love

Marriage and Communication

Hi, my beautiful folks! I hope this week is treating you well so far!

At this moment, two years ago, I was preparing to say “I do” to the person that still means more to me than anyone else in the world. For once in my life, I wasn’t nervous, which says a lot, because I overthink and question every single decision I make in my life. I’ve never questioned that decision though. My marriage is absolutely the best part of my life and I am happier than I ever thought possible.
But I’m not going to wax poetic about love and romance and all that. I’ve already written about the wedding before, and also about how amazing The Best Husband is on our first anniversary. I’m taking a different approach today and looking at what affects relationships and how they can all be different but still wonderful.

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Every single person is different, so every single marriage is going to look a little different from the next. It would be impossible to expect all relationships to work the same way because there are so many factors that play into it.

Mental Health’s Role

One thing I struggle with is my mental health and of COURSE, it has an effect on my marriage because how could it not? Mental health plays a role in all sorts of relationships in my life, especially friends and family members, and none more so than the relationship I have with my husband. He knows me the best and I talk to him more than anyone else, so he’s most familiar with what I deal with. It’s hard on him sometimes and it can make things difficult, certainly. Not everyone’s relationship is like ours – not everyone knows for sure that their significant other truly has their back all the time. It’s a whole lot easier for me, just knowing that he supports me 100% and will hold my hand every step of the way. That in itself is a lifesaver.

Find Balance Together

I know that he’s there for me, no matter what, but sometimes it’s hard to balance my own health against such an important relationship. It’s a personal struggle that I have because I always feel guilty and think I’m being a burden/too demanding/needy/etc. I’ve been able to overcome a lot of those feelings, but it has been hard. I have very particular needs on my bad days and sometimes trying to get those needs met doesn’t go so well because… communication? I think. Still figuring that out. Basically, I’m working on being able to communicate my needs better without dumping all my crap onto my poor husband and overloading him because hello? He’s got things he needs to and I have a tendency to forget that. I really don’t think he knew what he was getting himself into when he married me. Sorry, love.
I really do have the right intentions at heart, and so does he, but finding that balance where we both feel heard and understood is difficult at times, as I think it is for all couples. We’ve gotten so much better, especially since COVID hit and we were forced to spend even more time together than we used to. Haha.

Check In Often

As I mentioned, communication is key. It will almost always be the key, regardless of the issue. Too many times, we forget to check in to make sure the other person is doing okay. Assuming that someone is doing fine because they haven’t said otherwise is likely to get you in trouble. I’ve been on both ends of that and neither one is fun. There are times that life is too busy and too hectic to really have long, insightful conversations, yes. I’ve been there, but I strongly believe that if you’re too busy to check in on the relationship regularly (daily, in my opinion) for even just a few minutes then you’re too busy. Making the effort to keep the other person “in the loop” about how you’re feeling and doing is vital to staying connected to each other. Without communication, we lose connection, people don’t feel loved and relationships deteriorate.
For me personally, since I stay home all day, it’s easy to get caught up in my own projects and then somehow “not get around” to telling the Best Husband Ever about what’s going on or how I’ve been feeling. It has the double effect of making him feel like he’s not an involved part of our home life and making me feel like I have to take care of everything. The longer we go on like that, the worse it gets. But even if its a day that he gets home extra late, but we still find time to talk about what happened and how we’re doing before going to bed? That’s still a good day and we go to sleep feeling that connection.
This post is getting a bit long already, whoops. Most of what I’m said so far sounds like basic relationship stuff, but making connections is even more important when dealing with mental illness. In my experience, both anxiety and depression have a really frustrating effect of making me pull away from people, especially important people who are good support in the tough times. Maintaining and making effort in those relationships when times are NOT so hard is vital for me because it creates better habits for when things do get rough.
Have you checked in with someone today? Just to see how they’re doing? Or maybe you feel the need to check in with someone else, just so you don’t feel alone – that’s good too, do that!


