Tag Archives: parenthood

But how ARE you?

Sweet friends, how have you been? I’ve missed you. I’m coming out of the fog of illness and I’m beginning to see just how lonely January has been. When I say I’ve been sick ALL of January, I’m not exaggerating. From a cough that has hung on for 4 weeks, to the flu, to bronchitis, I’m officially over this month. I wanted to quit Christmas just over a month ago and now I want to quit January 2017. Did I mention I also missed out on a ski trip to Lake Tahoe? Yeah, there was that. It’s been an isolating few weeks and I think I’m finally ready to reemerge back into the world.

And remember when I made the month long resolution to be off social media? Yeah, I’m not doing that again any time soon. I’ve learned lots of things about myself since I’ve been alone a lot and I can say with all honesty, I’m ready for it to be over. As a person that doesn’t work everyday outside the home, I don’t always interact with lots of people throughout the day. I’ve realized that social media was my connection to the world. It was my way to engage with other humans even if it was just through my phone. Being physically away from people for so long and then also taking away social media has left me a bit depressed. I hate to even say that because normally I consider myself a “pick yourself up by your bootstraps” kind of girl but this time it’s been different. I haven’t been able to “positive attitude” my way out and that’s been extremely humbling. So yeah, that’s the space I’ve been living in for the past month. It’s not been my favorite.

So what about you? How ARE you? Did you see where our new President was inaugurated? (I know, some of you say he’s NOT your president but if you’re still living in the United States, I hate to break it to you but he actually IS. I digress.) I’m not into chatting about politics very often on here but can we at least discuss Melania’s dress at the Inaugural Ball? STUN-NING.

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I bet designers are chomping at the bit to dress her. And Ivanka’s dress. GORG. I know it’s trivial but I’ve had all I can take of serious/depressing thoughts lately. And can we talk about how well behaved little Barron was? That was an extremely long day with lots of cameras on you and I didn’t see one meltdown. I didn’t see Melania pulling Skittles and Sprite out of her purse to bribe him. He wasn’t staring at an iPhone during the parade or listening to music through his earbuds. I didn’t even see an eye roll out of the kid. Who is this guy? I’ve got a 10 year old and she could keep it together for a while, but seriously? No candy for being good all day? And I feel like I wouldn’t begrudge her a couple of eye rolls. It’s a LONG day! I like to think that when his parents were at all the balls with his older siblings, he was chillin’ in his new room with junk food and watching Dude Perfect videos while working on his bottle flipping. I mean, he’s still a kid, right?

And who is so glad that This Is Us is back?!

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That show. Sigh. It makes me so teary and gives me all the good feelings every time. I mean, Jack the dad? COME ON. He’s perfection. It’s almost like he became the man I knew he could be when he was Jess on Gilmore Girls. And Gerald McRaney as the OB-GYN? Masterful. His monologues make me cry every time! It’s like the creators of the show knew that America needed a new family to root for. A family that is good and makes you want to believe in, well, family. If they’re going to take away Coach and Tammy Taylor, then take away the Bravermans, it’s only fair they give us an extraordinary replacement. If you don’t watch this show, stop wasting your life. Go watch it. From the beginning. If you hate it, I’m not sure I can understand you and I question your life choices.

Thanks for reading all the ramblings today. And thanks for understanding life’s sometimes good and sometimes the pits. Hopefully more good is on the horizon!

-Courtney

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A Letter To My Belly

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(cartoon courtesy of http://www.newyorker.com)

Dear Tummy-Tum-Tum-

I’m writing to you to apologize. I have been horrible to you these last few weeks. I’m reminded of how ugly I’ve been to you every night when I’m getting ready for bed. As I peel off my skinny jeans, that will seemingly never go out of style much to my thighs disappointment, I look down at you. Oh, honey. It looks as if you’ve been tied up in bondage all day. My jeans have basically left rope burns all over you. I could cry for you, you sweet bowl of jelly. My jeans have been taking advantage of your squishiness and I’m tired of it. Being embarrassed of the red marks my jeans bestow upon you is no way to live. You are better than that and it’s about time I started treating you as such. So in efforts to make taking off my skinny jeans NOT resemble opening a can of biscuits, I will be making a few changes.

For starters, I’ll try not to eat every single thing my eyes see. It seems I’ve been doing this for the past month or so but I’m willing to stop for you, dear tummy. It will be a lot easier to stop considering we don’t have Christmas treats in the house anymore…because we ate them all. It’s fine. We can’t live in the past. Let’s shake off the shame and move on.

Secondly, I will try to eat more nutritious foods that don’t cause you to get bigger. Now, this will be difficult considering these are the not the foods we gravitate toward naturally. You and I are a bit addicted to the sugar, not the beets, unfortunately. Don’t worry; I won’t make you eat beets, I promise. But we will have to sacrifice beloved desserts for something less satisfying, like flavored water. I’m as torn up about it as you are.

