Have it all

By most standards, I have it all. I’m married to a supportive man, I have two kids (1 boy, 1 girl, how perfect!), I’m well-educated, leaning in at work, taking time to write in this blog, running a side business, and keeping up with the household chores (most of the time, anyway!). We live on a great property in a house that was built by my grandpa. This means lots of legacy and lots of DIY. I’ve been pretty blessed.

Have it all

Having it all

But do I have it all or do I just have pieces of it all?

In a prior post, I wrote that I feel as though I am perpetually and chronically running behind. I’m playing catch up, unable to keep up with my own scorecard and due dates because I am so busy try to have it all.

Marriage is a partnership, but is it an equal 50/50 partnership?  I’m guessing that in most households, it’s not. I came across a video today–actually a commercial.  You may have seen it as it’s actually going viral.  You can check it out here on Sheryl Sandberg’s facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/sheryl/videos/10156510941810177/?pnref=story.

The video/commercial in question shows a grandfather sitting at the table with his grandson.  He’s watching his daughter as she gets home from work, starts dinner, picks up the toys, and works on laundry, all while participating in a teleconference for her job.  Her husband is sitting in the background watching TV.  Then, there’s a voice over from the grandfather.  He’s written a letter to his daughter, lamenting the bad example that he set in not doing things around the house, and he promises to go home and at least help with the laundry.  It’ s a commercial for Ariel laundry from P&G, but it’s so much more than that!  It’s really a statement on global inequality.

I can really identify with this commercial!  Both Mr. Keller and I grew up in more traditional homes where the wife took care of the household chores and the children while the husband took care of the outside (but heaven forbid the flower beds be included in what is known as the outside!). When we entered into our marriage, I had high hopes of a marriage in which I cooked and he cleaned up after dinner, but I never made that reality happen. Instead, I accepted his expectations (again rationalizing it because we grew up that way and “he’d had a hard day at work”).

Why do I accept this? Why do I accept the fact that I maintain the house, the children, the finances, and our social calendar, all while bringing home more than half of our family’s financial income?  Some days, I feel as though everyone and everything in the little Keller world is dependent upon me. Silly, right? I mean, they won’t starve without me cooking. Eventually, someone else would do laundry. The dusting probably won’t happen, but I’m sure that Mr. Keller would get the kids ready in the morning if I just refused. BUT, I don’t.

Mr. Keller is a wonderful man.  I’m not trying to complain about him.  I’m simply sharing my thoughts on how our household got to where we are today.

I’ve put myself in this position, but so has society.  Stereotypes and gender expectations have had a huge influence in my life and, I’m sure others.

The feminist movement was great… until it wasn’t.  You see, I don’t think feminists expected the world I live today.  They fought so that I could vote, work a job, and be reliant upon myself.  I don’t think they expected that women would do all of those things while still shouldering the bulk of the household chores.  You see, I’m competitive and ambitious; I want to be the best.  I want to win at being the best wife, mom, housewife, and employee.  I want to have it all, but I’m realizing that something has to give.

Financial Accountability

“Life was harder before I started!” I heard that quote the other day on a Dave Ramsey podcast. The speaker was someone there to do her debt free scream, and she was referencing her budget. Prior to following Dave’s Baby Steps and holding herself to financial accountability, her life was harder!

Financial Accountability

Taking Financial Accountability seriously makes cents!

How could that be? Before she sat down and created her budget, her family just spent their paycheck. Like most Americans, I’m sure they thought they were fine as long as they could pay their mortgage, car payment, credit card minimums and still pay the power bill and put food on the table, but they found themselves in debt and stressed out; they were managing their lives around their debt payments.

That’s certainly how I felt before we went on the Dave Ramsey Baby Step program!  The funny thing is that I didn’t even realize that I felt stressed out by our debt until I started to really make a plan to eliminate the debt!  I realized that up until the Keller family implemented a budget, we were really being managed by our debt payments.  I had no real idea where our money was going outside of those payments.

Every month, I would make our payments.  I would then spend the rest of the month constantly calculating how much money was left.  If it appeared that there would be a deficit, I would move money over from savings.  I felt as though I was constantly calculating, adjusting, and transferring money.  The budget stopped all of that.  It really was easier!  Now, I just update our Mint.com budget every couple of days and note how much wiggle room we still have in each category!

