The day to day, comical happenings and sweet moments from my life as a nanny.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I've moved!

I've moved! Click here to see the new site.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New chapters.

Adventurous. Spontaneous. Heartbreaking. Unimaginable. Overwhelming. Tough. Joyful. Blessed. Full of the unknown and unexpected.

Just a few adjectives that could describe my life.
I love photography. I know you all know this because my obsession with photos is evident by the constant flow that takes over my twitter and facebook.  What can I say, I'm a visual, creative person....things sometimes are just better describe in photo form than written form.
I've learned that this can lead people to have a skewed idea of what my day to day life is like and I can understand this.  It's easy to see life as this happy-go-lucky, no care in the world thing...when you see photos of smiling kids having fun, beautiful scenery, etc.  I've lost "friends" because of it and gained some "friends" because of it.  This "glamorous" life that I live is filled with sleepless nights, no social life, oatmeal down my back, snotty noses, sticky fingers, half packed suitcases, laundry I don't have time to do, family that lives miles is messy and exhausting...and yet....beautiful.

I'm going to be honest here. I'm heading into probably one of the hardest chapters in my life and although I can see already how God's hand is in it, I am heartbroken, hurt, and tired.  I don't want to face it, but I am choosing to walk forward in the knowledge that God has never left me hanging.
As some of you know my best friend, Jenna, has decided to follow her dream and go to PA school. SO so proud of her. So excited to watch her walk into this new so so sad though to have to say goodbye.   We have been roommates and best friends for six years. We have walked through each other's darkest times, moved to a new city together, have had too many adventures to count, raised two, brother, puppies together, share everything, went from being broke and crashing at people's houses to building up a pretty snazzy looking place to live (after moving a billion times)...cheesy, but, she's the sister I never had.   I'm going to miss her and her pup Tonka so much. I'm going to have to re-learn how to live life without my best friend by my side.
That's just one of the changes happening. So many other things that I really can't talk about on here are going on and other than staying with the jobs that I have I am completely re-starting.   It's exciting and exhausting just thinking about it. Especially because we have moved 5 times in two yrs....and I just unpacked and threw away our last box this week....only to find out I will begin packing again next week. I'm learning to be content where I am, but always ready to go when God throws a curve ball.  He has already been faithful by providing a temporary home (thanks Brit and Jer) for me for the next few months and by sending extra work my way in the slow season to come. He is faithful.

It's times like these that I am beyond blessed and can see how faithful God is by sending me the incredible families I work for.  Although the past fews weeks have been rough and I apologize to anyone who has interacted with me in those weeks (and the weeks to come), because I feel like I am not present or able to engage, when I'm with "my" kiddos I have the adrenaline and drive to continue forward.  They are what make me excited for the future and give so much purpose to my day to day right now.

I don't write this to be a downer or seek pity. I am truly excited to see what God has in store around the corner, but I want to be honest for those of you who sometimes think that it's greener on the other side.  Life will be messy no matter where you are, no matter what your job is, or where your location is, it's messy if you are in the spotlight or beyond the scenes.   But I wouldn't trade the messiness for neat and controlled. I wouldn't trade the sticky fingers, snotty kisses, tearful goodbyes, or overwhelming piles of laundry for anything. It's through the heartache and exhaustion that God has always shown me His faithfulness and His amazing way of piecing the puzzle of my life together.
Be present where you are, but hold things loosely, enjoy today, and always know that you are not alone. Everyone has a story and a struggle.

For Now I'm choosing to soak up the little moments....

Make messes...

Go on adventures...

and stop to breathe in the beauty that is Life.

Blessings to you my friends. Forgive my ill-written post, if I could have put it in photo form I would :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Wow this has been quite the whirlwind couple weeks!  Just so you all know I AM still moving forward with the whole "Nanny Agent" thing...I just need to survive October first.   Also, I'm still undecided about a name. I have a hard time committing to something so concrete. :P

Last weekend I had a very rare opportunity to go to MN with Angie (NO kids) and see my amazing brother and sister-in-law.   As some of you know I went to school up in Minnesota, graduated 2 1/2 yrs ago, packed my car, moved, and haven't been back since.   I hadn't seen my brother and sister-in-law in a year and a half, so it would be an understatement to say that I was excited about this weekend trip.

It was wonderful.

Very short, but wonderful nonetheless.

