Guess what? I’m not the only one who doesn’t know what they’re doing! { Interview with Jeff Goins }

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I love Jeff. If you know Jeff Goins, you know that he’s all about helping others build up their blogs, writing skills, and achieve life goals in general. For those of you who don’t know him, let me give you the gist. Jeff is the author behind GoinsWriter.com a blog dedicated to giving writing and blogger advice. He’s published several books now, most recently ‘The Art of Work’. If you are a new blogger, definitely check out his resources, he has given out a bunch of wonderful free video seminars and motivational material, he also offers a great course, Tribe Writers. I swear he does it all! I love everything he offers and really enjoy his message and positivity.

Most recently, Goins created a Blog Challenge for the month of October. I jumped in a little late in the game but when I joined the group the current Lesson was about Interviews and creating important connections with other experts! Considering I have been dedicating myself to interviewing women on my Divine-Mothering Project, I guess I was feeling pretty cocky and just blurted out the first thing that came to mind.

“Hey Jeff! Can I interview you?”

I’m not sure what compelled me to do such a thing, maybe it was his challenge to not be afraid, maybe it was the assumption that others had asked before me, maybe I wanted to challenge him after he had challenged us… I certainly had no questions in mind, just curiosity. He’s going to laugh it off, I thought…

Wrong.

“Since you’re the first to ask, sure.”

Oh dear… What have I done…

Well! I quickly scribbled some questions which Jeff has so generously answered. Needless to say, now I love him even more now!

Thanks, Jeff Goins, for being such a great and involved mentor figure! Your fans love you for it!

So on to the interview.

I am just starting to view myself as a writer. With my first children’s book about ready to come out this month, things are starting to feel more serious. So I want to start taking myself and my writing more seriously. I asked Jeff about the things that have been troubling my young writer’s mind.

When you first got serious about writing, what did your goals look like? How have they evolved over time as you grew into writing as a profession? What do they look like now?

I just wanted to share my words with the world. I didn’t have any big plans other than to maybe be published some day, but that was a ten-year goal. Over time, they evolved due to necessity. My wife and I decided to start a family, and we needed to make some extra money to pay for diapers and such. That’s when I got serious about becoming a professional writer, one who actually got paid to write. My goals continue to change and evolve with my growing understanding of my calling and how I can best serve the world with my skills.

Do you mostly focus on writing for yourself, your blog and your books, or do you also do freelance work? As someone wanting to evolve as a writer, you start to wonder if you should be trying to get your articles featured and published in bigger blogs. Is it important to focus on your own thing or should new writers be trying to get in on bigger publications? 

I think when you’re starting out you should write for audiences that are bigger than your own. But as your audience grows, the responsibility flips. For me now, my goal is to take care of my tribe while still finding ways to reach new people. In short, new writers should focus on serving other people’s audiences. That’s the best way to grow your own.

How do you meet other writers? I’m a stay at home mom and military spouse. We move a lot, we have to start over every time we move. I find making connections highly difficult, and I often feel isolated in my resources. Part of the reason I started blogging was just to keep people up to date on my life. What would be some ways you recommend to connect with writers and bloggers and editors and resources in a personal way? ((Other than interviews!)) How do you build meaningful connections in a world of likes and shares and seemingly superficial online interactions?

I think the Internet is a great place to start. Facebook groups and membership communities are wonderful places to make real connections with other writers. The line between “real life” and “online life” doesn’t exist anymore. It’s all real life. The best way to connect with people is to become their fans, champion their causes, and cheer them on. Likable people like other other people. Networking starts with showing interest in other people.

I love seeing everything you’re working on. I enjoy following the blog and seeing your new books come out and just the general optimism that you share with your followers. So I gotta know, what is the biggest thing you’re currently working on? 

I’m working on continuing to talk about my latest book, The Art of Work, while starting to think about what I want to write next. But that’s still at the very early stages.

One last question. I don’t know what I’m doing. All I know is that I enjoy writing and have been doing it spontaneously for a long time now… I’m on the verge of publishing my first children’s book and it feels like I’m on to something, but I don’t have the guidance or knowledge I need to really know how to create a consistent body of work. What advice would you give someone who needs direction?

