This week I was inspired by one of my favorite bloggers – Modern Mrs. Darcy – and her post on things that are saving her life right now. I get asked all the time – how do you do it? I promise I am not super human. I do have a number of things built into my life that make things a lot easier for me and I gave up a lot of time hacks a while ago that also make my day to day easier. But it’s still winter in Alaska, and DNP school work seems overwhelming at the moment, and the plates are spinning a little faster these days than normal… With that in mind, this Friday Five is all about the five things that are saving my life right now:
2020 TBR (to be read) Booklist
The nerd in me absolutely loves new notebooks, pens, school supplies and a good book recommendation. At the beginning of every, I sit down and put together a list of recommendations and to-be-read books for the next year in a little excel document that tracks my books. This past month, my sister and I swapped a bunch of text messages (30ish??) about what we read in 2019 and what we were reading in 2020. No joke, she would text: “Give me your top three non-fiction recommendations…” and so on. It was so awesome. I even took one of her book recommendations and read it ONE DAY! (In hindsight, I don’t even know who that girl is…but the book in question was The River by Peter Heller, and you should get as soon as humanely possibly).
Despite long winter days, long work days, and long nights of homework, I look forward to whatever is on my reading stand every night. Don’t think you can fit time in to read? In January, I read 7 books. I promise you can do it and you won’t regret it. Don’t know where to start? Check out my recommendations here! Want to know what I’m reading this year? Let me know and I’ll do a post on it!
You guys…this is how my household eats! Seriously, we would starve otherwise. If I didn’t meal prep, I would only have breakfast to eat during a 24 hour shift (and the peanut butter crackers I steal from the labor and delivery unit…). Instead, I open up the freezer and have a variety of meals to choose from (while also knowing my nanny can feed the babes that evening). It’s not unusual for me to pack FOUR meals in my hospital bag for a 24 hour shift.
I’ve talked before about my favorite meal prep cookbooks (From Freezer to Table and From Freezer to Cooker). 80% of the meals in our kitchen come from these cookbooks. The other 20% are either scrambled eggs and cheese; waffles; or leftovers. Or amazing concoctions/smoked meats cooked up by the husband – but his cooking is somewhat unpredictable. Even at work, people always comment on my soup in mason jars (soups are how I get my veggies!). I did get some Pioneer Woman cookbooks as a Christmas present and those recipes have all proven winners far too. Anyways, if you’re in need of a revamp in the kitchen meal prep or just need to learn how to meal prep, check these cookbooks out.
Oh man, my neighbors. They. Are. Amazing. When the Lord wanted us to come to Alaska, I thought: “That’s exciting! I hear Alaska is pretty.” What you don’t realize about Alaska until you get here is that it is really far away from EVERYTHING. Enter my amazing neighbors. They are all mamas with small children and they are the most amazing women I’ve ever met. Their support has been unbelievable during our time in Alaska. When people talk about the old saying “it takes a village,” these are my women. They offer meals like they don’t have their own families to feed. Need a hug in the middle of a quick passing by in the middle of the dark winter? They got you. Need a ladies night to watch a movie you haven’t heard of (but you don’t even care because it’s so nice to get together?!) – they’ll invite you. I only talk about these women in hopes that you have your own circle of support – in whatever form that may be. As we’ve moved around the United States, these supportive women have come and gone in my life – but their love and light will always stay with me.
The Espresso machine
The husband and I love coffee. When we moved to Alaska, we realized most of Alaska drinks espresso. They have all sorts of little huts that are drive thru espresso vendors. Anyways, at one point in 2018, we decided to get an espresso machine. And let me just thank past-Jamie, because present and future-Jamie are just loving homemade americanos (with homemade steamed milk on top). I can guarantee we have paid for our machine twice over – maybe three times over? But a warm cup of quality coffee just makes my heart sing. It also makes many things a little better when they could be worse – sleepless nights with small children; negative 10 degree weather for a MONTH; and long shifts staring at labors that are somewhat off the labor curve, yet you still have hope the mama is going to do it!
My 14 month old baby decided to sleep through the night
(Insert angels singing here.) There is a good chance I’ve been walking around as a zombie and I didn’t even know it. My sweet baby boy woke up three to four times every night for the first 9 to 10 months of his life. Then he dropped to only 2 wakings and I thought that was great. And then, we’ve had one waking for the past 2 months that I thought would never go away. But it did. And the feeling on the other side is amazing. My daughter starting sleeping through the night at 8 months old – all by herself. So after my son’s first birthday, I thought he would be one of those babes that woke up at night through toddlerhood. But in the past 2 weeks, my babe has slept through the night. And I have not stayed up until 10pm so many nights in a row since before my daughter was born!
To the mamas out there with littles, I believe our littles tell us exactly what they need, when they need it, and it’s our job to shepherd them. But when our little sheep hit a milestone…IT IS AWESOME. Remember: the days are long, but the years are short.
What’s saving your life right now?
Stay tuned next week for Part 2 on the State of Midwifery! Didn’t catch the first post – catch up here. I had so much fun putting together the second post – can’t wait for you guys to see it Monday!