Strength & courage for days like this…

IMG_6055

I used to think that courage meant that you were never afraid. I used to think that having strength meant that you could take anything that came at you in life. But nothing could be further from the truth…

Last October we realized that our little guy was really having a hard time in group settings. My normally sweet, calm and cuddly little boy would get so worked up and uncontrollably frustrated in group settings, to the point that I would often be called out of church services because the nursery volunteers wouldn’t be able to calm him down. I had no idea what was happening, I was confused, embarrassed, and frustrated.

After seeking the help of a pediatrician, we left with a diagnosis of a developmental delay, with the understanding that he did have some of the mild symptoms of autism. From there we have been moving towards therapy, and through all of the assessments, autism was brought up yet again…

I know I’m super biased because I’m his mom, but Sean is smart, loving, and works hard to do everything the other kids do. He’s about as determined as his mom & dad combined, so I have no doubt in my mind that with a little help, he’ll succeed in whatever he tries to do.

So here I am… Believing that with my whole heart… And yet I found myself afraid. Afraid of the unknown, afraid of being inadequate, afraid of being judged for my inadequacies…

I felt so weak and cowardly for even feeling this way until it dawned on me that being courageous and strong doesn’t mean that you will never be afraid. It means that you take that fear and weakness and cast it at Jesus’ feet.

Peter 5:7
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

God already knew what we would face in our lives. He already knew that Sean would have different challenges to face and he already planned for me to be his mommy.

Jeremiah 1:5
“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee…”

I realize now that without these feelings of weakness or insecurities, I would probably be prideful, but they’re also not there for me to wallow in. They’re there for me to give to Jesus and draw closer to Him, as I take our crazy life one day at a time…

So I’m writing this, hoping that it will give you courage to face today and all it holds, knowing that Jesus cared enough to know you and all of your future…

Things I limit to be productive…

IMG_6049

Last month I shared several health ideas and favorites, but this month I am going to be sharing what I have learned and what I am still learning about productivity. As a work at home mom, it can be difficult to differentiate ‘busy work’ and what has to happen to run a business and keep our family in order. It’s easy to be busy all day doing things that really need to be done at some point, but not what I need to do at the moment. Here are some things that I have had to limit to keep a balance between home and actually making progress in my shop.

1. Limiting Laundry
I’m one of those people who actually really loves doing laundry… I hate putting it away, so we turn that part into a family night, where we all help while watching a movie. LOL. I’m not suggesting that you not do laundry. Please! By all means do the laundry. We will all thank you for it, but I have been guilty of doing laundry to avoid certain things that I really needed to do for my shop. For example, maybe I needed to do my product photography, but instead I decided to go and do a second load of laundry when that load could have waited till tomorrow.

2. Limiting Phone Calls
This can be a really hard one. I used to answer the phone as soon as I heard it, but then I realized that if I was working for someone else, I wouldn’t be allowed to take calls at work. I do my best to only work during Sean’s nap and at night after he goes to bed, so I have to work really hard to make the most of that time. I now set my phone on vibrate while I’m working, and generally only pick it up when I’m taking a break. Thankfully, with a smart phone, there are features that allow certain #’s to ring, so I can set my phone to where I hear my phone ring if my hubby calls.

3. Limiting Research
A lot of research goes into what I do prior to creating a new product. I go through hundreds of photos, color palette charts, and magazines to create a new pattern. I honestly love it, and that part really feels more like fun than work. However, as with anything there is a time and place for it. It’s easy to get sucked into only doing research and zero production. I have to be really careful about working on a product, taking a break to do more ‘research’, and then realizing that 30 minutes have already gone by.

