Monday, July 13, 2015

The week in photos | 7.13.2015

Waiting in the car with Mom while Daddy runs into the store

Ruthless fridge and freezer clean out - we did the pantry about two months ago. It's so nice to be able to find everything!

Hudson spit up on the duvet cover, so it had to be washed. Minerva immediately burrowed into the bare duvet. She stayed there all day. 

Hudson was all smiles when I said his new friend David will be born on Sunday or Monday! I'm sure it was probably just a coincidence but I shared the photo with my friend Erin to help her smile through her labor!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Progress update on July Challenges

1. Publish a blog post each day. 

This didn't go so well, obviously. I think if I would have decided before July 1, I would have planned it out and done better. I'm going to muddle through July and start over in August. I may even recruit some blogging friends to join me. 

2. Daily Scripture Reading

I'm proud to say I haven't missed a day yet!

3. Minimalism Game

I have missed one day so far, but I caught up the following day. I'm so excited to see my clutter shrinking away! I may continue this one with a reset in August too!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Perfect Mommy Moments

The nursery door creaks open, slightly. The big yellow cat we call Crookshanks creeps in with a soft, kitten-like mew. He sniffs a bit, and walks toward the window. He glances at the rocking chair, where I am nursing Hudson. Crookshanks noses the curtains aside to create a patch of warm summer afternoon sunlight. He curls his tail around his body and lays in the sun, purring loudly in his sleep. 

Hudson is lying across my lap atop a pillow. His hands are clasped together on his chest, and he is drowsily nursing. I close my hand over both of his, and I smile. I am bursting with joy. This is a perfect mommy moment. This is what I expected when I was expecting. 

In truth, moments like this are few. Our typical nursing sessions happen in my queen size bed, and neither cat is anywhere in sight because Hudson has been fussing so much prior to his feeding. Or, sometimes, our smaller cat is crawling all over Hudson and me, whining for the Papa who won't be home for several days. And then there is the spit up. Hudson has reflux, so he often spits up a lot after his feedings. Sometimes it's to the point where I make a bottle of formula immediately after a feeding because I just can't imagine there's any supply of mother's milk left for him. 

But in their own way, these are also perfect mommy moments. Hudson eventually drifts off to sleep in my arms. Minerva eventually curls up beside me to sleep for the night. The tough moments will pass soon, and with them, all too soon, this year of infancy. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Another big change

Yesterday was a bittersweet day for me. I turned in my resignation at work. I'm officially a stay at home mom now. 

From the moment I saw two lines on the test stick, I knew I would probably need to do this. My salary barely covered what I would spend on day care. I am not exaggerating - I would have cleared under $300 a month. Once I factored in the cost of transportation and new apparel for work, it just didn't make sense to continue working.

It was still a tough decision to make. I loved the school. I had an amazing administration and the most family-like staff I've ever experienced. It was so hard to say goodbye to that. 

Of course, I will miss the students too. I worked with some students who have very good hearts but need other people to help them see it in themselves. I cherish being a part of that process. I saw extraordinary growth in several boys this past year. It was the first time in my career that I've really felt that I can make a difference. I suppose in some ways that makes me feel more at peace with staying home. I know that my work this past year really had meaning. 

But now I get to embark on my most meaningful career ever, and I'll have the most adorable little "boss" in the world. Teaching was nice, but being a mom will be so much better!

Currently: July 2015

Drinking: Diet Dr. Pepper and coconut milk, plus lots of water

Eating: grilled everything. We purchased our grill a week after the positive pregnancy test, and we quickly realized smoke smells were some that made me nauseated. We finally have it together enough to cook real meals again.

Wearing: nursing tanks and yoga pants - the stay at home mom uniform!

Wanting: Hudson to start taking naps during the day!

Loving: sweet baby smiles and cuddles 

Needing: to buy groceries!

Thinking: about new clothes. Nothing fits, so I'm thinking about a fall capsule wardrobe. 

