Travel

A Day At The Silos

As mentioned in a previous post, my husband and I took a quick getaway to Waco, TX to see Magnolia Market. I’m a huge fan of Chip and Joanna, not just for their design sense, but because they’re good people, good parents, and just a good influence on the world. Our trip was supposed to last three days but due to major flooding in Nebraska, we rushed home after one day. But in that one day, I had the best time! I thought I’d share some things I learned to make a day at Magnolia Market one you won’t forget!

We flew into Dallas Love Field and flew out of DFW. Honestly, the drive seemed pretty similar. I believe Houston is about the same drive time, too. I would check all options when booking flights. If you could save quite a bit by booking a different location, it would be worth it!

For lodging, I would highly recommend Hotel Indigo. Since we were trying to book just a quick weekend getaway, we were almost deterred by the price of Hotel Indigo. It happened to be the beginning of their Spring at the Silos event, so the price was much higher than I think it typically is. However, after a little bit of research, we decided the extra cost would probably be worth it due to the location. We were not wrong! We were literally three blocks from the silos. We easily walked back and forth throughout the day. It was nice to not have to worry about parking or traffic. The hotel itself is beautiful and the staff was really friendly. It was definitely a great choice.

Not the best photo with the glare from the window, but this is our view of the silos from our window at Hotel Indigo. SO close and totally worth the extra cost.

Magnolia Table (their restaurant) is not by the silos. Not even close! However, it is totally worth a visit. It opened at 6 am, so we got there a few minutes before then, even though I HATE getting up early! We figured we’d have to wait in line some, but hoped getting there early would minimize the wait time. It worked! There was a line forming when we pulled up, but we only had to wait about 15 minutes to be seated. They only let in a handful of people at a time when they open to avoid overwhelming the kitchen. Our server was fantastic and the food was SO good! The strawberry butter is something I’m going to have to try to recreate at home, but I’m sure it won’t even come close. The hash browns were also fantastic. And of course their coffee was even perfect!

The food was SO good! Portions were huge, so we didn’t come close to eating it all, but it was hard to leave the leftovers behind!
A view of the crowd that was forming as we left around 7:30. The line was shorter than when we got there, but it moved much more slowly than it did when they were first filling up the restaurant. I’d say the earlier you can get there, the better!

After we finished breakfast, we headed back to the hotel, parked, and walked to the Silos. I wish I could explain it accurately, but I feel like my words can’t match my feelings. Walking up to the silos, I almost felt like I was walking into Disney World. Everything was so freaking perfect, it almost seemed like it was a set. I always feel that way about Disney. The colors were so vivid and everything was so beautiful, it just didn’t feel real. As we walked up, I noticed that even the smell was different. Even though we were still outside and had simply crossed the street, it noticeably smelled better…fresher, cleaner, slightly floral but without being overwhelming. I swear they have to pump some sort of scent into that place, yet it is definitely not a fake smell. Maybe I’m crazy, but it was something I definitely noticed. I wish I could do that to my house! I felt like it was busy when we got there, but compared to what we saw later in the day, it was definitely NOT. We were able to walk around and take some pictures before getting in line to get into the store, Magnolia Market. Yep, you heard me. You get in line to go inside the store. Crazy!!

Your view when you walk up to the silos. There’s nothing actually in the silos, but that building on the left that says “Magnolia” is the store. The little white building in front of the silos is the bakery. To the left you can see white tents that were set up for TONS of vendors for their Spring at the Silos event. If you walked straight through the middle of the photo under that pink banner, you’d get to their grassy area with food trucks, a stage and the garden in the back. It’s not nearly as big as I had pictured in my mind!

When we got into the store, we shopped and got a few things. However, since we were flying, I was limited on what I could take back. I had heard a tip before going that a lot of what they offer in the store, they also offer online. It is cheaper to have it shipped from there than to pay to bring it back on the plane. So I bought some smaller things and then made a mental note of what to shop for online later. The displays in the store are absolutely gorgeous though and totally worth going in there to see.

