Entrepreneur – Constantly Connected

One thing I find that people are surprised about when it comes to Entrepreneurship is that you’re always connected to work. It doesn’t matter how much you try to separate life from work, work is life.

First of all, it’s essential to be connected because there’s no one else to take that late night customer call, and someone needs to answer.

Next, because you’re so connected and on call, all of life literally revolves around work. Luckily, we’re doing what we love, most of the time, so this isn’t a big deal. But that advice to go out to dinner with your spouse and don’t talk about work or kids is totally hopeless when you’re an Entrepreneur. Because, everything connects back to our business.

Want to plan a vacation? What’s the business calendar look like? Is there wi-fi at this destination? How about we pick a destination where we can be on site with a client – work AND play at the same time? Just try planning around work travel and kid’s activities…

Planning a child’s birthday party? What’s the travel schedule? Is anyone out of town for work? Any late night product launches scheduled?

We’re going out of town for a wedding in a few months and hubby is even trying to set up some networking while we’re there. It’s a new city, so why not? It brings back memories of our “ski” trip several years ago where we spent 1/2 day skiing and 3 days networking. I did warn him that we do have to actually be on time for the wedding… We’ve also check on wi-fi, teathering for the drive, and the most efficient travel schedule.

Honestly, I’ve come to accept that as a business owner, you take advantage of opportunities wherever they are. So, no matter where you’re at, or what you’re doing, you’re constantly connected to your company.

How to Be an Entrepreneur

What people think I do


What I think I do


What I actually do

Flat lay of business concept

Seriously, there’s a lot more to being an Entrepreneur than filling out forms, but I’m pretty sure I spend a very large portion of my time making charts, filling forms, and basically just running a business. There’s no beaches here!

Being an Entrepreneur is About Being All In

Owning your own business requires that you be all in. You want to be successful? You have to commit. It’s not for the faint of heart. And early on you realize that it’s a whole family affair. From accommodating non-traditional work schedules to hosting clients for dinner, everyone is involved.

It’s things like running some forgotten papers to the office on the way to the kid’s science classes. Taking calls while we’re on a family outing. Planning vacation around work deadlines. And lots of late nights.

Since we love football, and football is on my mind, with the superbowl coming up – which btw, is a great time to have friends and business associates over – it’s easy for me to come up with a football illustration. The beginning of the football season I was listening to an interview on tv and the player had a quote that I wrote on my kid’s marker board. “The Success is in the Struggle”. It’s something I remind my kids of when they’re having a tough day in school. And it’s something I’ve had to apply to being an entrepreneur. When things get hard, I remind myself that we’re in this for the long haul, it’s not about everything being smooth, it’s about learning what can be learned from the struggles and coming out successful in the end.

Or like Thomas Edison said – he’s also on my mind because my 4th grader is studying him this week – “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10000 ways that won’t work”. It’s learning to look at “failures” not as failures but as something learned and an opportunity to use that experience and improve on it next try.

So, we do our best work and if it doesn’t work out, we learn from it and try again because truly success doesn’t happen when it’s easy, success comes from trying again when it’s hard.

An Entrepreneur’s Wife

My husband has always dreamed of owning his own company, and always had his own little business that we just earned extra income from. So, a few years ago he decided to go out fully on his own and start a company. A couple of years in and he loves being an entrepreneur. I love it too, and since by now it’s fully integrated into our family life, I think it’s time to do a blog series on what it looks like to own a company, homeschool, and keep up with 4 kids.

Let’s cover a couple of ground rules:

  1. This isn’t for the faint of heart – it’s a lot of work. Hubby works 80 hr work weeks and I log a lot of hours as well. Because I work with him that means that I know what’s going on. I know if things are going well, if a client isn’t happy, etc. This is how we make money to live and knowing all the details is scary at times.
  2. It requires boundaries – Dinner turns into an executive meeting, “going out” is a dinner with clients, and pillow talk is all about how to draft the latest client agreement. We’ve had to find the line and draw it, because the kids need our attention too. We need to hear about their day at dinner, return home more relaxed after we go out, and actually be proactive about our kids needs.
  3. My to-do list is ridiculous – It reads something like: new stair rail, e-mail accountant, make banana muffins, find new math curriculum, food for office meeting, check on insurance, find flower girl dresses, review book on blog. Seriously, it’s impossible to keep up with multiple to-dos so everything ends up on one big list and it all has to happen at once. Just get used to it. Especially since I work from home, all my stuff is overlapping.

