Simplify: My Wardrobe

simplify_-my-wardrobe

Our Christmas break was a blur. We moved over the break, and we’re working on getting our house show ready for the market to sell. I learned a few things while moving:

1. Moving with kids is near impossible. I basically kept the kids from getting in the way, while everyone else moved our crap. (Big shout out to all our friends and family that helped! Y’all rock!)

2. We have a LOT of stuff. Clothes, books I haven’t read in years, kitchen gadgets, toys that were lost and forgotten about, just a bunch of stuff.

This first month of the year I am tackling just that: stuff. I know it’s a broad category… But we’re having a garage sale soon, so I might as well document this as I go, right? The first week of January I worked on going through our wardrobes.

I first wanted to tackle the kids’ clothes. They seemed to have so. much. clothes. I had this philosophy: If I don’t love it, get rid of it. So that’s what I did. Y’all, they had boxes of clothes that were too small for them, too big for my oldest, and everything in between. I kept enough in their dresser to get them through a week without having to do laundry, and then headed to a second hand kids’ clothing store in town.

This was so liberating. It was almost like the kids had so much clothes that I didn’t really know what clothes they did have in their closets! And honestly, my boys pick out the same 4 T-shirts to wear on a regular basis anyway, so they aren’t missing a thing.

Next on my list: my closet. I have gotten so used to hanging on to maternity clothes, nursing tanks, jeans that are a size bigger than my normal size for that awkward post-baby time period when nothing fits right… I got rid of it all. The same philosophy went through my mind: If you don’t love it, get rid of it. Why would I want to hang on to a top that I don’t feel confident wearing? It makes no sense cluttering up my closet thinking one day I’ll wear it when I haven’t worn it in 2 years!

Now, my magic number is 5. I decided to keep 5 of everything: 5 short sleeved tops, 5 long sleeved tops, 5 tanks, 5 dresses, and 5 pairs of shoes. As far as jeans go, I currently only have 2 pairs that fit me and 1 pair of shorts so that kinda worked out on its own.

Again, it felt great. I know I’m going to love whatever I put on, because I didn’t bother to let anything else clutter my side of the closet. Even now, when I look back on my newly simplified closet, I still feel like I can empty it a little more, but I’m comfortable with where it’s at for now.

I’d love to hear about some of your journeys to simplify your closets! Share some of your tips on how to you keep your closets free of excess and and full of abundance!

Advertisements

Kindergarten Is the Coolest

Kindergarten Is the Coolest

Well, it happened. Just like those sweet white haired ladies said it would… Time flew by. Those first 5 years with my oldest son whizzed past me, and this week he started kindergarten. I didn’t believe them when they told me it would be here before I know it.

When Noah was about a year old, I remember wanting to punch people in the face when they told me the time would fly… It seemed to be going by so slow at the time. My days were filled with endless diaper changes, sweeping up Cheerios at least 3 times a day, and baby food flung in my face on a regular basis. Well… with 3 other kids at home 2 of those activities are still true with the other boys and baby girl!

Somehow Noah managed to get potty trained, learned how to walk and talk, and before I knew it he started school. Honestly, I was more nervous than he was when we were walking him to school his first day. He was chatting endlessly with his Ninja Turtle lunch box in hand. He was thrilled to start school; he’d been looking forward to this day since he was 3.

We walked him to his class that first day (barely making it on time!), and he sat right down with a huge smile on his face, looking around at everything going on. I made up an excuse to unload his backpack so I could have a few more seconds with him (don’t worry, teachers, I don’t do that anymore), gave him a kiss, held back my tears and left with my husband who was just so freakin CHILL about the whole situation.

Noahs first day

It was such a weird day… I’d be washing the dishes and think I wonder what he’s doing right now… Or during nap time I asked myself Is he tired by now? He’s still used to taking a nap! Silly thoughts ran through my head all day long, my prayers were filled with him and his teacher, and 3:00pm couldn’t come fast enough.

