Posted in Health and Fitness, Me, Not Just a Mom, Self-care

Not Just A Mom: Self Care

Happy Monday! I survived (and had fun!) at a Girl Scout overnight at COSI in Columbus, OH. More about that later in the week…I’m still recovering from staying up until midnight and sleeping on the floor! (plus losing an hour with Daylight Savings Time!)

In other exciting news…Y’all, believe it or not, this is my 100th blog post. I can’t believe it! I’ve really enjoyed blogging so far. It’s fun to share about family, school, what I’m reading, what I’m cooking, etc. AND…I love reading other people’s blogs too.

Linking up with other bloggers led me to reading Lauren’s All About that Mommy Life blog. Last month, I read her Not Just a Mom post for February, and I thought I’d link up with her (and the others) for this month’s post.

This month’s focus is on self care. I’d say that self care is something most moms struggle with. When you are in the midst of laundry, carpool, grocery shopping, homework, working, etc…it’s difficult to find time for yourself. About three years ago, I made self care a goal of mine. It started with focusing on whole food nutrition and getting a workout plan that works for me which is when I started doing the Lean program. Once I made fitness and whole food nutrition a priority, I started to find other ways to take care of myself.

(Also, real talk–I’m not perfect–I fall off the eating healthy wagon, but once the calendar turns to March, I really try to tighten up on what I eat and make sure to get some workouts in each week.)

Workouts/Whole Food Nutrition

I try to workout 4-5 days a week. The LEAN program I follow incorporates intermittent fasting with carb cycling and tracking macros + workouts. I’m a person who does feel better after a good work out, so I do try to make time for that even with having two very busy kids. Progress not perfection is my focus thanks to this program.

Also, I love me some McDonald’s French fries and a Diet Coke. Currently, I can’t quit Peanut Butter Patties #girlscoutcookietime and, for me, it’s all about balance. πŸ˜ƒ

Skin Care

For quite awhile I’ve tried to make skin care a priority. While I don’t buy all the fancy products, I do splurge on a few like my daily moisturizer and night time face cream.

Also, I can’t believe I’m admitting this…but I was probably in my early thirties before I made it a priority to take my makeup off at bedtime! I realized, “Girl, wash your face!” before it was a thing…or a book! πŸ˜‰ So, just finally doing that was a step in the right direction and through the years I’ve added other products into my skincare routine.

Three years ago, I started going to a local med spa once a month. My membership package includes one of the following each month: a facial, a chemical peel, microdermabrasion, or (my favorite!) dermaplane (basically–the esthetician shaves your face!)

Is my skin perfect? Heck no. Am I in an uphill battle against aging ? Yes! That being said, I feel like I’m being proactive with taking the time to wash my face, use a toner and moisturizers as well as taking care of skin with the facials. Plus, it’s just a treat for me once a month to decompress!

Manicure/Pedicures

Before kids, when I had more time and money!, I used to get monthly pedicures and a manicure every two weeks. Now, I save monthly pedicures for April-September, and then get gel manicures 6-8 times a year. I love gel manicures because they last longer (and I always have my nails painted), but, again, I usually get them before spring break, summer vacation, Christmas, etc. Just another form of self care!

Reading

A few years ago, we joined a pool in the summer. My kids are older now, so they run around with their friends and are able to swim (so I don’t have to stress about that!) when we are at the pool. So, while they did that, I got back into reading. I’ve always been a reader, but there were years when I was in grad school, raising two babies while working full time that reading for pleasure was put on the back burner.

Now, I read quite regularly. Last year, I purchased my Kindle which has provided me more opportunities for reading. I keep it in my purse and read while my kids have a practice or any other spare minutes I may have in the day. I am glad that I’ve made reading a part of my daily routine.

Quiet Time

I’ve always been someone who needs to ease into the day, and once I had kids that became even more important for me. So, I get up about 30-45 minutes before the rest of my family on the weekdays. On the rare occasion that Travis gets up early and is hanging around the living room, he gets major side eye from me….like “why are you interrupting my ‘me’ time?” πŸ˜‚I spend those precious quiet minutes sipping my coffee, scrolling through my phone, watching the news, and reading my favorite blogs.

I need that time to myself to get my mind right for the day. That being said, I need a bit of quiet time in the evening too. I mean, Travis doesn’t get side eye from me at night if he is also in the living room watching a show! It’s just the morning time that I need the time to myself. BUT…it’s also why I’ve tried to be pretty strict about bedtime for my kids (of course, they need sleep too), but I also just need that hour to relax between their bedtime and my bedtime!

