Coffee Date

It’s been a while since I’ve done a coffee date-style post (although, don’t worry, there’s been plenty of coffee consumed).  Here are a few things about my life that I’d share with you if we were having coffee.

-Life with two: getting easier.

I am hesitant to put this into writing (because if mothering has taught me anything, it’s that as soon as you find something that works for a stage, the stage changes…) but I think I’ve found a good rhythm with the two girls.

Photo on 10-24-14 at 4.16 PM #4Riley’s face says it all.  GASP! 

About two months ago, I sat down and listed Zoe’s main needs (peer socialization, exposure to kind adults at church, arts and crafts, music, some unstructured play time in our house, time outside, and physical play,) my daytime needs (finishing work projects, some exercise, seeing other moms, and getting the heck out of the house), Riley’s needs (eat, nap, and get bathed from time to time), and our household needs (buying groceries, food prep, bottle washing, Target trips, not living in a hovel).  This is actually a rather annoying amount of things to juggle without a plan, so instead of looking at each week as a blank canvas and trying to figure out how to fit all this in, I made a weekly schedule that include all of these needs.

Now, Sunday through Thursday, my job each day is just to execute “the schedule,” adjusting as needed based on the girls’ needs that day.  For everyone’s sanity, this schedule includes 20-25 minutes of TV for Zoe.  It also includes a valiant effort at getting the girls to nap together (which works most days for at least 20 minutes—THANK YOU, JESUS!) and an iced coffee around 1 pm.

When Daddy’s home on the weekends, we change things up, but during the weekdays everyone seems happy and my sanity is intact—so I’m not changing a thing until I need to.

Also, did you notice that I’m letting the girls sit next to each other in that picture?! That hadn’t happened since Riley was about 3 weeks old because Zoe was getting violent with Riley. Happily, a few weeks ago, she decided she loves Riley and wants to be a great sister.  It was like someone suddenly flipped her switch from “destroy the invader” to “love your sister with all your heart, soul and mind,” so although our massive intervention efforts had to have helped, I ultimately give God praise for softening her heart towards her sister.

My day-to-day life is SO much better now that going to the bathroom is no longer a perilous choice between taking two kids (one of whom can’t sit up and thus needs a baby carrier) into my tiny bathroom, or peeing as quickly as I can hoping I won’t come back to screams and blood.  Zoe’s day is no longer spent in and out of time-out.  And Riley has an adoring fan and playmate instead of a need for a restraining order.

IMG_3629Buddies! My soul sings.

-Ministry anecdotes: they write themselves

A few weeks ago, David shared with the congregation how we sing “Jesus Loves Me” to Zoe before bedtime and naptime.  After the service, I shared with him that earlier that week, she had screamed, “No ‘Jesus!’ Want ‘Bout That Bass!'” before naptime.

You guys probably won’t get that update from the pulpit.


(Related: that disconcerting moment when your daughter rattles off in her little 23 month old voice, “yeah, it’s pretty clear, I ain’t no size 2.”  Right, because you’re a 2T…needless to say, I am paying more attention to song lyrics now).

This theologically rich exchange also occurred last Sunday:

Zoe: (trying to grab my keys away from me) “NOOOOOOOOOO! MINE!!!!”
Me: “Zoe, who’s the boss?”
Zoe: “Jesus.”

Boom! goes the dynamite.

-Taking care of business:

I’ve been contemplative for the last few months about what type of professional life and family life I want to have in the next two years now that I know I have two girls.  The question before me: am I building a job for myself, or a business? 

While I really want to build a business, I’ve concluded that for at least the next next year or two, I am just building and maintaining a job for myself—a job that has the potential to become a business, and that is set up on sound business principles, but is just a part-time job of no more than 8-10 hrs a week.  I can always build a business (how braggy does that sound? But you know what I mean), but these “little years” are the only time I’ll have these girls home full time with me.  I see an impact from my efforts with them and I don’t want to regret missing out on this time, so I’m capping myself off at a very small number of clients per year.  Just call me a boutique consulting firm.  Ha.

In the meantime, I can still implement principles like diversifying my client base and utilizing good accounting practices that will pay off if I do “go bigger” in future years, so thinking those things through has been fun.

