My First Blogiversary

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Hello everyone and welcome to another post!

This post is so exciting for me to write because today is my first Blogiversary!

I thought I would do something fun to celebrate the day so I am going to do the “Your Blogging Career” questionnaire.

Even though this questionnaire originated on the blog Aroused, I first discovered it on the blog Keep it Alive and I thought it was such a good idea.

By the way, if you haven’t checked out either of these blogs yet you definitely should. Both are amazing and full of wonderful energy and positive vibes.

Your Blogging Career

Please share a brief history of your blogging career –

From what lead you to start?

I actually started blogging on a whim. I had just gotten married, relocated to Montana, didn’t know how to be a housewife, and had no friends or family to help me out. I have always kept a daily journal so I figured why not write about what I’m going through? If one person reads what I’m writing and is helped by it or finds enjoyment from my blog, it will be a success.

Has your motivation changed since starting?

Mostly no, but I would eventually like to have enough of an audience to use my blog as a supplemental income. So now my motivation comes from myself just like it always has, and it also comes from not wanting to let my followers down.

What has the experience been like?

To date, I have never had a bad day as a “blogger”. Everyone is so sweet, so positive, so uplifting and I have honestly discovered the most amazing support group though my blog.

Have you learned anything?

Yes! I learned that you should not monetize your blog when you get 100 followers because you will only make $0.03 per month. I also learned that you should consider investing in your blog when you have at least 10,000 views per month. That is a lot of views that I do not currently have and I’m not sure I will get there anytime soon, but if I want to make money (and I do) that is the goal.

Has your writing style changed?

Yes and no. Yes because I am mindful of my audience and I don’t want to be offensive with my writing. Also yes because I have become so much more confident in my writing, my blog and being online in general. And no because I never publish anything unless my voice shines though.

Are you planning to write a novel or are you already published?

When I was young it was my dream to be Jane Austin but I think I’m ok with just my blog. I honestly don’t know if I have enough inspiration to write a book.

What advice would you give to a new blogger?

Everyone says “don’t focus on the numbers”. I think you should be mindful of your numbers but not obsessive about them and you should not measure your success based on the success of other bloggers. We are all on different journeys and we have all started at different times so if you want to get discouraged and quit, feel free to compare yourself to someone else.

That being said you should be goal oriented and measure the success of your blog based on whether or not you are hitting your personal benchmarks and you should follow blogs that you think are successful because it will inspire you to keep writing and keep growing your blog until you achieve your success.

And please don’t forget to mention some of the highlights along the way – such as the people you’ve met, the things you’ve learned…

I am going to mention a few bloggers who I have either been following since the beginning or who have been following me from the beginning because they will always have a special place in my heart.

These are the bloggers who have inspired me when I had no inspiration and who always comment kind things on my blogs.

Currently, Lately

Hunida’s Blog

Welcome To Our Campfire🔥

All The Shoes I Wear

Bitchin’ in the Kitchen

So before I go, I would like to give a huge shoutout to everyone who has liked, commented, followed, or read any of my posts!

You literally enhance my blogging experience so much and fill my life with so much kindness and positivity.

I’m so shocked and honored that you guys have been on this journey with me for a whole year and I hope you stick around to see how the rest of my journey unfolds!

Thanks for joining me today!

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Today is My Due Date

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Hello everyone and welcome to another post!

Today is my due date and if I hadn’t miscarried last August I would be bringing home our little bundle of joy any day now. So I thought I would pop on here and do a quick “postpartum” mental health update.

Before I jump into my feelings and all that stuff I would like to say that there isn’t a ton of post-miscarriage mental health information. I’m so glad that people are finally talking about postpartum depression and anxiety, but I tried researching post-miscarriage mental health and it seemed like there is hardly any information about it. So since there is a lack of information and I have experienced it, I thought I would share my story in case anyone has experienced a loss like this or of any kind and wants to hear a personal story.

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Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on Pexels.com

I did ask my OB in August what I should do if I get depression or anxiety because as you know, I have always had sad days and days where I just can’t seem to find the motivation to get out of bed. My OB gave me a Depression Screening which I passed and told me if I felt depressed to come back in and she would prescribe me something to make me better.

