Author

theSAHMpreneur

Something Big is Happening

Then he said,” Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding

and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven.

I have come to answer your prayer.”

Daniel 10:12

 

I have never really known what I’ve wanted to do with my life.

In grade school, I always said I wanted to be a chef. I went to college starting off on the international business track. Then journalism. Then English. Then toured a culinary school and ruled out being a chef for good. Then finally settled on history, because it was something I enjoyed learning about, not because I wanted to have a career in it. All during college, I worked in various fields: retail, a restaurant, after-school daycare then retail again.

After graduating, I still didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I ran away to Germany. When I came back home a year later, I was still clueless, so I was a receptionist then a legal assistant, then finally became a teacher. After having William, I didn’t want to be anywhere other than with him, so I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for 3 years. During those 3 years, I always felt like I needed to do more to help out, so I sold jewelry (better believe I attached the link).

Then finally, almost a year ago, I started The SAHMpreneur with the intentions of passing on my “wisdom” to those wanting to be or already were stay-at-moms. Let’s be real though, most reading this were family and friends trying to support my endeavors. For that I am eternally grateful.

But for the last few months, since October 21st to be exact, I have started thinking that this blog is just a beginning platform for something bigger. Much bigger. Way bigger than me (or anyone reading this).

I haven’t been one who immediately realizes God is speaking to me. I still don’t know the difference between something God has told me and just my mind wandering. So that’s why starting today, January 15, 2018, I will participate in my second-ever fast. For those unfamiliar with the purpose of fasting, read this interview with a pastor.

God is doing something massive in my life, and in order to find out what His dream is for me, I need to surrender myself and items that are filling the void that was meant for Him. My prayers throughout this fast will focus on family and personal issues, but mainly to receive clarity on what God started telling me on that October day—the only thing I KNOW God directly said to me.

I will reveal more when the time comes, or when I, myself, receive more information. But for now, this dream God has for my life will be between me and Him, then discussed with my husband, soul sisters, and those I trust for guidance and wisdom.

For this fast, I am not only giving up food that has disguised itself as irreplaceable comfort, but I’m also forgoing social media for the 21 days. I will be doing an intense devotional, reading books that will help me uncomplicate the battle raging inside me, but most importantly, studying the Word—something that needs to be done as an adult and with a freshly-renewed Christian mind (since the last time I * sort of * did that was in high school, and let’s be real, I don’t remember much of those classes).

So I asked for prayers, and lots of them. Pray that I remain strong during the fast. Pray that I receive the next part of God’s plan for me. Pray that I remain obedient to Him and His dream. Pray that I find the aid I may need, when I need it to achieve this dream. Just, pray for me.

Please and thank you.

 


An Encrypted Compliment

I received the most meaningful compliment from my husband today, and I don’t think he realized he was giving me one.

A little back story…

If anyone knows my husband, James, you know that he likes things. He has books as decoration; tons of records that look cool all lined up, but he never listens to them anymore; a plethora of blu-rays, half of which he’s never seen; an assortment of random collectible (and some not collectible) trinkets, and framed pictures of which he’s made a giant collage wall (which, admittedly, looks pretty cool). I’ve known this quirk about him for a while, and I’ve accepted it.

In our house, he wants a place to himself, where he’s surrounded by a bunch of things he likes and thinks look sweet. I get it… He wants a man cave just for himself, for the times he just wants some peace, and to let off some steam. I support that desire—one of our rooms in our three bedroom house is all for him and his stuff.

Tonight, he came home a completely different man.

We were on the couch after William fell asleep, and he was talking about selling nearly all of his man cave possessions because he came to the realization that it was pointless to have so many useless items. He said he barely spends any time in his room to begin with, and when he does, he’s just looking at the TV anyway.

So, where’s the compliment come in? He continued by saying this: “I’d rather look at how nice *this* (pointing around the house) stuff is. This is more enjoyable to me… I guess I just realized what’s more important.”

Again, where’s the compliment, Sarah? Well…

I decorated this house. I chose the colors, the wall decor, hung our gallery wall pictures, and meticulously picked out our furniture. It took me three months after moving in this house to find the perfect curtains for our living room. I made this house a home, and he recognized that today. He acknowledged a part of my job that goes virtually unnoticed—the fact that I want this house to be uniquely ours and something we enjoy spending time in.

To clarify, he has definitely told me he likes the items I have picked out, or told me I did a good job decorating. But what he did this time was different. He appreciated his home. A home that he paid for, but a home I put together to make it warm, inviting, and cozy. A home that he enjoys being in. So much so, that he wants to spend more time in it and less time with random stuff.

