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some thoughts.

Hello lovely readers,

I hope this finds you well and happy! Texas is progressively moving to open back up from all the COVID-19 restrictions and as I mentioned in my Instagram post yesterday, The Husband is back at work this week. I love being home with our baby girl, but we had both gotten used to having him around all the time and I think we both miss him quite a bit right now. I’m feeling a lot of emotions about everything and it kind of sucks at times, but it’s the way things are right now and I’m just grateful that we’re still all healthy and stable.

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Photo by Tim Foster on Unsplash

I’m not writing today to share some insightful wisdom or anything like that, just to catch up and check in and help get my writing habit back on track. I started my second college course yesterday as well and this one is writing-centric, so I’m excited to see what I learn from it.

I’ve only been out to the farm to see my horse a handful of times. Mostly because I felt like I needed to spend as much time bonding with my little family during this stay-at-home phase as I could. Plus, the last time I went to go riding my horse spooked at her own poop, so we’re solidly in the spring crazies stage, which means riding can be hit or miss sometimes!

But staying home is so worth it too… Tiny Princess learned to pull herself up, has mostly figured out crawling, started eating finger foods, and even knows how to say mama and dada, although she’s very selective about when she chooses to say them.

There’s not much else to mention at the moment – I’m working on Friday’s post and then hopefully everything gets back on schedule, at least for a little while!

Love, virtual hugs, light, and kindness,

Katharine Marie

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March 2020 – A Closer Look

Hello beautiful readers!

March was a full blown adventure, wasn’t it? I feel like we started out strong and then slowly devolved into “the world is ending.” So that’s great. I wasn’t sure how to write this post, exactly, but then decided that I would just focus inward a little. We’re always going to remember the spring of 2020 as the time of the world pandemic, so why not take a look at some other things.

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What happened in March?

Here on Elemental Dreamer…

This was my worst month so far, blog post wise – including this one, I posted four times. Last Friday was my quarterly post, checking in on some of those ideas I was hoping to push for in 2020. Before that, I posted a little update letter to try and find some hope in the chaos of current events. And at the very beginning of the month I had a post about how I handle being interested in everything all the time.

In the Books…

Definitely my worst month to date. In the spirit of honesty, I’ve been super anxious and when I’m super anxious I read fanfiction and trashy romance novels – just a coping mechanism, I guess. I pulled out A Wrinkle in Time yesterday to make a point after we watched the latest awful movie rendition and now that it’s sitting out, I may read it. Who knows.

On the Screen…

We finally finished watching How I Met Your Mother. Since I’d already done it once, I forced Juan to make it through that horrendous final season just to reach the end.

I started watching The Voice on Hulu, and I’m enjoying this season! For some reason I love judging people on TV – a guilty pleasure maybe? I don’t know.

We watched the new live-action Dumbo, the 2018 version of A Wrinkle in Time, and a whole lot of kids cartoons.

Writing Things Down…

Sadly, I did not do any fiction writing this month. I’m really looking forward to doing a little bit in April if I get the chance. But I have been able to do some essay writing for a job and of course, journals and short essays for school!

Other Hobbies…

After half the month off, in the last week and a half, I’ve been able to get back to riding and it’s been great fun, just like always.

I’ve still been baking and cooking and not doing too bad a job! Everything gets eaten, so we’re enjoying it I guess! Last night I did cinnamon rolls and other than being a teensy bit overbaked, they were scrumptious! I need another one now….

Home and Family…

Well… as of last week, The Husband is on leave from work and we are social distancing/self isolating as best we can. That’s fun. It’s not like we ever really went out and did anything, but now the only thing we do is go to my parent’s property or out to the trails to walk. I think we’ve both been adjusting to being around each other 24/7, although the Tiny Princess doesn’t care, she’s just happy to have both of us home.

Overall, things are going well, just trying to keep our heads down until things improve around the world, and keep our positivity up. If you need something to watch, we’ve been watching Jimmy Fallon – he’s doing at-home versions of his talk show and it is weirdly inspiring and makes us smile.


Love, light, and kindness,

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POLL: Blogging in 2020

Hi there, wonderful dreamers!

I’m finishing up my final week of work today and it’s causing me to think a lot about what I’m going to do in the future. Exciting, scary, and everything in between. But mostly exciting.

Along that vein, I’m thinking about what I’m going to do with this blog space in 2020. Of course, when I wrote my ideas for the year, I put down “blog consistently”. Which could be a very objective phrase – consistently means different things to different people.

