Thursday, 23 November 2017

Peaceful Simple Holidays

Hi Everyone!  Happy American Thanksgiving!  With the holiday season upon us, I wanted to share a few tips on how to have a simpler holiday season.  Sometimes we can miss out on the meaning of the season when we are rushing around trying to do everything.  I prefer a 'slow' holiday.  This is how I achieve it.

1.)  Plan ahead.  If you need to save up for your Christmas purchases, start early.  If you have people on your list that you can pick things up for throughout the year, do it.  Sit down with your family and discuss your expectations for the holiday season before saying yes to anything.  A little planning goes a long way.  We need to be intentional about our holiday season and how we want to spend it.

For example, our baby is due 3 days before Christmas.  I did my Christmas shopping for my daughter in August.  We stick to basic gifts and I already knew what we wanted to give her so I went ahead and got that part of my shopping done.  We also made a "no plans" rule for December because we can't be sure of when Baby will arrive or how I will be feeling.  Our families are both aware of this and are very understanding.  I said no to Miss. E performing in her Christmas concert as it falls just a few days before my due date.  I also said no to my staff Christmas party.  All of this planning ahead will help to keep our holiday season quiet, which we may need more than we know!

2.)  Cut back.  This is a tough one.  I know.  We like to go all out at Christmas time, but in doing so we often break the bank and burn ourselves out. For a lot of our family and friends, this past year was a nice step in the right direction for economic recovery.  Our local economy is slowly turning around and people are working again.  It has by no means been a lucrative year for most people that I know.  There is no shame in cutting back.  In my family, we have cut out all gift giving between the adults and we focus on buying only for the kids.  We have decided with friends to only gift on birthdays, rather than at Christmas.  We also spend less on the gifts that we do purchase.  Giving is a wonderful thing, but only if you aren't putting yourself at financial peril to do so.

I have also cut back on commitments this year.  Our situation is a little different than most people's so my cut backs have been far more severe than they would be normally.  We switch the holidays between my family and my husband's family every year.  I always mind my calendar to make sure that we are still carving out time to just be at home and get our housework done.  I make sure not to schedule anything on work nights so that everyone has enough sleep.  If we say yes we truly weigh the consequences and what we may have to give up in order to commit.

3.)  Give back.  This time of year can be really tough on the less fortunate.  It means a lot when we can give back to those around us.  This can be done financially or through volunteering.  I like to support my local food bank, especially since it's usage is up and donations are down.  Homeless shelters are vital at this time of year to help shield people from the frigid elements.  If you are able to help financially, please consider doing so.  If you are able to help an organization with the gift of your time, please do that.  Christ calls us to take care of one another.  Let's make sure we heed the call at this special time of year.

What are your tips for having a simple holiday season?

Friday, 17 November 2017

High Five For Friday- 16.11.17

Baby time is getting close!  I am 35 weeks pregnant.  We had a good week.  I am linking up with TifDellaKatie, and Becky for H54F.   Let's jump in!

1.)  After a LONG week of recovery, Miss. E seems to finally be back to her sparky self.  This last stomach bug and cold really knocked her down.   I am happy to see her doing well again!

Cheering on Daddy's football team.


2.)  I finished almost ALL of my freezer meal cooking this past weekend.  It was a lot of work, but I am so relieved to have it all done.  I have one more soup to make and freeze, which I plan to do this weekend.



3.)  Work went really smoothly this week, which is always a wonderful thing.  I was super uncomfortable on Wednesday due to where Baby was lying, but I made it through the day.  I waddled a bit, but other than that I was fine.  Ha ha!

4.)  Miss. E (and Hubby) helped me set up the baby room.  I have everything washed and ready to go.  Miss. E was a wonderful helper and was happy to stock the change table with me.  Everything is coming together!

5.)  I had an ultrasound today to check on baby's growth and position.  I was thrilled to learn that baby has his/her head down.  I was so sure that Baby was still transverse.  The ultrasound tech showed me a few really cool things like Baby's heart, feet and the fact that we could see hair!  It was fascinating.   It is always fun to see Baby and I am very excited to meet our little one!



How was your week?  Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Baby Prep- Frozen Meals

Baby is due to arrive in 6 short weeks.  I have been busy making lists and trying to get things in order before our little one makes their grand entrance.  This past weekend I made several meals and froze them.  It was a lot of cooking, but it will be worth it when we have a newborn and a toddler to take care of!  The original plan was for Hubby to be home on the weekend while I cooked.  He would have kept Miss. E occupied and I would have concentrated on my cooking.  Alas, he ended up working the weekend.  I forged ahead.  It took a little longer with hundreds of interruptions and a lot of 'help', but I managed to get everything done.  





When planning which meals to make, I chose some of our family favourites.  I find all of these meals easy to prepare and I know that they all freeze well.  I did my grocery shopping the weekend before my cooking weekend.  I measured out how much of each ingredient I would need and then shopped accordingly.







Freezer Meals

Lasagna
Squash and Carrot Soup
Sweet potato soup
Hamburger Soup
Banana chocolate chip muffins
Energy bites
Chili
Cookies

I spread my cooking over 4 days.  One day I made the squash and carrot soup.  The next day I made all of my hamburger dishes (lasagna, hamburger soup and chili).  I spend the next day baking and made muffins, cookies and energy bites.  Everything turned out really well and I am looking forward to having these meals to enjoy after Baby arrives.






What are your go to freezer meals?  Do you do freezer meals regularly or just for certain seasons in your life?



Friday, 10 November 2017

High Five For Friday- 10.11.2017

It is that time of week where I join TifBeckyKatie and Della to share 5 highlights from my week.  Let's jump right in, shall we?

1.)  Last Friday and Saturday I did 2 huge shopping trips.  I plan to make a bunch of freezer meals this weekend for when the baby arrives.  I got everything I needed on my lists, which is almost unheard of.  I usually forget something or the store will be out of something.  The shopping trips went well and I am excited to get some meals in the freezer.

2.)  I went in to work for a few hours on Sunday to prepare for our big day on Monday.  It was well worth it because Monday went very well.  I am so relieved to have that project over with.

3.)  I was going to take my family out to celebrate on Monday evening, but Miss. E came down with a nasty stomach bug that afternoon, so we stayed home.  Hubby brought home pizza for him and I which was nice. 

4.)  Miss. E is finally acting like she is feeling better today (Friday!).  She slept really well last night so I am hoping she kicked the rest of those bugs to the curb.  She was pretty lethargic this week and running a high fever so I was beginning to worry.  I am glad that she has finally perked up.  P.S.  Did you know that they make chewable Tylenol for toddlers?  I just found this out! 

