So…it’s kind of hard to call this an announcement, since I announced it on social media a while ago, but it’s new info for the blog, soooooo….
We’re excited to announce that Phoebe is going to be a Big Sister in September!
I’m currently 12 weeks along, and this pregnancy has been a little different than with Phoebe. Mostly because…well, umm, because I have a toddler, and I’m at home all day. I’ve been pretty tired, but Phoebe is at such a good age where she plays well by herself and doesn’t need me to stand over her every single second, so that has allowed me to rest some while she plays. Plus the long nap in the afternoon means I frequently take naps too…no shame!
In answer to the questions most people ask:
I’m due sometime around mid-September.
YES. We will find out the gender.
Yes, I do think Phoebe will be a great big sister. And yes, two years apart is a good age difference.
And YES, we are SO excited!
I probably won’t do as many “pregnancy updates” as I did with Phoebe – sorry second child! – but I will do some updates along the way. I’m looking forward to the second trimester where I will have a little more energy and finding out if we will have a brother or a sister!
As my faithful readers know, I took a break from blogging back in September. I had every intention of getting back to it at the end of that month, and even said I was back…then I realized how nice it had been to have that time away. So I kept putting it on the back burner and just letting it slide. Somewhere along the way I think I knew in my mind that the plan would be to start back in the new year, but I never made it official. But nevertheless, here I am again, and the time away has just made it refreshing to come back!
BUT, the blog missed a lot over those months, so I thought I would do a quick recap of the rest of 2013.
For your enjoyment, here are some details and an obnoxious amount of pictures…
In October Phoebe turned ONE!
I had been planning her birthday party since she was about a month old, so needless to say I was excited. We were thrilled to celebrate with so many family members and friends that day. Phoebe dug into her smash cake and opened more presents than you can imagine. And we took SO. MANY. PICTURES. (So many in fact that I may just have to do a separate post one day…which I would have done if I had been blogging at that time anyway, so yeah, maybe I will…)
The week after Phoebe’s birthday we got to go on a trip that Harrison won through a Summer contest at work. We flew to Cour d’alene, Idaho and stayed at a beautiful resort on the lake. It was neat to travel with so many couples from his office and enjoy time with them as well – and Phoebe was the little mascot of the group. Everywhere we went and saw people from our group, every one would stop and talk to her and play with her and pass her around. Our little extravert LOVED that! In all honesty we didn’t really do a lot of activities on the trip that others did, since we had a one-year-old with us, but it was so nice to just relax and enjoy time away.
Phoebe also started walking in October!
…and as soon as I find the video I will add it here…
The rest of the fall was spent teaching Phoebe about football Saturdays – she now starts cheering anytime she sees a football game on tv – and learning how to contain her so she can’t get from one end of the house to the other in two seconds.
We enjoyed celebrating Thanksgiving with both of our families, and then the month of December flew by way too quickly! But we were so glad to spend time with our families again at Christmas and celebrate with Phoebe as (not her first Christmas, but…) the first Christmas she was really able to enjoy what was going on.
So that was the end of our year…now we’re flying through 2014 and enjoying fun and crazy life. More tomorrow!
I mentioned that my word for the first 12 Weeks of the year is “Plan”.
To go along with that I have some specific goals for the month of January:
(and yes, again, I know this month is practically over. I’ve been working on these goals all month, I’m just sharing them with you now…)
- Wake up at 6:00 am on Weekdays
- Have Daily Worship / Time with The Lord
- Have a monthly Date Night
- Spend Daily “Teaching Time” with Phoebe (focused time counting, naming animals, singing ABC’s, etc. )
- Monthly / Weekly Meal Plan
- Blog 3 Times a week
- Read One Book a month
I’m posting them here so that I will be accountable to them (yikes!) and will give an update report at the end of the month on how those goals have or have not been accomplished. (Obviously I was already a little behind on “Blogging 3 times a week” … progress people…)
Did you make goals this month? How are you doing?
Oh yes, Happy New Year!
….so….ok it’s already halfway through January.
But I can still be excited about 2014 and all the newness and freshness that it holds, right?
I wanted to have a word of the year for 2014. But once I started making a list of possibilities for “my word” there were too many to narrow it down. So I decided to celebrate a 12 Week Year and focus on a new word each quarter.
My word for the first quarter is this: Plan
I want to plan ahead, plan better, plan to do things, plan NOT to do things. And while I want to be flexible with myself and give myself plenty of grace when things don’t go exactly as planned, I don’t want it to be just because there was no plan or forethought in where I was headed.
All that to say, part of my plan is to blog here regularly (YAY!). And another part of that plan is to blog here about the other parts of my plan.
I haven’t lost the focus of the blog, it’s just been on the back burner for a while. Which actually means that I’ve had all kinds of ideas running around in my head and blogging, so get ready for all of that to explode onto the page.
I hope you’ll be excited to read along with my journey of 2014.
Sooooooo……Happy New Year
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.