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Since we took a break from homeschooling this year and my girls are at a Classical School, I’ve had to figure out what to do with my time during the day.  I DON’T do it all and for everything I say yes to, I say no to twenty more things.  I am loosely organized with my time and try to stay home about 3 full days a week.  The other two days, I do more chores, errands, meetings, lunches, and then work from home in the morning or afternoon.  This sample day is a day I work from home all day, which has been a challenge for my extroverted self.

(You will often hear music playing while I work but you will never find the tv on. As a result, I never know what’s going on in the news or in pop culture.  Stevie keeps me informed enough to keep me from embarrassing myself!  (My girls asked me the other day if I had heard of the show The Voice.  That’s how bad it is.)  But we can’t all be good at everything so I’ve had to let current events go.

(I have heard enough about the show on Preppers to realize that if there’s one thing I should be stockpiling, it’s most certainly  hair color.  Heaven help us if I run out of that.)

5 am

Wake up without an alarm (because early rising is in my blood)  and tiptoe into the living room, so as not to wake up the (very smelly) dogs.   Check email/blog comments and answer as many as I can in about 20-30 min.  Inevitably, said smelly dogs start to wine and want to join me for my very peaceful morning hours.  Hank tries to sit on the sofa and I shoo him away, so he takes the nice upholstered chair instead.  Let’s pause and take a moment for Hank.  He’s the biggest, smelliest, fluffiest doll baby ever.  I try to combat the smelliness by using my favorite diffuser reeds on him, running the wooden sticks right up his back.  Works pretty good up to a point.  It’s even worse in lake season because there is no cure for wet smelly dog, no matter how resourceful you are.

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5:30-6:00  I use the Pray Now app for morning bible reading/devotions.  I can’t say enough good things about it.  I love it more and more as the years go by. Every day, there’s an psalm, OT reading, NT reading, prayer, and writing from one of the ancient church fathers.  You can get it in book form too, called the Treasury of Daily Prayer.  The readings are paired to go along with the church year and also to complement each other.  If it’s a saint’s day, as in today, which is St. Patrick’s Day, there will be a writing from that father as well and a brief story of their life. During Lent, there’s also a short Lenten catechesis teaching taken from the Small Catechism.  It is THE most wonderful devotional resource I’ve ever used.  You can get it in book form here or download the app from iTunes.  It’s the best $8.99 you’ll spend this year, I promise.  When you open the app, it automatically opens to the right day but you can use the calendar function to find any day’s devotion you’d like.

6 am

If it’s a day I’m doing a blog post, I usually work on the post for an hour or so.   I often start  posts in my drafts and then work on them for a week or two or a month (or 6 months) before I post them.  I try to keep an editorial calendar but often I find that my natural tendency and rhythm can’t always be tamed by a schedule.   This morning, because I know I’m posting Day in the Life, I’ll spend probably 2-3 additional hours today working on it before it gets published, but I’m so glad I’ve at least started it.   I like working ahead like that so that I trick myself into how much actual time it takes to do a post.  (It takes a long time, no matter how I try to lie to myself.)

7am

Get ready for my  run, girls come downstairs for breakfast, and we talk through what we have going on today/this week.  I normally have a protein bar or protein shake and the girls eat a rotating breakfast of  turkey bacon, oatmeal, bagels, and waffles.  I steal all the leftover turkey bacon.  Then, I take my handful of supplements (that’s another post!) and drink a couple glasses of water.  (A runner must hydrate.  I use the word runner with air quotes and wonder if I’m doing a disservice to runners everywhere by calling myself one?)

We leave for school about 7:20 and the girls read the psalm for the day aloud in the car (from the PrayNow app) and we say the Lord’s prayer together.  Then we talk and laugh and I usually go into some schpeel about loving your neighbor and being kind and avoiding girl drama at all cost.

