Progress Not Perfection

For years I have had this goal to finally start working out and creating a healthier lifestyle, BUT I always end up doing it for TWO days and then making excuses of why I can’t keep doing it! My excuses were…

  1. I work to much
  2. I am not a morning person
  3. I am just tired
  4. I love binge watching Netflix
  5. The gym is intimidating

Those are just a few! The list could go on! Like, what am I thinking! Working out for a half hour is literally like 2% of your day! I spend triple that some days just watching Netflix, or sleeping in!  Talk about wanting to kick myself in the butt!

I have so many bad habits when it comes to my health. I love Diet Mt. Dew, I don’t eat breakfast, I eat a lot of pizza, I don’t drink water like I should, and I love candy! And thats only a hand full of my bad habits! I finally said ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

I want to be in good health, not only for me but for my family!

So here is my fitness journey from the last two weeks. ( I know not that long, but let me tell you it has been life changing so far!)

A few months ago a friend of mine I grew up with asked me one simple question… Is this your month?img_0425

And I made excuses of why I couldn’t do it that month. So after a new month started she followed up and asked me again. Hey Amanda, is this your month? And once again I said NO, and made some more excuses! So after her third time asking me I said. You know what! YES! I was done being that person who made excuses of why I couldn’t put myself first! So I finally told her to send me her link so I could sign up with BeachBody!! The best part was she gave me the PERFECT challenge package called Morning Melt Down 100! This is a program where you workout for 100 days (with rest days included)! Like seriously how perfect! It takes 88 days to create a new habit in your life so this program was perfect for me because I needed to create a habit of working out and eating healthier!

After I got all signed up and was waiting for my challenge package to come in the mail, I started doing other workouts that BeachBody offered. They are amazing! There are so many great challenges! And you want to know the best part?

YOU DO IT ALL FROM HOME!!! NO GYM NEEDED!

For me one of my biggest excuses was, I am intimidated by the people at the gym. I see them just in there going full blast! And then there is little me, with no clue on where to even start even though Dayton was right there walking me through everything I needed to know! Putting workouts together for me, encouraging me, supporting me, not judging me! But even though I was comfortable around him, I was still intimidated. Bless his patient heart for trying to help me! I truly appreciated it babe! Even if it didn’t seem like it!

I’m a perfectionist when it comes to certain things in my life. I want to be the best at everything I do. I didn’t want to fail in front of others and look like a fool. (something I have to work on) Then I saw this quote “Progress NOT Perfection”. No matter what, when you do anything that is progress. Once you do it the next time you will be that much better because you build yourself each time you do it! I will never be perfect at anything! And that is okay! Because the progress you make each day will give you results you strive for!

After four days of doing some warm up workouts before my BeachBody stuff came in, I was hooked. I wanted to get up and workout! It started to give me so much motivation for the day, just doing a small 30 min workout!

To keep me going and pushing myself, I decided to start journaling everyday, making daily goals, and tracking my progress so I can see my success! To see that I am hitting the goals I am setting for myself!  And I make myself accountable with Dayton, my friends, and my two coaches! That makes a world of a difference. I am starting to understand that I am not on this journey alone. I have people who are cheering me on and want to see me succeed! Game Changer!

Six days later my BeachBody Challenge Pack finally comes in! I can’t tell you how excited I was when I got the email about my BeachBody being at my front door! I got home from work and immediately opened my package and saw all the goodies inside!

Now there is  really NO going back! I am doing this! I have all the resources I need, so there is literally no excuse why I can’t! Every time I have a negative thought come to mind, I shut it down and think PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION!

On July 29th, 2019 it was Day 1 of Morning Melt Down 100! I got up early, I was pumped, and I crushed it. I wanted to stop and take a break but I pushed myself. I told myself I had to keep going, progress equals results!! I am now on Day 3 and really in love with this program! I just want to keep going, I have even added and extra workout in on top of my challenge. Even just adding a run in has been amazing! Getting my heart pumping, sweating my booty off, eating healthier is becoming so much easier because I am getting stronger! I am seeing that progress because I am not worrying about making sure I am doing my workouts perfectly or making sure I look cute while doing it. And I am not stressing out about other people watching me and judging me! I am focused on building myself!

One morning when I was doing my workout Dayton was actually home! Usually he is off at work when I workout! But one morning he wasn’t. When he walked out of our room, I instantly got butterflies in my stomach! Not because I was nervous or anything like that! I was like a little school girl thinking oh there is a super cute guy watching me! haha! I looked at him and just smiled and he said ” Keep going babe, you look cute working out!” Hello confidence booster. My number one fan encouraging me, supporting me, and just being him! His encouragement really makes me want to strive even more!