The crowd on the lower level of the store. Crazy! Everyone was pretty patient and kind though. Chip and Jo radiate kindness, so it would be hard to be a jerk while you’re in their store!

If you are able to visit during the Spring at the Silos event (or their Silobration event), it is an awesome time. They had free entertainment on the lawn the entire time. They brought in bands and singers and you could hang out as long as you wanted. There were oodles of food trucks, including one for Magnolia Table, where you could have a limited menu and try the restaurant without having to go there. They also had a bakery truck where you could get cupcakes without having to stand in the long bakery line. Just a little tip for you! We were also lucky enough to be there for Jo’s book launch for “We Are the Gardeners”. They had the stage set up for that event, as you can see. Because of the book launch event that night, we got to see Chip, Jo and Baby Crew. So surreal!

Baby Crew watching his mama talk about her new book with his dad.

The bakery on the grounds has amazing cupcakes and baked goods. The line will be long no matter what. It wraps around the side of the block and seems to go on forever. I promise it goes pretty quickly though. While you are in line, friendly employees will bring you a card with their menu and a pencil. You mark what you’d like and put your name on it. This speeds up the process a ton. When you get to the counter in this tiny little space, you hand them your card and they ring you up. In a couple of minutes, they’ll call your name and have your order in a sack for you. There is nowhere inside to sit and eat, so it’s truly just a pick-up spot. If you only want cupcakes, you might be better off visiting the bakery truck out with the other food trucks. I had to get inside and see what it looked like though. I couldn’t help it!

There was no way to get a shot of the bakery without people in it, but seriously…LOOK at all of those goodies! Everything we tried was delicious and looked gorgeous.

On our way to the Silos, we were approached by a guy with Waco Tours. He was super nice, but we just kind of let him do his thing, figuring we’d brush him off kindly and go on our merry way. As he told us about their tour of the city, explaining that we would get to see several Fixer Upper homes, Clint Harp’s store, Baylor University and more, we perked up a little and actually listened. We ended up taking the two and half hour tour and it might have been even better than visiting the silos, honestly. We saw the shotgun house, Clint Harp’s house (and shop), David Ridley’s house (coincidentally, he is the guy that started and owns Waco Tours), the loft they did, along with several other homes. Our driver was one of the nicest guys ever and is friends with Chip and Jo. His daughter actually worked as a designer on the first two seasons of Fixer Upper, so he was really knowledgable and could answer so many questions we all had about the show and process. We saw sights at Baylor University, got ice cream from Heritage Creamery or coffee from Common Grounds (included in the price of the tour), saw sights from around town that were non-Fixer Upper related, saw Lover’s Leap (gorgeous view!), Chip and Jo’s church (where both of the tour guides attend as well), the castle they just purchased, plus other buildings that you see in clips on the show. We even got to meet Jimmy Don, who came over to our tour van and shook each of our hands and introduced himself. Such a nice guy!! We heard a lot about the history of the town and a lot of really cool things that make Waco unique. By the end of the tour, I was ready to move to Waco and be best friends with Tim and Drew, our guides. Waco Tours is housed out of Hotel Indigo, so just one more reason to stay there. I highly recommend looking into one of their tours.

The shotgun house.
Common Grounds. I got Cowboy Coffee (SO good!) and he was still eating his Duck Fat Caramel ice cream from Heritage Creamery. I know…it sounds disgusting, but it was super good!

