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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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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Tips and Tricks: House-training Your Puppy

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Hello everyone and welcome to another post!

If you don’t already know, we got a puppy for Christmas/our first anniversary and let me tell you it is totally different from having a kitten.

I thought since we had Kevin for a few months, I was prepared for taking on a puppy.

I don’t know what I was thinking, Kevin and Cooper couldn’t be more different. Kevin will sit quietly on your lap purring up a storm while Cooper is a wiggle worm ball of wild energy. It is impossible to keep him still, which is to be expected because he is a puppy. I just thought he would calm down every once in a while so I can enjoy my coffee without being trampled in a storm of puppy love and affection.

But the differences between cats and dogs is a post for a another day.

I would like to talk about house-training puppies and dogs.

First let me say that having Kevin did not prepare me at all for the task of house-training a puppy.

Okay. Let’s jump right in!

 

General Information

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Your puppy will take a little while to get used to their new home and because he or she is nervous to be in a new environment, they will probably have plenty of accidents during the first few days. Don’t let that discourage you. Your puppy is just young and learning which places are appropriate potty spots and which aren’t.

It is also important to remember that a puppy is young. They won’t be able to hold it for very long because they have short attention spans and tiny bladders. Patience and kindness are going to be your best friend during the house-training days.

One more thing to remember is that your puppy will display certain behavior such as sniffing the floor, going to a corner and just generally looking like they need to go. So make sure you pay attention and let them out in order to prevent accidents.

House-Training Tips

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Put your puppy on a schedule. It took Cooper about a week before he got the hang of it, but he knows now when he can go outside, when its time to play, when its time to eat and when its time for bed.

Take your puppy outside before transitioning to another activity to prevent accidents. For example: Right after they wake up, take them out. Right after they eat, take them out. Right after they play, take them out. This way they have plenty of opportunities to relieve themselves out of the house.

Take your puppy to the same “potty spot” each time. This teaches them that there is one appropriate spot to do their business and that going in any other spots including in the house will not be acceptable.

Reward good behavior. Every time your puppy goes outside successfully, give them tons of verbal praise and a treat. This is more effective than punishing your puppy for having an accident. Think about it, if all you ever heard was negative feedback, you would probably get depressed and have anxiety. It’s the same way with puppies. They also have hormonal responses to the tone of your voice, so they release Oxytocin  when they are praised (making them more likely to repeat the activity) and stress hormones when they are yelled at or hit (making them more nervous and more likely to have another accident).

So there you have it folks, those are the things I learned first hand from attempting to house-train a puppy after I spent hours researching “how to house-train a puppy”.

 

If you want to know more about Kevin, you can either check out my previous post New Kitten! or New Kitten: Name Reveal

If you want to know more about how I litter-box trained Kevin you are more than welcome to see my post Tips and Tricks: Litterbox Training

And if you want to know more about Cooper you can look at my post New Puppy: Welcome to the Fam Cooper!

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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How to… Be a Great Bridesmaid

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Hello Everyone and welcome to another post!

I had the honor of being part of my childhood best friend’s wedding in November of last year and it was exhausting! I had been the flower-girl in a family friend’s wedding when I was like 5, so obviously I was a little unaware as to how much work I would be doing as a bridesmaid. I’m honestly not sure why I was so shocked at the workload though because I just got married in 2017 and I remember relying on my own bridesmaids a ton.

Anyway I thought I would share a little insight into what is expected of a good bridesmaid, because let me tell you… There are good bridesmaids and there are not so good bridesmaids – and if you ever have the opportunity to be in a wedding that is not your own, you are going to want to do a good job so you aren’t remembered as that one bridesmaid in your favorite cousin’s wedding who didn’t do anything.

Leading up to the big day…

The bride will have a huge To Do and by the time the wedding is two weeks out, she will be exhausted and a complete mess because the wedding is approaching and nothing is done.

Remember the weeks leading up to the wedding are all about doing what you can to make sure the bride and groom are relaxed and unaware of everything that is going wrong.

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Pre-Wedding Bridesmaid Advice

  • Iron the table clothes – all of them. Even if it means waking up at 5am and going to bed at midnight every day for two weeks.
  • Don’t tell the bride when something goes wrong unless it actually is an emergency –  so-and-so’s great-uncle who isn’t related to either the bride or groom isn’t actually that important to the wedding unless he is officiating or something, so don’t even worry about him.
  • Designate someone to get coffee every morning – if you didn’t drink coffee before, you do now and you need it because you have a lot to get done.
  • Make sure the bride gets something to eat – of course she has worried about fitting into her dress for the past 6 weeks, but she still needs to snack on something so she doesn’t faint on her big day. The wedding is her dream, and a hangery bride is not a happy bride.
  • ALWAYS check with the bride before making important decisions – you are there to make sure the wedding she has been planning on Pinterest for the last 8 months actually looks like the wedding she has been planning on Pinterest for the last 8 months.
  • Be prepared for The Meltdown – all women say they aren’t going to that bride who cries over tea-lights at the rehearsal dinner, but anyone who has gotten married has done something similar and as a bridesmaid you need to armed with tissues and words of affirmation to sooth the bride to be during her “unexpected” breakdown.
  • Set up what you can before the Big Day – some venues won’t let you come in until the day of, but if you can set up the night before do it because wedding days for bridesmaids and groomsmen are always complete chaos.

The Big Day…

ITS HERE YOU GUYS… Welcome to chaos.

The bride will think that her day is going to go off without a hitch and she is right. Her wedding will be perfect, but it will also have her bridesmaids running around like maniacs trying to make sure the yellow flowers that were delivered are switched out for the pink ones that the bride ordered. It is your job as a good bridesmaid to not let her see anything that goes wrong at the last minute.

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Wedding Day Bridesmaid Advice

  • Come prepared – you steamed your dress yesterday, you have your Wedding Emergency Kit full of safety pins and double-sided tape, and you have your makeup for last minute touch-ups. You don’t have anything left to do except make sure the perfect wedding happens in 4 hours…
  • Do all the grunt work so the bride can get her hair and makeup done in peaceful bliss – this is huge. You should already know how she wants the tables set up. DO NOT run into the bridal suit to ask the future Mrs. questions that will only stress her out, create solutions not chaos.
  • Plan in enough time for you to get ready  – of course you will be frantic and running around like crazy. That is not an excuse to walk down the aisle looking like a maniac. You should plan on having everything done with enough time left over so you can put on some antiperspirant deodorant, curl your hair, and throw on some full coverage foundation to hide the bags under your eyes from all the wedding prep.
  • Smile big – you made it! All you have to do now is walk down the aisle with the correct groomsmen, make it through the lawn pictures in towering heels, get through the cliché toasts, take everything down, and do a million other things. Which reminds me…
  • Take a change of clothes – nobody wants to be taking down an entire venue in heels, Spanks, and a ball gown.

Post-Wedding Bridesmaid Advice

  • Return your rentals on time – be responsible. If the future bride rented chairs, bow ties, or dresses and it is your job to return them, make sure you take them back on time so the bride and groom don’t have to pay late fees right after they just dropped $10,000 on their dream wedding.
  • Make sure all the decorations the bride brought with her make their way back to her and don’t accidentally get misplaced in venue’s storage closet – even if the newlyweds are already on their honeymoon, the wedding is not over until the bride gets all her stuff back.

Did I miss anything? If I did, comment what advice do you have for any future bridesmaids.

Also if you guys want to read more about my wedding you are more then welcome to check out my post: The Wedding

Thanks For Joining me Today!

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