A Tuesday In The Life: August 2021

Good morning and happy September! I’ve got a day in the life post for you guys today. If you’re wondering what it’s like to parent a 16 month old, this is the post for you. I tried to keep the words short and let the pictures do the talking, because there’s a lot of them!

Our day started with some salted brown butter banana zucchini baked oatmeal that I made during nap time Monday. Thanks to my meal prep, breakfast on Tuesday (and the rest of the week) was a breeze.

Unfortunately James is not a fan of oatmeal in any form. I guess it’s the texture? He won’t eat baked oatmeal, creamy oatmeal, or anything in between. Looks like he’ll be eating something else for breakfast the rest of the week…

Shortly after breakfast cleanup we hit the road and went to my elementary school playground for a change of scenery. We got there pretty early and no one else was out. Without anyone to play with James got bored quickly and started wandering in all directions. He has much more fun when other kids are involved.

Swings are his favorite thing ever right now. He loves both the baby swings and adult swings in the form of sitting on our lap and going extra high.

Despite the playground being too quiet for this little guy, it was a beautiful morning to be outside! Look at those blue skies!

Next stop, the lake! I was torn between taking him to my parents house or continuing our outdoor adventures. I think I chose correctly because as soon as James saw the lake he immediately starting running towards it saying “baaaaa”, his current word for water.

The boat launch was a little slippery so while James would have loved to run straight into the water, I tried to keep him close to shore. Not to mention his lack of swimsuit. I had one packed, I just didn’t have a chance to put it on him because he ran to the water so fast.

Little lake lover.

We enjoyed spending a good amount of time at the boat launch watching all kinds of boats and swimmers come in and out of the water. There was a playground at the park too where we met the nicest mom and her two little girls. James was more than thrilled to find friends to follow around exploring everything.

A quick stop for lunch to-go (for me), and car snacks for James…until he fell asleep of course.

Sometimes if he falls asleep in the car I’ll just transfer him to his crib for his afternoon nap, but it was a little early. I woke him up when we got home and he quickly transitioned back into play-mode while I put together his lunch of PB&J, cheese crackers, and cucumber.

All was yummy except for the cucumber slices which were left untouched…

As I was cleaning up lunch someone decided to get into trouble.

We have most of our cupboards child-proofed, but James (of course) knows the ones that aren’t and gets into them before I can stop him.

Trying to get him to relax for a few minutes on the couch, he’s an endless ball of energy!

Sipping some iced tea while…

Doing some meal prep.

Meanwhile, a good reminder why I wait until nap time to do anything relaxing or productive.

We made it! After a busy morning James was ready for a nap.

And I was too, but house duties called, in the form of bathroom cleaning. Blah.

Bathroom cleaning was followed by a much needed shower and sitting down to write a blog post, my favorite part of the afternoon!

I decided to bring back a favorite of rice crispies topped with banana slices and a drizzle of honey as my afternoon snack yesterday. Do you ever go back to your childhood snacks and wonder where they have been all these years?!

Once James (begrudgingly) awoke from his nap, it was time for a bottle and some couch cuddles. He has been waking up slowly in the afternoon’s and I am happy to snuggle with him as he eases back into the day.

A walk down the road to Grandma’s was next on our activity list for the day. We picked up some fresh basil from her garden, and played and chatted for a while with her, Grandpa,and Uncle John.

We came home around 5:30 and were excited to see Josiah home from work as well! I quickly made our dinner which was this burst tomato and burrata pasta ( I subbed mozzarella), and it was SO GOOD! I’ll be sure to share more details in the food highlights from this week. We enjoyed our bowls of spaghetti with green beans and garlic bread. The best!

James was smacking his lips while eating his plate of food, you know it’s good when it’s lip smackin’ worthy. Haha.

The aftermath of James’s play sessions at home. Even though we were out and about a lot, he still manages to create a mess. Josiah cleaned up dinner while I played with James.

And then we tried to sit down for a minute on the couch together…

Someone does not like to be left out!

Much better πŸ™‚

After a final post-dinner run around for James, it was bath and bed time for this little guy. I have my women’s Bible study on Tuesday nights and had a great study with the ladies! Once I had signed off of Bible study, Josiah and I caught up a little bit (distraction free) and went to bed right around 9:30pm.

I’m finishing this post Wednesday morning, and I see James stirring in his crib. Looks like it’s time to start another day. I hope you guys have a wonderful Wednesday!

Thoughts on Motherhood and Life Lately

Happy Tuesday evening everyone! I meant to publish this post earlier in the day, but had technical difficulties. I thought that the post had disappeared into thin air at one point! But then it reappeared, woohoo!

I feel like I haven’t been checking in as much and I’m kind of beating myself up over it. I tend to be my worst critic (aren’t we all), and I started this blog as a fun creative outlet for myself. As things usually go for me, the blog has turned into more of an obligation rather than a fun outlet, and I find myself feeling pressured to publish a certain number of posts every week, come up with better content, etc. I don’t want to lose the joy in writing this blog so I’m trying to give myself some grace and allow myself to write spontaneously without a set writing schedule, and write freely about whatever is on my mind rather than focusing on producing quality content.

Motherhood has been all consuming lately. I realize I only have one baby to care for and therefore I do have a decent amount of free time compared to those juggling multiple kids. But a lot of afternoons while James is napping I find myself prepping dinner and staying busy with other chores. I don’t handle boredom well, and I feel the need to stay busy at all times. Deep down I find myself craving rest. It is a lot to chase after a toddler all day, especially since we have quickly transitioned from multiple naps a day to only one. This means there’s only one chance for me to catch up and take a breather myself.

