Seven Habits for a More Productive Commute

How many of us commute to work and don’t use that time productively?  It is so easy to begin the day by complaining about the weather, the traffic, the line at the coffee shop, or countless other trivial distractions.

It’s time to change!  To begin to train your mind to start the day off strong, be mindful when that negative thought creeps in when you realize way too many people missed the lesson on how to merge in traffic, use a signal, or that the left lane is for the speedier drivers…no need to honk every time someone upsets you on the road!  When you begin to have those thoughts tell yourself “nope, not today” and refocus on a positive thought.

There are more productive ways to spend your time on that commute which will benefit you and those around you.

I challenge you to try at least one of these for a week and see how your day improves!

positiveSeven Habits for a More Productive Commute

What are you listening to?: Is it adding anything beneficial to your life?  Gossip radio?  What type of music?  Be mindful of what you put on—in what way is it helping you be a better person?  Try motivational speeches, sermons, TED Talks, educational podcasts, or music that is going to place you in the right mindset for the day.

Conversations with God: On my way to work is when I have some of the best conversations with God.  If I need to vent, ask for advice, pray, or just say thank you I use this time to do that.  Give it a try!  I was struggling with a choice I made that was not popular among others, so I asked God to take it and show me if I needed to approach the situation a different way—he was loud and clear that the choice I made was the right one.  It’s amazing when God speaks to you!

Think up blog topics: For us bloggers there are times when we go through a bit of bloggers block…this time spent in our car driving while our mind wanders is a great way to think up possible topic ideas to write about.  I came up with this topic while on my drive to work.

Pray: On your way to work pray for God to use you that day.  Pray for your family, friends, co-workers, students, patients…

Eat a healthy snack: Pack some grapes, carrots, celery, almonds, or healthy snack of your choice to munch on while driving…an easy way to start making sure you are eating right!

Think of something kind to do for someone that day:  Do you know who has a birthday coming up?  Who might need some encouragement?  Everyone can use kindness, so take that commuting time to think of someone and what is something special you can do for that person.  Maybe it’s sending them a card, bringing them in a plant to work to say welcome to the company, paying for the person behind you at coffee shop, or just simply think of a compliment you can give someone that day!

Affirmations:  What do you tell yourself before you even arrive to work?  It can have a huge impact on your day?  Are you already complaining that today is Monday and thinking about that annoying co-worker?  Stop that immediately and change what you say to yourself!  Try saying to yourself that you are excited for this Monday, excited for what the day will bring!  Never say negative things about yourself!  Tell yourself, “I am talented”, “I am creative”, “I am successful”, “I am positive”…

Share in a comment:  Like I mentioned above, I challenge you to try at least one of these for a week while on your commute to work.  I guarantee that you will notice a difference.  What one will you try?  What other habits are we able to do while on our commute to work? 

Crystal

Post inspired by The Daily Post, Daily Prompt: Honk

A Peek into Our Family Fall Pictures

Sneak Peek Family Pics Blog

The one must every year for me is to take fall family pictures! The fall is my favorite season.  I started years ago with just taking a few photos of the kids raking leaves, jumping in the pile we created, and going pumpkin picking.

It evolved into an event where more family members came and we took pictures of everyone.  Due to schedule constraints the past few years we have decided to just keep it small with just us–it’s difficult as it is to plan to take them with keeping in mind the peak foliage time, work schedules, and the unpredictable Rochester weather.

We had to do them at 8:30am this year (I was worried we wouldn’t have enough sunlight), and the temperature was about 35°-40°, so we were all freeeeezing!  There were even times where you could see our breath from talking and laughing that I thought it might ruin the shots.  Even though we didn’t take as many as we usually do I’m thankful we were able to take the ones we did ❤

Our sneak peek collage from this year

Fall Family Collage 2017.jpg

Other Family Favorite Group Shots

 

Belly worshipping Favs ❤

 

We ended our hour session with McKinley in a tree as usual…

2013, 2016, and 2017 picture

Last year & this year (2016 & 2017)

Random Facts About Fall Family Picture Day

  1. There is much arguing and bickering prior to many of the shots
  2. Cole must flip and fluff his hair for every photo
  3. McKinley wore a pair of my shoes, and was not happy about it (she wanted to wear her Nike sneakers)
  4. A spare, handy towel was used for Craig’s runny nose
  5. This was the first year EVERYONE wore the same color (gray)…with the planned exception of me which we decided on purpose
  6. Autumn arrived on time which just doesn’t usually happen
  7. It was so cold that I didn’t switch my lens or settings like I should have
  8. We were unsure if we would have enough sunlight because Autumn had to be at work, so we had to work around her schedule
  9. It was about 35° out…burrrrrrrr
  10. Autumn and I wore the exact same nail polish (unintentional)
  11. Cole’s famous line, “I’m so cold my nipples are as hard as rocks” made us laugh so hard I thought our breath was going to ruin the pics (from the cold)

thankful-and-gratefulShare in a comment:  What does your family do for photos?  Do you take a yearly picture?  I’d love to hear what others do.