Blogging

Last, but not least, blogging has turned into a form of self care for me. I enjoy this creative outlet and carving out a few minutes for me to write as a way to express myself each day. I’ve said it before, but I’m pretty introverted and quiet, so this blog is also a way to share my voice, I guess. It’s fun for me to think of content, link up with other bloggers, and continue to grow in this space. I definitely hope it’s something I can keep doing at least three times a week!

Next month’s Not Just a Mom topic is cleaning routine. Travis may have to write that blog post for me! He’s a cleaning machine! We balance each other out—I like to tidy up while he likes to bust out the broom and the mop!

I love that my 100th blog post synced up with a post about self care since blogging has become an important part of my life. Thanks so much for your support on my blogging journey so far! I really appreciate it.

I hope you have a great week.

Posted in Inspiration, Me

Things Introverts Love

I saw this meme awhile ago, and it caught my attention…because, well, I’m an introvert. I think I’ve always been pretty reserved, and I’ve always liked to ease myself into a new situation or even when meeting new people. I’d also say that I’m pretty guarded with my feelings and my emotions. But, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized I would actually describe myself as an introvert. What I’ve realized as I’ve gotten older (maybe once I became a parent to two very different kids with very different personality types who even go about the same daily activities in very different ways) that it’s important to know and respect the attributes of those around you and those you love. For example, there are times I come home from school and the last thing I want to do is talk on the phone. I used to feel bad if all I could manage to squeak out was a text message, but now that I have allowed myself to acknowledge that boundaries are ok, I realize that the text message has to be enough—for myself and for the recipient. Just a small example from the mind of an introvert.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a former principal who once said about himself, “I’m an introvert who thrives on a routine and dislikes conflict.” That. Is. Me….Also, I could not have chosen a profession that pushes these limits….daily (hourly!) if I tried. So, no wonder I’m exhausted at the end of every day.

Rainy Days

Truth. I love watching the news in the morning…and when they show the extended weather forecast, I always look to see if we have any upcoming rainy days. I love a cloudy day with a book, a blanket, and not much to do. I joke that rainy days are “permission to be lazy” because what can you actually accomplish on a rainy day? haha

Cancelled Plans

For being an introvert, I do get FOMO rather easily. I do like to hang out and go out with my friends, but I’m also not mad about some cancelled plans. Cancelled plans mean I get to hang out at home which is my favorite place to be!

Solo Activities

I do need some time to unwind. Thankfully, I’m usually home around 4:00, so I get some time to decompress, read, check my phone, etc before starting dinner and evening activities. I also do enjoy having some time to myself to go to the grocery store, run to Target, or get a coffee at Starbucks. I don’t mind doing some activities alone, but I also know that’s only because I know that once I go home there’s the hustle and bustle of it all. Some day my house will be too quiet and I won’t need the time for solo activities which will make me sad, I’m sure!

Daydreaming

So… I’m not much for a daydreamer…but I am a planner. I feel so much better if my week is laid out in front of me, activities are written on the calendar, and dinners are planned. I feel less stressed when everything is in order.

Deep Conversations

Ok, I will say…I’m not one that craves deep conversations. So, this part of the graphic doesn’t necessarily apply to me. I think that because I’m “on” all day at school and get very little peace and quiet, the last thing I want to do is have a lengthy conversation. That being said, of course, I love catching up with an old friend, chatting with my mom friends about what’s going on, or getting the details of my kids’ day at school. I like to chat…but just maybe not super deep conversations. I think I often feel like my brain and voice need a break πŸ˜‚

Text Messages

Thank goodness for text messages. As I stated above, they are a great way to keep up with friends and family near and far. Plus, texts have come a long way! Now you can insert emojis and GIFs. haha. That being said, of course, it’s nice to hear a loved one’s voice or receive a nice voicemail.

Recharging

Yes. Yes. Yes. What pretty much gets me through my early alarm clock is knowing what time I will be home and back in my pjs in the evening. Honestly, like I said, I like to plan out the week, so we know what all is going on, but I also like planning out the week to look forward to the evenings where we don’t have much on our plate, dinner isn’t rushed, and maybe we can play a game or watch a show as a family. I do feel like recharging is so important for all people, so we don’t get run down, tired, and/or sick.

Home

I love my home. I think I’ve always been this way, but I guess just in adulthood, I’ve realized how much I truly do love being at home. If I’m home, I want it to be a place I enjoy and feel comfortable and cozy in. So, of course that means my favorite places to shop are Home Goods, Hobby Lobby, and Target. πŸ˜‚ I will say if I bring home another pillow, Travis may throw a fit! I am the definition of a home body!

