Monday, August 23, 2021

Live in the Moment

Experiences not stuff... That is what life is all about. I have
been on a life changing journey the past eight years. I found my kids didn't need their mom like they used to need me. It is a whole new level of being of mom, which freed up my time and life.

My marriage was struggling then finally came to an end. Sometimes people decide to go down different paths in life. That's okay. You need to take the path that will make you happy. My kids helped me realize that. 

Letting go to enjoy living in the moment is hard. 

To live in the moment can be difficult. There is quite a bit of
brain re-training that needs to be done which takes time. I didn't really start living in the moment until I first met Neil. He gave me the gift of learning to let go. I still have a long ways to go, but I am getting there. 

When my youngest son came to visit me for a month, I knew I needed to let go and enjoy our time together.  Time with him is precious so I savored every moment.  

There are some things you think you need to get done right this minute, but you don't. Some things you don't even need to do at all. Just because you have a "to do" list doesn't mean you need to do it. Dishes can wait, laundry can wait, but time with your loved ones can't. Living in the moment means letting go of the past, and not waiting for the future. It is living your live consciously, aware that each moment you breathe is a gift, being in the present moment. You can still have a plan and goals, those are good but enjoy the present.

Top 5  Ways to Live in the Moment


Stop Worrying About Tomorrow

Always Move Forward

Pay Attention to the Small Things

Practice Gratitude


Sunday, July 25, 2021

Change is Coming!

 Change is good. Change shows growth. 

Jeep Momma is no longer alone. She is part of an amazing team, Jeep Momma and Neil. 

Neil has taught me so much, and I still have so much to learn from him. He has so much knowledge, so many tips and tricks, and so much Jeep passion. 
 I want to share that with you. 
I am excited for this new chapter of the most Epic Adventure of My Life.

Check out the rest of my blog for new updated pages. 

“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

Friday, July 9, 2021

Top 5 Must Do's When You Go Camping

Over time I have learned less is better when you go camping, as long as you are
smart about what you pack. Everyone has 
different needs and wants, so it takes practice to figure out what works and what doesn’t for you. 

Must haves for me are a pillow, good sleeping bag, tent, camp chair, cast iron pan, and grate to cook on over the fire. Of course, food and water, but that is a given. What I have discovered is there is such a thing as bringing too much stuff. You don't want your adventure to be another chore. The less to set up or clean or pack up means more time relaxing and enjoying the moments. 

Top 5 "Must Do" Moments when Camping

Take in the Sunset  Get your camp chair and chill watching the sunse

Make a Campfire Camping is not the same without a campfire. Sit in your camp chair and watch the fire dance. 

Stargaze  Once the sun sets and the fire dies down look up at the sky and take in all those stars. It will blow your mind, out in the middle of nowhere in the dark, all those stars in the sky.

Campfire Breakfast  When you get up in the morning a breakfast cooked over the fire is a must. Bacon and eggs first thing in the morning out in the middle of nowhere is amazing.

Morning Chill In the morning before your amazing breakfast just lay there in your 
sleeping bag looking out your tent at the amazing beauty around you. Take it all in… deep breaths.

Camping and nature is so good for your soul. It takes away the stress if you do it right. I also helps you think more clearly.  The best way to figure out what works for you to go out and do it. You will make mistakes and forget things. That’s how you learn what works for you. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Top 5 Steps to Live Your Best Life

These past couple of days have been like stepping back in time. I am back out on
the east coast visiting my kids. Hanging with them in my old house is very surreal, which has flooded my mind with a lot of old memories and feelings. Each time I  come back this happens. However, this time it's different. This time, I am not overcome with emotions where I cry with shaking shoulders. This time something spiritual happened. All that emotion was taken away. Finally I can let it all go, so I can move on with my life. It has been a long process of healing. Not only that it has been even a longer process trying to live my best life. A journey of discovering myself again. 

When I became a mom 22 years ago I didn't realize I still needed to hang on to me. I still needed to have my own life. It is okay to hold onto that part of you, actually a necessary thing to do. I know a lot of stay-at-homes who neglect this part of their lives. The focus is all on being the best mom they can. In that process they lose a little of themselves each year. For me getting it back was almost a nine year process with a lot of tears and anger. 

