I feel strongest when I'm vulnerable. Stronger when I face the truth of a situation and carefully unravel it to understand a new layer of who I am. In marriage, motherhood, family and career-I'm the best version of myself when I tackle the basic human need of understanding. It's pure magic when I'm in the middle of trying to diffuse a toddler tantrum and I offer the simple phrase, "Do you need a hug?" Ninety nine percent of the time I have a pouting boy running towards me with arms outstretched, seeking his own validation to feel loved even in his "worst" moments. What this pseudo case-study has taught me is that perfection will never be attained in any partnership. We just need to know that if we crack or trip up on our own emotions, life won't hold it against us. If only it were this easy, right? For me, every day is a practice in giving in to gratitude and strengthening the optimism muscle. By nature and perhaps nurture, I've allowed that muscle to grow weak over time. Lately, my crutch has been the "The Five Minute" Journal-a concentrated version of measured gratitude. The journal entries literally force you to document the daily moments that may be insignificant in the moment, but build that so-called optimism muscle. I promise this is not a #sponsored Ad. You don't need a $25 journal to make this happen. I 'm just a sucker for good paper products and love carrying around this little book of promises. The other day, I documented how great it felt to slowly give my body reason to believe it's not "turning against itself." The health journey I've been on is another post in and of itself which I will share more about soon. But for now, take a peek at how spoiled I am to put on a swimsuit in the middle of Winter in California and if you look close enough you might peep some goosebumps, because I'm not entirely hardcore and will suck it up for a few good pictures. Vernal Equinox, are you far behind?