Accepting my Balance

I know I’ve mentioned it before in probably half of my posts.  Life is busy… I don’t have a lot of time to be writing on my blog.  That’s not to say I don’t miss writing on my blog.

Just to catch you up on what we’ve been doing – Girl Scouts (Maria & myself – including selling cookies), Gymnastics (Maria is in a class, while Charlie & I go to parent & toddler class), Skating lessons for Maria, new(ish) job for Chad, growing pains (Maria), preparing for milestones (Charlie – big boy bed, potty training, turning 3!), transitions at work, and starting to think about what to do for a job that is scheduled to move an additional 40 minutes away from my home in a year.

It’s frankly a lot.  And even at work we talk a lot about work-life balance. And I’m working on it. I’m working on finding my passion at work and feeling valued.  I think the transitions at work will help with that, but it is going to be up to me with what I put into those transitions.  I also need to make sure I don’t get sucked back into my own role of saying yes whenever someone needs help, just because it would be easier for the people asking if I said yes. It often sets me back from the direction I am going in, and I don’t always easily get back on course.

And at home, accepting the balance. I think I’m a little out of balance right now. I’m over-committed. And I think Maria may be too. I want my kids to have lots of experiences.  But I think right now with our work schedules and the amount of time we are away from home, we don’t need to commit to being gone more than that.  I’m going to fight through the end of February.  Get the kids through this session of gymnastics, and bring back some consistency to our weeknights.

But really, I’m learning at all of this right now. Life keeps changing, so I need to also be ready for adjustments.



Another Big Change

So another big change on the horizon for our family.  I accepted a new job today to start the end of the month.

Looking forward to working for a large Minnesota based retailer!  One that I worked at previously as a contractor and will now be a full-time team member.. Time to invest in some red & khaki!

I have been struggling with which direction to take in my career.  I knew if I want to make the next big step and get some serious experience doing IT business analysis, that I’d probably make the leap into 40 hour weeks and a bigger company.  Consulting wasn’t getting me to the next big place in my career, and the flexibility was limited, therefore not being completely flexible.  I did consider a job that would pay well with good benefits and could probably be as little as 25 hours a week, but the JOB sounded a bit boring and would not help me move ahead in my career.  I know family is more important than career, but there is also that saying “happy momma makes everyone happy”  and if I didn’t like what I was doing 3 days a week, I know it would catch up with me elsewhere… Plus working 40 hours means hopefully splurging on things that will make life more enjoyable… (I’m thinking groceries delivered to my door and a house cleaner!)

So I did it, and I’m excited.  12 days left of consulting then a week off, before plunging into the world of bullseyes, red & khaki!

Back to Work

So I am officially back to work. I even got a small paycheck for the last week of May. That is probably the highlight of being back at work. Although I do admit that I do like the adult interaction and even some of the actual work.

What I don’t like is the commute and my short evenings with my family. I know it will get better and our routine will solidify as the weeks go by. But right now Maria seems to just act out all evening. Poor Charlie comes home tired and is either fussy or sleeping. And me: I’m tired too. Somehow 1-2 night feedings aren’t so exhausting when I don’t have to work 8 hours a day. And on top of that there are potty breaks from Maria at least once a night. (Along with other requests for snacks and pillowcase straightenings).

Sorry to complain. Just a struggle right now. And an explanation as to why you haven’t heard from me lately.

I will leave you with a couple pictures of what keepsme going courtesy of my iPhone which is allowing me to post this over lunch!


Up To:

Went back to work on Tuesday. I found a short contract position working for a company that I previously worked at for a few months. It makes a nice transition to go back to some place familiar, even if it had been almost 2 years!


I am now 31 weeks pregnant and not always sure how I will make it through the next 9 weeks!  Feeling huge.  Plus if I do too much (i.e. walk, pick up Maria, spend too much time on my feet, combination of any of the above) I sometimes have contractions which reminds me to slow down.  Last week was hard, because Chad was out of town, but we survived and he is now home for at least 2 weeks.


