Surviving the Depths: Living in the Basement

If there is one think that I have learned in my life so far it is that living in the basement sucks. You do it for many reasons: cheaper rent, cooler summers, the occasional bigger space; But it really sucks.

Recently, I have been blessed with the opportunity to move into an above ground dwelling and I couldn’t be more happy. However, I was thinking that many of you might also hate the basement yet not have the luxury of moving at this time. I thought I would share some ideas to make your basement stay a little more pleasant and give you my thoughts on surviving the depths.

Continue reading “Surviving the Depths: Living in the Basement”

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You wrote that where?

Do you have so much homework you feel like you can’t do anything else? Are you stressed out of your mind because every thought is consumed by upcoming deadlines? Welcome to the homework club! It is not always easy to manage school alongside with the rest of your life. You might have bills to pay, extra curricular activities to attend to, a significant other to be with, or Netflix might be calling your name.With all this on your mind motivation can be difficult to get when you have so much on your plate, but after many years of procrastinating and brainstorming I have found a helpful solution.

Let me tell you a secret…

Continue reading “You wrote that where?”

Tips for Dealing with Migraines

Ahhh sweet darkness. You will know what I mean if you get migraines frequently. Although I suffer from pretty consistent daily pain, nothing has made me feel worse than a migraine. My unfortunate journey into life with migraines started a few years back when I returned from a trip to Peru. My doctors do not really understand why I get them, but some guesses might be stress, weather change, or nerve damage. Over the years I have consulted many different people about how they deal with migraines and I have come up with a few myself. I thought I would share some of these tips in case it might help anyone else out. Of course it goes without saying, make sure you consult your family doctor before trying any of these tips. I am not a doctor and therefore know very little about the human body. It is important to ask a doctor so that you can be assessed with all your health history and personal context in mind.

1. Talk to your doctor

I know some people don’t like to see the doctor and I have already mentioned this above, but it is really important. There are certain medications people should not take when they experience frequent migraines and it is important to rule out other more serious conditions.

2. Take Advil (if you can)

I’m not a drug pusher, but sometimes a girl just needs an Advil. If you feel a migraine coming on it can help to take an Advil before the pain really starts. I find that the best time to take the Advil is right when I notice any aura in my vision. Keep in mind that there may be a point in the onset of a migraine in which Advil will no longer help you. I have personally found that once I reach the point that light hurts my eyes, Advil does nothing.

3. Relax

Relaxing is so important if you want to prevent and help a migraine subside. I have found that releasing neck tension really helps the severity and frequency of migraines. You may want to read a book, take a bath, or just sleep!

4. Embrace the Darkness

No don’t become the next Darth Vader, but yes do find a place where you can sit in darkness. Light can be one of the most pain inducing things when you have a migraine. Find a place where you can shut the blinds and turn off the lights. If this is not possible, consider buying a light blocking sleep mask. Resting in the dark for even a short time can help give your body that extra time to curb a bad migraine.

5. Hot or Cold

Hot or Cold can become your best friend when you have a migraine. Typically I find that placing a cold wash cloth on your forehead or over your eyes can do wonders for a bad migraine. Sometimes a hot wash cloth works better. You might even find benefit in drinking a hot or cold beverage. However, migraines tend to have a mind of their own so you might need to do some trial and error to see whether hot or cold works best for you.

6. Water

It is super important to stay hydrated when you a have migraine. Just like any headache or sickness, water helps flush bad stuff out of your body and replenish it. Dehydration causes many problems in our bodies so it is best to drink lots of water to help your migraine.

7. Hit the Hay

If all else fails and you cannot get rid of your migraine, just go to sleep. A short nap could be enough to rid yourself of the migraine. Likewise, sleep is one way the body can repair itself.

8. Keep a migraine journal

Sometimes it is helpful to figure out why you might be getting migraines. Do you get them every time it rains or snows? Does eating chocolate start a migraine? Do you get one if you don’t get enough sleep? Are you feeling very stressed? There are many different types of triggers for migraines and it can be helpful to know what triggers your migraines. If you are able to narrow it down, you may be able to remove some of the triggers from your life so that you can be migraine free.

 

I hope some of these tips might help you. Remember to ask a professional for help if you suffer frequently from migraines!

What do you do to help curb your migraines?

A Rusty Pail

We have all been there: Too many things to do and not enough time, Commitments to your friends and family, or maybe the financial pressures of the world are weighing you down. I do not want to be a Debbie Downer, but sometimes life is just a full of crap gathering in a rusty pail. As you grow older, there are so many more responsibilities and challenges that come into your life. I think the biggest challenge is simply figuring out what to do with your life. This has been a big struggle for me and my husband lately. I believe we are blessed in many ways, but things just seem to be a big mess. I have no clue what type of career to have or what I should do for work. All my life I’ve really only wanted to be part of a family and have children of my own. I feel like that is what I have been called to.

