Growing up in the Tri-Cities the love I had for the area tilted more towards how Id love to leave, rather than to see what the area had to offer. I didn't want to see at the time just how enchanting my hometown was. As soon as the chance arose my family and I made our way to Rhode Island. Once there we made some amazing life long friends, who took us in, and showed us just how proud they were of their state. It may be the smallest of all the states, but it was packed with charm and adventure. Each week we were visiting new restraunts, meeting new people, and visiting so many areas that I had only dreamed of. The residents were so proud of what they all had built together that it made me realize just how much I had missed out on back home. I have always been proud of my Southern Roots and I vowed that if God ever brought me back to my hometown I would make it my mission to explore the best it had to offer. I have been back for two years and have fallen in love with so many places. It is my mission now to bring my small town back to life and spread the word on how charming the Tri-Cities truly is.
I’ve been where you are. Sitting on the couch, wondering where you are going to get the energy to finish cleaning the house. There are dishes in the sink, the floors need to be swept, and the amount of laundry is enough to have you tearing up. You still need to plan a date night, you need to visit your friends, there is just so much to do. Simply put… your tired. And guess what, I am here to tell you that its ok.
As moms we see everything that needs to be done. We spend endless hours going over a list within our minds of what needs to be checked off. Between taking the kids to and from practices, to keeping the house clean, to making sure they are eating healthy, to making sure you are spending enough time with your significant other… Its a lot. Then throw in your friends, extended family, doctors appt, ect. you begin to find its harder than ever to juggle things in order to keep your life going smoothly. You find yourself saying frequently “There just isn’t enough time or energy in a day.”
Ive been there and tomorrow I may be there with you again. It is the constant worry that keeps your household functioning, at the expense of your self care. It is you that holds it all together for everyone else. I have taught myself that this isn’t a burden, as we often consider and feel it to be. It is honestly an extraordinary gift that we have.
How beautiful is it that our precious kids look to us to guide them? That we are reliable enough to make sure they are cared for, in a way that no one can compete with. How extraordinary is it that we make as much time as we can to ensure our spouse that they are cared for and loved. That we care enough to make sure that our home is not just a home but a safe haven for our family. What a blessing it is that we have enough love within our hearts that we worry so much, selflessly, about those we love and cherish, simply so they do not have to carry that burden at this moment in their lives.
Take a breath and don’t feel bad for the overwhelming need to just take a moment and breathe. As my mother has told me over and over again… ‘What needs to be done will be there waiting for you tomorrow.’ Take the day off and see, really see the joy you continue to bring to your family. Re-evaluate the smiles that rest upon your kids faces, because of the worry we have taken away from them, to place upon ourselves. Hold that hug your spouse gives you a little longer, knowing that they are cherishing that you have made an extra moment meant just for them.
Understand that we can only do so much until we grow tired, and that it is absolutely fine to feel that way. Everyone needs a day every now and then to reset. Take a bath, read a book, go for a walk, but most importantly, don’t feel bad for being an amazing momma. Every momma has been in your shoes more than once, and we all know that every momma needs a break every now and then. So look at those dishes and shrug those shoulders. Prop your feet up, rent a movie, pour yourself a glass of wine, and smile with relief, knowing that the world will still be patiently waiting for you tomorrow. I promise it will not end because you took an off day. (Trust me I know.)
When it comes to success we often try and measure it with factors such as money and notability. There are times where we are pushing to achieve such things that we do not realize that we are undercutting the success we have already achieved. Taking a task and completing it with a passionate heart is a moment that is felt within, whether we realize the success or not. Within our minds we see others who “have it all together,” and we begin to measure the things that set them apart, with hopes that one day our everyday accomplishments will lead us to a position, in which those we are viewing, reside in.
The problem with this thinking is even though we push in the right direction, our thinking is already defeated. How can we succeed in a world where our success is stigmatized? We have to reset our minds to understand that even the smallest of efforts of succeeding is an accomplishment. There are many times where I feel myself wanting things to quickly come to fruition, that I am immediately defeated. If I repeated over and over again that some dreams and ideas are unobtainable then they are just that … Dreams. I for one want my dreams to be substainable. In order for this to be I have to realize several things.