Now, we’re reached most of our goals and paid off everything except for the house!  BUT, that doesn’t mean that the budget is thrown out the window!  On the contrary, it’s just as important as ever.  Now, rather than pouring money into paying off cars, student loans, and zero percent credit cards, we’re pouring money into retirement accounts, savings, and college savings plans.  After sticking to the budget for a year, it’s natural for us to continue to stick to it!  Holding ourselves financially accountable has truly made life easier!

21 Day Fix

21 Day FixI’ve signed up for the 21 Day Fix program through Beach Body!  Lately, I have noticed a little extra padding and slightly tighter fitting pants.  I wanted to just blame the weather and even argued with myself that the extra padding would surely disappear when the sun started to make its appearance more often.  Then, reality hit me:  I’m not going to lose this extra padding as long as my habits stay the same.  The weather warming up will surely make me more active outside, but will it help me to cut back on my snacking?  Probably not.  I had to admit to myself that I wasn’t likely to meet my goals without some help.

My Goals

21 Day FixWhat are my goals?  First, I want to get my meal proportions back down to where they should be.  I’ve noticed that I’ve been eating more and more lately, and that definitely has to stop!  You can’t outrun your fork!

I also need to get back into shape.  I walk almost daily at work, but that only adds up to 1 or 2 miles a day.  I also ride a stationary bike nearly daily for 4-6 miles, but those are really pretty mild activities.  They definitely aren’t getting me back into shape!  When I look in the mirror, I hope to see a much more toned body!

What is the 21 Day Fix?

The 21 Day Fix program is just the program for me!  First, it’s not a diet!  Of course, how often do you hear that?!  It’s also really not a quick fix kind of thing (the name is really just marketing at work, I think!).  21 Day Fix is a program that makes portion control easy and combines it with a set of 7 different workouts.

The portion control part of the 21 Day Fix program is about as easy as it gets!  No calorie counting!  You just use the portion containers that come with the program!  You calculate the number of containers you can use per day by using your starting weight.  For me, I get 3 veggie containers, 2 fruit, 4 protein, 2 starch, 1 healthy fat or cheese, and 1 nut/dressing container.  It’s so easy!  The program comes with a few recipes, but there are tons of them on Pinterest!  In fact, you can check out my Pinterest board, if you’d like!

As I mentioned, the 21 Day Fix comes with 7 different workouts:  Total Body Cardio, Upper Fix, Lower Fix, Pilates Fix, Cardio Fix, Dirty 30, and Yoga Fix.  They each only last 30 minutes, though I hear that they’re no walk in the park!  During the 21 days that the program lasts, you do not get a rest day, but the Yoga and Pilates days are considered lighter work outs.

You may be wondering why it’s a 21 day program as opposed to something longer.  The idea is that it takes 21 days to develop a habit.  As a result, you should develop a habit of working out for 30 minutes a day and you’ll become used to keeping your portions in control.

My program will arrive in the mail on Wednesday, and I am super excited!  If you’re interested in signing up, feel free to reach out to my Beach Body coach, Kaycee Majerus.  She has been a huge help answering my questions and getting me started!

Wish me luck!  I am absolutely determined to stay motivated!

Chronically Behind

I feel as though I have been running chronically behind!  My To Do list has gotten longer every day!  I mark one item off, but two more show up.

Work hasn’t been any better, either!  I have the items that I need to do and the items that I have to do, and I’m having a heck of a time getting any of those done.

chronically behind

No time to monkey around

Prioritization is the name of the game here lately, which is why I haven’t posted on here in over a week!  This blog is actually a great source of therapy for me, though, so not writing has actually been adding to my stress levels, I think.  I’ll have to prioritize this blog a little higher in the future!

This blog post did get prioritized above Uncle Sam!  I have one line left to do on our taxes, but it’ll wait for another evening this week (okay, tomorrow).  I’ll finish that one line, review it, submit it, and hold my breath.  It’s funny, because of course I follow the tax laws, but I had terrible issues getting our taxes accepted a few years ago when I finally changed my last name.  The Social Security database had not yet been updated with my new last name so we had to wait nearly a month for the update to occur.  Ridiculous and totally beyond my control!  Another year, we had issues with Mr. Keller’s W-2.  I guess something on it didn’t match what was submitted by Mr. Keller’s employer.  In the end, it was, again, just a matter of waiting.  So, history tells me that even if our taxes are perfect, there could be issues that delay their acceptance by the IRS and cause stress.

Let’s see, where else am I chronically behind?  I need to get more stamps from the post office, finish up our meal plan for the next month, book plane tickets, prep for BK’s birthday party, start going through the items we’ll put up on our garage sale (there’s a lot so it’ll take time), and, of course clean the house.

