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Friday, December 31, 2010

Out with the old goals, in with the new

Last year I blogged about my goals that I had set for 2010, so before I post my goals for the new year, I thought a recap was in order.  How did I do on my goals?

1. Spend daily time with God, focusing on Bible study, prayer, Bible memory and stillness before God, focusing on and listening to Him.
RESULTS:  I did better in this area this year, but it still needs work.  I'm not spending the daily time I need.  I tend to be sporadic with it - I'll do really well for a while, then let it slide.  I need more consistency.

2. Run. Pretty simple. I am still very much a newbie, but I love running, and I want to work my way up to running 5 miles a day, 3 to 4 days a week, by the end of 2010.
RESULT:  Running went by the wayside pretty quickly with my return to college.  I have been doing really well with my workouts at the gym, though, getting in a least three a week almost every week for the past several months.  I plan to try running (again) since I have the first half of the year off from college.

3. Spend more time doing things with my family.
RESULT:  Still needs lots of improvement.  I have been spending more time with them now that school is over for a while, and I'm trying to be "all there" when I'm with them.

4. Finish 5 college classes and apply to dental hygiene school.
RESULT:  DONE!!!!  I turned in my application earlier this month, and I should know something in March.

5. Have a weekly date night with my husband.
RESULT:  Ummm, not even close!  We did go out once a month most months, starting this summer.  It's so hard to find a sitter when you're hours away from family.

6. Put more time and focus into Kids BLAST, our children's ministry, which I head up.
RESULTS:  I feel like I really did well on this one.  There are still so many things I want to change and new things I want to try, but I definitely feel like we took our children's ministry up a few notches this year.

Now, on to my 2011 goals...
1. Spend daily time with God in prayer, Bible study, memorization, and listening to God.
2. Read through the Bible, and do more in-depth Bible study, focusing on Ephesians and Psalms.
3. Using my Cozi/FlyLady organizer, get my home and family organized once and for all (before the craziness of dental hygiene school starts) setting up systems and routines to keep us organized.
4. Make family time a priority, with nightly family devotions, daily one-on-one time with my boys, and weekly family nights.
5. Continue my workouts, moving them up to five or six times a week, using a combination of strength training at the gym, running, Zumba, and PraiseMoves (a yoga-style workout).

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Dreams For 2011

I recently posted this, and it fits so perfectly with the theme of this week's writing assignments, I had to link to it...

Mama's Losin' It

I'm so excited to be linking up with Walk With Him Wednesday for the first time!  The theme this week goes hand in hand with the theme for Working Mom Wednesday, so I'm linking up to both...




This year has been challenging, to say the least.  I returned to college in January, ten years after quitting.  Juggling work, college, family, home and church events has been pretty tough.  We've had major changes at work - great, much needed changes, but even good changes can bring stress.  In addition to that, I've been dealing with a pretty terrible situation with my parents.  I haven't shared a lot about it until now, because it's just so personal and so difficult.  Their marriage has been on the rocks for quite some time, but this year it hit rock bottom...it hit below rock bottom, if that's possible.  I found out that my mother had been lying to me for months, and I found out that she had become addicted to some of her prescription medications.  There are other details, too, that are just too personal to share.  It all came to light just before Thanksgiving, and needless to say, it has put a huge strain on our relationship.  Our family is still recovering from the shock of what happened, and my parents are struggling to begin picking up the pieces of their lives and marriage, hoping they can still salvage it.

Despite it's challenges, 2010 has been a good year.  I cannot express how blessed I truly am.  So what do I want in 2011?  What are my goals, my words, my themes for the year ahead?

Peace
If I'm accepted into dental hygiene school, I'll start in July, and life is really going to get interesting.  I'll be just shy of a full-time student, working just shy of full-time, and heading up our church's children's ministry, as I've done for almost four years now.  I will need God's peace!  Our family also desperately needs his peace right now.

Healing
Healing for my parents' marriage and for my relationship with my mom...we've taken the first steps, I think.  We talked, really talked, on Christmas Eve for the first time since all this blew up.  It's going to be a long, slow process, though, and it will take a lot of time to build up the trust that was lost.

Nothing surprises God.
Nothing.  He knows every detail I'll face, and He'll be there to help me.

God is faithful.
If there is one thing I've learned throughout my life, it's that God is faithful.  He's never let me go, and He's never let my family go.  He's brought us through so much already, and I know He will bring us through whatever challenges and joys lie ahead in the new year.

This weekend, I'm going to blog more about my more specific goals for the new year, and I'll do a recap of my goals for this year and how well I did in reaching them.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I'm taking the rest of the week off from blogging to enjoy Christmas with my family.  I hope that you all have a wonderful week, and I will be back on Monday, December 27

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Have less purse clutter with the SWAGG app!


I wanted to share a great new smartphone app that I discovered recently!  If you're looking for a way to get organized and downsize, this is a great place to start.  SWAGG has launched a new app that deals with the troublesome problem of how to deal with the overabundance of gift cards, loyalty & membership cards that clutter up your wallet or handbag. Basically you can load all those gift cards, loyalty points, etc into your iPhone or Android mobile device.

SWAGG allows consumers to import more than 250 brands of gift cards and rewards cards and, unlike plastic cards, SWAGG permits consumers to view available balance and reward information on most of these cards. Additionally, consumers can use their mobile device to give, get and even exchange SWAGG GIFTS from participating merchant partners such as American Apparel Inc., The Wet Seal Inc., Crocs Inc., 1-800-Flowers.com and Arden B. Through SWAGG, consumers can access the offers that matter most to them, connecting users with more than 3,000 retailers. Retailers benefit by acquiring new customers, increasing in-store business and retaining existing customers.

Plus, as an added bonus, every download through the month of December = $1 donation from SWAGG to Stand Up 2 Cancer.  You get the app here or you can find it in the iPhone app store or the Android Market. 
 
* Disclaimer:  In exchange for posting a review, I will receive a $20 SWAGG gift card.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Many Alter Egos of a Wannabe Supermom - My Life in Pictures


My life is crazy, but so much fun...here are some of the highlights....

Our family with our alter egos
(Everyone says my husband looks like Mr. Incredible...I guess that automatically makes me a superhero, too?)

Helping my husband at a recent baby dedication


This is from our Easter egg hunt, our biggest event each year.

And some random fun and silliness...which happens often around our house...





Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The end of a long year


Normally I would post something for Tasty Tuesday, but today is a special day, so I'm going in a different direction.  Today I finish my last class of a very tough semester.  Today I begin a seven month break before dental hygiene school starts.  I am so excited that this semester, this year of taking prerequisites, is over.  I'm already making plans to catch up on all the things I didn't have enough time for during college...

1.  More family time - playing games, watching movies, going places together, geocaching, and more

2.  Time to read - Ted Dekker's latest is at the top of my list, plus I have several new authors I want to check out

3.  Time to cook and experiment with new recipes - we're all tired of the convenience food we've been living off of lately

4.  Less stress and time to unwind

5.  More sleep

I can't wait!  My microbiology final begins at 8:00 a.m., and once it's over, I'm a free woman!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Home: The Final Frontier?


It's wild, untamed, and sometimes dangerous.  The unknown lurks around every corner.  To find what you're searching for may take hours, even days.  It can be a no man's land at time.  It's...my house.

Let's just say that I'm...domestically challenged.  On paper, I'm very organized - off paper, not so much.  By the end of a day spent juggling family, work, school, and more, my house gets pushed to the back burner.  But all that changed last week...I've decided that I'm sick and tired of our chaotic house, so I decided it was time for a change. 

I blogged Friday about two websites that I've used on and off for years joining forces - FlyLady and Cozi.  When I saw their big announcement, and heard about how the new Cozi calendar would work with FlyLady, I knew I had found my answer.  I've tried FlyLady's system before, and it works.  It helped me when my kids were younger and I was staying at home, then somewhere along the way, I let it all slide.  Now, with everything I need on one calendar, in one place (on my Droid X thanks to the new Cozi app!), I have no excuses.

I can already tell a difference - not a huge difference, but a difference nonetheless.  I know it's going to take time.  I'm starting my family on new routines, one at a time.  Right now I'm teaching my kids to spend 15 minutes each night cleaning up - putting up clothes, gathering up their toys and school supplies from wherever they've wandered to during the day, etc.

From what other students have told me, I don't know what stress is until I've actually started the dental hygiene program, so I want my house organized and my routines in place before I (hopefully) start in July.  I'll be blogging every month or so about my progress.  I can't wait to see the results start adding up!

Friday, December 10, 2010

A busy mom's best friends join forces!

I am so excited that two of my very favorite resources for busy moms have joined forces!  I have used both in the past, but now I am dependant on both of them every day.  In fact, on Monday I'm going to start sharing how I'm using these tools to finally get my home and family organized.

Cozi, an online calendar system, and FlyLady have combined efforts to create an amazing, FREE online calendar system that keeps your family and your home on track.  As if that wasn't good enough, Cozi also has an app available for iPhone and Android phones.  I bought it (only$ 1.99!) for my Droid X and I love it.

You can read more about Cozi and FlyLady here, and you can sign up for your free calendar.  It is fantastic!

Overstock.com discount code!

Are you still working on your holiday shopping?  Have I got a deal for you!  I love shopping online, although there are only a handful of websites that I use.  One of them is overstock.com.  They have great deals on products, and their shipping is only $2.95 no matter what you order.

If you've never shopped at Overstock, you might be wondering what you can find there...the answer is, just about anything!  You can find handmade jewelry, the perfect blue jeans, or an awesome pair of sunglasses.  you can also find furniture, home decor, books, electronics, and more.  If you're looking for the right gifts for the people on your list, Overstock is a great place to look.

Plus, you can get 10% off your purchase with this discount code: 121728 

Happy shopping!

Disclaimer: All the ideas and opinions expressed are my own. No monetary compensation was received for doing this post, however, I was provided with a discount code.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Stepping Out In Bold Faith

It was a dream I'd had for years...since childhood, really.  I had a shot at it once, but gave it up to pursue another dream.  I didn't regret it, but I knew that one day I wanted to go back and see the dream become a reality.  But when the chance came, I was terrified.  It was a bold move, and of the scariest moves of my life.  It was my decision to return to college to finish my degree.

I started college fresh out of high school, on a scholarship - the only way my family could afford to send me.  I went blazing in, making a 4.0 GPA but without a clue as to what I wanted from a career.  I plugged away for two years, first as an elementary education major (that lasted one semester), then psychology, then English...because it was my favorite subject.  The pressure of keeping my grades high enough to keep my scholarship began to wear on me after the first few months.  I became more and more exhausted and discouraged.

Then in May 1999, I met Robby.  I had no idea at that first meeting that he would change my life.  I spent a year getting to know him as a friend, then in May 2000 he asked me for our first date.  A month later, he asked me to marry him, and I said yes.  I made the decision to marry the man of my dreams, become a pastor's wife, and quit college.

Life marched on.  Robby and I married in September 2000.  I worked for a while, then quit my job to become a stay at home mom.  We moved several times, and I finally returned to work.  Although I loved my job (still do!) I dreamed of returning to being a stay at home mom until reality set in - it was a thing of the past.  That's when I started thinking about college.

I decided that if I had to work (and I do) then I wanted to make good money at it.  I started doing some research and found that working in a dentist's office really interested me.  More research led to a college just 30 minutes away that offered a dental hygiene program.  I thought about it.  I prayed about it.  Robby and I talked about it.  The thought of returning to school as a 30 year old, married, working mom of two terrified me.  I talked  myself out of it and back into it several times.  Then, last December, I made the leap - I registered for classes, bought my books, and paid my tuition.  There was no backing out.

Now, a year later, I've survived some of the hardest classes I've ever taken...and made really good grades in them, much to my surprise.  I've finished my prerequesites and turned in my application to the dental hygiene program.  I'm still terrified, but I'm glad I did it.  I'm thankful for my family and friends who continue to support me.  I'm thankful for my husband, my biggest fan and cheerleader.  And I'm thankful I took the very bold, very scary leap of faith to return to college and to chase my dream until it becomes a reality.

Mama's Losin' It


What I love about Christmas

1.  Putting up our Christmas trees

2.  Seeing Christmas decorations in all the stores

3.  Starbucks Christmas coffees (Come on, you know coffee had to be here somewhere, right?)

4.  Seeing my the excitement on my boys' faces when we pull our 5 feet tall singing, dancing Santa down from the attic

5.  Using my snowman dishes

6.  My kids enjoying the same Christmas movies I grew up watching on TV

7.  Driving around town after dark to look at Christmas light

8.  Spending time with my husband and kids - no work, no college, just time with my three favorite guys

9.  Our church's candlelight communion the Wednesday before Christmas

10.  Rememering what Christmas is really about - celebrating God's amazing gift to us 2,000 years ago


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My favorite recipes websites



I am so thankful that this semester of college is almost over!  Life has been so hectic that I've resorted to quick-fix meals almost every day.  I've really missed cooking, and I'm looking forward to experimenting in the kitchen again and testing new recipes.

