Thursday, July 31, 2014

It's Thursday

There is a reason that I schedule automatic postings every Thursday. There is a reason that the postings are reflective in nature. I'm not sure if I've ever shared before, but Thursday is sacred around here. It's our sabbath. Because Patrick's job requires so much from him on Sunday and because my job leaves me feeling like I'm having an out of body experience every Sunday, we have a different day of the week that we set aside for sabbath rest. We protect this day. We frequently tell each other, "Thursday is coming" instead of "Sunday is coming."

We drink coffee in bed as we read, have breakfast as a family, keep the TV off, hide our cell phones (except to contact friends or family), spend time doing something fun as a family, take an afternoon nap, and eat dinner with friends.

The washer and dryer don't run on Thursday. The floors don't get swept. We aren't perfect in our protection of this day, but we try. This day is set apart from all the rest of the days in the week and it is so, so good. So while these random Thursday morning "mommy musings" may have come out of left field, I hope that you don't mind them. Even if you do... tough. It's Thursday.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cloth Diapers (an update)

I feel like it's time for a little update on our cloth diapers. The short story is that we are still using them (most of the time) and we are still enjoying them. You can find my original post on the subject here.


Owen is now wearing his diapers on the largest option available. Eek! When did he get this big? I feel like it is a reminder that, "hey, you're going to potty train sometime in the next year." How scary is that? He is so not ready right now (boys are slow at it anyway from what I hear) and neither am I, but I know it's coming.

Okay, back to the diapers... We are still using the same 18 Bum Genius 4.0 pocket style diapers with snaps and they are holding up great. No stains, no rips or holes.

Laundry factor: I still try to wash them every other day but I find that more often than not, I only wash them twice a week. It hasn't seemed to affect their performance so I'm going with it.

Stuffing the diapers is a chore, but I'm super fast at it by this point. I timed myself yesterday just to see how long it actually takes me to get from this...


to this...


Answer? About 5 minutes with a toddler interruption.

The stink is way better once I realized that it was okay to add bleach to the cold water cycle once a month.

No leaks and no poop blowouts. It took some time to figure out how to position the diapers on Owen, but since then we've been clean.

The only area that I feel I need to update is that we started using liners about a month after my post. Once Owen started solids, his poop required the diaper sprayer. I feel like I adapted pretty well, but Patrick didn't. I'm not trying to be mean, he will even admit it himself. He just didn't like it and after weeks of trying, he still felt like he was spraying the entire bathroom. Yuck... That's when I decided to purchase diaper liners. Problem solved.




The liners cost about $7 for a roll of 100 so it's still pretty cheap. We place one in the bottom of the diaper before placing it on Owen. It's a great solution because now it's rare that a diaper requires the sprayer. It still happens occasionally. The liners can be flushed so all you have to do is let the liner with the poop roll on out into the toilet and flush. Lovely, huh?

Learning to climb on the furniture.
So there you have it. A quick update on our cloth diaper journey.



BarnHouse1128

I have some confessions. When we were searching for homes this is the house that I didn't even want to look at. I thought it looked like a barn in the pictures. Turns out, it looked like a barn in person too. However, once our realtor got us on the property, we were sold. We could see the potential and envision our future children growing up here.

My other confession is that I've never liked the name for this blog. I threw it together rather quickly because I wanted somewhere to document the transformation of this home and our family. While I'm thankful for having put the blog together when I did, I think I've landed on a much more suitable name.

A few years ago I had a friend that came to our house for the first time and exclaimed, "I love your cute little barn house!" At the time, I wasn't feeling the same love but today I feel differently.

Since April of 2009 we've managed to transform this "barn house" into our home. We've painted (a lot), pulled up carpets, installed hardwood floors, bought furniture, replaced light fixtures, installed a sink, replaced water lines, added electrical, and a new deck. However, it's not these changes alone that have made it our home. The life we've lived here has been the most important aspect of making this our home.

