Posted in Me

Little Miss + Enneagram

Hello!

I’m not sure why or where these Little Miss sayings started, and I think people either love them or hate them. haha

I follow @the.enneagram.mom (Tess) on Instagram, and loved looking at her recent Enneagram types posts.

I think it’s been two years since I took the Enneagram test, and I’m a 5w6. Sometimes, I think I’m more of a 6 than a 5 when I see different references, but I think it’s fun to analyze.

Here are the Little Miss sayings that most apply to my Type 5w6 self:

Type 5

@the.enneagram.mom
  • Little Miss “All Black Wardrobe”: While I don’t wear all black (mostly because of Homer hair haha!), my winter wardrobe is usually black, gray, and navy!
  • Little Miss “Give Me Space”: I definitely need my “me” time every day.
  • Little Miss “Doesn’t Like the Spotlight”: I definitely don’t like the spotlight. I’m happy to blend in.
  • Little Miss “Probably Overthinking”: All day, err’y day!
  • Little Miss “This Could Have Been an Email”: I like to be as efficient with my time as possible. I hate when I feel like time is being wasted…or a meeting could have been an email!

Type 6

@the.enneagram.mom
  • Little Miss “Needs the Schedule”: How can a person live without a schedule?!?
  • Little Miss “Planner Addict”: The best thing about “back to school” is a new planner and new pens!
  • Little Miss “Online Shopping Addict”: Did you see yesterday’s post? I don’t think I’d call myself an “addict,” but I do prefer to shop online. That being said, I also think that goes with my tendency to want to be efficient…and stay home.
  • Little Miss “Little Miss Overpacked”: I wrote about my over-packing tendencies in this blog post. I’m a work in progress. I’ve also admitted that I’m a “home body,” so I think that’s why I overpack. I just want to feel “at home” wherever I go. Also, I used to overpack a large suitcase. Now, I just overpack a medium one. #babysteps
  • Little Miss “Makes Tons of Lists”: I love a list…or 12. I have lists on my phone, lists in my school planner, lists on sticky notes, grocery lists and more. I also make “to do” lists for my kids for their chores or even schoolwork if they need to stay on top of it. I’ve even added things to lists after I’ve already completed the task just so I can cross that item off. So satisfying! Am I normal? Actually, don’t answer that! 😉

What Enneagram type are you? You should check out Tess’s posts, and let me know which Little Miss you relate to the most.

I hope you are having a great week.

Posted in Everyday Life, Me

Hello Monday

Hello (Monday!) How was your weekend? Ours was great. Saturday’s weather was gorgeous; Sunday was super soggy! Thankfully, no early alarms were set on Saturday. Travis was in California for work, so I was flying solo all afternoon getting the kids where they needed to be. In the afternoon, Hadley had three hours of dance, Hayden had two hours of baseball followed by a basketball game. Yesterday, Hadley and I spent most of the day at her second dance competition of the season at EKU.

Today, I’m linking up with Holly and Sarah for Hello Monday.

Usually, for Hello Monday we recap the weekend, but I’m just sharing all about my Friday. I feel like we went non-stop for the month of February, and I got behind in all areas of my life. With Travis out of town and already feeling behind, I decided to use a personal day to get my life together before a busy single-parent weekend.

Listen, I know how to really live it up. I slept in on Friday…waking up at 6:30 instead of 6:05!

I still had my quiet time and coffee. (Day at home or not, I need the time to ease into the day before the kids get up)

After the kids got ready, I was able to drop them off at school. I know this may sound silly, but any time I have off and they have school, I love taking them to school. I feel like it’s one of those working mom things, and just a simple thing I like to do when I can.

(It’s also why I love the middle school vs. high school schedule. I’m able to pick them up from school, and I rarely was able to do that during the elementary years.)

Then, I headed back home to tidy up, clean up breakfast, and make the bed. Then, I headed to a doctor’s appointment before running some errands.

I had a few Amazon returns,

…and decided to get a manicure. I usually do Funny Bunny, but chose Mod About You this time.

Then, I went to Save-a-Lot for a school errand followed by a quick trip to Kroger.

I decided to get one of my favorite lunches…

…the Harvest Kale Salad.

I brought it home and watched an episode of RH NJ.

Then, I went for about a thirty minute walk,

and read for a bit before picking up the kids.

Also, I was able to cross some things off my list around the house like tidying up my closet, doing some laundry, and getting organized for the weekend.

Was this the most exciting day ever? No. Well, for me…maybe yes 🤣 but it was much needed to get some things accomplished heading into the weekend. I often use the allotted personal days we get for field trips with the kids, Keeneland or Oaks, Field Day, etc. That being said, now that the kids are in middle school, sadly, I don’t need to save those days for school related events. {😭}.

I’ve also learned how much better I feel (which means I’m a better mom and wife) when I take the time to take a step back when I’m feeling overwhelmed or stressed .

We only have 50 days left in the school year. That is so hard to believe!

