Unexpected Quiet

Quiet Saturday I’ll tell you the definition of irony.

Irony is being wide awake at 7 am on the first Saturday in a long time in which there is nothing planned but laundry.

Today has a vacation-like feel. Christmas break was over on Thursday which gave me a delightful 2 day work-week. We have some sketchy weather moving in (possible blizzard and bitter cold temperatures-cold even for a hardy North Dakotan like myself).

I was feeling ambitious (and perhaps a little clausterphobic) after work yesterday, so I took down the Christmas decorations. Yes, I took down the decor before Christmas was over. In my defense, I hate taking the stuff down, so if I don’t do it while I’m motivated, we will have a Christmas tree dropping needles in my living room on Valentine’s Day. And wow, did this year’s tree drop needles! It also dropped ornaments fairly regularly, so that by the time I was packing up yesterday there was a little pile of ornaments on the windowsill behind the tree.

So, here it sit, in the quiet, with my coffee, and I realize that a little alone time at the start of the weekend is not entirely bad. I can sip my coffee (and for all of my talk of storm prep. . .I’m out of real cream!), and spend some time in God’s Word, and, if I am willing to wake the rest of the family (I’m not), I can get a jump-start on that laundry situation.

Chime in! What do you do when you find some unexpected quiet time in your day (or weekend)? I’d love to hear from you!

Mommy Wars and Megyn Kelly?

So, last night I was watching TV with the Rev. We usually watch movies (usually movies that I want to watch, which may or may not be a source of marital tension), but our DVR is currently empty of anything I wanted to watch. So I sat back and read and let the Rev. channel surf (sometimes I’m nice). He landed on Fox News and I looked up and noticed that Megyn Kelly was back. (she’s been back for almost a month). I told the Rev. that I liked her new haircut (I’m shallow like that) and he told me that she got all kinds of flack for taking too long of a maternity leave.

Do you know how much maternity leave she took? 3 months. 12 weeks. In the grand scheme of things, not that long at all.

Because, folks, having a baby is kind of a big deal. It takes your body on a wild ride. And then most moms don’t get much sleep for the first few months. And things are achy and sore, and clothes never fit like they should. And that cute little baby has about 4 doctor appointments in that 12 weeks.

A 12 week maternity leave is hardly a vacation. I know that she loves what she does, but I also imagine that it was very hard to leave her sweet baby girl and return to work. But she is a smart and articulate woman, I’m pretty sure that she can deal with those who are ignorant enough to think that her leave has been all massages and pedicures.

And Megyn Kelly was one of the lucky moms. Her company paid her for her maternity leave. Paid maternity leave is not a required benefit in the US. Paid maternity leave is a blessing if you get it.

I never did. I had a work out of the home job before getting pregnant with our first son, and again before the twins were born. Neither job offered paid maternity leave (though I did get my accrued sick pay and vacation pay while on bed rest with the twins), and neither paid me enough to justify child care expenses and time lost with my newborns. The decision to not go back to work after having those babies was pretty easy.

However, not everyone has the luxury to stay home with their children, and many go back to work long before they are really ready to.

I’ve had it both ways. I’ve been a working mom, and I’ve been a stay at home mom.

I’m totally going to go out on a limb and say that it is way easier to be a stay at home mom.

I could perceive it as the easier job because I really enjoy what I do. They say if you do a job that you love, you never work a day in your life.

Or, I could think of it as the easier job because I do such a sub-par job of it that I’m beyond being stressed out about my day.

The fact remains, I may not get sick pay, or paid time off, or even get paid for what I do. However, I don’t have to wrangle time off to walk my kids to school on the first day of school. If I wanted to bake, I could bake them cookies for when they came home. I don’t do laundry at night. . .as a matter of fact, I do no housework at night. After the kids go to bed I’m pretty free. Some days I wear my pajamas all day. I can shop at Target during their less busy times. I don’t have to share my coffee if I don’t want to. I’m pretty much in control of my schedule. I almost never pack a diaper bag. I don’t have to worry about who can watch my kids on school holidays. If I forget to plug in the crock pot in the morning, I usually have time to make a back-up plan meal. I have time to play on my blog.

I’m sorry that not all stay at home moms feel as at peace with their current vocation. I feel for the working moms trying to do it all. I wish there were more clear cut, easy decisions for moms.

But life is far more complicated than that.

So for now, moms . . .let’s stop fighting, and have each others backs, OK?


Simpatico Nice Coffee

Simpatico CoffeeThis morning, my first cup of coffee was nice. It was roasted by a nice person. And the coffee was grown by nice people.

You ALL know that I love coffee. I drink a lot of coffee. You could say that coffee is my comfort food.

So, imagine the smile I cracked when I saw that my good friend from college, Alex Fink, was starting a coffee company! Alex really is nice. Genuinely nice. Even when he told me that my Keds sneakers looked like Grandma shoes while we were in college. He may or may not have been right.

Simpatico Coffee is based in beautiful Holland, Michigan. The coffee beans are sourced directly from the farmers in Oaxaca, Mexico. The beans are 100% Arabica coffee and have absolutely no chemicals or additives, and never will! Simpatico Coffee has eliminated the middleman, by directly sourcing the coffee from the farmers and paying them higher than Fair Trade prices. Simpatico Coffee is better than Fair Trade, it is Straight Trade. Once the beans are imported back to Holland, Michigan the beans are roasted using a Revelation Roaster, made by U.S. Roaster Corp. This roaster costs less than 1 cent per pound of coffee in energy! And then that cost savings is passed on to you and me!

Simpatico coffee is committed to be nice to farmers, nice to the environment and nice to our pocketbook! I’d expect nothing less out of my friend!

If you live in West Michigan, I encourage you to try some Simpatico Coffee! It is going to be served at the Hope College campus, Way Cup CafĂ© in Holland and at Respite Cappuccino Court in Douglas. It can be purchased by the bag at Shaker Messenger in Holland, and Barden’s Farm Market and Nature’s Country Cupboard in South Haven, Summertime Market in Douglas, and by the pound or half pound at Pereddies Restaurant and Deli in Washington Square. (just typing all of that made me a bit homesick for my college home!)

Simpatico also features The Nice Coffee Club! Do you live in West Michigan? You can save on a coffee membership by joining the Nice Coffee Club and have some really nice coffee delivered to your door, by a nice person!

If you live too far for personal delivery, Simpatico can also mail your coffee. There is a $20 minimum order, and shipping is included. (that is nice).

You can also find Simpatico on Facebook (of course), and you can keep up to date with new locations and specials!

My personal favorite roast is Black and Tan. . .perfectly smooth and not at all bitter!

*I was sent samples to facilitate my review, however, all opinions are my own!

If You Give a Mom Some Coffee

If you give a mom some coffee, she’ll probably want some cream and sugar to go with it.

So she’ll go to the refrigerator and find the last of the half and half (and say a short prayer that it is still fresh).

Then she will open the sugar bowl and see that it is empty.

So she’ll go to the pantry to get the sugar canister out–and her 7 year old will remember that he wants breakfast. Now.

So she fries up two eggs and makes perfect toast.

And then she sees that Twin B has taken off her diaper. So she diapers and dresses two babies.

She goes back in the kitchen and sees breakfast dishes all over the table, so she washes them.

She sees the sugar canister on the table and remembers that she wanted to make some banana bread. So she bakes a loaf–or two.

She throws dirty dish towels into the washing machine, and then she smells banana bread. It is done.

She cuts a slice, and then decides a cup of coffee would taste great with it. . . .