Hooray for Friday! It is time for another Q and A with a fellow blogger for Ask Away Friday. I love Ask Away Friday because it gives me a chance to share a bit more of my story with you guys.



This week’s swap is with Nancy who writes at The Real Nani. Nancy’s blog is a mix of personal essays and observations, book reviews, and stories about parenthood. Nancy is a close personal friend of mine. We have walked life together for several years. She used to live in my part of the world, but now lives in Connecticut. We typically find ourselves on Cape Cod during the same weeks in the summer, which is amazing.

The Real Nani

1. I know that you are a person of deep faith and while we have different religions, I do share your belief that community is so important! What is your favorite part of hosting the Grace at Home group for SAHMs?

For those of you who don’t know, I co-lead an encouragement group via Facebook for stay at home Christian moms through the website (in)courage.

Our group sessions run between six and eight weeks long. My favorite part of leading this group is when the members start speaking up and asking their own questions. My co-leader and I facilitate the discussions by asking questions, but there comes a point in each session where women start their own threads. We’ve talked about everything from handling discipline, getting “me” time when husbands work long hours, date nights, and everything else.

My second favorite part is when they start stating prayer requests and praying for each other. It means that they are finally comfy enough to share what is really on their hearts.

2. If you and Mike had a conversation about living in the Valley versus moving to the Midwest to be closer to your family, what would that conversation look like?

We’ve talked about it a bit. Because I’m home with the kids and he’s the income earner, our location depends on his employment. We went through a bit of job searching this spring and ultimately there wasn’t anything out there as amazing as what we’ve got here.


[Tweet “With that being said, we’re open to the possibilities of a new adventure.”]

3. I went into your archives for question inspiration and found a Tuesday Ten about things you should say more often. Have you been saying these things more often?! How’s it going?

I am doing well with most all of these! I will always struggle to get on the floor to play with my kids, it just isn’t a part of who I am. Doing things like baking, coloring, reading, or playing games come much more naturally than playing.

The one I am the most proud about is saying no. I’ve recently said no to several things and backed out of a few commitments I had. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do, so I’ve started to only say yes to the best.

4.I know I’ve seen this question before but I can’t remember where. What was your favorite post to write? Was it the same post that generated the most comments? If not, which post had the most comments, and why?

The post that has generated the most comments for me is The 10 Commandments Of Blogging. It struck a nerve and really resonated with a lot of people. To date, there are 131 comments on it. Some of those are mine, but it still has great engagement.

My favorite post to write was I Hate My Underpants. I still snort every time I read it. I love writing humor and it really shines on this one.

The post that drives the most traffic to my blog is a tie between Lola’s Birth Story (where I struck gold with keywords) and How To Save Money On Groceries Without Using Coupons (that one is doing really well on Pinterest).

5.You said recently that you had a conversation with Mike about needing more time to do your work and that he was totally supportive. I admit that my first thought was, “well, he better be!” and my second thought was, “Gosh, I can’t believe there are women out there married to men who wouldn’t be supportive of their wives’ work and creative outlets.” What is your advice to those women?

My advice to them would be to speak up. Husbands and partners are not mind readers. If you need time to do something, you need to advocate for yourself to make sure you get it.

6. How is your war against clutter going? 

The war on clutter isn’t going well AT ALL. I think part of the problem is that kids come with a lot of clutter! That, plus living in an old house with next to zero storage makes it really hard. Right now we’ve got storage totes lined up in the hallway between the bedrooms and the bathroom because there literally isn’t a better place for them.

I’m getting ready to do a huge purge. I can’t wait to have less stuff cluttering up my life!

7. Because I have three kids, I’ve seen Micah develop a very different relationship with each of his sisters, based on their respective personalities, which is amusing and intriguing. What has been the most surprising thing about watching a sibling relationship develop between Lola and Malone?

I’m an only child so sibling relationships REALLY fascinate me. It has been a lot of fun to watch them fall in love with each other. The most surprising thing for me has been Malone’s pride in having someone to take care of.

Through the lens reflection for facebook

8. When Stella was a baby, I looked forward to the days when Alice had school so that I could have “alone time” with Stella. What do you and Lola do when Malone is in school?

I wish I could say we did something amazing, but I literally walked in the door and put her down for a nap. Malone’s preschool ran from 12:30 to 3:00 pm and Lola napped from 12:45 (when we got home) until 2:45 (when I had to wake her up so we could go get him).

I used this time a lot of days to catch up on blogging or clean the house. Or, if we had a rough night, I used the time to nap. When she was a newborn, I counted on those two hours to nap in the afternoon.

9. If you could have a second home anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why? (The Cape doesn’t count!)

Philadelphia. I’d love Malone and Lola to be able to grow up spending a ton of time with my nephew Andrew.  We see each other 3-4 times a year, but it really isn’t enough!

McCrays Farm 1

10. Summer’s here. My kids are going to Mommy Camp. What are your kids doing this summer?

We are going to keep this summer really low key. We’ll be on Cape Cod for a week in July to chill with Mike’s family and will likely be back down for another long weekend or two. Malone will go to vacation bible school for a week in August. His school break this year is really short because of all of the snow days we had last winter. I think we’ve really only got about nine weeks together this summer.

The last few summers, we have done a ton of day trips and had a lot of days where we left the house at 9:00 am and got home just in time for dinner. This summer, I’ve promised myself to keep things simpler. We will be sticking around our neighborhood and hanging out outside with sidewalk chalk and bubbles. I’m documenting our simple summer on Instagram using the hashtag #simplesummer2014. I’m @acookieb4dinner if you want to follow me there.

Nancy had awesome questions didn’t she? Be sure to head to The Real Nani to read her responses to mine!