Finding Joy During Chaos

Happy Monday, y’all!

Gosh, have these last few weeks been a wild ride! i hope that this post finds you healthy and safe during these crazy times!

When 2020 started, I never would have guessed that this is where we would be at now. Then again, I don’t think anyone really would have!

I definitely believe that it’s important to stay informed and up to date on the happenings, but these days, I try not to focus too much on all of the nitty gritty details. I think if I did, I just very well might lose my mind in it all.

10 Things That Are Bringing Me Joy

1. My sweet baby boy and his endless giggles.

2. Being able to keep in touch with my husband via FaceTime while he’s deployed.

3. Being in a place that we’re able to get outside in the fresh air and sunshine during the day.

4. Such great friends that check in on us not only during these crazy times, but just in general.

5. Good health; both mine and those I care about.

6. Having the best parents ever that have let Baby K, Ailey, and I stay with them throughout this all.

7. Taking this time and #socialdistancing to give my skin a break from makeup and just breathe.

8. The best pup ever that snuggles in bed with me every night.

9. Being fortunate enough to get the things we need, both my husband and Baby K and I, without having to worry about money.

10. Having this space to connect with y’all.

What’s something that’s bringing you joy right now?

XOXO,
Leah

Military Life: Find Your Tribe

I’ve always been the kind of girl that had lots of friends, but it was more so because we were in classes or sports together. Most weren’t the kind that I felt I could reach out to whenever for anything at all.

It’s never been something that bothered me too much, but then marrying my husband happened. Now here we are living hundreds of miles from our home state and me realizing just how valuable a close group of friends truly is!

There have been quite a few times over the course of our marriage when it’s just been me and Ailey (now Baby K too) at the house while my husband is gone for a school or another training. Within the first two months of being married and living on base, he was gone a total of six weeks.

This lifestyle adjustment really forced me out of my comfort zone.

Suddenly I found myself reaching out to the other wives around me, even though the introvert in me was terrified. I found myself texting and messaging to make plans. I found myself working hard to consistently make the effort to check in to see how they’re doing.

When our washer died the night before my husband left for deployment, I found myself reaching out to a sweet friend to see if Baby K and I could come hang out and use their’s.

Side Note: Murphy’s Law is real, and if something bad can happen during a deployment, it probable will!

Looking back on the last three years of my husband’s service, everywhere I look I see another sweet friend that I was lucky enough to get to meet.

I was never the girl that had a tribe of friends, that is until I became a military wife.

XOXO,
Leah

 

Love the Mama Too

As I sit here looking at him while he naps, I can’t help but be so thankful for him and all of the people that have poured into our little family!

Babies are such a wonderful gift. Most people you know want to come love on your little addition, but sometimes the mamas can get lost in it all.

Ask her how she’s doing and really listen. God knows she’d probably appreciate someone asking about her before the baby!

Bring or send her a favorite meal or snacks. When the decision comes down to eating or trying to get some sleep, I can almost guarantee that sleep will win out.

Take the baby for an hour or two without asking. Help is always appreciated, but if the new mama in your life is anything like me, asking for it is hard!

When you bring something for the new little one, bring something for her too; a candle she loves, a nice lotion and body wash, coffee (I’m mostly made up of coffee these days). Just a little something that says you were thinking of her too!

I know it can be easy to be sucked in by the cuteness of a new baby, but it’s just as easy for a new mama to lose herself in it all too.

Next time you go visit a new baby, don’t forget to love on the mama too!

XOXO,
Leah

7 Unconventional Ways to Practice Self-Care

It goes without saying that self-care and taking care of your mental health are so important! Between work, school, family, health and various other responsibilities life can get pretty tough sometimes.

I used to be so guilty of pushing things to the side until they would all blow up at once before addressing my mental health. It was an awful way to handle things, but at the time, that’s what I had going.

Now that I’m a little older and have some more life under my belt, I really do try to make taking care of myself a main priority!

It seems like everyone shares the self-care options like taking a bath, reading a book, going for a walk… While those are all great, they don’t always work for everyone. That’s why I’m sharing 10 of my favorite ways to get some self-care in that are a little different than what you see and hear about every day:

1. Baking or cooking. There’s something so therapeutic about measuring and mixing ingredients. Not to mention, there’s the amazing smells that fill your whole kitchen and you get something yummy to eat at the end of it all!

2. Taking a break from everything and everyone. It’s okay to say “no” to doing things, and it’s definitely okay to need space and time away when you’re in the middle of something too. If you need to go be by yourself somewhere away from everything, then that’s what you need to do! This is something that I still struggle with from time to time.

