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Thriving This September

Summer is over. Well, technically, it’s not over for a couple more weeks, but pretty much every school is back in session. The vacation part associated with summer is over.

I looked back at my Thriving in Summer blog post as I was typing this one. Even then, I could see the burn out, but I don’t think I really saw the totality of how overwhelmed I was getting with life. Taking a step back was one of the best things I could have done for myself.

I recapped my summer activities in another post, so I won’t repeat myself. The other thing I mentioned in my last thriving post was that I wanted to take time to contemplate where I wanted to go with my blog. Honestly, I didn’t really think about the blog too much this summer. I didn’t forget, but there was just so much else going on that I didn’t have time for it in my brain.

As I sat back down to the blog this last week or two to start writing again, I got a chance to organize, or reorganize my blog, and it gave me a sense of some direction I wanted to go.

That brings me to my Thriving in September goal/challenge/direction.

So, for the month of September, my goal is to write twice a week. I’m thinking that Tuesdays and Thursdays will be the days I write. But I’m still getting back into new normal rhythms for the Fall. Someday, I may find that I can write on more days than just two, but for now, I’m going to take it slow.

In the past, I’ve had certain days dedicated to certain topics, but, again, for right now, I’m just going to write one post after another. At least until I figure out what I want to do on a broader scale

So, September is about coming back slow. Living in the moment. Focusing and sharing the things that are important to me. I hope you all had a wonderful summer and a great start to your September!

Do you have any goals that you are trying to reach this month? Or are you just trying to get back into your rhythms as well?

Thriving This Summer

Summer is here! I’ve been contemplating this post for a while now, but before I get into it, let me tell you how May went.

We had so much fun celebrating our son’s first year of life. We also spent some time with family and a bit of traveling (with a bit more to go later this season). It has been so incredibly busy, but there was one thing that I noticed.

Usually, when I take a break from blogging, about halfway through the break, I’m chomping at the bit to come back to it. But this time, that didn’t happen. In fact, it didn’t happen by the end of the month either. So I started to reflect more on why this was happening. I think it’s for a lot of reasons, but I wanted to share just a couple.

First, I think I was more burnt out than I realized, and the energy I used to devote towards my blog has been used in other places. My son is getting more and more active and interactive. My parents are moving to Texas, and I’m helping with that transition. Plus, as I mentioned above, we have been traveling a bit already and have plans to do more (and this after two years of very little traveling). In addition to all of that, I have been dealing with some terrible writer’s block.

Second, I’m not sure where I want to take this blog in the future. When I started blogging on WordPress, it was about our life here in Texas. It transitioned to infertility and pregnancy loss in the last five years, and while I still want that conversation to continue, I’m not sure how much I can contribute to it from this platform at this time. I have some thoughts swimming in my head, but they aren’t clear yet, and I want to take the time to really think through it.

Here’s my plan for the Summer:

I am going to take the summer to reflect on my blog and general online presence. Also, I am going to continue posting on my Instagram (@Katyslifestory) on a pretty regular basis. Right now, it’s the right size of a platform for me and gives me the space I’m needing.

This was not at all what I thought I would be doing right now, but I think it’s the best thing for me. I don’t know what the future holds for this blog, but I appreciate all of the support and love from this community. Talk to you soon!

Thriving in May

Other than those pesky allergies, we managed to stay pretty healthy this month!

As far as my plans, here is how April went:

I am going to be honest with you. I didn’t like doing the reading journal. It was hard to incorporate it into my day because I read literally whenever I have time. In a drive thru. At the gym. When I’m waiting for a timer to go off for dinner. And I just couldn’t keep up with the pages I was reading and the thoughts I had in a journal (besides, I’m actually already journaling in three journals this year, so I might be journaled out.). I haven’t yet really begun to write in my books (unless they are for a book club and nonfiction – I don’t know why I’m okay with only that), but I might look into other possible options (book darts, maybe?).

I did research on memoir writing. I still want to find Stephen King’s On Writing which I haven’t yet (I should just break down and get it on Amazon). But I think what has been most helpful is reading other people’s memoirs. I’m probably (definitely) going to go back to writing next month, but I want to incorporate more memoirs in my near future.

