The Search for the Perfect House


So, apparently we are adults, Richie and I have decided that with a little one, another baby on the way and a puppy dog we should probably own our own home. This is a big deal for us. Until Sophia was born we thought we would be at the whims of the Marine Corps, transient and blowing in the wind.

Once Richie decided not to reenlist we came back to my hometown. We rented for a year, but when it came time to renew our lease we decided why not BUY? So we moved in with my Mom over the holidays and Richie got a new job! WOO. Well, after putting away some money, filing our taxes (yay, adulting) the house hunt is on.

We filled out an application to become prequalified for a loan and we connected with  a realtor. Now, comes the fun part of uploading tons of documents in order to determine how much we can afford to spend on a house. And searching for said house.  It’s overwhelming and kind of scary, to be honest.

The exciting part will be checking out houses to find OUR home. I’m excited to bring our new baby to our very own home and see our daughter grow up there! I just wish the process was easier, ya know?  If you have the perfect home for us, let me know ;-).

Some Happy News in a Sad World


Recently some beloved celebrities have passed away from fights with cancer. Even though we don’t know them personally, it sometimes feels like we did because we became so close with their characters/music. Farewell, Alan Rickman and David Bowie, you have touched the lives of many.

In a sad week for movie and music lovers, I have some joyful news to share. Our family is excited to share that we will be welcoming a beautiful, healthy little BOY come June. Yay! My husband and I were both blessed to grow up with brothers by our side and now our beautiful baby girl gets to experience that same joy.

There is nothing like a brother to tease you, drive you crazy, stand up for you, love you, and be your very first best friend. I’m happy that Sophia will have a brother to stand by her and be her friend for their whole lives. We are also super excited to see where our parenting journey takes us from one great little girl to two awesome kids.

This pregnancy has flown by so far. Here’s to the next 20 weeks or so :). I’m going to enjoy this time with Sophia as an only child and hopefully get a bit of writing in here and there!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year


Hi Everyone!

It’s December (finally? already?)! Another year is coming to a close and I can’t believe how quickly it has gone by. First and most importantly, my little girl is turning TWO in just a few days.  Where did the time go? I’m incredibly amazed at how quickly she has turned from a baby to a smart, loving little kid. She talks up a storm and is a great helper around the house.

Which is wonderful because come June I will need a big helper around the house! We are having our second little miracle! We announced our pregnancy over Thanksgiving and it was met with such joy. There is something special about being able to see the happiness on people’s faces when you announce good news. I will be entering my second trimester in just a few days (14 weeks coming up on Wednesday). As many pregnant ladies know this is a big milestone in a healthy pregnancy. For me, the first trimester has seemed incredibly long because we found out when I was only 3 to 4 weeks along. Technology is amazing these days! With Sophia I was almost 6 weeks before we had our first positive test. Anyway, I’m excited that I’m starting to show and have had several successful doctors appointments.  Baby Choo (like choo choo train) is healthy and growing right on track.

Also, this time of the year I give so much thanks to be home in the States. The holidays always made me homesick when we lived overseas. It’s great to be able to see our family frequently and especially at Christmas. I’m also thankful for my new job. I am able to hone my writing skills, help others, and work from home to be with my baby girl and baby bump.

I hope everyone is well!

Aly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adult-Ing


There are lots of funny memes and what not around the internet that basically decry having to be an adult or “adult-ing”. I have to say I totally agree with them. I would love for someone to come take care of me, feed me, clothe me, and entertain me. It’s hard to be an adult. It’s crazy because I know that when I was young I always wanted to “grow up.” Now I’m here and I wish I could be a kid. Haha

Every day I learn more about the responsibilities of being “grown-up.” Not only do you have to get up, be presentable, attend your job or at home duties, but you also have to attend to the tedious, not-so-fun stuff like cleaning out your garage and doing maintenance on your house. Last night I had to research new health insurance plans because Richie is switching jobs. Adult-ing, am I right?

I hope that Sophia never loses her childlike sense of wonder. She loves to color and run around and hide from me. She always laughs and tells great stories. (I know what you are thinking, she is a genius and she’s not yet two years old). Being around her every day makes me want to get back some of that wonder and amazement. It’s easy to be stressed and bogged down by your responsibilities, but it’s important to add in some fun.

Whether she knows it or not, my little girl is an inspiration. She reminds me not to let “adult-ing” get me down. And for that I’m ever grateful.

The Dream Job


I never imagined I would be a stay at home mother. I never imagined that I would find so much joy in being with one little tiny person day in and day out. I guess that’s motherhood. My mother used to say, “You’ll never understand until you have kids of your own.” (You know your mom said it too). I would just laugh and brush her off. I knew everything. I knew that she just didn’t understand ME or MY FEELINGS.  Wrong again. My mother was right. (Hear that, Mom?). I never understood how much love I could feel for my own child. So I’m glad that I have been given the opportunity to stay home with her. I haven’t worked outside of my home in almost two years. And I’m eternally grateful for that.