My favorite recipe site, hand down, is food.com (formerly Recipe Zaar).  There are so many amazing recipes here, and it's so easy to search for just what you're looking for.  I also love the fact that each recipe is submitted by home chefs, so they are tested and tried.  I found my Mexican egg roll recipe here.

I don't know what I would do without my slow cooker, and I'm always finding great new recipes to try at A Year of Slow Cooking.  To me, a slow cooker is a busy mom's best friend - you can put your food in and pretty much forget about it, then end your day with a hot, home-cooked meal.

A site that is new to me is Picky Palate.  I love the original takes on familar recipes, and I also love the fact that everything I've tried is easy to prepare.

I hope these sites will inspire you to get into the kitchen, try some new foods, and have fun cooking!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Next "Survivor"?


I've read this before, but I found this extended version and read it recently at the women's gym where I work, and we all agreed it hits home!  This really sums up the reality of everyday life for a mom.  I love it...

- Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and four kids each, for six weeks.
- Each kid plays two sports and either takes music or dance classes.
-Each child will need a wrapped birthday gift for two parties during the six weeks, to which the men must RSVP, drop off, and pick up.
-Each man must also take each child to a doctor's appointment, a dentist appointment, and an appointment for a haircut.
-He must also make cookies or cupcakes for a social function.
- There is no access to fast food.
- Each man must take care of his four kids, keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, complete science projects, cook, do laundry, etc.
- The men only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all chores are done. There is only one TV between them and there is no remote.
-Each man will be responsible for decorating his assigned house, planting flowers outside, and keeping it presentable at all times.
- The men must shave their legs and wear makeup daily, which they must apply themselves, either while driving or while making four lunches.
-During one of the six weeks, they will have to endure severe stomach cramps, back aches, skin breakouts, and have extreme mood swings, but never once complain or slow down from their duties.
- They must attend weekly PTA meetings; clean up after their sick children at 3:00 a.m; make an Indian hut model with six toothpicks, a tortilla and one marker; and get a 4-year-old to eat a serving of peas.
_Them men will pray with the children each night, bathe them, dress them, brush their teeth, and comb their hair by 7:00 a.m. each day.
-At the end of the six weeks, a test will be given, and each father will be required to know the following information about each child: birthday, height, weight, shoe size, clothing size, doctor's name and phone number, best friend, favorite color, favorite toy, favorite story, favorite snack and drink, biggest fear, and what they want to be when they grow up.
- The kids vote them off the island, based on performance.
- The last man wins only if he has enough energy to be intimate with his spouse at a moment's notice.
If the last man does win, he can play the game over and over again for the next 18-25 years - eventually earning the right to be called 'Mother'.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Momisms


I work at an all women's gym, so I talk to lots of moms everyday, and I hear some pretty funny things.  They have lots of "momisms" that are quoted often.  Here are a few of my favorites...

1.  There are very few things in life that coffee and chocolate can't make better.

2.  This isn't Burger King - you don't get it your way, you get it my way!

3.  I have one ounce of sanity left...would you like it?

4.  I try to take life one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.

5.  Mommy brain is when your gray matter turns into gray hair.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chicken Ricotta Bowls

This a new family favorite at our house. It's also great for parties. Rather than putting the whole thing here, I'm adding the link to Robin Miller's website page for hwe fabulous chicken ricotta bowls. Chicken Ricotta Bowls

Monday, November 29, 2010

It all comes down to this...



Today's the day...my future depends on the contents of this folder.  It represents a year of hard work, stress and tears, not to mention thousands of dollars invested.  It holds the key to a new career, a new world that could open up for me, if I get in.  Its my application to dental hygiene school.

I am absolutely terrified as I prepare to turn my application in.  I really, really want this.  But I also know there are 150 other people wanting one of the 32 spots available in the program.  I'm also well aware of what getting in means...a two year commitment to a very stressful program, investing thousands of dollars, and heaping more on my plate than I can really handle - but having to juggle it anyway.

The changes this will bring to me and family are huge.  I also know what the payout will mean when I finish...a great job with very little stress, a salary triple what I now earn, four day work weeks, and getting home to my family at an earlier hour every night.

So today as I hand in my application, my stomach is in knots.  It will be months before I find out whether or not I get in.  It all depends on the contents of this folder...the application that could change my life forever.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Something Beautiful

Most people who know me know that I've been under major stress lately.  My parents are dealing the crisis of a lifetime, I'm finishing my hardest semester of college yet, there are big changes at work, plus lots of big events and church activities going on...I'm seriously stressed out.  Stress does have some good effects, though...it drives me closer to God.

I have found that the more stressed I am, the closer I get to Him.  The more I have on my plate, the more I see that there is no way I can do it all on my own.  The weaker I am, the stronger He becomes.  During stressful times, and especially during a heartbreaking situation like my parents are going through, I realize that there is nothing I can do.  The only thing I can do is put it into God's hands and trust Him.

I love these verses...Psalm 66 (10) For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined. (12) You made men ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water, Yet You brought us out into a place of abundance.  (NASB)  In hard times and stressful times, I hang onto that promise.  No matter how hard things get, God is here with me, and He will bring me through the fire refined as silver.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sour Cream Cheesecake with Praline Sauce

This is a holiday favorite at our house! I also make it for a lot of church potlucks - that way I get a little bit, and the rest goes home with someone else - otherwise I would eat way more than I need to! LOL

 
Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 stick melted butter

 
Filling:

  •  3 8-oz packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

 
Topping:

  •  1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

 Praline Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. For crust, stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter - pat into bottom and sides of a springform pan.
  3. For filling, beat together cream cheese and sugar; beat in eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla; pour filling into crust and bake for 1 hour.
  4. Remove cake from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  5. For topping, mix sour cream, sugar, and vanilla until well blended; spread over top of warm cheesecake and return to oven for 5 minutes.
  6. Cool cake to room temperature in pan, then cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight.
  7. To serve, loosen cake from pan with a knife, then remove sides of pan.
  8. To make sauce, mix brown sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan; add in corn syrup and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick; remove from heat, stir in nuts and vanilla, and cool slightly. Pour over cheesecake before serving.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Family Traditions

I love family traditions.  Creating new traditions with my husband and kids is one my favorite things.  Since we live so far away from our extended family, we've chosen to make holidays a special time for just the four of us.

