Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What You Wish Wednesday No. 14

It is that time again! Time for ...
ourlifeonabudget
So, grab a button, link up and join the fun!
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Here are some of my features, or favorites from last week...

For those trying to be a little greener…
Check out Jen's Healthy Eating and Reduce Waste Post
For those that want a little inspiration…
Check out Ali's post Who am I?
For the cook that is getting excited about fall…
Nicole's post about roasted pumpkin soup is sure to be a winner :)
If you are featured today, of have ever been feature before, be sure to grab the "I have been featured" button below, to share on your blog!
ourlifeonabudget
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Link-up details. It's too easy not to join in:

*share a recent post of your choosing (link-up at very bottom of this post)
*include the WYWW button and/or a visible link-back to this post
*check out the hostesses' blogs and follow along: StasiaLeslieNikki, and Melissa
*check out a few posts and share the love (pinning your favorite post is a great way)
*check out our bran new WYWW Pinterest board!
ourlifeonabudget
Follow Your Hosts….
Leslie:    BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | BLOGLOVIN'
Melissa:  BLOG | FACEBOOK TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST BLOGLOVIN'
Nikki:    BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM PINTEREST BLOGLOVIN'
Stasia:    BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST BLOGLOVIN'
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Monday, August 18, 2014

What we are up to...

For those that don't normally follow along our family has been in a bit of a transition.  You can read about it  herehere,  and here.  
My husband has been done with his internship since May and we have been {somewhat} faithfully waiting for our next step, waiting for God's direction.  And finally we know AND are able to announce what we are doing.   
We are excited to announce that Andrew has started as a college and young adult minister at a church in Augusta, Georgia!  And God has also provided me with another part-time preschool job!  It has been amazing to watch as God provided something we never expected in His timing and not ours!
We are truly excited to see how God uses us as we enter this exciting new part of our lives!
We appreciate all that have been praying for us! :)
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Friday, August 15, 2014

To the mom deciding between full-time work, part-time work and staying home… (or will make this decision one day)

When I say "to the mom"… I have come to realize every mom has to make this decision, whether they feel the need to pour over it or not.  And maybe it is not a hard decision for you… 
*maybe you are a single mom and have no choice but to work to care for your family.
*maybe you work, love your job, make tons of money and can't imagine doing anything else.
*maybe all you have ever wanted to do was be a stay-at-home mom.
*maybe you have a sweet part-time gig all lined up and already have the balance.
But y'all, for me the struggle is real… and I would venture to say I think it is real for a lot of you moms, soon-to-be-moms and maybe-be-moms out there.  You see for me I am, by nature a work-a-holic.  I also struggle with getting my worth from what I do instead of Christ.  So I have always said, "I want to work and I enjoy it."  Then my next sentence would be, "I am willing to sacrifice to be a stay-at-home-mom."  Does anybody else see how these two statements don't really go together? 
 
What else doesn't help.  Is judgement from other mama's out there… or even perceived judgement (sometimes I think we moms think other moms are judging us, but we are really just all trying to figure out this mom thing out!)
When we moved two months after BD was born, I thought, maybe I would find a part-time preschool job, make a little money to help ends meet, and be at home with Bailey Drew part of the time.  I thought I wanted something that was a few hours a day, 2-3 days a week, but God provided a 5-day part-time job,  and I decided to try it.  Bailey Drew loved going to school, I enjoyed teaching working, ends were met.  It was the balance and I called myself a part-time stay at home mom.  I am honestly only realizing now how incredibly thankful I am for the position God provided and how perfect it was for our life at that point.
Then, a couple weeks ago we moved.  And I had to make these decisions all over again.  
We have moved twice since BD was born, so I have had to make this decision twice so far.  Each time hard, and each time has caused me to pour over our priorities, budget, and my heart in the matter.
You see, this time, I decided to put my name out there for some full-time teaching gigs.  After a week or two of looking, I ended up taking a similar 5, 1/2 day preschool job.  As soon as I signed my contract for that job (we are talking an hour later), I got a text message and email from a principal to interview for a full-time position.  Two days later another principal contacts me.  These seem like amazing opportunities!  I was torn, bothered.  Did we jump the gun in taking this job?  Or did I jump the gun in assuming I should apply for full-time positions?
Well… after evaluating and reevaluating my heart, I feel like the only reason I wanted a full time job was for the money.  Not a good enough reason, right?  I decided for me personally it was not worth the sacrifice at this point in my life.  Will it be different next year? In five years? In ten years? Probably.. and that is okay! :)
Maybe you are making this decision today or you will have to make it one day.  Here are some things that helped me.

