Weekend Recap

This past week or so we’ve had some awesome weather around here. So it would be kind of foolish not to take advantage of that seeing as how today it’s already in the 90s 😒

Anyway, Friday the kid count was low at work and only two kids in my class showed up. I teach preschool (incase you didn’t know). My boss asked if anyone wanted to go home —duh! Gabbi and I went home to start our impromptu 3 day weekend.

When we got home we did some cleaning so we wouldn’t have to do any Saturday or Sunday. We were done around noon and picked up some lunch from the Spring Creek Tea Room. I LOVE their vegetarian sandwich! It’s seriously the best sandwich I’ve ever had (I’m not a big sandwich eater).

We went to Cal’s work and brought him some lunch. After we left there I took Gabbi to the park. We were there for 3 hours! And I had to drag her from the park. While we were there, Gabbi asked if Calvin and I would take her to “silly daughter silly”. It took me like 3 tries before I realized what she was trying to say was Silver Dollar City. She said “Faith has been to silly daughter silly 2 times and you never take me.” Well, obviously we had to go! Also this is the last year she’s free…so there’s that.

Saturday we drove down to Branson and spent the day at Silly Daughter Silly 😃. We had a lot of fun. I have been two other times and it was hard for me to enjoy for a few reasons. 1. Both times I have gone, I went with an infant. 2. Both times I have gone, it was winter. The weather Saturday was great for it. And Gabbi could actually ride the rides this time. I think the tea cups were her favorite. We ended up getting season passes. So I’m sure we’ll be back again soon.

Sunday we went to church and then spent the rest of the day hanging out at the house. Calvin has been watching Sherlock which I can’t seem to get into. I mostly think that’s due to the fact that Gabbi can’t watch it so I’m normally hanging with her or we’re sleeping while he’s watching it. I’ve caught enough to kinda know what’s going on, but not really.

I’ve been binge reading It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. I tried to do the Whole 30 before, but failed. I decided if I was going to try it again I was actually going to read the book and prepare myself. I will be starting it August 1st with my best friend and my mom! I have collected a lot more recipes and am a little better prepared. So we’ll see how it goes! I hope to update you with my experience as I go along. There are several things I hope to gain from the program. I also have a few habits I hope to ditch. But that’s another topic for another day.

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I’m back!

My husband recently asked me why I abandoned my blog. And the answer is I didn’t. I planned on getting back to it eventually.

The month of May was a difficult month for us. Cal’s grandpa passed away, which was naturally really hard on everyone. Then later that same week, a coworker of mine passed very unexpectedly.

As a result I became consumed with overwhelming anxiety. I prayed and asked God to help me through it. I was having a hard time all around and just not myself. Cal encouraged me to write about it. But I really didn’t want to. As much as I like sharing my thoughts with others, I think something’s are better kept between me and God.

Needless to say God is faithful and brought me through all that. I still struggle somedays, but I believe that God is sovereign and that He takes care of me.

All that to say I’m back, I’m much better, and I’m ready to write again. So anyway, I have also had some time to examine what I want my blog to be about.
-I don’t want it to be a minimalist blog- I’m not a good minimalist. I want to be and I’m working on it, but I love shoes and stuff I don’t need. I’m still working on purging my life of excess, but that’s not that I want my blog to be about.
-I don’t want it to be a Christian homemaking blog. As much as I believe in biblical homemaking, I’m not the best homemaker. I also work outside of the home and don’t have as much time to wash walls and base boards. Things in my house are not always perfect and organized. We live there and we have a three year old.
-I don’t want it to be a mommy blog. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time and I don’t want my blog (aka personal outlet) to be a place to criticize my parenting. I honestly don’t believe there is one right way to raise a child because every child is different.
-I don’t want this to be a health and fitness blog. This past year or so I have worked my butt off quite literally. Sometimes I wake up at 4 to get a work out in. Sometimes I workout six times a week, sometimes I work out once a week. Do you see where I am going with this? I am not perfect and I don’t want this to be a platform for me to be judged on where I am in my journey.
-I don’t want this to be a political blog. I’m gonna level with you, I don’t know enough about politics. So I’m not even gonna go there.

I originally started blogging because I thought it was a great way to keep my family and friends who don’t live as close to us updated on the happenings of our life. But I got a really good response to my first few posts. So I want to use my blog a place to do just that. I want to use my blog to help others, to inspire others, to teach others, and maybe to learn something along the way.

