Andrew’s 1st Thoughts About Blogging, Slow Months, Back to Teaching, Struggling?

Andrew had work yesterday so it was just me and these three!

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Skye had no desire to go to nursery so she hung out with me.

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After church we used the new donut pan that I bought to make these cinnamon baked donuts.

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The kids told me that this should be a repeat recipe.

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The bubble machine provided a lot of entertainment.

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We finished off the day with dinner at my sister’s house for her little boy’s bday.  She made pizza and we brought a salad.

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We gave my nephew the Crocodile Dentist Game and he loved it.. this was one of my favorite games as a kid!

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I thought it would be fun today to answer Carly’s questions!

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*Growing our family….  I’ll get back to you on that one but currently the 2 year old stage is keeping us really really busy!

Post tantrum at the grocery store where everyone was staring at me because Skye was screaming and because I was wearing shorts in January:

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*Andrew’s first thought about blogging?  The person that set us up on a blind date told him that I was a blogger before our first date but he really had NO idea what that meant.  Just like any job out there, you don’t really know what it involves until you see the backside of it all.  I think he thought it was something I did once or twice a week and it wasn’t until we were married where he really saw how much time I spent on it each day.  He definitely had to get used to having SO many pictures of him taken each day but I’m sure he enjoys that every day of his life the last three years has been documented ha. PS there are so many times we have to go look back on the blog to see who was right about something haha (ie when we did something/where we ate/what we did for kid’s bday etc).

Our first picture together:

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*What are my thoughts about going back to teaching?  At this stage in life I am really happy with our current set-up.  I absolutely love blogging and can work it around Andrew’s and our family’s schedules nicely.  I love love love that my job right now is all about connecting with other people from all over the world.  I feel very lucky to have the job that I do where I truly enjoy it.  I also have times when I really miss teaching.  A few months ago I spoke at the kid’s school about health/drugs and I wanted to cry because it just felt so good to be doing that again.  I think long term, I want to go back to teaching high school when our kids get to that high school age (hopefully they are okay with that, ha).  At that point, we won’t have kids at home during the day and Andrew will be done with schooling (he starts Nurse Practitioner school in a little over a year)!  Until then, I am excited to start coaching cross-country at the kid’s school so I still get a little bit of that passion in a few times a week!

From back in my student teacher days… I don’t remember what I used the piñata for that day to teach them a valuable lesson but I’m sure they remember;)

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*What do I do about slow blog periods?  For many years of blogging I would stress out majorly.  Luckily, my banner ads are pretty consistent each month which is nice but there are definitely periods of time when I am not working with sponsors.  Things always ended up working out but I would just do my best to focus on the things I could control and let go of the rest.  During any slow sponsor months I would focus on increasing page views (by writing more posts, sharing them in more places) and affiliate earnings.  Those ’slow’ times were definitely stressful when solely providing for a family of 2-5 people during those years of blogging.  But now, I feel very lucky because of Andrew’s job.  I don’t feel any stress or pressure about it now because we have a steady pay check and HEALTH INSURANCE (self-employed health insurance for a family was a joke) from him.  It’s really nice to not have to stress about a slow month because our incomes together work great for our family.  Oh and I monetize my blog through sponsored posts, banner ads and affiliate links.  There were points where I was doing 2 sponsored posts a week but now even if I have that chance to do that many sponsored posts from companies that I love and trust… I try to stick to 1-2 a month now.  PS you can read more of my blogging tips here.

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*What do I do when I’m struggling emotionally? Or maybe you don’t? Oh this is a good question too because I DEFINITELY DO.  I feel like I can share online if I am going through a problem that is personal (ie eating disorder problems in the past, loneliness, anxiety, injuries etc) but I do not feel comfortable sharing problems online that I am going through with other people involved (because I don’t want to ever affect someone’s reputation for the worse).  Last year I went through a few really hard emotional things.  They were things that made me pull all-nighters because I was so sad and couldn’t stop crying (nothing to do with Andrew).  I wish I had a golden answer for what I do when things get really hard but really… I just survive.  Time heals all wounds and sometimes you just have to get through those hours/days/weeks/months before you start to feel better.  I run, I take baths, I cry, I eat chocolate for every meal, I pray, I journal my feelings, I go to therapy, I listen to music that feels healing to me, I talk to people I trust and I just hope to wake up feeling a little bit better the next morning.  As I get older I am learning more and more that we aren’t made to always be happy.  It’s normal to go through pits to get to the next peak, we all have to trudge through the pits every now and then.  If you are ever in a pit and need someone to talk to, I’m HERE!

