2019: The Year That Should Have Broke Me

I just refused to let it.
I thought this would be my best year yet.
I started out 2019 traveling the US with my husband, a dream we had made a reality. When our marriage fell apart in early March, I shared about my separation and pending divorce. And as if that weren’t heart-wrenching enough for one year..
I didn’t share that my younger, older brother, was released from prison for maybe the fifth time..? I’ve honestly lost count. (And well hoping for the best, I prayed not to have to live through the worst, again.)
I didn’t share that I had a friendship-ending falling out with my “forever” best friend of 20 years in April.
Or that my step-dad was diagnosed with cancer just before Father’s day.
Or they my mom was diagnosed with cancer in August.
These things shattered my world, one by one, seemingly again and again.
So I did what I do, and I cried. I cried the tears and I felt the feels.
Then, I pulled myself together, and found strength through it all.
I cannot say the whole year was a bust. That brother I talked about is the strongest, most resilient version of himself that I have ever known, and we are closer than ever.
And that friendship I lost in April was superseded by meeting, online and then in person, the most faith-filled, beautiful inside and out, loving and caring girl that I have ever met in my entire life the month before that, and I joyously call her best friend.
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My parents are still not 100%, but are both cancer-free, praise God!
And while I don’t know where I want to live or what I want to do with my life entirely, I completed training for my new career in September and have been a flight attendant ever since, a job that I love even more than I thought I would.
In 2019, I kept select people close and I kept God closer. I put my life 100% into His hands, like never before.
I was scared and felt lost, had no idea where to live, what to do, how to feel..or how to do it all earlier this year. So I let go, and I let God.
This isn’t some miraculous turn around story and I can honestly say I’m SO happy this year is almost over.
I can also say that my work life is pretty fantastic but the rest of my life is still messy, and it still hurts.
My parents are on the mend, and I’m beyond thankful for that. My ex BFF and I have completely severed ties but I know that the people I do have in my corner are my people, my family, and my heart. I’m so blessed to have them.
And no matter what, I choose happy everyday. I choose laughing and making new IMG_20191128_130023memories to crying and replaying old ones. I choose joy and excited anticipation for the future.
I know next year won’t be perfect, and I have no false hope about creating a life without ups and downs. But at the end of this year, I find myself with a new sense of calm, a reclaimed joy, and the ability to fully-focus on the good, beautiful, and abundant blessings around me.
I didn’t write this as a pity post, or to brag on how I came out on the other side but yet to share this very real and very raw side of me as this year comes to a close. We all struggle, and we all go through hard things, whether we talk about them, or not.
If you want to share or talk through anything, please reach out to me. I will be more than happy to listen, and show you love, to pray, and be an ear for you to talk to.
And please, give yourself to God, so that He can guide you. I promise you, you can get through the hard stuff. Always believe and stay full of faith, and happy almost 2020 friends=)

Scripture Sunday: Be Thankful Out Loud and Intentionally

Last week Sunday I went to a church that was recommended to my by the AirBnb hosts I am staying with. I loved it, as I knew I would, and it was such a great message.

The service after Thanksgiving and leading into Christmas pointed out that gratitude is not something that is inherently known, but taught. As children, or now as parents, we are always reminding kids to say thank you, to show thankfulness, and to have gratitude.

Pastor talked of gratitude and that it is not always felt. Throughout life it must be practiced to be learned and truly felt. Do you practice gratitude? I love that it can be learned because that just means everyone has to potential for gratitude, and that it can be a part of your life, even if it isn’t in the present moment.

We were reminded to be thankful, in the good times, and the bad.

Give thanks in all things. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

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We were reminded that giving thanks invites God in and that we didn’t get where we are without Him.

Along with Him, who are the people who have held you up, during good times and bad? Who has been there for you, no matter the circumstance?

It is so easy and loving to thank the people in your life. It’s free and quick, too. So really, what is there stopping you from loving those in your life and thanking them?

And to wrap it up, he told us that we are our story and what we make of it.