As I was waiting in the car to pick him up (because I wasn’t about to walk a mile with all the kids in 100 degree South Texas heat!), I was so nervous. Y’all, I wasn’t this nervous when I went to school, and the day was completely over. My nerves made no sense!

We FINALLY made it to pick him up (those pick up lines are NO JOKE), and he climbed in his booster seat and said, “Kindergarten is the coolest! I can’t wait to go back tomorrow!” And I think I let out a breath for the first time all day. That was all I needed. I was relieved to know he had fun, ate his lunch, and made friends with a boy in a blue button up shirt. He’s going to be fine, and I will too.

Friday Fun Facts #16

We're adding another pumpkin to our patch!

1. We’re pregnant!! How’s that for a fun fact?! We are super excited! So, basically these past few weeks I have been sleeping every chance I get, which is why I’ve gone silent for a while. So, these Fun Facts are gonna be all about pregnancy! Yay!

2. Yes, you can congratulate me. This wasn’t an accident. We were trying for another baby. Children are a blessing. Please be happy for us, because we’re pretty happy about it!

3. I haven’t been working out during my boys’ naptime because I have been SO TIRED. I forgot how tiring it is to grow a human in your belly. It’s work, y’all! BUT I have been taking naps, which is the next best thing, right? So Noah and Timothy have been having a cuddle buddy the past couple of weeks and they love it.

4. A cute conversation-
Me: “Timmy, there’s a baby in mama’s belly.”
Tim: “No, mama.”
Me: “Yes, sweetie, there is a baby in my belly.”
Tim: “Mom, baby Isaac is in the living room.”

5. My husband got the amazing opportunity to emcee a concert for Trip Lee. If you’ve never listened to Trip Lee, you need to. He’s my FAVORITE Christian Rap artist, and I’m missing it because I knew there was no way I’d make it through a concert (the other day I went to bed before Noah did LoL). Sad day for me, but I’m super excited for my hubby and told him he needed to take a selfie with Trip Lee for me!

From Super Mom to Super Humbled

supermom

I can’t be Supermom today. I tried and failed miserably, and it’s only 1:00pm. I really wanted to be Supermom today. I had good intentions. We had students over for breakfast, which was fun and the boys love that. Then I did a little business on my computer. I hit a new rank in my business yesterday, so I was just looking everything over, congratulating my builders, and emailing new contacts. I made green smoothies for a snack with a little essential oil love in the mix, as requested by my 4 year old, Noah. (Yeah, rockin’ it! **Cue to roll your eyes**)

WO in smoothie

Noah had also been wanting banana nut muffins for the past few days, and I hadn’t gotten to it yet. So after our smoothie I decided to do that. Which trailed into lunch time. So I was making muffins and lunch at the same time. I slightly burnt my first batch of muffins. They tasted ok, but looked terrible. The boys were super whiny and fussy because it’s naptime and now they wanted to eat ALL the muffins.

I finally step out of the kitchen for the first time in a couple of hours and the rest of the house is a disaster. Every single toy bin was out. Timmy was running around with his underwear in his hand, and Isaac was leaving a trail of drool everywhere he went. And we’re also dealing with pink eye in the house. I lost it. I lost it and I let Timmy have it. He cried and went to his room. Noah picked up the toys and ran to his room. I changed Isaac and put him to bed without giving him his eye drops because I can’t find them ANYWHERE.

I tip toed in the boys’ room and asked Timmy if he wanted me to sing to him. He nodded and smiled. A smile that let me know he still loves me even though I yelled at him when he didn’t deserve it. I sang “Jesus loves me,” feeling like the biggest hypocrite singing the song because I sure didn’t show him love 10 minutes ago. I told him I was sorry and tried not to cry when he gave me a big Timmy kiss.

