Secrets of a Traveling Mommy: Staying Connected

By 2:21 PM , , , , , , ,
I travel a lot for my job. With a little one at home, a busy working outside the home husband, and a mommy on the road I have learned (and am still learning) some secrets along the way that I would love to share for other traveling mommies to make life a little easier. Whether you travel a lot for work like me, take a girls weekend every now and then, or just want to make life a little easier I am hoping that this series of post brings you a few tips and tricks that will help another Mommy (or even Dad) out. 

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This post is all about staying connected and what I do to stay connected to my family while traveling. 

First of all...thank goodness for Facetime. I can not imagine being on the road in a generation prior to the invention of Facetime. It is a life changer. It is so nice to be able to call home everyday and actually see my little guy and hubby. 

One thing I learned early on when traveling is that it can be hard on the little guy and me both...we both know we want to be with each other and the thought of being away from each other for a couple of days is hard. I knew I wanted to do something intentional to let my little guy know I was thinking of him while I was away but did not want to get in to the habit of buying something for him every trip. I watched a few of my friends do this and they were often scrambling at the last minute at the airport to buy a $30 souvenir knowing, if they were honest, that it would end up in the next yard sale. I thought about sending postcards but most of my trips are only for 2-3 days and the postcards don't have enough time to make it home before Mommy is back.

So I came up with another idea and it has been a HIT. The morning (or night before if I fly out early) before a trip I let my son pick out one "friend" for me to bring with me on my trip. This ends up being a stuffed animal or action figure. He gets very excited to pick someone out and see where his "friend" ends up on their adventures. While away I intentional take at LEAST one photo a day of my son's action figure or stuffed animal in the coolest locations I can find (although sometimes the best I can do is take a photo of the figure in a hotel bed or airplane window but he doesn't seem to care) and text them to my husband. When my husband picks him up from school it is one of the highlight's of his day looking at the photos and seeing what adventures his friend has been on with Mommy.

This has proved to be an easy way to show him I am thinking about him while I am away and something we both look forward to...instead of it being sad "Mommy is going out of town again" it becomes an adventure to see where his friend goes. Here are some photos of some of his "friends" on recent trips...it looks like most recently we have been on a Star Wars "friend" trend.






Sometimes I am in the photos and sometimes I am not. Although I will admit I have gotten a few strange looks from strangers as i pull out a monkey or Star Wars action figure to pose for a photo it has been a fun tradition we have created and something we plan to continue during the years of Mommy on the road. 

Would love to hear if you have other ways of staying connected when you travel. Please comment below if you have any.

The next post in this series will be about one trick I have found for planning outfits for the kids while I am away to make life easier for Dad and so you can ensure they match ;). 

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Lead Me Where My Trust Is Without Borders

By 4:27 PM , , ,
Life. It's so fun and so unexpected. If I had to use one word to describe life for our family lately it would be "change." I started a new position at my company about a month and a half ago as a LEAN/throughput consultant. This in and of itself was a huge (yet exciting) change for our family. While I am very excited about this position, new team, and new opportunity it will mean more trips on an airplane, leaving my work team whom I have come to know as family, and an intense training session that lasts six months (with a very rigorous six week training that will have me moving to Houston for several weeks). 


If a new job/career change wasn't enough change for us we decided to list our home on the market and start working on building our dream home. This has resulted in us putting half our home (included all our family photos, fall clothes, most of E's toys, etc.) in a storage unit so we can 'stage' our home. It also unfortunately means making all the beds and pushing the vacuum every morning before heading out the door to work. Yuck. Needless to say we are hoping our home sells quickly and the search for a rental home can begin soon. 
 
In the midst of all the change it is easy to get stressed and start letting my mind play the "what if" game. However, I have recently been reminded to use this time to trust even deeper in God moment by moment. I have an all time favorite song by Hillsong United (this is one I want played at my funeral) that you may have heard before that I have recently been playing over and over to remind myself to draw closer to God and trust Him...it is called "Oceans" and the lyrics are below: 

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now
So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

I love that... "when oceans rise my soul will rest in Your embrace." What sweet, sweet words. I hope they are an encouragement to you this week as they have been to me. 

In other words I celebrated six amazing years of marriage to this stud last week with an escape weekend trip to our own city. We had the BEST time being together, biking the belt line (an Atlanta icon), eating great food, and just enjoying each other's company. SO incredibly blessed by this dude. 



Happy Sunday friends! I hope you have the best week! 

