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It's no secret that I've been doing quite the balancing act since becoming a mommy over six years ago now. What with church, school, friends, babies, work, working out (luh u, gym), and of course, my main hobby of eating delicious foods, you could EASILY say that my life is rather insane. 

And at some point or other during each and every one of these last six years I've wanted to pull out all my hair, sit in a puddle of tears on my bathroom floor, eat a tub of nutella with animal crackers, and just give up. Give up on my degree (no really), give up on parenting (which you really kinda can't do), just give it all up and quit trying.

After I'm done with that little pity party, you know, every six months or so, I always manage to slip back into those big girl panties (though sometimes they fit a little more snugly than others, thx, Nutella) and keep on keepin' on. 

But no woman is an island. 

I've had a super supportive hubby reminding me all along the way that I can do all of these impossible, exhausting, incredible things, from the smallest to the largest. And let's not forget the friends (priceless, y'all) who help me keep my sanity, and the family that always serve as a sounding board and safety net. 

The hard truth, though? Finding balance in mommy life is really, like REALLY hard. I feel like there is always something that has to go undone. Always something that requires, nee demands, attention that I'm not always able to give in sufficient amounts. I cut ties. I release obligations (usually the things I love). I try to stay focused. 

And I try to show myself a smidge of grace when I fail. 

I recently took on an obligation that by all rights I had no business taking on. This particular obligation required me to step WAY outside of my comfort zone and trust in God's will and guidance. Man, was that hard and stressful for me. Cause I'm a bit of a control freak with this life of mine. 

But I did it anyway, and I neglected some other things, and I focused on that obligation and on some work items, and let the other stuff slide a bit. 

And you know what? That's what we might call BALANCE. This conscious decision that we all make to focus on certain things at the risk of others. We choose what to prioritize and then we go for it. And as long as we are shifting that focus from time to time, and sometimes from obligation to obligation, (and maybe from fire to fire), then we are achieving the ultimate result. 

We are keeping all the balls in the air and doing our best to refuse to juggle any more. There's power in that refusal--so much power in the two little letters that form the word N-O. And I'll admit, saying "no" is absolutely painful to me. It's like admitting defeat before we even try. I'm a "yes" kinda girl. 

Can you help me proofread this 200-page paper? 

Can you make 742 cupcakes for the end-of-year celebration? Of course, I can!
Can you just stop and take a break? 
You betcha! Wait, what?

So here's what I'm doing to "find" some more balance, lately. We, as a family, are simplifying. We are saying "no" to new obligations, when possible. We are focusing on the things we already have on our plates and trying super hard to not add more. 

Even you, delicious cupcake, get thee away from my overloaded plate!

It's a start, right?

What about you? What do you do to maintain some semblance of balance in these crazy mommy lives we lead?

The Worst 2nd Birthday Present EVER

Mr. M is getting a not-so-special birthday present this year. He's turning the big 2 and that means a certain "pashi" friend is hitting the road, Jack!

Unfortunately, it isn't our first time playing the pacifier game. Our oldest two also used a pacifier and we took them away at 18 months and 12 months respectively. Because we were evil parents then.

But now, we are nice, kind, loving, pushover parents and so 'the pash' has had an extended stay in Casa Crazies. This is good for 'the pash.'

This is not good for the parents. Especially when the baby has been using this thing for almost his entire life.  The first paci sighting was in this pic circa newborn-ish Mr. M. 

Since then he's loved it so much that he can sometimes be seen using TWO pashes. 

He's even discovered multiple uses for the pash. Like these wee finger warmers.

And the pash makes an excellent complement to any breakfast. 

You lookin' at my pash?

But it's our own fault! We've made our bed and now we have to lie in it--for whopping 30 second intervals during the entirety of the three nights (or more) that it will take Mr. M to adjust to life without his bestie. 'Cause that's our punishment.

So, in my desperation to make this transition as painless as possible, I turned to my old friend Google. Google is always there for me. Google knows EV-REE-THING (insert voice of Tom Hanks circa Toy Story 1).