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Mornings for me are a struggle because I LOVE SLEEP! Especially since I am a total night owl! So all my motivation comes to me at 9pm! But I have been forcing myself to get up at 6:30am to drink my energizer (pre-workout), jam some music to get pumped up for the workout before work! I tell myself I will slowly become a morning person one day at a time! (I laughed when I typed that!)

Don’t limit yourself, Don’t make excuses, Don’t look for perfection!

SAY YES! Find your people to encourage you, inspire you, cheer you on, and make you accountable!

A healthier you will change your life! And I am so excited to see all the progress I am going to make while I crush the Morning Melt Down 100 Challenge!

Do you need a person like that? Well, look no farther! I AM RIGHT HERE! I AM YOUR PERSON! Join me on this journey! Let’s team together and crush goals together!

Follow me on my Instagram @_progress.not.perfection_   I would love to help you! And answer any questions about taking this step! If you do follow me send a little Hello! I love connecting with my readers!

 

What are your excuses? Do you have someone to keep you accountable? Who encourages you to crush your goals? Comment below, or send me a message if you would like to join together to hit the goals you set for yourself!

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Lots of Love, Manda!

White Space

Lets cut to the chase!

How many times do you tell yourself that you are to busy to clean the house, do homework, have dinner with friends, making time for a date night or even give you some you time? But then you catch yourself binge watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix for hours! And scrolling through Instagram looking at the same posts over and over again!  ( okay maybe thats just me! ) You get the point!

I catch myself doing that on a weekly bases and then get so mad at myself because I loose hours a day and then literally fall behind on everything else even missing out on the time to take care of me! Because lets be real, binge watching Netflix and scrolling through Instagram isn’t really taking care of yourself in my eyes! It’s more mind numbing than anything! Haha!

I can tend to have really bad anxiety, then I get super stressed, and then I end up getting sick, just an all over hot mess express! I don’t know how many times I have done this to myself! When all I need to do is create white space each week for me to just take care of ME!

What is white space? It’s when you block out a few hours, in the morning, an afternoon, or even a whole day to just take care of you! You fill it with what makes you happy, and resets yourself! Self care is so important because before you can take care of anyone else really well, you have to take care of yourself first!

Starting this past week, I have decided to take control and to sit down on Monday mornings to put together a weekly schedule. A few things I write down are my job schedule, what my three main priorities are for that week, what chores need done and on what day, appointments, meetings and WHITE SPACE!  I found that Wednesday afternoons are where I have the most free time consistently, so Wednesday afternoons are my ME DAY!

During my white space I tend to do lots of blogging at a local coffee shop called The Spot Coffee! ( They have the best vanilla bean iced latte ever!!!! ), get my nails done, go get my hair done, get into Gods word even more, read a book, oh and maybe a massage! So many things you can do to take care of yourself!

What will you be doing on your me days?

Now, maybe you are thinking to yourself, I don’t need to schedule white space in my calendar. I can handle everything and still take care of myself and everyone else around me! HA! You are wrong my friend! Or maybe you are that good I don’t know! But when I don’t take time to reset I tend to lose what is right in front of me! When I don’t take the time to stop, I loose focus on my work, my home life, and my to do list more than anything! I just end up feeling super unproductive!

I would say one of my weaknesses is being a workaholic. I am TERRIBLE about balancing my home life, work life, family life, and friend life. I always worry about work even when there isn’t anything to worry about. Or worrying even when the work can wait until tomorrows work day! I loose focus! Taking time to plan out my week has been amazing! I feel so motivated and more focused!

I have the bestest friend in the whole wide world who is so patient, loving, kind, understanding, thoughtful, funny, literally the best person in this world! He is the one who keeps be grounded, and gets me to refocus when I loose focus! Even though I am terrible about balancing my life between home and work, he never makes me feel guilty about it. He simply just says “Don’t worry about it!”

God blessed me with the most amazing guy!

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My other rock foundation is Sunday Mornings! Every Sunday morning I go to church! I worship, pray, be with my church family, and just get filled up with Gods word. That’s what makes a great start to my week as well. Hearing a message and taking what I hear and pressing it into my week is amazing! Life changing!

Life gets crazy, but NEVER FORGET TO TAKE CARE OF YOU!

Overwhelmed? Schedule in white space you won’t regret it, I promise!

