Just A Thought or A Million

Women think a lot. About everything. All the time. We think while we talk. We think while we’re quiet. While we’re getting ready for the day we’re thinking about work or whatever and while we’re at working we’re thinking about dinner and what’s happening with the family. While we’re getting ready for bed we’re thinking about tomorrow and the list goes on. Sometimes, the thinking alone makes me tired more so than the doing. Managing thoughts is like herding cats. Damn near impossible. I feel like most women, especially mamas are just web browsers with a kazillion tabs open. And sometimes it’s humorous and sometimes quite impressive, but sometimes it’s neither and can feel quite isolating.

We tend to overwhelm ourselves with the thoughts of it all that it just becomes so difficult to manage that we become tired and exhausted and irritable, when really we have to learn to organize it and turn it off. Yea easier said than done, but there are ways to give that highly functioning gray matter some rest. Self care for the brain. Brain care. Too far? Ok ok. But I’m preaching to the choir here. I’m the reigning queen of thinking, overthinking, and everything in between. So I have an extremely hard time even keeping a planner let alone a to do list.


Here goes my tips for management:

  1. Go outside. Alone. Breathe in slowly and just chill for 10 minutes. If you don’t have 10 minutes, you have a bigger problem!
  2. Journal. However this looks keep a planner, bullet journal, whatever. Writing thoughts is high therapeutic and many therapists recommend this for people struggling with anxiety.
  3. Drive with the music off. I know this one is weird. But sometimes as a mom, driving to and from work is the only quiet time I get these days.
  4. Pray and meditate for guidance throughout the day. This can look very different for everyone, but for me my prayer is very conversational and my meditation and just repeating something i need. Strength, serenity etc.
  5. Ask for help. Ask for time. Ask for what you need. Say what you need. Don’t expect your man to be a mind reader and then get mad that he didn’t just know you needed whatever it was you needed. Speak up! Being the gardener is hard work… it might be time to be the flower.

I honestly hope this helps and I hope this lets you know that if you’re one of those that can’t seem to just pull it together sometimes, you’re not alone.

Gi

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

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

Surviving the Regression Opression

Unbeknownst to me, there is a two year sleep regression that no one felt necessary to mention as I approached toddlerhood with Noah. I had to find out through Pinterest, which I’m ok with now but why did no one write about this? At least on how they made it out alive. Well I’m writing to you as we are in the eye of the storm and let me tell you- it’s real.

My poor baby boy has begun to cry, correction, scream, himself to sleep. No amount of hugs or cuddles will soothe him. He screams for Dada if I have him and screams for Mama if Josh has him. Bottom line: no one is winning. When I get him, it’s a battle for my boobs. Part of the regression? Nursing again like a newborn. So 2 weeks of feeling lost in my own house with my own child and 2 emotional breakdowns later what have I figured out?

  • I discovered the art of letting Noah choose: I let him pick a friend to bring to bed. Mickey was the choice which I’m guessing we’ll be sticking with because consistency is key.
  • The “Dum” situation (boobs or nursing he calls Dum)- this is tricky but telling him Dum has ouchies and allowing him to put band-aids over my nipples has helped him register that they are unavailable. In my case, we are using nursing pasties called LilyPads if I remember correctly.
  • Water on hand.
  • Lastly, but certainly not least-patience. Say a prayer because it’s rough in this dark room with an angry toddler. However remembering this is a short time in your precious baby’s life will help you pull through.

Keep in mind, it’s not over for us, we are in the thick of it. So stay tuned on progress and how we’re doing next week! Any tips any one has for us as we continue to push through feel free to send them my way!

Among the Chaos

Image

There are plenty of things I can find to complain about what with the gloomy winter that refuses to let Spring have her turn and the fact that I’m not working a 9-5 like I’m used to. In retrospect, given my last post I literally could make a list of things I’ve been brooding over to change, but they are sadly not within my power. After all this time grooming myself in world of structure, I’ve found myself with time, motivation, and a bossy attitude. All I had to do was realize that those three components of my personality can be a triple threat when unleashed-and unleashed they are. From photography, network marketing, and internships-I’m jumping in.

Creativity is one of the most untapped resources in the human mind. It’s my personal belief we all have a creative side, but there is typically a voice that quietly checks you and reminds you that you have bills to pay; and so we carry on in the mundane routine to work our asses off. Many of us are blessed to be working in their dream job doing what they love all day, every day and there are others of us that may sit at a desk gazing into the computer indulging in daydreams about what we can do to make a difference or to even be at peace with ourselves and follow our dreams. A few months ago, I was silently screaming on the daily because I had to structure in my life, but then I remember when I did-the 9-5, M-F it wanted to mentally die. The stimulation was I so quietly hungry for was slowly being eroded by the louder acquisition to sit behind my desk, make that bi-weekly check, and be a good worker bee. Granted, steady income is incentive for most anything in life, but think-what would happen if we had just enough time alone in a bit of chaos to rediscover ourselves and those quiet taps on the creative sides of our brains.

Passion for life, music, love, people, or even our work doesn’t come out of no where. Passion is what blooms after we acknowledge that voice inside. We know ourselves better than we think- we simply need to welcome moments of realization and perhaps confusion with open arms because who knows what we’ll find among the chaos.

 

GNV