Friday, September 27, 2013

a day in the life Working Mommy Post - meet Darci

Late posting this working mommy post as we spent the morning at a play date with some friends.  

Meet Darci she is a new working mommy to two babies!  

Hi all! I'm Darci and I blog {when I have time!} at The Bangert Family. I've enjoyed reading Melissa's blog over the years and when she asked for "Working Mommy's" to write, I was excited to participate, but also hesitant at the same time. You see I've only been a working mom of 2 kids for about 3 months and I have yet to feel like we have a good routine down, but we're working on it!

I've been married to my high school sweetheart, Kyle, for over 8 years now and we have two kids, our daughter Adelyn is 2 and son Avery is almost 7 months. We live in central "small town" Iowa within 40 minutes of both of our hometowns. I've worked for the local community college for going on 10 years now and Kyle began working there, as well, back in 2010. I started out a student worker in the Financial Aid office while I was attending college and have worked my way up to Director of Financial Aid. I also have a small part time job with RMS. They are a vendor Target hires to do sunglasses, cell phone brochures, and various other services in the store. It was a good opportunity for me to get some extra income to help with our debt snowball {any Dave Ramsey followers out there?}!  The great part is a can do it whenever I want {I'm not on a schedule} and the pay is good for a part time job. Without further ado here's a day in the life of me and my family!

6:00am Adelyn is jumping in her crib calling for us, ready to start the day! Kyle gets her up and turns on Mickey Mouse or Bubble Guppies to keep her entertained. I pump first thing. Avery has been sleeping in and when we get him up he isn't interested in nursing, so I pump and send a bottle to daycare. He must need some time to wake up before he's ready to eat! Kyle will usually get ready for the day during this time.

6:30am Kyle usually gets Adelyn dressed for the day after he's ready. I will fix her hair and get her a some cereal to tide her over till daycare. They serve breakfast at 7:30am so she eats there. During this time I'll also pack any backup outfits, diapers, etc needed for daycare.

7:00am I wake Avery up, change his diaper, and get him dressed. Lately he's been sleeping in and we've had to wake him, but before that he would be my alarm clock at 5am! I like this routine better!

7:15am Kyle takes the kids to daycare. I'm so blessed to have such a helpful and supportive husband! And now that I've got my family ready for the day, I get ready at this time. {side note: since we do work at the same place sometimes I will get up earlier and we'll carpool or I'll take the kids, but on this particular day, Daddy took them!}

The first of this year we switched to a new daycare and we couldn't be happier. Adelyn loves it and has learned SO much! Its a Christian daycare center, so she not only learns things like praying before meals or bible stories at home and at church, but at daycare too!

7:45am I'm out of the house and head to the office. We are within 10 minutes of our work and daycare, which is great! 
Short commute!

8:00am Most people start their day with a cup of coffee, but I prefer oatmeal with bananas! Today I ate my breakfast as I caught up on emails and planned the day. Other days I will make a quick breakfast at home, just depends on how the morning goes!

I usually take a total of 3 pump breaks at work to ensure I get enough milk for Avery at daycare the next day. I also have 2 pumps, thanks to my sister! I keep one at home and one in my office. Its SO nice not to have to lug that thing everyday! I'm really not a fan of pumping, but I know it important and I'm able to make just enough milk for Avery, so I'm going to stick it out. I was blessed to be able to nurse/pump bottles for Adelyn for her first year. I hope to do the same for Avery.

My lunch hour will vary throughout the week. Some days I just eat at my desk to get more work done. Other days, like today, I will use my lunch hour to do a few things for my RMS job. It works out great and reduces the length of time I have to be there in the evenings. Just a few weeks ago I had this brilliant idea, "instead of packing my lunch every night or morning, why not pack a weeks worth of lunch and only have to do it once a week?" Genius! It saves so much time and one less thing to think about during the week. I should note that I have a fridge in my office and my lunches are fairly simple: turkey sandwich, baked chips, fruit, & cottage cheese.

5:00pm I'm done with work and head to get the kids.

5:15pm I pick up the kids! This is one of my favorite parts of the day. I love their excitement when I walk in their rooms, just melts my heart!

5:30pm We arrive home. Kyle will usually entertain the kids while I get supper together.

Today we had supper in the crock-pot waiting for us, so I just had to cook some pasta and a veggie and we were set to go! I love crock-pot and making freezer meals ahead of time! Avery has started solids now. During this time Kyle will usually feed Avery his cereal and a fruit or veggie.