Love, light, and kindness, always,
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Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, Depression, General, Life in 2020, mental health, 0 comments

The Basics of Setting Boundaries

Hello beautiful people,
I wrote on Tuesday about how difficult some days are and gave a few ideas on how I’ve been dealing with them, maybe even making them a little bit better. This whole week has been a bit hard for me – I’m working through some personal stuff and learning about my limits, including what it means to set boundaries.
Boundaries are one of those things that people can get offended about really easily. Especially when it comes to setting limits with people, it can easily come across as being rude or selfish. And it really shouldn’t be that way, not if we do it with the right attitude and with a spirit of love.

Setting Boundaries

Recognize a Need

I’m not talking about someone you don’t like and just don’t want to talk to anymore. Unless you have a deeper intention behind it, that’s probably bordering on being a little rude. But recognizing when someone is a constant drain on your emotional and mental health or understanding that unless you can agree to disagree there should probably be certain topics that are off-limits? That’s totally okay. It’s one thing to do things that are uncomfortable or out of our comfort zones sometimes and a completely different thing to allow anything and everything into our lives – that’s unhealthy.  Certain situations just need to be worked through, others need boundaries and limits.
It’s hard to know sometimes. I totally get it. I’m the first one to question my decisions in these kinds of situations and I tend to waffle back and forth before making up my mind completely. Just remember – that thing I said about a spirit of love? That thing helps qualm those uncertainties and fears 99% of the time.

Know Yourself and Your Limitations

Have you taken the time to understand yourself and your own limitations? That can be key to knowing how to handle external influences. There are certain areas of life in which I have set boundaries for myself – not because of other people exactly, but because I know what my triggers and weaknesses are, which enables me to avoid situations and circumstances that will bring out less than my best.
It’s so easy to blame other people for our own lack of self-control or whatever the problem might be. And I don’t say this to let everyone else off the hook because I think everyone should be working on being the best version of themselves. But the reality is that we don’t have the power to change other people. We CAN work on ourselves. And by demonstrating good self-care and setting boundaries, we can actually help others more than we might think. But first and foremost, it’s about knowing our own limitations and understanding who we are.

Know What To Do

When it comes to the actual process of setting a boundary, that’s where it can get a little tricky. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. One of the easiest things you can do is curate your social media feeds. You don’t necessarily have to block people or whatever, but there’s a lovely little “unfollow” or even just a “mute” button on Facebook for the times you need it. (Not that you should only be seeing the people who agree 100% with your opinions, but some people have no concept of limits or useful discussion and that serves nobody.) It’s the little things sometimes.
Other circumstances aren’t nearly so easy though. Sometimes it’s choosing not to go somewhere where you know you’ll be around someone who always seems to push your buttons. If and when you can handle being around that person again, you can re-evaluate that limit, but especially if you’re working through something and you know that talking to that person would undo the progress you’ve made, maybe its best to just stay away for the time being.
I am the QUEEN of ghosting people, but I’ll also admit that it is not a healthy way to deal with things. Something I have done before though, is responding to someone when I’m in the right frame of mind and then muting or hiding them on my phone so that I don’t have to handle the conversation until I’m ready. Don’t feel the need to respond to everyone right away.
Doing something similar in person is a lot harder and I’m still learning how to handle that. For me right now it’s been holding my tongue when other people are having a conversation that I have strong opinions about if I know I’m not ready to discuss things fairly and properly. Sometimes it’s leaving the room. Both of those are getting easier to do, and something I’m trying now is what I call “exiting” a conversation. If things are getting heated or frustration is building up, there should be no shame in saying, “This conversation isn’t healthy for our relationship. Why don’t we come back to this when we’re feeling calmer and more in control of our feelings?” Being firm and actually walking away if needed would be the next step.
Sadly, there is still a lot of judgment passed on those who choose to set boundaries for themselves. It can be hard to hear that someone doesn’t want to speak to you, I get that. But, again, we’re not going to change each other’s minds by having a yelling match. Choosing to have a calm, insightful conversation is much better. And if someone isn’t capable of talking about certain topics without getting hateful or judgmental, then the consequence may be distancing yourself for a little while, as painful or hard as it may be.
Is there an area of life that you feel could use some boundaries or limitations for your own emotional or mental health? What’s holding you back from setting that boundary?