Thursday, Kerrie (my sis-in-law), met us at Mall of America and we spent the afternoon/evening wandering around (brought back lots of college memories) and catching up on life. One of my dear college friends even stopped by to hang out.  Then when my brother met us all after work and we went out for refreshments and chips and salsa together and reminisced about old times.


where the bro works

Friday was spent visiting my brother where he works (Target Headquarters) and hanging out at Caribou. Then spent the evening in our PJ's eating pizza, watching Modern Family and playing with their pup Ajax.   It was such a sweet time with them and made me miss them even more. Why does Tennessee have to be so far away from Minnesota and Colorado????

Cutest little family
brings back so many memories

Angie rockin it as usual
Saturday we just had to stop by Women of Faith and see Angie was the first time I actually was able to sit through her whole talk at an W.O.F. event and it was so special to be able to share that with my family.  Only my younger brother has met the Smiths, who have become like family to me and so it was so important to me that my older brother and sister get to spend some time with Angie.  
Anyone else live far from your family and sometimes you feel like you have two or three separate lives?
For a weekend it was nice to have those lives merge.

 That's my little update. We are still having issues getting Internet...although we have now been billed for two months worth of Internet...we still don't actually have it...hmmmmmm. Once we do though I will be writing much more consistently and begin writing more info sections geared towards nannies.
Have a wonderful rest of your week my dear blogger friends.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Taking the leap: Name/title suggestions?

Alright, it's official.
I'm doing it.

I'm pegging myself as a personal nanny agent.
So I've given myself until the beginning of 2012 to get set-up and started.  Meaning that in the next 2 1/2 months I will be putting together a website, possibly transferring this blog over to Wordpress (any advice would be appreciated), filing for a business license, designing business cards and spreading the word to build up a client base.

I would LOVE any input, advice, anything at all because my reason for doing this is really for you, the community of Nashville (and surrounding area).  As a nanny who has worked this job for 12 years and who has dealt with every type of family, child and situation I am aware of the need for a Christian agent who can help both sides get through the first daunting task of finding a nanny/family.

I am so excited to see where this goes and watch as we build a better nanny/family support base here and continue to make it possible for parents to have in-home help. Help that can come in with an understanding of the unique schedule and routine an artist family has and the need for a pinch hitter, care-taker.  

I'll keep you all updated on the progress as I work on writing out tip and info pages, interview advice, create applications, etc.

In the meantime.....I need suggestions on what to call this!!!  What would catch your attention? What is fitting for a personal nanny agent....not a strict agency full of regulation and rules, but someone whose sole purpose is to help you relax and find the best fit for you and leave it in your hands from there?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Nashville Christian Family/Nanny network

Calling all nannies, babysitters, moms and dads. Especially within the Christian community/musician community here in Nashville/Franklin...I need YOUR input!

I spend a lot of my time helping people find babysitters, trying to find fill-in's for my families when I am not available, and discussing with people appropriate pay, how to interview, etc.   One of the ladies that I nanny for threw out the idea the other day that I should start something similar to the nanny agencies here, but do it specifically as a Christian agency.  I've been thinking through the idea and although I'm not super excited about starting a new business or anything, it has occurred to me that I spend much of my time doing what those agencies do and if I made it official I could do that job even better.
I would like to get some other people's input on the idea and see if there would even be enough interest and also would love any ideas for thing you would like to see.

Here is a general description of what I thought would be helpful for families and nannies/babysitters:

  • Conduct interviews of all incoming nannies/babysitters and have all their information on hand
  • Interview/meet with families to hear what they need, what their routine is, and what they are looking for in a third-party caretaker
  • help match care-takers with families (like but for babysitters and families...right?)
  • Set up a "classifieds" so that when you find yourself needing an emergency babysitter there is a list of already approved, responsible babysitters to contact.  This works to the benefit of everybody, babysitters can chose to be available for last minute calls and pick up extra work and families know they aren't just getting some random person they know nothing about. 
  • "Shared" nannies would be much easier to come by with this system...I am a shared nanny and can at times be juggling three or four musician/traveling families....this works because I end up knowing I have full-time work...this doesn't always work because I need to find fill-in's for certain days.  If we had a network of nannies within our community it would make scheduling easier on everyone.  As it is my friends and I have our own little "network" and fill-in for each other and pass off jobs when needed. 
  • I would also make this blog more consistent (now that I have Internet) with tips on working out confrontation, nanny searching tips, and other helpful tools for families and nannies alike. 
  • As much as I'd like to do it for free I would need to be making some income for my time being the "go-between" person so there would be a percentage cost from either that babysitters/nanny income and possibly a one-time fee for the families to join
So what do you think?
Throw the idea out?
Keep it?
Run with it?
You tell me...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Just another weekend



Sometimes that is the word that best describes getting through the weekends during the fall.
Being a nanny to musicians, speakers, authors and stylists means that I get to "enjoy" the same schedule that they do...meaning that we have really slow seasons during which everyone just trusts that God will provide and then you have seasons where you just aren't sure how you are going to be able to fit sleep, eating and showers into the packed days .