I left his room and by now all the boys are in bed. I know I should be exercising but my body is exhausted, drained from all the emotions that went on the past thirty minutes. So I decided to write. And to tell you, fellow mom or dad, if you just blew it with one of your kids… it’s not too late to start fresh. Give them a hug, tell them you’re sorry and you love them, but you need Jesus just as much as they do. I need Jesus to help me make it through the day with enough grace and strength to love on these boys that He has blessed us with. There’s no way I can make it without Him. He is my Rock when my emotions create a storm within me. He is my anchor that keeps me grounded. He is who I can turn to when I know I didn’t act out of His love, and extend me His grace to try again. So, that’s my goal for the rest of the day… Not to have the perfect workout or work for another hour in my business or make a 5 star meal for dinner… My goal is to try and love like Christ loves me. Because if I don’t have THAT as my primary goal, then the rest doesn’t matter … my day is wasted without His love.

So, how ‘bout it? Are you with me? How will you show God’s love today?

Ethiopia and Working for God

I had my computer open today and my Inspirational Quote/Bible Verses folder was open. Well, Noah comes along and sits in my lap. He’s looking at the different pictures with quotes and he says, “I think I could live there.” Now I think he is talking about this picture:

mountain

“Oh yeah. This picture? I love the mountains, they’re so pretty.”

“No, mama, not that picture. That picture.”

james127africa

He points to Africa, and my heart melts. Not because I have this fear of my kid living in Africa, but because my heart has been breaking and bleeding for Ethiopia for years. The Lord put Ethiopia on my heart before I even knew where it was on a map. I’ve been praying for Ethiopia for over 6 years now, without much direction, just praying for the land and its people. God keeps confirming in different ways every few months… reminding me of my silent faithfulness to Ethiopia. Who knows? I may not ever go to Ethiopia, but I’m already in love the country because of the love God has given me. So I’ll continue to pray for the country, its people, and for their souls.

Once Noah pointed out Africa, I pulled up a world map and got the amazing opportunity to not only teach him a little geography, but share the opportunity of being a missionary. He decided at that point that he wanted to do that: go to Africa and be a missionary. If that is what the Lord calls him to do, that’s great, but yesterday he wanted to be a firefighter (and a daddy!) so… I’m not start packing his bags yet. LoL

This short 5 minute conversation with Noah was a wonderful reminder of each of our missions, no matter our occupation. We are called to do our work unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23). Whether we are a pastor, firefighter, homemaker, or a mom who sells essential oils; we are called to serve the Lord. Christ should be the center of all that we do, or else our efforts are in vain. For example, when I have an essential oil class, I pray for those people attending. I don’t pray for sales, I pray for their health and guidance towards a healthier life through the gift of essential oils. Another example is when I’m home with my boys, we sing praises together and pray together. The daily grind of life can get harsh if we don’t remember Who we are serving. I love that my 4 year old was able to remind me of my mission today.

What work are you doing? How do you keep God in the center?

work Lord

Potty Training from the Trenches

Potty training. *Wince* *Cringe* *Close my eyes and pretend it’s over* That’s what I really want to do when it comes to potty training, but I can’t really do that. So, here we go. Today I’m hoping just to give you some tips about what has helped with my boys, and offer a little encouragement along the way. I’m right there with you, potty training my second son right now. So, let’s do this!

WARNING: Throughout this post there will be words like “potty” and “poopy.” Deal with it.

pottytrainingnoah

1. Every child is different.
By now if you have more than one child, you know this. Consider for a minute though, that if your children are different than chances are they will respond to differently to different methods of potty training (and discipline, for that matter).

Noah, our firstborn, is much like me in that he likes systems and schedules. He likes thing a certain way: THE ONLY WAY. Each toy belongs to its coordinating bin. We have our weekly routine and we should always stick to it. The way I chose to potty train Noah worked great for him: I set a timer for every 20 minutes and he would sit on his little potty (with me right next to him cheering him on) and he got a sticker every time he went (a BIG sticker for a poopy). After about a week I didn’t need a timer anymore, but he still got stickers for one more week. After about 3 weeks he was completely potty trained.

Now, my Timmy, on the other hand is more like his daddy: a free spirit. He doesn’t care which toy is in what bin. He doesn’t care what our schedule is, he just wants to have fun. I tried to potty train him multiple times the same way I did with Noah and I failed miserably every time. Do you know when he decided to potty train? When I was in California! LoL By the time I got back to Texas he would just tell me when he needed to go. He never used a little potty. He never needed stickers or a timer. He just needed his own time and his own way.