As crazy as things can get, there’s just something to be said for going out on your own. Because it’s not just “Daddy” going to work every day and coming home at night. It’s a whole family affair. From a family dinner with a client’s family, to business discussions at dinner, to my kids watching me work, to the kids helping me clean the office. It’s really shown my kids that work isn’t this isolated thing that Daddy does 8 hours every day, it’s something that you choose, you make it your own, and it’s just part of life. They keep asking when they get to work!

I love what we do, and love that as the kids get older they’ll get to be more involved as well and we’ll make it more of a whole family thing.

Thankfulness with Kids

I received this product free for purposes of my review. All opinions are my own.

Gratefulness, for kids, and adults, can be difficult. Each evening over dinner we ask our kids 4 questions. What made you happy today? What made you sad today? What did you do for someone today? and What did someone do for you today? Without fail, answering the last question is the hardest thing they have to do all day. It’s not that something wasn’t done for them today. I mean, I made them all breakfast and we continued on from there. It’s that they fail to recognize all the things that people help them with throughout the day. And they’re not grateful.

So, I started this post before Thanksgiving, because I like to focus more on gratefulness with my children. More than usual that is, gratefulness is an ongoing process. But then, you know, life happened. So I’m just now finishing it up.

  1. I really love asking my kids “What did someone do for you today”, it makes them think about what they’ve been helped with and realize that yes, it was really nice of my sister to carry my backpack into the house for me. It’s a good question at the end of the day as we reflect back as a family on how their day has gone.
  2. Making kids do chores makes them way more grateful for what I do around the house. My kids hate cleaning the kitchen, but, after having to take on some kitchen duties, because of the new baby, my 9 and 6 year old are way more appreciative of a clean kitchen that they didn’t clean.
  3. Giving is a great way for the kids to learn to be more grateful. We participate in our Church’s Thanksgiving baskets and also the Angel tree. This year we picked up some tags for shoes for some local children. It was actually mind blowing to my kids to realize that some kids don’t have access to new shoes whenever they need/want them. It’s important to talk about the blessings that we have and how important it is for us to give to others in need.
  4. Family Honor Plate – In the interest of fostering gratefulness in my kids this year, I was super excited to review this Honor plate.


It comes in this box, with the paint, brushes, and stand in there as well. Basically, you pain the plate, let it dry, and then bake it to set the paint, then it’s ready to use.


The virtues are listed in the center of the plate for mom and dad to use as their anchor, their moral compass to guide them in how they need to show up for and to their children. This is how our children learn what character (Christ’s Character) is, what it looks like, what it feels like. Our children are watching us and learning from us.


Look for the good choices and attitude your kids/spouse are making and showing throughout the day. Track it back to the virtues and character it shows.


Turn dinnertime into a celebration when you catch someone making good choices and showing good character and present their meal on the FAMILY HONOR PLATE. This is when you:

· Talk about the choices they made and the virtues and character that it showed (Be specific).

· Talk about how they made everyone involved feel and the impact they had on people and how that is POWERFUL and BEAUTIFUL.


We divided the plate into 3 sections, and each child got to paint a section. I love how their styles are so different! And then the next night we got a chance to use the plate. My 9yr old is singing in the children’s Christmas choir at Church and has tried out for the past 3 years for a solo part and just not been good enough. So, each year she’s worked hard to improve her singing. And this year she finally got a solo part. I was told that she really earned her spot in that she couldn’t carry a tune 3 years ago and has significantly improved to where she can keep up with the choir and sing a solo with a mike.

I praised her for her perseverance, which is really a combo of patience and self-control. And she was so excited to be recognized for all her hard work. The choir sings this Sunday and I can’t wait to see how she does!