-Date nights: 

One of the main reasons I like working is that I like to make money.  I don’t care about accumulating wealth; to me, money is just a tool to pursue what you value.  And one of the things I value most is this guy.

photo 1Just a normal night by our pool overlooking the water, dressed up in our house clothes.
Or date night.  You decide.

I don’t write a ton about our married life on here because my husband is an adult and can share his own narrative with you (also, I don’t know if people really want to read much about their pastor as written by his wife. Hashtag potential awkwardness).

But let me just say this about our married life: having two kids kinda makes you partners in controlling chaos.  And escaping the chaos is OH SO IMPORTANT.

Me as a mom of one: should we have the sitter come before she goes to bed, or afterwards? I don’t know. I don’t want to traumatize her!  Maybe afterwards.  And there’s only one or two sitters that I really trust…ok, here’s a 3 page document about all of Zoe’s preferences.  Even though she’s sleeping and will likely be sleeping the entire time you’re gone.

Me as a mom of two: You have a pulse and two arms? Cool.  We’ll see you later.  AFTER THEY ARE ASLEEP.  

Yes, that is exaggerated.

But my point is, the intense feeling of I NEED TO GET OUT OF THIS HOUSE ALONE WITH MY HUSBAND strikes way more often with two than with one, so I’m so glad that I am working and it is financially possible for us to have a few date nights a month.  Also, Zoe thinks the sitters are her friends and talks about them all the time and even prays for them to come, so I am really thankful for them.

I harbor a secret dream of writing a book.  There.  It’s out there.  And although sometimes I just have time to write a grocery list or a Facebook post, I’m trying to keep writing something every week.

What’s new with you?!! 

6 thoughts on “Coffee Date

  1. I am right there with you on the working thing. There’s always time to expand the business later, if that’s where God leaves. For now, I value my time at home with the girls too much because I know it is a time that won’t last forever. 🙂 and I think there is something about the ~18 month age…they become slightly less human for a while. Hailee is going through it now. 🙂

    1. I love hearing your perspective. And I think one of the hardest but most rewarding things we can do is trust God enough to say no sometimes. I want to make all of my decisions from a place of confident, expectant trust and obedience—not from a place of fear, anxiety about missing opportunities, or trying to wrestle control away. It’s SO hard to turn down things that look like great opportunities, but obedience is so much better…

      Hope Hailee pulls through it before Baby #3!!!

  2. “No ‘Jesus!’ Want ‘Bout That Bass” – LOL . . . I’m kind of dying over this!!

    I totally know what you mean about the date nights and how perspective changes with one kid vs. two kids. We are not very good about scheduling regular date nights, so kudos to y’all for keeping it a priority and attempting to escape that chaos from time to time. So important!! We were just talking this past week that it has been almost FIVE MONTHS since we have gone out, alone, on an actual date. Not cool. So my goal is to put something on our calendar, and find a sitter, asap!

  3. I really feel like Zoe and Lily could easily be BFFs. If I have to hear “I don’t want to listen to ABC’s, Mom! I NEED to hear ALL THAT BASS!” one more time I may curl up and die. Lovely message, but could have been just as effective without all the talk about boys needing more booty to hold onto. Really? And “Lily, who is the boss?” is a frequent mantra for us right now, too. She never says Jesus, though. She seems to be delusional and think she is the boss. No ma’am.

    I’m super impressed with y’all’s date night efforts. We are terrible with that! It’s so hard (although important!) to make time for that. Glad you’re able to find that time and balance!

    Also, one more thing before this coffee date ends. I’ve been meaning to ask you – how many times a day does someone tell you that you look like Anna Kendrick??

    1. Lily and Zoe COULD be BFFs! I agree–that song is steps away from being something positive. Zoe also loves “Shake It Off” right now, in case you’re looking to expand Lily’s playlist (or maybe she already likes that one…?)

      So here’s my semi-pro tip on date night–we do date nights on Thursday nights–much easier to snag a sitter AND we can hit a happy hour for discounted to make it cheaper (not that many places do happy hours on Fridays). We have been scheduling a few per month ahead of time so there’s no scramble. It seems to be working out well!

      I think I have heard once ever that I look like Anna Kendrick. It might have been you that told me. I have also heard Reese Witherspoon and Kristen Bell. I am flattered by ALL of these comparisons, but do not see the resemblance!

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