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July Book Review

By 11:28 AM , ,
It's time again for my book review from what I have been reading lately.  I have read 6 books since my last review (here). I recently started a new position at work so it is a mix between books for fun and books for work. However, there are several ones that I have read for work that I would still highly recommend. That brings me to a total of 13 books for the year....that's pretty good considering my resolution was one book a month ;). Ok without further delay here is the latest:


Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weinsberger
  • Ok I hate to do this because I know I am an abnormality here but I rate it 2/10 stars - so many people love this book included my bestest best friend who loaned it to me to read but I just couldn't get in to it: It is about three best friends and a pact they make to each challenge themselves to change something major about them in one time what ensues is full of drama and sexual relationships. I know many love it but it really was not my style of a book. 
One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • I also give this one 9/10 stars: It is modern day "what would you do?" love story of a couple madly in love when the husband gets lost at sea for many years they assume he is dead. The wife falls in love again and is engaged to be married when the husband lost at sea shows up. I won't ruin the ending but it is a story that keeps you on your toes and unsure of who you want to win throughout the book. I really enjoyed it! 
2 Second Lean by Paul Akers
  • I gave this one 10/10 stars: this was one that I had to read for my new job and I am so glad I did. It is all about growing a lean culture at home and at work and is written as a quick and easy read that makes lean very easy to understand. It will totally have you reorganizing your entire home by the end. I highly recommend this to anyone! 
The Hypnotists Love Story by Liane Moriarty
  • I give this one 7/10 stars. It was my first of two Liane Moriarty books I read in the same month. It is pretty interesting in that it tells the story of the life of a hypnotist and her family. It is a little bit of a mystery. Engaging - good not great.  
Chess Not Checkers by Mark Miller
  • Another book I read for work I gave this one 8/10 stars. It is a leadership book that will transfer your leadership style. 
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
  • My second Liane book of the month I actually liked it even better than the first - give it 8/10 stars! This story is about someone who falls off a bike and when she wakes up she has totally forgotten the last 10 years which include having three children, divorcing her husband (whom she thinks she is still very much in love with), loosing her best friends and making new friends, and a strained relationship with her family. While I didn't love the ending I was so curious to find out what was going to happen I couldn't put the book down. 
That concludes my list so far this year. My favorite book of the year is still Cancel the Wedding by Carolyn T. Dingman.  

What should I read next? What is your favorite book so far this year?



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Our Big News

By 4:03 PM , , , , ,

Well friends...we have big news! We have listed our first home as a family of three on the market. This home is so special to us in that it is where we have made so many incredible memories including bringing our little boy (who is now three) home from the hospital. We have loved everything about this home and while we look forward to what is to come we will miss this incredible home, location, amenities and great neighbors so much. 

In our five years in this sweet home we have completed too many to count home DIY projects, hosted friends, and made countless memories. While the thought that our home is on the market is a tad bittersweet we are so very thankful for God's amazing provision and always providing exactly what we need when we need it. Now we are just hoping we get an amazing offer soon and hoping we can find a short term rental home for the interim. Especially since we are paying month to month for a storage unit to house our family photos, toys, and a ton of our clothes as we 'stage' our home.

Now on to even bigger news- we are in the early stages of building our dream farmhouse. We have spent the last couple years dreaming and the last month or so working with an architect to get our house plan just the way we want it as we plan for this to be our forever home. We actually plan to build on five of my parents 30 acres. This land is very precious to us for a variety of reasons. It is where I grew up, we got married, and the grandparents will now be in walking distance. Not only that but as we approach Kindergarten we will be zoned for awesome schools and will also shorten my husband's commute (mine will extend but only by about 10-15 mins).  

We are so excited to take you all along with us throughout this journey of building our dream farmhouse! 


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Who doesn't love saving money?

By 10:12 AM , , , ,
Who doesn't love saving money? I have recently discovered a way to save even more money at the stores I already shop at all the time like Target and I just had to share with you all.


I am assuming most of you have probably heard of Groupon? They offer great deals on local experiences and I have been able to save a lot of money in the past on fun experiences for my family. What you may or may not also know is that they also have a website that offers 70,000 deals on over 9,000 retailers! I just recently learned this myself and now anytime I have online shopping to do, I use Groupon to save more money. I don’t know about you but, if there is a chance for me to save some cash I am taking it. I have searched the internet for the best deals and when it comes to saving money, Groupon is where it is at! At his very moment Groupon is even offering 25% off your first Groupon with code WELCOME at check out. Deals on top of deals? It doesn’t get any better than that.

On the Groupon site there are 71 deals and coupons for Target. One of my absolute favorite deals for Target is $5.00 off $50.00 plus free shipping! We all need a reason to do a little online shopping this afternoon, right? ;) This deals is not only good online but, in store as well. They also have 30% off in their home department which is great as I have been recently redecorated E's big boy room. While on the Groupon site be sure to check out all of the other retailers they offer deals and coupons for such as Ebay, Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Walgreens, Aeropostale, Home Depot, Macy’s and so many more. Groupon has all of your shopping need covered and will save you that extra money you want to save. Your welcome for the fun Thursday fact. Have fun shopping! 

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