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By 7:00 AM , , , , , , , ,
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5 Practical Tips for the Working Mom

By 5:36 PM , , , ,

As most of you know I have two little ones at home and am a consultant for a living thus meaning I spend much of my time during the week in hotels and on airplanes and thus away from my babies and sweet hubby. While I love what I do both at home and for a living there are certainly challenges to doing both roles well. While it continues to be an ongoing exercise of learning how to juggle all the roles I play in life well there are a few things I have learned over the past couple years that I want to share for other working moms or those considering working with a new baby or going back to work after taking some time off. While this post is geared toward working moms there are certainly aspects of it that can apply to all moms whether you stay at home or work outside the home and dads as well. 

1. I once heard a wise person recommend that you "outsource everything you can financially afford to which you aren't emotionally attached." Let me elaborate. For some cooking is something they are passionate about...let's say you love cooking (not me) or cooking is an activity you love doing with your kids, if so that would fall under the "emotionally attachment" category and I would say don't stop. For me personally there is nothing about cooking or cleaning that I enjoy. So for our family we have a house cleaner and often purchase already made meals. We have made the conscious decision during this phase of life with both working parents and two little ones at home that our time spent with our children is worth the financial investment of paying a house cleaner and spending more on already ready meals. For you this might be someone to do laundry for you or someone who cuts your grass. The point here is that you realize at the end of the day you are paying for your time so you can focus on what matters most to you at that point in life. 

2. Clearly define the top 5-7 most roles you play in your life and which order those roles fall...for me these roles include things such as spiritual being (relationship with God), wife, mother, consultant, daughter, friend, seeker of adventures, etc. . For you they may be roles you play in the community, athletics, etc. Defining these roles helps you clearly define your priorities and how best to juggle and manage your time which leads me to my next piece of advice.

3. Learn how to only say yes to your best yes. You need to learn how to become really good at saying "no" to things that don't fall under your top 5-7 roles and do so without feeling guilty. The most freeing part to me is to remind myself that by saying no to an opportunity what it is allowing me to say "yes" to which leads me to my next tip. 

4. Loose the word "balance" from your vocabulary and replace with intentionality. I honestly do not believe that balance is achievable or something we should strive for. If you think of your top 5-7 roles as a spinning wheel at any given point in life one of the roles will be on top, one will be in the middle, and one will be at the bottom. I believe as long as you are intentional on knowing which role you need to focus on for that moment, hour, day, or even week it is OK for another role to fall lower for a certain period of time. I will give you guys an example. Last week was an intense travel week for me and I went West to East Coast in a matter of hours. That week the role I play as consultant was highest on the spinning wheel and my role as a wife and mother fell lower on the wheel for those particular few days. However the week before that my family went to Disney as a family for the week and my role as a mother went to the top of the priority wheel and the role I play in my work world went to the bottom. Anytime my child is sick physically or emotionally my role as mother automatically comes to the top and replaces everything else. To me it comes down to very intentional moments. For me this can be taking my kids out on a breakfast date on the way to airport before I head out of town or spending a few extra moments just loving on my husband before I jump into all my to-dos. Never let anyone tell you that you can't do it all. You can. You just can't do it all at once. 

5. Last but not least spend time re-energizing yourself. I'll be honest this is the hardest one for me but whenever I have spent the time to do something for myself I have more to pour into others. For me this may be spending quite time alone with the Lord, going out to dinner with girl friends, getting in a workout, or reading a good book. Whatever that "thing" is for you take the time to do it. I know it's hard y'all. Mom guilt is real especially when you work and have to be away from your family a lot but I truly believe this is important to be the best you. 

At the end of the day give yourself grace. Whether you work inside or outside the home we all are trying to do what is best for our family. Let's be each other's biggest supporters and show love to all we interact with. YOU GOT THIS! 

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2018 Books So Far

By 7:44 PM , ,
I am way overdue for an update on what I have been reading lately. So far this year i have finished 9 books and am almost finished with my 10th. While I have read a few that I did not love I have also read some great ones. To me reading is one of those ways I love to escape life and have some great "me" Mommy relaxation time. Give me a good hammock and and great book and I a happy camper. So without further delay here is the reviews of what I have read so far this year.

1. The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

I gave this one 7/10 stars.  If you choose to read this story prepare yourself. This is a book that’s super hard to put down and leaves you emotionally gutted. This love story that takes places on 9/11 is incredibly heartbreaking but I loved how it gives you a raw look at what drives most of us—finding that one person who leaves a permanent mark on our soul and the desire to always keep them close.  The only thing else I will say is that the  ending is what made me rate it a 7. 

2. Baby Proof by Emily Griffin 6/10
I gave this book 6/10 stars. I really like a good Emily Griffin but I do have to say this was not my favorite of hers. This was a quick, easy read but also didn't turn out how I would have liked which left me emotionally unsatisfied. Still a great story and worth the read especially if you are a EG fan. 