Well, Travis is back home, and just in time! Yet another action packed week is about to begin!

I hope you had a great weekend,

Posted in Me, Self-care, Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts: Dime Beauty

Hello! Today, I’m sharing a bit about some favorite skincare products. Now, my blog is the farthest thing from a beauty blog as you can get. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, Hadley knows more about hair and makeup (even though she only wears it for dance competitions) than I do. That being said, I’ve tried to up my skincare game through the years because while I don’t mind looking my age, I’d like to do what I can to have an effective skincare regimen.

My Skincare Journey:

I’d say I’ve been consistently using skincare products for about ten years…probably since my early 30’s. I definitely should have started sooner, but I’ve now made skincare a priority.

I mostly used drug store products but for the past five years, I’ve tried various products off and on such as Rodan and Fields and Mary Kay. Once I started using these more expensive products, I kind of mixed and matched high and low price points. For example, I’d use Neutrogena face wash, but then follow that with a more expensive moisturizer.

For about four years now, I’ve gotten monthly facials. I rotate my treatments between chemical peels, dermaplane, microdermabrasion, and facials. While I’ve felt guilty splurging on this luxury for myself, I’ve noticed a considerable difference in my skin while prioritizing these monthly treatments.

Now, on to what I really want to talk about….Dime Beauty.

Dime Beauty:

I guess you could say that I’ve been “influenced.” Since the summer, I’ve been using Dime Beauty products, and I’ve been loving them. Quite a few influencers have shared their products. Jen Reed (@thesisterstudioig) is the first one I saw to promote the products, and she even visited their facility and spoke with the founders.

I’ve also seen Lacey (@ponderosa_and_plaid), Autumn Calabrese (@autumncalabrese), Mary Beth (@livinwithmb) and others share the products they love. I’ve used their codes along the way too for discounts.

The products I use:

*descriptions/key benefits from dimebeautyco.com

Started with…

Honestly, the first product that piqued my interest was the Super Firm Serum. While placing that first order and knowing I use moisturizer both morning and night, I added those to the cart and got free shipping.

In the mornings, I wash my face and then use my regular toner (Thayers). Then, I apply the:

  • Dewy Day Cream

At night, I use a makeup wipe (which I think is a “no no,” but…convenience sometimes wins out!), then I use my regular toner followed by:

  • Super Firm Serum and the Restorative Night Cream

Dewy Day Cream:

Two pumps is all you need of the Dewy Day Cream.

Key Benefits: replenishes skin, helps promote collagen and elastin growth, plumps and firms skin

Super Firm Serum:

I just use one to two drops and apply to my face.

Key Benefits: tightening and firming, helps accelerate collagen and elastin production, works to limit muscle contraction

Restorative Night Cream:

Like with the Dewy Day Cream, I just use two pumps of the night cream as well.

Key Benefits: restores dry and damaged skin, maintains soft and hydrated skin, revitalizes shine and complexion, fights the aging process

For both creams, I apply any leftover cream to the back of my hands. I figure I might as well use it wherever needed!

Then…

I started using the Gentle Jelly Cleanser and Luminosity Eye Serum.

I now use the Gentle Jelly Cleanser in the mornings to wash my face.

I added the Luminosity Eye Serum to my evening routine as well.

Gentle Jelly Cleanser:

Two pumps of the Jelly Cleanser is all I need to wake my skin up in the morning.

I do only use it in the morning and have continued to use my makeup wipe in the evening.

Key Benefits: Removes dirt, oil, and makeup, hydrates and soothes after cleansing, softens skin texture after consistent use, protects the skin from damage caused by environmental stressors

Luminosity Eye Serum:

A little bit of this goes a long way, and I apply it under my eyes, crows feet and arch of eyebrow. I only use this product during my nighttime skincare routine.

Key Benefits: improves youthful appearance beneath the eyes, improve dark circles, lessen puffiness, improve fine lines and wrinkles

Newest Additions:

Blue Facial Oil:

Mary Beth (@livingwithmb) shared about the Blue Facial Oil, and I was curious. Thankfully, I don’t get many blemishes, but I also thought this may be of use to my kids as they’ve started paying more attention to skincare (Read: they now occasionally wash their faces)

I just use a couple of drops and pat it on my face. I use this two to three nights a week after the Restorative Night Cream.

Key Benefits: anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, spot treatment, promotes wound healing, antioxidant-rich, hydration

“Cons”: It is an oil, so I end up washing my hands after using this product.

Daytime Order of Product use:

  • Gentle Jelly Cleanser
  • Toner (Thayers)
  • Serum (Revolution Hyaluronic Acid)
  • Dewy Day Cream

Daytime Order of Product use:

  • Makeup wipe
  • Toner (Thayers)
  • Super Firm Serum
  • Luminosity Eye Serum
  • Restorative Night Cream
  • Blue Facial Oil (a few days a week)

Perfume:

Emily (@champagneandchanel) shared about Dime Beauty’s perfumes. I apply a spray of perfume every morning, and am not too picky about what I use. Honestly, most perfumes I have last for years because I don’t use much. So, I was in need of some perfume and thought the sample set would be the perfect way to choose which one I liked best.

