Change

WAMbuildthelife

Change can happen over time without even realizing it’s happening. It’s like when your hair and nails grow. All of a sudden you just notice them and can’t believe how long they’ve gotten.

When I stop and think about how I’ve changed in the last ten years, I feel like I’m a completely different person. I think it’s exciting to be a different person. What I feel is a better person. Still the same Lauren, just a new version. Over the last ten years or so, it’s as if I had a slow software update and some of the bugs got fixed.

I used to talk a lot and listen a little. Now I am often one of the quiet people in the group. I prefer to just hang back and listen to what others say.

I used to be a taker. A “what’s in it for me?” and “who’s going to buy it for me?” kind of a thing. Now, I try to be a giver. What can I do for you? What will brighten your day?

I used to avoid wearing shorts. I know it sounds silly, but for years I felt like they just wouldn’t look good on me. One day I tried them on and couldn’t believe how great they were. Seriously, anyone who doesn’t wear shorts in Arizona should have an intervention.  Now, the thought of having to wear pants makes me cringe.

I used to be a night owl who absolutely loved to drive around when the moon was out and everyone else was in bed. The thought of an open road late at night was a beautiful thing. Now, I’m too tired and honestly, my eyes just don’t see as well when I drive at night. Yes, I’m only thirty, even though this sentence make me sound like I’m eligible for the senior discount.

I never thought I would ever want to be a stay at home mom. Teaching was my profession, my calling,  and the only thing I had ever wanted to do since before I could remember. If I had babies, I would return to work. That’s just how I always assumed it would go. Until I held my first little boy in my arms and I suddenly knew there was no where I wanted to be but with him. Then, double that feeling when little mister number two came along.

One of the most important ways that I’ve changed is that I realized I needed to change. I realized that I could be a better person. I realized that when I made changes to the person I was, it made me a better wife, mom, daughter, sister, and friend.

Turning thirty is hard for some people. For me, it was as if the lens on my life clicked into focus. I feel more confident, more free, and simply more ME.

Embrace every day. Try to make the changes you want to see in yourself. Remember that it’s OK to cry for both the happy times and the sad ones, in front of people and alone. Life can be so short, let’s hug more and criticize less. Be proud of yourself and happy for others. Everyone makes mistakes. Never sell yourself short. And in the words of Nike…just do it.

“Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.”      -Unknown

 

How to Make a Woman Smile

WAMmakeawomansmile

I reached out and asked the experts a very important question:

“What does your significant other do for you that brings a smile to your face?”

These are some of their responses.

Ladies, feel free to bookmark this page, email it to your husband, boyfriend, boss (Just kidding! That’s probably not a good idea!), or print it and highlight your favorites, tape it to the TV, leave it on the table, you get the idea.

MEN, keep this list and read it often! Unless you like being married to, dating, or living with a woman who never gets any of this treatment. If that’s the case, I’d have to say, good luck. These are things most women will just love. These gestures will remind the lady in your life why they chose you! Some are big, some are small, many are FREE! All are worth it to see your honey smile. You don’t need to do all of them, all the time. Just use it as a guide. Also, please be aware, it is not romantic to print this list and ask your wife or girlfriend (hopefully you don’t have both) to “pick a couple.” Do them on your own and surprise her, man!

Here you go…

  • kiss her hello
  • clean something without her asking
  • bring her flowers
  • write her a {nice} note and leave it somewhere for her to find
  • dance with her, even when there’s no music
  • kiss her nose or forehead
  • unload the dishwasher
  • tell her that her hair looks nice
  • compliment her on a meal she made
  • wake up before her and make her coffee
  • compliment her on how great of a mom she is
  • cook her dinner
  • tell her she’s smart
  • bring her a little treat from the store or a trip you take so she knows you were thinking of her
  • get up with the baby/children and let her sleep
  • wash her car
  • spoil her diet (every once in a while) with treats you know she’ll love
  • text her during the day, just to say you miss her
  • remember the brands or items she likes
  • say nice things about her to others
  • say nice things about her to your children
  • tell her she’s beautiful, especially when she may not feel like it
  • kiss her goodbye
  • remember dates like her birthday and your anniversary
  • buy or make her a card for no reason
  • let her pick the movie
  • let her pick out your outfit once in a while
  • surprise her for lunch
  • try new things
  • get along with her family
  • get her car door  get every door, all the time
  • hug her tight
  • let her pick the music
  • send her articles or pictures (not THOSE kind!) you think she’d like
  • ask her how her day was
  • give her a massage
  • draw her a bath
  • tell her you appreciate all she does for you

Is there anything you would add to the list?  And ladies, don’t forget…you can do most of these for your guy, too!

Now go out there and start making those smiles happen!

Time Machine

If you could go back in time and do anything differently, would you?  Everyone always says, “I wouldn’t change a thing! Everything that happened in my past has made me who I am today!” I get that, but let’s just pretend for a second that nothing would ultimately be changed in the outcome of your life (unless you want it to change) and you can just go back in time and do or not do certain things.  What would you change?

