Thursday, April 28, 2011

Review: Being a SAHM v. Being a Teacher, part 1

This review is a two-parter. I taught high school for 8 years, 5 of them while being a mother. I really think I have experienced two of the hardest jobs that has ever existed. Because both jobs are such an important part of who I am, and because both jobs should receive their own review, I'm going to split this into two sections. Both of them I will focus on the job itself, comment on how it has affected my relationships, and comment on my role as mother during both jobs.

Since it came first, today's review is going to be about teaching. 

When I was a child, one of my favorite games to play with some of the neighborhood kids was playing school. I actually prepared my "lessons" before we came, had "worksheets" for my friends to do, and then gave homework, quizzes and/or tests. I wonder, now, why my friends wanted to play with me. :) But we played over and over again. I grew up wanting to be a zoologist. I wanted to study animal behavior in Africa. Little did I know that the career I finally chose to do was not that far from that. When I decided to become a teacher, it hit me how all but two of my jobs were always jobs that involved children. Even working at Frankie's Fun Park, I spent a lot of time with the kids who were there to have fun.

My senior year in high school I took one of the best classes the school had to offer, and it changed my life. Teacher Cadets brought the teacher out in me. I chose to go to college to major in English (although my grades were always better in math), and specialize in Secondary Education. If you have ever talked to a high school (or even middle school) teacher, she would tell you it was the same thing as double majoring. I always had such incredible English teachers. I loved how the story came to life, and how what someone wrote so long ago can still apply to me today. Because I had such a love and passion for literature, I wanted to inspire others to see the joy in it as well.

The job:
So many people say it, but I don't really know how many people believe it, but TEACHING IS THE HARDEST JOB. I have taught at three different high schools, and all of them were very different. The first school I taught at was very scary. My first day of teaching EVER, I was physically accosted by a student a foot taller and two feet wider than I. I was afraid to crank up my car every day, afraid of what might happen. One student became so obsessed with me, she broke into my house, stole pictures of me, sent me lewd pictures of herself, and "gifts" to my house. But in my classroom, I LOVED teaching. I met some incredible students who were (and still are) my bright spots in a situation that was otherwise scary. By the end of the year, I was offered cigarettes (an honor, if you knew the kid who offered) and that big kid did work for only me! I must have done something right. :)

The second school I taught at was a little country school (just like the first, but different...clientele). I was immediately placed in classes that I had never taught. I had one class of freshmen repeaters (and three-peaters, and four-peaters), one class of public speaking of 39 students, one class of science fiction, and one drama class of 44 students, which I had to move to the cafetorium (and some other classes changed DURING and THROUGH my class). It was a busy, busy year, but I really developed as a teacher. I learned the value of parent involvement, and developed some great friendships with other teachers. I hated leaving that place, but we were moving back home!

The third school I taught at is one of the largest in the state. The senior class was the size of the entire school of the last two schools. I came in to a situation half way through the year where I was the 4th teacher my students had had that year. Needless to say, they were tired of new teachers, and they weren't very welcoming to me. By that time, though, I knew that no matter how long I had been teaching, or what my credentials were, a teacher starts at the bottom with the faculty, staff, parents, and students the first year any where. I had to be tested...and I was. Again, I developed friendships with other teachers that, to this day, I still hang out with on occasion. I matured as a teacher and as a woman. I ended up having my best year AND worst year teaching at this school. But that goes with the territory.

A teacher has many, many, many, many roles. First, I was a teacher, an English teacher, and I taught high school. I held the graduation ticket for hundreds and hundreds of students (as I was reminded by administration, guidance counselors, and parents every year). I took my teaching very seriously. I always told my students that if they went to college, I wanted them to go full of knowledge and be able to give their success credit to what they learned in my classroom. My name would forever be attached to their future education, and I didn't want to be blamed for not teaching them. So I did. I taught them to the best of my ability, every day. As any teacher can tell you, we do NOT get weekends off; we do NOT get evenings off; we do NOT get holidays off; we do NOT get a Christmas and summer break. We work. I cannot tell you how many times I carried stacks and stacks and stacks of papers with me wherever I went just so I could get the job done in a reasonable time. My job was ALWAYS on call.

Other jobs: parent, guidance counselor, actor, job trainer/advisor, police officer, disciplinarian, chaperone, nurse, banker, game show host, technical guide, STUDENT, facilitator, modesty coach, role model, cheerleader, organizer, and I'm sure other teachers can chime in to other jobs I missed. Even though I no longer teach, I still play some of those roles to my former students to this day. When I signed up to teach, it was so much more than I expected...and I loved it...and some days, I miss it.

