For my husband on his birthday

For my husband on his birthday

I wanted to take a minute to word vomit for my husband on his birthday.

Babe, we have been through so much over these past 9 years. We have learned so much in error and kept each other afloat. I don’t want this to sound like an anniversary post because babe it’s all about you. Ever since I met you I’ve been obsessed. You are the sun on my darkest days, you lift me up and encourage me every chance you get. You’ve been the best partner in crime and a passionate lover. The tough exterior is just a front because I’ve seen you down to your core and it’s all gooey sensitivity in there. In the beginning you were a broodish man who was completely lost and misunderstood, we leaned on each other deeper each day for support and I want to continue to get back to that place. As we walked further in life together, you softened and also grew more guarded in ways that which were necessary. You stand up for yourself with such pride and charisma that people mistake you for a jerk or someone who doesn’t care. This simply is not true if someone knew your life, your triumphs, your struggles, your pain and your healing- they’d think otherwise. Seriously you’re the best guy ever- don’t change. You are a champion. A hero who lifted me from ashes when my cards were all down. I cannot thank you enough for the rest of my life!! In times of need you always strategize ways to fix the problem, to avoid catastrophe and make things all shiny new again. That is a big quality that I admire so much in you. Where I lack, you teach me to be better in small ways, to be more caring, less judgemental and not so hard on myself. Basically you’ve made me a stronger person and better human 9 times over. I don’t know where I’d be without you- so much that it makes me super emotional. I mostly thank your parents for having you because without them and the help of Ashley, we never would have been. Sometimes I think “what if?”- my mind doesn’t dare cross the question. It’s unfathomable, because despite the odds and trials we have overcome every single one and having you by my side has been the best gift of my entire life. I gaze into your eyes and think how in the hell did I get so damn lucky?!?!

Onto the next, you are so hard working, outgoing, generous, kind, faithful, loyal, funny and sexy. We are BOTH 30 now and we gotta step up our future game; so let’s put the big pants on together and help each other out more. I’m always here for you no matter what, believe me when I say I’ll do better. I don’t want you to ever doubt that my love for you runs deep, down to the center of my soul. You are my love, my light, my everything… forever and always, to the moon and back. Happy 30th and I can’t wait to have the next 50+ years with you!

Goodbye twenties, hello thirties!

Goodbye twenties, hello thirties!

I used to love my birthdays but that has changed. Growing up, celebrating was a top priority and was just a high point of my year. We used to go all out for my birthday party and it was a gathering family affair.

As time went on, I grew up and it stopped being fun. I no longer looked forward to it and started letting it get me down. The family passed on and dwindled-I quit having fun with this personal day. As a kid I celebrated growing up and being older; getting to do things I couldn’t before. But as an adult, I have a lot of freedom these days and my birthday became just not as special. I usually just celebrate with a nice dinner and cake which is wonderful. I’m still very thankful but the big 3-0 feels very serious in comparison. Like a third of my life is over and what have I done?! {forgive me if this feels whiny or negative-at this point it’s a free write}

I have blogged for 10 years combined, I have started and stopped many businesses online, I have gotten married and survived read:thrived for 9 years of marriage and I have celebrated being a loving wife and furmom. We’ve been through ups and downs and all in between and I’m grateful for being able to live life the way I do. Reality hit us hard this past year with budget and future planning and we are still alive and doing well in my opinion. We have strengthened our relationship and I’m constantly working on being a better and fair wife. I have learned, gained and lost friends but I am beyond the juvenile(ness) that I used to have upon me. I just don’t have time for it anymore. Beginning new hobbies and spending my time in a more productive way is at the top of my list and making strides towards a solid future. At the end of the day committing to something that makes me happiest and feeling fulfilled is an important part of my life.

I know going forward that I should grab my life by the reins and never take anything for granted. I’m going to drop the negative attitude around my birthday that I once had and continue to love this day because it celebrates me being here, being alive and having a life to live.

