Jan 31, 2014

On Being an Adult

I have officially finished my first week as a full time nanny! Time to celebrate!

Since this job came out of nowhere and I started two days after interviewing, it's all been sort of a blur. My boss called me last night to say that she had a fever and she didn't want me to catch whatever sickness she'd picked up so I ended up with today off!

I told myself I was still going to get up at 5:30 (even though I've been getting up at 5:00 all week) so I'd stay in my routine. Who was I kidding? I woke up at 10:00 this morning and it felt amazing! I was used to getting up between 8:00 and 9:30 so getting up at 5:00 has not been fun.


All I want to do is lay around, watch Netflix, and snuggle with this little guy today. I'm still mentally transitioning from college kid to grown up and it's weird to feel like an adult! I've been obsessing over weird household features lately and instead of laying around today, I want to take advantage of my day off by getting some stuff done around the apartment. Cleaning out/organizing my closets and grocery shopping, sign me up! I don't know about you but that screams adult to me!

Everyone told me I would hate being out in the real world working full time. That I would hate it and end up wanting to go back to school. Is it exhausting? Absolutely. Do I feel like I don't have time for myself after work? Sometimes. Yet this is my happy place! I'm happier working my butt off than I was being lazy in school. There will be days I'm sure that I'll miss that care free time but I'm already an adult. Why not embrace it since I can't stop it?

No one likes paying bills. The feeling that comes from paying off a debt though is stellar! Thanks to Erin Sallie & Perkins, I have so much motivation to push through and pay it all off. Yes buying groceries can suck but I love going. I'm trying to meal plan so I can cook for my family and even try to save some money with coupons. Building up a savings account and setting up a working budget can be frustrating but I like taking on that challenge!

People my age think I'm crazy but I'm doing what makes me happy now instead of doing something because it was the logical next step in life (which is a whole other post that I'll write some day). I don't get joy out of blowing all my money on clothes and alcohol. I don't have fun going out because I either get ditched by my single friends or I'm treated like a leper when "friendly" guys find out I'm married. I love hosting dinner parties in my tiny ass apartment and having game nights or dance parties in my living room. Would you believe that I'm only 20? I've never felt like my age and I think that's why the college lifestyle doesn't suit me. If age is just a number when you're older, why can't the same be true at my age?

Just because adulthood doesn't come with as much carefree fun doesn't mean it isn't still fun. It's all in how you look at your life and find the positives! Being an adult makes me happy! Being married is the best decision I've ever made! I'm taking on these new challenges with a positive mindset so I can enjoy my new life instead of  trying to stop myself from growing up.

Sorry I got all serious on you today! Happy Friday y'all!

Love,
Mandy

Jan 30, 2014

Looking Up

Good morning!

Thank you for all of your suggestions on puppy care! He got to roam the kitchen while I was gone the first three days. Yesterday I got off work to see that he had stolen a Tupperware lid that was nowhere he should have been able to get to it AND ripped a small chunk of drywall off the wall. So now he is going to stay in his crate until I can work with him on not being destructive while he's out. I'm sad that he can't run free but he needs to learn not to tear things up and I don't want him to get hurt or choke on something that he chewed on.

It's bright and early here as I sit typing this on my new toy. I have been wanting to get an iPad for my photography work since I decided I was going to start my own business. I also don't have a laptop anymore because I'm my dad is in the process of selling it. It was slow and not at all capable of doing what I needed it to anymore. I have a computer hooked up to my tv for editing pictures but I get a headache if I'm on it for too long since there's not a really a good place to site while using it. Now that I have a new job where I'm away from my apartment all day, I was killing the battery on my phone by the time lunch rolled around. So I begged M to let me get a tablet early (we agreed that I would save up money from sessions to pay for it) and he caved!

I ran out to Best Buy and got my new little toy immediately! Not only is this giving me an extra push to book more sessions so I don't feel guilty, but I'm also hoping I can get some stuff accomplished at work while the nanny babe is sleeping. Maybe I can read up on some meal plans and find some good coupons. Answer those emails that pile up faster than I could ever imagine. Fingers crossed that I use it for that instead of just browsing Pinterest or reading blogs all day long...


I'm so thankful for what God has blessed me with! Did I need an iPad? Absolutely not! But I wanted one and my current situation allowed me to get it. This job is exactly what I need to get out of the house and make enough money to work on getting us out of debt. I get to satisfy my baby fever (at least a little while longer) and be productive. Buying and iPad sure doesn't get me out of debt but it gives me motivation to get my butt moving on it and that's what I need right now!

So basically I'm just feeling extremely blessed and I wish I could share this feeling with all of you!

Love,
Mandy

Jan 27, 2014

Where does your dog hang out?

I have some exciting news to share today!

