited to be doing something that sort of resembled our old normal.  We took every precaution that we could given the circumstances and will be quarantining ourselves for the next week to make sure we didn’t pick up anything we could spread.  

The trip started out like a normal trip except having to wear a mask.  We got to the airport in plenty of time to get through security and get to our gate.  As we boarded the plane, the flight attendants handed us each an individually packaged sanitizing wipe that we could use to wipe down our area before we sat down.  I had actually brought a small pack to do that myself but didn’t need to use them.  The fact that the flight was full made me a little nervous, but I tried to put it out of my mind.  I felt like most people were being cautious and trying to be safe.  What I did not count on or consider was that since it was a night flight, the lights would be turned off, leaving the plane dark.  This gave some people around us the opportunity to get away with pulling their masks off and not wearing them.  I was pretty upset about it, but I didn’t feel comfortable enough to say anything.   I just kept hoping the flight attendant would notice, but that didn’t happen because the flight attendants had to remain seated for the majority of the flight due to turbulence.  It wasn’t just a little turbulence either.  It was probably the worst I have ever experienced and certainly didn’t help my nerves.  I get bad motion sickness too, so that was fun.  Needless to say, the flight to Atlanta was not pleasant at all. I was so happy to get off that plane and to our hotel.  Thankfully our flight home yesterday was not full or turbulent and everyone kept their masks on! 

Typically, when we travel for competitions, we go out to eat and try new restaurants, do a bit of sightseeing, and hang out with teammates when they aren’t competing.   That was not the case this trip.  In an effort to minimize our interaction with others, we stayed in our hotel room the whole time.  The only time we left was to go to the competition, and then we came right back after it was over.  This was my first experience using Uber Eats, but it actually worked out great for lunch and dinner for the duration of the trip.  The driver brought the food directly to our room and left it outside the door to minimize contact.  It was perfect and super easy.  We watched a lot of TV, experimented with new ways to do her competition hair and makeup, and just hung out together.  It was kind of fun in a way because we just talked and laughed a lot.  I know my opportunities to do that with her are dwindling since she will be off to college soon, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I love the young lady she has become, and I found myself really enjoying her company.  Even though there wasn’t much excitement to the trip, it is definitely one that I am going to remember forever.  Time spent with my family is the biggest thing that I have taken away from the pandemic.  It has opened up opportunities to just be together like never before, and I will cherish this time always.  

While we didn’t bring home the win, we came back with memories to last a lifetime.  The girls killed it both days and placed third among a super tough division.  My girl walked away with a renewed confidence in herself and pure happiness for the first time following a competition in a long time.  I saw the same light in her eyes that I used to see when she first started competing in gymnastics return, and it was shining so bright.   She even kept saying to me over and over all weekend that her eyes looked so blue.  I think she was seeing that same light that I saw.  I caught myself several times just staring at her during the trip thinking how beautiful she is and how much she has grown up.  I am so happy that she has found a new sport that she loves and is excited to learn, improve, and give it all she’s got. Although it is a sport that I never saw her doing or ever wanting to do, she is thriving in the midst of it.  I couldn’t be more happy or proud of her. It just goes to show that it is never too late to try something new and that hard work and determination pays off. 

I am happy to be back home and to have gotten a full night of sleep last night snug in my own bed, but I already miss our mom and daughter time together.  Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs in the world, but it is also the most rewarding.  I would give anything to go back and do some things over so that I would have had more moments like this weekend.  We rushed through so much over the years, and I hate that I didn’t take the time to simply just hang out with both girls more.  COVID had taught me such a valuable lesson.  NOTHING is more important or more precious than time spent together.  Going forward I promise myself that I am going to take more of that time and cherish every single second of it.  

Anchored,

Who has Time for Hobbies?

Necklace

Does anyone else get wrapped up in all of the videos on social media showing how to make all these adorable Christmas crafts? This happens to me every year and it has turned me into a hoarder.  I see this cute idea. I go out and buy all of the stuff to make it.  Then life gets in the way and it never actually gets made. I have this whole pile of unfinished or never started crafts that are taking up space in my office.  They aren’t all Christmas stuff either.  Let’s not forget all the times I have seen something that is so cute that I could just buy, but I don’t spend the money on it because I think I can just make it myself and never do.  Another conundrum is when I go to the Target Dollar spot or a craft store and I see some cute thing that I think I can turn into something even cuter to give as a gift. I buy it and then never get around to doing that cute idea I had. I am a crafter at heart.  I love crafting, but I just never have the time to really devote to it.  I guess I come by it honest.  My mom is the same way, only about 1000 times worse.  We have teased her about being a hoarder for years.  We both hoard crafting stuff. It’s really sad.  I honestly do wish that I had the time to complete all of the ideas I have, but I just don’t.  Other things totally take priority.  The only time things really get made is if it is for someone other than myself or someone is paying me to make something.  The things I want for myself always get pushed to the back burner. 

Honestly the two hobbies that bring me joy are crafting and reading, and I don’t spend enough time doing either.  It took forcing myself to choose a book to read to write about on the blog each month to get me to actually take the time to do it.  In reality, I should be reading 3-4 books a month instead of just one. Maybe if I turn one day of the month into craft day on the blog, some of these projects will get done.  It’s a thought that maybe I will consider.  Let’s be real though.  It’s probably not going to happen.  It takes time to craft, and I just don’t have that kind of time.  Maybe one day when my kids are grown and gone, I will get around to doing the things that I love.  

