Dear Future Self: Week 5

Anxiety after a loss is common.  In fact, my therapist said that it was quite rational to have some anxiety and/or fear after three pregnancy losses.  Some days are better than others, but I know things will be at least a little better after our appointment next week.  Thanks for checking in!


Friday Ramble: Adult Guide to YouTube

I’m on the older side of the millennial generation, so I have friends who are avid subscribers to YouTube channels.  I also have friends who may watch a popular video from time to time or use YouTube to find a specific scene from television or movies, or they will look for a piece of music or a how-to video as needed.  But they never actually feel the need to subscribe to a channel.

And I’m here to state my case as to why they should start subscribing.

YouTube Subscribe Button

To be fair, there is this feeling that a lot of YouTube channels seem to target the younger generations – preteens to young adults.  And there are always young people starting their own channels and connecting with people their own age with similar life situations.  However, a lot of the older content creators, folks that have been on the platform for 10+ years, are in adulthood.  Some of them are married and have kids.  So, even though sometimes they do try to present information that would be relevant to the younger crowd, more and more of their content can also broach subjects of more adult-type situations.

While there are a lot of channels that are brand-based, that are there simply for consumable content, there are channels that still strive to build community.  And these are the communities that the younger generations want to be a part of.  I think it’s important to understand what these channels are saying because of the large impact and influence they have over young generations.

But where to start?  Admittingly, when you look on the Trending Videos on YouTube, it doesn’t really give much direction.  There are a lot of brand-focused videos that tend to monopolize these spots because of people who don’t subscribe, merely just watch random videos on YouTube.  If you want more community-driven channels, I can give you a few suggestions.

One of the more important communities to me is the academic/news information type communities, and I have two suggestions in this category.

Philip Defranco

Defranco presents a news show Monday through Thursday that I find pretty balanced.  And he strives to report the news in the most balanced way possible.  He dedicates researchers to the stories so that it will be accurate.  But he also wants community engagement.  He encourages people to share their opinion, and he shares his own as well, but he makes it clear when he is sharing facts versus opinions.  Then, on Fridays, he engages with the community through the comments they make on his videos from Monday through Thursday.  And this is just the beginning.  He is hiring and planning and building an entire news company dedicated to fair and balanced reporting.

Also, I would say this is not safe for young kids.  He does use profanity and his subject material is sometimes of an adult nature.  I do not agree with all of his opinions, but I feel like I don’t have to, to be a part of this community and to get a balanced news source.  Some of his videos have been used in classrooms, especially during the election or during some of the current event segments.  And all of the topics are not completely heavy.  He breaks up the news with a “Today in Awesome” segment in the middle that covers fun videos on YouTube as well as video game and movie trailers that have come out recently.


I know that for a lot of my friends, Defranco may not be their cup of tea, so I give you the Vlogbrothers.  This channel is a must to understand what is going on in the YouTube community.  Hank and John Green are two brothers who make short videos to one another on Tuesdays and Fridays.  John Green might sound familiar because he wrote The Fault in Our Stars and Papertowns, both have become movies.  But John and Hank have done so much more.  John went to Africa with the Gates Foundation to report on the needs and progress of those areas.  He interviewed a teen at a Syrian Refugee Camp.

Hank is big on education.  He runs two other channels on YouTube that are education based and sometimes even incorporated into classrooms across the nation.  They are called Scishow and CrashCourse.  CrashCourse, I’m more familiar with, covers a lot of academic topics and is quite fascinating.  Sometimes the Vlogbrother videos are a little adult in nature (Hank recently did a video about condoms as an example for medical statistics and how we get them wrong), but they are informative and can keep you up to date on their projects.

They have two major projects that I can think of off the top of my head.  Vidcon (in June) is a conference for YouTubers similar to ComicCon (but smaller).  There are panels covering a myriad of topics and meet and greets.  Also, at the end of the year, they do a huge fundraiser for a nonprofit that is voted on by the community.  It’s a great way to engage with people all around.

