Misconceptions of being a Nanny

     Yesterday, a well respected Christian radio personality asked me what I do for a living, I responded "I'm a nanny" to which he replied, "That's great! I've always respected nannies." I was shocked. I'm glad he looked away, so that he didn't see my jaw dropping face. I was waiting for the usual response, especially from such a successful person. But that's not what I got. There was no "so are you in school or something?" or "so what are you actually hoping to do?" or "so you're not using your degree?" or "so you're a babysitter?" or general disproval and judgement. Yes. I have heard all these responses. Sometimes I do get a "that's cool!" but never genuine respect. So let me make 2 popular misconceptions clear:


Misconception #1: That I am not using my degree.

     I chose a "change the world" degree. I am a certified health education specialist. It is like one of the most practical professions in the sense that as humans, being healthy will always be necessary. I know that fitness and diet is all that people think of when they think of health, but that's just not it. The knowledge and degree I earned is over all 7 dimensions of health: Emotional, Intellectual, Spiritual, Social, Environmental, Occupational, Physical. I am literally certified to teach people how to be a WHOLE person. When I chose my degree and to be honest when I graduated,  I didn't know what I wanted to do. I did know that I wanted to impact people. I wanted to make their lives better. I get to do that everyday for two adorable, patience testing 3 year olds. I'm helping in making them a whole person in every dimension of health. I AM living out my passion. I'll admit, I didn't see it that way when I first took the job. I was burnt out by school and ready to just see my husband. Not to mention I had loans to pay. The steady "normal" schedule and good pay drew me in. I was following God's leading in it, and I wasn't sure why it's where he took me. Then (and not right away), I knew he was using me and my passion. And through it came great joy. So don't feel bad for me, I AM using my degree. And someday when I have my own kids and stay home with them...I will STILL be using my degree. Basically whatever I do for the rest of my life...I will still be using it. Not everyone can say that.

Misconception #2: Being a nanny is not a real job. 

     First of all, being a nanny is NOT like being a babysitter. During the hours that I am with that child, I am being substitute mom and dad. No, it's not the same amount or type of love and nothing can replace a parent. However, I must do my best in that time to give them love, protection and education. So I am not just making sure they stay alive...in fact in my one year of being a fulltime nanny with my current family, I can count on maybe 2 hands how many times they have watched tv on my watch- if they did, it was because I did at least a 10 hour day. Do you consider a teacher a real job? Because that's what I am. I have to have planned educational activities and help them grow in their abilities. 
     If all the nannies fit the misconception that they are uneducated or not mature enough (or whatever thoughts are out there), could you imagine how awful society would be (not that it's in tip-top shape)? Nannies along with stay at home mothers are growing and teaching little brains that make up the next generation. Holy cow! And don't think that it's an easy peasy stress free job. For the first 6 months of this job I was in great fear and drowned in stress of something bad happening to these two kiddos that a mother and father gave me the ultimate privilege of helping to mold. I still say a prayer when I get in the car with them. Next to something bad happening to my husband or family, this is my greatest fear. I also am basically at the family's becking call, (this isn't a negative thing) it's part of the job. I am there as an asset to the family and sometimes it requires tall orders with a short amount of time. I guess there is one valid arguement why it's not a "real job"...I am unbelievably loved and respected by my nanny parents. They are my 3rd family. So even though I don't get benefits or a retirement plan, I am getting something else that is so valuable. 

I have learned not to judge others based on their career and job choice or financial situation. I have definitely judged, but I've learned that you never know what's going on. However, encouragement is always welcome. Thank a nanny or stay at home mom. They are making the world go round. 
                                          Peace, love and Mickey Mouse,
                                                        Jennie Hartwig



Life simple

Life simple. That is what i have been enjoying of late. I've had so many plans for blogging right after graduation, but on the last day of my college career my laptop died. haha! It worked out because David surprised me with an IPhone for graduation :) He is too good to me. Now I'm making use of my brother Zach's laptop while he is away at work (he's staying with us again this summer). SO to fill you in on my life, there isn't much and I am absolutely LOVING it.
I graduated this year with my Bachelors in Arts in Health Promotion...and couldn't be more excited. I'll admit, throughout this past semester I was VERY scared. What to do next? If it tells you anything, I considered going back to school since it's the only I know how to do right now. hahahha! BUT I came to a point the last few weeks of school, where I realized that God had a plan, and that's the beauty of being a Christ Follower. I have been released from the bondage of worry, because God has it all lined up. Currently I'm nannying, and just taking a break. I could not be more at peace where God has me, and am trusting him whole heartedly to see me through. I have to admit, having my husband at such a great job that he enjoys is such a blessing, especially since I don't have a fulltime all the time job. Thanks babe for working so hard! I'm praying daily for a job this fall, if you think about it pray with me! 
     When I look back on my college career, I wouldn't have changed a thing. I so enjoyed living with my best friend Melyssa for 2 years and keeping the pact we had made as freshmen in HS :) I could not do life without her, and am so glad we had each other throughout some of our most challenging times. I loved my time at faith and gained a great support system of friendships there.