Living your best life brings you happiness. Happiness isn't stuff or a full schedule or tons of friends. The media and corporate America have brainwashed us into believing tangible things will make us happy. Finding that true happiness is a process, a slow methodical process that worked for me. A burden was lifted each time and it felt good. 

Top 5 Steps to Live Your Best Life 

YouTube Video

Declutter your Stuff: 

Be purposeful about this. Go drawer by drawer, closet by closet. Then do it all again in a couple of months. Emotionally holding on to stuff bogs down your life. Stop using those excuses, "one day I will use it" or "I spent a lot of money on that I can't". That is living in the past or living in the future. Live in the here and now. 

Declutter Your Time:

Reduce your commitments like volunteering or events you attend. Re-evaluate your job. I started slowly with my volunteer commitments. I taught myself to say no. My job loss was not on purpose but being let go was a blessing in disguise. 

Declutter Your Electronic Life:

Reduce your time on social media, reduce the amount of social media you have, reduce your information overload, and most importantly disconnect from the world once in a while. Information overload can be debilitating. 

Information Overload Article

Declutter Your Relationships:

Cut out the negative people in your life. This is a hard one to do, but very necessary. Negative people are very draining emotionally.  

Declutter Your Past Emotions:

This was the hardest one for me to do. I was able to finally let go a couple of days ago. When I moved to Colorado in 2020 I knew I was on the road to my best life, but something was holding me back. Neil saw it, and my son Michael saw it. I was blinded by my own emotions. I was grieving a loss, so many losses, my home, my old life, my old friends, my marriage. There was a lot of uncessary guilt I placed on myself and a lot of anger from wrongs done to me. I needed to forgive myself and let go of those wrongs before I could truly move on.  

Declutter & Simplify Links: Jeep Momma Blog Posts

Friday, May 28, 2021

Top 5 Group Wheeling Musts

Neil and I hosted our first Colorado 4x4 class & trail ride. We had a group of eight off-road vehicles. Heading out on the trails, leading a group that big was a good reminder for me on "HOW TO" have a successful off-road trail ride. When you host a trail ride others look to you for guidance and leadership. Just because someone has a 4x4 vehicles doesn't necessarily mean they understand how a group trail ride needs to work to be successful and fun.

Top 5 Musts For a Successful Group Trail Ride

This is necessary anytime you wheel with new folks. Once you wheel with the same folks over and over, you most likely you won’t have to do this every time. But if you ever introduce someone new to your trail ride I suggest you go over these top 5 Must’s when group wheeling. 

First... A Trail Guide and Trail Gunner should be assigned. The Trail Guide should know the route and needs to always be the leader. The trail gunner is the last one in the group. Their responsible so no one gets left behind.  The folks in the middle have a group responsibility, as well. They must always make sure the Jeep or off road vehicle is behind them in the rear view mirror. 

Second... Trail meeting. Before you even hit the trail there should be a group meeting. This is a good time to go over some basic off road rules, like stay on the trail, don’t wander off by yourself, let them know the route, talk about how you will communicate on the trail whether with CB’s or horn honking, those kind of things.

Third... keep a decent distance between vehicles. Sometimes there is a lot of backing up and space may be needed on obstacles or going up an incline. There could be some wheel spin which means rocks could be flying. 

Fourth… If you are going up an incline or down one or going over a serious obstacle let the Jeep in front of you complete it before you begin your accent or decent. And 

Fifth… There are times on obstacles when after you have completed the obstacle you will need to stop and wait for the other vehicles to complete it. This is a good time to get out for videos and pictures plus, to see how someone else may wheel an obstacle. This is where you need to be very mindful of where you park. You will need to leave a lot of room for all the Jeeps to park after they have gone over the obstacle. Especially if on a hill. I have seen Jeepers not pull up far enough and some Jeepers can’t fully make it up or over the obstacle.  