8am

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3-4 mornings per week, I go for a “run”  with a heavy emphasis on the quotes.   And by that I mean, I run a little, text a little, stop for water, stop to stretch, run a little more, come up with ideas for writing so stop to dictate them, and finally finish the complicated ordeal that is the middle aged 4 miler.   It looks like pretty soon I’ll giving up running for power walking at the mall.  I never leave home without my tunes, some jewelry, and my favorite hat. Why exercise without pearls if you don’t have to?  I’ve actually had a really tough year physically.  I still feel like I’m recovering from my torn calf last year and I haven’t been able to make any real headway with my running.  I really want to run the Country Music Half Marathon again but I don’t know if I can be ready by then.  I just keep trudging along, trying not to lose any more ground.  I’ve gone through seasons where I weight train and cross train, but for now during this season of writing, I hold on tight to a few runs a week, more for my sanity than anything else.

9:00

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9:00-9:30  I do house chores as quick as I can do them because life is short and who wants to clean house all day? I work fast like I’m in it to win it and do things like make the bed, tidy the kitchen, clean a bathroom or two, vacuum the high traffic areas.  I really would like to hire help and as soon as my income warrants it, I probably will, but for now I do all the cleaning around here—usually in fits and starts and never as thoroughly as I’d like.  It always looks picked up and nice and I open the doors and windows a lot to let the fresh air make up for my lack of strenuous cleaning on my part.  I have a schedule (mostly in my head) that I follow for cleaning but it’s nothing fancy and I don’t stress if I don’t get it all done.  I’m a stickler for clean and cleaned off counter tops and I like our master bath to shine.  I’m in a constant battle with books in my office, but I’ve finally (mostly) tamed our papers, so that’s a huge relief.

I’ve grown to love the menu plan over the years,  to ease the general wailing and gnashing of teeth that occurs in hungry children at approximately 6:00.  If I’m doing a soup or a crock pot meal, I get that started in this little window of time.  I also throw in a load of laundry.  After about 30 minutes, whether I’m finished or not, I make myself move on, otherwise, I’d never get my blog work done.

9:30- 10:00  Shower and get ready.  Can we just take a moment right now to say how much I loathe the getting ready portion of the day?  It seems like such a complete waste of time.  And I’ve gotten it down to a science and can do it quicker than most men.  But still.  Also, I listen to podcasts while I do my hair and make-up and that makes it feel a little less my life is passing right before my heavily made up eyes.

10:00-12:00

This chunk of time is usually devoted to blog writing.  If I’m done with a post, this is usually when I publish it. Then, I spend a few minutes on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to let you know I have a new post.  I spend the rest of this time on starting other posts,  brainstorming for future content, developing and photographing recipes, working on house or DIY projects, etc.  I do all the things that bloggers do to keep the creative and original content flowing. Some weeks, I have so much going on and so many ideas that these hours are magical.  Occasionally, I feel like the well is dry and I spend the two hours reading a great book or cleaning or gardening.  I listen to a lot of podcasts, so if I’m doing something that doesn’t require quiet, I’m listening to podcasts.

12:00-1:00

Lunch with Stevie.  He comes home everyday for lunch and we usually have sandwiches or leftovers.  Like Nester, we LOVE cheese tortellini soup leftovers or ANY soup leftovers, for that matter.  Occasionally, I’ll have book club or lunch with a friend or volunteering at school, but most days, we’re both home for lunch and we chat a little when he gets home and then do our news reading while we eat.  (He actually reads news and I read blogs.)  Sometimes, on Fridays, we go out for lunch and I love that too.  We catch up, talk about the kids and projects we’re working on and how many purple martins he’s spotted in town.  But the every day working lunch is my favorite.

1:00-3:00

This is my time to work on bigger projects like writing chapters, or articles, or longer blog posts.  I try to resist doing chores during this time and I often keep my phone in a different room.  I try to get into the zone because I have SO many ideas floating around in my head that I fear I’ll lose them if I don’t get them down.  I’m always looking up passages in books I love or in the Scriptures.  I’m literally surrounded by books and depending on what I’m working on, I need them very close.  When I did a series of blog posts on vocation, I read everything I could get my hands on about it and then try to write about it from my unique point of view. I wrote an article for our church body’s publication called the Lutheran Witness and it ended up being the cover story for March.  (I will post the pdf soon!)

