Operation: Organization Day in the Life

My friends over at 11 Magnolia Lane host a back to school organizational series each year with a great group of bloggers.  This year’s theme  is “A Day in the Life” and, with a bit of anxiety, I’m going to give you a peek behind the curtain of what a day around here is looking like.

So, without further ado, here’s my yesterday.

5:30AM I am always the first one up because, as Mother said every day of my life when I lived at home, the early bird catches the worm.  It is quiet and gives me a minute to wake up myself before the chaos of the morning ensues.  I splash some water on my face, brush my teeth, put my hair in a pony and throw on a bra so I don’t scare the others at the bus stop.

5:45AM I let Elsa out and hit the computer.  I sort through some emails and go over my to do list for the day.  I have client traveling to Disney at the 180 day mark for their dining reservations.  (Yes!  I do that for you when traveling with a dining plan!!)  I score Cinderella’s Royal Table, Chef Mickey’s and Tusker House so I excitedly email the family.  {Glass Slipper Concierge}

6:27AM Time to wake up the little one.  I make sure he is out of bed and in the shower, leave him clothes to get dressed in, and remind him to make his bed.  I used to not be a daily bed-maker but with the boys in their own rooms now having every single bedroom in the house looking like a disaster doesn’t sit well with me.  So… now we are all bed makers.  HA!

6:30AM ISH I head back downstairs and get started on lunches and breakfasts.  I make them for both kids at the same time, even though they are on different schedules.  There’s a lot of disposable trash here, I know, but the bento boxes no longer work for us.  They just eat too much.  To save time, on Sunday nights I bag up fruit, carrots and cookies for the week in snack size zip tops.  Then they just have to be pulled out each morning.

6:42AM By the time Whit is dressed and downstairs, I have breakfast made for both boys.  They have bacon and fruit every day (I use the precooked bacon from Costco and heat in the microwave for 2 mins) and the main course (?) varies between cereal, bagels, waffles, pancakes, eggs or muffins depending on if Honey is awake and helping or if I’ve made muffins to pull out for breakfasts.  As you can see, I’ve already made John’s plate and I just sit it on the counter for him.

Whit has to write a part of a “book report” type assignment each night.  Since he usually reads himself to sleep, he writes that in the morning while eating breakfast.  He also helps unload the dishwasher in the mornings.  He’s such a great helper and never complains about pitching in.

My boys are on this new kick where they like chicken in their lunch.  I take a couple of chicken tenderloins out of the freezer to thaw the night before, sprinkle them with Williams Sonoma chicken seasoning (my friend Lori gave it to me and it’s SO good!) and then cook them in the air fryer.  To keep them warm until lunch, while the chicken is cooking I fill the first thermos with hot water from the Keurig and put the top on it.  Once the chicken is done I wipe it out and put the food in.  It stays hot for so much longer!  Also, when I pour the hot water out of Whit’s thermos I just pour it into John’s and reuse it.  Works fine.  And, on the days when I forget to thaw the chicken, we just use frozen chicken nuggets.  We like the Perdue lightly breaded kind in the white bag.

7:01AM  We are out the door.   There are 12 boys at the bus stop, which is in our driveway, and they get out there early enough to play basketball or tag.  I love this tradition so much!

7:17AM I’m back inside by 7:15 and make my coffee.   I have a couple traveling to Disney on their honeymoon with questions about their itinerary that we’ve been outlining in advance of their fastpass date.  I use this time to work on that.  Meanwhile, John gets himself up anywhere between now and 8AM.  I don’t wake him because lord knows he needs to sleep.  Today he is up at 7:30.  He completely handles getting himself showered and ready and is downstairs by 7:50, right about when I send off the email.  His breakfast is ready and he eats while he reads his teacher’s blogs and makes sure his agenda is up to date.  He doesn’t have a test today so he plays basketball outside and works on the lacrosse rebounder until it is time to go.  I have his lunch ready except for his chicken so I get that cooked and in his bag and I clean up the kitchen.  Honey is taking him to school today, and they leave at 8:45.

8:49AM I am 3 hours into my day and finally take a deep breath.  LOL.  I try very, very hard to eat well and eat at home.  I almost always have fruit, plain greek yogurt, honey and granola for breakfast with club soda.  I mindlessly watch InstaStories while I eat.  HA.  I’m sure y’all are taking a big yawn right now because this is all so exciting.

9AM Some days I try to walk in the morning, but on the nights when John has lacrosse I do it in the evening.  So, I hop in my beautiful navy blue shower.  And, since Honey is now gone, I make our bed and straighten up after him.

9:24AM I’m dressed and ready for the day and notice the laundry is overflowing.  Throw in a load.  I also peek in John’s room, happy to see he has made his bed, closed his drawers and not left dirty clothes on the floor (it’s the little things, right).  I also always check to make sure he hasn’t left a wet towel on his wood dresser or anything…  not that that’s ever happened.   ;-)

9:28AM It’s time to focus on Dixie Delights for a while before going back to the travel agent work.  The travel agent responsibilities are unpredictable – some days there is not a lot, while other days I am on the phone all day with clients and Disney.  Since it is hard to plan for, some days I don’t even get to the blog until much later.  Today’s blog work entails responding to emails, sorting through hundreds of comments, mostly spam, to find the few that are from real life readers, taking pictures in John’s room for a future post, writing today’s post and measuring for some frames that a company has approached me about.  This all takes about two hours.