I am currently reading a book that my therapist recommended to me, it’s called “I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me”. It’s all about Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and while I do not meet enough criteria for a diagnosis of BPD I do carry a lot of the same personality traits as someone with BPD. My husband was in my therapy session the other day and being the book lover he is, he asked my therapist for book recommendations. Sure enough he quickly ordered this book from Amazon after she recommended it, and I’ve found myself enjoying it a lot.

Not only does it help me to understand some of my own personality traits, but it has taught me a lot about motherhood and childhood development. It has opened my eyes to cultural shifts, and their impact on the development of BPD and other mental health disorders, including the shift that women have experienced in the past couple of decades which has placed significantly greater pressure women (especially moms) than ever before. The book talks about the changing roles of women over the years including the fact that women used to predominantly carry the role of housewife and mother with no added pressure of external work besides voluntary.

Currently many moms, and families in general are put in a difficult situation. Women were able to stay home and take care of the children and household chores because having a single income was enough to have a decent standard of living. These days, many families are forced to rely on two incomes which often comes at the expense of women trying to juggle not only the household chores and childcare, but also a part or full-time job on top of that. I realize that during this shift, men’s roles have changed as well and they are no longer purely responsible for earning an income, but it is the women that are dealing with the majority of the impact when it comes to adding children into the mix.

All of this to say, it has made me think a lot about my role as a wife and mother. I am almost always feeling guilty about not doing “enough”, whatever that means. I have negative internal thoughts towards myself about not earning an income, or being able to juggle it all like some moms can. I seriously admire those moms that can work a full time job, raise kids, and accomplish the daily demands of life. I don’t think I could do it, nor do I want to. But I feel the pressure of our current culture which says that we have to do it all, and make it look easy at the same time.

Motherhood is the most rewarding incredible experience I’ve ever lived, but it is also exhausting and challenging in ways I could have never imagined. When I find myself racing through the day, I often try and stop to cherish the small moments that are fleeting faster than I can even process. I still don’t know if there is a career out there for me, but I am trying to be patient. James will be an independent adult before I know it, and who knows what will be in store for me then. In the meantime, I love the life I am living and I am blessed to be a full time wife and mom. Most days are a total mess, but it’s a beautiful one (or so I tell myself, haha).

For anyone out there struggling to find worth and meaning in your own life, trust that the Lord has you right where you are meant to be and that you will ALWAYS be enough for Him.

Proverbs 16:1-3 “The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established”

Thinking Out Loud

Eating lunch in peace…that is rare these days. James and I went to church this morning which means that his morning nap didn’t happen. He was more than ready for a nap when we got home and is now sleeping soundly. I just finished a quiet lunch of avocado toast with eggs. As I look at the picture of it I’m like, “ok what happened to the eggs? and why so much hot sauce?” It was a little bit of a hot mess, but tasted good none the less.

I have been blogging for almost two weeks now and I absolutely love it. It is painful, rewarding, frustrating, and fun all at the same time. But I don’t really know where I’m going with it. I don’t have a lot of readers, which is fine, and thank you to everyone who is following along! I think I need to step up my social media game which terrifies me. I am afraid of putting myself out there and the hurt and rejection that may come. There could also be a lot of good that comes out of gaining readership too though.

Where do I want this blog to go though? What are my strengths? What are people interested in reading? I feel like I don’t have a lot to offer the world right now. I am a mom to a one year old. My marriage feels a little broken, my thoughts feel a little broken, and I feel like I’m not worthy enough of people’s time to stop by and read this blog.

I am a people pleaser by nature and that is a hard world to live in. I know deep down that I cannot and will not make everyone happy. I know that there will be people that disagree with my beliefs and values. So I am writing this post for myself as encouragement. To keep going. To write even when the content is seemingly invaluable. My husband Josiah always encourages me to “just write” and that’s what I’m going to do.

I’m trying to figure out where the line is. I want to share all of my life with you guys an quite honestly, why keep it private? For me to share means that I am keeping it from being buried inside of me, burdening my soul. So should I share it all? I mean at the end of the day my life is not mine anyway, I have given it to Christ and I am doing my best to walk with the holy spirit inside of me. So I hope that by sharing my life I am lifting up Christ in the process.

In complete transparency, my marriage has been up in flames this weekend and I will take the blame. I have always been the type of person to get stressed out when there is no plan in life or when plans change at the last minute. I like to know what lies ahead and prepare for the future as much as possible. Long story short, plans changed last night and I didn’t handle it well. Looking back I wish that I had just gone with the flow and it is something that I am going to continue to challenge myself to do.

I would love to paint the picture of a perfect life here on this blog. I would love to share photos of my husband and I embracing each other with smiles on our faces, and James beaming with joy in every moment of his life. But let me tell y’all, that is not the reality around here. And I am not aways ok with that. I gain confidence each day in God when I see him answer my prayers in big ways and when He shows me the other side of the difficult times. I hate dealing with conflict, I hate sitting in uncomfortable moments in life, but I live with the hope of eternal life with Christ in Heaven where none of this pain and tears and heartbreak with exist.

My husband preached a wonderful sermon today about working out your salvation with fear and trembling. I actually wrote about the verses that he preached on in my Philippians Chapter 2 summary. Salvation is a gift that was given to us by the grace of God, but what we choose to do with that gift is up to us. Are we going to be “lounging lizards” as Josiah so humorously worded it today or are we going to actively walk with God? I am choosing to actively walk with the Lord, even when it is hard, even when I want to quit, even when He doesn’t answer my prayers the way I want him to. Philippians 2:13 “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Amen!