As you can see, we fit a LOT in one day. The one place we didn’t get to go see (though we saw the outside on our tour!) was where Chip and Jo first started, their little shop on Bosque. They still have it opened as sort of a clearance/warehouse shop. If I had more time, I would have loved to go see it. No matter how much time you have though, here are some tips and things that I think are helpful to know when visiting the silos:

  • Wear comfortable shoes! I wore Rothy’s all day and I’m glad I picked something comfortable that wouldn’t give me blisters. You will be on your feet all day!
  • Bring your patience. You will stand in a lot of lines, but it will be totally worth it.
  • Check their online store before buying anything in the Market. If you sign up for their e-mails, you can get a 15% off coupon. If you’re buying bigger things, that savings might be more than shipping.
  • Get up early. You’ll be glad you did. The end of the day is also a great time to visit, but your time will be limited. They closed at 5:00 when we were there.
  • The silos aren’t open on Sundays. Currently Chip and Jo are letting the community hold their “Church Under the Bridge” services there since they are displaced with road construction. That’s a really cool story you can google if you are curious!
  • Water and paper cups are available for free around the grounds. You don’t need to bring your own.
  • Don’t take your kids. I know, I know…they’re family oriented. They are! And there are games on the lawn. But to be honest, besides playing a round or two of Cornhole, there’s not a ton for the kids to do there. Huge lines, baked goods, and a home decor store aren’t exactly big attractors for kids. You’ll enjoy yourself more if you can just take it all in and enjoy it!
Parenting

We Are Blessed, But We Are Exhausted

If you are a parent, I’m sure you know the struggle that I’m talking about. You love your kids beyond measure. They amaze you, you adore them, you can’t live without them…but they exhaust you. Hopefully I’m not the worst parent in the world for feeling this way. I don’t think I am, but forgive me if I’m way off-base. With four kids, it’s ALWAYS time to feed somebody, the laundry is never-ending, we are late for everything because getting all six of us out the door quickly is impossible, and in general, there’s just a million things to do each day to keep up with six lives. We are blessed, but we are exhausted!!

We are extremely lucky to have help from family in town. Ten years ago, we actually chose to move back to our hometown that doesn’t even have a Target (after you’ve lived with Targets close-by, this is a tragedy!) so that we would be able to raise our kids with family close to them. It’s not an accident that we have help. As a side-note: It bothers me when people tell me we’re lucky to have help because they don’t have anybody. I know all circumstances are different, so it may not be a choice for everyone, but it wasn’t luck for us. It was a decision we made, with some sacrifices on our part that made this possible. Family was most important to us…over jobs, income, location, etc. Still, yes, we are so fortunate to be close to family. My kids don’t even know how lucky they are to have grandpas and grandmas in their everyday life. They don’t know any different.

With family in town that are willing to take four kids for multiple days, my husband and I are able to take weekend getaways every so often, and every other year, we take an extended trip for a week or so. It has been amazing for our relationship and marriage. It leaves us craving that next getaway, planning and dreaming about it together. This year for Valentine’s Day, my husband surprised me with a spring break quick getaway to Magnolia Market in Waco, TX. We were to leave on Wednesday and return Saturday night. He made arrangements for the kids to go to Grandpa and Grandma’s and cheap flights made it a perfect, quick getaway.

Wednesday came and in our great state of Nebraska, a blizzard occurred on the western part of the state, while the eastern part (where we are) saw warmer temperatures and rain. It doesn’t seem like that would be a problem, but that meant TONS of snow melted quickly and the rain added to the moisture. The ground was still frozen, so the water had nowhere to go. We had ice jams on the rivers and flood warnings everywhere. It’s not uncommon for this to happen, so we really didn’t think much of it. Usually there’s some flooding along the river and that’s the end of it. We worked hard to get out of town to the airport 90 miles away. It was worth the struggle to find a way out of town because we NEEDED time away! We assumed that by Saturday when we returned, things would be back to normal. We flew to Texas and visited Magnolia Market (I’ll blog about that in the near future!) the next day. There was not much on the news about the flooding (no mention of it at all, actually), so I didn’t worry much. We were carefree and enjoying time away from the kids. When I checked social media that afternoon, my mama heart dropped. It became very clear that this wasn’t flood warnings that would go away soon. People were being evacuated from our very own county, just a couple of miles from my parents’ house. Some were being rescued by helicopter as water levels were rising fast. A farmer lost his life trying to rescue somebody when the bridge washed out from under his tractor. My kids were there! I knew my parents would do everything they could to keep them safe, but all of the what-ifs were rolling through my head. I spent that evening fighting back tears as I searched for updates and information. I spent the night having terrible nightmares of my kids in a flood, then crying each time I woke up. I knew that we needed to try to get home immediately. We couldn’t get to the kids, as all ways in and out of town were under water, but I needed to be in the same state as them at least. We spent a small fortune that next morning buying last-minute direct flights home, changing car rental reservations and hotel reservations. I had looked forward to time away from my kids for a month, yet in that instant, I wanted nothing more to have them in my arms. Isn’t parenthood strange?

