About Common To Moms

There are many common life experiences we share as women, and sometimes life is less than glorious. That’s when we need a little inspiration to get us through the day. Welcome to Common to Moms, where we find motivation for meaningful living on our every-day journey as women, wives and mothers.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Thoughts about twins...

I'm just going to say at the outset of this post that I have no idea where it is going...

There have been so many thoughts rolling around in my head lately about how our life is going to change though that I really feel the need to get SOMETHING out on "paper".

I just finished directing part of a Christmas show at the local dance studio where I teach and now that the hustle and bustle of Christmas is over, my mind is practically exploding trying to take in all the ways our lives are about to change.  Going from two kids to four all of a sudden- and having those two additional be twins- is just something I am having a hard time grappling with.

I keep desparately searching the internet for someone who has been in our situation.  A family that has a special needs child and twins.   A family with four kids and the twins came last.  I wish there was someone who could say they've been exactly where I am and this is how you get through it.

I told my sister today that I am superwoman.  That I have to think of myself as a superwoman, otherwise I might crumble in this stage.  For a few weeks I will have FOUR KIDS AGE TWO AND UNDER.  Then when Melody turns three at the end of march I will have four kids age three and under and THREE KIDS AGE ONE AND UNDER.

I often ask myself "Am I insane?" and then I remember... I didn't chose this!  Yet even still, I don't mind being chosen for this challenge because each of these children is already the GREATEST GIFT I could ever have in my life.  They give me so much joy... I can't imagine life without them.

So I guess what worries me is the HOW of it all.  HOW am I going to manage a one year old's schedule (who will still be functioning like an 8 or 9 month old) and also manage two newborn's schedules?  HOW will I keep my daughter feeling loved, nurtured and special when I have SO MUCH else going on? 

And I guess now that I have felt so tired and so not like myself (from being pregnant) for SO long I wonder, will I ever TRULY feel back to normal?  Will I ever actually get my energy back?  Will breastfeeding twins completely deplete my energy?  Or will I bounce back and feel like everything is easier once I am no longer pregnant?  Will I have enough help?

The unknowns are getting to me.  Not knowing what life will be like is killing me.  It's like having "senior-itis" when you are pregnant.  It's not time for these babies to be here yet (and they can definitely stay cooking in there until 38 weeks if they like!) , but I am still anxious to meet them and begin meeting this challenge and making it happen.

*Insert Big Sigh Here*

Now I've gotten some worries off my chest, here are the things I can actually do something about...

1. Plan an overnight for Christian and me away from the kids and chaos of life.
2. Clean out the clutter from our house and make room for two more babies.
3. Tie up as many loose ends as possible before babies get here.
4. Pack a hospital bag and solidify plans for our kids in case of early delivery.
5. Pre-register for birth at the hospital and sign up for birthing classes, making sure I know the hospitals policies about twin birth since I want to do it naturally.

Wow.  I guess I have a lot to do before these twinsies get here! Surely it's enough to keep me occupied for the next nine weeks!

Just praying that I have the focus and energy (in spite of being exhausted because of being pregnant with twins) to get prepared for all of this.

*Insert another deep breath here*

I guess I will just need to change my thinking to match the little engine that could... "I think I can. I think I can!"  and pray for grace... lots and lots of grace.

Thanks for listening.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My Personal Political Pep Talk

Last night, I got really sad about the election.

Really, really sad. 

Not because I hate all the candidates for presidency, or because the world is going to h*ll in a handbasket... not any of those things at all.

I was saddened by knowing that no matter which candidate I voted for, I felt I was sacrificing.  Sacrificing really important values.  I repeat... no matter which candidate I voted for I felt I would be violating some of my most valued principals that I wanted represented in Washington. 

I feel this way less because of the actual candidates this time around and more because of where the party lines in our nation fall on certain issues.

I know a lot of Christians feel that one side represents their values very well (one way or the other), but I am not one of those Christians. 