I am constantly saying, “Speak life,” and I love that as a thought process. Speak the good, what you want to happen, and the positive you foresee for yourself and your future. There is negative all around you but you don’t have to focus on that, or let that be a part of your day.

You are your thoughts. If you change everything from “have to” to “get to,” how will that positively impact your day? How will that change your mood?

Being thankful in everything we have is something so many take for granted. Not everyone has a car to drive, fresh water to drink, a safe place to live, or a job to go to. Turn having to drive into getting to drive. Be thankful for the water bill you pay that ensures you have running water to use. Have a grateful heart for the house you get to clean and the bed you get to make. And you get to go to work, to a job that you worked hard for and chose. If you don’t like it, work hard, and choose something else. These are all things we get to do.

But in the meantime, be thankful for what you get, all that you are blessed with, and the people all around you. There is always something to be thankful for!

If you’re reading this, I want to pray for you:

Dear God, Thank You for everything You have done and everything You will do for us. We know we are not here because of what we ourselves did, but because of the grace and opportunities You have given to us. We thank You for the people in our lives. We praise You in the good and the bad. We will remember to be thankful today and everyday, and turn what we “have” to do, into what we “get” to do. In Jesus’ name, Amen

I’m Back and I’m Ready to Talk, Kinda

It’s been on my heart to share my life, but in the midst of the hard stuff, talking about the hard stuff, well, that’s the hardest stuff of all.

But when you truly feel a calling to do something, you cannot get away from it.

You can push it away, you can think yourself out of it, you can “wait” until you’re past the hard part to talk about it… if you want to.

Or, you can just start talking.

I haven’t been talking too much, but then again, maybe just enough. I’ve shared about my separation and divorce, but not the other things that have happened these last 9 or so months.

And, if I’m being really real, my divorce was the least hardest thing I’ve been through this year. I haven’t been very vocal about the rest but instead have tried to share that I’m struggling but still choosing happy, that things are hard, but I’m making them happen anyway, and that just because your life is a wreck, doesn’t mean you have to be.

It’s not here that I’ve shared things, but on my Facebook page and on Instagram. It’s not daily posts or anything, but really real, really heartfelt truths that I feel truly led to share.

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And then, when I do, someone will pm me or dm me, they will ask a seemingly unrelated question to which I answer with something so raw, I think it couldn’t possibly be what they meant, what they wanted to hear, or what they needed. But it is.

It turns out it’s EXACTLY what they wanted from me. The whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Their truth is that they want to hear my truth. They want to know what is happening with me and how the fuck (sorry for the language) I’m getting through it. Much less smiling, much less LIVING.

I miss blogging. I miss sharing my life. But I don’t miss that I was only sharing a part of my life. It was only the part of life I wanted to share. The happy stuff, the fun stuff, the smiles and the trips and the special occasions. It wasn’t all of it.

And this will not turn into a negative or ranting space, but it will be the realest me yet. Because I am not who I was when I started this blog, I’m not even who I was at the beginning of this year, and I am NEVER going to let me get away again.

I will still share food and fun, I will still share my faith, but I will also share my struggles, the hard stuff, the stuff I just know you want to hear. And I know it’s what you want to hear, what you need to hear..

Because you keep telling me.

 

 

PS you can find and follow me on media if you want to:

Facebook: Emily Ann     Instagram: iwantwellness.co

Also, Happy Thanksgiving! Remember all you have to be thankful for!!!

Scripture Sunday: Take Today (And Every Sunday) To Rest

In a past bible study, our group talked about Sabbath and how important it is to take Sundays off. This is to be the day of God, rest, family, and friends.

But is that what we do? Do we take this day for God and our people? Or is it our only day off and so we squeeze everything into this day?

For most of us, we prepare for the next week on Sundays. We meal prep, schedule our life, and clean the house. We take kids to this sport, that sport, birthday parties, and play dates. We work and run errands.

Sunday has become the busiest day of the week and not the rest day that He wants for us.

Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do.

Deuteronomy 5:12-14

I work a 4 days on/2 days off schedule, so work on Sundays is a part of my life.

But a couple of weeks ago, I really prayed on this. I asked God to show me a way to not work on Sundays, to rest, to have time for my people, and Him.