Other blog responsibilities include updating my newsletter, trying to post some content on social media (been slacking there lately), dealing with technology issues (currently switching from an http: to an https: due to google changes and last week it was a problem with my template generating 15 image files for every 1 I uploaded), and fun stuff like that.  I LOVE writing the blog, but wish I had an IT department to handle all the other stuff that comes along with it.  :-)

I also have the etsy shop – I don’t have anything to do on that today because I did that yesterday.  That includes sending my mom her orders (easy), keeping listings up to date, responding to customer convos, designing the paper products and having them printed, and making the autograph books.  All I have to do today is mail the orders I packaged up yesterday.

11:30AM ISH I head out to pick up a gift for a party I’m going to the next night and a birthday gift for a friend, get two locks re-keyed for the house (which thankfully takes only about 5 minutes), grab a huge coffee with expiring star rewards points, drop off packages from my etsy shop at the USPS, pop in the library to pick up two books I had transferred, and when they are still out of Captain Underpants, head in the used bookstore to just buy them.

1PM ISH I make a salad back at home (I cut everything up for the week on Monday) and am back at the travel agent gig.  The huge coffee goes mostly untouched.  This is why I’m more of a tall girl than a venti girl :-)

2:30PM Go out to get Whit off of the bus. See how his day was, get him a snack, and do his homework.  He plays outside on his scooter with a neighbor and I make the sauce for dinner – weeknight bolognese.  I’ll share the recipe soon!  I also make a call into Disney for a client that as a duplicate of herself in her account, to add Magical Express flights for another client, and to purchase Not So Scary Halloween Party tickets for a third client.  These are all requests that came in after lunch. Whew!

4:05PM It is time to get in the car to pick up John.

4:30 ISH We are back home and John just wants to chill.  The boys play basketball, I sit outside with them and update the three clients from 2:30 line item.  Around 5:15 John gets ready for lacrosse and loads up the car with his gear.

5:44PM We are at the field.  John is warming up, I start my walk with Elsa, and Whit lounges in the shade with his new book.

5:58PM Honey swings by the field on his way home to get Whit and Elsa and I continue my walk.

6:30PM 3 miles done.  I have a call with a client to discuss resort options and that takes about 30 minutes.  She books!  Yay!

7:30PM I sit in the car with the windows down and read until practice ends at 7:30.  I also give Honey a call to get Whit in his pjs and start cooking the pasta for dinner and reheating the sauce.

8:10PM We finally sit down as a family for dinner.  It’s late!  Unfortunately, this is just the way our new schedule seems to work.  They talk us into playing Monopoly Deal while we eat – did I mention it’s late?!  Seriously though, these are a precious 35 minutes in this day when we are all four together.  Bedtimes are over rated these days.  I also put my phone on sleep from 8PM to 7AM so it is nice to have a break from that.

8:45PM I take Whit up to bed, get myself ready for bed, and lay down with him for a while while we both read.  John loads the dishwasher, takes out the trash and works on his homework in the kitchen.  Honey washes the big dishes, starts the dishwasher, cleans the counters and lets Elsa out one more time.

9:41PM I remember that load of laundry I put in 12 hours prior.  UGH!  It goes in the dryer and I decide not to run the other load until the next morning.  They are just sheets so they can sit all night in the dryer.

9:45PM I take one last peek at my list and plans for the next day, just to know what I’m waking up to.  John is ready for bed and reading in his room.  Honey is watching TV in our room and I read a little more before falling asleep.

So, if you managed to stick around through that exhaustive blow-by-blow of my day, you now know my life is not all that exciting and it is not picture perfect at all moments in time.  This is real, raw, unedited reality of a relatively normal (ha!) suburban mom trying to juggle a family, work and free time on a relatively normal day.  It’s not perfect, and I feel like I am running around crazier than ever with these two very different school schedules.  For this reason alone, we have made a big effort to leave our weekends free and unscheduled as much as possible.  Even when we eat after 8PM I *try* to put a good meal on the table.  Tomorrow will be leftovers from tonight, which I still consider “a good meal”, for the record.  We don’t have sports every night, it just so happened that I was down to the wire on this post and was left with the crazy sports day schedule.

I also want to say that I love this life, the flexibility that my travel agent and blog work affords me, and the fact that I can be available to do all of this in one day.  I have always been a go-go-go type person, which I’m sure y’all figured out over the years, and this post really shows that, I think. My every day is also not always so wake up to bed time crazy.  This week I am also walking and having lunch with bestie S for her birthday, going to my front office volunteer training at the elementary school (which I consider fun – I have a shift at the middle school too!), and celebrating the girls with August birthdays in the neighborhood one night.

