Progress On My Stuff To Do In 2017 List

I wrote this list back in February I think? It's July so that's a good time to check in on the progress I've made against this list, right?

This is version 2 but expect to see numerous updates of this list throughout 2017...and if you don't see updates you have my permission to ask me why the fuck I haven't updated my list. Accountability and whatnot...

  1. Finish Phi's baby blanket (this is kinda cheating cause it's like 90% done but I'mma put it on the list anyway) - DONE! AND SHE LOVES IT! 
  2. Post on BGU at least once a week - I'm trying 
  3. Find freelance writing opportunities - DID IT! 
  4. Pitch freelance writing opportunities - DID THIS TOO!
  5. Try knitting socks using the two circular knitting needles method - STILL SCARED
  6. Go see my family so they can meet Phi - DID IT AND THEY LOVE HER TO PIECES
  7. Finally try knitting a hat on double point needles - BOUT TO DO IT
  8. Get pretty and take photos of already knitted items 
  9. List already knitted items on Etsy
  10. Update my LinkedIn page with my APW internship. - DID IT!
  11. Apply for opportunities in Atlanta - STILL DOING IT, NO LUCK YET 
  12. Search for homes for sale in Atlanta - HAD TO STOP CAUSE I FOUND TOO MANY I LIKED
  13. Convince Meg that I should be Chief Data Officer for APW - I'll start off as "Data Guru" tho...ok maybe not "guru" cause all the startups use that term and it's corny...but basically I wanna be the queen of all things data & sales & marketing for APW, I just need a better title than "queen of all things data & sales & marketing". - TRUST ME, I'M TRYING
  14. Take a girl's trip - no baby, no husband.
  15. Help my cousin soror plan her wedding
  16. Get ordained to do weddings in Georgia
  17. Convince someone to let me officiate their wedding in Georgia
  18. Go to Elise's yoga class twice a week - STILL TRYING
  19. Take the baby to Bring Your Own Baby yoga class at Blooma - WASN'T REALLY INTO IT
  20. Pay off my last credit card that carries a balance (I'm actually really proud that I'm down to 1 credit card that's carrying a balance, trust me this is an accomplishment) - MAKING PROGRESS!
  21. Find a reliable babysitter so I can go out with my husband to stuff - THE HOMIES HAVE FILLED IN HERE & WE'RE GRATEFUL
  22. Book a cheap flight deal so we can take a trip as a family, preferably an international trip so Phi can get a passport stamp. - STILL LOOKING!
  23. Go back to the Primal lifestyle, at least 80% (I'll be shooting for 100% but I know that's unrealistic for me) - I'M LIKE 50% SO FAR.

I'm Ready To Start Freelancing, But I'm Afraid To Pitch!

I feel like I've told this story before, but I'll tell it again: I fell into writing by accident. This blogging this started on a lark, as a way to vent about the stress of my PhD program. I didn't expect to do it long-term, and I didn't expect anyone to read it. But people did read it, and they kept encouraging me to write. And then I fell into my internship with A Practical Wedding. Over the course of my year-long internship, I learned so much about writing for the web, and got plenty of practice writing different types of pieces - essay, sponsored, roundup, etc. When I started my internship, my goal was to develop my writing skills so that I could start pitching as a freelancer. I know I gained the skills, but I didn't gain the confidence! I feel so intimidated by freelancers who have training (like degrees in English) and have published pieces for respected outlets. Beyond my APW community, I don't have connections to editors. All I've got is a list of outlets that I'd love to pitch to and publish in, and a growing list of piece ideas that I'm a bit nervous about.

I think I'm suffering from imposter syndrome. I'm worried that my attempts to pitch will be seen as amateurish. I'm worried that my ideas will be rejected. My fear of rejection is paralyzing me. I haven't even pitched anything to APW, and I have a blanket invitation! My brain is struggling a bit - I don't wanna blame it on the baby...but it's the baby. Maybe when I go back to work, my brain power will come back too? But beyond that, I'm trying to work on getting past my fear and just jumping into freelancing. I know that "no" is the worst thing that can happen, and yet I'm still nervous and afraid to truly put myself out there.

Any tips on how to get over my fear and just do it?

 

Maternity Leave Is Giving Me The Time To Watch All These Shows Yall Been Talking About For Years

During my pregnancy, I really looked forward to my maternity leave. I was pretty much over work by the end of my pregnancy - waddling into the office, running to the bathroom every five minutes, and I found it hard to focus. I was ready to stay home and snuggle with my baby girl, which I've done since she was born.

