Mine and yours

Hey guys, I’m gonna put a few things out there and then I want to work together to make it happen, k? I want to make a few dreams come true this year, mine and yours – so after I tell you mine, please tell me yours.

Deal?

I’ll be making some exciting announcements soon for this space and I can’t wait: in the mean time I’d like work with you more. Your companies, your small businesses. You. The talented folks who make up this community: I’m asking for your help and direction.

This means: we might be seeing some different kinds of advertising here. I’m open to it.

I’d like to get paid to write more and do awesome things. Live out my Life List, have adventures. I want my book published (still writing it) …

I’m of the opinion that I’m not the best speaker, but I’d like to speak to you. If that means Cooking Classes or Conferences, I’m willing to try.

I love collaborating, so lets!

A few larger picture dreams: I want to go to Spain with my husband, soon. Very soon. I want to photograph the details. I want to own another home, but mostly I want to own a barn. And garden again.

Now you … because none of this means anything unless your dreams are coming true, too.

The Block

Since I’m lacking anything special to say today how about I show you where else I can’t stop talking??

We’re still recovering from our fun week in Boulder, Co. One morning we even let our daughter sleep in after going to bed at 5:30 the previous evening. Girlfriend slept for 14 hours straight and woke up smiling for the first time in days.

I shared an easy and frugal Advent Calendar on a friends blog. She is kind of awesome and will save you money.

I’m sure I’ve already told you about this – but on CurvyGirlGuide I shared my Breast Reduction story.

Work from home but need to expand? I wrote some tips for when to move locations, offices or for growth on Turnstone.

I also share a few inside tips on what it means to work from a coffee shop. Respect the earbuds.

Ever have those moments when you’re trying to explain the simplest of tasks to someone and you’d rather just be able to show them? How about how to make a PDF? You’re welcome. I also cover how to attach that file (or any file) in an email. If you send emails and need to send documents … you must know this.

Lastly – yay! I was featured on Chickabug with my Mini Pinata’s. So fun.

BREAK! I’ll see you back here tomorrow.

Timeline 2.0

Yesterday I told you all about what keeps me busy and the emails and questions have not stopped.

How do you get started? What are your tips for time management? The emails I’m not getting from friends because they think I’m too busy for them.

So. My lovelies.

Weekends are my overtime. I have a helper who loves to hang out with his kids. He’s amazing support in the fact that I can disappear for half a day and not come home to a messy house, crabby kids or worked up husband. He literally steps in when I’m away or working.

I make time for my friends – meeting for coffee or play dates. I recently had to decide if I want to be the kind of friend who always says yes and then never shows up. I have friends, who time and again, show me how important I am in their lives just by making time for me – when I know they have a million things to do.

That feels amazing. I want to be that friend.

I also want to be that mother. So yes, I have a lot on my plate – but my kids schedule, needs and wants come before any of this. If I can’t be somewhere I need to be – I always have backup in a sitter or family member who is willing to help out once in a while. I make it a point not to abuse that not because I want to wear out a welcome – but my kids will catch on pretty soon if I’d rather be working than investing in their lives.

Which I do not wish.

Hope College

As for tools to help me stay on task: I need to write stuff down. My lists are every where and that usually means there’s a paper trail. This is where Evernote comes in – it’s not always easier because writing it down helps me remember better – but it’s organized much better and I’m getting the hang of depending on it.

Google Calendar is amazing because it syncs my calendar to Aaron’s work schedule (which is imperative to having any kind of life outside of work.) we also sync each of our kids’ calendars all in one – so I know when our daughter has piano and not to schedule a doctor’s appointment for my son on that day/time.

We all have a COLOR and then our “Home” calendar is for family events. Extended family visits, Thanksgiving dinners, birthday parties, vacations etc.

Aaron is BLUE
Jodi is PINK
Home is GREEN
Jessica is PURPLE
Oliver is ORANGE

I look at a rainbow every day.

Rainbow

Not all, but a good portion of what I do here on jodimichelle.com are family invested things. The photos and how-tos. So much of what I put here is something I’m doing anyway – so it’s not the extra time to create it – it’s literally the effort to share it.

{how to} make mini pinata's!

My daughter LOVES to help with the food and video taping things. Pretty soon we’ll see more of this because of her. You can thank her personally – she digs that.

I still am not awake before my kids every day but I always start my day with them – getting them breakfast or making it hot then hopping in the shower and doing my morning routine.

I make lunches, do hair – make sure everyone matches – double check home work and kids’ school schedules. Who needs to wear what shoes today for gym? It’s RED day! Go up and change! And put on socks. (Seriously with the socks!)

braid

If I have AM carpool some time’s Aaron will bring the kids on his way to work and I stay home with our son – either getting him ready for his school day or just beginning our day together at home.

Once our daughter is off for the day I make sure I know what I have to get done before she gets home. Usually laundry, dinner, snacks/baking and some cleaning. I try not to clean their rooms but some times I just have to.

Then we run errands – stores, accountants, book keepers, post office, coffee (always the coffee), groceries, thrifts etc. Some days we don’t go any where. Most days we’re out for a bit in the morning.

Squeaky cart? I've got a mechanic for that.

If my son has school too – then I drop him off and either go work at a coffee shop (working on articles or photos), have a meeting or come home to work/clean.

After preschool is always lunch (on non-preschool days we’re home by about then too) and then nap.

Oh how I love the nap.

During nap time is when I get the most “work” done on writing or photos, conference calls, emails, contacts etc. I run most of my “upkeep” through nap time. Scheduling a post, emailing an article, corresponding with a company or contact/brand for Gleek etc etc etc.

Some days? I stare at the wall.

