A Lesson in Patience

We move in two days. Everyone is stressed and the kids feel it. Yesterday their behavior got the best of me and I snapped.

One of my goals for 2015 was more like a vision.

I had a vision of myself mothering with the patience of an unflappable nun: hands folded calmly in the face of chaos, voice smooth and undeterred as she administers grace and restores peace.

When I lost it with the kids I most definitely did not look like that unflappable nun.

Snuggling with the kids after we’d exchanged apologies and received forgiveness I realized the flaw in my vision – and no, not the part about nuns not having kids.

I can’t imagine I will be calm in difficult situations if I am not calm in normal situations.

An unflappable nun doesn’t run about her work like a chicken with her head cut off.

When I do my work that way I put myself under tension, primed and ready to snap.

As much as you know this is obvious, please tell me I am not the only one who thinks she can work like mad and be saintly when necessary.

There’s not much left to 2015, but I yearn to live a revised version of the unflappable nun in my mind’s eye.

She goes about all her work with serenity, treating each task with care, making each movement deliberately.

She is beautiful when she cleans toilets and cooks dinner. She is unflappable in the quiet moments as well as the chaotic ones.

Life is a ritual. Sacred. Beautiful.

Only from that place of peace will I learn to be the unflappable nun in the stressful moments.

Wish me luck!

A Peek Behind The Scenes

I’m waiting for permission to publish the photo that goes with my next post, so I decided to delay that one a week and give you a little peek behind the scenes of the Blue Ocean Families blog.

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I have a schedule that helps me spread the parts of preparing a post over time. It includes a deadline that I hardly ever meet of sending the final draft to my editor by Thursday.

My editor is wonderfully patient and gives me good turnaround even if I only send him something on Sunday night. He’s also my husband.

Today he’s off to a business trip, so this last-minute post won’t pass under his critical eye and I must take all the credit for my mistakes. (I did manage to correct “peak” to “peek” – spelling is not my strength.)

The blogging schedule has me pick a photo at the end of the process, which I obviously have to change when a stock photo won’t do and I have to obtain permissions.

Mornings Are For Working

I usually do my blogging at 5:30 in the morning, which is often the only time when the house is quiet and the computer is available.

My husband and I share a computer and desk, which has trained us to be organized, efficient, and creative about computer time.

I used to cringe at the idea of getting up before 7am, but now I’m addicted to my 5am start to the day.

If I’m running behind (which is often) I can use the quiet period after naps to work, but since two of my four children don’t nap any more, “quiet time” isn’t so quiet anymore.

They do a great job playing on their own, but they constantly sing or hum or talk to themselves, which makes writing nearly impossible for me.

If you want to learn to use your mornings well, I recommend you check out the online course Make Over Your Mornings by Crystal Paine. I did half of this 14-day course before I had to stop to make time for the move. It’s only 17 dollars so I figured if I learned one helpful thing it would be useful.

I’m not an affiliate, I just believe in the power mornings.

Blue Ocean Families is a Non-Commercial Blog

I might try to monetize the blog at some point, but currently I’m not allowed to make any money. I only have the post basic website set up, and more importantly, our tax situation is so complicated that I’d rather not earn money than think about how to report it.

I know taxes are a pain for everyone and taxes for the self-employed are even worse. Double taxation for the self-employed overseas American is truly mind-boggling, especially since I can’t get intelligent answers out of the IRS.

But you don’t need to hear me moan about taxes, the good news for you is that you get no ads on this site.


Things are busy over here. We received notice that we had to leave our apartment so we’ve been scrambling around trying navigate the many decisions that came our way.

We are thrilled that we’ve found a house and we plan to move at the end of the month. Moving a family with four little kids might take enough energy that my blogging schedule will suffer, but I’ll do my best.

Thanks for reading, and once I get permission to post my cute picture, I’ll have an inspiring post for you next Monday!

Anything else you’d like to know from behind the scenes? I’d be happy to answer in the comments below!

Who We Are: 2015 Survey Results


Thanks to everyone who took my survey! I’m inspired and humbled.

Let’s get to know each other a little.

The wonderful readers of the Blue Ocean Families blog are 100% female. (I know this isn’t true. Male readers, let your voice be heard and take the survey here! Most people completed it in less than seven minutes.)

The average reader is between 30 and 44 years of age, has several young children, and spends a significant amount of time in the home.

All of you care about getting organized, reaching goals, and learning from other families. Most of you want to learn more about building a family culture, being productive and creative, child rearing, and creating your own Blue Ocean.

You aren’t so interested in leadership, but I tell you, you ARE the most important leaders of future generations!

You also gave me some great positive feedback, using words like “calm” and “gentle,” which I love.

Your words of advice I’ve taken to heart and am excited about learning how to deliver!

I am honored to be a fellow traveler with you. You are special women (and men-in-hiding) even though we all still struggle (mostly with getting things done!).

Thanks again! May you and your families grow where it matters!

Thank You For Reading The Blue Ocean Families Blog!


This week marks the half-year point for Blue Ocean Families. For six months I’ve posted every week.

Thank you for joining me!  It’s been a challenging and exciting journey for me.

How is it for you?

Reader Survey

Please take a few minutes to help me serve you better by taking this anonymous 10 question survey. You can do it in less than five minutes, and I’d really appreciate your input.

Whether you love what I write or not, your opinion will help guide me in which direction to take the blog and determine whether or not it’s worth pressing on.

Thanks for your help!

Go to the survey now!


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