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I’ve done fairly well recently in getting a blog post up every week – ideally though, I would like to post twice a week. So in the back of my head, that is a goal I’m working towards.

Earlier in January, I plotted out all my blog posts for the first three months of the year – for Elemental Dreamer, for my horse site, and my own private journal. Lots of writing. Haha. But anyways, I’m working towards that consistent two posts per week goal and I actually think this year is the year I’ll make it! Or maybe that’s just leftover new-year-optimism. Who knows.

But in all seriousness. I’ve given a lot of thought to the type of content I want up here. Without even trying, most of my content has always been somewhat centered on mental health. And I love that because I strongly believe in speaking out about mental health awareness. But I do technically classify this as a lifestyle blog, so I constantly try to work in other topics.

When I first started blogging, I used to post a lot more of my fiction projects. This is something that I’m going to be bringing back with a new series of short stories, starting in March!

I’m also going to be recycling some of my ancient ideas with a new, refreshing writing style, talking about some real, down-to-earth ideas for dealing with mental health, trying out new hobbies and projects, expanding on the very serious problem of post-partum erasure, and so much more! And of course, I’ll continue to ramble about my own personal life, probably more often than I need to.

So now I’m asking… what are your favorite blog topics? What do you like to read about?

Let me know!!

[crowdsignal poll=10495340]


Love, light, and kindness overflowing,

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2019 Reflections

Hello lovely dreamers!

This is most likely the last post of 2019 on this blog, which brings us to a total of 74 posts this year. Not half bad if I do say so myself!

I’ve been reflecting on the last twelve months and while I’ve definitely not achieved all the goals I had laid out at the beginning of the year, I can say it has been a life-altering year in so many amazing ways. I’m not going to go through those goals and analyze them all, but I do want to touch on the highlights.

 

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Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

I didn’t pay off as many bills as I wanted to and I didn’t read or write nearly as much as I had planned. Our plans of visiting another country fell through and I definitely didn’t ride my horse more than a handful of times.

But 2019 was a huge year in it’s own right.

On this blog…

I told the origin story of Elemental Dreamer in January. In March, I announced the impending arrival of the Tiniest Princess. We talked about the physical symptoms of depression in April and then about my life with anxiety in May. In June, I wrote a whole lot, but my favorite is the one about intentional dreaming.

July brought about some reflections on my future as an author. We celebrated our first wedding anniversary in August and then introduced baby Adaline in September. I had yet another soapbox moment about first-world culture in October. I shared some thoughts about marriage in November and then in December I reflected on the craziness of the holiday season.

In real life…

We found out I was pregnant and our beautiful princess arrived.

We moved to a new place in a much better area that we’re quite happy with.

We took a really awesome vacation in May and several fun weekend trips.

I figured out a lot of aspects of my spirituality and I feel a lot stronger in that area.

In the spirit of being stronger, I also made the decision to get back into therapy and I am SO glad I did. Highly recommend.

I was able to curb my own spending habits way back and actually stick to a budget.

I finished writing one of my longtime book projects and am now starting to edit it.

So yeah, maybe the past year wasn’t all that impressive in terms of checkmarks on a list. But my heart and my soul are much more full and I could not be happier with the direction my life has taken. It was a year of invisible accomplishments, a year of starting new adventures and figuring out life as a family vs a couple. It was a full and beautiful year.


Looking forward into 2020 – not only a new year, but a new decade – I’m not making a laundry list of goals again. Instead I’m creating a set of intentions, which I’ll talk about next week, and leaving a lot of things open-ended so that I can focus on more of the important things… like really soaking up the moments while the baby is still so small.

Enjoy the rest of the year and I’ll be back, bright eyed and bushy tailed first thing next time!


Love and kindness,

Katharine Marie

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3 Marriage Things

Hello dear readers!

This week feels like it has been extremely long. Not sure why, since I’ve been sleeping better and feeling pretty good overall! But whatever the reason is, I’m just glad it’s Friday now and the weekend is almost here.

As someone who deals with both depression and anxiety on a regular basis, relationships are one of the harder things for me. I’m awful at admitting I need help, I usually try to hide my mental episodes so that they don’t burden the other person or bring them down, etc, etc. And yet somehow I’ve ended up with a great partner and a strong marriage and nothing has blown up!

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Maybe he’s not perfect, but The Husband deserves a lot more than I give back and part of the reason we work so well together is that he is SO patient, inhumanly so. He is definitely a saint. But beyond that, I figured I would share a couple of the things that I believe keep us together and as happy as we are. Of course, these are things that relate directly to my own relationship, but from what I’ve seen of other great relationships, they seem to be fairly common denominators.