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What are some thing that you do when you are struggling emotionally?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

What in your world is currently keeping you busiest?

What was the best part of your weekend?

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53 comments

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I remember that first picture of you and Andrew! I think your followers were all cheering from near and far!!!!!

November – January has been really hard for me (I’m single now and our anniversay/ex-bday is in November and it still stings), and after DAYS of “writing” my feelings in my brain and getting bogged down I sat right down and wrote it all out. It felt so good!!! I sent it to my amazing coworker/therapist and she said it was beautifully articulated which made me feel good. Funny because my rule is when I start to journal I tell myself that once I start, there’s no stopping,correcting, etc. Just write.

I bet if you talked to the school nurse or the upper grade level teachers they’d welcome you assisting with the infamous hygiene and lifestyle (drug/alcohol/etc) units in health class! I love having outside of the school educators come in! You’re an amazing teacher and the kids will listen to someone who isn’t their homeroom teacher or parent ;)

Booster club for sports and youth group along with work and kiddos are keeping me busy……

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Oh Kelly. My heart breaks for you. I feel like I can totally remember exactly how you are feeling. You are so smart to do what you did and write it all down. JUST WRITE. I love it. If you ever want to email about what you are going through, I’m here and I remember how hard that was. I hope that with each month you get feeling better and there is so much goodness up ahead.

And that is brilliant. I have never thought about doing that. I will go talk to them asap, sounds like the perfect solution. This community is just the best.

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The other day I was at a RS event and the sister speaking was talking about joy. She brought up the scripture that talks about if you know no misery you will know no joy. She said if you have a lot of misery you must have a lot of joy. She said they are in equal balance and when you think you don’t have joy and then you go through a trial it’s easier to look back and see the joy. So it’s all our perspective and we need to be grateful for the misery because it helps us see and feel the joy. I liked it.

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Oh Amber, that is going to stick with me. I absolutely love that. Thank you for sharing, means a lot to me. Have a beautiful day!

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I just bought a donut pan for Olive! We made pumpkin donuts yesterday! Can’t wait to try your recipe.

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You are the one that inspired that purchase… the donuts you made last week looked amazing!!

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Running is probably one of my top things to do when struggling emotionally. It’s like pushing yourself physically helps the emotion fall away, just for a bit. After that- baking, listening to music, taking a social media break, talk to friends.

Right now, working full time and grad school at night keep me very busy! But I love it, being back in the learning environment and applying what I learn to my job.

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Right now I’m learning that my best things for dealing with big emotions are little things. I’m re-reading a series of books that I’ve loved since I was old enough to read adult level novels. I’m re-watching TV shows that make me feel good. I take bubble baths and long walks. And for the first time in my 45 years I’ve discovered something you and your Mom have apparently always known…the satisfaction of a super clean kitchen.

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Hey Kristen! It’s amazing what those little things do for us emotionally! AHHHH THE CLEAN KITCHEN. It’s life changing and many of our life challenges can be solved during a deep cleaning session:) . I hope you are having the best day!

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Thank goodness for running and I love what you said about it pushing us physically as the emotions fall away… that gave me goosebumps. LOVED your other tips too with baking and taking a break from social media. SO helpful. You sure are busy Mariah and you inspire me. Hope you are having a beautiful day!

