I want to be a waitress when I grow up.

While I’m in the re-blogging mood also check out my friend Jessie’s new blog, she’s a talented aspiring therapist and now I found out a talented writer as well!

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That’s right. A waitress. At least that’s what I said in the third grade. But what better to do with a child’s dream than to squash it and tell   her to think of something different and “better” to be than a shitty, low-paid waitress? (Thank you, Ms. Ellickson.)

So I changed it to “marine biologist.” It sounded smart. And it would get the teacher off my back. I went with that for a while until I realized that I’m terrified of the sea (and the threat of tsunamis, in particular) and I fucking HATE biology.

Next idea: stand-up comedian. Again, a low-paid job with little chance of success. But I’d get to talk all day and (potentially) make people laugh. Realistic, it was not. Closer to a real yet feasible dream job? Most definitely, though I wouldn’t realize it for another sixteen years or so.

Enter junior high. No one knows…

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Beyond the Quarter Life: Now what?

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Written by guest blogger, my wife!  Check out her blog: Finding Nikki

Go to college, get a degree, find a job, get married, buy a house, have a baby. These were goals I set for myself as a young adult. When I was 18, these life events were all a big mystery– I didn’t know what I was going to major in, where I would work, who I would marry…but I knew this is what I wanted for my life, and I looked forward to the future with excitement as these goals took shape.

Fast forward 10 years. Now I’m nearly 28. I have a degree from the University of Minnesota. I found a job with career potential right out of college. I met my husband and we married in 2009. We bought a house in the suburbs. I had a baby in 2012, at the age of 25. Fantastic! All my life goals are complete. Now what?

That’s the scary part. I have no idea. I think I’ve been a little too distracted the last couple years, and I never paid much attention to the future. You can only do so much when you are battling severe postpartum depression, an anxiety-inducing and demanding full time job, and taking care of a baby that was sick all the time with ear infections, pneumonia, and has some developmental delays.

Things have improved immensely with my depression and anxiety (a whole other story to share a different time!). My daughter’s illnesses have been reduced thanks to a new treatment plan that included ear tubes, daily nebulizer treatment, and she also sees an early childhood special education teacher to work on her developmental skills.

The last hurdle was my job. I felt trapped– I had many reasons to stay (good benefits, good co-workers, a semi-interesting career path), but only one reason to leave: a hostile work environment created by my boss. In the last 2 years, I have done everything in my power to make it bearable to work with her. It worked for a while, but it was taking a toll on me and my family.

A couple weeks ago I did what I thought was impossible– I quit my job! After working there for almost 6 years, I went into work, gave my notice, and didn’t come back the next day. If you know me, then you might be a little shocked. I’m supposed to be the dedicated, stable, enthusiastic employee. I had no job lined up, knew I would be giving up my family’s health insurance, and my only plan was to use some of my 401k money that I would now have access to upon leaving. This is very un-Me behavior!

So this is where I stand currently: I’m taking a break from all things career-related. I’m not ready to start looking for jobs yet. Mostly I have no idea where I want to begin my next career path. But I’m fine with that. I will be using this time to be at home with my daughter and my husband, who is working from home in his new business venture. I want to make up some of my lost mother-daughter time from having postpartum depression and working full time in her first 2 years. I want to reflect on the crazy whirlwind that has been my life in the past few years, and through this I hope to learn more about myself and have a better idea of what I want for my future.

Oh, and we were able to get a new health insurance policy on the private insurance market, and its actually affordable (thanks, Obama!).

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Update – leap of faith

Hello, I apologize for neglecting my blog. It’s been awhile since I posted and a lot has changed. I’m still officially self employed running BlueGemstoneJewelry.com and so far loving it! I don’t regret taking the leap of faith to leave the corporate 9-5 for something I love. It sure is keeping me busy though!

Since I started in December I’ve been building my online gemstone jewelry business with an Ebay store.

There I auction off rare and exotic jewelry starting at $0.99 with free shipping. It has been very successful, but I knew I had to eventually create my own storefront to avoid the high ebay fees.