I do have a few tips and tricks on how I stay organized and I will share those tomorrow.  I have my Glass Slipper team leader coming over to show me how to use an itinerary app RIGHT NOW!  :-)  She lived in Pennsylvania when I started this job and now lives in my neighborhood!  I adore her and am so excited to have her nearby.

Please take a few minutes to hop over and see how the rest of the bloggers spend their days!

August 30th
Christy  — 11 Magnolia Lane
Amanda — Dixie Delights
Megan — Honey We’re Home
Rebekah — A Blissful Nest
Jennifer—Dimples & Tangles

Note:  Megan of Honey We’re Home was originally going to post today, but she lives in Houston.  While she and her family are safe from the flooding, she’s understandably exhausted.  She’s going to join us on September 6th instead.  In the meantime, please visit her blog post on “Helping Houston.”

September 6th
Amy –11 Magnolia Lane
Sam – Simply Organized
Erin – Sunny Side Up
Mallory — Style Your Senses
Julie — Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss
Haneen – Haneen’s Haven

A big THANK YOU goes out to the ladies at 11 Magnolia Lane for pulling us together today.



37 thoughts on “Operation: Organization Day in the Life

  1. Not boring at all. Loved reading this. Looks like what I love to call a plain old regular day, around here. They are my favorite kind and I always appreciate them. And you have excellent time management skills! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Hi Amanda!!!

    How did I NOT know you are a Disney travel agent??? I should have known this! You are adorable! Loved taking a peek into your day!


  3. I can relate to so much of this! I also like to be the first one up in the morning. Not only do I love the few minutes of quiet time but my brain works best early in the day and it’s the time I am most creative. By the end of the day, my mind has pretty much turned to mush… Fun series! Prayers for Texas!

  4. Girl, I am tired just reading this….It’s been a long time since I had to juggle little people’s schedules along with my own. You forget how your day flies by.

    1. Yes, so true. It didn’t seem so crazy when I was in the thick of it. But, seeing it all written out like that even made me tired.

  5. This reminds me of my life when my three kids were younger. Now it is pretty quiet at my house and I enjoy the slower days. I have three of the same books that are in your stack…Magnolia, All By Myself Alone and I have read Shadow of the Night. I liked Ms Harkness’s first book the best…the trilogy lost a bit of steam in my opinion. One of my cousin’s was a travel agent for Disney as well. She and her family go at least twice a year. It is good when people who KNOW Disney are arranging the trips.

    1. Discovery of Witches was SO SO SO SO good. I was on the wait list for Shadow of Night and started Black Book while I waited. It came in and I’m dying to dive in. But, I’m sad to hear it lost steam. Because I could really go for another Discovery :-)

  6. Hi! Do you have a link for the WS chicken seasoning?! I see so many different kinds on their website. Thanks!

  7. I have always wanted to read about a typical day in the Land of Dixie Delights. It’s incredible that you still make it all look effortless and remain cute as a button. :-)

    Long live Captain Underpants!!!

    You are a remarkable woman, Amanda.

  8. As you might imagine, I enjoyed this peek into your day to day life! My days are pretty similar with the exception of Mondays and Wednesdays when I’m teaching or volunteering at co-op all day. Sports interfere with our mealtimes, too – we’ve started eating at 430 on practice nights and a sandwich when we get home if needed. I have 3 part-time jobs between my actual job, teaching lit/comp to 4th and 5th graders, and proctoring study hall.

    I am constantly amazed at how you juggle everything and can’t wait to read your tips. You are an inspiration to me! xo

    1. Thank you so much, Christi!! These days are crazy but I treasure them. My mom tells me all the time that she would give anything to have these days back.

  9. Love the time stamped play by play. I make it a point to jot down my typical day once a quarter. Love to journal exactly what fills my day at this season of life!!!


  10. Amanda, this was so much fun to read! I love putting “hot” things in my kids’ lunches too, nice to shake up the sandwiches! What thermos do you like? Mine are overdue to be replaced. I’m also so happy for you with your new job, that’s so perfect for you and such a valuable service for Disney goers!

    1. They just left with them for school but I think they are thermos brand! I got them at Target. Have a great day!!

  11. These “day in the life” posts aren’t my favorite to read!
    Looking forward to tomorrow’s post on organization!

  12. I love Day in the Life posts, so thanks for sharing!! Whew, you pretty much went non-stop, makes for a long, tiring day!

    1. I know! It was a crazy one, especially when I wrote it all out like that. Didn’t seem so nutty while it was happening.

  13. I have to comment one more time and tell you how much I love your very real post. No staged photos, just real life. It’s one of the things I love about you and your blog, you’re just very down to earth! Keep it up!!

  14. These have been so much fun to read!!! I have found some new bloggers to follow (yea!) and enjoy “getting to know you” in this real way. You all are not making me feel so “crazy” about keeping calendars either — I think each of you keep 3-4 and are just as attached to them as I am to mine :) Can’t wait to come back and read more. . .

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