I planned to breastfeed, and I knew going into it that I'd spend a lot of time feeding the baby...but I had no idea just how much time I'd spend in front of the TV! Especially in the early days, with Phi cluster feeding, it seems like I stayed glued to the TV while she nursed for hours. Initially I was watching my go-to faves, like Grey's Anatomy and Archer but that got old fast. One night around 2AM, I decided to start exploring the offerings on Kodi (app on the Fire TV stick) and I realized that instead of watching old stuff I've seen before, I could watch new stuff! Thanks to Kodi, Prime TV and Netflix, I have access to all these shows that I never watched when they were on-air.

And that's how I ended up going down the rabbit hole with several TV shows. First one I started was Nip/Tuck and I was hooked instantly! From the first episode, I knew this crazy show was right up my alley. It's so over the top and crazy, just what I need when I'm in my nursing chair with the baby. I'm about halfway through the series and I really don't want it to end. BTW, I'm watching using the Phoenix add-on in Kodi, as the show isn't available on Netflix.

Via Netflix, I started watching Damages, the Glenn Close show about a law firm, and that one got me quick too. I love a show with a strong female lead and a mystery, and it doesn't disappoint on either front. Unlike Nip/Tuck, I have to pay attention while this one is on, so no middle of the night watching for me.

This weekend we also randomly started watching The Good Wife. I'd seen my folks on social media rave about the show for years but I never got around to watching. I love the format and some of the characters, though it moves slightly slow. It's hard to watch a 24-episode season when I'm used to watching cable shows which typically have much shorter seasons.

Since I have this free time on my hands, what older shows should I watch? I've seen Sons of Anarchy and Mad Men. I have Breaking Bad on my list, and I have zero desire to watch The Walking Dead. I was thinking of maybe watching The Sopranos since I didn't watch it while it was on. Anything else?

It's Time To Go To Work On This Healthy Lifestyle

Body issues and struggles with my weight are not new to me. I've written throughout the years about my desires to lose weight, wear a smaller size, and feel better about my body. I've had successes through Weight Watchers and the Primal lifestyle, but each time I've fallen off the proverbial wagon and ended up heavier than before.

The time when most women gain lots of weight - pregnancy - is the time that I gained very little. I gained only 25 lbs during my pregnancy, and lost it all within four weeks of giving birth. Since then I've been back to my pre-pregnancy weight of 245 lbs, and holding steady. I share that number as because I want to be as transparent as possible about the journey I plan to undertake. See, even though I've lost my pregnancy weight, my body has changed in ways that I don't like. And even though the scale shows the same number, to me, I appear bigger than I did before. Things have shifted, skin has stretched, and I'm left with an image that I don't like at all. So I have no choice but to fix it through changing my diet and getting back into exercise.

It's my hope that sharing this publicly will help me stay accountable to my goals, instead of slacking off.

Here's my plan:

  • Use the Primal Lifestyle as the foundation for my lifestyle change. I'm shooting for 100% adherence which means I'll end up somewhere around 80%, which is where I was before. Basically this means removing processed foods from my diet, focusing on proteins and healthy fats in my diet, moving more (walking,yoga, etc), and trying to get a decent amount of sleep (may be hard with the baby).
  • Utilizing the gym in my building as well as getting back to yoga classes.
  • Not using "cravings" as an excuse to eat unhealthy things that will derail my efforts.

By far, my biggest challenge is going to be the moving more portion of this plan. I've never been much into working out, but I know I need to do it. It's also going to be hard for me to leave the baby, but I know I need to get more used it. Eating habits have always been easier for me, but it will be challenging with a new baby. Regardless, I'm committed to making changes and becoming more healthy not only for myself, but also for my little one.

I'll report back soon on how it's going!

 

Shit I Will Do Or Make Happen In 2017

This is version 1 but expect to see numerous updates of this list throughout 2017...and if you don't see updates you have my permission to ask me why the fuck I haven't updated my list. Accountability and whatnot...

  1. Finish Phi's baby blanket (this is kinda cheating cause it's like 90% done but I'mma put it on the list anyway)
  2. Post on BGU at least once a week
  3. Find freelance writing opportunities
  4. Pitch freelance writing opportunities
  5. Try knitting socks using the two circular knitting needles method
  6. Go see my family so they can meet Phi
  7. Finally try knitting a hat on double point needles
  8. Get pretty and take photos of already knitted items
  9. List already knitted items on Etsy
  10. Update my LinkedIn page with my APW internship.
  11. Apply for opportunities in Atlanta
  12. Search for homes for sale in Atlanta
  13. Convince Meg that I should be Chief Data Officer for APW - I'll start off as "Data Guru" tho...ok maybe not "guru" cause all the startups use that term and it's corny...but basically I wanna be the queen of all things data & sales & marketing for APW, I just need a better title than "queen of all things data & sales & marketing".
  14. Take a girl's trip - no baby, no husband.
  15. Help my cousin soror plan her wedding
  16. Get ordained to do weddings in Georgia
  17. Convince someone to let me officiate their wedding in Georgia
  18. Go to Elise's yoga class twice a week
  19. Take the baby to Bring Your Own Baby yoga class at Blooma
  20. Pay off my last credit card that carries a balance (I'm actually really proud that I'm down to 1 credit card that's carrying a balance, trust me this is an accomplishment)
  21. Find a reliable babysitter so I can go out with my husband to stuff
  22. Book a cheap flight deal so we can take a trip as a family, preferably an international trip so Phi can get a passport stamp.
  23. Go back to the Primal lifestyle, at least 80% (I'll be shooting for 100% but I know that's unrealistic for me)