The to-do list for this house still lingers on, but my heart has changed in spite of it. I've grown to embrace this little house because it is ours. It's where we've laughed, fought, cried, added to our family, mourned, and celebrated. It may still resemble a barn but it is our home barn house and we love it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Strawberry Cheesecake Shake

I found something similar to this on GNC's website. Someone had commented that they like to add some pudding mix to their shake to change the flavor a little. I had to try it. This might be my favorite way to prepare my shake.

Directions:
1 1/2 scoops vanilla powder
1 tbs cheesecake pudding mix
1 cup almond milk (may need to add more if it's too solid)
1 cup frozen strawberries (can substitute any berry! Blueberry cheesecake is yummy.)
blend and enjoy!

Monday, July 28, 2014

C25K

I used to be more of a runner. I've run in several 5k races through the years. I even trained and ran a half marathon back in February of 2010. Then I sort of stopped running. It started because of shin splints. They were terrible. I tried backing off but still running and it wasn't working so I just stopped. Since then I've picked up zumba, yoga, and P90X3 to stay in shape but I missed running. I missed being outside.

I'm a chicken in the winter months so I stay inside to exercise. Once Owen came along, indoor workouts made even more sense. I could easily throw in a DVD and do a quick 30 minute P90X3 workout while Owen was napping. I was enjoying the setup until the weather got nice. Also, Owen dropped his morning nap so I wasn't getting time to workout until the afternoon. I tried waking up early for a while to do my workout before anyone woke up but it was terrible. I have always been a morning workout type of person so I wanted to figure out what I could do. That's when I realized that it was time to break back into running. The only problem was that I was unsure of where to start. I didn't want to cause an injury or bring back the terrible shin splints.

I was familiar with the couch to 5k program (C25K) but had never needed it (until now). It's a good program because it eases you into running a 5k over eight weeks and it only requires three runs a week. There is plenty of time for muscle recovery with a program like this. Also, I have time to throw in some yoga if I feel like it on an off day. I found a free app for my phone and decided to go for it back in June. Best decision ever. I'm currently on week 6 of my C25K program. 


Long story short- I am loving it! It feels good to run again. I look forward to it most mornings. Even if I wasn't looking forward to it, I'm always glad I did it afterwards or even as I'm pulling into the parking lot. I swear, sometimes getting out the door is 90% of the battle.

I take Owen with me in the BOB and he enjoys it.


The two parks that I run at have playgrounds so we can take some time to play once I finish my run. It's the perfect way to spend the morning three days a week.


Figuring out how to work out after a baby definitely requires some planning and flexibility. I'm happy that I've found something that seems to be working so well. I haven't signed up to run any races but maybe I'll do it this fall. We'll see:) Also, there is a 14 week program that gets you to a 10k. I've never run a 10k. Maybe I'll do that!

If anyone out there wants to get back into running or is just looking to get in shape, I highly recommend this program.

Anyone else out there tried either program? I'd love to hear what you thought!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Life through my lens

Just a collection of pictures from last week while Patrick was in Belize. Every single one of them is a blurry iphone picture. Sorry. I'm going to try and do better!














Thursday, July 24, 2014

Open hands

"You can't have a damn thing."

I have Frances Long to thank for this quote. I'm not sure where she picked it up. Hold everything in life with an open hand. Open hands can easily accept new things and let go of old because they are never really holding anything. A dog may chew through a brand new dress. A child might rub lipstick all over the carpet. A student might eat the very last bite of a beloved package of muddy buddies. Nothing in this world was ever meant to me mine. Hold it with open hands.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Stepping out of her shadow

One of my friends recently joked about dusting with one hand, cooking with the other, and folding clothes with her toes. I'd love to see an illustration of my mental picture because it had me cracking up. It's so true though. What woman can't relate to feeling like her daily tasks require inspector gadget arms?

Don't we all get tired? Can't we all share in the "I'm not enough" sentiment? Why, when under stress, do some of us so quickly develop a sense of inadequacy and tell ourselves "I can't do anything right?" or "I'm such a failure." Why are we so hard on ourselves? I know that I am my own worst critic and I'm finding the same is true of a lot of women. We can easily see the glory and beauty in each other but we deny it in ourselves. Sometimes we notice each other and we become jealous or feel the need to compete.

