No Winter Blues Over Here

We’re now on Day 3 of life around us basically cancelling for winter.

Public schools are closed. Mail is not being delivered. No city trash is being picked up. County offices were closed. No sport practices. Local board meetings rescheduled.

And for good reason! Here in the Midwest, we’ve been in an Arctic Vortex, with temps in the negatives and wind chills reaching a crazy -50F in some parts.

Baby, it’s ridiculously COLD outside!!!

When I check my social media, I keep seeing people complaining about the cold weather: its ill effects (likes pipes bursting & state officials asking people to drop their thermostats to 65F), people getting really squirrel-y, parents being SO ready for school to re-open, less business, the pain of rescheduling events, etc. You name it, and someone’s probably complained about it.

That snow tho… oh it’s been beautiful. And we’ve had lots of it– reminds me of the winters I used to experience when I was a child. Watching it fall is energizing… gives me goosebumps.

The kids have been enjoying all the frost:

We have a family of cardinals that live in the blue spruce right outside our kitchen window. When it snows, their colors just pop. And every time I see them, I tear up because they were my grandma’s favorite bird– I miss her so.

It’s cozy. Quiet. Laid back. Calm. Peaceful. So little stress and go-go-go of life and activity.

Lot’s of family nights of movie watching & board games. Extra time to KonMari the house and work on those long-neglected home projects.

It’s been a forced rest for everyone.

Rest brings rejuvenation. Rejuvenation brings productivity and creativity. It gives us some air space in which to think and plan. Helps us get schtuff done. It allows healing & growth.

So rather than being frustrated with the weather, try instead to enjoy this downtime and sweet rest we have been given. Take a breath. Get some extra sleep. Play with your kids. Write or paint or craft– cuz you probably haven’t done that in awhile. Bake up something yummy. Read. Visit a shut-in and *make their day*! Do some yoga or other exercise you enjoy. Make a cup of coffee or tea and get snuggly on the couch. Binge on Netflix. Get lost in your favorite music. Work on your gratitude journal. Call your parents.

SLOW DOWN. Enjoy this beautiful thing called LIFE.

#liveawakened #livefullyalive #slowdown #rest #restore #rejuvenate #stopcomplaining #dosomethingfun #enjoywinter

Staying Motivated to Work Out During Pregnancy

I follow several fitness pages & people on Facebook. Here are my FAVS (in no particular preferential order):
Roller Derby Athletics
Derby Fit San DiegoHeath, Wellness, and Roller Derby
Treble Maker909
Fit Pregnancy
Knocked-Up Fitness
Diary of a Fit Mommy
Yoga With Kassandra
Yoga With Adriene
Holy Yoga
Spartan Race Training
Spartan Race
Natalie Hodson

In one of the pregnancy fitness pages, a young lady was asking for motivation to work out. If I remember right, she was about 6 months along.

The first thing that popped into MY mind was: find a goal!
There’s something about having a goal or an image or an aspiration to cling to. It REALLY helps get you off the couch and moving.

An upcoming vacation? A sport you want to try? A race you’d like to run? A class at the Y you’d like to try out? An old swim suit or pair of jeans that you’d LOVE to get back into? Getting off medications for blood pressure or diabetes? Just want to be able to play and keep up with your kids or grandkids? etc.

For me, I have several motivations:
1) I want labor & delivery *and* post-partum recovery to run smoothly and quickly and easily.
2) I have a gnarly varicose vein on my right leg that I *know* will flare up if I eat poorly or gain too much weight. Personally, I want that bad boy managed. I do NOT want to be miserable the rest of this pregnancy. Or worse yet, be couch-bound because I have to keep it elevated all the time.
3) I want and *need* the energy to keep up with my soon-to-be (7) children, homeschool, house duties, and whatever else I’m involved in with hubby/friends/family/church/& community. I do NOT want to always be tired or to have to say “no” to things cuz I can’t keep up.
4) I’m in a fitness & clean eating Facebook group where we have to report in daily with what we did exercise/food-wise. ❤❤ my ladies!!! ❤❤ the accountability!!!
5) I use a social media app called YouFood that connects me with people across the world. In this app I post my daily food intake and exercise… I can also share my food/fitness journey, post my groceries, share tips, or start a discussion. It’s SO useful. People can “like” what I post and also make comments. It’s a great tool, esp if you’re like me and can’t stand calorie counting. And I can get food/exercise ideas and inspiration from others. Both iPhones & Androids can use it.
6) I want to join roller derby after this baby is born. And that is a highly demanding physical activity. One in which I do NOT want to be starting out with cold turkey. If I can maintain fitness throughout my pregnancy, that will help drastically in getting in shape post-partum for derby.