As we struggle through the days and sometimes feel like we’ll go crazy if bedtime doesn’t get here immediately, there is literally nothing that you wouldn’t do for the health, safety and happiness of your kids. We cut our time in Waco from three days down to one day. We spent the next two days flying and then driving 300 miles to get to the kids (220 miles more than normal), and spent triple what we planned to spend on that trip, just to make sure we could get to them. Walking in the door, it took my breath away to see my youngest run to me and yell, “MOMMY!!” and she flung her little arms around me. There’s nowhere else I would have rather been. All the sacrifices were worth it. We made it. They made it. My prayers had been answered.

Then, about an hour later, as we got home and I became a referee again, I began longing for our quiet hotel room in Texas. The room where I didn’t need to feed anybody, break up fights, remind them to pick up toys, etc. This balance of being blessed with healthy rambunctious children and yet wanting some time to yourself is so weird. How can you want two things that are complete opposites? I wouldn’t be happy without one or the other, yet you can’t have them both at the same time. The quiet reminds me to miss my kids and the noise reminds me that I miss time away. Is this normal? Is something wrong with me? I don’t know. But for now, I’m choosing to be thankful for every second I have, whether it’s appreciating them from afar or managing them from up close. Parenthood is a blessing, but man is it exhausting!

Uncategorized

Save Your Marriage!

It’s been almost 16 years of marriage for us and I can honestly say that I love my husband more now than I ever have before. I look forward to our getaways and our time together. He’s not a huge romantic-and-big-gestures kind of guy, but he’s kind, thoughtful, hard-working and SO patient. I see marriages around me struggling or falling apart, and it makes me sad. Sad that they don’t have what I have. Everyone deserves to love and be loved unconditionally and treated well. I will tell you that there’s nothing spectacular about our marriage. We make mistakes, we drive each other nuts sometimes, there are a million things that each of us would handle differently with the kids, I’m sure. But at the end of the day, we are truly each other’s best friend and we would do anything to keep from hurting the other. How did we get lucky enough to find this? We didn’t. We CHOSE it.

See, sometimes I hear people wondering if they ended up with the right person. I hear people thinking about how their life might be different or better if they were with somebody else. In my mind, those marriages are doomed. If you even have a tiny bit of wonder in your mind, it tells me you didn’t actually make up your mind in the first place. I don’t believe in love at first sight. I don’t believe in a soul mate. I believe you choose the person you’re going to marry and you decide to make it work…or you don’t.

There’s no perfect person. There’s no perfect relationship. However, there IS mutual respect, love, compassion, teamwork, trust and fun. I think these are the keys to marriage.
If you’re doubting your marriage, figure out which one of those keys is the problem. Focus on it together and strengthen it. Just like you would do at the gym. If your arms are weak, you focus on them. If your endurance isn’t where it should be, you work on it. You know darn well sitting on the couch and waiting for it to improve won’t do a thing.

So how do you target each of those things? Some are easier than others. If respect is the problem, it’s probably time for a serious discussion. If you don’t have respect, it’s going to be awfully hard to work on the other things. Some outside help might be your best bet. I think trust might be part of the outside help, too. Usually something big has happened to damage that. It’s best to go to somebody who has experience. The rest, I totally think can be worked on together.