Aside from the time off of school, work, and church, I'm most excited about celebrating our family traditions.  First is our huge Thanksgiving meal.  We've blended favorite recipes from our childhoods along with new favorites to form our traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Another thing I'm excited about is our Thanksgiving movie marathon.  We hardly ever watch a movie, but we keep a list going of all the movies we'd like to see, and over Thanksgiving, we rent a huge stack of DVD's and have a movie marathon. 

To top it all off, we get up at an insane hour on Black Friday and hit the stores.  We do the majority of our Christmas shopping that day.  For bargain hunters like us, it's an awesome day.  We plan our shopping like a military operation!

So what are your favorite family holiday traditions?  Join in the discussion at the Confessions of a Wannabe Supermom community at the Blog Frog!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Beyond Mommy Guilt

Burnout and I are old friends.  It has been a part of my life for many years, and I know why.  There's the easy answer, and there's the real answer.

The easy answer - which, by the way, is definately not a wrong answer - is that I simply take on more than I can handle.  A type-A, "I can do it all" person since childhood, I have a hard time saying no when someone asks me to take on a new responsibility.  There are a lot of things I love doing, and I have a hard time letting go of one to make room for another.  Which is why I ended up coordinating Vacation Bible School in August while working and taking anatomy and physiology II during the second summer session of college...yeah, huge burnout.

Then you have the real answer.  When I reach down deep, I know that the real reason I'm burned out is because of expectations.  I juggle so many roles in a day - wife, mom, manager/trainer at a women's gym, student, daughter, friend, pastor's wife, and CHO (chief home officer).  Sometimes I need to drop something, but no one is willing to let it be them.  Everyone needs me right now, and everyone needs me to give 100%.

I goes way beyond mommy guilt.  I think a lot of people would be surprized to know how much of the time I feel like I'm failing.  I think a lot of moms feel that way.  I try to do it all, and do it all well, and it's simply not possible.  When school gets crazy busy, my house is wreck.  When I'm stressed about what's going on at home, it's hard to give work my full attention.  When I have obligations because I'm a pastor's wife, I feel like my family doesn't my attention the way they need to.  I feel like the guy at the circus spinning plates, always running from one place to another to keep them all spinning.  Sometimes I need to let a plate fall - but no one wants it to be their plate.

Peer pressure doesn't end when you graduate from high school or even college.  I think that moms everywhere are pressured to do it all and be perfect at it all, and that pressure is what truly leads to burnout.

Mama's Losin' It

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Things I Won't Negotiate!



#1. Top Ten "non-negotiables" in life.

#2. Would you have plastic surgery to get or improve your job? (based off story on Good Morning America.)

1.  God comes first in everything.

2.  My family is my #1 priority on earth.

3.  Marriage is a promise to God and each other, and it's meant to last a lifetime.

4.  My family is worth fighting for.

5.  I love my kids, but I'm their mom - not their best friend.

6.  There's a lot of satisfaction in hard work and a job well done.

7.  Ministering to other people isn't an option!  It's something all Christians should do.  (I've worked with kids ministry since I was in high school.)

8.  There are very few things in life that coffee and chocolate can't make better...it may not fix it, but they sure help.

9.  A good workout can get rid of a lot of stress.

10.  Never give up on your dreams.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chicken Packets

This is a quick and easy favorite at our house! It also works great if you do OMAC (one a month cooking) meals...it freezes really well.
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash of garlic powder
  • 2 (8 oz) refrigerated cresent rolls
  • butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix chicken, cream cheese, chives, milk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. (To freeze, simply pour the mix into a freezer bag.)
  3. Unwrap cresent rolls, divide chicken mix, and place on each triangle.
  4. Wrap each dough triangle around the mix and place on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick spray.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. When done, spread a small amount of butter over each warm chicken packet.

Monday, November 15, 2010

How (Not) To Use Chore Charts


I'm a list person...a chart person...a person who likes to have things written down.  I feel so organized and together when I have things on paper.  I'm always checking out websites that offer free printables, looking for the best charts and listmaking sites I can find.  I've found some great resources that I use regularly.

Chore charts are a great way to keep your family organized.  The kids know exactly what they need to do each day.  You can stay on a schedule and keep your house clean and organized.  I've even found mommy chore charts with all the weekly housekeeping chores you need to do on a checklist.  I love the feeling of satisfaction I get when I can cross something off that list.

Unfortunately, I've discovered something about chore charts.  They only work...well, if you actually do the work listed.  Sure, they look great hanging on the fridge or the bulletin board or wherever you decide to hang it.  But if you can't motivate yourself to do the work on the chart, it's not doing much good.  That's where I am.  I love looking at my chore chart.  I think about what I need to do.  I'm just missing the step where I actually do the work.  So there's my goal for this week - learn to use chore charts the right way!

Friday, November 12, 2010

What I Really Want From Blogging...

I've been in kind of a transition mode lately when it comes to blogging.  Thanks to Theta Mom's post a few weeks ago on reaching your reader's expectations, and the one year anniversary of the launch of Confessions of a Wannabe Supermom, I've been rethinking my goals, my design, and the reasons why I blog.

I've thought a lot about how I came to blogging last year.  I had tried blogging before, and each time I crashed and burned within weeks, quitting altogether, only to try again later.  Finally, I decided to really research it and have a plan in place before I started blogging again.  I spent several months planning out what I wanted.  In November 2009, I started my blog on Wordpress, but being a newbie, I found myself struggling with the format, and early in 2010, I switched back to the Blogger account I'd maintained.  It took time, but slowly my blog started to build.  I started finding my blogging voice.

Now, after a year, it's time to reevaluate again.  As Theta Mom says, I want my readers to know what they can expect from my blog.  I also want readers to be engaged with me and my blog.  I want readers more than I want followers.  Don't get me wrong, followers are great.  I love mine and want to see my followers really grow.  But more than followers, I want to know that people are reading what I'm writing and that it means something to them.  I want people to identify with me and my blog on some level - whether it's a funny story about my family, something I've learned that helps them, or just the fact that we all know that as much as we'd like to, we can't be Superwoman.

