My Daily Affirmations

This year I wanted to make a list of daily affirmations. I don’t plan to look over this list every single day but I’d love to keep it handy for the reminder when I need to regroup. This list is very much tailored to me and what I feel that I need. I really encourage you to make your own list to keep near. If you see anything from my list that speaks to you, please add it to yours!

My Affirmations

I am allowed to do what is right for me.

I can’t do everything for everyone and that’s okay.

The best gift that I can give my children is a happy mom.

I deserve to be loved.

Put in the effort to achieve what I want.

God wants me to rest.

Slow down, breathe, relax your body.

I am in control of my thoughts, not my feelings.

I am allowed to feel my feelings and then work through them.

I am confident and empowered.

We are all just trying our best.

What I have to say is of value.

I have the ability to reach others.

I have enough, I am enough.

God’s in control, I am not.

I am blessed with everything that I need.


What is something that you would add to your list right now?

xxoo Kate

2021 Focus

I didn’t set any New Year’s resolutions this year. I feel like I’m setting myself up for failure whenever I do that. Life ebbs and flows so I Instead made a list of things I’d like to focus my attention on, guilt-free.

Some things I’d like to accomplish

– Sort and organize my thousands of photos

– Finish reading the Bible all the way through

– Take care of my health and seek answers to the ailments I’ve been having for far too long

– Spend 1000 hours outside (we’ve already got 7.5 down!)

I’d like to direct my focus towards…

– God. He is the reason for all love and fulfillment. Pray often.

– Me. Model a mother that is more than a mom. A human being – with passions and a life outside of the home.

– Writing. Poetry. Photography. Creativity.

– Fresh air. Explore with childlike wonder.

– Sustainability. Shopping small, thrifting what I can, and accumulating less waste.

What do you want to focus your time, energy and attention on this year?

xxoo Kate

Physical Therapy for Your Hoo-Ha?!

I posted this photo recently to my Instagram and had my lovely followers try to guess where I was. I got a lot of responses saying “chiropractor, acupuncture, massage” and so on. They were all great guesses but no one got the correct answer. I was at my physical therapist’s office. What do I see a physical therapist for? *Drumroll*…. MY LADY BITS. Say what?! I know. I never knew it was a thing until I was given a referral by my gynecologist. I have a pelvic floor dysfunction and I haven’t really spoken out about it, which as most of you know, is rare for me because I’m quite an open book. I wasn’t comfortable addressing it because I was NOT in a good place as I didn’t even want to think about it. I’m doing SO much better so I want to share a little about my story. Before I do, what is a pelvic floor dysfunction you might ask? You can read about it here. Thankfully, my symptoms dont include incontinence or anything severe like that, I was just plain uncomfortable (spasms, achey, back pain) and knew something was off.

I first noticed something didn’t feel quite right after I had my first daughter in 2015. I had a kind of achey pressure that’s hard to explain. I think a lot of the issues I have even until this day have to do with the fact that I did NOT take care of myself after giving birth. When my daughter was born, she was immediately transported to the NICU and I demanded they let me go meet her there. I was discharged almost right away to head to the NICU and I really didn’t allow myself any time to heal.

After we had all finally settled in at home (thank the Lord) I kept noticing this really uncomfortable nagging feeling and I took a mirror down there far too soon! I remember FaceTiming my mom BAWLING (thanks postpartum hormones) because what I saw was not the beautiful flower I had remembered (HA!) I had a LONG labor with my daughter and it clearly did a number on me.

So, me being me, I made an appointment with my gynecologist right away and was like “PLEASE tell me things will get better!” She kind of laughed at me after my evaluation (I’m sure she’s seen it all) and nonchalantly said, “you’ve got a prolapse.” A prolapse is when things such as your bladder, rectum, uterus etc shift out of place. She then told me that if I really wanted to, I could see a physical therapist. I said YES because my initial reaction to the news was OMG my insides are falling out!! Little did I know, all women have some degree of prolapse after giving birth and it can take up to a year for things to go back into place. I didn’t know that at the time so I was a kind of a mess.