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Oh, boy. Emotional struggles can ripple through everything. Although we can’t control everything in life (and trying usually leads to more emotional struggles), I try to just be consistent-but-flexible to keep a balanced feeling and be less vulnerable to low emotional states: eat well, keep a regular exercise schedule, enforce routines with the kids, etc. Working out, running, talking to friends, seeking out good news and reasons for gratitude are all ways I cope with tough emotional times. I also sometimes turn to comfort foods, but less often than I used to because I realized that sometimes spirals into feeling worse physically and compounding the problem. Sure, I’ll grab some chocolate, chips (my kryptonite), or just indulge in mindless eating at times, but if I prioritize something nutritious like fruit or adding another vegetable to a meal, I can “fill” that empty/anxious feeling plus not pay the price in feeling bloated, sluggish, or wired.
In 5 years, my youngest child will be a junior in high school, and the older two will be either working or in grad school, so my work hours may be different, but many things will probably be similar. Can’t quite retire at that point ~haha~
Work probably feels like the most “busy” time right now, since the kids do a lot for themselves at their ages.
My weekend was pretty full, but my family definitely enjoyed celebrating my mom’s birthday at brunch yesterday! I had avocado toast with interesting toppings: pickled corn, sliced radish, and Old Bay-seasoned hard boiled egg slices.

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Consistent but flexible… I love that SO much and it’s something I’m going to remember for myself (I like to swing one way or the other!!). So glad you were able to go out to lunch for your mom’s bday and I need that avocado toast right this second. Enjoy the rest of your day Corey and thanks for sharing.

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My husband and I were just talking about seasons in life and what I want to do next career-wise. Next year all our kids will be in school full-time:-( I wish someone could just tell me what to do! I have a few things in process to becoming a licensed teacher for birth-3rd grade (I work on a provisional license now due to shortages). However, as my kids get older and I am subbing for all grades birth-12 grade, I realize I love the 3-6 grades so I might go back to school to get the license. I just need to decide if I want to take out the school loans, ugh.

My kids are definitely keeping me the most busy these days! I always feel behind in cooking and cleaning and also worrying if I am “doing enough” as a parent!

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BECKY!! Oh I want to join you guys in this season talk… it really is so amazing how we go through these seasons and transition to the next. SO excited about your plan to maybe teach 3rd-6th graders and you HAVE to keep me updated on the process. Those student loans are annoying but sure worth it to follow our dreams. You sure are doing enough and just close the laundry room door like me today;)

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Yikes I hope the lesson for your students was how to safely work at height because that stool isn’t anything close to safe equipment and the environment around the person standing on it doesn’t look all look secure. I know it’s in the way back past but safety at home (or in the classroom) is important.

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Geez….

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Geez, Christie….

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Janae, I just wanted to comment to say that you are truly an incredibly sweet person. Just seeing the words at the end of your post “If you are ever in a pit and need someone to talk to, I’m HERE!” brought tears to my eyes. Last year was the worst year of my life and so many times I felt like I had no one to talk to about it. To know that you care about your community so much is beautiful. It’s one of the reasons I’ve been reading your blog for so long. Thank you!

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Thank you so much for your comment Joy! I am SO sorry about everything that you went through last year. My heart breaks for you and I wish I could have been there for you! I really hope 2020 is already going so much better and I’d love to talk whenever you can! Keep in touch and I hope your Monday is a beautiful one:) .

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Keeping me busiest – right now my job!! We’re in talks about decreasing my hours though so I can get my little one on and off the bus for KINDERGARTEN IN SEPT!! (Sniff).

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Oh I remember that transition… I didn’t wear mascara for the first week of kindergarten! Keep me updated with how you are doing and I hope you have a beautiful day at work today and that you are able to catch up with everything you need to do today! Good luck Andrea!

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Thanks for sharing this Janae. I’m going through a really tough time right now and you literally popped into my head a few days ago to talk to about it since you have some insight on it as well. You really are reaching so many people with your blog.

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Eleanor. I’m always here. I’d love to email and talk. I hope you can see that peak up ahead in your future and until you get there, let’s get you through this time. xoxox

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Well, I turn 55 in March. So, in 5 years I plan on being retired! Perhaps you could pose a question to your readers for me – if you could live anywhere after you retire and wanted to be close to running (both trails and roads) – where would it be? The only requirement has to be fairly mild winters (Seattle mild or warmer).