White Space, Gods Word, & Your Best Friend!

 

Lots of love,

Manda ❤

 

 

Reset Cuts Down The Stress

If you know me, you know that I run a million miles a minute. I am always on the go and taking on new projects no matter how much other stuff I have going on in my life.

Yes, I am one of those people who have to always be doing something because I seriously love everything! But I suck at balancing it all out. Between work, my family, club, friends, and house work it is a lot to balance.

I used to complain, stress out, get emotional, ignore things, it would keep me up at night and I would just want to give up, until one night I was laying in bed on Pinterest and came across an article that change my whole view on things.

This article talked about reseting your space at the end of everyday so that way every morning you wake up, you have a fresh start with a clean space. So simple right? My first thought to myself was, “Yeah that seems simple but I doubt it makes that big of a difference!”

When I finished the article I told myself, no matter how tired I am, busy, or unmotivated I am I will reset for a week straight to see if this will make a change in my life. Well guys, I am here to tell you, it WORKED! After the first week things were starting to look up, and I was less stressed!

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I only reset a few things a night. I sat down and made a list of the certain areas that gave me the most stress. The space that I would dread to do every day and just wanted to ignore! I also made a list of things that would make my morning more enjoyable. They are the dishes, the bathroom, the living room, programming the coffee pot to start brewing at 5:45am, and leaving an encouraging note on our back door for Dayton  each morning! ( Because I am a cheesy person! )

One thing I have to remind myself when I am reseting our space is that I am just simply reseting it. I am not trying to deep clean each space every night. So if you try to reset your space don’t stress yourself out trying to get it deep cleaned every time. You just want to hit the surface, and then plan a day to take the time to deep clean. I usually do my deep cleaning on Sunday afternoons or on Wednesdays because thats my day off of work!

If you are anything like Dayton and I, we are ALWAYS on the go. So our house becomes a drop off zone, and after so many days it looks like tornado went through our house! This is when we realized we just have to much crap around our house! So with reseting working really well for us we went one step farther, we also started to declutter our house as well. We are now working towards living a simple life style.

I always say I am my mothers child because I LOVE decorations, and furniture! So I used to think the more furniture and surfaces I have the more stuff I can get to decorate it. Thinking about that now makes me smack my hand to my forehead because that just makes my small 800 sq. ft. home seem even smaller! I finally said ” GOODBYE STUFF, HELLO SIMPLE LIVING!” Living with less stuff has also made a huge difference! I mean why didn’t I realize that before? Less stuff equals less mess!  It’s amazing how much my stress level has gone down by just reseting, and decluttering. I love it!

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My final piece of advice is get cleaning products that are all natural, and smell good! I finally made the switch to Mrs. Meyers after seeing so many of my friends use it, and it smells so good!

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Use your favorite products to wipe down surfaces because it gives you that nice clean smell! Even though you’re not deep cleaning your space every time, using awesome smelling cleaning products to just wipe down your counters and coffee table can make it seem like you just deep cleaned your whole house! The scent of freshness is a sense of relaxation in my opinion! If it smells good it must be clean right? That’s my thinking anyway!

  1. Reset
  2. Declutter
  3. Great Smelling Cleaning Products

These three simple steps makes my days start out on a high note! I wake up and can just start my day, and not have to worry about how I need to get the house all cleaned at some point that day!

I hope my 3 simple tips encouraged you! Sometimes we can stress ourselves out for no reason. We start to over think, and just try to ignore whats in front of us. And the solution can just be so simple that we over look it!

What do you do to reduce your stress level? I would love to hear your tips and tricks as well!

Until next time,

Manda ❤

 

Matthew 5:14

” You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden.”

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Last week I had a trip of a life time. A trip that will forever change my life! I was able to take an amazing mission trip to Bercy, Haiti! My trip was eye opening and really did a lot of work in my own heart!

 

 

 

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In December of 2018 it was announced that our church ( Church 2:14 ) was going to have a great opportunity to take a mission trip to Haiti. My heart was over joyed when I heard this! I have been wanting to do a mission trip for as long as I could remember! I would pray about having an opportunity to serve others in another country! I took a picture of the contact information right away so I could email Steve to get on the list! When church was over I hurried home to tell Dayton all about it! He was so supportive and said of course you should go! So after I told him how excited I was I went straight to my computer to send my email of excitement!

I didn’t have my passport yet and have never been to another country so I had so much to get ready before I could go on the trip! So I right away made a check list and put a plan together so I was able to go on this amazing trip!

