How to Keep a Tidy Home During Busy Seasons (Hint- You Don’t!)

We are in the thick of baseball season over here, which is why I’ve been M.I.A. this past week. 6 of the past 7 days have consisted of putting in a full day’s work and then driving an hour to watch regional baseball games. The earliest I have gotten home all week is 11. Mama is tired. My kids are monsters. And my house is dirty.

I’ve kept the house pretty together through baseball season this year, but this past week has done me in. Our fridge is bare, our laundry piles plentiful, and our floor littered with shoes, discarded socks, and other on the go paraphernalia.

This week they made school history by winning the regional tournament and are now advancing to the elite 8 in state. I am so proud of my husband and our “baseball boys” (as my daughter calls them), and I hope they go all the way. This team is so special and talented and just all around cool kids.

But…

I can’t wait to have my husband back again. Can’t wait for home projects to start back up and to actually eat home cooked meals again. And last but not least, I can’t wait to get my life house back to normal and my routines back in place.

That being said, I do have some tips for how to keep your sanity during these busy seasons of life. What works for me may not work for you. You may require a lot more or maybe even less than I do. It’s all about just finding that balance and discovering what your nonnegotiables are. By that, I mean the things that absolutely, positively have to get done each night to keep you from losing your mind:)

1.) Lower your standards. Now, lower again.

This is just something that I have to do. There is no feasible way I can maintain my home, work full time, support my husband coaching, and take care of my children. Something has to give and unfortunately that is always my home. It makes it easier that I know it’s just for a few months, and then life will resume to normal. After 2 pregnancies, I can do anything for a few months.

At the beginning of baseball season, I still try to do too much. I think, well, this new me is sooo much better than last year’s me. I can totally do a lot more this season. Then, reality sets in. I run out of steam about mid April realizing this year’s me is no better than last year’s me, and that’s when my standards get lowered, again. This is the time where if it’s not a necessity, it just ain’t happening.

Which leads me to my next point.

Know What It Takes To Keep Your Sanity

There are 3 unnegotiables for me. I know, for a fact, if these 3 things aren’t done on a daily basis, I will lose my mind. If I can manage to just do these things, I feel somewhat still in control and on top of things.

1.) The sink must be empty.

I have 2 small kids and our dishwasher is usually run at least once a day. If I haven’t been cooking much, it sometimes can be stretched to every other day. So at some point during the day, I know that the dishwasher has to be unloaded and reloaded and that my sink needs to be wiped down. I firmly believe this is the number one thing to focus on. It literally takes 5 minutes to do and then my mind can rest at ease.

2.) Pick up the clutter

In case I didn’t say it earlier, I have 2 small kids. They can wreak more havoc in the five minutes it takes me to unload the dishwasher than a tornado in Oklahoma. I usually take this on after my youngest is in bed for the night. I’ll usually spend around 15-30 minutes doing this, depending on the amount of time we’ve been home. Obviously, if we haven’t been home much all day it may not take this long.

Once the main living areas are straightened, the calm is restored to our house. Yeah, sure, there are still dust bunnies on the floor and the house could use a good mopping. But, remember, this isn’t a quest to make your house perfect. Just livable. Just clean enough to keep your kids if CPS came knocking kind of stuff.

3.) Wipe the countertops down and sweep the kitchen floor.

This takes 2 minutes tops. I’ve got my handy cleaning spray located on the counter for easy access. A quick wipe down and then a quick sweep of the floors and I’m done here.

4.) Laundry

I know, I know, I said 3 things. But really #4 isn’t even an option. Your family has to have clean clothes to wear. As much as I hate it, this has to be done. I have to do at least one load a day to keep our family functioning. It looks a little different for me every day depending on what we’ve got going on. Sometimes I may switch the loads out first thing in the morning, sometimes I’m starting a load once I get home from work before I dash back out the door. You do you and what works for your fam.

I also try to put away one clean load a night after kids are in bed but sometimes this just doesn’t happen. More often than not, I pick a time when I’m home for the majority of the night and just have a major laundry sorting session.

So, these are my must haves for keeping my sanity during these busy times. These aren’t the times to be focused on perfection. Do what you can, when you can. It is completely okay to lessen your loads during these times. Whether you’re a fellow coach’s wife or have one child or multiple kids involved in all the sports or extracurriculars. Maybe you’re a military wife trying to survive while your husband is deployed. You’re not superwoman and neither am I. Believe me, I am not even close.

Just breathe and survive and love those babies. The rest will still be there. What are your tips for keeping your sanity?

How To Save Money Decorating Your Home

Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. That means, in other words, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click the link and make a purchase.

So, my usual Target adventure goes like this. I walk into said store with a few things on my list and a clear idea on what it is that I’m wanting. 3 hours and a full red cart later, I’m chewing on my fingernails and debating what all I need to put back because I may have gone a bit overboard.

It’s so easy to get swept up in all the pretty things and all the latest trends. And I cannot be the only one whose mouth drops open at the price of some of these items. I mean, it’s a candle for crying out loud! Don’t even get me started on throw pillows.

That’s why I came up with this list of how you can save money decorating your home. Sometimes all it takes is a little effort and creativity and you can still have that beautiful home you want. And, dare I say, a much more unique home that speaks more to your family than any items from a box store ever could.

1.) Use baskets, cake stands, and decorative boxes to group objects.

One of my favorite tricks for pulling together a space is to use a nice woven basket to corral all the smaller scale decor objects. My console table in my living room has a oval textured basket on it that I filled with some cute items from Target’s spring dollar section. Those items looked cute enough on their own, but putting them all in that basket made them seem more substantial and special. I think I spent a total of like 12 bucks on those “filler” items but they don’t seem cheap when displayed like that. And you just cannot beat Target’s dollar aisle!

