Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Momma Got a New 'Do!

Every momma needs a pick-me-up now and then, especially one that involves your hair :-) I know I may be a little behind (or way behind!) the trend, but I finally gained the courage to try the "ombre" look! Check it out...

It is super different, but I think I really like it! I asked Caleb if he liked it, and he shook his head no...hmm, this is coming from the guy who typically has food crusted in his hair. I won't take it personally :-)

When you do need that new style to put a spring in your step, make sure to budget for it and discuss it with your sweetheart. Hair can be incredibly expensive, as we all know. Fortunately, I have a super sweet girlfriend who is a licensed cosmetologist. She charges me for the product, I give her a little extra, and we let our kiddos play while she does my hair in her kitchen. Way back when, I did a MMSM on trading services with girlfriends. For instance, a friend could do your hair if you watched her kiddos for the afternoon. Something like that. You both get a deal, and you both get what you need :-)

I must conclude since I promised my hubby I would finish organizing the office tonight as we prepare to list our house on Friday! A little (or a lot!) of work each day is making the preparation and staging a bit easier. Caleb is trying his best to be "helpful," and I have gotten over my guilt of iPad games and Thomas movies. I tell myself that it's only while we are in transition. Someone please hold me to that!

On a final note, yesterday, April 29, was exactly one year since my first blog post! What an incredible year this has been, and I appreciate each and every one of you for accompanying me on my journey of staying at home and making it work. Thank you for your support, your love, and your camaraderie as we figure out this thing called motherhood. I'll see you soon :-)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Toddler Boys!

Caleb and I have had a challenging, but wonderful, week. The following list is a compilation of things that I love about my little honey. Even on the hardest days, this list will make me smile. I hope it does you, as well :-)

You know you have a toddler boy when...

10. Trains and diggers (a.k.a. any type of yellow construction equipment) cause you to slam the brakes and pull over just to see the joy on his face.

9. Hitting anything with a foam bat provides hours of entertainment.

8. Dirt can be found anytime, anywhere.

7. When dirt is found, it is thrown, eaten, rolled in, and poured over his head...while laughing hysterically.

6. Slamming objects together must be accompanied by a "boom!"

5. He thinks the little man part which is exposed during a diaper-change or a bath is really, really funny.

4. Anything and everything should be climbed upon...even if he has already experienced an injury falling from that particular thing.

3. A toy shopping cart is merely meant for ramming into the cabinets, walls, furniture, and the dog.

2. The "baby" smell is replaced overnight by the "outside boy" smell.

1. He loves his mommy unconditionally and will still snuggle with her (but only right before bed time, while we're praying, when he's overly tired, and has a binky). Hey, I'll take what I can get!

And, when they do something extra naughty, see if this provides you some comic relief:

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pride Leads to Anxiety

Good morning, mommies! My little man finally slept better (and longer!) last night, and I could not be more grateful. He's working on his two-year molars, so I really don't blame him for being restless and cranky. But! It takes its toll on the home. Several friends have recommended amber teething necklaces. Yesterday, I ventured to the organic baby store to buy one for Caleb. It was quite educational...first of all, babies aren't supposed to chew on them. Secondly, they are pricier than I thought. And third, I don't know how crazy Daddy will be about his son sporting a pretty new bracelet! Apparently, the amber elements are absorbed into the skin and act as a natural alternative to ibuprofen. We'll see how it works. I bought the bracelet for Caleb, and so far, he isn't a fan. He's taken it off twice and tried to feed it to the dog. I had him wear it at bed time last night, and when I checked on him thirty minutes later, he was sitting in bed staring at his wrist. Obviously, it was bugging him. But...it was $15, so we'll see if I can get him to like it! Like I said, I've heard nothing but praise about this "healing" jewelry. Stay tuned!

I recently came to a new understanding about myself. When life gets extra busy, even with good things, my tendency to succumb to stress and anxiety attacks shoots through the roof. I know I'm prone to high anxiety when negative stress is evident in my life, but I didn't realize how wonderful, but extremely busy, events compounds my stress, too. I don't know about you, but my high stress symptoms are bad stomach aches, nausea, fatigue but an inability to "come down" and rest, and even shortness of breath and a fast/irregular pulse. Don't worry...after years of this happening, I'm pretty sure I'm not dying. But, I'm also pretty sure that God doesn't desire that I live this way. I'm snippier with my husband, son, and friends, and I walk around wringing my hands about all that I need to get done instead of simply setting my mind to the tasks at hand. Right now, we're preparing to list our house, actively purchasing another house, preparing to celebrate my brother's college graduation in Ohio, planning a baby shower in Kansas for my sister-in-law, starting the wedding planning for my best friend, and preparing for an somewhat unplanned vacation to Florida with my family in June. Oh yeah, and still trying to get preggers :-) Again, all amazingly wonderful things, but even when you pile wonderful things on top of one another, you still feel the pressure on your shoulders.

