Blog Sabbatical

You may have noticed that my posts have been few and far between. Part of it is still lack of sleep with Asher. Almost 11 months of not sleeping through the night is just so not cool. I cannot wait for this season to pass! It is getting better. Now he wakes only once, most nights.

The other reason, though, is that I have been, will be, taking these next few months to plan and re-launch my blog with the new year. My hope is that, with a little more planning and organization I can be more regular in posting and produce content that will be more helpful for all my readers.

I so appreciate you sticking with me during this season of sparse posts. It will be worth the wait! So…stay tuned for a new and improved Living the Upstream Life…coming January 2017.

Motherhood: Bringing Out the Worst in Me

Motherhood_Motherhood brings out the worst in me. It’s not like I thought I was perfect, but I guess I did think, with this being my second child, I had improved in some areas. I was wrong.

If you want to know what’s really in your heart, spend month after month with a baby who is a terrible sleeper and a toddler who is, well, a toddler. If you can handle that with ease then you are my hero and I want to know your secret. Please, share.

For me, this season of life has been anything but easy. You may have noticed my blog sabbatical. Sorry, but I just was not coping well and blogging was not a high priority. Survival was my only goal everyday. Some days that is still my only goal.

Even though this season is slowly passing, thankfully, it has not been without a lot of struggle. I had so much anger and frustration pent up. Much of it was about things I couldn’t control, and the rest I couldn’t explain.  Instead of sharing my burdens, I just hoped I could deal with it on my own and it would go away, but that wasn’t the case.  I was so impatient with my kids and husband — more than normal — like a time bomb and everything became a spark to light it.

I specifically remember one weekend afternoon when my  husband was out on the patio getting the grill ready and my youngest little guy had just settled into his chair for a hard-fought-for nap. He had been very irritable for a few days and my nerves were raw. I can’t remember the exact scenario of what was going on with my 2 year old, Maddie, but she was quiet. After a few minutes of sweet relief, out of nowhere, Maddie just screamed at the top of her lungs and of course, Asher woke up screaming. So there I was in the living room, with a toddler who just woke up my baby who hates sleep and was screaming. I screamed  back at him in frustration (like I said, not my finest moment). I will never forget the look on his face. He was scared of me. And at that moment, I was scared of me too. Something had to give. Continue reading Motherhood: Bringing Out the Worst in Me

Make Over Your Evenings Course – Launch Sale Starts April 21

It’s late. You are tired, but you know there is so much yet to do. What should you tackle first? Oh well, forget about it. There’s always tomorrow. But then the morning comes and you wish you had done more the night before because you’re already behind and it’s not even 7am. Can you relate?

I know I can. I’ve struggled with how to maximize my time and energy during the evening hours to make them the most productive they can be while at the same time trying to connect with my husband relationally. It’s the only time we have together, once the kids are asleep. It’s definitely a battle with exhaustion some nights as well. What to do with our precious time?

I need help prioritizing! Thankfully, help is on the way.

I am so excited that Crystal Paine, from is launching her latest course Thursday with an unbelievable sale, and in this case, the early bird does get the best deal.  The Make Over Your Evenings course will retail at $17, but starting at 1am, Thursday, April 21, you can can score this course for $5. That is a great deal! The price goes up as the day goes on. Here’s the break down: Thursday, April 21, CST

1 a.m. to 6 a.m. – just $5

6 a.m. to 11 a.m. – just $7

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – only $10

4 p.m. – 11 p.m. – only $13

She is also offering a money-back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied, though if it’s anything like her other courses, I know you will be.  So, there’s really nothing to lose.

Crystal is one of my favorite bloggers and I have learned so much from her about prioritizing, goal-setting, building a blog, and being authentic. We all need a little help sometimes and she’s made lots of mistakes and come out the other side. I love that she is sharing what she has learned!

Check out her other courses as well:

First Encounter with Markers a Success

mr sketch2I received a free sample of Mr. Sketch Washable Markers via Mr. Sketch and Crowdtap. I remember using the Mr. Sketch markers when I was in grade school and how I loved the smells then. Smelling these markers sure brought me back.