So I said to Google, "Google, can you tell me how to get rid of this kid's paci? I know I've done this twice before, but I don't remember what happened then. Come on, that was FOUR YEARS ago, and we had a thumbsucker in between. HEPP MEH, GOOGLE!"

And Google, as always, responded with a link to Baby Center. Here's what it said:

1) Take it away early. (FAIL!)
2) Go cold turkey. (Can't wait.)
3) Make it taste bad. (Ew.)
4) Give it away. (To whom?)
5) Take it away gradually. (Kind of doing that...kind of.)
6) Sabotage it. (I have no idea what this means.)
7) Leave it for the binky fairy. (Pretty sure he has no idea what this means.)
8) "Lose It." (Um, yeah, I'm about to!)
9) Read books about it. (I'll get right on that. You can add that to the bottom of my TWENTY PAGE to-do list.)
10) Let nature take its course. (Yes, because I'd love to have a 30-year-old who needs a paci.)

Cold Turkey it is!

We're going to get started with this ASAP...and by ASAP I mean maybe next week, or the week after...

But it'll be ok, cause our little guy is STRONG, like Buzz Lightyear!

Or was that STRONG-WILLED?  We're in trouble. 

Did you ever have to take a pacifier away? So, um, how'd that go for ya? 

Lincoln Blogs....Get it?!

Sorry, I just couldn't help that little play on words.  I blame the inordinate amount of caffeine I've consumed this week. And my sweet littles who've been leeching my brain cells for over six years now.


It's time to LINK UP those awesome blogs and blog posts!

Welcome to the 18th week of the Social Media Mixer!

Thank you to everyone who joined us for Week 17 - we had 126 blogs and numerous social media link-ups!

Social Media Mixer-2

The Social Media Mixer is all about networking and making connections. Also, you can gain exposure and increase your social media following! Link up your blog posts and social media accounts and mix it up with some of the other linkers. Each week, the Weekday Mixer will start on Saturday nights at 8:00pm and go on until Wednesday nights at 11:59pm. A blog post will be chosen each week by each of the hosts and guest hosts and featured in the following week’s link-up! If chosen, a brief summary about yourself and your blog/website and all of your social media accounts will be featured. It’s a great way to stand out among the crowd!  One blogger will be chosen for 2 weeks of free ad space on Epic Mommy Adventures!

Welcome your hosts!

SMM Hosts Aug 2014 (1)
 Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures | Angel from Sew Crafty Angel | Cathy from A Peek Into My Paradise | Julia from Minivan Dreams | | Liz from Look by Liz Lewis | Kaitlyn from Three Sisters and Us | Shana from Technotini | Anni from Grapefruit Princess | Tiffany from Mrs Tee Love Life LaughterCe Ce from A Chicago Mom |  Jillian from Baby Doodah | Holly from Southern Mom Loves

And welcome your guest hosts for September!

Avie from All Things Avie | Cyndi from The Decorating Chica | Danielle from Dancing with my Daughter | Emily from The Unextreme | Jennifer from Mommy Life After Ph.D. | Lauren from Life in the Wilde | Lori from Lori's Culinary Creations | Mila from Mila's Little Things | Silvie from My Silly Little Gang | Soro from Mom Swaddles All | Tara from Anything & Everything | Melissa from The Coupon Chronicles

And here are the Featured bloggers from last week's Social Media Mixer...

Holly chose...

Slow Cooker Beef Chile Verde Nachos from Lou Lou Girls

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My cute hubby called me from work and told me that he had just signed up to bring a main dish for the company pot luck dinner. Main dishes can be so hard because you have to get the dish to the party without falling apart and then finding something that will feed so many people! I love challenges! We decided on these incredible nachos. They were a big hit at the party! Mike told me that everyone was trying to get the last piece of meat out of the slow cooker because the meat was so tender. The great thing about nachos are that everyone can make their own the way they like.


Cathy and Avie chose...

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Brown Sugar Icing from Mayhem in the Kitchen!

