10 Things You May Not Know about Me


I'm not putting a ton of time into thinking of these 10, so just know they haven't been carefully curated or anything. And it's entirely possible you know some of these things about me, either because I've mentioned them before or because you've just picked up on it from reading the blog or from knowing me in real life. But! Anyway, here we go: 

1. I have never taken an enneagram test, nor have I ever fully paid attention when anyone was explaining what the types are, so I have no idea what I might be. I'm not against it, but I've just never taken the time to learn about it. Is that resistance part of my enneagram's personality type???? We might never know ;)

2. I don't wear makeup except sometimes for date nights or for getting professional family photos taken or for an event like attending a wedding. Otherwise I literally put nothing on my face 97% of the time except some Cerave lotion when I get out of the shower. No foundation. No mascara. No blush. Nothing.

3. I have an intense emotional reaction whenever I heard anyone say they've either never read or read and didn't like the following books: Anne of Green Gables series, Little Women, Little House on the Prairie series. These books are my actual childhood and have been read so many times the covers are literally (!) falling off. This doesn't make sense, but if you tell me that you don't like these books or haven't ever read them, I take it a little bit personally.

4. Breyer's mint chocolate chip is my favorite ice cream. I have never tasted a mint chocolate chip ice cream as good as the Breyer's brand. 

5. Speaking of dessert, my cake of choice is white cake with white icing. I would choose it every time over chocolate anything.

6. I've had glasses since I was in the 4th grade and wear contacts every day. I'm a -5.5 nearsighted, which means that everything farther way from my face than my elbow is a huge blurry shape. I have never slept in my contacts all night on purpose, though I have accidentally fallen asleep in them. But I have never been that person who wears their contacts continuously for days. I can't do it. Plus it's bad for you, and I like to follow rules. I have an irrational fear about going blind at any moment so no need to add to the crazy.

7. I very rarely drink any type of pop, and if I do, it's usually Sprite. Jordan and I sometimes will buy a 12-pack of Cherry Coke Zero, and it can sit in our fridge for a month before we finish all 12 cans. That actually happened once, which is how I know. My parents were visiting, and we bought some pop; my parents left and didn't come back for a month, and my dad was shocked to find a few cans from the original case we'd gotten when they were in town the previous time. An occasional Sprite or Cherry Coke sounds really good with a pizza or a burger, but most of the time I drink water or milk with every meal. 

8. I wear a toe ring on my right foot, on the long toe that's next to my big toe (does that toe have a name?). I have worn it for years and never take it off, even all through the winter, even while swimming or in the shower, even while running marathons. I do think I took it off during my pregnancy with R when my feet started swelling. Before you wonder if it's fused to my toe, I do move it around, and it's not crusty or anything, pinky promise! I started wearing one when I was in high school, and after I lost that one I got another and haven't taken it off since.

9. When I was at camp one summer in high school, a friend pierced a second hole in my ears with a safety pin and a potato. Right after, we got called for dinner, so I closed the safety pin and didn't get to put the actual earrings in until later in the evenings. There were about 5 others who got their ears pierced too, and I think mine was one of the only ones not to get infected. I'm pretty sure we all got in trouble and maybe they even called our parents, though I honestly don't remember. I'll have to ask my mom if she remembers anything. I have 5 ear piercings: 2 on each ear plus one on the cartilage of my left ear, which I did at Claire's at the mall back when cartilage piercings were all the rage.

10. I've never broken a bone, gotten a traffic ticket, or had a cavity. Though I did chip my tooth on New Year's Eve this year, so I don't know if that's actually a worse kind of dental work.

Did you learn anything about me?
What's something I may not know about you? :)

Decorating + FB Marketplace is the actual worst


*No affiliate links are used in this post. However, I did get a free product in exchange for a review.

A month or so ago, a very sweet blog reader emailed me about collaborating to share about her new Etsy shop. Ashley and her husband own the shop together and sell, as their shop title states, "rustic and industrial home design" items. I told her that decorating stresses me out and also that her shop might be too cute for me, but I am loving our new blanket ladder in our front room! 

We've lived in our house nearly 4 years now, and I love the space in our front room; I don't, however, love the furniture configuration, and the wall decorations were nice for a while, but I'm ready to mix it up. I was worried at first about the kids trying to climb the ladder, but so far so good. Please cross all fingers and toes for me it stays that way, thank you!

--> Use the code AMANDA10 for 10% off Ashley's shop until the end of June! Seriously, go check out their cute shop. Ashley is super sweet to work with!

It took a bit for me to convince Jordan that our oversized chair needed to go. It's so comfy and good quality has been well loved ever since I moved to Oklahoma, but I'm over it. (It has ceased to bring me joy, you might say.)

Well, I'm here to tell you that Facebook marketplace is the actual worst. I've never used it before, but what's the deal with people being flaky? I've had at least 3 people not just show interest but actually talk to me about coming to get it, and I was literally texting someone last weekend about them coming to pick it up. She was all excited about getting it and how it would be great in their room, and then she just never came and never said anything about it. I don't understand. Is this normal? I don't message someone about something unless I'm basically certain I want to buy it, but maybe that's not how much people operate.