I love the changes I've made so far.  I still have some tweaking I want to do, but I think I'm headed in the right direction.  I want to focus on writing about the things I'm learning, and the mistakes I'm making.  I want to share what I know about finding balance as I juggle the many roles I play in a day.  I want to somehow, in some way, help others by what I share.  Most of all, I want to have fun, and I hope to connect with some great people along the way so we can share each other's journey.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Love, Your Co-Workers - Working Mom Wednesday



#1. Eat out or brown bag with co-workers? Lunch room or desk? What your typical work lunch like?

#2. What would they say... write a post from the perspective of your boss or co-worker? (What would they say about you?)

Dear Amanda,

I am so glad that I work with you.  You're crazy and sometimes scatter-brained, but that's great, because we both think alike.  I love having a co-worker I can laugh and be silly with, especially on a stressful day.  I love the way we can work together and end up laughing until we're crying.

Honestly, I don't know how you do it all.  I know you're juggling a lot, and I appreciate the fact that when you're at work, you're focused on work.  Sometimes, though, you need to keep it together a little more.  When your mind is racing in several different directions all at once...well, sometimes that doesn't work too well.  Sometimes you walk into a room and forget what you went in for...and you're too young for senior moments!  But you're driven, energetic, and passionate about what you do.

I'm glad that all of us are so close...we're more like a group of close friends than co-workers, and I'm glad we can work in that kind of environment.

Love, your co-workers

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Favorite Mac and Cheese



Since it's almost Thanksgiving, I decided to share one of our family favorite holiday recipes today - the best mac and cheese I've ever had!  I got this recipe from a church member when we lived in south Arkansas, and it was an instant hit.  It's simple, delicious, and very popular at church potlucks, too!
  
  • 1 8-oz box elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
  • 1/2 c. mayonanaise
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 small jar chopped pimento, drained
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 12 oz grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 2 c. crushed cheese crackers, such as Cheese Nips 
  1. Mix together everything but the last 2 ingredients and pour into a a casserole dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.
  2. Mix crackers and butter; spread over top of casserole.
  3. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Five Mommy Must Haves

I keep up a pretty hectic pace most of the time.  I try to really take good care of myself, but sometimes I let myself slide...don't we all?  As soon as I stop doing the right things, though, I start paying for it.  I get worn out, stressed out, sick, and exhausted.  I've found five things that I absolutely have to keep balanced in my life if I'm going to manage to get through my days in one piece...

1. Daily quiet time

I started to get really stressed out about some relatively small things this week, and I wondered what was wrong.  Suddenly it dawned on me...I wasn't doing my daily quiet time for Bible study and prayer.  My quiet time is my lifeline!  It keeps me grounded and sane, and it gives me the strength to get through each day.

My resource page lists some great places to find daily devotionals and Bible study tools.  I also use a prayer journal, and I am really trying to focus on incorporating Bible memorization into my time.  I plan on posting about both of those subjects soon.

2. A workout routine

Yes, I work at a gym, but that doesn't make it easy for me to work out!  We stay pretty busy, so it's hard for me to squeeze in time for my workouts - but I'm trying really hard to get back on track.  This week I did four workouts, and what a difference it has made!  I feel so much better and I have so much energy.

Find what works for you.  Whether its walking, running, or going to the gym, take take out 3 to 4 days a week to take care of yourself.  It's not being selfish - you can't take care of others if you're not taking care of yourself first!

3. A food diary

Food diaries aren't just for dieters!  I've found that I am much more health concious and make better food choices if I'm keeping track of it.  Use a food diary that you can carry everywhere with you, such as a small notebook.  My current favorite is an app for my Droid X phone that lets me track my food and workouts, automatically calculating my nutritional information, such as vitamins, as well.

4. A place to vent

Go out with friends.  Keep a journal.  Blog.  Find a mommy support group.  Wherever you go, you have to have a place to vent without fear of what someone will say.  No matter how much you love your life, you're going to get mad, stressed, and upset at times, and sometimes all you need to do to feel better is to talk about it and let it all out.

5. Good planning

The most important part of keeping things together is planning.  Plan, plan, plan!  Plan your schedule, your meals for the week, your shopping list, your cleaning - if you have a plan in place, life is so much easier!  Nothing is more stressful than running around madly at the last minute, or worse, forgetting something completely.  Trust me, I speak from experience here.  Plan your work and work your plan, and life will flow smoothly...and even when it doesn't, you'll have a backup plan in place!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Still holding onto the dream

Dutchess and me, Christmas Day, 1993...I was 15 years old.

When I was 10 years old, I dreamed of the same thing I still dream of...horses.  I've loved horses since I was old enough to know what a horse is.  When my passion first started, my family assumed that I would outgrow it, like so many other kids do.  They were wrong.  The older I got, the more I fell in love with these amazing, majestic creatures. 

I would finally become a horse owner at the age of 14.  The time I spent with my horse created some of my favorite childhood memories.  Through the rough years of high school, I would go home and rush to the barn.  As I groomed my little Welsh pony/Fox Trotter mix, I cried and told her all my problems.  By the time I was done, she was clean and I had a fresh perspective on life - we both felt better.  She was my therapy.

Before I even owned a horse or took riding lessons, I dreamed of making a living riding and training horses.  As I got older, I realized I would probably never be able to make a career out of it, but I dreamed of continuing to have it as a hobby.  As I grew up and life became busier and more complicated, even the hope of keeping horses in my life as a hobby slipped away.  Shortly after I married my husband, I sold my horse, Dutchess, to a little boy who was just starting out on the very dream I was letting go of.  I embraced new dreams - marriage, children, and ministry with my husband as he pastored churches.

I know it will never be a career for me, but I'm not letting go of the dream.  Although I rarely get a chance to ride now, I treasure every opportunity I do get.  As I rush through the days and weeks at the hectic pace demanded of a working mom and college student, I still dream of returning to my childhood love - my lifelong love.  Now my dream is to rescue Thoroughbreds whose racing careers never took off, retraining them.  I keep promising myself that one day, when the kids are grown and life's crazy pace slows down, my dream will come true again, just as it did all those years ago.

Mama's Losin' It


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Who is your Facebook friend?

Great questions today for Working Mom Wednesday...