An Equal Partnership

I’ll be the first to admit that this is hard for me, but I also strongly believe that there has to be full trust and equality in a relationship if it’s going to work, so I keep practicing anyways. We don’t get to make decisions without at least running it by the other person first and we treat everything as belonging to both of us or being a joint effort. Yes, there are days that I’m not 100% and he has to take care of everything, but there are days where the opposite is true as well, and that’s totally normal.

Laughter

This is the best part, at least to me. We don’t have any trouble making each other laugh whatsoever and it’s awesome. Somehow we manage to joke around at least a little bit in almost every situation, which makes it fun just being together, regardless of what we’re doing or where we’re at. I know that as long as we’re laughing, we’ll stay together!

Balancing Act

Balance can apply to almost anything, but one of the more important ones for us is striking a balance between the time we spend on our own personal interests and the time we spend doing things together. I’m definitely the one who needs more time for myself, which just means that I have to keep that balance in mind. It’s definitely important to have at least one thing that we both enjoy and can do together regularly, but it’s also just as important for each of us to have time out with friends or a hobby that the other person maybe doesn’t have an interest in. That balance is what keeps us from getting bored, stuck in a rut or just from finding petty things to argue over.


I think every good relationship has a few key aspects that help to hold it together – these three are the ones that I find the most important for us. If something feels off, more often than not, it’s one of those aspects that needs some attention to get us back on track.

What would be your key aspects to a good relationship?

Love and kindness,

Katharine Marie

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Mindful Monday: Time

Hello lovelies!

Monday has struck again, but I almost feel like I got a normal amount of sleep last night (I didn’t) so I can start the week strong! We’ll see how long the motivation lasts though.

I’ve been slowly adjusting to working full time and leaving the baby with my mom during the day but it’s definitely been hard. I’m keeping myself busy while I’m on the clock so the days don’t seem quite as long, but I’m also trying to work out some other things to help deal with this whole schedule that is really not easy for me at all.

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What’s Been Happening…

Thankfully, the cold I mentioned last time didn’t progress very far and I felt much better a few days later. Yay for vitamin C and elderberry and lots of tea with honey!

As I already mentioned, I’m still adjusting back to my work schedule now that the baby is here. It’s not something I think I’ll ever be able to adjust to completely since no matter what I would much rather be staying at home, but at least we’ve settled into a routine that I can handle, which helps a whole lot. She’s slowly waking up less at night to eat too, which helps me get more sleep and be a bit less emotional all the time.

I’ve been starting to do a little more writing outside of just blogging – part of that being Nanowrimo! I decided that since I can usually get the house chores done in the mornings before work, I would be able to use the little chunk of time between baby’s and my own bedtimes to write. We’ll see how well it works out – but I have my hopes up for sure!

I was actually able to get some of the budgeting and paperwork sorted out, although there’s still a bit of a pile to get through. At least I’m caught up for the moment though!


What’s Coming Up…
  • Several different appointments and a wedding to get to!
  • Baby turns 2 months old! (Seriously, when and how?!)
  • Start prepping for the holidays.
  • Get back to reading again.
  • Drag my horse’s saddle back home so I can clean it.
  • Get our gaming group together one night.

What’s Been On My Mind…

I keep being reminded by my midwife that taking time for myself is so very important (and she also tells me that work doesn’t count) so I’ve been mulling over that thought in my head a lot. It’s difficult for me to get away from needing to take care of the house or the baby or all the things that need my attention and just spend some time taking care of myself. But my midwife is very accurate and I know she’s right, so I’m trying to give myself the space to relax and just enjoy something that’s just for me. Mentally it is so hard though! Anyone else struggle with that?


What do you have going on in the next two weeks? Anything exciting or just the regular schedule?

Love and kindness,

Katharine Marie

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November 2019 Goals

Hello lovely people!

Texas has decided that it must now be winter – there was a thick layer of frost over everything this morning when I left the house and we’ve definitely broken out the heavy coats. This area just doesn’t know how to do autumn properly, I guess. Ah well.

October flew by, it seems like, although maybe not quite as quickly as September did. It was a good month though, with a lot of changes and craziness, but tons of wonderful moments mixed in.

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October Recap

My goals for the month of October were simple enough and I think I can say they were all reached?! I wouldn’t say the transition back to work has been easy by any means, but we’re starting to settle into a sort of a schedule and it’s getting at least a little more normal, I suppose. The nighttime sleep isn’t perfect either, of course. We have some rough nights and we have some really good nights, but in general I’m getting enough good chunks of sleep during the night that I can function properly during the day. So I’d call that a win as well! Apart from growth spurts (which we’re dealing with right now) everything with the baby has been fairly easy to deal with. Thankfully!

