Our Week…

What I’m Into ~ June 2015 Edition

What I'm Into ~ June 2015 Edition

 

Happy July, friends! Are y’all having a good summer so far? I’m wishing that these summer days would slow down a little. It feels like it is flying by much faster than I’d like – but I guess that’s just a challenge to be present and soak it all in!

 

It’s that time again – time to join the lovely Leigh Kramer in rounding up what we’ve been into in June. I love checking out all the awesome blog posts to find new ideas for books to read, movies to watch, and things to enjoy! Grab a glass of lemonade, curl up in the air condition, and check them out!

 

 Pretty Things ~

 

I could give up shopping, but I'm not a quitter! ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

I saw this sign at a local consignment boutique, and I just had to snap a picture for Instagram!

 

Purple GUESS booties ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

 

And speaking of consignment stores, I found these purple GUESS booties on clearance at one of my favorite local consignment shops for only $8! They were begging me to bring them home – and I just couldn’t resist! Now I can’t wait for cooler weather so I can wear them!

 

Vintage train case turned into a makeup case! ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

 

I’ve been looking for a better way to store my makeup. I don’t have very much in the way of cosmetics, but I was outgrowing my little antique bowl. I hated that brushes and blush would fall out of the container, and it was leaving me feeling disorganized – which is not now I want to start the day.

 

I started browsing Pinterest for ideas, but nothing seemed to fit my needs. It was then that I remembered a vintage train cases! Many of them had small mirrors and trays – perfect for a retro woman on-the-go! I found this one on eBay. It’s faux leather, and in awesome condition! Someone replaced the fabric in the bottom of the case – it’s rather groovy now – but once I set my plastic tiered organizer inside, I couldn’t see it any more. It’s been the perfect solution to my makeup organizing woes. It has plenty of room for my small-ish collection, and a little more room to grow. *Wink* And I couldn’t be more thrilled!

 

Date night decisions - boots or wedges? ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

We had a couple of date nights this month! I sent out a plea for help on Facebook and Instagram one night when I couldn’t decide which shoe to wear to our mystery date with a group of friends from church. I ended up picking the boots because I learned that our date was outside, and I didn’t want to be teetering around in heels when I didn’t know what we were going to do. We ended up going to an awesome little airport that also has a restaurant attached. We watched bi-planes take off and land as we devoured burgers and visited. What fun! Have you ever been on a mystery date?

 

What I’m Read in June~

 

Scary Close, by Donald Miller – I was excited to finally get my hands on his newest book! I’m introverted by nature, and tend to be pretty guarded – too guarded – to protect myself from the hurt of others, but this helped me to see that I am not gaining anything by keeping people from getting close to me. It was an eye-opener, for sure!

 

Still Alice ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

Still Alice, by Lisa Genova – Wow. This one really got to me. I felt as though I was getting an unveiled look into what it must be like to have Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. I’m a stickler for reading the book before seeing the movie, so now I’m excited to finally see the film soon!

 

The Life-Chaging Magic of Tidying Up ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo – Now I know what all the fuss was about! This was a fabulous little book – so challenging and inspiring! I wasn’t even through the book yet when I purged a large portion of my closet. I have been hanging on to clothes and jewelry that I never wear. Even though my things were well organized, I didn’t realize how much the “clutter” of having more things than I need was affecting me. I love walking into my newly purged closet and seeing ONLY the clothes that I enjoy wearing. There’s also something much less stressful about knowing that whatever you pull out of your closet is going to feel good, look good, and boost your confidence.

 

Dear Mr. Knightley, by Katherine Reay – This had been sitting on my Kindle for several months, but it wasn’t until my friend Crystal from Money Saving Mom recommended this book to me that I finally started reading it. It was perfect to read by the pool when the boys began swimming lessons. It was heartwarming, thoughtful, and kept me engaged through the last page. It was just light and fluffy enough for summer, while inspiring me as a writer!

 

 

Reading in July ~

 

What I'm Reading - June 2015  justoneoftheboys.com

 

Love Walked In, by Marisa de los Santos – I’ve spent the last 10 nights trying to read this book before bed, but I kept falling asleep and losing my place! I picked it up this morning on our way out the door for swimming lessons, and by the time our hour was up, I thought the story was pretty promising!

 

The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty – I finished (and LOVED) Big Little Lies over Memorial weekend, and decided to dive into this one in July!

 

Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – I keep hearing over and over again what a wonderful book this is – so I used our Audible credit for the audio version to listen to this month! I recently watched Chimamanda give a commencement speech online, and was so moved, that I had to move it up on my to-read list!

 

Stories I Only Tell My Friends, by Rob Lowe – I’ve had this one on my radar for a while. I enjoy celebrity memoirs, and I’ve heard this one is especially good. I remembered recently while ordering other books from the library – so I just added it to the ever-growing stack. So many books, so little time!

 

The Kill Artist, by Daniel Silva – This one comes highly recommended by my friend Ashley. She loves spy books, and it sounds like this is the first one in the series. I loved the Bourne books, so I’m excited to step into this series!

 

A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness – Our oldest has to do a book report over the summer and hand it in when he starts middle school in August. The book has to be over 150 pages, have literary merit, and be written between 2005 – 2015. We looked up lists of the best YA books, and this one piqued his interest. He flew through it, and was excited to get started on his book report – so I had to add it to my list to read this month!

 

Feathering My Nest ~

 

I finally tackled our middle son’s room this month. I’d only put it off for nearly *cough* four years *cough*! I had procrastinated because the former owners had put up a wallpaper border (blue flowers, btw) near the ceiling, and THEN painted the rest of the walls up to the line of the wallpaper. When I steamed and removed the flower border, it left a definite and unsightly line of demarcation.

 

That’s when I got out the spackle and filled in the area around the line, and the other areas that needed a quick layer.

 

Boy's room mid-project - rock wall, hanging ladder ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

Then I sanded the whole room – and ended up with gray hair to show for it! Thankfully it washed right now. Whew!

 

DIYers gone wild! Gray hair! ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

I put up a few paint samples around his room, and let him choose his favorite. He chose this gorgeous color from Benjamin Moore – Hudson Bay.

 

I love Benjamin Moore colors, but I’ve always been so impressed with the durability and coverage of Behr’s Ultra primer and paint in one, so I had it mixed at Home Depot. I finished it in one day, and applied a few touch-ups the next morning before moving his furniture back into place. Now he has a brand new room!

 

And look how good his Ninja Warrior equipment looks against the new wall color!

 

Navy blue boy's room! A rock wall and a hanging ladder are a great way for little boys to get out their energy! Benjamin Moore Hudson Bay ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

I’ll be sharing more about Aiden’s room makeover soon! Next up, Quinn’s room is going to get a fresh new look! I just might get started weekend!