How it affected my relationships:
Teaching affected all of my relationships. Some days it brought me closer to God; others, I can honestly say I put God on the back burner so I could focus on my earthly job. It affected my relationship with my husband. I would come home and vent to my husband, who then wanted to march right up to that school and stand up for me...which, of course, I would not let him. My house was always a mess, and if I wasn't talking about school, then I was just flat out exhausted. Which also affected my relationship with my children. Because I was ALWAYS working, and I was always exhausted, I spent very little time watching my little ones grow, and I brought my frustrations with work on to my kids. And I regret that.

Before I became a mother, I wanted to work as a teacher. I wanted kids, but I wanted to teach as well. I LOVED it! But when I had kids, I was torn between my OWN kids, and the 150+ of other kids I taught every year. I know that sounds weird, but I am a very loyal and dedicated worker. Because we couldn't afford for me to stay at home, I was trying to do the best I could at both jobs. Sometimes, though, my teaching job took precedence. I dreaded when my children got sick, not necessarily because my babies were sick, but because (and PLEASE READ THIS PART CAREFULLY) when a teacher is absent, it is three times as much work as it is to just go in (whether I am sick or not). Taking one day off puts an entire class, easily, 2 days behind, no matter how good a sub is. So I was a decently good teacher (some will say better, some will say worse), and an okay mother. It was the hardest five years of my life.

Overall review:
Teaching is incredible! Despite all the "horrors" and hardships that can come with teaching, there is nothing like seeing a student suddenly get it. Developing relationships with students can be so rewarding. I love, love, love my students (even the one who accosted me on that first day...he turned out to be just misunderstood). I love, love, LOVED teaching. I loved getting into the characters, do the research, GRAMMAR, the endless creativity my students continuously astounded me with.

BUT if someone puts her work before her family, then something is wrong. As much as I loved teaching, I loved my family so much more. So, if you can make both work, GREAT! I know so many people who do! I know God put me with those students in those classrooms in those schools for specific reasons. But I also know that my time of teaching is over for now. I may or may not go back. But I know that I was blessed in so many ways while I was there.

Here's an example of why I loved teaching so much. This is a video by a student (a minority who spoke very little English...in my classroom). This was his interpretation of the Monster in Frankenstein. Every time I watch it, the work brings tears to my eyes and chills all over! (NOTE: IT WON'T ME UPLOAD IT RIGHT NOW. AS SOON AS IT DOES, YOU WILL SEE HOW INCREDIBLE THIS VIDEO IS AND WHY I LOVED TEACHING) 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Review: Hubbard's Cupboard

Once a teacher, always a teacher. When Joe and I decided for me to stay at home starting this year (until ????), I had no clue what I was going to do. For the past 26 years, my life has been very structured. School did that for me. Although I was never diagnosed with ADD, I think I may have a small case of it (okay, all who know me well, together now, "Really?!"). Even my results for the Myers Brigg personality test landed me with the personality of someone who was easily distracted (ENFP...although I can lean towards ENFJ sometimes). So school was VERY good for me. It gave me the structure I needed to make sure I stayed on track. When I became a teacher, I had to have my classroom very structured, not necessarily for the students, but for me. Every second was accounted for. Some of my former students used to call me not a "Bell-to-Bell Teacher", but a "Bell-to-after-the-Bell Teacher". If I had something to say, it was going to be done!

So what does this all have to do with today's review of "Hubbard's Cupboard"? Well just this: it gave me the structure I needed to help me with the kids at home. Before I found this website, I was struggling to decide what to do each day. If you have known me for a while, you may remember my "Alphabet Days" that I did in the summer. The only problem was now that I was staying at home during the school year, I needed something to fill that time in with my kids. A good friend of mine (shout out to Kristin Waggy!!!) introduced me to Hubbard's Cupboard when I was asking for suggestions. This website is incredible!

What makes it so good?
1. It's Christian-based. Each day has a little focus on a set of scripture, memory verses, and even books to check out of the library that have a Christian theme. It has a section to teach the children how to pray and many of the activities tie back to the scripture lesson of the week. I loved this so much that I carried it to the nursery at church.

2. It's age appropriate. On the left side of the screen, there are tabs that separate the lessons based off of age. It ranges from Infants/Toddlers, 2 year olds through 4 year olds (all separate tabs and lessons), Kindergarten, and even Family Involvement. I started with 2 year olds at the beginning of this school year because I was keep two extra kids. Most of my kids were then 3 or under. I have since switched to the 3 year olds, and will be doing some of the 4 year old curriculum this summer.

