relationships

Marriage after Children

Hi beautiful people!

Major apologies for not getting this up on Friday – I got online to post and discovered my website was down. So I ended up spending so much time fixing it that putting up a blog post seemed pointless afterward.

So… I am no relationship expert. Not by any means whatsoever. I just figure it out as I go along. And, like most things in life, I tend to try and stick to just a handful of basic rules while I do it. One of those rules that I knew I needed to keep in mind, way before the Tiny Princess came along, was always put your marriage relationship first.
It might be a little harsh when I put it like that, but I know myself and I know that when life gets crazy, my priorities tend to get a little out of whack. So step one: know yourself, I guess? Easier said than done, right?

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Posted by katharine_marie in life updates, 0 comments

The Happy Moments

Hello beautiful dreamers!
August has been a long month, just like 2020 has been a long year. There’s been a lot of hard days for me personally, but it hasn’t been all bad. There are still plenty of positives to focus on. Since I dealt with a lot of the more negative aspects during the rest of the month, this week is for happier things.

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Posted by katharine_marie in Life in 2020, 0 comments

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

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

Recognition

This post was supposed to be out yesterday but I got flattened by a migraine, so here we are instead!

Hello lovely dreamers!

I don’t think it matters what side you’re taking, which opinion you have, or any of that. Everybody is being affected in some way by the state of affairs in the world today. Everybody that I know has taken some sort of mental health hit this year. It’s hard. We weren’t made to live through things like this and thrive at the same time. It’s okay to struggle, to have a difficult time dealing with change, and want to cry, argue, fight, etc.

I know for myself, it’s been hard lately to take a step back and look at the big picture. I’ve found myself caught up in details, in the anger that is circulating, especially in our small town, and I’ll admit that I succumbed to a bit of the hatred that I normally avoid like the plague (hahahh sobbing).

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Photo by Ryan Plomp on Unsplash

My husband is the best. We see eye to eye on basically every single thing and we are able to talk about everything in a way that makes me calmer, balanced, and more centered. I love our relationship.

But the last month has seen his work hours getting longer and longer. We basically expect a 12 hour day 5 days a week at this point and because he’s working outside in the Texas heat, and wearing a mask out in that heat, he’s exhausted when he gets home. I love him for working so hard and taking care of us, but it has been difficult to deal with the fact that we rarely get much time to really talk and be together. It took me far too long to realize that was why I was being so emotional and feeling so frustrated all the time – because I wasn’t getting the things I wanted. I was trying to be “okay” with the work situation and that irritation was just spilling out in other ways.

Last week I took some time to myself. I reconnected with my spirituality a little bit again and worked on answering some questions that had been floating around in my head. It’s easy, especially when running low on sleep, to just avoid doing the hard things and taking care of yourself emotionally. I had just been surviving for a while now and I can only do that for so long before it starts to really affect me.

But the frustration doesn’t just go away. Taking care of myself and trying to be okay with things that rub me the wrong way only lessens it a little bit. I’m starting to realize what triggers the negative emotions like frustration and bitterness and when I feel that happening, the best thing to do is to step away and focus instead on something that will fill me, like laying down on the floor and playing with my daughter or having a dance party in the living room. Those things help, regardless of how inconsequential they might seem in the moment.

It’s funny. I don’t claim to be perfect or whatever, but I do think I usually do a good job of seeing and recognizing problems within myself or my behavior before they become real problems. Right now though, it feels like I’ve been blind to a lot of things that were just building up inside of me. And it’s a challenge to figure out what to do with the emotions now that I’ve identified and validated them.

So yeah. I guess that’s where we’re at right now. I do want to say though, that I don’t post things like this for a reaction or for any other superfluous or selfish reason. I post things like this as an insight into my own mental health journey so that other people can know that they’re not the only ones struggling. I know, for myself, that reading other people’s stories can really make me feel less alone and less terrible about myself. Just keeping it real here, that’s all.


I love each of you readers so much! I’m sending out all the light and socially distant hugs today and wish you all a great rest of your week!

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Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, Depression, Life in 2020, mental health, 0 comments

Writing for Film

Hi, all you beautiful people!

