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The end.

31 Oct

Well, we have arrived! Today is the 31st and the last day of the Nester’s 31-day writing challenge. I only missed one day though I must admit there were more than a few filler posts. To end out the Getting it Together series, I wanted to share the mission statement I created during this time.

To continually trust and praise God that I may be a faithful servant.

To stand behind Spencer, loving him and being his helper that he may feel admired and appreciated.

To protect, teach and encourage my children (Jack and any future children) to become people who know God and love others.

To keep a pleasant and welcoming home.

To be a dependable and supportive friend to all.

To publish only writing which (I believe) is helpful and points others to the Lord.

While this is not perfect, I went ahead and printed it out and hung it up so that I can read it on a daily basis. I think it will help me to feel much more focused and purposeful to keep my mission in mind. I really encourage everyone to write a mission statement! If you are interested, I used Kat Lee’s free e-book, Mission Statements for Moms, to write mine but I bet there are tons of  worksheets and examples on line.

I certainly don’t feel like I have it together all of a sudden but I do have some tools now, because of this mission to get it together, that will be so helpful in letting me be a stay at home mom who lives life with purpose and inspiration. As I said in my first post, I kind of fell into a rut of just going through my days stale and without creativity but now I’m learning how to be a better me in this role.

Today I had a meeting with Kathy Taylor of Life Launch and I plan to have a post about that program soon. Please go ahead and click that link to get information about Life Launch so you’ll know what I’m talking about in my post.

Stay tuned!

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Scheduling chores

21 Oct

Holy moly I almost forgot to post and here we are 2/3 of the way through the month!

What I wanted to post about today was my weekly schedule. I have a love/hate relationship with schedules. I know they make me sooo much more productive but it’s hard for me to stick to a schedule I make for myself. I mean, what am I gonna do, fire myself?

Anyway, I do have a weekly house keeping schedule that I try to loosely follow and it makes me way more efficient the weeks when I really stick to it. You can find all kinds of cleaning schedules on Pinterest but here’s mime as an example.

Monday- laundry and ironing day. I try to do a load every day but I’m not the best at getting it put away so Monday is the day I make sure it’s all in order. I picked the first day of the week so Spencer has something to wear the rest of the week. Ironing is hard because it MUST be done during nap time because of the hot iron and all but as long as I make sure I am home for one of the two naps then it gets done. This is also the day I’ll be going to MOPs on the second and fourth week of each month.

Tuesday- bathrooms and dusting. Also toddler time the first and third Tuesdays.

Wednesday- meal planning and errands

Thursday- floors

Friday- expenses. I do our expense reimbursement bookkeeping for Spencer’s work and I try to do that twice a month so that leaves every other Friday to do any other projects that I want to work on.

Like I said, sometimes I fall off the wagon and forget about my schedule but I’m always glad when I stick to it. One thing I had to learn when Jack was born was how to split up my work into smaller pieces. I like to do the whole thing at once but I soon realized I would never again have a four-hour block of time to devote to cleaning. Now these little chunks work much better.

I encourage you to write out a schedule for any chores or activities that you procrastinate or get behind on. Try it for a week or two and you will feel like you’ve got it together!

Mission: Have a Mission

15 Oct

As a stay-at-home mom to a little one, I have struggled over the past 15 months since he’s been born to figure out how to have some purpose and direction in my life. It is so easy to just stay in my pajamas, scan the internet and drink coffee (in between feeding, playing with and bathing Jack) until five minutes before Spencer gets home and then go into a cleaning (myself and the house) frenzy.

Now that I think about it, it’s kind of like summer time as a kid after my parents got a divorce. My mom started working and so us kids would just sleep all day and make messes and eat and then right before she got home we would scramble to clean everything up and do our chores. It’s actually really similar to my current life.

Clearly, I need a mission. I need projects. And I’m sorry, but laundry and dishes just don’t get my motor running. Anyway, that’s pretty much what this whole 31 Days of Getting it Together is really about.

So, imagine my excitement when I ran across (purely by accident, I was not searching for any of this) a blog that offered an e-book called Mission Statements for Moms. It seems so cheesy, I know. But. At any job, the company has a mission statement. The employees have specific job duties. They know what their purpose at work is. This is what I need. I’ve never been good at free-styling it.

Once I had a creative writing class and the teacher (What up, Ms. Brewer?!) told us to just write something and she didn’t give us any guidelines. I whined that I didn’t know what to do. She told me to think outside the box. I told her I needed a box because it was way too overwhelming to try to organize and pick out of the tornado in my head. She told me too bad. I wrote something begrudgingly. I’m sure it was terrible. That’s kind of how life has been. I need some guidelines. I need some way to focus back in on what I’m doing instead of passing my days just waiting for Spencer to come home.

So, I have written a rough draft that I really like and I’m going to let it simmer for a few days and then maybe I’ll share it. No matter what  you are doing in life right now, if you feel directionless or stagnant, think about a mission statement for your own life! You don’t even have to tell anyone about it (you chicken!). Even though the title is Mission Statements for Moms, I think it could be a helpful resource for anyone. It’s really not mom-specific. In fact, I’m sure there are countless resources out there on the internet to help you write a mission statement.

Give it a try! And, if you do, I’d love to hear how it works out for ya.

You get it together

10 Oct

Today, I did not get it together. Today, I dropped it all and it rolled like marbles all over the place and under all the furniture. There has been a lot on my mind and I am having terrible allergies and Jack was whiny (and kind of mean) and I was just too tired today. The day wasn’t a total loss, though. I did get the guest room which was a mess of  craft supplies, trash, shipping materials and Jack’s toys cleaned up. So, that’s good enough today.

I also made some beer bread and I’m not sure which column to put that in because it’s so delicious that I eat too much. We’ll call that a wash. If you want to be conflicted like me, just check out my FAVORITE, tastiest, easiest recipe here. You will love hate me forever.

Some mama stuffs

22 Mar

I have been doing a lot of reflecting here lately. Okay, I always do a lot of reflecting. But I feel a little looney because I haven’t had time to write any of it down. And my thoughts never make too much sense to me until I get them written down. It’s like when I’m thinking, I’m trying to connect concepts but it’s really hard to keep track of what I was thinking about the first one while I figure out the second one. So, if this thing seems a bit discombobulated, that’s because it is. Get it?! Okay, great! Moving on!

So, I don’t have a whole bunch of time to write about everything I’d like to write about right now because Spencer’s out of town and I’m in charge of everything for a few days. Which means I’m tired, basically. But, here are the high spots I wanted to hit, at least.

I’ve been thinking A LOT about stay-at-home-mommying recently. Mainly because a childless person I know recently told me I “clearly have too much time on my hands.” HAHAHA So clueless. Everyone who has a kid knows what a ridiculous statement that is, whether they stay home or not. I don’t blame the people without kids for not “getting it.” Not too long ago, I was one and I didn’t get it, either. But, there are also some moms who work away from home who seem to think staying at home is a cakewalk. I get that, too. I know that working moms have to take care of stuff at home AND be gone to work all day. I don’t know what that’s like but I can guess that it’s pretty hectic and tiring. So maybe my life isn’t as hectic. But, it’s not like Jack just plays quietly by himself while I do housework. Seriously, if keeping kids were easy, daycare would be a lot cheaper (BTW, you couldn’t pay me enough money to run a daycare so props to those childcare workers with that special gift!) Yep, I sure do stay in my PJs half the day. But, do you know why that is? Because it’s pointless to put on decent clothes when no adult is going to see you and you know you’re going to end up with puke, poop and food on you before too long anyway. And do I sit around watching the Today show while drinking my coffee? Um, no. I do have the Today show on just to hear some conversation and I did make coffee for Spencer but I’m probably not going to get to sit down and drink it all at once. I kinda just take big swigs when I pass my cup which has to stay on an out-of-reach surface so the little guy doesn’t get burned.

Yes, a baby is climbing up my leg while I pee, but I think the bigger question is, why did I have my phone so handy while peeing?!

Yes, a baby is climbing up my leg while I pee, but I think the bigger question is, why did I have my phone so handy while peeing?!

