The Struggle is Real

Ok I love this saying it just cracks me up!  My siblings and I use it often when referring to just about anything that affects us as adults.  You know making creative dinners, being a disciplinary to our kids when that’s the worst part of being a parent, when jobs have us pulled in more directions than we know what to do!  I’m sure all of you have said or felt this at one point or another?  The struggle for me clearly is sitting myself down and sharing my struggles with all of you!  Things have been absolutely bananas over here.

When the kids started school and S started full day and K started half days I had so many amazing plans!  I was going to have all this free time for myself that I wasn’t going to know what to do with myself!  Well that is a total joke!  I find myself accomplishing less.  I had planned to run daily or at least three days; nope isn’t happening.  Planned to make one day for just working on our business; that’s not happening.  I also thought I would have the cleanest house you could imagine without extra hands messing everything up three steps behind me;  umm now they are just a few hours behind me doing it!  Last I thought I will be hanging out at the local coffee shop with my girlfriends discussing all the things are little ones had us stressed about over the days up to our coffee clutch; this I have completely mastered some times its alone but do you know how enjoyable it is to go into a coffee shop ALONE and get a delicious pumpkin spice latte and not share it!  I do have to say other things have come in to play in which my “other” plans haven’t quite happened.  Most of these things have been positive with a few negatives.  But no one says being a wife, a mom or business owner was easy or always going to be lollipops and gum drops!

First things first being a wife…We’ve touched on this before Joe has crazy hours and the biggest heart of anyone I know.  He wants to help everyone from the smallest things such as offering to build a barn wood partition wall to big things like renting a lift to try and help a client fix a problem on their home that a different masonry company created.  Then there are the things I require you know be home at a time that the kids can enjoy you before bed.  Dad reads books way better than mom does!  Then I have questions about the business.  Usually at this point I’m not sure he’s even coherent as exhaustion is on strong! But there is one new thing we incorporated into our family.  It is the addition of Hello Fresh being delivered to our door each Tuesday.  This has changed our life in a few ways.  The biggest pertaining to Joe and I is we are having date nights.  Yes, I have been cooking our meals so it is ready when he will get home.  This way we can sit down together and talk about the kids, work, life just as we do when we go to a restaurant and spend triple the amount of money.  For the kids yes it has pushed dinner back for them on some of the nights and also has them in the kitchen cooking with me!  If it is something I know they will be in udder disgust over I plan accordingly by cooking something else for them weather it be chicken or pasta.  The overall experience has been very positive for our family.  So I do recommend trying Hello Fresh out!  Now let’s talk being mom…

I wish I could say things have been easy but until last week the mom role was quite challenging.  I was struggling with a VERY strong willed little girl that was challenging everything.  Meltdowns over small things were happening daily and some days multiple times.  Going wild when she was asked to do anything from take her bath to eat dinner to lastly homework.  S is a very smart kid and she kept telling me about things at school but most ended with “I’m Bored”.  I had to do something quick as Joe was ready to seek outside help and honestly I was at my wits end.  After speaking to a few people I learned of the Love and Logic methods.  I went to the library and checked out the book that seemed to pertain to what we were going through.  The biggest change in our home was the removal of ipads.  Yes, our kids were turning into raging lunatics that’s lives were being controlled by mind craft and youtube!  As discussed with my brother my kids were suffering from the ipad hangover.  They NEEDED it to feel content, they just needed to see one more how to video or build one more room.  If they didn’t get it they were total wackadoos!  At school they have started a color behavior chart which in speaking with S’s teacher we have begun at home for both kids.  Ipads were just reintroduced this past weekend for a short time.  Lastly, I have used the love and logic options method.  So far both kids are making the right choice.  Kids like choices as they like to feel like they are the ones in control.  It’s such an easy concept in almost every situation I give them two options; they have to choose one.  I will say I have not finished the book yet but the bits and pieces I have been using I think are so easy and I wish I would have started them years ago.  Oh well better late then never, right?!  I’m happy to report S has ended each day at school in either purple or blue which are the two highest behavior options!