3. It TEACHES!  As a teacher, I'm very dedicated to making sure that I'm not just getting some kind of curriculum that everyone loves because it's done by notable people. All of my children will be placed in the public school system here in SC. I'm not going to get on my soap box about public schools and the incredibly high standards SC public schools provide for their children, but I know as a teacher, and as a parent, it is my responsibility to prepare my children for school and to keep on them once they get there. This website focuses on all sections of education including: literacy, phonics, music, art, science, math, and social studies. I was impressed with what they had to offer as examples each week.

4. It's user-friendly. "Hubbard's Cupboard" has a great set-up that is easy to follow. For example, for the 3 year old curriculum, at the beginning of each week, I print off a set of lesson plans. I go over what I think is appropriate for my children, make a list of items we will need for that week, make adjustments for what I cannot buy, and go to the library to check out the assigned books (or ones similar to it). They have the set-up in various forms, show pictures of children doing some of the activities, and then offer other resources if the ones they have just aren't enough.

5. It's FUN!! My children look forward each week to what we are going to do. I display what they have (and if you follow me on facebook, you have seen some of the pictures of what we have done in the past few months). They are proud of their work, it makes it easy for me to fill in educational activities for an hour or two each day (it can last longer, but 2 hours is about what my kids need). Jed is constantly ready for the next step, and even Abigail has caught on and has done more than just watch.

1. Some weeks there are just SO many things to print off, that I wish they could consolidate it a little. I'm not a big fan of printing 5 pages of an activity, only to see the last page is just a sentence (can be user-error, but it is a frustration of mine).

2. Some of the books they suggest are not available at the library. I am actively looking for websites that may carry a free online version of the suggested books. Since I don't have a Nook or one of those nifty things, sometimes I have to get a different book that is about the same subject, but may not have the spiritual aspect to it.

Final review: Hubbard's Cupboard is a GREAT resource. You don't even have to be a stay at home parent to use it. Many of the lessons can be done in a few minutes in the evening or take a day on the weekend to go over a lesson. I highly recommend this to any parent or teacher of young children. It has helped structure my days with the kids so they don't drive me crazy, and so I don't drive myself crazy. :) It also helps prepare my children for school (Jed is reading somewhat now, and I truly think it has to do with what we've done with this website!!). I know that I am doing the best I can to prepare and supplement my kids as they begin school. Check it out! Hopefully you will be pleased as well.

Website: http://www.hubbardscupboard.org/index.html

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Review: Twins

When I was a little girl, I dreamed about the future children I would one day have. I wrote down so many names of what I wanted to call my children. I debated which would be best to have first: a boy or a girl. I later decided girls were too much trouble and decided to not have any (funny how GOD'S plan was so much better than mine!) One of the things I always wanted to have was twins. I have always had such a great bond with my sisters, but having a twin seemed like something that was so incredible. I was fascinated by the twins I knew. Some looked and acted EXACTLY the same, others not. I always wanted to take my twins to the big twin conference in Ohio every year. I wanted to have twins SO BAD.

But God had other plans. Although I like to think of myself as honorary mother of twins (since I had two babies in one year) and many of the moms who have twins know I have SOME idea what it's like to have multiple little ones, I just don't quite fit the bill. After all my years of wanting to have twins, when I had my set of Irish twins, I was grateful that was a prayer that did not get answered with a "yes!" I have had the pleasure of having so many friends who have had twins, though, that I feel that God is fulfilling my wish on a small level. I love the twins I know! They are all so different and all so wonderful! The funny thing is that in this world of parents using treatments to get pregnant, most of the twins I know came the old fashioned way...genetics. I also have pretty much all the combination of twins one can have: twin boys (Titus and Jayden), two sets of twin girls (Evelyn and Naomi AND Maezy and Roxanne), and a set of boy and girl (Jack and Lily). As much as it is hard to tell some of them apart, I have found how different they all really are. What I also find so fascinating is how some of them even still fall into the personalities of birth order. Despite the fact they are generally only moments apart, my twin moms tell me how one clearly fits into a category the other doesn't. Funny how that works, huh?

So, my final opinion about twins? They are still the coolest thing since sliced bread...or sinful fudge. Love on your local twins. And don't forget to love on their mamas. Those ladies are something special, and God must have thought so as well to bless them twice all at once!