If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re in good company. I don’t know, either. So I guess my advice would be: join the crowd. And maybe stop waiting for clarity. Clarity comes with action. So take the next step. Good luck!

Jeff Goins, thank you again for taking the time to answer my questions.

I did end up asking him one additional question for my own curiosity. I will leave you guys to guess the answer!

Does Jeff Goins own a typewriter?

Hmmmmmm… 😉

I’m writing “Some Romance Novel” { NaNoWriMo }

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November is National Novel Writing Month! Also known as NaNoWriMo. The challenge is writing an entire novel by the end of November, or 50,000 words. That’s around 1500 words per day. And that is no easy feat! But I’m feeling motivated to write these days, so I’m going to try and take a couple of hours every day for the month of November and I will not stop writing until that word count hits 1,500.

Today I managed to write somewhere around 1,800 words! Oh yeah! Too bad that at least a 1,000 of those words are garbage! It really took me a while to get into a coherent story, but I think I finally got into the groove half way through.

So what’s my novel about? Well, today* it’s about a beautiful young servant girl named Juliana. Juliana helps Lady Evangeline get ready for her life in high society in the mid eighteenth century. She picks her clothes and jewelry and dresses her up like her own personal life sized doll. But will Juliana ever find the freedom and love she so craves? Will Lady Evangeline be wooed by her family’s hand picked fiancee? What will be of Juliana if Evangeline marries? Will a mysterious stranger change Juliana’s fate? Will I ever finish this story? Who knows! lol

 

*No promises I will ever finish or that tomorrow I won’t be writing a completely different story.

That time we were in Puerto Rico… Humacao

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 Feeling a bit nostalgic after saying good bye to Nana and Papo who just came to visit… So I was browsing through some photos I never blogged even if I meant to.

This is my Little Godzilla meeting the ocean… We stayed in Puerto Rico for over a month and it was warm and sunny and wonderful every single day. I miss the beaches… Nothing more relaxing than the ocean breeze, the crashing waves, the warm sand. I miss it very much.

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We Stayed in a Castle and It was Awesome { Traveling } Kasteel Sterkenburg, Netherlands

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It’s difficult to imagine for someone who’s lived on the “new” side of the world that the “old” side is pretty much littered with castles and Roman ruins. But that’s just the way it is in Europe, and these places make fantastic a bed and breakfast.

We stayed in Kasteel Sterkenburg in the countryside. It was only a train ride away from Utrecht, the start of the Tour de France this year. And let me just say, Utrecht was amazinggggg… but today, I’m going to share the castle, because it was just the most pampering experience of my life.

DSC_0038See that tower on the right? That was our bedroom… The third floor windows were where we stayed. The stairs weren’t that fun, but the gorgeous room totally made up for it.

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All I could think about was what it must have been like to be living like royalty… in this very room… Did I mentioned I had been reading a lot of Historical Romance Novels lately? Yeah… I can see myself as Lady Westclift… bahahaha

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I think we all liked it here.

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Don’t even get me started on the bath tub. Just heavenly…

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I seriously couldn’t get enough of this bedroom!Little Lue said it best and I quote “I want to stay here forever!” Me too child… me too…

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Outside was fun too. Chickens, cows, fields…

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Visit #1 Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

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Still the most beautiful city I’ve ever been in… Old San Juan.

Granted I could be a little biased.

It’s always to best photo walk, and fun for everyone.

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My souvenir from Concalma, which sells bags all made in Puerto Rico.

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Time for lunch :)

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Fresh squeezed orange juice. Yummmmmm.

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First official kite flying at El Morro

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Visiting Siembra Tres Vidas Organic Farm Aibonito, Puerto Rico

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Ever since I stumbled onto this article (warning, it’s in Spanish) about a young Puertorican mother and her organic farming I was obsessed with Daniella and the idea of the “Nuevos Jibaros” (new jibaros). Young people heading back to the mountains to tame the land, grow food, and just get away from city life. It’s definitely something I often daydream of, and when I read that article and saw Daniella with her toddler on her back… I knew I had to meet her and see her farm; Siembra Tres Vidas.