As I was researching about the candidates yesterday- still a little undecided- I found this article.

And it reminded me of this...

"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ..."
Philipians 3:20
I love that the article I mentioned above points out that "the only Christian nation in this world is the church, the holy nation that transcends all human-made walls, boundaries and borders."

So this is my personal pep talk to myself after voting the best I could before God today. 

I voted for a president today (and some other people), but when all is said and done tomorrow (or whenever we find out the results of the election)... this world will still not be my ultimate Home.  Our nation, the world and every person in it will still be in need of Christ's incredible sacrifice to cover the stain of our sin and sinful natures.  Tomorrow, I will still live my life in light of God's priorities the same way I did yesterday, irregardless of who our next leader is or what policies are voted into being.  I will always serve Christ my King above any other and be a citizen of the one Kingdom that "cannot be shaken."  (Hebrews 12:26-29) 

My identity will never be found in a nation, a political party or even in a stance on a moral issue. 

And I can rejoice in that.

This is my identity... A citizen of heaven. A life that is bought (and saved!) with a price.  God's adopted child.   A "co-heir with Christ".  A friend of God. 

No matter if a nation rises or falls, if a democrat or a republican is president, You are my God, and I am your Child.  You love us and will continue to rescue us from our own selfish, prideful selves.  May we never forget who we really serve... and that we can serve you in any environment... be it in freedom or in slavery, in abundance or in want, in joy or in sorrow, in any language, in any place and in spite of any government.  I am Yours.   

In His Grace,

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Inspire Me! Monday... Doing What You Dream of!

Personally, I have a several different dreams for my life.  The first one is really simple.  I have always wanted to be a mom.  It's what I was made for.  Even among my friends, they always called me the "mom" of the group.  Constantly worried for others safety, convinced we would get caught if we ever did anything slightly different than what our parents wanted (this lasted till college) and compassionate toward others' problems, I definitely earned my reputation as extremely mom-like.  In elementary school, I dressed up as a "professional babysitter" for career day.  (I wore a long skirt, a cardigan sweater and carried a baby doll.)  I have always known that I LOVE children- even when I was one.

Today's "Inspire Me!" Monday post is dedicated to doing what you love.

Are you currently doing what you love?

Being a mom and a wife is my #1 purpose (and on most days I really love that).  But since I was seven or eight, I have also always loved ballet.  I'm not sure what it is about dancing (and particularly ballet), but it has always "hit the spot" in a way that no other activity could.  The French language and experiencing Francophone cultures is another one of my passions.  Above everything though, is my desire to know God's plan for my life.  Following that has always come completely first- irregardless of what other things I enjoy.

In my life, I have gotten married when part of me was longing to live overseas; I have worked when I would rather have been caring for my family and my home; I have lived in a small town when I longed to live in a city; and I spent many years without any connection to dance while I longed to return to something that made me so happy to do.  I have always tried to choose God's plan over my own, and for a long time that did not include doing certain things that I really wanted to.

Now, I'm not complaining at all.  I am just saying that for everything there is a time and a place and a season. 

Like now- I am loving teaching dance part time and choreographing part of our Christmas show this year.  Working with students and putting on a production fills me in a way that nothing else can, and I am thankful for the green light I have gotten from God and my family to dedicate a limited portion of my life to a local dance studio.

Writing on this blog is even like that too (but of course it always come second to my family, which is why I am a bit on again off again around here).  Another creative outlet that allows me to work on another passion (writing and staying connected with others).

I think that it is amazing that for a time, I lived in a situation where a lot of my personal dreams were put on hold and now, years later, I have an outlet for several of them.

What dreams are on hold for you today?  What dreams are you getting to live out?