IT WILL TAKE TIME
Instant gratification is a myth, and it is something that we need to move away from within our thought process. I am raising my hand high when it comes to this, because I am one who wants things here and now. It is not a reality though. No matter how much I wish it, it is a lie. Things do not happen overnight. For me this is a hard reality, that I find myself having to redirect my thought process from daily.
It takes walking a mile to move an inch when chasing success, but remember an inch in the right direction is better than no inches at all.
NOT EVERYONE IS YOUR CHEERLEADER
The most heart wrenching thing that I have learned is that sometimes the ones closest to us, are the ones who either act as if you have already failed, or act as if it is a burden for them to recognize your attempts. Being aware of those who are in your corner is not only important but necessary. On the other hand recognizing those who are attempting to railroad your attempts are not only crippling your walk towards success, but also crippling your mindset as well. Positivity is the key that will develop you into who you need to be to achieve your expectations of yourself. So do not give this power to anyone else who can crumble your attempts. Keep positivity key. It is only you who can fail, especially with a mindset of pleasing others around you.
There will be people rooting for your FAILURE when you need APPLAUSE the most.
YOU WILL WANT TO GIVE UP
There will be times where the doubt will settle in and in return you will find yourself wanting to give up. Just remember if you are putting time and effort into something, and you find yourself wanting to quit, then you need to ask yourself , “is this something that I love?” also “Is this something worth accomplishing and seeing through?” There will always be doubt and hardships in anything worth achieving. Although it is imminent we must immediately check the negativity and base our goals on positivity.
Doubt can be the death of your reality.
STRENGTH WILL BE YOUR SUCCESS STORY
In conclusion, when you are finding yourself with doubt and dissatisfaction, push forward until there is no more doubt left. You tend to find that you are your strongest self when you at your most vulnerable. With this you will eventually see that your strength was always within you to succeed all along.
Chasing goals are not easy, in fact we all know that sometimes we railroad our goals before we even begin. Mindset is key. Our thoughts is the most powerful weapon we have. It is always there helping us evolve. Whether we feed into the negative nature or our wellbeing is in our own hands. I for one find it difficult at times, but reminding myself the outcome is a positive reminder of just how powerful I am within my own frame of mind. Remind yourself today that you have control over the world you want and by replacing your negative thoughts IMMEDIATELY with POSITIVITY then you are not only doing yourself a solid, but you are finding yourself closer to your success.
There are many things that happens within your life that alters your ideals, and has you seeing the world for what it really is. You begin to understand that the good has you reminesent of how things used to be, and the bad sculpted your strength within. The memories I hold from my childhood are a combination of both as most individuals are. There are times that I look back and smile at how carefree life was with my innocence of a young girl. The knowledge of what was beginning to shape my world was irrelevant to me at the time. So I smiled when times were tough, and found joy just by being surrounded by family.
As I think back there are several people who shaped and inspired me to become who I am today. I feel that I have lived my life based on certain others who taught me, even at a young age to be my best self. Their strength, wisdom, and most of all passion for what they loved most has seeped into my soul, creating my identity for the world to see. Being one of many who were impacted by their selfless love while they walked this Earth makes me understand that each passing moment in time is something to be treasured.
One of those people was Wayne Sanford, my grandfather who not only showed me the best was always for the here and now, but also what hard work could accomplish. His story is one that I think of often, and I find myself constantly wondering if his and my grandmothers dream is one that will withstand the testament of time.
Life is all about taking chances, knowing that there are two ways to go. Failure was never an option for my grandmother who decided in the Winter of 1976 to take over Catfish Haven, a restaurant that specialized in seafood in the city of Russellville, Al. The thought was to come in and re-establish the business with hopes of creating a one of a kind customer atmosphere. In doing so they knew that “the customer is always right”mentality would gather business with a knowing that whoever ate there would indeed come back.
Two months after opening my grandfather left his job as a crane operator in Decatur Al, to be alongside my grandmother. The work ethic they shared was an addition to gather knowledge to run a successful business. Within a year the name Catfish Haven was known far and wide, not just in Alabama, but surrounding states as well. At the time there was no place selling Pond Raised Catfish that could hold a light to what they were creating. The food was delicious, but one would not only talk about the food more than the experience they offered.