I did get the plants planted in the hydroponic jars. I just have to wait for them to sprout. Hopefully, they will, although they are a different brand than my mint (which is doing beautifully still!). I almost forgot to do them this month, but this blog post reminded me.

Here’s my plan for May thriving:

I only really have one goal or focus this month, and that is rest. I’m taking a break from blogging for the month of May. I did this last year when I had my son, but I’ve actually taken this month off for both blogging and social media for many years in the past. I think this is about the time when I need to step back and evaluate blogging and, really social media in general (although I will still probably post on my Instagram @katyslifestory). But also, we have a lot of family time this month (hello, celebrating my son this week is bringing in both of our parents!) and I want to take the time to enjoy it.

So I hope you all have a wonderful month of May and I will talk to you again in June. (By the way, I do have some blog posts still going up to finish this week. Friday will be my last post. I will also take a break from my newsletter, Saturday will be the last one until next month).

Do you have any goals you are trying to reach this month?

Thriving in April

The illnesses continues this month in our household. I feel like we are playing Sicky Bingo this year. So far we have experienced RSV, the Flu, Pink Eye, and a Double Ear Infection. But Spring is here, and with it is sunshine and warmer weather, so hopefully it also signifies the end to all this sick business.

As far as my plans, here is how March went:

  1. Work up to reading 50 pages in a day. I don’t know if I will actually accomplish this, but any excuse to read is definitely something that fits into my definition of thriving.
  2. Continue writing the second chapter, and add a few things to the first chapter. Hopefully, complete both and beginning writing on the third chapter.
  3. Start my garden! I already have the setup done, I just need to plant the seeds at the right time, or ahead of time in the house.

I did accomplish reading 50 pages a day by the last two weeks of the month. Honestly, it took a lot of dedication. I was lucky that I could find Jane Eyre in audio, E-book, and traditional book form so that I could read the story wherever I was – while nursing, before bed, in the early morning, working out. My library was an excellent resource for this. I even got up to 162 pages in a day (I used the traditional book to keep up with the page amount).

I completed the second and third chapters of my book. I’ve written about 7500 words so far. Right now, I’m basically writing chronologically, but I know that I will be going back through and adding memories or little things that I want to include. Plus, I want to figure out the complete purpose of this book. Of course, it’s to tell the story of the last five years, but there are so many directions that story can take, depending on the audience.

The garden is planted! In fact, I just transplanted my watermelon plant that I grew from seed inside. I have posted a few pictures on Instagram, and a few more plants have sprouted since then. I’m still waiting on a few more, however.

Here’s my plan for April thriving:

  1. Begin a reading journal. I kind of started doing this last month to keep track of pages, but I would love to have something that includes notes on what I’m reading to help me when I write my reviews (up until this point, I’ve been doing my reviews mostly from memory). Plus, I would like to continue keeping track of my page count (by the way, April 1st, I only read 12 pages. It was a long, tiring day).
  2. Research more on memoir writing. I am getting to a point in my writing where I need to decide what direction I want to take (as I mentioned above). I got some books out of the library, and I will probably do some research online, but I think I will take a small break from my writing to make sure I’m headed where I want to go.
  3. Finish planting indoors. I have a few hydroponic herbs that Michael got me for Christmas. I need to plant them and get them all set up on my window. I finally have room because I’ve moved the watermelon plant outside.

I will try to post updates throughout the month on these on my Instagram, and of course, have an overview at the end of the month.

Do you have any goals you are trying to reach this month?

Thriving in March

February flew by, but I guess that’s what to expect from the shortest month of the year. Unfortunately, we had some illness again this month. Ugh, I’m so ready for the sicky season to be over and the sun to come out again! Although, I’m also game for a good snow day if it decides to visit Texas this year (a girl can dream!).

As far as my plans, here is how February went:

I have set up a workout rhythm at home, including the trips to the gym on the weekend. It wasn’t perfect this month. We had another visit from the illness fairy, but the rhythm is something I can stop if I need to and pick right back up the next day.

