Friday, September 23, 2016

7 quick takes vol. 27: things I'm pumped about.

linking up with Kelly for some quick takes. 

//1//

You guys, it's been a good week. I think it's because I'm still riding the waves of the amazing retreat I got to go on last weekend. You guys know that I have been writing for Blessed is She for about 2 years now. Well, last weekend, for the first time ever, we had a Blessed is She Team Retreat.  Almost all the writers, plus creatives, plus our beautiful founder Jenna all gathered in the woods of Wisconsin for some In-Real-Life togetherness.  And it was amazing, for so many reasons:

1.  Meeting people in real life who I have stalked online for the last 2 years, or longer.

2. Having lots of meaningful conversations, prayer time, and the like.

3. Talking more about what it means to do women's ministry.

4. Being totally spoiled and pampered by Nell and her family at their amazing lodge in the woods.
If you're on Instagram and look up the hashtag #BISteamretreat you can get a pretty good idea of what the weekend was like.

It was such a blessing to be there and I'm still not quite sure how I got so lucky as to fall in with such an amazing and holy crowd.


This was the "Dance Party" playlist for the weekend.  If any dancing actually happened it was after I went to bed.  But it's a super fun playlist so I wanted to share it with all of you!



//2//

Sunday after the retreat I got to go to a calligraphy class taught by Erica, who designs the logos for Blessed is She, as well as the amazing planner that everyone, including myself, is now in love with.  I have always wanted to learn calligraphy but never thought I would be able to because I am left-handed.  But I totally learned! And it's awesome!


//3//

So, this one is kind of random, but I'm just so excited about it.  We have been having trouble getting the fitted sheet to stay on our bed. Every day the elastic corners creep up the sides of the mattress and everyday I pull them back down. We have a memory foam topper on our bed that makes it quite a bit taller, and so regular sheets don't stay on that well. Alex found sheets with "deep pockets." And all I could think of was making a decorative plaque says, "I like my men like I like my sheets, with deep pockets."

But the deep pocketed sheets still wouldn't stay on the mattress.  So then Alex, (who is very determined) thought, "if only there was something like suspenders that you could put on the underside of your mattress to hold the sheets in place." 

Guess what? There is! And guess what? They really work! No more having to pull the fitted sheet down over the mattress every morning.

It's the little things.

//4//

I got a pair of Crocs. Yes, I know they're ugly. But my feet hurt! I got them as indoor shoes to wear, mostly while I'm standing in the kitchen making dinner. I usually do this barefoot, and my feet have been really sore lately. So I got some Crocs. I got the flats and they're actually kind of cute. And they're really comfortable. So I don't care!


//5//

We decided to check out the first episode of This Is Us last night. I don't want to give away any spoilers to folks who haven't watched it yet. All I will say is I cried my way through it, of course. There's a very interesting twist in the plot and I still get goosebumps when I think about it. We will definitely come back next week for more.

But I think I confused some of my Instagram friends when I posted a picture of one of the main characters and said I was watching my brother on TV. To clear up any confusion, Milo Ventimiglia is not my brother.  BUT he looks exactly like my brother. And they have all the same mannerism. I've thought this since I first started watching Gilmore Girls many moons ago. And now that Milo has a beard the likeness is even more pronounced.  It's actually kind of freaky.


See what I mean?

//6//

I think I've mentioned before that my little sister is a professional hair stylist and she is always one step ahead when it comes to all things fashion. When we were little she was always trying to steal my makeup and borrow my clothes. But now, oh how the tables have turned.  One of my favorite things to do when she comes over to babysit my kids is dig through her giant makeup bag and play with all the super high-end goodies in there. 

Well, knowing me as she does, she got me an Ipsy subscription for my birthday and I got my first delivery last week. It's always fun to get mail, but when it's makeup, it's like a party! I loved all my products, but the best by far was the Bombshell nail polish they sent me. I normally don't even bother painting my fingernails because they just chip within a day or two, But I am going on one week and my nails still look great! 


The rest of my bag included a mascara, a contour brush, a conditioning hair mask, and a BB cream that is perfect for my skin. It's only $10 a month and the quality of everything is amazing. I think I just might keep it up even after my gifted months are over. If you want to use my referral link to check it out you will score me some points. Thanks! 

//7//

I have been so fascinated by the Describe Yourself In Three Fictional Characters thing that's been going around all the social media. I've been thinking about this long and hard for the last couple of days and here's what I came up with for myself.


Tami Taylor, responsible and sticks to her principles. Molly Weasely, nurturing and worries about her family a lot and will stick up for them no matter what.  And Anne Shirley, wildly imaginative, and short tempered.  And all of these great ladies have red hair. So there you have it!

Have a great weekend, y'all! 

disclaimer: some links may be affiliate.  when you follow a link a make a purchase I get a small percentage of that sale at no additional cost to you. 





Thursday, September 22, 2016

This Is A Job


I've got a new approach to this whole Stay-At-Home Mom thing this year. Just for a point of reference, my old approach was to try to relax as much as possible, stay in my pajamas as long as possible, and try to do as much knitting as possible. But this kind of parenting was actually causing some problems. Like, when I actually needed to be getting ready my kids were always really crabby. Leaving me putting on my makeup to the tune of two screaming babies, which is not a peaceful experience.  Or when I was doing my enjoyable hobby I had this constant lurking feeling that I should be doing something else (probably because I was ignoring piles of unfolded laundry and saving dinner prep for the witching hour), making it hard to enjoy my enjoyable hobby.

