Some moms can do it all (that’s not me)

I have friends and family tell me often, “I don’t know how you do it all!” And I think that’s hilarious! No one can do it all, least of all me. 

Let me tell you who I really am in my flesh…an extroverted introvert who is not high energy. I can be the life of the party, cracking jokes, hair and makeup done…and within about 4 hours of being at an event (church, missions project, school function, etc) I’ve maxed out and need a safe space to be alone. It’s just me, it’s who I am. 

I’m home most everyday with 3-4 kids, homeschooling, running them to sports/classes, meal planning, dealing with a seriously anxious and neurotic dog,  being a minister’s wife, and oh yeah – running a small business. 

Wanna know how I do it all? 

I’m not Suzy homemaker. I used to be crazy OCD about having a clean house. 

Not anymore. 

I just don’t have the time. I’ve hired a cleaner off and on, and I love her but I find myself cleaning the house before she arrives so she won’t think we are too disgusting. Smh. I mean, we aren’t gross, it’s just that there’s probably piles of laundry, a sink full of dishes, and unmade beds. But this is how we roll these days. I’m in full on survival mode. 

It would be considerably less “survival mode” if it weren’t for my husband – who frequently does laundry and dishes. Seriously. He’s not perfect, but dang…he’s a pretty good one!

I’m in the stage of life where my kids.break.everything. Like every morning I wake up and question what’s going to break today?  

Last month alone – my 3 year old swung from a towel bar (naked) and ripped it out of the wall. Some kid (because they all deny it) broke my amazing dyson vacuum in TWO places overnight. Poof. Literally ruined overnight. My crockpot (the second one in 6 months) broken. Dog bed, shredded. Stair railing pulled out of the wall,

carpet torn up, laminate floors with yet more dings, and a favorite lamp completely ruined. 

I’ve just listed the reasons why we live an hour from Disney yet never go. This mama is constantly replacing broken things. 

So, after reading this post please tell me I have it all together. Ha! People who think this I don’t think truly know me, because it couldn’t be further from the truth. Those closest to me should be in awe that this hot mess has survived another day. The next time you see me put together, help me thank my husband who most likely gathered the kids for a team meeting and begged them to let mommy fix her hair and makeup. 

Teamwork makes the dream work. 

You know what I can do? Work my business when the kids are occupied for a hot minute. Meal plan, wipe counters, and load the dish washer while they are sitting to eat lunch. I can utilize their little tails and get them to unload said dishwasher, take the trash out, and mop…I’m the only one using our vacuum these days. 

I try to utilize my time well. In fact this blog post is being written while my 3 year old is in timeout. 

And look….a half painted wall that one day will be painted. When I hire a painter. 

No one has it all together. We just all have different passions, abilities, and talents. Mine is not being a homemaker. I’m confident in the things God has given me gifts in…I love making soup for a mama that’s sick or just had a baby. I love helping people find out about plexus products that can help their bodies. I love sitting down and reading books to my kids. I don’t love teaching math, so recently we’ve decided to move to a match curriculum that teaches itself! ? (all the heart eyes!!) 

Let go of that which has been burdening you as a mom. Don’t like putting together killer Valentine’s boxes, don’t enjoy making gourmet meals, hate trying to make every meeting you’re asked to attend? Sing like Elsa, and let it go. 

❤️, Courtney 

Working out as a busy mom

So I have four kiddos – all less than or just over 2 years apart. 

I’ve always loved working out and staying active. I saw my mom workout through the years, and I guess it just became a way of life for me! Even when I lived overseas in the Middle East I joined a gym and walked everywhere I needed to go. 

I’m not one for giving advice because I SURELY don’t have it all together, but thought I’d pass on what I did for workouts through the years. 

 I think we’ve just about seen every scenario…(maybe not, but close) except we’ve never paid for a trainer. I’d love to, but it’s still not in the budget at this point and I don’t think they are necessary. Especially with all of the inexpensive and free YouTube videos these days!

