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Momma's New Groove: How I Decided to Become a Stay at Home Mom

You know that feeling, when you're just "in a groove?"

Life is going smoothly,
each day starts and ends with a smile,
you feel content
and blessed
and happy.

That was how I felt for most of the summer.  I was in a groove. 

Although there were moments that made me want to pull my hair out, I loved being home with my boys.  We had a great routine established; one that included plenty of time for playing and cuddling.

As the summer came to a close, I started to get very anxious about returning to work.  But I told myself to "put on my big girl panties" and get over it (or maybe that was a coworker who told me that.)  LOTS of mommies work, and many, many women deal with the same struggles that I dealt with as a working mom.  Plus, I only teach part time, so I should count my blessings, right?

Then, the week before school started, I got my daycare contract.  I love my in-home childcare provider - seriously, love her.  But stupid me, I had never actually added up how much it would cost for TWO boys instead of one.  And when I compared those numbers to my paycheck, it was depressing.  Really depressing.

And on the teachers' first day back, I was miserable.  I just kept thinking, "Why am I here?  Why am I away from my boys?"  I like teaching, I really do, but I like being with my boys more.  I racked my brain trying to think of a way that working part time really benefited me or my family.  Of course, there were some small benefits, but none of them seemed worth it.

By noon that first day, I was talking to my principal about it.  She was very understanding - she had stayed home when her boys were little, too.  I went home and talked to my husband, family, some close friends, and God, and woke up the next morning absolutely sure that I needed to resign. 

So, the day before school started, I submitted my resignation.

The timing was terribly awkward, and really unheard of around here.  My contract (and conscience) said that I had to stay until a suitable replacement was found and after the school board meeting Wednesday night, the search for a new TAG teacher can officially begin.

It's really a bittersweet time for me.  I have been teaching as I normally would, and there have definitely been moments of joy at school.  Like I said, I like teaching.  I will miss my students, their families, my coworkers, and the community I've come to know over the past few years. 

But I can. not. wait. to get back into the groove.

Top 6 Things I should Blog about (but haven't.)

6.  My new method of putting away laundry

5.  Recent home decor bargains - a TV console for $30, lamps for $4 each, $25 headboard, $12 mirror, etc. etc...

4.  How I limit the amount of time my preschooler spends watching TV and keep him from having a fit about it.

3.  Five Dollar Footlongs

2.  A siding and windows update

1.  Love for Leontien
(Leontien is a fellow blogger and farmer.  She is a cancer survivor, but is now fighting for the second time.  Please head over and show her some support - we are trying to flood her with positive thoughts and prayers.  www.fourleafclovertalesdairy.blogspot.com OR http://www.facebook.com/LoveForLeontien)

All Things Bright and Beautiful

Hi friendly readers,

I'm posting at All Things Bright and Beautiful today, as part of Aubrey's "How to Make Your Home Your Own" series. 

Come check it out and see how I filled my $50 Craigslist cabinet!

A place for lists

(Alternate Title: Did you know you can write on glass with a dry-erase marker?)

The other day, I was feeling totally overwhelmed by my to-do list.

It was long.  

And time was short. 

And believe it or not, I couldn't even FIND the darn thing.  I had a mental list going, but I couldn't prioritize it or choose a task to complete without seeing a hard copy.  So, I did what any busy gal would do - a quick project.


A picture frame with glass (8x13 bought 1/2 off at Hobby Lobby)
Something to put in the frame like paper or fabric (I used two fabric placemats that I've had forever)
Something to hang the frame with (drill, drywall anchor and screw)
Dry erase marker


I tied a little ribbon between the two hangars on the back.  I did NOT want to mess around with putting two (four) holes in the wall in exactly the right places, so this was much easier.


I taped the placemats in the frame, without cutting them to size, because heaven forbid I do anything permanent.


Tip: When choosing a backing fabric or paper, choose something LIGHT and simple.  This gray ticking stripe was just too dark.

Cream, tone-on-tone striped placemat = MUCH better.

Finally, I hung these using my drill, screws and anchors.  Since I knew they'd get touched a lot, I wanted them hung securely.  I'm thinking about writing a tutorial on hanging things, after I google it to make sure I'm doing it correctly. 

I put them on the wall right off the kitchen, leading to the stairway and bathroom, where I would see them a million times a day.

Now, I just need to come up with a great place to keep the marker.  Suggestions?

The Siding and Windows: Before

I've been looking forward to this for a looong time.

If you follow Squaw Creek on Facebook, you know what I'm talking about.

Our long-awaited siding project has begun!

Our house was built in 1907/1908 and still has the original wood siding.  Unfortunately, over the years, the wood has deteriorated and is in pretty bad condition.

How bad?  Well...

When we began remodeling the living room in 2008, we found a vine growing up the wall to the 2nd story.

When we removed the kitchen cabinets, we could see daylight in places.

When the wind blows from the north in the winter we can feel cold air coming up through the floorboards on the 2nd floor.

And then there are the windows:

When the kitchen windows were replaced, these two side-by-side windows weren't even the same size!
Hey - recognize that tripod lamp?

When the wind blows from the east during storms, the curtains in Adam's room actually sway in the breeze.

And the original windows in the living room and dining room are drafty enough to refrigerate our house.

But I am happy to report that the beginning of the end (of cold drafts and ugly exteriors) is here.  Stay tuned for more details and updates as the work progresses!

Shared at
Funky Junk Interior's Saturday Night Special 
Metamorphosis Monday