Contentment vs. Settling

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Hi guys! Today is our third #TransparencyTuesday. I have been loving this series so much and value everyone's feedback, comments, and input! Today's topic had been something that I have been struggling with back and forth for the last year specifically, but really over the last few years.

Contentment vs. Settling. The two can easily be mistaken for the other, but they are very different. In desire to always be content in my circumstances, not looking to the right or to the left to see what others have/are doing/succeeding in, in order to feel good about myself. I want to stay in my lane and do the things I believe God is calling me to do. I want to be joyful and satisfied regardless of finances, job accolades, or relationship status simply by living intentionally following the path I feel God is leading me down. This is contentment to me.

However, I do not want to settle. Settling can simply be not pursuing your goals or dreams because you are leaning on the crutch of perceived contentment.I believe thats the cruch of comfort, not contentment. We get one life to live. And I don't believe that we are meant to sit back in comfort and just be "content"... not asking for "too much" from God. I'm not referring to monetary or material items, I mean for purpose, direction, community, and for God to use us in relationships and our industries to make a difference. I have heard people say to me "you need to be content where you're at" when I've asked for advice on my career, how I'm to move forward with job opportunities, or even as Chay and I have debated business decisions. Some peoples go-to advice is to "BE content". I agree this is great advice if it's clear someone is lacking contentment, reaching constantly for the next best thing to make them happy. But, what about for those that genuinely feel content in life and with God but still have drive for certain goals and dreams? This is how I feel.

Here's the thing. YES, Contentment is vital. It's key to feeling happy. BUT, when you feel content and at peace in life about how everything is going, truly satisfied in God and your relationships but still have a yearning and a desire towards new ventures or goals, DON'T SETTLE. God is not small and shouldn't be put in your box of things you think are feasible in life. He is God. If you are listening intently and He is guiding your steps through faith, you can trust Him. You can have contentment and still dream for the future, and ask God to focus those dreams and efforts. This is not selfish or lacking contentment. 

I struggled with whether or not I was simply lacking contentment or just settling over the last year and a half as I lived in Redondo Beach, where we had moved for a period to try out being closer to friends and family as well as Chay's work. I was not happy, I felt isolated, lonely, and bored and felt as if life was passing me by. It seems dramatic to say that, but for me, being around people who have similar passions, aspirations, and hopes for the future is essential to my feeling connected. I would get down on myself because I felt a yearning to move, but knew how good I had it where I was at. I knew I was so blessed but also felt like living here wasn't our path. I knew there was more but felt so guilty asking for it. Have you ever felt that way? These feelings of guilt and shame are not from God. I learned that I was not discontent, I felt like I was settling.

Once I realized I was restless because God was calling me out of where I was, things became so much easier. I could trust that if He had something for me, He would provide it. I chose not to settle but remained content with the outcome. When He provided the means for us to move despite all the odds against us, we KNEW we were affirmed in our thoughts and feelings.( If you dont yet know the story of how God arranged for us to move, check out this post.)

 
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Are you content with where God has you, yet still yearn for more out of life? I believe this is choosing not to settle.  Push on towards the things He has laid on your heart. It is not a coincidence that you have certain passions and traits. Play to your strengths and trust God in the process of how we will use them to create community, influence. and purpose in your life. 

Or Are you feeling like you are settling? Does it feel overwhelming to take the steps that you know you have to take to have the life you believe God has for you? I encourage you to trust that God is so much bigger than you/ or I give Him credit for.  I truly believe that we need to take steps in order for God to direct those steps and change our course. However, we need to move, we need to trust, and we need to seek Him first because at least for me, I feel lost when I don't. 

There is a huge difference  between settling and feeling content. I also want to encourage you to be honest with yourself and figure out if you are truly settling when you have convinced yourself you are content, almost wearing it as a badge of honor. Being" okay"  with your circumstances is great but don't cheat yourself out of the wide open life that God has for you by believing that you are content when you are really just settling. I have been there and it sucks.  That mind set only keeps you from pursuing the life you know you could lead if you got a little uncomfortable by deciding not to settle! 

What do you think? I would love to know the experiences you have had and if you agree or disagree. I love your input! 

See you in a couple days guys! 

xo, Kim

 

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Motherhood: My Honest Thoughts on Having Kids

Me and my fur babies:)

Me and my fur babies:)

Motherhood: My Honest Thoughts on Having Kids

The topic of motherhood and having kids is something that is very relevant to my life right now as so many of my friends and family are having children. I turned 30 this year, and it seems as every year passes since I have gotten married (at 26), more and more people ask me when I too am going to have kids. To be honest, it doesn't bug me the way I know it bugs other women who are asked, but it does give me a little anxiety because I am just not there yet. At times, I also sense judgment from some who don't think my answer of "not now" is good enough. I feel like I get one of two responses when I tell people "Not for a while!" -

1."What are you waiting for? You'll never be prepared for it! Nothing can prepare you for this so why not just start now while you're young? You don't want to be older having kids, it's hard enough as it is!": which also makes me wonder why people have kids because this doesn't seem like a super positive response. I also feel like if I know I am not wanting kids now, why force it simply because I don't want to be "old" having kids. I'm not talking 40's, just early to mid thirties. That's not even in the. "danger zone" and people still try and talk me out of it. I'm not married to any specific age, I just know I'm not trying for kids right now.