Now, I’m sure there is someone out there reeling in shock that an educated woman would want to be a homemaker in this day and age. However, I cannot think of any greater joy than raising my own children. On top of that joyful thought, I think I could do well in many careers. I have a good education and have experience in many different fields. I have worked in ministry, worked in a library, worked as a copy-editor, and so many more areas. Despite this, I cannot help but feel lost in regards to where to go from here. Do I pursue the current masters degree I am in now? Do I pursue a different one? Do I start a family? Do I do nothing? All of these questions racing around make me question why God has yet to direct me. I have prayed for direction and yet I still feel lost. Does God always tell us what to do? Maybe that’s just it. Maybe God is open to all the ideas I have. Or maybe I am unwilling to listen.

A lot of these feelings come down to being lost and a sense of hopelessness. It is very difficult to choose the “right” path to take when the world has so many different ideas of what success is. It is difficult to have a feeling of success when you have very little money and you are told financial freedom is success. It is so difficult to save and to get your life on track especially after accumulating school debt. Let me tell you, debt is one of the worst things you could do to yourself. I do believe having some debt from school is an investment, but it is still a very stressful experience. Given the rant above, what is success? Should I feel successful? Should I feel successful even if I have no idea what to do with my life?

I want to say yes, but I have no idea why. A roof over my head, food to eat, and people who care are successes in some sense. However, where is God in all this despair? Maybe He is the calming force that is telling me everything will be okay while that rusty pail is filling up. Whatever it is, I will hold onto that small cry of yes until I have the means to say I am successful for… Yes.

Horror

Zombies, Ghosts, Chainsaws and Blood, lots and lots of blood; these are just a few sights you might encounter as Halloween draws near. Although the things of Halloween or even horror movies seem harmless, I believe that there is much more to them than just fun and games. Let’s be blunt here and state one bias I might have. I am a Christian and my faith guides me away from these things, but I want to talk about this issue for reasons outside of my faith. Despite my stance on horror which was partially formed  because of my faith, not every Christian agrees. Many of my friends do participate and celebrate Halloween. They have no problem with horror movies or books. Their claim is that these things are harmless and do not affect their lives. They explain that being scared is part of the fun as it gives them a rush of adrenaline. However, I would like to explain my side of things. Continue reading “Horror”

Goals for October

Hi everyone,

I am a really goal orientated person and thrive when I have some laid out ideas of what I would like to accomplish. Goals are a tricky thing since you have to be well motivated to achieve them, they have to be attainable, and you have to be willing to possibly fail at reaching them. I have been feeling a little lost since I haven’t had goals set in awhile. Today all that is changing! I am going to make a small list of goals to hopefully achieve this month. I am going to start small and see how that goes. I am also going to try to write about how the goal setting went at the end of the month! (Look at me already setting a goal haha!) Okay here it goes!

  1. Finish the thank you letters for my wedding.

I have no idea how many of you readers are married or have ever been given the task of writing thank you letters. Right now, thank you letters are the bane of my existence. They haunt me every where I turn in my apartment! I am so thankful for all the lovely wedding gifts we have received and really do want to show my appreciation, but handwriting hundreds of cards was a huge mistake on my part. I think my hand is literally going to fall off! This month I hope to conquer the remaining cards and deliver the rest that remain on my coffee table.

2. Write more.

I love to write. I really do. I find that it is the best way for me to express my thoughts and my ideas. I feel more confident when I write and I love to explore where my mind takes me. I have contributed to some published material in the form of editing, but I would really love to pursue some of my own personal ideas. I want to write more blog posts and I want to start writing the books that have been floating around my mind for years. My goal is to write something (non-school related) at least twice a week.

3. Schedule more. 

The past year or so I have been so busy that my brain is fried. I keep forgetting to do things  and I know that I thrive better when I schedule things out. In fact, when I write a to-do list it often relievers stress for me. When I write something down, I feel like I don’t have to worry about it anymore. This goal is basically to use my agenda more. I want to be organized and de-stress myself so that I do better in school, my daily life, and be more healthy in general.

There you have it! Three goals that I want to achieve in the month of October. I think they are fairly attainable goals and I am excited to try them out. I look forward to telling you all how they went at the end of the month!

What is a goal you have set for October? 

Change

As I mentioned in my last post, a lot has changed recently in my life. I have been struggling with these changes and feeling quite down. I am quite introverted which doesn’t always help in situations like these. I tend to think very deeply about things and want to try to think everything out before reaching a solution. However, as many of you might have already experienced, solutions don’t always present themselves right away.

I have been thinking a lot about change and have come to realize a few things about it. I used to think change was always bad. It used to mean unpredictability or chaos. Change caused a lot of anxiety when I thought about it as something bad. Recently I have started to  alter my ideas around change. Change does not always mean something bad. It is just something new. I think about nature and how each season of the year brings something new, but also something beautiful.

