Minute by minute

my thoughts on making the most out of all of life's minutes…

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It’s Back to School – – -but I say ….”just one more….”

A few years ago my main focus of my blog and my Facebook page was to offer time management tools and tips to help active families and busy professionals find more time in their days.  And looking back at some of my writings from this same time of year – Back to School – I wrote some pretty good tips.

But if I were to write a blog today about what to do to prepare for Back to School this year – I would title it “Just one more…

Here are some suggestions:

  • Sleep late just one more morning….
  • Go to the beach/lake/pool just one more time…
  • Watch the stars just one more night….
  • Read just one more book….
  • Eat in the garden just one more time…..
  • Wear your PJ’s until 4pm just one more day…..
  • Put your swimsuit on just one more time….
  • Go barefoot in the grass or sand just once more….

You know what – this is the last summer it will ever be like this.  This is last time my sons will turn ten and six.  And while next summer, we will surely have a blast again – it won’t be this summer.  They’ll be a little older, I’ll be a little older, friends will mean more, it will be a different time.

In a couple of weeks, school will be starting, for some school starts in a couple of days.  Our next big break will be Christmas – but it won’t be the same.  Christmas break is busy, dark and rainy (or snowy if you live somewhere else besides Seattle) and exciting in its own right.

Ever since my  trip to Hawaii I’ve tried to change my thinking and I try (although I have to work harder than others) to remember to savor the days and to make the most of them.  We’ve had a great summer this summer and I’m going to make the most out of the last few days.

What about you – what is “just one more…” thing you might do?



Not me Monday…..Change your attitude


This week’s Not Me Monday is made possible by Maya Angelou.  But here’s a little back story first.

Towards the end of August, I was really looking forward to school starting up again.  Not so much because I wanted the kids out of the house, I was looking forward to a routine again.  The lazy days  of summer were getting old and boring and I also knew that the boys needed more mental stimulation than I was providing for them.  And OK – there was a part of me that wanted them out of the house.

Labor Day came and the first day of school arrived.  New clothes, fresh haircuts.  My older son started third grade and my little one is in his second year of preschool.  And even though he only goes to school for a few hours three days a week, I was looking froward to getting so much done without interruption.

Well, why is it that things never seem to work out as you imagine?  While we feel into a routine, it was more of morning mayhem and afternoon hell. My older son resisted getting ready in the mornings and soon they were turning into a nag-fest from me.  In addition, for some reason he has turned into an eight-year-old kid.  Where did my sweet little boy go?  Instead, the first day he got off the bus, my sweet little boy had turned into an argumentative, back-talking, no homework doing, sticker!  To add more to my frustration, my younger son gave up his naps and his quiet time completely.  Just a few weeks prior he was still napping, giving me a big chunk of time each afternoon to write or get other work done.

AHHH!!!!  Not even Calgon could have taken me away fast enough.  My dream of being productive had very quickly turned into a nightmare.

My husband and I made some adjustments to our parenting to try to combat the new and undesirable behavior my son was now exhibiting, but we have been disappointed that our changes aren’t really bringing about big changes in him.  While it is getting mildly better, change has not come fast enough, or drastic enough for our liking.

All the while my sons are going through their metamorphoses, I’m starting to spin out of control.  I’m feeling defeated, deflated, exhausted, and I was quickly running out of ideas.  I was falling behind in my work and if you noticed – my blog too.

After talking with a few fellow moms, some friends and my own mom, many told me that the changes the big boy was going through was typical of an eight-year-old.  GREAT!!!  In fact, my mom confessed to me that she doesn’t really like little boys from the ages of about eight until they reach about seventeen.  Wonderful!  So according to her perspective, I’ve got nine years to go until things get better.

About the middle of last week, three and a half weeks in our new found hell (it isn’t that bad, taking some poetic licence here and being dramatic) – it finally sunk in.  I think my friends and my mom were right.  My older son is eight and you know what – he’s good at it.  He’s challenging us, pushing back, trying out more independence.  And while I want him to be a strong man, I am not liking the process to get there.

So the part that finally hit home was and the part that made it a little better was me realizing that this is my life right now.  Going back to school didn’t create opportunities, in fact, it created more problems.  We have crazy schedules, my son is going through a phase that is extra challenging.  My little son is growing too and his changes are affecting me professionally.  And while it took me a little bit to realize what was going on and that this is more of a couple bad days we’re were having, I woke up and changed my attitude.