I was also sent a set of Table Thyme Discussion cards. They have some great questions like, “what do you like most about weekends?” or “Tell a funny story about someone at the table”. These are great for dinner conversations and my kids can’t wait to see what the next question is. I’ve even caught them doing these questions together on their own.

Every question is followed up with “Why?” to take everyone’s answers to a deeper more intimate level. It’s not just what do you like to do on weekends? It’s also tell me why you like to do that. Have we done that before and you have a fun memory? Or has a friend done it and told you about it? These questions encourage you to hear more than just the answer, but to hear why a particular family member thinks or feels this way.

Often I ask one question and we spend all of dinner talking about it, and other nights we go through 5 or 6 questions before we hit one that really sparks conversation.

I’ve also learned some really interesting things about my children. Like how they would respond if someone was upset – which was not at all what I was expecting – or what they think I do all day. These questions are so much fun and there’s enough of them in this set to just keep going through them over and over.


You can purchase these items online at the Family Honor Plate website. These are terrific products if you’re looking to intentionally enhance family time.

What Different About Four?

So, is it different having four? Is it harder with four? What’s it like having four? Are you done? The most common questions I’ve been asked since having my fourth child. All basically the same question. How has having four changed my life?

First off, yes, it is different having four, because, obviously, there is one more, so it’s different. Is the fourth child different, yes, because every child is different.

Is it harder with four? Yes, and, no. Four has a different set of challenges than 3, so currently, it’s harder than it was a year ago. However, it’s easier than it was 4 years ago when my third came along. There’s some significant family differences that make this the case.

My oldest three are 2.5 years apart each, meaning, when my third child was born, my oldest was just 5 and my middle was 2.5. So I had a brand new kindergartner, a toddler, and an infant. I was honestly a model parent until my third came along. Whether it’s because he’s a boy or just the combo of child, toddler, infant, is tough, I’m not sure. But with him, model parenting went out the window.

For example – my 4yr old waltzed through Target today in his socks (and I was lucky he had those on) because his feet were “too itchy” after football practice. Two children ago, those shoes would have been on the feet. Now, I’m like, it’s not wet out, it’s not cold out, and his feet won’t get dirty, so let’s just roll with the socks.

The distance between my kids is different. My youngest is 4 years younger than the sibling above him, so I have no toddlers. Now, I have 3 children and 1 infant. My oldest is 9 and loves to help with the baby. The 6yr old and 4yr old help as much as they can as well. I am dragging the infant along to every dance practice, every football game, and every activity (kid and adult). Luckily, he’s super laid back and actually loves all the activity. Doing all this with an infant is more challenging than without, but it’s also way less challenging than life was with a young child, toddler, and infant.

You have to realize, he’s the only child I have to buckle in the car. Everyone else does their own buckling. That’s about 20 minutes less time I spend getting in the car, compared to 4 years ago when my third child was born and I was buckling everyone myself.

All that to say. Adding the fourth was not harder than adding the third. My third child has been my hardest baby so far. But this is mostly due to other sibling’s ages and has little to do with the baby.

What’s it like having four? It’s awesome. We have so much fun. The baby is never bored – actually, except for this week of fall break. We stayed home one whole entire day and he didn’t know what to do with himself. He’ll literally sleep anywhere – except his crib in the middle of the day.

With sibling to entertain him, I still get to do important mommy things like shower alone, and eat lunch (most of the time). And with only him keeping me up at night (except for my husband when he snores), I am actually able to get a reasonable amount of sleep – and I can get a nap when needed. “If you disturb me, you’re taking a nap too” is a great way to ensure that children play quietly so I can nap. Because, no matter how tired a child is, they do not want a nap.

And with a 9 and 6 year old, I have someone to talk to during the day – you know, actual conversation. So my postpartum emotions haven’t been too bad this time. Not that mine were ever that bad, but this one is the best so far.