God led me to an interesting passage of scripture. Have you ever noticed that when there is a break in the wording or a new paragraph in the Bible, you tend to naturally shift your mind onto a new thought? I rarely look for the continuity from one chapter/section to the next, even though I've been taught that chapters and sections were placed in our English versions of the Bible hundreds of years after they were written. We can literally lose things in translation, sometimes. Here is an example:

"...God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert..." 1 Peter 5:5-8

Each of these statements on their own are good nuggets of faith...don't be proud, give Him your anxiety, and be self-controlled. In my Bible, I have a break from verses 5 to 6. When I have read it before, my brain does a shift from pride to anxiety, and I've never connected the two. If we read 1 Peter 5 continuously, we will see that a prideful attitude seemingly leads to anxiety, which must be combated by giving our stresses to Him and choosing to exercise self-control, as to not slip back into our prideful/anxious ways. That's a new thought! Could my prideful nature of thinking "I have to do it all, no one but me can do it like it should be done, and my number one job is to perfectly care for my family and my home" be the reason I struggle with anxiety attacks? I think it is exceedingly possible for pride to sneak into our innocent desire to do our best for God at the tasks that He has given us! At this moment, I am tasked with many things as a wife, mother, sister, sister-in-law, daughter, and friend. If I think that I am the only one who can do a good job at my list of tasks, that immediately makes me a prideful woman. If I neglect to go to God for the strength, organizational skills, and help which I so desperately need, my prideful nature will immediately lead to anxiety. If I continuously choose not to take my stresses to the Lord for help and consolation, that shows a lack of self-control, which makes me try harder, which causes more anxiety, etc. You see...it's a never-ending spiral!

I am so grateful for this new revelation, and I just hope I will be able to put it into practice. Whether your life is full of busy and wonderful events, difficult and not-so-happy events, or simply daily events that you are responsible for as a mother, rest assured that He wants to hear about them and give you ways to organize, cope, and delegate. Two days ago, I prayed (more like yelled!) in frustration about needing more time to stage our house without Caleb pouring mac and cheese all over the floor. Truly girls, I almost lost it. Then, out of the blue, a friend from Bible study emailed and offered to take Caleb so that I could work on the house in peace. Thank you, Jesus! You, the Creator who is busily running the world took the time to encourage my friend to willingly offer to watch my child for a few hours. He knew I was too prideful in all of my "important jobs" to ask. Truthfully, I haven't taken her up on it yet. But after today's post, I will!

Isn't it funny how we can be in the midst of poorly handling a situation, and He still comes through for us? I felt like He was saying, "All you needed to do was ask for my help, my dear." Okay, I got the message! I hope I can remember it day-to-day. And, I hope this was an encouragement to you :-)

I hear my child gagging himself out of boredom in his crib. Ah...the joys of motherhood!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Crafting for Staging

Just a little "necessary" crafting today. In preparation for our home sale, our realtor suggested that we take down every personal item. I had a decorative sign with our last name on the front door, so something needed to take its place. I searched Hobby Lobby for a pretty Spring wreath, but they were way too expensive! So...

I bought a plain wooden wreath for $6.99 minus a 40% off coupon, a few flower arrangement odds and ends that were on clearance, and this sweet flower bow (also on clearance). I dug out my glue gun (thankfully, it wasn't packed!), wire cutters (regular scissors won't work on artificial flower bouquets), and 30 minutes of my time while Caleb napped. Then, I just played! Cut the flowers apart. Make some pieces longer than others. Remove the leaves if the green isn't to your liking. Finally, stick and glue to your heart's content!

They also have different shapes of this wreath material at Hobby Lobby...
Be sure to choose arrangements that compliment each other, but don't get too matchy-matchy.
Voila! A welcoming addition to our front door that is sure to appeal to any buyer...haha! We'll see :-)

I was pleased with my project, and makes me smile to have something so bright and cheerful on our front door. And, it cost less than $15! Not too shabby. 