Last year I bought the Costco pack of organic pumpkin puree, and based on how September has gone thus far, I’m going to need to stock up again this year. I know a lot of folks think this whole pumpkin spice thing is overrated, overdone, overblown, but I just can’t help myself. As soon as the air gets crisp and the leaves start to crunch, the pumpkin obsession stirs within me and there’s nothing I can do about it. …OK maybe it’s not quite that bad. But it’s close. I knew I was ready for fall when I went through and sniffed the entire autumn themed line of wax melt air fresheners at the hardware store. Twice. Three times on the Pumpkin Pie and Spiced Cider varieties. Lucky for me, one of my coworkers shares my pumpkin love, and requested a pumpkin spice treat for her birthday, so I didn’t even have to think of an excuse to make these.

Mila chose...

Therapeutic Blogging from The Realist Optimist

Our culture revolves around the idea of self-sufficiency and independence. We don’t want our survival to be dependent on anyone besides ourselves. But I’m pretty sure our culture has it wrong. Community is important. It always has ben and it always will be. We’re born into families, we play on teams, and we’re assigned to work in groups. We’re designed and engineered to function not in isolation, but in relationship with other humans. Even us introverts. After writing my most recent post on physical, emotional, and spiritual therapy, I realized that something was missing. I threw out a whole lot of information about the various forms of therapy and I neglected to talk about one of the best forms of therapy I have ever found: BLOGGING! I realize that some of you might not believe this fact, so I decided to make a list of the…5 Reasons Blogging Counts as Therapy

Cyndi chose...

Project: Pallet Shed- Finishing touches! from Scrapality

It’s been a long journey and a learning lesson from the first pallet to the last. My pallet shed is finally complete and I am very pleased how it turned out.

Ce Ce chose...

Crockpot Lasagna from 4 Sons 'R' Us

On top of it being an all-out yummy classic comfort food, lasagna is a busy mom’s secret dinner weapon. It’s such a great option, especially when we’re talking about a crockpot, not oven, version because it’s so easy to throw together and it’s really filling, so a little goes a long way. Plus, this recipe usually makes enough for leftovers, which is a bonus because lasagna is one of those foods that almost always tastes even better the next day.

Natasha and Silvie chose...

10 Reasons Why I Am No Better Than My Kids. from Domain of the Mad Mommy

Am I supposed to hold myself to a higher standard? I mean, I am their mother after all. Yet, somehow, I am no better than my kids.

Lori chose...

The Latest in Cat Pumpkins and More from Oh My Heartsie Girl

Welcome To Weekend Fun Party Halloween Pumpkin Preview I could not wait to start sharing these cute creations I found while searching on All You and Good Housekeeping websites.

Jillian chose...

Fall Handbag Essentials with U by Kotex from Warrior Queen

It's the first day of fall and California spent the morning pretending it was going to actually have cold weather for once. It's quickly thrown a JK in our faces, but I took advantage and wore my favorite Sevenly sweatshirt as I dashed to Walmart to get the best deal ever...which totally inspired today's post. It does help that my mom's best friend gave me a Kate Spade handbag this past week...Paulina's so proud of me!

Tiffany chose...

The Phone Call That Left Us Speechless from How Do the Jones Do It?

It was a school night and we were just getting ready to crawl in bed when the phone call came. ‘Jenny and her young daughter, Grace, don’t have a place to stay tonight. The hotel won’t take credit over the phone … can you go to the hotel in the next town over and pay for two nights?’

And the winner is...

Therapeutic Blogging from The Realist Optimist

Congratulations!! You have won 2 weeks of free ad space on Epic Mommy Adventures! Please e-mail Natasha at for more information on your free ad space.

Stop by and follow our featured bloggers! We're sure you'll love them as much as we do!
If you were featured above, feel free to share the badge below with pride on your blog or website!
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Are you ready to start mixing it up?? Then, let's go!

Make sure to add the button below to your sidebar to invite even more people to join the fun!
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