Interview with a Delightful Friend: How To Earn a Passive Income for your Family

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It is so delightful to have our friend Sara join us today on the blog!! Sara is a stay at home wife to Matt and Mom to son Tyler. She also has another little guy on the way!! I am going to do a little interview with her today to learn more about a way she has been able to add some extra money to her family budget through Ebates.

Sara Family Pic

Sara and her family!

Angela:  Welcome to It’s So Delightful Blog! We are so happy to have you! Tell us, what is ebates?

Sara: Ebates is an online shopping portal that offers cash back on online purchases from over 1800 retailers. If you shop online but are not using ebates…you are basically throwing away free money! Your ebates account tracks your online purchases from their affiliate networks and sends you a check every three months based on how much you have spent. Instead of shopping in the store, I order online from my favorites retailers such as Target, Kohls, Old Navy, and Amazon. Before I buy anything in the store (especially large purchases), I check to see if I can buy through ebates first for cash back savings. There is potential to earn a lot of cash back when you buy your furniture, electronics and clothing through Ebates.
 

Angela: How long have you been doing Ebates? Generally how much money have you made as you have gotten started?

Sara: I have been using ebates for 6 months. The first two checks I received were for approximately $20 after spending $500. Typically, I see an average of 3-6% cash back when you use ebates as your shopping portal. Recently, I was able to negotiate a $70 discount on our new SUV tires because I told our dealer I could order the tires online through ebates and receive 5% back from Firestone.

 

Angela: That is interesting. Seems simple- just need to rethink some ways I purchase things I am already buying. Did you have to pay to sign up? Or is there a monthly fee?

Sara: There is no membership fee, it is completely free to join!
You can also earn up to $50 for referring friends to ebates and I got a $10 gift card to Walmart just for signing up.
 
 
Angela: What is the earning potential with ebates?
 
Sara: Some pay periods are more lucrative than others based on the shopping needs of our family for that month. It really does add up!

Ebates also compiles coupons from all of its retailers and presents them in one place so that you can compare deals between your favorite stores. I buy diapers from Target and get $10-$30 gift cards when I find their pampers promos on the ebates site.

Angela: Sara, if our readers want to get started on Ebates how do they go about doing it?

Sara:  It’s simple! Go online to Ebates.com, click on sign-up. Under New-Members, just enter your email address and a password along with the email of the person who referred you (optional). On your welcome page, you can choose a store to earn a $10 gift card when you make your first qualifying purchase through ebates. Then start shopping!

Angela: How do you find out what products are available through ebates?
 
Sara: On Safari, you can install the Ebates Cash Back Button that will automatically pop up whenever you are shopping on a site that is an affiliate of ebates. That way you will never miss a cash back opportunity! It makes shopping and comparing very easy! It will also help apply any available online coupons to your purchases. Otherwise, you can search for the store you’d like on the ebates homepage and start shopping from there.


[Sara, Thank you for sharing the information about ebates with us. If you have any further questions or would like to list Sara as your person who referred you, please comment on the blog with your email address and we will get back to you!]

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How to Be More Efficient

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by Angela

I like to find the most efficient ways to do things in my day. It energizes me to find a faster solution to an everyday chore or task. I like to make a system and then work my system to its best ability. That is why I like the One Touch System and Doing all my Laundry in a Day.  Laura and I shared several systems for managing the kitchen and meal planning and prepping in our March Meal Makeover Posts. We heard one common question through out those posts. How do you stick with it? How do you stay with the system when life gets busy or the newness wears off?