5.)  Hubby brought in the baby change table the other night and we arranged the room.  I ended up putting furniture in a different arrangement then I had wanted, but I think that this will work nicely.  It is all coming together and I am starting to realize how soon this little one will arrive!  (6 weeks!)

Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

October- Goals and the No Spend Year

We are nearing the end of the year and I can say that I am happy (for the most part) with the progress of my goals.  Only 2 more months left to go!  

#1-  Complete a No-Spend Year.

I bought something on my "Banned" list with my birthday money.  I bought myself winter boots.  I had banned shoes on my no-spend year list.  I took my daughter to daycare wearing my current boots in the snow.  By the time I made it to work, my socks were soaked and my toes were cold.  I feel strongly that I need to put my the health of my feet first so the other boots are hitting the trash.  I ordered quality boots that will last me many years.  I live in Canada and winter came early this year.  Our temperatures go as low as -40 degrees Celcius (-40 Fahenheit) and I am not risking my toes.  I knew that my boots were starting to leak last year so I am not sure why I didn't put it on my approved spending list.

#2-  Establish a Self-Care Routine

Let's talk about this.  I really thought that I was doing well with this goal and I was.  Life threw more than one curve ball at me in October.  I had a huge deadline at work, a major fundraiser for the local daycare (I am on the committee), pregnancy related nausea/dizziness/headaches/fatigue and I was working a LOT due to my co-worker being on vacation.  It all added up to one large meltdown where I was bawling an hour before the fundraiser was set to begin.  I have looked back at my busy month and I am not sure what I could have done differently.  Most of the curve balls were out of my control, besides the fact that I didn't take a sick day when I was feeling awful.  In hindsight, that wasn't practicing good self care.  I have been reading an interesting book by Gretchen Rubin called The Four Tendancies.  I am an upholder with obliger tendencies, which means that I am good at meeting both inner and outer expectations.  It also means that sometimes I work too hard to meet outer expectations and I occasionally experience burnout because of this.  I find my work to be a heavy expectation at times.  My work involves the health of my clients (I am a lab and x-ray tech in a small town) and I find it really hard to call in sick when I am ill because I know that my clients are often dealing with much worse situations.  I need to start putting my health first, especially in this last month and a half of my pregnancy so I am working to set up some clear boundaries this month.  The first boundary is working out well and my co-worker was able to lighten my schedule substantially which has already made a tremendous difference in my well-being. 

#3-  Say Yes to Family Time

This has been going well.  I am finding the "rules" that we set earlier in the year are working really well for our family and are surprisingly easy to follow.

#4-  Start school in September.

This is being postponed until after Baby's arrival.

#5-  Learn more about traditional prayers and incorporate them into my prayer life.

I am still working on figuring out how to make a habit of incorporating these tradtional prayers.

#6-  Establish a routine for the blog and stick to the blog's vision.

Ummmm..... yeah.  So that burnout that I mentioned above?  Well, that lead to a really bad blogging month.  I have worked to circumvent that this month with better planning and a lighter load at my job.  

October was a good month of learning for me.  I hope to apply what I have learned for a successful November.  How are your goals going?

Friday, 3 November 2017

High Five For Friday- 03.11.17

Another week has already flown by!  I can hardly believe that it is November.  It was a fairly busy week with a few sleepless nights and one killer migraine.  Ick.  I am feeling better today and hope that this will hold out for the next few days.  I have a big work project coming up and I need to be at my best for the next few days.

I am linking up with BeckyTifKatie, and Della to share 5 highlights from my week.  Make sure to check them out and all the other great bloggers linking up for H54F!

1.)  I had 5 (!) wonderful days off from work.  It was very much needed.  I spent time catching up on housework, sleeping, and getting ready for the coming week.  My brother and his girlfriend moved over the weekend and we stopped by for a quick visit and a housewarming gift.  I was no help at all with the move because of my bump, so I figured I should at least bring them some goodies.

2.)  On Monday I had a good visit with my best friend from school.  Our kids played fairly well together and it was nice to catch up with her!

3.)  Tuesday was Halloween.  It snowed all day long.  It was super pretty, but it put me in the mood for Christmas, not Halloween!  Ha ha!  Miss. E and I went out and built a snowman and enjoyed the snow.  We were still outside when the trick-or-treaters began to arrive!  Miss. E enjoyed handing out candy with me and trick-or-treating with her Dad.  It took convincing to get her in a 'costume'.  Inside the house she was a ballerina (thanks to her play clothes) and when she went out she was a princess.  It can be hard to get a costume over a snowsuit, but we did our best.  




4.)  This week has been quite productive at work and I am hoping that today is the same!  My work project ends Monday.  I hope I can relax a little after that.

5.)  I have made my freezer meal grocery list for when the baby comes.  I have all of my meal prep days planned.  It makes me feel better to know that a plan is in place so that we will have some meals on hand after the baby comes!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, 27 October 2017

Life Update at 32 Weeks

Hello friends!  After having a successful month of blogging in September, it seems that I am not going to do well with my blog this month.  I do love spending time writing and connecting with my fellow bloggers but I have been struggling in the last few weeks.

A heavy work schedule coupled with me not feeling well has made for a rough few weeks.  I have felt exhausted and overwhelmed.  My last pregnancy was relatively easy.  I had only a few small issues to deal with and I seemed to maintain my energy up until near the end of my pregnancy.  This pregnancy has been very different.  I have had a lot of nausea (thankfully it doesn't result in actually getting sick!), headaches, dizziness and fatigue.  I really don't like taking things off my plate (something I clearly need to work on) so I have mostly just been powering through.  It came to a head last weekend when I just burst into tears and had a mini meltdown an hour before a fundraising event that I was helping organize.  Unfortunately, something's got to give.  I have focused this week on sleeping when I am tired, going to bed early and just saying no to pretty much everything that comes my way. 

I am lucky to have a very supportive Hubby who has been making meals all week, doing laundry and taking care of Miss. E.  I haven't had to do anything this week except go to work and come home.  It has really helped and I am feeling much better.  I have made the decision to take time to rest when I need it.  Growing a tiny human being is hard work and my body has been begging me to slow down.  It may mean that this blog suffers, that Hubby has to pick up the slack and that I might (gasp!) have to take a sick day from work.  I am determined to start paying attention to what my body needs because I can not keep functioning like this.  I also know that these last few weeks are precious and that I should enjoy resting when I can because that will all change with a newborn in the house!

The last few weeks have been quite the lesson in self care.  I really thought I was doing so well with that!  I guess I am still learning.  Thanks for listening.  Have a peaceful weekend!