The physical therapist I saw did everything wrong. She had me do this weird thing where I inserted a wand attached to a handheld device into, well you know where and I was prompted to “kegel” and then it would rate my strength (who knew?!) She said my tone was good yet she kept having me do strength exercises anyways. I was in SO much pain and it was making things worse! I became super depressed and cried all the time because I was uncomfortable every single day.

Sex hurt, going to bathroom didn’t feel right, my nether regions ached every single evening and it straight up hurt if I was on my feet for too long. I decided to seek out other opinions because I was so unbelievably uncomfortable. I saw a urogynecologost who told little 20 year old me that I needed a hysterectomy (that’s a whole other story) and then I went to Mayo Clinic who told me “you’re fine, keep up with PT and come back for surgery if you want it.” All of the information they gave me was conflicting with the others and I couldn’t take the pain anymore. I quit PT because it was making things so much worse and I told my husband, “that’s it, we are having a second baby so I can have surgery and be done with this already.” This was obviously out of desperation and lack of proper education and resources. All I knew was that I wanted at least one more child so I felt the pressure of “now or never!”

We did indeed have a second child shortly after and I actually felt okay after having her. The achey feeling was still there on strenuous days but it didn’t seem to bother me as much as it did after I had my first baby. It still was irritating at times so I picked back up with physical therapy but with a different trainer. She was great but I ended up getting pregnant with baby #3 shortly after starting back so I didn’t really get to see true results. I should’ve kept going because my pregnancy was soooooo hard. I had symphis pubis dysfunction which caused such excruciating pain in the front of my pubic region that I couldn’t walk at times. I knew this was going to be our last little lovie.

Of course with each pregnancy a woman’s body takes another hit. I wanted to keep up with things because I did not want anything getting worse. I started seeing my amazing physical therapist again and it turned out that I had the opposite problem from what my first PT thought. The first woman had me working on strength exercises when I really needed to train my pelvic floor to RELAX. Your vagina is a muscle, and mine was TOO tense. Yes, that’s a thing, ha! It was actually causing extremely painful spasms. I have had great success in the relief of my symptoms with physical therapy.

I wanted to share my experiences with this and while this post only touches on a small part of my story, it’s opening up the window for more discussion. I felt so alone because when I was researching this condition after first finding out what was going on, it was extremely difficult to find information on the topic and especially in women my age. It was all very negative, isolating and depressing.

There are several things I’ve learned and I’d like to share them if you’re interested. Prolapses/pelvic floor dysfunctions can happen to women of any age whether you’ve had children or not. There are breathing techniques, exercises and most importantly hope surrounding this topic. I don’t want anyone to feel as alone as I did in dealing with this.

Some amazing accounts to follow on Instagram that have helped me are @the.vagina.whisperer, @mypelvicfloormuscles, @thesugarmag, @fourthtrimestercollective, @the.vulva.gallery, @postpartumstress, @bodyimage_therapist, @mikzazon, @myselflovesupply, and @mydearvagina

Here’s to being transparent and open and praising my body for doing it’s very best!

xxoo Kate

#MaternalMentalHealthWeek

Today is the last day of #MaternalMentalHealthWeek and I’ve joined with some amazing mothers to share our mental health journeys. ♥️ Feel free to tap through each name to read our stories on my Instagram. 

*trigger warning* 1 in 5 people suffer from a mental illness and I am 1. Here I am. In my typical state- messy bun, big t shirt, no makeup. Unfiltered, unedited, just me. It’s how I’m most comfortable. I’m feeling pretty good these days, but it hasn’t always been that way. I suffered from severe postpartum anxiety… but not just that, at one point it was postpartum psychosis.

