Hello! I’m finally sitting down to write this post with a cup of heated up coffee (which exploded in the microwave…) and Rosie purring by my side (it’s so good to have her back!).
I’m so looking forward to date night tonight! Blake and I have started the tradition of having wine and cheese and making dinner together on Friday nights. I think I honestly prefer making a nice dinner at home than going out to eat. Breakfast/brunch is the exception. Tonight we’re also going to watch as many episodes of The Crown as we can! Who’s with us?
We at last have our own space, and have moved to the basement apartment of my sister and brother-in-law’s house. I love having our own space again, even if it’s small, it’s still our own.
I love reading other blogger’s Friday favorites/things I’m loving posts, so I thought I’d write one too! Here are some things I’ve been loving lately:
Eating: For years I’ve been a sweet breakfast person, but lately I’ve been craving sweet and savory. Most mornings this combo sounds good. Two pieces of toast, one with sunflower seed butter and banana, and one with avocado, TJ’s Everything Bagel Seasoning, and an over-easy egg. So satisfying!
Reading: Still reading Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. This is seriously a life-changing book. I cannot recommend it enough!
Listening: In addition to constant Christmas music, I’m listening to podcasts whenever I drive or walk. Podcasts are my jam! I just found the BodyLove Project podcast and listened to her most recent episode about the Whole30 (find on iTunes). Oh my goodness, this is pack-full of insightful thoughts. Can’t wait to listen to more of her episodes!
Using: I found a safer deodorant that actually works! Native Deodorant is the bomb! I am sensitive to baking soda in deodorant, so I use one of their sensitive formulas. I’m not jazzed to see “fragrance” on the ingredient list, however on their website they say this is made up of a proprietary blend of oils. Wish they would list them out, but I’m going to go with it for now.
Also LOVING Beautycounter’s Countermatch Collection! The full collection does wonders to my skin, especially with the drier weather. My skin stays hydrated and radiant all day long! Check out the video on my Facebook page and Instagram I did today to learn more about the collection.
Have a lovely weekend!
What have you been loving lately? Any good books, podcasts, or recipes? Share them in the comments.
You may be wondering where I’ve been. I’m still here and thinking about the blog and you, my readers. Life has been full and every day has been so different, that I haven’t found my rhythm. Also, I’ve been doing lots of thinking, probably a lot of overthinking and doubting myself. I tell you all this because I want to be honest with what I’m going through. Let me explain…
I’m a perfectionist and often struggle feeling “good enough.” As I’ve entered the blogging world, I’ve wanted to do it well. I want to reach more people with my story because I believe that God has given me my experiences for a reason. I want to encourage and bless others. However, I struggle with doubts that I’m not creative enough and I have nothing to share, and that my blog isn’t professional.
I’m struggling with comparison and with feeling like I have nothing to share.
Through my journey with an eating disorder and recovery, I have learned so much that I want to share with others, however I feel like I have no authority in the topics I want to share. I share from my own experience about learning to eat intuitively, recovering from an eating disorder, and accepting my body, but I’m no therapist or dietician.
This week, I was ready to give up the blog. Then I had a conversation with my mom. She reminded me how my blog has encouraged some of her friends, and that God has given me a story to tell. She encouraged me to keep it up and write as if I was writing to a friend.
The last thing I want is to lose joy in writing the blog. If my blog can impact one person, that is all that matters. So, I may never have a big blog, but that’s not what matters.
I’m no professional writer, blogger, therapist, or dietician, but I do have a story to tell and a passion for others to live life to the fullest. So follow along with my imperfect journey, share with others who are struggling, and never forget that no matter how imperfect you feel, you are worthy.
This post is way overdo since the title of my blog is all about balance. So, let me tell you what balance means to me.
Balance has been a theme for me this past year. A year ago, I was burnt out from 9-5 jobs which left me little energy, time, or motivation to invest in what I truly cared about. I found myself expending all my energy into work that wasn’t fulfilling and then coming home irritable, tired, and uninspired. I had been struggling with my work/energy balance for several years, but it became especially apparent once I got married. Blake is wonderful at resting and encouraging me to rest. Even to this day I’ll complain about being exhausted, yet I keep doing things, and he reminds me I need to really stop and do nothing.
