Chapter 32

It’s kind of crazy turning 32. I distinctly remember feeling that this particular age was so far away so I basically felt like I blinked and here I am: grad school graduate, married 5 years, and baby boy that’s cuter than I could’ve ever asked….and turning 32. When I thought about my 30’s I always imagined, I’d have it all together. That there was this grand plan that plateaued at 30 and that was the epitome of being a grown up. Boy was I wrong! And I’m so glad I was wrong.

I am still growing, but I will say since I did enter my 30’s, I’ve learned the art of self-reflection. This is a difficult piece of maturity that can be chilling when we search within to find out who we really are and sometimes we come face to face with the fact that we need to change. I never thought I’d be in my 30’s and be a completely different person and in many ways I’m still that 22 year old girl who can get wild when the mood strikes. But those raw parts of me, the parts that never allowed vulnerability, seeing it as a weakness, yet self-criticism was a ritual for me, I not too long ago was faced with challenges that forced me to look at who I truly was and really just started asking myself, “Giana, is this who you want to be?” The answer was no for the most part, so I changed my habits, my thoughts and perspectives. I realized the power of choice and my GOD was that freeing. We all know we have the choice to do or be or say things we want, but have we really ever taken advantage of those choices and actually made them? So what choices have I made ushering me into the 32nd chapter.

  • I have made the choice of happiness. I am choosing to be happy, regardless of circumstance and situation.
  • I am choosing my husband-everyday. Because that’s what marriage is. The choice to love that person every damn day until you die. And I happily make that choice. (We’re renewing our vows soon btw! Stay tuned.)
  • I choose freedom in faith. My unwavering faith in God knowing He’s got me. No questions asked.
  • I choose to create time, instead of complaining that I don’t have it.
  • I choose to be present. Making eye contact when my son calls my name, leaving my phone in the other room while I play with him or put him to sleep.
  • I choose to pour myself into every facet of life where my passion leads.
  • I choose to share. I choose to share my experiences, lessons I’ve learned, the times I’ve fallen. Because mistakes are what make us great. And hiding those mistakes in shame does no one any good.
  • I choose to learn. I choose to accept that I don’t know everything and that every moment is an opportunity to grow.
  • I choose to be brave-standing firm in who I am, drawing boundaries, and demanding self-respect. From strangers, friends, and family. It’s important to see that there are limits to what we accept into our spaces.
  • I choose to see each road block as a redirection to something better instead of using my energy to move it.
  • I choose to see every person I meet and everyone in my life as a teacher with a lesson. Whether they see it that way or not. I choose to ask myself what I can learn from every encounter.
  • I choose to let my curls be crazy sometimes and not really care.I choose to see make up as an addition to beauty and show my son a woman’s natural beauty.
  • I choose to accept the responsibility of being a mother and understanding that sometimes it means putting myself, my well-being, and mental wellness first.
  • I choose to be my best everyday and I choose to understand that my best each day can look different.

That being said, hello 32!

XO,

GV

Take Away Time and Why You Need One

We are currently in a state of seasonal bliss. (exhibit A: Us in a standard prom pose)

I define seasonal bliss as moments and time periods in life where you just feel at ease and everything has aligned. I rarely like to get super comfortable in this type of season, but I do by all means enjoy the peacefulness. Post graduation offers us some solitude in the fact that we can expect no major schedule changes, baby is with daddy during the day and at night Josh studies for the boards. I go to work and come back home and our weekends are for recharging and adventure. So here we are. We can expect things to change slightly once he’s on-boarded with his new job and new schedule and then we will need to revamp the setting again. But what can we learn from the last couple of years where we’ve had to adjust to one income, learn to parent, and still stay happily married? I always like to look at take aways whenever the dust settles and seasonal bliss is the perfect time to do so. They help gain perspective and they’re actively setting yourself up for success the next time chaos ensues.

 



♦♦A few aways from the last 2 years♦♦

1. Expect everything and nothing at all. We expected things to be structured and pretty much laid out and they most certainly were not. It was crazy how caught off guard we were and then just forget it when I started working again I think that’s when our whole world just did a 180. So that being said learning to just expect things to happen along with slight inconveniences. The element of surprise won’t be as strong and you’ll be more apt to respond instead of react.

2. Make peace with the process. This happened later on in the game because literally every 10 weeks when Josh’s schedule for class or rotations changed it honestly enraged me. Illogically of course I realize that now! But I really had to force myself to just accept this is what we chose when we agreed for him to go back to school so that was it. Either I could be psycho and complain or just shut up and figure out the next move. I’m actually annoyed at myself thinking back about what I complained about.