Some of the twins I know and love:               Jayden and Titus

Evelyn and Naomi 

Maezy, (Raegan, not a twin), and Roxanne

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge

Every woman knows there comes a time to have a love affair. There's nothing like something so smooth, so rich to make you feel better. And, as most of us women know, this love affair can be sooo good, but we feel almost immediately guilty. Oh how we love our chocolate!!

Just last week, I had such a desire. My need for that smooth, creamy chocolate, and my more reasonable need to lose weight lead me to the Weight Watcher's website and something called "Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge" (recipe included below). It was only 3 points!!!...if you could keep to the that stuff out of your mouth! I made this to fulfill my need for chocolate last week, and had enough ingredients left over to make another batch for Easter. I realized quickly that this Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge recipe was not only very good, but very, very bad for my diet. I couldn't keep my hands off it, and found myself doing crunches and lifting weights while cooking just to combat the extra points I was piling on.

So when I made it for Easter, I made a point to pawn it off on anyone else who would take it (I mean, I MEANT to make it for your birthday, Jill!!...yeah....). So, if you want my personal opinion of this recipe, it is very good, and worth the few minutes it takes to make it. It is incredibly easy to make. The kids can help. But BE WARE! It is SO good, you'll be getting rid of it, too! :)

Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge

1 spray(s) cooking spray   
1 2/3 cup(s) sugar   
2/3 cup(s) fat-free evaporated milk   
2 Tbsp reduced-calorie margarine, or light butter   
12 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)   
14 large marshmallow(s)   


  • Coat an 8- X 8-inch pan with cooking spray.
  • In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar, evaporated milk and margarine (or butter); bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes.
  • Stir in chocolate and marshmallows; remove pan from heat and stir until smooth.
  • Pour mixture into prepared pan and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. Cut into thirty-six 1 1/3-inch squares and serve. Yields 1 piece per serving.


  • Store fudge in refrigerator. Or freeze for a firmer consistency.

I didn't have an 8 X 8 pan, so I poured mine into a muffin pan, cut it into 1/8 pieces. A serving is half of one of those slices. 

Review Week!!

Ever since I was a child, I enjoyed trying a little bit of everything. That's why my parents had to have a shelf made for my cheerleading, T-ball, Horse-back riding, colorguard, and girl scout awards. That didn't change much as I got older. Now I that I am at home, I can dedicate some time to exploring the various types of SAHMothering. I already love, love, love to cook; now I am trying my hand at sewing and different types of crafts and gardening. As a result, I have come across some pretty awesome websites, friends, books, etc. This week, I am going to give a review of some of the things that seem to be important in my life right now. Stay tuned....

Friday, April 22, 2011

Tis the Season...

Tis the Season to realize and remember how dirty I am. Today is Good Friday, and it has been steady raining all day. The funny thing is that when it rains on any other day, I tell the kids that the rain is God's way of telling us we need to be cleaned. How appropriate is it that TODAY is a day to remember how God cleaned my sins away?

Last night we went to our church's Maundy Thursday services. It was a beautiful combination of dramatic monologues from those who were around Jesus as he made the ultimate sacrifice, music, and the Lord's Supper. Last night's service was yet another reminder that Paul, Mary, Judas, etc were actual people. I know that sounds crazy, but so many times we can forget that they were real, and they become characters in a story. Ever since I had my first child, a boy, my perspective of what happened on that cross has changed. As a mother, I can understand the anguish Mary went through watching her son, her firstborn, her child be nailed to a tree. I can understand the frustration and even anger of what she had to go through mentally to watch  her child be executed for loving everyone. And then later she sits in front of the tomb as her child is being buried. How incredibly heart-breaking. Under any other circumstances, I would not have blamed Mary for dying right there of grief.

What I am reminded of, though, is how easy it is for us to remember WHY Jesus died for us. Mary knew her son, Jesus, would have a special purpose. She knew that Jesus was God's Son. And instead of rejoicing at what he was doing for her, she was mourning. Just as I forget, so many times in my daily walk, what he did for me. So many times I forget that Jesus took all my sins and wiped the slate clean so that I could be in God's presence when my time comes and rejoice! It also reminds me of how much of a sinner I am. How dare I, after knowing what Jesus did for me, after teaching it to my children, how dare I continue to sin?! I fall short of God's glory every day. I deserve absolutely nothing of what Jesus did for me.

And yet He still died for me....Jana.

And for that, I am eternally grateful.