6:00/6:15pm We sit down to supper. We leave Avery in his high chair and give him some puffs or a mum mum to keep him entertained while we eat. I love our meal time in the evenings. Adelyn is usually our entertainment, either singing a song or telling us about her day, she's a little chatter box!

6:45pm I will get supper cleaned up and Kyle runs the bath water. We usually tag team. One of us will clean the kitchen the other will give baths. Works out great! We give Adelyn & Avery their baths together, 2 birds with one stone! Recently we removed the "sling" part of Avery's baby bath tub and he is moving ALL over the place! Sure does make bath time more eventful, he is such a busy boy!

7:10pm Done with baths and get both kids in PJs. I nurse Avery during this time and Kyle usually reads to Adelyn and snuggles in the chair while watching one of her shows.

7:40pm Avery is in bed for the night! Some nights I will put Adelyn to bed. We read books, sing, say prayers, and snuggle a little. But if its a night I have to do my RMS job Kyle puts her to bed, which just so happened to be tonight.

8:00pm-10pm I head to Target to do my various jobs for RMS. I usually spend 2 nights/week doing this. It does cut out on my "me time" at home, but we have a few goals we're working on and this is a great way to help us achieve those goals quicker!

10:10pm I head back home to pump before bed, get Avery's milk read for the next day, and hit the hay!

And it all starts over again the next day! The funny thing was that when I was writing this I kept thing that I really don't have a "typical" day and I'm sure all of you Mommies out there would agree! There are so many variations, especially when you have young kids! It makes life interesting and I sure wouldn't change it for a thing!

We usually get the majority of our cleaning done on Saturday and Sunday is laundry day.  Currently I feel like our weekends we play catch up and the house is all spic & span for the week to start and then it just gets messy all over again! Such a vicious circle! I try not to stress too much over the little things and just enjoy time with my family, especially since they are only little once!

We also spend our weekends with friends, family, or in Iowa City getting our fill of Hawkeye football! This is our 6th season of being season ticket holders. It is hard to be away from our kids all week and then all day Saturday too, but its only 7-8 Saturdays in the fall and essentially we count this as our "vacation" for the year. Our hope is to purchase 2 more seats so we can have 4 and make it a family tradition to spend our Saturdays in the fall in Iowa City cheering on our Iowa Hawkeyes!

Since Avery was born in March Kyle and I haven't been very good about making time for each other. So we've decided to have a date night at least once a month. Last month we went to an acadeplla group the college was hosting {read: free!} and had a really nice time! It was fun to do something different, doesn't always have to be dinner & a movie! This month we're going to a banquet {at the college month won't be at work, promise!}. Its so good to get out & have time with just the two of us and I truly believe it makes us better parents.

Thanks for doing this series, Melissa! Its great to find other Mommies out there who work full time outside the home and reading about their routines & what works well for them! Definitely going to take some pointers from ya'll! Stop on over to our family blog The Bangert Family or follow me on instagram @darcibangert.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

a day in the life Working Mommy Post - meet Alisha

Happy Thursday!
Posting this post today as things in my world are about to get BUSY!
I love getting to read posts from other mom's that face infertility and have a sweet bundle of joy in their arms today... the joy of reading these words is wonderful to me! 

About Me:  Hi! I’m Alisha - a 29 year-old Kansas girl married to my high school sweetheart (Dac). We dated through high school and college (long distance). Once I graduated from Oklahoma State, we got married (2006). I’ve had various gynecological issues which resulted in some infertility troubles.

Still, I’m fortunate enough to be mama to an almost 10-month old baby boy (Reid) and a 7-year old amusing pug-dog (Peety). 

I’m a working mom - doing public relations for a school district by day and co-running a photography business with my husband on the side. 
You can find my blog here. I just post about daily life… it’s kind of a virtual scrapbook for us. I post a weekly random update which has now kind of turned into a dumping ground for photos of Reid! =) I documented my pregnancy with “Monday Morning Pop Tart” updates, and now have a couple series’ - “Being Mama”, where I talk about mom-type things and my limited experience with them; and “About Me” where I work through a list of things I want Reid to know about me. I’m so happy to be here. I’ve quietly followed Melissa’s blog for a few years now and I’ve enjoyed seeing how she has made working outside the home work for her family. I signed on to write this post before I really thought it through. The truth is - I have SO much to learn about being a mom who works outside the home. I hardly feel adequate enough to write much more than “HELP ME!!” on this topic. Maybe if nothing else I can provide a sense of “you’re not alone” to someone else struggling to find balance. =) 

Then: I’ll start out with the words I blogged the day I went back to work after maternity leave. “Pregnancy hurt. Labor hurt. C-section recovery hurt. Going back to work hurts worse.” Oh my, it was hard. I knew it would be. I just underestimated how hard it would be. It hurt big time, and there at first it was all I could do to just keep going each day. That in itself was a victory but it sure didn’t feel like it. I felt like all I did was work, pump milk, and prepare for the next day of working and pumping. Repeat. 