I didn’t complete the second chapter of the book in February because I got inspired to add things to my first chapter. But I’m really happy with that chapter, and I’m using that momentum into this month.

I did bake twice this month, though! I made a strawberry lemon cheesecake around Valentine’s Day. And I made cookies and cream cupcakes towards the end of the month. Both were delicious and fun to get back into baking. I put up pictures of both of these on my Instagram.

Here’s my plan for March thriving:

  1. Work up to reading 50 pages in a day. I don’t know if I will actually accomplish this, but any excuse to read is definitely something that fits into my definition of thriving.
  2. Continue writing the second chapter, and add a few things to the first chapter. Hopefully, complete both and beginning writing on the third chapter.
  3. Start my garden! I already have the setup done, I just need to plant the seeds at the right time, or ahead of time in the house.

I will try to post updates throughout the month on these on my Instagram, and of course, have an overview at the end of the month.

Do you have any goals you are trying to reach this month?

Thriving in February

Whew. January was incredibly insane for my family. I can’t help but wonder if it is an indication of crazy things to come for this year. Our family was out for about half of the month with at least one of us sick. But still, there were definite moments of thriving, even if there were about the same amount of moments surviving.

As far as my plans, here is how January went:

I went to the gym probably once a week on average. Between coordinating with Michael and being sick or Sam being sick, I had to miss a few of my intended visits. Still, I enjoyed the times I did go, and my plan is still to go at least twice a week in the month of February.

I did begin writing my book. I got a bit of outline done for most of the chapters, and according to my document, I’ve written a little over 2000 words. It’s not much, but I am getting into the rhythm of writing each week.

I did bake twice in the month of January! I made cookies out of a mason jar mix that I received for Christmas. I didn’t anticipate them becoming so big in the oven, so they didn’t come out perfectly. But they were the best cookie crumbles! I also baked chocolate chip cookies from a British recipe so I got to use my kitchen scale. They were very good!

Here’s my plan for February thriving:

  1. Incorporate some at-home smaller workouts. While I still intend on going to the gym at least twice a week, I am starting to feel the need to do some more strength work at home. And maybe some more yoga outside of the class. I used to do this all the time, but with a baby, it can be a bit of a challenge.
  2. Try to complete two chapters in the book. I started getting some momentum with my book, so I want to finish up the first chapter I’m writing and hopefully finish another one before the end of the month. This is a shorter month so this will also be a bit of a challenge.
  3. Bake two things with the word “cake” in it. Last month I baked cookies, so this month I want to try my hand at some kind of cake. I know cheesecake is going to be one of them, but I don’t yet know if I will try a cupcake or some other kind of cake for the other.

So, it is going to be a lot like January, but I’m actually working through each of the seasons in rhythms. I might share more about this later. Hope everyone had a great start to the new year, and if you didn’t meet your goals, that’s okay. February can be your new start!

My Word for 2019

Happy New Year everyone! What an incredible, crazy, and amazing year 2018 was for me and my family. It ended with wonderful time with family and friends. I am so grateful for the year, and I’m ready to take on this new one.

Last year, I used the word Anticipation as my focus for the year. It was the perfect word and worked so well considering we were anticipating the arrival of our son and all of the firsts that come after that. I almost couldn’t decide on a new word for this year because it wouldn’t top last year’s word.

As I continued to think back over the last few years, I realized that a lot of it was spent simply surviving. We were in survival mode after our first miscarriage, continued to be in survival mode as we tried to conceive again, and stayed in survival mode after the stillbirths of our first and second daughters. Even in this last pregnancy, it was all I could do to survive one day at a time.

So, I want to change my mindset this year. While I want to continue to live in the present and take one day at a time, I want to do more than just survive. I want to thrive.

To thrive means to flourish. It’s not staying in my comfort zone. It’s challenging myself to grow vigorously.

Honestly, I’m slightly afraid that I will fail. That I will find out that I’m not good enough to accomplish the things I want to do. But I can’t remain in fear. I know that my default is to stay where it’s comfortable (any fellow nines out there?). But I also know that while comfort is good when healing, it’s not the best for growing. And I want to grow.

