horses

Five Years of Choices

Hey there, all you lovely folks out in the big wide world!

I’ve been in that weird mental space lately where I’ve been thinking about everything that has happened in my life and the choices that I made that led to where I am today.

Five years ago I was getting ready to head off to university. According to the plan I had at that time, 2020 would have been the year I would have started teaching/working/something, likely moved into the Dallas area (or another metroplex). I had zero intentions of settling down or having kids for a looonnnggg time yet. Don’t you just love how life doesn’t turn out the way we planned? It’s great.

My brain is very inconsistent sometimes. It’s very hard for me to let go of that one inconsequential thing I didn’t do yesterday and kick myself for that. But do I wish I hadn’t gone to university, struggled really really hard, and spent a crapload of money for three rough semesters that would leave me totally confused about what I really wanted out of my life? No, not really. I could easily look back and see where I could have made better choices or done things better/differently, but I don’t regret the journey that brought me to where I am today.

I learned SO MUCH about music during the years I spent studying and pursuing that career. I may be out of practice right now, but even without playing regularly, I’m still a pretty great pianist and that’s a skill I value highly.

The first semester I spent at university, I leased a lovely little horse and took weekly lessons for several months. It was easy to think that I failed at my horse goals because ultimately it was expensive/time consuming and I ended the lease in order to focus on my music classes. But in actuality, even four years later, I’m still feeling the effects of what I learned in those lessons and from that horse when I ride Lady. That’s worth it.

I might have felt lost. I might have spent my time in questionable ways. I may have spent too many late nights out on the town because I was confused. I might have ended up in the wrong relationships. But I learned from every single thing that happened.

I stressed myself out. I cried. I got a new kitten. I had a lot of panic attacks. I spent hours pounding away on super expensive pianos and questioning my career choice the entire time. I took criticism. I made good and bad grades. I discovered a unique love for music history (that was unexpected). I failed a class for the first time in my life. I struggled with money and then spent half a month’s earnings on my first tattoo – because I wanted to. I made and lost friends. I worked long hours and went into debt for the first time.

Basically, the first few years of “adulthood” were hard for me. And I think, in a way, they should be that way. It was rough being on my own for the first time. Plus, I’m stubbornly independent and will not ask for help unless it’s extremely dire. So I needed to learn a few lessons.

But I don’t regret the choices that I made or the experiences that I had. None of it was a waste of time or money. I didn’t think I would end up where I did, but I’m also not the same person I was five years ago. I still don’t know what I’m doing half the time. I had no idea what I was doing when I said yes to The Husband’s proposal and I had no idea what I was thinking when I said I wanted a baby. But those were the two decisions that led to the most happiness I could ever ask for in a lifetime.

I’m still searching for more, and I think I always will be, to some extent. But truthfully, I could not ask for a better life. I’m grounded and truly confident in myself and what I believe. It’s a nice place to be.

Maybe this week I’ll manage to get out two posts again. I’ve been in the process of clearing more space in my schedule and school is tough this term, so it’s been a juggling act lately!


Until next time,

Love, light, and kindness,

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Posted by katharine_marie in General, Life in 2020, Life of a Writer, Lifestyle, mental health, 0 comments

What Horse Ownership Taught Me

Hey lovely readers,

So one of the things I’ve done while stuck at home/social distancing is online shopping. I mean, haven’t we all ordered at least a couple things during this whole chaotic time? I haven’t bought everything I wanted, but there’s definitely a few things on their way to my front porch this week that I might not have ordered if the circumstances had been different. Whoops.

But overall, I would say that I don’t buy a lot of things on a whim. Coffee from my favorite local shop just because I was driving by? Yes, that happens more often than I care to admit. And I do tend to grab one or two things out of clearance bins before checking out at stores. But 98% of the time, if it is going to be spending more than five dollars, I can say no really easily. And I attribute most of my ability to spend money wisely on my teenage years of owning horses.

 

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My own photo of Lady!

 

See, I got my first horse when I was eleven. And then I got another two when I was twelve. And then the horse that I still have now came home when I was thirteen. So I’ve spent all the years from then until now making sure she stays healthy and happy. My parents definitely helped out with vet bills and they made sure there was enough food and pasture available, but I always felt the responsibility of making sure I had enough money to pay for whatever Lady needed. As someone who naturally spends money on whatever she wants at the moment, having a responsibility like that was a great thing. I still probably spent more money than I might have needed to, but it was all on fancy feed and equipment for my horse, so it was justified.