At 18 months postpartum I finally started to feel like myself again. Yes, it lasted that long unfortunately. I still struggle with anxiety and OCD but it’s WAY more manageable than what I endured after having my third daughter. I’m going to touch on my journey with PPA and psychosis.

My story—

I wasn’t getting any sleep… I was surviving on a choppy 2-4 hours of sleep, usually around 2 or 3 hours a night. At my 6 week follow up appointment, I answered honestly when they asked if I felt like dying. My doctor told me I should get help with that… (gee thanks). I googled “can I die from a lack of sleep” on multiple occasions. My thoughts raced from one extremely sick scenario to the next. I couldn’t sleep, I just stared at my baby to make sure she was breathing.

I didn’t want anyone holding her, I was extremely anxious when we gathered for big family dinners and I found myself in the car heavy breathing on multiple occasions because I couldn’t stand being around others. One time I just got up and left right before we sat down from dinner at my mother in law’s house. I left TJ, Paisley and Winnie there… just drove home because I couldn’t stand to be there another second.

Around 6 months old, Olive got RSV and was hospitalized and things only got worse when we got home. I obsessed over her safety. I didn’t want visitors, I wanted to be alone but at the same time I was SO isolated… I wanted to abandon ship, just run away. I felt extreme guilt because I JUST. WANTED. OUT. I couldn’t understand why I wanted away from my favorite people in the world, my sole purpose for living in the first place.

Every night I would pace around the living room, hyperventilating, seething with anger towards my (very supportive) husband. I’d pick fights with him so I could direct this rage at someone. I got so mad one night, in the middle of the night I screamed at the top of my lungs and kicked a box of diapers around the living room as hard as I could.

I was someone else. I hated how I felt. I just wanted to be happy. I had so much to be thankful for but I was so mad at everyone and everything. I laid on the kitchen floor and cried many times telling my husband I needed to get out. Other times I was blank, no emotion. Straight up scary, just repeating over and over “I need out. I can’t do this anymore.” I distanced myself from friends, church, basically everything that made me happy. In the midst of it all I kept telling myself, “I shouldn’t be like this, I just have to do better, I just need to do xyz to feel better.” None of those things ever helped. I had little moments of “good” times throughout that year that I clung to with my life just to survive. I know hormones played a very large role in my despair. I am now getting more sleep, forcing myself to take time away from home just for me and plan to link back up with my psychologist when this pandemic eases.

I think back and I cry at how dark things were, I cry because I’m so thankful I survived it. Nowadays, I can laugh again. I can feel genuine joy and happiness. I look forward to time spent with the friends that stuck around, and quite honestly, no one knew how bad things really were because I was so withdrawn. This is really my first time sharing. But I feel okay again. I wanted to share this very painful time in my life because I feel like someone, somewhere out there may be able to relate. I want you to know you’re not alone and you will not feel like this for the rest of your life. I promise you. Please seek help. See a psychologist. Take “you” time. Do what you need to do to survive. Cling to the little joys and never stop doing things for yourself. Things WILL be better and you’ll look back and be so proud of yourself!!!

If you’re struggling with ANY mental illness, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

xxoo Kate

The Ultimate Budget List

We don’t know what the future holds and that’s exactly why it’s a good idea to have a plan. Creating a budget is a wonderful way to get on top of your finances. By laying out each expense, you are able to see where your money is going, what can be adjusted and then you can figure out how to save up and become debt free!

Becoming debt free is a huge goal of mine so I created a budgeting list and wanted to share to help others with similar goals… or if you just want to see where the heck all of your money is going!

Below is my ULTIMATE BUDGET LIST print off.

Here’s to saving, becoming debt free and enjoying financial freedom!

Other valuable resources:

Budgeting Journal

Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover

Cash Envelope System

My cousin also shared with me this super cool debt free chart that can be found here!

xxoo Kate

Reflecting on my 2019 Goals

The following are all goals that I set for myself in 2019! Let’s see how I did…

1. Organize my photos
I have made progress on this! I’ve backed up all of my photos to my Google Photos app but I’d really like to go through and delete the multiples/screenshots/etc.

