Happy, happy Monday!
Today, I have the first SHAY’S RANDOM GRAB BAG of 2023!
Now, you know the drill…I pull some of your random questions and answer them all here in one little post.
~In Grab Bag #5, I chatted all things technology and kids, food items I always have on hand, our home buying process, details from our trip to Mexico and my relationship with Jesus. You can read that post HERE.
In Grab Bag #6, I answered questions about McKinney, fitness, faith and more!
And in Grab Bag #7, I cover my favorite Peloton classes, how to “travel with extended family” which designer items I like to invest in and more!
This time, when I randomly picked from your questions, here is what ended up in the grab bag…
Andrew and I have always had the same system, but the longer I’ve owned my travel agency and the older my kiddos have gotten, the number of trips I take each year has changed a bit. Last year, was the most epic travel year of my entire life, and there is just no way to top that this year (goodness, last year, I went to Park City, London (twice!), Hawaii, Boston, Nantucket (four times!), Mexico, Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Walt Disney World (twice!), and Germany for Oktoberfest. I mean? That simply cannot be topped in my opinion. (You can catch recaps from all of those trips HERE by the way.)
I anticipate 2023 will be amazing, but I think I just had my ultimate year in travel 🙂 .
So, how do we decide? Andrew and I always sit down at the end of the year/beginning of the next year and talk through our calendar/kids sports/holidays/events and bucket list destinations. We then take that info and look at our budget to see what we can do. We have our favorite spots that we like to repeat (Park City, Nantucket, Boston, Mexico) when we can. Plus, for my business, it’s good for me to visit Walt Disney World as often as possible, so we try to factor that in too. Basically, we have a running list of favorite places, a running list of bucket list favorites and a budget.
We have all of our trips planned out through Spring Break 2024 right now 🙂 .
I was clearly born to be a travel agent as I just love, love, love planning vacations…especially my own.
I’m trying to incorporate even more!
Make sure you hop over to @mixandmatchmama and check out my Stories to see what I’m doing today, but I will do a complete Day in the Life later this week too!
Let’s be real, I hope we’re doing this right, but maybe we’re not? It’s hard.
Teenagers are complicated.
Andrew and I *try* to stay calm and not be judgmental and let them talk and not tell them what to do or expect them to be more mature than their age…but certainly, sometimes I want to scream/lock them in their rooms/remove them from school and turn off the TV.
This world is CRAZY, and my kids tell me stories/say things/ask questions that make me question humanity, but I just try sooooo hard to be calm, let them talk and give them Biblically sound advice. And I pray for them like crazy.
Andrew and I also try not to *fix* everything which is extremely hard for us because we want to fix everything. If my kid is doing something/saying something/behaving poorly, we encourage better, but we also know that life offers up natural consequences and sometimes, that’s way more affective than me getting on to them or getting involved.
We are trying to raise humans that love Jesus and are responsible citizens in a world that is pretty much pointing them towards the opposite direction, so when big conversations happen, we *try* to stay quiet, listen and lovingly encourage them towards the Cross.
And pray, pray, pray, pray.
I’ve been there!
I love that you recognize you want friendship in your life and you’re seeking it.
There was a chapter in my life when I was first married where we moved three times in two different states over two years. I changed jobs. I changed jobs again. And once more. I changed churches. And then again. And then once more. If you look back at my prayer journal from that time period, I prayed almost daily for friendships. I FELT SO ALONE. I lived in a new town, knew no one, worked all day long with only one person…my husband and bonus, I was trying to get pregnant and couldn’t. That time WAS TERRIBLE. But I prayed.
My mother-in-law once told me “people who want friends are friendly”. Wow. Talk about wisdom.
It took a lot of time (and was hard, please don’t get me wrong!), but finally, I really started inserting myself into situations where I could possibly make friends. I clearly wasn’t going to make them at work (hello, I just worked with my hubby!), so I joined a Monday night Bible study, I joined a gym and started going to the same classes after work, I asked people to lunch/coffee/my home, Andrew and I invited other couples over we met at church, I volunteered at church, and slowly, I started becoming more acquainted with more people and truly found the very best friends I could have ever asked for. When I first became pregnant with Kensington, I met a group of ladies through a Tuesday night Bible study that truly changed my life. They are the very best friends I could have ever asked for. God blessed me richly and abundantly with not just one amazing friend, but a whole fabulous/unique group of them…but it took years and a lot of effort on my part. I think that it’s easy to just sit back and wait for things to happen to us in life, but God wants us to act, to move…even though I didn’t meet the very best friends at those workout classes, I was getting in a good workout and that was beneficial to me. It’s so much more about the journey than the destination. If you’re looking for friendship, take the advice of my mother-in-law and be friendly. Get out of your comfort zone and seek out experiences that lead to community that lead to friendship.
I’ll get off my soapbox now 😉 .
Oh I love my teen boy so much!
I’m learning how to make sure he and I get a lot of quality time together, and I’m a work in progress and certainly no expert, but right now, I’m just always trying to meet him where he is.
He loves getting breakfast at this one spot, so I make sure I take him (just us!) as often as I can for that one on one time. He likes to be outside, so I go out there with him and bike with him, watch him shoot his bow and arrow, I’ll shoot baskets…whatever he’s doing out there, I’ll go and join or watch. I’m also always trying to think of movies he might like that the girls wouldn’t care for, and I’ll ask him to watch them with me.
If he is interested in something, I ask questions and engage with him on the topic.
I’m just always looking for little ways to connect as often as possible.
Now, I happen to think I have one amazing boy, so it’s not super hard to enjoy his company, but those are my little tricks for getting in extra mom and Smith time.
The real reason I do not?
Because I’m lazy.
I don’t like to walk around the house in my shoes (ew, gross, shoes are so dirty), so I get dressed and then put them on at the last minute when I’m walking out the door. I should really just put a mirror in my garage. Bahaha! “Here is today’s outfit and my lawnmower.” I will try harder to be better with this. I actually do wear shoes (not socks), but you don’t see them because they’re not added to that day’s look until I’m walking out the door.
I’ll try harder!
That wraps up today’s GRAB BAG!
Thank you (always!) for leaving me so many questions/topics to cover! If you have any to add, head to the comment section and drop them there.
Happy, happy Monday! I’ll see you tomorrow! xx