We Made It [31/31].

31 days. 31 blog posts. Phewsh. This sort of feels like a huge accomplishment for me. There were lots of times that I felt like giving up or that this challenge wasn't worth doing, but as I look back on my blog posts this month, I'm so glad I stuck with it. The month that I cut the net from beneath me and plunged into this sweet, wild world of being a Stay-at-home-Mama.

If I ever decide to do a blog challenge like this again, I'll definitely go into it with a much better game plan. There were lots of potential topics I would have liked to write about, but maybe this "fly by the seat of my pants" concept was the most honest portrayal of life as a beginner SAHM I could have displayed.

I received a number of encouraging comments throughout this challenge, some from people I have never met, that really helped me keep going these last few days. Sincerely, thank you. I do intend to keep blogging, but not at the pace I've been at this month. Obviously. I would suggest subscribing to my Bloglovin feed if you want to keep following along.

Again, thank you for reading. Now, pardon me while I go catch up on all the housework I've neglected since I started this challenge...

I’m linking up with The Nester every day in October for #31Days. You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here.


GUEST POST: My Sister-in-Law, Nicole! [30/31]

Readers, you are in for a treat!! I am SO excited to be sharing this post from my sister-in-law, Nicole! Not only is she a beginner stay-at-home-mama, she's a new mama to boot! Nicole & her husband, Scott, are adjusting to their new life as parents while in the process of renovating an adorable, old home in Minneapolis, MN. She's done some blogging in the past, but maybe if we send her enough love, she'll get back into it! Until then, you can find her on Twitter or Instagam.


I'm very excited to have the opportunity to do a guest post on Erin's blog! She's done such a great job giving us glimpses into her everyday SAHM world. I'm quite new to the SAHM life and feel like I know almost nothing yet. My daily companion is my 7-week-old son, Peregrin. As my husband and I started discussing parenthood several years ago, we both felt that me being home with our children was the right choice for our family. Now here I am!

Nicole's husband, Scott, & Peregrin. 

One of the biggest lessons I've learned so far as a SAHM is that balancing caring for my child and getting anything done is hard. Obvious, I know, but this reality is still rocking my world. Last week I cooked a meal for the first time since Peregrin was born. That's right. It took me SIX WEEKS to pull off cooking a full meal. Clearly I have a lot to learn. Daily I wonder how other moms run their households, how they balance caring for their children with their many other responsibilities. I cooked for the second time last night. In fact, I made both dinner and a crockpot breakfast that we'll be able to eat in the mornings all week. I did not, however, have the time or energy to clean-up after myself and went to bed with my kitchen looking like this:

This piece was created for me by one of my aunts 34 years ago when I was a baby. It's now hanging on my son's bedroom wall and it's a daily reminder of what's really important during this season of life. I could put any number of things in place of "cleaning and scrubbing". Cooking, watching my favorite shows, decorating our new (old) house. These are all fine things, some are necessary, but I don't want to take this moment in time for granted. I'm stunned at how much my son has changed in just seven weeks, how much more in seven months! So I eat whatever is easy, ignore my bare walls and play with my tiny son. 
Of course things do need to get done at home and this is where I need some serious refining. I'm realizing that being organized and having a plan isn't just good, it's vital. Gone are the days where I could pour over recipes to find something new, make a list, go to the store for just that one meal's ingredients and then spend hours cooking. Gone too are the days where keeping on top of our family's finances could happen whenever and as often as needed. Of course, finding time to sit and draft a working schedule for my life isn't easy either so it's going to be a process. In the mean time I'll have to live with more crazy than I'm comfortable with but by God's good grace we'll manage to eat something and the bills will get paid on time, even if just barely.

                                      "What may be done at any time will be done at no time."

True. Being a SAHM is my new job and I desire to do it well, to take it as seriously as the work I did outside the home. I no longer have a boss potentially looking over my shoulder and my deadlines are more loose, if they exist at all. But I believe this is the most important work of my life and it's up to me to provide my own structure so that I can thrive in this roll. Right now Peregrin rises early (6 a.m.!), too early for me to rise before him, but I hope that over time this will change. Everyday I realize how incapable I am of handling all this on my own. I hope to rise before my son and spend time with the Lord at the start of each day. I need His strength and wisdom. I need Him to pour into me so I have anything at all to offer my family. On the lonely days I need to be reminded that He is with me.