3:00-5:00

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3:00 —I pick up the girls from school at 3 and then we head home.  They start on homework and I start on dinner.  I listen to podcasts (are you starting to see a pattern here?) or pandora and play on social media while I’m getting dinner ready.  Tonight we’re having corned beef and cabbage soup so it’ll be an easy dinner night.  I usually have time to actually sit on the sofa and read, which is always a treat!

As far as podcasts go, I love Tsh’s podcast (she just recently interviewed Susan Wise Bauer!), Pastor Paul Buscher’s sermons (my pastor) (he hits it out of the park every Sunday, with Christ centered Gospel preaching, Pastor David Petersen’s sermons (very literary, more intellectual preaching and brilliant!), all the podcasts from the Circe Institute (mostly Classical Education but SO helpful for parenting and living), and then nearly EVERY hour of broadcasting by Issues, Etc (they cover theology, current events, culture and the show has been THE most important tool in helping shape how we think about the world.  I HIGHLY recommend!)

6:00-8:00

Supper time and any extracurriculars that we have going on.  Tonight we have tap dance and I’ll probably do some reading or visiting with friends while the girls practice.  I also scan social media during this time and try to read/answer comments from the day’s post.  We almost always are able to have dinner together and that makes momma happy!

8:00-10:00

Girls are getting in bed/ready for bed.  Stevie and I sometimes watch a show or two and then I head to bed. I’m usually finishing things up on my computer while we watch.

I always use Natural Calm (a natural magnesium supplement) at night and I swear by it.  I’m a restless leg, teeth grinding sleeper so this helps me so much at night.  Stevie monitors whether or not I’ve taken it, because otherwise, I’ll be thrashing and grinding all night and neither of us will sleep well.  I try to read for a half hour or so before bed because nothing puts me to sleep like a good book.

So, there you have it.  A day in the life of a blogger/writer trying to carve out space to do what she was made to do.

(Side note:  Most of my intensive reading/writing takes place on the weekends when I have larger blocks of time.  We try to keep our weekends low key.)

I came up with this self imposed schedule because otherwise it’d be so easy to squander the days away.  And sometimes, I do that too.  But, I’m learning to cherish these pockets of time that I carve out to do my work.  They are important because this is one of the ways I am called to serve my neighbor.  I always have her in mind when I’m doing my work.  This is important because this is for her.   Knowing that gives me strength for the hard days, when all I want to do is watch reruns of Friday Night Lights, eat cookies, and quote Coal Miner’s Daughter.

Okay, now tell me all your productivity secrets!

 

 

66 comments on “A Day in the (very exciting) Life”

  1. Could you tell me which flavor of Natural Calm you prefer and what do you mix it with? Water? How soon before bedtime do you take it? I have had horrible insomnia lately and have tried time-release melatonin and unfortunately also trazadone and ambien with no luck.

    I love your blog and your awesome style, by the way!

  2. Thank you for sharing how your day is scheduled. I agree completely on the disdain for getting ready. Really, we have to apply eyeliner again already..?!?
    Your schedule also highlights the hurrying through chores. I need to work on that. I let them hang over my head for too long during the day and just getting to them and quickly would help tremendously.

  3. I always love to see what others’ ordinary days looks like. 🙂 And I swear by Natural Calm! I don’t like the taste, so I boil water and just use enough to dissolve it and then mix it in with my liquid vitamins and take it like a shot.

  4. I love getting a peek into other people’s lives, especially people I admire and who appear to be highly productive. I have a small one at home, so I have to allow for that, but I got a couple of new ideas here for when he starts school next year. Thanks Edie!

  5. I loved seeing a peek into your life. I feel the same about getting ready every day. I need to try the Natural Calm. I am a teeth clencher ~ having a baby at 42 caused my body/hormones to go nuts. I have a bad case of TMJ now and would love something to help calm me at night…..what type of podcasts do you listen to? Are they all sermons? Just curious……… 🙂

  6. I also have been having horrible teeth clenching problems since having baby #3 5 months ago. my jaw is constantly swollen and chewing is painful. Maybe Natural Calm would help?