I was super excited that I was actually able to spend a little bit of time with my horse one weekend. I need to drag her saddle home now so that I can clean it and then maybe I’ll be ready to get back to riding. You know, if the weather holds long enough for me to try, of course.

I’ve definitely been trying to take care of myself more, something that I’ll expand on in a future post, although it’s been difficult to really focus on it enough. So a partial win, but something to keep working on for sure!


November Goals
  • Prep for the holidays as much as possible.
  • Work on my Nanowrimo project through the entire month.
  • Make the effort to work on my mental health.
  • Get back on my horse, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
  • Keep up the journaling/planning habits.
  • Keep the house semi-presentable.
  • Possibly start our D&D group?!
  • Snuggle and love on the sweet baby as much as possible – these moments when she’s still so little will be gone way too soon!!
  • Put up at least 6 blog posts.

What do you have planned for the month of November?

Love and kindness,

Katharine Marie

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Mindful Monday: Coffee

Hello lovely people!

I’m a little late putting this up today, but Monday is back and I needed a whole lot of coffee to wake myself up this morning. Today has been my first day back at work and I am so very ready to see my little princess as soon as I get off and can go back home. I stressed all weekend and most of last week over how it would be to go back. So far it hasn’t been too bad, since I really do like my job, but I would still much rather be home with the little one. It definitely feels like I’m missing out.

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What’s Been Happening…

Surprisingly, everything on that little list I made last time actually happened!

The laundry has stayed caught up – at least as much as laundry can stay caught up, especially with the baby. I’m still figuring out how to do loads around my work schedule but once I figure that out, we should be able to stay caught up with everything! Overall the house actually stayed reasonably clean and I was even able to do a few small organizational projects, like the bathroom and the bedroom closet. I actually felt semi-productive for once.

The Tiny Princess is on a fairly good schedule, particularly regarding bedtime and getting up in the mornings. It’s still a rocky road, of course, but it always will be with kids from what I’ve been told! I’ve taken her several different times to see the chiropractor (nothing majorly wrong, just making little tweaks to make sure everything stays as she grows) and she’s starting to sleep longer stretches at night, which is great too.

Dear Husband and I were able to go out and enjoy our local theater’s production of Wizard of Oz this last weekend. It was a whole lot of fun, especially since we’re good friends with so many of the actors! I had a hard time leaving the little princess, with it being the first time to really leave her with someone else, but I enjoyed the evening anyways!


What’s Coming Up…
  • I need to get rid of the cold that I somehow managed to get. Not fun.
  • Try and adjust to being back at work again and the new schedules.
  • Figure out whether Nanowrimo is in the cards for this November!
  • Start writing more again, outside of blogging.
  • Focus inward on loving myself and my little family through this stage of life.
  • Sort out budgeting and paperwork that has piled up.

I’ve Been Reading…

… a crime thriller – Casino Girl, by Leslie Wolfe. I’m really enjoying it and may end up buying the rest of the books in the series. Very intriguing, and I don’t read a lot of crime novels, so that’s kind of new for me!


Love and kindness,

Katharine Marie

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Mindful Monday: Survive

Hello dear readers!

I’m actually back today with a semi-normal rendition of my Mindful Monday blog post series. I know, shocking! But trust me, no one is more surprised than I am.

Everything is starting to go much more smoothly at home. I think I’m slowly getting my brain back, everyone is kind of getting a little more sleep again, and we’re learning how to be a happy little family, whatever that means for us.

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Appreciating the stillness sometimes is what we’re learning to do.

What’s been happening…

I have two more weeks of maternity leave and I’m feeling the time slipping through my fingers so I’m trying to soak up everything I can before I go back to work. Thankfully my mom is the one who will be taking care of the Tiny Princess so I don’t feel quite as much stress, but it’s still not easy. I’ll miss getting to snuggle with her while she wakes up from a nap and playing with her after she eats. It’s the little things and the sweet moments that make me love being a mom.

Very slowly, I’m starting to get back into a routine. We’re working on sleep training with the Tiny Princess and I have to make a big effort to get her eating full meals instead of snacking, plus I’m starting to pump to get ready for going back to work, so it’s not like I have loads of extra time on my hands. But I’m definitely trying to use her good naptimes and whenever The Husband isn’t at work to catch up on the housework and get things done on various projects. Life is starting to feel more “normal” again, even though that normal is insanely different from what it was a month ago.