Now: Since then, I’ve given the pump the boot and have become a little more relaxed in our daily routine. I really try to keep myself in the moment and enjoy Reid as much as possible in the little time we get together each day. It’s still a struggle and sometimes (probably more often than not) I fail, but I’m working on it. =) Our typical daily routine/schedule: Since I knew I’d be returning to work, we started Reid in a routine fairly early. We weren’t strict and it wasn’t scheduled per se, but we did kind of help him find the routine that worked for him then tweaked it as we needed to. Here’s a look at a normal day NOW. 5:00 a.m. - I wake up, shower, eat something quick for breakfast, do makeup, hair, etc... This is also when I might unload the dishwasher, prep some items for supper, get my lunch ready and other quick, fairly quiet tasks. 6:30 a.m. - I usually wake Reid up, change his diaper and feed him his bottle (he really feeds himself at this point but I still like to hold him so I can get some snuggle time in.) Once he’s fed, I’ll usually let him play for a few minutes while I finish getting dressed and get stuff ready to walk out the door. Then, I get him dressed and off we go! 
7:00 a.m. - We’re usually loading in the car by shortly after 7. Sometimes, if I realize we’ve left a little early, I’ll swing through Sonic for a drink. =) I drop Reid off at daycare at around 7:15 and am clocking in by 7:30. I usually spend my lunch hour running errands or doing quick chores at home. Sometimes I fold and/or put laundry away, load the dishwasher, do some basic surface cleaning, or vacuum. I’m fortunate to live close to work so this can be a pretty productive time in my day. 

4:30 p.m. - I get off work and pick Reid up from daycare. When we get home, I go ahead and re-stock his daycare bag so I know it’s ready to go the next day. 

5:00 p.m. - I usually feed Reid around 5 or so. He has just started eating more little table foods, so a lot of times I’ll set something on his high chair so he can munch while I start supper. Then, once dinner’s underway, I’ll feed him some baby food. Or - if supper prep is more intensive, Dac will feed him while I work on that. It just depends. Then, of course, we eat! =) 
6:00 p.m. - I’ve really started making it a priority to get on the floor with Reid. He is just SO busy and it’s a blast to watch him explore and interact with him. If it’s Reid’s bath night (usually every other night) we may not get long, but those few minutes really make the day seem a bit more right. We try to go for walks some evenings too. On nights when I have a meeting or something, Dac and Reid get boy time - which is important too. 