Of course I believe in medication but I also believe in healthy coping mechanisms and a holistic approach and my OB didn’t seem like she wanted to give me any other recources except counceling and medication.

So in order to prevent myself from being medicated unless absolutely necessary, I hardly told anyone about what I was really going through and I did my best to power through it.

I will say that I was completely unprepared for this mental health journey. Like I said, I know my depression pretty well and have built up tool-belt of positive coping mechanisms over the years to help me through it. I was expecting depression, but I actually met anxiety for the first time in my life.

Of course I get nervous about public speaking and things like that but I’ve never had a panic or anxiety attack and I did for the first time in my life after losing the baby.

It was the day after I lost the baby and I was trying to put the dishes away. All of a sudden it was like the weight of the world was on my shoulders and I felt like I had let myself down, my husband down and everyone in my family down; and for some reason I couldn’t catch my breathe. The harder I tried to breath my way through my feelings the more it felt like an elephant of sadness was sitting on my chest laughing at me for my failures. The more I tried to breath the tighter my chest got and the more my throat closed up. It wasn’t until Mike came into the kitchen to get a glass of water that I was distracted enough to finally be able to breath again.

That was the first time I experienced an anxiety attack and I haven’t had one that extreme since then. But I do still get fits of irrational anxiety. Like every time I need to leave the house a little voice comes on in my mind and tells me things like “You can’t leave the house because something bad will happen.” Its the strangest thing and I don’t have an anxiety tool-kit full of positive coping mechanisms yet. So if anyone has any suggestions, I am all ears.

Anyway its been 6 months and I’m heartbroken I don’t get to take my baby boy home today, but I have learned so much about myself; how I grieve, how my husband grieves, what anxiety feels like, and what it feels like to make it through the tunnel of sadness to the other side.

I’m finally almost back to my normal self again and I am so glad.

Before I end this post, I would also like to give a huge shoutout to my husband Mike. I honestly don’t know what I would do without him or where I would be. He has made everything so easy and has never had an unkind thing to say about my bad days. I hope I have been as much of a rock to him as he has been to me during this past year of grief.

Thanks for joining me today!

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Life Update: Baby # 2?

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Hello everyone and welcome to another post!

Today we will be talking about the birds and the bees.

Just kidding, but I thought I’d pop on here and talk about Mike and I’s thoughts about expanding our family with a little bundle of joy.

As you may already know last May I found out I was pregnant and 4 months later in August I lost the baby. I think we will always call that baby Baby # 1.

I was told by my OB that we should wait a minimum of 3 mensural periods before trying to conceive Baby # 2 so my body would be healthy enough to support a pregnancy to full term. In other words I needed to allow my body enough time to replenish my blood supply because at a birth of any kind there is a lot of blood loss; and I needed to lose a little weight because I gained some while I was expecting.

Anyway, enough of all that TMI.

I am pleased to announce that we are expecting a new addition to our family… In 2021.

Hooray!

Obviously, 2019 will be dedicated to getting healthy and debt reduction. I have sort of been on a health journey since October of last year, and it was part of my New Years resolutions to continue that journey so I can have a healthy life, pregnancies, and babies. And of course we sort of acquired some debt when we bought the house. We also have some left over baby bills that we have to pay. Who knew being pregnant would be so expensive? Anyway once that is all under control, we will be saving money for our next project.

2020 will be dedicated to Mike studying like a madman for his PE exam and renovating the house because the previous homeowners sort of gave up half way. We have to take down three giant dead Chinese Elm trees, add in flooring to both bathrooms, put trim all around the house, add thresholds to most doorways, finish the garage (there are no inside walls), and paint. When that is all under control we will finally be able to start saving up for baby expenses.

2021 will be dedicated to starting our family.

Of course things don’t always go according to plan and we could end up with tons of kids (which we would totally love and cherish with all our hearts ❤️) before we are financially stable again and have a nice renovated house, but we definitely will not be actively trying to conceive any time soon.

