The Instant Mama

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Mom Advice

The Magnolia Story

J bought me a new book for Christmas and I read it during our plane rides a couple weeks ago. All of the gifts he got me this year were awesome, but this one has to be my favorite. He always thinks he’s a terrible gift giver, but when he gets me things like this I know he really loves me because he put thought into what I like โ™ฅ I am somewhat of a #FixerUpper junkie and ended up modeling a lot of our home renovations after Joanna Gaines’ inspiration. I’ve always cherished things with a history and background story, so her design choices really speak to me.

What I didn’t realize when I started reading this book was how incredibly inspirational it would be! I am already reading it again for the second time! Although they talk about Magnolia Homes and how they started their business, I have found the way they speak of their relationship with each other, family, and friends to be very moving.

If you are looking for a new book to read I highly recommend this one. It’s an easy read and totally relatable, even if you’ve never watched Fixer Upper on HGTV.

If you have read the book, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on it. The great thing about books is every person walks away with a different perspective ๐Ÿ™‚

**Disclaimer – The picture above is my own copy of the book. I have no affiliation with HGTV, Fixer Upper, or The Magnolia Story.

Stay-At-Home Working Mom

In August 2015 I made the choice to begin my real estate career full-time. This meant that I would quit my 8-5 job in property management and work from home, my car, the real estate office…pretty much wherever I wanted. It was a big leap of faith, not only for myself, but for my husband too. And I’m pretty sure he had more faith in me than I did myself at the time ๐Ÿ˜†

We made some adjustments financially – the biggest one being that our boys wouldn’t be in before or after school care anymore. It was costing $125 a week and I was more than capable of taking them to and from school. ย The other was staying home with them during the summer instead of paying for daycare. This past summer was amazingly fun and I was actually sad when they went back to school.

I became anย instant stay-at-home working mom!ย I don’t even know if that is really a thing, but that is how I label myself now. Some of my roles changed immediately while others were more gradual.

Before I quit my job, J and I had divided up the weekly chores since neither one of us had the time to complete them all. One of his conditions for letting me take this chance was that all of the household duties would fall on me. I thought it was pretty reasonable considering I was home all day. Most weeks that’s still the case, but he is still very helpful if I need it. So I took over all of the weekly cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry (very reluctantly, ha!) and helping the boys with school related things.

Here is what a typical day for me looks like:

  • Wake up at 6:00 AM to make J’s lunch
  • Eat breakfast
  • Get the boys ready for school (dressed, breakfast, teeth brushing, etc.) by 8:00 AM
  • Drop boys off at school by 8:15
  • Check work e-mail for any important tasks for the day
  • Laundry (we do laundry in our house EVERY day)
  • Pick up house (all of the males in my house are really good about leaving things lying around)
  • Get ready for the day if I have scheduled appointments
  • Run any errands that are needed
  • Meal prep for dinner
  • Pick up boys at 3:45 PM
  • Help boys with homework and spelling
  • Make dinner (this has become one of my favorite things!)

As you can see, most of my days don’t really consist of a lot of work. And honestly that is because of my chosen profession. It’s fairly sporadic and almost always immediate. Things in real estate don’t just wait, especially in today’s market, so I may be working for an hour at 8:00 PM one night and 2:00 PM the next day. It makes it perfect that I get to be wherever I want when those times roll around.

I do have a few other weekly things that I keep on my schedule – mostly for my own sanity.

  1. Monday – clean the house (vacuum, dust, bathrooms, etc.)
  2. Tuesday & Thursday – visit office in the morning
  3. Sunday – grocery shopping

Having these few items on my calendar every week helps me keep my sanity when things are unpredictable and will be a huge blessing when Baby S is here in a few months.

Whenever I am intentionally doing things to grow my business it looks a whole lot like this picture below. I do a lot of mailers and Internet marketing to keep my business going, but my favorite job in the whole world is just getting to be a mom and wife for my family ๐Ÿ˜Š


The hubby and I are taking our boys on their very first plane ride tomorrow! It’s nerve racking and exciting all at the same time. This will only be J’s third plane ride EVER, whereas I’ve been on a plane at least once a year since I was born. However this will be my first plane trip with young children in tow, so I’ve been mentally and emotionally preparing myself for any potential hiccups along the way.

I decided when we planned this trip to start thinking of ways to make the trip as smooth as flying in December can go (ha, I always seem to get delayed or stuck somewhere in the winter!)

Here is my checklist of kid-friendly items that you’re able to travel with (Our boys are 8 and 6 so we are bringing age appropriate items):

  1. Portable DVD players (one for each kid, because who wants to hear arguing over movie choices during a 2.5 hour plane ride, haha!)
  2. A plethora of DVD movie choices
  3. Headphones
  4. Chargers
  5. Age appropriate books (2-3 each)
  6. SNACKS!! I say this because I know that airport food costs and arm and a leg. TSA will allow you to bring packaged foods such as chips, cookies, etc.
  7. Stuffed animal (my boys are partial to their stuffed animals and will want to sleep with them)
  8. UNO cards – you really could choose any game that is easy to pack but I’ve always brought UNO on any trip we take. It’s a great game for whenever you have down time and need to entertain the little people.

I am letting each kid bring their own backpack with their respected items in tow. J and I are sitting in two rows, one of us with each kid so sharing everything in one carry on isn’t realistic.

Wish me good luck with our trip! Not only will this be a first time experience for me, but our boys will get to check off a lot of firsts on this vacation too! ๐Ÿ™‚

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