Their perfume is made with a clean alcohol, and the sample pack included these scents:

The scents:

  • ILYSB (I love you so bad), sandalwood, gardenia
  • Lovely Dreams – floral citrus scent
  • Malibu Night – coconut musk and berries
  • 7 Summers – warm cream scent with touch of vanilla lavender

My favorite scent from the pack is 7 Summers followed by Lovely Dreams. That being said, I’ve been rotating which ones I use and wear them all.

Some things I love about the products:

  • Vegan + Cruelty Free
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Made in the USA
  • I feel the products working on my skin.
  • Price point is great
  • Many influencers have codes you can use for discounts
  • You can earn points to apply towards future purchases. (I’ve even written reviews of the products and earned discounts/free shipping)

Also…

I feel like the products last for quite some time. I’ve gotten about:

  • 2.5-3 months out of the day and night creams
  • The cleanser has lasted me longer than three months, but I only use it in the morning (and my make up wipes at night)
  • 2 months for the Super Firm Serum
  • 3 months for Luminosity Eye Serum
  • I assume the Blue Oil will last a while because I only use it a few days a week.

Up next, I hope to try their Super Skin Toner.

Like I said before, I’ve used a variety of product lines through the years. I’ve never really been disappointed in those products, but I feel like Dime Beauty products are ones I will continue to re-order and use without hesitation.

Have you tried any Dime Beauty products? I believe they just came out with a sunscreen too!

What are your favorite skincare products?

See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites.

Posted in Me

2021 Blogging Recap

Today, I’m taking a look back at my blog for 2021.

Blogging is just a hobby for me. It’s something I do for myself. When I started this blog in August of 2019, I didn’t know what to expect. Along the way, I’ve “met” so many new people, and I appreciate all the love and support from my readers.

I feel like I’ve found a groove with blogging. I like sitting down each month and planning my posts with pencil/paper. I always write down the link ups, and then fill in the blanks for other days with my monthly posts like Monday Memes and What I’ve Been Reading. I enjoy coming up with my own topics, but I also love writing on the same topic as others but with my own thoughts to share.

When I started out, I blogged three days a week. During Covid, I had a bit more time, and was blogging five days a week most weeks. This school year, I definitely needed to slow down a bit, but I didn’t want to give up on writing. So, four days a week tends to be an achievable goal for me.

This year, I’ve “stretched” myself a bit, and I’ve enjoyed being a part of the Not Just a Mom link up and becoming an Amazon Associate. Thank you so much for your support!

Stats:

It’s definitely not about the numbers for me. I joked when I first started the blog that I figured it may just be my mom who reads it! That being said, I find it interesting to see how things have progressed throughout the years. From the number of posts I write, to views, and interest in certain posts, I just think it’s neat to look at occasionally.

As of yesterday…

  • I wrote 197 posts (with a few more planned before the year ends)
  • 61, 478 views in 2021a
  • 18, 516 visitors in 2021
  • September 2021 has the highest viewership with 5.8k views.

I realize some bloggers get that many views in a week (or a day!), but it’s just fun to see the growth from year to year. Last year, I had 41,000 views from 16,000 visitors.

It still blows my mind that people read, comment, and/or “like” my posts. haha

My most read categories are:

  • Holidays
  • Friday Favorites
  • Clothes
  • Let’s Look
  • Amazon

Commenters:

I appreciate all who read my posts, but the following are my top commenters.

I think it’s so interesting that they have blogs of their own!

  • Amy (Coffee and Cocktails at the Casa)
  • Holly (Pink Lady)
  • Sarah (Sunshine and Books)
  • Joanne (My Slices of Life)
  • Lauren (Don’t Mind Our Mess)

You should definitely check out their blogs too if you aren’t already doing so.

Top 10 posts:

My favorite posts I’ve written this year…

I’m a pretty reflective person, and I just like to take a few moments to look back on the posts and stats from the year. As I continue to grow as a blogger, I’d love to know what topics you are interested in reading about, and I can try to to plan accordingly. So…feel free to let me know!

As always, thanks so much reading. I truly appreciate this special community!

See you back here tomorrow for one more post this week.

Posted in Me, Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts

Hello! Today, I have a Thursday Thoughts post.

I’ve shared Erin’s (@cathartic_word) Enneagram graphics in previous posts. When I’m scrolling the ‘Gram, I immediately stop and look at her posts. Her Enneagram graphics are amazing, and I immediately swipe to see what she’s created for 5w6.

I’ve had this “Things each Enneagram loves” post saved for a while, and today I’m breaking down my thoughts on the 5 (investigator) and the 6 (loyalist).