Ask and you shall receive. study-862994__340

Work was very slow for one of my working weekends, I literally did not have any work come into my bin. So that Sunday was freed up for what He wanted me to be doing, resting.

Last weekend was a scheduled weekend off for me, so more rest on Sunday. (And if you saw my Facebook/Instagram post, I completely unlpugged last Sunday, for the whole day. No phone. It was great.)

And now this Sunday is an editing holiday for me. What should have been my “Day 1” is now a day off.

Now, I’m not saying every Sunday I won’t work. And this last Sunday I did spend about 30 minutes at the end of my day thinking, and planning for the next week. But I also rested and stayed 100% present in the day.

I went to church. I cuddled kiddos. I spent time talking with my BFF. And you should find a way to do this, too.

So for this Easter Sunday, do what you can to slow down. Pray extra and rest. Praise God and go to church. After all, it’s Easter and you never know what miracles may come of it.

If you’re reading this, I want to pray for you.

Dear God, Thank You for Your word. All we have to do is read the bible to see all that You have for us. Thank You for giving us a day of rest and urging us to take it. Thank You for giving us a day for You, us, and our family and friends. We are so thankful for You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Happy Easter Sunday friends=)

I’ve Been Quiet, And This Is Why

I’ve been really quiet on my blog and social media. And if I’m being honest, it’s been really hard to get back into it.

I have all these ideas, content for days..but I just don’t want to.

Because I also have a sadness, a hurt, and something that has really turned my world upside down. I have a pending divorce, a soon to be ex-husband, and a hole in my heart and in my days, too.

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I haven’t talked that much about it. I’ve done what I can not to think about it, dwell on it, or make myself relive it again and again.

But the truth is, it’s very much on my mind. It’s fresh and raw, and it’s heartbreaking. But it’s a part of my life now, and I’m learning to accept it.

The thing is, I didn’t ever talk much about our problems. But really, not many people do. I tried to see the best in everything, focus on the good stuff, and do what I could to make the bad stuff, better.

But it didn’t work and this is where I am now. I’m hurting, healing, and trying to smile, all at the same time. But back to my point, I’ve been quiet, but I don’t want to be.

I asked a friend of mine, why? If I have all these ideas, plans, content, and things to say, why am I feeling so restricted and closed off. She asked me if I had blogged about my divorce yet. And the simple answer was…

no.

She told me I was feeling inauthentic. She said that I wasn’t feeling up for sharing, blogging, and talking because I didn’t share about the divorce yet. And she was right.

So this is me, sharing. This is me opening up and being vulnerable about the hardest thing I have been through thus far. And you know what?

It’s still hard and it really hurts. But I want to heal. I want to grow. I want to be the me that loves, cares, and always finds a way. So that is what I’m doing.

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I’m finding my way, slowly. It’s a painstaking process and it’s far from over, but I’m doing it. And it’s not going to last forever. And you know what else? I’m gaining courage and strength from it.

And these things are coming from unexpected sources. For example, I made a public announcement about our divorce on Facebook, (partly because I have shared so much about Nick and I on Facebook throughout the years and also partly so I wouldn’t have to retell the story forever,) and I can barely begin to tell you how many people reached out to me.

Some pretty close friends had been through a divorce, and I had no idea. Others are literally going through the exact same thing as me, right now.

Perspective.

We are not alone in this world. We are not the only ones facing hardships. And when we share our story, it opens us up to additional support and love from our people.

I realize this also may open me up to scrutiny. Questions of, “Did you fight for your marriage?” were hard to hear.

All I know is this was the right thing. I don’t feel a “huge sense of relief,” and I’m not sure I ever will. But I do know one thing.

Time moves us forward, whether we like it or not. All you have to do it put one foot in front of the other, each day. And eventually the hurt and the memories will fade. The future plans you looked forward to will be changed into new plans and become a new life.

And this will be just another part of the past. I just remind myself to leave it there, so that I can look forward to my future.