And lastly, I will commit to exercising more. I know it hurts when we do this but just think about the bigger picture. Do you really want it to feel like a blunt object is impaling you every time you sit down with jeans on? That button on my jeans is like a dull knife cutting into you every time we are sitting. Is this what you want? No, what you really want is to wear elastic waistbands 24/7 but this is not always socially acceptable. But I take care of you don’t I? I give you your elastic waistband every night by 7:00, sometimes earlier. I care for you, little tummy, just not enough to go up a pant size.

So this is what we must do, Tummy-Tum-Tum. We must not eat everything in sight, eat healthier foods, and exercise more. This is not going to be easy but I’m tired of the skinny jeans abusing you. It’s not fair and it’s time for it to stop. We’ll make it through this together, one lean protein and vegetable at a time. Hopefully I won’t be writing you any more letters because, frankly, it’s a little weird but I wanted you to know, in the words of Zeke Braverman: “I see you and I hear you.”

-Courtney

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Mary, Did You Know?

On the way to Bethlehem.

On the way to Bethlehem.

So often at Christmas time my thoughts turn to Mary. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to misplace any of the worship onto Mary but I do think about her a great deal. I feel like I can relate to her in some way. Just so we’re clear, I’m aware God didn’t choose me to carry the Son of God in my womb. I’m also aware I didn’t give birth to Him. What I can relate to is being surprised by my circumstances. What I relate to is the feeling of not being ready for what God has called me to.

When I was pregnant with my first, I remember reading in Luke 1 about the angel Gabriel coming to tell Mary she was pregnant with Jesus. You all know the story. Mary, the unwed virgin, finds out she is going to conceive God’s Son, the Savior of the world. I think this is one of those stories that we get used to hearing so we sometimes forget the magnitude of it. But sitting there, pregnant, with my son I couldn’t help but feel a little bond with Mary. You see our first little boy was a surprise we didn’t see coming too. We were fresh out of college and newly married and babies were not even close to being on our radar. We were young and in love and felt like babies ourselves.

Mary & The Angel Gabriel.

Mary & The Angel Gabriel.

We weren’t ready. Why on earth would God think we were ready for something like this? Please know I’m not comparing myself to Mary in any way. I have no idea how she felt or what she experienced when that angel came and basically told her

You’re pregnant with God’s baby and still a virgin. Don’t worry God’s got this under control. Peace out.

What the what?

I’m sure Mary didn’t feel ready. I’m sure she had all kinds of questions. I’m sure she wondered how could she possibly explain all this to Joseph. I mean, can you even imagine? “Um, honey, so an angel came and told me that I’m pregnant with God’s Son. Surprise! Yeah, I know, I thought it seemed a little far-fetched too but I promise it’s the truth. No, I didn’t get the angel’s number. No, I’m not sure when. Well, I guess you’re going to have to take that up with God.”

What I love about Mary is her response to the angel.

And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.’ Luke 1:38

She had just received the most unbelievable news of her life and this is her response. Her response is submission to the Lord. Her response has nothing to do with how she feels and everything to do with her desire to serve the Lord. I have a sneaking suspicion this is why God chose her to be the mother of Jesus.

It’s Not About Me.

In my own life, I don’t think I’ve ever responded like Mary. I’m pretty sure my first responses to circumstances are, “So, how is this going to effect me? How am I going to do this? What’s in it for me?” My first response is always focused on me. Later I might get to the serving the Lord part but mainly I want to know how my life will be affected first. This was certainly the case when I found out I was pregnant the first time. All I could think about was how all our plans were going to be changed now. I always thought we’d work for a few years and save some money before we started a family. When I found out I was pregnant, I think my husband and I had been working at our new jobs approximately 6 weeks. We were broke. How were we going to be able to provide for a baby? Do not fear? Yeah right. I thought that was the only possible feeling I could have. We were scared out of our minds. We had been married about a minute and now we were going to be parents.

My Place In this World

Sweet Mary. How did she overcome her fear and doubt and submit to the Lord’s will so quickly? I think it’s because she knew her place in the world. She called herself “the servant of the Lord”. I’ve also heard other versions where she calls herself a “bondservant”. See, Mary knew something I often forget. Her life was not her own. She was a slave to the Most High God. She recognized this was her calling. I forget that it’s mine too. I want to control my life because I’m under the mistaken impression that it’s mine. I want to be in charge. I want to do what I want to do. Thank goodness God uses our circumstances to change our perspective. I don’t know that there has been anything in my life that’s pointed me to the Lord more than having kids. Hallelujah for that. He knew I needed them even if it wasn’t in my timing or on my terms. I think God takes great pleasure in reminding me that He’s God and I’m not. And He takes even greater pleasure in turning something I think is a mess into something completely beautiful.

Mary wasn’t perfect. I’m sure she screwed it up a time or two in her life. (Remember when she and Joseph left Jesus at the temple? Whoops.) But on that day, when the angel came, she got it right. Her relationship with God was at the forefront of her mind and she didn’t waiver. She was brave. I’m so thankful that God used those ordinary screwed up people in the Bible to carry out His will. He shows us that we don’t have to be ready, we just have to be available. We can do brave things even if we’re scared. And that gives hope to a scaredy-cat like me.

Merry Saturday, friends!! Go be brave!

-Courtney

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