Tag Archives: SAHM

Buried in a Pile of Emails and Events

When I took ownership of Dallas Moms Blog back in May, I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into! What I thought would be a little tinkering here and there and a dab of this and that has turned into (almost) a full time job.

I’m doing my best to balance two lifestyles…

Stay at home mom by day.

McDonalds

 

Work at home mom by night; and nap times.

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I consider myself so thankful to be able to spend time with my boys while they’re growing up. I know how fortunate I am to stay at home with them and watch as the reach their milestones, but at the same time, when your work day begins at the end of a long day with your kids, it can be exhausting! 

When I took on the role of owner, a lot of plans and events were already rolling. There were some ideas I had to try out on my own to know whether they’d be a success or failure. My time since taking on the site has finally reached a peak. With play dates , 1 promotional event, and contributor meeting in the past, Project Mom quickly approaching this weekend, and our Moms Night Out and Date Night just weeks away, I can’t tell you have excited and relieved I’ll be once October 14th roles around! 

For the rest of the year, I’ll be able to focus on just maintaining instead of creating. I’ll be ready for a much needed break from the chaos of planning and coordinating, and can once again put the focus back on my family-literally! Once Dallas Moms Blog shuts down its events for Fall, I’ll be hopping in the car on my birthday weekend to celebrate my marriage at Weekend to Remember in OKC.

Although it’s just Oklahoma, I can’t WAIT to enjoy some time in the car with my husband, reading my latest Book Club book, and catching up on a little personal blogging.

But that still seems light years away.

So for now, I need to put my head down and plow through. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. We’re just not quite there yet!

Want to see what my team has worked so hard on the last 3 months?

Come to one of our events and see me in action! I’d love to have you there! 

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From SAHM to WAHM

Dallasmomsblog screenshot You may have seen me hinting about it over Twitter and Facebook this week, but today officially marks a new beginning in my life. As of late last night, I’m now Krystal, small business owner. 

Since last August, I’ve been in-training with Dallas Moms Blog. As time has gone on, it was undecided whether I would be a partner with the current owner or if  I’d take over the blog completely. It all hinged on her husband’s plans after seminary and how much of a working mom she wanted to be. But in the end it was decided (through lots of prayer) for her to move on from the blog and hand it over to me.

“Hand over” is a very, very loose term because there was a lot of logistics and legal and financial obligations involved before I officially became owner.

So, what does owning a blog mean?

It means that I no longer blog as a hobby, but instead it’s a career path for me. And one that I’m really excited about!

Since I left teaching, I wasn’t sure what the rest of my life would look like from a working perspective. I knew I wanted to go back to work one day… I’m too antsy not to, but I didn’t know where I would fit in with the business word.

From one answered prayer to another, Dallas Moms Blog was placed into my lap, and although owning a business is always a gamble, I knew it was meant to be. I’m good at it, and I know it can be successful!

What about this blog?

The whole time I’ve been employed by Dallas Moms Blog, I struggled with running The T-Shirt Mama and trying to actively grow this site, but also putting my heart into DMB.

Do I write this awesome find on Dallas Moms Blog or do I save it for my blog? Do I pursue this sales opportunity for The T-Shirt Mama or do I let DMB have it? Do I spend 3-4 days writing for The T-Shirt Mama or do I use that time to make the backside of DMB better for SEO? 

I worked really hard to try and make both a success, but at most, I can only give 50% of myself to each site which isn’t fair to either one. So, after a lot of careful consideration, I’ve decided it’s time to give 100% of my time to Dallas Moms Blog and let this blog be what it was intended to be;  an outlet for my thoughts and a connection to my family.

Where can I stalk you now?

As of this weekend, I’ll no longer actively be using my The T-Shirt Mama Facebook page. It’s just one extra medium to be in charge of and “ain’t nobody got time for that!” Hopefully you’re already friends with me on Facebook, and you can always find me there. I also love being random on Twitter and Instagram.

And of course, I’ll still continue to blog on this site, but it might not be as frequent and it might only be about my adventures with my boys (and hopefully not my failing business!) 

