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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A Day in the Life of... Lovely Little Lives

It is time for another 'Day in the Life of' post and today we have Heather Christensen joining us from her blog Lovely Little Lives .  
Here is a little bit about Hannah:  Hannah Christensen is a Catholic wife and mom, sipping cups of coffee between loads of laundry and organizational projects. Most days you can find her working from a home office with curly-haired children serenading her with Disney Princess songs. Her favorite days are ones where she is relaxing with her best friend and husband. She blogs about faith, marriage, homemaking and motherhood at lovelylittlelives.com. You can join her in her Midnight Moms Facebook group, a place for moms to fin moments of encouragement through connection. 
I am excited to have Hannah up here today as she talks about living her every day as a work at home mom.  It is truly inspiring to see how she gets done all that she needs to for both her work life and home life!  
Read on and then be sure to check her out and give her a 'like' at her Facebook page: Lovely Little Lives

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I am a wife and a mom. That is my primary God-given role but I'm also many other things. I am a homemaker, a blogger, an organizer and a planner, a scrapbook fanatic, and a work at home medical biller. What all that means together is that I'm a very busy woman with a lot of daily commitments and responsibilities.



I have two living children, both girls, who are currently 5 and 3. We lost a baby last year to an ectopic pregnancy and we are expecting another baby girl in just a few short weeks. Then my current daily schedule will really go out the window! But for now, this is what a typical day looks like for me more or less.



I'm not a morning person and as of yet, I don't have to be on the early school schedule (although that will change next year when my oldest starts kindergarten). But for now, I tend to sleep until 8 am or later (depending on when my kids come wake me up, clamoring for cereal). Sometimes they are up at 7:30 and sometimes they sleep until almost 9 so it really just seems to depend on the day.
I usually stumble into the kitchen, half awake, to pour them their cereal or to start a show for them. We have a rule that they can each choose one short show to watch in the morning, usually either something they found at the library or a YouTube Kids show. They like to watch Dora the Explorer, Barbie movies or anything with Disney princesses. While they are eating breakfast, I make coffee and say my morning prayers.
Often my husband has already made coffee for me and emptied the dishwasher before he goes to work. He gets up an hour or two earlier than I and he is usually already gone for the day when I roll out of bed. I always appreciate the days he has jumpstarted the coffee and kitchen chores for me.
Coffee is an essential part of my morning. I take a full mug of it with me as I make the bed, get dressed and then head down to my basement office. Like I said, I work from home as a medical biller and I also blog on the side.
I have a computer desk in our downstairs office right next to my craft table where you can find me scrapbooking our lives on my spare Saturdays. My desk is right next to a big window which is a blessing so I don't feel quite so cooped up inside all day. It also gives me a great view of the backyard and the swing set so I can keep an eye on the kids when they go outside.
I usually try to get some work in right away in the morning while the kids are occupied with their show although sometimes I admit, I waste the beginning of my day on social media.
On good days, I get a few hours of work in before I have to take my daughter to preschool at noon or before the kids get too rowdy for me to focus.
As a medical biller I send claims, make calls to insurance about claim denials, enter insurance payments and send patient billing statements. I strive to get about 10 to 15 hours a work in a week.
I am also working on my blog almost daily, either updating graphics, writing new posts, designing printables, researching new strategies, promoting myself on social media, or interacting in Facebook blogging groups.
As a creative writing major in college, I have found blogging to be a wonderful creative outlet for me as well as a way to make a little side income.
Since I have two energetic children at home, working at home and feeling productive can be a huge challenge and some days are certainly harder than others. This year is the first year of preschool for my oldest and even though it is only a few hours three days a week , it still has added a time crunch to my weekly routine.
I try to get tasks done before, during and after school time. I drop my five year old off at preschool after lunch, come home for an hour and a half with my three year old and then go back to pick her up. Sometimes I use that preschool time to run errands and sometimes, I just come home and work as fast as I can.
Along with the medical billing and blogging there is of course, the endless round of housework. The daily dishes, meal making and laundry, the clutter tidy up sessions as well the periodic sweeping of floors and wiping off counters. I do weekly chores too because I just can't stand a mess. I dust and vacuum in the living room and bedrooms, clean bathrooms and wipe down windows regularly.
It's difficult sometimes to find joy in the tedious household tasks so I've written a few reflections on finding the loveliness in homemaking to remind me about the poetic beauty in my daily responsibilities.
Between 5 and 6 pm, I hardly ever feel like I'm caught up for the day but I usually quit what I'm doing anyway to start dinner and straighten up the house before my husband gets home. I've started using a meal planning strategy this year and have grown to love and depend on it for my dinner making sanity.
After Daddy arrives home, we have a family dinner followed by kitchen clean up. Then we are usually relaxing as a family or catching up on more computer work while the kids play. Once we get the kids to bed between 8:30 and 9 pm, my husband and I have time to pray together, talk or watch a Netflix show before bed around 10:30 to 11pm.
It's not a glamorous life but it is a lovely little life as my blog name lovelylittlelives.com suggest. My blog tagline is "catching glimmers of loveliness in daily family life" and that is exactly what I strive to do every day as a mom and homemaker.
Whether it is listening to my daughters sing by my desk, or decorating their princess themed bedroom, or that glorious feeling of checking off tasks on my to do list, or sitting in the quiet glow of lamplight, reading a favorite book with my husband by my side, I try to see every moment as a little gift from God . It's not always easy or even attainable for me in hard moments, but there is always the opportunity to see life with the lens of joy. 



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