7-7:15 p.m. - By 7:15, we’re usually done with his bath and I’ll get my second cuddle session in while I feed him his last bottle. Reid is typically in bed asleep by about 8. When I put him in his crib, I set out his clothes for the next morning. 
8:00 p.m. - By this time, I’m usually worn out! Whew! =) BUT - I’ll spend the next half hour or so finishing up housework, or, on a good day, Dac and I will have a chance to sit and chat. Then, most nights I’ll watch a tv show while Dac does some work or edits photos. This is my ME time and I use it to just wind down before bed. Dac stays up later than me most nights but I have to go to bed by around 9:30 or 10 in order to not be a grouch. =) Our weekends are spent doing laundry, mowing the yard, grocery shopping, shooting photo sessions, editing photos, hanging out, church, etc… They always seem to go too fast. 
Time with the Big Guy I have always struggled with quiet time. I’m someone that goes, goes, goes until I crash in front of the TV at night. When Reid was a newborn, I would hold him and pray. Strong, from the heart prayers. I prayed for guidance, for his safety, I thanked him for such a wonderful gift. Sometimes I just cried out in desperation. If Reid was extra fussy when I’d pray, he would almost immediately calm down. Perhaps he sensed my sudden calmness as God gave me peace. I’m not sure. Our church got a new pastor this summer and she started a Bible basics study. We’re working through the Old Testament in chronological order. Now, Dac and I have attended church our whole lives but we’re still learning a lot. This study has helped get me back in the Word and it’s great. 
Working Out Until just a couple weeks ago - I flat wasn’t doing it. Now, I’ve started going to a morning Zumba class 2-3 times per week and try to walk a couple times on top of that. On the mornings I do Zumba, I get up at 4:40, Zumba from 5:15-6, then rush rush rush like a mad-woman to get us ready and out the door on time. It’s doable though. =) When we walk, we usually go as a family after supper. It’s a good time for Dac and I to visit uninterrupted and I’m really starting to treasure it. 
Friend/Family Dates Generally speaking, we see a group of family-friends every other week. We take turn cooking dinner and basically just sit and chat and hold babies. I have other close friends that I make little mini dates with. Sometimes it’s just a coke or ice cream, sometimes it’s a walk or lunch on a Saturday, sometimes it’s birthday pedicures and a day of shopping. We each have a good group of out-of-town friends (Dac’s friends from high school that are scattered and my college roomies/friends in Oklahoma). We really value these friends and try to get together AT LEAST a couple times a year and we’ve started skype-type sessions with some of them too. As for our immediate families, they both live close and we usually see them every other week or so. We’ll go out to eat on a Friday night, or they’ll stop by to play with Reid, etc... Our family and friends have both been huge assets in the babysitting realm when we have weddings or photo sessions on weekends. We are fortunate to be surrounded by so many great people. 
Dac+Me Dates Dac and I used to be pretty dang good at having a weekly date night. I knew at the time it would be even more important for us to have that once we had kids. Now that we’re here... it’s not seeming quite as easy to pull off. The truth is, we already use a babysitter more than we’d like with daycare, photo sessions, etc... Plus, we enjoy spending time with Reid and as a family. Our marriage has certainly felt the impact of an “in passing” relationship and it needs to become a top priority again. Recently, we’ve made more of an effort and I notice the difference. We might stay up and watch a movie after Reid goes to bed, take a lunch+Target trip together sans Reid, or, like earlier this month, we took a mini trip (my first night away from Reid) to celebrate our anniversary. It always feels good to be ‘us’ again but we just don’t make it enough of a priority all the time. 

SO, clearly I don’t have it all figured out. It’s gotten easier in a lot of ways - sure - but I still feel like I’m spinning my wheels trying to fit in all the ‘work’ of life while trying to just be relaxed and enjoy our family. It’s tough! 

I know this phase of life will all too quickly pass and Reid is just... wow... growing up way too fast. Each day gets a little more manageable than the day before. We’re making it and that’s what matters. =) Life is good. 
A recent blog post I wrote on working mom guilt. We are currently re-vamping our photography business website/blog - but you can still visit or find us on facebook under On The Wall Photography! I’m also on instagram as alishacall and pinterest as acall.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

a day in the life - Working Mommy Post - Meet Kiersten

Happy Wednesday afternoon!  
Thanks Kiersten for sharing your family with us and how you do it all! 
Your family is adorable! 
Hi! I’m Kiersten and I blog at Berry and Bramble. I’ve been following along with Melissa for several years now, and am thrilled to be participating in her Working Mommy series! I’m a wife to Jason, husband of 5 years, and mommy to Nicholas, born in January 2012. I had the privilege of staying home with Nicholas for the first eight months of his life, and then went back to work full-time last October. I work at a small company in Austin, TX, where I manage our marketing and advertising department. Here’s an average day for me…

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

6:15am – I hear Nicholas crying over the monitor. I go get him, change his diaper, and bring him into our room. Jason is getting out of the shower, so he takes Nicholas into the kitchen for breakfast.

6:40am – I hit the shower and start getting ready for the day.

7:00am – I join the boys for breakfast. Coffee. Need coffee.

7:30am – Jason leaves for work and I take Nicholas into my bathroom while I finish getting ready.

Keeping it real here—this is what my bathroom looks like after I attempt to blow dry my hair and put on make-up with a toddler running around. And, yes, those are what you think they are. Sometimes, feminine hygiene products strewn across the bathroom floor are worth five minutes of peace.

8:00am – I run around the house gathering my laptop bag, purse, possibly a gym bag if I’m working out that day (but not today), and anything Nicholas needs for daycare, and then we finally head out the door. Most mornings, I am usually sweating by the time I strap him into the car seat. (In all fairness, it’s about 95 degrees inside our garage. That’s just Texas.) Getting out the door is a marathon!

8:40am – We arrive at daycare. Thankfully, today’s drop off goes smoothly.

8:55am – I walk in the door to my office and organize myself at my desk. Time to get myself psyched up for the day! I am working on a big marketing plan for our next fiscal year and have quite a bit of writing to do.