And BONUS compliment at the end: “I guess I just realized what’s more important.” Oh, he’s good… He’s acknowledging our family here. With as hard as he works, he deserves breaks and down time, but his downtime has become more focused on me and William, and savoring the life he has provided for us instead of staring at items that have no emotional value to him.

There are not a lot of times where you get compliments or thank yous as a SAHM (or as a mother/wife in general). It unfortunately can be a thankless job. But often times, the compliments are there… they may be hidden, but they’re there.

So next time you get an encrypted message with finger waving/pointing, listen closely. It might just be your husband telling you to keep up the good work.

At least, that’s how I’m taking what he said! 😁


Absolute Contentment: Love the Life You Live

As a SAHM, life can get lonely, despite having little people around—no one is there to empathize with what you’re going through (which is why mommy friends come in handy). Routines can also become a monotonous lull of wake, feed, clean, feed, errands, feed, [hopefully] sleep and repeat. Money can become tight and the mommy guilt sets in about not having a job and not bringing in the income that college degree indicates you could bring in. Then there are the times where no amount of chocolate or wine can heal the emotional train wreck that is you at the end of a very long, trying day.

When all you need is a break from your motherly and wifely duties, you sit down and whip out your phone and start browsing Facebook and Instagram.  Then, it starts:

“Look how well-behaved their kid is. Why can’t mine be like that?”

“I love that outfit. I wish I could pull something like that off.”

“They are always traveling. How do they get to do that? I want to go on vacation so bad.”

“That kid is eating spinach and sweet potatoes and salmon, and my kid just dunked broccoli in ketchup and only licked the ketchup.”

“Oh my gosh, that house. It’s huge and beautiful and decorated just how I want mine. Ugh.”

“She’s had 3 kids and looks like a high school cheerleader. I’ve had one, three years ago, and I still waddle when I walk.”

“Wait, she’s a SAHM and can buy all organic food, AND gets her hair done every 4 weeks, AND drives a brand new SUV, AND goes to Orange Theory every morning? How the heck…”

Coveting. Envy. Jealousy. Unhappiness. That is all that comes from these types of statements (queue the depression). And I will be the first to admit, I do it. All. The. Time.

I go to relax after already stressing out during the day, then tap those annoying rainbow camera and F icons just to get more upset by thinking about things I DON’T have.

What’s worse is that I sometimes do this “complaining” while my husband is sitting next to me. Not only am I hurting myself with all those sinful thoughts, but I also really upset him. It makes him feel like what he has provided for our family isn’t enough. It makes him feel like I’m constantly disappointed or unsatisfied with how my life turned out. It makes him feel inadequate and like a failure.

I don’t do it intentionally. It just happens. Sometimes I don’t even realize what I’m saying until I look over and see James’ pursed-lips-look of annoyance. He knows I don’t mean to hurt him and he knows I appreciate everything he has done for us, but that still doesn’t mean it doesn’t upset him.

Ecclesiastes 6:1-2 says:

 

“I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on mankind:

God gives some people wealth, possessions and honor,

so that they lack nothing their hearts desire,

but God does not grant them the ability to enjoy them, and strangers enjoy them instead.

This is meaningless, a grievous evil.”

 

Meaningless. It is utterly meaningless to act this way. It causes more harm than good (when does it ever cause good, really?), and accomplishes nothing.

But you know what isn’t meaningless?

 

“A man may have a hundred children and live many years;

yet no matter how long he lives,

if he cannot enjoy his prosperity and does not receive proper burial,

I say that it would have been better for him to be born dead.” 

Ecclesiastes 6:3

 

(That’s some tough love coming from Solomon…)

Children. Family. Life itself. The most meaningful things in the world. If you have any of these, then being jealous by coveting what others have is pointless!

I know it’s so hard to think positively in this day and age. But try to think about what you’re not seeing on all these social media accounts… you’re not seeing the bad.

We have no idea what those people are actually going through. We have no idea how hard someone may work to provide that SAHM her cushy lifestyle. We have no idea how long that couple may have saved up to go on all these adventures.