*I'm so sorry the lighting is so awful in these next ones. This weekend has been super busy, and I only got around to taking these at night! This is why I'm not a famous blogger (yes, that's the only reason. ha).

Finally I decided to at least move it out of the main area, and it's now sitting by our front door. Our neighbor came over to borrow something this weekend, and I was super embarrassed when I could only open the door halfway because we have a random giant chair sitting in the entry. I realize it's not actually a big deal, and I'm sure he thought nothing about it, but I'm just saying I have a complex about this chair now, yet I feel emotionally invested in getting some money for it rather than putting it on the curb for anyone to take. And by some money I mean less than $60! I'm not trying to sell it for hundreds.

Anyway, back to my blanket ladder (I think if you had a nice, big bathroom you could use it for towels probably too!) For now, I have the setup that's in the first photo in this post. Now I'll show you the bookcase in the opposite corner, which is from IKEA, and we bought it from my brother in his moving sale. 

My parents have the rest of the shelve hooks, so for now the bottom shelf is propped up by 2 rubber blocks from the kid's block bin (#classy). I have the world's tiniest lamp, which I had on an end table in this room and it looked ridiculous. The bubble wrap the ladder came with is stuffed onto the top shelf because the kids have been enjoying making a "runway" of bubble wrap and racing down it to make all the pops go off.

Please send me shelf decoration ideas! I see all these super cute bookshelves decorated so hip and fun, but when I go to the store I panic and come home with either nothing or more crafting supplies. Why do I overthink all of life? Send decorating help and also wine.

I'll leave you with one  more reminder to head over to Ashley's Etsy shop and check out her cute home design items. Use AMANDA10 to get 10% off if you see something you like! In the meantime, I'll be waiting on my recent order from Persnickety Prints to come in. I ordered a few things that might look good on the wall (key word might), and then I also (more importantly?) got more photos printed for my scrapbooks, because scrapbooking is so much more fun than doing actual chores after the kids go to bed. This is why if you come over, my house is a mess, but I can distract you with scrapbooks the entire time you're here so you don't spend a lot of time looking around.

Creative Outlets and Other Things


I did something kind of crazy this week.
I took pictures at my friend's home water birth.

For obvious reasons I won't show any pictures, but after panicking for weeks that I wouldn't be able to get any good photos because of lighting or blurriness or just the fact that I'd never actually been in a room with someone giving birth (other than myself, which doesn't really count), I think I got some good ones for her! Or, at least I did not horribly fail, praise the lord. It's not like you can say, "Oh, wait that's blurry. Please put the baby back."

I'm definitely not a professional photographer by any means. I've never taken a photography class or paid money for fancy editing presets, but I have always loved taking photos. R and J have given me a ton of opportunity to practice, and I take family photos for my friends on occasion for a small fee. It's a fun creative outlet! Although taking birth photos was definitely a stretch for me, I'm glad I was able to have that experience. It gave me a whole new perspective on giving birth in general and about my own L&D with R and J.
Speaking of creative outlets, I do not feel like home decor is an area where I excel. I see photos of other people's houses or go into my friends' homes and love how they have it decorated, and I'm like, I will do this at my house! And then I get home and draw a total blank.

Our house has basically two living room spaces, which I love because the kids have a lot of room to run around and play (although that's also more room to get messy and have to clean up haha). We've lived in our house for coming up on 4 years! We moved in just before R was born, and the front living room still doesn't feel finished. Hopefully that will change soon! I'll be sharing more about this in a week or so, but I'm excited to be collaborating with Ashley from ATZHomeDesign, which is the Etsy shop she started with her husband in the fall last year.

Ashley is a blog reader who reached out to see if I could share about their shop on the blog! She is sending me something that I think will be great in our front room, and I'm in the process of selling our oversized chair so I can fit a lamp and do some rearranging. I'm excited! She's been really sweet to work with, and you can use the code AMANDA10 anytime between now and June 30 to get 10% off anything in their shop.
Okay I'm out of time for this one. Does anyone else think, "I am so tired. I will go to bed as soon as the kids are in bed!" and then as soon as the kids are in bed I'm like DO ALL THE THINGS. I see the wrong side of 10:00 more often than I'd like, but time marches on, as they say. The days are long, the years are short, and the hours after the kids go to bed are even shorter. ha.

I was thinking about doing a "10 Things You Don't Know About Me" post. Would that be interesting? I saw someone do that recently and thought back to the days when those types of posts were everywhere in the blog world. I think I did one once, but it's been a while. 

For now, though, I will leave you with a shot of this red-haired boy. Don't want him to look back on this blog and think I only posted pictures of sister, now do I? ;) Although I will tell you guys for real: this kid sees the camera and sprints in the opposite direction! I cannot get him to face me and smile for anything. What a tease.