If you find yourself asking that same question, here is what I suggest. Here is what I have done.  Examine the task at hand that you regularly don’t want to do and start by looking at one of the roots-procrastination. The definition of procrastination is “the avoidance of doing a task which needs to be accomplished. It is the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, or carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones, thus putting off impending tasks to a later time”. There are many Proverbs about those who procrastinate. Proverbs 12:11 says, “Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lack sense”.Proverbs Verse

Procrastination is not a word we hear that often anymore. Who wants to be a kill joy and talk about the less pleasurable tasks? I find it so interesting that in the definition it says that there is “still a practice of doing something”.  So it isn’t that you are doing nothing but the things you are busy doing could be masking what is the most important or the very thing you want to get done.  Maybe the pleasurable things come in the form of the distractions of our day like scrolling and scrolling and scrolling through social media, or HGTV- who can resist seeing which house they are going to choose on the Home Makeover Shows. Stopping by Starbucks and walking every. single. last. aisle at Target filling up time in your day. Maybe its binge watching a WHOLE series on Netflix. None of these things are wrong to take part in, it just may be what is distracting when you find yourself doing them instead of meal planning. Or laundry. Or scrubbing the bathrooms. You know, those less pleasurable things on your to do list.

procrastination ecards

You know you are in good company if there is a e-card to describe your habits 🙂

There’s an old saying that says,“If the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is eat a live frog, then nothing worse can happen for the rest of the day!” Eating “frogs” is doing your least favorite task or chore of the day. And after doing that job every other job will get easier. It is doing your biggest job that you don’t want to do or the one that has grown the ugliest because you have regularly set it aside. Eating frogs helps to battle that daily problem of procrastination.  What area are you a procrastinator?  We all have areas or certain things we put off doing. What is an “ugly frog” that you daily face? Mine is cleaning my tile floor. I dread cleaning it, but it energizes me when the job is done.

Become a Recovering Procrastinator:
  1. Write out your to do- list the NIGHT before. Then you know exactly what your day looks like. Mark the items on your list that are your biggest and ugliest frogs!!! Be ready to do those first. Set out cleaning supplies, phone numbers, papers- anything needed to tackle that job before you go to bed.
  2. Make a notation of what is actually one of the HARDEST things of the task. Things like; Not hitting the snooze button on your alarm. Actually getting out of the house for your walk or driving to the gym. Opening the dishwasher and getting started. Not turning on the TV. Walking away from Social Media. Stating these little hangup, bringing it to light and examining it for what it is will propel you forward. Pray and ask God to weed out the root of procrastination. Set some boundaries for yourself.
  3. Cross task off you list. Enjoy this part and put a solid line through your task. Remind yourself you are getting closer to enjoying a more pleasurable thing with the satisfaction of a productive day.
  4. Be Gracious with yourself. If your day didn’t go as planned. Or something took longer than what you expected, don’t label yourself unorganized.  Move it to your tomorrows to do list. Mark it as an UGLY frog and tackle it the first opportunity you have.
Practice Your New Non Procrastinating Ways:
  1. You can write a list and mark your “frogs” in everything from your housework to your business.
  2. Share your Frog Eatting Tips with your children. If you are a home school Mom, tackle those subjects that are a struggle to your kids in the first part or your school day. Or if homework after school has your child frustrated. Set out a time frame to jump in and do some least favorite task and then enjoy some free time.
  3. Be prepared to enjoy those “pleasurable things” even more when you have gotten in a tackled those tasks that are not your favorite. Doing hard things first, make things easier later!

Now, if you will excuse me why I go scrub my bathroom so I can cross that “frog” off my list!

 

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Malachi’s Birth Story and Dedication

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by Laura

Three years ago on a Wednesday morning, I started a very quick labor to meet our second child, and yesterday we celebrated his third birthday and dedication!

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Praying for our parenting, and for Malachi’s life.

Rewind three years: I had gotten up for a 4:00a.m. pregnancy bathroom trip and my water broke!  The night before, I had gone to bed with countable contractions and luckily had slept well, but as soon as my water broke I was in full on labor.  As a military spouse, I needed to call the base labor and delivery to see if they had enough room for me to birth there, or else I would be routed to the nearest hospital.

As I waited on HOLD for 20 minutes with the base, my contractions quickened to 3-4 minutes apart and I couldn’t believe I was not on the way to the hospital.  Eric was trying desperately to call our on-call child care for Eva at the same time.  Thankfully the base dispatcher had taken me off hold and I told her, I don’t even think I’ll make it on base, (30 minute drive) before I have this baby!  She told me to go ahead and go to a civilian hospital, Eric had just connected with our friends, and we quickly moved to the car.

