Friday, June 7, 2013

Five on Friday

Hi! Did you miss me? Things have been sort of crazy since our move and I have so much to blog about, but I just haven't made the time. I decided that I'll use the Five on Friday link-up to dip my toe back into the blogging pool. Wow, I'm super good with metaphors. Someone should give me a book deal.



So, here are some things I'm loving lately. 

1. Parks

Our new town has some seriously awesome parks compared to where we moved from, and the boys LOVE to go. 



2. Under the Dome

I've just been devouring books lately. A few years ago I bought Nathan "Under the Dome" and he said it was really good, but I just wasn't interested in reading a book that was over a thousand pages long. Then I saw the preview for the mini-series that comes out later this month, and I knew I had to read the book first. So far it's good!



3. The Aquatic Park

I know I already mentioned parks, but the aquatic park deserves its own acknowledgement. We got a family pass, and it's already paid for itself in less than two weeks. The boys especially love the lazy river and the splash pad. 


4. Perfect Pool Solution

Speaking of the pool, I'm big time in love with our pool bag set. I've been using the fun flops Large Utility Tote from thirty-one and I stick a zipper pouch inside it to keep things dry like a book, spare diapers and our keys. This has been the perfect bag for carrying towels, puddle jumpers and dry t-shirts. And, it's on special this month for just $10 when you spend $35. This is my favorite thirty-one special all year, and my favorite product. Maybe you don't need a pool bag? I also use a LUT in my van to wrangle toys and extra shoes etc. and throughout the house for storage! 

5. He Speaks To Me

I started this six week Bible Study on Wednesday night at our new church, and I'm already loving it and learning so much about the Holy Spirit. I've actually had the book for awhile but hadn't ever read it,  so I was excited to see my church was offering this study.





Monday, April 15, 2013

Leaning

The internet has been abuzz this week with posts and reviews that pertain to the new book by Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg "Lean In". While I haven't read the book, I can surmise from reviews that Sandberg is addressing why more women aren't leaders in American business, and encouraging women to "lean in" to their careers. While women across America have been pontificating about these ideas this week, I was somewhat unaware of the discussion. We didn't get our cable and internet hooked up until late this week. The ironic thing is, I have been having somewhat of a personal crisis pertaining to this exact discussion this week.

Growing up I had a working mother, and the majority of my friends had working mothers. Actually, off the top of my head I can't think of a single one of my friends who had a mom that stayed home full-time. From my perspective, my mom didn't work by choice- she had to work to help provide for our family financially. While my mom didn't have a college education, and my dad only had an associates degree, they were both blessed with good job opportunities and they've been able to advance professionally. That said, a high value was always placed on education in my family. My parents encouraged me to participate in extracurricular activities, but they certainly didn't place value in my athletic performance. My performance in the classroom was their main focus. In my adult opinion, I was never pressured to perform above my ability academically, but rather I was always expected to do my very best. From a young age, college wasn't a choice, but an expectation. When I went to college, I paid for it with a combination of parental assistance, scholarships, and student loans. Then, the summer after my Freshman year when I got married, my education became 100% my financial responsibility. I did well in college and after getting my BSBA (Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration) I quickly went on to get an MBA (Master's in Business Administration).

To give some timeline to these events, I got pregnant with Manning the first semester of my MBA program and Deacon was born during my last semester. So, I made my educational decisions as a non-mother, but when my education was completed I was a mother of two with an intense desire to stay home full-time. And it has been a roller coaster ever since. After Nathan's diabetes diagnosis and his discharge from the Army, I went back to work during the period of his unemployment, but as soon as he found a job I was back at home.

Now, as we found ourselves in the midst of another huge life change with Nathan's job change and our cross-state move, I found myself at a crossroads. As this week wore on, I battled a serious internal struggle. I have an education. We could greatly benefit from added income. Am I crazy to be at home? Am I losing out by not leaning into my career? Are things ever going to get easier for us? Then, in the wee hours of Saturday morning it occurred to me that it's okay to lean the other way.  If I truly believe that I'm supposed to be home with my children, and that these next few years are precious and fleeting- I can lean into that too. I can resolve to treat staying home with the same seriousness I would treat a job. I can give my best effort to be the best mom and wife I've ever been. I'm can lean into cleaning the house and hours spent at the park. I can lean into budgeting and trusting God's provision for our family.

I can also remember that just because I'm leaning this way for now, it doesn't mean I can't quickly lean the other way in the future, and if I do, that's okay too.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Moving on down

...to South Missouri!

A few weeks ago Nathan had an internal job interview with his employer. There was a newly created position coming open in five locations across Missouri. Nathan has been doing a great job at work, but we tried really hard not to get our hopes up for a few reasons. The first reason is that he's still pretty new there and this position is three levels higher than his current position, and at the interview Nathan learned that the six new positions (two in one location) were replacing twelve current positions, none of which he held. He left the interview feeling like his chances were pretty slim.



Then, on Tuesday, March 12th, Nathan was offered one of the positions. He was elated. He's so excited about the job opportunity and really feels like it will be such a great fit for his personality, but mostly we are super excited because we are relocating to South Missouri. It was never really in our life plan to stay in our current city past college, but here we are. We've outgrown our current home, and our boys are getting closer to school age in a city where we really aren't too thrilled with any of the education options.