Another response I get is:

2. "Taaaaaake your time honey, parenthood is foreverrrrr. If I could have gone back, I would have waited till I traveled more/ established my career/ spent more time with my husband. You can't return them!":  Which of course makes me think motherhood sounds miserable, something I may want to avoid, and possibly makes me feel like I would regret it based on some of these women's responses. 

The Itch

The thing is, I am not afraid of having kids. If I found out I was pregnant, I would totally roll with it and prepare myself for the new lifestyle change and all that comes with having kids. However, Chay and I are both not in the space where we desire kids yet. We don't have the itch! In fact I don't even know what that feels like. I have never longed for children, but I did assume I would have kids. To be honest. we have discussed the idea of not having kids at all. We both don't want to do things simply because that's just "what you do" at a certain age. I never want to live my life that way. I want to do what feels right to Chay and I as we pray for our future and ask God for guidance. If I am not feeling it at all, I'm not forcing it. We love the idea of a family, and if God has it for us, it will happen in due time.

Family Dynamic

I have had the blessing of getting to see siblings and many close friends become parents. When you get to see others parent, it's truly impressive because it looks (and is) exhausting, yet they keep doing it ("because you can't return them!") with so much love. However, when you're an onlooker, it just seems daunting. I know that sounds horrible, but it just looks overwhelming and tireless. I get anxious and stressed out thinking about it. Also, I'm one of 5 and all of us are hoping to have our moms help. But my mom can only do so much and in my heart, I don't think it's fair to take all her time up with babysitting once we all have kids. She raised her kids (and God bless her because she did it with a full-time job raising 5 kids) and now is her time to do whatever she wants. I know she loves it more than anything, but she is also super social and should have that time to do all the fun stuff she sacrificed for so long.  Only 2 of my siblings are parents so far, and it seems like whenever I talk to my mom she is with a grandkid or working, so I can't imagine when the rest of us have kids. I'm scared of not having the help I need from a trusted source. Even if I can afford help, it's not the same as a parent who loves your kid like you do. I can't even leave my dogs with strangers, I can't imagine my own baby.  I don't want my mom stretched thin and I also don't want to take help from my other siblings when and if I need it, so this also makes me nervous.

Isolation

This is probably my biggest fear. Losing contact with many friends and losing my identity by being "mom" all the time, when there are so many parts to me that I care about. I want to keep working, but my work isn't as regimented so wouldn't allow me to get out by going to an office. I blog and model/act so while I get back into shape, which takes a bit, I would not be getting modeling jobs, and blogging is all done from home. I don't make money at this point from blogging to be able to justify paying someone to stay with my kid while I shoot/write which scares me because I dont want to give up something I love.  I know it's difficult to continue to work from home because there is little to no free time for moms. Am I just expected to drop all my aspirations and be chained to the house? I know the baby stages are just that, stages, but it seems like a long stage to be in and not get totally discouraged.  I am a big people person and find energy being around other like minded people. I love spending time with people and don't want to become a recluse simply because it's easier to be at home. I know this is not good for my soul or my emotions. I learned that from being in Redondo Beach which was isolating enough and I didn't even have kids.  I know in my heart that God would carry me through this time and that I would most likely love being a mom, but every moms experience is so different and I won't know till I am one which scares me.

Marriage

This is one of the smaller fears for me because I have so much faith in Chays ability to be an amazing father, and it's something I know would resolve itself in time. I love my marriage and have so much fun with Chay. It's also taken a long time for us to truly get on the same page emotionally and mentally in order to meet the needs of the other person. Communication hasn't been our strong suit in the past and I really don't want having kids to make us go backwards. We have been forced to face hard things in our marriage due to outside circumstances that have caused incredible amounts of pain and stress, and I fear that having a child will put us in the stressed out/ non communicating boat again. For me, that is prison and I feel most hurt and isolated when Chay and I aren't on the same page, talking openly, and laughing together.

All in all, I know I am going to make a great mom because I know how much I love and care about people. Having children would only magnify that for me. It's more of the early stages that scare me due to the restrictions on time, freedom, identity, and having my creative outlets but I also know everything in life is "figureoutable". I also know Chay is going to be the best dad and I want to see that because I think that will be a huge blessing.

Does anyone else feel this way? I'm assuming yes, but I would love any input you might have if you felt this way and had kids, don't have kids yet, or you decided you aren't going to have kids and have input on why. I am so curious and would love any feedback on the matter! I read your comments and will be responding to them all today. Thank you for reading and being a part of this community!! 

xoxo, Kim

 

Not Allowing Past Failure Shape the Future

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Not Allowing Past Failure Shape the Future

For the start of my "Real Talk" series, I am opening up about my past failures and sharing how I have not allowed it shape my future. I have been wanting to do this type of content for a while, and although I do sprinkle it in from time to time, I felt like it was time to get more regular with the vulnerable stuff. I am pretty open in general and love to go deep fast, so these topics have been on my heart and mind from the get-go. 