Disclaimers – if you are pregnant and haven’t worked out before, I recommend checking with your doctor first. Also, I’ve never lived near family to help me with the kids while working out, and we have never had enough money to pay a sitter for my workouts. 

(Pregnant with our 4th)

 I was used to working out before pregnancies so when I became pregnant with my first child, I walked 45 minutes to an hour each day and would go to our seminary gym to use weight machines. 

When my son was born, I strapped him into a stroller as soon as I was cleared and began walking again. 

We lived in KY at this point and the winters were brutal! But I bundled that baby up, and set out for walks unless it was snowing and icy.  I loved getting out and just walking the streets (that’s going to be a constant in this post). 

I would walk up to our seminary after my long walks and put my son in the stroller beside me while I went from machine to machine. He preferred being pushed so I only got about 20-30 min at the gym but it was enough! 

As he got old enough to really walk well, I’d let him toddle around for 20 min on our walks, it would really tire him out and then I could walk. When he got big enough to not sit in a stroller for my gym time, I’d plan to meet my husband at the gym and he’d take him to the indoor track and run him around while I lifted, then we traded off and he got his workout in. 

This worked great…and then we got pregnant and moved from the seminary. So I thought I’d lost my gym…but the house we rented in GA had a (very) small gym but it was enough to work. 

Again I’d walk, walk, walk A LOT, let my son play on the playground halfway through the walk…and then took a toy for him to play with while I lifted for a few minutes. 

With each pregnancy I worked out right up until I gave birth. I felt great and it kept me active. 

When my second son was born and I was cleared to workout and started back with the walking again. 

I know the baby looks uncomfortable but you can see in the below pic I ended up using the head guard thing and it worked out great! Right before I birthed my second son I used gift cards and the generosity of my mom to get the double stroller. Huge help!! I loved this stroller too bc I could play my iPod and they could hear the music. 

(If you’re worried about your babies head I think they make double strollers now that you can use with a car seat). 

So a small gym without my husband to help with the boys became impossible for me to go to. In addition to the walking (still close to an hour, and some days more), i started doing yoga. I LOVE this yoga!! So good! I would do this while they went down for naps, if they didn’t nap together I’d put the baby in a bouncy seat and he watched me. ?

We moved from GA to FL and ended up very close to a YMCA that had an awesome kids gym. So I could now workout and the kids were occupied. Brilliant!  

Wouldn’t you know it…not long after that I got pregnant again!

This time a little girl, and though we had the gym I also got into using P90X (bought on eBay for $60) and running with her when the boys were in our Church’s preschool. It was so great!! I loved this combo! I combined all of this with gym time and the spin class they offered. Loved that!! It totally changed my shape of my legs. 

And through the years these are still my most favorite workouts – gym, running, P90X, and yoga. 

Guess what happened?? Right. We got pregnant. Again, I worked out until 39 weeks and this is when working out post partum started to go downhill. It was hard juggling 4 kids and trying to find time to workout. I’d wake up crazy early, pop the baby in a stroller and take off for an hour walk…then come back and try and get some p90x done. 

By this point we moved again, I think the baby was 6 months. I lost the amazing YMCA, and we were struggling to figure out a fitness plan. I was also struggling with postpartum depression, I had crazy low energy, insomnia, and a baby who at over a year still wasn’t sleeping through the night. ? Hard times, y’all. 

I started plexus – it’s a line of all natural healthcare products aimed at getting to the root of your health issues. I began sleeping, dropped weight, and felt like myself again. We joined LA Fitness because the YMCA in the new area became way too expensive! There are 3 LA Fitnesses in the area we live in and we only like one of the childcare facilities. So to that one we go! It’s about $72/month for our family to go. And working out is a priority so we spend that money. 

Also, Christmas 2 years ago my husband and I asked for bikes from my parents. Honestly, it’s been the best gift we’ve gotten from them. Whether I use it for exercise or we bike around with the kids those things get some good use!

Today I can leave the oldest 3 at home by themselves for a 35 min bike ride or run. My youngest goes to preschool 3x/week and I can use the mornings between homeschool to still get some good exercise in. 

