The Year Without A Word | AprilNoelle.com

The Year Without a Word

I’ve done it all, lengthy goal lists, SMART goal lists, and last year, I chose a word. We are a month and a half into the year and quite frankly, I can’t come up with a word. Therefore, I’m choosing to go a year without a word.

I love to create goals and attain them. I love to be able to use a checklist. Most of all, I love to feel accomplished.

The Year Without A Word | AprilNoelle.comSince becoming a stay at home mom, accomplishment comes far and few between. Even if I can get a project completed, it’s quickly replaced with a new one.

There are no accolades or meetings called because you managed to clean the house from top to bottom in one day. Worse yet, normally the response from the family often seems to be “great, there are some clean surfaces that I can dirty”.

The worse part of being a SAHM was the constant feeling like I had to justify my time. I had to do more than being their mother because watching my children for the day wasn’t enough.

Honestly, some of this was personal shame. I didn’t feel nearly as important as a mom.

But what didn’t make it easier was other mothers inquiring into why I wanted to be a SAHM (family and friends included):

  • “Don’t you feel like your wasting your degree?”
  • “Aren’t you bored?”
  • “Don’t you want to show your daughters an example of a strong woman?”
  • “What do you do all day?”

It took me some time to realize that my answers are, and should have always been:

No.

No.

I am.

Take care of my children.

I always felt like I needed to justify my SAHM-hood and just being their mom was not enough.

The truth, though, I was enough and I still am.

Funny, now that my kids are in school, I’m trying to learn how to slow down. I feel like I’m running in circles trying to keep up appearances, to keep busy.

I also, don’t want the pressure to do or be anything.

So, this year, I don’t have a word, no specific goals (except to actually lose this f**g weight) and to learn what it is to be a mother and wife without losing myself.

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Fight Mom Guilt

Moms feel an exorbitant amount of pressure to be all things to all people, especially to our children. This season, more than others, mothers try to shelve elves, decorate houses and buy gifts, all while keeping up with everything else. We have to work to fight mom guilt on a daily basis.

I wanted to let you all know that you’re doing a great job in my piece over at Lose the Cape. Please visit, read and leave a comment over at Lose the Cape on my piece “Mom, You Got This.”

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Also, I wanted let you know that my newest book will launch tomorrow, Lose the Cape: Never Will I Ever (and then I had kids!)! We are still looking for reviewers and bloggers in exchange for a free ecopy of the book. If you’d like to participate, please sign up HERE. The blog tour will be ongoing for several months. 

If you want to skip the tour, and get the book, I would love you forever!


This is an affiliate link.

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Just Plain Practical and Helpful Parenting Advice {Lose the Cape Review}

When I received my copy of Lose the Cape to review, I thought it was going to be another funny take on the humor of parenting.

But it wasn’t.

It was better. It was just plain practical and helpful parenting advice.

Lose the Cape logo

Bunny, Bee and Butterfly are my heart, but they are also my major stressors.

I spend my days trying to educate, motivate, feed, transport and nurture my children. In short, it’s really exhausting.

I wanted to read the book because I thought it would make me laugh. I didn’t feel so alone in the pressures of managing to be a full-time wife and mother while working to bring in an income, all while being a loving, kind and let’s not forget the Pintastic crafty mom!

Instead, I finished reading the book feeling empowered to solve some of the lingering issues in our house.

Lose the Cape Book Breakdown

The book breaks down 11 Modern Mommy Stresses and gives the reader actual and practical tips along with solutions.

In each chapter, a “stress” is presented and described. As you read, you think of your own accounts of the same stress and you can feel the dread overwhelm you, especially on those hard days.

Then, they outline a series of tips that can make that stress a little more managable, like Tip 4 in Modern Mom Stress No. 6 ~ The Spouse Factor:

Divvy up the work, including the “INVISIBLE task list”!
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I’d like to think that I’m really good at this… except that invisible, ever growing task list that I never really tell to anyone else, but somehow I expect that I (and they) will accomplish.

Not to say I never thought about this, I was confronted with the solution, a real solution, that maybe, just maybe if I did would make my life a little easier. I determined that I actually tell my husband that I need his help on these things ~ all of these things.

My Favorite Chapter

My favorite chapter was Modern Mom Stress No. 11: Finding “Me” Time. I don’t find “me” time. To clarify, I’m learning to find “me” time. I’m trying to have a little bit of me back in my life, my marriage and my motherhood. Where do I find myself though?

Tip 1: Make a “happy” list.

Really? I don’t even know anymore. I haven’t done things that made “me” happy in so long.

I would love to play volleyball, but how do I find at least five other people who want to play between 9-10 p.m.?

I try to read, but I find myself falling asleep. I try to

I would love to get a massage, but those cost money.