New Year, New Life

So I just remembered that I had a blog. Ok, that's a lie. I've remembered for months...it's just be hard to write. I'm not exactly sure why I found it hard to write here, but I did. So I just kept..avoiding this space even though I know that the best thing for me to do is to write regularly, no matter what it is.

Beyond not having the motivation or strong desire to write here, I also had a few things happening. My pregnancy was somewhat all-consuming but not in a bad way. I just got really into the experience of being pregnant and everything that came with it. My instinct to research everything went into hyperdrive during my pregnancy - I Googled everything I could Google. I read books and I joined FB mama groups (some are better than others, let me tell you) and I talked to all the mamas I knew. And then I waited and waited and waited some more for #BabyPi to show up. She is my child, so she took her sweet time and decided she was going to come when she was ready, which meant she showed up on the first Friday of 2017. Thanks for dashing my hopes of a tax deduction!

The first six weeks have been hard and fun and fulfilling and challenging and more. Josephine (aka Phi) is such a sweet baby, and I'm just in love with her. She loves to cuddle and honestly, I love having that excuse to cuddle with her for hours. Overall she's a pretty chill, happy baby but she's still a baby, so we're dealing with middle of the night feedings and fussy evenings. Overall though, I'm overjoyed that I decided to take this plunge into parenthood.

I'm on maternity leave for another 6 weeks, so I have a good chunk of time on my hands. I'm going to use some of it writing and getting out all these random thoughts I've had in my head. I'm also plotting my next moves for 2017 - I put some things on hold in 2016 once I got pregnant, and now that Phi is here I need to kick things into high gear so we can make some moves.

Stay tuned...

 

A Good Reason For A Blogging Break

The last time I blogged, I was heading to Italy with LM for our first anniversary trip. We spent 10 glorious days traveling through Italy, visiting Rome, Florence, Venice and Milan. I drank a lot of prosecco, ate my weight in gelato, saw some of the most amazing sights ever, and enjoyed every moment with my favorite guy, celebrating that we'd made it to one year in our marriage. I came home with every intention to share all the details and photos from my trip. I even started writing - I have the draft posts to prove it. But I never finished them, cause I got distracted by more pressing concerns. We'd been back from our trip for a week, when I had a sudden urge for pickles, and we just happened to have a jar in the fridge. Before I knew it, I'd eaten half the jar. LM came home, looked in the fridge, and said "damn, who ate all the pickles???" When I sheepishly confessed it was me, he immediately said "oh you're pregnant, go take a test".

Before he said it, I'd already been thinking it. I was late and secretly hoping I was, but I also didn't want to face the disappoint that I wasn't pregnant. I told myself that I was just late because we'd been traveling, even though I'd never experienced that in my life. I suppose that part of me needed someone else to believe I was pregnant, before I would I would allow myself to. The test confirmed what we both already knew - I was pregnant!

#BabyPi is happening and we're over the moon.

I spent all summer growing a little human, learning everything I could, and trying to survive all the pregnancy symptoms I was experiencing. I spent most of my first trimester not doing much beyond going to work, falling asleep at 7pm, and trying to control my nausea. I wasn't even writing for APW, as I had zero energy or ideas, and thankfully the team was very understanding. Once I hit my second trimester, I got my energy back as well as my mojo. I've done some great posts on APW, but I didn't have a strong desire to write in my own space. Why? I have no idea.

So here we are, now 24 weeks into growing this little human. We found out #BabyPi is a girl, and I'm so excited to have a daughter. I really wanted my firstborn to be a girl, as I am my mother's firstborn and I want to replicate that relationship as much as I can. I've also found that this pregnancy has brought my mom and I even closer, as I try to learn as much as I can. My mom is amazing, like best mother ever, and I really hope that I can live up to her example, and parent my daughter just as well. Already #BabyPi is showing that she's going to be a daddy's girl - she responds to LM's requests to kick or stop kicking, and it's hilarious.

Beyond the excitement of pregnancy, my life has been pretty quiet and chill. Work has been going well, with just enough to keep me occupied but not enough to stress me out. I'm back to knitting, and finally going to start the Etsy shop that I've been talking about for months. And it's football season - my favorite time of year and best excuse to sit on the couch and knit. My goal is also to write here more, here's hoping I can make that happen.

So...what yall been up to while I was gone?