We have no idea. Period. So lose the why can’t’s and I wish’s. There are two ways to start on the path of absolute contentment:

  1. If you see something that is tugging at your jealousy, “like” the picture. Maybe even add your own encouraging comment or just a friendly emoji (if you’re trying really hard to be nice, but can’t conjure up a positive sentence). You never know… that like or comment might just brighten up that particular person’s day, because (again) you have no idea what’s really going on with them.
  2. If you can’t start thinking positively and being happy with your life while scrolling through social media, then don’t hesitate–delete those apps. You are putting a wedge between you and absolute contentment by constantly comparing what you have or don’t have to what others appear to have.

BE CONTENT with what you have.

So much wasted time is had by just scrolling through social media. Wouldn’t it be nice if you closed out of those apps with a smile, instead of bitter and annoyed at what you don’t have? This is something I’m constantly working on, and constantly praying about. It’s not an easy task to focus on when we live in a time where people “do it for the Insta”, but changing your way of thinking is life-changing.

Contentment IS life-changing. When you’re content with your possessions and your life, you’re able to enjoy it more. Wouldn’t that be nice? Just to sit back and enjoy what God has given you?

“Love The Life You Live” bracelet, along with tangible evidence of how hard my husband works and how he unnecessarily spoils me…

I have a bracelet that my German family gave me for my birthday that I wear almost everyday. It’s a rose gold bangle with the phrase “love the life you live” carved out of it. I love it because it’s a great reminder to stop obsessing with things I don’t have, and literally love everything about the life I currently live (plus it’s cute). If you need a reminder like that with you all the time, get a bracelet, a ring, necklace, t-shirt, something. Heck, get a tattoo.

 

“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”

Proverbs 14:30

 

Start focusing on what you do have and start enjoying the time you have on this earth with what you already have. It’s hard as a SAHM, I know. But just know that you are at home for a reason—to raise healthy, God-fearing, strong, kind, independent, fun, loving children, and to be a partner to your husband in the business called marriage. This is just a small phase of your life so it needs to be treasured before your kids grow and don’t need you as much.

If you have a place to live, food on your table, clothes on your bod, and family and friends, you are blessed. Be absolutely content with what you have… LOVE THE LIFE YOU LIVE.


Dear William: Happy 3rd Birthday

My dear, precious William,

This past year, your dad and I watched you grow from a mumbling, babbling, chubby toddler to a half-grown, full sentence-speaking, energetic little boy.


Your once-chubby face, legs and tummy have started thinning out, so instead of cuddling with my squishy baby, I get elbowed in the stomach and kneed in the legs from you trying to wrestle with me. By the way, I always win.

You’ve transferred to a big boy bed and somehow you still end up in bed with mama and daddy. Which, in all honesty, I’m okay with, because instead of having several walls between us, you’re right next to me… I feel better about your safety when you’re lying beside me.

You’re still very shy, but you’re still friendly and polite, knowing when to say please and thank you and even “excuse me.” Yes/no ma’am/sir have also become a habit.

A big achievement this year has been your conquered fear of getting your hair cut. From kicking and screaming to calmly sitting still and sucking a lollipop, you made mama so proud that day.

Counting to 31, reciting and recognizing your alphabet, starting to write, organizing your toys by color and shape, speaking almost complete sentences, starting to draw shapes… you’re getting smarter everyday and I love that I get to witness that.

You’re such an awesome helper. You help mama clean and put away dishes, and help make dinner. One of your favorite things is to earn stars on your chore chart, and I love watching you light up when you know you did something good.

You proved to mama just how great of a kid you are by being a perfect angel on your first toddler road trip to Atlanta. But it also showed me that you still need naps… #grumpygills.

You love watching Moana, playing with all kinds of cars and trucks, putting together (and throwing all over the room) puzzles, kicking soccer balls and throwing baseballs, and playing basketball with daddy, and singing along to KLOVE in the car with mama. With all these interests, I can’t wait to see what path you decide to follow in life.

But for now, you’re still my baby. I’m not going to rush your growing up. I want you to stay little for as long as you can. I will do my best to encourage you to do your best every single day. I promise to do my best to raise you into a God-fearing gentleman.

These past 3 years has been a learning process for you, me and daddy, but you have shown us that our love for you is unconditional. You have jumped on mommy’s stomach bright and early in the morning and still received a good morning hug and kiss. You make us laugh, cry, yell, smile, mad, and unbelievably happy.

Three years have come and gone—sometimes they seemed super long but most day it feels like you should still be a newborn. We could not have asked for a better child and we thank God every single day that you were given to us.

Happy 3rd Birthday, baby boy. We love you.

