i can’t do it all

I have this continual area for growth that has to do with trying to excel in all areas of my life. I want to be a good wife, mother, sister, daughter, server in Christ, friend, and more. Then somewhere among serving others and running (and cleaning) a household, I want to take care of myself and preserve who I am. Lots of work I tell ya! And I actually don’t think it’s that possible to excel in all, especially if I’m taking care of Zane full-time, pregnant, preparing for baby #2, and have high standards. This has been my struggle for nearly a decade now. When it first surfaced I wasn’t a mom, but instead a university student and working outside the home. Now being a mom I find my energy and time has depleted drastically that I can no longer operate at the same level pre-Zane. So what exactly is my problem? I’m still trying to figure it out! Maybe it is people pleasing? Maybe it is my goal of being that exceptional Christian wife and woman that I study about? Maybe I’m trying to prove something? I’m not certain? All I know is, operating as such with less breaks, a husband trying to build a business and working long hours, and me suppressing my own need for self-care or self-indulgence inevitably leads me to a meltdown. (It also doesn’t help that I’m hormonal these days). So how do I address and take care of myself when I start going downhill?

A. Me time, doing something I enjoy. This past weekend I got to run errands to shops I don’t normally go to because having Zane in tow would make it miserable.

B. Communicate with Daniel about how I’m honestly feeling and letting him know concisely what I need from him (aside from cuddles).

C. Talk to a friend who ‘gets it’ and strives for the same goals as a good woman.

D. Indulge in yummy specialty food, snacks, and drink. :-)

E. Have a nice cry. Giving myself permission to sob like who knows what.

F. Pray to God and commit (again) to reading daily devotionals.

I’m definitely not done growing in this area because it’s hard to kick a habit of being an overachiever if it’s in my blood. However, I need to learn to let some things go (a tidy house 100% of the time), not serve everyone, and put me first sometimes. I hope if you can relate that this self-disclosure has helped you.

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living out our dreams: our move from the States to Australia

I realized the other day that I actually never wrote out why we made such a big move, but rather just announced it on my blog and in person to people here and there. It’s always hard to share our rationale in an elevator speech behind a decision of this magnitude. This will be my chance to write it out and for our children and others to know more.

It all started when I gave Daniel a challenge one evening: “Go be by yourself in the spare room, take the self-discovery curriculum I’m teaching, and tell me what you find out about yourself, your dreams, etc.” Off he went. And when he returned, to my semi-surprise he shared he really wanted to give being his own boss a go. The idea of having flexibility in the future to be present for our kids’ activities, not report to someone, and serve wherever he is called, all spoke to him. We were both not completely shocked by this conviction since it’s always been a desire of his to be a self-employed man; it was just about timing. As we sat on this idea for weeks, we each did our homework and reflections. How would this look? Can it be achieved in San Diego, a city we loved and called home? Financially how can it happen? Do I return to work to support his dream? The questions were endless. The best answer: move to Gold Coast, Australia, Daniel works independently in his family’s property management business, and I remain a stay-at-home mom. Simple answer, right? Not the least.

Preparing for the move took a year, and we chose to save thousands by doing the visa paperwork and packing ourselves to ship 30 boxes abroad. I sold everything else through craigslist and friends. Further, we had to sell our first home that we put so much elbow grease into to make it the beauty she was when she was no longer ours. As hectic and stressful the experience was, we give thanks to our friends for their help during the process and God provided and opened doors every step of the way. For such a big move, we felt at peace with our decision and there were no yellow or red lights that made us think otherwise. Here’s the break down of the reasons beyond why us two crazy kids would leave an amazing community and comfortable life for something even better (in due time)…

A. Business/ financial opportunity: his parents have been running their property management business for 25 years. Daniel was offered the opportunity to start his own book of rental properties within their business. To have the opportunity to not have to start a business from scratch saved him a lot of time, money, and lessened the learning curve. Undoubtedly he still has to work hard to produce his own income. However, the great news is he can strive as much as he wants and earns 100% of his efforts. Hopefully in the future this will translate to living more comfortably for us, buying a house we desire, giving more generously, and vacationing more.

B. Work-life balance: the GC is extremely family-friendly. There are many parks and beaches nearby, many young families, and endless free activities to do altogether. It’s not a rat race here, unless you want to create one for yourself. We spend loads of time together as a family and because Daniel makes his own hours, we make sure he is present for the essentials.