#1. Do you accept your co-workers as friends on facebook? (or twitter or other social media)

#2. Honest confessions about motherhood

Oh, the joys of Facebook...I love it, but it brings with it a whole new set of work-related dilemas.  Yes, I do accept co-workers as friends on FB now, but at one point I didn't, and there was a really good reason for it.  Here's what happened...

I have been on Facebook for quite a while, and once I talked my husband into jumping into the Facebook world, we started a page for our church.  In no time, we had lots of church members adding us or even joining Facebook just because of our church page.  It's great!  That being said, as a pastor's wife with lots of church members as friends, I'm very careful about what I say online.  I don't want to say anything that can be misread, so I'm very careful about what I post and how I say things.

My former boss was not on Facebook, but some of her family members and friends were also my friends.  A few months ago, I was having a horrible day.  I had a raging headache that wouldn't go away, I was having problems with a co-worker, and one of my professors had given a very unfair and difficult assignment to the class.  I was not a happy camper.  I made what I thought was a very general remark about how I'd like to strangle someone - "I have a certain person or two in mind, but really anyone will do - the person checking out at Wal-Mart, the bad driver ahead of me..."

A few days later, my boss made some remarks about Facebook comments in a meeting.  I approached her about it, and she said I was talking about my coworker with the remarks I had posted and that other members of the gym might see them and know there was a problem.  I was livid.  For one thing, the remarks I had made were not directed at my coworker.  Work was never mentioned in the post.  The worst part was that only my boss and I (I thought) knew about the work situation, so someone (I had a pretty good idea who it was) read too much into what I said and tattled to my boss.  In addition to all of that, instead of approaching me privately and asking me about what was said, she brought it up in front of others in a meeting.

After that incident, I sent my boss an email letting her know that I was defriending all co-workers and work connections on Facebook.  I dropped them all, including her family members who were friends of mine.  I did not want anything I said being used against me or misjudged again.  Things stayed that way for several months.  Now I have a new boss who is very Facebook savvy, and she is a friend of mine, as well as my coworkers.  We have a much different feel to our business now, we're a very close-knit group, and with this group, I don't worry so much about what I say.  But just as a word of advice...be careful about work connections and social media!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What I planned to say...


I had a great post planned for Monday...I planned to rework Manic Mommy Monday into my new idea, complete with a new button - Survival Tips for Working Moms.  I had an awesome post on balancing our many roles as a mom almost ready to go.

So what happened?  Life happened.  The post didn't get finished.  Instead, I lived the post.  We celebrated my husband's birthday this weekend.  We had our church's Fall Festival, which I always head up. I hung out with my family.  None of my blog plans worked out.

Priorities shifted this weekend.  That's often the case with moms, especially working moms.  It's all about balancing jobs and responsibilities, shifting priorities to take care of whichever role needs you the most at the moment, whether its family, home, mom, wife, or work. 

Last week, it was family and church activities - blogging got put on the back burner.  This week, college gets moved to the top as I get ready for a major test, and blogging gets moved up again.  It's an ever changing map of the things that matter most to me.  To others, it may not make sense.  But to me, in spite of the craziness, its a pretty amazing picture.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Clean Like a Hotel?

An article in a women's magazine caught my eye recently...it was titled "Clean Like a Hotel." Sounds great...I'm always reading cleaning articles, even though I try all the ideas and they never work at my house. It's still not as neat as I'd like, but I keep hoping that one day I'll stumble across that magic formula that makes my house look like the ones in magazines. After 10 years of looking, I'm really starting to lose hope in that dream...

But it sounded promising, so I read the article. Sounds easy - make the beds every day, pick up the diry clothes, tidy up. I thought about how nice and neat hotels always look. They look so fresh and clean, with everything you need right there in it's place, waiting for you.  I started to get so hopeful...maybe my house could look like that...it sounds so simple.

But then, reality set in.  Here's why the "clean like a hotel" model won't work at my house...
  • Hotels don't have Hot Wheels, assorted Star Wars characters, Legos, superheroes, and an entire robot army to remove from a room before they clean it.
  • Hotels aren't permanently inhabited by two growing bottomless pits who eat from sunup to sundown.
  • Hotels don't have homeschool in session in the dining room 5 days a week.
  • Hotels don't have a kitchen inhabited by someone who loves to cook but is a very messy cook.
  • Hotels also have people whose one and only full time job is to clean them, and they are not balancing cleaning with another job, college classes, and teaching children's church.

Okay, so my house will never look like a hotel...but I'm still holding out hope for the magic formula...or at least the magic house cleaning fairy!

H9URMX9ETPM2

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Did you use your college degree?



This week's Working Mom Wednesday questions are...


#1. What was your college major and did you end up working in that career?

#2. If you owned your own company, what benefits would you offer?

When I started college at 18, I had no clue what I really wanted to do with my life.  I started out as an elementary education major, but my first education class made me realize it wasn't for me.  So I changed to psychology, planning to go into child psychology...then a friend convinced me that I get so personally involved in stuff that I would be seeing a psychologist myself if I worked with kids who had been abused or had gone through terrible tragedies.

Finally I decided to be an English major...why?  Because it was my favorite subject in school.  Did I want to teach?  Not really.  People would ask what I planned to do, and I replied, "I don't know, but I'm an English major."  I thought about double majoring in English and journalism, but decided against it.  (Long story...a guy in that program was in some of my other classes and hit on me all the time...he was so sleezy and I would have had to work with him every day...ugh.)

So what did I do?  The day of my last final of my sophomore year, I went on my first date with my husband...three and a half weeks later he proposed, and I quit college.  So I never finished my degree, and this past January I started back 10 years after I quit.  I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up, even though I kind of took the long way around - and has absolutely nothing to do with what I first majored in.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Taco Soup

Confessions of a Wannabe Supermom

This is a quick and easy favorite at our house! This also freezes well, so sometimes I'll make a double batch and save some for later. Just last week, our schedule got crazier than I expected, and I pulled a batch of frozen taco soup out Enjoy!

1 lb. ground beef

1 can each of corn, chili beans, dark kidney beans, light kidney beans, diced tomatoes

1 package of taco seasoning (I use Taco Bell)

1 package dry ranch dressing mix

Brown and drain ground beef and add taco seasoning according to package directions. In a separate pan, mix all other ingredients. Add beef mixture when done. Add 1 can of water. Heat through. Serve over tortilla chips and top with cheese and sour cream.

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's All In The Attitude!

