Posted in Booktube, Documenting Delight 365, Real Talk, Uncategorized

Inscribing Books for Your Children

I love buying old books. I bought a few on ebay today for our homeschool “history” textbooks, such as “Our Hero, General U. S. Grant”  not a reprint, an original from 1885! One of the things that I love most about old books is reading the inscription.  I always look for them and the ones that really tug my heart-strings are from mothers to their children. Sometimes it’s on Christmas or a birthday, which I think makes it more special especially with such old book, you realize those people are probably not on this Earth anymore. Somehow through all the donations, sales, piles in Goodwill bins, shipping all over the world, the book has remained in tact and carrying on that love, that sentiment felt in that one moment in time.

I started to inscribe my kids books recently and I do believe it makes them more special. It is like a little time capsule when I set a date on them. I hope they look back on them one day in the future and remember their mom loved them and thought about them.

Here is one I wrote in Alice in Wonderland. I used a quote from the book and added my thoughts.

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I have so many faults, but when my children think back on their childhood I would like them to think that their mom loved them, enjoyed reading to them and loved books…and I hope they will love books too. I hope they will pick up these books one day, long after I’m gone, and feel like I am there with them at least for a moment. And if the Lord tarries and both my children and I are passed, I hope whoever finds this book takes a moment to wonder who we were and think about how this book was loved.

Here are my 5 tips for Inscribing Books for you Children-

-Set a date to when it was given and who gave it. 

“July 12, 1997. Silva, 37 years my Poe book has been on my bookshelf. May you enjoy yours as much. Love, Dad.”

-Mark the occasion– If the book is given for a special occasion, mark that in the book. Perhaps the occasion is a birthday or simply a book you thought they would enjoy it, document it.

“4/96. To Liz, Hope this will help explain to an American about one Europeans obsession that is football/soccer. Nick Hornby is not a Liverpool fan but this book still ripples the back of the neck[t]. Fond thoughts always, Tim .”

-Provide Some Life Advice-  This is one of my favorite ones to do as a mom, gotta sneak it in anyway we can!

-Echo an idea in the book, often through a quote. I really like this one. If I can’t remember one-off the top of my head, I will go a quick google search. I pick a quote that I like and expand on it.

 -Say what the giver thought was special about it. I try to personalize this to the children. I bought them a new Kate Dicamillo book and wrote inside that I bought it because I remember Izzy saying that she was one of her new favorite authors after reading  a couple other of her books.

Here is a fun website where people have sent in inscriptions they have found.

http://bookinscriptions.com/

Let me know in the comments below. Do you inscribe your books?

 

Posted in Family Life, Real Talk

Dress For The Job You Want

“Cooking is 80 percent confidence, a skill best acquired starting from when the apron strings wrap around you twice.”

― Barbara KingsolverAnimal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

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Making my favorite weight watchers breakfast.

According to this website, work uniforms, instill a sense of pride and responsibility and can convert employees into “brand ambassadors” outside the actual workplace. Schools also report favorable statistics when switching to uniforms. There is a connection in how we are dressed and how we feel. This is why we tell ladies to ditch the pants and wear skirts and dresses for a whole month before they try on a pair of pants again. As much as people don’t want to hear it, dressing like a lady does make you feel like a lady.

When I worked before I had children, I was a flight attendant. In between trips, when I would lounge in the lobby and stuff my face at all the free hotel buffets, I didn’t really feel put together to say the least. However when I put on my uniform, tied that scarf around my neck and put on my pumps, I did feel different. I did take pride in my job, even if I only greeted people and picked up their empty food trays.

So what is the homemaking uniform? I guess there is no wrong answer as long as you are keeping the home, however I find putting on this simple article of clothing has transformative powers. Exit tired mom, enter domestic super hero.

My apron is basically a cape worn backwards.

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Juicing before breakfast.

Long ago an apron was necessary to protect clothing, in a time where not everybody had washing machines and thrift stores. There are many other benefits to wearing one besides protecting clothing such as drying hands and tears from a crying child, you also won’t feel lazy wearing an apron. An apron is a working article of clothing.

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Instant Pot Strawberry Oatmeal for the kids.