So I promptly found her on Facebook and sent her a message. She didn’t reply.

I wasn’t surprised, with the article being passed around in the social media networks, I figured she might have an influx of people contacting her for one reason or another. So I just left it at that…

But finally it came to be that I found myself in the homeland once again and I happened to remember her and the message I had sent… So I decided to try one more time. To my great pleasure Daniella promptly replied telling me she was actually having an event the coming weekend and recruiting volunteers and that I was welcome to come.

Well I was thrilled! And excited! And despite having probably never visited Aibonito for much of anything, or not knowing anything else about Daniella and her farm, or not knowing if I would be of any use to her and the work she needed done, I figured… what the heck, I want to go!

So as I mentioned my plans to everyone around me, giving ample warning that I had no idea what I was doing visiting this stranger “en el campo“, everyone got equally intrigued and I rounded up a few of my friends and we all drove up to Aibonito to play in the dirt.

And play in the dirt we did!

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It was a gorgeous day.

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Little Lue frolicking in the fields…

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My friends and I working the earth. Mostly pulling weeds around crops and putting down fresh mulch. Babywearing for the win.

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My mom and dad were the official baby sitters.

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End of the day. Clouds started to roll in around 3pm and we could see the rain gathering in the mountain side ahead of us. The sound of the oncoming rain was glorious, but we knew we had to pack it up and head back. We’re holding some of the “babies” we were given as thanks for the work.

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I’m not really sure what it was that I wanted to see… A farm? A hip young mom? Organic produce? Scope out Aibonito for my realty daydreams?

All I know is that I crave to be around the things that I want for myself. I want to see people growing food on our island, I want to see people creating a community that is based on positive energy, I want to see people loving living in Puerto Rico, people who see the rich soil and nutrient filled lands and want to make use of it, I want to see it in person, not just read about it. Not just look at photos. Not just imagine that such people are out there somehwere. I want to live it.

So that’s why I wanted to go, I guess. I needed to see it for myself.

 

Daniella and her husband.

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A huge thank you to Daniella for opening up her lovely farm to those curious to see it. It was wonderful to participate in something so delightfully fulfilling. And I hope we can meet again soon before I have to make my way back to… Germany.

Honor Ride 2015 { Cycling Photography }

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So today we woke up early for the Honor Ride that the hubby was doing. I have been wanting to do more sport photography since I enjoy documenting and story telling, and I had been trying to shoot one of his events for like… over a year?! Some how it always ended up being that I couldn’t go, or forgot the camera, or something or other. But not today!

I had lots of fun shooting and I hope I get to do more of it. Maybe next time I will bring out the “big camera”. All I had today was my Fuji x-T1, which I might admit did fabulously for this being sports.

The sun wasn’t quite up when we arrived…

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Little Lue was pretty excited about the whole thing :)

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I think this is possibly my favorite image…

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Once the ride was about to start, we set ourselves up for some photos!

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It was a great ride to see, a huge crowd of riders!

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And they’re off!

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I was worried I would miss the hubs in the crowd, but I didn’t! Even caught our friends, Mike and Betsy!

 

 

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Whoo!

So after all the riders were gone, Little Lue was ready for her turn.

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It seems that our lone extra rider caught the eye of the event managers, and they decided she could have her own number… and medal!

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How’s that for awesome!

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Alright! Then it was time to WAIT! This was a 60mile ride, which meant I had a couple of hours ahead of me to wait for their return. We decided to get coffee and milk at a near by shop, Banyan Coffee & Tea, which so happened to be next to Growing Up! I had never been to either place, but I totally loved the ambience and Growing Up had this awesome kids play area and a giant stash of baby carriers and cloth diapers. Swoon!

Alright, so after that pit stop, we headed back for the finish!

Princess P could barely handle the anticipation haha

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A few random finishers…

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And there he is!

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And a little group shot of riding crew.

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Awesomeness!!!

More cycling fun here… hehe

Dolly Hair Salon: First time washing doll hair Before and After { American Girl }

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So I’m one of those weirdos who check’s craiglist pretty much every day for fun finds… And low and behold, another reasonably priced Dolly caught my eye.