Most people talk about getting their kids a pet so that they learn responsibility, and it absolutely can teach kids a lot. I’m certainly grateful that my parents allowed me the opportunity to have horses as a teenager – not just because I enjoyed the horse, but because I learned a lot.

Growing up with a horse in my backyard that was my responsibility gave me the opportunity to practice caring for someone besides myself. I made sure that Lady had enough food for the month before I bought myself a new pair of shoes. I got out of bed to break the ice on winter mornings and tossed hay with frozen hands. I walked the fencelines and made repairs in hundred-degree weather. I spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours building confidence, patience, and inner strength while riding and training horses – all things that I’ve carried over into every other part of my life.

Originally, this post was supposed to be about how owning horses made me better with money, but it morphed into more than that. I keep casually shopping for a miniature horse for the Tiny Princess because now that I have my own daughter, I realize just how much I learned from my experiences and I want her to learn how to have that same strength and confidence that is unique to horse girls. There are a lot of hobbies that help shape strong, confident women, but I’m rather partial to this particular one. Maybe because I’m still learning from my horse? And even if my little girl doesn’t have my own interest in horses, I’ve still learned so much that I can hopefully share with her anyways.

In a belated Mother’s Day note – thank you Mom for always encouraging me to ride and learn everything I possibly could about horses. You probably kept me out of a lot of trouble, haha!


Love, light, and hoofbeats in your dreams,

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Posted by katharine_marie in General, Life in 2020, Lifestyle, 0 comments

10 Years

Hello beautiful dreamers!

I talk a lot about goals and looking forward and trying to focus on the present and all sorts of stuff like that. Usually I try not to look way too far into the future since it kind of stresses me out, but today I’m breaking my own rule because I want to dream a little.

Today I’m playing a little game I like to call: What will my life look like in 10 years?

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I’m really not trying to plan out my life goals for the next ten years. This is just an idea if I pictured what could be possible. I know better than anyone that things don’t go according to plan, but hey, a girl can dream a little, right?

In Ten Years…

We will have a ten year old daughter (sounds crazy now!) and another child as well.

We will have that lovely little place, just a little ways outside of town that’s quiet and convenient and perfect.

I’ll have two reliable riding horses that I can jump, event, or endurance race with.

I’ll be able to work at home doing the writing and editing jobs that I love.

I will finally have my anxiety and depression consistently managed – mentally stability for the win!

I’ll actually have a completed college degree!

The financial security and independence we’re working towards right now will actually be a wonderful reality.

I will be enjoying homeschooling those previously mentioned children and having great adventures doing so.

I hope I’ll still be blogging, if the world hasn’t changed too drastically by that point. Maybe I’ll even still be at this same web address!

And finally, I will have some real finished projects – books, artwork, whatever. Just less half-finished or barely started projects laying around. Ha!


Ten years is a long time, when you think about it. Ten years ago, I had no idea what was in store for me and I had very little idea what I wanted to do with my life. It was a rough journey at times to get to where I am today but my heart is more full than I ever thought possible. Ten years from now, I can only imagine it being even more wonderful.

What do you wish for your life in ten years?


Love, light, and a multitude of kindness,

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Posted by katharine_marie in Creative Writing, Life in 2020, Life of a Writer, Lifestyle, mental health, Setting Goals, 0 comments

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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8 New Blogs to Follow

Hello lovely folks who are somehow still reading my little blog!

In order to write well you must expose yourself to all sorts of writing – which means a whole lot of reading. And since I write blog posts, it’s a good idea to read a variety of different blogs. My blog reader has approximately 150 sites on it and I log in every morning to anywhere from 5-25 new posts.

Eventually I get around to reading them all, but there are always the select group of authors that I click on as soon as they pop up. It’s not even their content, exactly, but rather the way they tell their stories that make me jump on their new posts so quickly.

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So today I’m going to share some of those sites with you all! These are a few of my favorite blogs to read and I hope you’ll maybe find some new reading material. These are a mix of information blogs, personal ones, and lifestyle blogs. Some are about horses, some about minimalism, and some are just completely different.