I would change a few things…

First of all, I would definitely not date the same guy for three years in high school.  It wasn’t a good relationship and I know I missed out on fun social things in high school because of it. Did it allow me to have my eyes wide open and to know true love when I met Josh? Sure, but the three years up to then could have been way more fun!

Also, I probably would have learned to play the piano. I’ve always wanted to have that talent, but sadly, I am 100% musically challenged. It’s like when Joey tries to speak French on Friends…except with piano playing.

Now, if we’re getting totally crazy, and could really go back and change things, I would probably stand up for myself all the times I should have, and maybe I would have eaten a little healthier. Meh, there’s still time (as I’m seriously eating a piece of cake while typing, I’m not kidding you!).

People say turning thirty is awesome because by that time you know who you are. I get it. It’s like you instantly receive membership to the “I’m awesome and don’t care what others think!” club. If you’re not there yet, you’ve got a lot to look forward to. If you’re there already and you don’t agree, then it’s time to love yourself and know that you are awesome and it really doesn’t matter what others think.

With life changing every day, you’ve got to make sure you are making the most of it! Grab life by the horns, and all that. Honestly, while I was an elementary school teacher I always felt like I had to fit a mold. I felt like I could never put a purple streak in my hair, or have really visible tattoos. I felt like it wouldn’t be the best example for young children. Maybe that’s silly, but it’s how I felt. I’ve secretly always wanted to have lots of tattoos. Like all over my arms. Will it ever happen? Who knows. Probably not, but it gives me something to think about! And now, if I ever do, you’ll be able to say, “Wow, she finally did it!”

Leave me a comment and let me know what you’ve always wanted to do. Maybe now’s the time!

Who knows, maybe five years from now I won’t only be a stay at home mom, I’ll be a crazy tattooed, piano playing stay at home mom!

 

It’ll be easy right?

WAM toptenSAHM

Here you’ll find my top ten reasons for becoming a stay at home mom!

1. The only boss I have to report to is me! Wait,…and Josh…wait, and two little boys…OK, maybe this is going to be more demanding than I thought!?

2. Household chores become my primary task during the day…the only real things I have to accomplish. Until just as soon as I start washing dishes and then someone needs a diaper changed, or wants to eat. Chances are, it’s going to be at least another hour before I’m back to those dishes.

3. I’ll have time to grocery shop during the day while everyone else is at work! Um, grocery shopping with two small children…no thanks! I think I’ll just wait and go after the kids are in bed. Walmart at 10pm can be relaxing, right?

4. Think about how much time I’ll have to keep up on laundry and actually get it folded and put away! Have you ever had a toddler around PILES of newly folded clothes? If not, let me describe to you what happens. At the exact moment you feel yourself approaching the end of the pile to be folded, this silent alarm goes off inside the head of your two year old and their body seems to lose all control as they grab or push every pile over. These involuntary movements are often accompanied by giggles. It’s fantastic, let me tell you.

5. We’re going to have playdates AT LEAST three times a week. Ok, so I know I’m still new at this having two kids thing, but getting out of the house can seriously take hours. Doctor appointment at 11am? Better start getting everyone ready to go at 8:30 because just getting into the car can consume the greater part of your morning.

6. The time I have to meal plan will allow me to save money and provide healthy meals for my family. After feeding a baby on demand all day and running around tickling a toddler, mixed with cleaning up spills and toys, Taco Bell and frozen pizzas can be good enough! What? They’re tasty. And babies have sensors in them that tell them when you’re going to eat and then they get fussy, so you won’t sit down and enjoy your meal anyway. *The silver lining: The standing and rocking a baby while you shovel in your food burns more calories, right!?

7. I’ll be able to spend time getting myself ready for the day. Uh-huh. Hello, messy top knot, jean shorts and tank top. Thank goodness for yesterday’s eye liner to really pull the look together.

8. I can’t wait to get together with my girlfriends on a weekly basis for girl time. Oh ya, remember those three other bosses I have? Well, Josh gives me the time off with no problem, but the little guy is crying because I won’t be home to put him to bed and the little little guy is connected to my boob. So…family dinner at the pizza place it is!

9. I won’t have to deal with the stress of working outside the home. Nope, just the stress of working inside your home, which means so much more to you than any job could. And no paycheck. Unless you count hugs and kisses, and how could you not?

10. I’ll be able to spend more time with my boys. *Insert deep breath of pure contentment.  This is the one thing that you think you’re going to get when you decide to be a stay at home mom, that you actually get.  The snuggles and giggles I get to experience during the day are worth all of the craziness. The laundry can wait. Because really, that pair of pants your wore again yesterday aren’t THAT dirty anyway. The dishes aren’t going anywhere. The toys piled in the corner that never made it back to the closet are just going to be played with tomorrow, right?

Enjoy your littles who grow so quickly and won’t be the same tomorrow. Suck up every single moment, from the quiet snuggles while they sleep on your shoulder or lap, to the times when those crazy screaming children team up on you to be as loud as possible at the exact same time.

Oh, and in-between enjoying all those little memories, try to take a nap. You’ll need it.