Day 3 – Ha! Not really.
So I didn’t do 31 Days of Real Life on the blog – but TRUST ME, I did 31 Days of Real Life, which includes the blog being put on the back burner once again.
But that’s life folks.
Are you like me? Do you feel like everything would be ok if you could just get on top of things once and for all?
So many times a week (or a day!) I think, “If I could just get it together and get [blank] done, than it would be alright.”
If I could just get it together and plan our meals out and stay on top of it, we could eat healthy and budget our food money better.
If I could just get it together and not let the dishes pile up, I could keep the kitchen clean.
If I could just get it together and get the house totally cleaned one time, then I could keep it that way and just do maintenance.
But I’m never really able to get there. As soon as I feel like the kitchen is good and clean, guess what – we have to eat. And the moment the laundry is done there are more dirty clothes. And once I sit down to make a meal plan and grocery list I think of fifteen other things that I need to be doing or making a list about.
But that’s life folks.
I am NEVER going to have it all together. And you know what, that’s not really the point anyway.
Do I want my daughter to grow up in a perfect house and think that her Mom is a great housekeeper, cook, and Wonder Woman all wrapped up in one?
Well yes, kind of.
Not really. I want her to grow up and see that I serve our family and honor The Lord by doing my best to take care of us and our home. I want her to see that this is the life that God has called me to, and that I truly desire to live, and that doesn’t really mean a clean house and a perfectly planned calendar.
Am I pursuing a well-kept home, healthy food and an organized life? Absolutely. But that’s all I can do is pursue it, because I’m never going to arrive at perfection.
But I will press on, and I hope you will too, with the reminder that I’m here to serve and to honor The Lord in my calling as a wife and mom.
Just press on. Because that’s life folks.
We’ve been experiencing a lot of “real life” lately. Here’s a few bullet points:
Phoebe is almost a YEAR OLD! How in the world did that happen? I’ve been planning her first birthday party and we can NOT wait to celebrate this weekend!
(also, she rarely sits still long enough to get her picture…)
This summer we welcomed a new little member to our extended family, Liam McDow was born to my brother, Isaac and his wife, Erin. Phoebe was thrilled to become a “Big Cousin”.
The Lord has answered some HUGE prayers when it comes to Harrison’s business this year. He gained new clients and reached a sales quota to be sent on a company trip, whohoo! So we’ll be taking Phoebe on her first airplane ride and enjoying some much needed family time/rest time. I’ll be sure to share all about it after our trip.
I took some time away from the blog back in August/September, so I’ve been working on some fun projects …which I know I keep teasing you with…I’ll be sharing more about those very soon.
Like I said yesterday, this is not the planned out 31 Days Series that I had put together, so this is a little on the fly. But I hope it will be fun for you to see some bits of our real life. To see more follow me on Instagram – I share pictures of our day to life and adventures, and plenty of cute baby stuff
It’s October! And that means The Nester’s 31 Days is here!
I have a confession, I did not plan for 31 Days in advance like I did last year. In fact, I totally forgot it was coming. Once I remembered, I quickly through together a series that I was actually really excited about and that would tie in nicely with a new project I’m working on.
Friends, THIS is not that series.
As today got closer I kept having more ideas for that series and it seemed like a great idea. But it wasn’t as full of heart as I wanted it to be. I plan to still write that later.
But this month I’m going to write 31 Days of Real Life.
That means I will write while my daughter sits in her high chair and
patiently waits for me bangs her cup on her tray until I get her up.
It means I will write in the midst of laundry and dishes and throwing together dinner.
It also means I will share what Jesus is really doing in our lives, and pictures from my iPhone, and half-baked ideas.
But it will be REAL, and it will be ME and it will be WRITING.
And I will be reading lots of other 31 Days Series, I hope you will too!
I love routine. I thrive with a schedule and a plan.
But as a stay-at-home mom, a predictable schedule isn’t always the easiest thing. At the very least, we have to think through our kids’ daily needs and be prepared to be flexible.
However, I still want to be productive at home and have a semi-normal plan for the day.
After listening to Michael Hyatt’s podcast about his morning ritual I felt inspired to try to come up with some sort of system that worked for me. He encourages getting up and started first thing in the morning.
