Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Resolution Check-In: Making Room (for Time and Virtue)

Resolution Check-In: Making Room (for Time and Virtue) -
*This post contains some affiliate links in which we will make a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on any of those links.  Please see the disclosures and policies page for more information.  

For the next year, I'll be following along with Ember Grey's 12 Months of Bliss Challenge!  I wrote more about this month's challenge here, but today is check-in day!  So to review...

Resolution Check-In: Making Room (for Time and Virtue) -

July 2015: Making Room (for Time and Virtue)

To make room for more quality time by letting go of bad habits.  I'll write down everything I do during the day - the good and bad things - and then eliminate one of the bad habits.

What Went Down: 
Of all the things I do during the day, the two biggest time suckers for me are sleeping in and getting off-track while blogging.  I decided to work on both of these this month instead of picking just one! 

I was sleeping in because I was having difficulty falling asleep at night...which was because I was getting up so late...sigh, the vicious cycle.  So I have been getting up between 6:30-7am almost everyday.  I started working on this with the Money Saving Mom's Makeover Your Mornings course earlier this summer.  I was doing really well and loved it, but I got off track.  This challenge was perfect timing for me to start back up.

Getting up before my kids do has been so nice because it gives me a little time to myself to read, work on the blog, craft, pray, do my makeup/hair, etc.  Then, it frees up time during the day when they're awake so I can be more present for them.

Also, I get off track very easily with everything but especially with blogging.  I start reading a blog or writing a new post, which reminds me of something I need to fix, read, check on, etc, and then down the rabbit hole I go.  It's like I'm the mouse in If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

So I've written a daily schedule of things I must work on.  One day for emails, one for replying to comments, etc.  And I can't work on things outside of that!  This has helped me stay focused on what really needs to be done...and to actually finish what I need to in a shorter amount of time.  (If you're a blogger, I'd love to know - do you have a specific schedule you follow?  I'd love to hear about it so I can improve mine since it's in the baby stages.)

Reflection Questions: 

What were my bad habits causing me to miss out on?
I was sleeping in so I was doing my makeup and hair while the kids were awake.  Then, I'd read to or play with them afterwards.  I was getting off track while working on the blog, so it would take twice as long as it should.  Then, I'd be making dinner, cleaning up, putting away dishes, etc. after my husband got home and when the kids were up from their naps.  My time for myself was rushed or non-existent.  I was missing out on quality time with my husband and kids.

I thought this quote and question from Henry David Thoreau that I saw on Verily was perfect for this challenge too:

Resolution Check-In: Making Room (for Time and Virtue) -
Via Verily's Daily Dose

What am I busy about?  
I realized I'm busy with catching up.  I always feel like I'm behind because those 2 bad habits were taking up so much time that could've been spent on 1) God, 2) family, and 3) keeping my home in order.

Putting It All Together 
Basically, I needed to kick idleness to the curb.  When I stay on track with getting up before the kids and staying focused while blogging, I get necessary things done at an appropriate time and in an appropriate amount of time.  Then, I have more personal time (to pray, read, and be me!) and more quality time with the people I love (to laugh, play, and have fun!). 

Going Forward:
I need to stick with the plan.  Get up in the morning.  And stay with my new blogging schedule.  And when I have a bad day or just want to give up on these new habits, I need to remember who I'm doing this for: my family and myself. 

Resolution Check-In: Making Room (for Time and Virtue) -

Did you participate in this 12 Months of Bliss making room (for time and virtue)?  What did you learn from your experience doing challenge?  (If you wrote a blog post about it, please comment below with your link!)

I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Resolution Check-In: Making Room (for Time and Virtue) -


If you're interested in following along, 
you can read more about #12MofBliss here!
EG's Twelve Months of Bliss

I'm linking up with these awesome parties!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

What's Up Wednesday...on Tuesday (Tuesday Talk #30)

*This post contains some affiliate links in which we will make a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on any of those links.  Please see the disclosures and policies page for more information.  

So for this Tuesday Talk, I thought I'd jump in for Mel, Sheaffer, and Shay's What's Up Wednesday a day here I go!  This is what I/we have been...

A Sleeping Beauty birthday for our 4 year old princess

Up to:
Earlier in the month, we celebrated L's Baptism and J's 4th birthday!  We had such a blast at both celebrations.  I can't wait to post the details about their parties/decor soon!

Cousin love!

He's here - our new nephew/cousin Ezra!  It is so awesome to see my brother Matt and his wife Karissa as parents - they are doing a wonderful job.  Ezra is such a handsome and sweet little one.  We love him so much! 

Just say no to PSL, scarves, pumpkins, long sleeves, and cooler weather!

Fall.  Usually, I love the Fall.  But I'm not looking forward to it this year.  No, no, no.

It rained and was in the 50s nearly everyday for the first half of the summer.  So we were stuck we were alllllllll winter long since it was below freezing almost everyday (which is not typical here).