My 30th birthday  started off by sleeping in and being able to relax and wake up slowly. It was the most pleasant morning I’ve had in awhile even besides the normal day. I was flooded with messages and emails of love, well wishes and happy birthdays’. My best friend Ashley took me out to coffee and sushi, we ran around downtown and hung out while it warmed up. I swung into a small boutique I had been into before and saw one item that I needed, a 30th party wine glass! It was so much fun! When I came home a few hours later, Sean said not to peek in the kitchen. So I marched in the bedroom and was surprised when I saw some sweet jammies and a card on the bed. If you follow me on Instagram I posted them there a few days ago.Then our friend Bryant came over; it was his birthday too so we celebrated altogether! We got him some games for his birthday and made his day better. Next we just decided to have cake (at like noon) and ice cream, so Sean put candles on the cake and we blew them out at the same time. After eating a bit of cake and ice cream I went over to World Market and grabbed some tiny bottles of wine to mix with orange juice and enjoy with dinner. She recommended some moscato in very fruity flavors with peach and raspberry. Before I left I decided to grab a few little specialty lotions and a cute sloth notebook.After I came back home we chilled out for awhile and eventually got hungry that evening. So the boys went out and got Papa Murphys’ to bake pizza at home. (side story: my oven turned off the preheat so the second pizza wasn’t cooking and took forever to finish, so eventually…) We ate and enjoyed pizza, I watched some tv and drink wine while the boys played games. It was the perfect ending to a fabulous 30th birthday!

What are your viewpoints about getting older? What do you think about your birthday? And how do you celebrate your own special day?

Daily Night Routine

Daily Night Routine

So a while back I wrote about my Daily Morning Routine and when I got so much feedback and positivity on it I thought I’d write the Daily Night Routine. These are common posts for bloggers to write and people to be into reading but I have to be honest, I’m just starting mine. I haven’t had a set routine in quite a few years because I’ve been basically a stay at home wife. But I feel like I need more structure for my whole day and night to be more productive and time managed well.

First of all when I’m winding down for my night I try to get comfortable. it’s a very important thing. Usually I’ll shower first or on a self care night I’ll indulge in a bath to soak in and deeply relax. Showers and baths at night is easier for me because I find the heat so relaxing. I am a person who likes to be cozy all the time and that means pajamas earlier than most. After Sean comes home, I feed the dogs and we will eat at the same time. And then after they scarf down their food, they will go outside to go potty. They’ll go a few more times through the night before we head off to bed as well. Most nights you’ll find me either watching tv (whatever I’m binging at the moment on netflix or hulu) or blogging away.
I often cuddle with dogs while I text a bunch of friends to see how their day went. I made a new habit of reading at 11:00 or 11:30 pm before I go to sleep at midnight. It seems late but that’s the earliest my body will let me sleep. I’m a natural night owl and it’s been really hard to fight it. Next up is a trip to the bathroom, wash my hands and brush my teeth. I’ve been trying to get better about some decent skincare habits so I wash my face with a cleanser and maybe do a mask or some spot treating also before my head hits that pillow.

I love to be on my phone in bed which I know is like the worst thing you can do (see: blue light, etc etc). I tend to scroll pinterest and do my best spree repinning and pinning my own content late at night, which to be honest probably isn’t good for my algorithms-oops!

I tend to fall asleep easily compared to my husband who has terrible insomnia and must sleep with a fan. We both snore so that drives us both batty! And also two weiner dogs who hog the bed really badly but they don’t know any better so having them in their own dog bed isn’t an option either.

Well I see this was probably a bit confusing and mixed up but it’s kinda the best I can do for now since I’m starting over with a new plan now. Our new routine includes an early to rise game plan with a workout afterwards and I’m going to work on putting my phone down more often too.

Tell me what you have in your morning or night routine that HAS TO HAPPEN..

Why I Chose My Major (and Why I Quit)

Why I Chose My Major (and Why I Quit)

This blog space here is relatively new and if you don’t personally know me you won’t know that despite all my hardships in my young life that I attended both a community college and a University. I honestly haven’t written a whole lot about my college days in a very long time and mostly it was only ‘I’m doing this paper’ or ‘working on that project’. I enjoyed school growing up very much. I loved most of my teachers through the years however school became difficult for me. But as I grew up I started to get the hang of it and worked smarter not harder. I put more effort in and aside from having a pretty hard senior year I slipped through- not my highest GPA but also not my lowest. I graduated and moved out on my own. Portland State accepted me and I chose to go to start my Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree.