If you find yourself not feeling in love, you need to make a conscious effort and decision to fall back in love. Go on a trip or simply take a weekend and leave the kids with a trusted friend. Stay in a hotel so all distractions are gone. Find a new experience to do together. It might be awkward and feel forced, but keep doing it. Soon enough it will start to get easier and feel more natural. This would help if the fun factor is missing, too. If you’re not feeling compassion toward your spouse, I encourage you to make a list of all of the things both of you do in a day. Really try to think about what their day must be like. It might help you realize that they have a lot on their plate. This also a great thing to do if the teamwork piece is missing. Once you see it all in black and white, it’s hard to deny that one person isn’t doing their part. Don’t do it to rub it in their face or show them you’re right and they’re wrong. Do it so you can decide together what might be able to switch from one person’s list to another.

Do what you have to do to strengthen the part of your marriage that is showing weakness. Don’t ignore it and assume it will get better. It probably won’t. Love isn’t a magic thing. It is a choice that you have to continually choose as long as you want the relationship to last.

Parenting

“Don’t Stare!” (Spoken By Moms In Stores Everywhere)

Do you ever go out in public and get embarrassed because your kids stare at somebody who looks or acts differently than them? It happens to ALL of us. It can get embarrassing, but really, kids are just curious and trying to figure this world out! It’s not that they’re judging or trying to be rude. Your first reaction may be to tell them not to stare because it’s rude. When we tell them not to stare or look though, it makes them think those differences are taboo or that they should just ignore the person.

Instead of telling them not to stare, tell them to say “Hello!” It teaches them that even though that person might act and look differently than them, they’re still a person and we treat them the same as we would everyone else. It teaches them to be accepting of differences and even teaches them to engage with people who are different than them. Our world needs more of both of those things! It’s a simple change in our daily interactions with our children, but it’s one that can cause a completely different mindset as they’re figuring out this big confusing world!

Self-Development

Forgiveness

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that I hold on to grudges. Not for little things. I can overlook little mistakes, hiccups, oversights, etc. It’s the big stuff that I have trouble letting go. And funny enough, in my personal life, I don’t seem to have a big problem with this. As I’ve analyzed it, I think it’s because when I have a problem with somebody in my personal life, usually I’m close enough to them to be able to work through it, or I have the ability to speak my mind. It’s more in my professional life that I struggle, and I bet this is pretty common for most of us.

As a teacher, it’s hard for me to forgive when I feel like somebody isn’t doing what’s best for kids. It’s hard for me to forgive when things are mandated that are ridiculous to be putting in place in a world full of 5-year olds (MY world!). Or it’s hard when I feel like somebody is choosing not to do their job and others have to pick up the slack for them on a regular basis. Big things in the overall picture of education. It’s a well-oiled machine and if one part is not working correctly, it throws everything off! Typically, I try to confront the problem or find creative solutions to make it better. However, sometimes the person isn’t receptive to even hearing about the problem. Or they’re so far above me in the chain of command, it doesn’t matter if a little peon like myself is upset with them. I STRUGGLE with this. It makes me mad. Like so mad, my blood pressure raises and my cheeks turn bright red. So mad I cry. Then I get mad that I’m crying, and I cry harder. So mad that I hold on to it for a long long time.

I know this isn’t good. It’s not good for myself. It’s not good for the person that I’m upset with (if it’s a situation where they would even care). It’s hard for me to have a positive attitude about anything that person says or does in the future, even if it really is a good idea. I had some professional development training a couple of years ago about forgiveness. I’ve been trying really hard to try to apply it to my life. Holding a grudge isn’t worth it. You have to forgive. You don’t have to like what they did. You don’t have to be okay with it. You can definitely keep looking for ways to make it better. But you have to forgive. Don’t get me wrong: you can have your moment to be upset. It’s not good to hold it all in. But once you have your moment, you have to move past it. The only person you’re hurting when you hang on to it is yourself. YOU are the one carrying the baggage, not the other person. Chances are the other party doesn’t know or doesn’t care that you’re upset. If you can’t or won’t address it with them, you have to let it go.