I love fashion, interiors, beauty, etc., but don't only ever want to talk about the latest and greatest. It's cool and beneficial to get recommendations from a trusted source and all, but life is hard and I need realness and community when it comes to issues like body image, comparison, motherhood and when to have kids, career, feeling like a loser when everyone else looks like they are kicking ass, family life, or even funny stories that are horrifying that might be kinda inappropriate (hehehe). Do you feel me? I wanted to start Transparency Tuesday as a way to connect with you guys and for you to hopefully feel understood, and feel like we are apart of the same loving community. I have a passion for people, specifically women, to feel loved, welcomed, accepted, and embraced when so often there is so much competition and comparison. I hate that. I really desire to create acceptance here, even if just through my own experiences so you can feel like "hey! I thought I was the only one that felt that way!". 

I'll jump right in on today's post because I don't want this to be an essay. 

I have been thinking a lot lately about how I have let my past decisions and circumstances dictate my confidence in moving toward my goals. The way we view ourselves and the labels we create about WHO we are can be so damaging if we are judging ourselves harshly based on moments in the past. I know for me this is so true. I tend to not give myself credit on the many things I HAVE accomplished and set my mind towards, I think of the things that I fell short in. Why is that? It's similar to when we hear a bunch of compliments but only remember the one negative thing someone said. The negativity really has a way of camping out in our brain and hearts reminding us of how much we suck, how ugly, fat awkward, or talentless we are. Why is that? Why are we so comfortable allowing the lies to stick around and having amnesia about ALL OF THE AMAZING things we have to offer that make us capable and able to achieve our aspirations?

I'll give you the example in my life that I have continually circled back to no matter how damaging or untrue it may be.....Sooo I have this idea of myself that says I am a quitter and I just wasn't born to be the best at anything. That "it" will never happen for me, whatever goal I am pursuing, I will get close but things won't pan out. I am meant to be "okay" at things and mildly successful at the things I pursue, not because I am talented, but because I work hard. I have this fear of going all out towards things because I'm afraid that it will turn out how my college Water Polo career turned out. I worked my ass off but regardless of my efforts, I sucked. Or at least I was told I did.  I joked about it too as a way of self- protection and laughed it off, always being the butt of every self-deprecating joke. ..But it hurt and I really tried. I only made fun of myself so I was the first to the punch, but I cried a lot in private and really felt like a loser.

I was a member of the UCLA women's Water Polo team which was #1 in the country. I was only on the team because I pursued the coach for months, selling myself and my ability to grow and be coached. I was a good player where I was from, but on a national stage, I simply was not good enough. My coach accepted me as the 5th person in the incoming freshman class on what I perceived to be a whim and hope that I would rise to the challenge.  

College was amazing but being an athlete on a team made up of Olympians and the best players in the country was intimidating. Not only that but a few girls on the team were pretty mean no matter how hard you tried or how nice you were... they were just mean. For no apparent reason, I guess, other than their excuse of "hazing". I listened too closely to those voices that told me how much I sucked and worthless I was. I laughed and had a "good attitude" about it, but was broken down. I decided to keep pushing, and the following year only a couple of the mean girls were left. I lifted weights extra on the side, I swam during offseason to get faster and looked after the recruits to try and be as helpful on the leadership side of things as I could be. I wanted to fill my role of being the positive, entertaining, and uplifting one as best as I could, but still had hopes of getting good enough to gain the respect of my teammates and coach. 

Celebrating after we won another NCAA title

Celebrating after we won another NCAA title

By my senior year, I was one of the fastest on the team and was the heaviest lifter. I thought, "now is my chance". I had gotten pretty good and was confident in who I was as a player and leader. Yet, It only took a few games and a couple mistakes once the season started to completely crush my confidence. My coach took me out after one particular game in MIichigan where I was starting and didn't put me back in for the rest of the tournament. I knew it was over. I didn't think I had anything left to keep fighting for, I felt like I fought for as long as I could and climbed my way to the top just to be benched and I felt as small and insignificant as I did walking on that deck for the first time my freshman preseason. I quit days later just two months before my senior season ended. 

I look back on that time as I pursue new ventures, and when I start to get insecure the lies come roaring in: "you have never really been good at anything, just ask your teammates" "you quit when things get hard" "you aren't talented" "things don't work out for you" "you aren't one of the cool girls" ....I know these are lies but at one point I truly believed them. Even in my modeling career, I have struggled with feeling "good enough". I was the "commercial face" that could be a little "thicker". I always felt like my agents doubted me as well by the way they spoke to me. 

"We will give it a shot and see! These clients like more normal looking girls" 

"Let's see if the plus division could get you some work, you're kinda in between sizing."