Friday, 13 October 2017

High Five For Friday- 13.10.17

How is it that we are nearly halfway through October.  Wow.  I need the rest of the month to go in slow motion so that I can finish a few projects at work.  Yikes!  I am linking up with TifKatieDella and Becky to share 5 highlights from my week.  I was a terrible photographer and didn't take any pictures this week.

1.)  I attended a baptism last Saturday as a Godmother.  This is the first time I have ever been asked to be a Godmother so I was very excited.  Afterwards, our friends had us over for a delicious turkey dinner.  Yum!  It was a fun day.

2.)  On Sunday we celebrated Thanksgiving with my family.  It was a lot of fun.  My Mom made a delicious meal and I so enjoyed visiting with everyone.  Miss. E thinks we are all pretty boring with wanting to sit and talk.  Ha ha.  We had a fabulous time!

3.)  On Monday (actual Thanksgiving) I basically did housework and froze beets.  It was great to get things done.  I was exhausted and had a migraine by the end of the day so I headed to bed early. 

4.)  By Wednesday, my headache was finally gone.  Wooo! It was a doozy.  It was nice to have a productive day at work.

5.)  I had my 30 week appointment yesterday and everyone is doing fine.  I learned that baby is laying in an awkward position  (across my belly, right under my ribs) so that explains the side pains and heartburn.  Ha ha.  I am hoping that the little one gets their head down in time!  We did maternity pictures last night and I am so looking forward to getting those back.  Our photographer always does such a wonderful job!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  Happy Friday!

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Master Menu and Meal Formula

I have been working on a Master Menu.  I have also been working on a menu "formula".  The good thing is that my family and I have sort of fallen into a pattern with our meals.  It's nice because neither my husband or my daughter seem to get sick of our recurring meal schedule. 

Some people make their formula specific to the day of the week.  My work schedule varies far too much for me to do that so I only really have Sunday set as a specific type of meal.  All the other days are sorted out according to what we have going on that week.  Here is what I came up with for my menu "formula":

Sunday:  I always try to make a nice meal on Sunday.  This is usually a roast beef dinner, roast chicken, lasagna, or a ham.

Monday:  Sunday leftover meal.  The amount of meat that we get from a roast, chicken or ham is always way too much for my family of 3.  I like to use the leftover meat in a "new" way on Monday night.

The rest of the week is split up into a pasta night, a chicken night, a salmon night, a red meat meal and one easy meal.

I am going to share the meals on my Master Menu.  Honestly, I just trade out side dishes most of the time and call it a new meal.  I am that boring.  Whatever gets you through the work night suppers, right?

Chicken, Salmon or Pork Chops with:

  • rice
  • perogies
  • potatoes
  • salad
Lasagna or Lasagna Roll-Ups

Pasta and Sauce (Meat Sauce, vegetable sauce, or meatballs)

Sweet and Sour Meatballs (Hubby's specialty)

Stir Fry (chicken, pork or shrimp)

Roast Beef

Beef on a Bun

Pizza

Chili

Roast Chicken

Breakfast Supper (Pancakes and eggs)

All together my master menu has 25 meals.  I do my best to match up what is on sale that week, what we have on hand and what we have planned that week.  I always do my big meal for Sunday supper, as I often have lots of time after church on Sunday to spend time in the kitchen.  Work night meals tend to be easier meals, as I don't always have a lot of time or energy those evenings.

Do you have a Master Menu?  Do you follow a menu formula?  I would love to hear all about it!


Friday, 6 October 2017

High Five For Friday- 05.10.17

Hello October!  I love the crisp mornings that this week has had and I have also enjoyed the warm afternoons.  I am linking up with TifKatieBecky and Della to share my five highlights from the past week.

1.)  My Grandma turned 90 this past weekend!  We had a great time celebrating her birthday.  She seemed to enjoy her day.  It was nice to catch up with Aunts, Uncles and cousins that I haven't seen in a while. 

2.)  On Sunday, Hubby took me on a romantic date for our 7th anniversary (which was actually Monday).  We had a lovely afternoon at my favourite place (the lake), complete with lasagna (!) and cake.  It was such a nice date!

(I can't believe it's been 7 years!)

3.)  I have been participating in The Nester's #cozyfallhome daily photo prompts on Instagram.  It has been a lot of fun.  To see what I have been posting check out my Instagram account (@peacefulsimplelifeblog).

4.)  Miss. E has been so imaginative lately and she is really cracking me up.  I feel so blessed to get to watch her play and grow.  It is a lot of fun!

5.)  I have been feeling a lot better this week.  Thank goodness! 

I hope you all had a great week!  Have a fabulous weekend!  (Happy Thanksgiving to all of my Canadian friends!)

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

September- Goals and The No Spend Year

Another month is under our belts.  September really seemed to fly by for us.  We had so much going on with family events, birthdays and meetings that it seemed that the month was over before it started.  I did pretty good with my goals this month and I am happy with my progress.  Here is a look at my September:

1.)  Complete a No-Spend Year

This is still going well!  I am happy with all that I am learning with this challenge.  My parents gave me birthday money for my 30th birthday and I did spend a portion of that money.  Our coffee maker broke down about 4 months ago and I have been using my French press ever since.  The only thing with the press was that I really didn't like the coffee.  It just wasn't as good as the brewed coffee that I was used to enjoying.  With the upcoming arrival of Baby #2, I figured that it would be wise to invest in a new coffee maker now.  I bought a decent coffee maker that has a timer setting, 5 year warranty and the 2 hour shut off feature.  I am extremely happy with my purchase and I am glad that I delayed it for as long as I did.  It was a good reminder that not everything needs to be replaced right now.  Sometimes delaying a purchase helps you figure out if you really need to replace an item in your home. 

2.)  Establish a Self-Care Routine

This goal is still going well.  Even with my busy schedule this past month, I managed to keep on top of my self-care.  It is super important and I think it has really led me to have a better quality of life. 

3.)  Say Yes To Family Time

I am really doing well with this.  I think this goal has taught me how to balance different demands in my life.  We had a busy month with different events and meetings but we were still able to carve out some great quality family time with just the 3 of us.  It was a good month!

4.)  Start School in September.  

This goal is on hold until the New Year.

5.)  Learn more about traditional prayers and incorporate them into my prayer life.

This goal was better this month.  I am still trying to set it up so that I have more of a routine to attach the more traditional prayers to.  I am still working on how to go about this.

6.)  Establish a routine for the blog and stick to the blog's vision.

I had my best month since March.  Wooo!  I seem to have figured out how to stick to my blogging routine.  I posted twice a week, except for last week when I was feeling quite under the weather.  I am still working on establishing a routine for my blog, but I am seeing progress.  I am happy with my progress and I hope to continue on this path!