Every day is its own adventure right now and mostly I feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants. Years from now I hope to be able to look back on these days and see them as the beginning of a journey of maturation, of coming into my own as a wife and mother. As for tonight, dinner consisted of nachos and ice cream. But hey, I spent the evening playing with my son and I whipped that kitchen into shape so I'm still going to call it a win. 


I’m linking up with The Nester every day in October for #31Days. You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here.


Up All Night [29/31].

That was us last night. Sterling is dealing with some cold-related congestion (again), so we camped out on the couch, waking every hour or so. It was brutal, but I didn't get too frustrated. When my kids aren't feeling well, I can somehow adopt this Florence Nightingale persona I didn't know I was capable of.

The worst part was once Sterling was able to get comfortable & fall back asleep, I couldn't do the same.

I think I am losing my ability to fall asleep. 

Naps are easier, but I had the opportunity to take one today and just...couldn't. My mind doesn't want to sleep. It is too busy thinking about how fast these days are going by and how little I am getting done in them.

Part of this lack of productivity can be attributed to my childrens' ages. They're babies. They require a lot of attention, maybe even more than the average. And it is my great pleasure, as hard as it is, to give them all the attention I think they deserve.

The other part is that I have an infant that does not want to be put down. He fusses if somebody is not holding him and I can only handle the fussing for so long before I'm pacing around with him in my arms again. I cracked open this book today that a friend lent me in hopes to find some insight on our situation, but no luck thus far.

We know it isn't anything wrong with him and we know this stage won't last forever, but it's really easy to forget that when you're in the trenches.

I don't want to sound like I'm complaining too much because there are MANY sweet moments punctuating the craziness. A smile from Sterling or a hug from Ruby can so easily bring my heart back to a jovial place. But if I'm going to be honest about what being a beginner SAHM entails, then this is just part of it.

In the vein of this slightly subdued post, I read something on Shauna Niequist's blog today that really resonated with me. About the word SHOULD in relation to the way you think things SHOULD be. From Shauna's post:

We all have these weird rules about what we should love and what should make us happy and how things should work.  Should is a warning sign, frankly. When you’re using the word should more and more often, it’s a sign that you’re living further and further from your truest, best self, a sign that you’re living for some other set of parameters or affirmations that you think will bring you happiness.


I was hoping by the end of this 31 Days challenge, I would have nailed something down or solidified some habit. In reality, it has only exposed how so very far away I am from having it all together. And that's ok. Otherwise, there wouldn't be any room for grace or need of a Savior.

The kids are now asleep and I'm sitting amongst piles of folded laundry that will just have to wait until tomorrow to be tucked in their drawers. Instead, I'm going to take shot at getting some much needed sleep and praying I get more of it tonight. Amen.

P.S. I have yet to read one of Shauna Niequist's books. I hear they're all amazing. Where should I start?


GUEST POST: Jessica from For the Love of Justice [28/31].

You guys. I am SO excited for day's guest post!! Jessica writes at For the Love of Justice, a blog about intentional living & everyday justice. She's a little bit more of a seasoned SAHM than I am & has so beautifully captured a day in the life of their family. Her kiddos are ADORABLE and it looks like the 3rd one will be making his arrival sometime TODAY! Be sure to check out her blog & fair trade database when you get a chance:)

Hi there!  I’m Jessica and I am so excited Erin allowed me to share a little bit of my SAHM life with you!  I have two kids – Laura who is four and Titus who is almost two.  I am also about two weeks away from the birth of our third child, another little boy.  Life is definitely crazy around here!
I began my SAHM journey with the birth of our daughter.  Growing up I always knew I wanted to be a mom, dreamed about it, really.  Before Laura was born my husband and I decided I would stay home with her and I’ve never regretted that decision.  While some days are complete chaos (as Erin so honestly describes!), other days are so beautiful, I feel like I have the greatest job in the world.  
The best way to describe my life is to show you.  I loved the idea of taking a photo an hour for one day so here is a little peak into our lives:

7:00 – Titus wakes up and starts calling for me.  By the time I go to get him Laura is coming down the stairs.  I would love to say that our early mornings are wonderful but that is simply not the case.  I need space and silence to fully wake up but the kids don’t understand that concept yet!  I don’t know if it’s just me or what but they are always ridiculously loud in the mornings.  I make breakfast while reminding them over and over that, “It’s too early to be this loud.  PLEASE be quiet!”
8:00 – By eight things are usually looking a lot better.  I’ve had coffee.  The kids are fed and Laura is out of her pajamas.  There is a load of laundry in the washer.   Today the kids are content to play together without arguing so I slip out on to our front porch and drink in the cool crisp air.  This wakes me up more than anything else.  We moved to Idaho from Alabama about a year ago and my favorite part is still SEASONS.  Especially fall.  The leaves are beautiful right now.  
The kids are still playing together (miracle!) so I take a minute to read my Bible.  I have been slowly reading through Psalms and highlighting every place where “steadfast love” is used.  It’s in there A LOT.  I love it.  God’s steadfast love: immoveable, constant, unwavering.  I need a reminder of that daily.

9:00 – My husband is awake (today is his off day, yah!!) and entertaining Titus.  Laura is engrossed with coloring so I jump in the shower.  By the time I am out the TV is on, something that happens for an hour or so every morning around here.   
10:00 -   I convince Laura to come outside to play while I rake leaves.  Titus has a complete meltdown because the TV is off and he doesn’t want to go outside.  Or be held.  Or play with toys.  He wants to wander around the house and yell/cry.  Great.  He eventually gets over it and joins his sister in playing in the dirt.  It’s their favorite outdoor activity.
11:00 – I make a quick lunch, which is really breakfast – eggs, fruit and hash browns.  We are a breakfast loving family and can eat it for any meal of the day.  Oh, and trucks and trains are never far from the hands of my kids, even at the table.

12:00 – Titus goes down for an early nap because we have a mid-afternoon doctor appointment.  Laura heads to her room to rest and play quietly (sorta).  While the kids are in their rooms my husband and I catch up on the latest episodes of New Girl and our new favorite, Brooklyn Nine-Nine.  I am unusually tired today (thank you, nine month baby) so it feels good just to lie on the couch and relax.
1:00 – Laura’s rest time is almost over.  She usually watches a show while I finish up the projects I was working on during her rest (like blogging) but today I go up and spend time with her instead.  We read and tuck her favorite puppies into bed.  This photo-an-hour deal is making me pause and see things a little differently.  I probably should spend more time with just Laura instead of trying to get so much work done.  It’s a balance I think I will struggle with all of motherhood.
2:00 – We are on our way to the pediatrician to get Titus’ staph infection/diaper rash checked out AGAIN.  This thing never goes away.
3:00 – The kids love watching the fish in the waiting room.  Titus couldn’t stop stringing together long lines of excited gibberish.  Thankfully, our pediatrician confirms  what I think, the rash appears to be healing and this will hopefully be our last visit for a while.  Yah!
4:00 – While we are out, we swing by the mall to get my phone contacts and such switched to my husband’s old phone.  My phone had a tragic accident with the sidewalk earlier this week and has a spider web of cracks to prove it.  We pick up dinner at the food court and wander around a few stores before hitting up one of our favorite parks on the way home.

5:00 to 6:00 – We spend a while walking around the park.  It’s basically a huge, beautiful wooded area with sidewalks and a pond.  Last winter we saw three deer.  In the spring we saw geese with their fuzzy babies.  It’s a cool place and also, we discovered, THE place to take family photos. We counted no less than ten families getting their Christmas pictures taken, plus two weddings.  

7:00 – We finally get home and the kids watch a little TV before bed.  Bed time is often one of the hardest parts of the day for me, not going to lie.  Everyone is tired and cranky, the kids are both going through a stage where they hate baths…fun times!   My husband works the evening shift so bedtimes are usually my gig but since he is off I get some extra help.  Tonight I put Laura to bed while my husband wrangles Titus.  
8:00 onward – After the kids are in bed I get some quick blog stuff taken care of and then start on my big project : coming up with meal ideas and making a grocery list for my shopping trip tomorrow.  Sometimes I enjoy this job but lately I haven’t been into cooking AT ALL.  By the time I am done planning, browsing Pinterest and chatting with my husband, it’s almost 11 and I am ready for bed.  I check on Titus one more time to make sure he actually fell asleep in his bed (a feat that has only happened a handful of times since we moved him to his toddler bed a month or two ago).  He actually made it into bed tonight and I take a minute to watch him sleep before I go to bed myself.  It’s so peaceful.  