If you want to read more about my pregnancy and miscarriage, you can do so here: Pregnancy & Miscarriage

Thanks For Joining me Today!

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Mystery Blogger Award # 2

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Hello everyone and welcome to another post!

Before I jump into writing I just want to give a huge shoutout and thank you to Crushed Caramel and for nominating me for the Mystery Blogger Award! I’m honestly so shocked whenever I get nominated for anything because I always feel like there are so many other blogs that are more wonderful and better written than mine, so it is such a huge honor to be thought of.

What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. The award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion. – Okoto Enigma

Okay… Am I even qualified for this award?

Rules

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog
  2. List the rules
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  4. Mention the creater of the award and provide a link as well
  5. Tell your reader three things about yourself
  6. Answer the questions from the blogger who nominated you
  7. Nominate 10-20 people
  8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice with one weird or funny question
  9. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  10. Share a link to your best post(s)

Here are 3 things you might not know about me…

  1. I don’t have a favorite color. I go through periods of time when I like one color more than the others, but it always changes after a while.
  2. The genera of music I listen to often reflects my current mood.
  3. For as long as I can remember I have always wished that my natural hair color is a deep auburn red, but I have never died my hair with anything more permanete than Koolaid and Henna.

Here are the questions from Crushed Caramel

  1. I am from Liverpool where the Beatles grew up – Do you have a favorite Beatles track?
    I can’t say that I do, but I can say that I have 178 Beatles songs on iTunes and I pretty much love them all.
  2. Were there any teachers at your school who really inspired you and made you want to do really well?
    The short answer is yes. The long answer is Mrs. Moffitt from kindergarten, Mrs. Bellgard from 1st and 2nd grade, Mrs. Carpenter from 3rd and 6th grade, Mrs. Davis from 5th grade, Mrs. Hollowell from 7-12th grade English, and Mrs. Heitz from 7-12th grade Science.I didn’t realize it at the time that it wasn’t normal to be tested for every learning disability under the sun, but I was and my mom refused to put me into a Special Needs class because she “knew” I would eventually catch up. I did, but I always had a very hard time with math, learning to read, reading to learn, reading comprehension and a whole host of other things because I have dyslexia. Anyway, these were the teachers who were always the most patient with me and who never made me feel bad about taking my time to learn new material.
  3. Did you ever get in trouble at school? What for?
    I only got in trouble one time in elementary school and it was because I wore flip-flops to school in the middle of a snowstorm. I grew up in Alaska so it was freezing outside, but they went with my outfit. Of course I had to stay in from recess and they called my parents. But I wanted to look cute even though it was the middle of winter and blowing slow. Honestly, what was I even thinking? BRRRR!
  4. Have you ever been a victim of bullying? Either as a child or as an adult?
    I’m not sure if I can count it as bullying because I sort of just ignore everyone who is rude to me. Anyway when I was a kid I was pretty scrawny and very short so people were always telling me to “eat a cheeseburger not a salad” and that I probably had an eating disorder. But I don’t actually care for salads and I always ate seconds at every meal because I was in sports so I was burning tons of calories all the time.When I was pregnant, I surprisingly got a lot of mom-shaming for every single decision I made. I realized that some people considered my pregnancy a public event for anyone to comment their criticisms on. But the second I lost the baby the same people who were always on my case about whatever it was that I decided to eat, wear or buy for baby were suddenly so compassionate and sorry for my loss. I’m glad I went through it though because now I know how many two faced people I had in my life and I got rid of them.
  5. If something knocks your confidence how do you build yourself back up again? Where do you go or who do you turn to for encouragement?
    Usually if someone says something awful I just ignore them because I am honestly a pretty lazy person and it takes up so much energy to engage in conversation with a person who is putting you down. I also go to the gym because sweating it out is always a good idea, and writing has been something that has made me feel better since I was a child, but when I’m really down and am having trouble building myself back up I like to be alone so I can sort everything out. That way I don’t accidentally spread any negativity around.