2. There may be setbacks.
We both of our boys we had small setbacks. When we were potty training Noah, he had to go to the hospital for a crazy stomach bug. So he was in diapers a couple of days during that time. This past week while Tim was dealing with a stomach bug he was in diapers too. If something like this happens, it’s not the end of the world. They don’t forget how to go in the potty. Just pick up where you left off. Life goes on.

3. It’s not a matter of if accidents will happen, but when they will happen.
Be prepared for accidents. I like to have some underwear and shorts in the diaper bag or car just in case something happens when we are out. I started keeping wipes in various places around the house to easily clean up any messes. I have found that I am much less stressed if I know all this is in place.

4. Grace.
Ok, now this one is a tough one. Potty training comes easily for some kids, not so easily for others. I know it can get frustrating and it’s time consuming. I remember when I was potty training Noah thinking it was easier when he was in diapers. BUT your efforts will pay off. In a short time they will be able to go potty on their own and not need you anymore. They will eventually be able to clean their own bottom. It will happen before kindergarten. So for this short time, remember to have grace for your little one during this learning process. I’m right there with you, cheering you on.

Now when you’re cheering your cute little toddler on, and saying, “You can do this!” just tell yourself the same thing, You can do this!

Ok, fellow parents and grandparents, what potty training tips do you have to share?

“I Just Want My Body Back”

We have all heard it from a pregnant mom, or may have even been that pregnant mom to utter these words, “I just want my body back.” I’ll admit, I said the same thing when I was pregnant with my second son (who was 9 pounds 14 ounces when he was born)… But here’s the truth of it… You’ll never get your body back. Beloved, your body was never yours to get back. Trust me, not getting your body back is so much better.

Your body carried your baby for nine ten months (You’re pregnant for 40 weeks, which equals 10 months. Why do they say 9 months?!?). It’s truly amazing to think about. The nourishment your baby gets, the way your child develops in your womb. We are truly fearfully and wonderfully made.

During labor and delivery your body goes through pain you didn’t even know was possible. What used to be your “10” rating on the pain scale is a “1” compared to childbirth. But, oh the joy that comes when you can hold your child and all that pain starts to disappear.

painscalefaces

Once your baby is here, you have the blessing to provide your baby nourishment, again through you body. Your body is still not your own (and you’ll be reminded of this at 3:00AM), but when your baby is hungry you have the privilege to nurse and care for him.

milk coma  (Isaac in a “milk coma” state. The best ever!)

Even after your baby nurses, your body is still not your own. Oh please, don’t pray to get your body back. Your body becomes a human chair as your little ones crawl in your lap, and right now I’ve managed to be a chair for all 3 of my boys at the same time.

allboys       all boys

My boys have used my legs as a slide, my back as a racetrack, my arms to throw them in the air and catch them. I am a human playground.

My body is a source of comfort as I kiss boo-boos and wipe away tears as another crash between brothers occurred.

To my children, the sound of my voice singing is the sweetest singing they’ve ever heard. Every night, Jesus Loves Me, is requested and encored. Even on nights with a sore and scratchy throat, you better believe I sing it to them (just once those nights), and they love it just as much.

sleeping noah (See? Knocks them right out… Well, maybe just Noah).

My body is a natural sleep aid to my Timmy, who is finding it impossible to nap unless I lay down with him. Right now I’ll gladly take this cuddle time, wrap my arms around him, and some days fall asleep before he does.

Now, my boys are still preschool age so there’s so much more I have yet to experience, but to all the moms out there that never “got their body back,” dear one, you got so much more instead!

P.S. This post was primarily about moms and their babies, but moms remember your husband too. Once you said “I do,” that body was in an instant covenant to be shared (1 Corinthians 7:3-5). So take a shower, shave those legs, and go have sex with your hubby in that body that you never got back! 😉