How can I support you?

Why thanks for asking!!

If you want to help support me (and my family) in my new business adventure, make sure to follow Dallas Moms Blog! One of the way blogs thrive is through the relationships they make with the community and the followers they gain. Even if you’re not a mom, Liking our page or following our feed is supporting the businesses!

And look, I’ve even made it easy for you! Just click below!

Dallas Moms Blog on Facebook

Dallas Moms Blog on Twitter

Dallas Moms Blog on Instagram

Dallas Moms Blog on Pinterest

Dallas Moms Blog on Google+

So, with the beginning of May marks a new adventure, and it’s one I hope you’ll join me on! I couldn’t be more excited for what lays ahead in the future. I’ve got some amazing people helping me along the way and together, my hope, is that we’ll continue to make Dallas Moms Blog a source of knowledge and inspiration for the city of Dallas!

Interested in starting a Moms Blog in your city? 

Email me at Krystal(at)dallasmomsblog(dot)org and I’d love to tell you more about this amazing network of moms and women! 

Are You Passionate About Your Job?

Lately I’ve been feeling like my job has come under fire.

I’d like to say it’s as much other people, 
but in reality, it’s mostly because of myself. 

Just like in the workforce, everyone needs regular reviews and evaluations, 
and about every quarter I harshly criticize and review myself as a mom and a person.

I almost always snap out of the negativity, but typically when this happens, I actually walk away feeling better about my career and position.

Up until this point I’ve found my career fairly easy to manage with simple tasks like balancing and maintaining the budget to administrative duties, but lately, my job has required some special training and professional development with every new position that I take on. Just this morning, I was learning all about growth opportunities and project management. 


Now, I might not be getting paid what I should in the form of money, but I do get bonuses and perks that make up for all the hard aspects of my position. 

I have to work late most nights, and when I can wrap up early, I often lose sleep over stress about the upcoming day. 

And let’s not even get into the toll it’s taken on my body. Who has time for workouts when you’re required to be at work by 7am and usually don’t wrap up until 8pm? 

I often find myself feeling extremely under appreciated and thinking terrible thoughts about my co-workers incompetence or lack of understanding of the tasks at hand, but I have to keep in mind that they’re usually only considered part-time at best and have other priorities at their other jobs to think about. 

And don’t even get me started on my subordinates! I mean, how juvenile can they be??

Travel is not an exception, but the rule. Often times the travel is local, but I still see this as a perk since I get to visit new places and meet new people on a regular basis. This helps break up all the mundane days where I’m stuck in the office. 

I also get to see progress and completion on projects first hand! Whereas I know in most businesses, you complete your part and it gets past along to the next team.  

And in my career, you don’t have to worry about your future! You might also like to know that my retirement will be taken care of if I investments properly. 

What’s my career?  

Well. . .I’m a mom. 

I know what you’re thinking, and I promise it’s actually a career! 

According to Dictionary.com

ca·reer

 noun

1.
an occupation or profession, especially one requiring special training, followed as one’s lifework: He sought a career as lawyer.
2.
a person’s progress or general course of action through life or through a phase of life, as in some profession or undertaking: His career as a soldier ended with the armistice.
3.
success in a profession, occupation, etc.


See?

If you go back and read through my job description, you might find that my responsibilities are very similar to yours in the workforce. The only difference is I’m self-employeed, but also an employee. I have the difficult task of working with family members under stressful situations.  Although my career might not be found on Monster.com or theLadders.com, and it was definitely one I just fell into rather than applied for, it doesn’t make it any less legitimate. It’s one I have to be truly passionate about to continue because unlike your job where the money justifies the work, I don’t get paid a dime. 

So as I’m approaching 30, and I have those thoughts that cross my mind like “I left my job for this?” or have other people that make me feel like what I do isn’t a “real job” but a duty or just a stage of life. . . And for all those times, I’ve felt embarrassed about saying “I’m a stay at home mom” because I’m afraid you’ll judge me and think it simply means I’m lazy. I can now laugh because I know the truth.
I’ll now get off my soapbox now. 

