: : winter and so on : :

There really is no such thing as balance.  Work, family.  No balance. See, the thing is as a woman, it still actually sucks for us in the work world.  You can't actually have it all.  When you are at work, you think about what you should be doing at home.  When you are at home, you think about opportunities passing you by because you aren't at work.  I have written about it before.  And it's nothing new.  Not for me.  Not for any woman regardless of where you work.  In or outside of the home.  It's not fair.  But it's the way it is.

I pray about it a lot.  I'm still on that "Mommy track" and others around me who once were are no longer.  They have moved on.  Their kids have grown and their priorities are all work work work.  And I am, gratefully, with much blessing, still in that place.  The "Mommy track".  That place where my kids are little (and some big), still like to snuggle, still call me Mommy, and my heart is 1000% with them all the time.  I want to be here when they leave for school, be here when they get home, make dinner early, make life for them peaceful and not rushed and chaotic.  Life is short and I will never ever ever never wish I had achieved more in my work life.  My aspirations are to be the best person God created me to be.  Pure and simple.  To nurture my children and husband all the days of my life with as much of me as I can give.

But it's a challenge.  I run my Two Peas business.  I work part time at another job.  I volunteer and am active in my community and I'm terrible at saying no. But I'm learning.

I'm learning you can't really have it all.  You can't stay home AND actually have enough money to put food on the table.  You can't work all the time and actually mentally or physically be there for your kids, fully in the moment, and without guilt as much as you'd like.  At least I can't.

And I wrestle with that balance.  Those struggles ebb and flow in my life.  Lately, it's been increasingly uncomfortable.  Life is challenging me.  I think those uncomfortable feelings that creep up are pushing me towards new ideas and changes.  I'm not sure where yet.  I'm not sure what yet.  But I feel something in me stirring and changing.  It's uncomfortable.  And I know that means that change is coming.

But I'm patiently praying and quietly listening.  I do know that my heart is pulling me stronger than ever to be present in this place.  To follow what is most important in life.  Maybe it's just the natural transition of getting older, growing wiser, being more secure in who I am.

And it's sometimes hard to come to this place - to write, talk and say something worth saying when I haven't felt like it.  When I haven't known what to say or share.  Or how to find the time.  But it hit me last night, like a lightening bolt, some ideas for change.  And here I am, finding some time to start a conversation.

Winter has been good.  Fun.  Warm, even though the temperatures outside are cold.  I wanted to share a little of what our two peas, sprout, the gardener and I have been up to...

Santa visited our girls and we enjoyed having Grandma with us too.  There were shouts of joy for chocolates and sock monkeys, barbies, and the best ever...Sprout got a Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer in her stocking.  She paused, held it out in front of her and burst into tears.  Big fat huge raindrops falling from her eyes while she exclaimed, "I love him so much!".  Sweetest thing ever.  Made us all cry because she was just so genuinely thrilled.

The snow missed us Christmas day but so beautifully fell the day after.  Of course the call went out, "The Preston sled hill is officially open" and friends gathered and came to hit the slopes and then sip hot cocoa afterwards.  The photo on the left : : the two peas and one of their buddies trying a triple person run not so successfully : : photo on the right is Sprout and I, she eventually took her hands down and watched, and squealed and screamed all the way down.  We may live in a teeny tiny house but I remind my girls all the time - you have the best backyard in town and that makes all the small spaces so worth it!  (and no, the little yellow house is not our house - it's the playhouse my Dad built for the kids.  The brown building in the background - also not our house - but our barn).

We visited family and the girls Aunt and Uncle treated them to a day at the ice rink for Christmas.  They LOVED it!  All three of them!  (If you are ever near Dayton, OH in the winter - the Riverscape downtown park / ice rink is a must do!).  And Sprout, well of course she sports an "S" on her skirt.  She loves getting dressed for church on Sunday and visiting with her girlfriends.  They quite literally, run to each other and knock one another down in a fit of giggles and then run off to play in the nursery or go to class.  4 is the best age ever.  Seriously.  

We have been exploring new recipes.  This one was a huge hit!  It all started because Wendy's (fast food - don't judge) has these new Baja salads.  To quote my 4 year old, O.M.G.  So delish!  So I tried to copy it at home and totally pulled it off.

I made a pot of homemade chili.  Put a scoop of the chili over iceberg lettuce. Add shredded cheddar cheese, a few tomatoes diced, fresh avocados sliced, a dollop of sour cream, a squirt of Hidden Valley Ranch Southwest Chipotle dressing, and a few crushed Doritos.  Score!  Kids LOVED it!

And then of course, you have the days that Sprout wants me to do her hair just like Mama...and I always oblige.  Sock buns!!  With my long hair and sewing, sock buns have been my fav way to pull my hair back lately.

And finishing off revisions to my best selling pattern, the Hazel Hipster.  Freshening up pattern covers for relaunches.  Headed up north to film for Season 5 for It's Sew Easy soon.  And...I'm going to need more coffee.

Hope you all are well.  Leave me note, catch me up on what's new with you!  I hope you are finding challenges in life as opportunities for positive changes and enjoying moments everyday.