My nominees for the Mystery Blogger Award are…

Kaley from Authentically Vegan

Mike from Movie Ramblings

Hunida from Hunida’s Blog

Mrs. Komal from Mommy’s Blog

Sara from Sara’s Yarn Studio

Beyond The Bounds

Our Little Red House

Through Rose Tinted Glasses

That Anxious Mom

Life By Wyetha

My questions for my Nominees…

  1. What is the meaning behind your blog’s name and how did you decide what to name your blog?
  2. What made you decide to start blogging?
  3. If you could meet someone famous from the past who would it be?
  4. Aside from your blog what is something you have accomplished that you are proud of?
  5. If animals could talk, which one do you think would be the most rude?

According to the WordPress Stats, here is a link to my best post…

House Hunting

If you want to find out more fun facts about me, you can check out my post: The Mystery Blogger Award

Thanks For Joining me Today!

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2019 Renovations and Other Homeowner Things: Part 1 [Feat. Mike]

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People of the wife’s blog,

I have some juicy updates on the house and renovations.

When we purchased our house in October, we knew a renovation had been started and not finished. However, we were not given the full story.

I asked around and the story behind it is that the homeowner passed away and the house sat vacant for a few months. Then the homeowner’s grand-daughter needed a place to stay so she started renting the house from her dad and two aunts. Later they decided to  renovate the house to sell later. About a year before we looked at the house, the grand-daughter decided to move west and nobody thought anything of it. Until January when a pipe burst in the living room, so they repaired the damage and decided they just wanted out of the house. One sister wanted out so bad she made the other two siblings buy her out.

That is the story of why we have new flooring downstairs.

Now on our end.

Man do I not make enough money. With the house, credit card and Jeep payments I’m carrying around a lot of debt. But I was a good boy and built excellent credit in college by having the good fortune of paid internships and a strong cattle market. So I have decent interest rates and doable payments. Again, I was a good boy and landed a sweet job in a high-demand field in the sweet state of Montana – albeit at the lower end of the salary my friends have gotten, but that is neither here nor there. So after tax, health care, and pension my income is enough for bills, food, gas, Sunday breakfast and work snacks.

My hope was that my tax refund would cover my credit card debt with the leftover money going toward renovating the house, but life doesn’t always go the way you want. My grandparent’s house had a medium sized fire and while nobody was hurt the roof is pretty bad, so a good chunk of any tax money I get back will probably go to help them out. So for now it looks like any major renovations or hobby projects will have to wait. Unless of course I get a lot of overtime this year.

Anyway, this concludes my 2019 Home Renovations Report.

Mike

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The Sunshine Blogger Award

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Hello Everyone and welcome to another post!

First I would like to thank the three bloggers who thought I was worthy of this amazing award!

Lana whose blog is Welcome To Our Campfire is just an amazing person and has such a wonderful blog.

Laura is so sweet and is always such an honest writer has a great blog called All The Shoes I Wear.

And Glen from justabitfurther is always writing something fresh and unique.

These are all fantastic blogs and if you haven’t had the chance to check them out yet, you definitely should.

Next I would like to apologize to Lana who nominated me for this award last year. I just looked in my drafts and it seems like I had good intentions, but I only wrote half a post, never finished it, and never published it. According to the date in my drafts that was around the time I was going through all my baby stuff last year so I kind of fell off the face of the Earth because I really needed to process some grief and a lot of feelings.

So if you all don’t mind, I will try to hit three birds with one post and answer all the questions from the three bloggers who nominated me in one post.

Here are the rules if you are nominated…

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog
  • Answer the questions the blogger has asked you
  • Nominate 5-11 new bloggers and write them 5-11 new questions
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post

Here are the questions I was asked by Lana:

