Busy Week Last Week

So my plan for a slow down in January did not happen last week. We started our week off by going to Hattiesburg on MLK day. We had no idea it was holiday and there were people everywhere and it was a very aggravating experience. With Kevin’s work schedule and since none of our children are in school yet, we don’t really keep up with holidays and it always throws us off when we try to go have a fun slow day.

We went to Home Depot to get flooring for our bathroom! We haven’t done anything to the bathroom and it is just not a very nice or pretty room in the house. I’m just gonna go ahead and say it was awful. So Kevin spent the week partially gutting the bathroom and then laying down flooring and putting the toilet in! This bathroom is the only one with a bathtub so we couldn’t take everything out, but we did get the flooring and toilet replaced and now we are working on a design for the vanity. I’m not sure what I want and I don’t really like what Kevin wants to do. #marriage amiright?

We both ended up with dentist appointments and I had to do an extra grocery shopping trip. On Saturday we had Finley’s birthday party so in addition to all the stuff we were doing last week, we were also getting ready to have people over. The craziest thing though, we didn’t really have a lot to do thanks to all the decluttering we’ve been doing! I kept remembering two years ago to Finley’s first birthday, I started cleaning and getting the house ready a month before the party. A month! I can’t believe that I thought it was reasonable to take that long to get my house ready.

I want to take this week to get back to a slow routine but I have a root canal to be done and Kevin has a follow up to do with the dentist too. Plus we have like 38482838 more decluttering projects we want to tackle. Maybe we can get to a few of them, hopefully.

Meal Plan No. 9

Last week was a crazy week in terms of meal planning. I basically gave up because our plans kept changing so much. I am looking forward to life evening out this week!

Here’s what we are eating:

Sunday: Eating out

Monday: Dinner with family

Tuesday: Pan grilled fish, veggies

Wednesday: Chicken wings, veggies

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Dinner with family

Saturday: Chicken and veggie soup

Slowing Down for January

I’ve noticed a trend on the internet in this new year. Many people are opting to not make any resolutions. Because we were going to be having a newborn, I decided that I wouldn’t make any resolutions or goals for the beginning of the year, but because I’ve seen others doing this too, I have no idea if I came up with this on my own or if anyone on my social media feeds influenced my plans. In my hitch goals for this month, I kept it super simple because all I wanted was my baby in my arms. Now that I’ve had him, I’m ready to spend my time cocooned with my family. I said before how busy the holiday season was for us. Every time Kevin was home, we had so many obligations and we hardly had a day to just stay home and rest. Now that the holidays are over with and we’ve had our baby, I’m ready to just stay home.

For the last month of my pregnancy I was so looking forward to the newborn stage of keeping away from going out in public. A slow down month is exactly what we need. Before Christmas, I was thinking I wanted to do a no spend month because I knew I had spent a lot over the holidays. But maybe what our finances will really benefit from is just being able to slow down and saying no to things.

I’m hoping to spend this time doing things we love like going to the swamp or maybe even the zoo, but that option might not be possible. Something I want to get away from is how much tv we watch. I can almost see Kevin’s eyes rolling at that statement, we have different needs when it comes to how we entertain ourselves, but that’s ok. And at first when I was thinking of having a theme for this month of slowing down, I was coming up with a mental list of things I wanted to stop doing.

But. Something that I wanted to do in the new year was to change how I think about things. I noticed the past several months, or maybe year, or I really have no idea how long I’ve been viewing life through negative words and ideas. What I mean is there can often be two ways to word a statement that has either a negative or positive connotation. Lately I find myself leaning towards the negative versions and I want to change that. I want to choose the joyful route.

So keeping that in mind, instead of coming up with a list of all the things I want to stop, I want to come up with a list of things I want us to do more of. I believe that by doing so, the other things will naturally be left behind. I have no problem with us watching tv. Sometimes I need the kids to be entertained by something besides me. And I know that the more we spend time playing puzzles, going outside, reading books, etc. the more we will be used to depending on ourselves for entertainment and less on technologies. As for me personally, I know my tendencies for having the tv on hinders my productivity and before I know it, I will have spent all morning with the tv on. Usually whatever I am watching is something that is totally non-edifying to my life.