There’s a lot of reasons why I picked a psychology degree. My first reason being that I grew up as a child of divorce and  I was moved around like a rag doll between parents for years. It was a scary time and I didn’t understand what was going on. I didn’t have a lot of people to talk to and was then taught to keep secrets and not to tell anyone what was going on. Later on down the line after moving a bunch and doubling back to high school I took beginner to psychology class. I  loved the content and teachers I had. I loved how the lessons in the class related directly to my life. The idols and great fathers of psychology in every tier was so fascinating to me. It was one of the only classes I liked and enjoyed, asked questions and readily was interested in. I remember wishing at the end of the semester that there was just more lessons. My teachers as a junior in high school then urged me to look into thinking about doing psychology as a major.

A big reason why I initially wanted to study psychology had a lot to do with what I went through as a young teen. I lost my father at a young age to suicide-it was sudden and tragic. Anyway, I felt like I had a lot of people trying to support me and counsel me but they did a bad job. Years later and I don’t think I’ll ever recover from it. It’s something that just lives with you no matter what you do to cope daily. I know I am not the totality of what happened but of course it affected my life in a huge way. I also acknowledge that I am not the only one this has happened to and I know there are better parts of life coming.

I always wanted to help kids thrown into bad situations like me, helpless and hopeless kids who needed to be supported.  I felt like I could relate to kids who’ve been through similar losses with immediate family members. I went to a child’s counseling group center called “Dougy Center” I don’t know if it’s state or nationwide but I loved it all the same. It was truly a safe place where you can physically and mentally release whatever emotions you are struggling with.(sidenote: there was an arson and although it was destroyed they were able to relocate and rebuild again even better than before)

I think it’s especially important to take your pre-requisites very seriously. I was great doing my undergrad studies and then when it came time to have my nose to the grindstone, I was already like, worn out. School is tedious and monotonous. I am no longer a believer in “college is the only way” because now we have mediums like YouTube and companies who hire and train on site. Although positions like in an office secretary type setting used to be entry level is now not enough experience for an post grad. Changes in times surrounding school are one of two ideas; you MUST go to school and now these days go for longer/word harder OR you have to create your own skillset, sell or be unique enough that you can somehow make a living and live unhappily in middle to low class forever.

When I met my husband- things changed. Priorities just shifted. Although it really had nothing to do with him I wasn’t invested anymore. I hit my wall after 5 years of school and still puttering along without any real progress or final stand, I was done. I was struggling through every class and trying desperately to get help in my math arena. I got tutoring and after school help and office hours but nothing was working out… I felt defeated and that at the end of it all was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I had 7 more math classes to finish when I called it quits. I was so close and yet so far and at that point I don’t think anyone could blame me. My heart wasn’t in it anymore and I just couldn’t reinvest either. Now my financial situation has changed and I cannot afford to go back to school. So I’m going to encourage you to continue to strive, if you’ve hit your wall keep pushing because in the end it’s so important. I’m thankful that I learned as much as I did in the amazing courses with the people and educators that I did but I wish I could’ve finished.

Did you choose to go to community college or a university? Did you go straight to work from high school? What has been your experiences and what lead you to that path? I’d really love to hear why and how you’d do it different (if you could or want to)?

 

I am my mothers daughter

I am my mothers daughter

I am my mother’s daughter.

Today I want to tell you a story about me and my mother. Everyone has a different family right?! And no one’s perfect. I am feeling impartial and semi-cheated out of childhood being my mothers’ daughter. Well, that sure applies to my family and specifically to my mother. My life was really bliss growing up from birth through about age 9. For most kids, that’s probably not very long considering most people will be raised in a stable household (I don’t know stats on this, but I think it’s majority still). But my house became anything but stable shortly after. I was a truly naive kid and in an effort to rehash that- I’m starting here. I am my mothers daughter and my name is Nora.

The Good:

I am my mothers daughter.