Best thing I did this weekend was splash through mud puddles and gooey mud for 4 miles doing some trail running at St Edward State Park Saturday.

Struggling emotionally – podcasts and exercise!

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Retired wahoo! I will absolutely ask your question tomorrow. 4 muddy miles… sounds perfect. You always have the best podcast recommendations, can’t wait to listen to the one you recommended below. Thanks John, hope your day has been a beautiful one!

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Currently keeping me busy is working on my MBA. Just one more year to go!! Plus I am working full time and trying to do updates on our house with my husband. I have a feeling most will be spring and summer projects once it is warmer outside so he can cut wood and such. In the next 5 years, I hope to have started a family. Everyone asks me now when I plan to have kids since I got married last year, but my priority is school right now and saving for a new car and maybe a bigger house.
I love your posts like these were you answer questions and kind of ramble on. I love learning about others lives.

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MBA. Alicia, you are incredible. You sure have a lot going on. Would love to see the updates on your house… how fun that you guys are doing this together. Keep me updated on it all and great job sticking to your plan and what is bet for you guys. Thank you, I love rambling so it works nicely;) Hope you have had a very productive day today with your MBA program!

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Oh man, Skye’s yelling at the grocery store and you wearing shorts … that was me a couple weeks ago at Target with my 5 year old! I ended up dropping everything and carrying him out of the store avoiding eye contact with everyone! These kids …. !
I’m not a fan of being emotional (is anyone?! Ha!) but I’ve learned if I’m public and get emotional I tell myself now is not the time and I’m able to stop and then when I’m alone, I let it flow. I don’t know how it works, but it does!
In 5 years I hope to be practicing PT as an assistant! I’ve been feeling really compelled to go back to school and I would love to be able to help athletes recover from injuries and return to their sport. Not sure how it will happen yet … maybe Andrew can share how he made it work with balancing finances, kids, studying etc and you could share your thoughts of how you made it work for you as well?
My 5 year old is keeping me the busiest! He thrives off of my attention and affection 100% of his waking time and when he doesn’t get it, we all pay!
Best part of my weekend was seeing my kids so happy! We went to a space program at our local library that my kids had a blast at and then later that day my 5 year wanted to run with me! I couldn’t have been happier! I also took my 5 year old to the mall to play at the indoor playground which made him happy as can be and made my 9 year happy to have some time without his little brother around as he hung with dad!
Have a great day!

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Oh Jenny… I feel your pain haha! The stares when that kind of stuff happens! PT as an assistant, Jenny I am SO thrilled about this decision and so excited for you! This sounds perfect for you and I will definitely have Andrew write about that (along with some of my thoughts)! You guys sure had a great weekend. Enjoy the rest of your day and I’m just thrilled about your next move in life:)

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HI Janae,
I am a long time reader, I don’t comment that much but I love love love your blog, you as a person and your family :)
Best part of my weekend: My fiance and I have been doing long distance for a while. With our current location we can see each other almost every weekend. However, this last weekend he was busy so I was by myself and it was actually very nice, I appreciated the opportunity to be completely independent and selfish and just do things for and by myself like long walks, running, going to church and reading.
In 5 years I would love to have a growing family. I am getting married soon and feel a strong calling to be a mum, I am super excited! I however have learnt not to plan because I have moved around a lot over the last few years and even when things have apparently not gone my way they have worked out beautifully, so I am learning to trust in God’s plan and live one day at a time.

I have one question I would like you perspective on: How do you deal with the anxiety/ stress/ sadness about all that goes on in the world? I feel incredibly grateful about my life at the moment but I find it hard to deal with all the pain I see around me. The worries about climate change, now this new virus, and all the political unrest just make me feel so uneasy, sad and helpless at times, any advice on how to deal with this?

Sorry for the long comment and thank you for keeping us company and sharing with us every day!!