Now, in the midst of me being really thankful that I get to live some of my dreams out, I could totally try to tell you that if you are in a season where you are waiting on fulfilling those dreams, then you should just be patient.  I could probably get away with telling you that God will honor your season of waiting with a season of fulfillment.  But I don't believe that is a guarantee.  God is good, though.  And I can guarantee you that trusting God with your head and your heart completely is always the best choice for your life one way or another.  When I trusted God with my dreams, it didn't have anything to do with thinking that one day I would get to fulfill them.  Instead it had to do with trusting a bigger God.  A higher being.  Someone better than me at planning my own life.  God does create people with a purpose and (ultimately good) plans for their lives.  So living that out can be more exhilarating than anything we could possibly plan on our own.

So those are my thoughts on living out our dreams, God's plans and finding fulfillment in your role in life.  Here are some more thoughts on living your dreams in true Inspire Me! Monday fashion...

Being a Mom- AND following your God Given Dreams

The Right Fit (and a little pixie dust)

And here's a post that goes along with what I was talking about yesterday...

Reader Raid: A Happy Homeschool

And here's one that is just plain funny...

I was Snape.

Please pray for those of us toward the East coast waiting as hurricane/tropical storm Sandy hits.

I hope you found Inpsire Me! Monday refreshing to return to today!

Prayers for all of us!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Finally...a playroom

Our family has some exciting news for the blog world that I haven't shared yet here on Common to Moms... we are expecting!

Furthermore... we are expecting TWINS. 

Our 20 week ultrasound tells us that we are expecting ONE BOY and ONE GIRL.  :)

We are beyond thrilled!

That being said... there are some major changes that will take place in our home over the next few months.

1. Melody and our foster baby, "Peanut," will move from separate rooms to sharing a room.

2. We will create a new nursery for our twins. 

3. Our home office is going bye-bye to make room for a kids-only playroom and learning space.

4. We plan to reclaim our living room as an adult-friendly space (no longer half and half). :)

Getting our house ready for this transition is going to be intense.  We are about to have four children under the age of 3 in our little, humble abode.  A friend of mine put this link on my facebook to give me some ideas for catering to kids in a small space.  This post is FULL of awesome ideas to help you create a kid-friendly play/learning space, so consider this an "Inspire Me! Monday" link on Saturday night. ;-)

In honor of reading this post, here is a list of things that will be put in our play space after we clear out all remnants of adulthood.

- A 9 block cubby holder/book case for toys,books, etc
- A play kitchen
- Probably a glider/rocker for nursing & possibly a baby gate contraption around it to keep kids away from poking newborn babies while I nurse
- Baby swings
- A pack-n-play to give Peanut a safe place to play while I nurse

Other things I don't have, but might like to make/get for the play space

- Lots of pillows for a reading space on the floor
- An arts and crafts type storage area with learning boxes and activities
- A table for drawing/coloring, etc
- Cozy kid chairs or bean bags, maybe like these but without the names on them
- Artwork displayed across the window with a line and clothespins
- Pictures of my kids on at least one wall

I am so looking forward to finally having the motivation to turn a room in our house into a complete kid-friendly space.  The only non-kid stuff that will have to remain in that room is our washer and dryer... The room we have been using as our home office is actually our laundry/bonus room.  So I will also be looking for ways to kid-proof the area in front of our washer and dryer, so kids can't mess with knobs, etc.  I am sensing the need for a closet to be built around them... but we will see. 

And of course, there is LOTS of work to be done in that room before we can even begin to really make it into a kid space... clearing out the adult junk, fixing a problem window and priming and painting it.  Luckily, I've had one or two people volunteer to help me with this project and I am definitely itching to get started on it.  It might take a little more time to start on it though, since I am still backed up from the first trimester blues... which honestly lasted until the last week or two.  The morning sickness, tiredness, etc are still not gone, but they are definitely not holding me hostage anymore and I can eat now, so things are definitely on the upswing. 

It feels so good to be back on the blog, telling you what's going on in my head.  Hope to see you again soon! :)



Sunday, July 1, 2012

Backed Up

... No, I'm not constipated... but I guess the title of this post does sound a little funny... (which is why I'm keeping it!)