So, this past fall, I had had enough running around and constantly being busy, and I wanted to slow down and truly take care of myself. That’s when I joined Beautycounter, which for the first time ever I loved what I did and felt purposeful in my work. I also quit my full-time job so I could have more flexibility and balance, and I started making space to listen to my body, mind, emotions, and spirit.
All of this was a choice. I wrestled hard to actually come to terms with my needs and desires, even if they weren’t mainstream.
Our culture today is always on the go, keeping packed social schedules, always working or moving to the next thing. Busyness is the norm, stress is normal, and being tapped out is normal. Some people may have the capacity to always be busy, but I can’t. I need space in my life to rest, be creative, engage with those I love, move my body, and learn.
This brings up the question, what does it mean to thrive? For me, it’s rejecting the survival mentality and taking time to care for myself by getting enough sleep, eating at least 3 meals a day, moving my body regularly, giving myself permission to rest, and practicing self-care. I don’t want to look back on my life and remember being tires all the time and just getting by. I want to remember that I embrace life and the beauty around me…and I can’t do that when I am in survival mode.
For me, balance is about giving myself permission to trust myself and take care of my whole self. That means resting when I’m sick, taking a day off from exercise, eating more simply when life is busy, living amongst boxes because there are so many other things to be put energy into right now, and letting my body be the shape it is meant to be.
I struggle to write this now because I feel so out of balance. Our move has shaken up the balance I had in Minnesota. This week I found myself getting frustrated that I hadn’t found a rhythm yet, but then Blake lovingly reminded me that it takes time. It does take time and patience. Now I am excited to discover a new rhythm for my life in Philly.
It’s hard to let go of the things that fill up our lives. It’s hard to be quiet. It’s hard to slow down or say no when everyone else around you is constantly busy.
But what is your body telling you? Are you feeling burnt out, tired, uninspired? Maybe it’s time to check the balance and rhythm in your life.
I’m back! It feels good to be writing here again after a couple week hiatus. I truly missed writing, but taking a break was needed to focus on our move. So much has happened since my last post, and I want to fill you in on where we’ve been and where we are now!
Since I last wrote, Blake took the LSAT (still waiting on the score…) and we took a trip up to the North Shore, packed up and moved out of our first home, and traveled over 1000 miles to a new city. This could end up being a very long post, so I will try to keep it just to the highlights.
Before moving, we had some wonderful times with family and friends. After the LSAT, I threw a goodbye/birthday party for Blake. It was so much fun having people in our home one last time. That weekend we headed to Wisconsin for a couple days of family time and recuperation. One of the highlights was meeting our brand new niece, Loretta Margaret!
The following week was filled with packing, as I was trying to get as much done before we travelled Up North for a little getaway. We had planned this trip before deciding to move to Philly, and even though it wasn’t the ideal time, I was not going to back out of it.
The North Shore holds a special place in both of our hearts and has played a roll in our relationship. Blake spent 2 summers on the North Shore working before and after we met, we road tripped the shore while dating, and we eventually honeymooned outside of Duluth.
This trip, we stayed at the most adorable B&B near Tettagouche State Park – Baptism River Inn. The inn is right along the Baptism River and we could hear the water from our room. The decor was rustic and cozy, just the way I like. We loved sitting in the common room drinking coffee and playing numerous rounds of cribbage. Our favorite part by far was the sauna!! I have done many saunas, but this was unlike any I have ever done. The building was tiny and looked like a something from a fairytale. It used a wood-burning stove that we built ourselves! If anyone is looking for a quiet getaway, I would highly recommend this inn!