"If you could lose 15 pounds I bet you would do a lot more catalog. Or you could gain 40 and kill it in the plus size market. "

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I would hear these things and go "oh great, it's just me. I am not meant to really succeed at anything. I am just going to be 'good enough'." I kid you not, these lies stayed with me because I never looked at how far I have come, I focused on how and where I fell short. With my water polo career, I dont focus on the fact that I got 3 NCAA championships, I remembered the harsh words and quitting. Instead of telling myself its pretty damn cool I got signed to Wilhelmina models as my first agency, I would focus on the fact that I was called "thick" (I mean come on its hard not to remember that one!)

Can you relate? What parts of your story are you echoing to yourself? Are you forgetting the impressive, hard-earned parts? 

Here's the thing. Life is full of ups and downs. It truly is how you handle the "downs" by tweaking things so that the next time you hit a rough patch, you are a little more prepared to make a better choice/ do something different/stick it out/ etc. I created this label for myself that said I was a quitter. Well, now I have a hard time quitting anything because I don't want that label to be true. What I really should have done from the get-go is give myself grace and dig deep to truly look at the person I knew myself to be. Here are a few things I practice when I start to hear that all too familiar voice creep in telling me I am not good enough.:

1. RECOGNIZE that icky feeling of criticism come on. For me, I get anxious all of a sudden. Once this happens, I am able to think "hmm this is not normal, whats going on with me? What just happened that made me feel this way?"

2. PINPOINT the root of what's triggering this feeling so you know how to combat the fear with truth. For me, sometimes it's when I see someone's new post with x brand and feel like I'm behind in my career. I get anxious and have to figure out what made me feel that way first and then ask myself why does it trigger me that way.

3. RECALL some highlights of your life (that could be anything from sports accolades to an amazing home life you have built with your family to degrees you worked hard to get)  to remind yourself that you ARE CAPABLE, STRONG, RESOURCEFUL, SMART, AND WORTHY of success.  

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As I have been more intentional about taking my thoughts captive and getting to the root of them, I have noticed a much healthier mindset that is forward thinking. I can trust myself and I know now that  I am not a quitter.

What do you know to be true about you? What do those that love you and know you best say about you? Allow those things to combat the lies that creep in about who you are. I hope this resonates with you and encourages you that you are not alone if you feel stuck at times, not sure of yourself. I have been there too! I'll see ya back here in a couple days.

xo, Kim

 

 

 

Surviving Suburbia- Why We Have Moved So Much in 4 Years

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Surviving SuburbiaSo this topic seems like it would have a super clear and specific answer like a job transfer or something. But in reality, the a big reason Chay and I have moved 4 times in 4 years is that we have wanted to try out different areas before we have kids because both our jobs allow the freedom. One of the specific reasons we are moving this time around from Redondo Beach back up to LA, is that we felt it was too soon to be in such a quiet area that is so set apart from most of the city. We were trying to be "smart" for our future as well as our finances by moving to RB because we had the opportunity to purchase a great home in a popular area for an insane price. Regardless, we decided Suburbia wasn't for us juuuust yet, but it might be in the future and we are open to where God has us.

dtla

In case you are new to the blog, I'll rewind a bit. When Chay and I first got married, we lived in Redondo Beach because that's where my family was and it's where we lived prior to getting married. After a few months we had the itch to try something new and Chay found an awesome place in DTLA. To my surprise he was more than willing to move, so we shopped around and found an awesome apartment where we lived for almost a year. We fell in love living in Downtown. It was so fun being closer to my twin sister who lived in Silver Lake and good for our marriage to be a little farther from my family just because it made us rely a lot more on each other. (I am best friends with all my siblings and LOVE my parents, but sometimes that becomes your only group if you never branch out and I needed more than just familial relationships.) Instead of filling every spare moment with childhood friends and family, we did things just the two of us much more often. We grew to be so much closer and had the best time as friends and husband and wife. We also got to enjoy the diversity, culture, and less manicured aspects of living in the city, and we both really loved that. It's so easy to live in a gorgeous place like Palos Verdes (where I grew up), where seemingly nothing bad happens (and I feel so blessed to have grown up here!)  and forget that there is a lot of hardship and injustice happening not so far away. (There is zero judgement on people living in these beautiful areas by the way. I just think for us at our age and the things we love to do and be involved with, it feels right to be in LA.)  I liked being more aware of it and it truly reminded me how blessed I was and made me want to get involved with organizations. That perspective really changed things for me.