Earlier this year I was reading through a book that summarized and paraphrased the "Proverbs 31 Wife" and I just felt sick after reading it. I remember writing in my journal, "Really? I kind of hate her." I went to Patrick with the book and read it to him. He was confused and didn't see the problem with it. He said, "I don't understand. That's you."

I was speechless. "This isn't me," I thought. I was frustrated that the idea of this woman even made it into the Bible because now every woman has to live in her shadow. When is this woman supposed to rest? When does she read a book or catch up with a friend? How does she plan and prepare healthy meals for her family? When does she find time to exercise? How does she keep up with her tasks and still have time for her Spiritual needs? What about her husband? Does she even have time for sex? How was she not too tired for it? She must have found energy at some point because it says her "children" praise her. I was convinced that there simply aren't enough hours in the day for a woman like her to exist in today's world.   

Then I remembered Patrick's kind words. I realized how truthful he was being in that moment. He meant every word of what he said to me. Nobody has ever told me that I'm a failure- I did. Nobody has ever told me that I can't do anything right- I did. Clearly, I need to extend myself grace. I need to focus more on the way God views me. I needed to adjust my expectations for myself and rest my heart. Maybe we all do?

"The Lord your God is with you, 
he is mighty to save. 
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17

We all have assignments in life- things that demand our attention. They don't define us, but they define where we go, what we do, and also what we don't do. For example, I am a daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother, nurse, and youth volunteer. However, there is more to me than these roles so how do I find a way to balance it all? What about hobbies? What about reading? What about Spiritual transformation? What about home maintenance and self maintenance? My biggest question has been how do I honor and glorify God with my life and all that it encompasses?

Balance is hard. However, I feel like balance can provide structure and space for growth. Balance is establishing a rhythm to life and the tasks it requires. I don't think balance means getting it perfect but instead, knowing what you're aiming for.

"Aim at nothing and you'll hit it every time."

Some days I hit my target and some days I'm not even close and both days are okay. The days that the floors don't get mopped or the days that I don't get my quiet time are the days grace must come in. I don't think the Proverbs 31 wife was supposed to make me feel inadequate. I think she was supposed to encourage me to focus on Christ- to maintain a kingdom perspective. Above everything we should "fear the Lord."

So ladies, let's step out of her shadow- whoever she is. Quit comparing. Quit telling yourself you don't have what it takes. Stop doubting your ability or stressing over what hasn't been done. Just rest. Take a deep breath. Remember your aim- your power for living who is Christ the Lord.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Blueberry-Vanilla Shake

This was the first recipe I tried after purchasing the GNC Total Lean Shake in the vanilla bean flavor. I was really worried that I was going to hate this because I'm not a fan of protein powders. I'm happy to report that this shake was delicious and I didn't notice any repulsive aftertaste!

Directions:
2 scoops vanilla powder
1 cup of frozen blueberries
approx 8-10oz of COLD water (I just fill mine to the "max fill" line on my single serve ninja cup)
blend and enjoy

I've been trying out other recipes over the past couple of weeks. I'll share them soon.


Monday, July 21, 2014

More Frames

I broke another picture frame last week. Owen was napping and I was being productive. I was trying to finish sweeping and mopping the entire house. I had just finished upstairs and was going to head down to the basement when it happened. The end of my mop knocked a picture frame. It went swinging on the hook, I let go of the mop to try and catch the frame but I was unsuccessful. It shattered into pieces. Little. Tiny. Pieces. Glass was everywhere. Luckily, Owen didn't wake up from the noise.

I wasn't too upset since I was never really fond of the pictures. The set of two frames were generic prints that someone bought for us from Bed Bath and Beyond before we got married. They had Bible verses on them so I guess that's why the person thought they'd be appropriate. They were just a nice, but kind of impersonal, temporary fix for a couple that had next to nothing when we got married. I guess having next to nothing is true for most young newlyweds. Honestly, I kind of miss having next to nothing. It kept things simple.