As the weeks came closer and closer to the trip I applied for my passport, made sure my family was taken care of, and got everything in order at work as well. Everything was set and I was ready to go!

Next step… PACKING!!!

Packing for me was so stressful! I didn’t know what to expect and of course their culture in Haiti is different then ours so I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t offend them! I would text all my friends to make sure I was packing the right stuff, and getting their thoughts as well! My friend McKayla was amazing! She has done many mission trips and she walked me through it! Giving me tips, and advice for when I am gone! I am pretty sure I packed and unpacked my bag three or four times before I finally said “Okay I will be fine! And if I forget something… OH WELL!” It’s about the adventure, and the impact I get to make on others while I am there!

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Finally the day is here!!! On January 27th we headed to Chicago to stay the night and get ready to fly out on Monday morning! It was definitely different being the one going on a trip instead of Dayton! This time Dayton was calling me the world traveler! I rode up to Chicago with an amazing group of people and made great conversation and got to know each of them more! We weren’t even in Haiti yet and I was connecting with more people from my Church and I couldn’t of been happier! Once we got to the hotel we had a family dinner with some of the others who were staying in the same hotel!

We talked, laughed, and expressed how excited we were to be leaving in the morning.img_8038

We all knew one another  a little bit before the trip. But after the trip we knew one another better and became a lot closer as the week went on. It was awesome to get to know my church family more and being able to connect with them more as well!

A church family is an amazing feeling. So thankful and blessed to have the church family I do!

 

Hello 5:30am! Time to head to the airport and catch our flight! Even though it was super early we were all in great moods and so excited to get to Haiti and start our mission trip! It was super snowy and icy! But the bad weather was not going to stop us!

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We got to the airport and got all checked in! We all make it through security and now we wait to board the plane! Of course as we are waiting for the plane we all grabbed our Starbucks coffee! Finally it’s time to board, before we did we all gather together and prayed! We prayed for hearts to stay open during our trip, and prayed for save travels! Let the adventure begin!img_8044

Oh Wait…. I suppose you need a Pilot to take off right? Yeah.. Ours was and hour late for our flight! So we sat on the plane for extra 2 1/2 hours before we took off! It was frustrating but we all kept good attitudes! After finally taking off we all had a gut feeling that we would miss our connecting flight! When we landed, we have confirmed YES we missed our connecting flight by just 30 mins or so! We were all so sad that we were going to have to stay the night in Miami and not get to Haiti til the next day! But we stayed positive, and had amazing men who negotiated to get us some vouchers for food and hotel rooms. It all worked out in the end!

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Round two here we go! We grabbed our coffee, and boarded the plane again! And this time we made it to Haiti! When we got the airport in Haiti I was excited and so nervous! Walking outside of the airport was so overwhelming but we had amazing people from Lifesong that met us there and got us onto our bus safely! Thank you Jesus for them! photo jan 29, 8 36 21 am

As we were on our way to the campus I was speechless. I knew it would be a shock but I was blown away! By how the villages looked, how many people where on the side of the road, what their buildings they lived in looked like, and so much more! But what really hit my heart was how happy they all looked being around each other! That spoke so much to me!

 

After an 1 1/2 hour drive we finally made it to the campus we were staying at! And all I can say is BEAUTIFUL!

My exceptions I had of the trip was completely blown away! I was expecting to sleep in tents and living in the rough! But we spent the week in wonderful accommodations, and had amazing views out side of our doors and an awesome pool!

 

 

When we pulled up to the campus the other half of our group was there waiting to greet us! We were all so excited to see them and hear about their experience already! We started with getting our room assignments so we could get freshened up a then get a tour, and a run down of the daily schedule!

I was super blessed to get roomed with two amazing young women! I would run into them at church every once in awhile but didn’t know them well! So I was excited to be able to get to know them over the next week! And the friendship we formed over the week is unbreakable! To hear their stories, and be able to connect with them and learn about them was incredible! I can’t wait see what God has planned for them and I can’t wait to walk this journey with them! I love Jamie and Carson and I’m looking so forward to getting to know them more and doing life with them!

 

The first afternoon we were there we had an orientation to just get some back ground information about the campus and what Lifesong was all about! It was so amazing to hear all the good that was coming from this campus! Hands down incredible! Anna was one of the staff members who walked through this journey with us all week! She was incredible! One thing I loved about her is that she wanted us to be able to connect and interact with the Haitians. And that can be difficult because we don’t speak the same language as them! So she was kind enough to give us a lesson and teach us some basic Creole. Here is what we learned!

