The Stay-at-Home Mom’s Guide to Meeting Friends in a New Town

Disclaimer: this isn’t a cohesive guide. I’m still navigating how to figure out this one, and I’m definitely not ready to write the book. Just the blog post. ūüėČ

Back in Houston, my friend Kellie (who has a blog about running and yoga¬†and is a Houston transplant) once mentioned that meeting friends in a new city is a lot like dating. Now that I’m going about the effort myself, I couldn’t agree more:¬†I put on makeup and dress smart-casual, worry over what we’ll talk about beforehand, obsess over “should I have said that?” afterward, along with “does she like me?” and “when should I call her to hang out again?”It’s an overly self-conscious matter, and for someone like me, who was very traditional in dating, it’s much more of a challenge than dating ever was. The fact that I don’t work outside of the home is just another obstacle in meeting people.

The house has been coming along, the weather has been warming up, and I’m finally putting myself out there more than ever. I’ve gone on a few “first dates,” so I thought I’d share a few ways I’ve met people in my new town. Continue reading “The Stay-at-Home Mom’s Guide to Meeting Friends in a New Town”

New House Project Plans

I’ve been a shopping, cleaning, box opening, credit card swiping fool for the last couple of weeks, but I finally cleaned up and cleared boxes enough to share some progress pictures.

I have so many DIYs in store for this house, and my little head was going to burst if I didn’t go ahead and map some things out. The first room(s) I have cleaned up are the living/dining room combo and the kitchen. We have an open floor plan for these rooms, so they’re pretty much one space. (The way I figure, it’s only a different room if you can’t see its mess from where you are. hah!)

In my previous post about the new house in Connecticut, I showed you how the home we bought is a completely blank slate. We received the keys two weeks ago from this afternoon, so don’t expect any magic to have happened. In fact, it looks less like my Scandinavian + colorful¬†¬†intentions, and more like a crummy apartment in need of therapy. In due time!

Continue reading “New House Project Plans”

Homemade Sushi in Houston: No Class Required!

I’ve failed to mention it thus far, but Mark and I¬†have our honeymoon booked. We’re heading out to visit his father and extended family in Manila¬†and a couple of other Philippine Islands, but on the way we’re stopping for five days in Kyoto, Japan.

In my research for things to do in Japan, I found classes on how to make sushi. It seemed like an awesome idea: I’d¬†learn how to make it the legit way, from REAL Japanese people. How cool, right?! But come to find out, I don’t need a class at all. And neither do you! We have resources here in Houston, and it is SO simple to make sushi, the hardest part is stepping out of your comfort zone. Continue reading “Homemade Sushi in Houston: No Class Required!”

Drop the Drama

I have a lot of feelings.

Ever find yourself watching Teen Mom on purpose? Lifetime movies? Crying over songs Justin Timberlake wrote for Jessica Biel? Super Bowl commercials?

It can get a little embarrassing, but I do. When people open up about great loss, when they open up over great triumph, when they make something beautiful, when they display any degree of passion in any direction–I cry. I can face it: I cry a lot.

Past

As a kid, my mom and other relatives would call me a “drama queen,” and it caused me great hurt. My feelings felt so real to me; how could people who love me devalue them like that?

When I grew into an adolescent, I rebelled against my feelings. I hated that I was emotional, so I took on a persona of ¬†“hippie” and “chill”. Drama free, care free. I wanted to be¬†Cool Girl, and I steered clear of all people¬†who were always fighting about who knows what, in favor of others who shared the same carefree careless attitude toward life. I wanted to be strong.

As an adult, I embrace my feelings, and take pride in the empathy I have for others. I learned that strength comes from knowing yourself, expressing yourself fearlessly, and inspiring others to do the same. I steered away from the drama-filled people¬†and¬†the careless, and confide in people who are emotionally aware. Now, I’m¬†really drama free, right?

Present

Not quite. A little perspective I gathered from my 40 days meeting today:

Just because you steer clear of unnecessary conflict and people who are always wrapped up in it, doesn’t make you bulletproof from drama.

How often do you think, “Well, I really want to _______, BUT _____,” where BUT is some aspect of life that you allow to limit your growth?

  • “I really want to¬†lose weight, BUT¬†I can’t make the¬†time to work out.
  • “I really want to¬†eat healthy, BUT¬†I hardly¬†know how to cook.
  • “I really want to blog everyday, BUT¬†I worry that there’s nothing valuable in what I have to say, and no one will care.
  • “I really want to¬†simplify my life, BUT¬†first I have to tend to my to-do list.

