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The Happiness Project

April 02, 2012

I am reading what might be one of my favorite books ever. The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin is a remarkable book.

I love the full title: The Happiness Project Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun.

Now, why am I reading this book…

I’d heard about this during last year’s Making Things Happen tour. Someone mentioned that the book had a lasting affect on them. And well, who doesn’t want to be happier. I always want to be more organized, a better cook, a more “present” person, etc etc etc but I haven’t really thought about being happier in general.

In the big scheme of things, I’ve got it pretty awesome: I’m married to my high school crush, I’m a mama to the cutest little boy ever and I work from home doing work that I love.

But sometimes I take all of that for granted and I complain. I throw in the towel and get frustrated that I have to manage Brady and work all at once. I get annoyed with Bryan because he leaves his shoes scattered across the living room every night after his run. I sigh at my full inbox.

And I don’t want to. I know, in my gut, how blessed I am. I just want to know it every minute of the day. I want to feel that genuine gratitude as much as possible and teach Brady the same. I want to love, give, serve more.

So I am reading The Happiness Project. Gretchen Rubin was a clerk for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized her life’s purpose was to be a writer. She decided to take a year of her life and devote it to The Happiness Project – a quest to be happier and more “present” every day.

I’m starting Chapter 3 and it’s already made an impact on my everyday. Chapter 1 focuses on clearing clutter and ridding your home and workspace of excess. I do a pretty good job of this generally, so I whizzed through this section. (I get great satisfaction out of prancing through my house with a big black trash bag gathering things to give away. Its bizarre). Chapter 2 focuses on marriage. It reminds me a lot of the book Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs. You should check that one out too. (Thanks G)

One of my favorite parts from Chapter 2 is Gretchen’s goal to be ridiculously nice to her husband for an entire week: no nagging, no frustration, only love, hugs, admonishment, compliments, etc. She had to be nice even when she really didn’t want to. Now, of course, she didn’t tell him that she was doing this – but it underscored her idea that (and I love this SO MUCH – I need to eat these words)

ACT THE WAY YOU WANT TO FEEL.

When she acted more loving and caring towards her husband, she found that she felt a lot more tenderness towards him. I love this so much. I may or may not be trying this with Bryan right now : )

More updates as I get through this book. It really is worth checking out.

xo,

Emily

PS: Speaking of happiness, apply for the Making Things Happen Scholarship before its too late! Contest ends tonight!

PPS: Right now, Brady is singing (well, it sounds like “da da daaa daaa” and “uh oh uh oh uh oh”) the Veggie Tales version of Back Street Boys. Where is my video camera.

My team

March 13, 2012

One of the best ways to simplify and strengthen your busy day-to-day is by building a TEAM for yourself.

My type-A personality tends to let me believe I can do it ALL by myself sometimes. But I wouldn’t survive without Team Emily. I realize that sounds a little on the self-absorbed side. But I say Team Emily and not Team Ley Family or Team Brady because we’re each responsible for building up that support group around us to help us through our day to day. Our team might include family, friends, staff, nannies, neighbors, baby-sitters, house cleaning services (no really, they’re part of my team). This is one of the things we work through during the Making Things Happen intensive (our Spring tour is nearing sold out! Join us!)

Today I was watching Kara with Brady. (Ms. Kara is Brady’s girlfriend friend three days a week while I work). She’s so gentle and kind and creative and loving with him. She loves him like I do. And I thought to myself… thank goodness I have her on my team. She inspired this post : )

Who is on your team? For me, it’s my husband first and foremost. He makes me laugh like no one else. He encourages me and drives me nuts challenges me. But his ability to find humor in just about everything is so amazing. My mom and dad are on my team. My girlfriends are on my team. I wouldn’t survive without them checking in, scheduling Friday play dates, sending sweet texts and Hey-Tell messages (Hey-Tell is awesome). Kara is on my team and thank goodness for her. Marissa and Nicole are on my team (stay tuned for a formal introduction to Nicole soon!) and keep my businesses going all week long.

And the truth of the matter is, I pay some of those people to be on my team. I have my house cleaned twice a month. Some of the best money I spend thankyouverymuch.

The truth is, no matter how they get on your team – it really does take a village. So build your team. Let others help you – whatever your journey may include… allow yourself a team of amazing people to cheer you on and help you along the way. I’m so blessed and thankful for mine.

On that note, thank them often. To my “team”: you guys are amazing. Thank you so much for being in my corner.

xo,

Emily

Where did this toddler come from?

March 05, 2012

My family lives in Pensacola. Oh I miss them daily.

It really does take a village to raise a child. I look at my friends with multiple children in awe of how they do it. Then yesterday I was having a conversation with one of my best friends, Amy (who is starting a new blog soon!), mama to sweet Lily. We were talking about the difference between WAHMs and SAHMs and who has a more stressful job. Work at Home Moms (WAHMs) who might have someone to help watch “little one”but also have businesses to look after or Stay at Home Moms who don’t have a break or a business to tend to.

It occurred to me….once your plate reaches “FULL” (and that is a universal term for “at capacity”) it’s FULL, no matter how it got there. Add anything on top of that and your plate is still FULL. And you really need your “village” when that plate reaches a certain point. Perhaps the same can be said for having more than one little person in your family. I could be totally wrong here. But a friend of mine said to me the other day, “its much harder going from 0 to 1 (children) than going from 1 to 2.”

And no, we’re not having any new babies around here right now : )

Still, I wish so much that my family were nearby. A girl needs her mama, especially when she becomes one. We’re headed to visit them later this month!

Life with our sweet toddler is much different than life with a baby. Brady has started doing ALL KINDS of new things lately and they are keeping us on our toes. He loves cabinets, anything bite-sized (especially the dog food), taking 6-10 steps at a time and CLIMBING anything he can.

Good gracious.

And to top that off, poor little man is sick.

This is where my virtual village comes in. This first time mama needs some tips and tricks for soothing little B through this bug he has. Last night a popsicle (super healthy, right?) in the bathtub was just what the doctor ordered and put the first smile on his face we’d seen all night.

He is so pitiful (ahem… much like his daddy) when he is sick. And this is the first time he’s really been sick. All he wants is for me to hold him (yea, I won’t complain). We’re taking him to see his pediatrician this afternoon. I love this sweet photo below – though his cheeks are a much rosier red with a little fever right now – this one is an oldie but a goodie from a few weeks ago.

By the way, on Mondays, hop on over to the Making Things Happen Tumblr where I write weekly. I love this quote from Walt Disney – and what it means for mamas and business women (or even more if you’re both).

xo,

Emily

copyright 2018 emily ley