What I’m Into (October 2015)

A lot of books this month… not much TV/media… and a few food items. Enjoy 🙂

Books:

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  • The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
    I inhaled this book way too quickly and wish I had taken my sweet time with it. I absolutely love Brown and her research. I learned a LOT from this book (although, I will admit it was incredibly similar to “Daring Greatly”). However, she did provide practicals at the end of each chapter on how to start applying what you’re learning. It’s a truly spectacular book. I’d recommend it to anyone. Literally anyone.
  • For the Love by Jen Hatmaker
    Ah, Jen Hatmaker. I love her. She writes about all the things I want to write about. She says all the things I want to say to the world. And I absolutely love her voice in books: authentic, transparent, and absolutely HILARIOUS. I will say however, I would NOT recommend this be the first book of hers that you read. Start with “Interrupted” or “7”. This book is a tiny bit all over the place… kind of like riding her brain waves. I loved it, of course, but if you’ve never read any of her books, I wouldn’t start with this one.
  • Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling
    A fun, lounge-y read. I loved her first book so I had to pick up her second. People warn that this book isn’t as good as her first, but I actually love it just as much (so far)! She talks a ton about her path to getting where she is now.
  • Anything: The Prayer that Unlocked My God & My Soul by Jennie Allen
    Reading this with a group of girlfriends via a virtual book club. It’s been so fun to chat about this book together and re-connect every week (even if it’s digital). This book is challenging and an interesting read so far about total & complete sacrifice of your life to Christ.
  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
    I am proud and excited to announce that I officially got my husband to start reading HP! And he LOVES it! It’s as J.K. Rowling says, “If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.”

Food Items:

  • Sweet potatoes
    I can honestly say that I have added this to every. single. meal this week. No I’m not kidding. I’ve realized it ALWAYS kicks the meal up a notch. Enchiladas? Try it with roasted sweet potatoes. BOOM. Stuffed bell peppers? add the sweet potatoes. Chili? add ’em. Seriously, anything at all… sweet potatoes are not just healthy, but will kick any meal up a notch.
    Here’s a simple, easy peasy recipe for roasted sweet potatoes (pretty much what I do): http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/roasted-sweet-potatoes-with-honey-butter-recipe.html
  • Apple Sauce (Unsweetened)
    This has been key in our house. We add it to Josh’s oatmeal every morning and he gobbles it all up like it’s ice cream. We’ve also been substituting a lot of sweeteners in dessert with this and it’s worked great.
  • EatPastry: chocolate chip (vegan cookie dough)
    Found this at a specialty grocery store and had to try it. It was amazing. Nick & I both loved it.
  • The Cookie Dough Cafe (edible cookie dough)
    I saw this on the Shark Tank last year and was desperately craving it the other day so I googled the nearest place that sells them and went to buy a personal-sized cup of it. It was sooooooo delicious. The bad news: super unhealthy. The good news: Every ingredient is recognizable! So at least you know what you’re eating.

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Other Items:

  • Aveeno Facial Sunscreen (spf 55+)
    A couple things:
    1. I’ve been noticing random dark spots appearing on my face… typically in the shape of a faded mole. At first I was worried and then I started asking around about it… turns out it’s the sun. THE SUN. Looks like I’m aging, y’all.
    2. I’ve switched over to Aveeno from Neutrogena because I’ve heard the Neutrogena sunscreen is no longer recommended… anyone else heard this? Either way… Aveeno’s been great 🙂
  • Day One: a journal for the iPhone, iPad & Mac
    Okay, so I don’t actually have this yet, but my husband has it and loves it. I’m definitely a “journal-er”, but I’m kind of getting tired of the paper & pen (never EVER though I’d say that)… thinking of giving Day One a shot.

On Motherhood, Fasting & Waiting

It’s been a while since I’ve written a real post. You know… one that isn’t a list of things I’m “currently into”… As most of you know, I was working full-time at a skilled nursing facility all summer, while trying to mother a not-sleeping 18-month-old toddler who is also constantly testing his limits. It’s been exhausting and I haven’t had the mental capacity to write about anything real. But now I do 🙂 Let motherhood update commence.

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irst of all, can someone explain to me how my baby now looks like this? He’s a little man now! So handsome. My heart can’t take it.

