Sometimes, with everything going on, I forget why I started this blog.
I just wanted to write. Exciting things were going on in my life and I just wanted to record them. Write them down to share with friends and family and to be able to look back on when I was older. I blogged whenever I felt like it, just whenever I had something to say or something to write down. I blogged throughout my move home from college, then my engagement, then my wedding, life as newlyweds, and my pregnancy.
Then, my pregnancy announcement EXPLODED (all the thanks goes to Leah from Our Front Porch Media), and everything changed. My Instagram started gaining a following, I was getting tons of monthly views after putting the pregnancy announcement picture on Pinterest, and I had to opportunity to make this blogging thing into a career and I did! I’ve never looked back and I love what I do. It has blessed my family so much for me to be able to contribute financially in this way. It has helped us pay off Sawyer’s hospital bill quicker than we thought and (finally!), buy a new car. I’m so thankful for this blog and all the opportunities it brought me.
And to think, it was all because Leah Jaramillo takes REALLY great pictures 😉
But, in the midst of all the sponsored posts, the affiliate programs, the collaborations, and the photo editing, I sometimes forget that this was originally just a place to record my life. And sometimes, I still want to do that. Especially with all the changes lately. Last week, one of my blogger friends posted that she was putting up an update on her family because that’s why she started blogging and she hadn’t done it in a while. And my first thought? Me too. So here’s an update on The Browns, since everything has changed these past few months.
Our plan for this year was to buy a house this fall in a new city about 30 minutes away from our current one. This was contingent on Kurtis’ job, and it unfortunately, fell through at the last minute. It was a bummer because we really had our hearts set in finally getting out of the town we grew up in (not that running into your old high school teachers at the grocery store isn’t fun and all…), and buy a place big enough for Bennett to have a backyard, and for us to grow our family (if you’ve been to our condo, we’re kinda maxed out in the space department).
So, since we’re staying in the condo indefinitely, we’ve decided to redecorate a little. Nothing huge because we don’t want to break the bank but my style has changed a lot since we first moved in and we want our home to reflect that. We’re planning on redoing the master bedroom and the living room. I’ll be posting that whole journey here so stay tuned!
Kurtis is still commuting to work, about 45 minutes each way. He actually recently got transferred to a different location, and it’s unfortunately, still about the same commute time. The reason we don’t just buy a house closer is because they’ve talked to him multiple times about a promotion within the region. The region covers Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, and Nebraska. So, if he does get the promotion we’ll most likely have to move and we don’t want to go through the hassle of buying a house only to have to move 6 months later. We’re waiting to find out what the plan is. The bummer is that the possible promotion is contingent on a position within the region opening up (someone leaves, gets fired, or gets promoted), which means it could be tomorrow, or it could be a year and a half from now. So, we’ll keep renting until we know for sure! We’re continuing to rent in Castle Rock because my parents own this condo and give us a really good deal. We don’t want to give that up until things are permanent. We don’t want to give it up, move closer to his work, only to find that all we can afford is smaller and more expensive than what we had in Castle Rock. We’re a family now and we need the space!
I know I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I’ve cut back on working. Here’s why. A few weeks after we got home from our Balboa vacation, my mother-in-law fell and broke her leg. Badly. She required 2 separate surgeries and will need a few months of physical therapy. They’re hoping to see her walking again by Christmas/New Years and even then she still has a long way to go towards a full recovery. So, she obviously couldn’t watch Sawyer for us anymore.
Before the accident, my mom and my mother-in-law took turns watching Sawyer. I worked 3 days a week and they each had him on a permanent basis one of those days, and then took turns for the 3rd day depending on who was available. When Nicci fell and broke her leg, that left only my mom to watch Sawyer. For the past year she’s only been used to have Sawyer 1 permanent day a week and only sometimes a second day. And now I was relying on her for 3 full days a week and it just wasn’t working! My mom works in ministry and has 2 kids of her own, and it just couldn’t work out as much as she loved the extra time with Sawyer. And I knew I couldn’t continue to ask that of her. Plus, at that time it was before we has bought our new car and were down a car. So with no childcare, and no car, working seemed impossible. With my blog making money and Kurtis having gotten a raise this past spring, we knew we could do it. Things would be a lot tighter, but we wouldn’t starve or anything.
So, as much as I love Orangetheory with all my heart, I quit. I knew it was unfair of me to ask them if I could only work 1-2 days per week. That was unfair to my coworkers, unfair to the members, and unfair to my superiors. It was hard and my boss was sad but she understood.
Then, my next work day she called me into her office and said she told the owner about me giving my two weeks and he said no way. He had to keep me on. At first he offered to help us pay to fix our car, and we declined because it was too generous, and we could never accept that. Then, he offered to let me work from home. Which was perfect! So, I still work 3 days per week. Whenever my mom is able to watch Sawyer, I go into the studio and work a regular shift. When she can’t, I work from home. I still do a lot of the same things I was doing, just at home! I make calls, answer emails, help out my coworkers, make the facebook events, write the monthly newsletter, and more!
It was such a blessing. I can’t thank Shawn and Mary Beth enough. First of all, that they value me as an employee so much (I’ve been there since the very beginning, since the Parker studio was just a glimmer in Shawn’s eye and wasn’t even built yet!), that they were willing to work with me to keep me on, and that they were willing to work with my schedule and my life as a mother. Now I get to be home with Sawyer more, I still get to do what I love working in fitness, and we’re not as financially strapped as we though we would be. I’m so thankful.
I never did his 1 year update because I’m a slacker mom. But, he is doing so well. He’s HUGE! You would never know by looking at him that he was born prematurely and struggled with weight issues. He looks like a mini linebacker. He’s walking like a champ and talking! He can say Mama, Dada, Bennett, Dog, Ball, Light, More, Jay (Aunt Jaynie), Stop, No, and a few others. He loves Mickey Mouse, Elmo, and Jake and the Neverland Pirates. He takes 2-3 hour naps and (usually) sleeps 12+ hours at night!
We’re having s much fun with him now that he’s interactive and playful. He loves to run errands with us and go to the park and go on walks. Parenting is so fun now!
For those of you that don’t know, we suffered a miscarriage in early August. I was about 4 weeks along and we had only known I was pregnant for 2 days when I started showing signs (read all about it here). It was tough. We’re still grieving but we’re hopeful. We know we are (apparently) extremely fertile, so we know we’ll have more kids. We’re currently trying and leaving it in God’s hands. We know he has a plan for our family whether it’s 10 kids or just 1. I’m aching for another one so keep us in your prayers! We don’t really want them more than 2 years apart so we’re hoping it happens soon. I am 100% certain I am NOT currently pregnant (if you ladies know what I mean), so here’s hoping for the future!
All Things Lovely
I have so many amazing things planned for the blog in 2017. I can’t wait to get started! As much as I would like to blog 100% full time, Orangetheory still has a big piece of my heart and I don’t know if I could ever completely give it up, no matter how well my blog was doing. Right now, I give 3 days a week to Orangetheory and 3 to my blog. So, I’m working 6 days a week. It’s tough, but I’ve got my schedule down to a tee. I’m rocking being able to keep the house clean, put dinner on the table every night, do all my errands, and work 2 jobs! (Yes, I count blogging as a job and you should too). And I’m feeling really great. I can’t wait to show you what’s in store and what’s next for me and my little budding business. I could not be more proud.
If you read that whole thing, you must really love me! Thank you all for sticking with me on this journey, even when it gets messy and I struggle. Thank you for reading!