I could barely speak as we dropped off Eva, (Thank you Branco’s) and drove another 15 minutes to the closest hospital.  I called one of my friends VERY EARLY, and asked her if she could come take pictures.  She did! (Thank you Tricia).

As we pulled in to the ER I felt my first push contraction.  Eric walked me up to the ER desk and I said, “I just had my first push contraction, speed me up to L&D NOW”.  He plopped me gently lowered me, in a wheelchair and up I went.

Because I could walk, and speak a bit, the L&D nurses thought I wasn’t very close.  I kept telling them over and over they needed to check me and that I had a push contraction.  FINALLY, they checked me and said, “you’re a 9”!  TOLD YOU!  People started running and moving fast and I was finally able to push a few minutes later.  In between every push the admittance woman asked me my name, my mother’s maiden name, my SSN…It was hysterical trying to get admitted and deliver a baby simultaneously.  But, it was a GREAT distraction.

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Hello you!

We had decided to wait to see if baby was a boy or girl and so I was SO excited for Eric to announce the gender!  Then, just 2 hours after my baby wake up call, Eric announced we had a son!

Just stared all day. Also notice the starbucks, and skype. I hope you have people in your life that bring you real food right after you have a baby.

Just stared all day. Also notice the starbucks, and skype. I hope you have people in your life that bring you real food right after you have a baby.

I couldn’t believe he was a boy, this wriggly, warm little person was a boy!  He was so sweet, and when he looked at me all wrapped up in his blanket, I could see dimples in his cheeks AND his chin.

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Eric was over the MOON.

We named him Malachi Piper.  Malachi after the prophet in the Bible; his name means, “my messenger”. Our prayer is that he will be a message bearer to his generation.  Piper is after a modern day pastor that both Eric and I admire, have been shaped by, and hope Malachi might aspire to learn from as well one day.  If you haven’t heard or read John Piper we think you will learn much from his delivery of God’s word.

She couldn't believe it.

She couldn’t believe it.

Eva came to meet her new baby “brover”.  She said, “he is little”, and, “Oh! he has a fire truck shirt on”.  It was the most precious thing.

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So, this Saturday, we gathered with friends, family, and neighbors while we had a birthday party and dedicated Malachi to the Lord.

Eric and I loved the personalized nature of his dedication, and are thankful we had time to think about what we wanted to commit to, and write our own vows to him.

Eric gets emotional every time he does stuff like this. He cries and then he laughs because he's crying, and I can't help but crack up.

Eric gets emotional every time he does stuff like this. He cries and then he laughs because he’s crying, and I can’t help but crack up.

This is what Eric wrote for our guests:

“Our purpose this morning is to have a private dedication for Malachi, like what is often done in church with newborn babies.  I want to communicate to you that we do not intend by this dedication to somehow bring Malachi to salvation; we believe that requires the work of God in Malachi’s heart when he is old enough to understand the full meaning of following Christ, when God brings him to confess with his mouth and believe in his heart that Jesus is Lord. 

What Laura and I do want to do today is to make a public statement of our intention to train Malachi in God’s ways, to bring him up in the fear and admonition of the Lord, to lead him towards a lifelong commitment to loving and obeying God.  We want this because we believe that Jesus is THE way and the truth and the life, and we want more than anything to pass this faith on to Evangeline and Malachi.

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We wanted you all to be a part of this for two reasons.  First, we want you to be aware of our intent as parents, so that you can hold us accountable to it, and so that you can encourage us when we need it.  Please pray for us as often as you remember this event and think of our family, that Laura and I would depend on God each day to be godly parents and to faithfully continue in training up Eva and Malachi with all God’s strength.  

Secondly, we know that you all will have varying degrees of impact on Malachi’s life.  We know that it is only by the work of the Holy Spirit that God will soften Malachi’s heart, and we also know that God can use Malachi’s interaction with you, in big and small ways, to gradually call him into God’s kingdom.  We want you to know how much we appreciate the ways that you can and will impress God’s truth into Malachi’s heart as he grows up.”