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This is Nicki :) Poor Nicki was sold to me naked. So we will be on the search for her original meet outfit, but for now Ariel has been sharing her clothes. She’s so nice.

Nicki also has very very dry hair. So today I figured I would play dolly hair salon and give her hair a wash and conditioning to see if that helped her out a little. And I figured I would share the results of my first try. :)

Here are her before pictures. As you can see, the doll is lovely, but her hair is unfortunately very dry and frizzy.

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So what I did was wrap her up in a towel and washed her hair in the sink. I was careful not to get her wig cap wet. And just massaged shampoo into the ends of her hair. Rinsed and did the same with conditioner. I didn’t feel much of a difference so I decided to condition twice, and the second time I left it on for a while longer. So after about 15 minutes I rises again.

Then I put in a leave in conditioner into the ends of the hair and brushed small sections of hair. You could easily tell which way her curls wanted to go, so I just twisted in that direction, the hair would just bounce back into a nice curl, so I gathered it up trying to keep the shape it had formed and pinned it with hair clips. Once her whole head was done we just waited.

Aww… She looked so adorable HA!

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When I couldn’t stand it any longer (2hours) I decided to take out the clips. Her hair was still a bit damp in some places, so I guess I really should have given it another hour or so…

But here she is! Her hair still feels quite dry to be honest. And I may try something else in the near future as I keep trying to improve her condition. But for now, I’m pretty happy. She looks lovely. :)

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And a little side by side Before and After:

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*** I am sharing what I did with my doll FOR FUN! These are not instructions on what you should or shouldn’t do. You’ve been warned!***

Special Princess Hair “Half Up-Do with Braids” { Curly Girl Hair Style }

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Today I decided to try something new with Little Lue’s hair. She’s usually willing to let me brush her hair when it’s wet, so I figured I would try something different today.

I told her I would give her special princess hair, what that meant, well, I’m not sure. And she wasn’t keen on the idea herself. But she was already wearing a pink princess gown, and well, we are headed to the “Princess Castle” (Magic Kingdom) later today. So I guess it all made sense for her that she should wear an appropriate hair style.

So we put on the Tangled movie as a distraction to the imposing hair comb and I tried to get creative.

I decided to part her hair in half and tie to small portions of the front of her hair into little braids and tied those off. The front of her hair is SO hard to contain, that’s where she gets the most frizz and flay aways, so perhaps this type style will contain her a bit? Maybe?

Then I joined the tiny braids with the remaining top half of her hair and tied it all together. Like a half pony tail. To give it a bit of a more interesting “princessy” look, I turned the pony tail inside out (Insert your fingers from beneath the pony tail parting it in half right behind your tie and fish out the hair through). Kind of gives it an up do kind of look. I was considering braiding the rest of her hair but since Little Lue had insisted on wanting her hair down I just left it at that. So the entire top portion is tied up and the bottom half will just be her natural loose curls.

Here it is just after getting done, hair still wet…

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Gosh those curls kill me…

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UPDATE: This hair style looked flawless the entire day! Even after a nap in the car! I’m floored. We woke up this morning and guess what? Still looks great! HA!

What are your favorite hair styles for your girls? And how do you get them to let you do them? I need advice and help LOL.

Simple Toddler Activities { Paper Bag Robot Costume }

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We like to opt for paper bags every now and then at the grocery store. It’s no secret that I kind of loath plastic despite it’s usefulness in too many cases, but when we forget to bring our bags with us, and I feel like I have sufficient trash bags at home, we opt for paper.

And I was honestly quite tickled when I realized that the paper bags we got this particular day had no logos on it! They were completely blank! SCORE.

So I folded them and saved them for a rainy day.

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Somehow my Little Lue has a way of ripping through what in my head could be an extremely time consuming project. But alas, she’s more of a slap bang job kind of girl. What she really wants to do was play with her project. That she could do for hours hahaha. So I guess it makes sense that she wants to get it done with!

Well since they were already square, we opted for robot costumes.