Hurricane Preparedness Tips

With Hurricane Harvey and the devastation he caused fresh in our mind, a new hurricane is about pound Florida and she’s not looking too nice. Caribbean islands have been flattened and flooded, and this monster is heading this way. Since we saw what one storm can do to a major US town, all of Florida has started panicking, making plans, and getting prepared for the worst.

I’ve been staring at Facebook and the news since this past Sunday, anxiously awaiting the impending arrival of this mean, old lady named Irma. With all exposure this storm is getting, I decided to compile a big list of some tips and tricks that I’ve gathered from my 29 years living in the Sunshine State, along with some I have seen on Facebook and other blogs. Besides your basics–water, non-perishable food items, flashlights, candles–here are some other suggestions to help your preparations out.

 

  • At-home filter. If water is hard to come by, purchase a Brita or PUR system, filter your water at home and start bottling your own. I currently have 4 gallons of drinking water from the store, but I had an empty milk jug and will soon have an empty apple juice bottle and I’m filling those bad boys up with water from my Brita.
  • Bag your own ice. Start (like, right now) bagging your own ice from your freezer. Put it in gallon bags and you’ll have ice at the ready if you need it.
  • The Quarter Mug. If you’re evacuating, freeze a mug full of water, then stick a quarter on top of the ice. When you come home, check to see where the quarter is in the mug. If it’s on top, you never lost power. If it’s on the bottom, you lost power for quite awhile and need to throw out your freezer items and (possibly) your refrigerated items. If it’s stuck in the middle, that means it was out for some time but came back on–use your discretion when tossing items at this stage.
  • Over-chlorinate your pool. For those with pools, you don’t need to drain your pool too much (because of what the water does underground to the walls of your pool if it’s not filled), but make sure you over shock and chlorinate it to prevent luckiness building up in your water and on the walls. Make sure you have lots of shock and chemicals for after the storm, too.
  • Battery-powered chargers. If you can get your hands on a battery-powered phone charger, BUY IT. It could be a literal lifesaver.
  • Busy box! For those with kids, create a busy box! Pack a box that is new for your kids, so having no power seems more fun rather than completely dreadful. Try not to pack something that makes a mess, because you don’t want to use more water than you needed. For example…
    • I have a baking sheet I’ve sprayed chalkboard paint on so my son can use chalk to draw on it, as well as play with magnet letters and numbers to put on it.
    • Coloring books and crayons
    • Puzzles
    • Go on your Netflix account and download movies offline (not all movies have this capability) and/or try a YouTube Red account (free for the first two months) that way your kids can watch movies and videos with power on an iPad or phone. Use your power sparingly though!
  • Update and protect paperwork. Make sure all your family paperwork is updated, in order, and in a safe location. Our homeowners insurance has recently been updated and I put the number of who I would need to call in my phone, just in case I need to make a claim.
  • Video your belongings. Go around your house and the outside of it and video all your belongings for insurance purposes. Then email yourself those videos (or save to Google Drive, etc) that way you have a way to access them other than just on your phone.
  • Use your dishwasher as a safe. I saw a tip that if you put valuables or pictures you don’t want destroyed in your dishwasher, there’s a really good chance that those items could be saved in a flood, since the dishwasher is sealed and waterproof, as well as if a home is damaged because the dishwasher is (typically) protected by cabinets that surround it. Now, I say there’s a chance because there were some comments on that post that said their dishwasher filled with water during a flood, but most comments were positive experiences. Again, use your discretion! Just don’t let your toddler push start.
  • Homemade Puppy Potty Pad. For those with dogs and worried how they are going to use the bathroom when its blowing 80 mph winds in your backyard, go to Lower or Home Depot, get a plastic kiddie pool and a couple squares of sod, put the sod in the pool and then in your garage, and you have a safe place for the pups to use the bathroom. After the hurricane, dump the whole thing and call it a day!
  • Fill your tub with water. If you fill your tub with water before the storm starts, then you’ll be able to use your toilets when the power goes out, and be able to clean up messes or wash clothes, if needed.
  • Leave no laundry. If that’s even possible! I know as a mom, it’s very difficult to never have any laundry to clean, but if at all possible in this case, try to have all clean clothes and towels available. If the power is out for days, you’ll always have clean clothes ready, and if you have some flooding or need to go over to someone else’s place to clean up, you have fresh clean towels ready to be used.
  • Know your zone. Look up your county zone map, locate your address and write down, save, or tattoo on your arm whichever zone you’re in. If your zone is all of a sudden called to evacuate, you won’t be rushed to figure out if that means you. I’m luckily not in a designated sone, so it would mean the storm would need to be a direct hit for me and my family to evacuate. Which leads me to…
  • Fill your tank. My SUV had half a tank this morning, so I decided to fill ‘er up just in case we need to take off. We also filled our propane tank so we can use our grill as a cooking method if our power goes out.