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Then, our friend Ben, charged us with these questions: 

“Do you accept Malachi into your loving care along with the responsibility to raise him up in the instruction and discipline of the Lord, to share with him the good news of Christ, to help him learn God’s ways, and to lead him in service to God and others?

Do you promise to remain faithful in love to Malachi, whatever the future may bring?

Do you promise before God and this community to fashion your lives so that Malachi may come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior?

Do you promise to lead your family in worship at home and to pray for Malachi regularly?”

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We answered,  “We will with the help of God!”  Eric and I are determined to give parenting our everything, we often fail, and feel like we might mess up our kids, but, we just pray that there would be grace from them, and they would hold onto our family moments that they can cherish.

We love our little Malachi and are thankful every day for him.

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Bathing Suit Shopping in your 30’s and 40’s

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by Angela

I typically like to shop. But I am always a bit hesitant when it comes to bathing suit shopping. The older I have gotten, the more tricky I have found it to be. Bathing suits typically cost on the higher end and you don’t wear them but once in a while in the Spring/ Summer months. They don’t always have much material to them and what might fit on top doesn’t fit as well on the bottom or vice versa! When you are a Mom with young kids you have to be prepared to bend over or wrestle your kids around a bit in the pool. Moms of older kids will want a suit that they can waterski in or go to a water park with their kids. And lets face it as you get older it’s nice to have some troubled spots not so visual!! And modest- is that even an option? So bathing suit shopping takes some planning, research and LOTS of trying on.

Bathing Suits of Yesterday Year

Photo courtesy of my friend June Dobbs. The beautiful smiling women on the right is her Grandmother.

I love this picture of women’s bathing suits and caps of the 1920’s. I have to ask myself if women struggled with bathing suit shopping then as we do now a days? I have some bathing suit research to share that hopefully might help you!

Where NOT to go:

We can start by crossing a few things off the list right away!

Definitely do not go to Target. You can find A LOT of things at Target, but the bathing suit options are mostly geared at teens and 20 year olds. I am not a Target hater. I actually get a bit excited when I walk into Target as I usually find just what I am looking for and more there. As I recently walked through the Target’s bathing suit section, there were lots of bikini and one pieces suits that were missing most of their entire middle sections! They had a few bathing suits that were geared at older women, but maybe only 4. They did have a several good cover up options though. (Maybe for those swim suits that were missing so much fabric:)) So keep Target cover ups in mind when we get to that part of the post.

Other stores to avoid is the target audience of teens. Forever 21 might not be a good place to start. But don’t worry there are LOTS of stores in between the Forever 21 and the old lady section of the department store. Let’s talk about some of those!

Where to start looking:

So many stores have online websites. So that will help you begin to sort through some places to go. Here is a list to start with in no particular order.

  1. Downeast. They have a whole Swim Section on their website with 60 options to view. They are colorful, cute, versatile and have modest cuts.  Downeast Swim has lots of Takini Options too. I would like to give the creator of the takini a hug. They make life in a swim suit easier and cover so much more. Downeast average Takini shirt was $39, Bottoms were $29 and one piece $49.
  2. Macys.  I looked on the Macys Website on the Swimwear Section. They have lots of options. You can narrow your search to Active Swimwear, for those who do more in their bathing suit than just lie on the towel to get a tan. You know,  for the active Mom with children around a pool or ocean! You can also search Impulse Swimwear. I guess you buy plunging neckline bathing suits on an impulse? The bathing suits in this section is more for those just laying very still on a beach towel. You can’t move because if you did move too quickly you would be exposing things you didn’t want to expose! They did have all sorts of suits in the Impulse section so be sure to take a look. You will get a few chuckles at least and agree that the only way to buy some of these suits would have to be majorly impulsive. Macys had about 190 Swimwear to browse through and there average price was between $40- $80.
  3. Kohl’s. They had lots online to browse. Maybe too many 235. Just that many kind of overwhelmed me. They did have some good categories to narrow in down with though and you could mark several options that you might be looking for like if you wanted a razorback takini.  They had a good selection of Women’s and Plus sizes. Kohl’s average price is $35.
  4. Athleta. They offer active swimwear for those who actually move around and swim in their suits. You can get an Athleta Catalog or look online. In my research I found that some of the Gap stores in my area carry this brand.  The active/ sporty Swimwear gives good coverage and with lots of options. There prices were on average a bit higher$45- $98 , but many of their suits are made out of Lycra which means a better fit and shape retention.  My daughter pointed out to me that Athleta has a great Sale Section Online too.  My favorite bathing suit that I saw from Athleta is the Swim Dress.

