Sunday, November 15, 2009

Living in the Rut

Still no mentor, but then again, sitting around hoping one will show up on my doorstep is probably not the best strategy.  What else is going on?  I think this is problem, why my personal blog falls to the wayside.  I spend so much of my time pouring myself into my other blogs, whether it's regarding politics or mommyhood.  I manage four blogs and one website, on top of organizing meetups for More than Moms, attending events for Team Whisler, and oh yeah, being a mom to three wonderful children.  Let's not forget the most important things, being a wife and a child of God.  Most of the time, I feel like a complete failure in all of these areas.  I'm sure it's just the enemy attacking my self-worth. Lucky for him, he certainly knows where my buttons are and wastes no time going for the jugular. I find myself getting in these ruts from time to time, where I turn myself inward and allow laziness and procrastination to overcome me.  Guess where I've been the last couple of weeks?  Yep, in said rut.  I have recognized a correlation between my spiritual life and these dips in my psyche. It's almost as if I've gone into hiding.  Does that sound silly?  Who am I hiding from? My family? My husband? My responsibilities? God himself?  I have no idea, but my best guess would be my Heavenly Father.  Why though?  Why would I run away from someone who knows me and still loves me without condition?  Don't look at me.  If I had the answer, I wouldn't be working it through it with you.

I have been proud of one area though.  Lately, my house is cleaned everyday.  If you know me, then you know how hard this is for me.  It's the one area of my life that is completely defeating.  I clean one area, move on to the next, then come back and find the first area a mess again.  But in the last couple of weeks, I've managed to make sure the house is neat and clean by the time Neil gets home. Granted, it might be 5 minutes before he walks in the door, but the point is that it's done, and it makes me a better wife (and by extension, mom).

If you think about it, pray that I can get back in the grove of things, especially in my relationship with God.  I don't like being ineffective and unproductive.  I could use the support.  Hope my next post comes sooner than two weeks.  That's just ridiculous, right? 

Monday, November 2, 2009

All Hallow's Eve

Whew, what a busy day, but such super fun as well.  It started off with the Fusion Fall Potluck at Patapsco Valley State Park.  We rented a pavilion, set up several activities for kids and adults, brought various dishes to share, and had an all around great time.  I'm pretty sure we may have just started a tradition.  Whether it will be a once a year affair or every other month, I'm definitely seeing potlucks as a part of our growing community.  With little to no budget, smorgasbord dining is the way to go. 

We borrowed the small moon bounce from Grace which the kids loved even more than the brand new playground beckoning in the background.  But the most fun of all, both for the kids and the parents, was the hay pile hide & seek, where we scattered tons of candy throughout a pile of hay.  On your mark, get set, go...and they were off, sifting through the hay to find whatever pieces of candy they could.  Given the amount of kids there versus the amount of candy, they all walked away with more than generous amounts of sweet yumminess.  They didn't even need to trick or treat, but of course, since Owen had been talking about it all week, we had to go.

Our neighborhood association decided to host a Safe & Spooktacular Halloween event.  We set up two tents on two corners in the neighborhood, decorated them with spooky lights and decor, added some music, cider, cookies, treat bags, and some beer & wine.  Voila, we had ourselves "the gathering place."  Neil and I took turns manning the booth while the better half took the boys trick or treating.  We actually met lots of our neighbors, even discovered that one had already had her baby (like two weeks ago, good one, Hillary).  One neighbor with a 9 week old little boy joined More than Moms and even came to Stroller Brigade with us this morning.  Two events, two successes.  Of course, by the end of the night, both Neil and I were 100% exhausted.  I was glad for the extra hour of sleep, at least in theory, since my kids woke up an hour early (or on time by their internal clocks).  Yep, I still hate daylight savings. 

All in all, I'd say it was a pretty stinking fantabulous Halloween, for both us and the kids.  Owen decided to be Spiderman...for like an entire week.  He literally wore the costume out.  In fact, come Sunday morning, it found itself to the trashcan.  Really, it crawled across the floor and climbed into the can all by itself.  Blake was a snake, not because he decided to be one, but because I found it at a yard sale for like $2.  It was funny, because his tail would drag along the ground behind him, and given the wet circumstances of the evening, it was nasty by the end, to say the least. Madison made for the cutest cow ever.  At first I thought she'd be a fairy since I found these cutsy mini-wings, but considering she spends most of her time on her back, I wasn't sure how to pull that off.  The cow costume was already in my arsenal and just happened to fit her, so "moo" it was.  Totally meant to stop by CFA for our free chicken of the day, but time just got away from us. 

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sometimes It Pays To Be Early

...And to have an Old Navy card for that point.  Here's the deal, literally speaking.  Old Navy does this thing called Stuff & Save for it's card members.  Normally, you save 20% off anything you can stuff into a bag.  Lately, they've even been giving you a free reuseable bag (how ecofriendly of them).  Well, this time, my stuff & save invite comes in the mail, only this time it's for 30% off.  I marked the date on my calendar that it started and put the card in my wallet.  I really didn't read much else or think anything about it.  My iPod alerted my Thursday night that the sale started the next day.  After browsing over my schedule for the day, I decided the best time to go would be before Owen's class Halloween party, basically right as it opened. 

As I walked in the store with 3 kids, I noticed a woman standing there waiting to greet me.  "Hhmm, that's odd," I thought, "I guess they're upping they're customer service tactics."  The the lady speaks, "Do you have an Old Navy card?"

"Yep, sure do," I replied, "I'm here to use my Stuff & Save."

"Well, you're #46. Here's your free bag & 50% off coupon."

50% off?  I felt like I just won the lottery.  Come the think of it, I vaguely remember reading that a certain number of people would get a higher percentage rate, but since I'm rarely able to to get any where when I want to, I just ignored it.  Turns out, trying to squeeze in a "quick" run to Old Navy with three kids was the best decision I made that day.  It sort of went down hill from there.

From that point, I felt like I was on Super Market Sweep.  I'm grabbing here and snatching there, shoving anything that would fit any of the 5 human beings in my house into the bag and moving on.  Then I saw it.  The sign said, "Extra 50% off all clearance."  Oh man, I had just walked into an oasis of good deals, plus I got to add my 50% off coupon to it.  Mostly I bought for the kids, $.50 shirts here, $.27 flip flops there.  It was seriously a paradise.  It didn't even bother me that my 4 year old was running around wreaking havoc through out the store.

All in all, I got over $500 worth of clothes & accessories for $100.  Not too shabby, huh?  Lesson learned, always be early!  Now if only I could convince my kids of this.