Bonjour – Good Morning

Bonswa – Good Afternoon / Good Evening

Koman ou ye? – How are you?

Mwen Byen – Im Good

E ou menm? – And you?

Koman ou rele? – What’s your name?

Mwen rele – My name is…

These were the basics we learned to be able to connect a little bit with anyone we interacted it! Even though I slaughtered saying it almost every time they were all so happy to see me try! And that was good enough for them! They would get so excited when we would try to communicate with them!

This first thing we did as a whole group in Haiti was a prayer walk. This is where we went into the village of Bercy to take a tour and take time to pray in certain areas in the village!

When this was first brought up I was so nervous! I wasn’t sure how the Haitians in the village would react to us being there and praying. But boy was I wrong!! Walking and praying brought joy to them! They seemed to look at us like we were bringing light to their village and made us feel so welcomed! It was such an incredible feeling! We got to pray at cross walks, we prayed in the middle of a church that was being build along with the pastor of the church, and we ended praying over our tour guides who were also pastors! I cannot wait to do that again!

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Night time and sunrises were two of my favorite times of the day in Haiti! It was a time where we got to reflect on our day as a whole group and see what God was speaking through our hearts. This was a time where I also got to connect with the kids from our church and was able to spend time to just learn about them! We all connected on a level I just can’t put words to! I was so happy they welcomed me into their group! Connecting at night talking, and then having Luke and Tucker wake us up every morning to see the beautiful sunrise and talk about what we are excited to do that day!  We were joined by Brody as well each morning! We would do a time-lapse every morning capturing the most beautiful sunrise! Hanging out with the girls and the boys was so much fun! So many laughs, jokes, and great memories! Church 2:14 has amazing kids!

The Lifesong campus had a high school that Haitian kids went to! One of the things our church was able to do was help start building an administration office for the school. So our men worked so hard on this project! They over came challenges they faced and the end result was amazing!

 

One of my hands down favorite things about this mission trip was going to village 514. This was a village where we were able to interact with younger kids, and just love on  them! We brought jump ropes, chalk, uno, and bubbles! As we were walking up they came running to us! They saw something in us that they were so excited for! We were a shining light to them! We were there to play with them and just love on them and they knew that! The looks on their faces were priceless and I will never forget that! We were complete strangers to them but that didn’t matter! They welcomed us with open arms and hearts!

 

Another fun day was BEACH DAY! A group of us were able to go to the beach and we had a blast! Many memories were made that day! We were able to go to Wahoo Bay Beach Resort! So gorgeous!! There were places to layout, jump on trampolines in the water, and the view was incredible!

One of the best memories I had at the beach was snorkeling! A few of the younger kids wanted to go and they needed an adult to go with them! So in the moment I was appointed the adult! ( I was a kid part of the time and an adult the other part!) So I agreed to take them! We went out on a boat and began our adventure. As we were on the way to our spot we looked around confused because we didn’t have any snorkeling equipment! Once we stopped, the man dumped out the equipment that was in a brown bag. (sketchy) But we decided we were on an adventure and it was worth it!

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We were all ready to go and then it was the battle of who was jumping in first! And of course all the kids said since I was the adult I had to go first, so I did! Then Carson came in after me. We started to swim and then all of a sudden Carson screams and starts freaking out! Luke, Jamie, and Bereket were still in the boat asking her what was wrong! I was in the water with Carson starting to freak out too! Carson flew back into the boat so fast and left me alone in the water!! After she stopped laughing and I was finally in the boat freaked out too she finally said there were like three jelly fish!!  We were all laughing so hard! So the gentleman took us to another spot where there were no jelly fish! We snorkeled for about 20 mins and then made our way back to the group!

Such a fun adventure!!! I would do it all over again!

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One of the nights we were there we were able to talk and hear the stories of two of the students! Their stories were incredible, and I cannot wait to go back to Haiti and see what God has planned for them and see how their life turns out! photo jan 29, 6 13 11 pm (1)We asked them how we could pray for them and one of the students asked us to just pray that they stay at Gods feet! INCREDIBLE! Seeing what God is doing in other people all around the world makes me speechless. God is so good!

 

 

 

Pool side is where everyone ended up right before dinner. We would hang out, and talk about anything! We were also accompanied by Mike and Amie ( the people who ran the campus ) and their two boys! We loved seeing them! We spent time with them and their boys everyday! Made the experience even better! Connecting with them and hearing their story was awesome!