Having these goals at the forefront of my mind really, truly helps me get off my hiney and onto my exercise mat each day!

So what motivates YOU? What gets you moving even if you don’t “feel” like it?



Being An Introvert

Just recently, I had one of those epiphany “a-ha” moments… one in which I wish it hadn’t taken so many years to discover. It would have saved me a LOT of trouble, heartache, and frankly… anger.

I am an introvert… through and through.

Now, please don’t confuse introvert with “shy” because the two are completely different entirely.

A shy person has a hard time making eye contact, is somewhat socially awkward…
Here’s a dictionary definition of “shy“:

“being reserved or having or showing nervousness or timidity in the company of other people “I was pretty shy at school” synonyms: bashful, diffident, farouche, timid, sheepish, reserved, reticent, retiring, self-effacing, withdrawn, timorous, mousy, nervous, insecure, un-confident, inhibited, repressed, inhibited, repressed, self-conscious, embarrassed.

Shy people (surprisingly) can be both introverted AND extroverted actually.

It all comes down to what ENERGIZES a person?

Extroversion: Does being in a group of people make one happy? Is it with people that someone gets clarity, ideas, peace, joy, energy, etc? Does one seek out having company?


Introversion: Is someone energized by being alone, being quiet with one’s thoughts and feelings? Is it in solitude that one finds peace and clarity and equilibrium? Does being with people for too long make one feel drained and depleted?– this is so me!

[**Here’s another great definition of Introversion.]
[**A great article. And another one for good measure.]

Why it took me so long to discover this, I’ll never know.

I like people. Shoot, I *love* people.

But in all honestly, I can only handle people in small doses… Ahhh… that’s so hard to say cuz it sounds so harsh. But I’m slowly recognizing it’s just a personality thing and not a bash on people.

I didn’t realize just how much I NEED to schedule time away, just to breathe and regroup… until I starting getting some alone time. Ahhhhh

And it’s perfectly alright! It’s OK! In fact, it’s a necessity!
Having alone time actually makes me a *better* mom, wife, friend, etc.

So my hubby and I came up with Wednesday nights, specifically, as “Mom’s PM Alone”.

Here I sit… my Mom’s PM Alone… blogging… Facebooking… updating social media stuff… emailing… And I am totally digging it. And to think, I get to do this EVERY week!!! And if not computer stuff… perhaps working out… running errands… working on a hobby… or SLEEPING!

And now that I’m starting to do a little work on the side as a Social Media Manager (SO excited!), these Wednesday nights have been a fabulous time for me to work on material toward this endeavor.

It’s helped me SO much to finally understand my personality and what makes me tick. To start implementing periods of alone time. And recognizing that needing “me time” does NOT mean I don’t love people or I’m shirking my responsibilities…

Are any of you Introverted?
If so, how do you schedule your time and energies to make sure you get sufficient alone time?
How do you balance parenthood with Introversion?



**A point of clarification… Wednesday nights are not the ONLY time I get alone and get away in any given week. I now try daily to schedule times where I get quiet, especially to read my Bible and exercise. Or when I’m really stressed, the kids now know mommy needs some “quiet time” and they’re pretty awesome about seeing to it that I get it.

I’m Back

Yikes. I haven’t blogged since Oct 27! That’s 2 months!

I didn’t mean for that to happen… but… (yep, here’s my list of excuses)… 1) I was going through some nasty morning sickness with Baby #7 that left me down and out on the couch, 2) when I finally did start feeling better, I got hit with a nasty cold (flu?) that, once again, left me down and out on the couch, 3) my laptop died and my hubby had to get me another one, and then 4) the holiday’s struck.

So here I am, two months later, still pregnant (nearing 14 weeks!), done with the morning sickness, almost over my cold (flu?), the proud owner of a “new to me” laptop, and the only holiday on the horizon is New Years. Wait, we do have one more family Christmas this coming Saturday, but that’s it.

*huge sigh of relief*

You should seriously see my long neglected to-do list. It’s staggering. Survival mode is for the birds, man. It was a chore just to get food on the table these past two months. But I miraculously was also able to do school (from my perch on the couch) and prep and participate in Christmas (mostly from my perch on the couch as well). We are so far behind we haven’t even mailed out our Christmas family photo cards yet. Well… better late than never I suppose. Hope to get on that tonight.

During my many on-the-couch-perch-times, I’ve had a lot of time to think about things. One of those things being this here blog… Hubby came to me the other day about whether or not to pay for the renewal of this site… do I want to continue blogging? I honestly didn’t know what to tell him.

That man… he actually went back and read ALL my posts here on Momma Duck… all the way through, no skimming. He was so impressed that he decided on his own accord to renew my website for another year. He didn’t wait for my response. Later he came to me and strongly encouraged me to keep writing.