 

What about you?

 

What have you been up to lately? Have you read any good books? Watched a fantastic movie? I can’t wait to hear about it!

 

As always, thank you so much for spending a little bit of your day with me. Your encouragement and comments mean the world to me! You can also find me on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!

 

Until next time,

*Hugs*

~ G

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5 Summer Must-Haves for a Busy Mom

Summer Must-Haves for a Busy Mom!

 

It’s getting warm outside! Summer is in full swing here in Kansas. Our family was been busy with VBS last week, and we will be heading to swimming lessons and playdates over the next couple of weeks. I love the time that we get to spend as a family during the summer, but it can be crazy with so many activities!

 

My Three Sons - Swimming

 

I shared with you last week how much I love my new Beeyoutiful mineral foundation. Love, love, love! I enjoy hearing about the things that people found – what makes life easier – that I thought I’d share with you a few more of my favorite things.

 

Here are some of my go-to, can’t-live-without, must haves for summer!

 

Summer Must Haves!

 

Dry Shampoo ~

 

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to wash, dry, and style my hair every day. Between getting up early to work out, meeting up with friends at the park, and spending afternoons at the local pools and splash pads, I need something to help my hair stay fresh, easy to maintain, and looking good between washings. Dry shampoo is the bomb diggity!

 

There are two brands that I love:

Suave Professionals Refresh & Revive is cheap, smells great, and gives my hair a little extra volume oomph! I can pick it up at Target, blow dry my hair after a sweaty workout, and spray it in before styling. It’s a great way to buy myself a little time until I can wash it later.

 

Big Sexy Hair Power Play comes in a powder form that you sprinkle in at the roots. I wait a few minutes before I rub it in and brush it through my hair. I love that this one leaves the rest of my hair feeling silky and clean so I can go about 2-3 days between washings.

 

Benefit Eye Bright ~

 

This has been called A NAP IN A STICK – and I love it! It’s the lightest shade of pink, and when I apply it to the dreaded dark circles on my face, it helps light to bounce off that area! I look so much more awake, alert, and refreshed when I am sporting my Benefit Eye Bright!

 

Beeyoutiful Mineral Makeup ~ Review and Giveaway!

 

 

OGX Argan Oil of Morocco  ~

 

Heavenly. That’s how I would describe this stuff! I use OGX’s Argan Oil shampoo and conditioner, too, but this penetrating oil makes my locks soft, silky, and so touchable. I can’t keep my hands out of my hair!

 

Future Hope Jewelry

 

I bought the small travel size at Ulta months ago, and I’m still working my way through it! I rub a small drop between my palms and run my hands through the ends and middle of my wet hair after a shower, and then I style it.

 

Beeyoutiful Mineral Makeup ~ Review

 

P.S. – It smells divine, too!

 

Pucker up! ~

 

I’ve become a big fan of having a pop of color on my lips! My sweet friend Heather gave me a pretty gold tube of Bésame Red Velvet for my birthday this year!

 

I tend to have dry lips, so I always wear a lip balm – even over my lipstick. My favorite is the Burt’s Bees “Red Dahlia” tube from Target. It adds just a hint of color to my lips, and looks great over a darker lip color as well!

 

My sister-in-law Amy gave me a new lip lavender mint balm from Honest Company, and I love it! It’s clear, but adds a nice little glow to my lips while keeping them soft and hydrated.

 

Red Lipstick

 

Sunglasses ~

 

Pulling weeds in the flower bed. Mowing the yard. A family walk around our neighborhood. Swimming lessons. Park play dates. Driving our kids all over God’s green earth for summer activities.

 

I couldn’t do it all without my shades! I keep these Kate Spades with me all the time, and it makes active summer life so much better. Plus, all you need is a little pop of color on the lips, and no on can tell if you have bags under your eyes from being up at night with a sick kiddo like I was last night, staying up too late reading a good book, or just didn’t have time to put on your Eye Bright!

 

Sunglasses and White Summer Dress

 

What about you?

 

What are some of your must- haves for summer? Do you have a favorite sunscreen? A fabulous lotion? A delicious summer drink? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

 

Wishing you a fabulous week!

 

*Hugs*

 

~ Ginger

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Beeyoutiful Mineral Makeup…and GIVEAWAY!!! (Winner announced!)

And the winner is #21 – Heather! A big THANK YOU to each of you who entered our giveaway! I encourage you to check out Beeyoutiful, and let me know what you think! 🙂

 

3 Ways to Love Mineral Makeup

 

Psssst… Can I tell you something? I’ve been on a mission recently… A mission to gradually replace my old beauty products with ones that are more natural. Have you ever looked up the details of what is in our cosmetics? Yikes! It’s pretty scary! Even though I want to turn to more natural products, I don’t want to give quality or appearance. There’s a reason I wear makeup! *wink*

 

And that is why I couldn’t be more excited to share my latest discovery with you! Eeeeeeek!

 

Tinted moisturizer had been my go-to “foundation” for years now. I started out with Cover Girl, then eventually switched to Aveeno thinking that would be more natural – but it would sting and make my eyes water even when I lightly applied it to my face. That can’t be a good sign. Then I tried a pricier tinted moisturizer, but it really wasn’t anything to get excited about. I was still using it every day when I read this article by my friend Rosanna which introduced me to Beeyoutiful Mineral Makeup:

 

 

makeup-monday-1

 

She asked me if I would like to try a sample foundation kit from Beeyoutiful Mineral Makeup to review here on the blog, and of course I said yes! Rosanna is a busy wife and mom just like me – but she’s gorgeous, talented, and always looks amazing! I knew that I couldn’t go wrong in trusting her advice. Even though I still wasn’t sure that mineral makeup would work for me, I was willing to give it a shot!

 

I’m more of a medium tone, so they sent me an adorable fuchsia gift bag with EIGHT different shades of medium foundation to choose from and sample! EIGHT! And a small kabuki brush! One of the reasons that I’ve relied on tinted moisturizer for the last few years is because I’ve always had a rough time finding just the right shade of foundation to match my olive-ish skin – but Beeyoutiful was different.

 

(Ooops! I forgot to snag a photo of all eight samples… These were the remaining six shades that came with the sample package.)

 

Beeyoutiful Makeup Samples

 

I carefully watched Rosanna’s video on how to find your perfect match. There were so many shades that came in my sample package – but I chose the two that seemed like they might be the better matches, and I gave it a whirl. I was surprised to see that both shades matched pretty well! I ended up choosing the slightly darker shade because we were going into warmer months and my skin tans pretty easily when I’m outside in the summer.