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Zucchini Noodles and Egg for my breakfast.

An apron gently guides you back to the task at hand when you are likely to get distracted. Wearing an apron doesn’t just send a message that you are embracing homemaking, but that you are actually busy at work.

If you are not in the habit of wearing an apron, I encourage you to try it! It single-handedly HAS improved my cooking and mood in the kitchen. I read somehwere else of another mom buying a new one every year, and that sounds like a fun tradition. I would like to start that for my birthday every year…reminding me that I am older and still very much needed, and “employed.” Ha!

The one I am wearing is currently on sale at Anthropologie. They have a lot of summer stuff for sale with an extra 25% at the store so I scored a cute mug with it for the same price it is online.

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I wish I could have bought them all and displayed them like this picture I found online!

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Photo Credit

I did find some pretty cute ones on Amazon with prime shipping, so you won’t give the store associates a heart attack with all your small children touching all the breakable stuff.


Do you wear an apron regularly? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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Posted in Real Talk

Derp

I stayed up too late last night and I woke up at 6am with the kids. My husband slept in and when he woke up and started to paint, I asked if I could do something crazy, unheard of…if I could go back to bed for an hour or two. He said go for it, so I settled in for the best treat ever.

I checked my email really quick and realized I had made a dentist appointment for my son who was complaining of tooth pain for a week, and it was in 10 minutes. I flew out of bed and somehow, someway (thanks to the office being 2 minutes away) I got myself looking decent, and my boy to the dentist right at 9am.

After an x-ray an exam the verdict was in. No cavity, it was just a canker sore tucked up high I didn’t see. UGHHHHH

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Yeah one of those mom moments. At least he got a little bag of Legos from the toy chest.

I came home, told my husband and he had a good laugh and then I asked him to just hug me. I did get to have a 20 minute nap..with the sander full blast in the next room while he worked on the fireplace. Mom life.

 

Posted in Booktube, Library Book Hauls, Real Talk

My 10 Tips To Avoid Mommy Burnout

*First Draft, wrote this really fast so forgive me if it’s awful ha! Just sharing my thoughts.

Mommy Burnout: How to Reclaim Your Life and Raise Healthier Children in the Process

I finished this book today and wow.  I could write on an on about this topic but I find sticking to a list helps me organize and not spent too much time on here. So here we go..

10 Things that I learned that really surprised me from this book-

  1. Mothers in America are STRESSED OUT. The generation and society that championed for choices for women, now have them and are miserable. Having it all, is a lie that the new generation is realizing.
  2. Women don’t know how to make genuine connections with friends in real life anymore. It is unhealthy for all your friends to just be online, you need actual real life interaction or it seems, you will most likely drive your husband crazy lol. I’m generalizing here so if none of this applies to you, just skip on down. Obviously this was written after an outpouring of women in therapy who had all these same common factors in their burnout.
  3. Women feel guilty taking the time they need just for themselves. Often little care is given to the mother’s health and in turn the whole family will suffer.
  4. This next one is a delicate subject but I am really shocked that majority of women who have some type of burnout, try to avoid intimacy with their husband.  The book gave a shocking number of the average being twice a month…what?! That is a huge problem that will affect the mother’s well-being, as well as the marriage and in turn the whole household.
  5. Women seem to think there are only two options, working to break the glass ceiling, or staying home in yoga pants all day drinking wine and being their kids chauffeur. WRONG.
  6. Women don’t really have any hobbies for leisure anymore.
  7. Women spend an enormous amount of time on social media getting validation, parenting advice from strangers, and seeking attention from all the wrong people. This distraction is the soap opera of our generation.
  8. Sending kids to school seems to really STRESS a family out. So many issues from bullies, under achievement, violence, over scheduled, too much homework, too many commitments for stay at home mothers…etc etc
  9. There is so much guilt, everywhere. Working or stay at home mothers all seem to experience this.
  10. Mommy burnout does pass down to the kids which leads to a detrimental childhood, even when you are trying to provide your kids with everything you never had.