As far as the latest happenings in our lives, I decided to change my major.
I was studying Business Management. I didn’t really have a good reason for it other that I’m bilingual and thought that a degree in business could be pretty versatile. But I honestly hated my business classes. After talking to Cal, he encouraged me to get my degree in Communication Arts and Media. We talked about our goals for the future and decided it would be better for me to get a degree in something I might actually enjoy. I have a vague idea of how I want to use it. But I’ll save that for another post.

So be on the look out for more from me soon. Hopefully all my thoughts and rambling will get sorted out into something creative.

Mother’s Day Part 2

Earlier this week I said I would be starting a series to honor the mothers in my life. I decided to just make this a two part deal. And today I wanted to honor the most amazing mother in my life. My mom.

It’s hard to try and write everything my mom means to me in one post. My mom has given everything to my brother and I. And I don’t think I ever fully understood how my mom felt about me until I had Gabbi.

But my mom is the worlds best! My mom has sacrificed a lot for us and she has done it all with a humble heart. My mom is one of the wisest people I know. She has loved me unconditionally even when I let her down. She has helped me through some tough times and seen me through many mistakes. AND SHE STILL LOVES ME!

My mom lives 1000 miles away. I talk to her almost daily. I am so thankful for FaceTime. My mom is the first person I want to talk to when something great happens. She’s also the voice I want to hear after I have had a rough day or just need to cry. I love her more than I can explain.

One of my favorite memories is the day I had Gabbi. The day I became a mom. But one of my favorite parts of that day was when my mom walked in and saw Gabbi for the first time. My mom took the first flight she could to get there. I was in labor all day and night the day before. Everyone who was at the hospital had gone home. Even Calvin. My mother in law stayed and waited for my mom to get there so I wouldn’t be alone. My mom walked in when I was trying to nurse. I remember her walking in and her eyes tearing up. I will never forget that feeling. In that moment I knew how much she loved me. And it honestly changed my love for her.

This morning Cal and I talked about our purpose. We want to raise a family that’s happy, and healthy, and loves Jesus. And I hope to be the kind of mom my mom is. She makes everyone around her better.

I love you Mami! Happy Mother’s Day.

Mothers Day Part 1

As Mothers Day approaches, I have been thinking about all the wonderful mothers who have influenced my life. I have been so blessed to have had a wonderful mother. But today I wanted to share about another wonderful mother in my life. My mother in law.

I am so fortunate to have married into such a wonderful family. My husband has awesome parents. While his mother and I are very different, I am so blessed to say that she and I have always gotten along. Not only have we gotten along, but she has loved me as much as if I were her own daughter.

She is our biggest cheerleader and our biggest supporter. She believes in our family. She is generous. And she’s never met a stranger.

I recently had a friend come visit me from Florida. While she was here, she and I went shopping with my mother in law. She was so amazed at how much I enjoy being around my mother in law. I really do just love this woman!

She’s a wonderful grandma to Gabbi. She’s always finding ways to spoil her. She’s always helpful to watch Gabbi when we’re in a bind or just to keep her so Cal and I can go on a date.

I know Cal has said that he had definitely taken for granted what a great mom he has. But as an adult he can really appreciate just how great she really is.

She has seen us through some difficult times. I know I can always call her and she’ll listen. I know she prays for our family in good times and in bad. I know her heart hurts when we are hurting. She’s a beautiful person. There are not enough kind words to say about her.

I love her very much and I am so thankful to get to be a part of her family. I can’t picture my life without her. So this Mothers Day, I am thankful for Tamme. The best mother in law a girl could hope for.

~Anna

P.S stay tuned for the rest of my series about the wonderful mothers who have impacted my life.

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I’m challenging YOU

A few days after my last post, Cal and I cleaned and purged! We got rid of A LOT of stuff. I’m talking we filled the entire back on my Explorer with stuff to sell at our next family garage sale. The thing is we still have SO MUCH STUFF!
Today marks the first day of May. So I’m challenging myself and all of you! For the month of May, I will be getting rid of one thing per day that I no longer find useful or beautiful. That’s 31 things this month.
If that seems like too much for you, then set your own goal. But I think every one can find at least a few things to get rid of and help make life a little simpler.
If you follow me on Instagram I will be tagging my posts #minimalistmay. I would love to see what everyone else is getting rid of.
I plan on selling a few things, donating a few, and recycling what I can. I would also love to hear your thoughts and experiences as you purge your life of unnecessary things.
So join me! I’m challenging you! But let’s have fun doing it!

~Anna

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Ch-ch-changes

I don’t know exactly when was the first time I heard about minimalist living. But from the first time I heard about it, I was really interested. I grew up privileged and have always had my needs (and all of my wants) met. More recently however, I have really been craving a simpler lifestyle. Less stuff to pick up, less bills, just a lot less of everything, because too much of anything adds stress.

