Monday, September 30, 2013

Choosing Life For My Home: A Journey through 31 Days to Clean

I don't know if you know this, but I am Homemaking Challenged (it isn't just the name of this blog).  I am growing and learning and getting better, but it is still a huge challenge for me.  I want to learn and grow!  Which is why, I am so excited to take this 31 day blogging challenge with The Nester!  Earlier this week, I invited you to join me on my journey as I go through Sarah Mae's book, 31 Days to Clean: Having a Martha House the Mary Way.  Each day during this month, this blog will be a journal of me working through this book.  The way it is written, there are two challenges each day.  A Mary (heart) challenge and a Martha (task oriented) challenge.  I am going to document my journey through this book during the month October here.

I'm so excited to take this journey, it is where I am right now.  I am also nervous as I have no clue where this journey will lead or what things I may discover along the way.  Did you see the button for this challenge?  Ya, that is exactly how I feel about cleaning and the home right now.  It is an ever growing mountain that feels like every time I get to where I feel like it is getting under control, another landslide happens, and I see just how much further I have to go.  Have you ever felt like that.  I mean comics like these make fun of it...
I am totally there, in my life right now.  I love my kids, but I can't seem to get this all figured out.  How to balance work, family, life.  I know that things around my home need to function better, and my home  needs to be a place where I can actually feel relaxed.  However I want to make it work, so I am taking this opportunity to spend the next 31 days working through this book, which I feel will help me on this journey.

I'd love for you to join me on this journey.  The e-book is only $4.99 and you can get it as a PDF or on Amazon for your Kindle.

Check back here for links to my daily posts as I work through this book.

Please note that the links will not be "live" until the day they are posted (Day 1 is "live" on the 1st etc)
Day 1: Why Do I Want Clean?
Day 2: Giving Life
Day 3: Give Life to Your Home
Day 4: Putting My Feet Up
Day 5: Priorities 
Day 6: The List
Day 7: The Curse
Day 8: Overcoming 
Day 9: Laziness
Day 10: Feeling Overwhelmed
Day 11: Limitations
Day 12: My Imperfection
Day 13: Fighting Fatigue
Day 14: The Secret to Having Energy
Day 15: Finding Motivation
Day 16: Willing Hands
Day 17: My Cleaning Style
Day 18: missed
Day 19: Joy and Self-disipline?
Day 20: Time
Day 21: The Importance of a Plan
Day 22: Scheduling
Day 23: Dealing with Distractions
Day 24: Organization
Day 25: Highs and Lows
Day 26: Laundry
Day 27: Becoming Friends with Goodwill
Day 28: Who are You Trying to Please?
Day 29: Hiring Help?
Day 30: Contentment in the Season of Your Life
Day 31: Finding Balance

All titles are directly from, or based on the titles of each day of the book 31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae, which this whole series is based on with author permission.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

My upcoming series: A Journey through 31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae

As I previously stated here, I've been wanting to start broadening the scope of this blog a bit so it fully encompasses my life and homemaking, of which my faith is a big part.  One of the reasons for the lack of posting recently, is I have been truly seeking and wrestling with how to do this.  One morning this week, it hit me in the shower and I'm so excited about it!!!

Last year I participated in a fabulous thing through The Nester where we blogged about the same topic for 31 days (see last years posts here).  You can find my series from last year here.  I have been trying to figure out what to do for my series this year, and it hit me.  I am going to go through this book, (it is written to read each day) and journal here.  How does this help me start to merge my blog with adding faith you may ask?  Well as obvious by the title of the book, 31 Days to Clean it is written to help you clean your home (which we all have seen I am in need of some serious help).  However, the secondary part of this book title is "Having a Mary House the Martha Way.  For those of you who are not familiar with this story from the Bible, you can find it here, it's super short.

Here is the fabulous author to share more about the book herself!

I will be writing the whole month of October in more of a journal type style.  You see, it will be a journey of my heart, as well as of cleaning out my home.  I am truly excited for this!  I know that if I can do it throughout the month of October, I can do it any time because October is going to be a very busy month for me.  You know, I'm only running a pumpkin patch that is open 54 hours a week from October 13th - October 31st, on top of working my normal job as a Children's Pastor and being a wife and mom.  Honestly, I'm ready for the challenge.  I think it will be good for me and I think it would be good for you too!  In fact, I would love for you to JOIN me, which is why I am posting this post now, before the 31st.  I want to give you a chance to join the fun.  I truly hope you will, because I believe this journey will change you heart and home for the better.  You can join in with me by purchasing the ebook as a PDF or on amazon for your Kindle.

I will write my actual intro post and announce the name of the series in a few days, however I wanted to give you all an opportunity to consider joining me before I jump in.  I'm excited and can't wait, I hope that some of you will join me!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I have been so behind in life these last few weeks.  Behind at work, behind at home, behind in my relationships, behind on my blog.  It is exhausting feeling behind constantly.  Your mind is never at rest, it constantly races with what you "should" be doing and never gives your body a chance to rest.  You start to feel guilty for the things that should be, but are not happening.

This week was the first time that I felt mostly caught up at work.  At least caught up enough to not feel pressured to work over the weekend.  So Friday I decided to start tackling my severely neglected home.  It was nice to scrub and clean out stuff again.  At one point, I got the bright idea to move the couches.  I realized (after the fact) that they had not been moved since we moved in over a year ago.  *Points to self*, see I really am Homemaking Challenged.  I am only posting this because I believe that you deserve to see the truth here.  This is what was there when we moved the couches.

I have been missing hair ties, and over 12 of them apparently ended up under the couch!