1.  Prayer… lots and lots of prayer.

Lifting this up to the Lord with my husband and by myself.  Sharing with with my closest friends and asking for their prayer!

2.  Time in the Word and Journalling 

Spending time with the Lord and in His Word is always a necessity… it guides our attitude and decision making everyday!

3. Wise Council 

We talked to our parents and close friends.  One thing that Andrew's dad said to me was, "Stasia, you always said you did not want to work full time when y'all have small children, what has made that change now?"  Whew… what a question, really made me revaluate our situation!

4. Good-old Pro and Cons lists

When I made a pro and con list for this decision, the only things on the pro list for working were 1) money and 2) adding to my retirement years.  Not enough to take the leap.

5.  Trusting that no matter the final decision-God is Faithful

Whether making the decision to stay home full time, work full time, or something in between- trust God He always provides in His time!

Have you had to make this decision?  Was is easy or hard?  How have you seen God be faithful through it?

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Workspace and WYWW No. 13


ourlifeonabudget
Make sure to link up and read a few posts! :)
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I have been a little MIA this week… not responding to emails, comments, etc.  Exciting things are happening- all to be shared soon my friends.  But I can tell you that when it comes to the amount of stuff I have had to get done this week has been tough!

One thing I have discovered about myself… I love having a workspace. It helps me all the time, but especially during weeks like this. A place to work that is separate from the craziness of life. I also know (from experience) that space is usually a precious commodity and having a work space can be hard to float.  In the Pinterest world we live in today, we think everything has to be elaborate.
What I have found is a small nook, a table, a chair and my things.  It works.  I can stay organized.  I can get away and get stuff done while BD naps.
Yes, Yes, I often play the office while I am getting work done. :)


And just to be totally honest, this is my view if I look to the left… all of our stuff in boxes from the move.  I know, you are just dying to pin that ;)

So what about you?  Do you like having a workspace?  Is your's beautifully pin worthy, or like mine?

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Now it is time to link up again!
ourlifeonabudget

Link-up details. It's too easy not to join in:

*share a recent post of your choosing (link-up at very bottom of this post)
*include the WYWW button and/or a visible link-back to this post
*check out the hostesses' blogs and follow along: StasiaLeslieNikki, and Melissa
*check out a few posts and share the love



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    An InLinkz Link-up
   
 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Toddler Devotions...

Andrew and I want to consistently share scripture with our daughter.  There are a lot of ways to do this and I am sure it will change over the years.  We have tried some different things… 
and here is what is working for us right now... 
*First, I get up and do my quiet time.  Right now I am reading through Acts and doing the devotion Streams in the Desert
After I study, I journal and pray.  I have found it really helps when I am in the Word… then share with the little :)
*When BD gets up, I get her breakfast and set her up in the high chair.  Then I get out The Jesus Storybook Bible, The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers and Baby's First Book of Prayers.
*I start with the storybook  The Jesus Storybook Bible.  This Bible is awesome because it clearly connect every story to our need for a savior, every story to the Gospel.  We read one story out of here.  I used to try to do these at night… but the stories are long and I just could not keep BD's attention.  The morning move work (BD must be a morning person like here mama :)).
*Then we read The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers.  Each day has a devotion.  We actually checked this one out from the library… so we will actually have to purchase it soon to keep reading it.  They won't let me renew it for the next year :(
*Then we read a couple of prayers out of Baby's First Book of Prayers.  These have cute little rhyming prayers that BD loves.  Andrew and I makes sure she hears us praying too, but these are great for her!
*Then at night, we try to and the day with a Bible story out of The Beginner's Bible.  These are much shorter and she does better with them at night.  Sometimes they are so short though, that we have to add some important details back in.
*Then we pray and go to bed!