So I started designing my storefront at BlueGemstoneJewelry.com and I’m happy to say we’re having the Grand Opening on March 1st! Everything will be on sale! We also will be offering 15% Off by entering the code “15OFF” at checkout. We sell sterling silver jewelry in rare, collector gemstones such as Blue Sapphire, Tanzanite, Opal, Rainbow Moonstone, Russian Diopside, and much more.

However, I knew to be successful I need something that makes my site truly unique. That’s why I decided to start a Live Stream on my Youtube channel. There I will stream live everyday at 12:00am Central time starting on March 2nd! I will be presenting our ‘Today’s Best Value’ in what I hope will be an fun and informative way.

I think it’s awesome that I can share my passion for gemstone jewelry with others and make a living at the same time.

Oh, and you’re a regular reader my almost 2 year old, Josie is doing really well. She is starting to throw some major tantrums, but I can’t say no one warned me about that!

Also, my wife and I are doing better. She actually took a leap of faith herself and quit her job. She wasn’t happy what she was doing and it was really dragging her down. Now she’s going to take some well deserved R&R time and then start thinking about what new career she’d like to choose. Until then she sells Norwex products which is a line of cleaning products that reduces the use of chemicals in your home. She does home parties and sells through her website. We don’t even use cleaning chemicals in our home anymore. For, instance, did you know dryer sheets are toxic? There’s a multi-billion dollar industry selling us products to make things supposedly clean, but a lot of it is bad for our health.

Sorry, that’s a ridiculously long post! I’m glad to be blogging again and I’ll try and post at least weekly.

Until then, count your blessings instead of your problems, and have a great one!

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Caged no more

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Try as they might
lock the door
shivering fright
hours of life
extinguish.
extinct.
the end?

Just work.
living I shall make
wallowing
call center purgatory
meaningless fate?

Never stop
blazing test
architecture of thought
melding into
dreams of riches
wearing underwear.

Hopelessness
Doubt
Depression…
Ignition!

Raging inferno
vanquishes doubt
evidence of success
staring back
rational plan
Not the past
moment to grasp…

I got it!
Not letting go
Not compromising
Now I control my…
fright,
time,
living,
breathing,
Life!

How well do you know your partner?

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This is a question that our marriage counselor asked us recently. We were surprised by the results! She gave us a list of questions and here’s some of them if you’d like to try with your partner:

1. What was your partner wearing when you first met?
2. What stresses are facing your partner in the near future?
3. Describe in detail your partner’s day, either today or yesterday.
4. What is your partner’s favorite and least favorite relative?
5. What makes your partner feel most competent?
6.. What personal improvements does your partner want to make in their life?
7. What was one of your partner’s best and worst childhood experience?
8. Who is your partner’s greatest source of support (other than you)?
9. What is your partner currently most sad about?
10. Which person does your partner most admire in the world?

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It helps to think we’re sleeping underneath the same big sky

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In our chaotically beautiful human lives, it helps to know you’re not alone.

When you look up at the night sky, imagine all the other people doing and thinking the same thing.

People long for both solitude and togetherness but cannot have both at the same time. It is this contradiction that makes us human. It forces us to choose.

While solitude brings us peace, being social with others brings joy. It is this that fulfills our need to feel connected, to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.

The next time you’re feeling anti-social, try stepping out of your comfort zone and connecting with others. Chances are they’ve been there and can relate to your tendency to withdraw.

After all, when you leave this world for good one day you’ll have nothing but peace and quiet.

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My Husband Upgrade Update

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Hello all my wonderful followers, how has everyone been the last two months? I have had a little hiatus from blogging. Okay, to be honest I was depressed and burying my head in the sand… It was necessary due to the heavy issues I’ve been dealing with. Hey, but it’s not all bad, there’s a lot good going on in my life as well. I’m trying to be optimistic.