Last lets talk about being a business owner.  This time I’m not talking about my husband!  Mom and I have been full swing with finishing furniture.  We were just asked to sell our items in a new shop near me.  Last week I was hired to come to a clients house and teach her how to refinish her 16 person dining room table!  We have brought my dad on as part of our team too!  Dad has done a beautiful cedar headboard which I finished with chalk paint and light distressing.  He also has built a few couch/entry way tables for clients.  Next endeavor will be for him to do some night stands!  I truly think he is loving it.  He and my mom are retired and this gives my dad something to do which he loves and also make some extra money!  We all loved to be appreciated and my dad hearing the wonderful feedback of those that have bought his stuff has been great!  Mom and I have been working on a few things.  I unfortunately have been sick with a few different things.  My migraines have come back in full force which have had me in bed for a week at a time resulting in an upcoming neurology appointment.  I went in to have a better look and hopefully remove any endometriosis found.  Which I was diagnosed with a year ago.  My results came back that they were wrong and I didn’t in fact have endometriosis so I had a urology appointment this past week which we did discover that I have Interstitial Cystitis which is the cause of almost all of my abdominal pain as well as overactive bladder.  Hope with meds we will have luck in getting this under control.  We are giving it a month then we will move to the next steps.  Lastly, I was moving furniture with my mom yesterday and lifted a heavy piece up which provided the pop in my back and I fell over immediately.  ER doctor told me thankfully nothing is broken I pulled it and its spasming which is causing me to not be able to walk upright.  They gave me two shots a pill and sent me on my way.  With this last little hiccup I’m thinking I will take this week off from rehabbing anything; or maybe just do some things while sitting😁

Well it’s been far too long and I promise not to keep you waiting to hear from me again!  I look forward to showing you the new dressers we are doing as well as end tables and holiday items!  Oh ya my good friend and I are doing a vendor fair in November and mom and I were asked to participate in one December 1st!  So the holiday juices are flowing and you will be the firsts to enjoy all we have come up with!!  Until then have a wonderful Monday and remember lift with your legs not your back!  Cheers🍷

Its That Time of Year AGAIN!!!

Hello Friends,

Well we are well on our way to mid December and I don’t know about you but it came far to quick for me!  I am a person that has all my decorations inside and out up by the Monday after Thanksgiving; yes even with our yearly trip to Georgia!  This year has been all around off!  To be honest we are so ready for 2015 to be over and we welcome 2016 with open arms and hopes of changes we have made within our business to show as the best decision we will make!  Which Joe and I are confident will be…with that being said all change when owning a business doesn’t sometimes mean you don’t hit rough patches to get there.  More on that in a bit!  As far as S and K go; things are moving along and the countdown till the big guy arrives is on.  With daily comments by S of how it is going to be “FOREVER” before Christmas arrives!  K on the other hand just continues to hold up five fingers and say “this many days!” each day we remove a link from our countdown chain!  This time of year I know many families have traditions they do with their families and friends which I love!  Weather its cookie making with a group of 20 or having a special elf visit your kids daily.  All of these things are what makes life so great!  Even when it seems like life outside of these things is too stressful and complicated.  At the end of the day December reminds us all what life is about.  Family and Friends!

Let’s start with these little elves that came out in 2005 I believe…before my days of having kids but has clearly become a tradition in many homes each holiday season!  S had her elf arrive three years ago.  She really didn’t understand the idea but it was when we were just about to start treacherous three’s and I was willing to start anything to help keep the energy positive especially having K just thirteen months behind her and beginning to take on any activity positive or negative she was doing.  Driving me looney!!  So anyway too young she likely was but we gave it a whirl and she named her elf Francesca which Joe and I had NO idea where this name came from, she had no dolls or no characters on TV that had this name but this was it! Funny thing about this was I called my mom to tell her about the elf and telling her the name, she got a little confused about the conversation and replies “Is this your new nanny’s name?!”  I laughed and we still laugh over this comment as one I was a stay at home mom doing just that and not needing a nanny and two I had never mentioned the need for a nanny.  Ok well I’m sure from time to time I have made the comment I would be a better stay at home mom if I had one but totally joking!!  Anyway that was year one and I was on it.  Doing my daily routine of hiding Francesca ,doing all the silly things people do with this little elf.  Heck I was moving the thing around my house multiple times a day!  Ya I was good; LOL!  Then last year came and we decided K needed to become part of the fun.  We had the elves arrive the day after Thanksgiving when we were in Georgia.  K named his elf Frankie!  They arrived by balloons to the front door of our sister and brother in laws.  The kids freaked that they found them there.  Of course the rest of our visit was elf shenanigans for each morning.  We continued the daily hunts each morning when we returned home.  There was no multiple moves throughout the day though.  This year both arrived and have been stirring up naughtiness but at the same time reminding the kids of positive behaviors and also telling them what they noticed they did great the day before.  I will say what has worked best for these two has been having a daily note from their elves to them personally.  S each day wonders what Francesca has to say.  She has even made sure to let Francesca know what she was going to do that day to make her proud.  This is the first year for her it has truly worked!  K thinks its just plain funny!  Frankie took one of K’s numerous toilet paper roll binoculars and cut them down to his size and was stuck in the tree or he toilet papered their bathroom and Francesca wrote a note to both of them with toothpaste on the mirror.  My only gripe about these little friends is remembering to move them and be creative.  I mean I know people like my sister goes all out each day and I’m sure once your kids are to the ages of 6+ that is necessary but again just a personal note to mine as been working best.  Whatever fun tradition you start with your kids I just suggest you do it each year as these are the things they are going to remember as adults!