Thank you for listening. 

Sorry if I offended anyone. 

An (As Normal As Possible) Day In The Life

Over the last few weeks several of my friends have done a “Day in the Life” post about their lives. You always wonder what happens behind closed doors and getting a sneak peak into the homes of some of the moms I admire is refreshing and uplifting.  It’s been so fun to read about how crazy other people’s lives are, and it honestly makes me feel better about mine! I love knowing that my toddler isn’t the only one that throws tantrums by flinging his milk across the room or that I’m normal to use the TV as a baby-sitter when needed. (I told you I wasn’t the only one, so don’t judge!)

Just for fun, I thought I’d give you a peak into my life as a SAHM. I thought it was going to be a fairly normal day, but it’s funny how no day ever really ends up normal! 
7:00am– Like an alarm clock, the Little Man wakes up & is ready to come into our room to veg. Due to a tantrum the night before, he refused to eat a full dinner, so he woke up starving. We grabbed him a glass of milk and a small bowl of Frosted Flakes while he sat on our bed watching Baby Einstein.

8:15am– He heads into his room to turn on Elmo and play while I get ready for the day. I get dressed, grab a bowl of cereal for myself, and sit down to check my DMB email while I have some free time to myself. 

8:45am– Since he really hadn’t eaten the night before, he was ready for breakfast #2. I popped in some mini pancakes and broke up a granola bar for him to sufficiently fill him up. 
9:00am– Now that we’re both ready to get started with our day, we head outside to play only to discovered it’s foggy and misty. We only hang out outside for a few minutes before we head back in and play in his room. We go from cars to coloring to blocks. 


10:00am– After cleaning up the floor, we sat on his “big boy” bed for awhile reading books that he can “read;” mostly pointing to pictures and naming the objects he sees. 

10:20am– I finally manage to sneak away to use the bathroom and when I come back the nicely cleaned bedroom looks something like this. . . 
So, this time I leave it knowing there’s no point in cleaning it up so early in the morning. 

10:35am– We have a surprise visit from the MoPS film crew. We let them into our kitchen to videotape what’s in my pantry, talk about what I’m making for dinner, and show them some of my favorite kitchen secrets. (I say it was a surprise, but I actually knew they were coming. I was just supposed to act surprised!)

10:45am– Time for a snack and diaper change. All morning while we were playing I’d been contemplating a project I saw on Pinterest, and since it was still early in the morning, I decided to head to Home Depot and give it a try. 


11:30am– We got back a little later than I expected, so as soon as I unloaded the car it was time prepare lunch. The Little Man was already pretty hungry, so I whipped up some Easy Mac & Cheese. While he worked on this, I steamed some carrots & peas so he could have a slightly balanced lunch. I somehow managed to heat up my TV dinner while he was eating, so for once we actually ate together. (Normally I find it easier to just wait until his nap time.)


12:00pm– We wrapped up lunch, and since he was in a pretty good mood still, we work on our little project for awhile before it was time for a nap. 

12:45pm– Nap time for him & I throw myself onto the couch to catch up on emails and Private Practice

1:45pm– I finish up our wood-working project and clean up the house a little before I notice him starting to stir in the monitor.  
2:15pm– The Little Man finally wakes up from his nap. We sit down to play with the latches before heading outside. 

2:30pm– The fog has lifted and it’s actually a beautiful day, so we spend awhile outside running in circles and playing on the slide. 

3:00pm– I realize I’d better start heading to the store if I want to make it before traffic begins to build on Coit. We pack and load up into the car and head out. 

3:15pm– I try to get a little business done since I’m out and about. I swing by a local restaurant to talk to the manager about sponsoring our next DMB contributor meeting, but have no luck. I talk with an assistant manager before being given the phone number to the GM. (Note to self: Remember to call during nap time tomorrow!) I load the Little Man back into the car, and we head to Tom Thumb. 

4:00pm– We arrive back at home and this time Yo Gabba Gabba is turned on while I unload the car, fix up a small snack for myself, and once again check emails quickly. After Gabba ends, we once again head back into his bedroom to play for awhile. This time it’s wrestling and flying helicopters. I also manage to clean up the room for the second time without him destroying it. 