5:15pm – Pack up my bags and head out of the office. We alternate daycare drop-off and pick-up, so it’s Jason’s turn this evening. Meanwhile, I head to the grocery store to pick up some shrimp for our dinner. (I always meal plan for the week, but sometimes plan to drop by the grocery store once midweek, if necessary, to pick up any really perishable ingredients like shrimp.)

5:40pm – I arrive home, do a quick 5 minute tidy up of the kitchen and organize myself to make dinner.

5:50pm – Jason and Nicholas arrive home. About half the time, all three of us eat together as a family. The rest of the time, we’ll feed Nicholas first and then eat our dinner after he goes to bed. This evening, I know I won’t have our dinner ready in time to eat together, so we sit Nicholas down in his high chair. He doesn’t seem hungry, so he winds up just eating a big bowl of Greek yogurt with some apricot jam mixed in. Not the most well-balanced meal, but he’s your typical toddler—some days he eats anything he can get his hands on, and other days not much at all. I know in the end it all balances out, and he is growing and healthy, so I don’t worry about it too much.

6:15pm – Bath time! This is usually Jason’s quality time with Nicholas. On the nights we all eat together, I use this time to clean up the kitchen. Tonight I use it to start cooking our dinner. We are having a tried and true shrimp and grits recipe from Southern Living. It’s a lighter version of the southern staple, quick to prepare, and super tasty.

6:30pm – Nicholas is bathed and changed into PJs. He plays in his room a little bit with Jason. I pop in for a few minutes to join in the fun.

6:40pm – Nicholas is ready to start winding down for bed. Dinner is pretty well under control. I usually put Nicholas to sleep at night and that is our quality time. I take him into the bathroom to brush his teeth (not his favorite activity—it’s kind of like wrestling a cat). Then we head into his bedroom to read several stories, rock, and sing a song or two. We pull the shades, turn on his white noise machine, and dim the lights. I let him pick out a few favorite books, and then we settle into the glider. Some times we look at his animal flashcards. After we’ve read for a little while, he’ll ask me to sing “Py-ger” (The Itsy Bitsy Spider) or “Wo wo wo” (Row, Row, Row Your Boat.) Finally, I put him into his crib and after I kiss him, his Bert, and his Ernie, then I wish him goodnight and head out the door.

7:05pm – I throw the shrimp into the pan to finish up the shrimp and grits recipe, set the table, and serve our meal.

7:15pm – Dinner time! We always sit down at the table for dinner and, on the nights it’s just the two of us, this is when we catch up with each other and reconnect.

7:45pm – Jason cleans up the dishes, while I go start a load of laundry. Then together we quickly fold a load of laundry sitting on the couch.

8:15pm – And it’s finally relaxation time! There are plenty of nights when we’ll each go do our own thing, but tonight we decide to watch an episode of Hard Knocks (HBO’s reality show documenting NFL training camp for the Cincinnati Bengals) together. NFL football is normally not really my thing, but the show is actually really interesting.

9:05pm – We straighten up the living room for a minute and then head into our room to start getting ready for bed.

9:35pm – I climb into my bed and open my Kindle. When I’m in the middle of a good book—tonight it’s Sisterland—I like to read for a few minutes before bed.

10:05pm – Lights out!

That’s a glimpse into our day-to-day. Here’s how we manage everything else:

Housework, Errands, and Meals
We do a good job of diving and conquering when it comes to housework and errands. Jason is a great help around the house, and we both take care of chores as needed, but we do have some tasks that each one of us tends to cover. Jason handles anything outside like yard maintenance, trash, and recycling. I handle all the meal planning, a lot of grocery shopping, most of the cooking, and most other household errands. Jason tends to do dishes. I tend to do more laundry (although Jason is good about throwing in a load when necessary.) We don’t currently have any help with deep cleaning (although I would love it!), so we will usually spend a few hours every other Saturday and power through cleaning the bathrooms and doing all the floors. We don’t have a set schedule, but I am learning that if I just make a point to do a little something every day, it really helps over the long term.

As far as meals go, as I mentioned above, I am a dedicated meal planner. I really hate having to do numerous trips to the grocery store, so I try to plan out our meals each week and make one streamlined grocery store trip (or add a second very quick visit for perishable ingredients as mentioned above.) Wholesome, made-from-scratch food is something I am passionate about, so this is an area where I choose to invest a lot of time. We usually eat at home six nights a week, and I am not a huge fan of prepared or packaged foods (just a personal preference), so I will cook most items from scratch. But, I often prepare enough to have leftovers the next evening, or I’ll do make ahead items that I can freeze and then just throw in the oven when we want to eat them, so those are both ways I help save a little bit of time.

