Working From Home


A few days ago I made breakfast, changed diapers, cleaned and re-cleaned the kitchen, folded a load of laundry, put the baby down for a nap, made phone calls, answered emails, wrote out a grocery list, and all before noon. I never realized the amount of work it takes to be a stay-at-home parent especially one that works from home.

I’ve mentioned before that I am a freelancer. Most often I edit resumes for working professionals who are hoping to gain new or better employment. I also do editing for articles, blogs, and academic papers. I also write articles here and there. I follow a ton of creative freelance job boards, but I hesitate to apply to some of the full-time opportunities to work at home because it takes away from my flexibility as the stay-at-home caregiver.

Does anyone else feel that it’s hard to find a work-life-responsibilities-balance?  I want to stay home with my kids, take them to the park, plan fun activities with them while they are young and not in school full-time. I have been blessed to be able to stay at home for three years with Sophia and now Max too. Most often this leaves me wanting to ignore chores, meal planning and preparing, and “adult” stuff. I manage it all okay though. I put on my Responsible Adult with Great Organizing Skills hat and get it done with the help of my husband, Richie. My husband works his ass off to provide a secure, stable home for all of us. He also makes time to spend with our children playing and laughing. I know he struggles with also finding time for his “passions” that are beyond just “work”…

I guess my struggle now is putting more effort into my “work” portion. Writing/Editing/Creating is not just a money making effort to me. I love my freelance opportunities. I am happy to work, to edit, to write, and to share my passion with others. Somehow, it is this portion of my life that I put on the back burner. Working in Marketing taught me that you have to put in effort to gain success. There were promotions to be done, social media accounts to update,  and contacts to network with in order to get your business out there. Why don’t I work hard to promote my services, write my articles/blog, and perfect my craft? I’m not sure. It’s easy to pour your heart into being a parent and a “responsible” adult. Is it enough though?

It’s funny that I came across an article on Romper that was titled “I Work From Home, & Honestly, I Work Harder than Other Working Moms”. Now, first off I know that the title is supposed to be attention-grabbing, but it was slightly off-putting to me. In my personal experience, I don’t have it “harder” than other working moms because I don’t have to leave my house. One thing I can agree with in this article is that it is HARD to work from home with tiny people running around at your feet. But,  maybe that is just my excuse. Anything worth doing is hard, so why put it off? I guess I’m looking for accountability and support from my online community here.

I appreciate all of your comments, your likes, your follows, and your shares. Makes me believe that my writing is important too.

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Taking a Step


img_20170215_085814-1Pictured Above: December 2016 (left) and February 2017 (right) post-Whole30

Hey All,

I mentioned the other day in my Mom of 2 post that I was doing a round of Whole30. Basically, the premise of a whole30 is to eliminate foods that are triggers for inflammation, digestive issues, pain issues,unhealthy eating habits, and so on. You can read more about it here. I first heard about Whole30 two years ago when my mom mentioned that she would like to try a round. So I agreed.

At that time I was 9 months postpartum from the birth of my daughter. Completing a round was tough, but rewarding. I did another round 3 months later  because I felt so good. Many of you know or have read on here that I suffered from severe postpartum anxiety after my first pregnancy. The Whole30 really helped calm my anxiety, get my gut health back on track, and lose some extra weight (20 lbs total). Over the last two plus years I have done a few rounds of whole30 or shorter “mini rounds” whenever I felt the need to kick start my healthy habits.

Fast forward to pregnancy with my son I didn’t suffer from anxiety as much, but I really didn’t practice my healthy eating habits either. (I consumed a milkshake a day which for me was triggering digestive issues and pain). Over the past 9 months since Max was born I have been learning how to be a mom to 2 beautiful kids, getting back into my freelance writing and editing, bought a new house and moved in! With all of those wonderful events, I let my eating habits slide out of control. I went from never drinking soda to choosing that first. I usually avoid bread and cakes, but I would find myself overeating or snacking ALL day instead of just making a decent meal.

