Getting it Together!

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UPDATE: All the free copies of Kayse’s ebook have been distributed! You can still purchase your copy for just $3.99 by clicking one of the below options. Enjoy!

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The party line is that my husband knew what he was getting into before we got married.

I can cook some meals but am terrible at meal planning. Typically I run to the store after school and grab what I need for that night. I keep surfaces pretty clean but anything deep is in desperate need of professional help. I have brief bouts of organization — but if you’re type A and come over to my house you’re going to have a bit of a panic attack.

Just before Christmas actually, I felt really proud of myself because I bought two storage containers; in one I put all our paper/picnic items and in the other all gift/wrapping items. It was exhausting. When my husband opened the pantry and saw them he got pretty excited, because organization is his middle name. Really! (No, not really.) But his master’s is in Organizational Leadership so he gets all geeked out with anything organize-y in the house.

I, on the other hand, usually get geeked out with a DVR folder full of Rachel Zoe just waiting to be watched. (Will this ever come on again?!)

(Don’t judge me!)

It’s not that I’m lazy (really!) or just don’t care. I do — I really, really do. I think the crux of it is that there always seems like there’s so much to do that I get totally overwhelmed and just shrug it off altogether. The problem…as is with most areas of my life…is that I have no plan.

When my bloggy friend Kayse told me about an e-book she wrote about setting up a home management that works, I have to be honest. My first reaction was, “well, isn’t’ that nice.” Because I knew she was super-excited about writing it, and even more excited about helping woe-be-gone’s like me get a handle on our disarray. But after I read the book, my next reaction was, “okay…I think I might could do this.” (I often talk to myself with random southern lingo that is not native to me.)

Because what Kayse helps me do is make a plan.

Now granted, her plan includes creating a cute and crafty binder to house all this system and information. And I’ve never once scrapbooked or anything…so my binder is plain and not fancy. But the beauty is that you can do whatever you need to in order to make it work for you. And the best part is the over 30 printables included that help you systematically make a plan.

The part that has helped me the most is the daily and weekly cleaning tasks. Because it helps me make a plan and instead of getting overwhelmed that all the bathrooms need scrubbing at one time…I just list out which bathroom I’m doing on which day. And I can eat that elephant one bite at a time. I also love the takeout tracker and babysitter information. Because my junk drawer is stuffed with restaurant menus and here in the mountains, schedules change based on seasons. And my pathetic jotting down of the kids’ info on the dry-erase board is at times haphazard and incomplete. Poor sitters.

The great news is that Kayse’s e-book is available today and there are many ways to get it!

There’s also going to be a fun Twitter party on Thursday, January 3 at 10 pm Eastern using the hashtag #gettingittogether. This will be a fun way for us all to talk about New Year’s Resolutions, home management tips and tricks and more. And who knows…I might be able to tweet that I have organized all the photos we’ve had sitting in a box for ten years. Anything is possible.

If all that isn’t enough — one lucky person is going to win a free set of custom printables from Kayse’s book. You’ll be able to choose your own colors, fonts, etc. Just enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter below and who knows…it could be you! Click the graphic below to enter.

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Thanks y’all — hope you had a blessed Christmas and are eagerly anticipating a blessed and most favorable new year!

I received a free copy of “Getting it Together; Your Guide to Setting up a Home Management System that Works” for review. I was not compensated, and these opinions are my own.

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Turns Out…She Was Right After All.

Growing up, there are certain things I remember my mom saying, doing or instilling in my brother and I that at the time didn’t make sense. Things that in my naive and young mind I either couldn’t comprehend, or disagreed with, or thought was just plain weird. But as I’m raising my own kids, I’m finding myself saying, doing and instilling the exact same things. And I didn’t even realize I was doing it.

Until this weekend.

I can’t remember the specifics…but I said something to Jaana about who-knows-what. (Espousing some mumbo-jumbo about something uber-important, I’m sure.) And she gave me this look. And I suddenly just knew it was the same look I gave my own mom about something when I was her age. It was that “you are totally weird” look. And it hit me like a ton of bricks — Jaana is me. And I am my mom.

And it turns out, my mom was actually right about a lot.

And now that I’ve caught my breath and my heart has settled from this realization, I have to give credit where credit is due. And say with sincerity — I’m sorry I gave you so much attitude about all of this. But rest assured, payback has hit. And it ain’t pretty.

Here are a few things my mom was dead-on about:

1. Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees. Jaana, and her blessed little eight year-old self has no concept of money. So as responsible parents, we’re trying to teach her that you can’t just “go buy stuff” any ol’ time you want to. She insisted on this special Pack-It lunchbox for school…you know the one, from the informercial? That keeps food cold for like 8 hours? So she has one, but has gotten very lazy about unpacking it when she gets home from school. And a lot of food has had to be thrown away, because we don’t find until the next morning the items that could have been refrigerated and saved. So now she has to pay me for those items. Not because she didn’t eat them, but because it went unopened straight into the garbage and wasted. The good news is that I’m up about $6.50 right now.

2. It’s Harder Making Friends as You Get Older. As I’m now almost 39, I realize that friendships are harder to make. Not necessarily because of a fear of investing in people…but for me at least, it’s because of time. We’re all busy with families and children and getting together to develop friendships is a lot harder than when I was single. There’s less time and money to just meet for lunch all the time. Or dinner. Or weekend get-togethers. And when I do have free time, I want more time with my husband or family.

3. Your Family Really Doesn’t Hear You. I honestly think they are all going deaf. I can speak and speak and speak and not a single person will acknowledge that I’m talking. I even am repeating myself to the dog. The dog. I stood in the kitchen the other day and threw a towel on the counter and said (to myself, naturally, ‘cuz no one was listening): “Really? You seriously didn’t just hear that. WHAT ABOUT NOW?? DO YOU HEAR THIS?!”

4. I Did Want to Stop Talking On the Phone. When I was 16, my mom told me that someday I wouldn’t want to talk on the phone anymore. I think I laughed like a hyena as my hormone-driven mind couldn’t fathom the concept. And when the phone would ring and my mom wouldn’t jump to answer it, I would stare, mouth agape and slack-jawed that she could just let it ring. Well, Jaana has mastered the mouth-agape-and-slack-jawed look and constantly tells me, “Mommy! Your phone’s ringing!” as if the ring itself didn’t alert me to that fact. And I let it ring. A lot. She’s shakes her head in amazement and disbelief. A lot.

5. You Really Should Wear Clean Underwear to Your Doctor’s Appointments.

6. I Have Mastered “The Look.” You know the one. Not the one you got at home when you did something wrong, but the one from the rear-view mirror of the car. When you’d be in the back seat and do or say something to completely aggravate your parents and drive them to want to run off the road? And suddenly these eyes would appear, larger than life in the rear-view mirror and give you a non-physical smack-down that shut you up completely? I can do that now. It’s awesome. (The only part I can’t do is the raising of one eyebrow like my mom can, which is sad. ‘Cuz that really drives it home, you know?)

7. No One Notices (or Cares) That You Really Have Spent All Day Cleaning. I’d come home from school (which felt like six of the longest most-excrutiating hours of my life) and ask my mom what she did that day. And she’d say “Clean.” And I’d be all, “But what about all the other hours of the day?” And she’d be all, “I cleaned, I took a shower, and now you’re home.” And I’d be all, “As if!” And she’d be all, “Watch your attitude, young lady!” And I’d be all, “Whatever!” followed by a door slam. And she’d be all, “You’re grounded!” But I totally, totally get it now. Like, totally.

8. There Really Are Starving Children in Africa.

9. It Does Matter How the Towels Are Folded. Or how the dishwasher is loaded, or how the pillows are arranged on the couch. The little things done my way make a difference.

10. You Truly Can’t Start the Day Without Coffee. I remember my parents downing a pot or two of coffee before even opening their eyes growing up, and it seemed so weird to me. But now the scales have been lifted. Praise the Lord.

And so, the circle of life continues.

What about you? What do you need to fess up to and admit your mom was right about?