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Maria,

I think a lot of us are in the same boat on the world stuff. I just happened to have listened to this podcast that puts these things in a pretty great perspective: It’s podcast #217: The World’s a Mess, But Don’t Freak Out | Norman Fischer available here:
https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast

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Hi John,

Thanl you so much for the rec! I have heard of this podcast before but never listened so will for sure listen to this episode this week 🤗

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Maria! I think that is a wonderful comment and I would love to do a post about this if that’s okay so that we can get other’s opinions too. I totally get it and feel what you feel and would love for us to all talk together about this.

I am SO excited for your upcoming wedding and I’m glad you got a little alone time… that is needed sometimes. I am so excited for you both and I hope you keep me updated on it all. Thank you for sharing with me. Keep me updated!

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Hi Janae! You are always so kind and willing to be vulnerable with us. I appreciate how you stay classy by not naming other people and how you take the time to respond to as many comments as you can every day. Love your blog!

I’m getting married this year, so hopefully in five years I’ll have a little one too! I feel like I’m getting a sneak preview of what having kids is like when I read your blog, haha. Happy Monday!!

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Amy, I cannot thank you enough for your kind comment. Thanks for taking the time to tell me that. HAPPY WEDDING YEAR! I am so thrilled for you and I really hope to get to hear all about it. You will be an amazing mama! Happy Monday to you too!

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Prayer and chocolate really help when I’m struggling emotionally ;) Les is an excellent listener. Also, going out for a run seems to really help me think things through.

5 years? That’s an interesting thought – I’ll be 60 then! If all goes well, there’s a real possibility that Les will be able to semi-retire by then. He wants to ride his bike across the country again and he wants me to ride with him. I have a lot of training to do to make that happen!

Currently keeping me busiest – our 18 year old nephew is staying with us for a month. He is a production assistant on a new TV show (a spinoff of the Bachelor) filming here in Simi Valley. He’s really easy going but it’s definitely different having a teenager in the house!

Best part of my weekend – Les got home! He spent last week in Hawaii and I didn’t go since our nephew is here. Funniest part of my weekend is here: http://mcmomentsandmemories.blogspot.com/2020/01/wheres-my-bible-blonde-moment.html

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LES IS HOME! I hope so happy that he is back! BIBLE IN THE FRIDGE haha thank you for sharing that with me! I hope you are able to ride across the country together, that sounds amazing! So cool that your nephew is with you guys, family is the best.

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I come from wonderful parents, but 2 people who chased after happiness, or “lived happy” as their own coping mechanism, or something. Whatever the case, I had a really hard time navigating not feeling happy all the time. It was like this secret I carried with me as a young adult. Enter Chris into my life who taught me its “normal to go through pits to get to the next peak.”
He often reminds me with Hope, it is normal, and healthy that she doesn’t see me happy all.the.time.

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That is really interesting Erica. I can totally see why those feelings of unhappiness would feel shameful and wrong! I sure love the three of you and the amazing team that you are with one another. Thanks for the reminder of this with our kids because I go through times where I feel like I’m doing something wrong if they aren’t happy but like Chris says, it is normal and healthy. Thank you for sharing friend, I love learning from you!

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I had to laugh at you and the pinata and teaching your students a super valuable lesson. It’s funny, but it’s the goofy stuff like that which the kids WILL remember, not nouns/verbs/thesis statements!!!! I showed my kids this YouTube clip today because it’s such a great example of storytelling. It’s a shame I had not seen it until yesterday. I cry every time I watch it, and when I show it to my students, I have to look at my phone and zone out or dig my nails into my hands so I won’t cry in front of them. I have teared up, and I”m sure they heard my voice c rack. I”m a huge Phila 76ers fan, but I’ve always respected Kobe. His death has hit me kind of hard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9saQ-4_8Csk

So, when I’m sad, I go shopping or do something by myself. Time alone recharges me even though I love my family and friends. I listen to music a lot and ingest tons of sugar, too. And, of course running helps. I really try to dial in on taking care of myself. And, I’ll plan some kind of trip, even if it’s just a day trip, to have something to look forward to.

