The Minimalist in Me

Some will read this and think I’m crazy, others will think, “good luck while having kids!” No matter the reaction, this term has been on my mind a lot the last year or so.

I’ve always been intrigued by the minimalist movement, and I was kind of thrown into it last year. We decided to move, which meant showing our house. I needed a way to make sure I would be ready for sudden appointments. So I packed up half the house.

I got rid of things, and I boxed things up and put them in closets. I reduced the dishes I had out to two of everything (because only Joey and I were using them at that point) and packed the rest. I put away all but a few toys so cleaning the toy mess was simple, and looked nice once cleaned up. I made simple meals so that the kitchen never got too messy. I of course cleaned as I cooked and prepped, but never letting it get too crazy in the first place allowed days of exhaustion, frustration, and baby meltdowns didn’t hinder having a quick clean up.

After doing this for a couple of months until our house sold, I realized how much I loved it! It was so nice having less to do around the house to keep it nice. Especially while having a kid, expecting another, and never knowing when being a mom would mean letting the house take a back seat to my kids!

Eventually I discovered Allie and the Facebook group she created for Purposeful MomLife. I never invested in her material, but I’ve read through a lot of her blog and the group itself. Her ideas instantly resonated with me. Clutter and STUFF was filling my life and time, when I really wanted to be filling my life and time with things I loved…like family, being outdoors, photography, travel, etc.

When we moved to our new house in January, I started pairing down. It wasn’t really new for me. I always purge after a move. Nothing makes me want to get rid of things quite like having to box it all up, move it, and unpack it all! I paired down our dishes and purged our kitchenware. I don’t need 10 of everything! Why were we holding on to things we hadn’t even used in years…even for large gatherings? It’s was just taking up space and stressing me out.

Why do my kids (only one at that point, but now two) need a million clothes?! Yes, they had a million. A MILLION! I paired down to 4 pairs of PJs and maybe 7-10 outfits that fit. I keep them in a laundry basket on a shelf in my closet. Easy access, limited space, no folding or hanging needed. Power to the awesome moms that fold, hang, sort, and/or iron their kids clothes. It looks awesome and I love it in photos, but this mama just doesn’t value it enough to take the time to do it. The way we wear and use clothes, it doesn’t matter if they are wrinkled…or even matching.

I cloth diaper…which does sometimes make me itch with how much “stuff” it accumulates, but I love it more than disposables, so it stays. I have my seasons where cloth diapering can wear thin…like when Little Man was peeing through EVERYTHING…and while Itty Bitty is pretty tiny. He’s just now starting to get to a good size where I find my cloth fitting him well. He’s been in mostly cloth for about a month.

I paired down our towels to 2 per person and 4 guest towels. We have 2 hand towels for each bathroom. I weeded through the toys and paired down greatly and removed about half to rotate out later. Little Man hardly plays with toys at home, and his favorite “game” is dumping the toys and then ignoring them. I’m constantly going back through them and evaluating their value and whether they are even being used. Sometimes I will just put some away to see if I change my mind or toss them in the long car trip toy bag for distraction, and sometimes I send them off to Goodwill immediately.

I’ve also simplified our meals. I’ve meal planned for years, but now we have three of the same meals each week and I just rotate other meals in between them. It gives us some variety, but also some simple meals each week. I’m getting ready to overhaul our meal planning even more to be even more simple. I will write about that after I figure it out the details and see how it goes!

I don’t want to spend my days drowning in laundry, dishes, and cooking. I want my kiddos to have healthy, delicious food, and clothes on their back…most of the time, but I also want to focus on spending time with my kids playing, laughing, exploring, and reading, and I want my down time spent doing things that fulfill me instead of drain me.

All this does is allow for a more peaceful, simple home life full of quality time. This is my hope and dream for my life and our family. Hopefully it continues on for years to come!


From a Family of Three to a Family of Four | The Birth of Itty Bitty

At 40 weeks and 5 days, our second baby boy decided to make his appearance! It was the day before my scheduled non-stress test and possible membrane sweep. I prayed all weekend to avoid that appointment, and everything fell into place!

My mother came down that day at the urging of her hubby (thanks Mike!) due to my appointment the following day. Of course at the time I didn’t know that she already had a flight scheduled. I had sent her and my sister a text that morning saying I was cramping, but who knows if it would turn into anything. (I had had a few different days of cramping that turned into nothing, so I was trying not to get my hopes up!)