    Swim Dress

    Photo from Athleta Website.

  5. Land’s End.  Has lots of options of all the swim wear with good coverage and cute styles. They have a good range of sizes from Petite to Tall. Some Sears Stores carry the Land’s End clothes. And there are several outlets. What I liked best with Land’s End was their mix and match options of swim shorts and skirts with their takini’s. Land’s End Prices ranged at about $50 for the tops and $50 for the bottoms.
Ready to Try On:

Now that you have done some familiarizing online you will be ready to go the brick and mortar stores and  do some trying on. Be prepared to try on, not necessarily buy a suit yet. And here a few things to remember.

  1. Go shopping prepared in comfortable easy to change clothes.
  2. Set aside a time when you are not rushed.
  3. Take lots of options into the dressing room. And use a helpful store clerk. Tell them you are here to try on some suits and plan to try lots. Ask them to check back in with you regularly. You can also take a trusted friend along to help you get sizes and give you feedback.
  4. Look for suits in your best colors. Best neckline. Best coverage for your troubled spots.
  5. Try on a few suits that you are not sure about it. You might be surprised.
  6. Make two piles- Like it/ Leave it. You will know almost instantly when you try it on if you need to put it in the leave it. The like it pile might have a few maybes. If you are not sure than LEAVE It. Your goal is find a suit that is a LOVE it.
  7. Use your Capsule Wardrobe Principles. Don’t just settle on a suit. Find one that you love and that will mix and match into other things in your wardrobe.

So many of these stores offer online purchasing. Consider ordering a suit and trying it on in the comfort of your own home. Remember a few extra things.

  1. Look into the return policy of how to return the suit if it doesn’t fit.
  2. Do some good measuring of your bust, waist and hips before you order and follow the ordering guide that is provided. Don’t guess on this step.
Extra Things To Consider:
  1. Look for swim wear that has some slimming features.  Loved this description of a suit at Nordstroms. “A crisscrossed bust with a flattering sweetheart neckline sets off a slimming maillot with a ruched midriff that camouflages real and imagined flaws.” Because really, whether the flaws are real or imagined we feel better covering them up!!! Look on Pinterest or check out some websites, like this one that will help you decide what type of suit is the best for your body shape.  The Nordstrom suit above also has shoulder straps that are adjustable to help with support. And if you need it, add some extra bra padding into your suit.
  2. Land’s End has the best variety of swim/ board shorts and skirts. They had shorter and longer length shorts. Swim shorts offer even more coverage and I have always liked mine when I have been kayaking or boating. Land’s End also had a pair of swim leggings. Not only do they give some extra protection from the sun, they are a trendy way to keep warm on cooler beach days.
  3. Swim shirts offer not only sun protection but can add a fun element to your swim wear look. Land’s End had the best options by far. Cute designs that don’t look like the typical swim shirt like this one.
    Swim Shirt Resized

    Photo from Lands End Website.

    Or a zippered jacket style rash guard

    Zippered Rash Guard Resized

    Photo from Land’s End Website.

     

  4. Adding a Cover Up to your Swimsuit Wardrobe is another option. It can add color and is nice for walking around at the beach or pool. Every store I researched  had some cover up options. Here is one from Macy’s that I liked. Personally my favorite cover up that I have found is a white dress style cover up that I have been able to wear for several seasons and with many different swim suit colors and styles.

    White Cover Up

    Here I am at one of my favorite beaches. Balboa in CA.