After wheeling for seven years these simple but super important rules are second nature.  However, folks new to wheeling might not have a clue, so it’s good to educate them. 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

No Regrets

 A friend asked me the other day if I regret my decision to leave Maryland last year. I can unequivocally say, no regrets at all. Has it been emotionally hard? Absolutely. I pretty much lost everything, and I am starting over. For about the first year, I cried every day, liked sobbed and sobbed. I missed my boys so much, still do. The pain of missing them was overwhelming. 

Up until this past month there was also so much anger inside of me. Some days when I was by myself, I would shout out my anger at the top of my lungs. I was angry at so many people for so many reasons. I lost my job. I lost my family. I lost my dog. I lost my home. I lost a lot of friends. Several friends made it clear I was a bad mom. There was even a friend of my son's who told me she didn't 100% agree with my decision. 

So many failed to find out about my decsion, instead just passed judgement and assumptions. For the longest time that was really hard for me. I needed to share my story and my side. Now, or at least for today, I don't care who knows my story or my side. The only thing that matters is me and my boys know.

The decision to leave Maryland and head West was the best decision, for me, I could have ever made. It was the toughest decsion. I could have made an easy decsion and stayed.  But, where would I be now? On the East Coast living in a rented room working at a minimum wage job, maybe. My son said, I would be dead from drinking too much. I was self medicating by drinking at least a bottle of wine most nights. The minute I came out to Colorado that all stopped, and the healing began. I don't drink that often anymore. I don't need to. I am where I need to be, doing what I love with people who love me. 

I most likely would have never wheeled the Rubicon Trail and shared the beauty of the West with my boys. A memory I will cherish for the rest of my life.  

This past year has been such a rollercoaster of emotions with guilt, anger and so much hurt.  My marriage of 21 years officially on paper ended a couple of months ago. What may shock some is it really ended about eight years ago. My plan was to hold on for another three years until my youngest graduated high school. (I honestly didn't think I would ever be out West again) Well, that didn't happen. When I returned from my month long adventure, I was told one of us had to leave. 

Without a job I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up with house payments let alone any other bills. I didn't want my boys to lose their house. It wasn't a decision I made lightly nor on my own. My kids and I had several discussions. It was a decision we made together. There was a lot of guilt that came with that decsion. It has been really hard to let it go of that guilt. Just the other day, I was able to do just that with my oldest plaiying a big part in helping me let it go.

I still have a lot of healing to do. There are still things that happen that trigger my anxiety and overwhelming saddness, but I remind myself to take it just one day at a time. 

Starting over after losing so much is mentally hard. There have been several breakdowns and anxiety attacks. It's a process. Several people have come into my life to help me through this process with words of wisdom. The Jeep community continues to lift me up daily. 

And then there is Neil. 

When our 2019 trip was over I didn't think I would ever see him again. Originally my plan was to head to Texas to where my neice was going to help me find a job bartending. Neil offered me a place to come and a new life direction. He said we can flip Jeeps together. He has played a big role in helping me heal and become a better person. It hasn't been easy, but he and my kids are helping me work through all the emotions. 

My Jeep Suspension Fails

Now that I have been working with Neil in the Garage, I am learning so much more about the inner workings of my Jeep. As my Jeep is getting older parts are starting to fail. One of the main reasons... my 3.5" lift and bigger tires. The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon's come stock with 33 inch tires. If you don't upgrade other components in your Jeep when going "bigger" eventually your other stock parts will begin to fail. 

My front driveshaft was the first to start failing My Shaft's a Woody Blog Post

Before I left on my adventure in 2019, I had to replace the ball joints. Then last year my driver's side front wheel bearing was replaced, and most recently my sterring knuckle. The hole where the tie rod end is inserted was wallowed out. This caused some really bad tread wear on my tires, and ended up having to replace my tires as well.  

During the replacement of my steering knuckle, Neil shared some great tips with me to diagnose all those wobbles, wiggles and noises. We posted a video on YouTube. This is a must to help catch problems before they become disasters. 

Top 5 Jeep Suspension Fails with Neil