Couple Time
Jason and I try to get a sitter and do one date night a month. Sometimes we’ll have the opportunity to do more, other times it might be more like 6 weeks in between date nights. Occasionally, we’ll also do an at-home date where we do something like order in sushi, get a nice bottle of wine, and watch a movie together. We also try to connect over dinner each night for at least 15-30 minutes.

Family Time
Because Nicholas goes to bed so early, we don’t get too much time with him during the week. This makes me sad and is one of the main things I struggle with when I think about our full-time work schedules. I try to make the most of our evenings and really soak in my time with him when we’re eating dinner together or when we’re playing or reading before bed, but it’s just not a lot of time. As a result, we’re really motivated to make sure we get lots of family time in on the weekends. We typically don’t plan much on the weekends—we may have some housework, but we’ll try to tackle that early in the day or during naptime, and if we have errands (like Costco), we just make a family trip out of it. We also try to do lots of visits to the park or the pool, and spend time as a family in the yard.

Personal Time & Time with Friends
As any parent knows, time alone or with friends is hard to come by. Our “alone time” tends to be when either one of us is working out. Right now I’m fortunate that my office is sponsoring a boot camp for employees every Monday and Thursday morning, so I do that each week and then try to squeeze in one other workout—either a run early in the morning before work, or sometimes a quick lunch workout at the gym in my office building. Jason usually works out after work or during naptime on the weekend. Aside from that, neither one of us has much alone time, except in the evenings after dinner—but we have to choose between spending time together, having alone time, or just getting stuff done around the house.

When it comes to time with friends, I am extremely lucky to have such a supportive husband. I belong to a book club that meets once a month on a weeknight and he always willingly handles dinner and bedtime with Nicholas so that I can go. I’ll also meet up with some girlfriends maybe one other weeknight a month for a girls’ night, and he always encourages me to go. When he has a happy hour or something else with work friends or his buddies, I will take over “baby duty” so he can get some friend time. I am a big believer in the value of cultivating our individual friendships, and so we make that a priority. I think it’s really good for us both as individuals and as a married couple to go spend time with other people once in a while. And, although we were the first in our group of friends here in Austin to have a baby, we’re starting to have more and more friends with kids, which is great. It’s nice to be able to get together with those friends, with the kids, and spend some time bonding with other who understand where we’re at in life right now.

Managing a full-time job both inside and outside the home can be stressful and exhausting at times, but I know we are extremely blessed. Knowing other moms are thriving in a similar situation is so encouraging to me. I hope this little glimpse into our lives was encouraging for you as well! I’d love for you to visit me at Berry and Bramble and follow along!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fall Decorations 2013

Happy Fall!  

We spent this weekend getting ready for Fall and I don't know about you, but I am so excited about the cooler temps and spending the afternoon at the park or playing outside. 
I am trying to get my boys outside as much as possible before the colder temps make a return! 

For the most part I used our Fall Decor that we had in our house we sold two years ago... I didn't purchase anything.  I have a few things that I could add to our mantle and another piece in the living room.  We will see if I get a moment to go shopping and find something... 

I love how everything turned out! 
We also moved our living room furniture around as well as the playroom.  A fresh start to Fall 2013! 

Now I need to start planning weekend trips to the pumpkin patch... 
We went to Westwood Gardens this weekend to pick out the pumpkins and my boys loved climbing ALL over the pumpkins!

Monday, September 23, 2013

a day in the life - Working Mommy Post - meet Emily

Meet Emily and her adorable family! 
I just LOVE all of Emily's pictures!  
She has two adorable kids and one angel baby in heaven! 

Hey everyone! I am Emily,  you can keep up with our day to day journey over at They Call Me Mama. I am so happy to be a part of Melissa's "Working Mommy series." I have been following her for about 3 years now. We have children about the same age so it's always so fun to watch and read about others that are close to the same "life stage"as you. ;) I started blogging about 4 years ago when my husband and I moved 2 hours from my hometown...away from all my family. I will admit I used to wonder what the big deal was and actually didn't even understand the purpose. Now 4 years later I LOVE IT! I love the community, the encouragement, and the fun way I have been able to document (with pictures) our DAILY life.

January of 2008 I was just a small town girl who was SUPER blessed to marry an awesome city boy! I wouldn't have it any other way. We were attending the same university when we met (2005) but within months he transferred to another school about an hour away to continue playing college golf.