I’m in search for “me” and making time is essential, regardless of whether I know who “me” is anymore.

Lose the Cape made me laugh about my experiences, reconsider how I manage my household and think about thing that would make my life easier.

Lose the Cape is a necessary read for any mom.

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Turn It Up Tuesday {35} features Ways to Unplug, Chore Charts, and Living a Minimalist Lifestyle

Welcome to the 35th week of Turn It Up Tuesday!

Thanks so much to everyone that joins us each week and makes this blog hop the best that it could be!

As you may know, Turn It Up Tuesdays is all about being happy, excited, energetic…and having fun! Link up your favorite posts and meet some awesome bloggers in return! Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all, as long as it is family-friendly. We want to laugh, be entertained, be inspired, and have a good time!

SPONSOR OF THE MONTH

Angie from God’s Growing Garden

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In addition to being our fabulous guest host this month, Angie is also an amazing blogger. With over 40 years experience gardening, cooking, baking & canning, Angie can definitely be considered somewhat of an expert in her field. Her blog, God’s Growing Garden, focuses on helping her fellow ‘backyard farmers’ and features some great blog hops including The Great Blog Train and Wake Up Wednesday Link Party. Angie is also celebrating her 3rd blogiversary with a big giveaway…make sure to sign up!

Are you interested in having your blog or website featured in this spot? Then, sponsor Turn It Up Tuesday for a month! Click here! It’s only $5 for an entire month!
Use promo code: MAYFLOWERS all month for 50% off!

Welcome the lovely ladies of Turn It Up Tuesday!

TUT Hosts 5.8.14

And welcome our awesome guest hosts for May!

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Interested in being a guest host or becoming a permanent co-host?

Complete the form here! Monthly co-hosts will be chosen on a first come first-serve basis. We’re now accepting guest hosts for June and July.

Here are the Featured posts from last week!

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Cindy chose Recharge Your Life: Unplug from Anni’s Bubble. “We are working hard to be unplugged in the evenings around here. My laptop no longer is a fixture on my lap in the living room while watching TV with the family. Unless I am home alone my laptop goes off at 5pm daily and I seldom check my phone, unless I get a text (since my youngest son is a missionary traveling the US, I always check my texts and phone calls). My unplugged evenings allow me to be in the moment with my family and I find I am more refreshed in the morning!”

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Rhonda chose Scrapbooking (written by our very own Cathy from A Peek Into My Paradise) on Katherine’s Corner. “I love preserving photos of my family and this blogger shares very creative ideas for scrapbooking those memories.”

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Angie chose Turning Old Luggage Into A Works of Art from Simple Nature Decor. “I just love that suitcase planter & that is why I picked this post as my favorite this week – I’ve seen a lot of things used as planters but never a suitcase – totally original & cool!”

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Katie chose Work for Hire DIY Chore Chart from My Love For Words. “This is a great idea! It teaches kids about money, it gets them doing chores and helping out around the house AND its adorable! When my kiddos get a bit older, we’re going to implement this great idea! Love it!”

Rachel also chose this post. “I love how organized and cute this chore chart is! I also love that the chores can be changed out based on what it needed to be done.”

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Karen chose Pretty Storage Box from Making Our Sustainable Life. “This project is very clever and something that anyone could try. Who would have thought a cardboard box could be so attractive and useful!”

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Gurvy chose S’mores – 7 Recipe Variations! from Grandparents Plus. “S’mores 7 recipe variation because s’mores are my weakness so of course the picture caught my attention, the post shared beautiful yummy pics of various s’mores that are so simple to create and enjoy!”

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Jillian chose Living a Minimalist Lifestyle from Snippets of Inspiration. “I chose this week’s favorite because I really want my family to start going down a path of living a minimalistic lifestyle. This post gives me good directions on how to get this started.”

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Jessica chose My Grocery Shopping Time-Saving Strategy from The Brown Girl with Long Hair. “I HATE grocery shopping! Especially with a 3 year old! Yuck!! That’s why I love Courtney’s solution :)). Not only do I have to step into another grocery store again, but free delivery?!? Woo-Hoo! Thanks for the tip!”

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Stacey chose Ultimate Crumb Brownies from Bakewell Junction. “Brownies happen to be one of my addictions and I love to find new ways to have them. And I have always preferred pies with a crumb topping. These look absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing!”

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Ranjani chose Your Blog Needs Social Sharing Buttons from Mom Maven. “This is such a great tip and I am sure it will be of great help to new bloggers.”

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Carolyn chose Old Fashioned Rhubarb Bars Recipe from Little House Living. “I chose this post as my favorite because even just the word, “rhubarb” reminds me of the fabulous desserts my grandma used to make. This dessert looks amazing, I can’t wait to try it out!”