So I think we deserve an extra few months of good weather since we were trapped inside from November last year through mid-July this year!

Long live Summer!!! 

I've been eating this amazing Caesar salad combo almost everyday this summer.  Plus, we've been grilling out a lot (for real and pretend).  Delicious!

I'm looking forward to making my homemade garden salsa and dill cucumber dip too! 

But we'll be getting our veggies from someone else's garden this year.  All of the rain we got the first half of the summer drowned all of our plants.  How did your garden fare this year?  What are your fave garden recipes?

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord...

Reminiscing about:
My Grandparents.  They both passed away in the last 9 months.  They are incredibly special to me, and I miss them so much.  But at the same time, I am comforted when I think they are no longer suffering and that they are together again in Heaven.  It is truly bittersweet.

An engagement at Notre romantic!

Excited about:
Our sister Kelly is marrying Paul in September!  Will you please keep them both in prayer as they prepare for their wedding and marriage?  We're so excited for them!

I've been reading this wonderful book Rosaries Aren't {Just} For Teething which is full of reflections on Jesus's mother Mary, motherhood, and the mysteries of the Rosary.  It has been exactly what I needed to hear as a mom of little ones.  So if you're a mom in need of a great spiritual read about motherhood, this book is perfect!

Some other books on my "want to read soon" list are:

Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series (again!)
Regina Doman's Shadow of the Bear: A Fairy Tale Retold

What's on your list?  Any good books you'd recommend (spiritual, classics, etc.)?

Listening to: 
Jon Foreman's (of Switchfoot) The Wonderlands...24 songs for 24 hours.  Just the first 12 are out now (6 on Sunlight and 6 on Shadows).  Twelve more songs on Darkness and Dawn will come out over the next few months.  I love everything Switchfoot so, of course, I love Jon's creations!  Anyone else a Switchfoot fan?

Babywearing - like mother, like daughter ;)

J and I have been wearing our babies everywhere!  I made her a sling for her birthday per her request - she wanted to wear her baby in a "pouch" too!  Now, we can wear our babies together.  Seriously, it's the cutest thing ever!

(P.S.  There's still time to enter our water sling giveaway - enter here!  This contest ends Friday, July 30 and is for US residents only.)

Can't wait to take the kids (L's first time!) to Notre Dame for a game day this year!

Looking forward to next month: 
Birthdays galore...
The start of college football (Go Irish!!!!)....
A mini-vacation...
And Switchfoot in concert...
...Life is good.

What are you looking forward to in August?

I really love Switchfoot in case you didn't catch that yet

So what have you been up to lately, friend?  

I can't believe August starts this weekend.  Wow, this summer is flying by.  I hope you've had a wonderful July! 


Ok, on to the Link Up!

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Sweet Little Ones

Check out the Tuesday Talk guidelines here,
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What I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married Series - for

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Becky - BYBMG ~ Elizabeth - All Kinds Of Things


Can't wait to read your posts this week!  Thank you, friends!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

These are a few of my favorite things...

This week I thought I'd share a few of my favorite things that I've been using a lot recently. Most of them are for kids, and boy, they are making my life so much easier!

Tim highly recommends this sippy cup :)

The Munchkin Miracle 360 Sippy Cup is probably the best sippy ever. Tim would never take a bottle, and this was the only cup he could figure out. Basically it's like a real cup, but it seals the lid once the child stops sucking. It is leak proof and dishwasher safe - which is a huge plus. Both Abby and Tim now use this style of cup...I need to get a few more :)

We have a pool at our apartment, so we are taking advantage of that perk while we have it! In my pool bag are 2 must haves - a Wet Brush for my daughter's hair and a sunscreen stick for kids. The wet brush will break through any tangle, and it's perfect for kids' hair after swimming. We have a standard size for after showers, and keep a Wet Brush Squirt in the pool bag. It's one of my favorite finds this summer!

Pool Bag Favorites :)

As for the sunscreen stick ... have you ever had to apply sunscreen to a 1 year old's face? Not easy. Tim actually doesn't fight me when I use the stick. I use regular spray suntan lotion for their bodies and then use the stick for their ears and face. Makes it so much simpler to go around their eyes too!

Another favorite - a baby carrier! John wears Tim all the time and it is so helpful. We have to take the kids house hunting with us, which is not an easy task. I'm just glad John loves carrying Tim around :) Speaking of baby wearing, don't forget to enter the Cute Awaking Water Sling giveaway!

My last favorite is something we love, but haven't utilized to its full potential until now - the library! Free books, movies, video games, summer reading program, story time...why have I never used this?! We live about five minutes away from the library now, and we have found ourselves there at least 3 times a week. The kids love it, and I love free entertainment. We just finished the reading program for the summer...anyone have any favorite kids books we should check out?

Hope you all have a great rest of the week! See you back here for Tuesday Talk!

I'm linking up with these awesome parties today!

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