I Love You Because…


Four little words..with a lot of meaning…at least to us….

Dear Readers,

A few weeks ago I posted on my blog about a fight my husband and I were having.

It should be noted, I got his permission to write a post about it. It would be a really good way to start another fight if I posted about something and didn’t talk to him first and that’s kind of the opposite of what I am going for in our marriage.

I hate fighting with him, it’s scary and tense and it really SUCKS out loud. A lot of that has to do with my no-good horrible family of origin, AND I have worked really hard to overcome that. I have mostly done so, AND it is a work in progress.

This particular fight did lead us to better understanding of what we want for our marriage and what we want for each other.

A few days after that he came home with some dry erase markers and when I looked up there was a message on our bathroom mirror and it said, “I love you because you did the dishes”.  A simple message expressing his thanks. In one minute, I felt appreciated, loved and cherished with just one phrase. It may help you to know, my love language is words of appreciation. His love language is acts of service.

It doesn’t have to be action based. It can be, “I love you because.. you are silly” or
“I love you because you make me laugh harder than anyone ever has”.  It’s important to express love is expressed for what someone does and who they are.

I have tried a few different things over the years to help us be intentional in our marriage. I have read some books, other people’s blogs and watched speeches and listened to podcasts. We are incredibly blessed to have a good marriage AND we work at it. I have written a few things about it as well, but the truth is, as simple as this may seem, it is working for us.

I write messages on the mirror and he does too, when the mood strikes.. and there is no pressure to post every day so I think that is one of the reasons why it works.

I decided to post this because I thought it might help one of you.

My call to action to you? Find what works for you and your partnership, maybe you can write messages down in a notebook, or notes on the refrigerator. Maybe you can put notes in his/her lunch. Maybe you are overdue for a date night.

You may not know what they want or what will make them feel appreciated.

That’s a possible opening for a conversation about what they may want but are not getting from you. It can be scary yes, but maybe just maybe, you will come away from that discussion with a greater understanding of your partner and what they want, but most importantly, they will know you want to work on your relationship. It could be the mirror thing works for you too.

So the question is now, what will you DO, after you…

Think About it.

You’re Awesome… Yes YOU!

Dear Readers,

I am embarrassed to admit this, but there are times when I need a boost.

I think it would come as no shock that we all could, but when you are a motivational speaker and life coach sometimes that “boost” is a little hard to come by, especially since your goal is to raise others and advise them on how they can feel good about what they are doing and will do. Remember, my daily goal? “To inspire one person a day”

Some days are easier than others and today was not that day.  It was a tough day at work, and I was feeling frustrated, nothing terrible but definitely a difficult day, so I did a little self-care also known as retail therapy (within budget of course) and did some shopping.

I was trying on clothes and trying hard to decide, “Does this look sexy?” “Do I like it?” “Does it look good on me?”, and I must have been saying these things aloud because out of nowhere a very pretty woman who was nearby said, “Girl, you got it going on, curves, hips and you are just gorgeous, and that top looks amazing on you” I blushed a little and said, “Thank you, I appreciate you saying that. She smiled at me and then went back to her shopping and I went back to mine.

At the beginning of this post, I mentioned it was embarrassing to admit I needed that “kindness of a stranger” to reassure me about my own looks, why is that?

For two reasons.

  1. I did a show about how you vital it is for us ALL to embrace how we look and love it and cherish it (not even three months ago)
  2. My voice telling me that I am good enough, that I am sexy enough, that I am ENOUGH is not always enough.

I am working on that, but today, I was grateful for the stranger who cared enough to comment.

So on the off chance that you are having that day today, allow me to say to you, the following….

YOU ARE AWESOME! You are up to things in life that are hard and you are doing them every day and every day you get a little closer to that goal. I don’t know exactly what your goal is but I know you are getting there, bit by little bit. I got some advice a long time ago from the mother of my heart, the only mother I acknowledge and she said this,

I got some advice a long time ago from the mother of my heart, and she said has asked me this series of questions when I was stuck and not moving forward, which has been many times in my life.

“What do you want?

“What are you doing to get it?”

“How’s that working for you”

Three questions that help guide me in my daily life, so perhaps they will help you.

If you are having a rough time and feeling a little sorry for yourself, another piece advice (from Mom of course) is this, “You can have a pity party, just don’t stay there”

So whichever side of the spectrum you are on, you now have some tools and maybe even an action plan. Go follow that map you just drew and remember, you are doing WAY better than you think.

Think about it.

(This is a picture of me, very proud of my body)  I will be proud of my body tomorrow at 5 am (gulp) when I go swim to continue to show my love and self-care for my body. I post these pictures to help remind me of the evolution of love I have for my figure. I also post things in my blog, to make me accountable to the rest of you. bodyimageissuesnomore2016

Lock up your Phone, Open your Eyes!

CellphonejailDear Readers,

Back in January, I wrote a blog post asking the question: Are you addicted to technology?

In it, I talked about the last minute laissez-faire (laid back for the non French people) attitude pervasive in our society which leads us to cancel plans last minute.

For the curious, https://jenniferhastonsays.com/2017/01/26/are-you-addicted-to-technology/

Today, I am posing a different question.

What does your technology cost you? How much are you missing out on because you can’t or won’t put your phone down?

Perhaps a silly look you get from your daughter after she falls down the ninth time as she is learning to stand up and find her balance, bonus, she laughed at herself and then crawled over for a hug right after that. You might miss that your husband looked at you with a loving look after you said something because you were looking down at your phone. This has happened to me and to him, and the feeling you get when you realize that you looked lovingly at someone but they didn’t see it, you don’t really get that moment back. How about at a meeting at work, did you ask your coworker about their project, vacation or were you buried in your phone or laptop before the meeting started? (I was guilty of this today, but I am aware of it, so will strive to do better) – That’s all any of us can do.

As parents to a nine month old, alone time is so hard to come by and recently I said, we need to do something to protect it. We have actually instituted a no phone zone (we actually lock up our phones) at the dinner table so we can focus on family time and beginning as we mean to continue since we certainly want to teach her to connect and talk and laugh and play and listen.

I am going to be honest, It’s hard sometimes, and that realization in and of itself is scaring me enough to realize how important it is to share this idea and really work to revolutionize how we are interacting with each other as a culture and do our level best to focus on connecting in real life, not just on social media or via text.

I was having this discussion over dinner last week and again last night and neither of us had our phones out, “all we do is play on our phones and watch (insert your favourite streaming method here)” . I think that many of us are like that, and it’s okay in moderation but when was the last time you did an audit of your “phone use” ?

It might surprise you to learn how much time you spend on your phone. Do you check it 150 times a day? I found that hard to believe and then after doing an audit, I found I check it at least 50 times a day which seems excessive to me.

I can’t tell you what that looks like for you. Perhaps that means one night a week, you don’t use your devices between this hour and this hour, and maybe your goal is to actually be “bored”. There are studies that have pointed to great strides in creativity when someone gives their brain the space to “be bored”

Maybe you have the balance DOWN and don’t need a wake up call. But I know I need to be vigilant about this because it’s way too easy for me to pick up my phone and mindlessly scroll through the internet, I click on articles and say I will read that later. When was the last time you had a night without devices or you and your partner took a walk, yes it’s hot but do it anyway, or get in the car for a drive and look at the nature that surrounds us all that we don’t always appreciate.

When was the last time you had a night without your phone? How about the last time you didn’t watch Netflix? When was the last time you opted to put your phone down and not engage in battle an internet troll? How many times have you said, “one more episode?” and wound up watching three more?

Don’t get me wrong, I have my Facebook scrolling, Netflix intake just like everyone else, but much like my current eating plan of “I want a cookie so I will eat one cookie, in hopes that I will not want the entire package of cookies” I try to limit it, so I am spending more time with the three dimensional people and living and interacting with them and spending less time liking, commenting and digitally connecting.

How about you? What do you think your technology habit is costing you?

Think about it.

Baby Steps to Success



Dear Readers,

If you have been following me for a while, you will know that a few years ago my husband and I spent some time getting out of debt. For those that do not know, it is possible to live a life without debt. In this culture, we get sold a bill of goods that you must have debt to survive and thrive but it’s simply not true.

I digress, the reason I bring up the baby steps as a way to success is because while I was swimming my 12 laps in the pool this morning, I watched the Olympic level (to my untrained eye) swimmers in the 7 lanes next to me swim efficiently, kick, turn and come back to the other side and I marveled at their ability to do it so effortlessly, and found myself comparing my efforts to theirs.

Considering I am engaged in a true effort to stamp out unhealthy comparison (yep, there is such a thing as healthy comparison-long story short? It’s comparing yourself to your best possible self!) wherever I find it, this is frustrating but I stopped myself midstream (yes in the pool) and said, “hey, you have been swimming for exactly 3 months, of course you aren’t an expert, don’t be so hard on yourself.”

I then moved on with my workout but the thought lingered about how long I had been working out and “forming the habit” if you will. The truth is, I said I wanted to go to the gym once a week for almost 6 months before I actually did it, then I was having trouble coming up with motivation to actually go so there was a period of time there where I wasn’t going AT ALL, but I kept listing it as a goal. Then I got tired of it sitting there, taunting me.. “Yeah, you give all this advice, but do you take it? You talk about how taking care of your body is a key to having all around success, but you aren’t doing anything about it” Till finally, I said to myself, “ENOUGH”…. and two weeks ago, just got up early and started to do it. My reward? A Pepsi and a pop tart. It may seem like a contradiction in terms to work out and then eat fairly unhealthy food but stick with me. Right now, it’s a baby step to work out, eventually, I will move to fruit for breakfast.

The same concept applies to anything BIG you want to do. We paid off 40,000 in consumer debt (Lane Bryant, Target, VISA, My car, Student Loan, his car) and it took us three years and working 5 jobs between us to do it. It did NOT happen in a day. It took us THREE years, we also had to learn how to handle our money responsibly which took time as well. We didn’t start off by paying off debt, we learned how to budget first, we took stock of where our money was going and why we were spending 300.00 a month on restaurants.

Here is our debt free scream for the curious-

Now, many years later, it’s almost rote, we don’t even think about it. Let me amend that, we do THINK about it, but we don’t worry about it, we have a plan for our money, so why not for our fitness?

So, it stands to reason, baby steps worked there (astoundingly well, I should say) so with patience and time, and some pop tarts, we will likely see some pretty great strides on our health as well.

The picture above is a great image to think about it, it was my first night 5K and it sucked.. rocks everywhere and it turned out to be a 3K UGH, but the picture is of me accomplishing a goal (I kept going to make it a 5K) . I encourage you to do the same, take a picture when you are in the thick of things, so you can look back and say, look how far I have come.

Think About It.