hello friends! today is monday, and while we usually have our coffee dates together over the weekend, when we can take the time to linger over a hot beverage, sometimes you just need a coffee date to ease your entry into the real world of weekdays. so here we are.
today i’m having a big old latte with an extra shot of espresso, but no sugar. i’m trying to curb my taste for the sweetness, and i’ve found that by just skipping the sugar in my latte, i’m developing a taste for the more classic coffee flavors. does this make me a goofball? i assume yes.
on our coffee date today, you’d get to hear me tell you all about how Mister Man took a new job that he’ll be starting next week (hence all my crazywaiting anxiety the past few weeks). it was a hard decision, because he (and i) love the people he worked with. they have always been so wonderful to us, and after five years there, leaving was a decision that took a long time to come to. in the end, this new venture is best for our family in the long run, and i am so proud of my husband for taking care of us so well.
you would also get to hear about how i’m only a little terrified anxious about the next couple of months. because while this new job means that he’ll be traveling less in the long run, it also means he will be away in training for the better part of the next two months. which means that i’ll be here perfecting the art of bedtime by myself. he will be back every few weeks, and we figured out a weekend schedule that will hopefully only have us apart on the weekends a few times. i’m fairly exhausted just thinking about all this, but i thankfully have a lot of support here should i need a mental health day. which i most definitely will. (it really makes me feel for all those parents who do this all the time…single parents, parents with deployed spouses, etc., my heart goes out to you in a big way, you are heroic in ways most people will never know.)
[oh hello tiny baby hairs that will never grow out. ever.]
i want to tell you that i’ve been loving the internet lately. posts like this one on community by ashten, this one on trying by amber, and this one on self-doubt by audrey are just filling my soul up lately. there are even more too, but i just forgot to write them down. it’s like all these people are writing words that i have in my head, and it’s great to continue to connect with all these wonderful friends that i’ve never even met. speaking of which, i get to go see laura this weekend, and i get to see ashten down south in april, and I AM SO EXCITED HOLY CRAP.
now that we’re finishing our coffee date, you’re going to have to help me up from my chair, because i’m sore. i decided to take up rowing at the gym after, oh i don’t know, TEN YEARS(!) of not having rowed. i told you guys the other day that i used to be the coxswain on the rowing team, and would lead workouts on the erg machine. i haven’t been on a machine since, but recently decided that it would be a good change of pace and a great workout instead of my mortal enemy the treadmill. and it was. and i was so slap happy after i got done rowing a 2K that i decided it would be a good idea to lift heavy legs. and now i can’t move real quick on account of everything in my body hurts.
happy monday, happy february, happy coffee date to you! what do all you lovely people have going on? tell me everything.
in early december, i found out i was pregnant. and then all of a sudden, 24 hours later, i wasn’t anymore.
i had an idea that i was pregnant, so i asked the doctor to do a test when we were in for amelia’s appointment. it came up positive and, just like that, my reality changed. i was going to have another baby. we knew what the due date would be and started to get excited about the idea of another little one coming into the world. we had just started trying again, and were beyond happy that our family would be growing to four so soon.
but then just a day after feeling all that and knowing all that, i wasn’t pregnant anymore. and i was sad and upset and angry, because i had gotten excited for something that was never going to happen. it felt a little like waking up from a dream when you weren’t ready to wake up at all. except maybe ten times worse.
i had a miscarriage at 5 weeks. and yet, i have hesitated to use those exact words when telling people what happened. instead i say, “i was pregnant, but then i wasn’t.” “i was pregnant and then i lost it.” i say anything except, “i was pregnant and then i miscarried.”
why do i hesitate to say it? i did have a miscarriage. that’s what happened. and i felt so much sadness about it, but instead of letting myself mourn, i spent time telling myself that my feelings weren’t valid because it was “too early” to feel sad, or it wasn’t “as bad” as it could have been.
i know i’m not alone in this. i’ve heard so many women say that they feel guilty for feeling sad over an early miscarriage. that they “shouldn’t” be sad about something that had barely begun. most don’t even tell anyone it’s happened to them, because they’ve been made to think a loss like this is not as valid as another. it’s as if we think our emotional responses should somehow correlate to the amount of time we carried that baby in our bodies. as if somehow, the short amount of time makes us immune to the feelings that come with losing a piece of our future. with losing our baby.