I can hardly believe I’ve been at this mothering thing for over four years.  Sometimes I feel like I am a fresh-faced newbie who knows nothing.  Every stage has its own unique challenges.  One of the most important things I have learned is to take the time to find out what really works for you.  There can be a lot of pressure to be some kind of perfect mom or to do things a certain way but everyone has different ways of dealing with motherhood and running a home.  One way is not better than the other.  Find a routine, a method, a way of doing things that makes things easy for you.  Just like at a typical workplace job, if you don’t love what you do, work becomes a chore and something you dread.  Being a SAHM mom is the same way.  If it’s not working, if it’s more frustrating than fulfilling, something needs to change.  Maybe it means you create a routine, you re-think how you are doing laundry, you ask for outside help, you intentionally take “time off” to be by yourself.  Make it work.  Love what you do.  When we find our sweet spot (which may be different with each changing season), it shows.  We become a better parent, a better wife, a better homemaker.
Well, that’s all I have…thanks for letting me share a bit about my life with you!  As a side note, you can find me at ForTheLoveOfJustice.com – a space I created to talk about my journey in living intentionally and practicing everyday justice.

I’m linking up with The Nester every day in October for #31Days. You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here.


House Divided [27/31].

Just a little healthy, family football rivalry going on. As I write this, our Vikes are looking pretty terrible. But that's a given. I think the case could even be made that they're the worst team in the NFL.

We've only been into watching football for a couple years now. It was my family's thing, so we'd get sucked in to watching games, and then it just kind of rubbed off on us. Since we spend a lot of time up in Minnesota with family & friends, the decision to become Vikings supporters was kind of an easy one. Good thing we love underdogs.

Hope you had a great weekend & stay tuned for my first guest post tomorrow!!

I’m linking up with The Nester every day in October for #31Days. You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here.


Nothing Is Easy Anymore [26/31].

Tonight was the marriage celebration of our friends, Seth & McKenzie. Their actual wedding was in a private ceremony back in April, so the guests just got skip to the good part—the cake (or apple pie, in this case)! Not that we wouldn't have enjoyed witnessing their vows, but you get it.

We thought we'd try to be super on top of things with two kids in tow and ended up overestimating how long it would take to get to the reception. So we got to sit around like dorks for a little bit while the last minute preparations were being made.

Let's not even talk about how hard it was getting out of the house in the first place with both little ones crying simultaneously. The truth behind the smiles...and do you like our "family photo" (see above)? We asked two different guests to snap one for us and they turned out blurry or cutting someone out of the pic. Yeah.

This was before Ruby choked on her chip and I had to stick my finger down her throat to dislodge it. 

Taco truck at the reception. Thankfully, someone else was able to retrieve my food while I stayed inside to calm/ nurse Sterling. He was not having a good time for awhile. A friend's mom noticed me struggling and offered to take our son long enough for this Mama to eat her food. Wayde was busy feeding Ruby.   

I think we'd all like to forget this part of the evening...when Sterling had a huge blowout. The reception was held at an old post office, so not surprisingly, there weren't any diaper changing stations. Wayde & I tag-teamed it in a side storage room amongst boxes and party supplies.

Ruby girl had a blast dancing along to this bluegrass trio, all hopped up on homemade root beer & pie. I chased her around making sure she didn't mess with the buttons on the P.A. system or pull any speakers over on her. In heels, I might add, which I am now paying for.

When Ruby gets all hyper & diva-esque in situations like this, I can't help but wonder who is this little girl?! And then I feel like a fun-hater for having to be all stern with her. Just part of being a parent, I guess.

Us with the happy couple. Also, Ruby's face. 

Despite how stressful it was to be at this reception with our little family, I think we're only going to look back on it and remember how beautiful it was and how delicious those tacos were. Plus, if we hadn't taken the kids, I would've wished we had. I love it when we are all together. Even though nothing is easy when it involves the four of us, I know it won't be this way forever. Which makes it easier to embrace the crazy.

This reception was curated by our lovely friends at The Wedding Format! Check out their full range of services here. We could not recommend them more highly:)

I’m linking up with The Nester every day in October for #31Days. You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here.


TGIF [25/31].

Papa has today off, so we are busy cleaning & prepping for some guests at our house this evening. The babes are both asleep, so I just have a few minutes to post something (between all my other chores).

