Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Missy's WAHM/Making-The-Most-Of-My-Time Plan

My 3 big kids have been in school for just over a week now and the babe will be heading to preschool after Labor Day.  This means that I will soon have 3 mornings a week to.my.self.  Like, sans children.  There will be no noise, no potty-watchers, no whining, no spilling, no tantrums, and no mess-making.  So basically? NO FUN!  I get it. This sounds like an ideal situation...especially for someone that has been on mommy duty 24/7, 8 out of the last 9 years. And, don't get me wrong, I am a little excited for the peace and quiet/opportunity to work in silence.









































But, I am going to miss my foursome something fierce.  































In order to offset my sadness/potential loneliness, I've decided that a plan is in order. I always need a plan, but with the inevitable mix of emotions AND increasingly heavy workload, I know that strategy and focus will be especially important. My ultimate goal is to get as much work done as I can on those three mornings while Kaiah is at school; however, I also hope to use the kid-less opportunity to volunteer in the other kids' classrooms, meet friends for coffee, workout, schedule appointments, etc.

In keeping with my OCD tendencies, I figured it would be a wise idea to actually put my plan down on paper (errr..blog).  That way, when I get in a rut (because it WILL happen), I can refer back to this post and give myself a swift kick in the rear! So, here it is: Missy's WAHM/Making-The-Most-Of-My-Time Plan!









































1. Make a list. I use TeuxDeux to keep me organized. I'm a huge fan and monthly subscriber of this application that allows me to update lists via my iPhone or desktop AND create lists for all my different clients.  Of note: I'm totally the girl that adds mundane tasks to her lists (like "make breakfast") just so I can check them off when complete.

Here's a screenshot of a recent list for The Social Starr (NOT my daily list -- which is much, much longer!)







2. Stick to a routine. This one's self explanatory, and will likely go something like this (on M/W/F while Kai Pie is preschoolin' it up!):

  • 4:45 -- Wake up
  • 5:00 -- Run/Workout
  • 6:00 -- Shower
  • 6:35 -- Get kids up
  • 7:00 -- Breakfast for kids
  • 7:15 -- Get kids on bus
  • 7:30 -- My breakfast/Catch-up on emails/client social media profiles
  • 8:15 -- Get Kaiah ready for school
  • 8:45 -- Leave for preschool
  • 9:15 - 11:15 -- WORK
  • 11:30 -- Preschool pick-up
  • 12:00 -- Lunch
  • 1:00 - 2:15 -- Quiet Time (QT) for KT/more WORK for ME
  • 2:15 -- Playing, reading, walking, hanging with my girl
  • 3:15 -- Big kids get off bus
  • 3:30 -- Snack/homework
  • 4:15 -- Start dinner
  • 5:00 -- Eat dinner
  • 5:30 - 8:00 -- Evening activities, depending on the day
  • 8:00/8:30 -- Bedtime routine for the muchkins
  • 8:30-10:00 -- Hangin' with the hubs/work catch-up/preparing for the next day/SLEEP!

3. "Eat My Frog" first thing.






















I posted this a while back on The Social Starr Facebook Page and, as it turns out, I'm not the only one that prefers to take on my most dreaded/challenging task first. Not going to lie -- every morning I have to consciously MAKE myself do this, or I will end up lost in the wonderful world of Pinterest and coffee. The rewards, though, are great! I find so much satisfaction and motivation in completing the thing I was dreading most. Talk about momentum for the rest of my day!


4. Be flexible.




























Truth be told, this is a tough one for me (see above). I thrive on routine and list-making (again, see above) but, as we all know, life likes to throw us curveballs! Sick kids, client issues, impromptu opportunities, etc. These are the things I can't avoid, but need to embrace. This girl can use a little more spontaneity in her life.

5. Have fun!

Never before in my mom life have I consistently had uninterrupted hours to myself. This year my motto is going to be: Make The Most Of It! And that doesn't just mean with work. Admittedly, this self-employed stuff has been tough. The work is never done. Even when everything is checked off my list, there is always more I could be doing. And that's hard for me. Plus? Guilt tends to creep in whenever I'm not working my day away like I feel like I should be doing. So, my plan? Show myself some grace and allow for the fun stuff, too -- even if that means grocery shopping sans little Starrs, a trip to the mall, Starbucks bible study, or cleaning in peace (yes, music and dancing might be involved). Also? PROJECTS! I have so many ready to tackle! 

I can only pray that this transition is really as easy as 1-2-3-4-5. I plan on checking back in with you all periodically for REAL life, honest updates as I enter this uncharted territory. In the meantime? HERE GOES NOTHIN'!









































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Monday, August 25, 2014

Meal Planning Monday!

It's been a few weeks since I've posted a Meal Planning Monday.  No worries, though...we have been eating. I'm working on a longer blog post for tomorrow (errr...Wednesday?), so I'm going to keep this short and throw in a few pics from our fun, but HOT weekend.

Now for the most important part...FOOD!

Monday: One Pot BBQ Chicken Pasta

Tuesday: Italian Drip Beef Sandwiches

Wednesday: Grilled Cheeseburger Wraps

Thursday: Crockpot Chicken and Stuffing

Friday: Baked Ziti

This is the time of year that I always feel like I'm running out of dinner ideas. Our evenings are jam-packed and it is so.stinking.hot that being in the kitchen long periods of time is just NOT happening. So, I'm curious...what are YOUR go-to, busy night meals these days? Help a girl out!

