Armchair BEA Introductions

ArmchairBEA LogoExamplePlease tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? Where in the world are you blogging from? 

My name is Vicki, and I am a work-at-home/homeschool mom to three children (11, 13, and 15) in the southwest suburbs of Chicago..  I actually have a few “work from home” roles that keep me busy.  I am the family ministries director at my church. Basically, I am in charge of running both our children’s ministry and our youth ministry as well as serving and supporting parents and families.  I teach Spanish at my children’s academic homeschool program.  I have a small private practice as a parent coach.  I do one on one phone coaching as well as parenting workshops and classes at preschools and schools in my area.  Lastly, I do some freelance editing.  With all of this on my plate, I stay pretty busy.

I started blogging in February of this year mostly on a whim.  My oldest child took a blogging class at our homeschool cooperative and he encouraged me to start a blog again.  I had started a blog a few years ago when I set up the website for my parent coaching practice, Full Life Parenting, however, I never kept it up.  For me having the larger book blogging community has made it more enjoyable for me to keep blogging.

Describe your blog in just one sentence. Then, list your social details — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. — so we can connect more online. 

My blog is a fun outlet for me to keep reading, writing and sharing my thoughts.  I can be found on twitter at hotteaandabook and on Facebook at Hot Tea and a Good Book.

What genre do you read the most? 

I read a lot of YA books.  I started reading YA so that I would know what my teens were reading.  I love sharing books with my kids.  My 13 year old daughter exchange books frequently.  I love that this is something we can enjoy together and I often find that our discussions of the books we have read can often lead into discussion that we may not have had otherwise.

What does your favorite/ideal reading space look like?

My favorite place changes with the season.  In the winter months I love the curl up in my favorite chair by the fireplace with a hot cup of tea and my little Maltese in my lap.  In the summer months I enjoy reading on my back deck.

What is your favorite blogging resource? 

I love bloglovin.  I like being able to read all my favorite blogs in one place.

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Finding Balance

I wear a lot of hats!  Too many hats maybe.  I’m a wife, a mother, a homeschooler, a Spanish teacher, a family ministry director, a parent educator and I’ve recently added book blogger to this long list.  It can be hard to juggle so many different things but I usually manage just fine.  (My husband may disagree with this statement.)  I manage, that is, until a major event or deadline sends me into a tailspin, demanding more and more of my time, than I had allotted.  This week it was Easter!

Part of my job in Family Ministries is running the Children’s ministry.  I love special holidays with the kids.  I get to detour off our regular curriculum and do something big, fun, and exciting.  However, big, fun, and exciting requires a lot of work.

Given where Easter falls on the calendar it is also the time of year I need to look at my children’s school work and well as the Spanish classes I teach and make sure everyone is set to finish strong.  We have less than a month left of school!  This means extra study time with each one of my three kids.  Making sure they are where they should be in each of their subjects, spending time looking forward to final exams and helping them prepare to study for those, identifying year end projects and pacing them out to finish on time, etc.  Similarly for my classes, I’m making sure we are on track with our syllabus to complete the curriculum, preparing a final exam and study guide, etc.

Each morning when I woke up this week, I thought about what I might blog about that day from the posts I have started weeks prior.  And every night I would go to bed thinking, “Tomorrow!”  while I pick up my current read and fall asleep before I made it to the end of the page.  But now Easter is over and I am getting back to it.  (While keeping my eye on finals week and the crazy VBS week that will be looming shortly after! )

So my question, to all you experienced bloggers with crazy schedules is this:  How do you find balance?  What do you do to keep your blog moving when there is no time for it in your life that week?