I think, just maybe, I’m back. Maybe.

I completely understand the appeal to blogging for moms.  I finnnnally get the whole “mommy blogger” scene.

MOMS NEVER HAVE ANY TIME ALONE.

And yeah, okay, I totally understood that from the very beginning.  I mean, kids are living things that need you’re attention.  And that they take more effort to grow than plants.  And you can’t really just leave them all day long like you can a dog.

But man I just had no idea how much non-existent “me” time I get.  Sometimes, on my way home from work, I take a quick pit stop at Sonic and stay there long enough to finish my drink.  And that 20 seconds (because as soon as I get it, I start missing those tiny people who won’t leave me alone and I guzzle it down) is about all I get. Sometimes.  Because two tiny people means all the Sonic slush money goes to buying them things to keep them alive. Like shoes.  And underwear.  Because someone keeps peeing in all the clean ones…

But the internet sure does make it easier to have space to yourself.  A little tiny corner of the world where you get to decorate it and not have anyone tell you he doesn’t like flowers, or have matchbox car wheels drug through the paint before it’s dried.  A small little place that doesn’t know that you’re currently wearing clothes that have lived on the floor for the last week because all those dirty, tiny underwears take precedence in the washing machine than your shirt.  Even if it does have some sort of smear from one of those petite hands that stay dirty all.day.long even though you haven’t fed it anything in hoursss.

I totally get it.
MOMS.  YOU ROCK.

But that’s not why I’m back.  I’m not back here stringing words together because I just want a little bit of time to call my own.  I’m not sitting at the library once a week while the husband sits at home playing with our children so that I can play around with my very own toy that is kept far, far away from grubby little hands (that apparently stick playdough in the headphone outlet).

NO.

I’m here because in January 2015 I said YES to God.  I told him I wanted him to MOVE me out of the position I was STUCK in and into the position HE wanted me in.  I was finished with making excuses.  I was tired of where I was at mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  I needed some action verbing in my life.

So I said YES to a new job.  I said YES to a new house.  I said YES to scheduling, routines, and hard work.  I bought an actual erasable wall calendar so that we could schedule all our work times–and I hate those things.  The husband and I say YES to financial peace and financial discipline every Thursday night when we sit down to budget our money.  I say YES to my kids every time I say no to social media, tv, or other escapisms.

And God has moved.  He has moved me into an area of life I had no idea I could be a part of.  An area of life in which I thought would never have space for me.

But in this season of saying yes, and doing the hard work, and keeping up with the moving and not getting stuck, I have been prompted to say YES, once again, to this tiny little corner all to myself on the internet.

And I have no idea what it’s going to be

I know what it will not be.  I know it will definitely not be a place for me to get stagnant in.  It will not be a place where I fall into the trap of comparison.  It will not be a place for me to escape to.

This is simply a place I’ve said YES to.  For the time being at least.

And I make no promises about what you might fin

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Why I’ll Never be a “Good Blogger”

Because sometimes I post stuff because I want to, not because it’s highly edited or pretty.

Because my pictures are often taken on my phone (which is not an iPhone) or a camera that doesn’t have a giant zoom lens, or off a disposable camera.  And they’re never styled correctly or photoshopped.  Not because I don’t know how (although I don’t) but because I like pictures like that.  Like this one.  This one is my favorite picture I ever took and it’s a selfie in the middle of winter on a disposable camera.

fBecause I can’t get a following.  I try. Hard.  But I’ve never been able to get people interested.  And then I figured, why am I trying when I don’t even care?  So I stopped blogging.

Because I don’t have a shop.  I tried and guess what?  Totally wasn’t into it.  So we quit.

Because I don’t have an editorial calendar.  Mostly because I can’t work like that, and mostly because right now I’d rather just publish what I want to publish when I want to publish it since it’s the act of writing that I care about, and not always making everything chronological or in-line.

Because I suck at doing giveaways.  (Sorry guys!)

Because I don’t put my kids’ faces on the internet.  Apparently you’re supposed to and it’s a big deal if you don’t. *Shrugs*

Because I’m really sarcastic but in writing I can come off as sounding half-emo.

Because I’m never consistent with anything.  Ever.

Because I don’t have any tips for how to decorate a mantel, how to write an “about me” page, how to clean your room in 30secs or less, or how to check books out of the library.  Basically, I’m useless to any and all readers.

Because I don’t care about making money.  And I don’t know how to put up ads on the sidebar or use affiliate links.

Because I don’t know how to code my own website and I doubt I’ll ever buy my own domain. 

Because I don’t want to take blog classes to learn to be a better blogger.

Because I like reading blogs with good writing and less giveaways, like this one, and no one really writes like that anymore.

Because I’d rather write and write and write instead of market and market and market.