On looking for work & mothering:

Well, I’m back to being at home full-time with my son. But this time I will be simultaneously studying for my board exam and looking for a job (which may as well be a full-time job in and of itself). I am realizing more and more how much I love being home with Josh and have decided that I don’t think I can work more than 30 hours a week (MAX). I love too many other things. I love being involved at church. I love reading. I love going to mommy groups and hanging out with my boy. I consider motherhood a ministry and one that I really don’t want to take lightly. So as great as it would be to make a full-time salary, I would really rather not.

So for the next month or two you’ll mostly find me running around with Josh, studying for my board exam and getting to know other mommies.

On Fasting:

Some of you know, many of you don’t: I will be fasting most forms of media until September. This includes Facebook, instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, TV & movies (if you see my blog link posted on FB, my husband did it for me). Obviously I’ve decided to keep blogging, as I find it’s more therapeutic for me than it is distracting and mind-numbing.

But why am I fasting media? Well… a lot of reasons. It started with this book I’m reading (“7: an experimental mutiny against excess”) and I’ve become obscenely aware of how much of the noise in my life distracts me from the things that really matter to me: my time with God. my time with my family. my time with my son. I’ve come to realize how superficial everything has become. How superficial I’ve become. And I don’t like that… I don’t like looking back at my day and realizing how much time I’ve spent mindlessly searching the internet, looking at YouTube videos and stalking everyone’s Facebook. I’m ready for a media detox. It’s only been 6 days and it’s been both harder and easier than I expected. Harder because I LOVEEEEEEE my shows. I just want to watch Mindy Kaling all day and laugh. Easier because I don’t miss social media that much… I may even delete my Facebook when the fasts over… but we’ll see.

On Waiting:

This is an interesting transition in my life. Waiting to work… waiting to make money… waiting for “our lives to resume” (or so that’s what it feels like). I am eager to just move forward and get everything in place, but at the same time, I love where we are right now. And I am constantly learning to stay mindful of the present. Life almost always feels like it’s in a transition phase. For once, I’m going to embrace now.

A few tid-bits you need to know:

  • I started “Something Borrowed” (the book that was on my Fall reading list) and instantly quit. I got to page 30 and couldn’t really handle all the adultery (sorry for ruining the book for you, but that’s the whole premise and it starts within the first 3 pages). I’m okay with putting down a book if I know I won’t like AND it will make me crazy. Just thought I would let you all know.
  • Speaking of books, “7: an experimental mutiny against excess” is messing me up. In such good way. Go read it.
  • Disneyland won major points yesterday. My son had a huge accident in his diaper that went all over his onesie and bottoms (something that actually hasn’t happened since he was less than a year old). One of the ladies who was working at the baby center gave us a slip that let us buy $40 worth of baby pajamas at the Disneystore. WHATTTTTTTTT? Major points, Disney.
  • I finished my “capsule wardrobe” timeline (3 months) and loved it. I’m probably going to keep going (although I threw some of my old clothes back in the closet). I did say I was going to write a post on how it went. Hopefully I’ll get to that soon. Just know, I really liked it.

That’s all for now! Guess that turned into another “list” type post… oh well 🙂 off to mommying! Here’s another snapshot of Josh, just because 🙂

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Little Things That Make My Day

My saving grace this week the past two months: joy in the little things.

Life has been… jam-packed. Serious props to all the full-time working mothers out there… it is exhausting. Constantly trying to be a good mom, a loving wife and a top notch OT fieldwork student is incredibly difficult (I don’t know how great I’m doing at any of the 3, btw).

Focusing on each tiny little happy thing has helped keep my heart gracious. It’s a good discipline to continually thank God for the little (& big) ways he reaches out to me. Every single day.

Here are a few things that have made me smile this week:

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  • A Free Iced Coffee (Mint Mojito Iced Coffee) from Philz
    I saw 3 different people instagram this in a week, so I had to go try it. Who knew such a bizarre flavor combination could taste like heaven? And even better… I mentioned to the cashier how excited I was because it was my first time getting Philz and he said, “You know what, this one’s on the house then. All that really matters is that you love your coffee.” And you know what? A free coffee actually makes a difference in my wallet these days. Thank you, kind barista. That made my day.

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  • A new book by an author I love
    On my Fall reading list… I love Mindy Kaling’s writing. The content of her books aren’t phenomenal (she doesn’t write about anything too deep), but her writing is so so so good, that I eat it all up. She’s like a very exaggerated version of me: obsessed with chick flicks, loves writing, and grew up feeling totally foreign to white culture… I always feel empowered by this woman.