These are just a handful of tips to use to prepare for this storm. But here is my big one…

Be patient.

Every single person around you right now (if you’re in the path of Irma) is going through the exact same thing. Everybody needs gas. Everybody needs water. Everybody is panicking and worried.

Be kind to each other and help one another. Think positively. But most importantly, pray that everything will be okay, as long as you keep your faith in the Lord.

Be safe and prepared and ready for worst, but pray for the best.

 

Are there any tips I missed that you’d like to share? Tell me in the comments!

Summer Recap: Visits, Birthdays, and Vacations!

Hi there! I’ve been a little MIA because there’s been so much going on and everything came up so fast, that my blog got pushed to the side.

But I’m back and wanted to just share some pictures of the last month!

 

Many of you know that I was an AuPair in Germany for a year back in 2011. I’ve been back for five years and have been missing my little German family. Apparently they were missing me too because they finally came to see me! When I was over there, I only watched their daughter Lina, who was 2 when I left. Now she’s 7 and they’ve had another little one (Mats) who is 6 months older than William! Can we say “built-in BFFs”?! After they spent some time hitting Florida’s hot spots, they came to Jacksonville for the last few days of their visit (which included my 29th birthday)…

 

I’m mad at myself for the lack of pictures I took during their trip, but it’s okay, because I was too busy enjoying the time I had with them instead of witnessing everything through my phone’s camera. We only had two full days to spend with the Brinkhoffs, so I wanted to make sure I savored every moment.

 

After a family dinner the evening they arrived in Jax, the next morning we met up at the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine! Then we had lunch and wandered around Old Town.

New best friends about to feed the gators!

 

The next day was my birthday! We went to my parents’ house in Callahan for good ol’ American burgers and so the kiddos to swim. It’s exactly how I wanted to spend my golden birthday. We took some family pics and I had a surprise for my favorite fire truck-loving 7-year-old (with a little help from my brother-in-law, Larry)…

5 years in between visits is way too long!

I had to get a pic with my besties too!

I absolutely hated saying goodbye, but they loved Florida so much that they are considering coming back next year for their summer vacation! And I’ll definitely try to plan a trip in 4 years over there to celebrate my 10 year anniversary of being their AuPair!

 

Then July 30th, as the Brinkhoffs were on a plane head back to Germany, William, my BFF Chelsea and I took a road trip to Atlanta. It was the first road trip William has taken as a toddler (we took him on a 14-hour trip when he was 5 months, and a 9-hour trip when he was 8 months), so this mama was NERVOUS. I packed an overload of snacks, brought several coloring books, created a magnetic chalkboard out of a baking sheet and chalkboard paint for him to play with letter and number magnets, and brought along the ever-handy iPad. Well, William was so good in the car, the only time I needed to entertain him was the last hour-long stretch of highway on our way home. And for that, I whipped out the iPad.

The only real problem I had was for him to go to bed. I had to lie down with him because he wouldn’t fall asleep without me. And since it took so long for him to fall asleep, I inevitably fell asleep with him, thereby forgoing my adult time with the bestie. But that’s okay because we had a ton of fun each day we were there!

Our first full day in Atlanta, we decided to try out the Children’s Museum. That was the best decision we made. William was obsessed with that place. He watches a show on YouTube where this fun character goes to different places to learn new things and one of the places he goes to is a children’s museum. So William knew exactly what to do when he walked in! His favorite area to play was the ball area, where you put the plastic play balls in different tubes and contraptions where you can watch them move all around the room, then they spit out somewhere new. He spent most of his time there. But they also had a kinetic sand pit (I ended up buying some because I thought that stuff was awesome), and an area sponsored by Publix (if I didn’t already love them enough) where we can see how food goes from farm, to grocery store, to table.

(I purchased some kinetic sand at the museum, but you can find some here.)


After a fun time at the museum, we decided to head to the famous restaurant The Varsity for some good ole American fries, hot dogs (grilled cheese for the vegetarian!), and shakes. William wasn’t a fan of the hats.

The next day was a more relaxing day. We spent some time at the pool with Chelsea’s childhood (but lifelong) friend, Lauren and her baby. William made a new friend!