  • My parents always made sure I was truly taken care of (through age 9). I was always clothed, fed, clean/bathed and felt truly loved. They were the best parents (Mom) ever and I felt so blessed.
  • My birthdays’ were always a huge family bash and both sides would come to celebrate/visit with me. I was so lucky to have SO many people who loved me growing up. Food, fun, and laughs were had by all. I was a spoiled child (truly) and I didn’t realize it when it was happening but looking back; raising me- it took a village. Everyone really pitched in to care for me and because I had older sisters- it seemed more of the focus was on me, for some reason. I was the youngest child after all and I made sure everyone knew I was damn near helpless. ( I was kinda a brat.)
  • The household fun was had by all: this is more of a side story but it applies here, in the good column. We loved Dirty Dancing and Patrick Swayze and all that awesome dancin’. So most nights we’d blast the soundtrack or oldies in the kitchen as we all lent a hand in cleaning up or having a chores day. I don’t even remember what we did besides all the dancing and singing along at the top of our lungs. It was fun and everyone (except dad- reading or napping on the couch) joined in, even the dog!
  • I had a lot of certain freedoms being a 90s kid; growing up a little ahead of all the true freaks in our world- they still existed but the FEAR mindset wasn’t nearly as bad. I walked a block or two to my friends’ house and I have always been driven the three blocks to school. Later on, I was allowed to ride the bus with the neighborhood boys (the stop was at the top and bottom of our street). I could walk to the corner store two roads up by myself and walk back without feeling threatened. I could safely play outside with other kids and in our neighborhood not have to worry too bad about stranger danger or busy streets/cars speeding (thank you speed bumps on 32nd). I could be dropped off someplace and I knew buddy system was best. I knew to trust the authorities (police, fire, security, etc) and I’d be safe. I had the trust of my parents and knowing that felt good. I am my mother’s daughter.

The Bad

I am my mothers daughter

  • So here’s where things start to slip (age 9/10), I noticed more yelling between my parents, more slanted glares, more sighs and “humphs!”- you could really cut the tension with a knife. And not long after I turned 9, there was a night full of screaming, arguing, slamming things and open threats. To a kid who’s hiding in her room- that doesn’t mean much when you don’t understand what’s going on around you. But as soon as I heard my mom dial 911 and my sister came to swoop me up- I knew something was really wrong. D-I-V-O-R-C-E. (I hate this word with an almighty passion) And so it happened. My good little wholesome family is now torn apart.
  • I was automatically set to live with my mom. I was under the age of 15? I think is when the judge gives you the right to choose. The go-betweens started and I hated it. Tell your dad this. Tell your mom this. Well, she can just.. He should just…. I really hated that part of being the center and the only kid stuck in the middle of it. I tried to tell them to quit it- to argue or fight with each other. But it never stopped, only in addition to he said, she said.
  • My mother was also the one who never was an active parent which to me- is very important. She was never on PTA, didn’t bring treats to school or sign up for the dance committee. I missed her being at my events and supporting me through school and getting to know more about that side of my childhood. I am my mother’s daughter.

The Ugly:

I am my mothers daughter.

  • The number of times my mother and I moved would shock the hell out of some people. In a matter of 3 years we must have moved 8-10 times or MORE. It was hard living out of boxes and always wondering about making rent or not getting kicked out as a kid. It was horrible and also just kinda fun always being in a new space- but I also never ever felt settled. In addition to other events- not controlled by my mother- I attended 4 high schools and had many friends, again never feeling like I fit in really anywhere. I began to feel aimless and disjointed at times.
  • My mom had a drinking problem. We all knew it. I knew it. And yet, I was living with her. Why? I don’t know. It happened slowly and then all at once and then more stressed she got, the worse it got. One night, I awoke to a policeman at my door and cops outside putting my mom into a cop car. I was half awake, about 11 years old and I was scared. My mom went out in the middle of the night leaving me home alone (to get a beer), and on the way back had hit 3 or 4 parked cars and was weaving up the road when she got pulled over in our apartment complex and cuffed for DUI charges. And when she didn’t/couldn’t pay the fines when she needed to. She in addition, spent 60 days in jail. (I was living elsewhere by then.)
  • There were many nights when we would go to visit her friends or be out with her current boyfriend. and we were often out late and I, to be honest at 11, 12, 13 yrs old was not always supervised. And was usually then late for school or slept in past the time to wake up/missed school days because I was up late- not getting sleep and/or not getting my work done on time. I had resulted in many, many absences and tardies for which they wanted to hold me back in the 7th & 8th grade. Forever, I am my mother’s daughter.