5:15pm– Remembering the dog mess he’d stepped in earlier in the day and looking at the Mac & Cheese still visible on his clothes, I decide it’s bath time. In a few minutes, the bubbles are poured and the bath is drawn.

5:20pm– He’s decided he doesn’t want a bath, but a shower. A quick change-up and he spends another 15 minutes playing in the shower. Then, it’s time for a diaper and PJ’s. 

5:45pm– I look at the clock and realize I need to start prepping for dinner, so I pull out a small snack for him and turn on Sesame Street.
6:00pm– Bored already by Sesame Street, he’s in the kitchen looking for something to play with. I give him my empty Penne box. He finds some balloon weights from his 1st birthday, and begins to run around in circles. 

6:15pm– I look in the pantry to for some chicken broth only to find we’re all out. I know Tim’s running late, but I’m hoping maybe he’s left and can swing by the store on his way home. I wait about 5 minutes, and when I don’t get a call, I realize he’s probably still stuck in a meeting.

I quickly turn off the burner, grab the diaper bag, and load the Little Man up into the car and we’re off to Albertson’s. 

7:00pm– Dinner’s about 30 minutes later than I’d expected, and with Tim running late, I set the table for two and we begin eating one of my favorite pasta dishes from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. 


7:15pm– Tim walks through the door to join us for the last half of dinner. We talk about our day, and fortunately, the Little Man’s in a much better mood than he was the night before so he entertains us through the rest of the meal. 

7:30pm– I clean off the table, and let the boys go play. I join them a few minutes later to find another wrestling match going on in his room. Tim then gets guided out to the front yard while I grab a spot on the couch. 

7:55pm– It’s finally storytime and bedtime for the Little Man (almost always done by Tim), and I once again check emails and browse Facebook. 

The rest of the evening is spent watching Modern Family before Tim heads to bed, and I finish up this blog post. 

10:15pm– I almost always try and be in bed by 10:30pm because I know (like an alarm clock), I’ll be up by 7am to do it all again in the morning! (Not to mention the lack of sleep from the 4 times I’ll be up to use the bathroom.)

* * * * * 


If you’re like me and enjoy reading about others’ lives, here’s a few of my favorite bloggers that have posted about a typical day looks like for them:


Mother of 2; stay at home mom & landlord-in-training
Mother of 2 boys, 19 months a part & Founder of Dallas Moms Blog

Perspectives from both John & Sherry; THE DIY gurus & parents of 1

4 different moms describing their days;
a mom of 4, living in a loft downtown, a fitness instructor, & a late-night family.

Date Night with #ChevyAfterDark

Blogging for me is more than just a past time, but it’s become a way of life. What started as a journal for my son has become a connection for me to the outside world. 

On a typical day, I have zero interaction with adults with the exception of my hubby when he gets home from work. The depth of my conversations usually involves no more than two words like “Daddy Home” or “Granddad Home.” If I’m lucky I get lots of smiles and giggles, which makes it  well worth it, but I don’t think any SAHM would honestly say she doesn’t miss the adult time. 

And adult time is hard to come by! 

We’d always made it a goal when the Little Man was born to have regular date nights. We’re extremely fortunate to have 2 sets of grandparents in town and don’t take it for granted that they love to spend time with him! But even with this being the case, date nights are hard to come by and often difficult to plan. By the time the weekend arrives, we’re both exhausted and sitting in a crowded theater or subconsciously scaring food down over dinner just doesn’t sound as appealing. Sadly, date nights have become work. 

But thanks to Blogging, it’s gotten easier over time. I’ve noticed the more involved I get in the online world, the more opportunities have opened up! Usually, they’re events just for me (like Hallmark or BlogHer.), but sometimes it makes it worthwhile for us as a couple. For example, last night we were given the opportunity to participate in a special event at the State Fair sponsored by Chevrolet

When I spoke with the PR rep, my first question was “Can I bring my son?” And when she responded, “No” although I was a little disappointed, my brain quickly switched gears and decided to turn it into a date night. 

