I am SO hoping this will be the last Week In Review post I write for a while as I said I would write them until the baby arrives… and seriously, let’s just hope she arrives before the end of NEXT week!
I honestly don’t think my stomach muscles can stretch any further!
Here’s a look at what I wrote about this week in previous years.
I shared a fun post about everything I kept in my purse — it’s hilarious to me now because I only carry a tiny wristlet as my “purse”. I keep lots of stuff for the kids in the diaper bag, but my own “stuff” is SO much less than it was 7 years ago!
I also shared a few of my purse organizing tips in a separate post.
And finally, I started a 4-month-long series on a Clutter Free Holiday. I didn’t share tips every day, but you can read all my clutter-free holiday tips here!
WAAAAAAY back in 2011, I shared one of the absolute most popular recipes on my blog — one I still make at least once a month for our family dinners (and often for parties or gatherings).
These delicious baked sandwiches have been shared on Facebook and Pinterest tens of thousands of times already, and I still get comments and emails about these sandwiches so many years later.
Yes, they really are THAT good and THAT easy!
I shared that I often do NOT have a problem with giving used gifts (especially to children) and questioned what your opinions were on the subject matter. The comments of that post were definitely interesting!
This is me, age 4 or 5, with all my Christmas gifts!
And finally, I shared a SUPER simple, no-sew curtain tutorial using burlap and wooden buttons. We still regularly get compliments on our bathroom curtains to this day!
One of my personal favorite posts was this one about Why Simple Living Is So Hard to Achieve. So many people I know just assume that living simply is ‘easy’ — but it’s NOT.
It takes lots of time, effort, discipline, and intentionality to achieve and maintain a simple, organized way of life — but it’s worth it (otherwise so many people wouldn’t be striving to get there!)
And if you’re looking for a creative way to display or use-up kid’s artwork (now that they’re probably coming home with 101 papers every day), here are 7 Off-The-Fridge ideas!
I had just recently shared the news that we were pregnant with Simon… and I couldn’t help but wonder if he would be the same type of baby that Nora was. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I could handle it if he was!
I wrote this post about Why Motherhood Sometimes Makes Me Feel like a Failure as a Person — and it was very therapeutic for me to get it all down in writing. Many others seemed to relate to it as well!
I have a feeling many first-time moms can relate… I’m certainly glad I have much more confidence and perspective these days!
I also really enjoyed writing this post about Scarcity and how it’s a good frugal living principal. I know I can easily get sucked into “convenience” and not be the best steward of my resources — when I start feeling wasteful, I often think back to this post 🙂
I had gotten a bunch of questions about our garage floor coating (which we LOOOOOOVE) so I answered those questions in this post.
I also shared before and after photos of our massive landscaping project. Since then, we’ve done a TON more landscaping, but that summer was definitley the biggest, most time-consuming, and most expensive part of the project because it involved so much demolition before we could even get started putting things back together again!
This super basic, but super yummy meatloaf recipe is still the one I use today — in fact, I have 3 of them in the freezer for my maternity leave!
Here are a few of our tips for growing grass — we’re aren’t experts, but we have A LOT of grass, so we’ve learned a lot about it over the past 7 years!
I love this post about When Simple Isn’t Popular — because sometimes, it’s SO much easier and simpler to just do what works for me and my family rather than worrying about what the “right” choice is based on popular societal pressures.
I’m often asked if/when I’ll ever stop blogging… and honestly, I have no intentions of stopping any time soon. However, as I mentioned in this post, I will probably stop if my passion ever becomes just a paycheck.
I am very lucky to earn an income doing something I LOVE doing, but my goal has always been to KEEP LOVING IT. I don’t want to sell out to the highest bidding advertisers or the most lucrative brands and sponsored posts. I never want this blog to become “just a paycheck” for me. Instead, it’s a creative outlet, a way to exercise my brain, an opportunity to interact with so many amazing people from across the world, and yes, a way to make an income for my family. But that’s definitely not the most important aspect for me — and I hope it never becomes that.
Dave and I have had life insurance since just before Nora was born — and honestly, it’s such a peace-of-mind thing for me. We’ve actually had 3 or 4 people in our peer group die unexpectedly over the past 6 years… and I know some of them did not have life insurance.