My mother showed up at my door just before 3. I hadn’t even known at that point if she was really coming. I called the midwife just before 5 to see if I should come in. I hated the idea of waiting to “bother” then after hours, since I wasn’t convince, yet again, that it was true labor. I was convinced my cramping wasn’t regular enough. The midwife said it was up to me, but that she was there with another mama, so she’d be there if I came or not.

We got there around 5:30 ish. She checked me and I was at 7 cm. It was go time! Little Itty Bitty was born at 7:58 PM, and my mom was able to be there! I was so glad!

We left the birth center around 11:30 and were home in bed by midnight! It was amazing to sleep in my own bed!

We are still relearning having a newborn. There are things that make it harder and things that make it easier with already having one kiddo. We are navigating our new family dynamic. Little Man seems to adore his new brother, he simply doesn’t yet understand how delicate he is. It’s all a learning process.
Welcome to the family Itty Bitty!



Stop Buying My Kid Toys | The Abandoned Playroom

Ok, you don’t HAVE to, but don’t be surprised if he hardly touches it, or if it leaves the house.

When hubby and I moved this year, we were house hunting for a place that included a toy room space. Hubby wanted to contain toys away from where he spent his time in the evenings and on the weekends. I jumped on the wagon, thinking it was a great idea. Eventually we found a house that had a dinning room we didn’t need, but was conveniently located next to the kitchen/living room, so that I could keep an eye on him.

He hardly used it. Even if I was in there with him, he would move on quickly. It was kind of driving me insane. Eventually the weather warmed and we were able to go outside more, so his attention and energy had a better outlet.

Because bubbles are best eaten from above.

As time went by I knew he wanted to be wherever we were, which was not his toy room, so I moved a few toys to the living room. I land more in the minimalist department for toys, so I just had two bins: one for books and one for toys. I only
kept out what fit and the rest was donated or put away to rotate later. He plays with them occasionally (most often when he’s trying to look busy at bedtime), but still not much.

What do you do with a kid that doesn’t really like toys? He never really has. He mainly plays with toys when he’s in a car, and even then sometimes he prefers to stare out the window. (If you take him to either grandma’s house though, he plays with toys for days…even if they are the same ones as at home ?)

One day I was thinking about the toy room and started a discussion with my husband about how our kiddo is just more physical. That he would much prefer to climb than build, to explore than work a puzzle. Hubby agreed.

Occasionally we will “color,” or do a puzzle, or stack and tumble blocks, etc., but mostly we go outside, play in water, go for walks, climb rocks and walls, explore new items, kill flowers (we are working on that), or play with bubbles. I’m okay with that. That it just how my Little Man likes to do things.

Inside he loves to climb up and down the stairs and up, across and down tall beds. He enjoys closing doors and drawers behind me (Daddy approves!), and playing blanket hide and seek with Daddy.

I will say that more recently, since I have brought out the baby gear and placed it in his “old” toy room, he does enjoy going in there to bounce in the bounce seat, jump in the jumper, and carry around the floor gym. ? Baby gear must be so much more exciting when you’re a toddler, because I think he uses those things now more than when he was young enough for them!

So don’t get upset if my kiddo doesn’t have a ton of toys, or play with them all the time. He just prefers a different approach to the world, and that is okay. Will it always be that way? Will his little brother be the same way? Only time will tell, and that’s okay too!


Achieving My Pregnancy Goal

So, I did it! Baby and I made it to 37 weeks (full term)! I’m actually at 38 weeks and change as I type this. I’m so excited that birthing at my birthing center is a real possibility now. 

But now I have a “problem.” I’m in the “waiting game” phase of pregnancy. It’s so weird to be just kind of moving about life waiting to see when God will spring labor on me! It’s a new experience for this pregnancy! 

It’s also new being in this stage of pregnancy. I had only JUST started feeling uncomfortable in my last pregnancy when Little Man was born (though I blame that discomfort on trying to move into a house and prep for a baby so late in pregnancy). This time around I’m getting to experience the “joys” of the last few weeks.

It’s really not that bad, just fatigue and achiness. I could have it so much worse! I have simply learned that I can be really impatient about some things! ? Also, I’m ready for the swelling to stop because my pregnancy induced carpal tunnel is getting old fast! 

So now that all that whining is done, here’s to setting goals and achieving them!