 

I could go on and on about my trip because so many wonderful things have happened! My heart was changed! I will continue to talk about Haiti for months and years to come! Share stories, and show photos! The photos you see now are only half of the ones I took! Maybe in my next post I will just post all my pictures! What do you think?

I have been praying and asking God to let me be the light of the way. And I didn’t really fully understand why or what it meant!  But when I was at Village 5:14 and the Village of Bercy it hit me! I am to the be the light of everyone I come across. To point them to Jesus, to love them, even if I don’t speak their language or know them well!  Just be the light of Jesus and being someone people can look to at any point in time! And going on the prayer walk seeing people light up when we were praying and just walking around the Holy Spirit showed me that this is what being the light is all about! I am a child of God, and he will use me to light the flame of Jesus in others.

The relationships I made and the adventures and experiences I had will never be forgotten! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me! I am so excited to go back to Haiti and continue building the relationships God has started for me!

Haiti 2019

#214loveshaiti

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The Adventurous Me!

We all have dreams about the places we want to see in our lifetime. Some places are close and some places could be on the other side of the world. I have always been known as a home body and not really wanting to go any where. I may still say that at times but deep down I keep dreaming that one day I will see all the places on my bucket list.

I think before when I was younger I didn’t feel like I wanted to go see my top fives places because I didn’t have anyone super special to take on the adventures with me! But now here I am 24 years old and have the best travel buddy I could ever have! Now, not only do I get to tell him my dreams of where I want to go, but Dayton also gets to tell me his dreams of where he wants to go!

I cannot wait to see the look on his face when he finally gets to see a place where he has always wanted to go! And I am sure he feels the same way about me!

Today I am sharing with you my top five places I want to go! Maybe we will want to go to the same place! Or maybe you can even share your experience if you have already been to one of my dream places! Lets take an adventure!

#1 – Seattle, Washington

Seattle is my number one place I want to go! If you know me well I am sure you can guess why! But if you don’t know me let me tell you two words that makes me want to visit… GREY’S ANATOMY! Ya Ya Ya! I know, its just a T.V. show but the scenery in the show is just so beautiful! And can we talk about the weather there!!! Talk about perfect!! Yes, I am weird and love rainy gloomy days! Rainy days are my favorite days! I wish everyday off I have was a rainy day. Makes it perfect for snuggling up on the couch with a nice book or even just to watch some Netflix!  From what I hear its perfect tennis shoe, jean, and sweatshirt weather! I tell Dayton all the time that I want to move there. But I haven’t convinced him yet! Maybe one day! Anyone else like rainy days too?

#2 – The Grand Canyon

Yes I know, so original! But I cannot wait to go! I see it in movies and have read so many facts about it, that I want to experience it first hand! This would definitely be a trip to do during the winter because I hate Illinois winters! And it’s soooo warm in Arizona all the time!!!

#3 – A resort in Mexico

Hello Mexico! Who doesn’t want to go to a luxury vacation on the beach? I mean isn’t that everyones dream at one point! Luckily this dream adventure is happening next year some time! And I can’t wait!! My toes will be in the water, my butt will be in the sand, and there will be a drink in my hand! Cheers!

#4 – Niagara Falls ( Canada Side )

Just one word comes to mind when I think of Niagara Falls BEAUTIFUL!

# 5 – Misson Trip

I have always dreamed of wanting to go on a mission trip with a church. I want an experience to be able to help people who are not as blessed as I am. I want to help, and show them that no matter what happens in life, Jesus is with them! And finally the time has come…

I AM GOING TO HAITI ON A MISSION TRIP!

There will be a complete blog post about my trip when I get back! So stay tuned!

 

Dreams can become a reality if you work hard, and pray! God has a path for you and if that dream is meant to be walked then God will get you there.

I have had many adventures already and can’t wait for more in the future!

Until Next Time!!

Amanda

 

 

Hello 2019!!!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Yes! I am back. Sorry for being so quiet for so long. I have had a lot of life changing events happen and it just took me back for awhile. But of course with it being the new year its time to set goals and really stick to them! One of my goals is to get a blog post up once a week on Wednesdays! Super excited about this goal and really excited to kick off my blog again! If you have any suggestions on what you would like to read about or learn about me please comment and let me know! I am always open to new ideas!

I am so excited to see what God has planned for this year! He is in all the details! I have been thinking about what I wanted to set as goals this year and I was having trouble with it. Of course the basic goals are always there; eating healthy, drinking more water, being active, and so on! But I wanted something more and didn’t know exactly what!

BUT I FINALLY FOUND IT!