Free food. Free drinks. Free Fair tickets. New Cars. 

What more could my husband ask for? 
I mean, how awesome of a wife am I?? 


And what I love about this date night was that it wasn’t the usual dinner and a movie. We were provided with 2 free tickets to get into the State Fair of Texas plus free parking. When we arrived, we were given private seating and access to the Chevrolet Test Track. Tim was one of the first in line to jump into the 2013 Camero. And I was intrigued by the Volt. (Which I’m pretty sure if I ever owned, I’d always leave running since it doesn’t make a sound and there’s no key!)

Afterwards we were invited back to enjoy State Fair food that had been paired with sauces and wines. (Sadly I couldn’t not partake!) We tried the “Best Taste” winner, the Fried Buffalo Chicken Flapjacks with syrup. Yes, it’s meant to be served with syrup! Imagine Chicken & Waffles with a little spice! 

Then there was the Fried Guacamole, Funnel Cake Sticks, and Fried Picnic on a Stick. This one was a little much for me. Spicy fried chicken, tater tots, and slices of dill pickle alternated on a stick, then dipped in batter, rolled in bread crumbs, and fried. That one just about did me in! 

After the grease began to ooze from our pores, and we’d chatted with some new and fun people, we decided to call it a night. I’m sad we hadn’t planned the evening a little better, and decided to let the Little Man spend the night with the grandparents because we did have the option of exploring the Fair afterwards. (I’m really wanting to catch the Japanese Lantern Festival!) But it had been a long night the night before with Mom’s Night Out and sleep was definitely on my radar. 

Would we ever have tried these items had we not been invited to Chevy After Dark? Probably not! Would we have done anything else on a Thursday night beside plop down in front of the TV. Probably not. Which is why I’m so grateful I got into blogging! 

Has your job or hobby ever put you into situations you were thankful for?

I Reject My Reality

Today is one of those days where I want to run away. I woke up this morning with a cloud just hanging over my head and feeling defeated by life. 

For as long as I can remember I’ve struggled with finding my identity and feeling claustrophobic with the world around me . As early as 10 years old, I remember feeling worn out from so many moves and struggling to make friends, that I’d decided that running away to California to become a famous actress would solve all my problems. By 14, it wasn’t California, but New York and I was going to become a successful Marketing professional working in the Empire State Building or World Trade Center. I wasn’t going to marry until I was in my 30’s and then, IF I had kids, I’d have enough money to hire a full time cook, housekeeper, and nanny! 

In high school, I was constantly changing my identity to try and fit in. Literally, I’d be wearing black pleather pants and listening to alternative music one day and putting on my high heels with tight Capri pants the next. My hair was always going from long to short to long again with bangs and no bangs. I wanted to fit in with the crowd that didn’t care and never showered, but was always trying to impress the preps of the band. High School was a disaster for me as I struggled with who my parents wanted me to be and who I wanted to be.

Which is why when I turned 18 I ran away to Oklahoma State University where I was hundreds of miles from anyone I knew. I so desperately wanted college to be the high school experience I never had, and discover who I truly was. But instead of reinventing myself and breaking out of my shell, I made the mistake of going potluck and found myself stuck with an ultra popular cheerleader roommate who was from Oklahoma and came to school with a million friends. Once again, I was that shy little girl, lost in the crowd. . . 

Fortunately, it wasn’t too long into my Freshman year that Tim and I started dating, and I discovered the me that was comfortable in my own skin. And what I found was that I was a shy, caring person who loved t-shirts and jeans. I was confident with myself and where I was going. I began succeeding in school and even graduated Magna Cum Laude. At 22, I was a college graduate, married to my best friend, and starting a career in teaching. I felt like I’d finally become the person I’d always wanted to be. My life was laid out in front of me. 

Then the unexpected happened, after 3 years and some major emotional breakdowns, I realized the path I’d chosen wasn’t for me. I once again ran away in a completely opposite direction. Through a series of random events, I landed in a job I loved, and once again, remembered what it was like to be happy. 