This is just a little note to say... wow... life is backed up again.  I am trying to get things caught up, but it is difficult.  Peanut is still not sleeping through the night and he is still eating 7-8 times a day.  I am determined not to let him drop a daytime feeding first, so I am also tired from the constant every 2.5-3 hours 30 minute "elevated, side-lying" feeding position/burping marathon/reflux accomadation as well as the not much sleep at night thing.

Add a dash of the beginnings of potty training, toddler chasing, appointments and backed-up-ness of life and it is no wonder my brain is fried.

Okay... enough complaining.

I really just wanted to say Hi!  And that I am still here!  And also that I am working on getting caught up in my life.  In my business... in seeing my friends... in my ability to cook a meal... or to plan ahead for my week... I am working on it.

And to those who struggle under more pressure and stress than I do (and to those who struggle with the same or less also), may you find the time to be still with God to be refueled, so that you may tackle your cross and your purpose with God-given ability... and may the same be true for me also.

Can I get an amen?!


Saturday, June 2, 2012


No Inspire Me! Monday post this week, but I will impart to you a random Saturday post.  Mostly because I am at the hospital with Peanut, he is napping and there is not really much to do.  I brought a computer with me, but you can only stare at Facebook so long- or at least I can only stare at facebook so long.  I know some people could get sucked in all day, but I really find it boring after catching up with the friends you actually still know or or interested in... Or maybe I just don't have many friends since it doesn't take me all day to be caught up with them?  Ha!

So maybe I will take time to say some Thank You's...

Peanut is doing better.  So thank you Lord.  Thank you Lord for no RSV, no true Pneumonia or Bronchitis, no need for CPR (all of which could have happened).  Thank you, Lord, for Peanut's life, that he is still here and still blessing us every sweet day that we are with him.

Thank you friends who have been baby sitting for us.   Thank you Nicola, Katie, Jenny, Kristan and my sister, Renee for keeping Melody and encouraging me while I do the hard job of bringing Peanut back to the hospital under stressful and scary circumstances.

Thank you to my hubby for being so flexible.  He probably won't read this, but I am truly thankful for how available you have been to jump into anything.  Taking on handing people their MK orders if they swing by the house even though we have always said I wouldn't make you my MK grunt.  :)  Thank you for tackling laundry, tidying up and taking off work when I need you.  Thank you for jumping in at 4am and feeding Peanut when I am so sleep deprived I can no longer think complete thoughts.  Thank you for your patience with me while I re-learn what it's like to have a newborn.  You have given me so much grace and support in this process.  Thank you for appreciating my job as Mommy and Foster Mommy.

Thank you to my mother in law who is here for the second week-end in a row to help out, and thank you to my mom who will be coming next week-end. Sometimes even Mommies need their Mommies.

Thank you to my sister who stopped by and offered hugs and moral support. 

Thank you to my church for just being plain awesome and loving foster children and foster families.  Thanks to Lindsay and Serena for the food you brought us (yum!) and thank you to everyone who has been praying.

Thank you to Amy, Katie, Kristan, Carly and family, Corrine and everyone else who has had to adjust their lives or cover for me when I haven't been able to do the normal things I usually do (like take a girls trip or be there for work).

An update:
Peanut is doing much better.  He is slowly being weaned back to normal levels of oxygen and while there is still some obstruction in his lungs it looks as though he is getting better.  He is definitely on quite a few meds but nothing extreme (reflux meds and inhalers and such) and they seem to be helping him.  The doc said this morning we are looking at a Monday or Tuesday discharge date.  We will see.

Peanut has hit the 7 lb mark (SO BIG!) and is gaining weight on a non-milk based 24 calorie formula better than the 22 cal milk-based formula that he was on.

I am so thankful... and somehow that seems a better thing to think about for half an hour sitting a bit bored at the hospital than browsing aimlessly on Facebook. 

Now that I have spent some time being grateful, maybe I will head over to Pinterest.  :)

Wishing I had a brought a book (or a friend)!