that’s not fair to any woman, and it wasn’t fair to myself. over the past few weeks, as i’ve had time to reflect on my experience, i’ve realized that the honest to goodness truth is this: it’s okay to feel sad about an early miscarriage, because while it is an early loss, it is still a loss. you don’t need to feel guilty about caring, and you don’t need to minimize your experience. you’ve experienced a loss and you are allowed to (and should) mourn in whatever way you need to mourn. i am allowed to mourn my miscarriage, no matter how far along it was.
i will not let this define me, but neither will i let the world define how i feel about it. i want you to know that if you’ve ever experienced a loss like this, you are validated in your sadness and your mourning. and i’m sending you all the hugs that i have.
thank you for all your support. a post like this is scary to write, but knowing that my community is so wonderful makes it a lot easier to share something so personal to me.
so i basically spent my weekend wishing that i was stuck in the snow like it seems EVERYONE else was! i mean, i live in the tundra, aren’t we supposed to be the ones who get all the crazy snowstorms? i’m seriously craving some snowdrifts so we can build a snow fort for amelia. that’s crazy, right? i know it’s crazy.
and i’m feeling kind of blog nostalgic today. i really feel like just going back to the roots and keeping it classic. so today, you get a “currently” post. i love reading these types of posts from other people, it’s like getting a little snapshot into their brain. like the written form of snapchat (username: hooleywithaz for anyone who likes long snap videos about getting stuck in parking ramps after work).
…time – 3:50pm. this is pushing my luck. amelia went to sleep at 1:15pm, and a three hour nap is hard to come by around these parts. but let’s take a gamble, shall we?
…doing – besides the obvious writing of this post, i’m getting a crap ton (yes that’s a real measurement) done. we’re talking up at 6am, worked out, did laundry, took amelia to music class, had a coffee date with a fellow music class mom, grocery shopped, made lunch, put the kid down for a nap, worked, did more laundry, finished thank you cards kind of day. now after seeing that i’m exhausted.
…eating – pretzels and poor man’s buffalo chicken dip (light sour cream, frank’s hot sauce, rotisserie chicken mixed together). don’t judge me, did you see how much i’ve accomplished today?
…drinking – the last of my latte from my coffee date this morning. does anyone else do that? nurse their fancy coffee over the course of a whole morning and afternoon, or is that just me? i do it partly because i get too distracted to finish it all at once, and partly because i don’t want it to end.
…watching – gilmore girls on netflix. well, rewatching. i’m at the end of season three, and you guys, this is the gilmore girls sweet spot. this is where it gets really good. everyone’s found their groove and the witty banter is just the tops. highly recommend if you have somehow managed to live your whole life without the beauty of gilmore girls in it.
…loving – my new apple toys. okay, you guys, i am notorious for using technology products until they are way past their prime. case in point: i’ve had my iPhone 5 since before Mister Man and i were married. and it’s a lovely phone. i’ve had the same case for that whole time too and they have survived a marriage, two moves, and a new child with no damage. i love it. but it was past its shelf life. like, three iPhone updates past. i just hate buying expensive phones, so i never did. but an opportunity has recently presented itself where it just made sense for MM and i to buy new phones at the same time. so we did. and now i’m like, what took me so long? also, if you missed my instagram post about my other toy, you should really go check that out and see why i hyperventilated on friday.
…hating – not having an office. hate is probably a strong word, but it follows “loving” nicely. i love our little house, but man, one more room (hell, even a big closet) to use as my office wouldn’t be the worst thing. it’s tough to have to just set up wherever there’s room at the kitchen table or coffee table, and not feel like i have my own space to be creative. someday though. someday.
…reading – a real book! an honest to goodness book! i can’t tell you how long it’s been since i’ve read one. wait, yes i can, the last time i read a book was over memorial day weekend. so if you do the math, that was about five months ago, over a holiday weekend. yikes. i’m thinking i might need to be more intentional about how i spend my down time. anywho, i’m reading a real book, it’s called the boys in the boat, about the 1936 u.s. olympic rowers who won gold in berlin, and i’m already obsessed. a fun fact about me: in college, i was a coxswain for my school’s rowing team, aka the yeller in the boat, so crew has a sweet spot in my heart.