So here's my new approach. I'm treating being a Stay-At-Home Mom like it's a job.  Because it actually is a job.

I've never felt embarrassed by the fact that I'm a stay-at-home mom. I've known for some time that this is what I want to be doing. I also feel no judgment toward moms who want to or need to work outside the home. But I do often feel frustrated that I "got nothing done" all day. That is, I got nothing done beside cooking three meals, keeping my family in clean clothes, cleaning the kitchen, twice, changing a host of diapers, grocery shopping, staying on top of appointments, bills, and budgets and, oh yeah, teaching about ten hours of piano lessons out of my home each week which I don't really talk that much about on here, but that's a job, too. And at the of the day when I crawl into bed my body is tired and my feet are sore from the full day of work I put in. So why do I feel like I got nothing done? Why does my life feel insignificant?

It feels insignificant because I've been treating it as insignificant.

I don't know if it was some subliminal messaging from the society I live in, or my own misconceptions, but somewhere along the road I started feeling like the things I do all day don't matter as much as the things other people do all day. And because I wasn't valuing the things I was doing, they started to seem tedious to me.


But when I really stop and think about it, there's isn't anything else I'd rather be doing. Well, except for maybe professional wine tasting. Or unless you could pay me a lot of money to knit while I watch The Newsroom. But in all seriousness, I'm really happy as a Stay-At-Home Mom. And even though my work is hidden from world and I don't receive a paycheck for it, it is real work that contributes to the well being of my family. So I'm going to treat it that way.

And this is how:

Get up. I'm setting an alarm and getting up when it goes off even if the kids are still sleeping.

Get ready. I'm getting myself ready for the day before Alex leaves the house, and then I don't need to worry about doing it later when kids are melting down for their naps.

Eat breakfast. A cup of coffee and a cookie doesn't count. Everyone does better when mama has some protein in the morning.

Make hay while the sun shines. Or rather, when the babies are happy. I'm using the morning hours when everyone is happiest to get my most pressing chores done. This is usually making sure I have dinner planned and maybe even getting it into the crock pot or oven, and doing one or two cleaning chores, like vacuuming, or a load of laundry, or emptying the dishwasher.

When I'm on, I'm on. If I were at a "real job" I wouldn't be trying to sneak in an episode of 30 Rock, or knit under my desk. (At least I don't think so. . . .) Instead of escaping to my hobbies whenever I can, I am present with my children, building train tracks, stacking blocks, and lots of nursing.

Nap time is me time. That sacred hour, that respite for the weary. When the babies are sleeping I bust out the chocolate and my knitting, or blogging, or whatever else I want to do. And because I've been on top of my chores earlier in the day, I can enjoy my break 100% guilt free.

Get out of the house. Alone. And grocery shopping doesn't count. Being a mom is 24/7 job. I'm always on the clock. But if I can get out of the house by myself once or twice a week, it's enough of a break to refresh and energize me. We're not very good at implementing this one yet. Ideally we'd have a set day and time each week that I would leave, but the craziness of Alex's school makes that a little difficult right now. But I'm trying to get out, and when I do, I really notice the difference it makes.

We're three weeks in and so far my new approach has been working really well. I feel good about the amount of stuff I get done each day. I feel like I am getting some breaks. I'm losing my temper less with my children. Some days are still hard, I don't always wake up as early as I should, or people don't always nap as long as I'd like. But at the end of the day when my body is tired and my feet are sore I take it as a sign that I put in a good day of sanctifying work. Because this is a job, a calling, a vocation. And it's making me a holier person.



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

listening, eating, making, reading. vol. 3


I feel like if I tell you these four things I'm giving you the perfect snapshot of what I've been up to. Plus, they're all things I love to do and love to tall about. So here goes! 

//listening//


25 by Adele. I'm always a little behind the times, so I'm only just now going crazy for Adele.  But seriously! I can't get enough.  If you were to catch a glimpse of me driving in the car you would surely see me belting out the Adele at the top of my lungs.  Also, Adele has been my choice of music when I make my feeble attempts at running. Not you're typical workout jams, but I am so mesmerized by her voice, it's the only thing I can listen to that will truly distract me from how much I hate running. 

//eating//

It's finally cool enough to use the oven again! We've been cooking up lots of bacon to use for BTL's with garden fresh T's. I also made this tasty coffee cake the other day.  Even Johnny liked it!(Also, Hatch Prints mug.) 



//making//

So many things. Or should I say, sew many things. I made some bloomers for Trixie.



And some little drawstring bags for storing knitting projects in. 


And over the weekend Alex and I made a headboard, so now I can lean my head on something while I'm nursing Trixie in the wee small hours. Our room used to look like this.


 Now it looks like this! Yay!!


//reading//


Gilead. Recommended to me by so many people. It took me a while to get into it, but now I understand why everyone loves it.  It's truly beautiful writing that speaks so tenderly on the mysteries of the Christian life, and love, and parenthood. I really need to hustle and finish it though, because this one is next on my list and I want to get it read before Fountains of Carrots does their book podcast on it! 

What have you been up to? Link up to share!

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