 

Rosanna helped me put in my order – and a few days later this pretty package arrived in the mail!

 

Mineral Makeup

 

Once again, I followed along with the next video as Rosanna demonstrated how to use a kabuki brush to apply the mineral foundation. I loved that she also shows two other ways that we can apply the makeup. I had fun playing around with the different techniques, and over the next few days I tried all three!

 

Dry Brushing ~

 

First I tried the regular dry buffing method. Before trying mineral makeup, I had assumed that it would feel caked on, dry, and just gross, so I was surprised to see that it wasn’t any of those things! It felt light and fluffy – almost as if I wasn’t wearing makeup at all!

 

coconut earrings

 

Blending with a Moisturizer ~

 

Next I used a drug store moisturizer to blend with the mineral powder – and it was another great look! This created a little more coverage, so I will use this for a more dressed up, nighttime look. Even though my freckles weren’t as visible with this approach, I still didn’t feel like I was wearing heavy makeup. Oh, happy day!

 

Future Hope shirt

 

Airbrush Technique ~

 

This one is my favorite, and is now my go-to way to apply makeup each morning! I ran to Target and found NYX’s Dewy Finish Setting Spray to try. I look how it turned out! I like this look so much that I’m eyeing Beeyoutiful’s Lavishmint Hydrating Toner for when I run out – just like Rosanna uses in the video.

 

I love how this method evens out my complexion, but still light enough to show my freckles! I feel natural, as if I’m not wearing anything on my face – without scaring my friends and family!

Beeyoutiful Mineral Makeup ~ Review

 

My skin has never felt better!

 

I love that Beeyoutiful Mineral Makeup is a full disclosure company, and I can know exactly what I am putting on my body. At 34 years old, my skin has honestly never felt better. I’ve already told my Beloved that I’m excited to stick with this brand! I may get the slightly lighter shade of foundation to use as my summer tan glow fades this fall/winter, and I’m already looking at replacing my other cosmetics with Beeyoutiful’s fabulous choices!

 

It’s a GIVEAWAY!!!

 

Have you ever tried mineral makeup? Would you like to? Rosanna and the awesome folks at Beeyoutiful Skin have graciously offered to give away a FREE sample package and full-sized foundation to ONE LUCKY READER!!! This is the perfect opportunity to try something new! You can find your perfect shade and see for yourself how fabulous it is!

 

TO ENTER:

Just leave a comment below telling us your very favorite, can’t live without, gotta have it if you were stranded on a deserted island piece of makeup! Do you swear by a certain concealer? Are you a lipstick girl? Blush? Mascara? I’d love to know all about it!

 

The winner will be announced Friday evening!

 

Be sure to connect with Beeyoutiful on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay in the loop – sales, makeup tips, inspiration, and more!

 

Wishing you an exquisite week, my friends!

*Hugs*

~ Ginger

 

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What I’m Into ~ May 2015 Edition

What I'm Into May 2015

 

Once again it’s time to link up with the lovely Leigh Kramer and gab about what we’ve been into this month – (er, the past couple of months in my case)! Be sure to check out all of the wonderful links for the best book ideas, movie and tv reviews, and more!

 

My Birthday ~

Last month I celebrated my 34th birthday. The thirties have been hard for me, but this year wasn’t so bad. I welcomed it – and somehow 34 didn’t feel quite as daunting. Maybe that’s because I’ve been working so hard to take better care of myself, pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and finding out who I really am as a woman.

 

It probably helped that I had started an exercise routine 30 days before my birthday. I was feeling squishy, tired, achy, and self-conscious about how my clothes weren’t fitting very well. I had melted into a puddle of tears more than once, but I have a wonderful Beloved who pulled me into his arms and assured me that he loved me exactly how I was. I was inspired to stop moping and actually do something about it, so I began the 30 Day Shred exercise program, then progressed into trying PIYO.

 

I’m getting stronger, leaner, and more energized – which helped me to usher in this birthday with a smile.

 

Book Exchange Parties ~

 

I wish that I had snapped a picture from the other night! I hosted a white elephant book exchange party for the ladies of our new church – and I think everyone enjoyed themselves! My friend Kaila and I handed out invitations printed out on vintage-ish library check-out cards, and everyone brought snackies to munch on. We took turns picking out a wrapped book and finding out which books had impacted our friends.

Here are some of the AWESOME books that were shared:

The Chronicles of Narnia

For Men Only

For Women Only

The Pact

Sacred Marriage

Gods at War (I ended up with this one!)

Harriet the Spy

The Best Yes

One Thousand Gifts

Me Before You (This was my contribution to the evening’s festivities!)

 

And Speaking of Books…

 

Look at what my Beloved and our boys gave me for Mother’s Day!

 

Unfinished bookshelf

 

They really do know what speaks to my heart – a special place for my antique books!

 

Finished bookshelf

 

Future Hope ~

 

I am so excited about the work that my friend Katie is doing in Haiti with Future Hope Haiti! Her heart has been moved and she is working toward bringing hope to the people of Haiti! I love supporting them any way I can, and I won a t-shirt! One look at it, and my oldest son asked if he could have one, too. I’ll probably end up giving him mine. I love that he’s excited to spread the word of the work going on in Haiti!

 

Future Hope shirt

 

I love wearing my coconut earrings and bracelet from Future Hope! They go with absolutely everything!

 

Future Hope Jewelry

 

I love mine so much that I gave away a pair of coconut earrings on Facebook last week for my birthday! The giveaway went over so well that we just might have another one! Stay tuned!

 

Future Hope Earrings

 

 

Celebrating Being Seizure-Free!

 

Our middle son is officially finished with taking his epilepsy meds! He was declared seizure-free at his last EEG, and has been weaning off the medication. Our family celebrated this HUGE milestone with him – and we couldn’t be prouder for all of his hard work! He helped me write this post:

 

5 Things You Should Know About Absence Seizures

Crashing Into Grace ~

 

I had the unfortunate experience of backing into my Beloved’s car last month. I felt absolutely horrible about my mistake – and I managed to flog myself pretty well for not being more careful. It was my family who surrounded me with love and forgiveness that taught me the most important lesson of all:

 

Sometimes the best thing a mom can do for her family is to give herself grace. ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

The End of the School Year ~

 

Quinn hat

 

Things have been pretty crazy around here lately! We finished up our school year, and it seemed even busier than in past years. My blogging took a back seat, but as life slows down a little this summer I’ll be able to share a little more of our story with you!

 

 

Books I’ve Read in April & May ~

 

I didn’t get to read as many books as usual. With getting up so early, I’ve found myself going to bed earlier and earlier – unable to keep my eyes open to read at night, but I did manage to get through a few!