 

Wow, what a bummer right? Yikes. I realized I am very fortunate in my life and I am actually doing very well. Of course, I have my bad days too but I have some foundations that keep me from falling into many of the traps listed above. My demographic was missing in the book, so I wanted to add to it by giving my 10 tips that a therapist will likely not tell you.

My Top 10 Ways to Avoid Mommy Burnout Syndrome

  1. Women need HARD PREACHING. Women are going to the therapist couch in the droves to have a pat on the back, words of affirmation, validation, someone to gang up on their husband when they come in together…but really women need sermons like this. Sure, some may laugh, but it has helped me to take pride in what I do, down to the meal I make for my family.  I truly know how important my role is, and never feel like I am just shuffling kids around and changing diapers.
  2. A good church provides great friends. I have never had to wonder how to make friends, as long as I was in church, I had friends. This is one of the benefits of going to church and why our Lord, knew we needed to gather together often…especially more as the end approaches and things deteriorate even more quickly. You never have to worry about scheduling a time to meet up with your friends, just show up a little bit before or stay after the service and see them or arrange playdates. You already know you will have much in common with them.
  3. Take care of yourself. I realized that on the days I work out, I feel much better throughout the day. I may have a bad hour, but I won’t ever have a bad day. For some reason this is the power of exercise. Taking supplements is also a must. I know I have made some poor choices in the last decade while having children and I suffered for it. I wish I could go back but I can’t, so learn from ladies a little older…go to sleep early, wash your face, brush your teeth, limit your caffeine, take supplements, eat as clean and healthy as you can, exercise and find a creative outlet or carve time for just you.
  4. Put your relationship with your husband over your children. He will be there when the children are gone. It’s ok to have them wait while you go outside and talk for a little bit or share a dessert. It’s ok if they go to bed extra early if they know Mom and Dad need some Date Night time. One of our favorite things to do on my husbands day off is adjust our reclinable bed up, and have the kids bring us coffee in bed. We watch some of our youtube playlist videos, laugh at funny videos, and talk about what we will do on his days off. The kids make their own breakfast and read books or play games and come in and out to talk to us and snuggle but for the most part they give us our time, they know mom and dad need it. Our kids go to bed between 7 and 8pm on non-church nights. It’s so important to set boundaries and show kids that you love each other and enjoy each other’s company. The stories in the book portrayed such a picture of misery where kids ran the house, and the parents were just roommates, that is not going to help them in their future marriage.
  5. Homeschool your children. Seriously, this. Reading stories about moms stressed out just from having one to three kids in school, has made me realize how good I have it. I have total control over our day, if I don’t feel good it’s pajamas and tea and books for all, if I feel like going to a museum we can be there all day, if there is a friend that needs some help, I can be there..the list goes on. I am not tied down to anything and I filter what my little sponges absorb. The things kids are watching on youtube today…are HORRIFYING.  Single working mothers especially have found that an ipad can buy them alone time, but at the price of their kids innocence sadly, not to mention this digital abuse then gets labelled as a child with ADHD. It’s true homeschooling can stress a mother out too, the goal is to find that balance where it’s enjoyable majority of the time, the kids are learning, mom too, and you have that flexibility to not feel pinned down all the time.
  6. Community Outreach is best done in the local church. The book gave a great suggestion that families should find charities to get involved in and community projects to take the focus off themselves and help others. It’s true helping others is a blessing to both the recipient and the giver and kids should see this in action. The local church again, provides this outlet for you already. If you have a soulwinning church in your area, go! Soulwinning is the best community outreach there is, because you can change a person’s eternity, not just current situations that last but a vapor. Soulwinning gives children the opportunity to adopt their parents’ faith as their own, to give them self-worth doing important work for God and provides great fellowship opportunities from their peers…peers that you probably know their parents already win-win.
  7. Get Saved! This should have been #1. If you are not saved and have the Holy Spirit indwelling you, I don’t know how you can do it in your own flesh. I think this is the number one cause of mommy burnout but any therapist would laugh me to scorn over that. Before I was saved, I was a mess. I had no real direction, nothing to aspire to being a stay at home mother, I felt lost, I didn’t read my Bible or pray. The book recommended any kind of faith practice, even just meditation would help. It’s true I tried meditation when I wasn’t saved, it did help but all these things are short lived. People go on looking for the next thing, in all the wrong places. If you are not saved, get saved today please.
  8. Treat your home life like you would if you were working. This is one tip from the book I did like. Why is it women who are surgeons when working and awesome at their jobs, make the transition to staying home buying frozen meals? We should take the same energy and attentiveness to our home life as we would being the CEO of a company.
  9. Don’t feel guilty to take some time for yourself. Sometimes this isn’t possible, and I understand that. I have been in  seasons where that opportunity is just not there, maybe your spouse travels for work, you have no family nearby to help, you don’t leave your children with babysitters etc. You can still do some things at home. When my husband is traveling, nothing feels better to me than after the kids go to sleep, putting on a face mask, grabbing a book and eating chips and guacamole in bed with a seltzer water. It’s weird but it’s my thing and it feels luxurious!
  10. Communicate. You are not alone. First talk to God, pray. Secondly, talk to your husband but realize he will want to fix the problem so maybe give a warning you just want to vent first, then talk to a close friend..you can be vague and still get feedback if you are feeling down. You don’t need to dump on someone all your feelings being a Debbie downer and you definitely should never bad mouth your husband to anyone..a simple “I’m having a rough time right now, could you pray for me?” would do fine. “I’m struggling with balancing it all, do you have any tips?” “My kids have developed this bad habit, any tips how I can approach it better?” these things will save you so much money from going to see a therapist, which is apparently what most women are doing today. In a world where we have never been more connected, women feel most disconnected.