Most of you know what happens next, this is where my blog started. After 2 years of discovering new talents and skills at a job I loved, I felt God calling me to be a stay at home mom. I was having to leave that security and comfort and reinvent myself once again. 

Flash forward 18 months later. . . .

As I started going over our budget last night, it hit me. . . I’m turning 30 next month, living in the middle of suburbia, and contemplating a minivan. I’m 20 weeks pregnant, and currently mothering a toddler who thinks he’s hit the terrible 2’s. My once wonderful life of work responsibilities, travel, (practically) unlimited spending, and free weekends is a memory that is still painfully fresh. Where am I?? Who am I?? 

It was as if the walls were closing in around me and I felt stuck. And in my head, I couldn’t help but wonder what life would be like if I just . . .ran away. 

Well, for starters, I’d be a single mother come January. But besides that, it caused me to want to really think about who I’ve become and how I got here. 

I’m not the perfect mother who can miraculously pull amazing learning experiences from a hat. I’m not the successful working woman I’ve always wanted to be. Instead, I often feel like I’m a mediocre wife and mother just going through life; surviving one day at a time, but not really living or taking advantage of the life God has given me. 

Obviously, I won’t run away. I love my husband and I love my son. I also couldn’t be more excited (and scared) about this miracle that’s about it come into our lives, but I need to find a way to once again discover who I am. But this time, I have to find out who I am with all these limitations. How do you discover talents and skills when you don’t have the time to learn a new craft? How do you learn new interests or hobbies when there’s a child tagging along with you everywhere you go? 

Or is that the point of being a mother? Giving up your self for the life of others. . .no interests, no talents, no time.

I don’t think I can accept that. 

Keeping Busy at the Children’s Museum

There are some weeks where I’m super mom, and nothing gets me down. Then, there are other weeks where each day is a beating. This week was one of those weeks where I struggled. 

We’re getting into a Texas Summer and the heat has already become “uncomfortable.” It’s hot, humid, and not a cloud in the sky for even a hope of relief. This time last year, we had a 3 month old and going outside wasn’t even an option. But this summer, the inside isn’t entertainment enough for the Little Man. 

I made several attempts over the last few days to set up the baby pool, turn on the sprinkler, put on sunscreen and swimsuits and head out into the heat, but after 5 minutes, he was bored. 

I’d been hearing about the Dallas Children’s Museum at Fair Park quite a bit lately from other friends, and decided yesterday to venture downtown and check it out. I was a little apprehensive when I pulled into the parking lot and saw 5-6 school buses. I hadn’t even thought about it being the end of the school year and field trips are very popular! I paid the $10 admission (The Little Man was free!), and worked my way through the mobs of children waiting to view the IMAX and down the stairs past the Magic School Bus exhibit. The moment I reached the lower level, I saw a playroom for children ages 0-2, and I couldn’t help but smile. 
We had the whole “Backyard Patio” play area to ourselves! This was so worth the admission fee alone! There were several beaded puzzle toys, wood wall games (shown below), and fun tumbling mats. 

Excuse the blurry picture! I couldn’t get him to stay still! 

 Once I could tell the field trips were moving on (and my anxiety calmed down), we ventured out into the other exhibits. There were rooms that explored a house, town, and backyard with LOTS of interactive learning. Everything was made for exploration; whether it was a tunnel or bridge connecting each of the rooms or childrens’ books related to the topics. 



One of our favorite rooms was the Water Room with an enormous water table simulating different types of water flows (brooks, streams, rivers, etc.) I don’t know if the ducks in the water or the puddles on the floor were more fun for the Little Man! 


We spent almost 2 hours playing, and if it weren’t for a growling stomach and naptime, I’m sure we could have stayed longer. Even though this museum will get busier as the summer goes on, I loved that I discovered this museum as a way to keep the Little Man entertained and out of the summer heat! We’ll definitely be back! 

Since my photos aren’t the greatest, here’s another blog post with some better pictures: 

We’re ready to explore Dallas’ indoor kid-friendly places!
What can you suggest?