Reading My Tea Leaves

Slow, simple, sustainable living – that’s the description of Erin Boyle’s blog. Her “Week in Objects” series is probably one of my favorites with it’s unique photographs accompanied by very few words. She is a staunch feminist and I can’t say I agree with all of her views all of the time, but I really love the quietness that emanates from her words. That and the fact that her and her husband live with two children in an apartment of only a few hundred square feet? Highly impressive.

The $900 Facebook Pony

This is definitely a horse blog that I am obsessed with for many reasons. Firstly, she competes in eventing (the horse sport I would love to do) on a little bay horse (I have a little bay horse!). Secondly, she’s based out of Texas, so I can relate to so much about the horse lifestyle. And of course, she has a great way of telling the stories of her adventures with both her competition horse and the youngster she’s bringing up too. Basically, Amanda is who I want to be when I grow up!

The Londoner

I’ll be honest – my obsession with Rosie’s blog started with her pictures. So. Pretty. So I stumbled across the pictures and stayed for the adorable travel stories and the lovely style tips. To be fair, I also enjoy her baby tales as a natural-minded mama. Plus London! I mean, there’s a little something for everyone here!

Elna Cain

Alright… so this isn’t a personal blog so much as a wealth of information about writing, freelancing, business tips, and so much more. A literal treasure trove of advice, all coming from someone who knows how to explain it in such a straightforward, honest, and REAL way. I actually feel like she understands what it’s like to be in my shoes when I read her posts and THAT is why I keep coming back.

To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Switching gears completely here, this blog is aimed directly at Christian women looking for answers to their questions about marriage. I’ll warn you now, the subject matter is often quite explicit or graphic, but the advice and ideas are amazing. As someone who has struggled with putting spiritual faith and relationships in the same room, this entire website really helped me out. Sheila has a fabulous view of marriage as an equal team effort that really satisfies that little feminist side of me without negating anything else I believe.

The Bloggess

Bizarre thoughts from author Jenny Lawson – definitely bizarre and sometimes incredibly disturbing. No, this blog is definitely not clean language-wise but yes, it is absolutely flipping hilarious. Jenny has a thing for taxidermied animals and a relatable struggle with mental illness. I can only read a handful of her posts at a time because I will die of laughter otherwise – the dark humor and raw stories are very addicting though.

The Baker’s Help Meet

Okay, maybe there’s a little bit of bias that makes me click on this one so fast, but its definitely warranted. This blog is written by one of my dear friends and details her life as a young wife and mother on a family ranch. She talks about the various adventures they get into as well as the mental and spiritual journeys that happen along the way, plus a healthy dose of the same horse-related-insanity that I am afflicted with.

A Collection of Madcap Escapades

Yes, another horse-related blog. But seriously, the storytelling on this one is probably my absolute favorite. Dom is a horse trainer first and has some great client adventures that are always great to read, but she also rides endurance (my other favorite horse sport) and I might be a little obsessed with the stories she tells about her rides. They always keep me entertained and intrigued and I always finish one of her blog posts with an intense urge to go jump on my own horse and get to work!


Hopefully you found at least one new blog to read in that list, so now it’s your turn!

What are your favorite blogs and why? I need more reading material!

 

Love and kindness,

Katharine Marie

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2019 Goals: Q2 Update

Hello fantastic folks, who are totally winning on their 2019 goals!

I feel like it’s been forever since my quarter one review! The last three months have been absolutely packed full of things.

In April I wrote a lot about mental illness, both anxiety and depression, and then I got to announce that The Husband and I are expecting a little baby girl!

May didn’t have quite as many blog posts since we spent two weeks on vacation (which was awesome) but I did get a chance to write a cute fluffy post about my kitties as well as talk about my anxiety struggles and how hard it is to release control at times.

And June, which is over tomorrow sadly, brought a whole host of subjects! I offered up one of my depression coping mechanisms, I wrote about the changes I wish I was making, the ways we look at priorities, the dreams I have for my life, and a whole bunch of thoughts on becoming a mom. Plus, I finally sorted out my Mindful Monday layout!

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Now, on to the 2019 goals!

Writing and Blogging Goals

  • Publish 6 blog posts per month.  April – 8, May – 5, June – 10. Woohoo!
  • Write up a recap of every time that I spend time with my horse. No horse time, so no recaps. Sadly.
  • Work towards possibly publishing my fiction project, Donovan’s QuestWell, I finally finished the story, so now I can finally move on to the editing process!
  • Win Nanowrimo and complete at least one of the Camp projects.  April didn’t go as planned, but July is shaping up nicely I hope.  
  • Start working on my writing with a freelance tone in mind. Definitely been working on this. Did you see my new website yet?!