May the Lord bless you and your family today as you reflect on this season. May you remember that God gives each of us a new day every day to make things right with Him. And may every time it rains, you are reminded of how God sent His son to clean our sins.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Passion Week 2011

It's that time of the year when one cannot go 10 minutes without seeing a commercial on TV that has cute little bunnies or that ever-tempting chocolate dressed in lovely pastel colors. A visit to the mall means taking a pit stop at the Bunny site so my kids could say hello. Every time I turn around, I am politely trying to discourage others to stop giving my children candy. They barely get it with me, and I feel like a not-so-nice mommy when I refuse that box of jelly beans for my kids. But most importantly, this is the time of year where my family will focus on the celebration we have through the love of Jesus. Don't get me wrong, I'm not necessarily against egg hunts or chocolate bunnies, but I really want my children to focus on why we celebrate Easter in the first place. Trying to balance the two can be very difficult.

So since I am staying at home now, I have a little more time (don't cringe, SAHMs. I know we have very little "extra" time) to plan how I am going to present this holiday to my children. Christmas is a little easier. St. Nick really WAS a guy who was out to do God's work, and I use him as an example of how we are to share Jesus's love with others. But the Easter bunny is different. I have had other parents ask us how we deal with Easter in our home (which, by the way, I am honored that others value my opinion to ask). I'm changing things up a little this year. So here goes:

1. The weekly lessons I use for my children who aren't in school yet is Bible-based. The great thing about that is not only are they learning their letters, patterns, science, and shapes, but they are also associating it all with a story from God's word. This week's lesson is focused on Easter, Jesus's death, and resurrection. This will really help my children get in the right mind about WHY we are going to be going to a few special services this week. (http://www.hubbardscupboard.org/weeks_33-35.html#EasterReview)

2. Menu: I really want to create meals that are meaningful this week. Now not every meal is going to be centered around Easter, but a few key meals and other extras are going to be focused on the season. For example, I am going to make a traditional Jewish bread called Challah this week. It is easy to make, and I am going to have the children help me make it. We will talk about the components and how God has provided for His people. Friday, I will attempt my first Passover meal. I have looked up recipes for Passover and am going to attempt to make lamb for the first time. And the to go along with Easter linner (lunch +dinner), I will be making Amish Friendship Bread. I want to use that as a way to teach my children how we are to continue to give the gift of love to others. I also found a recipe for Communion bread. If I can work that in to this week's menu, I am going to make it. (Website for Challah recipe: http://proverbs31sisters.avirtuouswoman.org/notes/Challah_Bread_for_Sabbath)

3. Services: We are going to a few services this week. The first will be the Maundy Thursday service. Hopefully this service will work great with the discussion that will follow on Friday about what Jesus did for EACH of us. Sunday morning we will be going to the Sunrise Service (this year it is going to be at Magnolia Plantation!!) and then to the Easter service at the regular hour.

I know this all seems like so much, but really, how little are my efforts compared to what Jesus did for me? I pray that this will work out well, that this will become a sacred tradition, and that God will bless this week. May the Lord bless you and your family this week!

Let's Party!!

Making plans three months in advance, doing the research, rushing around until the last minute, and enjoying the afterglow. Creating a party that people want to come to and will talk about later on has always been a passion of mine. Growing up, my mother and I would come up with themed birthday parties for me every year. I've had everything from a scavenger hunt birthday party, to a field day party, to a masquerade party, to a Mary Kay party that ended with a hay ride. The parties weren't necessarily about me as it was about making memories for all my friends.

Just the other day my sister and I were out to lunch, and we talked about what I would do after Abigail started school. Would I go back to teaching? Would I find another job? What? What would I do? I don't have patience that so many of my friends have to create enough items to sell. I'm not gifted enough to teach lessons on really anything out of my own home. And although I could tutor someone in English, I don't know if I am ready to jump back into that yet. Then it hit me! If push came to shove, and I really needed to keep myself busy, I could be a party planner. Not anything big time, but I could offer my time to do the research and set up of parties for others.  I have had quite a few people ask me lately on ideas for parties or how to set so and so up. I love, love, LOVE to help! So why not?

Now, this post isn't about me begging for someone to "hire" me to plan a party. All I really want to do is express my love for channeling my creative juices. Let me give you an example. In January, my daughter had her 2nd birthday. She so desperately wanted a princess party, and although she's not really dainty like a princess, she loves the "romance" of a princess. So, I gave her a Fairy Princess party. Although her birthday was in January, I was amazed at how many things I could find in the stores that were perfect for her party! Target was selling little flowers, Tinkerbell flower pots, and little flower trinkets in their Dollar section. I purchased a long-desired cupcake tier, and began the planning. Her party was one big event that involved cupcakes with flowers on it, cake pops, PB&J sandwiches, and a LARGE fairy that I painted on the front door window with window paints. It was frankly a magical event. And although I was rushing around at the last minute, and was concerned that there wasn't enough room in my house for all of the little fairy guests, so many people reassured me that those creative juices weren't for naught.