I feel like most moms will say that they don’t have time for hobbies.  I know I have said it a million times myself.  No matter what your hobby is, I bet you don’t devote nearly enough time to it. We always put others before ourselves, especially our kids.  It is just in our nature as women.  While I am sure that caring for your children brings you joy, it isn’t the same kind of joy that you get from a hobby.   I think it is important that we do try to make time for ourselves to do the things that we love.  Even if it is only one time a month, it is better than not at all.  We have to take the time to fill our cups with joy.  It is ok to be selfish every now and then, because it will make you a better mom and spouse in the long run. I feel like it is important to our mental health.  I don’t know about you, but when I am actually engaged in one of my hobbies like reading or crafting, it is like an escape.  It gives me a chance to focus on something fun and easy and not on the day-to-day hustle and bustle.  It gives my brain a break, and that is a break that we need sometimes to stay sane.  It can’t always be about others.  We have to focus on ourselves sometimes. I know for some of you it may have been a really long time since you even thought about what your hobbies are or what things you enjoy doing outside of everyday life.  I encourage you to think about it and then take the time to do it one day this month.  I know that I need to take my own advice and take the time to read and craft. I know that it will be hard to do, but I am going to make a promise to myself to do better. I am going to carve out time that is designated for doing one of my hobbies because I know that I need it.  You need it too. I can guarantee it!   

Anchored and Rambling,

To Celebrate or Not Celebrate?

Happy Valentine’s Day! I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the less emphasis that I put on days like today.  Honestly, though, my husband and I never really put much emphasis on any holiday for us (Christmas, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, etc.).  Of course we do for our kids, but we just don’t for us as a couple. I got both of the girls a heart-shaped box of Reese’s Cups with a little bear attached for today, but my husband and I don’t do anything for each other. I know some people will think that is wrong, but it works for us.  Neither of us likes attention. Neither of us would really care about a box of chocolates or flowers or extravagant gifts.  Typically, we will do a card for birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and anniversaries; but that’s really it.  We really don’t buy each other gifts ever.  We never really have, and we are both totally ok with it.  Back when we were first married, we would pick a big item that we needed or wanted and that would be our Christmas gift to each other. Now we really don’t even do that.  He used to send me flowers when we were first married too, but I really am not a huge flower person. Flowers with strong smells give me migraines anyway. We are both the type of people that if there is something we want, we just get it for ourselves, or I will tell him that I want something and he will order it on Amazon or something that day. We don’t really save it for a holiday. Again, I know some of you think that we should celebrate each other on those days, but I don’t think we really need a holiday to do that.  We now try to go on a date night every Wednesday when both girls are at practice, which is something we haven’t done in many years.   We have actually only missed like 3 or 4 days since we moved when he had to travel for work.  We have been pretty consistent with it, and I am proud of that. We just go out to dinner. We don’t stay out late, and we don’t do anything fancy, In fact, we typically go to one of 2 or 3 local places, but we really enjoy that time with each other. It is the time when we can really sit down and talk about life and stuff and just be together.    I really look forward to it each week, and I am pretty sure that he does too. It has been really good for us to reconnect with each other now that he is here and present all the time.  

I think that maybe we also don’t celebrate holidays partly because there have been so many holidays when we have been apart while he was deployed.  Not getting to celebrate them together just forced us to not really care about those things because it was too depressing otherwise. We learned to celebrate being together any chance we got.  Being a military family forces you to see what is really important in life, and that is time together.  It isn’t flowers or gifts of jewelry or chocolate.  We really value time, time with each other, and time together as a family. Truly being present physically, mentally, and emotionally. I don’t need a holiday to tell my husband that I love and appreciate him. He knows, and the reverse is true too. I know. We tell each other that all the time. I don’t need a card or a gift.  I don’t need a fancy dinner at an expensive restaurant. I just need time.  We have longed for it for so long and now that we finally get it, we couldn’t be happier.  Just being together, being present, sharing the load, being a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen is really all we both desire and need. I’m not sure that you can really understand what I mean by all of that unless you have lived the military life and carried that burden of being separated.  

The age-old question is whether or not we should celebrate these days? I say to each their own.  If that is something you need to feel loved and appreciated and maybe a little spoiled, then I am all for you celebrating. We all want those things every now and then.  It’s just how we receive them is different.  It kind of goes back to The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman (Amazon)…receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service/devotion, and physical touch. Everyone should know what their love language is and what their partner’s is. For my husband and me, it’s not gifts, or words of affirmation. Physical touch isn’t even really big for either of us.  Maybe you could say that acts of service/devotion is our secondary love language for both of us, but our primary love language really is quality time.  We are the same.  Again, all of those things are nice, but we just don’t NEED them.   We know this about each other and we are fine with it. We are happy.  I think we will continue to not celebrate these days.  It’s just who we are and there is nothing wrong with it, just like there is nothing wrong with celebrating.  You do you and we will do us. It’s that simple.

On a totally side note, how cute are these Valentines I made for my daughter’s class? I got the idea from Maggie over at Smashed Peas and Carrots. I just recreated it with my own fonts, but she has a free printable if you want for the future. The little slime hearts came from the Dollar Spot at Target, and I was googling what to do with them and came across Maggie’s post and thought it was perfect. You know me…I can’t just buy Valentines. I have to make them! EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR!

Anyway, I wish you all the best Valentine’s Day however you choose to or not to celebrate it!

Anchored in Love,