Monday, May 28, 2012


I have been away for a few weeks because we have had another foster care adventure!  A little over two weeks ago we got a call from our foster care agency asking if we wanted to foster a premature infant.  He would come home on oxygen and an apnea monitor and was expected to progress quickly at home.  We had to give an answer in a few minutes since it was Friday and baby Peanut (we'll call him) needed to be discharged Monday. 
A quick phone call to my husband and a short prayer together later, we were foster parents (again!).  This time to a baby. 

Since then it has been a roller coaster.  Preemies are hard.  Peanut is like a newborn even though he is around 2 1/2 months old.  He is on oxygen so being at home a lot (as opposed to trips to the park, etc) is the best plan for him, but he still has lots of doctors appointments.  We have had a few apnea/turning blue scares at home.  One which resulted in a trip back to the NICU for several days to be monitored. 
Most recently my emotions have been on overload as I process how this poor little baby has lacked an advocate for the first two months of his life.  Someone to notice when he has reflux (not diagnosed until Christian and I came on the scene) or a milk intolerance (have begun suspecting this in the last couple of days).  He hasn't had anyone to make sure he has learned to distinguish days from nights... sing him to sleep... or be a consistent parent to receive love from. 
Peanut has not necessarily come to stay with us permanently (in case you were wondering)... but we already love him as though he were ours.  Caring for him during this fragile time in his life is going to be a special thing, and I am so thankful we get to do it.  

Just as before, I will be limited to how many details we can share about Peanut's situation, but mostly I wanted to share with you where I've been and what an amazing adventure God has us on.

.... and while I have your attention, I would also like to ask for prayers for Peanut for these things...  
  • His lungs to develop fully and properly... and soon. 
  • His episodes of apnea to go away entirely.
  •  His birth family... all foster children need prayer for God's intervention in their birth families... 
  • Wise choices to be made on Peanut's behalf by everyone involved in his life- from doctors, to specialists, to social workers, to foster parents and everyone else.

Thank you for your support and prayers on Peanut's behalf!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Bible Reading Plan


I signed up for a Bible Reading Plan!  

I'm sure there is a whole host of people who might not think this is exciting, but to me... it is! 

I have had trouble for a long time with Bible reading because I have started to feel like I have been doing the same thing for too long.  I have tried reading the Bible from beginning to end (you have no idea how many times I have read and re-read Genesis) and I have used the open-your-bible-and-see-where-you-land-approach (which is how I have read most of my Bible so far).  Those methods are great, but lately I have felt lost when I open my Bible.

So today I googled "Bible Reading Plan" and found this website.

I signed up for two plans: reading the Old Testament in 2 years and reading the New Testament in one year.  I think it comes out to 2 chapters per day.  I am not a super focused gal so reading two chapters a day from the Bible is probably about as much as I can handle.

Now when I have quiet time, I have a flexible plan.  I plan to try to choose to do some or all of the following things on any given day.

* Read/study the two chapters that are recommended in my Daily Reading Plan
* Read a short devotional 
* Have some journal time
* Time in prayer
* Read another book of some type that is uplifting

That may seem like a lot, but I am a girl who really likes to have reflective time.  I could be reflective ALL DAY LONG (but if I did that I guess I wouldn't have much to reflect on- at least about my own life- since I wouldn't actually be DOING much). 

The main gist is this: I don't plan on doing all the things on the list above every day, but I DO plan on (1)reading scripture, (2)having some type of response/study (such as prayer, journaling, researching more about it what I read) and then (3)if I have/want more time with God, I can do it by choosing something else I enjoy.

Surely, I am not the only one who has had trouble keeping their time with God fresh over the years.

So what do you do to keep your time with God from getting too run-of-the-mill?  

God is not a boring God, in my opinion, so it makes sense to me that we shouldn't always relate to Him the same way all the time.

I remember serving in Miami, feeding the homeless on Sunday mornings and another intern saying, "This is my church today."  Sometimes we encounter God in unconventional ways!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Inspire Me! Monday: I'm back

I am taking a deep breath as I write this post.  Breathe in.  Breathe out. 

