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Welcome to the madness!

If you were to ask me a week ago if I could ever start blogging, I probably would have rolled my eyes and laughed. After a couple days I thought “is my life that interesting?” Well, here I am, throwing my comfort out the window. I guess I have always lived my life nurturing and caring for others, so if this blog can cause some laughs, start a conversation, or provide some late night comfort while you enjoy your two minutes of quiet, well that makes it worth it in my book.

A little background- I am twenty-five years young ( although, that feels ancient at the same time). I grew up as an older-middle child with a blended family, since  my parents divorced when I was four and both remarried. I have worked full time in healthcare for many years. ( nurturing and caring, again) I have a wonderful, soon to be, three year old son, Bennett. My fiancé, Kevin, and I are recently engaged, after celebrating the best year together. He brings in his sweet and hilarious son, Stanley. Who is growing way too fast and will be five in a couple months! I am currently at a point in my life where I am learning the ropes of being a boy mom, stepmom, and future wife. All while my honey and I work full time. Who is with me?!

I’m hoping that this blog will bring in some comical insight, show you that you are not alone in the struggle, and provide some how-to tips on trying to keep your life “mommy maintained!”

 

All work and no play

I started this blog with the intent to post often as an outlet for my crazy mom life and to bring insight to others who may need some help pulling their life together as well. I obviously haven’t written in a hot minute and I wanted to check in.

So, I work full time for one of the top neurosurgeons in the world, he is a genius, but extremely busy. He and our patients have my full attention a large majority of the week. I’ve also recently started back in school, at Kaplan University. I am going to get my license as an independent insurance agent. Which requires a large amount of self study and two licensing exams. I’m currently trying to find time to squeeze that all in. This decision brings the hope for a more flexible schedule being home and working my “tush” off can pay off differently than it does here in clinic. I love to help others, especially through healthcare, so I’m glad I’ll be able to make a transition to a new career with the same outcome, helping others.

Recently, I celebrated my 26th birthday, our 5 year old came down with a 24 hour stomach flu, my 3 year old has been going through some serious meltdowns, and I reorganized and deep cleaned my kitchen and bathroom! Go momma! I can’t tell you how great it feels to walk into the house to clear counters and a clean tub and toilet ( especially with 3 boys in the house. )

I also decided to break out a few Christmas gifts. One was an indoor herb garden from MiracleGro. It uses LED sun lights, nutrition water system and these easy to “plant” pods. I’ve had it going for a little over a week and everything has sprouted. I can’t wait to use my herbs in my recipes!

Speaking of recipes.. this gal got an instant pot! I’m a little afraid to use it. It seems intimidating and I think I’ll try it out this weekend. I’ve found a couple cold-weather soups that can melt away all of this ice and cold here in Indiana!

Stay warm,

Mom

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Birthday boy!

Did I mention I now have a three year old!?

I feel like he has grown up so quickly and tomorrow he will be heading to college! What are some tips and tricks for handling the ” terrible threes”? I may or may not have had a melt down about having a threenager.

I’ve learned a lot in these few years. But I’ve also struggled through being a new mom and feeling like I have no idea what I’m doing. I’ve pumped milk at 3 am and woke up to soaked sheets because I fell asleep. I’ve shared my bed with my sweet baby. I’ve called the Dr on call at wee hours when I couldn’t get him to stop crying. I’ve let him eat dropped snacks from the floor. I’ve sat in his room and watched him sleep. I’ve done a happy dance in the kitchen when he eats his dinner. We have all been there.

His existence has brought me such happiness. He has shown me true love. I’ve learned to appreciate my snuggles and kisses while I can get them. Three years later and now I feel like an expert- super mom. I can calm any baby, I can get a toddler diapered and dressed with my eyes closed, I know every theme song off nickjr.

I looking forward to this next year, exploring the world with my little man.

Mom

Get Well Soon and Happy Holidays

Well, I’ve been on a little bit of a hiatus. I’ve had my run in with a yucky cold and ear infection the past couple weeks, but I’m here! Still not feeling 100%, but I figured I could check in. Unfortunately, my better half has started to become under the weather and we all know how bad the “Man-flu” is.. I probably reek of Thieves oil at this point and I have a couple bath bombs to rid our snuffy noses.