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Crystal

Post inspired by the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge Prompt:  Peek

 

 

 

 

 

What My Baby Shower Taught Me

This past weekend we had our baby shower to celebrate our little MVP, and I’m still astonished at all the love and support from everyone!

I was not a fan of the idea of having a shower at all, but my friend, Erica was particularly excited and immediately offered to be a part of planning it. Considering I have not had a baby shower in twenty years and that I gave every last baby item away I thought it would help us quite a bit and it would be nice for Craig being this is his first child (yes, twenty years…whoa…that sounds crazy).

As Erica and I were talking about it I told her that I wanted to be a part of planning the shower, but was unsure what people would think because I read many comments on the online baby boards that it was considered tacky.  Erica’s response was, “Since when do you care what people think?  Do what you want!” Lightbulb moment here!

Doing what we wanted was exactly what we did and I’m glad we did!  It was perfect!

 

What My Baby Shower Taught Me

  1. Do what you want (couples, kids, food, favors, theme, games, music, food, invite who you want, honor family members who have past away…)  

     

  2. You will forget what you registered for…possibly because he liked using the scanning machine a little too much

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  3. Someone will give you a gift that might make you cry

     

  4. If you try and give a speech you should practice before the shower day…and pregnancy hormones may cause water works41
  5. Something will not go as planned and that’s ok  We had a plan to take photos of every guest, but that did not happen.  I’m still a little bummed out about it, but I am thankful my son and Craig’s cousin were able to capture the moments that they did.
  6. Cupcakes are the easiest dessert ever 
  7. Homemade gifts are the best 

     

  8. Plan to take A LOT home 
  9. Having your man with you to open gifts is the best  68
  10. RSVP…I have a new found respect for it  I will admit I am terrible at RSVPing, but I have a new found respect and have promised myself not to be that person anymore.

 

Our shower was amazing…we loved seeing everyone excited for us and enjoyed spending the time with them! We are blessed!

Crystal

The Daily Post Daily Prompt: Enlighten 

 

Dear Absent Father,

I’m not sure if it is because I’m pregnant which has made me think about people in my past, but I’ve been thinking about an individual some would label as my “biological father”.  This is an individual who was in prison for some time while I was a child, did not raise me, stepped into my life for a minute later on, and after unveiling his character I decided it was safer to keep my children away from him.

I decided to write an unsent letter to him: 

Dear Absent Father,

As a young child I made up fairytales of where you were, who you would be, and how you would return.  Wishing on every dandelion I picked…

Years went by…

I created more fairytales of where you were, who you would be, and how you would return.

I knew I resembled you from what I had been told, so every male I saw with blonde hair and blue eyes I would think to myself, “could this be you”.  For years I did this…even as a teenager as a cashier at the local grocery store…imagine a young teenager wondering if each and every one of the blonde hair, blue eyed, males who walked through her line could be her father.

I continued to create more fairytales.  Send more dandelion wishes…

You decided to make that step and introduce yourself…it was nothing close to that fairytale I created, what I wanted, or what I expected, but I opened my heart.  I opened it because I had yearned for so long.  I just wanted to be wanted.

I’m an observant woman, and hearing about your upbringing and where you came from I understood you didn’t know how to be a father.  You didn’t know how to raise a child.  I gave you the benefit of the doubt.  I accepted you for you, left the past behind us, and began to build a relationship.  It wasn’t perfect.  I couldn’t call you “dad”.  I had a dad who raised me, one who earned that title, one who also didn’t know how to raise a child, but he did it without batting an eyelash and Lord knows that man shed some tears dealing with me as an ungrateful, hateful, teenager.  It also hurt him when we began to build a relationship, but he knew I needed to find me.

I needed to find me…

Did I find me?  I thought I did.  For years I had to build me.  Encourage me.  Support me.  Protect me.  Provide for me.  I had to because you were not there like you should have been.  Maybe in a way you are a part of my success because I don’t need a man to do those things for me.  Now I just don’t know how to allow one to when he wants to.

Every now and then I wonder…how can you sleep at night?  How many children have you denied (or have you lost count)?  How many raised in poverty?  How many have seen those bars like you?  Taken the path like you?  Do you feel any sort of guilt?  Remorse?  Regret?  Shame?  Do you feel sorry for yourself?  Angry?  Does it even weigh on your soul?

I try not to judge…I really do…even as I type this I try to understand, but I just can’t…

For years I asked myself, “why don’t you want me?”

Sadly, I’ll also admit that every time I hear your favorite song, “Simple Man” by Lynard Skynard you come to mind.  A person’s favorite song usually says a lot about who they are, so I have thought many times why you feel such a strong connection to it.  After listing to it a few more times I ask this…

Do you think your mom would be proud? God?

Are you proud?

Crystal

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