I am also ridiculously happy that fall is finally here, even if I do live in the state of Texas, which apparently hasn’t gotten the memo. But I know the cooler temps and gorgeous days are on their way and it’s so exciting to me!! I love the fall season for so many reasons, and it thrills me that we’re so close.


What’s Coming Up…
  • Chiropractor appointment for the Tiny Princess.
  • Keep the floors swept.
  • Stay caught up on the laundry.
  • Keep all of us on a bedtime schedule – sleep is a priority!
  • Figure out daily routines to prepare for going back to work. Exciting.
  • Go to our local community theater’s next production one night.

What’s On My Mind…

My brain is constantly on a timer right now – how long since she last ate? how long since I last ate? How long was that nap? When did I put that laundry in the washer?

Since we’re sleeping training the baby, I’m also always analyzing how that process is going and making sure we’re on track. Not an easy task, for sure.

I’m also ridiculously excited about spending time with the ponies again. It’s one of my favorite things to do and I’ve been more or less banned from it for most of the year. I’m still not able to ride (thanks, childbirth!) but I can definitely start doing other things with the ponies and I fully intend to get to it.


What’s been going on with you? Let me know in the comments below!

Love and kindness,

Katharine Marie

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An Open Letter

To my precious baby girl,

There are so many moments that I am trying to capture right now, both through pictures and words. I’m becoming so painfully aware of just how quickly you’re growing and I desperately want to make time stand still, just for a little while so I can take it all in.

I honestly did not know how much my heart was capable of. Everyone told me about how much things would change when you were born, but I guess it was one of those things that you really can’t understand until it happens to you.

I can’t remember what it was like not to plan my day around your meals and naps. I don’t really know how to focus on something else anymore because you are always in the back of my mind.

There have been a few moments, usually in the middle of the night, when I just want to take a break… or sometimes during the day when some time to myself would be the best thing ever. But even when I do get those moments to myself, when I do get to take a hot shower and relax, it’s not the same because I’m still wondering whether you’re okay without me. Even right now, I’m typing this while you take a nap and I keep pausing to listen, to make sure you’re still asleep. I have to make myself stay put and not check on you every two minutes.

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You’re still so small and I’m still trying to figure out what you need at any given moment. I cry a lot because I have no idea what I’m doing and I just know that I’m failing you as a mom. But I can see that you recognize me, my face and my voice, and a lot of the time that’s all you want – just to see or hear me, and then you’re happy.

I wonder a lot about what kind of person you’re going to grow into and I think about what all you’ll end up doing throughout your life. Your daddy and I are very adamant about letting you be your own person and we’re trying not to have any pre-conceived ideas about what we want you to do with your life, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think about it. I wonder what your favorite stuffed animal is going to be over the next couple of years. I think about what your favorite part of school will be once we get into that stage, and what subject you’ll fight me on every day. I want to know what hobbies you’ll get into and whether you’ll want to play sports and I try not to hope too much that maybe you’ll enjoy riding horses with me.

No, I don’t want to get ahead of myself and focus on those things. All I want is for you to grow into a strong, brave woman. Someone who is kind and gentle and always goes after whatever it is that she wants. I want you to never ever forget that no matter what, I’m always going to be here for you and I’ll always have your back – even when you’re a teenager and you kind of hate me. So yes, I hope you become an amazing person, but mostly I just hope that I’ll be the mom that you need in order to become that person.

And I want to do my absolute best to make sure that I am that mom, whatever that takes. I am so, SO blessed to have your dad beside me, and in turn you are a very lucky girl to have him too. I honestly have no idea how I would be handling this adventure without his help.

Of course I’m reading all the books and the blogs and I’m asking my mom a million questions – I’m trying to suck all the helpful information in without getting overwhelmed. And then I’m trying to learn exactly what you’re life because even with all the tips and expert knowledge that I can read, nothing is the same as learning exactly what your different cries sound like or how you like to be held or how long you like to eat for. I have to learn what your quirks and preferences are, and I love how special you are (yes, I’m still biased).

I guess it’s a good thing that I’m already learning that hard lesson – nothing will replace listening to my own baby instead of all the opinions and ideas that get thrown at me. And I intend to keep that lesson close to my heart because no matter how old you get, listening to you will always be the most helpful thing I can do.

I love you, baby girl. I’m so proud (and also terrified) to be your mom and I can’t wait to see what you become. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I had no idea how much you would change me.

Forever and ever, I’ll always love you.

-your mommy

 

p.s. also, just stop growing for a while. just stay this small for a bit longer. please??

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