A New Chapter

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The count down is over. Both of my kiddos are now in school full time and I am now standing at a cross road of what to do next! I am so happy that the kids are in school and my youngest is so excited to be going to school that it’s hard to feel sad about it. The house is quite and I have had time to organize and clean. I have found a new love/appreciation for the toys they leave out. I find myself watching the clock a lot and am so happy when the school day is done!

Everyone keeps asking me what’s next and the truth is I don’t know. I always thought I would just go back to work full time when this phase of life hit. The reality of it all is a little more complex. First before and afterschool care in my area is hard to come by and expensive! I’m on a few wait lists, but they more or less told me not to hold my breath. I am hoping to find something part-time or that I can do from home. I’m not interest in selling any MLM items or answering questioners LOL. I’m hoping that I can dust off some old work contacts and maybe get something that way. Ideally I could come up with some business I could work from home, but no light bulb has popped on.

I want the perfect career…ya know!?! I want the one that let’s me earn a decent income as well as something that is fulfilling to me! I want flexibility to take the kids to school and pick them up when their Dad can’t. I want to be home to enjoy the evenings with my family and make it to the kids events/activities.

This will be the first whole week of school so I’m not feeling any pressure to jump into the working world just yet. My goal is to have some direction by the first of the year. Until then I will be purging the house, working out more, maybe blogging more, and helping out at the kids school. I’ve been a SAHM for 8 years. I’m nervous about what the coming months will bring my way, but excited and little sad too!

Cheers to a new chapter!!!

Keeping My Holiday SIMPLE

15241953_10153987424987414_3938020077629569501_n1This time of year is always crazy around here! Trying to please everyone, creating Christmas magic for the kids, the parties, and demands on our time can all be just way too much. This year the hubby and I decided that we are keeping it simple. Don’t get me wrong…the house is decked out from top to bottom, but the calendar isn’t booked solid!

This year we are going simple on gifts. Just three each for the kiddos since they have everything they need and most of everything they want! Hopefully this will cut down on the amount of stuff that collects dust and finds its way into the donation center. Cards are going out to friends and family along with a few gift cards here and there.

We have the 25 days of Christmas activities going on here so all the baking and crafts are spread out and should be fun and non stressful! I’m tired of trying to keep my head above water during the holidays and this is my attempt of enjoying the season! Luckily I was able to get most of the shopping done before Thanksgiving so that come the first of December all I had to do was ship things out to our nieces and address the cards!

We aren’t going to a lot of parties this year. Last year we dragged the poor kiddos around all weekend, every weekend trying to experience all the fun. None of it ended up being fun…it was just stress!

I’m hoping that you all are enjoying the season and hopefully you can keep it stress free! Remember in the end it’s the little moments that people cherish and remember! Happy Holidays!!!

 

Mighty Max

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Sometimes it’s the little people around us who teach us the most. They teach by example. This weekend at my 4 yr olds soccer game there was this little guy on the other team named Max. He was such a sweet little guy! He had the whole crowd cheering for him simply because he was awesome!

Max most certainly wasn’t one of the best players. Actually he was pretty far from it, but he had something that you rarely see anymore. He had determination and heart. Poor little Max spent more time on the ground then anyone else that game. He either tripped over the ball, other kids, or just over his own feet yet he kept going.

This little guy would bounce up with a big smile and announce that he was okay! He would wave at his parents every time his little foot hit the ball and he would cheer his little heart out for all the kids on the field when they did something good. He was out there patting shoulders and telling them that they did great!

Max simply could have just stayed sitting in the mud crying. He could have been mad every time the ball was taken for him and for all the times he got pushed to the back of the crowd, but he DIDN’T! He played with all his heart and the he saw the good in all of it.

The most amazing thing that happened was at the end of the game. Kids from both sides  gave sweet little Max hugs goodbye! My daughter even commented about her new friend Max on the other team that was nice to her! Max may not have been the best ball player, but he was a great asset to his team! He provided the emotional support the team needed. He had a smile and cheers for all.

Lesson I learned – You don’t have to be the best at something to contribute in big ways. Max and his smile made the game great! I can only hope he never loses that part of himself!

 

 

In the moment – Weekend blurb

This little lady lead me by the the hand all around the park this morning. She was going from tree to tree just looking at them. When I asked her what she was looking for she replied,”I’m looking for the fall fairy’s.” So like any good Mama I helped her look for the fall fairy’s. We didn’t find any but we did find some beautiful leaves, a bunny, and discovered that she is the better leaf collector lol.

Sometimes it’s fun getting wrapped up in the world of a four year old. Tomorrow we plan to make a fairy house in the back yard!

Happy Fall Friends!

What I want my kids to know

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There is so much I want them to know, but really I think these are the top ones!

  1. Mom doesn’t know everything! I know you think I do, but really I don’t.
  2. Google can only get you so far in life!
  3. I used to think that waking up before 9AM on a weekend was CRAZY…now I can’t even remember the last time I slept in that long.
  4. I don’t understand Common Core.
  5. Hearing you laugh is my favorite sound.
  6. You have taught me so much about myself.
  7. Your hugs really do make everything better!
  8. Sorry doesn’t right a wrong, but it’s a good place to start.
  9. Loving yourself is priceless!
  10. There is nothing on this earth I wouldn’t do for you guys.
  11. It wasn’t until you guys came into my world that coffee became a necessity.
  12. Before kids I very rarely wore my hair in a ponytail and I wore makeup daily!
  13. I wouldn’t trade a moment with you for anything in the world.
  14. I’ve always tried my best with you. Even when I failed miserably. However, your both still alive and going strong.
  15. I still check to make sure you are breathing at night.
  16. You impress me more often than you know with your kindness.
  17. You make me so incredibly proud.
  18. You make me a better person.
  19. Sometimes I can’t wait to get a break, but when I do I miss you like crazy minutes later.
  20. I’m nothing like my mother!
  21. Don’t give up on something because it’s too hard. That something usually tends to be worth the extra work!
  22. I could gush about you both 24/7
  23. There is no such thing at too many hugs and kisses from your mom
  24. I really don’t say or do things just to make you mad. I truly am doing what I think is best for you.
  25. I’m so happy for you to grow up and experience life, but deep down I selfishly want to keep you little and at home with me.
  26. I dread the day you won’t let me pick out your outfit!
  27. I eat foods I hate just to get you to try it!
  28. I hide behind the corner and watch you play.
  29. Sometimes bedtime takes forever to come.
  30. Cuddles are worth skipping all the “need to do” things on my list!
  31. I LOVE YOU! (I know you know, but still!)

 

 

My 21 Day Challenge

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With the holiday season just around the corner I thought that I would use this month to focus on me! Starting on Oct 3rd I’m going to focus on both the inside and outside of dear old me. The next 21 days will include the Beachbody 21 day fix workout program,  going 21 days without caffeine (AKA COFFEE) or alcohol, daily journal writing, and to top it all off I’m also trying out a new face regimen with Rodan & Fields Reverse Regimen.

Life is passing fast and somewhere along the past few years things on this body aren’t as tight, my skin is changing, I’m tired, and mentally I feel like I am always going a million miles a minute. I figure that I’m to young to feel this way and too old to not seize the moment before it takes way too much work and money to get myself back in shape!

Now I will have 30 minutes to work out everyday and each morning I plan of enjoying a cup of tea and squeezing in some time to journal before the crazy morning routine kicks in. I’m excited to see what the next 21 days will hold. It’ll be all the more interesting because I’ll have my little one with me too. Thankfully she enjoys dancing around (her version of working out) and is actually a great little cheerleader!

I’m sure I can stay on track with my 21 day challenge, but really the no coffee thing is going to be HARD!!! I drink coffee when I’m tired, cold, want to relax, bored, hanging out with friends, while reading, while in the car, at pick up and drop off at school. It’s my life line! I mean I like tea, but really it doesn’t hold up to a glorious cup of dark, strong coffee! Just the smell of it alone relaxed me!

Here’s to 21 days of focusing some time on me and hopefully finding a happier, fitter, more relaxed version of myself before the holidays and family swarm in!  Just a side note…I don’t sell any of the above products and am no way associated with any of the above companies!

Cheers!

 

I’m not JUST

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Drawing of me that my son made

According to Oxford Dictionaries just is defined as: simply; only; no more than:

The other day while waiting to pick up my son I was standing on the sidewalk with a group of parents waiting for the afternoon bell. The conversation centered around a mother who was expecting her third child who would be 9 years younger than her current youngest. She was talking about how she was toying with the idea of becoming a stay at home mom. Something she wasn’t able to do with any of her previous children.

While she was speaking excitedly about the prospect of staying home another mom chimed in that she wasn’t cut out to ever stay home full-time, while another said and I quote, “I’m just a stay at home mom.” Honestly I didn’t like her comment. I didn’t like the simplicity of it all. When have you ever heard someone say, “I’m just a doctor”, “I’m just a teacher”, or “I’m just a store clerk?”

I know that in our society we all tend to define ourselves by our careers. I know that I did when I was part of the working world, but by no means am I JUST a stay at home mom! Yes, I am a mom and yes I stay home with the kids, but I do so much more.

Honestly I had a hard time adjusting to life at home. I had a hard time redefining who I was as a person without my career title. I had to toughen up and realize that MOM was a title worth being proud of and that being a stay at home mom was something to be excited about. It wasn’t something to be ashamed of. It wasn’t something I had to do because I couldn’t get a job or because my husband wanted me to be a little Suzy homemaker.

I slowly developed a new role. In my head I was now the COE (Chief of Everything) in my family. I do it all. I pay the bills, clean the house, provide the meals, make the appointments, help with homework, teach the ABC’s and 123’s, transport the kiddos, plan the vacations, I support my husband emotionally and help him to be successful at work. I’m not JUST a stay at home mom. I AM a stay at home mom. I have a job that pays in hugs, kisses, and time. I get time with my family that I either wise would never get had I been reporting to an office. I have been paid in memories that I cling to and sometimes feel bad that my children won’t remember them.

My family is strong and close. My husband is successful, my son excels at school. My daughter is a social butterfly and well on her way to many successes. My family knows that I try my best to take of them, to love them, and to be with them. They also know that I find myself incredibly blessed to be home each and every day! I say I was “just” would demean not only this amazing blessing, but also the hard work my husband does that allows us financially to make this a reality.

So, please any of you who are stay at home parents….know that you are so much more than JUST! You are a vital link in your family chain and you deserve to feel good about the way you spend your time!

 

Perfect Mama moment

Today was one of those days where I had it all together! I woke up early to enjoy a quick workout and a cup of coffee before the littles woke up. I had every one dressed and ready for homemade waffles with homemade organic strawberry sauce. I made up a school lunch, packed the backpack and the water bottle. I even remembered that it was library day!

Life was looking great! Got loaded into the car and while sitting at the light took a sip of my coffee only to notice that I didn’t put coffee into the coffee maker so it was just hot water… Ummm not okay!

Got to school only to notice that the smallest had her shoes on the wrong feet and the oldest was sporting an ever awesome toothpaste mustache! To top it all off my “clean” shirt had a strain right down the middle of it!

Moral of the story… You can’t win them all, but it was sweet while it lasted! High point I grabbed a coffee on the way home! 😉

Pizza night

Some nights…this is my reality! The hubby worked late, I ran around cleaning, grocery shopping, and doing a little extra work for my son’s teacher. When the dinner hour came I was feeling less then stellar so we did a treat night. Pizza and a movie before bed!!! I even got them both showered before the pizza arrived.

I admit I felt a little guilty about not making dinner. Heck I even went to the store to buy dinner supplies and yet I still ordered pizza. Last night just wasn’t my night.

Our realities don’t need to be perfect. Some days it’s made from scratch with love and other days fend for yourself or buying a ready made meal. Either way enjoy a meal with the family!

Side note…I ordered a cookie pizza and never told the kids! Shhhh 😉

Keeping it simple

Life as a Mama isn’t always easy. Time is short and the list of things to be done is forever growing! It’s easy to get caught up in the stress ball of it all! I know it’s easy to tell someone to relax, but really it’s not always an easy action.

This year is my last year with a kiddo at home with me. To think that they have grown up so fast is shocking! I remember thinking at times that I couldn’t wait for them to get bigger and now here I am grasping onto the final days as if my life depends on it.

I’m trying every day to live in the moment. To stop and focus when they talk to me or want to show me something. I laugh more and play more. I curl up to read them a story in the middle of the day… Mind you there are piles of laundry flanking me on either side, but I’m in the moment enjoying the story right along with them.

It’s taken me far too long to realize how short this time with them would be. Chores will be around until the day I die. It doesn’t harm anyone or anything to let things wait or to let them pile up a little. That’s not to say that I don’t run around cleaning like a crazy person when they are occupied in the play room trying to get the house clean, but when it counts I’m there for the little things.

Today’s small moment was listening to my smallest tell me all about the kitten that lives in the sky with tons of stars and fairy god mother’s. 

*Side note she draws better then I do. 🙂

To the small moment!

Stephanie