Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thankful for Change. And Coffee. Super Thankful for COFFEE.

Hello sweet friends! It's been FOUR MONTHS to date that I have posted here...and I have missed it. There have been so many changes in our lives these past four months I feel like I haven't really gotten a chance to come up for air. But it feels good to be back here, in this space.

Most of you know that my dad passed very suddenly this past May and I'm not sure if I'll every heal completely from it and ever stop missing him. I was telling my husband the other night that trying to heal from losing someone so close to you seems almost impossible, because you desperately want to stop hurting, but at the same time continue to scratch the wound by looking at old pictures and reading old text messages and listening to old voicemails because everything in you is still hanging on. I don't have the answer, but I feel like my sister and my mom and I have had more better days than not lately. Still some very hard days thrown in there that catch you off guard, but mostly good days, which I am so thankful for.

I am also happy to announce that my husband and I are officially the owners of Lebon Chiropractic Health Center! My husband has been building this practice for about 5 years now and we finally took the leap of buying the practice a few months ago. My husband is a rockstar and so unbelievably capable, so watching him live his dream of owning the practice brings me more joy than I can explain. I will eventually be teaming with him and taking up a few office manager duties in the coming months, which I am very excited about. We are buds, so having a family business together is the biggest blessing.

Having said that, I decided to leave my corporate job about a month ago in order to be available to the needs of the practice, but to also pursue my own (long time coming!) personal dream of being a barre instructor with Pure Barre! I started taking barre classes about 5 years ago and it changed me. I fell in love immediately and always wanted to pursue being an instructor, but the timing was never really right. Then when our studio decided to open up a second location and hire more instructors, I was already thinking about transitioning out of my corporate job and thought, why not?! It was a HUGE change and a little scary at first, but once I took the leap I never looked back. Of course I immediately missed seeing my old coworkers every week, but from a work perspective it felt to natural and right.

The funny thing about change is that 99% of the time it's the scariest in your head. Then you do it and you kick yourself for waiting so long and being scared in the first place.

A huge desire of mine was also to be with my daughter more, and even though I was only working part time, being away from her was still too much for this momma to handle. She is my heartbeat and more imporant to me than all the money, titles, and corporate regonition in the world. When she looks back at her childhood, I want her to remember the memories we made together, not all the things that I bought her. Time with her is everything and I'm so thankful for the opportunity to still do something that I love but still be her momma first.

Now, of course with all good things comes hard work, and this change has not come without blood, LOTS of sweat, and a few tears.
Well, only blood because we trained in Colorado and the altitude sent my nose into a bleeding tailspin. Gross.
Anyway, I had NO IDEA how hard and how much went into becoming a Pure Barre instructor and have a whole new appreciation for my instructors. Our studio sent us to Denver to train for 5 days with the corporate team, then we returned home to continue training at our respective sutdios. I have put more hours into training for this than any other job, and have loved every single second of it. I am now a firm believer in "choose a job you love, and you'll never work a day in your life".

I could not be more thankful for coffee, too...holy smokes.

Between traveling, job changes, putting our house on the market, taking our house off the market, maintaining the house, and running around after a 15 month old, I have said more prayers and drank more coffee than ever before. So very thankful for coffee.

Happy Thursday, beautiful people. So many things are going on in this world that are HARD, so be bold, have faith, pray hard, and love others. Because life sometimes breaks your heart, and sometimes people can be really cruel.
Love them, anyway.
Be the good that this world so desperately needs.

I will be posting more than every four months, so stay with me! We are paddling out of the "my child only eats these things so therefore collectively as a family we only eat these things" stage, so you will definitely be seeing more recipes on here in the coming weeks.
You are loved!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wounded by the Whys