Life Lately

On going Paleo:

So far, so good.  We’re concentrating on breakfasts and dinners at the moment, and I’m already tired of eating scrambled eggs, so I’m trying to find breakfasts that don’t use eggs at all.  I’m also trying to find Paleo snack foods, since I eat lunch at 11:00 and dinner isn’t until 6:00.  My handy-dandy book says that I shouldn’t be snacking, but I don’t know who can go a whole 7 hours without being hungry.  I made these Cranberry Orange Muffins and they were delicious.  Next up are these Banana Breakfast Cookies and this Grain-Free German Apple Pancake.

My biggest realization so far?  How much grains and dairy I actually eat.   I was deluded into thinking that I was actually eating semi-healthy, and it turns out I so was not.  So if anything, going Paleo for 75% of the day is forcing me to up my veggie intake by about 23o32489384%.

On Adoption:

Our homestudy was approved!  And we’ve been matched with a few different sibling groups!  So far nothing has worked out, but I’m hopeful that this will be the month*

*I know I say that every month, but it’s because it’s true.  I really hope today will be the day, this week will be the week, and this month will be the month.

On the job:

Seventh graders are hard work.  Really.  I mean, I didn’t think it’d be easy, but their raging hormones and the fact that I’m a substitute and not their “real teacher” is driving me up the wall.  Some days I want to cry because I feel like a failure, other days I shout for joy because I finally got one of the too-cool-for-school kids to actually show interest and participate in an activity.  Mostly though I feel like repeatedly banging my head against the wall.

On books:

I’ve been re-reading The Hunger Games trilogy.  I started with Mockingjay, I finished The Hunger Games yesterday, and I started Catching Fire today.  I also reread Insurgent because it was on my teacher’s desk and I didn’t have anything else to do at the moment.

On the weekends:

I’m wicked busy over here with a mountain of a to-do list of things that I just have to have ready before future children arrive on our doorstep.  Which could be any day.  My sweet, cute, nesting phase of getting the house prim and proper and cute so that my children will love it and us has become a Clean All The Things! marathon to get my mind off of the fact that we have no children and any day they will be here.

I hosted a wedding shower for a sweet, new friend a couple weekends ago, and of all the parties I’ve thrown I really think this was my best yet.  It was cute and simple and she absolutely loved it.  Also, you can find that tissue tassel banner in the shop.

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On the shop:

If you didn’t see today’s earlier announcement, new things are up in the shop.  And we’ll be participating in a giveaway today/tomorrow.  So watch out for it so you can win something fun!

On the blog:

I’m taking a much more lax approach at this blog.  No more worrying about when I’m posting or having all seven days filled or having stuff up by 8am.  No more trying to develop content or revolving my life around the blog or checking my stats daily or working at it like it’s a job.  Instead, I’m trying to just go with the flow, and when I want to write, I write.  When I want to do more of a blog, it’s more of a blog-like post.  And when I don’t want to look at this dashboard at all, I don’t.  It’s a win win for us all, I think.

A photo wall and a giveaway

I’m still nesting over here.  And besides a second shelf and clothes hanger rod in the closet, the room is just about as complete as it can get before an actual kid moves in here.  But one thing I really wanted to do in the room is fill it up with some feel-good prints:  scriptures, words of affirmation, pictures of our family and theirs, etc.  I’m leaving a few frames blank because I want to fill them with family portraits and allow them to frame pictures of birth-family or foster-family that they want displayed.

So here’s the semi-finished product.  Semi, because I don’t really like it, but I can’t put my finger on why.  Help me out:  is it the lack of uniform frames?  Should they be all black?  Should I put the canvases somewhere else?  Is it just the blank frames that aren’t right?  Is it not spaced properly?  There’s too many holes in the wall for me to just try again, and I’m not a perfectionist (or patient) enough to do that trick with the paper and tape.  So what’s wrong with it?

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No matter how stupid it looks now, I’m still loving the idea behind it, and I can’t wait to continue to fill it up and flesh it out until it’s perfect.  And hey, how much do you love this “For this child I have prayed” print from Hey Normal Day shop?

I had emailed Lindsay a while ago asking if she’d like to partner with me for a blog review and giveaway, and she quickly replied yes.  Her stuff is beautiful, and I was nervous that when I got my hands on it it wouldn’t be as pretty as the pictures in her shop.  (Don’t you hate when the product looks better online than it does in person?)  But I was pleasantly surprised when I saw it! It’s hand-lettered and printed on some sort of glossy-type paper I think, because it has that finished look of a photo–sort of shiny, you know?  And I also love how centered and straight it is.  Most of the time hand-drawings are just a tad off-center and a little tilted.  But not this.

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In addition to sending me my own print, she’s also graciously sent one for my readers to win!  So be sure to enter the giveaway below and you could have the chance to win this pretty thing: And if you want more, be sure to check out her shop.

