By: Jennifer Murray

Toothless Twinsies

toothless-twins

 

So no more, “Clark is the one with the front top tooth out” to help others tell them apart. (Although I think they look pretty distinctive in this picture, I have messed up a couple of times on first glance in person.)

Doesn’t it just age them so quickly when they starting loosing teeth? My babies have vanished.

Henry has still only lost 1 tooth, while Clark, Isaac, and Brooks are tied with 5.  And yes, the Tooth Fairy is officially bankrupt.

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What else is happening around here besides loose teeth and dollars under pillows when we remember to tell Siri to remind us? Let’s see…

>>> I’m attending a ladies Bible study on Wednesday mornings since I’m now a lady of leisure have a little more flexibility in my schedule. We’re studying Weirsbe’s Be Hopeful, a commentary on I Peter.

>>> We gave back our camper that’s been on loan from friends for several years. Sad, but HELLO GARAGE SPACE!

>>> My basic no-frills Kindle went for a swim with me in the bathtub, but came back to life after a few nights soaking in rice.  However, it’s having issues, so I may just have to beg for a new one for my birthday.  Yes, I have learned my lesson, but I’m not sure I can commit to not ever doing it again.

>>> Brad’s family is celebrating his parents’ 40th Anniversary at Gulf Shores this week.  We couldn’t swing a trip right now, but we are sure missing the ocean and opportunity to spend time with them! So thankful for their milestone and their marriage!

>>> I steped inside of an Ulta store for the first time in my life last week. I haven’t bought anything but drug store make-up since the early 2000′s, but I’m giving this a go along with a few other things I found and I’ve even watched some of Kate from the Small Things tutorials. Who is this crazy woman typing such things?

>>> We made a trip to our favorite apple orchard on Sunday.  I love going there every year and watching the boys race up and down the rows of trees, and snack on goodies from the country store.  We came home with a bag of Honey Crisps and a jar of Apple butter, but we’ll be back for more apples and cider later this month.

>>> Brad’s grandparents have both moved to the nursing home, which has been an emotional strain and transition for everyone involved. Aging is just cruel sometimes. We would appreciate your prayers for his family.

>>> We are headed to Lexington this weekend for an Essential Oils 101 Class with some of my favorite blogging and real life friends Traci (Beneath My Heart), Cyndi (Walking in Grace and Beauty), and Myra (My Blessed Life). If you are in the area, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see you there!

>>> Ever since it cooled off a little, the 7 Soups for Fall post from last year has been blowing up on Pinterest, so thanks if you happened to share/pin it!

>>> I cleaned out my closet and gave it a really good purge.  Basically my criteria was if this doesn’t make you feel good in it or fit right it’s GONE.  Felt so good. I can’t wait to find time to tackle the toys, the linen closets, the boy’s room, etc.

>>> We recently discovered that the sushi from our local Kroger is surprisingly really good and cheap, which may become a problem.

>>> I can’t get enough of Rend Collective’s My Lighthouse.

>>> I’m enjoying the cooler temps and fall air, but can I be honest and tell you that the thought of winter panics me?  It was such a horrible season for us and every time I see anything Christmas related I feel nauseous, anxious, and filled with dread if I allow myself to go that far. I’m trying to focus on the thankfulness I have in the now.

Alright, enough of my random happenings and current phases.  What are YOU into these days? Talk to me, Friends. It’s much too quiet in this house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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By: Jennifer Murray

The Road To Becoming a Work At Home Dad Revisited…

Last year I (Brad) wrote a series of posts about working from home as a dad.  Things have again changed dramatically around here, so I thought it would be a good time to give an update on this topic.

If you’d like to take a look back at the previous posts you can find them here:

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The biggest change in our home in the past few months is school.  We have chosen homeschool the past few years and absolutely loved it.  A lot of work?  Yes.  Difficult to balance?  Yes.  Worth it?  DEFINITELY.  In our particular situation, I would not trade anything for the experiences, time, schedule, and fun of the past two years.  If I could go back and do it all over again, I’m not sure I would change much.

That being said, just like everything else in our family history, nothing ever goes as planned.  In mid-July I would have told you we were going to do homeschool again this year.  There were many things shifting in my business as well as Jen’s new opportunity with Young Living, but I thought that was the direction the Lord was taking us.  However, all of that changed in less than a week.  Every obstacle that seemed to be in the way for the boys to go to school seemed to melt away, and suddenly it occurred to me that we had our answer, whether we liked it or not.  We didn’t know if we liked it, but it became clear that it was the right decision for the boys and for our family this year.  (By the way, we are not committed to anything next year, who knows!)

Since the boys went to school, I have missed them very much, but have been surprised by how short the time they are gone each day seems.  I feared a loss of closeness with them that has simply not happened this first month.  We still do fun things daily, and we still have many freedoms that I thought we might loose.  It’s hard to change, but its been a very good change for us too.

While all of that is going on personally, an opportunity to start a new business with a friend has arisen.  Really Lord, something new and different here too?  Life is an adventure!  The idea sprang from something I have noticed about web design for the past 5 years that has driven me nuts.  There is no good option for a start-up or small business who needs a really excellent website, but doesn’t have thousands to spend.  Shouldn’t they be able to have a great website too to support their business and ultimately their families?