Thank you for always sharing yourself and your thoughts with us, Janae!!!!!! You really make a difference to so many people. You are great and fabulous and fast, but you’re not perfect, and you let us know that, and THAT is why you are the best :)

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Jen! Thank you so much for sharing that clip today, it made me cry too. I will watch it with Andrew, he will really appreciate it. I was really surprised by how the news hit me yesterday. Grief and emotions are interesting and we really never have control over them sometimes. Thank you for your kind words, I don’t know what I would do without this community and the friendships I have built with people like you! YOUR students and kiddos are so lucky to have you and I NEED DETAILS ON KEY WEST!

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Thank you for answering all of my questions! I feel honored 😊
Love your blog and your little family ❤️
I can’t wait to see what you do next!

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Thank you for your questions Carly! I hope you have the most wonderful day. Please keep in touch!

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Thanks for sharing Janae! I like to go for a walk or run and working out. If I can, I head to the mountains. Somehow it keeps me on an even keel. Last night, my girl friend persuaded me to go to a spin class and it turned out to be the best thing ever.

The things keeping me busy in my life now now are my new job (and potentially training) if I get into my goal race.

The best part of my weekend was seeing my little nieces for chinese new years dinner (my aunt is a fantastic home cook so that was the second best part of the weekend). And getting back to running/biking working out.

Oh the 5 years question – I have thought a lot about it. I would love to be married (working on the partner), and have written a book or a few more articles and definitely have run 100 miler or 2. And travel to a few more places. Like Costa Rica (again), Chile and Patagonia and South Africa for starters.

Have a wonderful day!

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Kristine! I LOVED reading about where you will be in 5 miles, you sure inspire me in so many ways! Can I join you in your travel? So happy you were able to spend time with your family and that spin class! Hope you are having a beautiful day friend!

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Having a puppy is what keeps me the busiest and creates the most anxiety in me! We won’t get a puppy again! I had no idea it was so hard!

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Puppies are SO much work! I think they are harder than newborns. Good luck and if you live close, we will take your puppy for the night:)

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I have so much respect for anyone who supports their family just on blogging income. I’ve always been lucky that I’ve been able to make money blogging, but we’ve always had my husband as a full time worker with a steady paycheck, and we never use my money as part of our budget since there are high and low months. You’re amazing to carry that stress and load for your family for so long. Our daughter has a chronic illness and so I’m grateful that blogging was able to pay her medical bills up until this year when she finally was able to get on medicaid, but now I feel so much less stress knowing whatever I make is extra and can go to savings or paying off student loans, which feels like a huge luxury for our family now!

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You have the most beautiful blog with incredible information (loved your post about Pinterest and 500% increase). You are doing amazing and I’m so grateful that your blogging is able to help your family so much. YOU ARE AMAZING!

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When I am super stressed or overwhelmed, I like to pray/meditate/run.

In 5 years, I will have a senior in high school and 2 kids in college (what!?) I am hoping to go back to school and get my counseling credential once my kids are out of the house.

My kids and job definitely keep me the busiest. I have 3 kids all in different sports with different drop off/pick up times. Thank God for family members that can help when both the hubs and I have meetings/appointments after school.

Best part of my weekend was winning 1st place overall for females at a local 1/2 marathon this weekend! And seeing my gorgeous daughter all dressed up for her formal. So fun. And I want to cry when I think about how quickly it’s zooming by!

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Loved reading your answers to all these questions! And yes, we’ve done the self-employed health insurance before and it felt at times like a second mortgage 😭. So glad we don’t have to do that anymore

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Janae, thank you for this post. I especially liked the answer regarding emotional struggles and coping with them. You have a big heart. Even though you have so many people and things you take care of, you welcome us with open arms in our struggles. I had a hard time a while ago and you were so kind to offer me your help..I felt loved. Your caring and compassionate words lifted me up.
I love your blog..I reread your posts week by week of your pregnancy with Skye while I was pregnant with my baby girl. I kept running until due date and also did a 10k in 8th month. You are always a positive inspiration..for being real and honest. And I adore your sense of humor :)

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I love this post, you shared so much and it’s nice to see “behind the scenes”. I hope you always follow your heart and do what you love.

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