No yoga pants: 7 days of mom clothes

I get dressed. Every day.

I see posts from stay-at-home moms proclaiming a frequent wardrobe of yoga pants and practically pajamas. This might come across as if I have a wardrobe of judgy-pants, but I honestly believe this is a downer for them, a bummer for their husbands, a bad example for their kids and a negative image of motherhood. I am thankful and proud to be a wife and mother, and I think it is important to express that through my appearance. It sends a positive message to my kids and the general public and honors my husband.

There are many things I could wear that would successfully fulfill the basic task of covering my body. But what I wear affects my mood and my motivation for the day. A blogger I read, Anne from The Modern Mrs. Darcy, talked about reevaluating her wardrobe choices in her post Dressing for the Ordinary Days.

I wasn’t dressed like I was ready to take on the world; I was dressed to get by. I want to do better than just get by.

There are certainly brief seasons where we may truly just be getting by, especially before or after a baby, but I don’t think this should be a habit or regular occurrence. As a mom, I often feel tired or overwhelmed, but taking the time to get dressed and put on makeup every day doesn’t make me more tired, it actually has the opposite effect.

The SAHM life offers some flexibility, and my friend Meghan pointed out the benefit of dressing for whatever the day could hold. “I like to get myself (and the kids) dressed everyday even when I know I’m not leaving the house,” she said. “It’s nice to know I’m nearly ready to go if a friend randomly calls and wants to meet up at the park.”

Ready to take on the world, not just getting by.

So for the sake of transparency, and just for fun, I got pictures of my outfits for a week. These are hardly fashion plates, they were all taken on my phone either by Brett or as selfies. Yeah, real fancy. But it ended up being a pretty accurate reflection of what I wear all the time. I didn’t style myself any differently this week, these are my normal clothes. And posing is awkward for me. So here goes… A week of mom clothes with my daily activities.

Wednesday

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  • Preschool drop-off and pick-up
  • Physical therapy appointment for Violet
  • Built a rocket ship out of a cardboard box

Outfit – shirt: LOFT, jeans: Kohls, shoes: Toms, necklace: KraftyKash

Thursday

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If you are wondering if that is a classy selfie in a church bathroom, the answer is yes.

  • MOPS, wearing steering team apron
  • My Gym, I did “active play” with Violet while Hannah had a class

Outfit 1 – shirt: Old Navy, jeans: Target, shoes: Kohls
Outfit 2 – shirt: Sari Bari, jeans: Kohls

Friday

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Did I mention posing is awkward?

  • Consignment sale
  • Played outside
  • Hannah’s ballet class
  • Got summer clothes out of the attic

Outfit – shirt: Altar’d State, cardigan: GAP, jeans: Target

Saturday

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Not a normal Saturday, gone all day.

  • Church women’s retreat
  • Borrowed a baby when I missed mine

Outfit – shirt: LOFT, cardigan: Target, jeans: Target, necklace: Noonday Collection, boots: Steve Madden from Altar’d State, baby: Meghan’s

Sunday

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I love boots.

  • Church
  • Cleaned out garage (put on a t-shirt and jeans for the afternoon and forgot to take a picture)

Outfit – dress: Target, bracelet: Noonday Collection

Monday

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Finally nice weather so I can wear skirts again.

  • Running group (in running clothes)
  • Preschool pick-up
  • Played outside
  • Grocery store

Outfit – shirt: Target, skirt: Maurice’s, shoes: Chacos from REI

Tuesday

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Clearly did not finish strong with the outfit photography, oh well.

  • Adoption conference recap meeting
  • Lunch with MOPS friends at Chick-fil-a
  • Appointment at Hannah’s Hair Salon specializing in excessive bows (I love having girls!)

Outfit – shirt: LOFT, jeans: Target, shoes: Toms

I am not a fashionista, I like to be comfortable. Please don’t look to me for style advice, this is just to show the possibilities and advantages of wearing real clothes. Most of these outfits are not any more work to put on than an old tshirt and yoga pants. (If you’d like some inspiration and practical tips to get in the habit of getting dressed, check out From Frumps to Pumps by Sarah Mae) I don’t think it’s vain or frivolous to spend a couple minutes each day on presenting yourself well. Even if you’re only presenting yourself to your husband and your kids, they’re worth it!

And every time you look down or glance in the mirror, you’ll think, “She’s not just getting by, she’s ready to take on the world!” Or at least that mountain of laundry…

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Mom on the run

I’ve always admired runners. In college, I had several friends on the cross country team and even served as the team manager for a season. I’d never been part of an athletic team before, and I was in awe of their daily drive and discipline. They encouraged me to start running myself, but I was absolutely content writing splits and carrying water bottles. Physical challenges are not my thing.

Then I had a baby. Naturally. As in, I labored and pushed that baby out with no medicinal intervention. I felt everything, I did everything. It was hard, but I did it. I started thinking… If my body can do that hard thing, maybe it can do some other hard things. Maybe, like with natural labor, challenging myself is healthy in a lot of ways.