3. The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams 
I am super bummed to say that this book came in at 2/10 stars as I did not like this book at all and do not recommend it. Which is disappointing as it was highly recommended by some bloggers I really like. I do have to say it has a great ending however I found it long and overall not very enjoyable or fun to read.  

4. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
This book takes the cake as my favorite read of the year thus far. I gave it 9/10 stars. I have to warn you it is incredibly depressing however it is such a powerful story of a French woman and her resistance during Nazi Germany. It is inspiring and had me thinking so much in such a great way during the book. Fair warning...you will cry. Go buy this magical novel now and read it. And have your tissues ready. 

5. Faithful by Alice Hoffman 
I gave this story 1/10 stars as it was another disappointment for me. It is the story of girl whose best friend dies in a car accident right out of the gate and her struggles throughout the book to become a person again. I'll be honest I just felt it dragged on without much of a plot. Save your time on this book. 

6. The Island by Elin Hillerbrand 
I gave this sweet and easy beach read 5/10 stars. It is the story of two sisters who spend a few weeks on island without power together. This story has it all laughter, heartache, and several surprises. If you need an easy girly beach read I would say this is a worthy option. 

7. Sams Letters to Jennifer by James Patterson 
This story was one I really enjoyed coming in at 8/10 stars. This book definitely gave me more than I expected. The cover, so Nicholas Sparks-ish totally lured me in as I am a sucker for Sparks. I assumed the story would be a woman reading letters from some long lost love but this story was not about that at all. You see, Sam, is short for Samantha. Sam is Jennifer's grandmother. Jennifer, her widowed granddaughter is called to town because her grandmother is in the hospital in a coma. Jennifer goes to her grandmothers house and finds stacks of letters that her grandmother wrote to her telling her about her life. The first letter begins with a shocking revelation that motivates Jennifer to continue to read all the letters in hopes of learning her grandmothers secrets. I don't want to spoil it so I will leave it at that but I really enjoyed this story and certainly recommend this book.

8. The Mother’s Promise by Sally Hepworth 
I gave this one 6/10 stars.  In the story Alice and her fifteen year old daughter, Zoe, are as close as they come to the point where they are a bit of loaners. Alice successfully runs her own business, her daughter Zoe is a high school student, who suffers from social anxiety disorder. The only person that Zoe can even talk to other than her mom is her friend Emily and even that has its moments. As soon as Zoe feels afraid, is given attention, is laughed at or smiled at, she does the only thing that makes her feel safe, she runs home to her mother. This, make Alice feel needed. It has always been the two of them against the world, so when Alice gets a devastating cancer diagnosis, she isn't afraid for herself, she fears for Zoe. And for Zoe, who can barely speak to anyone but Alice, her life will never be the same. She must be strong for her mother and find something within herself that's worth fighting for. It is a good story of how to find yourself outside of someone else. 

9. What She Knew by Golly Macmillan 
This was an awesome mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire story so I gave it 9/10 stars. It is the thrilling tell of a kid who is taken while out with his mom and the mystery unfolds of the child's future and the mother's restless journey of finding her son.  Truly awesome story and highly recommend if you are in the mood for a mystery. Although fair warning...you may never let your child out of your sight again

Happy reading! 

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We bought a house

By 3:23 PM , , , , , , , ,
Remember that time I posted about how we had spent a lot of time, energy, and money to work with an architect to draw plans for our dream home? Well God has certainly been teaching me the past two years that sometimes He has different plans for your life than what you plan. 

All that said we bought a house the beginning of September and while it is still our long time dream to one day active on our house plans and build our dream home on the land we own we decided to delay this plan a few years and instead bought a gorgeous home only 6 minutes away from the land we one day hope to build on...why you may ask? To be honest the idea behind building with everything else we currently have going on in life along with the financial cost and time frame of wanting to be done by the time our son starts school next year just felt unachievable. 

So we instead found a house that while not our dream home (it is much more craftsman and much less farmhouse style) we still love it and are so excited to be in it. We have so many projects we want to complete in this house to make it "our style" but currently are chipping away at unpacking boxes (and purging our stuff). 

We took a leap of faith and very much felt God was calling us to this home so we purchased the home prior to selling our old house and God came through in a powerful way that only He can. We ended up closing on our precious first family home only 18 days after closing on our new home. 

I am so excited to show you all the home and the projects as we tackle them one by one to make the home feel like home to us. In the meantime here are some photos of the exterior along with a photo of one of my favorite features of the house - a giant sliding barn door that hides the downstairs play area from the rest of the house when you want to have guests over. Total mom win.

And last but certainly not least is that we are now on golf cart paths so of course we bought this guy. We love it and take it everywhere. Grocery store, dinner, haircut, you name it. Now to get a big Georgia G to pace on the front.  

Thanks for reading and I look forward to updating you on upcoming projects soon along with our recent Disney trip.

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