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Share-My-Story Series: Emily

Share-My-Story Series: Emily

I met Emily through my husband’s work. She was gracious enough to go to lunch with me and share her business expertise. Ever since that day I have been drawn to Emily. Her positive energy and self confidence are contagious. Emily is a supportive friend who remembers details that other friends might forget. She is an amazing woman who adds value wherever she goes. I am so thankful she was willing to share her story. I learned a lot from her and I know you will as well.

Emily’s Story:

I think I was born with high self-esteem. I LOVE MYSELF. Truly. People ask how I learned to love myself so completely, but I don’t know, which is why I think I must have been born with it. I’m not the ideal body type and never have been, but that has never affected my deep-rooted knowledge that I am beautiful. I also think I’m pretty funny, but I’m self-aware enough to know that sometimes I’m the only one laughing at my jokes…and that’s ok! Something I want all women to know is that it’s not prideful to have self-love. 

Even with my insanely high self esteem, I’ve had times where I let people “get in my head”. I’m a bold and bright personality and there have been people close to me that in the name of “helping” tried to tone me down. I was told my passion, my appearance, my style, etc were not the norm and that I needed to tame them down to fit in and get ahead. 

In all my life, I’ve never tried to fit in, however as a responsible adult I wanted to listen to the feedback from people I thought had my best interest at heart. So, a few years ago I bought clothes that were more neutral, spoke up less in groups, dyed my hair blonde (I hated it, but a well meaning friend suggested it), and frankly got more boring. As a response to everything else being muted at that time, I dyed my hair bold red, and it’s a decision I will never regret (I LOVE it).

Now, I have plenty of room for improvement, but it took some time and skill to learn to differentiate between the people in my life that truly had my best interest at heart and those that cared more about appearances and didn’t understand my unique ability to not care what the generic public thinks of me (I reserve the caring for my inner circle). 

My “wake up” moment was meeting, Bob, the kind of person that is your instant best friend. Almost in the first breath, he had me googling “Bob Quick’s Journey” to see for myself his amazing accomplishments, including bicycling across america (3x), having 32 heart procedures in the last 16 years, 20 stents, and most recently a quadruple bypass surgery. We became friends on Facebook and he is continually the most encouraging and positive person. I met Bob when he was at work, helping me buy a new door. Even in a professional setting, he could completely own who he is and Bob’s total openness instantly endeared me to him. Bob’s light sparked the realization (or perhaps remembrance) that it’s our beautiful differences that not only make us human, but also attract friendships. 

I moved into a new house during the couple of years I spent suppressing my more bold nature and truly struggled to make close friends. I love all my neighbors and positively feel a friendship with all of them, but had no best friend. I shed many tears seeing women enjoy close friendships, but honestly didn’t know how to forge one of my own. It was hard. I went on a lot of solo hikes during that time (the mountains are my balm). There’s something about the fresh air, achieving a new height, feeling the refreshing spray of a waterfall, meandering a trail, and enjoying God’s varied creations that fills my soul with peace and joy. It’s a renewal that I treasure!

Something that held me back from inviting friends hiking, is that I’m very slow. But, this last Summer I pushed past my worry that I’d hold my more spry friends back and shared some great hikes and walks with a few incredible women, and on occasion their families. Communing with nature and people is a magical combo.

The reclaiming of my oddities this past year opened the door to finally making some dear friends, which has been very fulfilling. It takes some serious faith to let go of inhibition and “bee yourself” (as the genie in Aladdin says), but it has greatly helped me connect with people in deeper, more meaningful ways. Accept yourself flaws and all, and I believe that invites others to feel comfortable being their flawed self with you. 

P.S. I love people and making new friends, if you do too let’s connect on Instagram @mcleanentertain

My Favorite Baby Carrier

My Favorite Baby Carrier

With each new baby I’ve had, new products have been developed to make life easier. The baby food pouch was a genius invention that didn’t exist until my third baby. It was life changing to not carry glass jars and a spoon everywhere I went to feed my baby. Anyone else feel the same way?

Another wonderful invention that has improved significantly over the years is the baby carrier. After four kids I have found my favorite: the Lillebaby Complete All Seasons.

Hiking in Idaho. Pierce riding on my back and loving life.

For the busiest of families who need a quick retreat into nature this baby carrier is a must! This backpack offers all the features needed for a family to enjoy the trails. It is ergonomic, lightweight, adjustable, and features zippers that accommodate multiple temperatures. Zip up and keep your baby warm and cozy while snowshoeing or unzip and let your baby cool off on a hot summer day.