It was a great month!  How are your goals going?  I would love to hear about it!

Friday, 29 September 2017

High Five For Friday- 29.09.17

I can't believe this is the last Friday in September.  September is always super busy and this year was no exception!  It seems like we are always booked to do something which is fun, but also exhausting.  I hit my third trimester this week and I am really feeling it.  I wasn't able to keep my eyes open and I felt quite queasy this week.  I didn't get my intended blog post done this week, but I really felt like it was more important to listen to my body and hit the hay early this week.  

I am linking up with the lovely ladies from H54F to share the highlights from my week.  To catch all the H54F goodness make sure you check out DellaKatieTif, and Becky.

1.)  I had a fantastic party on Saturday.  Family and a few friends came to celebrate my 30th birthday with me and I had such a wonderful time!  Hubby had ordered me a fabulous cake for my birthday and it turned out so well!  I had a book themed party and I was so happy to have everyone with me to celebrate.



2.)  I had a hair treatment on Friday and it felt so good!  At one point my stylist was called away to deal with a situation.  She asked me if it was okay that she was just going to leave me to "relax at the sink" for a few minutes.  Ummmmmmm... yes!  I am pregnant and I have a 3 year old.  I take any chance that I get to relax.  I nearly fell asleep.  Ha ha!

3.)  Despite feeling unwell this week, work went well.  Everything ran relatively smoothly so that is always nice.

4.)  We were invited for cake one night to celebrate a friend's birthday.  Oh my goodness.  The cake was so delicious!  We had a fun time and our kiddos had a blast playing with one another.

5.)  My parents gave me some birthday money for my gift.  I used the money to replace my coffee maker.  My coffee maker cratered four months ago and I was trying my best to get by without one until January.  My fatigue and the birthday money helped me change my mind, so I bought a new one this week.  I have to say... it makes delicious coffee.  I missed having a coffee maker more than I realized!

How was your week?  I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, 22 September 2017

H54F- 22.09.17

This week was a good one!  I turned 30 on Tuesday and was treated like royalty.  It was a lot of fun!  I am linking up with DellaKatieTif, and Becky for H54F.

1.)  I had my 26 week appointment with my OB last week.  He is such a great doctor and got Miss. E to help find the heartbeat!  It was so sweet and she was so excited!  We had a nice time in the city and I even found everything I needed for groceries at one store!  It was a good day.

2.)  On Friday night we went to a local corn maze and petting zoo with my family.  It was such a fun activity.  Miss. E loved the animals and even walked most of the maze.  I was pretty impressed!  My brother is dating an awesome woman and we got to meet her three daughters at the maze.  Her daughters are as lovely as she is and we are so happy that they are all in our lives now.

Yup.  She is wearing her winter jacket.  It went from super hot to cold in a matter of days!


3.)  On Sunday we attended a birthday party and worked in the garden.  Both were tons of fun.  Miss. E enjoyed playing with all of the kids at the birthday.  When we got home she came outside to help me harvest the potatoes from our little garden.  She squealed every time we found a potato under the dirt.  It was so cute and hilarious.  She is quite a good little helper in the garden!



4.)  Hubby didn't have work on Monday and I came home to a BIG surprise.  The back story to this surprise is that when we bought this house Hubby agreed that I could paint the walls however I wanted, but he made it clear that he was not going to help.  Hubby hates painting.  I managed to get all of the main areas of the upstairs done before I found out I was pregnant.  When I found out I was expecting I made the decision to put the painting on hold until after baby arrived.  The only rooms left to paint were the master bedroom and the (now) baby room.  The master bedroom had a hideous dark brown accent wall complete with dings and scrapes.  I absolutely hated it, but I knew it would have to wait.  I walked into my room after work to change my clothes and I burst into (happy) tears.  Hubby had painted the room while I was at work!  It looks a million times better!  I couldn't have asked for a more thoughtful gift.



5.)  I turned 30 on Tuesday and I was super spoiled by everyone that day.  A coworker brought me a cake and gave me a lovely card.  Another coworker gave me a bag of B.C. apples that she had got from an orchard a few days prior.  My boss bought all the staff pizza for lunch to celebrate my 30th.  It was a delicious day and everyone was speaking my love language: food.  When I got home my parents stopped by, which is always fun.  Hubby and Miss. E made me a yummy pizza supper.  Hubby had also made me a black forest cake, which was soooo delicious.  Hubby knocked my gift out of the park with a homemade bath tray.  I have been ogling them for months and he did such a fantastic job building mine.  Miss. E made me the sweetest card and repeatedly told me happy birthday.  It was a great day!




The birthday festivities are continuing here this weekend.  We are having family and a few friends over to celebrate on Saturday.  I am excited to see everyone!  I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

A Reflection on My Twenties

This is my last night of my twenties.  I really thought that by thirty, I would have everything figured out.  I guess I have four hours to get that done!  Ha ha!  In all honesty, my twenties brought some of the best times of my life and a few of the worst times.  Although I definitely don't have it all figured out, I did learn a thing or two in my twenties that I would like to share with you.

Faith over fear.  This lesson was a big one and by far the most difficult lesson of my twenties.  My faith in God wavered a lot throughout the struggles over the last decade.  I pushed away from Him a lot in my early twenties.  I found my faith again in my mid-twenties but I still had my most difficult challenges ahead.  My husband and I faced years of infertility, which really threw me for a loop.  I became quite depressed and felt hopeless.  It was in my struggle with infertility that I learned a lot about having faith and learning to accept my life as it was.  When we suffered a miscarriage in 2016 I clung hard to my faith and it truly pulled me through.  Faith is the promise that God loves us and is there for us, even when we are struggling.  It is the quiet assurance that this life is not all we have, but that we have something much more beautiful to look forward to.  It is the promise of forgiveness and Redemption.  My faith solidified in my twenties and I am truly grateful for that.

I don't know everything.  I love people in their early twenties.  I love the bold confidence that most of them possess.  I was the same way.  I knew when I was going to get married, how many kids I would have, how I would raise said children and basically what I would do different from all of those people in the trenches who were doing it "wrong".  Youth carries a certain arrogance that is probably necessary in those first uncertain years on your own.  It also makes for a hard thump when reality sends you crashing down.  I met the man of my dreams nine years too "early" and got married 7 years before my "plan".  I learned that the number of children that I will have will never really be up to me.  I also learned that parenting doesn't come with a handbook and that most of us are just doing the very best that we can.  I learned to give grace to others because I myself needed to have grace given to me.  I am much less arrogant about "my way" of doing things.  I trust my gut and try to do what is best for my family and I give the same grace to others.  When someone is doing things different than I am, it doesn't mean that one of us is wrong.  It just means that we are different.  Different is a beautiful thing.