…thinking – about the next few months and how they’re going to shake out. a lot of changes are happening around here, all good, but all a bit disruptive. i’m trying to prepare myself for all of it (and trying not to lose my mind) by writing a lot of lists and keeping my calendar permanently attached to my hand. i think it’s working? i don’t know.
…feeling – pretty dang happy. as of now, it’s 4:12pm and i’m sipping on a different cup of coffee, waiting for amelia to wake up to play. i’m also feeling pretty lucky for this life that Mister Man and i are living. a roof over our heads, a heater that works, and a daughter who is healthy (albeit allergic to a lot of stuff apparently, a story for another day) and awesome. edit: she woke up as i was finishing this, which is why it did not post until 11pm. best intentions. woops!
i got in a car accident on thursday night and nothing happened to me.
i was on my way to meet a friend for a long-overdue tea, and while i was starting to move again after being at a standstill on the highway, my car was rammed from behind by two other cars, the final piece in a three-car sandwich. but nothing happened to me.
the car behind me, the one in the middle, no longer had a back bumper and the front bumper was completely cracked and shattered, while my back fender merely suffered two scratches. but nothing happened to me.
the first car, the one that came barreling down the highway into a line of cars standing still, the one that was being driven by a girl two years younger than myself, that car was totaled, the front completely crumpling in on itself and rendering it unable to be driven. but nothing happened to me.
the girl driving that first car, based on how fast she was going and how sudden the impact was, was surely on her phone leading up to the impact, and was lucky to be alive and walking around, because we’ve all seen what happens in the commercials imploring us to put our phones down. but nothing happened to me.
how did nothing happen to me? that’s all i could think as i drove my car away, unscathed. and it made me realize, we don’t always know why things happen or don’t happen to us, at least not right away. sometimes the “why” isn’t always ours to know at the time of the happening. sometimes it’s not ours to know for a very, very long time.
i’ve been thinking a lot about THE PLAN lately. that greater plan that we feel like we should have control over, but we actually don’t have any control over. you know the one. i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again – i don’t do well with not knowing the plan. patience is a virtue i am still fighting to possess, and the phrase “give me grace” is always in my prayers. because i want to just KNOW the plan and then make it happen for myself! is that too much to ask?
i am constantly fighting to trust that His plan is better than mine. that His plans are so big that i can’t possibly begin to imagine what He has in store for me. because why would i ever be chosen to do great things when there are so many others that could do it better? i have a hard time imagining what i could bring to the table that someone else couldn’t.
and then i remember this wisdom:
it doesn’t matter that i don’t yet understand the “why”. my understanding isn’t important at this time. placing my trust in Him and the plan He has for me is the important thing. deep down i know that if i trust the life and the gifts i have been given, i will do great things. it’s true that nothing happened to me in that accident; but there is so much still waiting for me ahead.
do you remember when i rebranded this blog? do you remember how little i posted prior to the rebranding, and how much more regularly i post now (i mean, with the exception of december…holidays, am i right.)?
that’s because when i rebranded, i also implemented a little thing called an editorial calendar. and it completely changed how i planned and published my posts. the silly thing is that it’s so easy, i’m not sure why i didn’t start using one earlier. i always had “versions” of an editorial calendar, but i never used an actual calendar method, and that’s what made the big difference for me.
in this post i’ll explain the benefits of an editorial calendar, how to make an editorial calendar for yourself, and how to use it to make your blogging easier. i’ll be showing you my calendar to give you a visual, but you can feel free to use your own method and make it work for you. if you’re a blogger looking for a new way to get organized, or you’re new to blogging and getting everything set up, read on!
benefits of using an editorial calendar
without an editorial calendar, you might have a method where you use lists or reminders to plan your blog posts. and there is nothing inherently wrong with that, but it’s not as efficient as it could be. one of the benefits of an editorial calendar is that it lets you easily see when you need to have posts written, as well as the status of those posts (whether they’re written, scheduled, or published). another benefit is that if you ever have a large chunk of time to blog, you can use the time you would have spent thinking of post ideas to write your posts, because you’ve already planned out your posts on your editorial calendar.