But, as I mentioned in my previous post I have been job hunting and looking at opportunities for writing and editing. I LOVE writing. I really do. It’s been my creative outlet for twenty years. I also love being home with my baby girl. She’s still my baby and I want to be here for her during the day. We are still proudly breastfeeding at 19 months old and I know it would be hard on both of us for me to be gone all day. (Oh yes, Happy World Breastfeeding Week!). I’ve been submitting article after article for publication as well as applying to writing and editing positions. I have even had one decent interview, but no luck so far. I have also been working on my memoir. I’d love to be able to work from home to still have time with Sophie.

It’s not truly about money. Though, being paid to write would be ideal. It’s more about keeping up with the other parts of me. I’m not just a mother (though I am devoted to that part of me) and I’m not just a wife (also one of my favorite parts of life). I am many things among them a devoted mother, wife, daughter, and friend. I’m also a writer and (if my husband is to be believed) I’m pretty good at it. I’d like to keep writing, share my words, express myself in that way, and grow in my craft.

Yes, I’d love to get paid for it too.

I know there really is no “dream job”, but there is something out there for me, I hope. Something that I can do to share my writing and editing skills. To take the passion in my heart and the knowledge from 7 plus years of schooling and do something amazing with it. Know what I mean?

Reaching Out


Have you ever wanted to help somebody?

You know someone who needs a boost in life, a great person with dreams and aspirations and love who needs to get back on there feet, and you know in your heart that you want to do something for them.

I do.

Sometimes I wish I was wealthy or won the lottery or hit it big on the stock market because then I could just give to people who need help. Charities, schools, people, whoever it may be. Unfortunately, I haven’t it it big yet. (I’m still hoping).

There’s a family in need that I know personally. Loss of employment for a few months set them back in bills a lot. Now this goodhearted woman (single mother) has a new job (Yay!), but could use a little help getting her bills caught up. If we had the money we would say, “Hey, here ya go!” But like I said I haven’t hit it big just yet.

It’s been a rough couple of years for this family, being homeless and having to stay with friends, moving from place to place having to start over. But last year, she was able to purchase a small, safe home and start a decent full-time job. This job didn’t work out unfortunately and she was left with mortgage, electric, water, and car payment. It might not seem like much, but these bills add up fast when you aren’t bringing any money in. Currently, they can’t even stay in their home because the electricity has been shut off. The electric company won’t turn it back on until they pay $600.

I’ve done what I can by helping with job applications, resume writing, and calling around to local charity organizations to find help with utility payments, but there has been no luck yet. With her new job, she will be able to start paying down her bills, but this is an immediate need. The electric needs to be turned back on, the water bill ($186) needs to be paid off or they will shut the water off too, and her mortgage is a few months behind. It is hard to be living out of a suitcase, not being able to sleep in your own home, cook in your own home, and basically have your own space. A little bit of financial help could get this family back on their feet in no time.

This isn’t a sob story, and there are many people out there who face these struggles daily. I’d like to help everyone, but I’ll just start with one family and hope I make a difference. So I’m reaching out here.I want to teach my daughter the power of giving and sharing. If you are able, please donate to the Go Fund Me account I’ve started. If you are not able to donate, please share this link with family, friends, friends or friends, or even strangers in your network. The more people can see it, the more likely we are to get donations to help!

Please Share! Raising Money for a family in need!

Thank you all for reading and God Bless!

xo Aly

A Little Humor to Get You Through the Day


10 Steps to Getting Ready (with a toddler)

We all know that once our precious little angels begin to crawl and walk there is no stopping them. All of the sudden you are screaming “Grab the baby gates!” and “Did you shut the toilet lid?” because you never know what (seemingly) harmless household object they will get into next. When you turn your back for a second they have unraveled four paper towel rolls, squeezed out an entire tube of diaper rash cream, and poured out a box of cheerios on the floor. Keeping your toddler in check and being a functioning member of society can be a challenge. Sometimes we wish that parenting came with a manual, especially one that tells us how to wrangle a two year old with the ability to demolish a living room in under two minutes. With this in mind I have compiled a list of 10 easy steps for getting ready for your day when you have a toddler in your life.

  1. Decide what your plan for the day is. Do you need to leave the house? Will you be having any visitors today? Then, yes you need to put pants on. And a bra, maybe.
  2. Realize that you haven’t showered in about three days and even the dog doesn’t want to come near you anymore.
  3. Try (unsuccessfully) to get your little one to take a nap so that you can enjoy the peace and quiet of a warm shower.
  4. Check the time and notice that you now only have 30 minutes to get ready or you will be late.
  5. Consider going back to bed instead.
  6. Say “Let’s get a shower with Mommy!” in an attempt to get clean somehow.
  7. Stand under the water for five minutes while your toddler tries to climb up your legs and screams for “boobies!”
  8. Attempt to put on clothes until you notice said toddler pooping on your white carpet. Then, try to remain calm when they step in it.
  9. After cleaning up poop, chasing your little naked monster around the house, and wrangling them into a diaper throw on the first thing you see that doesn’t stink.
  10. Decide that everything can wait and put off leaving the house until tomorrow

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Life with a toddler can be crazy, but it’s also precious. Live it up and don’t forget to laugh.