Here’s an example of my workout today – still using P90X, and today I did plyometrics to help with my running endurance. 

The kids love “working out” with me – I clear out the guest room/office and I use it as a space to do workout videos. They were using different items from around the house to mimic my swing kicks- I was swing kicking over a dollhouse. Use what ya got. 

My second son is sick and he laid down on the bed just watching me. 

The kids are still young, but we figure it out and make it work. I think my youngest riding a bike is a game changer too. 

I can walk/run behind him. I love that through the years God has always provided a way for us to workout, and the the kids see health is a priority. It’s something my husband and I both think is important so when one of us needs to give the other time to get a workout in…the other spouse is completely understanding. 

Utilize videos, inexpensive gyms with childcare, a loving spouse, kids naptimes/baby gates/pack n plays/strollers (buy them at consignment like we have!), and family if you’re so lucky they are close to you. Do it because it makes you feel better, heck…somedays it was the only thing that made me feel human. Listen to sermons on podcasts, audio books, music or just silence. 

These days I usually have to make the choice between a workout or getting dressed and wearing makeup daily. Most days I choose the workout. ?

It’s not going to look perfect, its not going to look the same as pre-pregnancy. But you definitely can keep working out! I hope this has helped! 

❤️, Court

Cross training day, anniversaries, and prayer

Until my new tennies come in, I’m using the next couple of days as cross training days. Today, I pumped the tires on my bike (errr….my neighbor took pity on me and pumped them instead ?), and set off  on my favorite route. 

It’s GORGEOUS here today, and honestly I could have gone further if I had taken a bit of water with me. 

Tomorrow I’m planning on doing some kind of plyometrics. Which I’m slightly dreading, but also thankful because I know it will increase my endurance for running. 

First thing this morning I placed a call to our favorite Clinic because one of my son’s woke up with a fever. 

Now armed with a prescription, Epsom salts, essential oils, and plexus probiotics should have him up and running soon!

We are celebrating 12 years this Sunday with my sweet husband. 8 moves, 4 states, 4 kids, 5 animals, and several hair colors later we are still married, still happy and in love. 

Our anniversary always falls during our Church’s missions conference, and since my husband is the local missions Pastor….we always celebrate early. Last weekend we took off for St. Petersburg. We enjoyed a walk on the beach, a couples massage, and dinner at Stillwater Taverns (which I highly recommend!!). 

Tomorrow all over Tampa Bay there will be prayer walkers lifting up neighbors and businesses. God can do amazing things when His people pray – so we are excited to see all that He will do! If you’ve ever wanted to increase your prayer life I recommend reading through Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson. It’s excellent!

Have a wonderful Friday, I pray your area of the country is just as lovely as mine is today!

❤️, Court

Running shoes

When I mentioned I was going to start running, I had several friends tell me I needed to go get fitted for the proper running shoes. 

Of course I knew they were right BUT before I spent a chunk of change, I really wanted to make sure that I was gonna stick with this new found hobby. I started on Christmas Day, and have steadily increased my speed and endurance. 

So I went this afternoon to a running store in Lutz and the lady was SO nice! She watched me walk, and then run…in a dress. Whatever, it worked because she claimed to find the right one for me. Apparently I walk on the outside of my feet, but run straight. Who knew?!

Sadly, they didn’t have in the shoe that she wanted me in – to the tune of $120. So I googled it on the way home and found out that a store I frequent often not only had them but also had them for way less…$75!! And wouldn’t you know it, I also had a gift card to said store!

All totaled I paid $39 for the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16! Super pumped! And I don’t feel guilty for not purchasing them from the store since they didn’t have them in!

Major win today, my friends! After 1-3 shipping days my feet will hit the ground running again. Until then, its biking or plyometrics for me!

Another major win is this beauty…my newest niece! She’s just lovely! I found out she was born right before my run, so I spent some time praying for she and her sweet mom while running! 

Today has been great!

❤️, Court