Not only did they leave a grief-stricken spouse to care for young children on their own, they also left no financial support — definitely not a pretty picture.
I know we always think “it won’t happen to us” but we really can’t know that for sure. If you’ve been “on the fence” about getting life insurance, I would highly recommend it (and this post shares 10 reasons why).
This 10-minute homemade lasagna is also one of our family favorites — I have 4 of them in the freezer for over the next couple of months!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the clutter in your home, your schedule, and your life, I have a feeling some of it boils down to the fact that you’re not dealing with the “little things” on a daily basis, but instead, pushing them off until “later” when they multiply and become huge overwhelming tasks that you no longer have the time or energy to complete.
I’m a HUGE advocate of staying on top of all the little things each day — because by taking care of those little things, I avoid larger issues later.
And finally, the story of how Dave and I ALMOST got a “free” dog 4 days before James was born (yeah, talk about bad timing!)
Although I have absolutely NOTHING against giving children toys for Christmas, I’ve also come to realize that all of our relatives REALLY love giving our kids toys… so if Dave and I give our kids toys, they have lots and lots and lots of new toys every year (and we really don’t need all that many new toys!)
So last year, Dave and I managed to give our children some really fun gifts that weren’t necessarily all toys. Lots of books, games, crafts, some clothing, etc. We purchased most of it from thrift stores and 2nd hand sales and hardly spent any money — but our kids were THRILLED!
I shared a post about our updated meal plan — 5 years after my original meal planning post.
And I shared an update about our mudroom. It’s been 3 years since we put that marvelous addition onto the back of our house, and I still claim it’s the best home renovation we’ve done to date!
We get so much use out of this small space year round. It’s usually somewhat messy and cluttered, but the kids have access to all their own things, which means many less things for me to do each day!
What a crazy week it has been for us — at times, I feel like I have absolutely nothing to do because I’m done with everything I wanted to do before the baby arrived. Other times, I feel like there is non-stop work to do to “STAY ready for the baby”.
I want to make sure the house is relatively clean, the laundry caught up, the fridge is stocked, and that there’s ready-made foods available for Dave (or whomever is watching our kids) to feed the kids, etc. etc.
It’s exhausting living in “limbo” for such a long time — at least for someone Type A like myself. Dave says I just need to let it all go and he can take care of it once the baby is born — but I’m too much of a control freak for that!
So I’ll keep cooking and baking and grocery shopping and cleaning and laundering until I’m literally walking out the door to the hospital!
Nora had her very first dentist appointment last week and we were BOTH in tears by the end of it — so brutal. I’ve been trying to get her to the dentist for 2 years already, but the closest we’ve gotten is her sitting on my lap and just letting the dentist sort-of look in her mouth (hello, sensory kid issues!)
She’s had a tooth that has been bothering her for a while now, and I FINALLY convinced her that the only way to help the tooth feel better is to go to the dentist… so we went and made it through partway before she totally lost it and was screaming. They saw enough to know that the tooth (a back molar) was abscessed and her gums were very infected.
So, we went back a few days later to have the tooth pulled — yup, miss Nora got her first tooth pulled. I was praying the baby wouldn’t come before her dentist appointment, and also praying she’d actually be able to handle the experience.
Fortunately, the pediatric dentist was AMAZING. The gas relaxed her enough that they were able to give her a shot to completely numb that part of her mouth and pull the tooth successfully!
NOW, we have to set up another appointment to get her front 4 top teeth pulled out because the adult teeth are already coming in and have nowhere to go. Sigh…
The dentist said he’s just going to give me a few weeks to have this baby and catch my breath before we worry about more dental work for Nora!
In happier news, Simon and James are honestly a delight to spend my days with when Nora is at school. They love each other so much, they play SO well together, and they are so fun to hang out with.
I think I’ll actually be a little sad once the new baby arrives because she’s going to “disrupt” my very peaceful days with these 2 boys!
In general, our kids are at a really fun age — they can play by themselves while I sit on a park bench or lounge in the rocking chairs in our yard.
I’m living in “the calm before the storm”… and I’m doing my best to just enjoy it instead of feeling anxious for the baby to arrive!