  7. Is Natural Calm the brand name, or are there various brands of this supplement — which do you recommend? I used to take Magnesium supplements and noticed I had fewer headaches. This sounds like something I could benefit from as I seem to be having more insomnia as I get older. I also have high blood pressure (on medication) so I think it would help that as well. Love reading your blog – I’ve been reading for a few years now. Don’t comment often, but love your inspiration . Thank You!

  8. Your days are full and busy. I also need to keep a loose schedule so I do not squander my time. I am not doing so well with they today but I try each day. I really needed to take the time and catch up on your blog. Your posts always have a word if wisdom I need to hear and life has been too busy, so I’ve been missing out. I am so glad I had done time to catch up. I always love posts like these and when you share 100 links with us for great books, bligs, and podcasts. Thank you for all the work you do. Looking forward to the PDF on your vocation article.
    Hugs

  9. I use dry shampoo on my dogs! I have THREE inside dogs, two miniature schnauzers and a golden retriever-terrier mix, and after it rains or they’ve been playing outside all day they’re barely tolerable, and that’s only because we love them! 🙂

    I can’t remember the name brand we use right now (real helpful, sorry) but I’m picky about it. I don’t want my dogs to smell fruity or like sugar cookies. I just don’t want them to smell like wet or dirty dogs. It’s from PetSmart.

  10. always love peeking into your day. don’t know if you remember but just weeks before your fire you guest posted for me on ALL that you do in a day-homeschooling back then. it really struck a cord with me how you try to stay at home several days a week. i find myself trying to balance that ( as i really do love my home) and spending time with a friend-work,etc. and napping. gosh knows i love a good nap.

  11. Love hearing how others fit blogging/writing into their day! I hope to one day naturally wake up at 5 am and get an early start to the day while the rest of the house is sleeping. Our natural wakeup caused my son to miss the bus TWICE last week due to the time change….oops! 🙂

  12. How refreshing to know others loathe the get ready portion of the day! Seriously. I thought I was just lazy and weird, but perhaps, a little closer to normal than I realized. It does feel like a waste of time when there are so many other things I want/need to do. So thanks for that.
    I have two days a week I try to keep open for projects or time with friends or appointments, etc. The other three each have their specific tasks (home and away) that make the day feel so choppy, so I relish the days I can stay home. I think I need to adopt a loose schedule like you have, because, YES, the time can squander away and I hate that feeling of lost time (unless it’s with my people or a great book).
    Thanks, again, for the inspiration, Edie!

  13. Love, Love , Love Natural Calm. I too have to have it nightly and swear by it. My husband and I both take it. We also take Apple Cider Vinegar (capsule form). I swear the two have lowered our BP. I can’t remember my husband having a “normal” BP in the twenty two years we’ve been married but now his is consistently 120/80. Also, I am envious of your will power to schedule. I use to be better at it than I am now but I’m working on it.

    • So glad to hear it’s worked for you too Michelle!
      I have turned lots of people onto it and only a couple haven’t liked the effects.
      Good stuff!
      And listen. Some days are better than others for the scheduling thing.
      I’m better than I once was!
      🙂

  14. I’d love to hear more about the supplements you take and how you take Natural Calm. How much do you take? What do you mix it with? The original flavor has a bitter taste to me. I’ve tried mixing it in ice water but have a hard time getting it down! Love your blog!