Embrace the little moments because time flies.  This one is cliche but it is also the truth.  Life is made in the everyday moments and it pays to be present.  I can't believe that I turn thirty at midnight.  I can't believe that I have been a wife for (almost) seven years and a mother for three years.  I really try to remind myself to slow down and pay attention to my life.  The smell of coffee in the morning, the feeling of my Hubby's hand in mine and the sound of my daughter's laughter.  It really is the tiny things that make life beautiful.

You never stop learning.  My coworkers are mostly women nearing retirement age.  Boy, did they laugh when I told them that I really thought that I would have had life figured out by now.  One of my coworkers assured me that we never really have life "figured out".  It makes sense because we are always learning.   We are always changing and evolving.  Life demands that we keep moving forward and through new experiences.  It has been in my most difficult experiences that I have learned the most.  The process is never fun but the outcome is a little more knowledge and empathy for others.  It helps you evolve into a better person and get to know yourself a little bit better.

I am grateful for my twenties and all the things that those ten years have taught me.  I look forward to the future and the experiences that await me there.






Saturday, 16 September 2017

High Five For Friday (On Saturday)-16.9.17

I had a wicked headache on Thursday night that sent me straight to bed.  On Friday we rushed off to the city for my OB appointment and then we headed straight to a family event that night.  When I got home my fast food supper had made me very sick and I spent the rest of the night looking quite green.  (And all of the disgusting things that go along with that).  So there you have it.  My list of reasons this post is coming out on Saturday.  Ha ha!  I am linking up with DellaTifBecky, and Katie for H54F.

1.)  Last weekend was perfect!  We basically spent the weekend at home, which was something that I really needed.  I spent a decent amount of time in the kitchen preparing garden vegetables for freezing.  I also baked 4 rhubarb crisps and 2 apple crisps.  Yum!



2.)  On Saturday morning, Miss. E and I made pancakes for breakfast.  She loves helping out in the kitchen!  It was a lot of fun and the pancakes were delicious.


My favourite moments from the past weekend were when we were all gathered around the table, eating and talking together as a family.  I appreciate these little moments and they fill my soul with such gratitude and joy.  There is no place I would rather be.

3.)  We attended a friend's birthday party on Saturday afternoon.  It was a lot of fun.  The kids had a blast playing together and the adults enjoyed spending time together and chatting.

4.)  Work has been incredibly busy but it has been going well.  I am always shocked at how fast my day can go sometimes!

5.)  I didn't have work Thursday so Miss. E and I cleaned house and worked on harvesting our garden.  The weather has finally turned cool so I am a much happier camper.  We got a lot done before my headache hit.  Thank goodness!

Have a fabulous weekend, friends!




Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Road Trip Essentials for the Potty Training Toddler


Potty training and travel do not always go together well.  We are working with our daughter to help her have success with using the potty but long car rides make it difficult.  We recently did 2 major trips with our 3 year old and we learned a few things I would like to share with you!

Things to pack:

A travel potty or small plastic potty.

We set up our daughter's little plastic potty in the back of the Jeep.  When she had to go she would tell us and Hubby would find a safe place to pull over.  We would take her to the potty and we were even able to close the back liftgate so she could have privacy.  Our travels took us to places where there were few bathrooms available.  Having the little potty meant that she could go whenever she felt the urge.

Towels

Accidents are bound to happen on long car rides.  We brought a couple towels to help soak up any mishaps in the car seat.

Wipes

Honestly, you shouldn't go anywhere without these!  They are great for helping clean up mishaps, wiping out the potty and cleaning up your child.

Pull-Ups

We did our best to avoid using pull-ups.  Everything you read says to avoid using them so as to prevent your child from regressing.  This is great advice but I packed a few just in case.  As it turned out, Miss E's tummy was quite bothered by the water in one of our destinations.  This meant that she had about 10 seconds warning before she needed to go potty.  Yikes!  We used the pull-ups and encouraged her to try and make it to the bathroom, which she did most of the time.

Other tips:

Remember to make frequent stops for your little ones.  They don't have the ability to hold it as long as adults do.  We made a point of asking her if she needed the bathroom every 45 minutes and stopping at least every 1.5 hours.  This adds a lot of time onto the trip so make sure you build that time in if you are on a deadline.

Give praise and encouragement.  Like all other potty training, it is important to keep a positive attitude with your child.  We made a big deal every time Miss. E told us she needed to go and thanked her for remembering to ask.  We also praised her for every successful potty break and all the times she stayed dry.

How does your child do on long car rides?  I would love to hear any tips that you may have!




Friday, 8 September 2017

High Five For Friday- 08.09.17

This week flashed by in the blink of an eye.  I am so looking forward to my weekend at home!  I am linking up with TifBeckyKatie, and Della for High Five For Friday.

1.)  We spent the weekend with Hubby's family.  Hubby went to the Labour Day football game with his good friend.  I enjoyed the company of Hubby's, brothers, Auntie and Oma.  We had such a wonderful time visiting with family.  Hubby's family also taught Miss. E to cheer on his team with great enthusiasm.  It was adorable to watch... even though I cheer for an opposing team!  Ha ha.

2.)  Pumpkin spice lattes are back!  I love them and don't often get them as we don't have any coffee shops in our small town.  I was pumped to get one this weekend.  I used a gift card that I had received so I think the coffee tasted slightly better because it was free!  I am terrible about remembering to take pictures, but somehow captured this awkward selfie with my drink.


3.)  I have been fortunate to receive so many delicious fruits and veggies from friends and family's gardens.  I have my work cut out for me this weekend and I couldn't be more excited!

4.)  I had 2 lovely play dates this week.  I absolutely love play dates and getting to visit with my "Mom" friends.

5.)  I had a really bad sinus headache that morphed into a migraine on Wednesday night. (Harvest time is rough on the allergies!)  Hubby was at a course that evening so I just shoved the leftovers from supper in the fridge and headed to bed with Miss. E.  When I woke up, Hubby had cleaned up the kitchen and had done all of the dishes.  It was a wonderful surprise.  I am really thankful to have such a wonderful husband.

I am keeping all of my friends in Cuba and Florida in my prayers.  Please stay safe.  I hope everyone else has a lovely weekend!


Wednesday, 6 September 2017

August- Goals and The No Spend Year

Another month is in the books.  August was quite busy for our family and we had a really good month.  I am happy with my overall progress this month.

#1)  Complete a no-spend year.