A Serious Case of "Working Mom" Envy

Browsing through my blog roll tonight, I found a really interesting post by mooshkatoo. When I first read the title A Serious Case of SAHM Envy, I felt as if she were writing to me directly. SAHM. That’s me. That’s my title. When asked for an occupation on forms, this is what I put, and over the past year, it has come to define who I am. 

I’m a stay at home mom. 

That’s it. That’s all. My life and my job is a mom. 

I knew immediately what she was going to be writing about before I started reading. To a working mom (and many husbands), the life of a stay at home mom seems ideal. She dreams of being able to stay at home with her daughter; to spend more time with her and do all those awesome things that stay at home moms do. Picnics in the park. Making forts from bedspreads. Learning through play. . . If I could describe this image of a mom, I’d call it the Pinterest mom. The woman who knows how to cook on a budget, clean to the perfection of a maid, educate as if she were a teacher, and sleep as little as a giraffe. (1.9 hours a day in case you weren’t aware of that fact!) After all, that’s why we pin all those images is to use them, right?

mooshkatoo’s a mom who has come to the realization that in order to help support her family, she has to work, and she’s envious of “me”. I get to spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year with my son. . . Yet, little does she know, I’m envious of her. 

I’ve mentioned this before, but leaving my job was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I was standing on the ledge of personal success ready to jump into increased responsibilities, earning the trust of my superiors, and a nice, little raise, and I walked away from it all. In my heart I knew that I wanted to be there for my son; to hear his first words, take his first steps, and learn how to give a hug. I watch as my husband works and travels and has to miss out on these new growths and I feel so terrible for him. I was almost filled with tears the day the Little Man decided to take his first steps, and through fortunate situations, my husband had decided to take the day off; otherwise, that would have been one more thing he’d have missed. 

Each day, I can’t imagine what life would have been like if I’d continued to work and had to witness these milestones second-hand, but I can’t help be a little envious of the working mom. I thrive on responsibility and structure. I crave independence and a life of my own. I miss those intellectual adult relationships. 

Just as she sits at her desk thinking about what her daughter is doing at preschool, I sit on the floor of a playroom wondering what I’d be doing if I were at work. Probably jetsetting off to New York for a convention, hosting incredible A-list parties, and designing beautiful invitations for celebrities like Robin Williams and Dan Akyroyd.

Maybe I’m a bad stay at home mom for having these feelings? Perhaps I’m just not living up to my fort-making potential? 

Or maybe the life of a SAHM is the same for everyone? The most rewarding experience of your life, but at the same time not always 100% fulfilling. For every moment I think about being at work, I shake my head and realize it was a choice I made and know it was the right decision. There was no possible way for me to do my job well from 10am-6pm without sacrificing my role as mom and wife. And there was no way for me to do my job as a mom without sacrificing my responsibilities as a manager. So as I wash my son’s bottles for the third time today, I might daydream of what it could be like and I’ll continue to be slightly envious of working moms, but know God put me where I need to be. Just like he put you where you need to be. 

How do you feel being a stay at home mom? Is it ever a struggle for you? 
How do you fight the monotony of the day to day routine?

It’s Our Pleasure!

After 15 years, I’ve finally come around to the side of Chick-fil-A

Amen!

Why did it take me so long? For the first 5 years I knew anything about Chick-fil-A it was simply another fast food chain inside Richardson Square Mall. In high school, I had a few friends who worked there, so it became my go-to dinner spot when I also began working in the mall. But after eating Chicken Sandwiches 1-2 times a week, I gave up on Chick-fil-A. With the exception of a visit here or there, I really haven’t eaten there much in the last 10 years. . . until now. 

Since the Little Man was born, I’ve only taken him to Chick-fil-A once about 2 months ago. He’d just started standing on his own and was barely toddling. He seemed to really enjoy standing near the playground, but it was more work on me to make sure he wasn’t getting toppled by the older kids. Well, last night was a whole different experience. 