Today was just like any other Tuesday (besides having the day off work) I listened to The H & H Hour podcast! This podcast is hosted by two incredible women who are leaders at my home church and two amazing women who have been amazing mentors and friends! If you don’t listen to this podcast go check it out!!! You may think you just have an ordinary life but after listening to this podcast you will look at your life as extraordinary!

So, todays episode was about ringing in the New Year. I have been praying to God about what my goal and focus should be on this year. And today when I was listening to Heather and Heidi’s podcast my prayer was answered in a way. Heather brought up that she chooses a word of the year! And I was like YES THATS IT. I don’t necessarily need a goal but a word! So this year my word is…

GROWTH!

In 2018 I began to look at my life differently and wanted to grow as a person. So last year I started to follow Jesus, reading more books, listening to podcasts and just started to look at life in a new prospective. With everything I discovered last year I want to apply it to this year and grow even more in my faith, in my career, in my relationship with my amazing man, and with my family. I want to see GROWTH in my life in all aspects!

Thank you H & H Hour! God is truly in the details!

I have a feeling this year will be one to remember. I feel break throughs, growth, stronger relationships and so much more that is going to happen. My family has been through so much the last 10 years, and this year that all ends! We finally get to move forward, and grow!

Here are some of my other goals

  1. Being in Gods word everyday
  2. Finding balance between home life and work life
  3. Saying “NO” more often
  4. Creating white space for myself
  5. Focusing on my relationship with Dayton
  6. Growing in my Career at The Pizza Peel
  7. Blogging Every Week
  8. Thanking Jesus everyday for the life I have!
  9. Paying of debt
  10. GROWTH All Around

There are way more I can add but those are my top ten for sure!

To help with my goals to get them set and in my routine of habits I have started the 90 Days of Purpose! #90daysofpurpose I will be creating a blog post about this and the steps so you can join me! And to share my progress with all of you!

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What are some of your goals for 2019?

I hope you all have a great day!

Bye!!!

Bitter Sweet

Hello Friends!

For the past couple of weeks I have been thinking about what to write next. Because so much has happened in my life I want to share, but there is so much good happening in my life right now too! So where do I start?

Do you ever just hear something, feel something, or just see something and think huh I can relate to that? Or I know that feeling.  Or maybe it gives you the motivation to do that same thing? Well, this happened to me this last month. I have been watching the show call The Fosters. If you are not familiar with this show it is simply about a family who has adopted kids and also fosters kids. Ever since finishing the show I have felt this tug in my heart to finally share my story on my adoption. Now my adoption is not the adoption picture you think of. Cause lets be real, when you read that you were probably thinking oh her parents aren’t her birth parents they are her adoptive parents. (well if you don’t know me) But I have been with my birth mom since birth! So I have always had one of my birth parents present.

My parents were divorced before I was even born, so I didn’t have the whole experience some people have of their mom and dad getting divorced. For about three years I had a relationship with my father, as well as my siblings from my father as well. So the so called “normal” routine of divorced parents in a way. But there came a point in life where my mom and dad decided that my dad signing his rights away was the best thing for me. So they proceeded with that path, and my dad signed his rights away.

After that when my mom remarried, the man she married ended up adopting me and I ended up taking his last name as well. So in all sorts of ways but blood, I was his daughter, I was a LeQuia. Only being about 5 or 6 years old, I was confused about it all but hey what young child wouldn’t be? He started to force the whole I am “dad” not “Tim.” I was confused by this because I knew who my birth dad was. Like I spent time with him and siblings. So what do you mean you’re “dad.” Well as I got older I ended up of course understanding more about the situation.

After the adoption, I still hung out with my siblings from my birth dad and still saw his side of the family. My mom never kept me away from my family. But when it came to my birth dad they were a little more cautious, just because of the adoption. Which now being 24 I totally understand all of it.

Growing up just the next town over form my birth dad was super hard because I didn’t understand why I couldn’t just have a normal relationship with him. I mean I understood I was adopted by another guy who is now my “dad” but in my eyes I just thought I could have two dads, no big deal. Like okay, all my other siblings are with him, but if I wanted to spend time with my siblings it couldn’t be at my dad’s house. It wasn’t a “normal” situation where my birth father just disappeared and no one knew where he was at. I would see him around and know hey like that’s my dad. But when that would happen everything would get awkward.