3. The tribe is everything. We really wouldn’t have been able to make this work without some very important and key people. From picking up Noah from daycare to watching him and feeding him just most of it surrounding the care of our baby they helped so immensely. And then there’s the ones that were there for us for meltdowns and disappointments not to mention tears and desperate calls. We all need a tribe that only works to support each other without judgement. The eminence of these few is immeasurable.

4. Be a team!! Oh my goodness the most obvious yet difficult component in all of this! Instead of fighting together we often fought against the other. Of course this came from stressors from work/school and frustration and the overall climate of life at the time, but it is counter productive if not done properly. Always remember you and your partner are here for the same thing working towards the same goal. Never forget that. Be attentive. Be mindful. Be supportive.

One Reason the Royal Wedding Got Me Like…

One of the many reasons why my interest has been peaked surrounding the royal wedding is that I get to be alive when history was made. The royal wedding has taken the world by storm and a global interest has been invested. I usually have no particular curiosity in the love lives of others but this story has peaked my interest for many reasons. First of all, Meghan is beautiful and bi racial. BI RACIAL. Not black. Not white. But both. And she is the first bi racial princess for the UK. She made history for mixed women all around the world! She and Harry represent an archetype unequal to any other and a pivotal moment in what we can mark as a sign of significant change.

Tradition is a beautiful thing and I would consider myself a traditionalist. But tradition does not mean that our hearts and minds should be closed to change and growth and opportunity. Had the Queen denied this union, she wouldn’t have been apart of a historical moment and just when parts of the world are turning their backs on broken ideals, difference in culture or socioeconomic status for lack of understanding, she made a monumental decision to uphold tradition while welcoming change.

Was their road easy? Probably not. Will it get easier or will the negative talk of the way it “should’ve” been ever cease? No. But behind all the negative and above the noise, stronger people rise and the world still watches. Here’s to change in the horizon and a couple of cute mixed royal babies!

XO,

Gi

Seasonal Uncertainty’s Silver Lining

Hey Friends!

So I wanted to get into seasons with you for a moment. No, not Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer type seasons, but seasons in life. I choose to look at different phases in my life as seasons, because it’s easier to digest that each earthly season doesn’t last forever therefore life seasons do not last. Seasons of life are just varied depending on who, what, and where you are and no one’s one season is the same nor do they occur at the same times.

Personally, I have been in a season of uncertainty more so focused on purpose in career and where I’m headed with what I ultimately want to do. While I already know the what, I am stuck in the “how”. And this is where I find most people become stuck, because the how is so much trickier than the what. When you feel uncertain, the self-talk tends to be on the negative side usually sounding like “why bother”, “there’s no options”, “I just don’t see a way”, etc. I’ve talked about self-talk and how powerful it seems to be mostly for me, and this type of talk is NOT the way to make it to where you want to be.

The beauty of uncertainty, because I’m all about the silver lining, is that because there is no particular way is that you get to create it! You get to create the way for you that works for you. The possibilities are endless when you haven’t done it before because it’s new. It’s not stained with process or opinion of what the “best” or “most efficient” way to do that thing is. So create and make a way.

My tips?

  1. Start small. List WHAT or WHERE where you want to be. (easy)
  2. Brainstorm the how. Write out on PAPER guys not your phone or computer sticky notes. There is magic in writing in your own handwriting and the connections your brain makes to the action. Write all the steps in YOUR mind of how it would be possible for you to get there.
  3. Turn that brainstorm magic into a list and start crossing them off. It feels way too good to cross things off of lists for me and I just feel like I’m dominating as I draw that line through that thing.
  4. Start DOING. Action is everything. Inaction is a decision. You are deciding NOT to make the way.

So lean into the uncertainty, but find a way to use it as inspiration and not defeat. See it as an opportunity not a road block and your life will change.

I want to hear from you! What are your tips for surviving uncertain seasons?

XO,

Gi

Curse of Comparison

This has been a topic so heavy on my heart, because comparison haunts every single one of us. Mostly without admission. The accessibility to view the lives of everyone from our closest friends to complete strangers in other countries has been such a blessing yet can be a curse all in the same stroke. Admiring the pretty postings and flat lays is one thing, but expecting your highlight reel to look the same as another mama or another influencer is just unrealistic. I’m preaching to myself here you guys, because I am guilty of wishing my kitchen looked like that farm style kitchen post that had 1500 likes or figuring out how I can keep my home clean and sparkly while I’m at work for 9 hours even though I have a toddler. Because if mom over here has 3 kids and I have 1 then it’s certainly possible. But no.

