Election Eve

Don’t forget to exercise your right to vote tomorrow! You have a voice. Let it be heard.

What they don’t tell you {NaBloPoMo}

The first year after my first son was born, I made a long list of “all the things people don’t tell you before you have kids.” For instance, people will tell you “you won’t get any sleep again for years,” but they don’t tell you how special those quiet, middle of the night nursings may become to you after the first few months of adjustment.

Today reminded me of another thing no one tells you: you know that “extra” hour of sleep that everyone relishes on the morning that we “Fall Back” and Daylight Saving Time ends? Yeah, that ceases to exist when you have young children in the house. They don’t look at the clock and say “its only 5:30, so I can go back to sleep!” Their bodies say its time to wake up. The sunlight streaming through their windows says its morning. And, regardless of what the official time may be, they are wide awake.

What are some things that you’ve learned as a parent that no one thought to share with you before your kids were born? I’d love to hear your words of wisdom in the comments below.

 

Grown-up Saturday Nights {NaBloPoMo}

It’s a beautiful Saturday night. I remember how, as a child, I used to think about all the great options adults had for the weekend, and I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to enjoy them. Those great options are still around. According to the newspaper, there are several live bands playing around the city, and there’s a festival going on in a small town nearby. There’s a really BIG festival going on in my hometown, and I know if I went, I’d run into friends (and teachers!) I’ve known since elementary school. I’m sure there are movies playing at the theater, but I don’t remember any titles. Because that’s not how I spend my Saturday nights.

The kids are all away for the weekend, except for the baby, who is now fast asleep. And I’m spending my Saturday night stripping cloth diapers.

original source unknown

To be fair, I’m also watching Pride & Prejudice (the Kiera Knightly version, because I know I won’t stay awake long enough to commit to Colin Firth). And actually, I’m really enjoying the chance to sit and relax while the diapers soak. As long as they’re in the wash, I feel like I’m doing something productive, and I don’t feel guilty about just sitting and watching a movie.

Lately, I have been working on slowing down and relaxing some, instead of feeling as if I have to be working (at home) all the time or I’m not earning my keep. I know in my heart that I need to make the time to stop, breathe, and be still, but being overly busy can be a tough habit to break. Tonight, I could be doing any number of things. But I am blessed by the opportunity to stay home, watch a movie, and relax. And it is truly a blessing.

I know I’m not the only one who feels this kind of mom guilt. Do you have any tips for busy moms on learning to relax and do nothing for a few hours? Does it get easier with practice?

I’ll do it later… when I’m not so tired. {NaBloPoMo}

Today I realized that I have two problems when it comes to blogging.

One is procrastination. When I have a few minutes to sit and blog, I think, “I’ll develop that idea later, when I have more time to really devote some energy to it.” The truth is, whenever I do get around to sitting down to “develop that idea,” I can’t remember what it was in the first place.

The other: exhaustion. I am now almost 3 months pregnant (yes, that’s the formal blog announcement), with a very active two-year-old and two elementary-aged homeschoolers at home with me all day. Last time I was pregnant, I blamed the exhaustion on working a demanding full-time job outside the home. I was on my feet all day and was completely worn out when I got home. Now, I don’t have that excuse. My jobs as mom, homeschooler, and photographer are just as exhausting, and I have a chance to actually SIT during the day. I’m afraid I have to admit that the exhaustion may be the fault of age, and not activity level.

So, how do I solve these problems so I can meet my NaBloPoMo goal? I’m just going to have to schedule writing time in the mornings again, in between my quiet time/Bible study and getting the kids started for the day. I also need to get back into the habit of jotting down post ideas and outlines whenever I think of them, instead of believing that I will still remember when I have the chance to sit down at the computer.

What are your biggest challenges when it comes to blogging? Chime in below!

 

November

It’s NaBloPoMo again! My goal is to write one blog post every day until December 1. Won’t you join me?

Welcome Back!

Our family began another school year today. We now have one in 5th grade, one in 3rd, and one in pre-pre-K. And now that we’re establishing our new schedule, it’s time to work blogging back into our day. I’m planning on being around a lot more in the next few weeks!

 

Roasted Chicken

Today was another busy day at our house. School, a trip to the grocery store, Awana, and Mac helped me roast a chicken. Raw meat and poultry freak me out (maybe one too many food safety classes from back in my restaurant days?). But I can get at least three meals from one bird, plus a lot of stock, so it’s totally worth it. Plus, my house smells delicious.