4. Limiting the ‘Do It All’ Syndrome
I think we as mom’s living in the internet generation, we tend to live with this guilt if we are not able to ‘do it all’. I know I do! We see these perfect homes and well kept rooms and think ‘why isn’t that me?’. The truth is, no home is perfect. Are some neater than others? Sure they are! But think about why… Does the family have children? Are they older? Does the mom stay at home? Is she currently building a business? Can they afford a house keeper? Those are all things to factor in before we begin criticizing ourselves for what we don’t have rather than thanking God for what we get to do. I try really hard to make sure that Sean has fun crafts to do, the house is picked up, and everything is aesthetically pleasing, but to be honest, depending on what’s going on, it doesn’t always happen. It’s called ‘being human’.

5. Limiting Unnecessary Stress
This one is easier said than done. In my heart, I want to have everything lined up for the next day, blog posts for the next week already scheduled, and menu plans for the entire year lined up and ready to go, but life never goes as planned. That being said, a little forethought can go a long way to avoid stress. This is one that I am really having to work at, but I know it will be worth it.

IMG_5991

By the way, this is a friendly little reminder that I will be drawing a winner for the Valentine’s giveaway this Friday!! All you have to do to enter is join the Weekly Newsletter + Coupon Club and you are all set! If you have already signed up, then you are good to go. You can join right here! One lucky winner will win:
• A set of heart coasters in a mystery color.
• Chocolates.
• And a couple other fun surprises.

If you are picked, you will receive an email from me, asking for your contact info, so be on the lookout for that on Friday!

Taking time for health: Part 1

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/703/74516623/files/2015/01/img_5856.jpg

On January 1st I said that each month I would be picking a topic that has something to do with balancing motherhood and business. Balance! Balance! Balance! I have been chanting it over and over in my head as I try to do better with it this year than I did the last. It’s one of those tricky things that’s easier said than done. So today I am starting the first of many monthly topics that will target those tricky areas in our lives.

If you haven’t guessed already, this month’s topic is about how to work on your health amidst you INSANE schedule. When most people say that they don’t have time to go to the gym, they are using it as an excuse to avoid perspiring glistening … Unfortunately, some of us really have no way to afford, find a baby sitter, or find time to go to the gym. I know because I am one of them.

One of my goals is to get into the same shape I was in college, so like I mentioned in the last post, rather than making vague resolutions, I am marking my calendar to make time for mini workouts.

Some of the things I am about to share with you will either inspire you, or have you laughing at me. Either way, it will benefit you, one way or another.

1.Wearing athletic wear does not make you athletic…
This might seem like a no brainer, but I’m actually speaking from experience. LOL. In my heart of hearts I knew that sleeping in a track jacket wouldn’t get me toned, but it looked like I had fallen asleep during a workout (I did one squat. Hehehe), so it made me feel better about myself.

2. Jumping jacks in front of the TV counts as cardio!
If you’re thinking, “Jumping jacks? Ha! Who is she kidding??”. You try watching an episode of your favorite show while doing jumping jacks non stop!

3. Pinning workout articles only exercises the index finger.
When was the last time you actually read that workout article you pinned? Skimming over the pictures doesn’t count. Make the time to read what you already pinned and apply it to your sessions.

4. Make it nap time priority #1!
If your kids still take naps, get a 10 min workout in! Go on youtube and search for Popsugar’s workout chanel. They have workouts categorized by 5min, 10min, and 30min workouts. Plus it’s freeeeeeee!!

5. Stop using, “I need a new workout bra”, as an excuse…
Maybe I’m the only one who’s ever used that as an excuse… Haha ^_^;

*Disclaimer*
I am not a health and fitness expert, and consult with your doctor before starting any kind of exercise.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/703/74516623/files/2015/01/img_5861.jpgIt’s finally here, ya’ll!!! Join my club here, and I’ll send you a super secret coupon code and a story recap every Friday!! I hate spamming, so I have a NO SPAMMING policy and you can unsubscribe at any time if you really just hate it that much. And then I’ll see that you unsubscribed and go and have a good cry… Just kidding… Not really… LOL

Not enough water…

Do you ever stop to think about how much water you are actually drinking? I didn’t up until this last week, and I actually kinda shocked myself. Let’s just say that if you count all the tea and coffee I was drinking, it would have been wonderful, but otherwise there was very little water involved…

Thanks to a birthday present from my awesome sister and Jerry the minion, I’m now drinking enough water to keep a plant alive. It’s a good thing too, because if I drank any more coffee, I would have probably began to perspire java when I worked out!