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I cut out some arm slits. First one I eye balled, but the next I traced the cut out I had so both sides would be even.

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Then we cut a hole for the head on the front of the bag. Tip: Cut out the head hole on the side of the bag that doesn’t fold over. That way it will lay nice and flat when decorating. I didn’t think of this for the first one we made and it was kind of annoying.

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Then, ready to decorate! We opted for simple markers. Lue wanted for the robot to have lotsss of buttons.

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And done!

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The project took all but 20 minutes to finish. But what she really wanted to do was “play movies” on the robot screen. She would ask me to press “play” and then act out an animal information video. Thanks Kratts Brothers! (Love that show)

 

PS I love these markers :) They give you a paint brush feeling and just sort of have a nice look to them.
Crayola Paint Brush Pens Pack set of 5

Minnie Mouse Hairstyle { Curly Girl Hair Styles }

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So yesterday I came across this video tutorial for a cute hair do for Minnie Mouse Ears.

It was really just 2 buns at the top of the head with a bow. But the way it tucked away all the hair really made a cute look.

The best part about the video is that, it was a video. So! I could show it to Little Lue and get her excited about the hair style and there for, she let me do it.

My daughter’s unruly locks kind of melt my heart, but let’s face it, I’m sure some people assume she’s never had a brush to her head and I’m such a careless mommy. Oh to be living in a society obsessed with hair and appearance. But Little Lue, my darling, as the threenager that she is takes her hair very seriously, and if she doesn’t want a particular look other than “long hair”, she will not allow me to style. And as most parents, we pick our battles, and this is one of those that simply isn’t for me.

But anyhow! The Minnie Mouse hair video totally got to her, so YEAH! I got to do her hair this morning.

I didn’t have bobbie pins on hand, but since her hair is naturally curly and a bit textured, everything stuck pretty good. Also, I didn’t tease her hair, I think she has enough of that from bed head LOL!

As I did her hair she decided she would do Little Girl’s hair as well. She did a pretty good job too! I put in the hair ties after she had formed her loops.

A proper photo shoot followed. So enjoy!

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Little Lue shot this one :)

Little Lue shot this one :)

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Hoping to get some pins and maybe even hair spray so she can rock this look at Disney for our next visit :)

Here’s the video!

Cyclist Spouse Basics { 13 Things you may have to live with }

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So your spouse / significant other is picking up a new hobby? Cycling? Oh fantastic, they’re going to get nice and fit doing all that riding. Oh and those cute little cyclist kits they wear? Yup, my man has an awesome ass… you’re going to love those.

But before you get too excited, let me give you a fair warning.

 

{ 13 Things you may have to live with }

1- That first bike that was too expensive to buy… is probably already useless… need new one.

2- That second one… useless… need a new one.

3- Bicycle parts… bicycle tools… and lots and lots of cycling kits…

4- Got winter? Need winter kits… gloves… lots of gloves, those other gloves you got yesterday suck.

5- Sunday mornings are not for cuddling in bed, they’re for Sunday ride.

6- Saturday mornings are not for cuddling in bed, they’re for events.

7- People who create group rides in the middle of a Saturday clearly hate families.

8- Sufferfest is a thing… Buy ear plugs.

9- Chocolate milk is also a thing.

10- Watch out for those water bottles, they mate at night. You’re going to have a big water bottle problem.

11- XYZ bicycle company having a huge sale. Get ready, you’re about to purchase another bike. But OMG it’s ON SALE.

12- The bike is coming on vacation.

13- The vacation is not a vacation, it’s actually a ride that happens to require a hotel.

 

Have a spouse / significant other that cycles? Totally want to hear about it… I can’t be alone on this one!

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How to be a Military Spouse { Moving in 10 Steps }

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Celebrating the Littlest Princess’ first Christmas in our temporary home in Tampa, FL. Note out improvized ornaments made by Little Lue and myself.

As a military family, in a short 7 years we’ve done quite a bit of hoping around. We’ve lived in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Oklahoma City, OK, Key West, FL, Ramstein, Germany, and Tampa, FL… As we make our way from one home to another the process of adaptation is always the same.