So, while I have many plans in the coming months, here are a few things I’m going to try in January to help me get into the mindset of thriving.

  1. Start going to a gym regularly. This is a pretty typical new year resolution, isn’t it? However, I have already tried out this particular gym’s yoga class and absolutely loved it. I’m hoping to go at least twice a week this month, including a few more of these yoga classes.
  2. Start writing my book. This is probably the biggest and scariest goal for me this year. But I feel like last year was a chapter in my life closing and a new one beginning. So before I get too far into this new chapter of my life, I thought writing down my experiences of the last five years or so into a book would help me reflect on all of it.
  3. Try to bake two things this month. Michael and I love to watch the Great British Baking Show on Netflix. And I want to try my hand at baking a couple of things this month. I got a new kitchen scale, so I’m excited to try it out.

There are a few more things that will be a bit different this year, particularly on the blog, but I will talk about that later this week. I am a ball of anxiety and excitement at what this new year will bring. I might have to incorporate some more stillness and meditation to counteract all the excitement. I hope you have had a great start to the new year!

Anticipating November

Two more months left in this year.  What a year it has been!  But, like always, a little look back over the month of October

I didn’t read as many books this month as I hoped I would.  I only completed three books of the seven, and I’m in the middle of two of the other books on my list.  I think part of the reason I didn’t read so many was that I had a big project to complete at the end of this month (which I’m hoping to share with you next week).

I continue to purge throughout the house.  I actually got into the holiday decor that I was hoping to get to earlier in the year.  I also rearranged my kitchen a bit after the purge from last month.  And we have been doing some furniture upgrades in our house, so it’s a bit crowded with older furniture and boxes (because I order to deliver everything).  But once everything is sorted, it’s going to be amazing (and another possible post to share with you soon as well).

Halloween was stormy and rainy, but still so much fun.  We passed out candy at home and had a blast.  Sam had no idea what was going on, but spending time with the neighbors was super special.  We also remembered our daughters on Pregnancy Loss and Remembrance Day.  We didn’t go to a balloon launch like we have the past two years, and instead just spent the evening at home.

Sam is 6 months old this month.  He is such a sweetheart.  He’s still not crawling, but he is mobile.  He loves to roll to places and grabs or explores everything within reach.  And he has begun talking nonstop, still just babble, but it is starting to sound like actual words.  He also plays really well on his own.  He will be talking and laughing on his activity mat.  When I say something, he looks up a bit startled like he was in his own world and forgot I was there.  Signs of an introvert, maybe?

But now on to November.


  • Reading and Writing.  So, I’m still going to be reading a few books this month, but considering the holidays are soon here, I’m not going to attempt much.  I’m also going to try the Nanowrimo this year.  I’m not expecting to finish a novel, but I want to get into the creative habit of writing, not just journaling and blogging that I normally do.
  • Upgrades and Purges.  I’m going to try to purge more stuff from the house.  I have quite a bit of momentum right now, so I’m hoping that will continue through the month.  I need to actually bring things to donation centers.  The boxes and bags are starting to pile.  In addition to that, with all the purging, I’m doing a few furniture upgrades (like I mentioned above).  I’m hoping to finish this part of it in the next week or so before the holidays and hosting start happening.  I’ve got a deadline!
  • Thanksgiving.  This holiday is probably the hardest of all the holidays for me.  It’s when my first daughter was stillborn and when my second daughter and my first miscarriage were due.  I don’t know how I’m going to be this month, and being busy with all the projects is probably part of my coping mechanism.  On the other hand, Sam will be eating solids by this holiday, so I’m excited to see what he wants to taste, what he will love and what he won’t.  It will be up and down for sure.

Hope everyone has a great November!

What are you anticipating?



Anticipating October

I know these next three months are going to fly by!  With the holidays and family time, I am really excited about the coming end of the year.  But first, a look back on September.

I got so many books this last month, enough to fill my monthly TBR list for several months to come (and I even have more coming in this month, though not quite as many).  I’ve really enjoyed reading a lot this month.  I’ve already shared my reviews on Kathy Khang’s Raise Your Voice as well as the second book of the Archived Series by Victoria Schwab, and I will be sharing more reviews this month from books I read in September.