Ok so those are my top 10 tips to avoid the Mommy Burnout. Do you have any you would like to add? Drop them in the comments below! Thanks for reading.

Posted in Real Talk

Open Door Review

It’s been almost a month since we moved and I went on a little youtube break. It’s taken some time to get settled and figure out a new working spot and routine. I am working on new videos I want to share with you. The first video I am posting is a review on our experience selling and buying with Open Door. We wanted to give you a real talk, honest review on the pros and cons.

 

Posted in Real Talk

I Made it!

It’s still sick week here. 2 kids overlapped with fevers. Last night I slept in between both of them and just prayed I wouldn’t get it.

Keeping me very sane is running on the treadmill during nap time for half an hour. I am alone in the garage with my phone and earphones and doing one of those preset weight loss work outs. Usually afterwards I feel like Jelly head to toe and beeline to the backyard.

I lay on the floor and stretch and feel the cool earth on my skin. I do some grounding, walking and twirling around (can’t wait to move to the next house where all these 2 story houses don’t look into my backyard!) but just laying on my back looking at the sky is my favorite.

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This immersion in gratitude lately really does incredible things for one’s mood and outlook. I really thought about today how I MADE IT and how grateful I was, thanks to God.

-I made it to adulthood! Trust me, I did some foolish things that could have easily prevented that. Worst yet, I cringe to think I could have died unsaved.  But I’m here..I’m an adult.

-I have the family I always dreamed about. When I was a little girl I had 10 imaginary sisters for a while. I wanted to be a part of a large family so badly…well I got the opportunity to create a large-ish sort of one..at least for today’s standards. I’m so happy about that.

-Most importantly, I made it to being born again. In a world where there is SO much confusion, I am grateful I made it through, saw all the human formed false works doctrine for what it was, and found the truth. This is enough to call it good and yet God still blesses us in this life with so many gifts and special people.

Even recently too-

-I made it through some personal darker times, I made it through stressful things, I’ve almost made it through this moving process :)!

We are constantly making it through big and small hurdles. Let’s take a moment of pause in this busy culture, to just appreciate THAT before the next one.

If we remember what we have made it through, we can remind ourselves that we can make it through anything..and that’s a pretty good feeling.

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16.36

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Romans 8:37

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 1 John 4.4

Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5.5

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. Rev 3.21

If it’s not a regular practice, I challenge you to take some time each day to truly think about what you are grateful for and what you have overcome with God’s help. It will make the day look brighter and your smile bigger. This is the key to not sweating the small stuff I think.

Here is a sermon that ties in with this.