As I desired to make a move toward a new lifestyle, my biggest concern was my husband. I feared he wouldn’t feel the same way. But that wasn’t the case. We have both made several changes to improve our health these last several months and he saw it as another area in our lives where we needed to “get healthy” so to speak. Its funny, you don’t really think of your relationship with stuff as an area to consider as a part of your health. But it totally is. The truth is many of us (ESPECIALLY in the United States) are entitled and have an unhealthy relationship with our stuff. We both decided we want better for Gabbi, and it’s hard to expect something from someone you yourself aren’t willing to practice.

So we got rid of some stuff. We had a garage sale last Saturday at my husbands grandmothers house. We got rid of a lot of kitchen stuff we don’t use. We got rid of some baby stuff we had been hanging onto “just in case”. We got rid of a lot of toys Gabbi no longer plays with. I have read this article several times before and thought it was a bit extreme. I liked the idea, but I didn’t want to do that to my daughter. Then I read this. After thinking about it and several conversations with my husband, we decided to keep only the stuff she plays with and get rid of the rest. We kept toys she can play with outside, a toy box full of toys (she had two toy boxes both full of toys), books and a few other things that encourage creativity. Needless to say she is not lacking by any means. We just eliminated the excess.

One of the hardest parts for me was getting sentimental when it came time to get rid of stuff. I kept think “this was a gift from so and so” or “we paid THIS much of this”. But Cal reminded me of why we were doing this and that made it easier to part with things. Just because a thing meant something to me at one time doesn’t mean I need to keep it around forever. Especially if it’s not adding any value to my life.

We will be having another family garage sale in June and another in September. Cal and I plan on purging a lot of our excess then. We got rid of a few things at this last one, but not nearly enough. I don’t think we necessarily have to get rid of everything we have. But I definitely want to cut down on the excess.

As a part of our new minimalist lifestyle, we cancelled our cable. This is just another way where we can eliminate a bill. And to be honest we were watching way too much TV, which isn’t healthy. Since cancelling our cable, we have spent a lot more time outside. We love it. And our time spent inside is spent much differently. We spend our time doing puzzles with Gabbi or reading. Instead of turning on the TV while I cook, I let Gabbi sit on the counter while I cook and she “helps” me.

The transition was a lot easier than I thought it would be. And we are still making lots of changes. Our lease is up at the end of June. We have been talking about finding a new place that better suits our needs. Plus we have the worst neighbors ever. There are a lot of options around here for about $100 dollars less than we pay here. I hate to have to move, but it might not be so miserable if we don’t have as much stuff. 🙂

~Anna

Checking In

The past few weeks have been kinda crazy around here. My husband had to have all four wisdom teeth removed. He did great! Way better than I did when I had mine done. Cal’s a big guy too, so seeing him wheeled out to my car while he’s all giggly was quite a sight. He’s recovering really well. We had a Harry Potter marathon and then watched the Masters.

I’m about half way through Week 3 of my 10 Week Weight Loss Challenge through my work. It has been great. I have lost about 5 pounds so far.
It’s really nice to see everyone around me coming together in an effort to get healthy. Cal’s even working really hard. That makes it so much easier than trying to do it all by yourself. I am so thankful for all the support.

I’ve been really consistent with my running since starting the challenge. I think it’s helping in more areas that just weight loss. I love the people I run with and it’s always so nice to just go and see them…they get me! Haha. It makes waking up at 4 AM totally worth it!

I do a lot. I’m a wife and a mom and I work and I go to school. A thriving social life is not really one of my priorities right now. Of the people I run with, two of them have been there and done it all! It’s really encouraging. And one of them is finishing school too. So we all pull for each other.

I’m reaching the point where I am finally at my pre-pregnancy weight. But I’ve realized I’m wearing it a lot differently than I did four or so years ago. Stuff just shifts after you’ve had a baby. I know running will help as will watching what I eat. But I know enough that if I want to reshape my body I have to lift weights. So that’s another adventure. I’m not ready to do crossfit or anything too crazy just yet. I’ll just have to get creative I guess.

Tomorrow we are having an Easter party for the kids at work. Party days are always long days! The kids are always really excited. Hopefully it’s nice enough that we get to play outside after the party. But my daughter is super excited about it.

This post has kinda been all over the place. Sorry about that. But such is life! We’re really looking forward to Easter Sunday over here! Plus I have a short work week 😉

-Anna