You asked, I answer!
I don't know about you, but I love to read blog posts where people answer random, simple questions they've received. So I reached out on Facebook and asked for a few questions, and this post is my response to those!
Feel free to send more questions my way - I feel like sometimes I talk about the same things over and over on the blog, because cows & little boys mostly fill my day when I'm not at work but if you have a question - I'll try to answer it!
Question: How do you do it all? Marriage, work, children, play?
Ummm, I hate to disappoint you but I don't do it all. :) But thanks for thinking that, lol!
Honestly - I try to prioritize things and you get to see the highlight reel here on the blog and Facebook. I really, really, REALLY believe in having a handful of priorities (ones that are important to you) and then trying to make good on those and letting the rest fall where it may.
And the key is - you have to be ok with a lot of things just being what they are.
So when I think about prioritizing things, I think these things rise to the top:
1. I want to be present at home in the evenings, and during the weekends.
2. I want to do my job really well; and give it my full attention from 8-5. But at 5 o'clock - I want to be headed out the door towards home.
3. I only make a 1 or 2 evening commitments (social or work) during a week.
4. I want to be a really good wife and mom.
5. I want to make a least 5 dinners at home per week, if not more.
6. I only prioritize the following house chores - one load of laundry every day, running the dishwasher as soon as it is full and vacuuming the house 2-3 times per week.
If you know me, you've probably heard me say "Clint's in charge of the outside stuff, and I'm in charge of the inside stuff." That means I worry about getting the boys to daycare and home every day, I pay the bills that relate to inside the house, take care of the chores inside, etc. Clint worries about feeding the cows, handling water, paying bills that relate to outside of the house and makes decisions that relate there. For us - this works really well. If one of us needs help (like I can't pick up the boys, or he will be gone for the week on a work trip) we communicate that as early as possible and try to prep as much for the other person as we can. But otherwise, I don't have to worry about a lot of things we do because Clint has taken care of it. And vice versa - he doesn't have to worry about a lot of things either, because he knows I've taken care of it. It's one of my favorite parts of our marriage.
So with those things prioritized - here's what I don't really worry about....
1. Our house is not Pottery Barn perfect. :) We have toys strewn about, right now there is a sleeping bag draped over the dining room chair I'm sitting in as I type this, and I have a lovely stack of paperwork on the counter that has built up from my tax prep work. Snow clothes are laid out by the door to dry, boots are lined up at the door and there's a set of train tracks laid out across our dining room table the boys played with this weekend.
But the sink is clear, a load of laundry is sitting waiting to be folded when I run the boys through the bath, and there aren't any big chunks of stuff on my floor. For now, I count that as a win.
I also say this a lot - and I truly mean it; if you come visit my home and judge me by the way my house looks - we probably don't need to be friends.
2. I don't worry about my social life. I don't know that this is great; but for right now in this stage of life it's not a priority. I get a lot of social interaction via my job, Clint and I have a great base of friends we communicate with via text, phone calls, and Facebook and I play Bunco with a supportive group of girls once a quarter. For me, right now that's enough because I want to spend my free time with my family. So for us, that looks like evenings at home making dinner, giving the boys a bath and settling in for an evening of popcorn, drinks (milk for the boys, a couple cans of seltzer water shared between all of us and one good craft beer for me) and probably a half hour of Paw Patrol or Mickey Mouse. :)
3. Clint and I don't worry about a lot of material things. I think we prioritize function and efficiency over looks and status. It's why I drive a minivan that sorely needs to be vacuumed out; but also holds everything I would need for a weekend of travel with two boys.
I think there is a caveat here; in that we both have very good jobs (that humbly, we've tried to work hard for) that provide us each a work vehicle, cell phone and other perks that we very much appreciate. We then each have a personal vehicle (Clint has an older 2500 pickup, and I have the minivan) that we use for cattle stuff, and our free time.
We DO spend money on livestock equipment, more than some might - but the cows are secondary to our full time jobs and we are willing to spend some extra money to make that part of our life as easy as it can be. For example - we over-built/over-insulated our shop so that if we had a winter like we've had this past month we could easily bring in cows and keep things alive. Or like I wrote about here; we have a couple of LS feeders that just make feeding easy for us.
Money is an easy thing to worry about or over.
It just is.
But if you can align your goals with your spouse; and be on the same page about what is important to you and what isn't - man, I just think that is such a huge deal in a marriage. We are not perfect - at all. But Clint is an excellent saver, and we try to talk about and be open about costs of things and what we want to spend money on, and those two things help us.
4. We are trying to eat better - but I don't let it rule our lives. I try to shop the perimeter of the store (veggies, milk, eggs, cheese, protein) but we also eat Papa Murphy's pizza, McDonald's drive thru and you will always find Diet Pepsi in our fridge. Being hangry, or constantly worried about calories just isn't a priority for me. It probably should be - I know I need to lose weight - but right now, it's not something I'm willing to be stressed out about.
So the above probably could have been it's own blog post - but hopefully that helps you understand what we prioritize; and what we don't to try to make life easy for us. If that makes it look like I do it all - well, I hope I've demonstrated that I don't. :)
Question: What are the boys' favorite books?
I will confess; we are not the best at reading to the boys. But we do have books out, and they enjoy flipping through a book but rarely sit still for us to read an entire book to them.
They like books about tractors, trucks, Paw Patrol, and the Little Blue Truck books.
Question: How are the kitties?
The kitties are good. :) They live outside, and the male we have is probably twice as big as his sister. They like to hang out by our sliding door, and Chandler LOVES to hold them but they usually run away from him. :) He did catch the male the other day though and I got a few pictures....
Thanks for asking the above!
If you have any other questions, leave a comment, message me on Facebook or shoot me a text - I would totally be open to posting my blogs like this!