It all happened very quickly but over the weekend I landed a pretty sweet job as a nanny! As a part of my contract, I'm not allowed to really talk about the little girl or post any pictures but she is precious and I'm so excited about this job. It's pretty much full time every week although the schedule changes weekly. Some days I'll have to be to work by 6:30 am which I'm not pleased about but I'm so thankful to have the job. I will have to suck it up! I'm just nervous that I'll wake up late due to my track record with waking up to alarms.

Now that I've landed a full-time job, I need some advice. M and I have both been in school or had jobs that allowed us to spend time with Gage regularly throughout the day ever since he joined the family. I've never had to leave him alone for more than a few hours at a time. Since I'll be working 6-8+ hours every weekday, I'm not sure what to do with Gage. He gets very destructive when he's left out in the open to run around for long periods of time. I don't want him to be cooped up in his crate all day long either. I feel bad that no one will be here to take him out to the bathroom during that time.

This face makes me so sad..
So, I need your advice! What do you do with your dog while you're at work? Do you take them to doggy daycare?

Love,
Mandy

Jan 24, 2014

Army Wifey

Today I want to talk about a shirt that I'm obsessed with! Right after M left in September, I knew I wanted to get a special shirt to wear when I first saw him on family day. The thing is, it's his rank not mine so I really don't need to be wearing it and didn't want it on the shirt. Plus, he could (hopefully) get promoted some day so if it was on the shirt then I would feel silly wearing it after. If I'm forking over money for a shirt, I want to be able to wear it for a long time!

I started searching Etsy and Pinterest for Army wife shirts just to see what was out there. Holy wow, there are a ton! I saw the lovely baby bump tank from a few bloggers and the sweating for the wedding tank all over Pinterest so I went to check out this place to see what they had. The minute I saw the Army Wifey  tank, I knew it was the perfect shirt! It was glittery and had a bow, what more could I need! They have tanks and sweatpants for all branches of the military as well!

I wanted to make it more personal so I contacted the shop owner about adding our last name to the back. I wanted to wear it with pride and show off my husband! Without hesitation she added it to the back and didn't even charge me for it! The shirt came so quickly, I was surprised to see it in the mail!

Excuse the dirty mirror selfies, that's what happens when you need to take pictures of a shirt and your husband is still in training!


The name is actually in the middle of the shirt but I had it twisted..


The quality and fit of the shirt is outstanding! I've washed the shirt multiple times and unlike most other shirts containing glitter, this is still fully intact. The glitter is vibrant and smooth so it doesn't catch on anything. I couldn't be more impressed by Ruffles With Love and I will definitely be back to order more in the future!

I bought this shirt and was not compensated in any way for this post, I just wanted to share with you an amazing website for custom items!

Love,
Mandy

Jan 22, 2014

To My Husband..

I was catching up on blogs that needed to be read this morning when I noticed Amberly's post about it being National Husband Day today. I really didn't have much to blog about today but this gives me the chance to write to my husband!

Engagement - 2012
First anniversary - 2013
Basic Training - 2013
Basic Training Graduation - 2013
Christmas Exodus - 2013
M--
You have been so supportive and I cannot thank you enough for that! You keep me laughing every day even when you aren't near and you never fail to put a smile on my face every morning when I wake up! You work hard to provide for our family and to give us a stable future. You let me be my true weird self day in and day out without ever making me feel like I have to hide who I am. You say the exact words my soul needs to hear every time I really need it! You push me to reach my goals and to stand up for what makes me happy. I'm so proud of everything you've accomplished! You followed your heart and took a leap of faith in joining the Army 7 months ago, now look at how far we've come! We can push through these last few weeks of AIT, I believe in us! I never knew we'd be where we are the day I agreed to be your girlfriend but I couldn't be happier! I strive every day to be the best wife I can be for you! Thank you for being my husband, my best friend, my protector! I love you!
Love,
Mandy

Jan 20, 2014

Out in the Boonies

I'm back from the land of no internet! Kidding, but only sort of. I decided spur of the moment last Sunday night that I was going back to my home town to meet up with a fellow photographer on Monday. I packed up the car Monday morning and headed back home. I figured I would stay a few days, hang out with my mom and some pretty cute little kids instead of sitting in my apartment by myself. I forgot that when you live in the country, internet is pretty much non-existent so I fell off the face of the earth for a few days. 

Edge of a storm that I was trying to get ahead of..

Me as a wee little one. Mom gave me a bunch of my baby stuff and I was so amazed by this! I posted this picture on Instagram and everyone thought I was pregnant. Oops! Always read the caption my friends..

Assume the position. Watching movies and taking naps happen quite regularly while I'm home.

Came out of church yesterday to this beautiful sight! I instantly popped the sun roof open because I couldn't pass up the opportunity in January! Too bad by the time I got home the temp was back down to 42. It was fun while it lasted!

This poor dog, probably thinks I'm smothering him every day. I mean, look at his face! Haha.
I picked up a lot of knowledge when I met with the other photographer! Never underestimate the power of talking to someone who's already been through it all. I can't wait for things to be more official and I'm working logo ideas with the lovely Erin who also did my blog design! 