After lunch, we headed back to the hotel to rest then get ready for an Atlanta Braves game! It’s been a tradition for the last 10 years that overtime Chelsea and I got to Atlanta in the summer, we go to a Braves game. This year is the inaugural year of their new stadium, Sun Trust Park, so we were excited to see it. First of all, did you know a Sweet Pete’s factory and store is going in Battery Park (a little village you walk through to get to the stadium gates)?? Represent Jax! William was a real trooper staying up late for the game. He enjoyed it more than I thought he would!

Of course I had to get him his first tomahawk! You can find my ATL tank here.

After (sort of) sleeping in the next day, we only had a few hours left before we needed to start the journey back home. So what do you do in Atlanta that will be fun and memorable, but doesn’t need to take too long to enjoy? The Georgia Aquarium! That same YouTube channel I mentioned above goes to another aquarium, so William was unbelievably excited when he was able to see all the fishies. Chelsea and I geeked out a bit too. If you’ve never been to this aquarium I HIGHLY suggest you take a trip. They are the latest aquarium in the world, and their largest tanks hold FOUR whale sharks! There’s a huge room where you can just sit and watch all the fish, sharks and rays swim around, and we were lucky to get a spot right up on the glass. We could’ve stayed there for hours.

And no trip with a toddler is complete without a tantrum. Cue one in the middle of the penguin exhibit…

After that was all sorted out and we bought some souvenirs, we headed home. Thank you Chelsea for letting us come along with you and for being our photographer during the trip!

Another August Adventure was with family the following Saturday after we returned from our ATL trip. First Saturday in Riverside (Jacksonville) is packed with fun and things to do. The Cummer Museum is free to all on the first Saturday of the month, where you can view all the amazing art, walk the gardens (my personal favorite), and let the kiddos loose in the kid area. The only problem with the Cummer’s children’s area was that they laid out permanent markers for the kids to color with. Guess who ended up ruining a new shirt?? Yep… my kid. Anyway, after your journey through there, if you walk next door to the museum, under the overpass, you can enjoy the weekly Riverside Arts Market. We enjoyed the day with my mom, sister, brother-in-law, and niece Lena.

This summer has been busy and fun and trying. I’m looking forward to getting back to my blog on a weekly basis including posts on my favorite things, my homeschool preschool routine I have started on with William, recipes, and of course, my posts on motherhood. So thanks for sticking with me during my unintentional hiatus and look out for more posts each week!

My Marriage’s Guilty Pleasure

Confession: My husband and I watch WWE. More than that, we subscribe to the WWE network and have even purchased merchandise.

It all started the day after our wedding in 2014. We were staying at a hotel in Atlantic Beach for a couple nights before our actual honeymoon. It was a super dreary day, raining into the evening, so we decided to stay in and watch TV. Nothing was on, except for Monday Night Raw.

As we started watching, James was reminiscing of his younger days when he used to watch wresting back in the 90s. I, however, thought it was ridiculous and couldn’t believe people actually watched that mess.

Fast forward three days while on our honeymoon in California, we ended up watching Smackdown on TV. That’s right. The first four days of our newly married lives consisted of watching WWE.

I literally have no explanation for why, but we were hooked. Every Monday and Thursday (now Tuesday) we were sitting on the couch with cocktails and/or desserts watching grown men in tights and scantily clad-dressed women fake punch and pun-filled-named finishing moves.

And it slowly but surely became something I look forward to every week.

At least two days out of the week (sometimes three if there’s a pay-per-view on their network) after our son goes to bed, I get to have a sort of date night with my husband. We predict the outcomes, research the wrestlers because we’re nosey and want to know about their real lives, laugh at the outrageous “acting,” and get excited when our favorite wrestlers kick some bootie.

I know it seems crazy, but watching this obnoxious show is actually bonding time for us. We get to spend time together as an adult couple—no kid, no obligations. After a long day at work for James, and rough day of dealing with toddler tantrums and getting told “no” to everything, relaxing with each other is exactly what we need to unwind. We don’t chat or complain about our days. We just enjoy the nut show that is WWE.

Anytime we bring it up in front of family or friends, they think we’re crazy. We make references in normal conversations to see if the other one catches it, and just laugh at each other, because it’s something that only we, as a couple, understand and get a kick out of.

Watching WWE is something we both enjoy. We both have watched it without the other before, and we just don’t enjoy it as much, because the other isn’t there to heckle along or feed off reactions. It’s something we discovered as a couple. It’s something we do as a couple. It’s a guilty pleasure our marriage needed, and I’m not ashamed of that.

