Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sunshine Mary on Lazy Housewives

One of my favorite bloggers, Sunshine Mary, has a post on the matter of lazy housewives.  A big thank you to SSM for giving mention to The Working Home Keeper blog.  And no, she doesn't fancy me the lazy variety of housewife!  Lots of good discussion in the comments as well, so be sure to check it out.

If you're visiting from Sunshine Mary - welcome to my little blog!  Make yourself at home and have a look around.  Here is a bit of explanation about the blog:

Why a homemaking blog for working moms?  Don't they all have maid services and feed their families from drive-thrus?

While there are plenty of blogs and work-life balance sites focused on the "work" aspect of working motherhood, few focus on home.  I wanted to create a space to encourage working mothers in their most important job and purpose - caring for their families and homes.  The focus should always be homeward regardless of employment status.  I'm proud to say the readership of the blog is not just working mothers, but homemakers, stay-at-home moms, work-at-home moms.  All who share a love for home and family.

So, why even work outside of the home?  Why not be a stay-at-home mom or full-time homemaker?

While I cannot answer for all working moms, I can speak for our situation.  In our marriage, my husband has the final say on all major decisions.  Having one income or two is one of those major decisions.  My husband felt the best way I could support him in my role as helpmeet, was to bring in additional income.  At some point, that may change.  But for now, I aim towards contentment in my role as a working home keeper.

What about the costs associated with working?

There are costs associated with working outside of the home.  However, we try to live frugally and well below our means.  We have been fortunate to avoid childcare expenses by having my mother live with us.  She has been living with us since our oldest child was four months old.  In addition to the child care savings, having a multi-generational home has been a great experience.  Our work clothes are thrifted, lunches packed and meals cooked from scratch.  We also live debt-free except for our mortgage (which is on track to be paid off completely in less than 10 years). 

In short, that is a bit about the blog!  Now, I have to get back to the kitchen.  It's a cold day and I have a pot of 12 bean soup on the stove and homemade French bread baking in the oven.  Till next time!

Mary Ellen




Friday, October 25, 2013

Some Days...

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
-John 16:33
This morning, my boss called me into his office.  As I mentioned before, I felt strongly changes were coming.  I was informed our department would be going from three members to two.  My co-worker was notified this morning that her position was terminated.  It was not unexpected, but still very hard to hear.  She was the first to welcome me to the company many years ago, even though we didn't work together at the time.  Her presence will be missed.  As I was still trying to process the changes within our department, another bit of office news brought me to tears.  A former co-worker, who has been battling cancer, has been moved to a hospice facility.  At one point in his treatment, things were moving in a positive direction.  The outlook was very good.  But, recently things took a turn for the worse.  A recent MRI showed an aggressive growth of the cancer in his brain and spine.  My heart aches thinking about his wife and two very young boys.  Those boys need their Dad.  His wife needs her husband.  You shouldn't have to think about widowhood in your thirties.  You think about your kids going to college, them getting married, having grandchildren and settling into retired life.  That's how it is supposed to go...
Mary Ellen

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Where is the Working Home Keeper?

Hello, All!  First, thank you for the 13th Anniversary wishes!  The Mr. & I had a wonderful night out together while my oldest sister and Momma watched the kids.  Seems like just yesterday, we were two kids in love walking around campus.  Hard to believe we've been married now for over a decade :)

It was not my intention to let the blog sit idle for a month.  But, in all honesty, I would rather live life and be fully present in the moment, than blog about it sometimes.  Terrible strategy for running a successful blog.  But, pretty good strategy for enjoying life :)

So, what have we been up to? 

We ended the Summer with a trip to Wrightsville Beach.  It was only a few days, but it was the most glorious few days.  My soul just feels so at ease by the water.  The sound of the waves, the smell of the salt in the air, the sun warming my skin. 


The kids had a really good time in the water this year.  They would go straight from splashing in the waves at the beach to playing in the hotel pool until closing time. 

Blue Crab Omelet at Causeway Café, Wrightsville Beach

The food - delicious!  Nothing like dining by the ocean in the evening.  Or enjoying lunch dockside as the boats pull in.

Clayton not so excited about the first day of school!

But, real life beckoned and we left our beach paradise just in time for the start of school.  This year, Ashleigh started 5th grade, Clayton 3rd grade and Reed 1st grade.  This is also the last year all three kids will be attending the same school.  I'm so not ready for middle school!  Or this 3 day, 2 night field trip Ashleigh will be taking to Washington DC with the 5th grade class in the Spring.  We never did anything like that when I was in school!  Thankfully, my Mother-in-law will be chaperoning.  But as far as school is concerned, so far so good.  All the kids have great teachers this year and there's been no problems (thank God!). 

Ashleigh on patrol!

And, Miss Ashleigh is a member of the safety patrol this year!  The safety patrol is for 5th graders only.  Ashleigh applied at the end of last school year (without any prompting from us).  And, was approved based on grades, demonstrating positive character traits and recommendations from her 4th grade teachers.  So proud of that girl!

Work is work ;)  Dave is entering a busy time at his job, while mine seems a bit uncertain.  I think there will be changes, but it's uncertain exactly what that will mean for individuals within my department at this time.  I could end up a working home keeper "at home" for a time.  The thought of losing my job doesn't worry me because my joy is not tied to my work outside of the home.  My purpose in life and joy has always come from being a wife and mother.  As long as I don't lose that job, then I'll be okay!

Speaking of home, we've been busy with some home improvement projects.  We replaced the flooring in our sunroom, will be replacing the carpet in our family room (hopefully before Thanksgiving) and will start repainting our foyer to make it brighter and more inviting.  I started my Fall garden in early September by means of direct seed.  In retrospect, that was probably too ambitious for my level of gardening knowledge!  My tender seedlings were eaten up by slugs and/or crushed by one of our kitties who has taken to lying in my garden squares.  Thankfully, the weather here is still mild and the first frost date far enough away that a Fall Garden Part II (this time with transplants!) is still possible.  I have to plant some kale and spinach for all those green smoothies we've been drinking.  Even my Momma has taken to drinking a green smoothie each morning! 

So, that's what we've been up to in a nutshell!

Until next time,
Mary Ellen
The Working Home Keeper