Coffee Date - March 2019


Hello! Want to go for coffee? I'll drink chai tea, because I don't drink coffee, but you're free to have whatever you like. Let's pretend we already talked all about you, and now we're to the part where we are talking all about me. Here's what I'd talk about...

The first thing that's heavy on my mind is that R is starting in a new daycare class with a brand-new teacher this week. They don't have a set schedule for when they move kids up; it's just about when kids under her move up and also her age/abilities for the class she's going into. Every time I get the notice that she will be moving up, I get anxious. I have been so blessed in that I have loved every single teacher either kid has had since they started, and I'm always sad to leave. But for some reason this time I'm more nervous than I ever have been. Like, butterflies in my stomach nervous. She's getting to be such a big girl in the big kid classes where it's more like, I guess like school, and I feel nervous for her.

I popped into her new class on Friday morning after I dropped off the kids and introduced myself to her new teacher. I know a lot of the teachers at her daycare since we've been there for over 3 years, but I don't know this one, though I've seen her in the hallways. It's always scary to trust my kids with someone new, especially someone who will be with them for so much of the day. I feel like I am constantly praying for Jesus to watch over them and thankful that he's with them even when I'm not. If you think of it, I'd appreciate if you said a prayer for R (and for me!) this week.

After I told you that, I'd probably tell you that just being honest, I can't handle when a mom who stays at home compares me dropping my kids off at full-time daycare to them taking their kid to the church nursery on Sundays for two hours. I appreciate that they are trying to make a connection and empathize, but it's totally not the same thing at all soooooo..... no.

I'd tell you about the book I just read Where the Crawdads Sing. I wish I had a book club to sit around and discuss this with, but I read tons of Goodreads reviews/comments and asked about it in my reading Facebook group, so hopefully that will calm me down. So many thoughts. Gosh, what a fantastic writer this author is. Truly stunning prose. I felt so emotionally invested in what happened to these characters. But I didn't love the ending. I feel so unsatisfied. Still totally worth the read, but I wish it had ended differently. (My opinion, of course!) Have you read it? Let's chat!

I'd also have to tell you about the book I read before that. In contrast to the one above, it was a disappointment. The author apparently originally wrote this as a screenplay, and as a result the novel adaptation was so boring to read. Terrible, tragic things were happening (because it's WWII and Auschwitz and it's horrifying), and I felt nothing. No emotion at all or attachment to the characters. Which is crazy, because it's based on a true story! Have you read The Tattooist of Auschwitz? What did you think?

On to happier things, I'd tell you that I ran 8 miles on Saturday! Or, at least I ran for 80 minutes, so I assume I ran at least 8 miles, if not a little more. My Garmin watch needs to be charged, and I just haven't been tracking my mileage and only going by time. So, really I have no idea how fast I'm running at all. Anyway, I have a half marathon coming up at the end of April, and I've been going to the gym 2-3 times a week, but the farthest I've run on the treadmill is 5 miles, which is not really the same as 13 miles. ha! 

I set my alarm for 5:40 on Saturday and got back right as the kids were waking up. I felt so accomplished! It was awesome to have my long run finished before the day was even started.    I know it sounds insane to most people to get up that early on a Saturday if I didn't have to, but I knew that if I didn't I would just be thinking about my run all day and planning things around it, and I didn't want that pressure on my one full day at home with my kids. 

Once everyone got up and around, we went to the zoo! The weather was 100% perfect, and we had a lot of fun. We don't often do things like this, so it was really nice. I packed peanut butter sandwiches, and we saw all the animals and got home just in time for naps (for J, at least; R straight up refuses to nap on the weekends).

I have lots more I could talk about, but I've finished all my tea, and I need to get home anyway. I stayed up way too late on Saturday finishing my book, so I'm pretty tired. Tomorrow is another week! I find the daily grind of getting me and the kids ready and out the door five days a week extremely tiring and challenging in this season. 

I'm trying to find joy and give myself grace, and while those are nice things to say, they honestly (for me) often feel impossible to put into practice. Like, okay thank you for reminding me to give myself grace BUT HOW. I feel strung a bit thin with our schedule and both of us working full time outside the home, and Jordan and I are trying to change some things up so I can take a few pieces off my plate. So far the small adjustments we've made the last 2 weeks have really helped! I needed the reminder (from my mom, who else?) that as different seasons come and go, you don't have to keep doing what you've always done. You adjust and shift based on the current needs of you and the members of your family. So that's what we are doing! 

Oh gosh. Per usual, I ended up writing about things I didn't intend when I started, and I'll probably feel self-conscious if anyone in my real life mentions that they read this. But whatever! That's half the crazy of writing about your personal life on the internet. Thank you, as always, for reading. If I didn't think there was at least one person on the other side of this, I probably wouldn't bother. 

Hope you all have a great week! Find joy in the small things, and give grace to yourself where you can. And if you figure out how to actually do those things, please let me know. Basically I just want to be this bear--napping in the shade on a warm spring(ish) day. Anyone feel me? ;)

What would you tell me if we went on a coffee (tea) date?