So now comes the part where I have to be real with you: I’ve been holding a grudge against a person for close to four years. It’s not been good for me. It’s not been good for my health. It hasn’t changed the situation. That person doesn’t even know or care that I’m upset. They don’t care about my opinion or thoughts on the issue. So why have I held a grudge for so long? Because they hurt me and have stood in the way of myself and my beliefs in what is right. However, holding the grudge and holding on to the past hasn’t done a darn thing except make me bitter and grumpy this whole time. A few months ago, I made a commitment to myself and decided I was ready to let it go and do what I could do to move on. It’s been a slow process and it hasn’t been easy, but it feels good to finally move past it. This quote says it all:

When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.

Bernard meltzer

If you’ve been upset with somebody, take a second to really analyze the situation. Are you making things better by holding on to the grudge? If not, I encourage you to forgive them, even if they don’t even know it. Move on. You don’t have to forget, you don’t have to pretend it didn’t happen. You’ll remember and it will probably change the way to handle things in the future. But for your own sake, don’t carry around the baggage. Chalk it up to an experience that helped shape you and look to the future.

Parenting

No, I really DON’T want to play…

“Mommy, can you play with me?” It’s like kids have a radar and they know exactly when you need to accomplish something. That’s when they strike and ask you to play. When my oldest was a toddler, I dropped what I was doing every time he asked and subjected myself to playing cars, trucks, trains…whatever he wanted. I. Wanted. To. Poke. My. Eyeballs. Out. Seriously, I love my kids, but I wasn’t great at pretend play when I was a kid, so doing it as a grown-up is rough. I hate it. Maybe that makes me a terrible mom. But if it does, at least I’m an honest one, I guess!

After my oldest got a bit older and started asking me to play things like Ninjago or Transformers or whatever these characters were that I knew nothing about, I couldn’t even pretend anymore. Luckily, by then, our second son was old enough that they could sort of play together. It was more like the oldest was telling the next one what to do and how to play, but they were mostly happy…for a little while. And it was then that I realized it was okay to say “no thanks” when they asked me to play. Not only were they learning independence, they were actually becoming more creative without me stifling their play with my non-creative self! I wasn’t hearing “I’m bored” by my oldest as much anymore. AND I was getting things done during the day, which made me way less stressed and better rested. That meant I was a more patient and understanding mom. It was like all of a sudden, things were falling into place!

I thought back to when I was little and realized my mom and dad rarely played with me. My friends’ parents didn’t sit and play with them all day. That’s not how it worked! Don’t get me wrong, I had wonderful parents that gave me plenty of love and attention. But they did NOT sit and entertain me all day! If I asked them to play a board game or something like that, they often would. However, it was one game and then they went back to whatever it was that they were working on. No endless rounds of CandyLand like I felt like I had to do when I was just starting this mom gig. For some reason, nowadays, moms are made to feel super guilty for not sitting down and entertaining their kids from sun-up to sun-down. You’re made to feel like that’s the way to teach and enrich them and if you don’t, they will be behind. It’s like you’re supposed to leave every single thing you have to do in a day until after bedtime and your kids should have your undivided attention. Guess what. I tried that. It’s awful! I was so tired when my oldest kids were little because I’d be bored to tears playing all day, then they’d go to bed, I’d do a million tasks and then crash before waking up and doing it all again the next day. I don’t think that’s actually supposed to be how this parenting things works, you guys.

As a teacher, I see problems with students who have no attention at home. They don’t have supervision and they sit on screens all day. I’ve blogged about that and got “Amens” from most of the teachers I know. BUT, the kids that are entertained by parents all the livelong day come with their own set of problems! These kids don’t know how to engage with teachers that aren’t sitting right in front of them talking directly to them…you often have to call their name to get their attention before speaking to the class. They don’t know how to initiate play. They often don’t have the same set of play skills that the other kids do (because theirs is more like an adult pretending to be a kid…that’s all they’ve seen). They don’t keep themselves engaged in a task because they’re used to somebody pulling them through it. They don’t know how to wait for attention, help, etc. because they’ve always had attention on-demand. They don’t know how to be bored and live through it! There are SO many skills that kids learn when they have to entertain themselves. Independence depends on it. And let me tell you, kids NEED independence when starting school!

