Monday, November 22, 2010

A Day in the Life: of a 'Stay at Home Wife'

My friend Lacy came up with this great idea of doing a 'Day in the Life' post to record what a typical day could look like for you. Go her blog to see her day as a SAHM mom of little ones and other people's days also!

My days can look so different from each other that I decided to pick a 'typical' day in which I'm not volunteering somewhere, babysitting, or helping a friend in her classroom. So this 'Day in the Life' is based on a typical Monday or Friday for me.

6:30am Wake up and have family devotions.
I am really trying to be awake for this time with Neil so I can remember what we talk about it and pray for each other. It's pretty difficult for someone who isn't a 'morning person', but I respect Neil's leadership for this time and am thankful we are doing this, even though I don't seem or act thankful most mornings...

7:45am Breakfast
Neil has left for work and I'm HUNGRY! This is my favorite breakfast: peanut butter toast.
Sometimes I will eat a banana with it also. Yes, I drink this whole glass of water so I can take the vitamins. And Yes, I have to go to the bathroom a lot in the mornings...

8:30am Devotions
I'm more awake now and can concentrate on what I'm reading and what I'm thinking.

9:00am Workout
We don't have a dvd player and our t.v. is in our guest room so I use my laptop to workout, unless its nice enough to be outside. I try to do this consistently though some mornings I have other commitments that don't leave the time. Working out is suppose to really help with the PCOS diet I'm on so it helps keep me more consistent that I would be otherwise and I do feel better afterward!

10:00 am Clean House
This is usually different things. Sometimes its a full blown clean the house and sometimes its doing laundry, dishes, making bread, meal and errand planning, or picking up around the house after the weekend.

12:00 pm Eat lunch
I NEVER know what to eat for lunch. I usually have a peanut butter sandwich and chips and salsa. Sometimes I have leftovers.

12:30pm-3:00pm Run Errands
My errands are typically to the grocery stores and the library to use the internet. They are only two errands but they take up time since the two grocery stores (one a organic/natural grocery store and the is Kroger) are across town from each other. Also I'm at the library for awhile because I try to only go a couple times a week and since we don't have internet at our house I do all I can while I'm there.

3-4pm Home
I usually get home between 3-4pm depending on my errands. During this time before starting dinner I like to do crafts, maybe watch a Cosby Show episode, read, or finish laundry or something. This time can be nice and relaxing or can be hard to fill and boring. I try to use it well but it can be challenging sometimes.

4:45pm Start Dinner
This is one of Neil's favorite recipes and my sweet friend Lacy gave it to me. She also made me the recipe book! I use it OFTEN because it has so many YUMMY recipes! This is such a good idea to make for a new wife.

5:45 pm Neil's Home from work!
It is always fun to have Neil come home from work and he is always SO helpful as soon as he gets home to help with dinner or visit with me.

6:00pm Dinner
I enjoy this time to hear about Neil's day at work and tell him about my day. He usually enjoys what I've cooked so that's nice too!

We clean up dinner, wash dishes, and hang out. Every night is different and sometimes the same. We go on walks, read, do the budget (my favorite, not!), play games, have company over, talk on the phone with others, talk to each other. We aren't busy in the evenings typically so this time is flexible. I LOVE our evenings together. This is probably my favorite part of the day because I feel like its my chance to spend time with Neil and fun together so I soak it up.

10:00pm Bedtime!
Goodnight, Sleep tight!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Does Anyone Know Where I Can Find Some Leaves?

Front Yard leaves

Back Yard Leaves

Oh, you mean I have a whole mountain range of leaves on my curb? Who knew!

Well, I suspected we had a lot of leaves when I started raking on Monday afternoon, but I did not know we had this many leaves. I did the backyard on Monday and the front yard on Tuesday, a total of FIVE HOURS to rake all the leaves in the yard! Now, I don't know if it should take 5 hours to rake our yard and I think ignorance definitely played apart in it taking me so long. My engineer husband was out of town on a business trip and we desperately needed to rake the yard. I joyfully volunteered since I had the time so we bought a rake. I have raked before but never by myself. I was prepared to be really sore and for it to take awhile, but not FIVE HOURS. I just kept laughing to myself because there were SO many leaves! Neil was amazed when I talked with him Monday night and then more amazed Tuesday night when he got home.

I actually enjoyed raking the yard. I think it is because I can see progress. It's like cleaning, BUT BETTER! When I clean the house it doesn't always look dirty so I can question if it was worth it or if I 'accomplished' anything. Will Neil be able to tell that I cleaned? Can I tell that I cleaned? But with raking it felt good to 'accomplish' something. Each time I pulled the leaves with the rake it felt like I had just scrubbed a section of the yard.

The most difficult part was figuring out how to get the leaves from the back yard to the curb in the front. There's a house in the way of the most direct route. Do I rake them all the way around the house? Tried that and didn't like it. Do I rake them around the other side where its a shorter distance? Tried that too and didn't like it. Do I carry a pile of leaves by hand? Man, that takes a long time and I know its not the most efficient. I kept thinking- I need a wheel barrow or some kind of bucket to put the leaves in and carry them to the curb, but I have neither. Then my next door neighbor came home and told me that I could use my TRASH CAN! BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!! He also lent me his leaf blower, but I was pretty intimidated by it so I went with the trash can idea. It was a life saver, especially on Tuesday when I did the front yard which has SIGNIFICANTLY more leaves than the back. So if you are raking leaves soon, use a trash can.
Also Neil said that his family would use a big tarp to drag the leaves. Both are WONDERFUL ideas and I will use either of them next time. Which may not be very long from now because if you noticed that one tree in our yard has yet to lose leaves...