When talking to customers one thing that is always remembered is the pond that ran straight through the center of the dining hall. The fish would swim in and out allowing people to stand in awe, while showing their kids the fun to be had, while grabbing a bite to eat. My grandparents took pride in knowing that they had created a family atmosphere worthy of so many. All the while working togrow their own family within the walls of Catfish Haven.
With all things, there are times where darkness makes its presence known. In 1981 my grandmother was killed unexpectedly in a car accident. My grandfather was left to carry on with their dreams of keeping Catfish Haven thriving within the city. With my father now at his side, at age 16, they worked in a family dynamic to keep growing the business. With the will to keep improving, before long the customers were creating lines out the door waiting for tables to come open.
A dream is but a thought, a thought is but a memory, but a memory is a testament of time.
As the grandkids were being raised, even at a young age, we knew that the Catfish industry was in our future. We stood aside and watched and took note with every detail that went into the process of prepping food and customer appreciation. I was even taught how to count back change by my dad at the To-Go window . Seeing the drive and determination that my grandfather carried we began to grow into young adults capable of knowing that work didn’t have to be something you did, but something you loved. We soon took on the roles that my grandfather and father shaped us to hold.
My grandfather a.k.a”Papaw Monkey” was always the first ones there at 6a.m., with my dad not far behind. I never remember him missing a days work, and when asked why he would always tell me simply, because he wasn’t lazy. His long hours were to some overwhelming but watching him you would see that his smile was just that… happiness. There was never a time where we would see him otherwise. The customers would watch though an open window that separated the kitchen from the dining hall and talk to him as he worked, and he valued every moment.
He was more than business owner. He was a friend, an encourager, and most importantly a teacher. Through his eyes his two children were taught the value of giving back. He used his success to make donations within the community. Giving to schools, fundraisers, even helping those who were too afraid to ask. Even on his off days it wasn’t uncommon to see him on his tractor heading down the road to bush hog for those who needed a helping hand.
With everything he did, he did it with pride and hard work. He taught us so much that in 2003 when he left this world we were at a total loss. Nothing could have prepared us for a world without him in it, and knowing that Catfish Haven was no more within our family, held a void that we were uncertain how to replace. It took rebuilding our lives, without knowing if we were heading in the right direction. Everything we had known was created with my grandfather by our sides, and we now had to learn to live without him next to us.
Time doesn’t heal all wounds, it simply teaches us that the words that were meant to be understood at the time, is now our resounding wisdom for tomorrow.
My father at the age of 37 knew that his story was in the process of altering. The only profession he knew was running Catfish Haven, alongside his father, and now everything he had worked towards was tipping. With his own kids almost grown he had to make a decision to uproot everything he worked hard for and begin a new life in Morgan County. This decision was one that took heart and gut. There are no words to describe the feeling of leaving a life that had memories of love, hard work, and most importantly family. The feeling of uncertainty with starting over, without the knowing of whether his decisions were right, were always in his mind. One thing was for sure though like his parents, there was no room for failure.
The admiration I have for my father for stepping into the unknown, struggling but succeeding, is something that I not only admire but cherish. He did exactly what his mom and dad did by walking by faith and thriving. He is living the legacy his own dad left to him, the knowledge of knowing that hard work and love leads to success.
You see, life is always throwing hardships when you least expect it. There is no manual on how to avoid situations that come your way. We brace and fight to overcome obstacles that tend to try and tear us down. When I am driving down Hwy 43, I always look to see my home away from home…the original Catfish Haven. I rejoice in the memories that I was able to make with my family there. I remember the laughter as we all ate breakfast before the doors opened. I remember singing with my dad in the kitchen. I remember seeing my brother hustling making plates, as fast as my sister was taking orders. But most of all I remember a smile on my grandfathers face as I walked through the doors. His booming voice as he yelled “Shelley” and wrapped his arms around me.