As more time pasted, and the older I got, I became more rebellious with my adopted dad being my so called “dad” like it wasn’t fair. My siblings get to see my dad, and call him dad, but when I see him it gets awkward. I remember at one point I was just crying uncontrollably and my mom asked me what was wrong. I remember telling her that it wasn’t fair that all my friends got to see their dads, and get to do life with their dads but I wasn’t able to! I wanted to so bad, but I wasn’t allowed. My mom just hugged me and held me and said ” You will understand one day, I promise!”

The older I got I would start calling my adopted dad by his first name again. And using the line “You’re not my dad” when he would try to discipline me or tell me no. At one point I just didn’t feel the dad/daughter connection that you are suppose to have. When I started to feel that disconnect I began to sneak behind my parents back to talk to my birth dad, and just learn more about him and build a relationship! Which was NOT the right way to do it, but that’s how I started to build my relationship with my birth dad. I can’t tell you how many times I got my phone taken away because I was caught trying to connect with him, or see him. I wasn’t getting in trouble because I was talking to my birth day, I was getting in trouble because I was lying about it! I ended up just resenting my parents for a short period of time. Looking back on it today, I truly feel that it was more my adopted dads doing more than it was my moms. Because he adopted me and he wanted that dad/daughter relationship. He didn’t want anything to really come between that. My mom NEVER kept me away from my birth dad, and never ignored me when I had questions about it either. She was very open and honest. Which I loved that she was because I have seen where some parents just talk bad about the other parent and then at the end of it all the kids end up resenting that parent because they were keeping the child away from the other parent. The relationship between a parent and a child is so different then the relationship of the parents themselves. Their issues have NOTHING to do with us kids. As kids we love both of our parents.

When I turned 14 that’s when it all changed!!!!

When I was 14 years old that is when the conversion all kids fear was brought up. The conversation of “we are getting divorced.” I remember my parents telling me that they were getting divorced and then the next second he was gone and so was all his stuff. I don’t remember him ever moving out or anything. I just remember getting told that the divorce was going to happen and then that was it.

But unlike the divorce of my birth dad and my mom, where I didn’t go through the “normal” emotional part of it. This time I did! And let me tell you it was not good either. But Thank You Jesus, we have an AMAZING mother who got all of us girls through it! My sisters and I are so blessed to have a mom who cared about our feelings, and made sure that she talked to us about how we were feeling every step of the way! And I think that is what made the whole situation better to understand and easier to deal with for me!

This was a hard time for me because the person who was so determined to make sure I called him dad is now wanting nothing to do with me. During the divorce I remember him saying “Well she isn’t my real daughter so why am I paying for her too?” Hearing that was just heart breaking because not only did I not have my birth day completely in my life, now I have him saying that I wasn’t his daughter because I am not his blood. Like okay, you adopted me because you wanted me to feel as if I was your own but now that it comes down to child support and the other things that come with divorce you don’t want to claim me. Cause that makes sense right?

So from then on I didn’t want ANYTHING to do with him! He made me feeling not wanted, unloved, and invisible so why should I want anything to do with him? But yet when it came down to visitation he made me go!

The first time I finally had to go because the judge said so was the worst of the worst. And let me tell you this was the ONLY time I went because I refused to go again and then I had finally turned 15 so I had the option to go or not! The first and only time I went he made my sister and I go meet the women that he left our family for! And he wouldn’t take us home until we did! Things just kept getting worse and worse but that’s my sisters story to tell and not mine! So maybe one day she will tell her side of it all!

Now don’t get me wrong there was a time where I had that dad/daughter connection with my adopted dad when I didn’t know anything different. For eight years I didn’t think twice about my adopted dad being anything different then just my dad. We made memories as a family, and were super happy!  That’s just all I knew for those eight years. But as I grew up and started to get more curious of course I wanted to just be with my birth dad because he was my blood, he was my dad! I saw the relationships that my friends had with their dad and wanted that so bad too! But of course that wasn’t my life, and that is something I just had to hope for. I hoped that one day I would be able to have a relationship with my birth dad and no one could tell me I couldn’t. Of course when it came down to the time where I was finally connected with my birth dad, not everyone in my family was happy but guess what having my birth dad involved with stuff made me happy!

And here we are now. Today I am 24 and have a relationship with my birth dad! Which is great! The hope I held on to has finally came to action!

My adoption story is of course different then some other peoples. Because I know many people who have been adopted by a step parent and they have the BEST relationship! A relationship where you wouldn’t know that he wasn’t their birth father or she wasn’t their birth mother! Which is so heart warming, wonderful, and truly amazing!

Do you have an adoption story? I would love to hear about it! I love hearing about other peoples journeys!