Thanks for reading, following me on this journey, and supporting me. XOXO

 

Where we are now: Houston, TX

Hello from Houston! It’s my first time in Houston and Nick’s first in Texas,. The weather is Fall-like and the people are nice. We are here through the end of the week but I’m sure you want to know what we’ve done for the past 6 or so weeks, so here it is

After Cocoa Beach, it was on to our old stomping grounds in Delray Beach ,Florida. We spent a lot of time with friends, a little time in the sun, and Nick kept busy with work in the office. It was all around a great time and we were so happy to visit.

The first weekend we were back, we went to a friend’s wedding. We enjoyed visiting with our close friends, Lance and Dana, and it was such a fun way to spend our first weekend back.    

The second weekend was filled with more friends, Lisa and Corey, and drinks. The boys had beer, the girls had wine, and we all had a great time. We also had a lasagna dinner with the same friends and spent that Friday night with them at a happy hour as well. We love our Corey and Lisa time!

The next weekend we spent a lot of time in. Haha, so very Emily and Nick of us. We read a lot, I worked and cooked, we got a little sun, took naps, and watched shows. It was a good time.

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We ate our faces off at Thanksgiving and went home with legit three bags of leftovers. It was so good, I could eat Thanksgiving dinner every month. And we spent the holiday with Ami, a girl from my church and prayer group, and her family. It was a great time and we were blessed to have been invited. We went out with Dana and Lance that weekend to Cooper’s Hawk, a winery that Nick and I love and turned our friends into fans, too. The wine was delicious and the food was, too.

We couldn’t believe it but it was already the last weekend of our stay, and Nick’s work Christmas party! He works with Corey, so we spent the bulk of our night with them, again. And loved it. Check out the picture, family Christmas card or what? LOL, so fun!

These weekends were super fun and the time with our friends was priceless. I even cooked up a bunch of Chinese food and had everyone over for a feast. We love our Florida friends! However, as fast as we got there, it was time to go, and we were out!

Next stop was Destin Beach, Florida. I have never been before but we enjoyed it. We went to a couple of wineries, walked on the beach, and enjoyed a night in with shows, and cooking as it rained. As fun as it was, it was also very real, and really sad. We visited Panama City Beach and Mexico Beach, both of which were demolished during Hurricane Michael. What a great reminder to be thankful for what you have!

And now, Houston. We have been here for a couple days and will be here a couple more. San Antonio is next and on the way to Sun Lakes, AZ by Christmas to visit my Mom and step-dad, Randy, and see the new house.

I probably won’t update you again until after the holidays so have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I wish you a blessed 2019 and remember to keep working hard, and never stop praying! XOXO

Where Are We Now: Beech Mountain NC

We just got here and I’m so excited. The weather is perfect, the sites are beautiful, and we will be here for a whole week. Eeeeeek!

But let me back up. Where have we been? Everywhere! In Wisconsin, that is. We spent the last two months visiting friends and family, and it was the best.

After leaving Nick’s BFF and fam in De Pere, WI, we went to

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My dinner helper Ava, and a fellow lover of eating frozen,  frozen corn=)

Sheboygan and enjoyed a night of dinner and dancing. A wedding, we went to a wedding. It was so fun and pretty with shimmery rose gold and navy blue. Congrats to the Riste’s!Screenshot_20180916-201514

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Go Brewers!

Next it was off to the Brewer’s game with some of my favorite fans. These girls and I have been causing mischief for almost 20 years together and we always will. Cheers to the next 20 and Go Brewers!

Next was a whirlwind week in the Milwaukee area. There was trivia, lots of trips to the library for work, more work for my mystery shops, Nick had lunch with an old work buddy, and then golfing and lunch with another, and I even helped someone move! Well not move, but I did organize a closet.

After that we spent a weekend with my nanny family, the Bowes, in Hartland. We went to see Jameson, the oldest child and the one I used to nanny for, play flag football.

They even won! Then it was off to apple picking and spending the rest of the night together. The next day the Bowes hosted a Packer party so we got some good eats, drinks, and fun with the other Packer lovers.