Having something—like watching the WWE—I think, is something every marriage needs. Marriages need bonding and a constant feeling of closeness, and that can be achieved by having fun and making inside jokes. So, why not have a shared guilty pleasure that guarantees that bonding as well as a “date” night at least once a week?

Listen. I know I sound mental talking about WWE. If you’ve known me for a while, you would have never guessed I would get into a craze like this. But thanks to my loving, charming, equally mental spouse, the inevitable happened… I have found myself dancing to The New Day’s entrance and throwing my hands up with Finn Balor… and a new-found, ever-growing connection with my husband.

 

If you and your spouse don’t have a guilty pleasure or bonding agent, might I suggest watching some wrestling… it’s better (and funnier) than you think!


Jack’s Dill Veggie Dip

**This post contain affiliate links**

 

You’re invited to a party. Everyone is asked to bring something. What do you bring?

Next time, bring this Dill Veggie Dip! It’s quick, cheap, and easy, and sure to be a crowd pleaser.

My dad has been making this dip for as long as I can remember. We have it at every holiday celebration or party. It’s become such a favorite, that I volunteer to make this dip whenever my group has a get-together.

For your ingredients, you’ll need sour cream, your favorite mayo, dried dill, green onions, and seasoning salt. For utensils, you’ll need a medium mixing bowl, spoon, 1/2 measuring cup, spatula, cutting board and knife.

Fine chop your green onions and set them to the side.

Measure out your 1/2 cup of mayo and add it to the sour cream, seasoning salt, dill and green onions. Then mix together. Try the dip to see if the seasoning and herbs are to your liking… you can always add more. But that’s it!

Serve it with your favorite accoutrements on your favorite platter (try this one or this one). I typically go simple with carrot sticks, celery, and chips, but you do you!

It really does seem to be enjoyed by everyone, even the kiddos!

So hopefully you’ll give this a try the next time you’re in a bind on what to bring!

 

 

Print

Jack's Dill Veggie Dip

The perfect dip for any occasion!

Course Appetizer, Snack
Author Sarah Lynch | The SAHMpreneur

Ingredients

  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonaise
  • 1/2 tbsp seasoning salt
  • 1 tbsp dried dill
  • 2 stalks green onions finely chopped

Instructions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, add sour cream, mayo, seasoning salt and dill.

  2. Finely chop green onions and add to bowl. Mix all together. Taste is to make sure it is to your liking--if you prefer more salt or dill, add more.

  3. Serve with your favorite veggies, chips and crackers.

Gaining Weight was a Blessing in Disguise

I listen to a lot of Christian radio. Actually. That’s all I listen to. Partly because it’s uplifting, inspiring, and encouraging, but also because what is considered “music” these days, makes me cringe.

Anyway, Proverbs 31 Ministries (a Christian ministry devoted to today’s women) have a short one-minute long message they do on KLOVE on a weekly basis (I’ve linked KLOVE and Proverbs 31’s “1 Minute of Encouragement, but couldn’t find the message I’m about to refer to). A few months ago, Lysa Terkeurst started out a message by saying this: “gaining weight was a blessing in disguise.”

“She’s lost it,” was my instant reaction.

Then she started explaining herself and I saw myself agreeing with her wholeheartedly…

 

Before I was pregnant, I never weighed over 120 pounds. The least amount I weighed in my adult life was 108 pounds, and that was when I came home from my year abroad, where eating healthy and walking everywhere was the way of life (not just a health fad… what a concept, right??). I was skinny, but I never would confirm that fact at the time. I saw fault in my body no matter how small I was.

 

Here’s where it gets interesting:

 

I gained 60lbs when I was pregnant. You read that right, 6-0. I was exactly 180lbs the day before William was born. Some who saw me everyday saw what pregnancy did to me. I was swollen from head to toe from month 5 until a few weeks after my c-section. Even my amazingly sweet teacher friends made a makeshift desk for me at the front of my classroom so I could prop my legs up and still be able to teach. Nothing I did helped, so two weeks before I was due, my doctor told me I should just take it easy and not go back to work because I could barely walk and I couldn’t fit my feet in any shoes or sandals.

A few months after birth, after the swelling was gone and my surgery wound healed, I landed in the routine of a SAHM. Unfortunately, that included sleeping when I could, eating whatever when I could, and the hubby bringing food home because I was never in the mood to cook. It was not a good mixture.

 

March 2015

I was larger than I’ve ever been. I was unhealthy. I was not me.