Things each Enneagram type loves…

Type 5:

  • Quiet time: Heck yes. I’ve shared before that I need my morning quiet time to start my day. If I can have pockets of quiet time throughout the day, that’s even better!
  • Take out: While I love eating out, I also enjoy just getting take out and eating dinner at home in the comfort of my home. There’s nothing better than pajamas, a good book, and food I didn’t have to cook 😉
  • No plans: Do you know what’s better than no plans? Cancelled plans! haha
  • Long talks: This one is less like me than the others. I think after talking all day long with students, I’m ok with shorter conversations. That being said, it’s always good to catch up with someone I haven’t seen in a while.
  • Their bed: Absolutely! While I don’t mind travelling, there are times I’ve left my house thinking about how many nights of sleep until I’m back at home and in my own bed (with my favorite pillow, my weighted blanket, and my sound machine! #highmaintenancesleeper)
  • New books: Have you met me? This is a definite yes. I love a new book! It’s like meeting a new friend.

Type 6:

  • Stationery: It must be the teacher in me because I do love stationery.
  • Multiple cups: of coffee?? haha I do have my favorite coffee mug, water tumbler, and wine glass. I guess I am particular about my drinkware!
  • New pens: Again, the teacher in me…I start every year off with a new pack of pens. My faves are Optimus Fine Point Pen or Paper Mater Flair.
  • Dinner date: Sure! It’s not often we get to go out, but I do love grabbing dinner out with Travis.
  • Reliable Friends: I’ve learned through the years it’s the quality not the quantity of many things, including friends! I appreciate those who “get” me and are there for me.
  • Mismatched socks: uh no. This is definitely not me! It drives me crazy when I can’t find the match to a sock.

I feel like this glimpse of what a 5w6 Enneagram type loves is pretty spot on.

You should definitely check out Ashton’s Instagram account. She has so many fun Enneagram posts, and she often shares cute seasonal graphics that can be used for phone backgrounds.

See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites.

Posted in Me, School

Tuesday Teacher Talk

Hello!

Well, a big part of my life (for almost twenty years!) has been being a teacher. It dawned on me that I haven’t shared much about that aspect of my life, and a few readers commented on my recent Three Things post about my current Academic Interventionist job.

So, today I’m taking a stroll down memory lane and sharing my teaching experiences through the years in my first ever…

My first year of teaching was in a small school outside of Columbia, Missouri. I graduated from MIZZOU in May of 2002 and wanted to stay there a bit longer (and I was dating Travis at the time). I taught in a very small school where I was the only English 1 teacher. I had ninth graders all day long (I was more energetic then ;). Fun Fact: I was also the cheer leading coach that year. While I may have had more energy, I’ve never been described as peppy. The coaching position was attached to the English 1 teaching position which I actually don’t think you are allowed to do! Ahhh…small town life. Anyway, I enjoyed my time there. One funny memory I have is that one day I wore two different black shoes to school…both had a bit of a heel. It was a day the cheerleaders had to stay for the basketball game, and I just remember wanting to get home and out of my mismatched shoes!

The time came where Travis wanted to move back home to Kentucky and get into the horse business. While we were serious and had discussed marriage, I just didn’t feel like I could move to Kentucky yet and he wanted to get settled with a job. So, I took this opportunity to move back home to KC. I taught at large high school with a diverse population, and my mom taught at the middle school that was a feeder school to where I taught. Since I wasn’t married at the time, some of her students got a kick out of the fact that they had Mrs. Galvin in 7th grade and Ms. Galvin for 9th (or 11th) grade since I taught both of those grade levels that year. I also had the school newspaper as a class and loved it! They were a great group of kids. I loved being closer to my family, making more money, and being in a bigger school. My mom retired at the end of that school year right as I made the decision to move to Kentucky with Travis.

We got engaged in May of 2004 right as I found my job in a somewhat rural district in Kentucky. Nicholasville is right outside of Lexington and is a great community. There are two high schools in the district, and I loved my time at East. I taught English 1 for many years. I was blessed to work for the same four principals for 11 of my 12 years there. They were amazing principals and great leaders for our school. During that time, so much changed in my life. I got married, had the kids, and met some of my best friends. It was also during that time that I earned my two Master’s degrees. In the fall of 2005, right after I got married, I started on my Master’s in Literacy. I earned the degree online over the next two years from the University of Missouri. I have always loved the literacy part of teaching English, and especially the reading aspect.

my classroom at East

With that degree, I earned my Rank 2 in May of 2008 which led me to a Literacy Coaching position at East. Our district was a part of a four year grant with the University of Louisville. During that time, I did reading intervention with students. I typically had two classes of freshmen and one class of sophomores. Because it was a grant, the boundaries of those classes were dictated by the stakeholders, and I couldn’t have more than 12 in a class! The other half of my day was spent being a resource for teachers. I worked 1:1 with students, I shared strategies with teachers, I facilitated professional development opportunities and more!

Throwback photo in my old classroom.