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Natasha chose How do you curb your enthusiasm? from The Brown Girl with Long Hair. “Anyone who knows me knows that I cannot curb my enthusiasm. If something is even remotely amusing, I will fall out of my chair laughing almost immediately. Plus, I’ve been told that my laugh is highly contagious, so it just makes it even worse to hurt the person’s feelings. After I laugh for about 15 minutes and finally catch my breath, I do ask for forgiveness though. If I was in this situation, I would literally pass out laughing. This is too funny! Great post Courtney!”

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The post with the most clicks is Eating on a Budget from Snippets of Inspiration.

If you were featured above, feel free to share the badge below with pride on your blog or website!

Epic Mommy Adventures

 

And the Best of the Best is…

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Recharge Your Life: Unplug from Anni’s Bubble

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Eating on a Budget from Snippets of Inspiration

 

As the Best of the Best, you win free ad space on Epic Mommy Adventures for 30 days! Please showcase the badge below with pride on your blog!

Please send an e-mail to Natasha at 1EpicMommy @ gmail.com and she will provide you with all the details!

Epic Mommy Adventures

Just one more thing…

Natasha at Epic Mommy Adventures has been nominated for voiceBoks Top Single Parent Blogs!!! She is in the top 50 right now, but would really appreciate your vote to help her be in the top 10!

Click here to vote for her! It would be greatly appreciated!

So now that you’ve seen the Featured and the Best of the Best, met our hosts and co-hosts, and heard about Natasha’ nomination…

let’s get started!

  • Show some love to your hosts and co-hosts simply by following them on social media and leaving a comment so they can follow you back.
  • Link up as many posts as you’d like! The more, the merrier!
  • Check out some of the other posts and make some new friends!

Grab the button below and showcase on your sidebar! Invite your fellow bloggers to join the fun!

Epic Mommy Adventures

Link up your posts, make some friends, and earn the chance to be featured or become the Best of the Best on Turn It Up Tuesday! We will feature the favorite posts each week!





Interested in reading all of the Featured Posts on Turn It Up Tuesdays? Or do want to know if your post was featured before we go live next week? Follow Natasha Peter’s board Featured on Turn It Up Tuesdays! on Pinterest.

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#AskAwayFriday with Christy

For those of you who aren’t familiar with #AskAwayFriday it’s an amazing way to meet new bloggers, make friends and ask some questions to get to know them better!

We now have four permanent hosts ~ Penny at The Real Housewife of Caroline County, Tiffany at Mrs. Tee – Love, Life, and Laughter, Amber at Bold Fab Mom and Stacey at This Momma’s Ramblings. 10 questions are exchanged and answered on your partners blog, you can get as creative as you want and even get into our purses!

 

The Real Housewife of Caroline County
This week I’m switching with Christy from Uplifting Families. After hurting her back and unable to return to work, she turned to a different type of work, educating the rest of us about breast pumps, breastfeeding, pregnancy and parenting.
Uplifting Families1.       What has been your biggest hurdle while trying to lose weight? Well, I had a severe depression, then two pregnancies followed by major transitions. So, I’d say my biggest hurdles were consistency and stability. Now that we’re starting to get settled, I can finally focus on losing the weight.

2.       If someone wants to lose weight, what advice would you give them? There are two pieces of advice I would give them. First, look for small victories. Be proud you made a change like giving up soda or going for a daily walk. Second, once you achieve that small victory, start a new one, and over and over again!

3.       When you are in a hurry to make dinner, what is your go to meal? Spaghetti. Ground meat (any kind), marinara, seasoning and pasta. Quick, and I can even toss in garlic bread for under 20 minutes.

4.       What song gets you motivated to work out? Nothing really like that gets me to work out. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy songs and dancing, but I typically work out to talk radio or the television because they stop me from thinking about what I’m doing. No matter how hard I try, a song is a reminder that I’m sweating and working hard.

5.       What are the ages of your children? What is your favorite stage and least favorite? Mr D is 9, Miss B is 2 and 4G is a three month old baby girl. Each child has been so different. Mr D, I loved when he was a toddler, he was so open to learning new things and so inquisitive. Miss B? I guess now is the best time. She is the calmest she’s ever been and you can tell that she’s really soaking it all up. 4G is so adorable when she’s just sitting and laughing. She loves life even at just a few months old. I don’t like any stage that means that they unreasonably defy you, just to push your buttons. It’s happened many times with Miss B, and in the last couple of years with Mr D.

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6.       As a mom, what are three baby products that you couldn’t live with other aside from clothes, diapers, wipes, bottles, blankets, and burp cloths? None. We were broke when we had my son, and quite frankly, toss in a car seat (safety) and a stroller and that was pretty much ALL we had. We had a swing too that Mr D liked, but Miss B hated. Overall, I think our reliance on “stuff” is too much. Now, there are things that I LIKE, but there’s nothing I couldn’t live without, like my Maya Wrap.