Okay, the frames... I found them at Target. I was so pleased when I pulled them out of their packaging and found that they came with a template for hanging. So convenient! I wish all my black frames from the photo gallery wall had that. It would've been so much faster.



I was also impressed that the frames came with photo gallery examples.


I noticed that they included the option that I chose for my gallery wall.


"Order out of the chaos." I like it. Sounds a lot like my life sometimes:)


Friday, July 18, 2014

Life through my lens

New toy and giraffe photo bomb.

Happy 4th of July!

Getting so big!

Grocery store on the 4th wasn't so bad, I promise.

Went to the playground to slide.

My little running buddy.

Big boo boo from last Wednesday night.
Walking through the park.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Forgiveness

"A forgiven person is a forgiving person."

Lord, help me to forgive as you have forgiven me. Help me remember that it isn't about the other person, it is about choosing to grow- choosing the way of grace.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Learning my Nikon D3100

I've had my "fancy" camera (a Nikon D3100) for about 2 years now and I'm just now starting to learn to shoot in manual mode. I took photography back in high school, but  I've been brushing up on the lingo, re-learning a few things, and picking up some new tricks.

It doesn't help that my main subject matter is in constant motion. I try to choose faster shutter speeds, but it's hard to get a non-blurry picture of my little man.


I mean, do you see that forehead? My mom says that it's a picture of my own childhood. It's a running joke that we don't have a single picture of me under the age of three that doesn't include evidence of some kind of recent head trauma.


He fell while walking through the parking lot at church. Patrick said he went down rather easy compared to a lot of falls and that he was shocked to see so much physical damage.

Watching Hurley
squishy baby hands

This is sleepy baby face.
I just love it when he folds that ear over! Sometimes he crinkles it up like an accordion. I always know when this baby is tired.


Gosh, I love this kid. I'm also really loving my camera again. I'm still learning a lot. I'm not hoping to become professional. I'd just like to be able to shoot some quality family pics.

Here are links to sites that I've found helpful.

Photography 101- Cheat sheet and Camera Basics

Tips for better home photography

Evidence to stop shooting with a flash and/or in auto mode

I'm also considering some online classes. However, photography 101 costs $67 on the website I've been considering. Birthday present maybe? We'll see:)






Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Total Lean Protein Shakes

I recently realized that lunch time is my weakest time when it comes to eating healthy. It doesn't matter what I've "planned" to eat that day for lunch. Some days I'm just too tired to spend a lot of time on it. Rather than fixing that salad and baking that piece of fish that I'd planned on eating, I would find myself eating a lot of "fillers". I would eat some cheese, apple, and peanut butter toast that I would be cutting up for Owen and then I'd be hungry again by the time he was in bed for his nap. I'd rummage around and grab some yogurt only to get hungry again by the time Owen was waking up from his nap. It's not that what I was eating was bad for me, it just wasn't a complete meal so then I'd spiral into "snack" mode throughout the afternoon.


I've been giving this some thought for a few weeks and decided to try something different.


A weight loss shake? Well, yes. It's really just a protein shake. For weight loss, you are supposed to replace breakfast and lunch with this shake along with some healthy snacks. I'm not doing that though. I'm only drinking it at lunch and I'm adding my own stuff to it to add some variety.

Verdict? I'm loving it so far. I've only had it for a few days, but I'm way more satisfied after drinking one of these and don't feel the need to snack my way through the day until dinner. The instructions say to mix two scoops with cold water but I've never actually had it that way. I was really nervous the first time I made one that I would hate it. Patrick and I have protein powders that we've used from time to time and I'm not really a fan of the grit or the aftertaste. However, the way I've been making mine is delicious. I'll have to post my recipes later.

As for weight loss, I wouldn't say there has been any change but like I said, I'm not following the instructions. I do feel really good though and that's more important. Also, I can't imagine drinking two of these a day. The bathroom trips would be a little much I think. One shake has 30% of your fiber for the day. It's definitely an adjustment to the system.