Reading: Revelation in my daily reading plan app. 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Excerpt from Savor

I'm currently reading a seven day devotional excerpted from the book Savor by Shauna Niequist. Today's reading really touched me:

"There are things that happen to us that give us two options. Either way, we will never be the same, and we shouldn’t. These things can either strip us down to the bone and allow us to become strong and honest, or they can be the reasons we use to behave poorly indefinitely, the justification for all manner of broken relationships and broken ideals. It could be the thing that allows everything else to turn, the lock of our lives to finally spring open and allow our pent-up selves to blossom. Or it can be the reason we use to justify our anger and the sharp tones in our voices for the rest of our lives. We become who we are in these moments. I have a friend who falls back, whenever things are too hard, to an event that happened over a decade ago. It’s the thing that she uses to justify cruel behavior. But wouldn’t it be great, wouldn’t it be just like God, if that terrible thing could be the thing that lifts her up and delivers her to her best, truest self? It can. It happens all the time."

Never let your circumstances be an excuse - make them an inspiration to do better! 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day! This was my favorite holiday as a child (not counting Christmas, because we all know that's in a class by itself). The county fair was usually going on, and there was a huge parade. We would usually sit in front of the bank where my mother still works. 

It's been different since my husband and I have been married. This is our sixth Independence Day as a married couple. Trevor has had a better track record getting Christmas and Thanksgiving off than he has this holiday. I've usually spent the day home alone. 

This year is different, though. I have Hudson, and Trevor ended up having to call out sick for an ear infection. It will still be a low key day due to sickness and life with a newborn, but it's still pretty awesome to be together as a family for Huddon's first holiday! 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Friday Five: Freedoms

In the spirit of the holiday tomorrow, I'm sharing five of the freedoms I'm especially thankful for this year. 

1) Freedom of Religion 
I love that I can practice my faith however I choose - and that others can choose to do the same, even if that includes practicing no faith at all. 

2) Freedom of Speech
I can post whatever I want on my blog or
social media. I can say what I want in public without fear. Artists can create works using any subject matter. This is a glorious thing!

3) Freedom to Vote
I get to cast a vote for leaders or ballot measures. I've been able to vote in three presidential elections so far. I've been a political junkie since I was 10, so this is a huge deal for me. 

4) The Free Market
The government is relatively hands off when it comes to our market place. We can shop at a variety of stores and choose from a variety of brands. This isn't the case in many other countries. 

5) The Freedom of Equality 
This is twofold. First, I'm happy that I can drive, work, and own property as a woman in this country. In most cases, I know I'll be afforded the same rights as a man. Second, I'm pretty psyched that my  gay friends and family can finally be married anywhere in the nation! I know a couple that's been committed for 12 years, but they couldn't be married in their home state until now. That's definitely something worth celebrating! 

Other July Challenges

In addition to the blogging challenge I created for myself, I have also joined two other challenges through Facebook.

1) My friend April Meza challenged hersf to read Scripture daily in July. She asked friends to join her, and she posts a daily question asking what we are reading each day. I'm reading two chapters a day right now. By mid-July, I should have completed a reading plan I began last November! I'm reading via an iPhone app while Hudson nurses, so this is very easy to keep up with!

2) The Minimalist Game

Discovered via my friends Marc and Tiffany Gough, this game is all about decluttering. For each day in July, I'll be finding items to remove from our home. The twist is that the number of items must match the number on the calendar. So, today I'll remove two items, and on Jy 31, I'll remove 31 items! I am looking forward to removing a few hundred things from my house in the coming month. Since I'm about to start reading the Konmari book, this is a perfect challenge for me!

What's your challenge for July? 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A daily challenge for July

I'm sure I'm setting myself up for failure, but I'm challenging myself to publish something on my blog each day in July. I love writing. It is my first passion, and I so miss having it as a daily practice. I'm hoping to turn that around by writing daily and finding my written voice once again.