3. Having a good cry. Sometimes you just need a good cry to let everything out and cleanse your heart. It doesn’t make you weak or anything else others might try to say. What does matter is what you do after you allow yourself to cry it all out. Dry your tears, take a few good deep breaths, and pick yourself back up off the floor. Always remember, that’s not where you belong!

4. Arts and crafts. For me, it’s writing. There’s just something about putting your feelings out into the world and not having to hold them in any longer. For you, maybe it’s painting or singing or dancing. The great thing about creativity is that there is no wrong or right way to do it. It’s all about what makes you feel good, when all is said and done!

5. Building something with your own two hands. My husband can attest for this, but I’m not very useful when it comes to building things that require tools. Maybe working with the power tools and having a goal of what you’re end product will look like is what helps you unwind though. There really is something to be said about those that can have a vision in their head and make it come to life!

6. Working outside. This is my husband all day, every day! It doesn’t matter how long and frustrating his day was. If he’s in a bad mood or needs to work off some steam, working in the yard never fails to ease that tension that’s been built up! Cutting trees down, pulling up overgrown vines… You name it and he’s done it.

7. Volunteering. Sometimes, for me, the best way I can take care of myself is by helping others. I’ve never given my time to a cause I’m passionate about and regretted it later, but I’m always so grateful to have been able to give back in some small way! Not only does it take my mind off of whatever problem is present in my life, but it refills my cup and adds to the fuel of wanting to do and be my best!

What’s an unconventional way you like to practice self-care? Let me know in the comments below!

XOXO,
Leah

 

3 Moments of Joy

If you’ve been following along with me on Instagram(@alongftride) you know that most days start out with me writing down three things from the previous day that brought me joy. It’s a great way to start the day out on a positive and thankful note!

Today, I wanted to share with you my three moments from yesterday (Sunday):

1. I got in a great workout!

2. It was nice enough to have the windows open in the afternoon and let some fresh air inside!

3. My husband and I got a head start on a little spring cleaning!

Moments of joy don’t always have to be the big and extravagant things like going on vacation. While those moments are nice, for me, it’s always the little things that really add up the most for me!

What’s something that brought you joy yesterday?

XOXO,

Leah

Mental Health Day

Happy Monday, y’all!

Today’s post is on the shorter side. After a long weekend of checking the boxes on my to do list, today is for mental health and self care!

With It being Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I am lucky enough to have my sweet husband home for the whole day. Since this doesn’t happen often given my husband’s job in the Army, we try to take advantage of it when it does!

What’s something you and your significant other like to do together when you have time together?

XOXO,

Leah

Getting Your Health Back On Track

Cheers to my first post of 2019!! I hope your year is off to a great start!

If you’re anything like me though, traveling can take its toll on your health, in more ways than one. The holidays always seem to be the time where this hits me the hardest too. While I try to stay on top of things with a well-balanced diet, drinking lots of water, exercise, etc., it can still be hard to fight off those pesky colds off!

Today, I’m sharing a few of my favorite ways to take back my health after getting knocked down!

It’s no secret that I feel my absolute best when I’m feeding my body well! For me, this often means whole foods; cooked, raw, frozen… You get the idea.

A few of my favorite snacks are baby carrots and cucumbers with hummus, roasted veggies, fresh fruit, and frozen grapes (they seriously taste like candy!). There have been days after traveling where I’ve been known to just eat trays of roasted veggies like it’s my job!

Along with feeding my body well is also staying hydrated! I love having fresh lemon and cucumber on hand to add to a big pitcher of water. It adds a little flavor, and I still get all of the benefits from it. You can really add whatever kinds of fruits you like!

I do throw in the occasional smoothie, juice, or tea to break it up too. Whoever said that variety is the spice of life was so true!! The more hydrated I am, the better my skin looks, the less headaches I get, and the less bloated I feel. It really is a win win!

If you’ve read previous posts of mine you’ll know that I’m all about treating myself, especially when it can help improve my mental and emotional health! After a long plane or car ride, there is nothing quite like a nice, hot bath with Epsom salt.

In addition to stretching, this really helps me get my muscles and joints feeling 100% again! There’s also just something so therapeutic about setting aside that time for myself to do nothing but relax! It’s also the perfect time to have a nice, hot cup of tea to sip on while you soak!

I’ve always been a big believer that mental and emotional health is just as important as physical health! If you follow me over on Instagram, you’ll have heard me talk about my love of journaling before.

Each day, I try to start the day off by writing down three things from the previous day that brought me joy. The beauty of this is that they can really be anything; nice weather, a hot cup of coffee, a dinner date, five extra minutes of sleep… The options are endless! It helps me keep the bad moments in perspective and to always remember that even what seems like the worst possible day had good moments in it too!

What are some ways you like to take care of yourself and get back to feeling well? Do we have any in common? Let me know down below!

XOXO,
Leah