Running a 5K has been on my bucket list, and with my newfound openness to physical exertion, I decided to pursue the idea. Within two weeks of seriously considering it, a fellow MOPS mom posted about a running group she was starting. “Moms on the Run” is a national organization with local groups. Christy joined a group in the middle of winter when she lived in Minnesota. Crazy! With no running experience, she trained and completed a 5K in a few months. After moving to Austin, she decided to start a group down here.

This could not have been more perfect! The training schedule is designed for beginning runners. ME. I bit the bullet and signed up.

We are on Week 6 of 18, and I feel good! It is hard, so hard. But after I run, I feel so good for the rest of the day. I can breathe, I feel strong.

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My sister, Kristen, came with me one of the first weeks. She pushed the stroller for me, the coaches also help me with it. Most of our weeks have been cold and windy. I feel like a crazy person going out to run when my baby is bundled up like this.

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But I do it! It is honestly a surprise to myself. This morning, I was out running before the sun was up, and I thought What has happened to me? Why am I doing this?

Because when I run, I am in charge.

When I realized this, I felt a little guilty. It sounds crazy, but that’s the essence. The rest of the day, I am honestly only roughly in control of getting from point A to point B with my sweet children. At home, the best-laid plans can be squashed quickly when the baby poops on the way to the car or a certain pair of shoes is nowhere to be found. But running… It is up to me, I’m the one who can keep going or not, I’m the one who puts one foot in front of the other, I’m the one who takes full responsibility for stopping or who feels pride in a workout completed.

On May 11, I’ll be doing a 5K with my group. I’d like to run the whole thing, but right now the 3-minute running intervals we’re doing feel like forever. But I’ve got 12 weeks to go, and it turns out that I can do hard things. It’s a mental challenge as well as a physical one.

There is no way I could have kept going even for just these six weeks without the group. Christy is amazing and encouraging, as well as the assistant coach Li, and I’m thankful for their very practical help with Violet propulsion. Before starting, I mentioned to Christy that this was a lot of new physical activity for me, and I did not want to lose any weight. She remembered my comment, and about a week later, I got a sweet email from her – she had consulted with a nutritionist and provided me with some great ideas for healthy high-calorie foods. Wow!

With great coaches and a super-supportive family, I’m excited about this new adventure. I’ll keep you posted as I continue this craziness, and hopefully in a couple months I’ll have a photo of crossing the finish line of a 5K race. Can’t even believe I’m saying that.

Wildlife safari family day

No preschool today, so Brett took the day off for a fun family play day. It started with the girls not sleeping in. Woohoo for 6am. Then I was off to my running group. We are now running more than walking, eeeek. Three miles later, I was headed home, we ate lunch then hit the road for a safari!
Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch is a little over an hour south of us. Brett and I had been before kids and thought it would be fun to go back. It sure was! Here are a few pics from the drive through safari and the petting zoo.

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Baby zebra

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Howdy

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One of the goats grabbed a food bag out of Hannah’s hand and started eating it, and she started screaming. After that, she held the bag way up.

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Baby goats

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Yum yum, baby shirts are tasty.

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Baby giraffe

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Tired girl waiting for a snack.
Both girls were wiped out but had a blast! Mommy and Daddy are wiped out but had a blast. Off to relax with a glass of wine and ice dancing finals. From the wild to the civilized…

The proof is in the pages: How dirty is your cookbook?

My friend Vanessa started posting weekly meal plans on her blog, and in her recent post she included a photo of a pancake recipe on a stained page from a cookbook. I smiled as I thought of all my “oops” moments as I’ve dripped or splattered various things on my recipes.

So I went on a hunt, through the pages of my cookbooks to find the stained pages. Wrinkled, dirty or stuck together with who knows what.

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Here’s my Saturday morning pancake recipe. The page is warped from spills and has a couple mysterious splatters. I actually memorized the recipe a while ago, so the page isn’t getting weekly use even though the recipe is. This is in the “More-with-Less” cookbook.

One of my other favorites is the “Betty Crocker Cookbook.” (link is for most recent edition) A messy page in there is for Cucumber Salad. Runner up is blueberry muffins.

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Anyone else think dill weed would make a great insult? Like, “Arrrrgh, he is such a dill weed!” Anyway…

These stains aren’t a mar or a ruin, they are proof of real cooking!

I actually don’t use “real” cookbooks very much any more. Most of the new recipes I try are ones I come across online. And the cookbooks I have purchased recently have been in Kindle form which I pull up on my iPad.

A splattered cookbook page may be a badge of honor, but a splattered iPad is just gross. I quickly realized I needed to keep my device out of mess range. This was harder than I thought; there are many cabinet-mounted iPad racks available, but I needed one that could hold mine with the cover on. I found this on Amazon.

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This is great! And the recipe on the screen is from the Kindle book “Crock On” by Stacy Myers.  I made this one a couple weeks ago, and it was really good. The rack keeps my iPad clean and safe plus gives me more counter space. It works with lightweight cookbooks, too.

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What is the messiest page in your cookbook? Anyone else use a tablet device in the kitchen? I’d love to hear what everyone else is doing. Let me know in the comments.