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Continuing with fun holiday activities S has had now two holiday shows with school!  Yes this is true and yes she is only 4!  As I’m sure you have caught on S is a actress.  This is just one thing that has been a positive experience for her.  Her first show was the tree lighting ceremony at the library.  Her class sang under the tree before lighting it and having Santa come by on the fire truck!  Bringing us then inside for a few more holiday songs.  Yesterday she had her big show at school.  S has sang her classes songs as well as the kindergarten classes songs daily since learning.  She told me “mom when the big kids are singing I just sing along with them quietly!”  Before we left yesterday she said “Mrs. Breen tells us to sing loud so the people all the way in the back can hear our voices.”  Well, S did just that!  I wish I was a better videographer as I would love to share the show but I had K bumping and falling on me while I was doing so; resulting in a jumpy video:(  But S did not disappoint!  After Santa was there for pictures the kindergarten teacher stopped me and said “I have to tell you S did amazing!  I told Mrs. Breen we should just mic her.  She knew all the words and was so enthusiastic about singing.  You really have a singer on your hands!”  I had to laugh as at one point in the show I looked at my mom and we both started laughing as the only person you could hear singing was S!  She loves to perform and I truly do hope to get her in to something as she on numerous occasions let’s me know she wants to act like her cousin does.  Next Tuesday is K’s holiday show which I CAN NOT wait to see as he has not sang a peep this holiday season at home!  I asked him what songs they are singing at his show and he said “none” so this will be fun!  Look forward to sharing; hopefully I can get a good video to share!

So on to other news at the Lisenby’s!  I may or may not have mentioned we have taken our business a bit of a different direction.  Starting to make changes over the past couple months to prepare for the upcoming year.  Well as mentioned change can bring bumps in the road.  After 9 years of Joe dedicating himself to be the mason for a single contractor in our town and still doing side jobs in the evenings and weekends.  We have decided to part ways and focus on growing our business on more direct relations with homeowners.  Yes we have always done this but on the evenings and weekends.  Holding Joe to focus on very large homes that in the end were very stressful and to be honest not always having a huge return.  Not at any fault of the homeowners but that of add ons and extras that added up but truly didn’t turn a profit.  Sitting down we realized that we needed to take the reigns back over on our business.  Joe is a very talented individual and after doing a few larger side jobs he had realized he truly could be doing homes, outdoor sceneries, pools, etc. on his own.  He was designing, providing contacts and making money!  Joe has jobs booked until spring of 2016 without a contractor or any contact information on any of our vehicles.  It was time to lower the stress and get back to having evenings and at least Sundays with family.  Again I’m not saying doing these things is necessarily “NEW” to Joe or our business but now they will be our Monday-Saturday daytime focuses.  These changes have required much patients on my end.  This is where Joe and I are a good balance as I don’t have much patients and he has enough patients for the both of us!  Working through these months has taught me to BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET!  I know this is standard for many families but I have never truly been a budget kind of girl!  I like to do what I want and when I want.  I have even went as far as to cut K’s hair on my own! YIKES!  He thought it was so fun as at first he said “No Mommy I go see Ms. Robin (our hairdresser), she cuts my hair” But then I made my office a barber and he was game.  Let’s just say I don’t plan to make this a regular activity!  K is not a kid with a look that says hey I can do a buzz cut so that wasn’t an option it was new scissors and try to tame the madness he had on top of his head!  Thankfully S has beautiful hair and doesn’t need a cut as she has decided when she does cut it she wants to donate it to someone who doesn’t have hair.  Which I encourage as I think it’s important to understand not everyone is as fortunate weather it be due to sickness or come up against tough times.  I’m a firm believer in carma and things happening for a reason.  At this moment I know this tough time is only to prepare us for possibly bumps in the future but also to remind us that as Joe keeps saying we have each other.  We are fortunate that the two of us continually remind each other that we can do this and it truly has made our relationship that much stronger.  Success doesn’t come overnight and without a lot of work.  So we will continue to bust our butts to see a different success in 2016!  One that we own 100%!  Here are a few projects Joe has been doing!  Please do check out our website at www.moonlightmasonry.com as well as follow on linkedin at www.linkedin.com/in/moonlightmasonry

A few other happenings!  I have been back to running as when stress comes running seems to provide me that time alone that I need to clear my head and remind me this to shall pass.  While I begging myself to walk! LOL!  Since we stayed in town for the holiday I was able to join my uncle for a quick 5K the morning of Thanksgiving!  I have also been working on my painting chair project…this is a doozy!  Not sure when this is all said and done I will be rushing to start another upholstery re-do!  I just hope to have this done so I have another seat in the living room at Christmas!!

Well I have said an awful lot…as my family will agree I have never been short of words!  Until next time be well!

Amanda 10