echo park

Like I said, we lived in DTLA for a year and then decided it was time to buy a home. We ended up in Echo Park. I loved how diverse the neighborhood was and how so many people were creatives because its important for me to relate to those around me. We loved our home as well and felt we could live there for a while, but knew it wasn't ideal for kids because it had two sets of stairs and no yard. It was perfect for the two of us. After living here for about a year, Chay saw a house pop up in The Hollywood Riviera (a beautiful neighborhood in Redondo Beach that was central and near the beach)  at a great price and felt like it would be smart to rent out our Echo Park house and try out Redondo Beach. We both felt like it was a smart financial decision but worried about the drastic change to our everyday lives...or at lease I did. I am a super social person who thrives off of being around people I can relate to. I feared I would be isolated and bored, but wanted to give it a try for Chays sake to have less of a commute. We also loved the idea of remodeling this home and making it into our forever home possibly. To be honest, I think the idea of creating a custom forever home from scratch was tempting since I love interior design so much. I wasn't thinking enough about the fact that I would still be in an area that didnt feel right for us at that point in our lives.

redondo beach

Fast forward a year and a half. It's been a tough year for me because I did feel isolated, bored, and the drastic lifestyle change going from being around people with similar schedules and interests to not being around anyone with a similar schedule was hard. I am not a mom so it was hard for me to relate to my closest friends and family that had kids, even though I loved the idea of being close to them. At the end of the day I realized it doesnt really matter if you're down the street or 45 minutes away , we all have schedules, priorities, and lives to live which I so get. I didnt see anyone anymore than I did when I lived in Echo Park and it's then that I realized that it's okay if we moved again. 

silver lake

Chay and I are never not looking at Redfin for fun and/or for possible investment opportunities. We saw a few houses pop up that we loved, but  then they would sell in 24 hours for way more. We started to think maybe it wasn't Gods timing for us and became content with living in the South Bay and putting down more roots. We even started to plan our remodel. We said if God doesn't provide a place in the next 2 weeks, we were moving forward with the remodel and trust that that's Him closing a door. Well, the next morning Chay woke me up and said our dream home came on the market and we had to see it that day. I was like whaaaaa?! I was pretty content at this point with moving forward with the remodel and staying in RB. so this was a shocker/ I didn't even think it would work out because LA real estate is on fire right now and there are like 30 offers on every house. Long story short, tons of the design details I requested for the remodel for the RB home were in this Silver Lake home, for a great price, and 2 minutes from my twin sis! We put an offer in and waited for two weeks. We prayed and knew it would all work out just the way it was meant to and didn't offer more than we felt comfortable because we weren't trying to "will it" to be ours. We wanted God to work it out if it was meant for us. Well the craziest thing happened- The realtor called us and said we won the bid even though there were all cash offers for 50k more than ours. They liked us and wanted us to have it!! How insane is that??

I instantly felt at peace and knew this was the right place for us. We are so excited and are now making lots of plans for movers, have already rented out our RB home and are meeting with people to rent out our DTLA place.

I will keep you all updated on the move and all the design updates! Yay! We move March 22nd and I will be sure to take you guys with me during the moving day on insta stories. Ask me anything in the comments section if you have questions. See you back here in a couple days!

xo, Kim 

7 lessons for marriage on our 4 Year wedding anniversary

Chay and I in London during New Years!

Chay and I in London during New Years!

Wow, I cannot believe Chay and I have been married for 4 years already (and together for a decade!). If I am being honest, marriage definitely has its low points, but for the most part, from my limited experience, it is the best thing I have gotten to experience thus far in life. That is of course due to the man I married, who is my best friend and the person I would rather be with than anyone else on the planet. The struggle is real, but overcoming the struggle is what makes it so much sweeter. You end up growing so much with your spouse if both people are willing to listen and speak up, which is not always easy to do. We have a long way to go, but I wouldn't want to walk this journey with anyone else.

The Thing About Marriage...

The thing about marriage that has really helped me grow in my own relationship, is the understanding that two people are coming  from totally different upbringings and experiences, trying to lead a successful relationship with different tools. The fact that they come from different households, ways of doing things, ways of thinking, communicating, viewing life, viewing religion, giving and receiving LOVE, etc., just shows me that marriage is guaranteed to be a struggle, but a worthwhile one if both people are willing to recognize "their way" is not "the way", and adapt accordingly for the good of their marriage. This is a lesson I have had to get pounded into my brain through therapy, because I used to think my experiences with my family were the baseline for everything, and I would compare the way Chay would respond to something against that baseline to decide if he was wrong or right. HOW ANNOYING IS THAT?  I didn't even realize I was doing it! I just kinda thought that since I had a "Brady Bunch" family growing up that I must have the right perspective for relationship related things.. I would get annoyed at Chay at times for not responding to certain situations like my dad or brother (who I always looked up to), so it was wrong, right? NOPE. We're all so different. Chay and I just had such polar opposite experiences growing up, that the learning curve was a steep one.

iT'S ALL PERSPECTIVE...