Get ready for more tips on decorating and staging (if needed) your home on the cheap! I'm attempting to spend less than $100 to totally set up our home for spectacular showings. My hubby is doing the grunt work...re-organizing the garage and basement, moving furniture, and carrying boxes up and down the stairs. My job is to make things clutter-free, organized, and pretty. Easier said than done! Stay tuned for the continuation of our adventure :-)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Don't Be Scared!

Good morning! Here is my awesome gardener story for the week: We were cleaning out the garage, in preparation for listing our house, and I found a bag of tulip bulbs that I purchased on sale last Fall and forgot about. Well, what do you know...those little suckers had sprouted! Every one of them! I quickly planted them in front of our porch, and I'm hoping for the best :-) There you go...another example of McNamee gardening at its finest!

My hubby is gone this week, and I got myself a little spooked out last night. I heard weird noises, and checked on Caleb more than normal. Thankfully, I was exhausted and slept hard, but I still couldn't shake the nervous feeling this morning. In my quiet time, God led me to Psalm 91. I've read this passage before, but it had new meaning this morning! I was especially comforted by the following scriptures:

"Because she loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue her; I will protect her, for she acknowledges my name. She will call upon me, and I will answer her; I will be with her in times of trouble. I will deliver her and honor her. With long life will I satisfy her and show her my salvation." Psalm 91:14-16 (changed he/him to she/her)

If you are a mommy who is alone a lot with your children, I encourage you to read Psalm 91 frequently. Whether your husband travels, like mine, you are a single mom, you are a military mom, or you simply stay at home during the day, our heavenly Father wants you to enjoy your hours to their fullest. He does not desire for us to be spooked at things that go bump in the night. When the men who guard our homes are away, let's commit to drawing near to Him in our times of anxiety. Now, go fearlessly face your day!

Friday, April 19, 2013

We Need an Attitude Shift!

Good morning! Isn't it funny how whenever I say "be back tomorrow," or something of the sort, life happens and I don't get to write! Again, I just need to stop saying when I will return :-) Thank you for all of the sweet comments, on the page and through Facebook, on Tuesday's post. While I was thrilled to share how God is tangibly working in our lives, my main goal was to encourage each of you to keep praying! He does answer prayers, so don't give up talking with Him about what is on your heart!

Today's post may hit a tender spot for you, but I hope that you will receive encouragement and validation by the end! Recently, I saw a meme (you know...one of those pictures with a funny quote) that read, "Seriously, what do stay-at-home moms do all day?!" Pardon me for getting my feathers ruffled, but I had a strong desire to list every single activity that I do on a daily basis! I then saw another one that read, "I do everything a stay-at-home mom does, and I have a full-time job." From these quotes and from friends who are not SAHMs, there is obviously a lack of understanding of what we do all day, and even some animosity towards those of us who have agreed with our husbands to choose this profession. So here is the next question...why??? I'm not judgemental against doctors, restaurant managers, realtors, or teachers...I was a teacher! So, why the judgement against me?

First of all, there is envy. Many women desire to stay home with their children, but their family dynamic and financial situation simply won't allow it. For others, they see women who stay home as setting back the evolution of women's rights. According to these women, we should be out earning just as much money, if not more, than our husbands and competing in the top professions of our society...not merely staying home with snot-nosed toddlers all day. Lastly, there is a lack of understanding of our daily duties because of limited exposure to us and our children (i.e. they don't hang out with us), and because many of us struggle to do this job joyfully. That final statement is where I want to focus today.

I want you to think outside the box with me today. When I accepted my calling to stay home with our son, I didn't realize that I was signing up for way more than I bargained for. Truthfully, I imagined days of blissfully teaching him his colors and numbers and frolicking from the park to play dates. Yes, that happens, but I forgot to check with my husband, and with God, on what other expectations would be nudged my way. Preparation for staying-at-home should require way more than a financial conversation. More importantly, every woman considering this lifestyle, or those who are smack dab in the middle of it, needs to have a heart conversation with her husband and the Lord.

I know I don't really have to list the jobs of a SAHM, but I'm going to do it anyway. Maybe I need some extra validation this morning :-) Yes, I take care of our son full-time. That's a given. But, I am also expected to be the house-cleaner, the cook, the laundry-doer, the bill-payer, the organizer, the errand-runner, the scheduler, the caregiver, the driver, and a hundred other things that aren't coming to mind at this moment. My husband is expected to go to work, bring home a salary, spiritually lead our family, and participate in things which I have scheduled. He has a hefty job, and I have a hefty job!

