Parenting/Family

Why Am I Not As Happy As I Think I Should Be?

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Believe-when-you-are-most-unhappy-that-there-is-something-for-you-to-do-in-the-world..-Helen-KellerBelieve, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you to do in the world… Helen Keller

I’ve been doing some more soul searching the past week –

The past few days have been pretty stressful. Scott’s mom is in the hospital. My dad and step mother got into a car accident this past weekend. Their car is totaled, they are banged up but going to be OK. The thing is, experiencing your parents’ getting older is tough especially when they didn’t take particularly great care of their health in general. It’s another reminder that lifestyle definitely catches up with you as you age.  And when you are experiencing it from a distance – it’s hard to really see how bad a situation is. You have to rely on your parents to tell you what’s going on. Reality is different depending on the filters we put on.

In other stressful news, Scott and I are both not feeling well with different maladies. Nothing too serious but enough that we both went to the doctors last week and are on meds. And to top it all off – Scott’s car broke down on Friday evening and a bunch of money $$$ later, the car should be fixed by tomorrow.

All of this has me thinking about what I really want out of life and why am I not feeling as happy as I think I should be?

Career wise: Do I want to continue heading into an office and working for someone else? The culture and company I am looking for based on my experience with my last position is a lot more clear than it has ever been. The issue is, I’m not sure my current situation is meeting the requirements as I had hoped it would.  In the past 90 days of me starting, there have been a ton of changes and restructuring. Things I didn’t know about when I accepted the position. The changes aren’t really in line with my background, interests or what I was looking for. It’s disappointing to say the least. I was hoping to be able to grow, learn, be challenged and thrive in this environment. At this point, it’s not really looking like many of those opportunities exist. Never say never, of course, but having learned my lesson at my previous job, I realize that if it doesn’t feel right, I need to explore options.

I am stressed out and feeling a bit lost. Life sure doesn’t stop for you to catch your breath…

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May is Mental Health Month

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MentalHealthAwarenessMonth

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Did you know that about 42.5 million American adults (or 18.2 percent of the total adult population in the United States) suffer from some mental illness, enduring conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia?

I’m sharing the stories in the links below because they got me thinking about how easy it is to look at someone’s life and assume everything is perfect. With social media, people’s lives look idyllic . All smiles and photo filters. If you took it all at face value, you would think that everyone has it good and living the life. But you know what? The reality is that we all have struggles and our stories. You never do know what is going on behind the filtered pictures on Instagram or the stories shared on Facebook.

Life today is busy. People are more stressed out and pushed and pulled in a bunch of different directions. Our bodies aren’t designed to handle this type of constant stress. Add in that some people have the type of personality that can’t handle things being undone. They can’t live with things being less than perfect. Many people who suffer from depression or anxiety are these type A personalities.

Trust your instinct

The point of this post is to remind people out there that not everything is what it seems. No one’s life is perfect.  If you feel like something is not right with a family member, friend or acquaintance – ASK. And if they say Nothing – ASK Again and again and again.

Mental Health Awareness Month

Happy 11th Birthday Baby Nate

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Happy 11th Birthday to my sweet, funny, stubborn, loving, sensitive little baby Nate.

Fun Murderer of a Teenager

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Hannah Bea 2015End of last month, my little baby girl became a teenager. It is hard to believe that 13 years have passed since I became Mom and had my priorities and perspective on life shift. What a crazy journey it has been. HB is becoming such an amazing young girl – so fearless and full of confidence. I love watching her –  and seeing how she evaluates situations and challenges herself constantly. She is so much bolder than I was at her age.

When HB was younger, she called me a Fun Murderer. In hereeyes, I was not fun in her eye whenever I told her she couldn’t do something she wanted to do – for whatever reason – I was murdering fun. She doesn’t say that much anymore – it has now turned into the infamous eye rolling any time I annoy her.  Her teenage years are bound to be full of moments of her parents embarrassing and annoying her.

 

Time flies for sure and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for both of us.  I’m having the best time being her Mom.

Hannah Bea 2015 Trashion Show

Bring Quality PE Back To Schools: La Sierra High PE

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NPR just published Learning To Move, Moving To Learn: The Benefits Of PE – encouraging schools and communities to bring back real PE classes. It’s no secret that “neuro-cognitive development is associated with exercise and can benefit from exercise”, so why aren’t we demanding that our children get more exercise??