He says I have a gift. A GIFT! That’s pretty cool to hear because it seems like the only things I’m “gifted in” is diaper changing and maybe cooking.

But writing? He thinks I’m gifted at writing? Wow…

Honestly, at any given moment I have SO much bumbling around in my head. And I write in my journal all.the.time. But so many articles go unpublished. Why?


I fear putting my thoughts out there because… I hate rejection. It’s so hard to put yourself out there and possibly face ridicule. Perhaps that’s just how any artist must feel. Your draw, cook/bake, sculpt, sing, write music, etc and many will be touched and encouraged and blessed by your work. But it won’t be for everyone. Not everyone is going to like the same work of art or the same song.

So it goes with writing.

I HOPE that what I say here will reach and warm the hearts of others. But I have to accept the fact that my blog isn’t for everyone. If they don’t like me or my writing, or they’re offended by what I have to say, etc then apparently this blog is not for them. And I need to be ok with that. I just need to write from the heart, write about what inspires me, write about what interests me… and let the pieces fall where they will.

I must let go of my fear.

So with that thought in mind… I’ve decided to take my hubby up on his words of encouragement and WRITE. Starting January 1st, I plan to have new material posted here 2x/wk (still deciding which days) and to keep up weekly/regularly with my Instagram account and my Facebook page. (All those social media links are on the right side bar–>.)

So yeah… that’s what’s been up these past two months… and now you know where I’m heading blogging wise in the future. 🙂


Photo Cred:

My Newest Venture: Social Media Manager

For the last several years, I have toyed around with social media and it’s many flavors and facets. It’s been a tinkering of mine, one such that my husband, although he does not fully understand, has finally accepted.

Can’t quite explain it. Perhaps it’s because deep down I am an introvert and I prefer socializing more behind the scenes, whereas my husband is a face-to-face dude. He’s the extrovert and he THRIVES on people: going to parties and gatherings and holidays or whatever.

Now don’t read me wrong… I like people and I like those social interactions as well… but in a much smaller dose. My hubby could do it all the time. Me? I prefer to have that sort of stuff scheduled so I can mentally prepare for it. Large crowds and constant interaction tend to drain me. I refuel by being alone.

So for me, social media has been a fabulous tool in which to stay connected with people!

Here’s a great article about Extroverts and Introverts: click here!
**Contrary to popular thought, introversion does not necessarily equal shyness.
**A great article on Signs of Introversion.

Another thing that got me going in this direction is when a dear friend of mine started a sewing and alterations business and was wanting help getting a social presence for her biz started. If she really wanted to, she could have sat down and figured it out the hard way. But honestly, she wanted to do her business not study up on SEO and web design and making a Facebook business page, etc. So I cheerfully stepped in to help her get her web presence off the ground and running.

It has been SO fun!

Instead of just “playing around” or “wasting time on the internet” so to speak, I am actually using my skills to boost her business!

#1- I’m realizing how little I really knew about social media. :-O
#2- I’m seriously having a blast figuring things out! 😀

My friend is my “guinea pig” and she’s ok with that. LOL. She’s getting her business out on the web and I am actually getting to use my hobby for a good cause. It’s been a benefit to both of us.

Not sure where this will go. Perhaps as time goes on I can slowly enter the world of starting my own business. We shall see!

In the meantime, my husband and I have scheduled out Wednesday evenings to be MOM time. I can leave or stay. I can do whatever I want (within reason, LOL)… But it’s MY time alone. So Wednesdays are now my time to blog and research and develop my friends’ website, etc.

For so long I kept waiting until I “had the time” to get on my blogs and “play on the internet”. Um yeah… like that’s ever going to happen! Who ever really “has the time”? Certainly not me! I’ve got 6 kids under the age of 12 and we homeschool.

When I started helping my girlfriend with her business though, it dawned on me you have to “schedule” time… you gotta MAKE time!

Now I have the time to update and check and blog and edit pics and research and whatever else my little social media manager’s heart delights in. I look SO forward to it! If I catch myself falling behind during the week, I KNOW I have Wednesday evenings, undistracted time, to get caught up.

Why didn’t I think to do that earlier?!

So yeah… that’s where I am right now. Baby stepping my way into the world of social media.

I’d love to hear from those of you that are in the field or know a thing or two about it. What websites or training do you recommend, tips of the trade, etc?

I’ve really been quite taken by Crystal Paine and all the information she shares on her website: Money Saving Mom. Christy Wright is also a great resource. Also been looking at Social Media Examiner and Amy Porterfield and Sandi Krakowski.

Who else is good to follow? I’m all ears!