Lately I’ve also tried to take a step back from being on my phone and computer so that I can focus on spending extra quality time with my boys! It has been super sweet!

I know living in today’s world is corrupt with technology. I couldn’t remember the last time we sat down at the table for dinner without checking our phones or watching a movie on the couch without a tablet in our hands. I had a little come to Jesus moment when I felt like I didn’t spend enough time with my kiddos. I work full time, I’m gone long hours of the day, and as soon as I get home I’m rushing to make dinner, fold laundry, and getting the boys to sleep. Where is the fun in that? But, I realize that is the world we live in as working parents. Kevin, works 12 hour shifts, most of the holidays, and comes home exhausted most of the time. WE are tired parents! I tried to think about what we can do to make our family time count. We have been putting our phones down, starting more conversations, cramming onto the couch to watch Christmas movies, and I’ve loved it! My next idea is to wake up a little earlier in the mornings to snuggle with my youngest before we are shipped off to daycare and work. I’m still struggling with not pressing the snooze button this week though.

I am so excited for Christmas! Maybe more than my now 3 and 4 year old. Although, we don’t have any snow yet this year I am hoping we can at least get a dusting on Christmas Eve, I’ll be happy. I’ve had our home decked out with decorations for a couple weeks and I’ve stocked up on hot cocoa. Christmas gifts are all wrapped and our Elf friend has still been up to no good. This year we are going to make some Christmas cookies, throw on our PJs and enjoy some family chaos. What are some of your family traditions or tried and true germ busters?

I am wishing you Happy Holidays!

mom
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What’s cooking?

One of my favorite things about colder weather, is all of the hearty meals I put out on the table. Vegetable beef soup, Mac n cheese, chili…What is even better, is the crock pot recipes. Any parent knows, that the crock pot or insta pot is one of the best kitchen inventions.

Lately, the family has been running around like crazy. Honey and I have been putting in long hours at work, squeezing in holiday fun,and we have been trying to update our house. Which means by the end of the day neither of us want to be on our feet over the stove. Da da da dahhh- in comes the crock pot!Some people say its cheat cooking, I think its genius!

One of the recipes I like to make is POT ROAST. I learned how to make this years ago from my mom. I grew up eating it and now the boys will. Kevin was trying to describe the flavors to the them the other night while I dished it out and he used savory. That’s my guy! Who can say no to meat and potatoes! Not this family! ( I later found out that our boys are pickier than I thought, and they may have gone to bed without a snack. )

My pot roast:

1 – 2 pounds of chuck roast, not frozen

1 can of cream of mushroom soup

1 cup of chicken broth

1 pack of onion soup mix

Chopped carrots

Cubed potatoes

1 can of corn

( you can add green beans if you’d like )

Pour the soup, broth and mix over top of the roast and veggies, set to low for 6-7 hours. That’s it!! It’s creamy, hearty, and savory. It is also great for left overs!

My kitchen guru, go-to, inspiration is the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. I can thank my step mom for that! I have all of her cookbooks, her dishes, utensils, you name it! She has beautiful products that match my farm house décor, perfect. Her cook books, blog, and website are full of delicious recipes and she provides great tips on how to make your cooking experience that much better. She also sets a great example on how a family and kitchen should be ran. I admire her for that. I wish I had more time to spend at home and in the kitchen teaching the littles. I look forward to filling my boy’s tummies with her expertise and my cold weather pinterest finds this winter. What are some of your favorite crock pot recipes? Who is your kitchen guru?

Mom

Elf on the shelf

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Ive been excited for the arrival of this little fella for quite some time. He was given as a gift for my son last Christmas. Bennett is now almost 3 and my soon to be stepson is almost 5! Perfect ages for the elf to show up I thought! The boys decided to name him “Robot Magee” after some careful consideration. I was secretly praying for them to stay away from “ Mr. Mcfart”,  “Stinkle”, and similar names. I don’t think I could have written them down in the book. Boys will be boys.