Food was also a highlight on this trip. The inn-keepers did a phenomenal job with breakfasts both mornings! I am so inspired to make elaborate breakfasts on weekends now. One night we went to our favorite restaurant to celebrate Blake’s birthday. If you are ever on the North Shore, you must go to New Scenic Cafe. We went there twice on our honeymoon, and had to go back again. I love their emphasis on fresh ingredients and unique flavor combinations. The staff is also incredibly helpful and kind.
We returned from our weekend away, refreshed and ready to tackle the move ahead. In 2 days, with the help of my parents, we finished packing, loaded our 16-foot Penske truck, and said goodbye to our first apartment. It was sad to leave the place we had made home, but I felt excited for the new adventures in Philadelphia.
We split our drive into 3 days, with stops to visit friends along the way. Our first night, we stopped in Madison and stayed with some new friends, Shane and Olivia. Olivia and I met through a mutual friend and hit it off right away. Recently, Olivia and I have connected through Instagram and we started making plans to visit each other. Olivia is a beautiful woman with an amazing heart – follow her on Instagram @liv.ruckstuhl. Both Blake and I loved connecting with Shane and Olivia, and were blessed by their hospitality.
Next stop, Indianapolis! We stayed with dear family friends, the Gramley’s. Growing up, my family would go to the beach in N. Carolina with the Gramley’s, and Ken and Gretta became like aunt and uncle to us kids. We had a delightful visit, catching up on life and introducing them to Blake.
The next morning, we were up early to hit the road for a 11-hour drive. Well, it was supposed to be 11-hour drive, but with stops and driving through the mountains, it ended up being 13 hours! It was a long drive and a little stressful. But, wow, the scenery was beautiful! I had no clue that the western side of Pennsylvania was so mountainous! It was beautiful to look at, but our poor truck had a little trouble with all the inclines. What was even more interesting is that during our drive we listened to Hillbilly Elegy. If you haven’t heard of the book, it is primarily set in the Appalachian mountains (which we were driving through). It’s an incredible book and melds sociological study and memoir.
We finally made it to Philadelphia late on Friday night. We are living with my sister and brother-in-law, who are in the city. This meant that we had to unload the truck and drop it off that night. Let’s just say, parking is not the easiest in the city… But we did it, and are now settled into their guest room for the next 2 months.
So now what?…Well, we are figuring that out. Blake and I are both committed to jumping right into life here, because we don’t know how long we’ll be here. Right now, we are living in my sister and brother-in-law’s guest room with all of our boxes until after Thanksgiving, when we will move to their basement apartment. Blake is currently looking for work, and I have at least one part-time nanny jobs starting next week. We are also working to build connections in the city. We found a church and are going to our first small group tonight!
There are so many emotions, thoughts, and desires running through my mind right now. Our life is simple, and I am growing to love that. We don’t have any big commitments or distractions, it’s just us right now. It’s hard to be in-between homes and not really have a space of our own, but I am trying to not let those feelings get in the way of me living life here. Without a steady income right now, we have to be tight with money, which is making us be creative with how to have fun together.
If you have made it this far, thanks for reading! I am so excited to share more about our life and adventures in Philly, and to continue sharing about health at every size, body acceptance, and safer living.
I have never been the most adventurous person. I love exploring and trying new things, but I also love coming back to the comfort of the familiar. So it may surprise you to hear that Blake and I are moving to Philadelphia in a couple weeks!
After much prayer and discussion, we feel that God is calling us away from the Twin Cities for a year. We love the Twin Cities, our friends, and our church, but we want an adventure. See, Blake is currently studying for the LSAT, which he takes on Saturday! We have a year until law school and want to do something different for a year.
I am so excited for a change of scenery and the opportunity to explore a new city and the East Coast. ALSO, we will be living with my sister, brother-in-law and niece, and I am beyond excited to be close to my darling little Ellinor!
There are still so many unknowns (which is challenging for me), but I know that God will provide – He always does. I cannot wait to share our new adventures with you all!
With all the moving, saying goodbye to friends and family, I am feeling overwhelmed. So, I am taking a step away from the blog until after the move. It’s hard to give up, because I find so much joy and purpose in sharing with you all, but I will be back with a fresh mind and ideas!