 

The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett – LOVED IT! Can’t wait to finally watch the film!

 

Glitter and Glue, by Kelly Corrigan – Another great book by Kelly Corrigan. This memoir focused more on her relationship with her mom, and it made me laugh and cry.

 

Hands Free Mama, by Rachel Macy Stafford – I’m going through this one slowly and soaking it up… Convicting and inspiring at the same time, and it’s helping me to stop and really be in the moment with my family.

 

Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty – WOWZERS! I loved her book What Alice Forgot, but when I started her newest story, I couldn’t get past the first few chapters. I had pretty much given up, but I’m so glad that my friend Jeri encouraged me to push through and keep reading. I’ve shared parts of my story with y’all, and I could relate to each of the three main characters in some ways. When I clicked past the last page on my Kindle, I couldn’t move. I couldn’t even cry. I just sat and soaked it all in – there were so many memories and emotions flowing through me. It was a good thing, honest! A fascinating page-turner, it also nudged me to dig deep and face some painful corners of my past.

 

Reading in June ~

 

Do Over, by John Acuff

 

Scary Close, by Donald Miller

 

Love Walked In, by Marisa De Los Santos – and if I enjoy it, I have the sequel ready to read, too – Belong to Me.

 

Gods at War, by Francis Chan

 

The Marriage of Chani Kaufman, by Eve Harris

 

 

What About You?

 

What have you been into lately? Have you read any good books? Watched any must-see TV? Found any great bargains? I’d love to hear all about it! I’m always looking for good recommendations for books, movies, and more! You can find me here, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest! I’d love to connect with you!

Wishing you an exquisite month of June, dear friends!

*Hugs*

 

~ Ginger

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Take a Little Time ~ 30 Days and Counting…

Take a Little Time for You! header

 

So this is one of THOSE weeks where things aren’t going quite right. My computer ate this post that I had aaaaaalmost finished the other day, and my Beloved is needing to take my laptop with him during the day to school and work, so I’m trying to finally get this post out to you before another whole week flies by!

 

Let’s see…What’s been happening lately? I finished up my 30 day fitness goal!!! Just over a month ago I was really frustrated about my health and body image. I felt sluggish and squishy, my joints ached, and my clothes didn’t fit. I had fallen off the exercise wagon, and was dragging in the dust. I felt self-conscious around my Beloved, and I just didn’t want to feel like that any more.

 

I looked at the calendar and realized that it was exactly 30 days until my birthday, so I jumped into 30 Day Shred workout videos. I decided to plow on through, doing the workouts for 30 days in a row with no rest days.

 

I’ve used these videos in the past, but had forgotten just how brutal Jillian Michaels can be. I got up early, bounced around doing jumping jacks, high knees, push-ups, Supermans, and more. Before the first 10 days were up, I felt ready to move on to Level 2. And before the next 10 days were over, I felt as thought I needed the challenge of Level 3. By the time I was several days into the third level, I was bored and frustrated with being yelled at by a trainer on my TV at 0530 every morning.

 

On top of all that, my hip wouldn’t allow me to do a couple of the high-impact moves, so I had to find other ways to challenge my body during things like jumping lunges. I had hip surgery a year ago, (and knee surgery 16 years ago), and while I have regained so much strength and ability, I do have to be careful about some of those more jarring moves.

 

I was already seeing progress in my body. My shoulders were more defined. I could see muscle tone in my legs. My core was feeling tighter… Things were moving in the right direction, but I couldn’t stay with the Shred for those last few days. That’s when I decided to give PIYO a try. It’s a fast-paced Pilates/yoga regime where you use your own bodyweight to work on strength and flexibility. I’d heard great things about it from a friend who loves her PIYO workouts, and she thought it would be a perfect low-impact workout for my joints, while giving me the results I wanted.

 

I’m several days into it, and it’s been great! I love that there is a different workout to do each day, and I am drenched in sweat after each session! So far it has been pretty gentle on my hip, and I actually look forward to rolling out of bed at 0530 and having a little ME time before the rest of the house stirs! It took about three weeks for my body to adjust to getting up so early, but now it’s just part of my routine and I wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s something so invigorating about being up at such a peaceful hour.

 

I don’t have any pictures from my PIYO workouts, but I pretty much look like this when it’s over – in a good way! (via Pinterest)

Piyo

 

I’ve lost about an inch from my waist, about an inch and a half from my hips, an inch from each of my upper thighs, and an inch from each of my upper arms. My clothes fit better and better each week, and I’m actually starting to feel good about myself again! Isn’t the human body an amazing thing? The science behind how our bodies work, move, and strengthen is fascinating! I love having more energy to keep up with my guys, and seeing my body develop into a leaner, stronger woman is pretty awesome!

 

I still have a little muffin top, but I know that will come off with time. This last month has taught me so much about setting a goal, showing up no matter what, and seeing it through. Results will come! It’s not overnight, but I didn’t gain the extra fluffiness overnight either. I’ve been so encouraged by watching my physical body go through this transformation, and I’m excited to apply this in other areas of my life as well!

 

Last Week’s Goals ~

  • ~ Be up by 0530 every morning to get an early start on my day with exercise and quiet reading timeI set my alarm for 0600 on the weekends, so it was nice to get a little extra sleep before getting up early to tackle my day. 
  • ~ Continue with the 30 Day Shred and 30 Days of Yoga every morning, or find something more challenging to finish out my month of working on my health. But do not weigh myself. Check!
  • ~ Drink 3qt. of water each day. I slacked one day last week, and I could tell a difference. I didn’t feel as refreshed, and I felt parched the next day. I love adding lemon and lime juice to my pitcher of water every morning!
  • ~ Write two more blog posts this week.
  • ~ Find ways that I can encourage a friend this week.

 

This Week’s Goals ~

 

  • ~ Wake up at 0530 each morning to get an early and quiet start on the day.
  • ~ Continue working out each day with PIYO and activities with our boys.
  • ~ Drink 3 liters of water each day, along with coconut water to stay hydrated.
  • ~ Experiment with my new Beeyoutiful mineral foundation, and play around with other makeup ideas.
  • ~ Hop into bed by 9:30PM – early enough to read before falling asleep.

 

What about you?

 

I’m curious – as I’ve been thinking about all the things that have kept me from taking better care of myself, I’m wondering – What things are keeping you from taking a little time for you? Kids? Work? Crazy schedule? Are you like me and forgot how to take care of yourself?