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  • My new nose stud
    Just got a cute, new “barely there” gold stud off Etsy and it’s everything I wanted it to be 🙂
  • Watching my patients make progress
    I have officially been at my fieldwork site long enough to see real, actual progress in my patients’ rehabilitation status. And many have even noticed themselves how much growth they have had. It is incredible to be a part of that process. This is why I do what I do.
  • Hearing a man empower women
    This always fires me up… even gets me emotional (in a good way, of course). As I was listening to the radio this morning on my drive to work, I was listening to a man (I actually don’t know who) talk about how so many laws in the US are stacked up against women and it’s primarily because men have written all the laws. This gentleman was calling women AND men into action: to get more women’s voices heard in the legal system. We need more men feminists out there.
  • When Nick & Josh visit me during my lunch break
    AND we get to go to the grove. My heart feels warm. and full.

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Update On Mommy Life (& What’s Saving Me)

I haven’t blogged in a really long time… and the time that’s elapsed between posts has grown exponentially. I know, I know… I’ve put my personal little corner of the internet on the back burner.

But hear me out: Life has been crazy. Absolutely crazy. Wonderful, yet completely packed with chaos. Who knew working full-time could take up so much of my life and capacity? Not me… I can’t even remember the last time I worked full-time (quite possibly never), so as you can imagine, I’ve been a tad overwhelmed. I don’t really have the time for a long-winded update. And being a mom who works full-time deserves it’s own post.

But for now… Here are a few bullet points of what’s been going on:

  • Being away from Josh is too hard.
    So hard in fact, that I don’t think I’m cut out for full-time work right now. I actually have come to realize that working full-time may not really be my thing in general, so maybe I’m just lucky to use Josh as an excuse? I have too many other hobbies… like serving at church, reading, writing and exploring my city with my toddler. He’s young and adorable. And I absolutely hate that I spend more time at work than I do with my baby.

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  • I’m in desperate need of a spa day.
    And lucky for me, I have some phenomenal girlfriends who (for my birthday) got me a gift card to a day spa down here in LA. It’s an AMAZING spa only a mile away from where I live. I have only been to it once before (last year on my birthday when they got me the same gift!) and I cannot wait to go again and get a spectacular facial. It’s cute, it’s bougie… it’s the best splurge.

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This is the place.
And did I mention they offer a complimentary glass of wine upon arrival?

  • Praying is my only real saving grace.
    I’ve started spending my carride to work every morning in prayer. And now I’m not sure how I’ll get through my day without it. I’m grateful for a God who hears, responds & never sleeps on me. He’s always there.
  • Books, Books, Books.
    From fantasy to historical romance to Christian non-fiction… My leisure time has been filled with books. And it’s brought me a great deal of joy. A lot of my lunch breaks are spent reading and it’s the perfect way to rejuvenate my soul.

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My most recent read. Loving it.

  • One of the biggest blessings this season has been finding a babysitter I love and trust.
    One who sends me photos & videos of my baby all day long. She’s taught my kid so much (including an incredible amount of sign language). And loves him dearly. I’m so grateful.
  • I wouldn’t make it without my supportive husband.
    Now that I’m away from home 40 hours a week, he’s had to pick up a lot of my slack. Little did we know how much less I could do around the house while working… Consequently, Nick’s had to do a lotttt…. Taking care of my dental bills… cooking dinner… cleaning dishes every night.. taking my iPhone in to the repair shop… he does it all. #blessed #nobutreallyblessed

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Yes, this is the steak dinner he made me ❤

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and then egg rolls from SCRATCH the next night 🙂

  • I dropped my phone in the toilet.
    On a lighter and more comedic note… I dropped  my iPhone in the toilet (never again will I carry my phone in my back pocket).

That’s all for now folks… I’ll write real stuff soon, I promise ❤

On Graduation & Overcoming My Fears

Finally! The day I’ve been waiting for. The moment I never thought could actually happen… This past Friday, I stepped on stage in my cap & gown and acquired my master’s degree in occupational therapy.

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What a long & trying journey it has been to get here.

Although many know the shear fact that I got pregnant during my first year of graduate school and had to take time off, most do not know that, at one point in time, I had actually decided I would not finish graduate school… that after my summer internship in 2013, I felt it was more pressure than I could bear and that it would be best for me to take a different route with my life. The time, energy & emotional exhaustion it would take to acquire my degree WHILE having a baby and paying endless tuition was simply not practical. How was I to finish grad school with a baby at home… no extended family around… and living off of one income? It felt improbable that I would finish and unlikely that I could even go back… So I decided I was done.