I know that my grandmother and grandfathers time spent at Catfish Haven is something that will never be forgotten. How can it be forgotten when they are within our thoughts, our actions, and our love that we pass on from this generation to generations to come. With everything that we were taught, I guess you could say the most important thing we took away from the restaurant, is that success isn’t about the amount of money we make, but the journey we take, while laughing, loving, and creating memories with the ones we love.
First off let me say that we live in a world where social media is God, and God is figmentated. The scary reality is that we have grown so accustomed to the way the world is that we have become shadowed by the things that we once would be appalled by. I laid in bed last night praying for my family when it hit me that not only is our time frame so different from when I was a child, but that I to have to adjust. I also cannot be naïve in the world my children are growing in.
Let it be known that my time has NOT been spent learning the ways of the world, as much as teaching the world to learn the ways of mine.
I tremble when I think of the access my kids have today. I am what my mother calls “Old School.” I claim to hate the fact that my kids have media in their lives, but how can I claim to hate something that I use on a daily basis. It is essentially our families bread and butter, and yet I have my own qualms when it comes to my kids. This in which got me thinking… What are their boundries? I am not so naïve to know that in todays societies, the workforce is dominated by social media, and it would be a disservice if my kids were not educated in the arts of how it could be beneficial to their future. I am also not so naïve to know that there are terrible acts that comes with it as well.
Cyber bullying- It is there. Suprisingly enough you would think that this would end at an appropriate age of adulthood, but I have found that the adults are sometimes just as bad, if not worse than children. For some reason we have conjured in our minds that it is ok to treat people with little respect, with the notion that we ourselves would not want to be on the receiving end. Our disagreements have become comments, our likes have become “thumbs up,” and our view in society has become not what is in your heart and soul, but what they can get from you in your presence. I for one know that my judgment to everyone around me is inconsequential to the bigger scheme of things. My measly opinions are just that opinions. My advice is there when asked and I teach my kids that if no one is asking for your opinion, then keep your thoughts to yourself. It is honestly that simple, but instead we act like three year olds who are not disciplined enough to do so.
Perfectly Imperfections- This is something that I believe we are all guilty of. We strive for perfection. Our skin needs to be blemish free, our makeup needs to be just right, our weight needs to be this number…and so on. I catch myself daily voicing these concerns only to look at my daughter who is most definitely paying close attention. We are a product of our parents and the sooner that we understand this the better off THEY will be. If your kids see you standing on a scale everyday they will more than likely have it within their minds that they too need to battle with weight. If they see you speaking unkindly to others, guess what? They to will think it is appropriate to bully others around them. our kids are nothing if not a mirrored image of what they are around. We must tread carefully with how we present ourselves. We must take accountability that we are who our kids will be in the near future.
Growth is bound to happen, but it is the mold that we use that makes sure it withstands the age of time.
There are so many things that I want to teach our kids. So many life lessons that I myself have had to endure, that I wouldn’t want to see my own have to go through. Every day is a learning experience for all of us. I always tell my family that if I learn something everyday then I am a better teacher. I want my kids to be strong enough to fight through insecurities, wise enough to know the impact of words, and smart enough to shine beyond their own expectations. In order for them to be the adult I want them to be, I need to hold the same expectations for myself.
In todays eyes I am merely a statistic that is programmed by the amount of likes and comments I receive on social media. To my kids I am so much more. In knowing this and allowing myself to not be subjected to the stigmatism in this day and age, I am developing a future for them that is a testament of who I am. I want others to see my kids and immediately know that I am a wonderful mother. I want them to say that my kids are a representation of the world I have created for them, not what the world has created us to be. I want to know that one day when I am gone that my kids know that mom taught them the values, the morals, and the responsibility of what life truly is.
I see you watching me, I see you listening, what is more important is I see that you know I love you.
This day and age is more than hard for parents to raise their kids. It is a struggle to protect them and to make sure that we are putting value into the things that matter and the things that are not of value we push aside. The hardest thing is to teach them to know the difference. When I think that I am struggling at my role I simply tell myself that the thought of not doing my very best is exactly when I am at my best. If I did not worry to make the right decisions, if I didn’t struggle to show them the error of the world, and if I did not pray every night that I am enough, then I wouldn’t be the mom I search to be every day. Remind yourself in times of hardships and uncertainty that you are what you create. Remind yourself that your struggle is also your future victories. Be thankful for the good, the great, and the tough. Because they all have an impact of not just what you are but what you teach your children.