If you have read about my marital strife than you probably know my wife has postpartum depression and anxiety. To add insult to injury I have bipolar, anxiety, and ADHD. We have a beautiful and wonderful 19 mo old daughter and have been married for 4 years. Since I blogged last in September we have started going to marriage counseling. Our therapist is very helpful and has given us many new ways of looking at things. We desperately needed this because our marriage has deteriorated greatly.

The thing that kills me is how negative and self defeating she acts. She often tells me that the depression makes her shut down and she can do nothing and I have to do EVERYTHING! It makes me mad and frustrated that she is almost incapacitated. I’m mad at the depression. It has robbed her of her self esteem, confidence, purpose, and ability to be happy. It’s excruciating to sit back and helplessly watch someone you love fall apart.

But I know now there are things I can do. I can’t change her but I can change what I do and support her much more. These are the changes I’ve made since I last wrote:

1. I have created a chore chart and am committing to it. My wife gets more stressed by a messy house than I do and it’s important for mental health.

2. I have made the commitment to take over completely when I get home from work. This gives her the rest of the day to care for herself. She needs this time in order to deal with her depression and get better.

3. I have stopped blaming her for having depression. It has been over a year and in ways I felt like I lost my wife. Marriage counseling has helped me understand that she needs my full support to get better. Getting upset and withdrawing just makes it worse.

4. I have stopped sleeping on the couch as much. Yes, I understand this is a classic sign of a marriage spiraling out of control but I did it because I was staying up late watching netflix and avoiding her depression. I understand now this just made it worse and made us both feel terribly alone.

5. I finally gave in and hired a babysitter for a couple nights a week. It’s also made a big difference and has helped her have more energy.

We are practicing being husband and wife again and loving each other the way we both are. Acceptance is the key to reconnecting. I feel hopeful. All is not lost 🙂

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Husband 2.0

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I am currently in the process of being upgraded to a better husband. Just like when opening an app and it asks you to update, my wife suggested I update myself.

It was long overdue. I was crashing, force closing my mind, becoming glitchy when she was talking, and not quite as user friendly as I once was.

So, I am currently becoming husband 2.0. This will be a multi-post series where I describe my changes and have my wife give honest feedback and rank how satisfied she is with her new and improved hubby.

Upgrade 1: Acts of Service

This upgrade will improve my processing power by alllowing me to complete more tasks simultaneously. These functions include but are not limited to: dishes, laundry, changing diapers, feeding the baby, cleaning the bathroom (especially around the toilet), grocery shopping and other tasks she gets usually gets stuck with more of.

By improving the servicing part of my dad microchip, this will allow her to take more breaks from the daily drudgery and enjoy life more. Hopefully, this will lead to a positive review from my wife. We’ll see how it goes and I’ll post her feedback here soon on a 1-5 star scale just like the reviews for apps.

Now, if you’ll please excuse me, I must download my new dad update. Follow my blog for more updates to my goal to become husband 2.0, and as always, thank you for reading. 🙂

5 Steps to a Happy Wife (written by a happy husband)

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1. Shut up and Listen.
2. Shut up and Listen.
3. Shut up and Listen.
4. Now that you listened to the exact words she has verbally expressed and most importantly, read between the lines, then promptly complete all the tasks and requests she desires without delay.
5. Rinse and Repeat.

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Ode to Honey Strawberry Greek Yogurt

O thank you all powerful Greek Gods,
for conjuring this lip-smacking treat.

Creamy whipped goodness so sweet,
a strawberry honey kissed feat,
Sitting down on my seat,
distractions obsolete,
rapidly depletes
as I eat.

Share,
O contraire,
I cannot bear,
to spare the soft,
so tender loving care,
a dreamy Grecian love affair.

Alas, my baby lets out a cry,
My heart nearly dies,
she’s so hungry,
compromise,
fills my
eyes.

Baby,
full of glee,
she also loves
custard-like strawberries,
touched by the nectar of bees,
but even more than delicious yogurt,

She loves you so much, her dear mommy,
our beautiful baby brings you closer to me.

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My daughter Josie eating delicious
Greek Gods Honey & Strawberry Yogurt

Greekgodsyogurt.com