I used to grow resentful when Patrick wouldn't help me more around the house. I thought that my keeping our son alive all day was enough in itself! He thought that when we decided I would stay-at-home, I automatically would pick up all of the extra duties which culturally go along with your typical SAHM from the 1950s. There was a lack of communication between us, obviously! But, as all jobs do, mine has evolved. I have willingly taken on the other responsibilities listed above, but I have to daily ask for an attitude check from my heavenly Father. When I become cranky about my duties, feel unsuited for what is before me, or wonder why my job seems to be around-the-clock while my husband gets much-needed reprieve every evening, I am gently reminded (by Him) that my honey works just as hard all day long. My husband also bears the daily responsibility of financially caring for the three of us. Bottom line? Patrick was called to provide, and I am called to serve. Mommies, if your husband works full-time, and you stay home with the kiddos...he is called to provide, and you are called to serve. When we said "yes!" to staying at home, we also said "yes" to everything that comes along with it...even if we said it unknowingly :-)

One of the funniest prayers I've ever said was, "Lord, help me learn to clean my house." Seriously! Yes, my mom taught me all about cleaning as I was growing up, but it went in one ear and out the other. Plus, I certainly didn't enjoy it. So now you probably wonder if I blissfully sing while scrubbing my shower. Um...no. But, I am reminded that I am learning to serve my family while my husband works his butt off to bring home a living. My perspective has shifted. He has faithfully opened my eyes to the true calling of staying-at-home, instead of what I thought it would primarily look like.

Please don't misread my words today. I have to pray, every single day, for the desire and sweet attitude to do this job. I can't imagine myself anywhere else in this stage of life, but I have had to open myself up to some major schooling from the Lord on how He wants me to do this job. Being a SAHM isn't just about what our children need, it's just as much about what our husbands need. Being a SAHM means accepting all of the resposibilities that come with running a family and a home, whether you are naturally gifted in it or not. If He's called you to it, He will show you how to do it. And who knows...maybe our attitude shift (remember, it has to happen on a daily basis!) will be such a light into the lives of other women, that they can't help considering this calling as well.

Go be a blessing to your families today, mommies, and remember that our God in heaven sees all that you do...

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters..." Colossians 3:23

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Three Weeks of Three Answered Prayers

"...they should always pray and not give up." Luke 18:1

Wow! What a whirlwind the last few weeks have been! While I have yearned to share my thoughts with each of you lately, I have simply been too busy to carve out writing time. Hopefully, things are settling a bit :-)

At the end of March, my momma came for a long overdue visit! She enjoyed bonding with Caleb and joining us in our normal activities, but she unexpectedly heard the Lord tell her that she needed to move here! Her refreshing vacation quickly turned into a time of prayer, deep conversations, and the beginnings of preparations to see where this new adventure should start. The details are far from organized, but it was incredible to hear my mother respond to the Lord's prompting in her life! And, the thought of a "Deeda" (Caleb's name for Grandma!) just down the road doesn't sound too shabby! We have lived away from all family for nearly seven years...we need a babysitter!!! Just kidding, momma :-) Sort of...

The day my mom left, God gave my husband and I a strong word about our next step. It's time to sell our house. No doubt about it. We both heard the direction. So...last Thursday we met with our realtor to get the ball rolling. While I know God has something great for us, we don't know what it is! We don't have a new house picked out, we've thought about building but don't feel ready, and the rental market has skyrocketed in recent months...thereby making it a poor financial decision to rent unless absolutely necessary. We've toyed with selling our house for a year, but it finally feels right to do it. Now, please pray for my sanity as I attempt to turn our house into a "model home" while raising a toddler. Sheesh! How do people do this?! 

Then...this past weekend was the icing on the (wedding!) cake for all of our recent excitement. We welcomed friends, and friends of friends, from afar into our home while my best friend's boyfriend prepared to pop the question! I'm telling you, mommas...this one is a story for the books! This proposal was months in the making. He thought of everything from the perfect place to do it (the bridge overlooking the lake of the prestigious Broadmoor hotel!), to who should be there (her best friends, and his best friends...most of whom do not live in Colorado!), to what the ring would look like (it's a sparkler, to say the least!), to how to capture the moment perfectly (oh yes...he hired a photographer to shoot pictures as it happened and do a round of engagement pictures in Colorado!), and a million other things. Many secrets, sneaky phone calls and texts, and sharing of specific plans with others while leaving the soon-to-bride out of the loop later, she said yes!!! All of his plans went off without a hitch, and they are already looking forward to their winter wedding. Patrick and I were blessed to be a part of the weekend of festivities, and we couldn't be happier for Anna and Ben. Speaking of the happy couple...here are a few pictures of the special moment!