There are many things that Southerners take pride in, but there is one thing that every southerner can tell you everything about….their hometown. There is nothing as important than feeling like you are who you are today because of the many people who live in your community. People that can be found within the local grocery store, The Court House, Fire Dept, even the local Fast Food stops we make on the regular.
You see, in a small town there is a few things that is certain, 1. your field trips will most definitely be local, 2.If you think you can get away with something, well I hate to tell you, but Jim from the local Depot, knows your daddy, 3. You will no doubt see someone you know every single time you go out, so you better have your face on and be ready to talk.
Small towns grow the greatest stories, because everyone remembers a time when…
One thing that I love about growing up within a small town is the growth that you can actively see happening. The town is always evolving and growing. Bringing in some of the most amazing locals who have dreams that are finally becoming realities. It is an honor to watch so many of our locals thriving within the local shops. Supporting these small businesses is such an interval part in what makes our community more like a family.
One of these businesses that I have grown to love and cherish is Simple Luxuries Boutique. I see the pride that the boutique has taken with styling the community as well as the love they have for Tuscumbia, Alabama. There is something worth visiting when you know that when you walk within the doors, you are greeted with good styled Southern Charm.
In the words of Miranda Lambert
“Everybody Dies Famous in a Small town.”
As a true Southern girl I know how valuable a good kimono, and a pair of shoes can mean. My closet holds more boutique pieces than I can count. I am always looking for different pieces that I know will “Wow” when I leave the house.
Simple Luxuries not only houses womens apparel, but also a line of mens apparel that is both stylish and well priced. They hold so many options for teen to adults that you can see the worth that they bring to Tuscumbia. From hair ties, purses, to candles they bring so much to our hometown that you will find yourself visiting frequently and leaving smiling and looking like a true Southerner.
Growing up in a small town means everyone is your family. One thing you will be able to count on is the love, support, and most definitely the southern charm that is still alive and well. Get out and visit the local businesses and meet the amazing individuals that have made Tuscumbia their home. Talk and listen to the stories that this town has created. Just remember it doesn’t hurt to look good while doing it, so check out Simple Luxuries Boutique to be styled by some of the best in the business.
Make sure to head over to Simple Luxuries Boutique at 110 W. 6th St. Tuscumbia, Al 35674 and see everything they have to offer
Also make sure to stay updated by following them on social media
With everything in life there is one thing that is certain, each choice we make has a reaction. I call this the Ripple Effect. With every decision we make there are a series of events that follow. Whether the events are to your advantage or not, is determined by the actions you have created
More often than not we have complete control of our everyday lives. We know what we need to do to progress. We hold the responsibility, but do nothing to begin the ripple into something bigger. We make excuses as to why we cant take the first step, whether it be, money, support, or even belief that we are simply not capable. We have to remember that not only are we capable, but we are also strong and determined.
For instance, you didn’t have to get out of bed, to make time for the gym. You didn’t have to get to work on time. You didn’t have to make sure your bills were paid on time. But you did. You willed yourself to do so. It was a choice to start the process to gain the bigger reward. The reward which is you are healthy enough to go to work, you worked for a paycheck, which in turn, led to the next ripple, you paid your bills on time.
Attention to to the smallest details, creates the biggest outcome.
You see, we really are naïve in thinking so less of ourselves that we overlook the progress we make in our everyday lives. No, not everything is quickly to our liking, but everyday counts as something. We have to stop thinking that our capabilities are miniscule and start remembering just how powerful our actions and minds really are. You want to build a company, take a step in the right direction and every day take another…Eventually the ripples will grow, and everything you dreamed of will be visible to everyone, including yourself.
There is no better example to the ripple effect than Isaac Wingo. A devoted husband, father of two, and Firefighter at Tuscumbia Fire Department. He took an idea and began the steps to create Wingo Pottery. It wasn’t long until he turned into the pottery guru he is today. He knew the process with each piece took time, but everyday he continued working toward success. In no time he found that there was something special in creating one of a kind pieces to share with everyone. His creativity has spread throughout our community and has began filling the homes of those outside the community as well.
