Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019

2018 into 2019—a natural progression of time that often spurs on resolutions, attempted life changes, and goal chasing.  Does the new year make you joyful and excited?  Or does it make you sad and anxious?  

New years typically make me anxious.  This great vast unknown of a fresh twelve months just loom in front of me.  Sometimes there is excitement, but often just a great unknown and feeling of having to do everything all over again.  This year is a little different, and since January first, some of my anxiety has gone away.  #Blessed  

Before I get ahead of myself, though, here’s a look back. 

2018

Something positive that happened 

We got married! What is actually one of the best moments of the year—possibly the best day of my life—was getting married to William.  A day that I had anticipated being full of anxiety and overwhelming emotions was exactly the opposite.  It was peaceful, and joyful, and felt just exactly right.  It wasn’t so much about the dress and the flowers and the desserts (although all of those things were great).  It was, however, absolutely about the beginning of forever, and finally getting to promise forever to the one man I couldn’t wait to do life with.  

A personal highlight

Besides our wedding day, my personal highlight was our Maine honeymoon.  This vacation trumped all of our other adventures in 2018.  We couldn’t see ourselves in a big city or on a beach with a mojito.  What we really wanted was mountains and cold air and a little place with a kitchen and a view.  We flew into Maine just before the season started—before the trees began to come back to life.  We rented an adventure-mobile and a cottage in the woods with a great big couch in front of floor to ceiling glass doors.  We drank coffee and ate lobster, went hiking and exploring, and wore great big coats and hats to keep out the chill.  There was still snow on the ground in the mountains.  And it was all perfect.  All of it.

Blogging highlights

Our biggest highlight was obviously LAUNCHING the blog.  I bought the domain and constructed the blog, then had a 5 Days of Blogging week to kick the whole thing off.  You guys have been GREAT and I have loved getting back to blogging, sharing, writing, and photographing.  Life just feels right this way, you know?  

Relationship highlight

Well… we got married.  Haha!  But in an effort not to be redundant, another highlight for me was actually when I got in a car accident my car was totaled.  Believe it or not.  Despite how scary it may have been, or how stressful it was, or how frustrating it could have become, it taught us so very much about each other.  How to depend on one another.  How to encourage one another.  How to be there for and with one another.  And how to tackle a difficult situation together.  Even beyond that, our love and respect for one another grew a LOT because of the situation.  So weirdly, that is a big highlight for me.

2019

Things that I want to do and am looking forward to

I want to explore historic sites and locations on the east coast and in North Carolina—to dive into the rich history that the east has to offer.  We did a lot of outdoor exploring in the desert last year.  This year I would love to focus a little more on history.  

I am looking forward to a couple trips we have planned and getting to watch our pup grow into a real dog.

What about personal goals and personal life?

I have a few personal goals with the worship team that I will keep to myself for now.  Mostly because I’m too nervous to even say it out loud right now.  I want to read at least 12 books, read through the whole Bible, and to discover how to maintain a good work out schedule.

Where in the world will I go?

To Utah to visit Will’s family.  I would love to go back home to Nevada for a little, or maybe back to the mountains.  Will and I have another secret trip planned as well.

What do I want to accomplish professionally?

I want to grow my photography business to more than just supplement our income.  I want to offer us more financial freedom.  

What about the blog?

My goal is to publish at least five blog posts a month.  I want to build in such a way that I will be able to monetize certain things.  I believe in multiple income streams, passive income, and financial freedom.  I kind of view years without kids as building years for me and hope that once we have kids I will be able to supplement Will’s income to offer us more options.  That isn’t to say that my entire goal with the blog is to earn money, but in all honesty I don’t see anything wrong with it when bloggers earn an income from their hard work.

Is there anything that you want to hear from me this year on the blog?

What about you?  What goals and dreams do you have for your 2019?

Until next time,
Jamie out.

the pitfalls of potty training

Blue update – Weeks 8 & 9

If you didn’t know we got a puppy, go read this blog post ASAP!

Being a puppy mom has been incredibly hard and incredibly rewarding at the same time. Blue is a smart cookie. I can tell when she’s just ignoring me, or when she’s sneaking off to do something she knows is naughty. But I also rejoice with her as she begins to get it. As she begins to ask to go outside so that she can “go potty” and as she obeys when we say “come” and “sit.” I am so surprised that at nine weeks old she knows so much. Obviously there is still a lot to learn, for BOTH of us. 

Golden Retriever Puppy: Blue at 9 weeks

My favorite things about the past two weeks:

  • When Blue learned to go up and down the stairs to the bonus room.  She’s still so small that she looks like a bunny hopping up the stairs, and I have to encourage her down every step when we go back down.  It’s adorable.
  • The first time she asked to go outside to “go potty.”  
  • Watching her grow right in front of my eyes.
  • Her play date with our friend’s three month old puppy where they played until they literally dropped.
Golden Retriever Puppy: Blue at 9 weeks

My least favorite things about the past two weeks:

  • Her tiny sharp puppy teeth as she grabs onto my hand and won’t let go.
  • How dry my hands got from cleaning up pee accidents inside and washing my hands afterward.
  • How much she cries at night and how much we had to get up with her the first week.
Golden Retriever Puppy: Blue at 9 weeks

Things I have learned:

  • It is okay to change your mind and do what is best for your family and your pup.
  • She is really really smart.
  • If she is acting “bad,” it is most likely my fault, not hers.
  • I cherish my sleep.
Golden Retriever Puppy: Blue at 9 weeks

Her first week here was hard on all of us. We coddled her a lot at night and she struggled to sleep. We got up with her seven or eight times one night.  She learned that crying would be rewarded, so in her second week here we had to try to unlearn that.  We all lost some more sleep.  But we are confident it is what is best in the long run.  We want her to be comfortable and confident when she is home alone and when she is sleeping at night.

