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A Day in the Life of Julie Daneman

Julie Daneman is mom to 17-month-old Sam and stepmom to sons Jacob, 11, and Caleb, 8, and wife to Bryan. She works full-time at Thomson Reuters and part-time as a Mary Kay independent beauty consultant. She and her busy family live in Keller.

6:45AM Shut off alarm, grumble about not getting up on time (alarm has been going off in 10-minute increments since 6am). Let dog out and feed her if Bryan hasn’t already. Make coffee; fall in love with Keurig all over again.

6:55AM Get in shower, thankful I thought to pick out my clothes last night. Now if only I’d thought to iron my shirt. Hope I have time to do that. Debate putting together workout bag – decide there won’t be time … again.

7:50AM Fully dressed (shirt ironed, even), hair done, notice Bryan has made Sam’s breakfast; head upstairs to get him up. Walk into room to find a smiling boy patiently waiting for me in his crib – unusual. Love on Sam, head downstairs with Sam, Moose, Tigger, blankie and today’s clothes in arms.

8:10AM Sam dressed (thank you, Daddy!), Mommy’s lunch made; both brush teeth and get shoes on.

8:20AM Finally out the door to school.

8:30AM SUCCESS! Sam is at school before circle time starts! (This is a challenge for us most days. We don’t move very quickly in the morning, which I feel perpetually guilty about.)

8:35AM On the road to work in downtown Fort Worth. Think bad words about Interstate 35W traffic.

9:10AM Clock in, check emails, make breakfast, sigh at the ever-growing work and home to-do list, feel slight relief at no meetings on schedule for the day, get started on the day’s work.

10:30AM Notice with slight panic that office phone is still forwarded (from previous day’s work-from-home day) to cell phone, which has been set to vibrate since arriving at office. Quick check shows no missed calls. Feeling relieved, I decide to take a short break to put on make-up (typically only get foundation on before leaving the house).

10:40AM Back to work.

11:30AM Begin to contemplate lunch; opt to wait another hour.

12:30PM Lunch at desk; catch up on current events (which really means the blogs I follow, Facebook and comics online), maybe write a blog post.

12:50PM Back to work. I love that my job is basically flex time. Since I’m hourly, I need to get in eight hours every day. However, with a 30- to 45-minute (at best) commute, I’m not in until 9am (if I’m lucky). Sam has to be picked up by 6:30pm, so I typically shorten my lunch to 20-30 minutes so that I can leave in time to get him. Often, it also means I do more work from home after Sam is in bed.

4:50PM Finally finish a lengthy QC investigation of an electronic product error. Try to decide what to start on for the next half-hour. Chat with Bryan (we work in the same office) to coordinate pick-ups, dinner, practice schedules.

5:05PM Give up on anything requiring brainpower for the remaining half-hour of workday. Attempt to organize desk from the day’s chaos to be ready for tomorrow’s chaos.

5:30PM Pack up and mentally prepare to fight evening rush hour.

5:40PM Actually make it out the door.

6:15PM Arrive at Sam’s school for pick-up. Love to see that happy face running to me, arms in the air to be picked up!

6:30PM Finally home. Mommy or Daddy gets dinner going (usually Daddy, but sometimes Mommy) while the other – or on Wednesday night, Jacob and Caleb – attempt to entertain Sam, who thinks he needs dinner as soon as we get home. Cue toddler meltdown during dinner prep.

7:15PM Dinnertime. It’s not always easy, but we try to sit down together for dinner most nights. With sports practices, etc., we sometimes eat in shifts, but at least one of the parents tries to eat with the kids.

7:45PM Tag-team cleaning kitchen and entertaining Sam. If the big boys are with us, often they entertain while Daddy and I double-team the kitchen.

8PM Start bedtime routine.

8:30PM Sam in bed (if it’s at all possible, he’s down earlier; many nights it’s more like 8:45pm). Wednesday nights – big boys might be finishing up homework, but typically they’re getting showered.

9PM Big boys in bed.

9:15-11PM On a good night: pick out clothes for tomorrow and think about putting together a lunch for the next day, or possibly starting/switching/folding laundry. More often sit down, exhausted and frazzled, with the laptop or a book and chat with Bryan. The TV is usually on sports, which are easily tuned out. Sometimes a cross-stitch project or baby blanket will materialize to work on, but more often it’s the laptop to write or a book to read. Try to relax and decompress before bed.

11PM In bed to recharge for the chaos of this crazy-beautiful life to resume in the morning.