Hi friends.
Apart from posting my monthly "Letter To Our Little", I haven't posted on here in a while. Honestly, talking about anything but my daughter just hasn't really seemed valid or important. I feel like there has been a cloud hovering over me since my dad's passing. A cloud full of fear, doubt, anxiety, frustration, chaos, misunderstanding. A cloud full of all the things that make you question your life. Question your purpose.
A cloud of WHYS.
My dad's accident tore open a giant wound of whys. It has now been over a month since it happened, and I am still struggling with the whys. Why now? Why him? Why would God do this? Doesn't He know that having a present father in my life is all I have ever wanted? Hasn't He heard my prayers? Hasn't he caught my tears as I have cried and prayed that my dad would one day choose me? Choose us?
About 2 years ago, I felt like my dad was finally pursuing me as his daughter. Like he was finally proud of me and enjoyed being with me. Watching him play of the floor of my living room with my baby girl was a dream of mine that I never thought I would have the opportunity to witness, but it was happening! Finally! Almost every week! My heart was FULL.
Then my dad was gone.
No more daddy hugs. No more daddy kisses. No more "Lunch this week, darling?" texts.
I would never again wait on my front porch with Kennedy so she could see her Pawpaw pull up in the drive way for his weekly visit. I would never again feel his scruffy mustache on my cheek as he kissed me. I would never again feel the warmth of his hugs as he held me so tight. Just like that, he was gone.
My mom is one amazing lady and was relentless with us growing up. She worked tirelessly to make sure that we had the best upbringing possible. She was a single mom and had to be both mom and dad all the time. She is probably more loving, caring, and present than some parents combined, and my heart is beyond grateful and blessed by her daily.
But a girl sometimes just needs a daddy...and unfortunately this need never goes away no matter how much of a rockstar your mom may be. It's just natural.
I feel like I am in a season and feeling very frustrated, very angry, and just not totally understanding the God that I serve. I just have so many whys and I am having trouble understanding why God gives us what seems like the desire of our hearts, only to rip it out from our eager, anticipating grips.
Then I remember that we serve a God that does not promise understanding, but does promise to be faithful and to never give us more than we can handle.
I feel like I am pretty good at slapping a smile on my face and talking in a really nice, high pitched voice when in reality I am crumbling inside.
Talking about cupcakes when all I can think about is why God allows babies to be born, only to take them back hours, days, or months later.
Writing about cinnamon rolls when I am all but consumed by thoughts and prayers for my sister in law who is locked in from a stroke and can no longer play with or hold or talk to her 3 precious babies.
Laughing with friends about scenes in Pitch Perfect 2 when all I can think about is maybe, just MAYBE, if the driver that hit my dad was paying a little bit more attention to the road, my dad would still be here.
I have learned that these whys can become wounds, and Satan used these whys to make you question your faith, your purpose, our King and his much much much bigger plan.
A plan that my very small, selfish mind can't seem to understand sometimes.
Let us not be wounded by the whys. Let us be brave and fierce in our love for others.
Happy Wednesday, sweet friends. You are loved.


Monday, June 8, 2015

A Letter to Our Little: One Year Ago Today...

To my precious Kennedy Harper Steck,

One year ago today, in about one hour exactly, our lives changed forever.

After a long, and a little scary 3 days of labor, you finally made your beautiful debut.

You made me a momma.

With each month, I learned more about you and you learned more about me.

We had our days when I wasn't understanding you and you weren't understanding me. 

Those days were hard, no doubt. 

But I quickly realized that the hardest day with you was still a million times better than any day before you.

With each day that passed, you became more confident, more girly, a little more sassy, and 100% Kennedy.

The day I had you, I realized that my life from that moment on would be consumed by you in the very best way possible.

I would pray relentlessly for you. I would weep over you because my love for you was so deep and all-consuming.  I would want to protect you and fight for you no matter what the cost.

I would give countless kisses to someone I had just met...yet seemed like I knew forever.

I would watch you look more like your Dada, but then a little more like me, and be reminded that you are 100% us.

You are what we dreamed of and prayed for for 5 years, and for a while we weren't sure if we would ever have the blessing of you in our lives.

But the Lord was faithful, and His timing was perfect.

Even on my darkest, coldest days, you are light...and warmth...and beauty.

The magenta line across my tummy is a daily reminder of our story, and I wouldn't change it for the world.

 You are my precious daughter, and I am honored to be your momma.

Happy 1 year, my princess. Your momma and dada love you more than you will ever understand. 

Life with you is GOOD.