Step 1

You’re excited, the house hunting is fun, the place is shiny and new. It’s awesome. You love it!

Step 2

Realize you have no friends. This place sucks.

Step 3

As a military spouse, you figure maybe you will meet other people if you get a job… But you quickly find your opportunities are limited by your lack of familiarity with the area and a million other unique complications. This place sucks so bad.

Step 4

If you are female… you decide you should have a baby.

Step 5

You’re too busy trying to get pregnant, or being pregnant, or being somehow distracted. You don’t realize you’re making friends. Mostly based on the discussion of how much this place sucks.

Step 6

Wow. I have friends and I found this AMAZING Indian place. This place is pretty sweet.

Step 7

It’s now been 2 years and you love this place.

Step 8

Start daydreaming about what adventures await in your next destination and get really excited about moving.

Step 9

Realize you are leaving the most amazing set of friends and places that could ever exist on the planet. Your family has grown an extra human or furry friend, your house finally looks like a home. You know every corner of the area as if you’ve lived here your whole life. The thought of leaving is soul crushing.

Step 10

Avoid moving stress at all cost. Allow movers to pack everything with your spouse supervising while you hide somewhere else. Preferably some relaxing place with tea, coffee, or wine. Good byes suck, there will be a lot of them at this point. But the excitement building up for your new location will help you not crumble into pieces.

Repeat

Can you relate? Getting ready for another move? Let’s hear it in the comments :)

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How I fell in love with American Girl all over again…

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This weird thing happened when I laid my eyes on my old American Girl doll last year while visiting my family… Her little face looked just as I remembered, I felt a blush of shame as I touched her trimmed hair. Yes, I gave my doll a hair cut, whoops. Her outfit still intact. She had lived on my mother’s mantel for quite a few years. For a long time I kind of rolled my eyes at her the way a newly blossomed young miss does at all her old “toys”. But this year, for the first time I looked at her and realized, I was about to become a child myself again. I grabbed her, brushed her hair with my fingers, and hurried to show her to my daughter, Little Lue, who at the time was just over the age of 2.

Her eyes light up as she reached for the doll, and she attempted to grab her by her hand as she would a playmate. And of course, my poor doll was dragged around by one arm as her body awkwardly flopped around. My daughter made exaggerated struggling sounds as if she were trying to carry a cinder block around. Obviously, she was still much too young to play with my old Josefina.

After that visit, I asked my mother to mail me my doll. Josefina would then adorn Little Lue’s room… Much as she did in my mother’s home. But this time, this time I would look at her with the eagerness of a child waiting for Christmas. I knew Little Lue would soon be making that leap that often comes at 3 years of age where they are suddenly so much more incredibly  child like.

And between pregnancy and a new baby and temporarily moving to Florida and Christmas and… Wow! How did all that happen so fast?!

Well between all that Little Lue has indeed grown.

And then… The giant Facebook marketing train ran me over LOL!!!

FB started flashing on the top of my screen that an American Girl store was opening in Orlando. A measly 1 hour drive from where we are staying. And damn it all to hell… I had to go.

Memories of me and my neighbor, who had quite the collection, started swimming around in my head. I cursed the fact that I had no way to retrieve my Josefina, who is still waiting patiently for our return. Little Lue will be nearly four once we return.

So we went. With Christmas in the air, we visited the store and walked out with some Bitty Twins and accesorries.

And something kind of magical unfolded. Little Lue had never really shown much interest in dolls… Heck she rarely shows much interest in anything… But she had started to play pretend, coming up with her own stories and games and she had shown some immensely motherly instincts towards her new sister. I knew she would enjoy a doll in a way she hadn’t before… And perhaps most importantly… I wanted to play with the dolls.

Perhaps Little Lue wasn’t enchanted by the adorable little faces as I was, but she was ecstatic at me playing pretend with her. She wanted me to make the voices for her new dolls, make them dance, make them sing, make them eat, and run, and play. And it was incredibly easy for me to enjoy myself doing so.

I would find myself brushing the doll’s delicate hair and styling it, changing their tiny clothes…

But I digress.