Nothing truly substantial has happened in my life in the last two weeks, just a busy week followed by an impossibly exhausted week.  My husband said that last week was a Super Moon... or a Super Full Moon or something.  Meaning that not only was it a full moon but that it was the closest the moon can possibly be to the earth.  I was just talking to a friend in church who said that last week she was extremely exhausted also and lived for a week in a "brain fog."  Then on Sunday morning we both felt a lot better. 

Christian was awesome last week-end.  I lived for an entire week where each day I would say to myself "I'll go to bed early and feel better tomorrow," then I would lay in bed for two hours without being able to fall asleep and awake to being more tired than before.  Finally though, my hubby was able to give me the day off on Saturday.  I literally laid in bed almost all day.  I wasn't sick- just tired- so it was hard not to feel guilty... but Christian's brother was in town also (Hi Austin if you are reading this!)  and he was a big help with Melody.  Then Saturday night I fell asleep about 8pm and slept until 9am on Sunday morning... 13 hours of sleep... 13 hours of sleep!  Who does that?! 

Apparently I do. 

Apparently I needed to.

I felt like a whole new person on Sunday morning...

Thus the title of this post...

I'm back!  I feel more like myself than I have in awhile and I have so many thoughts I am looking forward to sharing with you soon.

In the meantime here are some inspiring (and a bit random) posts to read from across the blog world.

And tell me, were any of you affected by the Super Full Moon this last week? 

And do I even have that right? A Super Full Moon?

Haha... it's good to be back!


Monday, April 30, 2012

Another week

Hi Blog world friends!

I am sorry to have to say this, but I am bailing on you again this week.  The past week has been exceptionally busy and I need an hour to rest instead of write a blog post.  I do believe that life will return to its' normal pace soon though and I will finally get to write one of the 502 interesting things that are currently rolling around in my head. 

Right now though, I need a nap.  After that, I have a lot of things to get done.  Life comes first! 

I would love to see you back on Monday though.

Blessings to you!

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Day Off

I am taking a little break from the blog world this week.  Just trying to unplug and refresh a little.

I hope you have a great week!  See you next Monday!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Inspire Me! Monday: Take Care of Yourself

I talked last week about cleaning... and wow! I guess the posts I found and the books I've been reading truly have been inspiring me. I have seen more change in myself and better results in my home this past week than ever before in my life.

I have made some simple changes that have led me to even deeper discoveries about myself. Here they are...

1. Grocery shopping on Sundays - What a blessing to let Christian take care of Melody and shop without distractions. This allows me to get more done during the week which makes Saturday day my "day of rest."

2. Laundry on Mondays- I love knowing that Monday is coming and I will KILL the laundry piles! Putting on a movie and folding laundry at the end of the night is actually fun! I smile at the pile of clean clothes growing on the couch all day since I know what personal "me" time I'm going to get at the end of the night:) Then I put everything away that night that I can and the rest gets put away the next day.

3. "Clean the House" on Thursdays- This day is for cleaning up before the week-end. My husband gets stressed in a messy environment. Now I can clean the house on a day when it counts to him. If the house is messy during the week, it is easier for him to handle since he isn't home very much. It is a great goal to be able to rest in a clean house (and maybe even invite people over!) on the week-ends!

4. Let the other days go! - Know that not every moment of my life needs to be filled with productivity. I am working to make some days REALLY count and other days have some give and take to them as I manage our home, motherhood and working 2 part time jobs.

I am breathing a huge sigh of relief because I feel I have FINALLY found a taking-care-of-my-home routine that works for me...


Although that is a post in itself, I needed to share that so I can also talk about what is happening in my brain now that I am freed up from (a little bit of) messiness in my house.

I have realized that in my usual daily frenzy, I try to tackle EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME and therefore don't take care of the ONE THING that is most important... me!