It's quite weird for me still to be at this "in-between" stage of life. Even weirder to be making my own schedule right now! Trying to settle into a routine has been a challenge but I'm taking it one day at a time. 

How do you handle getting into a new routine?

Love,
Mandy

Just a heads up: Walgreen's has 50 4x6 photo prints for $5.99 right now! That's almost half-off! Also, check out this coast to coast link-up from Shane at Whispering Sweet Nothings so you can add your name to the map and see who else is around you. I was surprised to see how many bloggers were signed up near me!

Jan 9, 2014

Big News Ahead

I lied. I was not back yesterday with more updates like I said I would be but that nap I took sure felt good!

Let's see, I've got to back up to a month and a half ago when my life really took a turn. For the better in my opinion! I'd been really unhappy with school for quite some time. I love working with children but I knew I didn't want to be a teacher because the age I enjoy most is newborns through about preschool. The most logical choice for me would be to work in or run a daycare center. I worked in the lab development school on campus which had infants through 5 year olds. As I've mentioned before, my mom has run a successful in-home daycare my entire life so I also got plenty of experience there. This made everything I was "learning" in class very redundant so I started to not care about class.

When I went down to visit M for his Basic Training graduation, we had a very long talk about all of this. We'd been discussing it through letters but it was hard to communicate those thoughts without being face to face. We weighed the pro's and con's for a few days and came to our decision. For the time being, I'm not going to continue with school. The goal in mind is for me to be a stay at home mom with a small photography business on the side. I'm working a little bit every day to get my photography off the ground but I'm searching for a job to help pay the bills, too. Though the option is always there for me to continue school if I'm unhappy with this choice down the road, for now it's just not the right path. I don't regret going to school because I've done a lot of growing up in the last few years and I've met a lot of good friends along the way. I just hate that I have this mountain of debt from student loans. It really makes me want to cry because many people (myself included) don't realize how much has piled up until it comes time to pay them off. Ouch! Don't even get me started how much I hate the financial aid department here at ISU, they've been worthless.

So finals week rolled around and things were pretty hectic. You see, we live in "on-campus" student housing and because M had to take a semester off, the apartment was in my name for the whole school year. I'm so grateful that God helped us find a way to make all of this work. I prayed more than I ever have in my life for help because I knew I couldn't do it on my own. M was really the only person who knew what was going on so I felt completely alone. I wasn't ready to talk about it to anyone until things were more figured out so I kept it to myself. M got into a class so he qualified for student housing and we signed a new contract under his name just two days before we were about to be kicked out of our apartment. M not having access to the internet pushed things to the last minute but we got them figured out. I'm also very thankful to the housing department for our little community (not the overall housing department, they were SO unhelpful, basically saying we were SOL..) because without their willingness to help, we never would have gotten things done on time.

I took the few finals I had and when my last final got cancelled because they overbooked the classroom, I felt overwhelmed. Unlike everyone else who was officially on Christmas break, I was throwing myself head first into the "real world" and holy crap I was scared. M came home for two weeks so I let myself act like I was on Christmas break that way I could fully enjoy our time together. To be even more honest though, I still feel like I'm on break. None of my friends are back in town yet and I haven't found my new routine yet so things haven't sunk in.

So for now, I'm sitting in my apartment pretty much 24/7 with just my dog. Let's just say that I talk to my dog way more than I probably should. You can only watch House Hunters and clean up so many times before you're utterly sick of being by yourself. Job hunting and organizing are up on my to-do list but I need some human interaction. Reach out and talk to me friends, I need more human contact haha.

My daily life at the moment..
Now y'all know the secret things that have been going on for the last few months in our home and it feels good to get it out in the open!

Love,
Mandy

Jan 7, 2014

Did you forget about me?

Hello!

There is just so much to catch up on and I haven't had time to sit down and do it. I've been absent around this little space for almost a month now (oops!) so it may take quite a few posts to get it all out!

I'll leave you with the basics and a few pictures, check back tomorrow for a real post of sorts!

December:
1) Finals week -- my last final (ever) that I was dreading got cancelled because they overbooked the room, score!
2)My soldier came home!
3)Travel, travel, travel.
4)Started some of our own Christmas traditions!
5)Double dates on double dates on double dates.
6)Gage got the all clear at his vet appt and weighs in at a whopping 22.3 pounds now (that's more than 10 pounds over what he was supposed to weigh).
7)Celebrated New Year's Eve at our own place but still with family!








January:
1)My soldier headed back for the last chunk of his training..
2)Weather has been pretty brutal not just here but all over the U.S. (-45 is just as awful as it sounds).
3)I'm making my photography business official and a priority!
4)I've gone into full organization mode; watch out closets, I'm after you!




I haven't really set any resolutions for this year because I usually fail at them immediately. I do have some goals that I'm pretty excited to talk about in the next few days though!

Happy 2014 y'all!

Love,
Mandy