This is in NO WAY trying to completely bash my mother or anything of the sort but, it was not a walk in the park either. She had a lot of problems and honestly still does. But I love my mother and she will always be the mom-the one I could watch tv with and the one who would make all my boo-boo’s better. I am my mother’s daughter and I always will be. I have my own personal issues and the years we did not speak for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s healthier when two people do not communicate and/or do not love each other. It gets to that point sometimes. I love my mother- I do but it sure is complicated. She has put me through the wringer and well, she deserved to be ignored and not included. I am my mother’s daughter for the anxieties she passed onto me, the fears of the world on my shoulders, my naivety, and my helpless nature. She did not empower me, she did not lift me up, she not teach me the bright side of things- all quite the opposite. But at the end of the day

I am my mother’s mother. I am the parent.

If you’d like to change and/or fix your toxic relationship with your mother or mother figure; here are a few ideas.

  • SET BOUNDARIES
  • SPEAK YOUR TRUTH (may not be the same as their truth-that’s okay)
  • CELEBRATE SMALL WINS WHEN YOU GET ALONG OR HAVE A POSITIVE CONVERSATION
  • FORGIVE, DON’T FORGET
  • UNDERSTAND WHERE THEY ARE COMING FROM (GENERATIONALLY)
  • PASS ON THE RELATIONSHIP, ENGAGE LESS, GIVE YOURSELF HEALTHY SPACE

-Here is a book I found that may also help you out with this relationship I am my mother’s daughter  also this one, Difficult Mothers, Adult Daughters is another good one to check out.

I may even order this book and take a read. This is something I still struggle with so I hope you don’t feel alone or to blame. A relationship especially a strained one is a hard thing to cope with. Wishing you grace and knowledge that something in this post helps or relates to you.

please remember to repin!

Things I’m Afraid to Tell You

Things I’m Afraid to Tell You

So #truth I snagged this post from the lovely Megan from Bloom

I really loved this idea so I thought I’d do the same and share with everyone.
Let’s see how this goes…I dare you to do this post and share with me-let’s compare answers.
  • I weigh less than 100lbs. I think I weigh myself and every time the number never moves (and I want to gain weight) it always says 91. I am a tiny sized human and my mom has a very small frame too. 
  • I’ve dyed my hair or gotten it done since I was 18- almost every year at least 2-3x a year. Also my hair grows so fast that I can chop it off and it’s back before wintertime.
  • I have fallen off a horse- and I thought I was paralyzed.. I was so afraid I didn’t move my back and was carried up the hill from the corral on a stretch backboard. I was terrified and I think I scared other kids too..
  • I get jealous- like everyone else. I often find myself wishing I had a bigger home, a better car, a job that I love, more friends, better hair or healthier being. I’m working on being happy with what I have. Because that’s just as good!
  • I have a weak leaky bladder- yep there it is, a deep dark secret. (oops!)
  • I’m not the greatest blogger and I’m trying to improve with regularity and better content so if you like what you’re reading and seeing- I’d love to hear about it. {and please subscribe to my weekly newsletter!}
  • I used to be so crafty and creative in school and now I’m not so much- I’d really like to express myself that way again.
  • I eat way too much fast food and drink too much soda. Working on creating healthier habits.
  • I’m 29 years young and look like I’m a 10 year old- blessed I guess?!
  • I get really mad when I’m yanked around (physically and emotionally).
  • I don’t trust easily anymore- I used to trust way too easily and now I barely trust anyone.
  • Sometimes I get mad, like really mad and say things I don’t mean.
  • I often don’t have a filter or don’t use my brain when I speak and say the completely wrong thing.
  • I have done many things I’m not proud of (I know we all have) but I’m actually still ashamed of these things and don’t speak about them anymore-time to move on right?
  • I have secrets, my family had secrets and I know everyone has something to hide now, I learned to take it with a grain of salt.
  • Sometimes I unfairly judge people (again everyone does sometimes) but I’m trying to learn not to.
  • I can’t cook worth beans- I am a box cook QUEEN. (this has 100% changed since I originally wrote this; I’m getting quite good at cooking now). Although now I’m learning as we try KETO this year!
  • I am so jump-into-things mentality that it often gets me into trouble.
  • I’m 100% shy around new people but also EXTREMELY outspoken around close friends-which one are you gonna be?
Hopefully you found this interesting. But, we all have our things and that is some of mine. Thanks for everything and I hope you will be supportive and maybe write your own confessions…

What are you afraid to tell me? What secrets have you NOT divulged yet?

if you have any questions- feel free to just ask. And as always you can email me as well at noraspaulding@gmail.com

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