27 Things.

Well, tomorrow I turn the big 2-7. I thought it would be kind of fun to share 27 things about myself. Some of you may already know these facts, some might surprise you, and probably most of it is really just pointless information. But, either way, I’m writing them down.

1. I grew up being called “Fred.” In fact, I think until I graduated college, my sister called me “Fred” more than than she used my real name. It started when I was three and just stuck.

2. I am a Christian. I have debated discussing this on my blog because though I’m proud of the fact that I follow Christ and that I love him, I’m not always so proud of the things my fellow Christians do. This being a public blog, I didn’t want to turn people off because of that. But ultimately, that’s completely contradictory to my faith.

3.  I am a writer. But no, really, not just for this blog. I write for this company and am able to do so from home, which is amazing. If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur, check it out. Seriously.

4. I’m a mother. I’ve had the privilege of carrying three different babies throughout my life. You can read about my unborn kiddos here and here and my little man Judah, here. Nothing gives me more joy than being the mother to this little boy.

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5. I love to cook. Cooking comfort food is especially my thing. I love to make stuff like a good beef stew, chicken pot pie, or a big pot of jambalaya. But…

6. I hate to bake. I love to eat sweets, but I do not have the patience for baking.

7. The beach is my favorite spot. I could go to the beach every day of the year. The smell of the saltwater and the feel of the sand, the sounds of the waves crashing to the shore, mmm. I could just soak that up forever.

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8. I am originally from New York state.  Everyone thinks when I say I’m from New York I mean NYC. Not the case. The town I grew up in was actually so rural, there is not even one traffic light. Its claim to fame is a Subway, a Chinese restaurant, and a college, which practically everyone who lives in the town works in or attends. Just to give you an even better idea for how small it is, I graduated with a class of 35. I went to private school, but the average size of the public schools in the area were around 60-65.

9. I’ve lived on both coasts. Thanks to my upbringing, I’ve officially lived life on the east coast, the midwest where I attended college, and now, on the west coast in Oregon.

10. I’m an over-analyzer. But seriously, about everything. I often will think and re-think, and try to guess what problems or future problems might arise because of my actions, plans I might make, or things that may happen. It’s exhausting, really, but mostly exhausting for my poor husband who has to listen as I verbally process it all.

11. I am a verbal processor, and in other cases a written one. This blog is a prime example. Basically, it’s me processing through something and sharing with the internet. Lucky you!

12. I have two tattoos. One is on my left ribcage that says, “my beloved” in Hebrew. Yes, I know Posh spice has that and I also know it’s a little cliche to have the Hebrew tattoo, but whatever. I love it and it means a lot to me. I got it the first year I was married and it’s a reminder to me of how much my husband loves me, and how much God loves me, and has created me as his “beloved.” Tattoo number two is on my right inner elbow/forearm. It is a section of a Josh Garrels lullaby that he wrote for his child. I used to play it over and over for Judah while I held him and danced trying to keep him calm throughout his colicky stage. The lyrics state, “Love I never knew filled my heart when I held you.” It is the best way to describe becoming a mother. It’s a love never experienced before and that time with Judah was both stretching and one I will hold dear forever. And, despite my family’s distaste for tattoos of all shapes and sizes (yes mom, I see that eye roll) I cannot promise those two will be my last.

13. My favorite drink is a margarita. I enjoy wine and beer, but if I could have a margarita every day, I definitely would. Maybe when I’m old and retired I’ll indulge that.

14. I’d buy fresh flowers every week….if I could. Sometimes I think rich people can really indulge in some silly things, but something I would do if I could throw $10-$15 in the trash every week would be buying fresh flowers, just like these found at our local farmer’s market.

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15. My middle name is Ruth. This is also my great grandmother’s name, my grandmother’s middle name, my mom’s middle name, and if someday I am blessed with a little girl, it will be her’s too. I love that it’s been passed down through the family and that I have the privilege of having it.

