This was how we spent our day last Wednesday.
Here are a few disclaimers before we begin.
My house is an absolute wreck. We went to visit family over Labor Day weekend, and we are still trying to recover. Tim is in the middle of two DIY projects that have left our house a little topsy-turvy (living room mantle and new bathroom flooring). If you're wondering why there's rubbing alcohol and mouthwash in our dining room, that's why. Ha. #ifyoudontlaughyoullcry
I am not going to make the photos "artsy." No white backgrounds. No soft lighting or glossy filters. This is as real as it gets, guys. Ain't nobody got time for that.
Try not to let my glamorous life make you feel bad about your own. Not everyone can pull off this lifestyle. Five o'clock hors d'oeuvres and crystal chandeliers. It's ok. Really.
I love my life and wouldn't change a thing. Everyday, I pray I'm worthy of my calling as wife and stay at home mom. I hope my gratitude and joy is apparent in the coming post. No matter how uneventful it may seem.
As I thought about this post, I immediately worried I wouldn't come off as "busy" enough. Being a stay at home mom is hard, and being a working mom is hard. I think it's all give and take. Everyday, I'm learning that my worth and security lies in who I am in The Lord and not how often my kitchen is clean. Lord help us all.
8:20- Ella and I are up. This is late for us, but you'll hear no complaints from me.
We are slow-starts in the morning. Ella and I snuggle for a bit while she drinks her milk. We sit in silence, and I mentally prepare for the day. It's a nice few minutes together...and ends up being one of my favorite parts of the day.
Ella eventually perks up a bit. I make us bagels & cream cheese, grapes and a LARGE cup of coffee for mama. We catch up on Bachelor in Paradise. Ella is rooting for Grant & Lace. I'm still on the fence. No one is surprised about Nick & Jen, although, as a courtesy, we feign shock.
While we finish breakfast, I mess around online a bit. I add to Ella's Amazon Wishlist for her first birthday and take a glance at my daily planner. I use the last 15 or so minutes before Ella's first nap to start kind of getting my life together (haha). I throw on some clothes and put my contacts in. Next, I collect dishes from various parts of the house, load the dishwasher and wash the high chair tray.
Around 10:30- Ella goes down for her first nap. I decide to use this time to do some "administrative tasks" ((Read: blog, check Facebook, and balance our checking account)). The dining room table is driving me crazy, so I take 10 minutes to clean it off, cut some flowers from the yard, and contemplate making another cup of coffee (I don't make one in favor of drinking my tumbler of water. Good choice, mama...who am I fooling? We both know I'll have a 2nd cup before the day is through).
One of my goals for the month is to re-evaluate our finances in an attempt to pay off some of our debt. I grab my "financial calendar" and get ready to dive in. I also preheat the oven for lunch and text a few of my pals...good deals on zulily...a tomato soup recipe. Like I said above, it's all very glamorous. ;)
ELLA IS UP! That nap time goes way too fast! As I mentioned above, we were out of town for the weekend, so our grocery situation is seriously lacking. Around 1:30, I make some random chicken and green beans I found in the freezer. Ella also snacks on some oranges. I'm disappointed because the green beans were supposed to have almonds in them, and I thought that sounded SUPER exciting, only to open the package and discover they were...sans almonds.
The TV plays in the background while I try to finish up the work I'm doing at the table. I'm finally crunch the numbers long enough that I'm able to set a goal to pay off two of our small debts within 6 months. Ella discovers how to change the TV stereo from "cable" to "DVD." She does not know how to turn it back again. This presents a problem, as you can imagine.
Around 2:45, we head to Kroger. Our diaper situation is getting SERIOUS, and I need to pick up a few things for the week. We are thrilled to discover they've put mums out and even more excited to see their priced pretty reasonably. I make a mental note to pick some up next weekend.
While Ella naps, I decide to take the time to do my devotions. I am bad about throwing it into my day "here and there" and really need to focus on getting into a routine. It is always too easy for my quiet time to be the FIRST thing that gets pushed out of the way when life gets busy. I read a bit out of Lara Casey's book. In the current chapter, she asks us to focus on a verse that speaks TRUTH to the devil's lies. I look up verses about having confidence and write down Hebrews 4:16 . I smile as I make the connection between the verse and my birthday (April 16th).
I also crack open a Diet Coke and enjoy an apple alone at the table. Tim bought me some really yummy Amish Peanut Butter spread while we were in Nashville over the weekend. I practically lick the plate.
Ella wakes up a little after four. Not a great nap, but we'll take it. We have what will only be referred to as "an incident." I make a note in my calendar to shampoo the carpets. Ella gets a bath.
I have to bathe her in the sink because our bathroom is still torn apart from the work Tim did on the flooring (our other bathroom only has a shower). It's so much easier to do it in the sink, and Ella loves how the water pours over her head. At the moment, we're both pretty content.
I let the dogs out and go to check on my container garden. It's slowly winding down, but I'm enjoying the last few veggies we have left. Ella follows closely behind. (She's usually not allowed on the laundry room floor...this was a big deal for her).
The time is now 4:45, and we're both starting to get a little antsy. I am feeling discouraged by the fact that I've gotten very few TANGIBLE "chores" done today, and Ella is running on fumes (gosh darn the 'mini' nap). Sometimes this mom-life is about working behind the scenes. It will be great when we're paying off our car loan a year early because of the work I've done today, but all I can see are the dishes in the sink. You know...I struggle when there is no clear "before and after." Ella got some milk on the straps of her car seat. I desperately need to wipe it all down. That task is really important, but it's not something anyone off the street would actually NOTICE. I'm learning to appreciate "my work" in all forms, but it's still hard.
We both go to her room, and I start slowly tidying so I can take pictures for an upcoming blog post. I am getting ready to transfer over her 9 month clothes to her 12 month wardrobe. It's overwhelming. She has some birthday presents I need to put away. I fold clothes. I make stacks and piles. Ella continues to fuss. I snap a few photos and crack a few jokes, "Aww...did we poke the bear?"
She finds this less and less amusing as time goes on.
I power through. Today was the day I was going to document for a blog post. I HAVE to get some things accomplished. This place is a wreck. WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?!?!?!
Mild panic attack. Fuss fuss. Fold clothes. Pick up toys. Wipe down furniture.
And then The voice of The Lord and Sweet Lara Casey HITS ME.
"Do what matters most."
What matters most? I am home. I am here. With my baby. My tired, fussy baby who didn't take much of a nap and just wants to be held. Sometimes a girl just needs her mom. (LORD KNOWS I STILL DO)!
I relent. We Surrender.
I pick up my baby and snuggle her in close.
Ok. This. THIS is what MATTERS MOST. Everything else can wait.
While we're snuggling, Tim calls and offers to bring home dinner. This almost NEVER happens. He must have sensed my distress. Ha.
He gets home around 5:30 with dinner. We eat pretty quickly, play with our girl and then put her to bed.
We spend the rest of the evening on the couch watching Fringe together before it gets booted off Netflix. I end the night with some decaf coffee, a little chocolate, a shower and some quality time with my guy. Sweet morning, rough afternoon, perfect night.
Love and spur-of-the-moment-boneless-chicken-wings,
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