  15. Thank you for this peek into your daily life! I am blessed to be able to stay at home 2 days a ‎week and I am horrible about squandering that time! I so wish I were a morning person! I am a ‎night owl and can sleep till the cows come home! You’ve inspired me to try to be more ‎disciplined about my at home schedule! I have so many creative outlets that I want to pursue and ‎get more overwhelmed with the prospect of starting them that I just don’t. I know my creative ‎side is where God has put most of my blessings and that is how I should be blessing others and ‎that per your post the other day; I actually have to work 10,000 + hours to get good! Even if it’s ‎a clean house and dinner on the table for my sweet husband, I’ll have made progress.‎

    • Don’t be too hard on yourself, Stacey!
      I still waste time too but I’m more aware of it than I once was and that’s at least something!
      AND? I can take a whole weekend day off just to read a book, but I think the point is to rest when you rest and work when you work.
      At least that concept has helped me a lot!
      🙂

  16. I love that you let smelly Hank dog on the chair. I let my furry babies sneak on the furniture once in a while too. I’m going to try the Natural Calm, I’m a teeth gnasher too. Thanks for sharing your day with us.

  17. I love this glimpse into your routine! I must say, I struggle with being jealous of people who work at home or who have flexible schedules, but I have MAD RESPECT for how much you get done in a single day. I wrote a blog post a few months ago about my schedule and how I need to refine it to find some more balance and peace in my day. Yeah, still working on it…

  18. Hey Edie,
    Thank you for sharing your day with us! I wish I could be as disciplined as you! You definitely inspire me to strive for that. I am going to challenge myself to get up earlier and not “squander” the day the Lord has given me. I know we all have the same 24 hours in a day so I have NO excuse to say I don’t have time anymore. Have a blessed week! Looking so forward to your next post! I can’t miss a one! 🙂
    Friends,
    Cindy

  19. Thank you! I love reading how you organize your time. I like lists to keep me organized and just to show you how successful I am, and how honest I am, I sometimes (often) lose or misplace the lists! Not so good. So here are two things that have really helped me structure my days to be more productive. First, on a small post it note I write 3 or 4 things from my big list that I don’t want to do, but need to. Then I stick it on my laptop. It’s a constant reminder that I’m procrastinating. And it makes me get it done so I can cross it off my list. Number two: I write really small tasks on my bigger list so when I don’t feel like doing ANYTHING I will usually do a tiny task and wa-la- I feel instantly productive. This might relieve my guilt so I can just relax or push me out of a funk so I can really get going on the bigger things. Mind games- I’m all about it -haha. Right now, on my list is cleaning out the candle drawer – this is, believe me, an ugly task. But I can’t take this post it off my computer until it’s done…. so I will do this. It’s a tough one because it involves getting rid of things that are useful. Pray for me! BTW, I work away from home two to three days a week so on the days I’m home I have to catch up, get focused and in gear and then prepare to be gone the next day. And my dog needs me too, just saying’ God Bless you Edie and your readers. Amen?

  20. Thank you so much for the encouragement you give me, your neighbor! 🙂 I am a stay at home mom with my fist baby boy also trying to carve out time in my day to do what I love and work on my business endevors (from home). My background is in Interior Design, Floral Design and art. I’m working on a set of botanical drawings to make into art prints to sell online and to other designers. My sweet baby boy comes first but, in order to plug away at this vision I have so I can continue to be with him I try and “eat the frog” every morning. Getting up early to do my Biblestudy and sometimes workout before he gets up allows me to maximize his nap times by drawing and working on my business ideas. I LOVE podcasts too!!! They are such an encouragement to me and really help me use my mind during these early motherhood months :). Meal planning, cooking in bulk and freezing has also helped me focus on my business during nap time. My husband loves all of the wonderful meals you have shared with us and I love your wisdom and encouragement. Thank you!!

  21. i hate the getting ready part too. one thing that makes it better is i usually try to give myself two days off from makeup and hair fixin. mondays are our stay at home, hit school hard day so i can do a hat and no makeup. i try to squeeze in one more day even it it’s a saturday if i can and it makes me less grumpy about fixing up the rest of the week.

  22. I thought I was the only one who hated the getting ready! I loved reading about your day schedule. That is the kind of post I love to read, so maybe I am a little nosey, but I prefer to say that I am curious 🙂 I have made your Greek Lemon Chicken soup several times and blessed my mother with it as well. Tonight is Corned Beef and Cabbage, so I pinned your CB and C soup recipe to make with the leftovers. Soup is one of the few things my mom will consistently eat, so I try to make some every time I go see her. Love your blog, and your humor, and your love of your “neighbors” that shines through every post.