I think this shake is helping me on my journey towards health and fitness. It's hard to find balance for those things after having a baby. Everything takes more planning and flexibility. I'll be reporting back later with some recipes I've tried, update if I think it's caused any weight loss, and also if I end up trying other flavors.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Project update: Painting the bookcases


The bookcases are getting another coat of paint today! I'm hoping to tackle the shelves later this week. This project is going so slow. It's been an adjustment to figure out how to finish projects and take care of Owen at the same time. I pretty much only work on things during his naps or after he goes to bed.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tears

"Only now can we pray in tears."

I was struck by these words when I came across them in my journal. I will not pray through tears of anguish or brokenness in Heaven. I wonder about other types of tears. I'm guessing there will still be tears of joy. Those are the best tears. Surely they will be allowed in heaven.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Breath Prayer

After coming out of a season of loss....

Going through this past year has made me recognize once again how out of control my life really is. I don't mean that I've been going wild and crazy. I mean that any sense I may get that I am in control is just an illusion. My life is in the hands of the One who made me and determined my days long before my time on earth began. As Patrick and I have been moving through yet another busy summer, I have found myself singing a new song- living my life differently than before. Each day I seem to begin with a prayer that comes from deep within. While I've been keenly aware of this prayer occurring in my own heart and mind, I didn't realize that it had a name.

The prayer started after reading from Ephesians 1:1-14. Take some time to read it if you'd like. I was most struck by the phrase, "to the praise of His glory" which is mentioned several times. As I spent time reading and praying through the passage, I was filled with a sense of contentment, purpose, and a quiet resolve to be with what is. It was as if I was letting go- willing and wanting to go where God leads. Each morning I began to say this prayer to myself and to God. During the day sometimes I would find myself uttering the words, "To the praise of your glory..." Sometimes these words would be said at the closure of a prayer right before "amen." Sometimes the words were uttered out of desperation as I begged God to give my heart-brokenness meaning. Sometimes the words were spoken as I was letting go of my idol of control and reminding myself before God that I'm in His story not He in mine.

I've been reading through several different books over the past few months. I've even re-read a few which is very unlike me. I've been encouraged by how the same truths I read years ago have new meaning. The idea of a breath prayer is something I came across in a book called Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton. The book has been a refreshing reminder that I should arrange my life in a way that is unique to my own individual needs and desires in order to bring about Spiritual transformation more readily.

In the book, Barton talks about a breath prayer arising "from the depths of our desire and need." She goes on to say that it could more accurately be called a "gut prayer" because it comes from a deep gut level- not the mind where most of our words come from. As I read through this section of her book, I realized that I'd found my current breath prayer.

"To the Praise of YOUR glory."

Those words have been uttered time and time again this summer.

When I felt the emptiness of loss...
 "To the Praise of Your glory."

When I was tired and lonely...
"To the praise of Your glory."

When I was facing a stretch of single parenting...
"To the praise of Your glory."

When I started washing Patrick's clothes yet again so he could re-pack for the next youth trip...
"To the praise of Your glory."

When I sent Patrick out the door with a kiss...
"To the praise of Your glory."

When I didn't want to go to work...
"To the praise of Your glory."

When I got to work to find that I was assigned a women who lost her baby... 
"To the praise of Your glory."

When I held that mothers hand...
"To the praise of Your glory."

When I rejoiced over the safe delivery of my niece...
 "To the praise of Your glory."

When I've felt unsure of our future...
"To the praise of Your glory."

I've been amazed at how such a simple prayer, which can be said in one breath, can fit so many different circumstances. It can be my request as I wake up, my attitude adjustment, my confession, and my praise at the end of the day. The prayer has brought me peace and re-focused my heart. Maybe sharing my hearts' most recent prayer will encourage someone else out there. Maybe you need to make these words your own. They are simple words yet I think they are powerful in their return.








Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Working Mom vs Stay at Home Mom

The following post was written on a Friday (I'm not sure which one). It was a particularly hard day and I was wrestling through my emotions and ended up recording a lot of it here on the ole blog.
 