Chay and I are on opposite sides of the communication spectrum. This has been one of our greatest struggles. To give a little perspective, I am the youngest of 5 and Chay is the oldest of 4. My family is extremely outspoken, affectionate, and communicative.  Chay's family isn't as much, so of course, that plays into how we communicate with each other. My parents are together and his are not, so that also creates a lack of being able to relate in certain areas. Chay's whole experience growing up was entirely different from mine, which caused him to be extremely self-sufficient, independent, resourceful, and to grow up really fast. Chay was going to have to make it on his own if he wanted to "succeed" in life. These were and still are so many of the qualities about Chay that I fell in love with, but also frustrated and hurt me at times. This is because in the early days of dating, he might disappear for a while, not need to see me, or wall up during tough conversations. It was hurtful, but I started to understand it wasn't about me, and he was more than worth it to hold out for as we figured out these issues. Despite our differences and backgrounds, Chay and I both look past each others frusturating qualities, because we feel each others' positive qualities far outway the not so good ones.

 

Lessons Learned...

There are so many things I have learned over the years, but these little learning nuggets have stuck with me. These are essential for me to practice because of all I mentioned above. If you are more similar to your spouse, these may not apply. Otherwise, try 'em out! I swear, at least a couple of these lessons are universal:)

1. It's not necessary to say what you feel, when you feel it. You won't explode or die, I promise. I used to feel like "communication" meant communicating IT ALL... ALL THE TIME. Ugh, exhausting. Sometimes it's good to zip it, not to think so hard, breathe, and drink a glass of wine. It might not be that deep. If it is deep, by all means, bring it to the table...but do so in a way that your partner will HEAR YOU.

2. This leads me to my next nugget. It's all in the DELIVERY. (except when it's not and they lie to you and say if you just said it calmly, they would listen, and then you approach them calmly next time, and you get the same reaction...Still figuring this part out...will get back to you) It doesn't always work, but many times, if I wait until I am less upset to bring something up, he is more apt to truly hear me. The tone, intention, and volume of your delivery have a lot to do with the success of the conversation. When I remain calm and realize Chay is not to blame, but I still need to express a certain feeling, our talks go much better.

3. Show him you appreciate him. This goes a long way. Men innately desire to give you the world and want us to be happy. They need to hear that we are and that they are doing a good job. I mean, dont we all need that? When I tell Chay he is killing it and I trust him and beleive in him, I can see that he feels more confident. Confidence is a powerful thing that can raise people up to great heights, but a lack of it can crush a person and paralyze them in life. Especially men. 

4. Dont lick your fingers. Just a quick little tip. Chay can't stannnnd when I lick my fingers. We have gotten in huge fights about this. NO JOKE. It's gross apparently. Guys, I'm learning okay?

5. Go ahead and go to bed angry. I MEAN, I don't prefer it but for goodness sake, if you're like me, you'll be talking to the wall in the middle of the night with your husband snoring because you dont know when to end it. I could go on forever, so yeah, take a rest, and schedule a time to resolve it the next day after you have cooled off. 

6. You can say you're too tired for sex, and the world won't end. Just be nice about it (and they might be too tired too! woohoo! jk jk)  Honestly, when I got married, I got some really terrible advice from women who said "NEVER SAY NO to your man. It's horrible, scarring for them" blah blah blah. NOPE. sorry, I am not buying it and neither does Chay! He thinks that mindset is so weird. I know I am lucky because we are both very similar in what we need now. But that advice is so unhealthy in my opinion because for so long I worried about what was "normal" and there just isn't such thing. You do what works best for your relationship. Sex is meant to be fun, not full of expectation or pressure or judgement. BAD ADVICE, don't listen ladies!

7. Check in and listen. Sometimes, I think and live so selfishly because I am living in my own head, knowing my own needs. But I need to remember to check in with the most important person to me and ask how he is doing, what's happening, if work is going good...Just basic stuff. And just listen. Don't speak. See what happens. If you really wanna get some info, go on a drive. Chay turns into a Chatty Cathy and I LOVE IT! 

 

But really...

Some of these are totally silly, but all of them are TRUE for me and my relationship. I am constantly learning and trying to grow in my marriage, and I screw up all the time. Thank goodness I married a gracious, patient, kind, and amazing man who is up to the challenge.  Chay and I both lean so much on Gods guidance in our life and marriage, which helps because we are on the same page with our faith and values. Faith is the backbone to our reationship and has helped us overcome a slew of extremely difficult circumstances. Without it, we would not be who we are. 

I hope you guys could relate to some of these things and if you have any tips that I left out, please comment below! I love some good relationship advice and know others would love it too!

xo, Kim

 

Our Christmas + What We Got Each Other

Merry Christmas everyone!

I hope you all had an amazing day whether you celebrated Christmas or not! 

We celebrate with my family early in the morning by going to my parents home at around 7 am (!!! which I know sounds crazy but its tradition and so fun!), read the Christmas story to refocus our attention on the real reason we celebrate, and then go around and open gifts. It's such a magical start to the day,  and even though we love getting gifts, we also understand that there is so much more to it. I feel so grateful and in disbeleif every year at how blessed we are when life could be so different, because it is for so many. I also feel humbled by the story of Christs birth and love reading the story every year as a family.