C. Better schools: private education is a lot more reasonably priced here. We are looking to put Zane in preschool in a local Christian school. The annual fee is a fraction of what we would’ve paid in San Diego. Public schools are rated high in quality. As well, universities aren’t as expensive.

D. Affordable Healthcare: we don’t need to find a job just to get good healthcare here. Amen! As residents, we receive free healthcare and pay low copays for medicine and procedures.

E. Closer to family: we get to spend more time with Daniel’s parents and brother’s family. Zane gets to grow up with his cousins and be spoiled by at least one set of grandparents. And I appreciate the help we receive for childcare, meals, repairs, etc.

F. Serving abroad opportunities: Daniel and I both would love to do mission work abroad one day when we feel called. Being his own boss and once his business is doing well, we will have flexibility and money to raise our hands and say “yes” when God calls.

G. Leaving behind a legacy: moving here has been an adventure. No doubt we experience stressors and funks. However, we are following our dreams and building a business that serves others well and one that we can offer to our kids when we get older. We want our kids to know we took risks, loved with our hearts, enjoyed the ride together, and never had regrets.

Thanks for taking the time to read this! Hopefully this gives you some insights to why we are living here.

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making healthier choices for my family

As Zane gets older, I have more time on my hands to make healthier decisions… Not! 😉 I just felt like writing that for kicks. Regardless of time, lately I’ve been exploring different ways to be healthier in our lives. Interestingly, my decision to make the following changes is not because I’m extreme with health or preserving the Earth, but rather, makes sense to me and the needs of our family. So what have I been up to these days in this realm of motherhood and family life??

Making healthy muesli balls for morning tea.

A. Cloth diapering: Up until several months ago, I had bought two cloth diapers and used it here and there when I felt like it. To save on a disposable diaper made me feel good. I knew much about cloth diapers since I have friends who utilize them full-time but couldn’t be inconvenienced, nor committed to the additional washings. Well, one thing led to the next (with coming across some exceptional deals on cloth diapers), and now I am a cloth diaper user (except at night). Aside from the health benefits of going this route on Zane’s bum, the money we save and will recoup in the future if I sell them, far exceeds disposable diapers. For me, there’s something fulfilling about being kinder to the environment by reusing diapers and seeing his diapers hang dry. (I know, I’m weird ;)) I plan on using them on baby #2.

B. Cooking from scratch and limiting our consumption of processed foods: When I tried figuring out what irritated Zane’s tummy at night, thus causing wake ups, I’ve deduced that it has largely to do with dairy and processed foods intake. No, I haven’t had him tested, but I’ve co-slept with him and live and breathe him 24-7 to know what goes in and out, and his aches and pains. Since I’ve eliminated cow’s milk from his diet and only feed him foods that I either make from scratch or have tested out slowly, he sleeps through the night and is less sick. No more upset stomachs, chronic ear infections, and body rashes. I discovered one of the culprits was processed chicken nuggets from the supermarket, even the organic kind. So now I use my Philips air fryer and make my own free range chicken nuggets. Always a winner! In general, I do a lot more cooking and trying new recipes so that I can ensure we have yummy, healthy food. My boys are happy. :-)

C. Essential oils: Up until Zane was close to two, he was sick at least twice a month. Often I’d take him to the doctors and feed him all the antibiotics they instructed me to give him. Looking back, I believe it wasn’t all necessary. Especially now that I’ve come across essential oils. Again, I have many friends who use this stuff and never was fully interested or committed. It seemed so fluffy to me. Well, one thing led to another (of course I came across an exceptional deal) and now I  own eleven DoTerra oils. I started researching their uses and after each application when an ailment arose, the specific oil remedied it. It was quick and magical! Even Daniel agrees it’s effective! Since using these oils, our family is healthier in terms of less sicknesses (if at all) and we haven’t consumed pharmaceutical drugs for stomach aches, canker sores, colds, etc. I even use it in our laundry, cleaning supplies, and as a sleep aid. I highly recommend you check it out!

So there you have it, a little bit of what I’ve been up to. We are all doing well and it seems life just passes way too quickly. I’m 30 weeks pregnant!! I hope to blog more in the coming weeks. Write to you then. Xx

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