It was our intention to not crate her, however after having her for a week we caved and got a crate.  She went in voluntarily on the first night to go to sleep, but after that it got a little harder.  She is attached to the stuff IN her crate—like her blankies—but she isn’t so keen on the crate itself.  As her fur mama I know that she is safe in her own little den while I am gone, and I have peace of mind that my home isn’t being destroyed while I am at the grocery store.  And I am certain that she will grow to love her place once she realizes it isn’t a punishment and she isn’t lonely.

Golden Retriever Puppy: Blue at 9 weeks

Potty training is no joke. We are finding a better routine and schedule that we can all adhere to, but as our days are never the same as one another, that can prove challenging. After four or five days of training she asked to go outside. A week after we got her she asked us three times in one night to let her out. This is where I feel the rewarding aspect of training—to finally see results of hard work. 

She is super smart and Will loves putting her brain to work to train her and then practice things they have learned.  We got her a puzzle ball we can put treats in to help her work her brain also.  A tired puppy is a good puppy, and even though she is very high energy, tiring out her brain is just as important as tiring out her little body.  

Or not so little body.  Two days after we got her I took her to the vet and they weighed her at 10.8 pounds.  By the end of week 9, she weighed a little over 13 pounds.  She is going to be too big to pick up and carry in no time so I am enjoying the lap snuggles while I can.  

Golden Retriever Puppy: Blue at 9 weeks

With full disclosure and honestly, we did not enjoy our first week with Blue.  We were very sleep deprived and potty training proved to be very stressful.  Once we got the crate, things began to improve and I started to get attached.  We made a plan for taking her out at night that would negate some of her crying and got us all on a better schedule. 

We are so excited to watch her grow, to learn with her, and to be the best fur parents we can to this little ball of energy.  Stay tuned for the perils and pleasures of puppy ownership as I take you along for the sometimes bumpy ride over the next several months.  There is so much that we will all learn and experience.

Do you have any puppy advice for me?  The biggest one right now is how to make her happy with her crate and cut down on the crying.  Please leave any knowledge in the comments below!  If you enjoyed this post, please give it a like and don’t forget to subscribe to join the family if you haven’t already.

Until next time, 
Jamie out.


Golden Retriever Puppy: Blue at 9 weeks

Mini House Tour (Before)

We bought a house!  Our very first home purchase.  It is a big deal and we are excited and nervous.  But mostly excited.  

So excited that we are bringing you along on the adventure of home ownership.  From the $300 microwave that needs replacing within the first month, to the fun paint colors and new furniture, we are bringing you along for the ride!

First up are our “before” photos.  I took these literally the day we moved in, and as moving days go we were running behind so my photos have some of our stuff in them, despite my best efforts.  Oh well!

mini house tour-before mini house tour-before

Our living room!  It has an electric fireplace and is the central hub of the whole house.  Right now our intention is to not have a television in our living room and make it a place of conversation, reading, and quality time.

mini house tour-before mini house tour-before

Here is our little kitchen, with not quite enough cabinet space and no pantry whatsoever.  That door leads to our tiny laundry room, which we will be creating additional storage space in to use as a pantry.

mini house tour-before mini house tour-before

It is a three bedroom, two bathroom house. As a couple with no kids but a good amount of friends who will likely come over, the second bathroom is ideal for guests. Eventually it will be great for kids too, but for now it is just a luxury to have two bathrooms and we LOVE it.

mini house tour-before mini house tour-before

The master bedroom is just the right size for us and gets great natural light throughout the day. There is a perfect amount of space for me, Will and Blue and once we got our furniture it became a lot easier to keep it pretty clean. Also, I never knew that a jetted tub is what my life was missing, but that thing is a dream.

mini house tour-before

The bonus room is our favorite room. We are going to create a great relaxing hang out space. We are going to have movie marathons and game nights and plenty of room for my at home work outs. We literally get so excited to go upstairs and watch a show or just relax together as a family.

mini house tour-before

Last but not least is our beautiful, roomy two car garage. I never knew that I as a grownup could get so excited about a garage. I love that our cars get to live inside. That I don’t have to go out in the cold or the rain to get in my vehicle at home. That we have a place to store our lawnmower (that we will eventually purchase). I feel like such an adult, but honestly. Pulling into our garage every day is so cool.

Stay tuned for updates and decor throughout our time in this home.  We are so excited to share!

Until next time,
Jamie out

a Christmas Bucket List

Christmas Bucket List

  1. Go to a Christmas choir production
  2. Go to a work party
  3. Participate in a Secret Santa gift exchange
  4. Host a movie night
  5. Take festive family photos
  6. Go to a town holiday event
  7. Shop at a local store
  8. Have hot cocoa by a roaring fire

Christmas Movies

  1. The Santa Clause
  2. Home Alone
  3. Elf
  4. The Holiday
  5. A Christmas Carol
  6. The Grinch

Until next time,
Jamie out