This goal is going fairly well.  I did make a purchase this month, but I am unsure as to whether it is a violation of this rule.  I bought my family planner and calendar for next year.  I always use a planner and calendar in my home to keep all of us on track.  I decided to do my Christmas shopping early this year because our baby is due in December.  When I made my purchase (from one store online) I decided to go ahead and add the calendars to my cart.  I always have my calendars in advance so that nothing gets missed.  That was my only purchase for this month.

#2)  Establish a self-care routine.

This goal is still going well.  I have worked to bring back strength training to my regular routine.  I am happy that most of my routine is now habit.  Despite being quite busy this month, I still made time to properly care for myself.

#3)  Say yes to family time.

We had some great family experiences this month.  Hubby and I took Miss. E to Waterton Lakes National Park.  We had a great time with one another and made some great memories.  Family time was definitely a priority this month and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

#4)  Start school in September.

I know what courses I want to take.  I also know the direction I want to go.  I am not going to start school in September.  With a baby on the way, this goal will be pushed back until everything settles in the new year.  I don't feel like it is feasible to take on course work right now with being a Mom, working and being pregnant.  I will re-evaluate in the new year.

#5)  Learn more about traditional prayers and incorporate them into my prayer life.

This goal went fairly well this month.  I almost need to schedule the days that I plan to do traditional prayers because when I rely on spontaneity I tend to avoid the traditional prayers.  I plan to work on this in September.

#6)  Establish a routine for the blog and stick to the blog's vision.

I am slowly coming along with this goal.  I was better at posting in August and I am learning how to make sure that my blogging work is done.  I have a few ideas that I hope to implement in September.

How are your goals coming?  Does summer throw a monkey wrench into your progress?

Friday, 1 September 2017

High Five For Friday- 01.09.17

Hello September!  This is one of my favourite months.  It is chock full of birthdays in my family (including my own), pumpkin spice lattes are out (yup, I am totally on that bandwagon), the weather turns cooler (Can I get an Amen?) and I can start putting out fall decor.😍  I think harvest time is beautiful, although my allergies would disagree.  I love the turning of the leaves and the need for socks and sweaters.  Ahhhh..........  Fall is my bag of tricks, folks.

I am linking up for H54F this week with BeckyKatieDella and Tif to share 5 photos from our family trip to Waterton Lakes National Park.  We headed out on holidays bright and early Saturday morning.  It borders Glacier National Park in Montana to form an International Peace Park.  It was beautiful!

The view from The Prince of Wales hotel.


Riding a "Surrey" bicycle around the Waterton town site.  I loved that they had a child seat in front!

Upper Waterton Lake.  The hotel in the background is The Prince of Wales Hotel.

Parks Canada put these red chairs in all of their parks this year to celebrate Canada150.

Miss. E loved the playground at Waterton.  It had a small playground for younger children, a larger playground, a rock that you could climb and a spray park.  It was a great setup!

I hope you have a fabulous weekend!  My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you in Texas.


Wednesday, 30 August 2017

New Routines

I am working on implementing a few new routines around our house.  I am trying to make things easier on both me and my family as this pregnancy progresses.  My energy will start to wane and I really want to try to keep things running smoothly.  I am hoping these changes will do just that.

1.)  New bedtime routine for Miss. E

Bedtime just got a whole lot stricter in our house.  Miss. E has been difficult to drag out bed for daycare and on the days when she is tired we seem to have potty accident after potty accident.  I just finished doing some reading on the toddler stage and the book I was reading confirmed what I already knew.  Miss. E wasn't getting enough sleep.  We have always struggled with getting Miss. E to sleep.  She fights sleep tooth and nail.  I made simple adjustments to her bedtime routine and they seem to be working quite well.  I have been incrementally bumping up her bedtime by 15 minutes a week.  By next week she will be at her new bedtime.  Bedtime routine starts at an exact time.  There is no more playing with that.  That was probably our biggest problem before.  I think we started the routine too late and at slightly inconsistent times.  Miss. E was often overtired and wound up and then bedtime was a fight.  Bedtime routine consists of a quick bath, brushing teeth, nighttime puffer, 2 stories and then bedtime songs.  We aim to complete this routine in about a half hour.  She has been falling asleep much easier and much earlier.  It has been helpful with both waking her up for daycare and for successful use of the potty.  I am hoping that this routine will also free up our evenings so that I can get more blogging and housework done at night.

2.)  Dishes HAVE to be done nightly.

I used to be good at this.  When I became pregnant I was super exhausted and everything started to slide.  I am following this rule again.  It makes for a much more peaceful night and calmer mornings.  I hate the sight of dirty dishes sitting on my counter so I make sure they get done immediately after supper.  Hubby gets home quite late so it is easy for me to zip them up while he squeezes in some quality time with Miss. E before she has to head to bed.

3.)  Exercise is a non-negotiable part of my routine.

Hubby and I take turns walking the dog every other night while the other partner puts Miss. E to bed.  I have been good at keeping up with my walking.  However, I have found it easy to let my strength training go when I am tired or busy.  I am no longer allowing this to happen.  I already do short, intense workouts so time never should be a deterrent.  I have started making this a priority for my health and the health of my baby.  I aim to do 2-3 strength training sessions a week and I am sticking to this goal. It helps me to feel strong and have more energy.

Do have any routines that you always stick to that improve your daily life?  I would love to hear about them!

Friday, 25 August 2017

High Five For Friday- 25.08.16

Wow!  At this time next week it will be September.  I can't believe how fast this summer has flown by!  We have another family vacation planned before the end of summer and I am excited to get away.  I am linking up with KatieTifDella and Becky for H54F.

1.  I adopted my Grandma's orange tree when she moved into the nursing home.  It was doing really well up until Elizabeth's birthday in May.  I think that perhaps something happened to it at the party.  It began to wilt and act strange.  We repotted it in hopes of saving the tree but it didn't seem to work.  Finally, as a last resort, I had my Hubby place it outside in the heat and sunshine.  I was hoping the fresh air would revive it.  Alas, the tree looked deader than a door nail.  For some odd reason, I kept watering it now and then when I was watering my other plants out front.  It was actually pretty crazy, because this tree showed no signs of life.  The other night Hubby came in and told me that the tree had a shoot growing out of the bottom of it.  I thought it was a weed, but lo and behold the shoot is really coming right out of the orange tree!  Ollie the Orange Tree is alive.  (What?  You don't name your houseplants?)  I am absolutely thrilled.  It was a lovely reminder of what God can renew even when we may think things are too far gone. I am happy to still have the tree alive and doing well.



2.)  We spent last weekend at my parent's cabin.  It was quite cool, but I welcomed the colder weather.  Miss. E had a blast playing in the dirt and running around.  It is my favourite place on earth.