Want to try it for yourself? Check out The Happy Housewife’s fool-proof slow-cooker instructions.

I’m Still Here!

Just busy. After months of prayer and attempting to work with my kids’ public school, we have decided to homeschool our 4th grader. Our 2nd grader, who attended the same school, will stay enrolled for right now, but we felt like it was really the best thing for our son to be at home. So far, he’s loving it. But between designing a custom curriculum and trying to get into a new rhythm, I’ve been too busy to blog — I haven’t even opened up my laptop for several days, because most of what I’ve been doing for Mac has been accomplished on the iPad.

I will be back, though, both here and over at Capturing Life, just as soon as we adjust to our new normal.

2012 Goals: Take Every Thought Captive

Every day, I face a great battle with my worst critic.She brings up the “but what if’s” and “it won’t work because” in every situation, and worries to the point of sickness about things that may or may not ever happen. And then is so worked up over them that it sours her attitude for the rest of the day. She doesn’t like the way I dress or the way I do my hair. The way I write. The way my floors are never clean enough, and the way my kids are never well-behaved enough. And she has no problem telling me these things as bluntly and critically as possible. None of these things are spoken in a spirit of love, but one of disdain and contempt.

And sadly, that person is me.

And even more sadly, because I’m allowing these negative thoughts to swirl around in my head, they spill out to touch the rest of my family. I’m beginning to hear them reflected back to me in the voices of my children.

So this year, one of my goals is to defeat this spirit of negativity in my thought life. I’m memorizing scripture (check out The Well-Versed Family by Caroline Boykin for some wonderful inspiration on why and how to get your family involved in memorization!), studying my Bible daily with the goal of developing positive and loving thoughts toward myself and those around me. I’m praying that God changes my heart, and helps me to battle this negative spirit.

Have you faced this challenge? Are you facing it today? What has helped you in your struggle?

 

Disclosure Statement: Affiliate links included.

2012 Goals: Speak Blessings

I don’t do resolutions, because I know I won’t keep them. But I do set goals at the beginning of each year. Same thing, you say? Maybe. But I perceive them differently. Resolutions, to me, aren’t something to work toward. They’re something to stop, or start, or avoid. But goals… they don’t require overnight change. They’re steps toward growth, and they have some sort of measurable outcome that reveals progress.

So as we go through the year, I evaluate my progress toward these goals. This year, my list seems huge, but as I looked more closely, many of my goals are related. And all are about living intentionally.

My biggest goal is to speak blessings over my children and husband instead of criticism. This is something that I’m continuing to work toward. I’m much more of the authoritarian parent, and instead, I need to work toward becoming more authoritative. I tend to nit-pick and see the negative, although I would normally say I’m just helping them see the areas that need improvement — and we all know that’s just me justifying my attitude.

Last year, I read some books I highly recommend if you are the more critical and stressed out parent in your home. They have helped me greatly.

Defuse, by Karol Ladd. Karol helps you understand your “mom anger” and frustration and begin to move past it, to become the mom that you were meant to be.

Also by Karol Ladd: Power of a Positive Mom and Power of a Positive Wife. I did the PoaPW 52 Week Devotional and God used it to open my eyes about how much my family needed me to be less critical and more supportive, and helped me find the tools to start to make a change in my own heart.

Shepherding a Child’s Heart, by Tedd Tripp. I absolutely loved this book, and it really convicted me, but not in a guilt-inducing kind of way. It gently helped me see that the things I was doing to try to instill character and good behavior in my kids was actually backfiring, and that the way to get the results I was after was to touch their hearts, not to fuss and constantly take away all their toys as punishment. Tripp offers advice to help change your perspective on how you interact with your children and on what your God-given job is as their parent.

And finally, one of the last (and best) books I read last year was Have a New Kid By Friday, by Dr. Kevin Leman. We are having a rough time with my 9-year-old and his attitude, both at home and at school. Dr. Leman is another expert who believes that, in order to change your kid’s attitude, character, and behavior, you must first change your own.

I firmly believe that God has put these resources in my life to reveal truth to me: that yes, my child’s attitude is a problem, but that mine is, too.

So what results will I see to show me that I’ve met my goals? Better relationships between my children, my husband, and me. Improved attitude, behavior and character in both my son and myself (which should be a noticeable change for sure!). And overall, a more positive outlook on everyday life for everyone in our family.

 

Disclosure: Affiliate links included.

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