Since Wayde has taken on the landscaping design duties, he has given me full reign over decorating the interior of our home. FINALLY. It was funny today though because I noticed Wayde had started integrating some of his plants into my shelves, etc, which actually led to a few design breakthroughs. I'll have to post some pics when I have more time.

We've got a busy weekend ahead of us with guests tonight, a wedding tomorrow, and a football showdown this Sunday. So you can expect short & sweet, that is, if I don't forget to post anything!

And now, back to cleaning...

P.S. How cute is this little fern terrarium Wayde made? He keeps talking about taking it to work, but I won't let him;)

I’m linking up with The Nester every day in October for #31Days. You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here.


Good Thursday & Another Target Run [24/31].

Happy Thursday! Today was a nice day. It got off to a great start having a late birthday breakfast with my friend, Nicole. I actually got out of the house by myself for it, which pretty much never happens anymore.

We also made a Target run this morning with my fellow SAHM friend, Allison, and her 7 month old twin boys. That lady puts a lot of things into perspective for me. She is a ROCKSTAR.

I think this Halloween is the first holiday that Ruby has actually expressed interest in leading up to it. She's learned about it a little from watching PBS Kids, but knows enough now that it involves candy & costumes. Which, to a two year old, probably seems as great as Christmas!

Little lady is scheduled to stroll the block on Beggar's Night as Snow White, but she has also mentioned going as a ballerina from Swan Lake specifically. She explained to us that she could go as a ballerina since she already had slippers and a tutu, which is pretty dang resourceful for a toddler to consider that. Must have got that from her Mama!

I'm cutting this post a little short since I spent the evening at an Arbonne party and stayed a little too late catching up with people. Which is good, but I have since had to brush my husband off on a project he wanted to show me that he's been working on so I could get my blog entry posted on time. And that's not good.

I didn't want this challenge to interfere with my family life, but it kind of has. My husband has been super supportive of this all along, even when it has inconvenienced him, so I'm wrapping it up so he can show me whatever it is he wanted to show me:)

I’m linking up with The Nester every day in October for #31Days. You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here.


Other Mothers [23/31].

I used to be the kind of person that would get hung up on aesthetics when entering into new relationships. There's actually a word for it: pretentious. I'm not proud of it either. I still have a tendency when meeting new people to think a friendship might not progress because it does not appear (on the outside) that we would have anything in common.

Don't get me wrong, aesthetics can act like a glue in some relationships. But believing its the only thing might have only done me a disservice in the long run.

Motherhood has kind of forced me into this new world of relationships. It's a good thing too because I'm not always good at them. For example, the playgroup with some other SAHM's from my church. We come together because we have children and need something to break up the crazy that is our week with some adult interaction. We keep going back because we find out that we share similar battles, and even secrets.

Today was the most OUT OF CONTROL playgroup I've ever attended. Every kid there seemed to be out of sorts. It was like they were feeding off each other, trying to out-cry the next. All this while the Mamas were trying to discuss a chapter in our book study on emotional wounds.

The crazy thing is that even in the midst of our chaotic surroundings, it was probably the most powerful meetup to date.

There are some ladies I've been "familiar" with for a long time that I feel like I know now because of some mutual struggle. Turns out I'm not the only one that has had that particular experience or thought. There is healing that awaits in those encounters, if only we allow ourselves to be open to them.

I'm glad that I'm finally learning this about myself & others. Better late than never.

P.S. Even though our playgroup was super crazy, Sterling was a ROCKSTAR today. He barely even cried. It's hard to explain, but I could just feel that we were being prayed for. So, sincerely, thank you.

[Image source.]

I’m linking up with The Nester every day in October for #31Days. You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here.


Sweet Surrender [22/31].

I read an online article yesterday called Two Lists I Make Every Morning. One of the lists is titled "If I could live today over again I'd...", which is based on the idea that you are living this day for the second time and the choices you would make differently. I liked the idea of this. I thought about it this morning. And then everything went out the window...

First of all, my day got started around midnight. Sterling would wake up every time I tried to put him down, so I ended up pacing around with him in an attempt to keep him from waking everyone else up. We're both not sleeping through the night yet, so when I did get up for the day, it came with a headache. (There are few things worse than waking up with a headache, am I right?)

We were really starting to think that the colic-y phase was beginning to subside, but I'm pretty sure its back and its taking a toll on everyone. He's not just having episodes in the evening either. It feels like he is fussing more while he's awake than when he's not, which is can be extremely wearing on all parties involved. Unless he's being held or in his car seat (see above), he's not happy.