Instead of saying that we are going to watch less tv, I’m choosing to say we want to do more. For me, the secret to choosing to do more is that the doing more has to be what is for our family. Not what other people expect us to do. I think that many people often hold expectations of other people and can be judgmental when we don’t live up to those expectations. Now I’m not saying we should all become self-centered and only do exactly what we want with no regard to the needs and wants of others. But as a mother, my first responsibility is doing what is good for my family and for my children. I’m choosing less of the world, less of the busy; more of my children, more playing, more rest.

I want to do more outside play, more puzzles, more creative play. I believe childhood should be fun and busy in a good way. And if we fill up our time with play, then that leaves less time for filling our day with screens. Instead of being anti-screens, I am choosing to be pro-play.

Trying to Beat my Procrastination Habit

There’s a few things I want to do this morning that I just can’t stop thinking about. The biggest thing on my mind right now is my drawers of paperwork. Ughhh. And this would be a good morning to go through it all, my mom has the kids. So really, that’s probable why I really want to do it. But I have something else that I need to do first and I really do want to do it! It’s just going to require a little bit of project prep up front that isn’t quickly done so I’ve been putting it off.

I’ve been asked to make a baby blanket out of minky fabric. I am super excited because I want to make more things and everything I keep looking at and dreaming of doing tend to be on the more difficult side. I am a big dreamer after all. But this minky blanket is the perfect simple project to get back into sewing which is really something I want to do.

I think because it is so simple and will not take me very long to do, it is easy for me to procrastinate getting started. Procrastinating is something that I am a professional at doing. However, ever since having kids, I’ve been working at being better at not procrastinating. I’ve been changing my ways y’all. it hasn’t been easy and it has taken hard work, but with every thing that I do right away, I am one step closer to being a doer. I have noticed that if something won’t take a lot of time then I have the tendency to put it off.

The problem with this habit is that it often results in generally adding to the daily clutter that I’ve been battling. I’ve realized something else about myself, too. The easier it is to do something, the more likely I am to go ahead and do it. My goal for my house right now is to streamline all of my daily tasks and make everything easier to do because then I will actually do it.

This is why I try to run my dishwasher every night. Doing this results in a small load which literally take me maybe 3 minutes to unload and put away. And then this task is done and the dishwasher is ready for the dishes from the next day.

This is why I try to do all my laundry in one day. I wash and dry all of the laundry in the house usually on Monday. It doesn’t always get put up in the same day, but it is done. I know a lot of people do one small load a day, but that just doesn’t work for my brain and I just put it off until I have a huge pile of dirty clothes and we are almost out of clean clothes. I’ve learned from that my brain works better for laundry when I treat it as a project.

It’s weird, I know, because that’s the opposite of how I treat doing the dishes. But I use the same dishes pretty much every day and if they don’t get washed in the dishwasher then I’ll have to handwash and that’s just not something I can do right now. I have enough clothes to last me a week and I’ve also realized more of what I don’t wear and what I do love to wear.

Something else that helps me is keeping my kitchen table and countertops cleared off. It helps me think clearer and also makes it easier for me to do small projects. Which is why I am feeling the pull to decluttering paperwork this morning instead of sewing a super simple blanket. To do that I am going to have to get my sewing machine out, find the thread, find my rotary cutter, etc.

Oh well, I’ve rambled enough about this for this morning. Time to get started and get done! I’ll time myself to see how long it will take me to do it from beginning o end.

Decluttering

Ok. I have started to write a post detailing our decluttering journey at least 4 or 5 times but I just cannot find any of them. I hand write all my blog posts first, mostly on loose leaf sheets of paper. Writing things down help me keep my thoughts together and somewhat organized. And currently I have like 4 other posts about decluttering that I’m hesitating to post until I can get an intro post of how we got started published. It sounds crazy, I know.

Decluttering and minimalism have become important actions to Kevin and me in the last half of 2018 and so far we have successfully carried these ideals into 2019. We really kicked off this journey (is there anything less cliche that I can call it?) last August. I had just gotten home from Dallas and was totally inspired by my aunt’s beautiful house. The day before Kevin came home from work, I had the morning all to myself because the kids were with my mom and I was looking around my house and at alllll the stuff we had and how I wanted to just toss it all.

