6 Things Before ’12

I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is next week. I know it’s cliche, but this year has really surprised me in how swiftly it has passed. I had some great plans for what I wanted to accomplish this year, and there are some things that I abandoned (and with good reason) and others that I really should have stayed committed to.

So, in an effort to hold myself accountable, here is my personal goal list for the rest of the year. We have about 6 weeks left, so here are my 6 things to do before 2012. Most are already in progress, some will take a couple of hours of sit-down organizing time and others will take longer, but I need to buckle down and finish what I’ve started.


NaBloPoMo 2011

1. Successfully complete NaBloPoMo. I’m halfway done! That means I’m committed to posting every day for the month of November, so someone please hold me accountable. I’d love to have a “blog buddy” if anyone is interested.


 2. Develop a mission statement for our family (with the family). I read Tsh Oxenreider’s Organized Simplicity almost a year ago, and I was really inspired and motivated to implement some of her ideas in our family. But I got sidetracked and my home organization binder is still just sitting here. I’d like to start the new year off right by getting the family together to set some goals and define who we want to be.

3. Develop and implement a daily household routine. It needs to be flexible, but with only one parent home most of the time, we definitely need some organization around here. Like, when am I going to make it to the gym (after saying “I’ll go tomorrow” for three weeks)? What do we do about nap time on days when we have church or story time?

4. Develop and implement a weekly chore chart/schedule for the family. For all of us, with assigned chores for the week. In this house, we’re all motivated by checking things off a list.

5. Make the kitchen chalkboard wall. It will be a place to display our weekly menu and chore chart. I already have a list for the hardware store, but I haven’t buckled down to buy the stuff yet. I really want to get it done before the kids are home for winter break, though, so I need to get working on it.


6. Finish the books on my Goodreads “Currently Reading” list. I’ve all but abandoned some that I really need to read, and I’d like to have them finished before the new year.


Blessings {Thankful Tuesday, on Wednesday}

Surprise! I actually meant to post this list yesterday but was distracted by the baby’s birthday — although it was certainly a welcome distraction. We’ve had a very busy day today. First, we ate two Thanksgiving Lunches at the kids elementary school. In between the lunches, we came home so Caleb could eat his own lunch. After we were home from the school, I had to set up some technology and do some housework while the baby took a short nap, and then once the kids were home we had to go get haircuts and pick up dinner because it’s Awana night. Both kids finished their starter books so they’re moving on to the “real” program, and both are very proud of themselves.

In other news, the new blog design is on schedule. I’m still working on the organization end of things, but I hope to have it fully launched by December 1.

I am thankful for so many things this week. Here are just a few blessings that I’m thanking God for today:

— Both of our families were able to get together over the weekend to celebrate the baby’s birthday.
— All of the kids are healthy.
— I have two children who are excited about learning the Word of God, and are happily spending time at church (no fussing about it!).
— God has put new friends in our lives lately who have similar family situations (one has a husband who is away for work and kids the same ages and another is a mom to a large blended homeschooling family). I’m so thankful that God is helping us build a support system.
— We’ve had some cool fall weather. It might have been in the 80s today, but I still relish the slight snap to the air after sunset. This is my favorite season and I so love those windy cold-front days.
— And thank you, Lord, for yesterday’s rain! We need it so desperately here.

My Baby Is Almost One

Little man doesn't want to sit still for pictures anymore...

I can’t believe it. How could this year fly by so quickly, when the 9 (10) months I was pregnant seemed to last forever?

There’s a Party in My Tummy

So yummy! So yummy!

Custom cake by Shaleigh.

Today was the baby’s first birthday party and I still have Yo Gabba Gabba decorations in my kitchen. Just so you know, they’ll probably still be up until Thanksgiving. The baby, the kids, and the rest of the family had a great time. So did I, but I’m glad to have my house back.

I still can’t believe my baby is almost a year old.


Fall Back

Photo from Craziestgadgets

We turned our clocks back one hour last night. Grrr, says the sleepy mommy. When I was a kid, I loved that the end of Daylight Saving Time meant that I got an extra hour of sleep on Monday morning, but since having kids I have come to dread both the spring and the fall time changes.

Babies can’t tell time (and if they could, they wouldn’t care anyway). So it doesn’t matter that the clock says it’s only 4am, Baby Coco’s internal clock tells him it’s time to get up. We were at my mom’s house, where he doesn’t sleep well anyway, and so we’ve had a rough day schedule-wise. Naps were sporadic and short. His breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks were all at the wrong time. So, as you can imagine, bedtime tonight was rough.

I always feel as if it’s almost torture. My internal clock will be messed up for at least three days, and I know that the biggles and middles will feel the same way, even if right now they’re celebrating that extra hour in the morning. Give me a week and I’ll laugh about my time-change grouchiness. Until then, expect to see me eating lunch at 10 am and dinner with the Matlock crowd.

Mom Friends

Lately I’ve been reading blog posts from this  year’s Relevant conference attendees. I wasn’t able to go but really wanted to, so reading about other women’s experiences during the conference weekend is inspiring to me.  One in particular today stood out — a post about insecurity and pride.  Reading Rachel’s post moved me to tears and made my heart ache, because I, too, have been there.  Not to that moment at that conference, but to that moment of chest-tightening fear that I am alone in a sea of bosom friends, and that maybe I don’t really belong there. Right after finishing this post, I ran across another on loneliness as a gift that really spoke to my soul as well. It’s so good to hear God speak, especially through the experiences of others who make me feel that I am not alone in these feelings of insecurity and loneliness.

For the past few months, I have felt so lonely here, disconnected from everyone but my husband, children, and some (now former) coworkers. I am friendly with several women at church and in my neighborhood. We know each other’s names, say hello, and chat about unimportant things. But I don’t have any close mom friends here, even after three years. My family is two hours away, so those moments of fellowship with my mom and sister are rare, which makes me feel even more isolated in this town.

This loneliness is something that I’ve been praying about, and God has been speaking to me lately through things that have shown up both in my daily quiet time and in my non-Bible readings. I have felt paralyzed and helpless, not really knowing where to start to find these women who I know God wants me to connect with. Today’s post reminded me that I’m not alone, and that every time I’m in a room where I feel like I am, there’s someone else there who feels exactly the same way.

I know that He has a friend out there that he’s handpicked for me at this point in my life.  Someone who needs a friend as much as I do. Right now, I’m praying that I can be patient until He shows me who she is, and that I’ll have eyes to see and ears to hear when he does. Thank you, Relevant ladies, for being so real and transparent. I may not be one of you, but you were exactly what I needed today. And thank you, Lord, for reminding me that I might be lonely, but I am not alone, because You are here and have something to teach me during this alone season.