Flipping the switch

Big announcement time is here!

As I said on Twitter, I am not pregnant. But I have been “laboring” over something new, and it’s finally time to share! Just in time for Blissdom, The Family Math is moving to a new spot on the web!

Please stop by and check it out, and PLEASE let me know what you think of the new site! If you are a current subscriber, I would love for you to subscribe over there (look in the sidebar for the box), where I will be posting from here on out. I’ve moved over all my archives, so the same stuff you can find here, you can now also find there. This site will also still be here, it just won’t be getting any fresh content.

Hope you’ll join me in this new chapter! Thanks so much for reading!

Noah vs. the pizza slice

Hint: Noah wins.

Nerves, guilt and a dose of anxiety – Three days til Blissdom

There are so many things going through my head.

I’m way anxious about leaving to go to Blissdom on Thursday. I haven’t started packing yet (I’m totally putting it off), but we have started prepping for me being gone. It’s the first time in Noah’s 10.5 months that I will be away from him overnight, and I am scared to death.

Bobby worries that I don’t think he’ll take good care of the kiddo, but it’s not that at all. I think they will probably have a blast.

Maybe I’m a little afraid they will have too good a time. Without me. That I’ll miss out on something big (like Noah going from occasional few-independent-stepper to full-time, bona fide walker). I’m afraid when I get back that he’ll be “over me,” as I told Bobby this morning.

But I can’t let those things stop me from doing something I’m looking forward to, something for me. And it’s oh, so tempting to do that. But I think part of doing that would be for ease and comfort; it would allow me to put off facing down fears and anxieties that have riddled me since I gave birth to Noah.

I have to do this eventually. And the sooner I do it, the sooner I get back to normal living. I hope.

I think it’s probably normal to feel some amount of guilt (specifically as a mom) when you do something like this for yourself. My blogging (and even my freelance, which is not that closely connected with my blogging, for the most part) is not supporting us. It’s mostly a hobby, something I enjoy. So going to a conference like this seems sort of frivolous.

It’s times like these, though, when I appreciate fully having such a supportive husband, who reassures me that he supports me and wants me to do things that will make me happy.

I think the challenge for me is going to be leaving the guilt and anxiety behind. I think a touch of excited nervousness is OK, and when it comes to the conference itself, that’s what I feel. I’m excited to meet new people and hear speakers on topics that I’m interested in. I’m looking forward to finding an item or two at the handmade marketplace. I’m hoping to make some connections that will benefit my blogging and freelance potential for the future.

Blissdom is definitely going to be a stretch for me, but I think it’s a stretch that needs to happen. I could let myself become a social shut-in and use Noah as an excuse for that, or I can start pushing myself. One of those will let me grow as a person and actually better myself. And I think it’ll actually help me be a better mother, because I will be maintaining my identity and showing Noah what it means to pursue your passions and dreams.

So I’m nervous and feeling a little guilty and anxious, but I’m also excited. Blissdom is going to be great.


Do you like cute, hand-stitched/appliqued kids clothes or love to see a tutu on a little girl? Please be sure to check out my Blissdom sponsor, Eleanore’s Treasures!


Please be sure to stop back by on Wednesday for an exciting (at least to me!) announcement regarding The Family Math!

My two favorite guys on Valentine’s Day

I don’t even know how to express how much better these two make my life. My heart has grown a million sizes since they came along.

Love you, Bobby and Noah. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Working with style: Wet pants edition

No, I did not wet my pants. Well, I did, but only in the sense that I put them in the washer.

And forgot to put them in the dryer.

As a work-outside-the-home mom who has recently struggled with some weight gain (thanks, anti-depressants!), one of my big challenges is keeping the clothes that fit clean so I can wear them when I need to. And last week, I just got behind.

Thus the wet pants. I had washed clothes the night before, but I guess I went to bed before they were done. I put them in the dryer when I got up, thinking that surely they would be dry in an hour.

Guess again.

So then I had a few options: I could wait for them to finish drying and be late for work; I could wear them to work damp; or I could find something else to wear. I went for option 3, which basically meant I was scrounging around for something that was clean and seasonally appropriate. Thank goodness for a mild winter, because I would’ve been out of luck or freezing otherwise.

WWS 2/11

Top: Old Navy
Skirt: Gap
Tights: Target
Shoes: Clark’s


I’m linking up with Brandy and Liberating Working Moms for Working with Style. Stop by and check them out!