3.)  We took Penny for her yearly vet checks and she is doing well.  Miss. E was thrilled to get a sticker from the vet that said "Good Pet Owner".  It was cute.  I appreciated the vet being so good with both my dog and my precocious little girl.

4.)  My Mom gave us a box of carrots from her garden.  They are SO delicious!  We have been enjoying them for fresh eating and I froze a bunch to use in the winter months.  We are so grateful that Mom has a bounty of carrots to share.

5.)  Miss. E and I attended a fun playdate this week with an old friend and a new one.  I truly believe playdates are as important (if not more important!) for Moms as they are for the kids.  We had such a great time.

How was your week?  How are you spending your last weekend in August?


Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Weekly Planning (Otherwise Titled: How I Keep From Going Insane)

Planning is such an important part of my life.  I have really had to learn how to balance out all of the demands that I face on a day to day basis.  I am first a wife and mother, but I am also a daughter, friend and employee.  I truly feel that my weekly planning sessions help me stay on track and focused.  I usually have 2 major planning sessions each week.  I do all of my meal planning on Thursday/Friday and my weekly planning on Sunday.



Meal Planning

I live in a small town (1200 people) that has 2 grocery stores.  I almost exclusively shop at the one store, because you can have a grocery cart and cruise it up and down the aisles.  The other store is much too small to allow carts so you have to take a basket (or 2!) around to gather your groceries.  I almost always have my daughter in tow, so the store with the carts is easiest for me.

I have access to the flyer on Thursday night.  I go through the flyer and write down everything that we need.  I always shop sales because I truly could not afford to grocery shop in my town if I didn't!  I make out my grocery list Thursday night and I go get my groceries Friday.  The sales start Friday and the truck comes Friday.  I never wait until Saturday, because they will often sell out of things that I want by then.

When I get home, I plan my meals around the groceries that I bought and the items that we have on hand.  I try to do a freezer inventory now and then, because we often have much more than I think we do!  When planning, I note anything that we have scheduled during the following week.  I save time-intensive meals for when I know I will be home all afternoon.  I write our meals on the dry erase board that hangs on our fridge.  I also write the plan in my daily agenda.  Meal planning saves me from having to think about what to make for supper after a long day at work.  It also helps to keep my spending in check.  In total, my meal planning usually only takes 10-15 minutes of my time.

Weekly Planning

On Sunday evenings, I sit down with my agenda and phone and go through the calendars.  Hubby and I use a shared calendar app and I like having my paper agenda for writing our schedules and small to-do lists.  First, I go through the app and the agenda to make sure that they both have all the same events.   Sometimes when we are scheduling items, the event will make it onto only 1 of the calendars.  After I know that both schedules are the same, I will write in any to-dos or reminders on my agenda.  This often only takes 5 minutes but it can be invaluable to our week.  The household runs much more smoothly when everyone knows what to expect of the week ahead.

How do you plan your weeks?  Have you embraced meal planning?  I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!  Leave a comment below!


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

July- Goals and The No Spend Year

Whew!  This summer is flying by.  I am finally here with an update of my goals in July.

1. Complete a No-Spend Year

This summer has been HOT.  WAAAYYYYY too hot.  Seriously.  At one point I told my husband that I would prefer -30 degrees Celcius (-22 degress Fahrenheit).   Yuck.  The heat makes me sick.

So..... where exactly am I going with this?  I broke the no-spend year to purchase cheap (temporary) paper window coverings for our house.  The window coverings that were in the house when we bought it were dirty and non-functioning.  I took them to the dump shortly after moving in.  It was winter so the notion that the house may get too hot in the summer never even crossed my mind.  This summer, after many days of 30 degrees and higher (86 degrees Fahrenheit) I broke down and got window coverings.  It cooled the house by 15 degrees.  It was totally worth it.  We couldn't afford to install central air conditioning this year, but we are saving up for next year!  Other than that, I did a good job sticking to the no-spend year.

2.)  Establish a self-care routine.

I am good at this.  I really think that it has become a habit.  There are definitely days when I could improve (more water or sleep) but on the whole, I am doing well with this goal.

3.)  Say yes to family time.

This goal has been going well.  In the summer we really try to make a concerted effort to get outside and enjoy the nice weather as a family.

4.)  Start school in September.

After a few discussions with some close friends and mentors, I think I know what direction I am taking with my next educational pursuit.  I am still researching, however, and figuring out how to work my education around my pregnancy.

5.)  Learn more about traditional prayers and incorporate them into my prayer life.

Let's just say that I did not excel at this goal in July.

6.)  Establish a routine for the blog and stick to the blog's vision.

Umm.... no.  It has been basically crickets around here, I am afraid.  There were only 3 (!) posts up in July.  Yikes!  Summer really messes with me and I am still learning how to make the blog a priority.


The summer is always a bit lax at our house which is evident from my goal keeping.  It was eye opening to look at how I did this month and I plan to improve in August!  How are your goals coming this year?

Friday, 11 August 2017

High Five For Friday- 11-.08.17

I have had this whole week off work.  It has been really nice, but also packed with activities.  We have very little on the docket for this weekend and I am looking forward to some down time at home.  I am linking up with TifKatieDella and Becky for High Five For Friday.

1.)  Miss. E had swimming lessons this week and she is doing quite well in them.  I am glad she is getting comfortable in the water because Hubby and I enjoy being in the water.

2.)  Our pooch Penny got groomed yesterday.  She looks so pretty!  She is so soft and even smells like shampoo.  Miss. E was super impressed that the groomer put a pink bow on her collar.  

3.)  I went for my 20 week ultrasound yesterday.  Baby is doing well and it was so fun to see the little one moving around.  

4.)  Miss. E got her stitches out on Monday.  She did really well and her cut is healing nicely.

5.)  I bought a bedroom set on an online garage sale site and it came with a mate's bed and headboard, a six drawer dresser, and a small secretary's desk.  I got a great deal on the set.  Miss. E will get the mate's bed, the dresser will go in the baby's room and the desk will go in the living room.  I am excited to be one step closer being ready for our new baby.  Miss E is excited to get a new bed and she will have so much more room in her bedroom.

How was your week?  I hope you all have a great weekend!

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Hello again!

Hello!  I am still in the land of the living, even if it seems I dropped off the face of the planet!  😉  I have done a terrible job keeping up on my blogging.  Real life has been super full as of late and the blogging dropped off.  Whoops!  I decided to post a quick update to let you know what has been happening in my little world.