From creative mind to creative hands, Isaac puts his heart into each individual piece. This makes him one who realizes that throwing an idea, and working hard, really can have an accomplished and proud outcome. His growth continues on as he puts his trust in Gods hands, and has faith that his guidance will lead him to where he is an inspiration to others as well.
Creation isn’t something that is simply made, but something that is felt, inspired and valued.
Most have seen Wingo Pottery set up at local businesses, such as The Emporium of the Shoals, The Shoppes at Coldwater, or setup in the First Fridays in Downtown Florence. Isaac’s pottery has grown so much in this community and is just one of the wonderful reason why our area is thriving. His unique pottery is such a wonderful addition to add to your own collection and makes a perfect gift to those we hold dear to us.
Remember you haven’t gotten this far in life overnight. It took a few rocks thrown, and a lot of ripples to get you this far. Keep moving forward and the ideas you have only dreamed of will become your reality. Make the choice, be brave, and most importantly… Trust the Process.
Make sure to follow Wingo Pottery on social media or visit his website listed below to see his latest creations or to order your one of a kind piece..
I have always been told by the wiser that there will come a day that I will look back and gasp in recognition that time waits for no one. There is no truer words to be spoken. Time is fickle in a sense that you know change is happening, but it takes years to stand still and reflect on the progress. Every day change is happening around you. The seconds tick by as we go through our daily routines, hoping we have enough energy to withstand another day. We adjust to the changes as they come and go, but still never see the picture being painted before us. It takes us waiting for the masterpiece to finally have our Aha! moment. Then we process what the time we missed cost us.
My Aha! moment is happening now. I see my children growing into young adults. I view them in a new light and see how they have evolved, with what seems like overnight. I find myself wanting to hold them in my arms again, and know that my babies are no longer babies. Knowing their need for my guidance eases the mommy inside me, but also knowing their need for me decreases every day makes me realize that my role is shifting.
You never understand the importance of doing your jobcorrectly until you take on the role of Mom.
As hard as it is to know that they do not need me as much, I am also reminded of my purpose. I was gifted one of the most precious gifts I could have ever imagined. I was given the job as a mother. A privilege in which I have never taken lightly. I sustained life within my own body, and still remember the way my body changed from week to week. I held their hands as I helped them walk for the first time. I celebrated birthdays, counting on as the first year turned into twelve. I know that change was always moving, but the one change that never came was the easiest to miss. I was the constant within their lives, and even though my name has changed from Mommy to Mother, I know that I will always be the one they remember being present. I have always been there for them, guiding them to the very best of my ability.
There are other aspects of being a mom that I treasure. I am very fortunate to have a group of mothers around me, who not only inspire me, but guide me. I have learned that by having a support group of mommas, who are in all stages of their childrens lives, continues to give me an advantage I never knew I needed. There are some mothers who are in the beginning of their adventure, and some who have raised their children into the amazing adults they are today. I am wiser and more compassionate in my walk because of them.
When I am feeling overwhelmed I call on them for advice. One of my favorite meeting places is Big Bad Breakfast. I love the environment that they have created which screams adventure. This seems to fit the bill of what us mothers are enduring, all the while offering exceptional food. I find that I can sit and have a reviving conversation while not feeling rushed. As if the food wasn’t enough, they also have a home décor store, Reclaimed Spirit, inside the restaurant. This allows you to eat and shop without stopping your conversations. The sweet staff are essential to making you feel as if you are valued as a customer. You will leave knowing you will be back soon. These breakfast/brunch meetings with my mommy friends adds so much wisdom to my life. I take everything they tell me and apply it to my families growth.
I also am blessed to know that if I am in need of something more, that I can call upon the most admired person I know, my own mother. Her guidance has always been the most treasured part of my own life, and I am thankful everyday for her presence. Her knowledge has given me the most powerful testimony of what I seek in being a mother, and I strive everyday to be half the woman she has worked hard to become.
Listening and learning is essential. Remember that there are days you need an ear, then there are days someone else does.