Introspection

I wouldn’t necessarily have described myself as introspective but once I saw it listed on the graphic, I do feel like it applies to me as an introvert. Like I said, I can be quiet. It takes time for me to process information. I’m the type that occasionally keeps a journal, has notes on my phone of meaningful quotes, turns the radio down on my solo car ride home from school to think about my day, and needs some β€œme” time to decompress from the day. I’m reflective enough to know that I have good and bad days, great qualities but that I’m also a work in progress, and that no relationship is perfect…and they take work.

Like I said, this graphic definitely resonated with me when I saw it on social media. I think sometimes introverts may get a bad rap of being snooty or closed off. Just because someone is quiet or guarded doesn’t mean they don’t have anything to offer or don’t want to get to know you….it may just take them awhile to warm up or feel comfortable in a situation or setting.

Hayden tends to be more like me. When Travis asks where we want to go for dinner on a Friday night, 9 times out of 10, Hayden says he wants carry out! haha. I will at least leave the house for a good dinner πŸ˜‰ We aren’t sure where Hadley got her more extroverted personality from. While Travis is more extroverted in comparison to me, I’d see he’d probably label himself as closer to an introvert than an extrovert. I’m constantly in awe of Hadley’s self-confidence, assertiveness, and her ability to make friends effortlessly. I feel like it’s easier to be an extrovert than an introvert, so I’m so thankful she has the qualities and is dragging her brother with her along the way!

Just my two cents on what it means to be an introvert. I know extroverts probably feel misunderstood too sometimes! πŸ˜‰ Thank goodness we all aren’t the same!

I hope you have a great weekend!

Take care,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Posted in Me

About Me: Part 2

This is apparently my 21st post (Word Press says so), and I thought I’d share a little bit more about myself. At the beginning of the year, for a get to know you activity, I usually have my students do a three truths/one lie for the class to get to know each other better. Sometimes the “lies” are obvious, sometimes funny, and sometimes serious. With a few readers who are new to the blog and even for people I know, I just thought I’d share a bit more about myself…and all of them are truths.

Truth: I was a cute kid πŸ˜‰ I wanted to get my ears pierced forever and ever, but I had to wait until I was 12. I was trying to fool everyone in the pic below with my stick on earrings.

I had a very short dancing career, I have a younger brother named Connor, and I loved my Madeline doll (and sitting on shag carpet!)

Let’s skip all the way to college (not sure where all my middle and high school pics are?!) I loved my time at the University of Missouri-Columbia. I graduated with a degree in Secondary Education with a focus in English/Language Arts. I even earned my first Master’s degree from MU too. I will forever be a tiger fan.

Another blessing of my time at MIZZOU was meeting Travis. We got married in 2005.

I vividly remember taking this photo. The photographer said the pose seemed cheesy, but it would be a great photo. It’s been on my bedside table for 14 years and counting…

Hayden and Hadley were born in November 2009 and bring us great joy (and headaches, and heartaches, and stress…but we love them and can’t believe how quickly they are growing up!)

Fall 2015 photos by Trav’s brother Chet
We often vacation in Siesta Key, Florida and Chet took some sweet pics of us a couple of summers ago.
Some of my most favorite pics ever.
Family fun at the Magic Kingdom in July

And, of course, we can’t leave out Homer. I’ve always been a dog person. I grew up with dogs in our home and being a part of our family where Travis did not. I had to convince him to get our dogs Shiloh and Scout, but I’d (and he would) say he’s a dog person now too. We lost Scout in April 2018 and Shiloh this past March. We didn’t know how long we’d wait to get another one, but the beginning of summer and second I saw Homer, we I knew it was time πŸ™‚

Sweet boy (most of the time)