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Covey describes this as "taking care of your goose." He says that if you have a goose that lays golden eggs, what good are the golden eggs without the goose? You have to care about the goose (so it continues to lay eggs) just as much as you care about the eggs (i.e. the product or productivity).

If I don't take care of myself, of course my house will be in shambles... I won't have the energy for it!
If I don't take care of msyelf, of course my daughter will be cranky... She has a cranky mama!
If I don't take care of myself, of course my husband is more likely to be argumentative... I am probably not being so nice to him if I'm not doing well.
If I don't take care of myself, of course I feel like I have nothing to offer... Because the truth is, I really don't!

Here are the ways I need to do better to take care of myself...
1. Get more sleep. I know I need 8-9 hours to feel good but constantly stay up late anyway. I will never feel better until I change this.
2. Get fully dressed first thing every day. I am always afraid to call people back, run an errand or generally be in touch with the world when I have an "at home" day because I'm generally not ready for the day. (Did I just admit that to the world? On the internet? Oh boy.)
3. Use a monthly planner and a To-Do List. This just makes me better on top of things and less forgetful.
4. Take moments for God and moments for myself every day. I think sometimes I also procrastinate on work because I am afraid I won't GET to take care of myself. Talk about crazy. This FEAR totally perpetuates the CRAZY cycle. Worry I won't get to take care of myself, procrastinate work, work builds up, do the marathon for the work, wind up not taking care of myself, burn out... rinse & repeat... I think I need a therapist... oh wait! That's why I have you! ;-)
5. Eat 3 meals a day and drink water. I have mentioned before how sometimes this escapes me. Don't kid yourself... you do it too.

I admit I am not normal. Most people don't struggle with the most ABSOLUTE BASIC things in life (sleeping enough, eating enough, getting dressed in the morning... haha!), but I will bet there are things that you need that you aren't getting. We are women after all, and everyone else always come first. I'm not saying it's bad to put others first... just that we also need to care for ourselves.

So what is it? What do you need in your life to be better taken care of? More sleep? Time for stress relief each week? Each day? (I know some of you reading this have very demanding lives!) Exercise? More water?

This is not a "what could you to do to be a better person" type question. I want you to really think. Are you missing something in your life that is VITAL to your ability to function in your job or as a person? Think about it while you read these inspiring posts and leave a comment below. As always, I look forward to hearing from you! Happy Monday!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Inspire Me! Monday: Cleaning House


Just looking at that title "Cleaning House" gives me a bad taste in my mouth. Does it for you too?

Well, let's just take a deep breath together, shall we?

If the idea of "cleaning house" doesn't make you sick... well, say a prayer for those of us that it does! And be sure to add your tips in the comment sections.

I'll make my comments on cleaning house pretty succinct (I hope) since I have written a lot about this subject here at Common to Moms. I think it's a subject that's always on our minds though, since we always have to do it, right?

Again, let me start with this: I pretty much stink at keeping a house. BUT I am also stubborn. I am not giving up. I am working hard. I am praying hard. I read a lot and try new things. What I lack in consistency, I make up in creativity and some way or another, things get cleaned every-so-often... and that is the important part.

Since my last post, I have received all ten of the books I ordered for my birthday! So far the one pictured above - Absolutely Organized- is one that is really getting me excited about getting things under control in my home.

One of the things about being a right brained person is that I don't typically come up with a solution that makes total sense. Just because I organize something, make files or clean up doesn't mean that it is a solution I will keep coming back to. The solution might be pretty, but it doesn't mean it will function in the best way. This book, however, gives you choices, options and ideas for how to get things organized (from someone I am assuming is fairly Type A- but not judgmental in any way), and it is already making me think about some improvements I can make to my home to make things less chaotic.

I am realizing as I read this book and as I am doing my taxes this week, that getting organized to someone who has never really been organized before is a process. Little by little we will make systems for ourselves that we use. We will improve them until they work! (My taxes are getting easier since I make my systems for keeping tracks of things better every year!) Rome wasn't built in a day... but it was built. The process is what we cannot give up on. We have to keep working at things and enjoy them as we go, sharing ideas and encouraging one another on.