I read a great article last week from Working Mother magazine.  It discussed the level of satisfaction moms have with their jobs.  What was so interesting is that it's not what a mom does that matters, its how she looks at what she does.  In a doctor's office, a mom's job satisfaction had less to do with whether she was the doctor, the nurse, or the receptionist, and more to do with her attitude toward her job.  A mom who views her job as a career is much more satisfied than a mom who is just working for a paycheck.

It really hit home, because that story was so true for me!  I never really planned to become a working mom and a student mom at the same time, while my kids are still pretty young.  A few years ago, as it got harder and harder for us to make ends meet on one salary, I realized that staying home wasn't going to be option anymore.  I really struggled with my attitude toward work at first.  I loved my job, but I felt guilty for liking it.  I felt guilty for not being with my family.  Day after day, I hung on to the hope that it was just temporary, that I could one day cut down my hours to very part-time or quit altogether.

Months went by, and I finally had to come to terms with the fact that staying home just wasn't an option for me any more.  That was really hard, but as I accepted the fact that I had to remain a working mom, I found my attitude towards it changing.  I started finding more joy in my job, and I found that not only was that okay, but that it helped me become a better employee and a better mom.  I started focusing more on the fact that I make a difference with what I do and that I help my family when I work.

In turn, that gave me the confidence I needed to return to school.  I realized that as much as I enjoy my job, the pay would never be enough for me to really make a career out of it.  I started thinking about returning to school and launching a career that would bring more job security and a better paycheck.  After lots of research, lots of prayer, and months of agonizing over the decision, I returned to college in January, and I'm now preparing to turn in my application to dental hygiene school.  I can't wait!  Not only am I excited (but terrified!) - my husband and kids are excited too.  My education and my new career have become a family goal.

The difference is definitely in the attitude!  If you would like to read the full article from Working Mother magazine, you can link to it by clicking here.  You can also join in the discussion I'll be starting later tonight on my Blog Frog Community.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Changes are coming!


You're going to be seeing some changes coming on Confessions of a Wannabe Supermom!  I'm really excited and have some ideas that I think you're going to love.

What really started it all is a post from Theta Mom (I'll link to it later...I'm blogging from my phone this morning).  It got me starting thinking about how I can better focus on my goals for my blog.  Along with my new ideas, my blog is going to get a new, more readable design and a new blog button.

You should see some of the first changes this weekend, with more coming throughout the month.  Hope you like it as much as I do!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Like mother, like son!



My oldest son was showing me his notebook the other day.  He uses it to draw, write stories...and make lists.  He is my child.

Bobby loves making lists!  When his best friend comes over, Bobby makes a list of things to do.  When he's out of school, he'll often make a checklist of how he wants to spend his time.  Long before any trips, he has his list together of what he wants to take.

Its amazing how many little things my kids pick up from me...its kinda scary sometimes!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I've Already Found...



I heard a man talking about a friend of his on the radio the other day.  His friend has climbed Mt. Everest, visited exotic places all over the world, and yet the speaker said he is still searching for fulfillment.

Something dawned on me in that moment.  I became a Christian as a child.  There has never really been a time when I strayed away from God.  I was never a rebellious kid.  I've never done drugs, never smoked, and never tasted a drop of alcohol.   I used to think, "I don't really have much of a testimony...I've been a Christian most of my life.  God didn't deliver me from addiction or some horrible past."

But when I heard that speaker on Air1, it became so clear...I'm 30 years old, and I've already found what so many people spend a lifetime searching for.  That's my testimony.

Matthew 13:35-36 says, "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it."  I found that pearl as a little girl in a small town in south Arkansas, and I haven't let go of it.  My relationship with Christ makes me who I am.  It shapes every part of my life.  I've found the only thing that can truly complete me and give me fulfillment.  My search is over, and I'm so grateful that I found the true prize.

Something New!

I love Steph's blog at Be Posititve Mom - and now she has an awesome new shop to go with it!  You can check it out here...

Shop for gear!

She has lots of great stuff, including t-shirts, bags, water bottles, coffee mugs, and baby gear.  You can also check out her current giveaway by clicking here.

Hello, stress...Working Mom Wednesday


1. When I'm stressed, I...


2. Things in your purse...

If there was ever a time I've known about stress, its this semester.  I've known since January that it would be my hardest, and its living up to it.  So how can you tell I'm stressed?

1.  My coffee cups are larger.  My Starbucks tall becomes a venti when I'm feeling stressed out.  You can tell how my day is going with one glance!

2.  I get extremely emotional.  Commercials make my cry.  My husband's jokes make my cry. Grocery shopping  makes my cry.  You get the idea.

3.  I crave sugar...sometimes salt, too, but mostly sugar.

4.  I freak out about little things because I'm already freaking out about everything I have on my plate.

5.  The knots in my shoulders and upper back would keep a massage therapist busy for a month.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What makes it amazing...

Evenings are tough for most working moms.  You're cooking dinner, cleaning, doing laundry, helping with homework, and getting the kids to bed.  But its also the best time of day, because nothing is better than coming home to happy kids and a happy husband who are so excited to see you.

Last night was a perfect example at our house.  I got home to find that my wonderful hubby had cleaned the kitchen and living room and the boys had cleaned their rooms.  Both boys were excitedly telling what they had worked on in their homeschool lessons.

I made tacos for dinner, with my oldest helping and telling me that I make the best tacos in the world.  (I use a Taco Bell home kit, but to him, they're the best because his mom made them.)  I cleaned up the kitchen and curled up on the couch to watch a TV show with my hubby (we're hooked on The Event).  Then I threw in a load of laundry and had our family devotional time with the kids. 

I love the simple joys of family and home after a busy day of work and school.  My family is my reason for doing all that I do, and they make it all worthwhile.

Monday, October 18, 2010

School Choices

Although I don't blog a lot about it, we are a homeschool family.  We started homeschooling our oldest when he was starting kindergarten and started our youngest son this year.  We've been very happy with it, and our kids love it.  Now that I'm working and going to school, my husband does the vast majority of it, but with our crazy lives and upside-down schedules, it works.

Now I'm stepping onto my soapbox...why is it that when people find out we homeschool, they feel it is their God-given responsibility to immediately begin bashing the horrors of homeschooling and questioning my judgment as a parent?  It is not a one-time thing - I have faced this situation over and over again, especially at my job.