In the past, I have always recommended services like SquareSpace or Wix.  These really are good do-it-yourself solutions.  However, about 90% of business owners don’t ever actually take the time to get a website up on their own.  Even if they do, they end up looking unprofessional, because they don’t know how to get even these advanced tools to look good.  It just doesn’t work the vast majority of the time.

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That’s why I created Whirl Sites.  Whirl sites costs a business just $399.00 to sign up, and then $39/mo to keep forever.  It includes hosting, domain (if needed), email, and a beautiful website that is usable right away.  Check out our designs, You Guys. We are really proud of these cutting-edge designs.  So many other perks involved… You have a content management system that allows you to make changes anytime you like.  We back your entire website up every 30 days in case you ever need it restored.  It’s a top-notch website for small business, and I am so excited to have it ready for launch right now.

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Can you help me out and spread the word to people you know in business and tell them to Give Us a Whirl?

Give Whirl Sites a “like” on Facebook as well, if you wouldn’t mind!  We’re grateful for your support in so many ways!

We are doing our best to wake up everyday and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ with our needs, business, parenting, and every other aspect of life.  We thank the Lord for all he has done and continues to do in our lives!

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By: Jennifer Murray

How Life Has Changed Since Becoming a School Mom {Or Not}

how-life-has-changed-becoming-school-mom



We are into our 4th week of school and one of the biggest adjustments of our lives, and Brad and I are still pinching ourselves over how well smoothly it’s running.  No tears, no complaints, no reluctance – is this just honeymoon newbie school phase still? 

People keep stopping to ask me what I’m doing with ALL my “free time”. 

I have to hold back my chuckle, because I think they are picturing me laying out by the pool, magazine in hand, dosing off, and aimlessly waiting until it’s time to go line up in the car pick-up line. It’s as if all of my responsibilities vanished with the school enrollment.

Not. So. Much.

So what looks the same and what looks different?  Here’s a little of what I’ve experienced these past few weeks…

  • There is a measure of quiet that I haven’t experienced in 7 years. It’s eerie but refreshing at the same time. 
  • I still cannot get on top of my laundry. I do laundry {nearly} daily and just never get caught up.  I’ve resigned to it being my lot in life.
  • I’ve packed 72 lunches so far.  So glad I have a cheat-sheet when I’m all out of ideas.
  • We’re up and at ‘em much earlier.  Out the door by 7:50 is getting us to bed earlier and the morning routine has been a good change rather than a dreaded one so far.
  • I’ve had several lunch dates/business meetings with Brad.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to be more involved with his business and I’m so excited for his newly launched Whirl Sites. They’ve knocked it out of the park with this one!  Check it out and pass it along to those you might know who need an affordable web solution with most of the advantages of a custom-built site!
  • I still cannot stock my pantry and fridge with enough food. The dudes are always hungry.
  • I’ve been able to dedicate more time to my Young Living biz.  It’s growing like wildfire, y’all.  So thankful for not only the paycheck that is an absolute bonus and provision, but for the opportunity to invest in others and help them find answers for all sorts of health issues from the minor to the major. People who I’ve introduced to essential oils are off allergy meds, migraine meds, sleeping better, getting relief from anxiety, and boosting their family’s immunity.  I’m just floored that I get to have a small part in it!
  • Life has been less survival mode, and more doggie paddling over sinking.
  •  I’ve been able to pursue relationships better, something that I have lacked balance in the last few years.
  •  I still haven’t “caught up”.  My closets need cleaned out, my house needs dusted, my fridge needs cleaned, etc.  I thought the cleaning fairy would come over to keep me company, but she’s a no-show.
  • I’m not all put together. I feel accomplished when we all get to school with 4 backpacks, 4 lunches, 4 signed assignment notebooks, and 4 homework folders in the van and into the school parking lot on time. Perfect hair, makeup, and fashion to go with this circus just aren’t realistic or a priority.
  • I’ve learned the lesson of not buying shoes at a box store.  New brand name shoes ripping apart in 2 weeks is not acceptable in this mom’s book.
  •  I actually LOVE the car pick up line.  Don’t throw anything at your computer. No really, put down that coffee mug you are starting to chuck.  I know it’s newbie school mom love, but it’s a time that no one is demanding anything from me that I can guiltlessly check Facebook or read a few pages on my Kindle that survived the bathtub swimming session!
  • Time still flies.  I mean honestly, how is it 3:30 soooooo fast? I thought the days would be long, but turns out they fly by just as quickly.
  • I miss them. It’s not a emptiness/sadness/loss feeling like I anticipated, but it’s still bizarre  having hours without them when I’ve been with them since their exit from the NICU.

All that said I think we’re adjusting and finding a new rhythm.  It’s certainly not perfect and there are things we miss about our homeschool lifestyle, but overall it’s been a really good fit for all of us.  Thanks for supporting us and cheering us on as we continue to figure out what’s best for our boys. 

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