Forty Firsts #8-10: A day full of mini adventures

One of the best lessons I’m (re)learning from this challenge is that firsts don’t have to be big to be fun. Thursday morning I had a small amount of time to kill in my tiny town and at first I was at a loss. When I say tiny I mean really tiny so there’s no Starbucks or Panera for me to nurse a coffee. But then I remembered that there is abakery I haven’t been to yet. I try to avoid sugar so I’ve just never had a reason to go but I figured where there are donuts there’s also coffee so I headed over to the Batter Up Bakery hoping they’d have a place for Kya and I to sit and chat while checking out what they had to offer. 

We were so glad we stopped in to this adorable shop! The name “Batter Up” has a double meaning, referring to both the batter they make from scratch for their delicious offerings… 


As well as the batters of the historic female baseball league (as seen in A League of Their Own). 


The owner of the shop shared that she got this hand-stitched replica fom the granddaughter of an actual Rockford Peach. One of the great things about these small town shops is that a simple comment about liking something, like this uniform, will lead to more history about the object. The memorabilia at Applebee’s is great but you don’t get great back stories from your server about it.

They also had some great pieces from the era of the league that made my vintage-loving heart flutter.   


After we finished our coffee and treats and said our thank you to the owners/bakers we still had a bit of time to kill si we headed over to a little place that had recently opened.

  I’d seen Satches on Facebook and wanted to stop in for a while but had just never made the time. It was a cute little shop with quilting supplies and services accented with the sale of vintage and handmade pieces. I’ll definitely be back for some of the handmade soaps- they smelled divine! 

Later that same day I took my daughter to meet up with her friends from our homeschooling circle. The girls have long outgrown having their mothers hanging around while they get together but Kya still needs me to drive and the meeting places are generally too far for me to drive home and back so I find ways to fill the time. Usually with errands but on this day I was on a roll with my firsts so I decided to check out a local trail I’d recently learned about. 


I love hiking (on easy to moderate trails at least) and I just couldn’t believe this treasure had been here all along and I’d never heard of it! I spent about an hour and a half just walking the trails and enjoying the tranquility of it. Even though it’s right in town it’s secluded enough that the only sounds were the birds and stream. 


It was a truly fun day. I still love a big, grand adventure but I love that this challenge is reminding me that I don’t have to travel far or spend a ton of money to have new experiences. 


Day 26/Post 24: Prioritizing and Presence

I always do these challenges with the intention of learning/growing as a writer. This time I’ve learned that I can’t be a writer and a mom (or a wife!) simultaneously. That doesn’t mean I can never write- I just can’t do it when others are around, dividing my attention. If a post doesn’t get written before the kids wake up in the morning, it’s going to be extremely difficult to fit in later. Not because they demand my constant attention but because I get frustrated and snappy with them when I’m trying to concentrate and am interrupted. Or they’re trying to talk to me and I’m only half listening.

I started to lament about this. To say that I need/want/deserve the time to do the things I want and need to do. And this is true, I do. But my family also needs/wants/deserves to have me fully present when I’m interacting with them. I’ve made the choice to remain a couple of days behind (so far) in this challenge because I simply haven’t been willing to give up the time with my family catching up would require.

This is not to say that I never wish for more hours in the day and more time to pursue more of the things I’m passionate about or interested in. But there is a pervasive message in our culture that when parents, especially mothers, choose time with their children that they are sacrificing themselves. That they could be doing so much more with their life instead of “settling” for parenthood.

My kids are almost grown and time is fleeting. Right now I pursue my goals and interests in stolen moments not as a sacrifice to motherhood but because I value those relationships. This isn’t about mommy martyrdom or giving so much of myself to my family that there’s nothing left for me. This is about understanding my needs well enough to recognize that I am meeting them when I choose to prioritize those relationships.

Case in point- we are headed out the door to spend some time with family today. This post isn’t really as developed as I usually like them to be but I’m making the executive decision that it’s good enough.

An Explanation

You’ll notice that this post doesn’t have a day/post number in the title. That’s because I decided from the beginning that I wasn’t going to write about not writing during this challenge. So, while this isn’t an “official” 30 day challenge post I did want to offer an explanation for my readers who might be wondering why I’m behind. Again.

Every time I do one of these challenges I discover something about myself as a writer. This time I’ve learned that Saturdays are not conducive to writing blog posts. We’re usually busy doing things as a family on Saturday, some fun (like fireworks) some not so much (like cleaning out the garage). When we have down time it’s usually together and I don’t want to pull myself away to write. Even if we’re just sitting on the couch together there is something magical about doing it on Saturday afternoon, when we have the entire day together. I don’t want to risk breaking the spell by popping out for 45 minutes to write so I don’t.

I’m going to try to catch up this week and I’d also really like to get a day ahead so next Saturday I can take the day off without feeling guilty about it. 😉


Unfortunately my internet is being EXTREMELY uncooperative tonight. After more than half an hour of trying unsuccessfully to get the “New Post” page to load I give up. I don’t like using the QuickPress feature (which will open even though the other page won’t) and I’m too annoyed to write anything of value anyway. I think I’ll try again tomorrow. :/


Potatoes. Tater tots to be precise. I made a tatertot casserole for the hubby and kids while I went out and had coffee with a friend. When I came home there was still a little left and I ate it. *sigh*

The good news is that I’ve done enough of these 30 day challenges not to give up because of one little misstep. The bad news is that potatoes are the absolute worst way for me to slip-up and I’m paying for it today. :/