Creative Pursuits

  • Write more letters and cards.  Ehhh, not really.
  • Read more regularly.  Slowly but surely getting more regular with this again.
  • Spend time with my horse more often.  Nope. Pregnancy trumps horseback riding.
  • Enjoy playing the piano again.  Yes!

Personal Goals

  • Practice believing that I truly am stronger than my depression/anxiety.  If you take into account the emotional rollercoaster that growing a baby is, then yes, I would say I’ve been doing a lot better!
  • Consistently take my vitamins and get out for light exercise.  Vitamins, yes. Exercise, not so much.
  • Cook at home more often, especially on weekends.  Yes!! And it even tastes good.
  • Practice my social skills.  Other than being tired all the time, I would say I’m getting better at being socially acceptable. Lol!
  • Work on my communication skills.  Definitely trying. Probably should ask The Husband how this is going though.

Life and Finance Goals

  • Keep my relationship the first priority.  Most definitely. I’m learning just how to do this, of course, but I feel like it’s going well.
  • Move out of the apartment.  I’m deep in the search for a new place. Moving in about two months!
  • Pay off my student loans and medical bills.  Finally starting to throw money at this again.
  • Save X amount of money for the emergencies/future.  Same as above.

Travel Goals

  • Road trip up to Kansas for a friend’s wedding.  Completed and had loads of fun!
  • Visit another country in the spring.  We weren’t able to leave the country, but we did take a big vacation and had a blast!
  • Take a weekend trip in the summer or fall.  I’m booking hotels as this goes live!

This past quarter was a lot of fun honestly. We were able to take a nice vacation, my energy levels were a lot higher, and the weather was great (up until the recent unending rain) so I was able to get outside more often.

The next three months are going to be a little more hectic. Not only am I now in my third trimester, the end of our lease is coming up, plus a whole list of other plans and events on our calendar. That means that by the time I write another quarter review, we should be living in a different house and trying to figure out life with the baby. That’s a little overwhelming to think about. Yikes.

But everything that’s coming up are things we’ve been looking forward to for what seems like forever. The film festival we’re going to in a few weeks is a really big deal for The Husband’s media work. I’m more than ready to enjoy what will probably be our last weekend away before the baby gets here. We’ve been wanting to get a house and get off the second floor for months already. And of course, Baby A herself is like a dream come true. So whatever happens in the next three months – it’s all good things!


Till next time!

Love and kindness,

Katharine Marie

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Manifest Those Dreams

Hello you wonderful readers!

I’ve written a few posts recently about the things that I wish were different about myself, the beautiful parts of my life, and then an alternative perspective on priorities. It’s been an interesting set of posts so far, and today I wanted to wrap it up a little by writing about the things I want in life. I want to work towards manifesting my dreams and making them a reality.

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Even though I have so much in my life that is amazing and beautiful right now, that doesn’t mean I’m not looking ahead to the future. After all, we’re getting ready to move in the next two months and we’re having a baby in three months, so it’s not like our life is going to stay the same for any stretch of time at all.

Some people differ on the subject, but I definitely believe in the idea that stating your dreams and truly believing in them is a strong way to make them actually happen. It’s not a matter of just saying “this is what I want” but rather of stating “this is a real thing that is going to happen in my future.” It frames the idea differently in your head.

So, with that little rant in mind, I’m going to lay out some of the dreams I have for my life.


I’m going to continue putting my entire heart and soul into my relationship so that we remain just as happy – or more so! – than we already are. This also means continuing to do the work needed to keep our home life as safe and stable as possible, particularly now that we’re starting our family!

I’m going to complete my bachelor’s degree, most likely in English, which will be a great addition to my resume, especially now that I’m starting to make my writing into a side business. This side business is going to become my main job in the near-ish future and we intend to seek out a consistent amount of work with filmmaking and writing so that we can spend more time with our family doing what we love.

Something I’ve always dreamt of and is slowly getting within reach is having a farm. And I fully intend for us to have our own place within the next couple of years – a place where I can keep my horses in my backyard. Where I can have a lovely garden that supplies most if not all of our vegetable needs. Where I can raise a cow and maybe a few sheep and a little flock of chickens. A safe haven for all the country things I’ve always wanted.