Love and kindness,
I’m always here for you.

 

Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, Depression, General, mental health, 0 comments

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

10 Things I Love About My Husband

Dear beautiful readers!

It’s Friday again, although when everyone is home and each day looks the same, Fridays aren’t quite as exciting. Ah well. Maybe being happy about Friday will make us all a little more energetic. Social distancing is getting to us a little, I think.

This Sunday is The Husband’s birthday, and I can’t throw him a huge birthday party (just like I know he reallllyyyy wants) because, again, social distancing. So I’m making him a cake and whatever else he wants this weekend and if this chaos ever ends, we can have a birthday party later. But today, I wanted to take a break from… everything else… and just talk about him for a minute because he is just the greatest guy in the world. So I came up with 10 things that I love about my favorite human.

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Photo credit: Sierra Herndon

  1.  He really is the best daddy. Not that I didn’t know it before, but seeing him with the Tiny Princess now makes me 100% sure I picked the right guy.
  2.  He works super hard to make sure we are all well taken care of. I know that it’s frustrating for him not to be able to work right now, but staying home right now is the right choice.
  3.  He never ever gets home from anywhere (or comes in from another room) and doesn’t immediately want a hug and a kiss. It’s sweet and just a little bit romantic.
  4.  This guy is not afraid to clean the house. Since I am the stay at home parent, I try to get everything done around the house, but a 6 month old is a handful to take care of and the housework is rarely caught up. The only thing he expects me to do is keep the Princess healthy and happy, the rest we can figure out together.
  5.  His creativity is really really cool. I love watching him work out a movie idea or collaborating on a project together because he’s so full of ideas and passion for the films he makes.
  6.  Just like it should be in every marriage, we support each other, and having his unwavering support means so very much to me, I can’t even describe it. He’s always pushing me to write more and keep up with this blog and go ride my horse. He encouraged me to go back to school and believes in me so much more than I could ever believe in myself.
  7.  Nobody knows how to make me laugh more than he does. It’s hard not to love someone who you can always have fun with, and he is so much fun to be with.
  8.  Even if he doesn’t always understand it, he’ll always back me up when it comes to my mental health – whether it’s a situation I don’t handle well, or just understanding my need to recharge, or whatever, I know he’s got my back for whatever I need.
  9.  He is so incredibly self-sacrificing. This one is tricky since he also annoys me to death by being this way, but when it comes right down to it, I wouldn’t change it. He just ends up making me feel like an incredibly selfish person, hahahaha…..
  10.  Being with him has taught me a lot about myself, about what I want in life, and who I want to be. It’s such an adventure to figure out where life is going to take us and I’m so glad he’s my partner in crime!

I love you, Juan! Never change – here’s to many, many more years together!


Love, light, and kindness,

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

a new lifestyle

Hey fellow dreamers!

Today is Friday, my second Friday since I left my full time job. Two weeks that I’ve been a stay at home mom. Sometimes it feels like it’s been forever, but it really hasn’t been.

I never thought I would be doing this. Well, truthfully I had my doubts that I would have children at all, but once that was something I wanted, I really felt called to try and pursue work options I could do while staying home with the tiny human. Particularly as someone who wants to home-school down the road, it seemed natural to start from the beginning.

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I will say it’s definitely been an adjustment and not without it’s very, VERY hard moments. The teething, which had been kind of hit or miss, depending on the day, really hit us around the middle of last week and I’ll admit I had a few times where I missed being at work, or anywhere away from the screaming really. She still doesn’t have that ridiculous little tooth, but between the on-demand nursing, extra naps and cuddles, and the magic of chamomile, we’re surviving for right now.

I’m learning how to do a whole lot in 45 minutes while she sleeps. I honestly had no idea how much one could fit into that small space of time! I still feel like my house will never be as clean as I want it to be, but it is consistently more clean than it was before, so that’s something.