I look forward to sharing with you my future plans for parties, birthday or not. And hope that my ideas will inspire someone to have a magical party as well!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Weight Loss Journey

Not many people know this, but when I was high school, I was about as close to anorexic as one could get without actually giving up food all together. The only reason why I didn't give up food completely was because I didn't want to alarm others and then have to "get help." I just wanted to be skinny. Like every other high school girl. I could count on one hand how many things I ate in one day. By things, I seriously mean THINGS. 1. Orange (breakfast). 2. Granola bar (lunch) 3. Apple (lunch) 4. Vegetable (Dinner) 5. SMALL piece of meat (dinner). I drank TONS of water and chewed TONS of gum to keep me from getting hungry....and fat. I got down to 100 pounds and a size 1 for a short amount of time, but generally stayed at a 3/4 for most of my time in high school.

When I got to college, I realized that my eating habits were dangerous. Add that with the fact that I didn't want to upset my Dad by wasting money that he was paying for me to eat at school, I started eating. I didn't overeat, I just ate. Unfortunately because I didn't have to exercise in high school to keep skinny, I didn't know how to keep myself thin, especially a healthy thin. So I gained the freshmen 15...then sophomore 15...then junior 15....then senior 15. By the time I had graduated college, I was a good 40 pounds heavier than I was when I entered.

Then I got married.

No one tells you about the marriage 15 before you get married. I was working on working off my weight to get down to 120, but I was struggling with a new job, a new life, etc. So I didn't lose it....until later...then I got pregnant.

And then got pregnant immediately after having my first. Then got pregnant again after finally starting to lose 2 years of baby weight. Now I'm a good 80 pounds heavier than I was in high school. I know I will never get down to my high school weight (and frankly, I don't want to get THAT small again), but I want to get down to a healthy weight, where shopping doesn't end in tears, and I'm not embarrassed by how I look in other people's pictures. I work out more now than I EVER have, eat better than I EVER have, and have even joined Weight Watchers. I have lost 5 pounds in the past 2 years.

I say this because this whole weight issue HAS been a journey...and I'm not done. Some days I want to throw in the towel. Why is it I'm doing so much more than my skinny friends and there's nothing to show for it?! Why can't I just lose the weight? But that's part of journey. There's these stinkin' speed bumps and pot holes everywhere. The important thing for me to remember is to not give up. I want to set a good example of how to take care of our bodies for my children. And I want to feel better about myself.

I must not give up. My journey is not over.

Just Makin' It INTRO

I struggled for a while on whether or not to start a blog. It seems EVERYONE I know has a blog. And if you know me well, I generally DON'T do things that everyone else does. Maybe it's my desire to be original. Maybe  it's my desire to just be different. Maybe I just don't want to fail at something that so many people do so well. Either way, as I was mowing the lawn this morning in my bathing suit while fighting off my Jack Russel and monitoring my two children as they swing dangerously in the hammock, I realized that maybe something I had to say would echo the thoughts of some other mother somewhere else out there in this crazy world.

I struggled with what to blog about. I cook moderately well; I sew decently enough that I allow my daughter to walk in public with what I've made and enough that I offer homemade gifts for birthdays or other special occasions; I create parties that people talk about and even look forward to; and I organize my house enough that I am actually proud of what I've done. Taking all those things into consideration, I realized that I do the best I can at everything. That doesn't mean that I'm an expert at everything I do, but sure give it a shot, just like so many other moms (working or stay at home). So, I titled my blog "Just Makin' It". I will focus on whatever is going on each week. Some weeks I'm just planning the menu and how to keep myself occupied during the week, other days I'm sewing, and even others I'm planning parties. I will discuss what I do here in hopes that maybe someone will give me advice or I can give advice on the things I talk about.

In addition, I have been struggling with my weight for quite some time now. I'm so embarrassed about my weight, and I have let it affect my relationships. I have lost the confidence I had so much of long ago. In hopes to use this as a way to keep me on track with my weight loss trials, I will discuss what I have been doing. I KNOW there are moms out there who are working hard, such as I am, only to see no results just like me. Hopefully we can encourage each other.

So with all that said, here goes nothing....