Are you done? Um, I’m sleep deprived, still physically recovering, experiencing postpartum emotions, the post pregnancy hair loss is starting (pretty sure this is my least favorite part about postpartum recovery), and I’m trying to figure out how to get my stomach back in shape for a wedding I’m attending in the spring. No, I’m never, ever, having another child. Honestly, give me about a year and then ask, because I might look like I have it all together right now, but I’m really just taking it one day at a time and hoping that most of them work out for us.

Fall Favorites

I’m writing this post as one of a group of posts with other bloggers about some things/items we just love about Fall. After you read my post, check out their posts below and see what things other people like about fall as well!

There are things uniquely fall that I just love. The smell of apple cider, colorful leaves, and crisp mornings with a steaming cup of coffee, to name a few. While summer is my favorite season, I still enjoy fall, and all the different smells and sights that come with it.

I started working on this list and realized that my favorite things about fall seem to center around food. Caramel sauce, sweet potatoes, tea, etc. It’s just that time of year when I feel like baking and cooking. I included some food on my list but did my best to include some other things as well.


1. Mickey Jack O Lantern – I purchased this years ago at a silent auction. The tag said it was Disney though. Every fall, we pull it out and my kids use it as their bathroom nightlight all October and November.

I hide it again when we return home after Thanksgiving, and we save it for next year. I think the kids love seeing the fun Mickey smile through the fall, plus it’s not terribly bright so it makes a perfect nightlight.


2. Fall Candles – I just love candles, and fall has some really great scents. Pumpkin, leaves, cinnamon, apple, etc. All those wonderful, comfort scents that come with fall. Plus since it’s getting cooler out it’s nice to have a candle burning to give the feeling of warmth – since I don’t have a fireplace.

I love a fireplace, there just isn’t one in my house. So I make do with what I can. For me, that means lots of candles in the fall and winter months.

My favorite brand is Yankee Candle. They just always burn well and smell so great! This Autumn Wreath scent is one of my favorites, it’s fall, without being festive. Since I like to save the December holiday scents for December so I can enjoy fall for as long as possible.

The real trick with candles is keeping my kids from blowing them out before I’m ready. Since my kids just love blowing out candles.


3. Russian Tea – My husband introduced me to this years ago. It’s a super simple “tea” to make, delicious, and so perfect for a crisp fall evening. Last week, I mixed up my first batch of Russian Tea for this fall. It’s something everyone in my family loves. And with the Tang, it even has some vitamin C.

I love to mix up a mason jar full and just keep it on my counter for whenever I want a cup.


Russian Tea

1 cup Tang
1 cup instant tea (I prefer Lipton)
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Pour all ingredients in a mason jar, close the lid, shake until well mixed.

To make tea, mix two heaping spoonfuls of mix with boiling water in a coffee cup.


4. Salad Spinner – It’s that time of year when my CSA gives me lots of lettuce. Around here, we get lettuce in the spring and lettuce in the fall. My salad spinner is a lifesaver. I love salad, and fresh lettuce is delicious, but it’s a pain to dry.

This salad spinner works great, and is so easy to use that usually my kids spin my lettuce dry for me. I usually spin a whole head of lettuce, dry my spinner, then just cover it with a towel in the fridge and I have delicious, clean, lettuce in my fridge for days!

I bought my spinner a few years ago so it’s no longer available on Amazon, but I did find one that looks just like it.


5. Leaves – And last but not least, I just love the leaves in the fall. I love the colors, the crunch, and just the fun of making a pile and then playing in it. I don’t do much jumping in leaves these days, but it sure is fun to watch the kids play in the leaves. The great part is the play, rake, play, and wear themselves out, then all come in and take baths. It makes for a very fun day for them with minimal effort from me.


What’s one thing you love about fall? Check out these other awesome blogs for more fall inspiration!

Joanne from Seasonal Family Fun | Stephanie from Wife Mommy Me | Alicia from TaylorLife | Rachee from Say It Rachee | Jenny from Chocolate ‘N Children | Jennifer from Simply At Home Mom | Jenn from More Than A Mom Of Three | Laurie from Steals & Deals For Kids

* This post does contain affiliate links.