In this new season of life so many things have changed, but some really amazing and beautiful things have happened. Marriage is not always a popular thing to pursue. Countless people told me I was stupid to get married, that I would end up divorced, that I am too young, etc. I think they are wrong though. Yes, marriage is difficult, but it is also one of the most beautiful and fulfilling things on this earth. I believe that we are all made to love and to be in relationship with other human beings. Whether that be in a romantic relationship, a friendship or a family relationship, humans are meant to be together. I have learned so much in my first 2 months of marriage and have learned that I can love much more than I ever thought was possible. Adjusting to that change has been hard, but so worth it.

Another big change is a transition from undergraduate work to masters level work. Wow. Am I ever struggling to keep afloat. It is seriously hard to maintain relationships, work, and do school work. I have cried so many times this month about how I will be able to handle it all. Despite these darker times, I can reflect and see good coming from these trials. For example, I have learned sooooo much in such a short time. I am currently in a counselling program and it has opened my eyes to so many things that are personal strengths and weaknesses. I probably would never have learned these things if I had not started pursuing my masters degree.

I am not an expert and I am not sure if this post will be helpful to others, but it has been a good way of reminding myself of the good in depressing times. I am still trying to figure everything out myself. However, I feel better writing out my thoughts and hopefully helping at least one other person with some changes in their life. Maybe I will even continue to post updates about how I am handling these changes if it will help.

~ Katie

Life nowadays

It has been a few months since I last posted, which is horrible. I really love being able to express my thoughts and feelings here so I am going to have to make blogging a part of my everyday routine. Perhaps that process will be something worth talking about here. Over the past few months a lot has changed.

For starters, I got married! This is one bit of super exciting news, but also has taken a lot of adjusting. Along with getting married, I moved for the very first time in my life… EVER. This change is taking much more time to get used to. I’ve never really had this many responsibilities and coming from a family with no sisters, I’ve never shared my room before! Besides getting married and moving, I’ve also had another major life change. I graduated from my undergrad and started my master’s degree. This change has also been difficult, because I have never been one who has had really strong conviction to have a certain career. (Perhaps I will write more about this in another post). Basically if you add up all these life changes, I’ve been feeling a bit down in the dumps. All of these changes are so wonderful and good! However, I am not very used to change and am feeling a little bit lost as I try to adjust. These adjustments have made me realize that I’ve sort of lost myself in all of life’s busyness this past year. With planning a wedding, finishing my degree, and working, I have been quite overwhelmed. To help with some of the feelings, I am trying to make sure that I have time for self-care. I have realized that I am terrible at relaxing! I seriously need to learn how to relax and develop a hobby that I can do each week. Maybe blogging will become one of those hobbies, but I am also looking into some other hobbies.

Do you have any suggestions for adjusting to big life changes? Any good hobbies to try?

~ Katie

What Not to do: Wedding Planning

Hi Everyone!

So maybe you are in the same boat as me and my fiancé and you are planning a wedding. If so then you will understand what I am about to say next: Weddings are STRESSFUL!

Don’t get me wrong, weddings are wonderful, beautiful and happy occasions. I am so happy to be marrying the love of my life in a few months time, but they are difficult to plan. In light of this, I thought I would make a list of all the things I have learned NOT to do during the process of planning. Perhaps it will save you some headaches.

  1. Don’t freak out. Yes there is a lot going on and lots to do, but don’t panic. It will get done. Freaking out only upsets you and your partner.
  2. Don’t plan it alone. You may be tempted to take the world upon your shoulders to make the day perfect. Don’t kill yourself through the stress. Instead choose some trusted people (parents, friends, bridesmaids, etc.) and ask them to help with certain tasks. Get the groom involved too! Maybe he is really into a certain portion of the wedding planning in which case, let him be the king of that area. For example, my guy loves music, so he is the boss of the wedding playlist.
  3. Don’t stress eat. Girl. You need to fit that dress! Don’t eat to relieve the stress of planning. Reduce the planning stress and eat healthy!
  4. Don’t go gym crazy! Girl. You don’t need to lift the groom over the threshold… Don’t exercise so much that it consumes your life and makes you look like someone your groom won’t recognize. Exercise enough to stay healthy and just choose a few areas to work on if you are concerned.
  5. Don’t chain yourself to planning. Do other things too. Your wedding is important, but so is your job, your school work, taking your dog on a walk…
  6. Don’t forget to enjoy it. God-willing, this will be your first and only wedding. Enjoy the experience of planning your special day and cherish the moments with your significant other. Make beautiful memories of this special time!

There you have it! 6 no-nos when planning your wedding. I’m sure there are tons more but I’m still learning as I go!

-Katie

Share your wedding planning No-Nos in a comment below!