  1. Twizzlers or Red Vines?
    Is it ok to choose both? I have two very separate moods and if I’m in a Twizzler mood, Red Vines just won’t do and vice versa.
  2. Favorite super hero?
    Thor, but only because Chris Hemsworth is so darn handsome.
  3. If you could live inside a book or game which one would it be and why?
    Bridge to Terabithia. I know this is a sad book, but I chose it because it is one of the first books I ever lost myself in and felt like I was part of the book.
  4. If you could travel in time, would you go to the future or the past and why?
    I would go to the past to the Roaring 20s just so I could drink bootleg liquor and dance in flapper dresses for 10 years. Then I would come back just before the stock market crashed and it became the Great Depression.
  5. Who is your favorite comedian?
    Robbin Williams. He can always put me in a better mood and was so good in everything he did.
  6. You are a huge success as a song writer… What type of music do you write songs for?
    Is Johnny Cash featuring Doc Watson a genera of music? If so, I pick that one.
  7. If you were in the 2020 summer olympics, what event would you medal in?
    I would love to say all of them, but to be honest I would probably just be featured in the Bloopers. I can swim pretty terribly so that would probably be my best chance to win a medal.
  8. If you could only drink one type of beverage for the rest of your life, what would it be?
    Water. I pretty much only drink water now. The only time I drink juice or tea is when I’m sick, and if I don’t drink soda.
  9. What is your favorite board game?
    SORRY! It is pretty fast passed and if you are petty, this is the game for you!
  10. If you were going to stumble onto a wild animal, what animal would you be most afraid of encountering?
    A mountain lion because they are silent and sneaky. How would I even know if I accidentally found one?
  11. What is your favorite post you have written and why?
    Dirty Laundry because this is the first post where I actually felt like I had done a good job. I felt like I finally started to find my voice as a blogger and this was the first post I thought someone besides myself would want to read.

Here are the questions I was asked by Laura…

  1. What are your hopes, plans and goals for your blog for this coming year?
    I feel like I sort of already answered this is my post 2019 Goals #NewYearNewMe, but I will answer it again. I hope my content and pictures are better, I plan on writing a new post every week, and my goal is to reach 500 followers so I can think about using my blog as a supplemental income so I can stay home when I have children.
  2. Describe a pivotal or epiphanic moment in your life. 
    I would have to say the biggest pivotal moment is when I moved to New Mexico to nanny for my sister when I was 16. If I finished high school in Alaska, I would have gone to College in Alaska; and I never would have met Mike, gotten married, or moved to Montana. I probably would have gotten married, but I definitely would not be living the life I am today.
  3. Describe one thing that makes you happy or smile and why?
    Is it even possible to just pick one thing? Our kitten and puppy always make me happy and can always put me in a better mood.
  4. If you could live inside a book or movie, which would it be and why?
    Since I already answered this one, I don’t think I’m going to again.
  5. Provide the link to one of your blog posts that you would like to share with us.
    Character Building Experiences. This is the first post I ever wrote, and it is the beginning of my husband’s and my journey. This will always be one of the most special posts I have ever written.

Here are the questions I was asked from Glen…

  1. Why did you start your blog?
    I tell everyone the reason I started my blog was so my family would be able to know what Mike and I are up to in Montana. But the real reason I started this blog is because I was having trouble adjusting to the expectations of married life and I didn’t have any friends or family close by that I could talk to about it. So I wrote about it and it really helped me sort everything out.
  2. Tell me about one of your favorite blog posts. 
    Recipe Review: Broccoli Beef. This is one of my favorites because the pictures turned out really well, it was one of my most favorite things to cook, and it was a blast to write.
  3. If you could interview one person for your blog, who would that be and why that person?
    Definitely my husband because I write about him all the time and even though I have talked to him about my blog, I would really love to know what he actually thinks about it.
  4. Savoury or sweet? Give an example of the perfect snack. 
    Definitely a savoury homemade quesadilla, and here is how you can make your own: Spread sour cream or plain greek yogurt on one side and guacamole on the other. Then fill that guy up with cheese and whatever meat you have lying around the house. For example, leftover ham, chicken or shredded beef. Then you just toast it in a pan until the cheese is melted, and you have the perfect snack!
  5. What is the best DIY you ever did?
    I’m famously not good at any sort of DIY, but I can knit a hat and they always turn out ok.
  6. Is there anything you’d like to do but you have never done?
    I would love to go to New York and see my family’s name in the book on Elis Island, I would love to go to Disney Land/Disney World, and I would love to go to Hawaii.
  7. Do you have a post that you hesitated hitting publish on?
    I have two posts that I went back and forth about publishing. Character Building Experiences because it was my first post ever and I was so nervous to start a blog, and Pregnancy & Miscarriage. Mike didn’t really want me to post it so I wasn’t going to, but I knew I had to because nobody would talk about it, at the same time I didn’t want to publish it because then everyone would know about it.
  8. Which features do you like most in yourself?
    I am 100% loyal. I am 100% forgiving. I have a strong faith. And I think I’m pretty.
  9. What is your go-to weeknight dinner?
    Spaghetti. It’s so easy and it’s almost impossible to make it taste bad so it’s the perfect thing for me to make!
  10. Dogs or cats? And why?
    Both! But if I’m being honest, I tend to prefer cats just because its easier to change a litter box then to go around the whole yard picking up the leftovers from your puppy’s bathroom breaks.
  11. What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned from blogging?
    I learned to not measure my growth and success based on comparing myself with other bloggers. It honestly doesn’t matter how many likes, comments or followers you have as long as you are proud of your work.