  5. And lastly, we can’t talk about swim wear without talking about accessories- Sunhat, glasses, beach bag and jewelry! (I am a Jewelry Lady after all!) Your hat and glasses add another element of sun protection and the possibilities are limitless! Hats are trending so there seems to be even more options. Like a bathing suit, take some time to search for one that fits you well and that you love. If you have a Stein Mart near you, they are best hidden secret to things like hats, sunglasses and purses! Stein Mart has these things at good prices too! This hat is $19.99.
    Steinmart Hat Resized

    Photo from Stein Mart Website.

    This Beach Bag is a GOOD find!

    As for jewelry! If you are just sitting on the beach or relaxing by the pool, complete your look and wear some fun summery earrings and maybe a sporty/ casual turquoise bracelet!

    Beach Bound Bracelet

    Premier Designs Beach Bound Bracelet

    You will want to be careful with what jewelry you wear if you are swimming or extra sun lotion-ed up!

So, my delightful friends and readers, it is time for you to step out “into the waters” and begin your swimsuit search. Summer is coming! And one last thing, whether a size 2 or 22 or if your “flaws or real or imagined” remember that you are worth more than that! Your value doesn’t come from your size, but because you are created by a glorious Creator. You have the fingerprints of God on You. He finds you a delight- and so do we!!!

Sandy Toes

Sandy toes and salty kisses are a good reason to find a great swim suit and get to the beach!

We won’t make commissions from most of these links, we just like you and wanted to help you have the best swimsuit shopping experience you could have.

 

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How to have kids AND friends

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by Laura

It came as a SHOCK to my social system when I realized there was SO much time at home, alone, with a baby.  Sure it was fun to have a little person to talk to and play with, but I was lonely for adult interaction.

I wonder about you dear friend. If the military or jobs or life makes things messy, I just wonder how you’re doing with friendships.  Do you have 2-3 people in your life that are such good friends they are your non-husband non-mama Emergency Contact?

Six months pregnant with Eva.

Six months pregnant with Eva.

As a military spouse, I moved from Turkey to Las Vegas when I was five months pregnant and so I needed to get some friends. But, I needed to get the kind of friends who share and bear with having young kids!  

It just so happened that there was a military spouse, Stephanie, who lived within walking distance from me! She had a baby 3 months older than Eva.

Days before Eric and Charles deployed.

Days before Eric and Charles deployed.

Our husbands both deployed when our babies were around a year old, so our close proximity, the age of our kids, compatible personalities, and our common mode of operation with life made a great recipe for a new friendship!

I learned a LOT about friendship because of women like Stephanie, and here’s some things I’d offer up to you.

Eva and Norah having a sweet dinner together.

Eva and Norah having a sweet dinner together.

1. Do things you already do, but with a friend.

Everybody has to eat, and sometimes preparing meals and eating dinner “alone” was pretty hard on us while our husbands were away.  We would cook together, and got to know each other’s kitchens, then have a great meal together; lunch or dinner!  Other ideas: meet at the park, go for a walk… You get the idea.

2. Get your tasks done, but with a friend.

Sometimes it feels like there’s not enough TIME to hang out with anyone with the laundry and the cleaning and the food prep.  The first point above helps a little with this because there’s no schedule change. But, if you’re having busy week invite your friend over and say, “is it ok if I prep for dinner while you’re here”, or “I might have to fold a few piles of laundry while we sit on the floor with the kids”.

Totally fine!  You want to have the kinds of friends who will be ok with this, and then when you go to their house you can ask, “hey, let’s go do dishes while we talk!”  Make it a habit to help each other.

Here's Eva and Bailey after one of their baths together.

Here’s Eva and Bailey after one of their baths together.

3. Do things you dread or need motivation doing, with a friend.

If we needed to run a big errand and didn’t want to face Hobby Lobby alone, we’d call each other up and drive together.  Wanted to get out of the house for a run, but needed a motivator that morning-a quick text was all it took.  Bath time at the end of an emotionally draining day-and husband is out of town again, say, “come on over and let’s give the kids a bath, put them down to bed and make brownies!”.

