Monday, September 14, 2009

Football, diapers, and home-cooked meals...

Balancing life is difficult. I have written many blogs on how I attempt to balance all the things in love. This involves time, planning, and sometimes re-planning. Let me recap what it is that needs balance. Family, church, reading, writing, research (for things like publishing and writing), parenting, budgeting and my husband. (Not budgeting my husband). These are the main things, but then there are the things that pop up in life. Like football season!

Yes, my friends, football season is here, and I have added to my list of loves for the next 6 months. I am an avid football fan and fantasy football is a fall hobby for which I am entering 5 years now! I promise you I will not blog about my ups and downs through the season, but you must know this is a passion like I never thought it would be! And so it begins...

My cousin Erika came to visit last weekend with her boyfriend Ed. We had such a blast with them. We went to Magic Kingdom and even stayed for the fireworks. It is so much fun to see the Magic of Disney through untainted eyes! We had a great day with few lines too!

This week, I made some target deals that have made me more proud of shopping than I have ever been! I bought 10 cereal cups (1 serving) 21 sticks of string cheese, and 3 loaves of fresh baked bread from target spending .75 on the lot!!!!! Yeah me!!! Check here for some target deals, but mainly the cheese one is here. The bread is over now. The cereal is also on there. You can use the cereal coupon on the single servings and they are free. There is no limit! You can also get Healthy Choice frozen meals. At my Target they were 2.19 and here is a 2.00 coupon. Do the math! If you use baby food go here and sign up and you will get a coupon for 4 free jars of baby food. Had a great $40.75 shopping week!

I have been reading My Sister's Keeper. It is a quick easy read, but at least it is reading! Sometimes that is all I need. I have also been doing a lot of research on work at home jobs and publishing my book. This takes up a lot of time as there is more than enough information out there on publishing to choke a whole colony of wild horses.

Mike, Madi, and I went to Aquatica on Saturday. It was completely empty and we walked on every ride. So unbelievably fun. Madi rode her first "big people" rides. Some were a bit traumatic for here, but she quickly recovered! Very fun! I have no pictures as we did not have a water proof camera with us but it is a day for the memories for sure.

My very, very good friend Summer watched the girls Friday and we were able to go to a birthday party for our friend who was turning 30. What a fun night with out friends and just being able to pay attention to each other. Doesn't happen often, let me tell you!

My moments this week...

-Mike holding Mackenzie at 6 in the morning as she clung to him.
-Madison dashing from ride to ride as the big girl getting a fun day out alone with us.
-Watching football with Mike!!!!!
-Madison falling asleep on me after a long fun day, and returning the favor to her!!
-A real Friday night!!!!!

Adding to the scales of things to balance and tossing things up a bit, but truly enjoying the growing and learning.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Simply Simplifying

We have just returned from our much planned and anticipated Boston vacation. We had the most perfect trip possible. It could not have been any better. I thoroughly attribute its success to my efficient and at times insanely anal husband! Love you honey! We happily crammed more activities into one day than any family with 2 children should do. All went so smooth it was almost creepy! But, alas, I will not be blogging about the week's activities here.

Upon our return, I had quite the household management duties to accomplish. Our fall schedule has officially begun. We returned home Tuesday morning at 1:30 and had our first day of home school at our home school group. It was a great day for Madison. She was very excited and the day, considering the time we got up, went off without a hitch. My sweet mother was kind enough to come out after school to help me get the 10 loads of laundry and reorganizing done so I could get coupon and deal hunting done and restock our very depleted pantry and refrigerator.

I did not find any super great deals this week, but there were enough stacking of coupons to make my trip to target pretty successful. I saved $34 with some creative couponing and general good deals. I think I am a little out of sorts still so I will give myself a break. I am still below $50 but I need to get some meat. I will be over $50 but not more than $60. I just need to get back on track.

I don't know about you, but when I am on a vacation, the dreamer in me comes out. I am a lofty dreamer for sure. In looking to my future, I must evaluate my present. What am I doing and what do I want to be doing? I am expanding my knowledge for sure. But I am doing this all at the sacrifice of any true income. In the last year, I have done a lot, and when I say a lot, I mean an exorbitant amount, of research on money. This includes things from freelance writing to ebay, blogging to transcribing. I have learned more than I ever thought I could, and I feel like I am heading in the right direction, but with the inability to do anything without my children, I must be creative in these ventures. I know I was gifted with teaching. I do not, however, want to utilize this in the traditional sense, so I feel I can help others by giving them the things I have learned and researched over time. Hence, my blog of purpose and balance. These things combined have paved a way that I feel very comfortable on. Thankfully my husband is a great sounding board and doesn't mind when i have not picked up all the toys in the living room because I was busy researching! The theme for this blog sort of revolves around containing information and weeding through it to give it a purpose. Despite being out of sorts due to our vacation, I am still jumping back in and can "keep moving forward!" (Mike, that was for you!)

I did not get to read one single word while we were away, but I did detox. No computer, no television, just us as a family (and in most cases just passing out at the end of the day!) I did get the dreamer fired up and that was enough for me. My goal this week is to get my journal organized and get my dreamer onto paper and out of so much focus on coupons and deals. Balance my friends. Balance. I am now preparing to teach science tomorrow at our home school group and am getting plans ready for Madi for next week. I have never been known to plan too far ahead in school lesson plans!

I have more moments than I could really mention and to tell you the best ones would be too long. So I close out with a few thoughts that have really rooted themselves for me.

-I love my family
-My children are smart and incredibly good natured
-My husband is the perfect daddy
-There is NOTHING like having your little family unit together all the time, everyday learning and experiencing.
-A media detox is something everyone should do.

Progress and balance are slow to maturity, but rich in value.