Umm, yeah. Can’t do that when I wake up with the baby.
So I have found that the best thing for me is to be prepared to really start my day as soon as Phoebe goes down for a nap.
We have breakfast when she gets up, but not much else happens after that as far as work or house work. I just let her play and spend that time with her.
Once she goes down for her morning nap, I get going. I run…no literally, I RUN around the house getting stuff done. I throw on my tennis shoes with my pajamas, pull my hair back in a ponytail and sometimes I blast an upbeat Pandora station in my earphones to keep me moving.
Starting at one end of the house, I quickly straighten each room – pick up toys, dishes, shoes and throw away trash. Once the house is generally straight, I run (RUN!) to do my daily cleaning task. (Want to know more about my quick straightening and daily tasks? Check out my ebook!)
As long as I get those two things done, I feel like I’ve gotten a good start to the day. I also try to think about what we’re having for dinner and take care of any prep that needs to be done ahead of time.
Bonus points are given for taking a shower too.
In a nutshell this is what works for me as a morning routine:
1 – Get going as soon as the baby goes down for a nap
2 – Put on my shoes and RUN to get my tasks done as quickly as possible
3 – Know which tasks I’m planning to accomplish so I don’t get sidetracked
4 – Don’t worry about all the things that I don’t get done, just focus on what I can do in this short amount of time.
The important thing for me is to have a time that I know I’m going to get work done. Find the best time for yourself and make a commitment to get as much done as you can in that time frame. For me it’s during morning nap, but for you it might be the kids’ afternoon nap, or even before your kids get up in the morning. Maybe it’s while they eat breakfast or play in their rooms. Whenever you can grab a few minutes and be productive, just work quit and fast so you can move on with your day.
Do you have a morning routine that works for you? Or do you focus on another time of day to really get things accomplished?
SIDE NOTE: After I put up this post, I read a this recent post from Jessi about her morning routine. Since I want to share other resources with you, I thought this was an encouraging look at another busy mama’s morning routine.
It has been a long time, and I’m SO excited to be writing again!
Over the last month I’ve been processing and thinking about my blog and my readers (that’s you!) and where I need to go from here. I’m so glad and honored that this little blog has grown into something exciting and fun and (of course) that people actually read it.
I was encouraged after reading this post from Jessi to keep thinking about who I’m writing to and what I want to share.
This is my new purpose statement for writing here:
To write words that encourage women to be free to be who God has called them to be and to thrive in the life God has called them to live.
SO….with that in mind, here’s what you can expect me to be writing about:
- Thriving in this life as a busy woman, wife, mom, friend, etc.
- How-to tips on getting things done and being creative.
- Resources that I love and want to pass on to you.
- Stories about my life and our family.
I hope that’s as exciting to you as it is to me! I’ll also be sharing pictures of life on Instagram, so be sure to follow along there as well.
Look for more announcements coming soon on a new ebook and an exciting new venture that I’ll be sharing about here.
I hope you’re coming back with me and I look forward to sharing this journey with you again.
PS….If you happen to be a male and reading this, I hope you will still find encouragement and ideas. Just know that my writing will be specifically geared toward women, so I’m most likely to use terms like “she” “her” “women/woman”, etc. Don’t take offense.
I’ve let this blog go quiet, and I’ve thought I should hop back on and write this post, but I kept putting it off. Maybe because I didn’t really want to say it.
My last post was all about the great plans I had for the month of August – and I did have them! Planned and outlined and prepared for a full month.
And then Harrison and I had a talk about how things were going in our home. And he said something that really struck me. He said, we’ve made sacrifices for you to be a stay-at-home Mom, so why don’t you just be that?
I hadn’t thought of my blog as something that was taking time away from our family and our home, but ya know what? He had. He had felt that way, and that makes it real. And right now that’s what matters to me.
So I just tried to stay away for a little bit. To really FOCUS my time on being with Phoebe, on taking care of the house and planning meals and just taking my time with those things. And I was surprised to find that I felt a little relieved. I didn’t let myself worry if I put up a post or not, or if I had good enough pictures or if I tweeted enough.