It’s been over two and a half years since William was born and I still struggle with my weight. I’m nowhere near where I was at the beginning of 2015, but I still have a bit to go.

 

But Lysa was right: gaining weight was a blessing in (an ugly and annoying) disguise.

Here’s why–

1. I eat better. My pre-pregnancy body ate whatever, whenever and was fine. After, things started making me sick and I kept watching my weight go up. It was a sad and painful slap in the face. I CAN’T EAT WHATEVER I WANT. I will have a slew of health problems if I keep that up, so I’ve started watching my intake of junk food and making sure I get healthier foods in my system more often.

2. I’m more active. I’ve never been the type of girl that can go to a gym and workout by lifting weights or running in place. It’s so boring and monotonous to me that I tire of it and just quit. I’m someone that has to be doing something where I don’t realize I’m getting a workout. Growing up, it was softball, volleyball, cheerleading and tumbling. These days, it’s chasing my kid around, going for walks and riding bikes to get out of the house, and a whole bunch of yard work (#homeowners #adultlife). I’m getting stronger and my building up my endurance without hitting the gym.

3. I’m teaching good values to my son. Because I’ve forced myself to eat healthier and try to do something active everyday, my son sees me making good choices. If my son sees me eat foods that are better for me, chances are he’ll eat it that way too. He’s still a toddler so most days he is very finicky, but hopefully he’ll create habits that will stick with him through life, so he can lead a healthy life too.

If I didn’t weigh more than I used to, my lifestyle would be appalling. Would I love to eat cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Yep. Have I done that recently? Yep. Will I do it again? Most likely. But that’s okay, because I just make sure I have nothing but fruit and salads for a few days after that, and then I go chase William and mow the lawn. Ha.

It’s okay to give into cravings every so often. YOLO. But because I gained that weight, I learned to manage those cravings better and to get some type of exercise when I can. If I didn’t, my health would be a serious issue in my life. That’s the LAST thing our family needs.

So yes, Lysa. I agree that gaining weight was indeed a blessing. That definitely doesn’t mean I’m okay with it, but it might have saved me from a life of unhealthy habits and from passing those habits to the next generation.

Motherly Advice From Pro Mamas

I haven’t posted much this month because God has been testing me in my first job, and I felt like I was failing at it. From pulling my back out, to my toddler’s first-ever bout with a stomach bug, to reevaluating my own parenting. So when I asked my Facebook community for some motherly advice–the best advice they could give about being a mom–I went back to it, and it brought me hope and made me feel better about this thing called motherhood.

Thank you to all the moms who answered my request so truthfully and graciously. I hope this makes a mom who feels drained and useless (or like they’re failing), a little better about #momlife. I know it helped me.

 

———

 

Something that happens once you find out you’re carrying life inside of you is that advice on EVERYTHING comes from everywhere and almost everyone. No matter if you want it or not, you’re getting it.

But, there are words that are so sincere and well-intentioned, and as I get deeper and deeper into motherhood, I’ve discovered something—they are unbelievably true.

So I decided to ask some mamas for the best words of encouragement they can give to all mamas (new and seasoned) and share it with my readers.

 

“Laugh, daily. Hourly, when possible. As much as you can. The moments go by way too fast.” –Lena Watson

 

“Tell [the kids] every day that they’re special and amazing as they grow up because before you know it, they’re surrounded by folks telling them that they’re not!”—Nancy Jacobson

 

“My mom always said that you can’t say ‘I love you’ often enough. She said it to my brothers and I a lot. And I try to do the same as a mom. And I’d give anything to hear her say it one more time.”—Sharon Lucius

 

“Enjoy your kids. They’ll be grown before you know it.”—Anita Hyde

 

“My advice would be, enjoy every moment you have with [your kids], go & do all you possibly can, make tons of memories.”—Jade Kilgore

 

“Don’t forget to take care of yourself because your family needs the best version of you.”—Angela Lynch

 

You will get advice like this no matter what. But the thing is, you never think it’ll apply to you… until you become a mama. I can’t stress the trueness of all these words.

No mom is perfect and every mom has their own way of parenting that works for her family. But every mom will agree that these things are the basis of raising good humans, and that’s all most of us want.

Make memories. Enjoy every moment. Say, “I love you.” Take care of yourself.

You’re doing great, mama. Keep it up.

 

If you know a mama who needs some uplifting words, share this with her. Hopefully it let her know she’s not alone in this, and she’s doing a great job.