One of the hardest parts of taking a little time for myself has always been coming up with ideas for how to take care of me. That’s why I’ve come up with a list of 101 FREE (or nearly free) Ways to Take a Little Time for US! And I’d be thrilled to send it to you! Subscribe to the free email updates from Just One of the Boys – just enter your name and email address below -and I’ll send you your FREE copy!

 

101 Ways

 

I’ll keep sharing even more of my progress on Facebook and Instagram this week with the hashtag #takealittletime, and I’d love it if you joined me. It would be way more fun with you! Let’s find a second to actually take a minute, SIT DOWN today, and just breathe. And don’t forget to drink water! You can even tell me how you are taking care of your body here in the comments or tag me in your photos! Let’s put our health, our hearts, and our heads back on the to-do list – and let’s start taking better care of ourselves today!

*Hugs*

~ Ginger

 

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Crashing into Grace…

So… My morning didn’t start out so great. I turned my head when something caught my eye, and I was not looking behind me when I backed out of our garage.

 

CRUNCH.

 

I felt my stomach drop as the realization of what I just did washed over me. I had just hit my husband’s car. Joe was still inside the house,  so I sent in one of the boys to go get him.

 

I put the vehicle in park, and I just sat there – still shocked by what I had just done. The sound of my own thoughts echoed inside my mind…

 

Look what you did. How could you be so stupid, Ginger? How could you be so careless? You know better than to get distracted. You’re so irresponsible. I can’t believe you just did that. Stupid!

 

Blame. Name-calling. Judgement.

 

That’s when my Beloved walked outside, and I saw him involuntarily cringe when he saw my predicament. That’s when my heart and my tears fell.

 

“I’m so sorry.”

 

“It’s okay, Honey. That’s why they call it an accident.”

 

GRACE.

 

“But I’m really, really sorry.”

 

“It’s okay, Honey. Really. It’s just a car.”

 

More GRACE.

 

Our oldest son climbed up next to me and wrapped his arms around my shoulders. “Are you okay, Mom? Everybody makes mistakes.” 

 

No blaming. Just GRACE.

 

I ran my errand still shell-shocked, and returned home to my family. Aiden’s concerned face greeted me when I went inside. “Mom! Are you okay?” Our freckled middle child who doesn’t enjoy showing physical affection could sense what I needed just then, and he gave me a hug.

 

No judgement. Just GRACE.

 

Our littlest guy hurried up the stairs. “What’s wrong, Mommy?” He leaned his head against me and looked up as I explained what had happened. His brown eyes got even bigger, and then his face softened. “It’s okay, Mommy. Sometimes stuff like that just happens.” 

 

No name-calling. Just GRACE.

 

Sometimes the best thing a mom can do for her family is to give herself grace. ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

And my Beloved. His kind eyes searched my face and could tell that I was still beating myself up for my mistake. He stood there with open arms – full of the forgiveness and grace that I was denying myself… that I have become accustomed to denying myself over the course of my whole life.

 

It was then that I realized the only one pointing fingers of blame was me. My whole family had surrounded me with love and forgiveness. I could continue on in my shame spiral, or I could accept what everyone else was already handing to me. GRACE.

 

This certainly isn’t the last time that I’m going to mess up, but today I’m choosing GRACE.

 

What about you?

 

Have you found ways to give yourself a little grace when you let yourself down? Do you struggle with it like I do? I’d love to read your comments below. It means so much to me that you let me go on this journey of life with you! Thank you so much for being part of our Just One of the Boys family!

 

*Hugs*

 

~ Ginger

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Take a Little Time ~ One Little Thing

Take a Little Time for You! header

 

 

Happy Monday, Friend! Can you believe that it’s April already? Are you finding ways to take a little time for yourself? Have you been staying hydrated this week?

 

Last time I set a goal for myself to do at least ONE thing for myself every day. I’ve set this goal before, but haven’t always crossed it off my list. Some nights I’d be dragging myself into bed and realize that in the busyness of the day, I hadn’t taken the time to do anything just for me. I was determined to change that last week! I’m a busy lady, just like you – with kids, activities, responsibilities, and good things pulling me in different directions. I’ve found that when I take just a little time for myself, I am a more rested and refreshed person. I’m energized, happier, and a better wife and mother.

 

Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be a big production, expensive, or selfish… it’s just taking a few minutes to recharge so you can have a better outlook on life as you take care of the people and responsibilities in your life. It’s a whole new mindset that I’ve been working on just a little bit at a time.

 

Here’s how it went down last week:

 

MONDAY – I spent time playing my piano. It’s hard to believe that she’s been mine for almost a whole year!

 

DSC_0060

 

 

TUESDAY – I tried some new teal eye shadow! My friend Anna has an awesome series of beauty videos, and she recently shared a Pop of Color tutorial where she showed us how to add some color to the eyes to bring a fresh bit of color to the face! Our family has been very careful to not spend extra money over the last few months, so this was a nice treat for myself! 

 

blue eyeshadow

 

 

WEDNESDAY – I lit a candle and took the time to really enjoy the fresh scent… We were also under a tornado warning and I thought it would be best to have a candle lit in case our electricity went out while I was making a poster for Game Night at our oldest son’s school. Sometimes a girl’s gotta multi-task!

 

(We used spray adhesive to attach the Captain America poster and the superhero-inspired letters to the giant poster board. Perfect for the class game – a ring toss!)

 

Freedom Toss

 

 

THURSDAY – I wore my new coconut earrings from Future Hope. They are lightweight, unique, and go with everything! I love them so much, that I think we might have another Favorite Things giveaway soon! Stay tuned!

coconut earrings

 

FRIDAY – I met with a friend from our new church to talk about a book we are reading together, and I was excited to learn that I could join in helping her plan events for the ladies of our church! 

 

SATURDAY – My sister Natalie treated me to a sister-date and a pedicure on Saturday afternoon! I had the most relaxing time sitting in a massage chair and catching up with her while our tootsies got the royal treatment!

 

Before I went to see my sister, I stopped by one of my favorite consignment shops and TJ Maxx with the gift cards that my parents and siblings gave me as an early birthday present! I hadn’t been shopping for myself in so long, and it was fun to try on clothes and find something special just for me! I found a cute summer skirt and a vintage looking top. I still have plenty left on my birthday gift cards, and I can’t wait to go shopping again soon!

 

Speaking of shopping…Has this ever happened to you?