My Nominees Are…

All of these bloggers are amazing and their blogs are wonderful so if you haven’t already, feel free to check them out.

In The Midst

Another Picture On The Wall

No Love For Fatties

Us And Noah

The Eclectic Contrarian

Questions For My nominees…

  1. What made you start your blog?
  2. What is your favorite post that you have written?
  3. Do you write for yourself or for your readers?
  4. What is your favorite book to read?
  5. Do you prefer movies/tv or books/reading?

Thanks For Joining me Today!

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2019 Goals #NewYearNewMe

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Hello Everyone!

I know I’m probably going to sound like everyone else in this post, but I want to go into 2019 with a goal oriented mindset.

I don’t know if I believe in the concept of New Year resolutions because it seems like when I make one, I spend the first two weeks of January being my best self and the rest of the year being my regular, pre-resolution self.

So this year I decided to just go into the new year with a positive mindset and a few goals.

I actually started this list before my first wedding anniversary because I wanted to be my best self so I could be the best wife to Mike. So some of these things will just be carryover goals from my post October Goals that I already have been working on.

Personal Goals

Run a 5K. I gained a lot of weight this year from living in a town without a gym, from being pregnant, from extreme sadness after I lost the baby and was eating my feelings, and of course from the holidays. So I made a goal in October to do 3 home workouts a week and go to the gym twice a week to run. So far I have been doing ok with this one.

Practice mindful eating more. I want to be more healthy in general so eating more fruits and vegetables has definitely been a goal of mine since October. I also really want to only eat when I actually am hungry instead of when I’m bored or procrastinating chores.

Get a job. I job-hunted on and off throughout 2018 but I moved 3 times, was pregnant, had a miscarriage, went to Tennessee, and went to Alaska so I hardly had any time to focus on the job hunt. To be honest I don’t actually need to work because my husband makes enough that I can stay home if I wanted. I actually did want to stay home in the beginning because I wanted to have kids right away. Anyway its been a year, I don’t have kids, I’m bored, and I can work so I might as well so that we can have a little extra money for savings.

Financial Goals

Save $40 each month. I chose $40 in October because its only $20 a paycheck. The reason I’m saving is because we spent all our savings on medical bills from my pregnancy and on buying a house. So if we were to have an emergency, we probably wouldn’t have enough money to get through it.

Blog Goals

500 followers. I have never had a goal for growing my blog before. When I started writing, it was mostly as a mental health outlet, and to share with my family what Mike and I were doing in Montana. I have always considered my blogging experience a success since day one because I thought if one person followed me and liked any of my posts, I was all set. I’m actually very happy with my little blog, but I do eventually want to be a stay at home mom so I may as well work on growing my blog now so that maybe one day I can have a supplemental income from my writing. I want to invest in my blog by having better content, making better videos, taking more pictures, and actually posting things on social media because I still plan on only posting a new blog once a week.

So thanks for joining me today! And thanks so much to everyone who has liked, commented, or followed me this year, it honestly makes my days so much brighter!

2019 – Here I come!

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