Maddie is just about two and we hadn’t tried any markers yet. Mainly because I did not own any other than permanent, and even though I’ve made plenty of mis-judgements as a mom, even I know enough not to place a permanent marker in the hands of a toddler. Recipe for disaster! Continue reading First Encounter with Markers a Success

My Favorite Podcasts 

podcastsallI became a fan of the podcast many years ago, when I had a job where I was on the road a lot. It was great for passing the time. I still remember our makeshift setup. My teammate and I had a company van without an aux jack, so we bought a cheap set of speakers and with the help of some duct tape we made it work.  We plugged the iPod into the speakers, which were rigged with duct tape to a spot near the dash when in use. It was rough, but functional. Ah, the good old days.

Now I am in the home, not on the road, but I still like my podcasts. At the moment, breastfeeding gives me the perfect opportunity for listening. Often I am up in the night several times and it helps me take my mind off the fact that I would rather be sleeping. Also they sometimes help me fall back asleep as well. I also love that you can listen to them while you are doing other things, like cleaning, dishes, laundry, etc. I can’t do that at the moment, because my little ones won’t allow it, but maybe you can, and one day I can too.

All that being said, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite ones to listen to. I know there are so many more good ones out there too, but these are my favorites right now, in no particular order. Continue reading My Favorite Podcasts 

Life with a Newborn: A Season of Hope

A Season of HopeWhat does Easter and the second coming of Christ have to do with my trials as a mom of two? One word. Hope.

As I was awake early this morning waiting for my youngest to fully wake up and eat, I was thinking about Easter and the hope it offers us. I was dwelling on how blessed we are to have the hope of eternity with God because of the work Jesus did on the cross. We can bear so many things in this life when we cling to that hope, when we “set our minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:2 (NIV)

So that got me thinking about how different it is with your second child, as opposed to the first. With the first, I had some extra challenges for sure, but we had nothing to compare it to. The first few months were so draining and they seemed to last forever. Even as time wore on, it was so much harder than I had imagined it would be. I was tired and worn out and bored and just drained so much of the time. It seemed like it would never end. Continue reading Life with a Newborn: A Season of Hope

Life with a Newborn: What Time for Yourself Looks Like

timeforyourselfPeople love to give advice, especially when it comes to being a parent. And I get it, I really do, because I found myself wanting to do the same thing for my pregnant friends after I had my first baby. “Let me tell you…” But one piece of advice I have heard so much and find impossible to practically implement is to “take time for you.”


Now, I will say this is slightly easier with only one child, but only slightly. I will also say this is easier if you are not breastfeeding, as your baby doesn’t need you exclusively as often. But given those two caveats, what mom of a newborn really has time for herself? Continue reading Life with a Newborn: What Time for Yourself Looks Like

St. Patrick’s Day Drink Recipes

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day I am sharing two drink recipes with you that our family enjoys. The first is a hot beverage that my husband came up with: British Isles tea, which is great for the morning. The second is your standard Shamrock Shake, great for an afternoon snack or with dinner.

St Pats Day Drink Recipe 1British Isles Tea

brew a cup of English Breakfast Tea
add a splash of milk
add a splash of Irish Creme Creamer, to taste
add a dash of cinnamon, to taste

St Pats Day Drink Recipe 2Shamrock Shake 
yields 2 portions

1 cup milk
about 2 cups vanilla ice cream
1 tsp peppermint extract (to taste)
a few drops of green food coloring (add more for darker green)
add a swirl of chocolate syrup or whipped cream, or both

I hope that you will enjoy these. They taste good all the time, so if you don’t get to them today, no worries. Do you have any fun drink options for St. Patrick’s Day that are family favorites?


Life with a Newborn: Breastfeeding is an Act of Love

Life with a Newborn_-2Two things I never thought I would have been doing while breastfeeding are: going to the bathroom and throwing up. Not my finest moments, and though I wish neither had been a reality, somehow those moments seem to perfectly capture the messy reality of motherhood: loving when it’s really hard, when it hurts, when it takes all you’ve got and then some. Breastfeeding truly is an act of love! Continue reading Life with a Newborn: Breastfeeding is an Act of Love

Life with a Newborn: 3 Daily Decisions I Dread

Life with a Newborn_Life with a newborn is not easy, but it can be comical. At least I find dwelling on the comedic aspect somehow helps me keep my sanity when I just want to pull out my hair. So I have compiled a list of 3 daily decisions I dread making and the somewhat comedic thought process that goes into each. Maybe you can relate? Continue reading Life with a Newborn: 3 Daily Decisions I Dread