Now before a whole bunch of people jump all over me, I am not saying you should ignore your kids. I’m not saying you should never play with them. What I am saying though, is they need to have a balance. Obviously, they will learn though play with you, so it is a wonderful time to model skills, slip in some practice with colors, shapes, counting, etc. It’s a great bonding experience (even if you’re bored to tears!) and shows them that you care about them and are interested in what they are learning. It can give you great insight as to their strengths and weaknesses. Yes, you need to play with them. But not every time they ask and not all day long. If you are working on a task and they ask, it’s okay to say “no” or “not right now”. It’s okay for them to not be able to play what they wanted. It’s okay for them to not get their way! It’s actually really very healthy. When you do play with them, set some limits for yourself. Play one or two rounds of the game, build with Legos with them for 20 minutes…but set a limit. Then go work on your to-do list. It’s good for kids to see that you have household jobs to do, that you want to sit down and read a book, that you have work to do at home. This is your reality and someday will be their reality, too. Most of all, it’s good for them to see that the world does not revolve around them. Even though they may be your entire world, once they step foot outside of your door, they’re just one piece in whatever world they are a part of (school, daycare, sports teams, etc.). It’s a hard reality to face when the world has always revolved around them. From experience, I know it is a hard reality to get them to accept without them (and their parents) thinking you’re completely against them. When bedtime comes, you’ll be less stressed and have time, patience and energy to give them. You’ll have time to be more than a stressed out mom after bedtime is over. Seriously, everybody wins!!

Life Hacks, Parenting

One Easy Trick = One Tidy House

There are times (like this very second) where my house is not the tidiest. It’s a snow day, so all four kids are home with me for the day. Toys are out and the kids are playing. But the toys are a quick and easy thing to clean up if you keep them pretty organized. You know what becomes overwhelming though? ALL of the little things that stack up and makes it seem like a daunting task to try to get your house back in order. Wiping the table. Sweeping around the table. Putting shoes away instead of leaving them by the door. Wiping the crumbs off the counter. I have one tip that will make it MUCH easier to stay on top of things and keep the tasks from stacking up.

As you’re moving throughout your house during the day, don’t leave the little things undone. I know it sounds ridiculous, and may seem like it’s not all that helpful of a hint. Hear me out though. Every time I come to a task that needs to be done, I ask myself if it’s a job that would take a minute or less. If it is, I don’t leave it undone. I’m trying HARD to instill this in my kids. My teenager gets it and his room stays incredibly neat and tidy. He never leaves his things around the house. The other three? Let’s just say it’s a work in progress!

Think about it though. You can do pretty much anything for a minute, right? Even things you hate. I am a TERRIBLE runner. Like, I pretty much want to die before I even start. But even I could run for a minute. (Don’t ask me to though. Please don’t!) A minute…60 seconds…its tolerable. If a task takes less than a minute, don’t leave it for later. Suck it up, take a minute and get it done. What are some of the jobs that might take less than a minute? Replacing the toilet paper roll, unpacking your child’s backpack, loading dishes into the dishwasher, washing the pan you used to make dinner, wiping off the table, changing a lightbulb, cleaning the bathroom mirror. They’re endless. By themselves, they’re all easy tasks, but if you let them wait, you end up with a really long to-do list full of annoying little tasks that seem really tedious. By knocking them out as you see them, you leave your house relatively neat and tidy with a few bigger jobs to be spread throughout the week. There are 1,440 minutes in a day. Spending even 20 minutes knocking out 20 little jobs seems like a drop in a bucket, doesn’t it? Your future self will thank you when she has time to sit and watch The Bachelor that night!