I woke up this morning in a bad mood. I didn't want to get out of bed. I looked down at my coffee and I just wanted to freeze time. I almost felt that if I didn't move then maybe I could freeze time.

So why do I feel this way?

It's Friday.

I have to work tonight. I have become a slave to the weekends. I wake up on Friday with a sense of dread. I know that I'm about to head into a weekend of unknown horrors, happiness, fatigue, physical exhaustion that will make me nauseated, a Saturday that I won't get to enjoy with my husband who is off, missed smiles from my boy, and a catatonic state (just imagine Cameron on Ferris Bueller's Day Off) on Sunday when I force myself to switch back to a normal schedule. Sometimes the feeling sticks with me into Monday. I hate when it does that. I actually started thinking about this day yesterday and it made me sad so I quickly forced myself to think about something else.

I cried at the kitchen table this morning.

Owen sat happily eating his usual breakfast of banana, cheerios, eggs, and milk. I wiped my tears before Patrick made it back to the kitchen to kiss me goodbye for the morning. He left for work and I just stood in the kitchen.

Come on, Elizabeth! Get it together! This is not that bad. He's asleep when you're gone anyway. You really only miss out on one day with him. One day! You are lucky. You are blessed. You can drink gallons  of coffee and you'll be fine tonight. You have a good job. You like your job. Heck, you love your job!

Am I the only one that coaches myself inside my own head? The tears kept trying to burst back through so I began to busy myself for distraction. I started the laundry and made the bed while Owen finished.

Now he's napping and I just googled, "I want to be a stay at home mom." Do I? I don't know...

I was met with interesting articles. One woman wrote a lengthy post on her regrets on becoming a stay at home mom. She talked about how she feels she let down feminists who paved the way for her in the working world, her grown kids don't think she had a legitimate job, she lost touch and became outdated with current technology, and her world seemed to narrow as she only spent time with other moms of small children.

Another mom, who was quite bitter from a divorce, also seemed to loathe her decision to leave the workforce to stay home with her children. This particular woman talked about how her relationship with her husband suffered and that they had nothing in common to talk about. She lost touch with who she was. She described it as feeling empty- purposeless. She then went on to discuss how she became less sexy (something about spit up and her husband not touching her for years). In closing, she talked about how her divorce left her with nothing. Basically, her article was depressing and I'd say that her issues didn't really stem from her decision to be a stay at home mom. Just my opinion though. I'm not a therapist.

What's strange to me is that I went for the negative articles not the sappy ones about how great staying at home could be. I wanted to hear the ugliest truth about what it could be like. I wanted to know if the grass really is greener on the other side... or not. Maybe I'm trying to find someone who will talk me out of this.

The crazy thing is that I am very much like a stay at home mom already. I am home with Owen all week long. I am the primary caregiver for him. We don't have to pay for daycare because we don't need it. I'm with him most of the time. 

I also have a career. I'm a labor and delivery nurse on the weekends. Sometimes it feels like it's my little secret since I do it through the night. Sometimes people forget that I have a job other than taking care of Owen. Sometimes I get excited about work. Sometimes I cry the whole way there.

Let me pause for a moment and fill you in on my typical weekend schedule.

On Friday afternoon I try to take a quick two-ish hour nap in preparation for work. I leave the house around 6:45pm. Patrick usually only has time to bathe Owen, read some stories, and then he's in bed. I come home around 8:20am to find the two of them getting breakfast ready. I usually crash after eating a bowl of oatmeal. Thanks to earplugs, I usually stay blissfully out of it all day Saturday. I may get up and use the bathroom or grab a snack but I try my best to get back in bed and stay there until 5pm. Some days I am better at this than others. I get to spend a couple of hours with my men on Saturday before I'm out the door again at 6:45pm. On Sunday, I usually drive straight to church from working my second night shift. After church, I drive home to sleep for a couple of hours. Patrick and Owen return home after Sunday school and wake me up to eat lunch with them. After that, I'm back on. The caregiver torch is passed back over to me. I'm usually dazed. I won't win any mothering awards for my Sunday afternoon performances- I'm in survival mode. My feet, legs, and hips hurt. If I pushed with a mom for more than an hour, my arms may hurt. My lower back sometimes hurts too. I don't go anywhere on Sunday. My pj's don't come off my body until Monday and I always feel relieved that I have 5 days before I have to do it again.