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2. Delve deeper into minimalism
We have purged substantially. I currently have 4 bags ready to donate. It seems like a never ending process at times but we have made leaps and bounds in this area and we are finally nearing the light at the end of the tunnel. I realized I don’t need a white space-y room to live with less. I consider myself a semi-minimalist and I’m really happy with that.

3. Paint my kitchen and bedroom
I still need to paint the bedrooms but we did paint the kitchen and half of the halls a nice off-white color. My husband also completely remodeled the bathroom so that was a big project!

4. Go to bed by midnight
HA, let’s all laugh together. This has absolutely not happened. I really value my alone time which I only really get after my kids are in bed. I should value my sleep a little more… maybe this year.
5. Go on one date per month
I really thought this one would be easy however, TJ and I have gone on two dates since Olive was born… 15 months ago. TJ if you’re reading this… sorry babe!

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6. Pray with my family
This we’ve been doing a fair job at even though I always think there is room for improvement in this area. We watch Bible stories on YouTube, we read the “Jesus book” as Winnie likes to call it, we pray at every meal and we talk about God and his love often. As for a personal goal, I’d really like to read the Bible in chronological order!
7. Continue to say “no”
I’m patting myself on the back right now because I improved greatly in regards to saying NOPE. Instead of overcommitting and doing things because I felt like I had to… I did what I wanted. I will keep this up… probably forever.

All in all I did a pretty good job. I never stress looking back at my goals for the year because SO MUCH happens that’s not expected or planned for. All I know is that I did the best I could and that’s all I can do. Ta-ta 2019!

Did you meet your goals or resolutions for 2019? Tell me about them in comments!

xxoo Kate

A decade in review

2010-2012. I’m going to be honest here and say I’ve suppressed a lot of my memories from school. I wasn’t bullied or abused in any way, in fact I was “popular.” I just really didn’t like a lot of it. I remember once telling my mom “if these are the best days of my life then I’m screwed!!” Thankfully, there were better days to come. Some good things that did happen during these years were a few family trips, great times with friends, and thinking I knew what love was.

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2013. I graduated high school and then enrolled in college. I was thriving in a college setting and doing great in school. I was having a blast!

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2014. I left my part time job bartending and waitressing and got a part time job working at Wells Fargo as a bank teller. Towards the end of the year TJ and found out we were expecting! I got my first apartment close to school.

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2015. TJ and I decided to get a different apartment closer to family. I went into labor the morning after our first night spent there (boxes still everywhere) and our baby was born! She spent a month in the NICU which was emotionally taxing. She was finally able to come home with us. TJ wasn’t getting home from work until almost midnight every night and I was working and going to school so things were quite tiresome but being a mom was the best thing ever!

2016. TJ proposed and I said yes! We got pregnant again, got married and purchased our first home! Woo, busy year!

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2017. Baby #2 was born! She also had a NICU stay of 9 days but we were just in love! I left my job at our local bank to stay home with my babies and it was the best… even if I was covered in spit up every day. TJ got a new job working for a local union.

2018. We found out we were having baby #3 and our little 800 sqft house wasn’t going to hold us all comfortably so we purchased home #2… and then home #3 because we decided we wanted to keep TJ’s grandmother’s house in the family after she passed away. Not even a month after she went to be with God, little Olive was born! TJ spent his one week of “paternity leave” to moving us into her home.

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2019. TJ got a vasectomy (HA)! I started schooling to get my birth doula certification and I returned to college to finish up my degree in Community Health Education. I still have one class to take this coming semester but then I’ll be done! TJ received an amazing job opportunity and jumped on it!

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This past decade has been filled to the brim with firsts, excitement, devastation, anxiety, surprises, triumphs, birthdays, trips, hikes, tears, laughs and hope. I look forward to spending more quality time with this wild family of mine. Hello 2020!