(West Palm Beach vacation 2006)

We did the whole "long distance" thing until we got married in 2008. We both finished school that May, graduated college on the same day, within a few months bought a house, and moved to STL. I started teaching at a charter school in the city of STL. I quickly found out city schools weren't for me. Mark began Logan School of Chiropractic and I stuck out the entire school year teaching. (Yes, there will people quitting on a daily basis) The next fall rolled around an I got a job at a SMALL private Christian school minutes from our house. Mark continued at Logan and I began teaching 5th grade...everything was great.

Mid 2009, SURPRISE...I was pregnant....first ultrasound....DOUBLE Surprise TWINS!!! You can read their birth story HERE. The pregnancy was pretty normal a few minor bumps in the road but nothing crazy. God guided us though the entire journey. I taught school until Feb. (5 months pregnant) before I had to transfer jobs due to the school's financial issues. I then worked short term as in a daycare/sub in a preschool until I was 33 weeks. I went into pre-term labor and the Dr. suggested I stop working. The Lord provided....

I went into labor 36 weeks to the day...checked into the hospital 5 cm....4 days later we left the hospital FOREVER CHANGED.

When Wyatt was about 8 weeks old the Lord provided an awesome oppurtunity for Mark and I. We began working together with some friends of our who started a business that ships/delivers IKEA items for less. There isn't an IKEA around our area so this service is in high demand. We were able to work with them for a few months before taking over the business. They are amazing friends and have NEVER been anything short of a miracle to us. They listened to the Lord and because of them we are, 5 years after it's "opening," the owners of ExpediteSTL.

Within 30 days of Wyatt turning a year old we made the big announcement...

Mark graduated Chiropractic school in Aug. 2012 and we continued to run ExpediteSTL. He started working at Schmitz Chiropractic in Sept. of 2012. During this time I continued to work from home with the task of daily e-mails, phone calls, and paper work Expedite requires.

March 13, 2012 our lives changed again...we welcomed Sloane into the world:

After Mark started working and we were complete with Sloane we started REALLY getting into a routine...

A current day day looks like this:

I am awakened with a screaming child from her crib..."Ma Ma Ma," about 6:15. I have no clue how she is such an alarm without fail almost to the minute. She is a mess! I get up with her and begin my day. I unload the dishwasher and get dressed. I usually change her into her clothes when I change her first diaper. This is just one of the many ways I get ready for my day early. I don't like to back track AT ALL and this keeps me from having to fight to get dressed. I do the same for Wyatt when he wakes up. He is potty trained but wears a pull-up to bed. When I change him into his underwear I put his clothes on as well. Both kids are dressed, eating breakfast, watching cartoons by about 7:15am. I use the cartoon watching time to get ready myself. Getting myself ready is really just clothes, make beds, and brush teeth...depending on the day. I check e-mails and try to return as many as possible.  Mark will be getting ready for work or getting dressed to ride with us to take Wyatt to preschool. About 9am we run errands, I get a diet coke, do something fun (park, mall play place, etc.), and then usually grab a snack. We head home about 11:00 depending on the day. Sis is usually sleeping so I move her from car to bed for the rest of her nap. Wyatt has a quiet time in his room looking at books or watching the iPad. During the rest time I "regroup" as much a possible. This is usually when I return phone calls and return e-mails. If we have traveled to IKEA the weekend before I have pick ups during this time and will have even used some of the time during errands to make deliveries as long as it's something I can carry. They kids are usually back up and ready to play by 1pm. I try to do something fun at this time. Do a craft, go outside, play down stairs, or play a board game (Candy Land is big at our house right now.) are a few things we do. I start to get a game plan for dinner as well. The laundry usually needs to be moved and I also try to iron Mark's work clothes once a week. We don't really have a bath time routine but we usually get in the bath around 4pm. I take the laptop into the bathroom and work while the kids are in the tub. The enjoy this time so I am really able to return e-mails and check work social media as well. Mark gets home around 6:30 two days a week and 7:30 the other 2. He is off on Friday's. The kids usually have dinner before us and I sit with them while they eat but then when Mark get's home we eat together and the kids snack or sit with us. After dinner I get Wyatt in bed and situated...Mark usually rocks Sis while I clean up dinner. When I am finished I go lay with Wyatt. On a good night both kids are in bed and asleep (in their beds) by 8:30. Mark and I sit on the couch, watch tv, and I return e-mails and discuss any business issues that have arrived though out the day. This is our time...we usually head to head to bed between 10-11pm. We closed our eyes just in time to hear Sis start screaming....;)
(Jan. 2013)