Here are some fun links to ideas and encouragement to help you (and me!) when it comes to keeping our homes in order.

What do you do to make cleaning fun and effective?

Happy Monday!

Love, Rachel

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

More about Birthdays

On Tuesday, I declared that after making a birthday cake for myself, the birthday festivities would be complete... But I mis-spoke. I forgot that Christian and my best friend Kristan made birthday plans for me!

On Thursday this week, I will be getting a manicure, a massage and maybe even a hair cut! While I am out pampering it up, Christian is taking the day off to take care of Melody so I can have some very rejuvenating Rachel-time.

I can't wait!

Speaking of not being able to wait... I am currently expecting some books in the mail that I cannot wait to get my hands on. The birthday money my mom sent me this year went completely toward books. I don't think it would have mattered how much money she (or anyone) gave me, I probably would have spent it ALL on books.

Here's what I'm waiting on getting from Amazon.com and Christian Book Distributors:

No Mom Jeans by Melissa Fiendell

Rocking the Roles: Building a Win-Win Marriage by Robert Lewis

She's Gonna Blow by Julie Ann Barhill

Ashley Stockingdale 3 part series by Kristin Billerbeck

Miserly Moms: Living Well on Less in a Tough Economy by Jonni McCoy

The Art of Making Dances by Doris Humphrey

Absolutely Organized by Debbie Lillard

It's Hard to Make a Difference When you Can't find Your Keys by Marilyn Paul

When I mentioned in this list that I had an affinity for books... I wasn't lying! I request books for holidays, birthdays, any time I can! I guess I owe my love for reading partially to my Aunt Joyce for always giving me books at Christmas and partially to my mother who always tended to escape the reality of three children by keeping her nose stuck in a book. (If you are reading- Love you Mom!)

This will be my last post this week, since I will be enjoying Birthday festivities and then Easter week-end with Christian and Melody. I hope to see you soon though for Common to Moms' new series Inspire Me! Mondays and some (hopefully) money saving tips on grocery shopping next week!

What books have you been reading?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Tackle it Tuesday: Birthday Cake!

I was excited to find this meme (blog term for link up parties that happen every week... NO idea how you pronounce that...) on 5minutesformom.com.

It is no secret that I have serious motivation issues when it comes to getting things done, so I am excited to be linking up with them whenever possible!

This week though, I decided to tackle a task that has been a bit overdue and is more on the fun side of things... I made myself a birthday cake. A Coca-Cola Cake to be exact...

Oh! The rich yummy goodness!

This cake is so rich and decadent I actually don't know how much I will be able to eat of it. So if you are a friend of mine... please come over and ask to eat a piece of this cake.

Why did I make my own birthday cake you might ask? Well... as I have mentioned, we had a pseudo joint birthday party for Melody and me. Melody has a white flour sensitivity/allergy and cannot have regular birthday cake. So we got her an ice cream cake instead.

Ice cream cake is fine- don't get me wrong. But thanks to my mother... birthdays = chocolate cake.

So four days after Melody's birthday, when it was time for me to enjoy my day at home, I fully expected a birthday cake to appear somehow. My "birthdays-aren't-such-a-big-deal" hubby didn't realize I would want a cake after our party on Saturday and assumed my birthday celebration was covered. So I declared that the birthday celebrating would not end until I made myself a chocolate cake.

Here it is again... Oh! The Yummy Goodness!

To be fair, Christian did get me flowers and Ferraro Rocher candies. (I had a great birthday even without cake!) But now, I can rest easy knowing the birthday festivities are complete!

So that's what I tackled for Tuesday. Ending the lack-of-birthday-cake madness while watching the Voice and then cheering on UK as they crushed Kansas to win the NCAA basketball tournament.


What are you tackling this Tuesday?