an editorial calendar also lets you be flexible when you need to be. if you didn’t write a post in time, or weren’t able to take the necessary photos over the weekend, you can look at your planned posts and decide where that post can be moved to later in the calendar, and if there is anything ready that can easily be put in its place. this has been a lifesaver for me…sometimes my life does not follow the schedule that i want it to, so the ability to be flexible with my blog posts has allowed me to post more regularly than i ever have in the past.
one of the most important benefits of an editorial calendar is that it gives you accountability with your posting as well. you can easily see what posts you’ve told yourself you wanted to write, which makes it harder to say that you don’t have ideas, or that you lost track of time. accountability can be a huge factor in your success in posting.
allows you to plan and easily see posts as far out as you need to.
allows you to easily see the status of your blog posts.
saves you time when writing your posts, because your future ideas are already planned out.
gives you flexibility in your posting when you need it.
provides accountability or your posting.
how to make an editorial calendar
now for (what i think is) the fun part! making your editorial calendar. if you’re a straight-forward person who doesn’t like a lot of fluff, your calendar will probably look a lot like mine. if you are more on the artistic side, your editorial calendar might look prettier. if you’re into bullet journaling, you can include a spot in your journal for your calendar. or you might want to keep an electronic calendar! there are so many ways to make this tool work for you and your blog.
the main thing you need to make an editorial calendar is….a calendar! whether it’s on paper or electronic, you need a calendar template that allows you to easily record and track your post ideas. once you have your calendar, the next step is identifying when you will need to have posts. my posting schedule is mondays, wednesdays, and saturdays, so when i print off my calendar, the first thing i do is highlight all of those days. that way i can easily see when i need to post and what days need ideas.
my next step is to fill in any regularly occurring posts that i know i’ll have. most of my recurring posts happen on saturdays right now (monthly goals, coffee dates, #lifelivedthoughtfully, etc.) so i write those in right away. this lets me see if i have any gaps for saturday posts and i can start brainstorming what to write for those. once the recurring posts are recorded, i start to fill in the mondays and wednesdays. because i can clearly see which posts i’m planning to write, it’s easy to spread out my recipe posts and my parenting posts so i don’t accidentally have two recipe posts next to each other. i can also leave a few days open to give myself some flexibility like i mentioned above.
the last step in making my editorial calendar for my blog is to make three boxes next to each post – one marked “w” for “written”, one marked “s” for “scheduled”, and one marked “p” for “published”. this is my favorite part of my calendar because it lets me keep track of where each of my posts is at in the posting process. i get so excited when i can see how many posts i have written and scheduled, because i know i’m creating good, regular content for my blog, in a way that doesn’t stress me out. your method for this may be different. maybe you only care about scheduled posts or published posts. maybe you want to add a checkbox for “photos taken”. make this step work for whatever your needs might be.
get a calendar!
identify what days you need to write posts.
record any recurring posts.
brainstorm additional posts for remaining days, leaving some open spots for flexibility if you need it.
create checkboxes for your tracking and accountability needs.
how to use an editorial calendar for blogging
now it’s time to go and write! once you’ve spent the time making your editorial calendar, you can spend your time writing instead of brainstorming. which is why you blog in the first place, am i right? once my calendar is done, i try to grab a long chunk of time, either at home or at a coffee shop, to write or at least set up some future blog posts. i don’t like to write full posts too far ahead of time, because i feel like it makes my writing feel stiff, but if i can at least get outlines written, it helps me write a lot faster once i’m ready.
if i know i have recipe posts i want to do, i use my calendar to help me plan when i’m going to make and photograph the recipes so i can ensure i have them done when i need them. this way, i can even plan my recipe posts into our weekly meals so i kill two birds with one stone! and if i find that i don’t have time to write one before it’s due, or i like the idea of posting one early, i can just record any adjustments on the calendar. for example, this month i didn’t post on january 2nd, because i was sick with a terrible cold. i moved the post i was going to have for that day, along with the one a week after and just shifted them both a week later. and while i planned on having this post go up two days ago, i decided i wanted to swap it with my last post, so i recorded that change on the calendar.
and that’s how it’s done!
schedule time to write your posts.
spend less time brainstorming.
write your blog posts like crazy!
if you blog, do you use an editorial calendar? what’s worked well for you? if you’re new to blogging, or thinking about starting, let me know if this was helpful!