The moment he popped the question!
She turns around and realizes all of their friends had witnessed the engagement!

They celebrate with those who love them so dearly...now WHAT was I doing on my phone?!?
The happy couple...we are soooooo thrilled for you both, Anna and Ben!
So, what do these three momentous happenings in the McNamee home have to do with the verse at the beginning of my post? Each one of these precious occurrences are intentional answers to prayer from our heavenly Father!

Over the past year, my mom has ventured through a season of wondering "what's next?" She has yearned for God to give her direction, but it wasn't until an innocent trip to see her grandson that He finally spoke loud and clear. She had fervently prayed for answers to many life questions, and He had chosen to remain silent. I imagine that years from now, she will look back on the past year as an intense class on learning to trust Him when we don't even know what the next day will hold. I am so excited for her and her next steps. She didn't give up on prayer, and He never gave up on her!

I have also shared with you our struggle over where we should live! We purchased this house before we knew I was pregnant, and we were both working full-time. Jog ahead a few months, and we have a very big boy on the way, and the leading from God for me to begin a chapter of life as a SAHM. Thankfully, He faithfully showed us how to save, make wise financial choices, and live on less than what we make. We have been able to comfortably stay in this house, but it stretches us more than we would like. My husband and I have prayed (repeatedly!) for an answer as to what to do. He was faithful to tell us to stay but that this would not be our forever home. Now that He has opened the door for us to sell, giving us and our loyal realtor peace that this is the right time to move forward, we couldn't be happier with our decision. We didn't give up on prayer, and He never gave up on us!

Finally, my friend Anna and I have prayed for her husband for years. Since the day we met in pre-school, we have truly been sisters to one another. We have laughed together, cried together, and we did every life event within a few months of each other (no joke!) until the day I met my husband. My life then took off with an engagement, wedding planning, our wedding, several moves, a pregnancy, our healthy baby boy, and my career move to the home. Anna was there every, single step of the way...throwing wedding showers, baby showers, covering me with prayer, celebrating two pink lines on a pregnancy test to holding our son, only a few hours old. While we both had always envisioned us doing these huge life events together, she never batted an eye at the chance to share my blessings with me. And then, one hot June day of last year, she announced to me that she had met the cutest boy from Canadian, TX! Um, where? Just know it's a tiny town in the panhandle :-) Their romance has blossomed into a beautiful love story over the past nine months, and I know that God has blessings planned for sweet Anna and Benjamin that they cannot even fathom. After many years of prayer, God has provided a life for my dearest friend that we never could have imagine, but is far better than we could have dreamt. I am so thrilled to say that it is her turn, and I am first in line to celebrate with her every step of the way. We didn't give up on praying for a Godly man who would one day be her husband, and God never gave up on exceeding our expectations.

Prayer changes everything, mommies. Yes, an answer can be painfully slow in coming, but looking at the above situations, imagine how less meaningful they would have been had we not gone through seasons of drought. He knows what He's doing. He always knows what He's doing! And while the past few weeks have made for one tired SAHM, I wouldn't change them for the world.

It's good to be back. See you tomorrow :-)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Happy Saturday! Drink More Coffee!

Oh, sweet mommies, I miss you! It has been a lively two weeks, to say the least, and I am excited to update you soon on the happenings at the McNamee home! All is well, but some big changes are on the horizon. I just sat down to write, and then peeked at the time. My little man has swimming lessons in an hour, and no one is even awake, much less dressed, fed, and in the car. Ah...such is the life of a momma! Until then, go be healthy and drink tons of water today. Actually, see the funny picture below...Have a fantastic weekend, and I will be back soon!!!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Just a giggle for all of you! I don't have an army (yet!), but I imagine I may feel like this in the future!


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Encouraging Quote

Good morning, mommies! I love this picture and quote from The Time-Warp Wife...

Let it be encouraging to you as you go through the redundant tasks of mommyhood, today and everyday :-)