Friday, November 5, 2010

4 Years.

Today is the 4 year anniversary of my mom's death. It's not my favorite day of the year and I miss her, but I'm doing okay. I've been aware periodically the last two weeks that today was the 4 year anniversary, but that is as far as my thoughts have gone. Even today I was going about my morning when I received a text from a far away friend that said she was thinking of me today. Then I remembered, "oh yeah... today is the day." I'm thankful she texted me and that she remembered! I haven't talked with her in a few months and it meant a lot that she remembered. I definitely wasn't expecting anyone else to remember something that hasn't happened to them especially since I haven't really thought about it. There is apart of me that doesn't want to remember this day 4 years ago, but I see how the Lord has taught me and brought me deeper into knowing him through it. (It still feels wrong and weird to say that what I learned by my mom's death brings closure to my mom's death... as if to say what God has taught me from that loss closes and wraps up that part of my life like a box with a nicely tied bow. I don't think that's true, I don't think regardless of my day-to-day feelings that my mom's death is all closed up and is ready to be shipped off or put on a shelf. I think it will always be with me and that it can be opened up at anytime and I can learn more and grieve more.) I am thankful for what the Lord has taught me: this world is not my home and things that I always thought were secure like the institution of a family are not secure. This is a fallen world and disease, sickness, violence, and death are all results of the fall. Therefore my hope is in heaven where God is because things in heaven and of eternal worth last forever. I want my hope to be there. Not that I don't love the gifts of this life, but I need to be continually aware that they pass away and I'm not guaranteed anything in this life, but the promises of God through Christ.

Today has really been a very normal day and I think that's okay. I told Neil last night that I feel like there is this expectation that I've got to lay in bed all day and be sad, but that's not a realistic expectation. If that is where I was at right now then that's what I'd be doing, but its not. I'm fine. Yes, I really miss my mom, but not just today, a lot of days throughout the year. Sometimes I cry, sometimes I'm sad, sometimes I laugh, and most of the time I'm fine. So I believe its okay that I go about today running errands, helping a friend, blogging, reheating leftovers, picking up the house, and waiting for Neil to come home. I believe its okay if today is a normal day even when its not 'just any 'ol day'.

My Favorite Month...

... has come to a close. Last year I dubbed October as my favorite month because it officially feels like fall, I get to officially start wearing cardigans, the leaves change, and it starts the holiday season! I have had good self control in not listening to Christmas music during the month of October, but I am DESPERATE to listen to some now that is November!!!!! I am wanting a new Christmas cd since I have worn out my current one. I'm thinking of making a mix and I'm pretty excited about it. Any suggestions? Neil lovingly thinks I'm ridiculous and keeps telling me that it hasn't even been Thanksgiving yet so I shouldn't listen to Christmas music. I argue that Christmas music puts me in the mood for Thanksgiving AND Christmas and I can't help it if there aren't any Thanksgiving songs! If there are, please don't tell Neil.

This past October was a great October. The leaves were very colorful here in East TN and the trees in my yard were very colorful which I was very excited about since we moved in when everything was green and there was no guarantee on what the trees would look like in the fall. I don't even know what kind of trees we have in our yard, to me every green tree is a green tree. I don't have a clue the difference between oaks, maples, and whatever kinds of trees there are here. It's green and it has leaves- great with me!

At the beginning of October one of my BFs from college got married. It was beautiful wedding and I'm so happy for Brittany and Scott! This was probably the last wedding I'll be in and it was joy to be apart of it!

Neil and I also went camping... this is a BIG DEAL. Neil grew up camping and hiking. I did not. 'Camping' for my family growing up was staying in a nice, fully furnished cabin with running water, electricity, and cable at a State Park. I had a short stint as a hiker/backpacker in college and I enjoyed it, but it is not natural. Neil was 'outdoorsy' and I liked Neil so I was 'outdoorsy'. Poor Neil thought he was marrying an 'outdoorsy' girl and then after we got married he realized the awful truth. I'm not really an 'outdoorsy' girl. I don't mind getting dirty or being outside, I just don't think about doing things outside. Well, despite the VERY cold nights, we had a GREAT TIME! It helped that we were at the State Park that is a mile from Neil's parents' house so I had a place to go if I really hated it. But I didn't hate it! It was so relaxing and enjoyable to spend time with Neil doing something he really enjoys and I mildly enjoy- I enjoy it more because he enjoys it.

At the end of the month I got to spend time with my best friend Lacy* on her birthday and it was such a special treat for me to see her and her little girls! We have been close friends since freshman year of college and I am so thankful that we are still close! It has been a joy to travel through the college years and young married/young family years together! It it always so interesting for me to look back on our friendship and see how it has changed and developed. Our friendship started with common interests in music, clothes, psychology, and the Lord and has grown through trials, losses, joys, blessings, boyfriends, marriages, moves, convictions, and deeper relationships with the Lord. We live two hours apart and our conversations are more limited now with our stages of life, but it is a joy to be her friend and I'm more thankful for the texts, occasional 10 minute phone calls, and occasional visits to see her that she can give me.

That sums up my October and now I'm oh so ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

*this is first ever link on my own... standing ovation please... and thank you.