Watch the video below that highlights the La Sierra High PE program in the 60’s. It’s exactly what our kids need to be doing today– real physical fitness classes in school. Not only will it help them physically but mentally as well! Our kids will learn to deal with the stress of life. Also look at the people featured in this video –they look younger and healthier overall. I bet it’s because they have been fit most of their lives, starting early on.


PE 50 years ago…compare to today! Help us bring quality PE back to our schools: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/la-sierra-high-pe

In 1962, JFK gave a speech to the nation challenging them to make a “great national effort.” He held the La Sierra High PE up as the model for the nation to follow. 4,000 high schools followed this program. This is the only known digitized copy of his speech. The footage shows one high school PE class. Remember, this is a normal PE class at the high school. This was PE 50 years ago in America! Help us make this happen again. Ron Jones, MS, founder of The Lean Berets (Executive Producer), Doug Orchard (Producer/Director).

What If Your Kid Gets Lost?

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Ask for HelpYesterday, a friend’s pre-teen son went missing for a few hours. Although everything turned out ok -they found him and his friend safe and sound- it was a reminder how quickly life can change. Here is some sage advice given by the police officers that can help you talk to your own kids about what to do if they ever get lost…

Last Night the LCSO Officers spoke to C and A about the things they did right and the things they did wrong when they were lost in the woods. I never ever want anyone to experience the fear that gripped us so I want to share what they shared with the boys (and express our thanks to them).

What they did right:
1-stayed together!!! (that’s it!)

What they did wrong:
1-Cal abandoned his sled. They said KEEP YOUR STUFF WITH YOU. It will make it easier to find them.
2-Left their cell phones home. Better to break your cell phone sledding than get lost without it.
3-They wandered around houses instead of knocking on a door for help.

Our greatest fear last night that one had slipped or fell on ice and the other tried to help, getting hurt or worse in the process.
-Perfect time to remind our kids to stay off ALL ice.
-Fresh snow can camouflage ice so remind them to stick to paths- that are clear or marked.
-If one gets hurt, the other one calls or runs for help.


In my panic last night a police officer tried to calm me by asking me “You raised a smart son, right?” I couldn’t answer confidently. Make sure you can answer that question confidently. Hopefully you never will need to. Talk to them. Hug them and cherish them.

Parents: make sure you talk to your kids about getting lost and what they should do. Then continue the conversation until they become adults.

Happy Valentine’s Day: Kill It With Kindness

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Happy Valentine’s Day – I would prefer to call today Kindness Day! As I have said, I don’t need a day set aside to show my love for my husband and my family. The real moments where we show care and kindness are the ones that matter to me. When Scott notices my phone isn’t on the charger and puts it on there or when my kids help me out just because they know I would appreciate it are things that speak to me and affirm that I am loved.

Kindness To celebrate I am going to Kill Today With Kindness. Any opportunity to be nice or help someone else out -I am going to do it. Heck, every day should be kindness day. If you set your intentions on that each morning, it certainly makes it an attainable goal.

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Tween Girls: Why Do They Have to Lose Confidence?

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Do you ever think about the things you liked to do as a kid? Do you remember how often you had art class?  How you were given time to be creative and innovative?

10374198_10152142761973741_2036474420_nI used to write plays when I was in grade school. They weren’t long or elaborate, but I loved making up stories. I also loved to act. I took acting classes for years – and then – the tweens. I lost confidence, had trouble fitting in, gained a ton of weight, and all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and watch TV. I lost touch with all those of the creative things I loved to do and it’s been a struggle to find them again.  Growing up, my Mom was a single divorced mom – before so many other parents divorced, and she worked a lot.  My sister and I didn’t have a lot of parental oversight to push us to get our butts outside and play and she wasn’t able to take us to after school activities. It’s not a matter of blaming, it’s just the way it was.  Once I hit my teens,  I was picked on incessantly and was very lonely. I am sure today – I would be considered medically ‘depressed’, but back then – it was considered a stage I was going through.

As a mom now, I see a shift in my own tween-age daughter – her interest in her looks and fitting in started a year or so and it seems to be intensifying. I am thankful that she’s not the target of bullies or mean girls, but she has mentioned that she’s doesn’t think she’s popular and doesn’t have a lot of friends. Wearing my Mom hat,  I talk to her about quality vs quantity of friends and offer her words of encouragement because heck, I like her! The reality is though, there are so many outside influences on our daughters that I feel sometimes it’s hard to overcome.  Does it have to be this way for young girls today?

Do young girls have to lose their confidence and sense of empowerment just because they mature?