What’s Different With Baby 4?

I like to think of myself as a pretty confident mom. I’m the oldest of 8 kids so when my first came along I already had a lot of baby experience. For me, becoming a mom wasn’t nearly as difficult as it was for many of my peers. Even adding my second child wasn’t really a problem. It’s the third child that got me. As my husband says, we went from man to man coverage to zone defense. A 5yr old starting kindergarten (we homeschool), a toddler who was just potty trained, and an infant made for a really interesting couple of years.

I wanted to have my 4th another 2.5 years after my 3rd but it just didn’t happen. Now, my 4th has arrived 4 years later and I’ll be honest, he’s not nearly as difficult as my 3rd. So, what’s different?

  1. I have help – My other kids are older. They’re 9, 6, and 4. All of them old enough to help and old enough to not injure the baby. I can send people for diapers, have them load the dishwasher, get me a glass of water, play with the baby, etc. I didn’t have this many assistants with the first 3.
  2. Nap schedule? What’s that? – With the older kids having activities and such, our weekly schedule is the same, but our daily schedule is different. So there’s a lot of napping on the go. Luckily, my little guy likes the car. I remember with the others we were actually home most of the day and we had this nice nap schedule. That’s just not happening this time around. Baby sleeps well pretty much wherever so he’s getting his naps. Just not in his bed.
  3. Baby can sleep through anything…except silence – The first week I tried to tell my older kids to be quiet. Then I gave up. The baby sleeps right through it. But, send everyone away with Daddy for a few hours and the baby doesn’t know what to do with himself.
  4. Baby is well entertained – And I don’t have to do all the entertaining. Yay! Older siblings are great for playing with baby and as the baby gets older, there’s more they’ll be able to do.
  5. I follow the advice to “sleep when the baby sleeps” – with the first one you can sleep whenever so I didn’t worry about this. This time around. I have a baby who goes to bed at midnight, who also likes to play between 2 and 4 am and then kid’s schedules which require me to be up before 8. So, guess what, if I have the chance to take a nap while the baby’s sleeping, I take it. And I don’t feel one bit bad about taking a nap instead of cleaning my house. Because I’ve figured out, if I’m too tired, nothing goes well in my house.
  6. I do actually get to shower alone – My kids are older, old enough to survive without me for 20 minutes. Plus, think of all the snacks you can consume while Mommy’s in the shower. Who wants to pass that up by asking for permission first? I can shower when the baby’s sleeping or playing and the kids will leave me along unless the baby’s crying. I remember with my first it being so hard to shower when she was awake because she didn’t want to be “alone” in her bouncer by the shower door. With 3 entertainers for the baby, this isn’t a problem.
  7. I don’t need a baby monitor – I have a baby monitor. But with 3 live baby monitors running around, I don’t actually need it. I’m alerted if the baby sneezes in his sleep.
  8. Zone Defense – and last but not least, I’m already on zone defense so what’s one more? It’s not like I was keeping up with everything anyways.

What’s been different for you as you’ve added multiple kids?

My Crazy, Busy, Too Short, Summer

So, I honestly had planned to write more over the summer. But, it was simply a crazy summer and there was no time. I’ll go into more details in later posts but here’s the highlights:

  1. Hubby was traveling, a lot. He has customers out of state and had to do quite a bit of traveling for work this year. I don’t mind the short trips, but there was this one trip where he was gone for a week, back for a day, and gone for another week. That was tough on the kids especially. We actually settle into a different routine before he gets back and then we have to create a new routine all over again.
  2. We sold our rental house. With 3, soon to be 4 kids and hubby traveling, it was simply too difficult for me to manage a rental on my own. Plus, it’s just not my thing. So we sold it – to a very picky buyer. It’s a sellers market around here and I literally spent two months of my summer tracking down contractors, plumbers, electricians, termite inspectors, etc. Not exactly how I planned to spend my summer. Also, fun story, we had our first buyer fall through and while I thought it was going to be a few days before the house went back on the market, it went back on right away, so I’m driving with the kids (hubby was out of town and my sister was working at the beach for the summer) to the beach and I’m getting all these e-mails from my realtor with all these offers (remember, it’s a seller’s market) for the house. I actually let one offer go without even looking at it because I was driving and had no way to actually read it and then talk to hubby (because he’s in a different time zone working) before the deadline for the offer expired. Frustrating!
  3. I had a baby, actually, I had a baby last week, so at the end of summer. Which means that I was pregnant all summer. Talk about hormones and just being pregnant being in the way a bit. Luckily after the first trimester my pregnancies are about as good as a pregnancy can be, but still, I wouldn’t have planned all this to go along with a pregnancy. I had visions of sitting in the pool all summer…
  4. We actually did join a community pool this summer. My 6yr old learned how to jump off the diving board, and my 9yr old is all about the handstands. The 4yr old just paddles around in his puddle jumper, and life is great.
  5. My mom was diagnosed with lung and thyroid cancer. Back to very busy summer with lots going on at once. I did manage to go up there and visit, around all the existing craziness. She has some great doctors who are optimistic about her recovery. Of course, she’s getting ready to start isotopes treatments right before the holidays this year, which is kind of sad. Once she starts those she won’t be able to be around kids for a while (because she’s radioactive enough to hurt the kids).
  6. Speaking of visits, I did take all 3 kids to the beach by myself. At 8, 6, and 4 they weren’t that hard to manage at the beach, but an 8hr car ride with me being the only driver is rather tiresome. Throw in some construction, mountains, and a few storms and let’s say I’m not really wanting to do that drive again any time soon. I also managed to get them all sunburnt the first day – whoops – and loose my son at a strip mall. And we ate lots of ice cream and I introduced the kids to putt putt golf for the first time. So much fun!

All in all. It was a summer way more packed with emotions, events, travel, and family things than I had planned. And there’s lots of things about this summer that I hope to never repeat. However, we did still have a great summer, and I learned lots of things about myself and my family.

Baby Updates


First things first. We went in for our gender ultrasound, and we’re having another boy. We’ll be at 2 girls and 2 boys when he arrives. A perfect set, in my opinion.

I’m at 25 weeks so honestly just starting to get ready for the baby. There’s no rush since I’m not even quite into my 3rd trimester yet. However, there are some things that are quite fun about having a 4th.

  1. He already has a nickname – The kids have decided to call him “Turtle” because they say he looks like a turtle in his ultrasound pictures. So, it’s Turtle this, Turtle that, and can I give Turtle a kiss and hug goodnight? Super sweet.
  2. The kids are ready to play – I’m afraid they’re going to be a bit disappointed at first. My 3yr old (son) has so sweetly requested to be allowed to punch his baby brother – right after giving “Turtle” a hug. I told him that wasn’t going to work out at the moment and that he’ll be able to play with his brother soon. My 8yr old is more realistic and can’t wait to hold the baby.
  3. They’re already discussing the baby with friends – My 3yr old has informed me that one of his preschool friends has a baby sister who is out already and that he’ll be glad when his baby brother is out too. It’s like some sort of competition in the preschool class… My 8yr old did a presentation at school about her upcoming baby brother. I did warn the teacher ahead of time so she was prepared to interrupt if the presentation started to go beyond what she was comfortable with in a class of 3rd graders. Luckily, my daughter was mostly interested in how much fun she’s going to have with a new baby and other topics weren’t discussed.
  4. I don’t get to pick the room decorations – My 3yr old is so excited to have someone to share his room with. He caught me browsing Amazon for baby sheets and crib supplies and we now have an entire “Cars” themed room picked out for both of them.
  5. Nothing is assembled – Speaking of decorations. I’m 25 weeks and the crib is still in the garage and I haven’t purchased any decorations, diapers, etc. I do have clothing but it’s still in a bin in the garage. I have a bassinet so the crib doesn’t have to be assembled before the baby arrives. And I do have a pile of t-shirts out for him. Since he’s due in August, that’s about all I’ll need anyways. I just need to pick out my carset and I’m set.