 

A Shopping Monologue -

 

 

 Last Week’s Goals ~

 

  • ~ Drink 3 qt. of water each day. I did this all but one day this week. I feel so much more refreshed and energized when I’m drinking enough water! I’m also drinking coconut water and eating bananas to make sure that I’m not running low on potassium. 
  • ~ Wake up at 0530 or before to get an early start on my day with exercise and a quiet reading timeCheck! Getting up early is becoming a routine for me, and it’s easier now – three weeks in – than it was in the beginning. 
  • ~ Complete 30 Day Shred and 30 Days of Yoga every morningYEP! I have finished three full weeks of both the 30 Day Shred and 30 Days of Yoga. I’m in Level 3 of the Shred, and while it’s not super enjoyable, I’m not finding it as challenging as I’d hoped. 
  • ~ Get back into writingI have been outlining blog posts to share with you soon. 
  • ~ Do ONE thing every day just for myself – maybe play the piano, read, light a candle, or take a walk.

 

This Week’s Goals ~

 

  • ~ Be up by 0530 every morning to get an early start on my day with exercise and quiet reading time.
  • ~ Continue with the 30 Day Shred and 30 Days of Yoga every morning, or find something more challenging to finish out my month of working on my health. But do not weigh myself.
  • ~ Drink 3qt. of water each day.
  • ~ Write two more blog posts this week.
  • ~ Find ways that I can encourage a friend this week.

 

Will You Join Me? ~

 

I’m curious – as I’ve been thinking about all the things that have kept me from taking better care of myself, I’m wondering – What things are keeping you from taking a little time for you? Kids? Work? Crazy schedule? Are you like me and forgot how to take care of yourself?

One of the hardest parts of taking a little time for myself has always been coming up with ideas for how to take care of me. That’s why I’ve come up with a list of 101 FREE (or nearly free) Ways to Take a Little Time for US! And I’d be thrilled to send it to you! Subscribe to the free email updates from Just One of the Boys – just enter your name and email address below -and I’ll send you your FREE copy!

 

101 Ways

 

I’ll keep sharing even more of my progress on Facebook and Instagram this week with the hashtag #takealittletime, and I’d love it if you joined me. It would be way more fun with you! Let’s find a second to actually take a minute, SIT DOWN today, and just breathe. And don’t forget to do something for your heart – get it pumping today! You can even tell me how you are taking care of your body here in the comments or tag me in your photos! Let’s put our health, our hearts, and our heads back on the to-do list – and let’s start taking better care of ourselves today!

*Hugs*

~ Ginger

 

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What I’m Into ~ March 2015 Edition

Is it really that time again? The month of March has come to an end, and we’re back with the lovely Leigh Kramer and sharing what we’ve been into this past month! Are y’all ready for spring? As much as I love boot and leggings weather, I’m pretty happy to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin and soak up the feeling of everything being new and fresh again!

 

What have you been into this month? I just love seeing what everyone is reading, watching, and up to! Call me nosey! I’m always looking for a new movie or series to watch with my Beloved, or on my own for some much-needed girl time! And I love adding to my GoodReads list with new books to devour. Are we GoodReads buddies yet? I hope so!

 

So here’s what I’ve been into this month…

 

Spending time outside ~

 

Since the weather has warmed up, everything is getting green and lovely again! I’ve been perching with a book on my bench outside while I listen to the boys play basketball in the driveway or ride their bikes. I love this time of year… until my allergies hit! Ahhhhhh…CHOO! Have you found anything to help with seasonal allergies? I’m trying Claritin this year, but I’m thinking I might have to get out the dreaded NetiPot!

 

What I'm Into

 

Taking Back My Health ~

 

In preparation for my 34th birthday coming up this month, I decided to tackle the 30 Day Shred and 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene! I shared a few of my thoughts on the first week earlier this week… Will this help me welcome the next year with a bang, or will it kill me first?!

 

Take a Little Time for You! header

 

Read in March ~

 

I’m a little in awe of how many books I read this past month. I had been feeling a little homesick for diving into good books, and I spent quite a bit of time getting back to one of my first loves – reading. I felt like I had been given an IV and felt so much more refreshed, invigorated, and like myself when I give myself time to read. Do you know what I mean, or am I just a weirdo? Anybody? Bueller? Nevermind. *wink*

 

Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography, by Laura Ingalls Wilder – I have been waiting my whole life for this book! I can’t tell you how much I loved reading her original Pioneer Girl manuscript, and the added notes on each page that went into deeper detail of the history of Little House and the interaction between Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder Lane.

 

Pioneer Girl, by Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

Unstoppable: Running the Race You Were Born to Win, Christine Caine – An amazing friend mailed me her copy after she read it, knowing how much this book would touch my heart. I could have underlined every word. There were so many areas that were convicting, encouraging, and inspiring – and it really lit a fire in my heart!

 

Unstoppable

 

Surprised by Motherhood, by Lisa-Jo Baker – This one had been on my radar for quite a while. I put out a plea on Facebook to see if any local friends had it to borrow, and people ended up suspecting that I was pregnant! Yikes! A dear friend sent me a copy, and I have really treasured my early morning quiet time reading this sweet book every morning. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and have been recommending it to every mom I know! This would be a PERFECT Mother’s Day gift for the special ladies in your life!

 

Surprised by Motherhood - an awesome book by Lisa-Jo Baker

 

Surprised by Motherhood, by Lisa-Jo Baker

 

On Writing, by Stephen King – I read this back in 2013, but decided that it was time for a refresher. I loved this book EVEN MORE this second time through it. I am a very new King fan. I’ve never read any of his scary books. I started 11/22/63 a while back, but had to take it back to the library before I got into it, but I think I’m going to give it another try soon! His years of honing his craft, the advice for new writers, and learning more about his life was surprisingly both entertaining and inspiring!

 

On Writing

 

Fooling Houdini, by Alex Stone – I’ve always been curious about magic. I mostly flipped through this book before I had to take it back to the library. I found his explanations pretty interesting, and I’d love to know more about the way our brains see what they want to see when it comes to illusions!

 

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, by Caitlin Doughty – I’ve seen this pop up on many to-read lists recently, and it was finally my turn on the library hold list. She had some really crazy stories about working in cremation!

 

I’ll Drink to That, by Betty Halbreich – Shauna Niequest recommended this in a recent blog post, and I was excited to see it available at our library. This lady is the fashion guru to the NYC elite, and she has led a fascinating life.

 

Astonish Me, by Maggie Shiptstead – I always love learning more about the world of ballet. This story jumps around to different dears and lives that all intertwine. There’s a love triangle, drug use, depression, and the Nutcracker. Kinda crazy. I skimmed through the last few chapters, wanting to know how it turned out, but not wanting to read through every single line. I’ve been in the mood for more comedy lately, and this one just wasn’t cutting it.

 

The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You, by Jessica N. Turner – This was another great book! I loved reading it at night and thinking about how I can better use the “fringe hours” in my own life as I fell asleep at night. I’ve already recommended it to a friend, and I’m sure that my copy will be out on loan quite a bit!