Another time I’ll talk more about how my schedules and planning tendencies go with this new change – something my therapist and I are still discussing and tweaking for my optimal mental health – but I can honestly say that working full time and being a SAHM are equally hard, it’s just in different ways.

Working full time was so SO hard for me because it felt like I never got anything done at home because from the time I got off to the time she went to bed, I wanted nothing more than to enjoy those precious moments. Then, when she did go to bed, the day really hit me and I no longer had any energy for the house chores or anything else I might have wanted to do. Emotionally I struggled a lot and the lack of sleep wore me down so much.

Being at home is… a little easier for me emotionally? I say that kind of in jest because we have had several of those days where I want the Husband to be home RIGHT NOW so I can just have a moment to myself. But I don’t miss the emotional roller coaster that being away from her was for me. My days often feel incredibly long and I’m not even quite sure what day of the month it is right now – I can keep up with the day of the week only because Husband goes to work. Sometimes it feels like I’m doing stuff all. day. long. and then in the evening it’s like my day was gone with nothing to show for it. So it’s different. Easier in some ways, harder in others.

I have so much compassion for new moms now because no matter which lifestyle you have, it’s going to be hard. That’s just what having a baby is like and everyone has to decide for themselves which path is going to work (ha ha)best for them and their family. Mom guilt is such a real thing and I know we all cry in the shower, or in the car, or wherever because we’re convinced we’re doing it all wrong. There is no right way to be a mom as long as you’re loving that baby with everything you have. That’s all that matters.

I said something about it in an Instagram post earlier this week – that success can change from day to day. It’s not a static definition. Not only does that mean that my definition will look different today than it did yesterday, but it means that my definition in general will look different from yours. The comparisons that often happen between different mothers is so unrealistic because we are all such different people.


For myself, I have zero concerns about choosing to stay at home with my beautiful daughter. Is it where I imagined myself to be at this point in my life? Not at all. But it is where I need to be right now and whether or not that changes in the future doesn’t really matter to me.


Love, light, and warm hugs, especially to all the other moms out there!

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Posted by katharine_marie in Life in 2020, mental health, Parenting, 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

Two months of #momlife

Hey there lovely readers!

I totally failed at putting up a post earlier this week – when it came down to it, I was more focused on getting words written on my Nanowrimo project than I was on writing a new blog post. But today I must write on both projects, I suppose!

Last Saturday marked two months since little Adaline was born. It’s been a roller coaster, to be sure, but its definitely the adventure of a lifetime.

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The Tiny Princess doesn’t seem so tiny any more. She’s grown so much, her personality is starting to come out more and more, and we are still over the moon and totally obsessed with her.

Being a little family is my favorite part so far. It makes me happier than I can explain to watch The Husband play with and take care of her. Even though I miss getting a full night of sleep, I’m also not ready to give up those moments at 2am when I get to bring her into bed and cuddle with her while she eats.

I already feel like time is slipping away from me far too fast. I wish I wasn’t working so that I could spend all my time playing with her and watching her learn new things. That has been the hardest thing for me so far – she is generally very happy and engaged in the mornings, but I don’t get enough time to really enjoy it since I have to get ready to leave the house at a certain time.

I’ve mostly adjusted to being a mom now, and of course I still struggle with certain things, especially the fact that it is ten times harder to juggle all the things that need done at home before and after work when there is a small human that requires my attention first. That and if I thought I was tired before she came along, it was nothing compared to this. Thankfully, for my own sanity, she’s a very good girl and generally wakes up to eat and goes straight back down. She almost never cries or stays up in the middle of the night.

Complete honesty is that I have definitely dealt with both postpartum depression AND anxiety and both are very difficult. I’m still dealing with both at times, but I’ve been getting the help I need and things are going much better now.

Overall, we might have some rough days and I might feel like I’m losing my mind or falling apart half the time, but I’ve never been more blessed than I am right now. We could not have a more perfect little princess to love on and take care of and being her mom is the most amazing thing to ever happen to me.


Love and kindness,

Katharine Marie

Posted by katharine_marie in mental health, 0 comments