Also, with the grant was the opportunity to earn a Reading Specialist degree. I put that off for a bit because it was optional, and I had a lot going on. Finally, I started that degree when the kids were two years old and worked hard for a year to complete my 36 hours. It was definitely a crazy time, but I knew I’d kick myself if I didn’t take advantage of earning this degree, and it was paid for by the grant. In May of 2012, I finished that degree and earned my rank 1. When the grant ended, I went back into the classroom and taught mostly juniors and seniors. While at East, I also took on other roles as teacher rep on SBDM and splitting the English department chair position for a few years. The year my kids were in kindergarten, I knew I needed a change. As much as I hated to leave, I needed to be on the same school district schedule as them, and I was unhappy with the new administration at my school. So, I looked, applied, and interviewed; I was able to secure a teaching position at a school in Lexington.

my first classroom at my new school

I now teach at one of the largest high schools in the state. It actually reminds me of where I taught in KC. I taught English 2 for the first time ever when I moved to this school. I taught sophomores the first year, then the second year I had sophomores and two MTSS classes for students who hadn’t met benchmark on the English or Reading sections of ACT. We did other things like reading strategies, study skills, test taking skills and more. The next year, I had sophomores and one class of freshmen! Blast from the past! They were actually a great way to start my day. Then, there was a job posted for a reading interventionist at my school which I applied for and got the job in late October 2019.

My current classroom

My job title now is Academic Interventionist. It feels like I’ve been doing this job forever, and it also feels like just yesterday I made the switch. This position was created because we needed extra support for students, especially freshmen. I started by checking in with students who were struggling in their classes, and provided some support for them. Sometimes that meant study or reading skills, other times I helped them complete work, and there were times we’d empty out backpacks and get organized!

I’d barely started that work when in March of 2020, everything changed. During the pandemic and virtual learning, I still helped students…just via Zoom. I’d also make lots of phone calls home to check on students and set up appointment times to work with them.

Crazy enough, this year is the first “normal” year I’ve had in this Academic Interventionist position. We’ve been able to expand how we help our students. Thanks to additional funds, we’ve added more teachers and are now a team. I now focus on Social Studies and English classes because there’s a new counselor to now focus on students who are struggling overall academically, and there’s a science and math interventionist as well.

What I love about this job is meeting new students, and every day is different. I have a Google form, and teachers add students to it who need additional academic support. Some days, my room is a quiet place for a student to take a test, other days I’m reading chapters of Of Mice and Men aloud to a few students and then we answer questions, I help students brainstorm ideas for their paper and then complete an outline, and I also encourage students to use reading and writing strategies. I help students 1:1, pairs, small groups and even half of classes. I’m also an extra resource as I sometimes go into classrooms on days when teachers need an additional teacher when giving a test or sharing new content.

I’m also on various committees such as MTSS (academic support for students), PBIS (behavioral support for students), and 9th grade Task Force (helping plan intentional strategies and help for our 9th graders).

I hope this job lasts as long as possible. I love it. Unfortunately, in education, the funding for these positions doesn’t always last forever. That being said, this job has been just what I’ve needed at this point in my career to have some flexibility in my day (sometimes, in education, you feel like you are stuck in a rut!), help students in a different way, and use some of my other teaching skills and credentials.

Favorite Education Quotes:

You know as an English/Language Arts teacher I love a good quote. Here are some of my faves:

  • “Teaching is the one profession that creates all other professions.” -Unknown
  • “Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.” -William Butler Yeats
  • “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” -Nelson Mandela

Shew! That was a long post. I guess when you’ve been teaching twenty years, you have a lot to recap! It’s really crazy to me that I’m 2 / 3 of the way finished with my teaching career. I swear I still remember what it feels like standing in front of my first hour class on my first day of teaching in 2002. Time flies.

Thanks so much for reading! Let me know if you have any questions! Also, if you are a teacher (or have been one!), share with me how many years you’ve been teaching, and what you teach. Teachers are a tribe that sticks together!

Posted in Me, Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts: My Routines

Hello there! A few weeks ago, Amy shared a post about her routines, and I thought it would be fun to reflect on some of my routines. I’ve shared my skin care routine in the past as well as our routine when we did distance/virtual learning, and even my workout routine, so I thought I’d dig a bit deeper into some of my other routines.

Y’all, I love a routine. My former principals had us take a personality quiz once to assess our strengths and my strengths were consistency, discipline, and connecting. I thrive on a routine and would be lost without structure! 😆

Health and Skincare Routine:

I have a morning and night skincare routine of washing my face, using toner, then applying my daytime or night time moisturizer. I also use eye cream both morning and night.

I’ve shared before that I’ve been treating myself to monthly facials for over four years now! It’s such a treat to have that appointment on my calendar once a month. The membership that I have includes one treatment a month: facial, dermaplane, microdermabrasion, or chemical peel. Dermaplane and chemical peel are my faves!

Having my nails painted is a non-negotiable for me. If I don’t have my nails painted, then I don’t feel put together at all. I usually paint them every Sunday or Monday. Of course, I also love to get a gel manicure when I can.