1 Samuel 1:27-28


Thursday, May 14, 2015

A (Belated) Letter To Our Little: 11 Months

To my precious Kennedy Harper,

Last Friday marked your 11th month. We are now on the fast track to your big 1 year milestone.

How in the world did we get here.

You are busy busy busy and will only sit still if I give you my iPhone, paper, turn on Curious George, or feed you cottage cheese mixed with avocado.

You still love your doggies and now make an "ARF!" sound when you see them.

They are still very committed to helping you eat your meals.

Your crawling skills aren't pretty, but you get to where you want to be.

If an inch worm and a seal had a baby, I would imagine that you would mimic each other getting from place to place.

You also have a new found love for strawberries, which makes you smell like cotton candy all the time.

I don't hate it.

You bring me so much joy, even on the darkest of days.

This last week was the hardest, most painful week of my life.

Last Monday night, we lost your Daddy.

He bought you this beautiful yellow dress a few weeks ago, just because.

He loved you so much.

You were the twinkle in his eye, sweet girl.

He snuggled, cuddled, and kissed you every chance he got.

He pursued you and desired a relationship with you.

He wanted to support you and see you succeed.

He loved watching you grow.

He loved buying you little stuffed animals and frilly dresses.

He never let me eat the raw stuff during our weekly sushi dates when I was pregnant with you.

After you were born, he came over almost every week to see you and play with you while I gobbled up the hot lunch he always brought me.

He protected and couldn't get enough of you.

You were his "Little Finkie".

It is incredibly hard not to mourn the moments that we will miss out on now that he is no longer in our lives, but I am thankful that he knew you and you knew him.

I am thankful that I was able to see him love you unconditionally.

I am thankful that your Pawpaw was the best version of my dad I have ever experienced.

I am thankful that we have a Daddy, a Pawpaw, in the King whom we serve.

Thank you Lord, for allowing us these sweet moments with Pawpaw. You are faithful when my faith is weaning and you are strong when I can't seem to pick myself up.

Happy 11 months, to our Little Finkie. You are loved more than you will ever know.

"I am God, and there is no one like Me,
declaring the end from the beginning,
and from ancient times things which have not been done,
saying, ‘My purpose will be established,
and I will accomplish all My good pleasure."
Isaiah 46:9-10


Monday, April 13, 2015

Family Monday: Food, A Hard Run, & My Sugar Addiction

Hello friends! 

How was your weekend? Ours was filled with great family time, way too much food, and a really hard run.

My wonderful mom watched our little peanut last night so I could go on a date with this guy. We have a new restaurant in our 'hood called Local Pour, so we decided to try it out at the last minute. It was AMAZING. The food, drinks, service, atmosphere, everything was top notch. 

I just love one on one time with this guy and crave time with him. We don't get to go out just the two of us very often, so when we do it is quite a treat!

Another weekend nom worth mention was this golden platter of goodness from Raising Cane's. We were out running errands on Saturday and around 1:30 decided that we needed some midday fuel. With a very sleepy baby in the car, we decided to forgo nutrition for something quick and delicious and this stuff did not disappoint.

Sometimes you just gotta go for the fried stuff :)

Speaking of food that is not so good for you, my sugar consumption is out of control lately. Between the Easter holiday and just my overall obsession with baking almost every day, we have cookies, ice cream, candy, you name it at our house right now. 

It is crazy how addictive sugar is! 

I truly feel like I would have to lock myself in my room with only sugarless food items for a week in order to truly give up sugar. How do people do it??? goals.

But on the upside, we have been giving our BOB a run (literally) for it's money lately! This little gal LOVES to run and I could not be more thankful.

I have said it here 1,000 times that running is most definitely my happy place, but there was about a 10 minute period yesterday when it was SO NOT my happy place. I was huffing and puffing while pushing this little 20 pounder UP and a hill, INTO a headwind. For about a mile.

Holy miserable pants.

Major points to all the mommas out there who jog while pushing a double stroller. I can't even wrap my head around that situation.

Anyway, Happy Monday sweet friends! Thanks for popping in! I hope you have a great week and know how much you are loved! Let's go love on people!

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