Gifts for Him

After my parent's celebration, Chay and I went home to do our own gift exchange and to chill a bit since it's been a busy last week with so many celebrations, I was sooo excited to give Chay his gift which was a huge portrait painting of our two sweet Vizslas, Cookie and Chloe. It's funny because it shows how in love we are with them, but it really means something to us because our dear family friend painted it for us (and she is an amazing talent! ) I will post about this painting when we receive it (it's still drying). I also gave Chay some clothes for our upcoming London trip (!!!) a new cologne, and an Everlane bag for travel or the gym.  He really doesn't like me to buy him a bunch of things or spend too much on him (snore, but I get it), so I really tried to think of gifts he would appreciate but not be overwhelmed by. He also isn't into designer stuff for himself (thank the Lord for that!) so clothes for him are purely for function.  I think he really liked his gifts and will definitely use them!

I rounded up Chays top gifts that are most useful for everyday life:

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1.  BANANA REPUBLIC PEACOAT (PERFECT FOR OUR LONDON TRIP!)

2. EVERLANE WEEKENDER BAG (SUPER CHIC AND CLEAN)

3. PRADA LUNA ROSSA EAU DE TOILETTE (SMELLS SO GOOD FOR MEN)

 

 mY GIFTS        

I was sooo excited to open my gifts, Chay did an awesome job! He always asks for some sort of wishlist, and I happen to have one of those on hand...at all times hahaha. Its called pinterest and Chay knows all about my dream list. BUT I always give a roundup of items I would love from $100 and up because I love all sorts of styles and brands and don't expect splurge gifts on every Christmas or birthday. Well, he did reeeeeal good and got me a combo of a dream list item, plus a practical blogging tool I have been wanting but didn't want to buy for myself since it is kinda pricey normally. So excited!

I have been dying over the over the knee Tielands by Stuart Weitzman for years and Chay got me the slate gray ones along with a diva ring light for filming my videos! So definitely expect to see more:) I am going to wear these boots to death, especially in London!

I did my roundup of favorite gifts below that I know I will use over and over:

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1. STUART WEITZMAN TIELANDS (SO PRETTY ON!)

2. DIPTYQUE BAIES OUTDOOR CANDLE (THE MOTHER OF ALL CANDLES)

3. SLIP SILK PILLOW CASE (GOOD FOR THE SKIN!)

4.BOBBI BROWN UNDER EYE CREAM (SO MOISTURIZING!)

5. DIVA RING LIGHT (BEST LIGHT EVERRRR)

The Rest of the Day

After we exchanged gifts, we went to Chay's grandma and grandpas home in Long Beach. It's always so great seeing them along with the rest of the family. We are so grateful for all of our family and despite hard times that have come and gone, we know we are so blessed to have people that care about us and want to be there for us.  At the end of the day, we know we are so fortunate to have a place to go, something to eat,  clothes to wear, and a roof over our heads. 

I hope the Holidays, no matter what you celebrate, were a wonderful time for you and your loved ones. There are so many things to be thankful for, even in the hard times.

Sending my love and gratitude to all of you and thank you for being a part of my life and community that brings me so much joy!

Xo,

Kim

 

5 reasons you need to take risk

(So that you can feel happy and satisfied in life.)

One of my first blog posts. I ALWAYS wanted to blog but worried about what people would think for too long. FINALLY taking the risk has felt so good and GRATIFYING.

One of my first blog posts. I ALWAYS wanted to blog but worried about what people would think for too long. FINALLY taking the risk has felt so good and GRATIFYING.

Risk.

Such a scary word, yet without risk it's pretty difficult to accomplish anything in life. With great risk comes great reward, right?

So why is it so hard to take that risk we have been wanting... desiring to take? Because all people like to be comfortable! Of course. Who doesn't?

Predictability is a large part of comfort, and human beings are wired to pursue comfort and predictability. Its innate and essential in some ways in order to have stability and healthy relationships. For instance, marriage is a good example of ways we should push through, remain committed, and pursue the predictable...staying married (unless of course there are outside influences that warrant a divorce or some sort of abuse but of course I am not referring to that!) Jumping ship because you might be bored or tired of trying would be a negative risk...Not necessarily leading to a fulfilling and life giving experience.

I am talking about positive risk. The type of risk that you have always wanted to take but didn't feel brave enough to try. The kind of risk that would actually feel good because you KNOW you have the chops to succeed in "X" risk...whether it be a new job, starting a business, putting yourself out there with a you tube channel as a creative outlet, finally taking that trip you have been dying to take but didnt feel like figuring out, or even pursuing that person you feel is out of your league.

Heres the thing, if you don't try, you will always wonder if life could have been different.

Here are 5 reasons why you should DEFINITELY take risk:

1. Not taking risk is simply not getting what you want, 100% of the time . If you risk it, your percentage of success automatically goes up.

2. If you don't take that chance, you might always wonder what could have been, and regret is worse than trying and not getting what you want. At least when you take the risk you can sleep easy knowing you took a chance on yourself. 

3. Failure doesnt exist when you risk. Success is relative and taking risk is success in and of itself. Taking the leap is a win from the very beginning!