She is definitely 2.  The last few weeks she is all about being independent and making decisions. This mostly comes in the form of not listening when she doesn’t want to hear what we have to say, especially at bed time.  We struggle with this, especially knowing that I shouldn’t be picking her up. But a time out only stalls bed time which is exactly what she wants…

She does love to help and when I sat at the bottom of the stairs to rest last week, she held my legs and told me she wouldn’t let me fall… 🙂


He’s on vacation for 2 weeks.  and I am jealous.

Here are some pictures from making cookies yesterday. Maria only stayed interested until I let her use the rolling pin and then she was off to play and wait for Lilah to come over to play. Today I am frosting them and we’ll see if she’s interested in that… 🙂

Baking Christmas Cookies

Baking Christmas Cookies

Baking Christmas Cookies


So yes, I’ve been shirking my duties as the dutiful blogger I want to be.  I apologize, but November gets soo hectic!

Since my last post, I went on the Hudson Tour of Homes with Sarah, had a playdate / Packer watching afternoon with my friend Lana, celebrated Thanksgiving with the family, got up early for a few Black Friday doorbusters (which I doubt I will ever do again), made lefse with my mom and celebrated Chad’s birthday.  And pretty much completed my Christmas shopping!

Plus I’ve been cleaning out closets, the backroom and garage.  Got rid of some good garage clutter using Craigslist. Sold 2 boxes of books at the used book store. And took 3 boxes to Goodwill.  Currently I’m working on finding someone or an organization that would want a bunch of my fabric.  And getting our old hideabed hauled away.

Today, I finished up at my contract at Target Corp.  I was there over 21 months, so it was a little surreal to leave and not know what I am going to do next.  I will be on the bench and my company will continue to pay me while they try to find me a position.  Of course, things are a little limited with my due date being mid-Feb, plus this time of year it’s just hard to find new contracts.

This weekend besides getting things organized with the new bed, I’m hoping we get the tree and decorations up for Christmas. Maria has been so excited and playing with her Fisher Price Nativity Set and her Mix and Match Christmas Book.  (Both are toys I highly recommend for toddlers and would make excellent gifts!)    She also is obsessed with Christmas lights and talks about Santa coming in through the fireplace!  What a wonderful time of  year!

I will try to be better about keeping up with my blog now.  Especially if work is a little slow, I really have no excuse, right?!

Creating Work

Work has been a little slow the last week or so.  It is leaving me a little unsettled as my contract ends on 12/5, so I am guessing an extension is probably not happening.  (Thankful I am a full-time employee for the company I consult through!)

As it is, I am trying to download download download and document!  I have been at this position for about 21 months and learned a LOT!  So now I am working on creating documentation for the team (and people we support) from the stuff I have collected and devised in my head.  None of which I have been specifically asked to do, but things I know that will be a positive for the people I work with whenever I make my exit.

Plus I also need to update my resume and gather some evidence examples of things I’ve worked on and created while on the job here!

As much as things are slow, I am really trying to focus on adding value to the team while not boring myself with my own brain-dump!

It doesn’t help that I obviously have a few other things going on (hello 2  year old, 25 weeks pregnant and serious nesting!)


So yes, I’ve fallen off the blogging wagon.

It’s tough. Once you slip, it’s hard to get back into it. Now so much has happened, it could be a long drawn out post. In a nutshell, I’ve been busy. OK, so that means spent a lot of time working on the yard and un-doing the damage we’ve done by ignoring it for 2 summers.  And now my house (inside) is feeling ignored and dirty! Plus I’m planning Maria’s birthday party. And on top of that things have been busy at work!  I’m ignoring my blog. I’m ignoring facebook. I’m barely twittering. Barely texting or replying to emails! Oh, and my 21 days are up tonight… so I’ll post after I see what I accomplish with my day today!