I am not blaming myself or saying “woe is me” because I was busy keeping my babies happy and healthy. The truth is that is not enough. My husband always encourages me to get out of the house, write, and just do things that make me happy. I am happy taking care of my little ones, but I want to show them that Mommy is strong. That I treat my body well by eating right and exercising (okayyy, I’m still working on that part) and treating my mind right by reading, studying, and pursuing my passion to write. I want my children to be happy in mind, body, and spirit. To me, this starts with FEELING good. So, I came back around to another round whole30.

My mom did the January 2017 whole30 with me and it helped to have a team mate. Together, we learned to cook some wonderful new recipes (Looking at you Chicken Chowder, pg 336 from The Whole30 book by Melissa Hartwig). This is an amazing non-scale victory (NSV) because before Whole30 I would have never, ever tried something like chowder and I LOVED it.

I struggled with this round emotionally. I didn’t realize how much of a hold that my eating habits had over me. There were times over the 30 day period that I cried and wanted to quit because I felt sad. I did realize though that it wasn’t healthy to be ruled my cravings and sugar like that. I wanted to use food to comfort myself and that is exactly what the Whole30 program wants to help you move away from. So I stuck it out. The sense of accomplishment, the NSV’s including less headaches, shinier hair, more confidence, and losing 10 lbs* was worth it.

The  successful completion of whole30 led me to signing our family up for the Y (shout out to my husband who has been going to the gym almost every day for 7 weeks), starting a planner, meal planning, continuing with a family budget, and making a promise to myself to write more often. I would use the excuse that the kids “need” me, but right now as I type Max is playing with toys at my feet and Sophia is watching an episode of Daniel Tiger. I have to make the time where I can spare it.

So here it is, last night I was scrolling Facebook and I saw a picture (Me in the white shirt) from a Christmas party. I laughed because I was wearing the same PJ pants. I had to do a side by side because I knew just looking at that first picture there was a huge change from December. The second picture says so much more to me than weight lost. I am standing up taller, I feel prouder, and I know I am healthier than I was before.

It is not that every day is easy now. There are some days where I will decide that pretzels are an essential food group and I am not going to get out of my pajama, but I’m going to keep trying to better myself. I’m not saying that the Whole30 is for everybody or that everyone needs to change their lifestyle, but as a self-proclaimed “lazy” girl  I want to show my family that you can still enjoy Gilmore Girl marathons and dessert without giving up a strong, healthy lifestyle.

xo AT

*The Whole30 program is NOT  a weight loss program, but for someone with  diplegic cerebral palsy  (read: mostly affects my legs) maintaining a healthy weight is essential. This helps me avoid joint pain, problems with walking, and even breathing. I’ve written more about my life with CP here.

Life Updates


Hey All!

Just wanted to say hello!

We had our son, Maximus, on Memorial Day. So this summer has been hectic adjusting to life with a newborn and getting ready to move into our very first HOME! That’s right we purchased our own home and finally settle in two weeks. Life is finally starting to get back to “normal”.

I have added a page called Freelance Services. If you click on that tab at the top of my blog you can see just a few of the services that I offer. If you would like to hear more about it, please email me for a complete list of services and pricing. I’m more than happy to work with you on anything you need.

I hope to have a link to my portfolio and my pricing list added soon.

Stay tuned for more news!

Aly

Under Construction


Hello All,

It’s been a while, but growing a baby human can be quite exhausting at times. On an exciting front there’s only about 5 weeks left until Baby T makes his way earthside. I know that once he is born things will be even more wonderfully hectic. Between preparing for the baby and house hunting for our new forever home I haven’t been online very much.

Hopefully, there is some more exciting news in the works on the house front, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself yet. Stay tuned!

As many of you know I am in the process of writing my memoir of the adventures Richie and I have shared focusing on a lot of our time in Japan. I’m considering switching gears slightly and focusing a bit more on how anxiety has affected our journey.