The point is… These dolls have a small amount of magic in them. They made me time travel to memories long forgotten. They made me feel like a little girl again. They made me want to be a little girl again. And they made me realize that I have a little girl now. Not a baby, or a toddler, but rather a full blown child, a tiny person, a kid.

Goodness where did the time go?

When did I wake up and stop playing pretend?

When did I wake up and become a mother?

And suddenly it’s my own daughter who has just blossomed into that magical time… childhood.

And in this day and age where dolls are made to look like… well… this…

 

And (for variety?) this…

 

And, of course, this…

(I was quite the Barbie lover myself as a kid, but as an adult, it’s difficult to bring myself to look at them as fondly as I once did.)

And then there’s the American Girls…

Just look at them! Not even a hint of puberty on them.

I have become enamored at the beautiful child like faces of these dolls. Dolls that look like little girls. Dolls that do little girl things. Dolls that are beautiful without a face plastered full of make up, or wearing questionable clothing choices.

Somehow between my nostalgia and my new found apreciaton for the doll line, I found myself falling down that rabbit hole that is American Girl. And I’m ok with that!

I’ve yet to be reunited with my Josefina, who I’m excited to reclaim and share with my daughter now that she is old enough to get it. I’ve also slowly acquired a few Craigslist finds (did I mention the rabbit hole?). A Bitty Baby for the Littlest Princess, who I must confess seems to like dolls more than I thought infants could like dolls.

And just this week, I couldn’t help myself when we saw this sweet dolly up for sale…

I was hoping my Josefina would end up being Lue’s first “big girl doll”, but let’s face it, I suck at waiting.

As we were getting in the car to go pick her up I showed her to Little Lue and asked her what her name should be. She immediately decided her name was Ariel.

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Much to our stuffed Donatello’s dismay, Ariel has been toted around ever since she arrived. Her hair silky smooth as if she were brand new and her clothes that can only be described as a late 90’s explosion (Hello long jean skirt with cargo pockets! HA!), but she’s just gorgeous and endearing. I can’t help but smile at the sight of Little Lue clutching Ariel to her chest, telling me how she needs her shoes and jacket to go out.

Ahhhh… Let the magic commence!

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I’m a summer time creature

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Born in the tropics, I never realized how crucial the sun was to my existence… Until I left them…

We’ve lived in Puerto Rico, Oklahoma, Florida, and now Germany. And we hadn’t realized we had been taking the gorgeous sunshine for granted. Even Oklahoma is blessed with sunny days practically year round. Germany, not so much. We’ve now been here an entire year and it seems the sun has been hiding at least two thirds of that time. For a creature like myself, cloudy days are for cuddling in bed, reading books, relaxing, ignoring chores, sometimes being a little gloomier and melancholy. We don’t go out on cloudy days, we hide, we hibernate, and we come back out when the sun returns. This is a serious problem when the sun goes away for several days, weeks, months at a time…

So here I am, multiple days have passed since the sun graced us with it’s full presence. And OMG I’m loosing my mind. What to do with little ones cooped up inside over rain and unpredictable weather?! We paint, we do puzzles, we play games, but most of all… we watch lots of TV (supper :/)… There’s really not a whole lot to do indoors people! (At least not that keeps a 3yo entertained for much longer than 15 minutes).

So what’s this? The sun?! After all the clouds and rain and cold (why is it 50some degrees outside already?! COME BACK SUMMER!) We decided to sneak out of the house for a quick walk while it all lasted…

 

Buggy here photo bombing my flower shot…

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Away we go.

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Oh hey look… I have another baby now… Just in case you missed that part…. LOL

 

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Ready for exploring with her monocular (I’m not totally convinced that’s an actual word)

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Mommy vision… Sometimes big sis wants to ride too…

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The now 3 year old is into “silly faces”. Which I guess are better than her “smile” faces… You know the one… Crazy not sure that’s a smile, smile, eyes closed…

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Which I guess are also better than baby “why you stop pushing my vibrating chair” faces… LOL

out on a walk

**Side note… Cel pics will always have a date stamped on them 😉 I want to remember when I took them, so I do that in the phone. Sorry if it’s distracting hehe**

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