Listen, I’m by no means complaining about being a stay-at-home mom. But it’s no walk in the park for me (Maybe for some mamas who are naturally home-bodies and have nurturing, selfless personalities it is super fun but I bet it’s still not easy). There have been lots of days when I really, really, really wanted to have a job to go to. I want to talk about important things with grown ups. I want to wear nice clothes. I want to be able to stop at a convenience store and be able to go in without having to wake a baby up. Seriously. I have been jealous of Spencer for some crazy things. I envy his lunch hour. I remember those. I envy his ability to stop anywhere he wants between here and work. I envy his quiet drive to and from work- and I hate driving. I envy the fact that since he has a job, he is the one who gets to stay in bed when the baby’s up six nights per week (he gives me Friday nights off so that I don’t flee the country). He is on a work trip to Dallas right now and I’m jealous of that. Honestly, who would wish they could go to a sales meeting in Dallas? This girl would! But it’s okay. Because that’s not the deal. And I could get a job if that’s what I wanted to do. But when I weigh the pros and cons, being home with Jack wins. And it always will as long as I’m fortunate enough to have the choice. But all I’m saying is, no mom who is doing a good job has it easy (I’m also not saying Spencer has it easy. I know he busts his tail at a stressful job to keep us all in shoes). Do some have it easier than others? No doubt. But trust me when I say my life was comparatively stressless and carefree before I had a baby. Including being pregnant.

Maybe our generation is just poorly prepared for mommy-hood, especially those of us who got old and set in our own selfish ways before we started having kids. I mean, I’m sure our mothers would laugh at how baffling this has all been for me. But we were raised to expect to have our cake and eat it to. We were brought up thinking that we could have a high-powered career, a Martha Stewartesque home, a tight little behind and be great moms all at the same time. Maybe some women can. I can’t. But that’s what I’ve been striving for all this time. The impossible. And that’s what I have to wrap my head around from time to time. Sacrifice. Let it sink in. I can’t have EVERYTHING. That’s all there is to it. What a novel idea.  God is teaching this lady some lessons these days, let me tell ya. I just hope I learn ’em.

So, with all that being said, here are a few things you should check out.

In this letter, Dear Mom on the iPhone, this lady says what many appear to be thinking. Thanks for the guilt-trip, but mind your own business. No, really. Do. The gal over at Fried Okra agrees. So do about a million others if you care to Google it.

I’ve got a friend who has three adopted boys. The oldest is about 2 1/2, I think, and the other two are like, five months and one month or something really close to that. So, yeah. Her life is like, basically, psycho. I mean, the younger two aren’t even like having twins because they are probably just far enough apart that they don’t have similar schedules. WHEW. Anyway, she wrote this post recently which touched my heart. Then her sister shared this post which made me feel relieved and I really wanted to high-five the author.

My kid is eating dirt daily. And I only have one. Wow.

My kid is eating dirt daily. And I only have one. Wow.

And then on a different note, my sister shared this post today which made me so super glad that I am not the only one who feels this way. It’s about raising daughters in a world that tells them their main goal in life is to be sexy. And even though I don’t have a daughter, I am one. And I know what it’s like. And I know how so many times young men do not realize the emotional effect they can have on a girl and how vulnerable she may be. They may not realize how different sex is for men and for women, especially when they are young and reckless. Ladies, even if you never gave a piece of yourself away because you thought it would make him love you, I bet you have friends who did. So, mothers of daughters, yes, teach your girls how to treat themselves and their sisters. And mothers of sons, let’s teach them how to respect young ladies. And dads, you have a major role in this one, too. MAJOR. Maybe even more major than mom’s role for the girls because the relationship you have with your daughter will shape her relationships with other men as she gets older.

Alright, my head feels much more empty and peaceful now, how about yours?! I think that’s all I have to say about that. Love ya, mean it!

Num-nums for your tum-tums

27 Feb

Okely dokely, friends. I have been all up in the Pinterest lately. I have some recommendations for y’all. Also, it will help me remember these things if I blog them. I’m going to throw in some old ones too, since I’ve never posted them before. I’m too lazy busy to post all the links, but you can get them from my Pinterest. Enjoy!

1.) Loaded baked potato and chicken casserole: Extremely spicy. Lay off the hot sauce if you aren’t into breathing fire. Actually, just don’t bother making this at all. I know, I know. It sounds delicious. But, it’s really just boring. And hot. Did I mention it was a smidge hot?

2.) Skillet chicken and vegetables: Delicious! Amazing! Make it right now! Also, I substituted broth for wine.

3.) One pan spicy sausage pasta: Fancy name for macaroni and cheese with sausage in it. Pretty much a waste of time to make.

4.) Chicken taco chili: Good. Nothing special, but a hardy, yummy meal.

5.) Cinnamon honey nutmeg face mask: Claims to reduce pore size, redness, dark spots and to soften skin. Actually does nothing but maybe makes your skin smooth from the nutmeg exfoliating it. Waste of time and delicious ingredients.