I am also in the process of constructing my own website and online portfolio. A friend reached out to me requesting some editing help recently. I realized I don’t have any kind of portfolio or list of services for my freelance work. (I can do anything from ghost writing assistance to editing to constructing professional resumes if anyone is looking for some help).

I’m hoping this blog will be a main focus once I finish my new website so don’t go anywhere! I appreciate all the love and encouragement everyone always gives here and thanks for sticking with me.

Aly

 

 

Reach Out …For Ali


Ali asked me how my day was yesterday. Simple question. Simple answer.

It was fine. Sophia and I went outside and played. Took a nap, made dinner.

Pregnancy has taken a toll on me this time as well. More physically. Being at home in winter has enabled me to limit my physical activity to walking across the street to Nana’s or playing in the backyard with Sophia. So really, I’ve gotten big and lazy. haha. That’s okay though, the weather is warming up and Baby boy is only 3 months from arriving earthside. I better get ready.

Anyway, back to Ali, we are like those old timers who sit around and reminisce about the “good ole’ days” which for us meant the days that we used to talk once an hour! I literally knew what she was doing at all times and she knew what I was doing. If one of us ever went missing, they would know to call the other one to find us. Even though we live several states apart and always have. In the true fashion of life, we have both become busy and fill our days with our beautiful families, work, church, school, friends and everything in between. We often go days without talking, although Facebook makes it easy to keep up to date on each other. We have been lucky enough to get together two summers in a row! Since we made it back from Japan and it’s been great. Our little girls are the same age as one another, they have as much fun as we do I think. This summer I’ll have a newborn in June, but hopefully in August Ali and company will make it down to the Shore house in Maryland and stay for a few days (Come on, Ali and Robert, free place to stay right on the water, fishing, crabbing, swimming in the creek).

I’d like to try to close the distance. The one thing from the “good ole days” I want to bring back. More connection with people I love. Especially in the days that we are so connected, it shouldn’t be so hard to keep in touch. After our talk last night Ali told me to get a new mouse for my laptop so I could write more. And I did. I charged the laptop, plugged in the mouse and here I am. My vow, to Ali, and to all of you.

Life tends to get in the way of living. But I promise that no matter where I am and what I’m doing, the ones I love are always on my mind. If you don’t hear from me, start bugging me, text me, call me, send me an email. Chances are I will be responding back right away because I needed to hear from a friend just a much.

We all do. We all need to be that person to reach out. But just in case your friend hasn’t made the first move, go ahead. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. As always my friends, I love you. Share your light with others and start with people you love the most.

And to Ali, thanks for always being my best friend near and far.

Make A Connection


With all of the technology we possess these days it is not hard to stay connected to one another. Emails, social media, texting, Snapchats…you name it. Twenty-four hours  a day we are able to get connected and get a preview into other people’s lives. Hey, If I can’t sleep at 3 a.m. I can always scan Facebook to see what everyone else is doing.

The question is….you are always connected, but when was the last time you really made a connection? When can you say that you really had a one-on-one with another person without it just being a “Like” on Facebook or a re-tweet on Twitter. Sometimes it feels like my smart phone is my best friend or my ball and chain, it goes everywhere with me. Sadly though it keeps me from really seeing the world. Connecting with other people, reaching out and saying, “Hi, here I am. How are you?” This makes me feel lonely even when I’m surrounded by people.

I am blessed to have a wonderful husband and a compassionate daughter who bring more joy to my life than I ever thought possible. Sometimes I’m afraid I’m missing all these beautiful connections with them by constantly staring at my phone or even watching the TV, or doing work on my laptop. Recently, I have been freelancing and editing resumes. It was a nice opportunity to work from home, but the amount of time I have spent staring at my laptop horrified me. A little extra money was nice, but not spending time enjoying my little girl and my husband because I was chained to my laptop was most definitely not. So I have cut back. I feel a lot better now. (Side note: If you need help with a resume/paper and it’s not an urgent matter, I am always available for that).

