you are invited to spend a day in the life of her.
the gal who you might think has it all together. the mama who seems to do it all.
guess what? she doesn't.
guess what? she doesn't.
let's fight those lies. this series is an effort to dispel the superwoman myth. it is a time to be encouraged and a place to be challenged.
i have invited some wonderful women who want to be real with y'all. they want to share their struggles and triumphs. they want to give you a true glimpse into their everyday. it might not be glamorous, but it is real and beautiful.
come walk a bit in the shoes of another.
When Annalea asked me to write a post for her Day in the Life series I was flattered and excited, and was confident it would be easy to do. Ha! I gave up trying to use the good camera and just used my phone, so the pictures are not the highest quality. Also, in full disclosure these pictures were taken over three days not one, but I tried to arrange them so that they could tell the story of a basic day in my life, what you would find if you followed me around on a regular ole Thursday.
Some details: We live in the Little Rock, Arkansas are a in a great old neighborhood in a 1940’s ranch cottage, We are hoping to move to a small farm in the country in the next year or so. My country boy husband has been gracious to this city girl for 15 years and now it is time to get him back to some wide open spaces. We have 1 dog, three chickens and a hedgehog. I am currently writing a cooking & crafting book for those who want to observe the liturgical year in their home, with their family. I also have a day job and I have been a pastor, but recently have taken some time off from that role to finish my book and spend more time with sweet family. You can find me blogging most days at jollygoodegal unless I am buried under a mountain of laundry.
5 days a week I work at a charter school in downtown Little Rock. I have to be at work at 7:15 in the morning, so I often drive in as the sun is rising. I used to think I was incapable of getting up so early, but after 3 years I don’t mind it so much. I try to get up early and write but these days it seems like more writing is getting done in the cracks of my day and late at night.
We park in a parking deck as our school does not have a parking lot and the kids love riding the glass elevator. Along for the ride are my two boys, Wylie (11) and Miles (7) and our good friend Lilly (12) who we have known since she was an infant and who carpools with us most days, and spends quite a bit of time at our house in the evenings. Together they are the three musketeers.
As soon as I get to my office (I am the Activity Coordinator for grades K-8) I hit the ground running. I have to have my coffee with milk and it doesn’t take long for my desk to get piled high with calendars, notes and other to-do items. I try to clean it off each day.
This is Lilly reading, waiting for classes to begin. I love that she loves books and crafting as much as I do and that we can recommend more “girlie” books to each other. She has a beautiful singing voice and energy for years, and she loves to laugh. It hasn’t been all sunshine and butterflies, as her home life has had some pretty big challenges over the years, but having her in our daily life has opened up some closed off places in my heart and for that I am so grateful, no matter the bumps along the way.
I love working at my kids school. I like to joke that it is as close as I will come to homeschooling. I was a home schooled child and I always assumed I would home school my kids, so this is a happy compromise. Because our school is in an urban area and we do not have space for a full library in our building, every student grades K-8 gets to go to the large public library just a few blocks away once every two weeks. We rely on parent volunteers to help walk the kids with the teachers, and occasionally I get to do double duty as a momma and an employee and help walk my kids classes.
In my job description there is a line that reads “and all other duties as needed” and these are the parts of my day that can be the most fun. Like subbing in a 6th grade writing class for twenty minutes. Discussing narratives with sixth graders is a pretty fun time if you ask me.
Because I am in a windowless offiice most of the day I try to get out and walk on my lunch break as often as I can. There is a lot of great architecture around downtown and there is always something interesting to look at. There are also several book stores around downtown that I love to visit and browse, and there is a labyrinth in the gymnasium of this church that I visit occasionally.
At 3:30 each day I have Carpool duty for our Early Release students which is about 200 kids (we have a long day option, so the majority of the student body leaves at 4:30.) My favorite part is using the bullhorn.and that I can match the kids to their car without being told. It obviously does not take much to entertain me, haha.
These are our cheerleaders practicing on the turf on our playground. They are usually outside during the dismissal time and it is fun to watch them do all their kicks and jumps. Also it is funny to be on this side of life. Somehow the cheerleaders are not as nearly as intimidating as they were when I was thirteen.
Two days a week the boys and Lilly have music lessons after school at a local church a few blocks away from the school. While they are in their lesson and theory classes I sneak off to the church library and work on my book. This little library is one of my most favorite places to write.
This year it worked out that we could keep all our extra-curricular activities on Tuesdays and Thursdays which means those days are long, but it is worth it to not be running in different directions four or five nights a week instead of just the two.On Tuesdays we go to Miles’ martial arts class, which is where we are here.
Since we go straight from music to martial arts, we have all learned to bring reading material, Wylie especially. I feel like I can’t get a candid shot of him these days without his nose being in a book. Not that I am complaining!
Almost every day I take a picture of my shoes. I started doing it last year at dismissal and that is generally when I take them, but if things are too hectic like they are on rainy days, I sometimes don’t get a shot till I get home from all of activities. Here are my new red rain boots. They make me so happy that sometimes I do a rain dance in hopes of a thunderstorm just I can wear them.
After we get home, if I have any energy at all I go hang out and hang or take down some laundry off our laundry line. I still use my dryer because we just make SO much laundry that I would never get it done just drying it on the line, but I try to hang one in three loads outside. Plus it is like therapy. No one bothers me at the laundry line because no one wants to help!
Two of our chickens. They started laying eggs last week and two of the three will let us hold them. They like to talk to me while I hang the laundry.
Way too often we go out for dinner, and again the boys bring their books along. Here is Miles reading his new Spiderwick Field Guide. He wasn’t too keen on our idea to move to the country till he realized that he might be able to find a lot more magical creatures on the fields and woods than he can in the city.
My Sweet Man. I adore him and he drives me crazy, but he “gets me” and for that I am eternally grateful. I think he will make an amazing farmer.
Recent reading before bed. If I have the mental energy I read and work on writing for a few hours before turning out the lights. If my brain is fried and fuzzy I like to decompress by watching British mystery shows and period pieces on Netflix. Currently I am obsessed with a series called Midsomer Murders. I am such a nerdy girl.
OK, so that is pretty much a typical day for me. My life is busy but not perfect. Sometimes there is more, sometimes there is less. Every now and then I fit in some yoga or a dinner date with a girlfriend, but the general rhythm of the day is the same, and as crazy as the edges of life can be, and believe me it is crazy, - my hair is often unkept, I take zoloft, go to therapy on as needed basis and there is always a strange smell in my kitchen when it gets hot outside - I am grateful to have a dependable center. Also, having school aged children suits me better than littles, so any shred of togetherness I have is only because I get to sleep through the night these days.
Thanks for reading, and I hope I didn’t bore you too much! And I hope that you know that no one is perfect, even in blogland. And that if you don't have a pinterest worthy fall wreath on your door or you forgot to send your child's school picture money in on time, you are not alone, you have me to keep you company. Oh, and one last thing: you are lovely. Just as you are.
Cheers and Blessings,
the jolly goode gal
i enjoyed this peak into your days, jerusalem. and that last part - TRUTH! we have plenty of company in the imperfect. thank you for taking time from the book writing and filling in a bit of the picture of how the jolly goode gal lives.