I’d like to think that the world has changed, but look around – some things have changed, but much has remained the same. There are so many articles and research out there detailing how young girls ultimately grow up to be women with low confidence and find they have less opportunities than male counterparts in their personal lives and careers.

Here’s a few recent articles for example:

Talking about the issue is definitely a start when it comes to addressing the problem, but more focus needs to be on teaching our daughters AND sons about valuing people – male AND female. Parents need to walk the walk/talk the talk as well. However, since men are in many positions of leadership around the world, maybe the wives and daughters out there need to put much needed pressure on the men in their lives to encourage them to lead the change.

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Twenty Years Ago

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Us 20 years agoMe, a recent University of Arizona grad starting a new job – scared and excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.

You, an Arizona native, who had started a few months earlier thanks to your Pops, who left an application on the shop’s chain link fence.

We had both been on our own for many years – navigating our twenties without any sort of plan or guidance.

Ryan introduced us – in the break room.  I remember the warmth you gave off when you smiled. I remember feeling attraction, giddiness, and curiosity.

Our first date Feb 4, 1995– Chinese food, then dancing and drinks. We found out about each other.  I can’t remember a time after that where I didn’t feel special around you.

You ‘got’ me. I ‘got’ you. Our life began to flow.

We moved to VA. Got married in Vegas. Bought the house. Adopted Scully, the dog.

Three years into our marriage, we found out we were having a baby. Neither of us had been around babies growing up. Shocked by the news, we had no idea what to expect. Our family and friends were supportive and excited for us. It was such a fun and happy time.

Hannah Bea came into this world right on her due date. Our lives would never be the same. We became parents. Two years and one month later, Nathaniel Ryan was born. A girl, a boy; our family was complete.

HoaglundsWe became increasingly busy and had more demands put on us. Family, work, and life responsibilities constantly colliding – we began to lose track of time and failed to appreciate how preciously short life can be.

We got a big wake-up call, didn’t we? Cancer reared its ugly head. We quickly shifted the gears of life and put all of our power and energy into getting you well. As with most challenges you have faced, you stepped up with determination, humor and quiet strength.  It wasn’t easy, but you did it. Cancer Free.

Our life began to flow again. A bit different than before the big ‘C’, of course, but strong and steady all the same.  We moved forward with the gift of perspective.

Today, far from perfect, we are happy. We have a sincere affection for each other, rooted in love, laughter and security. There is no one else in this world I trust more or who makes me feel more at home than you.

Twenty years ago today, a wonderful adventure began…

Hoaglunds

Hoaglunds

 

Boyhood: Growing Up is Hard To Do

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If you caught the Golden Globe awards last night, you may have heard about the movie Boyhood.

Boyhood Movie - Live Fit and Sore!

Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater’s BOYHOOD is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason’s parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, BOYHOOD charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before. Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between become transcendent, set to a soundtrack spanning the years from Coldplay’s Yellow to Arcade Fire’s Deep Blue. BOYHOOD is both a nostalgic time capsule of the recent past and an ode to growing up and parenting. It’s impossible to watch Mason and his family without thinking about our own journey. (c) Sundance Film Fest. 


I watched it a few nights before the Golden Globes and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind.  I’m not sure what it was about the story that really touched me – was it the experience I had growing up with a single parent, or the perspective that I have now as a parent watching and participating as my own kiddos mature and navigate their adolescence? The highs/lows of it — and ultimately the questions that arise like “what’s it all about if they just leave the nest?”. I often find myself glancing at my kids, being completely aware of the situation we are engaging in and noticing they seem just different to me — older maybe. The conversations we engage in have changed, their comprehension of what things mean keeps growing, their tolerance for parental affection and involvement weans. It’s great in so many ways, but heart crushing too. This movie, although not similar to my own family’s experience, brought the growing up experience to life. It was so brilliantly crafted that it didn’t matter that the story wasn’t my own.  The characters were all of us – and  experienced feelings we all can relate to.  I thank Richard Linklater so much for having the vision and talent to make this movie – what a wonderful piece of art.

Clearly, I wasn’t the only one who loved this film – it won best director and best movie last night. Well Deserved!

It really spurred me to reflect on my own childhood and remember moments that profoundly affected me. Do you remember certain moments or experiences from your childhood that you can recall with such clarity including the emotions and thoughts? I  have maybe da handful that I can attribute to thought patterns and behaviors that I still grapple with today.

Here’s some info posted in 2007, but still very relevant and helpful: 18 Habits from Childhood That Affect Our Relationships Now

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