These are limiting beliefs I’ve let control my actions–my life even. I bring drama to things like going for a run because I haven’t done the laundry yet. I bring drama into cooking because I might fail again, I bring drama into blogging because “Oh no, I posted a link to my blog on Facebook and now people who I know could read about how I really feel and things I do that no one probably cares about and I’ll be vulnerable and they’ll judge me and my writing isn’t good enough and and and!”¬†

I bring drama into finding misplaced objects: “Where is that f*cking thing?” and as I continue to look, “Damn it! I can’t live in this mess!” and I bring drama into laundry: “I’m going to fold some laundry, but first I need to find a movie on Netflix to watch while doing that.”¬†Then later, “Ugh! Why does Netflix keep messing up, I’m trying to focus on getting this stuff done!”¬†

Future

Now that I’ve noticed these thought patterns, I can bring ease into my daily life. I can stop thinking about what¬†could¬†limit me, and just BEGIN. I can think to myself, “Where is that useful object?” and replace the word “f*cking” with “delightful” in any situation. I can glide over the hurdles effortlessly if I’m focused on the finish line. All I need to do is see and drop the drama.

Is there something simple in life that you add drama to? Let me know in the comments!

 Featured image found on https://myfitwitjourney.wordpress.com/

Oh yeah, about those 2015 resolutions.

No matter how soon before Christmas I begin to consider it, I never seem to hammer out my resolutions until at least the¬†end of the first week of January. With Christmas decorations on top of the usual mess to clean up and New Year’s Eve and Day plans with travel, I don’t quite have the¬†sanity to envision the next¬†365 358¬†351 days. I’m okay with being a few days late, with the right intentions, rather than not following through consistently with my goals.

This year, though, it was¬†even¬†harder. Continue reading “Oh yeah, about those 2015 resolutions.”

My Face Hurts.

Deciding to become¬†a stay-at-home mom was a long, drawn out process that was fraught with worry and hesitation. In May of 2013, after a few long and hard years of going to college while caring for a child, most of which was during a divorce, I graduated from a four year university. Those school years were plagued with doubt, and I was constantly terrified of how disappointed everyone would be if I couldn’t get a job after those years of leaning on others for support. I took the second job¬†I was offered. Then, I stumbled upon an opportunity that was better for me and my home life, and jumped at it. Working from home, part time, for 150% better pay than the first. Perfect.

It was only a couple of months in before I realized how unsuited I was for the gig. I was disorganized, I lacked passion about my subject matter, and I¬†lacked self-motivation. Week after week, I was suffering from self-imposed stress because I was focusing more on my duties as a homemaker and a mother than on being an employee. I was a failure. One day, in tears, I lamented to Mark, “I could climb the corporate ladder, I could be an entrepreneur, but nothing will give me as much satisfaction as raising my kids!” Unfortunately, it wasn’t in the cards for me. Continue reading “My Face Hurts.”

Thankful.

Never am I a stranger to gratitude, but still, this past week that surrounded Thanksgiving precisely encompassed all that I am currently most thankful for.

On Monday, I spent my day creating crafts and keeping the calm with preschoolers at the local Women’s Shelter as they prepared for a special family meal with their mothers. Directly after that, I rushed to the store and then home to self-consciously make dinner for a mother of Tobias’ friend from school, a chef whom I deem a friend of mine, that recently underwent surgery. Then, I rushed back home to make dinner for my own family, though that meal stopped short at hum drum.

Tuesday, I chaperoned Tobias’ field trip to the zoo, where the children acted more bestial than anything in a cage, a boy from another group chanting to me that I’m a “fat girl” while students in mine are running aimlessly in the crowded zoo haze. All while cursing the teachers who planned a field trip when many students are out and about for the week.

On Wednesday, I visited a friend of mine for over thirteen years. She recently left her husband, and is in a similar situation as mine four years ago, except with two kids and just beginning her career, rather than one while in school. Tobias brought them some of his toys as gifts for their new apartment, but I had a hunch that they were just fine with their new minimalist lifestyle. (Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt.)

We woke up extra early on¬†Thanksgiving Thursday so that Mark, Tobias and I could all run a Turkey trot, I Pinterest-failed a baked cornucopia, threw it out, then delivered my disappointingly under-cooked pies to my mother’s house, who was hosting a Thanksgiving that included my ex mother-in-law¬†and my new mother-in-law. Prior to our departure, Tobias and I both started feeling unwell, and I spent my entire¬†Friday¬†in bed–not figuratively–aside from eating a bowl of soup and using the bathroom, I kept my body in that same spot while Tobias wallowed in his own sickness and mind-numbingly watched his tablet computer.

I had a resurgence of energy after Mark brought me breakfast and coffee on Saturday, so I went to the salon to take off the terrible acrylic nails I was reluctant to have, had my nails painted, then proceeded to do yard work for hours on end. (Which would seem to most to be a terrible idea.) Today,¬†Sunday,¬†Mark woke me up before dawn to say goodbye, for he’s on a business trip for the good part of the week. I finished the book I began reading during my indisposition, then proceeded to flip flop between tasks all day, not getting anything done rather than deeply researching trips I’m taking four and eight months away.

Trust me, it all relates. Drum roll, please. The trite phrase you’ve been waiting for….

I’m thankful for…

Continue reading “Thankful.”