I have filled a donation box of things from my kitchen.  I have another big pile of clothes to donate as well.  It feels good to purge in the Fall.  I haven’t really worked on the home decor or holiday decor yet, but it’s coming.  I did switch out our duvet cover and the placemats in the kitchen to signify the beginning of Fall.  I really like the little traditions I do each year.

The Walk for Alzheimer’s also happened this past month.  We weren’t there very long, though.  It’s the first year that none of our family finished the walk due to the rain.  At first, it was just a sprinkle, but by the time we got back to the car, it was pouring down rain.  Not really the experience we anticipated, but we hope to continue this tradition for many years to come.  There will be other walks that won’t be so wet.

Sam is 5 months old this month.  He can roll onto his stomach and push himself up.  He’s even very recently started to move around on his stomach but not quite crawling.  It will come soon enough!  He is also babbling quite a bit, but no real words just yet.  I know we are on the cusp of some new developments, and I just wanted to write down this moment before everything really starts to happen.

But now on to October.


  • Books, books and more books.  I have seven books in my TBR this month, and I really hope to get to all of them.  I managed to read five books last month which is huge considering at the beginning of the year I could maybe eek out three.  Of course, I also have a few books coming in this month as preorders.
  • Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness.  October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, with the 15th being the actual Remembrance day.  I don’t think we will be participating like we have in years past, but I’m hoping to have a few things here and there to remember our daughters.
  • Halloween.  Technically, we have had a few holidays already with Sam here, but I just feel like Halloween is the first real holiday he will experience and be slightly aware.  He won’t remember it, I know, but he is more aware and that is just fun.

Let’s bring on October!

Anticipating September

I remarked to Michael this past weekend how quickly this year is coming to an end.  Only four more months!  Still, there is so much left to anticipate.  But first, a look back.

The month ended with a week of contemplation over my second daughter.  I attended a memorial for another little girl who passed away.  The memorial was close to my own anniversary which only emphasized the reality of it all.  Losing babies is painful and overwhelmingly so, but I do have hope and take comfort in the fact that there is more beyond this life, and our family will be together again one day.

Sam is now four months old.  I’m completely blown away that I get to watch this little boy grow and learn every day.  We had our first small fever/cold this month.  As much as I didn’t like the fact that he felt crummy, I did slightly enjoy the extra snuggles (I was also a little under the weather so it was a lot of nursing and napping those days).  He has gotten quite a bit more talkative, though only in his own babble language, and Michael and I expect he will be scooting/crawling or sitting up on his own any day now.

Again, I didn’t get very far with the blog organization.  Between Sam and being sick and just life in general, I actually didn’t spend a whole lot of time in front of the computer.  So, I think I’m going to put it on the back burner for a while, maybe try again in a few months or the beginning of next year.

I have, however, been doing a lot of purging, especially in my kitchen.  I’m getting rid of any gadget or item that I haven’t used in 5+ years.  It really feels good to declutter.


  • Books, books and more books.  September is National Literacy Month, but it’s also the time when quite a few of my preorders are coming in.  Plus, I have a few other books on order as well.  And I have a challenging TBR (To Be Read) list this month, but last month I completed five books (the most in a long time), so I’m hoping to continue the momentum.
  • Purging and Moving Into Fall.  While I continue my book binge, I also want to continue purging other areas of my home (maybe finish the kitchen!).  One way I do that is I will be packing up my summer clothes and pulling out the fall clothes.  This is the perfect time to go through both sets of clothes and get rid of things that don’t fit or flatter.  I also plan to purge home and holiday decor as well.
  • Walking for Alzheimer’s.  This month, we also plan to fundraise for our Walk to End Alzheimers.  We have been doing this for over 10 years now in honor of my great grandmother and Michael’s dad.  I have a personal goal of $300, but I don’t know if I will actually reach that since I’ve started so late on the fundraising.  We shall see!  I will probably write more about that later this month.

Even though I didn’t get to accomplish everything I anticipated this month, I still feel like I came out alright.  My number one priority that I anticipate each month is to be a mama to my son, so anything extra is just icing.