16. I can fold myself into a pretzel. Yep, totally can. And I checked a few months ago, and I still got it!

17. Reading puts me to sleep. Except when it comes to The Great Gatsby and The Hunger Games Trilogy. Otherwise, don’t even bother.

18. I love Bette Davis movies. I adore that actress. My mom introduced me to her movies when I was just a little girl. I love her sassy characters and overly dramatic plot lines. Not to mention, she is beautiful and looks just like my Grandma Lewis.

19. I was blonde. I had blonde hair as a kid and until I was about 16. I started dying it dark brown my senior year of high school and now it naturally settles at a light brown.

20. I have a love/hate relationship with “selfies.” Let me explain this. I can appreciate taking a picture of yourself, or an “artistic self-portrait” (it’s really a selfie, come on) if you will. But, let’s just get to the bottom of it. I despise when people post a “selfie” and then use some cryptic quote or caption at the bottom. Just be honest with it and say, “Instagram followers: I am ROCKIN’ this outfit today and I thought you should see it!” or “Hey-o, I actually showered, put makeup on, and did my hair and I’m feelin’ pretty good! Let me share that with you, and please tell me I look good back!” We all know certain “selfies” are fishing for complements…aka those ones you post when you’re not wearing makeup and you have to specifically point that out to get tons of likes and “oh, you’re so beautiful, I never would have known!” Or those ones where you’re gazing off into the distance, looking pensive and oh so “hipster.” Also, taking a “selfie” to make fun of a “selfie” is still technically a “selfie.” Just saying. But in all honesty, I never can tell when people aren’t wearing any makeup, cause they are usually just naturally beautiful, I can appreciate your awesome hipster outfit and pensive looks, and an laugh at your sarcastic duck face and appreciate that. So go on with your selfie taking selves, just be honest about it, that’s all.

21. I have been to five countries. Canada, Mexico, The Czech Republic, Australia, and Honduras.

22. I hate birds. To me, they are super creepy and diseasey. And I have this irrational fear that they’re just going to rise up and start pecking people. Isn’t that a movie? Though, I do appreciate their chirping on a nice summer day.

23.  My favorite holiday is Christmas. Come on, who’s isn’t? Well, it’s probably at least in the top three if not number one.

24. I’m horrible at bowling. I think my “high score” was an 80 once?

25. I’m an introvert. I’m terribly awkward and horrible at making eye-contact. I’d rather crawl into a hole by myself than be in front of a large group of people, or be the center of attention. There is no way I would ever say anything I write in my blog out loud. Unless I know you really well, and unless I’ve had a margarita…or two. Good thing there are blogs, otherwise I’d explode.

26. I’m a closet cusser. I know my sister also shares this gene. I’m never bothered when other people say cuss words, unless it’s around my kiddo, then watch it. Otherwise, it’s just language to me. And sometimes, when I’m really upset, or I hit the stupid pole in our apartment parking space for the tenth time that month, or I bite my lip when eating, there is just nothing else to say but a cuss word. Am I right?

27. I’m a terrible parker. As stated, I’ve hit a few things now and again when parking. It’s pretty much a miracle any time I’m actually between the lines.

So, now that you know 27 pointless facts about me, don’t  you just feel like we could be besties?? And, so you’re warned, I will be publishing a blog about 30 things I’d like to do before I’m 30. So be prepared for that in the near future.

Have a fabulous week everyone, we’re off to the beach this weekend to celebrate yours truly and my glorious arrival into this world with friends, and I cannot wait!

 

 

Being Me.

Happy Monday! I hope all the mothers out there, in every sense of the word, had a wonderful day surrounded by their loved ones yesterday. I had a fabulous weekend with my two men, who spoiled me with coffee, a new nightstand, the best burger I’ve had in a long time, and fresh donuts on Sunday morning.

But…this post isn’t about Mother’s Day, it’s actually about me. I know, so humble right?

So, sometimes–and by sometimes I really mean more frequently than I’d like to admit–I just have out and out pity parties for myself. I think about all the things I was going to do or could have done and wonder what it would be like if I had. I look at other women my age who are pursing something similar to what I wanted to do and finding great success in it, and that little bug of jealousy rears it’s ugly head, leaving me in a puddle of self-induced sorrow. Pathetic right? Especially when I snap out of it and take a look at what’s really around me every day.