-I worked.  A LOT.  My coworker (who takes some of my days so that I become a part time worker rather than full time) had a daughter getting married this month!  She (understandably) took a bunch of time off which meant that I worked nearly full time hours.  Ouch.  I am definitely not used to that!

-My work shoes were completely worn out and I paid for it BIG time!  I limped all week at work and at home because of my crappy shoes.  Yikes!  The number one rule of working on cement floors is to wear good shoes!  You can wreck your back, knees, hips, and feet.  I am an x-ray tech and I see the damage we do to ourselves all the time.  I know better than to wear bad shoes.  Anyway.... I had bought new ones but with my pregnancy my feet changed and they were much too tight.  I broke down and bought new ones and I am happy to report that I am no longer limping or in pain!  Whew!

-We went on Hubby's family "camping" weekend.  It was fun.  Miss. E was sick, however so that wasn't fun.

-Miss. E had to have stitches this week.  She fell off a chair and into a bed frame at our hotel and cut her head open.  Poor kiddo.  She was brave and did fairly well with the stitches.  I seriously want to bubble wrap her.  You know?  Is that so wrong?

-Baby has been moving lots which I find so comforting.😍  Hubby felt baby kick for the first time the other day.  We had our first OB appointment in the city and I am very happy with the plan that my OB and I have.  I really like my doctor, which is fantastic.

-I ordered a few baby items online that we have decided to purchase new.  Most of our baby items are going to be second-hand this time but there were a few things I wanted to get new.  It is so exciting and fun to start getting ready for baby!

-I have been working on trying to minimize some items in our home again.  I did, however, go through all of the donation boxes.  I pulled out the few baby items that I was planning to donate and packed them away for the new little one.

-My little brother is moving closer to home and I couldn't be happier!  I really enjoy seeing him and I hope we will see a lot more of him when he moves closer.


Friday, 14 July 2017

High Five For Friday- 14.7.17

Friday!  Hubby has the weekend off and I am so looking forward to a fun weekend.  I am rounding up 5 highlights from my past week today for H54F.  I am linking up with DellaKatieTif, and Becky.

1.)  If you read Thursday's post, you already know that we are thrilled to be expecting!  I had my 16 week appointment this week and everything is going well.  I am so grateful to be expecting and the whole family is excited! (Including Miss. E!)



2.)  My garden and my flowers are doing really well this year.  We had a heat wave last week and the plants seemed to love it!  I am so excited to start eating things from my garden!



3.)  Hubby took Miss. E to see Despicable Me 3 at the local movie theater.  She had so much fun and loved the outing with her Dad.  (I thoroughly enjoyed my quiet evening at home!)


4.)  My Dad texted me this week to invite me to a rodeo next weekend.  I am so excited to go!  My Dad and I used to go to rodeos together when I was younger, but we sort of quit after I graduated high school.  It was such a nice invitation and I can't wait to spend time with my Dad.

5.)  Hubby and I are completely addicted to Jane the Virgin on Netflix.  It is quirky and funny.  We have been watching it in our evenings and it has been a lot of fun.  Sometimes we struggle to find a show that we both like, but this one is great!

How was your week?  Do you have any big plans for the weekend?

Thursday, 13 July 2017

June- Goals and The No Spend Year & A Special Announcement

I have been keeping a secret from you all.  Back in April, Hubby and I were thrilled to find out that we are expecting!  Up until this point, we have used intense fertility treatments to conceive and have never been able to get pregnant on our own.  We had pretty much given up on the idea of conceiving on our own and we were exploring adoption and saving for the possibility of more fertility treatments.  The day before Hubby's birthday, I took a pregnancy test and it was positive.  I was shocked, as we hadn't pursued any fertility treatments.  I took several more tests (all positive) and we were both so excited!  We have had 2 ultrasounds and everything is looking good!  I am currently 16 weeks pregnant and due at the end of December!



My goals have had to shift because of our good news, but I truly believe that I am still keeping in line with most of them.  June went well and I am happy to share my progress with you.

#1)  Complete a No-Spend Year.

Our thrilling (but unexpected) pregnancy meant that I have had to break my no-spend year.  I did not anticipate the possibility of pregnancy.  I have tried to keep my spending to a minimum, but I still needed to purchase a few essentials.  After our miscarriage last year, I was feeling completely discouraged.  I sold most of our baby items and gave away all of my maternity clothes.  This meant that my changing body had nothing to wear!  A good friend gave me back most of my maternity clothes and also passed on a bunch of her own, which was wonderful.  The only thing is that I will be pregnant through the Summer, Fall and Winter.  The maternity clothes that were passed on to me are going to work perfectly for Fall and Winter.  Unfortunately, there was very little that was Summer appropriate.  We have had an extremely hot Spring and Summer so I needed proper maternity attire.  I bought several items for myself.  I have also had to purchase new bras and underwear.  I shopped sales where I could and I built a decent Capsule for myself.  (I hope to share it with you soon!)  It is important to have proper clothes that are comfortable and my regular items have not fit me for quite some time! 

Aside from the maternity attire, I stuck to my No-Spend Year in June.

#2)  Establish a Self-Care Routine

I did a good job with this goal.  I have been ensuring that I get adequate sleep.  It is way easier when my eyes don't want to stay open after 10 pm! LOL!  I also completed a 30 day fitness challenge in June.  I was able to be active 28 days out of 30.  I missed 2 days due to migraines.  Staying active is not only good for my health (and the pregnancy!) but it is so important to my mental health.  I feel much calmer, more resilient and stronger when I am active.  The challenge was great because it helped keep me motivated even when I was tired and didn't want to do anything active.

#3)  Say Yes to Family Time

This goal went well this month.  There were very few challenges to our family time in June.

#4)  Start School In September.

I am back in research mode, trying to decide the best way to pursue my education.  The pregnancy will change the time that I have available and I want to take that into consideration when making decisions.

#5)  Learn more about traditional prayers and incorporate them into  my prayer life.

I wasn't as good at incorporating the prayers into my prayer life in June.  I will work to improve that in July!

#6)  Establish a routine for the blog and stick to the blog's vision.

I was better about posting this month.  I have had a few difficult times with feeling sick and having migraines.  Often those were the biggest obstacles to meeting my goal.  At this point, I am choosing to roll with how I am feeling (especially since it is due to a fantastic reason!).  If the blog has to be put on the back-burner a time or two, that is okay.  My health and my pregnancy has to come first.  I am learning to accept that I can't do it all and that is okay.  Good enough is good enough.  I am sorry that my blog suffers but I sometimes I have to make tough choices.  

Whew!  We are already half way through the year!  I am happy with my progress and I will continue to work towards my goals for the rest of the year.  How are your goals going?  I would love to hear all about it!