And you know what happened? My husband came home EVERY DAY and said things like, “the house looks so nice”. And I didn’t feel rushed or stressed.
And I didn’t really spend all my time cleaning or anything, I just took a few more minutes to tidy up a little more, or wipe down counters or sweep the floor. And I had a few more minutes to plan dinner or go to the store for what we needed. And those few minutes made all the difference.
I’m not saying I’m leaving this blog. I really love writing here and I’m not giving it up. But I am taking a little break.
Just to breathe, and to figure out how it fits into our schedule and family life – instead of the other way around.
I will be checking in here a little bit over the next couple of weeks, and then I will launch back in with a regular schedule, when I figure out what that is. I hope you’ll come back to figure it out with me.
Today I’m linking up with Lisa Jo at Five Minute Friday for this prompt.
I have always loved that this blog is a place to share my story.
But sometimes I wonder, what exactly is my story anyway?
When I started this blog, my story was the life of a newlywed couple loving life and sharing adventures together.
Right now, my story is changing diapers, feeding a baby, keeping a house, loving my husband and trying to stay on top of this crazy life.
Sometimes that means my story is a tip on routine and organizing, and sometimes it means that my life is anything but routine and organized.
But everyday I hope that the real story is simply this: Grace.
Grace in the days when I don’t get everything done.
Grace in the way I speak to my husband.
Grace in the way I train our daughter.
Grace in blogging and twittering and building relationships online, and grace in building relationships with those I see in person.
Grace in knowing all I’m called to do is walk with Jesus in this life and in this story.
Because it’s not really my own story anyway, it’s His.
Oh, goodbye July…. Hello August!
Didn’t expect to see you so soon, but here you are anyway.
Summer has just flown by without warning, and with everybody out shopping for school supplies, doesn’t it just make you want to buy a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils? (ok, it’s a movie quote, if you haven’t seen “You’ve Got Mail” go watch it….now, I’ll wait.)
I’ve got a few exciting things planned for the blog this month! I’ll be sharing some new resources each week that I love and that I hope will be useful to you. I’ll also be releasing a new, FREE ebook! I’ll be sharing more about that soon.
I hope that your August is exciting, full of fun things and new adventures!
I did NOT intentionally take the week off of blogging last week.
It just happened.
Harrison was out of town most of the week, and Phoebe is apparently in the midst of a teething, solid food strike, growth spurt, waking during the night and still waking early in the morning combo that has me holding on for dear life. Don’t get me wrong, there are happy moments and sweet times, but right now is just one of those challenging times.
But you know what? This is real life people.
And in the midst of this real life there are sweet joys. Like picking my husband up from the airport. Like taking some time on Saturday morning to shop at a garage sale that benefits orphans. And even just letting the house go for a few days and not worrying about the mess or the laundry or cooking (Y’all, I eat take out the entire time my husband is out of town…seriously.)
So if you’ve had a hard day, or hard week or if you’re in the middle of a challenging time, look for the small rewards and the little happy moments. Remember that in it all, God is for us..for YOU! That doesn’t mean every day is sunshine and rainbows, but it does mean you will get through it.
I’ve been a little low on blog inspiration lately – I’m chalking it up to working on more ebook ideas and fiction writing. So I’m writing a few posts “Five Minute Friday Style” and using old prompts. Enjoy!
Imagine what your dream life is. This is mine:
Being a wife to a wonderful husband. I always imagined that I would be married to a businessman of sorts who goes to work everyday in a suit.
Being a mom. I always imagined myself as a mom, taking care of babies, doing housework and cooking meals, changing diapers and kissing booboos.
Being a writer. I have always imagined that I would be writing – and hopefully being published, having other people read my work and making money at it.
That’s what I imagine as my dream life. Wife, Mom, Writer.
I’m so incredibly blessed that those things are now my real life. I’m married to a man who loves me and our little girl, and does actually go to work in a suit everyday. I’m a mom. Enough said. And I’m a writer. No, I haven’t landed a book deal with a publishing house and no I’m not making a full-time income, but I’m writing, and people read my stuff, and I’m actually making a little money.
None of this means I have a perfect life, but in my opinion I’m living the dream.