Speaking of which, once I am permitted to get back on a horse again, I am going to start riding regularly again (that was the plan for this year until I got pregnant!) and there are already a few endurance rides that I have my eye on for next year – it makes me WAY too excited just thinking about it!

I have several different ideas on how to handle my mental health issues that I intend to put into action at some point this year so that I can finally become a bit more consistent about… well… life in general, I guess!

We are going to have a beautiful little baby and we are going to love her so much it might just kill us both!


What dreams are you going to manifest today?

Next week we’re going to switch gears entirely and look at a bunch of different things, mostly to do with the life of a writer! Stay tuned!

Love and kindness,

Katharine Marie

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Tuesday Thoughts

Hello lovely beautiful people!

It’s been well over a week again, and I feel really awful about the lack of writing/posting lately, so I figured today I would give up a multi-faceted update on my life lately. Or at least parts of it. Hopefully you are all doing well and enjoying the last few days of February (seriously, where has the time gone?!).

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This would be me if I could stay home all day.

Health

First off, I’ve mentioned my health issues several times during the last few blog posts, so it makes sense to mention it again. I have a bigger post about the whole shenanigan planned for March, so I won’t go into a lot of detail here. Mainly, we’re slowly making progress and I’m starting to feel better. I don’t want to jinx myself, but today was the first morning that I woke up and actually thought about getting out and going for a walk before work. I didn’t do it (mostly because I was already going to be running late for work) but the fact that it was a thought in my mind first thing in the morning is a huge deal for me. But, like I said, I’ll update everyone in a few weeks on everything that’s going on!

Ponies

Partly because of how I’ve been feeling lately and partly because Texas winters are really weird and unpredictable, I haven’t been able to spend time with my horse lately and I certainly haven’t been able to ride. And it is driving me crazy. I read a lot of horse blogs in my spare time, which gets me thinking about riding even more. And when it’s pouring rain outside and I’m stuck on the couch, I tend to “window shop” for MOAR PONIESS. Generally I keep my window shopping to the higher-level horsies that we most definitely can’t afford, so that makes my life easier, but yesterday I started browsing some cutesy ex-racehorses who are much more in our price range. And yes, darling husband, if you’re reading this, I know we don’t have a price range right now because we’re not buying a new horse anytime soon. Tehehe. Anyways, please let us get some sun and less mud soon?

School

In completely totally different news, I’m looking at going back to school again. The idea is to switch my major to English, since I’m more likely to end up working with writing and editing stuff than I am to make a big business out of my piano skills. Also, we’ll be able to continue living in this area and keep our jobs, since the degrees and colleges I’m looking at have great online options. I’m not sure when I really want to start classes again or whether all the finances are going to work out, but its something I’m getting really excited about. Learning always makes me feel like I’m working towards something again, in a bit of a different way than setting my own projects and deadlines does. For now, that’s all I’m going to say on the subject, but I’ll make sure to give updates once we figure out details and timelines and what the process is going to look like.

Goals

Now… I know that March is coming on, and super crazy fast too. I don’t understand it either! And honestly, as I get ready to write my post on March goals, I’m constantly reminded of how little I did in February. It felt like a disaster in some ways, just because of the amount of things that got pushed to the wayside, but honestly in some other areas I’ve made a lot of progress. So while the list of things I got done is going to look really pathetic, I’m ready to look forward and see where I can make new ideas. Life is a continuous process, and I’m working on taking it one day at a time right now.

Mentally

Before I make this post way too long and rambling, I wanted to just mention the fact that I’ve been pleasantly surprised over the last month. Despite all the health things going on and feeling somewhat like I’ve failed at a lot of my goals recently, I have not had any major mental setbacks. I haven’t had a real panic attack in at least a month, probably closer to six weeks. And while I’ve had a few rough days, I can’t say that I’ve really slipped into a true depressive patch in approximately the same amount of time. I wish I could say that I’ve just really been able to manage my thoughts and ideas in a more positive manner lately or that I’ve been taking some kind of new vitamin or medication that is helping out, but none of those things are the case. So, for right now, I guess I just keep moving forward! I think the whole idea of taking it one day at a time really helps though, since I start getting more anxious when I try to look or plan ahead more than I really need to.


I’ve already started a post about March goals, which should go up on Friday, so hopefully everything stays positive and good between now and then. For all of us!

Until then, all the love and kindness in the world!

Katharine Marie

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