I’m thankful that I can get away with washing my hair three times a week. I used to wash it religiously every other day, but I think Covid helped me out, and I got used to washing it less.

I shower at night. I cannot go to bed unless I’ve showered. I’ve tried, and I just can’t do it.

I get low lights/highlights and my hair trimmed every 10 weeks.

While my workouts may vary depending on what I have time to complete or how I’m feeling, I do try to workout at least five days a week. Lately, I’ve been doing four days of Beach Body videos and walking two days a week. My motivation through the week is to have a day off from working out on Sunday.

Speaking of eating…I still try to incorporate intermittent fasting when possible and eat low carb at least one day a week. I’m forever working on my water intake, but the effort is there!

Night/Morning Routine:

I typically wake up 6:00, and I definitely try to be in bed by 10:00. There are some nights that I’m so tired, I do so earlier, and the kids come tell me goodnight haha! I like to read before bed and try to be asleep by 10:30 if not earlier.

I still have my morning quiet time with coffee and blog reading. I seriously have to ease into my day. There have been a few times when I’ve hit snooze a time or two (or even forgotten to set an alarm!), and hitting the ground running is not my style! I feel so “off” if I haven’t had my time in the morning.

I also have at least one cup of coffee before waking the kids, and then I fill up my travel mug to finish my coffee drinking at school!

Meal Planning:

I have a small paper calendar on my fridge where I write activities and meals for all the fam to see. Once I have activities written out for the week, I meal plan dinners. I used to do grocery pick up on Sunday, but for a couple of months now, I’ve made every effort to place my order on Friday for Saturday pick up. It’s nice having a full fridge for Sunday breakfast and lunch. I also sometimes use my slow cooker on Sundays, so I like having all my dinner items.

I typically make something on Sunday that can be leftovers for Monday. Mondays just tend to be busy with school and often activities. I just don’t want to have to cook when I get home. On Tuesdays, we usually have pork loin, tacos, or chicken because I try to eat low carb on at least Tuesdays. Then, I will cook again on Wednesday and Thursdays. (If I get lucky and make a hearty soup or casserole Wednesday, I don’t have to cook on Thursday!)

Around the House:

After diner, I always set coffee pot for morning, so that the coffee is waiting for me when I get up!

Our bed gets made every single morning. Every. Single. Morning. Also, I can’t just toss the quilt and comforter up…the bed has to be made right. If I’m on a time crunch in the morning, Travis will make it. He understands how important this task is for me!

My house may not always be clean, but if you randomly stop by, it’s most likely tidy. Travis is more of the cleaner, and I’m more of the tidier, so that works out well. I also tidy up before bedtime, by making sure dishes are in the dish washer and the pillows are straight on couch.

When the kids were little and had tons of toys, I just always felt better having them picked up even though I knew they’d get them out again the next morning.

In the fall and in the spring, I tend to organize the kids’ rooms and closets as well as go through their clothes to see what doesn’t fit anymore and can be donated.

It’s pretty rare for me to do laundry during the week as that tends to be a weekend chore. I typically sort the kids’ clean clothes on Monday for them to put up Monday after school.

The Kids:

The kids have a good shower rotation going although I’ve told them they are to the age where nightly showers are about to happen. Also, why is it that kids don’t want to shower, but then they also don’t want to get out of the shower?!?! I swear, I spend just as much time telling them to get out of the shower as I do begging them to get in!

After school, the kids take their backpacks to their rooms, bring me any school materials I need to see, plug in their Chromebooks, and unpack their lunchboxes (if needed).

Like I said above, Monday’s chore is to put up clean laundry (and pull up the trash cans up from the curb)

After dinner, they make their lunches for the next day if needed. I used to live for the square (rectangle?) school pizza, but they hate it! I wish I enjoyed making lunches, and sometimes I will help, but I typically tell them that if they are taking their lunches, they are making them. This some times deters Hayden. Just yesterday, he bought school lunch even though he initially said he didn’t want to buy!

They make their beds daily. Sometimes I help, but I don’t waiver on this chore. I used to show my students this video, and I’ve shown it to Hayden and Hadley. Bed making is a non-negotiable. (Fun Fact: sometimes on the weekend, I make their bed for them as a trade off for making it during the week. Plus, I figure I’m home more on the weekend to walk past their rooms and see the made beds!)

In the evenings, we have a general rule of the kids being off electronics by 8:00, and in bed by 9:30. Some nights are hit or miss, but I feel better having these expectations in place.

On Sundays, they tidy up their rooms for the week. I kind of let them let it go during the week, but I feel like Sunday is the perfect time for a reset.

I’m sure they will turn out fine with minimal help from a therapist. Yikes! 🤣

What about you? What are some of your routines? What do you have your kids do?

I hope you are having a great week! It’s almost the weekend!

I’m sure most of you have similar routines, but typing out my bed making situation made me feel like a crazy person 😬🤣

Thanks so much for reading.

