Thursday, October 24, 2013

back in 1995

yesterday, mary at giving up on perfect asked us about our teenage dreams.  those dreams, hopes and wishes we had when we graduated from high school.  what did we think adulthood would be like?  what were our plans for our future?

well, i had two totally different dreams for my future...

the first one involved coach purses; designer clothes; a sleek, black, mercedes benz; a giant, beautiful home; perfectly manicured  hands; and a high profile successful career as a lawyer or executive at a large, well known corporation.

on the complete other end of the spectrum, i dreamt of "saving the world"and being adventurous.  i'd do a few outward bound trips. i'd join the peace corps.  go on missions trips.  work for a non-profit that was helping the poor.  i'd be super involved at my church.  i'd be "making a difference." this dream didn't even include material possessions.  i have no idea where i'd live, how i'd dress or what i'd drive because those things wouldn't be important to me.

with two totally conflicting dreams, i really had trouble finding my way in college and ended up graduating with, what seems to me, to be a totally random major.  i have a degree in political science, which i decided on after dabbling in psychiatry and education.  the classes were interesting but i don't use them now.

i worked in human resources for a while after college and did really well on the LSAT.  i thought i'd become an attorney focusing on employment law.  but then i realized that i didn't want to put in the crazy hours that went along with a high profile successful career.  instead, i got married, had two kids and got my MBA (even though i have no interest in business whatsoever?!?!).  today i work for a large public university in i guess what would be called middle management.  it's not what i dreamed of, but it pays the bills and provides me the flexibility to be there for our kids when they need me (most of the time).

as for "saving the world"and being "adventurous", that dream still tugs at my heart each and every day.  i'm not sure what i'm supposed to be doing or where i'm supposed to be helping, but i feel a huge void in my life because i have not pursued these dreams from my younger years.  i'm reading books and blogs that i hope will motivate me and give me some direction.  i'm praying.  i'm seeking.

while i'm glad the first set of plans for my future didn't work out, i hope that eventually i can begin to follow the second set of plans so that my younger self will be pleased with how things worked out.

thanks mary for inspiring me to think about these things today!

Monday, October 21, 2013

if i didn't...

it's been about nine years since I've become a wohm (work out of the home mom).  other mom's have always said it would get easier.  but I disagree.  nine years later i still struggle.

now I know i should be thankful that i have a job and i am.  while i cannot fully understand the math, i know that while we could never make ends meet with only hubby's income, we are very comfortable with both of our incomes.  i always feel guilty complaining, yet i struggle with these thoughts every day.  the thoughts that if i didn't work at home...

  • i'd wear a size 4 and have a six pack because i could work out for more than 30 minutes a day.

  • our home would be clean and organized all of the time.

  • i'd never get inpatient with the kids because i wouldn't feel so stressed trying to get more done in less time.

  • i'd have time to plan wonderful date nights for dh and i and my parents would be willing to babysit since they wouldn't have to help us while we are at work.

  • i'd have time to volunteer at school.  i'd know my daughters' teachers and friends well because i'd be present in their classrooms.  i'd know the other parents well because i'd be more involved.

  • i would spend more time in the Word because i'd be able to participate in bible studies at church.  (most women's bible studies are held during business hours.  the evening ones usually don't provide childcare and hubby works late a lot.)
  • we'd have healthy home cooked meals every day.
  • we'd spend less at the grocery store because i'd be an extreme couponer.
  • i'd get outside more with the kids instead of allowing them to zone out on their i-devices or the tv because i'm playing catch up with chores and errands...yet again.
basically, i'd be perfect.  yes, everyone please laugh at me now.  i know this isn't true.  i know life would still be crazy busy and there'd be other problems to deal with.  i'm sure if i was a sahm (stay at home mom) right at this very minute i'd be writing a post on how i wished i had a job.  at least that is what my hubby tells me.  i'm one of those who thinks the grass is greener on the other side, even though i remind myself all of the time that it really isn't.
so i'm going to begin exploring my feelings regarding working and motherhood here. if i didn't work i probably would have realized a month ago that this would be a great topic for the "31 days of" blog posts that are going on this month, but i'm about 21 days late for that.  so i guess i'll just write when i can and see where this goes.   i kind of think it might actually help me come to peace with my circumstances.  and hopefully someone else may stumble upon this who is struggling with these same things and at the very least, she will know she's not alone!

twitterature - 10-21-13 - better late than never!

i've been trying to stay offline more and that means i'm behind on posting my latest reads with the modern mrs. darcy.  here's some of what i've read over the past month or so:

Hector and the Search for Happiness - this was recommended somewhere online.  i didn't finish it.  #didntquitegetit #dontrecommend

Gathering Blue - i was really excited to read this.  it was a little slow for me.  not my favorite but i did enjoy the story. #youngadultfiction #thegiverwasbetter

The Husband's Secret - i think Liane Moriarty has become one of my favorite authors.  it's like she can read my mind. #wassurprisedbythesecret #hadtofinishinessthan24hours

elanor & park - while i didn't love this as much as i thought i would considering all of the hype i've seen online, i did enjoy this book. i was really fascinated with the details of elanor's home life and how it affected her.  a good lesson for teens. #sweetlovestorywithsomethingmore

Wife 22 - this was great.  it took me a few chapters to get used to the format, but once i did i was addicted.  was surprised and in love with the ending. #funreadonmarriage

well, that's all for now.  off to the library to get a few new books to read for next month's twitterature!  check in on the modern mrs. darcy's page for more quick book reviews.

Friday, October 11, 2013

seven quick takes friday - 10-11-13


last saturday i thought it would be fun to take the girls to a pumpkin patch.  the weather was beautiful and i knew it would be a great time to get out my real camera and take some pretty fall photos.  well, the minute we got to the pumpkin patch it started POURING!  we still tried to enjoy as much as we could, venturing into a scary funhouse, visiting the petting zoo and eating cotton candy.  but there was no hayride, no corn maze and of course no pumpkins to bring home.  instead we stopped at home depot on the way home from church on sunday and picked up two pumpkins for $4.00 each. 

I have more festive fall activities planned for this weekend.  I sure hope the weather cooperates this time around!


I'm starting to run regularly again.  I really love how I feel after I run, but it is so hard getting started in the mornings.  to help motivate me, I'm working towards #48milesinoctober with Marta - you can find her on instagram @hausofgirls_fitfamily.

Still Facebook free.  I'm loving all of the time I have now that I don't spend so much time mindlessly reading people's status updates online.  and after two weeks I'm starting to miss it less.


I finished Gathering Blue  this week and started attachments: a novel. both are ok, but not great.  i’ll write more about these books when i join modern mrs. darcy for twitterature later this month.  oh, and these links are not affiliate links because i cannot figure out how to do that :)

this past week I made yummy apple streudel muffins and  crockpot chicken and dumplings thanks to allrecipies.  I always forget how much I love to bake and cook until I try out new recipes.  to keep the ball rolling I just picked up two Pioneer Woman cookbooks from the library.  I cannot wait to try some of those recipes!

Hubby's coaching for our high school's football team this year.  high school instead of college so now the games are on Friday nights instead of Saturdays.  big sis dances on Friday nights, so we get to the games late, but we are trying to make it to as many home games as possible.  we were there this past Friday and saw them win 38-0.  woo-hoo!

we had our first family pet death this past Saturday.  back in march we won two goldfish at a carnival (named Goldie and Locks).  the girls were so excited as I've always told them they could have fish but never followed through.  finally, I had no choice but to go out and buy an aquarium.  unfortunately Saturday morning we woke up to discover Locks laying still at the bottom of the aquarium.  it was a sad day for us.  at first Goldie was pretty sad, but she seems to be doing ok now.  I think she actually enjoys having the whole place to herself :)

and that's all for today.  happy friday!  and for more quick takes, please go over to conversion diary!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

my dream home

giving up on perfect is doing a great series this month about working through fairy tale dreams in comparison to adult life. today she’s asked us to compare our dream home from our childhood to our present home.

my brother always wanted to be an architect, so the two of us spent a great deal of time perusing those “floor-plan magazines”.  homes were sorted by size and you could see how each floor was laid out.  i always thought I’d simply buy the blueprints to one of those plans one day and build my dream house. and these magazines helped me set some high expectations for my future home.

i always thought i'd live in this house.  (source)

said dream house would be large.  3000 square feet or more.  (we lived in a house that was around 1400 square feet and to me that was just way too small.)  i wanted a gigantic master suite.  a chef’s kitchen.  a wrap around porch.  a library, office, family room AND living room.  a fully finished walk out basement.  and of course this house had to be on a piece of land that was gigantic.  with an olympic size swimming pool.  and basketball/tennis court.  of course there would have to be people to take care of the house and property.  basically I wanted to be a gazillionare so that i could have these things.  who knows where all of that money was going to come from, but that’s what i wanted.
this would fit in my backyard, right? (source)


fast forward to today.  i actually have a home that is pretty close to my present-day dream house.  believe it or not, i actually think it’s too big (2600 square feet plus a finished basement which brings us pretty close to a total of 3600 square feet of living space.  WAY too much to clean.)  but i do like it. 

we have a sunroom.  it’s nothing fancy, but it’s three walls of nothing but windows that let the sun in.  the sunroom has a table and 6 chairs in it and that’s all.  no electronics.  no toys.  just a room that we can eat in, do homework in and play games in.  during the fall and spring.  otherwise it’s too cold or too hot in there, but that’s ok with me.

we also have a fireplace.  something i always wanted growing up.  we spend a lot of time in front of it during the winter, all cuddled up on the floor watching movies or playing board games.

a kitchen island is yet another thing i always longed for growing up and i really enjoy ours.  it’s big enough that i can prep meals on one side while the kids eat snacks or do homework on the other (provided it’s not covered with junk mail, toys, and other miscellaneous items that need put away).

there’s a lot my current home doesn’t have when compared to my dream home of my childhood.  we have a postage-stamp yard.  we don’t have a library.  we have an office but only because we decided we didn’t want a dining room.  our home isn’t decorated well.  i am not good at that.  it’s often messy (didn’t get the full time housekeeping staff that I was hoping for).  but it is our home. it meets all of our needs. and hubby and i expect that we’ll be here for a long time and i love that!