Pinned: Party food!

I love cooking enough that it tends to be one of those things I definitely try to do when I have a little spare time. And that includes making food for my own birthday party because I took the day off!

Before anyone gets up in arms, Bobby offered to make the food, and I told him I wanted to make it. It was so nice just having the time to prep a few things while the baby was at day care.

Pizza crescent rollsThe first was this incredibly easy recipe for pizza crescent rolls from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

Pizza Crescent Rolls


Crescent rolls
String cheese


Roll out crescent rolls. Place 4-6 slices of pepperoni (slice if desired) on each. Top with half piece of string cheese, roll up and cook with directions from crescent roll packaging.

See? Super easy!

The second recipe, Beer Cheese Dip from Tidy Mom, was just as simple.

Beer Cheese Dip


Two 8-oz. pkgs Cream Cheese, softened
1/3 cup beer (I used Yuengling … use more if dip needs to be thinned some)
1 envelope Ranch Dressing Mix
2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese


Beat the first three ingredients until well blended. Stir in cheddar cheese by hand. Serve with Stacy’s Pita Chips.

The best part of this was that I got to feel the accomplishment of trying a couple of new recipes, but they were so quick and easy that I didn’t feel like I spent the whole day cooking. And both of these were a huge hit at my party!

Wordless Wednesday: Rubber ducky, you’re the one

Noah ducky 3

Noah ducky 2

Noah with ducky


Linking up with BabyBabyLemon for Wordless Wednesday!


Now that the freak-out is past, I’m gettin’ my Bliss on

I'm Going, Y'all! - BlissdomIn just over two weeks, I’m giving my PPA the finger and going to Blissdom, a national blogging conference that I’ve heard nothing but good things about.

As it draws closer, I really am getting more excited. I’ve been part of a Facebook group for Blissdom newbies, and the excitement is definitely contagious. And following #Blissdom on Twitter has already given me a sense of the community I have to look forward to.

So what have I been up to in preparation?

Gotta be honest, compared to some of these amazing bloggers that are going, I haven’t done a whole lot. I ordered business cards, which is a must for Blissdom. I’ve been working hard to get some freelance work that’s due this month done before I go. I’m also preparing to move my blog over to its new address SOON!

I also put together my schedule for the actual event, and it looks awesome. The speakers and topics are incredible, and I really can’t even imagine how much I’ll learn while I’m there.

On the homefront, Bobby and I have talked about how things will go with him and Noah holding down the fort while I’m out of town. The biggest thing was finding someone to take care of him the night Bobby has to work while I’m gone and arranging for them to pick him up from day care. Thankfully our friends Jesse and Michael are up for it!

On a personal level, thankfully I am feeling better about going to Blissdom. You may remember that I was freaking. out. when I first bought my ticket. The PPA still rears its ugly head now and again, but I’m feeling a little more in control and confident. I also have a growing list of bloggers I’ve connected with on Facebook and Twitter who I’m looking forward to meeting!

So, veterans of Blissdom and other blogging conferences, what else do I need to do in the coming weeks to prepare? What kinds of clothes should I take? Any other tips?


Do you like cute, hand-stitched/appliqued kids clothes or love to see a tutu on a little girl? Please be sure to check out my Blissdom sponsor, Eleanore’s Treasures!

Month in Review: January

At the beginning of the month, I shared some goals I have for this year, so I wanted to give an update on how those are going so far, and I wanted to invite other folks in the blogosphere to do the same. Check out the linky at the bottom if you set some goals in 2012 and would like to share how things are going, ask advice or just get a little accountability as the year progresses!

The great

Submit at least one freelance pitch per month – I submitted pitches to two different places in January. One was a local publication I have an existing freelance relationship with, and I’m currently working on four stories for it. The other was a national website/publication, and I am waiting to hear back if its editors are interested in my idea.

Try one new recipe per week –  In four weeks of January, I cooked FIVE new recipes. That averages out to one per week with an extra thrown in for good measure (You can check out the two kale recipes here and the pasta e fagioli recipe here. I’ll be posting two more new recipes I tried later this week.).

Read two books per month – I read three in January … The Hunger Games trilogy. That definitely gets me off to a good start on my goal of 24 for the year!

The good

Develop and maintain a good budgeting and bill-paying system – It’s a bit of a work in progress, but I did manage to get everything for January on the calendar and make a note when I had paid it. I’ve also been working on a different style of budget that I think may work better for us, especially now that Bobby’s job situation has changed.

Blog at least 75% of days in 2012 (274 out of 365 days) – I’m currently at just over 74% on this, so I’m feeling good about it so far. I hit a lull about mid-January, but I’m recovering!

Spend 15 minutes per night cleaning before bed – Maybe this one is a stretch, but we have made progress on getting our house a little cleaner and keeping it that way. So I’m giving myself a pass, even though the “15 minutes before bed” part has been really hit or miss.

The Bad

Create and stick to a chore chart – Yeeeeeaaaaah. I really haven’t thought about this at all. Oops.

Pay off dentist bill by the end of the year – I made my normal January payment, but it won’t get paid off by the end of the year if I just continue making the minimum payment. Not really sure what I’m going to do to change that, except maybe just budget a little extra toward it when I can.

Finish strategic communication plan at my primary workplace – I felt really bad, actually, because my boss actually asked me about this the other day, and it’s sort of gotten lost in the shuffle since the beginning of the year. He wanted to know if I had something we could send out to some colleagues, and I had to tell him no. I’m planning to take a day later this week to focus solely on that.

Move blog to wordpress.org – I am telling myself this has to be done before Blissdom, but I am not making time to work on it. IT HAS TO BE DONE BEFORE BLISSDOM!

Design it using purchased framework so that I like the way it looks – See previous entry.

The Ugly

Save $1,000 by the end of the year – Ugh. Just ugh. January was not particularly friendly to our budget, and we are still working on being disciplined about it.

Submit at least one piece of work for a professional award – There are basically two sets of awards I would really want to apply for, and the deadline for one passed on Friday. Boo.

Lose 30 pounds – By far, the worst. I’ve gained weight since the beginning of the year. As I’m typing this, my work pants are cutting into my stomach, and I’m rapidly running out of stuff that fits well. So changes are really in order as far as diet and exercise, and I didn’t do anything in January.

Complete one homemade/craft project per month – Ha. Yeah. I was supposed to make pillows. Unless I can figure out how to do that by the end of the day tomorrow, this is not getting done in January, unfortunately.


I’m feeling mostly OK about the way things have gone so far. I’m really pleased about the freelance stuff and the reading, but I’m pretty bummed about the weight gain and the budget stuff. I am glad, though, that I’ve taken time to look back at what I set out to do, because I’d honestly already forgotten some of these, and I have a really good idea of what to focus on in February.

Did you set goals or resolutions at the beginning of the year? Are you writing a monthly recap? I’d love for you to link up so I can read what you’ve been up to, and maybe it’ll help us be accountable, too!

The Family Math

Want the button? Just copy and paste the following code on your site: <p align=”center”><a title=”The Family Math” href=”https://thefamilymath.wordpress.com”><img src=”https://thefamilymath.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/month-in-review-button-3.jpg?w=300″></p></a&gt;

Note: I had a linky here before, but it wasn’t working right, so if you want to link up, just add your link in the comments. Thanks!

SOC Sunday: How DO I relax?

Figuring out how to relax has been a challenge since I had Noah, and not just because it’s hard to find time.

It’s hard to figure out what I want to do to relax.

Maybe that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it seems to be true. A lot of times I end up just sitting around, playing on the computer or watching television, and it leaves me feeling sort of unfulfilled.

It’s been better lately because I’ve been using some of my spare time to do things I enjoy, like writing and cooking. Those things may seem like work for some people, but I get relaxation through creativity, I guess. I enjoy learning new things and trying new recipes, so I guess that’s why it relaxes me.

Pinterest has definitely fed the cooking habit, which I think is a good thing. I’ve tried a lot of new recipes.

If I’m tired and wanting to relax, I guess it’s a bit of a different story. Ideally I like to head out of the house and grab a cup of coffee at Barnes and Noble and read or play on my computer or write. Blogging tends to be pretty relaxing for me, and I actually really enjoy the freelance writing work I do.

Beyond that, I guess the other relaxing thing I do is window shopping, which is something it’s a little more difficult to find time for these days. But I love to go and browse at the local thrift store and our local salvage store to see if I can find some great deals or possible components for a DIY project (I’ve just started that, thanks to Pinterest).

So those are a few things that help relax me.



Today I’m linking up with all.things.fadra for Stream of Consciousness Sunday.  It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
  • Link up your post at all.things.fadra.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.