Most of you know that before we moved to Iowa, I worked as an Assistant Director in the Office of Admissions at Wichita State University. I LOVED my job! Keith and I are both WSU Alumni and I truly believe WSU is one of the best schools around and has so much to offer students and I am incredibly sad that most (including me - I didn't start out at WSU) don't give it the chance it deserves (sorry - didn't mean to get off on that subject - but I think I may have found a subject for another post!). Anyway....like I said, I loved my job, I loved our daycare provider, I had always said it would be nice to stay home with our kids, but I never thought of it as an actual possibility. When Keith got this job though, and God placed the INCREDIBLE opportunity of AdvoCare into our lives, that dream that I never thought was really a possibility became a BEAUTIFUL reality!
|Door to my office decorated from when I came back from maternity leave (note the #Dreamcrusher on the top of the door...it's a subject for a later post)|
So...most of you have seen my kids, some have even met my kids. I will tell you this truly with out the slightest bit of hesitation...I have AMAZING kids! They are truly a huge blessing. They have been amazing sleepers, eaters, listeners, well tempered, just all around great for their entire lives. Kolten was a great baby and I remember being terrified when I was pregnant with McKinley of all the horror stories that sounded something like Stephen King could have written about the 2nd child being just horrible! Well...that was not our experience. Dare I say, McKinley has been an even BETTER baby than Kolten was. As our kids grow, I am continually amazed at what they learn and the little things that happen each day that I get to be a part of and I do count myself as truly blessed.
|Straight Up HAMS and I love them SOOOO MUCH!|
So, here comes the "confession"...this Stay at Home Mom business is HARD! For the first 3-4 months that we moved up here, I was trying to just get adjusted in the house, unpack, find out where everything was in Waterloo/Cedar Falls, just trying to adjust. When the summer got here, I was busy with trips home, trips to Success School for AdvoCare in Dallas, TX, Kolten's birthday and such. Then as the Fall rolled around, I had still not found my "groove"...I felt like we were spending every day just like I had when I was working full time and I had a day off. We lounged in our PJ's, we would watch movies and TV shows, not venture out much, just kinda coasting through each day. Honestly, that was when I started to realize I was in trouble...I started to feel myself get almost depressed...those that know me pretty well know I am creature of habit and I like things to have a plan, and order, a purpose, I like to get things DONE! So, my day to day actions were not fulfilling my own desires of what I really wanted my life to be. SO...what did I do? I planned! I decided that instead of stewing around, getting mad at all the snow outside (which is VERY easy to do up here - let me tell you what!), we needed to just bundle on up and get out of the house! We have made some AMAZING friends up here and I am so very blessed that we have been welcomed openly into a Small Group Bible Study on Sunday nights, I am currently doing another Bible study on Wednesday nights at our church and every other Thursday we have a Mom's Connection group at our church as well. We also had Kolten try gymnastics (he was not a huge fan - he was the only boy and just didn't like it all too well) and are looking in to other activities outside the house as well.
|Kolten playing with the dress up clothes and puppets on the stage at the Phelps Youth Pavilion in Waterloo|
|McKinley was not too keen on the PYP until she found some little stools to push around so she could walk on her own ;)|
|McKinley enjoying a rockin' horse ride at the Indoor Park in Cedar Falls|
|They had a horse for Kolten to ride too! It was perfect!|
The planning didn't stop though with things to do outside the house. I started to look at what we were doing AT HOME that I could help with getting a plan set and some structure started. So, we have a bit of a routine started now that we wake up, eat breakfast, play, have a snack, McKinley goes down for a nap and while she is napping, Kolten sits down for some "games" (I signed him up for ABCmouse.com - it's GREAT!) and while he is "playing" (SHHHH....he's learning too - don't tell him:)), Momma get's her WORKOUT on!!! I have been doing AdvoCare's Can You 24 DVD set and they are AWESOME! They are perfect for what I need, there are 3 different intensity levels so I can pick how hard or easy I can work out that day and each workout is 24 minutes long. It's absolutely wonderful! So, after working out, I usually can jump in the shower quick and when I get out, get lunch ready and McKinley gets up, we do lunch, play some more, snack and then we can have time to watch a movie or some PBS (Wild Kratts, Curious George, Word Girl, you name it!) and then Keith is home!
|Playing at home....I LOVE watching them play together!!|
It's not perfect, and I am still trying to get a cleaning routine down (I swear - it's amazing, I had a better cleaning schedule when I was working full time than now when I am home almost all day!). It is a work in progress now though instead of just "coasting". I have also started to work hard at really managing our money better and making my "job" truly managing our day to day functions of our household (money, groceries, cleaning, kids, etc). I joked with my MIL as we were looking at filling out paperwork to buy a car over Christmas that when I was asked what my Job Title and Salary were, I felt sort of robbed for having to not be able to truly report anything. I feel like I am the "Household Manager" of sorts and I should somehow figure how much I save in groceries every week and how much we save in child care and such so I can report a salary! ;)
In all honesty, I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunity I have to be able to stay at home. It is a HUGE responsibility I feel to raise our beautiful children and I am so grateful for having such a loving husband that works so hard so I can stay home and have the joy of raising our kids. I also am so very grateful for the opportunity that AdvoCare has provided us. Let me make something very clear as well, I don't sit around all day and do AdvoCare just because I stay home. I schedule my time with AdvoCare just like everyone else, that's when it works best and allows me clear focus to help others is when it is scheduled and dedicated (Sorry, again - another post, another time :)). I thank God repeatedly, every day (I am serious.) that I get to able to watch my children and be an active part in their development every single day. It's not all roses - there are temper tantrums, crying fits, moments of pure insanity (and that's just me - not the kids!). As with most things though, I have found it's best to do 3 things: 1) Say a Prayer 2) Drink a Spark (possibly chase with Oasis) and 3) Give it all you've got!
Have a blessed day friends!!!