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You can use the discount code ADOPT20 for 20% off anything in her shop from now until March 31st. 

Here’s how to enter:
//One entry for each item done for a total of 6 entries per person//

1.  Like Slightly Overrated with a Hint of Lime on Facebook
2.  Like Hey Normal Day Shop on Facebook
3. Follow @caitlinmfrost on Instagram
4.  Follow @heynormaldayshop on Instagram
5.  Tweet about the giveaway and tag @caitlinmfrost

//You MUST leave a comment telling me which of the above you completed so I can verify your entries//
//Giveaway ends Thursday, March 6th//

Dear 2014…

2014

I know it’s barely December, but I’m already thinking about 2014.  I guess you could say failure to plan is a plan to fail, but really I know that so many awesome things are going to happen that I want to make sure I’m ready for them.

For example, my new (still untitled) eBook will be available sometime in January!  Remember all those posts about decluttering my house?  (Like this one, this one, this one, or this one.)  Well you’ll be able to find them all in my eBook–a much longer, more in depth look at the spiritual side effects of decluttering your house.  That sounds really serious, but it’s gonna be pretty fun.

I also have several projects I want to tackle in 2014.  More bold intentions, more goal-setting,  and hopefully some e-courses will be developed, including a workbook to go along with my eBook.  I want to focus a lot more on writing and journaling, and I’m hoping my blog and eCourses will reflect that.

I want to finally give a house tour, now that it’s almost complete, and share some of my diys or decorating projects I’ve done.

And most of all, I want to push this little blog a little bit further, and see what it can do.  I’m enjoying all the creativity that seems to be seeping out of me, and I want to share that and how God is shaping my life with all of you.

So, cheers to 2014.  And here’s to making these last few weeks of 2013 a really big deal.

Community in the Real World

I’m a blogger.  That means I spend a fair amount of time on the internet.  And between blogging, pinterest, instagram, and reading other blogs, and I definitely spend way more time than I should on the internet.

Which means I’ve read about and seen the coolness of internet friends.  I know the power of meeting people by commenting on blogs or following on instagram and I know that there is this shared community here on the internet that is inspiring and awe-striking.  It’s awesome that the world we live possesses this technology that allows us to communicate over long distances and get to know each other in a real way even though we’re miles apart.

That being said, how come we aren’t hearing about this in the real world?

I deleted Facebook about a year ago, because I basically find it stupid and irritating.  And since then I’ve missed out on countless invitations to events, conversations between clusters of friends, and nieces and nephews growing up from far away.  When I ask about how someone is doing, I don’t know about the stream of consciousness they’ve posted lately.  No, I haven’t seen the pictures from your last vacation. When did you get a dog?

In this fast-paced very techno-minded world, we forget about everyday living. That community can happen if you put just as much effort into it as you put into posting your twitter updates or instagramming your every meal.  If you just take your head out of The Cloud and start living in the real world community can and will happen.

It’s no secret on this blog that I quit my job.  It’s also no secret that I live in the second most expensive state in the US.  So you can imagine that between an income cut in half and the piles of student loans I will never pay off, life has become quite the struggle.  And yet, during this midst I am finding the goodness not of strangers I’ve met in the internet world, but of the friends and community around me.  Q-tips were randomly left at my door when we didn’t have money to pay for them.  Razors, shaving gel, and shampoo were handed to me in a bag from someone who wanted to clear out her stockpile and thought I could use them.  School supplies are passed over to me, even though I don’t currently have my own classroom.  I’m being trained in the art of couponing and it’s now become a social event and a way to connect and spend time with a friend.

So you see, the community you can find on the internet is awesome.  But, fellow bloggers and internet-users, don’t forget about the community around you, the community that exists with the people in your life group, the people who live next door to you, the people down the street, or the people at your work.  I think if we spent a little more time helping each other in the real world, we wouldn’t have to use the internet to fulfill this craving that exists so desperately in us–a craving to connect.

Just a thought for your Monday morning.

A few of my favorite things

DIYs

  • I’m searching for some bedroom extras.  Is it weird to have a theme bedroom?  Because I really want all of this in there.
  • I know I’ve only halfway made one quilt in my entire life, but I don’t think it’s completely out of the realm of possiblities to make this, right?…right???
  • house quilt

BOOKS, MOVIES, TV, MUSIC

  • The Fall of Five is officially out at the end of this month!  I’ve been saving my B&N giftcard for the purchase.
  • Did you know The Civil Wars has a “new” song out?  Listen to it here.

MISC

  • I cooked this for dinner the other night, after being intimidated by it for weeeeeks.  It was surprisingly easy and surprisingly tasty.
  • Don’t forget to get your free August calendar printable at Naptime Diaries!  I’ve downloaded/bought so many of her prints I’m borderline obsessing.