Posted in Me, Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts: 3 month surgery update

Hello! Today, I’m sharing my three month update after having my total hysterectomy in October. The short version is that all is well, I’m so happy I did it, and the recovery was a bit quicker than I thought it would be.

That being said, I love this quote from Brene Brown:

First, here’s my original post from October.

And… here are a few details about my recovery process and easing into a new normal:

I stayed one night in the hospital and came home about 24 hours after my surgery. My recovery was slow and steady. It was difficult for me to slow down and give myself some time to rest, but I knew that’s what I needed to do. So, that meant asking for help, accepting help, taking some time off work, and reminding myself to take it day by day.

My abdomen with three small incisions was the main issue with soreness for the first 10 days or so. Walking around actually felt good, but sitting or lying down made me realize how much I use those abdominal muscles. The first couple of nights, I slept propped up, but then I was able to sleep on my side with a few pillows for support. I’m a side sleeper, so that was of great relief for me when I was able to get comfortable on my side.

I didn’t really need pain medication. As I mentioned in my first post, I followed doctor’s orders with taking them for the first couple days, but then Tylenol/Ibuprofen did the trick.

I had follow up appointments with my doctor at two weeks and seven weeks. (I was supposed to see her at six weeks, but they called me to reschedule it.) My annual exam (yes, you still go to those even minus some lady parts) was also scheduled for that day, so it all worked out. After that appointment, I was cleared to start working out again, and I felt ready to get back doing so. Up until that point, I had just been walking to get some steps in and burn a few calories. I was happy to start doing more cardio and weights!

I wasn’t supposed to drive for the first two weeks, so that was an adjustment. Travis was basically a super star Uber driver!

I was very tired the first 3-4 weeks. Very tired. After about three weeks, I definitely took a turn for the better with my energy level and stamina. That being said, I did over do it a few times. I just would wake up feeling pretty normal and kind of plug along with my day at a regular pace until late afternoon when I would feel a little achy and exhausted.

By six weeks, I felt so much better. I’m just a tired person. I can take a nap most any day! So, now I’m back to my normal tired rather and exhausted tired… 😆

Prior to my surgery, I was having daily cramping, lower back pain, abdominal discomfort and bloat. All of those issues are gone now. I’m still looking for my abs, but I’m glad to be able to do some crunches w/o having pain, bloat, and exhaustion afterwards!

For hormone replacement, I use an Estrogen patch to delay menopause. I change the patch once a week, so that’s just another alarm I set on my phone as a reminder 😂 I haven’t had any night sweats or whatever else comes with menopause, so I guess the patch is working!

While it took some time to come to peace with the decision to have the surgery, I am very glad I did it. I continue to be thankful to have been able to make the decision on my own and at my own time. While I feel at peace, I still have some lingering sadness about my journey and struggles through the years. It feels odd to have closed that chapter of my life. My struggles with infertility, miscarriage, and endometriosis were a part of my life for so long, that some of the “I wish I could have..” or “What might have been..” still linger. I know some people can just move on, but I also had so many share with me to take the time to “grieve” that chapter of my life.

So that’s my update! Again, I just know I learned so much when Shay shared her experience and updates, and writing these posts has been a form of journaling for me which is an added bonus in recovery and therapeutic as well.

Let me know if you have any questions. I hope you are having a great week!

Posted in Me, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk

I can’t believe it’s already the third week of January! This month is definitely flying by. I believe Erika and Ashley are still doing their Tuesday Talk link up this year, so today is the day.

I’ve seen people share about their Word of the Year, and then I saw this on the good ol’ gram…

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a 5w6, so “embody” and “yes” would be the words for my Enneagram type. To be honest, while these words are fine, I’m feeling more like a 1 (progress over perfection), or a 7 (quality over quantity). Honestly, I could embrace a 5’s embody (a daily practice) because I’m pretty good at that. Consistency and routine are strong suits of mine, so embodying a daily practice would certainly be in my nature. As far as saying “yes,” to new experiences, well, I probably should do that but already feel overwhelmed from the “yes” I say to every day experiences 😉

When I started this year, I shared my 2021 goals in a blog post, but choosing a word for the year is something I’d like to do as well.

So, self-care was a word that popped into my mind almost immediately. Through the years, I’d gotten to where I felt guilty putting myself first. #andallthemomssaidamen That being said, about four years ago, I turned a corner and made my physical health a priority with a focus on whole food nutrition and exercise. I also started getting monthly facials (or other treatments) and buying quality skincare products to include in my daily routine.

As I’ve previously shared, my endometriosis was an issue for the past few years, and really interfered with my physical health. I’m feeling so much better post-hysterectomy, so I’ve started working out again. Whole food nutrition is a priority again as well as I try to get back on track with healthy eating and working out. I will continue to have my “me” time in the morning which is paramount for my mental health as well.

So, while I will get back on track and continue with self-care, I also want to just start (from where I am). To me, start is the perfect word for where I am currently in my life. I want to start over with my fitness and nutrition. Also, time is absolutely flying by, and I want to start being more intentional with my time with Travis and the kids. I also have other goals that I want to start working on in regards to this blog.

