Happy Wednesday, my lovely readers!  It’s time again for a new Sluiter Nation Recruit!  Not sure what in the world a Recruit is?  Check it out.

This week I am super excited to bring you one of my very first twitter friends, Julie of back to the basics.  We are so much alike!  We are both mommy’s to adorable little blond boys.  We both LOVE to read (in fact, Julie frequently adds reviews to my book blog, Katie’s Bookcase).  We both love our Canons.

Julie is an actual photographer though (I have the prints in my bedroom to prove it), and she is totally cute and pregnant with a little girl due in October.

I am so excited to have her here today.  She is so sweet you may need a glass of milk to read this post!


I am so honored to be over here at Sluiter Nation today! I believe, if I remember correctly, I found Katie and her blog through Twitter, and then I started contributing to her book blog as well! Then, when she was added to The Red Dress Club blog, I started reading there, too! Miss Katie is so talented, but if you are here, you are already aware.

I am the proud momma of a way-too-curious, rambunctious, sweet, almost two year old boy, Brayden. If you were to look up the definition of a strong willed child, I am pretty sure his picture would be right next to it. You know, just as soon as I remember to send it in.

And for the most part, his will to be independent doesn’t bother me. But it’s the days where he is just absolutely trying to defy everything when I want to throw my hands up and quit. Those days are where I close my eyes, take a breath, and say “this is your calling. this is what you were put on this earth to do. it’s not the end of the world.” Of course, in the time is takes to do that little mantra, Brayden is on to the next thing- but you get the general idea.

Motherhood was always something I wanted. Before my husband and I were even married, we talked about having kids. We just knew we wanted a family. When the time came, we were thrilled when pregnancy came quickly for us, and couldn’t wait for our little blessing to arrive.

But no one told me how hard it would be, how the sleepless nights would change my relationship with my husband, how time consuming breast-feeding would be, or how I would have to eventually figure out how to discipline this child who thought he was smarter than me! No one told me how my view of the world would change once I had a child, how shows that used to interest me about child abuse would make my stomach hurt, how my own anxiety would affect me in those early months, and how many others I would meet either online or in real life that experienced the same thing. I never knew how much being a mother would make me feel like a part of something- a group of women whose love for their child is unconditional. It’s like being in a not-so-secret club of women who all know, for the most part, exactly what I am going through.

It’s been a huge blessing so far. I can’t wait to see what’s next!
See?  Julie is the cutest little thing!  Now go read her blog and follow her on twitter!


WAIT!  Want to read some awesome posts right now?  Check these gems out….
Julie is in the same postpartum boat that I am and writes a lovely, candid post about having postpartum anxiety in her post Coming Clean.


I laughed RIGHT out loud when I saw how her son, Brayden roughhouses.  Think CPR only way cuter and then read A Little Roughhousing.


And check out how precious her wee one was when he was fresh in the post 2 1/2 week pictures.


Lastly, I love that Julie is a stay at home mom.  It’s a job I could never, EVER do.  And she busts down the stereotypes in her post Stereotypes and a Vent.

A Few of My Favorite Things

Today is Recruit Day in Sluiter Nation!  Don’t know what a Sluiter Nation Recruit is?  Check it out!

This week I am bringing you one of my local blogging friends, Julie, from Dutch Being Me. Julie and I have never met in real life which is totally weird.  Her brother bowls with my husband.  She lives in the town I live in.  There is zero reason other than our crazy busy lives.

Anyway, Julie and I met on twitter of all places.  We talk all the time.  I love reading her take on the world she and I share and I can’t wait to meet her at Gleek Retreat in just a few weeks!

Here is Julie…


I’ve been learning a lot about myself recently. I’ve learned that I need more rest than I thought possible. I learned that I can’t say yes to everything and still feel good. I learned that once I get overwhelmed, I collapse and become a pile of mush… which doesn’t seem to help anybody around me.

Overall, I learned that because I haven’t dealt with issues that caused some (or much) of the weight gain way back when they were a problem… they have come back to haunt me at the most inopportune times. Times that usually are stressful and require much more thought and time into processing the feelings that are surfacing. Even though now I’ve lost the weight, the struggle to maintain is making me realize the issues are still there.

So in light of all of these negative feelings surfacing and trying to deal with them slowly (and resolutely) – the question I’ve been asking myself (a lot) lately is what are things that I can do to pamper myself?

Here’s my list of favorite things to do to feel special and relaxed…

Organize something :: I know it sounds like a whole lot of work – but for me, it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something when my books are in a different order or the papers on the coffee table have been filed. Usually it’s a little something that only takes me 10 (or so) minutes, but the repercussions can last days (or weeks) when looking around the house.

Read a book :: I love an easy read some days. The kind of book I’m talking about here is one that doesn’t make you think a lot. Probably one from my childhood {Anne of Green Gables} or a book that doesn’t make me think a lot {any piece of chick lit will do here.}

Write a story :: Many participate in The Red Dress Club prompts each week… but a lot of what I need to write are things that keep my creative juices flowing – a story that’s been within me and needs to be expressed. Or maybe it’s just writing something as simple as a short poem sharing the feelings that I’m going through at that moment.

Get my nails done :: Typically I try to do this once a month – as long as the cash allows – and it typically only costs about $12 (in my area) for an “express manicure”. Just having the fresh coat of polish on my nails makes me feel better about myself and brings up my self-esteem.

Paint Pottery :: This is one of my most favorite things to do… but I rarely do it because the costs for painting time and materials adds up so quickly. But while I am painting a plate, a mug or maybe some other random item, I sit and take my time to carefully design and layer so that the final outcome is what I want to keep for myself… or share with someone else.

Going to see a movie in the theater :: Whether it is with friends, or by myself, I love to go to the theater to see a movie. The big screen, the surround sound, the popcorn… it all adds up to a marvelous experience.

As you can see I’m a creative-type person that loves to be surrounded by creative things.

What do you do to feel special or relaxed?


Want more of Julie?  Yeah you do.  Here are some great posts she sent me that I agree give you a really great idea of how awesome she is.