Then it was a day in Lake Geneva for another (work) library and some more shops. I went hiking and loved it. Lake Geneva has a public path around the whole lake. If you’ve never been and you love hiking, you must go. We spent a couple last days in Beloit, a dinner out with friends and then a dinner in with friends and we were out! (of Wisconsin that is.)

For the last two nights we were in Cinncinati, living it up! )In reality, we went to the gym IMG_20180928_213157and worked a lot.) But we also did our monthly wine tasting and I cooked in the hotel. One hand-sized skillet and a hot plate is all you need to make a meal from scratch. Ha. It’s true and it totally worked, but I had to do everything in about 5-6 different batches when I normally would have done it all in one. It was fun thought and tbh, I impressed myself.

Well that’s about it for now. We’re officially back on the east coast time and still sleeping until 8 AM. Sometimes you just need more sleep! I for one cannot wait to hike, cook, nap, explore, and have some full work days this week.

I think the only other time I spent in the mountains was in Panama and I loved it. I cannot wait to see what this week brings, yay! Thanks for reading, you’ll hear from me again soon. Have a great week!

(Written on Sunday 9/30)

The Oils That Save My Skin After A Sunburn

It’s almost late September and it (sometimes) feels like Fall, I’m in Wisconsin for a few more weeks, and I accidentally got sunburnt just 3 days ago. Ugh. This is what I did.

I used oils. Yup, my trusty essential oils. And the burn, and my lobster red skin, were 90% recovered by morning. No joke. This is what happened.

I was with some of my favorite friends since high school and we all went to a Brewers game. It. Was. HOT. I’m talking sun without clouds, almost 90 degrees, and the littlest of breezes you ever did feel. I use sunscreen religiously so I did apply!

I slathered on sunscreen..that is on my legs, arms, and shoulders, a spot I always know IMG_20180917_120539gets too much sun. But I forgot to get my face, and I forgot to get my upper chest, and DAMN did I get a burn. I meant to sunscreen my face and chest, but one distraction later, and I forgot. That night, it hurt.

But after getting back from the game, I showered my sunscreen off, and added three essential oils with a carrier oil to my burnt parts, mostly my face, chest, and shoulders. My forehead and hairline was the worst by far but like I said, three applications and a good nights sleep and my skin was cured!

I should have taken a before and after because looking at my face yesterday made it hard to believe how red I really was. But if you need to save your skin from a burn (or if you peel,) use this blend and you will be good to go!

Sunburn Saver

  • 1 drop Lavender
  • 1 drop Frankincense
  • 1 drop Copaiba
  • ½ squirt of Sweet Almond Oil (or carrier oil of choice)

Mix this combination in the palm of your hand and apply to your face or any sunburned area.

I’m telling you, this blend will take your skin from tight, hot, and red to better in just a few applications. Be careful in the sun, but if you do get a burn, save your skin with these oils!

 

We’re Going On An Adventure

Otherwise known as our life. And we leave in less than two weeks! (Actually move from our apartment in South Florida to become gypsies, digital nomads, or like I like to call it, Airbnb’ers!)

I can hardly believe it. What once was a thought of, talked through, pipe dream is fast becoming our reality, and I cannot wait to tell you about it.

First things first, a little about my story. My hubby and I are anything but traditional. We moved and lived to Panama for 6 months early in our dating life. We came back and got married on the sly. And then, once we were back (home,) Nick found himself his dream job and we left and moved to Florida.

And today, we are coming up on almost three (HOT) years in Florida. It’s really crazy how fast it went. Wow.

And now, we’re on to the next!

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Wisconsin

We plan to spend most of August and September back home (in Wisconsin,) almost all of October traveling, November back here in the Florida life and by Christmas we will be to my mom and step dad’s in Arizona. Whew!

From there, we plan to spend most of  2019 on the west coast. We have lots of love for California, Washington and Oregon, and are excited to visit new states and areas, too!

The end of this year will go fast and there are so many things I am looking forward to. A Brewer’s game back home, seeing friends and family, walking on the lake path in Lake Geneva and my favorite egg rolls ever are just the beginning.

