A military spouse lifestyle blog. Stories, tips and how-tos from behind the ACUs.

Doing it All and Natalie Jeanne Designs

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I was at the doctor last week getting meds for my sick self when I saw Oprah’s magazine sitting on the counter next to me. I thumbed to an article on Dr. Phil giving advice about “doing it all” for Thanksgiving. The question he was asked went something like this: “I make my grandmother’s pumpkin pie every year on top of making Thanksgiving diner for my whole family. Everyone expects me to make Grandmother’s pie. How do I not let everyone down if I want to buy a pie instead?” Wise ‘ol Dr. Phil responded to the extent of, “Call me crazy, but 48 hours of cooking for only 15 minutes of eating doesn’t seem like a good ratio to me. It’s ok to help yourself out and buy a pie. No one is going to die because you buy your pie rather than bake it. Remember, it’s your day-off, too.” Or something like that.

Well how do you like that? Someone finally said it. As women we feel like we have to do it all and if we don’t, we throw ourselves into a shame spiral. Or someone makes a snarky comment about us not doing it all which points the finger of shame our way.

I struggle with shame a lot because I feel like I have to ‘do it all’ to keep this time of year “merry and bright.” My December To Do list is lengthy. We have two birthdays and one anniversary in addition to the yuletide festivities. Around here we call it “Bettis Hanukah” because it’s literally 5 straight days of celebrations. I’m immensely grateful for my family and all, but I’m just effing exhausted even thinking about it. It’s the planning, the shopping, the crafting, the buying and the memory making with my littles. I’m constantly trying to do it all during this time of year.

But you know what? I’ve realized over the years that as much as I want to be super mom, I can’t do it all and still be happy. As much as I want to be the grand circus performer standing on point while juggling nine balls at once and catching each one in motion, some balls are going to fall the floor. That just happens sometimes.

I miss giving out a thank you card. I forget Show-N-Tell at school. I respond to an email late – or not at all. I give my kids chicken nuggets instead of making them the fancy meal I had planned. I drop many balls. And I’m learning not to be ashamed of that.

For the other times, it’s like angles singing. It’s magic when things all end up coming together in a way that leaves you breathless and sighing to yourself wow, how the hell did I pull that off?! Those moments rock. And I think they make up for the feverishly crossed-off To Do List items that didn’t get done.


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I’d like to welcome back Natalie Jeanne Designs this month as the PD Sponsor. Natalie has oodles of beautifully hand-designed accessories in her Etsy shop including these adorable girly hair pins. Whitney and Kennedy go bananas over these. They really love them. They have a hard time deciding which one to wear because they love them all.


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I really like that they’re colorful and durable. They hold even the wispiest of hair in place. The colors are also versatile and can be paired with anything from my daughters’ wardrobe. I can’t deny that I also love how vintage-y and sweet looking they are, too.


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Seriously. How cute are these? And they come on this precious little card that makes for an easy and fun stocking stuffer.


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This holiday season, please join me in supporting small businesses such as Natalie Jeanne Designs to do your shopping. Now you can get these hair pins (and anything in Natalie’s shop for that matter) for 20% off right now. Head on over to her shop to scope out the many adorable accessories she hand-crafts. To get the deal, enter the discount code “ERINB20” at checkout.


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