6.) 30 minute Mongolian beef: Pretty tasty and easy. Will make again.

7.) 3 ingredient meatloaf: The only meatloaf Spencer has ever liked. Very easy to fix.

8.) Peasant bread: I just decided to make this one day out of the blue and it was very good and just as simple as it seems.

9.) Beer bread: I don’t think I got this from Pinterest, but it’s on my “bread” board now. It’s AWESOME and super easy.

10.) Mama’s supper club tilapia: I think this was one I found elsewhere and pinned as well. But it’s reeeeaaally good and you can use whatever cheese you have on hand.

There are ten reviews for ya. This week we are having baked tacos, Mississippi roast, crockpot cheese tortellini and chicken bacon ranch bake. So, I’ll let ya know how those go. I have made some desserts so maybe one day I’ll list some of those. Holla if you need a recipe and can’t find it.

Best day ever

6 Dec

Well. I am just on a roll today. Here are the two best parts:

1.) Flashed the mail lady (that kinda sounds like an oxymoron. Good thing we have spelling to let you know that I’m talking about the person who delivers my fan mail bills.) Full on. Got out of the shower, went to let Smokey in and opened the door right when she pulled up to our mailbox. I jumped over to the side of the door when I saw her (I’m sure my post baby body jumping was a lovely sight.) But it was too late, she’d done been mooned (Ray Stevens reference). Oh, well. At least it was a lady? In my defense, I live down a dead end dirt road and hardly anyone passes my house during the day. That’s why I feel free to approach my storm door buck naked. Dumb, I know. I fully expect her to request a new route now.

2.) After sexually harassing the mail lady, I came into the living room to discover a real nice pile of Smokey barf. What the heck, Smokey?! You couldn’t at least make it to the tile? You couldn’t have done that outside? Sheesh.

3.) Oh, there’s now a #3. Went to check on LBJ in the middle of writing this and walked right through the wet spot on the carpet where I cleaned up the puke. In my socked feet. Awesome.

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Enjoy your day.

The new adventure

30 Aug

Guess who’s officially a stay-at-home mom now? This girl (er, lady? Can you still refer to yourself as a “girl” once you have a kid? I don’t know. I’m very new at all this.) That’s right. Life sure is crazy.

I’ve had a great, great, great job as a lobbyist the last two years. Best job ever. In the past, I always hoped I could be a stay-at-home mom but let’s be honest, that would be super-hard to afford. Life for three or more people plus a doggy and a kitty is pretty difficult to manage on one income. In fact, I questioned whether I would even want to have kids if I had to have them in full-time daycare. It just seems like it would be so hard to work full-time and keep a household and a marriage going. And I’m lazy.

But, as a lobbyist, I would be able to be home quite a bit for eight months out of the year while still making a living. So, I assumed this was God’s compromise for us. We planned my pregnancy around legislative session.  I got on a waiting list for the best daycare near the Capitol. I found a pediatrician near the Capitol. I had a PLAN. But, I forgot that my plans usually suck compared to God’s plans. Even though I was preparing everything for the way I thought it should be, I was still praying about the whole baby situation and that His will would be done in our family.

Well, guess what. Two weeks after I had Jack, I got fired. Well, demoted at least. My bosses decided that they just didn’t have enough work to justify paying me full-time (They were right, by the way. I totally understand their position. Although receiving this news while staving off serious baby blues wasn’t the coolest, but that’s my problem.). They did, however, think that they could justify paying me a little bit to do some part-time work from home. I had to think/pray/talk to Spencer about this. After weighing out all our options, this seemed like the best one.

So, now I’m a SAHM (what the peeps on the world wide web call it). This is going to be difficult because while I always wanted to be able to be with my kids, I kind of pictured doing it in a white Range Rover with a Dillard’s card in my wallet. Not that Spencer doesn’t have a good job. He has a great job. But we are not quite to Rockefeller status yet. This means we are going to have to make some serious cuts in the extras. This is what I’ve been cranky about. I spent 26 years of my life being broke. Several of those could go into the extremely broke category. So these last few years, when we’ve had a little breathing room, have been really nice. It’s just hard to face what feels like going backwards financially (Actually, I just realized I’m back to being fat and broke at the same time. ACK! But, that’s a different blog.). But, that’s the plan.

And I’ve got to have faith that it’s a better plan than anything I could’ve come up with.

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