Luckily, I had (& have) very honest people in my life. People that listened and understood, but also pointed out my fears & questioned my motivations. They gave me personal insight and wisdom on how this might feel in retrospect. They encouraged me to go after my degree if it is what I want and to not throw in the towel simply because my timeline got shaken… No one has to give up a vocational calling simply because motherhood came sooner than anticipated.

Looking back now, I can confidently say that circumstantial obstacles were not reason enough to give up on my calling. We are not supposed to look at every road block and merely say, “I guess God has a different plan for me.” Obstacles are meant to be endured and overcome. And although I viewed my obstacles, initially, as signs to stop, I’m so grateful I had people in my life to advise me otherwise.

And as a side note, I certainly do not condemn any one who decides to stop pursuing a dream. In fact, I believe that in some cases, it takes a lot more courage to stop than to keep going.

In my case, however, the day I decided I to finish graduate school was the day I named my longing and went after it. I said “YES” to finishing what I had already started, despite wanting to quit… I am overwhelmed with joy when I realize that I actually did it.

Graduating, walking in my cap & gown and FINALLY getting my master’s (my dream since I was 18) felt like a huge accomplishment. Despite getting married, pregnant and having a baby during my program, I cannot believe I am finally finished.

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to my incredible family, friends, mentors & all others who helped me get here and walked on this precious journey with me. I could not have done it with out your support.

Mama’s Day Off: How I spent my first day off in over a year

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hat’s me trying to find ways to display my newly manicured nails.

Like most mom’s, it’s a very rare occasion for me to have a day off. Sure, I’ll leave home to go to class, to study, to run errands. I have been away from home over night only twice since Joshua was born. Once for a friend’s wedding and another time to visit a friend who had returned from Africa after 2 years.

And although it is nice to go and get time for errands or studying or even for leisure, I am always acutely aware of the clock. “Okay, so I have 2.5 hours to spend. I’ll spend 1 hour studying, half an hour writing, half an hour reading and grab some groceries for the last half hour.”

As parents, you typically only get what feels like moments to yourself. And it’s rare not to feel incredibly pressed for time when you’re out attempting to rejuvinate.

So when I found out that Nick was going up to the Bay for a conference and that he was going to take Joshua with him, I immediately began to mentally plan what would be a full 2 days to myself. The first day would be filled with class, but the second was completely free. A whole day! No time crunch, no under-ridden guilt for taking an extra 10-minutes to myself and no fear of needing to prep dinner, clean & make sure everything’s in order at home.

Here’s how I spent my day :

1. I slept in.
Until 8:30 AM! I know most people would never call this sleeping in. But I certainly do.

2. I did yoga.
Without interruption or whining in the background.

3. I took a long time showering & getting ready.
And I ended up looking quite cute and trendy, if you ask me. This is not of the norm.

4. I got a mani-pedi
The first time since last summer! It felt incredibly relaxing & blissful. And it also felt nice to take care of myself in that way. Here’s a shot of my nails:

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I
 meant to have a gold sparkle, not pink. But I’ll take pink any day.

5. I went to Urth Cafe to read & journal
a) I got the Spanish Latte (to die for)
b) I got the best spot in the house. Outside on the elevated patio.

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6. I ran errands
Not my favorite part, but it had to be done.

7. I went shopping
Without needing to push around a stroller and rush through trying on clothes so my baby doesn’t get ansi.

8. I made dinner for 1
It’s amazing how much less time it takes to prep & eat dinner when you’re only making it for yourself. I made myself some chicken vegetable chow-mein. OH and I ate dinner in front of the TV! Which we never do with Josh!

9. I watched the Lizzie Mcguire Movie
Guilt-free! Not like the hubs judges me too much… but sometimes, you’re still dating in marriage. And sometimes it’s nice to get to do something you love that’s silly without anyone else there.

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I know this movie is ridiculous, but it has Italy, Disney, Singing & Dancing. ❤ it.

A few nuggets I learned (for moms):

  • A Day off requires scheduling & budgeting. There’s no way to find time off unless you pencil it in some time in advance so that everyone in the family can plan accordingly. And it helps to enjoy the day if you’ve already budgeted for what you’ll be doing.
  • I need this every once in a while. But not too much. I found myself incredibly excited & eager to pick up Josh and Nick from the airport. I really really missed them. a full day was more than enough.
  • Do something that makes you feel pampered & relaxed. I felt girly again 🙂
  • Dads deserve a day off too. They work hard both in and out of the house. I plan on trying to make this happen for Nick.