You see, I am learning that my job has always been to transfer from Mommy to Mother. As hard as it was to hear them shift me from one to the other, I knew that being called Mother was exactly what I was destined to become. I needed to know that my children were growing. My job is not to keep them the babies they once were, but to grow them into loving, decent, caring human beings. I am far from accomplishing them being adults, and still have teenage years and beyond to master. I am just staying still for a moment to see how far we have come. Making a mental note to know that the past ten to twelve years have flown by. And to have the wisdom to know that the next ten years will most definitely speed by without a hesitation.
I am looking back and seeing the changes. I am proud. I see how they have been through this journey with us and know that they will look back and see the battles we have accomplished together. We have fought to be where we are today and my hopes are that they see how much effort, and passion, we have to expel, to create the life we have made for them. I pray that they are learning from their parents, and that they take the experiences and submit them to their own future. A better life than our own is what we all strive for when it comes to our children. We give them the tools and know that it is their choice to use what we have taught them.
One thing is certain though, no matter how much our new norm is, as their mother I will always be there. I will be cheering them on no matter what stage of life they are encountering. I will be guiding them, and handing out advice regularly. I will hold their hands and remember that no matter what age they are in… I will always be their mother, and they will always be my babies. That is a constant that will never shift, never tilt, but will be there for all eternity
To visit Big Bad Breakfast and Reclaimed Spirit 315 N Court St Florence AL 35630
There are times within our lives that we take a breath, and recognize that we are not in the place we imagine. We feel the weight of the burdens we have been carrying and find ourselves crumbling from exhaustion. The truth in life is that most of us have so much happiness within us, but we simply are not sure how to be happy. We surround ourselves with people we believe will bring joy and seek positions that will increase our value. It is easier to see a number and rationalize our worth, than recognizing our worth through the struggles, and complexities, we have fought through in life.
We have to take a step back and realize that we are at our most powerful when we are transitioning. You will find strength within the most uncomfortable situations. You will begin to pick up small details that do not bring you joy. Knowing that to become a better you, means doing away with them, is even sometimes unsettling. The season you have entered will challenge you, and push your limits until you finally approach the growth you have been searching for.
You have to understand that no one can provide you with the love you deserve better than yourself. Once you learn to love yourself then you will find that most of your burdens that you have been carrying, were not yours to carry to begin with. The guilt that has been plaguing you has already been forgiven, and the pressure you have been planting inside your soul was merely self-mutilation, placed inside you by your own insecurities.
We are not perfect. Life is a constant battle to grow, and to learn who you are. This is something that you will eventually understand.
Think about how beautiful life is that we have the ability to become anew every so often. I am a different person than I was even a month ago. The continuing transformation is a beautiful thing. The wisdom we are gifted with can only benefit those around us. Readjusting our souls is something that I have learned to welcome. Recognizing my mind and working through my thoughts helps me be the mother and wife I yearn to become.
One place I find soothing is taking a stroll outside. Not only is the scenery perfect but the nature surrounding me sooths my thoughts. The sun reflecting off the water seems to draw me in and calms my soul. There is just something so consuming about getting out in nature and seeing the life that is often overlooked. We are in such a fast paced society that sometimes we need to breath and reset. Find your place, whether it be a walk around your neighborhood, finding some hiking trails, or even finding some quiet time in a book.
Happiness can only be created, when you are happy.
You owe it to yourself to be happy. Find your inner strength and fight through your seasons. Remember that your story is constantly being rewritten and nothing is set in stone. Grow and learn. To live your best life you must be wiser than before and know that your best friend is the person reflected back in the mirror.
Date night is an essential part to connecting. Time on the other hand, to do so, is always the most difficult part. As parents of two, we find our lives are surrounded by making sure the kiddos are a priority in our lives. This is what parenting is though. Taking the responsibilities to ensure that when our kids reach a point in life, that they are prepared for all the world will throw at them. Sometimes though, we forget about the foundation of what our family was built upon…Each other.