4. Many people wish they could take the risk they have been wanting to, but dont feel they have the courage. By taking a risk, you are impacting family and friends by showing them that they too can pursue their dream or passion. After all, what's the worst that can happen? You end up right back to where you are right now (unless you put all your money in stock and lose it all...in that case youd be wayyyyy worse off, but I wouldn't suggest that. DEFINITELY don't take that risk!)

5. YOU CAN VERY WELL SUCCEED AND KILL IT, and how amazing would that be?! Risk taking is scary but also totally gratifying. It pays off in more ways than you might even realize in the short term, because it helps you to beleive in yourself! By taking risks, over time you will be able to look back and say 'wow, I took risks and succeeded in some (or all), therefore I know I have it in me to succeed, work hard, and get what I want".  

Before you take risk...

I would not suggest to just anyone to try any old idea. I think its important to take risk when you know you have a skill or passion that you can genuinely seeing yourself work at. Its essential to be realisitic. If you cannot imagine doing annoying things like editing video or pictures but are dying to be a blogger, than I'd say you might hate the day to day of blogging (unless you have the funds to outsource the menial tasks, which most people do not have) . No risk is without hardship or frustration, but the reward in the end can be amazing if you go in with a clear mindset.

I have learned in my own life that risk is super scary and has been hard when I didnt get what I wanted. However, by taking risk I have seen that I am a very capable person. That lesson alone is huge for me! I need that reinforcement in my own life as much as the next person.

You Can Do It.

I hope this post helped to encourage you that you too are capable and have so much more potential than you probably beleive. I encourage you to evaluate what you want out of life, see what is in your control to make that happen, and take positive and thoughtful risk to pursue what you want. 

I'd love to know what you have been wanting to take risk on. Let me know in the comments below if you feel comfortable. xo!

Kim

 

 

 

Quality time and friend editing

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A few days ago, my sisters and mom and I all got together, like we do every year, at The Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. It is by far one of my favorite Christmas traditions that my mom started with us a few years ago. 

More than anything, it's an opportunity to get together, catch up, and inevitably get vulnerable with each other over things that we might be dealing with. You see, we are a super tight-knit family, probably abnormally so. But, as life gets busier with kids and jobs, it's gotten harder to have uninterrupted times to connect and really get to the bottom of the challenges we might be facing in life..  

As I have gotten farther from my college days (now 9 years out!) where I was "friends with everyone" , I have begun to realize more and more (with the constant reminder and help from my twin sister Karen) that my time is precious and I dont really want to hang out with "everyone". We only have so much time away from work, responsibility, kids, annoying daily duties, etc. So who is going to be the recipient of that time? Your time? For me thats my family and handful of friends that feel like family. The ones that KNOW me, add to my life, teach me, and make me want to be a better more patient and giving person. 

My sisters and mom are among that group that are always a good investment of my time. At times they give and I take, others they take and I give. Advice, love, encouragment, patience... sometimes even each others crap. Thats why our tea once a year is so special. It's our night for uninteruppted adult time to reconnect (with the exception of sweet 4 year old Penny who was an angel), check in, you know, talk about the real stuff...the stuff we are insecure about, hoping for, working towards, dreaming of but are afraid to discuss in the case we dont get exactly what we want and feel like a loser...and need our loved ones to encourage us in once again.

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Friendship Musts:

I will still of course make new friends with people who cross my path, but I am just more honest with myself (and picky!) on which friendships are:

1. Lifegiving

2. Honest 

3. Straightforward with good intentions

4. Confidence building (and not in a butt kissing kinda way) and that fill me up.

5. Inspiring or Motivating- Makes you want to strive for more in some way.

6. Founded in some basic shared morals and principles

I think its also important to understand when people suck life from you, make you feel insecure, dont make an effort or care in the same way you do, or just simply, dont quite do it for you. When you figure it out, friend edit. Put effort only into relationships that give back to you in some way, and that make you feel valued.

I felt for many years that it was my responsibility to keep in touch with college friends, church friends, childhood friends, modeling friends, and the list goes onnnn. Its not. As we go through stages of life, friendships either fade out (or get "edited") or stand the test of time. The ones that are tried and true also ebb and flow, and thats okay. The amount of free time that we have to offer our friends and family also ebbs and flows. 

Our night at The Peninsula Hotel, where we sit for a few hours sipping on fancy Black Currant Tea and scarf french fries (we ordered on the side because we dont care if we look like hicks) is a time where conversations and encouragement flow, even if this season is short on quality time.  We laughed, got vulnerable, shared hard stuff, and went out on a limb to express things we would love to try but don't feel confident in just yet. It was a therapeautic and encouraging night, where all of a sudden I felt capable and valued. 

That's what true friendship is all about it my mind. I hope to be a source of encouragement and inspiration in my relationships the way my family and "edited" down friends are to me.

ALSO...

If you love the idea of a Holiday Tea and would love to get some quality time with your family and/or friends, here are 3 awesome options to choose from:

1. The Peninsula Hotel

2. The Getty Villa

3. Hotel Bel Air