Making baby food feel overwhelming?  Invite a friend to do it with you?  Want to do a Pinterest project, call up your crafty friend or put out a call on Facebook with the project picture?  Need to sort out your pantry but want a buddy to keep you company? Summer is coming with it’s long days and no school or programs to help.  Arrange a weekly park time with someone!   You get the idea.

Here’s a few things I’ve done with friends in this category: completely re-done my master bedroom, hosted bridal and baby showers, made a Valentines banner, made a felt flower wreath.  Things I’ve done with others that they initiated include making new recipes or desserts, and put together new furniture.

4.  Do stuff WITHOUT your kids, with a friend.

So far I’ve kept the kids in the picture during hang out times.  But, sometimes we have friends who don’t have children yet and we want to do things they normally do, or we need some uninterrupted adult conversation!

My friend Debbie and I are out for dinner!

My friend Debbie and I are out for dinner!

Here’s a few ideas.  Wait until the kids go to bed and get a babysitter or ask your husband to watch the kids while you go out.  Maybe you can trade off and you get a babysitter and she comes to your house, and next time flip.  If your kids go to bed late, maybe husband can do bedtime routine and you can slip out around 7:00 or 8:00 for a few hours.

If you or your husband isn’t comfortable with another person doing bedtime routine, then how about dinner time, a Saturday coffee, or a weekend afternoon?  You could make dinner for your family and while they sit down to eat, you could go have dinner with a friend.  Saturday during the afternoon maybe you do a few errands with a friend.

My summer girls Bible Study from last year met late at night so we could have time to focus on conversation.

My summer girls Bible Study from last year met late at night so we could have time to focus on conversation.

I think time without kids is important so you can work to deepen your friendship.  It is difficult for me to have a deep conversation while my kids are around. 5 play dates worth of adult conversation might equal 1 hour without kids where we can talk!  Recognize it is going to take LONGER to get to know a friend well than it did before you had kids! It helps you go deeper more quickly in your relationship, and it lets you get to know each other apart from your role as mom.

5. Make a few great friends.

With the craziness of the military, I was averaging one year together with a good friend!  That was hard! So us military spouses, we know that you find someone you get along with, kids get along and then you stick like glue to that person until one of you moves away.  You let them go, because you need room in your heart for the next one leading me to this friendship principle.

The more time to maintain deep friendships with people from the past removes me from opportunities to be friends in the present. 

When this great girly moved away we met half way last summer and our families spent a week renting out a cabin and hiking!

When this great girly moved away we met half way last summer and our families spent a week renting out a cabin and hiking!

Hopefully you’er not shocked and hurt that I could say that.  Of course, there are exceptions or spurts of more conversation because there are some really really lovely people from my past.  But, every one I consistently connect with from the past takes a little time away from present or beginning friendships.  Again, there are some who are worth holding on to.

I need 2-3 friends that are my PRESENT great friends, EMERGENCY CONTACT friends.  They are the people I spend the most time with, they are the people I share life details with, I kiss their new babies before anyone else, and they are the ones I call before I’m about to go to Dress Barn and say, “pick you up in 10?”

So I find them quickly, be-friend them quickly, and stick to them like glue until our season for friendship is over or until we get to heaven!

Angela and I enjoying some time together...at the hospital.

Angela and I enjoying some time together…at the hospital.

When we got out of the military and I moved back to my home state people were not used to this make friends fast model.

I wanted to say.  “OK.  I like you, we live like 5 minutes from each other, our kids are happy when they play together, we have some common goals so here’s how it works. We eat lunch on the deck while the kids play in the yard, we craft together, and re-arrange your living room, and go on trips together on Saturday’s while the husbands watch the kids, ready?”

I needed to be gracious and not push my way into people’s lives who were doing just fine without me and had their friendships established.  Eventually, I did find some great friends here, it took a little longer, but they were worth the wait!

In closing, I’ve had GREAT friends the past five years of my kid added life. Some have kids my age, some friends don’t have kids, and some are in different life stages than me.

If you are lonely, ask yourself what you want in a friend, and go find her somewhere.  Join a Bible Study, a gym, a play group, look in your neighborhood, and at the closest park to your house.  Chances are there’s a friend whose looking for you too!

 

 

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