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7.       You just won a $500 dollar shopping spree, you can only spend it on yourself, what would you spend the money on? This is the question that held up posting earlier. I have a hard time spending money, I have a harder time spending it on myself. I guess ima do a spa day hair back massage manicure pedicure. But that’s probably not even close to $500. Go out for a nice meal? As this answer goes on and on, it’s getting less and less exciting.

8.       What is the best parenting advice that you have ever received? I can’t recall receiving any specific parenting advice. When you first have your children, people bombard you with that advice, and I just kinda tuned it all out. As an elder sister by 11 years, I learned a lot of what I want to do and didn’t want to do raising my children. My best parenting advice to someone else would be do what works for you.

9.       What is one of your favorite things that your kids have done for you? My son making me breakfast in bed by himself. Couple years ago, I was pregnant, extremely tired and felt awful, my son made me breakfast in bed. He made pancakes and eggs all by himself. It was perfect. My daughter, well, one of the favorite things she has done for me is have a non-fit throwing day. She is normally very emotionally draining with her stubbornness, and if we have a relaxing day, it’s SOOOOO nice.

10.   Did you have any weird cravings during your pregnancies? I wouldn’t call them weird. With my son’s I ate really well, mostly veggies and proteins, occasionally a fruit. For my girls, I had a sweet tooth, the sweeter the better. I’m still struggling to kick that sweet tooth, and 4G is three and a half months.

Don’t forget to visit Christy from Uplifting Families to see the questions that I asked her.  I hope that you have enjoyed my answers and learned some new things about me.

I hope you follow me on my weight loss journey through Instagram. Join in the conversation with me on TwitterFacebookPinterest, and G+.

Once you’ve check out my answers be sure to go by Penny at The Real Housewife of Caroline County to check out the LinkUp and all the awesome Bloggers who are also telling a bit about themselves today 10 questions at a time.

If you are interested in joining for the the next #AskAwayFriday, feel free to contact Penny or any of the other Bloggers already involved. I promise, you will get to meet and know some awesome Bloggers each week!

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Letting Go When the Grandparents Spoil…

A few weeks ago, when Lanaya (over at Raising Reagan) talked about her mom spoiled little Reagan, I pretty much brushed it off. Hey, that’s what grandparents are there for, right?

But then it happened to me.

See, until last week, I lived across the country from my in-laws, the grandparents that spoil my children. My son would visit every summer for about a month. He would return spoiled, but after a week, he would be back in his normal (sometimes snotty) mood.

Now, it’s different. He’s been spending almost every day over at the in-laws since we are staying with my SIL until we find a place we want to buy. There’s not a lot of space here, and they have space over there, so he stays there for days on end.

The attitude that comes with him when he returns is AWFUL! He’s a hot mess of a personality. Questioning every little thing… wondering why I would have the audacity to have expectations of him or why he has a BEDTIME!

This back and forth thing is different for us, especially for me. My family doesn’t really spoil my children, so dealing with this as a daily matter is SO different for me.

But I’m going to have to learn to let it go… because this is my new life, one that I happily chose to change our family dynamic. This attitude will come and go and I’ll have to have him reign it in, but also realize that it’s going to happen.

Letting go of this is not just about ignoring it but accepting our new surroundings and family support – which comes with the good (and the bad). I can guarantee, letting go will make things much better.

What are you letting go of this week?

Letting Go

 

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10 Day Challenge: Seven Wants

As I cruise the internet through other blogs, I’m finding some open ended questions. I realize that I don’t really share a lot about myself on this blog, although I’d like to, so I’ll be doing more question and responses on here.

I’m coming in a bit in the middle of this challenge, and maybe I’ll come back to them at the end, just to complete it. But, for now, I’ll start with Seven Wants.

1. New Car

Both of our cars are paid off and I’m very comfortable with that fact. Sometimes, I just want a new one, I envy those with the latest and greatest. But I know that I’m sacrificing for a larger goal – debt freedom. But as soon as I get there, this is the car I want! BMW X3. I will get there!

2. New Refrigerator

This is probably a need, since it’s leaking, but it’s on my wants list because it’s still functional as a refrigerator, as we’ve been using it. I love this one from LG.

3. Go to Hawaii

I have seen my best friend in ages. She has her own struggles and children and I have mine, but who can turn down going to Hawaii for a vacation!

 

4. KitchenAid Mixer

I don’t bake, but this mixer seems like it will make life easier. I use all of my appliances, so I know this will get good use.

 

 5. Maid Service

I have a newborn… need I say more?

 

6. Indoor Pool

I love swimming and I’d love to have a pool that I can actually swim laps in.

 

7. Happy Healthy Children

Need I say more?

 

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