Being a solo parent this week, I’m trying to come up with fun and unique ways to make the day go by faster entertain the Little Man, so I thought I’d give it another try. We headed out at 6:45pm for dinner. I’d hoped going later to avoid all the kids would work, and it did! When we arrived, there was only 1 other family eating outside, and they quickly finished up so we had the whole place to ourselves. 

But let me start back at the beginning! When I arrived, as always, the employees were super friendly. I’d decided to take a chance and order my first kid’s meal. I was hungry and knew I’d probably eat my whole sandwich, so I figure it was worth the $3 for him to have his own. Plus he’d get his own drink and (if rumors are true) a dessert at the end. I ordered him a 4 piece grilled chicken nugget meal (It’s new!) with a side of fruit and an apple juice. 

Again, the sweet employee saw I had my hands full and offered to bring my meal out to meal, and did so very quickly. I was so impressed when his meal arrived and it came with a disposable place mat! It made eating outside so much easier since I didn’t have to worry about what was on the tables (not that they were dirty!). The Little Man gobbled up about half his meal and his entire box of apple juice, so I let him go play. 

I loved that everything was kid safe, and I didn’t have to worry about him while I finished up my meal; even the asphalt was spongy, soft, and clean. 
We stayed and played for almost 30 minutes before I decided it was time to go. On my way out I grabbed a refill and sure enough, the rumors about trading in his toy were true! Chick-fil-A gives parents the option of trading in their kid’s meal toy for a board book or a child’s size ice cream. I wasn’t prepared for the board book option, so I asked to trade in my toy for an ice cream. I decided we could head back to the playground one more time and eat our ice cream before heading out. 

I’d never understood why so many moms always hung out at Chick-fil-A, but as I said, I get it now. I’m sure many moms will find this post “old news,” but if you’re a new mom without a lot of connections (like me) I hope you’ll find this post helpful! I definitely be a return customer for life!


On a side note: Did you know the Chick-fil-A at Collin Creek Mall offers Tiny Tot Time? Every Thursday from 10-10:30am on April 12th and 26th, there’s stories, dancing, singing, crafts, and snacks! Also, look for Tiny Tot Time at Camp Wisdom & 360 in Grand Prairie

Are there other great family friendly restaurants I should know about?
Where’s your favorite fast food playground? 

*This post is not sponsored. All thoughts and opinions are completely my own and weren’t paid for. Although they should be! 😉

First Day of Spring (In Photos)

Today started with the heaviest rain we’ve had in awhile. 
The thunder was so loud that it shook the house several times during the night; 
waking me up each time to check on my son. 

When he finally did get up at 7am, I brought him into bed with me, and he watched Baby Einstein while I shut my eyes for 30 more minutes; not really sleeping, but resting. 

By 7:30am, it was time to get up, but I declared a PJ day (at least as long as it was raining!) 


And while we’re in our PJ’s, why not some pancakes? 
So while Mommy made pancakes, the Little Man decided to go and see what the dogs were doing, and once again, Bailey’s bed looked like so much fun! 

10 minutes later, pancakes were ready, and they were a hit!
Which is surprising considering they were not the best pancakes I’ve ever made.

The rain ended and we decided to head off to Divine Consign
Today was the last day which meant everything was 75% off. 
The boys section was pretty much cleaned out, but we managed to walk away with 4 shirts, 1 pair of shorts, and a pair of shoes for $6. 

10:30 marked nap time for the Little Man and reading time for me. 
. . .
About the time I made it through Chapter 9 of Catching Fire, nap time had ended and we were ready for lunch. 

Although the sun came out and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky by 1pm, the ground was too wet to play outside, so we did what every other mom in Dallas decided to do. . .
head to the mall playground. 

We played for about an hour, and decided to head home. 
We played some more once we got home; lots of chase, reading books, and more chase. 

Then nap time rolled around again. 
. . .
Since it’s not fun making dinner for one, after nap time we went to Raising Cane’s and had some chicken strips and french fries for dinner. 

There was more playtime and this time the dogs wanted to play too. 
He is laughing! I promise! 

And finally, as the clock chimed 7:30pm, we (or Mommy) was ready for bath time/bedtime. 
Just another day in the life of a mom. 

Happy Spring!