The Best Thing I Learned From a TED Talk

I watched an incredibly interesting TED talk recently that had me pondering for days about life, motherhood and eternity.

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It was by a man who was on flight 1549, the plane that crashed in the hudson river back in 2009 (all passengers and crew members survived, by the way, in case you didn’t know). If you’ve never heard this story, I’d encourage you to look it up. It’s crazy!

Ric Elias, a survivor of the crash, re-tells the moments in the plane when he realized that they were going down. He said that, as he sat there for 5 minutes thinking for sure that he was about to die, there were two things that he thought about:

1. “I thought about how much time I wasted doing things that don’t matter with people that matter.”

This hit me like a ton of bricks. I always tell my husband how badly I want to delete my Facebook… How much I want to quit mindless internet surfing and youtube watching…  How important it is for me to start doing things that mean something to me, in the truest sense of the word; things like helping people, loving the poor, the needy, the marginalized.

I realize how many moments go by that I am truly wasting doing things that, not only mean nothing to me, but don’t even bring me joy.

Why spend hours on Facebook when I would rather read a novel? Why waste time peroozing my phone while Josh is trying to play with me? Why do I mindlessly cruise the internet looking at nothing, when I could be spending time with friends & family?

I realized what an incredible disparity there is between what we say is important to us and how we actually use our time.

The second thing he said was similar, and really resonated with me as a parent:

2. “I thought about how, above all, the most important thing in my life is that I am a good father to my children.”

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I think all parents can relate to this.

He went on to describe how it felt going to his 6-year old’s art show about a month after the crash and how he just wept over her and her drawings (“even though they weren’t very good”, he says). He knew how precious each moment is.

I pray and hope that I can start actually doing things that matter to me and STOP doing things that don’t matter.

When Life Gives You Lemons

The topic of suffering isn’t an easy one to touch on… but I feel as though I have had much of it at the ripe old age of 25…

The sickness & death of my mother is always a first that comes to mind… and only one year after that happened, Nick and I got married and began (what we did not know would be) an incredibly rough and rocky first year of marriage… and of course, only 4 months after we got married, I was unexpectedly pregnant with our baby boy. This is all in a span of 1.5 years. Wow.

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These photos were taken one year apart: our wedding day and our one year anniversary

Who knew how quickly life could move…

I have had many unexpected left turns and MANY moments where I wondered, “God, are you even there? And WHAT in the world are you doing?”

But I realized something only a week ago… I realized that I finally understand what the bible means when it claims that long suffering is a fruit of the spirit, in that it produces spiritual fruit: kindness, goodness, love, patience & grace. I understand what James means when he says,

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that suffering produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish it’s work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything.” James 1:2-4

So exactly how have I been blessed by suffering over the past several years? Here are a few answers:

  • I am very aware of my brokenness-

In a good way, of course… Not that I constantly dwell on my faults, but that I’m aware of my humanness. I’ve come to realize that I am not above sin in any way, shape or form. I am no better than the people around me. And there is literally nothing I can do without the grace of God. This has truly deepened my relationship with God.

  •  I am less judgmental & more compassionate

Becoming aware of your own brokenness helps you accept it in others. I have been through so much and I have made plenty of mistakes. Who am I to judge anyone for what they’ve been through or the choices they’ve made? I am as much in need of God’s grace as the next person. The ground before the cross is level.

  • My joy is deep

Before my experience of intense suffering, my happiness highly revolved around my circumstances. How are things going in my marriage? How smoothly is school going? How are my friendships doing? Am I feeling healthy? Am I looking good? Etc etc. But when you go through any type of depravity or suffering, your joy cannot be founded in your circumstances anymore. It just can’t. Or else your emotions will always be haywire. I have found a deep joy in the Lord that supersedes any circumstance. And, of course, I fall back into poor patterns sometimes, when I focus too heavily on temporary things. But above all, I have a deeper sense of joy now. And it is far more gratifying than the fleeting happiness I relied on before.

On Repeat

 The past few weeks have been quite exhausting (to say the least). I’m back in school as a full time graduate student, while also juggling being a (sort of) stay-at-home mom… How do I manage this? I’m not quite sure.