Back in my early college days, when shows like The Hills were all the rage, (yeah LC!) I really wanted to pursue something in fashion. I loved it. I was always well-dressed in college, except for those inevitable 8:00 a.m. classes where sweatpants were mandatory. I’d often have people on my floors frequent my closet to borrow my clothes, or ask for my advice on their outfits before a big date or whatever. I liked playing that role. I liked being confident in what I wore, and being able to help others feel good about what they were wearing too. I had dreams of opening up my own shop someday, and even had an internship with a small boutique in Ft. Wayne, Indiana to start learning the ropes. Then, I met Kyle. When we started dating, I wasn’t thinking that this was the year I would meet my husband. But, lucky for me, I did, and plans changed. And they changed for the better. Sometimes I think back to opening my own little store, realizing I never pursued it, and feel that twinge of regret. But then I snap out of it, and I think, if I had, I wouldn’t be married to the man I get to call my husband. My life just wouldn’t be complete.

I have held similar desires toward things like photography, or fitness, or blogging. I tried to be a photographer, but that just didn’t pan out for me, despite my efforts, and that’s okay. Instead, I get to use what I know to create great memories for my family, and there’s a lot less pressure involved. I get to do it for the pure joy, and nothing else. I’ve also really been into yoga lately. I have been taking a class from this lovely lady (but seriously, check out that link to her Instagram, she is insanely talented). I have always enjoyed the practice of yoga and the ability to see the small progressions your body makes, even in just one session. However, I also want to have more babies, and I can’t really be doing forearm stands while pregnant. Therefore, my dreams of becoming a really great yogi are going to be a little suspended, but that’s okay. That doesn’t mean that I can’t lay a great foundation for my practice now, one that will really get me ready for doing things like a forearm stand someday in the future. And that doesn’t mean I should enjoy doing yoga any less. After all, it’s basically the only thing that gets me out of bed at 6:45 a.m.

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And blogging. I started this blog in a different state of mind, as a frustrated mom of a colicky baby who felt so isolated. I loved my new role as mommy, but I also longed for something more. Everyone else’s life with their newborn seemed like nothing short of constant bliss compared to my scream-fests every day. When I wrote that first blog post, it was for nothing more than to vent. Writing has always been the best way for me to express myself clearly, and I definitely had a few things I needed to get off my chest. After receiving a lot of success from my posts, I’ve toyed with the idea of making some money off of my blog. But I quickly realized, in doing so, I wouldn’t be writing for myself, I’d be writing for the potential of making money (for those who do, there is nothing wrong with that, I’m simply saying I couldn’t personally find that balance). Instead of writing when I wanted to, I’d feel pressured to keep up a schedule, which wouldn’t allow me to be as spontaneous and write from the heart. And for me, that’s okay.

I’ve been asking myself a lot lately, when is it going to be okay to just be me? And by that question, what I really mean is, when am I going to be okay with just being me?

I’m a major people pleaser by nature. I hate feeling that others will be upset with me or dislike me. Previously, to the point of completely disregarding myself and the things I enjoy in life to pursue what would make me “look good” in the eyes of whoever I was trying to live up to. Such a lame way to live life, and I’m finally starting to see that. A few times throughout this past year, I have been able to stand up for myself when I’ve been wronged, or haven’t wanted to do something, and it feels great! But I’ve got a long way to go, and part of that will come with rooting my foundation–being okay with my choices and being me.

In just a few short weeks I’ll be turning 27. That’s a lot closer to 30 than I used to be. I’ve always envisioned being 30 as reaching the pinnacle of “you-dom” (yep, just made that up). You are who you are, and you embrace it. Throughout your 20’s there is so much change and shifting in life, things that happen which begin to define who you are. Not that there aren’t any changes when you’re in your 30’s, or 40’s or 50’s, but I just feel that by that time, these changes probably occur with a bit more of a grounded foundation. At least, that’s what I’d like for myself.