As a result of the tension and tiredness, it was a pajama's til noon/ TV on all morning kind of day. Heck, since I was already winning so hard, I grabbed us all McDonald's for lunch. I was even supposed to go to a funeral today, but knew I'd max myself out if I even tried taking both kids.

I got a text yesterday from a friend with a link to a daily reading from My Utmost for His Highest. I decided to read it while trying to get Sterling down for a nap this afternoon and literally had a "come to Jesus" moment. The Utmost link had since refreshed to this new day's reading, and in it featured this verse:

"Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

I felt so weary in that moment. I prayed. I held on to those words. And you know what happened next? Well, Sterling cried for a few more minutes, but both he & Ruby took a crazy long afternoon nap after that. Which meant that this Mama got to get some rest too. Thank you, Jesus.

The rest of the day went on much better than it started. Sterling was still fussy this evening, but I was fortunate enough that my sister was willing to come over and shoulder the load with me. We even topped off the night with fake Dippin' Dots (have you heard of Itti Bitz??) and funny YouTube videos.

So, even though this day felt like it was shot from the start, all was not lost. If anything, it was a good reminder to surrender sooner next time. And praying friends, would you lift one up for Sterling that he comes out of this crying phase sooner rather than later? It is as hard as it is heartbreaking to see your sweet son having such a hard time for seemingly no reason. Please and thank you.

I’m linking up with The Nester every day in October for #31Days. You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here.


THIRTY-ONE [21/31].

My birthday cake. Kind of a joke, but kind of not. 

I turned thirty-one today. For some reason, this one feels harder than thirty was. I know it's not that old in the scheme of life, but time tends to barrel on faster every year.

I wanted to write this long, reflective post about this past year, but I'm really struggling to find the words. I've wasted too much time on this already and deleted too many drafts. Right now, I just want to get this 31 Days entry posted before midnight.

Birthday flowers from Wayde. 

Today was a nice though. My husband surprised me with flowers before going to work. He even took me out on a sushi lunch date. I received lots of birthday texts from friends & family, which is the modern day equivalent to cards. I even got a couple actual ones via snail mail! I watched some of the Vikings game with my sister and the kiddos. Maybe if they had won, it would've been a perfect day. 

Otherwise, I couldn't have asked for anything more. 

I am just so grateful for this time in my life and what God is doing in it. So incredibly grateful. xx

I’m linking up with The Nester every day in October for #31Days. You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here.


Outtakes [20/31].

Hi All! Getting in my 31 Days post at the last minute, but getting one in nonetheless! Phewsh. We've had a packed weekend, but here's a few shots of our sweet, crazy world from the past few days. 

This was taken during my photo-every-hour challenge. It wasn't taken on the hour though, so it didn't make the final post. Still, I adore this pic.

Visiting our new niece, Brielle, at the hospital. It's crazy to think that Sterling has not one, but TWO, cousins now that are younger than him!

Papa had a three day weekend, so this Mama was able to go out and do a some shopping on Friday. I brought along this little guy, of course, and it was pretty smooth sailing once he fell asleep. I even got to hit a thrift store before going home! It's the little things...

Tickle party with Papa & Ruby! There are times when I want to just sit back and enjoy these moments without viewing them through a lens, but I fear that my memory will fail me. These times are just too precious  - I never want to forget them!

Last night was the wedding of one of my oldest friends. We were home-schooled at the same time, went to high school together, the same college, and even studied abroad in London the same semester. Needless to say, it was pretty surreal to see so many people I knew from so many different places in one space.

Waking up next to my sweet boy this morning. What a blessing it is to be his Mama...

Hope everyone had a nice weekend!! As always, thanks for reading & for bearing with my seemingly directionless 31 Days series! xx

I’m linking up with The Nester every day in October for #31Days. You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here.


Just Embrace It [19/31].

We've got a wedding out of town today, so not a lot of time to be sitting around blogging. Not like I have a lot of that anyways;)

Also, I'm looking for any other SAHM that might want to be interested in doing a guest post before the end of this challenge. It'll be simple, plus I can provide some guided questions to get you started. Comment if you are interested!


[Image source.]

I’m linking up with The Nester every day in October for #31Days. You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here.


