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February 2015

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February Funk

taking-a-break

I think I find myself in a funk every February. It’s freezing. It’s snowing. And the kids get so many school closings and delays that they’re out of school (and we’re out of a routine) for weeks.

My dry and cracked hands burn from all the hand washing to hopefully prevent us from picking up the creeping crud that’s going around the preschool. We’re moody. We’re tired of stuffing the kids into coats. We’re promising not to whine this summer when the temperature reaches 98 degrees with 100 percent humidity. Ha!

Anyway, all this to say: I’m taking a February Funk break. I think just for this week. Podcast and posts to resume next week. In the meantime, I’m going to apply lotion to my hands, pour myself some hot tea, and think warm thoughts.

Podcast #54 // Jessica Turner from The Fringe Hours

Joy

Photo via Jessica at The Mom Creative

When Jessica contacted me about her new book, The Fringe Hours, I knew I had to interview her for the podcast. This book speaks to everything I’m all about. I used to feel guilty for taking any time for myself, my own interests, and my own development.

But now I see how time for me only makes me a better person, mom, wife, and friend. For me, it’s not at all selfish. It’s imperative. And like Jessica, I steal hours here and there – sometimes hours that nobody notices and sometimes hours that I need to arrange – to ensure that I get time that fuels me up inside.

But this book isn’t just for moms or even moms of young kids. When I read this book, I thought about my mother and my good friend, both of whom lead lives that look completely different from mine, yet I know both of these women would benefit from this book.

Another thing I love about this book and Jessica are the various ways to connect with Jessica, the book, and others reading the book. Check out these links for more information:

DaySpring link (for autographed copies)

Please subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, and I’d love it if you’d take two minutes to rate and review the show.  Thank you!  I appreciate the support.

For the Love of My Mini Van

Honda

The Explorer vs. Mini Van talk is a frequent topic of discussion around here.

Explorer vs. Mini Van. Explorer vs. Mini Van.

I have a 2005 Explorer with a third row, albeit a third row I never use because it’s well… not that useful. The Explorer was great when it was just Kate. And when Michael was born, and I was carting him around in that crazy heavy and awkward infant carrier…it was okay.

But not-so-slowly the lack of sliding doors and the height of the Explorer and the inability to use the third row with any amount of ease made me super cranky. And then I found out I was pregnant.

That’s when I started my push for the mini van.

It’s not that Dan was against the mini van, per se. He simply preferred the Explorer given his size and stature (at 6’4 he’s not a small guy). However, I sweetly pointed out that this would be my car, the car I’d be driving 99% of the time. And that I’m the one who carts our children all over God’s green Earth.

And he agreed with that. He suggested we look at Explorers with the captains chairs, thinking that could be a compromise. But, really, in the end, we both agreed that the lure of those sliding doors and the low loading (so our kids can get into the car themselves) was strong.

So on Friday we ventured out to the Honda dealer. And five hours later drove home in the Honda Odyssey Touring in White Diamond.

I’m pretty much the happiest girl in the world.

Since my car was a 2005, it clearly wasn’t ancient. But, from a technology standpoint, it was eons behind. This car is smarter than I am. What car companies can do now totally blows my mind.

And the ride? OMG so smooth! My Explorer was one of the last to be built on a truck platform. And it felt like it. I had no idea how bumpy my car was until I got behind the wheel of the van. I just kept saying, it’s so smooth, how come it’s so smooth, Dan, can you BELIEVE how smooth this car rides?! And Dan’s all, I know, I’m sitting next to you.

My sweet Honda Odyssey, you’ve made my dreams come true. Instead of inwardly groaning when I know it’s time to load the kids up to go to school or the grocery or wherever, I squeal with glee and hit the open button on the van and the doors slide like magic, allowing my small people to get in the car without my lugging in their heavy bodies. And when I drive it, I’m confident we’re safe. And when I’m in a tight parking spot, I don’t have to perform gymnastics and squeeze my ever-growing-belly between doors because they sliiiiiiide. PRAISE!

And don’t even get my started on the power lift gate. SWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!

I love this Honda with all my might. It’s like a house on wheels. Anything that makes life with kids easier gets a big thumbs up in my book. Honda, I love you.

Podcast #53 // Elizabeth Chapman on Motherhood, Working, and Balance

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I adore Elizabeth Chapman. We are most definitely kindred spirits. I totally relate to her blog, and I love linking up with the Mid-Month Confessions.

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and settle in for our chat about being perfectionistic first borns, struggles with perfectionism as first time moms, work and loving our jobs, and how we “balance” work, home, and family.

Please subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, and I’d love it if you’d take two minutes to rate and review the show.  Thank you!  I appreciate the support.

#reverb15 // January

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reverb15 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December designed to reflect on 2015 and project on hopes and dreams for 2016.  Through December 31st Meredith, Kat and I will post each day with a new prompt.  Join us by writing, or join us by reading.   Follow us on Twitter @project_reverb and hashtag #reverb14.  Let’s reverb.

Each month, Kat, Meredith, and I are sending out monthly prompts before December’s daily prompts. This was January’s:

Ungoals | What are so NOT doing this year? What’s on your “I just can’t care about that” list?

I think my pal, Kim, said it best when she said, the older you get, the fewer amount of flips you can give. I totally agree with this.

In previous years, I spent 100% of my energy giving all the flips about all the things. It didn’t really get me anywhere. And was totally exhausting.

And my people pleasing nature added, negatively, to my energy level. I’d run around trying to be everything to everyone. And then feeling depleted and resentful.

I agree with Kim that you can’t care about everything. It’s just ineffective. At least for me. I’ve got some things I’m interested in doing. But, I only give a flip about the really important things: my family, my dear friends, my work, and myself. Not what other people think. Not what other people think I should do or be. Because I’ve got a limited about of flips to give. And then they’re all used up!

How many flips can you give a month? Do you think it decreases as you get older?

Friday, Friday!

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It’s Friday, it’s Friday!

The older Michael gets, the more fun he is as a playmate for Kate. And Kate discovered that, at least half of the time, she can get him to be her baby doll. Sometimes he’s into it. For example: he wore that flowered fleece jacket all week. I kept getting stares at the grocery and CVS and the mall. And I thought I must be looking real great. Until I realized they were staring at my son, wearing a girl’s jacket.

Ask me how much I care.

#whathappenswhenyouhaveanoldersister

Speaking of sisters and brothers and adding one more to our clan…we’re going to look at Honda Odysseys this weekend. I could not be more ecstatic. And I mean that entirely truthfully!

Fun fact about me: I learned to drive on my parent’s Dodge Grand Mini Van. I loved that van. We all loved that van. My Dad hauled a lot of girls from one softball game to another in that van. We took a great many family trips in that van (while I sulked in the way back, but not because of the van, because I was a teen.). My Dad taught me to be an expert back-in parker by having me do figure eights backwards in a parking lot, in that van.

So I love vans.

But I wasn’t sure if we needed one. But then I realized. Oh, yes, I need one, when my hands are full and Micheal is running away and I can’t get the doors to the car open. Hitting a button and having the doors slide open? My heart just skipped a beat thinking about the practicality and ease of a van.

I’m overjoyed to check out vans this weekend. Cannot wait. I’ll let you know what we decide!

Van families: do you love yours?!