Lastly, PICTURES of us staying cooool in the pooool!
















































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Saturday, August 16, 2014

SEVEN!

My little Eli,





Today you turn 7. SEVEN! This number feels unimaginable. Nearly as impossible as reconciling that the boy in front of me is the same baby I took home from the hospital in the middle of the sweltering Iowa State Fair. You are a million things that I never could have imagined, yet more than I ever could have hoped.





























For me, the most astonishing thing about this whole parenting gig is the fact that my children are becoming actual people - people different from me, with developing personalities, and independent little minds. (I’ve been told that this is a good thing. Jury’s still out.) You, my boy, are a person I’m oh-so honored to know; a person unlike any other I’ve ever recognized; a person who is more than I ever dreamed.





























Seven years ago, I might have imagined all the bats and balls. But they alone are not you. You are the impetus, the intensity, and the energy it takes to swing, throw, and catch them. I might have imagined scraped knees, bruised shins, and grass stains. But those? They are not you either. You are the activity, the commotion, and the spirit that it takes to fall, tackle, or slide a thousand times...then get back up, and do it again.









































My words don’t do justice to all that you are. You are the curiosity that questions, the cuddler that comforts, and the passion that drives our world. You are sweet, kind, generous and, by far, my most favorite boy on the planet. And you are all those things in spite of our parenting -- NOT because of it. You see? If motherhood has taught me anything, it is that control is just an illusion and all that I can reasonably expect is to give you direction, keep you safe, and PRAY. You are a very strange mix of bravado, curiosity, and trepidation. So while you will unhesitatingly play on a field full of guys twice your size, you still stress about school and prefer the comfort of our inner circle. You are my homebody, a boy contented by watching games, analyzing strategies, keeping statistics, and sharing stories. 






























Elijah Wrigley, I want you to know that I pray many things for you every single day. I pray that you will grow into a righteous man, one whose greatest desire is to serve Christ. I pray that, as you grow, your heart will remain kind and humble. I'm grateful for your spirit of leadership and pray for the wisdom to teach you how to also be a good servant, so you can continue to grow into a great leader. 











































Today, son, you turn 7. I'm no math wiz, but to the best of my calculations, that's approximately 2,555 days of being blessed by your infectious giggle, competitive spirit, and passionate heart. Please know that not one of those days has been taken for granted and that no matter your age, we will always be your biggest fans -- on the field, in school, and in life.





























Hugs and love,

Mom

Thursday, August 07, 2014

NINE!








Today my biggest little lady turns 9.  NINE.  Like, one finger shy of two whole hands.  As she bounded down the stairs this morning with her long bronzed legs and wide smile, I saw what I see every morning -- the identical distinctions that exploded my heart in to a million pieces nearly a decade ago -- dark hair, a tanned complexion and chocolate eyes (proof that she IS, in fact, mine).  These are the visible traits that complete strangers tend to stop and comment on, but it is her laid-back, responsible, witty personality and tender heart that will win over anyone lucky enough to spend more than a minute with our adored daughter.   A joyful and gentle soul, sweet Addi, is my outgoing introvert, full of sunshine and spirit.  Her days are spent in one of three ways: being CREATIVE (imagining, coloring, drawing, playing, and creating), being CONTENT (reading, watching TV, playing solitaire, or writing), or being COMPETITIVE (Playing softball, volleyball, basketball, tumbling or soccer.  The sport doesn't so much matter -- it's the TEAM that she loves.).








Addison Starr, we are proud of the girl you've been and the little lady you're becoming. You are a beautiful little soul.  From you I have learned patience, I have experienced family, and I have evolved.  I am a better person for having you here with me. Have the happiest of birthdays, Baby Girl!  We wish you a million days that reflect the possibilities you see, and know, above all, that you are loved with an almost absurd measure!
All my love -- to Disneyland and back,
Mom (formerly: Mommy)































And now...9 wishes for my now 9-year-old:
1. May you always continue to carry that same light of joy in your eyes.
2. May you always know the power of independence -- the sweetness of choosing your own path -- whether it be singing or softball, art or teaching, basketball or reading.
3. May you always choose integrity over the ways of the world.
4. I pray that you forever keep the tender heart you have today.
5. May you realize that family comes first and that our people will always have your back.  Whether you succeed, fall, or fail, you are loved. 
6. I wish for you to pick your friends wisely.  Friends are the family you choose.  Choose wisely.  Choose friends who value good decisions, the art of communication, and solid fashion-sense. :)  Surround yourself with followers of Jesus, people who will hold you accountable and hold you up when you're weary. May your friendships be true and filled with the light of Christ.
7. I pray that you learn that you can do anything, but shouldn't always do everything.  We all have our limits.  Superwoman doesn't exist, no matter what TV, movies, blogs, or social media will try to tell you. Trust your mama on this one, Sweetheart.  It's a hard lesson to learn. 
8.  May you learn that quiet and solitude are necessary for growth.  Being in a crowd is wonderful but learning to love your own company is imperative. Take time for just God and grow in His presence.
9. May you never, ever lose the feeling of magic and wonder.  I pray that you are able to keep a child-like perspective on life, love, and opportunities.  Don't take yourself too seriously, my darling. Run and play in the rain.  Stop and look at a rainbow.  Try to catch fireflies.  Laugh. Find beauty in the simple things.  Guard your heart, but leave it open to opportunities of true joy -- the simple things.
I have a million wishes for you, my dear daughter, but above them all, I pray that you love God with all your heart and that you would live your live according to the plan He has for you.  

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