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.

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(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.


-Writing: 
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?!! 

Coffee Date

Here are a few things I’d share with you lately if we were having coffee.

-This last month has been so fun, but busy.  I’m tired and probably need to put the brakes on and try to protect our time a bit more.  Highlights have included our family beach trip, Holy Week, Easter, three Easter egg hunts, Youth Sunday at our church, a date night, graduation open houses, a trip to Orlando for David, a few parties, youth groups, Bible studies, two moms’ nights out for me, many play dates…

photo 1-4

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Zoe egg hunt

…here I would probably trail off as I realize that talking about busyness is not that exciting.  But before moving on, I’d reaffirm my commitment to making sure we’re not overly busy in May and that we have a few nights home per week to just be together staring at each other’s faces.

-David and I got to go to a ball last weekend.  The person who traditionally gives the invocation got sick, and although anyone can pray, they felt the need to bring in a professional (which totally cracks me up.)  Enter David, and our free admission to one of the biggest social events of the year in our area.

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Just FYI, general public and fancy event planners, HE IS AVAILABLE FOR MORE OF THESE EVENTS.  Anytime.  Feel free.  You won’t be bothering us with an invitation 🙂

-I finally met my next door neighbor, who is a stay at home mom and has a 2 year old.  I’ve been trying to hunt her down for the last few months to introduce myself because I would hear a child playing in the yard while I was out with my child and I’d think “why are we playing outside in separate yards when we could be hanging out and letting our kids play together?!! I’m supposed to love my neighbor and I don’t even know my neighbor!”

It took a few tries, but we have had a few play dates now and I finally have someone to commiserate with about the music that blasts on a daily basis from the high school across the street.  She texted me last week “are you hearing this music?!! What is with this playlist?!” As we compared the various music we’ve been subject to recently (football team, what’s with the opera music?!! lacrosse team, great dub step) I thought we’re going to get along just fine.  

Plus, she gave Zoe her new favorite possession: an Elmo that snores…and is apparently very thirsty.

IMG_2358A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.  (Proverbs 14:1)

This is not exactly the kind of verse you would want to embroider on a pillow and present to someone at their wedding shower, but it’s always struck me as the kind of thing you SHOULD say to someone as they’re preparing for marriage.

It’s a reminder that the little things I do every day build or tear down my home and my family.  Do I appreciate my husband as a unique person, different from myself and possessing many good qualities, or do I get mad that he doesn’t do things my way? Do I thank my husband for the tasks he completed to help out our family, or complain about the ones he didn’t do? Do I show my daughter that she is interesting and worthy of full attention, or do I give her half my attention as I clean or check things off my to-do list? Do I call my parents and siblings to hear about their lives, or do I call them to talk about mine? Do I pursue my own selfish ambitions, or do what my family needs? Do I use my time wisely or squander it?

I want to build my home.  No question about it.

-On a similar note…I’ve been thinking a lot lately about “speaking life.”  I feel like there are so many opportunities every day to speak life, encouragement, and inspiration into others’ lives.  I pray that I see and use them instead of just wasting or overlooking them.

Then I’d ask a lot of questions about you, because I hate talking about myself for an entire coffee date.  THE HORROR!

What have YOU been thinking about lately?