Ahh – the weekend! Welcome to it, my friends. 🙂 Thanks for taking a little bit of time to pop over to check out this week’s featured blogger!
When I was preparing the interview questions for this feature, I had the hardest time pulling myself away from Kelly’s blog long enough to actually write them; I was truly enjoying digging through her site so much! I hope you enjoy her interview and poke around her site afterwards because she has a ton of wonderful content to share. Meet Kelly!
Q: In three sentences or less, tell us a little bit about who you are.
A: I am a finance loving, frugal living, type A personality that thrives on coffee. I grew up in the Midwest and am now raising my children with my husband a few hours from our hometown. My career was in counseling but that has been put on hold while I stay at home with my 2 (soon to be 3) children, a girl (age 4) and a boy (age 2).
Q: When did you start your blog, and what was your motivation to start it?
A: I started my blog when I first found out I was pregnant with my first child. My husband and I both have numerous albums of pictures from growing up and I don’t really love how much physical space that takes up in our house. Seriously, my husband has about 13 full photo albums from birth-18 years of age and we probably spend less than an hour a year looking at them. I wanted to give my kids a way to see their childhood through my eyes. Blogging creates the perfect space for it because I can provide the pictures and the story. My blog is little and I really like it that way, but it gives others a chance to see how our family lives.
Q: You write about such a variety of awesome topics. Would you classify yourself as a lifestyle blogger or another niche?
A: I would definitely say I’m more of a lifestyle blogger. Most posts give some insight to how our day to day routines are. We are a small family living on an acreage in the Midwest. I’m learning about who I am as a mother, shaping my children’s lives, and finding out what country life is all about.
Sometimes I have a random post here and there on a different topic outside of my personal life and raising children. I love to cook and have put up some recipe posts. There are occasional posts about our finances, exercise routines (before kids I was huge on running and had time to actually work out regularly), and marriage. I try to encompass all aspects of my life but when I added children to the mix I didn’t realize how much my free time would be limited. I am hopeful to get back to a variety of posts again though!
Q: What are some of your favorite topics to write about and why?
A: The blog posts I love to read seem to be the posts I love to write about as well! I love a good day in the life post that runs through a (somewhat) typical day. These are so fun for me to look back on as well since so much changes in those first few years of your child’s life and then adding more children to the mix means finding a new balance to the whole routine.
I also love a good weekend recap (or week, or month, whatever the case may be). These typically hold pictures and stories of memories I hope are remembered. When I stumble back on these posts they can summarize so much about what my current stage of life looks like.
Q: I know that you do preschooling with your daughter at home. Where do you find your curriculum and ideas for things to do with her? Will you continue homeschooling for Kindergarten? I know the homeschool community is growing by leaps and bounds!
A: Yes, I am doing preschool at home for my 4 year old with my 2 year old attempting to participate at times as well. It definitely wasn’t the original plan but, at some point, we just felt that was what God was calling us to do. I have no idea if we will home school later in life but the current plan is for our daughter to attend elementary school (we are actually currently exploring public school and private school options). I can’t even say for sure we won’t send our other children to a preschool or if we will be homeschooling all of them! This was the route we chose that was right for us for now but we are willing to change our minds if needed down the road.
There is sooo much online for preschool at home that it can be so very overwhelming. I wrote this post on what we are currently doing and sites we use. For being Type A personality, I am actually pretty laid back in this role. Each week, we pick a topic to learn about and then we find books on the subject at the library and I try to find an art and science project that would work with that. We have studied volcanoes, seasons, bees, apple trees, post office workers, librarians, and dogs just to name a few topics that have been selected.
Last week, we worked on butterflies after finding a cocoon on a leaf from our apple tree. By the end of the week, there were so many butterflies (currently migrating) in our backyard, it was the perfect circle for our learning experience. The cocoon was our science project and the kids painted butterfly pictures for their art project. We also used a butterfly worksheet (we found at our local library) where Payton counted the different sizes of butterflies within the picture, bringing in some math on the topic as well.
Libraries can be a great resource. Our library has tons of toddler/preschooler learning activities that we bring home weekly. They have letter of the alphabet backpacks with activities related to the particular letter on the backpack, preschool trivia cards, puzzles for learning numbers, alphabet letters, and shapes, and many activities for learning to read. Our library also has a story time hour where our kids love seeing their friends and hearing several books read to them. This year the library started putting out new educational worksheets weekly and I let the kids get a few each time we’re there. They help me to start good discussions on a topic with the kids and/or sometimes they just provide a 10 minute coloring activity while I get something done around the house.
