Thursday, October 28, 2010

Clean Like a Hotel?

An article in a women's magazine caught my eye 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 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!


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 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:

Friday, October 1, 2010


1. Did you have a pen pal when you were little (or now)? Where were/are they from?

1. Yes, I actually had a lot of pen pals as a kid. Some of them I kept in touch with for years, and one of them is now a Facebook friend of mine. I had pen pals from all over the U.S. and all over the world, including New Zealand, England, South Africa, and Yugoslavia.

2. If you could do a different job for one day, what would it be?

2. Okay, some of y'all are going to think I'm really sick and morbid, but if I could do any job for a day, I would be a homicide detective or a criminal profiler. Maybe I've seen too many episodes of the The Closer or Criminal Minds, but its something that fascinates me…in a weird sort of way. I love a good mystery, I love piecing together the clues, and I can't help but think a person would get a great sense of satisfaction from knowing that they had helped bring justice to a hurting family. If I had the nerve and the guts for the job, I would probably gone into forensics or become a detective…

3. Do you remember your biggest fear from when you were little?

My biggest fear as a kid is still one of my biggest fears - tornadoes. I grew up in Arkansas, where tornadoes happen frequently, with little warning, and they can be very, very big. When I was in high school, an F4/F5 tornado hit my hometown. It wiped out a third of the town - not damaged, but flattened our downtown area, my parents church, a mobile home park, and lots more. We lived outside of town and had no damage, but some of my classmates lost everything, and six people died in our town alone. Thankfully, the only tornadoes that happen here where we live now are small and rare, but to this day I'm terrified of the things.

4. What do you think is a waste of time? Why?

4. Ooooh, this is a hard one…what do I consider a waste of time… Ok, one thing has to be reading those celebrity gossip magazines. We have copies laying around at work all the time, and I can't stand them. Keeping up with the Kardashians?….I barely have time to keep up with our family, much less a bunch of spoiled, rich people with overinflated opinions of themselves.

5. What is the oldest item you have in your closet?

Oh, wow, this is embarrassing…I have these shoes…my husband says they are the ugliest shoes he's ever seen, but they are soooooo comfy…and…I've had them…gasp...since college. Ewwww. They're gross, I know, and I really don't wear them in public…at least not often…but they are so comfy…I just can't get rid of them. Most of the time they stay in my prop box for kids ministry, but right now they are sitting in my garage. Don't ask me why…they're just there. And I still love them. I'm loyal to the shoes, no matter how old they are.
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