When Nathan interviewed for the job and found out all of the locations, we kind of made a mental list of where we were hoping he could go if hired. One of the locations is a small town near our small hometown, and that was near the bottom of our list, as was downtown St. Louis. I wouldn't have minded living in the greater St. Louis area, but we knew a longer commute just meant less time together as a family...we've gotten a little spoiled with Nathan working just a few blocks from our current home. So, when they offered Nathan the position in our new city, we were overwhelmingly excited, and as we looked more into the area the more excited we became.


My sister lives in Georgia, and by moving to the South end of the state we're going to be just a short day's drive from her instead of two days' drive. The new city is smaller population wise than where we live now, but seems to have a LOT more things for families...like 23 parks. I'm so excited. The town we live in now has some beautiful parks, but not really great parks for little kids to run around and play safely. It's within a short driving distance to several major US cities- St. Louis is less than 2 hours away, Chicago is 6 hours away, Atlanta is 7 1/2 hours away, Memphis is 2 1/2 hours away, Nashville is 4 hours away, Knoxville is less than 7 hours away etc. I just feel like we'll be so much closer to every where we want to go! Maybe Nathan will even get to see his beloved Vols play a little more often. :)

We are going to be going from living an hour away from our parents to living about six hours away from them. While this will be an adjustment, I feel like it will be better for us. Right now we see them frequently, but only for short amounts of time. I'm always running there for one night or dropping the kids off for a few hours. Now, when we spend time together it will be more quality time. I also think it will be great for our little family of four to bond and lean on each other as we're moving to a city where we don't really know anyone.

We feel so excited and so blessed to have this opportunity. Thank you for all of your support!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Finish the Sentence Friday

One of my favorite bloggers is Skinny Holly at Where We Can Live Like Jack and Sally is hosting a  little link-up today called Finish the Sentence. All of the cool kids are doing it, so of course I couldn't miss out.


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1. People always tell me... they like that they always know what I'm thinking or where they stand with me. 

2. In the movie based on my life...everyone would fall asleep. There's not enough drama to constitute a movie, and I'm okay with that. 

3. Typically, I end up regretting... my food choices at the end of the day.

4. I always ask to leave off the... onions and peppers. Yuck. 

5. Kim and Kanye really... aren't of any importance, but not everyone seems to realize that, namely US Magazine and the E! network.

6. My Parents always reminded me... that hard work always pays off. I don't really believe that. Don't tell my kids that though. 

7. Every single day I... feel exhausted in the morning but end up staying up super late that night anyway. 

8. This one time in College... some dude busted into my suitemates' room and put a knife to her throat while trying to rape her. Yeah it was lovely. I was sleeping less than ten feet away separated only by a bathroom that had both doors open. 

9. My grossest habit is...chewing my fingernails. 

10. My latest white lie was...telling Manning that if he didn't eat his breakfast I wouldn't feed him lunch. 

11. I know all the words to...lots of movies and music. Nathan is also really good at remembering movie quotes. Unfortunately he mostly quotes movies I've never seen so I just end up thinking he's really funny and clever. 

12. When I grow up...I'd like to go to Law School. Someday. Maybe. 

13. Sexy time is...private. haha!

14. I will never, ever...say never. I've learned my lesson. 

15. I think it's hilarious...when people fall down. Except for old people because that's just sad. But a grown adult falling down on ice? HILARIOUS. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Fitness Friday: A Big Commitment

Jen at A Daily Dose of Davis (go, follow her now if you don't already) hosts a weekly link up called "Health and Fitness Friday". I can't commit to doing it every week, because for some reason anytime I make a commitment on this blog I FAIL miserably, but I figured it would be a good way to check in occasionally. 


I don't know if you have heard, but for those who might have missed it, the Midwest has been pounded with two big snow storms in two weeks. This means the boys have not been able to go to PDO (Parents Day Out) and I've been homebound with them for days on end. I've still made it to the gym some days, but not nearly as much as I like to. 

A couple of nights ago I was up super late and trying to decide just how I could get myself to commit to this fitness thing long term. Some kind of commitment that would keep me going even when I don't see movement on the scale or feel it in my jeans size...so I signed up to run a 5K. Listen, I know that tons of people run now and it's kind of a trendy thing to do, but I HATE IT. Like, I'd literally rather do pretty much any form of exercise ever besides run...so it makes perfect sense that I signed up for a race right? haha! 

So, I'm starting Couch to 5K training on Monday. My race is May 11th. Hopefully I live to see Mother's Day. Oh, and I mentioned it on facebook and now I have a couple of friends who have registered too, so I can't back out. 

I thought I'd end with a few questions for those runners who might be reading this.

1) How do you run without drinking water? I feel like running on a treadmill is so much easier because I can take a drink every 5 minutes. If you do drink water when you run, how do you carry it? 

2) Do you chew gum when you run? I think I breathe the incorrect way, and I've heard this can help. 

3) How do you choose a race? Honestly, I chose the one that I am doing first because the location of it seemed like kind of a fun race- We'll run inside the Sporting KC (Kansas City's professional soccer team) field and around the track at Kansas Speedway. Also, they give a medal to all finishers. I felt like I would probably want that recognition. haha! One running friend encouraged me to find a race that was less crowded than others, but I feel like the crowd will help my adrenaline and help me feel like I can blend in...not be the lone straggler behind all of the real runners. Obviously I'm still working on my confidence. ;) 

4) After I run I'm always STARVING. Should I be eating something before I run? Or is there a great thing that I should drink after? Nathan said chocolate milk is a great recovery drink, but it's full of calories and sugar! 

Okay, wish me luck! 

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