 

The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart about Money, by Ron Lieber – A very different look at teaching kids about money! Loved mulling over different ideas and talking with my Beloved about them. I think this is one we should get for our collection someday. I was sad to take it back to the library!

 

The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins – I listened to half of this book while I was on a road trip by myself, and then I finished it while going on walks or doing the dishes after the boys were in bed. It’s in the same family as Gone Girl, but not quite as messed up. If you’re looking for a page-turning thriller, this is a good place to start!

 

The Middle Place, by Kelly Corrigan – This is the first book I’ve read from Kelly Corrigan. I really enjoyed her Medium Foreword interview series, and I wanted to get to know HER a little better. I’d heard awesome things about this book before, but I had avoided it because it dealt with cancer. Because of how cancer came into our family, I hadn’t wanted to “go there” just yet, but I’m really glad I went ahead and read her story.

 

Help Me, Jesus! I Have Nothing to Wear!: The Go-To Guide for All Shapes and Sizes, by Shari Braendel – A fun look at clothes, fit, and color! This stuff fascinates me. I love the science behind why our bodies are the shape that we are, and why color does or doesn’t work on a certain skin tone. With my olive-ish complexion and a straight up and down shape (complete with a bit of a muffin top), and it can be difficult to find the exact shade or fit for my body. I loved her explanations and ideas on new colors. It is easy for me to get stuck in a rut – but she inspired me to shop my own closet and use things in new ways!

 

 

Reading in April ~

 

The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett – I saw my friend Andrea reading this a few weeks ago and it piqued my interest!

 

The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood – I can’t believe that I’ve never read Margaret Atwood, but I recently watched her interview with Medium Foreword, and decided that I had to remedy that in April!

 

Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

 

Glitter and Glue, by Kelly Corrigan

 

Unfamiliar Fishes, by Sarah Vowell

 

In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote

 

 

Screen Time ~

 

This month my Beloved and I watched House of Cards, Blacklist, and March Madness! I’m a Kansas Jayhawk fan, so I was pretty disappointed when they were knocked out by our in-state rivals Wichita State University. Humbug.

 

I finally got around to watching Capote. Philip Seymore Hoffman is beyond amazing in it.

 

I tried to watch The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but I fell asleep. It seemed to interesting that maybe I’ll give it another shot this month when I’m not so tired.

 

On the Blog ~

 

I shared a very personal and painful look at forgiveness

 

Forgiveness

 

 

I shared my very first VLOG with you and asked for your help

 

We talked about what THEY don’t tell you about parenting

 

What They Don't Tell You - Parenting Over the Years

 

 

I shared 7 simple ways to help when a friend is hurting

 

Dear Ginger

 

Gave you a peek into a day in the life of a #BoyMom

 

It takes a lot more than that to scare me - I have boys!

 

 

And had fun designing several #boymom photos! (Click here to see more!)

 

Yes, I do have my hands full... #boymom

 

If I step on one more LEGO, so help me... #boymom

 

Put your weapons down and eat your breakfast! #boymom

 

No, Mommy doesn't have one of those... #boymom

 

 

What About YOU?

 

I’d love to know what you’ve been up to this month! Have you read any good books? Watched a must-see movie? I’d love to hear all about it!

You can find me here, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest! I’d love to connect with you!

 

Wishing you an exquisite month of April!

*Hugs*

 

~ Ginger

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Take a Little Time ~ 30 Days of SHRED and YOGA

Take a Little Time for You! header

 

Happy Sunday, Friend! How have you been? It’s been forever since we chatted! Please tell me that you’re still finding ways to take a little time for yourself! I’d love to hear all about it!

 

The last couple of weeks have flown by with so much busyness in our family. Nothing too major to report – just keeping this wife/mom/teacher so busy that I’ve been concentrating on time with my family or going to bed early to fight off colds. I felt like I was on the verge of getting sick all last week – but I drank a TON of water, kept exercising, and tried to get plenty of rest – and I think it worked! *fingers crossed*

 

I decided recently to get more serious about exercise and my health. My 1-2 workouts a week just weren’t cutting it. My clothes weren’t fitting like they used to, my muffin top was back, my energy was lower, and my joints were getting achy. Thinking about my approaching birthday was downright depressing. I didn’t want to greet the big 34 feeling like this. I knew that I don’t have much to “lose” but I’d really like to gain my healthy and energy back – not to mention feeling good in my spring/summer clothes again. I can’t wear leggings/baggy sweaters/boots forever!

 

Last week I realized that I was 30 days away from my birthday, and I had been toying with the idea of going through the 30 Day Shred workouts. I have been through them before, but never making it all the way through 30 days. This time, I decided, is going to be different.

 

I’m also working on flexibility, breathing, being gentle on my hip, and relieving stress with yoga. I’ve only attended a few yoga classes here and there, but never set out to actually gain anything from it. I ran across the 30 Days of Yoga videos on YouTube, and their adorably cool teacher – Adriene. She doesn’t take herself or yoga too seriously, is awesome about showing you variations, and makes each workout something to look forward to! Definitely a plus when it comes to working out!

 

Like I said, this time is going to be different. I have a goal – to get my health back. I have an actionable plan – 30 minutes a day of strength and cardio, as well as a yoga workout. I have the motivation – my birthday is coming whether I like it or not. So…here I am, one week down!

 

Have you ever tried either of these workouts? What were your experiences? Here’s a little journaling that I did over the last week – thoughts on my first week of the 30 Day Shred and 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene

 

Day 1:

Two minutes into the 30 Day Shred – Hey, this isn’t so bad!

Ten minutes in – Channeling my inner Gob Bluth, “I’ve made a huge mistake.”

By the end – I’m gonna die.

 

Ten minutes into the 30 Days of Yoga – *$%#@& downward dogs.

Twenty-eight minutes in – There’s a corpse pose? YES!!! My favorite. Definitely my favorite. Zzzzzz…

 

post-workout

 

Day 2:

30 Day Shred – Grrrrr… I forgot how much Jillian likes pushups.

30 Days of Yoga – Hey, I think I could get used to this.

 

Day 3:

Shred – I can’t lift my arms. Ow. Ow. Ow. 

Yoga – I like her. I think we could be friends, if she didn’t keep making me do these downward dogs.

 

Day 4:

Shred – Even my hair hurts.

Yoga – Yoga for your back. Not as relaxing today. Maybe I need to get up earlier than a certain six-year-old in my house. “Mommy, can I have my vitamins? What are you doing? Why are your eyes closed? Does that hurt? What does, ‘Find your breath,’ mean? Can I have oatmeal? This is boring.”