After naps if I have PM car pool we go get some kids – otherwise after my daughter is dropped off we all get in the car and head for the gym.

I spend at least an hour at the gym every day running. This is what we’ll call “sanity”.

I make it home in time to make dinner, greet Aaron at the door, sit down and eat and then we have a marathon of parenting until bedtime.

Tracing practice

Homework, picking up, baths or showers, making sure we know what’s happening tomorrow, signing permission slips or reading the book that’s sent home with our daughter from school on what’s going on in her classroom. Then there’s bed time – brushing teeth and tag-teaming corralling the tired little people into bed before they get the giggles and then we’re gonners.

Read stories, ALWAYS get a drink. Even if they already had one. Use the bathroom AGAIN. Door open, lights on … zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Oliver, sleeping

I continue to check my email and will sometimes write after the kids go to bed, too. Drink a glass of red wine, sit down and talk about our days. We’ll watch some TV or read next to each other ………. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

This is obviously a rough outline of my day. My life is not a marathon of things to get done. I enjoy my life. I love to write. It’s like breathing for me – so it’s not a task I’m ever without.

We do a lot of “non working” fun stuff during the day too. Building train tracks or chasing one down in town. We have dance parties and mini photo shoots. I dream ideas so we often try something out to see if it would work or I share them on twitter or with friends so someone else can chase them down.

library, breakfast, farmers market - a typical saturday.

I volunteer in my daughters school whenever I can and help in my son’s once a month. I also have time during the week when I allow myself to be out and not working on something. I have a sitter and want to go to the library – then I will. Or get coffee and read – that’s fine too.

I’m not always working when I’m not with my kids and I LOVE seeing my friends and having the flexibility to walk away from my computer to have a life.

One of my favorite things to do, though? Is to get together with a bunch of other bloggers and have a life with them. 😉 It’s like we’re all weird off-brand Trekkies. I love them so much.

I’m guessing I made this more confusing for you – so just keep asking. I have a mind that literally does not stop talking to me. It’s all about embracing that.

The second “would be” house

I tried writing this article 2 months ago but the photos did not cooperate. As in, they literally would not let me use them off flickr. I took that as a sign. This house did not want attention … this last disappoint did not want light from the darkness inside of me.

So ok. I let it go.

Now we drive past this house every week, a couple times a week and I see it sit there alone. Sign still in the yard, papers posted to the front door. I see the arbor in the back and the garage that was going to be my haven. Beyond the things I was attached to I see a hollow place that wasn’t meant to hold my family. I see how it wouldn’t have been the place we landed longer than any of our other houses. It wasn’t a forever house … not that any of them are for us.

But I see it now – how even though we thought we wanted it so badly (and we did) how a year later we would have been restless for change again.

Now bigger things on our radar … so no looking back. For too long. Here’s the second house we almost bought: wah wah wah.

The 2nd "would have been" house

You’ll have to look past the “clothes” this house is wearing. All finishings were going to be replaced. Carpet – gone. Wall color? Painted. Floors? Re-done. It has “character” and charm and the room sizes were workable. It also had major plumbing issues and electrical problems because of the plumbing. Yay!

The 2nd "would have been" houseThe 2nd "would have been" house
Oh the kitchen. I would have loved this kitchen … and gutted it like a butcher on a deadline for delivering a cow as steaks.
The 2nd "would have been" house
The 2nd "would have been" house
This blue/aqua bathroom was right off the kitchen and other than ripping out carpet and painting I had big plans for this little space. Sigh.
The 2nd "would have been" house
The 2nd "would have been" house

And upstairs:
The 2nd "would have been" house

Upstairs had the Full bath and 3 bedrooms – one of which we were going to turn into a playroom.

The 2nd "would have been" house
The “bedrooms” were very small – but we had big ideas.
The 2nd "would have been" house
The 2nd "would have been" house
Playroom:
The 2nd "would have been" house
It had all these built ins and lovely nooks and crannies.
The 2nd "would have been" house
The full bath?
The 2nd "would have been" house
Had possibilities. Look beyond the pink tile. Which was similar to our last (owned) house – and it’s BLUE bathroom. Oh Fifties, you were so confused.

This was my “Hello” …

Dreamy

And it had me.

Falling madly inlove

And now it doesn’t.

Here is the listing on Zillow if you’re interested. They lowered the price right after our deal fell apart … apparently the plumbing/electrical is fixed … and I hope that whoever finds it makes it the home they’ve always wanted.

Who knows where we’ll land next or when we’ll buy another house. We’re not looking but I’m excited for the day I get to …

Hanging out across the web

I have a couple different articles popping up around the web this week … take a look.

Over at MyTurnstone I talk about Adding the Funk in Functional:
Picture 1

I personally would stock it with Atomic Fire Balls, screw two small holes in the funnel and insert a chop stick as a trap door. Someone wants a candy? Pull the chopstick and win the lottery of FIRE BALLS. I love it.

It’s how I see things.

You can also join me over at Curvy Girl Guide today where I share my recipe for Maple Glazed Cinnamon Biscuits as an easy, go-to recipe for school mornings. (Which also means, any morning.)

Maple glazed cinnamon biscuits

Aside from that I’m stocking my fridge for school lunches, easy mornings and carpool melt downs. One of the best tips I can hand out for school lunches is this:

Freeze your grapes – they’ll act as the cooler for the rest of the lunch and by the time your child is ready to devour it – they’ll be thawed to perfection and the rest of her lunchbox will still be fresh.

Eating grapes

What are your plans for Labor Day weekend? We’re MOVING! (Our storage unit … finally) And I think we’re going to venture into the world of camping in a tent with our kids. This has not happened since our daughter (now 6 1/2) was 6 months old. You can start praying for us right now.

(See my Disclosure here)