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12 Things

12 Things

Okay, so before starting Polite As Fudge a little over a year ago, I had never read or subscribed to any blogs.  I guess I had read a few articles here and there that would pop up on Facebook or Pinterest, but I didn't even really realize it was someone's personal blog I was looking at.  When I was getting started, my friends gave me their favorites to follow and Amber Fillerup Clark at Barefoot Blonde is probably one of the biggest blogs out there.  She's interesting to follow and she does "12 Things" that are her random thoughts or what's going on with her in the moment.  
I found this both fun and therapeutic.  Let me know what you think and if you'd like to comment with some of your own in the comments, I'd love to read them!  Brenda, shoutout to you -- I loved reading "10 Things You Don't Know About Me" about you!  You are an inspiration!  

1. I was anxious about our move and the details, but I've now come to peace with it.   I'm feeling like it's going to be great for our family and Matt and I will make sure all the details work out, one thing at a time. 

2.  You wouldn't believe some of the things people have said to me about it -- most people are supportive and joke "take me with you" or something like that.  A few others have caught me off guard and asked "Is it a (whisper) financial decision?"  and "are you secretly Republican".  OMG, filters, please!  People I'd consider acquaintances have been uber pushy about wanting to know if we have to "sell our house to buy".  I thought about leaving this out, but part of the reason for me starting this blog was to bring a little enlightenment to what is and what is not socially acceptable to say to someone, in my humble opinion as a sensitive and introspective person.

If you find yourself asking questions like this, I think the better question is to ask yourself "why do I care so much".  And I will work on how to respond, because, well, how does one respond?  I finally realize these questions are about the asker and not about me, so I bumble on through to keep it as conversationally light as possible.  Because as much as I like to help people and I love to make people happy, it is not my job to awaken people to their ways that offend me -- it's my job to keep myself happy, have boundaries and work hard to not be offended by things that have nothing to do with me.  

3.  I love being my kids' stylist.  I get a little overwhelmed when it's time to go through all of the things they've outgrown and I'm not as efficient as I'd like to be at that.  Especially saving Sterling's clothes for Shepherd -- even when I try, I end up forgetting about a whole size, and when I do find them, they're usually more stained than I thought or sort of out of style.  

My new go-to is getting the boys matching shirts from Cotton On Kids.  I updated each of my kids' wardrobes in spring and then added a few pieces here and there the keep it fresh.  My faves for this season have been from Crew Cuts + Cotton On.  

3.  We've had some really fun getaways since May and they keep on' comin' for us up until our move!!  We did Great Wolf Lodge for Memorial Day Weekend, which was also Shepherd's second birthday, Las Vegas for our cousin's graduation, Legoland for Sterling's birthday (that's next week's article) and a trip to Austin planned to house hunt!  I'm so excited and the kids love traveling maybe even more than I do! 

4.  Scarlet has taken the news of the move like a champ.  I think including her (and the boys, but they weren't always listening/Shep is too little to know what's up) from the get-go, she understands that we have her best interest at heart and that our family being together is what's most important.  She has a beautiful way about her and she makes me proud to be her mommy every single day!  She's most excited about getting a giant treehouse, but her vision for this (and the amount of floors she'd like this treehouse to have) seems to expand daily.  

5.  Sterling and Shepherd are also amazing little humans - I feel so lucky to be their mommy and to me, they sparkle with a beautiful zest for life.  That zest at two and four years old sometimes takes on the form of pain-in-the-ass-ness, and what's fresh on my mind right now is how they took turns crying for over an hour after we got home from the zoo today, and how Sterling basically ruined Shep's nap and barged into his room crying that I had constructed his lego set wrong.  Two and four are not the easiest ages, but I relish in their cuteness and know these moments are fleeting.  I will tell these stories at their weddings one day, and I won't leave out the juicy details.  #politeaf

6.  I've recently been exploring the idea of personal enlightenment.  Since the days of my college philosophy classes I've been interested and never fully committed, but it's recently become very important to me.   I've read "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK", "You are a Badass" and "Girl, Wash Your Face" that sort of jump-started this journey for me.  They all have a similar message:  decode the sh*t from your subconscious (the stuff that was imprinted on you as a kid that you had no control over) to recode how you live your life now.  The other commonality?  The bad shit you subconsciously believe about yourself?  I'm stupid, I'm fat, I'm a this, I'm a that.  They're lies.  What lies do you subconsciously believe about yourself that may seem silly but are holding you back from being your best self?  What is it that makes you jealous, that makes you sad, that makes you blah blah blah.  Find the subconscious link to it and put in the work and you will be free.  I mean, it takes work.  There are hurdles.  And when you think you're done, there's more to do. 

I guess I'm looking for ever-evolving personal enlightenment and to be a light for myself and others.  I love to help and care for people, and I'm thinking as my kids grow, I can write to fulfill that need for myself.  

7.  My mantra right now is: learn, grow, soften.  I have been listening to Oprah's podcasts and find them to be just what I need right now.  I used to watch Oprah every day after school when I was in elementary school.  I'd come home, eat a very early dinner in front of the tv, with Oprah, my televised mentor, then head off to my 3-4 hour gymnastics practices.  Oprah has found her way back into my life and I find her so inspirational.  On one of her Podcasts, she said she considers this to be "Earth School" and I love everything about that.  The Universe, God, whatever you want to call it, will keep sending you the same lesson until you learn it.  I decided it's time for me to learn it.  And then soften myself with whatever knowledge that arises.

8.  We can kinda sorta announce what we'll be doing in Austin!  Matt and I are opening up our first "Little Stay".  It's going to be a "micro-resort" -- which we made up, but it's going to basically be a tiny house hotel.  We'll start with one location, document it here...you'll come to visit, right?  

9.  Have I ever mentioned on here how much I love buffalo sauce?  I was sitting here having a glass of wine and typing an article on our trip to LEGOLAND, decided to switch back to this article for this week, and Matt is out grabbing drinks with a friend at a restaurant that has buffalo cauliflower, my fave!  He's so sweet and offered to bring some home, yay! 

10.  I'm getting back into some of the shows and movies I loved as a kid.  In the past few weeks, when Matt has been out, I've watched "The Wizard of Oz", "Dirty Dancing", "The Notebook" and I'm currently watching "I Love Lucy".  

11.  I'm looking into going back to school!  The University of Texas has this amazing writing program that seems kind of unrealistic for me to get into.  I'd have to take the GRE's and do the recommendations and everything and they only accept 12 people per year for the fiction program.  I'm also interested in philosophy or some combo of both.  But I feel like maybe I should at least explore it and take some classes even if I don't get accepted.  We'll have a lot going on, but I think this could be my (other) side gig.

12.  I like humidity.  Everyone's talkin' smack about Austin's humidity, but I grew up in Pennsylvania where it's very humid in the summers and it never even occurred to me to not like it!  All about that mindset, right??

Let me know what you think!

XO, Mandy

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LEGOLAND!  Our family trip and what we thought of the new hotel.

LEGOLAND! Our family trip and what we thought of the new hotel.

Father's Day Gifts from a Tired Mommy

Father's Day Gifts from a Tired Mommy