I want to continue to grow as a mom, as a wife, as a teacher, as a friend, and so on. To do that, self-care and starting from where I am, are perfect words for me to focus on in 2021.

What about you? What’s your word for 2021?

Make sure to check out the other ladies’ posts too, and thanks so much for reading!

Posted in Holidays, Me

NYE 2020 and 2021 Goals

Hello and Happy Monday! It’s the first Monday of 2021! Of course, I feel like our two week break flew by, but it was a good one. Technically, my kids are off until Thursday! Teachers start back today though (virtually).

To kick off 2021, I thought I’d recap our New Year’s Eve and share a few goals I have for 2021.

I saw this graphic on Instagram Stories, filled it out and shared to my stories! It’s one form of reflection 😉

I also always think it’s fun to see the Top 9 posts on Instagram. This was my Top 9 of 2020 on Insta:

New Year’s Eve:

NYE 2020: (and most years, actually)…

I kind of miss the years when we could “trick” the kids with a countdown at 9 PM. haha That being said, we had a great evening at home. Truth be told, I’ve never been a big fan of NYE. I’m not big on dressing up, going out in the cold…or staying up late 😂That being said, we’ve spent some fun New Year’s Eves with friends sharing dinner and drinks at someone’s house, and we’ve also had some fun years at home. This, of course, was an “at home” year.

Both kids were adamant about staying up…Hayden said he was going to stay up until 3! I could barely commit to midnight, but glad that I did.

We got carry out from a local favorite: OBC Kitchen. I set the table using wrapping paper as a runner, used our winter dishes for place settings, and gathered a few decorations from around the house for the centerpiece.

The kids love cranberry Ginger ale while Travis and I had adult beverages. We had bacon and peanut butter for an appetizer, and then had dinner of salmon, steak, gnocchi, bread and salad. So good.

Hadley was ready to party!

After dinner, the kids did their own thing for a while, and then we played Emoji Uno for almost two hours. At one point I couldn’t find Homer, but found him in our bed. Apparently, he wasn’t going to stay up until midnight!

Around 11:30, we turned on the countdown, poured the Ginger ale and champs and celebrated with the countdown. We were in bed by about 12:30. I think Hayden watched TV until about 1:30. We figured with it being NYE and break almost over, we’d let him stay up. Both kids have been sleeping so late…but they slept until almost 11 on Friday and Saturday!

As I mentioned in Friday’s post, 2020 had highs and lows, but I’m still thankful for this most random year and certainly continue to count my blessings.

2021 Goals:

I’m going to start with these goals:

and focus on…

  • Allowing for “me” time: This has always been of importance to me which is why I’ve always started my day solo with my cup of coffee, favorite blogs, and scrolling social media. With having the kids home most of the time since March, “me time” has been hard to find. I still get up before them, of course, but it’s still difficult to take some time for myself. I hope to carve out a little bit of time in the evening too.
  • Drinking more water: This is usually an easy goal for me in the summer, but I need to drink more daily all year long. While being home so much, I’ve been drinking more coffee than I should, so I need to cut that off at a certain time and drink water the rest of the day.
  • Eating whole food nutrition: For January, I plan on eating healthy but also limiting fried foods and sugar. I don’t eat tons of fried food, but even on Fridays I usually pick up Chick-fil-A for the kids and indulge myself. I do have a sweet tooth and zero willpower, so I’m going to try to cut out sweets as well…except for some birthday cookie cake mid-January for my birthday.
  • Working out: While I’ve never been one to bounce right out of bed to workout, I do enjoy working out. I feel better physically, mentally and emotionally when that’s a part of my regular routine. I’ve shared a bit before, but I struggled with endometriosis prior to my October hysterectomy which really affected my being able to work out for the past couple of years. I didn’t make excuses and tried to continue to work out, but I still could never give it 100% and couldn’t work out daily. For the past month, I’ve eased back into working out, and will now continue to kick it up a notch and do so almost daily.
  • Keep reading: I love to read and have made it a part of my daily life. I usually average around 40 books per year, and I hope to read that many or more in 2021. Also, I think last year was the first year I started using Goodreads, and I hope to get more organized with my book lists on there this year!
  • Blogging: I love that I’ve been able to blog a bit more this year. I was blogging three days a week, and then was able to write 4-5 posts a week in the past six months. I think four posts a week for me is usually manageable, so I hope to continue doing that. I’d like to branch out and join some other link ups. I’d love to know of link ups you read or join, so let me know, and I can add them to my list!

and then there’s this:

I want to work on owning my time, setting boundaries, and not be so critical of myself. As far as crying and showing emotions…I’ve always been ok with that…but sometimes I let things build up (due to lack of time to deal with it) rather than process what I’m feeling in the moment. I’m reflective enough to know I’m forever a work in progress over here! 😆

What goals do you have for 2021? I’m so hopeful it will be a great year!

Have a great week (and a great year!)