Other Communities

I realized as I was thinking about this that there are so many other people I would recommend, but this blog is getting way too long and rambly.  But I would like to say that there are so many communities I think adults could really benefit from.  Like BookTube, an entire community where people talk about the books they read or want to read.  Or the ASMR community, which has a lot more to do with dealing with anxiety than it does in feeling all tingly.  I would suggest just putting an interest in the search bar and following the rabbit hole that it leads you to.  You really won’t regret it.

Just make sure that whatever channel you do fine actually still posts on a semi-consistent basis.  And don’t worry if you miss a few or several of their videos.  Usually, if they reference an earlier video, they will link it in the description below.  Happy hunting!

Do you have a favorite channel or community?  Do you want any particular recommendations for where to start in a particular community?

Games and Ghosts

This weekend, we played board games Saturday afternoon and Sunday night at two different events.


I won the game Saturday afternoon (we played 7 Wonders).  And I learned a new game called Chrononauts on Sunday which I lost, but now that I think I’ve figured out the rules, I want to play it again.


Saturday night, Michael and I went on the McKinney Ghost Walk.  From everything I read about this event, it seemed like it would be more like a history of the area.  At first, that’s what it seemed like.  Basically, we walk to different locations and listened to storytellers, telling the stories of the buildings in downtown McKinney.  It’s self-paced, but it still took a while to get from one place to another, and about midway through the tour, we decided to stop and eat at the Celt (which was one of the stops on the route anyway).  It was pretty packed, so by the time we got done, we opted to go to one more stop.

We went to the Performing Arts Center, which was the old courthouse in the middle of the downtown square.  Before we went to dinner, some of the volunteers told us that there was a short video inside that showcased a lot of the different places on the route.  So when we realized how late it was getting, we thought it would be a good idea to go see the movie instead of trying to get to all of the stops.

But the video was not about the history of these places.  Instead, it was a video showcasing the local paranormal group, Texpart.  They showed all of the equipment they used and then showed a video of things they picked up using the equipment.  It was like an interactive ghost hunters episode.  Not really what we thought it was going to be, but it wasn’t bad.  Next year, we will probably go again, so we can go to the locations we missed.  It’s very kid friendly, and if you go early, most of it is in the daylight.  It is about ghosts, though, so I would rate definitely PG-13.

Also, if you don’t know, or you aren’t subscribed, I posted about these experiences on my vlog channel on YouTube.  The latest one was about the Ghost Walk and the board games (as well as a little mishap Sunday night).

On another note, for Halloween, Jerzee wore a Wonder Woman dog shirt.  We decided she dressed as a comic book fangirl.  Either way, she’s totally cute.


Do you have any traditions for Halloween?

Are there any board games you like to play?

Hike Day for March

This weekend, we had a lot of things happen.  We went to the St. Patrick’s Day parade and concert down in Dallas.  I got some video of that, but the audio was bad because of where we were positioned by a speaker.  The day was quite an experience, though!

Still, I was determined to do a video this weekend!  We had decided that Sunday afternoon would be our hike day, and I wanted to do something actually in Dallas proper.  We headed to Uptown to a small trail that was parallel to the big Katy trail.  It was called Turtle Creek Trail, and it was beautiful!  Here’s a video of our short adventure.

Have you ever been to this trail?  

Do you prefer more urban or country trails?  I think I’m leaning towards the urban ones just because there is so much to see.  But I like the stillness of the country trails too!


Valentine’s Day

A few things happened this weekend.

My husband graciously did a video with me to help me work towards my New Year goal.  (Hint: If you want to see my videos as soon as they come out, subscribe to my YouTube channel…I don’t know if I will always post them on here!)

Then, we went to a fancy dinner at this place called Del Frisco.  We didn’t get pics of our amazing steaks, but we did manage to snap a shot of our dessert.

And on actual Valentine’s Day, we exchanged gifts.  I got my husband some rock for his aquarium and he got me this bangle bracelet from Etsy.


By the way, the pic on the left was one of the snap chats I did this weekend.  If you are on snapchat, you should follow me at katyslifestory.  I try to do updates every day.


And finally, we did our Valentine’s tradition last night of going to blizzards at Dairy Queen.  As we have gotten older, our blizzards have gotten smaller, but it’s still a tradition I cherish.  I mentioned it last year as well in a weekly check in.

Do you have any annual traditions with your friends or family?

What did you do this weekend?