 Although my year at DMACC was INSANE due to the crazy hard (for me) classes that I took, being engaged, and flipping our house...I will always enjoy that time David and I shared going to the same school again :) (and Leah ;) ). Grand View University was no doubt in God's plan for me. It was the absolute PERFECT place for me. It was just 10 minutes away from home and had the small private school feel that this spoiled girl has always been blessed with :). My professors were a gift from God. They loved Him and were not afraid to show it. I gained some fantastic friends that helped me get through those two years. Love you ladies :). 

     One person I can not thank enough is my mother. While both parents were very supportive, my mom helped me on this college journey starting as a Sophomore in HS. She helped me understand what my skills and passions were and made sure I was totally set for college academically. She attended EVERY transfer meetings as I decided what schools were best for me and what my time there would look like. She saw to it that I would graduate in FOUR years no matter what. She is a rock star. Thank you mom, I could not have done it without you. 
 In other news, David and I celebrated our second Anniversary, and I am amazed how our marriage just keeps getting better and better...and those petty "get-used-to-living-with-this-man/woman" fights are becoming more and more rare :) Marriage is very sweet. I love that man. David planned our mini weekend getaway in Des Moines, which was so good for us. We want to make our Anniversaries a BIG deal...because they are! I could talk all day about how blessed I am to have him, but I have eternity to do that :)
   If you want to get ahold of me, I'm either crafting at home, chillin by the pool with the kiddos, fellowshipping with my Gospel Community, missing my sister, or at one of the NINE weddings we are invited to this year. thanks for listening. xo jennie h.


Write-Me-A-Love-Note Frame...DIY

And for my 2nd Valentine's pinterest project:

Write-Me-A-Love-Note Frame!

So, I originally nabbed this idea from (once again) pinterest (naturally). It's a pretty popular one. I just kinda took the concept and did my own thing with it...
SO, David's love language is Words affirmation. (Don't know the love languages?? Find out about them here!) And, I know I need to work on being a better words of affirmationer (haha!) with him especially. SO I thought this might be a handy tool! We want these frames to be a place to go to either laugh or feel very loved. And I gotta say... I love 'em!

SO...here's how I made 'em!

Directions for "The Green One"
What you'll need to clone this guy:
-a garage sale frame...literally I pulled this from my very own garage sale pile.
-felt ($0.29 a sheet at Michaels)
-Buttons, confetti- anything you want to decorate with :)
-Glue Gun

Take your garage sale frame, find the where the most scratches are...and that is where you will put your decoration :) That's what I did at least! I made three felt rosettes- which you can find a tutorial to make them here! I also added a button and some curled blue ribbon to them :) In the opposite corner, I put a piece of ribbon that fit nicely over a scratch :) I jazzed it up with some vintage buttons from my stash and a confetti piece from my wedding :) I used a glue gun for attaching it all :)...Stay tuned for directions for the paper insert!

Directions for "The White One"

What you'll need to clone this guy:

-a garage sale frame...literally I pulled this from my very own garage sale pile.
-felt ($0.29 a sheet at Michaels)
-Buttons, confetti, ribbon- anything you want to decorate with :)
-Scrapbook Paper
-Glue Gun, adhesive

For this one, I made some penants :) Which I LOVE. I cut out each triangle, then using the glue gun- I attached it to the "back" of the twine. I then attached the whole bunting to the frame. Using a glue stick, I decorated my penants with ribbon, scrapbook paper, confetti, and a button :) The most fun part of course :) Next, I added a little tag down in the corner using scrapbook paper and a little cardboard applique. It says "My favorite person". I backed it with a piece of felt so it would pop! 

What you'll need: Notebook Paper, Stamps, Ink, Dry erase marker :)
HOW TO: easy peasy. I just cut  a piece of notebook paper, and using stamps and ink, I wrote the Dears and Loves :) (which can definitely be done using a sharpie!)...of course I added a heart :) yaaay!
I love finding a new message on my board :) I just love them in general!
Thanks for stopping by Peace, love, and dry erase :) Jennie.