So I thought, why don’t I do that? Why don’t I just get rid of that whole bookcase right there that I don’t even want? I spent most of the morning clearing that piece of furniture off and I even took the bookcase out of the house as soon as I had everything taken off. After that morning I haven’t slowed down getting stuff out of my house and I haven’t looked back since.

When Kevin came home, he didn’t even notice that the bookcase was gone at first. But he did notice that there was something different and lighter about our living room. I eventually pointed it out to him because I couldn’t stand it anymore.

Another catalyst we experienced was watching the documentary, Minimalism, by the Minimalists. I have kind of been on this minimalism journey and reading about it for almost 3 years now but it wasn’t until August that I made a drastic change. When we watched the minimalism documentary I was so thrilled that Kevin was finally interested in it, too! It helps when he is wanting to do the same thing as I am because he is such a get stuff done guy and then that makes me get stuff done, too.

So we started hardcore going through our stuff and we have come a long way and still have a long way to go. As of right now I know of 3 different drawers that have paperwork and mail that is just waiting for me to sort through them. I feel like I was kind of waiting for Jake to get here before I got started on all that sorting, and now that I am sitting here, I can just hear it calling my name.

So there we go! The beginning of our minimalism journey is now written and published. Now I can publish the other posts I have written. Some of them are from before Christmas but they have important thoughts that I want to be recorded so I’m going to be publishing them anyway. I don’t know why but I felt like I couldn’t talk about decluttering until I had done this intro of sorts. And decluttering and minimizing is such a big part of our life now. We are constantly throwing things away or putting in a donate box, and I need to be able to write about the process because I have lots of thoughts and feelings about it all.

Meal Plan No. 8

I am going on week two of not being pregnant and I’m happy to find that I can stomach some of the foods that I like but didn’t want to eat when I was pregnant. This makes me super happy because the rest of my family are red meat eaters and now I can cook it again without getting sick feeling. I made some super delicious chicken and vegetable soup in the Instant Pot and will be having it again tonight! Getting an Instant Pot was the best thing that happened to me.

This is what we are eating this week.

Sunday: Chicken and vegetable soup
Monday: Popcorn shrimp, potatoes, corn
Tuesday: Spaghetti
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Gumbo
Friday: Dinner with family
Saturday: Pizza

Choose Joy

I didn’t have a grand plan this year for any resolutions or choosing a word for my year, but I did kind of stumble up a theme. Probably mid-November I noticed that most of what I talked about and thought about focused a lot on the negative sides of conversation. I noticed even more that I had begun complaining about pretty much everything and honestly, I was tired of myself. And yet I couldn’t stop even though I knew what I was doing.

I was 7-8 months pregnant and while I think it is super lame to blame behavior on hormones because I believe that we are all responsible for how we treat others, I do think that being preggers had some to do with my negative outlooks. So I set my sights on having the baby and then working on changing my outlook after he was here.

I feel like I can make the biggest changes in how I talk and the way I choose my words to describe situations. I want to speak positivity to my family and friends and most of all to myself. By choosing positive words, I’m expecting joy to flow to all other aspects of my life: my thoughts, my actions, how I’m feeling.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Philippians 4:8

Friday Ramblings

Right now I am still sitting in my bed at 9:00 am all thanks to my mom who kept my two big babies last night. Since I have now been over 12 hours home alone, I can kind of think straight again and I am all sorts of inspired to get stuff done. Of course as soon as I get up I’m sure my littlest will decide he’s hungry and I’ll have to take care of him! But that’s ok, motherhood is the best job ever and I love that I get to do it.

I’ve been sitting here in bed, cuddling my little Jakey and drinking coffee, and reading a new-to-me blog I discovered. It is a minimalism blog Be More With Less and now I’m all sorts of inspired to do some more minimizing. I should note that this happens often when my mom keeps the kids because then I can take a look around with clear, well rested eyes and see what in my house is too much for me.