I’ve been doing a very wide and random assortment of writing projects lately. Of course, I’m writing posts for my various blogs, just like this one! I’ve also written dramas and essays on the 2nd-5th grade levels for work, and I even wrote a poem for the first writing assignment of my creative writing course.

And I’ve started becoming more interested in writing screenplays again lately. I wrote a set of short scripts last year to give to The Husband on our anniversary and it was a project, that’s for sure, but one that I actually enjoyed more than I thought. And then we attended a film festival back in March (before all the restrictions) and one of the panels piqued my interest in this form of writing again.

And THEN, I started getting deeper into these college courses and getting opportunities to actually practice and improve my screenwriting skills. Of course, my main focus is going to be fiction throughout these courses, but I still have assignments (and even one entire course) that will dwell on screen and playwriting. And I’m ridiculously excited. Like, way more excited than I should be. I feel silly.

Writing a screenplay is a fascinating undertaking. Very different from writing fiction. Formatting is much more important, using correct terminology is a thing, and there seem to be a lot of opinions floating around on how much detail or instruction should be included apart from the basic dialogue.

After chatting with a few people in my creative writing class discussion board, I’ve realized I’m kind of lucky that The Husband does film work… I get to have him look over my writing and he can tell me very quickly if he understands what I’m trying to portray or he can help me find the right verbiage to describe a particular shot. He’s the best.

It should be obvious, but pushing the limits of your comfort zone always helps you grow and improve. Screenwriting is, of course, the thing I’m doing right now to push my own limits, and it’s proving to be challenging and fun, all at the same time!

And who knows, maybe one of these days I’ll coerce The Husband into actually producing one of my little practice screenplays. Wouldn’t that be fun?


Until next time!

Love, light, and heaps of kindness,

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Posted by katharine_marie in Books & Writing, Creative Writing, Life of a Writer, 0 comments

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

Posted by katharine_marie, 0 comments

5 ways to cope with stress

This post is up later than I had planned because I wrote it and got it ready to go and then promptly forgot to actually post it. Whoops.

Hello wonderful readers!

I hope everyone is still managing to stay safe and healthy through the pandemic – it’s definitely not easy! I take precautions whenever I have to go get groceries, and I hate wearing masks because hello! claustrophobia! But I keep reminding myself that this will only be temporary. One day, hopefully not too long from now, we won’t have to worry so much about being around other humans again. Won’t that be nice? I just want an evening out or to be able to go to the movies. Very silly things, but I’m allowed to feel a little selfish sometimes, I think.

Even though my personal life has only changed a little bit, I still find that my anxiety levels have been higher. The main reason, of course, is the uncertainty and the unpredictability. Husband has been on furlough for just over a month now and even though we have been and are still financially stable, it’s the uncertainty that stresses me out – not knowing when that consistent paycheck will be back. As someone who likes to plan ahead, I’ve definitely been forced to sit back and just take it one day at a time.

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Photo by Max Kleinen on Unsplash

Everyone has different ways of dealing with their stress and coping with the chaos that is the world right now. And even if we take the pandemic situation completely off the table, we still all deal with these feelings at some time or other. I sometimes find it interesting to see how others handle anxiety because its usually slightly different than mine – even The Dear Husband has some anxieties as well and he deals with it in a vastly different way than I would. It’s kind of fascinating, or it would be if I wasn’t talking about STRESS. Hahaha…

Breathing is one of the things I do the most. (I mean, duh.) There are a million techniques to calm anxieties with the breath alone – like the 4-7-8 method, for example. Just simple deep breathing is helpful though, nothing special.

Grounding can also help pull my mental state out of whatever funk I was in before. My current technique is a 54321 idea, where you identify 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste. It can be very helpful to just refocus on the immediate surroundings and bring yourself back into the moment.

Singular Focus. If I find that I’m so stressed I can’t even focus on the above grounding technique though, I’ll focus instead on only one of my senses at a time, either by burning a candle or incense so that my sense of smell is activated or by listening to music as a way to bring my mind back whenever it wanders across the line into chaotic territory.