I do know a couple things…
One is that I love being back in school DESPITE the excessive amount of work. I love my line of work and if there’s anything that could keep me going while I’m not at home with my son, it’s being able to practice occupational therapy.
Two is that I’ve gotten into a bit of groove. A good groove. It’s not that I’ve found a routine (because I absolutely haven’t), but I have found a few things to do on my snippets of free time (i.e. during Joshua’s nap). Since I made it a point to continue partaking in hobbies I love, here’s a few stuff that’s kept me going:

What I’m listening to: “You Make Me Brave” – Bethel Music (Live)
I have about a 30 minute commute to school every morning and this album is the perfect way to kill the car ride. Although most people would hate a traffic-y 30 minute commute to work, I haven’t minded it too much this semester. It’s my time to unwind, to pray and to sing songs of worship (which is what this album is). If you’re looking for a new worship and/or Christian contemporary album, definitely look into this one.

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What I’m reading:

“Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)” – Mindy Kaling
You guys, I am in love with Mindy Kaling. I know that’s dramatic, but she is unbelievably clever and witty. No wonder she writes for the office. This book isn’t anything too intriguing, but if you love the office, girl talk, and witty humor, this book will definitely hit all those on the mark.

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“Radical”- David Platt
So this one is way different than the book above, but it is absolutely rocking my world. I’m only a few chapters in and my mind is already blown. David Platt writes about Jesus and how Christian culture in America has molded him into someone he is not. To put it simply… he says,
“We are settling for a Christianity that revolves around catering to ourselves when the central message of Christianity is actually about abandoning ourselves.” 

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What I’m watching: The Bachelor

Every week. With a glass of wine and some girlfriends. Oh and we made a bracket. You should join in on the fun too and check out this hilarious clip from Jimmy Kimmel:

On being a full-time mom & a full-time grad student

Well, everyone… it’s official. School started on Monday and I am now both a full-time mommy and a full-time graduate student. Whew.

There are plenty of mixed emotions going on right now. I feel both thrilled and anxious to be back. Thrilled because I get to resume pursuing a career that I am extremely passionate about and I am one semester away from graduating. Anxious because, after an entire year of being home full-time with my son, I am now spending pretty much half as much time with him as before… Oy.

I miss him. I miss playing. I miss taking him to the park everyday and snapping a bajillion photos while he walks around and smiles at everyone. Kind of like this one:

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How can you NOT miss this little munch?

Many of my friends know that before I became pregnant, I really wanted to wait and have a baby at a time where I could take real substantial time off (even though I’m sure many people will say I was lucky to even get one whole year). I wanted to be a full-time mom for as long as I chose… But given that Joshua came sooner than expected, this wasn’t really an option.

Now that I have been back at school for a week, I am already noticing huge changes in myself and in my life…  pretty much everything! We got some good stuff, but we also got some bad stuff…

The good:

  • I have more compassion as an OT. Believe it or not, motherhood gives you a completely new set of eyes for people. I suddenly love every aspect of my job.
  • I have my own, personal goals again. Being a mother is great, but there are more things I desire to pursue… and I feel privileged to get to pursue my dreams, as well as enjoy motherhood.
  • I cater to myself more as a person. It’s hard to get up and get ready for the day when your job is actually best suited for pajamas and a messy up do (ahem… mommy life). But now I have to get up early. I have to shower right away. I have to put on makeup. I have to have breakfast before I leave and I have to make sure everything is squared away at home before I go. This has helped me feel like an adult again 🙂
  • I am better at managing my time. Now that I get limited time at home and even more limited time doing hobbies that I love, I have to plan… I have to schedule… I have to prioritize. And, might I add, I LOVE planning. So this has been great for my soul.
  • I get consistent adult conversation everyday. enough said.

The bad:

  • I miss my son. I really do.

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  • I get less time with my husband. Now that Nick and I are both out of the house a lot, the little time that we do get at home, we’re either playing with Josh, unwinding in front of the TV, or sleeping. Quality time with each other has become something that really needs to be penciled in. Luckily, we’re good at that 🙂
  • I spend less time pursuing personal hobbies. I love to read. I love to take photographs. I love to cook & bake. But when the majority of my time is spent either in school or with my family, personal hobbies tend to fly out the window. But I’ve decided to make it a point to do the following (so that I don’t lose site of things I enjoy):
    -bake or cook a new pinterest recipe once per week.
    -do a 30-day photo challenge with my Canon rebel T3i (more info about that coming soon)
    -finish Harry Potter 7 by June 2015
    You all can hold me accountable to these 🙂

What I’ve learned:

  •  I am blessed to get an education and do what I love.
  • I am eager to get my degree and just start working.
  • I want to master this balance between motherhood & work.

I welcome any suggestions from mothers! How do you balance motherhood & the professional world?