We have grown together to reach a point in our lives to where we can see the progress taking shape. Our kids are reaching the pivotal age where they are taking shape of who they are going to be. The foundation in which we have given them has began to settle and now they are taking root and shining in their next stage in life. As scary as it seems for me, it is an exciting time for us all. We are readjusting. Change is inevitable when you are a family. My mother always said the key to a happy marriage is knowing change is coming, but when change is upon you, you grow TOGETHER.
You are my favorite person, my best friend, my life
Sometimes my husband and I have to pause, and remind ourselves that in the beginning it was just us two. Our season in life is evolving, and taking time for ourselves is more of a priority now than it has ever been. We need time to get lost. Not to worry about what life is throwing our way, but simply be able to reconnect. Understanding that our time is precious to one another is the best gift we can give each other. We started this journey knowing that we are teammates, and I have to say that we make a hell of a team. Date night is just a way for us to rewind for a moment and remember what it was like in the beginning. Just two souls who could laugh about nothing, and smile knowing you were on the same wavelength. Our Enviroment has always been essential to our date night.
Last night we chose to visit Rays at the Bank. A Mediterranean styled vibe that was both calming and romantic. The ambiance was perfect with the live soft music in the background, which made it perfect for reconnecting. The staff went above and beyond to ensure that we were a priority to them, and when the food started hitting the table, we were sold.
Him: Wine pairs best with good company…
Her: Well sweetie aren’t you lucky I’m here.
From the homemade bread to even the fresh seafood, to say I was in heaven would be an understatement. We kept the wine glasses poured with a nice Cab and got lost between the Fillet and Lobster Tail. We ate until we possibly couldn’t eat another bite. Then gluttony got the upper hand and we went ahead and ordered dessert. YOLO right!
The Butter cake was one of my favorite dessert I had ever tasted. The warm cake topped with Vanilla Bean ice cream was out of this world. I might have limited the hubby on his bites, because I just couldnt get enough. Our waiter was very respectful of our time there and when it was time for us to end the night, we felt as if he was family.
We left feeling as if we were revived from the ashes of what the world sometimes brings upon us. Knowing that a small restaurant, with a romanticized setting, reconnected us to the same level was a relief. But knowing that we were smiling and still holding hands after seventeen years, well now, that made us look forward to the next pause in time, where we can have yet another date night.
Dropping the kids off at school, I know that the stress of the day before is still lingering. I want nothing more than to unwind and get lost for a bit.
Resetting is essential to everyone. Some find their “zen” through Yoga, some find it through nature. I am unbiased with what works for you as long as it works. I for one find solace in two things. Reading and a nice strong cup of coffee, or in some cases a cup of Chai Tea.
Who says you only have one life? Have you not ever picked up a book sweetie? I have, and let me tell you, I have been places you cant even fathom.
Reading is a means to get lost into a fantasy land where the stress is nonexistent, and the world you are now in is in the authors hands. There are no decisions to make, no crisis to take care of, only the journey from page to page. I know within my soul that reading not only opens your mind to new dimensions, but it also causes your mind to become more in tuned to the world around us. It helps us evolve into the people we long to be.
Finding a relaxing setting is essential. Luckily I have both an amazing Bookstore as well as Coffee shop at my disposal. Where the vibes are calm, and the setting is Old World Industrial with a dash of Mediterranean Charm.
Reading is for de-stressing, the coffee is just to keep me sane!
Coldwater Books is one of the most charming stores in my hometown. Even before you walk inside, the bright doors and terrace with seating takes you to a fantasy land. Pushing through the double doors, the smell of fresh coffee and baked goods invites you in. Immediately all is right in the world, especially with the rows of books that surround you. There is nothing more calming than the atmosphere they have created here.
The two story open concept allows it to be breathtaking while showing you the vast amount of books, paintings, and so much more they have to offer. From author book signings, to music, and yes even some holiday themes, they are always looking for ways to bring the community in house. They also take pride in local authors and are always looking for new talents to showcase.
If you are looking for a new book, or are wanting to kickstart your day with some Java and a muffin, then ColdWater Books is the right place. Such a deserving place for my charismatic hometown of Tuscumbia, Alabama. Drop in at 101 W 6th St, Tuscumbia Al 35674, and leave the stress of yesterday at the blue doors.