I blinked…and then she was three.

I had a moment of clarity last night. It hit me HARD. My baby girl will be three years old this week. How is that even possible?

Gracie girl.
Gracie girl. ❤

She was this tiny, sleepy, smiley little bundle of joy from the minute she arrived. She had a head full of curls as soon as her hair got long enough. She waited to giggle until we thought we couldn’t stand being patient for one more second, and when she let out her first squeal of glee I felt as though I could leap over mountains with joy. She captures my heart with every twirl of her hair, every raised brow, every question, every made-up song, every silly dance move, every strum of her ukulele. She will have me in the palm of her hand forever.

When our son was born, I was handed a piece of wisdom – just because Gracie is the oldest now doesn’t mean she’s big yet. And I honestly think it has taken 14 months for that to sink in.

She woke up crying in the middle of the night last night – a rarity these days. She was clearly dreaming, sat up, and started bawling. Her Daddy and I rushed up the stairs to comfort her. It was in that moment, when I watched him snuggle her and carry her to use the bathroom, that it hit me – she will ALWAYS be our baby. No matter how old she gets. No matter how much she grows and changes, that will remain constant.

Right now she has this ferocity about her. Everything has to be just to her liking; just the way she envisions it. She can run into your arms with such abandon that the weight of her body against you, the weight of her trust in you, fills your entire soul with happiness. My heart stops in those moments, knowing that with time all of this will change, and new, magical things will take their place. And while I can’t wait, I already mourn the loss of each stage we have passed these last three years.

She is changing. She is growing. She makes me proud every single day. And I can’t wait for all of the exciting things to come.

I’m not special.

Read that title? Seriously – I mean it. I’m NOT.

I shared something super personal about my journey as a Team Beachbody Coach today. I have been debating whether to share it for almost two weeks now. I won’t get into it here. It’s not my point.

I had someone almost immediately message me and tell me that I shouldn’t have shared it. That I was sending the wrong message. That somehow sharing my story – my TRUTH – isn’t allowed. That bothered me. A LOT.

See, the thing is – I’m NOT special. I’m just a wife and a mom. I decided last fall that I was going to change my life. I was determined, set goals for myself, and have seen the results of consistently reaching those goals. I’m NOT claiming to be a fitness or nutrition expert. I’m NOT claiming I have everything in my life figured out. But I AM sharing my journey. How I’ve lost over 85 pounds and kept it off. How I fight inner demons every single day to not revert back to the way I used to live. How sharing my story has changed not only my life, but the lives of my family. How I could finally ditch that corporate job that made me miserable and stay at home with my kids.

Gracie and me. Being silly. Nothing special.
Gracie and me being silly. Something we get to do every day now. ❤
Life can get hard. People can try to shoot you down. I knew when I started this journey that was bound to happen. The thing is – you need to keep your chin up. You need to have faith and hope in your OWN journey. You need to be able to look those naysayers in the eyes and say, “That’s fine, you don’t have to agree with it. But I’m doing this for ME and MY FAMILY.”

Because when you get right down to it – your journey is about YOU. Dream big. Inspire people along the way. Know that you can’t change the unwilling.

Be true to yourself. And if being true to yourself means clearing out your sister’s dresser to make yourself a hideaway – so be it. DO YOUR THING.

Parker's hideaway.
Parker’s hideaway.

Bugger off, rain. I’m choosing SUNSHINE.

I had a rough morning. One of those mornings where you want to throw a conniption fit, stomp out of a room, and cry for about 3 hours. THAT kind of a morning. UGH.

But this afternoon I have an entirely different perspective. The attitude of others, while it can sometimes be upsetting, does NOT have to reflect on how I think of myself. I do NOT have to let that negativity seep into my daily life.

People will doubt you. People will think you’re messing everything up and doing everything wrong. Heck – you might be. But if you’re doing your best and trying as hard as you can, STAY STRONG.

Believe in yourself. Follow your dreams. Work toward your goals. Be the shining ray of sunshine in the gloomy, rain cloud of a world.

Choose happiness.