Nature is My Happy Place

As I was driving past the Toccoa River in Blue Ridge, GA Friday afternoon I remembered how much being in God’s beautiful creation is an instant mood lifter for me. There is especially something about water that makes me feel at peace- whether it’s a walk on the beach, laying on a beach towel listening to the waves breaking, standing on a paddle board floating down the river, or hearing rain drops hit the trees outside. It could even be as simple as drinking a glass of water or looking at a picture of the ocean.

I kind of grew up on the water. Some of my earliest memories are of climbing on my dad’s back and grabbing his neck as he swam underwater through the pool. I also remember learning to swim in the backyard pool of one of my parents’ teacher friends and mastering the art of floating on my back.  I joined the swim team around 4th grade and my summers soon became consumed spending my days at the community pool and weekends going to nearby towns for swim meets.

My dad taught a summer camp where you spent part of the time in the classroom learning about science and then you’d go outside to apply what you learned. We spent a lot of our time canoeing down the Peace River. I have some great memories of the strategically planned water fights where my dad and the other teachers would use their ice water from their lunches to soak certain students for payback while trying not to flip their canoes into the alligator infested waters. It’s funny to me how fearless of alligators we were back then. We actually sought them out and would try to see how many we could find in a given day. I guess that was all part of the learning component- teaching problem solving skills on how to safely canoe past them?

Yesterday my husband and I went on an adventure with our 3 and 6 year old boys to find a swinging bridge. We ventured out knowing that the road to get there might be a little rough,  but we have 4 wheel drive so we were confident. After a few pit stops and questioning whether or not we lost a car part in the bumps in the road we made it.

The short hike to the bridge was just right for our two whiny kids, but unfortunately the river was a little too deep and the water was moving too fast for swimming than we thought it would be. We had promised our boys they could swim and even let them wear their bathing suits. So we decided to head back to another spot near our cabin that we knew was rockier and would be better for climbing around on with two young kids. We missed our turn on the way back and almost spent the whole afternoon exploring the mountain roads of Georgia, but we finally found our way back to the spot we were looking for. It was definitely an adventure and although my idea of fun is different now that I’m a mom, I still found my joy in nature and I think my family did too.



May The Force Be With You

So this past weekend Star Wars fans celebrated May the 4th, and as I saw all of the different memes on social media I realized something.

What many of my friends probably don’t know about me is that I sometimes struggle with anxiety and depression. I actually have my whole life. This may seem crazy to you since I’m so good at hiding it, or maybe it’s pretty obvious to others.

Irregardless it’s there, and it’s real. I’m not going to get into why- that’s another post for another time maybe, but recently I’ve had a sort of spiritual awakening. A few wise people have told me before that I can control whether or not I’m happy. As much as I want to believe this, it’s not always that black and white for me.

I imagine it’s not for many people out there. Because depression can be so debilitating that you feel like it’s never going to get better. You feel hopeless. In fact the last thing you want to hear, is that you could get better by simply deciding to do it.


I even have a bracelet that is engraved with “Choose Joy.” The thing is, when I’m not depressed it makes sense to me that I’m in control of my emotions. It’s quite obvious that I can choose how I respond to things. I can look at the glass as half empty or half full.

I can see the positive side of a difficult situation and find something good that came out of it. But, there are still times in my life where I find that really hard to do. I forget that I AM in control. It’s sometimes difficult to see that, and I get trapped in the downward spiral of negative thinking.

Someone explained this to me in a really profound way that really helped me understand why this happens. When your brain is so used to negative thinking, the neural pathways that lead to negative thoughts are created more and more.

Then when you have a new experience you tend to go down those same paths that lead to a negative response, or The Dark Side.

In order to get yourself out of that hole or downward spiral of negative thinking, you have to create new pathways. You have to retrain your brain to see the positive outlook.

Practice Gratitude

One way to do this is to write a gratitude journal. You can start by writing 5 things you’re grateful for each day. I like to spend a few minutes writing down everything I’m grateful for.

It may seem hard to do at first, but it actually isn’t once you get started. It’s a great exercise for multiple reasons.

  • It helps to remind you of all the ways that you’ve been blessed.
  • It also helps you to see that things aren’t as bad as you thought they were.
  • More importantly, it creates those neural pathways that lead to joy. It’s pretty hard to feel grateful without feeling at least a little bit good about your life.

So, when I said “May The Force Be With You,” this is what I meant.  That I hope the next time life throws you a curveball, you have the strength to choose the path that leads to joy. And that you can avoid the one that takes you to the dark side.

Maybe remembering that phrase will be enough to help you recall all of the good things going on in your life and all that you have to offer.

My First Post

I’m officially a blogger! Now it’s time to let my creative juices flow.

What should I write about?

Let me start with telling you a little about myself. I love to travel, eat good food, have fun with my kids, get outside in nature, and work out. I’m hoping to figure out what else I love and dive deeper into these interests. Now I have a good space to write about that along the way!

I should also tell you why I started Mom Life With P. I’ve always enjoyed writing. Actually I should say there have been times in my life where I enjoyed it. I also remember how much I struggled with writing in college and high school because I was such a perfectionist. My writing always had to convey exactly what I was thinking, but also sound interesting to the reader. Looking back, I’m not really sure where that came from. But I still find myself thinking that way today.

Another passion of mine is helping people. As a stay at home mom, I have felt someone like I’ve lost sight of this passion- or maybe I’ve just shifted my focus to helping my kids. I went to graduate school to become a child therapist and went through the 3 year long process of becoming a licensed professional counselor, or LPC. Then when I had my 2nd son, my husband and I realized how much day care would cost for 2 kids at once! So we decided I would quit my job to save money and give me more time to spend with the kids.

Fast forward to now and my kids are both in school full time. So I’m finding myself wanting more. With my husband’s encouragement, I decided to use my passions of writing and helping people. So that’s how Mom Life With P was born! You can find more about me here!

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