Writing things down is one technique that my therapist constantly reminds me to do as well. Free-writing or association isn’t easy for me as a very precise writer, but I’ve been taking the time to practice because sometimes it really does help to braindump, and having the option is great.

Acceptance can also be a way to overcome some of the really tough spots. Denying the negative feelings that come up doesn’t really help because it doesn’t deal with them, it merely shuts them up in a box and puts them away. Acknowledging that “yes, I am angry and that’s okay” can really provide a chance to FEEL that emotion and then maybe uncover a way to move past it. This is also something that is super hard for me because I don’t like negative feelings so I beat myself up over them and can never move past them. The handful of times that I’ve actually sat down and acknowledged that I was feeling guilty or sad and allowed myself the chance to just be with those emotions for a little bit, I’ve been able to process and work through them much better.

Obviously, none of these are perfect ways to overcome stress and anxiety, but they are definitely good ways to cope and start working through some of the issues. With all the chaos in the world right now, I think everyone is going through some added stress, and it is far too easy to let things turn into a vicious cycle which can then be difficult to break free from. But identifying the issue is sometimes half the battle. We can do this!


Love, light, and kindness,

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Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, General, Life in 2020, Life of a Writer, Lifestyle, mental health, Setting Goals, 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

thirteen confessions

Hello fellow dreamers!

In January, I posted what I called an Updated Introduction, basically telling everyone who I am and what I do or whatever.

Well, today I thought I would continue on that train of thought. The original plan as I started writing this post was just to do random facts about me, but then it evolved into a list of confessions? I’m still decided whether I’ll regret this or not, but regardless, here it is! This is also connected with some social media posts I’m going to be making throughout the rest of February, so maybe it’s not totally random. I don’t know.

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One. I still can’t wrap my mind around how to maintain small talk. I just find it so awkward and difficult that I always want to run as far away as possible.

Two. I barely feel comfortable calling myself a writer most of the time. Wouldn’t a real writer actually finish projects more regularly and not procrastinate so much? I feel like I talk a lot but don’t actually follow through.

Three. Even at 25 years old, I’m still afraid of the dark. That’s why I don’t watch horror movies, or even anything remotely creepy after the sun goes down.

Four. Some days I don’t want to be a mom. I want to put that whole identity in a box and go do something else for a few days. I know it’s a totally normal feeling, but it still makes me feel guilty.

Five. I’m weirdly obsessed with Billie Eilish right now? I know the whole world kind of is at the moment, but still.

Six. I’ve had the idea of possibly fostering kids sitting in the back of my mind since I was pretty young, like maybe twelve or thirteen. I’m still interested, but who knows.

Seven. One of the things my social anxiety tells me is that nobody believes what I say – nobody actually believes that I suffer with depression or anxiety.

Eight. I kind of really want another tattoo, even though I have no idea what.

Nine. The Husband is always turning on really awful movies (like the bad 90s stuff) for us to watch and honestly, I enjoy them a lot more than I want to admit.

Ten. I really think I could have some form of ADHD. My brain is a mess.

Eleven. I didn’t want a relationship. I wasn’t interested in getting married or even having children. But then that cliche happened: “when you meet the right person.” Even though it was absolutely true in my case and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, I still get annoyed that the cliche was true for me.

Twelve.There is a long on-going struggle in my mind about letting go of all the work I put into having a musical career. I know that in the end it wasn’t the career I truly wanted, but I still have some issues letting it go.

Thirteen. You know what I said earlier about being afraid of the dark? Well, I still listen to the soundtracks from those movies sometimes because the thrill is just a little too much fun. I know, super weird.


I have a weird thing about confessions and I’ve enjoyed similar blog posts from other people, so that’s why I’m sharing this now. If you don’t follow me on Instagram or Facebook (Instagram in particular) then you should go do that now because I’ll be doing several posts over the next few weeks related to this list. It’s really vulnerable writing something like this, but I’m working to let go a little and we’ll see what happens!

What’s something about you that nobody really knows about?


Love, light, and a multitude of kindness,

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Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, Life in 2020, Life of a Writer, Lifestyle, mental health, 1 comment