This picture pretty much summarizes how I feel in life right now.  I feel behind and like a failure in so many ways.  Seriously, I don't even know how I get it all done sometimes, then just when I'm feeling somewhat accomplished and caught up, I see something like this.  I can be really discouraging.

Honestly I know that I could be WAY more efficient with my time specifically at home.  After a crazy day at work, racing home getting everyone fed, heading back to church where I'm running a program, then loading up exhausted kids and getting them home 1-2+ hours after their normal bed time, getting them to sleep.  I just want to crash on the couch and unwind for a bit.  I mean, I've been going for 14+ hours strait at this point.  Then its bed time and I race to bed without doing things that should be done, and then those things pile up, and cause me to be even MORE behind than I already was.

There have been days where I choose to be extra productive, and I love the results the next day.  However, the results are so short lived in my little family, that it makes being motivated to do them extra hard.  I mean, I could do the dishes immediately after dinner, but when I have these adorable faces  ...

... staring at me, wanting mommy to sit with them or play with them.  How can I refuse?  I mean I have been away from them all day, I miss them, I want to be with them!

I guess I will just have to live with being behind for now.  Honestly, I think I'm ok with that.  While I'm behind with my housework, I'm not behind in reading with my kids, or my fort building skills, or my cuddle time.  I want to be intentional and soak all of that up while they are still young.

I think I'm finally coming to a place where I am ok being behind.  So long as I'm never behind on special time with my two kiddos.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

This Summer A Phone Photo Dump of Summer Photos of my 2 cuties!

This summer whats hot here, but we still had a great time!

June kicked off with VBS.  This year we did a special preschool program so Max got to participate, He LOVED it!!!

We had to buy a new (to us) car due to my husband's new job (PRAISE THE LORD he is working!), and his old car dying.  

Rori learned how to feed herself, this was one of her 1st attempts.

We actually planted flowers!

We took Max to his 1st "big boy" movie and he LOVED it!

Max and his fried had fun with the hose in our backyard.

We went to this local place called Kid's Party Central (think pump it up) and Max had a blast!

 The kids spent a ton of time playing together "nicely"

Max learned how to water flowers (and not his sister)

 He has found a new love of watching the garbage truck each week (his beanie is required for this activity, he refuses to go out and watch the truck with out it)


We escaped the Desert heat to join my parents at the beach.  The kids LOVED it!

 Max calls the ocean the "big pool"  I guess that makes sense in his 2 year old eyes.

Popsicles with grandpa

Park with Grandpa (I promise they are having TONS OF FUN)

We even made it to the OC fair for a few hours, and Max got to enjoy the petting zoo

His 1st pony ride, he LOVED it so much!

Cotton candy with Grandpa

We also had to play mostly indoors this summer because of the heat.

It lead to some "creative play"

Rori discovered that she is now tall enough to reach the light switches which is trouble for mommy!

We also got to go visit Matt's family, and his sister gave the kids these cute shirts!

Grandma also took us for ice-cream!  My kids absolutely hated it...can't you tell?

Max also got to enjoy a freak desert rain storm where it POURED.  We had TONS of fun!  Rori was sleeping and misses most of it.

This little girl has decided she HAS to wear dresses.  This one is currently her favorite.  I totally lucked out with a girly girl!  Can't wait until her hair grows a bit more so that I can do some fun things with it!

As you can see we had a really fun summer.  I am so thankful for that!  I got to spend tons of time with my kids, and enjoy several of the things that happen in a typical summer.  It is odd to think that summer is now over (it is going to be over 105 here this weekend still), but we thankfully can still have a few more weeks of swimming in Grandma and Grandpa's pool, before it ends for us here.

I hope that you had a fantastic summer and I want you to know that as soon as I get unburied from my desk at work...

...there will be more posts.

I have two new recipes to share with you this month, and I'm working on a series for next month.  Fall launch is just a crazy time at work for me.  I'm launching a Mom's Group, Awana (with new curriculum for the Cubbies), a new curriculum and branding for Elementary ministry, as well as planing a REALLY exciting even for October.  *sigh.  It has been a crazy ride these last few weeks.  I am really excited to share more with you all about life.  Our home is currently a mini disaster area, I got home after 9pm last night and couldn't touch it.  Hopefully this weekend.  I'm planning that Friday will be my catch up day!  Warning - that may mean catching up on sleep.  I could use some of that right now.

It's Monday!

I can not believe that the first week of September is gone.  It happened so fast!  I can't believe that at work our fall kick off is underway.  Yesterday I had an amazing volunteer meeting with over 40 people!  SO excited to have so many people ready to share Jesus with kids!  Tomorrow my mom's group kicks off, and AWANA starts on Wednesday!  It is another crazy work week for me, which means quick and easy meals!  Oh yes, I forgot, I also decided to give up soda this month... YIKES!  It is all a part of my efforts to eat healthier and loose the baby weight.

I am honestly not sure what we are going to eat this week.  It is a bit crazy and I really haven't had time to sit down and figure it all out.  So no actual meal plan today, sorry!

This will be a crazy week, don't expect to hear from me until friday...  Sorry, life of a full time working woman!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Happy Anniversary to my amazing Husband!

Today my husband and I have been married for 4 years.

I can't believe I get to wake up with my best friend every morning...

Watch him tease him about getting grey hairs...

Listen to his sporting or gaming commentary...

Have a partner to share the hard work with...

 to chase around our two crazy kids...

And try to have some fun along the way.

Happy Anniversary my love!  Bring on the next 50+ :D

I will return to my regular posting later this week, we had a great relaxing labor day weekend, and I really wanted to spend some quality time with my hubby and kids.  Lots of posts are in the draft stage, and hopefully the will get out next week.