IMG_5583.JPG

Taking time to be still…

A little while back, I wrote ‘Learning to get a life…’ in hopes that others would see their need to make time for themselves. Today I’m going to take it a step farther.

In my other post, I was trying to encourage you to find a hobby outside of work. We get wrapped up in responsibilities, to the point that, that becomes our entire life.

Hobbies can be a good thing, and they can be relaxing, but how much time do we spend being ‘still’. Most of us are running to the grocery store, going to PTA, working out, sending off orders, taking phone calls, cleaning up the juice that your toddler decided to purposely pour on the floor, putting laundry away that you washed two weeks ago, walking the dog, making dinner, praying that your kid doesn’t dump his crackers on the floor while you’re making dinner… Etc. etc. etc. aren’t you exhausted just reading this?!???

It’s crazy but that’s the way most of us live. I know it’s necessary to get all of that done each day, but if you don’t take time to just ‘be still’ you’re gonna to go bonkers!

IMG_5563.JPG
This week I found a way to combine my hobby with a way to be still. One of my favorite ways to be still is to sit quietly and read my Bible as I spend time with God. I love being able to cut fresh flowers from outside and put them on the table. It’s really nice when you get to enjoy God’s creation as you spend time in His Word. There’s a satisfying peace that comes with it.

There’s always so much to be done but taking those few moments and spending them quietly makes the rest of the day go by so much better…

Psalm 46:10a Be still, and know that I am God…

IMG_5562.JPG

Packaging Details

So up until now, I haven’t said a lot about my shop, or what that entails. Today I’ll be sharing one of my most recent projects.

The crocheted earrings have always been one of the most popular items in my Etsy shop. I was so excited when I found out that there would be an opportunity for my products to be a part of the November Dottie Box.

I have been doing the finishing details and here are a few pics of that. This first one is of the kraft envelopes I will packaging each pair of earrings in.
IMG_5540.JPG

Let me tell you… 55 pairs of earrings is a beautiful sight! I am so excited about so many people getting to enjoy them!

IMG_5539.JPG

Friday Favs

I have had to remind myself several times this week just to breathe, and that everything will get done in due time… Projects got done, house work is mostly done, but the little moments with Sean really helped to make it fun amidst the deadlines I was trying to meet. I’m going to share some of those favorite moments today.

1. When he was ‘helping’ in the yard.
IMG_5524.JPG
He was so determined to help me rake up the leaves, so he grabbed the broom from the garage to try and ‘help’. When he realized that it wouldn’t work, he went to get the little pumpkin that I have by the door, to show it to me. I’m not sure if he thought that it was in the way, so he was moving it, or if he wanted to use it as a ball… Either way I did the yard work while he ran circles around me. (^_^;)

2. Lunch Date
IMG_5525.JPG
I am so so so thankful that I am working from home so I can have these little lunch dates with this guy. Sometimes that just means a little something from the Target food court, but with the look on his face you would have thought that it was 5 star dining. He’s just so precious.

3. When he helps with dinner.
IMG_5526.JPG
I have always loved to cook, and it seems as though Sean has taken an interest in it as well. The moment he hears me working in the kitchen, he’ll run to get his little apron, grab a chair to stand on and watch as I put dinner together. Don’t worry, I keep a good eye on him! It’s really a lot of fun, and it seems to have helped him show more of an interest in the food on his plate. ^_^

Hopefully next week won’t get out of hand and there won’t be any gaps in my blogging week. Thanks for being so patient and for still reading my blog anyway. That really means a LOT to me!

So to those of you who blog, do you have an awesome-amazing way to keep your ‘blog life’ super organized? I can use all the help I can get, so please share! I’ll love you FOOOOOOREVER!!!!!!!