Maya Angelou says

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” 

And while I’m not giving up on my kids and I will continue to make our lives better and work on our current challenges, I’m not going to be blindsided by it anymore.  I’ve accepted it and I’m dealing with our challenges.

The funny thing is, the morning after I had my revelation and shared with my husband “you know, I think this is more than a phase, I think this is us for now” – – I ran across Maya’s quote.  I had heard it many times before, but when it popped up on a Google search for me was the reinforcement that I needed.  And you know what else?  Ever since I changed my attitude about our current situation…things seem to be getting better.

Has that ever happened to you?  You have a change of attitude and the universe sends you reinforcements to back up your decision or new-found strength?  Share your story with everyone!

Tomorrow I’ll share with you how I’m working around the no nap situation.  My son’s, not mine.

Happy Monday, Everyone!




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Back to school ideas

WOW!  Hard to believe that the summer is almost over.   Soon, my blog hiatus will be coming to an end too.  I’ll be back at the beginning of September bringing you daily time-saving tips.

But in the meantime, I thought I’d revisit some previous blogs I’ve written about back to school ideas and share then with you today


This tip written in August of 2010 is still a great idea for taking the hassle out of  the  I don’t know what to wear blues.



This tip written last year helps with back to school clothes shopping.  This experience doesn’t have to be a bad one.



The final tip written in 2011 helps get your calendar organized.



Hope you and your kids have a wonderful and successful school year.

See you in a couple of weeks!




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Happy October!

WOW!  It is October 12th.  How did that happen?  One minute I was writing on back to school, then POW – almost two months have gone by.



I have to admit, Back to School caught me off guard.  Many people know that in addition to writing this blog, I also do some contract work for a local animal rescue non-profit.  This year, I was the chairperson for their annual dinner/auction.  That was scheduled for Sept 10th.   Lesson learned – being in charge of a major fundraiser like this – the same week as school goes back into session…..too much going on at once.


But in addition to the auction and getting back into the routine of  back to school stuff, I’ve been working on a few other projects.  Some are personal, some are for this blog, some are just getting organized in general.  Take a look:


  • Cleaned and organized my freezers.  A few weeks ago, we received our annual 1/4 steer from Oregon.  This is grass-fed beef, super yummy, super lean.  But – it takes up a lot of room.  With this arrival, I cleaned, organized and inventoried all the food in my freezers.  Now, I have a list of items to pick from – easier dinner planing in the works.


  • TJ’s Jobs  List – right after school started, I got myself and my seven-year old – TJ on a schedule.  Instead of  yelling at him all day long to do this and do that, now he has a chore chart that he maintains.  He highlights each job as it is completed, and I highlight the PAID section when I give him his allowance each week.    (Click on the link to see what TJ’s responsible for these days.)
  • What’s for Dinner – my first mini-book.  In this quick reading, tip-filled book, you’ll learn some new techniques for making the daily dinner time less stressful for everyone.  Check it out!   Soon this will be available as a Kindle and Nook version – but for the remaining of this month – I am offering this mini-book (PDF version) FREE of charge to anyone who emails me a request.  amy@amymunns.com
Please check it out – I’d love to hear your thoughts.
And with all that – I’m back – stay tuned for more time-saving tips.  We’re getting into a busy time of the year with shorter days and the holidays approaching.  I’ve got lots of good points to help get us all through it.
Happy Wednesday, Everyone!

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Back to School Calendar Tip

WOW – It is back to school all over my Facebook status updates this morning.  It seems strange to me, as my kids don’t go back for another couple of weeks.

I just got through inputting all the important school days to note in my personal calendar.  Here’s what I do:

  • I create a reoccurring event for each school day.  For many online calendars, you can create a daily, weekly or monthly event.  I prefer to show each day that my kids are in school so I can visually see when they are actually in school.   Because my sons are at different levels, they have different times and dates – I like to create a separate event on each day for each boy and color code them.
  • I then go back and adjust for early release days and delete all the non-school days, Christmas and Spring breaks.  Again, I like to be able to visually see nothing on a specific day.

I personally find it easier to plan any appointments and meetings while looking at where the kids are scheduled to be.  This takes a lot of the thinking out of things while I am planning.

You might prefer to do it the other way around – where you keep all the regular school days blank and make a note of the special ones and non-school days.

The important thing to remember is – put something in your calendar.  Do it now – while back to school stuff is fresh in your mind and things aren’t too hectic yet.  It is a year’s worth of dates to note, yet only takes a few minutes to do.

Best of luck to everyone who started school last week, today or within the next couple weeks.  Hope this year brings lots of success.