The contoured shoulder straps are fitted with padding for comfort along with an adjustable hip belt for added support. If you are a new mom who needs some fresh air this pack can be used for infants down to just 7 lbs and can adjust to fit your little one as they grow into a toddler. Larger carriers will offer more space for storage but there is a large enough pocket to store your baby’s necessities.

Hiking in Utah county.

The best part of the Lillebaby Complete is the carrying versatility. With six different child positions it can be adjusted to comfortably carry on your back, side, or even on the front so you can keep your eye on the little one. It comes in multiple colors and patterns, includes a sunshade, and is waterproof for those unexpected rainstorms. You can purchase it at most retailers but the best deal is on Amazon for only $79.

When you need a few hours for you and your young family to get out and explore, this pack offers everything you need to fully enjoy your time.

Get out there, girl!

Two babies in hiking packs. Clara (2) riding in the framed hiking pack. Brand new baby Pierce riding in the frameless pack.
I Grew Up in Utah and Have Always Hated Winter.

I Grew Up in Utah and Have Always Hated Winter.

I grew up in Utah and have always hated winter. Wrong place to live if you hate winter right?! Have you seen Utah’s license plates, “Best Snow on Earth”? The issue is that I hate being cold and winter is cold. A long time ago I decided I hated winter and would just endure it every year until my favorite season Summer came along.

As I started learning about mindset and as I focused on reframing some of my negative beliefs winter came to my mind. Could I possibly reframe my mindset and learn to love winter? I thought it was worth giving a shot.

Like I said I hate being cold. My husband jokes that I am a very selfless person until I am cold. lol It’s probably true. Knowing that information I knew I needed to find a way to stay warm during winter and it couldn’t include staying inside for months. I did some research and found warm high quality outdoor clothing. I saved up and bought one bigger item each year.

I am very happy to report that I can now be outside and not be cold. In fact I love being outside in the snow now. There are so many amazing things to do in the snow: downhill ski, snowshoe, crosscountry ski, sled, build a snowman, etc. Have you ever hiked in the winter time? It is absolutely gorgeous!

The clothing makes all the difference. Let me share with you what I have purchased over the years.

Thermals are the starting point. I have these thermals. They have 435 five star reviews which is amazing. Plus the price can’t be beat, two sets for $33.99 and free shipping with Amazon Prime.

Another under layer to keep you warm is smartwool ski socks. Merina wool is great because it is breathable and it is antimicrobial so your feet won’t ever stink. Here are some great socks with great reviews on Amazon.

Snow pants are the next piece I would invest in as you build your attire. These are the pants I have. My legs haven’t been cold since I bought them. They are comfortable, waterproof, very warm, functional and flattering. I personally like the fitted feminine look. I recommend buying them off of I was bloom away with their customer service, free return policy, lightning shipping time and low prices. These particular pants are $180 on Amazon but only $122 on Plus if you sign up for their emails you get an additional 15% off. I can’t recommend these pants enough.

I searched for 3 years for a down filled coat that would keep me warm and that was flattering to my body type. I was picky! I wanted something extremely warm, packable, and fashionable. I found it at lululemon and it is everything that I was looking for. I absolutely love it and couldn’t be happier with my purchase. It is not cheap, but I saved up for it and it was worth every penny. I found these two colors of my coat on sale right now for $139. If you don’t like these colors you can pay the regular price of $198 and have more color options. P.S. Don’t buy this coat on Amazon, it is $100 more!

Tip: If you have a fitness certification lululemon gives you 20% off every purchase.

The last item I recommend are Sorel boots. Again when I was searching for my winter clothing I NEEDED something warm and waterproof and I WANTED something cute. Sorel has so many fashionable options and as far as quality it doesn’t get better. I have had my boots for 4 years now and I love love love them. You can buy them here on Amazon for the same price plus Prime shipping.

All of these items have made it so I can get out and play during the winter months. I feel like a kid at a candy store during winter now. So many new fun things to do outside. No more hibernating for me during the winter season. I have embraced the cold because I no longer feel the cold.

Do you get out and enjoy winter or do you find yourself hating it like I did? If you find yourself dreading the cold winter months, invest in some good quality clothing and go on an adventure. You might find out that you actually love it. I know I do. In fact, come join me on an adventure! Follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Come connect with my community of women who embrace adventure and self compassion

Disclaimer: I am not sponsored in anyway by any of the companies that sell these items. This is what I use in my personal life. I have included amazon affiliate links.