Random Facts/Truths About Me

  1. The first fact was actually what made me think to do this post since yesterday was Friday the 13th. I am superstitious about the number 13. For example, if someone turns the radio or tv volume to 13, I turn it to 12 or 14. Or, if I read chapter 13 of a book, I always read chapter 14 as to not leave off on chapter 13. I also don’t cross days off my calendar until the next day or turn the page of a calendar to a new month until it’s actually that month. I don’t want to jinx anything. (because—you know—life works like that. haha)
  2. I’m left handed. In my family, the left handed gene (does it work like that?) is strong. My grandma, my mom, my aunt and myself are all lefties. Then, along came Hayden and Hadley who are left handed too. Hayden bats right handed (I did too) but is a leftie otherwise and Hadley is dominant left in everything.
  3. Along with being a leftie, I make my check marks backwards. (There are people reading this right now who have known me forever and probably don’t even know that—hello, Travis…?!) My students are always like, “Mrs. Whhhhiiitttee! Your check marks are backwards!” I say it’s because I’m left handed, but I obviously know many (all?!) lefties where that’s not the case. It just feels natural for me to do it that way.
  4. After I cook pasta, I always eat some of the freshly cooked pasta plain. Like a cup or so of plain cooked pasta. #Ilovecarbs
  5. I play Bejeweled Blitz almost daily on my phone. If my Bejeweled Blitz bank account has less than $1M, I’m stressed. (#kiddingnotkidding) I only play a couple of rounds a day, so only a couple of minutes, but it’s my favorite game.
  6. I’m a homebody…like for real. The end goal is always how quickly I can get back home (and most likely back into my pjs), but I also have FOMO. I like to be with people I know and love and don’t want to miss any major events.
  7. I sleep with a weighted blanket and a sound machine. I’m still a horrible sleeper, but they help me relax at night.
  8. I don’t play when it comes to birthdays. I always say my birthday is my favorite holiday..but people (Travis and my mom) are quick to point out it’s not actually a holiday. I go big on my kids’ birthday as well–with them, I always figure it’s one day–not two kids with two different days— I have to go all out on…at least that’s how I justify it.
  9. I don’t like peas or yogurt…and basically pat myself on the back most days when my kids devour both. At least they love those things.
  10. Lastly, and this is deep — I finally took the Enneagram test and I’m a 5. (are you still reading?) πŸ˜‰ A few years ago, my principal had the teachers take the Strength Finder Assessment and my strengths were: consistency, discipline, and connector. I wasn’t really shocked, because those are definitely my strengths but “connector” made me stop and think. It was free therapy πŸ˜‰ I am a connector and I think it stems back from when I moved to a new school in middle school. That was very difficult for me, and it’s hard feeling left out and new. Ever since, I do try to include as many people as possible and always worry I will forget to invite someone; I’d never want someone to feel left out. Real talk: being a connector can also being exhausting πŸ˜‰

I had another principal once say that he’s an introvert who thrives on routine and dislikes conflict…That. Is. Me. and his point (and mine too) if you are in education, you can’t be those things….No wonder I’m exhausted at the end of the day.

Back to the Enneagram Test. I had heard a few people talk about it , and it’s one of those things where if you (and others) know your number, it helps in relationships. When I took the test, it said I was a 5w6. Type 5, wing 6. A five is an “investigator” which took me by surprise. I wouldn’t really label myself that, but when I read the description, many things hit home for me. (By the way, a 6 is a “loyalist”—which I am…I may be hard to get to know, but I’m very loyal to those who are loyal to me and the description did have quite a few points in which I could relate). “Investigator–Thinker who tends to withdraw and observe,” A few tidbits about a 5: Fives tend to withdraw and retreat to mentally prepare for their day, they are generally well read and thoughtful, fives aren’t good at dealing with their emotions, they tend to be shy, independent, reluctant to ask for help, sensitive, have a need for privacy, and sometimes have a minimalistic lifestyle (Trav wishes. haha).

Here’s the link to the test I took. It was pretty lengthy, but I found it interesting.

So those are just a few random facts about me. All truths, no lies.

I hope you have a great weekend.

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Posted in Me

About me…

Welcome to my blog…Starting a blog has been a goal of mine for quite awhile. As a busy mom to twins, working full time as a high school English teacher and being married (full time! haha) as well, it was difficult to carve out the time to start one. Finding the extra time held me back….as well as thinking of a name! This summer, I made starting a blog one of my main goals to accomplish. Recently, I really started to focus on what to name the blog and I realized I should combine my past (my roots) with the present (my life) to form the name. I was born and raised in Missouri, so the ‘Show Me’ state will always have a special place in my heart. I’ve lived in Lexington, KY for fifteen years, and while you won’t hear me say, “Bless your heart,” my love for a good monogram and a “Hey, ya’ll” shows that I’ve picked up a bit of the south through the years, along with a sip (or two) of sweet tea.

My main hope for this blog is to be a creative outlet for myself while also sharing about my family, books I’m reading, or new recipes that I’ve tried. I began reading various blogs a few years ago, and there are some I read every morning to start my day. To be honest, some of these blogs have changed my life in both big and small ways, and if something I post can be of help to others, I figured why not give this blogging thing a try?

Thanks for stopping by and reading along…and hopefully, throughout time, more than possibly just my mom will be reading this. (Hey, mom!)

My family on a recent vacation

Happy reading,

Jen