What are your quiet time and devotions that you do with your little ones?

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Friday, August 8, 2014

How I Doubled My Page Views in a Month {or two}… My Blog's Story

I have been blogging for a little over three years.  But it does not really feel like it.  
See here is a quick overview of the story of my blog.
July 2011:  Felt called to start a blog.  Started said blog.
August 2011-May 2012:  Didn't make blogging a priority.  Posted periodically.
June 2012-February 2014:  I started writing consistently.  We had just been through a miscarriage and writing was healing to me.  Then we got pregnant again. Then had a baby.  And I just had to document all of that!
March 2014-Present: I decided if I was going to spend my time writing, I should try to grow my blog's readership.  So I actually put forth an effort on my blog beyond writing.  I made an effort to gain followers!
The Result- My blog's page views doubled, in one month, and they are continuing to grow!
Now to the good part… how did I do it?  I don't claim to be an expert {yet:)} but I figure someone out there can learn from my experience!

{one}

I got *better* about posting on social media.  Technically, this is still a needs improvement area, but I do share more.  Really, think about it, how are you going to gain readers if you don't share.  
Blogger Instagram Pinterest Facebook Twitter
I do not post on them all every time.  But I do post on a couple each time I have a new post.  

{two}

I participated in link ups, linky parties and blog hops.  And I participated in a lot of them.  I basically took the 30 minutes after my quiet time each morning and linked up, read other blogs and commented on other people's blogs!  Need some pointers on link parties?  Check out this post.

{three}

I made blogging friends. I started contacting other bloggers.  We traded buttons, directing traffic to each other's sites.  We traded posts on each other's blogs sharing our readers.  It is actually through Leslie, a blogging friend that I made, that we started the WHAT YOU WISH WEDNESDAY link party.
ourlifeonabudget
So all in all…
it took some time.  Writing is still my favorite, by far.  If I could outsorce the techie stuff I would.  But it is an investment you have to make to grow the good old blog.  
From here???
*Big plans… hopefully continue to grow.  I know more things to do to grow the blog.  I just have to find time to do them.
*Also… I plan to do some mentoring!  Want some advise now?  I am giving it out for free ;) just email me!
AND
follow me at…
Blogger Instagram Pinterest Facebook Twitter

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What You Wish Wednesday No.12

My Wednesday Posts are turning into such a conglomerate of random things… that's why it is great our link up is called 


ourlifeonabudget

make sure you link up at the bottom of the post!
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I have also had an obsession with the number 5 this past week without even realizing it! My three posts from the last week… all have 5 tips.  And the weird thing is that I did not realize it until this morning when I started linking up with some other blogs.  
 5 quick Tips to De-stress Your Move!
So here are my three posts from the last week… you should check them out either way :)

AND… if you check out my back to school post (featuring the fine motor skill activities) you can have a chance to win $60 to Target.  Seriously I would love $60 to Target right now and I know you would too, so you should check it out and some of the fun back to school posts! :)
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And now for some of my faves from the last week :) Seriously y'all, each week is better than the last.  It is so hard to pick favorites! 

for the party planner


This is one of the cutest gender reveal cakes I have ever seen.  Seriously, go check it out!

And this "Crab Shack" themed party is awesome!

for those that love a good story


This story was just crazy.  Take a minute and read through it!


for the home decorator


Love how this house is decorated… the whole house :)


last but not least… for encouragement


The fact that your kids echo your words… even as they get older.



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Now it is time to link up again!

Link-up details. It's too easy not to join in:

*share a recent post of your choosing (link-up at very bottom of this post)
*include the WYWW button and/or a visible link-back to this post
*check out the hostesses' blogs and follow along: StasiaLeslieNikki, and Melissa
*check out a few posts and share the love

ourlifeonabudget

Look forward to reading your posts :)
Also you can follow me at…
Blogger Instagram Pinterest Facebook Twitter
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    An InLinkz Link-up