So here are some bullets for the last couple weeks:

  • Maria came home with a shiner and a gash across her nose last week. I postponed her 2 year pictures, but at the bottom you can see how it looked when she got home that night. The bruising is mostly gone (faint yellow now) and the cut is smaller. Hopefully by next Friday (pictures) it’ll be good.
  • Finished cleaning out the landscaping.  Planted all my flowers. Trimmed up some of the shrubs. Split some hostas. And my grass that I planted a couple weeks ago sprouted this week with all the sunshine we’ve had! Yay!
  • Worked a lot. Work is busy. But good. Busy in a good way. I just wish I had more time at work to concentrate on my current project which is creating a request system using SharePoint and InfoPath, which I’m pretty much teaching to myself.
  • Working through birthday party details. It’s an Elmo theme!
  • Last night we went to a birthday party for a little boy who was in our Mommy and Baby class 2 summers ago. There were 4 from the class (including Maria) there and they don’t look like this anymore!
  • Maria continues to amaze us. She is using full sentences occasionally. Usually it starts with “I want…”  🙂

Nasty Owieee

Playing on Potty

Playing on her Potty


  • Yesterday after we got home from daycare, I put Maria down inside and asked her to be a big girl and go up the stairs by herself, because I was also carrying groceries. She got to the first step and stopped. She then said “back itch, back itch”. Strange, she has never said this before, but I went to scratch her back and discovered she had smuggled a toy car home from daycare inside her onesie and it was scratching her!
  • Work today was gloomy. Major layoffs. I’m a consultant, so I’m spared for now.  Still hits too close to home.  I’ve been on the other side twice. This was the first time I’ve stuck around through it, but it still sucks!
  • Dinner for tomorrow is ready to go in the oven. Tonight after Maria went to bed, I prepped meatloaf and twice-baked potatoes from leftover baked potatoes I made late last week.
  • Really craving Chocolate Chip cookies, but too lazy to make them. That is probably good!
  • Oh, and I overpaid a store credit card bill by 2 cents, and they sent me a check for $0.02 – how ridiculous will I look when I take that to the bank!? 🙂


So yeah, to say I was frustrated this week was probably putting it mildly.  I wanted to cry – ok, I did, but I wanted to cry more!  But I also wanted to shout and swear.  And seriously if you know me, I don’t really swear. It takes quite a bit to evoke an F-bomb from me, but believe me I dropped several, and would have liked to drop more! I even thought about driving to work one day and sitting through traffic instead of riding the bus, because I was pissed and didn’t want to sit next to a stranger – Then I realized I would probably just get more frustrated sitting in traffic and instead turned to my iPod which helps a little.

So what was it?  A new role as a contractor/consultant. Something that I would have taken on a year ago as a step, but… the last year has been good to me! Really the one experience I never would have imagined that I could do, but it’s been a tremendous learning opportunity.  I think in the last 11 months my confidence in my skills and abilities as a consultant and an analyst have increased ten-fold. I also think, I was always pretty complacent, because I hadn’t found something I wanted to excel at, and now I have something that I at least want to try and be good at!  Actually 2 things, because now I am starting to get the hang of being a consultant!

And Wednesday, it kind of felt like the rug was pulled out.  I know as a consultant priorities of the clients won’t always align with your career goals, but I wasn’t feeling ready to just to step back and re-evaluate my vision.  I felt like a change in direction was going to leave me just shy of getting to where I really wanted to be.   Then there is the economy which isn’t friendly to moves or even making waves!  AND my own stake in sticking with this consultant gig which I just decided was a good fit after 2 years of going back and forth!

Although, luckily me being pissed frustrated, usually drives me to be heard.  I usually aim to please, but at some point I need to be heard.  (Don’t worry – I didn’t take it out on the client, I’m not stupid!) As for now, I’m still going to work through what’s been put on my plate. My frustrations and concerns were heard, which me to gained some peace of mind and affirmations and reassurance.  It also got me help in getting some more of the role defined.  Probably the most helpful, though was having someone else to help me sort through and point out the opportunities and sympathize with the less than ideal.

Even though I have deviated from my “ideal” path, my new “glass half full” attitude is to take advantage and use this new role/opportuntiy to get more experience in creating my own opportunities.