  23. How have your girls adjusted to classical school? Do they like it more than homeschooling?
    Loved reading your day in the life!

      • Oh Edie!!! I am so glad someone else asked because while everyone was focused on your schedule, I just could not get any further than the “taking a break from homeschooling.” I scrolled right on down to the bottom just hoping to see the big news!!!! Please keep us posted. I miss homeschooling with you….even if it is just through your blog!!

  24. Oh my word I love this so much. It actually really helps because I’ve been trying to figure out how to better plan out my days. I feel like huge chunks of time just slip past and I think “What on EARtH did I accomplish today?” Ha!

  25. You got me started on listening to Pastor Paul Buscher quite some time ago – the sermon you posted the link to at that time was “The Good Samaritan”. I’ve been listening ever since.

  26. Ok- I just opened this up 3 times- just to make sure- that hideous big black advertising bar that alternates with Home Depot orange bar isn’t popping up-across the bottom. HALLELUJAH!!!! Thank you- Thank you and THANK YOU 🙂
    I’m going back and read what you wrote now. YES!!! 🙂 Woo Hoo 🙂

  27. Love Circe’s blog & podcast! It inspires me to be a thinker all the time! Now, if I can only put it into practice.

  28. Loved the peek into your day. I can’t wait to read your post on supplements!! I’ve googled and googled. I buy stuff but then am not sure on taking it. I took all of the supplements I bought to a dr. appt. once and tried asking her what to take and she pretty much just changed the subject. ugh! I just wish someone would clue me in on what to take, how much and when!!

  29. Edie,
    This is SO great – it helps so much to hear how you spend your time on your writing journey. I am constantly amazed at how long it takes to write blog posts…nice to know I’m in good company! You are a wise woman and we all love learning from you…. BLESSINGS! May every one of your minutes be redeemed.

  30. Reading this last night motivated me to get up earlier this morning so I could have time to write while my brain is fresh and the kids aren’t vying for the computer! I also found it encouraging that it takes you so long to write a post (and I think it shows in the quality of your posts), because I always feel like it takes me longer than it “should.”

    Thanks for sharing, Edie! I read often but rarely comment … I figured you deserved a comment after all the work you put in to writing for us. The “her.” 🙂

  31. Thank you so much for sharing this, girl; especially the part about a self imposed schedule. Now that my munchkin is 6 months old, it is officially time to impose a schedule on myself. You are motivating me.
    I am having to pour grace over myself as I read. I long for more time to my own endeavors {just being SO honest}… but this season… it is so very short; so very fast. Lord, help me to be wise, and never wish away a moment.

  32. Thank you for sharing your day. I’ve been reading your blog (found it when looking for homeschooling curriculums) for a year or so now. Love your honesty and your way with words. Thank you!

  33. i loved this, edie! i have a podcast recommendation for you: the world and everything in it. its so good! i don’t read the newspaper or watch the news either so i am never up on current events either. this podcast has a christian perspective on world news – i think you’d love it! i listen to it on runs and long car drives.

    xo

  34. Hi! This whole post was fascinating and yet wanted to let you know how grateful I am that you mentioned the nighttime supplement you take! From one teeth grinder to another I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for the candid view into your day. 😉

  35. Great post! I love that I am not the only one who does not like the getting dressed in the morning process. Wish I could just twinkle my nose and be ready every morning! 🙂 Also loved your post on tips on dressing over 40. I am 43 too and I am always looking for ideas on looking great at my age. Another great magnesium supplement is Source Naturals brand Magnesium Chelate. Chelated magnesium is highly absorbed by the body compared to other types of mag. I buy mine at the Vitamin Shoppe or Amazon. I’ve never tried the Natural Calm, but I am familiar with it. Glad it has helped you. 🙂

  36. I seriously love this type of post so much. Thanks so much. I also love “what’s on my nightstand, or what books I’m reading posts” But thank you for spending so much time to think through things and make everything so fun to read. I love your blog so much.

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