When it comes to household be's me. Mark takes out the trash on Thursday evenings and also enjoys cooking breakfast sometimes but other than that...I take the jobs. At this point in our lives it is what works for us. I am home during the day and can find time to get certain things finished. Selfishly once Mark get's home I don't want him to continue "working." I enjoy time on the couch with him. I don't sit during the day. I don't nap and I don't rest or usually have "me time," that time is used to complete chores and work on EXPEDITE. My mom says it best..."everyone has the same 24 hours, it's how YOU CHOOSE to spend it." I find myself saying this to myself a lot. 

I make lists. I love lists. I put things on my list that have already been completed just so I can check it off. I know...I am weird but it works for us. We we lead a crazy but schedule but we also make it a point to spend time together as a family and WITH family. It's what is important to us. We surround ourselves with people that also have the same priorities. Sometimes when I think we go too much I try to evaluate what we are long as it's doing things I want my kids to remember and enjoy I take a step back and breathe. I want them to spend time with family...not just our little 4 but with FAMILY. It's important to make time for them. When Wyatt and Sloane grow up I would be devastated if they no longer wanted to spend time with me. With that said Mark and I try to lead by example....this leads me to:


Mark and I feel really strongly about this subject. We know leading and teaching by example to our children is the best. We value and LOVE every second of being with our children,  we do not love them any less than the next person but we also value our time as husband and wife. We want our children to grow up understanding the value of time alone as husband and wife. We have to be gone from 5am-10pm one Saturday a month and the weekend of "travel"we have little, if any, time is spent together as family. It's a tough one! We try to have date nights often but don't really keep track of how often/not often this happens. We spend time together with Kelley and Tyler as a couple quite often. Wyatt has started asking where we are going and we use this time to explain to him why it's so important to have time as just Mommy and Daddy. We have gone on one small vacation without the children as well. It's just a recharge...not saying it's easy but I cling to the precious time alone with my husband, trust the children are in good hands, and know with all my heart this is what's best for everyone. I mean 25 years my husband will still be the one sitting on the couch with me in the evenings, I want to still have the awesome relationship that is Christ centered, not child centered, with my husband.

Spending time with my friends and alone are tough ones. I have never been someone who feels comfortable with lots of friends but someone who likes to have a few CLOSE friends. Everyone is different and as an adult I have learned more about "friends." Some people view age as a deciding factor, some choose where you are in life as a factor, others just are friends no matter what. I will be COMPLETELY honest when I say making time for friends and myself is something I have to make a major effort to do. It's NOT because I don't want to or don't enjoy being with friends it's because I am tired. So lame right?!!?!? Having one weekend a month taken by business, then usually one or two with family functions, it's just tough to leave my family/children. I get stressed and feel bad that Mark has to be alone with the kids. Not that I would ever say he was "babysitting" or such...since he is their dad....LOL, but just because I have that wonderful thing called mom guilt. Ha! Not one can do it like we can...right!?!?!? With all this said I make it a point to make plans with friends, keep in touch, etc. I am not saying I am always the best but I truly try to make sure my friends know I am always here for them. Some of the fun things I do with friends or myself lately: there is a group of friends we try to get coffee or enjoy breakfast once a month, I have a friend who we have special time together getting nails or toe done, ;) etc. Trying to stay organized with my alone time also helps me stay fresh and enjoy time with other mama's as well.

Spending time with the kids is something that should come easy for me...right?!!?!??! I mean, I stay at home. I hate to admit but I have to make it a point to sit down and play with them. I am terrible at make believe. ;( I  wish it was easier for me but it's not. The type A personality wants to move the laundry, clean, etc, instead of sitting down with them. I made have made it a point to stop and hold a little the second they ask...even if it's for 5 mins. but I TRY REALLY HARD to not say "hang on, just a min, etc." I have tried to create fun crafts and we go lots of fun places throughout the week. We go to the zoo, magic house, parks, etc. and I love playing and interacting there with them. Once again it just takes planning. I try to sit down on Sunday evening and make a plan. I look at weather and try to come up with a fun thing for each day. Sometimes it's just baking cookies or helping me with dinner but it's still something.

Thanks for taking the time and reading about my crazy but fun life! There are times when I want to pull my hair out but I know we are so blessed! I would love for you to take a second and follow my blog,,  and even join me on my daily journey on Instagram @emschmitz.
Hope you enjoyed!
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