Instead of choosing a career in fashion, I chose to get married and become a mother. And you know what? I’d rather wear clothes covered in peanut butter and yogurt and watch Mad Men and the end of the day with my husband than be doing anything else. I love being a mom, it’s my thing. Instead of being a super awesome yogi right now, I’m slowly learning the habits to get there, while allowing myself time to fully focus on my son while he still actually wants my attention. And I love that. It works for me. I love the opportunity to practice yoga first thing in the morning and to attend class on Tuesdays. It’s a great way to start my day and get a little me time in. My forearm stand is waiting for me in the future, and I’m happy with that for now.

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In the midst of my pity party last week, I was reviewing these feelings with Kyle, and he said something to me that I think is so true. Being a mom, or not being a mom, or wanting to be a mom, it just totally changes your entire world. It determines your priorities. We began talking about the different roles that moms can play. We determined that there is a bit of a scale when it comes to motherhood. There are the moms that live solely for their kids on one side, and the moms who have kids who live solely for them on the other, you know, kind of like an accessory. Then, there’s that sweet spot in the middle of the perfect balance. When moms prioritize their kids just right, while still prioritizing themselves and their own dreams. I think that’s the place every mom strives for, we all just end up somewhere different on the scale, wherever that may be.

But ah…that perfect balance.

Here’s to finding it, and here’s to working my way toward finally being okay with being me. Twenty seven, I’m coming for you.

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Spring Trips

Okay, I know I’ve been doing primarily photo heavy blogs lately, which isn’t my usual, but we’re still just so in awe of the beautiful area that we live, how can I not share it? Kyle and I have had many discussions about hoping to never take this landscape for granted. I grew up close to hills and pretty outstanding views of nature, but I think there is little that compares to the sites around here in Oregon. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced the color green quite like I have here. Every shade of green imaginable, and so rich! Also, the water is pristine, I mean pristine. You know those old bottled water commercials they used to run with that water so perfect you were sure it must be some type of photoshopped magic? It’s definitely not photoshopped, and it’s right in my backyard.

Spring here is pretty magnificent. Yes, we have days where it rains, but usually it’s pretty sporadic and only lasts a half hour or so before clearing away to some blue skies and sun rays. And, it seems like for every four rainy days we have, we get four gorgeous clear skied beauties. We’ve been taking advantage of such days as much as we can.

Recently, we went to explore Silver Falls, a natural waterfall paradise about 35 minutes away. The photos below don’t do it justice, but it’ll give you at least a little glimpse. And these were all taken by my husband. Sometimes I just don’t want to bother with pictures, you know? I just want to soak it in. Lucky for me, Kyle snapped some great memories for us.

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We were actually able to walk behind two of the waterfalls at the park. This is looking through to the other side of the falls.

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Family waterfall “selfie.” Judah didn’t get the memo. Also, the Ergo Baby carrier is excellent for our hikes with a toddler. SO comfortable.

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Next up is a hike we took with some friends. We were meaning to head to a location called Jawbone Flats, but it was a bit further than we anticipated, and with five kids in tow, a four mile hike was good enough. Luckily, the hike itself offered plenty to explore, including a great spot to play in the creek below before heading back home.

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photo 5 photoThe other day, it was one of those exceptionally warm days, so we snuck away to the beach. It was about 80 there, and just gorgeous. We had been to this beach previously when we visited Oregon before moving last summer. The day we went, a cloud got stuck in the cliffs and just never rose. Despite the overcast and foggy appearance, this beach still took our breath away. Imagine our reaction when we were able to enjoy it on a clear day.

Judah loved it, which makes this mama happy. He has really enjoyed all of our excursions.

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Can’t wait to see what adventures the summer has in store for us! To keep up with all of our family excursions, follow me on Instagram (@bethanyruthalcock). And, if you like my blog and think others will too, give a click to the “Top Mommy” and “Top Baby” blog icons to your right. Thanks!!