Monday, October 7, 2013

working towards less

i have a lot of stuff.  (don’t we all?) and so do my kids.  it drives me crazy.  yet for the longest time I really haven't done anything about it but complain. 

from 2008 to 2011 i was in grad school.  i was also working full time.  and my kids were itty bitty.  it was a time of acquiring much and getting rid of little.  the entire time i was in school i kept thinking that as soon as i graduated, i would do a major decluttering of our household.  well, i finished school in april of 2011 and that still hasn’t happened.
maybe the timing just wasn’t right.  but now, the girls are older.  i feel less rushed even though we are often technically busier.  so I think it’s time.


this is a difficult process.  not just the getting rid of part.  but the saying no to other things so that i have time to go through our stuff. i’ve been saying no to a lot lately.  but for now i think this needs to be my priority.  (besides my family.) so i’m not going to be that mom with the most volunteer pta hours.  i’m not going to lead any girl scout troops this year.  i’m not going to sign up for every dance team booster club fundraiser.  and that’s ok.  my hubby says so.  (actually all he says is that i’m not allowed to volunteer for anything this year because he knows how stressed i get.  and that the house turns into a disaster because of the stress.) 
the result of all of this saying no is time.  i’m finding wide open spaces of time (also thanks to staying off of facebook) that i am using to enjoy my family.  and when they’re busy?  I declutter!

i’ve noticed that i easily get overwhelmed when there’s a lot of stuff around me.  i’m starting to notice that my girls seem to be the same way.  i expect that using this year to declutter will bring a feeling of calm to our household.  and it will make my hubby really happy.  i hope that our home loses hundreds of pounds of stuff by the end of the school year.  and gains much in terms of expected and unexpected benefits!

Friday, October 4, 2013

seven quick takes friday - 10-4-13


i’ve been facebook free for a week now.  i’m feeling a little out of it, but i think i like not knowing every little detail of what’s happening in other people’s lives.  i actually have to talk to people now to find out what’s going on with them.  *gasp!*


one down, nine to go!  is it too early to start feeling like the worst end of school year mom ever in october?  don’t get me wrong, school has been going great for the girls.  i can already tell they’re learning a lot and i love hearing about the new friends they are making.  but i’m already struggling with reading logs and for the next 55 days we need to check off if they’ve done at least 20 minutes of physical activity a day (hopefully that should be a given, but still).  add to that packing lunches, figuring out how to gracefully bow out of three million different fundraisers, reviewing homework (that i don’t even always understand) and keeping track of extracurriculars and it’s no wonder i’m already counting down to Christmas break.  80 days folks!


i hate saying “no”.  i just realized that’s why i dread my job on most days.  i have to say “no” quite a bit.  it makes me sad.  i want to say “yes”.  i want my students to get what they want.  but unfortunately they always want to go against rules and policy, so i have to say no.  it’s my job.  and it’s no fun.  thankfully yesterday i was able to do more positive things at work and it made me feel a lot better.  balances out all of the “no” days.
i can't even say no to these!


i’ve read two and a half books this week.  Eleanor and Park (loved it!). Wife 22 (loved it!).  and i’m halfway through Gathering Blue (so far it’s so-so).  i’ll write more about these books when i join modern mrs. darcy for twitterature later this month.  oh, and these links are not affiliate links because i cannot figure out how to do that :)


lil’ sis turns 6 this month.  i’m not going to lie, this makes me sad.  but she’s so excited it’s her birthday month.  i hope we make it a super fun one for her.
birthday girl!


i’m so sick of being sick.  my sinuses freaked out the minute ragweed season began.  and a few weeks later i came down with a sinus infection that two 2 courses of antibiotics, a course of some sort of steroid, and now ongoing allergy medicine and flonase to fight it off.  sort of.  i’m still coughing and occasionally congested.  i hope this doesn’t last much longer.


because i always feel crummy in the fall (see above), it’s become an annual tradition for me to start considering drastic changes to my eating habits.  i’m sure they contribute somewhat to how i feel.  i do know diet coke isn’t good for me, and think that could be a good starting point, but i just can’t live without it.  so right now i would like to challenge myself to drinking more water this month.  ’m not ready to give up diet coke (i didn’t drink it for 9 months last year and missed it the entire time) but i think by drinking more water i’ll be more hydrated and will thus feel better.  and i’ve heard lots of water is good for people with sinus problems.  we’ll see about that…!
why can't diet coke be good for you?!?!
and that's all for today.  happy friday!  and for more quick takes, please go over to conversion diary!