Yesterday, I made a wonderful connection with a dear friend of mine. We went to college together (going on 10 years of friendship here). Amanda is a lovely, sweet person and we have been through a lot together. Most recently, we are now old married ladies and now expecting little ones (her first, my second). It’s amazing how life brings people together. She and I live about 40 minutes apart and now have this whole new wonderful connection to share as our babies grow. We met for lunch and sat at the table talking for almost three hours. I felt light and happy. I made a connection and it was awesome. It is so easy to forget in the glow of a laptop or a cellphone screen that other people are out in the world waiting just like you to make that connection. I can’t wait to spend more time together and share new memories as our children grow up, practically the same age.

So for the new year, I am not hoping for a “new me” just a me that is more productive, motivated, and reaches out to others. I’m tired of my smart phone and my Facebook obsession. I want to really see and really be there instead of just hoping technology can occupy me.

Happy New Year everyone!

 

 

The Turner Update


Today, on Emu Turner Update:

It’s been a while since I have had a free moment to sit down at my laptop. I’m always glued to my phone, but I feel like I never actually make time to sit and write. I try to keep up with each one of my lovely friends and family members, but the days go by so fast.

We had a lovely summer. Jayden came from Ohio to visit us. We went to Ocean City and spent lots of time down the Shore House. When August ended Richie and I decided we would move back into Mom’s house for a while to save some money and begin the search for a house hunt. After years of renting and military housing we are ready to find “our” home. Sophia is thrilled to have her “Lala” and “Pop-pop” with her every day now though. She sure keep us all on our toes! There is a huge part of me that is super excited about finding a house and I wish we were ready to buy one NOW. The other part of me doesn’t want to rush it. It’s a huge commitment; the wandering Turners would be putting roots down after FIVE years of moving from place to place. I’m sure we will find the right place after a while.

The beautiful Sophia (“Fifi” as she calls herself) will be two in a few months and I can’t help, but feel sad. My little baby, my tiny munchie, is now a walking,talking kid. She speaks so clearly sometimes it’s hard to remember she’s not yet two. It’s true what people say “you never know until you have kids of your own.” Yup! I would never have known how much I could be amazed and in awe of one tiny human. She’s funny, she laughs all the time, she is compassionate and is always giving out “huggies.” She can destroy a clean house faster than the Tasmanian Devil. :-). But she’s amazing and We made that (Richie Turner, I think we are doing pretty good).

I’m not the perfect Pinterest mom. I’m sure that we spend too much time inside some days and that I give her too much candy on others, but hey we are having fun! She teaches me new things every day including patience and compassion. Being a parent has also taught me that I need to listen and compromise (even though my hubby knows I’m STUBBORN! love you babe!). I can’t imagine our life without this little beautiful girl. She definitely fills our hearts with joy every day!

Richie Turner is working hard as ever. During the day he works as a newspaper man by the byline of Clark Kent. No, that’s not right.  He’s a reclusive billionaire who wants capture criminals and save Gotham, mmmm still not right. He is an amazing father who works full-time during and attends college at night pursuing a degree in Education. And he’s the best and Sophia and I are blessed to have him in our lives. He also has some wonderful charity projects and is working on starting a foundation for volunteer works at The Good Among the Wicked. You can follow him and catch up with him over at Mankind is Great.

As for me, I’m just trying to figure it all out. Applying for part-time jobs, submitting freelance stuff, and keeping my toddler happy and healthy all keep me busy during business hours. Weekends and evenings I love to spend with my hubby and baby exploring the great, wide world Maryland.

Hopefully, I won’t wait another month to update, but who knows. One last thing….in case I haven’t told you all…you are loved <3. Be kind to each other. 14 years ago today we were reminded that life can change in an instant. So say a prayer for those we have lost and tell someone you love them today. And be thankful that people have given their lives for these good things we have. *Never Forget*

Aly