Maybe I should back up and preface all of this with, both my husband and I have the ability to work remotely. Travel and seeing the nation (and the world!) is on both of our hearts and with the remote work option, neither of us can say exactly where we want to live “forever” or where we want to be even for now. We want to see, and be, in it all!

We talked about this life, this dream, this possibility..all the way back when we lived in Panama. Truly, that feels like a long time ago. It’s crazy how much time has passed, how many things have changed, and all that has happened to us in the last five years.

And now, we both are in completely new professions that hold our passions and allow us to live out our other passions, too, like spending time with our people and traveling. old-1130743_1920

Life has not always been easy and sometimes, it still isn’t. But things happen and you have to be flexible, and be as positive and patient as you can!

I am so excited. It’s hard to believe. But for now, I must go. I need to pack my life, my place, and my suitcase! (We’re off to Vancouver Canada at the end of this week for 10 days,) and we move three days after coming back. Oy! Oh yes, and don’t forget about that work life, too!

Thanks for reading and do me a favor and put in a prayer for us! Life may not have turned out like we “wanted it to,” or even how we thought it would. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t turned our exactly how it was supposed to.

I can’t wait to share this journey with you and all of my continued love for natural everything, delicious food, God, workouts, friends and family, travel and everything else Emmy!

XOXO

Happy 33rd Birthday to my BFF! (And 33 Fun Facts About Her)

Happy Birthday, BFF!

This girl. My BFF. I love her! me and bff

Here are 33 facts for my best friend’s 33rd birthday:

  1. Her birthday is July 5, 1985. She is 9 months younger than me.
  2. Jill loves the Fall.
  3. Jill has lived in CA for the better part of 10 years.
  4. Jill is from Wisconsin.
  5. We met freshman year of high school, she was 14, and I was 15, almost 20 years ago!
  6. Jill loves cheese.
  7. Jill hates coconut and mosquitoes.
  8. Jill loves Lake Tahoe.
  9. We used to pass notes back and forth in class in high school, I still have some of them!
  10. We have been in St. Louis, MI, Jacksonville, Miami, and Delray Beach, FL, San Antonio, TX, Las Vegas, NV, San Diego, Novato, Los Angeles, Petaluma, Sonoma, and Napa, CA together. And so many other places=)
  11. Her favorite color is blue.
  12. Jill loves to read romance novels and Jodi Piccoult.23755537_1918597448391794_5366075461544281775_n
  13. We take walk and talk dates when we’re together.
  14. We both love Reece’s Pieces.
  15. Jill’s favorite animal is the elephant.
  16. Jill always thinks she wants highlights in her hair but she never likes them.
  17. Jill’s middle name is Gail, after her mom.
  18. Jill got straight A’s her first semester of grad school.
  19. In high school, Jill was a swimmer and a soccer player.12141752_433271540214377_1784174630986696769_n
  20. In high school, Jill and I rode the bench together during basketball.
  21. Jill is married with two fun, spunky, and beautiful little girls.
  22. Jill calls me Emily Louise and has since high school.
  23. Jill “stole” my boyfriend in high school. Well, she didn’t really steal him but she dated him after me, and for a while. Oh, high school. HAHA
  24. Jill married her coast guard sweetheart in Las Vegas, his hometown.
  25. Her motto- “Treat everyone how you want to be treated.”
  26. We love Chipotle.
  27. Jill and I have the same dragonfly tattoo, along with three other friends of ours from high school. We all got a different color.
  28. Jill grew up in Delevan, WI, and that’s where we met.
  29. We both love to watch lifetime movies, comedies, rom coms, and scary movies. We like movies.
  30. 22894021_1840464036174313_7927404288637668535_nNeither of us likes clothes shopping.
  31. Jill hates the heat as much as I do but is cold whenever there is a breeze.
  32. Jill loves HGTV and spends her free time “dreaming” and looking for houses realtor.com.
  33. Jill is very close to her family and the best friend ever!

Give me BFF the happiest of Happy Birthday’s! This girl would do anything for anyone, and is an amazing mom and friend.

I love you, Jill! Happy Birthday!!