I'm finding that 5 days goes by way too fast. It's not that I don't enjoy what I do. I'm always fine once I actually get to work and start my shift. I'll admit though, night shift just isn't for me. I've never been a night person. I like my sleep. The fact that I've made it through almost an entire year of this is practically a miracle.

As I've taken time to type out this (rather lengthy) post, I've started to understand the root cause of all my emotions. The cause of all my struggles are tied up in the fact that I've changed. November 18,  2012 changed me for the rest of my life. At 7:20pm that night, I became a mom. I wasn't prepared for how that would change me (nobody is, I guess). Before maternity leave, I assumed I would work full-time days when my leave ended. We would find childcare and I just knew that I would love getting to have my time away from Owen to work. I have to laugh at myself now.

During maternity leave, I decided that day time flexi would be better. I was slowly realizing how my heart was divided. After a few months of flexi, I decided that my current schedule might work even better. I mean, how can spending all week at home AND still working be beat? It's taken me some time to realize that being a nurse isn't my most loved job anymore...being a mom is. I'm NOT saying that people who continue to work full time don't love their children more than work so please don't hear that. I'm simply sharing my personal experience.

I'm not okay missing out on three full days of time with my child. He is going to grow up before I know it and I don't want to miss it. Also, I'm not okay quitting my job. First of all, we're not really in a place where we could afford for me to quit. Secondly, I really enjoy what I do and I don't feel like I'm ready to leave it behind just yet.

If I'm honest with myself, I understand that this current work schedule is the best option for our family right now. Being a stay at home mom isn't an option and this current schedule is as close to perfect as things can get. To be cliche, I can't "have my cake and eat it too." I can't work day shift and be a stay at home mom. I have to choose. I'm finding that Owen wins. My job as his mom trumps day shift every time I think about it. I'm willing to sacrifice sleep. I'm willing to fight through my exhaustion every Sunday afternoon and evening. I'll enjoy my weeks with Owen and when Friday morning comes, I'll coach myself through the tears. Maybe it'll get easier with more time. Even if it doesn't, he is worth it.

blurry rocking chair pic




 












Monday, July 7, 2014

Microwave Chocolate Chip Cookie

I saw a recipe for a microwave chocolate chip cookie on my facebook newsfeed forever ago. We're talking at least a year. At the time, I thought it was silly. How lazy! Just make some REAL cookies if you're going to go through the trouble. Well... fast forward to a couple weeks ago. Owen needed to be in bed and I found myself wishing I had some slice and bake cookies in the house because I just wanted one cookie. ONE. I didn't want to whip up a whole batch because then I would eat the whole batch.

Then my brain remembered. What was that about a cookie in the microwave? Unfortunately, a quick google search allowed me to find said recipe. Even more unfortunate is that it is not only edible, but pretty darn good. Evening chocolate chip cookie craving solved!

first bite.

hmm...
More please!
I'll warn you. The cookie isn't much to look at. It also isn't really that great compared to one from the oven. However, in a pinch with a severe chocolate craving, a tired toddler, and several days left of single parenting ahead, it's the best thing you've tasted all week.


Friday, July 4, 2014

Life through my Lens

Sorry for the lack of postings. Owen and I went to visit my parents this past week. I've found that it helps break up the monotony of things if we travel some when Patrick leaves town. It also means that I get extra sets of hands. 

Owen had a great time. He's worn out of course.

Steak and Shake picnic from last week. Finally have one in Birmingham!

Hugging his puppies.

"Baw"

Not sure about Sand Alive.

New toy!

Getting too big.

Breakfast Day 2.

Love how he's making sure the ambulance doesn't roll away.

Snuggles with Mimi.

Worn out!

Snuggles with Grandfather.

Yum.

Bath in the sink.

Shopping!

Serious business.