One of the luckiest surprises for us, that we fell into, is that I have a bilingual friend working with Payton on Spanish. She willingly agreed to come to our house to work with Payton weekly! It has been a huge blessing and we are so thankful for this opportunity. I have been learning right along with Payton and hope to use my knowledge to teach the next 2 children.
Q: Congratulations on expecting baby #3 so soon! What kinds of things have you had to do or will you do to prepare to bring this baby home?
A: Thank you! Our first 2 were planned but this baby was quite the surprise. This time around, I think it’s been more of a mental game for us. We have taken a huge chunk of time just accepting the news and trying to figure out how we will do this. How will we actually do this? Will we survive? How will we survive? These questions were on repeat for a good chunk of time.
Since we will have 3 kids under the age of 4, I’m not so worried about the new addition and baby phase. I’m mostly concerned with everyone’s transition and adjustment to the new baby. Our 4 year old is the mother hen of the group and so excited for the baby. Our 2 year old, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to understand the whole concept of bringing home a baby. I’m hoping he adjusts well to the change.
We are currently working on rearranging all 3 bedrooms on our main floor. Payton and Riley will be sharing a room (which I’m a little nervous about but they are excited). The new baby will then have a room which will be a play room until we actually move the baby to their own room. We are moving our room over to what is currently Payton’s room. This really feels like a whole house move even though it isn’t. It’s been a slow process because I have had a recent obsession with minimalism (which I am nowhere near a minimalist) and have been slowly decluttering. We sorted and donated toys a few weeks ago. We eliminated a few dressers and built custom closet organizers (seriously makes things so much more organized than dressers and I may go this route for life). Within the next few weeks, the actual bedroom move should be complete.
Q: What are some of your passions?
A: I love to read and learn and that seems to mean my passions vary and change frequently with whatever I’m currently interested in. Since moving to our acreage and discovering pear, cherry, and apple trees (we bought an uncared for property so these were hidden gems during our purchase) I have learned a ton about harvesting, freezing, preserving, and canning food. We have had a garden each year as well so I have learned how to make jellies, pie fillings, salsa, applesauce and so many other foods with what we grow in our own backyard.
I have always been very interested in personal finance, accounting, and really anything related to money and human behavior. Before becoming a college student, I learned about Dave Ramsey and worked very hard to not take out any loans. I graduated with a masters degree and had less than $3000 in student loans. I paid that off as quickly as possible. Today, I still manage our households budget and finances and am working hard to help our family meet our financial goals even if I no longer bring in a paycheck from a full-time job. I’m still constantly learning and hearing the stories of others in this area of interest. I am convinced that whatever your life goal is, you can do it! You just have to find a way to make it work for you!
As I mentioned, human behavior is a personal interest of mine. I am huge on relationships! This is probably why I went into counseling/psychology to begin with. Since I put my career on hold, I continue to read on this subject as much as I can. My kids and I also volunteer weekly at a local nursing home and I find this to bring so much value to our own lives. I really encourage anyone who has an extra 30 minutes a week (no matter what season of life you are in) to start volunteering as well. It is amazing how much you can learn from someone else!
Q: Where should new readers start on your site?
A: I would recommend these posts:
Q: Where can we find you on social media?
I’m the worst with social media, but you can find me on Facebook or sign up through my blog to get my posts automatically emailed to you.
And just for fun…
- Watermelon or strawberries? Both! We grew both in our garden this year and I love any fruit I can get my hands on!
- Phone call or text? text… I don’t know when I will ever get more than 10 minutes uninterrupted.
- Ocean or mountain? Ocean
- Soup or sandwich? Soup but I prefer both together as a meal!
Thank you so much, Kelly!
Is this your first time to Whimsical September? Welcome!
Hello! I’m Erica. 🙂 I created the “The Saturday Sit-Down” series in January 2017 as a way to give back to the blogging community and link readers with new bloggers whom they may share similar interests with. Click here to discover more bloggers that have been featured on “The Saturday Sit-Down”.
Want to be featured in this series?
I have openings starting in March 2018 and would love to feature you! Please fill out the form below and I’ll be in touch with you.
Whimsical September Email List
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to two little girls (ages 5 and 2) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo