A Poor Hand Well-Played: The Moments that Define Us

Let’s face it. In life, people rarely get dealt a great hand to play.  In most cases, if you end up with a semi-decent collection of cards, you thank your lucky stars and make the best of it.  It’s never all good chances and circumstances or all bad ones, but learning how to make the best of a tough situation in life is not just a survival technique…

They are the moments that define us.

One thing I always remember when I am dealt a poor hand, is that…

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The Intentionally Unemployed

Today marked my last day at the office.  I am now intentionally unemployed.  Considering I have been working almost 18 years straight, stopping work feels somewhat unnatural.

Even though I cleaned out my desk and turned in my key, it still feels a bit unreal to me.

The Final Countdown: Setting a Schedule, Goals and Expectations

My last day at the office is quickly approaching.  This coming week will be my last one working outside of the home.

In anticipation of that change, I finally decided that I better attempt to set a tentative schedule, goals, and expectations for myself.  I could easily hang out on the sofa watching Netflix or reading books all day if I let myself.


It sounds like such a simple thing, but really it’s fraught with inconsistencies. Good planning has to be like a tree.  It has to be both sturdy AND flexible enough to survive.  There’s still some question about how the mornings will pan out, but here is my tentative daily schedule plan:

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My 2017 Book List

Every year, I set a Reading Goal for how many books I plan to read that year.  In 2017, I got a little over ambitious with a goal of 75 books!

In 2016, I surpassed my goal of reading 50 books with 81 books, so I thought that 75 was reasonable.  It is definitely doable, but might have been a little overboard, even for me…but I finally achieved my goal with a couple days to spare.  Then I threw in an extra book for posterity.

I usually use Goodreads to track my books, and like to go through them at the end of the year to select my favorites of the bunch.

My 7 Favorite Reads of 2017

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Post-Holiday Vacation

The holiday celebrations are over. The gifts are all unwrapped. My house is still in chaos…time for a post-holiday stay-cation!

Christmas fell on a Monday this year, and while we would typically stay as long as possible in Michigan visiting family after the most rambunctious of holidays, this year we decided to drive home early.

Best decision ever!

I have become a huge advocate of the need for a break after vacations (even if you can only squeeze in an extra day!)


An extra day to do it all can make life much less stressful.

  1. Decompress! — If you have kids, you know that a vacation is a stressful, though often fun, adventure.  Your family makes lasting memories, BUT you also had to deal with all the drama of traveling, making a temporary home, and feeding your family while away from the comfort of your own kitchen.
  2. Stuff to Do — There is always STUFF to do after a trip. Unpacking, laundry, cleaning the car, preparing for the next day, grocery shopping, pick up a pet, water the plants, etc.
  3. Schedule Adjustment — Depending how far you traveled and what your family schedule was while into on the vacation, sometimes a day (or more) is needed to help get everyone back on their regularly-scheduled program before work/school begins again.


Trying to Do It All: A Supermom’s Advice to the All Moms

I am tired of society, both media and other moms, disparaging the supermom a.k.a. the “Mom Who’s Trying to Do It All”.

This usually refers to the mom who is trying to be perfect in every aspect of her life, rather than one who is just trying to keep everything under control or get everything she has to accomplished.

It is a positive thing to try to be the best you can at the things that are important to you.

As long as you are doing it for your own satisfaction AND not stressing out about what you really just don’t have the time or skill for.

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Quitting My Day Job: How to Make Money Working Out of Your Own Home

One question I’ve been asked is “What will you do all day when your kids are in school?”

Um, work.

A Different Kind of Work

Yes, I still plan to work. It’s just going to be a different KIND of work.

Unpaid work, for the most part, but for a couple years now, I have done freelance work in my meager spare time.  More spare time means more freelance time possible.

Most of MY freelance work is editing and writing academic papers.  It’s amazing how many people will pay you money to format their references into APA-format, correct their grammar, or ghostwrite their memoirs because they don’t have the time or skill to do so.

How to Make Money From Out of Your Own Home

Pretty much, I’ve learned that if you can do something not everyone else can (whether it’s sewing a costume, playing the oboe, dying hair, being home midday to care for pets, or creating spreadsheets) it is instantly a marketable skill.  The trick is finding people who need your skillset and are willing to pay a reasonable fee for it.

Here are ten websites to consider using for marketing your unique skills and talents online:

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I’ll Pencil That In

One of the most common tips that I have received from current stay-at-home parents is to make a schedule and stick to it.

This is one of those things that sounds super duper simple, but is really a big pain in the ass.  There are just too many variables currently undetermined to hammer down anything resembling a predictable a schedule.

I know I will be the most productive directly after getting both the boys off to school. That means that I should probably use that time for the tasks that I am most likely to avoid OR something I need to be diligent about accomplishing.

Like exercising.

Which means I have to consider joining a gym…and the class schedules of the closest ones. Cardio Kick at 9:15 AM ? Pilates are at 10:30 AM ? I don’t even know what those things are!

So, instead of saying “Exercise at 9 AM”…I now find myself looking up Pilates online and reconsidering. Will altering my original plan to 10:30 on Tuesday/Thursdays will completely destroy my productivity plan or offer me daily diversity?

I think I will just pencil everything in for now and wait until I’ve actually been a SAHM for a couple weeks at least before figuring out a schedule that works for me.

Or I’ll just distract myself from making one by watching Cardio Kick videos while contemplating if I could really do that for 45 minutes straight twice a week.