The Future


When we are young we always think about the future. What will happen when we grow up? When we go to high school? When we graduate college? When we get a job? Where will our life go? How will things turn out? I always loved imagining how life would be when I was “grown up.” Now, here I am 27 years old and I STILL keep looking for the future!

I think that I struggle keeping myself in the here and now. Enjoying each beautiful day that God has blessed me with. Is this because of my anxiety? Is it because I worry too much about things that may happen? Yes. A lot of it is. Often I wake up in the morning and think, “Oh what do we have to do today?” I run a list of things that I need to finish and things that are happening next week and next month. I’m always saying, “I can’t wait for….”. The problem with this is that I”m missing the things that are happening right this second.

Sophia is napping here beside me. I was writing a list of phone calls I needed to make and thinking of when I should get a job and when Sophia turns 2 (hint: it’s not for 5 more months). I just need to STOP! Why not enjoy this quiet time? Use it it to write a little bit, reflect on things that are going on right now, instead of focusing my eyes on the future. I am a thinker and a dreamer. It’s in my blood. Often this causes me to wile away the hours daydreaming or planning or imagining. Instead of really just being in the moment. That’s my goal for today. Just enjoy the day. Maybe go to the pool or take Sophia and Shisha for a walk. Then, in a few hours I’ll make dinner and spend the evening with my family. I won’t focus on tomorrow’s agenda or what needs to be done before we move next month. I’ll just worry about it when it happens.

Here’s my challenge to you: Enjoy TODAY! Take a moment and do something that is just for you, just for now. Go for a walk, read a book, sit down and eat your lunch without filling in your To-Do list. I’m going to try!

Journey On


Being a stay at home mother to my darling girl is the joy of my life. I love being able to wake up with her, feed her breakfast, play and learn and grow with her. I also enjoy being able to work on my memoir during nap time. I know there are so many people who can’t afford this opportunity. There is a reason for that! This job while wonderful and fulfilling doesn’t pay anything in monetary value. Living on a single income is a challenge for so many people. Another great challenge is returning to the workforce after staying home to raise children.

I’ve been out of work for two years now and I am slowly easing my way back in by applying for work-at-home jobs. I would love to have the flexibility to work from home doing something with writing, online media, editing, or something similar to these fields. I don’t want to end up sitting home alone in 10 years when all my kids are in school and my husband is at work. I want to keep myself sharp and relevant.

The toughest thing about the job search is the rejection. You feel so hopeful when you click “Submit” just to get let down when they have “decided to pursue other candidates.” I know it’s not personal, but it feels like it sometimes. For now, I’ll just keep pushing forward. There is the perfect position out there for me and hopefully I can find it. In the mean time hopefully I can publish some of my writing. Don’t forget about me, world.

Write on, my friends, write on.

Inspiration


I’ve been working on my memoir for the past three years. I pull it out I work on intensely for a while and then I put it away to think on it. At the end of last month I had close to 70 pages completed. I know what I want to write, but sometimes the motivation isn’t there.

As a writer I’m always looking for inspiration, the lucky thing is I see it all around me. I keep this blog as a record for my thoughts and my writing because when I’m inspired to write I don’t want to keep it in. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a subject close to my heart and that is motherhood. I’ve read approximately 4 billion articles/blogs/editorials about motherhood and I can say it never really gets old because every single piece reaches a piece of me. The one that tugs at my heartstrings the most is the loneliness that comes along with being a mother (or a parent).

My baby girl is the best thing that has ever happened to me. She lights up my world in a way I never imagined. I am fortunate that I can afford to stay home, write, and be with my little princess all day long. Sometimes though, it’s lonely.

How can you be lonely, Aly? You are with Sophia day and night. Your husband never deploys and comes home right at dinner every day. You are never alone. That’s true, I am never alone, but sometimes it can be lonely. Sometimes I go weeks without talking to people I used to consider my best friends, most nights I go to bed before Richie while I’m trying to get the baby settled for bed, 90% of my days are spent trying to please a little person who can’t yet articulate what she needs.

The loneliest part is that even though there are billions of people on the Earth, many of them are mothers who are feeling the exact same way that I do, I feel like I’m alone on this island where all I am is a milk machine who fixes meals and changes dirty diapers. Even though the love I feel for my daughter exceeds anything I’ve ever felt before she’s too little to know that sometimes parenthood is tough.

So today I am inspired to reach out there into cyberspace. And say, “Hey Momma, (or Daddy) you aren’t alone! There is someone out there just like you, who feels the same way that you do. Next time you are feeling like you are alone on that island…go to the park, smile at that other parent sitting by themselves, go introduce yourself! Finally make that play date you’ve been meaning too. Your babies deserve the best and the best is a happy mommy! Chin up and when you feel alone, know that I’m out here too!