I’m going to start with the room that Finley and Eleanor share because they have already thrown all their toys out of the toy bins and this makes it easy to sort through what they play with and what they don’t. Something I love about the kids is that they really love to play with the simplest of toys. We have donated so so many toys and I think we could donate half of what is left still. I’m trying to view their toys with practicality of what they actually play with instead of my idealism of what I wished they played with. Decluttering and minimizing is good to do, but if I try to stick to unrealistic expectations then it doesn’t really do much good.

As a dreamer and idealist this can be hard for me because I can see the potential in a piece of furniture on the side of the road or I will buy craft supplies for a project that I wish I did but in reality I’m not ever going to be a scrapbooker no matter how much I like the way they look or wish I did it. If I’m not going to use the supplies or redo the dresser, I shouldn’t bring it into my house. I’ve been working on changing that mindset in 2018 and the last six months I’ve been putting it into practice. 2019 started out with us taking a load of stuff to the local thrift store and in a week or two I plan to have another load ready to go.

I’m feeling all sorts of inspired to clean up this morning but right now for the time being I’m gonna sit here and cuddle my sleeping babe and drink my second cup of coffee.

Ready for Spring

The weather outside right now is absolutely beautiful! I love living in Mississippi because one day it will be freezing cold and the next it will be in the 60’s. I know it’s only January 9, but goodness I’m ready for spring now.

Now that I’ve had our newest baby, I’m looking forward to other things I want to do this year. I feel like with every baby I have, the more productive I get. I don’t know why that is, maybe because deep down I’ve just always wanted to be a mother and now all the gaps are being filled in. All I know right now is that all I want to do is focus on nurturing my family with my love, and cooking meals, and being as creative as I can.

This year I’ve made a resolution of sorts to get outside with the kids more. I believe that we all need to get out in nature more and I know my kids are much happier when we make a point to go play. Last year when we went to the beach Kevin and I dreamed of going to the swamp more and just spending time playing on the sand bar and having picnics and stuff. How fun is that going to be?

For now since I still have a newborn, I’ll just sit here on the couch and dream about the warmer weather fun we’ll have!

Outnumbered 3 to 1

So now that we have had Jake, I’m now more outnumbered than I was before when Kevin is at work. So far my mom and his mom and his grandmother have all helped out tremendously and I’ve been getting a good bit of rest which is just fine with me!

Last night was my first night on my own with all three of them and I’m so proud of how I handled it. I had both of the kids in bed by 8 and they were asleep by 9! I couldn’t believe my luck. I’m not gonna see how tonight will go because my mom took both of them to her house to spend the night. As much as I wanted to keep them home so we could start to get into a rhythm, there was no way I could turn down an easy night! I even had the dishwasher loaded, the kitchen cleaned, and my coffee prepped for tomorrow.

My plan is to take my days and nights slow and not try to do too much. For right now this looks like consistently keeping the sink fairly clean of dirty dishes and running the dishwasher every night when I can. If I miss a night, then that’s ok, I can just get to it the next day. This also means that I need to keep the trash can clear and open by not letting it overflow to the point where I can’t use it anymore. When these two things are being done in the kitchen, then it helps my life run a little smoother.

Finding ways to make everything run smoother is the key to surviving when I’m outnumbered. I’m really glad several months ago I began implementing a laundry day every week. It has totally changed my life in regards to always having clean clothes and I’m more prone to hang the shirts and put away other clothes in drawers. It’s also surprisingly easier to do the laundry now because I only have a week’s worth of clothes to fold and put up.

I also try to run the dishwasher every night. No matter how much or little is in there I just go ahead and run it. I use the same pans and dishes almost every day and it’s just easier for me to put it all in the dishwasher than to wash it all by hand. There are nights that this does not happen. Especially when I was still preggers because I was so dang tired! Surprisingly I was tired more when I was pregnant than I am now with a five day old newborn.

As long as I can keep the cycle up then life will run smoothly. Or somewhat smoothly. I’m setting the bar for myself really low, I’ll onky have these precious slow days for a short time. There is no need to put any pressure on myself that doesn’t need to be there.

I’ve been looking forward to spending January in my own little bubble with my family. The past two months have been so busy among the flurry of doctor appointments and the holidays, I couldn’t wait to slow down! Now our time is here and we get to spend it with our growing family, keeping to ourselves.