October is one of those seasons.

This past weekend for example...I had Thursday during the day off...the first in some time and I spent the day on the phone trying to get Internet set up (yes it had been a month and I was STILL trying to get it up and running), I then went to babysit from 6:30-12:30, went straight from there to where I normally nanny, spent the night, had the girls till my BFF came and took my place at 7:30pm, picked up two precious girlies and took them home to bed, got home and fell into bed around 1:30am, up at 6am to watch the neighbor boy till 11am, headed to watch those same two girls through the day, helped get them ready for the wedding they were in, caught them at the end of the aisle, took them home to bed, got home around 1:30am...fell into bed in my clothes and sleeppptttt.

cheap entertainment

precious. ready for the wedding.
how cute is she?


Of course my "day off" always seems to get filled with running errands that had been put off for weeks, but I must have still been delirious with adrenaline, because I somehow got all my errands done, went grocery shopping, got home and cleaned out my whole pantry and kitchen, made almond butter, pumpkin bars, and pumpkin almond butter...not to mention all the late nights of working gave me time to edit photo sessions and actual be on schedule for once. I'm really not sure where all this motivation came from, but I hope it happens again every weekend. 

Almond butter...yummy

I love organization. 
sadly organization hates me  and doesn't seem to last long.


Then back to work on Monday. 

even snuck in a run with this guy before work this morning

Safe to say...
it was a productive few days.
Safe to say...
the life of a nanny is anything but relaxing.

A nanny in Nashville has no such thing has routine.
No "planned way in advance" set schedule. No social life planning.

For me, it's a perfect fit.
I love the spontaneity of it...most of the time.
Sometimes I long for just some day to day routine, or I would love to be able to plan a coffee date in advance and not have to cancel last minute. For the most part though, I love the feeling of falling into bed exhausted from chasing toddlers, hands raw from loads of dishes, and clothes stained with baby food.
So just a little glimpse into my weekends right now for those of you wondering why I'm never around, or those of you writing me asking about being a nanny...for me this is my life. My career. It's become as normal as breathing by now.

P.S. please don't judge the photos. I couldn't find my memory card...ok, so I didn't really look for it...but the cell phone was just more convenient in the chaos.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dessert Obsession

So I'm not a health nut, but I do love to try to eat healthy and have been trying to learn some ways to switch to eating more organic/non-processed foods. However, I will NOT give up my love of baked goods and desserts...taking chocolate, ice cream, and peanut butter away from me would be like taking away all the oxygen from the earth...ok maybe I'm exaggerating, but delicious desserts? I'm not ok with those "healthy" alternatives that really just taste like dirt.  

So you can imagine my excitement when I came across this blog while searching Pinterest (a whole different obsession). Every Delicious looking, healthy dessert lead me to this Katie person.
  First of all, this Katie girl seems like someone I would just want to hang out with (and maybe she would let me be a taste tester), second of all she is a healthy dessert recipe genius.

I'm obsessed.

 Ok, I haven't actually tried any of her recipes (I'm on a bit of a diet kick right now, but as soon as it's over you can bet I'll be making all of these).   I trust her when she says she took her cookie dough dip to a party and didn't tell anyone it was healthy, only to have it be the big hit.  The list of chocolate peanut butter and pumpkin recipes is to die for and she has soy free, diary free, gluten free, raw, high protein, and sugar free recipe options. The other thing I LOVE is that she has recipes for single servings. This is great when you don't live in a household of people and you don't want to end up eating an entire batch of cookies or muffins by yourself.  

I nanny and babysit for some kids and even parents who have major allergies and diet restrictions and it can be hard for kids when they don't get to eat yummy treats like everyone else.
I'm also super excited to try some of these out on the picky eaters I nanny. Hehe...I'm gonna be the coolest nanny handing over cookies and pies...they're never gonna know that I'm actually getting them the fiber, protein, etc that they need.  
Thank you chocolate covered Katie for taking over my life and making me sleep deprived from scouring your blog all night.