The house always needs cleaned.  It’s the absolute bane of my existence.  As long as there are other people living here, it’s going to need to be cleaned.  Because I wouldn’t wish away any of those people, I guess I’ll just keep on cleaning!  One of these days, it’s my firmest hope that my little people will learn to pick up after themselves and that Mr. Keller will learn the concept of “everything has a place and everything in it’s place.”

Yep, I think it’s confirmed:  I’m going to feel as though I am going to be chronically behind until the Keller Kids move out.  That’s quite a few years away, and I thank God that’s the case!

Super Weekend

This past weekend was a Super Weekend! Not only was it the Super Bowl, but we also celebrated a very special birthday!

Super Birthday Celebration

Super Grandma Dorothy

MK took this picture of Grandma Dorothy!

Mr. Keller’s grandmother, Dorothy celebrated her 98th birthday!  Nearly all of the family was able to gather at a local restaurant to honor the occasion on Saturday evening.  There was laughter, good food, comradery, cake, and wild “Happy Birthday” glasses.  Most importantly, there was a very happy birthday lady.  Grandma Dorothy was glowing!

Dorothy has to be one of the youngest 98 year olds I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.  She just recently started to wear hearing aids, but other than that, she’s in remarkable health!  Honestly, you would never guess her to be 98 years old!  Heck, she still lives on the family farm and has her driver’s license.  I pray that if I have the fortitude to make it to 98 years of age that I am in as good of shape as she is.

Keller Family with DorothyBK and MK are so fortunate to be able to know Grandma Dorothy.  Dorothy just revels in her great-grandchildren when they visit.  She’s always game for snuggles, assisting with untangling of toys, and is always prepared with cookies and milk.  I wish that I could properly describe the awesomeness that is Grandma Dorothy.  She even has a humorous side!  Oh, boy, does she!  She often says things that make us do a double take because we didn’t realize she knew something.  There’s not much that gets past her!

Though Grandma Dorothy isn’t sure that she has any more birthdays left (she’s observed 98 of them, after all!), we continue to hope that her health and mental capacities stay in tact.  She’s truly a treasure!

Super Bowl Celebration

Sunday was, of course, the Super Bowl!  Mr. Keller and I are pretty big NFL fans so, of course, we had a Super Bowl party!

Our party was really a pretty small affair.  There were 3 other couples in attendance along with 6 additional children.  Considering that our house really isn’t too big, that was enough of a crowd!

Mr. Keller and I had spent some time reorganizing the basement and cleaning it up in advance of the party.  It was our hope that the children would mostly stay down there.  Luckily for us, the plan was pretty darned successful!

Super Bounce HouseThe Keller Kids had received a Bounce House for Christmas from Santa Claus, and I have to say, Santa was pretty smart with that gift (Santa also got a really great deal on it!)!  It has kept the kids well occupied since Christmas, and Sunday was no exception.

He's sporting a pretty good knot!

He’s sporting a pretty good knot!

Of course, there have been minor injuries, and BK managed to obtain a pretty good knot on his forehead Sunday.  From what I understand, BK took a header off the slide.  It looks as though it hurts, but when I asked him about it, he grabbed the wrong side of his head and moaned pathetically… you can make of that what you will!

Lady Gaga’s National Anthem performance was spot on.  Everyone in the room quieted down for it, and we were reminded that she can actually sing–as in she is actually a classically trained singer.  She’s certainly not your typical Pop Queen!

I can’t say that we caught too many of the commercials.  The Doritos commercial with the sonogram and the baby… super weird.  I don’t like Doritos, but I’d have to question my desire to support that company after watching that commercial. The texting Domestic Violence commercial was heartbreaking and gut wrenching, and the wiener dog/Heinz commercial was pretty cute.

Now for the actual Super Bowl:  I have to say that Mr. Keller and I were happily surprised at the outcome.  Mr. Keller even had a friendly wager with one of our friends that Carolina would win, but we’re both big Peyton Manning fans.  We were thrilled to see him end up victorious on what is likely to be his last professional game.  Manning is a class act, and I think has made the NFL better.

BK and Kyle taking a Lego break. These two have always been buddies

BK and Kyle taking a Lego break. These two have always been buddies

Anyway, the weekend is over.  The kids went back to daycare, Mr. and Mrs. Keller went back to work, and we have a long week ahead of us.  We had a super weekend, and getting back to work/school today was difficult!  Boooo