We decided to introduce him to the family after Thanksgiving. He brought an elf on the shelf candy cane for each kiddo, his book, and a little note. I think notes to the boys will make it seem a little more magical. Also, I get to practice my 1st grade handwriting skills.
We read to the boys every night before bed, so we got to sit down and read the book that Robot Magee brought. It is such a cute book! If you are thinking about brining the elf into your family traditions, I recommend getting the entire package rather than just the elf by himself.

Our elf has visited a couple nights so far, he has shared many secrets with Santa about my two rascals at home. This year they wished for a fast racing car and a power ranger megazord. Our oldest has been on his best behavior( YAY), although it takes a gentle reminder that our elf friend is watching sometimes. Our youngest, Bennett, doesn’t really care at this point. Which is a little bit of a bummer, but maybe he will warm up as we get further into December.

I have seen so many funny, creative ideas on how to hide and decorate our elf. What are some of your favorites? I can’t wait to show you our family elf adventures through-out this month!

Stay warm,

Mom

 

A little stress relief

Hey guys, I’m writing a quick post because I know everyone has those stressful days. Sometimes you feel like you can’t keep up, whether it’s at home or at work, with friends or partners. I’ve been there, I’m still there actually. It helps to know that you are not alone. How can you keep your life “maintained” when the world doesn’t stop turning?

One thing I have taken from my journey when dealing with stress and even anxiety, is that you have to take it a day at a time. You are one person. When I take a step back and realize that I can’t get everything on my to-do list done right now, or I can’t answer all 50 voicemails at work right this minute because I am one person, it becomes real. My expectations become a reality.

I know what it’s like to juggle a busy home life and a full time job on top of multiple other things. Constantly on the go with little time to yourself. Constant focus on little feet running around..But, you need that self time! You need to take a part of each day and do something for yourself. Why? Because it’s good for your mental health. I make sure to keep a tight schedule, self time included, and I have my calendar handy for scheduling my family life. Organization is key! ( I love BlueSky products like this planner) I am also a huge essential oil user at home and at work! I am the all natural go to gal! My favorite product right now is the “tranquil” roll on through Young Living. It has lavender and cedarwood, just a couple deep breaths and I already feel relaxed.

Here are a couple things I brought into my life to help me get through those rough days:

But, above all, the best thing you can do for yourself is to find support. Thankfully I have a great partner who is my rock, but I also see my doctor regularly and participate in counseling. Just know that you aren’t alone.  You can do this, you rock!

Sincerely, Mom Maintained

Brown County Camping

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Hey guys! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Our family decided to spend the holiday camping in Brown County State Park in Indiana! It is a beautiful time of year! I enjoy the leaves changing colors and the cool, crisp mornings. There is also plenty of wildlife and fun activities for the family. I would definitely recommend making a trip here! BrownCountyPark

We started out the weekend getting our campsite ready. We decided to stay in a tent with our sleeping bags and blankets in tow! We added a heater, for a little comfort and some glow sticks for the boys to play with at bedtime. Some family friends joined us with their campers, but you have to get the full camping experience at least once, plus we had a couple first timers! Thankfully this weekend was sunny and dry! We spent most of our time around the campfire enjoying everyone’s company, playing games, and drinking one too many cups of coffee.

We spent Saturday afternoon in Nashville, Indiana One of the cutest little towns you’ll ever find. It is one of my favorite places to shop! The entire town was already decorated with Christmas lights which made the trip even more enjoyable. There are tons of little boutiques, toy stores, and yummy places to eat. We stopped and grabbed a bbq pulled pork sandwich from a little shop on the corner. The boys got to visit with Santa, drink some hot cider and explore a neat little place where you can mine for gems! We ended our trip on Sunday at the park lodge, playing in the heated pool. I think this was the boy’s favorite part! Through out the park are several camping sites, cabins, and the lodge. I’m definitely going to come back!

As you know, starting a new family is extremely exciting! A little over a year in and I’m so glad I am able to share my family’s tradition of camping every year with a Kevin and Stan. What I look forward to most is starting new traditions together. Speaking of that, stay tuned to a future post about our Elf on the Shelf adventures! He is coming to meet the boys for the first time this week! I can’t wait! What are some Christmas traditions your family shares?