I will be the first to say, homeschooling isn't for everyone.  It doesn't work for all kids or all families.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that some families have no business at all homeschooling.  Many families choose not to homeschool - and that is their choice.  I do not begin bashing public schools or private schools as soon as I hear that someone's child in one.  But our plan is that our kids will never attend public school...that is just not what we want for our children.  And as their parents, that's our decision to make.

What bothers me the most is that most of the time, the first people to bash it are the ones who know the least about it.  They have never been around homeschoolers, or they have only been around one or two families who did everything homeschool families shouldn't do.  They don't ask quesions.  They don't ask how we like it or why we chose to go that route.  They don't ask me how my kids feel about it.  They start telling me how my kids will be behind when they start "real" school and that they will have no social skills.  I want to ask, "Really?  Have you seen my kids?"  They are some of the most well-adapted kids socially that I've ever seen, and academically they are doing very well.  I know there are some really bad examples out there, but they are far outweighed by the really good ones.

I want to tell them other sucess stories I've seen first hand - like the parents who pulled their son because of learning disabilities.  He was being teased until his self-esteem was shattered.  When they pulled him out and started homeschooling him, a different child emerged as he gained confidence and started to thrive.  I also want to tell them about my nieces, who have been homeschooled from day one and have had the chance to travel to other countries for missions trips and travel all over the U.S. competing in Fine Arts Festival.  The oldest graduated a year and a half ago and is now a full-time college student majoring in sociology...definately not what you'd call academically behind.

I wish that people would stop and ask me questions, because the choice to homeschool was not an easy one for me.  I agonized over the decision for months.  I questioned my judgment a lot those first few   I just wish that other moms would recognize and respect that it is my choice, and that choice is unique for every family.  It goes back to what I've said adn heard from other moms so many times...I think it's time moms stopped categorizing and criticising each other so much, and started supporting the fact that we are all unique.  Even though we go about things differently, we are all trying to make the best decisions and the best life for our families.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Working Mom Wednesday - When things are overwhelming



1. When work seems overwhelming, I...

2. Little things I love

Work can often get overwhelming for me.  It's a fun job, but when you manage a gym, it can get really crazy.  Thank goodness I have an awesome group of co-workers!  When we start getting overwhelmed, the first thing we usually do is start goofing off and being silly.  For instance, our new owner at our gym has totally renovated it (and it looks awesome!) so when we got our new chairs, we decided to test them out...


We laugh with the members and with each other.  It's so fun!  And of course, because of where I work, I can always do a good, hard workout and work off some stress.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Feminist? Really?


Excuse me as I step onto my soapbox about something that has really been bothering me lately...

I hate the modern feminist movement.  Back when the movement stood for something, I would have been right there with them, demanding a woman's right to vote and equal opportunities.

That's not what the movement stands for anymore.  Groups like NOW don't really care about women...they care about politics.  Why else would they support Jerry Brown after his awful phone conversation surfaced?  They should be outraged!  Why don't they stand up and support groundbreaking women like Sarah Palin and Condaleeza Rice?

The last campaign season brought the shocking reality of just how deep sexist attitudes still run in this country.  Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin were ripped to shreds by the media and politicians alike.  How many times does a male candidate get criticized for his suit or his hairstyle?  Yet I heard very little support from feminist groups.  To me, the modern feminist movement doesn't stand for women - it stands for women who think like them.

Women need support.  Period.  Whether you're single or married, a working mom or a stay at home mom, in a traditional work field or breaking new career ground, women need support.  I get so tired of hearing women who choose more traditional roles being bashed by the media and the so-called feminist movement.  If they are all about women why aren't they standing up for stay at home moms or lobbying for a more family friendly work environment?  I think they are taking away much more than they are giving to women.

Ok, off my soapbox now...I feel better now that all of that is off my chest.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Two down...

We're doing a big weight loss challenge at work right now.  That's one of the big perks of working in a gym - helping other women reach their goals keeps me focused on mine.  So anyway, its a team challenge that started this week and I am so excited about it!

I have gained some weight this year...does the "freshman 15" still count if you're 30?  So I decided a few weeks ago to start losing it, and I dropped 5 pounds.  I started this challenge with the goal of losing 10 (although if I can drop 15, I'll be back in the size I wore as a college freshman...)  As of yesterday's weigh-in I've lost 2 pounds!  Woo hoo!

I've had people at work saying, "You look great, you don't need to lose any."  While I appreciate the compliments, I need to say two things...(1) Track suits are very forgiving and hide a multitude of sins. (2) I know when I am not at my best weight, and I feel the difference. 

So I'm determined, I'm keeping my food diary, I'm teamed up with a friend, and we're going to win!  That's what I keep telling my coworkers...on our announcement whiteboard...until my boss takes it away because of our "I'm gonna win" messages.  (Actually she loves it.)  Not that we're competitive or anything...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Working Mom Wednesday - It's the Little Things...


#1. Top Ten ______ (give a top ten list of anything you want!)

#2. Best afternoon pick-me-ups

Top 10 Little Things I Love...

1. Curling up with my Bible early in the morning when the whole house is quiet


2. My husband's smile


3. My boys giggles

4. Coffee


5. Going barefoot (I am a true Southern girl!)
6. Getting lost in a great book


7. Rainy days


8. My favorite jeans (I'm telling you - it doesn't take much to make me happy!)


9. A warm greeting from my dog when I get home


10. Being home










Monday, October 4, 2010

The winner is...


Actually the announcement is one day late, from a red faced blogger who woke up this morning and realized I forgot to post it yesterday.  I am so sorry, y'all!  It was an insane weekend.

Now, without further ado...the winner is Cheryl F. @ The Lucky Ladybug!  Congrats, Cheryl!  You can email me with your mailing info at amandablogs79@yahoo.com and I'll pass it along to My Blog Spark.  They will get your prize package in the mail to you.  Thanks to all who entered!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I found a great (new to me) meme over at There's A Book, and I'm so excited about linking up for the first time!  This week's question is...

Describe your dream home and where it would be located.

Okay, this is an easy one for me...I've been dreaming of this for years!  My dream house would be in central Tennessee, somewhere close to Nashville.  I want to see something like this...

I would love to have a restored antebellum home...


...with a beautiful, Southern style, tree lined driveway...

...and room for horses...


It makes me happy just dreaming about it...

Check out other dream homes at There's A Book...




Read more: http://www.theresabook.com/#ixzz11EeuAegV
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