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5 Crock Pot Recipes For Busy Moms (That Will Knock Your Socks Off!)

I. Am. Exhausted.

This is the time of year I run on fumes, coffee, and wrinkled clothes I grab out of the bottom of the laundry basket. What? They’re clean at least! Not like my daughter’s Tball uniform top. It was fished out of her dirty’s clothes basket last night in an epic moment of #momfail. And you know what’s even worse? I didn’t even care. I was just glad we got to her game on time and everyone survived. Because that’s what spring is to me. Survival.

Jeremy coaches high school baseball. For those of you unfamiliar with that sport on that level, that means from mid March until hopefully beginning of June, he has 3-4 games per week. Chances are, a few of them will be home games and a few will be away. The earliest he gets home on a home game night is 9:30, if I’m lucky. Obviously, away game nights are much later.

In fact, it’s not unheard of for him to sneak in the door around midnight. That’s not counting the practices, the scouting, and all the other extras I’m not remembering. I joke that I’m a single mom during this time of year. But I’m actually serious too because that’s what it feels like. I’m solely responsible for our kids during this time.

And I’m not complaining. There are some moms out there who rock being a single mom full time. You definitely don’t get enough kudos for what you do. But I am trying to paint a picture of what daily life looks like for us right now. I’m sure many of you can commiserate.

So, on top of both my husband and I working full time, and him working another full time job as a head high school baseball coach, I’m trying to shuttle my daughter to her own games and practices, keep up with my house, bills, budgeting, meal planning, grocery trips, remembering to water my flowers I spent too much on earlier in the month, trying not to reward myself with blizzards from Dairy Queen, and maybe, maybe find a night to exercise. Or in my dream world, binge watch something on Netflix while eating a blizzard.

One thing I do know is learning to utilize my crock pot has been a game changer for me. If I can just get up five minutes earlier in the morning, I can come home to a delicious home cooked meal with very minimal effort. It is such a life time saver.

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How to Pick a Playset For Your Kids and Why You NEED One…

The very best thing I believe Jeremy and I have ever, ever, ever, ever done as parents was to get our kids a playset. I should mention here that the grandparents actually purchased it for them, but we researched and picked it out.

They absolutely love it and wear it out!!

First, Why You Need One

There was an article in the Huffington Post a few years ago that talked about kids needing to spend at least 3 hours outside playing everyday. I totally agree with this from personal experience. My kids tend to be happier, sleep better at night, and just generally more content when we have days where we achieve this.

Now, don’t beat yourself up if your child doesn’t get this everyday. It’s just not possible everyday and I don’t believe life should be that structured. No one should be standing outside with a stopwatch timing little Susie’s play. I just use it as a guideline and try to take advantage of nice weather.

One thing I do know for a fact is this playset has provided endless hours of entertainment for my kiddos. My daughter could swing her little heart out. And my almost two year old son is learning how to navigate the slides, with our help of course, and they just go, go, go nonstop burning all their little energy.

Some Considerations to Keep in Mind

One thing to consider when customizing your playset, is how hands on you want to be. By that, I mean, if you have small kids and want to get some well deserved rest while they play, you probably don’t want to put in a “rock” wall. You also probably want to forgo the ladder and go with a ramp with a handrail that small kids can easily navigate on their own. You could design it in a way where once they’re up on the platform to go on the slide that there are no openings up there for them to fall through. Jeremy’s brother and his family did this with theirs and while you still need to supervise, you could safely do so from a rocking chair on the back porch.

We went with a rock wall and a ladder on ours. I want this playset to grow with our kids. While I may have to be more hands on for the next few years, I think the kids will still find it entertaining for many years to come. In fact, our daughter who is now four can pretty much do anything on the playset without assistance. So in two more years, we will be able to be more relaxed.

Our Inspiration

I posted here about the playset that came with the house and how we fell in love with it. It was past it’s prime and had seen better days, that’s for sure.

We brainstormed for years on how to revive this playhouse. We worried our small kids would fall off the deck while trying to go down the slide. The lip of the slide was lower than the deck itself and the steps were rickety. And although it had a slide, we had visions of swings and monkey bars and a big spiral slide as well.

Our first thought was to just tweak the existing playhouse by replacing the parts that needed it and adding on the other things we wanted. So like most projects we dream up, it went from being relatively simple to this huge elaborate thing.

And after awhile, we decided it would be better to just remove this playset and install a brand new one, as much as it pained us to do so. We just didn’t have the time to do it, honestly. There were too many other pressing concerns to deal with. Previous owners, please forgive us. It killed a little bit of my soul to do that.

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How To Cope With Bad Moods

I must admit, I’m in a bit of a funk today.

I had another post already in the works to post today but I feel the need to write this instead.

It’s that kind of funk that your normal cup of coffee can’t touch. I’m not even sure why I’m feeling this way. Maybe it’s a combination of being out late last night (and by that I mean 9:30 hahaha), having 2 sick kiddos this week, not taking care of myself properly, yada yada yada.

The point is, regardless of whatever excuses I can make for why I feel this way, I. still. woke. up. this. morning. There have been so many people I have watched lately fight for their life. Fight for the opportunity to just get to wake up in the morning. Each day is a gift from God. Sometimes we just need to take a moment and reflect on that fact and all we have to be thankful for.

There is always something to be thankful for.

There is a quote I’ve seen on many home decor signs. I’m not even sure who to credit it to, but it really resonates with me. “There is always, always, always something to be thankful for. So, so true.

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