What we see are snippets, tiny moments of time in tiny squares that in no way reflect a realistic day to day and if they do for that individual, then more power to them! But you are you! You are in this current space for a reason. Be your own competition. Some days your best will not be the same best as other days, but you are dominating. You come in first because you’re running your own race. Kill the curse. . Maybe you could be better or more efficient, but be better than YOU were yesterday. Challenge yourself to grow and be your own inspiration.

Thoughts can snowball. Try writing down a negative or positive conclusion that you’ve made about yourself. Underneath that conclusion, write down all the thoughts preceding that conclusion. How did you get there? What was the first thought? Identify it and destroy it if it’s negative. Learn to redirect thoughts of comparison that are not serving you. So the next time you’re scrolling and you happen to start figuring out what you need to buy or eat or do, in order for something to measure up to someone else’s reality. Stop yourself. Shift perspective. And honor yourself for who you are and the moment you’re in.

XO,

Gi

5 Musts in LA from a Local Girl

I mean nothing really beats LA in the states. In my opinion I guess. Because location is everything and weather, well that’s just icing on a vegan, gluten free cake. Minutes away from the beach and equally as close to the mountains with snow, you can’t really complain about much except for traffic. Although I will say traffic comes from overcrowding so there’s definitely too many people, but the diversity is what the migrators to this city are looking for. So we kinda need all these people for variety sake. But you guys, I grew up here and I STILL haven’t seen everything like shame on me!

Anyway, this weekend, we stayed in LA, right near Beverly Hills with some friends. In the 48 hours we were there, we saw ALOT, but we only did like 5 things. So if you’re local to LA and still haven’t been able to appreciate your city, I highly recommend the following:

  • LACMA-it’s huge and they’re always changing the exhibits which suffices for variety so this can be a regular thing and you won’t get bored. The space to walk can easily get some steps in for the day. Not to mention there are definitely some spots for the aspiring photographer or fancy Instagram-er because let’s be honest, we love aesthetic and who doesn’t want to learn to appreciate art?
  • La Brea Tar Pits- totally underrated! We can’t get enough of LA history and this has more than I really ever paid attention to. Lots of space for the kids to get their wiggles out and it’s free to wander unless you want to visit an exhibit. Definitely on the list.
  • Cofax- ok food. Who’s not eating in LA? Cofax is named after Koufax, former Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher. They have the most phenomenal breakfast burritos I’ve ever had in my life and I’ve had my fair share. And they have donuts. Burritos and donuts. Just die.
  • Rodeo- it’s still worth the trip. Whether you’re window shopping or splurging, just go.
  • Hollywood sign-get your Nike’s on and leave on your yoga pants (we all know you’re already wearing them because so am I) and head up the hill because the hike is stunning. Even the drive is gorgeous, but if you live here and you haven’t hiked to the Hollywood sign, it’s a must. And while you’re there, the Griffith Observatory is literally on the way. Do yourself the favor and allow yourself to be in awe for a min. Because when was the last time you’ve been amazed?

I had to share this mostly because you tend to forget what’s in your own backyard when you’re looking in someone else’s. So while you’re planning your next vacation and you live in LA, try a staycation and fall in love with your home.

XO,

GV

It Is Not Bad Thing to Celebrate a Simple Life -J. R. R. Tolkien

There’s a certain high I get scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram accounts that are perfectly edited. I mean the whole nine-lighting, placement, color scheme, and even background images all sing praises of the organized individual behind the shot. I often wonder what kind of time the staging takes because between naps and nursing, I’m rushing to inhale my half assed meal and put on some decent clothes and make-up to look like I didn’t just wake up.

That being said, the mommy pressure is ON. From middle school onto high school and sometimes even in college, proving yourself is an extra-curricular we all sign up for. Whether we like it or not, there’s a sense of being right for time in our lives and that’s just the way we’re wired. Proving ourselves to others may not be the thing, but proving ourselves to ourselves? My main thing is being the mommy of all trades. Can I get ready for the day, look flawless, and then have an even more so flawlessly looking baby? All the while executing errands and feeling superb while I’m at it. That pressure to prove something continues on well past college and right along into mommy-hood. But why?

It’s not a life long goal to have fancy pictures that reflect my life, but I think there’s something to those dreamy pins and hashtags. There’s something to chaos that comes with being a mother and sometimes that means having a spotless house, but then sometimes that means stepping on toys and getting pinched and scratched by a 21 pound baby boy. I’ll snap that and share it. Share the reality. My reality. Because honestly-who’s looking