Stay-At-Home-Mama Must Haves [18/31].

If only my new role as a SAHM came with all these goodies at orientation, my job may be slightly more fabulous. But there was no orientation and I've already got my own janky version of each of these reco's. Hopefully though, after Birthday & Christmas, I'll have a few more "tools" for success. So consider this my wishlist (and what every SAHM should already have):

1. THE DAY DESIGNER. It's easy to forget what day of the week it is when you're a SAHM, so I would suggest that every Mama get a planner to help stay organized. And this "Day Designer" is SO much more than a planner. There are special sections for meal planning, payment reminders, & goal planning. The $55 price tag seems steep, but if you broke it down by cost per use, is 15 cents a day worth staying organized (and fabulously so, I might add)?

2. The SAHM Notepad from Harper Gray. If you're like me, then you already keep an ongoing list similar to this. Except it's on a crumpled legal pad that your 2 yr. old scribbled all over. $14.

3. LIFEFACTORY GLASS WATER BOTTLE. Does any other SAHM out there fail to stay well hydrated through the day? We take care of our littles, but we need to take care of ourselves too;) Glass is best & a fancy bottle may motivate one to drink more aqua. $20-26.

4. BETTER LIFE BAG. Confession: I hate lugging around a diaper bag. I usually just pack an over-sized purse or canvas tote with kiddie essentials. Why not do it in style (while also supporting a great mission)? These bags are fully customize-able and handmade in Detroit, MI by underprivileged women. I'll take two.

5. YOGA PANTS. But not just any yoga pants. "The Most Loved Yoga Pant" from Victoria Secret. And as of 10/17/13, they are 2 for $55 on the website. You're welcome.

6. A CUTE PAIR OF EARRINGS. Because even if you look like a hot mess, a cute pair of stud earrings will give the appearance that you actually care. I got this pair of Kate Spade ones from Zappos. $38.

7. AUDIOBOOKS. Never stop learning, Mama's. Plus, it's nice to hear the voice of another adult in the midst of a day spent reasoning with a toddler. Currently, I'm listening to the Bible (how else do you think I am getting through my Bible-in-a-year readings?) when I'm washing dishes. 

Here's a guide to get you started on audiobooks. Or a list of 16 Audiobooks Read By A-List Celebrities (because most ladies I know would pay to hear Johnny Depp read the phone book - can I get an amen?).

Also, PODCASTS. My top 3 would be Radiolab, Simple Mom, & the Relevant Podcast

8. DRY SHAMPOO. But the jury is still out on the best one on the market. Any recommendations?

Is there anything else that should be added to this list? Anything that would make life as a SAHM more simple/ efficient?

I’m linking up with The Nester every day in October for #31Days. You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here.


Adventures in Potty Training [17/31].

The last time I bought a box of diapers for Ruby, I thought, "I'm going to have this girl potty trained before these run out." It was just yesterday when I realized that were on the last few diapers, so I decided that now was the time. I've only been putting if off my whole maternity leave, and well, I'm not on "maternity leave" anymore.

So this morning, I parked the potty chair in front of the TV. My plan would be to let her run sans pants all day giving her jelly beans with every tinkle. Simple, right?

The first pee was easy. I danced, cheered, and gave her a handful of candy. About an hour later, she peed on the floor. Then she peed in the potty chair (followed up by me dancing/ cheering/ showering her with jelly beans again). And then she peed on the floor, this time making a HUGE mess. Seriously.

It wasn't until 11:30am when I realized I hadn't actually read any literature on the topic other than going off the advice I got from a random lady behind me in line at Target. Upon googling the subject, I gathered that my acts of celebration may have been putting too much pressure on my tot.

I also read that a child will use the potty when they are ready. The fact that Ruby will say "thank you" upon getting her diaper changed (I thought) qualified her for such things. After today though? I'm not sure.

Me: What is this, a LalaPOOPsy?! Ruby: She takin' a bath. 

By the end of the day, the score as follows: Potty = 4, Floor = 2, Diaper (during nap) = 1. 

I'm sure that I need to dedicate another couple days to this task, but I am up against a very strong-willed little lady. She knows what she's doing and I've just got to figure out a way to get her on board with this whole potty thing. 

Anyone reading got any good tips for this Mama??

I’m linking up with The Nester every day in October for #31Days. You can find a list of all 31 posts as they are published by clicking here.
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