 

Day 5:

Shred – Hmmm… I don’t feel like I’m going to die today. That’s a good sign!

Yoga – Ahhhh… relaxing.

 

Day 6:

Shred –  Pshaw! Easy breezy! Bring it on, Day 7! 

Yoga – Six-pack abs… This had better be worth it! Ouch!

 

Day 7:

Shred – Ugh… not so easy today.

Yoga – Total Body…I guess this is what “hurts so good” feels like!

 

I also started drinking 3 qt. of lemon/lime water every day. I’ve been doing this for two weeks now, and only two days have I not completely drained my pitcher of water, but I came close. Sure, I have to go “powder my nose” quite a bit – my boys laugh at how often I have to excuse myself! – but I’m feeling fresher, more hydrated, and just better overall. The lemon and lime, (and I added cucumber a couple of days), make the water super yummy and refreshing!

 

Glass pitcher

 

I DARE YOU TO TRY IT! Double-dog dare you! You don’t have to drink all 3 qt. Just find what a good amount of water is for YOU! Try adding things to it to make it tastier – and more refreshing. I’ve heard berries are divine in water. Let me know what you’d try – I’d love to hear all about it! And I’d love to practice this goal with YOU this week!

 

This Week’s Goals:

 

  • ~ Drink 3 qt. of water each day.
  • ~ Wake up at 0530 or before to get an early start on my day with exercise and a quiet reading time.
  • ~ Complete 30 Day Shred and 30 Days of Yoga every morning.
  • ~ Get back into writing.
  • ~ Do ONE thing every day just for myself – maybe play the piano, read, light a candle, or take a walk.

 

 

Will You Join Me? ~

 

I’m curious – as I’ve been thinking about all the things that have kept me from taking better care of myself, I’m wondering – What things are keeping you from taking a little time for you? Kids? Work? Crazy schedule? Are you like me and forgot how to take care of yourself?

One of the hardest parts of taking a little time for myself has always been coming up with ideas for how to take care of me. That’s why I’ve come up with a list of 101 FREE (or nearly free) Ways to Take a Little Time for US! And I’d be thrilled to send it to you! Subscribe to the free email updates from Just One of the Boys – just enter your name and email address below -and I’ll send you your FREE copy!

 

101 Ways

 

I’ll keep sharing even more of my progress on Facebook and Instagram this week with the hashtag #takealittletime, and I’d love it if you joined me. It would be way more fun with you! Let’s find a second to actually take a minute, SIT DOWN today, and just breathe. And don’t forget to write out three things you are grateful for today! You can even share them here in the comments or tag me in your photos! Let’s put our health, our hearts, and our heads back on the to-do list – and let’s start taking better care of ourselves today!

*Hugs*

~ Ginger

 

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What They Don’t Tell You… Parenting Over the Years

What They Don't Tell You - Parenting Over the Years

 

“Mom, what does @$*%!^ mean?”

 

I held a steady poker face to cover the horror that gripped my heart as I listened to the words that my curious fifth grader had overheard at school.

 

Uhhh… Wow… Ummm…

 

I did the best I could to answer his questions, explain why such a word can cause so much hurt, and warn why it would never be acceptable to use it.

 

Later I wrapped my arms around my little man-in-training, and felt him return my goodnight hug.

 

“Thank you for talking to me, Mom. I love you.”

 

I ruffled his hair and sent him to bed before I collapsed back on the couch, mentally and emotionally exhausted. I had reassured him that he could always come to me with his questions, but I was silently cursing the parenting books that I’d read cover-to-cover twelve years ago as I prepared to become a mother. They never mentioned anything like this. 

 

Sure, everyone knows that the first year is going to be rough, and that the terrible twos can get dicey, but no one tells you that parenting just keeps getting harder and harder with each passing birthday party. I’m no longer worried that my little guys will put something in their mouths, stick a chubby little finger into an outlet, or tumble down the stairs. Now I get to worry about swear words, girls, peer pressure, social media, and Middle School.

 

Oh goody.

 

Makes me wish we could go back to when my boys were little and I spent my days just trying to keep them from killing themselves!

 

A dear friend recently gave me a copy of Lisa-Jo Baker’s touching story, Surprised by Motherhood. As I read each chapter her words took me back to those early days of being a mommy, and I started to remember a few surprising things that the What to Expect books left out…

 

You will never sleep again.

Bad dreams, croupy coughs, stubborn fevers, sleepwalking, and burning the midnight oil while you make four dozen school treats all get in the way of sleeping through the night.

 

You’ll discover how selfish you really are.

I love my boys more than life itself, but sometimes I want to eat the last cookie. I’m definitely not a morning person. And I’d rather have a root canal than listen to them explain anything Minecraft.

 

They will eat you out of house and home from now until forever.

Speaking of cookies, and food in general, be prepared for them to eat it all like a plague of locusts devouring everything in sight. I just realized that in a few short years, we will have THREE teenage boys in our house. Hold me.

 

Someday you’ll have THE TALK with your child.

If this one doesn’t put the fear of God in you, nothing will. Looking into their eyes while you explain the science of how babies are made is not for the faint of heart. Your breathing will become rapid and shallow, you will experience dizziness, there will be profuse sweating, and you will speak higher and faster than normal, but try your hardest to postpone your panic attack until after the big talk.

 

I had mistakenly thought that I was prepared for life as a mom. All of those years ago I read up on how to properly care for my baby. I studied swaddling diagrams. I weighed the pros and cons of crying it out vs. nursing on demand. I was a parenting expert before I had kids… And then I became a mother and realized that I didn’t know anything.

 

Those darn What to Expect books forgot to mention several other important things as well…

 

The journey.

Experiencing the world through the eyes of your child is an incredible gift. You get to discover dandelions and ladybugs and puppies and rainbows all over again. The world is such a magical place, if we will only pause long enough to see its beauty again for the first time through their wondering eyes.

 

The pain.

Having a child is like ripping your heart out of your chest and sending it out alone into the world. Their joy is your joy. Their hurts are your hurts. You will want to shield them forever from the pain, injustice, and darkness of this life – but what they really need is for you to take their little hands and guide them through it.

 

The LOVE.

The amount of love that you will feel for the precious gifts who are entrusted to you is undefinable, unmeasurable, and infinitely beyond what you had ever imagined.

 

I wasn’t prepared for this. I wish the books had warned me. But then again, I wouldn’t trade this adventure, and even the surprises along the way, for anything in the world.

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I’m Ginger ~

I'm a wife to my Beloved, mom of three boys, bookworm, survivor of a broken heart, and Kansas Girl. It is my desire to encourage you. No matter what storm you're going through right now, you are not alone. I promise.

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